|Chapter 1||Paul's Letter to Laodicea|
35. But for the blind person, the whole world with its ceremonies is a matter of the past and so is the temple-service with all its magnificent raiment.
36. Consequently, it is an eternal truth: The Lord did not call me to establish a new ceremony; instead, he called me for the uplifting of hearts, for which Satan forged his pitiless chains for thousands of years;
37. And to preach to everyone the freedom of the Spirit, the peace of the Soul, and therewith tear apart in Christ, the Lord, the old, hard bonds of death.
38. But of what benefit would my teachings be to me and to you; of what benefit would the Gospel of God be, if you voluntarily enter again into the old death?
39. I, however, ask you for the sake of your eternal life: Desist from everything which the old imprisonment of Babel left as a bitter inheritance to all Jews.
40. Behold: Babel, the great whore of the world. The Lord destroyed her because she gave many nations death. What will you gain, if it is your desire to raise out of Laodicea a new Babel? Therefore, desist from everything that could bring about anew the atrocity of devastation which Daniel prophesied, when he stood in a holy place.
41. However, Christ brought you to life, since you were dead in your sins, and in the foreskin of your flesh; He forgave you all the sins, which you ever committed in the temple, as you did in your foreskin.
42. He eradicated the bloody handwriting, which was against us all, which came into being through the world-statutes; and our names were recorded in this handwriting in the book of the world, in the book of justice, and in the book of death, by Him nailing it to the cross.
43. Why do you want to tear down again the handwriting in blood that God Himself eradicated, which was nailed to the cross of justice, the cross of disgrace, the cross of malediction, and the cross of death, and exchange your new names in Christ for the old ones, which were written in blood in the book of justice?
44. Oh, you blind fools of all folly. In Christ you became liberated, and now you want to become slaves again and servants of sin, justice, and death. Did you not hear, that the one who is nailed to the cross is cursed?
45. Christ, however, took your shame, your disgrace, your sin, your court, and your death upon Himself, and let Himself be nailed to the cross as a damned, to obtain for all of you freedom before God so that you can walk in honor. He took all your disgrace and shame with Him to the cross.
46. Oh, what was it, that bewitched you – those of you who became alive in Christ – that you now want to surrender yourself again anew to death?.
47. With whom should I compare you that it should strike you as a good throw would a target? Yes, you are like a blighted courtesan, who lives in the city, but is nevertheless the daughter of a good family.
48. Listen to me and understand this well. Of what benefit is it to the courtesan that she comes from a good family, when her flesh is more lecherous than the fat of a stuffed scapegoat?
49. Will she not walk to and fro in her room because of her carnal desires, and then will lean with half her body out of one and then another window, and she will look with her lecherous eyes to all sides, to see if she cannot catch a glimpse of someone who has what her lecherous and lustful flesh yearns for?
50. And when she catches sight of him, she will show him through the loose fire of her eyes, what she yearns for, and she will sin with him ten times more through her desire, than a whore in her bed of shame with her paramour.
51. Oh look, you Laodiceans, there you have a picture of yourselves. Do you know however, what the sincere and willing bridegroom of such a girl would do when he passes by her house, and catches sight of her shameful lechery?
52. From that moment on, he will put her out of his heart and immediately he will no longer look at her, even if she should experience the greatest want.
53. That is what the Lord will do with you, because He raised a new, living temple in your heart, while you will be waiting for Him; but you scorn this temple, this holy chamber, and you run, because of mere worldly lechery to the window of justice to be wanton with the world, because of the gold, the reputation, and the lust for power, since you lust for all those things.
54. But I say this to you: The Lord will withdraw Himself and will let you pass over into all kinds of harlotry, into the old justice, and into the old death, unless you turn around immediately, and totally desist from the clergy – which you yourself elected – from your temples, from your days of feast, and from your magnificent raiment; all of this is an abomination before the Lord, just like a lecherous courtesan, which is much more wicked in her heart, than ten whores of Babel.
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