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Chapter 9


Churchgoers go seeking the Teacher – The Teacher speaks – Why are you heavyhearted? – Blessed are the merciful – You are the salt of the earth – Do not desire earthly treasures – No man can serve two masters – Why will you feed the body only? – Nakedness – Looking at the good things in life – Parable: Building on rock or sand – Cost of discipleship – Beware of false shepherds – Pray not as churchgoers do – The performing of charity – Judge not harshly the fallen – Being holy as God is holy – All people are the children of God – Women and marriage – Love one another

 

1  Now when these things were done, the Teacher went unto a lonely place far from the habitations of men, that he might draw himself again unto God.

2  And after many days he came again to teach, and there arose a great commotion because of him; for he taught not according to the laws of the church.

3  Now there were many in the churches which believed in him, and when they heard that the Teacher was again in the city they went forth seeking after him.

4  And as they journeyed upon the way, they saw the man teaching, and there was gathered round about him many who would listen to the things of God.

5  And they, seeing him, went forth to be comforted, for they were sorely persecuted for Christ’s sake, being heavyhearted and filled with sorrow.

6  And there arose to speak a certain woman, saying: “Good Teacher, will you not speak to us words of comfort so that we might take to our soul some little joy?

7  For, behold, we are cast from the church as a thing defiled: Where then shall we go to hear the word of God, to receive unto our soul, food to eat and water to drink?

8  Speak to us but a little, and we shall be filled to overflowing. Linger yet a little while among us, and we shall not perish; for we would take to our soul the wisdom of God, that we might be strong in the day of trouble.

9  And if it so be that you should journey away, even then shall we follow after you. For we would be your disciples.”

10  Now when the woman had said these things, the man was filled with compassion, and turning he spoke unto all who were gathered, saying:

11  “Unto the poor who are made to sit in despair, peace and blessing be upon you and your house forever, for unto you shall God give place in the kingdom of Heaven.

12  Why, therefore, shall you be heavyhearted seeing that God shall stretch forth his hand to comfort? For though you are pressed down with a multitude of sorrow, yet shall God come forth unto you to lift the heavy burden, that there might shine forth in the darkness the glory of his wisdom.

13  And if it so be that you are made to hunger and thirst for righteousness sake, then happy shall you be, for you shall be filled with a multitude of heavenly things.

14  Blessed, therefore, are the merciful, for you shall obtain great mercy. For where there is great love, even there shall you find an abundance of pardon.

15  For if you forgive others their trespasses against you, then shall your Heavenly Father forgive you also. But if you forgive not the trespasses of others, how then shall God forgive you, seeing that you are without mercy? For the law was decreed from the beginning that kind should cleave to kind.

16  Therefore, if you would be pure of heart, make peace with all men for righteousness sake; that you might prove yourselves the children of God and in his glory abide forever and ever.

17  And if it so be that men should persecute you for the sake of your righteousness, how great then should be your joy? Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great shall be your reward in Heaven.

18  Incline your heart unto God and remember the words which I shall cause to be given unto you this day. For I tell you truly: Except your goodness exceed that of churchgoers, you shall in nowise find favor with God, neither shall you enter into his rest.

19  Is it not written that you are the salt of the earth? But if the salt has lost its flavor, wherewith shall anything be salted? It is henceforth good for nothing, except to be cast out and trodden under the feet of men.

20  Surely you are become as a light unto the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a basket, but on a candlestick that it might give light to the whole house.

21  Therefore, let the goodness of your heart be as a light unto the children of men, that they might see your good works, and in their wonder give glory and honor unto your Father who is in Heaven.

22  Desire not for yourselves treasures upon the earth only, where moth and rust do corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal.

23  But take unto your soul that treasure which is found in Heaven, for there shall no thief break in and steal, neither shall moth nor dust corrupt. For where your treasure is, there shall your heart be also.

24  Consider how that no man can serve two masters: For he will either hate the one and love the other, or else he will cleave to one and reject the other.

25  How then shall you serve God while seeking riches only? Or by what means shall great wealth corrupt if you would seek to follow God?

26  Therefore, if you would be wise before God, give heed: Be not over anxious for what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; neither think you overmuch for the body, what you shall put on. Is your life not much more than meat, and is not the body more than clothing?

27  For why will you feed the body only while the spirit is made to perish? Turn your soul unto God therefore, that you might eat and live; for the words which I speak are spirit and if it so be that you should partake thereof, then shall you surely live.

28  And why take you thought overmuch for clothing sake? Consider the flowers of the field, how they grow. They labor not as you do, neither do they spin; and yet I say unto you, that even Solomon with all his glory could not surpass the least of these.

29  For you were born altogether naked from your mother’s womb. Therefore, if you would clothe yourselves, wrap yourselves round about in the wisdom of God, and gird yourselves with deep understanding.

30  For there is no shame in the body, but beauty only. Clothe yourselves therefore, that you might prove the beauty wherewith God has fashioned you.

31  And think not that nakedness is an offense to God: For which of you were born clothed from your mother’s womb? How then shall you sin, being naked, seeing that God has fashioned you so?

32  For unto the body is it given to know fully the issues of this life, that you may prove what is of God and what cometh from some other.

33  Know then that in the beauty of the body is God likewise revealed unto the heart of all who see; that you, seeing the beauty of some comely form, might perceive more deeply still the wonders of God within.

34  For in the beauty of both the man and the woman is God likewise formed, for this mystery I make known in your hearing, that you are likewise two seeds cast down unto the earth, that by your living you might give rise to still some nobler form, even Lords many and Gods many.

35  Thus in the man and in the woman is there together found the seedling of God’s beginning, for have you not heard among yourselves already, how that God was once a man, even as you?

36  Remove, therefore, from all your judgments the nakedness of both the man and the woman; for if there should be revealed the beauty of some higher form, what sin have you committed, seeing that in the coming forth of some outward beauty, the God within is set free of all boundaries and limitations.

37  Therefore, trouble not your soul to sorrow, saying: What shall we eat? or, With what shall we clothe ourselves? For your Heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things.

38  Attend, therefore, your eyes unto goodness and seek not the evil way. For the light of the body is in the eye, and if your eye be single to seeking out the good always, then shall your whole body be filled with light and the peace of God shall fold itself round about you.

39  But if your eye see evil only, to fill the soul with a multitude of sorrow, then shall the whole body be filled with darkness. And if the light of the body be darkness only, how great then shall be that darkness, and wherein shall the joy of life be found?

40  Therefore, whosoever shall hear these words of mine to do them, even him shall I liken unto a wise man who built his house upon a rock: And the rains descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew fiercely and beat upon the house and it fell not, for it was built upon a rock.

41  And everyone that shall hear my words to do them not, even he shall be likened unto a foolish man who built his house upon the sand: And the rains descended and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon the house, and great was the fall of it, evensomuch that the man perished, pierced with deep wounds.

42  Consider, therefore, and ponder deeply: For many have come unto me saying: ‘Good Teacher, surely I will love you and follow where ever you should go.’ Yet did they fall by the way, for they counted not the costs.

43  Which of you intending to build a house, will not first sit down and count the cost, to see if there be funds enough to finish it?

44  For if you should lay the foundation but be unable to finish the house, then shall others ridicule you saying: This fellow began to build but was not able to finish. Thus shall the builder be put to shame, seeing that he counted not the cost at first.

45  Not everyone that calls unto me shall take unto themselves exaltation in the kingdom of God, but only they who do the will of my Father who is in Heaven.

46  Beware of false shepherds therefore, who shall come to you in fine clothing and smooth speech, for inwardly they are ravenous wolves seeking to devour.

47  Take heed and guard yourselves round about, for there are many who for a pretense speak soft words, beguiling many, yet are they filled with gluttony; who for religion’s sake would fill their hands with the fruit of all your labors.

48  You shall know them by their fruits. Can men gather grapes from thistles, or figs from thorns? Even so, every good tree brings forth good fruit, but a corrupt tree brings forth only evil.

49  Fear them not because of their much speaking. For there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed; there is nothing hidden that shall not be made known.

50  And if you would be righteous before God, do not do as the churchgoers do; for they love to pray in public places to be seen of others, that by their great clamoring they might make others like unto themselves. I tell you truly that they shall have their reward.

51  Therefore when you pray, enter straightway into some private place and shut the door, that there might come no intrusion between you and your Heavenly Father. And your Father who sees in secret shall reward you openly.

52  And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the churchgoers do. For they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Do not liken yourselves unto such as these, for your Heavenly Father knows what things you have need of even before you ask.

53  Therefore, attend your life unto prayer and meditation. For the life which you now live shall become as a prayer unto God, and if your life be good or evil, then such as this shall ascend unto God revealing the secret chambers of your heart.

54  Whoever, therefore, has ears, let them hear and understand. Take heed that you perform not your charities before others to be seen of them. For what seek you unto yourselves: the praise of others, or the blessings of God?

55  Therefore, when you shall perform your charities unto the poor, do not proclaim aloud as the churchgoers do, for they desire to take unto themselves the praise of others. I tell you truly, they shall in every deed receive their reward.

56  And think not to give from your possessions only things which have no life. But rather give something of yourself instead.

57  For there are many who would give from their abundance, a pittance to be seen of others. I tell you truly, it would have been better if they had never given at all.

58  But when you give unto the children of men, though you should have but little, give all with joy exceeding. For such as these shall become the heirs of God.

59  Believe in life and the good of life, and your treasure shall be made rich in joy and blessing. Through such as these does God raise forth the hand to bless, and through their eyes shall he smile upon the children of men.

60  Say not to yourself, therefore, that you would give only to the deserving. For with God it is not so. For he causes his sun to shine upon the good and the bad, and unto the just and the unjust alike does he send forth the rain.

61  Seeing now that all people are found worthy to take unto themselves the life which God has granted, shall they not be found worthy also to receive from you?

62  For who are you that others should tear their bosoms to reveal their souls? Make yourselves worthy to give unto the children of men, for that person who is not worthy shall be brought to account. And they shall be left desolate and filled with want, even in the midst of their great plenty.

63  Therefore, judge not harshly the fallen among you. For with what judgment you judge others, even so shall God judge you. Seeing therefore, that many will err in judgment, then err for mercy’s sake, and God shall be merciful unto you.

64  For the fallen shall you not cast aside, seeing that they, too, are the children of God. Neither shall you speak evil of them. For when you behold the fallen, look closely unto yourself, for the fallen are but the shadow of your lesser self and can by no means be separated from you.

65  And why will you see the fault in others and not see clearly the transgressions of your own soul? or, How will you say to some other: Let me take the flaw from your eye, when you are made blind by your own transgressions?

66  Be not as the churchgoers are, but go first unto God that you might be made clean again, then shall you see clearly to remove the offense from your brother’s eye.

67  Has it not been said, have you not heard: an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth? But I say unto you that you resist not evil to war. For you struggle not against flesh and blood as others would suppose, but against principalities, dominions, powers, darkness, and the sensibilities of the flesh.

68  Therefore, if you would fight against the evil way, provoke it not, lest it rise forth to destroy the innocent.

69  But if you would overcome evil for righteousness sake, then be not as the churchgoers are; for they love those who are like unto themselves only, but towards others are they filled with loathing.

70  Wherefore, if you would be holy even as God is holy, then love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them which despitefully use you and persecute you.

71  If you will do these things, then shall you be made the heirs of God, having become even as he is: For he causes his sun to shine on the evil and the good, and he sends forth the rain unto the just and the unjust alike.

72  For all people are but the children of God, and if one should fall by the way to do evil, then for his Father’s sake love him. Thus shall you do service to God and redeem your brother because of great love.

73  But if you love them which love you only, how then shall you please God? Even churchgoers do that. And if you greet those who are like unto yourself only, what do you more than others? Even churchgoers do the same.

74  And you men, why take you so little thought for women’s sake? Did you not know that God is Father to both male and female alike?

75  If, therefore, God is your Father, have you not a Mother also? For I tell you truly, no man can bring forth children unto himself except there first be some woman to take seed.

76  Hear then, and understand. For in Heaven is there made to dwell the Heavenly Mother, even the Great Mother Spirit which whispers unto all the children of men, both male and female.

77  Therefore, let the husband revere his wife with true affection, and let the wife revere her husband also, for this is good and profitable. For marriage is ordained of God, that you might become as fathers and mothers unto the children of God.

78  Again you have heard it said that to love God is the first and greatest commandment, but I tell you that to love your neighbor as yourself is chief above all the rest.

79  A new commandment I give unto you: that you love one another even as I have loved you. By this shall all people know of your love for the Father, if it so be that you have love one for another.

80  Therefore, be not as the churchgoers are: For they love to assemble themselves together as a people who love righteousness, and from the roof tops would they proclaim aloud their devotion unto God; yet towards the children of men are they filled with condemnation.

81  For who among you shall proclaim their love for God, while yet you hate your neighbor? Come forth, O foolish one, and give answer: For how shall you hate your neighbor whom you have seen, and love God whom you have not seen?

82  Therefore, if you would be accepted of God, love you, even every man, his neighbor. For whosoever shall love another is born of God, for God is love.”

83  Thus spoke the Teacher unto those round about him. And many were astonished at his teachings, for there moved upon his words the power of Heaven.

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