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Henry Bates

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The Way to a Wonderful Life Message for January 11, 2015

          Recently someone sent me a news article regarding the closing of churches in Europe, both Catholic and Protestant.  For some people this is surprising and they foresee the loss of the church as the loss of something that brought communities together.  For many people this sense of community gathering has been found in sports stadiums, social clubs and Internet social apps like Facebook and Twitter and many more.  I believe that much of the problems with churches is inherent in the religions that built them.  The churches haven't followed Jesus, but instead have perpetuated religious dogmas that Jesus himself rejected.  Some conservative or fundamentalist church leaders especially here in the U.S.,  have become better known for their political views than their spiritual understanding.  They have clung to religious dogma and concepts that defy intelligence.  And evolution is leaving them behind.

           The loss I believe is a "starting point" in our seeking G-d.  People can say what they will against religion, but without religion most will lose the treasures found in the Holy Bible, the Torah, the Talmud, the Bhagavad Gita and more.  We will lose the advantage in reading the wisdom found in the Book of Proverbs and Psalms, Isaiah and more in the Old Testament.  We will lose the ability to trace mankind's understanding of our relationship with G-d.  But most of all, we shall lose the most important teachings ever given to mankind from the Master Mind Jesus.  Even though the New Testament of the Bible has over 13,000 changes, deletions, additions and inserted words, the essence of Jesus' teachings are there for those who are receptive to the truth.  The Master Mind Jesus is a perfect example of how a foundation in ancient wisdom, the Holy scriptures can lead one to enlightenment and an absolute faith and trust in the Infinite Spirit, G-d.  In losing this great wisdom and spiritual awareness, there may never be realized within people the desire to go beyond the ancient wisdom to the philosophies that sprang from them that will actually provide for us the "truth that can set us free."  

Let's look at what we know about the Master Mind Jesus:  Jesus was a Jew and lived his entire life participating in Jewish cultural celebrations.  His teachings are not just for Christians and not just for Jews either although there are authors in the New Testament of the Bible who would tell us his teachings are for Jews only.  His power of awareness was an inner development far beyond what any religion could have provided for him.   His tremendously developed spiritual awareness came from his absolute faith in the UnSeen, or as he referred to the Infinite, the Father, Spirit.  As we read in the ancient wisdom from Jeremiah 29:13, "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart," and Jesus proved this to be a statement of absolute truth.

          Walter Starcke gave us this summation of Jesus' teachings: 
"Contrary to popular belief, Jesus didn’t really give us two commandments.  He gave us one – love. His two commandments were really one divine law expressed in two ways, as love of God and love of neighbor, love of cause and love of effect, love of our divinity and love of our humanity."

Now, let's look at what the great Eric Butterworth taught about Jesus:
         " When people heard Jesus saying, "I am the light of the world," they thought he was referring to himself, that he was announcing that he was God, or God's special agent.  But he was simply affirming the truth, or "throwing the switch."  And he made it clear that each of us must also affirm the truth. ... The true affirmation is:  I AM.  This was the key to Jesus' power, his affirmation and realization of I AM.  Not "I want to be," "I hope to be," "I will be someday," or "Dear Lord, make me to be."  But simply:  I AM.  ... Jesus constantly affirmed this I AM.  To understand the esoteric meaning of the Gospels, it is important to know when Jesus is speaking in human consciousness, and when he is speaking in the I AM consciousness. When Jesus speaks to that which is universal, changeless and eternal, he is speaking from the I AM consciousness ... that is, from that place within us all that knows that we are One with God.

        The great 20th Century teacher Emmet Fox had a similar viewpoint as mine regarding the Master Mind Jesus.  He said, "The Bible is a "textbook of metaphysics" and the teachings of Jesus express -- without dogma -- a practical approach for the development of the soul and for the shaping of our lives into what we really wish them to be. ... Jesus was "no sentimental dreamer, no mere dealer in empty platitudes, but the unflinching realist that only a great mystic can be."

         Yet, I am firm in my belief that Jesus was more than a great mystic.  The late, great Dr. Robert Bitzer of the Hollywood Church called him the "Great Metaphysician" ... and perhaps he meant this as someone more than all others.  Dr. O. C. Smith of the City of Angels Church said he was the greatest of all teachers and a spiritual revolutionary.  To me, Jesus was the great minister ... ministering to ... always giving of his wisdom and spiritual understanding to others.  His teachings give us an opportunity to not only understand his works, but to do the "greater things still" through the power of faith that he said could "move the mountains into the sea" ... in other words remove the obstructions to our good.  His love for G-d first and always, gave him the ability to love and forgive others, including his enemies.  His rejection of religious dogma was not so much a rejection of religion as a rejection of that which defied Intelligence.  If the leadership in the churches would "follow him" ... they might need to build more churches rather than closing churches.  He was so much more than just another Jewish mystic ... and so much more than what religion has understood him to be.


Keep the faith!
. Henry Bates

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"spiritual ... not religious"

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through the experiences of evolution." -
Dr. Ernest Holmes


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