How Jesus Brought Immortality to Life
This mediated message shows exactly how Jesus brought immortality to life and points out that no other spiritual teacher or reformer did so. It also discusses the difference between indefinite continuation of life and true immortality, and contrasts knowledge, hope and speculation. For related information, go to this page.
Prior to the Coming of Jesus, No Philosopher or Religious Teacher Could Be Said to Have Brought Immortality to Light.
(HENRY WARD BEECHER)
(July 5th, 1915 | Received by James Padgett)
I am your friend and brother in love and desire for the Kingdom. I am the spirit of Henry Ward Beecher.
I live in the Seventh Sphere where your father now is; and, because of having met him there, I come to you tonight to write for a short time.
He has told me of you and how easily you receive the communication of the spirits, and I want to let you know that, even though I am no longer the same as when on earth, I still have the same desire to make known to men the thoughts that arise in me concerning God and the relation of men to Him and His Kingdom.
I am now a believer in Jesus as I never was on earth. It may surprise you to know that, when on earth, no matter what I may have preached to my people, yet, in my heart, I looked on Jesus as a mere man of the Jews, and not very different from others of the great reformers who had lived and taught on earth the moral truths which tended to make men better and caused them to live more correct and righteous lives.
But since I have been in the spirit world and have had the experiences which my life here has given me, and have found the Way to God’s Divine Love and to His Kingdom, I have learned and now know that Jesus was more than a mere reformer. He was not only a good and just teacher, and lived the life of such, but he was also the true son of God and His messenger in bringing to the world the Truths of immortality and the Divine Love of the Father, and the Way to obtain It. He was truly the Way and the Truth and the Life as no other teacher before him ever was.
I know it is taught, and I believed it when on earth, that many religious and pagan teachers asserted and tried to teach the immortality of the soul to mankind; and, as men understood the meaning of the word “immortality,” these teachings were more or less satisfactory. But I now see that their conception of immortality was merely a continuity of life after what is called death. How different the meaning is as thus taught and the true meaning of the word! Immortality means so much more than a mere continuation of life. IT MEANS NOT ONLY A CONTINUATION OF LIFE BUT ALSO A LIFE THAT HAS THE DIVINE LOVE OR ESSENCE OF THE FATHER IN IT, WHICH MAKES THE SPIRIT WHO HAS THAT LOVE A DIVINITY ITSELF AND NOT THE SUBJECT OF DEATH OF ANY KIND.
No mere spirit has this immortality just because it is continuing to live in the spirit world and cannot conceive of any possibility that continuity of life can ever be arrested or ended. No such spirit knows that to be true because it has never been demonstrated as a fact, and it cannot be until eternity has come to an end. Such spirit is no different in its essence and potentialities from what it was when enfolded in the flesh, and it has no greater reason for believing that it is immortal than it had when on earth.
A speculation and a proven fact are two entirely different things. Yet, with some spirits, as well as with some men, speculation becomes almost as much a certainty as does a demonstrated fact. But there is no justification for relying upon conclusions drawn from mere speculation. In the great workings of eternity, the spirit or man who does so may find himself not only mistaken but also surprised beyond all conception at what eventualities such workings may bring forth.
So, I say, before the coming of Jesus, immortality had not been brought to light, and could not have been, because it did not exist for mankind.
When I learned the true meaning of the word, I was as much surprised as men will be who may read this communication or hear its import. The hope of Socrates or of Plato or of Pythagoras was only a hope fortified by the reasonings of great minds and supplemented by much development of soul qualities. But, when all was said, it was only hope—knowledge was wanting. And even if they had realized that the spirits of departed men did return and communicate to them and that there was no such thing as the death of the spirit or soul, yet, such experiences did not prove anything to them beyond the fact that life was continuous for the time being.
AS CHANGE IS THE LAW IN THE SPIRIT WORLD AS WELL AS ON EARTH, THEY COULD NOT SAY, WITH THE CERTAINTY OF KNOWLEDGE, THAT THERE MIGHT NOT BE SOME CHANGE IN THE SPIRIT WORLD THAT WOULD BREAK OR SET ASIDE THE CONTINUITY OF EXISTENCE.
Take the young child when its intellect has not sufficiently developed to understand that there is such a thing as the death of the physical body. It believes, if it thinks at all, that it will continue to live forever on earth. And so with these philosophers who had the hope of a future continuous life. Also, with the spirits who know that there is a continuous life—living after death— they think that living must be the fixed state and must, of necessity, continue forever.
AS I SAY, IT HAS NOT BEEN DEMONSTRATED THAT SUCH LIFE WILL CONTINUE FOREVER; YET, ON THE OTHER HAND, IT HAS NOT BEEN SHOWN THAT IT WILL NOT. HENCE, NO SPIRIT CAN SAY THAT IT IS IMMORTAL UNLESS IT PARTAKES OF THE DIVINE ESSENCE. AND, PRIOR TO THE COMING OF JESUS, NO WISE PHILOSOPHER OR RELIGIOUS TEACHER COULD BE SAID TO HAVE BROUGHT IMMORTALITY TO LIGHT.
While hope and speculation exist as the children of desire, yet knowledge is wanting and certainty is not.
The immortality that men believed in and comforted themselves with believing in, then, was the immortality that hope created and speculation proved. And the experiences of men, in communicating with the spirits, showed that death had not annihilated the individual. But hope and speculation and experience did not create knowledge.
When Jesus came, he brought with him not only hope but also knowledge of the Truth. Not many men have comprehended it or understood the reason or foundation for such knowledge, and the reasoning faculties of men were not sufficient to show the true reasons of such knowledge. And, strange as it may seem, the students and commentators of the Bible have never disclosed the true foundation upon which this knowledge exists.
I confess that, in my life, while a great student of the Bible, I never comprehended the true meaning of how, or in what way, Jesus brought immortality to light. I thought, as many others do now, that his death and resurrection were the things that showed the reality of immortality to mankind. But these things showed no more, as I now see, than did the numerous instances recorded in the Old Testament and in the secular writings of the philosophers and adepts of India and Egypt that there was an existence after so-called “death.”
Many who dispute the fact that Jesus brought immortality to light base their argument on this other fact: that he was only one of many who had died and afterwards came to mortals and showed that they still lived as spirits. So, I say, and as I didn’t believe while on earth, the mere fact of Jesus’ resurrection does not prove immortality.
Then what have I learned immortality to be since I have been in the spirit world? My reasoning powers are much greater now than they were on earth. My perceptive faculties have become more keen and my experience in the laws of the spirit world has given me great knowledge. But all these would not have given me the knowledge of immortality, of themselves, had not Jesus himself explained it to me and demonstrated it by his own condition and that of many spirits in the higher spheres. Now, because of my present soul development, I am the possessor of that knowledge.
ONLY THE FATHER IS IMMORTAL. AND ONLY THOSE TO WHOM HE GIVES HIS ATTRIBUTES OF IMMORTALITY CAN BECOME IMMORTAL AS HE IS. LOVE IS THE GREAT PRINCIPLE OF IMMORTALITY. BY THIS, I MEAN THE DIVINE LOVE OF THE FATHER AND NOT THE NATURAL LOVE OF THE CREATURE. AND HE WHO POSSESSES THIS DIVINE LOVE BECOMES, AS IT WERE, A PART OF IT, OR IT BECOMES A PART OF HIM, AND, IN ITS OPERATIONS, MAKES HIM LIKE UNTO THE FATHER. IN OTHER WORDS, A SPIRIT WHO POSSESSES THIS DIVINE LOVE BECOMES A PART OF DIVINITY ITSELF AND, CONSEQUENTLY, IMMORTAL; AND THERE IS NO POSSIBILITY OF HIS EVER BECOMING DEPRIVED OF THIS ELEMENT OF DIVINITY.
No spirit is immortal when there is any possibility of its being deprived of that immortality. Even God, Himself, if He could be deprived of that great Quality, would not be Immortal. And just as it is impossible to take away this great Attribute from the Father, so is it impossible for the spirit, who has once obtained this Divine Love of the Father, to lose its immortality.
So, you see, immortality comes to a spirit only with the possession of the Divine Love; and that Love is not bestowed upon every spirit, but only upon those who seek for It in the Way shown by Jesus to mankind.
DEATH DOES NOT BRING IMMORTALITY TO THE MORTAL. BECAUSE HIS SPIRIT SURVIVES HIS DEATH, IT DOES NOT FOLLOW THAT IMMORTALITY BECOMES A PART OF HIS EXISTENCE AS A SPIRIT.
SO, I SAY, WHEN JESUS BROUGHT THE KNOWLEDGE TO THE WORLD OF THE BESTOWAL OF THIS DIVINE LOVE OF THE FATHER UPON MORTALS UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS, AND ALSO SHOWED MORTALS THE WAY IN WHICH THAT GREAT GIFT MIGHT BE OBTAINED, HE BROUGHT IMMORTALITY AND LIFE TO LIGHT. AND, BEFORE HIM, NO MAN OR SPIRIT HAD BROUGHT THESE GREAT GIFTS TO LIGHT.
I am now a partaker of the Divine Love to a certain extent, and have the possibility before me of obtaining It to Its fullest extent, as promised by the Master to all who may seek for It in truth and with faith.
I did not intend to write so long a message at this time and, as I am enthusiastic on this subject, I find that I have trespassed upon your time and kindness longer than I realized.
So, thanking you for your patience, I will stop now. But I hope that I may have the privilege of coming again at some time and writing. With my kind regards, I am
Very truly yours,
HENRY WARD BEECHER.
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