The Christ Within:
A Study in the Absolute
by Lillian DeWaters
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This study takes the reader beyond the mental sciences to the realm of Pure Spiritual Reality, where all conditions are eternally perfect. This is the realm of the indwelling Spirit - The Christ Within.
TO, everyone that thirsteth! Come ye to the waters! And, he that hath no money, come ye, buy and eat! Come without money and without price!—Is. 55: 1. "Search the Scriptures. They testify of Me," was the astounding assertion of Jesus, the Christ. Again, He announced: "I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto Me."
Who is this "I" and this "Me" that we are to search after, find, and lift up? Is it man? Is it an idea? Or, Is it the I AM?
The need of the hour is a study of God's Word which is founded on Jesus Christ, Hence, the vision of the true disciple is on Jesus Christ—the Way, the Truth, the Resurrection.
Now, whom does Jesus tell us to exalt and lift up? Oneself? No. HIMSELF. We are to lift HIM, Jesus Christ.
In the past we have thought that if we lifted ourselves, we would thus be fitted to lift others, but this is not what Jesus said we should do.
"As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up," John 3:14. Moses lifted up a serpent for the people to look upon, saying unto them: LOOK AND LIVE. This serpent was a symbol of the Christ, while Jesus, whom we are to lift up, is the Christ, Himself.
Friends, are we lifting Christ or are we holding up a method or a system of our own or of another? Are we lifting "the Name that is above all other names"? Be not afraid to ask yourself these questions and to answer them, too: Where is my vision? Whom am I lifting up ? Whom do I follow ?
The test of any teacher, seeker or student is this: Whom does he preach?
Let anyone who makes the stupendous assertion, "I am self-sufficient," DEMONSTRATE it. Let him stand before the world free from disease. Let him stand before the world in perfect soundness of mind and body. He cannot do it. There never lived on earth a man or woman who could demonstrate self-sufficiency.
Why is this true? Because there has been but one who proclaimed: "I am Life. I hold thee keys to death and hell. All power in heaven and in earth is given unto Me." There has been but one who claimed Self-sufficiency and who proved it.
No one on earth can save himself or save another in his own name or by his own works. There has been but one name given among men whereby man must triumph,—and this name is Jesus Christ.
Beloved, the self that would be lifted up and would have his or her name blazed on history's pages dies hard. How it tries to shine. Yea, to such heights will it attempt to ascend that it will even call itself—God.
Shall the selfhood be lifted to such an height? Is this what the Master taught? No, The self shall die. The self must die to its own works and exaltations, for, "He that loveth his life shall lose it," and, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself."
Happy are we who can let the self "die daily," even as Paul acclaimed, and can declare, "I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." None of self and all of Thee should be our cry. "But," demands the self, "Why should I thus behold myself? Why not look upon myself as pure and holy? Why not look upon myself as sinless?"
Listen to the Word of God; "All have sinned." (Rom. 3:23) "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the Truth is not in us. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us." John 1: 8, 10.
What is the secret? What is the solution to this problem about the "self" and the "Self"? It is this: "Without ME ye can do nothing." John 18; 5. We are not holy and sinless in and of ourselves, but CHRIST IN us, who is the perfect Self, is both righteous and holy, pure and sinless.
It is written: "Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but, if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." John 12: 24. Except the self be utterly wiped out by either Truth or suffering, it abideth alone, or is in a sense of separation from God; but, if the self die, resurrection takes place, transformation begins, the New Birth is started, and Christ, the perfect Man, the divine Selfhood, is revealed.
"That which is born of the flesh is flesh" and that which is born or originates in the self is "flesh." Only that which is born of the Spirit is permanent and glorious.
Shall we say, Follow me, or, Follow my method and my interpretation? And, shall we place our own name—the name of the self—before a method or a system that we, in our opinion, believe to be the right way or the right method? God forbid. Let the name of the self remain in the background that the Name above all other names shall receive all worship, all attention, all homage and all glory. The one reborn directs: Do not follow me nor my methods, but, follow Christ, or, follow me insofar as I follow
Friends, what are we seeking? Are we seeking health? Peace? Joy? Understanding? Or, are we seeking Christ, Truth? "Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ" is the mandate of St. Paul. As we put on Christ, we simultaneously put on health, joy, peace, harmony, Life, Truth, Love, Resurrection, Power, Glory, Victory.
Are you seeking happiness and peace or are you seeking Christ? Now, "Christ is ALL." (Col. 3; 11), "for it pleased the Father that in Him (Christ) should all fulness dwell" (Col. 1; 19). Then, "Christ in you" means salvation, victory, dominion, authority, glory and peace in you. Is it not worthwhile that we die to self that we may "awake in His likeness," and put on the riches and glories of Christ, the perfect Self?
Let us look now at something that is very important for us all to understand. It is an admonition found in the Bible. This admonition is a great favorite with those whose vision is placed on mental things and mental ways, and who believe that their own right thinking is God.
The much-used Bible text is this: "WORK OUT YOUR OWN SALVATION." What can these words mean, they ask, if not that we shall be God to ourselves? How can one work out his salvation except he be God? What else could this command mean, they challenge, if not to heal yourself, free yourself, gain understanding from yourself—in short, look to yourself for all things?
The answer, my friends, is simple enough, but reason alone could never produce it; and, it is because the self is not sufficient that it is unable to discover the true and spiritual meaning of these words—Work out your own salvation—but, on the contrary, gives explanation full of labor and opposed to the teachings of the Master.
When the vision of one is placed on himself, or on his own mind, he weaves everything around this vision, for no one can experience higher than his vision; but, when the vision lifts from self and rests upon the Self, then the Christ of God—Truth, is seen and known and felt.
What does it mean to work out salvation? What does it mean to spend a thousand dollars? What does it mean to open a door? What does it mean to walk in a path ? Does it mean to make the money? Does it mean to create the door? Does it mean to originate the path? No. It does not mean this.
Work out your own salvation means—EXPERIENCE: EXPRESS: APPROPRIATE: SPEND: LOOK AND BEHOLD THE FINISHED WORK!
Can you spend a thousand dollars if you do not possess it? Could you open a door if there were no door? Could you walk in a path if there were no path? Could you, then, work out your own salvation if there were no salvation?
We can work out our salvation because we already have it. We can express the salvation that is prepared, at hand—the salvation that Christ has given.
What is redemption? The finished work. The finished kingdom. Who is the Finisher? You or I? No. Jesus Christ, the One. "I have finished the work" (John 17; 4). Thus, salvation is finished, and, to "work out" means that we must individually experience this finished redemption; we must use it, express it, appropriate it, eat it, drink it, breathe it, magnify it!
To "work out" means to look and behold; declare and preach; recognize and claim; believe and accept; experience and appropriate the finished Kingdom, the fields already white, the heaven at hand, the healed universe, the saved people, the redeemed world!
Oh, how many there are laboring with thought as though there were no Almighty God, no white fields, no victorious Christ, no finished Kingdom, no heaven here and now!
Seeker of good, can you of and in and through yourself work out your own salvation as though to CREATE it? Never. This is strife and labor on the mental plane, and is not the acceptance of the great and wonderful fulfillment at hand. "Ye are bought with a price," visioned Paul. This world is redeemed according to the Word of God. Redemption is FINISHED in the sight of God and in reality. Jesus Christ removed the curse of the law for us and He finished His work.
"It is finished!" announced He. What is finished? "Let not your heart be troubled. I have overcome the world." . . . "It is finished!" What is finished? "And the glory which Thou gavest Me, I have given them." . . . "It is finished!" What is finished? "When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive."
"It is finished!" What is finished? "THE FATHER'S BUSINESS." The first recorded words of Jesus are: "Wist ye not that I must be about My Father's business?"
What was the Father's business? "And this is the record that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son." . . . "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested that He might destroy the works of the devil." . . . "The Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world, that we might live through Him."
Thus it is that we accept the finished work of Jesus Christ—God the Son, and accept "salvation" as a finished fact awaiting the individual recognition.
To no man on earth was given the privilege of self-sufficiency, for, "Without ME ye can do nothing," and, "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God," acknowledged Saint Paul, having proved this fact for himself.
If we consider that we are to work out as though to create our happiness, health and harmony, then, of what use is Jesus Christ as our King? And what are we doing with the words: "He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for yours only but also for the sins of the whole world"? And this: "By grace are ye saved through faith, and not of yourselves; it is the gift of God"?
When we leave out Jesus Christ, the Door, God the Son, we leave out Living Water, Heavenly Bread, Resurrection.
Are we the finishers of ourselves, or, have we had a Finisher? Without the Finisher ye can do nothing. Without the Spirit of Christ in us, our efforts, no matter how strenuous or how supreme, are built upon self as power and understanding and will end in disappointment and failure. When we stand upon our own ideas and opinions, what does it amount to? They change from day to day. When we stand upon the systems and opinions of others, of what permanent value are these? Theories come and go; rise and fall.
Then, upon WHAT shall we stand? Stand on the "Rock that is Christ!" (I Cor. 10; 4). "The same yesterday, today and forever!"
While it is true that Jesus Christ is our Way, our Door, our Finisher, there is an individual work for us to do. If we do not accept Him as the Way, the Finisher, the work that He did for us is not benefiting us; that is, we are not experiencing the good that is prepared for us. The finished kingdom is here, yet all are not appropriating it or experiencing it.
If one is in a dense forest, in which is no path of escape, and some one appears and cuts a path, a way of escape, the original one in the forest did not make the path himself, but by walking in the path that is made for him, he may reach safety. The one who made the path does not also do the walking for him. He himself must do the walking; and, should he close his eyes to the path that is made and that will bring him safely into the wonderful sunshine, and begin to make another path, he, alone, is to blame and will suffer for his blindness.
Our part in life is to lift our vision, behold and accept the path that is already made for us and walk in that path. We are to take and to enjoy the great good already prepared, and cease trying to cut new paths and create new ways. Let us "work out" or express that which we already possess, that which we already ARE.
Another gravely important question is this: How do we regard Jesus Christ? How many of us have been separating Jesus from Christ? We certainly do not find ground for this in the Bible. Let us read what the disciples say: "Philip preached CHRIST unto them." "Philip preached unto him JESUS." (Acts.8, 5, 35) "Paul preached CHRIST. Paul preached JESUS." (Acts 9; 20:17, 18) "We preach not ourselves but CHRIST JESUS." (2 Cor. 4; 5)
Can you see any distinction in the above verses between "Jesus" and "Christ"? There is none. Then why should we, if we accept the Bible as the Word of God, our sufficient guide, make any distinction? The disciples had one Christ and this was Jesus Christ.
The Godhead is a trinity. When this is understood by the student, it becomes easy to accept Jesus Christ as God. God is tri-une;— God, the Father invisible: God, the Son, visible as Jesus Christ: God, the Holy Ghost, in visible Spirit or Comforter. Thus it was that Jesus was "without sin" and had the right to give Himself as Savior of the world. "That ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God (God the Son or second), and, that believing, ye might have life in His Name" (John 20; 31).
Why "in His Name"? Why not your name or my name? Because His name is God's name. Because Jesus is God the Son. "I am come in My Father's Name" (John 5; 43).
Said Paul: "This Jesus is Christ!" Said John: "Jesus is the Christ!" Said Peter: "Thou art the Christ!" Said Thomas: "My Lord and my God!"
"What shall I do with Jesus that is called Christ?" asked Pilate. This question will be repeated in the heart of each one of us. Ask yourself, What Christ have I? Have I Jesus the Christ? Have I this Christ of God, or, have I been calling my own mind or my intellect or my reason—Christ?
Is your own reason sufficient to save you? Reason is used in two directions. A man reasons out how he shall kill another and a man reasons out how he shall cure another. How could reason, which can be used for wrong and right, to kill and to cure, be Christ, "the same yesterday, today and forever"? Was it not wrong reason that crucified Jesus? Did they not "reason together how that they might kill Him"—Him altogether lovely? Because of their wrong reason, did they not "hate Him without a cause"?
They led Him away to a hill, which had the appearance of a human skull—human reason—and they took off His raiment and beat Him with many stripes. They thrust cruel nails into the very hands that had blessed them and fed them, and they put spikes into the very feet that had walked among them, bringing sight to the blind, feet to the lame and life to the dead. They pierced the heart that had loved them with an everlasting love, that had wept for them and which now would pass through the ordeal called death for them.
Come, Beloved. Face upward and behold the real Christ of God—Jesus, the I AM, who came that we "might have life more abundantly"; who "is the same, yesterday, today and forever"; who said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you"; who promised, Believe in Me and in My finished work, so will I rule in your life, so will I guide and direct you, so will I bless and glorify you, so will I be in you a living Fountain, springing up into perpetual and continual health, joy and harmony.
Is not this a wonderful Christ to have? What more glorious and satisfying Christ could there be for us than the indwelling Christ?
"Know ye not that Jesus Christ is in you?" inquired Paul. "This is the true God and eternal life." Let us think well. Can we afford to thrust aside the Bible, the Word of God, regarding Jesus Christ, and substitute teachings at variance with this Word? Can we afford to have any other Christ than the Spirit of God?
Can we afford to have any other method save that given to us by Jesus Christ, who DEMONSTRATED His teaching, who left victory, glory and triumph? Can we afford to listen to man rather than to hear the "still small Voice" of Soul?
We cannot serve two masters. Are we looking to Christ or to self? Are we trying to create or are we appropriating the finished kingdom with its own creations and glories?
"Master, Where dwellest Thou?" we ask. "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man will hear My voice and open the door, I will come in to him." (Rev. 3; 20) WHEN will Christ come to us? When we open the door. He has already come universally, and He will come individually, or will come to the individual consciousness when that consciousness has prepared itself for Him. It is as we say "Christ liveth in me" that our lives become transfigured and glorified.
"When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory" (Col. 3; 4). "When He shall appear, we shall be like Him" (I John 3; 2).
Now that we recognize the real Christ of God, what shall we do with "reason" that has been erroneously called Christ? Shall we cast it away? Certainly not. We shall use it as a process, a modus operandi. We do not cast away the eye when we discover that sight itself is not the eye, but that the eye manifests and expresses sight. Nor shall we cast away reason when we know that reason is not THE Christ but that right reason is a help in discovering this Christ.
When we see that an electric light bulb brings light into a room, we do not forget that the bulb is simply the means of light and is not the power of light, itself.
Let no man deify his reason simply because his reasoning can bring him a conclusion. The electric wire carries the message, but the wire is not the electricity nor the message; neither is reason Christ nor is individual man—God. He is the vehicle through which God works.
* * * * * *HE who has the consciousness of God knows beyond his mind and wakes a new kind of body in tune with the Infinite Immortal.
The upward watcher knows things which before he knew not, and which neither teachers nor books have mentioned.
The mind is not capable of bringing anything to pass except it be transfixed by inward vision. To endure as seeing the invisible is to fetch it forth into visibility. Man's inward visional direction creates his judgments or mentals; mentals then translate into manifest affairs and manifest bodies.
This looking faculty antedates the mind. It is primarily what we see and not what we think that constitutes our presence, power and history.
The farther toward the celestial zenith we send the limitless eye, the deeper our assurance of our divine origin and transcendent Selfhood.
Lifting the inner eye to Him who is above reason lights our two outer eyes to see the world in a new aspect, gives the tongue new descriptions of the world, and tips the pen with fadeless phrases.
Look to the man who threw aside the wrappings of the grave, the stone-sealed tomb and the soldiers' swords, bursting their three dimensional bindings with risen divinity, as the law for the whole of us. world without end.
—E. C. H.
THERE is a way to heaven, harmony. For the sake of an illustration let us suppose a grand palace, great and wonderful, filled with all the desirable things of earth and heaven,—filled with music, laughter, beauty, wealth, joy, health and happiness.
To this great building there is but one door or one way of entrance. Here stands a Sentinel who knows the Word that grants admittance.
A seeker comes with questions: "What is there in a mere word? And, if some particular word, then why not the most recent and up-to-date expression, something to stand for progress and unfoldment?
"There is but one Rock upon which to build," explains the Sentinel, "There is but one Door, one Way, one Light. There is but one Beginning and one Ending. There is but one Name written in the Holy City. There is but one Name to be placed in our foreheads."
"Oh," implores another, "Tell us the name! Is it 'Spirit,'—for Spirit is all there is? Is it 'Right Thought' or 'Right Reason,' or 'Affirmation'?"
"No," comes back the answer. "The one magical name is JESUS CHRIST! God hath given Him a name that is far above every name; that at the name of JESUS every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Phil. 2; 9, 10).
" 'Far above all principality and power, and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world but also in that which is to come.' (Eph. 1; 21) 'There is none other name under heaven whereby we must be saved'." (Acts 4; 12).
"What! Believe in Jesus Christ? Why, this is not the twentieth century idea of salvation. I must use my own reason. I cannot blindly believe in anyone or in anything. I must SEE where I am going. I must use my mind and understand my way. My own right thoughts are sufficient that I gain heaven!" "HALT! 'My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts'." (Is. 55; 9).
"Well," states another, "If right thoughts are not sufficient, then I'll go with my works. I've healed the sick,—thousands of cases. I've caused cancer, goiter, rheumatism, diseases of all names to disappear by thinking them away, by reasoning them out of existence. I'll lay my works at the door, for, 'By their fruits ye shall know them,' and I have even raised the dead!"
"HALT! 'Not of works lest any man should boast'." (Eph. 2; 9).
"What," cries another, "Right thoughts and even good works insufficient? Then I'll go in my own majesty. I will go as God, myself. God is all there is and I am something, thus, I am God." Bold, and full of self-assurance, he seeks admittance.
The Sentinel appears. All around him glows a light of transcendent glory and, there before him, stretched out like a huge water-color, the seeker beholds what appears to him to be a picture of himself. He sees himself stripped of all coverings and he is made aware of his nakedness, his arrogance and his ignorance. Speechless, he sinks down, undone.
The Sentinel, beholding his nakedness and shame, and contrasting it with that of the Presence with body of transparent glory, whose face shines as the sun and whose raiment is white as the light, asks:
"How could you claim to be God when your face lacks holy light? When your body shows forth disease? When your speech betrayeth you? Away, you are a thief and a robber if you try to enter the Holy City, the Promised Land, by some door other than Jesus Christ. Behold your reason in ignorance! You cannot buy heaven with your right thoughts. You cannot earn heaven by your good works. You cannot think yourself into heaven by any lofty statements or any high thoughts of your own. Heaven is given to those who 'have been baptized into Christ' and have 'put on Christ'. (Gal. 3; 27).
"The sick that you healed,—did you heal them 'in His Name'? Did you tell them of the Deity of Jesus Christ and thus His right to be the Savior of the world? Did you preach and teach the finished kingdom at hand? Did you tell them that without Christ, the Truth, ye can do nothing?
"Look well into your heart for the answers to these questions and you will find that you did not give enough attention to Christ and the Christ-healing, but that other methods and means were used and many have been led astray in trying to create for themselves that which already is created, finished, and at hand, waiting their recognition, their love, their faith and their acceptance.
"Unless, through recognition and repentance of your mistakes, you now turn from yourself and your self-sufficiency and accept Jesus Christ, the Self, the Great Omnipotent in every breast,—unless you come with JESUS name written in your forehead, you cannot enter the New Jerusalem nor join the throng of the 'redeemed,' but will hear the words. 'Away, I know you not.' "
Friends, Blessed are we if we hear the words, "Come ye faithful," and blessed are we if in the past we did not hear them, we determine from this day forth to turn our gaze inward and upward to Christ, our sufficient Guide, that these words may yet be whispered to us.
It is a grave question to us and to those who are looking to us for help and guidance whether we are following Christ or following man; whether we are building on the Rock or building on the sand. "Whosoever shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in heaven. . . . Whosoever shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father which is in heaven." (Mat. 10; 32, 33).
We see clearly how careful we should be that we speak to others only the Christ-Truth. He who is ignorant of heart, yet honest and upright, filled with pure love for God and man, he who sees the error of his own ways and turns from this error, hastening also to turn others to the High Way, let him listen to these words: "If thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, he shall die in his iniquity, but thou hast delivered thy soul." (Ez. 3;19).
The Holy Spirit, divine inspiration, ever guiding and protecting the loyal heart, will forever "turn and overturn" until that heart rests secure and serene on the Rock, Christ.
The personal "I" must be dethroned that place be given Reality, Jesus Christ, the perfect Self. ALL who are building upon self to the point of importance, assurance, arrogance and self-righteousness, are building a mountain, which sooner or later will crumble in all terror upon their heads.
This is a work difficult for the mind to do, for the mind of the self is at enmity with the Mind of Jesus Christ, nay, mind of and in itself cannot attain to this surrender, for mind ever seeks the place of importance and the seat of instructor and king. Love for God, devotion to Truth, love for our fellow-man, is the "one thing needful" that the death of self be accomplished.
In each life there is one vulnerable spot, one tender place, one vital point, one dearest thing in life, and, if necessary for our recognition and appropriation of the true God, the hour will strike for us when this tenderest spot is invaded, and the "two-edged sword" is applied; yet, if we but heed the lesson that is waiting our recognition, if we must "listen for Thy Voice," if we but cry, "Speak, Lord, for Thy servant heareth," if we but lay down that something that is separating our clear vision of the One God,—the cloud lifts, the sword is withdrawn, the darkness passes and the white Christ is enthroned in that heart as never before.
The sword of the Spirit would slay nothing but that which is not of God.
There are no periods in our lives of such paramount importance to us as the "trying as of fire" experiences, wherein the dross of self is consumed and all the beautiful and lovely characteristics of Spirit shine forth. The cleansing may indeed not be pleasant, may be filled with fear and suffering, yet, as Springtime, with its sun's wooing rays melts the snow and calls forth the waiting flowers of His Presence, so the white flame of God burns away from us all that is interfering with our highest vision,—calling, wooing with gentle grace and touch, the divine spark within.
"I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh and a new spirit will I put in you," says the Voice of the Presence. There must be nothing in our vision, thought or action that would keep us from High Watch. It is certain that without accompanying holiness we cannot lift our vision higher and still higher. To attempt to "strike the rock" or command the blessings of the heavenly kingdom while our hearts and minds are engaged in anything that obscures our high vision, is to bring upon us disappointment and sorrow.
"He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire." (Mat. 3; 11). Fire is the symbol of the protecting Presence; it was thus seen and felt by Moses in the burning bush and by Elijah on Mt. Carmel.
There is a place or period in our journey heavenward wherein the earnest and loving heart either listens to the Voice, and, listening, obeys and enters the secret place of the Most High, waiting for the Red Sea to open,—or else, because of insufficient love for holiness, he passes on to seeming disappointment and
There was a time for Moses to "strike the rock," and there was also a time that Moses was not to strike the rock. To strike the rock is an act of the law, and while Moses was the law-giver, he was told to "strike the rock," and the abundance of good came forth. However, in a later experience Moses was told that the rock was not to be struck, mental means were not to be used, but the Word of Spirit was to be utilized. Moses was told that he must simply speak to the rock and the water would spring forth. But Moses disobeyed the Voice, he could not rest his mind in quiet and peace of the Spirit and vehemently he struck the rock, and we all know that this disobedience excluded him from the promised Land.
There is a time to declare the Truth vehemently and there is a time in which we are simply to "rest in the promise,"—speak the Word that of and in itself is Power Omnipotent. Shall we be afraid of the "flaming sword"? Shall we fear the "consuming fire"?
"The Lord went before them in a pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night." (Ex. 13; 21). And a writer of recent day wrote: "As the children of Israel were guided triumphantly through the Red Sea, the dark ebbing and flowing tides of human fear,—as they were led through the wilderness, the great desert of human hopes, anticipating the promised joy,—so shall the spiritual idea guide all right desires in their passage from sense to Soul, to the glory prepared for those who love God."
What does the pillar of cloud and fire represent if not the love and care of the One Presence? Why should not God as a loving Presence and a protecting Power be as real to us today as this Presence was real to Moses, and to Daniel, and to Job and to Isaiah ? And, why cannot the miracles of Pentecost be as present today as then, since the I AM is the same yesterday, today and forever?
Clouds appear before the transfiguration. As it was thus with Jesus, so it is with us. When clouds appear upon our sky and fire of God begins to consume us, let us hasten to absorb the lesson they would teach us, and, if obedient, the clouds break blessings upon our heads and become like chariots, carrying us up and away into greater heights.
The baptism of fire purifies, cleanses and transforms. It never leaves us where it finds us, but, penetrating our whole being and "cutting asunder" even to the most secret place, it leaves us quickened and glorified.
Does not the love of self, love of money, love of pleasure, love of importance, hinder the soul's upward vision? Hinder progress, hinder our appropriation of the finished kingdom? Are not anxiety, fear, doubt,—sin? "Whatever is not of faith is sin." (Rom. 14; 23) . There is an hour for each one wherein "the Lord with His great sword shall punish leviathan, the piercing serpent, and He shall slay the dragon that is in the sea." (Is. 27; 1).
"Our God is a consuming fire," yet, it is possible that though the flaming sword rest upon us, we be unharmed. In our journey from sense to Soul, we need to learn well the lesson of obedience. When we first hear the faintest whispering of the Voice,—do we listen and obey? Or, are we so filled with our own thoughts that the gentle whispering is crowded out of hearing?
The lesson of obedience is one of the hardest for us to learn, and yet one of the most necessary. The sooner we learn it, and love it, and heed it, the more rapid will be our progress, the more wonderful our experience and the more helpful our living." Whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth (purifieth)."
"This is the way; walk ye in it," directs the Voice to the trusting heart. It is ours to inherit all the fulness of Omnipotence, all the strength and glory of Life eternal, and, to be filled with the "Giver" is greater far than to be filled with the "gifts," for all the gifts without the Giver are bare, while the Giver and the gifts are one and inseparable.
All the castles of gold or precious stones would not be a suitable temple for the sun, but just simple and transparent glass admits the warm and radiant glow in all its glory. We are the "temple of God," and in us dwells the living Christ. We do not have to be great or noted or brilliant in order that Christ abide.
Peter. "Lovest them Me?" asks the Christ of you and of me.
With infinite tenderness did Jesus three times ask Peter this paramount question. Had not Peter three times denied Him, and must he not fully recompense for his sin? Does not every cloud that arises and appears to separate us from Christ, Truth, come because of our lack of love for Christ, our lack of devotion, our lack of high vision?
"Lovest thou Me more than these?" persists the inner Voice. More than wealth, more than fame, more than selfishness, more than any other affection? More than the loaves and the fishes? Many desire Christ for what Christ brings them, instead of desiring Christ because Christ is God.
Jesus could forgive Peter his momentary weakness and failure, could forgive his cowardice, if only He might be sure of his love. And, Peter with broken spirit and with intense devotion, cried, "Thou knowest that I love Thee dearly,— (more than all else)."
Is it not through our love and devotion to the Highest that we attain to the Highest? And, is it not through our selfishness, our love of self, that we retard our progress? Are we finding the "sheep and the lambs" and are we bringing them to the Presence that there may be "one fold and one Shepherd"? The true Shepherd exacts not large sums from his sheep in order that they graze in His pasture.
High vision causes the highest to be the nearest, for the "high" is the perfect, that is ever within our reach, ever at hand, already prepared, and in reality already in manifestation. To claim this perfection of God and man, to lay hold of it with our faith and recognition, with our thinking and acting, is the activity of "Christ in you," and is the modus operandi of spiritual healing.
"He shall cry unto Me and I will make him higher than the kings of the earth," promises the High Presence. "The Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising." (Is. 60; 3).
Let us reach up and up until our vision, like the dove, rests in peace upon the TRI-UNE God, —Root, Finisher, Comforter,—and, resting the vision here, we shall see Him as He is," and we "shall be like Him," for, it is a spiritual law, that which our vision beholds, our minds think and our bodies express.
Do you now accept, Reader, that Jesus is not only divine but that He is Deity? Do you accept that Jesus is not only a Wayshower but that He is the WAY? Do you accept that Jesus is the Christ and that Jesus Christ is God?
Listen to these confirming words of Jesus: "I am from above; ye are from beneath. I am the Vine; ye are the branches. . . . He that seeth Me seeth the Father. . . . All power in heaven and in earth is given unto Me. . . . I am Alpha and Omega."
"The Word was made flesh (Jesus Christ) and dwelt among us. . . . And the Word was God, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, and our hands have handled, and which was manifested unto us," declared the great John.
"The second man (Jesus Christ) is the Lord from heaven! In Him dwelleth the fulness of the Godhead bodily!" wrote the great Paul.
What think ye of Jesus Christ? "What shall I do with Jesus that is called the Christ?" Shall I crucify Him or glorify Him? Shall I recognize Him or reject Him? Shall I deny Him or deify Him? Shall I follow Him or discredit Him?
Let us speak boldly where we stand. Do we believe the Bible regarding the miraculous birth of Jesus? His mission, His free gift of love, His victory, His indwelling? Do we believe with Isaiah that "His name shall be called The Mighty God"?
Said Jesus, Himself: "If ye believe not that I AM HE, ye shall die in your sins." Said Peter: "In the latter days, there shall be false teachers among you, denying the Lord that bought them!" What think YE of Christ?
Who announces that we have had another on earth as great or greater than Jesus the Christ? Let him answer these questions: Has anyone ever been on earth who spoke and demonstrated as did Jesus Christ?
Has any one in the flesh overcome death and proved immortality?
Let us suppose that there is or has been such an one, call his name John Doe, and hear him say to the world: "He that hath me, John Doe, hath life, and he that hath not me, hath not life. No man cometh unto the Father but by me, John Doe. I am he that liveth and was dead and behold I am alive for evermore. I have led captivity captive. I hold the keys to death and hell. Ye are complete in me, John Doe. At the name of John Doe every knee shall bow."
We need not continue for all must admit that no one ever lived on earth who could proclaim and PROVE these things. Whosoever declares that any individual is as great or is greater than Jesus Christ, denies God and denies Jesus Christ, and, according to Bible-Truth, is a "thief and robber."
"All hail! Behold your King!" These words are said in praise and in recognition, in honor and in glory of Jesus Christ.
Hundreds of verses might be quoted to prove that according to Scripture, Jesus is the Christ, and Jesus Christ is God the Son; and, only by having "Christ in you" can heaven, harmony be attained.
This book is like a seed which the author drops into your consciousness and whether it takes root and bears fruit or whether it withers and dies is for the reader alone to decide.
"The Christ Within:
A Study of the Absolute"
by Lillian DeWaters
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