Many Spirits Will Try to Communicate with Man and Attempt to Teach False Doctrines
I am here, John
I do not write "St. John" because I am not called by that name in the spirit heavens, and I have written you often enough now that you will identify me when I merely write "John." Well, I heard what the Master said, and I can only add thereto that I never wrote the things which declare that I preached the blood of Jesus saves from sin, or that Jesus was a propitiation for the sins of mankind. Neither in my gospel nor in my epistles nor in Revelation did I write such a doctrine.
As I have told you before, many things contained in these books were written by others to carry out certain plans and ideas of the writers. I never said that Jesus was God, or that he was begotten by the Holy Ghost, or that he is equal with God, or that he saved a man from sin by reason of any personal qualities which he may have had.
So let your mind eliminate these false doctrines, and receive the truths which the Master shall write with a perfectly unbiased mind, free from all preconceived ideas.
(question by Mr. Padgett regarding 1 John 4: "... believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God...")
I meant that many spirits would try to communicate with man and attempt to teach false doctrines as to Jesus and his mission, and that the only spirits who were capable of conveying the truth, and worthy of belief, were those who should acknowledge that Jesus was the son of God in the way that it has been explained to you (not that Jesus or Jesus Christ was God). Only those spirits who acknowledge Jesus as the son of God, and have received the New Birth, and know something about the Kingdom of Christ, or of the Gift of the Divine Love of the Father and the Way to obtain It (as taught by Jesus) should be acknowledged. All other spirits who have not this knowledge, and consequently would not acknowledge Jesus as the son of God, are not to be trusted as being true followers of Jesus.
This is nothing mysterious or contrary to the laws governing the conduct or beliefs of men. If a spirit, or man either, knows nothing about a certain subject, he certainly cannot teach others its qualities or merits; hence I was applying an ordinary law of nature to the way in which spirits should be tried. For I must tell you now - and it is a truth, and was a truth at the time I wrote my gospel and epistles just as it is a truth now, and always will remain a truth - that every spirit who acknowledges Jesus as the son of God is a redeemed spirit, and has received a portion of the Divine Love, and is progressing in the Kingdom which Jesus is now forming. And when I gave those instructions to my "children," as I called them, I intended that their communications should be only with those spirits or men who had received this New Birth.
I know that all the spirits who have received this Divine Love in sufficient abundance are good spirits, free from sin and error, and that they have the power or inclination to influence mortals not to sin, or to do anything which is contrary to the Will of the Father; while all the other spirits may or may not exercise the influence of evil upon mortals.
Hence, try the spirits, and if they do not acknowledge Jesus as the son of God, let them alone, and do not receive their communications or teachings, because they are not believers in Christ and the New Birth.
Among my children, or believers in the Christian religion, were many persons who had the power or gift of communicating with the spirits of the departed, and they did so communicate; and such communications were made known to the rest of the congregation and were believed by them. And hence my injunction against communion with those spirits who were not believers in Christ. You must not think that this is the only age in which spirits communicate with mortals, for I must tell you that in my time it was much more common than now. And when worshipping in our congregations and in our other gatherings, and often in private, we had these communications.
This was an important part of the services of our meetings, and one that kept us in constant harmony with the soul power of those who lived in the spirit form, and from whom we received powers of healing and of doing good in many other ways.
In those days, healing the sick and doing kindred things were a very important part of our work as Christians. We believed what Jesus had told us on earth, and we increased our faith, and performed many works which the people who did not believe as we did thought were miracles.
To us, the healing of the sick and the doing of these other things were just as natural as eating and sleeping. I tell you that our faith then was a certainty. We possessed the Substance that Paul speaks of, and we expected to do these things, just as we expected to breathe and be able to do material good to our brothers.
But after a few centuries, when men came into the church for other purposes than to receive the New Birth and to do the Will of the Father, faith such as I speak of died. And the power to do these things was taken away from men, and the church became a congregation of men having the mere, lip worship.
And all through the centuries from then until now this power has not been with men, except that here and there some true believer with a faith such as we had has appeared and has done wonderful things.
So I say, let not what the Bible may say about Jesus being God, and having those other qualities with reference to the salvation of men, disturb you in your beliefs in what the Master may write to you.
I will not write more tonight, but will say good night,