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| Spiritualizing the Material… YES – Materializing the Spiritual… NO
The Lord’s Sermons – Sermon 48… Matthew 22:15-22
Spiritualizing the Material… YES – Materializing the Spiritual… NO
Revealed to Gottfried Mayerhofer
Matthew 22:15-22 – The Lord’s Attitude Towards the Authorities
But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s. When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.”
Thus says the Lord:
1. This chapter contains a number of parables which I gave to the Pharisees and scribes in order to obviate all their objections in the best possible way.
2. The above verses deal with one of those pitfalls the Pharisees used to set for Me, hoping to be able to hand Me over to the authorities if I gave an unwary answer.
3. The Romans, as their rulers, were only concerned with their own supremacy in the land of the Jews and were quite indifferent to the Jewish religion and its reformers – be they prophets or preachers, like My predecessor John, or the expected Messiah as represented by Me, – so long as any innovations concerned only the domain of religion and did not reach into the political field. Therefore, the Pharisees were anxious to find a question where, if answered conscientiously, I could not possibly evade politics.
4. So the Pharisees sent their followers to Me, together with some servants of Herod, with the ambiguous question: “Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?”
5. They had assumed that My answer would be that the offering to the temple came first and the tribute to the emperor was an unjust burden forced upon them by the might of the sword. Through such an answer they would have had the most conclusive evidence that I misled the people with bad interpretations, making them hostile to the government, and they believed thus to be able to involve Me with the authorities. However, so that they would not appear responsible and in case I denied the claim they would have witnesses, they sent also servants of Herod along, who were to confirm the statement they expected to hear from Me.
6. I must admit that this question was insidious. Since the Romans were not the lawful rulers, and only circumstance had forced them upon this land as its possessors, the Pharisees believed that I, as a native Jew, must despise the foreign rule and oppose it. But I, who search into the human heart, was quite aware of the Pharisees’ intentions and gave them, with only a few words, an answer that made a further question on their part impossible. For the answer: “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s!” already contained the whole explanation, which only I, being the One Who I was, could give, – although this was not the answer they had expected.
7. Since I had shown them on the coin they handed to Me the image of the emperor and its superscription, I could not say anything else but: “This image on the one side of the coin shows you whose subjects you are; and if you do not want to understand the meaning of the image, the superscription on the other side proves it even more clearly. This is a small coin with which you trade and are able to satisfy your worldly needs. The spiritual, however, is above all coins – be they of gold or other metals -; it has another origin, another cause and another goal!” Thereby I made a strict distinction between the tribute due to the worldly power and that due to the spiritual.
8. The answer I gave was to tell them: “With the taxes paid to the emperor you purchase your worldly order, peace and security; with the spiritual offerings you obtain for yourselves order within, the peace of a clear conscience and the security in your actions, so that you know what you are doing and why. Thus you reach the same goal on both roads – here spiritually and there materially. Both must exist, for without them a coexistence of people is impossible, and without them it does not become clear which is the more important: The treasures of the world or the treasures of the spirit.”
9. What I said to the Pharisees was also valid for all later times and will be so in the future as long as people live together in towns and villages and as long as religion and belief in a Supreme Being still dwell in their hearts. Just as a ruler is needed as a wordly sovereign, also a God is needed Who holds together the entire universe. Both are promoters and upholders of order and, therefore, also the sole lawgivers. Whatever the worldly rulers may be called, the executive power will always be assigned to one person only; and so also spiritually there can only be one ruler and not several gods.
10. There have, of course, always been sovereigns who misused their power and others who would not accept any power above them, just as there have been individuals and nations who were not satisfied with one God, but created for themselves a multitude of gods and goddesses to enable them to follow their worldly passions comfortably. But also in such a case every action was sanctioned through divine decree. Thus there were, and still are, people who want no ruler, no God, except their own self.
11. Still, whatever people’s attitude, they have to pay tribute everywhere. If they want to be respected in their worldly life they have to give the worldly ruler part of their earnings, and to the spiritual ruler – GOD – they have to sacrifice all worldly passions, if they want to reach the goal He has set them.
12. Everywhere punishment threatens if payment is not made -here worldly, there spiritual -, and so I was quite right when I told the Pharisees: “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s”, which means: “Fulfil both – your social and your spiritual obligations. Recognize your attitude as humans towards your fellowmen and the worldly ruler. However, do not forget what you owe to Him Who set you into the world and endowed you with talents of which He will one day demand the tithe or tribute – money. Do not mix both obligations trying to satisfy both in the one way, which is not possible. Neither of the worldly nor of the spiritual can you rid yourselves completely.
13. The meaning you should derive from these words to the Pharisees is that you should not refuse to pay the tribute-money due to the world; however, this should be done without forfeiting that which is spiritual in your being and also without wishing to be all spirit while you still have to live on this earth globe in a physical body. It is of the greatest importance, both here in the earthly life as well as in the highest spirit life, to know the happy mean, so that a person may not go to extremes, which would be of no use to anybody, but only harm him and others.
14. Therefore, you, too, should heed these words to the Pharisees, the deep meaning of which illuminates your earthly as well as your future life, so that a wrong conception may not bring forth absurd results. As I already explained, love as such would only be ruinous to the loving as well as to the beloved if it were not guided and tempered by wisdom. Thus any virtue -even the best – can become destructive when it strives beyond the bounds of feasibility.
15. Do not ever forget in your earthly life to give the world what it is entitled to demand of you.
16. Give to the world what is the world’s, but do not allow worldly desires to penetrate the spiritual. Spiritualize, if you wish, all kinds of activities, but do not allow your sacred, spiritual qualities to become worldly since they have to last longer than just for this short pilgrim life. Give God what is God’s. Do regard also your worldly possessions as gifts from heaven, but do not forget the eternal, permanent treasures on account of the worldly ones. Although world and God appear to be two quite different things with different objectives, it is still possible not only to satisfy both, but even to combine them, bearing in mind that the world was also created by God as a means of enhancing and fortifying the spiritual qualities of His beings thereby to lead back to its origin what is worldly gross or material.
17. The world must be given its tribute, for it is a guide to the spiritual. As light is only appreciated when darkness is known, so the everlasting will be valued much more when one is familiar with the perishable, the world. The tribute-money you have to give the world consists in fighting its temptations, and besides, in the clear understanding of the real worth of its treasures, which can be used to advantage only if they can yield a spiritual product of love. And the material tribute to the emperor enables his subject to perform his work in peace thereby providing for his own and his family’s welfare. Thus the judge looks after the common welfare and the citizen after his own.
18. Therefore, temporal life is only the foundation for a higher structure, commenced on the rough stones of material reality and to be completed in the ultimate spiritual light elements of another, higher world. In order to reach the higher life, the worldly tribute-money must flow abundantly so that it may achieve a lot of good and sublime spiritually. In this way, that which is the emperor’s, and that which is God’s can be combined. This can only promote people’s spiritual life and it corresponds to the true purpose for which I set you into the world equipped with so many diverse qualities – good and bad. Control the latter, they are meant to contribute towards strengthening the former and will make you into My spiritual image.
19. Do heed the lesson which I have given you in this Gospel! There is a deep significance in it, from which the circumspect can gain rules for his whole life. He will then not demand extremes, neither of himself nor of his fellowman nor of the world, but will take the proper middle course and in paying the tribute-money will make it easier for his fellowman to produce the tribute. Thus he will fulfil his mission and My purpose for which I created spirits and matter; the latter, being the binding agent for the former, shall and must in the end dissolve and reunite what I set separately into the vast expanses of creation.
20. By taking the middle course you, too, should strive to contribute towards spiritualizing the material, so as to justify My returning to the earth by your own and mankind’s spiritualization. Then it will show what you have given to the emperor and what to God, and to what extent the proper measure and proper weight have prevailed. A union with Me and My spirit world can only take place when you have become capable of apprehending even the least of My words in its true, profound spiritual meaning. To achieve this, I use every possible means of showing you what is the world’s or the emperor’s. However, I also keep reminding you of what is God’s or Mine, and how both, although separate, can be combined when proper understanding is followed by the right realization. Amen.
| 上帝的講道 – 佈道48 …馬太福音22：15-22
屬靈化物質…是 – 物質化屬靈的…沒有
上帝的講道 – 佈道48 …馬太福音22：15-22
馬太福音22：15-22 – 主對待當局的態度
3.羅馬人作為他們的統治者，只關心自己在猶太人的土地上的霸權地位，並且對猶太人的宗教及其改革者極為冷漠 – 無論是他們的先知或傳教士，比如我的前任約翰，還是預期的彌賽亞，以我為代表 – 只要任何創新只涉及宗教領域，並未涉及政治領域。因此，法利賽人急於找到一個問題，如果認真回答，我不可能逃避政治。
6.我必須承認這個問題是陰險的。由於羅馬人不是合法的統治者，只有情況迫使他們將這片土地占為己有，法利賽人相信我作為一個本土的猶太人必須蔑視外國統治並反對它。但是，我深入人心，十分清楚法利賽人的意圖，只用幾句話就給了他們一個答案，使他們不可能提出進一步的問題。答案是：“凱撒的東西是凱撒的;並且指示给那些屬於上帝的東西！“已經包含了整個解釋，只有我，即我是一個人，才可以給予 – 儘管這不是他們所期望的答案。
7.既然我已經在硬幣上展示了他們，他們把皇帝的形象和它的題詞交給了我，我什麼都不能說：“硬幣一面的這個圖像向你顯示了这是誰的主題;如果你不想了解圖像的意義，那麼另一面的標題就更加清楚。這是一個與您交易並能夠滿足您世俗需求的小硬幣。然而，精神高於硬幣 – 不管是金子還是其他金屬 – 它有另一個起源，另一個原因和另一個目標！“因此我嚴格區分了由於世俗權力和精神因素引起的敬意。
8.我給出的答案是告訴他們：“通過向皇帝繳納稅款，你購買了你的世俗秩序，和平與安全;你們為自己提供的屬靈的祭物，你們的良知和安全，你們知道你們在做什麼，為什麼。因此，你在兩條道路上達到相同的目標 – 這裡在精神上和物質上都是如此。兩者都必須存在，因為如果沒有他們的共存，人是不可能的，沒有他們，就不會明確哪一個更重要：世界的寶藏或精神的寶藏。“
11.無論人們的態度如何，他們都必須向各地致敬。如果他們想要在世俗生活中受到尊重，他們必須把他們收入分給世俗統治者，並且要給屬靈的統治者 – 上帝 – 如果他們想要達到他設定的目標，他們必須犧牲所有世俗的激情。
12.到 處 懲罰就會臨到威脅，如果沒有付出的代價 – 在 世間的，那裡的屬靈的 – 所以當我告訴法利賽人時，我說得很對：“凱撒的事情给凱撒的事情，以及上帝的事情給上帝的事情”意味著：“同時實踐 – 你的社會和你的屬靈義務。認識到你對待同胞和世俗統治者的態度。但是，不要忘記你欠他的是他把你放在世上，賦予你天才，他有一天會要求十分之一或貢獻 – 金錢。不要將兩種義務混合在一起，以一種方式滿足兩種，這是不可能的。世俗和精神你都不能完全擺脫。
14.因此，你也應該留意這些對法利賽人的話，其深刻的意義照亮你的世俗和未來的生活，以便錯誤的觀念不會產生荒謬的結果。正如我已經解釋的那樣，如果沒有智慧的引導和鍛煉，愛情本身也只會對愛的和被愛人產生毀滅性的影響。因此，任何美德 – 即使是最好的 – 當它超越可行性範圍時，都會變得具有破壞性。
18.因此，暫時的生活只是更高層次結構的基礎，從物質現實的粗糙石頭開始，並在另一個更高的世界的終極精神光元素中完成。為了達到更高的生命，世俗的貢品必須大量流動，以便在精神上獲得許多美好和崇高。通過這種方式，皇帝的和神的是可以結合的。這只能促進人們的精神生活，這符合我將你帶入這個世界的真正目的，這些目標具有許多不同的品質 – 無論好壞。控制坏的，他們是為了加強好的，並使你成為我的靈性形象。
19.聽從我在這福音書中給你的教訓！其中有一個很重要的意義，從這個方面可以得到他一生的規則。然後，他不會要求極端，既不是对他自己也不是对他的同胞，也不是对世界的極端主義者，而是會採取適當的中間過程，並且付出貢獻 – 金錢會讓他的同胞更容易產生貢獻。因此，他將履行他的使命和我為之創造靈魂和物質的目的;物质作為靈魂的約束力者，物质最終必須溶解並且必須重新統一到我分開設定的 廣闊的創造之中。