1 The next day 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 returned to Yerushalayim with three of the apostles, and while within the precincts of the Great Hĕyḵal some scribes and counselors of the Hĕyḵal came up to him and said, “By whose authority and by what right do you behave as you do?”

2 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “Before answering your question, let me ask you one. When Yoḥanan baptized in water, was this divinely inspired, or did it originate in the minds of men?”

3 This was not a question they could answer, for if they replied, “It was divinely inspired,” 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 could justly say, “Why then did you not listen to him?” If they replied, “It originated with men,” it would arouse the hostility of the people who believed Yoḥanan to be divinely inspired.

4 When they declined to answer, 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “Neither need I answer you.”

5 A kohĕn said to 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏, “Tell us who you really are.”

6 And he answered, “I am the Bĕn of Elohim and the Servant of Man who, of himself, can do nothing, but being filled with the power of Him who overshadows me, one to whom all things are possible.”

7 The kohĕn said, “The Bĕn of Elohim is not unknown to us, and the Servant of Man will not come as you have done, though we cannot understand this name. Some of the people say you are ha’Mashiaḥ who will deliver us and reign over us, but he will come with manifest power.”

8 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “This is a night of ignorance, and I come declaring the Way of Light. Whoever believes in me does not serve me but serves with me. He is my brother in the cause of Elohim. He who sees me sees the reflection of He who inspires me. I am the Light of the World. If anyone hears my words but chooses to ignore them, I am not his judge, for I am not come to judge men but to guide them. The Light will not be with you for long, so hasten to it, lest you be left in darkness.”

9 The kohenim said among themselves, “Perhaps he is harmless.”

10 Going into the courtyard where many people were gathered, 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 stood in a corner and spoke to any who would listen. And it was here he told this parable:

11 “A man planted a vineyard, equipping it with all things necessary for winemaking. Then he leased it and left to live elsewhere. After the vintage season, the owner sent a servant to the tenants to collect the rent. But they laid hands on him and, after beating him up, sent him on his way empty-handed. The owner sent another, who was treated even worse, while the third man was killed.”

12 “When no one else would go, the owner decided to send his eldest son, reasoning that the tenants would respect his authority. However, when the eldest son came, the tenants decided that if he were dead, no one else would dare to come. So, they killed him and threw the body into a pit. Now, do you think the tenants’ reasoning was sound? Of course, the owner came with those who meted out justice and, having put the tenants to death, gave the lease of the vineyard to others.”

13 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 also told other parables, and when the self-righteous ones and false Parashyim realized that most were directed against them, they considered ways to silence him. But as he was popular with the people, they decided it would be better to leave him alone.

14 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 taught that the greatest enemies of man and the greatest opposition to the coming Rule of Elohim were not the obvious evildoers and criminals, but the hypocrites, self-deceivers and self-centered. Those are the true enemies of men – the festering evil in their midst. Yet, they cannot see themselves for what they are and have many ways of justifying themselves.

15 For 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said of those, “They sit before well-filled tables, condemning the crimes of those who are hungry. They sleep on soft beds and wallow in worldly luxuries, but their hearts are closed, and their faces hardened towards those who steal and even murder. Yet I tell you, their own thoughts conceive and engender much greater wrongs. Neither are those who associate with them free from guilt.”

16 Going to an open space beyond the Great Hĕyḵal, 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 addressed those who believed in his cause, saying, “Abiding by the things I have taught you will bring knowledge of Truth, and Truth will set you free.”

17 Some replied, “We are of the stock of Abraham and have never been enslaved to any man. How can you state we will be made free?”

18 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “Anyone following an evil course is a slave. There are men who are enslaved to their desires, and others enslaved to unnatural cravings. There are those enslaved to their weaknesses, and others to their fears and doubts. That is why I say I come to set you free.”

19 “I know you are from the stock of Abraham, but you do him no credit in seeking to kill those whose teachings disturb you. Why must you listen only to those who tell you pleasing things, when there is greater benefit to be gained from those who tell things which disturb or displease? I have no time to go around praising the good; there is too much badness to be exposed.”

20 The people said, “We know our fathers and are of their blood, and we know our Father who reigns in shamayim.”

21 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “If 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 were your Father, you would all love me as a brother. Can you understand the things I say, or are they beyond your grasp?”

22 Not all the Parashyim were opposed to 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏, only a few allying themselves with the Herodians because of him. One of the latter came to 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 trying to trap him by asking, “Master, your sincerity is established, and your impartiality known. Help us, for this is the time of taxing. Shall the Hĕyḵal tax be paid to Elohim or to Kaisar?”

23 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “Show me the coins you use to pay the tax.” And one was given to him. 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 held it up and asked, “Whose likeness and inscription appear on the coin?”

24 They said, “It is Kaisar’s.”

25 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “Do not give to Elohim the things which are rightly Kaisar’s, nor to Kaisar the things which are rightly Elohim’s.”

26 The next question was asked by one who believed in bodily renewal after death. And he said, “Master of the Torah, Mosheh handed down laws to govern our lives, and one states that when a man dies, his brother should marry his wife, providing she is without child. Now, if there are seven brothers, the first marries and dies, and so his brother marries the widow, she being childless. The same happens down through all seven, so when the last dies, she is still left childless until she too dies. Now, when all rise to life at the resurrection, which one can rightfully claim the woman as wife, when she has been legally married to all seven?”

27 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “By believing in bodily renewal, you start with a false premise and have no understanding of the nature of the ruaḥ. Where death is overcome, marriage does not conform to earthly laws, which are made to mitigate the weaknesses of men. Tell me, with which one did the woman’s ruaḥ blend, and with which was there only a union of flesh?”

28 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “Concerning the awakening of the dead, do not the Qodesh Books declare there is only a Elohim of the living? This is true, and those who believe otherwise are in error. When all life is supported by the arm of 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄, how can he be the Elohim of the dead?”

29 Many people believed in 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 and had faith in his teachings, for they said among themselves, “Would ha’Mashiaḥ show us any greater proofs than this man?”

30 Because of the things said and done by many concerning 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏, those who held power, fearing a disturbance, sent guards to seize him.

31 But he said to the captain, “I am here for a few days, and then I must go, following the path of my obligation. Seek me then, for I will be in a place beyond your reach. I follow a chosen path, and none may follow. We each have a duty, but you have discretion whether to take me or not. My frailties say, ‘Go with him,’ but my heart calls me to duty.”

32 The captain of the guard said, “Whom do you serve so dutifully?”

33 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 replied, “I serve 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄.”

34 Then the captain said, “The kohenim serve 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄, and you are not a kohĕn. And it is said you call yourself the Servant of Man, but who is he?”

35 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 answered, “The service rendered by kohenim is meaningless unless it also serves man. For service in the cause of Elohim is likewise service in the cause of man. Can your sword arm serve one master and your shield arm another?”

36 The captain said, “Master, I can see you are a man dedicated to duty. Whether your cause be just or unjust, whether you be friend or foe, it is not within my understanding to know. But a man whose heart is ruled by the demands of duty I can understand. I will tell those who sent me that shortly you leave for a distant place where none can follow, and they will leave you alone.”

37 When those who sent to have 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 taken heard this, they said, “Perhaps he goes to the Greeks or the islands in the sea, therefore we will ignore him.”

38 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 went and rested among the columns of Shelomoh, and, while there, some people came and asked why he did not declare himself and reveal he was ha’Mashiaḥ and 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄’s anointed, the Promised One from the stock of Dawiḏ.

39 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “My works and words declare me and establish my title. Those who heed my message enter the proper fold, and a good shepherd protects his flock, seeing none goes astray or is taken by wolves. Though these are my first care, I seek to bring all men into the fold best suited for them. And I am prepared to die if thereby I can bring men into the fold leading to the fields of everlasting life.”

40 “The deeds whereby men save their lives on Earth may cost them a life in glory, but whoever lays down his life in the cause of Elohim shall surely know eternal life. I come to sow strife among men, so they may be roused from the sleep of apathy. I come to strengthen the poor, so they may take heart and throw off the yoke imposed by the privileged.”

41 “This is my message for the wealthy: Enjoy your ill-gotten goods, console yourselves with comfort, and buy the fickle goodwill of men. Make merry while you may, close your eyes to the harshness of reality, for the day will surely come when your body weakens, the pleasures pall, and you glimpse the dark doorway ahead. Be certain that the only welcome you will get on the other side is from Ruaḥ of darkness who will escort you to a proper place in their dismal abode.”

42 Because of his condemnation of the rich who misused their wealth – and nearly all of them did – the kohenim were angry with 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏, for they depended on rich patrons. They said, “Who are you to revile your betters when you are no more than a loud-tongued beggar?”

43 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “Is it not written in the Qodesh Books, ‘Disregard outward appearances, for these may conceal either treasure or garbage; only 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 knows what really lies within. The body is only the outer covering shed at death. What matters is the likeness of the ruaḥ it clothes’?”

44 One of the kohenim said, “You claim to save through baptism – a cleansing by fire and water – but, while these are both great purifiers, how can they deliver man from sin?”

45 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “Water and fire are purifiers of earthly things, but I tell you that unless men be cleansed in the waters of contrition and tested in the fires of adversity, they cannot enter the Reign of shamayim.”

46 The kohenim said, “Where, then, is the Reign of shamayim?”

47 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 answered, “Beyond Earth lie the Dominions of Ruaḥ, and therein are the Reign of shamayim and the Principality of Evil – places of light and glory, and of darkness and despair.”

48 Another kohĕn said, “Tell us about the ruaḥ.”

49 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “A vinter asking for wine! Does mine so much excel yours?”

50 Then he continued, “Men understand the things wherein they place their hearts – if it be in worldliness, they know worldly things; but if it be in spirituality, they know things of the ruaḥ. He who is ever watchful of the wind never sows, and he who fixes his eyes on the clouds never reaps. The wind blows where it will, and, though recognizing its sound, no man knows from whence it comes or whither it goes.”

51 “For the best advice on worldly matters, I would go to a worldly-wise man; but I am a spiritually-wise man. Thereof cannot you take notice when I talk of things I know? That I gain nothing from my teachings is obvious, for my clothes and manner of life bear witness to this.”

52 Nearby, a rich man stood listening. And now he said, “Have you never bought a tree for silver and having worked it, sold the product of your hands for gold? If a man has seed, should he let it rot? Is it not better to plant the seed so it yields an increase? And is not the sower entitled to this?”

53 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “The laborer is worthy of his hire, and he who sows is entitled to reap the increase. But remember, the sown seed does not grow through human effort alone. It requires rain and sun, and the soil must give up its goodness. These things come from 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 as gifts to man. Why, then, should man deny Elohim’s participation? 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 says, ‘As my share is above my needs, give it to my little ones,’ and should not the sower do the same?”

54 “Therefore I say, he who fails to support the underprivileged in obedience to 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄’s wishes defrauds Elohim of His rightful due for what He has done. For cannot even an earthly partner decree what shall be done with the profit from this participation? I assure you; no man has ever yet made a profit wholly through his own efforts. And fraud perpetrated on the Most High Elohim will not be overlooked.”

55 The rich man said, “Your words sound well, but the Qodesh Books say the donkey is loaded according to its strength. The more I give in charity, the more I am harried by beggars. Even if I gave all I have, it would fail to satisfy.”

56 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “If your wealth is so burdensome, then sell all you have and give the proceeds to good causes. It is not wholly good to give charity, for this is like cutting the thornweed which quickly springs up again from the root. It is more worthy to dig up the root of poverty.”

57 Then rich man said, “Having my responsibilities and a large household, I am caught between the millstones. For is it not said in the Books of Wisdom, ‘No man should disregard his responsibilities’?”

58 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “The Torah brings all things to a balance of moderation. Does it not say, ‘It is sufficient to feed and clothe the womenfolk modestly, caring for their needs but ensuring they are not spoilt by idleness’? It suffices to provide your sons with learning and skill, and your daughters with their dowries. There is nothing more you can give them, for above this you harm them with luxury. A poor man cannot spoil his family with overindulgence, but precautions against this are not the least of the rich man’s burden.”

59 When it was close to eventide, 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 was in another place. And he said to a few people who were gathered about him, “I am the Fountain of Ḥai. If any thirst, let him come to me, and his thirst will be quenched. For is it not written, ‘Streams of living waters will pour out from springs within him and overwhelm the seats of the deceitful’? The same waters will strengthen the ruaḥ and wash away falsity.”

60 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 was referring to the power of the Ruaḥ which filled him as no other man had been filled.

61 Some of the people said, “Surely, this is ha’Mashiaḥ,” while others said, “Yes, he is 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄’s Anointed.” There were many disputes concerning him.

62 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “You are betrayed by those who preach one thing and practice another. They delight in being seen in prominent places and think the misguided adulations poured on them signify greatness. Foolish people follow their ways and copy their pretensions. These people are not least among the hidden woemakers.

63 “You are deceived by hypocrites and the self-righteous and led into error by the self-justified. Those who should watch over you set snares for your feet. And many are those who say, ‘Heed my words but not my deeds.’ Those who set themselves up over the people or who attain positions of authority freely eat the fruits of success but avoid the responsibility of setting an example of goodness. I tell you, cast these people out.”

64 “Instead of standing aside, wringing your hands and crying, ‘Woe, for the world is all wrong,’ bestir yourselves. For I tell you, 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 will not do things you are too apathetic to do for yourselves. They who desire to be with me in my kingdom must stand firm, holding fast to my cause through tribulation and trial.”

65 Just then, some Parashyim came by, and 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 knew them to be false to their declared beliefs. So, he called out, “Hear me, you hypocrites and deceivers. Are you not among those declaring that any man swearing by the Hĕyḵal is not bound by his oath, but any swearing by the Hĕyḵal gold is bound? Fools, which is the greater – the gold or the Hĕyḵal containing it? Or you say that those swearing by the altar are not bound by their oath, but those who swear by whatever is upon it are bound. Which is the greater – the offering or the altar consecrating it?”

66 “You concern yourselves with selling incense and the small profits from herbs and perfumed candles, while overlooking more important matters. These petty things can be delegated to others. Or do you find weightier aspects of the Torah – such as mercy, justice and truth-finding – beyond your abilities? If so, then you deceive the people. Your minds are fixed on little things and cannot grasp greater ones. You strain a fly from the wine bowl but leave the wasp.”

67 The next day, 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 spoke outside the Gate of the Nations, and, while there, a lawscribe asked him, “Which is the supreme commandment?”

68 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 answered, “None is supreme for all men. But for you the supreme one is, ‘Listen, Oh people; the Elohim whom you worship is the sole Elohim. Love Him with all your heart, all your mind and all your strength.’ The next one is, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

69 The lawscribe said, “You speak well and speak truthfully in saying there is only one Elohim having no equal. I believe that if a man loves Him wholeheartedly, and his neighbor as himself, it serves Him better than all the burnt offerings which go up in smoke.”

70 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “If these are not empty words, you will know the glory in the Reign of the Ruaḥ.”

71 One of those there said, “I pray thrice daily, fasting on the second and the fifth days. Does this prove my love of Elohim?”

72 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “Words alone or deeds done which benefit no other or purposeless restrictions do not indicate true love of Elohim. They are sops to weakness. These, being easy, deny such love its true expression. Show your love of Elohim by working in His cause and making the world a better place. Do something requiring action where you may risk unpopularity or scorn.”

73 Two dignitaries of the Hĕyḵal stopped to listen, and 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏, pointing to them, said, “Beware of those who ostentatiously display themselves, seeking the acclaim or homage of others. From whence does their wealth come? They prey on widows and enrich themselves at the expense of others. Hardship, providing it passes their door, is their friend. Yet these hypocrites put on a great show of righteousness, but one day they will be seen for what they really are inside.”

74 Entering the Hĕyḵal, 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 stood near one of the offering chests, watching as people dropped money into the chest of their choice. Many rich people contributed large amounts, but most did this so all could see. Then a poor widow came, and she gave only two small brass coins.

75 Seeing this, 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said to one of the disciples beside him, “Did you see what the poor widow gave? Surely there is a lesson here. I can assure you that the offering of this woman is more acceptable than any of the others, for she gave all she had, while others gave only a fraction of their wealth. Tonight, they will eat well, but she will go hungry.”

76 “Giving is meaningless unless it entails some real sacrifice. What the rich gave were only sops to their consciences. When arriving in a town hungry, weary and travel-stained, do we seek food and shelter from the rich or from the poor? Is it not the rich, who have so much to give, who turn us from their doors, while the poor, who have little, provide hospitality?”

77 Later, one of the apostles said to 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏, “When will all the evil be purged from the Earth?”

78 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “When it is no longer spawned in the hearts of men. There is nothing wrong with the Earth that men cannot put right. Do not expect help from Elohim, but be men enough to fight your own battles. No easy time lies ahead of you, for wherever you go, your loyalty to my cause will bring the hatred of men upon you. Nevertheless, remain steadfast through all the trials and tribulations lying ahead, and you will be glorified in immortality.”

79 The apostles said, “Master, can such things indeed happen to us?”

80 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said, “Be sure they will.”

81 They said, “Surely our tree of suffering will not bear bitter fruit or even prove fruitless.”

82 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 answered, “No; the sapling will grow strongly. From the tree will arise another teaching and, out of this, a confusion of beliefs, each striving for its own advantage. There will be unprofitable doctrines and viciousness, cruelties and intolerance, with many persecutions, all done in my name. They will corrupt and falsify my teachings to serve their own ends. Hypocrisy will rule the hearts of men, and few will follow even the beliefs of their own hearts. These things must be, for they reside in the natures of men. But under the Rule of Elohim, they will be changed.”

83 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤔𐤏 said to those with him, “I will be slain as were Yoḥanan and his father, for I am feared because I may claim a right to rule from the kings who were before Dawiḏ. The burden of my death lies heavily, but it is undertaken with purpose so men can be saved from evil. And what I do will speed the day of their deliverance.”

84 “I do not ride the winds, but have mapped the road ahead. No man can ever enter shamayim unless wearing the clothes of shamayim. The world knows the ways of the world and welcomes worldly things, but the ruaḥ knows the ways of the ruaḥ and welcomes spiritual things. Serve one or the other; no man can serve both.”