“Thou shalt have no other Gods before me.” (Exodus 20: 3).
“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generations of them that hate me. And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.”(Exodus 20: 4-6).
Many religious organizations exist on earth today, but two of the largest bodies of religion in the western world are Judaism and Christianity. These two religions have much in common. For instance, both believe in only one God--a god of Spirit, and both share the early commandments given, from God, to Moses.
Now, while some followers of both religions view these ten commandments primarily as evidence of God's authority (and willingness to punish whoever disobeys them) other members of these religious backgrounds see the commandments, not from a fear-of-punishment standpoint, but rather as protective rules from a loving God. They don't see God as the punisher of man--they see these directives as warnings of natural consequences that might follow wrong thinking and acting. Just as a loving mother and father might warn their young child not to run into the street, or not to hit other children on the playground, our divine Parent has given us the rules that will best keep our lives, here, on this human level of thought, free from disharmony and pain, both physical and emotional.
For example, taking God's name in vain could mean that we shouldn't call upon God in a frivolous manner, or use God's name in a negative way, or else we will forget God's loving control in our lives, when we need it most. Coveting our neighbor's spouse or property, hides, from ourselves, the truth of God's provision and abundance to all Its children. This forgetfulness of God as our ultimate Source makes us turn to the outer world of form for our supply, rather than the infinite Intelligence that is within us all--our very link to God. Stealing, cheating, adultery, murder, all lead us into future destruction and loss in our own lives, as enemies are produced from those we've wronged, and discord, guilt and fear take over our peace and joy. In short, the divine wisdom is trying to save us from our own destructions.
But still, even those who try to lead lives of fairness, honesty and kindness to others experience the presence of evil in their experiences, due to the many forms material evil can take. When evil makes an appearance in our lives, we often pray to God to destroy it. We try to use the power of the Almighty against whatever threatens us. Then we feel safer--for awhile.
The trouble with this logic is that it's all backwards. First, we make the assumption that the evil or disharmony is real, present and has power over us; then we plead with God to destroy what we have assessed to be dangerous and threatening to us. Evil becomes, to our thought, a great dragon; so we need a powerful dragon-slayer.
Yet, here is a spiritual fact to consider: there is no evil in God's creation--and we're always in God's creation despite the material appearance of things. But we have to be metaphysical about God. God is infinite Spirit, not a material Santa Claus. God is the infinite Intelligence, Wisdom, Love, Righteousness, Lawmaker and Authority of the universe. God is, and always was, the only Creator. There is no source, lawmaker, power or intelligence of evil. Evil makes no sense. It will always destroy, not create. But as we watch evil destroy material things, even the health and seeming life of material identities, we're utterly convinced of its power.
But that which belongs to God, the infinite Intelligence of the universe, is spiritual in its substance and essence, and therefore, no one and nothing in God's creation can be destroyed--not even ourselves, and certainly nothing that belongs to us forever. Whatever material powers we believe touch us--they don't. We are spiritual beings in body, soul and mind. The flesh is not our being. The false sense of physical existence claims that God's spiritual, perfect creation has been taken over by an evil power, and thus sickness, poverty, hate, are all real and produced by this devilish power. But God's spiritual creation was never reproduced in material form. That's the point to get. God still reigns supreme over all. Not having created evil, the divine Intelligence doesn't have evil to fight. Evil is only the presumed absence of good. God's method of making evil disappear is summed up in one word: transformation. Whatever human forms evil assumes, these people, places and things are transformed back into their native, spiritual goodness. Evil disappears into the nothingness out of which it came, because of the Somethingness and Allness of God.
In the biblical book of Genesis, in the first story on creation, it's written: “And God saw every thing that he had made, and behold, it was very good.”(Genesis 1: 31). Thus,the appearance of evil forces and powers in our lives must have a completely deceptive nature about it. Evil can't be a power, or even something that can affect God's creation, including God's children. Evil was never something God created, nor does the divine Spirit use evil, like disease and death, to 'bring Its children home'; for going home is spiritual awakening, not physical dying.
So, what, then, do we do about all the appearances of evil in our human condition? If God isn't the great Dragon-slayer, how does the transformations of God banish evil? Here is where the first two commandments shown at beginning of this article come into play.
By our mental realization that the good alone, created by God, is present and has power, we demonstrate true obedience to the first commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods (powers or creators) before me.” (My emphasis.) Doesn't this primary commandment, in essence, mean: Don't believe in any powers, laws, or authority but God's?
The second commandment falls into line with the first, as something we should see the wisdom in obeying: “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I, the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generations of them that hate me. And shewing mercy unto the thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.” (Exodus 20: 4-6). Doesn't this suggest that we shouldn't, in our belief system, give power (in thought) to any thing that takes form in creation--for matter isn't intelligent and has no power in reality?
What we are to do with the human evils, discords and disharmonies that appear in our lives is to transform them, by the renewing of our mind, or cleansing our thought from the physical sense of creation to the spiritual truth of it. We are to, “Acquaint, now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee.”(Job 22: 21). Peace is freedom from all fear of whatever material evil seems to have power over us.
The divine Intelligence, love, and will of God, when appealed to or acknowledged, does destroy the human evils of illness, criminal behavior, poverty, loss, even the spectre and permanence of physical death, (which boasts the ability to even blot out our God-created identity). This infinite Intelligence does vanquish these things from our lives, but in order to do so, God doesn't have to fight anything. God destroys the manifestations of evil, in this place, by transforming first, the consciousness producing it (whether ourselves or others) and then the myriad forms (which material evil takes in the human scene) disappear from that scene.
For example, let's consider someone who indulges in criminal behavior, and that behavior is trying to harm us. Let us assume that a thief is standing before us, holding a gun. In spiritual truth, he or she is not a thief, for God never created one. But the individual standing before us doesn't know that; this person has made of himself or herself a thief. Spiritual ignorance has made this individual believe there is profit in being a thief of material possessions. Perhaps wrong conclusions in this person's past has led them to this steal-or-go-without state of mind. It is certainly a state of mind which isn't perceiving God's presence or the divine creation, wherein each of us has our own from our shared, divine Source.
But staring at the person with the gun, we know the spiritual truth, so we take a mental, faithful stand in it. We don't try to fight evil. Fighting evil only makes sense if evil has real power. So we stand and pray to the divine, to tell us what to know and do. The answer always comes. To one person, it came to his mind, “Behold, the son of God.” This reminded the individual that whoever this 'thief' believed himself to be, only God knew who he really was...one of his very own. Here is how it was told to me that the transformation took place: After that message came to the mind of one of a couple being robbed, the person trying to rob this particular couple kind of shook his head, and blinked. Suddenly, he put down the gun, turned an fled away without a word.
People acting wrongly don't necessarily disappear, but their bad behavior changes--or the fruits of their wrongful behavior change, to do no harm. They become impotent before the all-power of the divine control over all. And make no mistake: this isn't one individual's personal, mental control over someone else; rather, it is evidence of the divine control over all. No one knows how something will turn out, exactly, when listening to God's truth. We just stand and trust. We have no power of our own, but even a small child can prove the power of God, by calling upon it and trusting in it.
Likewise, ill-health, injury, or some other claim of the fleshly form, transforms by a reversal process. Since Spirit (God) created nothing within its infinite, spiritual universe to harm anything else, (and not even time can really affect God's spiritual children) the recognition or realization of these spiritual facts begins to transform the action of the fleshly body we believe ourselves to be in.
Christ Jesus used the term 'whole' to describe the transformation and the disappearance of all the diseases, injuries and physical deaths his spiritualized thought produced. To a man he had earlier healed, he said, “Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.” (John 5: 14). There was no evidence that this man had done anything wrong, other than to believe that a person was needed to put him down into a pool to be healed. Jesus healed him without any such condition, indicating that it was the man's thought that was a sin against God and himself, not some activity. As the great spiritual Master on earth, he, no doubt, knew the allness of God and the nothingness of evil better than anyone else, or he couldn't have transformed sick bodies and lives back to normalcy so quickly, with spiritual truth rather than material aids.
God simply doesn't fight anything on our behalf. Don't think of God fighting evil. The infinite Intelligence, within us all, spiritualizes our thinking to the point that our faith in God's love, presence and all-power, chases out fear. Then we begin to sense God's ever-presence and sovereign authority, until whatever threatens our peace begins to leave our thought. And that's when healing takes place--within ourselves. The divine Intelligence requires us to obey both the first and second commandments. It shows us, for our own sakes, not to believe, but dis-believe, in any power, that seems to reside in any thing in creation, for God is the only Creator, and that creation is benign. Nothing hurts anything else. It shows us that God is the only Lawmaker and that law is Love. Laws of love protect our true existence forever. It shows us that God is the only Presence, with every person, place or thing an expression of God's own being, which is good, forever.
The spiritual creation, including all identities, remains spiritual in substance and essence. The material sense of things confuses temporary forms (physical manifestations) with spiritual life and reality. These forms, including the fleshly sense of body and mind, are the graven images in thought that we, on this physically mental state of consciousness, erroneously believe, causing us to continuously bow down to (give power, in thought, over us).
Spirit is all--all life, all truth, all law, all power. God is our only source of sufficiency, wholeness, soundness, balance, order, and functioning. Nothing has ever hurt us, since God is the only cause. The material evils we name and give cause and effect to are nothing, without our belief in them. They are not present, or active, in the way we believe them to be.
I like to close articles, when I can, with a personal experience that illustrates the point I'm attempting to make. So, here's one that comes to mind, showing that healing of the body isn't battling disease or injury, but rather transformation due to the transforming of thought first:
For several months, last year, I had (manifested) a spot near my right eye that was rough and irritated. Sometimes it itched, but didn't go away. It began to be redder and more apparent. Fears of different diseases came to thought, but I brushed them away, without much thought. Still, no healing came about.
So, one day, I finally sat down and asked God, the divine Intelligence within my true, spiritual being, to reveal to me more of God's omnipotence and the joy and wholeness which Christ Jesus knew about God's children (those of us who still seem to be in fleshly form).
Suddenly, a memory came of the year before, when I had decided to go to a spa to have my thick eye-brows waxed. The girl let the wax get too hot, and it had burned the skin around my eye. As a couple of days and the discomfort left, I forgot the burn entirely.
But as I prayed, I remembered the incident, and realized that the claim was one of injury, or that my flesh had been burned and scarred in this one place. After this remembrance came forward in thought, these words (as I now remember them) followed: “Spirit can't be consumed. You are whole, unburned, without injury forever. God holds every, tiny element of your true being and body in safety. Nothing can be taken from you or added to you. No injury occurred in spiritual truth, so the flesh is imaging only a belief that a small part of you was burned away there. But Spirit's children are spiritual in body, soul and mind. They are not flesh. The false sense of your skin must transform to the spiritual truth.”
I felt peaceful at once. From past experiences, I knew the physical transformation would follow my acceptance of the spiritual truth, and it did. A couple days later, I noticed that the skin around my eye was smooth and uncolored again. It's been fine ever since.
Once thought transforms from the physical sense of things to the spiritual truth of things, the body forms and functioning we assume here transform back to more perfectly pattern the divine truth of our being. But even a perfectly, sound physical form isn't that truth of being, for the truth of our being is spiritual. The temporary physical forms will transform to the perfect and immortal, until one day, like with Christ Jesus in his ascension out of the material appearance, the physical form will transform out of itself altogether, back to our true, spiritual form. But this ascension only occurs from spiritual awakening, a step at a time.
Whether on this side, or the other side, of the change called death, we'll one day awaken to the fact of spiritual life, where neither death, nor any other evil, has ever existed. Only the physical body decays from lack of occupancy--our consciousness (true body, soul and mind) goes on forever. But there's no need to wait to prove our immortal, divine circumstances in God's creation. Every stand we take, after listening to that spiritual consciousness within, inches us a step closer to heaven on earth. Every transformation reminds us that we're already home, we just don't recognize the place!