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Weekly Message To The Masses (Easter - April 11, 2004)         

           Jesus taught during his entire ministry that we are to live free ... free of the past ... free of fear ... free of limits and lack.  "It is the Father's Good pleasure to give you the kingdom," He stated.  And at another time He stated, "resist not evil."  In other words we can have the kingdom if we depend on God ... instead of trying to obtain it through struggle, manipulation, intimidation and coercion. 

         But for most of the people I have observed the greater numbers are those who go through life feeling manipulated, intimidated and coerced ... I don't hear much from those on the other side of the coin.  Why do so many people allow themselves to be manipulated, intimidated and coerced?  There are many reasons, but I believe the "root cause" is religion ... and the Master Mind Jesus obviously believed this also ... and that is what got Him into so much trouble.  He did not want to live according to the prevailing rules and regulations of the religious authorities of His time.  Anything that binds us or diminishes the ability of our Spirit to be free ... denies God, Infinite Spirit.  The "Spirit" of us must be free to fully experience Life ... to be free to open our mind to Infinite possibilities.  But as we are taught right and wrong by our religions ... we are taught to live in bondage.

       Our freedom is taken away in subtle ways by religion ... we are taught to live a certain way ... even if that way is repressive.  We are taught that we must "obey God" ... when in reality we are being taught to "obey man-made" rules and regulations for living.  This past week someone told me that according to their religion they were forbidden to use the word reverend ... now I know people have various ideas about reverends but it is not a 4-letter word.  Who made up this rule? .... not God ... this was made up by people.  The same is true of churches that obligate people to do service by calling it "sacred service" ... in reality it is work without pay ... and that is the Truth.  Doing service for a church is nice ... and generous ... but it is no more sacred than doing service for the Heart Foundation or the Girl Scouts.  Churches have obligated and manipulated people to this idea that many people feel guilty that they don't do some type of voluntary service to their church.  Do I do service to a church?  Yes, I do ... but I also do service and make donations to other organizations as well.  Then there are those churches who have rules that you cannot be a member of any other church if you want to be a member of their church ... why?  I was told by two different churches that people can only be members of one church because otherwise their support (financial) for the church will be less ... nonsense!  If we make a decision to support more than one church we are free to do so ... and as far as financial support goes ... many people with a prosperous consciousness give 20% and more of their income to religious and charitable organizations ... because they do not limit themselves in either their giving or receiving.

     Easter is a time to celebrate "freedom" ... freedom from ideas and rules that create lack and limitation in our lives.  The Radical Rabbi Jesus gave us the greatest demonstration of freedom ... even though His physical life was crucified ... His Spirit remained free and powerful.  This was His greatest lesson ... nothing can bind us ... nothing or no one has power over us unless we "give" it or them power over us.  Often, it is the very people who will tell us that Jesus is "our Savior" or that Jesus died for "our sins" who will contradict His most basic teachings and turn instead to the "teachings of the world" to tell us why we must do this or do that ... scare the "heaven" out of us with stories of hell-fire and damnation ... and instead of teaching us to be free ... to love and be loved ... they make a mockery out of the Teachings of Jesus by telling us we are born in sin ... and sinners we will be until and unless we are "saved." 

      If we study the Teachings of Jesus we will find that He was telling us to forget this nonsense ... stop being manipulated and intimidated by those who are "clueless about Life" ... be willing to "be in the world but not of the world."  Let go of the idea that we must have someone's approval ... be willing to not be intimidated by someone's title ... or by our religions, our churches and temples ... and our religious leaders ... refuse to be "bound" ... make a demand upon your consciousness to live in freedom ... and
BE FREE ... CELEBRATE EASTER BY CHOOSING TO CELEBRATE THE FREEDOM OF THE SPIRIT WITHIN YOU ...  the same Spirit that was within the Radical Rabbi Jesus ... MAKE A DECISION TO LET THIS SPIRIT WITHIN YOU LIVE WITHOUT LIMITS ... WITHOUT RESTRICTIONS ... WITHOUT RULES THAT LIMIT YOU ... LIVE THE LIFE THAT YOU CHOOSE TO LIVE ... AND YOU WILL BE HONORING THE LESSON THAT EASTER IS ALL ABOUT!

 And So It Is! 

Maximum Love,
Rev. Hank Bates
    
                    

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