Be Born Again
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January 4, 1970 (tape 209, CD 21)
This morning, as we are approaching the realities of Easter and the realities of our Master Jesus, I’m going to take my text from John 3. “Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2.) This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him. 3.) And Jesus answered, saying to him, Truly, truly, I say unto you, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Jesus, perhaps here, teaches us one of the greatest lessons that man can learn. And that is that he must be born again. Not in the sense that some of the churches teach this from an evangelical point of view. But from a state of reality. Jesus had gone through this state of being reborn, figuratively, because He wanted to show at His baptism that man could be reborn.
And this is true, that if you can be a very good person, you can do a lot of very good deeds. You can have all the good intentions in the world. Perhaps you haven’t committed murder, perhaps you haven’t stolen, perhaps you haven’t misused the funds, maybe you haven’t disliked your brother and maybe you have obeyed your father and mother. But this does not say that you are reborn.
Rebirth is a realistic process, and a realistic thing that happens. For when the Light of Christ is allowed to come within you, you will then and not until then, will you be reborn. And we mean this in a physical way. For the body will change, the ways of teaching will change, your approach to life will change, and your realization of God will change and you truly will seek the greater being within you and you truly will accept the fact that you too, as the ancient teachers used to say, have an animal to tame. For down through the ages man has got so in the habit of looking in that beautiful polished piece of looking glass, a mirror, and in ancient Egypt it is a piece of highly polished metal. Now we make them with mercury, a polished mirror. And he sees this form that he has accepted and looked at that which society has accepted as being a typical, what we call, good looking man or woman.
And you are with somebody and there’s a stalwart, strong looking individual, a man striding down the street and they say, ‘There’s a fine looking man’ or ‘There’s a very beautiful woman.’ What do you mean? Just what do you mean? What makes them beautiful? What makes them a fine stalwart image of a man? It certainly isn’t the decaying
flesh that does it. For he, no matter how old he is, is on the way to the grave. He is dying day by day, getting ready for transition.
And until he is reborn he knows not the Spirit, nor does he know or be able to see the kingdom of God in which he is living. For he does not know what the world looks like around him. For his eyes have not been opened, neither has the Spirit moved within him. Now don’t misunderstand me, gentlemen and ladies or anyone who is a guest here. We are not talking about an altar call. Oh, that would be so easy. If we could put on an emotional appeal to God, an emotional appeal to offer the Spirit and come up to the altar and confess our misgivings and our misdeeds and the rest of these things and have the rebirth it would be beautiful, just beautiful. I’m telling you something – I’d vote for that. Because it would be a much simpler process than what we go through today. And what we’ve gone through for 15,000 years and more.
For unless you know the reality of the Light within you, you know not God. Neither do you know Jesus Christ. I have seen times when I have been in the sanctuary, as much as I know this man, when he had come in greater, should I say, greater purity. And I say ‘Thank you, Jesus,’ many times, ‘for not really showing yourself fully’. And then I have some very delightful young individual come along to me and say, ‘Oh, Father, you know, Jesus came right to me last night. And you know something? He stood right there’. And I look at them and I say, ‘Yes, he’s there.’ I have come out of the sanctuary many times in my life after being beside our Lord with my bones aching because He got so close. Because I’m sure my body is not that pure and neither am I. You must be reborn and even then you have a long way to reach before you can stand next to the Master and feel the divinity and the purity of his being.
We are still groveling in the dust of the earth when we should be experiencing the life and the beauty of God’s earth around us. There is so much difference that the average person cannot even understand what we’re talking about. That little being, that ‘You know I’ve got to walk to work’. ‘I’ve got to do this’. ‘I’ve got to do that today’. And ‘I must clean the house’. ‘I must do this today’. And instead of floating down the street, so to speak, not even conscious that you are walking and that your body is functioning and working and it’s doing the job. And instead of cleaning the house with something else on your mind besides just that alone and even loving to do it because you know it’s going to be useful to those whom you love and whom you are a part of that family or whatever it may be.
Man goes through life, the majority of them, and this is what we in this brotherhood, this Holy Order, this is what we seek to attain, is a moving, flowing life with unlimited power and unlimited strength and love. In other words, unlimited giving. Not any of that fru-fru that they give off about love. Real love is the thing that gives without feeling that they’re giving it even. Real love is the one that doesn’t consider themselves – they just give without any effort. Because as quick as you say to yourself, ‘Well, I should do this, so I’ll give them this’ or ‘My mate here, well, he wanted it done’ or ‘My wife wanted it so I’ll do it’. That’s not giving; that’s just giving in. And I’ll just tell you something, folks, there are many young men and women in this seminary and some of you have come into the blessings of marriage. When you’ve got to give in to your mate, there’s something wrong with you. And you’d better get down at the altar and start to do a few days of prayer work and meditation because you aren’t married yet, when you give in. Because you’re not married until you can truly spiritually give.
And that’s the way you’ve got to learn, when you get to the point where you can live in this Order happily and you don’t do something because somebody said so but because it’s an opportunity for you to give not only to the Order but because the Order is serving man and God. We need to say that around here until we get right down to the nitty-gritty of it – God’s man. And when you start serving that then you are ready for the rebirth, you are ready for the illumination and it won’t just come for a few days and then disappear. It will stay there. Because you are really dedicated then. Because anytime you have to go do it because you’ve got to do it you aren’t doing it at all. You’re just giving in to it. And you’re not giving anything. You’re just letting go of it, that’s all.
Anybody out here in this world obeys the law when the cop stands next to him. But that’s not obedience. Obedience to man’s law is when the cop isn’t standing there that he obeys. Because he know that it’s a necessity for the safety of the other fellow. Otherwise he’s putting himself in jeopardy; he’s putting the other fellow in jeopardy. If you want the true life of the Christian life, then you must be reborn.
And I didn’t say ‘if’, I didn’t say ‘maybe’ and I didn’t say whether you’re in this Order or if you believe in the way we do because it isn’t ‘we’. That’s the way it is, you can’t change it. It doesn’t make any difference whether you’re a Buddhist or a Brahman a Roman Catholic or anywhere, it isn’t going to change this factor one bit. Because Jesus didn’t originate this. This was so for 10,000 years. Jesus was merely teaching the great mysteries of our Father’s creation and the Way of Life and the Way of Illumination and the Way to Godhood. And a good time, to seek that rebirth is during this journey, the time the
Master made His journey to Calvary . I don’t care, you can call it Lent if you want to, you can call it anything you want to, I don’t care, that doesn’t make a bit of difference, but this is the Way, following the footsteps of the Master to Easter. And you’ll be surprised what you’ll learn from it, and you’ll be surprised what will happen when you do things in the image of our Lord Jesus Christ. You will receive through Him the Light of the Son of God.
In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.