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In the early part of the twelfth century, in the Dark Ages, a haggard old sorceress went to the papacy with six envelopes that she claimed had within them God’s revelation for the Roman Catholic Church. She appeared before the pope and said, "I will sell this revelation from God to the church for $500,000." Well, they groaned, like you would, on the inside. And the prelates, along with the pope, decided no, they wouldn’t buy. And so in front of them she burnt the first envelope to ashes.


With a measure of excitement and anxiety the pope watched it burn up and began to rethink his answer as she said, "Now I have five envelopes. And I will sell you the five remaining envelopes which contain the future for the church off Rome for $500,000, My price has not gone down." They murmured and talked among themselves and decided no. And so she burnt the second envelope, leaving four.


With an increased sense of anxiety there was a sort of low roar up among The clergy. And she said, "Now I have four envelopes left and for $500,000 I’ll sell ‘em to you." And again, the answer was no. In predictable fashion she burned up the third envelope, leaving three. And then she did the same with the fourth, leaving two.


And finally she said, "Now, for $500,000 I’ll let you see the last two envelopes which contain the revelation of God." Well by that time they couldn’t hold back. So they agreed.


And wouldn’t you know it. The contents of the envelopes were written in Latin, and I can’t read Latin. So I can’t tell you what it said, I’m still wondering myself!


Quoted from The Tale of the Tardy Oxcart, by Charles Swindoll.

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