Jesus' Precepts and Deeds through His Three Years of Teaching

The Lord on the Mount of Olives. (cont.) Gospel of John, Chapter 8

- Chapter 81 -
The old rabbi describes the story of the decline of the Jewish people.

(The innkeeper:) "But soon afterwards, an old, more dignified rabbi appeared on the rostrum who, as known, was still a friend of the old, pious Simeon and later on also of the strangled Zachariah. When he appeared, all the people became quiet, greeted him and asked him to give them a fair and proper word of consolation in this extremely hard-pressed situation.
"And the rabbi said: 'My dear brothers from the loins of Abraham! Pardon my old age that I don't have full control over my tongue any more for all the good and true things as in the old days; but I am still not lacking the good will to give all of you a fair and proper word of consolation.
The signs that we got to see this night, conveyed through the resolution of the almighty God, were truly of such nature that even the heathens started to tremble thereby, and no Jew, not even a Sadducee nor a Samaritan, could watch them with a fearless mind. But I thought in my old naivety: Dear Jehovah! You certainly did not let these terribly horrendous signs appear on your starry sky because of my person, just as you never let your dear sun rise and shine for my sake alone; because it illuminated this earth for thousands of years before me and will also continue to illuminate it after me for-who knows how many-thousands of years! As an almost hundred-year-old man, I will not enjoy the blessing of the dear sun of God much longer. For the light of the sun no longer penetrates the graves of decay; and even if it did penetrate them, it surely could not give any more delight to the dead bodies. Everything in this world is perishable and, truly, completely joyless for every unemotional thinker. Only the power of God is not, it remains eternally; but our souls depend on the will of the Almighty alone. The full, understandable and clearly conceivable truth allows no man to comprehend and perceive whether the soul will continue to live after death; but Moses and all the prophets after him have taught us thus, and we must believe this-and if we don't believe it, we resemble the Sadducees who deserted us because they were misled by the Greek philosophers to do so.
But, unfortunately, there are even more Sadducees among us and here in the temple than among you out there. The same is true in this big city where the rich people already believe in almost nothing anymore because of their wealth; and whatever they are still doing in matters of faith, they do only for show so that the common folk continue to fear God; in their hearts, however, they have no faith and no God anymore.
But the servient, poor and common folk observe this about the wealthy anyway, and they think to themselves: 'Ah, when you wealthy people, who could experience and know so much through your resources, believe neither in Moses nor in the prophets and therefore not in God, why then would we poor people, in order to meet with your approval, believe in that which is nothing to you rich people?!'
And thus, my dear ones, one bad attitude causes another one, and now we are all almost at the point where the people of Noah's and Lot's times were. At that time, as well as now, God sent selected messengers to the people on earth, and the messengers, with words and deeds, urgently admonished all those who had totally forgotten God, and they also described to them the inevitable consequences of their obstinacy; but the people had engrossed themselves too much in the dead and deathly world and had gotten on the wrong track, and they either did not hear the messengers of God at all or they persecuted them pertinaciously, mistreated them and even killed them, often in a cruel manner. And look, my very dear friends and brothers, between you and me, things with us here, and in particular here in this temple, are now just as bad and, sadly, maybe even worse!
The Jews really remained as such only halfway through the time of the Judges. Back then, there was not yet an actual town in the whole country; but there were communities with makeshift houses and individual cottages, and in the center of the country on Mount Horeb, the holy tent was erected where the ark of the covenant was located, and all of this inspirited the land of Father Jacob. In those days, the Jews did not need a mighty fortress in order to protect themselves in it against the external enemies because Jehovah alone was their mighty fortress, their insurmountable wall and their sharp sword. Beside God, they knew no other lord; they lived in deep peace, were healthy in body and mind and did not know any distress.
But around the times of the last Judges, they already started to become more indifferent and lazy in everything. They began to respect the commandments and also other statutes less and transgressed them many times. In those times, they immediately received some admonishment, which the better ones indeed complied with; but the more secular ones only pretended to do it only did it for the sake of appearance, but in their hearts, the dead world nevertheless took priority. Such secularized Jews soon became rich and distinguished people and were not content with their simple dwelling huts any more, nor with the Judges appointed by God, but instead they wanted to have a glamorous, mighty king and a town and mighty fortresses, just as the heathens. Under Samuel, they finally seriously insisted on having a king, and God, the Lord, said: 'Look at that thankless people! They are no longer content with My fatherly governance under which they have become healthy, wealthy and highly respectable. To all those many great sins which they have already committed before My countenance, they add yet this greatest one by demanding a king! Yes, they shall have a king and towns and fortresses; but not for their benefit, but they shall have a king as a fierce and grim rod!'
I am telling you all of this only in a few words, so that you all the more realize the reason for this present total decline of the true, old and authentic Judaism.
Saul already had to have a mighty fortress, even though not yet an actual town. Already then, wars with the Philistines began, and the fathers had to endure their sons and best farm laborers being taken away to war by the king and, in addition, they had to surrender their best oxen, donkeys, cows, calves and sheep. This in itself was already the first blessing of a Jewish king while Samuel was still alive who anointed Saul as a king at God's behest. Now Samuel thought that the people, through such punishment, would engage in soul-searching and would again ruefully return to the ruling of God. But not at all! The people only wanted a more powerful and wiser king, and Samuel anointed David who soon built the town of Bethlehem and laid the foundation stone for the town of Jerusalem. His son Solomon expanded the town and the temple at high cost and with great splendor; but, in the course of this, the people already descended into great poverty, and they had to put up with all kinds of hardship.
We know from the Books of Chronicles what the people had to endure later on under the subsequent kings until around the Babylonian captivity. But one should assume that the forty years of captivity would bring about a total change of mind of the Jews who were again liberated from it; but no, they had to have kings again and, like the heathens, priests and high priests!
During this time and close to our time, the Lord sent the most prophets, who called the people back to God. But the people, having become too dark and deaf through the influence of the kings and priests, did not perceive nor understand any of that which the prophets announced to them. In addition, the kings and priests even persecuted the prophets, and that often with the most outrageous revenge and fury, as you already have experienced such scenes yourselves and most likely will experience some more, although at the present time and for quite some time before, the Jews have not had their own king anymore, but they have to endure the iron sovereignty of the heathens.
But this time also, God took great pity on His people and sent us a Messiah in the person of the wise man from Nazareth according to the prophecy whom I have already known from Simeon's times on because Simeon recognized Him at the temple, circumcised Him and named Him Jesus. I am only able and permitted to tell you this at this exceptional time of tribulation, and what I, as a man of very old age, now tell you, that is the high and holy truth. But these arch temple priests, who are domineering beyond all measure, persecute with the wildest vindictiveness anyone who would utter such things at a different time.
And look, now that I have briefly said in advance everything that is needed, now I can tell you how God allowed the horrible phenomena to happen last night! The dimensions of the sacrilege and the transgressions of the arch temple priests have almost reached the limits set for them by God, and the great patience of Jehovah is hanging by a thread! When the limits are reached, what you have seen in the second sign will also happen to Jerusalem , and maybe this will already happen earlier, before a full fifty years go by.
The twelve fire columns that merged into one at the end obviously showed the fusion of the twelve Tribes of Israel into one, namely into the Messiah who came and who in the end, as the blindest and most wicked arch temple Jews did not embrace him, ascended again to where he had come from.
But later on in the West, as the wise Nicodemus just told me, there was still a third sign of a very comforting kind to be seen, but of course only by those who have embraced the Messiah, believe in Him and act according to His teaching which is of divine wisdom. But Nicodemus can tell you more about this later on because he himself has also seen the third phenomenon."
Hereupon the old man recommended that they, that means the people, be very patient, and he exited the rostrum. And all the people praised the old orator.
And the man from Bethlehem said: "Yes, this is still an old man in the manner of Aaron; but he alone can't do anything against so many! But what is seriously significant is that, after all, among the Pharisees and scribes, quite a number of people can also still be found at the temple who believe in the Savior from Nazareth!"
Some more considerations of this kind were expressed, and everybody longingly awaited the honest and upright Nicodemus, who was a little longer in coming."