“There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven.” (1st Corinthians 15: 44-47 King James Bible Version – KJV).
“And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.” (1st Corinthians 15:49-54; KJV).
“Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.” (2nd Corinthians 5:16; KJV).
Once again, Christians around the world are celebrating the ancient birth of Jesus of Nazareth, who is honored as the divine Son of God and the savior of mankind. Although Christians celebrate this festive time in different ways, on the surface of things the birth of Jesus seems to be the reason for various celebrations of the Christmas season. It is a time of good will and material gift-giving…all of which are fine, but still on the surface of things. Most Christians are really celebrating the birth of Jesus, while missing so much more that they have never uncovered.
Yet, it is not surprising that the deeper things of God stay hidden before their time. Spiritual truths and revelations have always been cloaked within a deeper façade to the world, because the depth of spiritual truths is at war with the materialistic, collective beliefs of world thought. Spirituality is a threat to materiality. Spiritual truths threaten entrenched material beliefs, causing some religious institutions and systems around the world, which thrive on these so-called physical laws and systems, unhappy. Wars are fought over such unhappiness. So, when spiritual reality slips into the physical scene, (whether from ancient times or present times) these deeper spiritual truths must still be protected from the entrenched, collective, material beliefs of the greater populations of the world.
But, world thought evolves, onward and upward; and in this century, spiritual thought is no longer such a threat (as it was in ancient times) to the collective beliefs of the world population. Today, many people of all religions and doctrines have found metaphysical facts, rather than physical cause and effect to be present in their human experience. Therefore, around the world, there is a spiritual awakening that is occurring, which is allowing the deeper meaning of Christmas to become more visibly perceived and contemplated. That awakening has to do with the ‘coming of the Christ’ as a universal, spiritual identity, belonging to every child of God, rather than just a title that was applied to Jesus.
To explain further: When Jesus said to his followers that “I am the way, the truth, and the life…no man comes to the Father, except through me.” (John 14:6; New King James Bible Version - NKJV) he was saying that humanity must follow him to spirituality and leave behind materiality as the truth of being, in order to find God, who is infinite Spirit. At this deeper level, Jesus meant that he was humanity’s example of what and who our true, spiritual identities really are. He was saying that his true, spiritual Selfhood was the true Selfhood of each of us. We are not God’s material children. We are God’s spiritual children, and this divine fact makes all the difference in the world.
In spite of all our collective beliefs to the contrary, in our true, spiritual identities, we are not children of the flesh. We are spiritual, rather than material beings. Knowing this, Jesus and his disciples could perform what we call ‘miracles’ to the masses who followed them. They had awakened to the spiritual, (rather than material) truth of being, where no lack of health, no lack of supply, no lack of universal love actually exists, or has ever really existed for God’s spiritual children.
And we are those spiritual children, despite our own false, material perceptions of ourselves. As divine Spirit’s off-spring, we inherit the ever-lasting kingdom of God, and all the good which dwells therein…even though it is hidden to physical sight. For the materialistic beliefs of this world still hide from sight the harmonious realm of God, Spirit, because it does not exist in material form—until it is brought forth from within someone’s spiritual consciousness, (the Christ Consciousness within us all) and manifested materially by healing the environment and health of the people. Jesus and his disciples did this healing work (bringing health, supply, safety and life) back into play in the material-seeming reality of this world by knowing the truth and ever-presence of God’s invisible, harmonious realm. But these physical manifestations of good were called ‘miracles’ rather than the divine manifestation of spiritual truth.
So, concerning our spiritual identities which lie, undetected beneath the material façade, notice that in biblical accounts, Jesus often used the term ‘I’ when speaking of himself, just as everyone does. Yet, Jesus was always dwelling in the knowledge of the conflict of two identities concerning every one of us, rather than just a fleshly identity. Sometimes in using the term ‘I’, Jesus was speaking of his ever-lasting spiritual identity. In that identity, he referred to himself as the Son of God (the Christ). Other times, when referring to the ‘I’ of himself, he was referring to his temporary material identity, (Jesus) or as he termed it, his temporary, ‘son of Man’ identity. The biblical texts make no distinction of which form of “I” he was referring to in any biblical reference…Jesus, the earthly one, or the Christ, the universal term for each one’s spiritual identity.
Jesus was demonstrating for us that we each must ‘put on’ our true identity as the Christ (spiritual sons and daughters of God) and put aside our earthly, finite, sense of a material identities and ‘know them no more’, just as St. Paul said in his 2nd letter to the Corinthians (See quote at beginning of article.) Paul the Apostle also wrote, “Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.” (2nd Corinthians 5:16; KJV).
So, like Jesus, we are to shed our earthly sense of self and ‘put on’ our spiritual identities as the Christ…the spiritual children of God. God is the only creator. Fleshly-seeming mortals are not the true identities of anyone. Right beneath the façade of the fleshly form is our spiritual Selfhood, straining to break free.
So, despite all our human teachings to the contrary, when one peeks beneath the surface of early Christianity, the truth of spiritual, rather than material being, becomes clearer. What and who we really are reveals, more clearly, the mortal conflict that exists between the belief of fleshly existence and the advancing perception of spiritual existence. This conflict of identities (spiritual vs. physical) is a battleground for each individual in this human experience, where we seem to be both physical and spiritual. Still, the conflict between the flesh and the Spirit must finally be settled and won on the side of divine Spirit, in order for our true, spiritual identities to emerge and all lack of harmony, lack of health, and even lack of life are defeated.
When Jesus was representing our true, spiritual identities through his healings of the flesh, he was representing the universal Christ concept for all. Thus, Jesus’ name was not Jesus Christ as a first and last name. Instead, he was called, Jesus the Christ…Jesus the spiritual man. Jesus was his temporary, material identity. The Christ was the universal spiritual identity, symbolizing all of God’s off-spring; therefore, it belongs to everyone. The Christ is a universal term for all God’s sons and daughters…for all mankind, who believed themselves to be finite, physical beings, when, in truth, are really God’s ever-lasting children of Spirit, not the flesh. Only the fleshly Jesus was Jesus; but all of God’s spiritual children are the Christ (God’s spiritual off-springs).
By his entire healing ministry, Jesus was showing us that beneath the material surface of things, the One and only Creator, the One and only Parent of mankind, is God, not a material man and woman; therefore, we are always whole in spiritual fact, despite physical evidence to the contrary. Spiritual beings do not have physical conditions. Material identities do not exist in the kingdom of God. Our sense of ourselves as finite, physical beings is a temporary state of self-deception. In this deceptive state of mind, we mentally accept all the ills that the false, material sense of things suggests. But, our Christly existence is forever. The Christ symbolizes each one’s spiritual identity, not anyone’s earthly, false identity.
So, the thing to know is that the conflict of the two identities exists for every one of us to realize and to mentally correct for ourselves. We must rid ourselves from the false beliefs of the world, so that the ‘fruits of the Spirit’ can transform our temporary, earthly experience from the evils that seem so real to our false, material sense of ourselves. For just that reason, Jesus came to troubled humanity to lift us out of this false, mental state of materiality, to find our spiritual Selves. He taught his disciples to heal the sick, raise the dead, produce food for the starving masses, the list goes on. Christ Jesus was our spiritual brother, showing us our true, divine Selves; for the children of infinite Spirit must be spiritual themselves. We must awaken to our spiritual Christ-Self in order for our human experience to improve.
Our physical identities begin to disappear from thought and belief as the ‘coming of the Christ’ identity dawns upon our perception. This process of awakening to our own Christ identity is an individual matter, and while Jesus was sent from God to save humanity from its own collective, erroneous beliefs about life and reality, Jesus never claimed to be God.
In fact, when he spoke of the faithfulness of his own followers he declared, “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.” (John 10:29 & 30; NKJV). Here he was referring to one in Spirit and Mind…a son like his Father, in quality, not quantity. Always, Jesus saw himself to God only as a devoted son and servant, who came into the world of sleeping humanity to awaken us to our own spiritual relationship to God, just as he had already done. But he was absolutely humble in his own status before the throne of God.
This distinction is important to realize, because if we believe that Jesus is some sort of super-natural being, forever above us before God, we will never accept our own Sonship and Daughtership to God. So, for me, rather than being a god to be worshipped, I see Jesus as our enlightened, spiritual brother, who came into the collective dream of materiality to show us who we really are (the children of God) and where we really are (still in the invisibly-present kingdom of God). This greatly enlightened one was trying to spiritually awaken us, who still sleep in this false sense of finite materiality. For this we owe him our endless love and gratitude.
For those who are unconvinced of this view of Jesus and his mission to humanity, here are two biblical pronouncements from Jesus when he clarified for the masses who he was and who he was not. Once, when someone called him, ‘good Master’ he corrected them by saying, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.” (Matthew 19:17, NKJV). Here, Jesus denied any sense of a holiness above other humans, even though he was clearly demonstrating holiness, due to his own awakened, spiritual consciousness, which had spiritually awakened beyond other humans.
On the occasion of his resurrection from death, Jesus said to those around him, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.” (John 20:17; NKJV). Here, Jesus was clearly spelling out his relationship to God and humanity, with God as his divine Parent and all people as his spiritual brothers and sisters. His spiritually enlightened status and advanced perception, however, allowed him to be our way-shower and savior from all the evils material-seeming existence brings to our door.
When we individually awaken to the fact of our own spiritual existence, as Jesus had done, we have then benefited from one of the greatest Truths that Christ Jesus brought to this human experience. It is the realization that finite, material, mortals, do not really exist in the kingdom of God; for, right in the place where physical mortals seem to be, right beneath the material surface of perception, the hidden Christ of our being exists forever.
And the Master brought even a greater Truth to humanity when his (New Testament) teachings revealed to us that we have only One Creator, One Source, One Parent…and that One is God. We are the spiritual children of God and no one else. For, God includes within Itself, each individual identity of all things in Its divine, spiritual creation. We always are, and always will be, an everlasting part of that ever-lasting, divine creation.
So, at Christmas-time, hold tight to the coming of the Christ, for it refers to your own divine Selfhood, as God’s child. I don’t think Jesus will mind a bit.