|Paul's Letter to Laodicea|
[3.3] Since it is what it is, it is therefore a lie, which you are getting into, to lie and to deceive yourself; since you are of the opinion that therein you give God the honor, and to God Himself you lie to, and you are of the opinion that you render Him an important sacrifice.
[3.4] You fools. What service do you want to render the Almighty Who founded heaven and earth before you were created?. What do you have now that you did not receive before; but since you did receive it, why do you behave as if you did not receive it?
[3.5] Do you wish to render to the Lord to some extent a pleasant service, that you build Him a temple by the hand of man, and worship Him through ceremony and the burning of incense, and through dead prayers on long or wide ribbons?
[3.6] Oh, look, how much you have been bewitched by an Apostle of Satan. Was Christ not – in whom dwells the fullness of the Deity – in the flesh sentenced to death in the temple, and at the time did He Himself not prophesy its total downfall.
[3.7] How could He at this time find pleasure in this, if He cautioned severely all of His disciples, as He did us in the spirit, when He said: “Beware of the sourdough of the Pharisees and high priests”. And now you want to set up the old “Court of Justice” which has become an abomination before God, as a dwelling for the Lord, so that you may kill Him many times over.
[3.8] How blind can you be and how far must you have passed over into the world, that you did not notice such an occurrence.
[3.9] Is it not enough that Christ died once for all of us, and now all of us with Him, so that we can be resurrected with Him, while still in our flesh, to the true recognition of His Spirit which is within us, and to the recognition of the Father, Who loved us before the World existed?
[3.10] How often do you want to kill Christ? Him, the only eternal Living Being, who once awakened all of us from death to eternal life through His Glorious Resurrection.
[3.11] But I, Paul, say this: “Go and destroy the temple, erase all the designated days of feast in the calendars, remove the false bishop and his servants from his office, just like those from Jerusalem, who want to fatten themselves from the labor of your hands, and they had made for themselves a big iron box to hold your saved-up gold and silver.”
[3.12] And burn the magnificent raiment, which are an abomination before God. Through this, you render the Lord a much more pleasing service, than if you would let yourself for 1.000 years be killed (i.e. sacrifice, Ed.) in such a temple.
[3.13] Should you absolutely want to have in your midst a house pleasing unto God, build a hospital for the sick, the paralyzed, the ailing, the cripples, for the blind and the mute, and a house for poor widows and orphans, and a house for homeless foreigners, without exception, whosoever they might be.
[3.14] Accommodate these human beings joyfully and with compassion, and share all your blessings with them, like our Lord, Jesus Christ, did on two occasions, when he fed with His abundance of blessings thousands of hungry people; then you will do Him, the only Holy One, a true and pleasing service for your own sanctification.
[3.15] Because He Himself spoke about this, when He said: “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of my brethren, ye have done it unto Me.”
[3.16] He spoke often and quite clearly on the matter, and what He considered to be a pleasing service to Him. Then why do you want something that is an atrocity, nauseating and disgusting, and a pestilence to Him?
[3.17] A heart full of love is God, the Lord in Christ, the only pleasing, living temple, and He loves that much more, than a whole world full of Temples of Solomon, which are all dead. Whereas, the heart is alive and can love God and all brothers. Therefore, build this temple spiritually within yourself anew and at all times actively sacrifice in this temple to the Lord.
[3.18] Not the temple, not the ceremony, not the priests and not the bishop, and not Paul and his disciples; not the Jew, not the Greek, nor the circumcision of the Jews and the foreskin, nor Solomon's temple; not even the original Greek, the Scythian, the heathen, the freed-man, the servant; nor the Sabbath, nor the new moon, nor the jubilee year is anything before God – only Christ alone is the all-in-all.
[3.19] Be only drawn to Christ as God's Elect, as His saints and as His loved ones, through the living belief, through love, through heartfelt mercy for your brothers, through friendship, friendliness, humility, gentleness, and through total patience.
[3.20] In everything get along with one another, and forgive each other from the heart, whatever it may be that one has against the other; then I will forgive you and the Lord will too, as soon as you have forgiven each other.
[3.21] Do not sue each other at court, as the heathens do; they have their own courts. Live with each other in peace and tolerate and settle matters in your heart. Then you will be better off before the Lord, as if you conscientiously pay attention to all the laws of Moses. They are very hard to remember, but even harder to keep, because the laws of Moses are not pleasing to the Lord, but only a pure heart that truly loves God and the brothers.
[3.22] Above all draw from love, because love alone is of any value before God, and it is the only fully valid link of all completion and all perfection.
[3.23] In love and through love reigns the true, perfect peace of God in your hearts, and all of you alone are called into this peace and to this peace in the One Body of Christ, the Lord, and that is how you thank Him. That is why you thank Him for all times and eternally in the Spirit and in Truth,
[3.24] But not in a dead temple; before God a temple is nothing. The Lord and Giver of Life looks only into the heart and at the peace it contains.
[3.25] Let the living word of Christ dwell abundantly among you in all love and in true, perfect wisdom. Teach, caution, and edify each other with all kinds of magnificent and spiritual things and observations,
[3.26] With psalms of love and other songs of praise and spiritually delightful songs; but sing in your heart and do not indulge in that empty bawling with your mouth. If you do so, you will be more pleasing unto the Lord, than the conceited bawling of the Pharisees, Jews and heathens, who cause their lips a great problem because of the gold; with all this mannerism, their hearts, however, remain colder than ice.
[3.27] Everything you do, however – may it be with words or deeds – do it in the Name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and through Him thank God, the Father for everything; because He is the Mediator between God and us; in His Heart dwells the fullness of the Father.
[3.28] Listen. You, the women of Laodicea: That is how the Lord, our God of Eternity wants it to be – that you be totally subservient to your men in Christ the Lord, because in the man you have the Head of Christ.
[3.29] You, men, however, love your wives with the proper measure, and do not be hard against them, but do not go too far with your love for your wives, that on account of it, you forget the Lord, because the love of the Lord must remain unattached, as if you would not have a wife.
[3.30] And you, children, obey your parents totally in everything, as long as it is not against Christ; because that is His Will and it pleases Him.
[3.31] You, parents, do not make the hearts of your children bitter through harsh words and abuse, so that they become timid towards you, thereby becoming cowards and hypocrites; but an apparently stubborn child can be reared to be supple through love, but a flatterer and a hypocrite is incorrigible.
[3.32] Therefore, I say to you, the servants of your masters: Obey them in all things, as long as they are not against Christ, but not merely through eye-service to please your master, but in the true simplicity of your hearts, and in the constant fear of God.
[3.33] Everything you carry out for your master, carry it out as if you would serve Christ the Lord in all the faithfulness of your heart — but not, as if you would serve a human being. One day you will be overcome by the Lord with the reward of Glory.
[3.34] Whosoever commits an injustice against his master does it likewise unto the Lord. The Lord does not consider if someone is the master or if he is the servant; He only takes into consideration the work and the reason for the work.
[3.35] Whosoever commits an injustice, one day He will give him his just reward. You may be able to deceive human beings, but the Lord will not allow you to deceive Him; before Him your hearts are always open.
[3.36] But to you, employers, I say: Think about this well – that servants are also your brothers before the Lord, therefore, grant them at all times, what is right before God. Pay them what they are entitled to at the proper time with love in Christ, and remember, that all of us have one Lord in heaven and this Lord is Christ, God's Saint in eternity.
[3.37] Do not abandon prayer, and pray with thanksgiving without intermission, – not with the lips, but in the Spirit and in Truth with all the simplicity of your hearts, and in the true devotion in the love of Christ our Lord.
[3.38] And pray at the same time for me, so that the Lord may open the door to the living word for me at all times, and that I may speak before you at all times and before all the brothers in Christ about His Great Secret and that of His Kingdom: because I am still bound to the world and I am still only a common man, one who is only capable of prophesy, when the Lord opens the door of Grace for him.
[3.39] Simple and wise shall be your way of living for or against anyone – and against those, who are on the outside, the Jews and heathens. You shall not judge anyone – may they be Scythians, heathens, Jews, Greeks, or not Greeks, but conform wisely in accordance with the times and circumstances.
[3.40] Your speech should be at all times seasoned with love, no matter who it may be, and should be full of salt with the true wisdom from God. At all times you should take from this wisdom, whatever you speak of to someone, so that he comes into the knowledge how different divine wisdom is from the knowledge of the wise of the world.
[3.41] I, Paul, am now of the opinion that I did not omit anything in order to show you what it is that is among you, and that it is a poisonous weed; yes, a very harmful, poisonous tree, whose breath suffocates everything; and now I have nothing against you any more.
[3.42] That, however, dear brothers, should be at all times a true ceremony among you; that you in the Spirit and in Truth give honor to God the Father in His Son; that at all times you love Him above all in His Son, Who died out of love for us all on the cross to return to us the kindred, which our fathers altogether forfeited since the times of Adam.
[3.43] I beg of you for God's sake, to bring worthy fruit of a total conversion from your new heathendom into the living church of God, which is within you, but does not dwell in the temples, raiment, or in any kind of ceremony.
[3.44] The love of God and the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all the time and for eternity.
[3.45] But how things will be with me in Rome, our faithful brother Tychicus will let you know, which I now will send to you and as well to the Colossians, who also have become just like you, captivated by Satan.
[3.46] Greetings to all my dear brothers and Nymphas and to the faithful congregation of his house of which I attest to that he is righteous, as I at all times pray to God for your sake.
[3.47] Extend also my greetings to the Colossians when you visit them, because there are some among them that you know; those who are at all times just, and faithful in the belief and in the love of God.
[3.48] After the Colossians have read their letter, then you should read it as well and I am asking you for God's sake, that you should let the Colossians read this, your letter, as well.
[3.49] Because this letter is as important to them, as it is to you. After all of this has been said, I admonish you in writing – as Tychicus will inform you of everything verbally – that this letter should be read in all congregations, just as the one addressed to the Colossians.
[3.50] My Greetings written by my own hand: Think of my love. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
[3.51] Written from Rome by Tychicus and his companion Onesimus, both have been sent to you and also to the Colossians.
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