Toward the Light
The Doctrine of Atonement and the Shorter Road
“Therefore, whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock.” —Matthew 7:24
I, Christ, your older brother, am sent by our Father, and I speak in His name!
I speak to all who bear the name Christian, to all who believe I am the Father and the Father is I. Those of you amongst humanity who love and worship me, you know not what anguish you cause me each day. You know it not, for did you then would my anguish echo in your hearts. I will not complain to you of the burden you have laid upon my shoulders, for our Father has helped me to bear it. He has borne the burden for me, else should I have fallen under its weight!
And what a burden it is! For you have made me, your older brother, your God! And how came you to do this? Do you not all carry in your hearts an image of your God, the Father of your Spirit? I ask you, do you not see that I by far resemble not that image? Or have Darkness and the falsehoods of our eldest brother so blinded and confounded you that you have been content to worship me as your God—I, who am but your brother? Truly must Darkness have blinded you! For what am I beside our Father, beside Him who was, is and ever shall be the Almighty—beyond comprehension whilst Darkness is close about you? What am I beside Him, the Almighty? As a drop beside the mightiest ocean of the Earth is my power beside His. As a grain of sand beside the highest mountain on Earth are my wisdom and my knowledge beside His. As a mote, yes, as the tiniest speck of dust compared to all the universe is my love for you against the love He bears for you! For you are His Children, His beloved Children. And what is a brother’s love beside a father’s? Truly, His love for you is beyond bound, is without measure! For you are born of Him, made of His own divine Being.
And Him have you put in the shade, for you have placed me between Him and yourselves! You have forgotten Him and banished Him to a remote place in your hearts, for you have given me all the love that you have, and which is rightly His only. You love me as your God, and why do you this? Because you believe that I have suffered for your sins, believe that I have borne your sins upon the Tree of the Cross! You believe that I have made atonement for your sins! For this you love me; but you are misguided. Truly have I grieved over you, for I deserve not such love!
But our Father has grieved still more, for in your blind adoration of me you have ceased to remember Him. And if you did remember Him, it was only to speak of His mercy toward you; to remember the mercy He showed you in allowing His “only begotten” son to die in torment for the sake of your sins!
How little you know our Father! For mercy is not the same as love; to those you love, you give not proof of mercy but of love. Truly I ask: do you not love your children? The children you conceived in pleasure and to whom you gave birth in pain? Do you not each day give these, your children, proof of your love for them? Do you not patiently seek to guide them in their first steps upon the thorny paths of life? And if they sin against you, are you not ever ready to forgive when you behold their sorrow and repentance? Indeed, are you loving in mind and in heart, will you not then often forgive sin before it is repented, before forgiveness is asked? Truly I ask you each: Do you grant your children mercy when they meet you trustingly and in gladness? Do you grant your children mercy when they come to you in sorrow and repentance? Do you think your children will show you greater love— with proofs of your mercy?
Have not your children the fullest demand upon all your love? Did you seek their counsel when you sowed the seed for their bodies? Indeed, you did not! Truly I say to you that they have the fullest demand upon you, and upon your love! And you see this. You know this. For when they meet with grief, you suffer with them, and you say to yourselves: “Am I not the cause of this, for my child was given life through me? Could not my child have been spared such suffering had I not brought this child into the world?” And your love for these children of sorrow grows greater yet. And when they bear their burdens in patience and calm, then you say to yourselves: “Life gave my children many dark hours but afforded them also many happy hours, and these memories will bring them peace and the strength to bear that which is dark and heavy. The tribulations of life mature their souls, for the sorrows call forth the noblest feelings and the most beautiful thoughts; yes, they separate out the charred dross and leave behind the gold! Truly, my child lived not in vain!”
And even as your children have claim upon your love, so have each of you the greatest claim upon the love of your Heavenly Father. He sought not your counsel when He gave you the gift of life, when He sent you into that world of sin and death in which you live. He did this of love for His fallen children, so as to restore the fallen. He did it of love for you, for He knew it was easier for you to strive forth through the vicissitudes of the many lives on Earth. He did this in knowledge that it was easier for you to mature slowly and to overcome gradually the low and the evil, rather than be stood before Darkness fully grown. Yes, He did this knowing you would also find joy and come to rejoice in the beautiful and the pure. Truly are you the lawful children of our Heavenly Father, and you all have claim upon His love—the love He gives you in the fullest measure! You are children of Him, and He grieves with you—but in your happiness he rejoices with you also. And nothing delights Him more than to behold and to feel your responding love! But few only among you give Him the love that is rightly His; for you have forgotten your Father for me, who am but your brother. You have placed me between you and Him!
Human beings! Beloved ones, seek to understand your Father! Reach out for His love, the love that passeth all understanding. Seek in the trusting thoughts of prayer to meet with His all-embracing Thought. Seek to allow your will to meet with His Will, for whosoever does the will of our Father is one with Him now and for eternity! Seek Him! Guided by His Thought and sustained by His Will can you freely and joyfully go forth through the many succeeding lives on Earth; for whosoever is watched over by our Father’s eye, whosoever is embraced by His love, by His joy, will shun the ways of sin and darkness; and whosoever is at peace with his neighbor, at peace with himself, carries the peace of Heaven in his heart. And whosoever longs for the distant Home of the Father fears not the shadow of death. In peace will it come to you as the nightly sleep after the travails of the day; and have you during earthly life daily rendered your account to your Father; have you loved your neighbor, have your thoughts been pure, free from anger, hatred and envy; have you striven to do only that which is good, you will face no reckoning when you awaken to life in our world. Then will you soon be settled in the dwellings that are yours for your time of rest and learning, until new earthly lives draw you once more into the contest with Darkness and sin, to advance toward life and the Light. You who are so dearly beloved, seek in your hearts to find your way to our Father, seek to understand His longing for you! Yes, I say that you are truly the lawful children of our Father; for He bore each of you to spiritual life, He gave you the light of thought and the power of will. He bore you from His own Self! But you have yet another father—our eldest brother, who was a child of pain and sorrow to our Heavenly Father; for he is the creator of your earthly bodies, your bodies of flesh, the bodies you love when they are sound and pleasing in appearance, the bodies you curse when they are crippled or malformed, when they are beset with suffering and insidious disease. This father of your flesh has hitherto denied you! Always has he sought to disclaim his fatherhood of you, sought to conceal himself from you; for you were the children of his sin. But when grief and remorse awoke in his heart then did he know what sorrows he prepared for you, then he knew that great was his debt!
Mankind! behold, I ask: have you not often in secret given life to your children, so that they were made fruit of your sin? Have you not concealed this? Have you not sought to deny all knowledge of these children? You sought not their counsel when you gave them life and cast them out in desolation, in Darkness and misery. Indeed, you denied them your love—for you disowned them—yes, many of you have cursed them! But would not a pain always gnaw at your heart? For you knew, though you would not acknowledge it, that you were the cause of their misery, the cause that so often their childhood and youth was of great affliction and so empty of love, the cause of the contempt of which these children of sin partook—the only inheritance you gave them!
But when it happened that you heard that evil had overcome these, your children, heard they were guilty of violence, murder and theft of the property of others, did you not become heavy with fear, that you bore the iniquity thereof? Did you not say to yourselves: I could have spared them this; for by my hidden sin are they become sinners! Did you not feel grief-stricken and remorseful for your deeds? Did you not yearn to come to these, your children that you might pray with all your heart for their forgiveness? Would you not feel the deepest despair if they turned away from you, if they denied you forgiveness? Truly I say to you, you would feel the bitterest of pain, a pain like no other. You would drop to your knees. Indeed, it would be as though you were falling into a bottomless pit, as though mountains would fall upon and crush you; for in your hearts you would carry the torments of Hell!
Behold, I say to you: could others not understand your eldest brother’s despair, grief, and remorse, then truly should you be able to do this, you who yourselves have yearned deeply for the forgiveness of your children of sin! You surely can find compassion for him and suffer with him. Indeed, you who yourselves seek forgiveness, you should be able to understand him, and to forgive him.
But I say to you: it were much better and nobler that you, who have never known such grief and remorse, that you were able to understand his sufferings, that you were able from utter compassion to forgive him, who was the father of your earthly body. I say to you: your compassion will awaken your love for him who has strayed and sinned, and your love will call forth an answer in his heart.
Truly I say to all who bear the name Christian, bear it with honor! Show by your works that you be worthy to bear it! Forgive—and you will yourselves be forgiven; for even as you forgive those who trespass against you, so will your Heavenly Father forgive you. And forget not that your forgiveness will take away the curses that our oldest brother has sent upon you, and will bring about an everlasting bond of love between you and him. Neither forget that your Heavenly Father will also rejoice, for then He sees that you have found the way, the Shorter Road, that leads to Him, leads to His Home, to the joys, the happiness and the glory that He has there prepared for you all.
And once you have found the Shorter Road, then will you become seeing; for the veil of Darkness that clouded your eyes and bound your thoughts will fall away, and you will understand—understand how far you have been led astray! Yes, then will you truly understand: that I am not the Father, and that the Father is not I, understand that I am not your God! Then will you wonder that you ever believed this; then will you understand that I am in truth your elder brother, that the love I have for you is a brother’s love and not that of a father. Then will you lighten my burden, then will my torch—my torch of love—that shines for you, light up with still greater strength and disperse the Darkness that is about you. Then will it truly be the guiding star that you in trust can follow—and then will you no more follow lengthy detours upon your journeying toward the distant Home of the Father.
Of my deep love for our eldest brother and for you who are Christians have I spoken; hearken to my words and act upon them! To all of you have I spoken. But my words first concern you who are the leaders and authorities of the congregations, for you must remember that you are the shepherds of the flock, remember that where the shepherd goes, the flock will follow. For many centuries have you, and they who went before you, led those committed to your trust and keeping across endless, barren lands. Stones have you offered for bread! Bitter gall and wormwood were in the drink you offered the thirsty! Quarrels and words of hatred prevailed among you. One pointed east, others west; always in dissent, never in accord! Thousands upon thousands of words and phrases you uttered to give proof that you herded the flock along the right and only path. But you divided your flock and gathered it not! You beguiled with fair words and lofty speech; you promised the Glory of Paradise to the faithful, to the holy; you beckoned with the palms of victory, with the crown of life, with the remission of sin in the blood of the Lamb!
What gained you for the faithful by your falsehoods? An awakening in bewilderment, in horror at the stark reality: that no atonement was made for their sins! That many of the transgressions, many of the sins for which atonement could have been made in life on Earth were, at the embrace of death, carried into the other world, into the life that is after death. Yes, truly, only grief was gained thereby; for that which was not reconciled in the lately ended life on Earth must be atoned for in the one to come!
Behold, I ask you: what would you answer if a child came to you and pointed to the thick hedge of hawthorn that fenced the garden wherein it played, asking: what lies beyond this? Would you deliberately teach this innocent child—a child who has faith in you a fairy tale of the grandeur there is beyond the hedge? Would you tell the child that there was the most glorious garden and the most savory fruit, would you tell of the palace of gold and precious stones, of a life in splendor and joy? Would you do this? Would you not fear that the child in joy and longing would itself look beyond the hedge? And when the child saw but a wilderness grown with thistles and strewn with stones, would you not in shame turn away from its reproachful look? And the faith of the child would be gone, it would be lost forever!
But it is this which you have done! Truly, such were your actions. You taught your congregations the finest stories to conceal the bitter truth that you knew naught! Truly, many curses were uttered against you, for many of those who were led astray by your teaching have cursed you. Yes, hear my words, they have cursed you—you, who were the shepherds of the flock! For where the shepherd goes, the flock will follow! But your paths are strewn with stones, and thorns beset your footsteps. Gall and wormwood you give the thirsty to drink, and their thirst becomes greater still! Your iniquity is great! For you shall give account to our Father, give account of the erring ways you followed and in which you led His beloved children; for you have led them away from Him, and not to Him. And do not say that you knew no better way! For among you are many of our Father’s emissaries, among you are many who were with me in our Father’s Home, yes, among you are many who have promised to lead the misguided children of our Father onto the right paths and roads.
Do you not remember your promise? Did you not hear the calling voice of our Father when He sent to you this message? Knew you not in your hearts that you stood before the truth? Why were you silent? Why did you answer not? How long shall He continue to call? Have you no faith in Him Who sent you? Fear you to lose your esteem, fear you the flock will not follow? Truly I say to you: woe to the fearful hearts and to the slothful hands and to the sinner who walks two ways. Yes, who walks two ways at once! Indeed, I ask you: what fear you? The words of scorn? Of being hurt by the stones hurled at you? Do you not know that a child’s arm reaches but short? Guide the child and rebuke it, for a child’s hurling of stones and words of scorn should not hinder that you speak for truth and right. Know you not that they who walk in the ways of our Father, and they who do His will are at one with Him? What fear you then? Truly I say to you: woe to the faint heart! Because it has no faith, neither shall it be protected!
Yes, hear my words, you to whom I speak! When this my message is brought to you, then shall you not say: this concerns me not, it concerns my brother, for his esteem is greater than mine, the measure of his works is greater than mine. He will not be struck by the stones nor be hurt by the scornful words! For if you say thus, then will your iniquity be greater still!
And what will you who are fearful answer our Father when, upon your return, He asks: “What have you accomplished? Have you kept the promise you gave me when I sent you to the Earth? Did you not understand that I called you?” How will you answer? Must you not, shamefacedly, say to Him who sent you: “I understood Thy calling; but I dared not step forth, for my holy vow bound me, the vow I took at my consecration to Thy service upon the Earth; yes. my vow to teach in the same spirit as those before me taught, and as my brethren teach, it bound me, and I was not able to break it.” But then shall your Father answer: “Foolish one, are the thoughts and works of men worth more than My thoughts and My works? Are the vows formed from human words worth more than the vows that rest upon the rock of the truth? Truly, you were an unfaithful servant to Me, go back and make straight what you have neglected!”
Yes, you foolish ones who act in this manner; the vow, the oath that rests not firm upon the steafast rock of the truth is without worth, even though you have taken the vow and the oath in the name of our Father.1 Truly such a vow is without value, for you have profaned the name of our Father!
Yes, hear my words, you who are my beloved brothers, my helpers, and of my generation, break not the promise you gave our Father when He sent you to the Earth, to this your earthly life! For if you break this promise, then will your shame and your sorrow be far deeper for you, far heavier to bear than the anguish that by the breaking of your earthly vows you would bring upon your priestly brethren, who would think you betrayed and forsook them. If you keep not that promise you gave before you were given human life, then will your conscience gnaw and torment you, and in your hearts will you carry the torments of hell.
Yes, woe to the faint hearts and to the negligent hands and to the sinner who walks in two ways, yes, who walks in two ways at once! Verily, verily I say to you: woe, woe to the faint heart, because it has no faith neither shall it be protected! I cry these words to you, pray hear me! Yes, hear me, you who are my dearly beloved brothers. Give me not cause to shed tears of shame and anguish for you. Allow me not to behold our Father’s sorrowful countenance when He hears that you answer not His call! Pray our Father that He give you strength, pray that He give you clarity of thought and peace of mind. And when you see that my words are true, then call together your priestly brethren and speak first to them of this Message that our Father has sent to mankind; give the blind their sight, and give the deaf their hearing! But speak lovingly, as among brothers, and allow no words of quarreling and hatred to sound between you and divide you still more from one another. Allow not discord to rule the words between you, lest you be diminished in the sight of your congregations. And when you are of one accord, summon each the congregation whose head you are, yes, gather them in the peace of the temples that are hallowed to our Father, and speak to them all in His name. Speak of the message He has sent mankind, speak of His infinite love, the love that is without bound and beyond measure! Speak to them of the truths given you. But I say to you: speak gently, speak kindly! Say to them it is human to err, but sacred to acknowledge error, yes, that it is sacred to make straight the false thoughts and the false doctrines!
But speak gently, speak kindly, for in your congregations are many who are humble and like babes. And many will feel the ground give way under them when you say: “Jesus of Nazareth has not borne your sins upon the Tree of the Cross! Jesus of Nazareth has made no atonement for your sins; we ourselves must make atonement for the evil we have done!” And when you have then spoken thus, make haste to add: “One Who is greater than Jesus, One Whose love is far greater than his has called and opened to you His embrace—He waits for you, He longs to embrace you all! Yes, your Heavenly Father has called, your Heavenly Father awaits you!”
And say this also: “Your elder brother, Jesus of Nazareth, shall never forsake you; never will his love for you diminish; no, never will it become less! Far greater will it become, still richer, for when you turn to your Father, then will you lift the burden of divinity from the shoulders of Jesus, and in his thankfulness will he love you still more. Ever will he lead and guide you, ever will he speak for you, always will he be your help and carry the thoughts of your prayer to our Father!”
Yes, speak gently, speak kindly, for in your congregations are many humble and like babes, and they will grieve and sigh when told that they themselves must make atonement for the evil they have done. But speak gently to these children and say: “Have you trespassed against your neighbor, ask forgiveness of him, and have you been unkind then be kind; have you spoken with malice and harsh words of the errors and imperfections of your neighbor, speak well and kindly of him. Have you been untruthful and have you deceived, be then truthful and worthy of trust; were you not heedful of your conscience, be then heedful!” Yes, truly, you should say to them all: “Walk in the ways of the Light, and strive always toward more and greater light!” And you should speak further: “Allow your thoughts to be pure, cleanse them of anger and hatred, cleanse them of all else that would soil and defile them. Give each day account to your God and to your neighbor! For be such your actions, then with peace in your heart, when after the death of your mortal body you awaken to life in the beyond, can you stand before your conscience, your judge, and say: my account is rendered, my reckoning is done! Then would you understand that it were needless for your sins and transgressions to be cleansed by the blood of the Lamb. Then would you understand that you need not have clung to the Tree of the Cross.” Yes, speak gently, speak kindly, and they will understand you; for where the shepherd goes, there will the flock follow!
Nor must you neglect to say to those wretched ones who have taken the life of a neighbor: “You have cut off yourselves from forgiveness in this life on Earth; atonement can only be made for your sin when you meet the one you wronged in life hereafter, or in a new life on Earth.” And teach those who are shrouded in Darkness to pray their Heavenly Father that He may speak on their behalf with the one they have thus wronged. For His love and His compassion will bring them to understand one another, will help them find peace with one another.
Truly I say to you, the shepherds of the congregations: speak kindly, speak gently! For never can your words be too kind or gentle; under your guidance will those that were led astray depart the stony and barren wastes; under your guidance will they walk the shaded paths gladly. With delight will they turn away from the drink of gall and wormwood, with joy will they imbibe the clear and cooling water which springs from our Father’s Home, the only water that can slake their burning thirst!
Yes, hear me, all of you, my dearly beloved brothers! Give me not cause to shed tears of pain and shame for you, let it not come to pass that I must behold my Father’s sorrowful countenance; for if you hear not my cries, hear not my words, then must I stand before Him and say “Father, I have spoken in vain, I have cried aloud in vain, my brethren would hear me not—and they continue to lead their flocks upon stony and thorny paths, in a desolate wilderness without end!”
Yes, hear me, you who are my so beloved brothers; for will you hear me not, then will many depart from your congregations; for you shall remember that though there are many humble and like babes among those under your leadership, there are also some that were with you and with me in our Father’s Kingdom. Indeed, among them are thousands of our Father’s emissaries; and if you follow not the call, then will many of these follow it! And then will they take authority unto themselves, then will they lead their younger brothers and sisters along the shaded path, and they will give them to drink of the cup that is filled with the clear water that springs from our Father’s Home. But if it comes thus to pass, then will your congregations one by one depart from you; yes, truly, the flock will depart from the shepherd; for the green grass and the clear water will draw them, and once they are come into our Father’s own meadow and pasture then will they never return to you—and then will you be alone without a flock, then will you have authority over none!
Our Father has sent to you a Message, a Message not for you alone, but for all the world; but you, who bear the name Christian, you should be the first to receive it, and if you are the first to understand it, the first to forgive our eldest brother—then will you show you bear the name with honor!
Our Father has built for you a House, has built for you a Temple, and He Himself dwells therein. All of you can gather within its mighty chambers, beneath the lofty arches. Yes, truly, our Father has built for you a House, He has built for you a Temple, and its mighty portals stand open to all; whenever you will, you may enter into it! He awaits you Himself within! The voice of our Father has called, His embrace is open to all. He longs to receive you, yearns for a resounding answer to His love in your hearts. Seek your Father! Allow His love to be yours, and let it abide within you for all eternity; for then will righteous peace and accord prevail as it should between you and Him!
Our Father has built for you a House, built for you a Temple; enter all of you without fear, without doubt, enter with trust and in love; for our Father’s House is built upon the firm and steadfast rock of the truth! And though the rains may fall, though the floods may rise, and the winds blow and beat upon that House, it will stand for eternity, for it is founded upon the steadfast rock of the truth!
Our Father, Thou Who sent me as Thy messenger unto human beings, His children, bestow your blessing upon my words that they may bear the richest and goodliest fruits of love! Be with all of us now and for eternity! Amen.
1) Martin Luther broke his monastic vow when he understood that it rested not upon the word of God, but upon the works of man!