The Goal of Life, by Hiram Butler, , at sacred-texts.com
In view of the fact that God is the Creator of all things, it follows that it is the same Mind working under all circumstances that continues to work in the higher spheres, even in the spirit-world. Because of this, when the Christ was on earth he found in the physical world abundant material for employing analogy in teaching spiritual things.
No doubt many who read the last few chapters, will feel a doubt and a repulsion regarding the thoughts expressed in them, because the ideal has been fixed in the Christian world that we have nothing to do but to believe on the Lord Jesus, and we are saved. But this is not the teaching of the Christ. Of course, it is necessary to believe on the Lord Jesus in order to be saved, but he expressly declared that they that believed would follow his teachings. "Devils believe and fear," therefore it is not enough to say "credo."
The work of the Christ is to lead man, as fast as he is able to go, from the childhood condition
of the race to true manhood and womanhood, in pursuance of the Divine Purpose to make man in "the Image and Likeness of God."
The conditions that follow the development of the people from their child-condition to divine sonship, are parallel to those found in the growth and development of an individual child. Take for illustration a man and wife who have a beloved son. How carefully the mother watches over that childwatches every movement. How gently and lovingly she cares for him through his early childhood, and how gently and carefully the father provides all the necessities of his life, and finally the time comes when he has completed his education and he must go out for himself. The loving care of the mother can no longer follow him and the careful protection of the wise father is in a manner withdrawn. In place of being protected and carefully guarded in all his doings, he goes out to meet the world and its combat and struggles. He must now learn from experience what it is to meet adversaries, treachery and deceit in all their varied forms among men, but if he has been carefully instructed and has proper guidance in his business career, he soon learns to meet these adversaries and to overcome them, or to steer clear of them and thus to carry forward the interests of this world.
Now, wherein is the analogy?During the work of generation, creation, the race has been carried along by the watchful care of the Lord Jesus and his angels, as a child in the arms of its mother. This child-race has been provided with all the necessities to keep the main object of its existence before the mind. Finally the time comes when those who have matured and developed to manhood, having been faithful in the teachings of the doctrine of Christ, are led by the Lord Christ in through the door and introduced to the Father and his angels.
The time of maturity having come, they are to be instructed in all the methods for developing into the fulness of divine sonship; and in order that they may be able to command the forces of nature, have dominion over the fish of the sea, the fowl of the air, and over all the earth, it is necessary that they should have experience. They must meet and overcome all the dark forces of the planet earth, referred to further on in this chapter.
THE EXIT FROM THE OLD ORDER TO THE NEW
is symbolized in the story of the deliverance of the children of Israel from their Egyptian bondage. We read that when they were led out from their bondage they were led into the desert where there was no means of support, where there was nothing on which they could depend but God, whose voice they followed. Then they were led to the foot of Sinai where God entered into cove-
nant relations with them. Preparatory to that covenant God sent the following message to them through Moses:
"Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagle's wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me from among all peoples: for all the earth is mine: and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation." (Ex. xix. 4-6.)
When Moses gave this Message to the children of Israel they answered, "All that Yahveh hath spoken we will do." Then Moses was told to "go unto the people, and sanctify them to-day and to-morrow, and let them wash their garments. . . . . And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their garments. And he said unto the people, Be ready against the third day: come not near a woman."
After this injunction was obeyed then they were given the Everlasting Covenantthe Ten Commandments. That the Ten Commandments were designated as the Everlasting Covenant will be seen in the many references in the Old Testament to the word "Covenant."
The fact that the great name of God has been lost for all the centuries past, has obscured the covenant relations that the Ten Commandments
bear to God and to man. This covenant begins with the words, as translated in King James Version, "I am the Lord thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage," but when translated in the light of the meaning of the divine name these words read thus, "I will be your power like I have been in bringing you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of servitude."
Now the children of Israel were a numerous people held in slavery, in bondage, to one of the greatest nations then upon the earth; and God by his spiritthrough signs and wonders, demonstrated by the hand of Mosesforced upon the king of Egypt obedience to the divine mandate, to let the people go. Then he led them through the Red Sea; he went before them as a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night; he led them into the great desert where there was neither food nor drink; there he fed them with bread from heaven; and Moses, the man of God, was enabled to bring water out of the flinty rock, so that they were provided with all the necessities. Through the Divine Power their shoes were preserved upon their feet, so that they did not wear out, neither did their clothes get old. Thus truly as God said, "I bare you on eagle's wings and brought you to myself." Again, "As an eagle that stirreth up her nest, that fluttereth over her young, He spread abroad his wings, he took them, he bare them on his
pinions: Yahveh alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him." (Deut. xxxii. 11, 12.) This is a symbol of the conditions that are now before us, or of the conditions that are to obtain with all mature souls; that is, these mature souls are a great and mighty people, who have been held in bondage by the strongest Power on earthGenerationnow they are passing through the desert where none but God can succor.
This reference to the eagle brings to our mind the following story: The eagle builds her nest of thorns and then covers the thorns with the softest and downiest substances that she can find, until the nest is soft and cozy for the eaglets. When they are hatched she feeds, nourishes and cares for them until they are full grown. Then the eaglets are lazy and wish to remain in the nest to be cared for and fed; but the old eagle has made provisions that they shall not remain in the nest. She pulls out the soft material that covers the thorns and lets the breasts of the eaglets down on the hard thorns and transforms their bed of down into a bed of thorns. Then they are forced out upon the edge of the nest and as their wings have never been tried they are filled with fear lest they fall, but the old eagle pushes them off and they are forced to fly; but when she sees that they are weary and begin to fall, she sweeps under them and bears them upon her wings until they are rested; then she drops them upon their own
wings and they are forced to support themselves wholly. Thus she continues to drill them, until they can mount up into the sky, into the glories of the sunlight.
In the past we have been provided for and lovingly cared for by the Divine Father-Mother, and this loving care is continued until the time comes that we receive the command: "Son, go work in my vineyard." Then comes the trial. Oh, how hard it seems! We have been so carefully cared for in all the past; we want to lie still, to be loved, and to be petted, and nourished by the Divine Father-Mother, but God pulls out the down from under us and we are let down upon the hard thorns of a physical existence. We feel the thorns in our breast and we are forced to make the effort. Then he sends his angels, that manifest themselves through controlling circumstances, and we are actually thrown out of our former nesting place. How frightened we are! We feel that we shall certainly fall to destruction, but a loving hand is under us when we are about to fall and we are upheld. But the nest has gone. We can never return to it; the old conditions have passed away; they have gone forever; there is nothing left for us but Godthe Elohimand association with his angels.
Some may refuse to go and may die, pass out of the body; but they do not escape by this means, for they will soon be brought back into another
body, and into similar conditions that existed before, and the one and only way is before them. They must go forward; there is no retrogression in this life. God's word (nature's laws) must be obeyed, but with him time is nothing. If his word is not obeyed in one lifetime, it must be obeyed in another.
Now that you have come to maturity and feel the promptings of the soul's outreaching and yearning for something higher, nobler and better, you must go forward. But, alas, before you all is dark and uncertain and something within you seems to admonish you that the pathway that lies before you is strewn with many difficulties! Even the Lord and his angels have impressed your mind with the danger of "leaving the first principles of the doctrine of Christ, and going on to perfection," and you fear to launch out into the uncertain and unknown. But you have one consolation left; namely, if you have been faithful over the few things that you had during your early Christian life, you have learned that you can safely trust God; then, if you put your trust in God and go forward fearlessly, determined above all things to do his will, let the consequences be what they may, the messenger of the covenant will be sent to you with a message from the Father and your soul will be led to enter into covenant relation with God. God's covenant has been left on record and the message
is essentially this (although it may be varied according to the necessities of the individual):
"If you will obey my voice indeed and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all peoples: for all the earth is mine, and you shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation."
And the time will come when you will be impressed to answer as Israel did; namely: All that Yahveh hath spoken, or will speak, I will do; I will be obedient. Thus there is a most pointed covenant entered into between God, the Spirit, and your own soul. You promise to be absolutely obedient to the guidance of the Spirit, and God promises to be your power under all circumstances, to deliver you from your bondage to this world, to give you power to overcome all the adversaries in the invisible world, even though the obstructions be as great as those that the children of Israel met when they were delivered from their Egyptian bondage.
In this covenant your mind must be fixed and the soul must answer for the body and external mind, and say, in answer to God's question: "I will he obedient, I will follow the guidance no matter where it leads me, or what it costs me; no matter whether it be suffering or enjoyment; only that I may know and do the right, the will of God, that I may become a co-worker with him and his angels
in the gathering of the first ripe fruit of the earth, in the saving of his people from their sins."
Thus the soul is placed in position to apply the promise put on record by the Lord Christ: "If ye shall ask anything of the Father, he will give it you in my name." The name Jesus means "Savior," for, as the angel said, "He shall save his people from their sins." In this covenant, then, you take the name of Jesus, and all your prayer is "in his name," in the purpose expressed by that name.
The habit on the part of the people to pray to God "for Jesus sake," is the expression of ignorance and blindness; but when you have entered into covenant relation with God you will find that your mind is brought into unity with the Christ and becomes the expression of that name. Then all desires that have for their ultimate the purpose of fitting and preparing yourself to become a savior, an instrument in the hands of the Holy Spirit to save his people from their sins, will be granted to you by the everlasting Father, and the granting of your desires is embodied in the meaning of that wondrous name Yahveh ElohimI will be your powerfor the word Elohim means power, the creative-power.
Having taken this covenant, you have become a neophyte, so to speak, in that wondrous order of Melchisedek of which Jesus was the earthly representative in his time, for you remember the declaration of the Apostle (quoting from the
[paragraph continues] Psalms), "Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchisedek." After you have taken the name Yahveh you are treated as you would treat your son; you are no longer carried in the arms as a child, but it is said to you: "You are a man, you are a woman, go forth and do." The encircling arms have gone; you are fearful; you do not know what to do, but remember that you have taken that covenant of obedience. Do you believe God? Then the first thing is to conquer fear by perfect confidence in God; by placing your life, your hopeeverythingin the hands of the Spirit of the Highest.
Thus like Abraham who believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness, you have only to believe God and to trust him and to keep your part of the covenant, to obey his voice indeed, then the angel of the Lord will go before you; and though you see him not; though you hear not the voice of a man, yet your mind is impressed, your intelligence is illuminated and guided so that you go forward doing the best you know day by day and hour by hour, believing that God will fulfill his part of the covenant by sending his angel to guide you and to keep you from error.
You are now required to act as a man, as if the responsibility and the intelligence were yours and you had to do the work yourself. And when you have done the best that you know, you will realize afterward that Divine Wisdom was imparted to
you for the occasion, and as you go on, you rapidly gain confidence in the Father.
Then comes the second message from the Father, as it came to the children of Israel, that is, "Come not at your wives." You have now passed beyond the dominating and controlling power of the law of generation, labor, sorrow, and death; you have now entered the path of immortality, the path that leads to the goal of eternal life and oneness with the Father. You must now keep the eternal sabbath; you must cease from your own works, the work of generation, and enter into the harvest field of Elohim.
Having entered into this covenant relation with God, you find that it is necessary to conquer the god of generation who has been dominating your body, to conquer "the old serpent, he that is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world," whose throne is the function of generation; he must be conquered and cast down. In yourself there is no power to do this, but remember your covenant. Remember who has promised to be your strength, your power, under all circumstances, and obey his voice indeed. Begin the work fearlessly, knowing that you cannot fail; for he who is the only power in all this broad universe has become your power, and your faith in that power makes it accessible to you in time of need.
Fear is weakness. Let us illustrate this: A lad is lost in the woods. You go to that lad and say
to him: "I will show you the way out." But he says: "This wood is filled with wild beasts that are seeking to destroy me." Then you say to him: "Come with me; I will protect you and lead you out." You start out with him, but he becomes frightened and runs away; he runs away from you into danger. The only way you could lead him out would be to bind him and force him to stay with you.
Why did the Father come to you and demand this covenant of you, this covenant of absolute obedience?Simply because he knew the dangers that surround you on every sidedangers brought to light in the teachings of the Christ.
It is because of these dangers that God requires this promise from you, and he requires that you keep this promise faithfully, and when fear arises, as surely as it dominates you, so surely do you fail to keep your part of the promiseso surely do you fail to keep the path of safety. Therefore it becomes necessary that you should, as it were, take your life in your hands and place it in the hands of the Father, and have no more care for your life, knowing that God only is immortal, dwelling in perfect light.
You will soon become aware that there are invisible, and to your external self, intangible powers, dark forces, which the Christ called "devils," that meet you and would deceive you in every
conceivable way. These you must meet and overcome by your faith in God.
If a son would possess the inheritance of his father, it is necessary that he should begin at the bottom of the business interest and serve in every capacity, until he becomes master of the entire business. So God, in his wisdom, made it necessary that you should begin the work of overcoming, for, "He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son." First you must have dominion over the basic principles of your own body, and then over the dark souls from the invisible side, and as you go on step by step through this borderland that lies between the world of creation and the world of eternal sabbathrest with Godby the power of God you can conquer and subordinate to yourself every creative-law, headed and personified by dark intelligences. And when you have overcome your own body, your own sense desires, and all the dark forces of the subjective realm, then you enter in through the door and, as the angel said to John, you "go no more out forever."
In entering in through the door, you enter into and become a part of that great temple that John saw "coming down out of heaven from God." You enter in and form a part of that body of mature souls that is to constitute man in the image and likeness of God, and at that time the words will go forth to the world:
"Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he shall dwell with them, and they shall be his peoples, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God: and he shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more; neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, any more: the first things are passed away. And he that sitteth on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he saith, Write: for these words are faithful and true." (Rev. xxi. 3-6.)
Then will the individual man be not only like the Christ, but in many respects will be fulfilled the words of the Lord Jesus when he said, "He that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he," for before the Christ could say, "All things have been delivered unto me of my Father," he had to overcome the world. He said to his disciples, "Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." Why did he say, "Be of good cheer"? Not because he had overcome the world and that therefore we had nothing to do, but because he had made it possible for us to overcome the world the same as he had. And when you have overcome the world through faith in God, patient perseverance and unyielding persistence, then there is a transition that takes place as literally as if the temple or the kingdom of God were a literal city, most glorious in its appointments, and you were ushered in from the darkness and dreariness without. Once you have entered in, you have entered into all that God has promised his people,
all that he has purposed in your creation, and as there is no retrogression from this high position, the angel said of such, "They go no more out forever."
You who would overcome, you who are brave enough to consecrate your lives to God in order that his temple may be built, may become coworkers with God and his angels in bringing to earth and establishing among men that kingdom for which the Lord Christ taught us to pray, "Let thy kingdom come and thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven." Then will "the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our Lord and of his anointed"your kingdom. Then will this little grain of sandour earthbe elevated among the stars of heaven, to become a suna son of God.
"He that is able to receive it, let him receive it."