Forgiveness, an Absolute Principle

Webster's 1828 Dictionary defines forgiveness as "the act of forgiving; the pardon of an offender, by which he is considered and treated as not guilty; the forgiveness of enemies is a christian duty; the pardon or remission of an offense or crime; as the forgiveness of sin or of injuries; the disposition to pardon; willingness to forgive; the remission of a debt, fine or penalty."

A modern definition of forgiveness is "pardon of a fault, remission of a debt." To forgive means "to give up, cease to harbor resentment, wrath, to remit a debt, to give up resentment or claim to requital for, pardon an offense."

"To forgive is defined as "to pardon; to remit, as an offense or debt; to overlook an offense, and treat the offender as not guilty. But by an easy transition, we also use the phrase, to forgive the person offending. As savages never forget a favor, so they never forgive an injury. Clearly, to forgive is the act of any true follower of the moral and ethical principles as taught by Jesus Christ."

Leave no debt unforgiven.

Forgiveness is an absolute and an abstract principle that operates as balance under the absolute principle of equilibrium. Forgiveness is a law of being and a law of doing, under the principles of mercy and Love. Forgiveness is a virtue. Forgiveness requires giving something for the offense, to balance it. The Christed way is to give love for whatever the wrong.

Edna Lister on Forgiveness

Under the law of forgiveness, a vicious circle is broken, and only the evil is destroyed. – Edna Lister, The Lord's Prayer, September 26, 1934.

Forgiveness means to give love for what your brother has against you. – Edna Lister, The High Call, January 2, 1935.

No past is too dark to be forgiven. – Edna Lister, The High Call, January 2, 1935.

"Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors." How have you forgiven, grudgingly or lavishly? Your prayers and their "tone" must reflect "as we have forgiven." – Edna Lister, The Lord's Prayer, October 13, 1935.

Leave no debt unforgiven. – Edna Lister, November 27, 1938.

Accept the precious pearl of experience in each life episode. Discard no pearl in your haste to forget hurt, sorrow, grief, burden or darkness before you have forgiven all your debtors. – Edna Lister, June 30, 1944.

Love enough will forgive, give love for anything or anyone. – Edna Lister, October 16, 1944.

"Forgive us our debts as we have forgiven our own debtors." Use this statement in deep, seeking love, to uncover any debts buried deep in your subconscious mind, which you are unconsciously holding against anyone. This is your key to ascension, your ladder to God's Power and life. If you still hold a debt against another person, a nation, or even a political administration, you are holding yourself in chains of bondage. – Edna Lister, October 30, 1944.

The curse is to forgive your self too easily. Then, you are merely excusing the self. – Edna Lister, October 12, 1945.

Forgiveness is a responsibility of the Priest Degree: "I have forgiven all men. I have begged forgiveness of my soul." – Edna Lister, September 10, 1946.

Forgiving is giving joy in return for whatever people hand you. – Edna Lister, June 12, 1947.

Merely to pray for absolution of sin is self-indulgence. You do not pray to be made clean. You clean up your own mess and pray to be cleansed, but do not spend all your time in heaven on this. – Edna Lister, July 29, 1947.

You must be certain that you are free of resentment. If you remember anything against another, then you are unforgiving. To forgive is to forget. – Edna Lister, March 18, 1949.

If, after having forgiven your enemies ten times, you still feel you are bearing a heavy cross, then your forgiveness is incomplete. You must love your enemies until your cross becomes a burden of Light. – Edna Lister, The Golden Chalice, September 21, 1952.

People must misuse all their soul substance before they forfeit the opportunity to be forgiven. – Edna Lister, The Living Chalice, December 7, 1952.

Forgiveness has three steps: 1. I forgive, which is a self-love. 2. Father, forgive them. 3. Father, forgive me. – Edna Lister, December 8, 1952.

Forgiveness has three stages. First, "I'll forgive her, but she had better not do it again." Second is "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do." Third is "Father, forgive me lest I cause my brother to stumble." Forgiveness is not an easy practice.

Declare, "Father, let me walk on this line of Light and never cause my brother to stumble." Others will never see you doing this or know you have declared it. As you ascend in consciousness, ice melts to water, and you reach the vapor stage of walking on water, living above the drag of the emotional life. – Edna Lister, May 29, 1953.

All life operates under the law of forgiveness. To forgive means to give for. It is your privilege to choose what you give. Jesus forgave sins. So must you. Forgiveness means to forgive your special type of sinner, all those to whom you have charged your special debts of blame. – Edna Lister, Gifts and Giving, June 14, 1953.

When you have forgiven the past and ask God to forgive you for being so dumb all your life, you will forget, and that is forgiveness. – Edna Lister, November 1953.

You can't wipe out the debt by simply saying, "I forgive you," but must cover it with love. That is the law. – Edna Lister, From Surrender to Ascension, January 15, 1954.

Forgiveness is an aspect of charity that you must "work" to express. Forgiveness is not the offender's obligation, but the offended one's, and he is responsible to do all the forgiving. Forgiveness is the ability to come up over life's darkness, to face it, overlook it, and to give something in exchange for the offense. If you can blame anyone on earth for a single thing, you don't have charity, but an unforgiving attitude. If you can remember it, you haven't completely forgiven it. – Edna Lister, Jesus, the Teacher, October 3, 1954.

Forgiveness is the mantle of Messiahship that shrinks or expands according to your consciousness. – Edna Lister, November 15, 1954.

Love, give, forgive and your good comes. Never reach to take your good, let it come. – Edna Lister, June 2, 1955.

The greatest of all laws is forgiveness, which is a state of continually giving love. To forgive and live by that law means never to blame anyone for anything. – Edna Lister, November 14, 1955.

To forget is to forgive, and forgiving is true forgetting. There is no other way. Evil feeds on un-forgive-ness and un-forget-ness, the "un-" being soul blindness in both, and "ness" being a state of consciousness. – Edna Lister, Let Go and Let God, January 8, 1956.

As you forgive, you open a channel as large as your ability to forgive. God washes as many pages clean as the "soap and water" of your forgiveness reaches. – Edna Lister, Because I AM, March 4, 1956.

From the first creature standing upright on its feet, from the first breath of aspiration toward something greater than the self to worship, to the fulfilling Creator, we must all obey the law of forgiveness. – Edna Lister, An Ambassador of Love, July 5, 1956.

The golden rule, "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you," is a law of forgiveness that applies to the greatest and smallest of life's affairs. No one may disobey the golden rule, except creatures. At all other levels, to forgive means to give love for, to forget, to get love for. Use the law of forgiveness to ascend to the Kingdom of Love. – Edna Lister, An Ambassador of Love, July 5, 1956.

You must forgive your enemies until you know you have no enemies anywhere. You begin to forgive yourself only when you forget the enemy idea completely. – Edna Lister, An Ambassador of Love, July 5, 1956.

Forgiveness means "to give for," to give Light for darkness, good for evil and love for hatred. – Edna Lister, Prove Thy Works, September 16, 1956.

Forgive the past. Look to the future. – Edna Lister, November 26, 1956.

You can ask God to forgive you or another, and He does. Yet if you recreate the mess by thinking or speaking about it, you pull the problem back again. – Edna Lister, God Is a Gentleman, September 29, 1957.

Asking another to admit wrong is pure self. You are not forgiving whatever it is, but still holding resentment. – Edna Lister, January 12, 1958.

If you really forgive, you forget. The Light pours through and dissolves the memory of the hurt. When you give enough Light, you get relief for it (for-get). – Edna Lister, August 28, 1958.

The law of forgiveness, which is "Give something for," is your outer expression of nonresistance, the greatest universal principle of Power. The law of forgiveness is loving the life sparks. – Edna Lister, November 6, 1958.

When people call you names, tell them they are wonderful and you love them. The Father will make it perfect. When you have forgiven seventy times seven, you either are crazy or have developed the forgiveness habit. – Edna Lister, May 14, 1959.

Reach out, gather your yesterdays and forgive them; cleanse them with love. Forgive yourself and stop dragging the past into the future. – Edna Lister, Tomorrow Is Yours, December 13, 1959.

Forgiveness requires that you give up your resentment against others. – Edna Lister, January 28, 1960.

Forgiveness of sins does not mean that God pays your debts, but that God extends you enough Love-Substance on credit to pay your gravity debts to Light. – Edna Lister, How Can I Apply Law to My Life? June 7, 1960.

You receive to grow and learn under the law of expansion. You open, receive love and expand under the love of family and friends. Forgiveness is the greatest factor you can have under expansion. The secondary law of forgiveness is to give love for, or in exchange for whatever comes to you. You must give to receive. Peter asked Jesus: "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him?" Jesus told him seventy times seven! Give love for. You must give to receive. – Edna Lister, How Can I Apply Law to My Life? June 7, 1960.

As Jesus taught the Lord's Prayer, he said that if we forgive the debts others owe us, the Father will forgive our debts. Yet pouring love on everyone is the crucial step. Imagine that you are Christed, and live as the Christ would live. If you cannot bring yourself to declare that Light absorbs the past, you have not forgiven your debtors.

What you have freed on earth, you have freed in heaven. Debts blossom when you just want someone else to pay them. "Father, forgive my debts" is selfish thinking that blocks your good. "Father, forgive me" is the prescription. God cannot forgive you if you still charge a debt of blame or guilt to yourself or to others. – Edna Lister, The Ladder of Faith, December 18, 1960.

You cannot forgive another until you forgive yourself. If personality stands between you and the Father, you are blind. The last thing forgiven is where you have criticized unjustly. – Edna Lister, June 12, 1961.

If someone annoys you, forgive him seventy times seven. To forgive is to give something for the annoyance. You give love. – Edna Lister, The Twelve Wheels of Ezekiel, December 5, 1961.

Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." – Luke 23:34. That was all the world could take for 2,000 years. Now we say, "Father, forgive me for doing anything that causes my brother to stumble." Jesus gave only the first grades of school; we now see the intermediate and advanced grades beyond. You do not unfold the highest Source meaning when you just repeat the words he spoke. – Edna Lister, June 7, 1962.

Forgiveness is to give love for, which lifts punishment from the offender and restores him to his place. – Edna Lister, November 15, 1962.

The curse is to forgive your self too easily. – Edna Lister, Power to Transform, December 4, 1962.

Scores of saintly people will not forgive God. If you have ever thought God could have made your life easier or if you resent circumstances or events, you have not forgiven God, but blame Him. – Edna Lister, Power to Transform, December 4, 1962.

The world misunderstands forgiveness. Forgiveness is a state of being. Forgiveness is ascension to a point high enough to see the other fellow's block. To forgive is to ascend to your soul vision. – Edna Lister, January 10, 1963.

Selflessness is a state of forgiveness. – Edna Lister, The Eighth Age: Earth's Final Age, July 16, 1963.

The law of forgiveness is the outer expression of the great principle of nonresistance. When you live under the law of forgiveness, you learn to forgive seventy times seven. – Edna Lister, Healing Through Forgiveness, November 24, 1963.

If you forgive grudgingly, you still blame. – Edna Lister, December 16, 1963.

The law of forgiveness is life eternal. It means to give love for. Peter asked Jesus how often he had to forgive. Jesus replied, "seventy times seven." The beauty is that if you have forgiven seventy times seven, you see only Light and not the offense. Yet self feels that escaping is so much easier than forgiving. Forgiveness is looking at God's Light, life and glory so that the spiritual body can be an open channel to heal the physical. – Edna Lister, Decree and Establish: Behold, a Throne in Heaven, June 26, 1966.

Go up to the altar nightly, ask forgiveness and fill any hole left above by your misdeeds. – Edna Lister, October 20, 1966.

Forgiveness of self seventy times seven is giving love for the offense. – Edna Lister, October 26, 1966.

Forgiveness has three stages. The first is, "I'll forgive him, but he better not do it again." The second is, "Father, forgive him, for he knows not what he does." In both these stages, you blame and pay half the debt. The third stage of forgiveness is, "Father, forgive me for seeing, hearing, or speaking an evil." You touch the fringe of Oversoul, then Power will move through you to heal. – Edna Lister, The Crown, June 15, 1969.

Most people think they are forgiving, and in the same breath will say what they have forgiven, proving they have not forgiven anything. As Light goes forth, it consumes the past until you no longer remember what there was to forgive. If you are hurt or resent, you have not forgiven. – Edna Lister, 1,000 Burnt Offerings, November 23, 1969.

When you forgive, it is as though "it never happened" because Light has wiped it clean. – Edna Lister, November 24, 1969.

To forgive is to "give for." Your effort of love, the quality of your belief in love governs your giving. You may not have any idea of the past; you must forgive first. Your mind must be cleansed to the point of being unable to remember the past. – Edna Lister, The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes, December 13, 1970.

"I repent" does not count when you have not forgiven. – Edna Lister, December 14, 1970.

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A Treatment for Forgiveness

"Forgive, and you will be forgiven" — Luke 6:37.

I am now filled with a complete sense of God's forgiveness.

I am now radiating this sense of forgiveness continuously.

I am now forgiving the whole world.

I am now forgiving myself for all past negative thinking.

I am now forgiving myself for all unlikeness to God.

I am now forgiving others as God has forgiven me.

I am now knowing that God has forgiven me for all past unlikeness to Him.

I am now filled with desire to forgive all men.

I am now faithful to the idea of giving something up to receive something greater.

I am now able, by the power of forgiveness, to release my whole life from all bondage to the past.

– Edna Lister, Lecture outline, 1931.

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The Three Stages of Forgiveness

When a disciple asked Jesus how often he must forgive, the answer (Matthew 18:22) ringing down through the ages was, "until seventy times seven" and seven times a day if needed. Seventy times seven is four hundred and ninety times. Now, forgiving someone four hundred and ninety times in a day should just about establish you in the habit of forgiveness. The idea is to reach the point where the soul reigns and cannot be bothered to notice little annoyances.

Only by thoroughly understanding the law of forgiveness can you learn to agree quickly with all adversaries. If you can remember the offense, you have not forgiven. When you pour enough compassionate Love upon the adversary, you forget the offense. Only then is your forgiveness complete and so recorded on your heavenly balance sheet. As long as you can recall the offense, you are forgiving only an inch at a time. Ascension lifts you out of forgiveness as an inch-by-inch slow process into becoming the law of forgiveness as instantaneous action.

You pass through three definite stages while learning the law of forgiveness, which includes full "for-get-ness." To regain full use of all your own memory cells for worthwhile thoughts, you must cleanse them of all old material, holding only those thoughts that will pay you dividends.

The first stage of forgiveness begins when you learn to say, "Father, I forgive him, but he'd better not impose on me again" or "treat me that way again." You feel very proud of yourself, and magnanimous about your ability to forgive. You take your ability out at times and examine it among friends: "I forgave him." This is not perfect forgiveness, however you are learning law, for there was a time when you did not think it necessary to forgive a wrong.

You eventually reach the second stage of forgiveness when you say, "Father, You forgive him, for he knows not what he is doing to me!" The attitude of forgiveness is still selfish, but the law has you well hooked. You are growing in grace and understanding because you have learned that only the Father can do the forgiving. Once you reach this stage, you can never repudiate the fact that you have made a Covenant with God, and "Father, forgive them" is your signature on that covenant. Once you have signed this Covenant, you are sealed by Oneness with the Father and your own Christed consciousness, which dictates the Covenant must rule your life forever.

You must pass many tests during the step into the third stage of forgiveness, where you have given up enough self to say, "Father, forgive me, lest I cause my brother to stumble." This brings you into a full Covenant with God where you stand in your garden of love clothed with an inner robe of love and an outer garment of joy, which makes you invisible to enemies of God.

Forgiveness renders you immune to all earthly ills so long as you hold fast to your high vision. The floodgates of the River of Life open wide and the rush of heavenly waters illumines and thrills us! The fullness of the Power of the living God now possesses you. – Edna Lister, Five Keys of the Kingdom, 1964.

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Patience and Forgiveness

This Edna Lister sermon outline is dated April 15, 1934, Buffalo, New York; she also used it May 4, 1947, in Tacoma, Washington. Scripture: Matthew 18:21-35.

'Peter said, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times? Jesus said to him, I say not unto thee, until seven times: but, until seventy times seven. Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, who owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down and worshiped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay you all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellow servants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that you owed. And his fellow servant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay you all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. So when his fellow servants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told their lord all that was done. Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O you wicked servant, I forgave you all that debt, because you desired me: Should not you also have had compassion on your fellow servant, even as I had pity on you? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due to him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also to you, if you from your hearts forgive not everyone his brother their trespasses.' – Matthew 18:21-35.

Jesus' disciples were asking, "Why do I need to forgive? How forgiving must I be? How unselfish? How tolerant? How much must I overlook?"

This particular initiation has two stages, each with two phases. First, when you see the Light, the king, your real soul, condemns the past and feels complete imprisonment is too good for the sin. You become conscious of self and self's relationships.

The second phase is your relationship to God as one with Him. Then your seeking and devotion push up, through earth's influence, until you become a living sacrifice, giving up self, climbing into sunlight, where only love pours forth as an ever-living, ever-loving stream.

The second stage is your relationship to the manifest world and the aggressive quality of intellect. The Master commanded us to judge only righteous judgment, but often it is better to render none at all. "What is that to thee? Follow thou me." – John 21:22.

The first phase in your relation to the world is generally condemnation of others, where you hold grudges. You are cast into prison, subject to tormentors, and the lesson returns until you learn it.

The second phase is love, the feminine quality, where you become conscious of oneness with all that is outside you, and mercy, all blended into patience and forgiveness. To forgive is to give love for everything.

Patience isn't your goal. If you work to develop patience, it attracts more occasions and places to you in which to develop it. Love fulfills all law. Use a private wailing wall instead of others' shoulders.

How many times should you forgive? Jesus said seventy times seven, which equals 490, or until forgiving becomes a habit.

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Your Brother's Keeper

This Edna Lister sermon outline is dated November 3, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scripture: Luke 17:1-4.

"Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him." – Luke 17:1-4.

Earth's masses cry, "Freedom!" Yet freedom from what? Why do you need freedom?

First, offenses will come, and you must face this fact now. Every offensive experience is an opportunity for advancement on the Path of Light.

"It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones." – Luke 17:1-2. You must watch your step, taking care in your choice of words especially.

"Take heed to yourselves" is the first step. If another offends, rebuke him. If he repents, forgive him, even if he offends you seven times in one day.

The mantle of a messiah is a seamless, woven cloak. Its creation requires the thread, which you weave into fabric, until you have woven the finished article.

Each soul is a thread in the divine mantle. Each is necessary in the kingdom.

You lift offenses by lifting them up to a cloud of Light and giving them to God. Say, "Here am I. Send me."

God has saved all the souls who become stars in His crown. They become the glory of the kingdom through fire, in which He cleanses and purifies them. Mastery creates such glorious strength. You do the lifting, and He does the healing.

You must tempt and entice others, as God's Light has enticed you, never pushing them away. Grasp each offense as an opportunity to become more like the Master.

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Gates of Gold

This Edna Lister sermon outline is dated March 22, 1942, Buffalo, New York. Scriptures: Psalm 24:7-10, Revelation 21:10-21.

"Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah." – Psalm 24:7-10.

"And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; and had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal. And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel. And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass." – Revelation 21:10-21.

We use gates to guard treasure and to insure privacy. Solomon's temple porch had three sets of gates, representing the outer court of personality, the inner court of individuality and soul, and the Holy of Holies, the Christ Mind of Oversoul.

The twelve gates of the Revelation are made of pearl, the symbol of suffering conquered, but the gates of Solomon's temple are made of pure gold. The golden portals to the soul are Wisdom and Love, but the self locks them. Selflessness is the "open sesame," the only key that can unlock them.

The first set of gates guards the portal of desires, outer emotions, the second set of gates guards the portal of the mental life of thinking, and the third set of gates guards the portal to imagination, your kingly faculty.

Your outer personal desires must serve the soul's I AM consciousness, which is the inner mental life. Only then may you enter the Holy of Holies, imagination, which is the image creator. Then you balance the gates, Love and Wisdom.

Healing waves flow from the Source of All Life as do waves in the ocean, from shore to shore, always the same water, reforming as countless waves. Life is the same.

You travel the path of ascension, and you must reach the twelve Gates of Pearl, which represent conquering self. You plod on across a wasteland toward white spired domes seen afar. Finally, you hear a Voice, saying, "Come, child. This is your real home."

An endlessly long high wall confronts you, and you cannot go around. Then you see double gates, and as you draw closer, you see an inscription above the arch of the gate, "I forgive them."

You take the first real step in surrender when you open the gate and step through onto a great sandy field, dotted with small bushes, some with thorns, and patches of grass. You look about and see a few sickly looking flowers. No seats, no water, you are all alone.

If you take time to weep in self-pity, your tears water the scrubby thorn bushes, which instantly grow up around your ankles to your knees. If you resent, rebel, and condemn God, a jungle springs up all around. You are still alone, torn and bleeding from your struggle.

It may be years before you accept and look up to God, but when you do, instantly a Light descends. The jungle begins to melt away.

As you offer more praise and rejoicing, a green pathway stretches before you. You see flowers beginning to grow. Bushes are blossoming behind you. Some souls may turn back, but only to find more jungle.

Then you reach a second gate, bearing the inscription, "Father, forgive them," and take another step up in ascension of soul. Living in Spirit now, you go through the gate.

It's still sandy in places, but dotted with benches and green grass plots between the paths. Some linger here and create weeds and jungle again. Others turn back, discouraged. Do not become weary in well doing.

As you march forward, you find another gate, bearing the inscription, "Father, forgive me." Quickly open this gate and step through; you find it easier now to rejoice in your garden of the soul.

Nothing can drag you back even a single step. The garden is beautiful, filled with glorious flowers, birds singing, symphonies and the voices of heavenly choirs.

At last you reach the great City of Forgiveness. Over the fourth archway is a great white cross, shining to beckon you onward. This is the cross of crucified self-will, personal will surrendered to be remade into pure Wisdom balanced by Love.

In the open archway to the City of Forgiveness you surrender to be possessed by Power, as the servant of all the Power. Gladly you enter to dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

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Forgiveness: The Path of Glory

This Edna Lister sermon transcript is dated October 21, 1951, Buffalo, New York. Scribe Edna Bender. Scripture: Luke 17:1-4.

"Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him." – Luke 17:1-4.

These four verses contain the essence of the four phases of the soul for ascension. First, it is impossible but that offenses will come. Logically, you cannot change your own or another's disposition by force or by orders. Face these facts and apply logic.

Consider individual differences of opinion and prejudices, then remember that "If I be lifted up into the Realm of Love, I draw all men after me. If I be lifted up, pure love cannot see offenses. I will lift all others up with me." People run out of ammunition when you are lifted up in consciousness; it leaves them wandering without a target.

Make yourself good and God will make you happy. You wrap a millstone around your neck when you take vows then make mistakes. Lift, ascend, be the surrendered servant of Power. A servant of Light cleans up all darkness around him. Conquer your disposition, which is nothing more than letting your self get off the mark emotionally. Under vows such as "Be ye perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect," dis-position offends those whom you love.

The second law is, "Do not offend anyone." The third law is, "If you rebuke one who offends you, you become extremely offensive." Rebuke yourself until you see no offense and accept none that was intended. Release love with the rebuke, if necessary.

The fourth law says that forgiveness is supreme. Nothing is too black for a soul to return from. You must repent and forgive. If someone rebukes you, forgive without being asked. Make yourself good; choose the good for yourself, let go and let.

The path of glory is forgiveness. God pays no attention to the ugliness in peoples' minds. Be conscious of loving God and lift everyone into Glory. This is forgiveness.

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Stories That Illustrate Forgiveness

The Paralytic's Sins Forgiven: Behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth. And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. And he arose, and departed to his house. But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men. – Matthew 9:2-8.

Love Earns Forgiveness of Sins: And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.

And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. – Luke 7:40-48.

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New Testament Laws on Forgiveness

If if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. – Matthew 6:14-15.

But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. – Matthew 9:6.

If thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. – Matthew 18:15-17.

When ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. – Mark 11:25-26.

Behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him. And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus. And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee. And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone? But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts? Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house. And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God. – Luke 5:18-25.

Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven. – Luke 6:37.

Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. – John 20:23.

Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him. – Luke 17:3-4.

Forgive [from your heart] up to seventy times seven. – See Matthew 18:22 and Matthew 18:35.

One whose sins are many is forgiven, if he loves much; to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little. – See Luke 7:47.

And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. – Luke 23:34.

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Unforgivable Blasphemy

All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man [personality], it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost [principle], it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. – Matthew 12:31-32.

All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: but he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation. – Mark 3:28-29.

Whosoever shall speak a whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven.word against the Son of man [personality], it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost [principle] it shall not be forgiven. – Luke 12:10.

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Old Testament on Forgiveness

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. – Psalm 32:1-2.

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Forgiveness in Other Sacred Writings

Forgive your neighbor the hurt that he has done you, so shall your sins also be forgiven when you pray. – Wisdom of Ben Sirach 28:2.

The Father trades forgiveness for our deficiency in Light. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2.

Whoever blasphemes against the Father will be forgiven, and whoever blasphemes against the Son will be forgiven, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven either on earth or in heaven. – Gospel of Thomas, Codex II, 2.

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Edna Miriam Lister
1884 –1971
The original Pioneering Mystic
minister, teacher, and author

Edna Lister

Etymology of forgive: Old English forgiefan, "to give, give up, leave off (anger), remit, forgive."

Forgiveness is an absolute principle.

Forgiveness is an abstract principle.

Forgiveness is a law of being.

Forgiveness is a law of doing.

Forgiveness is a soul virtue.


The glory of Christianity is to conquer by forgiveness. – William Blake

Good-Nature and Good-Sense must ever join;
To err is human, to forgive divine.
– Alexander Pope


Blake, William. "Jerusalem," The Poetical Works of William Blake. John Sampson, editor. London, New York: Oxford University Press, 1908.

Pope, Alexander. "An Essay on Criticism," The Complete Poetical Works of Alexander Pope, Part II, lines 324-325, Bliss Perry, editor. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Co., 1902, p. 74.

The Compact Edition of The Oxford English Dictionary: 2 volumes. E.S.C. Weiner, editor. Oxford University Press, 1971.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

The Nag Hammadi Library. James M. Robinson, editor. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1981. Webster, Noah. "Forgive," "Forgiveness" Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language. New York: S. Converse, 1828. This work is in the public domain.

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