Skip to main content

Chapter 17: The Resurrecting Power of the Word

Chapter 17: The Resurrecting Power of the Word
table of contentsback to books

Page 142

Chapter XVII

IT IS PLAINLY taught in the Bible that God created a spiritual, undying man; that death came into the world through transgression of the law, called sin; that sin was the work of one man, and that sin would be overcome by one man. "As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive." Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of that promise.

The race has so long existed in the negative mental conditions that bring sickness and finally death that it is very difficult to convince men that they can live forever in their bodies. They have been taught that death is natural, that death is part of the scheme of life, that through death we progress to better conditions. This negative teaching has been a part of the race thought so long that death has been accepted as the necessary end of existence. But such is not the teaching of Christianity.

Every organ of the body is capable of being constantly renewed through the inflow of an unseen force called mind or life or Spirit. Therefore we should be continually renewing and spiritualizing the body. But we are not doing so because of our lack of faith in our possibilities as offspring of universal life. We find it hard to believe that the renewing

Page 143

and spiritualizing of the body can be accomplished, yet the history of the Hebrew race (considered as an allegory) shows that this is possible.

We look on the wanderings of the Children of Israel in the wilderness as typical of our wanderings through the wilderness of materiality and ignorance on our way to the Promised Land; but we have always put the Promised Land away off somewhere in heaven! The teaching of Jesus is that we can demonstrate over all the ills of the body, all the discords and inharmonies of the flesh, and finally overcome death as He did, here and now.

The lesson of Easter, when learned, convinces us that one man demonstrated what has been taught throughout the centuries in the religion of Christianity. Jesus evidently did not know in the beginning of His life that He was to make this great demonstration. He was a carpenter and worked with Joseph, but for thirty years He must have been growing in spiritual power. In meditation He doubtless caught glimpses of the great Truth, and it dawned on Him that He was the man who had been selected, or that through His own demonstration He had attained the ability, to overcome the negative thoughts, the sins that were tearing down the bodies of the race, and that He had the power to gain complete mastery of the human weakness called death.

When Jesus received the illumination and stepped forth as a teacher, He found it very difficult

Page 144

to impress on others that He was anything more than one of the common people. He claimed immortality, He claimed that He was the Messiah they had been looking for, and they said in effect: "This is ridiculous. We know this man. He is Jesus, the son of Mary and Joseph. We know Him and His brothers and His sisters. We have been brought up with Him. It is absurd to think that a man can step right out of the common herd and become the Messiah."

It is an adage that a great man is not without honor except in his own country. From the physical viewpoint we are part of the common people and we will not concede that one of our number can by any possibility become divine. The Scriptures plainly teach that Jesus' own followers did not believe His claim that He was divine. They admitted that He was a great teacher. He taught truths that they accepted in the abstract, but they were not ready to concede that one of their number had attained the demonstration of Truth. In a sort of wonderment Jesus' disciples followed Him, but they had not grasped the underlying truths that He was teaching: that the body is the temple of the living God, and that the man Jesus could lay it down or take it up; that He was going to make a demonstration over death that would satisfy not only them but the whole world; that when He was ready He was going up to Jerusalem to be crucified there. Christian metaphysicians

Page 145

see symbology in all this, but it actually took place.

Jesus knew that He must demonstrate over death and that He must prepare for that test. He told all His friends that He was going to accomplish this thing, but they were incredulous. Peter attempted to dissuade Jesus from His announced purpose of going to Jerusalem to be crucified, but Jesus would not be swerved from His course. We often think that if Jesus would only come now and make a demonstration over death, we should all believe. Probably only a handful of us would accept Him if He came among us today and made such a demonstration. The newspapers would say it was a fake, a trick. The scribes and the Pharisees and the doubters reported that the soldiers were paid to open the tomb and let Jesus escape. Incredulity exists today. That is the reason why the demonstration of eternal life is so difficult. That is the reason why after two thousand years the world at large is not convinced that it is possible for man to be raised out of the thought that death is inescapable. Even after Jesus demonstrated resurrection the disciples found it hard to believe Him.

A woman was the first person to come to Jesus' tomb after His resurrection. Women are more receptive to Truth than men. Women have more spirituality and faith than men, but if today a man died who had claimed that he would resurrect his body

Page 146

on a certain day, it is doubtful whether even the women would go to the tomb to see that resurrection. Mary and the other women did not go to the tomb of Jesus expecting Him to be there alive. They did not expect to see Him come out of the tomb; on the contrary they had spices and herbs for the embalming of His body. The body was not there and they began to inquire about it. The angel told them, "He is risen"; but they could not believe it, and they looked into the tomb. There were the grave clothes, but the body of Jesus was gone. The disciples, when told that Jesus had risen, were skeptical. We are told that Jesus walked with two of them on the way to Emmaus and explained the Scriptures to them. After a time they recognized Him; then He disappeared from their midst.

Shortly after the incident at Emmaus Jesus appeared again to the Eleven, and to prove to them that He had the same body that He had had before His resurrection, He "showed them his hands and his feet," and He ate a piece of broiled fish. After that He disappeared again. All this would be thought "spooky" in our day, and we cannot blame the apostles for being "amazed."

Followers of Jesus do not understand the difference between the astral or ghostly body of the dead and the resurrected body of Jesus. There is a difference made by the mental power of the individual and the way he thinks about life, soul, spirit, and matter.

Page 147

If we believe that the body is the temple of the living God, we shall follow Jesus in the resurrection.

Why are we not resurrecting the body? Why are we giving it up to disintegration? Sin is the cause of death; then it must be that through the elimination of sin we shall come into eternal life and save the body from the disintegrating effects of death. In fact we are all striving for the resurrection of the body when we try to overcome its oncreeping feebleness. But our efforts are material instead of spiritual. We should remember that "it is the spirit that giveth life; the flesh profiteth nothing." We try in many ways to renew the life supply within us.

Some very absurd methods have been advocated by so-called scientists to perpetuate man's life, to make him healthier, wealthier, happier. We all want more life, more happiness, more good; and we can have everything we want if we comply with the divine law as Jesus did. The body is composed of elements that are essentially perfect. We have not understood the law of harmony and have therefore thrown these primal perfect elements out of adjustment. By our thoughts we are continually moving the cells of the body. The original impetus is given by the conscious mind, hence we must regulate our thinking to the end that harmony be set up in the cellular life throughout the organism.

It is very evident that Jesus understood the science of right thinking. We hate our enemies and have

Page 148

bodily disorders as a result. Jesus said, "Love your enemies." This is but one of many laws of mind activity that Jesus carried out in His life. We must first follow Jesus in controlling our thoughts; then we shall be able to follow Him in the resurrection.

Jesus controlled His thoughts by harmonizing them, by continually thinking constructively, by continually bringing into action in His conscious mind all the mental factors that lead to the new life, to the understanding of what life is. We know that the body is destroyed by discord, by fever, and by other inharmonies. Fever is but a clashing of the cells of the organism, a tearing down process; but back of fever are harsh thoughts. We can trace every ill to some thought. We must eliminate these sinning thoughts. The sinning thought is the thought that fails to measure up to the high calling; it is not a true thought. We have limited our ideas to a small realm. We have thought that sin covered only the transgressions of the moral man. But I assure you that sin becomes visible in the physical; hence we should look for a physical resurrection after we have crucified the carnal mind.

Jesus laid great stress on the power of the word. The word has two activities: One is that of the still small voice in the silence, and the other is that of the "loud voice" that was used by Jesus when He raised Lazarus from the dead. In the beginning "God said, Let there be" — and there was.

Page 149

We are the offspring of God, and our words have power proportionate to our realization of our in-dwelling spiritual kingdom. In the world today there is ample evidence of the power of words to move multitudes. That same power can heal and make people happy. If you will recognize this power and increase it and apply it in all your thoughts and acts, the impetus given to your spoken thought will produce a body so constructed, so harmonized that it will renew itself and never allow you to go to the grave. Jesus did a work of this kind. He said that a man would be held accountable for his slightest word. Jesus sent His word to heal people. He said, "If a man keep my word, he shall never taste of death." What were His words? They were words of life, of peace, or harmony. "Ye have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth," but "This is my commandment, that ye love one another." So long as we have destructive thoughts, so long as we war in thought with our neighbor next door or on the other side of the earth, just so long shall we have inharmony, just so long shall we fall short of being true followers of Jesus. We must love, we must forgive, we must harmonize our thoughts under the divine law; then we shall heal and resurrect the body.