Now, Moses was teaching that if you obey, if you obey commandments you’ll be rewarded, but if you disobey commandments you’ll be punished, and he was right. But that has no relationship to God or heaven. That has relationship to you and to me. If you hook up this machine incorrectly, it will not play, but that has nothing to do with God. That has to do with your error. If you hate, if you bear animosity, if you insist on indulging lust, animality, and greed, there will be a penalty in your life, but God has nothing to do with it. It is your indulgence that has to do with it, and the only way I can make it clear to you is through the traffic law. If you obey the traffic law, the traffic officer doesn’t arrest you, and the judge doesn’t fine you; but if you disobey the law, you get a summons and you get a fine.
Well, in the first place, God had nothing to do with it. That you know. It was your disobedience that had to do with it. But neither did the judge do it to you. It was your disobedience. Neither was it the traffic officer. They were only instruments. It was your disobedience that did the punishing. Do you see that? You can forgive all the traffic officers, and you can forgive all the judges who fine you. Do you see that? Because they didn’t do it at all. You did it. Your disobedience brought you under the law. If you hadn’t been disobedient, you’d have been under Grace. Do you see that?
Now, under Moses you were either being under a law of good or a law of bad; you were either under reward or punishment; but under Grace you are neither under punishment nor reward. You’re just under the law of divine, spiritual, harmonious being; so that I would say, myself, that Moses could not have entered the Promised Land with the Ten Commandments, and you will find in my writings that I have said that all of the good people of the world do not get into heaven; in fact, I suspect that very few do, because goodness and obedience to the law is not the key to heaven.
The key to heaven is knowing that God is the only being; that is the only being. That is the meaning of that little illustration that I just gave you. That was a holy man that went and tried to get into heaven, but he didn’t get in, because he entertained a sense of two instead of One, and all his holiness couldn’t get him into heaven. Not all the good men and all the good women in the world that ever lived could ever get into heaven unless they knew One, unless they knew God is the only being and they had given up this sense of a selfhood apart from God. They could either do good or do good evil.
Don’t you see that Jesus couldn’t do evil? Do you know that? Do you believe that Jesus could do evil? Do you? No. Do you believe he could do good? No. He said he couldn’t; he said he couldn’t. That’s the point I’m trying to make in this One: He couldn’t do good any more than he could do evil. Only God can do.[Comment from someone in the audience] Yes, only God can do. You cannot do good, and you cannot do evil. Even Jesus couldn’t do good, and if he’d ever said he could do good, he couldn’t have gotten into heaven; but over and over and over he said, I can of my own self do nothing. It is the Father that’s doing these works. Oh, and those poor Hebrews just kept looking at him and worshiping him, saying, “Isn’t he modest.” He wasn’t being modest; he was telling the truth. You can’t be good. You’ve got to give up the belief that you can be good. Why callest thou me good? There is but one good, the Father in heaven.
So if there is ever any virtue finding expression through you, don’t take credit for it. Give God the credit; and if in any moment you find evil finding expression, don’t start condemning yourself. Say, “Uh-uh. That’s that fellow that Paul was meeting up with all the time. It isn’t me; it’s that spirit of evil. Get out of here. Get thee behind me, Satan.” Do you see that? Never claim evil for yourself, but never claim good, because you won’t have One then, you’ll have two. There will be God and there will be you. You won’t get into heaven.
Q: Would you kindly tell me if the following is correct: When we are meditating, our sole purpose is the communion with God, with your true being.
A: Yes, that’s true.
Q: If you do not receive that “flash” that’s the true sign of communion, will you still get some effect?
A: Yes. The mere fact of opening consciousness will admit the realization. The mere emptying of self to the extent of, I can of my own self do nothing; I’m letting the Father in, that will bring something even if we do not get what we think of as a “click” or “flash” or “inner feeling,” so don’t be concerned about that.
Now, many people believe that when you are on this path, that you cannot lose the way, and they get overconfident, and I must caution you about that. It is possible to be very advanced on the way and then lose the way. There are many reasons for that, but I’m going to read this to you. This is from II Timothy:
For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica.
That was Paul writing. Last year we were in Thessalonica. The name of Demas associated with that city has long intrigued me. Three times his name appears in Paul’s letters. In Colossians, Demas sends greetings, along with Luke, to the brethren. In Philemon, Demas is again mentioned with Luke and Mark. Just see how far advanced he was. He was up there with the disciples, traveling; along with the disciples, doing these great Christian works. And then comes the tragedy: Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world.
You wouldn’t think that after you got up into discipleship that a love for this present world could enter in and that you could miss the mark, but that’s what happens. Here, in three short sentences, we have the biography of a companion of Paul, a co-worker with two of the writers of the Gospels. What happened to Demas? Was the cost of discipleship too great? It must be clear that at one time, Demas would have grieved, even become indignant, had anyone dared suggest that he would forsake Paul and his fellow Christians. Many are the lures, seeking to entice us from discipleship, in our own present world. In Christ we have a source of strength that makes discipleship glorious, even though costly.
Now, you see, it is this that I caution our students about. In their first flush of enthusiasm, this Infinite Way is a glorious path, and it very quickly bears fruitage in better health or less fear or more supply or greater inner peace. And we think, “Ah, I have found the way,” and we do not realize that there are dangers ahead, and the day may come when we may lose what we have gained; and so I caution our students: The thing that causes us to lose the way, if we lose it, is the word “I”. We begin to believe, somehow, that we are set apart from other people and that we are blessed in some special way by our special knowledge of God, and that is a form of egotism and we have to watch it.
The disciples fell into that trap when they came rushing to the Master and said, Even the devils are subject unto us through thy name, and you see, that was ego [begin duplication] and that is a form of egotism, and we have to watch it. The disciples fell into that trap when they came rushing to the Master and said, Even the devils are subject unto us through thy name, and you see, that was ego. [end duplication] “Why here, oh, we’re special. Oh, those Hebrews out there, they’ve got nothing, but we’ve got your name, so we’re special,” and then he warned them, Don’t ever do that. That isn’t true. Just rejoice that your names are writ in heaven. In other words, rejoice that you know of your heirship with God. That’s all. Don’t claim any special powers. Don’t claim any special powers over the devil. Just claim that you realize God to be your true identity.