Luke 1:26-38 – Finding favor with the LORD

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

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This is the Gospel selection for the fourth Sunday of Advent, Year B. It will be read aloud in church by a priest on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2017. This reading strongly states that Christmas near the end of December (the twelfth month of a modern civil calendar) has absolutely nothing to do with the physical birth of baby Jesus. Therefore, December 25th is a date that the Church created, relative to when Christ is born anew in one of deep devotion to God, with belief that Jesus resurrected from the dead and ascended to God for the purpose of returning in those who strongly have faith.

When we read that the angel Gabriel came to Mary “in the sixth month,” this becomes a solid marker of when conception occurred. The “sixth month” is not June, as Americans know a calendar. The “sixth month” is the month Elul, in the Hebrew calendar. Elul occurs (depending on the year) somewhere between August and September. Simply from knowing when Mary conceived the child that would be named Jesus, we can add nine months and realize: 1.) The birth had nothing to do with December; and 2.) Nine months after the “sixth month” would make the birth occur in “the third month” – Sivan, which is roughly May or June.[1]

Because Mary rushed off to visit Elizabeth (Luke 1:39-45), whose pregnancy occurred when Gabriel appeared to the priest Zacharias, her husband (Luke 1:5-17), we can then assume Gabriel’s visit to Elizabeth took place in the twelfth month, or six months prior to Mary conceiving Jesus. In that case, Elizabeth began to carry the baby to be named John in the Hebrew month Adar (February or March).

The Hebrew calendar makes adjustments for “leap year, such that “A leap year occurs 7 times in the 19-year Metonic cycle.” (Ref.) Because Gabriel told Mary that Elizabeth was six months pregnant (“in the sixth month”) there was no thirteenth month in between. Thus, John would have been born in the ninth month [Kislev], which is roughly in November-December. This means Mary visited Elizabeth three months before John was born (between August and September), when the fetus was developed enough to “leap in the womb.”

Let me veer off course and address the timing of Christmas in late December.  It is not a date to recognize Jesus-mass, simply because Jesus was born in the Hebrew month Sivan.  We know that by Biblical record – here, in this reading.  It is most important to grasp that Gabriel showing up to announce, “Now you are with child,” was not because he (an angel) made that decision.  God knows all, from the beginning to the end, and He does not plan for His Son to be born randomly AND especially near the Winter solstice, when the sun is lowest on the horizon (Northern Hemisphere) and the light of day is shortest.  Jesus was born as a gift from God, at the time when Moses brought down the First gift from God.  [HINT: Pentecost is a most special day for God giving to the world … in Sivan.].  December represents the dark night of the soul in mortals, when they plead earnestly for the LORD to save them.  So, Christ-mass is when mortals awaken from their material slumber and “man up” [become Jesus reborn].  That said, I will now continue where I left off.

Now, much issue has been taken in respect of a virgin birth. Little argument seems to rise about Elizabeth – “in her old age” – having become pregnant, “who was said to be barren.” It was news to Zacharias, her husband, who said to Gabriel, “How will I know this for certain? For I am an old man and my wife is advanced in years.” (Luke 1:18) The implication of that protest (which would make Zacharias mute until John was born) was he and Elizabeth had not had sex recently enough to bring about her being pregnant in the normal way.  As such, she too had a “miracle” child in her womb.  The point is to stop overthinking how God can do anything to people long gone, because that makes one under-think what Scripture is trying to tell you about virgin births.

Adam was a virgin when God pulled Eve out of him.

As an Advent lesson, where all who seek the presence of the Holy Spirit of God are largely lost in that quest, it should be preached that those who sit in church pews (men and women), Sunday after Sunday, are exactly like Elizabeth and Mary. A “Christian” without the gifts of the Holy Spirit, having not yet given birth to their own personal Jesus (to replace their self-ego), is either old and barren or young and a virgin. [This has absolutely nothing to do with any human’s sex organs!] Each Christian-to-be (meaning one who is  not yet pregnant with the Son of God inside) must be greeted by Gabriel, who says, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” Gabriel must then also add, “You have found favor with God.”

The LORD is only with those He favors because His favorites are those who He has taken as His wives (regardless of human gender). You might even go as far as to say that God favors those more whose minds are not led by their sex organs – loving sex more than God. One is favored by God by opening one’s heart for the LORD, offering oneself in marriage to that righteous presence, and then being totally subservient to His Will.

You have to be favored before the “miracle” birth of Jesus will come. That miracle is due to the Holy Spirit of God. Thus, Gabriel told Mary, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God.” This was the promise when the physical baby Jesus was born; but it is the same for all who will be reborn as Jesus. True Christians are deemed Holy (a Saint) as the Son of God (regardless of human gender).

This means Christ-mass is a personal birthday for a Christian celebrating Eucharist with the Trinity, where that Christian (male or female) is in one Father-Son-Holy Spirit.  It is that date and time when an individual Christian is reborn as baby Jesus.  It becomes the day to sing Happy Re-birthday to you!  That can be any day of the year; but collectively all Christians celebrate together when the sun has reached its lowest point in the sky, in late December (civil calendar).  Then, everyone knows the light will grow brighter and the days will grow longer over the coming months.

Just as the angel of the LORD told Mary, “you will name him Jesus” – a name that bears the meaning “Yah[weh] Will Save” – so too will all who are reborn by the Holy Spirit retain that name. The new name becomes a statement of one’s having been Saved by God. That is how Jesus Saves!

When Gabriel then told Mary, “He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end,” this is defining the Christ – the Messiah. Just as Jesus told Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm” (John 18:36), Jesus Christ sits at the right hand of God, but his kingdom extends to souls still in human forms on earth. It is the Kingdom of Christianity, where all subjects have been reborn in the name of Jesus, blessed with the Christ Mind, in a loving relationship with God.

The kingdom of Christ only has subjects who go out as lights to lead the world to also seek to be subjects of God and Christ.  The ultimate lesson of the Advent season (especially on Christmas Eve) is to read the proposal of Gabriel as if the angel of the LORD were speaking to you. At that point, you have to become the virgin Mary and say, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.”

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[1] The Roman calendar was similar to the Hebrew calendar as the year began in March (month 1) and ended in February (month 12).  Those aligned with the Vernal Equinox and were lunar based.  Spring begins with the Hebrew month Nissan, and Winter ends with the Hebrew month Adar.  The months September (7th month), October (8th month), November (9th month) and December (10th month) are named based on their place in a year’s twelve divisions.  These align with the Hebrew months Tishri (7), Cheshvan (8), Kislev (9), and Tevet (10).

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John 1:6-8,19-28 – What’s in a name?

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.

This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, “I am not the Messiah.” And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” He answered, “No.” Then they said to him, “Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’” as the prophet Isaiah said. Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, “Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?” John answered them, “I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.” This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing.

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This is the Gospel reading for the third Sunday of Advent, Year B 2017. Again, the focus turns to John the Baptizer coming, who was questioned as to his qualifications for baptizing Jews. He told them, as Isaiah had prophesied, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord.”’

As the reader will notice, there are ommissions from the text of John’s Gospel, such that we begin reading at verse 6, then skip over verses 9 through 18, before picking back up at verse 19. The simple reason is John was not completely zeroed in on John the baptizer, as focus shifted from Jesus (as the Word and the Light), to John, to Jesus, and to John again. In my mind, this raises a question about verses 6 through 8.

First of all, the theological scholars (some at least) seem to think the Gospel of John was written by the disciple-Apostle John of Zebedee. I strongly disagree with that conclusion, simply because the perspective of John of Zebedee would have mirrored that of Matthew and Mark, which is does not. The Gospel of John has “insider information” that was not written of by the two disciples of Jesus, plus it places a different perspective on events the disciples recorded, and it leaves out events remembered by the two. John, obviously (if looking closely), was not a disciple but a family member of Jesus. Therefore, he calls himself “the one whom Jesus loved.”

Second, the Greek name Ioannes is used to name no less than six Johns: John the Baptist, John of Zebedee, John of Patmos, the father of Simon-Peter (Simon BarjonaMatthew 16:17), a Levite of high-priestly descent (Acts 4:6), and a man also known as Mark (Acts 12:12) [ref.]. The name meaning “Yahweh is Gracious” says parents commonly gave that name to their children, simply from seeing a son as a gift from God.

Sometimes a good name needs to go to more than one person.

Still, if John of Zebedee is not the author of the Gospel of John, then the writer here becomes either a new John or one of the other Johns. Because John the baptizer did not live to write a book, and because the father of Simon-Peter and the two men named in Acts are highly unlikely to have written of close-encounter as memories of Jesus, the only likely John would be that of John of Patmos. I believe this is the case.  Those two are the same person, at different ages.

Third, this issue over who wrote the Gospel of John is due to it being an “anonymous” author, meaning the title is not explained in a ‘foreword’ or preface. In fact, none of the four Gospels have explicitly named authors, with all possibly written by an unnamed person of letters, through divine recital, with the person reciting the accounts of Jesus being first-hand eyewitnesses. Unlike the epistles, where the author is usually identified at the beginning of the letter, the four Gospels do not follow that practice of self-naming. However, seeing how the Gospel of John is so differently approached than the other three Gosples, verses 6 through 8 of John’s Gospel may actually serve the purpose of naming the author, rather than naming John the baptizer twice.

It should be understood that the power of Scripture is it all comes from the Mind of God. Thus, it is beyond the comprehension of mankind’s simple brains (in comparison to the Godhead). As such, nothing written can be said to be fixed by one concrete meaning, as derived through the application of syntax – the rule of language devised by mankind, different from language to language. This means the use of “John” in John 1:6 can mean both: naming the author as John; while rightfully implying John who would be a voice crying out in the wilderness. After all, both were witnesses that would testify to the light of Christ.

In verse 6, the Greek (with punctuation) makes the statement, “Came a man having been sent [as a messenger] from God,” followed by “name the same John” (where the Greek word “autō” can emphasize “self,” be the personal pronoun “he, she, it,” or imply “the same.” Since John’s Gospel referred to himself in the third person and never directly named himself, by reading the Greek as saying the “messenger sent by God” was “the same” as another named “John,” the author has just indirectly named himself.

Because the omitted verses (9 through 18) follow John’s statement that “John” was “a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him,” going into some details of the divinity of Jesus as the Christ, one must realize that Jesus and John the baptizer were both lights that disciples were attracted to. As relatives of blood, they knew of one another through family affairs, such that both held the love of a brother for each other. Still, one does not glimpse a picture of Jesus ever being a follower of John the baptizer, such that John knew Jesus as the light.  The reader of the New Testament books do not get a feel for a close, adult relationship between the two, with both born with purpose that drove them on separate paths for God.

The Gospel of John is itself a testimony of that light of Christ.  John the Beloved, as a writer of a Gospel, was most devoted to being a witness “that all might believe through Jesus.” On the other hand, when John the baptizer was imprisoned, he sent word to Jesus saying, “Are you the one who is to come?” (Luke 7:20; Matthew 11:3)” implying his belief was wavering.  With the Baptist’s death, there was nothing more John could do to bring believers to Jesus.

Once this selection focuses on the clear verbiage that is of John the baptizer, we see how the “priests and Levites of Jerusalem” came to question John’s authority. John confessed and did not contradict anything said prior, which means he owned up to being one baptizing people, but denied being the Christ. They then asked if he was Elijah, to which he said, “No.” They asked if he was a prophet, inferring one who presumably had prophesied the coming of the Messiah, to which John said, “No.” This confused the priests and Levites, so they asked who John was, to which he paraphrased Isaiah 40:3-4.

That response led the Temple employees to run back to Jerusalem and tell the Pharisees (the Lawyers) what evidence they had collected on John. So the Pharisees returned to Bethany, on the other side of the Jordan, and asked John in whose name did he wash Jews of their sins.  If he was neither the Messiah, Elijah, nor a prophet, then who sent him?

John then told them that there was to be one after him who was greater than he. The implication was the true Messiah.  Of course, he meant Jesus (as far as our Big Brains of hindsight tell us), but because Jesus had yet to enter his ministry, John might not have known exactly who that greater one would be. This would mean John simply spoken from the power of the Holy Spirit, much as did Simon-Peter, when he blurted out that Jesus was the Son of God, the Messiah.

The element of interest in this dual exchange of authority is that it parallels 2 Kings 1:9-12, where twice an evil king sent “a captain of fifty with his fifty” to ask Elijah to come down from a hill. Each time the captain said, “O man of God, the king says, ‘Come down.’” Each time Elijah replied, “If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty.” Since Elijah was a man of God, each time “fire came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.”

Fire can wash away sins as well. However, baptism by fire requires a special permit.

This becomes an unspoken parallel of Elijah and John the baptizer, which means that John the “man” of God did not know Elijah, Isaiah, or even the Messiah. He just knew he was John, just as Elijah knew nothing of his reincarnations. Confessing and not denying is one thing, but please do not try to put words in the mouths of God’s servants.

Questioning the authority of righteousness is not something any human mortal can claim, as that “of God” part cannot be proved.  Let God speak for Himself.  Thus, when one starts thinking “I am somebody!” then one rapidly finds out “You are nobody special.” That reality makes one realize just how unworthy that one is.  So unworthy that one cannot even stoop to untie the thong of the sandal of the Most Holy.

As an Advent lesson, where Advent prepares those who think they are special in this world, suggesting through Scripture the need to reassess who is most important in the grand scheme of things, we all should be confessing and not denying that it is God.  God is the reason for the season … always.

In this Western culture of commercialized America, where out-buying and out-spending for December 25th seems to be an expression of self love (more than love of God or Jesus Christ), modern children are taught the value of things more than the value of God in one’s heart.  We praise that a little baby that was born in Bethlehem long ago … not in the place you now sit reading this.

There is no reason to say Jesus is the light, if one has no light of awareness about spiritual matters within oneself. The element of gifting in December is only about God wanting to give Christ to His servants. That can happen anytime, but the Church wants to drive that point home as a Christmas message (hopefully).

The cost of that gift is complete self-sacrifice to God. No credit cards allowed.  No lay-away plans or easy pay installments. Just do whatever God says do, when God says do it.  In return for that devotion and submission, little baby Jesus will be born in you, so you become the Son of God (regardless of your human gender).

That is truly the gift that keeps on giving.

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Mark 1:1-8 – John the baptizer foretold

The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,
“See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way;
the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight,’”

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

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This is the Gospel reading for the second Sunday of Advent.  Advent bears this etymology: “Middle English, borrowed from Medieval Latin adventus, going back to Latin, “arrival, appearance,” from adven-, variant stem of advenīre “to arrive” (from ad- ad-  + venīre” to come,” going back to Indo-European *gwem-i̯̯e-) + -tus, suffix of action nouns — more at come.” (Merriam Webster).  While it might be easy to think this season announces the nearing of the birthday of baby Jesus, the real purpose is to have baby Jesus be reborn in new Christians.  If you keep that concept in mind, the Gospel readings during Advent will take on a personal importance as Scripture readings of preparation.  F.Y.I.

Will you let Him in when He calls to you?

The quote above, from Isaiah, is found in Isaiah 40:3, but it is not exactly as Mark indicated. The NASB translation of that verse says, “A voice of one calling, “Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.” The use of “desert” can also state “wilderness,” and the use of wilderness can be replaced with “desert.” The first element, “See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you” is missing.

The point is this quote is not wholly from Isaiah, as it is also a partial quote from Malachi 3:1. That verse states, “Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the Lord of hosts.” Combine these quotes of the LORD from those two prophets and Mark’s quote is complete.

To me, simply from finding out this unstated combined quote, where the truth was told by Mark because Isaiah is quoted, the lack of mentioning Malachi is a hidden sign. Since Mark goes from the prophet’s words of prophecy from the LORD, to speaking of John the Baptizer, the element of a preparing a straight path in the wilderness was fulfilled by John. This focus is then enhanced and clarified further, when one reads Malachi 4:5-6.

Those verses state: “Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.” This prophecy of Elijah being sent prior to the coming of the Messiah was one all Jews knew at the time of Jesus and awaited.

One of the rituals of the Passover Seder meal is to pour a cup of wine and open the front door of the home open. In another rite, a chair is designated for Elijah to sit in at each circumcision.  The reason is to invite Elijah to return. The Jews want Elijah to feel welcome to join the family. When these tradition began, I do not know. However, Mark wrote about Elijah’s return.

In Mark 9:11-13, as Jesus and Peter, James and John (of Zebedee) were coming down from the high mountain after the Transfiguration, Jesus told them not to talk about what they had seen until after “the Son of Man rose from the dead” (Mark 9:9). The conversation then turned to Elijah:

“They asked [Jesus], saying, “Why is it that the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” And He said to them, “Elijah does first come and restore all things. And yet how is it written of the Son of Man that He will suffer many things and be treated with contempt? But I say to you that Elijah has indeed come, and they did to him whatever they wished, just as it is written of him.”” (Mark 9:11-13)

Matthew added to this, “Then the disciples understood that [Jesus] had spoken to them about John the Baptist.” (Matthew 17:13)

This means that understanding Isaiah AND Malachi combined to write about John the Baptizer, as Elijah returning, one can understand the description given by Mark as that of a reincarnated prophet of Israel. When we read, “Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist,” Elijah was described in this manner: “They replied, “He had a garment of hair and had a leather belt around his waist.” The king said, “That was Elijah the Tishbite.”’ (1 Kings 1:8, NIV)

Print this and let the kids color in the hairy tunic and leather belt.

Relative to this prophecy, but buried by a translation attempting to tell a story, rather than expose the truth, is the Greek word “Egeneto.” That capitalized first word that follows the quotes of the prophets is the past tense form of the word “ginomai” (“to come”). It means this prophecy “Came” true in the one named “John.” The first segment simply says, “Egeneto Iōannēs,” “Came John.” It means Elijah “Came” and was named “John.”  The name “Ioannes” means “Yahweh is Gracious.”

After that identification (following a comma), John is said to be “the [one] baptizing in the wilderness.” This is then a confirmation of the prophecy, “Clear a way for the Lord in the wilderness; Make smooth in the wilderness a highway for our God.” The word “baptizó” means “to submerge,” which implies the use of water, which is a scarce commodity in a desert, wilderness, or desolate area. Therefore, this is more powerful symbolically than the imagery a modern Christian gets from a translation that says, “John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness.”

The wilderness (from “erēmō”) means “solitary, desolate, and deserted.” It implies “waste,” such that “desert” is land that bears no yield. Thus, that place is “abandoned” or “deserted.” More than picturing John, a holy man that fulfilled the prophecy of Elijah’s return (reincarnation), in a desert, one needs to grasp how “John Came” to Judea and Galilee.  Those provinces were the wastes of ancient Israel and Judah. The remnant peoples of those lands had returned to the waste land their ancestors had left to captors and conquerors. That land had been lost because of the sins of Israel’s leaders and followers.

Following another comma, the Greek text literally states, “and proclaiming baptism of repentance for forgiveness of sins.” As for the dryness of a “desert,” water (once again) is the element that symbolizes emotions. John was doing more than “dipping” Jews “underwater,” he was infusing them with the emotional awareness of their sins. Only from being in touch emotionally with the dryness and waste of their having lost their land and their covenant with God could they truly repent. The Jews of Roman-controlled Judea and Galilee had to feel the guilt of their dirty selves deeply, in order for the truth to be written: “People from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.”

The symbolic water that washed over the Jews, as the “people went out to John,” was the emotion of their guilt.  The realization of seeing themselves going the wrong way filled them with fear.  That water, rather than John coming to offer a washing away of sins with river water service, was the baptism that made a straight path for the Lord.

Physical water dries up but living water never goes dry.

Now, when we reach verse six, which said what John was wearing, the segment that follows is not set in the past tense (as the translation above shows “ate”). Instead, the Greek word “esthōn” is the present participle stating, “he is eating.” The essence of this difference in time says John was the reincarnation of Elijah, who dressed in animal skins with a leather belt; but John is then “eating locusts and honey wild.”

Since there is nothing about Elijah that specifically said he ate locusts and wild honey, and since there has to be more meaning to this information than John possessing survival skills in the wilderness, the metaphor has to help explain John’s purpose as Elijah reincarnated. Because “locusts” are infesting creatures that eat the fields and trees, as a plague that takes away the productivity of a land, John was “devouring” those who were stripping the Jews of their ways of righteousness (Jews and Gentiles). He also was dissolving the stickiness of “honey” that represented the ways of other nations.  Those ways tasted so sweet, but led the Jews to “wild” lives.  It was symbolic locusts and wild honey that led to the fall and ruin of Israel – a land once known for its milk and honey.  Elijah returned as John to devour those enemies.

By seeing this meaning and knowing John to be the return of Elijah, who was prophesied to pave the way of the Lord – the Messiah – it is easy to see why Mark wrote what John proclaimed: “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me.” This was a prophecy also told by Luke, where the angel Gabriel appeared to Zacharias, the husband of Elizabeth (who would give birth to John), saying: “And [John] will turn many of the sons of Israel back to the Lord their God. It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” (Luke 1:16-17)

As Jesus would be born six months after John, with the two relatives, Jesus would be the Lord of whom John said, “I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals.” John said that as a miracle child, just as was Jesus, who was born to another woman without the necessity of sexual intercourse. Elizabeth was like Sarah, as both women were old of age and barren (thus not a virgin). As the rebirth of the Spirit of Elijah, John was still not worthy of claiming any greatness, when compared to Jesus the Christ.

Finally, when John said, “I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit,” the element of water goes beyond the physical once again. To be “baptized with water” is more than being dipped underwater or sprinkled with water. It means John will renew an emotion of devotion to God and belief in the Messiah. That will lead to Jews seeking forgiveness from God; but the physical means they will seek to follow someone holy.

Just as physical water pours over one, so too does the presence of a leader-rabbi pour the enthusiasm of devotion to him onto his followers. John had that effect on his disciples. Yet, Jesus would have a greater impact in the physical; but his impact as Lord would be when he poured himself into his devoted followers, making them become the extension of love of God, as Christ reborn.

That prophecy by Elijah-John came true on Pentecost, when the “Holy Spirit baptized” eleven disciples in the upstairs room, replacing one Jesus of Nazareth (born in Bethlehem) with eleven. That power of eleven was the difference John spoke of.

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Mark 13:32 – No one knows the day or the hour

“”But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.”

This verse has been a problem for Christian theologians for some time. Stuck in the middle of what seems to be Jesus telling his disciples about his “second coming,” the problem has been such: If Jesus is divine, as God on earth, how can he not know when that coming will be? Rather than see the obvious answer to this problem, the scholarly have questioned if the Greek was mistranslated from something said in Aramaic, so the text meant to say, “but the Son, and the Father.”

In my breakdown of Mark 13:24-37 (Advent 1, Year B, 2017 Gospel lesson), the issue is death coming, and when a soul is called to judgment. The “second coming of Christ” occurred on Pentecost, the day after he Ascended.  An Apostle is Christ reborn.  Thus, death coming without Christ within one is what Jesus warned his disciples about.  We all face death eventually, as mortals, so that day and hour is the unknown element of concern. However, this problem of not knowing when death will come is only a problem for those who do not heed Jesus’ advice and stay Awake! Watchful! Vigilant!

Let me make clear that death is not the only way to read, “But of that day and hour no one knows.”  The ultimate purpose behind that is to state that no one knows when he or she will be thrust upon making the choice: Do I sacrifice self and totally serve God?  Or, do I sacrifice God and totally serve self?  Because no one knows when that time will come, when it comes then the choice made can become what marks one’s soul for eternal life or perpetual death.  Thus, the primary focus of this verse falls on those of selfish desires.  It is important to stay alert for when Christ calls, just as one who rejects that call must stay awake so death does not take hold.

Relative to the Son and the Father not knowing any of this, here are just a few reminders that will make this make more sense.

First, because the last segment can translate as “if not the Father,” to eliminate any doubt that God is kept in the dark about death, remember that God knows all and sees all.  It is God who decides when death comes.  There is no way God could show up at the time of one’s death and have some voice come over the heavenly intercom, saying, “Not yet, God.”

Second, it should be clear that Jesus knew when he was going to die AND he knew who, what, where, and why that event was going down. In addition, he knew that he would not stay dead AND he knew that he would go to the Father’s house to prepare rooms for his disciples. The message of Mark 13:24-37 says Jesus knew when he was going to return to transform his disciple into Apostles: Pentecost.

Third, if you have ever seen movies where angles (some looking like Nicolas Cage) stand by deathbeds waiting to escort souls to heaven, then you know that angels do know when mortal deaths will occur, beforehand. Everyone who has had a NDE (Near-Death Experience) and gone into the tunnel with the white light at the end and seen “people” waiting for them, then one must assume those “people” knew to await that soul’s arrival.  Their readiness would make it seem they knew death was coming to someone on earth they had known before.

Last, in the lore that surrounds Nostradamus, he supposedly told his personal assistant, JeanAymé de Chavigny, as he retired for the evening, “You will find me dead in the morning.” Of course, that turned out to be true; and Chavigny made sure everyone knew that. Further, when grave-robbers broke into Nostradamus’ crypt, looking for valuables during the lawlessness of the French Revolution, they found his corpse with a medallion around its neck that had the Roman numerals for that year – 1789 (or 1791, or 1793) –  etched into it. Nostradamus died in 1566, so it seems he not only knew when he would die beforehand; he also knew when his body would be disturbed after death, 223 years later.

News of Orson Wells’ death in The Man Who Saw Tomorrow was greatly exaggerated.

In case you have not read the article about the whole interpretation of Mark 13:24-37, know that Nostradamus was a prophet, as an Apostle, filled with God’s Holy Spirit and the Mind of Christ.  He wrote The Prophecies in the same manner that all Biblical prophets wrote – at the direction of God.  Thus, The Prophecies are divinely prophetic of the future because God knows all and sees all.  Divine prophets are told all the details about their deaths beforehand, so they don’t sweat over that.  That makes them better able to serve God.

Now, all of these items of interest mean there is a problem with the translation, because the problem the Christians theologians see from “not the Son,” is really a problem with “no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father.” All of it is wrong (as I point out in the detailed analysis of each segment of this text).

Only those who do not love God deeply, so they are not married to God in their hearts, so they cannot have the offspring of that marriage: the Son; they are the ones who need to worry about when the day and the hour of God’s judgment will come. Everyone else is righteous and saintly, so they are in on how death is just a hiccup between a soul being trapped in a body of clay and dust and it being freed to eternal life in heaven.

When one’s eyes are opened to this not knowing when death will be as being applicable only to the sinners who reject God and Christ, then one can see this verse saying: “But of that day or hour no one knows, [because those are] not even the unspoken messengers [Apostles & Saints] of God in heaven, nor [have they made way for] the Son [in their lives], if not the Father.”

Notice the mistranslation of “ei mē ho Patēr,” where “if not the Father” is clear. The word “ei” implies “since,” which links “the Son” and “the Father” as “if one, then the other,” such that “if not one, then not the other.” In this regard, it is important to remember how the Jews of Mark’s and Jesus’ day laid claim on faith in Yahweh, but not so much a Christ (they still are waiting for the Messiah). This, “nor the Son, if not the Father” is directed at their not being true loves of the Father, because they reject the Son. So, it was the Jews of old who worried about judgment most of all, when Jesus spoke and Mark remembered.

Now, most everyone needs to worry.

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In the voice of Jesus

In 2006 I published the book The Letters of Nostradamus.  I wrote that book because people kept saying, “Can’t you just tell me what The Prophecies means, without all the explanation?”  My response was to convert two very confusing letters into the voice of Nostradamus, as if he wrote them so everyone could understand them.  Of course, by doing that the question reverted to, “How did you get that from that?”

John 21:25 sums this type of enigma up as such: “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written.”  It is so much easier having the Mind of Christ tell one the meaning is a flash of insight, rather than try to carry the whole world’s incompetence and even attempt what becomes impossible to explain (even briefly) in text.  Relative to this, I have addressed how Paul as like Nostradamus, in the difficulty posed by his language.  Now Mark’s chapter 13 (and Matthew’s chapter 24) have put forth a lesson by Jesus that has t-totally confused interpreters.

In the first Sunday of Advent, the Gospel reading is from Mark, chapter 13, verses 24 through 37.  To put it mildly, no one seems to have a grasp on what Jesus told his disciple while they were on the Mount of Olives just before his final Passover Seder meal.  Some call this Jesus’ “little Apocalypse” (“little Revelation”), because they say Jesus spoke of the end of the world, when everything falls out of the sky.  Others say Mark left out the Rapture part, which is supposedly included in Matthew’s 24th chapter (covering the same lessons Jesus taught that Mark 13 remembers).

Needless to say (almost), Jesus did not tell about any cataclysmic destruction of earth.  He did not tell anyone to look for his “second coming,” as if he would swoop down like in John’s book.  Anyone who sees that Jesus return (with angry eyes and a fiery sword in his mouth) will have no Rapture headed their way; and you can bet your bottom dollar on that.

The Gospel reading from Mark (to be read by a priest on Sunday, December 3, 2017) is 271 words long (by MSWord count).  I duplicated those words and then added 5,104 more words of explanation … going segment by segment, so everything is understandable.  However, that leads me back to the, “Can’t you say that simply, without all the explanation?”

That was when I flashed back to my old book.  I have done that here, although this presentation is still a whopping 3400+ words.  Hopefully, you can read that long without getting bored.

So, with no further ado, Mark 13:24-37 is shown as if you were on the Mount of Olives and heard Jesus talking to you, in plain English.  Feel free to read along here so the literal English and Greek can be seen.  As I did in The Letters of Nostradamus, I put bold text for chapter changes and words that can be actually translated from the Greek, in the order the Greek was written.

Precursor: In Mark 13:1-23, Jesus has just warned his disciples about those who will come forward after him, who will claim to be the Messiah of the Jews. Despite the tricks they will try, to win over Jews to their causes, the disciples are warned not to follow them.  Jesus has told them what to expect coming. To be forewarned is to be forearmed.

It is from that warning that Jesus begins this reading with the exception word, “But” (“Alla”).

24. But in those days when there will be false Messiahs, know the exception will be in those who are guided by the light of truth. Just as the daylight exposes all things that hide in shadows, the light of day will bring out the truth. This is why I teach you, my students, because after the persecution that I know is about to come there will be a rise of many like those promising lies. Those who will plot my demise will also initiate pressures on my followers, to lead them astray. Just as in a total eclipse, when the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give the earth the light of the sun, or the reflected sunlight from it, my words of truth will be said to be against those of the authorities in the Temple.

25. Take, for example, the teachings of astrology and how God set in motion the lights of the planets, in the backdrop of the stars. Those have been fixed by God to guide men, “and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years.” (Genesis 1:14, NASB) There will come a time when astrology will no longer be seen as guides coming out of heaven, as God’s messengers. Belief in that form of divination will be falling. What will come to be is the misuse of that divine art, such that misinterpretations (for self-benefits) will be representative of a fallen state of pagan worship, with God removed from that art. And the powers that have been inherently placed and the abilities to exercise the powers of God that are in the heavens of the material realm they will becomes the powers of evil divination, such that all true intent and purpose will be shaken. It will seem as if all that has been the gifts of God, as signs from above, will have fallen from the skies, with no light allowed to shine upon earth.

26. At that time when darkness seems so prevalent and devout Jews they will perceive a lack of light to guide the world, then they will see from an inner light of wisdom and guidance. This light will come from the Son, after I have passed to the heavenly realm. The need of man will be why God will have my Spirit return to those of deep faith. Those, like you here, will find my Spirit coming in you, to guide your actions, and to guide the actions of others of deep faith. This presence within you will not be seen, as it cannot be looked upon with clarity. It will be felt, like when in a fog one feels the mist. It will be like the aura one sees when the sun is in the clouds; and my presence within you will likewise be so nebulous. Still, from this presence within you, which is the same Spirit that is within me now – a Holy Spirit connected to God – marvelous deeds will be performed by you. Just as you have witnessed my abilities and powers, you will have much ability given to you and you will become the unspoken manifestations of God, as me reborn in you. You will become like the angels of God on earth, while the angels that will allow you to perform many miracles will be with you, as moisture gathers to form the clouds.

27. And when you have become the lights by which others will be led, then you will have proved yourselves as servants of God, such that he will send you as I have been sent. Together, I and you will be the messengers from God to lead more to do the same. And as individual servants in love with the Father and willingly doing His work on earth, God will gather together all of those who have chosen to be a slave of him. As I have said before, “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst” (Matthew 18:20, NASB), you will all hold the title of Messiah – the Christ. All who bear that title will be gathered as one church of the Christ; and it will be from out of that base or solid foundation, of which the Christ is the cornerstone, all who serve the LORD will spread the WORD to the four corners of the earth. The Holy Spirit within will send the breath of the LORD to fill those seeking Salvation with the winds of righteousness. The message all will carry forth will be to walk away from the miserable end that mortal human beings find always waiting for them on earth. To turn away from that born of death end, one must then turn to the end that promises eternal life, that reward of heaven.

28. In order to grasp this lesson of “Separation,” where one is made capable of moving away from the trap of reincarnation, such that an eternal soul becomes continually trapped in the cycles of earth: birth, growth, decline, and death; one needs to look now at how natural this cycle of earth is. As you were with me since our return to Jerusalem, recall how I went to pick fruit from a wild fig tree and it was barren. (Matthew 21:18-22) While it is too early to bring forth June figs (early figs, as first fruits), there were no unpicked figs from last summer – on the branches or on the ground – from when the plenty of a fig tree are produced. Because it was fruitless, I condemned the tree to die; and as you witnessed the other day, that fig tree had withered and died. This is a natural cycle found in the fig tree. You need to come to realization how the same cycle, from life to death, is the comparison to the lives you lead on the earthly plane. I want you to learn from this side-by-side comparison (juxtaposition) of plant and human life. To see this as when you are mature as was that fig tree, so both you and it already have reached that stage where bearing fruit is natural, notice how the branch produces tender buds and shoots that indicates the tree has become alive again. It has come from death to life, in the transition from winter to spring. And in this cycle of earthly life, it is showing a sign of its purpose in that cycle of life, as it puts forth the leaves from which the fruit will eventually flower and bud. By seeing the leaves and the greenness that says a fig tree is alive, you know that the fruit is near or close; and, as a fruit of the summer, you know that season is near. The leaves are a sign from God, by which man is led.

29. As a comparison to human life, in this manner can signs also be manifest from you. When you experience these things that I have told you, where there will be those who will attempt to block out the light of truth, such that a comparable winter will take the life of hope away from Jews and others under persecution, then the promise of my Spirit’s return within you is coming to pass. Just as you know the longer days of summer will come upon the leaves of a fig tree, so too will you know that this Holy Spirit is near. It is time, then, for my return in you. However, know that I will not come to all of you here today, as I will only come on the basis of your love of God and faith that I am the Messiah. For you to also become the Messiah, as I am, this is an opportunity; not only for the individual (least of all for that reason), but opportunities for all: Jews and Gentiles. Many Messiahs become many doors being made available that will offer the whole world hope, which others can then open and enter through.

30. Truly I say to you, as everything I say to you comes from God and your faith in God illuminates you perception of the truth that I teach. You must know that no loss will come from my departure from my physical body, as the Son is an eternal Spirit of God. Thus, nothing will have passed away that cannot be duplicated and replicated in all who desire God’s presence in them, led by the Messiah Mind. In the example of the fig tree, each season represents the generation of new fruit. As long as the tree maintains roots in good soil, is nurtured by ample rain, is pollinated by the winds and the bees, and has the warmth of the sun’s rays on its leaves, then the life of the tree has not passed away. Likewise, my leaving this incarnation, as the fruit of God’s Tree of Life, only gain can be the expectation. The Son of the Father will bear much fruit, to the point that these things I have promised to you all shall have taken place. The Son will live on exponentially in you … the Son of man reborn.

31. For all of you who hear the truth of my words … as those sent by the Father to you … if you choose the path to heaven and if conversely you choose the path of earth, your choice will mark how your soul will pass away. Still, if you choose the path to heaven, then you will serve the LORD as I have, totally committed to doing His Will on the earth, until which time you will pass away. In this case, all of them (the ones) who make this choice, even though it means self-sacrifice while on earth, my words will be known to be divine utterances from God. They will become the next generation of me, such that no one shall fear death. Nothing will block the soul’s return to heaven, when it will pass away from the flesh of earth.

32. For those who choose the path of earth, finding the conditions on top of the natural challenges of life as a human being, born of normal parents, with no birthright of privilege, it is natural to fear moreover the rulers of provinces and empires, than to fear the judgment of God placed on one’s soul. For those who choose another lord, there will always be an inner fear of death and the day that judgment will come. If one of privilege finds no reason to fear that day when life falls and the sleep of winter approaches, there will be felt fear of future life penalties. Rather than a fear of God’s wrath, they will fear the hour when death sits with them, as the time of great uncertainty will have arrived. This is the nervousness that comes when no one knows what the future will bring. The Father will not even allow my Apostles, the Saints as the Messiah, acting as angels on earth, who are secured a place in heaven to know when to warn another of death’s specific time. Because those finding fear of death will have chosen not to be joined with the Son, they will be in the dark as they fear death. By waiting until the final hour of life to seek the Son, they will not be comforted in heaven at that time, due to the judgment that will only allow Saints there. If one chooses not to marry God in one’s heart and not serve the Father while living on earth, then the Father will not make exceptions in heaven for those late requests for salvation. This is where having seen the fig tree that did not bear fruit becomes important to this lesson of death. The death of winter still leaves hope for the coming season, when spring makes possible a renewal of growth and more fruit produced to feed mankind. However, when the tree has ceased being productive and refused to bear fruit in My name, to be condemned so that the whole tree faces death is comparable to a soul that is no longer allowed the grace of reincarnation. A withered and dead tree is useless, just as is a condemned soul. Thus, as the dead tree is cut down and its parts thrown into the fire and burned, so too is a dead soul sent to eternal damnation.

33. This lesson that I teach is most important for you to learn. Therefore, take heed of my words. Allow your mind’s eye to see this comparison vividly. Discern the paths you have taken to sit here before me now; and compare that path to the paths of others in your life. Eternal damnation and reincarnation are both representative of failed lives, where opportunity has been ignored. In many of the parables I have told, to which you have listened and received insight about, the message is consistent: Be awake. Be careful that none of your actions now will condemn your soul forever. Be watchful of choices set before you and know how to choose wisely which direction to take. If you realize that it is not possible now for you to know certainly when the opportunity will come that is the choice of eternal life or the beginning of fall and winter in your personal tree of life, you need to know how to discern this important point of decision.

34. When I told the parable of a master that sent his slaves on a journey for him, with each given large sums of wealth, I want you now to see yourselves in a similar fashion. I want you to imagine what it is like to be a man with a soul that is away from heaven, sent on a journey on the earthly plane. You must be able to see how your soul is the true you, such that you are alive here having left the dwelling of the Father. You willingly left on this journey with the goal set of him to return home. In order to achieve your mission in life, the one that the Father, having given the slaves of him great amounts of Spiritual wealth, expects is similar to the parable I told you about the wayward son. You have been given your inheritance in advance, to use as you see fit, but to each one of you is an expected task, which each one of you willingly accepted of him, that has become this life’s purpose set before you. As I said before, about your opportunity to be representative of me as a door through which yourself and others can be led to heaven, your assigned work is to be the gatekeeper. That is an agreement your soul made with the Father, when he gave orders that must be followed. “He should be watchful” is the command I now give to you from the Father. In the parable of the master who gave his slaves talents of precious metals, two were watchful and one buried his in the earth. He wasted it and chose not to serve the Father in heaven. I have told you previously that I am the gate to the sheep fold, as the Good Shepherd. You can only obey the Father and be the gatekeeper he commanded if you are of him, through me.

35. Thus, your order is to watch for that time when the Master will come to see your gain, from the wealth of ability that the Son can bring in return. By extension of me, here is how you obey this command — Not will you know anything indeed that has not been given to you by my voice within. Without that voice to guide your investments, you will know nothing of value for others or yourself. When the master of the house, where I will have reserved a room for you will be in heaven, comes to see your work, Be Prepared for His arrival: The earth is the place where darkness tries to lure slaves into selling their inheritance – as happened to the wayward son. That darkness is when the sun does not shine, so that becomes the element in which the evil ones do their work. That half of the earth is called night, as is written, “God called the light day, and the darkness He called night.” (Genesis 1:5a) Night becomes synonymous with sleeping, which in turn becomes synonymous with death. Because the earth is half day and half night, it is the realm of death; such that mortals are born of a cycle of life (day) and death (night). This is why a 24-hour period is divided into twelve numbered hours of daylight, and the night is divided into four 3-hour watches. It does not matter which part of night has come, whether early, middle or late, as evil lurks to trip the wayward. At evening, while the sun may still be shining, the work of the day is over and people start to relax. This can be when one still feels safe from evil’s grasp, but one must maintain watch. Rather, this slip into the darkness when the sun has completely set and the eyes become tired at the midnight watch. There is no greater darkness than that after midnight, until three in the morning when the rooster crows. The saying it is always darkest before the dawn means the time before first light is rather dangerous, in anticipation of morning. The symbolism of a night watch means that at all times one must stay alert for the coming of the Master, who comes only for souls. If one has not remained vigilant, then one will find the Master having come suddenly, when least expected. If he should come and discover you sleeping – meaning a soul crying over its lost corpse – then your soul will be judged on the record of its deeds.

37. To be caught sleeping is a sign of having not completed one’s tasks and one not having God in one’s heart and the Son in one’s mind. Those conditions having been met are that which has me teaching this lesson. On the other hand, from being unprepared and caught sleeping, one is alert when to you I say arise and be ready. The five bridesmaids with plenty of lamp oil heard that voice. Therefore, to all I say arise, as long as those have been married to God and become me reborn. Be awake! I will call to you.


If anyone wants to see the 5,100+ word explanation, it can be found here.

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Matthew 25:31-46

Jesus said, “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

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The is the Gospel selection from the Episcopal Lectionary for Year A, Proper 29, the last Sunday after Pentecost, Christ the King Sunday. It will next be read aloud by a priest in church on Sunday, November 29, 2017. This is very important as it was Jesus telling of his return and the judgment that entails.

It is most important to see these words of Jesus, recalled by Saint Matthew, as being said during his time of inspection in Jerusalem, just prior to his last Passover Festival. The title that has been attached to these words (associated with some who lend titles) is “The Judgment” (some “The Final Judgment,” but others “The Sheep and the Goats”). This is when “the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory.”

This tells about the kingdom of Christ Jesus. Jesus is Christ the King! However, this story, like all the parables immediately prior (over four days), are metaphor and allegorical.

While it is easy to see the anthropomorphic aspect of good humans being referred to as “sheep,” and bad humans being “goats,” all of which talk like humans, people claiming to believe this, as Christians, take these words are though Jesus was telling of some distant time, like at the end of the world. This is because the imagery produced by Saint John the Beloved at Patmos, in The Revelation, painted a similar picture of “the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him.” (see Revelation 1:7)  Some take those words as statements of what will happen in the future, while understanding everything else as figurative speech.

The concept of Christ the King goes back to the time in Israel when Samuel ruled as prophet (a most important Judge). When Samuel was old and his sons had proven not to be as holy as their father, the leaders of the people went to Samuel and asked him to tell God they wanted a king, “to be like other nations.” The reality prior to that request was that God was their King … always was, always would be. But, God gave them human kings that progressively got worse, until the idea that having one person rule all the rest, with an assortment of holy advisers (hopefully at least one who could talk to God directly), meant everything had been squandered. After centuries of failing to live up to their Commitment with God (their marriage), the union between the children of Israel (Earth) and God (Heaven) was over (divorced).

This means there is no land of Earth on which the Spirit of Jesus Christ can float down from Heaven and have a throne waiting for him to sit on. Regardless of ALL the propaganda: of Zionism and the restoration of Israel – the nation (on stolen soil) – where Jews can call their rightful home; of Christianity and all the prophecies to be fulfilled so they can see the Dome of the Rock razed, so a Third Temple can signal the End Times (and probably cause many to pee themselves from excitement); and the Rapture of the faithful to Heaven (will they lose their clothes in that process?) … it ain’t gonna happen that way.

That concept of Jesus returning like so many have fantasized is not what Jesus spoke of in this reading.  Nothing in Scripture intends that futuristic view to be the hope of salvation.

The earth that is the Kingdom of Jesus Christ is a human body or a devoted believer, such as Peter and the ten other Apostles, Paul, and every true Christian who has ever been filled with the Holy Spirit of God and the Mind of Christ. That means Jesus Christ came down from the heavenly realm at nineish, the day after he Ascended, when on Pentecost (the “Fiftieth day”) “like a violent rushing wind” eleven guys in an upstairs room in Jerusalem all became Jesus: as Christ Peter, Christ Thomas, Christ John (of Zebedee), so on and so on.

What is all this waiting till the end of the world stuff then? Could it be doubt? Could it be ignorance?

Verse 31 is translated above to state, “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory.” Here is what it really says:  “When next comes the Son … the [One] to mankind in the unspoken manifestation of God the same , AND every kind of the [One] messengers of God with him , then he will set upon dominion inherent of him.” (text here)

This means “the Son of man” is not some title like “the Son of God.” The words “the Son” (“ho Huios“) imply “the Son of God.” The addition of “of man” (“anthrōpou“) means God sent His Son for the benefit “of man,” such that “the Son” was in a fleshy body that is required “of mankind.” However, “When next comes the Son of man,” is when the Son of God is reborn “of man,” in “the unspoken manifestation of God” (aka “glory”), which makes all those reborn “the same” as was the “man” named Jesus.

This means “all” or “every kind of” or “the whole” of those “of man” who are reborn as Jesus (“the [One]”), they then become instantly “messengers of God” (aka “angels”).  This is because they are “with him.”

When one is “with him,” then one is not standing out in a field looking up in the sky, waiting to be “with him” on some distant day in an unknown future. One is either with Jesus, as Jesus reborn, or not.

This becomes the separated anthropomorphic creatures “of man,” which are “sheep” and “goats.”

Christ is the King of a true Christian, who individually is no longer a man or woman (aka “goat”) but a Saint (aka “sheep”). You could say Jesus is Christ the Herder of Sheep and Goats, in a Kingdom of Followers who tend to get lost … often … but that loses the appeal to Israelites, who love a king, to be like other nations. However, the only ‘country’ that Christ is King of is each one of man who subjects him or herself to that ruler (there is no tricameral system of checks and balances in those places, as Christ the King is a monarch).

Now, when the selection says, “All the nations will be gathered before him,” this is a statement similar to the First Commandment, which says, “Thou shall wear the face of no other gods (including your self face) before my face.” That means the only face that one who is married to God can ever wear is God’s face … like Moses wore. Obviously, a true Christian also becomes like Moses, as Jesus reborn.  Since Elijah was part of the Transfiguration, then Elijah also was a model for true Christians.

So, now Jesus is saying, “and will be gathered before the face of him all the races” … “of man.” Once “gathered before him,” Jesus Christ can see clearly who is wearing the face of God (“sheep”) and who is not (“goats”).  Seeing that face then becomes how Jesus separates Christians – true to his right hand, false to his left hand.

If one wants “nations” (rather than “races”) as the translation, then one is allowed to see how the spread of true Christianity (spread by true Christians, like Paul, Peter, James, et al) was not all nations at once. Over time, this influence spread around the Roman possessions that were Judea and Galilee – east, west, north and south.  This spread, over time, caused the Western nations to adopt Christianity as their national religion, either Roman Catholicism or Orthodox Christianity.

In this view, the Christians of all the nations of the entire world will be gathered, from all continents.  Certainly, some countries have significantly fewer Christians than do others.  Its spread to Muslim nations and Hindu nations and tribal nations around the world has been met with varying degrees of resistance; but all the pagans (Gentiles) of the world will not be the ones judged by Christ the King. Only those who claim to serve the King will be separated, one from the other.

Think of this as the bringing in of the sheaves and the analogy of the threshing floor, where only the good grain is gathered, while all the weeds and fruitless plants are thrown into the fire and burned.  After the burning of the rubbish, then the second step in this process becomes where the good grain is separated from the chaff.

The translation that says, “he will separate people one from another,” the word translated as “people” actually says “them,” but since “nations” or “races” can also state “people,” then “them” reflects back to those of whom “nations” and “races” consist. Because these “people” are those who call Jesus Christ “King,” only Christian “people” are found “before” him, or those “people” wearing the face of his “sheep” or his “goats” are allowed to come “before the face of him.”

Again, this is not an end of time event. It is an ongoing judgment that began when Jesus Christ returned in his disciples, who became Apostles. [Hint: Apostles are the sheep.]

It is important to note how the Nicene Creed states belief that Jesus Christ “is seated at the right hand of the Father.” Not only does that denote that Jesus of Nazareth (born in Bethlehem) was a “sheep,” but as “the Son” sent to be “of man,” he was also the Lamb of God … eventually the sacrificial Lamb, found without blemish. At the right hand of God, Christ Jesus became the Good Shepherd “of man,” who are the “sheep.” As a “sheep” the assumption is when one has become found.  A “goat” is still doing its own thing.

Thus, the “people” are all lost, serving other kings in all the nations; but Christians are those lost “sheep” who have found the benefit of Christ Jesus, their Shepherd and their King. Still, while these beliefs and position as seeing Jesus Christ as God’s “right hand man,” a vision clearly stated in Scripture, we do not clearly see who sits at God’s left hand.

The easy answer is Satan sits at the left hand of God; but one has to understand that Satan’s “throne” is not in Heaven, on the other side of God’s supreme seat, opposite to the one Jesus Christ sits on. Satan’s throne is within the depths of the Earth, which means an earthly realm as opposed to a heavenly one.  As the unstated King of Earthlings (Prince of Darkness), all humanity naturally falls under that reign; but God denies Satan any ability to force mankind to do his bidding.

This means the throne of glory (“the unspoken manifestation of God”) upon which Christ sits is a Spiritual throne within the bodies (matter, earth) “of man.” Christ Jesus can only be seated within that earthly realm if a revolution of the “people” (a Spiritual rebirth) has made that possible.  Those who claim to have dethroned Satan, so Christ Jesus can rule their lives on Earth, they are the ones “who were lost but now are found.”

Originally, there was God (Heaven), who then Created gods (Spiritual angels – elohim) and the earth (matter, the physical universe). In the Creation story, animal man and animal woman were formed on the sixth day; and they were given dominion over all the creatures and plants of Earth. At that time, all was good.

This was because animal man and animal woman only did natural acts, as instinctual of animals. When God told the gods to protect animal man and animal woman, there was a division of the elohim, as some gods submitted to compliance and and some (a third) offered resistance to God’s order. That was the Creation of the left hand, and thus the right hand of God.

The influence of both Good angels and Bad angels caused animal man and animal woman to cower in fear from all those unknown Spiritual entities. As animals, mankind had no knowledge in its little brains.  That led God to create (on the Holy Day) Adam (Man) and his wife, as those who would become the seeds of religion on Earth, sent by God to teach animal man and animal woman the difference between right and wrong, knowledge of good and evil. Therefore, Adam became God’s first right hand man … as the first Son that would be sent “of man.”

By the time Adam had two sons, Cain and Abel, Satan influenced Cain to become the first teacher of false religion on Earth. He became the first “right hand man” of Satan, which inverts to the first to sit at the “left hand” of Adam’s (the Son’s) throne. Cain begat the goats of the world – those who profess belief in the One God (by whatever false name they call that God) – but goats are like wolves in sheep’s clothing. They serve Satan, while pretending to serve God. They are today false Christians, not true Christians.

Pan, a pagan god.

The bulk of this story told by Jesus is then about the blessing of the righteous and the cursing of the wicked. Both sheep and goats have no clue how they helped God or turned away from God. They are just dumb animals who have no knowledge of Spiritual matters. However, the righteous have allowed God into their hearts and the Christ Mind to lead their actions, while the wicked have turned a cold heart to God and their actions have been led by Big Brains (their own or the leaders to whom they bow down in service).

If you have ever heard the phrase, “Ignorance of the Law is no excuse,” then you understand that it is never a good thing to depend on a Big Brain, if one is seeking Heaven as the Spiritual reward of one’s time on the earthly plane. The only way that one can totally comply with the Laws set forth by Moses, for all who will claim to serve only God, is to stop trying to think, “God will say this evil deed is okay, if I bend the rules this way to meet my needs.”  It is impossible to keep a brain and serve God.  You serve one or the other, never both.  Only through the influence of God can one be in total compliance of the Law; but then that righteousness means one has no clue how that happened.

You cannot serve the LORD wearing any other face before Him than His. You wear the face of God only through love of God and Him sending the Holy Spirit to you, meaning the “righteous” are Saints.  That distinction come by the rebirth of Christ Jesus – the “sheep at the right hand of Christ the King.”

Let me make this clear in modern terms. If you worship Apple (an appropriate name for the item of original sin?) and think, “An I-phone is to die for,” then have your I-phone and all its wonderful earthly rewards, and God will call that your eternal reward. Of course, I-phones only work on the earthly plane, and Spiritual angels don’t have pockets for them in Heaven.

Aliens can’t go to Heaven either.

Take that base example and apply it to every thing this world has to offer. If God sends an Apostle things, then it is for those things to be used in service of the LORD – as manna from Heaven to live on [remember not to take more than is daily necessary] or a gift of the Holy Spirit given to lead others to the LORD, through Christ.

The moral of this story can be seen in the account of the Ascension in the Book of Acts, when we read:

“And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.’” (Acts 1:10-11)

Do not be looking to let God in your heart and Christ into your mind at the end of the world. That “Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven,” which in the case of those who “were gazing intently” then, that coming was the next morning. At this moment you sit before Christ the King, on the throne of you, as you have for every moment of your adult life – most of which has been spent grazing as a “goat.”

It is not the declaration of Christ the King that made one a “goat” or made another s “sheep.”  It is the faces that tell Christ the King which side the individual has chosen.  Christ the King has been found by all, but the faces they all wear tell the truth.

The question, as always, is: “Are you ready to be Judged this very second?”  I mean this on the level of Holy Judgment, where only you and God know the true answer.

Keep in mind that all the world – those that are not calling themselves Christian – those “people” are happily following the little-g gods of the world: Socialism, Capitalism, Communism, Fascism, Islam, and all religions that teach the ways of Satan-Cain. Added to that count are Christians who give a little and expect a lot in return, when the god they kneel down before can be seen in a mirror placed before their face.

The world is the realm of death. Mortals are flesh and bones that are born of death. Death means an eternity of an eternal soul springing back to life an a new body.  Life means eternally a soul with God.  Heaven is only made up of righteous souls, which can be summed up as God, His Son, and the Good Angels.  “His Son” is a multiplicity of souls.

God sent His Son to lead “people” to the light of truth; but Satan will do everything in his power to turn “people” away from the truth and lead them to the darkness of lies. All the while, dumb animal man and dumb animal woman will not have a clue which way he or she is headed. Their brains are just too small.

Christ the King knows the name of every one of his “sheep.” He only has to call out, “Jesus, come here!” and they all go to his right hand, bleating, “Yes sir.”

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Ephesians 1:15-23

I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

——————————————————————————————————–

This is the Epistle selection from the Episcopal Lectionary for Year A, Proper 29, the last Sunday of Pentecost, Christ the King Sunday. It will next be read aloud in church on Sunday, November 26, 2017. This is important because Paul addressed the power of Christ in the world, whose power is spread through Apostles like Paul  and those to whom he wrote in Ephesus.

I apologize for turning selections from Paul’s letters into dissertations of what was written and what the Greek says the meaning is, simply because Paul wrote in a manner that was directed by the Holy Spirit, which intended for his words to be most difficult to grasp. I have explained that I have been led to understand the writings of Nostradamus (relative to his work Les Propheties), which involves close attention to punctuation marks and other ‘guideposts’ of language. However, in the above translation, a long-winded Paul wrote nine verses, with four period marks – seemingly somewhat understandable, if the reader in church takes a breath at those four places of ‘full-stop’ rest.

I have posted the literal translation below, with each break point as indicated by the Greek text found here; and you will find that 180 words of English translation are written (some Greek words indicated multiple English words), all with only one period mark … the one at the end. There is one semi-colon (for emergency air intake), which appears after the 144 words have been stated. However, if this selection of Paul is read line by line, in the way I have shown it, it makes 34 statements, such that the commas act as period marks, with the period mark showing where this selection altogether ends.

Because the translation above (New American Standard Bible version) is taking the standard liberties of normal syntax adjustments between Greek and English, they see the long run-on and attempt to make one tremendously long address be more like a very educated fellow, who would need to puff on his pipe four times, just to keep it lit. When this translation reaches a volunteer reader, who may be scared to death in front of an audience, or even a seasoned reader of Scripture, the speed of the reading means the listeners have only seconds to grasp words that hold deep thoughts – from God. Needless to say, Paul flies quickly over the heads of most readers and listeners, so Paul is known to cause heads to ache thinking about what he meant.

To read Paul in the manner that I have made possible below, the purpose is to slow down and listen to what your heart and mind tell you. In the small and manageable segment bits, one is able to see how this becomes Paul speaking conversationally, in the language of God. One has to be involved in the parts prior to this selection, as one set of words is connected to the next. Still, it makes one think and research. This difficulty is so only those who love God can understand – as were the Ephesians, who (like Paul) were given an ability to “speak in foreign tongues.”

The literal translation below should be read and its intent and meaning grasped, one line segment at a time. Nothing is superfluous or unnecessary.

15. Because of this ,
I also ,
having heard of the among you faith in the Lord Jesus ,
and the love the toward all the saints ,
16. not do cease giving thanks for you ,
mention making in the prayers of me ,
17. that the God of the Lord of us ,
Jesus Christ ,
the Father the of glory ,
might give to you spirit of wisdom and revelation ,
in knowledge of him ,
18. being enlightened the eyes of the heart of you ,
in order the to know you ,
what is the hope of the calling of him ,
in the saints ,
19. and what the surpassing greatness of the power of him ,
toward us ,
those believing according to the working of the might of the strength of him ,
20. which he worked in the Christ ,
having raised him out from dead ,
and having set at right hand of him ,
in the heavenly realms ,
21. above every principality ,
and authority ,
and power ,
and dominion ,
and every name being named ,
not only in the age this ,
but also in the coming ;
22. and all things he put under the feet of him ,
and him gave head over all things to the church ,
23. which is the body of him ,
the fullness of the the all things ,
in all filing .

Now, in this literal translation there are multiple points where an awkward “the” shows. Frequently, the Greek-English text will show no translation for these words, although each one is a version of “the” (such as indicating masculine singular or masculine plural, or other versions of “the”). Sometimes, words will be added or added with brackets, often showing “the [One].” This is an indication that an awkward “the” should be read as “the One,” meaning God.

With this presentation done, I will leave the bulk for the reader to ponder. However, I will address a few elements that spoke to me.

First of all is Paul’s use of the word “pistis,” which is properly translated above as “faith.” The context of that use is Paul’s opening statement (for this selection), “I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus.” The literal statement is, “having heard of the among you faith in the Lord Jesus,” where the awkward “the” is “tēn,” which is the singular feminine accusative form of “ho.” Because “pistis” is a feminine noun, a feminine article is attached, meaning this can state, “having heard of among you the faith in the Lord Jesus.”

I point this out because the concept many Christians have of “faith” is it means “belief.” As such, “faith in the Lord Jesus,” when said all at once, real fast, in one breath, means to most people: I have heard the story of Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension AND I believe that story, as Jesus being the Lord that sits at God’s right hand.” However, the word “faith,” as “pistis,” means more than that.

The word “pistis” brings a translation of “faith, belief, trust, confidence; fidelity, faithfulness,” while being rooted in “peithô,” which means “persuade” or “be persuaded.” According to HELPS Word Studies, Strong’s word number 4102 (“pistis”) infers a meaning that “is always a gift from God, and never something that can be produced by people. In short, 4102/pistis (“faith”) for the believer is “God’s divine persuasion” – and therefore distinct from human belief (confidence), yet involving it. The Lord continuously births faith in the yielded believer so they can know what He prefers, i.e. the persuasion of His will.”

One should read “yielded believer” as one who has sacrificed self will, in order to serve the LORD. The word means one listens to, obeys, yields to and complies with God’s will, more than being talked into belief by the Lord. Therefore, “faith” is “belief” based on personal experience and not simply word of mouth instructions that sound good.

Second, I would like to address Paul’s use of “hagious” and “hagiois,” both of which are properly translated as “saints.” This represents a repeated usage, which makes Paul’s usage be worthy of further inspection.

In the NASB translation above, we find it within the context of “your love toward all the saints” and “inheritance among the saints.” The literal translations I presented show this as “the love the toward all the saints” and “in the saints,” following the segment that states, “what is the hope of the calling of him.”

In the literal translation, one finds another of the awkward “the” uses, where “the love the toward all the saints” shows the word “tēn” again. The word “agapé” (“love”) is a feminine noun, requiring a feminine “the,” but the intent is to denote “the one of love,” which is relative to “Lord Jesus,” stated in the prior segment. When Paul recognized this “love,” he stated it was sent spiritually to “all” who were saints. Thus, Paul (as a saint) was making an assurance that the Ephesians too were saints.

The preposition “eis” is translated as “toward,” but has definition that can equally be stated as “into, in, unto, to, upon, towards, for, among.” This means the direction of “the love of the Lord Jesus” is not projected outward, but “into, in, unto and among.” Therefore, it is that inner love of the “Lord” that brings “the love into” a “saint,” who becomes reborn as “Jesus.”

This view makes it important to fully grasp what a “saint” means. While looking up that word in English shows synonyms such as “a person who is deemed holy by a Christian church” or “consecrated,” that is itself a failure to grasp the full meaning.

According to HELPS Word Studies, the Greek root word (“hágios”) is properly read as meaning “different (unlike), other (“otherness”), holy; for the believer, 40 (hágios) means “likeness of nature with the Lord” because “different from the world.’” That site continues to state, “The fundamental (core) meaning of 40 (hágios) is “different” – thus a temple in the 1st century was hagios (“holy”) because different from other buildings (Wm. Barclay). In the NT, 40 /hágios (“holy”) has the “technical” meaning “different from the world” because “like the Lord.’”

Following an assumption that Paul fully understood this meaning as “different,” such that Apostles were those “set apart” from normal human beings (be they Jewish or Gentile), Paul was stating the marriage (“the love”) of God with one of deep “faith” means that God is “calling him” (or “calling Jesus”) to be “in the saints.” Therefore, a “saint” has nothing to do with some external reward or bestowing of a title from any institution of men (and/or women), as (just like “faith”) a saint is “never something that can be produced by people.” Only God determines who the saints will be.

This brings about a third element of Paul’s letter that needs clarification. In the NASB translation above, one finds the statement, “may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him.” (Ephesians 1:17) This makes it appear as if Paul is making a wish (in the form of a prayer) that continued study (“come to know”) “may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation.” This can sound to some as if Paul was wishing the Ephesians would use the Holy Scrolls in the same way that witches use magic spell books to educate themselves, so they can call upon the spirits and produce “miracles.”

As ludicrous as this may seem, the ruling class of Jerusalem saw Jesus in this exact light; and atheists of science see all miracles as trickery, never as divine presence.

In the literal translations I have presented, this single statement of “coming to know” “God the Father” and “Jesus Christ” (so “faith” and “love of the saints” can manifest) is actually split into two segments: “might give to you spirit of wisdom and revelation,” and “in knowledge of him.” The conditional form of “may give” is harder to see, than is “might give,” where “might” becomes a clearer statement of meeting the conditions that warrant the “giving” of a “gift.”

Those conditions are then to be seen as set by “God the Father,” where one “might” get the “gifts” “of wisdom and revelation,” if one has received within “Jesus Christ.” That then allows the “Christ” Mind to be the source of “wisdom and revelation,” so that all this comes “within,” as the “knowledge of him.” It says one can ONLY “come to know Jesus Christ” by BEING the resurrection of the Son of God in earthly form.

The fourth item I will address is the use of the word “elpis,” which has correctly been translated as “hope.” The NASB translation shows this word appearing in the statement, “you may know what is the hope to which he has called you.” (Ephesians 1:18b) The literal translation that I have provided shows this in the segment stating, “what is the hope of the calling of him.”

An English translation of the word “hope” finds verb usage as: “To wish for a particular event that one considers possible;” and “To desire and consider possible.” As a noun it means, “The longing or desire for something accompanied by the belief in the possibility of its occurrence.” When its meaning is applied to Christian ideology, the definition becomes, “The theological virtue defined as the desire and search for a future good, difficult but not impossible to attain with God’s help.” These definitions have become so ingrained into the intellect of humans that speak English fluently that one reads “hope” in a Scriptural context and immediately thinks, “That is some big wish made by Paul for the Ephesians to live up to.”

That is not what Paul meant when he wrote the word “elpis.” The word is rooted in the Greek word “elpō,” which means, “to anticipate, welcome” – properly, expectation of what is sure (certain); hope.” As such, “elpis” means “expectation, trust, and confidence,” which means that “hope” becomes the conditions by which God calls His Son to use a believer as one of His saints.

Hope is the expectation of devoted service. It is the trust that God has in His Son. It is the confidence that the presence of the Holy Spirit brings to an Apostle. Therefore, the only “hope, desire, longing and wishing” is not IN the saint, but in those who are called to Jesus by one confidently presenting hope in a world of despair.

Finally, I would like to the verse that states, “and above every name that is named” (NASB), which I show literally to say, “and every name being named.” (Ephesians 1:21e). This segment follows a trinity of traits held by Christ, as King (the theme of Christ the King Sunday): authority, power, and dominion. All fall with his realm of “principality,” where Jesus Christ rules as the Prince of Peace. Because this series of kingly attributes leads to Paul writing of the church (“ekklésia”), it is easy to bounce right over this speed bump that says, “every name being named.”

Since God rules in Heaven, Jesus Christ can only be King of the Earth. Because Jesus told Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place” (John 18:36) the Earth is the matter of which human beings are made – flesh, sinew, bones and blood, all metaphorically deemed as “clay”.

This means the verses that say, “and him gave head over all things to the church, which is the body of him” (Ephesians 1:22b and Ephesians 1:23a) are directly referring to the physical body of a saint as the church of him, where that body’s brain, in the head, becomes the throne upon which the Mind of Christ rules. Christ is King of the kingdom of saints, where each individual is a church and a collection of saints represents the Church.

When this view is grasped, then one can read “and every name being named” as “pantos onomatos” is stating “each character” or “all reputation” that is “authority, and power, and dominion” of “Christ, raised from dead” (as one born mortal to one eternal in Spirit), that only goes by one name – Jesus Christ. Therefore, the realm of Christ is that which is “onomazomenou,” or “being named” in “each character” identified as saints.

As I see that I have now surpassed the 2,800 word mark (given that about 360 are from stating the Epistle twice), I will conclude with these observations. These observations (I feel) are most important for Christians to understand. Of course, I could go word-by-word in this selection of Paul’s letter to the Christians of Ephesus, and exceed 4,000 words AND still leave many interpretations incomplete. So, I will leave the rest for the reader, as holy homework.

Good studies!

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