Allan Kardec

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No One is a Prophet in his Own Country – Death and Passion of Jesus – Persecution of the Apostles – Impenitent Cities – Ruin of the Temple of Jerusalem – Maledictions on the Pharisees – “My Word Will Not Pass Away” – The Cornerstone – The Parable of the Tenants – “One Flock and One Shepherd” – Coming of Elias – Announcement of the Consoler – Second Coming of Christ – Signs Foretold – “Your Sons and Your Daughters Shall Prophesy” – Last Judgment.

No One is a Prophet in his Own Country

1. Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked. “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “Only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honor.” And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith. (Matthew, 13: 54 to 58)

2. Jesus announced there a truth which passed into a proverb, which, from the beginning of time has been true as now, and to which one can still add: “That no one is a prophet during life.”

In the present acceptation of this maxim, it is understood to be the credit which a man enjoys among his own people, and among those in whose midst he lives, by the confidence in his superior knowledge and intelligence with which he inspires them. If there are some exceptions, they are rare; and in all cases they are never absolute. The principle of this truth is a natural consequence of human weakness, and can be explained thus:

The habit of seeing them from infancy up, in the common circumstances of life, establishes between men a sort of material equality which makes one often refuse to recognize a moral superiority in him of whom one has been the companion and comrade, who has sprung from the same place, and of whom one has seen the first weakness. Pride suffers from the superiority which one is obliged to submit to. Whoever is educated above the common level is always a motive for jealousy and envy. Those who feel themselves unable to attain to his height must perforce try to lower him by slander and calumny. They cry out against him so much the louder as they see themselves inferior to him, believing by so doing to aggrandize themselves, and eclipse him, by the noise they make. Such has been, and such will be, the history of humanity as long as men will not comprehend their spiritual nature, and will not enlarge their moral horizon. This is also a prejudice characteristic of narrow-minded and common spirits who yield to all this in their selfishness.

On the other hand, they make generally of men whom they do not know personally, only by their mind, an ideal which increases by distance, time, and place. They nearly despoil them of humanity. It seems to them that they must not speak or feel like the rest of the world, that their language and thoughts must constantly be at the height of sublimity, without thinking that the mind cannot be incessantly strained and in a perpetual state of excitability. In the daily contact of private life they see too many men who live for the greater part of the material plane, in whom is nothing to distinguish them from the common man. The man who lives on the material plane, who impresses the senses, eclipses nearly always the spiritual one, who interests the spirit. From afar one only sees the lightning of genius; nearer, they see the spirit at rest.

After death, the comparison existing no more, the spiritual part of man alone is left; and he appears so much the grander as the remembrance of the corporeal man has been put farther away. That is the reason why men, who have marked their passage upon the Earth by works of real value, have been better appreciated after death than in life. They have been judged with more impartiality, because, the envious and jealous having disappeared, personal antagonisms exist no more. Posterity is a disinterested judge, which appreciates the work of the spirit, – accepts it without blind enthusiasm if it is good, and rejects it without hatred if it is bad. A separation from the individuality that has produced it has taken place.

Jesus suffered the more from the consequences of this principle, inherent in human nature, because he lived among people who were much unenlightened, and among men who lived entirely upon the material plane. His compatriots saw in him only the son of the carpenter, the brother of men as ignorant as themselves; and they demanded why he could be superior to them, and where he obtained the right to censure them. Therefore, seeing his words had less power over his own people, who despised him, than over strangers, he went to preach among those who would listen to him, and give him that sympathy which he needed.

One can judge somewhat of the feelings which his relatives entertained of his action by reading the account where his mother, accompanied by his brothers, came into an assembly where he was, and tried to induce him to go home with them, accusing him of being deranged in mind (Mark, 3: 20, 21, and 31-35; “The Gospel According to Spiritism,” chap. 14).

Thus on one side priests and Pharisees accused Jesus of being influenced by evil spirits, and on the other he was accused of insanity by his nearest relatives. Is this not the same treatment that Spiritists receive in our day? And must they complain if they are not better treated by their fellow-citizens than Jesus was? That which was not astonishing among an ignorant people two thousand years ago is more so now in this nineteenth century of a more advanced civilization.

Death and Passion of Jesus

3. (After the cure of the lunatic.) – While everyone was marveling at all that Jesus did, he said to his disciples, “Listen carefully to what I am about to tell you: The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men.” But they did not understand what this meant. It was hidden from them, so that they did not grasp it, and they were afraid to ask him about it. (Luke, 9: 44 and 45)

4. From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. (Matthew, 16: 21)

5. When they came together in Galilee, he said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. 23. They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life.” And the disciples were filled with grief. (Matthew, 17: 22 and 23)

6. Now as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside and said to them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death And will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!” (Matthew, 20: 17 to 19)

7. Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again.” The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about. (Luke, 18: 31 to 34)

8. When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, “As you know, the Passover is two days away—and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.” Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, And they plotted to arrest Jesus in some sly way and kill him. “But not during the Feast,” they said, “or there may be a riot among the people.” (Matthew, 26: 1 to 5)

9. At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.” He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will drive out demons and heal people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.” (Luke, 13: 31 and 32)

Persecution of the Apostles

10. “Be on your guard against men; they will hand you over to the local councils and flog you in their synagogues. On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles.” (Matthew, 10: 17 and 18)

11. “All this I have told you so that you will not go astray. They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God. They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. I have told you this, so that when the time comes you will remember that I warned you. I did not tell you this at first because I was with you.” (John, 16: 1 to 4)

12. You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. All men will hate you because of me. But not a hair of your head will perish. By standing firm you will gain life.” (Luke, 21: 16 to 19)

13. Martyrdom of St. Peter. – Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him: “Follow me!” (John, 21: 18 and 19)

Impenitent Cities

14. Then Jesus began to denounce the cities in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent. “Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths. If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.” (Matthew, 11: 20 to 24)

Ruin of the Temple and of Jerusalem

15. Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.” (Matthew, 24: 1 and 2)

16. As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.” (Luke, 19: 41 to 44)

17. “In any case, I must keep going today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem! O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” (Luke, 13: 33 to 35)

18. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. (Luke, 21: 20 to 24)

19. A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” And to the hills, “Cover us!” For if men do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?” (Luke, 23: 27 to 31)

20. The faculty of foretelling the future is one of the attributes of the soul, and is explained by the theory of foresight or prophecy. Jesus possessed it, like all the other gifts of the soul, to an eminent degree. He has then been able to foretell the events which would follow his death, without in this act doing anything supernatural, since we have instances of it in the most common conditions of life. It is not rare for individuals to announce with precision the moment of their death, because their soul, for the time emancipated from the body, is like the man of the mountain (chap. XVI, n° 1); it can see the road passed over, and the end.

21. It must have been thus with Jesus, who, being conscious of the mission which he came to fulfill, knew that a violent death was the necessary consequence of it. Spiritual sight, which was permanent with him, as well as power to read thought, must have shown him the circumstances and fatal time. For the same reason he could foretell the ruin of the temple, that of Jerusalem, the misfortunes which would overtake its inhabitants, and the dispersion of the Jews.

Maledictions on the Pharisees

22. John the Baptist. – But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” (Matthew, 3: 7 to 10)

23. “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are. Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? You also say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gift on it, he is bound by his oath.’ You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? Therefore, he who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. And he who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it. And he who swears by heaven swears by God’s throne and by the one who sits on it. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of the sin of your forefathers! “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on Earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. I tell you the truth, all this will come upon this generation.” (Matthew, 23: 13 to 36)

My Words Will Not Pass Away

24. Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?” He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. Leave them; they are blind guides.” (Matthew, 15: 12 to 14)

25. “Heaven and Earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” (Matthew, 24: 35)

26. The words of Jesus will not pass away, because they will be true always. His moral code will be eternal, because that it contains conditions of well-doing which conduct man to his eternal destiny. But have his words been studied over, and purified of all alloy false interpretations? Have all the Christian sects seized the spirit of them? Has no one misconstrued the true sense of them in consequence of prejudices and ignorance of the laws of nature? Has no one made them an instrument of power to serve ambition and material interests, a stepping- stone, not for elevation to heaven, but for earthly elevation? Have they not all been given for a guide to the practice of the virtues which are made the express conditions upon which salvation depends? Are they not all exempt from the reproaches which he addressed to the Pharisees of his time? In short, are they not all, in theory and practice, the pure expression of his doctrine?

Truth, being one, it cannot be found in contrary affirmations. Jesus has not desired to give a double meaning to his words. If, then, the different sects contradict one another, if some consider as true that which others condemn as heresies, it is impossible that they are all right. If all had taken the true sense of the evangelical teaching, they would have taken the same ground of belief, and not formed different sects.

That which will not pass away is the true sense of the words of Jesus; that which will disappear is that false sense which men have built upon his words.

Jesus’ mission being that of bringing to men God’s thoughts, his pure doctrine alone can be their expression; for that reason he has said: “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots.”

The Cornerstone

27. Jesus said to them: “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed.” When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them. They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet. (Matthew, 21: 42 to 46)

28. The teachings of Jesus have become the cornerstone; that is to say, the stone which is the foundation of the new edifice of faith, elevated upon the ruins of the ancient one of old. The Jews, princes, priests, Pharisees, having rejected this word, it has crushed them, as it will crush those who since that time have slighted it, or misconstrued the sense of it, to aid ambition.

The Parable of the Tenants

29. “Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and went away on a journey. When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit. “The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. Last of all, he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said. “But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance.’ So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. “Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end,” they replied, “and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time.” (Matthew, 21: 33 to 41)

30. The Father is God; the vine which he has planted is the law which he has established; the tenants, to whom he has rented his vine, are the men who must teach and practice his law; the servants, whom he sent to them, are the prophets whom they have killed; his son, whom he has at length sent, is Jesus whom they have in like manner destroyed. How, then, will the Lord treat the prevaricating attorneys of his law? He will treat them as they have acted towards his ambassadors; he will fill their places with others, who will render better account of his goodness, and of the conduct of his flock.

Thus has it been with the scribes, with the princes, priests, and Pharisees; thus will it be when he will come again to ask an account of each one of that which he has made of his doctrine. He will take away authority from him who may have abused it; for he desires that justice be administered in his vineyard according to his law.

After nineteen centuries of growth, humanity, arrived at the virile age, is ripe to comprehend that which Christ has only touched upon, because, as he says himself, it could then not have been comprehended. What has been effected by those who during this long period have been charged with its religious education? To see indifference be supplanted by faith in it, and incredulity, or unbelief in God, erect a faith upon it. At no other epoch, indeed, has skepticism and disbelief in God been more manifested than today.

If a few of the sayings of Christ have been veiled in allegory, in respect to all that which concerns the rule of conduct, the connection of man with man, the moral principles of whom he makes the express condition of salvation, it is clear, explicit, and without ambiguity. (“The Gospel According to Spiritism,” chap. 15)

What have men done with his maxims of charity, of love, and of tolerance? With the exhortations he has given his disciples to convert men by gentleness and persuasion, by simplicity, humility, by unselfishness, and all the virtues of which he has been the example? The anathema and malediction have been cast at men for acknowledging him as their Master. They have been slain in the name of him who has said: “All men are brothers.” They have made a jealous, cruel, vindictive, and partial God of him whom he has proclaimed infinitely just, good, and merciful. They have sacrificed to this God of peace and of truth thousands more of victims at the stake, by tortures and persecutions, than the pagans have ever sacrificed to false gods. They have sold prayers and favors from heaven in the name of him who has chased those who sold from the Temple, and who has said to his disciples: “Freely you have received, freely give.”

What would Christ say to all this if he lived among us today? If he saw his representatives ambitious for the honors, the riches, the power and pomp of the princes of this world, whilst he, more kingly than the kings of the Earth, made his entrance into Jerusalem seated upon a donkey? Would he not do right if he said to them, “What have you made of my teachings, you who worship the golden calf, and address the greater part of your prayers to the rich, and the meager part to the poor? As I have said to you: the last shall be first, and the first last, in the kingdom of heaven.” If it is not so carnally, it is so spiritually; and, as the master of the parable, he will come to demand an account of his tenants of the product of the vine when the harvest shall come.

One Flock and One Shepherd

31. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. (John, 10: 16)

32. By these words Jesus announces clearly that some day men will have only one religious belief. But how can this unity be effected? The thing appears difficult, if one considers the difference which exist between religions, the antagonism which exists between their respective adepts, their obstinacy in believing themselves in exclusive possession of the truth. All desire unity of faith; but all flatter themselves that it will be made to their profit, and no one understands how to make concessions to his beliefs.

However, unity will be in religion, as well as in all social, political, and commercial affairs, by the lowering of the barriers which separate nations, by the assimilation of manners, laws, and language. The nations of the entire world fraternize already, like the provinces of the same empire. They hasten this unity; they desire it. It will be done by the force of things, because it will become a necessity to tighten the bonds of fraternity between nations. It will be done by the development of human reason, which will make them comprehend the puerility of these differences; by the progress of the sciences, which demonstrates each day the material errors upon which they lean, and detaches little by little the decayed stones of their foundations. If science demolishes in religions that which is the work of men, and the fruit of their ignorance of the laws of nature, it cannot destroy, notwithstanding the opinion of some, that which is the work of God and of eternal truth. By clearing away the accretions of error it prepares the way of unity, religions must meet upon a neutral ground, however common to all.

In order to bring this about, all will have to make concessions and sacrifices, more or less great, according to the multiplicity of particular dogmas. But, by virtue of the principle of immutability that they all possess, the initiative concession should come from the official camp. Instead of taking their starting point from on high, it will be taken below by the initiative individual. It has been operating some time by a movement of decentralization, which is tending towards the acquisition of an irresistible force. The principle of immutability, which religions have hitherto considered as an aegis conservatrix, will become a destructive element on account of the unchangeable creeds. Whilst society marches ahead of them, they will be overflowed, and then absorbed in the current of progressive ideas.

The immobility, contrary to being a source of strength, becomes a cause of weakness and ruin for those who do not follow the general movement; it tears down the unity, because those who want to move forward separate from those who are obstinate in staying behind.

Judging from the present state of opinion and knowledge, the religion which must one day attract all men under the same banner shall be that which will the best satisfy the reason and legitimate aspirations of the heart and mind; which shall not at any point conflict with positive science; which, instead of being immovable, will follow humanity in its progressive march without allowing itself to ever be outrun; which shall be the emancipator of intelligence by admitting only a reasonable faith, that of which the moral code shall be the purest, the most rational, the most in harmony with social needs; in short, that which is the best adapted to found upon the Earth the reign of goodness by the practice of charity and universal fraternity.

That which supports antagonisms between religions is the idea that each one has its particular god, and their pretension to having the only true and most powerful one which is in constant hostility with the gods of the other creeds, and occupied in combating their influence. When they shall have become convinced that there is only one God in the universe, and that he is the same that they adore under the names of Jehovah, Allah, or Deus; when they shall be in accord upon his essential attributes – they will comprehend that one being alone can have only one will; they will extend their hands to one another as servants of the same Master, and as children of the same Father; and they will have made a great stride towards unity.

Advent of Elias

33. The disciples asked him, “Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?” Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist. (Matthew, 17: 10 to 13)

34. Elijah was already returned in the person of John the Baptist. His new advent has been announced in an explicit manner. Now, as he can only return in a new body, it is a formal consecration of the principle of the plurality of existences (“The Gospel According to Spiritism,” chap. 4, item 10).

Announcement of the Consoler

35. “If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. The Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. (John, 14: 15 to 17 and 26) (“The Gospel According to Spiritism,” chap. 6)

36. But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; In regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; And in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. (John, 16: 7 to 14)

37. This prediction, without doubt, is one of the most important, in a religious point of view, because it verifies in the most conclusive manner that Jesus has not said all that he had to say, because that he would not have been comprehended even by his apostles, since it is to them he addresses his words. If he had given secret instructions to them, they would have mentioned it in the Gospels. Since he has not told everything he knew to his apostles, their successors have known no more than themselves of it. They themselves have been able to misconstrue the sense of his words, to give a false impression of his ideas, often veiled under the form of parables. The religions founded upon the Gospels can then not be said to be in possession of all the truth, since the completion of them has been postponed to a subsequent time. Their principle of immutability is a protestation against even the words of Jesus.

He announces, under the name of “Consoler” and “Spirit of Truth,” he who must teach all things and make them recall that which he has said; then his teaching was not complete. Moreover, he predicted that they will have forgotten that which he has said, and that they will have altered the nature of it, since the Spirit of Truth must make them recall it, and in concert with Elias reestablish all things; that is to say, according to the true idea of Jesus.

38. When ought this new revelator to come? It is very evident, that, if at the epoch where Jesus spoke, men were not in a state to comprehend the things which remained for him to say, in a few years they could not acquire the necessary light. For intelligence in regard to certain parts of the Gospel, with the exception of its moral precepts, a knowledge which progress in the sciences alone could give was necessary, which must be a work of time and of many generations. If, then, the new Messiah had come shortly after Christ, he would not have found the ground prepared for him, and he would not have accomplished more than Christ. Now, from the time of Christ to our day, no one great revelation has been produced which might have completed the knowledge of the Gospel, and which might have elucidated the obscure parts of it, – a certain indication that the Messenger had not yet appeared.

39. Who must this Messenger have been? By Jesus saying: “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Consoler,” indicates clearly that it is not himself; otherwise he would have said: “I will return to complete that which I have taught you.” Then he adds: “to be with you forever.” The latter would not grasp the idea of an incarnated being who can live eternally with us, and still less be in us, but is comprehended very well of a doctrine which, when it has been assimilated, can be eternally in us. The Consoler is, then, in the thought of Jesus, the personification of a sovereignly consoling doctrine, of whose inspirer will be the Spirit of Truth.

40. Spiritism realizes, as has been demonstrated (chap. I, n° 30), all the conditions of the Consoler promised by Jesus. It is not an individual doctrine – a human conception. No one can tell the creator of it. It is the product of the collective teachings of the spirits, at which presides the Spirit of Truth. It suppresses nothing of the Gospel; it completes and elucidates it. By the aid of the new laws that it reveals, joined to that of science, it enables us to comprehend that which was unintelligible to admit, the possibility of that which incredulity regarded as inadmissible. It has had its prophets and harbingers, who have predicted its coming. By its moralizing power it is preparing for the reign of goodness upon the Earth.

The doctrine of Moses, incomplete, has remained circumscribed to the Jewish people. That of Jesus, more complete, has been spread all over the Earth by Christianity, but has not converted the whole world. Spiritism, more complete, still having roots over all the Earth, will convert all. *

* All philosophical and religious doctrines bear the name of the individual founder. They say, the Mosaic, Christianity, Mohammedanism, Buddhism, etc. The word Spiritism, to the contrary, recalls no personality; it encloses a general idea, which indicates at the same time the character and multiple source of the doctrine.

41. Christ’s saying to the apostles: “But the Consoler, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you,” proclaimed by that the necessity of reincarnation. How could these men profit, then, by the more complete teaching which must be given subsequently? How would they be more apt to comprehend it if they were not to live again? Jesus would have said an inconsistent thing if the future men were, according to the common doctrine, to be a new men, of souls which arose from nothingness to birth. Admit, to the contrary, that the apostles and the men of their time have lived since, that they still live again today, the promise of Jesus is found justified. Their intelligence, which must have been developed by contact with social progress, can bear now that which it could not then. Without reincarnation the promise of Jesus would have been an illusory one.

42. If they say that this promise was realized on the day of Pentecost by the descent of the Holy Spirit one would reply that the Holy Spirit has been able to inspire them, that he has opened their intelligence, developed in them medianimic aptitudes which were to facilitate their mission; but as nothing more, other than Jesus had taught them, has been given to them, one can find no trace of a special teaching. The Holy Spirit has, then, not realized that which Jesus announced as the Consoler; otherwise the apostles would have elucidated, while living, all which has remained obscure in the Gospels to this day, and the contradictory interpretation of which has given rise to innumerable sects, which have been divided, in regard to Christianity, since the first century.

Second Coming of Christ

43. Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.” (Matthew, 16: 24 to 28)

44. Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus: “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. Again the high priest asked him: “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” The high priest tore his clothes. “Why do we need any more witnesses?” he asked. “You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?” (Mark, 14: 60 to 63)

45. Jesus announces his second coming; but he does not say he will return with a carnal body, neither that the Consoler will be personified in him. He presents himself as coming in spirit, in the glory of his Father, to judge the good and wicked, and render to each one according to his works, when the time shall be accomplished.

This saying, “I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom,” seems a contradiction, since it is certain that he has not come during the life of anyone of those who were present. Jesus could not, however, be deceived in a prophecy of this nature, and above all in a contemporary fact which concerned him personally. At first it is necessary to demand if his words have always been faithfully rendered. One can doubt it when one thinks that he has written nothing himself; that a compilation of his teachings has not been made until after his death. And, when one sees the same discourse nearly always reproduced in different terms by each evangelist, it is an evident proof that they are not the textual expressions of Jesus. It is also probable that the sense has been sometimes altered in passing through successive transitions.

On the other hand, it is certain, that, if Jesus had said all that he could have said, he would have explained all things in a distinct and precise manner which had not given place to any equivocation, as he does it for moral principle; whilst he must have veiled his thoughts upon subjects which he has not judged proper to propose to them. The apostles, persuaded that the present generation must be the witness of that which he announced, must have interpreted the thought of Jesus according to their idea. They have been able, consequently, to draw from it a more absolute sense of the present than he has perhaps intended to convey himself. Whatever it may be, the fact is there, which proves that the circumstances have not happened as they have believed they would.

46. A capital point which Jesus has not been able to develop, because that men of his time were not sufficiently prepared for this order of ideas and its consequences, but of which he has, however, based the principle, as he has done for all things: this is the great and important law of reincarnation. This law, studied and brought to the light of day by Spiritism, is the key of many passages of the Gospel, which without that would appear nonsensical.

It is in this law that one can find the rational explanation of the above words by admitting them as textual. Since they cannot be applied to any one of the apostles, it is evident they refer to the future reign of Christ; that is to say, in the time when his doctrine, better comprehended, will be the universal law. By telling them that anyone of those who were present would see his coming, could not be understood in the sense that he would inhabit the carnal body at this epoch. But the Jews imagined they were to see all that Jesus announced, and took his allegories literally.

Finally, a few of his predictions have been accomplished in their time, – such as the ruin of Jerusalem, the misfortunes which followed it, and the dispersion of the Jews; but he saw farther, and, in speaking of the present, he makes constant allusion to the future.

Precursory Signs

47. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. (Matthew, 24: 6 to 8)

48. “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” (Marc, 13: 12 and 13)

49. “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. * Let no one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.” (Matthew, 24: 15 to 22)

*The expression: the abomination of desolation, despite being meaningless, is also ludicrous. Ostervald’s translation that says: “The abomination that causes desolation,” is quite different. The meaning then becomes perfectly clear, as one comprehends that abomination brings desolation as punishment. Jesus said: “when abomination comes to a saintly place, so does desolation, and that will be a sign that the times are near.”

50. “Immediately after the distress of those days ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the Earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.” (Matthew, 24: 29 and 34)

As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark. (Matthew, 24: 37 and 38)

51. “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Marc, 13: 32)

52. I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. (John, 16: 20 to 22)

53. And many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, But he who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew, 24: 11 to 14)

54. This picture of the end of time is evidently allegorical, as the greater part of them are which Jesus presented. The images which they contain are colored in a way to make a deep impression upon intelligences corroded with sin and ignorance. In order to strike these clouded spirits, it was necessary to paint vigorously with glaring colors. Jesus addressed himself particularly to the people who were the least enlightened, those incapable of comprehending metaphysical abstractions, and of seizing the delicacy of forms. In order to reach the heart it was necessary to speak to the eyes by the aid of material signs, and to the ears by the vigor of language.

As a natural consequence of this disposition of mind, supreme power could not, according to the belief then, manifest itself only by extraordinary or supernatural things. The more impossible they were, the more ready were they to accept them.

The Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with great majesty, surrounded by his angels, and with the sound of trumpets, seemed to them much more imposing than a being invested with moral power alone. So the Jews, who expected the Messiah to be a king of the Earth, mighty above all kings, to place their nation in the first rank among them, to raise up again the throne of David and Solomon, would not recognize him in the humble son of the carpenter without material authority. However, this poor, despised man of Judea has become the greatest among the great. He has conquered by his sovereignty more kingdoms than the most powerful potentates.

With his word alone, and with the aid of a few miserable fishermen, he has revolutionized the world; and it is to him that the Jews will owe their rehabilitation. He then had the truth when he replied to this question of Pilate: “Are you the king of the Jews?” “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied.

55. Allow us to observe, that among the ancients, earthquakes and the eclipse of the sun were necessary symbols of all events and all sinister presages. One finds them at the death of Jesus, of Caesar, and in a multitude of times in the history of paganism. If these phenomena were produced as often as has been related, it would appear impossible that men had not preserved the memory of them by tradition. To this is added that of the stars having fallen from heaven, which is evidently a fiction, as one knows now stars cannot fall.

56. However, under these allegories are concealed great truths. Firstly, it is the announcement of calamities of all kinds, which will strike and decimate humanity, – calamities engendered by a great contest between good and evil, faith and incredulity, progressive and retrogressive ideas. Secondly, that of the diffusion over all the Earth of the Gospel reestablished in its primitive purity. Then the reign of goodness, which will be that of peace and universal fraternity, will arise from the code of evangelical morals put in practice by all nations. This will truly be the reign of Jesus, since he will preside at its establishment, and men will live under the aegis of his law – a reign of goodness; for, said he, “Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.”

57. When will these things be accomplished? “No one knows,” says Jesus, “not even the Son of man;” but, when the moment shall have come, men will be warned of it by precursory indication. These signs will not take place in the sun or in the stars, but in the social state, as well as in phenomena which partake more largely of the moral quality than the physical, which one can in part deduce from his allusions to it.

It is very certain that this change could not have been operated during the life of the apostles; otherwise Jesus would not have been ignorant of it. Moreover, such a transformation could not take place in a few years. However, he speaks to them as if they were to be witness of it. He meant by it that they were to be reborn into life for this epoch, and to work themselves at the transformation. Sometimes he speaks of the approaching end of Jerusalem, and takes this fact as a point of comparison for the future.

58. Is it the end of the world which Jesus announces by his second coming, and when he says: “The end of the world will come when the Gospel shall have been preached over all the Earth?”

It is not rational to suppose that God will destroy the world precisely at the moment when it will enter into the way of moral progress by the practice of evangelical teachings. Nothing, moreover, in the words of Christ indicates a universal destruction, which, under such conditions, would not be justified.

The general practice of evangelical truths must lead to an amelioration of the moral state of men, will lead of itself to the reign of good, and will lead the downfallen from the errors of his ways. He refers, then, to the end of the old world, of the world governed by prejudices, pride, selfishness, fanaticism, incredulity, cupidity, and all the bad passions to which Christ alludes when he says: “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come;” but this will lead to a struggle from which will proceed the evils which he predicts.

Your Sons and Daughters shall prophesy

59. “In the last days,” God says, ”I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.” (Acts, Chap. II: 17 and 18 - Joel, Chap.2: 28 and 29))

60. If one considers the present state of the moral and physical world, the tendencies, aspirations, and presentiments of the masses, the decadence of old ideas which have struggled in vain for a century against new ideas, one cannot doubt that a new order of things is being prepared, and that the old world is reaching its end.
If now, by taking the true sense of the allegorical form of certain of his pictures, inquiring upon the innermost meaning of the words of Jesus, and comparing them with the present state of society and of the world, one cannot deny that many of his predictions are receiving their accomplishment today; whence it is reasonable to conclude that we are on the borders of the time announced, which confirmed at all points of the globe by the spirits who manifest themselves.

61. Thus, as one has seen (chap. I, n° 32), the advent of Spiritism, coinciding with other circumstances, realizes one of the most important predictions of Jesus by the influence which it must forcibly exercise over ideas. It is, besides, clearly announced in this passage of the Acts of the Apostles: “In the last days, God says: I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy.”

This is an unmistakable announcement of the prevalence of mediumship, which is revealed in our day in individuals of all ages, sexes, and conditions, and in consequence of the universal manifestations of the spirits; for without the spirits there would not be mediums. This, it has been said, will arrive in the latter days. Since it is not the end of the world, but its regeneration, we must understand this prophecy to imply, the last days of the moral world which is at an end. (“The Gospel According to Spiritism,” chap. 21)

The Last Judgment

62. “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. “(Matthew, 25: 31 to 34) (“The Gospel According to Spiritism,” chap. 15)

63. The reign of goodness being established upon the Earth, it is necessary that spirits hardened in evil, and those who would be able to bring trouble to it, should be excluded. God has given them the necessary time for their improvement; but the moment when the globe must elevate itself into the hierarchy of worlds by the moral progress of its inhabitants, being arrived, the sojourn of spirits and incarnated beings, will be forbidden to those who have not profited by the instructions which they have been received in this world. They will be exiled into inferior worlds, as were formerly those of the adamic race upon our Earth, whilst their places will be filled by better spirits. It is this separation at which Jesus will preside, which is represented by these words of the last judgment: “The good will be on my right hand and the wicked on my left” (chap. XI, from item n° 31 on).

64. The doctrine of a last judgment, unique and universal, putting an end to humanity, conflicts with reason in this sense: that it would imply the inactivity of God during the eternity which has preceded the creation of the Earth, and the eternity which will follow its destruction. One would naturally demand of what use the sun, the moon, and stars would be, which, according to Genesis, have been made for the illumination of this Earth. One is astonished that a work so immense should have been made for such a short space of time, and for the profit of beings of whom the greater part were condemned in advance to eternal suffering.

65. Materially speaking, the idea of a unique judgment was, to a certain point, admissible to those who sought not the reason of things, when they believed all humanity concentrated upon this Earth, and that the whole universe was made for its inhabitants. It is inadmissible since it is known there are millions of similar worlds in which humanity is perpetuated during all eternity, and among which the Earth is an imperceptible point.

One sees by this fact alone that Jesus was right in saying to his disciples: “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear;” for the progress of science was indispensable to the healthy interpretation of some of his words. Assuredly the Apostles, St. Paul and the first disciples of them, would have established otherwise certain dogmas if they had known the principles of astronomy, geology, physics, chemistry, physiology, and psychology, which are known today. Thus Jesus has postponed the complement of his instructions, and announced that all things were to be reestablished.

66. Morally speaking, a positive judgment to which there is no appeal is irreconcilable with the infinite goodness of the Creator, whom Jesus constantly presents to us as a good Father, leaving always a way open for repentance, and ready ever to extend his arms to the prodigal son. If Jesus had understood the judgment in this sense, he would have contradicted his own words.

Then, if the last judgment must surprise men suddenly in the midst of their ordinary work, and mothers at the point of childbirth, one asks what object God has in it. He who does nothing uselessly or unjustly, why should he cause children to be born and create new souls at this supreme moment of the extermination of humanity, in order to make them pass into judgment from their mothers’ bosoms before they were conscious beings, while others have had thousands of years to acknowledge him? On which side, right or left, will pass these souls who are not yet either good or bad, and to whom the way of all subsequent progress is henceforth closed, since humanity will exist no longer? (Chap. II, n° 19)

Let those whose reason is contented with similar beliefs preserve them. It is their right, and no one should blame them; but let them not expect the rest of the world to join them in their belief.

67. The judgment looked at in the emigration point of view is rational, (see n°63). It is founded upon the most rigorous justice, as it leaves eternally to the spirit its free will, as by it no partiality is shown to anyone, as an equal latitude is given by God to all his creatures, without exception, to progress; for the door of heaven is always open for those who are worthy of entering therein; but the annihilation of the world would bring no interruption to the progressive march of the spirit. Such is the consequence of plurality of worlds and of existences.

According to this interpretation, the name last judgment is not correct, since spirits pass by similar spheres to each renewal of worlds which they inhabit, until they have attained a certain degree of perfection. There is then, properly speaking, not a last judgment; but there are general judgments at all the epochs of partial or total renewal of the population of worlds, in consequence of which great emigrations and immigrations of spirits are brought about.

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