John 8.31-59 Some insights into spiritual growth 3

“I tell you for certain anyone who sins is a slave to sin.” (v.34)

Jesus’ mission was to preach the Good News which is: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”

In this passage from Luke 4.18-19 Jesus is letting us know that we are slaves, poor, captives, blind and oppressed. The remedy is the “acceptable year of the Lord” which can be understood as the Kingdom of God. Can you imagine there being bondage of any kind in the Kingdom of God? He says: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand (right here right now); repent (change your mind), and believe in the gospel (good news).” Mark 1:15

We find Jesus talking here to believers (v.31) who do not understand what he is saying. Sound familiar? (v.43), “why can’t you understand what I’m talking about?” I’m reminded of Jesus’ statement on the cross “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” Luke 23.34

What is the sin we are slaves to? Sin from the Greek; hamartia means to miss the mark. The commentator from the online Blue Letter Bible says of this word; “It is the most comprehensive term for moral obliquity.” Maybe what this commentator is pointing out here is that the word hamartia itself is a morally oblique term. It is very possible this word is used on purpose to describe an amoral condition of blindness or ignorance. That we have not offended God for the simple reason we are unable to reason. We cannot see the target (God) and we have no clue as to how get there. Is this a moral failing or just the condition we find ourselves in?

Some of the synonyms for obliquity are: ambiguous, darkness, inscrutability, murkiness, mysteriousness, and opaqueness. Of course we keep missing the mark because we cannot see the mark. Is it not inscrutable that theologians would take such a morally ambiguous word and create an entire moral system based on the idea that God hates what spiritually blind people do? Of course God does not hate anyone and he is no more offended by our actions then we are of mentally compromised people. We just don’t know what we are doing. And this ignorance has us imprisoned, slaves to our insanity. There are no Venal sins, no mortal sins, no sins of omission and no sins of commission. These theological terms describe only one condition our inability to see.

There really is only one sin from which all our mistakes have their root. We mistakenly believe we are separate from ALL there is. God. We believe in the impossible. We believe in something that can never be. There are not thousands of choices for our happiness there is only one; choose God or we are stuck in our blindness.

Here is what Jesus’ contemporary theologians had to say:

39 Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”

40 Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?”

41 Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains. (John 9 NIV)

This was said after healing the man born blind.

What we have done is cloak our ignorance in the fig leaves of theological thinking and convinced ourselves we can see. “Abraham is our father.” “We have just one father, and he is God.” said the people. Because of what they were taught they believed they could see.

For many of us our minds are full of theological theories and because we accept them and have called them MINE we are very attached to them. Did you know that your most important possessions are your beliefs? Aren’t we willing to kill for them even die for them? Unfortunately history proves this all to true. With this insight we see that the people in Jesus’ day were just like us. I find it interesting that at the end of Luke 4 and the end of John 8 the people are trying to kill Jesus. Isn’t this something we need to watch for in our lives? How do we react when someone threatens our theology? Do we demonize them? Once we do it is a very short path to the killing fields.

For the past 20 years I ave been a professional caregiver mostly working with people with Alzheimers and dementia. During this time I have been hit, accused of stealing, thrown up on, yelled at, told to leave etc. I would have not lasted very long in this work if I had taken any of this personally. These people no longer know what they are doing. In comparing our intelligence and spiritual insight to the creator of the known universe does it not seem that the human race has a case of Alzheimers? Now into this scenario comes a caregiver, a comforter who tells us we aren’t in our right minds. And why? because we have made a mistake, we believe that we are separate from God. This belief has given us dementia and we now think we are OK. However deep down inside there is a small bit of remembrance of how things used to be. It is this memory that Jesus is speaking to. It is like during those times of clarity when the one with Alzheimers remembers the name of her husband and begins to talk of all the wonderful things they used to do together.

What keeps us a prisoner? My mistaken belief that I can get back to God without help—”I can see.” This is where all of our insane actions (sins/mistakes) come from. I will have more than I need if I steal it. And we have forgotten we are sons of the King. I will have more love in my life with just one more lover. And we have forgotten that God is Love.

This way of interpreting hamartia in the light that God is not offended in any way brings us to a place where we must take another look at the death of Jesus and its purpose. But that is for future posts. Why if God is not offended did all those animals have to be sacrificed and why did Jesus have to be “sacrificed”? Just something to think about. And what of guilt?

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John 8.31-59 Some insights into the means to spiritual growth. 2

SRF Garden Sunset (Spiritual Realization Fellowship)

SRF Garden Sunset
(Spiritual Realization Fellowship)

I’ve decide to change the title of this series into a more positive approach, from obstacles into how to grow spiritually.

The last post on this topic pointed out that spiritual pride can get in the way of growing spiritually. So a good place to start our journey toward Oneness with God is in the Spirit of humility. That no matter what I have been told or how much I have read how many retreats or seminars I have attended I really don’t know anything.

The toughest pill to swallow is, Truth cannot be found in books or sermons. Truth can only be found in the doing. Then we will know for ourselves what the Truth is for me. Jesus points out that if you “obey what he has said” then we will know.

Enter Pontious Pilate: “What is the Truth”

Jesus’ answer: “Silence” So much can be said when we keep our mouths shut. It has always been a wonder to me that so much can be said about what we can’t explain. But we/I keep trying. Jesus tells us the Truth is discovered in the doing. Here is my verbal stab into the dark.

The end of attack. The actions are the flowering of the seeds of thought, the effects of a mental desire and the clouds which hide the Light of the Son of Heaven. Only Love is real. We may have gained some truth but truth without Goodness (action) is cold and dead. Truth without Goodness is attack. Truth and Goodness equal Love in action.

Yes there is only One Truth. It is Solid, the Cornerstone of Heaven, the Rock that people stumble over, unchangeable, unassailable and without compromise. However as the cornerstone or foundation is not the entire building Love and Goodness must be the building, the Fathers House. Love and Goodness can only stand on the Foundation of Truth. This is the Reality of Heaven.

Jesus could say he is the Way, the Truth and the Life because he was the full realization of God incarnate which is Love and Goodness. Love is the Way, the Truth and the Life and no one can enter a heavenly life without Love. We leave all attack behind and enter the Gates of Heaven, here and now.

God is Love, God is Goodness, God is Truth and if we do theses things we will never die. We have moved from death into life.

We can only know the Truth when we do everything in Goodness and Love.

In these verses he says several times “I am doing only what my Father has shown me”(Love and Goodness). He points out the people have another father, not Abraham as they were told, in the physical, but in the spiritual realm they are offsprings of another thought system. The system of the world that believes in separation from God. Jesus came to teach them how to be one with God again but they have to leave their old thought system behind—their entire worldview actually—and do what Jesus says.

Is Jesus the Way, the Truth and the Life. He categorically denies his own Goodness/God. He never said he was Love. He did say he was the Light of the World and to follow him (do what he does) and we too will have the light that gives life. (Jn. 8.12) The Light of The World also tells us “we are the light of the world” (Matt 5.14) He is the way-shower illuminating our hearts and minds so we can be like him, One with God. (see John 17)

Now to leave you with the immortal words of poet and philosopher Leonard Cohen: When his audience answered in the affirmative that they wanted to know the secret, the truth of everything, he said: “de dom dom, de do dom dom”

John 8.31-59, Some insights into the obstacles of spiritual growth

Fake_Flowers-2967-Edit

Jesus and the People, some insights from John 8.31-59

These next few posts are going to be a bit different than the devotional posts I have written lately. It will be expositional in nature dealing with the very important topic of spiritual growth and the obstacles we face on the road to Oneness with God.

The first obstacle: spiritual pride.

There are several ways to interpret what is going on here and each has its value in helping us to understand what John is relaying to us in the confrontation between Jesus and “the people”.

Verse 31 tells us these were “people who had faith in him.”

Taken literally we are confronted with an historical incident in the life of Jesus between a group of people who didn’t understand (v.43) what Jesus was saying (v.31 he wants to help his new believers get free.) or doing. There are accusations thrown back and forth; “the people” are demonizing someone who is threatening them and Jesus is returning their accusations. It is the typical argument of I’m right and you’re wrong with a loaded charge thrown in, of demon possession, from both sides. And quite frankly if I came upon a group of people arguing in this way I would just turn around and leave. Honestly these types of exchanges are nothing but the mudslinging of children throwing tantrums. But that is on the surface, the literal historical event which has been played out for centuries between any warring factions, with the inevitable result that one group will want to kill the other: v.59 “The people picked up stones to kill Jesus.”

In other words: “I’m right and you’re wrong and I’m gonna kill you for being ‘wrong’–i.e. not agreeing with me. If there is any lesson to be learned form this literal story it is things have not changed much over the eons that man has been on the planet. This is especially noticeable in the religious and political arenas. And much of the time there has not been the luxury of a separation between church and state as we have in the western influenced world.

“The people” here are the fruit of the religious leaders; the Sadducees and the Pharisees, Jesus’ usual antagonists. I have read that the literacy of the common people in Jesus’ day was maybe 10% and most of those were the religious leaders. What the people were defending were the things taught to them by their religious culture (at that time all the Hebrew culture was religious/political), they did not have the luxury of looking into the scriptures themselves. They were defending their entire world view taught to them, the Hebrew paradigm of the day.

I think it is important to point out that the Hebrew people and their leaders were not the enemy as some have tried to enlist Jesus in their hatred of another race—they just did not understand, this makes them a symbol for the entire human race, they didn’t know what they are doing. Jesus used many metaphors for their spiritual condition: blind, sick, ignorant, crippled, deaf. Jesus never tried to kill anyone and killing another in his name is my definition of taking the Lords name in vain.

Swedenborg pointed out that when we try to kill someones belief we are actually trying to kill that person because a persons faith is actually what keeps them alive. If you have ever seen anyone who has lost their faith you know what he means.

This is the first obstacle we face on the road to Oneness with God, found in those new to their beliefs (no matter how long one has been a believer). “My way is the right way and yours is not.” Our pride quickly gets in the way as the result of our insecurity, not being quite sure of this new way of thinking. Spiritual pride and self-righteousness will be the fruit of this insecurity if not quickly dealt with. And if it is fostered by those in leadership ones spiritual growth will be limited and after a while non-existent. Hatred will be the result and it will be easy to find targets for those wanting an outlet for their anger. See verse 44.

Well there is so much more in these verses beyond the literal and I will get to them in the following posts. For now it will be good to remember My way is the right way for me at this time in my life and your way is the right way for you at this point in your life and respect and tolerance for all our brothers and sisters as they progress toward the Truth that sets us free.

Day 40 of the 40-Day Prosperity Plan

Not for us because of us, to prove life never ends.

Not for us because of us, to prove life never ends.

Day 40 of the 40-Day Prosperity Plan

Well I made it. At the beginning I had my doubts about committing publicly to doing this 40 day prosperity plan however as it turns out it was my thoughts of you, my readers, that has kept me going until the end. So thank you for participating with me and joining my journey in exploring new thoughts of creativity and prosperity. Your likes and followings have kept me encouraged along the way. This is not the end of course but a beginning in the continued application of what I have learned until I have reached full mastery of the topics covered in theses past forty days. As one follower reminded me in her blog we are on the path from “Glory to Glory.”

” I keep my mind and thoughts off “this world” and I place my entire focus on God within as the only cause of my prosperity. I acknowledge the Inner Presence as the only activity in my financial affairs, as the substance of all things visible. I place my faith in the Principle of Abundance in action within me.”

“…my entire focus on God within…” The Spiritual path requires nothing short of complete capitulation to God. Every religious tradition I’ve read agrees on this point. Total, unequivocal, surrender.

On this last formal day of working the Plan each morning, it is right to know, this past 40 days is just the beginning. What I have learned is, this is a continual process of dedication to God alone and constant observation of ALL that is right in my world now.

How I see my world and how I see God are the same. The God I surrender to is the one of Love and only Love. The God who “requires mercy and not sacrifice.” The God who says “cast your cares on me because I care for you.” She is the constant provider of ALL Grace, Truth, Joy, Peace, Comfort, Guidance, Abundance, All under the heading of Love.

“…the stern, condemning, dictator-God fell from the sky along with his big black book listing our sins and shortcomings. The man-made god was dead, and in its place was the Universal Reality of love that had been present with us, in us, and as us from the beginning.” from, The Superbeings.

Choose this day whom you will serve, the worlds god of poverty, condemnation, sin and death or the God of Abundance, Forgiveness and Life.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10.10

The God I see wants to show me everything that is right with me, every good thing in me and my world. All of the things that are lovely, beautiful, good and true. The constant splendor of overflowing abundance right here in front of my face. This God wants to open my eyes to see the Kingdom of God paved with streets of gold and verdant pastures and the tree of Life. This and an infinite variety of Good is All that is Real and is in me and through me, surrounds me and is me. I am a Son of God, God expressing herself here and now.

Again thanks and blessings to all of you. I shall be gone for a couple of days to Mexico for a photo shoot. I’ll post again when I get back.

David

Day 32 of The 40-Day of Prosperity Plan

Infusion of Light

Infusion of Light

Day 32 of The 40-Day of Prosperity Plan

“I lift my mind and heart to be aware to understand, and to know that the Divine Presence IAM is the Source and Substance of all my good.”

How can I come to understand that the Divine Presence I AM is the source and substance except by constant reminding, and paying attention to my thoughts. Re-minding-to do it again, and again, and again, over and over. Maybe to write on the white board of my mind 100 or 1000 times;

God is my Source, there is no fear in God. God is in me and is my constant supply.

God is my Source, there is no fear in God. God is in me and is my constant supply.

God is my Source, there is no fear in God. God is in me and is my constant supply.

God is my Source, there is no fear in God. God is in me and is my constant supply.

God is my Source, there is no fear in God. God is in me and is my constant supply.

God is my Source, there is no fear in God. God is in me and is my constant supply.

God is my Source, there is no fear in God. God is in me and is my constant supply.

God is my Source, there is no fear in God. God is in me and is my constant supply.

God is my Source, there is no fear in God. God is in me and is my constant supply.

God is my Source, there is no fear in God. God is in me and is my constant supply.

God is my Source, there is no fear in God. God is in me and is my constant supply.

Well you get the point. It takes a lot of reprogramming to get the fear messages we were raised with out of our consciousness. The spiritual path is about retraining the mind. Every religious tradition says so. In Christianity the New Testament is full of reminders to reprogram our mind. Mindfulness is the way to grab hold of wayward thoughts and replace them with God thoughts.

“Blessed is the man who’s mind is constantly on Me.” Well this is from the Old Testament.

Summing 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.” Philippians 4:8-9 The Message

“Don’t be like the people of this world, but let God change the way you think. Then you will know how to do everything that is good and pleasing to him.” Rom 12.2

“Every time I think of you, I thank my God.” Philippians 1.3

Theses are just a few of the multitudes of verses from every religion that tells us to pay attention to our minds and reprogram them from the negativity so prevalent to the worlds system.

I’ll make a bold statement here and say that every Holy Book of every religion has this one purpose to help us retrain our mind.

Day 31 of The 40 Day Prosperity Plan

Borrego, Slot Canyon

Borrego, Slot Canyon

Day 31 of The 40 Day Prosperity Plan

“God is lavish, unfailing Abundance, the rich, omnipresent substance of the universe. This All-Providing Source of infinite prosperity is individualized as me-The Reality of me.”

What else is there but God? It has been said that the difference between Jesus and us is that for Jesus there was only God. He saw no difference and no separation between him and his Father. He said; “I only do what I see the Father doing.” and “I don’t do anything on my own, the Father does all things through me.” also, “I and the Father are one.” For Jesus there was no other Life, no other relationship and saw only God in everything.

Some people in recent times have tried to ‘prove’ Jesus never existed or they say they are searching for the ‘historical Jesus’ a Jesus less than is recounted in the stories of the New Testament, a more human non miraculous being. They claim the Apostles made up, embellished and surrounded with superstition the actual person of Jesus.

But I think it would take a person or several, in this case, who were themselves at or above the consciousness level of the one they created to have had such a long standing effect upon the history of the world. How could a first grader just learning math write a fiction about such a person as Einstein. And if they made Him up or embellished the events why would they die for a fiction?

Of course there are many theologies written about Him; who he was and his actual relationship to God but these are mans attempts to understand someone incomprehensible. What did he mean when he said; “I and the father are one.”? The beauty of Jesus is that we can decide for ourselves. We don’t have to subscribe to any particular ideology. He does say we can do the same and greater things by following his example of relationship with the Source of all Life.

The only thing that mattered to him was God and then he said you go and do the same. When nothing else matters but God we to can write the ‘story’ of Jesus as expressed through me, “the Reality of me”

This is the Word/Substance becoming flesh in us.

My Dedication to The 40 Days of Prosperity Plan

Being Still in the Garden 2

Being Still in the Garden 2

As I was re-reading the beginning of Mr Price’s book I realized I did not copy this commitment into my journal when I started as he requested I do on the first day. Well better late than never. God’s timing is always perfect because at the beginning this wouldn’t have meant as much to me as it does now.

“This day 11/25/2014 I cease believing in visible money as my supply and my support, and I view the world of effect as it truly is…simply an out picturing of my former beliefs. I believed in the power of money, therefore I surrendered my God-given power and authority to an objectified belief. I believed in the possibility of lack, thus causing a separation in consciousness from the Source of my supply. I believed in mortal man and carnal conditions, and through this faith gave man and conditions power over me. I believed in the mortal illusion created by the collective consciousness of error thoughts, and in doing so, I have limited the Unlimited. No more! This day I renounce my so-called humanhood and claim my divine inheritance as a Be-ing of God. This day I acknowledge God and only God as my substance, my supply and my support.”