- Sermon 21 -
Second Sunday After Easter. The Good Shepherd
St. John X, 1-16: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth, not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.
Then Jesus said unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers; but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."
(March 9, 1872)
This chapter speaks about the true leader to the light of truth and the false leaders who claim that the path to light leads only through them, whereas, in fact, they themselves are the very epitome of darkness. For what here is described as "thieves and murderers", spiritually denotes the striving to steal or even destroy the spiritual which is part of the human soul.
The "door" that I represent, as referred to in the Gospel, denotes the only proper road to true cognition and means to say: Only those people who did not lose their spiritual instinct through the world and its goings-on, or who did not let it be taken from them or, if it was once taken, regained it - only those are capable of distinguishing My voice and My teaching from the voices and wrong teachings of false prophets. And only those will follow My call because they recognize My voice and can distinguish it from other seductive voices.
At the present time you are in the midst of this spiritual movement where – metaphorically speaking - thieves and murderers are climbing through all the windows and entrances into My house in order to seize the treasure which is hidden there. Nowadays in particular you notice the religious stirring in the roused minds, how it takes hold of the hearts, awakens them, draws them hither and thither and how, because of all the advertising, it is not easy to recognize where the true door and the true shepherd really are. The more their instinct is leading the believing hearts to Me, the more the others, who pursue only their self-interest, resist so that not I, but they may be victorious.
 One of them, a retired Pharisee, who was really proud about his honesty and piousness, said to Me: “Just listen, friend, the innkeeper of this inn has told us that You know secret things, and also, although You are a stranger, are better acquainted with the things in this village and this region than a resident. Just tell me now who I am and what my character is like.”
 I said: “So that you and still several others who are just like you and who pretend to be pious and righteous, may see that I surely know you all, I want to tell you very briefly a little incident of your lives. Since you think you are pious and righteous, but are despising other people of whom you are judging that they are not like you, you are indeed going to the feasts in Jerusalem, bring the prescribed offerings to the temple, and in this manner you are justifying yourselves in the eyes of the priests of the temple.
 So at the feast of Easter of this year an old Pharisee who considered himself to be pious and righteous went to the temple, as well as a tax collector.
 The Pharisee walked very close to the offering altar in order to be looked at by several prominent people and to be noticed. He prayed for himself, and actually quite aloud, as follows: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like many other people, like thieves, robbers, unrighteous ones, adulterers, and also not like that tax collector who traveled with me. For I fast twice a week and as a Pharisee I even give one tenth of everything that I have. So I also keep the commandments of Moses and have moreover kept the regulations of the temple in high esteem. Give me, o God, the mercy, that also in future times I may remain in this righteousness and be sinless and may finally also leave this world in this manner.’
 But the tax collector kept some distance away from the offering altar and dared not even to lift up his eyes, but he beat his chest and said: ‘O Lord, be forgiving and merciful to me, a sinner who is not worthy to lift up my eyes to Your sanctuary.’
 Who do you think left the temple as really justified in the eyes of God: the Pharisee, who exalted himself, or the tax collector who humbled down himself before God?”
 Then some of them who surely noticed that I brought this image into connection with the old Pharisee, because they knew him very well because of his frequent boasting and praising of himself before those who considered themselves also as pious and righteous, said: “Friend, only God can judge about this, whose all seeing eye investigates heart and kidneys of man. We as man cannot pass a definite judgment on that. Since You as stranger who know also this story as it has indeed happened this way, must also tell us who of the two has left the temple justified before God.”
 I said: “O, I surely can give you this pleasure. I say to you: this tax collector went justified out of the temple, for he humbled down himself and he faithfully and truthfully confessed his guilt in his heart before God, and so he returned home justified rather than the Pharisee. Whoever will exalt himself will be humbled down, and whoever will humble down himself, will be exalted.” (GGJ)
THE EXPLANATION OF THE PARABLE OF THE UNRIGHTEOUS STEWARD
AND THE ROYAL GUEST MEAL
 SIMON Judah said: “O Lord and Master, absolutely no more as far as this is concerned, but there are still two other things that are not completely clear to me, but I hope that by Your love and mercy, also these two little things will in a certain way be resolved by itself.”
 I said: “Name at least those two little things.”
 Simon Judah said: “O Lord and Master, this is actually not worthed, but since You want it. It is concerning Your praise about the unfaithful steward and the rejection of the guest at the dinner because he had no festive clothing. For in this, there are two things that cannot be understood. Firstly, how and where were the guests provided with the required festive clothing after they were picked up at the fences and alleys by the servants of the host and were pushed inside to partake of the guest meal? And secondly why that one poor devil, who was also urged to the guest meal by the servants of the host, had to be thrown out because he had no festive clothing? Look, o Lord and Master, that man who was thrown out and Your praise about the unfaithful steward are for me still two uneven lines which I was not yet able to put straight.”
 I said: “Did I not say to you at that time: ‘Be like the unfaithful steward and gather friends by the unrighteous mammon. Then later, if you were still to be without home, they will accept you into their heavenly homes?’
 But so that you, Simon Judah, would well understand this, you should listen to Me, but with your two ears at the same time, so that the one ear would not let out what the other ear has picked up and will then stay behind in your heart. Look, every earthly rich person who possesses much more goods and money than he needs for his earthly livelihood, is compared to Me more or less an unrighteous steward because I am the only true owner of the goods, and the goods that he calls his own are all together unrighteous mammon.
 If he then will at least generously remember the poor when the nature of his sicknesses, which are My messengers, will very clearly say to him: ‘The Lord of these goods has many things against you regarding your unrighteous way of doing, and fromnow on you will be no more steward’, then he will make friends by giving generously to the many poor, and when he soon after that will leave, naked and deserted, and will go to them in My Kingdom, they will take care of him and generously reward him for his good work.
 Look, when I created the Earth I did not put border stones, I did not measure the Earth with a rope and I thus did also not say: ‘Look, this part belongs to him, the other to another’, but I made the whole Earth as a common possession for all human beings.
Only in the course of time the miserliness, greed and lust for power of men began to measure the Earth and with force they determined: ‘This big piece of land belongs to me, and whoever wants to serve me and work for me, will in a certain way receive a little piece of land by renting it, but despite that, I remain lord over the whole big piece of land.’
 And look, that was the first so-called patriarchic statute among the people, and no matter how unrighteous it was in itself, it was nevertheless the best and most righteous one, for when the patriarch was as usual a good and God-fearing man, then his citizens or small renters were also doing well at his side, for he took care of the general welfare of the big piece of land.
 I am now amongst you indeed in the neighborhood of the blind Jerusalem that with open ears does not hear anything and with wide-open eyes does not see anything. How often have I already been in Jerusalem and have taught you and have done signs before your eyes as a witness of the true reason of My coming into this world, and still you say that you know nothing of the fact that the Kingdom of God and its justice is being brought back, and you want now from Me – if ever I am the One who brings back the Kingdom of God and its justice anew – that I also would reveal the Kingdom of God and its justice in your presence now immediately. Very well then, I will do it, thus listen to the following image:
 A noble man traveled to a far country to take a kingdom into possession and then to come back. However, before his departure he called 10 helpers to him, gave them 10 pounds and said: ‘Do business with that until I come back. The one amongst you who will give me a good profit will also receive the right reward according to how he will deserve it.’
 Then the noble man left. And the helpers began to do business with the pounds, in a useful and useless manner.
 However, the citizens of the country were hostile against the noble man who was their lord and king, and when they heard that he went on a trip and the helpers were his acting representatives, they send him a message to the place he had traveled, and let him know: ‘In future we nevermore want you to rule over us.’
 But now it happened that the lord came back after having taken possession of the country, and he first called the same 10 helpers to him to whom he had given the money to do business with, to know how much profit each one of them had made.
 The first one came to him and said: ‘Lord, your pound have produced 10 pounds. Here is your pound and there are the other 10 pounds.’ And the lord said to him: ‘Ah, you good and loyal helper. Since you have been loyal in the least, you will now have power over 10 cities.’
 Then a second helper came and said: ‘Lord, your pound has produced 5 pounds. Here is your pound and there are the other 5.’ And the lord said also to that helper: ‘So you also will have power over 5 cities.’ And so it also happened to the others who earned something with that 1 pound.
 Now also a 3rd helper, who was actually the least, was especially called, and he came and said: ‘Look, lord, here is your pound that I have kept in a sweat-cloth. I was afraid of you, because I well knew that you are a hard man who takes what he did not deposit and reaps what he did not sow.’ And the lord said to him: ‘I will judge you with your own words, you cunning man. If you knew that I am a hard man and take what I did not deposit and reap what I did not sow, then why did you not put my money in the bank, so that it would have given me a great profit?’ Then the helper did not know what to say because he could not further justify himself.
The parable of the corpse and the eagles“ The disciples said: “O Lord and Master, now You have again said something which we cannot understand. What is the corpse and what are the eagles, and when will the corpse be, and where will the free eagles come from?”
 I said: “Just look at the rotten and unbelieving institution of Pharisees, then you will see the corpse. I and all who believe in Me, Jews and gentiles, are the eagles who soon will eat up the corpse completely. So also, the night of the sins of the soul are a corpse around which the light of life is spreading itself and destroys the corpse with all its hazes and illusions, just like the morning does with the night.
 As this is now happening before our eyes with the Jewry that is now without truth or faith, by which it has become a very big corpse that will be finished in about 50 earthly years, so it will also happen in later times with the teaching and the church that I am establishing now. It will become an even more terrible corpse than the Jewry now, and then also the free eagles of light and life will come over it from all directions, and with the fire of the true love and with the power of the light of truth they will consume it as a corpse that wants to spoil everything. And that can still happen before 2 full 1000 earthly years after My life as I am now bodily present here amongst you, will have passed by – which I also have already explained to you at other occasions.
 Then you were wondering, just like now, why this will actually be permitted by God. However, I also have already often, like also this time, shown you that I cannot and may not guide men with My almighty will to whom I have given a completely free will, a free self-determination as well as all the other created beings, small and big in the whole of infinity, because if I would do that, then man would not be a human being but would be just like an animal or plant or stone that is judged by My almightiness. Hopefully you will realize and understand this now and will not ask Me so easily about things which are obvious for all those who think somehow clearly.
- Sermon 11 -
Sexagesima Sunday. The Parable of the Sower
St. Luke VIII ,4-15: "And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable: A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it and choked ist. And others fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be? And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they migtht not see, and hearing they might not understand. Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the wayside are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. They on the rock are they which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. But that on the good ground are they which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience."
(January 20, 1872)
This parable of the sower and the seed, which I once gave My disciples and the people surrounding Me, is given in an easily comprehensible form, all the more so as the Gospel also quotes the explanation I then gave to My disciples but not to the people listening to Me.
According to this explanation, the seed is My Word. Where this falls onto the road and is trampled underfoot, it denotes the indifference of those who hear it but disregard it and, indulging solely in their worldly interests, walk over it. The rocky ground onto which the seed falls describes those hearts which - like the scholars and theologians - accept the seed only as far as it fits into their scientific systems. However, as soon as their opinion differs, this seed on the rocky ground finds only little or no nourishment at all and must dry up. If the seed falls among the thorns and sprouts together with them, this means that My Word is only believed and applied to the extent it is reconcilable with worldly opinions. If it clashes with them or if My Word demands sacrifice and self-abnegation, it is put aside and, therefore, also does not bear fruit. Fine words are all it gets, but it does not come to actions.
Third Sunday After Trinity. About the Lost Sheep
St. Luke XV, 3-32: "And he spake this parable unto them, saying, What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he Cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.
And he said, A certain man had two sons: and the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat; and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said. How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and efore thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him. And he answering said to his father, Lo, these years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad; for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found." (March 30, 1872)
This entire chapter of my evangelist Luke deals with what was lost and the joy at finding it again. The scribes and Pharisees who were present were shown in three parables why I did not look for the healthy, but the sick, not for the good and righteous, but the sinners.
In order to grasp the real meaning of these parables, we must first - as in the case of most texts - give a more detailed explanation of their most important words. Although you have a language and use its words to express your thoughts, I must frankly tell you that of all the words you use there is not one the deep meaning of which you understand. Hence, in addition to being your instructor and interpreter of My Gospel, I must be your language teacher as well.
Here in these three parables - of the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son - the following explanations must be given: Firstly: What does "lost" mean?
Secondly: Why is one so anxious to find again what was lost?
And thirdly: Why does one have such an extraordinary joy in that which is found again, a joy which often is far greater than that in the more valuable and important things still in one's possession?
- Sermon 28 -
Second Sunday After Trinity. The Parable of the Great Supper
St. Luke XIV, 16-24: "Then he said unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: and sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I got to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. And the servant said. Lord, It is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say unto you. That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper."
(March 27, 1872)
This parable shows to you My striving to win mankind for Myself and My teaching. On another occasion I said that I have not come to those who are whole, but to those who are sick so that they may be healed. I also showed what they must be like who want to approach Me and My table, that modesty or humility must be the predominant attribute of a person who wants to follow Me. Thus, the further verses of this chapter clearly point out that he who wants to follow Me, must free his heart from all that is of the world and wholly submit to Me.
Therefore, everyone, before he decides to follow Me, should ask himself whether he possesses strength and perseverance to confess and defend My teaching of love and faith under all circumstances. As I have repeatedly reminded you, - to follow Me, to hear My words and live accordingly, is a serious matter which must not be taken lightly, for only those who know the law, or My will, and still offend against it, although their conscience warns them, are responsible in the strictest sense and, therefore, sinners. In view of this, it also says at the end of this chapter: "Who has ears to hear, let him hear!" In other words: My words should not be heard and then disregarded, but should be taken to heart, pondered well, and then complied with!
Coming back now to the actual parable of the Great Supper, we have to begin, as in most cases, with the interpretation of the words, if the deeper meaning of My speech is to emerge clearly. I said: "A certain man made a great supper." A supper is equivalent to an evening meal. What does that denote? First, we have to interpret these two words in more detail before we go into the meaning of the complete term as used by Me in the parable.
The word "evening" denotes the latter part of the day, when work has ended and rest and recuperation is sought during the night until the morning. Thus, the evening is actually the copestone for all the day's activity. And if the evening is to bring rest and satisfaction, all that had been planned in the morning must have been dutifully completed during the day.
It is obvious that a man who has worked and been active all day long is anxious in the evening to regain his used-up strength so as to be able to follow his trade on the following day. And since the body, and indirectly also the soul, by taking in food seeks to replace what has been used up during the day, the physical need, as well as the mental, leads most people to a meal which, since it is taken in the evening, is described as an "evening meal", distinguishing it from the "midday meal", taken at noon and serving a similar need. And since this is not followed by a long rest and
regaining of strength, but by further work, it can only be described as a small rest on the road, whereas the evening meal at the end of the day invites not only to a rest, but also to survey what has been accomplished during the day, giving relaxation and satisfaction only to him who can sitdown at the table with the calm conviction of having done all that his duty or his conscience required him to do.
LOOK, this statement has to be considered and understood this way: all men on this Earth are called and predestined to light and life, but not everyone can be chosen to be a teacher of men, because this would also not be good at all for men.
Would it be good for men – whose main destiny it is to serve one another – if they possessed everything and were capable to make everything? Thereby men would not need each other anymore and neighborly love would be nothing but an idle and meaningless word, as I have explained to My disciples already many times.
Then men would not even need a language anymore. What would be the use of it if nobody would need anything from the other?
 I tell you that with such a sameness in men’s talents and their abilities and appearance, their places to live, and their possessions, and having the same enlightenment, that they would still be on the level of animals, and actually even below of that.
 In order that human beings may be human beings and not animals, everything has been distributed among them in a great variety. One has this, the other one that, and therefore one has to come to the other to be for him a teacher or a helper in one thing or another.
 And so also in the sphere of recognition of the inner light of life there must be a few special elect ones to show the true light of life to the many called ones, and the called ones should then listen, believe and act in accordance with what they are taught by the chosen possessors of light.
 If however, the called ones faithfully accept what they are taught, they are in quite as good a position as the elect and often even better, for an elect who carries the living light within him but does not live in accordance with it, will later on be summoned to a stricter account of his badly used talents than the one who was only called and had only to listen, to believe and be willing to act.
 Look, the chosen ones are My helpers and the called ones are My servants and children.
 On this, Simon Judah said: “O Lord and Master, I do understand it, but it is the same with me as with our friend the supreme judicial city officer – we are completely destroyed by Your infinite perfection and Your personal presence.
 But now that I am speaking anyway, I would like to ask You for a further explanation about a parable of the Kingdom of God that You once gave us near Besetha1. You gave us an explanation at that time that was very good, but the image itself, even with the best of my will I could not really understand it.
 The image or parable sounded like this: that the Kingdom of God, which is the same as the Kingdom of Heaven, is like a sower who went out to sow wheat on his field. While he was sowing, a part fell on the paths and roads. Soon this was partly trampled down and partly eaten by birds. So they did not germinate and did not produce any fruit. Another part fell on rocks and stones, germinated as long as they still had moisture, but this was soon not the case anymore, so that the seeds had no more food, withered and did also not produce any fruit. A part of the seeds of wheat fell between thorns and bushes, germinated, but were soon overgrown by the thorns and bushes, suffocated and did therefore produce no fruit either. Only a part fell in good soil and produc d fruit a hundredfold.
 That was the image, o Lord and Master, that You told us. And when we asked You: Where and how?, You said to us: To you it is given to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of God, but not the others, as it is written in the Scripture: ‘They will look and still not see anything, listen and still not hear or understand.’
 After that, You explained the image to us and we were all very satisfied with the explanation, but till now not completely with the image itself.
 If You, o Lord and Master, meant us who are appointed to spread among the people Your teaching, which is the actual Kingdom of God on Earth, and the sower represented us, then Your image would be completely correct, but if You represented Yourself as the sower, the image seems again very strange to me, for I really cannot imagine a wise sower who would sow three quarters of his noble seed where experience teaches him after a very long time that paths and roads, rocks and stones, thorns and bushes are absolutely not suitable to sow noble wheat on it since such places can never produce any fruit. And the sower will certainly be wise enough to prepare first a field that is suitable for sowing before he will sow his wheat on it, so that it will produce a hundredfold fruit to him.
 But You, o Lord and Master, are as sower infinitely much wiser than all of us will ever be, and so I think that I would commit a big sin if I would take You for such unwise sower. But if You represented us, Your disciples, as that unwise sower, then, as said, Your image is completely correct, for there is still much foolishness and ignorance in us.
 Besides, You already warned us several times that we should not throw Your pearls – which are the same as the pure wheat and therefore also the same as the Kingdom of God – to the swine. And I think that with this image You also meant to say that we should not sow Your wheat on paths and roads, on rocks and stones and between thorns and bushes, because they will not produce any fruit there. Lord and Master, did I clear up Your parable in the right manner?”
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