Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of heaven and earth. Holy, holy, holy. In this hour I speak for Thy Ministers in heaven on earth, Most High, Lord and King. We acknowledge Thee as supreme. We are here to serve Thee in the world because we love Thee; our ministry on earth is, first, to Thee. In communion with Thee we breathe the breath of life in this hour. So is life restored to the soul of man on earth. Thy kingdom comes, Thy will is done. Aum-en.
This is a holy communion service. Each service which we share is rightly a service of holy communion. We may dispense with the symbols of bread and wine, because surely we do not need to be reminded of the truth. Let the communion be real, and not one step away with the symbols in between.
We are here to breathe the breath of life in communion with our King. It was said that the Lord God breathed the breath of life into man’s nostrils. I think this has tended to engender a picture of artificial resuscitation, so that when man started to breathe on his own, God could pull out. But if we are still breathing—and I think this is true of all who are here present this morning!—it is because the Lord God has not pulled out. Rightly there is a breathing in unison. But it is the breath of life when the Word of truth sets the Tone of life.
We have a particular opportunity to share this morning in a specific focus of the Word of truth, spoken and proclaimed by all of us in unison. This sets the Tone of life in human experience. It is set in our own experience, humanly speaking, when we share the proclamation of the Word of truth; and because we are not and cannot be separated from mankind as a whole, the Word of truth proclaimed sets the Tone of life for everyone. Not everyone is aware of it, even subconsciously, but there are many who are aware of it subconsciously and a few who know it consciously. How many of you present this morning, in fact know it consciously? I would not try to guess. There is no need anyway; the fact proves itself out.
There is no communion without love. The first communion with which we are, surely, concerned is with the King. There is no way by which we may share this communion except in spirit. A lot of people have been trying to participate in the communion by sharing it in form, but this only opens a door to understanding, the understanding that communion is in spirit. There must be love for the King if there is to be communion with the King. As we have noted before, there cannot be useful communication between people without the fact of communion first being established with the King.
There is a lot of so-called communication going on. The flapping of the lips is a popular pastime, and there is a great deal of printed communication of one kind or another, but scarcely any of it has a base in communion. It seems to be felt that communion can be set aside because communication is sufficient. There is more communication in the world today than there has ever been, but seemingly less understanding. All this plethora of communication is an endeavor to cover up the sense of lack of communion. It may not be defined this way in human consciousness but that’s what it is. The communion has been missing, so the attitude comes: Let us make up for this by multiplying communication; and if we multiply communication then we have to multiply the various media which make communication possible, on an ever wider scale. There is lots of provision in this regard but a dearth of anything much to communicate, because of the absence of communion. That absence is constantly sensed by people, so that they become more and more frenetic in their endeavors to communicate, still supposing that by much communication, communion will be unnecessary—either that, or it will produce communion. But it doesn’t.
Properly communion comes first, before communication; and, as we have noted, there is no communion without love. There is no communion between ourselves without love, and love between ourselves is conspicuous by its absence until there is love for the King. Then the door for love is opened and the experience of love becomes available between ourselves. Otherwise human beings are just trying to love one another for various reasons. They usually end up by disliking one another, and even hating one another. Trying to love is a futile undertaking. Love cannot be produced by trying. Love already is; it doesn’t need to be produced. We can awaken to this truth when our love is directed to the King, because there is the origination of the love. If we have no connection we have no love.
Of course everybody has some connection or they wouldn’t still be alive, still be breathing; but the connection in human experience has been minimal. Very precarious, isn’t it? No one is quite sure that they will really be alive tomorrow. They live in hopes, but events sometimes conspire to convince us that life is a very precarious business. It’s even dangerous to take a bath! You may slip and break your neck, or you may be electrocuted; there are all sorts of possibilities—not only in the bathroom! Life is seemingly rather an uncertain thing. This is apparently so because of the minimal connection with the King. But when this connection of love for Him begins to be known, a door for a new and true experience is opened, so that we may experience love for one another. We can’t have that experience without love for the King.
As I say, human beings try to love each other without regard for the King, and it doesn’t work very satisfactorily. We need to have some love if we are going to love, and that love comes into our awareness and experience to the extent that our hearts begin to be open to the King. This implies that they are going to be closed to what is not the King. Many people try to have it both ways. It usually turns out to be the idea of loving God on Sunday—or Saturday, for our neighbors—but being emotionally open to everything else in between times. And there are six days in the week and only one Sabbath; at least this is according to the human concept. In actual fact each day is the Sabbath day, because it is the day when our hearts are open to the King. If perchance we just happen to open our hearts to the King one day a week for a few minutes or hours, it’s not a very customary experience, is it? Well, we know about these things and we have presumably been concerned to have the experience of consistency—that requires every day of the week. So every day is the Sabbath, the day to love the Lord, the day to be open to the King.
Then we find that this requires, if it is to be real in our own experience, that we become aware of the Word of truth. The Word of truth may be mentally perceived to some extent perhaps. It is also sensed in a heart that isn’t totally preoccupied with emotional involvement with the world around. We have all had opportunity to become acquainted with the Word of truth, so that our outlook has changed somewhat from the usual one—at least mentally. Many of you, I’m sure, could stand up and give a good account of yourself for others in conveying what you deem to be the truth. But that clearly is not enough. One may hear the Word, but there is the matter of doing. One doesn’t know the truth until one does it. One merely knows about it, or imagines that one knows about it, and in that sort of state it is virtually all imagination.
So it is the doing, isn’t it? We all have opportunity to choose to do; seemingly not too many are all that interested. But there is something rather compelling about the truth. It causes us to stick around, for a while anyway, so that perchance we might do something and really begin to discover what the truth is. This is represented, isn’t it, by that miracle of turning the water into wine, the water of truth into the wine of life. Then we know the truth. We only know the truth when it is wine. We know about it perhaps while it is still water, but until we absorb it, digest it, or incorporate it into ourselves in our momentary experience, we don’t know it. We may firmly believe that the truth is true. A lot of people believe that their particular brand of truth is true, but it doesn’t do them all that much good—they have their troubles, same as everybody else. But to let the water of truth be transformed into the wine of life is what, presumably, we’ve been about for however long. And this comes because there is genuine communion.
It is not a matter of trying to communicate with some God somewhere. A lot of people try that; they call it prayer—they want to talk to God. It is usually a rather one-sided conversation, because you can’t communicate with God; you can commune with God—and there is quite a distinction here. So human beings are not heard by reason of their much speaking; I suppose it could be said nobody’s listening. Prayer has tended to be based in requests of various sorts, supposedly good ones; but nothing needs to be requested, because everything is already provided. The very attitude of prayer in the usual way is blasphemy. It is saying to God, “What’s the matter with you? You haven’t provided me with what I need—or at least what I want.” But the fact of the matter is that everything is already provided. This is discovered when the state of communion is discovered, because communion establishes the base by which the water of truth may be transformed into the wine of life.
It can’t be done without communion with the King, and we commune with the King through His Word. And His Word is a living Word; it’s not the printed word. The printed word may acquaint us with the truth, so that we know something about it, possibly, but that is as far as it goes. It is only known when it is lived, when it becomes the cause of our momentary experience. This, as we well know, requires a heart open to the King, to the Word, to the quality of His spirit. This has always seemed a little bit vague in human consciousness. There has been an endeavor to translate it into more definite terms by saying, “You are a good person if you do this or behave that way.” But that isn’t the truth; that is merely a human idea as to the way human beings should be. But the human idea is false. There is only One who knows the way human beings should be, and that is the King.
So, by all means let us commune with the King, making no demands. Perhaps we may, having let go of our own demands, hear something of what is required. It was couched in these terms: “I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.” In other words we begin to find ourselves put on the spot, not wailing and whining to an imaginary god to get him to give what the true God has already provided. It must be an imaginary god, because if there was communion with the true God we would know it has already been provided. So there are countless imaginary gods around, sometimes pointed to as being the one God. But our awareness of the truth is consequent upon our communion with the King and our obedience to the requirements. If we should recognize that there is this requirement: “I will demand of thee, and answer thou me,” then we may reverse our stance of trying to demand something from God and discover what it is we should be giving to God, what the answer is that we should be providing Him with. If there is to be an answer it will be known because we give it—the exact reverse of the human attitude toward God: “Oh I’m a miserable little human being here; I won’t know anything until God tells me.” That isn’t the way it is at all.
We were considering the matter of Ministers last Sunday. By the way, ministers is rather a good word because it doesn’t confine the experience to what is deemed to be spiritual; generally speaking it’s called religious. There are ministers of religion, but there are also ministers of government. There is, it might be said, a spiritual aspect and a material aspect—they are separate in the world that we know in the external sense. You have the ministers of religion on one hand and the ministers of government on the other, and never the twain shall meet. In our use of the word ministers we are thinking of it in rather different terms, but there is the spiritual aspect and there is the material aspect; there is the heaven and there is the earth. The first requirement of a Minister is to minister to the King. Usually in the religious field the minister is supposed, as we noted before, to be ministering to his flock. How can he minister to his flock if he has not yet ministered to his King? He doesn’t know the King, so he doesn’t have anything to give to his flock.
The first great commandment comes first: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all.” Do that, and there is a second commandment; but if you don’t do that there isn’t a second commandment. Obviously if there isn’t a first commandment there can’t be a second one. So because this has been discovered in a backhanded sort of way by many, they try to make the second into the first. Love your neighbor. Okay, that’s fine, but how, when you hate his guts? Love your enemies, but how? Obviously it’s good advice, shall we say—love your enemies—because if you actually did it you wouldn’t have any enemies. That is the way to dispose of enemies! Very simple, actually.
But of course you have to have some love on hand to love with. And there isn’t any real love on hand until the King is on hand in one’s own experience, because the King is love. If we ignore the King we lack love and we feel empty, we feel frustrated, we feel troubled and uncomfortable. Because human beings have felt that way—and don’t imagine that any of you is exceptional if you feel that way; it’s common to all people because their hearts have not been available to be filled with what would naturally fill them if hearts were available—they are empty, and because they are empty there are frustrations and troubles of all kinds, apparently. And we get into the “if only” syndrome: “If only so-and-so would behave differently, if only my circumstances weren’t the way they are, then this nagging, gnawing state inside would be assuaged.” Single people may say, “If only I were married then this would be assuaged.” Many of you may have tried that; it didn’t work. Then of course the married people say, “If only I were single!” They have forgotten how it was when they were single.
The point is, of course, that nothing that anyone can extract from the environment will fill the need. It is amazing how human beings, generation after generation, have tried to fill that need in this way; and every generation has failed. Some gullible individuals may fool themselves a little on this score but in fact every generation has failed. Shouldn’t it finally become apparent, somewhere along the line, that that’s not the way to do it? Presumably that stunning realization hit most of us, but we weren’t quite sure yet. We had to go on trying anyway, for a while, to dispose of this internal discomfort by external means. Well one could go on doing that till the day one is dead—that’s final; you can’t go on after that—but there is a chance for something to happen while one is still alive. And so we allowed a little dawning intelligence to filter through from the King.
Everybody, all of you—me too, by the way—doubtless have these gnawing dissatisfactions in the heart. Am I right? Sure! The question is as to whether what is being felt in that way is going to dictate to you as to how you are going to behave. Or, on the other hand, you are no longer going to be fooled by the coming of the prince of this world—that’s what it is; that’s the way it can well be described—to grab you, to get you into the “if only” state so that you again believe implicitly, as you have done in the past, that somehow or other you can extract something from the world around you which is going to assuage this internal gnawing. It’s like a rat gnawing at your vitals. Stop feeding your vitals to the rat! The very moment you do that, probably the rat will put up quite a fuss because it’s accustomed to that lifestyle but pretty soon it will get sufficiently hungry that it will go someplace else; no more handouts from you.
But how much do these gnawings within yourself tell you how to behave? Some people think, “Well it’s easy in youth.” But then the young think, “Well it’s easy when you’re older.” There was the statement, “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth,” because you have lots of vitality to do the remembering with. You get older: “Well I’m too old now.” Remember!—at any age. Youth has its troubles, doesn’t it? Youth usually thinks its troubles are worse than anybody else’s trouble. But then it doesn’t matter what age bracket you come to, there is a firm belief on the part of most that one’s own age bracket is the most difficult. When a person gets older his physical body likely develops more aches and pains and this and that, and that may engender the thought, “I should have remembered my Creator in the days of my youth.” But then in the days of your youth you had your troubles too, didn’t you? It wasn’t all just heavenly. No, it’s not that way for any age group.
If, getting older, there are aches and pains—I have some—discomforts of various sorts, well that’s the way things are. It’s this that has to be handled, just as whatever it was in youth had to be handled too. It doesn’t matter, really, what the situation is, what the nature of the gnawing may be. If one is controlled by that, if one takes the attitude that circumstances are the trouble, one’s own physical body is the trouble, other people are the trouble, because this gnawing is going on in me and I don’t like it, then obviously the fact that there is an absence experienced in you is dominating your way of life—or way of death, it would be better described. But there is no need! There is no need to be subject to that, young, old or middle-aged, because it is not a matter of the physical body, it is not a matter of the circumstances, it is not a matter of other people. It is a matter of the King—that, and that alone.
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all. And when that is accepted there is a door opened in heaven, a door out of which one begins to live, administering what we have called the creative cycle as it finds application, or focus, in oneself—primarily in oneself, then moving out beyond what one thinks of as oneself. It includes the immediate environment, the further environment, the whole environment; it is all in your consciousness anyway. You handle the thing close in for the most part. And the rat is not given that much attention anymore. A person wakes up in the morning: “I don’t feel so good today.” Is that what is going to determine the way you behave? If it is you’re finished. But the King is still there, the fulness of what is needful to deal with the immediate circumstance is present, and is known to be present, when what is being felt, emotionally speaking and physically speaking and mentally speaking in the external sense, no longer has the authority to tell you how to behave. Regardless of what appears in that realm, the authority is not there. It is only there when you yourself choose to give it.
Lots of excuses have been used to justify a person being subject to past troubles, very often youthful troubles. As we have noted before, there are many people who were abused in one way or another in their youth— everybody was, really; some more extremely so than others, perhaps—but why carry that along with one the rest of one’s dying days? It’s ridiculous; it’s nonsense! Nobody needs to do it. Oh all kinds of psychological and medical reasons have been found as to why “all you poor people can’t really help it; it’s too bad!” Oh let’s come out of that ridiculous, whining state. Anyone can choose to acknowledge the King. Some may not know what this would mean, so presumably the Ministers of the King are here to reveal what it means because they do it—it’s the only way to reveal it. It is revealed when it is done. Then, of course, words may be part of the requirement to fill needs; but those words then are weighty words. They carry the impact of the Word, and anyone who is open to that finds that here is the connection with the King.
So we have another opportunity this morning of communing with the King through His Word—we have shared His Word. There have been some words involved, needful presumably. I doubt if we would have shared His Word if I had stood up here silent for an hour. I think probably you would have become a little restless, certainly if His Word was not being shared in spite of the silence. So we use words—its useful. People everywhere are using words; let’s use them rightly, because they are the clothing for the Word. And so the Word is shared, there is consequent easy communion, and then whatever it is fitting to communicate can be communicated. We might find ourselves communicating a little less than is usual—most people talk too much—or, for some, a little more in the right way; well, I think, for everyone, a little more in the right way. But you have to get the other communication out of the way to do it.
In the communion that we have known we have known the King, and we have known His love, and we have known love one for another. We didn’t produce it; we just became aware of it. And having love we have respect for each other and we do not find it any longer necessary, because of the gnawing, the internal gnawing, to try to put other people down, to blame other people because one is uncomfortable oneself: “It’s because of so-and-so and so-and-so.” It isn’t; it is because of oneself. This is taking responsibility, isn’t it? taking responsibility for the right choice in the present moment. Whatever may have happened in the past, it’s gone. It shouldn’t be allowed to dictate anything in the present. But the Word is present now to be expressed. And so it is our concern to express it.