Seeking life wherever it is expressed.

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Disrespect

If some people in the military feel disrespectd by your actions isn’t that legitimate? Just because you say you are not being disrespectful does not make it so.


Laws, Government,Religion and Freedom.

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Freedom in a nation of Laws is a relative term. To say we in The United States are “free” is using a very narrow element of that word. Own your own business and you will quickly discover how “free” you are not. We are a nation, a society of LAWS and PUNISHMENTS that dictate almost every aspect of our living. LAW is not freedom. Law is needed when a people choose to live together as a society or is it? Could it be that Law is needed because people have not yet evolved to a place of living together in freedom?

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Over 2400 years ago Siddhartha, Jesus and Paul spoke and wrote in opposition to religious laws over internal faith. Living from within, or as it was referred to as “laws written on the heart”, instead of living controlled by external laws of morality.
Freedom is a birth-reality and the mystics of many different traditions all teach that religions should be a place where that “internal knowing” our natural moral and creative compass is nurtured, supported and explored.
Moving minds from external laws to internal freedom is not an easy or quick process but it is the goal of progressive religion to do just that. This is the meaning in the words “you must be born-again” and “I will put my laws in their hearts”. A baby is born free but without understanding of what freedom is. An adolescent and adult both come to understand law, both experience it everyday, telling them how fast to drive or what is appropriate to wear and often loose the connection to the free voice within them.

 

 

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In today’s world, Advertising tells us what we can’t live without, entertainment news tells us what we should be upset about, our education systems teach us how to do certain tasks and religion gives us a connection to the past and each other through tradition? But what do you, without any of those influences, want? What do you, without any of those influences, think? Without the input of the external world, who are you?

Laws are a function of government and could it be that today’s government’s are simply a crutch used in the evolutionary process of human beings much the same way that training wheels are first used to learn how to ride a bike. Each of us was born with the ability to balance; the training wheels just keep you from falling over as you discover and manifest the ability to balance on the bike. Freedom like balance is not a function that government can produce. At best the government can keep us from destroying ourselves as we discover who we actually are in freedom and what we can be free together.

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The highest a functional government can be is serve the will of the people and let freedom be. How can a government be the servant of the will of a people who don’t live from the freedom they are born with? How can one expect “good government” when its people’s minds are controlled by something other than the freedom they possess within.

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The top rated show today is “The Walking Dead”; a show about people fighting and killing people who have become zombies and fighting others who are killing to survive and have more. It’s based on the thought of the survival of the fittest which is the base or lowest of human collective thought – us and them. If a people’s collective thought is centered on the “us and them”, and the will of the people is to “destroy them”, what kind of a servant government will be produced?
Raising consciousness i.e. connecting to your inner knowing is the role of both our religious, educational and possibly even our entertainment systems. Today many of our religious systems teach tradition instead of introducing you to higher thought. Our educational systems teach methodology over free-thought and entertainment is more about fighting and competing than cooperating.
If government is just the “will” of its people, then, in order for the government to change, first the people need to know who they are, and what they really want. People need to rediscover the freedom they were born with so they can live from it and be free.

 


The Lost Commission – The Transformation of your Mind

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matt.28:19-20

These were the words, referred to as the “Great Commission” spoken by Jesus to his apostles. These men had been his disciples, his personal students for 3+ years. It was with these men that Jesus lived and talked with daily; and it was to these men that he gave the secrets of the Kingdom, too.  “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables Mark 4:11.   But what about the common man? What about the man who reads and still hears parables? what is his, I mean, our “Commission”?

Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. Rom.12:1-2

These are the words written by the Apostle Paul to the young church in Rome; but what did they mean to them, and what do they point to for us today?   How does transformation take place and what is mind renewal?   What is the difference between being conformed and being transformed? What is spiritual worship and how does one present your body as a living sacrifice?  Paul writes these words to a city that years later would be seeing Christians offered to the lions and people would be literally living sacrifices. I can only imagine that the the commission Paul lays out here is what prepared and enabled those men and women of the future to be able to do what they did. The sacrifice of those men and women change a nation and the world. What was it they did to prepare for that day?

present your bodies as a living sacrificePaul first addresses the state of the physical body and the all physical scenes to be offered up fully alive and operational but in a state of sacrifice i.e offering.  Offering means “to give”; its a state of being “given too” as one might give himself in marriage or give himself to training for a certain task .

holy and pleasing to God – Holy means to be “set apart”  this being a state that is fully acceptable to God.

Here we see a person in a physical body who has set aside that physical body, mind, and, emotions and is fully committed to train and do whatever is necessarily to accomplish the task.

this is your spiritual worship –   λογικός, ή, όν –  logikos, logical and means divine reason . and the word worship is the idea of divine service – so it could read your Divine Logical service.  Or the Service that will transform logic into the Divine.

Here Paul goes with a negative a “WHAT NOT TO DO”

Do not be conformed to this age

Conformed – συσχηματίζω suschématizó; means “having an outward shape”  – to conform oneself (i. e. one’s mind and character) to another’s pattern.  In other words don’t try to be like someone else.   Paul talks about this further in a letter to the baby Christians in Corinth when he says:  What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.”…..For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not mere men? What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. 

Paul and Apollos and any man cannot cause growth.  At best a man can point you toward the answer within and at worst he can give you a teaching, law, doctrine, practice or anything the natural mind can see, mimic and conform to.  Idolatry was the #1 enemy of God throughout the writings of the Old Testament. An Idol is any fixed image, idea, teaching or philosophy that the mind can identify, break apart to study and conform to.  Idolatry was the hardest thing for Israel to let go of and today is no different. We might not worship statues made by human hands that much, but, we do worship i.e. serve doctrines, teachings, concepts and traditions taught by men in the place of the Living indwelling Christ.

As I see it, the biggest hindrance to the kingdom of God being on earth is not those who would speak against Jesus Christ but those that would Idolize Him. What do I mean by that?  I mean those that would take and turn Christ, the Living Word of God into a book or story  to be studied, memorized, worshiped and finally conformed to.  The Transformation of a Mind does not take place by learning about Jesus Christ, the Transformation of a mind takes place in KNOWING CHRIST THE LIFE WITHIN YOU.

be transformed by the renewing of your mind – 

Transformed is the Greek word  μεταμορφόω : metamorphoó – 3339 metamorphóō (from 3326 /metá, “change after being with” and 3445 /morphóō, “changing form in keeping with inner reality”)

In other words Transformation takes place by BEING WITH THAT REALITY THAT IS IN YOU!

This is the very essence of Meditation and the practice of Being Still. This is what others have called Union with God and the Practice of his Presence.

The Renewing is the process of making that which is, new again and the Mind is:  the comprising alike the faculties of perceiving and understanding and those of feeling, judging, determining; hence, specifically,  the intellective faculty, the understanding: (Strong’s Conc)

A Mind made New so it can perceive, understand and feel God to the capacity it was created to.  A Mind no longer perceiving its nakedness as shame but a mind freed from the conditioning of Idol thoughts to a New Mind metamorphosed into the instrument of the Divine.

so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God

How many times have I heard people pray to know what God’s will is and yet I can’t recall ever having heard anyone ask or pray about how they could have their mind renewed.  People want the ability to know God’s will but are often unwilling or more often are simply ignorant to the process and work of mind renewal.

For those who live according to the flesh think about the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, about the things of the Spirit.  For the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace.  For the mind-set of the flesh is hostile to God because it does not submit itself to God’s law, for it is unable to do so.  Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.  You, however, are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God lives in you. Rom.8:5-9 

How happy is the man who does not follow the advice of the wicked or take the path of sinners or join a group of mockers!   Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction,
and he meditates on it day and night. Ps.1:1-2

But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; Jn.16:13

“This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. Jer.31:33

And Finally more of Paul’s words describing this process of Mind renewal  in another way. A way in which we all can relate to:  When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 1Cor.13:11.  A childish mind is not a wrong, evil or bad mind it is simply an ignorant childish one.

The kingdom of God is within you and yet we seem to think that the answers to our life is found in holy books or the teachings of men.  Inside of us all is a treasure that is waiting to be found and explored, a Christ that wants to be known.  As the scriptures says, “Be still and know that I am God”. The practice of stillness seems to be a lost one among those who take the title Christian.  They take a name and try to take a commission that is not theirs. Going into all the world without first being transformed is the same as going into battle crippled, blind, deaf, dumb and without one weapon.  You want to take up the Great Commission then first present your bodies for sacrifice and your minds for transformation.  How do you plan to teach people about knowing God’s will when you yourself have not gone through the process necessary to know it.  Moses prepared 40 years in a very quite dessert. Jesus was unheard of from 12 to 30 as he prepared; and Paul 15 years in obscurity going through this practice of stillness and meditation, experiencing the third heaven and having his mind made new and his life transformed.  It is only through face to face intimacy that any of us can ever express the light needed to cause the darkness to flee.  The practice of meditation is not the answer; it is simple a means by which you can discover for yourself what God has written on your heart.  As Paul wrote:

You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men; being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.  Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 2Cor.3:2-6

If God’s will is to be done on earth as it is in heaven then it will take men and women who are willing to take the time and effort to discover the reality that lies within them.  It will take time in desserts to find the wonderful secrets that have been written down in their own hearts.  It will take individual people who want to know God as they are known by God and it will take the brave who are willing to lay down their idols and search for what they do not yet know.  Before the Great Commission comes this, the Commission you don’t usually hear about: it’s the One where you have to go outside the gate.

Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate. So, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach. For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come. Heb.13:12-14

Its lonely outside the place where you grew up.  No family, no church friends; just the rejects of where you came from.  Can you leave your physical, religious, political, educational and spiritual home to discover the truth within you?   Can you leave all that you have known to be truth, to stand naked face to face with a God you don’t really know but want to?   Maybe this will give you a little different understanding of the words  spoken so long ago that said:

How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it. Matt.7:14

the earth and all of creation hopes you find it!


Link

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/www_publicradio/tools/media_player/syndicate.php?name=minnesota/news/programs/midmorning_1/2011/11/22/midmorning_hour_1_20111122_64&starttime=0:24:19

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We all should be like the Prodigal Son

Growing up in church whenever I heard the story of the prodigal son it always seem to be told from the perspective of someone who strayed away from the Lord and then comes back. I don’t know how many parents I have heard hold onto that story as hope for their children who grew up in church and then left it. Now the Parable Jesus told that we title “The Prodigal Son” is one of my favorite parables. I could probably speak a different message from this parable for a whole year. The beauty of the Parables of Jesus is that they don’t have only one meaning but many depending on what you are conscience of and what you are able to see. So here goes another perspective.

The story is found in Luke 15:11-32
 It starts with “A man had two sons “. We begin with three people, a Father and two brothers one older one younger. The younger one asks the Father for what he has coming to him, his inheritance and with his inheritance in hand he goes and travels to a distant country.
Anyone familiar with the Old Testament should recognize immediately the motif here. Abraham left home to search for God, Jacob left home in search of God, Joseph leaves home in search of God, Moses leaves home in search of God. Jesus left home and went into the wilderness to be tested by God, Paul leaves home for Arabia to discover God. The idea of leaving home goes all the way back to Adam who is sent out of the garden of Eden to discover……….

When you leave home you are leaving what you “know” or think you know to go to the unknown.

Whenever someone goes in search of God he is headed to the unknown.
By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. Heb.11:8
The story continues by describing the living style of this younger son as simply foolish and wasteful. After this wasteful living a famine strikes and this young son finds himself so hungry that he begins to crave the waste food given to the pigs but no one would even give him that.
The next statement is the big one here – the scriptures say “ When he came to his senses” The Greek word here is ἑαυτοῦ “heautou” and it means “himself” HE CAME TO HIMSELF who he really is and always was.

Self discovery is not about discovering yourself apart from the whole but discovering that you are part of the whole and always have been.


Wither it be Abraham, Moses and even Jesus each one when they leave home they return with a knowledge of God yes, but that knowledge is one with the knowledge of who they really are. After Jesus Baptism and wilderness testing he returns home and enters the synagog and reads Isaiah’s description of the Messiah and Jesus says “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing” (Lk.4:21). To leave home, go to an unknown place and return home is the story of all those who seek God’s kingdom, who seek the reality of what is.

Back to the story – He comes to himself and says “’How many of my father’s hired hands have more than enough food, and here I am dying of hunger! I’ll get up, go to my father, and say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. I’m no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired hands.’So he got up and went to his father.” This son sees for the first time the love of his Father – He always had know the facts of what his Father did but he hand not known the reality of the wholeness that he had with his Father. When stripped of everything he was able to see what things really were and how his Father had been a vital part of his life that he could not longer deny or be without.
So the younger son begins his return home, the same person but no longer foolish and wasteful but one who has gained understanding about himself his Father and the wholeness of life. He left a young boy but was retuning a mature man.

It was not only the son who could no longer live without the Father but the Father also did not relish life without his Son. As this younger Son is still finding his way back the Father runs to meet him and it says he was filled with compassion this is the experience of complete empathy where you feel what the other feels and like magnets you are drawn together to form the whole that is so needed in that moment.
The younger son realizes he is not worthy or equal to his Father.

You see Oneness is not about equality its about unity, wholeness, community.


From the smallest to the greatest everything and everyone is needed and wanted. Nothing is left out, nothing is wasted everything has a purpose and need.
Of Jesus it is said: “who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,” Phil.2:6,8,9

The response of the Father to his younger son was “this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ So they began to celebrate. The comparison of the Prodigal to Jesus is too rich, Here is a story of revelation, growth, wholeness and love. This from a man who left everything he knew only to discover the riches he had always had but never realized. In order to know the glories of light you must experience the depth of darkness all of it is needed and for your own good. God did not cast Adam out of Eden as a punishment he did it so Adam could discover what he needed to see and understand and then return to the wholeness that is. The choice to walk down the path of good and evil is a choice to walk down the path of what is good and worthy what is bad and waste.
Back to the story, Now the older brother over these years had been working even slaving away for his Father. Sacrificing his fun to do work for his Father, he never disobeyed any of his Fathers laws. He was the most righteous of all men. He was returning from work when he heard a celebration of music and dancing so he asks one of the servants what was happening and was told that his younger brother had returned and his Father had slaughtered the best cow he had for a feast. At this the older brother became enraged and would not be a part of the celebration.
Ego is a powerful creation of man’s fleshly mind. Ego creates an understanding of the way things are and should be. When things are not as they should be Ego raises its head, and with a hissing sound declares itself to be Lord and judge of what is happening. Ego considers itself to be equal with God to be equal with Life itself. You see Life is God’s creation and the Ego is man’s creation. Life display’s what is and Ego redefines what it wants it to be and declares what it should be and shouldn’t be with no regard for what actually is.

Back to the story – Just as the Father had gone to meet his younger son the Father goes to meet his elder son. The scripture says he” pleaded with him” but instead of the elder son coming to his scenes or coming to “himself” he lets his Ego speak and the Ego lays out what is ‘Look, I have been slaving many years for you, and I have never disobeyed your orders, yet you never gave me a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your assets with prostitutes, you slaughtered the fattened calf for him.’
Ego does not operate in the world of wholeness it has no place or purpose for darkness that Life has. Life does not look at the assets wasted on prostitutes but as a necessary event of the less honorable. And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen 1Cor.12:23

In the world of the Ego there is much waste and much that is unwanted. Equality not unity is what the Ego desires. Sacrifice not love is Ego’s action. Law is Ego’s way not Life – Law is what you follow and as long as you don’t break it you are good. The Law declares that home is the place you are to be so you could never leave it like the younger son did. The Ego earns everything it has where life accepts everything it is given. In wholeness and unity its not about earning its about living life together realizing that each part is important and needed and when one is lost or hurt we all suffer and when one is found we all celebrate. If life where about earning then the bigger and stronger parts could get more than they even need leaving the smaller, weaker parts of the whole without and in fear of death. If the weaker parts die off then what would happen to the whole?

Back to the story – The Father then replies to his elder son “ ‘Son,’he said to him, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ ”
The Ego is incapable of accepting something undeserved in its own estimation. The reality of love and wholeness is not able to be seen in the world of good and evil, black and white, God and Satan – the world of the Ego.

Life sees purpose in everything

the Ego only sees purpose in good, white and God. The Ego is separated from life itself because it dissects life and takes the parts it wants and leaves the parts it does not deem worthy. The Ego comes up to you and says I like your hair, your eyes, your chin, your waistline and your feet but the rest needs to go and walla you are a clump of hair with eyes,chin, waist and feet dead on the ground because although Ego, with its lack of wisdom and understanding did not like the other parts they were necessary to sustain your life here on earth.

You see in the parable of the prodigal son the elder brother is left outside the party not because he is bad but because Ego will never be at the party. The Ego, your minds creation is what has to die in order for you to come to yourself and be who you always have been but were not allowed by Ego’s orders. Ego calls you a sinner and undeserving of your Father’s love. But the Life of your Father within you sees you as the needed part you are. He does not think as Ego does in division and unworthy waste. In Life all is needed all have a part.

Men with Ego’s have titled this story the “Prodigal Son” even though Jesus only called him the younger brother. Ego’s will attack what it deems unworthy and unnecessary. Are you willing to walk down the path of unworthiness? The Prodigal Son left home and discovered who he was and what the meaning of Life is. Are you willing to be a Prodigal Son to the Ego’s of the world and a younger brother to Christ?


The Misunderstood “Word of God”

What I find to be One of the most misunderstood phrases among Christians today is

“The Word of God”

For so many Christians today this phrase has come to mean “The Bible”

The Word of God = The Bible

When Paul writes in 2 Tim.4:2 preach the word; be urgent in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.

The Christian ear hears “preach the Bible; be urgent…..”

Is this what Paul was saying? I guess he could of just said: “preach my letter” since that is what people do today and its what they in practice think Paul was saying.

The Apostle John seem to have a different view of the “Word” than many have today when he starts his gospel off with;
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Can we really say: In the beginning was the Bible, and the Bible was with God, and the Bible was God.

Most Christians would say “NO” with their mouth yet in their practice would agree with the above interpretation.

The author of The letter to the Hebrews wrote:
Heb.4:12-13 For the word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and laid open before the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

Living, Active and has Sight


Are these words descriptive of anything written down?

Paul writes in his letter to the saints in Corinth:
2Cor.3:6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of a new covenant; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

How does the letter kill?
A letter is a description of something living but it in itself is not alive. A letter like a picture can capture a moment in life, freeze it or as Paul says “Kill it”. Life is ever moving, ever changing it is only the dead that remain exactly the same.

So what is the Bible then?
It is a letter recording God’s words to different men, peoples and nations. It records the thoughts of different men who had a revelation of God. It is a record of life, frozen in time, but all this letter can do is nothing more than “bear witness” to the Word of God.

As John has recorded and the Author of Hebrews records the Word of God is not something written or something that can be contained but is a living being. John says: John 1:14 “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father), full of grace and truth.” and the author of Hebrews says: Heb 12:13 And there is no creature that is not manifest in his sight.

This “Word of God” that Paul, John and all the men of God speak of is the living Christ within you.

It was the Bereans who heard Paul speak the “Word of God” and after they heard the word preached they went to the scriptures to see if it was so.

Acts 17:11 Now these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of the mind, examining the Scriptures daily, whether these things were so.

So I ask you, see if these things are so! Every time you see the “Word” mentioned in the scriptures replace it with “Bible” and see if it rings true to you. After that replace the “Word” with “Christ” and read it seeing if it rings true to your Spirit.

I say all this not to put the Bible down but to raise Christ up. Biblical knowledge is not a bad thing but if it replaces a living relationship with Christ then it has become a hindrance and an idol. You don’t need the Bible to hear Christ speak.

The Bible should never replace Christ in being the voice that leads and guides you.


Go and hear the word of God then after you hear God speak go to the Bible to see if what you have heard is so.

Jesus said: You pore over the Scriptures because you think you have eternal life in them, yet they testify about Me. And you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life. Jn.5:39-40

Lastly – How does one hear the Word of God?

Ps.46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God. Still the chatter in your mind, still your thoughts and allow the still small voice of Christ to be heard within you!

There is a lot more that could be said on this subject but I have kept this short and sweet so it can be read by all and I have faith and trust in the Lord’s voice within you to teach you all you need to know!


To be Double Minded or One


James 1:8 a doubleminded man, unstable in all his ways.
A double minded man is a man with two minds that seeks for balance but the only thing that is truly balanced is the single mind.

There is reality and there is what we think is reality and the two are not the same. Reality is what eternally is. So what really is eternally true? Oneness, connectedness of all things the non-two of everything, this is eternal truth. In the physical world ,that appears so divided, the truth is unity. Fear, frustration, worry, hate and division are manifestations of a mind not accepting the eternal unity that is. Because my mind sees what appears to be two I believe in what my physical eyes see over what eternally is. Our bodies are not eternal, from dust they came and to dust they shall return. Our minds are not eternal, from dust they came and to dust they shall return.

That which animates the body, that which we call life is eternal and it is this life that all beings share in. It is not many lives but one life that animates every physical body on this earth. This is why it makes no sense to say “I hate the life in that person but I love it in this person” – there is only one life. To awaken is to see the reality of that one life and to live in the truth of that reality, this is how a physical mind can be renewed in the light of truth. Life imprisoned by a mind in the darkness of division is a life unrealized and unfulfilled. As the left hand does not say to the right hand I have no need of you, so no one can say to his neighbor “I have no need of you”. If the attitude of our hands was I am not one with you and have no need of you how difficult would it make our life on this earth? If this is the attitude of people toward each other what a difficult task it would be to get anything done (this is the curse) .

To believe in a savior, calling or mission does not alleviate or free your life into the oneness that is unless you yourself see the reality of that oneness. Religions have often mistaken mission for identity and used this as a reason for separation from others. Its disheartening to hear that “To love your neighbor as yourself” is often read as a command or goal and not a revelation that your neighbor is you.

Its not so much about what you believe is its more like

“Do you see what really is”

. Do you have eyes that see or eyes hidden behind the veil of divided flesh. Before Jesus was taken to the cross the gospel of John records a pray his disciples could hear and part of what he prayed was “that they may all be one”. Many read this to be a prayer about becoming one but it is my belief that this was not Jesus asking the Father to make them one in the future but simply to open their eyes to the reality of the oneness that all life shares. It was the mission of Jesus to destroy all perceived divisions not only between God and man but between man and man and man and creation so that all can share in the freedom that comes from the destruction of division through the revelation of Oneness.

God is One and all his children are One. This is love, that a man sees and lives his life One with everyone, not because he should, but because it is what is real and eternally true.


To Live with Integrity


This above all, to thine own self be true. ~ William Shakespeare

What is True -Websters definition 1 a: fidelity, constancy b :sincerity in action, character, and utterance 2 : the state of being the case : fact : the body of real things, events, and facts : actuality : a transcendent fundamental or spiritual reality

In english we express the concept of total truth by saying that something is true “from A to Z” In Hebrew the word for truth is Emet (spelled alef-mem-tav). Its first letter is the very first letter in the Hebrew alphabet (alef). The last letter is (tav), the end of the Alef-Bet. The exact middle of the 27 letters of the Hebrew alphabet is the (mem).
Truth demands total accuracy from start to finish, including every point in the middle as well. pg.61 The secret of Hebrew words by Blech

In simplest of terms “Truth is what really is”
To really understand the meaning of Truth we need to look at what Truth is not.
Truth is not an idea
It is not a concept – concepts are not real, they are just mental play things
It is not a thought – a thought is simply a mental exercise
It is not something taught – teaching can at best introduce you to truth
It cannot be given to you – Truth is never not apart of you
It is not a standard – Again, truth is never detached from you
It is not something that is divided in any way. Truth is the whole, complete totality of everything.

So what are we to do with Truth?

Jesus said: “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

What does it mean to “know the truth”?

Know – Websters Dictionary says – verb (1) :to perceive directly :have direct cognition of (2) :to have understanding of (3) :to recognize the nature of :discern

The greek word for know is 1097 ginṓskō – properly, to know, especially through personal experience (first-hand acquaintance)

Both truth and knowing have this one thing in common with each other, they both are contained within the person and are not something that can be given to another. It is direct personal experience not second hand. A teacher at best can give you secondhand knowledge only you can experience “true knowing” yourself.

Jesus therefore said to those Jews that had believed him, If ye abide in my word, then are ye truly my disciples; And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. Jn.8:31,32

To abide in my word meant to to wait, to ponder the words Jesus used to describe the things He had seen with His Father and had demonstrated before them. Jesus was speaking and demonstrating before his disciples the Way to Truth. This Way he called “The Keys to the Kingdom” (Matt.16:19)

Jesus was the closest thing anyone had experienced to seeing the unseen with physical eyes. He was making the invisible God visible and even with this, the reality of a second hand experience displays itself to Jesus when he says:

John 8:43,45 “Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. “But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me.

Even the words of Jesus spoken to physical ears was not enough to set men free – To see, hear and even believe Jesus was not the same as knowing the truth that could set you free. To know thew truth for yourself and not through second hand knowledge required what Jesus refereed to as “waiting upon the Lord” and after days of waiting….

Acts 1:4;2:2,4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, said he, you have heard of me. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders. Lao Tzu

This first hand experience changed these men and women who had been in bondage to what they thought was truth but was not. – This personal experience that happened when they were waiting upon the Lord set Peter free from the fear that had gripped his being. For the first time Peter came face to face with Truth and like Jesus said “and you will know the truth and the truth shall make you free”

The truth will shall make you free – Will make Free: 1659 eleutheróō – properly, set free, release from bondage

How can we know that Peter was set free?

But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said to them, You men of Judaea, and all you that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known to you, and listen to my words: Acts 2:14

We can know because he acted as a man without fear – He displayed the Truth he now knew!

You may ask

“What truth did he learn to be set free”?

It was not a metal knowledge that had set him free but a release of the Spirit of God within his own being. Peter had found the treasure of truth that had been buried deep within him – the pearl of great price was not something outside but was within him. This had been Jesus message all along. In the upper room while they were waiting they pondered the words of Jesus and these words worked like a shovel removing the teaching and concepts they had heard and believed since they were but small children. Layer upon layer the teachings and concepts about God had buried the reality of who Peter really was, simply put, a child of God. A being in the very image and likeness of God or as Jesus said it “I and the Father are One” . This discovery of oneness with no separation, this face to face intimacy, this realization of truth sets men free! And like a mighty rushing wind it explodes from within the deepest regions of your being and burst forth from your mouth in praise of the reality of I AM.

You want to mess up the minds of your children? Here’s how – guaranteed! Rear them in a legalistic, tight context of external religion, where performance is more important than reality. Fake your faith. Sneak around and pretend your spirituality. Train your children to do the same. Embrace a long list of do’s and don’ts publicly but hypocritically practice them privately… yet never own up to the fact that its hypocrisy. Act one way but live another. And you can count on it – emotional and spiritual damage will occur.

Charles (Chuck) Swindoll
Insight For Living 

Following a set of rules is not freedom
Living by a standard is not freedom
To be fearful is not freedom
To live in terms of good and evil is not freedom
To believe that my identity is “sinner” is not freedom
To be divided internally and externally is not freedom
Paul said: I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. (Rom.7:15)

A life of Integrity –

IntegrityDefinition of INTEGRITY
3: the quality or state of being complete or undivided :

Only those who have discovered the Truth can live in Integrity.

Only they know the state of being complete and undivided.

As John said: If a man say, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar: for he that loves not his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 1Jn.4:20

To know the Truth is to know God to know yourself and to know your neighbor. This is the great mystery the one new man. Bad Religion makes men pretend to be something they don’t believe they are – True Religion help men discover who they are. Bad Religion demands conformity – True Religion leads you to transformation.

How does one live a life of Integrity? It starts with honesty
Honesty – Websters says – adherence to the facts
To know something is different than knowing facts about something. Honestly ask yourself “Do I know who I am?”
Do I know who I am without realigning on what I have been told or read about from others. Do I say I am a child of God because the Bible told me so or because I have met God face to face in a way that I know because I know.
Ask yourself – Why do I do what I do? It it because I think I am supposed to or it it because I really want to?

Until we can be honest with ourselves we will never be open to hear or experience Truth face to face.

“He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened.” -Lao Tzu 
This above all, to thine own self be true. ~ William Shakespeare


Something I Miss

Something I Miss

The past 22 years have been quite an adventure for both my wife and I. We left the church we had known and been raised in and went on an adventure to find something higher or something more. During these years, we have been involved with 10 different churches or groups for an extended period of time. Each group having its own style, doctrine, traditions and focus. I can honestly say that we have learned something valuable from each group we have been a part of. As of now, we are part of a Filipino Christian and Missionary Alliance Church that we have been attending for the past seven months. Very nice group of friendly, hospitable people that love potlucks (a big thumbs up in my opinion). We also are a part of a Mystery School that meets once a month on a Saturday for about 7 to 8 hours. The Mystery School is a 12 session school taught by Christopher and Yolanda who are a very wonderful couple that Vina and I feel share the same heart that we have for Christ, people, and the world in general. The School has been an excellent opportunity for exposure to ideas, history, science and others forms of Christ that I was unfamiliar with. Christopher’s style of teaching is great without legalism and yet he has authority that comes from his experience with the things he teaches us. The school will be coming to an end in the next two months and we will be onto something new. One of the main ideas or truths Christopher constantly is reminding us of is the simple words of Jesus which is to

“seek first the kingdom of God or Heaven”

. These few words are simple but expose a tremendous dimension if you see it. The Kingdom of God is within you Lk.17:20-21 and Matthew 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. – I am going to consider the the Kingdom of God and Heaven are the same for the purpose of this blog – The word Heaven means both the abode of God and Expanse (TWB 2407). Consider this, the Universe, God, Heaven are all ever expanding and it is this constant expansion that is happening right within us. Growth in Christ is not only inevitable, it is eternal. It is not a stagnate well that Jesus talked to the women at the well about – it is not a finite kingdom of God that is within us but and ever-expanding Christ that we are called to be conscious of, draw from and express on this earth. This eternal ever-expanding Christ within us can be called Christ Consciousness.
But, back to the point – Because of these 22 years, today I was reflecting on what I really treasure or miss, and I think I might try to put into words what that is. When I hear someone share something real, something that comes from their heart … (and what I mean by heart is that place inside of you where Christ is enthroned – the heart then is the mercy-seat of divine unconditional love. The ability to express the heart of Christ and the ability to hear that expression with “ears that hear” takes the functioning of Christ Consciousness within you. It is this interaction of speaking and hearing that is the true communion or re-member-ing of Christ i.e. joining the ears and mouth to the head and heart) … it is this type of communion with a group of people that I miss. So much of what is called “fellowship” today is simply from the head, sharing information about God, the Bible, history or your work, but the sharing that comes from the fountain deep within oneself, I have found to be a rare and treasured experience. Heart communion and Head fellowship are not the same thing. I am not saying that one is right and one is wrong. Head fellowship does have its place – mentally learning things is a good thing but I have found that it does not give you the same satisfaction that the things that come from the well within bring. Heart words that people have shared have caused me to be conscious of another dimension of Christ that I had previously not been aware of. And like a drink of cool sweet tea on a hot day, I am refreshed and enjoy the new view given me by a sister or a brother in that moment. Heart words are like pearls created from deep within ones heart – the Love that is Christ not removing but encompassing an irritation and then bringing forth the pearl for all to see and appreciate what Christ within hath created from that irritation (Matt.13:45-46). Oh that I be not a pig, unconscious to the pearls brought forth by others (Matt.7:6). I long to see and hear of the pearls of my brothers and sisters and not just hear puffy leaven stuff that looks like it should be so much more than it really is (1Cor. 8:1).


Do you live following Love or Law?


Recently I heard a classic message out of the book of Malachi. Mal.3:8 “Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me!” You ask: “How do we rob You?” “[By not making the payments] of 10 percent and the contributions. The importance of tithing! The fact that the Church needs money to pay the bills and the ministers is a given but should we use Mal. 3:8 to support the need to give 10% of your money to the church?

Is tithing a law we should follow?
Should we pick and choose what Old Testament laws to follow and which ones we won’t?
Deut 21:18-21 “If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father or mother….. bring him to the elders of his city, to the gate of his hometown. ….Then all the men of his city will stone him to death……
Most just ignore this Biblical Law, but not all.

Paul wrote: For sin will not rule over you, because you are not under law but under grace. Rom.6:14

So what does it mean to be under Grace and not the Law?

I believe it has something to do with the “Why” we do things and not the “What” we do.

As Paul wrote: So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and just and good. Rom.7:12

There is Law that is placed upon us and law that is discovered within us.

As Paul wrote: For in my inner self I joyfully agree with God’s law. Rom.7:22

Following laws like tithing, honoring thy Father and Mother, Being faithful to your spouse, not committing adultery – is not what the message of Jesus.

Jesus said: But I tell you, everyone who looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matt.5:28

Simply not breaking the law is not what life is all about. Spirit Life is lived from the heart not the brain. Laws are brain things – The work of Christ is within the heart of man

Jer.24:7 I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the LORD. They will be My people, and I will be their God because they will return to Me with all their heart.

Heb 8:10 “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” says the Lord: “I will put My laws into their minds, and I will write them on their hearts, ….

Prov.23:7 7 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. “ Eat and drink!” he says to you, But his heart is not with you.

Am I saying the law is bad? No. What I am saying is that the law is descriptive not directive. The law was not given for you to follow but for you to read and then discover these realities within your own heart. Its within your heart that Christ has hidden these things and they are meant to be discovered and lived out because they come from the depth of your being, they come from Spirit. The laws are not meant to be read and obeyed like a traffic sign would be.

Paul said in writing his first letter: I only want to learn this from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now going to be made complete by the flesh? Gal.3:2-3
Paul calls works of the law “The Flesh” When Paul speaks of the flesh he is speaking of things external or things not coming from within your own spirit. The Galatians were being told to have the men circumcised because the Bible commanded it. Gen.17:14 If any male is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that man will be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.”

Paul makes clear the difference between Law and Love –
For a person is not a Jew who is one outwardly, and [true] circumcision is not something visible in the flesh. On the contrary, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is of the heart—by the Spirit, not the letter. His praise is not from men but from God. Rom.2:28-29

The outward following the letter of the law has nothing to do with God –

True union with God is in Spirit expressed in Love.

DO IT BECAUSE YOU (your heart) WANTS TO NOT BECAUSE YOU (your mind thinks [ego]) ARE SUPPOSED TO!

To give out of the abundance of your heart is a joy and gift to God. To give because you think you are supposed to or you have been guilted into it is the true robbing of God.
How is that robbing God?
When you discover God within your heart you discover that you and the giver are one. From that revelation you give, not because you are supposed to, but because it is who you are. You don’t give to prove something your giving displays your real self. Following the Law takes that away – Law is then lifted up replacing Christ. The Law was meant to point us to God not be our God – The Spirit of Anti-Christ is that which replaces Christ, don’t let the law be that to you.

Who knows the difference between the giving of the widow and the rich man? – they do. Only you and God know why you do what you do, but isn’t that enough. Are your actions coming from a heart overflowing with the discovery of the Love of God buried deep within your being or are they the actions of a man leaning on his own understanding of what the Bible says is the right and godly thing to do. Again, only you and God know.


Naked Relationships



What is a “Naked Relationship”?
It is a relationship where there is no fear of the destruction of that relationship because of something you might say, do or think. In other words it is a relationship based on unconditional love i.e. God’s love. A Naked Relationship with another human being is impossible without God. The very foundation of a naked relationship is the triune nature of it, Adam-Eve-God. The denial of any aspect of our being is a denial of our very being.

The vast majority of human relationships are mental and materially based. They are mental because they incorporate your belief systems, what you like or dislike, what you judge to be good and evil. They are material because they are based on physical connections such as a brother or sister, Mother or Father.
In order to move beyond materially based relationships we must begin to know ourselves. There can be no knowing of ourselves without knowing God who is the source of all life.
Knowing God is not knowing an image of Him but to know Him as He is right here and now. To often we look to past expressions or images of God and miss what God is right here and now. Paul talked about this very thing when he wrote: From now on, then, we do not know anyone in a purely human way. Even if we have known Christ in a purely human way, yet now we no longer know Him like that. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come. 2Cor.5:16-17 (HCSB)

It is often man’s way to judge things according to their belief systems instead of what is. Jesus pointed this out in his parable about the good Samaritan. He asks the question: “Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” “The one who showed mercy to him,” he said. Lk. 10:36-37 (HCSB)
It was the Jews who pre-judged the Samaritan as a sinner because of their understanding of God’s laws. Their belief system kept them from seeing what was true in the here and now. Jesus was trying to open their eyes to what was through his story.

Almost of all Jesus parables do this exact thing – remove you from your belief system and place you in the here and now to see love.

God is Love and man who Loves is born of God! 1Jn.4:7-8 You see love you see God!!!!!!

Strong adherence to a belief system can blind us to what really is.

We will choose our belief system over love in other words we will choose our image of God over God Himself.

This exact fact was demonstrated in the life of Jesus on earth. It was the Jews who choose their understanding of the Laws of Moses over the Life of love Jesus lived before them. If we are ever able to live naked and unashamed we must not be ones who hold on too tight to our understandings of God, doctrines and belief’s. As the scriptures say: Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways,
and He will guide you on the right paths. Prov.3:5

There is a difference between relying on your own understanding and meditating on the Lord as you walk daily in your life. One comes from a remembering of the past the other is found within us in the moment of need. One from Law the other from the Spirit of Love.

A Belief system is like clothing we put on. We think it looks good? We trick ourselves into believing that it defines us. Two Christians meet and often one of the first conversations might go like this: “Where do you go to church? I go to First Baptist, Oh your Baptist I am a Methodist.” What does that do except bring about separation. No one is a Baptist or Methodist – at best these are words to describe a belief system you adhere to or at least try to appear that you adhere to. We do this because we don’t think Christ is enough. For a church or a people to say I am of Christ is not good enough. For someone to show love is not good enough, I need to know what you say you believe. I need to know that you cloth yourself with the same rags I use (Isa.64:6).

Paul wrote in the very first letter of the NT: There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Gal.3:28 (HCSB)
In Genesis we find recorded: This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh. Both the man and his wife were naked, yet felt no shame. Gen.2:24-25 (HCSB)

When there is only one there is no shame to be just as you are, no need to add anything. It is to look through the material world and see what is. What is? An eternal spirit manifested in many forms but still only one spirit. This is how two are one and how Christ brought about peace. In doing away with the law (the belief system) the Jews would be able to love the Samaritan and see them as they are, children of God just like the Jews. No longer to be judged according to the fleshly laws, (there clothing) but to be accepted just as they are.
For He is our peace, who made both groups one and tore down the dividing wall of hostility. In His flesh, He did away with the law of the commandments in regulations, so that He might create in Himself one new man from the two, resulting in peace. [He did this so] that He might reconcile both to God in one body through the cross and put the hostility to death by it. Eph.2:14-16 (HCSB)

How many laws or belief’s of yours to you put on others?
Do you accept people who don’t believe like you?
Do you allow others to explore in ways you don’t think is right and proper?
Can people tell you things without fear of you judging them?

The other day a sister shared with me in private a book she was reading. She shared it in private because she knew that if some of her friends found out that they would judge her.
It was the Pharisees named Nicodemus that came to Jesus at Night (Jn.3:1-21) so that none of the other Pharisees would know.

Can you be Naked with the group of Christians you meet with?
Or, Like Nicodemus, do you seek out and explore Christ in the middle of the night where none of your friends can see you?
Nicodemus was not wrong, he was seeking truth. He knew that if he did it in the open he would be persecuted by those who claimed to love God and follow his ways.
Do the people you gather together with unconditionally love you i.e. love you with God’s love? Or do they like you because they think you are like them in your belief system, your clothing?
Its a little odd that in today’s Christian Church in order to be considered a member you must agree on certain beliefs, that Christ’s acceptance of you and your expressed love for Him is not enough.

Do you have “Naked Relationships?” if you don’t you will never know intimacy or experience the joy of oneness.
The first step is to follow the words of Jesus when he said “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Lk.6:37 (HCSB)

Are Christians like Jesus or the Religious Jews?

Then the elders and pastors brought a woman caught in adultery, making her stand in the center. “Teacher,” they said to Him, “this woman was caught in the act of committing adultery. The Bible says: (Matt.5:27-29 “You have heard that it was said, Do not commit adultery. But I tell you, everyone who looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. … For it is better that you lose one of the parts of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.) So what do You say, is she going to hell?” They asked this to trap Him, in order that they might have evidence to accuse Him. Jesus stooped down and started writing on the ground with His finger. When they persisted in questioning Him, He stood up and said to them, “The one without sin among you should be the first to throw her into hell.” Then He stooped down again and continued writing on the ground. When they heard this, they left one by one, starting with the older men. Only He was left, with the woman in the center. When Jesus stood up, He said to her, ” Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, Lord,” she answered. “Neither do I condemn you,” said Jesus. “Go, and from now on do not sin any more.”Jn.8:3-11 in today’s language.

This was a woman caught in the very act of adultery, she was probably brought to crowd naked and yet Jesus accepted her as she was, he did not need to know what she believed, or if she was guilty or not – he did not judge her or condemn her he simply forgave her without her even asking.

If we cannot accept others exactly as they are do we really believe that God accepts us as we are? If we can’t accept others nakedness it means we can’t accept our own. We like Adam and Eve before find the leaves of belief’s (the knowledge of good and evil) to cloth ourselves rejecting both the message and blood of Jesus Christ.
Can you be naked, unashamed and intimate with God and all your brothers and sisters?

Do you have or want Naked Relationships?


How Meditation prepares us to Pray in Faith


Paul in his letter to the saints with the overseers and deacons in Philippi writes:
Philippians 4:8 (The Message)
 8-9Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.


Paul asks the saints to fill the mind and meditate on things true…… Why?

Vs.6 Paul says: Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray.

To fret or worry is a condition that plagues many today. Part of the problem is that we accept this mental and emotional condition as normal and just a part of everyday life. Often we enter into a time of prayer because we are feeling “worry” of some kind. The reality is many prayers are not answered because the one petitioning the Lord does not know how to pray. His prayer is not of faith but of fear and worry.

How did Jesus make his Petition Prayer known to the Father?

Mark 4:37-40 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? (KJV)

Jesus was speaking not only to the Sea but to Peter and the other disciples as well and said “Peace, Be Still”
It was in the Psalms that the words: Be still, and know that I am God Ps 46:10 (KJV) were spoken.
Through faith Jesus remained in stillness and was the very expression of Peace on earth this is how he would Pray.

Vs.7 And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

How do we allow The “Peace of God” to guard both heart and mind?

Paul addresses this very issue in his letter: Finally brothers,
whatever is true
whatever is honorable
whatever is just
whatever is pure
whatever is lovely
whatever is commendable
—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.

To dwell is from the greek word λογίζομαι 3049. logizomai to reckon, to consider
to reason, decide, conclude; think, suppose. logízomai (the root of the English terms “logic, logical”)

Paul asks us to think about, meditate on and consider Truth. Truth is not a doctrine but the reality that is right inside of you. Jesus said “the kingdom of God is within you” and “you shall know the Truth and truth will set you free” Jn.8:30-32 What more can you ask for?

Consider if you are a true disciple of Jesus? Its not enough to just believe he is the son of God, even Satan believes that. Do you believe and have faith in the words he spoke?

These are not just saying but realities that we can experience now, today as we dwell on His gospel, the good news of what is right now!!
If you believe what Jesus has said why do you still have fears? Jesus words were Mark 9:23-24 “Everything is possible to the one who believes.” Immediately the father of the boy cried out, “I do believe! Help my unbelief.”
How is our unbelief helped?

Meditate on what is lovely – as we consider what is lovely our hearts are filled with love and joy – no longer do we find room in our hearts for fret, worry and unbelief because it has been overwhelmed with love, joy and peace. Isaiah knew this experience when he wrote the words:
You will keep in perfect peace the mind [that is] dependent [on You], for it is trusting in You. Isaiah 26:3 (HCSB)

When one is filled with fear he cannot find God who is love. This is why the scriptures say: 1 Jn.4:18 There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear……..(HCSB)

Paul knew that if the saints in Philippi practiced what he had taught them about how to meditate on the lovely and commendable things they had experienced that they would know the love and Peace within themselves:
Do what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:9 (HCSB)

When you think about or meditate through faith on God’s lovely creation or a commendable act that a brother or sister has done your heart is filled with love and truth not fret or worry and you are able to approach the Lord in peace and faith then, and only then, can you: ….in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. Phil 4:6 (HCSB)


Living Naked

The first Adam stood naked and unashamed before God. Together, God and Adam were One. Adam turned away and left the image of God, the one community, to an existence of material laws of good and evil no longer in community with the Spirit. In the last Adam we see the restoration of that community and communion with Spirit. This last Adam is a man who “does nothing of His own” but everything in communion with the Father of Spirits. It is at the end of his material life on earth Jesus declares that “It is finished”. It is here we find the last Adam both physically and spiritually naked and yet unashamed. Why?

Nakedness is not a state of physically being unclothed but an expression of the “I Am”. It is the state of the being who remembers the One Spirit that God breathed into his good and perfect creation. It is remembering who we are, the image of God. Clothing is an adding to, its foundation is the idea that as you are is not good enough. This is the great lie of the enemy that you “need to become” like God. As long as you are trying to “become” you will always be clothing yourself with fig leaves, living in fear of God and man and trying to justify your existence.

What does it take to know yourself?

Gen.2:25 Both the man and his wife were naked, yet felt no shame. (HCSB)

The thought of being naked in front of a group of peers is the classic dream of dread. The idea of this sends shivers down most peoples spines and yet it describes the first human relationship mentioned in the Bible. Not only were they naked but even more important was the fact that they felt no shame. This “Shameless Nakedness” describes a key component in human relationships it also describes the state of being when man was first in relationship with God.

Naked – ST. 5903. erom or erom; naked, nakedness
Original Word: עֵירֹם: erom or erom

The root word is “ur” it means to be exposed or laid bare.
Nakedness is the state of nothing being between two beings. In essence nakedness is oneness.

Gen.3:7-11 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves. Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and they hid themselves from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. So the LORD God called out to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.” Then He asked, “Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat from the tree that I had commanded you not to eat from?”

I was afraid because I was naked – why does Adam make this statement? Adam went from naked with no shame to naked and afraid.
We see an indication to the reason in God’s response – Who told you, you were naked?

Who told you?
Here are two ways of learning. One is through experience, you experience a life situation and through the experience you discover what is. The other is to be taught or told what is, how things are, and why to respond in a certain way. This way is known as law – Law is the statement of what is good and what is evil. It is grace that allows a person the time of wilderness wandering to discover through experience and it is law that demands you blindly follow a certain way without the means of discovery.

What was Adam told that caused him to be aware of his nakedness and to have a problem with his nakedness?

Gen 3:4-5 “No! You will not die,” the serpent said to the woman. “In fact, God knows that when you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

“if you do this you will become like God”

or in other words – You are not like God and need to do something to become like Him.

Remember the introduction to the enemy was Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the wild animals that the LORD God had made.

Cunning = St 6175 – from arom Definition; crafty, shrewd, sensible, prudent and subtle.

The enemy planted the seed of a lie telling the children of God that in order to be like God they needed to do something. Instead of just organically growing up they needed to add to what God had already done. For the enemy God’s creation was incomplete and still needed to be perfected.

Gen 1:27 So God created man in His own image

Image = 6754. tselem Original Word: צֶ֫לֶם
form , image , likenesses.
TWOT says:– God’s image (He who is Spirit) obviously does not consist in man’s body which was formed from earthly matter, but in his spiritual, intellectual and moral likeness to God from whom his animating breath came.

So Adam and Eve were like God spiritually, intellectually and morally but unlike God they dwelt in body or material form. They were babes i.e. spiritual beings without material experience.

The writer of Job describes it this way – Job 10:11 You clothed me with skin and flesh, and wove me together with bones and tendons.
The image of God finding a home in the flesh.

Your eyes will be opened
Gen 3:6-7 Then the woman saw that the tree was good for food and delightful to look at, and that it was desirable for obtaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate [it]; she also gave [some] to her husband, [who was] with her, and he ate [it]. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.

The question is what eyes were opened? As we see in the verse “the woman saw that the tree was good for food” She had sight, she had certain understanding.

They knew – St 3045 yada – to know (properly, to ascertain by seeing); used in a great variety of senses, figuratively, literally, euphemistically and inferentially

In other words “to ascertain by seeing” = To use the material eyes to determine what is truth. Those who live by the Spirit “ascertain truth” by the Spirit and not by the natural eye. The eyes that were opened were the natural eyes for judgment – it was now the natural eyes that would determine what was good and what was evil. Up until this point it was the voice of God that they lived by i.e. the Word of God. But when they believed and followed the words of the enemy they were led down a path where they would use their material eyes, brain and senses to determine what only the Spirit of God can truly see and know.
Instead of living life as the God-Man (God’s nature in a material form i.e. the image of God) they choose to live a fleshly life as Man with his 5 senses apart from the Spirit of God. When they choose for themselves this path their spiritual eye closed and they could see what only the fleshly eye can see. And what did they see? Flesh, nakedness, the material world without the ability to see the spiritual world.
Adam and Eve had been spiritual beings living in material bodies but when they choose to live as material beings they lost sight of God, they no longer knew who they were spiritually. They became lost, spiritually blind and for the first time, incomplete, fearful and ashamed.

“I heard You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.”

Afraid – 3372 to fear Original Word: יָרֵא yare’ – external dread.
Shame – 954. bosh; to be ashamed; to fall into disgrace; be put to confusion when things go contrary to ones expectation.
To go from a state of a spiritual and material world into a state of only the material produced confusion and a dread that led to fear. Instead of hearing God in Spirit he now was hearing Him only through the flesh and God is only one with man in Spirit not in flesh – To Adam God is distant and a stranger. God is spirit and man had chosen to live as flesh this difference brought confusion and man became afraid and ashamed.

They sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.
Loincloths 2290 Original Word: חֲגוֹר chagowr apron, armor, girdle
When mankind chose to walk in the material world his answers were all material but his problem was spiritual. He found himself naked and his answer was to take a leaf and make an apron – material covering material this was their answer. His deep sense of loss led to a feeling of lack, it was Adam who tried to fix this lack by covering himself with leaves.
It was Adam & Eve’s spiritual life that died that day. They had lost and forgotten the image of God. They had become like the animals, so, God clothed them in animal skins.

Gen.3:21 The LORD God made clothing out of skins for Adam and his wife, and He clothed them.

God met them where they were, in their material flesh and began to make a way for mankind to return to what he left. Mankind was now to discover the path he choose, a path of the material, 5 senses, fleshly way. And what is the way of the flesh? LAW, The knowledge of Good and Evil.

Jesus Comes the Last Adam and Life-Giving Spirit Returns

1Cor.15:45,49 So it is written: The first man Adam became a living being ; the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit. And just as we have borne the image of the man made of dust,we will also bear the image of the heavenly man.
Jn.10:10 A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and have it in abundance.

Paul calls Jesus the “Last Adam” because Adam being the first man was the one who choose for mankind a life in the fleshly 5 senses without spiritual eyes or ears. Jesus, the last Adam came to return to mankind what was his to begin with. He came to show man the way back from his state of spiritual darkness and being afraid, confused and lost. Jesus came to show what it was like for a man to walk not after the material, fleshly “LAW” way but to walk after The SPIRIT.

1 Sam.16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or his stature, because I have rejected him. Man does not see what the LORD sees, for man sees what is visible, but the LORD sees the heart.”

Often times I have heard this passage to describe what the Lord sees and what man is unable to see, but this is not the case. It is not that man is unable to see what God sees. It is that Adam chose to live only in the flesh and as such was limited to the material world. We see that the last Adam is not limited in this way He has chosen to live not only in the flesh but also in the Spirit, in union with God.

Jn.2:25 He did not need anyone to testify about man; for He Himself knew what was in man.

John & Jesus – The end and beginning.
Jn.1:29-34 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Here is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is the One I told you about: ‘After me comes a man who has surpassed me, because He existed before me.’ I didn’t know Him, but I came baptizing with water so He might be revealed to Israel.” And John testified, “I watched the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He rested on Him. I didn’t know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The One you see the Spirit descending and resting on—He is the One who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. ‘I have seen and testified that He is the Son of God!”

John represented the pinaacle of what a man following the Law could accomplish. A man is his message and the message of John was one of repentance; a turning away from one way to walk another. And of this other way John did not know but he said to follow the one who did. It is John who stands declaring a new way that not of the Law but of the Holy Spirit.

John 1:17,32-33 for although the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. And John testified, “I watched the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He rested on Him. I didn’t know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The One you see the Spirit descending and resting on—He is the One who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.

Water Baptism = The Death of one way and the desire for a new way. It is the act of faith like Abraham leaving his home not yet knowing where he is going.
Spirit Baptism = The power of the New Way, it is the trans-formative renewal process of a mind that is bent to live in the knowledge of good and evil.

Eph 4:17,18,20-24…. You should no longer walk as the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their thoughts. They are darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them and because of the hardness of their hearts….But that is not how you learned about the Messiah, assuming you heard Him and were taught by Him, because the truth is in Jesus: you took off your former way of life, the old man that is corrupted by deceitful desires; you are being renewed in the spirit of your minds; you put on the new man, the one created according to God’s [likeness]

Renewed is to “make new again” the old man or first Adam choose to walk alone without God who is Spirit. The New man is in the image of God i.e. Spirit and Spirit is community and oneness. One body many parts but one body. The man created in God’s image was Adam and Eve; One man, two parts male and female. God’s image is the many but always the many are still One.

Before sin had entered the world, before Adam choose a path with God, God declared something not good in his creation.
Gen 2:18 Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is like him.”

The image of God was never to be alone – the image of God is community – oneness with many.

Adam and Eve were the visible expression of the community of God and man. Man walked away from this community but God waits for his return.

Heb.7:11,15-19 If, then, perfection came through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there for another priest to arise in the order of Melchizedek, and not to be described as being in the order of Aaron? (And this becomes clearer if another priest like Melchizedek arises, who doesn’t become a [priest] based on a legal command concerning physical descent but based on the power of an indestructible life. For it has been testified:You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek. So the previous commandment is annulled because it was weak and unprofitable (for the law perfected nothing), but a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.

The law perfected nothing – In other words the law could never make the flesh, Spirit. Flesh-Man alone is not good, it is the body that was prepared for the Spirit not to be alone.

Heb.10:1 Since the law has [only] a shadow of the good things to come, and not the actual form of those realities, it can never perfect the worshipers by the same sacrifices they continually offer year after year.


The reality is in Spirit not Law which is only a shadow of Spirit activity. A shadow is form with no actual substance or life in it.

Heb 10:19-21 Therefore, brothers, since we have boldness to enter the sanctuary through the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that He has inaugurated for us, through the curtain (that is, His flesh); and since we have a great high priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, our hearts sprinkled [clean] from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water.

The new and living way that Jesus inaugurated for us is life in the Spirit, life in union with God. Which means hearts full of faith and clear consciences with no fear. No longer walking in confidence with our knowledge of good and evil but walking by faith in God, that is hearing and doing that which is spoken by the voice of God within our hearts.

Heb.10:16-17 I will put My laws on their hearts, and I will write them on their minds, [He adds]: I will never again remember their sins and their lawless acts.

It was Jesus who inaugurated this way of listening to a heart and mind that has been saturated even baptized in the Spirit.

Jn.5:30 “I can do nothing on My own. I judge only as I hear, and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

Jesus did not judge according to the law of the knowledge of good and evil – Jesus judged according to what His Father said his will to be.

Jn.14:10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words I speak to you I do not speak on My own. The Father who lives in Me does His works.

It was the first Adam who made the choice to walk in the commandments of the Law of good and evil. This way was alone, independent from the Father. It is the Last Adam who choose to walk in the word of the Father, and invites us to join Him in this New and living relational Way. The Father’s commands are his internal instruction and counsel within us, Christ asks us to listen and obey what is declared within us just as He listened and obeyed the counsel of His Father within Him.

Jn.14:15-21 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive Him because it doesn’t see Him or know Him. But you do know Him, because He remains with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you. “In a little while the world will see Me no longer, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live too. In that day you will know that I am in My Father, you are in Me, and I am in you. The one who has My commands and keeps them is the one who loves Me.

Naked and Unashamed


It was the first man, the first Adam who stood naked and unashamed before God. Together they were One. Mankind turned away from the image of God, the one community, to an existence of material laws of good and evil no longer in community with the Spirit. In the last Adam we see the restoration of that community and communion with Spirit. This last Adam is a man who “does nothing of His own” but always in communion with the Father of Spirits. It is here at the end of his material life on earth that we find the last Adam physically and spiritually naked and yet unashamed.

Luke 23:33 -37 When they arrived at the place called The Skull, they crucified Him there, along with the criminals, one on the right and one on the left. [ hen Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing.” ] And they divided His clothes and cast lots. The people stood watching, and even the leaders kept scoffing: “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One!” The soldiers also mocked Him. They came offering Him sour wine and said, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!

Jesus was not in confusion here nor had things gone contrary to his expectation. Jesus was willingly being the end of Adam’s rebellion against God – The end of an independent existence lived out in the knowledge and laws of Good and Evil. Jesus lived in oneness with the Father and oneness with everyone he ever met. He never saw two, simply one as he demonstrates on the cross. He says: Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing.”

Jesus knew the state of man and that sin is because of ignorance but on the cross Jesus the light had come to enlighten the understanding of the darkened mind of man.

Jesus was not hiding behind any laws or pleading for justice because of his innocence. He did not cover himself with anything, he felt no need for justification in anyway. Jesus knew who he was. He knew who mankind was. Jesus was naked, unashamed declaring to all humanity that mankind is the child of God, His very image and that we can remember that we are One. We don’t need to try and justify why God should love and accept us – we simply need to believe and receive. Openly, nakedly and intimately receive the love and acceptance of God who declares himself One with us.

Our nakedness is not a state of material being it is an expression of the “I Amness” of mankind of the I AM of God. It is accepting God’s creation as good and perfect. It is a remembering of who we are, the image of God. Clothing is an adding to, its foundation is the idea that as you are is not good enough. This is the great lie of the enemy that you “need to become” like God. As long as you are trying to “become” you will always be clothing yourself with fig leaves, living in fear of God and man and trying to justify your existence.

When Jesus was tempted by the enemy the first two temptations were a challenge to prove identity. “If You are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” In essence he was asking Jesus to put on the clothes of the miraculous in order to justify and prove his being the son of God. The response of Jesus was a declaration that man lives on every word that comes from the mouth of God. And what had just come from the mouth of God was “This is My beloved Son. I take delight in Him!” The word of God was what Jesus experienced, sustained his life, and nothing else needed to be added to that. Before the enemy he remained naked (adding nothing to what was) and unashamed.

Jesus lived life as he was, never falling into the trap of trying to justify his life but lived a life Naked before God and Man adding nothing to what already is. If you live life trying to be justified, Christ’s life, message and death is meaningless but to those who see the Light know that the Just live by Faith alone i.e. Naked before God and man. These are the ones who come to fully know themselves as God knows them, these are the ones who experience knowing Love.
1 Cor.13:12 For now we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, as I am fully known.


Heb. 11:35-39 Some men were tortured, not accepting release, so that they might gain a better resurrection, and others experienced mockings and scourgings, as well as bonds and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawed in two, they died by the sword, they wandered about in sheepskins, in goatskins, destitute, afflicted, and mistreated. The world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts, mountains, caves, and holes in the ground. All these were approved through their faith.


Faith Is

Lesson One
The Definition of Faith


Mark 9:23 And Jesus said to him, ” ‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.” (NASB)

These are bold and spectacular words. They open the treasure house of the Eternal King
to the children of clay, the privilege of God’s own omnipotence and all the possibilities of His infinite resources. Side by side these two astounding declarations stand, “All things are possible with God;” “All things are possible to him that believeth.” (A.B. Simpson)

What is Faith
Dictionary.com definition – –noun
1. confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another’s ability.
2. belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.
3. belief in god or in the doctrines or teachings of religion: the firm faith of the Pilgrims.
4. belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.: to be of the same faith with someone concerning honesty.
5. a system of religious belief: the Christian faith; the Jewish faith.

We have the English word “faith” but what are the Bible writers talking about when they use the word “Faith” ? For this we look to the scriptures to discover what they are talking about when they write we need to live by faith.

Heb.10:38-11:3 BUT MY RIGHTEOUS ONE SHALL LIVE BY FAITH; AND IF HE SHRINKS BACK, MY SOUL HAS NO PLEASURE IN HIM. But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul. Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible. (NASB)

Faith is:
what the righteous live by
This is a quote from the scriptures Hab.2:2-4 Then the LORD answered me and said,”Record the vision ……For it will certainly come, it will not delay. “Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; But the righteous will live by his faith. (NASB)

Here we see two lives portrayed One is Proud the Other is Faith – Pride comes as a sign of self-righteousness not faith-righteousness.
Self-Righteousness is a righteousness achieved by following rules – it comes from human effort and human will not from the faith of Christ within the heart of man.

Paul also quotes Habakkuk in Rom 1:17 For in it God’s righteousness is being revealed, out of faith for faith, according as it is written: “Now the just one by faith shall be living.” (CL)

When Paul says “out of faith” he is indicating that faith is the source and foundation of the hearing of God’s holiness “to faith” indicates that faith is the receiver and container that receives and contains God’s holiness unto righteousness.

assurance of things hoped for
In other words it is the guarantee of what you believe. The word “hope” here is not something you are wishing for but something you are assured of. Hope speaks of a true belief

conviction of the unseen
Conviction is the Greek word “elenchos” and it means: a proof, test or evidence. Faith is the evidence of the unseen. Such as – the proof the unseeable wind is moving is the fact that I see your hair being blown around by the unseeable wind.

Jn.4:24 “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (NASB)

Spirit in greek “pneumati” it means spirit, wind. God himself is unseeable but you can know Him or perceive Him by His affect in you and the things in creation. He can be seen through touching things in creation by blowing on them as it were.

The True Living Faith of a Believer is the Evidence of God’s Existence

Faith comes by:

Rom.10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

Hearing – Jesus said: Mark 4:9 And He was saying, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” (Mark 4:23; )

Matthew 13:11-17 Jesus answered them, “To you (his disciples) it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven,…. while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. “In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says,
‘YOU WILL KEEP ON HEARING, BUT WILL NOT UNDERSTAND;
YOU WILL KEEP ON SEEING, BUT WILL NOT PERCEIVE;
FOR THE HEART OF THIS PEOPLE HAS BECOME DULL,
WITH THEIR EARS THEY SCARCELY HEAR,………
“But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear.
“For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it. (NASB)

Jesus distinguishes a very important difference between His Disciples and the Religious Leaders of the time was the ability and or lack of ability to both hear and see spiritual realities. The disciple John addresses this again to each of the churches in his letter the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

To each of the 7 churches in Asian John wrote : Rev.2:7 ‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches ….”

The First step in a walk of faith is the willingness and openness to hear. In order for someone to really hear they have to be open to listen. Those who “KNOW” cannot hear because they are already filled up with knowledge. Living from a Knowledge of Good and Evil is not the same as living from the Life of Faith.

Hearing the Word of Christ

What are we to be hearing? The Word of Christ and what is this Word?

John 1:1,14 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

The Word is the expression of God i.e. Jesus – The Word of God is a person and his name is Jesus.
A though may form in the brain but it is not know to another until it is expressed by the person. The thought forms the word and expresses it by wind through the mouth. Jesus is the Word of God – the expression to us of the thought of the mind of God.
Is the Bible the “Word of God”? Jesus refers to what we call today the Bible as the “Scriptures” Jn.5:39 “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me;
In the scriptures we do find expressions of the Word of God i.e. Jesus, like the one above – We can say it like this “The word of God said “you search the scriptures because you think….” When one says “The word of God said” this is not quoting a book but a person who is called Jesus. The Bible quotes the Word of God but it in and of itself is not the Word of God and this can be very confusing to a lot of Christians. Jesus above tried to bring clarity to this point when he spoke to the religious leaders and said “You search the scriptures” Paul also tried to bring some clarity to this point when he wrote the saints in Rome.
Rom.10:4-9 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law shall live by that righteousness. But the righteousness based on faith speaks as follows: “DO NOT SAY IN YOUR HEART, ‘WHO WILL ASCEND INTO HEAVEN?’ (that is, to bring Christ down), or ‘WHO WILL DESCEND INTO THE ABYSS?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).” But what does it say? “THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART”–that is, the word of faith which we are preaching,
Many Jews read the Bible as a book of rules and laws to be followed. When Jesus, the Word of God came they rejected him in favor of their written rules and laws. They ended up quoting scripture in order to reject him. In Paul letters to the saints in Rome he declares that Jesus Christ is the end of following rules and laws to make one righteous and that “faithing Christ” – The Word of God is now how the righteous live. That the righteous live by the Word of God in your heart and mouth and not from a legal reading of the Bible like the Jews did.
Rom 1:20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. (NASB)
It is the Word of God (Jesus) that dwells in your heart, He dwells in your brothers and sisters hearts as well. You will find the Word of God expressed within the scriptures. For those who have eyes and ears to see they will find the Word of God within all of His creation as well as hearing it from within your heart. John 7:38″He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'”

Under nervous and physical exhaustion, Simpson became convinced that he was to die at a certain day and hour and was overwhelmed with despair and the inability to find God and receive eternal life. When that moment passed, he rallied some, but he felt as if his life was hanging upon a thread. At length one day in 1858, he stumbled upon Walter Marshall’s Gospel Mystery of Sanctification in his pastor’s study, and his eyes fell upon a paragraph that he took as a message from God: The first good work you will ever perform is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Until you do this, all your works, prayers, tears, and good resolutions are vain. To believe on the Lord Jesus Christ is just to believe that He saves you according to His Word, that He receives and saves you here and now, for He has said — “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” The moment you do this, you will pass into eternal life, you will be justified from all your sins, and receive a new heart and all the gracious operations of the Holy Spirit. This was like a shaft of light from heaven. He fell upon his knees, looked up to the Lord Jesus, and prayed believing that God received, saved and forgave him. An inward assurance and spiritual blessing followed. The Word of God became as divine revelations to him personally. pg.5 AB Simpson – An Integrated Spirituality with Christ as the Center by Rev. David John Smith

Faith – Alive or Dead:
James 2:14-20 What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” You believe that God is one You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.
But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?

In the Christian world their has been a battle since the time of Jesus with his friends Martha and Mary. Martha was a doer for Jesus and Mary was one who loved being with Jesus. Both are necessary but there is a time and order to things. Jesus said to Martha –
Lk.10:39-42 She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

Doing is necessary but it must follow and not precede hearing Christ. Jesus was speaking and that meant it was time to listen and not do. Often doers are more concerned with doing than listening and listeners more interested in listening than following what is being said. The reality is both are needed but listening must be first then the doing follows.

Faith and Believing
Faith begins with hearing then moves into believing but proof of believing is seen in ones actions. If you really believe in your heart that eating a certain type of food is the best for you then you would do it and if you believed in your heart that eating Big Mac’s is very bad for you then you would not do it. Everyone lives out their belief’s no matter what they say or even think they believe – true belief is found not in the mind of man but within the heart of man.

Prov.23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he….(KJV)
Matt.12:34 You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. (NASB)
Lk.6:45 “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart. (NASB)


It is within the heart that Christ i.e. the Word of God, desires to dwell or incarnate –

Eph.3:17-19 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. (NASB)
Col.3:16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (NASB)

Are we ones who have ears to hear Christ speak to us? Are we wealthy and rich in our knowledge about God and in real ‘need’ of nothing? Are we a people on fire for Christ or just warm toward Him? Such was the church in the city of Laodicea. Christ said to them:

Rev.3:20 20’Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. (NASB)

In Revelation the Door that Christ is knocking on is that of a church and not to someone of the world. It is to Christians that the Word of God~Jesus is desiring fellowship. The Word of God is asking for anyone who HEARS HIS VOICE i.e. The Word of God. You see the works the people were doing were good works but they were not being directed by Christ – they were coming from a people trying to be like Christ – doing things he would do but not getting direction from Him.

A Doer of the Word
James 1:22-25 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does. (NASB)

You know you believe when you willingly do.
Mark 9:24 Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.” (NASB)

Unbelief is the greatest sin and in reality the only sin.

“He that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.” This is strong language, but there is no doubt that the sin of unbelief, according to the divine standpoint, is the most hurtful of all spiritual conditions. It destroys the very contact of the soul with God as effectually as the cutting of a telegraph wire would prevent the transmission of a message. The Life of Prayer Ch.5 A.B. Simpson

Faith is –
1. Hearing the Word of Christ (not just reading but hearing with spiritual ears Christ
speak to you personally)
2. Believing the Word of Christ (true heart belief not just metal acceptance or brain belief)
3. Doing the Word of Christ (If you truly believe what you have heard it finds a home in
your heart and you always do what comes out of your heart)


To Stand Firm on the Ground of Openness

TO STAND FIRM ON THE GROUND OF OPENNESS

The Open field the place of freedom without walls

For a fulfilling Spiritual Walk one needs to be Open. To be open does not mean to believe in a certain aspect or expression of God but openness recognizes the vastness and the ultimate unknowableness of God. What we know of God is so small that we cannot possibly understand all His means or ways with our finite minds.

To stand on the ground of openness is a recognition that our human minds like to box things in. We like to construct neat and clean understandings. The human mind is comfortable with black and white and when our minds attempt to understand a Spiritual God we tend to understand Him in our image of black and white, good and evil. Ultimately, in our minds attempt to define God we create, as it were, graven images. A graven image is a lifeless image like a photo of you. It is an image of you in a moment in time but it is not you. One of the 10 commandments was to not make any graven images.

Israel's Understanding of Jehovah their Strong Redeemer


Exodus 20:4-5 (The Message)
No carved gods of any size, shape, or form of anything whatever, whether of things that fly or walk or swim. Don’t bow down to them and don’t serve them because I am God, your God, and I’m a most jealous

When the children of Israel began to worship the golden calf at the base of Mt Sinai in their minds it was Jehovah they were worshiping it was not another god. The calf was a physical representation of the characteristics they understood and had seen demonstrated by Jehovah. Another way of saying it was this that this golden calf was their theology, their understanding of God. Today in evangelical western society we don’t create statues to worship but we do create theology, creeds, teachings and doctrines that are worshiped the same way that golden calf was.

You see at the base of Mt Sinai the children of Israel made a fatal decision that would ultimately lead to them wandering in the wilderness for 40 years and never entering the promised land. God called the Israelite’s into intimate fellowship with Him. They were called to come up on the mountain and meet with God face to face. It was God who told Moses to tell the people to prepare and when: Exodus 19:13 ……. ‘ When the ram’s horn sounds a long blast, they shall come up to the mountain.”

But because of fear they rejected the call to come up and remained at the base and eventually began to worship what they understood Jehovah to be like in the form of the golden calf.

Exodus 20:18-21 (New American Standard Bible)
All the people perceived the thunder and the lightning flashes and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood at a distance. Then they said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen; but let not God speak to us, or we will die.”
Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin.” So the people stood at a distance, while Moses approached the thick cloud where God was.

Man’s fear of God comes from his lack of faith and trust in God and ultimately from his not knowing the heart of God. People need an intimate knowing of God

– As the Prophet Hosea says: 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. And the Prophet Isaiah in 5:13 Therefore My people go into exile for their lack of knowledge This knowledge that people lack is not head knowledge but a knowledge that comes from an open heart. The Hebrew word here is daath with the root word being yada and it speaks of the intimate knowing that happens between a husband and his wife. When man rejects intimacy with the uncontainable, unknowable God, usually because of fear, he turns to what he can know in his mind and that is simply an image of God. In the case of Israel they built an earthly kingdom instead of being apart of the spiritual kingdom that God had called them to. Today when God calls man into intimacy with Him we go to Seminary or Bible College or some other way to begin to learn about God. We do this until we discover that God is not really known that way. It is in the stillness and openness of heart that we can know and have a revelation of God.
Often Men and Women experience God intimately and share of their experience to other brothers and sisters. Others instead of desiring their own intimacy with God fear what they do not understand and begin to reconstruct, with their minds, that experience with God into a modern day golden calf’s that we call movements and denominations.

It was Peter who saw an amazing event and immediately he wants to build something. He wants to try and close the door and contain it, capture it with his mind and memorialize it.

Matt 17:1-4 Six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

The only thing we memorialize are things of the past or things that are dead – God is neither! God simply is – and this is something our fleshly minds just don’t comprehend but fortunately they don’t have to because we have a spirit that does and it in this spirit that we can live.

Our flesh needs to define our spirit expresses
Our flesh needs protection our spirit explores
Our flesh wants to contain God our spirit experiences God
Our flesh needs to see in the physical realm our spirit has eyes and ears in the spiritual realm
Our flesh fears God our spirit is Love with God
Our flesh sees us as separate from God our spirit knows oneness with God.

Mary podered the words she did not understand in her heart


Openness of heart and will is the ground on which Christ, the Word of God, is planted, takes root and can grow.

Openness is not a revelation of Christ it is having a faith and trust in Him that He will reveal Himself to you in the way He chooses to do so.

When Jesus walked the earth he found that hearts were closed and hard they were not open. The gospel of Mark records the story of the minds of men in action. These minds had so captured their God that they could not accept a work of God if it did not fit into their present picture and understanding of God.

Mark 3:1-6 (New American Standard Bible)
He entered again into a synagogue; and a man was there whose hand was withered. They were watching Him to see if He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him. He said to the man with the withered hand, “Get up and come forward!” And He said to them, “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save a life or to kill?” But they kept silent. After looking around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately began conspiring with the Herodians against Him, as to how they might destroy Him.

The hardness of heart is a condition of many in the religious world today. “If it is not said the way we say it, it is a sin” Theology and doctrine often rule over love!!!! Jesus is recorded as saying : John 10:33-34 The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.” Jesus answered them, “Has it not been written in your Law, ‘I SAID, YOU ARE GODS’?

What was he doing that they wanted to kill him? Nothing, he simply said something they did not have revelation about themselves. He said something their minds could not wrap around and all mind wants to do is kill what it fears because it does not understand.

It is only on the ground of openness where revelation can happen!

Matt.16:16-17 – Not flesh and blood but My Father revealed this to you!

Gates of Hell protecting the images and descriptions of God in the past

It is only on the ground of openness that Jesus says (Matt.16:18 “I will build my church and the gates of hell (or the things which try and contain, capture, memorialize and bind up God i.e. religion) will not prevail!!!!

The gates of hell, the abode of death wants to contain God but Resurrection life has defeated this forever! You want a fresh Revelation – STOP REJECTING WHAT YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND – stand in faithful and trusting openness before the Lord – turn to that resurrection life within you and see the Revelation of God. Stop fearing a defeated enemy and Trust God.

Paul writes to Timothy and says:
2Tim.2:23-26 But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels. The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.

The snare of the Devil is the rigidity and rigor-mortise of your understanding of God. The hardness of ones heart is not the rejection of the God you have know but a rejection of a living God today. A God that is new every morning and wants to reveal Himself to you in a new and fresh way. You who are not standing in openness will reject the God you claim to love because He is not coming in the same form He did last time.

A little child is flexible a dead person is rigid. Do want into the kingdom of God? Don't think that dying is what gets you there


To those standing in openness Jesus said:
Matt.25:37-40 “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

These followers of Christ didn’t understand who they were loving they just loved. They were open to all and unknowingly ministering to God through their openness to all. They didn’t ask if you were a Christian or what kind of Christian or what your belief’s were they simply gave to everyone those who came to them what they had to give and what they had to give was the love of Christ in whatever form worked at that time!!

Much fellowship and Church Life is lost because it is not being built by Christ upon the ground of openness. Openness does not mean agreement in everything it means I can be open to hear your experience or revelation of God in whatever form, words or images who choose to do so. Openness means I am not going to judge your experience or revelation. For some reason man has come to the conclusion that he needs to be the one to build the church and he wants to do it based on his understanding of God. The Kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom built with spiritual stones by Christ. All we can do is stand together in that open field and let Him do His work.

Does it really matter if your loving brother believes that sprinkling with water is baptism. Does he really have to be fully immersed because that is the way it has been revealed to you. Is this required for you to consider him a brother or sister.

You mean sometimes they expressd the same revelation of God? How can that be???


If one sees a demonstration of the Love of God in the story of the Buddha or hear the wisdom of God in the writings of Lao Tzu can you not accept it for what it is. You are not required to see it just as you are not required to see the love of God in the story of Job. Can you hear it on the ground of openness and simply ponder these things in your heart like Mary did with the things she did not understand. Now I know that minds will read this and fear of the enemy will being to enter – “Oh if we did that it will be the way the enemy will get in and corrupt us” – Fear of the enemy is a lack of Faith in Christ and his work on the cross. If you don’t stand in openness you leave no way for the Spirit to do anything new in or with you. Can we be people who ponder instead of judge the things we don’t have revelation on?

The Christian faith was started upon a revelation of God that was seen by at least 120 people after Pentecost. It was the 120 in the upper room who were standing together in that room of openness and expectation. It took the 3.5 year ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus to get those 120 to stand together in openness. When the new manifestation of God came in the form of Spirit the 120 received this new way and for the first time saw the life of Jesus through spiritual eyes and God was made new to them. Paul had a revelation of this same God in Jesus not because he believed the stories of the Apostles but because he got knocked down off his horse, physically blinded, and placed on the ground of openness and then saw and heard God speak through Jesus to him. On the ground of openness you will shocked and amazed at the places you find God. If you have ever had a revelation of Jesus Christ then you know that ground of openness because you were standing on it when you first saw or heard Him. The ground of openness is the ground young children play on – they don’t ask for a list of belief’s or statements of faith they just want someone to come and play with them.

To enter the kingdom you must be like a little child - OPEN TO PLAY WITH OTHERS


Here we read the story of Peter and the Baptism in the Spirit given to the Gentiles on the ground of Openness that Peter stood on. It is throughout the gospel stories that Peter is being asked to take a stand on the ground of openness. Peter was a very black and white person but Peter had faith in God. It is Peter’s willingness and understanding of his lack of understanding God that allows him to do what he does.
Acts 10:13-48
A voice came to him, “Get up, Peter, kill and eat!” But Peter said, “By no means, Lord, for I have never eaten anything unholy and unclean.” Again a voice came to him a second time, “What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.” This happened three times, and immediately the object was taken up into the sky. Now while Peter was greatly perplexed in mind as to what the vision which he had seen might be, behold, …...While Peter was reflecting on the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Behold, three men are looking for you. “But get up, go downstairs and accompany them without misgivings, for I have sent them Myself.” …….As he talked with him, he entered and found many people assembled. And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a man who is a Jew to associate with a foreigner or to visit him; and yet God has shown me that I should not call any man unholy or unclean. “That is why I came without even raising any objection when I was sent for. So I ask for what reason you have sent for me.” ……Opening his mouth, Peter said: “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, ……. While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter answered, “Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?” And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay on for a few days.

Peter was perplexed in mind – this was against what he believed to be right and true. Peter responded by reflecting not by accepting or rejecting. Peter did not judge the vision he simply reflected on it, gave it time, he remained open to what it might mean. The scriptures say “while Peter was speaking.…..because he was open and operating in that openness the Lord does the work of building the church. It was not the words of Peter that opened the way for the Spirit to fall but the Spirit of openness that Peter demonstrated that gave way for God to move on a People that Peter didn’t even believe God could accept. It says that Peter was amazed at what happened. When we stand on the ground of openness we will be amazed at what God is capable of doing it is beyond our wildest dream and hopes.

Simply amazed at God's mind blowing Love


I understand that the fleshly mind fears openness but I ask you to be open to these words and reflect on them. Trust and have Faith in God that He will be your protection and give you a new Revelation of Himself.


Should We Imitate Paul as he Imitates Christ?

Should We Imitate Paul as he Imitates Christ?

Is it that we live by the life of Christ or do we live by a life that Christ has transformed or is transforming?
Or, is it that as we live by the life of Christ within us our mind and bodies our transfigured/transformed into temples of God ~ Earthen vessels equipped, filled and baptized into Christ to express the righteousness and will of God on earth.

Either Christ is our Righteousness or we will attempt to achieve, through the supposed help of Christ, a righteousness that I contribute to.

Spiritual Complacency ~ a self or fleshly-satisfaction/righteousness that is accompanied by unawareness (i.e. spiritual blindness and deafness) of actual dangers or deficiencies found in our own righteousness and not that of Christ alone.

Imitating Christ is not necessarily the expression of the life of Christ!

When Paul writes the saints in Corinth and says: 1 Cor.11:1Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.

To be Anti-? Is not Christ but simply Law. Christ is within us not to empower us to live by the Law but to live by a Life that the law can only describe.


He is writing to a Church struggling with which life to live by. One is a life of laws, eat this, don’t eat that. Touch this, don’t touch that. Paul writes to these saints pleading with them and says:

1Cor.10:15-17; I speak as to wise men; you judge what I say. Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ? Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread.

Instead of a dualistic view of the world of good and evil Paul asks them to look at the One life in Christ we celebrate. In other words Paul is saying: we no longer partake from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil we partake of the One tree of life. The tree of life is not a new law but a new life and in his attempt to communicate this reality Paul says to these saints:

Even though you think you are seeing many lives the reality is it is only one.


1Cor.10:23-24; 31-33 – All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable All things are lawful, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor…..Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense either to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God; just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit but the profit of the many, so that they may be saved.

Paul’s desire is to see and live by the One life that is. Not taking offense by taking a side as the life of good and evil does. Paul calls for these saints to stand with Him in that One life as Jesus did when he was in the flesh on earth. Jesus said to his disciples:

John 14:7-10 “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.” Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.

When Paul says: “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.” He is not asking these saints to copy certain actions or even thoughts such as what is good and evil. Paul is asking the people to imitate him by living by the indwelling life of Christ like Paul does and like Jesus lived by the indwelling life of his Father.

Paul goes onto to talk about a mystery:
1 Corinthians 15:50-53 50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

Paul here is first declaring the fact that the kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom and not a kingdom of the flesh (that which is corruptible) the way Israel was. Paul then goes on to refer to two specific events the first one and only one I would like to look at here is “corruptible must put on incorruption” Paul refers to this particular action in a least two of his others letters where he says:

Gal.3:24-28 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

In Paul’s first letter ever written he wrote to the Galatians much like the Corinthians and says “you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” Like Corinth he talks about not living under the law but in Christ – which he calls clothing yourself with Christ. It is this Christ who Peter describes in the same words saying calling him the incoruptible seed 1 Peter 1:23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, Paul again talks about this incorruptible seed or life within us in his letter to the Romans –

Rom.14:11-14 Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is near Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.

Paul here refers to this salvation or incorruptible life as “put on the armor of light” and “put on the Lord Jesus Christ”. When Paul says awake from sleep that our salvation is here he is through the spirit retelling the parable Jesus spoke about the 5 wise and 5 foolish virgins (Matt.25:1-13). In this parable told by Jesus the “putting on of Christ” is illustrated by those having enough oil. In the story Salvation came not to all the virgins with oil but those with enough oil.

From within the heart of man Christ, who has made Himself one with us, rises like the Phoenix in resurrection power to purge all fleshly corruption and set us free.

Our flesh can never have enough oil to live the Life of God only the Life of God can live the Life of God the law has proven this.

The question for us today is can we lay down our own individual lives our own individual pride and be imitators of Paul and live by the life of Christ within us

not of a righteousness of our own but one that is found only through Christ who has made himself one with me living through me.

There Can Be Only One Immortal Life

The message of the gospel of Jesus Christ is like the understanding that all immortals know in the story of the Highlander ~ There can be only One!


A follow up to “Is the Jehovah Moses speaks of the Heavenly Father of Jesus?”

A follow up to “Is the Jehovah Moses speaks of the Heavenly Father of Jesus?”

You know when you are putting something together and the pieces just don’t quite go together but the directions say it should or at least you think they do. In my younger days I was the one who would make it work only to find out later how it was supposed to be. Over time you learn that if does not fit don’t force it just be patient. Well this approach has also become the way I have begun to reexamine my faith, the Bible and my life. In Religion we are often given these nice neat packages that have already been assembled but when we begin to use them or examine them we find that everything does not fit all that well or it does not even work, but because we need to get it done we do whatever it takes to get it ready to use. In my questioning of the relationship between Biblical stories some brothers were fine with it others felt it could be dangerous to tamper with it especially in a public way. I guess it is good that both types of brothers exist – for some they need to have these things tampered with but for others it might be dangerous. So I guess I write for those who like myself are not new to the study of the scriptures but are unsatisfied with their own present understanding and are willing and ready to be challenged.

I love the internet for one things in particular – you find writings, old ones that if not for the internet you never would of found them. Three days ago I was surfing the net and came across a book on Google docs entitled Babel and Bible by F. Delitzsch. Recently I had been reading a lot about the Sumerian texts so the title caught my eye but the fact it was written by F. Delitzsch was even more interesting. All through my Bible College the OT commentary I used was by Keil and Delitzsch which was the standard by which I was taught. Well it ends up that Babel and Bible was a book that came out of two lectures that were given by the Son of F. Delitzsch in 1902 and 1903. Friedrich Delitzsch. These two lectures were given before a very pretentious audience and caused a great uproar. You see Friedrich Delitsch was a German Assyriologist one of the best in his field at that time. As Wikipidia says “Friedrich Delitzsch specialized in the study of ancient Middle Eastern languages, and published numerous works on Assyrian language, history and culture. He is remembered today for his scholarly critique of the Biblical Old Testament. “

Some highlights of his lecture – Babel and Bible

Introduction – “So far, at any rate, the conviction has steadily and universally established itself that the results of the Babylonian and Assyrian excavations are destined to inaugurate a new epoch, not only in our intellectual life, but especially in the criticism and comprehension of the Old Testament, and that from now till all futurity the names of Babel and Bible will remain inseparably linked together.” pg.2

This was said over 100 years ago – this shows you how long it takes for “FACTS” to even begin to change the way we think.

“The Old Testament formed a world by itself till far into the last century. It spoke of times to whose latest limits the age of classical antiquity barely reached, and of nations that have met cither with none or with the most cursory allusion from the Greeks and the Romans. The Bible was the sole source of our knowledge of the history of Hither Asia prior to 550 B. C.” pg.3

Here is a quote from the story of Sargon I who lived in the third or fourth millennium before Christ and before Moses. – “In Azupiran, on the banks of the Euphrates, she bore me in concealment; she placed me in a box of reeds, sealed my door with pitch, and cast me upon the river, which conveyed me on its waves to Akki, the water-carrier. He took me up in the kindness of his heart, reared me as his own child, made me his gardener. Then Ishtar, the daughter of the King of Heaven, showed fondness for me and made me king over men.”” pg.11

We read in Numbers vi. 24-27: “The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make his face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.”
Countless times has this blessing been given and received! But it was never understood in its full depth, and import until Babylonian usage informed us that ” to lift up one’s countenance or eyes upon or to another,” was a form of speech for “bestowing one’s love upon another, for gazing lovingly and feelingly upon another, as a bridegroom upon a bride, or a father upon a son.” This ancient and glorious benediction, therefore, invokes on man with increasing emphasis God’s blessing and protection, God’s benignant and gracious consideration, and lastly God’s own love,—finally to break forth into that truly beautiful greeting of the Orient, “Peace be with thee!”
pg.29-30

Yet the greatest and most unexpected service that Babel ever rendered the philological interpretation of the Bible must yield the palm for wide-reaching significance to the fact that here on the banks of the Euphrates and Tigris as early as 2250 B. C. we find a highly organized constitutional state. Here in these Babylonian lowlands, having an area not greater than that of Italy, yet extraordinarily rich by nature and transformed by human industry into a veritable hotbed of productiveness, there existed in the third millennium before Christ a civilization comparable in many respects with our own. pg.30

Origins of the Sabbath, Babylonian?
“When the twelve tribes of Israel invaded the land of Canaan, they entered a country which belonged absolutely to the domain of Babylonian civilization. It is an unimportant but characteristic feature of the prevailing state of things that a Babylonish garment excited the avarice of Achan when the first Canaanite city, Jericho, was stormed and plundered (Joshua 7:21). And not only the industry, but also the commerce and law, the customs and the science of Babylon were the standards of the land. Knowing this, we comprehend at once why the systems of measures, weights, and coins used in the Old Testament, and the external form of their laws (“if a man do this or that, he shall be punished after this manner or that”) are Babylonian throughout. So also the sacerdotal customs and the methods of offering sacrifices were profoundly influenced by Babylonian models; and it is a remarkable fact that Israelitic traditions are altogether at variance in their accounts of the origin of the Sabbath,— as will be rendered apparent by a comparison of Exodus 20:11 and Deuteronomy 5:15. But now the matter is clearer.
The Babylonians also had their Sabbath day (shabattu], and a calendar of feasts and sacrifices has been unearthed according to which the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th days of every month were set apart as days on which no work should be done, on which the king should not change his robes, nor mount his chariot, nor offer sacrifices, nor render legal decisions, nor eat of boiled or roasted meats, on which not even a physician should lay hands on the sick. Now this setting apart of the seventh day for the propitiation of the gods is really understood from the Babylonian point of view, and there can therefore be scarcely the shadow of a doubt that in the last resort we are indebted to this ancient nation on the banks of the Euphrates and the Tigris for the plenitude of blessings that flows from our day of Sabbath or Sunday rest.”
pg.37-38

The Flood Story Babylonian

The Babylonians divided their history into two great periods: that before the Flood and that after the Flood. Babylonia was in the true sense of the word the land of deluges. Like all alluvial lowlands bordering on great streams that flow into the sea, it was exposed to floods of the direst and most unique character. It is the home of the cyclone or tornado, with its accompaniment of earthquake and cloudburst. Only twenty-five years ago, in the year 1876, a tornado of this character gathered in the Bay of Bengal, and amid the crashing of thunder and with a violence so terrific as to dismast ships distant nearly two hundred miles, approached the delta of the Ganges, met the ebbing tide, and engulfing it in its own titanic tidal-wave, hurled oceans of water over an area of 141 square leagues to a depth of 45 feet, drowning 215,000 human beings, and only losing its strength as it broke against the highlands that lay beyond. Now the credit belongs to the celebrated Viennese geologist, Eduard Suess, for having discovered the exact and detailed description of just such a tornado in the Babylonian story of the Flood inscribed on this tablet from the library of Sardanapalus at Nineveh and committed to writing 2000 years before Christ. The sea plays the principal part in this flood, and therefore the ark of the Babylonian Noah, Xisuthros, is cast back upon a spur of the Armenio-Medean mountains; but in other respects it is the same old story of the Flood, so familiar to us all.
Xisuthros receives from the god of the watery deep the command to build a ship of certain dimensions, to coat it thoroughly with pitch, and to put on board of it his entire family together with the seeds of all living things. The ship is entered, its doors are closed, it is cast adrift upon the devastating waves, and is finally stranded upon a mountain bearing the name of Nizir. Then follows the famous passage : ” On the seventh day I took forth a dove and released it; the dove flew hither and thither, but finding no resting-place returned.” We then read that a swallow was sent forth; it also found no resting-place and returned. Finally a raven was sent forth, which, noticing that the waters had subsided did not return. Xisuthros then abandons his ship and offers sacrifices on the summit of the mountain. The sweet odor was scented by the gods, etc., etc. This entire story, precisely as it is here written, afterwards travelled to Canaan, but owing to the totally different conformation of the land in this latter country, it was forgotten that the sea had played the principal role,
pg.39-40

The Creation Story – Babylonian

In the primordial beginning of things, according to this epic, down in the gloomy chaos, surged and u ‘aged the primeval waters, the name of which was Tiamat. When the gods declared their intention of forming * an orderly cosmos out of the chaos, Tiamat arose (usually represented as a dragon, but also as a seven-headed , serpent) , and made ready for combat to the death. Monsters” of all descriptions she spawned from her mighty depths, especially gigantic venom-blown serpents; and in their company she set forth bellowing and snorting to her conflict with the gods. The Celestials quaked with terror when they saw their direful foe. The god Marduk alone, the god of light, of dawn, and of the vernal sun, came forward to do battle with her, his sole stipulation being that sovereign rank among the gods should be accorded him.
Then follows a splendid scene. First the god Marduk fastened a gigantic net to the East and the South, to the North and the West, lest any part of Tiamat should escape. He then mounted in shining armor and radiant with majesty his celestial chariot, which was drawn by four spirited steeds, the admired cynosure of the eyes of all the surrounding gods. Straightway he made for the dragon and her dread embattled train, sending forth his challenge for the contest. Then Tiamat shrieked loudly and fiercely, till her deepmost foundations trembled and shook. She opened her maw to its uttermost, but before she could shut her lips Marduk made enter into her belly the evil hurricane. He seized his lance and pierced her heart. He cast her carcass down and placed himself upon it, whilst her helpers were taken captive and placed in close confinement. Thereupon Marduk cut Tiamat in twain, as cleanly as one would sever a fish, and of the one half he made the roof of heaven and of the other he made the earth ; and the heaven he inlaid with the moon, and the sun, and the stars, and the earth he covered with plants and animals, until finally the first man and the first woman, made of mingled clay and celestial blood, came forth from the hand of their creator. .
Since Marduk was the city-god of Babel, it is quite intelligible that this story found widespread diffusion in Canaan. Nay, the poets and prophets of the Old Testament went so far as to attribute directly to Yahveh the heroic deeds of Marduk, and to extol him as the champion that broke the head of the dragons in the water (Psalms 74:13 et seq.; 89:10), and under whom the helpers of the dragon stooped (Job 9:13).


Passages like the following from Isaiah 51:9: “Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of Yahveh; awake, as in the days of old, in the generations of ancient times. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab in pieces and pierced the dragon?”
or passages like that from Job 26:12 “He divideth the sea with his power, and by his understanding he smiteth the dragon,”
read like explanatory comments on the little image which our expedition found representing the god Marduk, of the powerful arm, the far-seeing eye, and the far-hearing ear, the symbol of intelligence clad in majestic glory, with the conquered dragon of the primeval waters at his feet
pg.41-42

The priestly author that wrote the first chapter of Genesis took infinite pains to eliminate all mythological features from his story of the creation of the world. But since his story begins with the gloomy, watery chaos which bears precisely the same name as Tiamat, namely Tehom, and since this chaos was first divided by the light, and heaven and the earth appeared afterwards, and heaven was set with the sun, the moon, and the stars, and the earth was covered with flowers and with animals, and finally the first man and woman went forth from the hand of God, it will be seen that there is a very close relationship between the Biblical and the Babylonian story of the creation of the world; and it will be obvious at the same time how absolutely futile all attempts are and will forever remain, to harmonise our Biblical story of the creation with the results of natural science. pg.45

The Fall of Man

The question as to the origin of the Biblical story of the Fall of Man is of the utmost importance from the point of view of the history of religion as well as from that of the theology of the New Testament, which, as is well known, contrasts with the first Adam by whom sin and death were brought into the world, a second Adam.
May I lift the veil, may I point to an old Babylonian cylinder-seal, on which may be seen in the center a tree bearing pendent fruits, to the right a man,
distinguishable by his horns, which are the symbol of strength, to the left a woman, both with their hands outstretched toward the fruit, and behind the woman the serpent? Is it not the very acme of likelihood that there is some connection between this old Babylonian picture and the Biblical tale of the Fall of Man?
The serpent again? That has an unmistakably Babylonian ring. It was doubtless the same serpent, the primordial foe of the gods, that sought to revenge itself on the gods of light by seeking to estrange from them their noblest creature? Or was it the serpent of which it is once said that it ” destroyed the dwelling-place of life” ?
pg.47-48

Is it from God or Babylon?

This drastic intrusion of Assyrian antiquity upon our own days naturally fills us with amazement, and yet it is nothing more than what has happened in the intellectual domain. When we distinguish the twelve signs of the zodiac and call them Aries, Taurus, Gemini, etc., when we divide the circle into 360 parts, the hour into 60 minutes, and the minute into 60 seconds, and so on,—in all this, Sumerian and Babylonian civilization still lives with us to-day.
And possibly I have also been successful in my endeavor to show that many Babylonian features still cling, through the medium of the Bible, to our religious thinking.
The elimination from our religious thought of the purely human conceptions derived from these admittedly talented peoples, and the liberation of our thought generally from the shackles of deep-rooted prejudices, will in no wise impair true religion and the true religious spirit, as these have been taught us by the prophets and poets of the Old Testament, but most sublimely of all by Jesus; on the contrary, both will come forth from this process of purification far truer and far more intensified than ever they were before.
pg.59-60

Yahveh know and written about by the Babylonians

Clay Tablets Containing The Words ” Yahveh is God.”

(Time of Hammurabi or Amraphel. British Museum.)
But more! Through the kindness of the director of the Egyptian and Assyrian department of the British Museum I am able to show you here pictures of three little clay tablets. What, will be asked, is to be seen on these tablets, fragile broken pieces of clay, with scarcely legible characters scratched on their surface? True enough, but they are valuable from the fact that their date may be exactly fixed as that of the time of Hammurabi (1790 BC – around the same time as Abraham) (Moses is given the Law in about 1313 BC) , one of them having been made during the reign of his father, Sin-muballit; but still more so from the circumstance that they contain three names which are of the very greatest significance from the point of view of the history of religion. They are the words :
la- hn~ um- ilii
Yahveh is God. Yahveh, the Abiding One, the Permanent One (for such is, as we have reason to believe, the significance of the name), who, unlike man, is not tomorrow a thing of the past, but one that endures forever, that lives and labors for all eternity above the broad, resplendent, law-bound canopy of the stars,—it was this Yahveh that constituted the primordial patrimony of those Canaanite tribes from which centuries afterward the twelve tribes of Israel sprang. pg.62

The Prophet Ezekiel’s Visions – Babylonian?

The Prophet Ezekiel (chap.’1) in his visions of his Lord saw God enter on a living chariot formed of four winged creatures with the face of a man, a lion, an ox, and an eagle, and on the heads of these cherubim he saw (10:1) a crystal surface supporting a sapphire throne on which God was seated in the likeness of a man, bathed in the most resplendent radiance. Noting carefully these details, can we fail to observe the striking resemblance which his vision presents to the representation of a god which has been found on a very ancient Babylonian cylinder-seal ? Standing on an odd sort of vessel, the prow and stern of which terminate in seated human figures, may be seen two cherubim with their backs to each other and with their faces, which are human in form turned to the front. Their attitude leads us to infer that there are two corresponding figures at the rear. On their backs reposes a surface, and on this surface stands a throne on which the god sits, bearded and clothed in long robes, with a tiara on his head, and in his right hand •what are apparently a scepter and a ring: and behind the throne, standing ready to answer his beck and call, is a servitor of the god, who may be likened to the man “clothed with linen” (Ezekiel 9:3, and 10:2) that executed the behests of Yahveh.

Lecture two continues more into these points but I will just bring up one found on page 101 about laws of God??:

It will be the business of future investigators to determine to just what extent the Israelitic laws both civil and levitical are specifically Israelitic, or general Semitic, or how far they were influenced by the Babylonian code which is so much older and which had certainly extended beyond the borders of Babylon. I think, for instance, of the law of retribution, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, of the feast of the new moon, the so-called “shew bread,” the high priest’s breast plate, and many other things. For the present we must be thankful that the institution of the Sabbath day, the origin of which was unclear even to the Hebrews themselves, is now recognised as having its roots in the Babylonian Sabattu, “the day par excellence.”
On the other hand, no one has maintained that the Ten Commandments were borrowed even in part from Babylon, but on the contrary it has been pointed out very emphatically that prohibitions like the Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh spring from the instinct of self-preservation which is common to all men. In fact, the most of the Ten Commandments are just as sacred to the Babylonians as to the Hebrews: disrespect for parents, false witness, and every sort of covetousness are also punished severely in Babylonian law, generally with death. Thus, for instance, we read in the very third paragraph of Hammurabi’s code: ” If in a law suit any one on the witnessstand utters falsehoods and cannot support his testimony, he shall himself be punished with death if the life of another is involved.”


Friedrich Delitzsch ending of second lecture said: –
For my own part, I live firm in the belief that the early Hebrew scriptures, even if they lose their standing as “revealed” or as permeated by a “revealed” spirit, will nevertheless always maintain their great importance, especially as a unique monument of a great religio-historical process which continues even into our own times. The lofty passages in the prophets and the psalms, filled with a living confidence in God and with longing for repose in God, will always find a living echo in our hearts, despite the particularistic limitation of its literal text and its literal meaning, which are largely obliterated anyway in our translation of the Bible. Indeed, words like those of the prophet Micah (6:6-8) : “Wherewith shall I come before Yahveh, and bow myself before the high God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will Yahveh be pleased with thousands of rams, or ten thousands of rivers of oil? Or shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth Yahveh require of thee, but to do justice, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God! “—words like these, insisting on an ethical manifestation of religion in the life (and which are also found in Babylonian writings), come, as it were, from the very soul of all sincerely religious people today.
But on the other hand, let us not blindly cling to antiquated and scientifically discredited dogmas from the vain fear that our faith in God and our true religious life might suffer harm!

Let us remember that all things earthly are in living motion and that standing still means death. Let us look back upon the mighty, throbbing force with which the German Reformation filled the great nations of the earth in every field of human endeavor and human progress! But even the Reformation is only one stage on the road to the goal of truth set for us by God and in God. Let us press forward toward it, humbly but with all the resources of free scientific investigation, joyfully professing our adherence to that standard perceived with eagle eye from the high watch-tower and courageously proclaimed to all the world : ” The further development of religion.” pg.114

Friedrich Delitzsch took a lot of persecution for giving these lectures and even still to this day. As a German living in 1903 his research is disregarded by many as the misguided work of a anti-Semitic German of his time. Here we sit 107 years later and still Christians today know so little about the origin and nature of the book they claim to follow.

The book Bible and Babel can be found free on-line here at Google books –
http://books.google.com/books?id=5RgYAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=Babel+and+Bible&hl=en&ei=0zFkTJfvO4SBlAeQpdmXCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCsQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false


The Enlightenment of A Christian

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Language and terms are a tricky thing. Everyday people speak or write words to each other in an attempt to communicate thoughts and feels. The reality is the intent of the one speaking the words to communicate their thoughts and feelings is rarely ever met. Words are symbols for thoughts and feelings and the meaning of a symbol is many different things to many different people. I grew up on the west coast of the USA in a non-denomination Christian family. I understand and speak in non-denominational Christian west coast symbol. I live in the east coast and I am not a part of a Christian church you can imagine the difficulty I have in communicating what I think and feel.

For today’s symbol I am using the word “Enlightenment”.

Enlightenment is a term Paul the Apostle used in his writing the letter of Ephesians “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints. Eph.1:18” In most cases where a Christian uses the term enlightenment, the words of Paul are not thought of instead the Christian thinks it is a non-Christian term and is from the teaching of Buddha. Now Buddha did experience enlightenment but my thought and questions is, “is this word and experience a non-Christ experience”?

The Greek word used by Paul is πεφωτισμένους pephōtismenous 5461 and it means: to shine, give light.

In the verse Paul states the reason for enlightenment is εἰςeis to reach a point or entry into perceiving, hence to know.

Another way of saying it might be “enlightenment is the the doorway for the eyes or your heart or conscientiousness to obtain the knowledge and understanding of the spiritual realities”.

So this is Paul’s use of the symbol but how does Buddha use the symbol? In Buddhism, bodhi or enlightenment means the awakening experience. It speaks of the Buddha, Buddha means “one who has awakened.” To awaken means to open ones eyes.

Leaving his kingdom and loved ones behind, Prince Siddhartha became a wandering monk. He cut off his hair to show that he had renounced the worldly lifestyle and called himself Gautama. He wore ragged robes and wandered from place to place. In his search for truth, he studied with the wisest teachers of his day. None of them knew how to end suffering, so he continued the search on his own.
For six years he practiced severe asceticism thinking this would lead him to enlightenment. He sat in meditation and ate only roots, leaves and fruit. At times he ate nothing. He could endure more hardships than anyone else, but this did not take him anywhere. He thought, “Neither my life of luxury in the palace nor my life as an ascetic in the forest is the way to freedom. Overdoing things can not lead to happiness. ” He began to eat nourishing food again and regained his strength.

On a full-moon day in May, he sat under the Bodhi tree in deep meditation and said. “I will not leave this spot until I find an end to suffering.” During the night, he was visited by Mara, the evil one, who tried to tempt him away from his virtuous path. First he sent his beautiful daughters to lure Gautama into pleasure. Next he sent bolts of lightning, wind and heavy rain. Last he sent his demonic armies with weapons and flaming rocks. One by one, Gautama met the armies and defeated them with his virtue.
As the struggle ended, he realized the cause of suffering and how to remove it. He had gained the most supreme wisdom and understood things as they truly are. He became the Buddha, ‘The Awakened One’. From then on, his name was changed and he was called Shakyamuni Buddha. Shakyamuni “sage of the Shakyas,” Shakya being the name of the tribe or clan to which his family belonged. … Shakyamuni died at the age of eighty. His last words were, “Work out your own salvation with diligence”.
Paul would write 500+ years later : “work out your salvation with fear and trembling; Phil.2:12”

It seems that Shakyamuni Buddha used the word enlightenment in the same way Paul used it. I Once Was Blind, But Now Can See!

Saul on the road to Damascus was blinded by the light of Jesus Christ and after that he could see what he could not before. When he could see his name was changed to Paul meaning small. Prince Siddhartha was blind with his life of riches and later in his life of poverty but in being still he was able to overcome and see what he could not before. When he could see his name was changed to Shakyamuni Buddha meaning teacher from Shakya one who has awakened.

Eph.5:13-14 But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. For this reason it says, “Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you.” Paul the Apostle
red-eye-heart
All things….Everything that is visible is LIGHT..Just open your eyes, awaken to what is and be enlightened!!!!!


Is the Jehovah Moses speaks of the Heavenly Father of Jesus?

Is the Jehovah Moses speaks of the Heavenly Father of Jesus?


“You Have Heard it said”

One of Jesus main teachings and actions, something that made Jesus stand out among Teachers was his teaching and demonstration of love not only for friends but also of his enemies.

Jesus said in his famous Sermon on the Mount: “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
“For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
“If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
“Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Matthew 5:43-48

Was this Love of enemies demonstrated by Jehovah in the books of Moses?

The Flood, here it seems we see Jehovah taking care of the ones he likes

Gen.6:5-13 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth…..The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, ……I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, …..But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. ……Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth.

Sodom and Gomorrah, here it seems Jehovah takes care of his friends but what about his enemies?

Gen.19:13-24 for we are about to destroy this place, because their outcry has become so great before the LORD that the LORD has sent us to destroy it.” Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, and said, “Up, get out of this place, for the LORD will destroy the city ” But he appeared to his sons-in-law to be jesting. …….Then the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven,

Mt Sinai and The Children of Israel, here it seems a very angry God who needs a man to talk him out of destroying even his friends.

Deuteronomy 9:13-14,18-23“The LORD spoke further to me, saying, ‘I have seen this people, and indeed, it is a stubborn people. ‘Let Me alone, that I may destroy them and blot out their name from under heaven; and I will make of you a nation mightier and greater than they.’ “I fell down before the LORD, as at the first, forty days and nights; I neither ate bread nor drank water, because of all your sin which you had committed in doing what was evil in the sight of the LORD to provoke Him to anger. “For I was afraid of the anger and hot displeasure with which the LORD was wrathful against you in order to destroy you, but the LORD listened to me that time also. “The LORD was angry enough with Aaron to destroy him; so I also prayed for Aaron at the same time. ….”Again at Taberah and at Massah and at Kibroth-hattaavah you provoked the LORD to wrath. “

Joshua and the Promised Land, here it seems Jehovah is a God who hardens hearts so the people would fight and be destroyed.

Joshua.11:19-20 There was not a city which made peace with the sons of Israel except the Hivites living in Gibeon; they took them all in battle. For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts, to meet Israel in battle in order that he might utterly destroy them, that they might receive no mercy, but that he might destroy them, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.

The words in the books of Moses do not seem to display the Heavenly Father that Jesus displays.

The Command of The Lord is –
Lev.24:17-23 ‘If a man takes the life of any human being, he shall surely be put to death. ….. fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; just as he has injured a man, so it shall be inflicted on him. …… for I am the LORD your God.'” Then Moses spoke to the sons of Israel, and they brought the one who had cursed outside the camp and stoned him with stones. Thus the sons of Israel did, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.

The expression of the Father through Jesus says – “You have heard that it was said, ‘AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.’ “But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. “If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. “Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. “Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you. Matthew 5:38-42

Did Moses or whoever wrote Leviticus misunderstand or misquote “The Lord” ? Jesus is quoted as saying “You have heard it was said” “But I say” then he also says he only speaks his Fathers words not his own.

Was Jesus correcting a misquote?



So Jesus told them, “My message is not my own; it comes from God who sent me. Anyone who wants to do the will of God will know whether my teaching is from God or is merely my own.
John 7:16

The disciples of Jesus agree with Jesus

Peter writes – “Do not return evil with evil, or insults with insults. Instead, pray for blessing. You were called in order to inherit blessing,” 1Peter 3:9.
Paul writes – Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Rom.12:17

Now “The Lord” says – Mal.3:6 “For I, the LORD, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.

Now if Moses followed the Lord Jonah interacted with I don’t think we have any conflict. The “Lord” of Jonah (as recorded in the book of Jonah) is a loving and forgiving Lord that seems more in line with the Father that Jesus expressed.

It does not seem that the “Lord” described in the 5 books of Moses always depict or express the non changing Heavenly Father of Jesus.
Some may say “It was a different time or dispensation” that may be true for man but not for God. God is not affected by time – He is the same yesterday, today and forever. At least this is true of “Jesus Christ
Heb.13:8.”

The turn or burn message sometimes preached today seems appropriate to the Lord of Moses but not the merciful Heavenly Father of Jesus Christ. Moses himself seems to display more the attributes of the Heavenly Father of Jesus than the Lord of Moses does.

Jesus said “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.” John 14:7

The Father of Jesus was not well known when Jesus walked the earth. It was the Law that was read, studied and known.
Then they hurled insults at him and said, “You are this fellow’s disciple! We are disciples of Moses! John 9:28

Of the Law Jesus said: Moses gave you the law, but none of you obeys it! In fact, you are trying to kill me. John 7:19

Notice he says “Moses gave you the Law” not “My Father gave you the Law”

In the recorded words of Jesus written by John you can feel the desperate exasperation of Jesus toward a people he loves that simply won’t listen. Here is a people who search the writings of other men instead of receiving the Father’s Love. These people simply refuse to know the Father for themselves they fight among themselves about the meaning of different prophets words and refuse to have an encounter of their own.

“You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life. “Your approval means nothing to me, because I know you don’t have God’s love within you. For I have come to you in my Father’s name, and you have rejected me. Yet if others come in their own name, you gladly welcome them. No wonder you can’t believe! For you gladly honor each other, but you don’t care about the honor that comes from the one who alone is God. “Yet it isn’t I who will accuse you before the Father. Moses will accuse you! Yes, Moses, in whom you put your hopes. If you really believed Moses, you would believe me, because he wrote about me. But since you don’t believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?” John 5:39-47

Jesus knocking on the door of a Bible study

So, Is the Jehovah Moses speaks of the Heavenly Father of Jesus?
My answer is NO and Yes. Moses in some ways knew and expressed the Heavenly Father but at other times, like many of us, he expressed the “law and thoughts of Moses” not the Law of the Heavenly Father. Jesus expressed his Fathers Law in these words ‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matt.22:37-39.

So when reading Moses rejoice when he writes about your Heavenly Father but remember just because Moses says “you have heard it said” it does not make it the words or actions of your Heavenly Father.


A Parable – The Prodigal Son’s Older Brother

A Parable – The Prodigal Son’s Older Brother

One day their was a very mature young Christian man. He was hard working and had served God faithfully for many many years. He had never neglected any of God’s commands. He has been in Church his whole life. He taught Sunday School, attended Sunday night service and taught a children’s class on Wednesday nights. His motto is: I follow God’s word so if the Bible says to do it I do it.

This mature young Christian man also had a younger brother. This brother had never gone to church. When he was younger he had always been a very happy outgoing guy. After high school he lived the party life got in with the wrong crowd and ended up becoming a drug addict. During these days of drug addiction he had lied to, stolen from and caused much pain to his friends and parents. One day this young man found himself in a back ally looking at a half eaten throw away big mac. As he put the burger to his mouth to eat he wondered aloud if this is all that life is. He began to think of his parents and the way they loved one another, he remembered other good loving people he had met in his life, laughing with them and enjoying life. He wanted to be around people like that again. He got up and began to clean himself up. He got into a free drug rehab program the city had set up, was able to go on job interviews and then got hired. After only a few months he went to visit his parents and older brother. He shared his story with them all and thanked them for the love that they had was given to him as a child. Over the next year this young man rose in the company that hired him and given a position of Jr Vice President, he met a beautiful and funny young lady who he was engaged to and he had purchased a beautiful new home just a block away from his parents house. The President of the company he worked for offered to throw a party in this young man’s honor and sent invitations to all of his family and friends. The older brother received this invitation and read these words

To friends and family of my newest Jr Vice President.
I invite you all to attend a celebration of life. There is no one I know who has demonstrated more love, honor, hard work, and the graceful determination to be the best than my newest Jr Vice President.
He represents for me everything that is good in this world. As all who know him know his motto:
I have found a voice in my heart that I follow, I call the voice Love.
Please join us for this 5 course meal in his honor.

With this the older brother became very angry and said why oh why God does my brother get blessed when he is still so worldly. Why does he get a great promotion, why does he find a wonderful girl to be his wife. Since I was young I have read and followed your word. I have faithfully attended Church every week and on Wednesday’s. I volunteer for as many programs and help days as possible but why do I never get honored. I pray but why do you never seem to answer me. I am a good person but my brother who is a recovering drug addict, a thief, a liar and has never set foot in a church is being honored as someone who represents everything that is good in the world. God you are the only thing that is good so I will not attend this party and honor you!

And God said: My son, I have always loved you and have wanted to give you the desire of your heart and it is from your heart that I long to hear. Your many works and ministry have kept you very busy and my desire is that you come and rejoice with Me in the return of your brother. Your younger brother got lost and was unaware of who I really was. But I never forgot him nor have I ever left him. When life became so hard for him he began to remember love and desire love. He remembered the way your parents loved each other, loved you and loved him. He remembered the love of friends and he desired to have that love back in his life. You have always called me Father but your brother has know me as Love. You read about me in Church your brother watched me display myself through your parents relationship. If you really want to honor me then honor your brother because it is in his life that I am displayed.


The Mystic Way

The Mystic Way

For Ron! – The biggest stumbling block for the mystic way is our thoughts – “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. Isa.55:8
This is Spiritual warfare and it is one that is waged inside of all Mystic’s – Most Religion goes the way of the Mind which is doctrine, teachings and traditions. It is the Mystic that goes the way of the Spirit – “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (Christ Jesus – John 3:8) So the way of the Mystic is in Spirit and it drives those who need doctrine, proof texts, and traditions crazy. Just see how the religious reacted to Jesus the Mystic.

Mysticism (from the Greek μυστικός, mystikos, an initiate of a mystery religion)[1] is the pursuit of communion with, identity with, or conscious awareness of an ultimate reality, divinity, spiritual truth, or God through direct experience, intuition, instinct or insight. Wikipedia’s Definition


Ps.46:10 Be still and know that I am God

What I have been doing or practicing is a move from my mind and thoughts about God, Jesus, the Bible to my knowing Spirit. Spirit is not flesh it is the “Heavenly Treasure in Earthen Vessels” To study or focus on the Vessel is not very productive to living by the Spirit. One passage of Paul’s really struck me when he said:
(note: I find only one real purpose for the scriptures – To help remove any and all stumbling blocks that keep you from going within and having face to face intimacy with God – that’s it! The scriptures were not written to teach you but to point you within – it is inside you that the knowing already is – you just go within and discover or become conscience of what is.)

2 Corinthians 5:16-17 From now on, then, we do not know anyone in a purely human way. Even if we have known Christ in a purely human way, yet now we no longer know Him like that. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.

Over my life I have spent way to much time studying about the human Jesus Christ and not enough time getting to know the Christ within me. Now I thought I was getting to know the life within me by studying about Christ, his nature and ways but in reality I was reading and trying to act like what was in me instead of living by what was in me. Big difference! Doing something because you think you are supposed to and doing something because everything in you wants to is like night and day. Getting to the point of trusting the spirit within your heart over your thoughts is the difference.

Col.1:23,27…This gospel has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and I, Paul, have become a minister of it….. this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Following Jesus (the human vessel that contained Christ) I discovered was not where I needed to place my hope but in following the gospel of Jesus I discovered something different. We seem to always look to things outside of our-self’s for guidance even though we all know the counselor was given to live within us. It seems may just think of the Spirit as the interpreter of the Bible for us instead of the voice and guidance of the Lord to us.

Luke 4:18-21,43
18 The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me
to proclaim freedom to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to set free the oppressed,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
…….”Today as you listen, this Scripture has been fulfilled.”
“I must proclaim the good news about the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because I was sent for this purpose.”

* My Spirit has been captive to my fleshly nature i.e. ego (what I think of things)
* My Spiritual eyes and ears have not been used much (spiritual eyes and ears are found and can be physically felt within your heart and at your forehead)
* I as Spirit have not been able to function because of the fleshly nature
(the fleshly nature is one of judgment – what is right and wrong, good and evil – right doctrine- wrong doctrine)
* The kingdom of God is not anywhere in creation but within me. (Its not in this church, that church, this group, that group – it is an individual thing between you and God)

The quest for me was not to try and act like Jesus in so many ways, but one – to see and listen to the voice of the Father within. This is the “Way” he showed mankind to live. This is why he told his disciples that they know the Way – they had watched him do it for 3 years.
Jesus said: So the things that I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me.” Jn.12:50
Jesus said: I do nothing on My own. But just as the Father taught Me, I say these things. Jn.8:28
Jesus said: because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. Jn.5:30

All we really know of Jesus was that he did the Fathers will. Everything we read that he said or did was from following the Father.

When Jesus taught his disciples how to pray he taught them to say: “…..Thy kingdom come they WILL be done on earth as in heaven.”
Doing the will of the Father was the life Jesus lived out before man and it is what he asks us to follow.
Instead many have made him the Savior God who has come down to save us little helpless humans and not Son of man who came to show us how to live a victorious life in relationship with the Father by doing his perfect will. Jesus said: Be perfect as my heavenly Father is perfect – we say: He is not speaking literally.

Paul goes on to say:
Col.2:2-8 have the knowledge of God’s mystery – Christ….all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden… walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, …..Be careful that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit based on human tradition, based on the elemental forces of the world, and not based on Christ.

Christ is the Spirit within you speaking the words and will of the Father. (Scripture does say that the same Spirit that dwelt in Jesus now dwells in you – not a similar one-the same one – If Jesus the man was able to hear and walk in the will of the Father why can’t we – unless you don’t think that Jesus was really a man as most Christian don’t)

Why are you doing what you are doing – If because of doctrine, the Bible says…., human tradition, religious tradition – if it is not from within you then it is from without in other words it is from the world.

What I discovered was that what I really know to be real is what I have experienced for myself – just because someone told me or I read it in a book means nothing. If my relationship is based on what I have read or what someone else has told me it means I don’t really have a active relationship with the one I claim to love and follow.
Real knowing is intimacy not the accumulation of information and facts.
Having Intimacy takes spending time together.

How do I practice this intimacy?
Here are a couple of basic ways
Silence and Stillness I have found to be a wonderful environment for the operation or moving of the Spirit. I have a room that I have made where I can go and spend 20-30 min in silence or with sounds like a crystal singing bowl or meditation tapes with sounds.

I also practice the 15-20 sec every hour where you close your eyes and just listen to your breathing, or the ringing in your ears (also know as the song of the Lord) Still yourself and your thoughts. In stillness this you create space for the Spirit within yourself. You will always be filled to the capacity that you can hold.
If you take a way candle and light it you will see that over time it creates a cavity and the light can be seen burning through the wax. The same is true of the Spirit operating within man.

I like to describe this time (the 20-30 min) with the Lord as “on the couch snuggle time” – its not necessarily a time where we are being taught or talking but simply a time spent together, just enjoying each others presence. In these practices you will begin to notice your awareness of the Lord increase – You will begin to see Him, hear Him and find Him in places you never thought possible.

Mind renewal is not accomplished through study – that’s like trying to fix the mind with the mind. Mind renewal takes place as your mind is allowed to observes what the Spirit reveals through spiritual eyes that begin to see God everywhere and ears that hear Him speak through everything. Its not a discovery of something new its a seeing of what already is but in light and not darkness. Our fleshly mind is dark but the Spirit is light walk in the Spirit, walk in the light and you live like never before.

To begin to intimately know God as He is and not as our minds conceive is a mind blowing experience that changes the way you see everything. The Mystic is the one called to this kind of knowing. Like Moses he ventures up the mountain where other fear to go and like the children of Israel other desire to hear from what he has experienced. The Mystic’s life is not for every Christian but for those who have to its a call for face to face encounters with the Lord of Love. The experiences are life changing and ones that take you from the depths of despair to the heights of a knowing love that fills to abundant overflowing.

A book that might help some or might not is called Secrets of the Lost Mode of Prayer by Gregg Braden. Its a small book that gives an interestingly real perspective on Prayer.

“There are beautiful and wild forces within us.” With these words, the mystic St. Francis described what ancient traditions believed was the most powerful force in the universe – the power of prayer. For more than 20 years, Gregg Braden has searched for evidence of a forgotten form of prayer that was lost to the West following the biblical edits of the early Christian Church. In the 1990s, he found and documented this form of prayer still being used in the remote monasteries f central Tibet. He also found it practiced in sacred rites throughout the high deserts of the American Southwest.


Keep walking, though there’s no place to get to. Don’t try to see through the distances. That’s not for human beings. Move within, but don’t move the way fear makes you move. – Rumi


Remembering Eternity

Remembering Eternity is the function and expression of the Spirit of Truth. Within us all is the Spirit it is what binds us to each other and to God our Father. Paul wrote “If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” Rom.8:11
The Spirit within us is not a different Spirit than the one that was in Jesus when he walked the earth. Everything that Jesus, Paul, Peter, Mary or anyone has experienced in Spirit we have accesses to through the one Spirit within us. Again Paul wrote “For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit” 1Cor.12:13. So its not many Spirits that are at work but One Spirit from which we can live. This living in Spirit is not individual because the Spirit is not individual the One Spirit is in the many making all One. As we live from the Spirit we live in the community of all who live from the Spirit. Again the words of Paul “But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you”. Rom.8:9. Having the Spirit within you is one thing but the challenge or opportunity before us all is living within, by and through that One Spirit. This is what growing up or maturing is all about. Again Paul: “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God”. Rom.8:14. To be led or be conscience of the One Holy Spirit that dwells within us is our way to freedom and liberation from our fleshly nature or ego. It is our false concepts, lies and false limitations that can bind us to a limited consciousness. Through the One Spirit we become conscience of what is or the “I AM”. Unity is in Spirit not in agreed upon truths or understanding but in lives led by the Spirit. Trying to attain unity is impossible but by being led by the Spirit is the expression of real existing unity by all who are engaged in such activity. As the One Spirit expressed in different human bodies our spiritual reality is no more visible to us than be the vision of one of the individual cells in my body seeing the totality of the whole body it is one with. Jesus knew this and said: “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” John 14:26. This remembering did not only occur with the disciples of Jesus but with all disciples of the Christ that dwells within us. As the Christ was remembered in the one body of Jesus today we remember our oneness in Christ as we take the symbolic portions of the physical body of Jesus. As each of us take a piece of the bread we see that the piece came from one whole. In the same way as I live from the One Spirit within me I can also see that you can live by the same One Eternal Spirit within you. And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me. Luke 22:19


The Ego On Our Spiritual Journey

This is a transcript of talks given by Laurence Freeman to the monks of Gethsemani Abbey, Kentucky, USA in 1992.

The Ego

On Our Spiritual Journey

by LAURENCE FREEMAN who is a Benedictine Monk and Director of The World Community of Christian Meditation

These talks were given to Monk at Gethsemani Abbey in 1992

1 The Ego

This is from the words of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke: And to all he said, “If anyone wishes to be a follower of mine, he must leave self behind; day after day he must take up his cross and come with me. Whoever cares for his own safety is lost; but if a man will let himself be lost for my sake, that man is saved. What will a man gain by winning the whole world, at the cost of his true self?” (Luke 9:23-26) The great hindrance to this journey, this following of Christ, is the way in which we falsely identify ourselves with our ego. Perhaps we as religious people take it a little too much for granted that it is a good thing to leave self behind. I was once talking to a rather successful business-woman in New York who came to a talk I was giving there. I gave this talk on leaving ego behind, which you wouldn’t think anyone could really object to. She came up afterwards and said, “What nonsense you are talking! I don’t want to leave my ego behind.” She said, “I am my ego.” At least I think she had a clear sense of what she believed. We, most of us, identify ourselves with our ego, unconsciously. As we do the work of this prayer, we come to understand ourselves, our ego, more clearly. We see that the ego is both the cause and the state of suffering. The Buddha said: life is suffering, and suffering is life. He is referring, I suppose, to the ego. The ego manifests itself in many ways and gets into everything. It can get into our spiritual work, into our spiritual journey. We don’t lose the ego when we come into a religious life. We don’t lose the ego even when we begin to pray. There are certain signs of the ego’s activity that we become more aware of as we become more simple. The first sign of the ego is the desire to be great, the desire for example to be number one, the desire to dominate. Then there is the desire to take; the ego wants to take, rather than give or rather than let be. The ego desires to keep, to hang on, to cling, to possess, not to let go. The ego desires to advance, to get more, to be more, to know more, to own more. The ego desires to hold on to everything even at the expense of others, putting ourselves, in other words, before others. Those characteristics of egoism are characteristics of every activity, spiritual, physical, and mental, that we might be involved in. So there is a real danger, particularly for the religious person, of an egotistical spirituality. A spirituality that desires to be great, that desires to take an experience of God or holiness, to keep it, to gain more, and to hold on to it even at the expense of others. The sayings of the Fathers of the Desert are really a constant commentary upon the dangers of an egotistical spirituality. This is perhaps why St John of the Cross tells us to give up all desire, even the desire for God. Not the love of God, not our innate longing for God which we cannot give up, but our desire for God – the desire to possess, to control, to own, to keep God. In this way of prayer, in the simple 3 ascesis of the single word, we strike at the ‘root of sin’, as The Cloud of Unknowing called it, at the root of our ego. We let go. There’s a phrase in Alcoholics Anonymous: Let go, let God. Of course, the ego is a natural stage of the development of our humanity. The ego develops at a certain age in a child, and the ego is a necessary and useful force or tool, instrument, of consciousness. Without an ego, we won’t be able to communicate with each other. We wouldn’t be able to relate to others. It isn’t that the ego is bad in itself. There is nothing in human nature that is in itself bad. Therefore Jesus who was fully human must have had an ego. And yet Jesus did not sin: a man like us in all things but sin. How do we understand the problems of egoism? All these hindrances, all these faults can even get into our spiritual life. But if we look at Jesus, what we see, I think, is a man who certainly had an ego, who could say “I” and who had a will, who could give up his ego and his will at the end of his life: “not as I will but as you will”. So we see a man who had an ego, and clearly a strong ego, but a man who did not sin, because he never identified himself with his ego. He never said “I am my ego.” That was the great temptation that he went through in the desert, to identify himself with the tendencies of egoism. He was tempted. The ego clearly manifested its tendencies in him, but he never identified his real self with the ego. We who have sinned have the work of detaching ourselves from that identification, breaking that identification, simply waking up, in other words, to the fact that we have an ego, and it is a useful thing as long as it is there, but it is not who I am. The ego is not my true and deepest identity. This presents I think a great challenge to modern culture, our contemporary society, because the ego is so hyper-activated in our society. The ego is the great force of a technological and consumer society, the technological society which wants to be in control of everything, and a consumer society that is dominated by desire. What we have to be particularly careful of in such a culture is the creation of a consumer spirituality or a technological spirituality, a spirituality that becomes identified with psychological techniques, for example. Or a spirituality that becomes identified only with the desires of spiritual jollies, spiritual pleasures. This is the role of asceticism in a society like ours. It is the understanding that asceticism, and the essential ascesis of the Christian life, is prayer. Asceticism is the way in which we recover the primary will in the human person. The primary will is deeper than the desires of our ego. The primary will is our natural inclination, tendency towards God, what the early Cistercian fathers called the pondus, the natural gravity in the soul that draws us towards God. The purpose of asceticism is not to crush the will or to punish, but to clear away, to clear the blocks, to unfold the mind, and to reveal this essential goodness at this core of the human person, so that what we do is right and what we wish to do is right. And, in this way of prayer, in the simple ascesis of the single word, we strike at the root of our ego.

2 The True Self

Jesus uses the phrase, “our true self”: “What will a man gain by winning the whole world at the cost of his true self?” (Luke 9:25) It is very difficult to answer that question: What is the self? What is my true self? It is really rather indefinable. But it is evidently of some importance that we understand what it means because it is for this reason that we are doing all the work of leaving our false self behind. It’s rather indefinable, but I came across a very wonderful phrase from a seventh century Indian philosopher. He says: “The self is the inner light. It is selfevident and it does not become an object of perception.” In the Gospel of Thomas, there is this secret saying of Jesus, “The Kingdom is within and without you. If you will know yourselves, you will be known. And you will know that you are sons of the living Father.” I think it is to that, that Jesus is referring when he replies to the Pharisees in the Gospel of Luke when the Pharisees ask him, “When will the Kingdom of God come?” He said: “You cannot tell by observation when the Kingdom of God will come. There will be no saying ‘Look here it is or there it is’ for in fact the Kingdom of God is within you”. (Luke 17:20-21) If we see a connection, which I think we must, between the Kingdom of God and the true self, what they have in common if they are not in fact the same thing is that we can’t observe them. We can’t say, “look, there it is” or ‘here it is”. The Kingdom of God is the experience of our true self, and it does not admit of observation. In other words, it is beyond self-consciousness. It is beyond the normal or familiar activities of the mind by which we objectify something and analyse it and label it. We are doing this constantly whether we are intellectuals or not. We are constantly intellectualising things, objectifying things. Perhaps it helps to see this true self that we cannot observe in relation to the ego. A story is perhaps the best way of capturing it. It is the story of a man who does a favour to some angel and, as a reward, he is given a servant. This servant is a rather magical servant who will do anything the master wants. This is a wonderful thing to have and so for quite a few days, the master uses his servant for getting everything he wants. But after a few days, he has got everything he wants, and he wants the servant just to keep quiet. But then he discovers that the servant is irrepressible. The servant is constantly coming to him, and not giving him a moment’s rest and always asking for things to do, so much so that he begins totally to wear his master down and exhaust him. The man is brought almost to the point of collapse until he comes up with a bright idea. He sets a big pole in the middle of the courtyard. Whenever the servant comes to him, asking for something to do and the master does not want to give him anything to do, he says, “Go run up and down the pole until I tell you to stop.” It is rather a nice story describing perhaps the relationship between the true self and the ego, and even expressing something of the mystery of prayer. The running up and down of the pole could be described as our prayer. All prayer has this repetitive 5 quality, the stilling of the mind bringing us to equanimity, to quies. a discipline, and a repetitive discipline such as the mantra, keeping the ego in its place: The radical renunciation of our false identification with our ego. It is this unself-conscious state which is the condition of our true self. It’s why we cannot look at the true self. Just as St Irenaeus says that God cannot become an object of our knowledge. We can only know God by sharing in God’s own self-knowledge. We can never say, “Look, there is God”, as if God were something or someone separate and outside of us. God can never be an object of our knowledge. The Spirit of God is the self-knowledge of God. And the great Christian revelation is that the gift of the Spirit, the whole purpose and meaning of the life and mission of Jesus, the sending of the Spirit is the sending of this self-knowledge of God, the love of Father and Son that involves us, absorbs us, into the knowledge of God. We can only know God by being led into the Spirit of God. So just as we cannot look at God as an object, we cannot look at the true self that we are. In the same way, we cannot look at another self. We can’t say, “My true self is looking at your true self.” What Jesus is describing is a self-less state, or rather an ego-less state, in which we are able to see, know and love Christ in each other because we see, know and love Christ in ourselves. The state of looking at someone as if they are separate from us is the egotistical state, the state of duality and separateness. It is in this state, in which we are usually engaged with each other, my ego relating to your ego, that we either find each other attractive or unattractive. We either agree or we disagree. We either like or we don’t like. We love or we hate. We judge or we pardon. All of those activities that relate us to each other, and these are vital activities of community, are at the level of the ego. In a Christian community, we are aiming to meet each other, not at the level of our separate egos, but in Benedict’s vision: “To love one another at the level of our true self, where we are one, and where the unity we have with each other is nothing less than Christ himself.” We cannot separate Christ from our true self. I don’t know whether one could say that Christ is our true self, but we cannot separate Christ from our true self. If we have found our true self, then we have found that wavelength in which we can relate to each other in a truly loving way, truly compassionate, truly in empathy, truly non-judgemental, truly tolerant, putting up with the weaknesses of body and character in each other. This is very much related to our relationships with each other, very much related to forgiveness, for example. We cannot truly forgive one another unless we are in touch with our own true identity, our own essential goodness. We cannot forgive one another, and therefore we cannot enter into relationship with one another, unless we are in touch with that true self. The process of forgiveness occupies such an important place in the Christian vision precisely for this reason – because it is in the process of forgiveness that we detach from our ego and find our true self, from which experience we find the power to love one another. Christ is the supreme example and teacher of that. It is in this pure prayer that the ego is transcended. In the transcendence of the ego, reconciliation and communion become possible. So having found the self, the true self, we come to the condition of God, of being unconditionally loving. That is our call to “be perfect, as our heavenly Father is perfect”, our heavenly Father who shines on the good and bad alike, who loves good and bad equally. We are called to love in that way, to know each other in that way, in the common ground of being, to know and love each other in God. We can only do that if we have found our true self, this true self that we cannot look at, but the true 6 self that we are, that we simply are. This is why the starting point for any spiritual journey of this kind has to be the recognition and the affirmation of our essential goodness. That’s probably the most difficult point for most of us to get to because until we have got to that point we cannot really believe that this journey is possible. Perhaps, indeed, until we have come to that belief of our essential goodness, we are even frightened of finding out who we really are.

3 Egoless Prayer –

Pure Prayer Our ego is not our true self. In pure prayer, the ego is transcended. It is in that work of pure prayer that our false identification with the ego is gradually diminished, and the true self begins to emerge. I think it was Merton who talked about the true self as like a shy deer that does not like to come out of the woods; it does not like to be looked at. From the teachings of Cassian, the Desert Fathers, and the whole monastic tradition, it is very clear that the purity of prayer is its egolessness. Pure prayer means ‘without ego’, ‘without self-consciousness, self-analysis’. The prayer in which we are analysing what is happening, watching what we are getting out of it, is not pure prayer. That’s why the first rule of meditation is to meditate without demands or expectations, and without judging your meditation in fact in any way, finding the fruit of our prayer not in what happens during the meditation but in our life as a whole, in the transformation of our personality. This egoless prayer is precisely what St Anthony is referring to when he says, quoted by Cassian: “The monk who knows that he is praying, is not praying. The monk who does not know that he is praying, he is truly praying.” We see the same understanding of prayer in the Syriac tradition. The Syriac Fathers say very simply: “If we are to pray, we must lose my prayer.” We must go beyond ‘my prayer’; and leaving my prayer behind, enter into the prayer of Christ. What this suggests to us is the prayer of Christ himself. All forms of prayer, all methods of prayer, whether it is the Divine Office, whether it is any devotional form, even if it is Scripture itself, any form, ritual or method of prayer is only preparatory, or a reminder, or an incentive, or an encouragement to go deeper into the purity of unself- conscious prayer, into the prayer of Christ. The same is true ultimately of the mantra, the formula of Cassian. There comes perhaps a time, when we stop saying the mantra, when we are led into pure silence, pure simplicity. But it is very important for us I think to be cautious about how we understand that. Remember the “pax pernicioso”and the sopor letalis, the lethal sleep and the pernicious peace. The purpose of the mantra is not just to lead us to quiet but to lead us beyond the ego, beyond all sense of ‘I’. That’s why a very simple way of describing this would be to say: “Say your word until you can no longer say it. We do not choose when to stop saying it. And as soon as you realise you have stopped saying it, then simply start saying it again.” The problem comes when we are meditating and we are led into a state of quiet. There are maybe no distractions or very few distractions and we feel very peaceful, and then we say to ourselves: “I am silent; I don’t need to say the mantra anymore.” The problem of course is that if we say we are silent, we are breaking the silence. The thought “I am silent” is a sign that we have not yet become fully simple, totally simple; we are still self-reflective. And there is the radical simplicity of Cassian’s teaching, why he insists to say the mantra in times of adversity and in times of prosperity. In pure prayer, there is the absence of ‘I’ as a separate ego, and even the absence of God as an object of perception, all ideas and images of God. This is a description, 8 of course, of apophatic prayer, and the whole of this tradition of pure prayer is in the apophatic tradition. In the Greek Orthodox Church, the relationship between apophatic prayer (prayer that takes us beyond all thought and words and statements about God) and kataphatic prayer (prayer in which we use words, thoughts and images), the Orthodox thinkers believe that these are two valid forms of prayer, two dimensions, but they give the priority to the apophatic, prayer that takes us beyond all statements and images about God. When we think of prayer, indeed the whole of our life, we need to see poverty as the working goal, the goal that we are working towards. If we were to say “What is the goal of our life?” we would probably say “liberation” or “salvation” or “enlightenment”. And we would say that renunciation is the means by which we come to this goal. There always seems something wrong in that. But if we put it the other way around, there seems something very right about it. The goal is renunciation; and liberation or enlightenment is the means. In other words, we are never trying to possess the goal, never trying to make an object of God, never trying to look at our true self. If renunciation is the goal, if poverty is the goal, then we have arrived, no doubt why poverty of spirit is the first of the Beatitudes. It is in that poverty that we find joy, because the goal is realised, it is never achieved. The process of prayer is the process of realising what is, not of making something happen.

4 Our True Self –

A Child of God Jesus says that the true self is the highest value in life: “What will a man gain by winning the whole world at the cost of his true self?” (Luke 9:25) The true self that we’ve been talking about, that we realise as we detach from the identification with our ego, the true self that Jesus says is the highest value in life, that true self is a child, a child of God. In this true self that we are, we are more truly a child of God than we are even a child of our parents. We have a higher reality or a more essential reality as a child of God, that being our fundamental relationship into which all our other relationships are rooted. As a child of our parents, we have a psychological and physical identity, and that has, clearly, a certain reality. But the most basic reality is that reality we have as a child of God. Realising that, finding that true self, is the work of contemplation. Contemplative experience doesn’t rely upon something abstract, but it’s something practical and real and ordinary in the best sense of the word ordinary, something normal. In the New Testament, the teaching of Jesus in particular, the Kingdom experience seems to be what we mean by the contemplative experience. When Jesus talks about the Kingdom, he talks about childlikeness: “Unless you become like a little child, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” It’s this childlike quality that makes it possible for us to enter, and live in, continually, the contemplative dimension of our faith. The most basic reality is that reality we have as a child of God. Realising that, finding that true self, is the work of contemplation. This child of God that we are is called to be a fully mature child. Karl Rahner has a marvellous essay somewhere on this quality of childlikeness. He says that the quality of a child, ‘childliness’, he says, is openness. The quality of an adult child, a fully mature child, is unbounded openness. A very wonderful description of sanctity: unbounded openness. That’s a definition or understanding of holiness, wholeness, that allows many different types of holiness, many different ways of entering this contemplative experience. We cannot be whole unless we are the unique person that we are. Following a discipline doesn’t mean crushing our individuality or becoming something that we are not. But to be an adult child, to be our true self, is to be unboundedly open to the unique person that God has created us to be, and that conditions have formed us to be, with our wounds and handicaps. Rahner says God will be found by anyone who has the courage to keep up his childhood, the courage to remain open to this essential identity that we are. He says this: “A human person is a child embarking on the wondrous adventure of remaining a child forever, or rather, becoming ever more fully a child. His maturity and his divinisation are just ever fuller actuations of his childliness.” So even our divinisation is simply the full development of our essential identity as a child of God. We can see the relationship between contemplative experience and contemplative being and childlikeness in a child. Children are natural contemplatives in some ways; not fully conscious, but because of their relative lack of self- 10 consciousness, they are able to enter fully into what we call the contemplative dimension. The less self-conscious we are, the more contemplative we are, and the more ordinary and open we are as well. It’s a very wonderful thing to pray with children. We have many small groups of children, meditation groups, usually started by parents who have been meditating for some time, and who feels a natural sense of wanting to introduce their children as early as possible to this dimension of prayer. It’s a wonderful thing to see that and to see how naturally, how ordinarily a child can sit in stillness and in silence and do this inner work that Cassian describes, the work of saying the mantra. The child doesn’t necessarily find it easy, but they find it natural. The wonderful quality of the child is, of course, they don’t ask lots of questions about, you know, is this infused, recollection, grace, the prayer of simplicity. They don’t ask all these theological or psychological questions. They do the work. They are simple. It has, I think, a very wonderful formative effect upon their faith. They have this natural capacity for pure prayer, the experience of God, the Kingdom. This capacity tends to be either lost or overshadowed as they get older. It seems that part of their religious formation should be exposure to this. As we do the work (The Cloud of Unknowing always calls this pure prayer the work), and as our true self is realised more clearly, certain changes appropriate to that of a child, an adult child, begin to appear within us. These are some of the qualities of a child. Innocence, for example. We associate innocence with childlikeness. For an adult, this innocence of the child would be, for example, purity of motive. We do things for simpler and simpler reasons. We come to a singleness of mind about what we do. We do it attentively. We do it without duplicity, without ulterior motives. We do it with simplicity. Generosity is the characteristic of a child, at least sometimes. As a child of God, as an adult child, this generosity is expressed in the way we give ourselves, the way we surrender, the way we abandon ourselves if you like, the way we can commit ourselves. All those are expressions of this generosity of a child. The ability to respond to the call of the gospel to let go of everything, poverty of spirit in the inner life, depends upon this quality of generosity. We believe that if we give everything, if we leave everything behind, we will receive it back a hundredfold. But the problem is believing that often makes us prepared to give it all up provided we get it back a hundredfold. We lay down a condition. We say, I’ll give all this up, provided I get this back. That is a lack of generosity. Coming to that generosity is the work of grace. It’s the work of simplification. A child is characterised also by courage, a lack of fear, at least in a healthy child. Usually the courage of a child is so great the parents have to look after it, to protect it. But it’s the courage too that comes to us as a child of God, as we realise our true self, the courage to risk our life, to lay down our life, to let go of our familiar identity. There’s a wonderful phrase in Heraclitus in the early Greek philosophers: “If we can stop thinking about our troubles, it will generate courage.” Taking the attention off our problems, our troubles and worries, moving beyond the egocentric state, generates courage. There I suppose, is the teaching of Jesus, as he tells us so often in the Gospels: particularly in the Resurrection appearances, not to fear; in the sermon on the mount, not to worry, neither worry nor fear. These aren’t just consoling remarks. These are injunctions to us not to worry, to move beyond fear and worry, which we do in our prayer 11 Finally, the quality of truth, truthfulness. A child naturally tells the truth; a child loses its innocence, or its innocence is compromised, when it encounters for the first time the dishonesty of adults. We recover that truthfulness through our prayer, within the contemplative life, because we lose our fear. Our fears gradually decrease – the fear of being known, the fear of being vulnerable. We hide the truth because we are frightened. We fear revealing our false identity. But if we knew that our false identity is false, if we know that our ego is not our true self, then we don’t mind letting the ego be seen a little bit. We don’t feel we have to cover up, to appear better than we are. That’s humility. Truthfulness is simply humility or self-knowledge, allowing ourselves to be seen, to know ourselves as we really are. Those are some of the practical changes which would be observable, at a psychological and at a social level, as a result of this work of pure prayer.

5 Christ in Contemplative Experience

This is from the Gospel of John: He entered his own realm, and his own would not receive him. But to all who did receive him, to those who had yielded him their allegiance, he gave the right to become children of God, not born of any human stock or by the fleshly desire of a human father, but the offspring of God himself. And so the Word became flesh; he came to dwell among us and we saw his glory, the glory as befits the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth. (Jn. 1:10-14) We’ve been talking about the way of pure prayer, transcending our ego and the contemplative experience. What is the meaning of Christ in transcending our ego and the contemplative experience? It’s clear that the contemplative experience is not restricted to those who believe in Christ. That’s a very important question for us as modern people to address. This coming era is the era where Christianity will meet the other great world religions, and it will be as epoch-making an encounter as the days when the early Judaeo-Christians met the Greeks. It will be another great stage in the universalisation of the gospel when we are able to express the Christian experience and meaning in terms and symbols other than those we have been familiar with: a contemporary encounter with other religions in which we often meet people who have transcended their ego, examples of great holiness, people who are living and pursuing a contemplative life. It raises the question of where Christ for us gives meaning, and ultimate meaning, to our experience. In pure prayer, for the Christian, Christ is the centre of the whole experience. We have been taking about the basic theology of Christian prayer, that we are leaving our own prayer behind. As we leave our ego behind, we leave behind that which can say, ‘I’ or ‘mine’. So if we are really practising a prayer that takes us beyond our ego, it doesn’t make sense anymore to say this is ‘my prayer’. That intuition was recognised by the Desert Fathers when they said that the monk who knows he is praying, who is self-conscious about ‘my own prayer’, has not yet really begun to pray, has not reached the full purity of prayer. Yet in pure prayer, although Christ is the centre, Christ is not an object of thought because there is no thought. The mind becomes still. Christ is not an object of our imagination. We are moving beyond the realm of the imagination, beyond thoughts and images. We’re not speaking to Christ in words. We are becoming silent, leaving all words behind. Yet, experience shows that our meditation, our pure prayer, is deepening our personal relationship with Christ continually. Deepening our understanding and our experience of our relationship, indeed our union, with Christ, the union with Christ that we experience and discover at the level of our true self, in other words, beyond the ego. To experience relationship at the level of our true self involves moving beyond a sense of duality or separateness. If I meet you at this level 13 of our true self, then we are not conscious of separation; we are conscious of a union, love. This is the fruit of meditation practised in Christian faith. Pure prayer deepens our knowledge and love of Christ. Indeed this pure prayer, practised with Christian faith and in a Christian context clarifies, makes clearer who Christ is. We begin to see Christ in a more and more universal sense. We certainly meet Christ within the terms of our own culture, our own vocation. But the Christ we meet within our own culture, within our own tradition, is the universal, cosmic Christ who fills every culture, and can manifest himself and mediate himself through any tradition. We must meet Christ as the personal presence in ourselves. That is the most authentic. We will never be fulfilled, we will never be satisfied, we will not have reached our goal until we have met this presence which is within ourselves. It is not enough for us to meet Christ indirectly as it were through the outward signs of our religion, our practice or of our culture. All of these are signs pointing us towards this deepest, most personal encounter with Christ within ourselves. We meet Christ most purely and authentically at the level of the personal, within the relationship we have with ourselves, why we have to do the work of selfknowledge and purification, ascesis, get into a good relationship with ourselves. And also we meet Christ within our relationship with others. The Christ we meet is the risen Christ, the present Christ. The figure of Jesus that we encounter in the New Testament, in scripture or in theology and thought, is more of an indirect encounter. It’s of great value and importance, but not as purely personal, or as purely real, as the Christ we meet at this personal level of relationship. But I think we come to value the historical Jesus expressed in the words of scripture more as a result of our meditation, our pure prayer. Meditation leads to a deeper reading of scripture, a deeper intuitive understanding of what the words mean, what those inspired words are mediating to us. Cassian says this very clearly, that one of the fruits of this pure prayer is that we will come to read scripture as if we were the author of it; in other words, more and more at the level of experience. The experience in scripture is resonating with our own personal experience. By letting go of the images and thoughts at the time of meditation, we come back to those images and thoughts at the time of lectio with a great deal more to gain. The word is indeed incarnate in scripture, as the early fathers said. But our ability to recognise and relate to the incarnate Word in scripture depends on the depth of our personal encounter with the Word in our hearts. Scripture is a kind of mirror of what is within our hearts personally. The historical Jesus in scripture mirrors or reflects back the risen Jesus within our own hearts. Prayer itself is not a theological exercise. It is so damaging to Christian faith if we limit prayer just to the level of mental prayer, to discursive meditation, to thoughts and images and imagination. Those are the tools of theological thought and exploration, valuable but not enough. Prayer is not a theological exercise, although according to Evagrius, it makes us true theologians. “The one who truly prays is a theologian, and a theologian is one who truly prays,” he says. Prayer is itself though an encounter, a personal encounter. Redemption is the result of a meeting, a personal encounter, rather than an exchange of ideas or opinions or views. And the whole person is involved in this kind of encounter, in a redemptive encounter of this kind. Our journey to wholeness and holiness is inseparable from our 14 relationship with Christ. Christ indeed heals us psychologically, spiritually, maybe even physically, in order for us to come to a wholeness in which we can know him fully, and be redeemed by that knowledge.

6 The Prayer of Faith

Meditation is pre-eminently the prayer of faith. We know Christ, not through thought primarily, but through faith. Meditation, pure prayer, is the prayer of faith. Leaving thoughts and words and so on behind leaves us with the word, the mantra, the act of pure faith. It makes us realise by experience what faith is. Faith is not our systems of belief. Faith is not the same as our theology. Faith is our relationship with another person. Faith is our capacity to be in relationship. We talk, for example, about being faithful to our community, faithful in marriage, faithful in friendship. Faith is the capacity we have, and the gift we have, to be in relationship. It is only when we are in relationship that we can know another person. It’s not so much the thoughts that we have, but the relationship that we have. Most of us received the beginning of our relationship with Christ as children. Jesus was like a family friend, one of the grown-ups in our families, friend of our parents, and priests, and teachers. As we mature, we come to know this family friend as a mature person in our own right, to know him personally. Faith grows and develops. Our faith in Jesus is built not upon what is said about him so much as what he has said about himself, built upon his own self-knowledge. That is where his authority lies, just as our own faith in ourselves, for example, is built much more upon what we know about ourselves than what others may say about us. What Jesus has said about himself is this: the seven I am of Jesus: I am the true vine. (John 15:1) I am the way, the truth and the life. (John 14:6) I am the door. (John 10:7) I am the bread of life. (John 6:35) I am the good shepherd. (John 10:14) I am the light of the world. (John 8:12) I am the resurrection and the life. (John 11:25) What those terms suggest to us is Jesus revealing himself to us, not as an object of worship, not as a cult figure, but as a teacher calling for our total reverence and love; as a guide calling for our total trust and abandonment; as a brother; as a friend: “I call you servants no longer but friends.” One who we know loved his own in this world, one who is not a moralist but a liberator, a teacher of the Way, a guide, a door, the Way, with him in the spirit to the Father. We most effectively mature our faith by prayer, by depth of prayer. Our prayer is always deepening and maturing. We move perhaps beyond certain types of prayer, not because they are bad, but because we simply grow into a deeper relationship with Christ. Maybe when we begin this relationship, we rely to a large extent upon 16 photographs, mental images of this person. But, as we mature ourselves, as we become more capable of human relationship, then this photograph, mental image of Christ, gives way, more and more, to the encounter with the real person. This encounter that occurs primarily at the level of our heart, our personal experience, then becomes wonderfully enriched in the Eucharist, in scripture, in community, all the other ways in which we also encounter this risen person of Jesus. The Spirit is constantly at work in us, preparing us to see him, to see Jesus, more and more clearly. The starting point I think is to know that Jesus is finding us, the lost sheep. Jesus talks far more in the Gospels about God seeking us than about the human duty of seeking God. Our faith in Jesus is built on this confidence, that he dwells within us, seeking us in the sense that by seeking us he draws us away from our ego into our true self. That’s the journey of Christian prayer: with Jesus, in the Spirit, to the Father. What he teaches us on prayer in the Gospel of Matthew for example, the sermon on the mount, points us towards this experience of the indwelling presence within our own hearts: In interiority, in faith, in trust, in attention, “set your mind upon the kingdom”, and in peace, beyond worry and anxiety. He teaches us the way of pure prayer. But above all, he teaches us to pray by praying with us and in us. Christ is at prayer in us. The mind of Christ, the human consciousness of Christ in us. So Christ is at prayer in us through a mysterious union, and he is the master of prayer. The prayer of Jesus, the incarnate Word, is the perfect prayer of the human being. No one could do it better, and therefore he is the one who teaches us to pray. He is the master of pure prayer. He meditates within us, realising his true self as the Son in union with the Father, just as we realise our true self. Prayer that is in the spirit, his prayer beyond thoughts and words, beyond the ego, his true self, one with the Father, and simultaneously one with us – that’s the mystery of Christian prayer. Jesus, who is one with the Father, is present within each of us also, each of us uniquely and universally. To see him is to see the Father. So the starting point of Christian prayer is that we enter into the prayer of Christ through our union with his human consciousness. And we must find our true self in order to find him. We must leave self behind in order to follow him. This is from the Gospel of John again. So the Word became flesh. He came to dwell among us and we saw his glory, such glory as befits the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth. Out of his full store, we have all received grace upon grace; for while the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but God’s only Son, he who is nearest to the Father’s heart, he has made him known. (Jn. 1:14, 16-18)


Our Trip to India – TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN

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Its been little over a week since we got back from our trip to South India. During our two week stay we met a lot nice sweet people who live in terrible bondage. What do I mean by “terrible bondage” Well you see the people we met in India live by the traditions handed down to them. These traditions include men and women never touching in public, men and women never sitting together in public, women wearing a sari whenever leaving the house, the cast system (a system by which you are born to a certain status in society), arranged marriages, the family of a daughter getting married paying a dowry to the husbands family (you don’t want a lot of girls if you are Indian). These are just a few of the traditions that the Indian people we met live by. As American we have our traditions that we live by. Privacy, not showing up to someone’s house expectantly, boys and girls dating, public displays of affection, the weekend for entertainment, driving everywhere, shopping malls, lots of church buildings, watching TV. Traditions in and of themselves are not necessarily wrong so what makes a tradition evil?

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Jesus said:

Matt.15:6-9 he is not to honor his father or his mother.’ And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 7 “You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you:
8 ‘BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME.
9 ‘BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME,
TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.’”

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As an American in India it was fairly easy to spot some of the “precepts of men” that were being taught as Doctrines of God – but seeing the same thing in America is a little bit harder. In India one of the Pastors was rewarding some of the older women in the church because of the scarred knees that they had – the scarred knees were a sign of their dedication to God in prayer – this is obviously a “precept of men” who think that God wants you to suffer while speaking Him. One pastor, during the cold winter in the north had taken a blanket form an elderly gentleman that he was discipling. He told the disciple “You should only need the Fire of the Holy Spirit to keep you warm” the older man’s son begged for the blanket from the pastor but the pastor refused saying “We need men who are dedicated and on fire for the Lord.” This old disciple died the following week from illness. “All we need is the fire of the Holy Spirit” – Doctrine of God or precept of man?


The American Dream is to have a good job, own a nice house, have a nice car and a wife or husband and maybe 2 children one boy and one girl. This is American Tradition but is it “The Doctrine of God or precept of man?” The foundation of our nation is build upon a document called “The Declaration of Independence”. And we are a very independent people but is our independent culture invalidating the word of God for the sake of our tradition. As Christians we say we are “One in the bond of love” but do we really live this reality out. If I read about the early church I read about Oneness not just in word but in action – they shared everything they had with each other. Our culture calls that kind of life-style a cult. Is our American independent, capitalistic culture, Christian? Or is it a precept of man that is opposed to the very nature of God? I know many Christians who link Republican with Christian – Is the Republican platform a precept of man or the doctrine of God, not just parts of it, all of it, remember that a little leaven leavens the whole lump.

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In India it was easy to see Traditions that were against God because I was coming for a different tradition but the challenge for me is to see the equally harmful traditions that are right here at home. I don’t want to be one that Isaiah was talking about when he says: ‘BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.’”