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Sunday Message for March 26, 2023


Today is the 5th Sunday of Lent. In the booka, Keep A True Lent, by Charles Fillmore it talks about the Overcomer. As defined by Charles Fillmore, an overcomer is one who recognizes the Truth of his being and is renewing his mind and body and affairs. It is one who is changing his thoughts from the old mortal beliefs to the new as he sees them in Divine Mind. He demonstrates the divine law, not only in surface life but in innermost consciousness. Spiritual power, mastery, and dominion are attained by the overcomer. It says in Revelation, "To the overcomer I will give a place with me on my throne."b

And the recommended scripture reading is from chapter 20 of the Book of John.

It says, When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, 'Peace be with you.' After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, 'Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.' When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, 'Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.'c

It's interesting because the first passage in this says that the disciples met on the evening of the first day of the week. Many religions have used this to prove that they must meet on Sunday or Saturday or whenever they meet - because it was declared in the Bible to be the Sabbath.

Yet, Charles Fillmore tells us that the true Sabbathd is a state of spiritual attainment where we take a break from all personal effort and belief in our own works, and rest in the consciousness that "the Father who dwells in me does his works."e When we understand the true spirit of the Sabbath, we cease following prescribed rules laid down by a church and open our mind to God's rest and peace.

The Sabbath is kept any time we enter into spiritual consciousness and rest from thoughts of temporal things. We let go of the external observance of days, because every day is a Sabbath on which we retire into Spirit and worship God.

Believing that the Sabbath is only on one special day can really bring you grief.

There was an orthodox Rabbi that went golfing, although it was on the Sabbath. Gabriel saw him, and summoned God.
"YHWH!" said Gabriel, "We have a rabbi golfing on the Sabbath. Strike him down with a lightning bolt."
God said, "I've got better plans for him."
Just then, the Rabbi took a swing at the ball, and it drove 420 yards, bounced and rolled up onto the green and fell directly into the cup, a hole-in-one. The Rabbi was ecstatic, whooping it up.
Gabriel says to God, "What gives, I thought you were going to punish him?"
God says, "Who's he going to tell?"

But getting back to the scripture and the Holy Spirit; Jesus had been telling his disciples that they would receive the Holy Spirit. Of course, they didn't understand what he was talking about most of the time. He had told them, 'I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.'f

Even John the Baptist had spoken of it. He said, 'I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.'g

When our mind has received words of Truth the way is open for the healing power, which is called the Holy Spirit, or the Spirit of wholeness, to descend further into the body consciousness.

This verse in scripture talks about the disciples receiving the Holy Spirit - but we know that the disciples represent our 12 faculties. Material things are temporary; spiritual things are eternal. When our minds are focused on materiality, and on its objects and aims, the faculties are not developed along permanent lines. Truth reveals to us that every faculty must be used to spiritual ends in order that the law of Being may be fulfilled.

It also says that the doors were locked for fear of the Jews. If you read this at a metaphysical level, you know that they were locking out the religious dogma so that they could be spiritual. The Jews represent our established religious thoughts and systems of worship. The Jews were always the hardest to reach with the new thought. They were very set in their religion, and they usually refused even to listen to new teachings of Truth.

So we find in ourselves that our religious convictions frequently stand in the way of our accepting the new revelations of Truth that come to us. The orthodox church has a very large number of people who are truly spiritual and would quickly grasp the real import of Christianity if they were only free from the restraints of religious habits of thought and worship and from the established customs of the church.

Let's take a moment for a short meditation. This is a meditation from Joe Hurley's book Parables of Light:

So, thinking of the Holy Spirit as breath for Jesus breathed on them and said to them, 'Receive the Holy Spirit.
Gently close your eyes and concentrate on your breath.
My breath comes into rhythm with the divine.
I exhale human experience. I inhale pure divine love.
I exhale warmth, concern, and caring. I inhale pure divine wisdom and guidance.
I exhale thanks and appreciation. I inhale pure divine joy.
I exhale magic, wonder, and awe. I inhale pure divine mystery.

I am the breath of the divine human, exhaling ancient earth wisdom.
I am the breath of the divine spirit, inhaling the breath of God.

With the flowing of each breath,
I am the pulse of the divine love spiral,
uniting heaven and earth.

Just allow yourself to sit with this for a moment and absorb it into the core of your being.

Now come back to this room and this now time, but allow yourself to remain in that spiritual openness as we continue with the lesson.

In the Book of John it continues, But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So, the other disciples told him, 'We have seen the Lord.' But he said to them, 'Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.'

A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, 'Peace be with you.' Then he said to Thomas, 'Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.' Thomas answered him, 'My Lord and my God!' Jesus said to him, 'Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.'h

So the next time the disciples saw Thomas they told him about Jesus showing up. But Thomas just couldn't buy into it. He was the skeptic of the group and required proof.

Among the disciples of Jesus, Thomas stood for the head, representing reason and intellectual perception. Jesus did not ignore Thomas's demand for physical evidence of His identity but respected it. He convinced Thomas by physical evidence that there had been a body resurrection and that it was not a ghost body that he saw, but the same body that had been crucified, as was evidenced by the wounds that Thomas saw and felt.

Thomas represents the understanding that, in the natural man, is dubious until it is convinced by proof. Do you have a part of you that is like Thomas? When it comes to spiritual things that you cannot see and touch, do you find it hard to accept them as they are? Jesus did not have a problem with this, he merely provided him with evidence.

And yet, Jesus commends those who believe even before they see the proof. When understanding becomes spiritually quickened it is the perceptive power of the mind and develops in us "the power to use the attributes of God and to understand their place and their work in the Deity."i

There has been some very interesting research going on in relation to the brain. They can now map the blood flow to the brain with an FMRI. This is a good indicator of how much and which parts of the brain are being used.

They have mapped the blood flow when a person is in trauma, or even recalling the trauma. The blood flows all to one place, like a little knot and there is no blood flow to the frontal lobes where we can reason.

So they have mapped the blood flow in people's brains under all kinds of situations, even sex. But they say the best blood flow to all parts of the brain was when people were in spiritual awe, feeling a oneness with God. So if you want to operate in your life with intelligence, intuition, and creativity - spend time in prayer or meditation. Then, even without hard evidence, you can see the Truth.

Spiritual understanding enables the consciousness to see and to feel spiritually. Spiritual understanding gives clear insight into everything, it remolds the mentality, and inspires the will to direct, to act, and to control.

And if you are not in this space of spiritual understanding you might end up like the group of dyslexic devil worshippers in the Ozarks. They sold their souls to Santa.

Then it says in the Book of John, Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.j

Again, if we look at this metaphysically, we will see a whole new and deeper understanding. It says that "through believing you may have life in his name."

Well, if you've read many bible stories you realize that the name of a person denotes his nature. When people became spiritually enlightened, they changed their names; like Abram became Abraham.

So through believing these Jesus stories and attempting to live in accord with what Jesus taught and demonstrated, we will have life abundantly.

So, Charles said that an overcomer is one who recognizes the Truth of his being and is renewing his mind and body and affairs. It is one who is changing his thoughts from the old mortal beliefs to the new as he sees them in Divine Mind. He demonstrates the divine law, not only in surface life but in innermost consciousness

The way of overcoming is to first place yourself by faith in the realization that you are a son or daughter of God. Then secondly, to demonstrate it faithfully in every thought and act. One of the laws of mind is that we become exactly what we think we are. Christ is the one perfect pattern. Everyone desires to overcome all errors. So, we should be wise and identify ourselves with the Christ.

No external condition or circumstance can hold us in bondage when we make mental contact with God.

We have many blessings. So, begin to praise God for the abundance of all things; your words will crack the omnipresent ethers, and good will flow to you from every direction.

The work that we have to do as overcomers for the world is to help establish a new race consciousness, a new heaven and a new earth that dwells in righteousness.

But we need more courage to develop these possibilities. We need more initiative. We need more awareness of this divine power in us and when we awaken to the spiritual man, which every one of us has within us, we shall see that through spiritual unfoldment all good things are possible of accomplishment, as Jesus promised.

All things are possible to us, only we must believe. We must believe in ourselves, in this innate spiritual man in us and we must encourage him. We must encourage ourselves with sound words, with affirmations of almightiness; then we shall have the key to the overcoming world.

Our most important study is our own mind, not only the intellectual mind but the spiritual mind. "Know thyself" was inscribed on the temple of Apollo at Delphi; and it must be inscribed on our own temple, over the door of our mind. "Know thyself." We must become acquainted with our own mind.

By being true to my highest understanding of Truth, I never swerve to the right nor left for any reason.
I affirm: "I am an overcomer through Jesus Christ, and I rest in the realization of His grace and power."

aKeep A True Lent, Charles Fillmore published by Unity Books
bRevelation 3:21
cJohn 20:19-23
dRevealing Word Charles Fillmore
eJohn 14:10
fJohn 14:25-26
gMatthew 3:11
hJohn 20:24-29
iChrist Enthroned in Man Charles Fillmore
jJohn 20:30-31

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