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Father-Son Relationship (Rabel)

(Back) Jesus Heals a Lame Man on the Sabbath Jesus Heals a Centurion's Servant (Next)

This is a series of lectures given by Mr. Edward Rabel, member of the faculty of S.M.R.S.
Winter semester 1976 - 2nd. Yr. Class. Part of Lectures 10 and 11 given on February 2 and 5, 1976

John 5:17-29

5:17But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh even until now, and I work. 5:18For this cause therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only brake the sabbath, but also called God his own Father, making himself equal with God. 5:19Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father doing: for what things soever he doeth, these the Son also doeth in like manner. 5:20For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth him all things that himself doeth: and greater works than these will he show him, that ye may marvel. 5:21For as the Father raiseth the dead and giveth them life, even so the Son also giveth life to whom he will. 5:22For neither doth the Father judge any man, but he hath given all judgment unto the Son; 5:23that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honoreth not the Son honoreth not the Father that sent him. 5:24Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth him that sent me, hath eternal life, and cometh not into judgment, but hath passed out of death into life.

There is organic meat here: we are going to cover this section a bit in depth. (Read the whole section). I have deliberately chosen that particular section because it is an archetype, it is a sample of the content of all these great esoteric discourses of Jesus in John and over and over again, with somewhat altered imagery and somewhat of a change of language and choice of approach, Jesus is repeating certain themes, the great esoteric doctrine of his metaphysical truth teaching that goes even deeper than just the metaphysical. In some cases he very strongly touches upon planetary and cosmic implications, but mainly, it is the metaphysical that we are concerned with here. I've called our in-depth treatment of this particular section simply "Father and Son" because that is what Jesus keeps talking about all through it.

All through our Bible, starting with the Book of Genesis to the Book of Revelation, this theme is sounded on page after page, the theme of father and son. In the Old Testament the importance of this relationship is stated in connection with almost all the important characters: Adam with Cain and Abel and later on Seth; Abraham with Isaac; Isaac with Esau and Jacob; Jacob with his twelve sons specifically Joseph; David and Solomon; and so forth, but always in the Old Testament the father-son relationship is quite literal. It is strictly a biological arrangement, a family tree sort of thing, pure genealogy; and we must admit that it has tremendous interest to many many persons on just this level, but it is very interesting and very significant to know that in the O.T. with all this tremendous emphasis given to the importance of the father and son relationship, not once is God ever named or referred to as Father, and not once is any person named or referenced as a child of God. It says something, deep ramifications here.

It is obvious that O.T. thinking did not include the idea of father to son being the relationship of God to each one of us. Why this concept was lacking? We don't know, we only know it is not there; evidently it simply had not occurred to the writers of the O.T. as we now have it. We might speculate on why they could not realize or why they did not write of God as Father of each man but it will only be speculation. The important thing is this state of affairs in our religious scriptures did not last. It is almost ironic that it was the Jewish culture itself which provided the setting for the one who came and transcended all the O.T. thinking because it is in Jesus Christ that we have brought into our Bible that level of thinking, now called the New Testament, and from that point on the single most important idea in all religious thinking is that the relation of God to man is that of Father-Son. God is not only just God, not only just Creator, God is not just Principle, just Spirit, not just Divine Mind, God is all there is, yes, but from man’s point of view there is something even more important which God is. GOD IS OUR FATHER. This is a tremendous development of religious thinking, to know that God is our Father, not just Jesus’ Father, but our Father.

I want to digress here from our main thought just for a moment. Some persons may challenge the idea of Father and Son being the relationship of God to man. Their thought is, "why is it stated only in the masculine gender?" Why not rather Mother and daughter, or Father-Mother-Son-Daughter?" Well, for one thing it would lengthen our sermons and it would require revising a lot of printing, of literature. One could understand a person concerned about this if it was a case of gender but we are not speaking of gender bodies, that is man as contrasting to woman, or male as contrasted to female. We say Father and Son, not to designate gender but to describe the relationship. It could just as well have been Mother and Daughter, it is not gender that we are concerned about but just describing the relationship. We are simply, maintaining the nomenclature which was established in the text of our Bible. So, remember, Father and Son are not referring to two male beings but to the type of relationship between God and all of us, and acceptance of the Father and Son relationship between God and man is the basis for all the wonderful revelations of new metaphysical truth; first with Jesus into our Gospels and then the modern metaphysical teachings and then into our own understanding, but it is all based on the Father and Son relationship between God and man. This is why so many of Jesus' teachings are built on a theme of Father and Son.

Q. A student calls the class attention toward Jesus’ words, "call no man on earth your father because you have only one Father who is in heaven."

Ed: That is one of Jesus' great germ insights, another one is when a man called him “good Master" and Jesus said, "why callest thou me good, none is good except one which is God." The principle of good is the only real good there is, we are all different degrees of expression of it but none of us is any way near duplicated in that principle because we are manifesting.

Jesus mentions Son of God and Son of man all through these discourses, and he also presents the somewhat puzzling idea that the Father and the Son are equal but yet the Father is always greater than the Son. This looks almost like a contradiction in terms but it is paradox in truth. God in its totality is the great overall Spirit, Principle, God is the Principle of Absolute good, God is Source, all there is in its totality and its individuality, God, in this aspect, that is God in its all-ness; is unimaginable and unknowable; the human mind simply cannot conceive of God in its totality, but God is also the ever-present, indwelling and all-loving help in every need for each individual and it is this personal aspect of God that Jesus is always referring to when he speaks of Father. He is not speaking of God the absolute totality, not even of God as the Creator of this cosmos; almost any time Jesus mentions Father he is definitely and clearly referring to this aspect of God, the indwelling presence, the loving help in every need.

Then he speaks of the Son of God and it is this aspect of God which has been involved into Creation as man, the spiritual man; the Son of God has the same meaning for all persons, this doesn’t change, this is the Only Begotten that constitutes the perfect, eternal, spiritual reality of each individual and as Sons of God we are all essentially one with each other and with our Father-God. Therefore, we can say, there is only one Son of God, that is, the Only Begotten. The Son of God is not actually a person but it is the reality of all persons. Then there is mention made of Son of man and this is simply the human nature, son of man. There is but one Son of God, which is in each one of us, but there are many, many, many, innumerable expressions of that one, there is infinite variety of expressions of human, nature, many sons of man. The Son of God of us is perfect, the son of man of us is in process of realizing and learning how to express that perfection. As Jesus put it, the Son of Man must be lifted up, which means, improved, expanded but the Son of God is already whole and complete.

We come to understand the Gospels and we see Jesus as a perfect example of both of these aspects of God correctly balanced and beautifully expressed. He illustrates oneness with the Father and oneness with the human nature. Sometimes these seem to be separate in expression but they always remain one in essence, he is Son of God and Son of man, just as we are and it is from a perfect combining of both these aspects that Jesus speaks his words; for this reason his words are words of Truth, they are never opinions or promoting a temporary point of view, they are universal, timeless all inclusive words of Truth and it is because of this that his words live and they can impart life into the consciousness of one who will receive them. Not that they impart life that isn’t there, but the words of Jesus if taken into consciousness quicken and increase the life-awareness of that consciousness, and the capacity to express life.

He says, "the Son can do nothing of himself but what he seeth the Father doing: For what things soever he doeth, these the Son also doeth in like manner." This means that the Son of God of you can do anything the Father makes possible to do, including your own goodness; you can't cook it up, you can only express it because the Father has already established it. With God all things are possible. Anything which conforms to the Principle of Good can be achieved by the Son of God always, but we must remember that the Son of God cannot deviate from the Principle of Good. The Son of God cannot do harm, waste substance, or act selfishly; the Son of God can accomplish duplications of what God has already accomplished. Why can the Son of God of you heal? Because the Father has already established the divine idea of Life, health, wholeness, the Son of God can only duplicate that which the Father has already established in Principle, in Truth. To help ourselves understand this, let's ask ourselves this, "do I believe that God can heal?” Of course we know the answer to that; well, then I must realize that the Son of God within me can also heal. Jesus said, "whatsoever the Father doeth, this the Son doeth in like manner." In other words, anything that you can claim that God can do, you, the Son of God, can do it.

And where is this Son of God that can do all that the Father does? Within you, in each person, it is your Christ Self, it is the real I AM of you. Do you believe that God forgives sins? Of course; well, then the Son of God forgives sins and Jesus even takes us a step further and says, "the Son of man have power to forgive sins.” The same holds true of any part of the Principle of Good, we need to see manifested in our life, be it prosperity, guidance, freedom, illumination, forgiveness; if you do not honor this truth about the Son of God in you, then you are not honoring the Father who created you. Jesus states it this way, "He that honoreth not the Son honoreth not the Father who sent him." He who dishonors the capabilities of the Christ is also dishonoring the Father.

LECTURE No. 11 (February 5, 1976)

Continuation Father-Son relationship with emphasis in Divine Ideas

(Read John 5:25-29).

5:25Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour cometh, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live. 5:26For as the Father hath life in himself, even so gave he to the Son also to have life in himself: 5:27and he gave him authority to execute judgment, because he is a son of man. 5:28Marvel not at this: for the hour cometh, in which all that are in the tombs shall hear his voice, 5:29and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment.

You read words like this and you wonder how people could possibly understand, even in part, the meaning, the sense, the Truth of those words without knowledge of the nature of Divine Ideas; however, as I have said so often, everything has validity within its own level, within the Divine Plan, so I suppose that meaning reveals itself on all planes of consciousness and it isn't fair to contrast and compare the meanings revealed as long as they satisfy the one who receives the revelations.

Who are these "living" Jesus is talking about, and who are these "dead in the tomb" who can be made alive if they will hear the words of the Son of God. Obviously all this refers to different aspects of ourselves, different sides to our nature, different levels of awareness. These are the many parts of our nature. That within us which is thoroughly alive, active, responsive, and useful, these parts are called by Jesus "the living". These are the parts of us which respond to words of Truth without stalling, without arguing; these are the parts of us that are able to instantly make use of the words of Truth in our daily living. These are the aspects of ourselves which will be designated as kind, generous, humble, willing, cooperative. These are the selves within us which know of Truth and therefore complete willing and therefore have eternal life. These are the parts of us which Jesus designates as the better part we have chosen which will never be taken away from us or never die, they will never be lost to our consciousness. But we also have within us some factors which Jesus classifies as "the dead". These would mean the non-productive, the currently useless parts which may have gone into tombs, which means the negative parts of subconsciousness; such things are hidden fears, suppressed fears, long-standing resentments which haven't been neutralized yet, prejudices which we think are perfectly natural because "we've always believed this, we've always done it that way," unhappy memories, and so forth.

All things, about us which are not currently contributing to happy useful living are called by Jesus the dead in the tomb. But isn't it strange that even the dead in the tombs have their level of validity, literally. Where do the death bodies in tombs go to? Back into part of the earth, so there is a validity even there, but not for our purposes now. But remember this, nothing within us remains permanently dead. Here is the beauty, everything in us is subject to resurrection and eventual ascension, redemption, regeneration and as we become more aware of the Son of God Self in us, we help everything in us to respond to the Truth coming into us from the Mind of God and remember, in God Mind the mode of expression is Divine Ideas but begins as secondary part of the process which is man's formation of divine ideas into units of mental energy.

As we continue to learn the Truth from divine ideas, to remember, to understand more and more parts of ourself which have become dead are born anew. This is one of the meanings of "born anew" or the new birth, that is any part of yourself which has become dead is reborn, is brought back into life, out of deathness or negativeness, or uselessness into life and positiveness and usefulness. In the process of new birth mechanical negativeness decreases, and consciousness increases; that is really what the process of the new birth is. Even the so called, dead spots in our consciousness emerge from that state or the tomb of passive negativeness, or forgetfulness and become a part of a life of conscious growing and learning and giving and receiving and enjoying and sharing. This great process is what really constitutes eternal life, it is the process of becoming alive through and through, it is the letting of the light of life into ourselves and becoming aware of all that is going on in us and all that is true about ourselves.

Now, Jesus closing sentence is this, "the hour cometh when all that are in the tomb shall hear his voice and shall come forth, they that have done good unto the resurrection of life and they that have done ill unto the resurrection of judgment." The meaning of this will become more clear if we remember that this discourse is really about awakening within ourselves; through recognizing and listening to the Son of God within us we are awakening within ourselves all those parts of us which we have let fall into disuse or death. Another definition for tomb is the area of suppressed negative emotions in subconscious, not sublimation but suppression.

As the light of Truth or the Word of God enters more fully into our understanding those qualities in us which have been suppressed or forgotten but which are capable of continuing their activity of expressing much good but have been suppressed, shall come forth into much more active participation in our life "unto the resurrection of life"; in other words, we all have many potentials and abilities that we have perhaps suppressed for various reasons (the reasons are not always bad reasons but it is not a useful thing to do) which if we quicken by the word of Truth in our consciousness, these then re-emerge and take an active participation in our life-expression rather than remaining a buried or suppressed potential or talent or possibility. They come back unto the resurrection of life. We allow these qualities to actually once more participate in our daily life activities, but there is the other side of that coin which Jesus also indicates here. At the same time, as we become more quickened and aware of Truth we also become more aware of anything harmful or useless or untrue that we have built into our nature, "they that have done ill." These factors are also brought forward but not to enter into the resurrection of life; we do not involve these undesirable things we have suppressed in us, we do not continue involving them into life activities but now in our new quickened state of awareness, Jesus uses the words, these come forth unto the resurrection of Judgment.

We bring our judgment to play upon them, we let our judgment act upon these things we become aware of which have been within us and suppressed or hidden or ignored for so long in the tombs. See, everything we ignore about ourselves, that is also a dead in the tomb we are just not facing it. If we are not facing it, it is still there but it is one of the dead in the tombs that eventually will come forward and we have to make some: kind of a decision about it. If we don't decide to involve it into life again, we then have to decide what to do about it, use judgment, judgment is the decisive factor. Either we may decide to call the other faculty of elimination or renunciation and once and for all renounce it and sever our connection with it; or, if don't want to totally renounce it and eliminate it, we may decide then to make an effort to transform it, to redeem it, we will use denial or we will use affirmation or we will use both, but whatever our new understanding enables us to see about ourself, be it something desirable or undesirable, we will not be made negative and upset over the discovery.

This is important because, you see, if in the light of your quickened new state of consciousness brought about through Truth or divine ideas, you now are able to be much more aware of all factors which you have adopted and made part of yourself through the aeons of incarnations and you discover many undesirable or useless parts, what you discover will not knock you for a tizzy as it would if it had come to you under other circumstances. For instance, at one time my aunt was going through a lot of problems and I remember something that she said that struck me so that I have never forgotten it. She said, "the worst thing that has ever happened to me is that I've discovered what a lousy person I really am," in other words, she had discovered some lousy characteristics which she had suppressed or buried in herself and she became aware of them but not through the light of Truth but from psychoanalysis and it knocked her out and the suffering she did in the light of the discovery was worse than the suffering that had been caused by the suppressed negativeness but, bless her heart, she is now a great Truth student. She remembers that period that she went through and she says, "Oh, if only I had used prayer instead of psychiatry,” she would have found these things and she would have known through the judgment faculty how to handle them, without having more burdens or suffering.

Because of this law, whatever we discover by the light of Truth, we also discover simultaneously the right way to handle it, they are one and the same thing. This is the way of the Father and the way of the Father has become the way of the Son and both, the Son of God of us (our spiritual nature) and the Son of man of us (our human nature), partake of the way of the Father. Jesus is driving at self-discovery through awareness, first of oneness with God, Son of God, then divine ideas," that which the Father doeth," or that which the Father hath created and then this keeps us completely in tune with the original Father-Mind or creative principle. The creativity of God then works through us and along with this is the human job necessary to human nature of clearing up the erroneous, negative, undesirable which, whether we like it or not, is still a factor within developing human nature.

Now, Jesus does say in the same discourse, "My Father worketh even until now and I work" (John 5:19). It is a very famous quote from Jesus and it means more than it sounds, as all Jesus' statements do. In this statement Jesus is revealing the true relationship between the Father's working, or Spirit's working and the work performed by an individual human being. Very clearly that indicates that there has been work going on up to the present moment when the I steps in and participates in the work and this is indicative of the true relationship between the Father's working, Spirit's working, and the work that human beings can do.

The laws of Spirit are always working, they are; they have nothing to do with time or space, relativity or comparisons or anything of that nature, they simply are, they live, they work. This is an eternal reality, an absolute if you will, but man as such does not actually do in the absolute sense of that word, what man does is duplicate, or he brings the work already been done and always has been being done, but he brings it into the realm of perceptibility or expression and then manifestation. In other words, man can only transform work already done into a different realm from which it is originally done, and in the doing of that he often feels that he is doing the work itself, but he is duplicating it.

Man is the agent of God's creativity, not a creator, he is an agent of the Creator or an extension of Him, but yet here is the paradox. In doing this man is in every sense of the word a true worker. Even Jesus said, "the Son of himself can do nothing except what he sees the Father doing," meaning it has already been done. You are the mirror of the Universe, you are the inlet and the outlet of all that God already is and God's work already is (you could say it is already done but that done would give a bad connotation); it is eternal, it never changes, it never starts, it never stops, it always is. Creation is, but man then has this wonderful ability, he is the pivotal being, he is Son of God and he is son of man, he is a giver because he is first a receiver, he does only because he can duplicate,"he doeth what the Father hath done," and in that sense man is, really is the mirror of the universe. In other words, you discern principle and you can do anything that principle is and what more can we ask. "For what things soever the Father doeth, these the Son also doeth in like manner." He duplicates. This is not a cold, abstract, impersonal relationship between the Father and the Son, the Father loveth the Son, this is important. If you leave the love-factor out of it, it will all sound so “cosmic.” It is not “cosmic” in the academic sense of that word; it is intimate, it is personal, it is warm, all the words that we can think of that are synonymous with a loving relationship are applicable here, and cold abstractions are misinformation here. “the Father loveth the Son and sheweth him all things that himself doeth and greater works than these will he show him, that ye may marvel.” (John 5:19-20)

This excerpt means more and more to me as I grow older. Having a feeling for this kind of Truth produces a feeling of getting better as you grow older. Learning deeper levels of the classic Truth that Jesus really taught will accomplish that for you; it will bring a quiet kind of joy and approval within yourself that couldn't get by any other type of approach or teaching, that as you get older you are simply getting deeper and better and more lived in, not bolder but more lived in and this is a very wonderful thing to realize.

Text of the original transcript from paragraph 2 of page 62 through the third paragraph of page 69.
Transcribed by Margaret Garvin on 03-30-2014