I am here, Luke of the New Testament
Yes, I desire to write a few lines tonight upon a subject that has never yet been written on, and I know it will interest you. My subject is: "What is the most important thing in all the world for men to do in order to bring about the great millennium that the preachers proclaim will come before or after the coming of Jesus?"
Of course, in stating the question thus, I do not intend to be understood as consenting to the doctrine that Jesus will come to earth in physical form, or appear on the clouds with a great shout, etc., as many of the preachers teach. As we have written to you before, that event will never happen, because he has already come to men on earth, in the spiritual way that we have explained. Neither do I intend to embrace in the phrase, "the most important thing" the Divine Love; for that, of course, is the greatest thing in all the earth, and in the heavens as well. But by this declaration of "the most important thing that men can do," I mean that which is independent of the assistance of the Divine Love.
Well, as commonly understood, the "millennium" is a time or period of a thousand years when peace will reign on the earth, and the "devil," as is said, will be bound and not permitted to roam over the earth to cause sin, destruction of souls, sickness, and the other sins that so generally beset mortals now. Of course, there is no personal devil, in the sense of a "satanic majesty", but there are spirits of evil which abound in the unseen world.
These spirits are constantly with mortals, exercising their influence of evil upon them, and suggesting thoughts and desires to them that eventuate in sinful and wrong deeds. But these evil ones are merely the spirits of departed mortals, and are not beings of a superior kind, in their power or qualities. Sin, as we have told you, was never created by God, nor is it the product or emanations of any of God's perfect Creations. Rather, sin is wholly the result of the wrongful exercise of man's appetites and will, that occurs when the desires of the flesh are permitted to overcome the desires of his spiritual nature.
With sin comes all the evils and discords and inharmonies that constitute man's manner of living his earth life. And until these things (which are not actually a part of his original nature, but rather, the creation of the inversion of that nature) are eliminated from his thoughts and desires and appetites, the millennium will never be established on earth, and neither will "Satan" be bound in chains and prevented from doing his work of soul destruction.
Now, the converse of this proposition is true. And the possibility of its occurring is also true. The question that arises then, is how can this be brought about - for to bring this about is "the most important thing for men to do." When the cause of the present condition of mankind in sin and sorrow and unhappiness is definitely determined, then what is necessary to remedy the condition and remove the cause will readily appear. And when the remedy is applied, and the removal is made, the millennium will surely come. For this glorious time of man's desired and looked-for happiness is merely one in which peace rules and discord does not exist, with every man being his own brother's keeper in love.
Then what are the causes of the present condition of existence on earth, marred and tainted and controlled by sin and error and disease? The causes are twofold: One arises from man's fall from his created perfection of body, mind, and soul. This permits and encourages the animal nature to subordinate the spiritual, and by the overindulgence of the former, causes the carnal appetites to grow, and transform the man into a lover of sin, and evil things. The other cause arises from the influences of the spirits of evil, who are always endeavoring to make close rapport with men in order to exercise their evil influence over them.
While the personal "Satan" does not exist, yet the idea conveyed of the necessity of binding evil in order to bring about this millennium, is a true one. This applies to the actual relationship of men to these evil spirits as well. However, in the case of these spirits, it is not necessary, or even possible to bind them. Men actually need to loosen them - that is, to loosen their rapport with, or influence over men. For when that is done, men become, as it were, free; and these evil spirits become as if they were nonexistent.
So you see, as a preliminary to the ushering in of this greatly desired time of peace and purity, men must cease to believe that it will come with the coming of Jesus in a manifested physical way, as a mortal conqueror might come with legions of followers and noises of drums, and by force of arms or greatness of power subdue his enemies. This will never be, for no man is an enemy of Jesus. All are his brothers, and he is not making, and never will make war on any human being. He only contends against the sin and defilement that is within man's soul. And this war can never be waged by power or force of legions of angels.
For so great is the power of man's will, and so respected is its freedom of action by the Father, that there is no power in heaven, or on earth that can or will change a sinful soul, into a pure one by force and threats and conquering legions of angels. This could not be accomplished even if the angels were led by Jesus, which of course will not happen. No, the soul is the man; and that soul can be made pure and sinless only when it consents to, and desires that such a condition may become its own.
So it should not be difficult for men to understand that this erroneous belief (that Jesus will come in this semblance of a human conqueror and establish this great time of peace) is doing them much harm, and is delaying the actual time of the coming of this reformation. The effect of this erroneous belief upon the soul is that everything is to be accomplished by the work of Jesus, and nothing by the individual soul, except to believe in his coming and wait - and to be ready to be "snatched up in the clouds", and then to help the heavenly host destroy all of their fellow mortals who had not believed with them; and after all this, to put on the "robes of ascension," as they literally, or figuratively designate such robes.
They thus believe, and in their minds they may be honest; yet their souls may be disfigured and tainted with sin, and life's accumulation of sin, so that they could not possibly be in condition to enjoy a place of purity and freedom from sin.
And some of them expect and claim that they will be the judges of their fellow mortals because of their deeds done in the body. And yet, in how many cases would it prove to be the blind and sinful judging the blind and sinful! But they claim further that Jesus, by his great power, and the fact that they believed he would come again to earth to establish his kingdom, will make them, in the twinkling of an eye, fit subjects for his kingdom, to judge the unrighteous and help cast them out of his kingdom.
No, this can never be the way in which the millennium will be established. And the sooner men discard this belief, and seek the truth and the true way to purity and perfection, the sooner the hope and expectation of mankind will be realized.
Your brother in Christ, Luke