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said. “And now listen,” he replied: “Guard this flesh of yours to keep it clean and undefiled, so that the spirit dwelling in it may bear a good testimony to it, and your flesh may be made upright. 2 Take care that the thought never oc­ cur to you that this flesh of yours is corrupt, and never misuse it in a defiling way. If you defile your flesh, you defile the Holy Spirit as well. And if you defile your flesh, you will not live.” 3 “But Lord,” I said, “if anyone was ignorant earlier—before having heard these words—and defiled his flesh, how will he be saved?” “God alone,” he re­ plied, “can bring healing to those who were ignorant earlier. For all authority is his. 4 But guard these things for now, and the Lord who has great compassion will provide healing for these things, if here at the end you defile neither your flesh nor your spirit. For these two go together, and one cannot be defiled without the other. Keep both of them pure, therefore, and you will live to God.”

Parable Six (VI, 1) While I was sitting in my house and giving glory to the Lord for all the things I had seen, and reflecting that his commandments are good, pow­ erful, cheerful, glorious, and able to save a person’s soul, I was telling myself, “I will be fortunate if I proceed in these commandments; for whoever proceeds in them is fortunate.” 2 While I was telling myself these things, I suddenly saw him sitting next to me and saying, “Why are you of two minds about the commandments I have given you? They are good. Do not be at all of two minds, but clothe yourself with


the faith of the Lord and proceed in them. For I will empower you to do them. 3 These commandments are profitable to those who are about to repent. For if they do not proceed in them, their repen­ tance is in vain. 4 And so, you who repent should cast aside the evil affairs of this age, which wear you down. For when you are clothed with every righteous virtue, you will be able to keep these commandments and no longer increase your sins. And so, by not increasing them, you will greatly cut off your former sins. Proceed there­ fore in my commandments, and you will live to God. For I have spoken these things to all of you.” 5 After he spoke these things to me, he said, “Let us go into the country, and I will show you the shepherds of the sheep.” “Yes, Lord,” I said, “let us go.” We came to a certain plain and he showed me a young shepherd, wearing a bright yellow suit of clothes. 6 He was tending a large flock of sheep. These sheep were luxuriously fed and extremely frisky and cheerful, leap­ ing about here and there; and the shep­ herd also was cheerful with his flock. The shepherd’s appearance was very cheerful, and he was running about among the sheep. (VI, 2) He said to me, “Do you see this shepherd?” “I see him, Lord,” I replied. “This,” he said, “is the angel of luxury and deceit. He, then, is the one who wears down the souls of the vacuous slaves of God and turns them away from the truth, deceiving them with evil desires that destroy them. 2 For they forget the commandments of the living God and proceed in vain deceits and luxuries and are destroyed by this angel—some to death and others to ruin.”


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