Charles Fillmore Mysteries of John 14
METAPHYSICAL INTERPRETATION OF JOHN CHAPTER 14
14:1Let not your heart be troubled: believe in God, believe also in me. 14:2In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 14:3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I come again, and will receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
WE BELIEVE IN God. It follows logically that we believe also in the manifestation of God, the ideal man. This proposition once accepted, there dawns on the understanding the truth of an intimate relation existing between Father and Son. The Father, God, "Spirit," is within the Son as the animating principle. The full recognition by man of this indwelling Spirit, as it was in Jesus, makes man the central figure and ruling power in the manifest universe. "The kingdom of God is within you."
"Many mansions" means many abiding places. "Mansion" comes from the Latin manere, to remain. The meaning of Jesus was that He was making a permanent abiding place for those who believed in His teaching and accepted Him for what He really was--God manifest. The idea usually held out is that Jesus was preceding His disciples to heaven, where He would await and welcome them. But there is no such meaning in the text. The permanent abiding place to which Jesus invites His friends is "prepared" by Him: He makes the place Himself, in fact He is the place. "Where I am, there ye may be also:
14:4And whither I go, ye know the way. 14:5Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; how know we the way? 14:6Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me. 14:7If ye had known me, ye would have known my Father also: from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
14:8Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 14:9Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and dost thou not know me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; how sayest thou, Show us the Father? 14:10Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I say unto you I speak not from myself: but the Father abiding in me doeth his works. 14:11Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.
"Whither I go, ye know the way." The intellectual man, Thomas, claims ignorance and says he does not know the place or the way. Then Jesus reveals the spiritual Truth to which He has gradually been leading their minds, saying, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me." An understanding of man's spiritual nature reveals his unity with the omnipresent principle of life, the Father. Jesus the Christ is in the Father, and the Father is in man. Whoever sees the spirituality of man in himself or others sees the Father. The Father principle may be so developed in man that it will move him unerringly in all his ways, and the Father may even speak words through his mouth. When this point is reached the question of man's unity with the Father principle is wholly removed, the manifestation of wisdom and
power in him proving that a higher principle is at work through him. "Believe me for the very works' sake."
But Philip (the power of the word) says, "Show us the Father." This faculty must be raised to the realization of the omnipresence of Spirit by an acknowledgment that the word of the I AM spoken through it is not of the mortal but of God. "The words that I say unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father abiding in me, doeth his works."
14:12Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto the Father. 14:13And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14:14If ye shall ask anything in my name, that will I do.
"Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do." There is no limit here. "Whatsoever" covers everything. Then why do we not receive at all times when we ask in His name? Because we have not demonstrated the power of His name. The name stands for the spiritual man, and it is this name or sign of God with us that rewards our faith. Had we a check signed by a well-known financier we should not hesitate to present it at the bank and get the money. The same confidence in the life-giving and success-producing power of the risen Christ must be established in us. When we reach out into the great invisible spiritual substance all about us and think of ourselves as its expression, confidently expecting it to manifest itself through us, it will do so. If at the
first trial we do not succeed, let us keep trying until we do succeed; for the promise can be proved true, "If ye shall ask anything in my name, that will I do."
14:15If ye love me, ye will keep my commandments. 14:16And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may be with you for ever, 14:17even the Spirit of truth: whom the world cannot receive; for it beholdeth him not, neither knoweth him: ye know him; for he abideth with you, and shall be in you. 14:18I will not leave you desolate: I come unto you. 14:19Yet a little while, and the world beholdeth me no more; but ye behold me: because I live, ye shall live also. 14:20In that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. 14:21He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself unto him. 14:22Judas (not Iscariot) saith unto him, Lord, what is come to pass that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 14:23Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my word: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 14:24He that loveth me not keepeth not my words: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's who sent me.
In this Scripture Jesus, representing the I AM, gives assurance of divine co-operation to those who are loyal in thought and word to the Truth. You now know the relation in which you stand to the Father. Spiritually you are one, but to sustain this spiritual relation until it is fully manifested in your body and environment requires attention. The concrete aspect of Truth, represented by the personality
of Jesus, must be taken away before you can understand Truth in its abstract or universal sense. Then withdrawing your attention from the letter or personality and centering it on Truth in its spiritual essence, you find that there is an intelligible side to that which seems vague and indefinite. The Comforter, the Advocate, the Spirit of truth is omnipresent as divine wisdom and power, which are brought into active touch with our consciousness through our believing in Him. In "the world"--on the phenomenal side--we cannot know this guide and helper, but having learned the truth about the omnipresence of Spirit, with all the abundance of life, love, Truth, and intelligence through which it is made manifest, we at once begin to realize that the Mighty One dwells with us, and "shall be in you."
The going away of the I AM was apparent to sense consciousness only--the "world beholdeth me no more"--but the larger range of consciousness beholds an expansion of the sense of divine identity and life, "Ye behold me: because I live, ye shall live also." With this expansion of the sense of our divine identity comes a perception of our unity with the Father, and the absolute identity of our sense-limited I with the universal I AM, the Christ. "In that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you." The question is frequently asked, Is it not presumptuous for us, who have at first no realization of their truth, to make the statements that Jesus made? No, it is not; because in Spirit we are all
that He claimed for Himself, and in no other way except affirming this truth can we make it manifest. All who experiment with words find that they generate force in the mind and eventually affect the body. Jesus urged His disciples to believe on Him, to keep His commandments, His sayings, His words, and they went forth and did wonderful works in "the name of ... Jesus Christ."
In this Scripture Jesus says that those who keep His commandments thus show their love for Him and that He will love them and manifest Himself to them. Understanding as we do the affinity that similar thoughts have for one another, we perceive why keeping "my word" and believing "in me" were so powerfully urged by Jesus. He transcended men in His high statements, and His work corresponded to them, and knowing this law that like thoughts and words swiftly seek unity, He took advantage of it to lift us all up to His high standard.
But we must get out of the "world" or letter before we can touch this spiritual potency. Judas asked why it was that Jesus would manifest Himself to them and not to the world. Jesus' answer is right in line with this mental law of words by which the speaker is put in contact with those who have uttered similar words: "If a man love me, he will keep my word: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my words: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's who sent me."
14:25These things have I spoken unto you, while yet abiding with you. 14:26But the Comforter, even the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said unto you. 14:27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful. 14:28Ye heard how I said to you, I go away, and I come unto you. If ye loved me, ye would have rejoiced, because I go unto the Father: for the Father is greater than I. 14:29And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe. 14:30I will no more speak much with you, for the prince of the world cometh: and he hath nothing in me; 14:31but that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.
The Father is principle. The Son is this Father principle revealed in a creative plan. The Holy Spirit is the executive power of both Father and Son.
The Holy Spirit is not all of Being, nor the fullness of Christ, but an emanation or "breath" sent forth to do a divine work. Thus circumscribed, the Holy Spirit may in a sense be said to take on the characteristics of personality, but personality that for capacity transcends all man's conceptions.
The Holy Spirit was before the time of Jesus. However Jesus' life and demonstration gave a new impetus to it. The Holy Spirit or Spirit of truth is man's one sure guide in his spiritual ongoing. An outpouring of the Holy Spirit always brings peace and infinite faith in the Father through the Son.
(See John 15:17-27 for further interpretation.)