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57. THE DEATH OF LAZARUS
 THEN the evening meal was finished I told those who belong to Me that I intended to leave very early in the morning, going deeper into Judea towards Jerusalem.
 The disciples who were more close to Me were frightened for My sake, and they whispered among each other, till Peter turned to Me, because he made himself the spokesman for the others, and said: “Lord and Master, each time the Jews in Jerusalem wanted to stone You when You spoke to them, and now You want to go to them again?”
 On this, I answered: “Are there not 12 hours in a day? Can anyone stumble when he walks during the day and stands completely in the light? I am standing completely in the light and know when My hour will come. So do not worry about Me. However, he who walks at night while it is dark around him and in him will soon stumble and can easily go to ruin. For you know that no one has power over Me unless I give it to him.”
 Then the disciples were no more worried about My plan, and I further said to them: “You know that our friend Lazarus is sick and that his sisters sent someone out to Me. Would I now not grant their request out of fear of the Jews?”
 John asked Me: “Lord, You know about everything. How is our friend Lazarus?”
 I answered: “He sleeps, but I will go to him to wake him up.”
 Then the disciples thought among themselves that I spoke about the physical sleep, and said: “Lord, if he sleeps, his sickness will soon leave him, because nothing is better than a healthy sleep for a sick person to bring back his strength.”
 I answered: “You are right about this, but you still are mistaken, for Lazarus does not sleep the sleep of the body, but he died.”
 The disciples were startled about this statement, moreover because it was not so long ago that they saw Lazarus fit and healthy. A loud murmuring of condolence arose among them and finally fearful questions whether it still would be possible to help, because he only might be apparently dead, and if My power would awaken him.
 I said: “Lazarus is dead and rests in his grave for a long time already, but I nevertheless will wake him up. That is why I stayed so long here so that no one could say that he did not really die, and so that by this last open sign that I will perform, the weak minds will become completely believing. I am glad now for your sakes that I was not present and that the Father in Me commanded Me to act this way so that you and still many more people will believe. And that is why we will go to Bethany tomorrow.”
 Now they all were satisfied.
 Except Thomas, who was often plagued by doubts, and who, despite his belief in My word was still very afraid for the Pharisees and Jews, and he said to his brothers: “Let us go with Him anyway to die together if the Jews would lay their hands on Him.”
 But James rebuked him for those words and indicated that no one had any power over Me up to now despite the many attempts. Then also Thomas was satisfied with this, and so there was a great silence in the group because everyone was busy with his own thoughts.
 Now I advised those who belong to Me to go to rest since great efforts would be required from us the next day, and soon everyone was looking for his place to sleep and they took the necessary rest.
 We stood up early in the morning and prepared ourselves for the further trip. Rael came to Me with tears in his eyes and wanted, just like the others, to follow Me.
 But I told him that he should stay, and said: “Rael, it will not be long anymore, and then you will be able to stay with Me forever. So prepare yourself to follow later and do as I already told
you. These ones here, who follow Me, still have a great work to do in My name during their lifetime. But you already fulfilled it, and therefore you are justified before Me, also without following Me now physically, which I often required and about which you have heard.”
 Now also Rael calmed down at these words and said lovingly goodbye to Me and to those who belong to Me.
58. THE CAUSE OF LAZARUS’ DEATH
 NOW we quickly walked on the road that led us to Bethany to cover the distance as fast as possible.
 We had to make a detour to reach that place because I did not intend to go via Jerusalem but wanted to come unseen in Lazarus’ house which was, according to the Jewish measurements, field ways1 away from it. But Bethany was not located on the place of the present village El Azarije2, but more to the east, so that we did not arrive from the west side of the Olive Mountain but from the east side.
 The distance of 15 field ways was measured from the courtyard of the temple where a pillar as a Roman milestone was set up. You can find such marking stones in smaller villages still today. One could cover these 15 field ways in 1 ½ hour by walking easily till It was named Lazarion in the 4th century. Bethany was reached from the just mentioned point.
 From this, an archeologist can more easily determine on that spot as to where the real Bethany was located. But apart from a waste region and apart from stones and bushes he will nowadays find nothing more on the spot where I performed the last and unmistakably greatest sign for the Jews.
 As already known, Lazarus was one of the richest men of the whole of Judea, and since he died without having direct heirs, according to the law of the temple one third of his total fortune
belonged to the temple while his sisters, who had no male family protection – Lazarus did not have any close relatives – came under the supreme rulership of the temple, which practiced in such cases a very unpleasant guardianship. The Pharisees and the Jews of the temple were already for a long time very eager for the rich possessions of Lazarus and, as known, they thought about all kinds of tricks and plots to grab Lazarus into their fingers in order to possibly take the whole rich inheritance into their hands. They did not expect too much difficulty to handle his 2 sisters.
 But Lazarus rejected all claims and deals that were rudely brought forward and he often was so offended by the enforcing manner of the temple rabble that I advised him to lay off his hot-temperedness because it could have bad consequences for him. He followed My advice as he was able and he also became much more peaceful at the time when I gave him those dogs because he
was not so often disturbed anymore.
 But now shortly before his dead he was again in conflict with the members of the temple who accused him because he apparently lacked the necessary respect for the temple, and this went so far that he violently chased away the members of the temple who came to him with the best of soul-caring intentions and he even held back his personnel from visiting the temple and from making the necessary offerings of penance and purification.
 The temple servants knew that these and similar lies were unfounded, as well as the attempts to make him suspicious to the Romans as a friend of Jesus, the agitator of the people, but they
still counted on the hot-temperedness of his character by which he might carelessly expose himself at possible hearings. Then it would be possible to bind him to the temple so that he, in order to be set free, would at least have to make big promises concerning his inheritance.
 Lazarus perceived those cunning plans very well and contradicted the accusations to the Roman governor with authority, so that he went free, without showing any visible outer excitement.
 But it all the more was cooking internally in him so that he caught an acute inflamed gall fever that killed him in a very short time. This was the outer cause for his death. The inner one, purely spiritual, was already mentioned by the answer that I gave to the helper and also by the words to My disciples.
59. THE ARRIVAL IN BETHANY
 THEN we came near Bethany, that same helper, who talked to Me before, came to meet us and said with tears in his eyes that his master had died the same day he was sent out and that he rested in his grave for already 4 days.
 It was especially a custom of the Jews in Palestine not to keep a dead person in the house after sunset but to lay him in a specially prepared grave right after he was declared dead – a custom that was justified because of the fast decomposition.
 After the helper met Me, he hastily went to the house, which was not far away, to tell the sisters about My coming. As was the custom of that time, they were visited by a large crowd of
acquaintances and friends for days, in order to comfort them and to ease the painful separation and their loneliness, for in the beginning, the mourning women could not leave the house at all.
The decency of that time required that they would completely mourn as visible as possible, which also had to be noticeable through much wailing.
 Maria and Martha were not free of the deeply routed customs of their people, but did not really like this depressing wordy stuff, especially because they were deeply convinced of a spiritual continual life. They waited with great expectation for My coming to find real comfort by My word. It did not come into their mind that I would raise their brother from the dead, but they nevertheless hoped to find counsel and help with Me against the Pharisees who put themselves immediately on the forefront and were already looking with eager eyes at the fat inheritance and had already made appointments with the temple guard to secure the inheritance for them.
 The helper, who spoke to Me first, came into the house and he first met Martha. She was as usual doing the housekeeping, this despite her grief and as far as this was possible because of the
presence of the Jews, and she tried to put everything in order just like when her brother was still alive, for he always showed an exemplary order and supervision of the tasks that were necessary
on such big property and which were distributed among the workers.
 Me and My followers did not yet come close to the house, but I was still outside the small village in order to avoid a sensation. But Martha came now hastily to us while we took a little rest at the side of the road, and when she saw Me, she ran to Me while she was loudly weeping.
 I strengthened her in her soul, and now she spoke to Me the well-known words (Martha): “Lord, if You would have been here, my brother would not have died.”
 With this she meant that it would have been easy for Me to make him healthy again, just like I had done for so many other people.
 That is why she added (Martha): “For I still know very well that everything You ask God is given to You by Him.”
 Those words were only a repetition of My words since I often told them by My teaching: ‘For whatever the Son asks the Father, is given to Him’. But these words were no firm conviction of the fact that I Myself am the Father, despite there were so many proofs
of who was living in Me and which for a long time had to open the eyes of those who were close to Me.
 In order to further open her heart for faith and insight, I said with great persuasiveness: “Your brother will rise again.”
 But Martha as well as her sister Maria became innerly so uncertain because of the seemingly almost insurmountable blow of fate. So much so that for the moment only the great distress that
came over them stood before their eyes, and the former firm faith in Me and My mission moved completely to the background. In this way, people are mostly showing an apparent strong faith as long as the outer conditions of life are favorable. But they immediately fall back again into uncertainty, and even disbelief, as soon as a little test comes over them, which according to them had to be turned away by God because they counted themselves among the believers and so it should be God’s duty to protect them against all evil.
 How long will under age children dare to give instructions to the teacher as to how he has to educate them? I, the Teacher, do not educate My children as they want but as it is best for them.
 Also Martha, instead of being awakened by My words and instead of first to awaken the brother of love, the deceased faith, by herself she therefore answered: “I well know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the youngest day.”
 I answered her: “Do you not know that every day is the youngest day, and that I am the resurrection and the life? Whoever believes in Me will live, even if he dies physically. And whoever lives and believes in Me will die no more. The one to whom the power is given to awaken souls so that they will have the truest, clearest and purest life in themselves, will he not be able to bring back the bodies to life who are first created by the soul? Do you believe that?”
 Only now a ray of remembrance awakened in Martha about what she heard before concerning the awakening of the dead and thereby the hope that I would want to do the same here, and with hopeful love she said to Me: “Lord, yes, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God who came into the world to save us.”
 After she said that, she wanted to fall down before Me but I prevented her to do this and admonished her to be cheerful and to sent Maria here and to remain silent herself about what we talked about.
 And Martha went immediately to comply with My wish.
60. THE LORD AND MARIA
 MARIA sat in the beauty room, which could be found in every Jewish house, and was surrounded by the many friends and acquaintances of Lazarus. They spoke comforting words to her and mentioned the many good qualities of the deceased. Maria preferred to stay in this company so that at least the attention of a few Pharisees would be turned away and they could therefore not approach her with all kinds of already quite brutal proposals, because, as already said, they behaved rather shamelessly like lords.
 Before Maria knew Me she was a very merry person, and, by the wealth she possessed, she carelessly gave in to the joys of the luxurious life introduced by Herod Antipas at that time. She was independent and believed that, under the protection of her brother, she did not have to worry about the opinion of the crowd which was however corrupted. As a result, she often had nasty
experiences because the lustful Pharisees thought that she was frivolous.
 However, her former, more outer life turned completely to the inner and gave her the clear sight by which she also could recognize Me more than her sisters. Now, after the death of her
brother, the Pharisees behaved all the more shamelessly because they did not believe in a true change of her inner being. They even tried to give the impression that I was the lover that was favored by Lazarus and made scorning remarks about this, as well as about the absence of My miraculous power that should have saved the friend.
 At the moment of My arrival most of the Pharisees were not present but went to the already famous inn that belonged to Lazarus and was located on the Mount of Olives to focus on the conditions of lease. As known, the Pharisees had given a bad reputation to this inn and deliberated among themselves to especially claim the inn, because the temple could, after removing the blemish, make good business with it, especially because before it was often visited by the Jews as a kind of place of relaxation because of the beautiful view.
 Martha went secretly to Maria who kept herself away from the present Jews, and said quietly to her: “The Master is here and He calls you.”
 Maria asked quickly where I was and Martha told her short and quickly. When she heard that, Maria stood hastily up and went immediately outside.
 The Jews who saw how hastily she ran away, were at first very surprised, but then Ephraim, a friend of Lazarus who had known his father and who often saw and heard Me in the house by which he became some kind of half-believer and took Me at least for a respectable person but not for the Messiah, said: “She probably goes to the grave to weep and to pray there. Friends, let us go and look for her to prevent her from doing something to her in her grief.”
 The other Jews agreed on that, and so they slowly followed Maria who was in front. When she saw Me among those who belong to Me, she ran fervently to Me and fell loudly crying at
 Sobbing, and in her grief and in her gladness to see Me, she could not find the words till I lovingly asked her: “Maria, why do you cry? Do you not know that your brother lives in My
 Full of grief she nodded with her head and repeated the words of her sister (Maria): “Lord, if You would have been here my brother would not have died.”
 I raised her from the ground and said: “If you would have had faith, the spirit that lives in Me could also have protected your brother even if I was not present, but you are under age children and do not understand God’s ways.”
 Meanwhile the Jews who followed Maria came also closer and formed a group of about 12 people. When they saw how much Maria was crying and, while I was holding her, she apparently did not want to be comforted, they also were deeply moved, as well as those who belong to Me and who were present at this scene. And from both sides there were abundant tears of compassion.
 Now Ephraim, who was already a grey man, said: “Master, death can be so cruel that it has torn away this protector and best brother in his full manly power. Why did such thing have to
 Also the other Jews, although they really knew Me and My word, agreed with the speaker and criticized God. These were real friends of Lazarus and were poor themselves for who he did many good things during his life and were very grateful to him in their heart. Maria cried all the more, and those who belong to Me looked at Me with looks that clearly showed that they did not
understand God’s ways in this case.
 Then My soul was seized by a deep melancholy because in the hearts of those who had listened to Me for so long already and who saw so many beautiful works of the Spirit that lives in Me, still so little true living faith had grown. And all the power of My soul as Son of man clung together in the fervent desire to entirely destroy the serpent that prevented My children to see completely clear so that the tree of life in them could flourish and bear great fruits.
 What happened in Myself was indicated by the evangelist with the words: ‘He became angry in the spirit and sad’. For as long as My body had not died, the complete union of the material and spiritual did not take place yet, but it demanded its rights from the Son of man as a physical human being just like with anyone else. He was submitted to the necessities of the body as well as to the soul’s moods which could only be raised from the doubts to knowledge by faith and a firm will, bringing about in this way the full unity of body, soul and spirit.
 From the moment the deity in Me made the last attempt in the lonely valley to argue with Lucifer, the Son of man came again more to the foreground, who finally in Gethsemane had to go trough all the soul’s anguishes and the foretaste of death to break all the bolts of death, disbelief and doubt, regardless of the fact that the almighty deity could have destroyed His creation with one word, but in order to save it, humbled Himself more deeply than the lowest creature.
 These words are very necessary so that each person would take them up in his heart and learn to understand. Otherwise he will never understand why I once came into the flesh, suffered and died, and so understand the reason of this apparent double nature of the Son of man and the Son of God.
61. THE AWAKENING OF LAZARUS
[1[ MARIA was still crying, lying in My arm. And to test the Jews I now asked them: “Where did you lay him down? For they had to know that this place was very well known to Me.
 But they said (the Jews): “Lord, come and see”, and they turned around to show Me the way.
 Also Maria dried her tears, released My arm and walked in front to show Me the way.
 Did the One who knows all ways need a guide? And My eyes were full of tears.
 Then the Jews said among each other: “See how He loved Him”.
 Nota bene: If people would know about all the things that are contained in this event and what it means in the spiritual world they would never doubt anymore that God is entirely love.
 It has to be preserved for future writers when the hearts will have become more receptive and purer to make those deepest secrets of heart of the eternal Spirit of God more clear and to describe them with understandable words for the believing, childlike mind so that they will realize how infinitely great and inexhaustible the source of My love is. Amen.
 Some of the Jews who came with Ephraim whispered now among each other, indicating the miracle that I performed for the blind man on the road to Jericho: “Could He who opened the eyes of the blind man also not take care that Lazarus would not have died?”
 Again My inner Being was moved, because all these words – although they could not be heard by those who stood around Me while I could clearly hear them – provoked a deep melancholy because of the fact that their faith was so little alive.
 And I turned to My disciple John who walked next to Me and said to him: “John, when you will report about the deed for which I go to the gave, report then also about those doubters so that the future generations will have a clear sign of how little use miracles have, and that all power only lives in the word which is permeated by faith. That is why those who belong to Me should in later times only fight with this sharpest weapon, because what is of God is infallible by the inner, lasting nature.”
 Now we came to the grave which was located outside of Bethany on a spot with an open view, surrounded by olive trees and bushes, and it was cut out in the rocks. Lazarus already constructed it during his life because formerly it had been his precious thought to rest on his estate and to be also its protector as it were after his death. This grave, which exists even now – but by no means the grave that is shown to the strangers and travelers – was not made with a front room and a niche as in the usual manner of the Jewish graves, but more in the manner of the Roman cemeteries or columbaria.
 There was a deep hall hewn in the rocks, quite highly arched, and at its end there was a deeper part in the rock in which the deceased was laid, covered by a big rectangular stone that was difficult to turn away. That hall, according to Lazarus’ idea, had to contain niches on the left and right for the future graves of his sisters. But these did not want to know their future places of burial during their lifetime. That is why their brother omitted this and made only one grave.
 When we came to the grave, I said to a few of Lazarus’ helpers who were nearby and busy to arrange the environment of the grave and who were now curiously watching to see what would happen: “Lift the stone from the grave.”
 They heard My call in disbelief, and Martha, who did not indicate to them to follow My command, said in a worried tone to Me: “Lord, he already stinks, for he already lays there for 4 days.”
 I answered her: “Martha, why do you resist My word? Did I not tell you that you will see the glory of God if you believe? Then do what I have told you.”
 Then with great difficulty they lifted the heavy stone from the grave, and immediately the workers drew back because of the bad smell that emanated from the dead. So nobody could stay close to the hall of the rock, and those who came with us stepped aside, being surprised and watching with full expectation to see what I would do.
 And I went to stand close to the entrance of the hall of the rock and said with a loud voice: “Father, I thank You that You answered Me, Your Son. However, I know that You always
answer Me, for Your voice lives and sounds in Me. I am not saying this for My sake but for the sake of the people who stand here around, so that they finally may entirely believe and realize that You have sent Me and that You live in Me, as I in You.”
 After these words I went to the grave and called with a loud voice: “Lazarus, come out.”
 Immediately the bad smell disappeared, and the body that came to life began to move. Maria and Martha felt in their heart what would happen when I went to the grave, but they nevertheless carried the doubt whether I would succeed – like everyone else always prefer to have faith when others are concerned, but when it concerns their own skin, they have much less faith. And they cried out from joy and ran into the grave.
 Now Lazarus was completely tied up in death clothes, his face covered with a sweat cloth. He himself sat upright and sat in the grave like someone who woke up from a deep sleep, being not yet able to gather his thoughts.
 Therefore I said to his sisters: “Untie the cloths and let him go.”
62. THE CONVERSION OF MANY JEWS
 WHEN that happened, Lazarus recognized Me immediately and came quickly to Me. He knelt before Me and called out loudly: “My Lord and My God.”
 But I lifted him up, hugged him to My chest and said: “Lazarus, you overcame death by Me. See to it that you will also be able to do that without My help, for a man is only really free from all the bonds of death when he pulls My power unto himself, and then, as a conqueror and ruler, will come out of his grave in which his soul was slumbering. But go inside now and strengthen yourself so that your body will gather new strength for the earthly life.”
 Lazarus did not say a word anymore but greeted silently, and sustained by his sisters, he slowly walked home, dressed in the clothing of the grave.
 However, all the others who were present at this scene were so much seized by amazement that it was only after a long time that they could find the words to express themselves.
 Especially the Jews who first spoke out skeptically about My miracle power, looked with fearful embarrassment in My direction, so that I said to them: “Are you afraid of Me, now that you have seen that I can command death? Do you then not see that I am a Lord of life? But if you fear Him, then what will happen if you knew that I am leading death as My companion? Do you not have all reason to rejoice? Thus, why do you hesitate?”
 One of them, who already had been the spokesman of the others before, said: “Lord, we can clearly see now that truly all of God’s power is embodied in You. But when we realize that, should we then not be afraid to stand before the One whose breath called us to life and who, because of our many sins, could again destroy us with one breath? For look, after our eyes have seen the works of Your power it became very clear to us how miserable we are in Your eyes and how useless in what we do. Therefore, we are afraid to exist before You.”
 I said: “If justice would be the only quality of God you truly would not – and no one of you here – be able to exist before Me, for there is not one hair on you that did not fall prey to sin and therefore to destruction. But God’s love, meekness and mercy are as infinite as the infinity of the entire universe, and therefore He does not forget even the least of all creatures which He ever created.
 But He wants to be a caring Father for you all – not a God for whose wrath you shiver and tremble. The God of revenge lives only in your imagination. You made him that way because only a vengeful, severe God seemed for the Jews to be worthy of worship. That is why multiple judgments were so much emphasized, which were however never real judgments but solely the consequences of the evilness, stupidity and stubbornness of the people.
 However, I am the Father Myself who came down now in human form to proof His more than great love to the people and to open for them the gates of life which they themselves have blocked. Then why are you afraid when you see that I break open the gates of death so that live can enter in full streams?”
 The spokesman, who became more confident now, came closer and said: “O Lord, we are also no more afraid. If You would like to accept us we would gladly stay with You forever.”
 I said: “Have you ever heard that I rejected someone who longed for Me? Therefore, come all to Me so that I revive you and release you completely from all bonds of death.”
 After these words, all the hesitating spectators rushed to Me, and each one of them tried to grab My hands or to touch My garment. Because of that they all had tears in their eyes, for they
were mightily permeated with My Spirit of love which woke up a fervent longing for Me.
 I urged them to be calm and to come with Me to Lazarus who meanwhile had reached the house. At first he was fearfully stared at by his numerous personnel as if he was a ghost, but when his sisters gave an explanation, they stood around him with great shouts of joy, for Lazarus was a very just man who was very loved by everyone in his house. And by his death the subsistence of his landed property became very uncertain, because, as already mentioned before, Lazarus did not leave any manly heirs behind so that the many workers, handmaids and helpers who were active on his landed properties were very worried about their further employment and especially about who their next lord might be. Now these worries became suddenly unnecessary, and their shouts of joy were extremely happy for two reasons, namely for Lazarus and for their own free future.
 It is not difficult to imagine that when I entered the house – after they finished their shouts of joy – that everyone ran to Me and greeted Me as Savior of people in great need. I kindly accepted all those expressions of gratitude and told those who were simply drunk of joy to give thanks to the Lord and to thank Him who accomplished such great things in the Son of man. I had to speak that way there because many of them were by far still not ripe enough to know that I Myself was the Lord whom they had to thank.
 Lazarus, who meanwhile had strengthened himself with food and drink and who was now more fresh and fit as ever before, gave instructions for a great festive dinner which, according to Jewish custom, should not be lacking on any happy occasion. He invited Me to share it with his household and asked Me if he also could invite his neighbors who were still not there. I gladly allowed this to him, for it was according to My will that this deed should become known in the wide environment because now would start the last and greatest fishing for My Kingdom. (GGJ Book 25)
1 See Book 24; 75:5.
2 El Azarije or Eizariya. It is believed that this is the place where Bethany was formerly located.
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