Home  | The Zodiac Messages | Articles | Services | Visitors Book | Books | Site Map | Contact | Search 

Problems of the Spiritual


X. On what grounds can we base our belief that Jesus is not only, pre-eminently, a Son of God, but the Son of God, in the sense of being DIVINE?

This question is submitted by one who experiences a difficulty in maintaining his belief in our Lord's Divinity, in the face of such facts as that Jesus said—"My Father is greater than I," "I ascend unto my God and your God"; that He Himself prayed to God, just as He taught us to do, and that in His agony on the cross, He cried—"My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" etc.

Is not this, it is asked, incompatible with the thought of Christ as Divine? In praying to God, was Jesus praying to Himself as the Godhead?

Now, the most satisfactory way of arriving at a conclusion on this all-important question concerning the Being of Jesus, will be, we think, to ascertain what it was that Christ actually stated in regard to Himself. Did He claim to be the Son of God in the sense of being Divine? Did He assert that He stood in such close and intimate relationship with God, and possessed such superhuman prerogatives, as lifted Him above the position of all men, however exalted? In a word, did Jesus teach, plainly and unequivocally, that although He walked this earth as "a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief," He was, nevertheless, a Being Divine in a sense in which no other man can be? Do His words justify the statements concerning Him, made in the Nicene Creed—that He is "God of God, Light of Light, and Very God of Very God"? It will be acknowledged that if we can know what Jesus said of Himself, His statements must be of infinitely greater value in forming a true opinion of Him, than any statements concerning Him subsequently made by others.

The Church's witness to the Divinity of our Lord— borne as it has been all through the centuries, and reaching as far back as the times of the Apostolic writers of the New Testament—is of immense value as affording the evidence that the Apostles themselves—the ones who were in the best position of knowing what Jesus said—believed Him to be the Divine Son of God, and founded Christian Churches on this belief.

"In Him dwelleth all the fulness (the Pleroma) of the Godhead bodily" (Col. ii. 9 v.), was St. Paul's definition concerning the Being of Christ; and it was accepted by all those early Christian communities from whom the Churches of Christendom afterwards developed. It is inconceivable that this view of Jesus, so unparalleled by anything that had ever been attributed to a religious teacher, would have characterized Christianity at its starting-point, had it not expressed the teaching of Jesus Himself.

We can understand and account for the fact that, as the centuries rolled on, doctrines which were not truthful representations of what the Master taught, were imported into the teaching of the Christian Churches; but we cannot imagine that Christianity started its career on a huge misunderstanding concerning Christ.

It must be remembered that the ascription of Divinity to a man was abhorrent and blasphemous to the mind of a Jew; and it is recorded that Jesus was once in danger of being stoned for assuming for Himself a Name applied to God. Consequently, it appears to us, that nothing will account for the fact that St. Paul, St. Peter, St. John, and other early Christian teachers placed the Divinity of Jesus in the forefront of their teaching, except that the authorization for their so doing came from Christ Himself.

Further, it is not conceivable, in view of the unquestioned moral and intellectual excellence of Christ, that He could either have supposed Himself to be that which He was not, or could have suffered others whom He taught to entertain an idea concerning His Being which was flagrantly erroneous, or could have spoken so ambiguously as to leave it uncertain what He meant.

If Christ led men to account Him Divine, when He knew He was not so, then He was not good; if He proclaimed His Divinity, not because it was a fact, but because He was under an hallucination, then He was no dependable Teacher of truth.

Moreover, Jesus did that which no other teacher of Religion had ever done, and which no one since has ever dared to do. He focussed Religion in Himself. He made Himself the Gospel He preached, "I am the Way, the Truth, the Life, the Door, the Light, the Bread of Heaven," etc. This exaltation of Himself; this concentration of men's thoughts on His own Person; this assumption of a dignity pertaining only to God, which so shocked and outraged the ideas of the Jewish High Priest, is wholly inexplicable, except on the supposition that Jesus was the Divine Son of God.

If He were not Divine, the Jews who crucified Him were right in accounting Him the greatest of all egotists, deceivers, and blasphemers.

The Christian Religion, founded by Christ and propagated by His immediate followers, was started on the belief of His Divinity. This conception constituted the Foundation Principle of the Christian Faith. Whence this idea so alien to the Jewish mind? Whence this persistent conviction on the part of those who consorted with Jesus, and of those who subsequently came into contact with the latter?

Surely, there can be but one reasonable and logical answer, viz., that Christ Himself must have taught, and did teach, that He was the Son of God in the sense of being Divine.

It is on this ground we base our belief in His Divinity. The testimony of the Church on this point throughout the ages is of weight only as we can regard it as being in agreement with the utterances of Jesus.

But this view of the matter suggests two other and very important questions—Have we a record of what Jesus said on this vital point concerning His Being?, and, Have we sufficient grounds for believing that the record is a reliable statement of what He said?

With regard to the first of these questions, we claim to possess a record of a great number of the statements made by our Lord Jesus Christ; and among them many—far more than is commonly realized— which deal with the question of His own Being and position.

I have carefully gathered and systematized these particular statements of Him, in order that it may be seen at a glance how great they are. They appear in the following pages. They have been collected from the four Gospels; which books were written by men whose opportunities of knowing what the Master actually said must have been far greater than those of others who lived at later periods. The Christian Church has always regarded these Gospels as being the most precious and most authoritative part of the Holy Scriptures, because she has viewed them as containing a truthful representation of what Jesus actually taught. For this reason she has enjoined upon her members to stand at the reading of "the Gospel"; and in this way, and in some cases by the association of solemn ritual with the reading, she has marked her belief that the Gospels possess a value and an authority far and away beyond that of any other books of the Bible. And if it can be reasonably believed that these four books do faithfully embody what Christ taught, then, surely, they must be the best court of appeal to which we can betake ourself in the settlement of the question of what Christ really is; for in the very nature of things, what Christ said of Himself is of far greater importance and weight than anything which individual men or bodies of men may have said concerning Him.

The other question—Have we sufficient grounds for believing that the Gospels are reliable records of what Jesus said?—is also of supreme importance.

We believe that in the Gospels as they stand in the Greek—the language in which they were originally presented—with the correction of certain mistranslations which were introduced to support preconceived ideas of the translators, we have a faithful representation of what Jesus taught. The grounds on which we base this belief are these:

(I.) The writers of the four Gospels were persons who were in the position of being able to give a truthful record of Christ's teaching.

They were men who were contemporary with Jesus; and three of them—including St. Peter, whose amanuensis only St. Mark was—were His Apostles, and for several years His constant companions. The other—St. Luke—although not an Apostle, was in close association with the Apostles, and his prefatory remarks in the Gospel and in the Acts, show how he, a highly educated and cultured man, carefully gathered from those " who from the beginning were eye-witnesses, and ministers of the word," " all that Jesus began both to do and teach."

It would be difficult to conceive of any persons having been more favourably circumstanced than these four Evangelists, for giving to the world a true account of what Jesus taught.

We are aware, of course, that attempts have been made from time to time during recent years, to show that the Gospels were not written by the ones whose names they bear; but the testimony of the Christian Church in the past on this point has not been upset. The Post-Apostolic Church accepted without question these Gospel records as the genuine work of the four Evangelists; and that Church embraced many who had been in contact with the writers themselves.

Had a fraud been practised, in attributing to distinguished leaders of Christianity works which they had not written, it is exceedingly improbable that the fraud would not have been exposed.

Further, when the Canon of the New Testament was defined, A.D. 400, by a Council of Christian Bishops, presided over by Augustine, a large number of narratives concerning the life and teaching of Jesus, as well as many epistles written to Christian Communities, were placed before the Council. From these, the books to constitute the Canon were to be selected. The principle adopted by the selectors was that only such writings should be admitted into the Canon, as could be shown to be the work of Apostles, or of men who had been in close association with the Apostles.

Subjected to this rule, great numbers of the writings were rejected, and even books which are now accounted as parts of the New Testament—viz., the Epistles, 2 Peter, and James, and the Book of the Revelation—were placed outside the Canon, on the ground that the Council was not satisfied on the point of their authorship.

But the four Gospels were unhesitatingly included in the Canon, as being the genuine works of those with whose names they were identified.

Surely, this is an indication that these books are, indeed, authentic records of Christ! The exclusion of the three books mentioned above from the Sacred Canon, shows that a careful sifting process characterized the proceedings of this Council; which renders the fact of the retention of the four Gospels the more significant.

(II.) Our enhanced knowledge with regard to Psychic and Spiritual realities and ascertained facts as to the powers of Mind, render it absolutely credible that the four Evangelists received such mental illumination as to make them truthful recorders of our Lord's teaching.

An objection against accepting the statements contained in the Gospels, as embodying the actual teaching of Jesus, has sometimes been urged in the following way.

"If it be granted that the four Evangelists wrote these books, how can we be sure that what they allege to have been spoken by Jesus, was really said by Him? With the full intention of writing 'the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth,' may not these men have unconsciously misrepresented His teaching? We know from experience how easy it is for those who report the utterances of another to obscure the significance of what was said. May this not have been the case with the Evangelists? Writing, as they did, after a lapse of several years, may not their memory on some points have failed them? May not their own imperfect notions of truth have coloured their account of the Master's presentment of it? As members of a Christian Community which held exalted ideas of Jesus, may not their minds have received a bias which caused them to import into the words of Him a meaning which He did not intend?"

This is a perfectly honest and reasonable objection; and unless it can be satisfactorily met, there must always linger behind the fact that certain writers represented our Lord as having said that He was Divine, the thought that they may have misunderstood the true significance of His words.

Have we any grounds for supposing that these recorders of the words of Jesus were in any way safeguarded against a misrepresentation of His utterances? Can we, in the light of present-day Scientific knowledge, based on facts which it is possible for us to verify, believe that these men received such mental guidance, illumination and control as equipped them for being the reliable witnesses to the world of One Who knew the truth as no other has ever known it?

We answer—Yes, those Gospel-writers, we believe, did receive the help of which we have spoken; and we ground this conviction on no vague theory of inspiration, but on an idea which is able to appeal to existing facts in support of its credibility.

Psychology is a subject which has been scientifically investigated of late years. The result of that investigation has been to demonstrate that it is possible for the mind of one person to project itself as thoughts, sensations and impulses to the mind of another, in such a way as to produce a mental conjunction between projector and receiver. All considerations of time and distance are obliterated in this possibility. Persons physically separated from one another are able to be in mental and psychical touch. The distinct thoughts of the one may be transmitted to the other.

Even the feelings and sensations of the one may be registered by the other. A person may be at the Antipodes, and yet may convey to another, who is in spiritual tune with him, a definite idea, an impression, an actual physical sensation corresponding with a sensation experienced by the projector.

There is no need to give illustrations in substantiation of this statement. Those who are abreast of present-day Science know perfectly well the possibilities connected with Telepathy and Telaesthesia.

Those who do not know these facts, and are open-minded enough to wish to know about them, can refer to Professor Myers' work—"Human Personality, and its survival of bodily death."

Now, these facts as to the possibilities of Mind, appear to us to present the very best of reasons for believing that in the Gospel-narratives we have a reliable statement of what our Lord actually taught.

Take the circumstances of the case.

It has been scientifically attested that thoughts and impressions from the mind of one can be conveyed to the mind of another. If this is possible in regard to men and men, surely it must be possible in regard to Christ and men. No one will be prepared to say that Jesus' mental possibilities are inferior to those of ordinary individuals.

Further, the advancement of a being to Spirit-life enhances the mental powers, because of the removal of restrictions connected with the Physical.

When the Evangelists wrote their accounts of Jesus, He had freed Himself from the restrictions of the Physical, and had passed into Spirit-life.

Consequently, He was then better able to mentally influence them, than He had been before. His words —"It is expedient for you that I go away"—are more significant than many suppose.

Again, it is unthinkable that Christ, after passing from earth-life, was not desirous that men should know the truth about Himself; and if He possessed the power of directing and illuminating the minds of those who were to be the recorders of His sayings for the centuries, is it not the most reasonable of all thoughts to suppose He exercised that power?

Lastly, He actually promised that He would mentally assist the writers of the Gospels in their work—at all events as far as the three Apostolic narrators were concerned.

Shortly before the close of His earthly ministry, He said, "These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you; but the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance whatsoever I have said unto you" (John xiv. 25 and 26 v.).

This promise, and those words of Jesus spoken from the plane of Spirit-life— "Lo, I am with you all the days until the consummation of the age"—conduct to a conclusion which appears to us an incontrovertible one.

It is this—that when the Evangelists sat down to write the story of what the Christ of God had spoken as He moved across the stage of Time on His mission to bless man for eternity, He from the domain of enhanced being flashed upon the minds of those earnest, Christ-loving men a mighty influence from His own Mind; an influence which for the time being mentally abstracted them from the present, and transported them to the past, so that in thought they were listening again to the words of One Who spake as never man had before spoken; an influence which quickened their memory, unravelled the entanglements of their ideas, made clear to them the significance of what He had said, and limned upon the sensitive-plate of their spirit a faithful portraiture of Himself.

In this way, do we regard the four Gospels as being invested with an authority which surpasses that of any other sacred writings. They claim to be, not the statement of what distinguished men conceived the Christ to be, but a record of what He Himself said He is.

In the following summary, which will show how great and embracive were the statements made by Christ concerning Himself, we do not give all the references to the several points to be found in the Gospels. Our aim is to cause the Reader to realize, with ease, how much was said by Jesus.

Christ's statements concerning Himself—His Being and His powers—as recorded in the Gospels.

1. That He is the Son of Man.

(Matt. xvi. 13; Mark x. 4s; Luke ix. 22; John. i. 57; etc.).

2. That He was greater than the Temple.

(Matt. xii. 6).

3. That in Him the Law, and the Prophets had their fulfilment.

(Matt. v. 17; Lu. iv. 21; xxiv. 44).

4. That he possessed supreme authority as a Teacher, with the right to re-interpret Divine Law. (Matt. v. 2i and 22; Mark ii. 28; Lu. vi. 47-49; etc.).

5. That He is the Christ.

(Matt. xvi. 20; xxiii. 8 and 10; Mark viii. 29 and 30; John iv. 25 and 26).

6. That He is a King.

(Matt. xix. 28; xxvii. 11; Mark xv. 2; Lu. xxiii. 3 i John xviii. 36 and 37; etc.).

7. That He had power to appoint a Kingdom.

(Lu. xxii. 29).

8. That He was sinless.

(John vii. 18; viii. 46).

9. That He possessed prophetic powers.

(a) Foretold His betrayal.

(Matt. xx. 18; xxvi. 24; Mark ix. 31; x. 33 xiv. 21; Lu. ix. 44; xxii. 22; John vi. 70; xiii. 21; etc.).

(b) Foretold the denial of St. Peter.

(Matt. xxvi. 34; Mark xiv. 30; Lu. xxii. 34; John xiii. 38).

(c) Foretold the details connected with His death.

(Matt. xx. 19; Luke xxii. 37; John viii. 28; etc.).

(d) Foretold His rising and perfecting through Physical death.

(Matt. xvii. 9 and 23; Lu. xiii. 32; etc.).

(e) Foretold the martyrdom of St. James, St. John and St. Peter.

(Matt. xx. 23; Mark x. 39; John xxi. 18).

(f) Foretold that the circumstance of the woman's anointing of Him would be universally and perpetually remembered.

(Matt. xxvi. 13; Mark xiv. 9).

(g) Foretold the incident of the man and a pitcher of water.

(Mark. xiv. 13; Lu. xxii. 10).

(h) Foretold the particulars connected with the siege and overthrow of Jerusalem.

(Matt. xxiv. 2; Mark xiii. 2; Lu. xix. 43; xxi. 6 xxi. 20; and 24).

10. That He possessed highly-developed Psychic powers.

(a) Cognition; surpassing the power of the physical senses.

(Mark ix. 33-34; John iv. 17 and 18).

(b) Clairvoyant power.

(Lu. x. 18; John i. 48).

(c) Sensitiveness and responsiveness to Psychic influences.

(Lu. viii. 45 and 46).

11. That He possessed the power of speaking to the Departed.

(John v. 25 and 28).

12. That He is the Son of God.

(Matt. xvi. 16-18; xix. 17; xxii. 42-45; xxvi. 63 and 64; xxviii. 19; Mark x. 18; xii. 35-37; xiii. 32; Lu. xx. 41-44; xxii. 70; John Hi. 16,17 and 18; v. 19, 20, 21-23, 25. 26; vi. 40; viii. 35 and 36; ix. 35 and 37; xi. 4; xiv. 13; xvii. 1).

13. That He proceeded from God.

(John viii. 42; xvi. 27 and 28; xvii. 8).

14. That He had been in Heaven.

(John iii. 13; vi. 33, 38, 51, 62].

15. That He had seen God.

(John vi. 46).

16. That He is one with God.

(John x. 30, 38; xii. 45; xiii. 20, 31 and 32; xiv. 1, 7, 9,10,11,20; xvii. 11, 21, 22).

17. That He is the Sharer of God's glory, power and honour.

(Matt. xvi. 27; Mark viii. 38; Lu. ix. 26; xxii. 69; John v. 23; viii. 58; xvi. 15; xvii. 5, 10).

18. That He is the Possessor of inherent Divine-life.

(John xi. 25; xiv. 6).

19. That things done by the Father are also done by Him.

(John v. 19).

20. That the mystery concerning God is known only to Him, and that He is the Revealer of God. (Matt. xi. 27; Lu. x. 22; John iii. 11 and 12; v. 20; viii. 38, 40; x. 15; xii. 49 and 50; xvi. 25).

21; That He assumed the Divine Name, and called Himself "Lord."

(Mark v. 19; Lu. vi. 5; xix. 31; John xiii. 13 and 14I.

22. That He holds the Headship over everything.

(Matt. xi. 27; xxviii. 18; Lu. x. 22; John xvi. 15; xvii. 2).

23. That He wields authority over Angels.

(Matt. xiii. 41; xvi. 27; xxiv. 31; xxv. 31; Mark xiii. 27).

24. That He could exercise power over evil spirit-beings spirit-beings who obsessed men and women.

(Matt. xii. 27 and 28; Mark i. 23 and 25; v. 8; ix. 25; xvi. 17; Lu. v. 33 and 35; xi. 20).

25. That He had control over Physical Nature.

(Matt. xvii. 27; xxi. 19; Mark iv. 39; v. 41; xi. 14; xvi. 18; Lu. v. 4; x. 19; xiii. 12; xvii. 14; xviii. 42; John iv. 50; v. 8; xi. 43; xxi. 6; etc.).

26. That He is the Drawer of men.

(Matt, xxiii. 37; Lu. xiii. 34; John xii. 32).

27. That He is the Rewarder of men.

(Matt. xvi. 27).

28. That the judgment of mankind has been assigned to Him.

(Matt. xxv. 32; John v. 22 and 27; ix. 39).

29. That men's hostile attitude to His teaching will lay them under judgment.

(John. xii. 48).

30. That He holds power to exclude from the Kingdom of Heaven.

(Matt. vii. 21 and 23).

31. That men's attainment of honour hereafter is dependent upon their confession of Him.

(Lu. xii. S).

32. That hereafter He will advance men.

(John vi. 39, 40, 44 and 54.)

33. That He could bestow the Holy Spirit.

(John xv. 26; xvi. 7; xx. 22).

34. That the Holy Spirit should glorify Him.

(John xvi. 14).

35. That He can quicken the dead.

(John v. 21).

30. That He has power to forgive sins.

(Matt. ix. 2 and 6; Mark ii. 5 and 10; Lu. v. 20 and 24; Lu. vii. 47 and 48).

37. That He can answer Prayer.

(John xiv. 13 and 14).

38. That Prayer in His Name is accepted by God.

(John xvi. 23 and 24).

39. That, although He would pass out of earth-life, He would still be able to be constantly present with men in that life.

(Matt, xviii. 20; xxviii. 20).

40. That He is the Imparter of Divine life.

(John iv. 14; vi. 35; x. 10 and 28; xiv. 19; etc.).

41. That He is the Giver of Rest and Peace.

(Matt. xi. 28; Lu. vii. 50; viii. 48; John xiv. 27; xvi. 33; xx. 19, 21 and 26).

42. That He is the Spiritual Food of men.

(John vi. 33, 35. 5i. 57. 58)

43. That He is the Light of the world.

(John viii. 12; ix. 5; xii. 46).

44. That He is the Saviour of the whole human race.

(John xii. 47).

45. That His mission of saving extends to all that is lost.

(Matt, xviii. 11 and 12; Lu. ix. 56; xv. 4 and 6; xv. 8, 9 and 32; xix. 10).

46. That man's union with God will be possible only through Him.

(John. xiv. 6).

47. That Divine Truth is personified in Him.

(John xiv. 6 and 7).

48. That the Anastasis (advance) of man at Physical death,

and his attainment of "the Superabundant life" are identified with Him.

(John xi. 23-26).

49. That Immortality is an impartation from Him.

(John vi. 50; xiv. 19; xv. 4 and 5).


Such, then, is the Christ, invested with all this grandeur and dignity of Divine Personality, as He created; we believe, the concept of Himself in the minds of the men and women who listened to His words in the long ago.

Such is He, also, as He stands forth on the pages of the sacred Gospels. Upon the minds of those chosen Evangelists He brought the impact of His own all-powerful Mind, that this concept of Himself might be fixed by them as an abiding witness to the centuries. When, as the Son of Man, He passed across the narrow stage of earthly existence as God's Missioner of Love, His glory was bedimmed. To bless man, and to bring him into closest contact with the Divine, He Himself had to become Man. The glorious Spirit-Son of God had to circumscribe Himself within the limitations of the Physical. The Divine in Him had to suffer a temporary eclipse, as He came within the shadows of earth.

His Divine power might be used for the blessing of others, but not for the blessing of Himself. It was the price He paid for Love.

And so the Jesus, although He was Divine, was hungry and thirsty, and grew weary, and wept, and was tempted, and agonized, and prayed, and cried despairingly, as only a man could do. And thus the "emptied" Son of God lived out His beautiful life of Love among us, unrecognized and misunderstood by the many.

But that Jesus is living now in a World of fuller life, where the restrictions of the Physical do not exist, and nought bedims the glory of His Being.

Many are turning their spiritual eyes to Him; and one day He, as the Divine One, shall draw to Himself—as He said He would—the love and devotion of all men; for the old and crude ideas of God and His Purpose are passing away, the horizon of knowledge is becoming wider, the Morning Stars of the Spiritual are gleaming more brightly in the firmament of human experience. And when the night-shadow shall have gone, and the mists of narrowness and error shall have been scared away by the Sunrise of Larger Hope, then shall the Christ be revealed to all as "the Desire of the nations"— the "Light of the World," the Light of God Himself.




Return To Contents of Problems of the Spiritual.

floppy save button Download "Problems of the Spiritual" (.pdf) floppy save button

Other Books by Rev. Chambers:

"Man and the Spiritual World" (1903 UK Edition)
"Thoughts of the Spiritual" (1905 American Edition)

Rev. Arthur Chambers Returns From "Death" To Speak Through The Zodiac Circle

 Home  | The Zodiac Messages | Articles | Services | Visitors Book | Books | Site Map | Contact | Search