I am here, Elias
I come tonight to write a short message on the subject of "The truth of the Bible as to the things that are contained in the Old Testament." And by this I do not mean that I will discuss this portion of the Bible in all the views and declarations that are contained therein, but only as to that portion which has to do with the times in which I was supposed to live.
In the first place my entrance on the scene of Jewish life and history was very abrupt, and little was written about my antecedent life, and in fact, nothing except that I was a Tishbite who lived in that portion of Palestine where the acts and doings of the prophets, and men of the Hebrew race are very seldom referred to, and little is known of these people.
When I came into notice, as portrayed, I was not very widely known, and to the writers of the Scriptures it appeared as if I had come out of the unknown, where God had taken special pains to instruct and communicate to me the truths of His laws, and also the acts of disobedience of those Jews among whom I appeared.
But a very great deal of the accounts of my appearing and things that I declared and did, are imaginary and the result of the workings of the minds of those who produced the stories of the lives of the Jews at those times, and in the way told in the Bible.
I was a real existing person and of the prophet class, and warned the kings and rulers of the wrath of God that was impending upon them, and of the evils of their manner of living, and was listened to by these kings, who sometimes heeded my warnings and sometimes did not; and some of the consequences were suffered by them in a way similar to that described in the Bible.
But I never claimed to have direct communication with God, or to deliver any messages that He had directed me to deliver by His own word of mouth, or that I had ever seen God, or knew who or what He was.
I was a man who lived a rather secluded life, and was versed in the teachings and beliefs of the Israelites, as they were known at the time, and was also given to much meditation and prayer and possessed much of the religious instinct, and, in fact, to such a degree, that I really believed that the thoughts and perceptions of truth that came to me, were actually the messages from the unseen world; and possessing the knowledge of the moral truths, as declared in the Decalogue and as taught by the priests of the temple, I could readily discern and understand the acts and doings of the kings and of the people, as well, to be a violation of these moral truths.
And so when I learned of these violations, I appeared to these rulers and people and denounced their acts and doings and threatened them, with the wrath of God, unless they ceased their acts of disobedience and returned to the worship of the one true God that the Hebrew race distinctly declared and worshiped. Sometimes I was received as the true prophet of God and sometimes I was not and, as a consequence, my messages, at times, were received and believed in, and at other times they were not.
The foundation stone of my belief and office was that there was only one God, and He was the God of the Hebrews, and all other Gods that were believed in, and worshiped by a part of the Jews and by the Gentiles, were false gods, and should not have obeisance made to them or worshiped. And, hence, when I appeared to Ahab and denounced the gods of Belial, I was performing, as I believed, the duties that my God had imposed upon me, and which were so necessary to cause the turning away of the people from their false beliefs and worship to an acknowledgment of the one true God.
Well, there are many things related in these writings that never occurred, and the one that is often referred to and accepted as proof of the superior power of my God, over the god Baal, that is the consuming by fire of the offerings at the altar by the power of God, after the priests had called upon their false god to answer their prayers and he neglected to respond, never occurred, but it is the result of the endeavor of some Jewish writer to demonstrate to his people, the wonderful power and activity and closeness of that God to His prophets.
Such an incident never took place, and there are many other occurrences related to the powers that I possessed as the prophet of God, that never had any existence.
While I considered and believed myself to be a prophet of God, yet I never had any of the supernatural powers, nor were any such ever displayed by me, as recorded in the supposed history of my life as a mortal.
There is one other instance to which I desire to refer and that is my supposed ascension into heaven in a chariot of fire in the presence of Elisha.
This is merely a tale, as I may say, well told, but it never had any existence in fact; and I did not ascend in my physical body, or did any other mortal that I have heard of, not even the Master, for it would be against the laws of God that such a thing should take place, and He never violates His laws for the purpose of demonstrating to mortals His power, or the greatness of any of His followers or for any other purpose.
No, I died as other mortals died, and was buried as was necessary for me to be buried, having with one at the time of my death, friends and relatives; and since that time my physical body has never been resurrected and never will be.
I ascended into the spirit world in my spirit body as has every other mortal at the time of the death of his physical body since the world of human existence began, and in the future, the spirits of men will so continue to ascend and their physical bodies go to the elements out of which they were composed.
It may be supposed, that because I was versed in the teachings of the religious laws of the Hebrews, and the precepts of the decalogue and believed myself to be a prophet and especially delegated by God to denounce the sins and evils of the kings and people, that had forsaken the beliefs and practices of their fathers, that I went into the heaven of perfection, and into the supreme happiness that the obedient child when in perfect harmony with the laws of God, would enter. Well, if I had been such child, I might have done so, but not being such, I went merely into the spirit world and found my place just where the condition of my soul in its harmony with God's laws and His truths, fitted me for and determined that I should be placed.
The condition of soul determines the destiny of the spirit. No mere belief in self-righteousness, or the conviction that I - the individual - have been specially favored by God to do His work, or that I am closer to God and deserving of His special mercy and favor, or that a special dispensation is exercised in my behalf, can ever place me in different surroundings or conditions or degrees of happiness, from what the actual harmony of the qualities of my soul with the laws of God and the workings thereof, entitle me.
The law of fitness works invariably and under all circumstances, and the conditions and qualities of the soul in the spirit world can never be hidden nor counterfeited.
Then is seen face to face, and the law in its application and effect never makes a mistake, so that the soul not having the fitness cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven by crying, Lord, Lord, did I not prophecy in Thy name, etc.
Many of these stories of the Old Testament may be profitably used to draw a moral or adorn a tale, but when the question arises, as what shall determine the destiny of the human soul, then the truth never changes, and only the truth will decide the question. Only a pure, perfect soul can find its home in a pure perfect heaven, and only a Divine soul can find its home in a Divine Heaven; which latter, is the home of the soul that possesses the Divine Essence of the Father, to that fullness that the created qualities of the soul have disappeared, and been replaced by the Divine Substance.
So that, we may be prophets and preachers, wise in the intellectual knowledge of religious truths, and saints on earth, and apostles and disciples, and yet, not having the purification of the soul or the Divine Essence, we cannot enter the home which the one or the other of these possessions, will fit us for.
Let the prophets of Old, and the sacrifices and the blood and the vicarious atonement rest in the memory of forgetfulness, and seek and obtain the inflowing of the Divine Love of the Father, and then the home of the soul will truly and certainly be the Heavens Celestial, where only things Divine can exist.
Well, I have written enough for tonight, and hope that you will find my message both interesting and helpful. It is true, and you can believe that it is and in its truth rests the certainty of what the destiny of your own soul may be.
I will come again very soon. So good night.
Your brother in Christ, Elias (Elijah)