[Claims the Pharisee:] "if the good person is compensated for his good actions, for his patience of pain and suffering of all kind, with an everlasting reward, also the malefactor, living in continuous luxury on this earth, should receive everlasting punishment"
The Pharisee continues on to argue that without a belief in heaven and hell people will have no inducement to do good and not bad. And the idea that also people who are bad on earth can also end up blissful offends his sense of justice.
To this Jesus replies:
"If you believe that either hell or heaven are serving as a motivation to prevent people from doing evil and guide people to do good, you are still filled by an utterly wrong belief; for the very evil person laughs about your hell and your heaven, and the very good is good also without your hell and without your heaven. Since heaven and hell as put by yourself, are really suited to make every person as evil as possible."
So what should be the motivation for people to do good? It seems that love is its own reward, and one who is filled with love already has heaven within him. In relation to other rewards Jesus states:
"Since who does good for only the reward, lends his money against high interest, and who does this, has no neighbourly love and even less so any love for God. For who does not love his neighbour, whom he can see, how can he love God whom he cannot see?"
Jesus explains how teaching about the rewards of heaven and the penalties of hell affects those who are taught:
"Already in the beginning the people acted badly, when the elders described to their children hell as hot as possible and painted heaven with all colours of light and all indulging comfort for human senses. Thereby they effectuated a kind of fear for God, which however never turned into any true love for God and the neighbour because hell was much easier to attain, but degenerated into an even bigger fear in weaker souls and with the stronger souls of more inner light it effectuated a complete indifference towards God and towards their fellow men."
And instead explains God's own philosophy on this issue of eternal punishment:
"See, all this is a result of such feeling of justice in the human soul, which always just like you preaches to the people with the sharpest words, that God always rewards the good in heaven, but as a consequence of His relentless justice, He also punishes the evil forever in the most terrifying hell with most unheard tortures forever without any relief! O you fools! Does there exists a father with only a little love for his children, who would throw one of his children, who committed a mistake against his order, for the rest of his life into a dungeon and on top of it punishes him daily for as long he lives?! If no human father could do this, who basically as a person is bad, how much less will the Father in heaven do such, who is the everlasting and purest love and goodness Himself!"
So how should a Christian spread the Gospel? It seems as much by his behaviour as his words, because Jesus suggests the following:
"But I say to you, that in future among My true followers, no punishment not even temporary penalties should exist, although until now it said: ‘Life for a life, eye for an eye and tooth for tooth.’ If someone slaps you in the face, do not hit him back, but hold for him the other cheek, so that he can give you another slap, otherwise he cannot have peace with you, and that there will be peace and unity between you! If someone has struck you and you have lost an eye, do not do the same to him, but forgive him and as someone suffering, you will better his heart.
Never repay evil with evil, and as My true disciples you will have peace in the world and thereby show, that you are truly My disciples!”
So Jesus tells us no temporal (earthly) penalities? This concerns the Pharisee even more, as he expresses in the following:
"with the abolishment of the capital punishment I cannot completely agree with; for if on the life of a person is not again placed the life of the murderer, soon nobody would be sure of his life anymore. Only the certain capital punishment prevents many from committing the greatest atrocities!"
To which Jesus further explains:
"Yes, this is again your opinion, however I have in this regard a completely different opinion! A tiger bears another, equally so a lion, a panther and a hyena.
If a raw, entirely beastly neglected person, driven by his beastly passions, kills a person, the killed would have the actual right, to also kill his killer; however, a third, to whom the killer has never done any harm, has actually no right at all, to take revenge at the killer on behalf of the victim. However, since such an animal person can also become dangerous for other people, he can be hunted down. If he is caught, he should be held in a good prison, give him education and endeavour to make a person out of him!"
So no capital punishment! (not a surprise, given Moses' 'thou shalt not kill') Also, do our prisons aim to help reform people? Or are they they simply to punish offenders and keep them separate from the community?
Jesus teaches that we are not to judge our brothers and sisters, and not to look down on the lost and those we consider foolish, but rather be grateful for God's gifts to us (as if we are not so, it is by God's grace), and act with mercy and humility with the reason explained by Jesus as follows:
"In hell the fire of haughtiness is the greatest and in heaven only the light of the highest humility and modesty shines, and the soft fire of love warms and enlivens everything. Do you understand this?"
Once again, we see that heaven and hell are states within each of us, and no-where outside of man. Now do you really think such a teaching comes from the heart of a mere mortal, or is such teaching in fact evidence of the divine?
The Great Gospel of John is available at: http://www.jakob-lorber-australia.net/