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DISCUSSION BETWEEN THE RATIONALIST MARTIN AND THE WISE AND BEAUTIFUL SPIRIT ABOUT THE DEITY OF JESUS.
30,1. Bishop Martin looks even more puzzled, but does as earnestly advised by Me.
30,2. On his return to the fire victims, he is astonished to see them considerably changed in appearance. Their faces look younger and nobler, and their heretofore almost naked bodies are clothed in blue robes, their ample folds held together by purple girdles. Among the party, he notices the outstanding figure of a man with a shining white hat on his head, from under which his hair falls halfway down his back in rich golden curls.
30,3. This handsome man immediately approaches Bishop Martin and says: "Friend, it did not take you long to return to us. Did you find in the sublime Master and Lord of this house that to which we drew your attention? Is He Jesus, Lord of the heavens and earth in a natural and spiritual, as well as a temporal and eternal sense?"
30,4. (Bishop Martin): "Oh, yes, he is Jesus all right, but as to his deity - that point has not been quite clarified as yet. In my opinion, one should be a bit more careful with an assumption that Jesus could also be God. For if it turns out that he isn't God after all, the Supreme Being might resent this assumption and the result could be our damnation, as has happened to many peoples of ancient times who dared believe in other gods besides Him.
30,5. For, according to Moses, it says once and for all: 'You shall believe in one God only, not worship any graven image, but praise Me alone. For I am the one Lord and God, Who made heaven and earth with all that is upon it or in it, that lives and breathes!'
30,6. Although Moses alludes mysteriously to a Savior Who is going to liberate the nations from the hard yoke of the old bondage, it does not say anywhere that Jehovah Himself would descend to earth in this Savior. Therefore, I consider this assumption of yours too rash and think it should be examined most carefully.
30,7. If you compare Moses with Jesus, you will find the God of Moses practically irreconcilable with the Godhead within Jesus. Moses, at God's bidding, had to institute the death sentence for blasphemous actions, like sacrificing to a graven image or making a sorcerer, a prophet, or some hero, one's God. This was one of the reasons that brought Jesus to the cross, although he used to express himself about his alleged divine mission in most obscure metaphors in the presence of the scribes.
30,8. Besides, it is hard to understand why God should have founded a church through Moses with so much heavenly pomp, if the same church was later abolished through Jesus, who represented the same God, contrary to His promise.
30,9. In view of all this, dear friends, your rash assumption of the deity of Jesus is a risky matter in this realm of spirits.
30,10. It is obvious that in this house of Jesus your belief has improved your condition, thanks to some minor miracle. But you may rest assured that I do not envy you this as my principle is: 'He laughs best who laughs last.' "
30,11. (Says the tall man with the shining hat): "Friend, I am quite as familiar as you with all the things you have just mentioned, but I P% you for your blindness and am afraid that you haven't a chance °f 'laughing last.' I, and the whole of this party, think as follows:
30,12. Jesus Whose advent all the prophets predicted and of Whom David sings 'The Lord said unto My Lord' or 'The Lord said unto Himself: Sit thou at My right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool!' and, 'Lift up your heads, o ye gates; and be ye lifted up ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.'
30,13. Jesus Whose birth, according to all the evangelists, was accompanied by many miracles, and Whose whole life represented a miracle.
30,14. Jesus Whose teaching revealed only too often Who He really was in His innermost Being, and Who asked one of the ten cleansed who came back to praise Him: 'Where are the other nine that they did not return to praise God?'
30,15. Jesus Who, of His own power, rose from the tomb on the third day and walked on earth for another forty days to instruct His disciples, then ascended to heaven before the eyes of many of His followers, and soon after that sent the Spirit of eternal strength, might, love, and wisdom from the heavens down to His disciples.
30,16. Jesus, about Whom John gives the most sublime evidence, both in his Gospel and his Revelation.
30,17. Tell me, friend, are you still capable of taking this man of all men to be just an ordinary sage of the world?
30,18. Look, friend, I will tell you something foolish, which, however, appears to be wiser than your words: If God the Lord had not assumed human form in order that we, His creatures, could see Him, why would He have created us at all? Not for Himself, surely! For what could that give Him if we never could see or love Him? And what good would a life without a comprehensible God be for us? Think this over! Maybe it will help you to some enlightenment!"
30,19. (Bishop Martin): "Leave me alone for a while so that I can ponder over your words."
30,20. After quite a while, the bishop speaks again: "Friend, I have weighed your words carefully and can still see only the contrary of what you have maintained. However, I am not stubborn, and I will assent to your views with all my heart if you could give me satisfactory answers to some questions."
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