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Worship God In Spirit and Truth

Say, Thanks for sending me Father Michael's beautiful sermon for the Third Sunday of Lent on 'We are thirsty but the well is deep': http://www.michaelckw.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/we-are-thirsty-but-well-is-deep.html To be honest with you, when I read the entire passage of the Gospel reading, which was from John 4:1-42, a very long passage indeed, I did not form the same 'picture' as Father Michael. There is of course nothing wrong with that. Gospel readings are like abstract art, from a spiritual point of view, and therefore, the 'picture' is in the eyes of the beholder. However, going on what Father Michael has taken as the relevant metaphors in the gospel passage, the words 'thirst' and 'well', I fully concur with his conclusion "Therefore, the well becomes a most suitable symbol of the human soul. But the good news is that the well also symbolises the unfathomable depths of Gods love. And so buried deep within us is this spiritual aquifer it is the place of deep communion between Gods spirit and ours." Just as a matter of interest, at the point where he made reference to Jacob - "If we would run a contest for the most passionate and thirsty individual of the Old Testament, Jacob will make the top three. Who else cheats his brother and father for destiny, works fourteen years for the woman he loves, wins a wrestle match with the Angel of the Lord and procreates the nation that delivers the Messiah? Only one guy can brag about that Jacob." - I thought to myself that had he continued on and made reference to Jacob's dream in Bethel (Genesis 28:12 - 'And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, the top of it reaching to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.'), he would have transcended from the worldly contribution of Jacob, to the spiritual Understanding Jacob's Ladder and the Parable of the Sower (about reaping what you sow) is the key to unlocking the secrets to the spiritual knowledge required to unravel the parables of Jesus. Say, this gospel reading about Jesus' encounter with the Samaritan woman at Jacob's Well is very profound. You start off with a 2-D view, and then slowly raise it to 3-D, and then 4-D and it starts to blow your mind! The number and myriad of permutations and perspectives, the rich interwoven tapestry between the worldly and the spiritual, and you say OMG, how great is God's eternity! For that reason I am reciting the gospel passage in full below, so that we can read through together, you and me. Gospel, John 4:5-42 - 5 On the way he came to the Samaritan town called Sychar near the land that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob's well was there and Jesus, tired by the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour. 7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Give me something to drink." 8 His disciples had gone into the town to buy food. 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, 'You are a Jew. How is it that you ask me, a Samaritan, for something to drink?' -- Jews, of course, do not associate with Samaritans. 10 Jesus replied to her: "If you only knew what God is offering and who it is that is saying to you, 'Give me something to drink,' you would have been the one to ask, and he would have given you living water." 11 'You have no bucket, sir,' she answered, 'and the well is deep: how do you get this living water?12 Are you a greater man than our father Jacob, who gave us this well and drank from it himself with his sons and his cattle?' 13 Jesus replied: "Whoever drinks this water will be thirsty again; 14 but no one who drinks the water that I shall give will ever be thirsty again: the water that I shall give will become a spring of water within, welling up for eternal life." 15 'Sir,' said the woman, 'give me some of that water, so that I may never be thirsty or come here again to draw water.' 16 "Go and call your husband," said Jesus to her, "and come back here." 17 The woman answered, 'I have no

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husband.' Jesus said to her, "You are right to say, 'I have no husband'; 18 for although you have had five, the one you now have is not your husband. You spoke the truth there." 19 'I see you are a prophet, sir,' said the woman. 20 'Our fathers worshipped on this mountain, though you say that Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.' 21 Jesus said: "Believe me, woman, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know; for salvation comes from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming -- indeed is already here -- when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth: that is the kind of worshipper the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship must worship in spirit and truth." 25 The woman said to him, 'I know that Messiah -that is, Christ -- is coming; and when he comes he will explain everything.' 26 Jesus said, "That is who I am, I who speak to you." 27 At this point his disciples returned and were surprised to find him speaking to a woman, though none of them asked, 'What do you want from her?' or, 'What are you talking to her about?' 28 The woman put down her water jar and hurried back to the town to tell the people, 29 'Come and see a man who has told me everything I have done; could this be the Christ?' 30 This brought people out of the town and they made their way towards him. 31 Meanwhile, the disciples were urging him, 'Rabbi, do have something to eat'; 32 but he said, "I have food to eat that you do not know about" 33 So the disciples said to one another, 'Has someone brought him food?' 34 But Jesus said: "My food is to do the will of the one who sent me, and to complete his work. 35 Do you not have a saying: Four months and then the harvest? Well, I tell you, look around you, look at the fields; already they are white, ready for harvest! 36 Already the reaper is being paid his wages, already he is bringing in the grain for eternal life, so that sower and reaper can rejoice together. 37 For here the proverb holds true: one sows, another reaps; 38 I sent you to reap a harvest you have not laboured for. Others have laboured for it; and you have come into the rewards of their labour." 39 Many Samaritans of that town believed in him on the strength of the woman's words of testimony, 'He told me everything I have done.' 40 So, when the Samaritans came up to him, they begged him to stay with them. He stayed for two days, and 41 many more came to believe on the strength of the words he spoke to them; 42 and they said to the woman, 'Now we believe no longer because of what you told us; we have heard him ourselves and we know that he is indeed the Saviour of the world.' Take careful note how strange it is that when Jesus needed to make a major or universal point he would choose a non-Jew. Just like the way he chose the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37) to illustrate how you have to love your neighbour (whoever he might be) as yourself (2nd of the Twin Commandments - see Mark12:31). This is now ingrained in the English Common Law as the Good Neighbour Principle. There is a secret motive to getting a Jew to think like a Good Samaritan, or if you like for a Christian to think like a Good Muslim! It has all to do with 'letting go' of any 'marks' or 'labelling', any prejudgement, any self-righteousness and any self-ego. Unless one has total humility, how then can one love God with all his heart, soul, mind and strength (1st of the Twin Commandments - see Mark 12:30)? If you remember from Luke 10:25-28, when the lawyer asked Jesus - 'Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?'; Jesus instructed him to obey these Twin Commandments. In this instance we have Jesus alone with what might not initially appear to be a good Samaritan woman! In biblical times men do not talk to strange women alone, let alone a woman that is not of the same race and religion. Note the part of the gospel passage as to how the disciples really felt in their heart or mind but did not speak out openly - 'At this point his disciples returned and were surprised to find him speaking to a woman, though none of them asked, 'What do you want from her?' or, 'What are you talking to her about?' ' Imagine what the disciples would have really thought had they known that the Samaritan woman at the well 'have had five husbands'? Would our wives allow us to talk alone with a woman who 'have had five husbands'? Remember Jesus saving the life of the adulteress who was being stoned for adultery (John 8:311)? Jesus said to the stoners - "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first." Remember also Jesus allowing the prostitute to wash his feet with her tears and then anointed them with fragrant oil at Pharisee Simon's house (Luke 7:36-50)? Didn't Jesus tell the sinful woman that her sins were forgiven because her faith had saved her (Luke 7:48; 50)? It is little facts like these that are so profound! God therefore is not interested in our worldly sins. In

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Luke 5:32 Jesus said - "I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance." We are all 'sinners' as worldly sons of man( as 'goats')! The 'forgiveness' by the Spirit Father and the 'redemption' by the spirit Lost Prodigal Son (the 'lost sheep') of the Original Sin of 'separation' (from God) are predicated on the repentant spirit Lost Prodigal Son's faith in/of the grace in his Spirit Father's unconditional love to accept him back home however much or whatever he had sinned in his alter ego as a worldly being (a 'goat'). You have to appreciate this matrix of goat/sheep or worldly/spiritual that is interwoven or embroiled in the gospel passage to really understand the richness and profundity of Jesus' words in his encounter and repartee with the Samaritan woman at the well. For when parables are interposed or interspersed with metaphors, simple literal interpretation will definitely get you no where. I appreciate Father Michael having to talk about metaphorical thirst for water and the deep well the way he did. To do otherwise would be quite confusing for his congregation who are not on the same theological or epistemological or soteriological level of understanding as we are. Here, in fact, 'thirsty' has really nothing to do with 'thirst' nor 'hungry' anything really to do with 'hunger'. Admittedly or presumably in the worldly context, Jesus was both 'thirsty' (Jesus said to the Samaritan woman - "Give me a drink") and 'hungry' (that was why the 'disciples had gone into the town to buy food'). Here the 'thirst' has really to do with the yearning or longing for 'eternal life' or the eternal love and bliss associated with eternity that is described as 'living water' (John 4:10) or by analogy 'living bread'. See John 6:51 where Jesus said - "I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world." Please do not take the word 'bread' here literally as 'bread' or the word 'flesh' literally as 'flesh'. 'Flesh' here means 'body' but in a spiritual sense, as in 'spirit body'! The whole idea in carrying our cross in imitation of Christ or following Christ, is to give up our worldly life for an eternal spirit body. This now takes us back to what I will describe as the major spiritual starting point in the gospel passage before us - John 4:13-14 where Jesus replied to the Samaritan woman: "13 Whoever drinks this water will be thirsty again; 14 but no one who drinks the water that I shall give will ever be thirsty again: the water that I shall give will become a spring of water within, welling up for eternal life." This is the main thrust of the passage - the promise of eternal life or the promise of salvation! But unlike what Jesus said to the lawyer about attaining eternal life by obeying the Twin Commandments; here the method of practice is as follows - John 4:23-24 where Jesus said - "23 But the hour is coming -- indeed is already here -- when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth: that is the kind of worshipper the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship must worship in spirit and truth." In other words, Jesus is saying - I promise you eternal life and this is how you achieve it; you worship God in spirit and truth! Let me now illustrate how multi-layered this exposition is, how it gets more spiritually luminous when you transcend above from 2-D to 3-D and beyond. Perceive how in a worldly sense this unlikely unsavoury Samaritan woman turned out to be a Good Samaritan, not in the Good Neighbour sense, as in the second of the Twin Commandments, but in the sense of loving God with all your 'heart, mind, soul and strength', as in the first of the Twin Commandments, that were referred to earlier in relation to the lawyer asking Jesus how to attain eternal life. In her worldly way or sense, remembering that she is probably just a simple peasant woman, she was worshiping God in the 'spirit' when she said to Jesus - 'Sir, give me some of that water, so that I may never be thirsty or come here again to draw water.' and she was worshipping God in 'truth' when she replied to Jesus - 'I have no husband.' - when Jesus said to her - "Go and call your husband, and come back here." However at the spiritual level (rather than at the worldly literal level) the key words in John 4:24 are - "God is spirit, and those who worship must worship in spirit and truth." As Light is to light (see John 1:9 and John 8:12), so is Spirit is to spirit. The Good Samaritan woman at the well was worshipping as a worldly human being (as a 'goat') rather than as a 'spirit son of God' (as a 'lost sheep')! This is why Jesus said at John 4:21:- "Believe me, woman, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. Only the self-righteous worldly

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son of man ( the 'goat') would worship in his respective self-proclaimed or self-perceived holy mountain or holy city, whether that be Jerusalem or Mecca or the Vatican. In the egoless 'spirit' son of God (the 'lost sheep') you worship to God within you! And, you can do that anywhere and anytime. Wherever you are, God is there with you! As Jesus said in Matthew 28:20 - "I am with you always, to the end of the age (i.e. time)" Refer Luke 17:20-21 where Jesus said - "The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, 'See here!' or 'See there!' (That is, you cannot perceive or see it externally to or from yourself). For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you." Refer also 1 Corinthians 6:19 - 'Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?' If God is within us why do we have to go and worship on a particular mountain or in Jerusalem, Mecca or the Vatican? As Jesus said in Matthew 6:6 - "But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly." That 'secret place' is your mind! That is why you have to give all your 'heart, mind, soul and strength' to God! Do not let the devil of a 'monkey' control your mind! Do not have a egoistic mind-set! Let your mind be totally for God's glory. Before I enter the final stage and commence discussion on what is meant by 'worship (God) in spirit and truth' let me comment on the unusual remark by Jesus at John 4:34-37 about 'food' that he claimed the disciples had no knowledge of when he was asked by his disciples to eat - "34 My food is to do the will of the one who sent me, and to complete his work. 35 Do you not have a saying: Four months and then the harvest? Well, I tell you, look around you, look at the fields; already they are white, ready for harvest! 36 Already the reaper is being paid his wages, already he is bringing in the grain for eternal life, so that sower and reaper can rejoice together. 37 For here the proverb holds true: one sows, another reaps; 38 I sent you to reap a harvest you have not laboured for. Others have laboured for it; and you have come into the rewards of their labour." This sub-passage in the gospel reading is impossible to understand unless you understand the workings of, or should I say the 'ascending and descending of angels of God' on, Jacob's Ladder (refer back to Genesis 28:12). The 'angels of God' are the spirit sons of God (the 'lost sheep') trapped in never-ending rebirths as sons of man ('goats'), as in the 'unclean spirit' ('sheep' lost or trapped in the 'goat') and its seven more wicked spirit companions (the worldly mind, the five senses and the conscience) (see Matthew 12:43-45). Whatever I am (as son of man) in this worldly existence, the rung on Jacob's Ladder that I (as the 'lost sheep', spirit son of God) am on in this life, I am reaping from what was sown from 'my' earlier worldly existences as son of man! If Victor, you and I have a good life today, it is partly because whoever 'we' were in our previous worldly existences, 'we' have sown 'good' seeds, for good begets good. Jesus wants every generation to sow good seeds for the next generation. It would have an exponential effect! The 'sower' and the 'reaper' rejoicing together is euphemism for getting off Jacob's Ladder! In that sense the 'person' (the 'sower') doing or who did the sowing does or did not and will not personally accrue merits or demerits. He is 'dead' to the 'cause'! Karma has no 'self-ego'! There is really no connective 'I' or 'We' between the different worldly existences! Get rid of the false sense of worldly self-ego! It is like the plague! It stands in the way of salvation of our eternal spirit! Karma only has an inherent latent equanimous karmic repercussion! It is another 'person' as the 'reaper' that will reap the rewards of his totally unrelated predecessor's (sower's) labour or sowing. So, rather than merits or demerits for or against the 'one' who sows, it is in effect a blessing or curse on or to the 'one' who shall reap. The 'sower' and the 'reaper' are both transient, illusory and mortal beings. They are sort of 'motor vehicles' only! Karmic residue or consequence therefore has an auto-driven karmic energy of its own resource or steam! 'Karmic energy' is the 'driver' of the vehicle! The 'motor vehicle' is not the 'driver'! As worldly beings, we live only once! We have only one life or existence in our present worldly persona! We are 'unreal'! Our reality, what we are truly are, is in our eternal spirit son of God being! We are 'lost sheep'! We are not 'goats'! That is what Judgement Day (Matthew 25:3134) is all about! That is why we have to have complete faith in Christ and his Truth. We have to

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awaken to his Truth! His Truth is simply that we are eternal spirit Lost Prodigal Sons ('lost sheep') and that we should come out of the 'darkness' and 'delusion' that is worldly 'mortality' ('goats') and return home to the Spirit Father! Now to explaining what is meant by "God is spirit, and those who worship must worship in spirit and truth." I explained earlier why the Samaritan woman at the well was 'worldly' worshipping God in the spirit rather than 'spiritually' worshipping God in the spirit. Let me expound on this further. In John 3:3 Jesus said to Nicodemus - "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." I have explained earlier that the 'kingdom of God' is not outside us but within us. That was the first misconception of Nicodemus; he was seeking the kingdom of God outside of himself. The lesson we should learn from this basic tenet is that, strictly from a spiritual point of view, we should not cling, grasp or attach ourselves to anything pertaining to this human world of ours, the world of phenomena. We should, in our spiritual practice, 'let go' of this world. God is within us, in our 'heart, soul, mind and strength'. God is not anywhere outside of these intrinsic 'elements'! Ponder fully on this point! That is not saying that we should not live our worldly life to the full. We have to render unto Caesar (epitomising the world) what belongs to Caesar, but we have to render unto God what belongs to God. Just remember however the Immutable Law of Cause and Effect; the Immutable Law of You Reap What You Sow! Anyway Nicodemus was rather confused as to how he could be 'worldly' 'reborn' while he was still alive! To clear his confusion (although I am not sure whether Nicodemus became any wiser) Jesus said to him at John 3:5 - "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." This clearly tells us that only one who is born both a son of man (the 'goat') (born from the womb of 'Eve') and an eternal spirit son of God (the 'lost sheep') can enter the kingdom of God! No animals or rocks or anything non-human can go to heaven! There are no dogs or cats or birds and spiders in heaven! We have to be a 'sheep' (eternal spirit son of God) 'lost' in our guise of mortal son of man (the 'goat') as a consequence of the Original Sin of Adam and his Fall from Grace. We have to get off Jacob's Ladder! We have to return home like the Lost Prodigal Son did! We have to be 'born again' in the spirit, in our eternal spirit! We are not actually 'reborn' in the 'spirit'! That is only a manner of figurative expression! Nothing 'eternal' has or needs to be 'reborn'. Here ''reborn' is in the sense of 'awakening' to our true eternal spirit son of God being; in the sense of 'baptism of the spirit'. In the same sense that Jesus said in John 3:14 - "... even so must the Son of Man be lifted up (in the Spirit), that whoever believes in Him (the Spirit Father) shall not perish but have eternal life.", we as sons of man will also be lifted up in the 'spirit' if we believe in the Spirit Father; and we shall not perish again as mortal beings but will have eternal life! It is a rather convoluted way of saying the obvious, that we do not want or wish to be reborn as worldly mortal beings and still be on some rung or another on Jacob's Ladder; but that we want or wish to be 'reborn' in our eternal spirit son of God! This is confirmed by what Jesus said in John 6:63 - "It is the Spirit (Father) who gives life (to the spirit son of God); the flesh (son of man) profits nothing. The words that I speak to you, are (about the) spirit (sons of God), and they are (about eternal) life." From now understanding how to worship in 'spirit', how do we worship in 'truth'? The truth can only be the truth. But the gospel truth can only be the words of Jesus. In John 17:16-17 Jesus in his Last Prayer in the garden of Gethsemane said - "They (the spirit sons of God, the 'lost sheep') are not of the world, just as I am not of the world (even though the Son of Man and the sons of man are in the world). Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth." Truth in this Christian sense must be in the words of God. As Jesus proclaimed in John 14:6 - "I am the way (to salvation of the spirit), the truth (to), and the (Light to eternal) life. No one comes to the (Spirit) Father except through Me." As Christ proclaimed in Revelation 1:8 - "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, who is and who was and who is to come the Almighty" The Truth is in the divinity and eternity that is Jesus Christ. The Truth is in the divinity and eternity that is God. The Truth is that as spirit sons of God, as his 'lost sheep', we are divine eternal beings! The Truth is that heaven is not someplace we have to aspire or qualify for, but rather, it is our original spiritual

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eternal family abode that we can always return home to, as eternal spirit son of God in repentance, for family reconciliation, at our Father's grace, because of his unconditional love for us, regardless of how we have failed him, in our worldly sins as sons of man, in our lapse in filial piety as his spirit sons, by our separation from his care, love and kindness. So strange and ironic isn't it, when we 'worship (God) in the spirit and truth', when we achieve salvation, there are no human beings that are in fact saved, although we speak loosely in those terms of 'our' salvation, that 'we' are saved. There are no Christians, Muslims or Jews that are in fact saved. There are no good people that are saved nor sinners pagans or heathens that are not saved. There is in fact no spiritual salvation, even though, as a matter of practical expediency, we describe our spiritual practice as seeking salvation. If it were not so, there will never ever be universal salvation for all! The simple spiritual fact is that what is 'mortal' cannot be saved; and what is 'eternal' does not require saving! No son of man ('goat') whatever his colour, creed or religion is saved. Only the eternal spirit son of God (the 'lost sheep') in every son of man, whatever his colour, creed or religion is saved. That is what is meant by universal salvation. The simple fact is that the eternal spirit Prodigal Son that is 'lost' has to be 'found', that was 'blind' to his eternal spirit son of God being, has to awaken to then 'see' his eternal spirit son of God being; and in the 'finding', the Lost Prodigal Son has to find himself, find his true eternal self; but to find himself he has to lose his false worldly mortal 'self'. It is when he is egoless in the spirit that he is reconciled and united with the Father in the 'spirit'! That is the basis of the Truth that is the Holy Trinity, of the Father and the Son and the Spirit. They are not three but one! Our salvation is only possible when we lose the 'our'; we are saved only when we lose our 'we'! We have to be 'one in all, and all in one'. It is only then that we can truly say we love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength; and that we love all our neighbours as we love ourselves. That is the Truth of the Twin Commandments! It is only then we love each other as Jesus loved us (refer John 15:12). That is worshipping God in the spirit and truth. Let us conclude this discourse with one of my favourite hymns:COME TO THE WATER Refrain Come to the water! You who are thirsty! Though you have nothing, I bid you come! And be filled with the goodness I have to offer! Come! Listen! Live. Verse 1 Why spend your money on what cannot fill The emptiness deep in your heart? Listen to My word and you will enjoy Goodness and peace in your heart! Refrain Verse 2 Just as the heavens are high above earth; My ways and thoughts beyond you! Call me your Father and know I am near! I will be Father to you! Refrain

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Verse 3 Just as the rain falls to water the earth; Just as a seed becomes bread My word upon you can never return Until My longing is filled! Refrain By Father Frank Andersen

Love and God Bless! Chuan 24/3/14

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