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Questions and Answers from Joel (10/1/16)

October 1, 2016

Q:     Please explain the Scripture verse “Unless ye be born again of water and the Holy Spirit ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”[1]

A:     “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”[2]   Be born again.  Now, the question is asked, “How can I be born again?  Can I go back into my mother’s womb?”  You know better than that.  You know it never was meant to infer that you must be born that way again, or that you must die and be reborn again, because Paul says so clearly: “Die daily.”[3]   Die daily.  If he meant the death that we’re thinking of, you couldn’t die daily.  You could only die once and it would be all over.  He never meant “die” in that manner.  He meant, “Die daily and be renewed, be transformed, be reborn of the Spirit.”

Now, insofar as we are relying on material means of living or still praying for more fish or bigger fish in our nets, and in proportion as we are praying for better health or better wealth, we have not been reborn of the Spirit.  We are still back in our material sense of creation, wanting a little more or a little better matter.  To be reborn of the Spirit transforms our knowledge and awareness of prayer, and then we begin to know how to pray “in spirit and in truth.”[4]  No longer do you pray for food, clothing, housing.  No longer do you pray for companionship or lack of it.  Now you pray in spirit and in truth.

How do we pray in spirit and in truth?  Since we do not really know how to pray, we have to “let the Spirit bear witness with our spirit” and teach us what things to pray for and how to pray.  So in my early days, I would turn within and realize:

Father, I know that there is a state of divine, spiritual perfection, but I don’t know what it is, so I can’t pray for it.  I don’t know what to pray for, but I do know that some state of divine, spiritual perfection exists, and that it is natural to me as the Son of God.  Now reveal to me the nature of spiritual health, spiritual perfection.  I know what human health is—the heart beating so much, and the liver and the lungs, and all this and that—but what is spiritual health, the type of health that enables us to demonstrate life eternal, the immortality of being?  That kind of health I don’t know … I would like to know spiritual health, that which will enable me to experience immortality, eternality of being.

I would pray in the same way on the subject of supply:

I know what material supply is.  It’s more dollars, more securities, more real estate, more properties.  But having millions of dollars or securities cannot be the secret of supply.  Now, Father, what is supply?  What is spiritual supply?  What is the spiritual sense of supply?  How do we interpret supply spiritually?  How do we demonstrate supply spiritually?

Well, you see, my answer came in two ways, about ten years apart.  The first was as I was driving through New England in the springtime, when the trees were just filled with blossoms … billions upon billions and quadrillions.  There would be no way of counting the number of blossoms that are on trees in springtime.  All of a sudden there came the thought, “There is an evidence of what supply is – Infinity Itself in manifestation, beyond counting, beyond need.  Nobody needs that many blossoms.  Nobody requires that many, but there they are, beyond counting.”

Then I noticed the grass and the trees and the leaves on the trees, and it was the same thing – millions, billions.  And so the first glimpse I had spiritually of supply was that the nature of it is infinity, and that it comes without our being in need of it, without deserving it, without being worthy of it, without earning it.  There it is.  The grace of God is infinity.

That that gave me a start in the right direction of the vision of spiritual supply.  It is not dependent upon anything but the grace of God and not limited by anything but infinity.

The second experience came as I was driving through California from Los Angeles to the desert.  I saw all the orange trees and grapefruit trees and lemon trees laden with fruit, and all of a sudden it came to me, “If one of these ranchers was asked about his supply, he would point to the oranges and the grapefruit and the lemons and say, ‘There is my supply.’  And that is not the truth.”  That isn’t his supply, because pretty soon those trees will be empty.  Will he be poor then?  No, he will still have the life of those trees.  The life will still be functioning in those trees, and the very moment that he removes the crop from the trees, the new crop will begin to take form.   It may be a few months until we witness it, but shall we look at the bare trees and say we are now broke?  Oh, no!  We know better.  So I would say that supply is the life force operating in and through those trees, and the fruit on the trees is the fruitage of supply, the evidence of supply, the manifestation of supply.

In the material sense of existence, dollars, securities, real estate, and crops represent supply.  But when you have been reborn of the Spirit, you begin to perceive that it is the invisible that is supply.  The visible is only the outward evidence of that inner invisible, infinite, omnipresent supply.  That is why you can see that the state of your pocketbook today is not necessarily an indication of your state of supply.  You may have a full pocketbook today, and judging by that, think your supply is very full, but soon find the opposite.  Likewise, the pocketbook may be very flat today, but something going on within your consciousness is evolving and will later appear outwardly as the filled purse.

So to be reborn of the Spirit means to stop judging by appearances in the outer realm.  Judge righteous judgment through your invisible spiritual capacity.  Learn not to take the evidence of the senses as if that were the reality of being, because it isn’t.  Usually what you see with your eye represents some distortion of the truth of being.  But sometimes in meeting a person, you know that you are beholding beauty and poetry and integrity and loveliness, even though outwardly there is just a hundred and thirty or forty pounds of flesh.  It takes an inner bit of vision to behold that which isn’t outwardly visible.  So it is in all things in life. Do not judge by appearances.

[From Tape 623, 1953 Second New York Closed Class, Side 1:  “Questions and Answers”]

[1] John 3:5
[2] Romans 12:2
[3] 1 Corinthians 15:31
[4] John 4:24