BIBLE LESSON XIX
John 18:1
JESUS AND JUDAS

 

by Emma Curtis Hopkins

 

Here there are two central characters figuring out the chief idea of human life. Jesus and Judas standing for the praise of prosperity. Prosperity or satisfaction is the chief aim of every creature that lives. Judas stands for the idea of getting prosperity by worldly methods, unspiritual, prosaic. He praises success. His very name means praise of success.

“Get money,” he says, “honestly if you can, but get money.” Jesus stands for the idea of prosperity by spiritual law, confidence in God, idealistic methods.

“There is but one way given under heaven,” He says. His very Name means praise of success in understanding of the principle of goodness. There comes a time in the experience of every mind, every organized body, and the planet also when the two ideas are face to face, and here you see the demeanor of each and the merits of each with the prophesy of each standing boldly out on the canvas of human life.

Caiaphas means depression of spirits, or pessimism. Annas means the common lot of humanity as seen daily. Malchus means the outward action of Caiaphas and Annas, or how they act when given reign. Anarchy, nihilism, communism are the soldiers of the pessimism that steals over the mind of a man or planet when it has been conferring with Judas as to how to be successful in life.

As Jesus faced Judas, so the two plans of the planet are met today in face-to — face issue. God is my prosperity, or gold (the symbol of God) is my prosperity. Which? “My mind to me a kingdom is.” When I settle the question for myself, I am either mastered by Jesus or Judas.

The planet has its nations, its tribes and peoples, which are its thoughts. Today it is called to settle the question of how it shall secure its highest good, or its prosperity.

There is a spiritual sphere enfolding and penetrating and permeating the planet. Above all and through all and in all is Spirit, lying close and filling full, as substance to shadow.

Every now and then somebody breaks out of the shadow and speaks from the sight of the substance. Sir Thomas Browne said, “The severe learning of the schools shall not take from me the idea that everything upon the earth is but the shadow of some substance lying nigh it.”

Milton said, “What if the earth be but the shadow of heaven and things thereon each like to other more than on earth they seem?”

Balthazar the Egyptian is made to say, “There is a kingdom on the earth, though it is not of it; a kingdom wider than the bounds of the earth, though they were rolled together as finest gold and spread by the beating of hammers; its existence is a fact, as our hearts are facts, and we journey through this kingdom from birth to death without seeing it, nor shall any man see it until he hath known his own soul.”

It is told by those who have shaken off the slumber of the shadow enough to speak plainly, that to look into this kingdom is to be free from all the bondages of earthly Ways.

They tell us that we may not seem to our neighbors and friends to be different in form or color or speech from themselves, yet that we may have the light of that Kingdom in our eyes and the knowledge of that Kingdom in our heart so truly that the promise of the Bible may be fulfilled in us, “When thou passest through the Waters I will be with thee, and through the rivers they shall not overflow.”

“When thou passest through the fires they shall not burn thee, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” “At destruction and famine thou shalt laugh.” “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”

Those who examine the shadows carefully, viz., the material universe, dispute the possibility of such things. They tell us we must not get too ideal in the face of facts. Their eyes are fixed steadily upon the seeming processes, and their hearts are heavy because the long night of sorrow, treachery, and dying promises no quick dawning, if indeed there ever is to be any change in nature’s performances.

Among these there is always some John of the Apocalypse promising that in a far-off future there surely will be “no death, neither sorrow nor crying; neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things have passed away.” But the sight of the shadows causes Schopenhauer to declare that there is no God, only a “gigantic evil evolving into good.” He sees the sight of evil stretch so far ahead that there is only hopelessness in his heart.

What is the matter with Schopenhauer and his followers? They have conferred with Judas. They lived and longed for prosperity. They had a right to prosperity. But they should have conferred with Jesus.

Jesus said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God, and all these things (riches, and honors, and health, and love, and gladness) shall be added unto you.”

Judas had told them that while they are in the world they must look to the W0r1d’s way and meet it in its own fashion if they would be successful.

After conferring with Judas, hear the verdict of the boldest and most intrepid magazine of our age representing the summing up of the conclusions of centuries: “Europe is cankered and honeycombed with pessimism”
(Caiaphas was high priest that same year.)

“It needs no very long stay in Europe to detect a strange drooping of spirit.”

“Neither Pope nor church, peace societies nor alliances can check its course.”

“Schopenhauer and Von Hartman, with their black pessimism, lead the continent.”

“Nothing in fiction or music is believed in by the world now,” they add, “except pessimism.”

Optimistic teachings are not listened to.

“Wagner, St. Beauve, Carlyle, Matthew Arnold, Scherer, Tolstoi and Ruskin are under the evangel of bafflement and despair.” Metaphysics has caught the echo and assures us of a great unconscious movement of evil besides the apparent.

If you give Ruskin his sleep and his food and his shelter and his police defenses of the best, you can not secure him from having his brain pummeled so that it will show how the invisible action of mind upon mind in deadly apposition can manage his destiny.

If the father is unjustly severe in his thought against his child it will have brain fever or diphtheria. “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers against the rulers of darkness, says the rnetaphysician, who has conferred with Judas. “Be not afraid, I have overcome the world.” “Your joy no man taketh from you.” “Thou couldst have no power at all except I gave it thee.” “All power is given unto Me.” “I am in heaven.” “Where I am there ye may be also.” This is the conclusion of those who refuse to confer with Judas as to the best means of being successful, that even the earth and the fullness thereof are seen to be their own birthright.

A11 the forces of bafflernent meet Jesus the teacher of spiritual law today. They feel angered against ideality and optimism.

And Jesus says, “Whom seek ye?” The drill sergeant answers, “The Nazarene.” That is, “that ignis fatuous promise of God that has claimed to be something but is nothing.” “I Am He!” The “He” is not in the Greek, and all those who stood by understood Jesus to speak from the highest Son of Man or Son of God — the God-man standpoint — I Am God “I Am;” to them all was the name of Jehovah.

Some have contended that Jesus did not speak of Himself directly as God. They give away their ignorance of Greek by so saying. Here He meant to show rnan’s idea to be God’s idea, when man proclaimed his highest.

Their idea of man was limited to their study of the shadow side. “Our days upon the earth are as the shadow that declineth;” we are “worms of the dust,” was their doctrine. The common lot is sorrow.

His idea of man was of one with dominion over a11 things, death and starvation included: master and king and lord through spirit instead of subject and slave and cringing subject through believing in the power of matter over man.

When He said “I Am,” the soldiers and officers immediately went backward and fell on their faces. The pessimist always falls back when the Christ faith looks him in the eye. In supreme moments many a man and woman has felt the God power rise and swell and burst forth. Eliza can take her baby across impossible icefloats. The Red Sea divides. All these things become possible. “Is anything too hard for Me?” A good man in a lonely mountain pass was assailed by lawless ruffians. As they came forward the glory of a Supreme Power sprang forth from him. It spoke through him. It was Him. “You can not! I am God!” They fell back aghast. But then, as in this case they sprang forward again. “We will kill you for saying that!” But as he looked at them, they fled.

“Because thou being a man maketh thyself God.”

At each stop of your Way “keep My words” and you will step out free from all these experiences I am taking. When pessimism, hardships, violence, threaten you, announce your spiritual nature at its highest. I AM! Jesus is very sure of victory for the spiritually taught.

“Let them go.” He tasted all this hour which tempts your own mind and the mind of the planet. He knew His power through the Word. If We keep His words we will step into freedom.

No other teacher ever gave us a sure recipe for safety in time of danger, or for health in place of sickness. Plato said the world needed a teacher who should show man how to be master instead of subject. He had carefully noted that Socrates did not help him to master his environments and destiny.

Here you and I are shown that within the self is one thought, that if it be given utterance poverty and sorrow and failure will be no more.

Why should We let other thoughts come up and argue with us to prove our powerlessness when that one announced would prove our power? What an affirmation is demanded of man when Annas and Caiaphas and Malchus, incited by Judas, face him!

Hold your own! Hold on to the great Word! All the thoughts of the mind must join forces with the bold affirmation Jesus teaches.

All things you would see brought to pass wait the rise and swell and glory of the God within. Therefore, come boldly up and be steadfast. All matter quails. The earth is clean dissolved. Prospero shows that he had his thoughts under control, so that he could calm or enrage the seas at his will; but he knows not Jesus Christ. All to him is but the “baseless fabric of a dream” — easily dissolved. He was right, but he had nothing better to turn to. You have. Speak boldly.

Boldness hath genius, power and magic in it.

What you can do, or dream you can, begin it.

Let the old ways be dissolved like a breath when you speak from the true power you already possess. The true keeper of the words of Jesus Christ is the true Christian.

As a Christian you must expect miracles. If you do not believe in miracles take off the name Christian.

“Either change your name or honor it,” said Alexander to a soldier named for him who had acted ignobly.

Ask much of the principle you serve. Ask richly. “He remembers that I am a king and should give like a king. Honor his claim,” said a king of one who had asked so great a gift that the treasurer was afraid.

You must expect to open prison doors, feed the nations, raise the dead.

The King you serve is Jesus Christ in you, conqueror over all things. The Emperor Theodosius liberated his prisoners and cried out, “Would God I could open the graves and set those captives free.”

Place no limitation on yourself,” says the spirit of this lesson. Notice that Jesus Christ stood still at the place of His capture and set His people free. He stood still where He was and quelled the solders. He stood still where He was and healed the ear of Malchus. He stood still preaching when the officers could not take Him. He hung still on the cross and saved the thief.

Right here is the spot where you are called to live and Work — here is your place to demonstrate dominion.

“Away, says the fiend. Rouse up a brave mind, says the fiend and run.” “No, my honest friend Launcelot Gobbo, being an honest rnan’s son, budge not!” “Budge, says the fiend.” “The fiend gives me more friendly counsel. I will run, fiend. My heels are at your commandment. I will run.”

This is the plausible reasoning of those thoughts that would argue that you could do better in some other field than the one where you are.

What saith Scripture? “Stand thou in thy lot till the end of the days.” Till What belongs to you to do there is finished.

Breathe California spices,
Roll blue Pacific waves,
Here ope the paradises,
Here close for us the graves.

Felix of Nola, being hotly pursued, fell into a cave near at hand, and the spiders wove a web across it and the dews fell on it and on went his pursuers.

Right there Where you are, set the people free. Why should a thought within you depress you or discourage you? Are you not master within your own realm?

When depression at the sight or feeling of your own hard lot or that of theirs seizes you, announce your Jehovahship. Then you can handle your own thoughts.

Would you like to tell the law to stop making it possible for one man to own $150,000,000, while his next — do0r neighbor can hardly feed his children?

You can set that right in the world if you can site it right in your own mind first. The ideal of equal rights and equal opportunities is a Christian one. And Christ shall reign from sea to sea, and from the river to the uttermost parts of the earth.

You are the result of your own arguments, but you need not be the result of anybody e1se’s arguments.

Though all around thee courage fail,
Do thou be strong.
Though all around thee doubt prevail,
In faith move on!

“Put up thy sword,” said Jesus. And He healed the anarchist. They tell us that in Europe there is nothing heard of but “smokeless powder, small-bore rifles, heavy iron-clads, swift cruisers, torpedo boats, and dynamite guns.” France and Germany have 6,000,000 soldiers armed to the teeth.

If any Christian Peter thinks to meet anarchy and nihilism with the World’s weapons he is as foolhardy as Peter. “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.” “Put up thy sword.”

You need not describe the cancer spots of city life, nor scold the ministers for not going down into their midst and knowing what is going on.

Your own thoughts of powerlessness are all your accusations amount to. If you believe they can be cured you are the one who can cure them. Did God invest any minister of the gospel with more power or more opportunities than He invested you With? No! God is no such God.

You have no right to expect anybody to do what you are not already doing, and can not teach them how to do.

I Can! and I Am! is your affirmation. You do not need the city government, police force, nor public sentiment on your side; all you need is the agreement of your own thoughts.

“Shuffle off the mortal coil” of your own thoughts.

Give all thoughts the lie except that one which says, “I can stream like a flood of glory down into the dark places with my limitless omnipotent love, and I can feed and warm and love them. And I can go like an angel of goodness to the hearts of the banqueters and tell them how the God of them - the Christ in them — loves to give of their substance of their love, their wisdom. So I will tell them till I see the rich and the poor meet at one common table of knowledge of their own birthright of all things.

Did you suppose God is less God in the high gambler than in Jesus? No. But Jesus announced it boldly. If you do not declare your goodness and power and divinity, how shall you measure whether the gambler is worse or better than you? All he has done is to let his thoughts not divine, parley with the highest ideal just as you have.

He has listened to the Judas idea that he must practice the World ways to be successful. Have you ever parleyed in that way? Over the turbid waters of Cedron walked Jesus into the garden of peaceful thought.

Stop not to argue with the worldly wise, or the ways of the shadow. Look over them all into the peace country that is all around you.

The parched earth traveler shall be glad when he hears this doctrine that when he lets this I AM speak, his vain thoughts must fall back, and his bread and his milk and his honey shall never more fail.

The pale mother may feel the reviving airs of the hilltops of heaven blow across her brow with refreshment. She shall set her tired feet into the beautiful country where there shall be no more pain, neither sorrow nor crying, when she knows that Within her own soul is the key to glad living here and now by speaking the words that are true.

Therefore, let the high thought be born in whomsoever these teachings are received.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ is born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me.

 

November 22nd, 1891

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