Divine Principle and Its Application

Young Oon Kim

Chapter VI - Resurrection

Extrasensory perception has recently become a topic of great interest, and spiritual phenomena are freely discussed. If spirits are contacting people on earth more frequently now, what is the purpose of their intervention? Why are they particularly active at this time? To understand these things, one must have a full knowledge of resurrection.

1. The Definition of Resurrection

Resurrection literally means to rise from the dead. In order to explain the meaning of resurrection, the definition of death must be made clear. God said to Adam and Eve, "For in the day that you eat of it you shall die." (Gen. 2:17b) However, Adam and Eve did not die physically after they ate. What, then, is meant by death here? Was it the fact that man's physical body becomes old, dies, and returns to dust? No. Such death is only the natural end of physical life in accordance with the Principle of Creation. No physical body is created to live for eternity. Man, however, is apt to attach himself to this physical life because he is unaware of the fact that his spirit-man lives forever in the spirit world after separation from the body. Therefore, separation of the spirit-man from the physical body is not death in God's sight. Death is the absence of give and take with God and originated with man's separation from Him. It is the spiritual state in which man cannot perceive God's love and thus cannot respond to it. This death is caused by man's original sin and the domination of Satan.

Adam and Eve, who had grown as far as the highest degree of the Growth Stage, violated God's command and fell far below the first degree of the Formation Stage. Accordingly, their descendants are born there and must advance to the stages of Growth and Perfection. Resurrection begins with the process of restoring man's original nature, and the goal of resurrection is the attainment of Perfection.

There was no change in the physical appearance of Adam and Eve after their fall. Likewise, there is no outward change as one experiences resurrection; but there does occur a vast spiritual change which alters the character of one's life. Man's removal from Satan's domain to God's is indeed a radical change. Once man's resurrection is completed, Satan no longer has control over him.

2. Man's Resurrection in History

A. Resurrection to the Formation Stage

To start the dispensation of resurrection a foundation first had to be laid. Toward this end God began working in Adam's family. During the two thousand years after Adam God continued to work through men to lay the foundation. But until Abraham and his family were chosen, the foundation was not laid because those who were called for this task failed.

At the time of Abraham even God's chosen people, the Hebrews, were such a distance from God that they could approach Him only through animal sacrifices and vegetable offerings. When man came-closer to God, after some spiritual advancement, God gave the Ten Commandments through Moses. Later, prophets arose who elevated the spiritual life of the Israelites by teaching additional ethical and spiritual aspects of God. Thus they progressed spiritually from the time of Abraham. However, the Old Testament Age remained centered upon the Mosaic Law. God justified the people of this age on the basis of their observance of the Law.

Because of their spiritual status, God could not speak to them directly, but sent messages through His angels. Hence, even the loyal servants of God, the patriarchs, judges, and prophets, could achieve resurrection only as high as the top of the Formation Stage. Accordingly, their spirits were Form-Spirits, and through their work the Formation Stage of the spirit world was established. Here they awaited the appearance of the Messiah.

B. Resurrection to the Growth Stage

Upon the foundation of the Formation Stage, the advent of Jesus was realized. His mission was to raise man's spiritual status from the Formation Stage to Perfection itself.

The degree of intensity of a person's love for God determines the distance between himself and God. The founders of non-Christian religions taught of God as a supreme deity in a vague and abstract sense, whereas Jesus taught of God as our Father and emphasized the fatherly love of God's nature. In his teachings, Jesus appealed to the Israelites with the longing and brokenhearted love of the Father for His lost children. By manifesting the broken heart of the loving Father, Jesus brought his followers closer to God and elevated them above the Old Testament teachings and all other religions. In this way Jesus was to raise his followers from the status of servants to that of children of God, the Father, and friends of Jesus himself. (John 15:14-15) Thus, Jesus opened the way for mankind to approach God through love instead of fear and shortened the distance between man and his ultimate goal of physical and spiritual Perfection.

Because of his crucifixion, however, Jesus could not complete his mission and achieved only the resurrection to the Growth Stage. Hence, those who were faithful to Jesus could achieve resurrection to the Growth Stage, the realm where Life-Spirits dwell, and they have remained with Jesus in paradise. Paradise has been until now the highest region in the spirit world, though it be only as high as the Growth Stage. Those in paradise have been eagerly awaiting the Second Advent.

C. Resurrection to the Perfection Stage

The Second Advent is being fulfilled upon the foundation of the Growth Stage, which has been in the building for the two thousand years of the New Testament Age. People in the last days can be resurrected to the Perfection Stage both spiritually and physically by accepting the Lord and serving him. Man attains Perfection when he rids himself of the original sin and enters into a full relationship of love with God. In this stage he is to form a trinity with the blessing of the Lord. Perfection, therefore, does not mean that spiritual growth stops; on the contrary, it continues forever. Through the ministry of the Second Advent, mankind will be brought into the position of God's children not merely in idea, but in reality. Mankind will enter into a complete union with God. As it is written: "Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them." (Rev. 21:3b)

It is the great desire of Christians to participate in the first resurrection. "Blessed and holy is he who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and they shall reign with him a thousand years." (Rev. 20:6) "He who shares- in the first resurrection" means whoever is among the first in history to achieve the resurrection of Perfection. Such individuals become Divine-Spirits and are free from original sin. Since they will be sealed by the Lord of the Second Advent, Satan will have no claim or control over them. In the Completed Testament Age people will be justified not by observing the Mosaic Law or believing in Jesus, but by following and attending the Lord of the new world.

Those to be sealed number 144,000 in the Book of Revelation.

Then I looked, and lo, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads .... and they sing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who had been redeemed from the earth. (14:1, 3)

Those with the names of the Lamb and the Father on their foreheads are the ones who have attained the complete resurrection. The number 144,000 is symbolic and is derived from 12 X 12. It represents a limited number of people who will share in the first resurrection and form the foundation for the restoration of mankind. They are those redeemed from mankind as the first fruits for God and the Lamb, and will be the most privileged of all people, sharing joy and glory with the Lord forever.

3. The Resurrection of Spirit-Men

The Principle of Creation states that a spirit-man must grow to Perfection in conjunction with his physical body. The spirit-man must receive the Element of Vitality from his physical body, as well as the Life Element from God for his growth. Accordingly, spirit-men who did not reach Perfection must descend to earth in order to complete their resurrection through the medium of earthly people. For this reason, numerous spirit-men are to descend when the Lord comes again, even as they did at the time of Jesus.

It was of these also that Enoch in the seventh generation from Adam prophesied, saying, "Behold, the Lord came with his holy myriads, to execute judgment on all." (Jude 14-15a)

As it is written here, a great number of Form-Spirits descended at the time of Jesus to elevate themselves through cooperation with Jesus and his disciples. The outpouring of spirits on the day of Pentecost was one of the noted phenomena of their descent. By this cooperation, they advanced into paradise as it was opened through Jesus. This was their resurrection to the Growth Stage.

The Gospel of Matthew records:

The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. (Matt. 27:52-53)

The bodies of the saints referred to here are not physical bodies. Rather, the passage describes a spiritual phenomenon. After Jesus' resurrection many spirits were raised from the Formation Stage of the spirit world to the Growth Stage. To those in paradise, the Formation Stage appears as cold and dark as a tomb. Some of these spirits seem to have appeared to people in Jerusalem.

Today those in paradise must descend to earth and cooperate with the new dispensation of the Second Advent. By means of their cooperation they will advance and complete their resurrection to Perfection. In this way, these Life-Spirits will enter the kingdom of heaven as it is opened by the ministry of the Second Advent. Paradise has been a transitional stage. With the opening of the kingdom of heaven, paradise appears as a tomb and will dissolve as Life-Spirits advance to the kingdom of heaven.

And all these, though well attested by their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had foreseen something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect. (Heb. 11:39-40)

The writer of Hebrews states in his eleventh chapter that Abel, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and many of the prophets had lived by faith and obeyed God, which was well attested. However, none of them has received what was promised-the perfect resurrection. They can achieve this only through those working in the new dispensation of the Second Advent. We, of this privileged generation, have priority in attaining the perfect resurrection, for all those in the spirit world must depend upon the people on earth for their complete resurrection. Consequently, those in the spirit world are eagerly seeking people with whom they may work.

In the last days, the work of the Holy Spirit and Jesus will gradually decrease, and the spirits of Paradise and the elect on earth will increasingly work together for the restoration. More and more people are speaking in tongues, healing, prophesying, imparting spiritual fire, and performing mighty works at this time. Most of these are the cooperating ministries of Life-Spirits.

4. The Succession of Missions

Science today is highly developed on the basis of the continuous research and discovery through the centuries. We of this generation have benefited greatly from scientific advancement. This comes to, us with little or no effort on our part, simply because we live in this scientific age.

This is also true in the spiritual realm. Since the earliest times in man's history, God's servants have been laying foundations for the ever higher spiritual advancement of man. Upon the foundation of Christianity the privilege of elevation to the Growth Stage became available. At present, upon the foundation of the ministry of the Second Advent, man can attain the highest level of spiritual growth-physical and spiritual Perfection.

This generation has the unique privilege of advancing from the Stage of Growth or even Formation to that of Perfection in a lifetime or less. Because of this greatest privilege, those in the spirit world envy this generation. Not only the spirits of paradise but spirits of all levels are working with people to share the benefits of this illustrious age. The prophecy of Joel is thus being fulfilled.

And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even upon the menservants and maidservants in those days, I will pour out my spirit. (Joel 2:23-29)

By the law of attraction, these descending spirits cannot arbitrarily influence just any human beings. They must seek people with whom they have a common base for reciprocation. Otherwise, they cannot establish rapport with the individual.

In the course of universal restoration, God has been working through chosen individuals to accomplish specific missions at definite times in history. In selecting individuals, God has been concerned with the types of people chosen, because each mission required a certain type for its accomplishment.

The dispensation of restoration has been carried out through the successive work of such individuals as Abraham, Jacob, Moses, and Jesus. Their missions were expanded in scope depending on the-foundation their predecessors laid. For example, the missions of Abraham and Jacob were at the individual or family level; Moses' mission was tribal; and Jesus' mission, national and universal.

Today the Lord of the Second Advent and his followers are to complete the mission of Jesus. Therefore, Jesus and those in paradise must descend and cooperate with these successors of their work. To reach the goal is the responsibility of their successors who are now on earth. Because their privilege is so great, their judgment, if they fail to respond to the call, must be equally great.

At this time not only good spirits, but also earthbound spirits and evil spirits are descending. If their influence contributes to the indemnity for the new dispensation, they also benefit. This is why diverse spiritual phenomena are increasing, including that of spirit obsession. The rapid increase of insanity and other instances of irrationality is the result of spirit possession or obsession. By understanding the Principle one can discern the spirits and control them; but if he does not know why and how they work, he can be misled and become a victim of spirit obsession.

Persons having communication with spirit world occasionally receive such names as Paul, Peter, Israel, and various other names. This means that the spirit of Paul, for example, finds rapport with a particular individual having the same mission as Paul. Paul cooperates with this individual in order to complete his mission. At the same time, the individual accomplishes his own mission. Thus, by the fulfillment of a diversity of missions, by a succession of people, God accomplishes the dispensation of restoration.

5. Antichrists

A typical occurrence in the last days is the frequent appearance of individuals who claim to be lords. When one reaches the highest level of the Growth Stage, he sometimes receives spiritually that he is a lord, or Adam. If the individual is a woman, she may receive that she is Eve or the wife of Jehovah.

God promised to give Adam and Eve lordship over all creation. (Gen. 1:28) But, because of their fall, this promise was not fulfilled. However, God renews His promise to those who have grown to the spiritual level which Adam had attained at the time of his fall. The message that they are lords means that God has restored the promise of lordship to man. It does not mean that they, as individuals, are the Lord or lords of the Second Advent.

There is another reason why such a message is given at this time. In the last days, those at a high spiritual level have a mission to testify to the time of the Second Advent. Thus, many will be called at different places to be the forerunners of the Lord to come. In their ignorance of God's will, these people may mistakenly act as if they were the Lord of the Second Advent. However, if they do so act, they will gradually lose their spiritual gifts. Furthermore, if they do not conduct themselves within the limits of their own missions, they risk becoming antichrists. This is why so many antichrists will appear in the last days.

Those who are spiritually gifted seldom unite with one another and are often sharply divided among themselves in disagreement over trivial matters. Why is this? It is written in Revelation 21:12-14 that there are twelve pearl gates to the New Jerusalem: three gates in each direction-east, west, south, and north. These twelve gates symbolize the twelve disciples of Jesus. They represent different missions. Each person will enter the kingdom of heaven through the gate of his mission. In the journey, many who are going to the same place are coming from different directions. Accordingly, many conflicts arise and many people assume that only their way is correct and the others are wrong.

It is God's desire to have each person enter the kingdom of heaven as soon as possible. Therefore, God treats each one as if He loves him alone and gives him alone precious gifts. For this reason, spiritually gifted people frequently become aloof and narrow-minded and often regard others as being heretic and Satanic. Since one specific mission is assigned to each person to fulfill and for that mission he alone is the selected one, God therefore tells him that he is a lord. Such spiritual phenomena will occur frequently in the last days.

When the Lord comes again, he will assemble God's people with their works done. At this time everyone will realize that his work was a part of the whole and that he was lord only within his mission. The Lord of the Second Advent is assembling all of the parts and will coordinate them to complete the work as a whole. Then he will reward each person according to his work. Therefore, those who have received spiritual messages or have served God must bring their works to the universal Lord for his recognition. If they do not do this in time, their works will not be harvested. Although they may come from different directions to different gates, the ultimate goal is to enter the New Jerusalem with their works done. If they don't arrive in time, their hard work will be fruitless.

6. The Unification of Religions

All religions have arisen through God's providence and have enlightened the consciousness of man. Taoism, Confucianism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Islam, Shinto, and Hinduism have all contributed to the spiritual development of man. These religions have laid the foundation for the fulfillment of the last dispensation, the establishment of the kingdom of heaven on earth. All the great religions are based upon certain degrees of truth from God and have served as His means of communication to the various segments of mankind throughout the ages. Judeo-Christianity, however, is a direct revelation from God, whereas the other religions are indirect revelations.

The founders of the different religions and the great philosophers have formed separate societies in the spirit world and are still leading their followers there. In the past these groups were isolated from one another and were unaware of the others' activities. However, with the beginning of God's new dispensation, the barriers among them have broken down. Such barriers had been created in paradise and elsewhere because of the different conceptions of God and degrees of spiritual understanding. The dissolution of barriers in the spirit world parallels the present-day abandonment of isolationism by nations and many other groups on earth. In this sense, the world is moving steadily toward unity, and this movement reflects what is presently occurring in the spirit world.

As the new dispensation becomes widely known by the different groups in paradise, the leaders of these various groups will descend to earth. In this way they will lead their followers to the dispensation of the Second Advent with spiritual messages and inspiration. Therefore, messages concerning the Second Advent are coming not only from Jesus but from founders of all other religions as well. These religious founders can fulfill their missions and achieve the resurrection of Perfection only through the devout participation of their followers in the ministry of the Second Advent. The Second Advent of the Lord is a universal event, and its effects will not be confined to the Christian world. Eventually all mankind will participate in the Second Advent in order to bring about the resurrection of each individual and the restoration of the universe.

For the first time in history, divergent religions will be unified, and one universal religion will emerge. This one great religion will lead mankind into ONE universal brotherhood. Finally, the unity of the two worlds, the invisible and the visible, will be accomplished. Perfected men and women will serve as the mediators between them, and there will be a complete harmony and communication between the two worlds. Consequently, the new world of perfection will be highly spiritual; it will be the Garden of Eden or heaven on earth. The life God has planned for all of His children will have been established and God's ideal of creation fulfilled at last.

Note on Predestination

God is good; His purpose of creation is good; and He is carrying out the providence of restoration for the good of all mankind. Therefore, God never predestines anyone to perish or fall. What God predestines is His will for mankind, which is eternal and unchanging. In order to fulfill His unchanging will, God chooses and calls individuals to fit into His overall plan. Naturally, to call individuals for specific missions, the ancestral background or spiritual heritage, intrinsic character and potential, and environmental conditions are considered, just as a craftsman would use different materials to fit into various parts of the whole work. Since God foresees all of these, He calls those whom He wants to use, and as they fulfill their missions, God justifies and glorifies them. (Rom. 8:30)

However, God divides between Himself and man the responsibility for carrying out the task. Only when man fully cooperates with God is His will completely fulfilled. Therefore, even after God calls someone for a mission, His will can be left unfulfilled if the individual fails to do his part. This has happened repeatedly, as shown in the lives of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, etc. Man is not a machine, but has freedom of will and action. Only when man fulfills his responsibility does God's help become effective. For instance, in Paul's case it was not the spectacular call of God, but Paul's wholehearted response which brought about a successful result. Unless man fulfills his five per cent, God's ninety-five per cent will have no effect. To fulfill his responsibility and accomplish his part, man must use wisdom. When man is fulfilling his five per cent, God does not reveal anything to guide him, but leaves him alone completely.

Many shall purify themselves, and make themselves white, and be refined; but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand; but those who are wise shall understand. (Dan. 12:10)
The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any that act wisely, that seek after God. (Psalms 14:2)
They have a zeal for God, but it is not enlightened. (Rom. 10:2b)

When John the Baptist's disciples asked Jesus if he was the one to come or if they should look further, Jesus told them to go and tell John what they heard and saw. John had to decide, using his own wisdom and judgment, whether to believe in Jesus or not. "Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds." (Matt. 11:19c) Thus by actions wisdom is manifested.

In order to fulfill His unchanging will, God selects and calls specific individuals to carry out specific missions:

But, who are you, a man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me thus?" Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for beauty and another for menial use? (Rom. 9:20-21)

Having lost his original value through the fall, man certainly has no right to complain to God about his lot in life. God loved Jacob and "hated" Esau in their mother's womb (Rom. 9:11-13), because God had chosen Jacob for a specific mission. However, if Jacob had failed in his mission, God's choice would have been nullified. When Esau fulfilled his part, God could not refuse him but blessed him. God showed favor according to their missions or positions in His plan, not to them as persons. God has predestined His will, His overall plan for mankind, but does not predestine the lot of an individual.

Note on Reincarnation

The doctrine of reincarnation can be traced to the early stages of mankind. Hindus and Buddhists have held this doctrine for many centuries. The Western world has become familiar with it through the channels of Oriental influence in the last fifty years.

Reincarnation is the belief that the soul has successive bodies of flesh and, therefore, many lives upon the earth. This idea is contrary to the Principle of Creation, which teaches that man was originally to become perfect in one lifetime and pass on to the spiritual heaven and live with God in the utmost joy and glory. Man is not designed to take a physical form again and again, however imperfect he is at the end of his life on earth.

The doctrine of reincarnation concerns the evolution of the soul and presumes that it is effected by repeated incarnations in successive physical bodies. This doctrine ignores God's design for the blessed eternal spiritual heaven, in which there are innumerable spheres and regions for man's evolution and where one has great opportunities for improvement, but not by being once more bound to a physical body.

The Karmic Law of cause and effect states that the consequences of every act must be discharged in this or some future life on earth. It is true that the law of cause and effect operates in the creation and that no one can escape it. However, the consequences of all our actions will be discharged not in another incarnation, but in this life and in the spirit realm. Therefore, it is important to realize that what we think, love, and do now determines our life and character in the eternal spirit world, for we are forming our spirit-self here on earth.

Reincarnationists seek answers to questions such as the following: Why is one person so well placed in life, given every advantage that money and culture can confer, while another person is born into very difficult circumstances, where it seems impossible to make any advance in life? Why is one child born a cripple, or born blind, while another child arrives in this world with a healthy body? Why does one child live to a ripe old age, whereas another child dies after only a few days or years? Men and women are not born free and equal but start this life like horses in a handicap race, no two bearing an equal burden.

How can this be, if indeed God is loving, just, and all-powerful? The reincarnationists reply that we are reaping today, for good or evil, the results of the seeds we have sown during the course of many previous lives. Many times we have been a man, and many times a woman. Some of those at the bottom of our social ladder today have walked the earth as kings, presidents, generals, admirals, and high priests; and some who now sit in the seats of the mighty have toiled as simple peasants in days gone by, pulled at the oar of a galley, or worn the chains of the slave.

We do not agree with this view because material wealth, good environment, physical comfort, the highest education, prestige, and power are not true blessings of ultimate spiritual value. Moses gave up an easy and comfortable life in Pharaoh's court and became a shepherd to be closer to God. Gautama left his palace, forsaking his position as a prince, in order to seek enlightenment. St. Francis of Assisi abandoned his wealth and luxury and became a friar in order to follow Jesus. Thomas Aquinas renounced noble rank to be a humble monk and seek spiritual truth. Father Damien chose to go to Molokai to live with and teach lepers. Albert Schweitzer chose to serve the primitive Africans with Christian love, giving up a good position and a high standard of living. Helen Keller, though blind, deaf, and dumb, achieved the highest academic goal and found spiritual light and peace. Many people turn to God and for the first time find inner joy and high purpose in life after a serious illness or accident. Why? Because an easy life and luxurious environment are often hindrances to one's spiritual growth. It is true that man's extremity is God's opportunity.

Reincarnationists say that we are here to develop spiritually; that is, to acquire a full understanding of and control over our mentality. This, they say, is difficult to do in one lifetime. Therefore, we must return to the earth many times to learn more. Why can't one finish learning in one lifetime? The theory of reincarnation states that this is impossible because of man's laziness and inertia, his reluctance to change himself radically and adopt new ideas, his conservatism and tendency to self-satisfaction, and above all, his ignorance of his own unlimited potential. Reincarnationists lose sight of the following facts:

A. The majority of the people in this world are still lazy and inactive with regard to their spiritual growth, and are still reluctant to change. What lessons have they learned in their many previous lives? If they have not learned anything in previous lives, what is the sense of coming back again?

B. Every child starts to learn from complete ignorance. There is no evidence that anyone brings with him the acquired knowledge and experience of his former lives. What is the point of coming back again and again to start all over?

C. In the spirit world, there are innumerable ascending spheres and regions for our evolution. We have many opportunities for improvement, but not by taking once more a physical body. What a poor place our earth is if there is no hope of a better world to come. The theory of reincarnation ignores God's design for the blessed eternal spiritual heaven where the road of spiritual evolution lies open before us after physical death. It is for us to tread, if we wish to, in order to learn the things that we have failed to grasp on earth.

D. We have not the faintest recollection of former existences. The reincarnationists explain this by saying that people are already prone to worry and grieve foolishly over the past events of this life, and if they had the material of many lives to handle, they would destroy themselves very quickly. Hence, they say, nature has drawn a veil of forgetfulness over our beginnings on this plane, and for excellent reasons she hides away the memory of previous lives. Nevertheless, in this life we are to reap what we have sown in other lives. Why are we held responsible for that of which we have no memory and can never consciously correct?

Reincarnationists suggest that the whole history of all our past lives is stored away in the deeper levels of our subconscious. This is why our present mentality-and consequently our destiny-is the logical outcome of all the lives we have lived. It is true that the impressions and experiences of our early childhood are stored deep in our subconscious and may affect our mentality to a degree. Also, during the time the physical body is asleep, the spiritual self is free to travel to other places which we may not remember at all when awake. These two factors can account for many remembrances of places and people beyond our conscious experience.

There have been some cases cited of people who, while reading ancient history or tales of other lands and times, "remember" the events about which they are reading. A "memory" of this type occurs when cooperating spirits strengthen the mental images invariably created while reading. Swedenborg, a great psychic and revelator of the seventeenth century, explained it this way: "If a spirit were to speak from his own memory with a man, the man would not know otherwise than that the thoughts then in his mind were his own, although they were the spirit's thoughts. This would be like the recollection of something which the man had never heard or seen." Thus, such startling ideas and thoughts are influxes from the memories of cooperating spirits.

The doctrine of reincarnation denies the influence of one's heritage and declares that no one ever inherits anything from his parents or his ancestors. This view contradicts the history of the chosen people in the Bible. When Abraham made a mistake, his descendants were required to pay indemnity for it and suffered in Egypt as slaves. When Jacob fulfilled God's dispensation, his descendants were chosen to be the blessed instruments of God. This is the pattern of operation of God's providence throughout the history of His people. What our ancestors sow, we reap, whether good or bad. This is biblically true, historically plain, and empirically factual. Therefore, we have the privilege of fulfilling the good our ancestors have started and compensating for their failures. We are also responsible for laying a good foundation for our posterity and leaving them a good heritage.

Reincarnation views the differing talents of people as the result of their activities in other lives. Child prodigies are presumed to be souls who have acquired their proficiency in a previous life. There are better explanations. The talents of children can be easily traced to similarly talented parents or ancestors. Also, such talented people can be trained invisibly by artists in spirit who desire to see their work continued for the good and enjoyment of mankind. We call this the succession of missions. Naturally, these spirit artists would seek the bodies and minds that seem most suitable for their purposes. In order to fulfill their mission, departed artists, writers, musicians, or poets find rapport and cooperate with those on earth having the same traits or interests. The same holds true in the fields of science, philosophy, business, politics, or any other field. Spirits with similar interests and talents descend to cooperate with people on earth in their endeavors.

If reincarnation had been a fact through the ages, should we not find evidence of it in a goodly portion of perfected souls among us? Surely by this time we should see many mature and advanced spirits among the wealthy, the beautiful, and the powerful on earth. But is this true? On the contrary, in many instances they seem to be just as immature and imperfect as the rest of mankind. If the materially fortunate people on earth are reaping the benefit of their good lives in the past, shouldn't there be more supermen and perfected souls among them? And yet we see no such evidence. If reincarnation were a fact, shouldn't these people who are endowed with wealth, power, and position in this life be significantly happier and more well-adjusted than those not so well situated? Yet social studies prove that this is not the case. Certainly there is no indication that such people have attained a greater degree of spiritual growth.

The physical body is like an overcoat for the spirit body. All through earth life, one is building the spirit body. When one passes from the physical plane, he throws off the overcoat. When this takes place, the individual still holds to the old ideas which he had in his physical existence. If he has been chiefly interested in worldly things, these interests will be maintained and the individual will be earthbound by his love. Spirit bodies can be of very coarse or very fine vibration. Those of coarse vibration and strong physical attachments are seen at times as the "ghosts" in haunted houses. When one builds the spiritual body through understanding, it has light and strength. Such a spirit progresses on through the spirit realms.

Some people sit in silence and meditate to become masters. This practice is dangerous since one often contacts the neutral gray sphere, or the astral plane. This plane is a laboratory, and the spirits there have not yet achieved strength or power. It is a place of rest, where one's old ideas are discarded. In a meditative state of detachment, one can become negative and lose contact with reality. Spirits in this neutral gray sphere are often ignorant of the spirit world, and frequently are not yet aware that they are out of their physical bodies. Contact with such spirits can lead to spirit possession.

Instead of being helpful, the idea of reincarnation can be very dangerous. Earthly-minded individuals with strong attachments to the physical world may learn of this theory, and fix firmly in their minds the determination to reincarnate. They will seek for a chance to reincarnate, with the result that they become lodged in the aura of some person sensitive to spirit encroachment. There will be no progress for either individual. On the contrary, the victims of such obsession experience great distress. In fact, many spirits seeking to reincarnate disturb and obsess children. That is one reason there are so many retarded children in mental hospitals.

An individual who believes in reincarnation may become complacent if his life is a prosperous one, for he will believe that he is being rewarded for his past lives of effort. One may become fatalistic by believing himself to be caught in the web of circumstances woven in past lives. Either viewpoint is unsound, and provides neither hope nor challenge. Whether rich or poor, we must not focus our attention on our surroundings and situation, but on our relationship to God. It is important to realize that because what we do now determines our life and character in the spirit world, we must strive to be victorious here and to fulfill God's mission for our lives.

The doctrine of reincarnation contradicts the fact of natural progression in spirit. Too much stress is placed upon this brief mortal life. The idea that we must. return again and again to earth life to become perfected is equivalent to saying that, after one has passed through kindergarten, grade schools, and university, he must again return to kindergarten. What is mortal life but a kindergarten? Too little is credited to the vast opportunities of the next school in the spiritual realm. The entire scheme of reincarnation is a limited idea, one that fails to recognize that this is a formative plane.

There are many levels and schools on the invisible side which offer far greater opportunities for one's development than are available here on earth. There is no need to return in physical form when we can progress from sphere to sphere, or school to school, in spirit.

Spirits who realize their condition and understand progression renounce the idea of reincarnation. To try to reincarnate is very foolish. Unfortunately, knowledge of the spirit world has been so limited that very few spirits look for the spirit world when they pass on. Some spirits who have gone beyond the veil of death are in the dark, some are in semi-darkness, some in twilight, and some in the light. Those in the light are the ones who understand life in spirit and would never think of coming back to earth in physical bodies.

They do, however, come back in spirit as invisible teachers to guide and help humanity. This might be called a "reincarnation" of the spirit, but without physical rebirth. It is only a temporary measure, however, by which they can help and serve those whom they love.

The spirit of Madame Blavatsky, who introduced the doctrine of reincarnation to the Western world, spoke through a medium, saying: "I see now that my teachings caused many to become psychic sensitives, and that the theory of reincarnation causes much obsession. I have found that "reincarnation" is possible only through obsession, and I have also found to my great sorrow that many of my followers became obsessed. I was a psychic when in earth life, and I knew spirits could come back and control mortals. I realize now that if I had taught the truth of spirit return, it would have been much better. We cannot progress to the higher life of understanding with a falsehood on our minds. An understanding of the truth is necessary."

An ancient Indian teacher speaking through a medium said of India: "This perversion of a great truth into a maligned superstition has become a source of the most pestilent spiritual mischief. There is one effect of the doctrine of reincarnation that is felt with direful power in the spiritual world of India. Myriads who have left the physical life hover over the mortals of that country seeking for opportunities to become re-embodied, in order that they may realize the promised relief from their imperfect development in the former earth life. They are earthbound to a degree that infects the mental atmosphere of its people with an almost hopeless despair, for however intense may be their desire, they are never able to obtain the fancied reincarnation. Could India emancipate herself from the tyranny of the idea of reincarnation, she would rise in the scale of spiritual enlightenment far higher than she rose in the age of the Vedas, or when Gautama led her hosts toward the heavenly paradise. She must do this, or she must remain the prey to vile superstitions, and her moral nature be degraded by the mental influx of myriad hosts who strive in vain to realize the truth of the dogma."

In conclusion, it is the Principle that a spirit-man can reach Perfection only in conjunction with a physical body. Because of this Principle, all discarnate spirits are still imperfect and destined to return to contact earth people in order to advance to the state of Perfection. The theory of reincarnation seems to be a misinterpretation of the phenomena caused by the temporary residence of an alien spirit in the body of an earthly being. Discarnate beings do come back as spirits to be invisible teachers, to guide and help humanity. It is not reincarnation in the flesh, but a return in spirit, to help and serve those on earth. The more they serve others, the more they progress, but to find the right person (s) to help, they must find a common base for reciprocation and rapport. Particularly at this time, by serving and cooperating with those who work for the Lord of the Second Advent, those in spirit can rise to the state of Perfection. Therefore, all spirit-men are destined to return to contact earth people, not to reincarnate, but in order to advance to the state of Perfection.

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