THE ELECTION OF MANN
BY: LARRY HODGES
BEGINNING OF END OF REASON
SOUL BEGINS HER RETURN
THE GRAND CONSUMMATION
I began writing this book some five years ago but found myself so busy with Jane Leade’s writings that we had no time or finances left to put this book into print. We felt, and still do, that Jane’s books were to have first priority. We have been able to get about half of them into print, and they have been received with overwhelming appreciation.
For the past two or three months, I have felt an increasing desire to print and make available to our readers, The Election of Mann, An Allegory. I continued to hold off, though, not completely convinced that I had completed printing enough of Jane Leade’s writings for the present. (We will continue printing them as we have the funds to do so.) While on our last western trip (the whole month of October, 1996), we received repeated confirmations from a wide variety of individuals, none of whom knew each other, from various parts of the country. The word was the same. It is time now to begin printing your own writings. These confirmations came in the form of personal prophecy mostly, as well as wise counsel from respected and seasoned vessels of the Lord.
This book is not meant to be representative in every least detail of that which has been chosen as the topic. Obviously, that is not possible in any case. It is meant to generally give body and substance to that which is by nature vague and abstract.
The topic for this study is the election of man, both in the particular and collectively. That God has purposed to have a race of humans completely different from all that has issued forth through the genealogy of fallen Adam is an accepted conclusion among those who are a part of that remnant out of which this new race is to be chosen. It is also the understanding among most of these same ones, that none shall come into such a renovated, renewed state of being in the New Creation, which is Christ, with their “veil” – that is, with their reasoning mind, still intact.
There is no question that the great bar to the supersensitive life which exists in the spiritual realm, identified as the Holy of Holies, as denoted in Moses’ Tabernacle, is that which is represented by the “veil” which separates the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies – the reasoning mind, along with the natural sense life.
Many among the ranks of believers still suppose that the reasoning mind is God-given and should therefore be included and used even in holy matters. Nothing could be farther from the truth! Adam, in his original state was complete in himself, for he had been made in the image and likeness of God. Adam was both male and female in one being – in the image and likeness of God. But something obviously happened between the, “it was very good,” of Genesis 1:31 and the, “It is not good,” of Genesis 2:18. It is to be suspected that Adam had already begun to turn from his completeness within to an outward completeness. This was nothing less than spiritual adultery and defilement, which caused Virgin Wisdom, then resident in him, to flee, not at all content to be in any way complicit in such an unholy affair.
Adam, by the time he was put to sleep and Eve was taken from him, had fallen from the inward spiritual realm, in which he had known union with the Father, into the outward carnal realm of reasoning to know both good and evil.
Therefore, just as the first Adam turned from within to the outward, material realm and death, so there is a people who, through the last Adam, will turn from the outward to the inward, spiritual realm of life and then go on to inherit all that Adam would have inherited had he passed the test. There is no question that our old heavens (reasoning minds and senses) must be rolled up like a scroll and put away as we begin walking by new lights. As the sun of reason ceases to shine, the moon of the senses ceases to be that light by which we walk, and every starry imagination is cast to the earth as untimely fruit, then shalt thou see the sign of the Son of man coming in the new heavens with great power and great glory. (Matthew 24:29,30) He will never come in the old heavens!
We must come to the place where we no longer walk by the lights and understanding of reason. We must come to the place where we are not moved by what we see, by what we hear or feel – that is, by the senses. We must be moved only by what we believe according to the spirit of faith. We are commanded to cast down imaginations, bringing every thought into the obedience of Christ.
All of this quite obviously has everything to do with our personal death, resurrection and ascension. This resurrection and ascension, which has been too little understood or taught, is an inward, spiritual one during which one receives his new spiritual body. It is not yet a glorified body (that comes after ascension and union), but it is one with which we are enabled to ascend for union with the Father. This spiritual body is the change of raiment which is implicitly promised to the Zadok (Melchizedek) priesthood of Ezekiel 44:15,16.
In order for a priest to enter behind the veil, he must put off one set of garments and put on another (Leviticus 16:4) in which he was to approach the Lord in the Holy of Holies. This change of raiment is typical of that spiritual body or the High Priestly royal robes conferred upon the Melchizedekian priests, whose every word and activity is from the ground of resurrection.
Since much is said about the soul in this book, let me say that I do not wish to be dogmatic about anything but from years of experience and Bible study, it is my conclusion that the soul is the feminine part of man. In the Greek it is pronounced (psoo-khay) psuche and is in the feminine gender. The Hebrew word, spirit, is pronounced (roo-akh) ruwach, and has a masculine gender. We are a spirit, we have a soul and we live in a body. The soul, as I understand it, is the seat of the intellect, the will, and the emotions. The spirit is the seat of the intuition and conscience. The body is the seat of the five senses.
It seems imperative to me that those who shall come into that realm of the Spirit that is characterized by life and are to be known as sons, must cease from being guided or in any way controlled by the soulish (the feminine). For they that are led by the Spirit (the masculine) are the sons of God. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. They are virgins and are not defiled with women (the soul). Revelation 14:4
It is not for the sake of controversy that we offer this writing, but for the sake of blessing. Therefore I will simply offer, as a note of clarification, my personal views on another point, which some may see as a bone of contention — the Trinity. I will not argue the point with any but simply state my convictions as they are at this time, though subject to change as the Spirit of God gives me further light. I do not believe that there are two in the God-head. I believe that there are three which bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word (Jesus), and the Holy Ghost: and these three are One (I John 5:7).
We pray that this little booklet will in some way be a blessing to those who prayerfully read it with an open mind and heart, and that it may help to speed them along their way to the manifestation of the Son of God in them.
THE BEGINNING OF THE END OF REASON
There was an election underway in the city of Mann. A new excitement was quite noticeable for there was a portent of change in the air. The Lord Mayor of the city of Mann was being openly challenged as to his leadership. This Lord Mayor of Mann was a very astute and crafty fellow who went by the name of Reason, the eldest son of one Mrs. Soul (she never used more than her first name). There was some disputation as to precisely who Mr. Reason’s father was, and it was rumored that many years previous, Mrs. Soul had left her first, and true husband, Mr. spirit, upon being seduced (Genesis 3:4) by the wily and subtle, Mr. Twist-Truth, a veritable snake-in-the-grass.
That had truly been Soul’s downfall, for no sooner had she been seduced by that Twist-Truth fellow than she began the unlawful relationship with the Body and township of Mann, which unseemly affair she had carried on until this time. It had done terrible damage to Mr. spirit, who lost all influence over Mrs. Soul and also over the Body of Mann.
When spirit was Soul’s husband and all things were of an orderly nature, even the Body and township of Mann had felt their goodly influences and had never exhibited any inappropriate desires. However, no sooner had the Body and township of Mann taken the mastery over Mrs. Soul than it seemed to have lost all control over all its own desires. The appetites of Mann had become extravagant and gross, and Soul seemed to follow as much as lead in this unholy alliance.
The Quintuplets, further evidence of Soul’s sad departure from her first estate, originally given as protectors and servants, had revolted from their ordained service to facilitate only their own individual lusts. They were now officials throughout the city of Mann and their influence was considerable. In fact, nothing came into Mann or went out but according to their decisions and consents. The entire Body and township of Mann seemed greatly influenced by them, even Reason. They were, by name, Hearing, Sight, Taste, Touch, and Smell. None of them liked spirit any more than Reason did.
The only one who really seemed in favor of the tawdry relationship between Mrs. Soul and the Body and township of Mann was Reason. He did all he could to keep Body and Soul together. It was a relationship, which had an awful effect upon the city of Mann, for on every occasion when Holy Spirit had sought to do something for Mann, the prevailing counsel of Reason, Lord Mayor of Mann, had brought in objections and had worked against Him.
There was no love lost between these two, Holy Spirit and Flesh, (that is what Holy Spirit called Reason, Flesh) for they lusted the one against the other and were contrary one to another so that the city of Mann could never do the things that were expedient. How often spirit had lamented over this sad dilemma, crying, “O wretched Mann! Who shall deliver from such a body of death?” (Romans 7:24) Lately though, he had been heard to state emphatically, “I thank my Sovereign that there is a way out through my Lord Jesus Christ!”
It was suspected by many, though none would dare to admit it, that Mr. Reason was the very off-spring of that illicit union which had taken place between Mrs. Soul and Mr. Twist-Truth. One of the things which stoked these fires of suspicion was the fact that Mr. Reason had a very marked characteristic of hissing when he spoke, and sounded very much like that Mr. Twist-Truth fellow.
Every one of Mr. Reason’s sons (he had three, Logic, Common Sense and Proof) had this same peculiarity. Logic was a thin, fastidious, orderly man, always impeccably dressed and a very calculating sort. He liked to dote on words, loved math and liked to have riddles put to him. His favorite reading was any kind of mystery, but he hated the Bible. He said it made no sense at all and was not logical.
Common Sense was a rather nondescript, casual sort but extremely observant. He shunned books and education, saying that the answer to most things was already apparent by the very nature of things. He never liked his name. Said he was anything but common. He could usually be seen sauntering along the streets of Mann, hands in his pockets, with a somewhat hopeful expression on his face. Yet, for all this, Common Sense was seldom inquired of.
Proof, the younger brother, was bigger than either Logic or Common Sense. He was a forceful, blustery type who liked to browbeat others into submitting to his view of matters. He believed nothing but what the perverted Quintuplets told him. Yet, he would not allow others the liberty he enjoyed. He liked to tag along with Logic in order to convince any doubters of his brother’s many discourses. Reason said that together they presented a formidable argument, even when they were wrong, as they often were.
It was whispered about town, though never said openly, that Mr. Reason was but the titular Lord Mayor, because he never seemed to do anything but from the urgings of his mother (Soul), whom he always and in every way sought to please. He had for many years been the Lord Mayor of Mann without any challenger until this newly emerged Mr. spirit, who insisted upon spelling his name with a small “s.” He said it was in respect of His Father who, alone, should have the pre-eminence.
The cause for so much excitement in this election was not just because Mr. Reason was confronted with a challenger but because of the nature of some of the claims surrounding this challenge to Mr. Reason’s rule over Mann. Mr. spirit had claimed for years to be the true husband of Mrs. Soul, though he made it clear that he laid no claim to being the father of Mr. Reason.
Mr. spirit was a man of “little stature,” very humble and unassuming, and with godly inclinations. When Mrs. Soul had left his head-ship and struck out on her own to decide for herself between good and evil, (Genesis 3:22) he had simply followed along after her, bewildered and confused, and so, had walked in much darkness himself for, lo, these many years.
When Mrs. Soul had declared her independence from spirit’s lordship, her three children, Will, Intellect and Emotion, had gone right along with her. Now, these three, like their mother, were neither good nor evil in themselves – just badly in need of the guidance of Intuition and Conscience, who had wisely remained with spirit, their father.
Soul doted on all three of them. Will, the eldest, was the one who most often carried the deciding vote in a matter. He was quite strong, but almost always in the wrong direction, yet Soul seldom acted without him, if she could help it.
Emotion was very moody. If she could be counted on for anything at all, it was to vacillate. She was up one day and down the next, for no accountable reason and could laugh and cry all at the same time. Because of her propensity for variance, she could not be counted on in matters of consequence or in a crisis. In spite of this obvious defect, Soul often followed her unlikely wishes anyway.
Intellect was very unlike Emotion. Indeed, he was somewhat of a detached nature and would rely solely upon his considerable store of knowledge, having an obvious disdain for Emotion’s preferences in almost any situation that should arise. He too, had a weakness, though. While he incessantly and very carefully gathered information and data about all with which he was acquainted, he often was at a loss for the wisdom with which to apply that information. It was because of this that Common Sense had coined the sarcastic and rather pointed phrase, “Some people seem educated beyond their intelligence.”
Mr. spirit had, of late, been contacted by the Lord of the realm in which the town of Mann was situated. The Lord of that realm (indeed, He is Lord of every realm) introduced Himself as Holy Spirit, better known as Lord Christ (John 14:3, 16-18, John 16:13,14), Who said that He had come to conduct Mr. spirit back into his rightful possessions, which had been lost when Soul was seduced, and to reinstate him and the entire city of Mann, if he was willing to be so led. This benevolence, He said, was to be built upon spirit’s willingness to cease following the dictates of Soul and her son, Reason (Hebrew 4:12) Mr. spirit had been a follower, first of Soul, and also of Mr. Reason, ever since the seduction, but here was a new proposition.
We are told that this contact with Holy Spirit, and the restored relationship, had come about in the following manner. Mr. spirit had for some time grown very despondent over his inability to make contact with Holy Spirit as he had in former times. He had sought Him in all the usual places, in all the streets of the City, but he found Him not whom he desired with all his heart. “Where could he be,” spirit wondered to himself? “The watchmen of the city of Mann don’t know where He is, (he had asked them and had been treated fairly roughly by them) where could He be?” Suddenly he remembered something about “…going down into His garden.” He remembered Holy Spirit saying something the last time they were together. “What was it? Oh, yes! Now I remember. ‘My Beloved is gone down into His Garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens and to gather lilies!’ (Solomon’s Song 6:2)
There was, in the very center and heart of the City of Mann, a little and (for some strange reason) seldom visited park-like Garden of Communion. spirit went directly there. This was a very unusual Garden and not quite like any other. In order to enter into it, one must descend a very narrow way which led to a simple door. There were cob-webs on the door but upon entering, spirit faintly heard these words, “When thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly” (Matthew 6:6). Looking around to see who might be there besides himself and finding no one, spirit quickly shut the door and slowly walked toward the center of the Garden, gazing at everything around him as he went.
Mann had received commandment from the Sovereign in the very beginning of things, to “…dress it (the garden) and keep it” (Genesis 2:15). Alas, the Garden of Communion showed a great deal of neglect. Even so it was still quite beautiful and it could easily be seen that with a little care it could be exquisite. There was what appeared to have once been a fountain, right at the very center of the Garden. Only a trickle of water now flowed out from it, for this place was a Garden enclosed and this fountain a spring shut up, a fountain sealed (Solomon’s Song 4:12). It was such a pity. Still, the little that did issue forth from this sealed fountain had enough life and vitality to cause quite a lush growth in this Garden.
“This is a lovely place and so very peaceful,” thought spirit to himself. As he was meditating on these things in his heart and wondering about how to contact his Beloved, his Sovereign, he was suddenly but gently nudged out of his reverie by a singularly pleasant voice.
Turning, spirit saw a man dressed in a pure white, luminous robe with a golden sash upon his loins. This figure was so arresting that spirit thought it only right and proper to pay homage to this holy one. When spirit threw himself at the stranger’s feet to worship him, the one in white said to him, “See thou do it not, for I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren the prophets: worship God” (Revelation 22:9). spirit, recovering himself, asked who he was and why he had come. “I am come to show thee, for thou are greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision of which I am sent to tell thee.” spirit, quite beside himself because of the regal presence standing with him, blurted, “When… , I mean... , what is it that you would show me?” “Thou hast done well in that thou hast set thine heart to seek thy Sovereign and to seek once again to restore Mann under its rightful and true Head. In this endeavor thou shalt come to know that thou canst of thyself do nothing, and when thou hast settled it in thine heart that to zero must thou come, then thou shalt have begun in good earnest.
“I am an “Ascended Angel,” that is, I, like all of Mann, had a birth in time, and by the grace and mercy of our Holy Sovereign, before Whom I stand continually, was enabled to climb the ladder of ascension unto that glad realm of full redemption and union with our Sovereign. Therefore am I sent to make thee understand the necessity of becoming nothing in order that thou mayest cease from all multiplicities of the outer life and activities as out from thyself, so that thy Sovereign mayest become All in all in thee.”
A holy hush followed these awesome words and tears streamed freely down spirit’s face. Finally, when he had regained some of his composure, spirit said, “My heart is melted within me, sir, for your words have, like a golden shaft, Love-tipped and Mercy-sent, pierced me through my heart. I am forever ruined for all else but that which my Sovereign would have in me and do through me. I perceive that all my much religious doing has been but hay, wood and stubble, but now I am mortally wounded, never to walk again as before in my own strength and purpose.” When spirit looked up, he found the stranger departing as he faded from view.
As he was pondering these things in his heart, he heard that once familiar Voice that he had always loved. It was Holy Spirit! “Oh, let my Beloved come into His Garden, and eat His pleasant fruits!” (Solomon’s Song 4:16), spirit exclaimed under his breath. Holy Spirit spoke to him, assuring him that He had never left him nor had He forsaken him; that He was with him in and through everything, even unto the end of the world. He told spirit that He was pleased that he had begun to respond to His gentle pleadings to repent of his ways and was now seeking Him for grace to become fully His.
He further assured spirit that even though there had indeed been a very painful breach brought about by Soul’s great indiscretion, spirit’s contrite repentance was all that was needed to re-establish his relationship with the Sovereign. Many other like things did Holy Spirit say to spirit that morning which had set him upon this new endeavor for the election of Mann.
Holy Spirit had promised to reinstate spirit in his rightful place as Lord Mayor and Director of Mann under the leadership of the Lord of the realm, Holy Spirit. It was further told him that if he would turn himself over to Holy Spirit and look to Him only as his Advisor and Campaign Manager in this election (Romans 9:11), withdrawing all allegiance and fidelity to Reason, Soul and the Quintuplets, that He had it within His ability to see to it not only that spirit was nominated but also to make his election sure.
Were that not enough to cause spirit to rejoice, Holy Spirit assured him that Soul would be restored to him in the same virgin state in which she was so hopefully betrothed to him at the first (Hebrews 10:39), and that she would never again be vulnerable to any such as Mr. Twist-Truth. She would be re-wed to spirit in a union immutable, made so by none other than Himself so that she would no longer call herself Hepzibah (forsaken), but Beulah (married).
Presently, though, He said it was His immediate object to separate Soul and spirit, as their union in its present state was out of the divine order, she being the leader instead of spirit. It was so that even though Soul had departed from spirit and had gone after other lovers, spirit had, nevertheless, followed her still, and until recently had more or less been very much under her unseemly influences. This had stopped once Holy Spirit had come to him with His commandments which, if kept, would bring about many and great rewards for both him and Soul, and eventually for the entirety of Mann.
All this was based upon spirit being so rid of Reason’s rule, as well as his mother’s rule, that Holy Spirit would regain His rightful enthronement over that portion of the realm in which the city of Mann was situated. But He stressed that He must be enthroned as absolute Sovereign, without reservation or rival, in the entirety of the city, in all its members, interests and activities, starting first with spirit.
It was further yet assured spirit that if he agreed to these terms and there was a following hard upon them, Holy Spirit would not only make his calling and election sure, but would also cause spirit’s rule as Lord Mayor of Mann to be a very exalted one. He promised to bestow upon him such honors of authority and powers, heretofore unknown under Reason’s rule, that the peace and joy and contentment which would surely be spirit’s, would also be multiplied throughout the entire body of Mann, until it became a new body and township.
These words were delivered to Mr. spirit by the active hand of one Virgin-Faith with such force and authority as to leave him filled with such a willing belief that he could not doubt them. This Virgin-Faith was commissioned to dwell with Mr. spirit under the most pure circumstances for as long as he would have her stay, to influence Mr. spirit, permeate his dwelling, and tincture all that he undertook to do as from Holy Spirit.
SOUL BEGINS HER RETURN
Mr. spirit pondered these things in his heart and desired to believe them. When next he was visited by Holy Spirit he asked Him, “How is it that the Body and township of Mann and myself have gone on as we have for these many years without your ever holding out this proposition until now? I would believe what you tell me with all my heart, but this objection meets me: why now and not before?”
“Your have asked well,” answered Holy Spirit, “and I will give answer to your query. It was decided by the determinate counsel of the God-head Trinity (I John 5:7) that such a duration as six working days would be allotted to Mann to do whatsoever that city could, that Mann might come to the obvious conclusion that it could make nothing better by looking to Reason, but only worse; that it could remedy nothing by Reason, Logic, Common Sense or Proof as to good and evil concerning spiritual things.
“Thereunto it was determined beforehand that Mann would come to the end of itself in six days, striving under the deadly influences of Mr. Reason and Mrs. Soul and Body, and begin to look elsewhere for enlightenment and deliverance than to Mr. Reason whose lights only serve to blind and never shine truly anyway. Thus, we are now come to that good season when all of Mann (I Corinthians 15:22) is to be restored under its rightful Head, starting first with you, spirit. This restoration will then culminate with all being ultimately delivered up to Me that I might, through My Goodly Offices, bestow bountifully upon all of Mann what has been treasuring up in store all these ages during which I have been obliged to hold back that which Mann was not yet ready to receive. Does that answer your inquiry to your satisfaction?”
“Indeed, it does, Holy Spirit! I do comprehend that the whole of Mann was made subject to vanity in hope of a restoration greater than the loss (Romans 8:20,21), and further, that the God-Head Trinity has taken upon Itself the entire responsibility for this great lapse of Mann by what you say, and will therefore restore all.
“Also, I perceive that until the city of Mann had been made to know the darkness of these many years, it could never have had the capacity to appreciate the coming Light now promised by you. I see too, by your Own good light, that it has been in Mercy that the good you now wish to bestow has been all these many years held back. For until there has been a ready preparation to it, that which you have before described would, far from benefiting Mann, actually be Mann’s destruction.
“The effect such Love, Wisdom and Mercy has upon my heart makes me wish to fall at your feet and worship you forever! Such tenderness and loving kindness for rough and uncaring creatures as the city of Mann has become is but too much for me to comprehend! I am overcome with love.”
This revelation and understanding gave spirit his ground upon which to stand in faith for such undertakings. It was under such circumstances that spirit came to enter the race that he had thus far been running with great patience (Hebrews 12:1). It bothered Mr. Reason to no end that spirit had left him, for the fact that spirit had long been one of his followers had added to his own credibility. But now here was this upstart, with no qualifications to leadership, no history to speak of, no political background or savvy, no visible means of support, and apparently no followers, presumptuously challenging the proven and established incumbent leadership of Reason!
“After all I’ve done for Mann!”, Reason thought to himself. “I have installed lights by which Mann may see in this outer darkness. My lights have been that by which the entirety of Mann has found its way during these 6,000 long years of nighthood. It has been by my lights that all commerce and activity in Mann has taken place, and without them was nothing done. How often have the members of Mann lauded and applauded my lights. Would they now actually leave these lights of mine and stumble along in total darkness? These lights are my own personal invention. If I go, then they go with me. I know, for a fact, that spirit has no such lights. He claims that he gets light from his Bible, “a lamp unto his feet” (Psalm 119:105), he says, but I don’t believe that because I’ve never seen any such light. Anyway, they all love me and would never forsake me... but, just in case, I’ll send Logic over to speak with spirit. He’ll talk some sense into him.”
That morning Logic went to speak with Mr. spirit. The conversation, we are told, went something as follows:
“Good evening, Mr. spirit. It looks as if it will rain today and probably tomorrow too, because I see the sky is red and lowering,” (Matthew 16:3) hissed Logic.
“Good evening to you, Mr. Logic. I see you are in fine fettle today with all your senses acutely at work, but I take no thought of the morrow (Matthew 6:34), entrusting such things to the loving and all-wise hand of my Sovereign.”
“Yes, ah, yes. Well, that’s what they’re saying about you these days, you know, and that is why I’ve come to speak with you, Mr. spirit. It has come to my father and me that you are actually running in the race for election to Lord Mayor of Mann. Now, neither my esteemed father nor I can give a cause for such a rumor, seeing that the very nature of such a thing is altogether ridiculous!”
“Well, let me seek to set you straight, Logic, so that you may then convey these things to Reason. I have indeed entered the race for Lord Mayor of Mann and, without meaning or intending any disrespect to you or your father, I am not disposed to hear from you or your father on the following account. The present state of the city of Mann is a deplorable mess and is growing worse with every passing day. This is due to the policy of the present Lord Mayor, Reason. Now, if you will excuse me, I have other matters to which I must attend. Good evening.”
With this polite rebuff, Logic scurried back to his father, Reason, and told him all that had transpired and of the stupefying and unaccountable resolution which he had encountered in spirit.
“Hmmm,” said Reason with one eye shut tightly as if in intense thought, “I probably should have sent your younger but very emphatic brother, Proof, to accompany you. He would have added some weight to convince him that he has embarked upon a road which in it’s beginnings looks pleasant enough but which must surely end in folly.”
“I don’t think so, father,” answered Logic. “He seemed, to all appearances and words, to have made up his mind once and for all. Does he have any insanity in his ancestry? (Hosea 9:7) He claims to see things, which no one else sees and speaks within himself often these days.
“He has even begun to treat the beloved Quintuplets with less than their due respect, acting instead by the advice of his own children, Intuition and Conscience. Claims they have better lights than you, though none but he have reported seeing these lights. He has even attempted to encourage the Body of Mann to fast at times while he prays! Insanity might be used against him in the campaign, you know. We can’t afford to simply ignore him and run the risk of the whole of Mann turning after him, for then should we be put out of our stewardship.”
“We? Our? What is this we and our I hear from you?,” Mr. Reason said sharply. “I am Lord Mayor of Mann, not we! But you are right about not ignoring him. I will go and speak with him myself, and you will come with me as support. Together, we should be able to wear him down and put out forever the strange lights by which he seems to walk these days.”
And so it was that Lord Mayor Reason, along with Logic, his son, called upon spirit the following day to discuss his recent undertakings to regain the leadership of the city of Mann.
“Ah! Good morning my good fellow and true bondservant, Mr. spirit!” hissed Reason. “I thought that since it is such a fair day today and not at all as Logic and I had thought it would be, that I would come by and speak with you concerning your decision to campaign against me in the election for Lord Mayor of Mann and thus ease myself of all concerns about the matter.”
“Good morning to you, Reason. You will notice that I no longer address you as Lord Mayor, for I am calling those things that are not yet as though they were already (Romans 4:17). I therefore no longer see you as being Lord Mayor, but deposed, upon the good advice of Virgin-Faith, through whom I receive much good counsel and management from Holy Spirit. Virgin-Faith, as you have probably been told, has moved in with my two virgin daughters, Intuition and Conscience and myself. Her influence on them has even affected me.”
“What? My goodness, spirit! Have you altogether taken leave of your very senses? Affected, indeed! Please do not tell me that you are doing all this upon the ground and influence of Virgin-Faith only! (Hebrews 11) Mr. spirit! Look and see! She has no eyes! I myself saw her out walking just the other day and she walked straight down the hill and across the pond without any mind at all as to what she was doing. She never stops to think things through. It was only her good fortune that there just happened to be stepping stones just beneath the surface of the pond or else she surely would have drowned. I didn’t investigate the matter to see the stones for myself, but how else could she have walked across the pond? She is daft! How on earth will she correctly influence you? She is as blind as a bat and will lead you down a dead-end path to utter fanaticism and folly. Even Common Sense would tell you that!”
“Why, yes. I suppose I have finally taken leave of my senses, now that you mention it, Reason. But as for Virgin-Faith, if you had the right kind of eyes, you would see that she is full of eyes all round about, within as well as without, and is of far keener vision than you ever thought of having. In fact, she sees things that are only hoped for as being already of substance (Hebrews 11:1). I have witnessed it, myself. As for being blind, as you call it, it was you who put aside, as so much foolishness, that blessed Book which says, ‘Who is blind as he that is perfect and complete, and blind, as the Lord’s servant? Seeing many things, but observing not?’ (paraphrased Isaiah 42:19) As you refuse to see things you should and as they are, so I refuse to see things as they appear by your lights (II Corinthians 4:18). I am happy beyond measure that Virgin-Faith has undertaken to stay with me and my daughters, thereby making my election sure.”
“Bah! Sure? Do you actually think that you can be elected and chosen to be Lord Mayor, following such a blind thing as this Faith? Everyone knows that I, Reason, was appointed to be Lord Mayor of the city of Mann. I have given an edict, to which there has been a full consent throughout the city of Mann, that nothing be done or undertaken without my directions and assists.”
Suddenly Reason flushed as if remembering something embarrassing. “Uh, that is, except of course, for the Quintuplets. Still, my influence is such in Mann that a saying has arisen to my acclaim; ‘If it stand not by Reason…’ I have been Lord Mayor of this city from the beginning and this you cannot deny, even as it is said, ‘Mann was given Reason to mind things.'”
“Oh, but I do deny it, Reason, and most vehemently. You are truly the son of Twist-Truth, for even as you speak, your true colors and lineage do show themselves. Most only think you were appointed to be the Lord Mayor of the city of Mann because you have told them this for so long. In the beginning it was not so. I go back farther than you do, Reason, for you came along after the great seduction and, in the true nature of your cunning Sire, quickly usurped the leadership of Mann while I, the true Lord Mayor, was in confusion and perplexity.”
“Oh, you know not whereof you speak! These are but the inane babblings of one desperately grasping for any straw in the wind! You’re a worse case than I was told, spirit. You really have gone off the deep end.”
Mr. Reason was losing ground fast and he knew it. He never did well when flustered, and he was now quite flustered. He turned to Logic who, until now had been silently listening to spirit, analyzing all that he said, hoping to find some chink in the armor of his argument.
“Well, Logic, are you just going to stand there catching flies with your mouth? Have you nothing at all to say to these things?”
Now it was Logic’s turn to flush, for in spite of himself, he could see that spirit’s argument was well based. Logic shifted his feet uncomfortably. He suddenly had the spotlight all to himself and quite definitely did not want it.
“Well, uh, yes, I have something to say. I was just waiting for you to finish before saying it. You, Mr. spirit! You claim to be so sure of this election and yet we know for a fact that you have not the resources to run such a campaign. It only stands to, ahem, (he cleared his throat to draw attention to his intended pun) reason that you cannot possibly win. What say you to this?”
“I answer thusly, Logic. I have been contacted by Holy Spirit, Himself, who has told me explicitly that if I would withdraw all my allegiance from you and your father, from Soul, from the Body and township of Mann, and the Quintuplets, looking only to Him, that He had it within His means to see to it that my election was made sure. This I firmly believe and more so since Virgin-Faith has come to dwell with us.”
The look that had now come over the faces of Reason and Logic said that they knew they were in deep trouble, and were finding it difficult hiding it.
“Indeed, indeed! Well, I suppose we can go now, Logic. I have seen what I came to see. Mr. spirit is as mad as can be. He has actually gone insane and is having delusions of grandeur.”
“Not so, as you well know, Reason. I was there in the beginning, naive and untried, wed to your mother, Soul, and was the Lord Mayor of the city of Mann until the day your father, Twist-Truth, came along and seduced her. Since that fall, she has made a bond, unlawful though it is, with the Body and township of Mann, but I do not find fault with her for this infidelity toward me, for I am still her true husband, and as such I still love her and seek only her good. It is for this reason that I have entered the race for Lord Mayor of Mann, so that I might not only take my rightful place as leader of Mann, but also to attract and draw Soul once again into her rightful, subservient place as under my headship and direction. Then will it be well with the city of Mann.”
“How dare you!” sputtered Reason. “Hush, Reason!”, interrupted Soul, taking both Reason and spirit by surprise. Soul had, on her way, overheard the conversation and was smitten in her heart by the affection she detected in spirit. She had always retained a certain tenderness for him, but because of her guilt and self-condemnation for her act of infidelity, she had gone on, hardened in her way of transgression, not knowing that there was a way back to that place from which she had been misled.
“Spirit is quite correct in what he tells you, Reason,” Soul continued. “He has not added to it nor taken from it. You are an usurper to the place you now hold as Lord Mayor of the city of Mann. It was I who appointed you and who have put you forward on every occasion possible. For, knowing you to be the bastard that you are, I was ashamed and sought the approval of others through your deceptive brightness. But, lo, just as your father, Mr. Twist-Truth, you have corrupted yourself by reason of your brightness and have led the city of Mann into the pathetic and wretched condition in which it now laments.
“Before Mr. Twist-Truth came along, leaving you as the constant reminder of my great indiscretion and infidelities, and then the ever promising, but never delivering affair with the Body and township of Mann, I enjoyed a wonderful, all-satisfying, state of bliss with spirit, my true husband and caring head. I had almost forgotten how good it was then, not willing to evoke such unsettling memories. But passing by, I happened upon your conversation and was so struck by spirit’s kind and affectionate demeanor toward me, my unlawful treatment of him notwithstanding, that it stopped me in my tracks. For I would see spirit indeed take his rightful place over me, though he must needs fight for it, for it has been many years since he has exercised his goodly influences over me and I scarcely any longer know how to come under. Yet, the few choice words which I have chanced to hear falling from his lips have made me desire to be willing.
“To you, spirit, I would tell you that although I cannot seem to bring myself to suddenly drop all my own endeavors and abruptly follow you as if nothing to the contrary had ever taken place with us, I am not disinclined to once again follow you. If you will show that worthy and kind headship you once so aptly displayed before I pulled us out of our garden of paradise so long ago and plunged us into this abysmal and benighted confusion in which we now find ourselves, I would be persuaded to follow after you as before and count myself fortunate indeed.”
As both Logic and Reason stood with mouths agape, Soul bid them all good-day and was gone as abruptly as she had come. This happy turn of events left Reason and Logic with blank expressions and little to say, which was a new experience for them, and it left spirit with just the hint of a smile playing upon the corners of his mouth as he watched Soul depart their company.
I should not end this account without telling you the glad tidings concerning the city of Mann and its election for Lord Mayor. Under the watchful eye and able hand of his campaign Manager, Holy Spirit and loyal co-helper, Virgin-Faith, as well as his own chaste daughters, Intuition and Conscience, spirit, as unlikely a candidate as he had at first seemed, quickly took on the comportment and conduct of a worthy, manly leader who could easily be believed to conduct the affairs of the city of Mann aright, for he never acted but by the advice and counsel of Holy Spirit.
Thus it was that spirit won the election by a wide margin. As soon as the election was decided, all of Reason’s lights in the city of Mann mysteriously went out, and Mann was plunged into total darkness.
No sooner had this strange darkness descended like a shroud upon Mann than it was everywhere noised abroad that Mann had suffered the loss of its head-life! It was true that Mann had received its light from Reason and its very life-currents from that center; but now all lay inert and unmoving – dead! At first, no one knew what to do, for the entire city of Mann had always turned to Reason and his lights when doing was in question. Now, all looked to spirit. Even Soul watched him intently to see what he would do in such an unusual event. Whatever spirit did, as far as Soul was concerned, she and he were one.
It had never before happened on this order in the city of Mann, so all wondered what could be done to resolve such a dilemma. As all eyes were upon spirit, he did nothing (John 5:30). He did not consult with his newly departed predecessor, Reason, for it had been Reason in the first place who had gotten them into that state of outer darkness where his lights had been of little or no use anyway. He did not turn to Logic or Common Sense or least of all to Proof, for Virgin-Faith stood loyally at his side.
All the members of the city of Mann watched spirit as he just stood and did nothing. They watched to see if Soul would once again take things into her own able hands and re-install Reason, but she too was watching spirit.
As she watched him standing motionless, as one who could of himself do nothing, a remembrance of things long forgotten came flooding back to her. In tears, she remembered how it had been when she and spirit were innocent and knew nothing of themselves and cared not about anything but to serve their Sovereign in their innocence.
After her error so long ago, she seemed to have stepped over a threshold, which when once crossed, nothing seemed to matter, and she had gone from bad to worse, adding sin to sin until she had become sin-hardened without the desire to return. That is, until that recent day when she had overheard spirit speaking so caringly of her to Reason. She had verily been touched in a way she had forgotten was possible. Ever since that time, there had been the thought, no, the hope, that there might be a way made for her to return to the lordship and care of spirit and therefore to the Lordship of her abandoned Sovereign.
“Oh! Just the thought of Him makes me want to weep!”, she thought within herself. “Could it really be that He would receive me back, after all the trouble and confusion and pain I have caused Mann?”
Her thoughts went back to the time when the Sovereign’s own Son had come to Mann and of how Mann had treated Him so shamefully, even beat Him and mercilessly crucified Him between two thieves! On several occasions, spirit had sought to explain to her that this had all been the Sovereign’s merciful plan which would eventually bring about the redemption and full reconciliation of all of Mann (I Corinthians 15:22), but she couldn’t help but feel a crushing remorse and grief for having been the cause of such pain and suffering to One so undeserving of it.
Soul remembered well how spirit had come to her with soberness, compassion and a firmness, which told her there would be no measure of compromise on his part. She remembered how she had admired that in him. It had been shortly after that day when she had surprised Reason and spirit in the midst of their debate concerning the election of Mann. When spirit had come to her the day following, she had thought within herself, “Already he comes to persuade me to return to him! His affection for me must be even greater than I had thought.”
“Good morning to you Soul. I do pray that all is well with you, though I know things can and will be better when you have returned to your rightful place under my care and guidance“, said spirit.
“Why, good morning to you, spirit,” Soul replied. “I’m surprised that you are so soon come to court me and to provoke me to your way of thinking concerning my return to your headship.”
“Oh, I’m sorry if I gave you that impression, Soul,” spirit said. “For, while I do love you with all the love of which I was ever capable and desire only your good and well-being, I have absolutely no intention of, as you stated yesterday, ‘fighting for you.’ I have come to merely tell you that unless you see the value and worth of such a return and are willing to commence it at any and all cost, it would be but an empty and meaningless farce on your part to go through the motions of returning. Nay, except you are willing to deny yourself, take up your cross and follow after the Lord Christ, you shall in no wise come into aught of the good our great Sovereign deigns to bestow upon you.”
Soul’s hand had gone unconsciously to her mouth in surprise. It was a habit which spirit remembered about her. Her eyes were now wide with amazement. “You mean, …that is, ...You mean you didn’t come to ply me with presents for my return?” Soul said falteringly.
Spirit answered, “Gifts enough are in store for you should you decide to join me in this dying way, but you must repent of your present evil ways with the same earnestness with which you repented of the good we enjoyed initially. For if you will return to the Shepherd and Bishop of souls (I Peter 2:25), it must be to the exclusion of all else, as He hath said, ‘He that loveth father, mother, sister, brother, houses, lands, or children more than Me, is not worthy of Me'” (Matthew 10:37).
“Surely you could not mean what I take you to mean, spirit,” Soul queried, a puzzled frown now making its way across her face. “For, not only are you not wooing me to return in the solicitous manner I had thought, you seem verily to be building a fence across my way of return.”
“Building a fence, indeed,” replied spirit. “Yet the fence thus built is one scaled easily enough by all who are in good earnest of returning and has never been known to deter even one honest-hearted and worthy seeker-after-God. ‘He that findeth, or preserveth his own soul (life) shall lose it; and he that will lose his own soul (life) for My sake, says the Lord Christ, shall save it’ (Matt. 10:39). This the good Sovereign says, not to limit you, but that being released from the captivating influences of the things of this outward life and realm, you might gain all things in Him. I am persuaded better things of you, Soul, and know that ‘you are not of them that shrink back unto perdition; but of them that have faith unto the saving of the soul, that you might receive the end and effect of your faith, even the salvation of your soul’ (Heb. 10:39 and I Pet. 1:9).
Soul was quite obviously unsettled now, and her disappointment was showing through very clearly, still she did not give the impression that she was rejecting anything spirit was saying to her. On the contrary, in spite of her obvious present distress she displayed a keen interest, which told of the fact that Holy Spirit had already begun to set to work on her in good fashion. She verily seemed as one with a hook in her jaw, being drawn to shore.
After a moment’s silence, Soul said, “I am quite beside myself and there is, as it were, a great sob within me, and Emotion isn’t even with me this morning! If what you are telling me is true, spirit, and I have no reason to doubt you in these things, you are asking me to die to myself! A prospect, which I must admit with all candor, causes an involuntary shudder to run through my being. Tell me about this “dying way,” as you call it. What are its marks and benefits, and are we speaking here of a perpetual dying, or is there a set time to this death of which you speak, and what comes of it all?”
“I can well understand your feelings at this time, Soul,” spirit assured her. “It is with the same fear and trepidation that all venture out upon the dark waters of this Jordan, only to find that our precious divine Ark has passed through here about 2,000 cubits (years) ahead of us (Joshua 3:4), thus causing the waters of so threatening a death to stand up on a heap as we pass through as on dry ground. Surely, the waters shall not over flow us. (Isaiah 43:2). The dying way of which we speak is for receipt of the New Body (I Corinthians 15:44) and for entrance into resurrection life, the final stage of that great salvation wrought by the Lord Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago when He tasted death for every man. (Hebrews 2:9) That upon which you are about to embark may be likened to the death, burial, resurrection, ascension and glorification of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Sovereign’s own Son.
“For it is not enough that we merely die,” spirit said. “There must also be a resurrection so that we are not caught, as you say, in a perpetual dying with no living in view. This death to self is purely a work of grace as we offer ourselves up, as the Lord Jesus Christ did, through the Eternal Spirit. Upon death, that is, upon the cessation of all activities from the outward realm (Reason, the Quintuplets, and the prevailing outlook of man [flesh]), then the same Spirit which raised Christ from the dead shall also quicken you and raise you from the dead (Romans 8:11). In this you will be tempted sorely by suggestions arising from within and speaking to you in your sufferings as the thief did to the Lord Christ – if thou be Christ’s, save thyself. Let Deity secure and save the soul, and let it not die so ignominiously.”(1)
Soul was noticeably apprehensive upon hearing these words from spirit. The twiddling with the ribbon in her lap had increased. Spirit, seeing this, spoke to reassure her.
“But there shall be dispatched to your aid, succoring angels whose only charge shall be to assist, strengthen and sustain you in your hour of trial until your veil is irrevocably rent,” spirit told her. “Be it known unto you Soul, that there is nothing hid from the eyes of Him with whom we have to do (Hebrews 4:13) and that there will be no deception or fraud in this dying. So none of this must move a living Christ in a dying soul to spare it, for He sees deeper and beyond the visible appearance of things. It will not be in concept or in a mere faith-claim, even though Virgin-Faith shall play a part in it. What we are here confronted with are realities, and only that which has come to a very real death shall come to know a very real and inward resurrection.”
Spirit paused to allow Soul time to consider these things and to ask any questions she might have. Soul was unconsciously giving the ribbon in her hand a very hard time of it.
“Spirit, please do tell me of this resurrection of which you now speak, for it seems very much more promising and heartening than this dying of which you have so aptly spoken.”, Soul asked hopefully. “How are the dead raised, and with what body do they arise?”
Spirit was encouraged that none of his stout, demanding words had so far disinclined Soul from following on to the end. He was acutely aware by now that Holy Spirit was leading and guiding in this entire conversation.
With renewed fervor, spirit continued, “The resurrection is now come. As you say, ‘How are the dead raised and with what body do they arise?’ are but a few of the questions asked about this experience. We are to know that only out of death is there a resurrection, Soul. Only as that which is natural is sown in corruption can it come forth in growing life, or can that which is spiritual be raised to incorruption. ‘It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body and there is a spiritual body. For, as it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit’ (I Corinthians 15:44, 45). God giveth each a body as it pleaseth Him. As the moon differeth from the sun in glory and the stars differeth from each other in glory, so also shall there be varying degrees of glory in the resurrection. But every man shall come forth in his own ordination and course.”
“Oh, please do continue and tell me of this resurrection! At last we have come to something, which holds out hope and promise! Do go on!” Soul urged.
“I am most happy to continue with this good news, Soul,” spirit said. “It is here, upon the resurrection and receipt of the new body, that great questionings and doubts arise, for upon the death, yea, and even during the probationary (trial) period after resurrection, there is a great and profound silence with very little of consequence happening. Nothing, to all appearances, is taking place. Where are all the mighty signs of a resurrected life? ‘We had expected, saith one to another, that great things would have been shown forth upon finishing such a course; that a present redemption would follow.'(2) But as the Lord did not mighty works upon His resurrection, but was in and out among His disciples for 40 days before His ascension, so shall the resurrected soul know what is termed a probationary period. During this time it is for the soul to remain aloof and detached from the doubts and questionings of those looking on from a lower realm, and abide in that celestial region to which a risen soul rightly belongs. This is for the soul’s establishment in her new state.
“Upon receiving the breath of life and being raised from the dead, the soul may at first know but small and feeble stirrings of this new life, but all is in good working order and will grow and develop rapidly now, making ready for the soul’s ascension.”
Spirit noticed a slight wrinkling of the brow as a question seemed to form itself in Soul’s mind. Before she could interject, spirit answered her.
“For until the soul’s receipt of the new spiritual body,” spirit said with a smile, “the soul had no way of ascension because of the law of circularity. For to be at home in the (natural, outward) body is to be absent from the Lord. The law of circularity is simply this; everything tends back to its origin, as the Scriptures also attest. “Then shall the dust (body) return (circularity) to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return (circularity) unto God who gave it” – Ecclesiastes 12:7. The spirit has a natural tendency to ascend to God and is always in a state toward ascendancy. But the body is the only vehicle which the soul has, and it has a tendency back to the earth and not to Godward.
“Thus the need of a new, spiritual body whose essence is spirit and therefore has a tendency toward ascension also. The soul has not the essence in itself by which to ascend, but upon receipt of the new, spiritual body, it then possesses that essence of spirit by which to ascend. Now, with the receipt of the spiritual body (not yet a glorified body) is gained, not only all the senses and sensations of a spiritual body, replacing the loss of these in the natural, outward body, but the soul may now ascend inwardly and spiritually, to walk in celestial realms from which it was heretofore barred.
“In this place, the soul may leave inwardly, while remaining visible to those in whose presence she may be, and join the other celestial beings in that realm to which she is now begotten” (John 3:13).
“How do you know this of which you speak, spirit?” Soul asked. “Have you some basis and authority to say these things, as you surely seem to have?”
“I am glad you have asked this question, Soul,” spirit said. “I am most happy to answer you. I, myself, have many times ascended in spirit, for ascension is a very natural thing to me since I am essentially spirit and have a natural facility for ascension. But so that this word might be established in the mouths of two witnesses, hear a report, and a good one I might add, from one such heavenly spy who, having gone ahead to spy out this great and wonderful inheritance so lovingly held out to us by our Sovereign, has returned to share it with us in this latter time” (Jane Leade – 1624-1704).
‘Having passed through and gotten over the resurrection step on the ladder of ascension, and held out the probation hour, the heavens do open and the bright cloud breaks as the open Gate of Ascension, to receive the spirit and soul that has put on its risen body. It is now to be parted from the earth and carried up to have conversation with the Holy Trinity and all those princely dignitaries in heavenly places.
“Oh, what angelical sounds and consummating powers that makes a soul all restless until it comes to its own prepared mansion! With what love-zeal is it now fired throughout! Every motion is all ascending towards its own center, for now it is very painful to live any space of time out of its heavenly Element, and it is judged as expedient for a risen soul to depart mystically and spiritually, as the Lord did personally – nothing must or can long detain it. All dues, debts and demands have been cleared in Christ, the Life and Resurrection.'(3)
“Oh!” Exclaimed Soul, clasping her hands to her breast. “Oh! This is that for which I long with all my being! This is like a mighty, irresistible force compelling me to itself and I am wholly given not to resist it in the least. Please tell me more!”
Spirit, now smiling quite openly and clearly enjoying this part of the conversation, continued.
“Were this union not quite enough, dear Soul,” spirit said, “then comes glorification. And let me say very clearly that this glorification is not possible without the foregoing process. Glorification is the same as that which has been termed, ‘the placement of adoption’ (Romans 8:23). It is that which doth not yet appear, (I John 3:2) being suddenly manifested at the seventh and final trump. For the probationary period of 40 days which our Lord Jesus Christ walked out in type for us is not a set number or time that we may strictly count on. This time shall vary with each individual as to the completeness of their death and their subsequent walk after death, during which time it doth not yet appear at all outwardly what has surely been accomplished and known inwardly and spiritually by the individual soul.
“Dear Soul, of all that I have here discoursed to you, clear testimony can be seen in that blessed book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ, chapters 11:15 and 19, 12:5 and 10.”
Spirit paused, hands clasped behind his back, leaning slightly forward, his eyes now piercing Soul’s eyes, “What say you to these things, Soul?” he asked. “Are they not of such moment as to cause any with enlightenment to forsake all, that such as this might be possessed?”
“Well!” said Soul. There was a long pause as she, still idly fingering the now fairly destroyed ribbon in her lap, sat looking down at it.
“I must say, spirit, that you do know how to leave a woman breathless. I know neither where to begin nor whereof to comment, but one thing I do know. I have been forever altered in my heart of hearts. I will never again be the same after today and hearing the things you have disclosed to me, spirit. You have, with such words, poured golden oil, as from a fiery horn of love, upon me which now leaves me consumed with an insatiable desire to know Him and the power of His resurrection! (Philippians 3:10) I am well aware, owing to your very clear and uncompromising manner of speech, that I must lose all – the Quintuplets, even my very head-life, Reason – if I am to enter into all that our Sovereign so kindly holds out to me.”
Soul paused with a somewhat thoughtful expression upon her now relaxed face. “I find it most astonishing that I am able to actually consider the loss of such things as my life verily has consisted of and find that there is not within me the great sense of dread and of loss one should think to feel upon their departure. However, you have cast so favorable a light on these things as to cause me to see, for the first time ever, everything according to their true value and moment, so that I am able, for the glory set before me, to endure the cross, despising the shame. I will never again be the same.”
Suddenly Soul burst into tears as she continued. “I am overwhelmed with the felicitous sentiments our great Sovereign yet has toward us, after all that has transpired! I cannot contain myself or the love and gratitude I feel toward Him! It makes me verily wish to die for Him and is like a white-hot torrent raging within me, whereas before your discourse I had but a somewhat faint hope. I will, indeed, scale the fence you have built across my way, spirit, and climb with hope the ladder of ascension upon the carcass of a dead self until I can say with the apostle, ‘It is no more I that live,but Christ!'” (Galatians 2:20).
1. Quote from Ascension Angels, pg. 41; 2. Quote from Ascension Angels, pg. 41,42; 3. Quote from Ascension Angels, pg. 55, 56.
THE GRAND CONSUMMATION
With this good start, spirit had congratulated Soul on her steadfastness of mind and heart to continue therein and had then bid her good day. It had been very hard at the outset, Soul remembered, but she had done very well, the Lord Christ helping her, and she stood this day reflecting on all that had led up to the present situation and the sudden darkness which had descended upon Mann. She had become so damaged by the effects of sin that even her outward appearance had altered and she seemed old beyond her years; worn, wrinkled, used and tired. Her unnatural affinity with the Body and township of Mann had not done well by her. Ah, but after she had come to her spiritual resurrection and ascension, she was, like the King’s daughter, ‘…all glorious within:'(Psalm 45:13), her spiritual clothing all of wrought gold. It had been well worth it. But it did not yet appear what she would be. It was all an inward, spiritual work and there was as yet no outward manifestation.
She remembered how she had troubled herself about receiving the new body and had gone to spirit, questioning him about it. It had been one of those dismal and cloudy days when there seemed to be no sun at all; just a grey and unpromising day. She had found spirit in the place in which they both spent much time these days; in the Garden of Communion. When spirit had ended his time of meditation he had turned to see Soul waiting patiently for him.
“Why, good morning Soul,” spirit said to her. “How is it with you this fine day which the Lord hath made?”
“Why it is very well with me, spirit, since I no longer listen to Emotion these days. In fact, she is now at home lamenting that the sun may never shine again. Only yesterday was she heard singing all over the house that happy days were here again! That girl!”
“Is there something with which I may be of help to you, Soul?” spirit asked.
“Yes, spirit, there is indeed.”
Straightening some of the folds of her long, flowing dress, Soul continued.
“Spirit,” Soul asked, “I have tried and tried to receive the new body and it occurs to me that I do not know how to receive it. What must I do?”
“Why, Soul,” spirit said with an amused chuckle, which brought a smile to Soul’s face also. “You do know how to receive it. You just do not realize it. Let me ask you some questions which should rid you of yours.”
“I am presently ready to try to answer any question you may put to me, spirit, if they will answer mine,” Soul responded, fairly beaming with anticipation. She had unquestionably never been so happy since . . . that time long ago, but now having returned to the care and subordination of spirit she was truly a woman liberated.
“When you initially came to the Lord Christ in repentance,” spirit asked her, “how did you receive Him and the free gift of your forgiveness and pardon?”
“Why,” her hand went instinctively to her mouth as the light within her began to dawn, “it was by the hand of Virgin-Faith!” Soul responded.
“Correct. And when you received the free gift of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, how did you receive that?” spirit asked, clearly enjoying himself.
“Also by the hand of Virgin-Faith,” answered Soul, “as she was also the means by which I received each gift from the precious Holy Spirit! Oh! Spirit, I see! I see!” exclaimed Soul, flushed with excitement.
“Are you not telling me, Spirit,” Soul continued, “that this new body, although not a free gift, but a prize to be won after qualifying for it through death and resurrection, is to be received by the hand of Virgin-Faith also?”
“Exactly!” spirit assured her. “Not only is the new body received by the hand of Virgin-Faith, it is also to be retained by her goodly influences. For even after your initial step of faith in receiving the Lord Christ as your Savior, there was no proof nor evidence of that transaction other than your faith. But as you continued to walk in that faith, the faith of God began to arise and work in you and there began to appear the evidence of that faith as a present reality. So it is with the receipt of the new spiritual body.”
As Soul had no further questions and seemed quite beside herself with joy and anticipation, spirit had given her time to think on those holy things.
“That was surely a gold-letter day for me,” Soul thought to herself as she continued watching spirit who still stood motionless in the strange darkness. “For it was not long after, that Virgin-Faith came with Soul’s new body and it had been beyond her most extravagant hopes.” Soul’s attention was drawn back to the dreadful situation at hand. Suddenly, as spirit stood calm and unmoving, Soul now at his side, joined as one in purpose and intent, there came a brilliant white Light from no particular direction. “And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light...” (Revelation 22:5)
There was a sudden, involuntary, collective gasp. It was the Sovereign! He had come! Not only was Soul beside herself with rapture, being so filled with the radiating glory of her Sovereign, but all the city of Mann was completely bathed in His effulgent glory. One could not say that the beautiful Soul now resplendent in the Sovereign’s intensely dazzling light and life was the same Soul who but a few moments before had looked so worn and used.
Now that the usurper had been cast out and the city was under its rightful leadership, the Sovereign had come to dwell with Mann. Voices from on high were heard singing, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with man, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people and God Himself will be with them, and be their God.” (Revelation 21:3)
A great and happy chorus from both saints and angels alike sounded forth: “Now is come salvation and strength and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ; for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them!” (Revelation 12:10-12)
Spirit and Soul found themselves singing, together with countless of the redeemed from on high, “Oh! Lo, this is our God! We have waited for Him and He has saved us! This is the Lord! We have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation! For in this mountain shall the hand of the Lord rest. We have a strong City! Salvation hath God appointed for walls and bulwarks. Open ye the gates that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in,“ (Isaiah 25:9- 26:2)
Suddenly, when the sound of the joy and praise had reached an almost deafening crescendo, that heretofore invisible realm began to materialize before the very eyes of all and there was added to this resounding volume of praise and worship, the worship and adoration of countless saints, now coming forth as a cloud. These were they who had gone on before, having obtained a good report through faith, having suffered the heat of the day and who had died in the faith, not having received the promise, for without us they should not be completed (Hebrews 11:40). In the midst of this great cloud was the One upon Whom every eye was now fastened.
It was the Lord Jesus Christ! The very Lamb who had given Himself in order to reconcile Mann to God. The joy, the grandeur, the splendor and the majesty which accompanied this glorious advent was such that any who had not a new spiritual body could not have survived it, but to such as had the new body, it was all most pleasant and invigorating. The resounding praise and honor being paid to the Lamb now came as if in wave after wave from a creation beside itself with joy and gratitude.
Soul then heard as it were the voice of this great multitude as the voice of many waters and as the voice of great thunderings, saying, ‘Hallelujah! For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth! Let us be glad and give honor to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready. And to her is granted that she be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. Blessed are you which are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ (Revelation 19:6-9).
Soul, now lost in sheer gratitude and thankfulness, gazed through tear-filled and joyful eyes at all of Mann. All were beside themselves with joy and gratitude. “They sung a new song, saying, thou art worthy for thou wast slain and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, tongue and people and nation, and hast made us unto our God, kings and priests, and we shall reign on earth!” (Revelation 5:9-10) And as she watched, white robes were given to every one of them. She could see the Lord Christ as He appeared in this one and that one! The mighty inward work, which had been wrought in each was now manifested in each and there could be seen in each of these heavenly tabernacles, a prince with God!
A table whose length and breadth and depth and height could not be measured, was spread with all delectable delights. Both great and small were seated with the King at this table in a vast hall of white, green and blue hangings fastened with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rings and pillars of marble. Each one in attendance was given to drink (none did compel) according to every man’s pleasure, and they drank from vessels of gold, each vessel diverse one from the other, and royal wine was in abundance, according to the hand of the King (Esther 1:7).
The Light, which had suddenly burst forth from the very heart of the city of Mann, was His Light! It now radiated all shimmering and glistering upon and through everything in the city of Mann. Darkness and anything akin to it was so absent that it almost seemed there had never been a night. A sparkling effervescent fountain suddenly burst forth in the midst of the city from the Garden of Communion, sending forth rivers of crystal clear waters in every direction. Those drinking of these waters were immediately energized with Life and power. It was by these issuing waters that many miracles flowed out from the new body and township of Mann. As all of Mann was rejoicing in this sudden turn of events, the great and wonderful Voice of the Sovereign was heard throughout the Body and township of Mann saying, “Behold, I make all things new. It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. You who have overcome shall inherit all things; and I will be your God and you shall be my sons.” (Revelation 21:5-7) It was, indeed, as Holy Spirit had promised it would be, and more besides.
It was learned, upon investigation, that Reason had so defrauded and misled the city of Mann that both he and his entire family were, as Logic had once concluded, put out of their stewardship and banished from Mann forever. Mann then was given to live, act and have his being according to that true “logic” of the cross, the reservoir and supply of eternal Virgin Wisdom.
This happy conclusion saw also the Quintuplets – Hearing, Sight, Smell, Taste and Touch restored to their former, glorious super-sensitive estate as protectors and servants to the Body and township of Mann. They were not at all as they had been in their lapsed condition. In fact, the whole of Mann literally glowed with the radiance of the glory. which came from its very heart. Mann was truly a City which could not be hid. A City, which had foundations. The best thing about all this was that after all the long years of the lapse and ruin of Mann, the Sovereign finally saw the travail of His soul and was satisfied. He had exactly what He had purposed to have in the very beginning – a place in Mann to tabernacle and fellowship with that creation which He had made in His own likeness and after His own Image.
It should be noted that not only did the unrest in the city of Mann come to a happy end, but the same peace and glory and contentment, which the city and township of Mann had come to enjoy locally, eventually spread to the outlying areas, then to neighboring provinces, then to neighboring countries and nations until the entirety of planet earth was as filled with the glory of the Sovereign as the waters cover the seas. His glory covered the heavens and the whole earth was full of His praise. And it was but the beginning!
ELECTION OF MANN, THE Chapters 1-4 [Larry and Betty Hodges] 1