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Chapter 206 - On sin and sacrifice.
206,1. There nearly were only three hours left until sundown when we got up from the tables and went outside. For about an quarter of an hour we walked around on the mountain and then settled beneath a group of olive trees. Then already many people came to the mountain and asked the servants of the inn, if I would be here. The servants confirmed this and pointed in the direction where I was sitting. Since the new arrivals saw a lot of people around Me, they did not dared to come any closer.
206,2. But I said to Lazarus : “Let those people come here; since they are those which I earlier mentioned in the house, that they would come. They searched for Me and thus they should have found Me.”
206,3. Then Lazarus went and said it to them, and with shy steps they came closer to Me.
206,4. When they were close by, I rose from the ground and asked them why they have come to Me.
206,5. And a toll-collector took the courage and said: “Lord and Master, we are great sinners, and because of our office we could not attend for many years already any temple feasts, sacrifices and sermons; but today we were in the temple because of You and heard Your words. Through these words we became quite enlightened and became convinced that You are infallibly the promised Messiah, although the Pharisees do not want to recognize You as such.
206,6. But we also inferred from Your true words, that You Yourself do not find too much pleasure about the temple, and as such we want to ask You, the most Truthful, if and how we can attain forgiveness from God for our great sins. What are You, Lord and Master, are saying to our sins? Can we still hope that God will have mercy with us? You have said in the temple that all who are troubled and laden, should come to You and that You will refresh them, and so we have come to You, to get the true refreshment from You.”
206,7. Said I: “Listen, what I said today in the temple, applies also to you here on this mountain! Who sins, is a servant of sin, and the truth is not in him; where however the truth is not in man, there is also no freedom.
206,8. That you because of your office cannot visit the temple and its activities, is not your biggest sin; but too often you pressurize the poor when they have to pass your toll gate, and quite often you have retained the wages from those who work for you. See, this is truly a sin, and who does this, does not get to heaven, but into judgment and death!
206,9. Since who does not have any love for his neighbour, has even less love for God, who he then should love above all. Since who doesn’t love his neighbour whom he can see, how can he love God whom he can’t see? The love for God and therefrom the love for the neighbour is the actual life of the soul; who does not have this, does also not have any life, but only has judgment and death in himself.
206,10. But I now say to you, that your sins are forgiven by Me, because you have recognized such, have remorse and abhor it; but for the full forgiveness of your sins it is also very necessary, that you, wherever possible, make good to those whom you have wronged, and that you in future do not sin anymore. Who did not paid to the last cent everything he owns his brothers and sisters, will not enter the kingdom of God, until he has made good what he has sinned against his brother. Do so and you will harvest the everlasting life and your sins are fully forgiven!
206,11. Nobody can serve God and Mammon of this world at the same time; since who searches and loves Mammon, cannot love God. But who doesn’t love God, does not have a true life out of God in himself, but only a false life from the prince of this world, who is dead in himself and can give to nobody anything else than death, which is his being forever. You know now what you have to do; do this and you will live forever!”
206,12. Said the toll-collector: “O Lord and Master, we thank You from the bottom of our heart for this great consolation! We will spare no trouble, to punctually fulfill everything, but still ask You for advice which You might want to give us in Your great mercy. See, as Jews we have sinned a lot against the temple! According to your opinion, do we also have to repay the temple everything which we withheld from it because of our apostasy?”
206,13. Said I: “You can also do that, - but God does not pays attention to it; since with God only a gentle, humble and loving heart is important. But what you can do, consists thereof, that you can give to the poor according to the right measure and goal and foremost the poor widows and orphans, since this pleases God?! But to enrich the temple even further, does not have the slightest value before God.
206,14. Do you know what is written in the prophet about the honoring of the temple? See, it is written in the prophet: ‘These people honours Me with lips, but their hearts are far from Me!” I say to you: All great sacrifices, inclusive burned sacrifices, are a horror for God; since all this He does not need. For what can you give to God from all these earthly things, which you have not received from God previously?! God does not require the burning smell of slaughtered animals; but He, as your Father, needs the fire of love of your hearts from you, His children. - Do you understand this?”
206,15. Said someone from the background, of course a disguised Pharisee, to tempt Me: “Master, if the sacrifices before God do not have any value, why did Moses and Aaron ordered them on instructions of Jehovah?”
206,16. Said I: “To give you a picture of the sacrifice of Him, who during these times will voluntarily sacrifice Himself for all mankind out of purest love. Then the burn-sacrifice and the slaughter-sacrifice also serves as a testimony against you, that you also should be reminded that you always were sinners before God and became apostates from the one true God and therefore required an expiatory offer, which as a suitable picture always tells you, that you have turned away from God through your many sins and need a mediator, who can reunite you again with God.
206,17. And as such the ordered sacrifice has no other value than this of teaching. Therefore, as performed by you, it has no actual value which could have counted something before God, but its only value is to teach you the word of God, given as a corresponding sign, which for the wise is most understandable. Who understand its, has already everything what the sign teaches. But if the sign should also have any value before God, man must act in his heart, that his actions corresponds with the spiritual meaning of the sign.
206,18. The actual spiritual meaning of the sacrifice, which you still perform totally blind and meaningless, why it has no meaning for anyone anymore, consist therein, that you should love God above all and your neighbour like yourself, and that you should not commit all kind of sodomy, harlotry and adultery. - Do you understand this?”
206,19. Here the Pharisee’s eyes widened and he said to the person next to him: “What do you think, how does this person speaks and teaches?”
206,20. Said the person who was asked: “The man has a clear mind, what cannot be denied; but now I will ask him a question and we will see how he will answer it.”
206,21. Hereupon he turned to Me and said: “Master, you have answered correctly; however, if one should love the neighbour like oneself, the question arises who actually is your neighbour.”
206,22. Said I: “First every person who in any way requires your help, and secondly also every foreigner, even if he would be a heathen from the end of the world. But I will give you a simile according to which you then can judge for yourself, who is your real neighbour.”
206,23. Hereupon I told them all the simile of the merciful Samaritan and then asked the questioner: “Who was the neighbour of the nearly killed person?”
206,24. Said he: “He who provided relief for him!”
206,25. Said I: “Good, then go and do the same, then you will bring God a highly pleasing and true sacrifice, which will be better than your burn- and slaughter sacrifices!”
206,26. Hereupon none of the disguised Pharisees replied anything anymore; but all the others praised God, that He has given such wisdom to a person.
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