40th Sermon of Jesus… The Lord Warns against Worldly Thinking

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Main Page 53 Sermons of Jesus 40th Sermon of Jesus… The Lord Warns against Worldly Thinking Sermon


April 20, 1872

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Matthew 6:24-34

“No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them.

Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or. Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:)

For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”


1. These verses give the rules of conduct for the lives of My disciples. Adapted to their lives, these rules were meant to instil into them faith in the future when I would no longer be walking among them.

2. The entire sixth chapter contains measures for the future missionary lives of My disciples. These were the last fatherly admonitions they received from Me and were meant to teach them to take My words in their spiritual sense and not literally, which was often done. Before they could teach others and guide them onto the road of true cognition, they had to have a clear understanding themselves.

3. Thus this chapter contains details about how to give alms, how to pray and how to practise the religious rites spiritually for the benefit of the soul. It also discusses the actual value of the temporal-material and the eternal-spiritual things and how life’s difficulties can be aligned with trust in Me. This last point was essential since, after My decease, My disciples had to choose between spirit and world or – as is written – between God and mammon.

4. My disciples had left everything that bound them to the world and followed Me, sacrificing worldly possessions and ties for the sake of spiritual values. Therefore, since I so often predicted My decease, it was understandable that the thought would arise in them: “What will become of us? It is true, in His presence we had no worries; but when He will no longer be with us, – what then?”

5. I had to answer these thoughts that kept creeping in, to reassure their perturbed minds, not only during My presence on earth but also for later times, so that the concern about food and clothing did not burden them too much, which would have considerably interfered with their spiritual mission. That was the reason for My fatherly words and My allusion to the lilies of the field, and that the loving Father in Heaven does not forget anything He has created and, therefore, would not forsake them, who had been chosen for a great task.

6. In the circumstances under which My disciples were living, what I spoke to them had for them a literal meaning; but for you and all future mankind it must be interpreted spiritually. For you live under quite different conditions and there is no need for you to forsake everything in order to follow Me spiritually on the designated path.

7. If in those times I said that no man can serve two masters, I meant to say that it is impossible to embrace two different things with the same degree of love. To “serve either God or mammon” means as much as to strive after either one or the other as a supreme goal; for “to serve” means: To devote oneself with all one’s soul to that which is one’s foremost love.

8. In this sense, this word applies also to you as well as present and future mankind. He who lives solely for the world and its pleasures, striving for their satisfaction and using all possible means of acquiring that which appears to be the most important thing, that is, temporal prosperity, – can naturally have only a very limited conception of God and spiritual values; and he will always subordinate this conception to all the others since his highest aspiration, his goal, is not spiritual but only worldly happiness. In this sense the words apply: “Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”

9. However, it is quite a different thing to use mammon or worldly wealth for spiritual purposes, not regarding it as more than it really is. Then it may be used for one’s own benefit as well as that of one’s fellowmen, especially if I have provided a person with particular wealth.

10. There have been rich and wealthy people and those in high positions who have remained faithful to Me and looked upon the world the way I wanted them to. Therefore, the wealth entrusted to them was only a means to an end, not the sole purpose of all their striving.

11. In view of this it is extremely important to correctly understand the words: “No man can serve two masters.”

12. Thus, the other words of comfort I spoke to My disciples are not to be taken literally, for in the present living conditions it is even everybody’s duty to provide for his earthly needs. However, this care should not go so far as to prevent a man from striving for his spiritual goal and doing good to his fellowman!

13. It is true that “the birds do not sow, reap or gather into barns, but are looked after by the Father in Heaven”. However, animals are dependent and are supported by their instincts which lead the hungry to food and the thirsty to a spring. Most animals have but to care for themselves, or for only a short time for their small families.

14. With man it is different. He is free and not directed by the voice of nature or instinct but by his spirit which, with the help of his intellect, induces him to improve his condition so as to enable him to work on his spiritual self without being hindered by the care for his physical organism. Therefore, he must provide for his future life, for himself and his family which needs his care for a longer time than that of an animal.

15. The main purpose of his life must, however, be the Kingdom of God and his higher, spiritual destiny which, after the completion of this short trial life, continues forever in the beyond. Therefore, it is his duty to administer the gifts entrusted to him – the talents and worldly wealth – in such a way that he never loses his spiritual garment for that eternal life.

16. The words: “Take therefore no thought for tomorrow… sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” were spoken to My disciples in a different sense than you would interpret them today. This – like all the preceding verses – only means that man should not extend his worries too much or put a spoke in the wheels of destiny, or interfere with the divine guidance of the individual; for here his sphere of action ends.

17. You humans should consider your cares and efforts only to such an extent as they are sanctioned by My teaching, My Word and promise to bring success. Then they are just, but also not too great; for you yourselves will always have to fulfil only the smaller part of your aspirations, and the fulfilment of the greater part will be up to Me. If you also take into consideration that as finite beings your insight is only limited whilst Mine, as that of the almighty Lord and Creator, is infinite, you will realize that what you ardently pray for cannot always be granted but that I, being more far-sighted, must often deny it to you.

18. From the interpretation of these verses you can see how, through narrow-minded conception, these words which had quite a different meaning in those times, can be misunderstood. At that time, they were adapted to the future mission and social position of My disciples. Today they are still true, for nothing but the truth can go forth from My mouth; but the guiding-star for your actions must be mainly their spiritual meaning. The words of comfort that I spoke to My first disciples must have a different significance for My present, maybe My last, disciples.

19. Everything that I said remains true, but the comprehension of this truth is motivated by the spiritual level of each individual. If this truth is always adapted to the existent circumstances and related to Me, it can bring the results I once intended and which I now, once more, want to achieve through this spiritual interpretation.

20. Therefore, make every effort to attain spiritual comprehension, so that the light that is shining upon you can, with its full strength, illumine, warm and animate your soul and unite it with My spirit. Then the moment will have come when the cover of material creation has ceased to exist for your eyes, when it will have made way for spiritual vision, enabling you to recognize only the spiritual everywhere and Me, as the Lord of the spiritual, an eternally loving Father.

21. There, peace and harmony is yours as the ultimate goal of all your anxieties, be they justified or futile. There is requital for every bitter experience and reward for all true merits. There, the last building stones of the material world have been transformed into the first spiritual ones, whereon rests the vast edifice of an infinite spirit world. Material things are assigned their spiritual place, and spiritual beings are shown the way to further purification so that they, ascending from stage to stage, from world to world, from sun to sun, may keep unfolding their abilities, enjoy ever growing bliss and, as the ultimate goal of their endeavours, may finally reach that state where the Father as the sole shepherd is surrounded by His children as the sole flock, whose salvation began in physical and ended in the highest spiritual life.

22. That is your destination and the purpose of all My messages to you! As you can see, I am doing My utmost, and it is only up to you to comprehend My words in the way I, Who am spirit, could only have meant them.

23. Make every effort to understand them, and the ultimate achievement will prove to you that this is the only way a father could have guided his children to such a goal! Amen.


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