Jesus' Precepts and Deeds through His Three Years of Teaching

In Jesaira

- Chapter 186 -
The Pharisees' incorrigible stubbornness. The Lord's sharp words to them. Hints about diverse types of possession and the influence of evil spirits. The Pharisees' fury.

ay the Pharisees, 'This is not our fruit; this is the fruit of vagabonds such as yourself, who come from all the world from time to time, in the shape of all kinds of artists and magicians. To our faces they indeed carry on this miserable trade; but comes night, and they turn into proselytes for heathen philosophy, having great persuasive powers for casting suspicion on us and the Temple, together with its God-given ordinances, to the most scandalous degree! Behold, such heathen-Jews as dwell here in Jesaira are then the fruit of such individuals! We have at all times spoken good and true, and taught them according to Moses, rightly and fairly. But if Beelzebub turns the people away from us through individuals like you, is this our fault?! Wherefore it is not us who are the evil tree, when Satan destroys and robs the fruit on our boughs. Our teaching and speech is good; but your talk and deeds originate with the devils' chief, and seduce the gullible population! Hence you ought to be stoned, together with your followers!'
While the infuriated Pharisees spoke such words, the people began to murmur and betray intentions of laying hands on the Pharisees.
But I said to the people, 'Let it be! It is enough that these evil ones are everlastingly defeated; whence they should be spared for now! But they are now to receive My well-deserved testimony!'
Say the people, 'Yes, Lord, we implore You to show these wretches who and what they actually are!'
I now turn to the Pharisees again, saying in full earnest, 'Oh you generation of adders! How can you speak good, since in your hearts you are evil through and through?! But with whatsoever the heart is filled, the mouth overflows. (Matt. 12:37) A good person at all times brings forth the good from the good treasure of his heart; but an evil person brings forth from his treasure! (Matt. 12:35) Yet I say unto you that men shall once be called to account for every evil and useless word they uttered, on the day of judgment! (Matt. 12:36) It will be as written in the book of Job; 'For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy word thou shalt be condemned! (Matt. 12:37)
I have showed you before why I came here and also to other places; but the evil sense in your heart cannot accept this, and still less grasp it, that you should become free and blessed!
For all the good that I do you freely, you want to stone and kill Me. Oh you generation of adders, you brood of vipers! True indeed is every evil testimony the prophets foretold you, verily only too true; 'With dead ceremony and mere lips you honour God; but your heart is far from Him!'
There were however a few Pharisees and Scribes among them whose heart was struck somewhat by My speech. These cut a somewhat human face, saying, 'Master, we cannot fully dismiss your teaching; but we were prevented yesterday and today from being witnesses of your wondrous deeds. Work another such sign, as we want very much to see one! (Matt. 12:38) Perhaps this will suffice our intellect, and we could in the end embrace your doctrine ourselves!'
But I turned to the people and spoke thus, 'This evil and adulterous generation wants a sign! But no sign shall be given it, other than that given to the prophet Jonah once! (Matt. 12:39) For just as Jonah was in the whale's belly three days and three nights, so likewise shall the Son of Man be in the middle of the earth three days and three nights (Matt. 12:40) (N.B. Here, at the outset, middle of the earth signifies the grave; spiritually however it indicates that the Soul of the Son of Man shall descend to the captive souls of the departed and there make them free).
Here the Pharisees looked at one another, saying, 'What's this; what will he do? How shall he get to the middle of the earth? Where is that? Is this not everywhere and yet nowhere? Who can know how big the earth is, and where its middle is? This person is insane, or an evil spirit is trying to get hold of him; for it is said that any man about to go insane, can work diverse wonders. How would he compare himself with Jonah, who preached at Nineveh?!'
Here I say again, as if to the people, 'Verily, verily, the men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation and shall condemn it; because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, a greater than Jonah is here. (Matt. 12:41) Likewise, the queen of the South shall appear in the beyond with this generation and shall condemn them! For she (Semiramis) came from the end of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, here is more than Solomon!' (Matt. 12:42)
Say the Pharisees, 'Very well then, since you believe we all are of the devil, and that we shall be condemned by one and all on judgment day then drive the devils out of us, as you did with the blind and dumb yesterday, and we shall then be as well able to praise you as the one healed by you!'
But they did not speak thus out of a sincere desire to be rid of their many evil spirits, with which they already were fully at one, but only to make out some case against Me. Because once an evil spirit has made everything subject and subservient to himself within a man, he does not manifest in an obvious fashion, but acts in a clever and worldly way, so that none should believe such person to be possessed, notwithstanding that he is possessed more thoroughly than some other who is still being tormented by some spirit because not yet master in his house.'
Hence also I said to the Pharisees and Scribes, 'This can for several reasons no longer be effected in you: for the evil spirits have for a long time been completely at one with your soul and therefore fully comprise your very own evil and adulterous life. Were I to take them away, I should also remove your life therewith. But were I to somehow still maintain your actual original life, this would still be of no use to you, for your entire nature now is of the devil through and through. Because even where through My power such unclean spirit departs from such people, he then wanders through arid regions, looking for rest and finding none (Matt. 12:43), i.e. the devil seeks to tempt virtuous men and knocks; but he finds no admission, and these for him and his purposes are arid regions and deserts, where no herb grows for him. He then says to himself, "I shall return again to my old house; for in the steppes and deserts there is for me no place of rest, whilst in the dwellings already harbouring the likes of me I shall find no admission." When resolved thus, the devil comes back to his former dwelling, and he of course finds it empty (Matt. 12:44), swept and garnished. Whereupon he withdraws, calling seven other spirits, who each are more wicked than he. With their help he then easily obtains access to his former dwelling, and all live in such house; and with such person, the last state then is much worse than the first.
And this is how this generation would fare. Hence it shall not be made more damnable through Me than it already is.
On hearing such, the Pharisees are aglow with rage, and would have liked to tear Me to pieces but for fear of the people.