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Chapter 192 - The Pharisees try to catch the Lord.
192,1. When I was resting for awhile, the two came immediately and stood before Me and asked Me in a brutal way: “Lord, we know that You are performing extraordinary things which prior to You a human being has never performed. Now tell us from which power You are able to do this, because You as Master will surely know the best by which powers and means it is possible to perform all these wondrous works.”
192,2. I said: “O yes, this I know very well, and I also want to tell you. But first I want to ask you something. If you are able to give Me a correct answer to the question which I will ask you, I will also tell you from which power I am performing My works.”
192,3. The two said: “You can certainly ask us. We will not hold back any answer.”
192,4. I said: “Very well then. Do tell Me then freely and openly in front of all the people: from where came the baptism of John, the son of Zacharias, who in this temple was strangled by you between the altar and the most holy? Was that baptism of this John from Heaven or only from men? Because it is up to you to make a final statement in front of the people. You have put on other clothes and came through the big people’s gate together with other pilgrims, but still you were quickly recognized. Do your work well, because otherwise you will lose your reward that was promised to you and that you can receive when you can catch Me on what I will answer.”
192,5. This gave them something to think about, and quietly they said among themselves (the Pharisees): “This is a nasty fine question. For if, because of the people, we say: John’s baptism was from Heaven, then He and the people will ask us: ‘If this is so, then why did you not believe him and why did you persecute him and did you see to it that first Herod threw him into jail and then let him later on be beheaded?’ But if we say that the baptism was from man, then all the people will rise against us, because the people is still considering John as a true prophet, and it would attack us for saying something like this about John. Therefore, it is difficult to give this Man a good answer.”
192,6. Further, another said secretly: “A good idea came into my mind now. Whether we say one thing or the other, in both cases we will be trapped. We must it make appear as if we never were busy about such outgrowth of the corrupt Jewry, because this was far below our dignity. And to make a long story short, we very simply will say: this we do not know, because such an unimportant event regarding the temple never kept us busy.”
192,7. When they had decided that, the two turned to Me again and said: “Master, at Your question we cannot give an answer at all, because we do not know from who was the baptism of John. Because frankly, we did not keep ourselves too much busy with that.”
192,8. I said to them: “Well, if you do not want to tell Me this, I also will not tell you from which power I am performing My works.
192,9. But what do you think of this: look, a man had 2 sons. He went to the first and said: ‘My son, go today to my vineyard to work.’ But the son said: ‘Father, this I do not want, because the hard work is too much for me.’ When his father was gone, the son regretted it. He stood up, went to the vineyard and worked during the whole day with all his strength.
192,10. Now the father went to his second son and also said to him what he told to the first one. And this one answered: ‘Lord and father. Yes, I will go to it immediately to work.’ But when the father went away, his son stayed at home and did not go to the vineyard to work. Who of the 2 sons has fulfilled here the will of the father?”
192,11. The two said: “This is truly a childish question. Of course, it is clear that the first son has fulfilled the will of his father. Because by answering that he did not want to, he surely only wanted to pleasantly surprise his father. Because what one says is unmistakably less important than what one does. But for what purpose is this likeness, what did You want to tell us and to show us with this?”
192,12. I said: “Sure, I will explain it to you, if you are so blind that you cannot see that for yourself. The Father is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And of both sons the first one means: the true prophets called by God who in the beginning however were not happy with their calling – as Moses showed all too clearly by refusing this high office because he had such a difficulty in speaking, and for this reason he asked God to give him his brother Aaron as interpreter. But then, it was still Moses who did the work. The second called one was the spokesman indeed, but only Moses did the work. And so it went downhill until these times.
192,13. Because the second category, who made the promise to work in God’s vineyard and were only promising to work but finally did do nothing, God had to turn to those who were not so willing with their tongue. Although these did not give Him any promise, yet they were working. And when they were working, the second group attacked and persecuted them out of jalousie, and they wanted to prevent them from doing the good work, so that the true workers would not be accepted as such by the Father of the vineyard.
192,14. And so, during this time, Zacharias and his son John were good workers in the vineyard of the Lord, although in the beginning of their inner calling each one of them refused to take this function upon them because surely they knew the great laziness and burning envy of those who indeed promised God to work in the vineyard, but were then putting their hand into their lazy lab. And not only did they not work themselves, but with fire and sword they also forbade the zealous workers to work.
192,15. Therefore, I say to you: Truly, truly, tax collectors and whores will surely come sooner in Heaven than you. John came to teach you the good way and you did not believe him, just like your forefathers did not believe the old prophets. But the tax collectors and whores did believe John, did penance and changed their lives. You have certainly seen this and understood also that you were wrong, but still, you did not do what the tax collectors did, because above all you did not want it to be known that you believed on him. Therefore, also the tax collectors and whores will enter God’s Kingdom sooner than you who attach great importance to your calling and are proud in front of everybody as if you have helped God with the creation of Heaven and Earth.
192,16. But I say to you: precisely for this reason you are the last for God. Because everything that is great and shiny in the eyes of the world, is for God an abomination. You do not want to be in Heaven and moreover you are blocking the way for those who want to go to it. Therefore, later also, all the more damnation will come over you.
192,17. I am saying to you that I have the right and the power for this and I do not fear the people of this world like you. Because I know God and the power of His will which is now in Me and wills and acts. But you do not know God, and His will is not in you. And therefore, you fear the world and act according to what it is prescribing in your hearts. And because you are doing this, you are therefore also preparing your own judgment, your damnation and with it the true, eternal death. And this consists of the fact that you stay continuously the slaves of your increasing laziness and sensuality and will pluck the wicked and terrible fruits thereof.”
192,18. One of the two said: “You are talking freely and openly with us, who are men just like You. If it pleased God to create us people only for Hell, He surely could have spared Himself the trouble, because not one soul will praise Him for that. But we are of the opinion that God has still created men for something better, and therefore we are hoping that He, as the most wise and perfect Being, will not want to torture us forever with all the sufferings of Hell, because we were forced to act that way by insurmountable difficulties.
192,19. The fact that we cannot believe the many that are pretending to be a prophet, has a very understandable reason. Because if the temple would do that, it would be no more a meeting-place of the Jews who still believe in Moses. Why does a prophet, who is filled with all the power of God, allow himself to be taken by the Jews and even let himself be killed? If this happens, then almost each time his disciples turn away from him – as we know out of experience – and then they become again Jews, just like they were before the arrival of the prophet. Then why does God allow such a thing?
192,20. If the prophets are pre-eminently His awakened and called workers and we represent the same lazy son who had promised his father to work in the vineyard but who did not hold on to his word, then how come that the by God so highly esteemed workers still let themselves be defeated by us lazy loafers. How could Your God allow this to happen?”
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