Tag Archives: Mystical

THE PATRIARCH OF FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE

THE CONCLUSION

Each patriarch lived his covenant-life with God in a personal way that was peculiar to him and shed new light on man’s fundamental relations to God, on his life with God. When Israel, the people of God, made a total commitment of faith in God’s promise (Abraham); when they lived in the awareness of their sinfulness, recognizing that the fulfillment of the promise transcended them and depended entirely on the gracious love and power of God (Jacob); when they lived lives of steadfast covenant-love with God in solidarity with their brothers (Joseph) – then were they incorporated into the lives of their fathers. Then they truly became “sons of Abraham, Jacob and Joseph.” The patriarchs became corporate personalities unifying the people of God. The solidarity of the people of God in their corporate relationship to God through their fathers foreshadows the revelation of our relation to God through Jesus Christ, who is at once a person and a corporate personality. Through baptism we are incorporated into Christ the Redeemer who is the fulfillment of the promise made to Abraham: “For you are all sons of God by faith in Christ Jesus. All of you who have been baptised into Christ have put on Christ……. All of you are one in Christ. Now if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, heirs to the promise” (Galatians 3:26-29). The men of the Bible, in expressing their solidarity with God and with one another in terms of a person, have helped us to understand the nature of our solidarity with Jesus, through whom, with whom, and in whom we are united with God and with all mankind. This is the hope and spirit of The Mystical Order and Starlight of Israel together moving mountains to a higher plane.

Pre-eminence is also the lot of Joseph, Gideon, David and Solomon all younger sons.  The mysterious ways of God in electing those who are, humanly speaking, the least eligible finds an echo in Paul: “God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong.   God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nought the things that are, so that no human being might boast in His sight” (I Corinthians 1:27:29).
Jacob had cheated his father in his old age by acquiring the birth-right.  The law of talion is seen operating when Jacob is cheated by the loss of his favourite son Joseph.
The Joseph-typology may very well appear in the Marcan passion story: as Joseph the Patriarch buries the old Israel (Genesis 50:4-6), so Joseph of Arimathea buries the new Israel (Mark 15:42).  (The New Testament does not explicitly set forth Joseph as a type of Christ.)
What had been the characteristically personal mark of Abraham’s, Jacob’s and Joseph’s relationship to God, now became the universal hall-mark for all the people of God living the same lives of faith, hope and covenant love.  Their father’s way of life with God was now incorporated and extended among his numerous progeny (to beget) according to the spirit, if not also the flesh.  The patriarchs in this way became truly corporate personalities unifying the people of God. (Yes, reconciliation)
Thus the Old Testament patriarchs were but dim shadows of the reality to come, for in the humanity and Person of Jesus, God has shown and given to his people the Way, the Truth, the Life.  We have seen the Wisdom and Glory of God, which force us to declare the good news of St. John that “God is love.”  Our Israelite fathers have prepared us for understanding the profound truth that love, wisdom, life, and truth are ultimately, not mere empty concepts, but are found in a Person: Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
I hope to have shown the need for understanding how the men of the Bible thought of their patriarchs in order to grasp the significance of both the Old Testament and the context of the New Testament teaching about Jesus as an individual and as Head of the Mystical Body.  We have shown how people of God personified their consciousness of their solidarity with their fathers in their basic relation to God.
Jacob-Israel not only represents an historical person, but what is vastly more important, Israel (the people of God) itself.  Therefore, when we read that Joseph was the son whom “Jacob-Israel loved.. more than any other of his children”  (Genesis 37:3), we must employ the same principle: Joseph, too is not only an historical individual, but the people of God’s (Jacob’s) idealized, personal representation of what their life of covenant love with God should be.  Joseph is everything the people of God (Jacob) love most.  Joseph expresses the hunger of their souls for the idealized fulfillment of covenant love in his perfect obedience and fidelity to God, his redemptive suffering which is turned to the good of his people, his merciful forgiveness, his solidarity with his brothers, the children of Jacob-Israel (the people of God), his providential care for them, feeding them in famine, leading them to repentance, his fulfillment of his father’s last wish to be buried in the Promised Land.  If we recall that Jacob-Israel is also the people of God, then Joseph is the fulfillment of the people of God’s last wish, too; he is their ultimate hope for a Messiah.  Thus, in Joseph, the people of God are not only looking back to the meaning of covenant love as expressed in one of their fathers; they are also looking forward to the type of a person who could save them.  Joseph is their last wish.  Joseph will bring them to eternal repose in the Land of Promise.  Joseph does bury Jacob-Israel in the Promised Land.  But this Joseph only reveals himself to the sons of Israel, (people of God) after they have repented of their past wickedness.  From Moses to the last of the prophets, John the Baptist, Israel is always being called to repentance.  Only when they have been converted from their infidelity, will the Messiah (Joseph) become known to them, reveal himself.  Only after reconciliation will Israel’s (Jacob) last wish be granted.
Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of Israel’s messianic hope.  We cannot fully appreciate our relation to Him unless we understand the corporate aspects of this relationship foreshadowed in the Old Testament.  Just as the men of the Bible expressed their solidarity with God and one another in terms of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph, we find the fulfillment of ours in Christ Jesus.

The Mystical Order under the leadership of our Patriarch and Chief Apostle Sir Darrindel is leading the church to repentance and reconciliation. It is tile to rise and shine and give God the honour and the glory. Give Him some praise and thanks this morning.

Sir Godfrey Gregg

Divisional Patriarch

PATRIARCH OF LOVE (4)

THE COVENANT OF FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE

God had taken the initiative in establishing the covenant alliance with His people. He has conferred His benefits upon them and requires their loving obedience and undivided loyalty in return for His continued support and protection, “you shall not have other Gods besides me” (Exodus 20:3). His chosen people bound themselves to “love, honour and obey” only the Lord. Because the Lord is a Person, His worshippers are bound to a personal response of loyalty, service and devotion that is summed up in love; and because His covenant is with the people as such, individuals are bound in similar loyalty to each other. For example, Deuteronomy 4-11 repeatedly exhorts the people to grateful love toward the divine Benefactor, insisting that the motive underlying the Covenant was not any merit on Israel’s part (Deuteronomy 7:7; 9:6), nor the Lord’s advantage (Deuteronomy 10:14) but simply the overwhelming mystery of His arbitrary love (Deuteronomy 7:8). This is the meaning of Joseph for the people of God.

Today we tend to express our basic relationship to God in terms of faith, hope and love, whereas the men of the Bible preferred to express these same concepts in the concrete terms of a corporate personality. Instead of “I have faith,” they would say, “I am a son of Abraham.” Faith for them, is the way Abraham lived; hope is the way Jacob lived; love is the way Joseph lived.

The living God was the sole source of life and to depart from Him was death. The various aspects of this covenant life, which they had received as a gift of God, were understood in terms of their patriarchs.

Sir Godfrey Gregg

Divisional Patriarch

PATRIARCH OF LOVE (3)

A MESSIANIC FIGURE

As we continue to look into the life of Joseph the patriarch let us see how it applies to our lives.

In Joseph there is a fulfillment, in a certain sense of the divine promise made to Abraham: “In you all the families of the earth will be blessed”. Against fantastic odds, God preserves his life and brings him to a position in which he is responsible for saving, not only the life of the family of Jacob, but of the whole world. The universal nature of the original promise made to Abraham is recalled in the statement: “Moreover, all the earth came to Egypt to Joseph to buy grain, because the famine was severe over all the earth” (Genesis 41:57).

Because the Joseph-saga comes out of Israel’s ancient past and was for centuries transmitted orally before its written formulation, it is possible that the germ of the later development of messianism was found in these early traditions. Perhaps the people of God came to see in Joseph the salvation motif which, after the fall of the nation, was expressed in the Servant of God: “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the survivors of Israel; so I will make you a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth” (Isaiah 49:6).

In any case, Joseph is everything Israel loves most. Joseph is the living personification of covenant love: the gracious, saving love of God for those whom He rules, and the steadfast love of the people of God for their Lord. Because Joseph expresses Israel’s concept of the perfect ruler, he also expresses, in human terms, what Israel thinks of its Lord with whom she is bound in the mutual adhesion of covenant love.

Sir Godfrey Gregg

Divisional Patriarch

GOD OFTEN CALLS US TO GIVE UP OUR RIGHTS

Let your reasonableness be known to everyone —Phil. 4:5.

The very test of consecration is our willingness not only to surrender the things that are wrong, but to surrender our rights, to be willing to be subject. When God begins to subdue a soul, he often requires us to yield the things that are of little importance in themselves, and thus break our neck and subdue our spirit.

No Christian worker can ever be used of God until the proud self-will is broken, and the heart is ready to yield to God’s every touch, no matter through whom it may come.

Many people want God to lead them in their way [not His] and they will brook no authority or restraint. They will give their money, but they want to dictate how it shall be spent. They will work as long as you let them please themselves, but let any pressure come and you immediately run up against, not the grace of resignation, but a letter of resignation, withdrawing from some important trust, and arousing a whole community of criticizing friends, equally disposed to have their own opinions and their own will about it. It is destructive of all real power.

Divisional Patriarch

Sir Godfrey Greg

PATRIARCH OF LOVE (2)

JOSEPH’S DREAM

Let us look at Joseph’s dream and see how it applies to us today. Where do you stand in this dream?
Joseph’s first dream is fulfilled when his brothers, seeking grain in Egypt, bow to him as the sheaths of wheat had done. When Joseph jails them for three days, his brothers begin to repent because their harsh treatment reminds them of their past cruelty to Joseph (Genesis 42:44). Joseph insists on the presence of Benjamin for his own purposes. The old crime against Joseph is still on their consciences when, accused of stealing the sliver cup, they throw themselves down in guilt and penance. Joseph leads his brothers to an effective penance and conversion of heart. By re-enacting the first scene (and setting up the very same circumstances) Joseph wishes to see whether his brothers will for a second time abandon the other son of Rachel, their youngest brother, Benjamin, and return home to their father telling him that his son is lost. If they refuse to abandon Benjamin, their moral renewal and penitence will be proven. If their hearts are changed, they are forgiven. This is their judgement in which Joseph identifies himself with Benjamin to test his brothers, just as Christ identifies Himself with the least of men when He comes to judge at the Final Judgement. In each case the judge determines his relationship to the judged by their freely chosen relationship to others. Only when they have shown their love of Benjamin in their refusal to depart without him does Joseph reveal himself as their brother, and restores their friendship.

While his brothers recover from their shock, Joseph ( Genesis 45:4) explains the divine plan behind all these incidents. Despite famine and their sins God has been looking after the family of Jacob-Israel to insure their survival. Salvation is bestowed on the group because of the suffering of one just man. Salvation for both criminal and victim is seen in this amazing insight into Providence.

Joseph is seen as a type of philosopher-king, the ideal of Israel’s wisdom teaching. He is the type of Messiah in whom the people of God believe and hope. With Joseph, the people of God easily make the transition from the historical individual to the corporate personality. Joseph saves his brothers. He is the loving, beneficent ruler who not only cares for the physical needs of his people, feeding them in famine, but also for their moral rebirth, leading them to a change of heart and reconciliation.

I can identify with this dream and place myself into some situation and finding my true self  in this time. My question to you, where do you stand?

Sir Godfrey Gregg

Divisional Patriarch

PATRIARCH OF LOVE

JOSEPH-THE PATRIARCH OF LOVE

This morning I want to talk about Joseph the patriarch  and how his life has impacted us in these days and what applies to our lives personally. The Mystical Order will continue to enlighten you through this website and our Facebook page and groups. It is my duty to minister daily the truths of God’s word. What we know “to whom much is given, much more is required.

Joseph is very different from his father. He is Jacob’s first and favourite son by Rachel, a master of dream, sold into slavery by jealous brothers. (yes very jealous) He becomes a lord of Egypt who saves the nations in time of famine, leads his brothers to repentance before revealing his identity in a magnanimous act of reconciliation, and fulfills his father’s last wish by burying his remains in the land of promise. He is the consolation of his father’s old age, after having been the indirect cause of his broken heart.

The Joseph-saga (Genesis 37-50) is a superb presentation of the biblical doctrine of vicarious suffering, for Joseph, when triumphant, saves his brothers who had cruelly wronged him. Salvation comes through suffering; God makes the moment of Joseph’s apparent destruction the starting point of his ascent to glory. The whole story of how God overrides men’s evil purposes and out of their misdeeds works their salvation is found in both the Joseph-saga and in the passion and death of Jesus Christ. The wickedness of Joseph’s brothers is overcome by the goodness of Joseph. The act whereby they attempted to destroy him, eventually leads to their salvation in time of famine. Through love Joseph and Christ “destroy” their enemies by converting them into friends, and in this remarkable way show how the psalmist’s frequent prayer for the “destruction” of God’s enemies is actually accomplished. Love is the way God “destroys” His enemies, when the very crucifixion of the Messiah is turned by divine wisdom into the means of salvation for all mankind.

No tension between nature and grace, disbelief and faith is found in Joseph. He suffers patiently when treated with malice because his is the peace of a true friend of God, “God was with Joseph and was kind to him” (Genesis 39:21). Thus God’s loving friendship sustains him in prison, and enables him to accept ill fortune as well as good. There is no wrestling with the deity (Jacob: Genesis 32:23-33). No tensions between faith and unfaith (Abraham) or sinfulness and grace (Jacob) appear in Joseph, but rather in his brothers.

Today we stand in the presence of God suffering inside daily from the jealous actions and behaviour of our brethren. Night and day they being the accuser of the brethren who are trying to serve the Lord. They have no conscience but to do the things since they are turned over to the will of the enemy. May Almighty God grant peace and mercy and bring everyone to the saving grace of God

Sir Godfrey Gregg

Divisional Patriarch

PATRIARCH OF HOPE (3)

THE GRATUITOUS CHOICE OF GOD

The people of God live in the light of His countenance, humbly realizing that God has not chosen them because of their own qualities or goodness. God’s act of saving love is for “His name’s sake”; the reason for His choice and deliverance of His people is to be found in God alone. This is the mystery of election and grace. God loved Jacob, and the ground of His love lies solely in His own goodness, not in the lovableness of Jacob. God’s love is agape for those who have nothing to offer in return, as opposed to EROS which is based on the attractiveness of the object loved. God has not chosen them because they are righteous; rather, because God has chosen them for they must be righteous.

Mindful of His covenant with Abraham to bless all the nations of the earth, God elects Jacob-Israel, not to privilege, but to service, to further His saving purpose among the nations. Israel, too, is appointed to be “a kingdom of priests,” a kingdom set apart to represent God to the world and the needs of the world to God. She is to be a dedicated nation, a light for the Gentiles (Isaiah 42:6). Look about in the Mystical Order and see where you are placed, and stay there for the blessing of Almighty God awaits you. You will only receive it, if you stay in your place. Hallelujah. I stayed where God planted me and the fruits came forth in my season. Praise the Lord. Shall we praise the Lord this morning.

Above all, Jacob is the symbol of Israel’s own humble hope. And because he continues to hope, he (and the people of God) becomes the hope of all the nations who would receive God’s blessing through him. Everything is against Jacob, except the mysterious ways of God, and these eventually triumph in him. He is the youngest brother in a land where pre-eminence is naturally given to the oldest son. In contrast with Esau, Jacob is clearly the lesser vehicle; yet he bears the promise and the blessing. Israel, too, the “least of all the nations,” is the most unlikely candidate for God’s election. And yet, like her ancestor, Jacob-Israel, she is chosen by God to be the instrument of salvation.

Sir Godfrey Gregg

Divisional Patriarch

PATRIARCH OF HOPE (2)

ISRAEL STRUGGLES WITH GOD

Pay close attention to this morning’s message. There is an uplifting moment for you. Read with an open heart and ask God to reveal the hidden truth.

For this chosen people Jacob is both an historical individual and a symbol of their own relationship to God. In Jacob-Israel they recognise their own wayward nature, through him they realise that their own election is neither ethically nor morally merited. Election, the call, God’s favour is not theirs because of any intrinsic nobility and goodness of their own, but rather, as it would appear, despite the deviousness of their ways, in the grace and purpose of God. They have no claims on God; they cannot “force His hand” with human efforts. The people of God realise that the righteous man is not he who conforms his conduct to what is right but he whom God recognizes as righteous. It is for him whom God loves to learn to love. Jacob was not chosen because he was righteous. He is righteous because he is chosen. Jacob eventually receives his comeuppance for his sins and becomes a wise and mellow old man.

Jacob expresses the tension between human perversity and divine love. In Jacob the people of God read the shame of their own sinfulness, and the hope offered by God’s eternal goodness and saving love. Jacob grew in faith at Bethel, “Surely God is in this place; and I did not know it”. The history of the people of God, too, is one in which they understand themselves to be supported only by the grace of God, a story of sustained hope and confidence in a beneficent, life-giving Providence, communicating His goodness to all.

My peace I leave with you this morning and may Almighty God grant you His favour.

Sir Godfrey Gregg

Divisional Patriarch

PATRIARCH OF HOPE (1)

JACOB – PATRIARCH OF HOPE

Starting today we want to look at Jacob the Patriarch and how it applies to us this day.
Genesis tells us little about Isaac who seems to be a replica of his father; but it has much to say about his son Jacob-Israel. Jacob is a most dislike-able character – treacherous, deceitful, acquisitive, proud and self-centered. The disreputable Jacob tricks his brother Esau out of his birthright and his father’s blessing. Although Esau is magnanimous, forgiving and noble in character, God, in His supreme and unfathomable liberty, has made Jacob the object of His special providence. Jacob may cheat his brother and outsmart his father-in-law Laban, but dishonest as he is, he is still the object of God’s loving covenant-promise. Jacob’s morality is like that of any Middle-Bronze-Age believer, but God takes him as he is, working with him and slowly educating him. Are we any different today? Look closely and see what God is doing with His children, how He is selecting just as He did with David from among his brothers. Where do you stand in the selection process?

At a time of despair Jacob has a dream at Bethel (Genesis 28: I0-22). God appears to him and renews the threefold promise made to Abraham. Now Jacob can hope in the goodness of God. Assured of the divine Presence, he journeys to his kinsmen in Haran where, through the providence of God, he acquires great wealth and two wives, and is enabled to return in safety to his own land. Again at Bethel, but now at a time of prosperity, he has another dream. He wrestles with the angel of God until daybreak, when he receives the angel’s blessing and a new name, “Israel,” indicating his new mission in life as the father of the chosen people. There is where I am today. I have walked in the promises and received my new name. Hallelujah

Sir Godfrey Geegg

Divisional Patriarch

OBEDIENCE BRINGS BLESSINGS

But because you say so, I will let down the nets —Luke 5:5.

Oh, what a blessed formula for us! This path of mine is dark, mysterious, perplexing; nevertheless, at your word I will go forward. This trial of mine is cutting, sore for flesh and blood to bear. It is hard to breathe through a broken heart, Thy will be done. But,nevertheless, at your word I will say, “Even so, Father!” This besetting habit, or infirmity, or sin of mine, is difficult to crucify. It has become part of myself—a second nature; to be severed from it would be like the cutting off of a right hand, or the plucking out of a right eye;nevertheless, at your word I will lay aside every weight; this idol I will utterly abolish. This righteousness of mine it is hard to ignore; all these virtues, and amiabilities, and natural graces, it is hard to believe that they dare not in any way be mixed up in the matter of my salvation; and that I am to receive all from first to last as the gift of God, through Jesus Christ my Lord. Nevertheless, at your word“I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things” [Philippians 3:8].

Divisional Patriarch

Sir Godfrey Gregg