33rd Sermon of Jesus… False Prophets
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(April 10, 1872)
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work inquity.”
All of this chapter deals with precepts based on My teaching that have to be observed so that people – and, especially at that time, My disciples and listeners – would know how to practise their own religious laws in practical life. As particularly in those times the interpretation of the Mosaic laws was not what I had in mind, I had to come Myself in order to save from rotting the spiritual tree of life of the religion given to the Jews, so that it could again bear fruit corresponding to the laws of My spirit-world.
So I taught, in this chapter, indulgence with the mistakes of others, the circumspection not to force my teaching on everybody without having prepared them, and also the practice of charity and love towards one’s fellowmen, following My example. You find the law of love of your neighbour explained in detail and your attention is drawn to the fact that these My demands are not so easy to fulfil because the sacrifices required by My commandments of love are countered by the temptations of the world and by self-love which easily gets the upper hand.
I did not preach anything new; I only explained to My disciples and adherents what was already familiar to them, but in its true sense, so that they would be able in future to tell their fellowmen about the true meaning of the commandments. In this connection I had to mention certain precautions and signs which would enable the teachers to recognize the true truth seekers and believers and help the latter to know their teachers and distinguish the false teachers or prophets from the genuine and true ones. Therefore, the signs are named in the parables, and it is pointed out in a few sentences that words are not enough to convince others, but deeds must prove that the teacher is absolutely convinced of the truth of his words.
This standard in distinguishing false from genuine leaders shall at all times serve the listeners as a guideline, otherwise they could be led astray by false teachers and get onto the wrong path.
In those times, I pointed this out to My listeners because I knew beforehand that after I had gone there would appear, in addition to My disciples, also others who would be seeking their own advantage under the pretence of My teaching of love. I also predicted the fate of these false teachers – and of those who would build their spiritual welfare upon such false doctrines – once spiritual and physical storms endangered their ship of life when only he who also practises My teaching will be able to face the future – whatever it may turn out to be – with equanimity. I compared them with people of whom one had built his house on rock, the other on sand.
That which I in those times gave My disciples and adherents as precepts for their thorny path, applies for all times, – today and also in the future. For My words are indeed words of eternity and for eternity. They can never cease to exist or go out of use because they, too, are built on the rock of My truth and are the temple of My heaven of the spirits.
As it did then, this warning call applies also today. It is to serve the leaders as a guiding principle and also those who have entrusted themselves to their guidance and will rely on them for comfort and help when they are in difficulties and in the worse times of distress that are still to come.
My teaching of love has already been greatly misused and many have fallen victim to false doctrines. However, the axe is ready to cut down the tree that for so long overshadowed the straying, thereby preventing the true, divine light from penetrating to them.
Prior to My coming all the shadows in a spiritual respect must be removed, for I am the light and tolerate no shadow. My teaching has been given to illuminate all the corners of material and spiritual creation. Your material life has bright and dark sides, just as your earth has day and night. However, this is necessary as you, like all the material world, must also have rest when your spent strength must be restored and your organism strengthened for further activity. But this is different in the spiritual world where there is no night, except the one spirits prepare for themselves, but only eternal light, eternal warmth, eternal love, eternal activity.
Look at your soul! This, too, although bound to a material body, never sleeps, but is working day and night on its spiritual body which it wants to take into the great beyond in as perfect a state as possible.
All spiritual creation has the same aspiration, and whatever tries to oppose it must perish, as this present time shows you only too clearly. Intitutions, most cleverly planned and preserved for centuries, although they seem to do a lot of good, are still only houses built on sand that cannot resist the cloudbursts and storm of My divine light of truth.
Just as the limestone dissolves into a pulp when touched by the life substance or oxygen of your earth’s atmosphere, changes its compact form and, exposed to the winds, disperses as fine dust without leaving any trace of its former firmness – unless it has to contribute in another form as an agent for the firming of a building when mixed with sand -this will also happen to the earthly institutions. But since an institution of such long duration and its supporters will not easily give in to the pressure of circumstances, so I call to all of you: “Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves!”
I am quite aware that many will initially deride and suspect My teaching which I have now given to you directly, and if in this way they do not succeed in achieving their end, they will decide to use this My teaching as a pretence to prolong their existence. However, here applies what I once said to My disciples: “You will know by their works whether they are zealous practicers of My teaching of love or only preachers of the Word!”
It is so particularly important to be on one’s guard and let these false prophets and false interpreters of My Word see that all their efforts fail and they must either mend their ways or perish. For they will use all means that could lead them back to their former distinction and their former power. Therefore, I have to warn you again: Be as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves so that you may sense the cunning of your greatest opponents even from a distance and be able to divert all poisonous arrows from yourselves and your fellow-believers through the simplicity of your hearts. Should any of them strike you they would lead you to life instead of perdition.
As mainly the beginning of this chapter concerns you, the believers and reverers of My true word of love, advising you to practise patience and meekness, thus also the further contents are of benefit to you, urging you to draw the attention of your followers to the dangers threatening them in the confusion of the world, where falsehood ist boasting next to truth and pretence next to the true nature of things, so that they may not, led astray by false teachers and prophets, blame you with deception.
Therefore, be as cautious as serpents and do not blindly believe everyone who approaches you asking you for bread from the heavens or – as it says in the Gospel – saying “Lord, Lord” to Me! They do not at all intend to follow you but just want to find out through you what could serve their own purpose.
Read this Gospel often! It contains by far more deep spiritual truth than I can explain to you here. Do heed what you have been told that you, may build your house not on sand, but on the solid rock of trust. Otherwise you may fare as many do who, with the slightest spiritual or moral storm, lose their equlibrium and are perplexed and helpless.
I give you many messages and even more spiritual values in a thousand different ways. Now you are receiving in these Sunday sermons, so to speak, the key to My teachings which I once gave to My disciples and first followers.
Do you know why all this is happening? It is because I know only too well what a turn things will be taking and that strength, certainty and firm perseverance will become more and more necessary. Many a person will be tested, whether he has built his spiritual house on the rock of My teaching of faith and love, or whether he has contented himself with only reading and listening to My Word, which would correspond to the house built on sand. Just as the wind blows away the sand or the rain washes it away, time effaces from memory the words that were read or heard.
The solid building stones for My and your future spiritual dwelling are works – works performed on account of the love of God and your neighbour. They alone are lasting, give you calmness and peace, and shine as good examples for others who, from your good works, will recognize you as genuine and not as false prophets and teachers whose heart is not like that of a ravening wolf, but like that of a good-natured lamb and does not give forth hatred, anger, envy, jealousy or vengeful- ness, but only love, is spreading love and wants to reap also love.
Thus you are to become My chosen, who with My Word in their hands, will drive out all shadows and doubts and spread the light of a vast world of spirit ranking high above you, so that at the time of My Second Coming there shall be only one shepherd and one flock and your earth will be made once more into the paradise that once existed and was lost, not through Me, but through the human beings once created out of love.
Do remember these words and heed them as much and as often as possible! Only thus can you gain equanimity and peace and be able to give comfort also to others. Amen.
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