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being defamed, we entreat. I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand: I have fought a good fight; I have finished my course; I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown .of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them that love his appearing.
SECT. 14. The duty of Christians towards those that are over them in the Lord, and that minister to them in holy things.
We beseech you, brethren, to know them who labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; and to esteem them very highly in love, for their work's sake. Remember them who have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God; whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation ". Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves; for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account; that they may do it with joy, and not with grief; for that is unprofitable for you. I sent him therefore the more carefully, (Epaphroditus my brother, and companion in labour, but your messenger) that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice. Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness, and hold such in reputation ". Submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth. For he that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given us his Holy Spirit'.
SECT. 15. To pray for them.
Brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you; and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for all men have not
1 Cor. iv. 11-13. §14.1 Thess. v. 12, 13. d Philip.ii. 28,25,29.
faith; you also helping together by prayer for us. Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jésus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me, that I may be delivered from them who do not believe in Judea; and that I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed; praying always, with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance, and supplication for all saints; and for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel; for which I am an ambassador in bonds; that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
SECT. 16. To provide for their support.
Let him that is taught in the word, communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. Who goeth a warfare at any time at his own charges? Who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? Or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also? For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written; that he that plougheth, should plough in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope, should be partaker of his hope. If we have sown unto you spiritual things, Is it a great thing, if we shall reap your carnal things? If others be partakers of this power over you, Are not we rather? Nevertheless, we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ. Do ye not know, that they which minister about
§15. 2 Thess. iii. 1, 2. Eph. vi. 18-20. § 16. Gal. vi. 6.
holy things, live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar, are partakers with the altar? Even so hath the Lord ordained, that they which preach the gospel, should live of the gospel. But I have used none of these things; neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me; for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void. But the husbandman that laboureth, must be first partaker of the fruits".
SECT. 17. Concerning false Apostles, Teachers, and the kingdom of Antichrist.
Beware of false Prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing; but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits*. For they bind heavy burdens, and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers". Behold thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God, and knowest his will, being instructed out of the law; which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law. Thou therefore which teachest another, Teachest thou not thyself? Thou that preachest, A man should not steal, Dost thou steal? Thou that sayest, A man should not commit adultery, Dost thou commit adultery? Thou that abhorrest idols, Dost thou commit sacrilege? Thou that makest thy boast of the law, Through breaking the law, dishonourest thou God"?
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their conscience seared with a hot iron. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned into fables. For there
b 1 Cor. ix. 7-15. §17. Matt. vii. 15, 16. d Rom. ii. 20-23.
• 2 Tim. ii. 6.
b Matt. xxiii. 4.
e Rom. ii. 17, 18.
1 2 Tim. iv. 3, 4.
are many unruly, and vain talkers, and deceivers; especially they of the circumcision, whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake. Such are false Apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the Apostles of Christ; and no marvel, for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light". But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them; and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways, by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they, with feigned words, make merchandise of you; whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. They shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day-time: spots they are, and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings, while they feast with you; having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls; an heart they have exercised with covetous practices *. These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest, to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure, through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error; while they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption'. Beloved, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you, that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered. unto the saints: for there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation; ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ". Wo unto them; for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily'
Tit. i. 10, 11. * 2 Pet. ii. 13, 14.
h 2 Cor. xi. 13, 14.
2 Pet. ii. 1, 2, 3.
Jude, 3, 4.
after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear. Clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever". These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts, and their mouths speaking great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration, because of advantage. But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; how that they told you, there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, not having the Spirit".
Let no man deceive you by any means; for that day (of Christ) shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he, as God, sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that when I was with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth, that he might be revealed in his time: for the mystery of iniquity doth already work; only he who now letteth, will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming; even him whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved P.
"Jude, 11, 12, 13.
⚫ Jude, 16-19.
P 2 Thess. ii. 3-10.