May 5th, 1917.
Received by:James Padgett.
I am here, Jesus.
I come tonight to write on the only way by which men can reach the Kingdom of God, or the way to the perfect man.
This is a subject that many men and teachers have endeavored to explain to mankind, and the ways described have been as varied and sometimes contradictory as the thoughts and education of these men have differed; and all have sought to base their teachings and conclusions on the Bible. I, of course, mean those who profess to be Christians. As to other teachers and reformers, as they have been called, their teachings are based on the doctrines of the various sects to which they have belonged or professed allegiance. But the Kingdom of God is more peculiarly a phrase that is found in and belongs to the Christian Bible, and to some extent in the Hebrew scriptures.
In considering the subject of this message it is first important to understand what is meant by the "Kingdom of God." Some understand or conceive it to be a kingdom on earth in which the will and laws of God will be followed and obeyed by men in the mortal life, and others understand it to be that Kingdom of God which exists and will continue to exist in perfection in the spirit world; and some few, that kingdom which will find its home or place of existence in the Celestial Spheres.
Now, the way to each of these kingdoms is not the same, although in pursuing the way to one, and that the Celestial Kingdom, the way to the others, must necessarily be followed, or in other words, he who follows the way to the Celestial Kingdom pursues that course which in its pursuit, will cause him to do those things and obey those laws of God that are necessary to establish the Kingdoms on earth and in the spirit world; but he who pursues only the way that leads to the establishment of the kingdom on earth and in the spirit world, cannot possibly become an inhabitant of the Celestial Kingdom. The Kingdom of God on earth, or in the spirit world, may be obtained by man, or spirit, by obeying the will of God in those essentials that will work a purification of his natural love, and cause that coming into harmony with His laws which affect and control man as mere man; that is, that will restore man to the condition of perfection that existed before the fall of the first parents; and many of my teachings, when on earth, of which there are preserved a number in the Bible, were intended to instruct men into that way of life that would develop their moral qualities and free them from the taint and destructiveness of sin in which they were then and are now living.
By the observance of my teachings and sincere obedience to these moral precepts, man will lose those things that belong to his appetites and passions and evil thoughts and desires, and realize that in their places will come a purer love and more spiritual desires and thoughts which lead to a cleansing of his heart and soul, and which means a living and thinking in harmony with the will and laws of God. For God is all good, and all His laws require that man shall become good in order that this kingdom in the spirit world shall be established.
Naturally, and I mean according to His creation, man is good, and not the depraved creature that for so many centuries the teachings and doctrines of the church have declared him to be; and when he shall arrive at that state of goodness that was his in the beginning, he will merely have rid himself of those contaminating appetites, thoughts and desires that made him the sinful and inharmonious being that he now is.
So, from this, you will see that the work of man, in order to enable the kingdom to become established on earth, is largely a work of renunciation; and this truth was taught by prophets and teachers prior to the time of my coming to earth and teaching the way to the Celestial Kingdom; and the same truth applies to the spirits that shall make up and establish the kingdom in the spirit world.
In these kingdoms of the purification and regaining of the perfected natural love, there will be nothing of the divine nature of the Father, except as may be generally said, all the objects of His creation, by reason of being such objects, may partake of the image of the divine. But this is not the divine. The Divine in its true sense is that which partakes of the very essence and nature of god, and not that which is merely the object of his creation.
Man, in body, soul and spirit body, is only a creation of God, and, as to the soul, an image of its Creator, but this creation was not made of any, the least part of the essence or substance of God; and this creation can, if it so please the Father, in its composite and coordinated existence, be utterly destroyed and reduced to the elements of which it was created, without in the smallest degree affecting the true substance or nature of God. So you will see, that in truth there is in or of man nothing of the divine; and, hence, when the kingdom of God shall be established on earth, or in the spirit world, there will be therein, nothing of the divine, only the existence of the perfect creatures, living and thinking in harmony with the laws of God which control their creation and existence.
So that the way in which these two kingdoms of the non-divine can be established, is by man pursuing that course of thinking and living that will enable him to renounce and get rid of those things - foreign to his true nature - which prevent him from coming again into the exact harmony with the will of God as expressed and made obligatory by the law of man's creation.
The observance of the moral law will enable men to accomplish this end. The love with which man was endowed, as the perfect man, enables him, as it becomes purified and more harmonious, to love God and to love his fellow-man as himself, for this natural love is one that in its perfection and nature is universal, and in its exercise every man is his neighbor's brother.
The progressive qualities of this love which every man may obtain, are truly and wonderfully set forth by Peter in one of his epistles as contained in the Bible (II Peter, Chapter 1, Verses 5, 6, 7) and if men will seek these successive steps in acquiring the purifying development of this love, they will obtain the great object sought for. As I have written, the Bible contains many of my teachings which if followed, will lead to this end, and men will realize the Kingdom of God on earth.
And here let me correct one mistaken belief or idea that has so long prevailed among mankind, and which, in its results, has delayed the coming of the kingdom on earth; and the correction is, that God by His mere fiat, or irrespective of the desires and workings of men's souls, will not establish this kingdom. Its establishment depends upon men, themselves, and until their loves become and they become in harmony with God's will, this kingdom will never be established.
I know that it is believed and taught and emphasized, and men place all their hopes and expectations of a heaven of bliss on the statement, that I will at sometime come in the clouds of heaven with a great shout, to earth, and by the power which they believe exists in me, establish the Kingdom of God - a kind of kingdom in which I will be the king and rule supreme, and receive as my subjects those who believe in and worship me, and send those who do not into eternal damnation and outer darkness.
Well, this is pitiable, untrue and all erroneous. This kingdom will never be established in this way, for only man, himself, can call into existence this kingdom, only by becoming the pure perfect man that existed when God's earthly kingdom had at man's creation, its existence. Man alone, brought sin into the world, and man must himself destroy sin, and then harmony with the Father's will will be restored, and also this kingdom.
But, from what I have written, it must not for a moment or in the slightest degree, be inferred even, that God is not taking and will not take any part in the reestablishment of this kingdom, for it is a fact, that He is working through His angels upon the souls and thoughts of men to bring this kingdom on earth; but He will not force its establishment - it must come voluntarily on the part of men.
When He created man, He gave him a free will - the most wonderful of the natural gifts to man - and He will not, by the exercise of His power arbitrarily control the direction of that will, but as to it leaves man supreme. Of course while this is so, yet if man in such exercise contravenes the laws of God, man must suffer the consequences, for He never changes or sets aside His laws. Man may exercise his free will as he desires and as his thoughts and appetites may influence him to do, but the freedom of exercise does not prevent the imposition of the penalties that the laws prescribe when they are violated. Thus you see there is freedom without limitation, but every inharmonious exercise of that freedom must invite the infliction of that which necessarily follows the violation of harmony.
God wants and is patiently waiting for the love of man, and is always the loving Father who delights not in the suffering of His creatures, for He wants their love to come voluntarily and without constraint or fear of punishment or hope of reward, except that reward which must necessarily follow the blending of God's love and the love of man.
Then I say, the Kingdom of Heaven on earth is not the Divine Kingdom, and has not in it that which is necessarily divine, except the love of God to His creatures to bless and make them happy. His essence and substance are not conferred upon them, for if they were, men would not remain in the kingdom of earth, but would, to a degree, be in the Celestial Heaven, even while on earth, and as I know some men, while still mortals, are in this Divine Heaven.
Now, what I have said with reference to the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, applies with equal truth to the Kingdom of God in the spirit world, for there the inhabitants are merely the spirits of men after they have surrendered their physical bodies, and become purified in their natural love and in harmony with the will and laws of God controlling their existence as perfect men.
While the Kingdom of God has not yet been established on earth, it has been in the spirit world, for in the highest sphere of that world the souls of men have become purified and harmony has been restored, and the souls of men enjoy the supreme happiness that was bestowed upon them at the time of their first creation, which God pronounced very good. Sometime you will have described to you the bliss and wonderful happiness of that kingdom; and I will not say that this is beyond all conception of men, and was established not by the mere power and will of God, but by the exercise of the will of men after they became spirits in renouncing evil and sin, and having their thoughts and desires and soul in its natural love purified and made harmonious. And here I must say, that all men who have ever lived, or who shall ever live, will, at sometime live in this Kingdom of God in the spirit world, or in the Kingdom of the Celestial Spheres; but the large majority will find their homes in the former kingdom.
The hells and dark places will be emptied of their inhabitants and abolished forever, and, surprising as it may seem to mortals, not by the fiat of God, but the exercise of men's will and desires and longings for the attainment of the purification of their love, and by their reaching the goal of their aspirations. But God will be with them in their efforts, and his angels will do his will in helping mortals and spirits along this way to the spiritual kingdom.
Then how important it is that mortals should understand and realize the great work that they must do in establishing the kingdom on earth and the kingdom in the spirit world, and not rest supinely in the mere intellectual belief that God will in His own way and at His own time, establish this kingdom, and that they who believe in God and observe the creeds and doctrines of their churches and perform their duties as church members, will become inhabitants of that kingdom, and in a moment become pure and undefiled and in harmony with the will of God and His laws.
It is a very harmful belief, because the only way to this kingdom is the way of renunciation and purification, and all the beliefs ever possessed by men that do not lead to this purification of men's souls, will not lead to this kingdom. Man, with the help of the Father, must hew his own destiny, and the Father, without the effort of man will not make for him a destiny that his condition of soul and love do not entitle him to.
But there is a Kingdom greater and different and unlike these kingdoms of which I have been writing, and that is the Celestial Kingdom of God; and only those who receive of the Divine Essence can become inhabitants of this Kingdom. The souls of men must become transformed into the very Nature Divine of God, and the natural love of man be changed in all its qualities and elements into the Divine Love of the Father.
I have written that many of my moral teachings are recorded in the Bible, and that I came, or rather my acceptance by the Father as His beloved son, and the reception into my soul of His Divine Love qualified me to teach the way to the several kingdoms; and as was said in that Book, what was lost by the disobedience of the first man was restored by the coming of the second, and that only means, that by reason of the knowledge that came to me of truth and of the laws of harmony that govern God's universe, I was enabled to teach men the way to a return to the purity and development of their souls in natural love that existed before the great loss caused by the disobedience of the first man. I was not to bring about this restoration by any great power or Godlike qualities of omniscience that I might be supposed to possess, but merely by teaching men to love God and their brothers, and to pursue that course of living and thinking that would necessarily enable them to renounce sin and evil and come into a state of harmony with the laws of their creation.
Now, while I taught these moral truths, I also taught the great spiritual truths that show men the way to the Celestial Kingdom, for in my communions with the Father there came to me not only the Divine Love which transformed my soul into the substance of the Father in its love qualities, but also the knowledge by which this Divine Love might be acquired and the certain way to the Celestial Kingdom, even though to a degree while in the flesh.
But my spiritual teachings that show the way to the Celestial Kingdom were not so well understood by my hearers - and not even by my intimate disciples - but more so by John, and consequently were not preserved in the Bible, as were my moral teachings. And as to the Bible, I mean the original manuscripts were not written until many years after my death. Even in these manuscripts not many of my teachings as to the way that leads to this Celestial Kingdom, were contained; and afterwards when these manuscripts were copied, and the copies recopied, these important truths were not preserved - scarcely any. Though the fundamental ones, namely: God is love, and except a man be born again he cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven were retained.
And as time went by and the recopying continued, fewer and fewer of my precepts were preserved, and men came to know less and less of these higher truths, and, consequently, the mere moral teachings became better understood and were used by the teachers and instructors of the masses to lead men to a kingdom of God.
And in addition to this, these leaders changed even these moral truths and the interpretations of the early writers in such a way as to enable these leaders to attain to wealth and power and control over the common people in their beliefs and observances of worship. The God of love then, to a large extent, became a God of hatred and wrath, inflicting punishment upon those who dared to disobey those injunctions that the hierarchy of the church placed upon them as the demands and will of God.
But these matters have been written upon more fully elsewhere, and I will not further enlarge upon them, and will now disclose the true way that leads to the Kingdom of God in the Celestial Heavens. Well, we have written a long time tonight, and I think it best to postpone my further writing till later. I must say this though, that I am pleased that you are in so much better condition, and I feel that now we can proceed more rapidly with our messages.
Remember this, that my promises will be fulfilled, and you must have faith. I am with you very often, and love you as you know, and will continue to pray to the Father for you. So trust me and be assured that I am helping you in your desire.
Good night and God bless you.
Your brother and friend,