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Question 160: Who is the real Jesus according to the Gospel of Oneness?

This seems to be a real debatable question among the various Christian denominations as well as it is among the world’s other major religions. Some Christian theologians, philosophers, denominations, and sects seem to think they are the ones with the rightful and true knowledge of who Jesus really is, and they are not shy about saying that other Christians have a false view of Jesus.

 

The leaders of some denominations or schools of thought have openly proclaimed that some Christians worship a false Jesus. Of course, they can easily target some groups such as Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons, but they also claim that some mainstream denominations and preachers have a false idea of who Jesus really is. The prosperity preachers such as Joel Osteen and Kenneth Copeland are regularly criticized for having a limited and incorrect view of Jesus. Even people with solid credentials such as Rick Warren and Hank Haanegraf, “The Bible Answer Man,” come under fire as being false teachers.

 

The more fundamentalist Christians will go straight to the Bible and say that anything about Jesus that isn’t backed up with a scriptural reference can’t be true. The problem with that, of course, is that scripture still has to be interpreted, so the same verses about or from Jesus can yield different opinions on what they mean.

 

Christians see Jesus differently according to the doctrines they have come to believe. The main ideas about Jesus that most Christians share is that he is the Son of God, yet co-equal to God the Father, and along with the Holy Spirit, forms the trinity, the three in one God. They believe that his death on the cross and subsequent resurrection paved the way to salvation for all who would profess Jesus as their Lord and Savior as it was always God’s plan to send Himself (as his Son) to atone for all the sins of mankind and thus redeem everyone who would believe it.

 

These beliefs are in contrast to the views of the other major religions of the world who see Jesus as an avatar (an incarnation of God) or a great prophet and teacher. They all seem to revere Jesus and appreciate his teachings and the way he lived his remarkable life. They just don’t see him as the original creator God or even as the only son of God.
Some of the ways Christian differ on Jesus have to do with his teachings on hell, non-violence, the end times, who will be saved, the role of women in preaching and teaching, and the power elite.

Some Christians say the Jesus talked about a real Hell that people are sent to for eternal grief and separation from God with no more chances for redemption. Others say that Jesus was referring to a smoky garbage dump where material things are burned up. They will also cite other scriptures that show God is merciful and desires that everyone should be saved, so Jesus was using hyperbole and didn’t really explain Hell as a reality.

 

Some Christians say that Jesus was all for non-violent action as he taught people to turn the other cheek and to put up the sword. He didn’t have any inclination to lead a violent revolt against the Romans. Other Christians say he did come to stir up trouble, even among family groups, so he knew there would be conflict about his teachings, and he was okay about that. So, some Christians are ready to defend themselves with guns if necessary.

Some Christians say Jesus came only to save the “elect” those people who were destined to be saved from the beginning of time, and that the non-elect were doomed from the beginning. Others say that Jesus’s death and resurrection opened the door to universal salvation and that everyone would get back to heaven eventually.

 

Some say Jesus has unconditional love for everyone and wants everyone to be saved, but people have to believe in him and bow down to his Lordship in order to receive eternal life with Him.

 

Some say that if Jesus gives new revelations or teachings to someone, they must agree 100% with his teachings in the Bible, including the interpretations of his teachings by Paul, John, Peter, and other writers of the New Testament.

 

Others say Jesus has and does give progressive revelations to some people who have closely tuned into hearing his voice. They cite the verses that say Jesus said you are not ready to hear my more advanced teachings. People who receive new revelations say the advanced and new teachings are meant to help us cope with the changes that have taken place in the past two thousand years. They say that Jesus is still with us and is giving advice to anyone who is truly listening. Most of the advice is probably personal, but some of his revelations that come through certain teachers, if widely accepted, would change most of the old doctrines of Christianity. We need plenty of discernment about this, because some people who channel messages purportedly from Jesus are way off base.

 

If lots of people who believe in progressive revelation would get together in a conference, they might be able agree on some guidelines about how to discern the truth about new teachings from Jesus. This would help us move beyond the stale old debates about what do the scriptures mean by this or that idea.

 

Finally, we get to the teachings of the Gospel of Oneness about the real Jesus. The question is: Did Jesus come to be elevated to the status of the original Creator God of the universe, thus becoming an idol, a graven image, a false god, or did he come to set an example in many ways about how to live and to teach us about the necessity to elevate our own consciousness into the realization that the Kingdom of God is within us and within our reach?

 

The Gospel of Oneness says that Jesus was a person who elevated his own consciousness into the realization of his oneness with our Creator God, whom he called “Father.” He said we could do the same thing he did, and probably could do even better in some ways. He did not say, “I am God, and you are not.” He said we all have the potential to realize our oneness with God. He also said that if you accept him as your teacher, he will help you get all the way back to God-realization.

 

The Gospel of Oneness says that other people besides Jesus have realized their oneness with God and are qualified to lead others back to realization of their oneness with God. Again, discernment is needed here as there are false teachers, yet a true guide is definitely needed. Just as we would need a guide to climb Mount Everest and plenty of support from a team, so we need a guide who has already been to the top and knows how to get there and how to avoid the dangers along the way.

 

One more note about those who say that Jesus is the only way back to God. That would be a false view of Jesus. Since Jesus realized his oneness with God he often spoke with the universal consciousness of God, what some people would call the universal Christ consciousness, the intelligent creative force of God within Creation (translated as “the only begotten son of God.”) To realize our oneness with Christ Consciousness is the only way back to God because it is the true reality. All religions can agree on this, but they may have different names for the intelligent consciousness of God within creation. For example, the Hindus call it “Kutastha Chaitanya,” but it is the same concept.

 

In conclusion, we are still learning about who the real Jesus is, so different opinions can be tolerated and debated on peacefully. There is no justification for condemning or even killing people who say that Jesus is God or maybe not God. Let the open debates proceed and may the real Jesus come shining through.

 

“The moment God is figured out with nice neat lines and definitions, we are no longer dealing with God.”
― Rob Bell, Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith

“Jesus promised his disciples three things—that they would be completely fearless, absurdly happy, and in constant trouble.”
― William Barclay, The Gospel of Luke – Enlarged Print Edition

“Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God.”
― Lenny Bruce

If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. Jesus Christ

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Question 159: What is the path that seems right, but isn’t, according to the Gospel of Oneness?

 

The path of an external salvation is the way that seems right to billions of people. If you look at the Christian and Muslim paths to God, they both maintain that an outer response of faith and belief is what one needs to profess and act upon in order to be saved and gain a heavenly reward of eternal life with God.

 
So, billions of these Christians and Muslims think that they are on the narrow way. They think the broad and false way is the way of the world, that is the secular, humanistic, materialistic, scientifically based lifestyles that are followed by billions of other people. Or to put in other words, they think that anyone who isn’t following their particular religion is on the broad way that leads to destruction and eventually hell

 

The Gospel of Oneness says that both the external path of salvation taught by the major religions, and the secular, humanistic, materialistic science dominated lifestyles are both on the broad way; paths that may seem right but aren’t.

 

The inner path of salvation is the road less traveled. It is not a path of automatic salvation. It is gradual process of raising one’s consciousness all the way to full realization of oneness with our Creator God. It is a path that may take many, maybe thousands of incarnations. To stay on this path is difficult because the delusion of being separate from God and the rest of life is very strong. We live in a dualistic world of relative good and evil, and it is easy to get caught up in hundreds of attractive distractions. While on the inner path we need to look at our own faults and shortcomings, get rid of judgements, condemnations, false pride, overcome our egos, and learn to give unconditional love.

 

In the Bhagavad Gita Krishna says that out of a thousand people, one searches for me. And out of a thousand who search for me, one finds me. These numbers don’t need to be taken literally, but they show that the path to God-realization isn’t easy. And they show that an automatic, easy path of simply professing some outer doctrine to gain salvation is a false way to go about it, because the thousand who are seeking probably profess some kind of outer religious faith, yet they lack that strong and dynamic inner connection with our Creator.

 

The path of Truth is as narrow as it is straight. Even so is that of ahimsa. -Mahatma Gandhi

Question 158: How does the Gospel of Oneness relate to the Sri Lanka bombings?

This message came to me as I was waking up a few days after the Easter Sunday bombings of churches and hotels in Sri Lanka.

 

I was sitting in a church in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Suddenly I was blown out of my body. I was a young man with a girl friend and many hopes and dreams for my future. Some of my friends and many other people were also blown out of their bodies. We are now on the other side recovering from the traumatic event. The person who detonated the bomb is also here with us.
He has had to face each one of us and experience the pain that we went through. We died once, but he has died many times though us. We will forgive him.

 

He believed the lie that we are separate beings. He believed the lie that his god would reward him for killing infidels. He believed the lie that violence was the way to advance his cause. He believed the lie that he could hurt other people without hurting himself. To all of you still living on Earth please remember that the One Divine Spirit we are all a part of loves everyone equally, and we need to stop the violence as a way of solving problems.

 

In any of these tragedies when people think that for some twisted reasoning they could or should kill many random people, there is a serious lack of Self-awareness and a blocking out of any thoughts or feelings about the consequences of their actions. And, most importantly, there is a complete lack of awareness about the oneness of life. It is this lack that the Gospel of Oneness seeks to supply.

 

The awareness of the oneness of all life cannot be drummed into people. They could sit through many talks and stories about the oneness of all life and the practicality of following the Golden Rule, and yet still not get it. Unless their inner awareness about the value and inherent worth of all life comes alive in them, they will continue to come under the influence of dark thoughts, dark powers, and dark entities.

 

They won’t know how to discern good from evil. They will think that they can do evil to bring about good. In the Sri Lanka bombings, the perpetrators probably thought that they could do this monstrous evil in order to bring about a greater good they envisioned. Some mass murderers have had other motives. Maybe they had a political cause, or a social cause, or maybe they just wanted to have some satisfaction out of getting revenge on people who abused them or people who were complicit in the abuse.

 

The lawful authorities can do their best to prevent terrorists from striking, but the best long-term solution is to spread the Gospel of Oneness by living it.

 

The great gift of Easter is hope – Christian hope which makes us have that confidence in God, in his ultimate triumph, and in his goodness and love, which nothing can shake. Basil Hume

A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love. Saint Basil

There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love. Washington Irving

 

Question 157: In Oneness, do we fight against evil?

Indirectly we do because as we move towards realizing our oneness with all life, we make it more difficult for evil to manifest on earth. However, we do not directly fight against evil or evil powers since that would involve us in a dualistic struggle that only gives evil powers more authority and energy. They enjoy the battle. It’s like wrestling with a pig in the mud. You just get dirty and wet while the pig is in its natural element and enjoys the whole thing. You may wind up hog-tying the pig and declaring a victory, but then you have to clean yourself up and wait until the next pig challenges you.

 

Do we walk away from the challenges from the evil powers? This is where Jesus’ teachings on turning the other cheek come into play. We will never defeat evil powers or people by engaging them in a battle. Instead we will offer love and compassion and try to understand why they are so fearful, why they are attacking, and how can we help them get what they want in a peaceful, win-win way. We will also remove the label of evil and call it ignorance, which some people say is the only real sin.

 

Sometimes this strategy may work immediately on some attackers as they may have a conscience not too far below their hard exterior. Other times you may lose the battle, but not the war as your love and compassion will always come back to you. The attacker is in the school of hard knocks, and whatever he or she sends out will always come back to him or her, sooner or later.

 

In order to retain our inner peace, it is necessary to overcome or restrain our own egotistical desires to fight back and teach the attacker a lesson he will never forget. And he never will because he will want to get revenge. The cycles of revenge may continue for centuries if it has become part of the tribal, ethnic, or national identity. Each side thinking, they are in the right and justified in their actions.

 

The whole problem of evil is too big for any of us to take on by ourselves. We need to understand that negative energy fields have been built up over the centuries by mankind’s wars, cruelties, and abuses of humans, animals, and the environment. We can do our best to purify ourselves and not contribute any hatred, abuse, or negativity to the world, but that will not be enough. This is where we need to have the faith to call on the spiritual powers of angels, ascended masters such as Jesus, Krishna, and Buddha, and our Creator God to send spiritual light into the problem areas of the world.

 

Since we have free will God does not force any solutions on us, but with our free will we can ask for more guidance, more wisdom, more love, and more understanding. This is what prayer is. In true prayer we surrender our egos and recognize God as the One Divine Spirit that we all share in. True prayer is talking and listening to God, maybe wordlessly. The more we are in communion with God the more community we have. Our community connected with our earth numbers in the trillions at least, and our universal community is infinite. That is a lot of spiritual help to call upon. When we abolish thoughts of separation and loneliness, we enter into the magnificence of unconditional love and joy.

 
The search for power begins when we’re quite young. As children, we’re taught that the power of good triumphs over the power of evil. But as we get older, we realize that nothing is ever that simple. Traces of evil always remain. – Mary Alice Young

 
Evil is not power; it is ignorance and misuse of good. – James Allen

 

We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

 

Question 156: What is the significance of the Wizard of Oz to the Gospel of Oneness?

 

The Wizard of Oz, the 1938 movie version, has been called one of the most influential movies of all time. It’s theme song, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” is one of the greatest of all-time songs. The characters, the story-line, and the theme resonate with millions of people. The whole show reinforces much of the teachings of the Gospel of Oneness.

 

The story can be seen as a parable for the soul. Dorothy gets swept away from her happy home, which may not seem like a paradise outwardly, but is a place where she is loved and can love in return. The storm of delusion (the tornado) carries her away into a new environment of good and evil. It is a place of good witches and bad witches who keep up the never-ending battle of relative good and evil.

 

Dorothy meets three characters who feel they are lacking something inside themselves and think they need to find an external solution or external savior who can give them what they lack. Dorothy is lost and wants to find an external way to get back home.

 

They discover a path to follow (the yellow brick road) that will lead them to the Emerald City (the external holy place) where they will meet the “Wizard of Oz” (the external savior) who will give them what they are seeking—for the tin man, a heart to feel love; for the scarecrow, a brain or mind that can think; for the lion, courage to face up to fearful conditions; and for Dorothy, a way to get back home.
The great wizard, the external savior, turns out to be a fraud, exposed by Dorothy’s dog Toto (animals know the truth.) The wizard doesn’t have any magical powers that can solve their problems or make them whole again. The only thing he can do is to perhaps inspire them to solve their own problems.

 

The tin man actually had a heart all along. He was using it and didn’t know that’s what he was doing. The scarecrow had a brain all the time and was using it to help solve their problems along the way. The cowardly lion, though still fearful, mustered up the courage to go along with the others and face the dangers along the way. Dorothy, who only had to click her heels together to return home, was willing to do whatever it took to find her way home.

 

The true master teachers of oneness say that we have everything we need within us. We have always been part of God, but we have been swept up in the storm of delusion, and now we are in a strange land where we think we are separate from God, separate from each other, and locked into a constant battle between relative good and evil where powerful people (the good and bad witches) can help us make the best of our situations, or they can threaten “to get us and our little dog, too.” (To quote the wicked witch.)

 

The story resonates with us so strongly because we know it is the story of our soul journeys. We know that “somewhere over the rainbow” is the land where our true home is—the land of freedom, peace, beauty, love, eternal joy and ever increasing creativity and wonder.

 

However, we are like Dorothy. Maybe we could just click our heels together and get immediate enlightenment, but we, for whatever reasons, want to experience the long way home. There comes a time though when we realize that we are almost home, just a few more steps, and we will be inside, oh yes.

 
Tin Woodman (Tin man): “I shall take the heart. For brains do not make one happy, and happiness is the best thing in the world.” – The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Question 155: What does it mean to be a free thinker in the Gospel of Oneness?

Free thinking traditionally means freeing yourself from self-imposed and culturally imposed limitations on your mental box or your sphere of awareness. Many people are not very free in their thinking because they are locked into belief systems that they were born into and had reinforced into them during their formative years, and they have not dared or taken the time to go beyond their conditioning.

Religious beliefs and customs have been the biggest factor in shaping peoples’ thought matrix. The Bible, Quran, the Bhagavad Gita and some other holy books that have been around for a long time are regarded as “The words of God.” People are satisfied with the answers they get from their holy scriptures, and from the people who interpret them. They may also have fears about questioning them.

In these modern times a scientific view of life based on materialism and rationalism is influencing more and more people as education based on materialistic thinking has spread around the globe. People consider themselves more free when they break away from superstitions and irrational religious beliefs that have no scientific proof behind them. A simple example would be that people used to have superstitious beliefs about the weather. They thought that weather deities of some kind brought about the rain, or the drought, or whatever was happening. This idea limited their thinking until they learned about the science behind weather patterns.

The science behind the weather is still incomplete. If a person is thinking freely, he or she will realize that there is still much to learn and would not stop at a materialistic explanation. Perhaps the collective consciousness of thoughts and feelings of everyone on earths plays a role in the weather. In the oneness view of life, we need to look at the total picture in order to see the multiple lines of cause and effect.

In religious beliefs we need to look at the ideas of salvation, heaven, hell, wrath, punishments, love, mercy, forgiveness and everything else they teach. Do they make sense? Do they lead to greater well-being for everyone? How do they treat animals? How do they treat the environment? Do they expect the world to end soon? Are people locked into blind beliefs or do they have a rational faith?

How do we become free thinkers? First of all, we need to introspect and explore where our thoughts come from and why some thoughts trigger emotions. Why do we sometimes let anger, envy, and other negative emotions come up and drive us into harmful actions? Why do we sometimes get moody or even depressed? Are we locked into some kind of dualistic struggle with opposing points of view? We need to answer these questions if we want to be free thinkers.

If we have learned some meditation techniques, then we can calm our restless thoughts and focus on one thing at a time. In the silence our natural intuition has a chance to rise in our consciousness. We may find new insights that help us transcend our mental blocks. We may even get in touch with the all-knowing Spirit which would help us expand our sphere of awareness a thousand-fold and more.

We can all become freer in our thinking because we have no limits. Infinity lies before us, and every day we can expand our sphere of awareness if we make a conscious effort to do that. It is a gradual process. Even if we have an epiphany, an “aha” moment, or a bolt of enlightenment, we will continue to expand our consciousness into new realizations.

Our task must be to free ourselves by widening
our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures
and the whole of nature and its beauty.
– Albert Einstein

Question 154: Does the movie “Aquaman” have anything to do with the Gospel of Oneness?

 

Yes, it does. All of the superhero movies do because they are of such mythic proportions that play out epic and even cosmic dramas of good versus evil.

 

In Aquaman an important and revealing line is spoken: A king will fight for his country and his people, but a true hero will fight for everyone.” A true hero will fight for the greatest good for everyone and the environment as well. We can see that almost every country has a leader who will fight for his or her own country first. In our current political environment, it seems they have to do this, or they will fall victim to larger or more aggressive countries.

 

The leaders of some of the largest countries (2019) Trump, Putin, Xi Jiping, all seem to be putting their countries first. This has led them into trade wars, territorial disputes, and espionage activities. The leaders of other countries such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and North Korea have put their countries first in a way that tramples on the rights of their own citizens. These leaders are not heroes, they are more interested in keeping their power and pushing for their short-sighted agendas.

 

When we take a closer look at some of the up and coming leaders in the world we have reason to believe we have hope for a better future. We have some potential heroes who can see the vision of oneness and will work for the benefit of all the world.

 

The environmental crises of climate change, global pollution, deforestation, farm land degradation and more have caused people to wake up to the need for world wide cooperation to solve these problems. The fight is mainly against ignorance and short-sightedness. The young people who want a livable future are doing a lot of work to find solutions, and they won’t be denied by ignorant political leaders.

 

In the movie Aquaman, the two half-brothers of the same mother are pitted against each other and are on the verge of a war that will have awful consequences for both the land and the ocean based populations. One brother will fight for his kingdom that he thinks is under attack, and the other brother will fight on behalf of everyone by stopping the war.

 

The two brothers have the same mother goddess of the sea, so it seems that they should be able to reconcile, but delusion is strong, so it doesn’t always work out that way. We all have the same Father-Mother God of creation, so it seems that we should get along peacefully.

 

The goddess of the sea was exiled from her kingdom, and so did not have much direct contact with her boys. We have exiled ourselves from direct contact from out Father-Mother God, so we don’t remember the vast love and power of our souls.

 

The Gospel of Oneness is about reminding people where we came from, and that there is a way to return to the realization of oneness with our Creator. That realization comes right within us. We can make our hearts, minds, and Spirit into the beautiful garden of infinite beauty and ever-new joy.

 

Everything in Nature contains all the powers of Nature.
Everything is made of one hidden stuff.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Let us swim together in the ocean of our being.
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie

“You and I are all as much continuous with the physical universe as a wave is continuous with the ocean.”
― Alan Watts

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