The Soul of Man
The Soul: What It Is and What It is Not
I am here, Jesus;
I come tonight to write my message on the soul, and will do so if we can establish the necessary rapport.
Well, the subject is of vast importance and difficult to explain, for there is nothing on earth known to man with which a comparison may be made. Generally, men cannot understand truth, or the nature of things, except by comparison with what they already know to exist, and whose qualities and characteristics they are acquainted with.
There is nothing in the material world that will afford a basis of comparison with the soul; hence it is difficult for men to comprehend the nature and qualities of the soul by the mere intellectual perceptions and reason. In order to understand the nature of this great creation, the soul, men must have something of a spiritual development, and the possession of what may be known as the soul perceptions.
Only soul can understand soul, and the soul that seeks to comprehend the nature of itself must be a live soul, with its faculties developed to a small degree, at least First, I will say that the human soul must be a creature of God, and not an Emanation from Him as a part of His Soul. And when men speak and teach that the human soul is a part of the Oversoul, they teach what is not true. This soul is merely a creature of the Father, just as are the other parts of man, such as the intellect, the spirit body, and the material body; and which, before its creation, had no existence.
The Soul and its Relationship to God and Future Life and Immortality
I am here, St. Matthew.
I have not written you for a long time, and I desire to say a few words on matters pertaining to the soul and its relationship to God and future life and immortality.
The soul is an image of the Great Soul of the Father, and partakes of features like this Great Soul, except that it does not necessarily have it in the Divine Love, which makes the soul of a mortal or spirit a partaker of Divinity. The soul may exist in man and spirit in all receptive qualities, and yet never have the Divine Essence to fill it, which is necessary in order to make man or spirit a new creature, that is the subject of the New Birth.
Only that mortal or spirit who has received this Divine Love of the Father, can be said to be Immortal, all others may live or they may not. It has not yet been revealed to us whether the life or existence of these spirits who have not the conscious knowledge of Immortality, will continue to live through all eternity, but if they do it will be because God so wills that they shall live. But their existence will be subject to change, and if such change should take place, only God knows what its character will be.
While on the contrary, the soul that has acquired Immortality can never die, its status as to a life through all eternity is fixed, and even God himself cannot destroy that existence because, it is the possessor of that Divinity which makes God Immortal.
"The soul that sinneth, sinning it shall die," means that the qualities which it is necessary for it to obtain to make it a part of immortality can never come to it, and hence as regards these qualities, it is dying and dead.
The soul itself will live, for no spirit could possibly have an existence without a soul, and when men attempt to teach that when the spirit of life leaves the body the soul dies, such men do not state a truth. The soul will live as long as the spirit existence continues, and until the great change, should there be one, comes to that spirit. So all men must believe, that the soul which God gave to man is just as much a part of man as is the spiritual or physical body.
The soul is the highest part of man, and is the only part, that in any way resembles the Great Father, who is not body or spirit-body in form but is Soul, and the man's soul, as I have said, is an image of that Great Soul.
So you see, that when we speak of destroying the soul it does not mean that the soul which belongs to every spirit will be destroyed, but that the essence of the soul, or rather the potentiality of that soul receiving the Divine Love and Nature of the Father will be destroyed.
Of course, the soul can be starved and placed in a condition of stagnation so that all its receptive powers will be, as it were, dead, and only some great miracle or unusual ministration can awaken it, but to say that the soul ever dies is erroneous. In saying this I do not include the possibility of some great change in the spirit of mortal by which such spirit may be destroyed, and in such case the soul will cease to exist as an individualized soul or entity.
I do not know what would be the destiny of a soul in such event and, hence, can't prophesy, but, unless there be such great change, the soul will live, but not as an immortal soul possessing the Essence of Divinity, unless it has experienced the New Birth.
God, the Great Oversoul, may not recall to Himself the soul of any man in the sense of depriving that man of his soul, but His relation to that soul will be merely that of Creator and created, subject always to the Will of the Creator, whereas, the relationship of God towards the soul that has received the New Birth and hence the Divine Nature, is not only of a Creator and created, but also that of a co-equal so far as this Great Quality of Immortality is concerned. The soul of man then becomes self-existing and not depending upon God for its continuance to exist.
This, I know, is a subject not easy for mortal mind to understand, but when you shall have received the soul perceptions in addition to your natural mind, it will not be so difficult to grasp the exact meaning of my propositions.
I will not write more to-night.
I am your brother in Christ, St. Matthew.
I am here, Jesus;
Let me write tonight on a subject that is of importance to mankind and should be fully explained, so that they may know the Truth that will show them the Way, to Immortality and Light.
I know that men have debated the question of man's immortality all down the centuries. They have attempted to prove the reality of its existence by various arguments and by reference to the analogy of the workings of God's Universe, in the fulfillment of His Designs, as displayed by the various creations of animate nature. In all these discussions, they have not succeeded in definitely and satisfactorily establishing the fact of Immortality. And why? Because, in the first place, they have not understood what immortality means; and without a correct conception of that which it is desired to prove, it becomes very difficult to successfully prove the existence of the thing sought for.
I know that at times some idea of what immortality is has been conceived of and almost understood by some of the writers on the subject; and their efforts have been directed to show that, by man's inner consciousness, as well as by the appearance of those things in nature which die and live again, man is justified in inferring that man himself is immortal, or that he was intended by his Creator to be immortal.
But the inner consciousness of man (meaning the knowledge of the possession of certain desires and aspirations, as well as the realization that his life on earth is too short to enable him to accomplish those things that his efforts and strivings attempt), and what he really accomplishes in the way of his own mental and moral development (if this but ends with the physical death of men and amounts to only a useless exercise of the faculties and powers given him by God), is not sufficient to prove the immortality of the real man. Neither is it evidence of the uselessness of man's creation, though he is deprived in one moment of all the learning and other benefits of a developed intellect as well as of moral progression.
There is a difference between the state and condition of a human soul in the spirit world that continues the life that it had when embodied in the flesh, and the state that not only continues this life but also makes the extinction of this life an utter impossibility - even by God Who, in the beginning of man's existence, created that soul.
True immortality, then, is the state or condition of the soul that has knowledge that, because of the Essence and qualities of itself, it cannot ever cease to live - the impossibility of its ever ceasing to live being known to it, and a fact.
It has been said that whatever has a beginning may have an ending, or that which was created may be dissolved into its elements. And the possibility of this is true, and no man or spirit can deny the truth of the assertion. In your earth life, you find that all things have an ending - that is, in their individual and composite form. In the spirit world, why may not the same fate attend created things? The fact that there are things in the spirit world that exist as a continuation of things of earth does not mean that they shall endure forever.
The mere change, caused by the death and disappearance from the vision of men of things that were once alive, does not establish the fact that, as they continue to live in the spirit world, they must live forever. Death, which is looked upon as a destroying angel, is merely the result of the change from that which is visible to that which is invisible; it does not determine the everlasting existence of the thing changed in any way.
The soul of man is the same soul (as to its identity and individuality) while in the flesh, as it is when it becomes an inhabitant of the spirit world. If it is immortal while in the spirit world, it is also immortal while in the body; and if it may cease to have an immortal existence in the one state, it may in the other.
By their arguments of the nature mentioned, suppose that men show that the soul of man does not die when the physical body dies, but that it continues its existence in the spirit world as the identical, personal soul. Then, I ask, does that prove immortality as I have defined it? Death of the body, and the continuing life of the soul thereafter do not work any change in the qualities or essence of that soul. It is still the same created soul that it was in the beginning. Then why may it not be also true that, being a created thing, it may have an ending? This is logical and not unreasonable.
Then I say, even if men prove to the satisfaction of many by their arguments that the soul continues to live in the spirit world with all its faculties and powers in active operation after the death of the physical body, they do not prove, nor do all the facts possible for them to discover and marshal prove, that that soul is immortal.
The soul of man did not always exist; it is not eternal, self-existing, or independent of everything else, but is dependent upon the Will of God that called it into existence. Then why is it not reasonable to infer that, in the long period of time to come, it will have served the purpose of its creation, and be disseminated into the elements of which it was created?
But I will say here for the benefit of those mortals who believe in the immortality of the soul that, from the time of the creation of the first man to the present, no spirit in the spirit world has any knowledge of any human soul that has ceased its existence and has been dissolved into its elements. Further, that there are myriads of souls in the spirit world that are in just the condition of perfection that was the condition of the soul of the first man when created and God pronounced His Creation, "Very Good."
But as mortals have no assurance that the life of their souls will not end at some time, neither do spirits who have gained the perfect condition of their creation have any such assurance. They have hope and belief that such may be their destiny, and also a knowledge that their progress as perfect men has ended. They are in that state which limits their progress as the perfect men, although their enjoyment as such is not limited. In God's Universe there is always something new and unknown appearing to them, but yet they have not the knowledge that they are immortal, and realize that they are dependent upon the Will of God for their existence. To many of these spirits, immortality is as much a subject of concern and speculation as it is to the mortals of earth.
Men, in their meditation, study and arguments of this question of immortality, do not start from the foundation of the subject. They have no truthful premises from which they can draw a correct conclusion, and consequently their arguments fail. They reason that, because of the existence of certain things in and outside of man (all things of mere creation) that tend to show God's intentions and plans as regards man, therefore, in order to carry out such intentions, man must be immortal. They do not consider, or lose sight of the fact, that all these things that they use as the foundation for their conclusions are things dependent, not self-existing, and at one time or another, the objects of God's Creation. What God has called into existence He can also declare shall exist no longer. And knowing this, man cannot, or spirit either, rightfully conclude that the soul is immortal.
But there is a way in which the immortality of the soul, or of some souls, can be proven, and which, assuming the facts that enter into the argument to be true, necessarily establish the conclusions without possibility of refutation. Then, in commencing the argument, what is the only reasonable way to approach the subject? First, to discover and establish that which is immortal; next, to search for and find that which, though not immortal, yet by reason of certain operations and effects upon it of that which is immortal, becomes itself immortal. Only from the immortal can immortality be acquired.
Well, this is a good place to stop, as you are tired. I am well pleased with the way in which you have received my message. Have faith and pray, and all will be well.
Good night, my dear brother, for you are in truth my brother,
Your friend and brother,
Jesus Continues His Discourse on Immortality
I am here, Jesus
I would like to complete my message on immortality tonight. Let us proceed.
When Adam, or whom he typified, was told that if he should disobey God and "eat of the forbidden fruit" he should surely die, the word "die" meant death of the soul, so far as its future progress in that which would insure its receiving the Divine Essence of the Father's Love was involved. It did not mean the physical death or the death of the body, because it is very apparent that after his doom was pronounced he lived in the flesh a great many years.
But his soul's progression stopped. And only after my coming to earth and teaching the doctrine and Truth of man being restored to the condition, which Adam occupied before his fall, did mankind have the privilege of becoming immortal again - that is, of being permitted and in condition to obtain that soul progress which would enable them to become one with and a part of the Father in His Love and Affections.
I do not mean that Adam was endowed with this Divine Love when he was created, but that he had that formation of soul potentialities which, if properly exercised, would have brought him in that unison with the Father that would have made his nature Divine. And when he disobeyed the commandments of the Father, he died so far as that possibility of obtaining that Divine Nature is concerned.
As to those who lived on earth between Adam's fall and my revelation of the Truth of Redemption, they did not receive this nature, or potentiality, and were compelled to live only as mortals and spirits having the natural love. They never were admitted into the Father's Heavenly Kingdom, but existed merely as spirits, having the natural love, which was bestowed upon Adam and his race.
Abraham, Isaac, and the rest of the persons who are described in the Bible as being children of God, and obedient to His commands, were not partakers of this Divine Nature, and became so only after my coming to earth and showing the Way to its attainment.
When I was sent to earth, God sent me with the Truth as to redemption, and conferred upon man the privilege of receiving His Divine Essence. No sacrifice or death of mine brought this great boon. Only with my coming came this Love and the Way to obtain It.
Adam was not created immortal, but had only the potentiality of immortality. And after his death, men ceased to have this potentiality, until God sent it to them with my coming to earth. And when it was said that, as in Adam all men die, so in me were all men made alive, it was merely meant that, when Adam fell, that which formed a part of his being and made it possible for him to become immortal was taken from him; that is, he died as to that potentiality and privilege, and was no more able to attain to the condition of soul that enabled him to become one with the Father, or to partake of His Divinity. And in this death the condition of mankind remained until, as I say, I came and brought with me the restored Gift of the soul attribute which made it possible for man to again become immortal.
When this Gift was bestowed upon man, it was also bestowed upon all those who were then living in the spirit world. But they could obtain it only in the Way that was provided for man to obtain it. Understand me: everything that was lost by Adam's fall was restored by my coming with the restored Gift; it embraced every spirit who had ever lived as mortal, and every mortal who thereafter lived up to the present time.
My coming, of itself, or the death or sacrifice of me by the Jews, did not restore mankind to the condition that existed in Adam before his fall. I was only a messenger of God sent with that Gift, and was to teach the Truth of its restoration to mankind and to spirits. And after my death, when I descended into hell, as the Bible says (but which saying does not express the destination of my going, for the true meaning is that I went into the world of spirits), I proclaimed to the spirits the Truth of the bestowal of this Restored Life which had been lost by Adam's disobedience. All spirits, good and bad, now have this restored potentiality of obtaining the Divine Nature that I have spoken of, or immortality.
So you see, when Adam "died," what occurred was the death of the soul quality or potentiality, then making immortality unobtainable.
When the Bible speaks of those men of ancient times who were God's prophets and beloved children, and as "walking" with Him, it merely means that they had obtained such a high development of their natural love that, upon their physical death, they could occupy those spheres in the spirit world which made them mere spirits of mortals, close to the Father and supremely happy (I mean that happiness which does not partake of the Divine Nature). They were not in the same condition of soul attributes as was Adam before his fall, for they did not have this potentiality; and any interpretation of anything written in the Bible which gives to any man or spirit the possibility of receiving the Divine Essence of the Father at that time, is erroneous and misleading.
As I have said, my death or sacrifice by blood, as is emphasized in creeds and worship of the churches, did not in the slightest degree work to bring about the restoration of this Great Favor of God to man. They were merely the results of the beliefs and actions of men in the Jewish nation who would not tolerate my declarations of Truth. My death, etc. did not appease any "wrath" of God towards men. But only of His Own Great Love for His creatures did God bestow this Gift, or privilege of the soul, which man had lost by Adam's disobedience.
It was the disobedience of believing that he was not dependent upon God for the soul quality or potentiality that made it impossible for him to partake of God's Divine Nature. The "tree of good and evil" merely represented the knowledge that God had reserved unto Himself, the existence of which, if known to Adam, would have subjected him to temptations that would destroy this soul quality of which I have spoken. And when Adam "ate of the fruit of this tree" - that is, when he disobeyed God and sought the knowledge of those things which subjected him to the temptations that might cause him to cease to be all good - God took away the potentiality of Adam becoming one with Him, and immortal. It was a direct punishment for disobedience, and the result was that man was left mere man, either as a mortal or as a spirit.
I do not think that it was ever said that if Adam should "eat of the tree of life," he would live forever and become as the gods, because he was already the recipient of this "tree of life" in that attribute of his soul which, by its proper development, could make himself like the gods. And here you must understand that "gods" could mean only those who possessed this Divine Nature of the Father. There was only one God, and all other living beings in the spirit world were merely those who were possessed of the godlike qualities of love and obedience; none were gods. The angels of God were merely the spirits that I have last described.
When it was said that man was made a little lower than the angels, it meant that, while these angels had their Divine nature perfected to a more or less degree, man had only the potentiality of soul that would enable him to obtain, that development which would perfect him so that he could become an angel. But this saying does not apply to any man born after Adam, and before my coming with the announcement that God had restored this Divine attribute to man which Adam had forfeited.
So you see, the loss of immortality does not mean the death of the physical body, but the death of that quality or potentiality of the soul which enabled man to become like the Father in certain of His Divine attributes. And more strictly speaking, the mere possession of this quality of the soul is not immortality, or rather, it does not make a man or spirit immortal, but merely gives him such quality of soul and potentiality that, by its proper development, he may become immortal.
In the future, all men, either as spirits or mortals, will possess that soul quality or potentiality, until the great day of judgment shall again, take from those who have not perfected their souls at that time into the enjoyment of the Divine nature, as I have explained. When that day comes, those who are without this Divine Essence in their souls will be forever deprived of the privilege of receiving this Great Gift or of obtaining this Divine Essence, or in other words, of God's Divine Love.
And after that time those spirits who have never acquired this Divine Nature will be permitted to live merely as spirits enjoying their natural love, just as Adam after his fall, and just as all spirits and men who lived between that time, and my coming lived only in their natural love.
This is the "second death." Adam's was the first, and the great day of judgment will declare the second. And after that, never again will man have the opportunity of partaking of this Divine Essence of the Father and becoming "as one of the gods."
Men may reason to the utmost of their limited intellects, in the way of saying that God would not subject his creatures to this second death, and thereby deprive them of this great boon of becoming partakers of His Divine Nature and the great happiness that comes with It. But such reasoning, or the conclusion reached, will not change the fact. What I tell you is the fact, and when too late, many men will realize to their sorrow that it is true.
And men will not be justified in complaining of this. The opportunity is now given, and will in the future be given to all men and spirits to become the children of the Father in the angelic and Divine sense. And if they refuse to become so, they can have no grounds upon which to base the accusation of injustice against the Father or His Love.
He will still be their Father, even though they may not accept his Great Gift, and they will be comparatively happy from the natural love bestowed upon them. But they will not partake of His Heavenly Kingdom. They will be like the guests invited to the marriage feast who, because of various excuses, declined to attend. While they were not deprived of other food and sustenance, yet they never partook of the more precious food which the host had provided for them at the feast, and never thereafter had the opportunity to do so.
Many of my parables in the Bible illustrate this great Truth when properly understood. And men in those days did understand my parables when I was on earth. But men now harden their hearts and shut their intellects to the Truths of these parables and to my teachings.
Of course, ultimately, all these men will be saved from sin and error; in fact, sin and error will be destroyed entirely, and men and spirits will live comparatively happy. But they will live in death, and not in life, so far as the life of the soul, with its possibilities of becoming Divine or of enjoying the great happiness which the Divine Love of the Father bestows, is concerned.
So you see, immortality does not pertain to the physical body or to the spiritual body, or to the soul unqualifiedly, but to those qualities of the soul which make it possible for the soul to become Divine in its nature. And immortality does not mean mere continuous existence, because every spirit and every soul may live through all eternity in their individualized forms. And when it was said in the Bible that I brought Immortality and Life to light, it did not mean that I showed men that they would merely continue to live forever as spirits. Rather, it meant that they would live forever in the Father's Kingdom, with natures that would be Divine, and not capable of being deprived of the great and true Life which obtains only in that Kingdom.
So, let you and your friend think over what I have written. And in places where my meaning may not appear plain, I will try to enlighten your souls and intellects by the inspiration of my knowledge and power.
You are both very mediumistic and easy recipients of inspiration. And as your souls seem to be attuned to the Truth, and as you are seeking earnestly for the Truth, I will endeavor with all my powers to inspire you with such intellectual thoughts and spiritual perceptions, as will enable you to see these Truths in all their nakedness, face to face, and not as through a glass, darkly.
I must stop now. I give you my blessings and the Blessings of the Father.
Your friend and brother, Jesus
The Truth Concerning the Body, Spirit and Soul
I am here, Jesus;
I am here according to promise, and desire to write you on a subject that all men should be acquainted with: 'How the Divine Love enters into the soul of a man. As I have told you before, man is a creature of God, having a body, spirit and soul, and all these are necessary to make the perfect man. But these three parts of man are different in their characteristics and functions, and are separate and distinct and have qualities that are unlike in their composition, as well as in the duration of their existence.
The body, as you and all men know, has an existence which lasts only during the life of the mortal on earth and after that life ends, dissolves into its elements which no more can form the same body, either in the mortal world or in the spirit world for these elements are merely things of matter and may be and are used to form other bodies and manifestations of the material of nature - not necessarily in the form of human beings, for they enter into other forms both animal and vegetable and are so disseminated that never .....