- Sermon 15 -
Third Sunday in Lent. The Casting out of a Devil

t. Luke XI, 14-28: "And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake; and the people wondered. But some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils. And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven. But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth. If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? Because he say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub. And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore shall they be your judges. But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God ist come upon you. When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armor wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils. He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth. When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return upon my house whence I came out. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him. Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it."

(June 27, 1872)

In order to understand and appreciate this deed, you must first know how the devils get into a person and what they are in reality, so that the casting out can become comprehensible to you.
To make this clear to you, I must go far back and lead you into earlier eons when there was no material world as yet but only the realm of spirits.
Out of presumption and defiance, the first angel, as the bearer of light into the farthest spaces of the heaven of spirits, abused his might and - together with his adherents - rebelled against Me. And since he and his accomplices had no intention of ever returning, they were banned into matter and compelled to set out on the long road of progressive purification in order to return to their once better state. This process of purification is still on today until all will have again become what they once were, namely, recognizers of My might and love and active promoters of My great plan of creation.
Now behold, in that distant time when the individual liberty of the spirit was established as inviolable, which is still the case today, the spirits, including Satan himself, were free either to return from their wrong direction or not. But since the spirits were not all equal in recognition, goodness and insight - just as still today there are no two beings which are spiritually alike - the ways in which those spirits thought and acted were most varied. One was satisfied with his spiritual level, another was not. One was steadfast in resisting the temptation of the more wicked, whereas another opposed the influence of the better ones. Hence, there did not exist a proper progression, but there were as many different opinions and ideas about Me, the world and the necessary development as there were spiritually thinking beings.
This great diversity, existing among the good spirits as well as among the evil, who prefer to regard Satan as their deity in the same way as the good regard Me, - this diversity is the basis for the spiritual life and activity necessary for the continuance of the great realm of spirits.
Although the great multitude of fallen spirits under their principal leaders took a direction other than the one destined for all, their actions, which are opposed to Me and My principle of good, must nevertheless serve My purpose. In the results, which are not according to their wishes, they must recognize My omnipotence which they cannot evade whatever they do.
The same way of spiritual existence and activity is also found among the souls of those who were called away from all the globes and are now living in the beyond. Also they have freedom of will. They can progress or retrogress, they can do whatever they wish. They can, in a minute, proceed from the hellish torture of a tormenting conscience to the beatitude of an angel; can remain what they were in their lives on earth or become still more wicked through companionship with other, more evil souls. Their sphere of action is limited by nothing but the conditions of existence found on each spiritual level.
Primordial, not yet incarnated spirits as well as souls departed from human bodies who have no urge to progress, seek - since activity is a principle of life without which nothing can exist - to occupy themselves by endeavouring to draw into their sphere spirits or still living beings whose inclinations make an influence possible, and to impart to them their own views and inclinations. Therefore, the more a person nourishes his own evil passions, the more easily he may become subjected to such an influence and ultimately fall victim to these evil spirits tormented by boredom. As through writing, knocking and other means the spirits can exercise an influence upon individual receptive souls and thereby contribute, at least indirectly, to unbelievers realizing that there is another world, thus evil spirits of the deceased may affect the mind, even the physical organism, of a person, in which case raving madness or other diseases are the externally visible consequences.
If you could see with spiritual eyes, you would discover an entirely new world in and around you which, like the external, material world, is also endeavouring to make your return to Me as difficult as possible. It was on account of this that I once said to My disciples in the garden of Gethsemane: "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation!"
Hiding their pernicious venom under the sophisticated cloak of self-love, these spiritual influences are in the beginning so mild and gentle that one needs an acute perception and steady vigilance to refrain from doing the will of others instead of one's own. If, however, a person remains steadfast and the evil spirit sees that his influence is resisted, he gives up because he does not want to waste his time.
This invisible influencing and transforming of matter, this coming into existence and disintegrating, this transition to other forms, - all this would unfold in the spiritual world before your eyes on an even larger scale if you had the spiritual vision. For, you could look through the spirits and observe at once which idea is moving one or the other to do this or that. In this spirit world you would have to use an entirely different yardstick than in your material world, since there already thoughts are being weighed, whilst in your visible world a thousand thoughts pass unnoticed until perhaps only the last one, through action, discloses the idea of another living being.
You would be amazed if you could watch the departed souls arrive in the beyond and see how they are received by other spirits either with love or hatred. You would be amazed at the moral struggles a soul has to experience there until it can go its own way independently. There hiding, hypocrisy and dissembling is of no use. There man, as a spirit, is but the reflection of his spiritual self attained in this world, and not by actions but by thoughts because thoughts brought about the actions, and they are the determining factor also in the spiritual world. Every thought flashing through your head or heart is carved as an indelible imprint in your inner spiritual man and will someday contribute to forming the spiritual garment of your soul's body.
If people only knew what they are doing when they either depart from this earth bearing a grudge, or when survivors curse the departed, they would shudder at the consequences of such thoughts. Such thoughts are capable of causing great torment - of a spiritual nature, of course - for those who have passed to the other world and could kindle in them the desire to receive the souls of such persons with revenge. Therefore, be severe with your thoughts! You may often with one thought attract a host of congenial evil spirits of the other world, and while you believe to be only musing, these spirits are endeavouring to catch you in their net, to destroy your good qualities in order to bring to maturity the decision for an evil act which may have endless consequences for yourselves and other men and spirits.
This is expressed in the Gospel when I said of the powerful and evil spirit, cast out from the diseased or mute, that he walked around all forlorn and then returned with seven other spirits worse than himself.
It is the spiritual picture of a man who conquers a passion and believes to have rid himself of a devil but then carelessly indulges again in his favourite thoughts and ideas. Such a person is nourishing a little flame and as gnats when they become aware of a light in the distance all strive towards it, in the same way this train of thought serves as a light in the spirit-world to guide those who are groping in darkness. They stream towards it, begin their hellish play with united strength until the plagued individual falls into their net and is lost to My Kingdom here on earth and there in the beyond for a long time.
The other world, the world of the invisible, is not as rosy as your priests present it to you. It is not so hellish either as the imagination of certain religious fanatics likes to paint it for you. It is all based on this: A man will see the spiritual world according to his spiritual nature. In the same way you also see the material world, and the principle is the same here as it is in the beyond.
There a refined and pure heart, devoted to Me, will not see anything of a hellish nature as it did not see such things in this world either. There it will see erring spirits as it here saw erring people, and it will endeavour to help everybody as it had done here during its lifetime. Bringing along peace, the soul will see only peace; bringing along hatred and pride, it will experience the same over there from others and subject others to it.
There is only one law valid in My creation - the law of gravity, of the power of attraction. By it the material things are consolidated and maintained, likewise the spiritual. The heavier, that is, the denser a body is, the greater is the power holding together its primary elements; it is rock and built on firm ground. The lighter the substances and the less their power of cohesion, the easier they can arise. The firmer the atoms are joined together, the less they are capable of receiving light and warmth; the lighter they are, the more receptive for the influences from above.
Thus it is also in the world of spirits. The moral weight binds the spirits to matter; the ligther it is, the sooner can they withdraw from matter. In the first case, the spirits are dark; in the second, accordingly lighter. The dark spirits are the ones who want to animate and warm themselves in the light of others since they lack warmth themselves. Hence, if they want to remain wicked they endeavour to draw others into their darkness, otherwise they try to free themselves from the darkness.
Such is the spiritual acitivity in the entire ether spheres. Forever there is strife beside peace, persecution and repulsion beside unification and loving congregation, because the spirits have to fulfil their spiritual process. Time does not count, for eternity is long. No one is coerced; what he wants to be, he is. Or, as Paul said: "As the tree falls, so it lies."
Therefore, make every effort while you are here to gain enough strength that you can resist the temptations there and that you immediately meet with better spirits with whom, of course, strife and seduction are out of the question! Abstain from cursing and uttering maledictions, for spirits offended in this way and retarded in their progress seek to take revenge. If they cannot do it here, they are sure to wait for you over there in order to repay you for what you have done to them in blind self-love.
In the Gospel I said: "He that is not with Me is against Me; and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth abroad." Remember that there are only two ways: toward Me or away from Me! Therefore, blessed are those of you who hear My words and will also follow them! In the other world they will be spared much of what otherwise would have been an inevitable consequence of their earthly actions.
I could still tell you much about the other world. You already had a glance at it in the description of the spiritual sun. Yet, that is only just an outline of the great truth but if you ponder over it this should suffice as an admonition, so that you cannot blame Me later for not having let you look into that world which one day will be your abode, in fact, the by far longer one.
Those extreme cases where one or several evil spirits have so much power over a person that even his physical organism is under their control are rare but allowed for good reasons. To heal such sick people possessed by evil spirits, requires a religious man with a strong will who knows Me and My might well and is confident that I will give him help when he asks for it. In such a case help can be given in My name through prayer and the laying-on of hands, as I did Myself when I lived on earth; only one must always think: Let it happen according to My holy will!
Now you have an idea about the life in the great spirit-world, which I wanted to give you on the occasion of this event from the Gospel. It is most important that you not only know what you see but little by little also learn to understand what there is beyond the visible world, has given the latter its character and represents the by far greater and more important part of My Kingdom.
Spirit am I, spirits are you, and even matter will once become spiritual. To recognize in this light the great cycle in all its levels, to survey it and establish your own position in it, is the task which -was given you. To help you achieve this, I employ every possible means to make the inevitable road easier and shorter for you in order that you may overcome already here the greater and most difficult part, so that over there you will have to conquer only fewer and easier things. Amen.