Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
– Civilla D. Martin (1866-1948), from “His Eye is on the Sparrow” (1905)
The clerics at the First Council of Nicaea in the year 325 assured us that their work was being inspired by God. But it is evident now from the fact that the Councilors added things to the Gospels that contradict some of what Jesus said, and perhaps just as much from the fact that those that we used to think were dead are now repudiating those Gospel changes, that the Councilors’ main inspiration was their earthly boss, the Roman Emperor Constantine. What they were up to was building a religion, and the religion they were building was based on the notion that Jesus had come to die for our sins as the ultimate sacrifice to a judgmental God. So we flat-out cannot trust the Council of Nicaea’s product to be the Inspired Word of God.
But what about the four canonical Gospels that those Councilors included in their Bible? Might the Gospels, at least, have been divinely inspired? Until a few years ago, I would have been skeptical. But lately I have been forced to accept the fact that if I am channeling my guides, my fingers can’t move fast enough; but if I try to write on my own, I cannot complete a coherent sentence. And there was one two-week period five years ago when an enormously elevated energy that Thomas told me was the Lord Himself was in my mind both day and night, and we produced an entire book that needed no editing. I know now that when we give ourselves to God, we can be used in amazing ways!
So, yes, I think it likely that the Gospels as they arrived at Nicaea had been channeled. And the additions made at Nicaea were so clearly built around adding ideas that were prominent long after the Lord’s death, and those additions were so sloppily done, that it is easy to pluck them out. The Gospels the original writers produced just decades after the death of Jesus, the ones that Nicaea tweaked much later, then went on to survive two successive translations and the custody of the Catholic Church; and still, beings who are not now in bodies assure us that they are what Jesus said. This seems to be substantial evidence that the whole process of producing the Gospels as we have them now was first channeled, and then it was overseen by elevated Beings of the highest rank. This is something I still cannot get over! Three generations of primitive people played telephone with the Lord’s teachings, after which those precious words were written down and translated from Aramaic into Greek, and thereafter from Greek into English, and that was followed by centuries of custody by clerics whose religion was very different from what Jesus teaches in the Gospels. How could the Lord’s truths have survived all of that so well that the elevated dead will still vouch for them now? They have survived only by repeated miraculous interventions. Indeed, I am quite confident that the pre-Nicaea Gospels are in fact God’s Inspired Word.
The fact that the Gospels of Matthew and Luke contain many of the same quotations has long had Biblical scholars assuming they had to have a common source. This hypothetical source is now called “Q Source,” or simple “Q” (from the German “Quelle,” meaning “source”). And what seems to be the case is that much of Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount comes right from Q, while Luke’s briefer Sermon on the Plain contains fewer of the Q quotations.
It is obvious that the teachings have the same source, but the authors use it differently. In that, we can see what different people these two authors really were! We will give the writers the names of their Gospels, although we cannot know who they actually were; but we can see just by their differing uses of the source materials that Matthew was a deeply spiritual man who soared on the perfections of what the Lord had come to tell us, while Luke was more somber. More fearful and judgmental. His use of the Lord’s teachings feels rooted in earth-life, practical and not about spiritual growth. Just look at how different the Beatitudes are in his hands!
And turning His gaze toward His disciples, He began to say, “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. 21 Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. 22 Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man. 23 Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven. For in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets. 24 But woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your comfort in full. 25 Woe to you who are well-fed now, for you shall be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep. 26 Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way (LK 6:20-26).
The words that Matthew treats as profoundly spiritual seem to Luke to be meant just to comfort the disadvantaged. In Luke’s hands, the word “poor” – which must appear in the Source, since it is in both Gospels – seems to be about earthly wealth. This is not what Jesus taught at all! For Him, the problem with wealth is not that it is evil, but rather that it is a distraction that makes it harder for us to grow spiritually. He said, “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (MT 6:21). Matthew’s Beatitudes focus on spiritual growth, but I am not sure from Luke’s Gospel words that he understands even what spiritual growth might be, nor why it matters. He talks about our getting a “reward” in heaven for doing the Lord’s work here, which of course would be irrelevant to Jesus. And Luke’s four blessings are followed by what we might call “the four woes,” which seem to insist that good fortune must be followed by pain while we are still on earth. None of this is what Jesus taught! And these are not later revisions, but this is rather how the teachings of Jesus look when they are filtered through the mind of a man who has a less spiritual understanding of them. We should thank God for Matthew! Luke does, though, handle the Lord’s more earth-based teachings well, although he may not understand the point of them:
27 “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. 30 Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. 31Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. 32 If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. 36Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”
39 And He also spoke a parable to them: “A blind man cannot guide a blind man, can he? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40 A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher. 41 Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 42 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye. 43 For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit. 44 For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush. 45 The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.
46 “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47 Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49 But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.” (LK 6:27-49)
This is the last of five messages on the Sermon on the Mount and the Sermon on the Plain. These genuine words of Jesus have been miraculously preserved for two thousand years, and Jesus Himself told us that His teachings are the center of His earthly work. He said, “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). These teachings are the literal Word of the Godhead, speaking to us freshly each time we read them, so it is tragic that none of the forty thousand versions of Christianity pays much attention to more than a few of the most famous passages.
But a friend of ours has loved these words for hundreds of years. He saw Jesus as a non-religious figure, the greatest Teacher who ever lived, even back when Christianity was still being enforced by law in many places. He elevated these teachings over the religion in a prominent prior lifetime in ways that still puzzle some scholars today; and his interest and understanding have matured over centuries in ways that those who know him now are uniquely able to follow. This blog is his work more than it is mine, and he teaches me here as he is teaching you. He has so far preferred to stay in the background, directing our work rather than being a part of it, but apparently he now sees an opportunity to give us all an interesting lesson. When he was Thomas Jefferson, he was an intelligent being so spiritually advanced that he was living his final planned earth-lifetime. How might his eventually having died and resumed his eternal mind, and his now being at or close to the sixth level of spiritual development, have changed his views of Jesus, of God, and of other things? Over the next two weeks we will look at my beloved guide’s own views of the teachings and the work of Jesus as he shared them from this side long ago, and also as they seem to him now.
I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.
– Civilla D. Martin (1866-1948), from “His Eye is on the Sparrow” (1905)