November 19, 1916
Received by James Padgett
I am here, St. Paul.
I merely want to say that I was present at the church tonight and listened to the preacher (Dr. Ratcliff) tell his congregation what he didn't know about Hell, because what he said, in many particulars, was untrue and it was pleasing to hear him tell his people that there was no physical suffering, although he didn't explain to them why there could be no such suffering, and I mean that no spirit, when he goes into Hell carries with him his physical body, or any other body, that has such substance as would be affected by fire and brimstone and the other unreasonable things that the churches have for so many years taught and terrified their members with and, as a consequence, caused them to believe that the Father is such a cruel and wrathful Father demanding that His cravings for satisfaction be supplied by the sizzling in fire of the bodies of His children. No, this damnable doctrine is not true and I am glad to see that the churches are ceasing to believe or teach it.
But the doctrine that the preacher taught is quite as bad, and as useless as the former, for the reason, that punishment of sinners and those who are out of harmony with God is a fact which they all will realize when they come to the spirit world, and that being so, to teach that this punishment is everlasting is as harmful as the one that I first mentioned. How strange that preachers and teachers will try to cause their people and listeners to believe that God is such a wrathful and vindictive being, having less love and mercy than the most wicked and earthly father has for his children. It is so very deplorable that such attempts are made by these supposed instructors of what God is, to blaspheme Him in His great qualities of Love and Tenderness, and the desire that all His children become happy.
Oh, I tell you that these preachers will have a woeful sin to answer for when they come to an accounting, and that will not be at the great judgment day, as they teach, but just as soon as they enter spirit life and realize the great harm that they have done to many who have followed them in their teachings; and they will realize that awful result very soon after their entrance into the spirit world, for they will have come to them, as clouds of witnesses, the spirits of those who were under their instructions on earth, bringing with them all the evidence of the results of their erroneous beliefs and the stains of this great sin of blasphemy.
I, Paul, write this for I know. I have suffered from this very cause myself because, when on earth, I taught some doctrine like unto the one that these preachers are now teaching, and even now I realize that to some extent I am responsible for many false beliefs; but I thank God that all that is ascribed to me in the Bible, I am not responsible for, and that if my true teachings were known and taught, the blind and erroneous beliefs that are now so prevalent among Christians would not exist. I tell you that mortals do not conceive the great harmful and deplorable results that flow from their beliefs in the Bible in many particulars.
This Book is one of falsehoods and forgery and imputations that have no resemblance to what the Master or any of his apostles taught, and you can readily realize how anxious we all are that these errors and untruths be removed from the minds and souls of men. But I must not permit myself to become too enthusiastic in considering these things tonight, or I might not stop as I should under the circumstances.
I will come, though, very soon and write you on the subject, as it is a vital one to mankind, and I will explain the truths connected with it as fully as is possible for men to understand. I should like to write more tonight but I must not. So with my love, I will say, good night.
Your brother in Christ,