March 23, 1916
Received by James Padgett
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 again will they become parts of a resurrected body. Your orthodox do not teach this truth, but think in some mysterious way that the mortal body will sometime be resurrected.
No, the body, when it has performed its function of maintaining and shielding the soul and spirit of man during his earth life, is no longer and cannot thereafter be a part of that man and may be considered as something that is no longer a part of him.
This body though, as a matter of fact even during the life of the mortal, is not the same body during that life, for continually is there changes in the elements that compose that body; and one element or set of elements, gives place to others and becomes lost or absorbed in the great sea of elements that help form or constitute the universe of God.
By operation of the Laws of Attraction and Repulsion, these elements, as they replace others which disappear, conform themselves to the general appearance or outline of the parent body, so that the identity of the body as well as of its appearance is preserved; and as a man grows older, the laws which make the changes in his appearance cause these new elements to conform to these changes, so that, even while the material continues to envelop the spirit during the short span of a man' s life, yet that material is not the same for any length of time. I make this preliminary statement merely to show that the material part of man is not at all connected with the real man, so far as the persistent nature of him is concerned, and this material need not be considered in discussing the subject that I desire to write about.
The spirit part of man is that part which contains what may be called the functions of life and the force and power existing in him and which immediately control him in his conduct and living. This real, existing principle of life, unlike the body, never dies, but continues to live after the spirit drops its envelope of flesh. This spirit part of man contains the seat of the mental faculties and reasoning powers, and uses the organs of the material body to manifest these attributes. These faculties live and exist, even though the physical body may be in such imperfect condition that the spirit may not he able to make its manifestations in such a way as to enable the mortal to perceive or sense the material things of nature, as they are called. To be specific, even though the material organs of sight may become impaired or destroyed, yet in that spirit body, which is within the physical body, exists the actual sight just as perfectly and completely as if these impaired or destroyed organs were doing their functioning; and the same is true as regards the hearing and the others of what are called the five senses of man.
And as to the reasoning faculties and mental qualities, they exist in the perfect state whether the brain is healthy or not or whether it performs its work or refuses to do so. These qualities do not depend upon the soundness or perfect workings of the organs of the physical body in order that these spirit qualities may exist in a perfect condition, but the proper workings of the physical organs, or rather the proper and natural movements and manifestations of the brain, and the conscious operations of the mental faculties, do depend upon the spirit faculties being able to use these physical organs in a proper way and in accordance with the harmony of the creation of the relative and correlative parts of man.
These spirit faculties, which man calls the intellect and the five senses, are a part of the spirit body which is enclosed in the material body and which in turn encloses the soul. When the material body dies, the spirit body continues to exist and live on in the world of spirit, and with it and as continuing parts of it, these intellectual faculties, performing all their functions free from the limitations that the physical organs placed upon them. And when this change takes place, these mental qualities, notwithstanding that they have not the material organs through which they functioned when in the mortal frame, can conceive thoughts of things material and hear and see things of the material just as they did, and even more perfectly, when they were enveloped by the environments of flesh and blood.
So you see when the mortal dies, the only thing that dies and is left behind is the mere physical body, and with the spirit body survives all those things which can be said to be the real man, so far as the mind is concerned. Hence, man never ceases to remember and to progress and to know that he is a being which death cannot destroy or change into something that he was not before death came to him. And thus I answer the question: "When a man dies shall he live again?" He never ceases to live, and his living is not a new life, but merely the continuation of the old life with all the things of mind and conscience that were his in the old life.
In the purely spirit life, the spirit body continues to contain the soul and will be its protector and covering so long as that spirit body shall last. But this body then begins to change, and by disintegration into what we may call spirit elements, and the formation of new elements to replace the disappearing ones. This change in this body is not caused by the same laws that operated to change and disintegrate and replace the physical body, but by the law controlling the development of the soul which the spirit body contains.
The soul is the real man, because it is the only thing or part of man that may become immortal, the only part of man that was made in the image of its Creator, and the only part of man that may become a part of the Substance of its maker and partake of His Divine Nature. I say may, for that is an important part of this great possibility. I know this possibility of the soul becoming immortal - by partaking of the Divine Nature of God - is true; for it is a proven fact in the case of many souls who are now in the Celestial Heavens.
I also know that there are many souls in the spirit world, who have been there for many centuries, who have never received this Divine Nature and consciousness of immortality. Whether such souls who have not received this Divine Nature shall become or are immortal has never been demonstrated. This I do know that in the economy of God's plan for the forming of His Kingdom, at some time - when, I don't know - this privilege of partaking of His Divine Nature and the certainty of immortality will be withdrawn from the souls of men and spirits and then, whether these souls who suffer this condemnation will partake of immortality no spirit knows, only God.
There are other things that I know and here tell you, and among them is this: that so long as the soul does not receive this Divine Nature, the mind, which I have described as being a part of the spirit body, continues to exist and dominates both soul and body; and in its progress it may attain to a condition of purity and perfection such as were possessed by the first created living souls - our first parents. Many spirits now are in this condition, but yet are mere men, and their souls remain only in the image of God - nothing more.
While God is mind, mind is not God, and also while God is spirit, spirit is not God. So that when men teach that mind is God, and that men must seek to attain to that mind, and thus become like God, they fall far short of the truth. The mind is only an attribute of God, and beyond and back of that mind is the real God - the personality, and that is Soul, from which emanates all these attributes and manifestations which mortals as well as spirits may be conscious of.
But while God is Soul, yet that Soul is a thing of substance with a nature Divine, and the seat and fountainhead of all the great attributes that belong to Him, such as love and power and life and omniscience and mercy. And here I must state one fact which may startle those who believe and teach that mind is God, and that is, that which is called the human mind is not a part of the mind of God, for this human mind and all its faculties and wonderful qualities are mere special creatures just as are the spirit body and material body of man. As I have said, man was created in the image of God only as regards the soul; and here always bear in mind that the creation was only an image.
The mind of man was a special creation, just as were the minds of the lower animals, differing only in degree. And if God had not given to man a soul and the spirit body to envelop it, and in which he placed this mind of man, when man died the death of the physical body, that would have been the end of him; as such death is of the body, which is not a part of this soul image of God.
As I have heretofore written you, when God created man and made him in His own image as to the soul, He also gave to man the possibility of obtaining the Substance of the Father; that is, of having that soul which was a mere image become that soul which is of the Substance of the Creator. I have also explained to you how man, by his disobedience, lost that possibility, and for long centuries was deprived of this great privilege, and how it was again restored to him at the time of my coming to earth, so that he now and for nineteen centuries past has had the possession of this great gift or privilege of partaking of the Substance of the Father.
Well, when man, by the way that has been pointed out to him, becomes possessed of the Substance of the Father's Divine Nature, even in an initial degree, his soul commences to change and lose its character as a mere image and to progress towards the attainment of that condition when this image disappears and the Divine Substance takes its place; and as the progress continues, he receives so much of the Substance that his soul takes on the Divine Nature of the Father, and his at-onement with the Father becomes so perfect that he becomes an inhabitant of the Father's Kingdom.
This occurs when he becomes fitted to enter the First Celestial Sphere; and just here occurs another thing which may startle those who teach that the mind is the essence of God, and that is the mind which man, both as mortal and spirit, possesses up to that point in the progress of the soul where the transformation into the Divine Nature takes place, becomes a thing of naught; or rather becomes absorbed in the mind of the soul, which is the real mind of the Father. And then and ever after, only this mind of the soul is that which enables the real Divine man to understand the things of God to help him in his progress.
I will continue later. You are tired. But remember that I love you and you have me with you at all times to help and sustain and comfort you. Good night my dear brother.
Your friend and brother,