The Lightworker’s Temptation: Who are my Sisters and Brothers? (The Gospel of John, chapter 7)

Gospel of John #39: Text John 7: 1-9 is reproduced below

This passage in the Gospel of John, which emphasizes Jesus’s miracles or signs, shows that Jesus is a lightworker. Possessing the capacity for miracle and prophecy, he guards this capacity carefully. Just as lightworkers, in our own times, must be careful as to their purposes in making use of supernatural gifts, so Jesus here must be careful not to misuse his gifts. His own brothers tempt him to make use of his divinely bestowed powers, wrongly, for the sake of publicity and political gain.

Temptation

In this passage, the brothers of Jesus entice him to go to Jerusalem to “show yourself to the world” (7:4). Since the Jews wish to kill Jesus in Judea (whose capital is Jerusalem), Jesus’s brothers are positioned in this story as the bad guys, who do not believe in Jesus (v.5); instead, they wish to see him killed. Their suggestion that Jesus show himself to “the world” flies in the face of Jesus’s refusal, in the previous chapter, to become a King with a public following on a worldly stage.

Echoing Satan’s temptation, that Jesus should take command of the world as a ruler over many kingdoms, the brothers show their ignorance of Jesus’s true mission. Jesus’s mission is to work miracles, in generosity and by serving human freedom, on behalf of his friends and disciples. But, his kingdom is not of this world.

The Lightworker’s Choice

Like Jesus, lightworkers face temptations by false friends, who may betray them. Even the church itself may label lightworkers as magicians, witches, or subversive entities. Lightworkers must be discerning so as to ally themselves with friends who may assist them to channel their gifts in life-giving directions.

The brothers of the flesh, who are false friends of Jesus in duplicity, stand in contrast to Jesus’s true friends and family in spirit. When Jesus does finally go up to Judea, he stops in nearby Bethany (John 11), where he finds Lazarus, his “brother” in discipleship, and Mary and Martha, his sisters. These friends of Jesus are his true family, because they believe in Jesus’s divine stature and his capacity to do the works of God, even by raising the dead.

Historical Choice Point: Jesus and the Church

Who are the brothers of Jesus in the Gospel of John? According to Matthew, Jesus’s brothers are as follows: James, Joses, Simon, and Judas (Matt 13:55). It is possible that the term “brothers” means natural brothers or instead kin or cousin. The brothers are included among the believers in Acts 1:14.

James, the brother of Jesus, was the leader of the Jerusalem Church, who was martyred in 62 CE. (For the martyrdom as described by the Jewish historian Josephus, see this article: James Marytrdom Josephus.) The apostle Paul (Gal 1:18-2:10) names James among the pillars of the church in Jerusalem. This James may be the same as the James to whom the Lord appeared after his resurrection (1Cor 15:7).

If it is James who is featured among the brothers in John 7:1-9, then possibly the Gospel of John opposes the Jerusalem Church. (For Robert Eisenstein’s thesis on Jesus’s brother James, see this summary review:  Eisenstein on James brother of Jesus).There are three people named James among Jesus’s early followers, named in the New Testament. (See: Three James in NT).

Lightworkers

Like Jesus, lightworkers may stand in a tense relationship toward organized churches. Nevertheless, their true community may be found among their friends, who are doing works of light and love. This community of friends, like the community in Bethany around Lazarus, will sustain lightworkers to perform works of love and light.

John 7:1-9

7 After this Jesus went about in Galilee. He did not wish to go about in Judea because the Jews were looking for an opportunity to kill him. 2 Now the Jewish festival of Booths was near. 3 So his brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea so that your disciples also may see the works you are doing; 4 for no one who wants to be widely known acts in secret. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.” 5 (For not even his brothers believed in him.) 6 Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always here. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify against it that its works are evil. 8 Go to the festival yourselves. I am not going to this festival, for my time has not yet fully come.” 9 After saying this, he remained in Galilee.

Advertisements

Pablo: The Lightworker vis a vis Visions, Trance Channeling, and other paranormal abilities, Part 1

By Pablo Tavares

The practice of developing our spiritual abilities is wondrous. You may fall in love with the process even before you reach the goal. Lightworking can be used to serve the Lord Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, certain abilities of the lightworker (such as visions, trance mediumship, and channeling) get a bad rap because of their association with the dark arts.

In this article, I would like to encourage all of us lightworkers to develop our psychic abilities. So long as you direct your powers in the name of Jesus Christ for the purposes of love, then the blessings bestowed on you, the lightworker, can empower and guide your spiritual path. Not only do the tools and trade of the lightworker overcome the weapons of the dark worker, but through our steady progress with the light, we can move forward the consciousness of society in a positive direction.

Let us begin to explore some special abilities of the lightworker, including visions, trance mediumship and channeling, and other heightened modes of sensing heavenly realities (through clairvoyance, clairaudience, and clairsentience).

In this post, we will begin with visions. In  the next post, we will look at trance mediumship and other paranormal talents.

Visions

Visions are common encounters with your higher self. During a vision, you will notice images in your mind’s eye. Sometimes the visions appear static but sometimes, they are rolling and mobile. These images can represent the future in some way, including your own place there.

How do you use a vision to help others? Here’s an example. Once while I was on the bus, I noticed I was living a vision that I had had two weeks previously. In the vision, I had been shown the scene that I was now living. I also saw that I could lend a helping hand to somebody on the bus. And so I did. If I had not had the vision earlier, I might not have known to extend help on  the bus, that day.  I arranged the pieces of the puzzle, out of which this event was constructed, contingent on what the vision had shown me.

In the vision I had about the bus, I was aligning the will of the people on the bus through energy movement. I was highlighting with my mind’s eye the path that would be unfolding.  This prophetic experience was like having energy rolling, which exerted pressure against the dark and in favor of the light. When I received the vision, it was as if I were simply copying notes from paper to a Word document. With every key stroke,  I could see more.  On the keyboard, I hammered, keeping a rhythm of seeing and understanding. During this experience, I saw many shapes materializing as light flashed in my mind’s eye. These lights indicated many victories for the lightworker.

When you have visions, consider how the holy spirit may be guiding you so that you can help somebody or so that you can do the works of love.

The Mechanics of Visions

Extend yourself through the present and into the future like a rod.  You will see the structure of an event unfold.   Through your intuition, you will see His path that God has set out for you. You may have a vision or see a visual representation in your mind’s eye concerning the future. If so, you are a seer, one who can discern the future through supernatural insight.

To have visions can make you really excited. Stay calm and composed so that you may receive delectable insights from God. These insights will always lead you by the paths of compassion and wisdom. You can increase the vividness of your visions or the purity of your abilities through spiritual training, which allows you to become a devoted disciple of Jesus Christ. Training is best described as a way of dedicating time to our relationship with our Lord so that we may be conformed to His image and likeness.

In the next post, I will discuss trances.

Screenshot_20171214-144526-2

image courtesy of the author

Be like a Child

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Mark 10:14

What makes a beloved childhood adorable, to so many of us, may be the child’s exuberance, creativity, playfulness, and imagination. A child’s emotional honesty is also compelling. While adults harbor complicated infatuations, children respond to kindness with openness and generosity — from wherever it comes. Although children will shrink from cruelty,  usually they keep no record of wrongs (unless their trust is betrayed) nor do they play the victim.  Adults hold grudges, propelled by self-righteousness and victimization.

Feelings flow through children: sadness, anger, or boredom can give way, relatively rapidly, to joy, peace, and rapt interest. If only the hearts of adults were not so frozen over by despair, disappointment, and even (occasionally) deceit, they might regenerate their joy in life,  easily.  Children, attracted by a joyful heart, would visit them, unhiindered, to play games or to rest and to be renewed.

Besides the expressive and emotional qualities of children, which are enlivening and rejuvenating, the miracle of a child is that he or she enters the world already equipped with an intact personality and innate gifts. How do such well-formed persons emerge from invisible dimensions? Biology can trace the material foundations of life, and describe the human person in terms of DNA, without ever touching upon the mystery of the incarnation of life (in earthly and visible from) from a transcendent source (which is heavenly and invisible). Astonishing.

Children generally show a benign indifference to their own limitations — (at least until they are much older or until they are socialized to inhibit themselves). For instance, one child I know draws elaborate maps of neighborhoods in his native city. After doing so, every afternoon, he moves onto singing while making videos of his performances. After these activities, he has a snack and takes a rest. Next, this curious child mops the floor of the kitchen. Fascinated to experience this thing, too, he slides on suds of soap. What may be a chore to an adult is fun and a game for a child. The child reads or acts out a skit. At dinner time, he helps the adults to cook by cutting vegetables.

By way of contrast, consider how adults behave.  Clutching to their talents and contributions, adults develop an identity in the world from which to derive their  self-esteem. In the longer run, this identity may deprive them of spontaneity and joy.

Let us suppose that an adult proficient at maps becomes an engineer or graphic design specialist. Thanks to awards, this hypothetical person gets jobs based on such skills. Once commodified, however, the skill in question is liable to become something clung to for fear of loss. Furthermore, as the engineer in question compares his or her talents to those of others in the field, this act of comparison may tempt her or him to indulge in arrogance or envy.

Once talents are defined, owned, and commodified by people and economies, people can become burdened by their gifts by losing flexibility. The graphic designer with expertise at visual art holds him or herself back from performing songs: “After all, I’m a graphic artist not a musician. And by the way, I will hire somebody to mop my floor and cook for me since those chores are no fun.”

Let us as adults become like children. We shall move to the center of our being– to that spontaneous, creative place. Letting go of ideas of who we are, and who we should be, we dispense with limiting beliefs about our talents and our deficiencies. We explore our joys and interests. Experimental, playful: such are qualities of children. Freedom.

 

 

Come Alive !: The Secret and Life Abundant

Jesus says, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10

The Secret, the 2007 mega bestseller by Rhonda Byrne, provokes divided reactions. The basic message of this book — and the accompanying DVD – can be life-affirming. The teaching of The Secret, it may be argued, resonates with the teachings of Jesus in some respects. Both support people to come alive in ways that are natural to our hearts, given our unique talents and desires.

Contrary to the message of the New Testament, however, The Secret can encourage rank materialism, which deviates from moral or generous aims.

Life Abundant

In the New Testament, we are to enjoy life abundant (John 10:10) by making use of our gifts for the benefit of all.  If we follow our goals and dreams, according to The Secret, while envisioning success with faith and right intention, then life will assist their realization. Surely, from a spiritual perspective, our hopes and goals for life — which make us come alive — ought to be respected and nourished. If we come fully alive, then we can assist the world likewise to be alive. The Secret may be a tool toward this end.

Many believe themselves to be prisoners or victims in life. The Secret offers those who feel like victims tools for self efficacy, so that they may chart their own destiny. Similarly, the teachings of the New Testament–for instance, concerning prayer– give us power to decide our fate and our happiness while assisted by an infinite and creative intelligence.

Morally Dubious and Deluded

Some, however, criticize the concept of the law of attraction, which is substantially the message of The Secret, as being simplistic or even deluded. (See, for instance, this critique: Mark Manson The Secret.) The empire behind The Secret, furthermore, has been riven by law suits, arguments, and betrayal, thus seeming to vitiate the message of ethically rigorous and pure-minded positivity, championed by its architects. (On lawsuits, see: Lawsuits and the Secret NYTimes and The Australian Critique Rhonda Byrne.)

Testimonials: Benefits in People’s Lives

Those who are inspired by The Secret, however, attest that its message has helped them to change their lives. Proponents and converts report that they wake up through this book to the reality that they are no longer victims in their lives but instead creators of them. The Secret restores our personal power, as one advocate describes, which is endowed by God.  (See, for instance: How the Secret Changed the Life of Jewel     Manifesting Goals and Spirituality.)

What gives people hope about this message is its affirmative vision of life. What if life is actually amenable, malleable, and responsive to our deepest desires, aspirations, goals and wishes? Whether our desire be for a wonderful love relationship, for financial success, for healing, or for the capacity to carry out a humanitarian project, The Secret affirms that these desires are good and may be realized so long as we remain focused and positive in our approach to realizing them.

Furthermore, if life can be trusted to carry us forward toward self-realization, then we need not struggle by pushing against the current of life. Instead, we may jump into the life stream and let it carry us to our highest good.

Conclusion

The Secret can, indeed, encourage wishful thinking and a superstitious fear of negativity. The emphasis, in the movement around it, on material goals may lead to ethically dubious results.

Yet, in a different way, the message of this book confirms the gospel promise of life abundant. The gospel message says that life is generous and abundant. Our individual goals and dreams may be realized through right intention and faith. After all, God cares for each of us. We are guided, easily and joyously, toward the glory of our own flowering and fulfillment — like the lilies of the field which neither toil nor spin.

 

 

Conversation Snippet: the Bible, the Pope, and the end of the world

Tara believes that we are in the end-times. Her opinion does not matter nor anybody’s opinion. About God and the Bible, what matters is the Truth.

Tara believes we should go to the source for the Truth, not just any source but the King James Version of the Bible. The NIV (New International Version) leaves things out. The Devil has added things to most modern translations.

Tara believes that the Sabbath must be celebrated, regularly, because God said so. The world is in the hands of Satan. People can disobey but God is the authority. Only the few are obedient to God, and reflect Jesus Christ. Discipleship is a lonely road.

Tara believes, too, that the Pope is the anti-Christ, and that the Catholic church devises to take over the world and to make worship of the Pope compulsory.

As Tara says this, her companion, named James, who has been listening quietly, protests: “My relatives are Catholic. Just because you think that Catholics are wrong or misled, that does not mean that the Pope is evil.”

Tara replies, “I don’t care whether your relatives are Catholic. Catholics hold on to human traditions not God’s word. Which Bible are you reading? You must be reading one of those translations, which Satan has filled with lies.  It says in the Book of Revelation: the Pope is the anti-Christ, who will usurp the throne of God and demand worship in place of Christ. Compulsory worship of the Pope is already on its way, in our lifetime.  I can’t say exactly when, but the end times will be soon, in our lifetime. The trouble with these days is that people don’t read the Bible. Modern translations have bent the word of God out of shape.”

James says, “Stop being opinionated. The people who translated the Bible did so out of love, in order to communicate the message of the Bible to people in their own modern languages, in a style that they can understand. You may not like those translations. But honor the fact that the translators are kind not wicked. They performed an act of love.”

Tara brightens. “You think so? So they translated the Bible — even the NIV which leaves things out — in order to help people? You say it’s an act of love to translate God’s word into a human tongue? I see what you mean. Yes. Love. That is an act of love.”

James and Tara come to peace for a moment. This moment of peace is where truth resides, not in their religious quarrels, or within the pages of one Bible translation or another.

“But the King James Bible,” Tara adds, “is the true Bible. The KJV is the one I read and it’s enough to get me out of the mess we’re in. To get me out of this mess. That’s good enough for me.”