Correspondence School - Series 2 - Lesson 2 - Christ, The Only Begotten of the Father

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Lesson

Give both the religious and the metaphysical terms for the Holy Trinity.

In our first lesson we learned that there is One Mind. This Mind teems with ideas and these ideas have expression. Mind, idea, and expression form a trinity which is the metaphysical interpretation of the religious terms known as the "Holy Trinity": Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These three are one, and if we study them as Mind, Idea, and Expression we can better understand how they are one.

Man is created in the image and after the likeness of God, the One Mind. Man forms states of consciousness in this One Mind by his thinking and feeling. By studying the activity of his own mind (his consciousness) he can find out how the One Mind creates.

Explain how mind, idea, and expression are in all that appears (manifestation).

Everything that we see with our physical eyes was first an idea, and back of the idea is Mind. No house is built, no garment made, that was not first an idea in someone's mind. After the idea is expressed — acted upon in mind, worked out in consciousness we have the manifestation, that which is cognized by one or more of the five senses.

Ideas are begotten or generated in the One Mind, eternal Omniscience, becoming causes from which all that is, is produced. Mind is the matrix of all wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. Out of the One Mind, ideas arise and are born in consciousness, asking for expression, asking to be recognized and accepted. When an idea comes into consciousness it is filled with creative power, and is on its way into manifestation, which it attains if given consent by the will of the individual.

What is meant by the term "the first-born of all creation"?

Before there could be a man, there had to be an idea of man. God, the Father, Divine Mind, created the idea of man, and this idea is His Son, the offspring of His Mind, the perfect-man idea. The Son is the I AM, Christ, the Word, Jehovah, the only begotten of the Father; the name "Son of God" was given to this idea because it proceeded from the Father, God, and was God-created. The Son, being the expressed image-likeness of the Father, is perfect, even as the Father is perfect. All that we find in Divine Mind, we find in the idea, in the offspring, in the Son, "who is the image of the invisible God, the first born of all creation" (Col. 1:15). "For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily" (Col. 2:9).

Explain the meaning of the names Christ, Jesus, and Jesus Christ, from the historical and the metaphysical standpoint

All that Divine Mind, the Father, ever begets or impregnates in consciousness is the idea, and this idea is the cosmic creative power that is active in Omnipresence. It is the image or seed-idea that is hidden in all forms of life and which causes the expression in the invisible and the manifestation in the visible realms. In its various forms of activity in man it is known as Christ, Jesus, and Jesus Christ.

From the historical standpoint the terms, Christ, Jesus, and Jesus Christ, are names or titles that are applied to the man of Nazareth who was the fulfillment of the Jewish prophecy of a Messiah (Isa. 9:6-7). the man born in Bethlehem of Judea of the virgin Mary (Matt. 1:18-25, Matt. 2:1), who grew up in the city of Nazareth (Matt. 2:23); who performed all manner of miracles (Matt. 11:1-5); who taught a relationship between God and man as Father and Son (John 10:30, John 17:1, 21); who is our Elder Brother (Matt. 6:9, Matt. 23:9); who was the Great Physician (Matt. 12:15, Matt. 14:14); who was our Friend (John 15:14; our Way-Shower (John 14:6, Luke 9:59); the Great Overcomer (John 16:33); who was crucified in Jerusalem (John 19:16); was resurrected from the dead (John 20:1-31), and ascended into heaven (Mark 16:19); was the inspiration of and the chief character in the Four Gospels of the New Testament (Matt., Mark, Luke and John); the guiding Light to Paul in his great missionary journeys (Acts 9:10, 20, Romans 1:1, I Cor. 1:1, Eph. 1:1); and the voice of revelation heard by John, the writer of the Book of Revelation.

From the metaphysical or the spiritual standpoint, the terms Christ, Jesus, and Jesus Christ, represent spiritual principles and laws that are eternal and omnipresent. They were active and they found fulfillment in the man, Jesus of Nazareth. They are in every human being and will find fulfillment in everyone, when the same spirit of devotion and obedience is cultivated in the mind and heart of each individual.

Christ is the image of God, the Word, the Son, the Law, the pattern of perfection in each person.

Christ is the composite idea that contains all the divine ideas that are necessary in the unfoldment, development, evolution and expression of a self-conscious spiritual man. Christ is the "seed of God" that is able to reproduce itself out of the substance inhering within it. Christ is spiritual man, I AM, Jehovah God, the Lord God.

Jesus is the understanding use of the Christ principle, the understanding use of the pattern of perfection.

Jesus is the energy and the understanding to bring forth in the visible realm all that is in the "seed," the Christ. Jesus is the growth of the seed. Jesus is the unfolding and the developing of all the qualities or ideas of Christ. One might have the pattern and all the necessary substance to make something, but unless there were an understanding and use of both, nothing would be produced. There could be a perfect seed, but unless that seed was planted and given an opportunity to grow, it would never produce fruit. Jesus is the name of the principle in man that ever works to bring forth the perfection of man that is contained in the spiritual principle as a Son of God, the Christ. Jesus is the perfect response and obedience to the law of life, the law of growth and unfoldment. Jesus is the individual unfoldment and evolution of the Christ, the "seed of God."

Jesus Christ is "the Word [which] became flesh" (John 1:14). Jesus Christ is the perfect manifestation of the "seed of God," or the seed bearing fruit.

Jesus Christ is the perfect fulfillment in man that is manifested as the result of the conscious union of the Christ idea and the Jesus principle in the human consciousness. In other words, it is the manifestation of the Christ idea that has been understood and intelligently used by the thinking and feeling phases of man's being. Jesus Christ is the ideal man in God-Mind who is expressed and manifested in the flesh. This Jesus Christ principle in its activity unfolds all that has been infolded as God's idea of Himself. It evolves all that has been involved as perfect man. Jesus Christ is the Omnipresent Principle, present with us as the fulfillment of the promise, "Lo, I am with you alway" (Matt. 28:20).

God is Eternal, Omnipresent, Omniscient, Omnipotent, and so also is His Son, Jesus Christ. We do not always readily grasp this because we have been accustomed to think of the ministry of the Son as limited to the few years during which the Christ was manifested in the physical form of the man that walked by Galilee. As an idea of God, or as the creative power in the Father-Mind, the Son, or Christ, has always existed. We think of the birth and the crucifixion of Jesus as the beginning and the end of the life of Jesus Christ on earth, notwithstanding He stated, "Before Abraham was, I am" (John 8:58); "Lo, I am with you alway" (Matt. 28:20); "And now, Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was" (John 17:5). The Son has always existed in the Father-Mind as the universal principle of God individualized, and so He always will.

From John's Gospel, we learn that "In the beginning was the Word [Logos — thought expressed], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him [thought]; and without him [thought] was not anything made that hath been made" (John 1:1-3).

Divine Mind creates by thought. "Logos means thought expressed, either as an idea in mind, or as vocal speech" (Eadie's Biblical Encyclopedia). Logos is the Christ, the Son, the living Word, the creative or working power of God. By Him were all things made. Ideas are the cause, the beginning of everything — all states of mind, all conditions, all beliefs, all things. The law of creation is the law of thought, of mind activity (expression), and the words and forms in the physical world are the product of the idea, the manifestation.

"In the beginning was the Word" (John 1:1). Instead of using the word beginning we might truly say, "At the source is the Word." The "beginning" is always now, for it has to do with things eternal, and not with time. As ideas inhere in Mind and Mind is one with its ideas, so the Father and the Son are coeval and there are continual interaction and intercommunion in will and purpose. This Word, this Son, this Christ of God is eternally associated with the Father in the glory of creating, "that all may honor the Son even as they honor the Father" (John 5:23), for Father and Son are one, as Jesus taught. "I and my Father are one" (John 10:30), "I am in the Father, and the Father in me" (John 14:10). The Father-Mind is in its Son-idea, and the idea is always in the Parent Mind. These are one, and yet the Father is greater than the Son, as that which begets is greater than that which is begotten.

Jesus continually identified Himself with and as the Son, and not with the limitations of personality. "For he said, I am the Son of God" (Matt. 27:43). This constant identification with the Father was the secret of His power and of His success in overcoming all adverse conditions, including death, for He thus appropriated in His own consciousness, the Presence, Power, and Light of the Father-Mind. He demonstrated the highest type of embodiment. He is the normal standard for every individual to follow. If one's life does not show forth harmony and wholeness he can, by appropriating the Christ ideas in his thoughts and feelings, build a new consciousness that will produce desirable results according to the high standard of Jesus Christ.

For ages, the Hebrew prophets had predicted the coming of the Messiah, yet when He came they knew Him not, because they lacked understanding of His real nature. In their opinion, the Messiah was to be a king and ruler of David's house, who should come to reform and restore the Jewish nation, and as High Priest purify the church. The lineage of David suggested to the mind of the people the pomp and glory of Solomon's reign restored in a temporal kingdom on earth. Although the great majority of the Hebrews did not recognize Him as the Messiah, there were some who did. They became the founders of the Christian religion.

When one is quickened to spiritual understanding and knows the Father, or Christ (Son, I AM) within, what will be the result?

When quickened in spiritual understanding, we know both the Father and the Son, not only as abstract principles but as our own indwelling life, substance, and intelligence. We know that since we are the off-spring of God, made in His image and after His likeness, we are the sons of God, and that Jesus is our Elder Brother. He came and taught us of the Father and of our true relation to Him as sons of God. He came and by His living words and example made it possible for us to be quickened to a consciousness of the Christ in us, the hope of glory. This Christ in us, or the spiritual consciousness in us, is "even the light which lighteth every man, coming into the world" (John 1:9). Jesus came to open the minds that are blind with ignorance and in bondage to the belief in materiality, that we might behold the glory of our own indwelling Christ. The statement "Now ye are the body of Christ" (I Cor. 12:27), promises the possibility of a universal incarnation of the Christ in every individual. This manifestation of perfection is not limited to Jesus. Paul's words to the Corinthians, "Glorify God therefore in your body" (I Cor. 6:20), proclaim the fact that the God-nature may become manifest in every person.

How do we "abide" in Christ and manifest the Christ nature?

The Word is the seed which is planted in the consciousness of man and here it germinates and takes root. The Word, the Christ, the divine idea of perfect man, is received into consciousness by faith and there it begets a new creature. Just as the rain waters the little seed planted in the earth, so does the act of thinking upon an idea nourish it and cause it to grow, and if, like the seed in the earth, the Word is kept in the mind long enough to become established, then does it grow and produce "after its kind." We know that if we remove a seed from the earth after it has begun to germinate it will wither; so a young idea, an immature thought, will wither if it be dropped from or abandoned in mind before it has become strongly established in consciousness. "Wherefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature" (II Cor. 5:17). He is begotten by the Word, and since every seed brings forth "after its kind," the perfect idea of man will bring forth the perfect expression of man and the manifestation of perfect man.

The result of this perfect expression and manifestation of man will be felt in every phase of his being. His mind will become more alert and more efficient; his body will become healthier and more radiant; his human relationships happier; his affairs will become more harmonious and prosperous. Everything that concerns him will be perfected. "Jehovah will perfect that which concerneth me" (Psalms 138:8).

Through whom are the divine attributes, or ideas, brought into expression and manifestation?

God's idea of man is that man shall express the life, love, substance, intelligence, power, and strength of Divine Mind. Jesus realized this when He said to Pilate, "To this end have I been born, and to this end am I come into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth" (John 18:37). Divine Mind seeks to interact and intercommune with man's mind through the perfect idea, the Christ, to the end that man shall be consciously one with God in actuality as well as in ideality. It is through manifest man or human beings that the attributes or ideas of Being (God) are brought into manifestation, and in order to manifest Christ (man's innate perfection), man must consciously identify himself with that perfection (the Father in him) in the same way that Jesus did. "I and my Father are one" (John 10:30). Man identifies himself with the Father as Jesus did, by recognizing his spiritual nature as the Son of God, the image of God, and by knowing that he has within him as potentialities all the qualities of God. Through the wise and loving use of these God qualities or ideas, he brings forth the likeness of God in the flesh; he proves his oneness with God in every thought, feeling, word, action and reaction.

What was Jesus' realization of oneness with the Father, and what was His custom in the matter of self-identification?

Man is to abide or dwell continuously in the same spiritual consciousness in which Jesus dwelt and to let His teachings abide in him. "Have this mind in you which was also in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 2:5). Jesus was always conscious of the omnipresent life, the enduring strength, the unfailing love, the eternal substance, the perfect wisdom, and the omnipotence of God. He realized His oneness with the Father in this way. His words were expressions of living ideas and these ideas must abide in man's consciousness, where, as seed, they shall spring up and bear much fruit. When we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, we ask in the nature of His divine Presence and in the name or nature of the image-likeness within each one of us, and in a spirit of willingness to submit our unfolding consciousness to the guidance, direction, and teaching of the Holy Spirit. In this phase of spiritual attainment. "Ask whatsoever ye will, and it shall be done unto you" (John 15:7), because to ask in this consciousness is to ask in His nature or name, which is I AM.

When we seek and find and enter into and abide in this Son-of-God consciousness, we shall experience the more abundant life. "And the witness is this, that God gave unto us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath the life; he that hath not the Son of God hath not the life" (I John 5:11-12). Abiding in this consciousness we are free from sin and the effects of sin. "In him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not" (I John 3:5-6). In the Jesus Christ consciousness is all power. "All authority hath been given unto me in heaven (mind) and on earth [body]" (Matt. 28:18).

In this Jesus Christ consciousness, we find that perfect love fulfills the law. "God is love; and he that abideth in love abideth in God, and God abideth in him" (I John 4:16).

Jesus Christ is our wisdom. "But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who was made unto us wisdom from God" (I Cor. 1:30).

In Jesus Christ we lay hold of and become consciously one with the very life, substance, and intelligence of Spirit. Man is in Truth the Son of God, the expresser of divine ideas, and his business is to establish God activity on this planet. Until he consciously recognizes his relationship and establishes his conscious connection with the Father, he is not a free channel through which God (Good) may flow. This God-activity in man begins with the celebration of a holy communion with Divine Mind in man's consciousness. Man must take his attention from outer, temporary things and through aspiration open his mind toward the divine, and consciously claim and assimilate living, radiant substance. "I am the living bread which came down out of heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: yea and the bread which I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world" (John 6:51). This is the "bread" which Jesus meant when He said later, "Take ye: this is my body" (Mark 14:22). The body which Jesus bids us appropriate in consciousness, is a body of spiritual ideas. "He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood abideth in me, and I in him" (John 6:56). "Blood" is a symbol of life; "body" is a symbol of substance. "Eating and drinking" symbolize an appropriation in consciousness. Just as we breathe air substance so that the blood or life stream of the physical body may be purified and may carry to the several parts of that organism the elements necessary to strengthen it and give it more physical life, so do we also appropriate Spirit substance through the breath of the Almighty. "But there is a spirit in man and the breath of the Almighty giveth them understanding" (Job 32:8). This is done in order that the living Word may carry divine ideas into our consciousness, letting them circulate freely and purify the thought current, thus giving our body of ideas more abundant life.

It is not sufficient to train the conscious phase of mind (thinking) only; we must take Truth into the body by the power of the Word. The subconscious phase of mind (feeling) is that phase of mind which works in, or operates the body in its subliminal functioning, and this must be deeply impressed with divine ideas. We have so long left our body out of the plan of salvation that we shall find it well to say to it, "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (Matt. 25:34). At the close of the passover feast, Jesus "took a cup, and gave thanks, and gave to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many unto the remission of sins" (Matt. 26:27-28). What is the "cup"? The "cup" is the consciousness of eternal life; it is the chalice that holds the wine of life; it is the body that must bring forth the fruit of the living Word, and that must thrill with the joy and harmony of living. To drink of the cup means to take in faith the ideas of life, substance and intelligence, knowing they are the Truth or Reality of the body temple. By affirming Truth in faith the conscious phase of mind "eats," or appropriates from the Superconscious or Christ Mind, and then passes its consciousness of Truth on to the subconscious phase of mind, for there must be complete assimilation. We must become consciously one with these ideas. They must be woven into the flesh, must be felt in every fiber of being, poured into the body consciousness for the remission of sins against the body. So man should affirm;

Christ in me is my eternal life. Christ in me is the substance of my body. Christ in me is the intelligence of my being. Christ in me is my wisdom. All power is given to me through Jesus Christ. Through Jesus Christ I express and manifest eternal life here and now.

This appropriation of divine ideas renews the mind and transforms the body so that it shows forth the pure, immortal, incorruptible body of Jesus Christ. "This is the bread which cometh down out of heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die" (John 6:50).

Jesus also said, "This do in remembrance of me" (Luke 22:19). Have we grasped the true meaning of these words? He meant that this spiritual appropriation was to be done by everyone, in order that the "body of Christ," the body of divine ideas, might be remembered and every cell and organ made alive with the life, substance and intelligence of Christ, the image of God.

Through the appropriation and the assimilation (thinking and feeling) of living, radiant life, substance, and intelligence in our consciousness, we blend our consciousness with the Father-Mind and our heart with the Mother-heart of God and there is a harmonizing of every part of our being — spirit, soul, body — with the Jesus Christ principle. As our mind (conscious phase or intellect) and our heart (subconscious phase or feeling nature) are cleansed of untrue thoughts and feelings, our body will take on the life and light of our innate divinity and show forth or manifest the living light, as was shown in the body of Jesus at the time of the transfiguration. "And as he was praying, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment became white and dazzling" (Luke 9:29).


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