- Sermon 1 -
First Sunday in Advent. The Signs of the Future

t. Luke XXI, 25-26: "And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken."

(November 23, 1871)

This is that text from the Gospels with which the ecclesiastical year usually commences. It is read to the believers at church every year, explained in one way or another, so as to best serve the preacher's purpose. Even if many of them do speak of signs and miracles, only a few know what these signs actually consist in and in what way they will announce the time to come. Most preachers choose their explanations of this text from the political life thus endeavouring to explain what is spiritual with wordly examples. This is quite as futile an effort as if one would try to explain the spiritual world through the material, whereas it should be the other way round, since the happenings in the world are the result of spiritual upheavals.
Behold, My children, when in those times I spoke of signs and predicted to the Jews the destruction of their temple, only few of them believed My words because they did not know Me. Now, when I am telling you the same, there are quite as many doubters and non-believers expecting the signs from a different side than where they will acutally be coming from.
At that time I predicted the destruction of the temple of Jerusalem and the end of the Jewish people as an intependent nation. I told them that the way in which they were observing their religious laws was contrary to what Moses and the Prophets had wanted to give them, and that an end must be made to this conception and practice by means of the true interpretation for the sake of which I had come and sacrificed My life.
They did not want to relinquish what through habit had long since become their faith or religion. For them the temple in Jerusalem represented the spiritual edifice of religion. However, since things were so bad in that temple and religion was preached and practised to suit the interests of priests and Pharisees, this material temple had to be destroyed if mankind were not to rot in the muddy, stagnant water of their lowest passions. Another, spiritual, everlasting temple, for which I laid the foundation-stone during My life on earth, could only be built on the ruins of the former.
As from that time and since My ascension, signs have been given, and still are being given, until My Second Coming, admonishing people to convert, but it never seemed to be the right time to destroy the present temple, namely Rome and its establishment. Even if a ray of light heralding the future illumined the heart of many a person, in Rome it stayed dark and kept getting darker instead of lighter.
What once happened in Jerusalem, where the armed Roman power during a long time respected the religion and customs of the Jews and gave them a free hand, has happened also with Rome until this day. The mighty, with the sword in their hand, well aware of the nuisance in Rome, dit not want to make an end to it, but preferred to use it in their own interest. However, just as once the Jews brought about the destruction of the temple and their own downfall through their presumptious and rebellious attitude, the edifice of the infallible on Peter's chair in Rome will collapse through the presumption and blindness of his own assistants and will have to make room for My teaching as once before.
What happened when I first came to the earth as a man will happen again. There will be signs - happy they who understand and heed them for their own benefit and that of their fellowmen!
Spiritually that which has been predicted will commence -and actually has already commenced - with exactly the same symptoms as once during My pilgrimage on earth. Wars and uprisings, the persecution of My followers, fear of the future and all kinds of diseases were the early signs then and shall not be absent today. Not that I am sending them, but men work their own destiny through non-comprehension of My divine words that shall remain unchanged forever. The wind of spiritual freedom is blowing also today, penetrating all human hearts. The human rights that have been disregarded for so long want to be respected and no longer trampled underfoot by just one class - the more powerful.
It says that even a worm will turn when trod upon. Well, the mighty of the church and the world have trod on the worm long enough, endeavouring to completely subjugate it und let human dignity begin only with them. But they went too far. This they feel and are now - in their fear of the consequences - looking for means to stop this development. But in vain! As once in Jerusalem, also these mighty of today will reap what they have sown.
At that time I advised My followers to be moderate in everything, to retain their souls and bodies pure and not to misuse them, so that they may stand purified before the Son of Man when He shall come.
The same admonition applies also today: "Watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation!" Keep yourselves pure, gain strength through your faith in My love and My divine care which, even if it allows the most terrible things to happen, will never punish those who have followed My teaching with childlike trust and practised it with faithful zeal.
The signs of the time will pass you by when you have learned to adapt your body to a minimum of physical needs, but instead are more concerned with the building up of your spiritual being. Then - as once My followers did - you will praise My greatness, love and mery even over smoking ruins of worldly splendour and battlefields, where matter has been defeated, but the spirit liberated. Amen.