Greetings and good morning, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series, where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. This morning we seek to understand the meanings of the decisions of truth.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Decisions of Truth
“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak." John, Chapter 16, Verse 13
Brothers and sisters, how is it that a material child, born into the world, completely devoid of wisdom and knowledge and spiritual insight, is able to move from ignorance to divine perfection in this life? "If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." The spirits of the Father and the Son live in us; therefore, "if such a human mind is sincerely and spiritually motivated, if such a human soul desires to know God and become like him, honestly wants to do the Father's will, there exists no negative influence of mortal deprivation nor positive power of possible interference which can prevent such a divinely motivated soul from securely ascending to the portals of Paradise."
There are numerous examples where an individual needs help to guide him safely through unfamiliar territory. The other day, I was watching a group of explorers who were making their way through the jungles of Africa. The journey was full of pitfalls and dangerous animals. Some of the jungle was impenetrable; rivers could be crossed only at certain points, and there were mountains to negotiate. In order for the explorers to make this journey, they needed a guide who was familiar with the journey. They needed someone who knew how to avoid the pitfalls and the dangerous animals. They needed someone who knew how to bypass the impenetrable areas of the jungles; they needed someone who knew where it was safe to cross the deceptive-looking calm rivers. They needed someone who knew where the mountain passes were located. They needed a guide.
In life we are subject to all the errors of ignorance. But ignorance can never prevent us from finding our way onto the highway of life as long as we are sincere. This sincerity is necessary to recognize the better way when it is presented to our souls. Even though we are ignorant, we have the inherent ability to choose good over evil, to choose the superior over the inferior. With this inherent moral compass, we qualify for a leader and a guide to lead and guide us through the pitfalls of this life.
The leader is the spirit of the heavenly Father and the guide is the Spirit of Jesus, the Spirit of Truth. The divine spirit leads us, provides the ideals, although there is a great deal of perfection-separation between us and this divine spirit. There is also a separation between evil and error and of sin. We can recognize the leader, the divine spirit, but we don’t know how to bridge the gap that separates him from us. We need a guide to bridge this separation, someone who knows how to traverse the distance. We need someone to guide us from the swampy morass of materialistic tendencies unto the solid foundation of spiritual realty. The Spirit of Truth is this guide.
It would seem that if we are desirous of following the leader, the divine spirit, we would not rebel against his leading. But sometimes we become proud and arrogant, captured by the transient power of our free will and seduced by the pleasant appearance of the temporary realities of our own wills. Sometimes, we get so carried away within ourselves by ourselves that we are transported to the land of self-deception, where not only do we hide from the truth but deny its existence. Sometimes we totally disregard our moral and spiritual obligations and feel so secure in our temporary world of illusions, thinking that we can do anything without penalty. We say, "Is anything to good for us?" And as we progress in the land of self deception, the land of sin, we soon come to the border of iniquity. Once crossed the soul loses all desire to repent ask forgiveness. This is the land of no return, the land of eternal oblivion. But as long as we do not cross the border of iniquity, we still have an opportunity to turn around, to repent and seek forgiveness, since all the values and meanings of our temporary reality have disappeared, vanished like a puff of smoke caught in a strong wind.
If we do turn around in our despair and look for the leader, we find that he is there waiting for us. He has temporarily paused in the journey towards perfection, waiting for us to rejoin him. When we do, he in mercy and forgiveness resumes the journey with us, and the guide resumes his work at the point where we turned off the path of truth and righteousness. There is no error too great from which the leader and the guide cannot rescue us. Ponder this statement: "When such disheartened souls sincerely seek for God--hunger for truth and thirst for righteousness--nothing can hold them in further captivity. No matter into what great depths they may have fallen, when they seek the light with a whole heart, the spirit of the Lord God of heaven will deliver them from their captivity; the evil circumstances of life will spew them out upon the dry land of fresh opportunities for renewed service and wiser living."
Now let us consider how this takes place. In this life, whether we pursue goodness or unwittingly pursue evil, or hook our horses to the wagons of sin, "there never can be observed an unbroken continuity of material phenomena between the making of a prayer and the reception of the full spiritual answer thereto." That is, when we travel from the darkness of evil to the light of goodness, materially we must progress by decisions, though spiritually we progress via meanings and values. This is because we live in a universe that is delayed by time and handicapped by space.
When we make a decision to turn away from sin and evil, the material aspects of that reality cannot be disregarded. We must make decisions that move us away from that point of material existence to another point that is associated with truth and righteousness.
If we are sincere in our decision, we will recognize that we have made a mistake, whether unwittingly or willing. We will then begin to seek after God and His righteousness. Forthwith will the leader appear, the Spirit of Truth, presenting his ideals. We recognize them and gradually desire to move towards them. We begin to make decisions that are reflective of our desire to move towards them, and these decisions are gradually influenced by the Spirit of Truth. Over time, the direction of our decisions begins to align more with the divine spirit.
When we finally stand on firm ground, the guide continues to keep us on the straight and narrow so that we don’t drift off. He is always there when certain turns or certain adjustments need to be made, saying, "this is the way, walk in it." And when he speaks, we grasp the new divine values and meanings, and when we do, the distance between us and the leader, the divine spirit, decreases. When we continue to grasp these new divine values and meanings, the distance becomes shorter and shorter, until finally no distance separates us from the divine spirit at all.
We become one, and the Spirit of Truth guide seals this union so that we remain one with him. There is no way now that the shadows of evil or error can intervene between the diving spirit and our souls.
This concludes today's message on understanding the meanings of the decisions of truth. We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.