February 8th, 1916
Received by:James Padgett.
I am here, St. Paul, of the New Testament.
I desire to continue my message to-night.
As I said in closing my last writing, there is a resurrection that is vital to the salvation of men, which Jesus taught, and which after the death of his followers and believers of the early centuries, the knowledge of was lost to the world and to those who assumed to teach the doctrines of the resurrection that he came to declare and teach.
You and all mankind must know that the resurrection which is the foundation stone of Christianity is a resurrection from the dead, and not from the mere existence of a man as a spirit in the physical body on earth, and not as a resurrection of the soul from its environments and limitations that the earth life placed upon it.
Then what is the resurrection that Jesus referred to when he said: “I am the resurrection and the life!”
Now in order to understand this resurrection it is necessary to understand what is meant by the death of man, that is the real man – the ego, – that part of him in which the breath of life exists, no matter whether he is of the physical or the spiritual.
As has been explained to you elsewhere, when man was created his creation was of the physical body, the spiritual body and the soul, and in addition – and the addition was the most important part of his creation – the potentiality of becoming so at one with the Father in His nature and certain of His attributes, that he, man, would become so possessed of some of the Divine Essence of the Father and a portion of His divinity that would cause him to be immortal, so that death could never deprive him of his existence; and not only that, but he would realize the consciousness of his immortality.
This potentiality then was a part of his creation, and, as we have explained elsewhere, the only part of his creation that died as the result of his disobedience; for it is very apparent from the mere knowledge that man has, or may have, from the ordinary investigation of the qualities of his being, and from the truths of psychical research of modern days, as well as from the understanding of the many instances related in the Bible of the appearance of departed spirits on earth and the manifestations of their existence, and also from the many occurrences of the appearances of spirits related in what is called secular history, that the soul and spirit body of man never died, and that his physical body lived for many years after the day on which the sentence, because of his disobedience, announced that he should die. And as I have said, this mortal body not man – the man – but merely the vesture of covering for the real man.
This potentiality then being the only part of the created man that died, and as Jesus’ mission was to teach the resurrection of man from the dead, it necessarily follows that the only thing that was intended to be resurrected was this potentiality of becoming a part of God’s Divinity. This is the only real and true resurrection, and upon this resurrection must rest the faith and truth of Christianity – and by Christianity I mean religion which is based upon the true teachings of Jesus, the Christ.
There are contained in the Bible some things which if properly understood, would show to man that no resurrection of the body was intended as the thing which Jesus came to earth to declare and teach.
When he said, “I am the resurrection and the life,” he did not say or mean, wait until I die and then I will become the resurrection; or when you see me ascend to Heaven, then will I become the resurrection and you will know it; but his declarations not only in the instance mentioned, but at all times were that he was the resurrection while living. And these declarations did not refer to the man Jesus, or to any disposition that he might make of his body, either physical or spiritual, or to any apparent ascension of his physical body, which never took place, or to any ascension of his spiritual body which did occur. In these particulars he was essentially no more or different from other men that had died or should die.
But the meaning of his saying and his mission were, that as by man’s disobedience there had occurred the death of the possibility of his becoming at one with the Father and partaking of his divine nature, and as that possibility had never been restored to man in all the intervening years, and man had remained in this condition of death during all the long centuries, if man would only believe in him as the true Christ and in his teachings as to the rebestowal of this great privilege of again becoming at one with the Father and of obtaining immortality, and would follow his advice as to the way in which man could realize the benefits of this great privilege, then he would become conscious that Jesus was the resurrection from the dead. Not Jesus the man or teacher or the chosen and anointed one of the Father, but Jesus the impersonation of the truths which he proclaimed as to the rebestowal of the great gift. Only in this way was Jesus the resurrection and the life.
He, himself, had received the great gift and realized his at-onement and the consciousness of his immortality and the possession of the divine nature, and knew that he had been lifted from death into life, and, therefore, if men would believe his teachings as to the resurrection, these teachings and not the man Jesus or even the fact that he had been resurrected, would draw all men unto him, that is, into the condition of life and consciousness that he possessed.
Then the resurrection that Jesus promised to man was the resurrection of this great potentiality which he had lost at the time of the first disobedience and which had never been restored until the coming of Jesus.
Now let it not be misunderstood as to what was meant by this resurrection. As I have said, after men were deprived of this potentiality they were in a condition of death and it was not possible for them to get out of this condition. They were possessed of only what is called their natural love without any possibility of obtaining the Divine Love which was necessary in order to give them any portion of the divine nature and a consciousness of immortality. When the great potentiality, which was as to them as if it had never existed, was rebestowed, then men were again placed in the position of the first man before his fall, and were no longer actually dead, but were possessed of this potentiality to become that which had been forfeited by the first parents.
But as we have told you, the gift of this potentiality was not of itself the bestowal upon man of those qualities which such potentiality merely made it possible for them to acquire by aspiration and effort. Before this rebestowal men could not by any aspirations or efforts on their part obtain the conditions and qualities which this potentiality made possible, no matter how great the effort might be; as to them men were simply and absolutely dead. After the rebestowal, the impossibility which this death had imposed, was removed, and then men received, not the full fruition of what was possible to obtain because of such rebestowal, but the privilege of arising from death to life – of the resurrection from death to the glories of immortal life.
And while this privilege had become a part of man’s possession, yet, if he had remained without consciousness of that fact, he would, in effect, have remained in his condition of death and have never received the benefit of the rebestowal of the great gift. So to reveal to man the vital truth Jesus taught and demonstrated in his own life, the possession of those qualities that became his because of the existence of the gift.
And he also taught while men had the privilege spoken of, yet, unless they sought for and prayed the Father in sincerity for the gift of his Divine Love, the potentiality which had been bestowed upon them would not bring to them the resurrection from the dead, and they would continue in their lives as mortals and as inhabitants of the spirit world, as if they were still under the doom of death.
I may here state that this potentiality, which was lost by the disobedience of the first parents and was rebestowed by the Father and revealed by Jesus to mankind, was the privilege of receiving and possessing the Divine Love of the Father, which, when possessed would give to man certain qualities of divinity and immortality.
So the resurrection from the dead that the master taught and which is the one foundation of the Christian faith, arise from the fact that God rebestowed upon mankind the privilege of seeking for and receiving His Divine Love which would make the mortal one with Him and Immortal; and upon the further fact that man must, in order to obtain the resurrection, seek and find this Divine Love and thereby become a child of the true resurrection – a resurrection that was never known to prophet or seer or reformer or teachers of faiths, no matter how excellent their moral teachings and private lives may have been, before the coming of Jesus.
Truly He was the Resurrection and the Life, and I, Paul, who am the recipient of this resurrection and know whereof I speak and have knowledge of the fact that those inhabitants of the spirit world who have never received this resurrection are still in a condition of death, so far as obtaining the Divine Love of the Father and the consciousness of immortality are concerned, and so I declare unto you what I have attempted to describe as the resurrection from the dead, is the True Resurrection.
I will stop, as I have written a long time.
So my dear brother I will say good-night.
Your brother in Christ,