21 Feb 1999
A reader writes:
“So JJ, are you saying that making the DECISION to serve is all that’s needed as it seemed that the parable was calling for a decision from each of those at the threshold of heaven?”
ANSWER: The parable was a hint, not the answer – two different things. A hint points you in the right direction so you can make use of your intuition to shine your light on the principle that reveals the full answer. Only then will the disciple understand completely.
The reader continues: “If that’s the case, maybe I’ll ask a different question 🙂 What’s the use of having God appear before you to answer a question if all you’re going to get in reply is a principle. Sometimes a little fact that cuts to the chase can go a long way. As it was God in the chair in your scenario, I’d take my chances on whether what He said was true or not – after all, if you can’t trust God….. :-)))”
ANSWER: The idea of God or a Master appearing just to answer all your questions is a hypothetical thing that does not happen in the real world. Most of us would agree that Christ was the greatest Master of all time, yet, even though the disciples and the common people were in His presence for three years on a daily basis, they were still frustrated because He attempted to teach principles rather than facts.
Consider this: “Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.” John 10:24
These Jews were frustrated because Jesus taught the Christ principle rather than the fact that he was manifesting it. They wanted facts rather than principles.
You’ll notice that Jesus rarely taught with plain facts. His words were so great because he concentrated on principles. For instance “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you,” is not a fact but a principle.
He often taught in parables or proverbs because such illustrations reveal principles. Here are some of His words:
“These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs (illustrated principles): but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father. (He will reveal facts after the principles are understood). At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God. I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father. His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb. John 16:25-29
Notice in this last verse the disciples seem relived because they are ﬁnally getting some facts to go along with the principles. The interesting thing is that they thought they ﬁnally understood something, but they were still in the dark about what “going to the Father” really meant.
Here’s another interesting quote:
And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables (Principles)? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. Matt 13:10-11
In other words, the disciples had gained some understanding of the principles in the parables, but the general public was just looking at the black and white facts.
For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. Matt 13:12-13
The general public looks only at the black and white facts in the parables. They thought they saw and thought they understood, but did not see or understand anything that Jesus really tried to communicate.
And in them is fulﬁlled the prophecy of Isaiah, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. Matt 13:14-15
This last statement is an enunciation of the fact that the majority of the people refused to rise to the level of the soul so the principles (the language of the Holy Spirit) in the parables could be seen.
It is interesting that one of the main messages of Jesus was about the Kingdom of Heaven, but not once did he give out even one fact about it. All that he said about it was through principles clothed in parables. Thus we see that the teaching method of Jesus was basically to teach the principle ﬁrst. Then he took those who understood and incorporated the principles, and used whatever facts necessary to help them fully understand.
The trouble with facts is that they are too black and white to allow for the full principle of decision to manifest. Let us suppose God told you that the best thing you could do with your life was to be a nurse, and this would be true if you could put your heart in it. But now, maybe your heart is not in it because it was not your decision. Instead some being out there told you this was best for you. Thus God would become your personal beast.
So again we ask. What is the principle and how can we use it to answer the question: “How can I best serve?”
Copyright by J J Dewey
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