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Chapter 125 - The Lord discusses the Essenes with the disciples of John. The house of the tax collector Matthew as an example of philanthropy
1. John's disciples say: "Are we doing wrong by living in accordance with John's teaching? Sure, John was a strict preacher, but he never gave us such a teaching!
2. See, the Essenese Order, with which we are familiar, is strict as well, and the first law among them is truthfulness, but of what use is their truthfulness and their other strict rules to them? Who takes any notice of them?! They are regarded by neither the Greeks nor us Jews, they are only supposed to have a few adherents among the Romans. May the teaching by which they live be ever so good and pure, being excellent for those few who have separated themselves from the world, yet it is totally unfit for mankind at large.
3. Of what benefit are the many nice and forceful words about the brotherhood of man to us?
4. See, this house is a big house, a hospitable house, and second to none in terms of brotherhood, but can you seriously expect of it to, at all times, be ready to receive and care for all men, who surely are our brethren as well? Even with the best spirit and will, it surely lacks the necessary means, such as space, food and the like.
5. Furthermore, let's suppose a couple of poor people struggled to build themselves a hut and gather a most meager provision for winter, barely sufficient for their own needs, and then suddenly 10 people come to this couple, who hardly have enough room for themselves, asking for admission, lodging and provision. Say, can any teaching demand of these two, or even advise them, that it is good and beneficient to meet the demands of the 10 newcomers, and to thereby ruin themselves for good?"
6. Say I: "Every bird sings and chirps in accordance with its beak, and you talk in accordance with your worldly sense, and cannot do otherwise, as you don’t know how to. And that is pretty much all I can tell you at this point. Because even if I were to tell you something higher and completely true, from the Heavens themselves, you would still not understand Me, because your hard heart lacks the necessary intellect.
7. Fools! Who is it that lets the fruit grow and ripen upon the Earth? Who maintains them and consistently gives them the power to do so?! Do you think that God cannot, or will not, reward him who sacrifices himself unselfishly for his brethren’s sake? Or do you think that God is unjust, demanding of man the impossible?!
8. Yet I say that a truly honest goodwill, and a keen desire to do a poor brother some good, is easily possible for all!
9. If everyone were imbued as such, through and through, then there would be no more of such meager huts upon the Earth, only inhabitable by two people.
10. See, this house of My friend Matthew has fed many people today, and gave away its entire stock out of true goodness of the heart, and if you don’t believe it, go and see the larder, as well as the granary, and you shall find no provisions. Here, however, stands the landlord; Ask him whether I speak untruthfully!"
11. Matthew fully supports My statement, saying: "Lord, unfortunately, today it is as you say it is, and I don’t know how I am supposed to provide for the guests of tomorrow. But I have fared this way often enough already, and I trusted in God, and see, everything was fully replenished, so that I could provide for the guests quite well!"
12. "See", I say thereto, "a righteous person thinks and acts this way in this world, and does not complain that God abandoned him! And so it has always been, and will be eternally!
13. If a person trusts in God, he is trusted by God as well, who does not forsake him and does not let him be confounded. But those who, like you, do believe in God’s existence, but do not fully trust Him, because their own heart tells them that they are unworthy of His help, are not helped by God either, for they have no trust in God. They trust only their own powers and means, which they regard as holy and inviolable, as it were, and say: 'Man, if you wish to be helped, help yourself, for charity begins at home, and thus you have to look after yourself first.' And by the time he has provided for himself, the one in need has perished.
14. But I say: If you provide for yourselves first, you are abandoned by God and are without His blessing and His otherwise certain help. For God did not create men for selfish reasons, but out of pure love, and, therefore, men must, in everything, fully correspond to the love that gave them their existence.
15. If, however, you live and act without love and trust in God, you voluntarily reverse the heavenly element within you into a hellish one, turn away from God and become servants of Hell, which, in the end, will not fail to give you the reward you deserve, which is death by the wrath of God.
16. You also state that the Essenes, who live in accordance with Pythagoras' school, are not given any regard, other than by a few Romans, despite all their philanthropy.
17. I don't have any regard for them either, because they don’t acknowledge the immortality of the soul, and yet the worst among them is better than the best among you!
18. I tell you now openly: Among all who were born of a woman, since the beginning of the world, no greater one has emerged than John, but from now on, the least of My disciples in the true Kingdom of God shall be far greater than John, whom you call your master, yet whom you have never understood! Because he showed you and prepared the way to Me, but the world in you has blinded your heart, wherefore you are not capable of recognizing Me, even though you already find yourselves in My presence.
19. Therefore, go and care for your world, for your women and children, so that they may not be stripped naked and ever be plagued by hunger or thirst. But by doing so, it shall soon become clear what good you have done for them! This I can tell you, in the fullest right and deepest truth:
20. Whoever possesses wealth, property and a trade with which he makes good profit, but saves the profit for himself and his children only, and looks down at his poor brothers with unkind eyes and heart, avoids the poor children, who, because of their lack of all earthly goods, suffer hunger, thirst and cold, and then sends them away if they come to him asking for alms, and says to a brother: 'Come to me in a few days or weeks, then I will do this or that for you!' and when the hopeful brother in need comes and reminds him of his promise, the latter excuses himself, that he could not possibly help now either, while actually being in possession of the necessary means; Truthfully, I say to you: He is an enemy of God, for how does he intend to love God, whom he cannot see, if he does not love his brother, whom he actually can see right before him, while also being aware of his misery!?
21. Truly, truly, I say to you: Whoever forsakes his brother in need simultaneously forsakes God and Heaven as well. And God will forsake him in the blink of an eye!
22. However, he who does not forsake his poor brothers, not even in the face of trials sent upon him by God, shall be unexpectedly blessed, temporally and eternally, more abundantly than our host's larder and granary."
23. John's disciples say: "This we believe for sure, for they are completely empty."
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