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JOHN'S EXPLANATION OF THE SPIRITUAL MEANING OF THE LORD'S PROMISES. PROPHETIC METAPHOR OF THE NEW HOUSE AND THE NEW CITY AS THE LORD'S NEW PROMISE. REJECTION BY URON AS SENSELESS AND HEARTLESS DRIVEL.
181,1. (Says John): "Friends, and in particular you, brother Uron who is the speaker for all the others, from an earthly point of view, you may be right in what you say, but since the Lord's words and promises must surely be of a deeply spiritual nature and their true meaning concerns only the spirit and not the mortal flesh, it requires, also, a proper spiritual understanding of every divine promise in order to say whether the Lord keeps His promises or not.
181,2. The Lord always fulfills faithfully what He promises, but only in regard to the spirit and not necessarily to the mortal flesh. I shall now make a promise to you in the Lord's name, and you will then tell me whether and how you understand it. It is as follows:
181,3. The Lord will erect a new house, and a new city will descend from the heavens alive. And the house, like the city, will consist of many houses.
181,4. Those who will inhabit the new house sind, simultaneously, the many houses of the new city, will be greater than the new house and the city and the many houses of the new city.
181,5. As they will be moving into the new house of the Lord, it will bow to them and so will the city and the many houses in it.
181,6. The house, however, will be small on the outside but all the larger on the inside, in order to accommodate the countless dwellers and, also, the city will be like that and all the many houses in it.
181,7. Happy be those who will move into this house and the city and the many houses in it! For the house and the city and the many houses in it will put on them the garment of the Lord's sonship!
181,8. They will at all times draw strength from the house, the city, and the many houses in the city. But he who will not dwell in that house, that city, and the many houses of the city, will be weak, and this weakness will grow and destroy him.
181,9. Well, friend Uron, there you have the Lord's promise which shall be fulfilled for you faithfully. But now tell me whether and how you have comprehended this purely divine and true promise?
181,10. However, I must tell you beforehand that you will be waiting in vain for a literal fulfillment, just as once on my earth a prophet by the name of Jonah waited in vain for the destruction of the big city of Nineveh, as predicted by the Lord. Now tell me what you think of this promise."
181,11. (Says Uron after some consideration): "Friend, from a rational point of view I can tell you about that purely divine type of promise only that it is senseless and heartless drivel. Consequently, it cannot be acceptable to our enlightened judgment.
181,12. May I make this quite clear? Whoever wants to make any promise or give a commandment to me and this entire people, should use words that represent their true sense - clearly and straightforwardly! However, in this world, we can never accept a promise which in all its parts amounts to unnatural, irregular nonsense.
181,13. For, if we are already compelled to relinquish our present privileges in order to attain the filial relationship to God, which so far we have actually never sought or desired, we want at least to be given clearly expressed promises and conditions. We want words that clearly say what we have to expect, but not words with which we are promised white, and then are given blackl
181,14. That is surely only a fair demand! So speak in accordance with it, and we shall have no trouble in coming to an agreement. But do not come to me again with a new house built by the Lord which is supposed to be smaller than its dwellers and its interior larger than its exterior, the same as the city with its many houses! Those contradictions would disgust any one of our listeners!
181,15. The Lord, as the purest Supreme Spirit, has still created also the impure nature. Therefore, let Him speak with spirits in a spiritual language, but with us human beings in a natural language. Since He has created nature to be purely natural, He should also be able to speak naturally and comprehensibly.
181,16. The Lord, of course, has the indisputable right to speak the way He pleases, but I believe that we, too, have a right to say: 'Lord, we cannot understand this. It appears to us like nonsense, therefore, do speak with us the way You know that we can understand You.
181,17. Do not always hide behind clouds, but enter Your property openly. There is no need for You to be embarrassed before us, Your work, since we cannot be any different from what You want us to be.
181,18. You know best what language You have taught us and what we are capable of understanding. So speak in a spiritual and celestial way with Your spirits and children from the heavens, but in a natural way with us.
181,19. However, if You insist on speaking with us only in spiritual and transcendental metaphors, do give us first the ability to grasp them; otherwise, Your speech is neither of benefit to us nor of credit to You. What one does not understand, be it from God, a spirit, or a man, one cannot appreciate ; and what one cannot appreciate, how can one respect it?
181,20. I have surely expressed myself very clearly, and now it is your turn to speak. I shall listen to you and follow you with this great people and all its descendants."
181,21. (Says John): "You are demanding things which are quite impossible, and are even in complete contradiction to your pure, natural wisdom. How can you expect purely spiritual things to be expressed naturally? Or, if you insist on a natural language, is not that as natural as possible if I describe to you the Lord's purely spiritual and celestial promise by natural pictures which contain the spiritual and celestial, just the same as your natural body comprises your actual spiritual life?
181,22. What would be the benefit of a purely material word for your spirit? Would not that resemble a hollow fruit which looks on the outside as if it were something, but which has nothing inside to refresh and invigorate you?
181,23. Thus, I do not give you hollow words and promises from the Lord, but they are filled from the innermost core right to the outermost shell. And the gift of comprehension will follow in due course. Tell me, what more do you want?"
181,24. (Says Uron): "Yes, friend, if the right understanding of this language will follow, I have no further objections. But tell me, what will one have to do in order to achieve this understanding?
181,25. What is the explanation of the new house and the city which shall descend from the heavens, and the many houses in it? Why is it alive? How can the many dwellers be bigger than the houses, or a house, or the whole city? How will the house, the city, and the many houses in it bow before their dwellers? And how will the house, the city, and the many houses in it, be smaller on ihe outside than on the inside?
181,26. All these things are most peculiar and absolutely incomprehensible to our wisdom. Give us the understanding and we shall accept even more than that, be it first, for the same reasons, quite incomprehensible to our wisdom."
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