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Morning Star Pearly Gate Bible Lessons

Published by the Shakers
Part 1 – 1894
Part 2 – 1900

 


PREFACE.

DIVINE REVELATION, is the sun of the religious and mental world.  Or it may be likened to a ladder of light, let down from above, on which, by practicing the self-denials it enjoins, the children of time may climb from earth to heaven.  It is strait as the sun's rays, and the only route from one to the other.  To deny revelation, argues the densest ignorance and folly, or an arrested development.  For man, without the knowledge imparted by revelation, is only an intellectual animal, at his best showing.  Without understanding of his spiritual nature and moral accountability to a higher Power and Intelligence, he is like the beasts that perish, and is so characterized in the language of prophecy.  Therefore we believe God has never left any people wholly without a witness, or the gift of spiritual instruction by dreams, or visions, or whisperings of an inward voice.  To stand on the first or second round of the ladder, and denounce all who ascend higher, as fanatics, impostors, speculators, or theorizers, deluded by imagination, is extremely unwise.   A refusal to go higher, and a confession of inability to keep the commandments of God, argues a lack of desire to do so, and a state of bondage to earthly conditions, or to carnal pleasure.  To claim that the revelation of two thousand, or eighteen hundred years ago, is sufficient for all people in all time, and to practice a word mongering trade in the letter of ancient Scripture, argues destitution of the Spirit, and a dwelling among the tombs and shells of the infancy of the race, and a feeding on chaff that contains little nourishment.

Believers want not a conjectural commentary on the letter of the Bible, but the unfolded meaning that the Spirit designs to teach through the letter, which is but a lifeless shell or husk, without the aid of the Spirit to interpret it.  This object can be better obtained in Bible study by pursuing the matter topically, that is, by subjects, than by following the historical order of the record.

The work here presented is only a beginning of a design long germinal in the writer's mind.  That is, a catechistic work to instruct the young in faith, and young in years, in the foundation principles of our Gospel, the gospel of Jesus the Savior, and of Ann the Grace, Helper and Comforter.  A work he deems worth the attention and labor of many minds, through a long series of years.  Friendly criticism, or suggestions to aid this object will be acceptable.

Quotations from the New Testament that vary from the common English version, are chiefly taken from the Emphatic Diaglott. Translations that vary from the Original, made by uninspired translators, we regard as of only human authority.  Subjects could not be treated exhaustively in the space here allowed, but the writer has sought enlightening aid of the wisdom from above, and to make answers as brief and comprehensive as he could, consistently with clearness and precision of ideas.

The following is my understanding of Scripture teaching in harmony with Shaker principles and practice.

A. G. HOLLISTER.

~ End of Preface ~

 


ABBREVIATIONS.

Prec. Precepts of Mother Ann and the first Elders.
Test Testimonies of the first-born in America.
DBHW. Divine Book of Holy Wisdom.
MC. Millennial Church, (Book).
B-L. Bible Lessons. [This book.]
RV. Revised Version.
Ch. Chapter.

PART 1

CHAPTER 1.

GOOD AND EVIL; OR CAUSE AND REMEDY.

 

1. What is the chief end of man?

Ans. a. — To grow and unfold by serving his fellows. A. H. Matt. 20:26-28.  Gal. 6:2.

Ans. b. — To obey his highest light and teach it to others. T. S. Matt. 5:14, 16, 48.  Matt. 28:19, 20.  Luke 6:40.

Ans. c. — To fit himself for a higher life and then to live it. M. S. 2Pet. 1:2-11.  John 12:25.

Ans. d. — To glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Old Catechism.

2. How can man glorify God?

Ans. — By obeying His commandments and bearing much fruit. John 15:8, 10.  John 12:50. 1John 5:3.  Ps. 50:23.

3. How can we bear much fruit?

Ans. — By using all the talents God has given us, in the best manner and for the best good that we are able to. Matt. 25:16-28.  1Peter 4:11.  1Cor. 10:31.

4. How do we know His commandments?

Ans. — They are taught us by His messengers, and are written in our understanding by His Spirit. Heb. 10:16.  John 13:20.  2Cor. 3:3.

5. What is Believers’ faith concerning God?

Ans. — God is Spirit. John 4:24.  Infinite, which means without limit, and Eternal, which means ever existing, without beginning or end. Deut. 33:27.

6. What did Mother Ann say of God?

Ans. — God is a Fountain of perfect Light, Love and Goodness, and no soul can truly know God but that will love Him. 1John 1:5.  1John 4:8.

7. Can you define spirit?

Ans. — Pure spirit, is invisible, immaterial substance.  It may be organized, or elementary.

8. What is organized spirit?

Ans. — Spirit in the form of intelligent beings, having organs.

9. What is elementary spirit?

Ans. — It is spirit in its most simple and diffusive form; free and mobile like air, or electricity.  Electricity perhaps may be regarded as the spirit of matter. John 3:8.

10. How is spirit distributed?

Ans. — It is an environing atmosphere that fills and surrounds all living forms.  It is their finest, inmost essence, and constantly exhales from all living beings. Job. 34:14, 15.  Ps. 104:29, 30.

11. What else may be said of its uses?

Ans. — It is the nutrient life, light and intelligence of soul.  When the term is applied to God, it means the First Creating Intelligence, and Self-existing Source of all Good.

12. Are there different kinds of Spirit?

Ans. — Good spirit and evil spirit, is certainly different in kind and source.

13. Are there other distinctions that may be properly noted?

Ans. — There is earthly, natural spirit, which pervades all living matter, and Divine, Holy Spirit, which fills the eternal heavens.  A spirit of matter and a spirit of intelligence, different in degree and manifestation, but not in origin.

14. Is the term spirit, used with other meanings?

Ans. — The spirit of anything, is its finest essence, life, character, or quality.  All invisible, intelligent beings are called spirits, both good and bad, angelic and human.

15. What is the quality of the Divine Being who is called God?

Ans. — He is wholly and eternally good.  A God of truth and steadfastness, and without perversity.  Just and right is He. Deut. 32:4. Young's Concordance.

16. Can any living principle, evil in its nature, or opposed to good, proceed from God?

Ans. — Nay.  It is impossible for evil to proceed from where evil is not.  He is the Rock of all good, and His work is perfect. Deut. 32:4.  Matt. 7:18.  Matt. 12:25.

17. Did God ever make any evil thing?

Ans. — Nay.  God saw everything He had made, and behold it was very good. Gen. 1:31.  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom is no change, nor shade of turning. James 1:17.  James 3:11, 12.

18. How do you explain consistently with the foregoing, the statement in Isa. 45:7, I form light and create darkness; I make peace and create evil: I the Lord do all these?

Ans. — Evil is of two kinds. Moral evil, which is evil in principle, pertaining to life and conduct, and conditional evil, which is an evil of circumstances or environment, unconnected with the will.

19. Can you specify some moral evils?

Ans. — It is morally evil to speak falsely, with intent to deceive; to maltreat a fellow creature; also to disobey the commandments of God, written in our understanding.

20. Why so?

Ans. — Because such action proceeds from a principle of perversity, which is evil in the will, and propagates evil in others, and in the life of the doer.  It is impossible for such evil to proceed from a good cause.

21. Please specify some examples of conditional evil.

Ans. — Pain, sickness, famines, cyclones, earthquakes, when they destroy the works of man.  Also pestiferous plants and animals.

22. Why are these called conditional evils?

Ans. — Because they do not enter into and affect the quality of the life, but only our surroundings, and they pass away by change of conditions.

23. Are there other definitions that distinguish these evils?

Ans. — Moral evil is intrinsic, existing in the life, and is therefore real and positive.  Conditional evil is extrinsic, and unreal or shadowy, being evil only when it damages human interests, and it often contains seeds of good, and produces good.

24. Why does the All Good create those seeming evils?

Ans. — For chastisement and correction. Ezek. 14:13-23.  Hab. 1:6-12.  Also as types for our learning.   See Book of Holy Wisdom, part 4, chapter 14, verses 15, 16.

25. Please name some examples of types.

Ans. — Planetary darkness, is a type of intellectual and moral, which is spiritual darkness.  Poisonous reptiles, are a type of the depraved passions of corrupted human nature.  Stinging insects are types of evil thoughts and hateful words which people speak to and about each other.

26. If God created man good, and no evil can proceed from Him, how came man to possess an evil nature?

Ans. — Through man's disobedience to the law of God, evil entered into his will from the realm of eternal or spiritual darkness. Gen. 2:16, 17.  Gen. 3:6, 7.

27. Can spiritual darkness come from God?

Ans. — God is light, and in Him is no darkness. 1John 1:5. 1Tim. 6:16.  Light ever banishes darkness.  The two cannot abide together, except where light acts feebly because of diffusion and distance from its source.

28. What do we infer from the foregoing propositions?

Ans. — That if we would overcome and cast out evil, we must obey God and keep in the light.

29. How does the Apostle define light?

Ans. — Light is that which makes manifest. Eph. 5:13

30. What did Jesus say concerning the effects of light?

Ans. — This is the condemnation, Greek krisis, judgment or separation, that light has come into the world.  And men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil. John 3:19.

31. What do we infer from this statement?

Ans. — That evil and darkness are alike in their nature, and attract each other.

32. What else did he say in his discourse on light?

Ans. — He that does vile things, hates the light, neither comes to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

33. What are we taught by this proposition?

Ans. — That evil doers shun light and walk in darkness by preference.  Also that light drives away evil and darkness together.

34. How does light affect the upright?

Ans. — He that doeth the truth, comes to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

35. What are we to understand from the discourse here quoted?

Ans. — That the practice of truth, requires us to manifest our deeds before the Witnesses of truth, in whom light dwells, that evil may be expelled and destroyed, and that good may be separated from tares and chaff of the enemy. Matt. 13:38, 39.

36. Are there any of Adam's race grown to years of understanding that have not sinned?

Ans. — The Apostle says If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 1John 1:8.   Again, If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 1John 1:10.

37. What is Truth?

Ans. — Truth is the word of God. John 17:17.  It is the law of endless life. Ps. 119;142, 151.  Truth is the eternal substance of being.  Truth is the liberator and Savior of the soul. John 8:32.  Truth is the light of intelligence, of mind, and the manifester of that which is. John 18:37.

38. What does Jesus say of hypocrisy that covers its sins from the Witnesses of truth?

Ans. — Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.  There is nothing covered that shall not be uncovered, neither hid, that shall not be known and come abroad. Luke 12:1, 2.  Luke 8:17.

39. How can we escape the dishonor of public exposure in the judgment?

Ans. — By judging ourselves and confessing before the Witnesses of truth, all dishonorable actions, and forsaking them forever.

40. What does the Apostle James say about confession?

Ans. — Confess your sins one to another, and pray one for another that you may be healed. James 5:16.

41. What is John's testimony on this subject?

Ans. — If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1John 1:9.

42. What other effects follow confessing and forsaking sin?

Ans. — We walk in the light as God is in the light, and we have fellowship one with another, and with the saints who have gone before, in pure spiritual communion.

43. What is the blood of Christ that cleanses from all unrighteousness? 1John 1:7.

Ans. — It is that love of Christ which enables us to keep all his commandments, and joins all his followers in one communion. John 14:15, 21.  John 15:10.  John 13:34. 1John 5:3.  1Tim. 1:5. “The blood is the life,” and life is love. Lev. 17:14.  The end of the commandment, is love from a pure heart and good conscience, and faith unfeigned. Critical translation.

44. What did our first spiritual Parents say would be the effect of sin wilfully covered?

Ans. — Father William taught that one sin wilfully covered from the Witnesses of Christ, would be like mountains of lead to sink the soul from the presence of God. Prec., chapter 28, verse 12.  Mother said, “If you keep one sin covered, it will shut you out from the kingdom of God.” Prec., chapter 28, verse 13.

45. Is confessing sin before a Witness of Christ, the strait gate, that opens on the narrow way to eternal life?

Ans. — Those who have proved it by experience, find it truly so.  It is the valley of Achor, and the door of hope to sin sick souls. Hos. 2:15.  Josh. 7:24, 26.  Matt. 7:13, 14.

46. What does Jesus say of those who sin?

Ans. — Every one doing sin, is the slave of sin. John 8:34.

47. What does John say of those who sin?

Ans. — All who sin, have not seen Christ nor known him.  He doing the sin, is of the devil. 1John 3:6, 8.

48. What else does John testify on this head?

Ans. — Every one doing the sin, does the lawlessness, and the sin is the lawlessness. 1John 3:4. Critical translation.

49. What is the MYSTERY or LAWLESSNESS and Man of sin, concerning which Paul writes to the Thessalonians? 2Thess. 2.

Ans. — The carnal or fleshly mind, which is enmity against God.  It is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be.  Hence it is LAWLESS. Rom. 8:7.

50. What effect does it have to be carnally minded?

Ans. — To be carnally minded is death.  So also the wages of sin is death.  But to be spiritually minded, is life and peace. Rom. 8:6, 13.  Rom. 6:21-23.

51. How can we conquer death?

Ans. — By receiving Christ's word in the spirit of Truth, into our hearts, and coming into the light of his Witnesses, through the door of confession and repentance, which means forsaking. John 6:63.   John 5:24, 25.  John 18:37.

52. Is it serving sin to confess sins before a Witness with a resolution to forsake them forever?

Ans. — Certainly not.  It is mortifying sin and obeying the truth, which is directly opposite to the spirit that leads one to commit sin.

53. What effect does it have to honestly persevere in this course?

Ans. — It will free the soul that does this, from all error, destroy the nature of sin, and fill and clothe the mind with glorious light.

54. What does the Old Testament witness to the benefit of confession?

Ans. — He that covereth his sins shall not prosper, but whoso confesses and forsakes his sins shall find mercy. Prov. 28:13.

55. Will a secret confession to God in the sinner's mind, expel the darkness and liberate the soul from slavery to sin?

Ans. — It cannot.  It uncovers nothing and brings nothing to light.  It does not mortify the will that does the sin, and does not change the state of the sinner.

56. From whom does man try to cover his sins?

Ans. — Not from the All-seeing, invisible God, whom he fears not when doing sin, but from his fellow man whom he fears will despise, or do him harm.

57. Then is it before his fellow man or woman that the covering must be removed, and acknowledgment made, to take away sin?

Ans. — Truly it is.  Among God's typical people, confession had to be made before the Priest, or a Leader of the people, in order to be accepted.

58. What else was required to make atonement for sin?

Ans. — A sin offering was required of the sinner, but only the Priest might present it. Lev. 5:5, 6, 10.

59. What did Joshua say to Achan, after Achan's guilt had been discovered?

Ans. — My son, give I pray thee, glory to the God of Israel, and make confession to Him, and tell me now what thou hast done. Josh. 7:19.

60. How does a sinner glorify God, when confessing his faults in the presence of a Witness?

Ans. — By raising his thoughts to God, in condemnation of the wrong confessed before a proper channel in whom true judgment is placed, he is obeying the commandment to life, which lifts up and revivifies the best that is in him.  The evil in him is mortified, that is, put to death in a degree, at the same time, and so God is glorified.

61. Why was Achan killed after he had made confession?

Ans. — His life was required because his sin had caused the death of a number of his people.

62. What did Mother Ann say of the condition of sinners?

Ans. — The heart, with its hidden abominations covered and concealed from the Witnesses of Christ, becomes like a cage of unclean birds, and never can be cleansed, short of a full and free confession. Prec., chapter 28, verse 8.

63. What did she say is the first step of obedience to the gospel, that a sinner can take?

Ans. — To honestly confess all his or her sins to God before His Witnesses. Prec., chapter 28, verse 7.

64. What reason did she give for this requirement?

Ans. — Herein is Christ found as a Savior and forgiver of sins, and nowhere else, nor in any other way. Prec., chapter 28, verse 7.

65. What did Mother Ann say of her own confession?

Ans. — When I set out to obey the gospel, I cried to God to bring my sins to remembrance, and I confessed them one by one, as I had committed them. Prec., chapter 7, verse 11.

66. What was Mother's feeling of conviction for sin?

Ans. — She said, I felt such a sense of my sins, that I was willing to confess them before the whole world. Prec., chapter 7, verse 4.

67. What did Father James testify on this subject?

Ans. — Were there as many men present as there are stars in the sky, I would confess my sins before them all, rather than cover them. Prec., chapter 28, verse 13.

68. What did Father William say of his confession?

Ans. — When I first believed, I confessed my sins all over the town, and they cannot hurt me for it now; for God has cast them behind His back, never more to be remembered against me. Prec., chapter 38, verse 5.

69. Whence did he say, arises the shame?

Ans. — It is a shame to commit sin, but no shame to confess it.

70. Why is the shame felt in confessing, and not in committing sin?

Ans. — Because the dishonorable nature of sin is not manifest, only in the light that condemns it.

71. Can people become so morally perverted and insane as to boast of their wickedness and knowledge of evil?

Ans. — It is a frequent occurrence.  The enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose God is carnal pleasure, glory in their shame, and mind earthly things.  But our citizenship begins in heaven. Phil. 3:19.

72. What is the promise of God by Mother, to those who honestly confess their sins with full determination to forsake them forever?

Ans. — They will find strength of God to forsake them, and by following Christ in a life of obedience, will become sons and daughters of God, and joint heirs with Christ. Prec., chapter 28, verse 9.

73. Can one be injured by other people having knowledge of his sins, whether rightfully or wrongfully obtained, after he has confessed and repented of them?

Ans. — He whose sins are cast behind, and covered with a covering from God in His appointed order, can no more be hurt by them.

74. What do the Scriptures teach on this subject?

Ans. — Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Ps. 32:1.  Rom. 4:8.  Isa. 1:16-18.  Ezek. 18:21-23.

75. What effect has sin recorded on the soul, and not removed nor covered in the manner that God has appointed?

Ans. — It darkens understanding, and hardens the heart to resist Truth, and to oppose Divine influences. Isa. 59:2, 12-15.  2Peter 2:10-15.

76. What if the mind forgets, and is not conscious of its sin?

Ans. — The darkness and disease of the will continue till the cause is discovered and the true remedy applied. Jer. 5:3, 21, 23, 25.  2Tim. 3:2-8.

77. Has it other evil effects?

Ans. — The darkness within being joined to the great realm of spiritual darkness, becomes a haunt for dark spirits to deceive and tempt the creature to more sin.  It repels pure spirits of light. 2Tim. 4:3, 4.

78. What does the Prophet say is the effect of sin?

Ans. — Your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He hears you not. Isa. 59:2, 12.

79. Can mortals then hide from God?

Ans. — Not from His All penetrating Light, which records every minutest act we do, but He can be hid from them in the manner above described.

80. In what way can union with God be regained?

Ans. — We come into union with God, by gaining our union to those who are nearer to God than we are; which is by confessing and forsaking all sin, and obeying instruction.

81. Does transgression which separates souls from God, separate them one from another?

Ans. — It certainly does, and if we put away the cause, the effect will cease.

82. What is the Apostle's testimony on this head?

Ans. — If we walk in the light as God is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin.

83. Have you fully explained what this cleansing blood is?

Ans. — It is the love that keeps all the commandments of Christ, and forms the life of his body, which is the congregation of his disciples.  This chapter verse 43. 2John 6.

84. What does Jesus say of those doing the lawlessness?

Ans. — Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not taught in thy name, and in thy name cast out demons, and in thy name done many wonderful works?

85. How did he answer those worldly miracle workers.

Ans. — Then will I declare unto them, that I never knew you; Depart from me, those working the lawlessness. Matt. 7:22, 23.

86. What day do we understand is here referred to?

Ans. — The day of reckoning for talents bestowed, when the character of each will be known by what he has done. Luke 19:15.

87. What will be the end of lawlessness?

Ans. — In the season of harvest, at the end of the age, or world, the Son of man will send forth his messengers, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all scandals, and all those doing the lawlessness, and will cast them into a furnace of fire. Matt. 13:41, 42.

88. What kind of fire is here meant?

Ans. — The fire of affliction and suffering so great as to burn up all dross and corruption, and extinguish evil desire.

89. Will souls be tormented in this fire?

Ans. — Not unless after having their eyes opened, they cleave to sin, contrary to the everlasting gospel of the world harvest, preached in the judgment. Rev. 14:6, 7, 9-11.  Isa. 33:14, 15.  Heb. 10:26, 27.

90. Does not the Apostle say The day shall be revealed by fire, and fire shall test every man's work? 1Cor. 3:13.

Ans. — True, the fire of a spiritual baptism burns all chaff and stubble, and the fire of the Refiner purifies from dross and evil, but never harms a soul. Isa. 33:14, 15.  Matt. 3:11, 12.  Mal. 3:2, 3.  Isa. 43:2.

91. Does another Apostle declare The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens shall pass away with a rushing sound, and the elements shall be dissolved with fervent heat, and the earth and works that are therein shall be discovered? Marginal reading. 2Peter 3:10.

Ans. — Truly so. This describes what is now taking place, and has been for a hundred years past, with accelerating speed.

92. What are the heavens that are passing away?

Ans. — The heavens of the earthy man, in the generative Order.  Not the external, visible expanse, but mental and spiritual states.

93. Is the rushing sound also mental and spiritual?

Ans. — It must be, as it is caused by the passing out of the old, environing spirit atmosphere, and the coming in of the new; like the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Acts 2:2.

94. What are the elements dissolved with fervent heat?

Ans. — Old habits, customs, rules, opinions, systems, interests, relations and possessions, that center in and support the carnal life.  The superior life, zeal and authority of the new, dissolve all opposing ties, attachments and obligations.

95. What effect has that day upon the earth and works in it?

Ans. — The earth man with his unfruitful works of darkness laid bare in the judgment, discovers himself in the possession of a vile, sinful nature, which requires the fire of the Refiner to purge away.

96. Why is not this mighty revolution recognized and voluntarily aided by nominal Christians?

Ans. — Doubtless because of the cross involved in forsaking their idols of time, and traditional errors.  Also, false interpretation of symbolic language of prophecy, which they imagine is to be literally and not spiritually fulfilled.

97. Is this the reason it comes upon them as a thief?

Ans. — It is even so.  For aside from its presence being unsuspected, like a thief’s, a full acknowledgment of the fact would deprive them of their most cherished idols and possessions.

98. How will this ignorance terminate with those who reject the warning gospel of the harvest?

Ans. — As in the case of the antediluvians, it must end in the sudden destruction of all their plans and hopes of happiness, for so the Savior declared. Matt. 24:37-40.

99. What did Father James testify on this subject?

Ans. — The judgments of God will as surely follow the preaching of this gospel as the flood followed the preaching of Noah. Prec., chapter 40, verse 31; chapter 33, verse 22; chapter, 41, verse 23; chapter 33, verse 13.

100. Mention one encouraging promise given by Father James to the faithful.

Ans. — If there are but five souls among you who abide faithful, this testimony will overcome all nations.  God will destroy all nations off the face of the earth, if they do not repent and turn to Him. Prec., chapter 40, verse 24.

101. What is Father's testimony of God's mercy?

Ans— The door of God's mercy is open to souls, and it never will be shut, unless they shut it against themselves. Prec., chapter 33, verse 15.  Never throw your selves away.  It is never too late to cry to God.  A soul in the belly of hell can do no better than cry to God.

102. How does our gospel testimony affect the standing in the Day of the Lord, of those who obey it?

Ans. — They purge their own hearts from all tares of the enemy — exchange night for day in their souls — overcome the world as Jesus overcame, and shine forth as the sun which rules the Day, in the kingdom of their Father. Matt. 13:40-43.

~ End of Part 1, Chapter 1 ~

 

CHAPTER 2.

CONCERNING GOD.

(Most of it by Calvin Green.)

1. What is the manifest Order of Deity?

Ans. — The manifest order of God is male and female. That is, Power to originate, and Wisdom to bring forth into proper order, and to nourish and support all created things.

2. Does God possess the attribute of Father and Mother?

Ans. — Yea. Power represents the Father and Wisdom the Mother in Deity.

3. Is Wisdom the Mother Spirit in Deity according to Scripture?

Ans. — Yea, according to Her own testimony.  For She has said, The Lord possessed me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old. I was set up from everlasting — from the beginning, before the earth was, I was by Him as One brought up with Him. Prov. 8:22-30.

4. What does Jesus say of Wisdom?

Ans. — “Wisdom is justified of all Her children.”  Thus She is a Mother whom Her children by no means ignore. Luke 7:35.  Wisdom of Solomon, 7:22-80.

5. Have we in Scripture further evidence of this dual order?

Ans. — Yea. When man was created “God said, Let US make man in Our own image, after Our likeness. So God made man in His own image — in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.” Gen. 1:26, 27.

6. What are we taught by this?

Ans. — As man came forth in the order of male and female, this shows that the Creator is male and female.  All orders of life in the natural creation being male and female, confirms this position.

7. What was the opinion of the Ancients concerning the order of Deity?

Ans. — The people of all ancient nations represented the highest manifestations of Supreme Intelligence, as male and female, and spake of heaven as inhabited by Gods and Goddesses.

8. Can God be seen by mortal sight?

Ans. — Nay, for God is Spirit, which cannot be seen with mortal eyes. John 1:18; 5:37.

9. If mortals cannot see God, how can they know such a Being exists?

Ans. — By receiving a portion of His Spirit, they can see Him with the eye of faith, or understanding.  Moreover the existence of the visible creation, indisputably proves to reason, the eye of man's mind, the existence of a Creator. Rom. 1:20.

10. How is the invisible Creator known by His visible works in creation?

Ans. — When our reason is penetrated by a ray of God's own Intelligence, we are led to see the image or reflection of that Intelligence in His works.

11. What is the law of cause and effect?

Ans. — It is universally conceded by the human intellect, that there can be no effect without a cause, and that all visible actions and objects are effects of unseen causes.

12. Please give an example.

Ans. — The action of the tongue in speaking, has its cause in the mind, which is unseen.  No corporeal eye ever saw the force that builds a plant.  Both plant and speech are effects, which prove the existence of intelligent, invisible causes.

13. What other law can you describe of cause and effect?

Ans. — It has been discovered by observation, that like causes always produce like effects.  Hence the saying “Love begets love, and hate produces hate.”  Flaxseed produces flax, and no other kind.

14. How does this reasoning assist us to a knowledge of God?

Ans. — When we see a house, or a machine, we know it must have had a designer and builder, even if we never saw him.   By the same law, we know that it required Almighty Power and Intelligence to originate the earth and all things therein.  Also Infinite Wisdom to nourish, sustain, and bring everything into order, and harmonious adaptations of means to useful ends. Wisdom of Solomon, 8:1.  Jer. 51:15.

15. Can we see more of God in His creation, than we have light from His Intelligence?

Ans. — God cannot be seen where there is not intelligence and goodness to manifest His character.  What man knows the things of man, save the spirit intelligence of man that is in him?  So no man knows the things of God but by the Spirit of God. 1Cor. 2:11.

16. What is necessary in order to see God?

Ans. — The pure in heart shall see God.  In order to see, one must possess both the eye, and the light which illuminates. Matt. 5:8.  Heb. 12:14.

17. How is this light acquired?

Ans. — By honestly seeking, and walking in practical obedience thereto, as fast as received. 1John 5:14.  James 1:5.

18. How is creation preserved and brought into higher and higher degrees of progressive order?

Ans. — By the superintendence of the same Almighty Power and Wisdom which created it in the beginning.  God created all things by His word, and the heavens and earth which are now, by the same word are kept in store.  Upholding all things by the word of His power. 2Peter 3:7. Heb. 1:3.

19. Why cannot we see God, as we do man, with our natural eyes?

Ans. — Because of His purity and subtleness.  The Divine Nature is remote from earthly senses, and is more fine and delicate than all things else.

20. Can the reason why we cannot see God with outward eyes be illustrated by anything in nature?

Ans. — Yea.  We cannot see air, because it is more refined, subtle and delicate than our natural sight.  That sight is further removed from seeing spirit, because spirit is so much finer and rarer than air.

21. How then are spirits sometimes seen like persons in the body?

Ans. — Spirits have power to clothe themselves with a cloud of material elements, so that their likeness can be seen by mortals.  It is not real spirit that is seen, but the elements that clothe it. Gen. 18:1-10.  Exod. 33:9-11.  Judg. 13:16-21.

22. In what other way can we know the existence of spirit?

Ans. — We can feel spirit, and know that it exists, by its operations within us.  All sensations and thoughts which do not arise from external causes, and all operations of faith and conscience, are from the spirit or soul within us, without which, we could know nothing of God nor of a hereafter.

23. What is this spirit within us?

Ans. — Spirit is our life, and the cause of all our sensibility and knowledge.  Man is a portion of the Infinite Spirit, engermed. Job 34:14;15; 32:8; 33:4; 35:10, 11.

24. What is the soul?

Ans. — Soul is the seat of bodily sense and appetite and passion.  It is the envelope of Spirit, and joins it to the physical body.

25. Can the body act without the soul?

Ans. — Nay.  The departure of soul, is the death of the physical body.

26. Can the spiritual eye of the soul while in the physical body, see spiritual things, as the natural eye sees natural things?

Ans. — When by a spiritual operation called open vision, the natural part is prevented from veiling the eye of the soul, then the soul can see spirit next to us, as we see each other.

27. Can the Eternal Divine Being ever be seen by the spiritual eye of the soul?

Ans. — It will require a vast ascension of the order of spirit next to us, through many gradations of purity, before any human eye can become pure enough to behold the Eternal Being in open vision.

28. What is the Apostle's testimony in this line?

Ans. —“He only hath immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man hath seen nor can see,” while in an earthly state. 1Tim. 6:16.

29. What is spiritual vision?

Ans. — It is spiritual sight, caused by a reflection of spiritual light upon our spiritual part, which transmits it to the mind as through glass.

30. What may be seen in spiritual vision?

Ans. — The image of spiritual things and beings can be seen, and even of the Divine Being, so far as our spiritual capacity is in a state to discern His reflection.  Also the thoughts and intents of the heart, and memory records of past history.

31. What is the difference between soul and spirit?

Ans. — Soul is the psychic, or astral body, and is the house, or tenement of the spirit, as the physical body is the tenement of the soul. Gen. 2:7.

32. What relation does it hold to the physical body?

Ans. — It is the seat of animal life and sensation.  It builds and fills every part of the physical body, and is its counterpart in all its members.  It is the psychic body, within the outer, visible body.

33. Of what is it composed?

Ans. — Of astral or star spirit, which may also be called the soul of the world.  The same that forms the soul or sensitive principle in all animal life.

34. Do animals have souls?

Ans. — And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath soul. Margin. Gen. 1:20.   Lev. 17:14, reads in Hebrew, “The soul of all flesh is the blood,” meaning (Lev. 17:11) that the soul is in the blood, as its life.

35. What is the human spirit apart from soul?

Ans. — It is a rational Intelligence that ministers to soul, and is its nearest connection with higher orders of intelligence.

36. What does spirit administer to soul?

Ans. — It is the only medium by which the soul receives all its knowledge above the things of nature, or is able to discern morally between good and evil, and to comprehend spiritual existence.

37. What is the Apostle's prayer for disciples of Truth?

Ans. — I pray God that your whole spirit, soul and body may be preserved blameless. 1Thess. 5:23.

38. Is the soul and spirit our real being, that exists after the body perishes?

Ans. — It is.  The outward body is like a tent, in being a movable and temporary dwelling.  It is also like a machine, in and by which, the soul performs its earthly work.  It is like a garment that we cast off when it is worn out.

39. Does the body serve any other purpose?

Ans. — It is a chemical laboratory, to eliminate from food, drink and air, the finest essence or spirit of matter for the use of the soul, till it is prepared for a more advanced state of being.

40. Does the destruction or death of the body disorganize the soul?

Ans. — Nay; no more than the destruction of a machine destroys the power that moved it; or than the destruction of a house destroys its owner; or than the burning of a cast off garment destroys its wearer.

41. What does the Apostle Paul say on this subject?

Ans. — We know that if our earthly tabernacle should be dissolved, we have a building of God, a dwelling not made by hand, age-abiding in the heavens. 2Cor. 5:1.

42. Can we feel the influence of the Divine Spirit, and certainly know that what we feel and sense is from God, and is true?

Ans. — Yea; all good is from God.  Therefore when we feel the operation of any goodness within us, we may know it is the flowing of His Spirit. Ps. 34:8.  1Peter 2:3.  Heb. 6:5.

43. What says the Apostle James, concerning good gifts?

Ans. — Every good and every perfect gift, is from above, and cometh down from the Father of Lights, with whom is no variableness, nor shade of turning. James 1:17.

44. How can we certainly know that what we feel is really from God?

Ans. — Pure love is the very essence of God, for “God is love.”  1John 4:8.  When we feel this love, which desires to promote the happiness of others, and a desire to do the will of good spirits, we may know that we feel the love of God in our degree.

45. What other virtues or principles can we be sure are proceeding from God?

Ans. — All feelings of charity, kindness, mercy, benevolence, and patience under affliction, are virtues proceeding from God. Phil. 4:8.

46. Will you name other feelings that proceed from God?

Ans. — All desire to do good to others, or to do by them as we would be done by, is from God, for this is the command of our Savior. Matt. 7:12.  Above all, every desire to be pure and holy in body and mind, is a feeling inspired by His Spirit. 1Cor. 7:34.

47. Does God see us at all times, and know all our thoughts and actions?

Ans. — He certainly does.   For as He is the Primary Source of life in all beings of His creation, it is self-evident that He must see and know the operations of that life in all creatures by Him sustained.

48. What is the Scripture evidence on this subject?

Ans. — Behold the Lord knoweth all the works of men, their imaginations, their thoughts and their hearts. 2Esdras 16:54, 63.

49. What further evidence of this, do we find recorded?

Ans. — His eyes are upon the ways of men.  He seeth all their goings.  There is no darkness nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity can hide from Him. Job 34:21, 22.  God is greater than our hearts and knoweth all things. 1John 3:20.

50. What does Jesus say of our heavenly Father's cognition of human affairs?

Ans. — God knoweth your hearts.   The hairs of your head are all numbered, and not a sparrow falls to the ground without your Father. Matt. 10:30; 6:8.  Luke 16:15.

51. What do the revelations of clairvoyance and of psychometry teach us?

Ans. — That the history of all things, all changes and conditions, and of all actions, and even our thoughts and emotions, are recorded in the astral light, which permeates not only the atmosphere, but all material things, however dense or opaque they seem to us.

52. What is this Astral light?

Ans. — It is the light in which thought originates and is transmitted without sound — in which mind sees when detached from its bodily organs of external perception.  It is the light of natural spirit as contradistinguished from Divine Spirit.

53. Is there any allusion to it in the Bible?

Ans. — “God said Let light be, and light was,” before sun, moon or stars were visible.  It is always present so far as discovered, wherever creative power is manifest. Ps. 139:11, 12.

54. Can mortals hide from this omnipresent light?

Ans. — From the Astral light, which is like the All-seeing Eye of Deity, none can hide, even for a moment; but from the light of mind that reproves sin, mortals are permitted to cover for awhile, if they wish, to prove them more completely.

55. Are we required to walk in this light of the pure mind, to be accepted of God?

Ans. — Yea; in all things we must act in the light of the Witnesses of Truth, for God is light, and in Him is no darkness. 1John 1:5-7.

56. Ought we always to be as we seem to be, and seem to be what we really are?

Ans. — Yea; for to do thus, is to be sincere.  This will prevent us from doing anything privately, or in secret, that we would be ashamed to have our brethren and sisters know.

57. Can one have true self respect who secretly does mean things, that he or she wishes to conceal from respectable people?

Ans. — Certainly not.   Such conduct makes one an ignoramus toward God, and a coward toward men — in one word, a hypocrite, which is most despised of all characters.

58. What do the foregoing propositions teach us?

Ans. — To revere God in all that we do, and to fear to do wrong; that is, anything contrary to the will of Him whose eyes are ever upon us, and who sees and knows everything we think, say and do.

59. What will be the consequences of our action?

Ans. — God will bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or whether evil. Eccl. 12:14; 11:9.

60. What did Jesus say concerning the judgment?

Ans. — For every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in a day of judgment. Matt. 12:36.

61. What action will be taken then?

Ans. — The justice of His Divine Spirit will surely chastise, and require atonement for evil done, and will reward us for all we do that is good.  For righteousness and judgment are the habitation of His throne. Ps. 97:2.  Rev. 22:12.

62. Are Divine rewards and punishments arbitrarily dispensed, as is done by the governments of men?

Ans. — Nay. Spiritual rewards and punishments result from internal states, produced by good or evil actions, wrought into the texture of the soul.  Mean actions, make the doer base and restless.   Good actions ennoble and happify the soul.

63. Is there any way to extract these evils from the doer of them?

Ans. — Yea, in the judgment, when the soul is harvested from its earthly state, and is given the offer of eternal life, one may root out his tares, if he will.

64. What are the conditions of the purchase of eternal life?

Ans. — The creature must be wholly cut off from its old life in the flesh, and from all its supports.  Must come into the light by exposing all its deeds before the Witnesses of Christ, by honest confession and repentance.

65. What more is indispensably requisite to complete the purchase?

Ans. — It shall come into perfect obedience to Divine law, cease living for self, and endure the gospel fire that will burn up all the dross and impurity of the past, in a life forever consecrated to Divine service.

66. What is gospel fire?

Ans. — It is the fire of the Refiner that cleanses the soul.  A fire of zeal and the daily cross.  The fire of God’s wrath against sin in the heart, and the fire of Truth, in a testimony that exposes and repudiates it forever. Mal. 3:3.

67. What does the Apostle testify is the final outcome of these steps?

Ans. — If any one be in Christ he is a new creation.  All old things have passed away, and all have become new, and all of God. 2Cor. 5:17.

68. Is God submission?

Ans. — Yea, God is a God of order and not of confusion.  Without submission to law, there could be neither order nor harmony.  To be without submission to law, is to be lawless, which is the sin of perdition, and character of the Man of Sin. 2Thess. 2:3-11.

~ End of Part 1, Chapter 2 ~


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