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From Hell to Heaven
Chapter 272 - The theologians difficult mission. Parable of the binoculars. Missionary rules; the best way
1. The second three depart; returning to their big crowd, they start the mission assigned them with decisiveness, but find a thoroughly bad reception. Nearly all begin to withdraw, condemning the three spokesmen.
2. A few say: Well, had we heard all this from His own mouth, our reformation would take a different turn, but the thing in the alternative seems somewhat heretic to us and we regard it as too risky to immediately join you. Your testimony indeed contains much logic, which we comprehend very well; but the thing is too unorthodox and cannot stand its ground before the Papacy, and be accepted even less.”
3. Say the three despatched ones ”Are we perhaps still upon Earth, where the Pope is the visible head of the Church and acknowledged as such by many blind fools, to whom we also formerly belonged? We have now been living in the world of spirits for a considerable time and know of no dogma that obliges us to acknowledge the Pope as head of Christianity, even after death in the world of spirits. It was enough that we had ourselves talked around by the Pope on Earth. Here the Pope has an end, and we belong exclusively to God the Lord Jesus Christ. But it surely is up to Him to implement diverse changes and give the individual dogmas a completely different interpretation, since spirit and matter are two very different things. Or do you seriously imagine that Christ the Lord will even here in His kingdom subordinate Himself to the silly rites of a Pope? Surely such insane opinion would put you on the path of rotten wood!”
4. After this virulent talk, several start scratching themselves behind their ears, saying: “By God, yours are not empty words; there is something to that. But be patient, we want first to discuss it with our wives and friends to get their opinion.” Say the three spokesmen: “Then just take off! If your wives and friends advice is worth more than God’s truth then you are not worthy of God, and hence can seek your future wellbeing with your wives and friends, but shall have none to expect from God.”
5. Say those finding excuses: “Yet our wives, whom we took to ourselves in the spirit world, because foolish celibacy prevented us from doing so in the world, and our other friends, surely also are called to hear the truth for gaining a living faith. We are not going there just to consult but rather to win them for the truth.”
6. Say the three dispatched ones: “For that the thing has to first be within yourselves! If however same is not within you for a long while yet, and you cannot yet keep it, how do you intend to lead your completely misled wives and friends into truth out of God? Behold, all truth is like a telescope with thousandfold magnification. If with it one looks in the right direction, the stars will appear large and bright; where previously with the naked eye one saw one star, one shall see a nebula resolved into millions of little stars. Looking through the lens in the opposite directions however, all stars retreat into limitless depth, and the observer’s eye sees nothing of even first magnitude stars. Even the sun seen through the telescope the wrong way becomes just a shimmering point, so that its light shall be reduced well below zero.
7. If however you want to show your wives and friends the lights of heavenly truth through your upside down telescopes, what shall they get to see? No one shall see truth through yourselves. The great light of the sun, signifying the first concept of God, is still much under question with yourselves, and whether instead of the sun it is not showing the moon. What will be the position with the other countless lights, of which at present you cannot have any trace of knowledge, with your perverted observations?! Do as you please now; we have our strong doubts about your return, as we know the sway your wives have over you!”
8. Here the self-excusing ones begin to hesitate, one of them saying: “Friends, these speak like a book of God; I could not contradict them with one syllable. What if we remain here and let the three go over to our wives and friends?” Says another: “Then we have seen and spoken to our wives for the last time! ’ Says the first: “So what? A little less hell around can only benefit us. We seven find a substitute for the dirty fun our wives provide; I am staying: anyone else? Says another: “If you stay, so will I ! Let the others do what they like.”
9. Say the three spokesman: “That’s the way: to coerce no one in the things of faith, showing the right path together with anyone but try staying on the right path oneself! It is better to walk upon the paths of light and love than to shove thousands unto it and then wallow in the puddles by oneself. Whoever would lift something heavy has to first stand upon solid ground, or sink with the load. Finding firm ground however he has to try only burdens commensurate with his strength, or he shall succumb. And whoever would guide one mind must first see, or they both fall into the ditch. One must first have what one wants to give, or the giving is empty words. You two do well to stay, but do not try to talk the other into it.
10. The two stay, whilst the others are off to their wives and friends, faring badly. Firstly they are reproached and scolded for being late. Secondly they are so cleverly worked over with alternative arguments that they themselves start to question and then laugh off everything they had heard from the three. And so their second condition is worse than the first.
11. But the three nevertheless converted two into disciples, whilst the five are consulting on how to favourably impress the others. One says that to work miracles might be the most effective way, another holding that such ability on a large scale would be essential paired to scrupulous honesty and godly desire not to win folk of the lower spirit world through deception but pure counselling.
12. ‘But’, says the seconds, “that is a thing possible only to the Deity and to no created spirit, because every spirit considers himself a small god for an extraordinary deed – and there lies the first seed of arrogance and ruin. This then leads to judgment instead of blessing for the one who succeeds with a miracle as well as those whose cognition and will were talked into it through a miracle.
13. Finally, there attaches another disadvantage to every created spirit, stemming from every miracle not performed by God Himself, that consists in a constant urge to look towards spectacles through unusual abilities coupled to the miracle-working ability for oneself. This already is an itch of destructive arrogance, and hence unmitigated evil. Friends, that’s how I see it, but I leave it to you for another versions.”
14. Says a third: “Brother, here we completely agree with you, but the question arises, how shall we impress this pure doctrine of God and its application upon this multitude of millions? How shall we persuade them to believe our words and follow us?”
15. Says a fourth one: “I suggest that we simply stick to the pure truth, in word and deed. Whoever wants to comply, well for him; but whoever does not accept the Word, we shall not bother with. May the Lord of eternity then do with him as it seems right to His almighty will.”
16. Says a fifth: “Our reward however shall be only by measure of our works. If these are negligible, then the reward shall not be bigger by a hair’s breadth!” Says the fourth: “Hey, to the devil with the rewards let the cocoon take the rewards! I want to do good for good’s sake and not for reward! Should some reward result from it, I shall gratefully accept it, but same shall not serve me as motivation for a noble deed.”
17. Say the other fourth: “Nobly put; we want to do so too, one and all!” Says the fifth: “But note well, without being conceited about it!”
18. Say the other four: “We will do what is good and right, for God wants it so; nothing else matters.
19. Hearing this, some thirty of them come up, wanting to know what good and right we resolved doing for our friends, unselfishly.
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