Posted by Roberta Grimes • May 09, 2020 • 46 Comments
Jesus, The Teachings of Jesus
Jesus loves me! This I know,
For the Bible tells me so;
Little ones to Him belong;
They are weak, but He is strong.
– William B. Bradbury (1816-1868), from “Jesus Loves Me” (1862)
The biggest handicap all of us face in seeking to know the genuine God is the fact that the historical Jesus is so closely identified with Christianity. The Gospel teachings of Jesus are the literal words of God on earth! But Christianity largely ignores those teachings. Instead of being based on the Lord’s divine words, all the primary Christian degmas are man-made and geared toward fear-based control. Yet the forty thousand versions of Christianity all claim the Person of Jesus while they continue to deny the primacy of His teachings. Christianity’s presumptuousness in claiming Jesus while ignoring what He said amazes me! Consider these facts:
Well, but what if we put all these problems aside? Would Jesus at least approve of the human-made religion that now bears His name? Hardly! The Christian religion does two things that Jesus tells us in the Gospels that He abhors. It clings to human-made religious traditions, and it utterly disregards the Lord’s Gospel teachings.
Jesus says of His teachings: “My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me” (JN 7:16). “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (LK 6:46). “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven will enter” (MT 7:21). “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (JN 8:31-32). And He says of religions that put their traditions above the Word of God: “Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men… You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition” (MK 7:8-9). And “Why do you transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?… You hypocrites! Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far away from me. But in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men’” (MT 15:3-9). Does Jesus sound as if He would be happy with a religion that uses His name to teach human-made ideas while it ignores nearly everything He actually said?
The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are the only books of the Christian Bible where God clearly speaks to us. Other parts of the Bible seem to some extent to be divinely inspired, but the Bible beyond those four Gospels is so heavily influenced by human ideas that it cannot be placed in the same category as the four canonical Gospels! If you really want to know the God revealed to us by the Lord Jesus Christ, simply take a pair of scissors and cut from your Bible the entire Old Testament, as well as the New Testament beyond the Gospel of John. The early Christian councils added some fear-based nonsense to what Jesus actually said, so you can also cut from each of the Gospels everything about church management, judgment, and End Times. And there you will have it. Without the corruption of those human-tainted words that appear in other parts of the Bible, you will have on just a few precious pages what remains of the words that God spoke to us when He came two thousand years ago in the Person of Jesus to teach us how to live so the kingdom of God can begin to overspread the earth.
With all of this in mind we are better equipped to tackle what is the most outrageous corruption of the Lord’s Gospel message in all of Christianity. There is one idea often flung at us as a kind of evangelical trump card. Some Christians say that it doesn’t even matter if you follow the Lord’s Gospel teachings because Jesus Himself tells us that only if we claim Him as our personal Savior can we join God in heaven and not go to hell. “Because, look! Jesus says, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’” (JN 14:6).
But is the Lord really telling us here that only good Christians can get into heaven? Let’s read that sentence in context. What Jesus actually says is this: “‘Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.’ Thomas said to Him, ‘Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.’
“Philip said to Him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, “Show us the Father”? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it. If you love Me, you will keep My commandments’” (JN 14:1-15).
This is among the most important and powerful passages in the whole Christian Bible. But there is nothing in it about your needing to claim that Jesus died for your sins. In the first paragraph He talks about preparing an afterlife place for His disciples and coming for them when their turn arrives to go home, which is something that we all do for our loved ones. In the second paragraph He affirms that He is from the Godhead, God on earth, and that God is working through Him, and He tells those who love Him to follow His teachings. But yet to this day, Christians ignore every word that Jesus speaks to us here… except for that one sentence taken out of context that clearly doesn’t mean what Christians want it to mean!
The teachings that Jesus spent more than three years risking His life to share were so important to Him that He might well have identified those teachings with Himself. Or else perhaps He said, “My teachings are the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through My teachings” (JN 14:6). Then during those sixty-odd years of what amounted to playing the telephone game, “My teachings” was shortened to “I” and “Me” before His words were written down. But either way, it is impossible to find in that passage the notion that our claiming that Jesus died for our sins is the only way for us to get into heaven!
It is interesting to note that the earliest Christians called the teachings of Jesus “the Way.” They might as well have called those sacred teachings “the Way, the Truth, and the Life,” since all three words apply to teachings far better than they do to the magical notion that claiming that Jesus died to redeem you from God’s judgment has made it all better so now you can get into heaven. What a preposterous notion that is! It insults our perfectly loving God while it humiliates humanity’s greatest teacher. And there is nothing in the Gospel words of Jesus that supports it.
For most of my life I have loved Christianity. It was the core of who I was, and at the center of it was the Person of Jesus. Then at the start of my fifties I finally had to accept the fact that Christianity has never followed Jesus, but instead it has fed us fear-based lies. Realizing that felt like learning that my beloved mother was an axe-murderer. But soon I found the courage to take Paul’s advice (1Cor 13:8-13), and I put away the childish thing that the Christian religion always has been. When I began to trust the Lord alone, at last I found the genuine God! And I found a love more glorious than any other love that I have ever known.
Jesus loves me! This I know,
As He loved so long ago,
Taking children on His knee,
Saying, “Let them come to Me.”
Jesus loves me still today,
Walking with me on my way,
Wanting as a friend to give
Light and love to all who live.
– William B. Bradbury (1816-1868), from “Jesus Loves Me” (1862)
46 thoughts on ““I Am the Way””
Thank you Roberta.. I think you are absolutely Amazing and I love that you share all your hard work with us and simplify The Lords words.. I understand you more than I have ever understood all my years as a confused Church goer.. Thank you.. I fear nothing because I Love God.. Thankyou again x Joan.. Eamons Mum forever 23 x ☓ 🌈
My words and feelings exactly as Joan commented.. Roberta I so appreciate you and your work in every way. It is so comforting to hear truth of your words of Jesus and his true meaning and reason for coming to us. You have given me such relief and freedom from all the dogma I was taught in my life.
Dear Holly, God’s truth is perfect love beyond our ability to even really encompass it, and it does feel wonderful to open your heart entirely to God without any fear at all! I still recall when I first dared to do that, when I first realized that each of us is God’s best-beloved child. I am so glad that at last you have come to this glorious place!
Oh my dear Joan, I’m so glad that what I share here resonates with you! My primary guide, Thomas, tells me that my role is to do precisely this, to make God’s truth sensible and understandable, so your words really tickle me – thank you! I’m sending both you and Eamon a very special hug 😉
Great article today as always. The article prompts me to ask about the message of the apostle Paul. Do you believe that Paul was furthering Jesus’s message by bringing it to the Gentiles. Do you believe that he was actually subverting Jesus mission which was being carried forward by his brother James. Or do you have another view regarding the role of Paul.
Dear Perry, my feelings about Paul have been complex and have gone through considerable evolution from my initial outrage at his imperfect understanding of the Lord’s words! His role in packaging the teachings of Jesus in a religious wrapper that could then be built upon by Rome seems to me now to have been essential to the preservation of those teachings for us, and it is clear that some of what he wrote was indeed channeled from God. But he was a first-century man, with first-century ideas. What he created was just the wrapper, and it is time now for us to open and discard most of that wrapper so we can begin to really live the Lord’s beautiful gift!
My feelings about St Paul were quite negative until I read Neville Goddard’s explanation after which I saw Paul as a true teacher rather than a misogynistic, dogma-driven zealot.
According the Goddard, the sentence in the letter to the Ephesians for which is Paul is so roundly condemned, that “the woman should be subject to the man in everything”, was not about men and women but about the male and female aspect of individual consciousness. The conscious (objective) or male aspect is the head and dominates the subconscious (subjective) or female aspect. To quote Neville Goddard: “The mystery to which Paul referred when he wrote, “This is a great mystery [5:32]… He that loveth his wife loveth himself [5:28]… And they two shall be one flesh [5:31]”, is simply the mystery of consciousness. Consciousness is really one and undivided but for creation’s sake it appears to be divided into two.”
As I said earlier, my feelings for Paul underwent a transformation when I interpreted his words in this light.
I’m interested in your view on this, Roberta.
Thanks again for a wonderful, enlightening post!
Oh my dear Kristian, Mr. Goddard is like an animal expert who says your dog is staring at your steak dinner because he admires that particular shade of reddish brown, or he is like the psychologist who says your baby is fond of breast milk because he’ll be a “breast man”later in life. In just the same way, saying that a first-century man who lives in a first-century world in which women are not even fully human and he plainly speaks that way cannot be assumed to be instead saying something that is based on knowledge and thought-processes never imagined before the twentieth century! That he speaks as what modern people would call a misogynist doesn’t make Paul any worse than anyone else of his age. My own grandmother was born in the United States and wasn’t given the right to vote until she was a teenager, for heaven’s sake!
Paul was not an advanced being. He did become a decent channel. We do know, for example, from Thomas that the beautiful 1Cor 13 was channeled. But you can see that when you read it in context! There is Paul stumbling along, then 1Cor 13 appears, and then with 1Cor 14 he might as well be saying, “Back to our regularly scheduled programming.”
Dear friend, we must at all times and in every way be pursuing the pure truth from God, and not some starry-eyed version of what we might prefer to believe. It is time to stop believing altogether – it is at last time for us to seek to know!
I believe, when Paul said, he had a “thorn in the flesh” he was talking about the Roman Empire. He was “used” by the Romans, while talking about Christ”s message, to bring people back into the fold, or as you said, Roberta, “Back to our regularly scheduled programming” Paul claimed to be many things: Jew, Pharisee, Roman, apostle, but in those days no one claimed various ethnicity or background. Paul also admitted to deception or claiming to act like a certain group to win them over. Not a true disciple in my opinion.
Thank you and Happy Mother`s Day. I remember asking my mom in 1958 as I was preparing for my first communion. “Why are the priest and nuns so afraid of God”? She said, “It’s all about control but there is nothing we can do about it”
By time she left this world she knew God’s love was not fear based.
Thank you so much I learn from you every Sunday.
Dear Marilynn, Happy Mother’s Day to you as well! Your mother was wise indeed to have seen that the Christianity she was living was all about fear-based control; I certainly didn’t know it then, and I think that few Christians knew it… or would admit it to themselves. My hunch is that perhaps she also is helping you to see and to finally live these truths?
Your words resonate with the feelings I’ve held in my heart for so long. Thank you for sharing the gifts that you’ve garnered through your long journey of life and learning.
Dear Natalie, I hear from so many now who feel as we do, and in many cases they felt quite alone until recently. I so much love hearing from them now, and following their progress in many cases, as they truly begin to grow in the Lord!
Dear Donal, you are very welcome. Thank you for joining us here!
Powerful post Roberta. Wow.
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” My late husband was an atheist who believed Jesus was a myth created to control the masses. Through the eyes of an atheist this passage can be twisted to prove that some of us will be left behind unless we believe.
I lost my Bible on the last big move I made. Can you recommend a bible that would be a good replacement? The one I lost was a gift. Thanks..
Oh dear Amanda, I hate to say it, but it’s not just atheists who commonly twist that passage! Most strict Christians believe and preach that only if you claim Jesus Christ as your personal Savior can you get into heaven. It’s horrifying, and so deeply insulting to God!
Where buying a Bible is concerned, any modern translation will do, but the two that I use most often are:
New International Version (NIV) is my reading Bible, and
New American Standard Bible (NASB) is the one that I usually quote, since its copyright protections are so liberal.
I hope this helps!
I am so glad that I found you Roberta. Your blogs have been not only inspirational but also a comfort to me. Thank you so much.
Dear Brigette, I’m very glad that you found me as well! I love knowing that you find my work helpful, and of course if you have questions you can always email me through the green Contact block on this website!
Roberta, thanks for the insights and Happy Mothers Day to you. I was wondering how those who never heard of Jesus fit into the picture. Is it because Jesus is not the only way? Or could it be said that since He and the Father are one, humans do go through Jesus whether they know it or not.
Dear Tom, I think that what Jesus actually meant by that statement was that His TEACHINGS are the way to God. And that is true! Whether or not anyone has ever heard of Jesus, what determines our rate of spiritual growth is how perfectly we learn to forgive and to love. This is why Jesus calls people who talk a good game – call Him “Lord,” and so on, but don’t follow His teachings – “hypocrites,” and why He says that the prostitutes and tax collectors (the dregs, in other words) will get into the kingdom of God – the sixth level of the afterlife – ahead of the churchy folks. They will, indeed. And the same is still true today!
Happy Mothers’ Day
As I was thinking about your topic, it first came to me the many explanations as to why Christ had to die. There seem to be many reasons put forth, such as written in the book “Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die” by John Piper. These reasons span from #1 To Absorb the Wrath of God to #50 To show that the Worst Evil is Meant for Good by God.
So, God is wrathful. Is that the kind of God I want to worship? And from the silver lining department, this wrathful God purposes evil for good. Why not purpose good for good and skip the necessity of his Son from having to absorb His wrath?
I’m sure John Piper means well, but so much of this seems to mere assertions or as you lawyers would put it, ipse dixit. I think it good that so many Christians go down the rabbit hole of death on the cross theology. I’m still a Christian, or so I think. I’m having difficulty reciting the Apostles’ Creed in entirety these days. Don’t follow in my footsteps.
Dear Cookie, you are precisely right, and the man who wrote such a book is a fool who knows nothing. The fake Christian God has human failings, but the genuine Godhead emphatically does not! The Godhead is, as Jesus tells us, infinitely loving Spirit. In truth, there was no Godhead-based reason at all why Jesus “came to die,” but rather Jesus chose to die and rise from the dead to teach the skeptical primitives of His day that they were not really going to die either. His death and resurrection was an act of perfect love, and it was entirely His choice!
wounderful I agree
Great piece of writing. It is a complicated, delicate topic, yet you made it look easy! Very thought-provoking. I read it a few times just to soak it all in. It makes great sense and leaves me feeling renewed. We readers profit greatly from your tenacity, diligent research and plain hard work. I thank you for that. Between writing this, responding to various blogs and working on your other projects, I am amazed that you find the time to make it all work. I think we benefit from you, probably very often, burning quite a lot of midnight oil! Thanks for this great contribution. Also, I think it might be easier to simply cut out the Gospels and make a new cover for them!
Dear Jeffrey, this is all so kind of you to say! Yes, between doing Seek Reality every week and blogging every week, together with responding to emails and comments that are incident to one or the other, I pretty much have a full-time job. That is turning out to be problematic, actually, since we are working on building a new online platform that should let us help a great many more people, but we have twice put off pulling the trigger because I have no time to produce what they need from me to get started on producing the content!
And I would love to be able to recommend a Gospels-only Bible, but all the versions are copyrighted so we can’t produce one on our own and I haven’t found anyone who is licensed to produce one. When I was a child I had a little book that was just Gospels, Psalms, and Proverbs that had been printed by the Mormons, and it is on my list to see if they still print it in an acceptable version, but we will probably have to license and print one on our own.
Dear Roberta, Thanks for this! Hope you had a happy Mother’s Day. The beautiful point you make here can’t be emphasized often enough. We can follow Jesus without the trappings of the dogmatic elements of Christianity.
To your point about the exercise of cutting out of your bible only the words of Jesus, I am wondering if anyone has ever done this and assemble the “sayings of Jesus” into an actual book and published it. It would be a slim book, because what we’re left with—after we cut away all the cultural artifacts and other inserts and interpretations supposedly leading up to His mission and proceeding from those few short years—is so straight forward it would require few pages. But they would indeed be powerful pages for living and achieving our spiritual mission in this experience we perceive as incarnation!
PS-Apologies to Jeffrey whose comment immediately above mine basically makes the same point. I should not comment before coffee.
It is interesting that our thoughts about this run along the same lines. It was late and for brevity, I chose not to expound on it any further. I had a thought that this very thin, pocket-sized treasure might be entitled ‘Holy Gospels of Jesus’. I am very glad you wrote what you did because it was validating and eloquently stated. As to commenting before coffee, well, that is a whole other topic! Thanks for writing.
As I said somewhere above, the Mormon church was doing Gospels-only handbooks when I was a child, with Psalms and Proverbs thrown in. Tiny book, though – you really can’t read it without a magnifying glass. It is on my list to see what we can have made to order in larger rather than smaller print… but getting that to hit the top of my list will take awhile!
Thankyou for this release of fear and guilt at every turn. I was raised Catholic, then became a born-again Baptist, and next an assembly-of-God Pentecostal. My wife was/is Baha’i. We can’t bring ourselves to be a part of any religion now, but we both think there’s partial truth in all of them. I feel we’ve lost our spirituality ( maybe she don’t feel that way ). Any advice would be greatly appreciated…
Oh my dear Tony, you and your wife have been through the wringer, and I am so sorry! What you describe – this unsatisfying seeking from religion to religion, culminating in a feeling that you have lost the spiritual drive at your core – is absolutely common now, and it is so tragic!
The plain fact is that there is not a religion on earth that was created by the Godhead, and not a religion on earth that brings you closer to God, since every religion on earth is at its core based in teaching its adherents to fear God. Some of them do claim divine inspiration, and a few of these contain elements and ideas that some individuals within them have been able to use for personal development, provided that they can manage to conquer the religion-based fears in themselves. But that is not at all the way that things are supposed to be!
Your experience is such a common one now. Earnest seekers move from religion to religion, trying to find the genuine God of pure love that they know innately is all that is real but never finding it until they begin to feel that the spiritual craving at their core is ashes. Dear Tony, your name is Legion! And until this century, that was where the story ended. Jesus was still imprisoned and ignored, and there was no spiritual movement of any size that taught what He had come to teach. So disappointed seekers made a peace with obeying some religion’s rules for taming the monstrous God that they had been taught to fear, and they waited it out until they died.
But now disappointment no longer has to be the end to anyone’s spiritual search! The Gospel teachings of Jesus really are the way, the truth, and the life. If you seek in Him, this time you really are going to find!!
I strongly feel that religions of and by themselves should be dispensed with. The problem is that people think they have to join a church or a certain group and obey the directions of such church or group, or they will not be able to connect with God, or that God will be upset if the proper procedures aren’t met. Everyone is convinced that their church or group follows the appropriate protocol etc., and no one ever considers that none of this is necessary. This in no way would negate the teachings of Jesus – in fact, it would enhance them, as there is nowhere in any written record that Jesus wanted to establish any kind of church or special group. If he did want a church, he would have told us so and would have given us instructions on how to do this. Therefore, all religions are man made and as such, aren’t infallible.
I know, dear Lola. It’s frustrating, isn’t it? Science denies the existence of the Godhead, and every Christian denomination teaches human-made and fear-based falsehoods about the Godhead, but yet so few people understand that there really is another choice, and it is possible for us to follow Jesus alone and to thereby really come to know the genuine God!
Jesus says plainly in His Great Commission (MT 28:16-20) that He is sending His disciples out to spread His teachings, and He will be with us “to the end of the Age.” But no Christian apparently is aware that every one of their gatherings should be about His teachings, and they shouldn’t look for His second coming… because He has never left!
It would be a good idea to start groups for spiritually like minded people, but MINUS the dogma attached. Jesus even said “where 2 or more of you congregate, there I will be in the midst of you.” (or some words to that effect). He said this because collective energy is so much more powerful than it is when it involves only one person. I think that this type of group, if given enough time, could create what some people would describe as miracles – if only they would leave all the garbage behind, and if their goal was love and the serious desire to make a connection.
Really appreciate the thoughts here. You’ve mentioned things I’ve felt for some time now. I have a few questions/comments I’d like you to address if you have time.
1. I’ve questioned the “Jesus died for the forgiveness of my sins” for a little while now. Seems to me that God has been forgiving sins since creation. God was forgiving all throughout the old testament wasn’t He? When I read the gospels, it looks to me like Jesus came to show us how to live
2. Christianity has a clear stance on homosexuality, but I can’t find where Jesus addresses homosexuality one time in the gospels. Seems to me that if it was a salvation issue, Jesus would’ve said something about it.
3. Can you address John 5 when Jesus healed the invalid at the pool. He had been crippled for 38 years. Jesus heals him. Sees him later and says “Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you”. This suggests to me that our sins can cause physical illness. It seems like I’ve read this somewhere else on your website. Maybe it was the Carol & Mikey Q&A. Not sure
4. John 15:10 “If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.” Verse 12, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”
He literally tells us here how to remain in his love, and it’s simple. Love each other as he loved us, which I take to mean, put others ahead of myself. He didn’t say to make sure you attend the correct church, or any other generic or specific thing. It was love and that’s it. No mention of baptism or musical instruments or women’s role in the church.
I had other questions but I’m typing this out at work and I’ve gotten distracted a few times. Thank you for your thoughts and time
Oh my dear Dadof3girls (love that name – lucky you!), you are so well on your way! To briefly address your questions:
1) Jesus tells us that neither He not God judges us. He says: “For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father” (JN 5:22-23). And, “If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world” (JN 12:47). (And as you point out, what He came to save the world from was ignorance!) So you are right: He didn’t die for the forgiveness of our sins. That whole idea is human-made and bogus.
2) Jesus said nothing about homosexuality, and even the Christian prohibition of it comes from the same place in the OT where we are told to stone non-virgin brides to death. Every Christian who condemns homosexuals is a hypocrite who emphatically does not follow the Lord!
3) Jesus often tells people to “stop sinning.” I think that for Him that was probably shorthand for obeying His own teachings on love and forgiveness; but of course, once Nicaea had the Gospels in 325 and did their editing they could have turned Jesus’s exhortations to “follow my teachings” into what the counselors would have seen as the convenient shorthand of “stop sinning.” We would sadly be none the wiser.
4) In fact, Jesus reveals to us God’s Law of Love, and He tells us that it replaces every Old Testament law (including, of course, the “law” against homosexuality). He says this directly and plainly. It is truly incredible that no professed Christian seems to care!
Dear Dadof3girls, none of this is even open to debate when the words of Jesus take their proper place in the discussion. His own testimony gives the lie to all those fear-based Christian ideas! And that is all so good. As your children and my grandchildren grow, it will be up to us to teach them the glorious truth about the genuine, perfectly loving God.
People for centuries have been projecting their own hatred onto God and Jesus, such as hatred of homosexuals and women who aren’t virgins before marriage. In this way, they can fool themselves into believing they are following “God’s Law” instead of their own prejudices.
Dadof3girls, I think that this is where you really needed to be. 🙂
Apologies, Roberta – my two identical postings were intended for Dadof3girls. I thought I’d posted in the right place by hitting the ‘Reply’ button under the relevant posting but my messages ended up in the wrong place. 🙁
Would you please do what’s necessary? thank you, mac
Thanks Roberta. The question of what constitutes salvation is crucial. Is it just paying lip service to Jesus, or is it about doing the internal work and following the Way? If Christ Consciousness (or we could call it enlightenment, self realization, etc) is a state we can all aspire to, as modelled by Jesus, I could imagine him saying something, in symbolic language, that basically meant, “No one comes to the Father, except through Christ Consciousness,” talking about how to transform one’s mind towards unity consciousness. Achieving that, one has become a living embodiment of Divine Will/Love and miracles become possible. In that state we act with clarity and fearlessness, not flinching even when the challenges are most severe, but peacefully diving in, knowing we are never truly separate from God (or each other.) We are then free, even while wandering the wilderness of this earthly duality, making our way back home to the Garden, or the highest level of the afterlife.
Dear Scott, this eternal Being who came to us from the highest aspect of the Godhead was speaking to first-century people, so He really made it simple! He said that if we follow His teachings on forgiveness and love, we can raise ourselves spiritually toward the vibratory level of the Godhead, and even achieve the kingdom of God, the sixth level, where we will be nearly spiritually perfected. And if enough of us can do that, we will bring the kingdom of God on earth – we can bring all of humanity to that level of spiritual perfection, even while we are in bodies. Simple!
Your piece and comments have brought forward to me thoughts of the church and how important that has been keeping the words of Jesus alive and available two thousand years later. I was thinking of my own grandparents and how quickly their memory and meaning are nonexistent for the newest generation of my family. As you aptly conclude, without the church and the written words of Jesus, all could have been lost forever.
Even today, fear is the greatest motivator in our society. Fearing God maybe was the only way to bring the teachings of Jesus to our generation.
As you also often stress, we have brought along so much baggage that the truth has been distorted. As a species we are very social. Social interaction is so important that the current situation has caused much angst and fear. One of the greatest features of the church is its ability to provide a social place for “believers”. Lola mentioned this in a comment above “start groups for spiritually like minded people.”
In order to bring about change, what do you recommend for those who are seeking the truth, but their knowledge of the truth doesn’t fit into the peg hole of a typical church?
Dear Timothy, you say some profound things here!
Thomas is disgusted by Christianity. And from what I know about a few of his prior lives, his disgust goes back a very long earth-time, at least to the Middle Ages. But he seems to have come to agree with you, that at least some aspects of Christianity that we are not fond of now were necessary in order to preserve the Gospel truths. The notion that Christianity has just been a wrapping and now at last we are ready to open and live the Lord’s gift comes from him, and I think it is an apt one.
Christianity does indeed provide a social home, and people are profoundly social, but because the religion is fear-based, churches are too often cliquish and highly judgmental.
What is needed now is what Jesus envisioned, which was a community of seekers earnestly helping and supporting one another as we all grow spiritually. For years, off and on, friends and I have been talking about how to start something like that. We’ll get there, when Thomas says the time is right!
what about the sayings of Jesus from the gospel of thomas? here is a link:
Thank you for posting this link! I have checked it out, everyone, and it’s a good website and an accurate depiction of the teachings in the Gospel of Thomas, in case you are curious.
Dear xianti hoo, to answer your question, about a decade ago – right after I had written The Fun of Dying – I first got curious about the non-canonical Gospels. So I read four of them together – Thomas and three others (whose titles escape me now). I was hoping to find some new and wonderful teachings that would advance what the Bible-writers had preserved in the four Gospels they had chosen, and I even was thinking about writing a book, so I found the whole exercise pretty disappointing. There was nothing earth-shakingly new in any of them! All of them contained some teachings from the canonical Gospels, some slightly varied but others word-for-word, and of the new supposed sayings of Jesus there was nothing that was different or important enough that I wanted to copy it out and save it. Nothing. I was quite surprised!
My guide, Thomas, has since given me to understand that Jesus is content for now to have us share His canonical teachings exclusively. And that I am quite happy to do!