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Chapter 131 - The question about the personality of Raphael.
131,1. When the captain heard this from Me, he turned immediately to the supposed young man and said to him: “Listen, my young and very charming friend. How come that you in your young years can almost measure yourself with a giant in eating and drinking without harming yourself?”
131,2. Raphael said: “But regarding my strength I am also a giant, even if I do not look like one, considering my stature. If you want, I can immediately show you an example.”
131,3. The captain said: “If you can do such a thing, then let me see some of your giant power.”
131,4. Then Raphael said: “Very well. Look, there at the wall between the 2 great windows, there is an iron pillar that was used during festivities as a sacrificing altar, it is namely a domestic sacrificing altar, and in early times many sacrifices were burned on it. Now this almost man height pillar is of course only but an ornament of this dining hall. How heavy do you think this pillar is, which, except from its height has also a considerable size?”
131,5. The captain stood up and examined and looked first well at the pillar, and then he said: “Yes, my dear young friend, the weight of this pillar can hardly be estimated. I think that our master of the house Lazarus will be able to tell us more about it.”
131,6. Then Lazarus said: “This pillar is estimated at 20.000 pounds and was brought here from Corinth with great difficulty already 200 years ago.”
131,7. The captain said: “Yes, I also would have estimated it to weigh at least that much. And what will you do now, my dear young friend, with this terribly heavy pillar?”
131,8. Raphael said: “I will lift it up and will calmly and without effort put it down wherever you want.”
131,9. The captain said: “You have said it and you also want to do it. So you can try out your giant power on this pillar and put it down at the next window.”
131,10. When the captain had said that, Raphael stood up, walked to the pillar, grabbed it with both hands, lifted it up quickly with such easiness as if it was a downy feather, and put it with the same easiness on the indicated place, let it there for awhile and put it then on Lazarus’ request back on its old place.
131,11. When he finished this trial of strength, he (Raphael) said with a friendly smile to the extremely astonished captain: “Well now, my friend, do you now understand why I eat a little more than another human being?”
131,12. The captain said: “My beautiful young friend, if your giant power would depend on the fact that you eat about 4 times as much as one of us, you still would hardly be able to play with this heavy pillar as if you were handling a little feather, for then you surely have to eat for 100 people, for in my opinion the strength of 100 people are needed to master this pillar. Thus, your giant power seems to have a totally different cause. And I probably will not be far from the truth when I say that this Master of all masters, a true God of all gods is behind your unheard-of giant power. What do you think about my opinion?”
131,13. Raphael said: “Yes, yes, you have well answered this. But this Master is also behind every human being and behind everything that exists, and thus also behind you. And still, you cannot move this pillar from its place. So how is this possible according to you?”
131,14. The captain said: “This is according to me very easy to understand. The one to whom He will give more of one or the other power, be it forever or also for a moment, will have this power. However, to me and also to a lot of other people, He has only given that much power as is needed for me as a normal human being.
131,15. Well now, why He has exactly equipped you with such an extraordinary great power, is a totally different question which cannot be answered by anyone else except by Him and certainly also you.”
131,16. Then Raphael said: “You are basically right, although besides you, your companions and the innkeeper from the neighborhood of Bethlehem there is probably nobody who does not know who I personally am. But I heard that you, down in the valley with the innkeeper have strongly spoken to the Lord and Master about the fact that God is little concerned about the development of men, and that they finally will have to loose all inner light of life. Besides, you desired that the souls of the people who had bodily died, would show themselves to those who are still living here, so that these could conclude by that and really believe that after the death of the body a continuance of life of the soul exists and how it looks like.
131,17. The Lord has well instructed you about this and you have also understood the lesson, although you yourself have never seen a soul who has left the body. The Lord could already have opened your eyes for that at the place of the innkeeper in the valley to receive immediately visible contact with the souls of those who died, but it pleased His wisdom to show you first here what kind of real faith is still lacking to you. And this task, the Lord has given now into my hands, and so I already behaved during eating in such a way that you had to notice me. I can, besides my trial of strength show you still other proofs, if you want.”
131,18. Now the captain was thinking about what he should ask Raphael.
131,19. But now also the disciples of John joined in the conversation and said to Raphael: “Listen, young Samson, you have mentioned only a few people who would not know you, but we also do not know you. Therefore, reveal yourself also to us, for concerning the continuance of life of the soul after the death of the body we also have still no clear faith.
131,20. When John was beheaded in prison, we were seized with great fear and sadness and we have strongly desired that his spirit would come to us to tell us what we should do further. But our desire has remained unfulfilled until now, and we already often came to the opinion of the Sadducees who do not believe in a continuance of life of the soul after the death of the body.
131,21. We thought as follows: if the soul – more in particular the one of such pious teacher – continues to life, and thus also feels and thinks, he can also not be indifferent in the beyond what his disciples, who are still living, are doing here and in what kind of disconsolate condition they are. But if these disciples have begged the spirit of the killed person already many times in tears to appear before them and to console them at least by letting them know that he continues to live happily after death in the world of spirits, but leaves all those urgent petitions unanswered, what else is there to think except: the belief in the continuance of the soul after the death of the body is nothing else but a common thought and a pronounced pious wish, but no truth that can ever be proven.
131,22. But this opinion is truly absolutely not consoling for people who think somewhat deeper than is the case with the common, light-hearted, credulous people who do not trouble themselves for something higher, and this all the less because most people have to pay the death that destroys them with the greatest grief and unbearable pains. You, young Samson, will surely understand from this that also we have all reason to know you further.”
131,23. Raphael said: “I am also of this opinion, but that will be somewhat difficult to discuss with you, because the faith, which is the light of life of the soul, has never had a firm basis with you. And a disciple of the Lord has already whispered something in your ear, and for this reason I could not completely count you with those who would totally not know anything about me. But you said: ‘Ah, stop that nonsense. How can this be, and who can believe anything like that?’ Yes, friends, when you do not believe the disciple who knows me very well, then how will you believe me? Will you then not say within yourselves: ‘O, that’s it. The young magician knows very well the art to bewilder us with his magic tricks.’ What will I then still be able to do for you to strengthen you in your faith?”
131,24. One of the disciples said: “Do not bother about that, young Samson, for we have enough arbitrary ability to discern truth from something that is false. Otherwise we never would have become disciples of someone like John.”
131,25. Raphael said: “All right then, look and listen you also.”
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