The man born blind healed by Jesus

Sometimes (maybe most of the time?) it is easy to see all the stories of Scripture and read them all (or listen to them read to you as you lounge in a pew) and think no more about what was said. It is easy to become ‘linear’ and only see the lessons from which faith can be gained as a cardboard picture book, with none of the depth and width of real life becoming a time and place your soul can be transported to, so one can live with the characters who seem so one-time, two dimensional. That is why I want to tell you about Sidonius, the man born blind, who was healed by Jesus. Sidonius was a real man, who lived in real times, just like the real times we live in today. However, few know his name; and, less know his history.

So, allow me to fill you in with some background.

In the early spread of Christianity into France, there is the story of The Three Marys (see section “Legend in France”), who were Mary Magdalene, Mary of Clopas (or Cleopas), and Mary Jacobe.  Those three women, along with others: Lazarus, Joseph of Arimathea, Maximus, Sidonius, and a child (possibly an infant) named Sarah, were all set adrift on a rudderless raft (possibly without a sail also) in the Mediterranean Sea, off Egypt, expected to sink and drown.  Instead, the raft miraculous landed in the Camargue region (swamp area between the Rhone and Petite Rhone rivers) of Gaul.  Where they landed was originally called Oppidum-Râ, which means “enclosed space of the raft,” or read as “our lady of the raft.”  That place later became named Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, or Saints-Marys-of-the-Sea.

From a museum in Salon de Provence that depicts this event.

I believe anyone who is interested in the spread of Christianity beyond Italy and Greece should read more on this topic.  It is at the root of the book Holy Blood, Holy Grail.  I believe the child Sarah – also called the “Black Madonna,” presumably because she was of Egyptian blood and dark complexed – was the daughter of John the Beloved, who was the son of Jesus.  So, I do believe in a holy bloodline, from which royal lines sprang [the last of which cling to significance in modern times, like the Windsor’s of England].

My interest in this history, which is strongly believed and revered by man, led me to investigate who Maximus and Sidonius (a.k.a. Celidonius) were.  Everyone of those on the raft, who landed in Gaul, became saints, known for miracles; but each went to different places to settle.  They were not saints that saw a need to hang out together and shun the pagan people.

They were not like clergy is today, where one prominent priest once said in my presence, “Being a priest puts a fence between the clergy and the great unwashed, which nary a one shall cross and intermingle.” [I paraphrase, greatly.] 

Those of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer were spreading out true Christianity among the people, well before the Roman Emperor Constantine decided to call his diminished empire “holy.”  I believe the advent of the Cathars came from both this spread of saints and pilgrims who came to offer support and stayed.

Maximus is said to be one of the seventy who were sent out in ministry by Jesus.  This is called the “seventy-two” by some, but I believe the number is “seventy” in pairs (“two” each).  It can be seventy-two; but here is what Scripture says (below).  I’ll leave it up to you to decide why “dyo” is in parentheses.

With a name like Maximus, this sounds like he could have been Roman.  Jesus healed the “servant” of a Centurion – sight unseen, therefore no name was given.  It could be the Centurion returned home and found his slave healed; so, out of respect for Jesus, he could have freed the slave, whose name could well have been Maximus.  Most likely, the slave would have been told his healing was the result of an order given by Jesus; so, it would be likely that Maximus would seek Jesus and serve him.  In that service, he would then be paired with another such servant and sent into ministry as an intern who was touched by the Spirit.

As to Sidonius, he is said to have been the man born blind, who Jesus healed on a Sabbath, causing the Pharisees to get their panties in a wad.  From my research on Sidonius (and I cannot locate that source at this moment), after Jesus healed him, he was said to have committed himself to serving in the house of Mary, Martha and Lazarus, in Bethany.  As a man who had only known begging as a profession, being a volunteer servant or slave would have been a way to be useful.  When I read that, it made sense to me that when Lazarus became ill, the one (or one of those) sent to tell Jesus would have been Sidonius.  This becomes important to realize, as the only way to get from Bethany to Bethany Beyond the Jordan was through Jericho.

In John 11 we read that Lazarus became ill and his sisters sent word to Jesus.  That was written by John as a child who was not ‘on the road’ with Jesus, so he stayed with his mother in Bethany.  It is possible that John accompanied Sidonius in making that message of the urgency of Lazarus’ illness be known to Jesus (thus John was an eye witness who wrote of that event).  That was prior to Mark, Matthew, and Luke writing about Jesus passing through Jericho.  As Jesus waited two days before leaving, Sidonius and John would have returned to Bethany prior to Jesus and the other followers beyond the Jordan.

When returning through Jericho, it would have been heartfelt to have been blind at birth and healed in his adult life (I imagine he was between twenty and thirty years of age when Jesus healed him) to hear the pleas of other blind beggars in Jericho.  This would have been when Sidonius (not a man of wealth) would have stopped and sat with the blind men, telling them his story of healing.  He would have been the one who told of Jesus the son of David, who had the abilities to cure blindness … and many other ailments.  One of the blind men Sidonius would have told that to would have been Bartimaeus.

The blind man Bartimaeus had been born with sight.  The loss of his eyesight was either from an accident, disease, or cataracts.  Knowing Jesus would be coming through Jericho soon, it would have been Sidonius who told the blind men to be listening for a large group of people coming through town, one of whom was named Jesus of Nazareth.

That explains the scene described by Mark and Matthew, where Bartimaeus (named by Mark, meaning Peter would come to know him later) would hear the name Jesus of Nazareth and begin shouting, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”  Then, after Jesus told Bartimaeus, “You faith has healed you,” and “immediately he received his sight,” the important (often forgotten) thing to read next is: “[Bartimaeus] followed Jesus along the road.”

Just like Sidonius became a servant of Jesus … and just like Maximus would follow and become one of the seventy (or 72) … so too would Bartimaeus become a devout servant of Jesus.  Because Peter knew his name [Mark wrote Peter’s Gospel account], the two developed a friendship as “brothers in Christ.”  Because Sidonius served Lazarus and knew Maximus as another who had been touched by the Spirit of Yahweh, through the presence of Jesus of Nazareth, Sidonius stayed with Mary Magdalene and Lazarus when they were sentenced to death by drowning at sea, to serve them to the end.  They all became known as saints, posthumously. 

I thought I would tell this story because it is the missing “3-D” reality of Scripture that is too often overlooked. It says Christianity was not just a bunch of wealthy people wanting to get into heaven, looking for a church organization that takes donations and not only gives absolution of sins for cash … they also mail out official donation accounting papers to use when filing income tax returns. True Christianity is about having been touched by Yahweh … because of your faith.

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The ethnon of Jerusalem

In the tenth chapter of Mark’s Gospel, verses 32 – 34 tell of Jesus foretelling of his coming persecution, death and resurrection. The big view timing of that third time telling his disciples that prophecy is that the group had just spent the winter [late-December to early March] in the region “beyond the Jordan” and they were then packing up to go back to Jerusalem.

In John’s eleventh chapter, he tells how messengers had been sent to tell Jesus Lazarus was ill. This was when the group began to relocate; but they were not in any hurry, because “Lazarus was just sleeping.”

In Mark’s verses 35 – 45, there is a request made by James and John of Zebedee, “one of us at your right hand and one of us at your left hand might sit.” Jesus divinely knew why the “sons of thunder” [“Boanerges”] wanted to stay by his sides, knowing they wanted to protect Jesus from the harm he had not long before said was coming to him. In response, Jesus asked the two, “Are you able to drink from the cup that I drink?”

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That needs to be a question that means Jesus was divinely led to know his future; so, it asked the ‘bruiser brothers’ if they could die for Jesus too, by drinking from the cup of death. The follow-up question, “Are you able to be baptized in the same way I am baptized?” [recalling how they were not there when John baptized Jesus and God spoke, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased,” but they were with Jesus at the Transfiguration when they heard God say, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”] was asking them if them dying in Jesus’ place would bring them back, as the Son of God.

They were questions of the divine things that are death [of self] and resurrection [as a Christ], so to speak.

The mundane reason Jesus asked if the two could drink from his cup was this: drinking wine from cups was a ritual of the Passover Seder meals [there are two each year]; and, the group was on the move because it was Passover time. Plus, Lazarus would be raised … privately.

Now, Matthew’s Gospel tells how it was the mother of James and John who initiated them asking Jesus to let them protect his life. That says the road trip beyond the Jordan had family invited to come along too. The entourage included women and children, wives and mothers of the disciples. Being gone from home for three months did not demand Jesus’ disciples be away from family, as his ministry was basically on ‘winter break.’

All of this timing is easy to see, as their trip back to Jerusalem would take them through Jericho, where things would take place; and, Jesus would invite himself and his followers to stay at Zacchaeus’ place overnight.

Still, after Jesus told James and John they were not ready yet to “drink from the same cup and be baptized in the same way,” we read that the other ten disciples heard the conversation and got angry. One can assume their anger was because James and John were not supposed to ask permission to protect Jesus.  They were to be the ones who all had decided that’s the way it will be, as agreed upon by all twelve.

The confusion then comes when we read Jesus heard their anger at their plan having failed, so he told them: “You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them; but it is not so among you.”
The confusion comes from reading that translation and asking, “What the heck do “the Gentiles” have to do with anything?”

The probability is Jesus was speaking in Aramaic, which means he would have used the word “goyim,” which means “nations of people,” with the intent being non-Israelite peoples. The Israelites had been taken from a “goy” in Egypt and taught by Moses to not be like the typical “nations of people” in the world.

In the translation of the actual language spoken by Jesus into Greek, Mark wrote “ethnōn,” which is the genitive plural of “ethnos.” That word then says, “of nations” or “of peoples.” To then translate that into English as “Gentiles” becomes significant; and, this one word explains why Jesus said this.

Jesus had not long before told his disciples that they would be returning to Jerusalem. He forewarned them of what would happen when they got there. He said [literally translated into English from the Greek], “the Son of man will be betrayed to the chief priest  kai  to the scribes  kai  they will condemn him to death  kai  will betray him to the esthnesin [Romans and non-Israelites]  kai  they will mock him  kai  will spit on him  kai  will flog him  kai  will put to death  kai  on the third day he will rise again.”

That prophecy was much more detailed than had the forewarning given the prior two times. In it, the Romans were known to be “Gentiles,” who were the ruling force occupying what had once been Israel and Judea. However, everything Jesus said would happen in Jerusalem has to be seen as by the hands of “ethnon.”

In Matthew 15:24, Jesus said to a Canaanite woman, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” He was not sent to the Jews, although the “lost sheep of Israel” identified by that race [a meaning of both “goy” and “ethnos”] and religious customs. This means understanding “ethnos” be important, as that is the root Greek word written by Mark.

According to HELPS Ministries and their Word-studies, they write: “éthnos (from ethō, “forming a custom, culture”) – properly, people joined by practicing similar customs or common culture; nation(s), usually referring to unbelieving Gentiles (non-Jews).”

That says the “customs or common culture” of the Jews who led Jerusalem constituted them as being in the same classification as they themselves would see “Gentiles.” Thus, Jesus was speaking of both the Jews of Herod’s Temple and the Romans under governor Pilate as practitioners of “customs or common culture” that had nothing to do with the “customs and common culture” of the Israelites led by Moses in the wilderness.

By seeing that, when Jesus then said, “those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them,” that speaks of the Temple elite (“their rulers who lord over them”] and the Roman power (“their great ones who tyrant over them”). This is then the Jews being deemed unworthy of affiliation with Yahweh’s “peoples,” if one’s soul hoped to be given life eternal (the objective brought before Jesus not long before this, by the young, rich ruler).

When Jesus then added, “whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all,” that becomes a synopsis of what being a true “Israelite” is, with the name “Israelite” meaning “On Who Retains God.” Those who are “peoples” or “nations” they give all honor and glory to “customs and common culture,” they are then too busy to become servants of Yahweh. They are too full of themselves to sacrifice self (and the riches that worship brings) in submission to a divine power.

When all of this is seen as coming from Jesus asking James and John, “Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” the custom or common culture of the Passover had been lost by the Jews. James and John were Jews; thus, they were not yet prepared to be Christians.

They were close, but not yet there.

They still followed the rituals they had been taught as children, with nobody ever telling them the truth about why they reenacted the Passover every year, a responsibility for eternity. The Jews were Gentiles in that sense; so, all Christians today are likewise “ethnos” who try to drink from the cup that Jesus drank from, when Jesus went to Jerusalem and said, “I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

Jesus did not drink from a physical cup. Jesus did not pass around one cup for a bunch of disciples and their families to all slobber over. [COVID forbid that happen today!!!] The Jews each had their own cup. It is that way every year they recognize a Passover Seder meal.  Cups for everyone, because one of the “customs or common cultures” is everyone gets drunk on wine!

The Jews are not like peoples who pass around a jug of wine by the campfire, at the railroad tracks. Everyone has their own cup to drink from; but Christians have no idea what the Jewish customs and common cultures are, relative to Passover.

Thus the question to be one at the right hand and one at the left hand.

You cannot go to heaven by being close to Jesus. You have to be Jesus reborn. When you drink from your cup, Jesus then drinks from the same cup, because his soul has been resurrected within your soul. Both souls possess the same body of flesh.  That state of being can only come when your soul has married Yahweh. At that time “Your Soul Retains God,” so you become a true “Israelite.”

Christianity today sits at the right hand of Jesus: passing around one cup of wine at an altar rail. It also sits at the left hand of Jesus: washing baby foreheads with water, or dunking teens in an industrial-sized baptismal pool. None of those “customs or common cultures” are teaching the children to become willing servants of Yahweh, marrying their soul to Him out of true love; and, then being reborn as the Son of man.

Heck, they can’t even teach their children the name of Yahweh.

So, like being turned over to the “ethnesin” of Jerusalem, Jesus is crucified time and time again.

He hangs on a cross (a beloved icon for car window decals and jewelry worn around the neck), while to the right hand of Jesus hangs a common criminal who confesses his sinful ways.  To the left hand of Jesus hangs another common criminal who curses Jesus, telling him what to do.

Those two, like the request made by the children James and John, came close to Jesus, but got no cigar, as far as redemption and salvation are concerned.

One got to be reincarnated after Judgment beside Jesus [not one with him]. The other went to the outer darkness and eternally grinds his spiritual teeth.

Meanwhile, Jesus is still waiting “until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” That would be your body of flesh newly married to Yahweh (“my Father’s kingdom”), with Jesus’ soul your new ‘live in brother’ for eternity.

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Stories told twice

In Genesis 13 we read of Abram and Lot separating. We are told: “Lot looked around and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan toward Zoar was well watered, like the garden of Yahweh, like the land of Egypt. (This was before Yahweh destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out toward the east. The two men parted company.” [Genesis 13:10-11]

Then, in Genesis 14 we read of Abram rescuing Lot. We read: “[Abram] recovered all the goods and brought back his relative Lot and his possessions, together with the women and the other people.” Then, Melchizedek blessed Abram as a “priest of el most high.”

Then, in Genesis 18 we read of Sodom going to be destroyed. A strange story ensues, where Abraham [that’s his name now] bargains to save Sodom if ten good people could be found there [that was down from an original fifty good people]. Lot lived there, with his wife and two daughters [four people].

So, another strange story is in Genesis 19, which tells of Lot being visited by three men [much like the three men who visited Abram and Sarai]. They tell Lot to head out of town quick, and don’t look back. Later we read, “Early the next morning Abraham got up and returned to the place where he had stood before the Lord. He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, toward all the land of the plain, and he saw dense smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace. So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived.” [Genesis 19:27-29]

This is like the same story being told, but with a different ending.

Then there is this: In Exodus 19 – 24 we read about Moses reaching Mount Sinai and meeting with Yahweh, getting the Covenant and having the elders agree to it. In Exodus 24:18 we read: “Then Moses entered the cloud as he went on up the mountain. And he stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights.”

Then, in Exodus 32 we read about the Golden Calf. Here we read: “Moses turned and went down the mountain with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands. They were inscribed on both sides, front and back.” [Exodus 32:15] Then: “When Moses approached the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, his anger burned and he threw the tablets out of his hands, breaking them to pieces at the foot of the mountain.” [Exodus 32:19]

Then, in Exodus 34 we read of The New Stone Tablets. In verse 28 we read: “Moses was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant—the Ten Commandments.”

This is like the same story being told, but with a different ending.

I believe all of this is the truth, with the exception of the truth of the second stories in this pair being prophecies. The element of the broken tablets and the golden calf took place when both Israel and Judah fell into ruin and collapse. The second trip up the mountain, with a new set of tablets brought down are the New Testament. That was Moses prophesying the same Covenant that married the souls of the Israelites to Yahweh would be the same Covenant that would marry the souls of Christians to Yahweh. There is no escaping that marriage vow and the expectation to forever maintain that agreement that brings eternal Salvation.

As for the prophecy of Genesis, there is significance in the name change from Abram to Abraham. Abram was prior to having descendants. Abraham was after having descendants [even though the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was presented before Isaac was born]. This makes the story of Abram be one that took place back when; but the story of Abraham and Lot being a story prophesied that has yet to come. There is no evidence of a destructive event having ever occurred, such as that described in Genesis. Thus, that is a prophecy that still awaits the world.

The aspect of Abram saving Lot has passed. Abraham and Lot reflect a separation that exists until the end, where the Abrahams of the world will be those souls truly married to Yahweh, as His Saints. This makes all the Lots of the world be the Christians in name only [not works or deeds], who slum around with all the heathen Gentiles, pretending to be holy, while loving every minute of the debauchery of the world. All the goodie-goodie Christians that love the Left Behind movies produced in the ‘Sodom and Gomorrah’ that is Hollywood, might get to be the few who escape the total annihilation of the world, which they did nothing to stop and helped to come about. When Abraham looked down on the smoky ruins of the world, it was as a soul saved. Lot represents lost souls hiding in the caves where Satan lives.

As for all the Hollywood productions about zombies, well that will be the truth of hell being on earth. Souls are eternal; but lost souls cannot find entrance into heaven. After the world has been destroyed [by mankind being led by demons], then the souls get to come back into rotting flesh and limp around forever, parts falling off left and right. There will be no death for those souls already condemned to live in the realm they sold their souls for – Zombieland.

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Job mysteries

The Book of Job is a mystery. Some believe it was orated by Moses and later put down on a scroll. Still, nobody knows who Job was, in relation to any of the other Biblical figures, such as pre-Moses Abraham, Noah, et al.

In Job 1:6 is written (literally from the Hebrew): “and there was a day  ,  and when came the sons elohim  ,  to present themselves under Yahweh  ;  and came also the adversary among them  .” In this, the Hebrew word [transliterated] is “haś·śā·ṭān,” from “satan,” which Christian-English translations call “Satan.” Hebrew sites refer to this as a capitalized identification [“the Adversary”], where the meaning of “satan” means “adversary,” but also “accuser” and “withstand.”

In Job 2:1 is written (literally from the Hebrew): “and again there was a day  ,  when the sons of elohim came to present themselves under Yahweh  ;  and came also the adversary among them  ,  to present himself under Yahweh  .” Here, an additional segment of words is presented, which says “the adversary” was not only “among the sons of elohim,” but like all of those angels “under Yahweh” and had to present himself as such. The preposition “’al-“ typically translates as “upon, above, over,” but there are twelve times it is found in Scripture translated as “under.” [NAS Translations]  To say “under Yahweh” sound more accurate than “before Yahweh,” as most translations state.

This says three things that are important. First, it says Yahweh created the elohim, which are the angels who were deployed in the Creation. Thirty-two times in Genesis 1 is “elohim” written, with no direct mention of “Yahweh.” Genesis 1:1 begins by stating “In the beginning created elohim,” which infers “Yahweh” first “created elohim,” who then carried out His plan for Creation. Second, it says Yahweh created a necessary “angel” [“el”] that would be the one to test the products of the Creation, as a ‘devil’s advocate’ to make sure everything was made to specs and no shortcuts were taken or rules broken. Third, it says one of the “elohim” stood out “among them,” as something of a leader, whose purpose was to question Yahweh’s decisions; and, this would later lead to a rebellion among the elohim, at which point the “adversary” and his elohim followers would be cast within the depths of the earth and no longer allowed to attend meetings where “the sons of elohim would present themselves under Yahweh.”

The story of the angel rebellion is told in the apocryphal Book of Enoch. Adam was 622 years old when Enoch was born, making Enoch represent a sixth generation Patriarch. Adam would die at age 930, when Enoch was 308. Fifty-seven years later, Enoch would ascend to heaven without dying. Before Enoch ascended, he made trips to the heavenly realm, at which points he accessed what can be called the Akashic Record, which is a record kept of all things at all times, past, present, and future. One can assume that the angel rebellion was after the creation of man, because it was Yahweh’s order that “elohim” serve man, that angered the lead angel [one like Satan]. That anger was because the rules established for “elohim” was to submit only to Yahweh. For the fallen angels to submit to man – animals they had created in their image [at Yahweh’s command] – was not following the rules. Still, one can assume that Enoch was shown this separation in the “elohim” as having taken place prior to his birth.  That means the story of Job took place prior to this fall, making him somehow related to that holy line of men.

In Job 2:3, Yahweh said to “the adversary,” “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man who fears elohim and turns away from evil. He still persists in his integrity, although you incited me against him, to destroy him for no reason.” For Yahweh to say, “There is no one like him on the earth,” that means there were no humans that were “blameless and upright,” and it means Job was aware of “elohim,” enough to turn away from them because he knew they brought evil with them. Because Adam’s lineage included Seth, when Adam was one hundred thirty, and then Seth led to the lines of Enosh, Kenan, Mahalaleel, Jared and then Enoch, who were all upright and blameless as Patriarchs of Adam, this says Job was Adam.  It would mean the story of Job referred to some time between the loss of Cain (banished) and Abel (murdered) and the birth of Seth.

When one knows that the reason the “adversary” would lead a rebellion against Yahweh and His good “elohim,” because he could not go against his honor to serve only Yahweh, this is seen in the character of “the adversary” in Job. When he tells Yahweh, “Skin for skin! All that people have they will give to save their lives. But stretch out your hand now and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face” (Job 2:4-5), that speaks of his lack of respect experienced by himself, when dealing with humans.

Further, in Job 1:10, where “the adversary” told Yahweh in the first meeting of the “elohim under Yahweh,” “Have you not put a fence around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.” That speaks of Job being in a protected environment. The word translated as “fence” can also say “hedge,” which can be seen as a statement about the “enclosure” that is called a “garden.” The Hebrew word “gan” (written in Genesis 2:8) means both. Thus, a growth typically found in ornamental gardens is walls of shrubbery, which are “hedges.” They “hedge” against penetration into an enclosure, because of the thickness of their limbs [as thickets].

While this is completely impossible to verify, I feel it is worth sharing what I saw emerging from the text of Job. In Job 42, the last section, we are told “after this, Job lived one hundred forty years.” Seeing how we do not know how long Job suffered, and how long he lived prior as “blameless and upright,” when he had ten children [seven sons and three daughters], simply by seeing him live that long after says Job was a member of the Patriarch lineage, being of divine origin. Still, the numbers do not add up; and, there are other names and places that further make it impossible to fully understand who Job was.  It is a mystery, certainly.

As one last element, the name “Job” (while uncertain) is believed to mean “Returning.” [Abarim Publications] This says a soul that had once been in Heaven would be “Returning” after surviving a challenge by the “adversary.”  For the sin of listening to his wife and eating forbidden fruit [a plan Yahweh knew would take place … like showing a child you are putting the tasty cookies in the cookie jar that is on the table in front of him or her, and then saying, “Don’t eat the cookies” … Well, what do you think will happen?], after 930 years of not only being blameless and upright, Adam raised Seth to be the same, and doted grandfatherly with all the other Patriarch Saints [“Yahweh elohim“].  I get the feel Adam ended up “Returning” to Yahweh, having served his time well.

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The translation that says “Lord”

In every book of the Old Testament, there are translations into English where the Hebrew written is “יְהוָ֗ה,” which is “yhwh” [Hebrew really doesn’t have and vowels as letters], transliterated as “yah-weh.”  The Germans see this as “jhvh,” so they probably transliterate it as “je-ho-vah.”  There are no capital letters in Hebrew, but English applies capitalization, so the Hebrew shows “Yahweh” [or “Jehovah“].  Then, translators of English show [in all cases] the word “Lord.”

Now, it is important to realize that Moses had been raised as an Egyptian, not knowing his nanny was really his mommy.  He did not know he was a descendant of peoples who believed in only one god, rather than the myriad of gods the Egyptians believed in.  When Moses found out he was one of those people, he saw how the Egyptian society was mistreating them as subhuman, persecuting them harshly.  Moses had been a part of that ‘racism,’ thinking he was a prince of Pharaoh, with a high-ranking position in the government.  Then, when he found out he was not Egyptian, but of immigrant blood, he saw Egyptian soldiers mistreating some of his new found people, so he acted in anger and murdered.  Then, Moses ran away to save his life.  He went to live with his uncle – one of his new people – and went from being a prince to being a shepherd.

That says Moses was a sinner, but only in the eyes of the One God that his new found blood worshiped.  Who knows what rules Jacob had established?  Who knows what guidelines Joseph established?  Moses didn’t know any.  Moses only knew he had broken Egyptian law by murdering, so he had to stay out of Egypt or be executed as a murderer.  So, Moses was okay with herding sheep as a living shepherd.  It sure beat being a dead prince in Egypt.

Then, all of a sudden, Moses sees a strange fire-like blaze in a bush; but it wasn’t real fire, because the bush was not smoking and wasting away into ash.  Then, the strange fire began talking to Moses.  It said it was the God of his people and that God wanted Moses to go back to Egypt and take all his relatives out.  Moses asked, “What god shall I tell Pharaoh sent me, giving me approval to do such a thing?  And, what god will my new found people recognize as the one they believe in?”  Moses was then told, “’eh·yeh ’ă·šer ’eh·yeh” or “hayah asher hayah,” meaning “I Am Who I Am.”  Because the Jews fear speaking the name of their G_d, they reduce that full name to an abbreviation: yhwh, so “Yahweh” bears the same specific meaning.

Now, to add a little kicker to this name, in Exodus 3:15c is written this instruction: “This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation.”  With that said, it should be realized that Moses was not writing all this down as it happened.  He was divinely led to orate this story much later; and, true Israelites were divinely led to memorize it, until others were divinely led to write it down on scrolls.  Every one of the Israelites knew this instruction; and, all the Old Testament writers referred to Yahweh by name … because of that instruction.

If Moses had walked back to Egypt without Yahweh’s presence in him, but instead walked with a translator of Hebrew into English, Moses would have been so confused he would have told Pharaoh and told the elders of the tribes of Jacob, “The Lord sent me.  Pack your things and get ready to move.”

Of course, everyone would have asked, “What “lord”?  Besides the gods of Egypt (which are many), we have all kinds of “lords” that rule over us: adultery, murder, theft, lying, just to name a few.  Can you be a little more specific?”

Nobody would have ever left Egypt, had Moses showed up naming “Lord” as the one who sent him.

Now, in Exodus 3, in the Hebrew text, there are twenty-one variations of “elohim” written, with every one of them translated into English as “God.”  The Hebrew word “el” means “god” [no capitalization].  The Hebrew word “elohim” means “gods” [no capitalization].  This means most of the times the conversation Moses had was with “gods” or “elohim.” In the same chapter are found seven times “Yahweh” is written, with four of those times connecting to a form of “elohim,” as “Yahweh elohim.”  The first use of “Yahweh” follows the word “malak,” where “malak Yahweh” means “angel Yahweh.” It is important to see elohim” (“gods”) as “malek” (“angels”). 

Then, there are two stand-alone presentations of “Yahweh,” where “Yahweh” needs to be read in the same light of “malak,” where “angels” are “gods,” meaning purely spiritual, not physical.  When seeing this, a “Yahweh elohim” is a soul that has been divinely possessed by Yahweh.   So, when the “elohim” were talking to Moses [not actually “God” – “el“], it was really Moses’ soul receiving the word of Yahweh, prior to Yahweh entering Moses and possessing him.

When Yahweh told Moses, “Don’t worry about not being a good public speaker.  I will do all the talking for you,” that means Moses became a “Yahweh elohim,” by agreeing to do what Yahweh said do.  Moses lowered his self-ego in submission to his God, the one named “Yahweh.”

Of course, I was raised to read “Lord” and think “Lord” meant God, the only God, the One God.  It is easy to say “Lord,” when thinking about God.  People understand (most of them) that to say “Lord” means to refer to God.  English-speaking Christians have been programed to say “Lord,” and not “Yahweh,” because “Yahweh” is the God of Israel.  And, after all, it was those filthy Jews who crucified Jesus.  So, forget about calling “Yahweh” that name.  

When one realizes that Yahweh told Moses his name before Moses agreed to become devoted to Yahweh and become one of His “Yahweh elohim,” Moses did not orate that Yahweh also said, “This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation,” as if Moses had been told that only for his benefit … or even just the benefit of the Israelites, later to be called Jews.  That is a key thing to know.  It says, “Learn my name and use it, or go back to shepherding sheep and goats.”  It says, “Lord” will not cut it, if a soul wants to go to heaven.

P.S.: The word “Yahweh” appears in the Old Testament 6220 times [Strong’s #3068].  There are 2,598 times a variation of “elohim” is found written in the Hebrew texts [78 variations].  There are only 325 times a variation of “adon” [meaning “lord”] is found written [30 variation].  That says, “If Yahweh wanted to be known as “Lord,” then he would have used “adon” a lot more.”

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What’s a teraphim?

A Google search of the word “teraphim” brings up this definition: “small images or cult objects used as domestic deities or oracles by ancient Semitic peoples.” [Oxford Languages]

The Wikipedia article entitled “Teraphim” says, “a Hebrew word from the Bible, found only in the plural, of uncertain etymology.” That goes on to say, “The word Teraphim is explained in classical rabbinical literature as meaning disgraceful things.” That is continued with this: “many English translations of the Bible it is translated as idols, or household god(s) although its exact meaning is more specific than this, but unknown precisely.”

The Biblical reference most often used (unofficially) refers to Rachel going back to steal Laban’s (her father’s) “teraphim” [translated as “household idols” or “household gods”]. (Genesis 31:19) Jacob did not know Rachel had done this. (Genesis 31:20) Laban was out searing sheep when Jacob left, taking with him lots of livestock, plus his wives, concubines and children. Laban chased after Jacob, catching up with him; but rather than want his daughters, grandchildren, and livestock back, he was more interested in his missing “teraphim.” So, he searched everyone’s tent, looking for them [it is a plural word]. When Laban entered Rachel’s tent, she had the “teraphim” stuck in her camel’s saddlebag, which she sat on top of. She told Laban, “Excuse my not getting up, but its that time of the month.”

Laban can’t find the “teraphim” and Jacob denied knowing anything about them. Jacob told the truth, which says had he known Rachel had the “teraphim,” then he would have told her, “Get those things out of here.” So, Laban and Jacob reached an agreement to set up a pile of rocks that denoted: “Stay on your side of this pile of rocks and I’ll stay on mine!”

Okay, gather around the campfire kiddies and let me explain the whats and whys of this story.

First, a teraphim is any of the many tools of divination that can be used to get in touch with spirits that can tell you interesting things. Some of the fifteen references to “teraphim” in the Old Testament associate “teraphim” with an “ephod,” which generally is a cloth garment, but specifically “an elaborate garment worn by the high priest, and upon which the Hoshen, or breastplate containing Urim and Thummim, rested.” That specific “ephod” was copyrighted for Tabernacle High Priests only, but copyright infringements took place, meaning cheap knockoffs were mass produced in China and then sold to shyster diviners all around the world. That gave “teraphim” and “ephods” a bad name, which still is in effect today.

In regard to this, “teraphim” and “epohds” can be quite accurate, regardless of the user. They can be seen as tools like a Ouija Board or one of those Magic 8 Balls. I see what Rachel took as more like Tarot Cards or Runes that could be cast. It could even be something like astrological birth charts that Laban had cast for every family member, so he could know when each had bad star alignments, so he could take advantage of that information.

Knowing this, “teraphim” needs to be seen as like guns and hammers. Both are deadly weapons when in the hands of fools. But, in the hands of divinely led people, the same tools can build houses and shoot criminals dead (or hunt for food, whichever terrain one lives in, making one or the other more beneficial). Thus, when Saul was having a panic attack and needed some good advice, he broke his own law that banished diviners from Israel and he dressed up like a woman and had a woman diviner bring up dead Samuel. It worked find. Samuel just told Saul, “Don’t call again. Besides, you will die in battle soon; and you won’t be coming near where I am now. See ya.”

So, secondly, Rachel knew Laban knew how to use “teraphim” to his advantage; and, she knew Laban would use the “teraphim” against Jacob. So, she stole them to keep Jacob from being stopped from leaving by Laban. Laban knew he was powerless without the use of “teraphim,” so he agreed to the rock pile settlement.

As far as fear of “teraphim” goes, the heuristic to live by is this: Fear only Yahweh. Everything else will be taken care of, as long as you only fear the One God. Of course, that means marrying one’s soul to Yahweh, so His Spirit protects you always, like Yahweh was protecting Jacob, by using Rachel to steal Laban’s “teraphim.” Ordinarily stealing is bad, but when Yahweh says “Do it,” then it is okay. So, using “teraphim” with Yahweh’s approval is also okay. For that to happen though, one has to have studied one particular “teraph” for about thirty years or so. You can practice on all your school of prophets buddies, before Yahweh will put your talent to good use.

P.S.

Those guys who came from the East, bearing gifts for baby Jesus, called Magi, they were some like that. They were divinely led by Yahweh; but they were divinely led to use “teraphim” in that service. Moral of the story is this: If you see someone with a sign in the front yard that says, “Psychic Here,” keep on driving.

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Why doesn’t it just say that?

On June 4, 2017 – Pentecost Sunday – I attended a lectionary class before the main service at an Episcopal church.  The reading being discussed was Acts 2, which tells of the Spirit of Yahweh filling the apostles of Jesus, in an upper room of a building in Jerusalem.  After the priest read the scheduled reading, the floor was opened for discussion: “What does that mean to you?

After nobody offered any insights or thoughts, I pointed out one thing that made me read those same words differently.  I said, “Where it says Peter “raised his voice,” the word “raised” should be seen not so much as him speaking loudly, but that his voice was raised spiritually.  It says to me that Peter spoke with an uplifted voice.”

One woman – an influential member of that church, who was highly educated, an advanced degreed professional, who was wealthy and comfortably retired by the age of fifty-five – burst out saying to me (almost with spittle flying off her lips), “Then why doesn’t it just say that?”

That woman spoke what I believe most American Christians believe, which is this: Everything in the New Testament occurred exactly like a Hollywood movie, with all scripts written in English.  Because the English says “raised,” then it can only mean “loudly.”

To be sure of this, I looked up the English definition of “raised,” which is relative to “raise.”  It is not as simple a translation as the woman thought.

According to Merriam-Webster, the word “raise” has multiple definitions, as a transitive verb.  They are:

1to cause or help to rise to a standing position
2aAWAKENAROUSE
bto stir up INCITEraise a rebellion
cto flush (game) from cover
dto recall from or as if from death
3ato set upright by lifting or buildingraise a monument
bto lift upraise your handraise sunken treasure
cto place higher in rank or dignity ELEVATE
dHEIGHTENINVIGORATEraise the spirits
eto end or suspend the operation or validity ofraise a siege
4to get together for a purpose COLLECTraise funds
5aGROWCULTIVATEraise cotton
bto bring to maturity REARraise a child
cto breed and bring (an animal) to maturity
6ato give rise to PROVOKEraise a commotion
bto give voice toraise a cheer
7to bring up for consideration or debateraise an issue
8ato increase the strength, intensity, or pitch ofdon’t raise your voice
bto increase the degree of
cto cause to rise in level or amountraise the rent
d(1)to increase the amount of (a poker bet)
(2)to bet more than (a previous bettor)
e(1)to make a higher bridge bid in (a partner’s suit)
(2)to increase the bid of (one’s partner)
9to make light and porousraise dough
10to cause to ascendraise the dust
11to multiply (a quantity) by itself a specified number of timesraise two to the fourth power
12to bring in sight on the horizon by approachingraise land
13ato bring up the nap of (cloth)
bto cause (something, such as a blister) to form on the skin
14to increase the nominal value of fraudulentlyraise a check
15to articulate (a sound) with the tongue in a higher position
16to establish radio communication with

Of course, Peter was not speaking to Jewish pilgrims in Jerusalem for the Passover in English.  Luke (the writer of Acts) was not writing in English; so, one needs to really look at what Greek words he wrote and then discern what the definitions are for the word translated into English as “raised.”.

Acts 2:14b was written in Greek: “ἐπῆρεν τὴν φωνὴν αὐτοῦ”.  That transliterates as “epēren tēn phōnēn autou“.  Those four words in Greek are commonly translated into English in three ways:

First, as “raised his voice”.  This is the most common English translation and the one read aloud in that church class on that Pentecost Sunday.  That same translation is found promoted by many English versions of Acts 2, with some of the most prominent being: New International Version (NIV); New American Standard Bible (NASB); New Revised Standard Version (NRSV); and, Christian Standard Bible (CSB). [Again, with many others drawing the same conclusion.]

Still, there are multiple versions that use different terminology.  They instead translate the same four Greek words as saying, “lifted up his voice”.  This variation can be found in the King James Version (KJV); English Standard Version (ESV); and, American Standard Version (ASV).  There might be others.

Still further, I found one translation site that offers this as the translation of the Greek written: “spoke in a loud and clear voice”.  That is presented by the Contemporary English Version (CEV).

The Greek word “ἐπῆρεν” (“epēren“) comes from the root verb “epairó” (“ἐπαίρω”) and is said to mean “to lift up.” (Strong’s Definition)  It can also mean “I raise, lift up.” (Strong’s Usage)  The word appears in the New Testament nineteen times, translated in these ways: “exalts (1), hoisting (1), lift (3), lifted (4), lifting (4), raised (5), turning (1).” (NASB Exhaustive Concordance)  Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance adds this as the intent and meaning: exalt self, poise, lift up,” saying it comes “from epi and airo; to raise up (literally or figuratively) — exalt self, poise (lift, take) up.”

My point is this: Everything written in the Holy Bible is either in Hebrew [Old Testament] or Greek [New Testament].  European Christians, those following the Roman Catholic Church, were read texts that were translated into Latin.  Because Latin is a similar language to both Hebrew and Greek, in the sense that the written text is less etched in stone (as to the meaning) and more open for multiplicity in meaning, the RCC refused to allow for translations into local languages, which were not so accommodating to divine Scripture.  However, Martin Luther broke the rules and translated the Holy Bible into German; and, now English paraphrases have been the rage ever since ole King James was King of England and he followed Brother Martin’s lead.

In the above four Greek words, the scope of meaning for each of those words means it is possible for them to say this: “he lifted up this language same”.  In that, following the imagery of “tongues on fire,” to limit “phōnēn” as only “voice,” when it means “a sound, noise, voice, language, dialect” [rooted in “phóné“], leads one to only read “raised voice” in terms of loudness, not as being “raised” in “language” that could be stated.  The common pronoun “autou” seems a standard translation as “his,” but the word is the genitive singular of “αὐτός (autós),” meaning “of same,” or “of himself.”  When “of same” is seen as an equal level of “raised,” a state that matches the “tongues on fire” from the Spirit of Yahweh, then “autou” becomes a statement that says Peter was then speaking from a divine state “of being.”  When a “self” is seen as a “soul,” then a translation as “of himself” means Peter spoke from an elevated state “of soul,” that being the “same” as the Spirit that set his “tongue on fire.”

The problem American Christians have was voiced by that uppity woman, who refused to accept some peon like me could offer anything of value in a lectionary class, when no one else had any opinions of value to offer.  They had all been trained to keep their mouths shut.  That was why they all said nothing, when asked, “What does that mean to you?”  If it means anything more than “Peter yelled out at the top of his lungs,” which is something all American Christians can equally do, then that “more” would mean American Christians would have to do “more” too.  No American Christian wants that.

If Peter spoke divinely, then that raises more questions about what changed Peter.  The can of worms that opens is it forces all ‘do nothing’ American Christians to do what Peter and the eleven did – stand up and speak divine truth.  

That becomes a question for discussion: How does one become divinely “raised”?  That is why one should attend Bible Studies.  But …

That “more” is too much, it seems.

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Teaching human precepts as doctrines

In Mark 7 we read about some Pharisees and scribes telling Jesus his disciples were not following the laws, because they ate grains without washing their hands. In verses six and seven, Jesus “said to them, “Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching human precepts as doctrines.’

That quote comes from Isaiah 29:13, which says: “The Lord said: Because these people draw near with their mouths and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their worship of me is a human commandment learned by rote.” [NRSV]

In the two, it is clear there are some differences of translation. One can expect Jesus spoke Aramaic (if not Hebrew) to the Pharisees and scribes, which was heard by the disciple Peter in that native language. Peter, in turn, told his divine remembrances to the Apostle Mark, who was led by Yahweh to write the Greek text from which Mark 7 comes. Since Mark, Peter, and Jesus were all led by Yahweh’s Mind [I call it the ‘Christ Mind’], one can see how Isaiah was likewise divinely led. Therefore he wrote, “way·yō·mer ’ă·ḏō·nāy,” which translates as “and said adonay,” where “adonay” must be understood to mean a soul animating a body of flesh that has become married to Yahweh, thus the voice of Yahweh as one of His “adonay” [Hebrew meaning “lords,” in the plural].

The key words in Hebrew that I want to address now are written: “יִרְאָתָם אֹתִי, מִצְוַת אֲנָשִׁים מְלֻמָּדָה,” which transliterates as, “yir·’ā·ṯām ’ō·ṯî , miṣ·waṯ ’ă·nā·šîm mə·lum·mā·ḏāh.” The NRSV translation of this says, “and their worship of me is a human commandment learned by rote.” An alternate translation of the same Hebrew words can be: “their fear towards me , by the commandment of men taught.” Thus, Yahweh spoke through His Son Jesus, quoting Himself speaking through Isaiah, saying, “Vainly now they worship me , Teaching instructions of religious precepts ill-advised of men.” [From the Greek written: “Matēn de sebontai me , Didaskontes didaskalias entalmata anthrōpōn.”]

All of this must be seen as the voice of Yahweh speaking through a human being whose soul has married Yahweh, so that soul has been filled with Yahweh’s Spirit and is then the hand of God extended into the worldly plane. If one does not believe that, fully, then one is a human being much like the Pharisees and scribes to whom Jesus spoke, or a human being much like the rulers of a collapsing Jerusalem [the remnant left of Judah’s kingdom] to whom Isaiah spoke. Certainly deductions in intellectual acumen can be made for theologians and rulers in these modern times, when most human beings are spiritually dumb as stumps.

The only way to understand divine Scripture is to be married to Yahweh, so His Christ Mind tells your soul what the meaning is. Dressing up like a Pharisee or a scribe [or a seminarian graduate or hired hand of a religious organization] does not make one an authority on divine Scripture.

The Judaic system of religion was the remnant of the system of religion that cried a trail of tears all the way from Jerusalem to Babylon, and back, because their concepts of what Scripture means were so far off base that Yahweh allowed them to ruin themselves. In an effort to try and save their sorry asses from crying their eyeballs out, He sent Isaiah [and others also filled with the Spirit of Yahweh, like Isaiah] to tell them, “You have it all wrong. The only way to save your face is to lower it in submission to the One God, the one you claim to worship, but then do nothing more than give Him lip service.”

Jesus tried to keep the Jews from losing the scent on the land they claimed to be their property, even though they broke every vow they had taken.  Still, they would gladly sell what was left of their future souls to anyone willing to loan them a few tanks and make it easy for them to win a false war against poor Bedouins.  Of course, they would pay dearly if the deal included a false deed for the land, so they could call it home again. Of course, the Romans got that ball rolling again when they tired of the Jews and destroyed the temple they put so much money into. Then, all the Jews got kicked off the land and made slaves to the world. [Until WWII ended and the British fulfilled their wish; and, the United Nations then rubber stamped it as okie dokie.]

Christianity was built on the souls of human beings who had married Yahweh. It was initially built from Jews who all became Jesus reborn, after the soul of Jesus was resurrected within their souls [call that Eudaimonia]. To be Jesus [the name means “Yah[weh] Saves”] reborn, one’s soul has to be married to Yahweh. Marriage means making babies, so the Husband penetrates the wifey [all souls in flesh are feminine essence, as souls have no gender alone, as being eternal brings no need or capability to reproduce] and makes baby Jesus become alive in the flesh [again, over and over]. Christianity spread like wildfire when Saints walked the face of the earth in great numbers. But then, the Roman emperor clamped down on Saints, squeezing the eternal life out of Yahweh’s Spirit in human forms; so, now they have rainbow flags hanging outside churches, just to let everyone know: “Welcome to where we are gladly teachers of human precepts as doctrines.”

… and the moral of the story still leads to that trail of tears.  How many prophets does it take to get a religion to come to Jesus?

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The Pharisee and the Tax Collector

In Luke 18, readers find that Jesus “told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt.” (Luke 18:9)

The parable was of two men who went to the temple to pray, which references the three times a day that the Jews were called to prayer. During the pilgrim seasons, when Jerusalem was abuzz with out-of-towners, the Temple was not like the modern tourist attraction – the wailing wall [where they wail because the temple was destroyed and the Jews lost their land for centuries]. Then, the altar was going all day long, with animal sacrifices taking place, along with speeches on the temple steps. So, to go to the temple to pray says it was the off season.

Keeping in mind this is a parable and not a ‘roving reporter Jesus, live on the scene’ account, Jesus was probably telling this parable during the winter celebration known as the Festival of Lights, or Hanukkah, which was more of a local event, not one calling all pilgrims to attend.  With the altars not ablaze and the hubbub mild, Jesus was imagining a time when the adoration of the Jews brought them to the temple steps to hear a good sermon by a Pharisee; because, after all, the Jews memorized the Scriptures and then looked at each other and said, “Huh?  What does it all mean?”

Publican in Temple

Because the Pharisees were accustomed to taking the higher steps as they preached their nonsense, the people were always below them.  Jesus was then telling a parable about simple prayer time, when memorized prayers were muttered privately, more of less.  However, in the imaginations of the parable, Jesus had the Pharisee assume the position of superiority, so his prayer became a loud oration from the top step, so all down below him heard him praying, in the same way they would hear him give a sermon during festival time.

The Pharisee made it clear he was high and mighty.  He pointed out how he was much more pious than all the riff-raff below.  The tax collector [a.k.a. a Publican], stood far back in the court of women, not even looking up at the blowhard praying loudly.  He knew he was a sinner and begged God to forgive him, because he did not know how to stop stealing from other Jews, in order to make a living.

The moral of the story, according to Jesus, was this: the tax collector “went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Now, I have never heard a sermon given by a priest, pastor, minister, or preacher [or Jews for Jesus rabbis] where he, she, or it stands high above the masked faces [these days] and apologizes for being put in the awkward position of playing the role of the Pharisee.  I have never heard a modern Pharisee rise to the top step of the lectern podium and begin talking about the sins of the self-aggrandizing one who prayed loudly about how his or her stink don’t stink like the next guy’s.

That is the definition of a priest, pastor, minister, preacher and rabbi (no matter who or what they are for).  They stand up high and say from their position of might, “I went to college to say what I say, unlike you.”

There are no halos around the heads of those teaching Christians today.  There are no Saints teaching Christians how to be Jesus reborn.

The point of this parable is not the, “The publican – the one representing all you failures in the pews – reflects on those who know they are sinners and pray to God for forgiveness.”  The Pharisee was a sinner as well, but he blinded his ability to see his sins with all the glare of self-importance.  People who stand and preach sermons never admit they are sinners, because why would anyone want to listen to a sinner’s opinion on anything?

The point of Jesus telling about “some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt” was not to make the sinners be glorified.  Listen to all sermons orated these days about this reading and the one orating will always be squeaky clean and close to God, enough to tell all the paying customers, “Just put some more money in the pot and I will tell God to give you a pass on all your sins … the one’s that will bring your guilty asses back here next Sunday.”

The point of this parable is Jesus was the truth who preached.  Jesus taught his disciples how not to sin.  The only way to not sin is to be reborn as Jesus.  Jesus never stood on the top step, telling everyone how pious he is (even when he is).  Jesus explains the truth of what everyone was memorizing, but had never been told what it means or how to reach those lofty goals.

There are no priests, pastors, ministers, preachers, or rabbis who believe in Jesus, who tell their followers, “I am the resurrected Jesus.  He is one with my soul.  I teach you from the Father, as the Son reborn, so your souls can also marry Yahweh and receive the Spirit and become Jesus reborn.”

That is the truth of Christianity; but that truth has dwindled to almost nothing.  Christianity is now largely led by hired hands and false shepherds, who glorify every imaginable sin under the sun.  They act as if they are gods, never Jesus reborn.

Next time you hear someone wearing the clothes of the righteous give a speech about how there is still hope for the sinners of the world, ask that person to elaborate on how they became holy enough to stop sinning.  Ask him or her what he or she did to become Jesus reborn.

If one does not admit one’s sins and ask for forgiveness for one’s sins, because one is blind to one’s sins, then that one is further away from salvation than one is who knows all about the sins committed, just is clueless about how to stop sinning.  Neither have gained salvation at that point, so nobody who is a sinner needs to preach to others about something they know nothing about: How to stop sinning.

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The poor widow giving two coins

In the local Baptist minister’s sermon, he preached about Jesus seeing a poor widow woman discretely place two coins in the treasury of the Temple in Jerusalem.

Back in my rebellious youth, when I was unchurched, a friend was on the mailing list for a local Baptist church, because his parents were members and they had taken my frind to church there.  As a registered Baptist of that church, he received their weekly bulletin, or church news.  One day I read that bulletin and then went back with a pencil and circled all the words that mentioned giving.  The whole thing was about how much it cost to operate a church.  My friend still went there, because the church had a basketball gym and he just loved to play basketball.  Operating a basketball gym costs money!

Well, the Baptist minister I watch via the media might or might not run a church with a basketball gym, but his church does possess several cameras and cameramen, obviously with a producer, director and control room personnel, in order to produce a televised performance.  Ever since man invented nickelodeons and realized people would slip a nickel in the slot to see a show, shows have been the name of the game.  Religion is very theatrical these days; and, theatrics costs a lot more than running a basketball gym.

In the sermon, the pastor quoted from Joshua 24:15, which says (in part), “for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”  His point was said to be that giving begins with the family.  He then went on to talk about how much it costs to raise a family, especially paying to send kids off to college.

That mention of Joshua 24 was interesting to me, because I recently wrote about that chapter of Joshua.  Joshua had just set the Tabernacle and the Ark into a safe place in Shechem and he had called a meeting of all the Israelites there, to discuss their responsibilities about giving.  He told them [paraphrasing], “You are now free to worship any gods you want.”  Then he added, “for me and my household, we will serve Yahweh.” [The actual word written is “Yahweh,” not “the Lord.”]  That means Joshua told the Israelites they were free to choose whatever “lord” they wanted to serve – the gods of Egypt, the gods of Ur [where Abraham came from], or even the gods of temples and basketball – but Joshua was going to become a “house of Yahweh” and his congregation would be his family, who would all be taught to give their souls to Yahweh.  All the Israelites who came to that meeting agreed with Joshua, saying they were going to also do like Joshua and all become households of Yahweh.

That got me thinking: “Maybe it was Solomon building a fabulous Temple [in his name] that began the need for treasuries and the preaching of guilt-inspiring sermons [and bulletins] that make tithing the equivalent of an Olympic event. [In last place, but not giving up, is the widow woman, who only gave two coins.]

So, I went to the temple of “Lord Internet” and I asked it, “How much tithing did the Israelites give during David’s reign?”  Here is one of the results that came up, which I found interesting.  I’ll leave you to read that at your leisure.  What I want to do now is craft a deeply inspired sermon about how many times David witnessed widow women giving coins at the Tabernacle in Zion, after he moved the Ark from Kirjath-jearim to the City of David.  [Grab a sandwich and cold drink, before finding a comfortable chair to lounge in.]

Ahem.

….

That’s it.  Nada.  Zilch.  There are no stories about giving coins before kings began building temples [the Baptist minister reminded that these modern days includes church buildings, some with gymnasiums].  It seems all the upkeep of permanent buildings became quite costly.

That takes us back to Joshua, when he said he would let the Ark stay in a tent in Shechem, but he would become a house of flesh, in whom Yahweh would reign.  The costs of maintaining that temple was everything: All one’s heart, All one’s soul, and All one’s mind.  Nothing less than everything is acceptable.  Ten percent is what agents get for selling religion as entertainment.

Then my mind recalled the same Baptist minister, (not long ago) telling how the lame man from birth held up his cup to Peter and John [of Zebedee], saying “Alms for the poor.”  The Baptist minister recited Peter saying, “I have neither gold nor silver, but in the name of Jesus Christ rise.”

That is the Biblical quote that needs to be used in a sermon about giving.  Not, “Forget about the name of Jesus Christ stuff.  We want major credit cards and direct deposit, but the faces of dead American presidents will buy us lunch today.”

 

This new revelation from divine insight then opened my mind’s eye to seeing the COVID19 pandemic has come with Yahweh’s blessing.  It has spread a curse over all the buildings that charge admission for the entertainment they provide.  Since they are not houses that spend anything towards teaching pew-sitters to become themselves a house of Yahweh, Yahweh has allowed the governments to ban all useless gatherings, which can be the definition of all entertainment assemblies.  If Joshua’s household had internet TV back then and he saw news of a pandemic causing no assemblies for religious purposes, for fear of sickenss, with hospitals and doctors killing the fearful, Joshua would have smiled and said, “Good thing Yahweh resides within my soul.  I have nothing to fear but the loss of Yahweh Himself; and, He anit going nowhere away from me.”

The people using heaven as a place that churches preach souls will never reach, if they do not give some money to a building and its organization of hired hands.  Now a threat of a disease [which most people recover from naturally] has forced many churches into selling off their basketball gyms, in order to make the mortgage payments.  They fear government.  They fear airborne agents from China.  They fear losing money that the government might start taking back; and, they fear employers making people go back to work.  They fear facing the world without their holy mask and their high priest Fauci and his cave-dwelling CDC priests [they must be high on something]. They fear everything except losing God.  [That happened long ago.]

Imagine how well it would have gone over had Joshua told all the Israelites he had gathered, “Go back to wherever you live, knowing Yahweh is safe in this tabernacle in Shechem … as long as you send in a tenth of everything you own, so the priests who maintain the tabernacle can buy thread to mend the tears in the fabric and buy charcoal for the barbie altar.”  It would take hundreds of years for the breakdown of Israelite society to occur, making that concept possible to arise.  Since that origin, however, it has become quite commonplace.

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