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RevBates.tv Global - The Way to a Wonderful Life Message, April 8, 2012 

           "He is risen" and we know that these words seem so incredible that it is not easy to believe them, but that is Jesus' truth for us this Easter and every Easter past and future.  How he accomplished this and what truly happened, we will probably never know or understand.  But, from his teachings we can conclude that it had something to do with Divine Intelligence.  His teaching of "G-d as Intelligence" was perhaps the most important, yet most overlooked, realization that he discovered and revealed to the world.  His simple words, "see the lilies how they grow" was an attempt to get people to understand that there is "Intelligence" in all of life, and that Nature gives evidence of this for all to see.  There is no science and G-d, there is only G-d as science ... G-d is Intelligence.  The laws governing gravity and even the circulation of the air that we breathe are part of the Divine Law and Order that rules the universe in which we live.  In other words, the Laws of G-d give evidence of universal intelligence acting and responding as a unity.

              The chief priests, legal experts, and elders, would not listen to Jesus for they feared him more than they desired to know the Truth.  Most likely on some level they realized that Jesus words revealed that the Truth that would set us free, would reveal the superstition and foolishness of many religious practices and beliefs.  The Gospels; the Books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John found in the Bible were written many years after the events depicted about Jesus' life; Mark considered to be the first of the Gospels was written 70 years afterwards, Matthew was written 85 years afterwards.  We can find in the Gospels of the Holy Bible, language that blurs truth with fantasy.  As we look at the writings in both Matthew and Mark which are written testimonies of the same event, we can see this clearly:
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. 
              The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you." 
             So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.
" - Matthew 28:1-10, The Gospel Of Matthew, Holy Bible

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus' body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, "Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?" 
        But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. 
        "Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.' " 
       Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.
 - Mark 16:1-8, The Gospel Of Mark, Holy Bible

       In Matthew we have "high drama" with an earthquake and an angel coming down from heaven to roll away the stone.  This is great stuff for artists, playwrights and for movie directors.  However, Mark gives us a more plausible description of what took place, and the Gospel of Mark was written prior to that of Matthew.  This is just one of the many  contradictions that can be found as those who followed Jesus were either left behind or swept up in the agenda to create a new religion.

      For those who seek the "truth that will set you free" the drama is not necessary.  In the realization that Jesus did not "save us from our sins" but was in fact attempting to teach us to "save ourselves" from the false beliefs of the world, will indeed serve us well.  Jesus sought to enlighten us on the religious, cultural and political practices that hold us in bondage to the dominion and authority of others.  "I have come that you may have life, and have it more abundantly," he said.  And this abundant life is dependent solely on our relationship with G-d and our ability to use our mind to create an avenue in which G-d can heal, prosper and bless us.

     In the Gospel of John, written 90 to 100 years after Jesus' ministry and written after both Mark and Matthew; we find words that give evidence to the influence of religion, contradicting the teachings of Jesus:  John 11:25-26,  
"Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die."  Using our knowledge and understanding of the teachings of Jesus this would be written as:  "I Am" the resurrection and the life.  He who believes me, even though he dies, will live; and whoever lives and believes me will never die."  This "I Am" is the Spirit of G-d within each of us; It is not physical, but of the Spirit, and the spirit within us lives forever.  Jesus discovered this to be true of himself and true for all of us.

       The mystical Ernest Holmes wrote:  "Common sense will tell us that death is no part of Life, for " ... it involves a self-contradiction to say that the energy of any force can stop the working of that force."  This is why Jesus said, "God is not the God of the dead, but of the living."  In substance, Jesus was saying this:  God is the Life Principle, eternal and creative Energy of everything.  How can that which is Life include death, because death is a complete contradiction of Life."   "Jesus taught that this eternal life may be perceived here and now, may be completely entered into even while we are functioning on this plane, when he said, "I am the resurrection, and the life."  However, when we shall awake, we shall awake in His [G-d] likeness."

     Are we ready to listen now ... to the truth that Jesus was teaching?  The masses of people are not, and we can see this clearly in our world.  There are those who continue to follow the false practices of religion even though they contradict the teachings of Jesus in the most horrible ways: 
many Christians continue to re-enact the "sacrifice of the body of Christ" on Good Friday and many Jews slaughter a goat as part of the Passover sacrifice.  There are those who, because of their religions, have never read the words of Jesus and discovered the profound truth that he was revealing to the world.  

     Jesus was a Jew, and even though he rejected aspects of Jewish dogma, he never rejected the religion as a whole, nor did he foster a new religion.  Instead he offered a new design for living based on the power of love for G-d and love for our neighbor.  I believe that Jesus knew that religion was "man-made-for-man" and that
this is why he instructed us to "go within" and seek the guidance of G-d in all things.  He knew that G-d has given us the freedom to choose and without this freedom to choose what we believe and accept for ourselves, we are not free at all.


Keep the faith!
Rev. Dr. Henry Lee Bates

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