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   "I have come to warn you    against feeding on the
   ideas and false teachings
   of those who market in    religion..."



   chapters
   The Problem of Religion
   The Light That Has Lighted the World
   The Revelation
   The Living Word
   The Father
   The Good Shepherd
   Food for The Soul
   The New Kingdom
   The Royal Commandment
   The Great Lessons
   The New Doctrine
   The Blessings
   The Power of Prayer
   Treasures in Heaven
   Faith That Moves Mountains
   Patience, Mercy, and Forgiveness
   On a Fruitful Life
   Health and Healing for Body and Soul
   The Call
   On Being Born a Second Time
   Disciples and Servants
   The Great Commission
   A Prayer for Disciples
   This Generation
   A Place for You
   The Promise of the Spirit
   An Invitation to Life
   The End Times
   The Return
   The Betrayal
   The Trial and the Cross
   Following the Resurrection
   Always

   About the translation



  

       
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chapter one
THE PROBLEM of RELIGION
       

"Take heed; beware of living your life on religious food...

By now you have certainly forgotten about the five loaves that fed the five thousand, with twelve baskets left over, and the seven loaves that fed the four thousand and the plenty that remained. But I am not speaking to you about earthly food. No, I have come to warn you against feeding on the ideas and false teachings of those who market in religion.

In vain such people worship me, teaching as doctrines what are merely the inventions of men. Preoccupied with their own superstitions, they have forgotten the commandments of God.

Beware of false teachers who stand before you wearing sheep's clothing. Beneath their guise hides a ravenous wolf. They follow their true master, the evil one, and do what as he commands them. He was a murderer from the beginning, and never told the truth, because there was never truth in him. When he lies, he speaks in character, for he is a liar, and the father of lies.

To those who set themselves up to be your judges I say, judgment upon you, false teachers. Hypocrites! You, who will never enter the kingdom of heaven, bar the very way to those who long to go in. You travel across land and sea to gain one proselyte; and when that person is won, you make them two times more the child of hell than you are yourselves. Do you not merit great damnation?

You steal from the poor and the widows; and then, to conceal your true intentions, you make long pious prayers.

You decree: "The temple is unimportant. What is important is the treasury of the temple!"

But which is greater: the gold in the treasury, or the temple that sanctifies the gold?

And you say: "The altar is not important; but the gift that is upon it is important."

You are both foolish and blind. Which is greater: the gift on the altar, or the altar that sanctifies the gift?

Whoever honours the altar honours it and all things upon it. And whoever honours the temple honours him who dwells within its walls. And they who honour heaven, honour the throne of God, and he who sits upon it.

You make ceremonial offerings of even the herbs that grow at your front door. All the while, you have forgotten the weighty matters of the law: judgment, mercy, and faith.

Your vision extends not one inch in front of your face. Piously you strain a gnat from your wine, and proceed to swallow a camel. Self-righteously you clean the outside of your cup, while inside remains the grime of extortion. How blind can you be! First take care of what is concealed within. Only then will the outside be clean.

False teachers! In your hypocrisy you are no better than whitewashed tombs, which might appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of death and decaying bones. You may impress people by your superficial demonstrations of virtue, but inside you are consumed with hypocrisy and have fallen short of the truth. How can you believe, who live only for your colleague's praise, never seeking the honor that comes from God alone?

You build monuments to the prophets, and place flowers at the tombs of the righteous, and say: "If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would never have allowed their innocent blood to be shed."

Be witness to your own inconsistency! You are the descendents of those who killed the prophets, and have surpassed even their wicked acts. Snakes! Generation of vipers! How will you escape the condemnation of eternal judgment?

Behold, in the days to come, I will send you prophets, and wise men, and teachers. Even these you will kill and crucify. Yes, even these you will persecute, and pursue to the ends of the earth.

Such hypocrisy! Isaiah was right when he prophesied of you: "They approach me with their mouths, and honour me with their lips; but their hearts are far from me."

You justify yourselves before your congregations; but God knows the evil intentions of your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed by man is repulsive in the sight of God.

Take heed: Many will come from the east and west, and enter joyfully the kingdom of heaven. But many who should have come in will be banished instead to the darkness outside. Be forewarned: Unless your righteousness exceeds the pseudo-righteousness of the religious, you will not set foot inside the kingdom of heaven.


turn to chapter two: THE LIGHT THAT HAS LIGHTED THE WORLD

 


  
     

    THE WORDS l TRANSLATION by LEE CANTELON

    c. 2022 all rights reserved


   
     

  
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