April 23rd, 1916
Received by:James Padgett.
The writer of the third Gospel of the New Testament
Let me write as I desire to say a few words on the question of immortality of which you have been thinking so much during the past few days.
I was with you today as you listened to the discourses of the preacher upon the subject of immortality, and saw that you realized he did not have a true idea of what the term means, and thought how much you would like inform him of your knowledge of the subject. Well, I understand just how you felt about the matter, and am in sympathy with you in your desire and hope that sometime you may have the opportunity to converse with him on this subject and give him your conception of the truth.
It is the subject of so many sermons and theories preached by preachers and others, and yet not one of them has the true understanding of what immortality is. They understand it only in the sense of continuous life, and in addition, try by argument and inferences to attach to it the idea of never ending - that is of the continuous life being so established that it can never be ended - and in this they satisfy their longings and desires. But you see, this inference is merely one that is drawn from the desires of the preachers - that they have no true basis upon which to found their conclusions, and as to the ordinary things of life they would not be willing to risk the important things of life upon a basis no better established from which they could draw conclusions that would cause them to act.
No, mankind do not really know what immortality is, and all the arguments that they can put forth to establish the true immortality, are not sufficient to convince the clear, cool and unprejudiced mind as to its being a fact.
As is said in the message that you have received from Jesus, immortality can be derived only from that which is immortal, and all arguments that merely tend to show that a thing must be immortal because of the desires or intentions of God, do not suffice.
All the facts that may be established as premises, are not sufficient to logically prove the conclusion desired to be established and men cannot depend upon such method of reasoning.
It is utterly impossible to derive immortality from anything less than that which is immortal in itself, and to attempt to do so by argument or inference is a mere waste of time by the exercise of the reasoning faculties.
As has been said, only God is Immortal, and that means that the very Qualities and Nature of Himself is Immortal; and if it were possible for Him to have any qualities that are not of a nature that partakes of the Immortal, then these qualities would not be Immortal, but subject to change and dissolution. Among the Qualities of His Being is the great and important one of Love and without It God could not be. His existence would be less than that of a God; and that being a fact this great Quality of Love must be Immortal, and into whatever this Quality may enter and form a part, that thing is necessarily Immortal, and in no other way could it become Immortal.Then this Love of God brings Immortality in the true sense of the term and when It enters into the soul of man and possesses it, that soul becomes Immortal, and in no other way can Immortality be acquired.
Not all things of God's creation are immortal, for in a shorter or longer time they perform the object of their creation, and their existence is no longer required and they become dissolved into the elements of which they were composed. Man's physical body for this reason is not immortal, for after a short life on earth it dissolves and is no more. His spirit body is primarily of this evanescent character, and it may be that in the course of eternity it will have performed its mission and cease to exist. We do not know this, neither are we assured that it is not true, because it is dependent upon the continuous existence of the soul for its continuous existence, and not all souls will receive a part of the Father's Divine Love, which is the only thing that has within itself this immortality; and it may be that at sometime in the future, this soul without the love may cease to exist and become no more a creature of the Father.
But this we do know, that whatever partakes of the Divine Love has in it that which is necessarily immortal, and can no more die than can this love itself; and hence, must be immortal. So that when men speak or teach that all men are immortal, they speak that which they do not know - only God, Himself, knows that fact - and from the mere exercise of the reason men are justified in saying, that such men or souls that do not obtain the Divine Love are not immortal.
Now while this question of man's immortality is in doubt, and has never been demonstrated to be a fact, yet we do know that, that portion of mankind whose souls have received this immortal, Divine Love, are immortal and can never cease to exist; and the great comfort and blessings to these souls that this possession brings, are that they know that they are immortal because they possess that quality or nature of God that is immortal, and as the latter can never have an ending, neither can that into which this immortal Love has entered and found a lodgment have an ending.
The preachers arguments were strong, and in the ordinary workings of men's minds and reasoning powers, may convince men that immortality is a proved fact for all mankind, but when properly analyzed and the true rule of search for immortality is applied, it will appear that the arguments are not conclusive - hope is stronger than fact, and men have not the assurance that for them immortality holds out its desired arms of certainty.Well, I thought I would write you this short message upon the question that you and the preacher have been meditating upon, in the hope that he might not depend upon the strength of his argument for the establishing of the fact of immortality, but would see and become convinced that the only way to ascertain and acquire the true immortality is by seeking for and obtaining the Divine Love, and thereby having his soul transformed into the very Essence and nature of God in Love.
I am glad that I can write to you again, and that your condition is so much better than it has been, and permits the rapport to be made. Pray more to the Father and believe, and you will get in a condition that we so much desire.I will not write more. Good-night.
Your brother in Christ,