Keep a True Lent, by Charles Fillmore, , at sacred-texts.com
VOLTAIRE IS CREDITED with saying that if there were no God, men would invent one. The human characteristics of the gods of all religions betray their man-made origin. Not discerning the real character of God, man has thought of Him as acting as man would if he were God. The result is a God who is angry every day, regrets that He made man, drowns the whole human family, and condemns the wicked to the eternal fire of hell if they fail to ask His forgiveness. This God of many of the religions of the day is of such frightful mien that we find it difficult to accept Him as the loving Father that Jesus taught Him to be.
Robert Ingersoll paraphrased "An honest man is the noblest work of God" to "An honest God is the noblest work of man." He was not so far wrong. All inventions are first pictured in the mind of the inventor. So we form a mental picture of everything we conceive, and our conception of God is no exception. We do not see persons and things as we think we see them. What we see is our own conception of them.
We are forced by intuition, logic, and manifest evidence to the conclusion that the Creator of the universe in which we live was and is wise and good. This being true, we cannot accept descriptions of
Him or His acts that contradict that primal conclusion. When we read that "God is angry with the wicked every day" we question the understanding of the writer, although the evidence would tend to prove the assumption.
Those who transgress divine law suffer in various ways, and it might well seem that an angry Being is the executioner. However, we know that even those who frame our civil laws are not angry with the persons who break them. Those who conceive of God as a person will invest Him with personal traits, some of which are ridiculous.
We can all understand that a creation which involves complex relations must be governed by laws and orderly acts. Those who get the right conception of the creative source and adjust their minds to its wisdom, purity, power, love, and completeness as the ideal source of perfect man are rewarded by a serene peace and confidence in the final supremacy of justice and righteousness. God is good, and He is the only real power in the universe; consequently, perfection must eventually establish itself in the minds of the law-abiding people and through them in the whole world.
God-Mind presents its perfect ideals to all minds, especially to those that are open to the light of the Christ, by whom the bonds of error thought are broken. Those who have been trained to think of God as a person, as the parent of a family of billions can continue to think of Him as such by adding
the attributes of unlimited principle. But they should not make their God a man with the limitations of the human. The natural man thinks that the world in which he lives is the real world and that the thoughts he thinks are the real thoughts. Those who expect the second coming of Jesus look forward to His appearance in a body of flesh similar to the body that was crucified, if not the same.
But Jesus at the Ascension broke His physical organism into its primal electrons or ions of substance and life, which He sowed as a body seed for all those who follow Him in the regeneration. Thousands have appropriated these seeds of the new Christ body in the past nineteen hundred years and are now in the process of unfolding a redeemed organism. No one has fully developed the Christ body as it will appear when mortal life has been replaced by immortality. Many are experiencing strange sensations that they or their medical advisers do not understand. These are the transforming elements of the new life that they have incorporated into their consciousness in this or some other incarnation.
The redemptive work that Jesus began will require a long period of time to be fulfilled. He told His apostles that many things would happen before the consummation of what He called the "end of the age." This phrase appears in the American Standard Version of the New Testament as the "end of the world," but is corrected in the margin. This erroneous translation, "the end of the world," has caused
wave after wave of fear to sweep over the earth for hundreds of years, and many ministers are still using it as a club to scare people into conversion.
Jesus never taught that God would destroy the earth, but He did teach that race evolution was being carried forward in great periods or ages, one of which was ending in His time. Jesus said that no one knew the duration of this age except the Father. Paul doubtless had this in mind when he wrote to the Colossians concerning "the mystery which hath been hid for ages and generations . . . which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." Through Christ we are unified with God and become joint heirs with Jesus to all the treasures of the kingdom of heaven.
Every follower of Jesus should strive for a better and fuller understanding of the unity He made with the Father, whereby He opened the way for us to make the same unity and help others to do likewise. People are no longer herded into heaven by persons preaching the fear of hell, but many persons are sinking deeper and deeper into the delusions of sense. The old serpent is deceiving them with the promise that they get pleasure out of sensations of the flesh. We must preach and teach and demonstrate that there is health and happiness in the spiritual life of Christ. The blood of Jesus does save. We have a striking illustration of the efficacy of human blood in the restoration of life to our wounded soldiers. The blood of the human family has become corrupt, and the race body is no longer vitalized
sufficiently. It has reached a point where an infusion of purified blood is imperative.
Jesus raised the blood of His body to spiritual potency. This purified blood was sown as seed in our race thought and can be appropriated by anyone who raises his thoughts to those of Jesus. This is accomplished through faith in Jesus to save one from sin, to inspire one with His Spirit, or through asking Jesus to come to the aid of the sin-sick mind or suffering body. A single atom of the purified blood of Jesus can begin a vitalizing and purifying work in mind and body that will continue until the Christ man appears. How long it will take to transform the mortal into the immortal no man can tell. We do know, however, that once the mind receives the Christ quickening it will continue to grow in grace, incarnation after incarnation, until the rejuvenating life has overcome death and reincarnation is no longer necessary.
The multitudes who still labor under the logic of the personal-God consciousness continue to ask why God does not plainly reveal Himself and destroy the Adversary, who is leading so many astray.
Those who have for even a short time given their thoughts to the Christ Spirit can testify that it has developed in them a new outlook on life. Where before they were doubtful and uncertain, they now have the assurance of the presence of a power that is helping them to better living in every way. Christ has become a real Comforter, working with them,
rather than a historical God-man in heaven. Health and prosperity have replaced the former fear of sickness and financial worry.
How great is the need for a metaphysical understanding of God and His relation to man! Jesus taught plainly that "God is Spirit." God is not a sleight-of-hand performer who makes full-grown animals instantly. God gives Himself to man, and man has the power to make himself what he will. Freedom of will is man's inheritance, and he can use that freedom to build or destroy as he determines. Jesus claimed that all authority was given to Him "in heaven and on earth." What Jesus had, we all have potentially. He developed His powers and was the great example for all of us. We can attain the same unity with the Father-Mind that He attained; and He promised us that He will help us to reach this unity with the Father. If suffering humanity could appreciate the importance of this stupendous invitation and accept it, the world and its people would soon be transformed.