The Goal of Life, by Hiram Butler, , at sacred-texts.com
The prophet said, "Lord, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us." While this in itself is true, yet there is another side to it, the purpose being, as noted, to make man in "The Image and the Likeness" of God and to give him dominion. Before man achieves dominion he must have his powers developed so as to give him the practical experience in the use of the powers and in the control of the conditions that will enable him wisely and correctly to dominate, to have dominion over the world and all things in it. Therefore Jesus said:
"Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his Lord doeth; but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you."
We are treated as friends and the newly begotten son of God in the individual must now take possession of the body, of the appetites, passions, impulses and desires, and of all the conditions
affecting the body in any way. This spirit-child being of God, is in itself perfect, but it is yet a child, though a perfect child of God, but not a perfect man of God. This child must grow, increase, become strong, and as Jesus said, it must bind the strong man and then spoil his goods. The strong animal desires and propensities must be bound and subordinated to the spiritual soul, so that the physical man will be as a lamb, passive and obedient in everything to the mind of the controlling spirit within.
When we take a passing glance at what the goods of the strong man or carnal mind are, we find that they are in a general way everything that pertains to the law of generation and death, for the whole mind is centered in my wife or my husband, my children, my father, my mother, and my relatives; then after these, my friends. In this thought there are two points:
The first point is the I, the ego, the self; because these friends are mine they are of greater value than my neighbor's. The Lord Christ said that we must be perfect even as our Father in heaven is perfect. I wonder if our Father loves my wife, my children and my relatives better than he loves yours? You would not like to believe that he does, should you?Neither should I.
The second point is, that all human relations that are formed through the sympathies of the flesh, relate exclusively to the work of generation, to the
old order of evolution, labor, sorrow, and death. In the new order there will be no such relationship for Revelation says, "Behold, I make all things new.""Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth."
This brings us to the emphasis that Jesus put upon the work set before us as individuals. He said, "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life.""I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture." The announcements: "I am the light of the world;" "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly;" "The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up," all point to the fact that he came as a light in a dark place to show man the way, to show man the methods by which, if adopted and practiced, he might be saved from the curse of the fall.
In order to find that way it is necessary that you take Christ's teachings and read them carefully with the new light that is shed upon them by the thoughts herein embodied. And as you read and muse and study these thoughts, see if you are ready to choose between the things of this world and its pleasures, and the things of the Spirit and Its uses.
If you make the decision to follow the Spirit
wholly, you must sit down quietly and count the cost, for you will find that the cost is greater than the Christian world now believes. Touching this point Christ gave the following instructions:
"A man's foes shall be they of his own household. ""He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.""If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.""And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.""No man can serve two masters; either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." (See also Luke xviii. 24-30.)
Do you wonder that He said, "Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it"? Now that he has sent forth his angels to gather the ripe fruit into the garner it becomes necessary that he should do as the farmer does in the fallwhen his wheat is ripe, the farmer puts in the sickle and cuts down the wheat and threshes it, and gathers the precious seed into his barn. We should think a farmer very foolish who knew only how to cultivate his grain, who watches over it and takes care of it during the months of its growth, and who is so tender with it to see that it is cultivated, and then feels
that it is a great hardship to see it cut down, as if all his labor and toil had been for nothing.
So will it be when the harvest of the world has come (and has it not come already?), when God sends his angels to gather his wheat into the garner; the old condition in which it has grown, like the standing straw of the wheat, must be cut down and destroyed. This means literally the breaking up of all old relations and conditions. The churches have been good; our colleges, our institutions, our social relations, the love and fealty of the son for the father and of the father for the son, and all the relations of the present existence have been good; but when the people see these things being destroyed and even being ignored by an individual, they are like the unwise farmer, knowing not that the old must be destroyed that the new may be builded thereonknowing not that "angels must go out that archangels may enter in."
We bring up a son; we care for him and educate him; we look after him with all our tender love and care and we expect his love in return. (The human do not expect to do anything without returns.) But when he has grown to manhood he turns his mind toward spiritual things. That we think is good and we rejoice, but, alas, he not only turns his mind toward the spiritual, but he begins to follow the teachings of the Christ wholly!
"But," one says, "it is not necessary that he should hate his father and mother who have always
been so kind to him." True, but he must choose between father and mother, and God and his angels, because, as soon as he gives his whole life, his whole mind, to God, he can no longer give his attention to the little things of social life; he can no longer show that same interest for the family and for the family relations and the family circle. His mind is not with father and mother, to talk of the trivial things of daily life; these become unpleasant to him; his mind is with God, and his father and mother and all his friends begin to feel that they have lost him. They no longer feel that loving sympathy and oneness with him; on the contrary, they begin to feel that he is not one with them and they accuse him of being selfish, heartless and of not loving them, and they tell him that he is cruel. (John xv. 19.) They argue with him that these things are not required by the Spirit.
Here begins the struggle; here he finds that he must choose between father, mother and friends, and God, for one or the other will have his mind and his attention wholly. "I came not to send peace, but a sword! For I came to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law." (Matt. x. 34, 35.)
If either the husband or the wife becomes wholly consecrated to God, how quickly will one feel the withdrawal of the other! As soon as a man begins
to conquer self and to overcome the passions and desires of the flesh and centers his mind on God, if he is married, the wife will at once feel that she no longer has that loving sympathy, or the control over his body that she used to have.
The human demand all that a man is, and when he cannot give them all, then they begin to feel combative towards him and then will be fulfilled the words of the Christ with emphasis, "A man's foes shall be they of his own household," and the more firmly he adheres to the leadings of the Spirit, the more vicious will be the antagonism of those who love him most, and this antagonism cannot be overcome, cannot be reasoned with, and it will not cease until they are separated one from the other.
Should a man then leave his wife, or the wife her husband? Certainly not, so long as they can live together in harmony and peace; but when the time comes that they can no longer live together without continued struggle and combat, then justice, mercy, righteousness, goodness and all the attributes of true manhood and angelhood, forbid that two shall be thus bound together, for the result of such union is evil and only evil continually. Paul recognized this when he said, "But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases; but God hath called us to peace." Here the Apostle very cautiously but wisely suggests that
you are called unto peace, not to war, not to combat, not to struggle, as much as to say: If two cannot live together in peace, let them separate.
When a person decides to consecrate his life entirely to God and has properly considered the eventualities here hinted at, he, as it were, takes his life in his hands and places it in the hands of the Father and goes forward even though it costs him everything on earth and makes him an outcast and a vagabond upon the earth. Not that it will always do this; not that the person should reject and turn against father, mother, wife, children and all he loves on earth, but when the mind has been enlightened and the person perceives the necessity of giving all to God and of seeking with all the heart the kingdom of God and his righteousness, then he must make up his mind to live a perfect life, cost what it will to be perfect; and he must be perfect not only for the sake of the attainment of eternal life and for the benefits that he will receive, but that he may become a co-worker with God and his angels in rescuing from death as many of God's children as possible.
How do you know that you shall not be able to rescue your wife or your husband, your children, your mother, your father, or your friend? But you certainly cannot rescue them by refusing to follow the leadings of the Spirit and by continuing to be like them. You can rescue them only by becoming godlike; and if your becoming godlike
makes them your enemies, then you cannot help it, you can remember them only with loving kindness, the same as your heavenly Father does, and every opportunity to lead them to God and to righteousness should be improved. Render always good for evil.
The first great trial and struggle will be to separate yourself from the controlling power of those who love you and from the influence of the world. You must remember at this point that the object in our creation, the object of our Father who is in heaven, is to give us dominion; as the prophet said, "But the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever."
You have set out upon the road where the first step requires that you should take dominion over your own body and especially over your own mind, your loves and sympathies. Here is the hardest struggle on the whole road; but it will not be the hardest for you, because, if you consecrate your life to God and trust in him wholly, follow the guidance of the Spirit as perfectly as you know and go forward conquering fear of anything that may happen, you will then have the special care of angels, so that your struggle will not be so hard for you as some of the struggles that will come after, yet in reality it is more difficult to conquer than any that you will have to meet after.
You will not go far in this direction until the
[paragraph continues] Spirit, will impress upon your consciousness the fact that you must overcome carnal generation and must stop absolutely all waste of the seed. In other words, you must live the regenerate life, and when you have stopped all waste of the life, have conquered entirely all sex desires, and have begun to turn the generative forces inward and upward toward the brain for regenerative purposes, then the regenerate body becomes a vessel to hold spirit.
In man's present state, controlled by carnal generation, he is as a shadow to spirit. There is nothing in him that can touch or sense spirit and therefore he cannot be conscious of spirit; but when he has conserved all the life generated in the body for a period of at least one year, he will then begin to feel the touch of the Holy Spirit, he will then begin to see the door that leads from this world to the heavenly world, that leads from the association of men as mere animals, to the association and membership with that holy order of Melchisedek of which Jesus the Christ is the door.
At this point he will meet another class of enemies; enemies in his own flesh and enemies in the invisible world, which Jesus called demonstranslated devils. If you should keep your mind firmly fixed in the spirit of devotion and confident reliance upon God, and at the same time live the regenerate life, and there was no hindrance in the way, you
would at once enter in through the door into the city. But if you were thus permitted to enter in, without using the power of the Spirit to conquer the enemy, you would enter in as but a child, without knowledge of the powers of the Spirit.
You will find enemies rising up in your pathway out of the invisible, disputing every step of the way; and here remember that God's law is "Use determines all qualities, whether good or evil." Therefore your extremity is God's opportunity. So the fact of these enemies rising up against you is God's opportunity to make you know his power, to teach you his methods of handling, controlling and subordinating these dark powers. Thus all the enemies that you meet in your pathway are as gymnastic instruments by which you develop strength of mind and will and confidence in God, and the fulness of the powers of manhood, wherein you become both the son of man and the son of Godhaving dominion.
Though you meet great obstacles and terrible enemies in the invisible and intangible world, remember the name Yahveh in the "everlasting covenant." For remember that the everlasting covenant is between you and God:
"Behold, the days come, saith Yahveh, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of
the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith Yahveh: but this shall be my covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; after those days, saith Yahveh, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall by my people." (Jer. xxxi. 31-33.)
The difference between the covenant that God made with Israel and the one that God is now to make with you, and you with God, is that this time he says, "I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts." The old covenant was written on tables of stone, which covenant, God said, the children of Israel broke, as Moses broke the stone when he came down from the mountain; but the new covenant, which contains the same thoughts, will be written in your heart, in your loves, your desires, your sympathies and your emotions, so that your one desire will be to keep that covenant. Remember that God begins his covenant with the words, "I will be your strength, power, supporter." Herein is the name Yahveh Elohim, the word "Elohim" meaning power, and the name "Yahveh" meaning "I will be what I will to be." So in taking this covenant you take the name Yahveh.
Hitherto your life has been dominated by the creative-forces, the king of which is the serpent, the psychic power of generation. Our life has rolled on from father to son, mother to daughter, generation after generation, and we have been
servants to the creative-forces or to the god of creation; but when you enter into covenant with Yahveh, the God of the universe, you, so to speak, rebel against the god of creation, you declare your purpose no longer to remain under his dominion, to serve his purpose no further, simply because his work is finished in you. * But the dark spirits on the invisible side will to hold you. The god of creation wills to hold you and to dominate you, but Yahveh, the God of the universe, is the God of gods (Power of all powers), the King of Kings. There is no power in the whole universe that is not derived from Yahveh, and as the part cannot be superior to the whole, so that which emanates from Yahveh cannot be superior or equal to Yahveh, the God of the universe.
God's part of the covenant is to be your power, your strength, and in taking his name, you, so to speak, rise up in rebellion against the god of creation and repudiate his authority; and knowing that you are begotten of God and are therefore a son
of God, you know that you are superior to the god of creation and to the forces of the inferior world. At the same time remember that you are in the world that is ruled by the "god of this world," and unless you cling closely by loving devotion and by perpetual confidence to God, you will be powerless. But know this, that God cannot lie, therefore he cannot fail you. Trust him; believe him. If you believe God it will be accounted to you for righteousness, and the power of the God of the universe will be at your command.
318:* The distinction here made between the god of creation and Elohim, the Creator, is this: The god of creation is the embodied Word of Elohim, whose office and function it is to carry on creation through generation and all its attendant factors. The god of creation is the intelligent power that binds and holds men and women subject to the material laws governing production and reproduction, death and reincarnation. The god of creation was anciently known as the serpent god, and was represented by a mighty sage surrounded by serpents of every character, through whose power (the psychic power) man is held under the law of sin and death for the purpose of developing mind and soul powers, against the time of maturity and the harvest of the world.