Selling spiritual gifts

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Selling spiritual gifts

#1 Postby Anna » Sun Jan 29, 2012 4:11 pm

Greetings and blessings in the Light of the Risen Messiah!

In Chapter 8 of The Acts of the Apostles an intriguing story appears:

9 Now a certain man named Simon had previously practised magic in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, saying that he was someone great. 10All of them, from the least to the greatest, listened to him eagerly, saying, ‘This man is the power of God that is called Great.’ 11And they listened eagerly to him because for a long time he had amazed them with his magic. 12But when they believed Philip, who was proclaiming the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13Even Simon himself believed. After being baptized, he stayed constantly with Philip and was amazed when he saw the signs and great miracles that took place.
14 Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. 15The two went down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit 16(for as yet the Spirit had not come upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus). 17Then Peter and John laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. 18Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, 19saying, ‘Give me also this power so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.’ 20But Peter said to him, ‘May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain God’s gift with money! 21You have no part or share in this, for your heart is not right before God. 22Repent therefore of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. 23For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and the chains of wickedness.’ 24Simon answered, ‘Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may happen to me.’


Throughout history people have thought to profit from the gifts of the Holy Spirit, setting themselves up as diviners, healers, spiritual teachers, for money. We see this quite prevalent in New Age philosophies that condone the buying and selling of spiritual knowledge and gifts in the guise of an “energy exchange.” This can also still be seen in religions that sell initiations and teachings. For several thousand dollars one can be initiated a priest in certain religions and receive teachings, with the idea that one can in turn sell spiritual gifts of healing, rituals of empowerment, etc. Quite a brisk business is being done in the name of spirituality.

Yet, the question arises with the story of Simon Magus, of what nature are these spiritual gifts that can be bought and sold as one would buy any worldly commodity? In offering a direct exchange of money Simon demonstrates his ignorance of Gods gifts. Now he has not offered a donation for the support of the Great Work of the Apostles. He is offering to pay for what is a free gift of God, perhaps so that he may in turn sell it to others, although that is not stated in the passage. What is the energy here? How can we learn from this mistaken perception of spiritual gifts?

Before Mother Spirit drew me powerfully to the Sophian path I confess that I seriously considered entering into “spiritual commerce” on the path obliquely referenced above. Thank God I didn’t have the resources to pour into that path, for it could have deadened this one to God the True Light. I could have continued on a course of grasping at spiritual gifts for self-gratification. Even though there was the intention to help others with these spiritual techniques, the primary aim was self-aggrandizement and monetary gain. Praise Ma for liberation from such darkness! Certainly this gift was not merited but it was freely given, as God gives to all, the good and bad alike!

What I have seen for sale in the “spiritual market-place” are usually teachings coming from much lower gradations of light than free teachings I’ve encountered in a certain form of Buddhism and in Sophian Gnosticism. These marketed teachings seem klippotic, attaching those who espouse them to lesser lights, klippah nogah at best. There is the consideration of skillful means--that lesser teachings can open the way for the later reception of greater teachings, and this may occur with many aspirants. But still, there is the danger of dragging others into our own ignorance. As Master Yeshua tells us in Luke 6:39, “Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit?”

But even if one tried to sell teachings of higher gradations of light, would not the light in them be obscured by the ignorance and intention of the “seller?” One who sold such teachings obviously does not understand them, and likely has not received much of the illumination, the energetic dimension of the teachings. So, this would be a great pitfall for an aspiring “professional” purveyor of spiritual gifts. As Peter tells Simon, “your heart is not right before God.” Certainly my heart was not right when I was considering such a course!

This directive against the sale of spiritual gifts is hard for many to understand in this day and age where there is such acceptance and demand, even, for a plethora of spiritual teachings for sale. Many of the faithful in orthodox churches flock to seminars and workshops on healing, or living the spiritual life, or divination, or a host of other topics. We must pray for discernment in this consumerist age. Most of all, if we hear Peter’s teaching, we must pray that our hearts are made right before God, that bitterness and darkness may be banished from our hearts, minds and lives.

As we encounter so many sisters and brothers entrenched in this materialistic view of spirituality it can be quite challenging to help them see the folly in such a perception. I wonder how we might approach this type of discussion in a gentle manner that will not prove too discouraging at the outset. Of course, we are called to speak the truth and must stand firm against the onslaught of klippotic forces, even when we encounter them in those we love and wish to help on their journey. I pray for guidance in this area.

O, Adonai, circumcise our hearts that God’s Holy Light may flow freely within and all around us, blessing all beings!
Shalom!
Anna

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Another Way in Christ

#2 Postby Tau Malachi » Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:42 am

Greetings and blessings in the light of the Messiah!

This passage from Acts speaks quite directly to our times, and to much of modern spirituality, popular occultism and the New Age Movement, and it reveals that it is perfectly true, “there is nothing new under the sun,” for the very same klippot of self-will and selfish ambitions, and great claims of oneself, and all of the false teachings and false prophecies put forth seeking worldly recognition and gain have always been present. As we consider Simon the Magus, or rather, the sorcerer, we might recall Balaam, who sought to curse the prophet and the children of Israel for a price, or we might consider Laban, and all of his trickery with Jacob seeking his own dominion and gain.

The central klippah is revealed when it is written: “Now a certain man named Simon had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, saying he was someone great. All of them, from the least to the greatest, listened to him eagerly, saying, ‘This man is the power of God that is called Great.’”

Now first of all, this fellow comes clinging to pseudo-wisdoms and false teachings, and aside from the witness of the power of the Holy Spirit, which goes beyond anything he is able to conjure, he cannot discern between false teachings and true teachings, or between the false lights and the True Light. Although he believes and stays around St. Philip, it is not for the sake of the holy gospel and Christ, or the love of Christ, but rather, it is his lust for greater “magical power” and his own selfish ambition. If already he has been putting himself off as “God come down,” and encouraging the glorification of himself in place of God, and selling divinations, spiritual blessings and curses, and healings, and such, what would he do with even greater spiritual power?

Aside from his great claims of himself, and his self-glorification and selfish ambitions, as we know and understand, when a person comes to a living tzaddik or apostle, if they cleave to pseudo-wisdoms or false teachings, or they assume all teachings are the same, it is a great obstruction to Light Transmission, or to the full reception of the Word of God and Holy Spirit. If they are already a professional spiritual teacher, or diviner, or healer, or what not, then this obstruction can be even greater, for they have a vested interest, a significant investment and self-identification with those teachings and the business of teaching, or the selling of spiritual works. Yet, if we were blessed to encounter a living tzaddik or apostle, or a living tradition of Light Transmission, and we desired to receive the Light-presence (Christ) and the Light-power (Holy Spirit), there would be a need to let go of all pseudo-wisdoms and false teachings to focus upon the Word of God, the knowledge, understanding and wisdom of God, seeking to do the will of God, instead of enacting our own self-will, or the will of our ego.

There is something more troubling when there is a cleaving to pseudo-wisdoms and false teachings, though, for there is truth mixed in with them, joined with falsehood, distortion, and there are spiritual forces within and behind such teachings, often spiritual forces attempting to appear as divine forces that, in fact, are not divine, but are at best admixed forces (archonic), or at times even dark forces (demonic). Thus, as in the story of Simon the Magus, there can be a certain “spiritual power,” psychic or magic power, in false teachings, but it is not the power of God, the True Light. This can make the discernment between false and true teachings, or pseudo-wisdoms and authentic wisdom, even more difficult for those unaware of the Light Continuum, or those who have not experienced the illumination and power of the Holy Spirit. Yet, if and when we experience the reception of the Holy Spirit and the power of the Blessed Name, the distinction becomes very clear, for there is a knowledge and power in Christ and the Holy Spirit that goes beyond whatever we might have experienced before, and we will, indeed, acquire discernment between false lights, or impure emanations (klippot), and God, the True Light.

The greater klippah with Simon, of course, is that he makes great claims of himself, and he seeks to glorify himself – he acts like the demiurge, which says, “I did this,” or “I made this,” or “I am God.” This goes hand-in-hand with the selling of spiritual gifts or spiritual works, for in the midst of selling oneself in this way there is the tendency to make great claims of oneself and take credit for the spiritual works that are done, bolstering oneself in the eyes of others to attract business. If a person were unfortunate enough to become very successful at this, and became too full of themselves, naturally this can go to extremes, such as with Simon the Magus, who later proclaims himself a messiah, and who, according to legend, becomes an outright adversary to St. Peter, enacting a magical assault against an apostle of Christ.

Here is the great problem with the selling of spiritual gifts, or spiritual works or empowerments. First and foremost, instead of a return of souls to God, and praise and thanksgiving to God, and the glorification of God, praise and thanks is given to the spiritual worker, and the spiritual worker is glorified, and there is a focus on the return of business. God forbid! This is the way of sorcerers, not the way of a man or woman of God.

There is also another great problem with all of this, for in selling a spiritual work, when some one pays their price, for the sake of business a spiritual worker may not be inclined to speak the whole truth given in the spirit, or may be inclined to speak what people want to hear, even speak outright falsehoods, and yet more, if the spiritual work to be done is not God’s will, having been paid, nevertheless the spiritual worker must perform. In the midst of all of this, too, given the various intentions that may be present in one who is selling and another who is buying, there is a great question regarding the nature of the spiritual forces invoked and attracted. Do the spirits of tzaddikim and maggidim, or “saints and angels,” enter into such worldly exchanges, or does the Spirit of God move in such an environment? Certainly not! If not the good company of the Shekinah and the Holy Spirit, then what’s the nature of the spiritual forces that come when spiritual gifts are sold?

This is not to say that the Holy Spirit does not move in mundane affairs, she can and does; but spiritual works are not intended to be mundane, but rather sacred and holy, in the presence of the kingdom of heaven and God, the True Light. There is no conjuring the Spirit of God, but rather, those gathered invite and welcome her, and open themselves to her, and she moves with, in and through those who are gathered in the Blessed Name, and whatever blessings, empowerments or wonders transpire, they are gifts from God, freely given, all as God wills. If a person moves in the Holy Shekinah, and the Holy Spirit is in them, that person is a messenger from God, anointed by God as a light-bearer, healer and peacemaker. If a true messenger of God has a word of God for a person, will they ask for money in exchange for the word, or if spiritual council is needed, will they demand money in return? If a true healer of God has God’s healing power in them, and knows that God intends a person’s healing, will that set a price for a healing? If a true messenger of God bears a blessing or empowerment from God for another person, will they demand a person pay a fee? Are the signs and wonders of the Spirit of God for sale? If they are, would that not turn the Holy Spirit, our Mother, into a whore, the love of God being put up for sale? These may seem strong words, but if we sell spiritual gifts, or spiritual works, what are we doing? Is this how we facilitate the return of souls to God, or is it the bondage of spiritual works to Mammon (money), and the perpetuation of the ignorance that dominates this world and holds souls in bondage?

Adonai Yeshua teaches us clearly that we cannot worship God and worship Mammon (money).

It is true, spiritual works in this world need material support, and when we receive there is a need to give in return, a need to support those who teach and initiate, and engage in spiritual works. If we take, but we do not give, it is the bread of shame, and we restrict and minimize what we receive. Yet, spiritual gifts and spiritual works are not meant to be sold, are not meant to be a business conducted in a worldly way; they are works for the sake of the kingdom of heaven, for the enlightenment and liberation of souls, and for the glorification of God – they are meant to be heavenly, holy, set apart from the mundane.

In faith, in Christ and the Holy Spirit, there is another way with this, which we are taught in the Holy Scriptures. Instead of selling spiritual gifts and spiritual works we have faith that God will provide, and we rely upon tithe and charity, gifts that are freely given in the love of Christ, just as we freely give in the love of Christ. It is in this way that spiritual works are supported and are established in righteousness, our intention being purified of selfish and worldly interests to allow a full openness and sensitivity to the Spirit of God.

The teaching of tithe, or giving ten percent of what we have in support of spiritual works, comes from the story of Melchizedek who is sent by God to Abraham and Sarah to bless them and to impart a spiritual empowerment to them. He meets them in the Valley of Kings following the victory of Abraham over the Kings of Edom (klippot) and he brings out bread and wine, and blesses them in the Name of El Elyon, God Most High, and they give to him a tenth of all that they have. Melchizedek asks for nothing in return for his spiritual work, he demands nothing from them, but rather he acts in the love of Yahweh as a messenger, guided by Ruach Ha-Kodesh, the Holy Spirit; but in the love of Yahweh Abraham and Sarah give in return, uniting the desire to receive with the desire to give. In this way the gift Melchizedek gives is an offering to God, and the gift that Abraham and Sarah give is an offering to God, and receiving these gifts from one another, it is God who provides, and it is an exchange of sparks, energy, in complete righteousness, in the presence of God.

If and when we allow a free exchange in this way it is the generation of great merit, great light-power, for all who are involved, for then what is given is given in love and in the Spirit of God, and it is an offering to God; there is no merit in a business transaction, but when we give in love and compassion, in the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, merit is generated. If and when we entertain a free exchange in this way, the Holy Shekinah will rest upon us, the spirits of tzaddikim and maggidim will gather with us, and the Holy Spirit will move with, in and through us, granting blessings and boons, enacting wonders. Of this we can bear witness, for this is what happens in our own experience; giving freely, giving in love, the Spirit of God moves with us in powerful ways, and God provides.

In much the same way we may consider the prophet Elijah, and the poor widow and her son who gave Elijah a place to stay and food, and what the Holy Spirit did for them through Elijah – the entire play of giving and receiving in charity, in the fear and love of Yahweh. What transpires between them is truly amazing! Praise God!

If we look and see, whether with Melchizedek or Elijah, or any of the tzaddikim or navim, praise and thanks are given to God, and it is God who is glorified, not the tzaddik or navi, the righteous one or prophet.

In this way, whether a person is rich or poor it does not matter to the holy woman or holy man, but rather their concern is what the Spirit of God would have them do and would have them give, and they will not do more for a rich person and less for a poor person, because their concern is not money, but rather it is the kingdom of God and God’s righteousness that is their concern. Their motivation is the love of God and love of their neighbors, all their relations, and they are a messenger of God, a conscious agent of the Divine Presence and Power among the people – all that is done is done by the Spirit of God, it is all God’s mercy and grace.

If we are, indeed, given spiritual gifts by the Holy Spirit, and we are called to spiritual works for people, then surely, if our call is from God, and we walk with the Holy Shekinah, and the Holy Spirit is in us, then God will provide for us. If there is not enough material support generated through tithe and charity, then we will find another means of livelihood independent of our spiritual works, understanding that in this way God provides, and it is God’s will. If we are called to take up spiritual works for people, and we have faith in Christ and God, will we not have faith that God will provide for us? Likewise, will we not be willing to surrender, and do whatever we need to do to enact the intention of God? If that means earning a livelihood independent from our spiritual works, won’t we do just that, instead of selling spiritual gifts and spiritual works?

The gospels teach us how spiritual works are to be supported, for Adonai Yeshua and his disciples were supported by tithe and charity, and all of the apostles were supported by tithe and charity, with the exception of St. Paul, who labored as a tent maker independent of his teaching and spiritual works. In no case did they sell their spiritual gifts and spiritual works, and as spiritual Christians, followers of the Way, neither do we – we follow in the Way, the Messiah, and we live according to our faith.

Instead of selling our spiritual gifts and spiritual works there is a need to teach the way of tithe and charity, and in so doing to teach living faith, hope and love; there is a great need for messengers of God to denounce the spiritual materialism that is so pervasive in our times, and to teach another way, a way of faith in God and knowledge of God, or a true path to enlightenment and liberation.

In the midst of our spiritual works our aim is to draw nearer and nearer to God, and so to help others draw nearer to God – our aim is a return of souls to God, the True Light.

Just because everybody else is doing something does not make it right, and just because the unenlightened society calls something “good” does not make it good. In this world, in the ignorance that dominates this world, good and evil are often sorely confused, and evil is often called “good” and good is often called “evil.” Thus, many, even with the best of intentions, are deceived and lead astray, becoming bound up in the same old ignorance, or false lights.

In closing, I’m inclined to remind that very often speaking truth is not the most popular message, even among “truth seekers,” but nevertheless, if we are called as spiritual teachers or messengers, the truth revealed to us by the Spirit of God must be spoken, just as it was by those who have labored before us in the harvest of souls, the Great Work.

May we live in the faith and freedom we have in Christ, no longer being of this world, though being in the world. Amen.

Peace be with you!
Last edited by Tau Malachi on Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Tau Malachi
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Anna
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#3 Postby Anna » Fri Feb 03, 2012 5:02 pm

Blessings and Greetings in the Holy Light of Messiah!
I give thanks and praise to God for this challenging and illuminating discourse!

In John 14:27 Yeshua says:
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.


What I am hearing is that the world gives and receives unaware that all that exists comes from God the True Light. Yes, in worldly consciousness everything is a matter of buying and selling. This also seems the way in relationships, with the idea of give and take in equal amounts of energy. We can even see this in the idea of revenge in the talk of "pay-back". This sounds like karma. Good karma gets one only so far in an incarnation and bad karma can quickly destroy any merit one might have built up. This is the way of the world, a way of strict judgement according to worldly standards.

This is not the Way taught by Adonai Yeshua, who transcended karma for all of us. He teaches, instead, the Way of the Divine Humanity. In his teachings we are actually giving to God in all things. This makes sense, since all that we have, from the breath in our bodies to the food we eat, the clothes we wear, etc., are all blessings from the Holy One of Being. This is a radical way to live, dancing in the continuous outpouring of blessings from God! In this powerful Way there is nothing lacking. In Matthew 6:25 the Master tells us:

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?


And if we do end up living under a bridge, then have we not been called to serve God there? The comfort of the body is not what we are here for, nor are we here to serve the demands of ego, as the world would have us believe.

In this Way I hear that we are called to serve as agents of God's blessings for all beings. The material goods that pass through our hands are basically energies that we are called to direct according to the Will of God. The blessings of the Father are without limit, and so there is no way we could ever pay God back. So we leave behind this worldly idea of payment, for we are always dependent upon the Holy One. Instead, we serve the Holy One with all that we have been given, whether material or spiritual gifts, they all belong to God.

And so it might be good to ask how we can best serve Ha-Shem with the innumerable blessings we are given. How can we effectively serve the Kingdom of Heaven and build up the Body of Christ? How do we give in ways that empower our brothers and sisters in Christ, our Light. In this perhaps we can turn to teachings on tithe and charity, for many of us are blessed with time, energy and material goods to share and direct for the glory of God, praise Ma!

May the Holy One be glorified in our lives!
Shalom!
Anna

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The Way of Tithe & Charity

#4 Postby Tau Malachi » Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:26 pm

Greetings and blessings in the light of the Messiah!

Indeed, dear sister, all that we have and all that we are comes from the Holy One, the source of all, and all is the emanation, expression, of the Holy Shekinah, the Divine Presence and Power. Thus, truly, all comes from God and all belongs to God, and as the saying goes, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away,” and the entire play of receiving and giving is in the Lord, Adonai.

What Adonai gives to us, though, is ours to use and to do with as we wish, and as in the play of thought, speech and action, there is free will and we have choices to make; it is the intention of the Holy One that we choose how to direct our desire-energy, talents and resources so that, if and when we choose to return to the Holy One it comes from within us, it is our own heart’s desire, and our return is in full awareness and in love.

In a manner of speaking, God gives to us so that we might have something to offer, to give in return, and in that God is the All-Giver, receiving so that we might give we are empowered to resemble God through giving, and so draw nearer to God through giving. If we contemplate the Holy Gospel, and consider the Messiah, the Messiah is the one who gives all to God and to the people, his entire life and person becoming an offering in the presence of God; in giving all he is unified with the All-Giver, and he becomes the All-In-All.

Each of us is given the opportunity to give as Yeshua Messiah gives, and to love as Yeshua Messiah loves, and as we know, Messiah Yeshua has one single commandment for us, that we love one another as he has loved us, and by loving as he loves we may understand giving as he gives. Truly so, for Messiah Yeshua defines the love of which he is speaking as self-offering, or giving, saying, “No one has greater love than this, that they give their life for their friends.”

In the way of tithe and charity the one sharing spiritual gifts and spiritual works, and the one supporting spiritual works and spiritual community, both are enacting something of this love in their giving, and we may say that giving freely in love, our giving is in the Messiah, it is anointed and taken up by the Holy Spirit as an offering to El Elyon, God Most High. In this way, receiving and giving, all who are involved are giving, and it is blessed.

The sitra ahara, the evil inclination, is the desire to receive for self alone, and it is founded upon ignorance, the delusion of lack, the illusion of separation, but in the way of tithe and charity the delusion of lack is shattered, and with it the evil inclination is dispelled, for we act in the faith that God will provide, in the knowledge that we are connected to an exhaustless infinite source of energy or power, resource and opportunity, or spiritual and material bounty. In Christ and God, the True Light, we abide in fullness, abundance of light and life.

Here we may speak an open secret: It is through giving, loving, that we experience abundance.

Now, the teaching on tithe in the Holy Torah is this, that nine tenths of all that we have is ours to use as we wish, but ten percent belongs to God, and so is an offering to God, an offering to the tzaddikim and spiritual community, the labor for the kingdom of heaven on earth. Ten percent corresponds with Malkut-Kingdom, or Divine Sovereignty, and in giving tithe, ten percent, in the very action of tithing we attach ourselves to Malkut, the Holy Shekinah. This is the minimum offering under the law, and is not charity, but rather is a sacred duty of a faithful and spiritual person, for it is God’s will that spiritual works are done, and that spiritual works have material support, and naturally, if we have faith in God we wish to facilitate the will of God. God gives everything that we have to us and, therefore, with tithe, ten percent, we acknowledge this and we honor God, giving praise and thanks to God for all that we receive, and we understand that this is what God has generated for the material support of spiritual works.

This is not charity, though, for under the law tithe is what belongs to God – with tithe we are returning to God what belongs to God. Whatever we give beyond tithe, this corresponds with charity, for understanding that tithe “belongs to God,” whatever we give beyond tithe is what we give from what “belongs to us,” or rather is a giving that goes beyond the measure of the law. It is no longer the expression of a sacred duty, but rather an expression of love, devotion.

Naturally, the devout, the pious, exceed tithe, for their passion is for the kingdom of heaven and deep communion with God. Moreover, in truth, as you have said dear sister, the spiritual elect are acutely aware that everything belongs to God, that everything is the manifestation of the Holy Shekinah. Thus, it is not the law that instructs them, but it is passionate faith and devotion, it is love that instructs them, and their love is expressed through generosity, charity.

This is reflected in our understanding of gimilut hasidim, or acts of loving-kindness, which are at the very heart and core of an authentic spiritual life. The greater our faith and devotion, and knowledge, the greater our desire for acts of loving-kindness, or good works, but there is a good deed for each of us that cannot be asked of us, but which, nevertheless, we must offer in love – good deeds so generous, selfless, God does not ask everyone to do them, but that the Spirit of God inspires only in due season when a soul is ready and willing to enter into the fruition of love, the fullness of love. These are the good deeds that fulfill the mission of our soul, that complete our soul in the Messiah.

Here we may say, if and when we surpass tithe, entering into charity, and charity is our delight, not a burden, then that portion that would be tithe is also charity, uplifted through love.

It is true, in the eyes of a spiritual Christian, or a mystic, everything is to be uplifted and restored to the kingdom of heaven, returned to God; and whether spiritual or material powers, all is placed into the service of the kingdom of heaven and God. All that we have and all that we are, our person and our life, and all resources, spiritual and material, are an offering to God – in everything we do, sacred or mundane, we seek to serve the Lord, Adonai.

It is very curious, for in our experience, the more we give, the more we receive, and in giving all, we receive all – there really is no lack, except when we become bound up in the desire to receive apart from the desire to give.

It must be said, though, that in the way of tithe and charity, or self-offering in love, there is no “contract” or business agreement between us and God – there is no thought, “If I will do this for God, then God will do that for me.” This play of self-offering in love is for its own sake, for the delight of love itself, and the nature of love in its perfection is unconditional; our real desire in this is for the Beloved, God, which is our soul’s fulfillment. Thus, if there is charity, love, our giving more is not motivated by the desire to get more, but rather it is simply our delight to give, to love, for its own sake. In this there is true peace and joy, and in it is incredible freedom.

There is more that can be said, but here I’m inclined to pause, waiting upon the Holy Spirit.

O Adonai, please bless and empower us to serve You, and to uplift sparks in service to Your Divine Kingdom. Amen.

Peace be with you!
Tau Malachi

Sophia Fellowship

Ecclesia Pistis Sophia

Anna
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#5 Postby Anna » Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:11 am

Blessings and peace to all in the Light of Messiah!

but there is a good deed for each of us that cannot be asked of us, but which, nevertheless, we must offer in love – good deeds so generous, selfless, God does not ask everyone to do them, but that the Spirit of God inspires only in due season when a soul is ready and willing to enter into the fruition of love, the fullness of love. These are the good deeds that fulfill the mission of our soul, that complete our soul in the Messiah.


There seems a hint that the tikkune of our soul is hidden in our former self-grasping desires, and so as desire becomes purified in Christ and we give purely out of love of God and neighbor, perhaps we might glimpse this way of tikkune that is our portion in this incarnation.

Shalom!
Anna

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Redemption of Material Powers

#6 Postby Tau Malachi » Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:43 am

Greetings and blessings in the light of the Messiah!

Yes, our inmost heart’s desire, the desire for union with our Beloved, is within and behind impure, selfish desires, and the will of our holy neshamah, our heavenly soul, is hidden behind our self-will; at the outset, and through early stages of our coming into being, the surface consciousness, the outer person and life, is a klippah, a husk or shell concealing, obscuring, the light and love of the soul that is in us. Thus, there is a need for a process of self-purification, which is reflected in baptism as the gateway of Christian initiation, a rite of purification for the forgiveness of sin, or release of negative karma. Likewise, this truth of our need for purification is expressed in the essential message of Yohanan and Yeshua as recorded in the Gospel of St. Matthew, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near!” To repent implies a process of self-purification, the release of klippot, husks of impurity, and a reintegration with the Holy Light of God.

Baptism, though, is something more, for it is a ceremony of rebirth, the old self passing away and a new self in Christ coming into being. This new self, or new person in Christ, must then be nurtured and nourished, and brought to maturation much like a newborn infant needs to be cared for and raised until they grow and mature with time. This new self or person, of course, is the expression and experience of the deeper desires of our heart, the true will of our holy soul, and it is these desires and this will that we seek to fulfill, which are the will of God for us. The old self, the outer person, is worldly, material, bestial, and lives in the way of the world, but the new self, the inner person, is heavenly, spiritual, divine, and lives in the way of the kingdom of heaven. As we might surmise, the way of the world and the way of heaven are opposite one another, and as we come into being in Christ we will need to progressively let go of the way of the world and take up the way of heaven, the way of God, the True Light.

As you might imagine, in this process of rebirth, and the ongoing purification and sanctification that follows, we may find ourselves deeply troubled in transition, for truly, it is a leap of faith to sojourn in the way of heaven, opposite to the way of the world, and by nature here, we are “swimming upstream,” against the current and the conventional wisdom of the world or unenlightened society. Thus, there will be a need for much prayer, and an active co-labor with the Holy Spirit to bring about the full transformation of our person and life from that of a material person to a spiritual person. At the outset, naturally, we are likely to be somewhat admixed, and may become bound up in spiritual egotism and spiritual materialism. As this happens we will need to purify ourselves of this, seeking to live as a true spiritual person in Christ – a person of faith and devotion, and spiritual illumination.

In terms of the way of tithe and charity, as with all spiritual practices, it is something to be grown with time, or something we cultivate in our spiritual lives. It is like the practice of remembering and keeping the Holy Shabbat, we begin with setting some time aside, and then we expand that time until we can and do have a day of rest, or day of deep communion with our Beloved. In the same way, first we strive to honor tithe, and then, as we are inclined we strive for greater charity; first we begin with basic acts of loving-kindness, and then, when we are inclined, we seek to take up greater acts of loving-kindness. In the maturation of faith and love, though, greater charity, greater acts of loving-kindness, are no effort, no burden, for they are the impulse of love, the experience and expression of love; they are our joy, our delight. It is just the same as when we learn to remember and keep the Shabbat holy, it becomes a great cause of peace and joy to us, an incredible blessing.

If the way of tithe and charity is a burden to us, just as if we find ourselves struggling to contemplate the word of God and to pray, then we are struggling with a lack of faith, and we may pray that the Holy Spirit gives us greater faith, true and sincere faith in Christ and God, the True Light. As one man prayed to Adonai Yeshua, “I believe Lord, help me with my unbelief!”

There is something to be said concerning money. In and of itself, there is nothing wrong with money; in and of itself, money is not evil, but rather money is simply a talisman of energy in the material dimension. It is greed, the lust for money, or worship of money (mammon), that is evil, ignorance, or allowing money to come between God and us, or draw us away from God. God forbid! In itself, money, like any other form of material bounty, is not evil, but rather money comes from the very same root and source as our holy soul, the light-power or energy merely devolving to become what we call “money.” If and when money is uplifted and restored to the kingdom of God, the service of the kingdom of heaven, then, like all material powers, it is redeemed, the light-power in it being drawn out of it and made to shine, glorifying God.

The truth is, if we wish to do greater good works, and if we wish to experience a greater spiritual realization in Christ, there is a need for wealth. There is a need for more energy, material and spiritual. If we are inclined to the generation of greater wealth in terms of money, that desire is uplifted when joined to a desire to give, a desire to be of grater benefit to others, and the full force of our desire is set into the service of El Elyon, God Most High.

In this same way all desires can be purified and sanctified, uplifted and redeemed – if only we find what is good and true within them, and draw out that spark of holiness.

In this regard, money can do great good if we are willing to serve Adonai, the Lord, with it, and if we use it to love God and to love our neighbors; with material wealth it is entirely possible to generate a better resurrection. This is reflected in the Acts of Thomas, in which, through charity on behalf of the Indian prince St. Thomas serves as a slave, he generates for the prince a grand heavenly palace, and so uplifts the soul of the prince in ascent through the heavens.

In terms of what money is, or what money becomes, it is all a question of our relationship with money, and how we direct and use this resource that comes from God, the True Light.

All material powers in their essence and nature are spiritual, and any material power can become spiritual when it is used for the purpose God intends, according to God’s will, serving a greater good.

Tithe and charity is the way we uplift and redeem money, and whatever portion we use for our own needs when we tithe and give charity, that portion is also uplifted and redeemed, and it is increased, blessed and sanctified by our tithe and charity.

These were a few more thoughts I was inclined to share today.

O Adonai, we pray, give to us all that we need to fulfill the mission of our soul and to accomplish the labor of the harvest of souls, all as You have ordained. Amen.

Peace be with you!
Tau Malachi

Sophia Fellowship

Ecclesia Pistis Sophia

Anna
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Unconditional love

#7 Postby Anna » Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:23 pm

Blessings in the Love of our Io Adonai!

Thank you, dear Tau, for these insights, and I praise the Holy One of Being for the delight and wisdom of the love that is not as the world gives love!

These words from above struck me with a profound contemplation today: "and the nature of love in its perfection is unconditional"
It occurred to me that many of us may not have experienced unconditional love in our lives before coming to this path. It is almost unrecognizable to our worldly eyes, this love that asks nothing of us, this love that is so freely given! In my own experience it was astonishing to receive such a lavish gift as this love from Holy One, this love also embodied in my precious tzaddik, whose sole interest is the realization of my Holy Soul of Light!

It can seem very strange, especially at the outset, if one has rarely, if ever, experienced anything close to unconditional love. One might be looking for that surprise "bill" to arrive from Holy One, or from the messenger who has come to us! I recall a feeling of great uncertainty, even to the point of feeling out of control, (a blessing in itself!) We may question why we are receiving this energy, this love and we might wonder how we should respond.

And so I wonder if you might share insights to guide us in integrating this Way of Love. Thank you!

Shalom!
Anna

Tau Malachi
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Loving

#8 Postby Tau Malachi » Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:46 am

Greetings and blessings in the light of the Messiah!

The perfection of love is in Messiah Yeshua and El Elyon, for like the sun that shines on one and all alike, so the love of the Messiah and El Elyon shines upon one and all alike, whether righteous or wicked. Any difference in the experience of this love is not in Christ and God, the True Light, but rather is in us, whether or not we are willing to open to this love and share in this love, willing to love as we are loved, and to give as we receive.

As we know, Yeshua Messiah loved all of his disciples just the same, and loves all souls just the same, and yet we hear of inmost disciples and those he loved the most. This may seem a contradiction at the outset, but as we look into it we understand that each receives the love of the Lord according to their capacity to receive and give, the degree to which they are willing and able to love.

There is something to be said about the incredible gift of one who is willing to receive the fullness of love, for in their receptivity they are fulfilling the desire to give, or to love, in the other, and they themselves are therefore giving. In the fullness of love, giving in love, the giver and receiver vanish; there is only love, the activity of loving.

Spiritual love is more than a vital sentiment or emotion, however, but rather is a depth of awareness and feeling, and more than a mental concept and word, it is an action or movement. Quite simply, love sees a need and fulfills it, and love delights in the action itself. Essentially this love does not make a distinction between self and other, but knows the deep interdependence and interconnection of self and other, knowing the other in oneself and oneself in the other, no giver, no receiver, just giving, loving.

There is something more to be said of this love of Christ. This love sees the good, the holiness, within all things, and it labors to draw out, nourish and nurture that good, and to bring that good to fruition. When this love sees goodness, holiness, it is swift to act to support and encourage the good, and to facilitate the manifestation of the good in any way possible. Likewise, encountering wickedness, evil, although indeed it will not aid and abet, participate or encourage wrongdoing, it is swift to forgive and to do whatever possible to help facilitate deliverance from wickedness, evil; there will be awareness, knowledge, of the spark of holiness bound up in the evil, and so there will be love, even if there is musar, rebuke, of evildoing.

It cannot be said enough that love is an action, a movement, for if there is love and compassion, just as if there is faith, it will be active, engaged in all manner of good works, acts of loving-kindness, on material, psychic and spiritual levels. It is as St. James teaches us, where there is faith, there are good works, for if there is faith in Christ and God, the True Light, so there will be the love of Christ and God in us, and this love and compassion is an impulse of the heart and soul to action, good works. If we say we have faith, if we say we have the love of Christ, but we do not engage in good works, then our faith and love is nothing more than a vital sentiment, as yet unreal, untrue.

Through good works, material, psychic and spiritual, the love of Christ is embodied and it is delivered. Our love must be delivered, made manifest through actions, works. There is an old saying in this regard, “Actions speak louder than words,” and it is our desire for the love we have to be experienced by others, received by others, and in so doing it is our hope and prayer that love might be set ablaze in them, and they might be empowered to love others, experiencing the fullness of the love that is in Christ. If and when we are touched by the love of Christ, let us be set ablaze, becoming passionate in love ourselves! Praise God!

Here we may share a teaching. As we know, there is a play of light between the sun and the moon, the sun shining upon the moon, and the moon gathering and reflecting the light of the sun, being lit up by the sun. In effect, the moon is a “polished surface,” as it were, and so is able to gather and reflect the light of the sun, but if it were not “polished” this would not happen. This, exactly, is like the interaction between God and us, God’s Light shines upon us, and if our person and life, and our soul, is “polished,” then that Holy Light is gathered and reflected, we shine with the Light of God; if unpolished, however, although God’s Light shines upon us, we cannot gather and reflect it, and do not shine with the Light of God. As we see with the Perfect Tzaddik, Yeshua Messiah, this same principle plays out between a living tzaddik and their companions, for in the experience of Light Transmission, or the reception of the Holy Spirit, there is this play of shining, and gathering and reflecting, and it is God’s Spirit, God’s Light, that is shining, and that is gathered and reflected.

Now in this play of Holy Light shining upon us and we being as the moon, or rather a mirror, this is at the beginning. There is something more that is intended, as we see with living tzaddikim; gathering and becoming reflective, we are meant to become transparent, like a window instead of a mirror, and in complete transparency our person and life, and our soul, is completely unified with the Holy Light, inseparable from the Holy Light. Once we have become like the moon, then we are to become like the sun, self-generating in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Light! Praise God!

The very nature of this Holy Light is love and compassion, and if we let our light shine, it is through active love and compassion that it shines and is seen, and so may bring glory to God, the True Light.

Here it must be said, it is not we who can love in this way, but it is Christ and the Holy Spirit in us that loves in this way. We need not struggle to love, but rather simply submit to love and allow it, living according to the love of Christ in us.

If and when we experience something of the Light Transmission, or we receive the Holy Spirit, what will we do? We will love, and our love will be expressed in all manner of good works.

Here it needs to be said that when we receive the Holy Spirit, when we are anointed by the Holy One, we are all called as messengers of God, or as laborers in the harvest of souls, and so we will each have various works to which we are called, and in which we are established, material, psychic and spiritual – receiving God’s love, we will have love to give.

It’s very simple. Where there is a need, and we have the means, let us fulfill it; where there is a good work to be done, and we have the ability and talents, let us do it. In all our labors, material, psychic or spiritual, let it be service to the Lord, Adonai, an offering to El Elyon, God Most High.

In closing we can say, loving our neighbors, all our relations, we enact our love of God.

Holy One, we pray, anoint us with Your Living Spirit and fill our hearts with Your Love; please bless and empower us to embody the love of Christ, and so uplift sparks in service to Your Kingdom. Amen.

Peace be with you!
Tau Malachi

Sophia Fellowship

Ecclesia Pistis Sophia

Father.Owen
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Re: Selling spiritual gifts

#9 Postby Father.Owen » Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:39 am

Greetings and blessings,

I would like to say that I read this thread with keen interest and deep gratitude. For some years now I have been called to make myself available to offer spiritual guidance but had not felt that I was ready to do so. A few months ago however, I announced my intention and readiness, yet I was approaching this ministry from a business perspective (i.e. in the vein of professional life coaching.) I felt a heaviness about all of this that I just couldn’t seem to put my finger on, until I read this thread.

In reading this, the source of this heaviness was made crystal clear. I have elected to trust Spirit, abandon the business approach and not charge for my services. In my heart I felt the rightness of this and the heaviness surrounding this ministry was lifted immediately.

Thank you for this keen insight and clarification.

Shalom,

Rev. Owen

P.S. ...Anybody need a tent made?

Tau Malachi
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Re: Selling spiritual gifts

#10 Postby Tau Malachi » Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:51 am

Greetings and blessings in the Holy Light of the Messiah!

The timing of you post is interesting dear brother, for just yesterday I was dealing with a wayward aspirant of our lineage who we discovered selling our teachings of the Christian Kabbalah, among other actions. This, of course, is quite opposite to the way of our lineage; hence the teaching given here.

I’m happy to hear that this contemplation has lifted the heavy energy and provoked a conviction to trust in the Spirit as you take up your spiritual work and service. It’s not that a spiritual work ought not be supported, or that there should not be a play of receiving and giving, there is in fact a need for the support of spiritual works, and giving as we receive. It is just that in Christ and the Holy Spirit there is another way with this, the way of tithe and charity, or giving from the heart.

As much as citing St. Paul as a tent maker, the Scriptures also say that those engaged in spiritual work are worthy of support, and many apostles did receive support for their work. In these times, though, given what a big business has been made of sharing spiritual teachings, psychism, healing, and such, it seems very important to me that there is another message and another way taught. It seems especially important for spiritual teachers, and for deacons, priests and bishops, to teach the way of tithe and charity, and receive their support in this way from the Spirit of God.

This is definitely our way and focus in Ecclesia Pistis Sophia and the Magdalene lineage.

It really is a very different energy when people can support and give back out of faith and love, and not because of a set price, and likewise, when we can share teachings and our spiritual gifts free from worldly concerns and the lust for money, and instead can act out of love, with a generous spirit. Interestingly enough, through the Holy Spirit, abundance is generated in this way – an astonishing flow of blessings, or so I have found in my journey.

You know, there is an esoteric interpretation of Paul as a “tent maker.” In the Zohar the tent of the matriarch is considered the dwelling of the Holy Shekinah, and is a cognomen of the Shekinah, and likewise, in the wilderness we know there was the tabernacle, or “tent of meeting,” the Shekinah dwelling in the holy of holies within it, resting upon the ark of covenant, or “mercy seat.” Thus, on an esoteric level, Paul as a “tent maker” in the Christian Kabbalah alludes to Paul as a maker of dwellings for the Shekinah of Messiah, the fashioning his disciples or companions as living temples of the Shekinah and Spirit of the Messiah.

In light of this I’d say there is a great need for the making of “tents.”

It is good to see you here brother, welcome!

May El Elyon and the Messiah bless you in your spiritual work, dear brother, and may Ruach Yahweh go with you. Amen.

Shalom!
Tau Malachi

Sophia Fellowship

Ecclesia Pistis Sophia


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