We Must Run Aground Upon Some Island

Paul shipwrecked on Malta. We must run aground upon some island.

In the Book of Acts, the apostle Paul traveled on a cargo ship on his way to Rome to appeal his innocence to Caesar. Because of the time of year of the voyage, it was known there was a certain amount of risk involved. Paul warned against making the voyage, but was overruled by the decision-makers.

We must run aground upon some island

The ship was caught in a great storm. Despite the efforts of the crew, they despaired for their lives. At this point, Paul addressed the crew and passengers:

“After they had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said: “Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss. But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island.” (Acts 27:21-26, New International Version)

Salina Bay in Malta. We must run aground upon some island.

The book of Acts reports the ship ran aground on the island of Malta, and was destroyed. However, all 276 of the crew and passengers survived the shipwreck.

A really big iron church bell. We must run aground upon some island.

An iron bell is ringing

I share this Bible story because of what we contemplated at the 2018 Encampment of the New Message from God. We contemplated a “New World reality.” Humanity faces a future of declining resources, affected climate, environmental degradation and extraterrestrial intervention. As I pondered this New World reality, I heard the words of Paul in my mind’s ear. “We must run aground upon some island.” These words ring like a large iron bell in my head.

I realize this may seem very negative. But I wonder some things. I think other people wonder them. Is humanity’s pattern of resource consumption and environmental impact sustainable? Doesn’t any species that grows without limit die in its own poisons? “We must run aground upon some island.” I take consolation that the crew and passengers survived the shipwreck. I take hope and determination that humanity will survive its future challenges.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.

See What Large Letters I Use

The Apostle Paul by Rembrandt. See what large letters I use

The Apostle Paul by Rembrandt

Shortly after the death of Christ, a great controversy arose among the followers of Jesus as to the essence of his message. On one side was a group of people who were first called “the circumcision party,” and later known as the “Judaizers.” These people insisted that gentile Christians should be circumcised, and live under Jewish customs. On the other side was the apostle Paul, who taught that the death of Christ rendered the observance of Jewish law and custom to be irrelevant for both Jews and gentiles. The book of Acts reports that this controversy brought Paul and his colleague Barnabas “into sharp dispute and debate with them.” (Acts 15:2, New International Version). This controversy was solved by the compromise of the Jerusalem Council of Acts 15.

See what large letters I use

Paul wrote that he had bitter enemies within the Christian community. Some of these enemies were philosophically opposed to Paul. Some of these enemies were motivated by envy and jealousy. Paul wrote to the Philippian church that some people preached the gospel during Paul’s imprisonment out of selfish ambition (Philippians 1:17, New International Version).

Some of these enemies went so far as to write letters to Christians in Paul’s name to promote their own teachings. Paul mentioned an instance of this in 2 Thessalonians 2. In signing his letter to the Galatians, he writes “See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!” (Galatians 6:11, New International Version) Many Bible commentators have suggested that Paul was authenticating his authorship.

I share this to share something else with you. In my mind, it is a certainty that in the future, letters will be written to people in the name of Marshall Vian Summers, attempting to promote this teaching or that. What is our strategy to prevent this? Completing the publication in written form of the New Message from God, before the death of its Messenger. The currently published books of the New Message (such as Greater Community Spirituality, Steps to Knowledge, The Great Waves of Change and others) will be portions of a 6-volume set of revelation. The revelations which have not yet found their way into one of the currently published books will be portions of this 6-volume set of teachings.

It is as if the source of the New Message from God is making an effort to prevent the promulgation of false teachings in the name of its messenger. Not only that, it is as if the source of the New Message is making an effort to prevent controversy from arising after the death of its messenger. Some people complain that the books of the New Message are repetitive. The New Message seems to consider that a feature instead of a bug. It is as if the New Message was making an effort to authenticate itself. It is as if the New Message was saying “See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!”

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.

How Will You Use Your Freedom?

 Martin Luther asked "As a Christian, how will you use your freedom?"

As I pondered Step 57 of Steps to Knowledge, “Freedom is with me,” I recalled Martin Luther‘s treatise “On the Freedom of a Christian,” written in 1520.  Many Christians are familiar with this work.  There is a quotation from this work that many people remember:

“A Christian man is the most free lord of all, and subject to none; a Christian man is the most dutiful servant of all, and subject to every one.”

Martin Luther used the words of Paul to elaborate on this seeming paradox.

“Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.” (I Corinthians 9:19-23, New International Version)

How will you use your freedom?

Freedom is never just freedom from some restricting influence or circumstance.  Freedom is freedom to be someone, freedom to do something.  But what?

The word “freedom” isn’t mentioned in Steps to Knowledge until Step 52 “I am free to find the source of my Knowledge.”  What does Steps to Knowledge say we should get free from?

“You who have lived under the weight of your own imagination, you who have been a prisoner to your own thoughts and to the thoughts of others, you who have been intimidated and threatened by the appearances of this world now have hope, for true freedom abides within you.”

Other things to get free from in Step 57 are unforgiveness from the past, anxiety over the future, and avoidance of the present.

But what are we getting free to?  Step 52 offers a brief description:

“What other freedom is free except that which enables you to receive the gift of your true life? All other freedom is the freedom to be chaotic, the freedom to harm yourself. The great freedom is to find your Knowledge and to allow it to express itself through you.”

In studying Steps to Knowledge, we are getting free to be our true selves, true selves which are not apart from life.  We are getting free to fulfill the mission we have in life.  Will we succeed?  All I know is that we’re working on it.

What are you getting free from?  What are you getting free to?  How will you use your freedom?

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.