.....70 He answered me and said, "When the Most High made
the world and Adam and all who have come from him, he first prepared the
judgment and the things that pertain to the judgment.
71 And now understand from your own words, for you have said that the
mind grows with us.
72 For this reason, therefore, those who dwell on earth shall be tormented,
because though they had understanding they committed iniquity, and though
they received the commandments they did not keep them, and though they
obtained the law they dealt unfaithfully with what they received.
73 What, then, will they have to say in the judgment, or how will they
answer in the last times?
74 For how long the time is that the Most High has been patient with
those who inhabit the world, and not for their sake, but because of the
times which he has foreordained!"
75 I answered and said, "If I have found favor in thy sight, Adonai,
show this also to thy servant: whether after death, as soon as every one
of us yields up his soul, we shall be kept in rest until those times come
when thou wilt renew the creation, or whether we shall be tormented at
76 He answered me and said, "I will show you that also, but do not
be associated with those who have shown scorn, nor number yourself among
those who are tormented.
77 For you have a treasure of works laid up with the Most High; but
it will not be shown to you until the last times.
78 Now, concerning death, the teaching is: When the decisive decree
has gone forth from the Most High that a man shall die, as the spirit leaves
the body to return again to him who gave it, first of all it adores the
esteem of the Most High.
79 And if it is one of those who have shown scorn and have not kept
the way of the Most High, and who have despised his law, and who have hated
those who fear Elohim --
80 such spirits shall not enter into habitations, but shall immediately
wander about in torments, ever grieving and sad, in seven ways.
81 The first way, because they have scorned the law of the Most High.
82 The second way, because they cannot now make a good repentance that
they may live.
83 The third way, they shall see the reward laid up for those who have
trusted the covenants of the Most High.
84 The fourth way, they shall consider the torment laid up for themselves
in the last days.
85 The fifth way, they shall see how the habitations of the others
are guarded by angels in profound quiet.
86 The sixth way, they shall see how some of them will pass over into
87 The seventh way, which is worse than all the ways that have been
mentioned, because they shall utterly waste away in confusion and be consumed
with shame, and shall wither with fear at seeing the esteem of the Most
High before whom they sinned while they were alive, and before whom they
are to be judged in the last times.
88 "Now this is the order of those who have kept the ways of the Most
High, when they shall be separated from their mortal body. 89 During the
time that they lived in it, they laboriously served the Most High, and
withstood danger every hour, that they might keep the law of the Lawgiver
90 Therefore this is the teaching concerning them:
91 First of all, they shall see with great joy the esteem of him who
receives them, for they shall have rest in seven orders.
92 The first order, because they have striven with great effort to
overcome the evil thought which was formed with them, that it might not
lead them astray from life into death.
93 The second order, because they see the perplexity in which the souls
of the unrighteous wander, and the punishment that awaits them.
94 The third order, they see the witness which he who formed them bears
concerning them, that while they were alive they kept the law which was
given them in trust.
95 The fourth order, they understand the rest which they now enjoy,
being gathered into their chambers and guarded by angels in profound quiet,
and the esteem which awaits them in the last days.
96 The fifth order, they rejoice that they have now escaped what is
corruptible, and shall inherit what is to come; and besides they see the
straits and toil from which they have been delivered, and the spacious
liberty which they are to receive and enjoy in immortality.
97 The sixth order, when it is shown to them how their face is to shine
like the sun, and how they are to be made like the light of the stars,
being incorruptible from then on.
98 The seventh order, which is greater than all that have been mentioned,
because they shall rejoice with boldness, and shall be confident without
confusion, and shall be glad without fear, for they hasten to behold the
face of him whom they served in life and from whom they are to receive
their reward when glorified.
99 This is the order of the souls of the righteous, as henceforth is
announced; and the aforesaid are the ways of torment which those who would
not give heed shall suffer hereafter."
100 I answered and said, "Will time therefore be given to the souls,
after they have been separated from the bodies, to see what you have described
101 He said to me, "They shall have freedom for seven days, so that
during these seven days they may see the things of which you have been
told, and afterwards they shall be gathered in their habitations."
102 I answered and said, "If I have found favor in thy sight, show
further to me, thy servant, whether on the day of judgment the righteous
will be able to intercede for the unrighteous or to entreat the Most High
103 fathers for sons or sons for parents, brothers for brothers, relatives
for their kinsmen, or friends for those who are most dear."
104 He answered me and said, "Since you have found favor in my sight,
I will show you this also. The day of judgment is decisive and displays
to all the seal of truth. Just as now a father does not send his son, or
a son his father, or a master his servant, or a friend his dearest friend,
to be ill or sleep or eat or be healed in his stead,
105 so no one shall ever pray for another on that day, neither shall
any one lay a burden on another; for then every one shall bear his own
righteousness and unrighteousness."
106 I answered and said, "How then do we find that first Abraham prayed
for the people of Sodom, and Moses for our fathers who sinned in the desert,
107 and Joshua after him for Israel in the days of Achan,
108 and Samuel in the days of Saul, and David for the plague, and Solomon
for those in the sanctuary,
109 and Elijah for those who received the rain, and for the one who
was dead, that he might live,
110 and Hezekiah for the people in the days of Sennacherib, and many
others prayed for many?
111 If therefore the righteous have prayed for the unrighteous now,
when corruption has increased and unrighteousness has multiplied, why will
it not be so then as well?"
112 He answered me and said, "This present world is not the end; the
full esteem does not abide in it; therefore those who were strong prayed
for the weak.
113 But the day of judgment will be the end of this age and the beginning
of the immortal age to come, in which corruption has passed away,
114 sinful indulgence has come to an end, unbelief has been cut off,
and righteousness has increased and truth has appeared.
115 Therefore no one will then be able to have mercy on him who has
been condemned in the judgment, or to harm him who is victorious." This
weekly Message was taken from Second Esdras 7:70-115.
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