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Jesus answered: 'Brother, it is not time that has done this, but rather the wicked world. For in every time it is possible to serve God in truth, but by companying with the world, that is with the evil manners in each time, men become bad. Now know you not that Gehazi, servant of Elisha the prophet, lying, and shaming his master, took the money and the raiment of Naaman the Syrian? And yet Elisha had a great number of Pharisees to whom God made him to prophesy.

Truly I say to you that men are so inclined to evil working, and so much does the world excite them thereto, and work Satan entice them to evil, that the Pharisees of the present day avoid every good work and every holy example: and the example of Gehazi is sufficient for them to be reprobated of God. 'The scribe answered: "It is most true"; whereupon Jesus said: "I would that you would narrate to me the example of Haggai and Hosea, both prophets of God, in order that we may behold the true Pharisee." The scribe answered: "O master, what shall I say? Surely many believe it not, although it is written by Daniel the prophet; but in obedience to you I will narrate the truth.

Haggai was fifteen years old when, having sold his patrimony and given it to the poor, he went forth from Anathoth to serve Obadiah the prophet. Now the aged Obadiah, who knew the humility of Haggai, used him as a book wherewith to teach his disciples. Wherefore he oftentimes presented him raiment and delicate food, but Haggai ever sent back the messenger, saying: "Go, return to the house, for you have made a mistake. Shall Obadiah send me such things? Surely not: for he knows that I am good for nothing, and only commit sins.

And Obadiah, when he had anything bad, used to give it to the one next to Haggai, in order that he might see it. Thereupon Haggai. when he saw it, would say to himself: "Now, behold, Obadiah has certainly forgotten you, for this thing is suited to me alone, because I am worse than all. And there is nothing so vile but that, receiving it from Obadiah, by whose hands God grants it to me, it were a treasure."

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