The Goal of Life, by Hiram Butler, , at sacred-texts.com
"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."
If we are members of the church, or the children of church members, we have been taught from our early childhood that we are "miserable sinners," and that no matter what we do, yet we are sinners. This idea has been so instilled into our minds that we regard this injunction of our Lord, to be perfect even as our Father in heaven is perfect, as a mere incentive to cause us to strive toward perfection, but at the same time without any hope of ever attaining it on this earth. Thus we accuse the Lord Christ of a form of deception, for commanding us to do that which he knew to be impossible for us to do; therefore we are not expected to obey.
John carries out the same idea of perfection as did Christ: "Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he [Christ] is righteous," and we would emphasize
the words of the beloved disciple, "let no man deceive you," but do right and you are right.
Again remember that when you do the best you can through watchfulness, prayerfulness and diligence in every direction, you have done all that any one on earth or in heaven can do. The angels can do no more than to do their best. If there were no provisions made by the Holy Spirit to enable you to be perfect, then it would be better if the words of the Christ and of the beloved disciple John had not been spoken; they are a deception, or, at least it was folly on the part of the Christ and of John to express them.
Bear in mind that you are begotten of God; that your real self is the son of God, a spiritual and divine being, as truly as was Jesus of Nazareth, and remember too that being a son of God, you are in touch with his Spirit, and that all power in heaven and in earth is at your command; for you were created and embodied for the exclusive purpose of taking the kingdom from the Father and executing dominion over all the earth.
Therefore keep ever before your mind's eye the clear distinction between your real self, who is the son of God, and your physical body, which is the son of man.
In the physical body are weaknesses and inclinations toward depravity, but in your real self is the divine son of God that gives you inclinations toward righteousness.
Strive above all things to realize that, being a son of God, you are one with the Father, and to realize also that the words of Jesus are applicable to you, when he said, "All things that the Father hath are mine;" if you are faithful and accept your high calling, you are to receive the kingdoms of this world and the dominion over them.
When these realizations become vivid to you, then you will be conscious that you are walking before God and being perfect. As God said to Abraham, "I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect."
It is essential that you believe and realize these things, for that which you believe you grow to be like, it matters not what it is. If you believe that you are a miserable sinner, you will grow to be a miserable sinner; but if you believe that you are a son of God and will to be righteous even as he is righteous, then all the new life that is generated in the body and conserved by you for the use of the brain and soul-powers, will be of that perfect quality.
It is well known that if a child is constantly told that he is ugly, wicked and bad in every way, he will grow to be wicked and bad.
That holy child that has been begotten in you, wants to realize its holiness, its righteousness, its oneness with the Father, its perfection in his sight, and all these qualities must be realized and cultivated
in your mind. But remember, you must keep active the distinction between the physical structure, and the appetites and passions arising therefrom, and the real self, the spiritual man. Remember the object of your incarnation in flesh is, that you take control of this body, and no longer allow it to be controlled by the appetites, passions and desires of the flesh, but to regenerate it into the likeness of your real self and the likeness of the everlasting Father. Here you have an individual work, great and important, which must be done by you. When the Christ said, "seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you," he implied that the seeking of God and his righteousness, must be the first and chief object and all other things must be subordinate to that object.
Now that you understand what the kingdom of God is, your life is dedicated to God that it may be established, as the prophet Obadiah said, "And saviors shall come up on Mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be Yahveh's."
Yes, you are called to be a savior to the world. The office of that newly begotten son that you are, is that of a savior, as was the office of the Christ of Nazareth. If you hold firmly to the realization that you are a prince (a son) of the Most High God, and do not let the thought that you are a poor, weak, carnal man, enter your mind
for an instant, then will the strength of the Spirit produce in you a consciousness that you have access to the power of the will of the Infinite, and all power in earth and in heaven will be at your command. Faithfully following this line, will bring you where the Christ was when he said, "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." Up to this point you go alonealone with God. Your eye is kept single and centered upon the Father. Spiritually you see and know no one but God; but you know that God has a great family of children like unto yourself, whom he is leading, the same as he is leading you.
But in your realizing that you are the son of God, and not a poor, weak, mortal man, you meet a grave danger, where thousands have fallen; that is, the ego, the self; the dark forces from the invisible side, will at once step in and cause you to feel that you are more than other men, and will cause you to begin to live in the ego, and there is no one thing that will destroy the working of the Spirit so quickly as this egoism. It is because of this that God said by the prophet, "Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm." And in this connection the Apostle Paul said:
"For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves; but they measuring themselves by
themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise." (II. Cor. x. 12.)
In order to maintain your realization that you are a son of God and yet remain humble and conscious of your dependence on the Father, it is necessary that you always look upward, and if any comparison is to be made, let it be made between yourself and God and his angels. This will ever keep you humble, meek and faithful in your effort to become more and more like them. But if you begin to compare yourself with your fellow men, you at once turn your eye away from God. Your eye is no longer single and you see yourself superior to so many of your fellow men that you swell up with egoism, and the door is wide open for dark spirits to enter and to possess you, and your last state will be worse than the first.
But by faithfulness to God and by constantly living up to the highest and the best that you know, and by seeking always the light of the Spirit to guide you in everything that you do, you become joined to and one with the Father, as God said by the prophet Hosea, "And it shall be at that day, saith Yahveh, that thou shalt call me my husband; and shalt call me no more my master." (Hosea ii. 16.) Now you will know what God meant when he said, by the prophet Isaiah:
"And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not
thy teachers be hidden any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers: and thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it; when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left." (Is. xxx. 20, 21.)
You will be introduced by the Lord Christ to the Father, as he said, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father who is in heaven." Here will be vivid, the realization that you are introduced to the Father and to his angels, introduced into membership with that Eternal Brotherhood and are consciously a member thereof, and that you are no longer a member of this world, though a resident therein.
Now you are ready to follow the Spirit wherever it leads. As God is one, when the time will have arrived for the gathering of the first ripe fruit of the earthfor the birth of the man-child spoken of in the twelfth chapter of Revelation, which is to rule all nations as with a rod of ironthen will you be called out from the world and gathered into the place .appointed by the Father, together with the 144,000, who, like yourself, have been following the Lord wholly. Having obtained absolute control over the body, over generation and death, when you are really introduced consciously as a member to the Eternal Brotherhood, God will say, "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make an helpmeet for him," and as the apostle
said, "Neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man in the Lord," and, according to the Lord Christ, "They twain shall be one flesh." Thus are brought together 288,000 individuals, but 144,000 souls, as the two become one, which Body constitutes the first ripe fruit, the holy city which came out of heaven from God, the new Jerusalem wherein dwelleth peace.
This Body will constitute the "Image of God," and the righteousness of your soul's desires and acts will constitute your likeness to God. Thus there will be established on earth that holy Body that has become indeed the temple of God, in which Yahveh, the Formless Former of all things, will have established his throne and through which he will take the kingdom and the dominion under the whole heaven. Then the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdom of our God and of his anointed, the 144, 000. Thus will be accomplished the purpose of God in the creation of the world:
"Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."