New Revelation makes it clear beyond all doubt that we are now in the early stages of the Last Days. The confusion of minds he predicted, the destruction of the environment, earthquakes and disastrous floods already are clearly apparent in their initial stages, and according to Jakob Lorber, they will grow increasingly more severe. These prophesies will be discussed in more detail in the last chapter of this book.
Jakob Lorber was also told, however, what the fate of the Catholic Church would be in the Last Days, and why judgement was to be passed on it. For many centuries, God has kept silence with regard to the serious transgressions of the hierarchy of the church, but now he speaks, through the prophet of the Last Days. "From now on I shall no longer show patience and regard for those in power. This you (Lorber) may well believe, for I am disclosing this to you." (Gr X 27, 8)
The Catholic theologian, de Lubac, rightly perceived the role of the prophet in our day when he said that seers who hear voices "are able to see things that are completely hidden from people." 1
Spiritual revolutions always have their origins far back in the past. The debit page of the Catholic Church carries a long column, and well-sounding formulations in decrees issued by councils will not offset this. Abandonment of the mission Jesus gave to his apostles runs through the history of the church like a red thread, and the gulf between the message given by Jesus and the reality remains unbridged to this day. Cardinal Suenen in Belgium touched on the real issue in current events that to many are beyond comprehension when he said that to understand the reasons and the sheer impact of current reaction one needs to take into account the coercion used in the past. 2 Many discerning theologians, among them Hans Urs von Balthasar, Karl Rahner SJ, Pribilla SJ, Hans Kueng and many others, know about the connection between present deterioration and the serious transgressions the church committed in the past. "The negative waves from past centuries cannot be dismissed with casuistic phrases such as 'phenomena of our time' - as Catholic apologists are apt to do - for more or less like radioactivity, they are radiating across great spans of time, right to this present day." 3
For centuries, life in the huge ghetto of the Catholic Church had become both dangerous and intolerable. It was no different than conditions in the totalitarian countries of the twentieth century.
Jesus predicted such terror and fanaticism to his disciples: "When in days to come this My teaching shall be spread among nations by the power of the sword, life will soon be very miserable on the earth. There will be rivers of blood." (Gr X 106,14) "All this will, however, have to be allowed to happen, for the sake of self-determination for every individual person, letting them shape their own lives. For without this no one can become a true Child of God, nor ever enter into the eternal glory of the Father." (Gr III 228, 8) "I cannot deprive men of their free will, for without it they would not be men." (Gr VIII 213, 22)
The signs of degeneracy in the Catholic Church, the lust for power and the coercion used, both of them emanating even in the repressive policies of the Vatican today, are the causes for the present decline of the church. New Revelation clearly establishes the connection.
"... in the first place an imposed law is entirely against My divine order where man's free will be concerned, for it merely brings darkness for man and never enlightenment, and secondly, those proclaiming an absolute law assume greater power, exclusive to themselves, and with this soon grow proud, arrogant and power-hungry. To the commandments presented as being purely from God, also out of assumed powers said to be divine, - commandments that often make their flock of faithful shake and tremble more than they do before God Himself - they add their own wicked commandments, presenting them as the divine will newly revealed to them, and always laying more weight on their observation than on the observation of wholly divine commandments. This then gives rise to darkest superstition, idolatry, hatred for those holding different beliefe, persecution, murder and wars." (Gr VIII 20, 11-20)
"All who are waiting for the founding of a new Kingdom of God on earth, with outer pomp and circumstance, will be greatly disappointed in their blind hopes, for such a thing shall never be founded on earth in the living truth out of Me and with Me." "False prophets will no doubt do so, taking My name, yet I shall never dwell and be enthroned in such a kingdom. See, that is how it is, in all truth, with the founding of My Kingdom on this earth." (Gr X 73, 9-10)
Catholic Church knows the word of God. Not only does it have the Gospels, but through the apostles and the apostolic fathers it has learned many other things - that today are given in New Revelation - through occult tradition. Yet in the long sequence of centuries it has more and more misused the word of the Lord. Its system of coercion and of "dogmatic imperialism" 4 has been built on rigid, static principle and anchored there. Rigidity is inherent in this principle, so that all flexibility has been lost, and now, when everything has been set in dynamic motion in our modern world, this rigidity and insistence on beeing right is having disastrous consequences. The church has lost credibility, and the confidence of thinking people has been shaken. "It is now clearly evident", Hans Urs von Balthasar has written, "that there are cracks in the supporting pillars, due to static faults." 5 At the synod of Roman bishops in October 1974, Cardinals Alfrink (Utrecht) and Doepfner (Munich) declared that the church often made access to the faith difficult. They stressed that the synod needed first of all to discuss improved credibility for the church, before the problems the world was presenting for the church, could be considered. 6
The church never again reflected on its spiritual mission and the lack of power it had in the early centuries when it spread the Gospel of Jesus against all opposition, in a hostile environment. It never again freed itself of the outer show of ceremonial, and has never given up its power to rule, fearing that this would endanger its false system. And this is why the word may still come true that it "becomes the tomb of Christianity": 7 "The wrongs of the past are like a poison that continues to act." 8
New Revelation predicted the rigid attitudes found in Rome and among many of the bishops today. "There is desperately little as yet of free good will towards the peoples among those established in power. When they do anything for the benefit of the people, it is because circumstances force them to. If they were able to rid themselves of these in some way that would be in their favor ... people would once again have to dance to the tune of the old Spanish inquisition." (Gr X 30, 1) "They wil use every possible means to regain their former glory and their former power." (Pr 209) "But they are coming up against a reform that will turn out quite differently from what they imagined." (Pr 65)
The Second Vatican Council did not bring the hope change. 9 After a short period of euphoria, the integralists again gained the upper hand in the Vatican and prevented fundamental changes in the structures within the church. Another kind of change did, however, occur. Forces were unleashed that the curia is now no longer able to control. The pressure which had been building up for a long time now resulted in a tremendous discharge. Traditional views and forms began to totter, and the church has since been shaken more and more by theological controversy. The Pope's authority, taken to extremes for centuries, is all the time deteriorating. Thinking Catholics are no longer able to escape the question as to what is truth and what is window dressing. The church has had to give up the doctrine, strictly enforced until then, that the words of the New and Old Testament were absolute truth, free from error, and had to be believed without reservation. This has undermined confidence in the teachings of the church for all who are able to make critical assessment. Many people have come to realize that theologians have so far had to defend untenable tenets of all kinds, against their convictions, using complex argumentation.
Priests, monks and nuns are abandoning their service and their orders on both sides of the Atlantic. In Europe, 27 percent of the 35,800 parishes are without priests. 10 In June 1964, the Holy Office admitted that at that point, 30,000 to 40,000 priests had run into problems with celibacy. 11 The crisis relating tp priests is not limited to resignation from office, however, for - and this is of course less apparent - doubts and inner resignation are felt by many priests, "their numbers being generally greater than that of priests resigning their office". 12 Cardinals, bishops and priests are resigning all over the world. Outer signs of power may still be seen, within limits, but the base is melting away. More and more people are leaving the church, and this inner emigration is like a great river growing wider and wider. The younger generation has largely abandoned the church. No one knows what to do and fear is arising.
That briefly outlines the position of the Catholic Church, as it presents itself from the time of the Second Vatican Council. The following prophecy made by Jakob Lorber, which has come true, should give pause for thought to all those who express scepticism concerning his prophesies.
When they will be holding a council of their doctorate wisdom, then indeed shall I strike upon the very crown of their wisdom and let them go to perdition..." (Hi II, p. 96)
"Not having the true spirit . ... they judge everything out of their spiritual blindness and worldly wisdom, with external pomp and circumstance, and then entice many minds, even better ones. But see, that is crude defilement of even the purest teaching." (Gr VI 22, 3-4)
"People continue to cling to ceremony and custom - a sign that they are themselves still very materialistic, wanting and understanding only material things." (Pr 18)
"These people worship Me in masonry churches, with organs and all kinds of pipes, with ringing and tinkle-tinkle of bells, with incense and burning candles, in vestments of gold", "... but we must not ask about the heart, whether it is close to Me or distant' " (Hi II, p. 368)
And the Lord asks in New Revelation what the outcome is of this superficial religiosity of the Catholic peoples (Gr IX 209). His reply is: "See, the people are going further and further away from God, rather than gradually coming closer to him, in their hearts and in love and in a genuine living faith and trust..." "and finally God has to call out to the people again through the mouth of a newly-awakened prophet, and schout: "See, these people worship Me with their lips and in idle, dead worldly ceremony, but their hearts are far away from Me. (Gr 209,4) "The work of outward appearance and of ceremonial means more to them than the living one himself, who is speaking to thm." "Let all that go - hold only on to love." (Schriftt. 108 f.)
"The light, this true Kingdom of God, can never come from Rome." "For what happens there is merely something purely external." (Hi II, p. 370 f.)
"They have perverted what is divine into something worldly, they have given people the shell rather than the kernel of spiritual life." (Pr 119)
The consequences of coercion, of superstition permitted and encouraged, and of the magic the people believe in, now cover the true teaching of Jesus like mildew. Rigid clichés and rituals have come to prevail to such an extent, following generations of wrong instruction, that people are hardly able to perceive the truth when it is shown to them. The following critical assessment of the superficiality and shallow religious life of many faithful churchgoers among the Catholic may well sound frightening.
"Just as I expected less of the Jews in those days than of the Gentiles, so it is also in the present day, when little may be expected of those who call themselves Catholics and indeed believe they really are, just because they adhere to the prescribed ritual. Yet it is they, the people who should be the best and most fertile field for My Gospel, who are the worst of opponents to anything that will waken them from their comfortably settled religious dogma and demand sacrifices and self-denial which they are unable to cope with, since they lack the moral power to overcome habitual customs and ideas. They are like most of the people who came to listen in those days (Jesus' days). They are looking for Me everywhere in the churches, but not on the road of life, where their actions are supposed to bear out what they so frequently profess in their churches." (Pr 202 f.)
"It is no easy matter to convert to the purest truth that comes from the heavens, people who base themselves on all kinds of errors, and others who know how to profit from those errors on this earth." (Gr X 128, 3) "I shall, however, let the mature souls meet you on your path" (Pr 163)
The consequences, taking the form of deterioration, have been predicted, and today they are obvious to everyone.
"Now, as before, the adherents are falling away from these leaders and seek the light, seek the Word - in expression of their search for God - something their own leaders are unable to give them." "The desire for freedom of thought is arising, for spiritual freedom." (Pr 24) "The reason why I am now giving out so much of the bread of heaven, as has never happened since the day I walked on earth, is that now indeed the time is approaching when the world reaches the culmination of its aberrations and deviation from My plan of creation." (Pr 163) "I shall now open the eyes of the unbelievers, and to those who interpret the literal meaning of My Bible (the theologians), I shall explain its true meaning." (Pr 163)
Prophets have always been a thorn in the flesh of the prevailing hierarchy. The Old Testament prophets aroused the ire of the priests in their day and brought persecution on themselves, and in the same way Jakob Lorber's words will arouse anger, fury and opposition. For the prophetic words spoken by Jeremiah also apply in his case: "Is not my word like fire, says the Lord, and like a hammer which breaks the rock in pieces?" (Jerem. 23,29)
Lorber's predictions relating to the fate of the Catholic Church in the near future are as follows: The church, New Revelation says, has been marred by a desire to rule and by power. (Pr 90) Coercion and condemnation are utterly condemned. (Gr IX 39,11) "I have not used coercion on any of you (the disciples), but merely called out to you, in complete freedom: Anyone who wishes to do so may come, hear, see, and follow Me. And you did so of your own free will. Continue to do so in future, in My name, and you will be following a good road." "But anyone wanting to make a compulsion out of this will be no disciple of Mine, and he shall find rocks, cliffs and thorns on his road." (Gr VIII 20, 3-5)
"The full shaping of his own life is put in every individual's own hands." (Gr I 93, 8) "Belief in authority offers far too little light for the soul." (Gr VIII 27, 13)
"Only self-determination in utmost freedom is valid in My eyes. Anything above or below that has no value before Me and My Fahter, who is in Me and I in Him." (Gr I 93, 5)
"See, I am not in those from whose mouth there spouts nothing but one condemnation after another, for they want to see God only in the fire of judgement, and never merely in love." (Hi II. p.13, 17)
"The Pharisees put the Temple above everything else, and the priests of the Christians their church." (Pr 266)
"But night is slowly giving way to the dawn, and dawn to day." "Dawn is already breaking in many heads." (Pr 90)
"I, your Lord and God, have for a long time now been roaring thunder in your (the church's) blocked ear and into your hardened heart, from all sides." (Hi II, p. 194, 10)
"But your delusions of complete divine powers have drawn your heart or your love away from Me, filling it with pride, arrogance, anger, revenge, harlotry and all judgments ... " (Hi II, p. 194, 8)
"What you have done to others, they shall now also do to you. And the reward you have long since earned shall now be upon your head." (Hi II, p. 197, 15)
"All your adherents, whom you have made your own with your double tongue of power, shall most utterly detest you in their hearts." (Hi II, p. 195)
"The living word (New Revelation) shall be a fire in the hearts of those who possess it." "All that is human, world-taught word, however, shall be empty, dry straw; and likewise all pulpit speeches." (Hi II, p. 198)
According to New Revelation, Jesus predicted the following to his Apostle Peter: "... after several hundreds of years, it will be said in Rome that you founded such a chair (the Holy See) in that place. And the peoples forced to do so with fire and sword will also believe the false prophets who say that you as the first prince of the faith established such a chair in Rome and from it are governing the whole earth and its princes and peoples, in My name. But see, it will be a false chair, and dire things will be spread from there, right across the earth, and hardly anyone there will know any more where you set up the true chair, the chair of love, of truth, of the living faith and of life, nor who is your rightful successor. This false chair will persist for a long time, well over a thousand years; it shall not, however, see two thousand years." "But then in those days there will be need of a great cleansing, so that men will recognize Me again and believe only in Me." (Gr VIII 162, 2-6)
"All this may happen earlier than the time when two full millennia shall have passed after Me, as I am now among you incarnate." (Gr IX 71, 5)
Today's friends of New Revelation are told: "Do not concern yourselves with your opponents. The farther time progresses and My sheep shall grow in number, the less can this My teaching (New Revelation) remain unknown, the greater, however, will also be opposition to it and its adherents. The struggle will have to fire up." (Pr 131)
"Consider, there are millions of people who have to be guided to the right door, the door of light." (Pr 132) "Do not fear that they shall win." (Pr 107)
"Pain now stands on the threshold. There are already a fair number of sharpshooters, and they will not miss in their aim." (Gr XI 238)
"The Kingdom of God can of course never come from the external (official) church, for it is the real, inner, eternal life of the spirit. But this external church is by my design and provision a protection for the inner church which can be easily found by any who wish to find it. And it makes no difference which outer church they belong to - so long as it somehow speaks in My name and of My word." (Hi II, p. 375, 8) "Do not, however, curse the whole tree because its bark has died." (Hi I, p. 98) "If you wish to become apostate (i.e., leave the church), this will little benefit your brothers." (Hi I p. 99)
(It should be noted that almost all friends of New Revelation are members of a Christian Church. The Lorber Society in Germany is not encouraging anyone to leave their church. On the other hand, friends are expressly told not to join any sect. (Hi II, p. 82) This is also why the Lorber Society itself must not assume the character of a sect, but remain a loose association of friends in the spirit.)
Faithful souls imbued with church tradition who have grown deeply worried by developments in the Catholic Church since Vatican II, cling to the gospel words: "And the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Mt 16, 18), when fear and despondency comes upon them. But simple minds often tend to take high spiritual truth in rather concrete fashion, i.e., they cling to the literal meaning of the Gospels. Theologians know that the words referring to the invincibility of the church do not refer to the outer organization of the church.
New Revelation fully elucidates the passage from Matthew's Gospel (16, 18): "You are Peter, and on this rock will I build my church, and the portals of hell shall not prevail against it." Only extracts from the relevant passages can be given here.
"Great error now prevails in all Christian regions on earth because of this passage from the Scriptures." (Gr XI p. 332) "Peter was the first to whom I gave the keys to the kingdom of heaven in this faith and trust, this kingdom being the kingdom of love for God in the hearts of men. . ." (Gr XI p. 334)
"Anyone who comes to recognize Me and love Me as Peter did is a true rock on whom I can build My true church, true love and wisdom out of me, and do indeed most solemnly build it." (Gr XI p. 332)
The church will disintegrate before something new can arise. The new church of the spirit will not lack form, for it, too, will require organization and form, but that will not be the form of an established church with a hierarchic order that rules, uses pressure, condemns, and loses itself in ceremonial and superstition. And it will take to heart the words: "Take no gold nor silver" (Mt 10, 9).
Following the transformation of the ecclesia carnalis - as Joachim of Fiore has called it - into an ecclesia spiritualis, the marvellous words given in New Revelation that are like a parable will come to apply: "See, the wise man goes to the lumber room and often finds there great treasure, covered in ceremonial. He wipes away the dust and puts the pure gold into his treasury. Go and do the same."* (Hi 1, p. 99, 15)
The leaders of the church know that the Catholic Church is facing its judgement and its end. In 1960, the Vatican was supposed to reveal to the world the secret of the Third Message for the Children of Fatima entrusted to it by the Bishop of Leiria (Portugal) in 1917. The seals were opened and the contents noted, but they were not published. The Message has nevertheless become known. It does not speak of the fate of a particular nation, as had been put about, as a diversion. According to press reports, this was confirmed by the witness, now living in a nunnery, before the Bishop of Leiria. Today it is known that the words spoken of Fatima included among other things the condemnation of the Catholic Church. At the 6th Fatima Congress held in Freiburg i.Br. (Germany) in September 1973, Bishop Rudolf Graber of Regenburg said: "Fatima is the judgement spoken on a church that believes it can do without sacrifice and expiation and which has grown worldly. Fatima is God's judgment on a mini-Christianity of rock-bottom prices, with the closing-down sale now in progress." 13
Those are frank words, as are the following statements made by the Patriarch Athenagoras: "We have made the church into an organization like any other. We have wasted our energies in setting it up, and then used them to make it function. And it does function, like a machine-but not like life." "What have we done? Christ has left us. We have chased him away." At the last Council, Catholic patriarchs had made the curia responsible for letting religion grow dry with Roman legalism and triumphalism. Their warnings went unheard, like many, many others in the course of time.14
It appears that Pope Paul VI also realized that the church was coming to an end. In the summer of 1974, he complained to an audience: "The church is in trouble - it appears to be condemned to die." 14a
In New Revelation, the Lord expressly states that the teaching of Jesus will be made known to men also after the decline of the Catholic Church: "When the Catholic Church shall meet its judgement and its end, My teaching shall nevertheless continue among very many people on earth. But it will always be something that is free, and will quietly shine among men, a light to comfort them, but never be a queen ruling whole nations, upon a throne, with crown, sceptre and orb." (Gr VIII 14, 17)
Catholic and Protestant theologians hold the view that there is widespread hunger for genuine revelation. True spiritual insight will, however, often need time to ripen. Awareness of the fundamental truths of the faith based on the Gospels requires a mind that is alive and some mental effort.
For anyone sufficiently open-minded, New Revelation, a work that greatly widens our spiritual horizons, is able to fuse rigid concepts of the type theology normally works with into the flux of a presentation that can be understood and accepted by everyone. Anyone really serious in his search for religious truth as taught by Jesus will feel challenged to gain new insights. In New Revelation, God is truly speaking to men in the Last Days. No one will be able to reach the truth without effort, however. At times, the words of Empedocles may well apply to the study of the profound metaphysical aspects of this comprehensive revelation: "I do know that truth is inherent in the words I am proclaiming, yet it will be hard for men to make it their own, and the burning endeavor for the faith only wins through the soul with difficulty."
Where contradictions exist between New Revelation and church doctrine, it is not the church that is right, as Catholic and Protestant theologians will maintain, but New Revelation. lt has been accepted that the Gospels have been partly falsified during the early centuries and made into a caricature by the demythologizers and theologians of the 19th and 20th century.
"No one but they", New Revelation significantly states, "is supposed to know anything or have learned anything." "They do not love My light and will not love those who are bringing My light to them." (Gr III 225, 9)
The churches may completely ignore Jakob Lorber, the prophet of the Last Days, or cast stones upon him, but this will have no effect on the fulfilment of the prophesy.
In these days, Christians should pay heed to the words of St. Paul: "Do not quench the spirit, do not despise prophetic words, but test everything and hold fast to what is good." (1 Thess 5, 1921)
"Unrest and rethinking will be inevitable", Father Lohfink, professor at the Papal Bible Institute in Rome has said, "wherever God lets prophets appear." 15
Goethe's words that "the most excellent things to emerge, to arise before us, will be denied for as long as possible" apply also in the case of New Revelation. But no doubt the time has now come when this important revelation made through the prophet shall become generally known.
"A general desire is arising for light, for spiritual life, for love, for genuine spiritual teaching that has warmth. And so a move towards the spirit is coming about in spite of all opposition."(Pr 24)
*ecclesia carnalis literally means 'church of the flesh', i.e., the established church of the hierarchy. Its opposite is the ecclesia spiritualis, the church of the spirit.