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And now, in our 10th lesson, we have come to the 10th chapter of our Book of Revelation. This chapter deals with the Mighty Angel who holds a little book in his hand, which the writer of Revelation is commanded to eat. He is told that it will be sweet in his mouth, but will be bitter in his belly. The author does as he is told, and finds it to be just as predicted.
The little book stands for the letter of truth teaching in the form of a body of knowledge, which can be learned. It is symbolized as a book in an angel’s hand, the teachings of truth, which can be eaten. In this form, that is, as knowledge being learned, it makes a sweet impression on our sensibilities. We say, oh, how beautiful these teachings are, how sweet. These are common responses from us when our perceptive faculties first come in contact with the teachings, which are bringing us knowledge of truth, but knowledge digested into consciousness can often become difficult, or bitter, when we find ourselves involved in challenging, or unpleasant life situations. For example, learning the knowledge of spiritual healing is sweet, but having to give healed when one is sick seems bitter.
Or, learning the principles taught about forgiving love is a very sweet knowledge to gain, but having to forgive someone who has hurt me can be a bitter effort on my part. Knowledge of truth, just as knowledge is sweet, but it’s still on my lips on the surface of our perceptive faculties. Having to work with truth in the face of negative temptation or difficult unpleasant life situations, can be a bitter effort, sweet to the mouth, bitter in the belly, but it is only when the truth teachings become the inner effort, which can be bitter, that the truth nourishes us, and strengthens us, and causes us to become more and more conscious of our own perfection.
I realize that in the parts of the Book of Revelation we have been covering, that a great deal of emphasis has been put on the difficulties and sufferings of life experience, and so, perhaps some of you, listeners are by now a little weary with so much reference in these lessons to suffering and difficulties, so here, it might be well to keep in mind that the Book of Revelation is basically a book which is symbolically describing your growth and development after you came into the way of truth of Jesus Christ, and there are certain things, which a person can learn, accept, and make use of only after he has come into this aspect of truth.
For a while, most souls go through a cycle of living in which the goal of all their efforts is to make their life easy and pleasant. For a while, this is the ultimate goal in the minds of some persons, and some persons may spend a whole lifetime never growing beyond this goal, and others grow beyond this point, and begin to see that making life easy and pleasant is not the highest ideal to seek in life.
Truth students come to realize that an understanding consciousness is really the most worthwhile goal of all to seek. Then, the direction of that person’s desires begins to turn away from ease and pleasure seeking, and more into the direction of finding greater meaning in the details of life, and the totality of life. Such a change in direction of interest benefits the whole man, instead of just gratifying the pleasure seeking side of a man.
Now, in studying Bible interpretation, we are attempting to learn and understand greater truth, not just that aspect of truth, which can make life easy and pleasant, but all the truth, and while we know that the nature of life, the essence of life, the purpose of life are all good, we also admit that there are factors in our life, which we still react to as not good, and it is to help us receive more light on these factors that our Bible, especially the Book of Revelation takes us so often into difficult or unpleasant subjects.
It is good for us to remember that we should have by now grown to the point where our main goal is to increase consciousness and understanding, rather than to continue searching for that magic formula, which might make our life a round of ease and pleasure.