Redemption from Sin

REDEMPTION FROM SIN
 
By Daniel G. Samuels
 
 
To the pious Hebrew of the Old Testament, it appeared that his wickedness both as a nation and as individuals was the cause of his national disasters and that his successes were the result of his faithfulness to the Covenant between God and the Patriarchs. The prophets emphasized the necessity in times of national stress to avoid alliances with other countries, and to put their faith in God's protection. Failure to heed the warnings of the Prophets led to calamity as in the days of Jeremiah, when disregard of his advice brought captivity in Babylonia. Again, in the sorest hour of Judaea's history, when the people were being provoked almost beyond endurance to bloody rebellion against mighty Rome, a Prophet out of Nazareth came with a message of peace and forbearance, only to be rejected by those in power; Judaea was crushed and the people--those that remained--dispersed over the face of the globe. For those of us who know that the Heavenly Father is our God of Love, we cannot believe that He brought about the horrible destruction of the Hebrews in the revolt of 67-70 A.D. But we do believe that the condition of men's souls was such that it embraced wrath and the violence of warfare rather than love and patience and that this condition of the soul made inevitable the dreadful consequences that followed.

In the spirit world, the soul that sins must likewise reap the whirlwind. On leaving the flesh, it is received by spirits whose duty it is to instruct it in the things of its new existence. It is told that everything in the spirit world is controlled by law. One of these is the "law of compensation," applicable to all spirits who pass over from mortal to spirit life. This life calls for the expiation of the sins which the soul has committed as a mortal.

Since the soul is the "real man," and is in possession of its faculties, this includes the memory of deeds committed in the earth life. All the evil works and thoughts which the soul has accumulated as a mortal now come back to haunt and assail him and the terrible remorse and suffering that ensue continue constantly and unabated until these evil memories have left him, and it is this that constitutes the judgment day and the hell. The condition of the soul creates the home in which it lives when it first passes over into spirit life; a home which accurately and exactly reflects the state of that soul and the spirit body which it manifests. Hence a soul filled with thoughts and deeds spiritual and in accord with God's laws will abide in a place suitable to its soul condition filled with light and reflecting the happiness of that soul; but a soul filled with deeds and thoughts of the material plane alone, and out of harmony with God's laws, engenders an abode of darkness and suffering, and in accordance with the abuses and unlawful material pleasures which it pursued when on earth.

But one of the most pernicious doctrines taught by the churches and whose damnable falsity is exposed by Jesus, is that which fixes the destiny of the delinquent soul in hell for all eternity. This is not true, for as soon as the soul wills it, and repents of his sins as a mortal, he may make his progress out of the lowest hells to the spiritual heavens or, should he seek and obtain the Father's Love, continue to eternally progress as an immortal soul in the Celestial Heavens towards the throne of God. The reason for this, the Master explains, is that the soul of man is the same, whether in the flesh or as a spirit, and the same conditions of forgiveness obtain here as in the spirit world. All sins are pardonable in this world or the next whenever the soul makes the sincere effort to receive it, and the only sin not pardonable is that which, in New Testament parlance, blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, or in the language which the Master makes clear, refuses the Divine Love of the Father which can transform the human soul into a divine soul and bestow upon it immortality.

It is not true that man has the sorry alternative of either repenting of his evils ways in the brief existence in the flesh or living in hell throughout all eternity as a spirit. Some churches state that man cannot live a mortal life of pleasure and evil and then turn to God to avoid eternal suffering as a spirit. At the same time they teach that despite a life of sin a last minute return to God will insure forgiveness of their sins, when they come to the next world. These churches seem to be unaware of the existence of the law of compensation which exacts payment for the evils committed in the flesh "to the last farthing." This is justice, indeed, if that is what these churches desire, but the time comes when the debt is paid, the soul is released from the workings of the law and forgiveness is achieved.

The law, then, acts upon the soul undergoing the process of purification, but the soul that seeks the Father's Love invokes the higher law of Grace. Here no justice is involved; only the Divine Love which the Father bestows upon His aspiring children and transforms them into divine souls, bringing about the elimination of those evil desires and the forgetfulness of those evil deeds upon which the law of compensation operates. The pernicious doctrine of eternal damnation often prevents the unhappy soul from seeking the Father's Love through prayer, in the terrible belief that his position in hell is fixed forever and that God can no longer help him. Yet God, as Jesus explains it, helps His children wherever they are, in this world or the next, or in whatever condition of soul they may be in, provided they come to Him as their Heavenly Father in earnest longing of their souls and seek His Love and mercy.

It is the awakening of the soul to the iniquities it worked and cogitated as a mortal that brings about the workings of the law of compensation, and the abode of the spirit. Sometimes, the soul that passes over, because of the peculiar character of its make-up, is impervious at first to this awakening, and in that case, the soul lives on the level of its evil earth plane life and seeks in spiritual counterparts those evils which it practiced as a mortal, or roams the earth seeking to obsess mortals susceptible to its baleful influence. Jesus refers in the Gospels of the New Testament to his having liberated mortals from possession by demons, and these demons were nothing more than evil spirits which had taken possession of human beings at the time. In respect to these evil spirits of once mortal beings, Jesus tells us that some of the narratives related in the New Testament are true, but that others are false, and he refers concretely to the story of the possessed swine which ran madly down the cliff to be destroyed. This, he asserts, he never brought about, first because he would harm no creature, and because of the financial loss such an act of his would have entailed their owner. But, as regards the evil spirits, these awaken in time to the law of compensation and pass through their period of suffering for their mischief and evil. They are helped in this condition by others who are somewhat more advanced than themselves, and who instruct them in the ways that exist to progress out of their deplorable condition.

Hence, souls in suffering eventually learn to give up their evil inclinations, whether it be a fondness for money, possessions, gratification of pleasures or the desire to injure others--greed, lusts, covetousness, hatred, envy, injustice and other sinful creations of the human heart--and they may use their will power and intellectual faculties to enable them to cause the forgetfulness of the things that make for a soul stricken with remorse. But the soul in suffering and darkness may also seek outside aid if it so wishes: the Divine Love of the Heavenly Father which, pouring out into the soul which earnestly seeks His Love, causes the purification of that soul through possessing it and thus forcing from it the excrescences that mar and defile that soul; and indeed, as the Father's Love continues to fill the soul of him who seeks it, there takes place the transformation of the human soul reflecting the Soul of God into a Divine soul filled with the very nature and essence of God, His Love. With that Love the soul is changed, and the evils which contaminated it are eradicated and the memories thereof, so that the law of compensation has nothing on which to operate, and the soul is freed from its inexorable workings. For God's Love sought for by the soul in earnestness and longing invokes a higher law of love and the once evil soul, now filled with God's Love, and mercy, and kindness, consideration, pity and sympathy, progresses out of its abode of darkness and suffering into realms of love and light, and eventually into the Celestial Heavens, where only those souls filled with His Love can enter. Jesus is the Master of the Celestial Heavens, where the inhabitants are the possessors of the Father's Love to that degree in their souls that they are conscious of their immortality. For God's Soul being Immortal, those souls possessing His Love to a sufficient degree are in the same way Immortal. This is what Jesus meant when he said, "The Father and I are one." He meant there was a oneness between God's Soul and His own because of the great abundance of the Father's Love which he possessed, which enabled him to realize that in this way he was the Father's real and redeemed son. He did not mean, as some churches have erroneously interpreted the remark, that he was God or equal to God; only that there was a kinship in nature between his soul and God's, which had been established by his possession of the Father's Love through prayer.

In short, we come to the real explanation of "forgiveness," which is startlingly different from the traditional conception imposed upon mortals by the churches. God does not arbitrarily forgive sin; but rather, God aids those who, truly penitent and contrite, come to Him to seek His forgiveness with the intention of mending their ways. He may therefore send the Spirit of God to strengthen the soul that seeks to avoid sin and error through his own will power or, in response to prayer, He will send His Holy Spirit to convey His Love into the soul so that His own nature and essence provide the aid in eradicating the evils with which that soul is contending.

In the same way, Jesus lays bare the sterility of the traditional concept of the "judgment day." It is not a weighing in the balance of the good and evil deeds of man during his earth life; neither is it a vague indefinite time when the earth shall be destroyed and men's souls tried for condemnation or resuscitation into physical life from the grave. For, as St. Paul says in Corinthians, "flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom." And Mary, the Mother of Jesus, explains that the flesh of the lifeless body must return to the elements in accordance with God's law, and that therefore any writings to the effect that she ascended into heaven in the flesh is mere speculation and wishful thinking on the part of those who exalt her because of her relationship to her son. Mary states that, indeed, as a spirit filled with the Father's Love, she is an inhabitant of the Kingdom high up in the Celestial Heavens, yet not because of any relationship to Jesus, but because of her own exalted soul condition.

Eventually, declares Jesus, all souls will progress out of their condition of suffering and unhappiness and attain to either the sixth sphere, known to the Hebrews as Paradise (for such is the condition of man possessing purity of soul whether he be in the flesh or devoid of it) or will accept the way to the Father's Love and reach the Celestial Heavens. The perfect natural man, however, must eventually reach a state of stagnation, for the time comes when he can no longer progress beyond the perfection of his human soul; but the soul possessed of the Father's Love may continue to obtain His Love throughout all eternity, for it is infinite, and the soul thus filled with the Father's essence continues to obtain more and more of it and, consequently, to progress nearer and nearer to the fountainhead of the Father's abode, with increased knowledge of things divine and gaining in happiness and joy as a Divine son of the Father.

In accordance with this desire to explain conditions of spirit and soul life, Jesus is emphatic about the utter falsity of reincarnation. He states, and ancient spirits of the East write to add their corroboration, that while this theory is known to devotees of Oriental cultures, reincarnation has as a matter of fact never taken place in the spirit world and that believers in this sterile idea have been waiting in vain for countless thousands of years to be reincarnated. Jesus, and others of the high spirits, state that the soul cannot be separated from its spirit body once it has been acquired through incarnation, and that only souls without spirit bodies can be incarnated. Hence, Jesus explains, the soul makes its progress from sin to purity or divine transformation in the spirit world, which it can never again leave except to materialize briefly with the aid of material substance borrowed from mediums. The oriental concept of renunciation or expiation of sin from the soul, adds Jesus, is correct, as is the doctrine that eventually the soul will eliminate the evils which defile it, but the errors consist in locating the earth as the place where such expiation takes place, and teaching that the soul on freeing itself of iniquity also loses consciousness of itself as a personal entity through absorption of the soul into the Deity.

In connection with life on the other side, one of the most interesting spirit writers is the Seer, Swedenborg, who tells us about his experiences in the spirit world. He declares--and here Jesus corroborates his messages--that he was indeed permitted to come to the spirit world in a trance state, and that he really saw the spheres and the conditions of the spirits as they existed in the 18th century. Swedenborg tells us that he was informed throughout the world of spirits that God is One, and that a triune God, as believed in by Christians, was nothing but pious fiction. He states that he spoke with Jesus, who confirmed this, but thought that, since Jesus was so much brighter and glorious than all the others of the spirit realm, this same Jesus must be God, and so he declared in his writings. Swedenborg relates that he was informed about the Divine Love, but that he did not truly understand what Jesus and the high spirits meant by it.

One important matter which the messages clear up is the true meaning of the "divine within you" doctrine. Actually, Jesus brought the divine with him when he preached throughout the Holy Land when on earth, and when he walked among men, the Kingdom was with men, but not within them. When preachers talk of the divine within man, they are really referring to the soul, the creation of God, indeed, but a human soul withal, not a divine one. What they mean, then, by developing the divine within man must be viewed as simply developing the latent powers in the human soul through development of the will, and the natural human love through moral and intellectual growth. These, of course, were given to man at his creation, and have no part of the divine. The Divine in the human soul is the Divine Love, which can come only through prayer to the Father. The Divine comes from without, from the Heavenly Father, and can enter the soul and effect its transformation only when that soul seeks it in earnest longing. When Jesus spoke to his disciples about the divine within them, these disciples actually had some of this Love in their souls, even before the Pentecost, when the Father's Love, through the Holy Spirit, was poured out upon them in great abundance.

Another misconception which Jesus clears up, with the corroboration of Mrs. Baker Eddy, is the doctrine known as Christian Science. We are informed that this woman, through her soul perceptions, understood the Divine Love as a great spiritual force coming from God, which could be used for healing purposes, and that it was through the Divine Love that Jesus and his apostles healed the sick. She rightly understood that spiritual healing was a reality which could be attained if mortals would but turn from material interests and seek the spiritual. In this way, healers and patients could reach a condition of soul above that of the earth plane so that rapport could be made with spirit healers. Christian Science, to that extent, declares Jesus, is correct and spiritual healing a phenomenon obedient to spiritual law; but the Master points out that sin and error, contrary to Mrs. Eddy's beliefs, are real, being creations of the human soul, and that the human soul does not reflect the Father's Love, as she states it does. It either does not have the Love or, if it does to a certain extent, possesses that Love, and the transformation of that soul into a divine soul is made to the degree it partakes of that Love.

Her teachings, Jesus declares, help in the development of the human soul towards the state of the perfect natural man, but are devoid of the concept of the soul's possession and conscious ownership of the Father's Love which comes only through prayer to the Father for this Love, and so do not point the way to the Celestial Heavens through prayer to the Father and transformation into the divine angel.

A few words might be said with respect to the additional messages printed for the first time in this edition ["True Gospel Revealed Anew by Jesus," Vol. I]. Although they are all interesting, and those of Mary Kennedy, the soulmate of Dr. Stone, have a personal tone peculiar to her, some commentary is due the communication signed, Elohiam, a member of the Sanhedrin which condemned Jesus to death at his trial. This spirit is unquestionably a sincere personality, and his writings have the ring of truth. It is, of course, understood that not all of the counselors who were present at the trial have since made their way to the Celestial Heavens, as he has, yet at the same time it shows clearly that not all members of the Sanhedrin--and here we recall Nicodemus--were supporters of the high priests or acted out of pure malice and rage. There were those, like Elohiam, who consented to the unfairness of the trial and summary condemnation of the Master in order to liberate Judaism from what they sincerely considered a menace which threatened its overthrow or to bring about Roman repression at any sign of Judean revolt. The message gives for the first time the other side of the story and while the spirit admits his great mistake and does not seek to justify his action or that of his compatriots, the tone is different from the hatred that breathes forth in the account of the trial found in the New Testament, a tone which we know is inconsistent with the Father's Love which inspired the original writers.

It would be possible to continue to discuss at great length the numerous interpretations and corrections made in these messages signed Jesus and the many celestial spirits, and in the preceding pages we have attempted to point out some of the major precepts which animate them. They emphasize the restoration of the original "glad tidings" of Christianity: that with Jesus of Nazareth there came a love distinct from the natural human love as developed and perfected by the Mosaic code of moral and ethical living; that the new love is the Divine Love, the essence of the Heavenly Father, which was first manifested in man by Jesus and through Jesus made available to mankind. It is obtained not through mere belief in Jesus' name or in any overall vicarious atonement supposedly made by him or through the shedding of his blood, but only as each individual, turning in free will to the Father, seeks His Love through prayer and faith with all his heart and thus achieves a transformation of soul condition from one of sin and error to one of purity and possession with that Love of the divine nature. It is this Love that bestows eternal life upon the soul and thus fulfills the promise of what we call salvation. It cannot be achieved by rites and ceremonies, earned by man or granted to man by the churches, but It is the free gift of the "new heart" poured out in abundance by the Heavenly Father upon His children who seek it in earnest.

In short, it would be impossible here to comment on everything which is of interest to those who, whether they believe in this source of revelation or take issue with the material therein contained, are concerned with things of the spiritual and religious. But one thing must be said in closing, and that is, that these messages, whether they be the result of mortal or spirit intelligence, are so thought provoking and challenging in their nature by declaring at-onement with the Father through prayer for His Divine Love that they can truly be called a new reformation in Christian thinking.  (True Gospel Revealed Anew by Jesus, Vol. I, pp.XXV-XXXIII).

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