|4 Esdras 7:78-101 |
78 Regarding death, the word is: when the most High has decided that a man should die, on the withdrawal of the spirit from the body, so as to be called to Him again by who gave it, the man first adores the glory of the Most High.
79 And if it is one of those who have spurned, and not kept the way of the Most High and who have despised his law, and those who hated those who fear the Lord,
80 Such spirits shall not come near to habitations [of rest], but shall immediately wander about in torments, ever grieving, and be grim in seven ways.
81 The first way: because they have scorned the law of the Most High.
82 The second way: because they are no longer able to make a good repentance that they may live.
83 The third way: they see the reward laid up for them that the covenants of the Most High yet have believed.
84 The fourth way: they shall consider the torment laid up for them in the last.
85 The fifth way: seeing the habitations of the others are guarded by angels with silence as a great reward.
86 The sixth the way: see how some of them will pass over into torments.
87 The way of the seventh: which is greater than all the ways of above named for in their dishonor they shall be consumed with shame, and will pine away and be fearful of seeing the glory of the Most High before whom they have sinned against while living, and before whom in the last times they are to be tried.
88 For those who have kept the ways of the Most High, this is the order when they shall be separated from their mortal body.
89 In the time of which they lived in the body, they have served Most High with great effort and have withstood danger every hour, keeping watch so as to keep perfectly the law of the Lawgiver.
90 Therefore this is the teaching concerning them:
91 In the first place they shall see with great joy the glory of him who receives them, for they shall rest in seven orders.
92 The first order: with much labor they have striven to overcome the evil thoughts that were formed in them, that they [evil thoughts] may not lead them astray from life into death.
93 The second order: because they see the perplexity in which the souls of the ungodly wander, and what punishment awaits them.
94 The third order: they see the record of their warnings from he who formed them; and seeing that while alive they kept the law by faith in whom gave it.
95 The fourth order: they understand the rest in which they are gathered into their chambers; and they shall rest in profound quiet while guarded by angels, and what glory awaits them in the last.
96 The fifth order: they rejoice that they have now escaped what is corruptible, and inherit what is to come in the future; besides they see the straits and toil from which they have already been fully delivered, and the spacious freedom they will receive and enjoy forever.
97 The order of the sixth: when shown to them how their face is to shine like the sun, and how they are to be made like the light in the stars, being incorruptible forever.
98 The seventh order: which is greater than everything already stated for they shall rejoice with confidence and without uncertainty, and shall rejoice with reverence as they make haste to see the face of Him they served and lived, and as they are to receive from Him the reward of glorification.
99 Here in order of the souls of the just, as henceforth is announced; the before said are the ways of torment which those who have neglected it shall suffer hereafter."
100 I answered, and I said: "Then shall they be given the time of their souls, after they have been separated from the bodies, that they may see what you said?"
101 He said to me: "for seven days they shall have freedom that they may see in those seven days what was predicted in the words [above], and afterwards they shall be gathered together as in their habitations." [Remember that a day there could be a thousand years here and vice versa.]