Sin Has No Existence Except as It Is Created by Mankind, and Man Must Pay the Penalties
I am here, Jesus;
I come tonight because I see that you are lonesome and feel the need of companionship. I come to you as a brother and friend to cheer you and make you feel that, although you have no mortal friend with you, yet you have a friend in the spirit who is closer than a mortal brother, and who loves you with a deep and abiding love.
Today has been one in which the people of your land have celebrated what they suppose is my birthday. They have also worshiped me as one of the "Triune Godhead," as they believe. But as I have told you before, such worship is all wrong and is very distasteful to me. It only makes me the more anxious and determined that this great falsehood shall be exposed and not believed in any longer.
There is only one God, and that is the Father. He alone must be worshiped, for He alone can save mortals from the result of their sins, and from the consequences of the great fall of the first parents. I do not want men to look upon me as anything more than an elder brother who is filled with the Divine Love of the Father, and is very close to Him in the qualities of Love and faith.
I am a spirit who is possessed of a knowledge of the attributes of the Father that no other spirit has; yet I am only one of his children, as you and the rest of mankind are. And for my own brothers to worship me as God makes me very unhappy, seeing that they can have such little knowledge of the Truths of the Father.
Tomorrow, this worship and praise will be continued, and I must look upon it with all the distaste that I have, realizing that I am not able to set men aright in their beliefs and worship. Oh, I tell you, the harvest is ripe and the laborers are few! But very soon, I hope this truth of the Oneness of God and the brotherhood of myself with all humanity may be revealed to mankind, through the messages that you may receive and transmit to men.
The one great Truth that is the foundation of men's salvation is the New Birth, and the fact that the Divine Love of the Father is waiting for every man to let It enter his soul and make him at-one with the Father. I am with you very often and am trying to impress you with the great necessity of having these Truths revealed, as men's souls are longing for the Truth. Their intellects are dissatisfied with the present teachings of theology and with the sayings of the Bible in many places. While this is to be deplored, yet the time will come when the light that I came into the world to disclose will shine for every man who may come within the reach of my teachings.
Last night, I was reading as you read an article which advocated eliminating a large part of the New and nearly the whole of the Old Testament from the Christian teachings, and formulating a faith based entirely on my sayings and the writings of some of the Bible writers. Such a plan is one that should be investigated by the thinking Christians of the present day and, in a modified way, adopted.
The only difficulty in carrying out this plan effectively, and having it produce the results desired, is that the Bible does not contain many sayings of mine disclosing the Truths, and does contain many sayings attributed to me which I never said. Take that saying over which a controversy is now occurring and which is referred to in another article contained in the book mentioned; that is, that I said I came not to bring peace to the world but rather a "sword."
Now, while this appears in Matthew's Gospel as coming from me, I never said it nor used any expression that would convey the meaning that some of the commentators are endeavoring to place upon the words. I never taught war upon a man's neighbors, and never at any time was such a thought a part of my teachings to the disciples or to any others.
No, militarism is all wrong and against all the precepts of truth. It should not be believed for a moment by any Christians, or by anyone else, that such action was ever advocated by me. While I know the truth will cause a division among men as to what the truth is, and may even separate men and cause bitter thoughts and even hatred to arise in the souls of men towards their fellowmen, with even brother perhaps coming to dislike brother, yet the accomplishing of such results was not the object of my coming to earth and teaching the Truths. Rather, they are the results of the unavoidable conflict between truth and error. Truth cannot compromise, even for the sake of peace, and error will not submit or acknowledge its untruth so long as it can get any mortal to believe in and advocate it.
And because of the great gift of free will to man, truth itself, with all the Power and Knowledge of the Father in back of it, will not compel a man to accept it against his will. Hence, as man is very fallible and thinks and believes as his finite mental faculties convince him that a certain thing is or is not true, he will not be willing to surrender his convictions until the truth shall come to him in such a way as to persuade him of its reality. And as men differ so much in the operations of their minds and reasoning faculties, there will be necessarily a great division among them as to what is and what is not true. Consequently there will arise disputes and hatred, and even wars among them, in maintaining their respective beliefs and opinions as to what is truth.
While these feelings of discord must necessarily follow the advent of truth, yet I did not come for the purpose of bringing a "sword," but for the purpose of showing men what the truths are, and of causing harmony and belief in these truths. Never is hatred or discord or war among men justified, no matter what the cause. And if men will only learn the truth, there will never exist such feelings or acts.
Truth is, of itself, a thing apart, and admits of no variations or modifications. Hence the minds of men must submit to and embrace truth; it will never accommodate itself to the beliefs of men. One is fixed and unchangeable, and the other is always changeable. And until founded on a knowledge of the truth, men's beliefs will at some time or other have to change, because in the end truth will be established in the hearts and minds of men, so that harmony and peace shall reign in all God's universe.
Error does not exist in the world because God created it or permits it to exist, but solely because there belongs to man an unrestricted will which controls and influences his thoughts and acts, and which in turn is influenced by the desires and appetites of the mortal. I know it is said that if God did not permit evil and carnal thoughts and desires to exist in the world, there would be no reason or possibility for man to exercise his will in a way that would bring him to all these feelings of hatred, etc. that I speak of. But this is merely saying that if a man had not the power of free will, he would commit no sin and indulge in no error. For you must know that, in his creation, he was given (under certain conditions) not only the privilege and the power to become a being entirely free from sin (which is merely the violation of God's established laws) but also the privilege and power to violate these laws. As he will, so shall he be.
Everything in nature may be turned into an instrument of harm if the laws which establish the functionings and workings of these things are violated. Sin does not exist as an abstract thing, but is the result of disobedience to some law whose operations must be pursued in conformity to its creation; and men who violate it must suffer the consequences of such violation. Mortals may not fully realize that every law carries with it a penalty for its violation, and this applies to the smallest law in the material universe as well as to the greatest law in the Spiritual Kingdom. And this penalty is just as sure in its operation as is the law itself.
A man may be created, physically, almost perfect. And as long as he lives in that way which does not violate some physical law, operating to keep him in that physical perfection, he will suffer no pain or inharmony in his being. But just as soon as he does violate this law, the penalty therefore asserts itself, and he suffers. Now, this arises not because there existed any pain or suffering in the abstract, and had not man violated this law, he would never have known that there was such a thing as pain or suffering. Rather, when he did violate the law, there came into operation the penalty which, as I have said, is always the result of violating the Laws of Harmony.
And the same principle applies to the moral and spiritual universe. As I have said, there is no such thing as sin or error in the abstract. As long as a mortal may know and follow the truth, he will never realize the existence of any such thing as sin or error. But the moment that law of truth is violated, the penalty asserts itself, and man realizes that sin and error do exist - not as an abstract entity, but as a concrete, sensitive thing, which will continue to exist until the violation of that law ceases, and harmony, in its operation, is again restored; or rather until man in his thoughts and acts is brought into harmony with the operation of the law.
So you see, God did not create or permit sin or error to exist, in the sense that it is an independent entity waiting to influence men to do wrong and violate his laws of perfect harmony. Rather, when men, in the exercise of their will (which God will not compel) violate one of his laws and thereby interfere with that harmony themselves, they cause the inharmony to arise, which brings with it the pains and sufferings and sins and errors which are prevalent in the world.
Let men think, if they can, of sin or error in the abstract, and then let them try to describe it. What is the result? Only vacuity.
So I say, God did not create sin or error, but gave to man that great gift of free will, free and not subject to His control, and then man became the responsible being that he is. But in giving man this great gift, He did not relinquish or subordinate His Will to that of man, nor did He confer upon man the power to change or modify His immutable Laws, which He Himself will not do. And within the limitations that man can exercise his will - that is, when such exercise does not interfere with the Will of God or His Laws - man may exercise that will with impunity and without responsibility, as it were. But when he infringes upon the Will of God, or violates one of His Laws in the exercise of that will, then, while man is not controlled in the exercise of his will, yet, for such violation, he must pay the penalty which such violation calls into operation.
God has decreed that His Universe shall be one of harmony in its workings, and that no man shall destroy or interfere with that harmony; and no man can. But, as man is a part of that harmony, his every act which tends to interfere therewith (and it does not, except as to himself) brings upon himself the penalty of that interference.
Let a man who has violated this harmony (and thereby becomes inharmonious himself) again get into that harmony, and, as to him, there would be no sin or error. Let every man do this, and there would be no sin or error in all God's universe. So I repeat, there is no sin or error in the abstract in all the universe. They appear only when man himself, in the exercise of his will, interferes with the harmony of God's laws. It makes no difference what the cause of this interference may be; in what way the will of man may have been exercised, or for what reason inharmony is brought about. The effect is the same, because harmony and inharmony cannot exist together, no matter what the cause may be. It does not matter that, in one case, the cause may appear excusable, or even apparently forced on the individual. The excuse for, or apparent justification of the cause will not make what is inharmonious unite and work in unison with God's laws of harmony.
And hence, the man whose will may be excused in the way mentioned by reason of heredity, or environments, or want of proper mental or moral instruction, is just as much out of harmony with the violated law as is the man who willfully violates the law.
The penalty must be enforced just the same in each case, as the only remedy is the restoration of the harmony. But there is this difference between the individuals of what may be called the involuntary class and the individuals of the voluntary class: The former will find it easier and faster to get into this condition of harmony than will the latter.
So, man must not accuse God of permitting sin and error to exist in the world, as they do not exist, except as man brings them into existence by the wrongful exercise of his will. All sin and error bring their sufferings. And if there were no sufferings, and men were permitted to exercise their wills irrespective of the laws which govern the universe, and without incurring the penalties, then the only result would be that anarchy would prevail in all God's Universe where men live, and in the spirit universe as well.
However, the will and its great franchise of unrestricted exercise pass with the mortal when he leaves his material body.
So, with all my Love, I will say good night.
Your brother and friend, Jesus