azar said: "Only now do I realize how sinful and uneducated I am. Behold, I am at death's door, and still I do not know what I should ask of God. I am contending with my Maker, as Job once did, concerning matters that are beyond my authority and range. Instruct me, O servant of the Most High, what is the most necessary thing for a man at death's door to ask of his God?"
The angel of God answered him: "At the end and at the beginning of the earthly journey, as well as on every step of that journey, it is most important for the earthly wayfarer to ask God for two things: first, the forgiveness of sins; and second, the bestowal of the Spirit of God. Everything that is full must first be emptied in order for it to be filled. It must be cleaned first, and then adorned. The Spirit of God does not enter a house occupied by a demonic slave of sins, and He does not adorn an unclean home with either His presence or His heavenly gifts.
"Man is wondrously composed of body, soul, and spirit. The spirit is the mover and the lord of the whole of man's being. As the spirit is, so will the movements of the soul and body be. As the spirit is, so also is the man. The spirit moves the soul, and the soul the body. 'It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail.' (John 6:63). Even the circles of the angelic host in the heavenly kingdom live and are moved only by the Spirit of God. From that Spirit there springs forth for us angels those four streams of sweetness: truth, love, life, and joy. In this same manner the progenitor of your race also lived and was moved by the Spirit of God, similar to us angels.
"When, however, he insanely departed from righteousness and heavenly Love, a fundamental transformation took place in him. In appearance he remained the same; nevertheless an essential change occurred within him. To this day little is known in the world about this transformation. It is one of the strangest, quietest, most consecrated mysteries. But you, O great and immortal man, need to know in what this fundamental change consists, so that you may then also comprehend everything else that your heart desires to know. For this knowledge is the point of departure for any sort of wisdom and true knowledge. In it lies the actual answer to all the questions that torment mankind, and thus it is the answer to yours as well.
"Hear, therefore, most glorious Prince of this terrestrial generation! The fundamental transformation lay in this: the insulted Creator pulled His Holy Spirit out of man, and left man alone with his created soul and natural spirit. With this natural spirit, which is created and not inspired by God, fallen man was condemned "to eat bread in the sweat of his face" (Gen. 3:19), like the ants and the bees and the beasts. Thus man degenerated into an animal, the lord became the peer of his servants, the king became equal to his subjects. Man the god became man the animal. But this is not the worst part. For the animals are in their own state wondrous and beautiful. What is the worst part is that man the animal quickly tumbled down into man the demon, of his own free will. Of his own free will, after having exchanged the Holy Spirit for an unclean vessel, he also threw away his natural, created spirit and accepted into himself a third spirit the unclean spirit, the spirit of falling away from God and struggling against God, the spirit of the angels of hell. For when man lost the Holy Spirit, he was placed at a crossroads, where his natural created spirit is in control, and where two opposite spirits meet: the spirit of light and the spirit of darkness, the Spirit of God and the spirit of hell.
"At this crossroads, where the natural spirit is in control and where the two opposing spirits are blowing, many people turn their face to the spirit of darkness and death, while there are only a few who turn their face toward God. To these latter our gracious God has again given His Holy Spirit. These are those amazing righteous people, to whom the promise and the prophesied salvation have been given. As it has been given to them so also will it be given through them to every future generation of mankind, so long as it remains on the crossroads facing towards the God of life.
"For thousands of years they have been the only man-gods in the midst of the man-animals and, what is worse, man-demons. They have been called gods and sons of God, not because of their mortal flesh or their natural soul and spirit, but because of the Holy Spirit of God, which has been given to them again, and because at the crossroads of the spirits their face has been turned, with faith and reverence, towards the Holy Spirit of God. Because of this God has breathed His Spirit from Himself into them, and thus they have been made worthy to be called gods and sons of God.
"For everything that our majestic Maker gives to His creatures, He either gives from what is His or of Himself. When He gives light, rain, abundant harvests, good health, success, or knowledge of nature He is giving from what is His; that is, He is giving something that He has created, something that is His but is not Himself. When He gives His Holy Spirit, however, He is giving Himself. This is the character of perfect, divine Love, to give not only what is His, but also Himself.
"Therefore know, O glorifier of God, that three sorts of spirits exist: the Holy Spirit of God, the natural spirit, and the spirit of demons. I repeat to you: as the spirit within a man is, so also is the man. Three brothers with the three different spirits are thus as far from one another as are the three realms: the realm of heaven, the realm of earth, and the realm of hell. It is therefore possible to evaluate a man accurately just by the spirit that is within the man. For the spirit is the mover of the soul and body. All the thoughts and desires and feelings of the soul, as well as all the deeds of the body, completely depend on the spirit that is within the man.
"With this knowledge about the spirit, enter now, as with a secret key into the chambers of man's soul. Whichever type the spirit is, so is the soul. The soul is not as simple as the spirit. It has three powers: the intellect, emotion, and activity. All three of these together are like dough, for which the spirit serves as leaven. As the yeast is, so also is the dough and the bread. If the yeast is the Holy Spirit, then the thoughts in a man are holy and godly, his feelings are holy and godly, and his actions are holy and godly. If the yeast is the natural spirit, then the thoughts within a man are natural (i.e., earthly), his feelings are natural, and his actions are natural. If, however, the spirit within him is the spirit of demons, then the thoughts within the man are demonic, his desires and feelings are demonic, and his actions are demonic.
"With this knowledge about the spirit and the soul, enter now, as with a secret key, into the mysteries of the human body. Whichever type the soul is, so is the body. The spirit is simpler than the soul, and the soul is simpler than the body. The numerous organs and operations of the body are indicative of the quality and power of the soul. If the soul is saturated with the Spirit of God, then the body, too, as the instrument of such a soul, is the harp of God, which expresses what the divinely inspired soul thinks, feels, and wants. If the soul is saturated with a natural spirit, then the body also, as the instrument of such a soul, is the expression of nature, of natural thoughts, of natural feelings, and natural desires. If, however, the soul is saturated with the wicked leaven of the spirit of hell, then the body of such a man also, as the instrument of the soul, is the herald of hell's powers, of the will of demons and the deeds of demons.
"Without this basic comprehension and distinction, how can one comprehend what is happening to him in the world? And how can the destiny of a people and all that happens to a people be understood? Without this basic comprehension and distinction, O most valiant knight of this day, no one among mortals can grasp what is happening today on this field of battle. Only one who is not inspired by a demonic spirit and who has elevated himself above a normal natural spirit, is in a position to view this tearing of cloth as a new weaving, and to see in this painful chaos a cosmic order, and in these bloody horrors of devastation an orderly artistic arrangement.
"Is it not clear to you from this, what every man is obliged to ask of the Lord not only at the hour of death, but at every hour and at every step of his earthly journey? He is obliged to ask for the Holy Spirit of God. God is full of mercy and love, and out of His abundant love He gives Himself to those who love Him and who with love seek the Spirit from Him. Just as it was told to you from the holiest mouth of all: 'If you, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more so will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask for Him?' (Luke 11:13)