"EXCEPT ye become as a little child ye shall in no wise enter the Kingdom of Heaven." The statement is exact, uninvolved, and leaves no loophole of personal interpretation through which you could edge your way. Except ye become as a little child -- and by no other means -- can you enter.
Adulterers are barred from the Kingdom -- only the adult can commit adultery. Throwing up a camouflage of misinterpretation, man tries to believe that the word adultery has solely to do with sex, but in reality this is the least adultery he can commit. His constant adulterating. the word of life, and placing before others a thousand and one fears, lies, and beliefs founded on the false senses, is the wholesale adultery which keeps him out, and which made Jesus sweep the whole thing into the hell of purification to be burned up.
The old adulterous intellect raises its great, erudite, many-headed mind and explains that it cannot become a child; it is physically and mentally impossible. Yet, at another moment, this same one is quoting glibly, "Nothing is impossible to God."
"Which things are an allegory," put near the close of the Bible, speaks volumes for those who have ears and eyes to hear and see what the Scriptures have to say unto the temple --- the Churches --- your bodies.
When you are "clean" you have become as a child, as far as the illustration has any benefit to you. Becoming as a child and becoming a child are two different things. Becoming as a child is to suddenly possess yourself of the most powerful weapons against the relative world. Weapons -- invisible, inaudible, having capacities undreamed or unmeasured by the adulterous world of fear, limitation, greed, and evil.
The adulterous breath of the "man whose breath is in his nostrils" breathes his fear, disease, and belief in evil over the whole of creation. "Too good to be true" "as for man, his days are full of trouble" "when I would do good I do evil" -- "something might happen," and in a thousand other ways he adulterates life. He has been wandering up and down in the universe of belief and founded all his false teaching upon these false premises, which have now become such a giant of strength that he is threatened and finally overcome by this terrible self-created thing. No wonder he cannot inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.
When he becomes as a child, he is unconsciously working from the basis of Christ mind. He does not have to see to believe. He can accept his good without question. He will stretch forth his hand and make the gesture when the opportunity is presented to him. He will not try to figure it out by the limitations of the sense mind. "Nothing is too good to happen or to be true." "Yesterday is done with at sundown" --- a new day, full of joys and possibilities, is ever with him.
Jesus, trying every way to make a complete differentiation between the adulterous thinking of the conscious mind and the pure Christ mind as represented by the child, used these simple illustrations for those who had eyes. The child having the capacity to accept its good, does not find it necessary to construct out of thinking, its good. The Father Christmas idea is accepted, and is, as far as the conscious thinking is concerned, suspended in mid-air on a thread of imagination, but it works for the child up to the moment that reason enters.
The old adulterous mind immediately marshals its intellect and comes forward with the trite words, "Who wants to believe in such tosh? And who wants to be a child?"
There is nothing said about your becoming a child -- it says as a child. This becoming as a child is leagues away from the coy, Pollyanna sense of sweetness that many people associate with it. "He that hath eyes, let him see" -- let him take from the plethora of words and symbols the grain of Truth which will help him enter into his own, which will help him to go in and possess the land (state of consciousness).
"Awake, thou that sleepest, and Christ shall give thee light." It is wonderful how the simple things of Jesus are shedding the light on the new cycle of spirituality, which is even now descending upon the earth and is showing, by its radiance, the nothingness of the adultery of he intellect and reason.
"Except ye become as a little child ye shall in nowise enter the Kingdom of Heaven" is stated again in the simple words of Jesus when he asked, each time before he rent the veils of human belief, "Believest thou this?" -- "Believest thou that I am able to do this?" And if you cannot answer yea to this, you can no more see the power of the Presence communicating its manifestation to you and through you than the child can materialize his Father Christmas. It is one and the same thing. It is no more fantastic for prayer to produce a well body, than it is for the child to produce a rotund man whose chief role in life is to supply the wants of childhood freely. Both of them have to emanate from the same source -- they must be "believed in." Note that the "belief" required is not credulity, it is not faith, in the generally accepted sense of the word; it is a pure acceptance of the whole finished thing and a permitting the manifestation or embodiment to take place in its own good time.
The Power does not come forth at a moment you are thinking about it; on the contrary, "I come at a moment you think not"; "I come as a thief in the night," etc. He who has ears, let him hear. Let him awake to the simplicity of the Christ teaching so uninvolved by the trappings of man. Throw all the interpretations of the word of God to the wind and go again to the fountain of Life and drink of the living waters and it will water you with revelation undreamed of.
"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God." Do you hear? Do you believe? Can you stand on the instructions of Jesus Christ instead of the words of a man who has followed" "Wilt thou be made clean" from the adulterous thought which causes you to follow a man, or organized collection of by-laws trying to see what you should do or not do in regard to your approach to God? "Come out from among them and be ye separate." Running to a little person, no matter however swollen with human success, to find out what God can and will do for you is the committing of the adultery which makes it impossible for you to enter.
"Ye shall in no wise" is a pretty hard law -- there is no leniency in it; it requires just that and it must be fulfilled. Why wait longer on the leprous thought which tries to make you pay tribute to a person? If Jesus could not be called "good," why will you rush about calling another good? Awake and arise from the dead thoughts, and Christ shall give thee light --- illumination and the child-like qualities which will cause Heaven to appear here and now.
It is wonderful the many new and marvelous laws that come into play when you become as a little child. There is the law of trust -- such a dangerous thing to the adult, having proven such a broken reed. There is the law of confidence, even in the face of no prospects. There is superhuman action of the Automatic Power which the child can accept. He can believe that "a day will come" or a thing will or can happen in some perfectly mysterious way, and then let it rest without trying to destroy it by dissecting it with the human doubt and curiosity.
This is a stubborn problem. This is a hard thing to meet. This has never been met before, etc. The adultery of conscious thinking denying the Christ constantly and then complaining when its prayers are not answered.
"Come unto me, all ye ends of the earth, and be ye saved." Do you hear" That means you, even though you are so holy now that you just glisten with your knowledge of truth and truth movements, and though you are recommended, and all that. You have a chance to be saved from the awful adultery of your spiritual pride, just the same as the thing lying in the gutter all covered with the mud of mistakes and the flowers, ineffective mantle of your holiness. You have a chance, no matter where you stand - the invitation is for you if you have come to that child-like quality that can take that which is offered it. Remember that a thousand years is as yesterday in My sight. "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow." You have a good Chance to "come unto Me."
Yes, beloved! A thousand years is as yesterday, so, in reality, it is just two days ago that Jesus spoke in Jerusalem. Pretty close, isn't it? Yes, it is even closer than that. That which spoke through Jesus is even at this instant speaking through you. Yes, aren't you glad it is speaking through you in the inner recesses of your being? Telling you things - live things, pulsating things, with the spirit intact, instead of dead, tired repetitions of another. "Come unto Me, all ye ends of the earth, and be ye saved."
"What ! Know ye not that ye are the Temple of the Living God?" The surprise in that one word "What!" is enough to make the whole temple quake with the coming of the Lord. The sudden recognition of this fact does away, once and for always, with the stupid notion that you are a reflection which has nothing in itself but shadow and light. You are the Temple of the living God. Do you note the word living? What do you suppose it means -- living? Think about it for the moment and then will you understand what it means to "search the joints and marrow," and all the "quickening" power of the Spirit within which is so sharp and quick and so able to divide asunder.
"What!" Haven't you found it out yet that your body is the Temple of the living God, and that He is in the midst of you and is strong and mighty" "What?" Are you going to let some adulterer take the possibility of this Presence away from you to put it through a lot of human teaching and learning?
"What!" Know ye not? You do not know that the Temple of God is with man? It already is with man, and that is the reason for man. Man-I-festation is the body of God. Without this manifestation He would be unexpressed, unknown, unusable, unreal just as electricity remained an unknown quantity until it was embodied. But it had to be recognized as existing first before it could be brought forth.
Do you begin to understand, then, why such a command, "Go into a certain city and a man will show YOU to an upper chamber" is possible? The Temple is all over the universe, and when you begin to understand the "Body" of God is not a fleeting reflection, but a reality which instantly responds when you call upon the Power within, you can see how it is possible to "go into all the world," for you will find the Temple, and when you call upon the Power within, you will suddenly see its darkness flash forth the light and show you the way. It is wonderful how the dark crannies and hidden passages flood a light abroad and reveal hidden talents and possibilities.
Every man is the Temple of the Living God -- and when you begin to sense this you will see how God can speak to you through anything. It is only when you break down the silly personal idea that just "some" men are the temple and that just "some" men have the word that you begin to find out that the "earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof." And also the glorious statement, "Heaven and earth are full of thee," comes to life. What does it matter what the opinion of this or that "wise head" may be? You are hidden with Christ, in God -- where that teaching, with its noisy words and systems of ideas, fades out into nothingness.
No wonder, then, that you can go -- you will find the embodiment everywhere, even in the bush by the wayside, and so the fear of life flees away and you are wayfaring into Heaven here and now.
"Even if you slay me, yet will I say that you are God" is an intense dramatic moment in the life of one who is finding God to be something that was not invented in the last hundred years, with all the nineteenth-century wrappings of personal teachings.
"What!" Know ye not that your body is the Temple of the Living God?
You are not a hard, cold channel or avenue for the Truth -- you are permeated by the word of God, and it can no more be separated from you than the yeast can be taken out of bread. The two have become one. "I and my father are one." Not maybe nor perhaps or because you have prayed, but because that is the nature of God and His manifestation.
"Now ye are the Body of Christ"; "For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones." What plainer statement do you want? "Destroy this body -- temple -- and in three days I will raise it up." Gradually we are beginning to understand the word and the surprise in the statement, "What! Know ye not that ye are the Temple of the Living God?" --- and by the child-like understanding of the Wisdom of God do you enter in and possess the land -- consciousness -- which is sworn unto you as your birthright.
Walter C. Lanyon