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 values and meanings of spiritual perfection.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Values and Meanings of Spiritual Perfection
"Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Matthew, Chapter 5, Verse 48
Brothers and sisters, we know that Jesus has commanded us to be perfect even as the heavenly Father is perfect. We want to define spiritual perfection and discuss the degree to which we believe the command to be perfect as the heavenly Father is perfect. And we want to observe how the soul responds to the various degrees of believing Jesus. We also want to observe how the soul functions in relations to the spiritual helpers, during the various degrees of believing Jesus, and then we want to see how patience, tolerance, and forbearance is correlated with the various degrees of spiritual perfection. And finally we want to see how the degree of our communion with the Father is reflected by the degree that we believe Jesus.
Spiritual perfection is perfection of the moral and spiritual character of our souls. It is the perfected character that when viewing the mirror of the Spirit of Truth reflects back a character identical to Jesus. It is a character that is motivated by love and dominated by mercy.
To communicate theses values and meanings and to measure the degree of our compliance with the same, we describe four stages of compliance with Jesus’ mandate.
The will that does not believe Jesus command to be perfect even as the heavenly Father is perfect: In this state of soul development, the soul has not really begun the race for spiritual perfection. While it says it believes Jesus, it does not. This is a purely intellectual affirmation. It carries none of the loyalty and conviction that is associated with someone who has faith in Jesus. When we have faith in Jesus, there is no holding back. We do not alter or try to alter the meanings of His words to suit our level of belief, trust, and faith, but rather begin that ceaseless faith effort that raise us up to the level of his meanings.
That will that does not believe Jesus does not display any patience. It can not withstand the terrible and awesome process of being born again. That process whereby the supreme values demolish whatever is occupying its rightful place. Since it does not trust the meanings of his words, it has no spiritual stability. It is like a straw in the wind. This level of belief in Jesus does not need the individual attention of a personal spiritual helper, since it is not active in pursuing the supreme command. Only those souls who have made a decision to pursue the supreme command are given personal guardians to help them in their tasks of becoming perfect even as the heavenly Father is perfect. The Gods are never wasteful. Never do they provide resources that are not needed.
The will that does not believe Jesus does not engage in true prayer and worship. It may pray but its prayers are materialistic and selfish, and when it attempts to worship it is not for the purpose of viewing the Father’s magnificent character for purpose of emulation. The prayers and worship are likely to be ritualistic, and are not reflective of the true needs and desires of the emerging soul. They are not living prayers, not reflective of the spiritual and moral struggles of progressive living.
The will to believe Jesus’ command to be perfect even as the heavenly Father is perfect: In this state, the soul has made a decision to believe Jesus, but it still has a lot of doubts. It has made the decision to be born again and is awaiting the growth of its faith to claim it rightful status. Its attitude is not fixed. Supreme values are not securely anchored in his life. They are constantly being replaced by material values. Back and forth goes the soul. This is the grey zone, where conflict rages due to the to and fro of living in the spirit and returning back to life in the flesh in terms of meanings and values. "To those who live quite wholly within either realm, there is little conflict or confusion, but all are doomed to experience more or less uncertainty during the times of transition between the two levels of living." The will to believe Jesus has begun to exercise a measure of patience. It is willing to stand the grand and glorious process of being born again, that experience where the soul wakes up and begins to comprehend the divine values and meanings of spiritual perfection. It has some stability, but it is not consistent because its trust and faith are not consistent. They have not reached supreme levels yet.
Though the will to believe Jesus has not been given a personal guardian yet, it does have a group guardian who is available during consistent times of cooperation. It goes without saying that sometimes during this phase, the soul ducks its moral and spiritual responsibility by the ingenious devices of procrastination and equivocation, an ambivalent state where the soul refuses to acknowledge obligation, dreads struggle and is insincere. Here the soul’s howls for mercy are almost audible as the material mind screams and shouts for mercy. The prayer life here is beginning to take on real spiritual roots as the souls begins to pray for spiritual power and strength to maintain itself. And though the prayers are still selfish, at least they are spiritual. The soul now is not really prepared to pray for others because it feels that its own needs are so great. But still it continues to march on to his ultimate destiny, being transformed in the process. It is beginning to move towards true worship in its prayer attitude, having acquired a measure of thanksgiving when it discovered that it has survived its first introduction into real struggle.
The will that believes Jesus’ command to be perfect even as the heavenly Father is perfect: In this stage the soul has emerged from the conflict between the higher level of spiritual attainment and the lower level of living life in the flesh. It has been born again. It survived the intense "birth process." Its faith and trust has grown to supreme levels and therefore it has stability, tranquility of spirit. It has claimed its birthright, and acknowledges that he is a son of the heavenly Father. The will that believes Jesus has transcended the impatience that began in the earlier stages and has possessed itself of tolerance. It is not disturbed by error or the delays of time. It ignores those values and meanings that have no spiritual values. They cause no antagonistic emotions within him. It knows that nothing of spiritual value is ever lost and that which has no spiritual value is already lost.
The will that believes has been given a personal guardian. Since it is wholeheartedly dedicated to pursuing the mandate of perfection, the Father’s will, it requires the full attention of the spiritual helpers to help it reach its supreme achievement, spiritual perfection in the flesh. In this stage the soul has become loyal and trustworthy. It does not duck its moral and spiritual responsibilities. It knows that these responsibilities contain the precious meanings and values necessary to obtain and realize spiritual perfection.
The dread of struggle has been replaced by enthusiastic embracement. He has discovered the divine value of love and mercy, has discovered the presence of the Father’s spirit, and is so caught up with this discovery that he considers it a privilege to share this divine love with as many brothers and sisters as the guardian angels can bring into his social and moral environment. He has learned to cooperate. He is aware of their presence and their efforts. He knows that since it takes time to set up God-revealing encounters for those who are seeking it, his hallmark becomes dependability.
He is where he is supposed to be at all times, and he is there at the right time. He has learned that by doing this he avoids missed opportunities for receiving divine values and meanings that such opportunities concealed. He never misses an appointment because of the negative factors of insincerity, procrastination, equivocation, and ease-seeking. If he does miss an appointment with the events the guardians have set up, it is because a higher moral and spiritual event has trumped his appointment. And of course in such an event, the guardians are there waiting to deliver even higher divine values and meanings to his soul.
His prayers and worship have obtained true spiritual levels. His prayers are unselfish and purely spiritual. He has learned the values of thanksgiving and is ever thankful for being born again and able to enter the marvelous spiritual light of love and mercy. His worship is superb, and he basks in the light of the Father’s majestic character. He is well on the way of acquiring a character just like the Father in heaven, as revealed in Jesus.
Finally we come to the will that has complied with Jesus’ injunction to be perfect even as the heavenly Father is perfect. The training has been completed. He has mastered the art of doing the Father’s will while in the flesh. His character has achieved moral and spiritual perfection. His character looks and acts like that of Jesus. This soul has moved through the stages of patience and tolerance and has possessed himself of an understanding that gives way to forbearance. He truly understands the purpose of life and the obstacles and challenges it presents. He has overcome every one of them in spirit. The supreme purpose of his life is spiritual.
He understands the delays of time and the handicaps of space. He knows that most are weak rather than wicked. He knows of the power of the divine spirit in their souls and knows that with the approval of their free will, this divine spirit will do for them what it has done for him. He has mastered the art of living the heavenly life while still living the life in the flesh. His soul has become one with the Father’s spirit in truth. He boldly declares his divine oneness with the Father through, Jesus. His faith and trust are superb while his hope is transcending. His dedication to the Father’s will is total. Not only does he understand that his spiritual purpose is to reveal the Father through his Son, Jesus, but he actually does that in perfection.
He understands the divine values and meanings of perfection. His soul has become their revelation. His cooperation with the spiritual guardians has become perfected. He perfectly responds to their leading. He is never in a hurry but always on time for his appointments with the events sponsored by the guardians. His is a marvelous character to behold. When beholding his character, the angelic hosts proclaim, "Look at Jesus." He is always ready to extend the hand of mercy and shower his brothers and sisters with divine affection. He goes about doing good. His prayers have ascended through thanksgiving to true worship. When beholding the Father in worship, he reflects back a character like Jesus’ and causes the Father to respond: "This is a son in whom I am well pleased!"
This concludes today's message on understanding the values and meanings of spiritual perfection. 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.