Teacher-Brother Dave's initial comments: I am presenting some of my Topical Studies from the fully public domain, 2097 page, Fifth Epochal Revelation of Truth and with my added comments. The Revealed text is free of copyright, so you may freely share individually these supernal quotes with your friends and relatives. But my order of selections, font types for emphasis and my added comments are Copyright 2011 and 2012 by Dave@PureChristians.org All Rights Reserved Contact me first about using the whole Study or group of Studies.
[My added comments of explanation below are in these square brackets]
Study 46 "Church evolution, reformation, renaissance, transformation"
[Part 2 of 2]
Compiled 4/30/2012 by Dave@PureChristians.org
Page-1737 The Master [Jesus] spoke in Tyre only once, on the afternoon of July 20, when he taught the believers concerning the Father's love for all mankind and about the mission of the Son to reveal the Father to all races of men. There was such an interest in the gospel of the kingdom among these Gentiles that, on this occasion, the doors of the Melkarth temple were opened to him, and it is interesting to record that in subsequent years a Christian church was built on the very site of this ancient temple.
Page-1825 PAPER 166 LAST VISIT TO NORTHERN PEREA
From February 11 to 20, Jesus and the twelve made a tour of all the cities and villages of northern Perea where the associates of Abner and the members of the women's corps were working. They found these messengers of the gospel meeting with success, and Jesus repeatedly called the attention of his apostles to the fact that the gospel of the kingdom could spread without the accompaniment of miracles and wonders.
This entire mission of three months in Perea was successfully carried on with little help from the twelve apostles, and the gospel from this time on reflected, not so much Jesus' personality, as his teachings. But his followers did not long follow his instructions, for soon after Jesus' death and resurrection they departed from his teachings and began to build the early church around the miraculous concepts and the glorified memories of his divine-human personality.
Page-1831 It was the apparent misfortune of Abner to be at variance with all of the leaders of the early Christian church. He fell out with Peter and James (Jesus' brother) over questions of administration and the jurisdiction of the Jerusalem church; he parted company with Paul over differences of philosophy and theology. Abner was more Babylonian than Hellenic in his philosophy, and he stubbornly resisted all attempts of Paul to remake the teachings of Jesus so as to present less that was objectionable, first to the Jews, then to the Greco-Roman believers in the mysteries.
Page-1832 Thus was Abner compelled to live a life of isolation. He was head of a church which was without standing at Jerusalem. He had dared to defy James the Lord's brother, who was subsequently supported by Peter. Such conduct effectively separated him from all his former associates. Then he dared to withstand Paul. Although he was wholly sympathetic with Paul in his mission to the Gentiles, and though he supported him in his contentions with the church at Jerusalem, he bitterly opposed the version of Jesus' teachings which Paul elected to preach. In his last years Abner denounced Paul as the "clever corrupter of the life teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of the living God."
Page-1864 The ideas and ideals of Jesus, embodied in the teaching of the gospel of the kingdom, nearly failed of realization as his followers progressively distorted his pronouncements. The Master's concept of the kingdom was notably modified by two great tendencies:
1. The Jewish believers persisted in regarding him as the Messiah. They believed that Jesus would very soon return actually to establish the world-wide and more or less material kingdom.
2. The Gentile Christians began very early to accept the doctrines of Paul, which led increasingly to the general belief that Jesus was the Redeemer of the children of the church, the new and institutional successor of the earlier concept of the purely spiritual brotherhood of the kingdom.
Page-1864 The church, as a social outgrowth of the kingdom, would have been wholly natural and even desirable. The evil of the church was not its existence, but rather that it almost completely supplanted the Jesus concept of the kingdom. Paul's institutionalized church became a virtual substitute for the kingdom of heaven which Jesus had proclaimed.
But doubt not, this same kingdom of heaven which the Master taught exists within the heart of the believer, will yet be proclaimed to this Christian church, even as to all other religions, races, and nations on earth -- even to every individual.
Page-1864 The kingdom of Jesus' teaching, the spiritual ideal of individual righteousness and the concept of man's divine fellowship with God, became gradually submerged into the mystic conception of the person of Jesus as the Redeemer-Creator and spiritual head of a socialized religious community. In this way a formal and institutional church became the substitute for the individually spirit-led brotherhood of the kingdom.
The church was an inevitable and useful social result of Jesus' life and teachings; the tragedy consisted in the fact that this social reaction to the teachings of the kingdom so fully displaced the spiritual concept of the real kingdom as Jesus taught and lived it.
Page-1865 The kingdom, to the Jews, was the Israelite community; to the Gentiles it became the Christian church. To Jesus the kingdom was the sum of those individuals who had confessed their faith in the fatherhood of God, thereby declaring their wholehearted dedication to the doing of the will of God, thus becoming members of the spiritual brotherhood of man.
Page-1865 [Jesus never taught that water baptism was necessary !] Jesus foresaw that a social organization, or church, would follow the progress of the true spiritual kingdom, and that is why he never opposed the apostles' practicing the rite of John's [John the Baptist's] baptism. He taught that the truth-loving soul, the one who hungers and thirsts for righteousness, for God, is admitted by faith to the spiritual kingdom; at the same time the apostles taught that such a believer is admitted to the social organization of disciples by the outward [social, not spiritual] rite of baptism.
Page-1865 When Jesus' immediate followers recognized their partial failure to realize his ideal of the establishment of the kingdom in the hearts of men by the spirit's domination and guidance of the individual believer, they set about to save his teaching from being wholly lost by substituting for the Master's ideal of the kingdom the gradual creation of a visible social organization, the Christian church. And when they had accomplished this program of substitution, in order to maintain consistency and to provide for the recognition of the Master's teaching regarding the fact of the kingdom, they proceeded to set the kingdom off into the future. The church, just as soon as it was well established, began to teach that the kingdom was in reality to appear at the culmination of the Christian age, at the second coming of Christ.
[Jesus taught then and now that God the loving Universal Father loves and indwells all nornal (moral) humans, here and now and potentially eternally ! The Sovereign Reality of God is at hand and is within you ! See Luke 17:21]
Page-1865 In this manner the kingdom became the concept of an age, the idea of a future visitation, and the ideal of the final redemption of the saints of the Most High. The early Christians (and all too many of the later ones) generally lost sight of the Father-and-son idea embodied in Jesus' teaching of the kingdom, while they substituted therefor the well-organized social fellowship of the church. The church thus became in the main a social brotherhood which effectively displaced Jesus' concept and ideal of a spiritual brotherhood. [of perfecting human sons of God under our Sovereign Creator here and now and at all times and all places !]
Page-1865 The concept of Jesus is still alive in the advanced religions of the world. Paul's Christian church is the socialized and humanized shadow of what Jesus intended the kingdom of heaven to be -- and what it most certainly will yet become. Paul and his successors partly transferred the issues of eternal life from the individual to the church. Christ thus became the head of the church rather than the elder brother of each individual believer in the Father's family of the kingdom. Paul and his contemporaries applied all of Jesus' spiritual implications regarding himself and the individual believer to the church as a group of believers; and in doing this, they struck a deathblow to Jesus' concept of the divine kingdom in the heart of the individual believer. [Now, some Christians know and teach that God and Jesus, One in Spirit, personally lives within each of them --each faith son of God !]
Page-1866 And so, for centuries, the Christian church has labored under great embarrassment because it dared to lay claim to those mysterious powers and privileges of the kingdom, powers and privileges which can be exercised and experienced only between Jesus and his spiritual believer brothers. And thus it becomes apparent that membership in the church does not necessarily mean fellowship in the kingdom; one is spiritual, the other [the human-made church] mainly social.
Page-1866 [tremendously important spiritual truths !!:] Sooner or later another and greater John the Baptist is due to arise proclaiming "the kingdom of God is at hand" -- meaning a return to the high spiritual concept of Jesus, who proclaimed that the kingdom is the will of his heavenly Father dominant and transcendent in the heart of the believer -- and doing all this without in any way referring either to the visible church on earth or to the anticipated second coming of Christ. There must come a revival of the actual teachings of Jesus, such a restatement as will undo the work of his early followers who went about to create a sociophilosophical system of belief regarding the fact of [Jesus Christ] Michael's sojourn on earth. In a short time the teaching of this story about Jesus nearly supplanted the preaching of Jesus' gospel of the kingdom. In this way a historical religion displaced that teaching in which Jesus had blended man's highest moral ideas and spiritual ideals with man's most sublime hope for the future -- eternal life. And that was the gospel of the kingdom.
It is just because the Gospel of Jesus was so many-sided that within a few centuries students of the records of His teachings became divided up into so many cults and sects. This pitiful subdivision of Christian believers results from failure to discern in the Master's manifold teachings the Divine Oneness of His matchless life. But someday the true believers in Jesus will not be thus spiritually divided in their attitude before unbelievers. Always we may have diversity of intellectual comprehension and interpretation, even varying degrees of socialization, but lack of spiritual brotherhood is both inexcusable and reprehensible. [Jesus is fully here in Spirit, calling us now into spiritual UNITY, not merely stale, enslaving "human authoritative" creedal intellectual UNIFORMITY ! Big difference !]
Mistake not! there is in the teachings of Jesus an eternal nature which will not permit them forever to remain unfruitful in the hearts of thinking men. The kingdom as Jesus conceived it has to a large extent failed on earth; for the time being, an outward church has taken its place; but you should comprehend that this church is only the larval stage of the thwarted spiritual kingdom, which will carry it through this material age and over into a more spiritual dispensation where the Master's teachings may enjoy a fuller opportunity for development. Thus does the so-called Christian church become the cocoon in which the kingdom of Jesus' concept now slumbers. The kingdom of the divine brotherhood is still alive and will eventually and certainly come forth from this long submergence, just as surely as the butterfly eventually emerges as the beautiful unfolding of its less attractive creature of metamorphic development.
Page-1943 [The Last Supper of Jesus and the Apostles] And this mighty occasion took place in the upper chamber of a friend. There was nothing of sacred form or of ceremonial consecration about either the supper or the building. The remembrance supper was established without ecclesiastical sanction. [It is proper for believers in Jesus to have Communion anywhere, without a church priest or church minister officiating ! "Priesthood of all believers in Jesus !" True spiritual liberty is given to us by our one Sovereign Creator Son of God and Son of Man Who is our Savior Jesus Christ !]
Page-2066 4. BEGINNINGS OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH
When Jesus was so suddenly seized by his enemies and so quickly crucified between two thieves, his apostles and disciples were completely demoralized. The thought of the Master, arrested, bound, scourged, and crucified, was too much for even the apostles. They forgot his teachings and his warnings. He might, indeed, have been "a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people," but he could hardly be the Messiah they had hoped would restore the kingdom of Israel.
Page-2067 Christ was about to become the creed of the rapidly forming church. Jesus lives; he died for men; he gave the spirit; he is coming again. Jesus filled all their thoughts and determined all their new concept of God and everything else. They were too much enthused over the new doctrine that "God is the Father of the Lord Jesus" to be concerned with the old message [the True Gospel given by Jesus !!] that "God is the loving Father of all men," even of every single individual. True, a marvelous manifestation of brotherly love and unexampled good will did spring up in these early communities of believers. But it was a fellowship of believers in Jesus, not a fellowship of brothers in the family kingdom of the Father in heaven. Their good will arose from the love born of the concept of Jesus' bestowal and not from the recognition of the brotherhood of mortal man. Nevertheless, they were filled with joy, and they lived such new and unique lives that all men were attracted to their teachings about Jesus. They made the great mistake of using the living and illustrative commentary on the gospel of the kingdom for that gospel, but even that represented the greatest religion mankind had ever known. [Now we jump briefly to this important statement:]
Page-2086 "Christianity contains enough of Jesus' teachings to immortalize it."
Page-2068 Stephen, the leader of the Greek colony of Jesus' believers in Jerusalem, thus became the first martyr to the new faith and the specific cause for the formal organization of the early Christian church. This new crisis was met by the recognition that believers could not longer go on as a sect within the Jewish faith. They all agreed that they must separate themselves from unbelievers; and within one month from the death of Stephen the church at Jerusalem had been organized under the leadership of Peter, and James the brother of Jesus had been installed as its titular head.
Page-2072 It was easy for these Greco-Romans to become just as spiritually devoted to an institutional church as they were politically devoted to the state. The Romans fought the church only when they feared it as a competitor of the state. Rome, having little national philosophy or native culture, took over Greek culture for its own and boldly adopted Christ as its moral philosophy. Christianity became the moral culture of Rome but hardly its religion in the sense of being the individual experience in spiritual growth of those who embraced the new religion in such a wholesale manner. True, indeed, many individuals did penetrate beneath the surface of all this state religion and found for the nourishment of their souls the real values of the hidden meanings held within the latent truths of Hellenized and paganized Christianity.
Page-2074 The early plan of Christian worship was largely taken over from the Jewish synagogue, modified by the Mithraic ritual; later on, much pagan pageantry was added. The backbone of the early Christian church consisted of Christianized Greek proselytes to Judaism.
Page-2074 Even a good religion could not save a great empire from the sure results of lack of individual participation in the affairs of government, from overmuch paternalism, overtaxation and gross collection abuses, unbalanced trade with the Levant which drained away the gold, amusement madness, Roman standardization, the degradation of woman, slavery and race decadence, physical plagues, and a state church which became institutionalized nearly to the point of spiritual barrenness.
Page-2074 4. THE EUROPEAN DARK AGES
The church, being an adjunct to society and the ally of politics, was doomed to share in the intellectual and spiritual decline of the so-called European "dark ages." During this time, religion became more and more monasticized, asceticized, and legalized. In a spiritual sense, Christianity was hibernating. Throughout this period there existed, alongside this slumbering and secularized religion, a continuous stream of mysticism, a fantastic spiritual experience bordering on unreality and philosophically akin to pantheism.
Page-2074 During these dark and despairing centuries, religion became virtually secondhanded again. The individual was almost lost before the overshadowing authority, tradition, and dictation of the church. A new spiritual menace arose in the creation of a galaxy of "saints" who were assumed to have special influence at the divine courts, and who, therefore, if effectively appealed to, would be able to intercede in man's behalf before the Gods.[God and each human are directly Related as Father and son !!]
Page-2081 Modern secularism has been fostered by two world-wide influences. The father of secularism was the narrow-minded and godless attitude of nineteenth- and twentieth-century so-called science -- atheistic science. The mother of modern secularism was the totalitarian medieval Christian church. Secularism had its inception as a rising protest against the almost complete domination of Western civilization by the institutionalized Christian church.
Page-2081 It required a great power, a mighty influence, to free the thinking and living of the Western peoples from the withering grasp of a totalitarian ecclesiastical domination. Secularism did break the bonds of church control, and now in turn it threatens to establish a new and godless type of mastery over the hearts and minds of modern man. The tyrannical and dictatorial political state is the direct offspring of scientific materialism and philosophic secularism. Secularism no sooner frees man from the domination of the institutionalized church than it sells him into slavish bondage to the totalitarian state. Secularism frees man from ecclesiastical slavery only to betray him into the tyranny of political and economic slavery.
Page-2081 Secularism can never bring peace to mankind. Nothing can take the place of God in human society. But mark you well! do not be quick to surrender the beneficent gains of the secular revolt from ecclesiastical totalitarianism. Western civilization today enjoys many liberties and satisfactions as a result of the secular revolt. The great mistake of secularism was this: In revolting against the almost total control of life by religious authority, and after attaining the liberation from such ecclesiastical tyranny, the secularists went on to institute a revolt against God himself, sometimes tacitly and sometimes openly.
Page-2083 Christianity is threatened by slow death from formalism, overorganization, intellectualism, and other nonspiritual trends. The modern Christian church is not such a brotherhood of dynamic believers as Jesus commissioned continuously to effect the spiritual transformation of successive generations of mankind.
Page-2084 Ecclesiasticism is at once and forever incompatible with that living faith, growing spirit, and firsthand experience of the faith-comrades of Jesus in the brotherhood of man in the spiritual association of the kingdom of heaven. The praiseworthy desire to preserve traditions of past achievement often leads to the defense of outgrown systems of worship. The well-meant desire to foster ancient thought systems effectually prevents the sponsoring of new and adequate means and methods designed to satisfy the spiritual longings of the expanding and advancing minds of modern men. Likewise, the Christian churches of the twentieth century stand as great, but wholly unconscious, obstacles to the immediate advance of the real gospel -- the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. [But fear not ! True Jesusonian Christianity is coming to all peoples and nations on this planet ! This is God's will !]
Page-2085 Many earnest persons who would gladly yield loyalty to the Christ of the gospel find it very difficult enthusiastically to support a church which exhibits so little of the spirit of his life and teachings, and which they have been erroneously taught he founded. Jesus did not found the so-called Christian church, but he has, in every manner consistent with his nature, fostered it as the best existent exponent of his lifework on earth.
Page-2085 If the Christian church would only dare to espouse the Master's program, thousands of apparently indifferent youths would rush forward to enlist in such a spiritual undertaking, and they would not hesitate to go all the way through with this great adventure.
Page-2085 Christianity is seriously confronted with the doom embodied in one of its own slogans: "A house divided against itself cannot stand." The non-Christian world will hardly capitulate to a sect-divided Christendom. The living Jesus is the only hope of a possible unification of Christianity. The true church -- the Jesus brotherhood -- is invisible, spiritual, and is characterized by unity, not necessarily by uniformity. Uniformity is the earmark of the physical world of mechanistic nature. Spiritual unity is the fruit of faith union with the living Jesus. The visible church should refuse longer to handicap the progress of the invisible and spiritual brotherhood of the kingdom of God. And this brotherhood is destined to become a living organism in contrast to an institutionalized social organization. It may well utilize such social organizations, but it must not be supplanted by them.
Page-2085 But there is no excuse for the involvement of the church in commerce and politics; such unholy alliances are a flagrant betrayal of the Master. And the genuine lovers of truth will be slow to forget that this powerful institutionalized church has often dared to smother newborn faith and persecute truth bearers who chanced to appear in unorthodox raiment.
Page-2085 It is all too true that such a church would not have survived unless there had been men in the world who preferred such a style of worship. Many spiritually indolent souls crave an ancient and authoritative religion of ritual and sacred traditions. Human evolution and spiritual progress are hardly sufficient to enable all men to dispense with religious authority. And the invisible brotherhood of the kingdom may well include these family groups of various social and temperamental classes if they are only willing to become truly spirit-led sons of God. But in this brotherhood of Jesus there is no place for sectarian rivalry, group bitterness, nor assertions of moral superiority and spiritual infallibility.
Page-2090 The time is ripe to witness the figurative resurrection of the human Jesus from his burial tomb amidst the theological traditions and the religious dogmas of nineteen centuries. Jesus of Nazareth must not be longer sacrificed to even the splendid concept of the glorified Christ. What a transcendent service if, through this revelation, the Son of Man should be recovered from the tomb of traditional theology and be presented as the living Jesus to the church that bears his name, and to all other religions I Surely the Christian fellowship of believers will not hesitate to make such adjustments of faith and of practices of living as will enable it to "follow after" the Master in the demonstration of his real life of religious devotion to the doing of his Father's will and of consecration to the unselfish service of man. Do professed Christians fear the exposure of a self-sufficient and unconsecrated fellowship of social respectability and selfish economic maladjustment? Does institutional Christianity fear the possible jeopardy, or even the overthrow, of traditional ecclesiastical authority if the Jesus of Galilee is reinstated in the minds and souls of mortal men as the ideal of personal religious living? Indeed, the social readjustments, the economic transformations, the moral rejuvenations, and the religious revisions of Christian civilization would be drastic and revolutionary if the living religion of Jesus should suddenly supplant the theologic religion about Jesus. [!!!]
Page-2091 2. THE RELIGION OF JESUS
Some day a reformation in the Christian church may strike deep enough to get back to the unadulterated religious teachings of Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. You may preach a religion about Jesus, but, perforce, you must live the religion of Jesus. In the enthusiasm of Pentecost, Peter unintentionally inaugurated a new religion, the religion of the risen and glorified Christ. The Apostle Paul later on transformed this new gospel into Christianity, a religion embodying his own theologic views and portraying his own personal experience with the Jesus of the Damascus road. The gospel of the kingdom is founded on the personal religious experience of the Jesus of Galilee; Christianity is founded almost exclusively on the personal religious experience of the Apostle Paul. Almost the whole of the New Testament is devoted, not to the portrayal of the significant and inspiring religious life of Jesus, but to a discussion of Paul's religious experience and to a portrayal of his personal religious convictions. The only notable exceptions to this statement, aside from certain parts of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, are the Book of Hebrews and the Epistle of James. Even Peter, in his writing, only once reverted to the personal religious life of his Master. The New Testament is a superb Christian document, but it is only meagerly Jesusonian.
Study 47 "PAPER 99 THE SOCIAL PROBLEMS OF RELIGION"
Compiled 5/02/2012 by Dave@PureChristians.org
[This Paper 99 is so important, I will highlight it as a special study.]
Page-1086 Religion achieves its highest social ministry when it has least connection with the secular institutions of society. In past ages, since social reforms were largely confined to the moral realms, religion did not have to adjust its attitude to extensive changes in economic and political systems. The chief problem of religion was the endeavor to replace evil with good within the existing social order of political and economic culture. Religion has thus indirectly tended to perpetuate the established order of society, to foster the maintenance of the existent type of civilization.
But religion should not be directly concerned either with the creation of new social orders or with the preservation of old ones. True religion does oppose violence as a technique of social evolution, but it does not oppose the intelligent efforts of society to adapt its usages and adjust its institutions to new economic conditions and cultural requirements.
Religion did approve the occasional social reforms of past centuries, but in the twentieth century it is of necessity called upon to face adjustment to extensive and continuing social reconstruction. [Yes, we see that today even more so !] Conditions of living alter so rapidly that institutional modifications must be greatly accelerated, [!] and religion must accordingly quicken its adaptation to this new and ever-changing social order.
1. RELIGION AND SOCIAL RECONSTRUCTION
[Important !] Mechanical inventions and the dissemination of knowledge are modifying civilization; certain economic adjustments and social changes are imperative if cultural disaster is to be avoided. This new and oncoming social order will not settle down complacently for a millennium. [From the A.D.1935 date of this Revelation to about A.D. 2935] The human race must become reconciled to a procession of changes, adjustments, and readjustments. Mankind is on the march toward a new and unrevealed planetary destiny. [as all mankind is guided by our loving Father God !]
Religion must become a forceful influence for moral stability and spiritual progression functioning dynamically in the midst of these ever-changing conditions and never-ending economic adjustments.
Earth society can never hope to settle down as in past ages. The social ship has steamed out of the sheltered bays of established tradition and has begun its cruise upon the high seas of evolutionary destiny; and the soul of man, as never before in the world's history, needs carefully to scrutinize its charts of morality and painstakingly to observe the compass of religious guidance. The paramount mission of religion as a social influence is to stabilize the ideals of mankind during these dangerous times of transition from one phase of civilization to another, from one level of culture to another.
Page-1087 Religion has no new duties to perform, but it is urgently called upon to function as a wise guide and experienced counselor in all of these new and rapidly changing human situations. Society is becoming more mechanical, more compact, more complex, and more critically interdependent. Religion must function to prevent these new and intimate interassociations from becoming mutually retrogressive or even destructive. Religion must act as the cosmic salt which prevents the ferments of progression from destroying the cultural savor of civilization. These new social relations and economic upheavals can result in lasting brotherhood only by the ministry of religion. [Without belief in a loving Sovereign Father God, there can be no brotherhood of all mankind ! No more than there could be a stable solar system without the controlling gravity of the central sun !!]
A godless humanitarianism is, humanly speaking, a noble gesture, but true religion is the only power which can lastingly increase the responsiveness of one social group to the needs and sufferings of other groups. In the past, institutional religion could remain passive while the upper strata of society turned a deaf ear to the sufferings and oppression of the helpless lower strata, but in modern times these lower social orders are no longer so abjectly ignorant nor so politically helpless.
Religion must not become organically involved in the secular work of social reconstruction and economic reorganization. But it must actively keep pace with all these advances in civilization by making clear-cut and vigorous restatements of its moral mandates and spiritual precepts, its progressive philosophy of human living and transcendent survival. The spirit of religion is eternal, but the form of its expression must be restated every time the dictionary of human language is revised. [Mankind continues to ever-evolve and perfect in God's perfect Plan !]
2. WEAKNESS OF INSTITUTIONAL RELIGION
Institutional religion cannot afford inspiration and provide leadership in this impending world-wide social reconstruction and economic reorganization because it has unfortunately become more or less of an organic part of the social order and the economic system which is destined to undergo reconstruction. Only the real religion of personal spiritual experience can function helpfully and creatively in the present crisis of civilization.
Institutional religion is now caught in the stalemate of a vicious circle. It cannot reconstruct society without first reconstructing itself; and being so much an integral part of the established order, it cannot reconstruct itself until society has been radically reconstructed.
Religionists must function in society, in industry, and in politics as individuals, not as groups, parties, or institutions. A religious group which presumes to function as such, apart from religious activities, immediately becomes a political party, an economic organization, or a social institution. Religious collectivism must confine its efforts to the furtherance of religious causes.
Religionists are of no more value in the tasks of social reconstruction than nonreligionists except in so far as their religion has conferred upon them enhanced cosmic foresight and endowed them with that superior social wisdom which is born of the sincere desire to love God supremely and to love every man as a brother in the heavenly kingdom. An ideal social order is that in which every man loves his neighbor as he loves himself.
The institutionalized church may have appeared to serve society in the past by glorifying the established political and economic orders, but it must speedily cease such action if it is to survive. [!!!] Its only proper attitude consists in the teaching of nonviolence, the doctrine of peaceful evolution in the place of violent revolution -- peace on earth and good will among all men.
Page-1088 Modern religion finds it difficult to adjust its attitude toward the rapidly shifting social changes only because it has permitted itself to become so thoroughly traditionalized, dogmatized, and institutionalized. The religion of living experience finds no difficulty in keeping ahead of all these social developments and economic upheavals, amid which it ever functions as a moral stabilizer, social guide, and spiritual pilot. True religion carries over from one age to another the worth-while culture and that wisdom which is born of the experience of knowing God and striving to be like him. [God's pure Spirit now indwells you and me and all normal, moral humans worldwide !]
3. RELIGION AND THE RELIGIONIST
Early Christianity was entirely free from all civil entanglements, social commitments, and economic alliances. Only did later institutionalized Christianity become an organic part of the political and social structure of Occidental civilization.
The kingdom of heaven is neither a social nor economic order; it is an exclusively spiritual brotherhood of God-knowing individuals. True, such a brotherhood is in itself a new and amazing social phenomenon attended by astounding political and economic repercussions.
The religionist is not unsympathetic with social suffering, not unmindful of civil injustice, not insulated from economic thinking, neither insensible to political tyranny. Religion influences social reconstruction directly because it spiritualizes and idealizes the individual citizen. [Divine-human rights of all must be taught, not just secular human rights !] Indirectly, cultural civilization is influenced by the attitude of these individual religionists as they become active and influential members of various social, moral, economic, and political groups.
The attainment of a high cultural civilization demands, first, the ideal type of citizen and, then, ideal and adequate social mechanisms wherewith such a citizenry may control the economic and political institutions of such an advanced human society.
The church, because of overmuch false sentiment, has long ministered to the underprivileged and the unfortunate, and this has all been well, but this same sentiment has led to the unwise perpetuation of racially degenerate stocks which have tremendously retarded the progress of civilization. [Governments could pay any individuals about $5,000 to $50,000 one time who agree to be voluntarily sterilized, from about ages 18 through 50. That would work and would be fair. Bad criminals and severely defective persons could be required to do this.]
Many individual social reconstructionists, while vehemently repudiating institutionalized religion, are, after all, zealously religious in the propagation of their social reforms. And so it is that religious motivation, personal and more or less unrecognized, is playing a great part in the present-day program of social reconstruction. [!]
The great weakness of all this unrecognized and unconscious type of religious activity is that it is unable to profit from open religious criticism and thereby attain to profitable levels of self-correction. It is a fact that religion does not grow unless it is disciplined by constructive criticism, amplified by philosophy, purified by science, and nourished by loyal fellowship.
There is always the great danger that religion will become distorted and perverted into the pursuit of false goals, as when in times of war each contending nation prostitutes its religion into military propaganda. Loveless zeal is always harmful to religion, while persecution diverts the activities of religion into the achievement of some sociologic or theologic drive.
Page-1089 Religion can be kept free from unholy secular alliances only by:
1. A critically corrective philosophy.
2. Freedom from all social, economic, and political alliances.
3. Creative, comforting, and love-expanding fellowships.
4. Progressive enhancement of spiritual insight and the appreciation of cosmic values.
5. Prevention of fanaticism by the compensations of the scientific mental attitude.
Religionists, as a group, must never concern themselves with anything but religion, albeit any one such religionist, as an individual citizen, may become the outstanding leader of some social, economic, or political reconstruction movement.
It is the business of religion to create, sustain, and inspire such a cosmic [our universe is being made and is perfecting by and in our Sovereign Creator Son of God -- our Creator Father Jesus Christ Michael] loyalty in the individual citizen as will direct him to the achievement of success in the advancement of all these difficult but desirable social services.
4. TRANSITION DIFFICULTIES
Genuine religion renders the religionist socially fragrant and creates insights into human fellowship. But the formalization of religious groups many times destroys the very values for the promotion of which the group was organized. Human friendship and divine religion are mutually helpful and significantly illuminating if the growth in each is equalized and harmonized. Religion puts new meaning into all group associations -- families, schools, and clubs. It imparts new values to play and exalts all true humor.
Social leadership is transformed by spiritual insight; religion prevents all collective movements from losing sight of their true objectives. Together with children, religion is the great unifier of family life, provided it is a living and growing faith. Family life cannot be had without children; it can be lived without religion, but such a handicap enormously multiplies the difficulties of this intimate human association. During the early decades of the twentieth century, family life, next to personal religious experience, suffers most from the decadence consequent upon the transition from old religious loyalties to the emerging new meanings and values. [Marriage must be only one responsible adult man and one responsible adult woman, cooperatively united, to co-create, train and educate more beloved sons of God for our Father ! That is the only way that civilization can be maintained ! See Paper 84 MARRIAGE AND FAMILY LIFE, all, and especially note Section 9 DANGERS OF SELF-GRATIFICATION which is published and highlighted on this website.]
True religion is a meaningful way of living dynamically face to face with the commonplace realities of everyday life. But if religion is to stimulate individual development of character and augment integration of personality, it must not be standardized. If it is to stimulate evaluation of experience and serve as a value-lure, it must not be stereotyped. If religion is to promote supreme loyalties, it must not be formalized.
No matter what upheavals may attend the social and economic growth of civilization, religion is genuine and worth while if it fosters in the individual an experience in which the sovereignty of truth, beauty, and goodness prevails, for such is the true spiritual concept of supreme reality. And through love and worship this becomes meaningful as fellowship with man and sonship with God. [True religion is your personal God-consciousness everywhere and at all times and not just being (in a one tiny, specific place) social church group a few hours per week !]
Page-1090 After all, it is what one believes rather than what one knows that determines conduct and dominates personal performances. Purely factual knowledge exerts very little influence upon the average man unless it becomes emotionally activated. But the activation of religion is superemotional, unifying the entire human experience on transcendent levels through contact with, and release of, spiritual energies in the mortal life.
During the psychologically unsettled times of the twentieth century, [and 21st century continuing !] amid the economic upheavals, the moral crosscurrents, and the sociologic rip tides of the cyclonic transitions of a scientific era, thousands upon thousands of men and women have become humanly dislocated; they are anxious, restless, fearful, uncertain, and unsettled; as never before in the world's history they need the consolation and stabilization of sound religion. In the face of unprecedented scientific achievement and mechanical development there is spiritual stagnation and philosophic chaos. [Today, these problems remain; in some aspects they are worse; God and his will must be sought all the more ! All of these changes are not bad; but spiritual wisdom is much needed.]
There is no danger in religion's becoming more and more of a private matter -- a personal experience -- provided it does not lose its motivation for unselfish and loving social service. Religion has suffered from many secondary influences: sudden mixing of cultures, intermingling of creeds, diminution of ecclesiastical authority, changing of family life, together with urbanization and mechanization.
Man's greatest spiritual jeopardy consists in partial progress, the predicament of unfinished growth: forsaking the evolutionary religions of fear without immediately grasping the revelatory religion of love. Modern science, particularly psychology, has weakened only those religions which are so largely dependent upon fear, superstition, and emotion.
Transition is always accompanied by confusion, and there will be little tranquillity in the religious world until the great struggle between the three contending philosophies of religion is ended:
1. The spiritistic belief (in a providential Deity) of many religions.
2. The humanistic and idealistic belief of many philosophies.
3. The mechanistic and naturalistic conceptions of many sciences.
And these three partial approaches to the reality of the cosmos must eventually become harmonized by the revelatory presentation of religion, philosophy, and cosmology which portrays the triune existence of spirit, mind, and energy proceeding from the Trinity of Paradise and attaining time-space unification within the Deity of the Supreme.
5. SOCIAL ASPECTS OF RELIGION
While religion is exclusively a personal spiritual experience -- knowing God as a Father -- the corollary of this experience -- knowing man as a brother -- entails the adjustment of the self to other selves, and that involves the social or group aspect of religious life. Religion is first an inner or personal adjustment, and then it becomes a matter of social service or group adjustment. The fact of man's gregariousness perforce determines that religious groups will come into existence. What happens to these religious groups depends very much on intelligent leadership. In primitive society the religious group is not always very different from economic or political groups. Religion has always been a conservator of morals and a stabilizer of society. And this is still true, notwithstanding the contrary teaching of many modern socialists and humanists.
Page-1091 Always keep in mind: True religion is to know God as your Father and man as your brother. [Here and now and always and everywhere !!] Religion is not a slavish belief in threats of punishment or magical promises of future mystical rewards.
The religion of Jesus is the most dynamic influence ever to activate the human race. Jesus shattered tradition, destroyed dogma, and called mankind to the achievement of its highest ideals in time and eternity -- to be perfect, even as the Father in heaven is perfect. [What a tremendous, loving Invitation-Command from our Father and Creator Son and Holy Creative Spirit here with us !!]
Religion has little chance to function until the religious group becomes separated from all other groups -- the social association of the spiritual membership of the kingdom of heaven. [Thanks to Jesus, we are now divinely beloved sons of God ! (All men, women and children !)]
The doctrine of the total depravity of man destroyed much of the potential of religion for effecting social repercussions of an uplifting nature and of inspirational value. Jesus sought to restore man's dignity when he declared that all men are the children of God. [All humans !]
Any religious belief which is effective in spiritualizing the believer is certain to have powerful repercussions in the social life of such a religionist. Religious experience unfailingly yields the "fruits of the spirit" in the daily life of the spirit-led mortal.
Just as certainly as men share their religious beliefs, they create a religious group of some sort which eventually creates common goals. Someday religionists will get together and actually effect co-operation on the basis of unity of ideals and purposes rather than attempting to do so on the basis of psychological opinions and theological beliefs. Goals rather than creeds should unify religionists. Since true religion is a matter of personal spiritual experience, it is inevitable that each individual religionist must have his own and personal interpretation of the realization of that spiritual experience. Let the term "faith" stand for the individual's relation to God rather than for the creedal formulation of what some group of mortals have been able to agree upon as a common religious attitude. "Have you faith? Then have it to yourself."
That faith is concerned only with the grasp of ideal values is shown by the New Testament definition which declares that faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.
Primitive man made little effort to put his religious convictions into words. His religion was danced out rather than thought out. Modern men have thought out many creeds and created many tests of religious faith. Future religionists must live out their religion, dedicate themselves to the wholehearted service of the brotherhood of man. It is high time that man had a religious experience so personal and so sublime that it could be realized and expressed only by "feelings that lie too deep for words."[This is a reality possibility today ! Sincerely seek our Father God; and much, beyond all words, will be given to you at some time !]
Jesus did not require of his followers that they should periodically assemble and recite a form of words indicative of their common beliefs. He only ordained that they should gather together to actually do something -- partake of the communal supper of the remembrance of his bestowal life on Earth.
What a mistake for Christians to make when, in presenting Christ as the supreme ideal of spiritual leadership, they dare to require God-conscious men and women to reject the historic leadership of the God-knowing men who have contributed to their particular national or racial illumination during past ages.
6. INSTITUTIONAL RELIGION
Page-1092 Sectarianism [over 40,000 different, contending, dogmatic church groups today !] is a disease of institutional religion, and dogmatism is an enslavement of the spiritual nature. It is far better to have a religion without a church than a church without religion. [!!] The religious turmoil of the twentieth century does not, in and of itself, betoken spiritual decadence. Confusion goes before growth as well as before destruction.
There is a real purpose in the socialization of religion. It is the purpose of group religious activities to dramatize the loyalties of religion; to magnify the lures of truth, beauty, and goodness; to foster the attractions of supreme values; to enhance the service of unselfish fellowship; to glorify the potentials of family life; to promote religious education; to provide wise counsel and spiritual guidance; and to encourage group worship. And all live religions encourage human friendship, conserve morality, promote neighborhood welfare, and facilitate the spread of the essential gospel of their respective messages of eternal salvation.
But as religion becomes institutionalized, its power for good is curtailed, while the possibilities for evil are greatly multiplied. The dangers of formalized religion are: fixation of beliefs and crystallization of sentiments; accumulation of vested interests with increase of secularization; tendency to standardize and fossilize truth; diversion of religion from the service of God to the service of the church; inclination of leaders to become administrators instead of ministers; tendency to form sects and competitive divisions; establishment of oppressive ecclesiastical authority; creation of the aristocratic "chosen-people" attitude; fostering of false and exaggerated ideas of sacredness; the routinizing of religion and the petrification of worship; tendency to venerate the past while ignoring present demands; failure to make up-to-date interpretations of religion; entanglement with functions of secular institutions; it creates the evil discrimination of religious castes; it becomes an intolerant judge of orthodoxy; it fails to hold the interest of adventurous youth and gradually loses the saving message of the gospel of eternal salvation. [Of God and Jesus as One; and you as his beloved son with eternal life in God's Light !]
Formal religion restrains men in their personal spiritual activities instead of releasing them for heightened service as kingdom builders.
7. RELIGION'S CONTRIBUTION
Though churches and all other religious groups should stand aloof from all secular activities, at the same time religion must do nothing to hinder or retard the social co-ordination of human institutions. Life must continue to grow in meaningfulness; man must go on with his reformation of philosophy and his clarification of religion.
Political science must effect the reconstruction of economics and industry by the techniques it learns from the social sciences and by the insights and motives supplied by religious living. In all social reconstruction religion provides a stabilizing loyalty to a transcendent object, a steadying goal beyond and above the immediate and temporal objective. In the midst of the confusions of a rapidly changing environment mortal man needs the sustenance of a far-flung cosmic perspective. [This 2097 page Epochal Revelation of Truth provides that and much more !]
Religion inspires man to live courageously and joyfully on the face of the earth; it joins patience with passion, insight to zeal, sympathy with power, and ideals with energy.
Page-1093 Man can never wisely decide temporal issues or transcend the selfishness of personal interests unless he meditates in the presence of the sovereignty of God and reckons with the realities of divine meanings and spiritual values.
Economic interdependence and social fraternity will ultimately conduce to [planetary and universe] brotherhood. Man is naturally a dreamer, but science is sobering him so that religion can presently activate him with far less danger of precipitating fanatical reactions. Economic necessities tie man up with reality, and personal religious experience brings this same man face to face with the eternal realities of an ever-expanding and progressing cosmic citizenship. [Divine Love, lasting peace and eternal progress in God's Light of infinite love and lavish mercy to all !]
[Presented by a Melchizedek of Nebadon. (a high Son of God under Jesus Christ in our local universe of Nebadon)]
Study 48 "Jesus' Gospel of our sonship with God"
Compiled 5/04/2012 by Dave@PureChristians.org
[Part 1 of 2]
Page-72 [a Paradise-level Divine Counselor states:] And this represents my efforts to present the relation of the living God to the children of time. And when all is said and done, I can do nothing more helpful than to reiterate that God is your universe Father, and that you are all his planetary children." [Note "your universe Father" and that we "all" are divinely beloved sons of God !!]
Page-448 It is a solemn and supernal fact that such lowly and material creatures as human beings on Earth are the sons of God, faith children of the Highest. "Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God." "As many as received him, to them gave he the power to recognize that they are the sons of God." While "it does not yet appear what you shall be," even now "you are the faith sons of God"; "for you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship, whereby you cry, 'our Father."' Spoke the prophet of old in the name of the eternal God: "Even to them will I give in my house a place and a name better than sons; I will give them an everlasting name, one that shall not be cut off." "And because you are sons, God has sent forth the spirit of his Son into your hearts."
All [presently trillions of] evolutionary worlds of mortal habitation harbor these faith sons of God, sons of grace and mercy, mortal beings belonging to the divine family and accordingly called the sons of God. Earth mortals are entitled to regard themselves as being the sons of God because:
1. You are sons of spiritual promise, faith sons; you have accepted the status of sonship. You believe in the reality of your sonship, and thus does your sonship with God become eternally real.
2. A Creator Son of God [our Sovereign Savior Jesus Christ Michael] became one of you; he is your elder brother in fact; and if in spirit you become truly related brothers of Christ, the victorious Michael, then in spirit must you also be sons of that Father which you have in common even the Universal Father of all.
3. You are sons because the spirit of a Son [He the Spirit of Truth here with us ! (see John chapters 16 & 17)] has been poured out upon you, has been freely and certainly bestowed upon all Earth races. This spirit ever draws you toward the divine Son, who is its source, and toward the Paradise Father, who is the source of that divine Son.
4. Of his divine free-willness, the Universal Father has given you your [unique ! unchanging !] creature personalities. You have been endowed with a measure of that divine spontaneity of freewill action which God shares with all who may become his sons. [You and I may know: "I am a beloved son of I AM the Father-Infinite and of our Sovereign Universe Creator Father-Son Jesus Christ !]
5. There dwells within you a fragment of the Universal Father, and you are thus directly related to the divine Father of all the Sons of God. [This pure spirit Essence of God within you is called your Thought Adjuster, or Mystery Monitor, or Divine Pilot Light (Spirit Luminosity), or perfect Spirit Integrity fusing with/as You, etc. As God, too Real to adequately describe with any finite words.]
Pages 448 -449 7. FATHER-FUSED MORTALS
The sending of [Thought] Adjusters, their indwelling, is indeed one of the unfathomable mysteries of God the Father. These fragments of the divine nature of the Universal Father carry with them the potential of creature immortality. Adjusters are immortal Spirits, and union with them confers eternal life upon the soul of the fused mortal.
Your own races of surviving mortals belong to this group of the ascending Sons of God. You are now planetary sons, evolutionary creatures derived from the Life Carrier implantations and modified by the Adamic-life infusion, [about 38,000 years ago Adam and Eve came down to biologically uplift us.] hardly yet ascending sons; but you are indeed sons of ascension potential -- even to the highest heights of glory and divinity attainment -- and this spiritual status of ascending sonship you may attain by faith and by freewill co-operation with the spiritualizing activities of the indwelling Adjuster. When you and your Adjuster are finally and forever fused, when you two are made one, even as in [Jesus] Christ Michael the Son of God and the Son of Man are one, then in fact have you become the ascending sons of God. [!!]
Page-454 As mortals you can now recognize your place in the family of divine sonship and begin to sense the obligation to avail yourselves of the advantages so freely provided in and by the Paradise plan for mortal survival, which plan has been so enhanced and illuminated by the life experience of a bestowal Son. [our Jesus Christ Incarnated here Aug 21, 7 B.C. - A.D. 30] Every facility and all power have been provided for insuring your ultimate attainment of the Paradise goal of divine perfection.
Page-1032 ... the great need is for the portrayal of the Jesusonian gospel -- the [eternally loving] Fatherhood of God and the sonship and consequent [ever-perfecting] brotherhood of all men, which is personally realized in loving ministry and social service.
Page-1083 7. THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION
A Creator Son [our Master Jesus] did not incarnate in the likeness of mortal flesh and bestow himself upon the humanity of Earth to reconcile an angry God but rather to win all mankind to the recognition of the Father's love and to the realization of their sonship with God. After all, even the great advocate of the atonement doctrine realized something of this truth, for he [the apostle Paul] declared that "God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself." [Yes, our LIVING JESUS, not a mere 'murdered-dead blood-sacrifice' to satisfy an angry, wrathful, sub-human 'vampire god' ! as falsely believed and inhumanely practiced by some ancient barbarians - then Theologically and spiritually puerile ! (but they, too, are still loved and saved by our loving and merciful Father God !)]
Page-1098 [a high Melchizedek Son of God, in our universe made by Jesus Christ, reveals:] The progression of religious growth leads from stagnation through conflict to co-ordination, from insecurity to undoubting faith, from confusion of cosmic consciousness to unification of personality, from the temporal objective to the eternal, from the bondage of fear to the liberty of divine sonship. [Yes, we are evolving personally and collectively in an ever-evolving cosmos (universe)]
Page-1104 PAPER 101 THE REAL NATURE OF RELIGION
Religion, as a human experience, ranges from the primitive [imagined ghost] fear slavery of the evolving savage up to the sublime and magnificent faith liberty of those civilized mortals who are superbly conscious of sonship with the eternal God. [! Yes, we are evolving - growing sons of God into eventual perfection !]
Page-1124 You can psychologize evolutionary religion but not the personal-experience religion of spiritual origin. Human morality may recognize values, but only religion can conserve, exalt, and spiritualize such values. But notwithstanding such actions, religion is something more than emotionalized morality. [very profound:] Religion is to morality as love is to duty, as sonship is to servitude, as essence is to substance. Morality discloses an almighty Controller, a Deity to be served; [true] religion discloses an all-loving Father, a God to be worshiped and loved. And again this is because the spiritual potentiality of religion is dominant over the duty actuality of the morality of evolution.
Page-1126 7. THE CERTITUDE OF THE DIVINE
The Universal Father, being self-existent, is also self-explanatory; he actually lives in every rational [and thus moral] mortal. But you cannot be sure about God unless you know him; sonship is the only experience which makes fatherhood certain. The universe is everywhere undergoing change. A changing universe is a dependent universe; such a creation cannot be either final or absolute. A finite universe is wholly dependent on the Ultimate and the Absolute. The universe and God are not identical; one is cause, the other effect. The cause [God !] is absolute, infinite, eternal, and changeless; the effect, time-space and transcendental but ever changing, always growing.
Page-1127 If science, philosophy, or sociology dares to become dogmatic in contending with the prophets of true religion, then should God-knowing men reply to such unwarranted dogmatism with that more farseeing dogmatism of the certainty of personal spiritual experience, "I know what I have experienced because I am a son of I AM." [Thank You, our loving Father !] If the personal experience of a faither is to be challenged by dogma, then this faith-born son of the experiencible Father may reply with that unchallengeable dogma, the statement of his actual sonship with the Universal Father. [Yes, God in Jesus and fully here in Spirit may be personally and profoundly experienced ! Ineffible joy -- perfect peace -- more ...]
Page-1154 1. The Universal Father. I AM father of the Eternal Son. This is the primal personality relationship of actualities. The absolute personality of the Son makes absolute the fact of God's fatherhood and establishes the potential sonship of all personalities. This relationship establishes the personality of the Infinite and consummates its spiritual revelation in the personality of the Original Son. This phase of the I AM is partially experiencible on spiritual levels even by mortals who, while yet in the flesh, may worship our Father. [I perceive three Father-Son levels: 1 Paradise Father-Son 2. Universe Father-Son(s) 3. growing personal divine-human realizations of individual sonship in our Universal-Universe Creator Father-Son. Yes, this is deep, but sincerely and reflectively perusing all 2097 pages of this Fifth Epochal Revelation of Truth is very beneficial and supremely satisfying to all truth-seekers and Living Truth-finders !]
Page-1176 God, having commanded man to be perfect, even as he is perfect, has descended as the Adjuster to become man's experiential partner in the achievement of the supernal destiny which has been thus ordained. The fragment of God which indwells the mind of man is the absolute and unqualified assurance that man can find the Universal Father in association with this divine Adjuster, which came forth from God to find man and sonship him even in the days of the flesh. [True, beautiful and all good: God's pure, infinite love for even finite humans and all beings without favor !]
Page-1191 Your Adjuster is the potential of your new and next order of existence, the advance bestowal of your eternal sonship with God. By and with the consent of your will, the Adjuster has the power to subject the creature trends of the material mind to the transforming actions of the motivations and purposes of the emerging morontial soul.
Page-1211 The motivation of faith makes experiential the full realization of man's sonship with God, but action, completion of decisions, is essential to the evolutionary attainment of consciousness of progressive kinship with the cosmic actuality of the Supreme Being. Faith transmutes potentials to actuals in the spiritual world, but potentials become actuals in the finite realms of the Supreme only by and through the realization of choice-experience. But choosing to do the will of God joins spiritual faith to material decisions in personality action and thus supplies a divine and spiritual fulcrum for the more effective functioning of the human and material leverage of God-hunger. Such a wise co-ordination of material and spiritual forces greatly augments both cosmic realization of the Supreme and morontia [soul-level] comprehension of the Paradise Deities. [and that is just a beginning toward ever higher Paradise pattern-force-energy, Spirit and Personality levels of realization-harmonization-integration into Total Reality -- GOD !]
Page-1260 PAPER 115 THE SUPREME BEING
With God the Father, sonship is the great relationship. With God the Supreme, achievement is the prerequisite to status -- one must do something as well as be something.
Page-1288 If you truly desire to find God, you cannot help having born in your minds the consciousness of the Supreme. As God is your divine Father, so is the Supreme your divine Mother, in whom you are nurtured throughout your lives as universe creatures. "How universal is the Supreme -- he is on all sides! The limitless things of creation depend on his presence for life, and none are refused."
Page-1299 Mortal consciousness proceeds from the fact, to the meaning, and then to the value. Creator consciousness proceeds from the thought-value, through the word-meaning, to the fact of action. Always must God act to break the deadlock of the unqualified unity inherent in existential infinity. Always must Deity provide the pattern universe, the perfect personalities, the original truth, beauty, and goodness for which all subdeity creations strive. Always must God first find man that man may later find God. [!!] Always must there be a Universal Father before there can ever be universal sonship and consequent universal brotherhood.
Page-1338 Into such a generation of men, dominated by such incomplete systems of philosophy and perplexed by such complex cults of religion, Jesus was born in Palestine. And to this same generation he subsequently gave his gospel of personal religion -- sonship with God. [and Jesus' Omnipresent Universe Presence continues this Revelation to be ever-more experienced by the human seeker of Truth !]
Page-1461 To a Roman soldier, as they walked along the Tiber, he [Jesus] said: "Be brave of heart as well as of hand. Dare to do justice and be big enough to show mercy. Compel your lower nature to obey your higher nature as you obey your superiors. Revere goodness and exalt truth. Choose the beautiful in place of the ugly. Love your fellows and reach out for God with a whole heart, for God is your Father in heaven."
Page-1475 To the runaway lad Jesus said: "Remember, there are two things you cannot run away from -- God and yourself.[!!] Wherever you may go, you take with you yourself and the spirit of the heavenly Father which lives within your heart. My son, stop trying to deceive yourself; settle down to the courageous practice of facing the facts of life; lay firm hold on the assurances of sonship with God and the certainty of eternal life, as I have instructed you. From this day on purpose to be a real man, a man determined to face life bravely and intelligently."
Page-1574 To see God -- by faith -- means to acquire true spiritual insight. And spiritual insight enhances Adjuster guidance, and these in the end augment God-consciousness. And when you know the Father, you are confirmed in the assurance of divine sonship, and you can increasingly love each of your brothers in the flesh, not only as a brother -- with brotherly love -- but also as a father -- with fatherly affection. [Only with fatherly love can you and I grow to actually freely love all humans -- even our so-called 'enemies' -- as our Sovereign Creator Son of God and God the Universal Father have both directed all of us.]
Page-1585 John asked Jesus, "Master, what is the kingdom of heaven?" And Jesus answered: "The kingdom of heaven consists in these three essentials: first, recognition of the fact of the sovereignty of God; second, belief in the truth of sonship with God; and third, faith in the effectiveness of the supreme human desire to do the will of God -- to be like God. And this is the good news of the gospel: that by faith every mortal may have all these essentials of salvation." [Later, Jesus suggested that we replace the now obsolete "kingdom of heaven" concepts with the "Family of God" and other good terms.]
[On faith, jumping ahead, Jesus profoundly states:] Page-1610 "Your sonship is grounded in faith, and you are to remain unmoved by fear. Your joy is born of trust in the divine word, and you shall not therefore be led to doubt the reality of the Father's love and mercy. It is the very goodness of God that leads men into true and genuine repentance. Your secret of the mastery of self is bound up with your faith in the indwelling spirit, which ever works by love. Even this saving faith you have not of yourselves; it also is the gift of God. And if you are the children of this living faith, you are no longer the bondslaves of self but rather the triumphant masters of yourselves, the liberated sons of God. [now, returning back to where we are:]
Page-1588 [Part of Jesus' tremendous announcement:] "When you are the subjects of this kingdom, you indeed are made to hear the law of the Universe Ruler; but when, because of the gospel of the kingdom which I have come to declare, you faith-discover yourselves as sons, you henceforth look not upon yourselves as law-subject creatures of an all-powerful king but as privileged sons of a loving and divine Father. Verily, verily, I say to you, when the Father's will is your law, you are hardly in the kingdom. But when the Father's will becomes truly your will, then are you in very truth in the kingdom because the kingdom has thereby become an established experience in you. When God's will is your law, you are noble slave subjects; but when you believe in this new gospel of divine sonship, my Father's will becomes your will, and you are elevated to the high position of the free children of God, liberated sons of the kingdom."
Page-1590 In answer to Thomas's question, "Who is this God of the kingdom?" Jesus replied: "God is your Father, and religion -- my gospel -- is nothing more nor less than the believing recognition of the truth that you are his son. And I am here among you in the flesh to make clear both of these ideas in my life and teachings."
Jesus also sought to free the minds of his apostles from the idea of offering animal sacrifices as a religious duty. But these men, trained in the religion of the daily sacrifice, were slow to comprehend what he meant. Nevertheless, the Master did not grow weary in his teaching. When he failed to reach the minds of all of the apostles by means of one illustration, he would restate his message and employ another type of parable for purposes of illumination. [Jesus frequently taught three parables in this order, saving the best for last: "The Lost Coin", "The Good Shepherd" (and the one briefly lost sheep of 100 sheep all safe in our Good Shepherd !) and the tremendous "The Prodigal Son" !!!]
Page-1592 That night Jesus discoursed to the apostles on the new life in the kingdom. He said in part: "When you enter the kingdom, you are reborn. You cannot teach the deep things of the Spirit to those who have been born only of the flesh; first see that men are born of the Spirit before you seek to instruct them in the advanced ways of the Spirit. Do not undertake to show men the beauties of the temple until you have first taken them into the temple. Introduce men to God and as the sons of God before you discourse on the doctrines of the fatherhood of God and the sonship of men. Do not strive with men -- always be patient. It is not your kingdom; you are only ambassadors. Simply go forth proclaiming: This is the kingdom of heaven -- God is your Father and you are his sons, and this good news, if you wholeheartedly believe it, is your eternal salvation."
Page-1601 [Jesus, in part] "If you receive God as your Father, then indeed and in truth are you the sons of God. And if you are sons, then are you secure in the position and standing of all that concerns eternal and divine sonship."
Page-1603 Jesus said: "The people of another age will better understand the gospel of the kingdom when it is presented in terms expressive of the family relationship -- when man understands religion as the teaching of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man, sonship with God."
Page-1608 [Jesus:] "But who told you that my gospel was intended only for slaves and weaklings? Do you, my chosen apostles, resemble weaklings? Did John look like a weakling? Do you observe that I am enslaved by fear? True, the poor and oppressed of this generation have the gospel preached to them. The religions of this world have neglected the poor, but my Father is no respecter of persons. Besides, the poor of this day are the first to heed the call to repentance and acceptance of sonship. The gospel of the kingdom [of Jesus, of Truth] is to be preached to all men -- Jew and Gentile, Greek and Roman, rich and poor, free and bond -- and equally to young and old, male and female." [More human disciples and ambassadors of Jesus here today hear this Call in Spirit to share this Living Good News of universal-universe sonship in God our infinitely loving and lavishly merciful Father !
Page-1610 [see seven paragraphs above]
Page-1621 [TUB restatement of Jesus' words, in part] In all praying, remember that sonship is a gift. No child has aught to do with earning the status of son or daughter. The earth child comes into being by the will of its parents. Even so, the child of God comes into grace and the new life of the spirit by the will of the Father in heaven. Therefore must the kingdom of heaven -- divine sonship -- be received as by a little child. You earn righteousness -- progressive character development -- but you receive sonship by grace and through faith.
Page-1649 [very important] In speaking to those assembled, Jesus said: "Many of you are here, sick and afflicted, because of your many years of wrong living. Some suffer from the accidents of time, others as a result of the mistakes of their forebears, while some of you struggle under the handicaps of the imperfect conditions of your temporal existence. But my Father works, and I would work, to improve your earthly state but more especially to insure your eternal estate. None of us can do much to change the difficulties of life unless we discover the Father in heaven so wills. After all, we are all beholden to do the will of the Eternal. If you could all be healed of your physical afflictions, you would indeed marvel, but it is even greater that you should be cleansed of all spiritual disease and find yourselves healed of all moral infirmities. You are all God's children; you are the sons of the heavenly Father. The bonds of time may seem to afflict you, but the God of eternity loves you. And when the time of judgment shall come, fear not, you shall all find, not only justice, but an abundance of mercy. Verily, verily, I say to you: He who hears the gospel of the kingdom and believes in this teaching of sonship with God, has eternal life; already are such believers passing from judgment and death to light and life. And the hour is coming in which even those who are in the tombs shall hear the voice of the resurrection." [done by Jesus when he ascended back to the Universal Father on Paradise and then returned that same day as our Universe Sovereign God-Man Person, May 18, A.D. 30 - on !]
Page-1673 [Jesus on anger, in part] Before Jesus ceased speaking, he said further: "Let your hearts be so dominated by love that your spirit guide [Thought Adjuster and Jesus' Spirit of All Truth and the Holy Creative Mother Spirit, all Three as One Sacred Father-Son-Spirit Presence] will have little trouble in delivering you from the tendency to give vent to those outbursts of animal anger which are inconsistent with the status of divine sonship."
Page-1674 [Jesus:] "Seek not, then, for false peace and transient joy but rather for the assurance of faith and the sureties of divine sonship which yield composure, contentment, and supreme joy in the Spirit."
Jesus hardly regarded this world as a "vale of tears." He rather looked upon it as the birth sphere of the eternal and immortal Spirits of Paradise ascension, the "vale of soul making."
Page-1683 [Very important:] In summing up his final statement, Jesus said: "You cannot buy salvation; you cannot earn righteousness. Salvation is the gift of God, and righteousness is the natural fruit of the Spirit-born life of sonship in the kingdom. You are not to be saved because you live a righteous life; rather is it that you live a righteous life because you have already been saved, have recognized sonship as the Gift of God and service in the kingdom as the supreme delight of life on earth. When men believe this Gospel, which is a revelation of the goodness of God, they will be led to voluntary repentance of all known sin. Realization of sonship is incompatible with the desire to sin. Kingdom believers hunger for righteousness and thirst for divine perfection."
Page-1704 [After Jesus' Miracle of feeding the 5,000] This spectacular episode brought an end to the early era of teaching, training, and healing, thereby preparing the way for the inauguration of this last year [in A.D. 30] of proclaiming the higher and more spiritual phases of the new gospel of the kingdom -- divine sonship, spiritual liberty, and eternal salvation. [Isaiah and I share: "Cry out and shout ..." and live this New Good News of God's Light and Eternal Life ! Here and now with us ! Thank You, our good Master, Savior, Father and eternally loving Friend, Jesus !]