Sunday May 26, 2002
Introduction to The Gathering Principle
Today is going to be a little more laid back. We're going to talk about the Gathering Principle before we take a break. We're going to have a reasonable break then we're going to meet together and have a little more ceremony. We'll have books available and we have another interesting item we're going to present to you to take home. I thought since we just sang about the gathering and we're gathered here I'd talk a bit more about the Gathering Principle. I've written a book on it called The Gathering of Lights. How many people have read that book? Great, a number of you. What did you think of that book, Larry? Larry, what would you say is the principle of gathering? How would you state it in a few sentences?
Larry: The general idea, as I understand it, is that there are all these people on the Earth who are the lights. As they come together, closer and closer together, instead of being individual little lights hidden by the dark, they start to coalesce into a brighter and brighter light. Everybody has their light. When we coalesce into this light we set an example to the rest of humanity.
Elly: Jesus is the light and I am. I am so we are. We are because Christ is in us.
JJ: A lot of people don't realize it but Jesus attempted the Gathering. The Gathering is actually talked about more in the scriptures than just about any other principle. All throughout the scriptures, As'af might realize that a little. Have you noticed that the gathering is talked about a lot in the Jewish scriptures?
As'af: I'm not so familiar with it. Remind me where.
JJ: Okay, the first great gathering was Moses. Moses gathered the children of Israel out from the land of Egypt. When he gathered them together out of the land of Egypt the Pharaoh didn't want to let them go. When I first saw the movie, The Ten Commandments when I was a kid I wondered "what is the Pharaoh's problem?" Just let those people go! Why wouldn't he let them go? I couldn't understand this. The plagues came and even after this he still wouldn't let them go. Then after he lost his only son, or his first born, he still wouldn't let them go. He still went after them. Why did he want those Hebrews to stay with him? They seemed to be a thorn in the side from what I could tell. Why did the Pharaoh not want to let his people go?
JJ: Right, free labor. Let's suppose the same thing happened today. Let's suppose the hard-working, tax-paying people of the country decided to gather out and go somewhere else. All the people living off the taxpayers had to work for themselves. Do you think the same thing would happen? Do you think the new Pharaoh might say, "I'm not letting you guys go!"
It's interesting, in the book of Isaiah it's written, "Behold, my people are sold again into slavery but this time they were sold without money. They went freely." They went freely into slavery and they are sold without money. In the old days slaves were sold for money. You got money out of going into slavery. If you sold a kid into slavery, you got money for him. But Isaiah says it's peculiar in this coming age. He says people will be sold into slavery but they won't get any money for going into slavery. They'll go on their own free will.
Audience: Inaudible. Laughter.
JJ: A labor of love isn't slavery though. Where you're forced to work for somebody else or do what you don't want to do, that is slavery. Right now the average person has to pay about 50% of his money in taxes. Now a lot of it is subtle things. Larry bought some wine for us and paid a bunch of tax on that. You buy gasoline and you pay tax on that. You buy cigarettes and pay taxes on that. There are a lot of subtle taxes that even people below the poverty line that don't pay income tax pay taxes on. Plus the lottery is geared against us for the lower income people. They pay a lot of money to the state on that. It would be a lot better odds to go play poker with your friends.
Audience: Unless you live in a state where the lottery money really goes to the schools.
Audience: Inaudible discussion.
JJ: Overall the average person pays 50% of what he earns to the government. Even in the worst times, in ancient times, very few people paid over 25%. In ancient times a lot of people in slavery got to keep 50% of what they earned. Lots of times a guy would have a slave who had a side business on his own and he'd have to give 40 or 50% to his boss but the boss let the slave do what he wanted with the rest of it. If the average person pays 50% of his money to the government now--the only advantage we have now over ancient times is that there is more money in circulation. But as far as the percentages go, many other nations are worse than the United States. In some foreign countries it's more than 50%. France is terrible for taxation.
As'af: I find it interesting that (inaudible) a slave should be set free after seven years. He shouldn't remain as a slave after seven years. If he chooses to remain slave... (Talking about Jewish tradition)
JJ: Was that among the Israelites though? I don't think the Egyptians let them go after seven years.
As'af: No, in Moses' time.
JJ: Yea, they even had slaves among the ancient Israelites, didn't they?
As'af: But if the slaves chose to remain after seven years, their ears are to be pierced as a sign that he chose to remain a slave.
JJ: Let's suppose we had a society where people were free to take their surplus money and use it in a way that they saw fit to help humanity. Do you think you could make better use of 50% of your income than the government could? That way you wouldn't have to have $100 toilet seats bought by the government when you could buy it for $5, right?
JJ: Here is what happens in the history of the world. In the history of the world a civilization springs up, whether it be Atlantis, Lemuria or many smaller civilizations in between. They spring up and the authorities squeeze their people tighter and tighter and tighter until finally people begin to gather out from that system. They gather out from that system and they create a better system. When they create a better system the old system begins to fall apart. The old system is always against the new system beginning.
So, Moses was commanded to gather out the people from Egypt and the Pharaoh resisted very strongly because these guys were their bread and butter. All the Egyptians were taking it easy and the Hebrews were doing all the hard work. If we compare it to our time it's like the Hebrews are the big tax payers and the modern day Egyptians are those who are having the easy life living off of them and the government bureaucracy. So the modern day Egyptians are the government bureaucracies. The modern day Hebrews are the small independent business people who are struggling and working like crazy to make ends meet while paying the taxes.
Keith: A scripture that's related to taxes-I think it is because governments and churches have always used it as an excuse to tax people-that is "Render to Caesar what is Caesar's." I don't know exactly what it is that belongs to Caesar.
JJ: The powers that be are the modern Caesar. If Christ were to be here among us He would tell us the same thing, "Render to Caesar, the things that are Caesar's." We live in a system where we are taxed. Because we live in the system and operate under the system we should pay our taxes. So, that's why I pay my taxes, because I render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's.
On the other hand, it would be nice to be able to legally get out from under all the burden of the taxes in the system and the powers that be and the authorities that boss us around and lawmakers who make all sorts of laws that are not necessary for us because we don't need all the laws. We could take 90% of the laws that all the nations have and dump them in the ocean and be a lot better off. Do we need to be commanded on every little detail in our life? Whenever there is a problem the government passes a couple hundred new laws and nobody can even remember what they are until they want to go after somebody. Then they can find some law to give rebels some grief.
Audience: I just want to make a quick point. Most of us are in this system don't realize it but we have voluntarily contracted to be in that system and do that. It's very interesting when you start to research it and see what you find out.
JJ: In the IRS handbook it does say taxes are voluntary but eventually they'll probably pass something to do away with that voluntary aspect. A number of people try to get out of them and usually wind up in trouble. It's not really worth it so because of that I pay my taxes. I attempt to render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's but I also like the idea of moving somewhere else, another sphere or space, where I'm not subject to Caesar.
Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world." Eventually the kingdom of God will be established here upon this earth. The kingdom of God will be in this world but not of this world until the world conforms to the kingdom of God then the kingdom of God and the world will be one. The will of God will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.
So, I'm going to talk a little about the principle of gathering and the basic idea behind this. Like I say, the governments rise up and put the squeeze on the people. The people become more and more like the Hebrew slaves of ancient times and the time of Moses. Then something happens and the people who see the clearest, the lights, are gathered out. Then a correspondent of the Pharaoh rises up and he tries to stop this. He's unable to stop it and eventually a new kingdom is born. Then the new kingdom flourishes then begins to disintegrate and turn into the same type of bureaucracy the old kingdom. When this happens the lights are gathered out again and a new kingdom is born. This keeps happening over and over on various levels. The greatest gatherings, though, have been the gatherings for spiritual purposes. The most prominent one we know about from history is Moses. Moses gathered out the lights based on the guidance of a higher power.
Very few people are aware but Jesus spoke quite a bit about the gathering. He attempted to gather the lights. The first attempt (in his day) at the gathering of lights was through John the Baptist. Remember, he's a different character from John the Revelator. John the Baptist was quite different from Jesus. He was a very strict guy. He was into eating just the bare essentials, locust and honey. He lived in the wilderness and some people called him a wild man.
Then Jesus came He drank a little wine and relaxed. He ate a little meat. A lot of people thought He was a glutton. They called Him a wine drinker and a glutton in relation to John. People wondered, "These two characters are entirely on opposite ends of the spectrum." People were amazed that they were actually cooperating with one another because they seemed to be two types of characters who would be opposed to one another by using the normal thinking.
John had a hard time accepting Jesus at first because He was a lot different than Him. He was more relaxed than John. John was very serious. John was like today's really fundamentalist religion person who wants to prepare for the great things to come. Then the person comes with the great things and was a lot more relaxed than everyone expected. So, John took his mission very seriously and he did everything he could to gather out the lights from the Judaic area and teach them. John acquired quite a large number of students.
Then Jesus came along and He picked twelve of these students to be His disciples; twelve of the males of that group. He also picked twelve females who followed Him. That isn't written clearly in the scriptures. But, of John's group He picked the twelve. Because these people were prepared by John, He called John the greatest prophet in the history of man. The reason He called him the greatest prophet was because John prepared a group for Him despite their differences, despite their personality differences. John turned his disciples over to Jesus. What do most teachers do when they get a group around them? Are they willing to turn them over to any other teacher? No, they say, "These are mine. You go find your own."
That's one of the reasons Jesus called John the greatest prophet of them all, because he was able to overcome his ego and turn his students over to Jesus. He recognized that Jesus was a greater teacher than he was which was hard for him to do because Jesus was a totally different type of person than John was. He didn't have these austere aspects to Him. He didn't have a real cut and dry way of looking at things the way John did.
So, John had to listen to his soul. When he listened to his soul, it spoke to him, and he recognized that there was one greater than himself. As a matter of fact, it says in the scriptures, "John was praying, asking, 'How will I recognize the Messiah?" He didn't know for sure that He was his cousin, Jesus. The fact that He was his cousin made it all the more difficult for who in the world would think his cousin or relative would be a Messiah or the carrier of the Messiah? The closer one gets the more you can see their flaws and the more difficult it might be to accept.
Almost all of my family thinks I'm off in left field somewhere. I can't get any of them to read my book! I've given away my book to a lot of them then ask, "Have you read it?" "Well, no, I think I burned it." (laughter) When I visit my relatives I notice that even though I've given them the book, it's nowhere to be found on their bookcases. I look for it but it's not displayed anywhere where it can be found. I wonder what they do with it; did they throw it away? Most of my family members are really staunch Mormons so anything that goes against the Mormon thought-form they're very suspicious of. "The prophet didn't say that this stuff in the book happened so. . . "
Anyway, the gathering principle is always resisted by the powers that be. In each age we have someone like Moses and someone like the Pharaoh and something like the people trying to better themselves. The gathering principle is the principle behind all evolution. You'll find that when life began. It began by gathering out certain elements needed to produce molecules and certain molecules needed to produce amino acids and certain acids gathering together to produce cells, cells gathering together to produce little life forms and the little life forms gathering together to produce greater life forms until all the essence has gathered together from the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdom to produce human beings. Your life was produced by the gathering principle. All social evolution was produced by the gathering principle.
In the beginning there were families. Families gathered together to produce tribes. The reason they gathered together to produce tribes was because living as a family made you very exposed to the elements and it was very dangerous whereas if you gathered together to create a tribe it gave you a lot more protection from the elements. But then the tribes were attacked by other tribes so tribes gathered together to produce a nation. A nation could protect itself from wandering tribes. So the nation or the kingdom was much more superior to a tribe.
Eventually when all the kingdoms have come and gone and risen and fallen, the people were more and more suppressed by the various kingdoms of the world. Then the western hemisphere was discovered. Then the greatest lights of the world that had been suppressed by the kingdoms gathered together and came to America for greater opportunity. Once they had gathered together here they said, "We want to go beyond what the kingdoms have done. We want to go beyond having a king to tell us what to do be able to cut our head off if we don't conform."
They created a series of laws and ensured greater freedom. This was because of the gathering principle. The lights gathered here in America and they created something that had never been before by the gathering. Then in various religious organizations there have been gatherings. The Mormon Church attempted a gathering together of the lights, however shortly after the death of Joseph Smith, the gathering principle ceased to be taught. Now they just gather into churches instead of gathering in communities to create a better way of life.
So, the gathering principle has been tried again and again but unfortunately, with this country, we gathered together to escape bureaucracy and now we've gone back to creating tremendous bureaucracy. It's almost like a kingdom government where we are told what to do in every little detail again. So, another gathering has to take place.
This next gathering will be a spiritual gathering. It will be a gathering of lights, a gathering of people who will see the God within. In the book of Revelations, chapter 14, John said that he saw 144,000 led by the Lamb and they had within their forehead the name of God. And the 144,000 were people that had the name of the Father in their forehead.
What does that mean to have the name of the Father in the forehead? It contrasted with what else? Chapter 14 comes after chapter 13 where it talks about the beast. The beast had his name engraved in his peoples' forehead. Then in chapter 14 we find there is another group who have the name of God in their forehead. What's the difference between the name of the beast in the forehead and the name of God in the forehead?
Audience: I think the people with the name of God in their forehead are people who follow the God within and do not follow authority lightly. The beast people follow outer authority as their choice.
JJ: The name of the beast in the forehead is what?
Copyright 2002 by J.J. Dewey, All Rights Reserved