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