so that the Son will be honored equally with the Father. Anyone who dishonors the Son, dishonors the Father, for it was the Father's decision to put the Son in the place of honor.
"It's urgent that you listen carefully to this: Anyone here who believes what I am saying right now and aligns himself with the Father, who has in fact put me in charge, has at this very moment the real, lasting life and is no longer condemned to be an outsider. This person has taken a giant step from the world of the dead to the world of the living.
"It's urgent that you get this right: The time has arrived - I mean right now! - when dead men and women will hear the voice of the Son of God and, hearing, will come alive.
Just as the Father has life in himself, he has conferred on the Son life in himself.
And he has given him the authority, simply because he is the Son of Man, to decide and carry out matters of Judgment.
"Don't act so surprised at all this. The time is coming when everyone dead and buried will hear his voice.
Those who have lived the right way will walk out into a resurrection Life; those who have lived the wrong way, into a resurrection Judgment.
"I can't do a solitary thing on my own: I listen, then I decide. You can trust my decision because I'm not out to get my own way but only to carry out orders.
If I were simply speaking on my own account, it would be an empty, self-serving witness.
But an independent witness confirms me, the most reliable Witness of all.
Furthermore, you all saw and heard John, and he gave expert and reliable testimony about me, didn't he?