It is the spiritual fulfillment of the urge for inner completeness of being that we mean when we speak of a spiritual life on earth, a spiritual necessity whose sovereign imperative alone can displace or entirely penetrate the darkness. Frequently the accredited religions have opposed progress and sided with the forces of oppression and obscurity but this would not have been the case if religion were the true and sufficient guide to the whole of human life.
Now it is not necessary to follow through an aggressive indictment of organized religion or place emphasis on the superstitions, aberrations, violence and crimes which churches and cults and creeds have sanctioned for their own benefit, crimes and evils which have been committed in the name of God. We have only to note the fact that all this occurred and that two thousand years ago the light of Truth came very close to extinction. Then as now darkened minds considered real spirituality as consisting of renunciation and mortification—as a force that discourages life and cannot therefore be a true law and guide for human life. By spirituality religion seemed to mean something remote from earthly life and adverse to it. In its exaggeration it leads to awful hopelessness when the one hope for humanity seems to be the approaching and expected end of the world. It displays impatience with the ways of God and lack of faith in the divine wisdom and will that caused the world in the first place.
The human Jesus of Nazareth enables humanity to anthropomorphize God and thereby relate to The Father as never before—in human terms. Unfortunately within a few years of Jesus’ short-lived mission major factions had formed to create what was to become Christianity. The ‘First Council of Nicaea’ which occurred in A.D. 325 forever crystallized and dogmatized the new religion they created about the necessary sacrificial death of the innocent Son of God to assuage the guilt of the sinners of the world and to propitiate the anger of their offended and vengeful God of Israel. And yet the human Jesus still demonstrates the perfect consummation of the spiritual human being to any and all who search for the true light of life and the real possibility that all of humanity can, as he promised and as he did, find fulfillment of the urge for inner completeness of being during our earthly life. This is the ever-present spiritual inheritance of which all humanity is to be the beneficiary thanks to Jesus’ life and teachings which have tragically become overlooked, buried beneath centuries of man-made dogma with its interpretation of his life and the meaning of his teachings.
Christianity has become but a religion about Jesus’ death and is not the religion of Jesus, which he taught was all about the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of humanity. Jesus established the ultimate goal of living when he said “Ye therefore shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matt. 5:48). Jesus said “The kingdom of heaven is at hand”, which means now, and that “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” (John 8:32). He taught “The kingdom of God is within you.” It is “the true light which lighteth every man coming into the world.” (John 1:9). Paul admonishes us to “Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Rom. 12:2).
When one becomes able to see in God-consciousness their insight influences their outlook. When you are pure in heart you will see good, or God, in all people as Jesus did. He saw the activity of God expressing as human beings. So, “Stir up the gift of God which is in thee.” (II Tim. :6), because within the nature of every human being there is a stored-up substance or divine energy which may be released to illumine the lives and light the way of humanity. Jesus continually reminds us of the unclaimed possibilities, as “Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” (Matt. 25:34); and “It is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32); and “Ask and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find…” (Matt.7:7, 8). Remember Jesus’ words “He that believeth in me, the works that I do shall he do also, and greater works than these shall he do…” (John 14:12).
When Jesus returned from the grave he demonstrated more than overcoming death in his own life—he verified his teachings of the spiritual potential of human beings and proved in the most dramatic fashion that there is a power within them beyond the human—the revelation of their spirit potential. When Jesus said “Verily I say unto you, if a man keep my word he shall never see death” (John 8:51) he revealed that we are a living soul that has a body, and when the body is finally laid aside the soul will become clothed according to God’s purposes.
Historically, in the year A.D.325 Christianity was formulated by those Greeks, Jews and Romans who met in conclave at the ‘First Council of Nicaea’ in Constantinople. (see:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Council_of_Nicaea) Since then it has widely broadened in its scope with the many differing interpretations of the meaning of the gospel writings about the life and teachings of the “Divine Christos” now contained in the New Testament. Both the New and Old Testaments were subsequently conjoined into one Bible with differing editions which remains today a history of the people of Israel’s search for God.
In the sequence of early Christian writings those of Paul are dated between the years 50 – 60; The Gospel of Thomas dates between the years 50 – 140; The Gospel of Mark dates between the years 65 – 80; The Gospel of Matthew dates between 80 – 100; The Gospel of Luke dates between 80 – 130; and, the Gospel of John dates between 90 – 120. There are no sources from Jesus’ time. All of the stories told by the first followers of Jesus were later told and retold and their interpretation by scholars yields a plurality of Jesus’s – different in nature in each Gospel according to the particular beliefs of the writers or their transcribers.
Presented in historical order:
MARK wrote in Greek to explain to Jewish readers what Jesus had spoken in Aramaic. He describes Jesus as a sort of strange, enigmatic figure who is God’s persecuted one, dying in agony mocked and abandoned by God. The Pharisees were depicted as minor figures in the drama.
MATTHEW’s gospel is by far the most Jewish of the four Gospels and he describes Jesus as an apocalyptic figure – a Son of Abraham who came to fulfill The Torah. The Pharisees were depicted as minor figures who caused a split between the Jews and Jesus’ followers.
LUKE was a gentile and a companion of Paul who takes Jesus to the Greco-Roman audience and is antagonistic towards the Jews. Jesus’ followers were here called “Christians” for the first time.
JOHN’s Gospel was written 70 years after Jesus’ death, which occurs at a different time of day from that stated by Mark. Jesus dies here as “The Lamb of God” sacrificed for the Passover at the same time as the lambs in the temple were being slaughtered. Here Jesus becomes the meal. Jesus is depicted as “The word of God”. John portrays a scenario of Jewish Christians versus The Jews against Jesus.
Christianity is a composite of all of these Gospels combined and presented as “The Word of God”. To cap it all off John ends his Revelations (22:18, 19) with a dire threat to anyone who changes anything he wrote. So now modern twenty-first century Christians are attempting to live their spiritual lives according to those guidelines, creeds and dogma established during the fourth century by those men who compromised much to create what has metamorphosed into modern “Christianity”. Anyone now searching for the truth should realize that the disparate teachings of the numerous inspired writers of the Gospels are not necessarily the true teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. God’s Son incarnated in human form was sent by God, our Father and his Father, to reveal to all human beings that we are all God’s children in human form. One of the most significant revelations made by Jesus was his demonstration of what a human being is capable of becoming.
Jesus of Nazareth was a human being who was born and grew into a man of moral purity and extraordinary spiritual intuition and trained and protected his mind and body by self-mastery in preparation for his inborn spirit of God—The Christ—within him to emerge, which occurred at his baptism as recorded. This connotes something of enormous significance and vital importance, a profound spiritual truth for modern peoples. He willfully consecrated his entire life because he realized that the inborn spirit of God must be enabled to function in the life of the human being in order to accomplish God’s will-to-action — God’s purpose for us in this world.
Jesus the man stepped aside as it were that day in the river Jordan giving his human being over to the divine spirit—The Christ—which was observed as if to descend as a dove into possession of it. The physical human body of the man became the habitation of the divine spirit thereafter—God’s Supreme Son incarnated in human form by and with the consent of the human individual, Jesus. Jesus is called “The Incarnate Word” (II Corinthians 5:19) which suggests that “God was in Christ” as a spiritual presence in the human being.
This was later condemned as heresy by the orthodox churches following the First Council of Nicaea in AD 325, even though early Christian history records that this was widely held to be the truth in the early churches. Saint Paul, whose writings preceded Matthew and the others, said “…know ye not that your body is the Temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”. And The Christ said “…is it not written in your law ‘I said ye are Gods, and ye are all the children of the Highest?’”.
As to the identity of The Christ, surely it is that of a Son of God sent by The Universal Father to bring spiritual revelation of ‘The Fatherhood of God and The Brotherhood of all Mankind’ to this world. The revelation made by The Christ during his incarnation in Jesus is threefold: He made a new revelation of God to Humanity; He made a new revelation of Humanity to God; and, He made a new revelation to all of Humanity of what human beings could each aspire to attain spiritually.
In conclusion, the great challenge for all of us and for each of us is to find for ourselves the truth about God by soul-searching for answers to the questions which have perplexed philosophers down through all of the ages of human history.
To paraphrase Teilhard de Chardin… “Are we all material beings gaining spiritual experience or are we spiritual beings gaining material experience, or are we truly some mysterious combination of the material and spiritual? ”
It remains for each of us to discover…
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