- Eternal Lives, Chapter 1
- Eternal Lives, Chapter 2
- Eternal Lives, Chapter 3
- Eternal Lives, Chapter 4
- Eternal Lives, Chapter 5
- Eternal Lives, Chapter 6
- Eternal Lives, Chapter 7
- Eternal Lives, Chapter 8
- Eternal Lives, Chapter 9
- Eternal Lives, Chapter 10
- Eternal Lives, Chapter 11
- Eternal Lives, Chapter 12
- Eternal Lives, Chapter 13
- Eternal Lives, Chapter 14
- Eternal Lives, Chapter 15
- Eternal Lives, Chapter 16
- Eternal Lives, Chapter 17
Jesus and The Christ
Before we can appreciate who Jesus was in previous lives we must understand who he was when he lived his life as the Christ. Many there are who think they understand this, yet are far from the truth, for the real truth is so fantastic that the average man could not even keep the thought in his mind for one minute’s consideration; nevertheless, even this great matter is in the scriptures. The truth lies in that great statement by Jesus when he said: “I and My Father are one… the Father is in me, and I in him.” John 10:30, & 38
Does this mean that the Father and the Son are merely one in purpose, or does the meaning go much deeper than this?
As we examine the scriptures we see that the meaning is far different than imagined for John gives us a leading clue: “This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. AND I KNEW HIM NOT: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I coming baptizing with water. And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. and I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, UPON WHOM THOU SHALT SEE THE SPIRIT DESCENDING AND REMAINING ON HIM, THE SAME IS HE WHICH BAPTIZETH WITH ‘THE HOLY GHOST. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.” John 1:30-34.
This scripture raises several interesting questions. First why was it that John the Baptist and Jesus were cousins, yet John said of Jesus “I knew him not”. You would think that if anyone knew that Jesus was the Christ that it would have been John for he was preparing the way for his own cousin!’ You would have thought that Mary and Joseph would have explained to the forerunner that their son was the Son of God. Why was it that God himself had to identify the Son of God to John?
The startling answer is that before Jesus was baptized by John in Jordan, the Son of God was not on the earth, but John was aware of how he was to come and he was awaiting verification of this from God. Jesus was the reincarnation of Joshua from the days of Moses but John and others were awaiting the presence of one far greater than him, and none were positive as to who it was that was going to receive this great entity in what we may want to call a divine possession, a possession that was completely voluntary. Some may refer to it as an overshadowing presence.
John knew through the Spirit that the Son of God was to be revealed through the ordinances he was performing and he was awaiting that final confirmation when he would see the Spirit descend and “remain” with some holy man. When this finally happened with his cousin Jesus he “saw and bare record that this is the Son of God.” Who then was the Son of God? Was it Jesus or the Spirit that descended and “remained” in Jesus?
Indeed it was the Spirit that John saw descending on Jesus. This entity was of such a high order that a pure body had to be prepared for him, for could not at that time incarnate directly among the Sons of Men. Thus after this great Spirit descended and “remained” with Jesus he became “one” with the Father within him and received great power yet always gave recognition to that Spirit and for three great years Jesus and the Son of God shared the same body. Even so, Jesus was a Son of God in his own right, just as the faithful are destined to be. The one who dwelt in him was often called the “Father” for the two had a Father-Son relationship.
The Book of Mormon seems to identify two entities here: “I would that ye should understand that God himself shall come down among the children of men, and shall redeem his people. And because he dwelleth in flesh he shall be called the Son of God, and having subjected the flesh to the will of the Father, being the Father and the Son – The Father, because he was conceived by the power of God; and the Son, because of the flesh; thus becoming the Father and Son. And THEY ARE ONE God, yea, the very Eternal Father of heaven and earth. and thus the flesh (Jesus) becoming subject to the Spirit (Christ), or the Son to the Father…” Mosiah 15:1-5.
The meanings to these scriptures have even more depth than we are discussing so one must keep in mind that we are viewing one aspect of truth here.
The Doctrine and Covenants gives us further enlightenment on this doctrine: “I Am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one. The Father because he gave me of his fullness, (The Spirit descended on him), and the Son because I was in the world and made flesh my tabernacle, and dwelt among the sons of men. I was in the world and received of my Father, AND THE WORKS OF HIM WERE PLAINLY MANIFEST. And John saw and bore record of the fullness of my glory, and the fullness of John’s record is hereafter to be revealed.” D&C 93:3-6 Why couldn’t the fullness of John’s record be revealed earlier? Why couldn’t even Joseph Smith reveal it? Because the people were not prepared and scarcely are today, for when the fullness of the record of John is revealed it will undoubtedly reveal this doctrine, and who in the church could abide such a revelation?
The scripture continues: “And I, John, bear record that he received a fullness of the glory of the Father; And he received all power both in heaven and on earth, and the glory of the Father was with him, FOR HE DWELT IN HIM.” D&C 93:16-17
A careful reading of these scriptures will reveal that the meaning is literal as well as figurative. For instance Jesus said “My Father is greater than I.” John 14:28. At one time Jesus tried to explain to his disciples that he was not working alone, that his power was not his alone, but was coming from another higher entity who he called the “Father”. He said to his disciples: “If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me Philip? HE THAT HATH SEEN ME HATH SEEN THE FATHER; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: But THE FATHER THAT DWELLETH IN ME, HE DOTH THE WORKS.” John 14:7-10
Why was it that Jesus said that the Father was greater than himself if whoever saw him also saw the Father? The two statements are definitely contradictory with any other explanation except the one presented here. If they are one being then one cannot be greater than the other, but if they were two spirits co-existing in the same body then the statement can make sense. In fact, if one will read all the scriptures concerning oneness in this light he will see this as a master key to a great mystery.
Mormons feel that both the Father and the Son look alike physically and that is why Jesus said “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father”, but when one reads the whole scripture he will see that Jesus was not teaching this principle, even if it were true. For instance, a few verses later Jesus tells us that they have seen the Father because the Father was in him, not because they both looked alike. He even went so far as to say that it was not him that did the great works they saw, but the Father, “he doeth the works”.
There are numerous other scriptures that bear witness to the dual occupancy of the body of Jesus. One of the greatest was in response to a legitimate accusation of the Pharisees against the testimony of the mission of Jesus: “The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true.” John 8:13 In making this statement they were referring to their law which said: “At the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.” Deut. 19:15 This was repeated by Paul: “In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.” II Cor 13:1
Jesus gave an interesting response: “Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go. Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: FOR I AM NOT ALONE, BUT I AND THE FATHER THAT SENT ME.. It is also written in your law, that the testimony of TWO MEN is true. I am one that beareth witness of myself, AND the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.” John 8:14-18
Here Jesus claims that he was fulfilling the law of establishing the truth of his mission with the witness of “two men” for he clearly stated “I am not alone”. Where then was the other man? This is what the Jews wondered for they asked him: “Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.” John 8:19
Later they asked him again: “Who art thou?” and he told them: “I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me IS WITH ME: THE FATHER HATH NOT LEFT ME ALONE… I speak that which I have seen with my Father…” John 8:25,28-29 & 38.
Along this same line he also said: “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: For what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise…I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. There IS ANOTHER THAT BEARETH WITNESS OF ME.” John 5:19,30-32.
This dual occupancy is called an “overshadowing” by some teachers of the race. The Spirit of Christ overshadowed the body of Jesus, and Jesus was in such harmony with the Christ that he always did what was communicated to him because he realized the Christ was a higher intelligence. A rather inaccurate example, but the best available would be that of a scientist putting an implant within the brain of a friend that he wants to fill a mission for him. This implant allows the scientist to reproduce on a television screen all that his friend sees through his eyes. He is also capable of reading all of his thoughts as well as sending his own to his friend. He sends his friend on a dangerous, but important mission to a ruthless and savage people, but promises him that he will be with him and provide safety with his greater knowledge and will tell him what to do. Thus whenever the friend encounters a situation he cannot handle the scientist tells him the words to say and they are not the man’s words, but the scientist’s. The scientist decides to impress the barbarians with a few miracles so he tells his friend to do some impressive things like walking on water for example. The friend does not fear for he knows the scientist will help him with his super scientific knowledge and reverse gravity for him. Then he will tells others that the works he does are not his, but the one who sent him but they do not understand.
It is a true principle that the tactics used by evil entities are a mere distorted reflection of divine action. This is true as far as demonic possession goes. It is but a copy of divine possession, except the difference is that evil takes away free agency and God always works with complete freedom of action.
What happened in the dual possession of the body of Jesus will also happen with a number of others before the Christ walks among us again in the flesh, except this time he will come in greater glory, for this time he may eventually come in a body which is entirely his own, but before this can occur there will be a number of temporary overshadowings. Jesus said: “If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I WILL COME INTO HIM, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me on my throne, EVEN AS I ALSO OVERCAME, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” Rev. 3:20-21.
If the reward of our overcoming is having one such as the Christ enter into us and Jesus overcame in the same way, then Jesus would have had to have a second entity of higher spiritual standing come into him as part of the eternal process.
He also said: “And my Father and I are one. I am in the Father and the Father in Me; and inasmuch as ye have received me, ye are in me and I IN YOU. Wherefore, I am in your midst, and am the good shepherd, and the stone of Israel. He that buildeth on this rock shall never fall. And the day cometh that you SHALL HEAR MY VOICE, and know that I am. Watch therefore, that ye may be ready. Even so. Amen.” D&C 50:43-46.
Here we have a prophesy that we shall someday experience an overshadowing as Jesus did if we are worthy, ready and watching. Let us therefore “watch” for that day and hour when our Lord cometh –unseen like a thief in the night.
Copyright 1996 by J J Dewey