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Chapter 188 - The Lord examines the counter-arguments of the Pharisees.
1. The Pharisees say: “We can see that You indeed possess a special power, one that was certainly unknown up until now; a power specifically concerning the healing of many different human diseases, which no doctor should be technically able to heal. We are also aware of the fact that it appears to be possible for You to call individuals who had recently died back to life, or to reawaken them. Furthermore, we have also heard that You are sober, decent, and quite charitable, that You have never asked anything from anyone in exchange for Your extraordinary healings. Well, these are undeniably good and excellent characteristics!
2. However, while doing all this You claim to be the Son of God, saying that You are the promised Anointed One of God. Moreover, You disregard the laws of Moses and associate with gentiles, tax collectors and all kinds of sinners. Behold, these are Your bad and evil characteristics, which can never be approved by the temple, because it strictly keeps the laws of Moses.
3. Why do You exalt Yourself so much before men because of Your special qualities, since You are clearly just a man? Who can have any respect for You when You want us to believe that You are the Son of God and the promised Anointed One of God, condemning the one who, for one reason or another, cannot believe You? You said that You are the Truth, the Light and the Life, but how can You prove to us that all this is indeed so? Convince us of Your claims, and we shall believe in You.”
4. Said I: "Take a look at these stones strewn along the ground. I could convince these stones more easily than you of the fact that I am the One of whom Moses and the prophets have prophesied.
5. If I perform signs which no one, not even the greatest prophet, has ever performed before, then this should surely open your eyes, so you would recognize the signs of this time, for your own sake. But you are blind, deaf and hardhearted, and as such, you see, hear and feel nothing. That is why judgment of yourself lies within you, and with it, the certain death of your souls.
6. Every year you whitewash the graves of the forefathers and the prophets. These graves and you yourselves have much in common. On the outside, you are indeed clothed with the law of Moses and Aaron, upon whose chairs you are seated, but on the inside, you are full of decay and a most disgusting stench.
7. You have said that it is a bad and evil characteristic of Mine to associate with gentiles, tax collectors and sinners, and that I am a violator of the Sabbath, not keeping the laws of Moses. However, do you keep his laws? I tell you: You do not keep the laws of Moses, not even in the slightest. You yourselves have established a great number of senseless and useless laws, which you keep because they grant you material benefits, and with which you oppress and exploit the poor people. Did Moses command as such to you? If, according to the law of Moses, it is allowed and even commanded to feed the ass, the ox and the sheep, even on a Sabbath, and to give them to drink, and if a donkey has fallen into a ditch or pit, to get him out, would it then not be better and more reasonable to help a person in need, even on a Sabbath? Oh you blind and deaf fools of heart and mind! Is man of any less value to God than an animal?!
8. Did Moses not give the following commandment: "Honor your father and your mother, that you may live long and that it may go well with you on Earth" Then why are you saying to the children: "Come here and bring an offering to the temple, which will be more beneficial to you." If this is what you teach, then are you actually complying with the law of Moses?!
9. Did Moses not solemnly give the same commandment to everyone, not to oppress the widows and orphans? But what are you doing? You promise to protect the widows and orphans with long and allegedly effective prayers, seizing their possessions, but when the widows and orphans, upon realizing that your prayers are of no use to them, complain to you in tears, you push them out and exclaim that they are sinners, from whom God will not receive even the strongest prayers! Do tell Me, did Moses ever command such things? In everything you do, you act against the laws of Moses, and yet here you are telling Me that I am acting contrary to the laws of Moses?!
10. Behold, since you have deviated so much from what Moses taught, you are now struck with blindness, and you cannot see even the clearest of days anymore. This is your judgment, your death and your damnation. With your empty prayers, sold at high prices, you are straining mosquitos, all the while swallowing entire camels, and still you claim to be disciples of Moses. How can you be disciples of Moses if you, as has already been said, are acting contrary to all of his laws? You are worse than all gentiles! Therefore, the light will be taken away from you and given to the gentiles instead.
11. I have come into this world to guide you onto the right paths of life, with teaching and deeds, and in the kindest and most loving manner. But you are persecuting Me wherever I go or stand, and you attempt to catch and kill Me, all the while claiming that I am a deceiver of the people, as well as an agitator. However, I have witnesses, even God Himself, who is within Me, as I am within Him, is My witness, witness to the fact that you are wicked liars before God and all people.
12. The Romans, who are now the earthly lords of the land of the supposed children of God, who, with their sharp eyes, notice anything that might somehow endanger their sovereignty; they would have thrown Me before their courts long ago if they perceived even the slightest hint of sedition in My actions. However, since they have not discovered any of the things you are accusing Me of, they come to meet Me wherever I am, and in a most friendly manner as well, and they seem to be a people of faith, love and respect in regards to Me, My teaching and My deeds. As such, they will be accepted into My light and life. You, on the other hand, will be cast into the most remote darkness, just as it is written, and there will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth."
13. When I had said this, even these more or less temperate Jews and Pharisees grew angry and said: "Now look what nonsense You are talking! Who is persecuting You and who attempts to kill You!? If You are teaching something good and are doing good to the people, nobody will persecute You or wish to kill You. But if You, as a man, just as we are merely men as well, portray Yourself as the Son of God, as the promised One, the Anointed One of God, which, according to the prophets, means as much as Jehovah Himself, You Yourself must surely realize that we have to regard this as utter blasphemy, at least until You have given us sufficient proof that You are truthfully the promised Anointed One of God, and that we can believe in You. If this is beyond your ability, You must, before us and the people, withdraw the testimony about Yourself. As long as You will do neither one nor the other, You will have to put up with being persecuted by the temple and being regarded as a blasphemer! Are we not right by confronting You with this in the presence of all the people?"
14. Said I: "So, you have spoken, just like someone who is completely blind would speak about the colors of the light, and because you are judging and speaking in this way, you are thereby proclaiming your own judgment as well. I will not judge you, but the Word, which I have already spoken to you so often, even if in vain; it is this Word that will judge you.
15. If you have read the prophet Isaiah and understood only a little of it, then you must know what it means: 'A virgin will bear us a Son, and His name will be 'Emanuel', which means 'God with us'!' Is this, as well as all other things, not precisely being fulfilled within Me? And if it is so, eternally and never otherwise, would I then not be a liar, just like yourselves, if I now, for the sake of your sinister machinations, would confess that I am not the One who I am before God, before all Heavens and before all created beings here on Earth?
16. On the other hand, you demand of Me exactly such proof, proof that would convince you, irrevocably and evidently, that I am the promised Anointed One of God. Do tell Me, how am I to accomplish this when faced with this utter blindness of yours?
17. If, before your very eyes, I perform works and deeds which no man has ever achieved before Me; if I heal the paralyzed and the lame, and they jump around fully healed and strong like deer; if I heal people that suffer from gout and leprosy, give to the deaf and mute the ability to hear and speak, returning vision to the blind, setting the possessed free of their terrible tormentors, even raising the dead by the might of My Word, and, on occasion, performing still many other deeds that are impossible for anyone except God; if I preach to the poor in spirit the gospel of the coming of the Kingdom of God to earth, and if no one can accuse Me of committing even a single sin, and yet you still claim that I am performing all this with the assistance of Beelzebub, the greatest of all devils, then I must ask you what else there is I can even do to make you believe that I am truthfully the Anointed One of God?
18. Even if I would perform another thousand signs before you, you would still say that I am doing it all with the help of the greatest of all devils. What use would it be to perform more signs when you are so blind? I am telling you: As one cannot properly explain color to a blind person, so can no one give you proof that I am truthfully the Anointed One of God.
19. And behold, this evil night within your souls will be your doom, your own judgment and your true death. For I alone am the Way, the Light, the Truth and eternal life. Whoever believes in Me and lives and acts according to My Word, receives from Me the spirit of eternal life, and I alone will awaken him to life in My Kingdom on his day of judgment. However, he who flees, despises and persecutes Me, flees, despises and persecutes his own life as well, and he cannot receive it from anywhere else but from Me alone.
20. Consequently, he who does not wish to accept the eternal life of his soul that I offer, and resists all that which comes from Me, will remain dead forever.
21. But whoever does wish to possess life must receive it from Him who is life itself, He who possesses all life and bestows it upon anyone he wants. However, He only offers life to those who truly desire it.
22. The Word and teaching I currently offer to all people are exactly this life. As such, whoever, as stated beforehand, truthfully accepts My Word and teaching, accepts the life of the soul as well.
23. So, if eternal life is indeed as I have explained it to you and all others now, and it truly is not otherwise; where then do you plan on procuring the desired eternal life for your soul?"...
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