"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." (Words of Christ Jesus; John 16:33; New King James Bible Version (NKJV).
",,,a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed." (John 8:35 & 36; NKJV).
"…they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring." (Acts 17: 27, 28; King James Bible Version (KJV).
According to the Bible, the first two quotations at the beginning of this article were spoken by Christ Jesus during his ministry to mankind. At first glance, when using the terms of 'I', and 'Son', Jesus seems to be referring only to himself. Thus, the words, "if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed," are misconstrued in their importance by just about every individual in the world. We attribute the title of 'Son' to only Jesus, and would never presume to make ourselves an equal child of God in the way that Jesus is. So, it seems that if we just believe in Jesus, instead of God, we will be free of something we're battling in our daily lives.
Now, accepting and believing ourselves to be naturally-flawed mortals in a material world, we certainly don't think of ourselves as a creature as lofty and holy as Jesus the Christ was, in the eyes of God, or anyone else. Yet, the very thing that Christ Jesus came to preach and teach was our oneness with God, in the same way that he had a oneness with God. Jesus was many things, actually…a way-shower to our spiritual awakening; a master healer; a teacher; an example we are to follow; a messenger from God; and a symbolic sacrifice to a world that believed we could never be forgiven by God unless we paid a price. But mostly, Jesus the Christ was our spiritual brother, trying to show us ourselves…our real, spiritual selves, made in the image and likeness of God. He tried to awaken us to spiritual, rather than material, existence. He tried to show us our own Christly identity.
Yet, different interpretations of the Bible show Jesus as if speaking only of himself when using the terms 'I' and 'me'. But the 'I' and 'Me' he was referring to was the universal meaning of the Christ…the spiritual identity of man, versus the erroneous fleshly identity of man. The 'I' he was referring to was his spiritual, not material identity. His name was not Jesus Christ (like John Smith); rather, it was Jesus, the Christ. The Christ is a title, not a last name. 'The Christ' refers to his spiritual, rather than earthly name and identity. Thus, Jesus (as born of a human mother, Mary) was his earthly name and temporary, human identity; the Christ was his ever-lasting, spiritual name and identity. This Christly identity we all share. He was showing us our real Selves.
This is extremely relevant in understanding that he came into this human, material sense of things to reveal that we are all actually immortal, spiritual beings, rather than mortal, material beings. Jesus was showing us that the whole, human experience is a time of temporary mistaken identity that changes, once we comprehend that we, also, are, and always shall be, the children (off-spring) of God, (Spirit) rather than two material parents.
Spirit is our only Source and Origin. When this divine Truth of spiritual being, (rather than material being) is taken into human consciousness and realized, we begin to awaken spiritually. With our corrected perception, we begin to live as the children of God, infinite Spirit, and no one else. Yes, Jesus was a way-shower. Yes, he was also a savior, because he saved us from the false, material sense of ourselves, who believed ourselves to be separated from our God-Source. In this false sense of existence, we do all kinds of evil things in our human experience, because we believe that we must take care of ourselves, whatever it takes, in order to survive. So a spiritually, enlightened brother, came into this illusion of finite, life in matter, to show us the way home, by waking up to who we really are, (God's spiritual children) and where we really are (in the invisibly present, kingdom of God). So, more than anything else, Christ Jesus was our enlightened, spiritual brother, showing us our real selves…our everlasting selves as the beloved children of God, never really born into the flesh, so never really dying out of the flesh.
When we perceive that God, Spirit, is our only Source and Origin, we also begin to perceive that our earthly identities are transitory, at best. They are never our ever-lasting spiritual identities. For example, it was Jesus of Nazareth that died on the cross; his Christ identity could not be touched by physical death, because it was never physical, nor mortal, to begin with. This was the very message he was trying to convey to humankind. We are all really the Sons and Daughters of God, infinite Spirit, and this material existence is a false sense of being. We were never material in the first place, to die out of a material self in the second place. Just as Jesus rose above his human, mortal-seeming identity, we rise above our own false sense of human identities by following his teachings.
Shakespeare once wrote that (in this temporary, physical sense of existence) we are each actors on a stage, playing many parts. That is exactly true. Just as Sir Laurence Olivier played many parts in theater plays, and even 'died' in a few of them, the actor rose up and walked away when the curtain fell and the play was over. Why? Because the actor never really became the part he was playing in any drama. No matter how many different parts he played, he never became one of them in reality. A pretended identity doesn't actually live or die. Believing in life and death in the flesh is a finite, mistaken view of spiritual reality. The Sons and Daughters of God cannot, nor do not, die. We are the eternal off-spring of divine Spirit (God). We are each humanly existing in a false sense of reality, because those of us who are still experiencing this material sense of identity are not fully awakened, as yet, to our spiritual identities. In that sense, we are 'sleepers'.
Now, because we are spiritual, rather than material beings, this does not mean that we have eternal, physical lives. It means that we are the Sons and Daughters of God, who is infinite Spirit; and we cannot be anything but spiritual in substance ourselves. Like produces like. Infinite Spirit produces spiritual beings. We only seem to be material beings, in a human, earthly, mortal experience. We experience this finite, material realm of substance (form) and life because we are all in the same mental state of mind. This is often referred to as the 'collective consciousness'.
Into this mental state of the collective consciousness, Christ Jesus 'entered' this erroneous state of life in matter to show each of us the way out…by mentally awakening to our ever-lasting spiritual identity, and then learning as much of this spiritual identity as we can, individually, in order to awaken ourselves out the collective counsciousness, (the carnal 'mind') altogether. Like Jesus, our full awakening would result in ascension; for as we awaken more to spiritual truth, we find that there is no longer any need to 'sin' or do wrong to anyone. In our spiritually awakened lives, we have all that we need from God, forever.
Proof of this can be found in all the accounts of healing that Jesus and his disciples accomplished during their ministry. All types of disease conditions and injuries, and even death in a few cases, were reversed by what Jesus knew of our spiritual identities, and taught to his disciples. Never once did Jesus pursue a physical remedy or 'pill' for a disease he encountered. Instead, he told the person they were 'whole', because he knew that this was the spiritual truth of their condition, and a change in consciousness, within themselves or someone else's higher consciousness about them, could bring forth the physical change that was needed to prove that they were really everlasting, spiritual beings, in substance and health…even if they didn't yet perceive that fact themselves.
When Jesus said, "…but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world," he was telling us that the 'I' of our own Christly identity, our spiritual identity, would overcome all the 'evils' of this human condition we're suffering from. (See 1st quotation at top of article.) When we remember to mentally realize this true spiritual identity as a divine Daughter and Son of God, our own thinking will heal the false, material sense of a body, as well as the lack of harmony in all the other forms that the carnal 'mind' (the false, universal, material sense of reality that we've accepted in our own thinking) has physically produced and claims to be real.
In this temporary sense of life in the flesh, we 'create' our own heaven and our own hell. We do this by what we take into consciousness, accept without thought from the collective world-consciousness, and then live with the results. Yet, the best news in the world is that we are always free to know the spiritual truth about reality. We are always free to remember that we live in the infinite Mind, or spiritual Consciousness we call God, no matter what the chaotic, material world of form 'out there' in the universe of finite, physical form presents to us as reality.
Spiritual harmony is invisible to the physical senses; but that doesn't mean it is absent. It is always ready to change the outer world of form, when we turn to it and trust it. We need only remember Spirit's omnipresence (all-presence), omniscience (all knowledge or science), and omnipotence (all-power) in order to call these divine, spiritual facts forth into the material scene. But it is trust and conviction in God's ever-presence, eternal harmony, and endless love for Its creation that allows Spirit to make the difference. Double-mindedness (believing in both God and material law as a power opposed to God) doesn't bring forth the heavenly outcome we are pursuing because nothing can go east and west at the same time. What we hold to be true, in our own consciousness, is the key to the way things will turn out.
This is why faith in the Almighty is so important. Faith (conviction of God's presence, power and universal love) results in a positive outcome. Lack of faith throws its weight on the side of material law and existence again, and all the evils that claim to dominate us and deny God's presence. Thus, when we pray in true faith, our prayers for good and deliverance from earth-born evils are naturally answered. When we doubt, we are cancelling out our own heavenly, harmonious outcome because we have mentally given power, in our own thinking, to material law and human evil. We have actually told God, "No, you have no power to help me…so, go away."
People often think of faith as something that pleases God and persuades God to help us out of whatever humanly threatens us. But, if one really thinks about it, wouldn't that make God both petty and unloving? What parent of us, who loves their children, uses our superior power over our loved ones, and against them, instead of for them? God's whole nature is universal love. And God knows that we control our own destinies, by what we believe to be true, no matter how ignorant we are of the results of belief.
So, God urges us to know that the divine good, and loving power, is always invisibly present with us, and urges us NOT TO DOUBT IT. Why? Became the divine, infinite Mind of God knows that only our own, individual belief in good will result in good in this temporary, earthly experience. God urges us to have faith to allow the ever-present, spiritual good that is always at our disposal to break through into the seeming universe of finite form. Our faith is our acceptance of the good from God, always invisibly present to be called forth into this temporary sense of material existence. When we accept it, without doubting it in our hearts, it flows like a river. But God doesn't make, or force, our own behavior in the matter. We always have a choice. And like all good human parents, our divine Parent wants us to grow naturally into making right choices, for our own continuance of good, until such time as our finite, human experience is over.