For we never came with flattering speech, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed— God is witness—
I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or clothes.
For God, whom I serve in my spirit in the preaching of the gospel of His Son, is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you,
and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
“He who informs against friends for a share of the spoil, The eyes of his children also will languish.
“Let me now be partial to no one, Nor flatter any man.
They speak falsehood to one another; With flattering lips and with a double heart they speak.
He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets, Therefore do not associate with a gossip.
A lying tongue hates those it crushes, And a flattering mouth works ruin.
He who rebukes a man will afterward find more favor Than he who flatters with the tongue.
Who say to the seers, “You must not see visions”; And to the prophets, “You must not prophesy to us what is right, Speak to us pleasant words, Prophesy illusions.
And the dogs are greedy, they are not satisfied. And they are shepherds who have no understanding; They have all turned to their own way, Each one to his unjust gain, to the last one.
“For from the least of them even to the greatest of them, Everyone is greedy for gain, And from the prophet even to the priest Everyone deals falsely.
“Therefore I will give their wives to others, Their fields to new owners; Because from the least even to the greatest Everyone is greedy for gain; From the prophet even to the priest Everyone practices deceit.
Thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who lead my people astray; When they have something to bite with their teeth, They cry, “Peace,” But against him who puts nothing in their mouths They declare holy war.
“Oh that there were one among you who would shut the gates, that you might not uselessly kindle fire on My altar! I am not pleased with you,” says the Lord of hosts, “ nor will I accept an offering from you.
And they *sent their disciples to Him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and teach the way of God in truth, and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any.
“ But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.
I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit,
For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.
For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God.
but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
Make room for us in your hearts; we wronged no one, we corrupted no one, we took advantage of no one.
Certainly I have not taken advantage of you through any of those whom I have sent to you, have I?
(Now in what I am writing to you, I assure you before God that I am not lying.)
You are witnesses, and so is God, how devoutly and uprightly and blamelessly we behaved toward you believers;
not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money.
Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain,
For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain,
shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness;
having eyes full of adultery that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in greed, accursed children;
For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error,
Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.
cargoes of gold and silver and precious stones and pearls and fine linen and purple and silk and scarlet, and every kind of citron wood and every article of ivory and every article made from very costly wood and bronze and iron and marble,