Is there a superhuman life or is this a closed universe limited to what we can see and touch? Right from our beginnings as a human race we and our forefathers have always felt there has to be some power beyond this earth who is ultimately responsible for our existing at all. In other words, there has to be a first cause, however many intermediate or evolutionary causes lie in between. Is there any empirical evidence of a life above and beyond ours? Is there any touch-and-see evidence of life from outer space?
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by Ernest O’Neill
- The Beginning
- The Force
- Visible Evidence from Outer Space
- The Visitor from Outer Space
- Is the Bible True?
- Is There Superhuman Life?
- Has There Ever Been a Superhuman Life?
- Any Life Greater Than Death?
- Can We Experience It?
- What is It?
- Why Not Born With It?
- Why Are We Not Born With It?
- The Second-Best–Human Life!
- Our Poor Alternative
- Daily Life Without It!
- Who Am I?
- Why Am I So Unhappy?
- Why Don’t We Miss It?
- Its Laws
- Have You Got It?
- How to Tell Whether You Have it or Not
- Its Symptoms–the Ten Commandments
- The Purpose of Frustration
- Fallen Nature
- Who Is Jesus?
- Starting to Live
- Can You Begin Again?
- The End of the Beginning
- The Cosmic Death
- The Ideal You
- Turning Back the Clock
- Living Above Time
- The Timeless Life
- Understanding Yourself
- Dichotomy or Trichotomy?
- The Human Spirit
- Inner Space
- The Something Missing
- Dead Inside
- When Did I Die Inside?
- Struggling Into Life
- Internal Gyro-compass
- Seared Conscience
- An Awakened Conscience
- Reformation or Regeneration?
- Conscience and Will
- The Pivotal Point
- Good or Godly
- Living Originally
- Are You Successful?
- Your Hot-line
- The Inner Monitor
- Inner Knowledge
- Deduction or Induction?
- The Source of Intuition
- The Loss of Intuition
- Rediscovering Intuition
- A Personal Guidance System
- A New Life
- Your Unique Life
- Lie or Reality?
- Wanting What God Wants
- What do You Want to Do?
- Someone Inside You
- Can You Live It?
- The Triumph of Man
- I’m Part of Someone Else
- You’re Part of Christmas
- Where Did You Come From?
- The Eternal Now
- Why Are You Alive?
- Your Daily Work
- The Purpose of Work
- The Meaning of Your Work
- Are You Important?
- Am I Just My Mother’s Child?
- Why Do We Exist?
- Your Real Origin and Purpose
- Your Real Nature
- Faith for What?
- You’re Part of Someone Else
- You’re Part of Christ
- Today in Paradise
- Where is There Then Superhuman Life?
- What Attitude Should I Have?
- The Relief of Reality
- Can You and God Both Have Free Wills?
- A Beneficent Dictator?
- What Are You?
- Step Out of Yourself
- When Were You Born?
- A New You
- Whose Child Are You?
- Only One Way
- The Life Within Us
- The Life Within
- The Order in Life
- The Inner Guide
- The Basis of Life
- The Great Choice
- Why This Present Life?
- How Do We Then Live?
- Living Inside Out
- The Person Inside You
- Your Other Self
- Direction in Life
- Your Work
- Your Future
- A Destiny That Shapes Our Ends
- Beginning a Guided Life
- Inside Out or Outside In?
- Self or Maker?
- Are You Important?
- Directed or Improvised?
- The Thinking and Calculations of Death
By Ernest O’Neill
How did this whole world come to exist at all? Have you ever wondered aboutthat? Most of us have been forced to think this kind of thought at some point inour lives. Perhaps our mother or friend dies or we suddenly face some crisis inour own lives: momentarily we find ourselves wondering “Why are we aliveanyhow?” What’s the point of it all–the eating and sleeping and strugglingand working and dying–how did it all start in the first place?
The usual cliches satisfy only those of us who don’t really want an answer.You know them already– “It all came by evolution.” Evolution ofwhat? What evolved from what? Evolution from simple to complex forms may or maynot describe how this whole system developed, but it certainly doesn’t explainhow it started. What power originated the first single-cell amoeba? If it allstarted from scum on a pond, where did the pond come from? If it all came fromone proton, where did the proton come from?
In recent years we’ve tried through research in astronomy to suggest that itall started with a ‘big bang’ but even this attempt to explain an expandinguniverse begs the question “what exploded?” Somewhere, sometime,something or somebody had to make something out of nothing!
Theories like the ‘big bang’ look at the present facts and suggest probableexplanations for them: does that method suggest anything about the origin of theuniverse? Well, the facts about our universe suggest one very obvious thingabout its origin: it was not by chance or good luck! Why is that so? Because ofthe order that we find right from the smallest molecular structure to theorbiting of the largest planet. If our earth were any closer to the sun, wewould all burn up. If air pressure were any greater, we would explode. Ourenvironment is so carefully adapted to our existence and we are able so to adaptto it that it’s obvious this order was built in from the beginning.
This order is what caused one of the greatest geniuses of our era, Einstein,to declare, “My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitableSuperior Spirt who reveals Himself in the slight details we are able to perceivewith our frail and feeble minds. That deeply emotional conviction of thepresence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in theincomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God.” This order, whichenables the blood to carry at least 64 substances thousands of miles a daythrough our bodies and is evident in the chart of the elements and the structureof the DNA molecule, suggests that very reasonable hypothesis that the universeoriginated from an intelligence at least as developed as yours and mine.
In other words, the existence and persistence of the seasons, the intricateconnection between your eye and the object it photographs, the mystery of whatmaintains the electrical charge that makes your heart beat–these facts andmillions of others suggest to common-sense this order did not result from chanceplus time but from the conscious design of an intelligent mind.
By Ernest O’Neill
Where do you think life came from? Perhaps you reply that you haven’t aclue. But there do seem to be some clues. If summer came one year in Januaryand the next year in July, if some people fell off Australia while othersmanaged to stay on, then one would be tempted to say the whole universeresulted from chance. But instead of this kind of chaos we are surrounded by aworld of so much order and design that one of our greatest geniuses, Einstein,said that his religion “consists of a humble admiration of the illimitableSpirit who reveals Himself in the slight details we are able to perceive withour frail and feeble minds.”
Many of us admit that there must be a first cause but we hesitate to goas far as Einstein when he refers to the first cause as HE. Why can allexistence not be attributed to an impersonal force of some kind? One of theobvious reasons is that you cannot imagine a dog making a man: a lesser form oflife cannot make a greater form of life. Human life is superior in itsanalytical and reasoning powers to inanimate life so it is logical to assumethat the probable cause of the universe is at least as personal as we are.
If this were the case it would also help to explain the existence ofconscience and the sense of moral obligation that is felt universally by ushuman beings. Wherever you travel you find that even the most uneducated andprimitive tribes think it’s wrong to be cowardly or to double-cross yourfriends. Even though we find it easier to hate than to love, to lose our temperthan to keep it, to be selfish than to be unselfish, yet we persist in feelingguilty and continue to feel that we ought to be loving, even-tempered andunselfish. It’s difficult to explain such a strong sense of moral obligationunless it comes from outside this selfish, squabbling, assertive human race. Onthe other hand, if there is a personal being greater than ourselves with higherstandards than we live by, then this mysterious feeling of ‘I ought” may comefrom that Supreme Being.
So there is circumstantial evidence to support the intuitive belief in acreator that men have had for centuries. Wherever anthropologists research thebeginnings of the human race they find that man has always believed in theexistence of a supreme being. Not only does every corner of the earth yield itsstore of temples for worship but it also is filled with all kinds ofsacrificial altars where man expressed his sense of guilt. Though these factsof design and personality and conscience are not proofs that a Supreme Beingexists, they are strong circumstantial evidence for the reasonableness ofbelieving in such a Supreme Being.
Is there any empirical evidence for believing that there is a personalCreator behind this universe? Let’s examine this question in the nextarticle.
By Ernest O’Neill
Is there a superhuman life or is this a closed universe limited to what we can see and touch? Right from our beginnings as a human race we and our forefathers have always felt there has to be some power beyond this earth who is ultimately responsible for our existing at all. In other words, there has to be a first cause, however many intermediate or evolutionary causes lie in between. However, this kind of reasoning consists primarily of circumstantial evidence like the order and design in our world, the existence of conscience, and the universal intuitive belief in a Supreme Being. Is there any empirical evidence of a life above and beyond ours? Is there any touch-and-see evidence of life from outer space?
The answer is “yes.” In the first century of our era there appeared on earth a remarkable human being. Unlike other religious leaders who claimed to tell us human beings about the Supreme Being who originated our world and our lives, this man did not die like a dog. This is what happened to Buddha, Mohammed, Confucius, Zoroaster, Moses, and Jeremiah. They told us a lot about the Creator of the world, but they themselves succumbed to death like the rest of us. Their graves contain their bones and there is no evidence that they ever left the earth or got beyond its confines. This man Jesus told us he was the unique Son of the Creator of the universe, but when he was killed and was buried, he came alive again, moved among hundreds of people in Palestine for over a month, and then simply disappeared off the earth. He explained that between his death and his coming to life again he had been with His father, the Creator of the world, and that he was going back to Him again to prepare a new world for us.
This is the empirical evidence we have that there is a Creator with superhuman life behind all that we see around us. However, there are several obvious questions about evidence like this that we call empirical. First, how reliable is the evidence that this man ever existed? Secondly, how reliable is our present version of that evidence? Thirdly, does this evidence clearly indicate a life that has come from outer space?
The first question is about the historicity of this remarkable human being. Did he actually exist? Why believe that he did? The reason for believing that this man Jesus existed is that the historians who tell us about him were actual eye-witnesses of his actions and words. They didn’t hear it from others 500 years later as did the followers of Buddha, nor did they read it in collections of myths as did the Hindus; people like Peter and John lived and walked with Jesus of Nazareth. Peter put it like this in the last quarter of a collection of books, known to us by their Greek title “ta biblia,” the Books: “For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eye-witnesses of His majesty. For when He received honour and glory from God the Father and the voice was borne to Him by the Majestic Glory,
“‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” we heard this voice borne from heaven, for we were with Him on the holy mountain.’ But how do we know that Peter was telling the truth that he was an eye-witness: Because the life and death of this man Jesus was a well-known public event and men like Peter were well-known by those who were alive at that time. Other writers like Clementine, Ignatius, and Barnabas refer to Peter and his writings during these years in the first century a.d.
However, there is another reason for our certainty that these men who have given us the best account of this remarkable life were actual eye-witnesses who told the truth of what happened. Other historians whose writings were not included in the Bible also referred to this Jesus. For instance, Tacitus, the leading historian of Imperial Rome wrote in his “Annals”: “The author of that name (Christian) was Christ who in the reign of Tiberius suffered punishment under his Procurator Pontius Pilate.” Even a Jewish historian, Josephus, confirms “There was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man for he was a doer of wonderful works– a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day.”
Is there other evidence that this unique human being lived in our world and was in some way connected with the superhuman life behind our world? Let’s look in the next article at some overwhelming evidence in this regard.
By Ernest O’Neill
Is there such a thing as superhuman life? Is there any kind of life that ishigher than the creaturely existence you and I have here on earth? Or are weimprisoned here on this planet with no hints of where it came from or how we gothere? Have any of us succeeded in getting sufficiently deep into space that wecan tell what, if anything, lies beyond this physical universe?
The answer is bluntly “No.” Not even the great religious leaderslike Buddha or Isaiah claim ever to have got off the earth and remainedconscious. BUT in the whole history of the world, there has been one visitorfrom Outer Space that has been able to tell us that there is a superhuman lifebehind the physical universe. He existed about 1950 years ago and hedemonstrated his ability to leave the earth and return to it at will.
Such a claim as this requires almost superhuman substantiation because thiskind of fantasy has been imagined by human authors for generations. Does thisvirtually superhuman evidence of a visitor from Outer Space exist? Yes — thoughit seems too good to be true, the historicity of this person’s life on earth ismore firmly established than almost any other human being of that era.
First, this man’s life has been recorded by eye witnesses like Peter andJohn who were well-known figures in Palestine in the first century. Their ownexistence is confirmed in many contemporary history books unconnected with theBible which contains their own writings. Secondly, their accounts of this man’slife are corroborated by other contemporary historians like Pliny, Josephus,Tertullian, Porphyry, and Celsus who make this kind of comment: “Tiberiusaccordingly, in whose days the Christian name made its entry into the world,having himself received intelligence from Palestine of events which had clearlyshown the truth of Christ’s divinity, brought the matter before the senate, withhis own decision in favor of Christ. The senate, because it had not given theapproval itself, rejected this proposal. Caesar held to this opinion,threatening death against all the accusers of the Christians.”
But this seems incredible unbelievable! Is it not more probable that thesefollowers were so deeply impressed by this remarkable leader that they allowedtheir admiration to get the better of their love of truth, and they exaggeratedhis power over death? This might happen if their story about the resurrectionresulted in their fame and fortune. But it did not! If they had just spread histeaching they could have lived long and respected lives; what they insisted onclaiming was that this man rose from the dead–this is why they were persecutedby the Jewish and Roman authorities. This fact was the cause of their earlydeaths — and the deaths of their wives and children.
Now men will die for something they think is true but which later turns outto be a lie. BUT men will not create a lie or an exaggeration that not only theybut their families have to die for. Such an event is an ethical andpsychological impossibility!
However, there is an even greater reason for accepting with absolutecertainty the historicity of this unique life that occurred on our planet at thebeginning of this era. The first written accounts (which we have today) wereread by hundreds of people who had themselves seen Jesus’ life and death. Theyonly had to laugh at these written records and tell what had really happened,and these accounts would never have survived the first century as history letalone the twentieth.
One of the letters that recount this unique life was written to people wholived in the Roman province of Galatia in the year 48 a.d. Obviously there weremany people alive in 48 a.d. who had seen Jesus crucified in 29 a.d.. Even a manof 20 at the crucifixion would be barely 40 when this account was circulating.The population in that small area of the globe was not large and the writtenreports were being read far and wide. In such a situation, historians have towrite it “like it was” – otherwise their histories will be exposed asfantasies. There was no such scandal! There was no such outcry! Incrediblethough this unique man, Jesus, was, the evidence that he existed is stronger andmore detailed than the evidence for Julius Caesar or Alexander the Great. Ifthis man did not live in our world, then history does not exist!
By Ernest O’Neill
What is life about? Why are you here? Why does the earth exist? All of us humans can give our best answers to these questions, but even to Einstein we have to say, “What do you know about these cosmic questions?” We have to say this because all of us humans suffer the same limitation–we’re trying to explain the enigma from WITHIN the enigma! We’re like goldfish that have never been outside the bowl trying to explain why they’re there and where the bowl came from.
We’ll never know why we’re here or why the world exists unless we hear from some power OUTSIDE our world. There must be something or someone out there in space that can see beyond the farthest star our radio telescopes and space-probes have discovered. Only such a “visitor from outer space” can logically be expected to explain why you exist.
What we’ve been sharing during the past few months is that such a visitor came to our planet more than 1950 years ago. We discussed last month the evidence for his existence presented in that collection of history books know as “the books”–“TA BIBLIA” in Greek. We talked about the integrity of the eye-witnesses who wrote the original accounts of this man’s life. We mentioned also the non-Biblical historians like Pliny, Tacitus, Celsus, Josephus and others who corroborated the details of his life. In other words, if we ask the question about the life of this man Jesus, “Is what they wrote true?”, we have to answer because of the substantiating evidence, ‘Yes.” BUT do we have what they wrote? After all, this visit from outer space took place more than 1950 years ago. Buddha lived around 500 b.c. but the details of his life were first written down 500 years later. Those intervening years provided all the time needed to develop untrue legends about him that could then be presented as history. Obviously that time didn’t exist in the case of this man Jesus, because accounts of his life were being circulated throughout the ancient world just 20 years after he died. BUT 1950 years have elapsed since those accounts were first written. How can you be sure those accounts have not been lost, tampered with, even completely re-written? How can you be sure that what we read in this Bible is what they wrote?
Obviously by having a Bible that was 1950 years old! If you had an account of his life that was written within a hundred years of his death, then you could be sure that nobody had changed the original account or if you had a lot of old copies of his life you could travel round the world unearthing them all and changing them to present a spurious story. Because the material used in old manuscripts was so perishable, the early scribes would destroy the old script after making a new one: the result is that ancient history like Caesar’s Gallic War has only 10 ancient manuscripts to confirm the original account–and the oldest one was copied 900 years after Caesar wrote his original history. It’s the same with the histories of Livy, Herodotus, Tacitus–even Plato’s Republic is based on a few ancient manuscripts, the oldest of which was copied about 1300 years after Plato lived. This is why the ancient history departments of our universities regard anything written within 200 years of the event as an eye-witness account.
What is the oldest manuscript that attests to the life of this man Jesus who lived 1950 years ago? 130 a.d.! That’s barely a hundred years after his death–and just 30 years after the death of one of the eye-witnesses that wrote about him. But perhaps someone got hold of that manuscript (it’s in the library of the University of Manchester in England) and changed it. If the classical scholars accept Caesar’s account of the Gallic Wars on the basis of 10 ancient manuscripts, how many are there to help us check that we have exactly the account of Jesus’ life as it was originally written? 4,000!
That’s right–there are more than 4,000 ancient manuscripts between the year 130 and 1100 a.d. that all attest to the accuracy of the account that we have in our Bible of the visit to our planet of this remarkable being from outer space, Jesus. If any of the world’s history can be trusted, then the history of this unique being justifies that trust more than any other history we possess. If he actually lived, why believe he came from some superhuman life? Let’s talk about this in the next article.
“Is the Bible History or Myth?” is a booklet that summarizes this kind of evidence and contains some pictures of the original manuscripts.
By Ernest O’Neill
We’ve been discussing on this page the question “what is life about?” Why are we here? What’s it all in aid of? We’ve been particularly concerned with the question of whether there is any life beyond this one that we are all experiencing here on earth. We have concluded that there must be something higher than us and the earth if we are to explain the existence of thinking, complex creatures like ourselves and a world that contains so much evidence of deliberate design. But, if such life exists out there beyond space, has it ever communicated with us? Have we ever heard from outer space–apart from the bleeps we may get on our radio-telescopes?
We’ve answered “yes.” There appeared on our planet about 1950 years ago a remarkable human being. The documentary evidence for his historicity exceeds anything we have for either his comtemporaries or the classical Greeks and Romans so the records we have of his life in the Bible are strongly corroborated by secular histories like Livy’s and Pliny’s. Today’s question is this–was this man Jesus of Nazareth any different from the rest of us? Was he any MORE than a man?
When you look at his life as it’s outlined in a book like the gospel of Mark in the Bible, some simple facts stand out. He talked like God’s son! Even though his earthly father was an ordinary carpenter, he said to his parents once when he was just twelve and they found him in the temple, “Did you not know that I would be about my Father’s business?” His mother, of course, knew her husband had no business in the temple. In a very natural way, he identified himself with God, saying things like, “If you knew me, you would know my Father also” and “He who has seen me has seen the Father also.” Indeed, where prophets like Mohammed avoided claiming a unique kinship with God, this man made it the focal point of his teaching. He would confront his followers with the question, “Who do men say that I am…who do you say that I am?”
However, probably all of us can think of people who make all kinds of wild claims as long as they will benefit from them; but this man was pointed and blunt about it even when he was on trial for his life about this very question of his identity. He was being tried for his life and the presiding official asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” He replied, “I am; and you will see the Son of man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”
When I read that as a sceptic, I thought, “That explains it right thereÄÄthe man was a lunatic. The mental asylums are full of crazy people claiming to be anything from Napoleon to God’s SonÄÄthat’s what he was–just another mad demagogue!
Was He a Lunatic?
But this man called Jesus didn’t act like a lunatic! The insane people in asylums not only make insane claims for themselves, but they ACT insanely–they produce other symptoms of mental imbalance. But this man Jesus does not have the abnormalities or extremes of a madman. Indeed, the opposite is true. When anyone in the world–whatever their religious or nonreligous background–wishes to set forth an example of a perfectly balanced and integrated personality, Jesus of Nazareth is the one who is presented as the model to follow. “His zeal never degenerated into passion, nor his constancy into obstinacy, nor his benevolence into weakness, nor his tenderness into sentimentality. His unworldliness was free from indifference and unsociability or undue familiarity; his self-denial from moroseness; his temperance from austerity. Such are the opinions of most of the behavioural experts of our time. If this man was a lunatic, then all of us are hopelessly insane. As C.S. Lewis pointed out, “No one has yet explained how such deep, moral teaching could come from the lips of a megalomaniac!”
Was He a liar?
But perhaps this man was simply a con man, a simple liar. Maybe he knew he wasn’t God but deliberately deceived his hearers about his true identity in order to lend authority to his preaching. But he is universally regarded as the teacher of the highest ethical ideals the world has ever seen; moreover, his life is looked upon as the outstanding example of a perfect, faultless expression of his teaching. If he is a liar, then the whole world of logic crumbles in our hands, and our ability to make even the simplest observation with our five senses becomes questionable. It is nonsense to say that the greatest moral teacher and example the world has ever seen lied–about the focal point of all his teaching–his own identity! If Jesus was a liar, then the world is a “tale told by an idiot.”
Perhaps He is just a legend! Lets look at that possibility in the next article.
By Ernest O’Neill
What lies behind all this life that we see around us? Plant life, human life, animal life, emotional life–is there any kind of super life that brought all this into being? We’ve answered “yes.” Not only have we the circumstantial evidence of order and design in nature and human nature that some intelligence lies behind the universe, but we also have first-class historical evidence that a being who seemed more-than-human lived on this planet about 1960 years ago.
This is the man known as Jesus of Nazareth–capable of making sick people well, controlling the powers of nature, and breaking the death-barrier. Not only is he recognised by humanity as the foremost ethical teacher the world has ever known, but he himself said he was directly related to the Creator of the world. Surely such a man must be a lunatic to make that kind of claim! But his life did not show the imbalance of a lunatic–indeed he is usually respected as the example of a perfectly integrated personality. Then perhaps he was a liar! But we face a logical impossibility here. How can the greatest ethical teacher the world has ever seen lie about the focal point of his teaching his own identity? Moreover, wherever he has been followed and not merely talked about he has introduced honesty and integrity into people’s lives.
Was He a Legend?
Perhaps he was just a good man who was lionized by his follower after his death? That happened to Buddha. Nothing is written about him for 500 years after his death. Then all kinds of legends were circulated about him which by then could not be proven or disproven.
That, of course, is part of the difficulty for this theory in regard to Jesus. Legend takes time to develop. All the people who saw Kennedy shot in 1963 have to be long dead; all contemporary records have to be lost before imaginative stories can gain credence and acceptance. This kind of time does not exist in the case of John Kennedy–and this kind of time did not exist in the case of Jesus of Nazareth.
By 48 a.d. the letter to the Galatians was circulating throughout the then-known world. This was a mere 20 years after Jesus was crucified. Anybody trying to create a legend about Kennedy in 1984 would have to face thousands of us who were alive when he was actually killed. It was the same with Jesus–thousands of people who had seen the crucifixion in Jerusalem were alive when accounts of his life (the very ones we have) were already being read and studied. If Jesus is not a lunatic or a liar, and if he is not a legend, there is only one possibility left–He really did exist and live the life that the Bible and other contemporary historical records describe in such detail.
But Was Jesus the Son of God?
Was he more than a remarkable human being? Can he really be the son of God? Not just a son of God the same as other human beings who have a spiritual experience–BUT the unique Son of God–who existed before the universe was created and has a close kinship-relation to God, the creator of the world?
He Acted Like God
Certainly he is different from others–because he not only spoke like God but he acted like God–that is, he did the kind of things you would expect the Creator’s Son to be able to do. He said quietly to a storm on a lake “be still” and the waves smoothed out and the wind died down. He simply touched the withered skin of a leper and said “be clean” and the man was instantly healed. He had power over death and raised a man called Lazarus from the grave. He was able to change the very make-up of matter so that water was changed into wine in a moment by his word. So his life is filled with miracles like these which demonstrate the kind of power over nature and disease that you would expect the Maker of the world to have.
What do you think? Was he the Son of God? Let’s look at the strongest reasons for believing he was–in the next article.
By Ernest O’Neill
We’re discussing whether there exists any life greater than this humanmental, emotional, and physical life that you and I experience. Is there anysuperhuman life? We’ve been looking at a remarkable “more-than-human” life thatwas lived in the first century of our era by a man in Palestine called Jesus.He differed from other religious leaders like Buddha and Mohammed in that heclaimed perfection–and even his enemies didn’t contradict his claim tosinlessness. He had power over nature and disease, and he is looked upon as theforemost ethical teacher the world has ever seen.
However, what sets him utterly apart from the other famous religiousleaders is his death. They all died–like dogs–and were buried like the restof us will be! He was killed and buried–but he got up after he was dead! Hetreated death as sleep and was able to raise people out of the grave. Now thatis “https://truthmatters.worldinvisible.com/?talk=superhuman life” because all of us have been brought up to believe thatdeath is the end of this temporary human life–and there is no way to avoid it.But this man repeated publicly that he would destroy death–and he did.
Many gurus have been buried alive and through controlled breathing havemanaged to survive in a kind of trance under the earth, but none have beenexecuted by experts like the Romans–and then actually risen from the dead.
This is what happened with this man. The soldiers were so sure he wasdead that they didn’t bother breaking his legs; they simply thrust a spear intohis side and a mixture of blood and water poured out. Then he was buried in aprivate tomb, bound tightly in grave-clothes, and then a large stone was rolledacross the mouth of the grave.1 On Sunday morning (he was buried on Fridaynight) he met Mary, one of his followers in the garden. When she reported it tothe other disciples, they wouldn’t believe her. But, in a moment, Jesusappeared suddenly in the room with them.2
He did this for the next month or more–appearing on more than a dozenoccasions. Sometimes He appeared to a few of them, sometimes to more than 500at one time.3 Sometimes he ate breakfast or allowed sceptical Thomas to pokehis fingers into the holes in his hands to make it clear that he was not aghost or a psychological hallucination.4 Then he explained that he must returnto his Father, the Creator of the universe, and his body has never been foundon earth since.
All the hypothetical explanations of the resurrection are harder tobelieve than the facts themselves. The two vital facts are–the EMPTY TOMB andthe RESURRECTION APPEARANCES. The old arguments that Jesus just swooned on thecross and was revived in the coolness of the tomb or that the disciples or theRomans stole the body aren’t even very logical. How could a man whose side hadbeen speared by the Roman experts as already dead have recovered from hiswounds so completely that he could not only free himself from thegrave-clothes, roll away the heavy stone, but could appear at a dozen differentlocations over the next month and appear not only revived but more alive thanhe had ever been before! It just doesn’t make sense. If the Romans stole thebody, why didn’t they parade it through the streets to prove that this man wasnot the Messiah? If the disciples stole it, why did they die for what they knewto be a lie. A man might die for what he believes to be the truth but he willnot die for what he knows is a lie.
The same is true of the suggestion that the resurrection appearanceswere just hallucinations. They just don’t fit the psychological criteria forsuch phenomena. Hallucinations occur usually to one person who desperatelywants to see the deceased person. Jesus appeared always to groups of people andnormally they had given up all hope that he would rise from the. dead.Hallucinations usually continue over a lengthy period of time; Jesus showedhimself alive for about forty days and then disappeared from the earth!
Because of evidence like this scholars hold that no fact of history hasbeen examined so comprehensively by legal, medical psychological, religious,and historical experts and emerged so unchallenged as to its veracity. If Jesusdid not rise from the dead, then we can be sure of nothing in mankind’s pasthistory.
Is there such a phenomenon as “https://truthmatters.worldinvisible.com/?talk=superhuman life?” The fully documentedhistory of the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth is plain evidencethat such a life exists. How do you get into it? Can an ordinary person likeyou or me experience it? Let’s talk about this in the next article.
1 John l9:31-37
2 Mark 16:1-14
3 1 Corinthians 15:3-6
4 John 21:12-13, 20:27
By Ernest O’Neill
Many of us human beings have tried to fly. This is true not only of the early aviation attempts where men strapped themselves into all kinds of winged contraptions and jumped off cliffs. It is true of people like you and me, who feel the frustrations of our earth-bound existence and long to be able to fly above the limitations of both our physical and our mental life. So we are always interested in magazine articles that talk about the possibility of expanded mental powers or emotional experiences that take us beyond ourselves. It is a simple fact that most of us feel intuitively we were made for some kind of life that is superior to this present one we possess. Ponce de Leon was only one of many explorers that discovered new islands because of his search for the elixir of life that would liberate us from the limitations of this present temporal life.
Does such a life exist? We have been discussing evidence that it does. In the first century of our era there lived a remarkable individual who not only demonstrated power over the natural forces of storms but also power over diseases and death itself. In fact, some of the best documented history that exists shows that he was able to stay alive and cover substantial distances in a short time even though he had open mortal wounds out of which all his blood should have poured. In other words, he demonstrated a superhuman life that sustained a complete physical existence even though the normal vital signs of blood circulation and breathing were absent.
However, what is more significant than these physical signs of superiority were the mental and emotional signs of a superior kind of life. When his enemies hurled gibes at him as he died, he expressed verbally a heart-felt love and forgiveness towards them which indicated a freedom from the normal resentment that we would feel was justified. Moreover, his own life of unquestioned rectitude carried with it a mercifulness and magnanimity that refused to condemn a woman caught in the act of adultery. In hideous situations of confusion and chaos he exhibited an indifference to his own safety and to the intense hatred and danger around him that is utterly contrary to what we ourselves experience in such contingency.
This supernatural life that was lived in the first century supersedes everything that we have learned to expect from ordinary human beings. It seems to transcend the earth-bound existence that we all possess and appears to be filled with an attitude that is as spacious as the skies, as exciting as the steepest ski slopes, and as fresh and stimulating as the whitest water in the cleanest mountain torrent. It’s the life lived by the man called Jesus of Nazareth.
Is it possible for us to experience such a transcendent life ourselves? He said it is. Actually he stated that this was the reason he came to earth in the first place–he used these precise words– “that you might have life and that you might have it more abundantly”. How is this possible?
Jesus repeatedly used a special word to answer this question. It occurs again and again in his conversations with others. It’s the word “faith.” It’s the word that is used repeatedly by others who expressed partially the supernatural life that he exhibited so completely. Because there have been other human beings who exhibited a life that appears to break through the physical and mental limitations that we all know. For instance, about four thousand years ago there was a man called Abraham who was about a hundred years old. His wife was about ninety. He sensed the Creator behind the universe telling him that he would have as many descendants as the sand on the seashore, yet his old wife had not yet borne even one child. He believed the Creator’s reassurance and the explanation that was given was that the Creator “counted his faith as righteousness.”
Against all the odds–and all the human possibilities let alone probabilities–this man’s wife, Sarah, had a son–and his consequent children became the many of the most important nations on the earth. “Faith” in this case was a willingness to believe what God said he would do. However, many of us think that such faith is just a train of ideas in the head or a notion that we try to entertain when possible. But this man’s faith was a “tried faith.” In other words, the Creator allowed him to go through experiences of danger because of his wife that forced him to come to trust God’s promise completely even where, his own life was at stake. So the faith that releases supernatural life into us human beings is not just a mental belief that God will infuse this kind of life into us. Faith is a belief that is tried by circumstances that force us to put our actions where our belief is. This supernatural life does not manifest itself in a vacuum of armchair positive thinking. It occurs only where the faith expresses itself in action that is appropriate to the belief.
Are there other instances of this supernatural life expressing itself besides this remarkable one of a ninety-year-old having children? Many. Let’s look at some more in the next article to see what is needed in order to rise above the limitations of our present existence.