By J. Rufus Moseley
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Macalester Park Publishing Company
No part of this book may be reproduced in any form whatsoever without written permission from the publisher, except in the case of brief excerpts used in book reviews.
Second Edition (Revised)-1952
First Printing-1968 Second Printing-1970 Third Printing-1972 Fourth Printing-1974
Published in the United States of America by
Macalester Park Publishing Company
1571 Grand Avenue
Saint Paul 5, Minnesota
This book is dedicated to the Prince of Peace and all the blessed peacemakers.
This book came from an urge that was almost a commandment. The best things in it did not originate with me, but too many of them were much colored by me.
Friend Glenn Clark has encouraged me so generously and helped so intelligently that my debt to him is above words.
Among others who have helped by typing and valuable suggestions are the following:
Mrs. Mary Ryan, Miss Louise Downer, Miss Alma Schweitzer, Miss Dolores Waddell, Miss C. Azella Hood, Miss Jessie Harrold, Miss Eunice Britt, Mrs. Marcia Brown, Miss Matilda Remmert, Miss Emma Van Campen, Miss Victoria Hulsteat, Mrs. Margaret Bennett, Mrs. Lorraine Robertson, Mrs. J. R. Moye, Mrs. Helen Lou Sergio, Miss Ruby Roby, and Pastor Wade Goldston.
To all these I am deeply grateful.
Dr. Kilpatrick, the great educationalist of Teachers College, Columbia University, wrote the Introduction to Rufus Moseley’s first book. I am asked to write an Introduction to this one. We both accepted, with gratitude for the privilege.
Why should two men, very different in their approaches to life, both be drawn to Rufus Moseley, who in turn is different in his approach to life from both of us? I suppose the reason is that we see in Rufus Moseley, not an approach to life, but life itself. He has something which transcends approaches to life —he has the thing itself.
It is easy to get tangled up in Rufus Moseley’s approach to life and the paraphernalia that accompany that approach and miss the real thing. It takes some time to get him. One man said: “The first time I heard Rufus Moseley I thought he was crazy, the second time I heard him I knew I was crazy.”
Many are put off by his delivery. But you must understand that if his hands jiggle in spiritual rapture it is because it is the outer expression of his brain cells dancing in delight at the sheer joy of being. He is inwardly laughing at the rhythm of life and his outer expressions are the attempt to express that inner laughter. One must not see the delivery, but the thing he is delivering. When someone said that he didn’t like Rufus Moseley’s delivery, the quiet remark of a layman was: “Well, the batters didn’t like Walter Johnson’s delivery either.” For in a strange delivery Rufus Moseley is delivering something. What is it he is delivering?
He says he is “not a mystic, but a first-hander.” I think that expresses it very accurately. He has penetrated through forms to the real thing. And when you say “the real thing” you are compelled to write it “The Real Thing”—God. For Rufus Moseley is a God-centered man. And yet he is Jesus-centered more than any man I know. He has a deeper hold on the meaning of the Incarnation than anyone with whom I have come in contact. His is not an unanchored mysticism floating from attractive idea to attractive idea. It is definitely anchored and anchored in the historic Jesus. That makes his spirituality trustworthy. You know where to find him. He won’t be off on a tangent. The freest of men, he is the most anchored of men. With one point of his compass fixed on the Incarnation of Jesus he lets the other point sweep the whole horizon taking in everything in love. But he knows his center.
He knows his center experimentally. He has wandered through the cults in his search for reality. He tried them all. He left each one with a love-feast—a very great spiritual achievement—as he went on his way to find his final resting place at the place of God’s self-revelation—the historic Jesus. The historic Jesus is not your idea of God, but God’s idea of Himself. This is the touch-stone. If you try to bypass the historic Jesus in the name of universality you end off-center and join “the congregation of the queer.”
Rufus Moseley has an amazing moral and spiritual sanity amid an amazing freedom. He is the least and the most bound man I know. He is bound to Jesus and, therefore, free.
As you approach this book don’t expect great literature as literature. It isn’t here. And don’t expect consecutive thought. That is not the genius of Rufus Moseley. He does not take a theme and develop it step by step. But what he does do is to express in a sentence a whole insight on a subject. It is there—a gem. He has the most amazing power to sum up a spiritual law or a spiritual insight in a phrase or sentence. Some of these gems are wrapped in humor. But his humor is natural, almost unconscious. He laughs at the rhythm of life and he makes you laugh at it—a clean, healthy laughter.
Come to this book to find wisdom distilled into a sentence and a philosophy of life in a phrase and you will not be disappointed. Above all come to this book to see between the lines and through the lines the self-revelation of one of God’s Troubadours, a man who has found the way to live and enjoys living it—to the full.
—E. STANLEY JONES
AUTHOR’S INTRODUCTION TO REVISED
Since the publication of Perfect Everything both in the United States, and in England (by Arthur James, the Drift, Evesham, Worcestershire) there has appeared a brilliant translation of the Epistles of New Testament under the title, Letters to the Young Churches by J. B. Phillips and published by the Macmillan Co. The Author translates Ephesians 1, verses 9 and 10 as follows: “God has allowed us to know secret of His plan and it is this—He purposes in sovereign will that all history should be consummated in Christ, that everything that exists in heaven o earth shall find its perfection in Him.” This translation of Saint Paul’s revelation as to God’s purpose predestination for us and the creation is the nearest to proximation I know of to what was given through me March 1936, that He (the glorified Jesus) is Perfect Everything and giving perfect everything.
The wonder of what the glorified Jesus is and is to achieve is all the more understand, precious and transforming in the light of the glorious truth that the Kingdom of which Jesus is King is the sinless, diseaseless and deathless Realm—a King in which sin, sorrow, pain, death and lack of any has been abolished. This perfect Order, or King, or Holy City, was seen coming down here by Saint John where the need of Him and this Order is so great and urgent. (Rev. Chapters 21 and 22).
This descent of the Holy City where every enemy has been abolished, including death and all that causes death, is the answer of the prayer, “Thy Kingdom come, and Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven.” The Spirit and the Bride still cry, “Come quickly,” and come triumphantly. The cry becomes all the louder as the need for Him and His reign becomes the more apparent and urgent. And as Maeterlink puts it so exceptionally well, “We’re living in expectancy and perhaps in the last moments of expectancy.”
One of the very precious things recently given me is that if we depart from Him and His will for us and for all, we go from problem to problem until we become problems, and forcing problems upon the brethren; but as we repent and turn to Him and His will, all of our problems turn into testimonies. In Him and in His will, everything turns to good and to almost unbelievable good. He has already won in His own experience and in the heavenlies. He is to win here too. We hasten this winning by dedication to Him and His Kingdom, by prayer, by joyous obedience to Him and by happy partnership with Him.
Perfect Everything has been well received in the United States, in Canada, in England, and everywhere it has gone. It has the best title of any book that has yet been published.
- RUFUS MOSELEY
Macon Telegraph Macon, Georgia
The highest self-disclosure that Jesus makes of Himself is that He is Perfect Everything, giving Perfect Everything, inspiring Perfect Everything, enabling Perfect Everything, and commanding Perfect Everything.
He is the most precious being of all because He is God, the Eternal Christ and the perfect man on the plane of our suffering and need; He is the perfect Word made perfect flesh, the perfect Ideal perfectly realized and manifested. He is the perfect man, perfectly self-offered, resurrected, glorified, and on the throne of God and the universe. He is the perfect beginning of the new heaven and earth.
He is the perfect Body as well as the perfect Soul. In Him the perfect spirit has attained the perfect form and concretion, and (as Whitehead has observed) the whole movement of the Divine Spirit is toward concretion. He is perfect God on the throne of man, and perfect man on the throne of God.
Best of all for us, He is the perfect Lover as well as perfect Love, loving us into loving even our enemies in order to make them His friends and ours, loving the most unlovable, making them lovable and loving.
In Him everything is opportunity; He turns everything to good that is turned over to Him, the seeming worst as well as the certain best. In Him, there is so much Heaven on the way to Heaven that one wonders how Heaven itself can be much better than the going to Heaven. As the happy sister on the way there put it, “When I get to Heaven, if they don’t let me in, I am going to shout all around Heaven telling how good it is to come to Heaven.” It is also true that there is so much hell going to hell that even the most stupid and perverse should have enough of it before getting there and like the Prodigal Son repent and turn Homeward.
Jesus redeems and makes best uses of even the worst past. He more than forgives us; He turns our liabilities into assets and self-made hells into Heaven. No matter how badly we mess life when we turn the messer and the mess over to Him, He unmesses the messer, and makes an asset of the mess.
Moreover, in Him, the redemption of the present also redeems the past. I was permitted to see this over forty years ago. It has helped me personally and it has also helped me to help others immeasurably. Recently I found in The Great Divorce that C. S. Lewis has put the same thought exceptionally well in saying that when we enter into Heaven (here or anywhere) Heaven begins to extend backwards, and that if we choose Heaven in preference to earth, our whole earth experience becomes an adjunct to Heaven. We lose the earth as we put earth first. If we put first the best of all, we get the Best of All and in getting that we get everything. Put first the Kingdom of God, and the kingdoms of this world become ours as well as His. Put the interest of the soul first and the body gets health and redemption and immortality. In Jesus we lose nothing worth keeping and get everything worth having. Moreover, all potentialities of good are brought to perfection through union with Him.
In Him, not only the law and prophecy of the Chosen People are fulfilled, but also all the light everywhere is brought to bright burning. He is the one whom all the seekers are looking for.
He is the One they need who seek to do His works and follow His example without being in union with Him. We start out to follow His example and teachings and when we face a crisis, we find that we need Him to come and reign and guide from within as well as from without. As good as are His teachings, and as precious as is His example, we must have the Teacher and have Him both without and within us. His example and teachings need to be supplemented by Him and His spirit and His presence. We need Him every hour and every minute, as well as His teaching and example, to teach us what to say right now, and what to do right now. For He still tells one man who wants to join Him and His little company to go back home and tell what great things the Lord has done for him. He still tells another man who wants to remain at home for a funeral to let the dead bury the dead and to come with Him who raises the dead, for He conducts resurrections instead of funerals. He still tells a rich young “ruler” that if he would be perfect he should sell all and give it all to the poor and follow Him. He still calls “Peter” and “John” to leave their homes and business (not to sell them) and to follow Him. Later He uses “Peter’s” home for a healing center, and the home of “John” as a haven for His own mother. He still tells His “disciples” to take no purse nor script and no extra change of clothes, for they will be well provided for; at another time He tells them if they have a purse to carry it along.
Moreover, we need to receive the other Comforter, The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth that He went away to receive and to give. He especially commanded His disciples not to go out to do His work until they received the gift of the Holy Spirit which would give them power, certainty and authority (Acts 2:33).
Jesus gives us His own perfect joy and makes our joy full (John 15:11). He gives us His own Spirit and brings ours to perfection. He gives us His own mind and wisdom and makes our own amazing. He gives us His own perfect body and makes ours perfect. If we have humor, gaiety, and laughter, motivated by love, these will not be taken away but heightened.
A New York friend, who ministered in the spirit with unusual joy and laughter, was asked by someone who evidently objected to his levity if he thought Jesus ever laughed. His reply was: “I do not know about that, but He has fixed me up so I can.” When the children of Israel returned from captivity, their mouths were full of songs and singing and laughter (Ps. 126). When a certain man with a sense of humor was conducting an informal forum with a group of students of the Yale Divinity School, one of them said, “Say, is that humor of yours native or does it belong up in the country where you live?” The answer of course is that all of our natural gifts are heightened and none of them taken away. The natural is redeemed and brought to its highest capability by the supernatural, and through the natural the supernatural is given human means for revealing Itself.
In Jesus Christ, dull people become bright and the stupid brilliant. He can take a fisherman and make of him the writer of a Gospel. He can take almost nothing and make it almost everything.
While He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief because He took upon Himself our sorrows and grief, that we may have His joy and Heavenly bliss, nevertheless as John Mott has said, “When the ecclesiastical bloodhounds of Jerusalem were at His heels, He told His disciples to cheer up and willed them His own joy and peace.” Since His resurrection, ascension, and gift of the Holy Spirit, and His taking His place in God’s throne, His joy and bliss are beyond human conception. You cannot be in union with Him without sharing of His joy and bliss. He will yet be known as the Man of Joy.
In Jesus we find the perfect union of the orthodoxy of fact and of the liberal spirit. He is more orthodox than the Orthodox, more up-to-date than the Modernist, more scientific than the Scientist. The special temptation of the custodians of orthodoxy is to say “Lord, Lord,” as a substitute for doing His will. The special temptation of the liberal is to seek to bear the fruit of the heavenly Vine without being in the Vine.
Those who are seeking to do the healing and other works Jesus did and does, without union with Him and His gift of the Holy Spirit, will be far more successful when they receive His gift and receive Him who is already victor over the world, the flesh, the devil, and over every limitation. What has been achieved by Him has been achieved for all and we enter into that achievement to the degree of our fruit-bearing union with Him.
As good as is the idea of Christ and the Kingdom of God within and as necessary as it is to bring forth the Actuality, yet it is not the Actuality. The idea of the wheelbarrow, while necessary for the making of the wheelbarrow, is not the wheelbarrow, and it is the wheelbarrow that is used for hauling purposes. In like manner it is the idea or architectural plan of a bridge that is essential for the making of a bridge, but it is the bridge that is necessary for practical purposes. A still better illustration is that of the Ark. It was the idea of the Ark and the idea of the flood calling for the Ark, that caused and enabled Noah to build the Ark, but it was the Ark and not the idea of the Ark apart from the Ark that saved Noah and all who entered and remained in the Ark.
In like manner it is Jesus Christ himself, the true and everlasting Ark, who brings full and perfect salvation, perfect healing, and perfect triumph over the last enemy, death, as well as the first enemy, sin. With God it is first the idea, next the ideal made Actuality and the Actuality self-offered in the behalf of all, and resurrected and lifted up on His throne with power to give the Holy Spirit to His disciples, and to come within all who will receive Him. And Jesus Christ is that actuality made manifest.
Without the Divine Word, Logos, or Idea, God made nothing that was made; that is true. But it is through the Word made flesh in the form of man that He redeems, and it is by Man, lifted to the throne with power to baptize with the Holy Spirit and to come and reign within, that we are changed into His glorious likeness. All of man’s efforts to save himself apart from repentance, faith, union and marriage with Jesus, are far greater in promise than in achievement and fail us most of all when we are in most need of help. On the other hand, Jesus is at home in a crisis, and has His best chance to do His best when all else has been tried and failed.
In my own experience, when facing what seemed to be approaching death with a bad case of appendicitis, I was enabled to react in love instead of fear. I said to myself, “Mother has had enough trouble and I do not want to add to her trouble by dying, especially with appendicitis, and not having had a doctor, and these very kind people who believe in prayer who have done their loving best for me have also had enough trouble without having me die on their hands.” Quickly I was filled with heavenly love that brought warmth, life and healing. I rose up and walked to the bathroom and have never had any seeming necessity for having my appendix removed. This was over forty years ago.
Jesus anticipated the scientific spirit that insists upon following the Light and the Truth rather than any form of popular opinion. Jesus is more than Scientific. He is utterly true to Truth. He is absolutely genuine. He is the Truth itself, He is Courage itself, He is Love itself. He was all this when the human in Him was subjected to the worst that the demonic in the human could inflict. He brought forth the Perfect at the very gates of hell, and revealed God as Love where He was most needed to be revealed. Therefore God has honored Him and given Him a name and a place above every other name in heaven and on earth. While Jesus is and gives and achieves Perfect Everything in and through us, and we achieve Perfect Everything in and through Him, on the way to the achievement the insistence of the Spirit is that we abide in Him and live in His affection and give His limitless love to all. The more union the more love, and the more love the more union, and the more union and love the more of the glorious liberty and freedom of the Sons of God. It is and always will be union, love and freedom, one and inseparable.
In Him and in His way of life as Love, everything is always getting better and better; and out of union with Him everything gets worse and worse. The longer the prodigals remain away from Home, the more hungry, ragged, and desperate they become. He, as God-with-us, is the “Homeland of our spirits, minds, souls, and bodies.”
God is revealing himself (1) as Nature and natural law; (2) as Spirit and as moral law; and (3) as Jesus Christ of the Cross and of the Resurrection. There is the light of the sun in natural laws, the light of the soul in the moral law, but whoever wants the highest light of all will seek it in the risen and glorified Jesus, whose Light can illumine our path and guide our steps and ultimately change us into His likeness and His spirit.
And how can we experience the fullness of that light? We can achieve it best by co-working with Him for the attainment of His will and purpose for us, for the social order, and for the entire creation. There are five ways that I have found effective for co-working with Him:
(1) By choosing to walk in the Light, “the true Light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” (John 1: 9)
(2) By receiving Jesus Christ and choosing to follow Him. To quote from Bishop G. Bromley Oxnam’s sermon which I heard out at sea recently, “Commit ourselves to Him, His Way, His Truth, and His Life.”
(3) By entering into ineffable union with Him through the baptism of the Holy Spirit and through living His life of limitless love going out to all, and thus overcoming all hate with love and all evil with good.
(4) By growing up and entering into continuous fruit-bearing and abiding in Him.
(5) By becoming happily and wholly His. Then He can make real to us that all He is and has are wholly ours. This is marriage with Him and in fullness will bring not only rejuvenation to our whole being, including our body, but also prepare us for the ultimate Triumph.
(6) By putting on, either by Translation and Resurrection, the immortal body like the resurrected body of Jesus Christ.
(7) By becoming active parties of His in bringing all things to His likeness, so that the cosmos as well as the social order and the individual may be brought to perfection in and with Jesus.
The first and continuous requirement to become like the Glorified Jesus is to walk in His Light. St. Paul calls this Light, “The law written in the heart” (Romans 2:15). George Fox calls this Light “the That of God in every man.” Thomas Kelly calls it “the Holy in every man.”
This Light so perfectly manifested in Jesus was revealed in occasional shafts of light in places where Jesus was not, but always in a way that directed men’s attention to Jesus Himself in whom this Light of Heaven shone in all its fullness and glory.
Socrates, seemingly the most Christian of all the pagans, obeyed the Divine Light and Voice with such faithfulness that a second generation of Christians referred to him as a “disciple born out of due time.” He looked forward to a higher revelation which he said “would be by the Grace of God.” Plato, his favorite pupil, seeing what Athens did to Socrates, “the best man he ever knew,” prophesied that when the perfectly Just Man appeared he would be “taken to the Cross.” A recent brilliant Platonist, George Moore, says that if Plato had met Jesus in the flesh he would have cried out, “My Lord and My God!”
Before the Word was made flesh and the Ideal made actual in the Incarnation there was “the dawn of conscience” in Egypt and in India and China as well as in Greece. The wisest men were seeing that evil can only be overcome with good. Not only did Moses and the Prophets write of Jesus, but all men who listened well to the Light within and without, prepared the way for His coming in the flesh as God-with-us on the plane of our humanity.
The missionary Episcopal bishop to Alaska reports that when he told a certain Indian tribe about Jesus and His ministry of love and vicarious death, they said, “This is not entirely new to us.” In the history of their tribe there was a very good man who said to a neighboring tribe with whom they were at war, “Let’s stop this and be friends.” They replied, “But you have killed thirteen more of our leading men than we have of yours. Give us thirteen of yours.” The very good man said, “Don’t you think I’m worth as much as the thirteen?” When they said yes, he said, “Then take me and spare them.”
I also caught the gleam of that glorious Light before I knew where it came from.
As far back as I can remember, I knew God but did not know that the one I knew was God. The reading of the gospel report of the way Jesus was misunderstood and hated and crucified melted me to tenderness and sometimes to tears. I knew Him both when resisting His Love and when yielding to its drawing power. He was with me in all of my resistance as well as in the whole of my quest for Him. I even obeyed some of the New Testament teachings of Jesus before I knew that these teachings were in any book. If I had known that in Him was joy and abundant life and even humor it would have been far easier. The real God had to win out against my prejudiced misconceptions concerning Him.
But when one comes to the full realization that the Perfect Light can be found only in Jesus and is content to abide in Him and do His will, then the long quest is ended.
Willing to do His will, and then doing it in so far as you know it to be His will, is the Way to an increasing knowledge of Him. We do not know by study alone. We know by obedience. Obedience is the organ of Knowledge and the condition of revelation. Jesus revealed Himself to Saul, the persecutor, at the very hour he was ready to say, “Lord, what will you have me to do?” He does this for us all.
There is no need of His revealing His will until we are ready to do His will. At that hour He tells us what to do. There is no need to conjecture concerning what Jesus is. “Come and see.” All we need to agree upon concerning Him for the beginning of discipleship is that we walk in the Light now given us, and continuously being given us on the Way, by walking together in Love, and by being led by the Spirit.
When Thomas refused to believe the Resurrection without proof of the wounds, Jesus did not excommunicate him. He gave him even more proof than he asked for—so much proof that Thomas was the first of all the disciples to cry out, “My Lord and My God!”
Years ago while attending a lecture at the chapel of Vanderbilt University School of Religion at the request of the Dean, I sensed from what the speaker was saying that he did not believe in the heavenly begetting of Jesus. He seemed to be very subtle and adroit in the way he was raising doubts and weakening faith. This caused my spirit to suffer. I sought escape by looking out upon the beautiful campus but did not find peace. Then I asked Jesus what was the truth as to His birth and the answer came “I was born of a virgin but welcome those who do not see it.” No matter who gave the answer this answer seems true to the spirit of Jesus, so true that even the Dean of the School of Religion passed it on to his class. Just this afternoon, September 19, 1948, at a meeting of members of the World Council of Churches on the way back to America on the SS Nieu Amsterdam, it was revealed that, as heartening as was the will for Christian Unity at Amsterdam, it would have been broken had not the delegates agreed not to press their doctrinal differences. As I sought to say to them, “The way to unity of doctrine is not by definitions, but by practicing the Unity of the Spirit in the bonds of love on the way to knowing the full truth concerning Jesus. This can only come by obeying Him, by coming to Him and walking with Him and finding out on the Way as He reveals Himself.”
Personally I am happily certain Jesus is Lord, is Christ, is God-with-us, and all and more than the New Testament says He is. But I am quite certain that the way to knowing Him is not by argument and speculation, but by obeying Him and walking with Him. He invites everyone who will to “Come and See” —”Come–Go with Me and Find Out.”
As John Watson (Ian Maclaren) developed in his Beecher Lectures at the Yale Divinity School about forty years ago, the religious cycle is: First, mysticism (I like better first-hand experience) which is such high reality that the whole concern is to proclaim it and communicate it. Second, the taking time off to explain what those who had such high Reality really had. This is the cycle of doctrine and of creedmaking. But, alas, the third step is too often a hairsplitting about the doctrines which lead to such barrenness that the hungry sail south to find Reality, and those who are not hungry become skeptical.
There is no way of knowing the Truth concerning Jesus nor the deeper Truth of life, apart from choosing to be true to our best selves and bravely walking in the Light that lights up our lives, and this Light always leads us to be loving, merciful, kind, and as helpful as possible to all and to inflict no injury. We dry up and become essentially dead and stupid apart from this continuous and happy choosing. The difference in men as Emerson puts it “is not in their talents but in their dedications,” in their continuous dedication to the highest Within, Without, and Above. As Charles Finney saw, it is the condition for being changed from character to Character, from glory to Glory in His likeness. In this beholding and dedication, Drummond also found his scientific formula for sanctification. Yes, the Light of the World, the light that lights up every man, is Love.
Even in nature and in the whole process of growth, Love is the most important factor for survival and for lifting the creation towards its predestined goal. Goethe, observing God’s wisdom as revealed in some fact of plant or animal life, remarked that if anyone seeing this did not believe in God he “would not be helped by Moses and the Prophets.” The more innocent anything is the better is its chance for survival and triumph. The meek and not the fierce inherit the earth. The more power you have to inflict danger the more you are in danger. The more secure you try to make yourself on any other basis than that of love and innocence, the more insecure you become. Germany and Japan are striking illustrations. The more dangerous an animal is the more difficult it is for it to survive. The innocent lamb has survived and increased while the cave-bear and sabre-toothed tiger have disappeared.
The universe was made by Love to become loving. Only Love has the power to triumph. Only Love really succeeds.
As Luther saw, God’s mark is upon everything that obeys Him. “There is no tree that bears fruit for its own use.” No tree eats its own fruit. The sun does not shine to light up and warm itself. Everything in God’s will gives itself. To quote Luther again, “Only Satan and men under his influence seek their own.” Everything that seeks its own closes itself to the inflow and outflow of His Love. All self-love takes merit to itself and closes one to the fullness of the grace and love of God. The only way to save self is to give self to the inflow and outflow of heavenly Love, which seeks not its own personal ends but the highest will and good of all. To go on with Jesus and to become like Him we have to die daily to every form of selfishness, to every assertion of the selfish and egotistic self. The Kingdom of God comes only as pure Love, a Love for one’s enemies as well as for one’s friends. Love, like the sunshine and rain, is freely given to all.
Love and Life are one and the Golden Rule is written at the heart of the universe. When man dares to practice this Love, which is kind, tender and fearless, animals as well as normal humans respond to it. Even a dog resents being feared and distrusted. I have never found a dog that would not respond to faith and love, with the exception of a mad dog. If I had had enough love and faith to have cast out the demon of madness he should have loved me far more because of his release. As it was, I had enough of the spirit of life to enable me to jump so high he did not succeed in biting me.
Allan Boone, the author of Letters to Strongheart, says he has gone into the jungles of the world unarmed and no wild animal has ever attacked him. In a lecture given before the Southern California Camp Farthest Out, he said that rattlers do not usually bite Indians, as Indians and rattlers have a way of understanding and respecting each other. Francis of Assisi, Sundar Singh, and Helen Keller have had experiences with dangerous animals that should be classed along with the experiences of Daniel in the lion’s den. When we become innocent and loving and fearless the creation will become loving and innocent and cooperative.
When Jesus, the Perfect Light, Life and Love, wins in us, it will be easy to Christianize the lions and the bears and the wolves and the rest. The prophets saw that the innocent child would play upon the cockatrice’s den and that the whole creation would be loved into loving. But the divine order is for the Perfect Light and Perfect Lover to bring many sons to Perfect Love and Light and with these to bring the creation. And as we have seen, the first and forever requirement is for us to come to His Light and walk in it, to receive His Love and live it. We have to come to our best selves and then we are ready to turn Homeward.
The Word had to be made flesh and the idea made actual. We must be born of Him, grow up in Him, be co-partners with Him and become extensions and contagions of Him, and the Kingdom of God in order to become like Him ourselves and to make all things like him.
Our age is finding far more in the atom, in the peanut, in the guinea pig, in psychology, in psychoanalysis, and in man as God’s image and likeness than any previous age. Many are tempted to believe that everything that man needs is within himself, that all he needs to know are the laws of mind and spirit and with these he has no need for a personal God or Saviour. But as we have seen in a crisis, we need more than Law. We must have a Person. When we are sinking we need Him who walks upon the water and can still the waves. If we are wise enough to be taught and led by the Holy Spirit, the only consciousness that can reveal Jesus to us, we may live to see and help to bring into being a friendly and a cooperative world, the end of war, and atomic energy brought under the control and best uses of Love.
* For a fuller treatment of this see Manifest Victory, pp. 57-68 and 243-247.
We are born of whomever and whatever we choose to receive and to give ourselves to. Thanks, praise, honor and glory to God for ever and ever that He has given Jesus power to bring forth after His kind. It would be tragic if all creation were able to beget and grow children in their own likeness, if Jesus did not have a far greater power to beget and grow up children in His likeness. And praise and gratitude and glory to Jesus that He not only gives a birth from above and rears up the children of the first Adam in his own likeness, but He also sets free the captives of the evil one and brings them home to be received and perfected as Sons.
It was very difficult and tragic for Jesus Christ to be born in our humanity and through submission to the worst we could do unto Him open the way whereby we could be born into His divinity and receive the best He could do for, in and through us.
In His birth into our humanity, He became tied up to the human and to the creation. In our birth in His divinity, we become united with His manifest victory.
He chose to live an atoning life and die an atoning death the He might make possible the redemption of the human and bring the creation to the glorious liberty of the sons of God.
As Henry Drummond has reminded us, everything has to be born and lifted up from above. The mineral kingdom is lifted up by the vegetable and the vegetable by the animal and the animal by the human and the human by the Divine. When man is lifted up into the fullness of the Love of God, the creation will also be lifted up into the realm of the liberty and glory of the Son and sons of God.
In this lifting up of the human by the Divine everything below the human is not only lifted up but makes its contribution. It is also true that the Divine planted in the human brings forth the Divine and lifts the human into the Divine. Through the Incarnation the Divine becomes human and through the Resurrection and Ascension the human becomes wholly Divine. It was beyond human thought to conceive how very loving and merciful and healing God is until He becomes human as Jesus Christ, and how wonderful and heavenly man might become by yielding and responding wholly to the Divine.
On the plane of the natural it is perfectly apparent there can be but one birth; and what the parents are determines what the offspring will be. The offspring of birds are birdlings; and if birdlings grow up they will become birds. This is natural predestination or predetermination. But in the realm of the mental and spiritual there may be many births and will be to all questing souls until they are born of the Highest.
Even those who yield and respond to the spirit of the devil are born of the devil and remain such until set free by Jesus and those in union with Him.
In my own experience I was born of Plato, and of Emerson and of Orthodoxy and of Liberalism and fortunately moved rather fast from one birth to another until dedicated to be led by the Spirit. The highest birth came when Jesus Christ manifested Himself to me as the most lovable, adorable, and glorious Being of all. When the Perfect is revealed that which is less than the Perfect is swallowed up in the Perfect.
There is miracle in everything that is conceived, is born and grows up, but the fact that Jesus Christ who gave Himself in life and in death for the redemption of all, should be raised up from the dead, receive the perfect gift of heaven (the gift of the Holy Spirit) with the power to give this Gift and bring forth children in His own likeness and make them co-partners with Him in the redemption of the creation is the greatest miracle of all.
As Luther saw, if man, separated from God who is Love, had been able to hold that heavenly love in the separation, he would of himself have been a god. But when he was banished from Paradise man lost love except for himself and what seemed to promote his self-interest. Nevertheless in the separation he still had faith which is the power to receive and pass on love as a tube receives and passes on water. If he had not had this power he would have been hopeless. But having this power he can be saved, for in the inflow and outflow of Love he is born of Love and becomes a new center and personality of Love.
Since God is Love, whoever will receive and give His Love becomes Love. “For he that loveth is born of God” and knows God, and abides in God and God abides in him. So as many as receive Jesus Christ and give themselves to giving and living His Love are born of God and are given power to grow up into sonship. As it is put in the epistle of John, “He that believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God” (1 John 5:1). If you really believe He is the Christ you will receive Him and His Love and go to giving Him and His Love, and you cannot receive and give His Love without becoming Love. It is the deep law of our being that we not only become like what we receive and give, but we become the very thing we choose to receive and to give. As we have seen, Peter yielding to Satan is Satan, and Jesus Christ yielding wholly and only to God is God, manifested in the flesh. Without effort on our part whatever good we give comes back to us, good measure pressed down and running over. Give what you would like to receive, and you are sure of receiving it.
After the heavenly child is born, and the evidence that he is born is that he has the Spirit and Love of Jesus, he requires and is provided with the perfect care that only the Perfect One can give. The heavenly child requires and get far more and better care than the human children who have the very best parents. He who begets the heavenly children is far more intelligently committed to their protection, their education, their highest and total welfare, than are the best human fathers and mothers. The heavenly children are fed upon the perfect milk of pure grace. Everything is done for them that can be done and nothing but receiving and responding is expected of them. He feeds them on milk until they are prepared for heavenly bread, meat and wine. The bread that they feast upon is of course the bread of life, which is Jesus Himself. The meat is the doing of His will; the wine is the Holy Spirit.
The best and wisest of humans may make it too easy for their children and if they do the child tends to lose interest. If the parents make it too difficult the children become paralyzed through discouragement. Jesus is always calling for the very best in His children, and yet in His school what is required matches the child’s ability at every step of the way.
In my own experience it seems that I believed in Jesus before I knew or had the witness of the Spirit that I believed. I went through the crucifixion of seeking Him publicly, going to the altar in the presence of college professors and fellow students. It was the most difficult thing that I ever did, so difficult that it has made everything else on the Way comparatively easy. I have walked with colored boys to the electric chair who found the walk seemingly easy in comparison to my walk to the altar, and I apparently got nowhere at the altar. After seeking Him before my college associates and friends and while reading the Gospel of John in my room when alone, I came to the words of Jesus, “He that believeth hath everlasting life.” I said, “I believe in Jesus.” Then His Spirit witnessed with my spirit that I believed and that I was His child. I found myself at least in the beginning of the Kingdom of Heaven. I was not then ready to let Him choose His best life and work for me, but again and again I was brought back to the wonder of being in the Kingdom of Heaven as a present experience.
I expected much from the water baptism. Jesus received much and I was at best I knew seeking to follow Him. But while Jesus was being baptized by John the Baptist, He was praying and dedicating Himself, while I was seeking to avoid getting strangled and all the while I was conscious of my unsightly appearance. Later I tried it again and again until I found at least something of the reality it symbolizes. But when I found the Reality, the light and guidance was to go on to perfection.
I found precious reality at the first communion service. There was a visible glory over the Bread, the Table and the Wine. Later, while a student at Harvard, at a communion service where there was no table, no bread, and no wine—just the seeking to commune with the one God who is Love and Light and Goodness—I also found Reality and a measure of the Glory of the Lord was upon me. These and other experiences taught me that you can find Him everywhere and miss Him anywhere. The true worshipper worships Him in Spirit and in Truth, in Spirit and in Life, in Spirit and in Love. The symbols of the rebirth can assist one, but the actual experience is denied to no one who seeks Him in Spirit and in Truth.
Through years of experimenting I came to the certainty that the true religion is the religion of the Spirit, the religion of utter sincerity, and the religion of Perfect Love. I found wherever this Spirit is there is Reality, there is Joy and Peace and Health and Healing and the Abundant Life and the Lord Himself. Under His leading which amounted to a free compulsion I left all that it seemed I needed to leave in order to be led by the Spirit and to be baptized by the Spirit if this was His best for me. I asked for His best whether I knew what it was or not. I let go everything and everyone that seemed to bind me so that I would owe no one anything but to love him. Fortunately I left all who were not going my way in love, and in telling them good-bye entered into a deeper fellowship with them, than I had known while consenting to conform to less than the Spirit of Truth and His highest will for me.
THE PERFECT BAPTISM*
* For fuller treatment see Manifest Victory, pp. 69-90 and 248-251.
John the Baptist baptized with water. Jesus baptizes with the Holy Spirit. Jesus alone has the authority and power to baptize with the Holy Spirit. But even He did not give this baptism until after He was glorified (John 7:39). He first received the promised Gift of the Holy Spirit and from then until now He gives the Gift to the measure of our receptivity and response (Acts 2:33).
As much of the Holy Spirit as was received by the 120 at Pentecost, still more will be received when we are ready to receive more. Our need is greater than was theirs. Because of the accumulated Glory that is in Heaven, more is ready to be given now than then, and this must continue to be true until the fullness of His Manifestation and Triumph. The gift of the Holy Spirit is not for a few only but for all who believe, and as, and obey. In the last days of the Holy Spirit is to be poured out upon all flesh, upon all nations, all colors and all classes.
What is the Gift of the Holy Spirit? The Gift or the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is the entire, free possession, control, and use of us by Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. This Gift comes to each of us in terms of our present and eternal best capacity for use in the full Will of God as members of the Body of Christ.
When we are born of the Spirit, we are born of His Nature and capability to grow and become like Him. Jesus must have the whole of everyone He baptizes, his whole spirit, mind, soul and body. At the point of entire yieldingness and response on our part, He is always ready to take the entire free possession of us and give us as much of His Gift of the Holy Spirit as we are capable of receiving. This is the Baptism.
Some insist that the control and use of the tongue should be in a language other than one’s own. In my experience, I preferred for the control and use to be in English and told Him so, but also I told Him if the baptism could not be without the speaking in other tongues to baptize me this way.
One day I heard Samuel Chadwick of England preach on the baptism of the Holy Spirit. He said this baptism is so glorious that if you do not know you have received it the inference is that you have not. He called for those who would like to receive this baptism to come forward and give him their hand. I was the first and only one who responded. I told him I wanted God’s best, and if the gift or the baptism of the Holy Spirit was His best I wanted it. Later, when I asked the Lord I told Him I wanted the best He had and all He had.
A little later I definitely sought and tarried for the Holy Spirit, saying to the Lord, “If this is Your best, I want it and if You have a better, give me this.” He had brought me to the place of a happy willingness to receive anything and especially the best He had to give.
New light and wonder was given concerning the Wonder of Jesus. There was also given a deeper conviction of sin as being so much unlikeness to Him. The body began to feel the life and quickening of Spirit with the consciousness that the body is for the Lord and the Lord for the body.
It was made known that Jesus under the greatest temptation to be unloving was utterly loving. He was LOVE itself. He was COURAGE itself. He was TRUTH itself. The Christ or the Divine Word or Logos by becoming man bridged heaven and earth and heaven and hell. He so obeyed the Spirit that he manifested Spirit as person. He was Love as person; He was Courage as person; He was Truth and Light as person.
All heaven is worshipping at this coming forth of the fullness of Divinity as personality. Earth will join in the worship as earth understands.
I wanted and chose to be led by the Spirit, to be utterly truthful, genuine, courageous and loving. When I sought to carry out my longing in deed, I found those about me could stand more of Love than they could of Truth. I had to learn that the Truth has to be told in Love and Wisdom and Grace. But the effort to be like Jesus brought me to the place where I somehow knew that in order to be like Jesus I would need, if possible, to have the glorified Jesus within me as well as with me. So I asked Him if He could come within me to do so, and to be in me the Life and Principle of His own good life that I had found to be true.
Quickly He made known to me that He wanted me to stop seeking and go to living and giving His Love at the bottom of the world’s need. Jesus, because of His great love, went to the bottom of need and we are sure to find Him if we look for Him and join Him there.
I was set free from responsibility except to give His Love, leaving results to Him. When we come to Him, He makes us free like children, and the yoke He gives is not a burden but the easy way.
This occurred about ten o’clock at night, March 21, 1910. I resolved that early next morning I would go to my friends and tell them my quest had resulted in being made certain that Jesus lived right and taught right and if we want to know Him we will have to follow Him by going His way of Love, Genuineness, and Courage, and be led by the Spirit of Truth and not by any public or group opinion. I wanted to go to them at once, but this would have been unloving.
I had already received my first definite commission to live and minister in love at the bottom of human need. At the time I was in South Macon and walked a long way to where I had a room on Georgia Avenue at the Old Dannenburg place, then owned by Professor and Mrs. E. L. Martin. I must have reached there about eleven o’clock.
On the way it had been made clear to me that one of the mistakes of my life had been in trying to find the best religion when I should have been seeking for the Will of God.
In the afternoon there was so much Power of the Holy Spirit upon my body, my shoulders were placed in a seemingly perfect position by the direct action of the Holy Spirit without any volition on my part. This taught me the Spirit has power to take charge of the body and the material universe, and He is more pleased when the shoulders are straight and the body healthy than when the shoulders are round and the body diseased.
By wise providence, as well as by direct leading, He had emptied the big house so He and I could have it alone. It is understandable that He knew only too well the need of getting me alone in order to take free possession of me and baptize me with such almost unbelievable bliss and glory.
More considerate than mothers are on Christmas eve of their children, He desired to prepare me for what was coming with a few hours of refreshing sleep. I woke with something so precious I was impelled to record it for a friend. When I started to write there seemed to be no end of the things given that were so good that so far as possible they must be captured and recorded. The revelation concerned the wonder of Jesus as He now is. It was made known the chief concern during His incarnation was for Him to be known as The Christ, while the chief concern now is for us to know that the Jesus of the Incarnation and the Cross is the Jesus of the Throne. In the incarnation the Divine became human; in the Resurrection and Ascension the human became Divine, or was caught up on the Throne of the Divine. Since then whenever He is manifested He makes Himself known as Jesus. The One who yielded completely to the Divine is later manifested as the highest achievement and availability in the universe. Whenever He appears, He appears as the Glorified Jesus.
It is precisely the whole movement of divine history for the self-offered human to be lifted up upon the Throne and glorified, and to be the beginning of the Kingdom of Heaven in which the heavenly is victorious in the human and the human is victorious in the heavenly. In Jesus the human and the divine have become one. In Him, the human is as Divine as the Divine and the body is as immortal as the Soul. No human value has been lost. In submitting happily to the Divine, the human has become divine. Thus far this is the highest achievement of all. Jesus of the Incarnation and the Cross bridged the chasm between God and man, between Heaven and earth, and between Soul and body. Everything that can make a contribution He has brought into perfect and indissoluble union (greatly to the enrichment of everything making a contribution). In this achievement God becomes entirely lovable and understandable, and man finds precisely what he really wants. Everything else appears to be preparation for this very thing. It is in this perfect union and marriage of God and man, of Heaven and earth, Soul and body, and of all seeming opposite contributing factors that God is satisfied, that we are satisfied, and the creation will be satisfied.
While this revelation was being given, I was so completely satisfied I asked for nothing. To use a fine phrase of Ibsen, it was “thanks for everything.” The last thing I tried to capture on paper was that Heaven is as sincerely anxious to come to earth as we claim to want to go to Heaven. What He really wants, and what we want, is for Heaven to come to earth, for the kingdoms of this world to become His, for all things to be brought together in co-operative and contributing synthesis. Here it is seen that heaven will be precisely what we always would have wanted if we had been enlightened, and what He has had in mind from the beginning.
Suddenly and unexpectedly, a Presence, Power, and Glory, not of me, descended upon me and apparently had full possession and use of me. The whole body, as well as mind and soul, shared in the wonder, but the greatest wonder and bliss was upon my lips and tongue. These were seemingly wholly His and He, the Spirit, was singing with my lips:
“JESUS, JESUS, HOW I LOVE YOU; INTERPOSED HIS PRECIOUS BLOOD.”
My arms began to go out and my body began slowly to rise, and while I did not realize it at first my body was becoming or taking the form of the Cross, a cross of life, of honor, of bliss, and of glory. The higher I arose the greater the bliss and glory.
Someone rang the doorbell. Even to listen to it for a moment brought the warning that I had an engagement with heaven and no time for doorbells. The wonder and the glory increased and when my body was apparently in the form of a perfect cross the glorified Jesus manifested Himself immediately in front of me, seemingly in fulfillment of His promise of the last night as recorded in the Gospel of John, “He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me; and he that loveth me will be loved of my Father, and I will manifest myself to Him,” (John 14:21) and, “If a man love Me, he will keep my words, and my Father will love him and we will come and make our abode with Him” (John 14:23).
Quickly He inbreathed or infused Himself within. I was aware at once and said to myself this is the fulfillment of John 14:20, “At that day (when He gives the other Comforter) ye shall know that I am in my Father and ye in Me and I in you.”
It also appeared that what occurred on the night after His resurrection had occurred with me from the plane of His glorification. It was made known that the kind of union that Jesus has with the Father is precisely the kind of union that He is seeking for us to have with Him.
I fell at His feet as one dead but never before so much alive.
The Truth About the Cross
I had asked for the truth about the cross when a very orthodox man had told me first to become orthodox and then seek for the Holy Spirit. My reply was, “The promise is not to the orthodox, but to those who believe and ask and yield.”
It was apparent that there was a glory side to the Cross that had been almost unseen in most of Christian history. In this experience in answer to my question, I was put upon a cross of life, while He went to a cross of shame. I had been put upon a cross of bliss, while He had been put upon a cross of agony. I had been put upon a cross of heavenly manifestation, even where the glorified Jesus had manifested Himself. He was put upon a cross of desertion, where it appeared that even God Himself did not care, or had forsaken Him. While I was upon the cross, I received the Holy Ghost; while He was upon the cross, He gave up the Holy Ghost or Holy Breath.
The Cross has done the almost unbelievable for us.
This is the first aspect of the Cross. The second aspect of the Cross is a way of life; the way of Love meeting all hate with Love, all evil with good, all negatives with positives. The first aspect of the Cross puts us in ineffable union and bliss, where we are to abide. The second aspect is His call and opportunity to us to join in filling all that is lacking to make all men loving and the whole of life loving. Through union with Him and His victory, it is far easier for us to accept the Cross as a way of life than it was for Him to accept it as the Way of Redemption.
Both aspects of the Cross are gloriously true. Historical orthodoxy has had a weakness for seeking to have the benefits of the Cross, rather than entering into ineffable union with Him and from that union become an outpouring of His Life and Love and Healing to the whole earth. Modern liberalism has upon the whole failed to see the glory of the Cross and enter into ineffable union through the Cross, and has contented itself with seeing and accepting in part the Cross as a way of life. Most recent books on the Cross deal almost entirely with the Cross as a way of Life.
Heretofore, those who have reported the gift of the Holy Spirit have done so in terms of the manifestations of the Spirit. Jesus on the last night spoke of the Gift of the Holy Spirit in terms of ineffable union with Him, of His manifesting Himself, and of Life in terms of loving one another as He loves us.
He baptized me in terms of what He promised on the last night, as reported in John 14:15-23.
My feeling is that the Holy Spirit will be given more and more in fulfillment of Jesus’ promises on the last night as reported in John’s gospel. I also have the feeling that those who have been prejudiced against the manifestation of the Spirit, especially the speaking in tongues, and those who have had considerable zeal in contending that the speaking in tongues is the evidence of the baptism, will both see what is most needed is this glorious union promised by Jesus accompanied with a life in terms of loving one another as He loves us, and of loving our enemies until we make them friends, as He loved and loves His.
When those who have differed as to the manifestations of the Spirit come together in the quest for perfect union and perfect love, a greater Pentecost than that at Jerusalem should occur over the whole earth.
As Frank Laubach has well put it, “It’s either a Planetary Pentecost or planetary destruction.”
It must be the Pentecost.
HOW TO RECEIVE THE PERFECT GIFT*
* See Manifest Victory, pp. 91-112.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a gift to be received and not an attainment to be rewarded. It is never referred to as something we can get but as the gift from heaven to be received by all who believe and ask and are ready happily to obey.
At Pentecost the hundred and twenty obedient to the commandment of Jesus remained at Jerusalem until they received the promised Gift of the Holy Spirit. They tarried in great joy and in much brotherly love. They had to wait to receive until Jesus Himself had been glorified and had received the promised Gift. Then they were filled with the Holy Spirit and went out with an authority and boldness that was amazing and literally turned the Jerusalem world upside down. Peter the Coward became Peter the Bold.
At the house of Cornelius where the Holy Spirit was first given to the Gentiles, it was given while Peter was speaking, and the Gentiles were listening with faith and joy (Acts 10:38-45).
St. Paul indicated from his letter to the Galatians they too received the Spirit not according to the works of the law but by listening with faith and joy to the good news concerning Jesus Christ ( Galatians 3:8)
At Samaria the Gift of the Holy Spirit came by the laying on of hands by Peter and John. The Samaritan converts had believed prior to this but had not received the promised Gift.
At Ephesus St. Paul gives another water baptism to those who had been baptized with John’s baptism. Here he baptized them in the name of Jesus Christ and laid his hands upon them (Acts 19:2-6)
Those who believe with joy and who are set free from the false opinion of the group mind and are ready to be led by the Spirit may receive the Spirit simply by receiving the good news with joy.
I know one very blessed woman who cared for an invalid husband at night and worked in a cotton factory during the day who had sought for the Holy Spirit for some time. But one night while not seeking but while happily rejoicing, the Holy Spirit came upon her as a free and joyous possession, which is the baptism.
A very gifted friend, Miss Carro Davis, principal of one of the public schools of Macon, Georgia, was keenly aware that the Holy Spirit that the early Church received and that her own aunt (who had refused to die and leave her and her sisters and brothers alone in the world) had also received was for all Christians who believed and who were willing to obey. She said to the Lord, “I am not willing to go Your way but I am willing to be made willing.” She also told Him that if He were walking down the other side of our leading street she would be ashamed of the crowd that would be with Him but she would like for Him to take the shame out of her. She was soon made so hungry that she was ready to leave everything to follow Him and to be associated with the lowly.
When her aunt first received such a measure of the presence and the glory of the Lord, she and her twin sister put on black indicating the world was becoming dead to them and they were mourning because of it. Later white best expressed their spirit. The way the Holy Spirit came to Miss Carro Davis was more like the way it was given at Pentecost than in any other instance that I know. She has had an unusual ministry and together with her sister, Miss Susie Davis, has been used very much like the early Christians were.
Jesus gladly gives the hunger and thirst after Him and for His Righteousness, and makes us happy to go His way. The Holy Spirit is given quickly and without struggle to those rare simple souls who love the Truth and desire to follow wherever He leads, not counting the cost. Such a soul was the old colored man at Dahlonega, Georgia. When some of his white neighbors were receiving at least a measure of the Holy Spirit, he went alone to the woods and said, “0 Lord, some of the white folks say this am of You and some say it ain’t of You. What does You say?” The Lord immediately answered him in the most perfect way of all, by giving him the Holy Spirit. When you want to know His will in order to do His will, you will know at least as much of His will as you are willing to practice. If you really want to know what the baptism of the Holy Spirit is, and want it so earnestly that you are willing happily to receive it, He will give you the Spirit and by having the Spirit and obeying the Spirit, you will know.
About the most genuine and sincere person I know well went by a tent meeting where at least a measure of the Holy Spirit was in evidence. She went at once to her home, entered her bedroom, and kneeling by her bed said, “Lord, if this Power is of you, I want it.” She had hardly finished speaking until the Lord took free possession and control of her by the Holy Spirit, giving her more of the Spirit than she had seen manifested at the tent. How like Jesus to have done that!
In a vision she was shown seven very difficult tasks that were ahead, and after she had met the seventh she saw the ascension. The Spirit of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy showing us the necessary things that are to come and preparing us for them.
The Holy Spirit is the only consciousness adequate for revealing Jesus. The human mind is always seeking to whittle down Jesus to fit its own thought molds. When I voiced this in the presence of one of the students of one of our best-known schools of religion, he remarked that this is precisely what our seminaries are doing. The Holy Spirit gives an ever increasing revelation of the wonder that is in Jesus and changes us from victory to victory, and glory to glory, in His likeness.
It is only through the Spirit of Truth and Love that we know the Truth. Obedience far more than study is the organ of Truth. The Holy Spirit being the Spirit of Truth is given freely to all who want to know the Truth about the Holy Spirit and who are ready to follow Him against the combined opinion of mankind. Most people seem more bound and enslaved by public opinion and by personal and group prejudices, and find it harder to go against what their neighbors and brethren think, than they do to give up their most cherished sins. To be a disciple of Jesus and to become like Him means overcoming the world and its opinions and prejudices as well as the easier task of overcoming the flesh and the devil.
In my own experience what people think and say has been Enemy Number One. Before I received the Holy Spirit in power and glory and seemingly in entire prepossession there was a whole series of steps that I had to climb. When I reached the summit of these, Jesus manifested Himself first in the Without, and then He came Within. Here are the steps: (1) I believed, (2) I asked, (3) I tarried, (4) I was crucified unto the opinions and friends and family, (5) I chose to go with Him, (6) I invited and wanted the glorified Jesus to come within and give me the ability to go His way, (7) I accepted the Light, Leading and Call, to go with Him to the bottom of human need and live and give His love there. It was then that He came and dwelt within me. After this it was supernaturally easy and happy to yield and respond to Him, to His Spirit, to His Power, to His Light, and to His Glory.
As Professor Paul Tillich of Union Theological Seminary has observed, He reveals Himself as Light, as Power, and as Presence. He is the Light and gives the Light, and as we choose to walk in His Light, in devotion and faithfulness, He puts His Holy Ghost Power upon us, and when we have enough of His Power and Glory it brings us where He Himself can be manifested to us and come and abide within us.
In following Him, some for a time need to go aside in an attitude of lowly listening. But finally, He will make Himself as real and speak as clearly to us in the noise of the street as in the stillness of the closet.
The whole of life must become His, The separation between the so-called spiritual and so-called secular must be bridged. The spiritual must triumph in the so-called natural, and the so-called natural be lifted into the realm of the spiritual.
Always remember that Jesus is far more willing to lead than we are willing to follow, far more willing to give than we are to receive. He longs to give us the Holy Spirit and only awaits our happy willingness to receive.
How very willing our Baptist friends are to baptize with water, even to immerse! This is only a hint of how happily willing and desirous Jesus is to baptize us with the Holy Spirit and Power and Glory.
We can have both baptisms, but if I should leave off one, it should not be the one that Jesus alone gives. He has no set requirements, any more than the lover has to win and receive his beloved. All that is necessary is a happy receptivity and response to Him and His Love.
To ask with desire for the Holy Spirit opens us to receive what He has long been longing and seeking to give us. When we really want and invite Him to come within and take charge of us and our affairs, we are simply opening the door to Him who has been knocking and waiting.
To believe in Him and love Him well enough to obey with joy makes us receptive and responsive; and full receptivity and response enable Him to take full, free, and glorious possession and to make the best uses of us. This is called the sealing and the baptism and the gift of the Holy Spirit With this sealing and baptism and gift, there should be such happy, continuous and increasing yielding and responding to Him that the way would be made clear for Him to manifest Himself without, and to come within and there abide, and triumph.
THE PERFECT KEY AND KEYS*
* For a report of the quest for the secrets or keys of the Kingdom, see Manifest Victory, pp. 113-166. See also the author’s chapter in Together, by Glenn Clark et al., published by Abingdon-Cokesbury.
The glorified Jesus comes into us as we want Him and invite Him to come. He comes to abide forever if we are wise enough to want and choose for Him to abide and increase unto perfect triumph. After we receive Him we have but one problem, and that is to choose to abide in Him and to be perpetually giving His Love to all. This might be called the first key.
In my quest for abiding in Him, I had become aware that it was so all-important I must give up everything that separated me from Him. I was willing to make the separation and expected it to be very costly. I was seeking to find out what to give up when it was spoken through me, “My presence shall go with thee and give thee rest. Go in love and I will always go with thee.” A new world opened to me. I did not have to give up, but I had to give forth–I had to give forth love, only love and all possible love to everybody and everything.
One may do so-called spiritual work and render so-called Christian service in an unloving spirit and thus be dry, uninspired and dull; and one may wash dishes or dirty clothes or plow a mule in the new ground and do it in love and joy and conscious, intimate fellowship and union with Him. The love test is the Test of Tests. He being love, we have to abide in love, go in love, and do all things in love in order to abide in Him. When we get out of love we get out of Him. And when we repent and get back in love, we get back in Him, and get back where we went out.
Paul Moody, the youngest son of Dwight L. Moody, says the most precious memory he has of his great father was the night after he had been somewhat severe on him during the day. After little Paul had retired he felt a large hand over his head and his father was there asking his forgiveness. When you go in love and humility it is easy to receive forgiveness and to be more loved, and to be far more loving.
A distinguished Methodist minister gave this testimony while preaching in my home town. When he was a boy he was so happily converted he was essentially walking in glory while out in the field plowing old Betsy. She wanted to bite off a peach tree and he was determined that she should not. She stole a march or him and did it; the devil stole a march on him and made him very angry. He jerked the blood out of her mouth and unmercifully beat her. Of course he went spiritually dead. The contrast with being alive was so painful that he threw himself in the furrow behind the plow asking God to forgive him.
Nothing seemed to happen until he arose and threw his arms around the old mare and asked her forgiveness. Then he was back in more glory than before. Through anger he got out of love and through repentance to God and to the old mare he was put back in more love than before the offense.
So as we have seen, wherever you get out of love is where you must get back in love. If you have violated the spirit and law of love in dealing with your own wife, you’ll have to repent to her as well as to God. You could not be sweet enough with all the other women in the world to get back.
This is illustrated in mathematics. Whenever you make a mistake the correction has to be made in terms of the mistake. You might be correct in all the rest of mathematics but you will never be happily at one with mathematics until correction is made at the point of error.
Jesus Christ Who is perfect Love is reconciling us to God who is perfect Love, and we have to be reconciled to be loving in the whole of life. And whenever we miss the way of love we have the blessed privilege of seeing our mistake, asking forgiveness and becoming more loving than before the violation.
The second key made known to me of ineffable union is to put this union with Him first. As Jesus put it, keep first the Kingdom of Heaven and everything else that is good and desirable will be added. Whatever we do we have to do in love and this love will always be a pure love if we always keep first this keeping in union with Him. If we are not in union we have to get in union before we are of any real service to Him or to anyone. We are as worthless when separated from Him as a branch is when separated from the vine.
In union with Him everything clicks. You hardly have to do things. They seem to do themselves. Outside of union with Him we are of no value except to repent and get back.
If you are away from home don’t try to find out which of two wrong things you should do. Leave everything and return to Him. In union with Him you will know what to do; let your supreme concern be to be in union; if you are out of union get back in union and when in union increase in union. If we put first that which is first, which is perfect union with Him and perpetual outflow of love towards all, everything else is cared for.
The third key of achieving this union with Him is to be dedicated to continuous fellowship and prayer. Both in prayer and in fellowship if we are wise we give Him first chance to speak to us and we look to Him to do the leading. He says so much when He even says a little, while we say so little even when we say so much.
While praying on May 6, 1927, I said to Him, “Is there anything You would like to say to me?” I had a hearty laugh with myself even before I gave Him an opportunity to answer. I said to myself, “Even if I had called on me no more important that the President of the United States and talked like a blue streak until I was telling him good-bye and then said, `Mr. President, would you like to put in a word?’ the laugh would have been on me.”
After the laugh, this was given. “I want you to be in Me all of the time and I give you the keys.” I knew the keys were not authority to judge, but the secrets of entering and abiding in Him.
Three days later when I was speaking to a small group I said, “This ineffable union with Jesus, or the Kingdom of Heaven as a perfect experience, is at hand; all we have to do is to leave on the outside everything that is keeping us on the outside and come in.” Then it was put before my mind the things on the outside of the holy city and the holy presence, murderers, adulterers, and liars and unbelievers and everything that works harm or injury to anyone. Love works no injury but all possible good, so everything that is unloving, everything that is harmful, everything that is against life and against joy has to be left on the outside.
The fourth key is to humble yourself as a little child at the feet of Jesus. The smaller you are the easier it is to get in. The gate is just large enough to let you and all possibilities of good enter, and narrow enough to keep out all that would keep Heaven from being Heaven if it were not kept out.
At the place of utter yielding and humility with the key of holy love, we enter into Him and are placed where we belong in the body of Jesus Christ or Kingdom of God. Each is placed just where he belongs and given the work that he can do best of all. Here one does his work so well and so happily if necessary he would pay for the privilege of doing it, and yet does it so well he gets the best pay of all.
Until one finds something so good he must tell it he really has nothing worth saying. If you have to pay a man to preach, you had better pay him not to preach, for he really has nothing worth listening to. We are all comparatively worthless and inefficient outside of Him and His will and best work for us. We are all tops in His best will for us and doing the thing and the things we can do best of all.
Another key or secret of ineffable union with Him is to have great delight in doing His will. This comes with the new covenant. The old covenant failed because it sought to force us to do things we knew we ought to do but did not enjoy doing. The new succeeds because right desire and delight are written in the heart and in the mind, so like Jesus we delight Above all else in doing His will. When we love to do what we should do, we are essentially in Heaven no matter how much hell there may appear to be around about us. Here we go to His will like birds go to the air. Yes, this is the deepest secret of all, to love greatly and to delight in Him and in doing His will. Here we find His will is always that which is the wisest and the best and the happiest for all.
The new covenant succeeds because it puts His will within ours, His desire within ours, His mind within ours; and then we discover that His will is the wisest thing of all and the happiest thing of all.
Everything is promised to the overcomer. And to be an overcomer we have to meet all evil with good. If we meet any evil with evil we are overcome by this very evil. We can never overcome hate except with love, and we will find in the end the only way we will overcome the sword will be with the cross.
To abide in Him we will have to be perpetually giving His love, as well as receiving His love. We have to receive before we can give and we have to give to continue in receiving. As good as it is to receive His love, it is still better to give His love.
It is comparatively easy to receive the Holy Spirit and to receive the glorified Jesus within. He is knocking and longing to come in and is much more desirous to baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire and with power and glory than our Baptist friends are to baptize with water. He is always ready. We only have to make ourselves ready and to offer ourselves to be made ready. But as we have seen, the entering and abiding in Him require that we let go the things within and without which keep us out of Him, and humble ourselves and become happily yielded to His guidance and to His best for us and for all.
This becomes easy enough when we learn the secret of being angry at sin and at the same time loving and compassionate to the sinner. We have to hate iniquity as well as love righteousness. But at the same time we have to have love and compassion for those who have been caught in iniquity and to love them all the more because of their great need of love and deliverance. Jesus is the perfect example of this. He loves sinners and they love to be with Him. I mean sinners who know they are sinners. He had great compassion for them and gave Himself in love for their deliverance.
In this connection, one finds himself in the will and love and inspiration of Jesus, ceasing from all judgments of condemnation unto defeat and giving himself with Jesus to the judgments of love and mercy unto victory.
Jesus saw in Peter (even while he was apparently as unstable as water) a stone and gave him the new name even before he brought forth the new man. He saw in Saul of Tarsus (who upon his own conviction was the chief of sinners) the possibility in His hand of becoming one of the chiefest of saints. This attitude towards sinners is most effective in bringing them into the Kingdom. It is the only attitude that can be used to bring them in and to keep you in while dealing with them.
As previously indicated still another key to the abundant life and the continuous union with Him is to know as friend Mrs. Jerry Gerlach has put it, “The self-deception of self-effort is just as subtle as the self-deception of self-righteousness.”
We are as dependent upon Him for our skills and successes, for our life and health and all else in the so-called natural world as we are dependent upon Him for salvation and righteousness and for all the Heavenly gifts. When we see this we learn to do everything in joyous dependence upon Him, and all of our activities, instead of separating us from Him, will bring us into deeper union.
As long as our so-called secular activities are separated from the spiritual, the secular takes our mind off of the spiritual. But when seen in the true light the secular is a part of the spiritual. In the Heavenly city there is no Temple, there is no religion apart from Life there. Life and worship have become one; all life is worship; all work is worship and all worship is love. In this City there is no lack; even the streets are paved with gold. There is nothing that should not be. In perfect union there is perfect everything else.
* See Manifest Victory, pp. 149-157,180-198 and 252-255.
Jesus who is Perfect Everything is best understood as the Perfect Lover and Perfect Love, giving and enabling and commanding Perfect Love for one another and also for our enemies.
Since whatever He gives He is, He could not be Perfect Love unless always giving perfect Love and only perfect Love to everyone. So His commandment to love our enemies as well as to love one another is the prefect necessity of His Perfect Being. For Him to give less than perfect Love would make Him less than perfect Love. He, like us and we like Him, are what we give.
When we see this we will choose to give what we would like to be. Since we receive good measure pressed down and running over whatever we give, the only possible way to get what we desire is to give it.
Jesus gave good and only good and was therefore all good. He gave love and only love and was all love. He gave light and only light and was all light. He gave only health and healing and was all health and healing,
We will be what we want to be when we receive from Him what He is and give what we receive and give only what we receive. The Golden Rule is a revelation how to be what you want to be—by giving what you want to be and only what you want to be. It could not be otherwise. We could never be educated to co-work with Him for Perfect Everything for ourselves without also choosing, praying and working for Perfect Everything for all.
The divine Law of becoming perfect Personality and of making all things perfect is just as perfect as God Himself. The only possible way for God to be God (Love) and remain God (Love) is for Him to Love us and love the universe into loving. The only possible way to respond to His love is to love.
Everything would collapse on any other basis. On this basis the victory of love over hate, of good over evil, of life over death, of peace over war, and of Jesus Christ over the anti-Christ is sure and certain.
It is only a question how long and how much further experimenting is required on our part to induce us to join Him in giving pure good to all.
Since the means appear in the end and are part of the end, the only possible way to bring the kingdom of heaven is to give heaven and only heaven. As long as we give any hell we will be in the hell we give.
If we are sensible enough to receive Jesus Christ and His Perfect Love and to give Him and His love, and only Him and His Love, the kingdom of heaven will come to us in a day. If the entire world would do this the kingdom would come to the world in a day.
Perfect Love, because it wills and works no evil to anyone, but all possible good to everyone, is the fulfillment of the Law and the very essence of the Gospel.
Love is highest impersonal Good and works with such intelligence, wisdom, and grace that from its very impersonality it takes in personality. Highest impersonal love ultimately appears before us as Personality of all. Katherine of Genoa said, “Love is God.” John says, and we know this is true, “God is love” and “love is of God.” As Tolstoy put it, “Where love is there God is also.” Mrs. Grace Munsey, to whom I dictated much of the first draft of Manifest Victory, said, “Everything done in love is done by God Himself.”
When you follow love, the kind of love St. Paul writes of so well in the 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians, you are really following God whether you are aware of it at the time or not.
Love best defines God, and Jesus Christ best defines love. He defines Perfect Love by being Perfect Love.
All and more that is said of love by St. Paul, St. John, St. Peter, and the love poets is true and more than true of Jesus Christ. Jesus suffered long and was kind. As Kagawa put it, “He went” (and we might add is always going) “to the uttermost limits and possibilities of love in our behalf and behalf of all.” Jesus bore all things, suffered all things, endured all things. He was always humble, He was always rejoicing. Facing the crucifixion, He kept His joy and peace and willed both to His disciples. He never failed or fails anyone. He not only fulfills the Law but brings everything to perfect attainment and to perfect union.
When everything else fails, Jesus and His love have their best opportunity to succeed.
If there seems to be failure in terms of your present degree of union with Him and of love, increase the union and increase the love. If the small doses that you have been giving have not brought the triumph, increase the dose and keep on increasing until love triumphs.
As a Methodist minister in the tobacco growing section of North Carolina put it, “You know if one of these tobacco barns were on fire a few buckets of water would not extinguish the fire but would help some. You also know that enough water would put the fire out. Likewise we know a little love will not put out a world on fire with hate and fear, but even a little helps. We do know enough love would put out these fires.” Enough love, as Emerson put it, “Will make a paradise of this old earth of ours.”
If we go with Jesus, enter into ineffable union with Him and join Him in giving His perfect love and light and healing to all, we will enter into perfect marriage with Him and become loving as He is loving, healing as He is healing. Everything of His will be OUTS.
How to increase in union and in love:
- Open wide to receive Jesus and His love. Jesus and love are longing and knocking to come in. Ask forgiveness for having kept them out. When you really want Jesus and love to come in and take entire charge you are wanting precisely what He and love are longing to do. As the colored brother put it, “Election is this way; Jesus is all the time voting for us and the devil is all the time voting against us and the way we vote carries the election.” Jesus and love are all the time seeking to come in. When we choose with Jesus and love we are filled with Him and His love.
- Choose to give Him and His love to all. As blessed as it is to receive Him and His love, it is still better to give Him and His love. Indeed, you have to give in order to continue to receive. Receiving more than you choose to give makes you like a swamp and swamps do not need more water; they need ditching and draining. The Heavenly love is never like stagnant water; but is always like a springing fountain and a flowing river. An infinity of love is ready to flow out through us. We do not have to furnish the love, we only have to choose for it to outflow. The new commandment to love as we are loved is not so difficult as the old commandment to love God with all of our being and to love our neighbor as ourselves. According to the Law we have to do all the loving: through union with Jesus, the love is given and we only have to pass it on. And by passing it on we become love itself.
- Pray for Perfect Love. This prayer is so much in the will of God it is always heard and answered. You can have all the love you want is you want it enough to ask for it and to give it.
- Do your part in removing the hindrances of love. Wherever you have been unloving acknowledge it and ask forgiveness, ask not only the Lord’s forgiveness, but also ask the forgiveness of those to whom you have been unloving This brings flood tides of love. If anyone has anything against you go to him in love and seek to remove the hindrances or the stumbling blocks. Love requires that we get everything we can out of the way, that we make it as easy as possible for people to love, and all nigh impossible for them not to love.
- In every new situation pray to see and to choose the most loving thing. Where evil has come to you choose to meet it with good. If you have been dealt with unlovingly choose to react especially lovingly. When we choose to love and to give His love, His love flows in and enables us to love.
- In every situation remember what Jesus did in situations far more difficult. Also remember His teaching, if you are to be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect you will have to be loving and merciful as He is loving and merciful. Remember what Jesus did and let Him teach you what to do in every situation and you cannot escape being loving.
No matter what evil you have suffered, real or imaginary, sooner or later you are going to forgive it and you will not be happy until you do. Why delay the happiness? Happy is the man who can forgive quickly. Do not let the sun go down on your foolishness.
Our joy and power to help people depends on entering into a union with Jesus and perpetually out-flowing in His love, light, and healing.
* See Manifest Victory, pp. 256-262.
Jesus lived and still lives and prayed and still prays the perfect prayer of perfect love and wisdom and faith and power. He also taught and teaches us how to pray the prayers that are so fully in God’s will and wisdom that they are either answered at once, or are being answered, or are soon to be answered.
Moreover there is so much power in all prayers that are inspired by strong desire and backed by our best efforts that it is well to remember the wisdom and the warning in young Emerson’s first sermon which was on prayer and contained these three affirmations:
- “We are all the time praying, always desiring and going after something.”
- “All of our prayers are being answered,” not literally answered, but answered in the sense of affecting us within and of producing results without.
- “We should therefore be very careful what we pray for.”
At Harvard young Emerson found so many questions asked and so few answered that it brought confusion to his mind and a near breakdown to his body. After teaching for a short time in his brother’s school for girls, he wrote his notable poem “Goodbye Proud World” and went to the country for the recovery of his health and for an opportunity to think things through. Providentially, he found there an enthusiastic young Methodist by the name of Tarbox, who taught him the sense in which all of us are all the time praying and the sense in which all prayer is being answered. This was the light that started off Emerson towards clarity and health, and in his first sermon, he used this light and added to it the wise counsel: “We should be very careful what we pray for.”
Happily not all prayers are answered, happily for God and for mankind and especially for the ones who do the praying. Anyone whose prayers and efforts of false pride wish to inflict the worst injury possible to everything that stands in the way of his getting what he thinks he wants (in the end he will find it is the very thing he doesn’t want), will find that the evil he has desired for others will come to himself. You can’t make a hell for others without getting in the hottest spot of it yourself. But false praying, backed by false effort, does have tremendous power. Hitler was powerful in false prayer as well as in false action, and it did seem for a time that his prayers were being answered. But according to perfect law, the destruction he sought for a race and the injury he sought to inflict upon all who stood in his way came to himself. Evil reacts in large measure against those who seek to bring it to others.
There is also prayer that is not wholly good, but largely good. This kind of praying has great power, though not perfect power because not inspired by perfect love fully backed by the perfect Lover. The prayer that your boy will not be killed in battle may be answered, but it is not as good a prayer as the prayer to stop war and the causes of war and that the lives of all the boys on both sides will be spared. You can even pray for your side to win, and if the winning will be in the interest of mankind, so long as men are foolish enough to fight, your prayer will be answered.
People often get what they ask for and work for because they can only be taught by experience that much that they think they want and pray and work for is the very thing that they don’t want.
The children of Israel thought that they wanted a king and the only way they could be convinced that they didn’t want him was to get him. According to Genesis, Eve chose to experiment with the forbidden fruit and God did not stop her. Why? Possibly because our high destiny to be like Him requires that we shall be free to choose the wrong in order that we may know we only want the right. Anyway to be like God we have to have the freedom to choose, and no matter how badly and foolishly we choose, the all loving One is always doing His best to make the best of our worst sinning and blundering. The Prodigal Son had his prayer answered for His part of the Father’s riches. The Father even furnished the means, the health and the material supplies that enabled him to experiment, and stood ready to welcome him back as well as to draw him back and to give him the very best of Himself and His possessions.
Moreover, where we are ready to accept it there are Divine interventions to save us from the worst and to bring us back Home. There are not too many miracles. If there were we might become careless and lazy. If there were not any we might be destroyed. Here as well as everywhere else He is perfect in power as well as in wisdom and love, or rather He is perfect in wisdom as well as in love and power.
When seen at long range nothing really succeeds but the good. The temporary success of evil is a part of the Divine process of defeating the evil and of even saving the agents of evil as well as its victims. It was at this point that Gandhi saw and desired and prayed and lived in advance of any other world leader. Seeing, when he read the New Testament, that the cross is God’s answer to sin, he chose for his work the liberation of the victims of injustice and oppression, but to liberate them in patience and nonviolence (with soul force) and in liberating them also to liberate their oppressors. His marked success has given humanity not only a new technique for meeting evil with good, but it should greatly increase our faith and endeavors.
But we come back to Jesus as the example and inspiration of Perfect Prayer and Praying. He prayed and taught His disciples and still teaches the prayer and prayers of Perfect Love, Perfect Wisdom, Perfect Faith and Perfect Power. In the Sermon on the Mount, He taught His disciples and He is still teaching them to pray for God’s perfect will of limitless love and good-will and good sense to triumph on earth as they have already triumphed in the heaven where He is actually Lord; for the Kingdom of Heaven to come to earth, for God’s great good will and good everything else to be victorious in Moscow, Peking, Tokyo, London, Washington, and everywhere else; for the hungry to be fed everywhere, for the naked to be clothed, for the homeless to be housed, for the sick to be healed, for the miserable to be joyous, and for unbelievable good to be received by all and given by all. In this perfect prayer is also the prayer of perfect adoration, the prayer for us to be kept from choosing evil, and the prayer for perfect forgiveness. The very nature of love requires that we love in order to receive the fullness of love, that we forgive in fullness in order to be forgiven in fullness, that we be merciful in order to be recipients of limitless mercy.
In the presence of death, He prayed the prayer of perfect knowing, knowing that the so-called dead were only asleep, and therefore wakeable; the prayer of perfect thanksgiving and perfect faith combined so that the Father always heard Him; and He used the prayer of perfect command. The mere knowing that Lazarus and the maiden were not dead, did not resurrect them; it only furnished the knowledge that they could be resurrected. Giving thanks did not resurrect them either. They were resurrected by commandment. The storm was also stopped by commandment and the possessed people were likewise set free by commandment.
On the last night He prayed the perfect prayer for perfect union for the disciples to have with Him and with one another, for the perfect love among themselves, and that they might be kept from the evil of this world without being taken out of it. His great concern is not to get us to Heaven, but to bring Heaven here, and for us to become co-partners with Him in the bringing.
In Gethsemane, He prayed the perfect prayer of perfect submission, the most difficult prayer there is to pray, and it was much harder for Jesus than it has ever been for anyone else, or ever will be. At first, He seems to have hoped that there might be some other way than the Cross. He had said before that nobody took His life from Him, that at His command a multitude of angels would come and rescue Him. Then His prayer becomes a prayer to be held fast to the Highest of all, and it turned out He had to go down in the deep, dark waters of death and come up as victor over death, as well as over every other enemy. He is victor for us as well as for Himself. On the cross He prays the prayers of perfect love for others and of perfect forgiveness for those humanly responsible for all that the false judgment of man, Gethsemane and Calvary, cost Him.
He did not submit to death as an escape, but because He could do more by self-offering and resurrection, by the Gift of the Holy Spirit, by manifesting Himself by coming within and ultimately by coming in perfect triumph, than by remaining in the flesh as the Son of God. It was Love that brought Him, it was Love that took Him away to give the other Comforter who was to come within, and to come at the right moment in visible triumph.
Since His gift of the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ is still with us and longs to be within us and to have us in Him, doing more for all who will receive His spirit and receive Him than He could have done for a single one of us if He had remained among us.
When I asked Him, for example, how to pray for Japan, the answer came “pray for all aggressors to surrender and all victors to show mercy.” When I asked him how to pray for the United States and Russia, the two nations under special temptation, and with great privilege to go the right way and point the way, the answer is “pray for the triumph of My great good-will among all the nations,” and of course among all the races, classes, groups and in the whole of life. When I ask how to pray concerning the atomic bomb and other similar new secrets in man’s hands either for his destruction or for making life rich for all, the answer is “pray for all of these things to be brought under the control and uses of Love and Wisdom; for all the realms of this life and kingdoms of this world to become His.”
To whom shall we pray?
Until we know that Jesus is God-with-us in perfect availability and in perfect triumph with perfect power to answer, we are to pray the Father in His name; and, as previously indicated, in His name means in His love, in His spirit, in other words as disciples of His. The good and true wife can get in her husband’s name everything he has and everything he can get. She does not get it as a formula, but she gets it because of her relationship. So, as I understand, we do not get our prayers answered because we attach to them the empty phrase “in the name of Jesus” but because we are His and are seeking to live and pray and do everything in His spirit and in His love and under His leadership.
Jesus said to His own disciples they could not only get in His name anything that the Father had, but the Father loved them and would give them everything He had as fast as they were made ready and they made themselves ready to receive. Some of our prayers are answered even before we ask, and God even more than good human parents is always listening to answer every cry of need.
In my experience, I asked Jesus for something that I was not sure he could do—that he would come within and be within, and by abiding in me enable me to go His way as perfect love, perfect sincerity and perfect courage. In a few hours when I was made ready and helped to make myself ready by choosing to go His way, He baptized me with the Holy Spirit, manifesting Himself without and came within. This, so far as I remember, was the first prayer I ever made directly to Jesus. Since then I pray directly to Jesus, and I also pray to the Father in Jesus’ name and sometimes I go directly to the Father. The early Christians did everything in the name of Jesus, even baptizing in His name. As the former president of Union Theological Seminary and a great church historian, McGiffert, in his illuminating book, The God of the Early Christians, says, Jesus was to the early gentile Christians “their all sufficient God” and in all high tides of spiritual experience Jesus is experienced as God, yet for intellectual clarification, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were used to express three manifestations of the one God. But God is not a stickler for formulas and is always doing all He can for everyone, no matter how He is addressed. Still when it is seen that Jesus Christ is God, in perfect triumph and availability, there is much more power in His name than in any other name.
I find myself most lifted when I desire and ask in the name of Jesus for the best He has for me and for all that He has, all that I don’t know as well as all that I do know.
I have also found that the prayer of invitation after this manner has brought sanity to the insane, healing to the sick, and liberation to the enslaved:
“Jesus, I want You to come into me and reign, Be all in all, in all of me and my affairs;
Come in and be Spirit of my spirit;
Come into my mind and bring Your understanding and humility;
Come into my body and bring Your health and healing;
Come into my affairs and direct them;
Be will of my will—
Soul of my soul—
Brain of my brain—
Heart of my heart—
Life of my life—
Joy of my joy—
Perfect everything for all of me!
Perfect everything for the all of all.”
The all-inclusive perfect desire, longing, prayer, and effort is perfect everything for everybody, and everything. You can’t desire and ask and dedicate to join Jesus for the achievement of perfect everything for all without being lifted into a new world of union, love, and transforming power and presence.
PERFECT GUIDE AND GUIDANCE*
* See Manifest Victory, pp. 169-179 and 263-269.
Jesus is our perfect guide and guidance. His guidance is clear to the degree of our union with Him, to the measure of our dedication to do His will, to obey His Spirit and to walk according to His light and teaching. To will to do His will enables us to know His will.
Where there is uncertainty as to your guidance turn to the Guide, desiring and asking for His highest will and wisdom for what is best for Him and for all. As you do this, you will find He never fails to guide you aright. The trouble is not with His guidance but with our unwillingness to obey. To use a happy phrasing of Tennyson, “He guides in various ways, lest one good custom should corrupt the world.”
Where the need is extreme He intervenes directly and tells exactly what to do, as He did in the case of Saul of Tarsus, Sundar Sighn, “Sammy Morris” and a blessed company of others. He has even intervened directly for me with such certainty and authority at times that there was nothing left for me but to obey. It would have been tragic to have disobeyed.
He is always guiding by His light of love, conscience and reason that lights every life coming into the world. Where there is no other guidance that we are aware of, if we follow His light within, if we do the most sensible and most loving thing open to us, we find we have done His will.
When we yield to temptation we of course are not guided by Him, nor by our best selves, nor by His Spirit, nor by His teaching, nor by the accumulated wisdom of the race, but by desire, by the herd instinct or by the evil one. Even here He is always doing His best to help us to repent and return, and to turn our disobedience to good. He is always turning to all possible good everything that is turned over to Him.
In union with Him, guidance is not only clear but supernaturally natural and spontaneous. We do His will unconsciously for the most part and see later how wisely and well we have been guided. In this union with Him we are aware that everything is working together for good. We meet the people we need to meet; we find the right books when we are ready for them, and we make all our contacts at the right time in the right way. If we find doors closing to us, we have the assurance it is because better doors are ready to open.
Confusion and uncertainty come because we have yielded to the temptation to worry instead of to pray, and to try to solve our problems and to improve our condition while away from home. When we repent and return, the guidance is clear again. Don’t try to make decisions away from home, in moods of fear and discouragement. The Prodigal Son wisely came to himself and made a “bee line” for home.
The happiest type of guidance comes when we choose and invite Him to write His law in our hearts and upon our minds, and to make us happily willing to do His will. The Old Covenant failed because it sought to get obedience to commandments coming from without, before there was a love to obey them within. The New Covenant succeeds because in the new birth, and in the new life given from Above we love to do what we should do. Here every one delights in doing the very thing he is created to do and he will do it better than it has ever been done before.
Everyone is a genius when he finds his place and work in the will and wisdom of God. Here he will delight so greatly in doing his work that he would gladly pay for the privilege of doing it and yet does it so well that he cannot escape the best pay of all. He has something so good to communicate and to do, it is woe be unto him if he does not do it and communicate it.
In the deepest union, the Father seeks to please the Son and the Son seeks to please the Father. In like manner the begotten and the adopted sons of the Son will like best of all what the Son chooses for them, for He chooses always what they really want even if He opposed what for a time they thought they wanted.
Moreover as much as we like getting what we ask for if we are wise enough to ask aright, it is what comes to us as spontaneous gifts of love that pleases us best of all. The Prodigal Son only asked for the status of a servant. He was received as a son and given the best of everything. So the happiest relationship between Jesus and us and with one another and with all living things is that of spontaneous love.
It is happier to give and receive what is not promised than what is promised. God of course will do all that He has promised. He is duty bound to do this much. I have the feeling that He will do far more and better. Then His joy and our joy will be full.
Duty apart from love does not satisfy God nor us. Still love fulfills duty which has only been a school master to bring us to spontaneous and joyous love.
Jesus achieved so much maturity in the early church that by the time of the first church council, as reported in Acts 15, the disciples found what seemed good to the Holy Spirit seemed good to them, and what seemed good to them seemed good to the Holy Spirit. This was high achievement both for Him and them. The disciples were on the way to the certainty Jesus had that because He pleased the Father, the Father was always with Him and always guiding Him aright.
Jesus and the Father were so much one, even when the Father seemed to withdraw and leave Jesus to make the most difficult choice of all as His own choice, it was also the highest choice of the Father. They were one in choosing. This is the highest achievement; in the field of guidance when we do His will we are also doing our will and when we do our will we are also doing His will. This union will make us as free as God and yet utterly happy that we are nothing apart from Him. Because Jesus did the highest of all when seemingly left alone makes what He did all the more glorious.
It is what our own children do when they are not aware that we are around that best reveals the children. If they do as well or better when we seem to be absent than when we are known to be present our delight in them is all the greater.
Satan and those under his influence force their wills with violence. Jesus sets us free to choose, and by choosing the highest we become free indeed, free with His own freedom, free with the freedom of God.
God is looking after us and guiding us far better and wiser than we are aware. His love, guidance, care and provision, even for the least of His creatures, is so amazing that it should bring us to faith and love and worship.
The birds go South with the weather and they move with the wisdom that could only be from Him. Even in the cells of our body, His presence and almost unbelievable wisdom are manifest.
The highest guidance, as we have seen, is the guidance which comes through a happy union of our spirits, minds and wills with His. Here when we best please ourselves we best please Him, and when we best please Him, we best please ourselves.
On the way to this high and happy guidance He is caring for us and guiding us even better than He is the birds, and far better than the best of fathers and mothers care for their children. He is educating us and guiding us, not only directly which is His best of all for us, but He is also educating and guiding us through the total of our experience, and through the best experience He has attained through all others.
The reason we prize our Bibles so highly is that they record so much of the best that He has given and achieved in the past.
No experience is in vain. If we have gone the wrong road, we find it out not only for ourselves but also for others and we can make it easier and happier for them and for all who come after us. If there could be a single experience in the universe that did not have a positive or negative value, there would be that much irrationality in the universe, that much which was out of the hands of God.
In our infancy, we, of course, know very little about how He has planned, provided and is caring for us. In full maturity, we shall fully understand. All the way from conception to birth and from birth to maturity, He is working for us within and from without and from above, and enlisting all the help He can get.
In the Old Covenant as we have seen, He guided largely from without. In the New, He achieves largely by causing us to love as He loves and to choose happily as He chooses. In this immediate guidance, it is easiest for Him to guide the least, and most difficult for Him to guide those who feel themselves to be the greatest.
He uses the meek and the lowly and the loving as His best bait. You can catch big fish with little fish, but not little fish with big fish.
In Jesus everything is reversed; the last becomes first and the first, last. Even His Cross for us is a Cross of life and honor and bliss and glory in its inner aspect of union with Him. His death is our life.
The Cross as a way of life, becomes the high privilege to love as He loved and loves, to meet all evil with good, to help finish out that which is lacking in His sufferings, to bring the unloving to love.
While the whole universe teaches what Jesus lived and taught, it is through union with Him and guidance by Him that we receive all that He is and has attained without having to go the slow and painful way of finding it out through personal experience.
By the law of marriage, by His unspeakable grace, there is for all a new birth and a new life in Him; by His presence and help and guidance we can quickly grow up in Him and become partners with Him in making available all that He is and has for all of us.
While we are taught by the whole of our experience and the race’s experience, there is available for us through the Holy Spirit the perfect Teacher and the perfect Helper. We do not have to go the long and hard way. The best of all is knocking to come within us so that we can be perfectly taught by Him within, as well as perfectly guided and taught from above.
Those who are taught and led even by the best disciples of His, will be better taught and led by Him. The church is divided and largely impotent because we have not availed ourselves of our privilege of being taught and led directly by Him and by His Spirit. When we are all taught and guided by Him, we will be one. As long as we look to an imperfect leadership we will be weak and divided. As has been well said, we are not nearly so much in need of leaders as we are of followers of The Leader. A disciple of a disciple is never free and vital as is an immediate disciple, and we are not a true disciple of a disciple of His until we, like the disciple, have become an immediate disciple.
There is no limit to the way He teaches. As we saw in a previous chapter, He will sometimes let us have what we think we want, to teach us that we do not want it. He gives us much rope but not enough to hang ourselves. When the Prodigal Son leaves home He furnishes the health and the means for the journey, but does not furnish enough so that he can remain away long without returning Home.
If necessary, He will perform all kinds of miracles in our behalf, not enough to make us lazy but enough to deliver us.
Socrates found he was given a free course unless he was about to make a mistake, and then he was warned. Emerson found when he proposed a journey or an enterprise and too many obstacles were encountered that the obstacles were God’s way of teaching him that he was on the wrong path. Emerson said he did not call these hindrances laws or commandments, but grains of mustard seed, as it were, but he “obeyed them as against the combined opinion of mankind.”
As Stanley Jones insists, Jesus led His disciples on so they were guided by inspired insight. He wants to lead us all so we will be, too, but on the way His resources of checking us as well as leading us on are limitless. He has taught me things in dreams that I was too dull to see in my waking moments. Once He gave me a dream to enable me to help a friend in great distress, and gave the interpretation of the dream in the dream itself. When I have written letters it would have been better not to have written I have been warned in dreams in time to wire the postmasters for their return. Once when I was about to do an exceptionally foolish thing that would have been hard for another as well as myself, a friend who saw the folly appeared to me in a dream as a flaming angel warning me not to do it, and afterwards I had no desire to do it.
His signals are everywhere. If we are on the right road witnesses on the right hand and on the left and in front of us and behind us are telling us so. A sure witness that we are going right is the witness of His peace and assurance; a sure witness that we are missing the highest is disturbance and confusion.
As Evelyn Underhill puts it, “Look for the signals of God.” They are all around you whether you see them or not. If you are too blind to see them always do the most loving and Christ-like thing that you can conceive of and that the situation admits of and you will find later that you have done the will of God and that you have pleased yourself as well as Him.
Another good test for any motive, desire, intention or act is how it would look at the Judgment Day. As a rule the things we ourselves are ashamed of so that we want to hide them cannot even stand the judgment day of our souls. James of Harvard spoke of that appeal of the soul to the final tribunal that fully understands.
Of course we are guided not to do the things that are against the highest good of everyone else as well as ourselves, not to indulge our appetites when they are against the health of the soul, and the mind, and the body, not even to attempt to get “the sensuous sweet” and “escape the sensuous bitter.” Not to try to cheat life by using any function contrary to its natural and God appointed use.
All life is a warning against folly and a call to wisdom and love. Charles Beard, the enlightened hitorian, thus summarizes history: “The mills of the gods grind slowly but they grind exceedingly fine; whom the gods would destroy they first make mad; the bee has to fertilize the flower that it robs; when the night gets dark enough the stars come out.”
Jesus is made unto us perfect wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:30) and guides us by this wisdom, a wisdom that is “pure, peaceful, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits” (James 3:17).
He guides by inspired common sense, and sometimes by a sense of humor.
He leads by circumstances. He leads by closing doors as well as by opening doors. He leads us by our failures as well as our successes. In fact He is seeking to teach us by all experience as well as to teach us by the best experience.
Highest of all, He is teaching us by Himself and by His Spirit.
Sometimes He breaks through where the whole teaching and guidance is of Him. He took the lips of the prophets and spoke things that were wholly of Him and not even colored by them. He at times speaks through His children in the pure language of heaven. At other times the Light is from Him but much obscured by us.
He gives us only the pure Water of Life but when we bring our vessels to the fountain the water takes the form of the vessel; and until the vessels are made wholly clean it may appear the dirt that the pure water is washing away is of the water rather than of the vessel. Happily when the water is allowed to flow long enough the vessels are all made clean and we have the wonder of the perfect water assuming the form of many vessels.
In a similar way, the light shines in darkness but remains pure light. Truth in the midst of error remains Truth. Good in the midst of evil remains Good. Life in the midst of death remains Life, and, by remaining Life, conquers death. Love in the midst of hate remains Love and has no techniques but Love. The imperfect has to be reconciled to Perfection and put on Perfection. With God there is no mixture, but He brings out of the mixed and the messed the Pure and the Perfect.
Jesus Christ as God-with-us is Love and all the more loving because of our need and lack of love. He guides all the more perfectly because of our great need of guidance.
In my own experience He has been with me at every step of the way, though I have not always been aware of His presence and that the One who was always leading me was He. When I have asked His help in buying a mule that would be in the interest of universal benefit the mule that came was clearly a better selection than I could have made. He has guided me well even when I was not easy to lead. While I have had few business interests I have had the clearest kind of guidance concerning them. He has led me into a type of work that fits me best of all. He has given me a work that is not in competition with anybody else’s work. He has led me to help all of the existing groups that I can without starting a new one. I have no hard luck stories to tell. Everything that I know of Jesus is unspeakably good. All of His leadings are precisely what I would have chosen for myself, had I had intelligence enough to have made the choice.
I find in Him everything is always getting better and better, and the whole wisdom of life is to be Jesus centered, love radiating, happy on the Way and dedicated to His best for me and for all. There is nothing lacking in His Guidance. It is Perfect.
THE PERFECT PEACEMAKER AND HIS
* See Manifest Victory, pp. 199-205.
Jesus is the perfect peacemaker, the Prince of Peace, the King of righteousness and peace. He is perfect peace and gives perfect peace, the peace that passeth understanding (the perfect combination). It is only in His peace that we truly understand. Jesus sleeps in the midst of storms and sometimes His disciples have the feeling that He does not care. But it is always in the “acceptable hour” that He commands the storm. He speaks and acts just at the right time and in the right way, and there always results a greater calm and a greater victory than if He had acted sooner. He is never too late.
Everything outside of Jesus and His way of Life as Love and Peace Making is doomed. Some of us knew while the recent dictators were at the height of their power that they were doomed unless they repented. While writing the last paragraphs of Manifest Victory in May, 1940, when they were at the height of their power, spreading terror to all mankind, I said that I expected to live to see the day, unless they repented, when they would be objects of pity and compassion rather than of fear and terror.
In a vivid dream-vision I talked to Hitler and explained to him that his way of binding instead of releasing would end in his own bondage; that the way to get what he really wanted was to turn around and go the opposite way, the way of releasing, instead of binding, the way of love instead of hate. I even sent him a cablegram summarizing the dream-vision. I wasn’t certain it would reach him but felt it was worth its cost even to send it towards him.
The judgments of history are very swift these days and are getting swifter. Until recently, for example, Germany would defeat France and exact an indemnity and become weakened by spending it. France would become stronger by paying it, until France became strong enough and Germany became weakened enough to reverse the victory. It seemed that there might not be any end to this, but in the recent war both were defeated, the only difference being that the one that started the war was defeated worse. The other two aggressors suffered defeat, but were ready to surrender short of destruction and fared better, though in one of these countries the leader was turned upon the mob and suffered extreme humiliation both before and after death, receiving in an accumulated form the evil that he chose to inflict upon others.
In our time effect almost catches up with cause. War has become so bad that you cannot wage it with the worst weapons already discovered (and that are being discovered) without destroying yourself and your own nation as well as those you seek to destroy. And no nation dares to use these weapons unless it is mad enough to commit suicide. You can’t destroy now without being destroyed, and you can’t damn without being damned and damned quickly. Being damned has about caught up with damning; being destroyed has caught up with destroying.
Very recently our traveling camp of prayer through Europe, witnessing and seeking to give His love to as many as possible, beheld at Luxembourg what is designated as “The Gibraltar of the North”; such perfect natural fortification that in the days of feudalism those seeking safety for themselves took possession of it and fortified it. Then some more powerful aggressor took possession of it and more powerfully fortified it. This continued for centuries and the peace loving people round about the fortifications were ruled successively by this power and that power. The only really good use that we know of that it has ever been put to was during the recent war. Forty thousand people entered enough of the forty miles of underground fortifications to be saved from imminent death. Even our weapons of warfare, including atomic energy, may be used by love; and the higher will of God is that everything we have used to destroy may be used to build up and to bless.
Certainly it is true that there is no security outside of union with the Peacemaker who creates that security by making peacemakers of us. The more secure you try to make yourself outside of Him the more insecure you become. If you substitute riches of external things for true riches you become increasingly endangered. The poor man can lie down without danger of being robbed and without fear that his children will be kidnapped, blessed with peace that is denied to his richer brother. The richer a nation as well as an individual becomes and the more powerful its armies and the greater the number of its atomic bombs, the more it will be feared and the more fearful it will become. Its only safety is using its wealth and power to bind up the wounds of mankind, to clothe him in his nakedness, feed him in his hunger, and help put him on his feet. By becoming the friend and aider of mankind in the spirit of Jesus and under His leadership we can become such a benefactor of all the peoples of the earth that none of them will be our enemies.
Not only is effect catching up with cause, being destroyed catching up with destroying, the receiving of hell on earth catching up with the giving of hell, but the destroying of the innocent is not only catching up but is actually moving in advance of destroying the enemy and yourself. This was strikingly manifest in World War II and World War II was only a baby in comparison to the monster that World War III would be.
When we visited the Hague and the Palace of Peace, our guide pointed out more external destruction to the city from the planes of their friends, than from the planes of their enemies. In trying to destroy the enemy and enemies’ headquarters, the allies seem to have had a perfect genius for missing the enemy and in hitting their friends. To go out to bomb the enemy now, especially with atomic bombs, is like going out to kill the serpents but instead of killing them, merely provoking the serpents to bite the children. Thus mankind would destroy mankind.
What can we do about it? As previously indicated, the only thing for us that is at all sensible, is to come to ourselves, to repent of our personal and collective sinning and folly and to give ourselves to the guidance and best uses of the Perfect Peacemaker. If enough of us did this the New Order of good will and good sense and good everything else could come even before we travailed, and nations could be born in a day, as Isaiah prophesied.
Along with this we would be able to see that the real enemy is not a nation or nations or a people or individuals, but the spirit of the anti-Christ. This spirit increases in the earth as long as we try to destroy the victims and agents of this spirit rather than to cast out the real enemy itself and liberate its victims. You cannot cast out the anti-Christ spirit with the anti-Christ spirit. It can only be cast out by the spirit of the Christ; and the Christ-spirit destroys only by the enlightenment of Love and by the Power of God. The individuals and the nations who have yielded most to the spirit of evil are objects of pity and compassion. We can liberate them only as we enter into ineffable union with the Great Peacemaker, and become extensions and contagions of Him and His Kingdom.
With the use of radio, television, the press, the screen and all the new agents that are coming into being, the enlightenment and the love and power of the real Gospel could be made known at once to the whole earth.
All we have to do is to repent and become peacemakers and to change the spirit of men and to bring in, so to speak, the atmosphere and climate of Jesus Christ, the Perfect Peacemaker, and peace shall reign. As Bishop Francis McConnell has put it, there was a time when the earth was filled with terrible monsters. Nobody went out with poisonous gas or bombs to destroy them. God “changed the climate and they died.”
When monsters fight each other on the low level where monsters live the most terrible monster wins. It is utterly and tragically stupid to attempt to fight with the devil on his own plane, with his own fire and with his own weapons. He has a great deal more fire of his kind, or at least has the reputation for having it, than any of us would care to have. If you could conquer him by becoming worse than he is we would still have you on our hands. So if we are to have peace within and help to bring real peace and good will on earth we, as individuals and as churches and as nations, will not only have to cease fighting with the weapons of hell and put on the armour of heaven, but first of all we shall have to see and repent of the anti-Christ spirit in ourselves, in our churches, and in our nation. We shall have to call upon the Great Peacemaker and caster-out of devils to set us free and to keep us free of the ways and weapons and evil spirit of the enemy.
It is sad to have to say, but most of the best of the called-to-be Christians and Christian churches, like Peter and James and John, have a way of wanting Jesus to play the role of the anti-Christ and call down hellfire upon those whom they regard as our enemies. Happily Jesus reminded them that the spirit they were in and knew not was the spirit of the anti-Christ, was the very opposite of His spirit. Of course Jesus called the disciples down instead of the fire, and if we in our churches were in listening and in speaking distance of Him now we would hear His call to us to repent and let Him cast out the spirit and the spirits that make for fear and division and war and hell on earth. And when we, like Peter, cut off ears, Jesus has to put them back. Peter at some times at this stage of becoming a Christian allowed the Holy Spirit to speak to him and sometimes allowed the spirit of the devil, or of the anti-Christ to speak. When it was the Holy Spirit speaking, Jesus called him very blessed and when it was Satan He simply called him Satan. In the deepest sense, all of us are at each moment rightly named by the spirit that we are yielding to and manifesting. If we are not hearing Jesus call us by our right names, when we get closer to Him, we will. How often in so-called Christian history the anti-Christ has spoken and manifested himself through those who thought themselves Christ’s very best. It was the same anti-Christ spirit and weapons that influenced the Puritans at Salem, Massachusetts; it was the same spirit that used such great names and instruments as Calvin and even Luther when they played the role of persecutor, in northern Europe; and it was the same spirit that animated the Roman Catholics in Spain and Rome in the Inquisition. Any fallible human who gets on the judgment seat and wants to be dictator and employs the weapons of violence is at the time he is doing it really Satan. Just as much so and seemingly often more so than was Peter opposing Jesus. This does not mean that anyone who has yielded to the enemy has to keep on yielding. But since the means employed of necessity have to appear in the end unless there is repentance and a change of means, the employer of these means always suffers the pangs of hell. There is no possibility of bringing the kingdom and peace of Jesus Christ in partnership with Satan.
Anyone who seeks to be a dictator, whether he calls himself pro-Christ or anti-Christ, is under the human necessity of using the instruments of terror. As someone has said, “No one but God is able to use much power without being corrupted by the use of it.” You just cannot be a dictator either in the name of Christ or in the name of atheism and escape both the weapons and the spirit of the Mischief Maker and the enemy of peace. And whenever the anti-Christ spirit comes in the name of Christ he gets in his most effective work. In fact the devil has such a bad reputation that in order to succeed, even for a time, he has to use some other name than his own. And Jesus gave the warning that in the days of the ultimate battle with the evil one, the evil one would come not in his own name but in the name and under the masquerade of Christ. This is the last effort of evil to destroy us and to save itself, or himself, whichever it or he may be. As C. S. Lewis has reminded us in Screwtape Letters, never before in history have the devil and evil been so much denied as in our age and never before have they been so much in evidence. Let us hope that because the enemy has such great wrath it is because his days are short, that his very wrath will make his days all the shorter. As Professor Lewis also put in the mouth of the enemy to his special servant to this planet, if he could make us believe that he did not exist or that he is more powerful than the Lord, either falsehood would be equally effective for the accomplishment of his purpose.
If nominal Christians, whether called Protestant or Catholic, Christian Scientist, or New Thoughters, would see and confess and forsake where they have yielded and been used by the anti-Christ, and give themselves wholly and only to Jesus Christ and His spirit and way of life as love; if they would join in meeting evil with good and go to casting out devils and setting their victims free and having only love and compassion for all who have yielded to the spirit and weapons of the anti-Christ, nations could be born in a day. As we have seen, the stage is set for this very thing, and, of course, God and His heavenly armies are moving even faster than the armies of fear, selfishness, and violence.
Not only could nations be born in a day if enough of us would utterly repent and give ourselves wholly and happily to the spirit and person of the perfect Peacemaker, but the Kingdom of Heaven could come without travail and in great joy and bliss.
On the plane of human government, if we insist on going the slow way of trial and error, of learning the hard way, the watchword “be united, unite, unite” that freed the cantons of Switzerland and kept them free must be the watchword of the nations. As I heard an intelligent Englishman say, there was a time when the English counties were at war with each other. When they surrendered their sovereignty they became parts of a larger whole. The same thing must happen to the nations. The necessity that caused the English counties to unite in a union under the Crown, that caused the Swiss cantons to unite, and that caused the American colonies to unite in a federal union, exists in a far more urgent way for the nations to unite in a federal union on a democratic base now than ever before. We do not want a world dictator, but we do want a united states of the whole earth where there is liberty under law and a common concern for the interests of all. If we are not wise enough to let nations be born in a day and for the King and Kingdom of God to come on earth in great joy, even the most stupid among us should have sense enough “to be united, to unite, to unite,” and unite in the interests of all.
As we have at least hinted, the real enemy that is to be overcome is not the Russians nor the Communists, nor the Catholics, nor the Protestants, not any particular flesh and blood, but as Saint Paul saw, it is the spirit of the anti-Christ-wickedness in the unseen that is seeking to get possession of and destroy the Russians with their Communism, the Americans with their free enterprise, the Catholics and Protestants and the whole earth. The true Christian never fights against anybody, he only fights against the enemies of everybody. Real Christians cast out devils and not folks. Jesus never put anybody out of His meetings, He healed their diseases and cast out their devils, and made of the most unpromising His most loving disciples. As long as you fight evil as a person, the more angry you get at him, and the worse that you do to him, the more you sin. But if you have love and compassion for the person, the more angry you are at the devil and devils that are enslaving and using him, the better friend you are to him.
Jesus was clearly aware that until He and His way of love and of overcoming evil with good were accepted, those who loved darkness and wanted to continue in darkness would set up the worst of all warfares against Him and His way of love. So He brought the sword of the spirit and the light of heaven to destroy the evils that bind us. Isaiah saw that this heavenly Child and Son of God who would bring the reign of peace and brotherly love and redemption would be called, “Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace,” and that there would be no end to “the increase of His government and peace.” This is the peace that shall last forever.
You cannot have the peace of Jesus Christ apart from His government. All efforts at peacemaking that seek to leave out either Him of His government are essentially futile, and may actually get us into war. There is no peace except for the loving and the merciful and the friendly and the forgiving. The wicked cannot have peace until they repent. We cannot have a sense of peace or security as long as we fear and are arming with the weapons that incite fear and arms against us.
Once in my own life I faced a mob unarmed with a heart of trust. I was fully aware that if I could prevent, not wicked men, but badly misguided men, from lynching a colored boy, I would be a better friend of the mob than I would be of the boy. So I did things so daring that I was amazed that anyone as cowardly as I would be on an unloving mission, could be so bold and fearless on a mission of love and good will to all. Evil intent against anyone takes away peace and confidence. We cannot plan any evil against an individual or a group or a nation or a combination of nations without being afraid, and the more secure we try to make ourselves in the wrong way the more insecure we become.
During my time I have heard individuals and also small groups of people calling Jesus. “Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, and the Everlasting Father.” The hope for a peaceful world lies in going one step farther and calling Him the Prince of Peace.
It is significant and interesting that. William Jennings Bryan resigned the highest cabinet position under the most intelligent and enlightened President of our century, rather than attempt to conduct the foreign affairs of the nation when the nation was at war, and spent his time going over the country giving his lecture on “The Prince of Peace.” In this lecture he gave a picture of peaceful unarmed neighbors living around a large lake, until a promoter of war and of war industries approached one of them with the idea he would be more secure with a battle ship, and after he had sold him this battle ship, he went all around the lake tempting all the rest of them to buy war ships. And on his next round told each that he would need another battle ship and another and another, in order to be secure until most of them were bankrupt and all were filled with fear. As we have seen, every effort to be secure with the weapons of fear makes us all the more insecure.
Not only did Isaiah see that the increase of his government and peace would have to go together, but the Psalmist also saw that those who loved his law would have “great peace.” We cannot have the Peacemaker and have His peace without having also His government and way of life that makes for peace. The more we are in union with the perfect Peacemaker the greater will be our peace, and the more we delight in His law and government the more we shall be in Him and greater will be our peace.
To be a peacemaker like Jesus we have to be in love with all those who are at enmity with each other. We cannot take sides against anyone. We have to so love both of them that we love them into loving. Jesus so loved His Father in heaven and so loved and loves his erring children on earth that He is the Perfect Peacemaker between the two. not causing God to lower His standard, but reconciling us unto Him and His perfect way for us and reconciling us to each other in love.
I have found most helpful in the efforts to be a peacemaker what Robert E. Lee said to his generals, “The one who is least in error will take the first step towards reconciliation.” It is not only true to life, but it is far easier for the innocent or the comparatively innocent to humble themselves than it is for the especially guilty. I have also found that the techniques of love as commanded by Jesus are the only ways of peace and of peacemaking. As Jesus commands, if our brother has sinned against us, we must not go to others about it, but go to him and him alone. If we fail to win him to the right way which is always the love way, then we are to get the help of the best one, two or three, who are available and by joint effort seek to win him, and if the smaller group fails to win him, we must solicit the help of the whole available church. And the church (any and everywhere) includes all in union with Jesus and in love with each other and with all. I have found that it is well to have a brother present before anything is communicated to your smaller committee or to the church.
The other commandment of Jesus is that if our brother has aught against us that we must leave off offerings and all else and go at once to him in love, and if possible remove even his imaginary ground of offense and bring him back with us to the meeting we left in order to get him happily reconciled and to come back with us. I have also found that if we are to be a peacemaker we must make no arbitrary commands, that we must be ready always to go the second mile, and never contend over such small trifles as monetary values, that we should confess for ourselves and not for others, and be all that Saint Paul in his epic on love said love is. Only the lover can be a peacemaker, and when we are in union with the perfect lover it is easy to love.
As applied to the social order we shall have to love rich men as well as poor men. The rich must be loved into loving and using their wealth and abilities in the interests of all; and the poor must be loved into loving the rich. When applied to nations we are to love our so-called enemy nations as well as our friendly ones. When applied to religion we must have nothing but love and all possible love for Jews as well as Christians, and for Catholics as well as Protestants, and for Protestants as well as Catholics. Indeed, to be at peace with them and to help bring peace to all and among all we must choose to have a limitless love for each and for all, This is the way, the great way, and the only way.
PERFECT HEALTH AND HEALING
Jesus, according to the New Testament report and the witness of the Holy Spirit, healed all who came to Him and all who were brought to Him for healing. He refused no one. “He healed all who were sick” (Matt. 8:16).
Everything of God has in it healing virtue. Everything of creation: earth, water, fire, air, sunshine, minerals, food, and herbs—under guided, intelligent use have in them something of the health and healing of God. Everything of His Spirit and presence and nature is marvelously healing. So are the fruits of the Spirit, “love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.”
Enough love will heal anything; and everything else combined with love is health and abundant life giving.
God heals with doctors, without doctors, and sometimes in spite of them. The whole power of God and of the universe for healing as well as for salvation is in Jesus Christ and is immediately available to us through Him and His Spirit. As Saint John saw, where Jesus now is and is visible and in full charge, all sickness and all the causes of sickness have vanished. They cannot exist in such good company.
Saint John saw this heavenly city and its divine order coming down to earth in fulfillment of Jesus’ prayer and ministry to bring heaven to earth, for God’s will of love and good will and good sense and good health and all else to be done in earth as it is in heaven.
In answer to the question, how can we best co-work with Him, for our own healing and for the healing of others, these are some of the ways:
- Repent of all the sin and sinning you know of, and pray to know all of the sins you have committed against your body, mind and soul as well as against all others and the whole of life.
I never did come to satisfactory health and abundant life and almost super-endurance until I chose to let go the denatured foods, which I class among the subtle sins of civilization against the body, and began to feast upon the things as nearly as possible as God created them and as nature grew them. God made things wonderfully well and man has denatured them and paid heavily for it.
- Among the sins against our mind and soul are unforgiveness and resentments.
Freely forgive everyone as Jesus Christ has forgiven you and as you would like to be forgiven by others, and go to radiating love and good will and good cheer to all.
- Seek the forgiveness of all who have anything against you and cease everything else until you do your best to get your brother reconciled and back in love with you (Matt. 5:23-24) .
Every hindrance to love and joy and fellowship must be removed. All covered inquity needs to be uncovered that it may be taken out of the way.
Years ago a young man who came to me seeking healing for his body was healed quickly when he went to the man for whom he had been collecting and confessed he had kept back some of the money he had collected. His employer reemployed him.
4: Recognize, and strengthen your faith by saying to yourself and others that all that Jesus Christ did when He was here in the flesh He can do now, and ever more.
One of my Manifest Victory friends, Mr. Kirby of Huntington, West Virginia, told me before his healing that he was all crooked and twisted from rheumatism and arthritis and also deaf.
Life seemed to have so little meaning for him he decided on a certain Friday to put an end to it by committing suicide, but before he attempted it he heard a voice saying, “God is life.” He said to himself, “Well, this cures me of the temptation to take life, even my own.”
A few days later, when reading the New Testament, he read one of the accounts of Jesus having healed someone whose physical condition was as bad as his own. He then said, “Jesus, if you could do it then, You can do it now.” Instantly, he says, he rose up well and even ran upstairs.
Sometime later there was a strong leading to attend a certain prayer meeting. One voice said, “What’s the use of going when you can’t hear anything.” The higher voice said, “You’ll be a good witness for Me, because the people will see that whereas you had been crooked and bound, you are now straight and released.” When he went he heard so well it was sometime before he realized he had not always been hearing.
- Say to Jesus Christ and to yourself and to the one prayed for, “It should be easier for You (Jesus Christ) , to do what we are asking of You, than to have done the more difficult things You did in Galilee.”
When I was at Warrenton, North Carolina, January, 1947, conducting a spiritual retreat in the Methodist Church there, the leader of the choir had a very near relative who had had one kidney removed at Johns Hopkins Hospital. At the time he was prayed for he was on the way to the boat to go back to Hopkins to see what could be done for the other kidney. In the prayer I said something like this—”Precious Jesus, if You could make a kidney, of course You can heal it, since it ought to be easier to heal or repair than it is to create.”
The relative caught faith when these words were spoken and had the witness that the young man of her deep concern was healed. He also about this time felt so well that as soon as he reached the boat, ordered a big meal and ate it and digested it. He had a good night.
When he got to Hopkins and was examined he was told that “something wonderful” had “occurred.” The last report from him is that he is well and back at work.
When I was at Avondale, North Carolina, in the autumn of 1947, Friend Ben Lee Ray, pastor of one of the Baptist churches there, took me to see a Mrs. Flynn who had suffered much and for a long time with a kidney out of position. In the prayer for her we said to the blessed Lord Jesus, “It ought to be easier to put a kidney where it belongs than it is to make it.”
This was Saturday afternoon. On Monday Mrs. Flynn felt a movement of her kidney and the movement was without pain. Soon after this she went to the specialist who had been seeking to help her, and when he made an x-ray of the kidney he said, “It’s back where it belongs, and I didn’t put it there.”
- Do your part as best you know and the best you can know by praying and obeying and trusting Him to do His best.
The miracle that the Lord wrought in putting the kidney where it belonged so increased the faith of Mr. and Mrs. Flynn that Mr. Flynn anointed with oil in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ a black sore on Mrs. Flynn’s face, supposed to be a cancer, telling the Lord, “I’m doing all I can and I am trusting You to do all You can.”
It was not long until the black sore dropped off and left the face without even a scar.
The last time I was in Avondale, Mr. and Mrs. Flynn were so very happy and grateful that they were praising the Lord aloud in the Baptist church and the church liked it.
- Invite Jesus to come in and reign, and be all in all in the ALL of you; particularly in the most needy and diseased parts. He is knocking to do this, and only needs to be wanted and invited. The insane have become sane after they were persuaded to ask Jesus to come into their minds and spirits and brains and bodies and affairs.
Mrs. E. J. Moore, in October, 1942, was healed suddenly of paralysis when she invited Jesus to come in the all of her spirit, mind, soul and body, and especially the paralyzed parts. She told me that while she was praying and being prayed for she felt the power of the Lord, as holy electricity, and was soon aware that she had been made whole. I saw her two years after the healing, and she was still whole.
I find the following type of invitation always opens the way for Him to bring an increase of His presence and quickening and healing power: “Precious Jesus, come in and be All in All in the All of me and of my affairs. Let Thy perfect joy be in me and make my joy full. Let Thy perfect Spirit be in my spirit and make my spirit perfect; let Thy mind be my mind, and make my mind perfect; let Thy perfect Body be in my body and make mine perfect. Be bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh, heart of my heart; be perfect salvation with health and healing for every bit of me, including every organ and function of my body, as well as every faculty of my mind and capability of my soul.”
There is nothing He does not heal, if and when He is allowed to enter, control and use.
Desire and dedicate yourself for fruit-bearing, identification, union and marriage with Jesus—for the Kingdom of God to triumph in you and in all, to find health and healing and all else necessary for living His life of love and for doing His will and work.
A friend of many years—W. M. Robinson—had such defective sight that it was necessary for him to use powerful bifocal glasses, until he commenced seeking, wholeheartedly, for the Kingdom of God as a present experience. Later when he went to put on his glasses, he says he was supernaturally restrained and looked over at the difficult writing that his work required him to read, and found he could read it without the glasses with perfect ease. This was about ten years ago, and he told me recently that his sight, at seventy-eight, is still good.
The colored friends, near Macon, Georgia, at the time of the outpouring of the Spirit upon them, were healed of all manner of diseases, simply by the presence of the Spirit.
At the Camp Farthest Out, Lake Koronis, in the summer of 1945, a rare colored girl, who asked to be prayed for that she might receive the Holy Spirit, was instantly healed of a serious back injury, without asking for the healing, and without expecting it. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there are miracles of healing, even when not asked for or expected.
Go after the highest, and you get the highest and all that goes with it. Seek less than the highest and you may not get it, and if you do you will not be satisfied with it, for you are made for the highest of all, and nothing less than this will satisfy you. As Henry Drummond put it, if you seek first the kingdom you will have problems, and if you seek anything less you will have nothing but problems.
- When you ask for healings or other gifts from Jesus, He says, “Believe that you receive them and ye SHALL have them” (Mark 11:24). “And this is the confidence we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us: And if we know that He heareth us—we know that we HAVE the petitions that we desired of Him” (1 John 5:14-15) Often we find that the things we ask are manifested while we are asking. If not manifested at once, if they are according to His will (and everything that is best for us and everybody else is according to His will), they are on their way, and are sure to arrive. So we can be very happy while awaiting their arrival. The first Christians, while they were tarrying for the Holy Spirit, were in great joy and in the high certainty of receiving.
- Dedicate to seek and to find and to give yourself to the best life, the best work and the best services He has for you, and that you have for Him and for others.
Moody Wright, one of the missionaries in South Africa, received a marvelous healing over twenty years ago, when he was told, and believed it, that he could not only get well, but could go as a missionary to Africa, in obedience to a call that had been made years before, and which up to that time he had not had faith enough to believe could be answered.
- N. Reedy, 229 N. W. 43rd Street, Miami, Florida, was lifted up from the jaws of death when he told the Lord he did not know how to pray for healing, but he did not know of any one who needed it more than he did. He was asked of the Lord if he would go as a missionary. He replied that he would go to the ends of the earth. Then the abundant life and healing of Jesus came upon his head and descended through his body, even lifting up the sunken veins with new life and strength, extending to the tips of his fingers and toes.
Give yourself to the highest you are here for. Treat your body as the temple of the Holy Spirit; put yourself under His guidance, and every disease can be healed, every obstacle removed, and everything turned to your good.
- You may find it advisable to get two or three in touch with Jesus to join you in prayer for your own healing and the healing of others and for some of the number to keep in continuous prayer until the healing occurs.
The October, 1948, Reader’s Digest reports the miraculous healing and the saving of a leg of young Dwight D. Eisenhower by one member after another of his family keeping the prayer vigil for the saving of the badly infected leg as well as his life. The physician who had insisted upon the amputation of the leg, when he saw that the prayer of the family had achieved the seemingly impossible, made a prayer of his own—a prayer of thanksgiving.
- Stop looking at, and feeding upon your diseases; and look to Jesus and feast upon Him. I had a friend, with a cancer on her nose, who called a prayer-group together, to anoint her nose in the name of the Lord, and to pray for her healing. A member of the group commanded my friend, in the name of Jesus, to forget her cancer and to keep her mind upon Jesus. The friend tells me that she did forget it. When she did look at her nose some days afterward, every sign of the cancer had disappeared.
At the Macon Hospital, years ago, I was called over to see a man who had been scalded in a railroad accident. His body gave the evidence of such intense suffering that I looked away from it, to God. When I opened my eyes I saw a smile on the man’s face; the pain had gone.
Beholding, as in a mirror, the glory of Jesus Christ as achieved perfect everything, we are changed not only “from glory to glory” but we are also healed.
Moses understood the secret of looking away from the trouble to the Deliverer and Healer when he commanded the children of Israel, when bitten by the fiery serpents, to look away from the serpents and the bites, and look to the brazen serpent, typifying the lifting up of Jesus Christ as the Saviour and Healer of the world.
No matter how large and poisonous the serpent, those who looked to the brazen serpent, getting their minds and eyes off the evil one, were healed, while those who looked at the serpent or bite, died. We are healed by the right look.
- Stand on His promises to you, as well as His promises in the New Testament.
A friend was used for the healing of a terrible cancer when she put one hand on Mark 16:18 and the other upon the cancer, and told the Lord that she was obeying as best she knew, and that it was His work to heal the cancer. Instantly the cancer disappeared, and the woman was given a new nose without even a scar upon it.*
* This case should not be confused with the case referred to under number 11.
- Seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit as to how to pray for healing. He is making intercession according to the Will of God, and will enable you also to do the same.
- Take yourself and your problems and those you would help, to Jesus. There are no failures with Jesus. He never finds anyone so sick that He cannot heal him nor so dead that He cannot resurrect him.
- In the Name, the Spirit, of Jesus Christ, as a true follower of Him, pray the prayer of command, as well as the prayer of intercession, thanksgiving, affirmation, denial and victorious realization. Even Jesus, knowing that the maiden and Lazarus were not dead but only asleep, awakened them from the dream of death only by His command to awake. No silent treatment, even by Jesus, raised the dead. And the longer they had been dead the louder the command. It takes a courage that only the loving and humble have, to pray the prayer of command. Anyone loving his movement or his reputation, more than he loves the dead, will shy off from this type of praying.
Sometime ago friends now living at 5871 Drexel Road, Philadelphia, were called to go to pray for a pastor of a religious group. The pastor had suffered intense pain, and a heavy dose of a sedative had been administered that was expected to keep her asleep until sometime the next day. The lady associated with her and caring for her became alarmed lest she might die without awakening. I was asked to accompany the friends who were called to pray for her. It was made known to me to pray first of all for union with Jesus. When we reached the home of the pastor, she did seem beyond human awakening. When the friends prayed, a measure of power came upon them.
The Spirit spoke several times through me, saying, “Read My Word.” I spoke aloud the words of Jesus, “The hour is coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live.” “I am the resurrection and the Life. He that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” “Whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die.” A little later the guidance came to call the sister by name and to ask her in the name of Jesus to awake. Away beyond my faith and to my surprise, she woke instantly with great light and happiness upon her face, waving her arms and praising the Lord, praising in other tongues as well as in English. She looked like a girl in her twenties, and she is a middle-aged mother. She was so much in the heavenlies that she reflected the realm or country where they never grow old. The next day she phoned us that she awoke the next morning without the least trace of pain, feeling so well that she went to her work. Sometime after this, she told me that she was really resurrected. “Spiritually or bodily?” I asked her. “Both,” she replied.
- Ask Jesus to show you how to co-work with Him in your own healing. When a brother was in great need I sought in vain from health specialists and doctors as to what would be the best thing of all for him to eat. Then I lifted up a prayer to Jesus and asked Him. Instantly my tongue was taken, and “grapes” was spoken. Several weeks later I found out from a health expert, that grapes are the best food of all in cases of low blood pressure, and this was one of my brother’s troubles. Jesus knows a great deal more about food than anyone else. He also knows the best exercises. He often gives us His answer through others who know better than we do. He first manifested Himself to Saul of Tarsus, and then sent Ananias to him as a helper. But when Jesus has no one present to help Him, He, Himself, will give us directly just the help and the guidance we most need. Of course, you should gladly let go everything that made you sick and that is keeping you sick, and remember that temperance is the special virtue required for bodily health, just as love is required for spiritual health. As it has been well said, by a colored brother, “Too much is the worst thing you can eat.”
Socrates would not give the medicine that was said to be the infallible remedy for a headache, until the patient became temperate. Next to temperance, and eating things as nearly as possible as God makes and grows them, one needs the exercise of going about doing good.
Everything that works harm is unhealthy; everything that works good, and only good, is healthy and healing. Even love requires that you stop spending your money for things that are not good for you and for others. As Emerson saw, if you want to be truly inspired, drink nothing stronger than water, and he prayed for “the wine that never grew in the belly of the grape.”
If you eat things all alive, and discard denatured foods and even get your spiritual and mental food as direct from heaven as possible, feasting on Jesus Himself and being guided by the Holy Spirit, you will find yourself hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and looking up and eating like the birds, rather than looking down and eating like the swine.
An Atlanta minister, some years ago, after having been sent from sanitarium to sanitarium, ending up with Mayo’s, and after getting worse rather than better, went into his room, locked the door, and said to the Lord, “I feel I am as ready to go to heaven as I will ever be; and if I am to be this expense to the Methodist Church and this burden to my wife, let me come on to heaven. But if I can be healed, so that I can continue my ministry, I would prefer this.”
In his letter to a Macon minister, who read it to me, the Atlanta minister said that he also told the Lord, “You can heal me either by a miracle or show me how to get well; I will take it either way.” He went on to say in the letter, that he knew instantly it was the Lord’s will to teach him how to get well. It involved going to work with his hands. His wife thought it would kill him. He obeyed anyway. The second day of the work the poisoned condition began to go, also his nervousness, and he said, at the end of two weeks he could do as much work as a railroad hand and preach as much as any of the other Atlanta ministers. Sometime after this I saw him, and he appeared to be a well man.
- Seek perfect union with Jesus, let His love flow in freely, and flow out freely to everybody and everything. Jesus longs for this union, and when you invite it He sees to it that it becomes reality to you, in you and through you. He comes into us because we are so poor and He is so rich. After He comes within, by His enabling, we then are to put off and let go everything unlike Him, and put on Him and His likeness, and let His perfect everything flow through us to everybody and everything. He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. He was also manifested to take away our sicknesses, and in Him, and in His presence there is no disease. “Himself took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses” (Matt. 8:17). When the union is complete there will be no disease among US.
- See Yourself, and See Others, As Perfect and Complete in Jesus Christ. As Saint Paul says, “Present every man as perfect in Jesus Christ,” not outside of Jesus Christ, nor apart from Him, but in Vital Union with Him. Outside of fruit-bearing, identification, union and marriage with Jesus, we are imperfect and incomplete. We are as branches severed from the vine, fit for nothing but fire, unless quickly grafted back. In marriage with Jesus, we are already perfect and complete. To know this, and to stand by it against every foe, evil, and limitation is the perfect “treatment” which brings the perfect “demonstration.” To affirm perfection, outside of marriage with Jesus, is an effort to make something true which is not true; while to affirm it in union and marriage with Him is to affirm that which is already true, needing only recognition to bring it into manifestation. The seeing and the affirming of the Perfect Spiritual Idea and Creation is not enough. It is Jesus Christ Himself, the Ideal made actual (the Word made flesh) and the Actual self-offered, raised up and glorified in Manifest victory and perfect triumph who brings perfect healing and victory over death and all that causes death.
PERFECT MARRIAGE AND REJUVENATION*
* See Manifest Victory, pp. 2’78-287; and The Secret of Divine Renewing and Rejuvenation (J. W. Burke Co., Macon, Georgia).
Having experienced and having seen in others an encouraging measure of rejuvenation through union with the glorified Jesus and through yielding to the Holy Spirit, I asked Him in the summer of 1942 when on a moving bus, what is the secret of rejuvenation? The answer came as heavenly lightening, “To be married to Me.” Not knowing precisely what He meant by marriage with Him, I asked Him and the answer came with the same swiftness and authority, “To be wholly each other’s.”
This of course is the secret, the whole secret and the only necessary secret for the salvation, the redemption, and the rejuvenation of the spirit, mind, soul and body. But knowing this makes everything else of Him of rejuvenating power all the more meaningful.
Jesus is the perfect Bridegroom. He is the Saviour, the Redeemer, and the Rejuvenator even of the Body. What He gave and gives is far more like a marriage feast than a conventional prayer meeting or formal religious service. According to the New Testament report He never used the word religion. He did not come to bring a new religion, but to give abundant and perfect life—healing, renewing, and regenerating and rejuvenation of the spirit, mind and body.
Jesus never grew old, and if He had remained here until now He would still be at the height and perfection of all of His faculties. He is and gives the perfect age as well as perfect everything else.
Everything of Him, His Spirit, His Word, His Touch, His Love, His Joy, and even His Garment had in them life-giving, healing and rejuvenating power.
The steps leading up to marriage with the glorified Jesus are first, dedication to walk in the Light; second, identification with Him; and third, ineffable union.
Identification comes with the new birth and by choosing to receive Him and become His disciple. Ineffable union becomes a reality through receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, by receiving the glorified Jesus within and by becoming an overcomer. Ineffable union becomes marriage as we choose to be wholly His and welcome Him to be wholly ours.
The Old Testament worthies knew that long life depended upon abiding “in the secret place of the most High” (Ps. 91:16). The Psalmist also knew the Lord “who forgiveth all of our iniquities, who healeth all of our diseases, who crowneth our lives with loving kindness and tender mercies,” also “reneweth our youth like the eagles” (Ps. 103:3-5).
Isaiah saw that “they that wait upon the Lord” renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings of eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint (Isa. 40:28-31). Moses by seeing Him who is invisible did his remarkable work of liberation and teaching after he was eighty and at one hundred and twenty “his eye was not dimmed nor his natural power abated.”
As Plato Darham put it, the saints who have not been martyred have had a genius for living long as well as well. As I have heard Judge Webb of the United States district court of Western North Carolina put it, “Old age is accumulated poison.” If we were perpetually receiving the love and joy and health and healing of the glorified Jesus and perpetually giving what we receive there would be nothing in us to take on the marks of old age.
The tongue, the most active member of the body, rarely ever shows any signs of old age. I take it if its activities were always those of loving kindness and healing that it would never grow old.
It is generally recognized the way to keep young is to be in perpetual quest for the best. The Greeks said that they kept young by learning something new every day.
It is reported in the press about three years ago that General Douglas MacArthur has hung over his desk “Worry, doubt, fear and despair—these are the long years that bow the head and turn the growing spirit back to dust. You’re as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair.”
Recently when in Florence, Italy, our guide advised those who were not enthusiastic to return to their hotels, remarking when we are enthusiastic we do not fatigue. Good enough news will take the tired feelings out of anyone; we do not tire when our joy is great. The more we live in the Spirit the longer our youth is preserved and the more it is renewed.
Those who have glimpsed into the heavenly world report the children there grow up to the perfect age which is about thirty or thirty-three and the old people come back to this age.
Swedenborg, who believed that he actually saw into the spiritual world for the last thirty years of his life, says that the oldest angel in heaven has become the youngest.
- D. Anthony, a greatly beloved and a very saintly Methodist minister of Georgia, reports in his autobiography that for about twenty-four hours his life seemed in balance between this world and the heavenly. During this time he heard the people praying for him on this side, and on the other he saw his first wife and his two children (one of them died when only a few days old and the other when a little over a year), heading the reception committee on the other side. Both of the children had grown up, but he recognized them and they recognized him. Also on the reception committee were all those who had believed because of his preaching.
He finally lost consciousness of those about him and saw only those on the other side. But just before reaching the other side the Heavenly Voice said to him, “I have more work for you to do on earth.” When he returned to consciousness the friends about him were still praying and weeping. He assured them that he had been sent back by God and would soon be well. He was.
I asked his son, Bascom Anthony, how long he lived after this experience and he said about twenty-five years. His son, Bascom, writing of his father, said that after the funeral expenses were paid his father had left behind him only eleven dollars and thirty cents—”eleven dollars and thirty cents more than he needed.”
A colored girl who lived near Macon, Georgia, was, about 1912, so much in the Spirit her eyes were closed to this world and opened to see Jesus and the heavenly realm. She told me afterwards she saw me and another friend on the other side at the heavenly banquet.
Feeling that I might get some hint as to how soon what she saw might become a reality in experience I asked her how much older I appeared to be there than here. Her reply was, “You were younger there and better looking, too.”
I take it that when Jesus gets through with us, if we go all the way with Him, we will all be not only perfect in age but also will be pleasant enough to look at.
Jesus prayed for that which is in heaven to be on earth; and is already here to a degree that we are married to Him and are in heavenly places in and with Him. I have a Chicago friend who tells me when she received the Holy Spirit she was in the glory and control and use of the Spirit for about ten hours and became at least ten years younger in appearance during these ten hours.
A California friend who was between ninety-four and ninety-five (when I last saw her) lives in so much joy and in the spirit of perpetual youth that her mind is bright and brilliant. She is very youthful in appearance for one of her age and is by far the most beautiful person I have ever seen who was over eighty years old.
Everyone who yields enough to the Heavenly Spirit to be happily possessed by the Heavenly begins to appear young.
Only a few months ago when I was in a meeting with colored friends who were much in the spirit, I was seen to be very youthful in appearance. I take it that everyone of us just to the degree that we enter into heavenly union and marriage with Jesus will both feel young and appear young.
Anyway when we are wholly Jesus Christ’s so that He can be in experience wholly ours we will find as Luther has well put it, “We are united with Christ as a bride is united with a husband.” By this mystery, Christ and the soul become one flesh—the believing soul can boast of and glory in whatever Christ has as if it were its own. Christ is full of grace, life and salvation; the soul is full of sins, death and condemnation. Now let faith come between them, and it shall come to pass that sins, death and hell are Christ’s and grace, life and salvation are the soul’s. For it behooves Him if He is a Bridegroom to take upon Himself the things which are His Bride’s and bestow upon her the things which are His. For, if He gives her His body and His very self, how shall He not give her all that is His? And if He takes the body of the bride, how shall He not take all that is hers?
Saint Paul saw Jesus as “Saviour of the body, and that those of us who have the first fruits of the spirit are earnestly awaiting the redemption of our bodies,” (Rom. 8:23) . He likewise saw in the intimate relationship with Him “we are members of his body, of his flesh and his bones,” (Eph. 5:30).
In our union with the Glorified Jesus as identification, ineffable union and marriage, there is a perfect interchange, interaction and integration.
At first, Jesus (who is perfect everything) is taking upon Himself our sins, our diseases, and everything of ours that needs to go; and giving us His righteousness, His health and everything He has. This union of interchange goes on to the end until He takes that which is mortal in our bodies and gives us His immortality. This is the end that He had in view from the beginning, to make us like Himself even bodily.
On the way to this we move into a partnership with Him or a relationship of interaction. In this relationship He loves through us and we love through Him. He brings forth everything through us and we bring forth through Him.
In the relationship of an integrated union with Him we become extensions and contagions of Him.
In the marriage with Him everything of His is ours as everything of the best human husband belongs to the wife. No matter how poor she is at the time of marriage if her husband is rich she marries into his riches. She can even draw as large a check from the bank as he can.
In like manner no matter how old we may be when we enter into marriage with the glorified Jesus we will find His spirit of eternal youth and His perfect age are ours. On the way to this perfect marriage we are already feeling the beginnings and first fruits of the redemption and rejuvenation of the body as well as of the spirit and of the mind. Everything of Him has the touch of eternal youth.
THE PERFECT TRIUMPH*
* See Manifest Victory, pp. 222-232 and 294-297.
“From the very nature of God and the things of God and from the very nature of evil and the things of evil, God and the things of God must win. Manifest Victory (Perfect Triumph) has not only been achieved in the experience of Jesus but is being achieved in the experience of everyone in union with Him. Ultimate Manifest Victory (Perfect Achievement) is predestined; God is working everything together for its achievement in us and in the creation.” *
* Quoted from preface of Manifest Victory by the author, published by Harper and Brothers, 1941.
Light has power to penetrate and destroy darkness; darkness has no power to penetrate and destroy the light.
Good has power to destroy evil and even power to use seeming evil and turn it to good. Evil, like darkness, may obscure the good, but cannot destroy it.
Truth is omnipotent against falsehood; falsehood is impotent against truth.
As Patmore put it:
“When all its work is done, the lie will rot;
Truth is mighty and will prevail
When none cares whether it prevails or not.”
Love has power over hate, but hate cannot destroy love and cannot keep love from being love.
“Love never faileth.” There may be a failure to love but no failure in love itself. Where there is not enough love to conquer, keep on increasing love. Enough love will conquer all that is not love.
Jesus the Christ has power over the anti-Christ, but the anti-Christ has no power over Jesus Christ.
Evil succeeds for a time by masquerading as the good and by employing the cooperative principles of the good. Utter evil unmasked as utter evil would not only be destroyed by the Good, but would even destroy itself.
When the rattler gets mad enough, he goes to biting himself. In the last stages, evil always turns upon itself.
The Memoirs of Goebbels reveals that Hitler was afraid of his associates and they were afraid of each other as well as afraid of Hitler. It seems impossible for anyone to have real faith when on a mission of evil. To make yourself untrustworthy causes you to mistrust others.
Evil cannot have faith in itself. One who goes out on a mission of evil armed with the weapons of destruction is of necessity afraid of being destroyed. One evil man cannot have genuine faith in another.
As Emerson puts it, Napoleon had the best chance in all history of succeeding without moral principles; he failed utterly. He left France weaker than he found her and ended his life as a prisoner. Pasteur is far more loved in France than is Napoleon. Only those who bring good and whose lives are motivated by love are really loved by their fellows.
The good is fearless. One on a mission of good will motivated by the highest love for all will be perfectly fearless. Perfect love hath nothing to be afraid of.
If the same man who is fearless on a mission of love and good will should yield to temptation and go on a mission of evil to anyone, he would of necessity be afraid. Evil is a coward. In trying to make itself secure it makes itself insecure.
It appears on the same principle that light destroys darkness, that good destroys evil and that love casts out fear and, in large enough doses, conquers the most ruthless hate. Jesus Christ as perfect health and healing, as perfect life and immortality; not only conquers sickness but even death itself.
In all of His encounters with disease He conquered: and according to the New Testament report, no one ever died in His presence, nor remained dead in His presence. He awoke the dead more easily than we can wake up sleepy children. Those who had only been dead for a short time He awoke in an ordinary voice; Lazarus who had been dead for days He awoke with a loud voice. The Scriptural prophecy is that when He awakes all the dead He will do it with the voice of an archangel and with that triumph of God. The longer one has been dead, the louder the voice.
Saint Paul was convinced that not everyone was going to fall asleep or die (1 Cor. 15:51-56). He saw that the goal of Christian achievement is to overcome the last enemy death, as well as the first enemy sin. He was keenly aware while in the “first Adam” all die, that in Jesus Christ all shall be made alive.
If you are going to remain a child of the first birth only, you only have to look at your grandfather to get a fair picture of what you are going to become.
If you become a disciple of Jesus Christ and give yourself to becoming like Him, you only have to look at Him to begin to see what you are to be. By looking at Him you are already being changed into His likeness.
On the way to perfect triumph over even the appearance of sin, disease and death there should be great inner victory in the midst of what seems worst defeat. As Soren Kierkegaard says substantially, “When it appeared that Jesus and all that He stood for was finished, Jesus Himself saw the enemy He came to conquer was finished.” In the midst of what seemed to be the worst defeat there was the greatest triumph.
Since then those who have faced the worst with the love and faith of Jesus have been real victors in what seemed utter failure and defeat. They have been such victors, that they have even made converts of those who persecuted them unto death.
Stephen praying for those stoning him to death with his face in the radiance of an angel evidently was the beginning of the end of Saul the persecutor, preparing the way for Paul the apostle.
The burning of the New Testament by Sundar Sighn brought him to the desperation that opened the way for the glorified Jesus to come to his rescue in a manner very similar to the way Jesus came to the rescue of Saul of Tarsus. Happily, later, the love and glory of Sundar Sighn under the worst persecution became effective in converting the power of his persecutors. As one of these put it, the worse you treat Him the happier He becomes. “I’d give anything to have what he had.”
Sammy Morris converted the giant who sought to kill him but could not. To convert and make a friend of your enemy is not only high achievement for you but exceedingly great good to Him.
On the way to manifest victory and visible triumph Jesus Christ gives such great inner victory that this victory at any time may become manifest victory or perfect triumph.
Isaiah saw that the time was coming when Zion would bring forth even before she travails. I take it there is to be such an inner victory that it will produce quick and glorious outer victory.
One of the editors of the Sunday School Times shared with us this story of a Chinese missionary who was caught by bandits demanding ransom money.
The missionary refused to give it, telling the bandits she did not want to encourage their kind of business and because the money should go to the missionaries rather than to them.
The bandits set a date for beheading the missionary. When they came to behead her, and were on the way to the block she was so extremely happy the bandits said to her, “We don’t understand you.” She replied that she was thinking of the glory she would be experiencing as she ascended and looked back and saw her head rolling down the hill. The bandits replied, “If this is the way you feel about it we’re not going to accommodate you.” Here the inner victory was so great it brought an immediate outer victory, even more in the interest of the bandits than of the missionary.
As I understand, this is to be the goal of meeting evil with good. It is to be met in such love, wisdom, grace and joy that those who start out to do the worst evil will be spared from doing it by becoming happy converts. With enough of this as a contagion spreading over the earth, nations would be born in a day, and the New Order would come with great joy and rejoicing.
The conquest of the very appearance of death is to be achieved through perfect fruit-bearing union and marriage with the glorified Jesus. This will make His victory over death our victory also. The victory of Jesus is ours not through conquest apart from Him but by perfect marriage with Him. By this marriage His immortality becomes ours by receptivity and response to Him and by conquering the things that keep us from the perfect marriage.
Saint Paul says that Jesus alone has immortality. He evidently means that He is the only one who has immortality of body as well as of soul, the only kind of immortality that will satisfy us. This immortality comes by putting on His resurrected and glorified body as well as by entering into a perfect marriage with His mind, spirit and will.
Jesus is the perfect and only bridge between divinity and humanity, between soul and body, between immortality and mortality. He is achieved immortality; His immortality becomes ours through marriage with Him, not through the conquest of death apart from union with Him. His body crucified, resurrected, and glorified, to use a rare phrase of Ignatius, “is the medicine of immortality.”
Jesus longs to be and must be all in all in the all of us and to have us wholly His. This is the perfect marriage which enables Him to give us His immortality of body as well as of spirit.
Blessed are they who are invited to the perfect marriage. Blessed beyond thought are those who enter into this marriage. Those who come to this marriage do not have to bring with them their immortal garments, their redeemed bodies. They do not have to achieve immortality of body. They put on His.
The perfect triumph is not something that we attain; it is something we put on, “for we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened, not that we will be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up in life”* (2 Cor. 5:4).
*See Manifest Victory, page 297.
When the sons of God have been brought to the likeness of the Son, then those in union with the Son are to bring the creation to the love and friendliness and liberty of the Sons of God.
The goal of history is the utter triumph of Love over hate, of Good over evil, of Light over darkness, of Joy over sorrow, of Health and Healing over disease and discord, of Life over death—of Jesus Christ over everything unlike Himself.
Everything will be increasingly in His name until His conquest and His triumph are complete.
GETTING IN UNION*
* Reprinted from Together, copyright 1946 by Stone and Pierce. Published by Abingdon-Cokesbury Press at $1.25.
God is the homeland of the soul. We are no good away from home, except to return. Our getting in union with him through our union with Jesus, who is God and the eternal Christ with us in perfect availability as perfect everything, is our one necessity and only responsibility. In this union all things are ours and we have His ability joined to our own to do all good things and to do them well. In union with Jesus at His present height of being and attainment and in union with all in union with Him, we are at the acme of privilege and possibility. It will always be better and better in this union, and worse and worse out of it.
Sin is everything that takes us out of this union and keeps us out of it, everything that takes us and keeps us away from home. Repentance is our part in the return. Separated from Him, we are like limbs severed from the tree and branches from the vine. Our only hope is in being grafted in or back. We are grafted back through repentance and faith, through receptivity and response. The new birth or the rebirth, or return, is a birth into union and into love. By yielding to his good Spirit, his love is shed abroad in our hearts and, as we choose to let this love outflow, we become loving and are born of God, for he “that loveth is born of God.”
Faith makes us responsive to God’s love and this response is the child of the union. The union brings love, and love brings more union. Everything after this comes through abiding and increasing in the union and in love. The more union the more love, and the more love the more union, and the more everything else that goes with the union. The birth and the gift of his love and the care of his love are free gifts of his grace. He first loves us and loves us into loving, just as a mother smiles her baby into smiling. Returning prodigals bring nothing to the feast but great need. They furnish the appetite, the father furnishes all else. Prodigals do not have to leave home, but when they do leave they are loaded down with all the good that they can carry with them; but they cannot take enough with them to last long, any more than the severed limb and branch can last long apart from regrafting.
We return home for what we must have. The Father draws us back, but He does not send out fresh supplies to the far country. If He did, we would be all the longer in returning. It is impossible for God to give us His best, except in union with him and in His love. The getting in union with Him, the abiding and the increasing, is from necessity the free and happy yielding and responding to Him and to His spirit and to His perfect love and truth and everything else that He is and gives and enables. To get away from His good spirit is to get away from Him. To repent and to get back in His spirit is to get back in union with him. To get out of love is to get out of Him; to repent and get back in love is to get back into Him. To get out of truth and truthfulness also requires the repentance that is our part of our return. To get out of anything that God is, is to get out of that much of God, while to yield and respond to anything that is God is to yield and respond to that much of God. The return and the conditions for the return and the abiding and the growing up are so perfect no enlightened person would change them if he could. The more we see of God and His perfect way, the more we approve and delight in Him.
We become like whatever we receive and pass on. So, to abide and increase in union with Him, we must receive freely and give freely, give His love and give only His love. For if we give out anything other than love, we go out in the thing we give out; this means that we must meet all evil with good as well as all good with good. To meet evil with evil is to become evil and to be overcome with evil and have evil on top of us. But every time we meet evil with good, we get on top of the evil and rise higher.
As we meet all hate with love and all evil with good, we find ourselves in the kingdom of Jesus and in union with him. Here we cease from all judgments of condemnation and go to judging in terms of his limitless possibilities to turn everything to good that is turned over to Him. Here we join Him in the judgments of love and mercy unto victory. If one has been the worst enemy and the chief of sinners, as was Saul of Tarsus, he is given the opportunity and the ability to become His best friend, witness and apostle and chief of saints. In the realm of Jesus we go about giving His love and ours to all. In giving His love and ours, we receive ever-increasing love and enter into ever-deepening union with Him.
Whoever or whatever leads us, brings us into the realm or kingdom of that leader. To be led by leaders as good as John Wesley, St. Francis, or George Fox, will lead a man to be a Christian of the Methodist, the Franciscan, or the Quaker type. To be led by Jesus and by his good spirit is to be led right into Him and into His Kingdom, where abides pure religion, free from human limitations and coloring. To be led by love is to become harmonized with Him who is love. Of course, we follow after those who are ahead of us in the way, but we follow them because they follow Him and because we have to follow them until we can get ahead of them.
The kind of union that we have been considering, which comes through our returning, rebirth, or birth from above, that continues and increases through our receiving and giving His love and only His love, by meeting all evil with good, by giving up all judgment but the judgment of love and mercy, and love unto victory, and by being led by Him and His good spirit, prepares us for being baptized by Him with the Holy Spirit and entering into union even with His glorified body. This baptism and gift of the Holy Spirit is the beginning of the glorious union with Him, on the plane of his resurrection and glorification.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit meant for me an amazing revelation of Jesus and the free possession and control of my whole being, including my body. Before this I had something of His Spirit. With the baptism the Holy Spirit had me. I was lifted up upon the cross of life and bliss and glory. Jesus manifested Himself without, so that I could even feel the outlines of His glorious body, and then He breathed or infused himself within, so that I realized the fulfillment of His promise that in that day when He gives us the other Comforter or the Holy Spirit we shall know that He is in the Father and the Father in Him and He is in us and we in him. “At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.”—John 14:20. All I did was to ask, to tarry with desire and expectancy, and to invite Him to come within and to be in me the life and principle of His own good life and teaching, and to dedicate myself to go His way of love and to give this love at the bottom of human need. I even told Him if He could baptize me without the tongues I would prefer it, but if it required the tongues I would take the tongues. The control and speaking for months was in English, before the Spirit spoke through me in other tongues than my own. This was His way of dealing with me.
The one great neglect of the Church as a whole has been that it has not continued to ask for and obey the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit, that Jesus went away to receive in a new and glorious way and give to all believers. The failure of most of the few who have asked for and been obedient to the gift and baptism of the Holy Spirit has been that they have not lived in the Spirit and gone on to the perfection of union with the glorified Jesus and the bearing of the fruit of the union. Even in the early Church, Christians soon began to fall away from their first love and glorious union. As much as they received, it was not the fullness that is to be and must be, in order to bring the perfect union, the perfect marriage, and the perfect Kingdom.
The best is not behind us, it is yet to be. While we have to be born or adopted to become members of the family, after our baptism our calling and enabling is to become like our Heavenly Father and our perfect Elder Brother. We have to grow up in Him and in ever-increasing union with Him. This requires the perfect food and the perfect exercise and the perfect atmosphere, which He is and gives. Our bread is Jesus Himself, our meat is the doing of His will, our drink is His spirit. We must have the full and balanced diet with plenty of exercise to grow. As precious and necessary as is the baptism by Him, no one experience can take the place of continuous and increasing abiding, fruit bearing, and going on to perfection—the perfection of union, and the perfection of fruit bearing, and the perfection of likeness.
When we first receive Him, we are given the new birth and power and predestination to become sons of God. When we are baptized by Him and receive Him and His glorified body in our spirits and bodies which are His, we are made ready in a new way to witness for Him with certainty and power and to co-work with Him efficiently. We are thus prepared to grow up, and are given the ability to become full overcomers and full attainers.
He comes into us as the glorified one when He is wanted and invited and comes to remain forever if we choose above all else for Him to remain. There is nothing else I know that is so rewarding and healing as to invite and want Jesus, who is longing and knocking to come in, to come in to the all of us, spirit, mind, soul, body, and our daily affairs, and to be all and in all and to come in a double portion into all of us who are sick and weak and in special need. I have seen the insane become sane when Jesus was invited to come into their minds and their nerves. I have seen a paralytic rise up and walk when Jesus was invited to come into the whole of her, and in a double portion, in all of the paralyzed parts. But our entering into Him, never to go out at any time, is through leaving on the outside everything that keeps us on the outside, and entering into Him at his feet, the place of humility, and letting Him place us where we belong. It is through putting and keeping Him first and centralizing upon His way of life as love that we abide in Him and grow up in Him and become both extensions and contagions of Him and of His Kingdom.
The Holy Spirit, being the highest consciousness of all, is the revealer of the highest truth and reality of all. He is, therefore, the only consciousness capable of making the full revelation and disclosure concerning Jesus, who is both God and man united in the perfect synthesis and the perfect achievement. The human consciousness, under whatever name it comes, philosophy or theology, is always whittling Jesus down to fit its own moulds.
Union with Him, through birth, through love, through baptism, and through overcoming, is a union of interchange, interaction, and integration. In the union as interchange, He takes our sins and gives us His righteousness; He takes our diseases and gives us His health and healing; He takes our griefs and gives us His joy; He takes our ugliness and gives us His beauty. In this union of interchange, He is the great giver and we are the great receivers. We are admitted to the feast of love and grace, because He is so rich and loving and we are so poor and hungry. All that is required of us is to confess and to put off our worse than lack, and put Him on. This is the way we treat babies. But to grow, they must learn to give as well as to receive love. They will always be great receivers, but to become adults they must become something better than this. They have to become great givers. No one can come to maturity except through learning to love others as he is loved by Jesus. Since He furnishes the love in superabundance, we do not have to create the love—we only pass it on and add ours to it. The passing it on is even better than the receiving it. Running with the Father to meet the next returning prodigal is even better and happier than being met by the Father.
We grow as He is permitted and welcomed to love through us, and we choose to love and overcome through Him. He achieves through us and we achieve through Him. We are partners. The Son becomes so much like the Father that the Father is seen in the Son and the Father is received whenever the Son is received.
This partnership of love, of the Father and of Jesus, and of Jesus and us, makes us extensions and contagions of Jesus and his Kingdom. Here we love to do and delight in doing what we should do. Here we find that God never did want to keep us from what He knew we would really love and be satisfied with, but was only seeking to keep us from what we thought we wanted and really did not want.
Peter and Paul became so integrated with Jesus that the garments that Paul wore—as well as the robe that Jesus wore—had in them something of his healing virtue. Even the shadow of Peter had a healing virtue. To touch even the least of those in full integration with Jesus is to touch Him and to be made whole.
The union with Him, which is the union of interchange, interaction and integration, is progressively revealed as identification, ineffable union and marriage. Whoever receives a prophet in the name of a prophet, receives the prophet’s reward. We become like our leading identification which is our leading love, and the highest identification of all is with the glorified Jesus, Who is perfect. He is perfect Saviour and perfect salvation, perfect spirit and perfect body, perfect divinity and perfect humanity, perfect lover and perfect love, perfect healer and perfect health, and perfect rejuvenator and perfect rejuvenation. His perfection is infinite and extends to our smallest needs and possibilities.
The ineffable union of His glorified body with our bodies—first experienced when He baptizes us and comes within us—must increase and increase, until we become like Him, even bodily, either through resurrection or rapture. Our marriage with Him is revealed to be our becoming wholly His and He wholly ours. It comes with our happy choosing to give up everything but Him and love, and to hold fast unto them.
The marriage with Him will bring divinity victoriously unto humanity and humanity victoriously unto divinity. It will bring soul and body and everything else into perfection of unity and attainment. In this marriage, even our homeliness will be put off and His beauty will be put on, old age will be put off and His perfect youth-maturity put on.
The divine and human, soul and body, heaven and earth, have become one in Jesus, in a great synthesis, fulfillment, enrichment, and harmonization. In the perfect marriage with Him, what has been achieved in Him will be ours, both by gift and attainment. Nothing good enough to contribute is left out. Heaven needs earth and earth needs heaven, so they are brought together, in the enrichment of heaven and in the redemption of the earth. Soul needs body and body must have soul, so the soul gets its full opportunity through the body and the body gets its transformation through the soul. Jesus longs for us and needs us; we must have Him. He will never be satisfied without us and we can never do without Him. Without Him, we are nothing; with Him, we are on the way to becoming all that He is, which is perfect everything.
(1) The glorified Jesus alone gives the Birth, the Baptism and Gifts of the Holy Spirit. He is the only One who has become triumphant and gives the ability to become triumphant over the last enemy death as well as the first enemy sin. Others have gone only part of the way and can only help us part of the way. Jesus has gone all the way and enables us to go all the way.
(2) Jesus is not only God and man in full triumph, but also in perfect availability to us. In Him the Divine has been brought to the human level and to the very gates of hell. As Him, the human has ascended to the throne of the Divine, and those in union with Him are already in heavenly places in Him on the way to becoming utterly heavenly.
(3) There is no other name and Spirit by which men, institutions, nations, mankind and the creation may be fully, gloriously and really saved. Salvation in all other names only goes so far—not far enough. Even Christ, separated from Jesus who is the Christ, is not enough. The glorious achievement of God in Christ came and comes in the name of Jesus—in the incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection and glorification of Jesus, who through the Holy Spirit is omnipresent and seeking union with us and full triumph in us. So to fail to receive God and the eternal Christ in, and as Jesus, is to fail to receive both God and Christ in full achievement, manifestation, bliss and glory.
(4) God, the title name for Jehovah, is not enough. The most religious nation of history that tried to have God and at the same time reject Jesus, lost their city, their country and the opportunity offered them to bring the new order of the Kingdom of God on earth.
(5) The law, whereby we receive Him who sends by receiving Him who is sent, makes it impossible to have the fullness of what God is seeking to give, apart from receiving Jesus, whom He is offering as His perfect everything for the whole of us and for the whole of life. Through identification and union with the Glorified Jesus, we find that He puts us upon a Cross in reverse of His—the Cross of Life, not death; the Cross of Honor, not shame; the Cross of Bliss, not agony; the Cross upon which we receive the Holy Ghost, not “give up the ghost”; the Cross where He manifests Himself and comes within, not the Cross of being seemingly forsaken. This Glorious Cross upon which He puts us should make it easy and glad for us to fill up all that is lacking in His sufferings in meeting and overcoming all evil with Good, all hate with His Love, all sickness with His Health and Healing, and all death with His Life.
(6) Jesus is God in successful manifestation and man and the new order in manifest victory. Jesus is God in a perfect body. He is the first fruits of the Kingdom in outward manifestation. He is the seed of all that has and will come.
(7) Not only did the Jews have God until they rejected Jesus, but Hitler called on the name of God while persecuting the Christians and humanity as well as the Jews. Apart from Jesus, your god may be the Christian’s devil.
(8) The whole issue hangs around Jesus and His way of life as limitless good will, as good neighbor, and as love that extends to enemy groups and nations as well as to individuals.
(9) Jesus is the only God with limitless dominion over the nature and over devils and over every enemy of life, who has yet appeared on this planet. He is God on the plane of our sufferings and need. Since His crucifixion, resurrection, glorification and gift of the Holy Spirit, He is omnipresent, and is Man on the throne of God and the universe.
(10) When the perfect has been brought forth or even the most perfect, it is used as a seed and example and helper to bring forth everything below it. This law works in the improvement of animals, in invention and discovery and everywhere else. Nobody wants to reject it except when the perfect appears as the Crucified One and calls for a death to the things that crucified and crucifies Him—the Perfect One.
(11) Jesus was the all-sufficient God of the first and best Christians who turned the world upside down and laid the foundation for the new order. These early disciples of Jesus did everything in His name as well as in a large measure, in His Spirit.
(12) We do not have to begin at the bottom and do over anything that has been well enough done. This is true in science, in art and in the whole realm of human endeavor. It is sublimely and gloriously true in the realm of the Spirit, in the realm where Jesus is Master. Just as in the human realm we do not only receive according to the sowing of others—we are constantly reaping where others have sown. In the realm of Jesus we have everything potentially and a great deal actually by even believing in Him by receiving Him, and by beginning to respond and co-work with Him. As prodigals, the heavenly Father has furnished us even the means of living and dissipation in a far country. When we return as nations that have played the prodigal, as well as individuals, we find everything prepared for us, fatted calves, music and everything else that we had nothing to do in providing except by giving the all-loving One an opportunity to welcome us back with such a welcome that it seems too good to be true and also too good not to be true. So the law of receiving gloriously by faith, by reception, by response, by identification, by marriage, by atonement is even a higher law and supersedes when necessary, the law of Karma or cause and effect. Here love rejoices against law and yet fulfills law; atonement rejoices against karma and fulfills karma.
(13) Whenever there have been revivals of vital firsthand contacts with God, Jesus has been lifted up. Our present day liberalism, as refreshing as it is at its best in humility and charity of mind and spirit, and as noble as it has been in desire and purpose, has had this fatal weakness; namely, of trying to bear the fruit of the heavenly Vine without union with the Vine. And our orthodoxy has had the fatal defect, in too many instances, of trying to substitute praise for the Vine for vital union with the Vine, which makes possible the blessed fruit of the Vine.
(14) The Holy Spirit came, comes, baptizes, guides and transforms in the name of Jesus, glorifying Jesus and revealing Him as Lord and as perfect everything.
(15) And the newday, the new order of the ages, the redemption and the transformation of the social order and of the whole life, the coming of the Kingdom on earth, the kingdoms and realms of this world being purified and transformed and becoming the Kingdoms of God and His Christ, will come in manifest victory in the name of Jesus as well as in the spirit and love of Jesus.
(16) Our need and necessity is for the baptism of the Holy Spirit that brings ineffable fruit-bearing union with Jesus as well as the Apostolic gifts and manifestations of the Spirit; and the union and fruit-bearing must be continuous and increasing.