|Chapter 2||Paul's Letter to Laodicea|
1. Therefore, let no one influence your conscience, not through a bishop and a priest (i.e. uncalled by God), not through a day of feast, nor through the old Sabbath and new moon,
2. Nor through a temple, nor through a sacrificial ceremony, nor magnificent raiment, and just as little through food and drink.
3. Be moderate in eating and drinking; that is good for the spirit, the soul, and the body and is agreeable to the Lord;
4. But when someone says, teaches, and desires: “This and that particular food should not be eaten, because according to Moses it is unclean.”
5. Then I say in opposition to that: Moses and the prophets are fulfilled and redeemed in Christ; the Lord did not forbid us any food; He Himself ate and drank with sinners and publicans.
6. And He exclaimed: “What you eat does not defile you; but what comes out of your heart such as gossip, evil desires, miserliness, envy, manslaughter, rage, gluttony, voracity, fornication, adultery, and the like — that is what at all times defiles human beings.”
7. Since we have such a Gospel from Him, the sole Lord of all the Glory Himself, what great fools must we be if we voluntarily let ourselves be harnessed into the old evil yoke?
8. Of what significance is at present the shadow which, from Moses’ point-of-view, was a prophetic omen pertaining to what happened in front of our eyes, for us, who have become one body with Christ and in Christ.
9. I ask you, and even implore you: Do not allow anyone to decide for you what your goal should be, especially by one who on his own initiative, wanders around in all humility and total spirituality of the angels of the heavens, but he himself has never seen nor heard anything about it; because of this, he is conceited about his own importance, but only in his carnal sense,
10. And he does not abide by the head from whence comes the energy for the whole body through the members and joints, which maintain each other, contain and grow to divine greatness,
11. But only according to his taste, which is within itself full of dirt and filth, full of self-interest, full of deceit and lies, full of lust for power, full of miserliness and envy.
12. This is how it is with the one who poses as if he was called upon by the Lord and from me, and then afterwards elected by you.
13. I point out now to all of you: This one has the spirit of the devil in him, and walks among you like a wolf in sheep's clothing and like a hungry, roaring lion endeavoring in a diligent manner to devour you.
14. That is why you should drive him away as fast as possible, and return again to Nymphas, whose house is the true congregation of Christ.
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