Living Works

12/6/99

Living Works

Let us talk a minute and talk about the sacraments of the church such as baptism, laying on of hands, the bread and wine or Eucharist.

Both the Bible and the Mormon scriptures make it sound like you must be physically baptized to enter the kingdom of heaven, but is this the case? Exactly what does a physical baptism accomplish and why do you suppose it was instituted by the prophets?

The standard answer is that God commanded the ordinance so we should just obey it and not question, but such an unthinking injunction is not good enough for the seeker of the coming age. The person of Light in this day and age wants to know why he is expected to do a thing. If the ordinance has no effect then perhaps we do not want to waste our time.

Concerning baptism Joseph Smith received an interesting revelation:

D&C 22:1 Behold, I say unto you that all old covenants have I caused to be done away in this thing; and this is a new and an everlasting covenant, even that which was from the beginning.

D&C 22:2 Wherefore, although a man should be baptized an hundred times it availeth him nothing, for you cannot enter in at the strait gate by the law of Moses, neither by your dead works.

D&C 22:3 For it is because of your dead works that I have caused this last covenant and this church to be built up unto me, even as in the days of old.

D&C 22:4 Wherefore, enter ye in at the gate, as I have commanded, and seek not to counsel your God. Amen.

Read this and ask the question. Why was Joseph given the mission to restore a church very similar to the early Christian church with all of its ordinances including baptism?

The answer: “For it is because of your dead works that I have caused this last covenant and this church to be built up unto me, even as in the days of old.”

Because the people’s minds were centered on “dead works” the church and ordinances were reestablished.

Interestingly, I have never met a Mormon who was taught this in church. Most of them believe that they have living works and the highest and the best that God has to offer.

Now the question is this. What would Joseph have been commanded to establish if the people’s minds were centered on “living works?”

What is the difference between a dead and living work?

The physical act of baptism is a dead work. Taking a person and placing him under the water and bringing him out of it, by itself does nothing, even if you have all the authority of the hosts of heaven.

What then is the living work behind baptism?

The living work is the meaning behind the symbol and if a person understands this he could obtain all the benefits of baptism without baptism.

The scriptures basically tell us that we need to be baptized to be saved. If baptism itself is a dead work then what is it really telling us to do to become saved or delivered?

The basic meaning of baptism as many have been taught in church is to have our sins washed away, but if physical baptism is a dead work then what really washes our sins away?

We have learned that the real meaning of sin is error or “missing the mark” therefore the washing away of sin is the removal of error. But what is the error or errors that need to be removed?

The basic error that baptism helps to remove is this.

All except those who have the name of God in their foreheads (Rev 14:1) look for authority from a God without. Now when that God without speaks and we accept without question, a great error is created. It is not long before we imperfectly follow the God without and as soon as we disobey, even in the slightest, guilt is created.

Now there are two ways to remove this guilt. The first is to satisfy the demands of an angry “God out there.” But the trouble with this method is that it is not long before you break more commandments and guilt returns. The Catholic confession is a good method of alleviating this returned guilt, but this is a temporary measure and you are again dependent on a voice for God out there rather than the Spirit within.

What is the second and permanent way to remove the guilt?

The second way is to remove yourself from the voice of the outer God, or the “beast” as we taught earlier, and subject yourself to the one authority, the Spirit of God within.

This was the difference between the foolish and wise virgins in the parable. The five wise had oil in their lamps, or the Spirit of God in their hearts and this light of the Spirit lead them to the Christ. The five foolish had no oil and had to go buy some from the authorities, but the oil from the authorities without did not light the way and they “missed the mark” or sinned and were not able to find the Christ.

Thus we see that the true meaning of baptism is to remove the error of guilt, permanently, which guilt is caused by an error in thinking. True salvation is the removal of guilt. The scripture could have said: “Remove the cause of guilt, center yourself on the Spirit within and you will be saved.”

Because the true salvation through baptism is the salvation or deliverance from guilt, does this mean that the physical act should not be done?

No. It does not. The ordinance of baptism was instituted because it does indeed serve a useful purpose as do all symbols. Many angelic lives that differ from human evolution, as well as higher aspects of ourselves communicate with symbols. Also the Masters largely communicate with symbols.

The act of physical baptism sends a communication to higher spiritual lives that you are attempting to enter into a higher spiritual life and this symbolic communication therefore sends a message to refined lives who can help you remove guilt and center yourself on living the life of Christ.

Let us pick two other ordinances.

After baptism, the early apostles laid hands on the persons and they were then supposed to receive the Holy Ghost.

Now the dead work was the laying on of hands. What was the living work or meaning?

Christ also instituted the act of sacrament or Eucharist by eating bread and drinking wine to take upon themselves the body and blood of Christ.

What is the living meaning behind this?

Words of Life

After baptism, the early apostles laid hands on the persons and they were then supposed to receive the Holy Ghost.

Now the dead work was the laying on of hands. What was the living work or meaning?

Christ also instituted the act of sacrament or Eucharist by eating bread and drinking wine to take upon themselves the body and blood of Christ.

What is the living meaning behind this?

To fully understand this it must be looked at in connection with baptism. Baptism is a symbol of the removal of error and making a change in life from the physical to the spiritual. This is such a dramatic change it is referred to as a symbol of a new birth. When one truly follows the living principle behind baptism he will enter the path of Spirit as guilt free as a new born baby.

I was at the birth also of all my children and one thing I noticed is that the baby seems lifeless and does not appear alive until he takes his first breath. One of my children spent over a minute in this condition before he breathed and it made me quite nervous. I can imagine how a parent would feel with a stillborn.

Thus to complete the life of a new birth, the spirit from God must enter into the body.

In the days of the Apostles there was first a symbolic baptism followed by a short period of waiting for the Spirit, just as the parent waits for the spirit to enter the new baby. Then there was a laying on of hands and through a living link to the tree of life, the Spirit flowed stimulating new life from the crown chakra on down. All seven chakras vibrated a little higher according to the consciousness of the seeker and a new life of belonging to the body of Christ was created.

A number of Churches use the laying on of hands today, some claiming authority and some not, but even this sacred act will be a dead work if the process is all that is followed, with no living connection and awareness of the link with the Spirit flowing through you as well as all the Brotherhood of Light.

The Spirit of new life flowing through the hands into the new disciple is usually necessary to create the baptism of fire mentioned in connection with Jesus. In this age the true baptism of fire is very rare and only comes through a high demonstration of faith. The reason it is rare is that the connecting link (as taught in the Molecular Relationship) is not currently secured on the earth. When it is the baptism of fire will become much more common as well as the return of miracles.

Now let us examine the meaning behind the bread and wine of communion.

After Jesus fed the five thousand with fishes and loaves and the crowds pressed toward him thinking that this miracle worker may be their meal ticket for all their needs, Jesus grew a little sad and impatient with their selfish thoughts so he shouted out:

“Except a man eat my flesh and drink my blood he has no part with me.”

This statement shocked and horrified many. Many concluded that he must have been doing miracles by the power of the devil to make such a statement and got away from him as fast as they could. Some of his own Apostles doubted his sanity as he turned to them and asked: “Will you also leave me?”

Then Peter answered and said: “Lord, we have no where else to go. You have the words of eternal life.”

Jesus explained to them that if one eats his flesh and drinks his blood then as the Father dwells in him through the Spirit so will Christ dwell in them. They thus all become part of one living body. Finally he clarified the true meaning of eating and drinking the flesh and blood of Christ.

“It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” John 6:63

In other words, he was saying that the actual eating of real flesh would profit nothing. The true meat and drink that he was feeding them were his words for his words were life because they were in harmony with Spirit.

Thus if we go to church and eat bread and liquid in remembrance of Christ, the actual physical eating “profiteth nothing” as Jesus said for this by itself is a dead work. What does profit us is to take in the words of life as we eat and drink, or better still make the words of life themselves your meat and drink.

How this is done is one of the keys of eternal life leading to the overcoming of death, but in the meantime those who are ready will receive light from the Oneness Principle on the subject and much benefit can be derived therefrom.

Copyright by J J Dewey

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