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Sermon on the Mount - The Beatitudes - Matthew 5 - The Degree of Righteousness required to go to Heaven?

Say, Well, I am back in Sydney and preparing for my imminent retirement. I am already missing Victor and you, and all the 'hawker' food, especially Hokkien Mee and Bak Kut Teh. Thanks for Father Michael's sermon for today. It is a pity that I never got to meet or have lunch or dinner with Father Michael. I will say no more about Father Michael's sermon other than that it is as usual very well written but that in my opinion it is tautologous to explain or apologise for canon law in legal terms. We will just end up with the same muddle or conundrum as the Pharisees and Sadducees did. I found more interest and enlightenment in today's Second Reading from 1 Corinthian 2:6-10 then the Gospel Reading. As I normally comment on the Gospel Reading I will continue with that practice. However I will follow through with a short comment on today's Second Reading. Today's Gospel Reading is from passages Matthew 5:20-22, 27-28, 33-34. These passages relate respectively to matters like the degree of righteousness that exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, anger and hate, and lust and honesty. In my opinion, taken out of context, these passages have limited meaning or are less meaningful spiritually. In my opinion, Gospel of Matthew Chapters 5, 6 and 7 are to be read as an eschatological whole 'Sermon on the Mount'. In layman's terms it is a full and complete manifest of Jesus' ministry or Mission Statement. Chapter 5 opens with the 'Beatitudes'. Refer Matthew 5:3-11. 'Beatitude' means blessedness or more correctly in eschatological terms 'supreme blessedness', as it relates to salvation not in this world but in the next. Definitely, in any language, you are not by any means 'blessed' in this world, by mere fact that you are poor or in grief or being persecuted etc. in this world or in this existence, for the 'spiritual' blessing promised and epitomised in the beatitudes is or will be only in the promised salvation in the next world. A mangled convoluted Christian zealot mind might otherwise mistakenly think that it is unChristian to be rich or beautiful or clever, and that these are demerit points towards salvation! This is nonsense! The plain fact is that there are those who are righteous who are either rich or poor, and conversely you have the unrighteous in both the rich and the poor! The same applies with regards to the beautiful or ugly and the stupid or clever. For righteousness is 'within' rather than 'without' our mind, heart and soul. Remember to read the promise of the beatitudes by strict reference to those who seek 'righteousness' as in God's righteousness, as in the 'poor in spirit' seeking the baptism of their 'spirit'; as in the 'light in (or seeking) the Light'; as in the lost as in 'the Lost Prodigal Son' deciding to return home from Sin City, when all is hopeless; and as lost sheep waiting to be found by the Good Shepherd; as in the 'mustard seed'; as in the 'rising yeast'; as in the 'vineyard workers working different hours being paid the same wage' [hint: read later about Jacob's Ladder, and then imagine the vineyard workers as being 'angels of God' on different rungs up the ladder]; as in the 'talents of money' [value-adding which I have adverted to in my discourse last week] and other parables. Remember also that in seeking God's righteousness that there is no 'I' or 'Ego' seeking righteousness, as such. Righteousness is sought by the righteous 'at large' (by all in one and one in all - as in what Jesus said of - "Love one another, as I have loved you" [John 13:34 and John

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15;17]), as a matter of principle, as a matter of Truth, as a matter of salvation in eternal life, and as a matter of the Law or the Prophets. In Matthew 5:17-18 Jesus said - "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfil. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled". The 'Law or the Prophets' is just a caption for 'God's righteousness'. It is constant in its Grace and Unconditional Love and Compassion from the beginning of time till the end of time, which means for eternity. Remember also that in seeking God's righteousness that you have to "go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly." [Matthew 6:6]. When you first start off on this Jesuit prayer contemplation or meditation you would choose the quiet cloister of a prayer room in the house or a seminary retreat. When you graduate in spiritual practice, you will realise that this 'room' is in fact and reality your 'mind'. You can have no peace and quiet unless you are settled and calm in your mind, heart and soul! They are just three different aspects or variants of your 'mind'! The 'metaphorical' quiet 'room' is achieved when you stop the 'windmills' in your 'mind' and leave it bare and empty and in pure vacuity for God. In 'baring' your 'mind' in your 'conversation' with God, you 'bare' your 'heart' and 'soul'! In that 'mind' or quiet room that you 'bare' yourself of secrets, there is no longer any 'Ego' or an 'I'. There is only God and you; and 'you' are (in that state of mind) already subsumed in God! It is in that state of 'mind' that you can be said to love God with all your mind, body and soul! You cannot enjoy the bliss of God's righteousness unless you totally surrender your self-ego of an 'I'! You cannot have an alter ego for God's spiritual commandment (variously expressed in the first three of the 10 commandments) is that you shall have no 'idol' before him. Remember therefore that seeking God's righteousness has nothing to do with this or the world physically located 'outside' of your mind but that it has to do with your 'state' of mind! When you have graduated to a higher level of spiritual practice, you will understand and realise that there is in fact no physical world 'outside' of your mind! I know this because when I was in coma during my heart attack, this world did not exist. When it re-exists when I recovered from my heart attack, it was because it also re-existed in my mind first! God has to do with your inner mental conscience (the secret place, where nothing past present or future can be hidden), in the inner recesses of your mind-consciousness, which in human terms is better expressed metaphorically as your 'heart' and 'soul'. Ask yourself this question always. In the darkness of my 'mind' i.e. my heart and soul, where is the light? Understanding this will make one understand what is the spirit son of God that is made in the split image of God the Spirit Father. Once you understand the foregoing, today's Gospel Reading, and indeed all of Matthew Chapters 5,6 &7, will be easy to comprehend. It is all about controlling the 'mind'! What degree or quality of righteousness is that of the Pharisees and Sadducees, when it is all outwardly manner and form? Their mind and heart say or speak or reveal differently. For God sees in secret and sees right through (with his x-ray like eyes) our heart and conscience, no matter how we try to disguise it through our outwardly worldly manner and form. God does not judge a book by its cover! We could be a goat in sheep's clothing! The Pharisees and the Sadducees pretend to follow the law but like in tax avoidance or tax evasion they are not really following the 'spirit' of the law at all! If you cannot control your mind how are you to control emotions of greed, anger (Matthew 5:1-24), hate, lust (Matthew 5:27-28), temptation or deceit? All bad deeds come from bad emotions from an 'out of control' mind! What is the use of an outward expression of an oath or swearing of veracity, fidelity or faith (Matthew 5:33-34)? It is just demonstrative show of manner and form! It is the spirit that matters, not the manner and form! That is why we say in the 'spirit' of the law, that equity (conscience) overrides the 'letter' of the law! In lay terms, fact or substance above legalism! Honesty needs and bears no oath! For the truth will always set your conscience free! Do not read the Bible literally! Jesus said - "And if your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you;" [Matthew 5:29] and - "And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you;" [Matthew 5:30]. Otherwise most Christians would be partially or totally crippled and blind! The eyes are just organs and the hands mere limbs. They are mere instruments or tools! A

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bad workman blames his tools! The mischief is in the 'mind'! What Jesus meant was to control your 'mind' such that as it were the offending eye or limb is 'mentally' cut off! Once you understand that you need to seek the righteousness of God in your 'mind', and how God and it are there as 'Light' in the 'darkness' of the inner recesses there, it is then that you realise that you have to allow your 'light' of God-consciousness to shine in your conscience. If you would excuse the pun, 'Light' the 'light' is the Christian catchphrase. You will then understand that the 'duality' that you worldly see 'outside' your minds, through your worldly eyes, are just various kaleidoscopic karmic aberrations propagated by your demonic 'windmills' in your mind, which have taken on a life or alter-ego or self-ego of their own in 'you' within your mind, 'when the bull has already bolted through the gate'. What you 'see' are the immediate 'past' because they are projections from your 'mind'. That is why what you 'see' is the 'bull that has already bolted through the gate'! If you do not believe me go and ask any neurologist or neuroscientist. If all we can ever perceive ever is always the 'past' then in factual terms what we see is an 'illusion' of the 'now' as a 'present' reality! It is therefore unreal beyond the mental emotional experience of what is really in the 'past' in the windmills of our mind. Happiness is in discovering the key to seeking God's righteousness. My twin, allow me to hand you the 'key'. In the unity that is the divinity of oneness with God in your 'secret' room of your 'mind' there can be no such false 'duality', that you somehow perceive as 'real', that pertains to the 'outside' world - viz. for example that you see an 'enemy or a friend' or 'good or bad' or 'fat or thin' or 'beautiful or ugly' or Christian or non-Christian. Because 'duality' means or implies 'relativity', it therefore means some 'subjective' standard of measure or guide, and it therefore follows that this so called 'duality' is an illusion or fallacy! This 'duality' is predicated on a subjective 'ego' or an arbitrary standard. Our world time is a falsehood! Ask any nuclear physicist. We do not truly know when the beginning of time is! We do not really know when Jesus was born! 'Duality' implies subjective judgment. God does not judge! Jesus said so to the adulteress [John 8:1-11]! In eternity there is no time or subjectiveness of judgment as we think of in human worldly terms. How can we propose to judge in a limited context or within a short space of time? What is one man's food is another man's poison! What is a bitter pill now could be good health for the future! Understand the non-duality that is God's righteousness and you will understand why Jesus said in Matthew 5:4445 - "I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and unjust." God is therefore indifferent to the phenomenal world that is of the 'bull that has bolted through the gate' of the 'windmills' of our mind. God is only interested in your 'light' that shines in the darkness of the inner recesses of your conscience of your 'mind'. We will not have this 'light' in us unless we can see Jesus in every sick, poor or needy, whatever their colour, race or creed! Refer to Matthew 25:34-46. For, we should see no 'duality' in things. We have to treat all perceived worldly phenomena or experience with equanimity. The Light of God like the sun shines on all with equanimity. Loving one's enemies is no easy task, and for this, guidance may be obtained from 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a where St. Paul said - 'Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.' Earlier I said that the beatitudes relate to salvation not in this world but in the next. I like to hit the nail right on the head by expressly stating that salvation is only about eternal life only because it is synonymous or predicated on worldly death. Many are misled or confused in that they seek essentially an immortalisation of their mortal 'worldly' being; when salvation is about the the returning home of the eternal spirit son of God that was lost but is now found, which has nothing to do with our existence in the 'flesh'; for "God is Spirit" [John 4:24] and "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" [John 3:6], and that was eternal from the beginning of time, before the Original Sin of Adam, before the Fall of Adam. For God is not God of the mortal or the (worldly) dead but of the (eternal) living (spirit) [see Matthew 22:32]. Like Jesus,

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before Abraham, we (as 'angels of God' or spirit sons of God) were [Jesus said in John 8:58 - "I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM."]. As Jesus said in John 12:23-25 - "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but when it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his (worldly) life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life." Render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar and render unto God what belongs to God [Matthew 22:21]! In other words you have to surrender your 'son of man' to be your 'spirit son of God'. That is what 'resurrection' is about! You die a mortal being to be 'resurrected' in your eternal spirit being. You have to worldly die to be raised in the 'spirit'. That is what the next world is - the eternal spirit world! This is what Jesus is indicating when he said in John 11:26 - "... and no one who lives and has faith in me shall ever die." And in John 14:3 - "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I shall come again and take you there myself, so that where I am you may be also." Of course putting this scenario in terms of one worldly existence and death and followed then by 'expected' salvation in the next existence is putting it in very simplistic terms. Salvation is not as simple as that as I will explain later when I comment on the Second Reading. It is not 'child's play' or as easy 'as making pie' as that. For that does not fully take into account and contention that we as 'angels of God' could be ascending and descending Jacob's Ladder unceasingly [Genesis 28:12 and John 1:51] with our seven 'more evil' spirit companions (our five senses and our worldly mind and our sub-conscious - the 'windmills' of our 'mind') [Matthew 12:43-45]. Viewed from this spiritual transcendental perspective, our worldly existence or existences are just an illusory experiential realm of self-perpetrating cause and effect consequences powered by the web of deceit of the false self-ego of our demonic 'windmills' within our mind. God is not really interested in what we reap from what we sow (refer to the Parable of the Sower Matthew 13;3-23) in the cycles of existence from the revolving 'windmills' of our mind. Their karmic consequences take their own course, and as such may impact on our worldly fate or destiny in future existences, whether we rebirth or harvest as rich or poor, beautiful or ugly, clever or stupid etc. For that worldly human existence (present or future) is of a different world from the kingdom of God (see Jesus' last prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane - John 17). Whatever we might be, in this worldly existence or another, there is no 'we', 'you' or 'me', whatever our human or worldly persona might be, in heaven. As Jesus explained when asked by the Sadducees about the widow who had married seven brothers one after the other in Matthew 22:25 - "For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven." There are only 'angels of God' in heaven! There are no humans or human personalities in heaven! If there were you and me in heaven, how would we be? At our worst or best photogenically speaking or healthwise? If we were crippled in a car accident do we front up as a cripple or in our comatose state as at the time of death? At what age? Angels of God are spirits of another world, not of this world of human existence! Angels of God are eternal creatures or beings that had and have existed and are still existing from the beginning of time. The 'angels of God' in us is the eternal being or spirit in us that were and are before we were conceived by our parents! If there is no 'marriage' in heaven, there are no husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters and so on. This is what Jesus meant when he said in Matthew 10:37 - "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me." and in Matthew 19:29 - "And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My names's sake shall receive a hundredfold and inherit everlasting life." Please note that in the Bible we are dealing at or with two different levels with our 'being'. Remember 'Render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar and render unto God what belongs to God [Matthew 22:21]' that I quoted earlier. Caesar is a metaphor for the world of man and our human existence as son of man, son of Adam. The 4th to the 10th Commandments in the Old Testament relate to ourselves as 'sons of man', as human beings in the world of Caesar. Note the 5th Commandment - Honour thy father and mother. As human beings in the world of Caesar we still have to honour our worldly human parents! These 4th to 10th Commandments pertain specifically to 'we reap what we sow' (refer to the Parable of the Sower - Matthew 13:3-23), in terms of our 'ascending and descending Jacob's Ladder' from the revolving 'windmills' of our mind.

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They relate to what we mistakenly call 'sins', when God is not really concerned with these 'worldly' sins, as Jesus was not concerned with the adulteress or with Jesus healing and the disciples picking grain on Sabbath or with Jesus consorting with tax collectors and prostitutes. In the above passages relating to no 'marriage' in heaven, Jesus was directing our attention to what belongs to God, the 'angels of God' that are the spirit sons of God in us, the eternal light in the darkness of the inner recesses of our mind that is the God-consciousness in our conscience. He was dealing with what is the only 'spiritual' sin - that of separation from God. This is the Original Sin that resulted in the Fall of Adam from Grace and into exile as a mortal being. Our human identity and human kinship therefore separate the eternal spirit, the 'angel of God' in us from God the Spirit Father. Unless we were and are eternal in the 'spirit' we cannot be 'lost' and then 'found' by the Eternal Spirit Father! It is ridiculous to think that we each individually are continually being 'created' by God and then 'found'! That would mean in mathematical statistical terms - 'forever lost'! Salvation could not be better illustrated or amplified than by the Parable of the Lost Prodigal Son. It is essentially about the eternal spirit son of God 'lost' in the alter ego or false self ego of the mortal son of man, son of Adam, and being 'found' or returning home to the Spirit Father. It is a simple basic case of filial piety and 'balek kampung'. We are all on a journey of sorts, spiritually or in our worldly human being. Recently, on impending retirement, I had to consider whether to return home in a worldly sense to my birthplace or home in KL. Had I not realised my way and already 'moving house', to return in the spirit back to the Spirit Father, in the spiritual plane, I would have been too emotionally hung-up, self-centred and nostalgically distracted and would have then insisted and persisted on selfishly wanting to move house and return to my worldly home in KL, without bothering to objectively consider, without any bias, the views, welfare and interests of my wife and daughter. As it is, being impartial, I came to realise that, for them, KL is not their home, and can only ever be their home when I am alive. But I am not getting any younger nor is my health getting any better. And they, rationally or otherwise, cannot bear this possibility or contingency or thought, no matter how outrageous or unlikely, that I might die in KL and thus leave them stranded in a country that they are foreigners. Now to the Second Reading from 1 Corinthians 2:6-10 where St. Paul said - "But still, to those who have reached maturity, we do talk of a wisdom, not, it is true, a philosophy of this age or of the rulers of this age, who will not last long now. It is of the mysterious wisdom of God that we talk, the wisdom that was hidden, which God predestined to be for our glory before the ages began. None of the rulers of the age recognised it; for if they had recognised it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; but it is as scripture says: What no eye has seen and no ear has heard, things beyond the mind of man; all that God has prepared for those who love him; to us, though, God has given revelation through the Spirit, for the Spirit explores the depths of everything, even the depths of God." The Truth that is God as omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent, and what we are as his eternal spirit sons is inconceivable and ungraspable with our worldly mind or with our worldly scientific knowledge. As indicated above, we need to have the spiritual wisdom that the Holy Spirit will baptise us with. If these things are beyond the 'mind of man', we should not read the Bible literally or interpret it with worldly knowledge or in human terms! That was why Jesus said in Matthew 13:13 - "Therefore I speak to them in parables, because (worldly) seeing they do not (spiritually) see, and (worldly) hearing they do not (spiritually) hear, nor do they (spiritually) understand." and that "For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not (spiritually) see may see, and those who (worldly) see may be made blind." [John 9:39]. And when the Pharisees retorted as to whether Jesus was alleging that they were blind to the spiritual truth, Jesus replied "If you were (worldly) blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, 'We (worldly) see.', therefore your sin remains." [John 9:41]. Worldly sight is therefore a different species from spiritual insight! Please do not do what the Pastor at Victor's Evangelical Church at Ampang asked me to do - read the Bible literally! I would have ended up crippled and blind! Love and God Bless Chuan

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