The Jesus I Know
I witnessed a sermon recently where a preacher made it very clear that how he saw Jesus was 180 degrees different from how I see him now, having studied A Course In Miracles.
As I looked around into the audience of people listening, it dawned on me that there was no other voice for them to listen to as to how Jesus truly was. These individuals were receiving information from somebody who they believed was an educated and spirited leader, and so they have no reason not to believe what he says.
The pinnacle of the sermon was when the pastor waved a long sword in the air while also reading from The Bible in the book of Matthew 10:34 where Jesus was quoted as saying "Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword."
Additional information that could be used to create this warrior image of Jesus could be taken from biblical reports where he ransacked the temple, knocked the soldiers to the ground in the garden of Gethsemane, killed the fig tree, scolded his disciples, and his prophesied return as a lion that will slay the billions who don't know him. Overall, the gist of the sermon was that Jesus was neither peaceful nor passive, so if you chose to be passive, it would be a sin, and Jesus would reject you.
Neither the sermon nor the lyrics to the songs provided much that I was able to embrace, and so during that period of time I simply joined with the Holy Spirit and extended peace and love to them all, keeping in mind that we are all children of God and we are all searching for the truth.
If I go back 20 years or more, I was one of those people who was so sure that every single word in The Bible hinged upon what God required me to know was true. There wasn't a phrase that could be mistaken. There wasn't an idea presented that could be ignored. So when God endorsed the killing, or should I say mass killings, that occurred almost regularly in the Old Testament, it all fit in with what was believed to be an omnipresent being that had the right to do with us as he pleased because we are subservient to him and had no rights of our own.
I had forgotten how sure I was at that time that I was right, and that the bulk of the rest of humanity was on the road to hell. I just felt lucky at the time that I wasn't on that same road. Still, within me, something always stirred because the system did not appear to be fair. I thought that if Satan truly were the cause of all the problems on the earth, couldn't God just forgive him so that all our lives would once again be blessed?
It was a long road from where I believed every single word in The Bible was inspired and selectively saved and organized by God to where I see it today. I've come to understand that although God may have inspired many of the authors of The Bible, their egos and narrow perception of God prevented them from hearing what He was saying and so they wrote what they believed he would say. In many other cases, the stories were simply nothing more than attempts to teach the people around them what they thought were good rules and guidelines to follow. Since they could not understand why somebody would be motivated without fear of retribution, the fear of retribution was generally placed in the story as a motivating factor.
It was a very fearful thing for me to even begin to imagine that The Bible might not be correct. It was believed that if any portion of The Bible were proven to be mistaken, then the whole book and all its teachings were simply wrong. If this were the case, then all my beliefs and even the existence of God would be threatened.
Some writings refer to this moment or experience as a 'dark night of the soul'. This is the result of feeling lost, abandoned, disillusioned, fearful, and unsure of your spiritual future. As much as it may appear to be an unwelcome moment, it's a most necessary experience to allow you to move away from the concept of a fearful God that demands obedience and sacrifice towards the concept of a truly loving God that asks nothing from you and shares all he has with you.
This is where A Course In Miracles refers to a 180 degree change in perception that is necessary to see God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit as they really are. This shift in perception is totally necessary to allow your mind to open to hear from God so that He can heal how you see the world around you, because as long as this world around you is solid and unchangeable, so is your perception of an ancient and fearful God.
Regardless of what religion or belief you follow, it's very helpful to be open to the idea that you might not have all the right information and that some of your information may even be detrimental. For any belief, a starting point to truly be open for the truth is to simply pray for and be open for the truth. When you begin this process it can be difficult to believe that certain things are true. You may get preoccupied with not wanting to follow another mistaken path because you are becoming aware that you may have already done that with your current beliefs.
To get you through this simply remind yourself that God loves you, He'll do nothing to hurt you, He's never upset at the choices you make while working your way back to Him, and that He has placed in your path all the tools and help necessary for you to find your way home to Him.
Once you become open to receiving a new image of God and His teachings, this information will be presented to you without having to pursue it. You might not catch this at the time, but later you will see how God is handing helpful information to you. In my case, rather out of the blue, an acquaintance handed me the first book in the series called Conversations With God. It was this book that gave me some of my initial glimpses into how God may be very different from what I had previously believed.
When I got to the second book in the series, some things did not seem as inspired or on target as in the first volume, so I set the book aside. I had no sooner done that when I was invited to a healing meeting, which I had no idea what that meant, and I was introduced to A Course In Miracles.
In the days that followed I started reading through the book, but found it to be both confusing and dry to some degree. Little by little I pushed on as I became more and more open for my perception of God to change. Still, I had some difficulty grasping some of the concepts. Then I found a section of the book that contained daily lessons, and so I focused my attention there instead.
By doing the lessons and focusing my day around practicing the concepts within the lesson, my perception changed dramatically. Now I was no longer just reading, but I was practicing, and I was being.
The one thing I did have trouble getting past was the fact that A Course In Miracles was supposed to be Jesus' actual teachings to us. Since Jesus played such a major role in my previous beliefs, I really did not know how to picture him anymore. Even though I knew A Course In Miracles was supposed to be his teachings, I kind of took him out of the picture and focused on the teachings and not from where they came.
It took me some time to see Jesus more truthfully and accurately. There were so many things I was taught about how he came, why he came, his purpose here, and his purpose yet to come. The teachings from A Course In Miracles basically undid all this. It made it very clear that most of what I was taught about Jesus was incorrect and was based upon what could only be the actions of the son of an unforgiving and vengeful God.
And so now, years later, the Jesus I know is vastly different than the one I believed I knew in years past. Here is how I now see Jesus, my brother, my guide, the one who helped open our minds for God to speak to us —
It was unlikely that Jesus' birth was the result of an immaculate conception. Since anything physical does not really matter, securing particular bloodlines or insuring that the father's blood was not part of the child's blood, had nothing to do with the spirit that was Jesus.
Jesus entered this world with his mind open to hear God. He was a person no different than you or I, other than his mind being in a much better place than ours. He was not a perfect being. He was a human with an open mind and a true desire to learn and understand the truth about himself and his Creator.
As a child, Jesus was drawn to the synagogues to learn about God. He was not born knowing who God is or what God really wants, but he was born with an open mind to learn this. As time passed, he saw that the established teachings of God were not in line with what he felt was true about God. Many of the dots did not connect the way that he believed they should. He had a knowing that his Creator had to be more than an jealous entity that required pleasing in order to satisfy its anger.
After spending many years of his young adult life seeking the truth about God and spending much time in meditation, Jesus then introduced himself to the world, knowing that he saw something that no one else was seeing.
Jesus talked about being forgiving just for the sake of being forgiving. He talked about giving without requiring anything in return. He talked about becoming aware that your thoughts are more important than your actions because your thoughts are what really matter. He talked about having an eternal existence. He talked about being loving and kind to all those around you because you are one with all, and anything you do to anyone you are also doing to yourself.
He may have had a female companion named Mary with whom he may have married and had children. It would be perfectly normal and natural for him to be a loving husband and father. There is no proof either way, but the idea here is that this shouldn't matter either way because nothing physical matters. Jesus teaches in A Course In Miracles that it's not what you do that matters, but what you are being while you do what you do.
His life also demonstrated that this world is terrified of the light. As much as we may often feel warmed by the light, many people fear being burned by the light, and they'll do anything to put out the light.
His death was the result of a terrible fear that the very religious experienced in that his teachings suggested their beliefs were mistaken and that their path back to God had nothing to do with all the rituals and rules they had established. For those that had hoped to make Jesus their king, they could not even begin to imagine that a peaceful and passive existence had anything to do with them being a people ruled by God.
The crucifixion of Jesus was not a sacrifice required to appease God. God never requires nor desires any physical action. He always see us with forgiving eyes and always loves us unconditionally. Quite the contrary, the crucifixion was an opportunity for Jesus to tear through the final veil that obscured his perception of seeing himself and God as they truly were. At the instant where he cried out that he believed God had abandoned him, he remembered he was not abandoned, and he knew it to be true. At that moment, any final lingering thought that even hinted he was disconnected from God in any way, ceased to exist.
A Course in Miracles teaches that the only real purpose of the body is to communicate with others that they are loved and forgiven, and that a way home has been provided. As Jesus had his epiphany on the cross, he saw he no longer had a need to communicate anything else through that body, and he let it go.
What was later recorded as the resurrection was a continuation of this physical illusion to show that nothing physical that happens here could really touch you. No matter what happens to the body, you are not a body, and it has no lasting effect other than what we believe to be true. Likewise, in A Course In Miracles, Jesus says, "Teach not that I died in vain. Teach rather THAT I DID NOT DIE by demonstrating that I LIVE IN YOU."
Records show that Jesus was not recognized when he appeared several days after his body's death. Since God places no importance on the physical, there would be no specific need to raise his previous body. Instead, Jesus appeared in a perfectly new body that he manifested into existence when he had a desire to communicate a few final words to his followers. Jesus was never resurrected because he never died. You are not a body. I am not a body. Jesus is not a body. Bodies may die, but those that make use of them are eternal beings. We are all eternal beings. The purpose of the crucifixion and resurrection was to demonstrate that nothing that happens here can touch the real you-- the eternal Spirit that is you.
Jesus performed a miracle on the cross when he overcame a major obstacle that had made it difficult for him or any of us to clearly hear the voice of God. In that one instant on the cross where he thought he was abandoned, his mind was healed and he became fully open to hear the voice of God. This voice of God we call the Holy Spirit. Since we are all one spirit, all our minds were healed, and we can all more easily hear that voice.
It took quite a while, but I learned to see Jesus in a different and wonderful way. He is the brother who opened the door for me to hear the voice of God. He is the single voice that is A Course In Miracles and his voice says nothing other than to be forgiving and to be loving and to live a peaceful existence.
We are all totally equal with Jesus, and we are all part of the Son of God. None of us individually, including Jesus, is the Son of God because the Son of God comprises of us all. The only major difference between us and Jesus at this time is that he is a forerunner in a journey that we are all making back to God. Since he is in the lead, there are so many things he has experienced and now understands which makes him a wonderful advocate and guide to help us more easily follow the path back to God as compared to just trying to do this on our own.
Jesus doesn't want our worship, nor does he want our sacrifice or obedience. All he wants is for you to recognize the authority in what he teaches because he's at the head of this journey that we are all making. He is happy and willing to guide you through any part of your life that will help to speed you on your way to healing your mind and moving closer to seeing our Father and Creator.
Jesus has already returned. His second coming is a spiritual awakening within the minds of everyone on this planet. As we choose to see him more clearly, and as we choose to join with him on the journey home, our path back to God will become more direct and will occur more quickly.
As when Jesus was here the first time, the people that will have the hardest time listening and believing him are the ones who are so sure their religion and beliefs are set in stone and must be followed to the letter. As much as those individuals might declare their love for God, their fear of allowing light to descend upon their beliefs can lead them to make very irrational choices that will make it seem normal to embrace concepts of war, fighting, and attack, in lieu of pursuing peaceful and loving paths.
You need only to remember the stories in The Bible about Jesus to know that it was the religious right that went far out of their way to destroy the light because it threatened their beliefs and their way of life. The average typical person was not threatened by him and generally was drawn to him, but those who had very rigid beliefs were threatened by him and so they had to either kill him or face looking upon the flaws in their beliefs and quite possibly experience a dark night of the soul.
So I leave you with this — Regardless of what you believe and regardless of who is the central figure in your beliefs, the Jesus I know is totally peaceful, totally passive, totally loving and unconditionally forgiving just as our Father and Creator is. If this is at odds with what you currently believe, you are not expected to just take my word for it, but I will suggest you take a moment, close your eyes, and simply say, "I am open and willing to see the truth. No matter what I currently believe, it is the truth that I really want. I open my mind for the Holy Spirit and Jesus to heal how I see them, and how I see this world."
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David Nelmes - David considers it a wonderful blessing that his insight and writings can provide opportunities for others to see things from perspectives they had not considered before. His base beliefs are founded on the principles established through studying 'A Course In Miracles', which has helped him to pursue Gods truths with an open mind that is willing to see what God would have him see.
Website: Being Willing - http://www.beingwilling.com
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Seeing God: Perhaps For The First Time
This collection of articles may help you in Seeing God more clearly. The author believes God is a God of love, and his writings express the thought that God is a God of love and that He does not teach through fear or use fear in any way.
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