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               THE POWER OF HIS RESURRECTION    1-24-65                                                                            by Dr. Wesley Swift     

 

We will now turn to the Scriptural record of the events relating to  the Crucifixion which we are observing at this time, and think upon the  magnitude of the power that was manifested in the resurrection of Jesus  Christ.   

Last Sunday we talked to you about how the crowds went out to crown  Him king and shouted, 'Hosanna in the highest!' ‑ and they called upon  Him to accept the crown; how the Essene company, the true priesthood,  had been waiting for this day, because the priesthood in the Temple was  not the priesthood of Israel; how apostasy and darkness had taken over,  and the Canaanites and the apostates were in power; how the great  multitude of people had gathered in Jerusalem and how they had come  from all over Palestine to crown Christ king, but they had prepared for  Him both a crown and a chalice.      Remember that Joseph of Arimathea had Demetrius, the  silversmith, carve a chalice with Christ's face upon it. But the  disciples, and all those that were waiting, thought that Christ would  take the crown and the kingdom, but He took that day the chalice and  told them, 'If I took the crown, I would reign over you in bondage and  in slavery, and this I cannot do. But the day will come when I will  take the crown, when My servants will fight and the kingdom will not be  given to the Jews.'  And thus it was, at that time, He took the chalice  instead of the crown.   

In thinking over the events of that week, we see the part that the  chalice was to play. For in the upper room, as Jesus sat and partook of  the Last Supper with his disciples during the Passover, He took the  cup. And having taken this cup, He broke the bread and passed it to His  disciples, and He told them, 'Take, eat; this is My body.'  Then He  took the chalice, filled it with wine and passed it to the disciples,  and He said, 'This cup is the new covenant in My blood which is shed  for you.'   

The disciples looked upon Him in amazement, because they could not  conceive the fullness of the atonement that was to come, even though,  from before the foundation of the world, God had made a declaration to  you and me and His household, and had told us when we were in our  celestial bodies in the heavens above, that He would be the Lamb of God  slain before the foundation of the world. He had assured His children,  when He sent them into the world, that they would fall, but He would  redeem them and would raise up His sons and daughter's until,  conforming to His image, they would be brought forth in the purity of  holiness. He had assured us of all this, from before the foundation of  the world.      

These things have been recorded for us by our patriarchal  ancestors who made the records, such as Enoch, and later even the  Apostle Paul, who, in the 'Apocalypse of Paul,' revealed the mysteries  of the things he had seen and heard. But the disciples could not  conceive that this prophecy was about to be slain. They had witnessed  this One who moved among them with a majesty that never had been  equaled by any man. They had watched Him still the wind and rains. They  had witnessed that He had opened the eyes of the blind and stopped deaf  ears. This Man was the miracle worker. Had He not even stopped funeral  processions and raised the dead! Had He not called Lazarus forth, even  from his tomb! There could never be a situation that would end the  embodiment of God, for this was Messiah, this was Yahweh, this was  Yahweh who had come in the name of Yahshua according to prophecy.   

So it was that Jesus, having consummated the Last Supper, went out  to Gethsemane with His disciples and took the cup. His disciples stayed  apart from Him as He went aside to pray, and then he filled the cup  with water. These are some of the significant things we have thought  about this week.   

As Jesus took that cup filled with water, He did the one legal thing  that water symbolizes, which is the accomplishment of transition.  Remember that Pontius Pilate also called for water, a pan of water, and  as he washed his hands in the water, he washed his hands of the guilt  of condemning Christ whom he would not condemn, whom he said was not  guilty. So it was that Jesus, with this cup, assumed the fullness of  transgression. In that moment, as He raised the cup and drank of it to  the last drop, He said, 'If it be possible, let this cup pass from Me;  but not by the will of the flesh, but by the will of spirit, be it  consummated.'   

Therefore, upon this one sinless Man rested all guilt for all of the  sins of the entire world. He assumed the fullness of all transgression  upon himself, with the drinking of that cup to its last drop. As He  swallowed the contents of that cup, He was well aware of the enormity  of His action, for I want you to know that He took upon himself all the  transgression of the entire world. Every evil that had ever been  consummated, all that Lucifer had accomplished, every transgression  that had been committed by the Adamic race by all of His sons and  daughters embodied in earth, as far as guilt was concerned, was in that  cup; and voluntarily, and with total realization, He drank that cup to  its last drop and became sin for you.   

Most people do not realize that He alone could do this. No one on  the face of the earth could have transferred transgression except the  Most High God, the eternal and majestic God who was the creator of all  things. He alone had authority. He alone had power over all  principalities and over all forces of nature, and in that hour He took  upon himself the fullness of all guilt. Someone might ask, How do we  know that this was done? Because, by the authority of God's own Word,  which He had prophesied from before the foundation of the world, he had  now become transgression, that He might lift transgression for all time  from His people.   

The events that immediately preceded the Crucifixion are most  significant: the quick seizure of Jesus; the attempt to defend Him by  Peter; the words of Jesus when He said, 'Peter, put up your sword. Look  around. If you could but see, there are legions of angels all around  you, and I could call them in. I could have legions of angels throw  these Jews into the ocean, if it were the proper time. But there are  other things, according to My plan and purpose, that must be done now.'   

We discover that other writings also describe these events. One  account, written by Mark, tells about how Jesus said, 'They know not  what they do, but they deliver unto Me the kingdom of Lucifer.'  And so  that crowd of soldiers advanced up to Jesus, and Jesus said, 'Whom do  you seek?'    They said, 'We seek Jesus of Nazareth.'    Jesus said, 'I am He.' And every Jewish soldier fell to the ground,  fell as though stricken with fear, and Jesus stood looking at them;  and, finally, as they got sheepishly to their feet, He said again,  'Whom do you seek?'    They said, 'Jesus of Nazareth.'    Again He said, 'I am He,' ‑ and Judas kissed Him. Then Jesus said to  Judas, 'Betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?'   


The soldiers then took Him before Annas and Caiaphas the high  priest, and there of course He was charged. False witnesses were  brought before Him, (for Jews ever bring false witnesses, as they have  no concept of truth, and when they speak a lie, they speak of their  own). And so it was that they charged Jesus. They smote Him, they  buffeted Him, and they said, 'Art thou the Christ? Art Thou the  embodiment of God?'    Jesus said, 'I am.'  And they buffeted Him the more.    Caiaphas said, 'We must get Rome to crucify Him. We must get Rome to  destroy Him. We are on the eve of the Passover. We don't want the  involvement. We don't want all the people of Israel, who are also  coming in for the Passover, to know that we are the ones that would  crucify this Man. So we will have Rome crucify Him.'   

Nicodemus and Gamaliel were both there, having been summoned by  Barnabas to attend the Sanhedrin which was meeting illegally at night,  and as these two men listened to the proceedings, they protested that  the Sanhedrin could not meet at this hour. So Caiaphas turned to the  scribe and asked, 'How readest thou?'    The scribe said, 'I concur with the rabbi Nicodemus, the Sanhedrin  cannot meet at night.' They then called it an investigation, and when  they charged Jesus and summoned false witnesses, Nicodemus insisted  that they should come in, one at a time, because, he said, if they came  in and listened to one another, they would tell the same lies. And of  course, because they couldn't hear one another, they were confused and  they proved they were false witnesses, but the prosecution brought in  still more false witnesses. And finally the Sadducees became tired of  the opposition of Nicodemus and Gamaliel, who were the only true  Pharisees that were there, for the Sadducees had called this illegal  Sanhedrin for only one purpose: to crucify Christ.   

Little did they realize that by their very acts they were fulfilling  a pattern of time and history which had been prophesied by the Most  High before the foundation of the world, before the creation of the  earth. Millions of years of destiny were now coming to fulfillment and  the whole 'sin' question was going to be dealt with by the eternal God,  by whom all things were made, who had created and put the whole  universe together. And so it was that they delivered Christ unto  Pontius Pilate, but Pontius Pilate was troubled and his wife was  troubled because they didn't want to be involved in situations like  this, and they knew these Jews were a rebellious people and a  tremendous problem.            We think of those events that transpired so quickly. Pontius Pilate,  in his interview with Jesus was a wise and great master of wisdom and  knowledge, and He had all of the wisdom and the knowledge of the  universe. Pontius Pilate was a Basque who had been educated in a Druid  university; had married Caesar's daughter; had been made the governor  of Jerusalem; and as he talked with Jesus, he realized that Jesus had  wisdom and knowledge far above his own. When he asked Jesus questions  about what was truth, Jesus answered him and went through the entire  ritual of the Royal Arch. Pilate then said, 'You are not guilty!'  Then  he went out to the Jews.    The Jews said, 'You are no friend of Caesar. This Man stirs up the  Jews against Rome.'    Pontius Pilate said, 'I find no fault in this Man.'  Twice he had  tried to release Christ.   

Then the Jews cried the more, 'This Man is not a Jew; He is a  Galilean.' Pilate then sent Jesus over to Herod, because Herod was the  ruler of Galilee and was a Jewish king reigning in Galilee. But Herod  was real smart. He knew that the Jews wanted Rome to condemn Christ.  So, in order that he would not be the one who would condemn Him, he  took no action other than to scourge Him and put a crown of thorns upon  His head  and then sent Him back to Pilate.   

Grasping at a last straw, Pilate came out again to the people and  said, 'This Man is not guilty. But it is our custom that we release a  man each year at Passover time. Now, I have a man I can release. I can  release Barabbas ‑ or I can release Jesus.'  Pilate thought they would  never request the release Barabbas ‑ Barabbas the patriot, the  nationalist, the insurrectionist who had raided the Jews' caravans and  had cost them a lot of money. Pilate knew all this, and he said to  himself, 'Surely they will never ask for the release of Barabbas, for  Barabbas had hurt their pocketbooks.'    But they said, 'Release Barabbas.'  And so Barabbas, the head of the  Christian forces that had been gathered by the Essenes to defend  Christ, was released. And of course he was amazed, and he was also  shocked, when he learned that Christ had taken his place.

So it was  that he went out to the Essenes and hid from the power of Jewry, while  the Jews called for the blood of Christ.    Pilate returned to Jesus and said, 'What am I going to do?'    Jesus said, 'Do as it is written.'    Pilate said, 'How do I know what is written? I am not a student of  the law.'    Jesus said, 'It is written that I shall be crucified.'    Pilate said, 'I am not going to be responsible for it.' And so that  is why he washed his hands of the blood of Christ. And then he turned  to the Jews and said, 'Now look ye to it.'   

The Jews said, 'We don't want to crucify Him; we want Rome to do it,  because we have a Passover. We demand that Roman soldiers do it. As we  pay taxes to Caesar, we demand that Roman soldiers crucify Him.'  So  Pontius Pilate then assigned them Roman soldiers, and they started  their route to Golgotha.   

Christ staggered under the burden of the cross. The weight of the  cross, however, was not the weight that bore Christ down; it was the  weight of the transgressions of the entire world. For upon this One  human body, every foul and evil transgression, every concept of evil  and everything that was against the pattern of God's will and law  throughout the universe, was now resting upon the one body of God.   

After they reached the hill of Golgotha, they laid Christ out upon  the cross and drove the nails Into His hands and His feet. They then  lifted up that cross and dropped it with a thud, into the rock, on the  hill Golgotha. There was now a great crowd standing around the base of  the cross. There also was Mary His mother and Mary Magdalene and the  disciples. But the priests of the Temple mocked Jesus and they said,  'Now, if You be the Christ, come down from that cross. If You be the  Christ, why don't You save yourself?'   

Peter and James and John looked for a miracle. They watched and  waited, for somewhere out there were legions of angels standing around  this hill, as there had been around the garden. Any moment, they  expected a legion to come in. They expected Christ to be rescued from  the cross, for the significance of the crucifixion had not yet dawned  on them. And so it was that they looked upon that cross.    Jesus looked down at the Roman soldiers, and said, 'Agra Pneumas:  Great Spirit Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.' Too  many ministers have been preaching the story of how Christ forgave the  Jews for crucifying Him. I want you to know that Christ never said  anything about the Jews, and furthermore, the Jews knew exactly what  they were doing, every one of them, even Caiaphas the high priest.  Because, remember, back in the Book of John, after Caiaphas had sent  out his Jewish soldiers to apprehend Christ, when he convened the  Sanhedrin, he said to the other Jews, 'You don't know anything at all.  If we don't kill this Man, we are going to lose our place, we are going  to lose our nation; and even the Romans, the tribe of Gad, will come in  and take away from us our positions of authority and power.' The Jews  well understood that Jesus was not talking about them. But Christ spoke  concerning these innocent Roman soldiers that had been forced into the  position of crucifying Him when He said, 'Father, forgive them, for  they know not what they do.'  The Roman soldiers stood back in  amazement when they looked upon Christ and He lifted his voice and  called out the seven cries from the cross.         


As Jesus looked down at His mother He said, 'Woman, behold Thy Son.'  He then demonstrated His care for His mother as He looked at His  beloved disciple and said, 'Son, behold now thy mother.'  So it was  that John looked after Mary until the Jews placed her in a small boat  along with her uncle, Joseph of Arimathea, and several of the  disciples, a boat that was without sail or oars which the Jews set  adrift on the Mediterranean Sea. Of course the occupants of the boat  were expected to perish, but it drifted to shore Marseille. That small  band of early Christians then crossed over the land of Gaul, which was  ancient France, and finally arrived at Glastonbury, in Britain, where  Mary spent the remainder of her life. After the Crucifixion the Jews  continued to harass and persecute all Christians, and especially the  family of Christ, but many of the Essenes, with Barabbas their leader,  also escaped to Britain, and they continued to watch over the Virgin  Mary as long as she lived.   

We turn back the Crucifixion and the hour of expectation when the  disciples still anticipated a miracle ‑ until Jesus finally said, 'It  is finished'‑ and He dropped His head. Then a Roman soldier thrust a  spear into His side and out of His wounded side came water and blood.  But He had died of a broken heart, weighted down by the transgressions  of the world; not from the agony of the cross, but the fullness of the  transgressions which He had taken upon himself.    With the moment of His hanging His head and saying, 'It is  finished', the earth began to rock. It rocked with the tremendous  intensity of a major earthquake. The very ground of the hill itself  rocked and swayed. All around Palestine, the whole country was in  turmoil. The sky became dark, the lightening flashed, the thunder  roared, and the earthquake continued for three solid hours. In Athens  the gods, Apollo and Athena, fell from their pedestals in the temples;  and as far away as Rome, Zeus, Minerva and others fell from their  pedestals in the Praetorium. The Romans cried out and they called upon  Caesar. They said, 'For what reason hath the gods become so angry?'    Caesar said, 'I know not. But the gods are angry this day.' And for  three solid hours the earth rocked to and fro with a tremendous  earthquake, and the Jews, in their dreadful fear, ran from the hill  Golgotha and into the Temple. They went down in the Temple, and some  hid in the mountains, for great was the earthquake that day in  Palestine. So great was that earthquake, that most of the city of  Jerusalem was cracked in great areas of destruction, and remained that  way. When later, in 70 A.D., Titus the Roman laid siege to that city,  the results of that earthquake had left the city so broken up, that his  ballasts, throwing their great boulders against the city, had little  trouble in breaking it down.   

So we discover that it was a tremendous earthquake, and all nature  had risen in violence, as nature's God had sacrificed himself upon the  altar of that cross. And so it was that the disciples turned away,  sorrowing, for there was no question about it, their Messiah was dead.  their hopes were gone. There was nothing now for them to live for,  nothing for them to place their interest in, for all had reached a  climax. Peter had now become a most listless person. And the disciples  James and John, the sons of Zebedee, knew not which way to turn, which  way to go. However, they went to Joseph of Arimathea and said, 'Shall  we now lay Christ away in your tomb? Do you suppose that this will be  permitted us?'  And Joseph said, 'I will seek permission from Pilate.'   

So he went before Pilate, and Pilate said, 'Yes, you can place Him  in the tomb. Yes, I think this is a right thing to do.' So they took  Jesus down from the cross and placed Him in the tomb of Joseph of  Arimathea.    The Jews then came the more before Pontius Pilate, for they must now  have felt that there might be a possibility of a tremendous  resurrection, because they came to Pontius Pilate and said, 'Now, we  want you to put a stone over that tomb, we want you to seal it, because  we are afraid His disciples will come and steal away the body. We want  you to put a hundred soldiers there. We want to be sure that the  disciples do not steal away the body.'  And the earth was still rocking  to and fro, with quakes that had reverberated from the moment that  Jesus had said, 'It is finished.'   

This was not the only portion of the earth that was to know the  intensity of this moment. For down in the heart of the earth was the  nether world, the nether world ruled over by Beelzebub; the prince of  hell ruling over this, and over all the inner dominions of the earth.  For inside the earth was the nether world; and Beelzebub, ruling over  the nether world, held captive the spirits of every last son and  daughter of God, every last one, from Adam right on down to that hour.  Their soul consciousness was imprisoned within the earth. Although  Beelzebub could hold them in prison, he could not harm them in any way.  There was also another compartment in the earth, known as Paradise, for  here was the brilliant illumination of the 'Tree of Life,'  and here  also was the light of the kingdom in its application. This was a most  beautiful spot ‑ and it was Paradise ‑ but it was still separated by a  gulf from the prison chamber of the nether world.    Remembering that as He hung on that cross, one thief had said, 'If  You are the Christ, why don't You come down from this cross? Why don't  You come down and take us with You?'   

The other thief had said, 'Art thou not aware that we are  malefactors? realize thou not that this Man has done nothing wrong?'  Then he turned to Jesus and he said, 'Master, remember me when Thou  comest into thy kingdom.' And Jesus looked at this thief and said,  'This day shalt thou be with Me in Paradise.'   

After He hung his head and said, 'It is finished,' Jesus stormed the  nether world. And the fulfillment of the prophecies that had been  called out by David, as he was inspired to write the Psalms, now came  true: 'Open up, ye everlasting gates!' Open up, for the King of Glory  shall come in.'    'Who is the King of Glory?' cried Beelzebub.     'The Lord, strong and mighty, He is the King of Glory. Open up, ye  everlasting gates; the King of Glory shall come in.'    Beelzebub cried out unto Lucifer, and he said, 'Thou bringest this  One, this innocent Man to me, He who called Lazarus forth, and raised  him from the dead. How can I hold Him here?  Yet I cannot keep Him out,  for He comes with the transgressions of the whole world upon himself.  He comes with all transgression.'    Again the cry, 'Open up, ye everlasting gates, the King of Glory  shall come in.'    The gates of iron and brass were broken asunder, we are told, and  Christ entered into the nether world. And they that sat in darkness,  according to the prophecy of Isaiah, beheld a great light. And He  preached unto the souls of the Adamic race, and Adam and all the  apostles said, 'This is the fulfillment of the things we have heard.  This is the fulfillment of the things we were told by inspiration.'   



So Christ declared unto them that He the eternal God, the fullness  of God, had now dwelt in earth as Messiah, had assumed their  transgressions, had paid the price of death upon Calvary's cross and  was now preaching unto them. As He spoke to them He said, 'Remember,  Isaiah was told, 'Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and  the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called  Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The everlasting Father, and  Prince of Peace.'  He said, 'Now I am here, and I am going to take you  out of this place.'    He then started to lead the children of the Adamic race, His own  household, His own sons and daughters, out of this compartment in the  nether world.    Beelzebub said, 'We must restrain them here.' The imps of perdition  and all the powers of darkness, all the forces of spiritual evil sought  to contain Christ, but with a burst of light and mighty power, Christ  went into the area known as Paradise, in the inner earth. He then  introduced all of the apostles of the past that had followed Him, from  the day of Moses to His own time, to all the Adamic people that were  imprisoned there, from Adam on down; and He introduced them to one who  had been a 'thief on the cross,' who was now waiting for Him that day  in Paradise. For Christ had taken upon himself the transgressions of  the world, and this thief also was as guiltless as any of the Adamic  race that were gathered there with Christ in Paradise.    So it was that Jesus started to send out some of these that were  here. He said, 'Now we are going to give a demonstration ‑ and I want  you to go, and you to go, and you to go.......'  And they arose from  the dead and the graves cracked open, and we are told in the Book of  Matthew that the dead started to walk the streets of Jerusalem; and the  Jews in great fear now saw the dead, whom they knew had died, were now  walking the streets of Jerusalem. In fact, two of the sons of a high  priest, sons of a true high priest of Israel, also walked the streets.  They were taken by the chief priests and put into separate rooms. They  were asked what had come to pass, but they wouldn't open their mouths.  They finally called for parchment, and they wrote, each one, what had  happened from the day they died until they had been resurrected. And  after they wrote, Annas and Caiaphas and Gamaliel took one paper, and  Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea took the other. They compared the  statements, and there wasn't a single portion of their testimony that  differed, one from the other, not even the dotting of an 'i' or the  crossing of a 't.'    The Jews were in great consternation, they were greatly amazed, and  they knew not what would take place next. And as it began to dawn  towards the first day of the week, there was another great earthquake,  as great as the former one, for more idols toppled from their altars,  and the earth rocked and shook and Palestine was again in great seismic  disturbance.   


We turn to Malchus the centurion: Malchus, who was placed over a  hundred men by Pontius Pilate, reported to Pontius Pilate. He said, 'It  was beginning to dawn towards the first day of the week, and there came  a bright light that shone around the garden where we were sitting,  wherein was situated the tomb. The light was very, very bright, and  there came one like an angel who rolled away the stone, and there came  out of that tomb One with His countenance bright like that of Jupiter,  and there was a great illumination over the whole garden, and we fell  to the ground like dead men. We could not move. Truly, there emerged  out of that tomb a God, and we tell thee, Pontius Pilate, that this Man  must have been the fullness of God.'    Pontius Pilate also had pondered these things in his heart, and he  told the centurion, 'Truly, I think that these things are so.'         So it was that the impact and the power of the resurrection was one  that shook the heavens and the earth, and it shook that garden, and it  shook the Temple, and it shook the place wherein the Jews were still  hiding. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came down early in the  morning, with spices, and they wondered who was going to roll away the  stone. When they found the stone had already been rolled away, they  went into the sepulcher and there was one sitting there, clothed in  white raiment; for an angel was sitting there and he said, 'Don't seek  Christ here, He has risen. Go back and tell the disciples.'    So the women departed. Mary Magdalene went slowly. She thought,  'This cannot be. They have taken away my Lord, and I don't know where  they have laid Him.'  And then she beheld a gardener, and she thought  she would ask him, and she approached the gardener and said, 'O, they  have taken away my Lord, and I don't know where they have laid Him.'    The Gardener said, 'Mary.'  At the way He said, 'Mary', Mary turned  and looked and she beheld her Master. She reached out her hands toward  the shimmering glory that now covered Christ, but He said, 'Don't touch  Me. Don't touch Me, for the power of the Spirit, the power that raised  Me from the dead, the power that brought forth every last one of the  Adamic household, this great and mighty power I am charged with, you   can't stand to touch Me, so don't try to touch Me.' So Mary moved  backwards. Then she went to tell the disciples that she had beheld  Christ and that He had risen.        Two men on the road to Emmaus, who had been disciples of Jesus, were  very gloomy, and they were discussing the situation and they said,  'What shall we do now? All is gone, all is lost.'  A third Man joined  them and walked along with them and He asked, 'Why are you sorrowing?'    They said, 'Why are we sorrowing?  Art thou a stranger here?   Knowest thou not the Jews have put to death Jesus of Nazareth?'    The stranger spoke to them and said, 'Should not the Son of God have  done this? Do you not suppose that if God became embodied in the earth  as the Messiah, as you had anticipated, should He not, therefore, have  taken your transgressions, and should He not have borne them on the  tree, and should He not have been raised from the dead? Don't you  believe that this is the one way He could put aside sin forever?' Then  the stranger discussed the Scriptures from the days of Moses on down to  their time, and their hearts were thrilled as they listened to Him.  Finally He said, 'Here is an inn. Let us go in and eat.'  So they went  in and sat down at a table, and He broke the bread.    As he broke the bread they saw the print of the nails in His hands  and they shouted, 'Our Lord and our God!'  Then in a radiant burst of  light He disappeared from their midst. They hurriedly returned to  Jerusalem where they found the disciples gathered together, and to the  disciples they said, 'We have beheld Jesus, and we ate with Him, and we  beheld His hands, and He spake to us as never a man spake to us, and  our hearts strangely burned within us because He has been resurrected.'    As they were speaking Jesus himself appeared in their midst and  said, 'Peace be unto you.'  But Thomas who was one of the twelve was  not with them when Jesus came. Jesus spoke to Peter and the others and  He said to the disciples, 'Be not afraid, I am not a spirit. I am flesh  and bone. Come here. You can touch, you can handle Me, you can see that  I am here.'   

So the disciples who had been filled with a concept of blackness and  despair were suddenly filled with light and power, a light and power  that was to spread across the world, to challenge the entirety of your  race, and, upon this testimony of faith, would build the mightiest  church the world has ever known. O they were thrilled, now, for now  there could be no question about it, the resurrection now dispelled  their doubts. What had been darkness, the darkest night in all time and  history, had now become the great day of joy.   


Later, the other disciples spoke to Thomas and said, 'We have seen  the Lord.' But Thomas would not believe them, and he said, 'What are  you people talking about? I cannot believe that He is resurrected. I  saw Him die on that cross. I saw His head fall. I heard Him say, 'It is  finished.'  And He is dead.'    After eight days, again His disciples were in a house, this time in  Galilee, and on this occasion Thomas was with them. At that moment,  Jesus suddenly came through the wall and stood in their midst and said,  'Peace be unto you.' And turning to Thomas He said, 'You think I am a  spirit, but I am not. I am flesh and bone. Reach your finger and put it  into the print of the nails in My hands, and reach hither your hand and  thrust it into My side, and know that I am real. I am resurrected.'    Thomas then fell down before Him and said, 'My Lord and my God.'   And then Jesus gave forth a blessing for all His children throughout  all time and history: 'Blessed are those that shall believe that I have  risen, though they have not yet seen.'    Thus it was that 120 people saw Him at one time, as He walked up and  down the land of Palestine in that remaining hour. He took His  disciples out upon the hill and gave them His final instructions, and  then He stepped into the great space chariot that came in a cloud. Two  men stepped out of the cloud and said, 'Now don't stand staring at this  cloud. Christ shall return as ye have seen Him go. Go into the city of  Jerusalem now. Wait until ye be endued with power from on high, for you  have a great and tremendous mission.'    The eleven disciples had a mission, for God had given unto all of  them a responsibility, and their responsibility was to bear testimony  to the resurrection of Jesus Christ, a resurrection that was to become  the arch and keystone of the Christian faith. Other religions may have  the tombs of their gods, they may show you where their prophets lay,  but we have an empty tomb, today, and that is the reason why we today  are filled with joy, more than all other peoples, because we have the  story of an 'empty tomb.' The power of His resurrection was so great  that every disciple but John was given a martyr's death. Every one of  them would rather die than repudiate that resurrection, for each had  seen the resurrected Christ ‑ and thousands more caught the impact of  this great manifestation, and thought they had not seen, they believed,  and also died as martyrs.                Martyrs were made by Jewry. Martyrs were made by antagonistic  patterns of religion. But these people could not deny the fact that  they had beheld the Christ, nor could those that had listened to the  disciples, charged as they were with power of spirit, deny that His  spirit bore witness with their spirit that these things were true.   

Today, we discover that the mightiest religion on the face of the  earth is Christianity. O, it is not the greatest by number: the White  race is only one‑sixth of the world's population. I said the most  powerful religion on the face of the earth is Christianity. It is the  one true faith of the household of the Most High God, and all the power  of heaven and earth, all the power that held 1,256 trillion sidereal  systems together, all the power that could be placed in one human body  was placed there, for the fullness of God dwelt bodily within Him. He  could not leave this body to break up in the ground, He could not leave  His body to see death, but raised that body out of the grave.       So also He raises all bodies out of the grave, that the resurrection  is for all people, So it is that we have been told, under this  declaration, that the resurrection is for the entire household of God,  for every last child of Adam, on down to His time. And He has given us  this assurance: 'If ye know the fellowship of His sufferings, ye can  know also the power of His resurrection.'    This mysterious passage caused many to wonder what it meant. How  could they know the power of His resurrection? How could they know the  fellowship of His sufferings?  No man could assume his transgressions.  No man could assume the transgressions of all people throughout the  world. Only One person could do this, and this was consummated. How  then could they know the fellowship of His sufferings? Nothing could be  added to and nothing could be taken away from that finished work on  Calvary's cross when Jesus said, 'It is finished.'  No, but there was a  way, for there was a sacrament which God extended unto the household of  His Kingdom, a sacrament of the church, which institution He had  established as the spiritual center of His kingdom.    He said, 'As you take this bread and drink of this cup, you join  with Me, because you are identified with Me in the garden and you are  identified with Me on the cross. As you eat this bread and as you drink  this cup, you become a part of that new covenant. And as you become one  with Me, you die with me and you are resurrected with Me. Therefore by  this sacrament and through this holy communion (which has been  maintained from that day to this, throughout the structure of the  Christian church), you become joined with Me in my atonement. And  because you have become joined with Me in the power of my resurrection,  therefore, the power of My Spirit will course through your bodies, to give you health and vitality, that will charge your minds with  spiritual vision and bring you into a full knowledge of all truth.'   

So it is that the sacrament of God, the high sacrament of spiritual  force descending upon physical substance, transforms that substance  into the Eucharist. And so it is that as you and I participate in this  communion, we are joined with Him in the elements of His sacrifice and  in the power of His resurrection, that we may also receive in our  bodies and in the entity of our beings, 'spirit, soul and body', the  charging of His Spirit, that our eye might be single and that our body  be filled with light. For Christ said, 'The light of the body is the  eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of  light' (Matthew 6:22).                                             end of message                                                                                                            .

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