March 16th, 1916
Received by James Padgett
I am here, Joseph of Arimathea.
I desire merely to write a few lines to let you know that I really did exist as a mortal, and that I am the same man who laid the body of Jesus in the tomb where never before had anybody been laid.
I was with him at his death, and I was with his body when it was laid in the tomb and sealed, and I know and testify that no man or men or society of men, as it has been said, stole his body from the tomb. His body was entombed as was the custom of my time, and he was wrapped in cerements and fitted for the long sleep in the tomb, as we supposed.
While I was not a full Christian, yet his doctrines appealed to me as containing the truth, having about them a living inspiration, which I did not find in the teachings of the Jewish theology, for I was a Pharisee. I never thought that his death was justifiable or approved it, but I was not able to prevent it; and feeling that a great crime had been committed by the people of whom I was one, I tried to make a small atonement for the great crime by giving him burial in my new tomb.
Of course, I did not believe that he would rise again in the way that he had made known to some of his disciples, and when we buried him, I only thought that that tomb would be his sepulchre until nature had destroyed the body as it had done in the cases of all others who had been entombed.
As you may realize, I was interested in the proceedings taken by the Jewish leaders in their efforts to prove that he, Jesus, would not arise from the tomb on the third day, and I kept watch as well as did the soldiers, and I can testify that no mortal ever removed the stones from the mouth of the tomb.
I was there when the angel came and the soldiers were put in the sleep that the Bible speaks of, and I Joseph say this, knowing that it may not be believed and the Bible makes no mention of it, that I saw the stones rolled away and the shining one standing guard at the entrance of the tomb. I was frightened and I left the place, and was so overcome that I did not return there until the early morning, and then I saw Mary and heard her inquiring for the whereabouts of her beloved Master, and more wonderful, I saw the man of whom she inquired suddenly reveal himself to her, and I can testify also, that it was the same Jesus whom I had helped lay his body in my tomb.
He was not of flesh and blood, as they say, for he suddenly appeared, and his appearance was not the same as that of the Jesus whose body had been entombed; but when he revealed himself to Mary, there was the same countenance and the same wonderful eyes of love that I was familiar with, and the same voice of love and affection. I know this and I want to tell the world that it is true.
Before Peter came, I went into the tomb, and it was empty and when Peter came I was with him in the tomb and saw his astonishment, and heard his words of wonder and amazement, for notwithstanding what the Master had told him prior to the crucifixion, he did not believe or comprehend, and he was astonished and bewildered as were all of us.
Jesus of Nazareth arose from that tomb, and his fleshly body was de-materialized. As to his disappearance, I could not then explain, as could none who saw him after he had arisen, but now I know that because of his great psychic powers, as you would call them, he caused the disintegration of that body into its elements, as can be done now by many spirits who have that power. Yes, Jesus arose from the tomb, but not from the dead, for he never died, as you will never die, only the physical vestment that enveloped his soul.
I am now in the Celestial Heaven and am with him a great deal, and know that he is the greatest and most wonderful of all the spirits in the Celestial Spheres, and the nearest to the fountainhead of God's Love. He is truly His best beloved Son.
I also want to say that he writes to you his messages of truth, and was with you to-night for a short time. Listen to him and know that you have in him a friend who is closer than a brother, or father or mother.
My brother, I will stop now, and in leaving, say, that you have my love and blessings.
Your brother in Christ,