Orthodox Christians are greatly disturbed by both the teachings of Joseph Smith and the New Age teachings on God because the only concept of Higher Intelligence that they can conceive of is a single God who rules the universe. Therefore, when they are told that man can become or manifest God they think that is the height of arrogance, as if the man who believes such is claiming to be the king of all creation. They forget that the New Age concept of God is different from theirs. If we looked upon God as being separate from ourselves it would be arrogant to claim to be God, but if we look upon God as being of whom we are a part, then there is no arrogance. New Age people merely see God as the whole of life and to manifest God is to recognize that we are a part of that whole. In other words, our claim to manifesting God is based on the injunction of Jesus to be one with the Father and the Son. How can being one with God be anything else than being God, or identifying with the whole?
A drop of water is insignificant when it is removed from a giant wave, but when it is joined back into the wave and cooperates with it, it then becomes the wave. We are like drops of water that have separated from the Life wave we call God. When we join back in with the God wave we become one with it and we can say with all the other billions of lives: "I am the wave" or "I AM God." We have not lost the molecules that have made us the drop. We still have our identity, but we have much more. We are one with something much greater than ourselves to the extent we actually become the wave. We are a wave, yet one with millions of drops combined. We are God, yet millions of human "drops" combined. No life is separated from the life which is God.
This principle is not new and should not be thought to be esoteric for it is clearly taught in the Bible.
Paul spoke very clearly concerning the nature of Christ who is God:
"Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are diversities of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is THE SAME GOD THAT WORKETH ALL IN ALL. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to EVERY MAN to profit withal [...] (Then Paul enumerates on the gifts of the Spirit.) [...] For as THE BODY IS ONE (the Wave), AND HATH MANY MEMBERS (the many drops), and all the members (human lives) of that ONE BODY (GOD), being MANY, are ONE body, SO ALSO IS CHRIST (GOD). For by ONE SPIRIT we are all baptized into ONE body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into ONE SPIRIT. For the body (GOD) is not one member (Life), but MANY (All lives together) [...] Now Ye are the body of Christ (GOD), and members in particular." (1 Cor 12:12-14, 27)
It should be obvious from this scripture that Christ is much more than the man Jesus and God is not just one entity sitting on a throne. Both Christ and God (or the Father) are one and manifest through one body, but that body is composed of many members. On earth, those who are members of the body of Christ are those who "know the love of Christ" and are "filled with the FULLNESS OF GOD" (Eph 3:19) "until Christ be formed IN YOU." (Gal 4:19) "To whom God would make known what is the riches of glory of this MYSTERY among the Gentiles: which is CHRIST IN YOU, the hope of glory." (Col 1:28)
"LET THIS MIND BE IN YOU WHICH WAS ALSO IN CHRIST JESUS: who being in the form of God, thought it not mockery to be EQUAL WITH GOD: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men...." (Phil 2:5-7) "That the life of Jesus might be made manifest in our body." (2 Cor 4:10)
On earth the Bible teaches that Christ is composed of many members possessing the Spirit of God. Jesus, however, "is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead." (Col 1:18)
Even though Jesus is the most important member of the body he is NOT the only member. We should not look upon him as being apart from us, or as manifesting God in a way that we cannot for we are commanded to have the same mind in us that was within him. Concerning Jesus Paul wrote: "Great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh...." (1 Tim 3:16) Since we are commanded to be of the same mind as Jesus then we should also manifest God in the flesh.
This is verified by a correct translation of John 1:14. In the King James it reads:
"And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."
The word "among" is from the Greek EN which is almost always translated as "in" not "among." Let us render a more correct translation here in harmony with the ancient language:
"And the Word is BECOMING flesh and dwells IN US. And we beheld His (or Its) glory, a glory like an only begotten from the Father full of grace and truth."
In fact we are promised that we shall manifest God beyond our comprehension. Jesus said:
"He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and GREATER WORKS than these shall he do; because I go to my Father. [...] At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in my, and I (Christ) IN YOU."(John 14:12 & 20)
It is interesting to note that Jesus never did directly refer to himself as "The Christ." In referring to himself he always used the title: "son of Man." Thus Jesus, the man, humbly associated himself with humanity. He never spoke the word "Christ" in relation to himself exclusively as others did. In fact there are only four occasions in the Bible where he actually spoke the word.
"But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren." (Matt 23:8)
"For whosoever shall give you a cup of water in my name, because you belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward." (Mark 9:41)
Jesus referred to Christ in the third person because the title of Christ did not belong to him alone but to all members of the body that partake of the Spirit of God. Because Jesus referred to the Christ in the third person and did not directly proclaim himself as such the Jews were led to exclaim: "How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly?" (John 10:24) Even to this direct question Jesus did not proclaim himself to be the Christ. He did not want to set himself up on a pedestal, but identified himself as a Son of Man so the sons of men would look for the Christ within themselves.
Paul said that Jesus manifested God in the flesh (1 Tim 3:16) and also that we are to have the same mind as he. On the other hand, because one is manifesting God is not cause to be worshipped by others because God is in them also. Jesus refused to let others exalt him as an idol God or even as a good man any more than his brethren. For instance after a man called him good he said: "Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is God." (Matt 19:17) In other words, there is only one life we are to exalt and that is the universal God-life that is in us all for he said: "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." (John 4:24)
The Christian world is happy to proclaim that Jesus is God as if he is something we can never be. This is not what Jesus or any of the scriptures says. On the contrary the Bible says: "No man hath seen God at any time...." (John 1:18) and "God is a Spirit." Now Jesus was a man who lived in the flesh and later raised his flesh from the dead and was felt by the apostles and even ate with them. He was seen by thousands of people and when he said "God is a Spirit" he was dwelling in mortal flesh. If Jesus is the one and only God, how is it that he was flesh and bones and was seen by thousands when "no man hath seen God"?
If Jesus in the flesh was God then who was the invisible Spirit he told us to worship?
When I ask Christian Fundamentalists this they merely shake their heads and say it is a great mystery we are not supposed to understand. Such an action reminds me of the words of Paul:
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, AND SHALL BE TURNED UNTO FABLES." (2 Tim 4:3-4)
The truth is quite simple to understand and the Bible is indeed correct when it says: "No man hath seen God" for God is verily one invisible Spirit "dividing to EVERY MAN severally as he will." (1 Cor 12:11) God has divided (or reflected) himself so he dwells in billions of lives on this and other worlds. Beings who have manifested that One Life as Jesus did are sometimes called Gods because they become one with the ONE GREAT LIFE. But it doesn't matter whether that manifestation is through Jesus, Paul, or Shirley MacLaine we are not seeing the invisible God we are only seeing his works. That is why Jesus said: "Though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is IN ME, and I in him." (John 10:38)
41 "Jesus mentioned the Christ on another interesting occasion: "While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them,
42 "Saying, What think ye of Christ? Whose son is he? They say unto him, the Son of David.
43 "He saith unto them, How then doth David in Spirit call him Lord saying:
44 "The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool?
45 "If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?
46 "And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions."
No one answered the question of Jesus. If David acknowledged the Christ as his Lord then how could he be his son? The Father is supposed to be Master to the son. The answer is that Jesus, the man, was the son (or descendant) of David, but the universal Christ was not. It dwells in us all including David and is the son of no man.
There is no indication in the Bible that Jesus intended himself to be thought of as a Christ or God any more than other men ought to be. After all, he called himself "the son of man" a title previously given to ordinary humans. He also called all men, even the "least" of them, his "brethren." "Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these MY BRETHREN, ye have done it UNTO ME." (Matt 25:40) Here is Jesus' plain and simple acknowledgement that even the lowest of men have Christ and God in them just as Jesus did for what we do to then we do to Christ.
This is not surprising for Paul in speaking of the followers of Christ said:
"For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren." (Rom 8:29)
Jesus, as all believers know is called the firstborn, but here we find that ordinary men and women may even share that title with him for Jesus and the rest of the sons of men are brethren with a similar destiny as taught by Paul:
"For both he that sanctifieth (Jesus) and they who are sanctified (followers of Christ) ARE ALL OF ONE: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren." (Heb 2:11)
We are supposed to come to "the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the FULLNESS OF CHRIST." (Eph 4:13)
To accomplish this Jesus taught that we are supposed to follow in his footsteps: "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." (Rev 3:21)
If we are to overcome as Jesus did we must examine the key ingredient by which Jesus overcame the world. He revealed this in the statement: "I am come in my FATHER'S NAME, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his OWN NAME, him ye will receive." (John 5:43)
This is an amazing statement. Jesus tells us that he was rejected because he bore the name of God whereas if another will come and teach them, not making any claims of God in man (or bearing the Father's name), but simply teach as a man in his own name, that this they will accept.
This is still true in the religious world today. Any teaching that humans and God are one is immediately rejected and the teachings of men in their own name (as men) are accepted.
Is the Word which is God in you as well as Jesus?
Were you in the beginning with God?
Are you a part of the creative force of God? How?
What is the difference between you and Jesus?
-- End Of Part Four --
Index of Chapters
Copyright 2001 by J.J. Dewey, All Rights Reserved