Love can be considered a raw constructive force. The Path of the Way considers even small gestures, such as toward your spouse, those whom you may not know, love relative to your labor, appreciation for your surroundings, and taking positive actions, all move as this constructive force. This article deals with Love and Oneness and why Love is a creative and unifying force. Unlocking these mysteries can only come by way of practicing such attributes as Love, Unity, and Oneness. Although this is not an article on Christology, some scriptures allude to this subject.
One reason the Path of The Way is often named the Path of Love owes mainly to scriptures in Matthew, found in 22.37-39; repeated in Mark, 12.30-33, and Luke 10.27. The furtherance of the love theme is continued in John from 13.34 through 16.27.
Seeding unto the stars. If all is love, then love is one.
In John 13.34 the principle of unity within discipleship is given: (34) A new. commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. (35) By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” This principle of unity can be very important for those who walk in the Way. It is a good theme to practice for the day and can send many doubts and discomforts flying away. Modern society tends to split people within and can split people apart, which we have all experienced.
Unity becomes a profound principle when applied to each individual. Not responding in kind when harsh statements are uttered toward you allows conflictions within daily life to be smoothed by maintaining soundness within. Unity quells the emotional realm of the soul’s nature. A reservoir of unity can be relied upon when life delivers a sudden jolt or when many circumstances impinge upon you as a day or a week’s circumstances assault you. The disciples faced all of these adversities as they undertook their missions.
The 4 Commandments of Love
1. Love the Lord your God with all thy heart, mind, soul, and strength.
Recognizes the spirit of all creation and displays gratitude. “Love the Lord your God…”, giving love expresses respect and reverence. Wholeness and Unity, “…all thy heart, mind, soul, and strength,” become attributes of power and strength, always manifested from within but may be expressed without.
Deut. 6.4-11; (4) “Here, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord.” God is one, Himself only. (5) “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” The foundation (first) of all other laws is love. (7) “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children,” stresses handing down the personal love of God. The love of God knowledge is personally assumed and is individual to each soul, which arrives as blessings on the pathway or might be understood as entering the spiritual promised land, v. 10-12: “And it shall be when the Lord thy God shall have brought thee into the land which He sware unto they fathers, to Abraham, to Issac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildest not, (11) And houses full of all good things, which thou fillest not, and wells digged, which thou diggest not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantest not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full; (12) then beware lest thou forget the Lord, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.”
Throughout scripture, to remember God in his person, thence given by Jesus identifying the spirit within, is emphasized. The Egyptian mortal mind speaks for itself as a principle. Coming out of bondage is not only referred to in the physical but is an ascension into spiritual freedom as well. God (spirit) sets free.
2. Love those near you as yourself.
The unity of love is expressed once more, as all are Children of God. To love others as yourself establishes this unity principle—God loves all his children equally, underscoring oneness.
Lev. 19.11-18; (11) “Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie to one another,” begins the discourse for the society God wants. Note v. 15, “Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment; thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, not honor the person of the mighty: but in righteousness, thou shalt judge thy neighbor.” Judgments should be made from the well of love and wisdom. (18) “Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, I am the Lord your God.” The love-teaching appears early on in scripture, is fundamental, and underpins all other teachings. Jesus brings Israel back to the love principle, part of the final interpretation of the Law and the Prophets (see Jesus the Nazarene).
3. Love one another as I (Jesus) have loved you, that others know you are my disciples.
Love for one another is important within smaller groups and helps to extend love to others. “That others know you are my disciples,” speaks to the commitment of discipleship (Christed self) and commitment (new man).
John 13.34-35, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you…” Jesus uses himself as an example, something most of us could not do, and establishes unity and relationship; Jesus also issues a commandment, another indication of position or identity. “That ye also love one another. (35) By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye love one to another.” Establishes love as a modem of identity (how others will know you) and puts love at the root of all teachings and relationships, especially within the church (see Epistle of James).
4. Love your enemies (Mt. 5.43-48), bless them who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who persecute you.
This scripture asks that each man rise above the common standard of love and accept an enhanced spiritual wholeness. Because of the difficulty of loving enemies and praying for them, working in this area (sowing, praying, and speaking) can yield benefits.
Matt. 5.43-48, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor,’ and, ‘hate thine enemy.’ (44) But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you, and persecute you.” This standard sets you free from contention, referring to the current Roman occupation. Within this brief passage others we meet on the byways of life are included. (45) “…He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good,” the lesson is that love prospers equality, God is fair, and all have a chance to respond each new day. (48) “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Associated with extending grace, these passages encourage a person to allow the spirit to move through his changed heart, relieving the heart of stress, concern, and hate, thus opening toward the burgeoning kingdom within.
The above scriptures encompass all people, from enemies to those close to you and those who become disciples of The Way. If these commandments are practiced, pervasive love and good attitudes follow.
Mark 12.28-33: “(28) And one of the scribes came and heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he (Jesus) had answered them well, asked him, “Which is the first commandment of all?”
(29) And Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is, ‘Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
(30) ‘And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all your heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength:’
(31) “And the second is like, namely this, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor* as thyself.’ There is none other commandment than these.”
*neighbor=the one near
(32) And the scribe said unto him, “Well, Master, Thou hast said the truth*: for there is one [God]**; and there is none other but He: (33) And to love Him with all thy heart, and with all thy understanding, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and to love his neighbor as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
*The truth=according to the truth. **Most texts read “for there is one”; CJSB reads: The Torah-teacher said to him, “…you speak the truth when you say that he is one, and there are no other besides him.”
These two scriptures establish love as the attribute that makes all other laws unnecessary. The above passages become the root of The Way, sometimes described as The Way of Love—“…none other commandment than these” is needed if the first two are practiced with devotion.
“Jesus teaches that in the true spiritual heart, the qualities of love are many: Love builds where before there was nothing; it supports the weary and gives succor to those who cry out in the dark; it is long-standing and endures for the unknowing and the helpless; it is the mustard seed that proliferates; love feeds the poor in body and in spirit; it leaves no stone unturned for righteousness; it walks the last road to bring forth the last survivor; it has patience but does not tarry in its duty.”
“Therefore, working within the love-teaching is the most comprehensive of practices. By its nature, love orders all of the lower elements in man’s nature and puts these elements in counsel and unity with love, as opposed to cravings, lust, and even violence. To presume yourself more loved by God than others is haughtiness and arrogance and, by its nature, is unloving. Understanding this opens the door to loving your neighbor and yourself, even as God does, or loving your enemy as yourself, even while standing fast for righteousness. The love Jesus speaks of is active and ever present in its workings, performing its duties in the constructive force that gives birth to new creation.”*
*From chapter eight of, The Seed.
Love prospers new creation. Love carries substance and orders thought—that which is loved is enhanced. Between people, love is birthed in one other, ever-growing deeper. When love is considered a creative force instead of an emotional force only, the tenor of love takes on added significance.
This added creative dimension is one reason people practice love meditations, sow seed for love to blossom and increase, perhaps seep into deep hurts that will promise a new future. Love is flexible and can work on many different levels. A person should never underestimate the creative power of love.
Matt. 13.43 gives some indication, “Then the righteous will shine forth like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father (cjsb).” Jesus’ intent?—that love should be a vital part of the new creation within the disciples (new man), the new creation that shines like the sun. With all thy heart and all thy soul, mind, and strength signifies the attribution toward oneness; the whole being should love God, for we are that particle of Him.
As to the scripture, to offer love to He Who Loved You First, the God who is a Spirit and of which there can be no image, displays gratitude, unity, and wholeness with Him, and projects the nobler man toward Him.
Sow seed for love in your heart, forgiveness, unity, and wholeness.
No one is perfect in these areas. Be willing to walk in what the Spirit reveals to you.
Many have a broader faith but their heir faith may not be focused; there is no sowing of good seed. Their prayers ramble, nor have they prepared themselves for change. They are passive in their faith, not active, and usually, this can be observed in their thinking. Not much is new as to revelation. They repeat the same messages over and again, and the same results occur. Are you this kind of person? Everyone should inspect their nature concerning faith. Long-standing faith is admirable, but Jesus pronounces a more evident or active faith as its companion.
It seems clear that the message delivered by Jesus bends toward the plane of enlightenment and the Christed Self: “The kingdom of God is within you,” (Lk. 17.21), like unto Jesus but individualized in you, yet with Jesus as central, both in his person and his teaching. The previous sentences seem more like what most Christians strive for. Be like God, the Christed Self,* for “…I am the way.” Jesus expounds on many attributes of character, edifying a holistic approach, both concerning faith and love.
* Lk. 6.36, “Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father…”; Mk. 12.14, “teaches the way of God in truth…”; Mk. 12.29, The Lord our God is one Lord…”
Many do not have an attribution toward Jesus in his person. They may have different religious beliefs or few beliefs at all. They may love Jesus’ teachings and may also love him, yet cannot relate to the ceremony of religion or certain religious practices. There are a few scriptures that may be helpful on this point. The first describes the relationship: (CJSB) Mk. 3. 28-29, “Yes! I tell you that people will be forgiven all sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; However, someone who blasphemes against the Rauch Ha Kodesh never has forgiveness but is guilty of an eternal sin”; followed by v. 35, “Whoever does what God wants is my brother, sister, and mother!”*
*(KJ) Mk. 3.28-29, “Verily, I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme. (29) But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation.” (35) For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.”
The point of the above is that the fundamental attribution is to God, as we might observe in the First Commandment. It is true that at the time of Exodus, Jesus had not yet arrived on the scene. Jesus confirms that the works of God’s spirit (Wholly of the Spirit) shall not be interfered with, which includes awakening to the spirit within as well as responding to the works of the Holy Spirit. No one should be excluded from these last two truths.
The early Nazarene synagogues stayed close to Jesus. The Path of the Way, the Path of Love, becomes the journey they entered upon, practiced, and experienced.
Becoming lost in the world delivers worldly lessons that may have to be repeated. When on the Path of the Way, lessons are more oriented to the soul, requiring fewer repetitive worldly experiences. The Wayfarer’s attribution stands counter to worldliness—to not become lost in the world, better put.
As we move forward in the Jesus story you will notice that everyone’s identity becomes more clarified—Jesus, the disciples, the various Marys, bit by bit the Pharisees, the scribes, the Sadducees, the nature of Rome, not just in the manner of a story but specific and pointed to identity. You also have a soul identity. When you Walk in The Way take note of how your soul nature begins to change and develop.*
*The e-book will be helpful with this development.
Aspects of The Way focus on asking and seeking. The reciprocation of seeking is receiving. It is the spirit that engages the cogs to turn. So, receiving God’s love is just as important as giving your own. In this manner, the principle of Unity is well served through love expression. The cycle must circle, the wheel must turn; the sowing must proceed, and the harvest garnered.
In our modern world, we operate somewhat the opposite, with the constructed worldly self taking the stage and the lead role. This contrasted with Jesus’ different operating system, one birthed from the spirit, the kingdom within. This thought is alluded to in the scripture:
“But first seek his Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Don’t worry about tomorrow—tomorrow will worry about itself! Today has enough trouble already!” Practical actions will always be necessary when dealing with the world. Even so, as each person resolves to practice sowing good seeds, speaking the Word (spirit), and praying, each person’s spiritual pathway will assume more influence, worldliness less influence.
One should remember that he is forming a pathway that bends more and more toward the spirit of God, whether a person is religious, less religious, or wants to develop a spirit-led life pathway. The Practice of The Way is constructed to be simple and practical, yet engage the spirit within. The Teaching of The Way offers many lessons for knowledge and wisdom—teaching and pathway (practice) function together and should remain unified.
Sometimes people seek and ask yet remain unwilling to receive or accept the answer. Preparation to receive God’s guidance can often be more important than the seeking itself. Many pray with the notion of asking; others pray with the notion of receiving.
Although Authority may express powerfully within the soul, yet in the end, all resolution lies within Love and Forgiveness.
John 13.34-35 reads: “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love* one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. (35) By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
*love (agape)=to regard with favor, on principle, spontaneous; (philadelphia)=love of the brethren.
The Unity or Oneness principle is associated with love. The above scriptures indicate a love meant to permeate the relationship with one another and God. Love is portrayed as lofty, reaching for the brighter light, expanded service, and closer communion. John’s scripture reveals the binding element of love—those of the Way should be identified by how they love one another. This love light shines forth for others to see and to be attracted by. This is noted by the attraction many felt toward Jesus as he ministered.
The phrase “new” (=freshly made; young) commandments—Jesus issues commandments that shall establish this new order. That a person should love his brethren becomes a kind of eleventh commandment. Jesus speaks in a manner that associates him with the highest, the Father, in that he speaks a spiritual commandment. Further revelation on Jesus’ identity takes form and relates to secrets that existed before the foundation of the world, i.e., that all along a ministry and the principles within that ministry would be revealed in an abiding context of love and brotherhood.
The following scriptures deal with the relationship between the disciples and Jesus, prompted by a question from Simon Peter: “Lord, whither thou goest?” Jesus states in 14.1: “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.” This scripture also closely associates Jesus with the Father, the God who is a Spirit, and that His spirit is fully manifested in Jesus. John 14.20-21 gets us closer, “At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. (21) He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”
Luke 6.35-40: “But love your enemies and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; “and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children (=sons) of the Highest: for He is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.” For those unthankful, kindness shows them a new way, and for those whose minds dwell on evil, love establishes a new standard.
(36) “Show compassion, just as your Father shows compassion.
(37) Don’t judge, and you won’t be judged.
Don’t condemn, and you won’t be condemned.
Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
(38) Give, and you will receive gifts—
the full measure, compacted, shaken together, and overflowing, will be right in your lap. For the measure with which you out will be used to measure back to you (CJSB).”
Many attributes of the Way are mentioned in this scripture. These scriptures demonstrate the difference between the Qumran legalists who cursed their enemies and Jesus who blesses them, for example. This final interpretation of the Law brings the righteous remnant forward and disavows strict law, ascending the soul to a higher moral and ethical plane.
The last two verses move in a different direction. Jesus talks about the nature of people and what is possible.
(39) And he spake a parable unto them,
“Can the blind lead the blind?
shall they not both fall into a ditch?
(40) The disciple is not above his master:
but everyone who is perfect shall be as his master.”
All people are familiar with commitment, whether within a career, with a husband or wife, or the rearing of children. Discipleship is ongoing in time and is not limited to only one or another of commitment—discipleship is a pathway. Discipleship and commitment allow the blind to see (experience) the Path of the Way.
At some point, the disciple meets his master and they share in oneness, a comprehensive love, yet each with his duties and each with his pathway.