Chapter 1: “The Ministry Within”

The Recording for This Chapter 

The basis for this chapter is Recording #484A, from the 1962 Maui Special Class, with the same title as the chapter:  “The Ministry Within.”

*  This recording was available through August 1, 2020.  It is no longer available on this site.

*  To purchase this recording from The Infinite Way Office, click here.  (Remember that all Goldsmith classes are available for purchase on iTunes as well.  If you use iTunes, this may be a more convenient ordering option for you.)
*  To purchase the transcript for this recording, click here.

Please note that while the book chapter is essentially a transcript of the class, the content of the transcript may have been re-arranged in some places during the editing process for the book chapter.  Consequently, if you are following the chapter as you listen to the recording, from time to time you may have to skip ahead or go back in the chapter to find the corresponding text.  Even so, overall, the chapter covers virtually everything that is in the recording.  

Optional Study Suggestions

In this chapter, Joel emphasizes again and again the importance of recognizing that the kingdom of God and the entire Christ ministry is WITHIN YOU:

“Until we find the kingdom of God within our own consciousness—not a consciousness that was on earth two thousand years ago or four thousand years ago, but within our own consciousness—it cannot exist for us. It may exist for our neighbor; it may exist for those who followed Buddha, Isaiah, Jesus, John, or Paul; but it cannot exist for us until we have searched for and found the kingdom of God within our own consciousness. … It has to be found within you. … The only God there is dwells within you.”

He tells us that meditation is the way to experience the kingdom of God and live by the fullness of the Christ ministry that is already within:

“Meditation is not merely closing the eyes; it is not merely stilling the mind.  Meditation is that actual contact in consciousness which enables you to hear the ‘still, small voice’ within you, and be fed by it. The Christ is the bread, the meat, the wine, the water; and the Christ is within you. Therefore, to be spiritually fed you must be fed from within.”

“The entire Infinite Way teaching is based on the principle that you must turn to the Christ-ministry for healing, for salvation, for forgiveness, for food, housing, transportation, for the healing of sin, disease, and death. And where do you turn to find the Christ-ministry? Where but within yourself?”

Practicing the Message of the Chapter

As we work with this chapter, then, it is most appropriate to focus not on reading more words or hearing more recordings, but on meditation, on going within in quietness and confidence to find and contact that Christ and come to realize Its ministry.  This is practicing  what Joel has given us; making it the “flesh of our flesh and bone of our bone.”   Joel says:

“You can try to know God through the intellect or through knowledge, but you will not succeed. You will succeed only as you attain the ability to meditate, to be still, to listen.”

“You are dedicating your life to attaining an inner stillness whereby the word of God may utter Itself to you, in you, and through you to others.”

“You have nothing to give to anyone except what you draw forth from the kingdom of God within you, except what you draw forth from the Christ-ministry within you. You cannot forgive sin, but the Christ-ministry within you can, if you make yourself a vehicle for It. You cannot heal the sick or raise the dead, but the Christ-ministry functioning through you can. You must continually make this contact; ‘pray without ceasing’; turn within.”

As experienced students, each of us has our own preferred methods of study, and you will certainly find your own ways to practice what Joel has given us in this chapter.  If you are looking for other possibilities, we offer these ideas to consider:

1)  This chapter is rich with Bible quotations that speak to the presence of the kingdom of God and the Christ ministry within. It can be helpful to take any of these quotations for the preliminary contemplative part of a meditation practice.  Writing them out can be helpful, too.

Joel made one specific recommendation in this chapter with respect to Bible quotations.  He said:

“‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.’  Take this passage into your daily meditation for the next six months, so that as you ponder it, eventually it will be revealed to you: ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’  Man shall not live by effect alone. Man shall not live by food alone. Man shall not live by money alone. Man shall not live by friendships alone. Man shall not live by heartbeats alone. Man shall not live by digestion alone. Man shall not live by muscles alone. Man shall not be completely dependent on the externals of this world. I must remember that I live by every word that I receive within myself, every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God and comes to my inner listening ear. I live principally by that which is imparted through the still small voice within me.”

2)  Find the passage in the chapter that speaks most clearly to you or touches you most deeply. Write it onto several cards and put the cards in places in your environment where they can remind you to recall the passage and ponder it frequently throughout the day for fresh inspiration, fresh manna.  This is a technique that we personally have found very effective.  Of course, a more high-tech way of doing something similar is to program a “repeat timer” app on your smartphone or other device, if you use one.

What better time than the Christmas season to seek and find the Christ and Its ministry within ourselves?  This beautiful quote from Isaiah speaks of some of the facets of this Christ ministry that abides within our consciousness:

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”  (Isaiah 9:6)

Joel said, “To each of us comes that glorious day when the Child is born in us, that is, when we awaken to that son of God in the midst of us, which has been waiting for our recognition. Unbeknownst to us, It has been with us in our joys and sorrow, our triumphs and defeats, our successes and failures, patiently waiting for our acknowledgment of Its presence, persistently knocking at the door of our consciousness. But in our spiritual dullness we have not been aware of its gentle nudging. Then the moment of awakening comes when we know It is with us and will be with us always. That moment is our Christmas, and for us the world is wrapped in the eternal stillness and silence of our consciousness of peace into which the noises of the outer world can no longer penetrate.”  (From Chapter 12 in I Stand on Holy Ground)