If we rid ourselves of religion, we shall deprive ourselves of that which has kept us focused on becoming the best version of ourselves throughout history. If we rid ourselves of the distortions in religion, we shall begin to know the Father.
We remember the Master taught us to pray, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” In this beautiful yet simple prayer, the Master made a number of things very clear which human beings have tended to forget.
“Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed by thy name.” He says that our prayer is to the Father. “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory…” He also says that the kingdom already belonged to the Father at the time he spoke the words.
The kingdom was not something that was going to be or appear sometime in the future. There are those among the children of men who imagine that the kingdoms in this world—the kingdoms of men, the kingdoms of men’s affairs—belong to someone other than the Father. Man says, “my country,” “my family,” “my domain,” and “my person,” but according to our Master, the kingdom belongs to the Father as does the power necessary for correct function in that kingdom and the glory of living in that kingdom.
Moreover, our Master did not suggest that we had to wait until some far distant time to experience the kingdom. On the contrary, he suggested repeatedly that his gospel was and is that the kingdom of heaven is at hand, not merely because the Master walked among men, but because the kingdom is at hand and has been every moment of time through all of history. The kingdom did not reach a point of being at hand only when the Master came. It was at hand before and he revealed the truth that it was at hand then and that it is at hand all the time, for all generations of men.
That was his gospel.
How few there are who give heed to his gospel. They have manufactured a gospel out of human concepts, assumptions, and beliefs, disregarding his gospel, the gospel that declares the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Our Master pointed to the fact that when the gospel of this kingdom had been made known to all the children of men, the end of evil conditions in the world would come.
Yet, human beings have interpreted that to mean that they should expect the kingdom to come floating down out of the sky somehow, that the kingdom would be arbitrarily imposed on the children of men, and that human beings will have little to nothing nothing to do with the coming of the kingdom into manifestation on earth. Of all the fantastic concepts that have been developed in reaction to our Master’s ministry, this is certainly one of the most outstanding.
He said, “the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Once we begin to acknowledge his gospel, and that his gospel is and always has been, we begin to realize that we have an individual and collective responsibility to share the work of letting the kingdom come into manifestation in our lives, in our bodies, our minds, our hearts, our affairs and our circumstances.
How can we let this kingdom come?
In the first place, we must see that the kingdom belongs to the Father. It already does. Secondly, we must recognize that the Master said, “…the prince of this world cometh and hath nothing in me” before the crucifixion and before any of the events which human beings have imagined were necessary to the victory. (John 14:30 KJV) He stated in other ways that the victory had already been won. For instance, he also said before the outworking of the crucifixion, “…be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 KJV) By his account, he had already established all things necessary to the salvation of man before that horrible atrocity—the mockery of the trial and the crucifixion.
It was not necessary that he be crucified to save man. And as long as human beings are deluded into feeling that the crucifixion was somehow necessary to the salvation of human beings, they cannot possibly understand the great significance of the life and teachings of our Master on earth. We must begin to recognize that God did not require the crucifixion. The crucifixion came because mankind rejected our Lord and not because God required it. We must begin to see that it was not necessary, but that it was in fact the greatest atrocity of all times.
If we can at any moment imagine that the crucifixion was necessary, then we must at the same time acknowledge that there was one man who rendered the greatest service to all men, next only to our Lord and King himself. That man, the greatest of all men of all time, who rendered the greatest service to all people, was Judas. If the crucifixion was necessary to our salvation, then the greatest man to have lived outside of our Lord himself would clearly have been Judas.
But in reality, Judas did not serve God by betraying our Lord. His actions were an atrocity, plain and simple. They were absolutely unnecessary. There was not one word in scripture that can be properly understood as meaning that that atrocity was required of God. The idea of Jesus needing to die on the cross is something human beings have manufactured. They have imagined that they could concoct a gospel out of their own hearts and substitute it for the gospel of Jesus Christ without suffering any consequences.
The gospel of Jesus Christ was and is that the kingdom of heaven is at hand and that the kingdom belongs to the Father. He said it over and over again, before the crucifixion. He said that the world had already been overcome and that the processes of salvation had already been established. It follows, then, that the crucifixion was not in any sense necessary to the salvation of any human being on the face of the earth.
Once we begin to see these things, we can begin to take the correct attitude toward our Lord. His life begins to take on far greater significance. One of the points we begin to see is that he was revealing something of the Father. In fact, his greatest service to us was the revelation of the Father on earth. He revealed deity; he revealed the processes by which deity can work in every human life.
And he said, “He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me” and “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do…” And yet, under the pattern of the common concepts of the gospel of Jesus Christ, human beings have imagined that the power to do the works of God vanished with the disciples.
Mankind has imagined that we could not let the power of God manifest to heal the sick, to clear the problems of daily life, to meet the issues of life and to accomplish our divine purpose on earth. And yet the Master said, regardless of all human concepts and beliefs, that “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also…” That statement is without regard to race, sex, or color, creed, or generation. It applies to us now as clearly as to any human being ever born on the face on the earth.
“He that believeth on me…”
Once we begin to see the Master’s own measurement of belief, we begin to recognize that there are very few people in the world who do believe on him, and we need to begin to understand what it means to believe.
Believe on who? Upon whom should we believe? Upon Jesus the man through whom the Father was revealed? He said, “I and my Father are one.” (John 10:30 KJV) He said, “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” (John 14:9 KJV) He said, “the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works” (John 14:10 KJV) Therefore, who was it that said, “He that believeth on me?” Who is the “me” upon whom we are to believe? Obviously not Jesus the man, but upon the Father!
Jesus revealed the Father that we might know the Father. Until we being to recognize that it is possible for us to know the Father, ourselves, we cannot possibly have the right attitude or understand the way by which we can approach the Father. We are not to believe merely upon Jesus the man. The body of Jesus, the man, was necessary to that revelation and we do not detract from him one iota when we recognize that all that he said and did was a revelation of the Father. Jesus himself said the same, over and over again. We do not need to deify the body of the man, Jesus. We do need to recognize the reality of the Father.
Remember, he said: “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” (John 14:9 KJV) Those who think they have seen, recognize, or believed upon Jesus and who have not recognized, seen, and believe upon the Father show by their own attitude that they do not know what they are talking about. It is only as we acknowledge the Father that we can begin to know that for which we are here on earth.
Our Master taught us to pray, “Our Father which are in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come…” When? Did he specify 2,000 or 3,000 years from the time he spoke those words? No. He said “the kingdom of heaven is at hand” in any moment of time, in any generation, for any man, any woman, who would yield and let the will of God be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Now many there are who have imagined that we could not let the will of God be done on earth in exactly the same manner as his will is done in heaven, but we can. Until we recognize this basic principle of being we cannot possibly know the magic of living, the magic of doing, that for which we came into the world. There is a divine purpose for each and every one. So, we recognize perhaps in a new way the basic fundamental truth of the Master’s words, “the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.” Let us begin to attribute the words to the one from whom they came: the Father.
Once we begin to read the statements that came through the lips of Jesus to us, realizing that they are the words of the Father, they will being to mean something to us, something that cannot be known as long as we are thinking of those words merely as the words of Jesus about the Father.
When are we going to truly believe on Him? The moment we do we are going to recognize that he and the Father were one already. He did not have to ascend into some heaven to be one with the Father; he did not have to go anywhere. He plainly stated that the Father was here on earth and that the kingdom of the Father was here on earth, at hand, within reach of every human being. We need to begin to know the Father if we would let the Father control in our lives.
“He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do…” (John 14:12 KJV)
What are these works? The revelation of the Father. The Father doeth the works. We remember the passage in the third chapter of John: “But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” (John 3:21 KJV) Here the Master plainly indicated that any human being anywhere, in any generation, regardless of background, sex, creed, or color, could reach a point where he could allow God to do the works.
And if God is doing the works, then you, the human being, are only the means by which the works of God are conveyed into the world. You are not doing the works. If you try to do the will of God on earth you will fail. Only an egotist, who is ready to blaspheme the name of our King would ever undertake to do the will of God on earth.
No human being can do the will of God on earth. Only when we reach a point where we are willing to let God himself do his work in us and through us can we begin to accomplish that which we should. We must realize that it is the work of God in us conveyed through us into the world of men that counts. So, we need to go back a little and make a new approach in our consideration of the Father, of what it means to know the Father.
What is the nature of the Father? In the same discourse in which he plainly stated “the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works,” we find these words: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Who is the way, the truth, and the life? Jesus the man, just the fleshly body of one individual with a mind and a heart? No. As long as human beings try to imagine that somehow Jesus the man was the way, the truth, and the life, they’re going to fail to understand the teachings of our Lord and King when he walked among men.
He said “I speak not of myself…” Who was speaking then? The Father. And who was it said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life”? It was the Father who said: ” I am the way, the truth, and the life.”
Now let us see how we come to the Father. How can we approach the Father? How can we begin to know the Father? If we have paid any attention to all the words our Master spoke which have been recorded and brought down to us, we should begin to realize that according to his words, there is nothing more important to us than coming to the Father and beginning to know the Father, to understanding the Father and to letting the Father’s will be done in our lives on earth exactly as the Father’s will is done in heaven.