Discourse On FOLLOW ME!
March 3, 2018 (see accompanying audio below)
There was one feature of the bestowal of Michael which was utterly foreign to the Jewish conception of the Messiah, and that was the union of the two natures, the human and the divine. The Jews had variously conceived of the Messiah as perfected human, superhuman, and even as divine, but they never entertained the concept of the union of the human and the divine. And this was the great stumbling block of Jesus’ early disciples. They grasped the human concept of the Messiah as the son of David, as presented by the earlier prophets; as the Son of Man, the superhuman idea of Daniel and some of the later prophets; and even as the Son of God, as depicted by the author of the Book of Enoch and by certain of his contemporaries; but never had they for a single moment entertained the true concept of the union in one earth personality of the two natures, the human and the divine. The incarnation of the Creator in the form of the creature had not been revealed beforehand. It was revealed only in Jesus; the world knew nothing of such things until the Creator Son was made flesh and dwelt among the mortals of the realm. 136:1.6
And to go one step farther ~ NEVER ~ had they entertained the thought that He was revealing what man himself could become as the divine indwells the human!
Peter had a propensity for getting what Jesus said WRONG! Peter seemed to have the desire to bend the will of the Master (His words) to what Peter wanted them to be for his own meanings and psychological comfort level.
We should BEWARE of this flaw in ourselves.
Peter spoke thus because he loved Jesus; but the Master’s human nature recognized in these words of well-meant affection the subtle suggestion of temptation that he change his policy of pursuing to the end his earth bestowal in accordance with the will of his Paradise Father. And it was because he detected the danger of permitting the suggestions of even his affectionate and loyal friends to dissuade him, that he turned upon Peter and the other apostles, saying: “Get you behind me. You savor of the spirit of the adversary, the tempter. When you talk in this manner, you are not on my side but rather on the side of our enemy. In this way do you make your love for me a stumbling block to my doing the Father’s will. Mind not the ways of men but rather the will of God.” 158:7.4
After they had recovered from the first shock of Jesus’ STINGING REBUKE, and before they resumed their journey, the Master spoke further: “If any man would come after me, let him disregard himself, take up his responsibilities DAILY, and FOLLOW ME. For whosoever would save his life selfishly, shall lose it, but whosoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s, shall save it. What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul? What would a man give in exchange for eternal life? Be not ashamed of me and my words in this sinful and hypocritical generation, even as I will not be ashamed to acknowledge you when in glory I appear before my Father in the presence of all the celestial hosts. Nevertheless, many of you now standing before me shall not taste death till you see this kingdom of God come with power. 158:7.5
Jesus does not require his disciples to believe in him but rather to believe with him, believe in the reality (substance) of the love of God and in full confidence accept the security of the assurance of sonship with the heavenly Father. The Master desires that all his followers should fully share his transcendent faith. Jesus most touchingly challenged his followers, not only to believe what he believed, but also to believe as he believed. This is the full significance of his one supreme requirement, “FOLLOW ME.” 196:0.13 (Every time we read Him say ‘follow me’ REMEMBER THIS MEANING!)
Added note: definition of transcendent
tran·scend·ent adjective: transcendent
beyond or above the range of normal or merely physical human experience.
"the search for a transcendent level of knowledge"
surpassing the ordinary; exceptional.
synonyms: incomparable, matchless, peerless, unrivaled, inimitable, beyond compare/comparison, unparalleled, unequaled, without equal, second to none, unsurpassed, unsurpassable, nonpareil; More exceptional, consummate, unique, perfect, rare, surpassing, magnificent
"a transcendent genius"
(of God) existing apart from and not subject to the limitations of the material universe.
What does this next passage mean for us today as the people of the 5th epochal revelation?
And so, for centuries, the Christian church has labored under great embarrassment because it dared to lay claim to those mysterious powers and privileges of the kingdom, powers and privileges which can be exercised and experienced only between Jesus and his SPIRITUAL BELIEVER BROTHERS. And thus it becomes apparent that membership in the church (or an organization) does not necessarily mean fellowship in the kingdom; one is spiritual, the other mainly social. 170:5.18 (Wait, what? Read that last line again!)
Sooner or later another and greater John the Baptist is due to arise proclaiming “the kingdom of God is at hand” — meaning a return to the high spiritual concept of Jesus, who proclaimed that the kingdom is the will of his heavenly Father dominant and transcendent in the heart of the believer — and doing all this without in any way referring either to the visible church on earth or to the anticipated second coming of Christ. There must come a revival of the actual teachings of Jesus, such a restatement as will undo the work of his early followers who went about to create a sociophilosophical (social) system of belief regarding the FACT of Michael’s sojourn on earth. In a short time the teaching of this story about Jesus nearly supplanted the preaching of Jesus’ gospel of the kingdom. In this way a historical religion displaced that teaching in which Jesus had blended man’s highest moral ideas and spiritual ideals with man’s most sublime hope for the future — eternal life. And that was the gospel of the kingdom. 170:5.19
If the Revelators are telling us that this coming and greater singular ‘John the Baptist’ will arise proclaiming these things then would it not behoove us to get on board with this now? Logic is a good thing! Yes?
Mistake not! there is in the teachings of Jesus an eternal nature which will not permit them forever to remain unfruitful in the hearts of thinking men. The kingdom as Jesus conceived it has to a large extent failed on earth; for the time being, an outward church has taken its place; but you should comprehend that this church is only the larval stage of the thwarted spiritual kingdom, which will carry it through this material age and over into a more spiritual dispensation where the Master’s teachings may enjoy a fuller opportunity for development. 170:5.21
Thus does the so-called Christian church become the cocoon in which the kingdom of Jesus’ concept now slumbers. The kingdom of the divine brotherhood is still alive and will eventually and certainly come forth from this long submergence, just as surely as the butterfly eventually emerges as the beautiful unfolding of its less attractive creature of metamorphic development. 170:5.21
If the Christian church would only dare to espouse the Master's program, thousands of apparently indifferent youths would rush forward to enlist in such a spiritual (not social) undertaking, and they would not hesitate to go ALL THE WAY THROUGH with this great adventure. 195:10.10
However, look at that again: Someone/s must espouse the Master’s program. This is not hypothetical. This is not theory. This is not an experiment. This is a direct instruction!
1. adopt or support (a cause, belief, or way of life).
Synonyms adopt, embrace, take up, accept, welcome
We have not been asked to ‘test’ Jesus as an investigation or as if these truths are on trial. We are not to examine or observe these truths as if we are somehow judge and jury to then proclaim these truths after we have sanctioned them.
We are to preach and proclaim these truths in OBEDIENCE considering ourselves honored to share them with others as a result of our personal and AUTHENTIC spiritual experience with our Father ~ who does indeed dwell within.