The power of prayer

In this new era of fear that we live in, when the world trembles because the governments command it, it is hard to have faith.  From local governments, up to the highest governments of the lands, they all preach fear.  They do that with their underlings, their media arms, hammering that fear into the hearts and minds of all populations.  This promotion of fear is said to be because there is the threat of a virus loose that cannot be contained.  That fear has spread into the religions of the world, which are founded on principles of belief, from which true faith arises.  Those going by the name “Christian” in America are included in this promotion of darkness, as churches and states have intermingled and determined attendance within their properties can no longer be as it was.

F E A R   D E A T H ! ! !

We hear that message clearly.  We wear masks like criminals proudly trying to steal extended life.  We wash our hands like sea otters opening the oysters of salvation, incessantly.  We hide in our homes let the news media bombard our brains with the latest statistics of fear, while we let our businesses and places of employment become so weak they die from lack of attention.  We forbid attendance at funerals for the dead, because there might be a chance too many people gathering together to pay their last respects will cause more people to get sick and die.  Thus … 

W E  P R A Y

to our governments to send us money to heal all our hurts caused by this fear.  We pray for higher unemployment checks, with extensions in how long those check will arrive.  We pray for relief checks to make up for lost wages.  We pray for vaccines to be made.  We pray for hospitals to work their staffs morning and night to care for those who are sick and dying; so, we pray to our governments to give healthcare providers the first shots of vaccines when they become available.  Above all, we pray the nations will not bankrupt their treasuries, making it impossible for all their promises to be kept.  Then, our government gods hear our publicly aired prayers by sending us promises through the media: “Help (and rescue) is on the way!”

A couple of days ago I read a post on a Facebook group that pleaded to Episcopalians for comfort, because one person (he or she) feared the concept of death.  Someone was reaching out in some perverse way, into the cesspool that is social media, because fear has become so prevalent in many people there seems to be no other way.  Such a personal fear can no longer be addressed by talking to another human being of strength and fortitude [like a confession directly made to a priest or pastor].  It is too dangerous to go out in public and go near others.  Thus, one scared voice ventured to the computer for help.  And, the cesspool of social media was offering the best clichés the Internet can provide, as some poor excuse for help being rendered.  Many of those unprofessional advisors mentioned prayer as a remedy.

This past Sunday I watched the local Baptist minister on television, as I have been doing since the Episcopal Church went out of business because of fear [well, it still has some pulse of financial life left in it, but it is surely is hooked up to proverbial respirators and the outcome seems quite bleak, with no visitors allowed at this time].  I have been reminded of my youth, when I was a member of a Pentecostal branch of Christianity, when pastors commonly orated heartfelt prayers, while holding a Bible and pacing about the altar.  The Baptist minister regularly announces a time for prayer in his church’s Sunday morning program, at which time he closes his eyes and speaks clearly into the Madonna-like headgear microphone all stage performers wear these days.  In my youth, the Assemblies of God preachers had to carry a large metal microphone in their hand, so everyone could hear them praying.

When I became an Episcopalian, I was introduced to their mini-bible, called The Book of Common Prayers.  The priests routinely read aloud prayers that are written in that book, in unison with the congregation that is present [now they read them to the camera that sends livestream video out to viewers, along with one or two socially distant assistants].  Episcopalians that I came to know love their book of prayers; and, they prove it by reading those prayer much more frequently than they read the Holy Bible and its many books.  Most Episcopalians I knew hated to show up for Bible Studies, but at times of personal need they knew where their home edition of Common Prayers was on the bookshelf.  The Episcopal priests are always so dressed up in robes and ropes (when performing in church) that it is all they can do to bend over and pass out a wafer to someone kneeling or standing at the altar rail.  They could never get down on one knee, like the Baptist minister did when he orated a heartfelt prayer to God on television, asking God to help this country find some light at the end of this fear tunnel it has crawled into.

One of the standard prayers read in the Episcopal churches [I don’t see that routine in the Baptist Church] is the one called The Lord’s Prayer.  You know it.  It begins by stating “Our Father who art in heaven ….” We memorize the words of that prayer just like the Israelites memorized the words of David’s songs of praise and lament.  Also just like the Israelites, after David fell from grace (like Adam had before him), the Israelites (and then the Jews) found out memorization wasn’t the same thing as authoring words of recommendation.

The Jews of Jesus’ day were like all the lost tribes of Israel, as there was a whole lotta memorizing going on amid a whole lotta fear.  Everybody went to synagogue and recited things memorized and chanted prayer as taught, but still the Romans owned all the land and the promise of a Messiah had not come.  Then Jesus was sent by God; but Jesus was not sent as an answer to prayers based on fears.  We know that because God sent His Son to teach all His children the only one to fear is God.  If you fear anything other than God, then you have not understood why God sent Jesus into the world.  Because so many prayers are sent to God based on fearing everything but God, the world has a basic nature that is: A. Too self-centered to listen; and, B. Too afraid of everything to act on what God says [without fear].

The disciples of Jesus asked him to teach them to pray.  They asked because they did not seem to be getting any answers from God (those they sought) by reciting memorized prayers, so they figured they must be doing it wrong (meaning memorization of the same ole same ole was not the answer Jesus would give them).  Two millennia later, Christians in America are just like the disciples were then, meaning nothing has changed.  We have reverted back to the days of not knowing how to talk to God.

The Lord’s Prayer is more than what Jesus said to his disciples about how to pray.  Luke tells us: “one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” (Luke 11:1b)  What Luke wrote of Jesus’ instruction (his answer to the question) ends with “lead us not into temptation.” (Luke 11:2-4)  Still, when Jesus was in the middle of his so-called sermon on the mount, he spoke then about how to pray, saying pretty much the same things as Luke wrote that Jesus said, adding a line about protection from evil and forgiveness of sins (debts).  The words Christians memorize and rotely orate on command today adds some flowers at the end; but everyone forgets what Jesus first taught from high on that hill that overlooked the Sea of Galilee.

Jesus said: ““And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.  But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.  Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Matthew 6:5-8, NIV)

After Jesus said that, he then added “This, then, is how you should pray:” (Matthew 6:9a), which then followed what we all know as The Lord’s Prayer.  That does not say “memorize this.”  It says someone praying should say similar as this, from having an established personal relationship with God

To call that The Lord’s Prayer and not “Our Father’s Prayer” makes it easy to get confused.  Jesus is our Lord, right?  We must be praying to Jesus, right?  God being seen as Our Lord is not the same thing as seeing God as Our Father.  For some reason, we seem to be praying to Jesus, because Jesus told his disciples how to pray, using the words we repeat (without deep thought and without feeling we are individually talking to God, from personal needs).  Calling those words the “Lord’s Prayer” makes it seem that God is the Lord over everyone in the whole world … sinners and saints, Christians and Jews and Muslims, the religious and the heathen [Gentiles].  We have taken the necessary relationship of FATHER out of the title given to those words, as if God is the Father of the whole, entire world, as if anything with a brain that is human is a child of God.

W R O N G  A N S W E R !  !  !

Why is the advice given by Jesus ignored?  Why is it that when we read of Jesus going to the Temple of Jerusalem and witnessing two men, both there “to pray” (as told in Luke 18:9-14) – a Pharisee and a publican [tax collector] – as any different that when Jesus went into a synagogue “to pray,” always seeing the metaphor of two men as being a duality that always present, representing: teacher and disciple – pastor and flock – speaker and listener.  We read in Luke’s Gospel: “ The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector.  I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.” (Luke 18:11-12) 

Why do we not see that as being the same as a Baptist minister on an altar, in bended-knee position, speaking into a microphone on an altar [stage?]? 

Why can Episcopalians see a priest dressed so obviously different from all the great unwashed in the pews as doing the exact same thing from the pulpit, behind a lectern, orating loudly as if saying, “I stand here holier than thou, so repeat after me!”? 

Why do American get down on their knees and pray to politicians [actors, athletes, musicians, you name it and America will pray to it], when they are all on a level of worthlessness as a self-aggrandizing Pharisee?

The Jews of Jesus’ day are no different than the Christians [and Jews and Muslims] of today.  Half are projecting themselves as the ones who know what to do [because of having Big Brains], because God has blessed them.  The other half then sees themselves as unblessed, while beating their chests in fear of death.  No one has a relationship with God that makes Him be anyone’s FATHER.  Add in a third half [these are not real numbers here] that prays to their god, seeking all America to be destroyed for having no relationship with their gods.

Jesus said to get by yourself – to “not be like the hypocrites” do, who “pray standing in the synagogues” [Temple or churches] (Matthew 6:5, NIV), wanting to be seen and heard by all, thought to be most holy.  Jesus said “when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

The Greek word written by Luke, which has been translated as “pray,” is “eleēmosynēn, which actually says “acts of charity” or “mercy” or “pity.”  This is synonymous with prayer, when prayer always comes forth as some form of lamentation, based on fears.  The poor are always filled with fears, because the rich leaders help cause fears to become rampant.  That is the reward of leaders who loudly pray publicly – they get rich off followers that listen to them boasting, and relating that confidence as truth.  Those leaders all eventually secretly go into rooms with politicians and government leaders and plot the next greatest fear for the stupid common people to be entangled with; entangled so badly the poor huddled masses cannot do anything but run to their leaders for public prayers to relive the fears. 

None of those people have any righteousness in them, although Jesus pointed out the publican, who privately fears from guilt in a public setting, he was closer to righteousness than was the Pharisee.  Still, neither was anything close to be able to call God his Father.

God gives all human being on planet earth a soul, as soon as they take in that soul with first breath.  That soul is an extension of God; but it comes with no restrictions as to where that soul can lead a body of flesh.  The breath of birth is the free will a soul is given by God, to use as it wishes … until the time comes to pay for life choices.  Thus, a soul given by God can turn its flesh into a Jew, a Christian, or a Communist [to give three examples of what one can do with oneself without God being one’s Father].  To be able to go into your room and pray to God as “your Father” [“the Father of you” – “Patri hymōn“], you must become a soul joined with God’s Holy Spirit, reborn as Jesus Christ, so you [regardless of whatever human genitalia your body of flesh possesses] have become the Son of God, thereby truthfully capable of calling God your Father.

When one has sacrificed his or her self-ego – which reflects the lusts of the flesh controlling the soul, making the self think it is a god on earth worth worshiping – one becomes engaged to God – His bridesmaid.  At an uncertain hour, after proving one’s commitment to the bridegroom, the call comes and one is instantly married to God as His wife.  The consummation of that union, when two join as “one flesh” so “what God has joined together [so] no person is to separate,” yields the birth of Jesus Christ – a divine soul possessing a normal extension-of-God-soul, leading the pair’s single body of flesh to act as the Son of God – one’s Father by marriage.

Until that state of being has been reached [I call it sainthood, but the word “Apostle” also fits], one is no better than the publican who knows he is guilty of all kinds of sins, all worthy of reciting a confession and muttering a prayer along with all the other fearful; but being that close to redemption [a reward from prayer to Our Father] still makes Salvation beyond one’s reach.  That is when proving one’s commitment to marriage beforehand is most important.  [Jesus called that keeping oil in one’s lamp, as that is what good bridesmaids do.]

I know when I was a youth attending an Assembly of God church, I absorbed some sense of prayer being private conversations with God.  I felt I could pray to God any time I wanted.  I could thank God whenever I realized He had just helped me without my asking.  I could also beg Him to help me when I knew I had done something wrong.  I knew God heard me; and, I knew whenever I didn’t get what I wanted, then it was best that God not make that happen. 

I have always seen a church as a place of prayer, where each person inside a church needs a quiet place to pray silently.  I know I am not the only one who thinks this way.  The value of a church is it provides a sanctuary for private prayer to God.  However, I know that a stadium filled with sports fans also acts similarly, because when that is where an important game is played and winning means some false sense of fulfillment, a stadium evokes silent prayers for the team of their idolatry.  You can’t hear them, but it is easy to feel there are thousands of silent prayers being sent out: “God, if you will only let my team win this game, then I will promise to always be good.”

We see athletes giving some sign to heaven after some great feat accomplished, as if God wants him or her to make a bazillion dollars from having injected steroids into one’s flesh.  None of them make a sign to God after failing to make the big play, as if saying, “Thank you God for letting me fail miserably before thousands of witnesses, so I know I am meaningless to You, until I sacrifice my whole self-ego to you and be reborn as Your Son.”

We have lost all abilities to pray.  Thus, we are amid a fear called an unseen pandemic.

The answer is simple: Become the Son of God reborn and fear only God.

Alas, we only remember Jesus crying out in fear, “The flesh is willing, but the spirit is weak.” 

We cannot understand how Jesus had whipped his flesh into servitude that was his soul married to God’s Holy Spirit, so his flesh was willing to die for God, in order to serve His Will.  Because Jesus was the Son of man, the Christ Mind had complete control over the flesh of Jesus.  Still, Jesus possessed a normal soul, which comes with every first breath all human beings receive; and, Jesus admitted to His Father that it was his normal soul that was a weakling and caused his body of flesh to tremble in fear, admitting to his Father he knew that was natural.  Jesus prayed to let His Father know he knew he could never count on his normal soul to lead the flesh to righteousness.  Thus, prayer was the way to energize that normal soul and bring it the calm needed to withstand enormous pains and suffering that were known to be coming.

That scene of Jesus crying, which seems like it is saying it is okay to tremble like a sniveling weakling and fear something other than God makes everyone forget the time not long before that scene at Gethsemane, when Jesus returned to Bethany from beyond the Jordan.  He arrived there after his brother-in-law Lazarus had died.  Jesus was met by both Martha and Mary, both of whom cried out:

Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” (John 11:21, NIV)

“Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” said Mary to Jesus. (John 11:32b, NIV)

They had sent out a prayer to Jesus, which came to Jesus where he camped with his disciples.  We read of that prayer when John wrote, “the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”

Notice how they gave a “Lord’s Prayer,” where the “Lord” was Jesus.  They thought then like Christians think today, Jesus is the Son of God, where God is his Father, so if we pray to Jesus as Our Lord, then he will save the day and make all our fears go away, because Jesus has a close relationship with God.

It was that failure of the ones Jesus loved dearly that made his weak normal soul produce a tear.  All they had to do was become themselves sons and daughters of God, through marriage with the Holy Spirit, so they could have become Jesus reborn through the Christ Mind.  Jesus would have been there when they wanted him to be – AS THEM – so Lazarus would not have died.  THEY COULD HAVE SAVED LAZARUS!  Jesus wept because they did not understand that then, after living with Jesus and being his close, personal family; so, likewise, Jesus weeps for all Christians who are just as lacking in faith.  Jesus weeps for all who fear COVID19 and hide away from others, too afraid to act righteously.

Lazarus is symbolic of the way all true Christians must be.  All Christians come down with the illness of life that always trembles in fear of everything other than God.  Those Christians will eventually die in the flesh, because all flesh is temporal and only capable of supporting a normal soul for so long.  However, Lazarus reflects the resurrection, as life returned beyond death of self-ego, to the same normal soul in the same body of flesh [no matter how bad the stench of death’s sin was before].  Lazarus reflects a true Christian who has been resurrected by marriage to God and reborn as Jesus as His Son, two souls then united in one body of flesh, never to be torn asunder.

In the Gospels the story of Lazarus is left by the wayside, although we read of rumors to have Lazarus killed, so he could not become a future instigator of Jews believing Jesus was the Messiah.  Their plot to kill Lazarus extended to those who loved him.  The lore has it that Lazarus and his family and closest friends were cast out to sea in a raft that was expected to sink.  Instead, the craft sent from Egypt landed in coastal France [Gaul], along with three women named Mary [Mary Magdalene, Mary Jacobe, and Mary Salome], Martha, Maximin and Sidon [the man born blind who was healed by Jesus].  They all became Saints who were living examples of what a true Christian is to be.

The reason the world is all caught up in fear of a virus is the world is always a place where the poor fear the rich and the only way to ease the fears is to make the rich stronger, so they reward the poor with slight eases in their fearmongering.  That is the way the world is made to be.  It is made that way so God can tell who His true children are, apart from the sea of souls He breathed life out into bodies of flesh.  They are the ones who pray the way Jesus told his disciples to pray.  They are the ones who only fear God.  They are the ones who know that catching a virus and going through all the pain and agony of a hospitalization, where tubes are forced down throats and lungs wheeze and cough is just the price one pays [a pound of flesh] for being able to call God one’s Father.  Dying of the coronavirus is a walk in the part, when compared to what Jesus went through as the sacrificial lamb.

After all, Jesus came through that with flying colors.  That was because God was his Father, who raised him from death.

So, if you want to begin to pray properly, then follow the command of God through the Son, and …

C O M E  O U T !

R. T. Tippett

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Deuteronomy 18:15-20

Here

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Mark 1: 21-28

here

 

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Matthew 5:13-16 – The salt of the earth

Matthew 5:13-16

“You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.

“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

——————–

I watched the local Baptist minister do his Sunday sermon last year.  The core of his reading addressed was the above.  Matthew 5:13-20 is read in Episcopal churches on the fifth Sunday of the season of Epiphany.  As the Episcopal-Roman Catholic-Anglican-Lutheran-Methodist (et al) churches have seasons and follow lectionary schedules that have a large heavy spike driven deeply into the ground that is Easter Sunday, from which (working backwards) is the fixed season of Lent (always 40 days), there can be a larger or lesser amount of time between the fixed date of Epiphany (always January 6) and the beginning of Lent.  The maximum Sundays in the Epiphany season (the Sundays after the Epiphany) is six, but some years that number can only be four Sundays.  So, if a Year A is one of those shorty Epiphanies, then so much for the Salt and the Light reading (at least as far as it being preached by the wafer and wine gang is concerned).

Since Baptists have no such lectionary [that I know of, or care to know of], other than Christmas and Easter are fixed on their schedules, they can preach about this message whenever the mood strikes them.  The Baptist minister’s message seemed so familiar, I thought it might be some rebroadcast of an old sermon; but, since he mentioned the COVID19 pandemic in the same breath with Labor Day weekend, I assume it was a new rendition of the same ole same ole – whenever he preaches about this the same words always flow out.

This preacher made a point of telling everyone listening how he had travelled around the world as a missionary seminarian, going to poor countries not like our golden, high-tech America.  [I imagine Eastern Europe has no need for missionaries.]  He said he went to Haiti.  There, he indicated the poor Haitians have no refrigeration, so they know all about the value of salt.  While he didn’t say it [I thought about it as he was talking], the implication was Americans are told to stay away from salt.  I know my doctor has said that, because I have hypertension.  Haitians, on the other hand, salt their fish and meats as a necessary preservative, regardless of what stress that puts on their hearts and arteries.

The minister pointed out how the poor people in undeveloped nations easily understand the messages of Jesus, because when he told parables they were in a language that agricultural societies easily understood.  Us Americans [I presume, from his explanation] struggle grasping what Jesus meant when he said, “You are the salt of the earth.” 

We have become so spoiled by smart phones and refrigeration that we only know salt is what you put on mashed potatoes, to give potatoes some taste.  The Baptist minister added that salt has a taste too.

He also told how salt used to be harder to get back then, so it was valuable.  He said soldiers were paid in salt, thus the saying “worth your salt.”  The Baptist minister said that Jesus saying “You are the salt of the earth” was a statement of value.  Jesus told his listeners [those hanging around the mount by the sea – disciples and pilgrims – all Jews] that they were valuable as a light to the world.

Before the preacher read these four verses from his Bible, he prefaced it by saying, “This comes from the Sermon on the Mount, which is the greatest sermon ever preached.” 

I disagree with that assessment.  Rather than turn this interpretation into a lesson on how much one human brain can remember from one sermon preached, I will just say three chapters in one book does not one sermon equate.

Regardless, the lesson of the salt follows the stating of the Beatitudes, which in itself is a full plate to take home and continues munching on, just to savor everything said.  The lesson of the Salt and Light is a separate sermon, taught to Jesus’ disciples. Sure, the acoustics on the mount to the east of the Sea of Galilee were so good, a crowd of pilgrims down by the shore could hear what Jesus said; but to even begin to understand what that means, there would have to be some context.  I believe that context was from the Torah, so more than Jews being told to keep memorizing scrolls of text as salt on tradition that lit the way to being Jews, Jesus was telling his closest followers: “You are the preservative of Christianity and the Light of truth for the world.”

The Baptist preacher was saying things that were right, as he preached.  I admired him for doing so.  After watching and listening to Episcopalian priests speak nonsense for years, listening to flowery prose that only told me, “I went to school and studied more books than you,” the Baptist method of delivery was refreshing.  Episcopalians preach as if someone in the audience is going to send in a report to some  place where sermon awards are mulled over.  There, only the most elite educated scholars are recognized, with grandiose judges announcing in an awards ceremony: “You’ve been nominated for the Noble Sermon Prize!” So, I can appreciate someone actually explaining Scripture.  

Still, the Baptist minister fell short of telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help him God.  Because I feel how important it is to make this truth be known commonly, I want to leave his sermon behind and begin my own here now.  I thank him for bringing these verses to my conscious forefront.

The use of salt, of course, is metaphor and not to be read literally.  The truth about salt is human beings need salt to live.  The body uses salts for balancing fluids and for muscles and nerves to properly function.  The levels of salt in the body are regulated by the consumption of water and the passing of salts out through the kidneys.  Without salts taken in, the body begins to break down.  With too much salt the body develops problems.  So, salt needs to be balanced by water.

This is symbolic of Jesus posing the known condition, “salt losing its saltiness,” or “salt becoming tasteless” (from “halas mōranthē“).  Rather than add a question mark and change what Jesus said to “how can it be made salty again?” Jesus actually just stated “on which salt is sprinkled” (from “en tini halisthēsetai“).  When one’s salt level gets low, more salt must be added.  The truth of this necessity is why salt had monetary value back in the day.  Salt is salt and salt tastes like salt.  Too much is bad, too little is bad, just right it the balance that must always be found.

When we read Jesus saying, “It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot,” the impression is someone having found some old salt that is no longer salty, so it gets thrown out as dirt, where people walk over it.  According to a Google search about “Can salt lose its saltiness?” the immediate answer at the top says, “Salt itself, sodium chloride (NaCl), is extremely stable and cannot lose its flavor.”  Realizing this, the translation implying salt getting old and no longer tasty is wrong.  Therefore, the translation needs to be seen as saying, “for nothing that is potent any longer  ,  if not being cast out  ,  to be trampled upon under this men  .[“eis ouden ischyei eti  ei mēblēthen exō  katapateisthai hypo tōn anthrōpōn  .“]

Nothing in that statement mentions salt.  It implies that if one’s level of salt gets too low [loss of saltiness, or salinity] then one dies, from a lack of strength [no potency].  If salt is not added to one’s system, then a dead body is cast out for burial.  This returns one’s flesh and bones into the ground from which is came, which is as worthless as the dirt men walk upon.  That should be the literal implication of what Jesus said; but the metaphor of that needs to then be seen.

This can be seen easier by realizing the Greek word “mōranthē” (translated as “lost its taste” or “become tasteless”) has a basic definition that is “to be foolish.”  There are two basic uses that Strong’s points out, being : “(a) I make foolish, turn to foolishness, (b) I taint, and thus: I am tasteless, make useless.”  

Seeing this has little to do with salt, the metaphor is relative to Jesus talking to Jews about their religious practices – led by the rulers in the Temple – which had been reduced to “foolishness.”  This means his reference to salt becomes weaker as a metaphor for preserving fish and meat, where salt is applied on the outside of flesh, while becoming stronger as the lifeblood of their religion, where Jews reflected how strong or weak Judaism was.  The metaphor was not about preservation, as much as it was about remaining alive and vital.

The metaphor is the blood of faith, where belief is like salt mined and distributed to those needing belief in their bodies to keep Judaism alive, but that belief was so void of true saltiness that Judaism was dying because their belief was little more than memorized words, none of which had instilled faith within them.  By understanding that metaphor, one can look at how John wrote of Jesus telling those lacking saltiness, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.” (John 6:52, NIV)  The lifeblood of Judaism, as shown by the Jews arguing with Jesus, knew nothing about the salt of faith in the Torah, Psalms, and Prophets, so they were eating the food of foolishness.  None of them had more than some tainted belief in their blood, making them so anemic they had faith-poor blood, which could only be fixed by drinking the blood of Jesus – the blood of true faith.

God had sent Jesus to be the restoration of faith in those who maintained the Law of Moses, without having a clue why that Law was written.  Jesus was sent to enlighten the Jews to the meaning of Scripture, as the salt that must be eaten and drank, lest Judaism would surely die and be trampled underfoot.

Now, in the words Jesus taught about this death of religion, if it did not add the necessary salt of life into their bloodstream, is “katapateisthai,” which is translated above as “trampled under.”  In this series of teaching presented by Jesus [which the Baptist minister called the greatest sermon ever spoken], in Matthew’s seventh chapter, Jesus gave this instruction: “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” (Matthew 7:6)  There is written the Greek word “katapatēsousin,” which translates as “they shall trample upon.”  The two verses link together in meaning, relative to faith (or the lack thereof).

The same theme of a lack of salt (as faith being necessary for a religion to stay alive) is present in Jesus saying, “Do not let dogs (animals) run your Temple (sacred).  Do not let pigs (filthy animals) be the ones to tell you what Scripture (pearls) says.  Because if you do that, then they will destroy the truth (the source of faith) and thereby send your bodies to death (underground where feet walk).”  The same concepts of sacred pearls has to be seen as the salt of Christianity (the revitalization of Judaism).

Without turning this into a chemistry lesson (feel free to look it up and go as deep as you wish), salt in water conducts electricity, and electricity will produce light.  This conductivity then becomes relative to why salt is necessary for muscles and nerves; but that is a story to be told by biologists.  There are a plethora of articles that debunk “Himalayan salt lamps,” but simply from there being discussion about some form of homeopathic treatment involving salt and light, there is reason to see the transition in what Jesus taught here.  There is a requirement for the salt of faith for there to be a light generated by that faith.  

When Jesus added to the verse that says “You are the light of the world,” saying ” A town built on a hill cannot be hidden,” that was a reference to Jerusalem.  The Greek word “orous” not only means “hill” but also “mountain.”  Jerusalem is a “city” (the true translation of “polis“) that is on and surrounded by hills called mountains: “Jerusalem’s seven hills are Mount Scopus, Mount Olivet and the Mount of Corruption (all three are peaks in a mountain ridge that lies east of the Old City), Mount Ophel, the original Mount Zion, the New Mount Zion and the hill on which the Antonia Fortress was built.” [Wikipedia]  This means Jesus was referring directly to the Jews of Judaism being a light of God that must be seen, because God has built that light on a hill for the whole world to see.

When Jesus then said, “No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house,” this cannot be missed as being a reference to a symbol Jews are known by: the menorah. 

Seven candle holders, just like seven hills.

In that statement, the lampstand is a mainstay in the Temple, which means the “house” is both the Temple of Jerusalem and the Jews who see that “house” as sacred.

Lampstands and showbread tables

When this reading ends with Jesus saying, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven,” he said a Jew that does not shine the truth of God’s Word to others, by the way one lives and the way one helps others to live is incapable of good deeds and glorifying God.  This is a direct correlation to the amount of true faith that is coursing through one’s body, creating an electrical current that shines the light of truth to the world.

When I first began to write this, it was after Labor Day 2020.  I didn’t like the direction I was taking, so I did not complete writing it, leaving it as a draft.  I didn’t delete it because I wanted to write about the meaning of Jesus saying “You are the salt of the earth.”

The Baptist minister did not have a lectionary leading him, so he was not presenting this reading during an Episcopalian’s Year A, in the fifth Sunday after the Epiphany [February 9, 2020; February 5, 2023; not read in 2026].  Because of that misdirection, he was not placing any focus on how this reading about what Jesus taught on the hill overlooking the sea had to do with one’s own personal epiphany.  Clearly, one has to hear Jesus telling one directly, up close and very personal, “You are the salt of the earth,” meaning you have to have faith transforming you into a lampstand for God’s light of truth.  Without that epiphany within one’s soul, one is foolishness waiting to die and come back to try again once more time [reincarnation].

This is where eating the flesh of Jesus brings that pH balance into one’s bloodstream.  The flesh of Jesus is Scripture.  Still, reading Scripture, memorizing quotes, and listening to preachers make up stuff about what it all means, is never going to put the salt of faith in that blood.  That means one must drink the blood of Jesus, which is filled with just the right amount of faith, so one immediately understands what Scripture means.  To drink the blood of Jesus means to be reborn in his name.  Then one has died of self-ego, but no one is trampling upon your returned to dust bones.

Having an Epiphany means being filled with tasty salt and just the right amount of holy water, so one has become a conductor of Jesus Christ and one’s body has become a lampstand for the light of Christ.  One becomes a shining beacon on the hill that leads others to be likewise filled with that Holy Spirit.

I felt it was time to release this to the world. 

R. T. Tippett 

 

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Jonah the reluctant Prophet

Jonah 3:1-5, 10
The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time, saying, “Get up, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you.” So Jonah set out and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly large city, a three days’ walk across. Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s walk. And he cried out, “Forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” And the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast, and everyone, great and small, put on sackcloth.

When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.

———-

This is the Old Testament reading selection for the third Sunday after the Epiphany, which is read during the Year B of the Episcopal lectionary.  As a source of insight during one’s personal season of Epiphany, it is important to see oneself as a Ninevite.

Human beings are born into a world that slowly overcomes a soul and turns a body of flesh towards serving all that pleases the flesh, with little concern about God or His gods.  In the U.S. of A. this very moment, Americans are celebrating the overthrow of its flawed form of philosophy.  Those who once ruled have fled into the mountains surrounding what Ronald Reagan made famous as a “bright, shining city on the hill” – as if Washington, D. C. is some great place where the powerful worship lesser gods and receive all the benefits of having cheated half of the people of any say in how their government should work.  America is Washington D. C. and Nineveh is metaphor for all governments like the one in America today.

Oh, this wasn’t Washington D. C. It was just a normal protest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Americans are as corrupt as was Nineveh.  Therefore, this prophecy is most important to be understood personally, seeing oneself as a Ninevite.

In this sliver of the whole story of Jonah, Jonah appears to be a dutiful prophet of the Lord.  In the reality of the whole story known, Jonah had run away from his duties, no longer wanting to tell people, “God says you are going the wrong way.  Change or die.”  His presence on a ship caused a storm to threaten to sink the ship and kill everyone on board; but the sailors figured out everything was being caused by Jonah, so they threw Jonah overboard.  There a large fish, like a whale [metaphor for a submarine?] swallowed Jonah and made him sit for three days in the belly of that whale.  This part of his story begins after Jonah has had an Epiphany and he was willing to go back to work for the Lord, as His Prophet.

When this part of the story ends with God showing pity on the sinners of Nineveh, who changed their evil ways, that was not what Jonah wanted God to do.  He threw a hissy fit and moaned and groaned for quite a while, praying for God to destroy Nineveh.  Jonah, as a prophet, knew any changes in that wicked city were nothing more than temporary.  After Jonah was slapped around by God, he left Nineveh and went back to square one.  

Jonah was right, however.  The people of Nineveh would return to being sinful.  God would send another Prophet to tell them to change.  They laughed that time; so, God destroyed them.  That is what awaits America in the future.  Evil ways always end in destruction.  It is the law of the pendulum.  Once it has been set in motion, it keeps swinging back and forth, as a change one way being replaced by a change the other way.  Cheat to win today, be cheated to lose tomorrow.  Back and forth; and, so it goes.

On the third Sunday after the Epiphany [hump day of that season, so to speak] the whole lesson of Jonah is not read.  The listeners are only told the good news.  That message is, “If you change from your sinful ways, God will show mercy on your soul and not condemn your soul to hell.”  As bad as you know you are (deep down, on the inside), if you wash yourself clean, God will reward that effort.  But, God is not going to wash your soul clean for you.  God didn’t wash the Ninevites clean.  Jonah certainly didn’t either.  Jonah is like your guilty conscience showing up to say, “You filthy pig!  You disgust me!  Imagine how God feels!!!”

I feel dirty.

When we read, “And the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast, and everyone, great and small, put on sackcloth,” that foretells the coming of Lent.  Lent is the sackcloth and fast of a wilderness experience.  Saying to yourself, “I need to change my evil ways” is only the first step.  It is like an alcoholic taking the first step of a twelve step program, where admitting one is an alcoholic is headed in the right direction [all addictions fit this model, with sin the heading for them all].  The second step is self-imposed abstinence.  

When you get to the end of forty days of sacrifice, God will allow Satan to come offer you a drink [or a fix, or whatever sin you love most].  Most people come out of Lent starved for that one little thing they have tried for forty days to do without.  All the natural-born cheaters never give up cheating for Lent, so they substitute some minor lust – like chocolate or cigarettes – always finding the time to cheat one here and there.  All while making it seem to others like they have been a good boy or girl.

Jonah knew that human nature to cheat.  He did not believe the Lent Nineveh was going through was a permanent union of their heathen souls with God.  He hung around to watch them feast on the sins they loved so much, once the forty days was up.  He was denied seeing that failure, so he left.  After he left, the people of Nineveh would fall off the wagon and binge to make up for their lost sins.  That is a normal failure in mankind.  It is why AA assigns helpers (sponsors); because nobody can successfully go the abstinence route alone.

The value of this reading in the middle of the Epiphany season is it offers the promise of hope.  Hope is the only good thing that came out of Pandora’s Box, along with all the evils that people have struggled avoiding ever since she opened that dang thing.  She was known to open it.  That is why Zeus sent that ‘gift’ to Pandora.  That is why God sends Satan as a ‘gift’ sent to you.  Satan is the one who offers the delights of the world, sent by God as your test of commitment.  The only redeeming value of a world full of sin is hope; but hope must be seen as a lack of faith, and a confession of sins that says, “I cannot do this alone!  Please help me!”

The hope of this reading is you have to take the first step, before you can ever get to the point of making a follow-up step.  A first step is reason to celebrate, because God is watching.  God knows all.  God knows your heart.  God knows your brain.  God knows your flaws and weaknesses, better than you admit to them.

So, I expect there will be a lot of sermons preached about this message of hope.  Listen to it.  Then go home and feast on all the sinful things you might consider doing without for forty days.  Get all the sinning out of your system, because God will let you destroy your soul if you refuse to go an eternity without sinning again.

R. T. Tippett

 

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1 Corinthians 7:29-31 – Two millennia later …

1 Corinthians 7:29-31
I mean, brothers and sisters, the appointed time has grown short; from now on, let even those who have wives be as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no possessions, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.

———-

This is the epistle reading selection for the third Sunday after the Epiphany, Year B, which is next scheduled to be read aloud in universal “catholic” churches on January 24, 2021.  This is a short selection from Paul’s letters, only being three verses.  It clearly presents the paradox true Christians experience (and have for the length of time since Jesus ascended and returned in Spirit form to inhabit true Followers).

Anyone who has ever read a dozen or so of my posts here has seen me write about self-sacrifice being the only way for the soul Spirit of Jesus to be born into one’s ordinary soul, inside one’s fleshy body.  That self-sacrifice means the reduction of the ego to nothing of value, which is what makes one become a willing servant of God.  It means one has to lower one’s brain in subjection to the Lord and become His obedient servant.  In old fashioned ways of thinking [a lost way of life acceptance, which is why this is so hard to fathom these days], subjection to God is the equivalent to the submission of a wife to her husband.  A soul in a fleshy body [regardless of human gender, because souls do not have gender] marries with God, such that His Holy Spirit penetrates the soul inside a physical body.  This is divine possession, which can only take place after one’s ego has died.

Saul had a big ego.  Saul had a position of power and influence, as a Jew with Roman citizenship that was free to hunt down and punish severely anyone who was a follower of some guy named Jesus.  Saul had an Epiphany.  Saul died of that self-ego.  Saul was resurrected as Jesus Christ, who changed his name to Paul, a word that means “small, very little, restrained.” [Abarim-publications]

Paul [or Saul] never knew Jesus physically.  He was never a follower of Jesus, as one of his disciples.  He was a follower of the Temple of Jerusalem, most likely as a member of the Pharisee sect.  Paul [as Saul] thought in his Big Brain that he was most devout and supremely religious.  Paul [as Saul] thought he was doing God a favor by hunting down Christians and having them tortured.  Therefore, Paul [as Saul] is vastly important as a model for all humanity after Jesus ascended, as the prototypical Christian, which means anyone who sits in a church pew listing to an sermon and following rituals, anyone who presents sermons and performs rituals in churches, and anyone else who has little-to-nothing to do with churches in the world since the Romans tore down the Temple of Jerusalem is a model of Saul, not Paul.

To become a true Christian means a transformation of self, a transfiguration of soul, and a metamorphosis in the way a human body of flesh becomes completely submissive to the Mind of Christ and the resurrections of Jesus, so two souls exist in one body.  Again, because a soul has no gender designation, because souls have no need for reproductive organs [only fleshy bodies need those], a paradox is created that is a body of flesh becoming the wife of God [even in manly mans] and a neuter soul becoming the Son of God [even in womanly womans].  If there is no Christ within a soul-body lifeform, then there is no Christian present.

Certainly, this is not typically an immediate change, from one state of being to one completely new.  In Saul’s case, he was caused to go blind.  He stayed blind for three days.  He had to be blessed by a man who had become a true Christian, who talked with God because of that change within himself – just as Jesus talked to God the Father.  The disciples that followed Jesus around for three years had to wait for Jesus to ascend to heaven, before they suddenly were reborn in his name on Pentecost Sunday.  This means there can be a period of confirmation in this process, kind of like that of a squire, before one is tapped with Excalibur and knighted.

If this concept is foreign, then the words of Paul in this reading selection will fly well over your heads [where Big Brains lie].  Paul wrote to true Christians [those he came in contact with and God’s Holy Spirit within Paul, so they too were completely changed], encouraging them to keep the faith and pass it on – an Apostle thing to do.  Therefore, Paul wrote to those true Christians in Corinth, reminding them that sainthood means a continued existence of sacrifice on the earthly plane, as sacrifice here allows a soul to ascend into heaven, where none of the normal worldly practices are normal anymore.

When the above translation says, “brothers and sisters, the appointed time has grown short,” Paul simply wrote “adelphoi,” which states only “brothers.”  The addition of “sisters” is because most Christians who sit in churches are women, so the ones who run the churches don’t want them to feel left out.  Certainly, Paul wrote to both men and women true Christians, but he was not addressing them by their sex organs.  He was addressing them by their Holy Spirit designation – as all being Sons of God.  Thus, they were all “brothers.”

Still, Paul wrote that “the appointed time has grown short,” which is a statement about the amount of life a true Christian has left in him or her, before one’s soul is released from a body of flesh [death] and the Day of Reckoning comes.  Here, the Greek word “kairos” has been translated as “appointed time,” but a better viable translation would be “opportunity.”  For all who had not yet been fully committed to being a wife of God – still virgins awaiting their bridegroom – as those disciples of those resurrected as Jesus Christ, still in training, the time between now and a known death, assured to come eventually, is that “appointed time” human beings dread.  However, death to a true Christian is an “opportunity” to not fail God one more time, and be reincarnated in this world of pains.

When Paul then wrote “from now on” that is a statement to make the most of one’s “opportunity” in whatever life one has remaining.  His words of encouragement were saying, once you commit your soul to the Lord there is no going back to being a virgin again.  The time remaining after becoming Jesus Christ reborn means constantly doing the Will of the Father, because self-ego has become blinded and died.

Paul then wrote a series of statements that are relative to that death of the old and the changes into the new.  First he wrote, “let even those who have wives be as though they had none.”  Those who have wives are male human beings.  In that ancient world, no matter how harsh the outside world was on a man, there was always the wife that all one’s frustrations could be taken out on.  Paul was saying, a Saint no longer has anyone below that can be treated as a servant or a slave.  A true Christian has to see oneself as the lowest form of life there is.  ALL true Christians are the wives of God, meaning ALL are equally expected to keep their eyes bowed down.  ALL are expected to answer any question posed to him or her by God with words like, “You know Lord,” “Here I am, choose me,” and “The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 

Similar to that flip-flop from some sense of superiority over others, to one of becoming the lowest of the low, Paul wrote: “those who mourn as though they were not mourning.”  To receive the Holy Spirit within one’s soul means to stop worrying about death coming.  As one grows older, entering into the twilight of life, when death is felt stronger and stronger each year, with people close to one more frequently meeting death and departing this world, mourning becomes an act of selfishness.  To mourn the dead does their souls no good.  Mourning is only for self-benefit.  Even when mourning becomes a reflection of the dread one has that the world will once again thrash one about, causing more pain and agony, that is merely some perverse desire to live longer and enjoy life on earth more.  Paul is saying to true Christians, realize there is no pain or suffering that the world can heap upon one’s body of flesh that will be any more than a fleeting whisper of illusion, once heaven’s eternity is gained.

When this aspect of self-pity is said to be denied, Paul then wrote: “those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing.”  That becomes a statement that being happy because something good has come into one’s life, something that can be measured in worldly gains, anything received in the material realm is nothing to find happiness for.  God does not reward His servants by letting them win the lottery or get a promotion at work that means more money and benefits.  All of that celebration is selfish.  Still, God may find it appropriate in one’s spiritual development to receive more than one needs; but that is not to be a time of rejoicing, because one having more than one needs is simply God giving to one so one can help many, as a servant of God.  Nothing received in this physical world is worthy of celebrating, as receipt of the Holy Spirit is not of this world.

Paul then advised: “those who buy as though they had no possessions.”  This goes along with the receipt of worldly things, such that money is the measure that allows one to buy things.  To read this as if Paul said “those who spend like poor people having money for the first time” is wrong.  It must be read as Paul telling true Christians that there is nothing in the world that will go along with one’s soul to heaven.  The only “possession” one has it one’s soul, as the body will be left behind, along with anything and everything bought over one’s lifetime in the flesh.  When this reality is understood, then one does not go making deals with the devil, where things bought come with the price of one’s soul – one’s only possession.  Therefore, those who buy as though they had no possessions are those who are the wives of God and their souls have already been given freely to the Lord, leaving them with nothing they possess, thus no buying power.

Paul then ends this string of statements designed for true Christians to grasp, writing “those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it.”  When one has freely promised one’s soul to God Almighty, then one is committed to serving God on earth, until one leaves all physical parts behind and goes to be one with God.  The only dealings one has in the world, during the remaining time one’s soul has on the earthly plane, are those God commands.  The Greek word translated as “deal with the world” focuses on chrōmenoi,” which means “uses.”  The word translated as “no dealing with it” is “katachrōmenoi,” meaning “using it as their own.”  Seeing this, one realizes “dealing with the world” is all about what uses what.  Paul is telling true Christians that they will no longer allow themselves to be used by the world, because they no longer have use for what it offers.

Finally, Paul wrote to the true Christians in Corinth, telling them “the present form of this world is passing away.”  The key word written there is “paragei,” which means “is passing away.”  The Greek root word, “paragó,” is metaphor for “death.”  This means that the “present” state of being a true Christian knows is the “passing away” of the self-ego, as one has died of self-will and only does the Will of the Father.  There can be no other way.

As a short reading from Paul on the middle Sunday in the season recognized as the ordinary time between the Epiphany and the coming sacrifice of Lent, this is preparing one for the ultimate sacrifice of self that is one’s personal wilderness experience, when one is tested for one’s true level of commitment to God.  An Epiphany leads one to subject oneself to that extreme test of faith, and survival cannot be found by a soul alone, because Satan’s lures will force the body to drag the soul back into the world of sin.  One can only survive a wilderness test by being married to God’s Holy Spirit and having been changed from whatever name one went by to being “in the name of Jesus Christ.”  An Epiphany is realizing changes must come and they can only come with God’s help.  God helps His wives, so marriage means a change of name is a mandatory self-sacrifice that must be made.

R. T. Tippett

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Mark 1:14-20 – The truth of following

Mark 1:14-20
After John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”

As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.

———-

In this reading selection, which is the Gospel presentation on the third Sunday after the Epiphany in the Year B, it appears as a puff of cloud in the void of space that is a sheep’s head.  It seems as if nothing is written before it or after it.  It is the honing of words and the paring of verses, served nicely on a platter for fine dining.  Bon appetit!

Soul food to go?

While it is normal to walk through the line at the cafeteria and point to the sacrificial meat one desires and have the attendant pass you a portion, nobody cares to see the whole of the beast prepared, before it was butchered, then glazed, marinated, battered, baked, or deep fried, before being dumped in a pan or set, waiting on a board to be carved up.  One takes a portion without questions of foresight or hindsight. 

Mmmmmmm.  Yum.

Divine Scripture is food for the soul.  It is manna from heaven.  It is prepared by the hands of the most high, with the intention being that a very small portion will expand greatly once consumed.  It does not feed the stomach or even the brain, as those physical organs cannot digest divinity nor can they ever come to a state of satiation from having spiritual food set before one’s body of flesh.  Only a hungry soul will chew on a small portion of Scripture and feel the fullness of all that is both before and after that portion.

This reading begins with the capitalized word “After.”  That word is followed by words that state “John was arrested.”  While that might feel to the tongue to be a hard, gristly piece of fat, which needs to be discretely spit out into one’s hand, it should be realized that the master chef [God] is smiling as he watches you eat His carefully prepared presentation, waiting to see how well you enjoy His Word.

Good?  Yes?

The text prepared by God, written by his assistant Mark [who wrote the story of Simon Peter], actually begins with a capitalized “Kai,” which is then followed by the word “after” (“meta“).  The word “kai” – in the lower case – is a mark that alerts the reader that the words to follow that mark are important to pay close attention to.  When a capitalized “Kai” is written, the words that follow take on a most important meaning that needs to be understood.  Thus, before one should spit out this importance into one’s church napkin, one needs to grasp what “meta to paradothēnai ton Iōannēn” means.

The longest word in that mix is “paradothēnai.”  The root verb is “paradidómi .”  According to Strong’s, that word states “to hand over, to give or deliver over, to betray.” [definition]  The word’s “usage” then denotes “I hand over, pledge, hand down, deliver, commit, commend, betray, abandon.”  The form written is a passive aorist infinitive, thus stating what happened in the past.  The word, as shown above, then states “was arrested,” but by realizing the capitalized “Kai” is an alert for higher meaning, that realization makes one pause before spitting something out.  You suddenly can dissolve the gristle with a quick flip with the tongue, so the flavor is released as “was handed over.”

More than the power of a tetrarch over Galilee and Perea being in play, Kai lets one realize God is somehow involved in this change involving John the Baptizer.

Savor this: HELPS Word-studies says of this word, “paradídōmi” it is from pará, meaning “from close-beside” and dídōmi, “give”.  The word is then “properly, to give (turn) over; “hand over from,” i.e. to deliver over with a sense of close (personal) involvement.” 

This understanding then allows one to elevate a simple meaning [“was arrested’] to a higher level [the capitalization of “Kai“], so one is led into this reading by the realization that John (the baptizer, the cousin of Jesus, the one who would come before Jesus, the one representing the reincarnation of Elijah who would come before the Messiah) has been handed over to the authorities by God, as a most necessary timing element that had to come before Jesus could begin his ministry.

Passing the baton

The words of Mark, prior to this important statement, tell of Jesus being tested at the end of his forty days in the wilderness.  The test of Satan was like Jesus’ final exam before graduating from seminary, so he was officially ordained to go out into the world and preach the truth of God.  However, God did not plan for His Son to be in competition with His other Son, John; so, before Jesus could begin his ministry, John’s ministry had to come to a close.  

In Malachi 4:5 is prophesied: ““See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes.”  

For anyone who keeps up with what the four Gospels of the New Testament says, there are several places where a prophecy stated before will be fulfilled by Jesus.  One example is found in Matthew 2:15: “[Jesus] stayed [in Egypt] until the death of Herod. so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”‘  That final quote comes from Hosea 11:1. 

Thus “Kai after this handing over who John” [a literal translation of the Greek text] is a major statement of the fulfillment of Jesus (the Messiah) coming after Elijah.

When John said [Matthew 3:11], “after me comes one who is more powerful than I,” that says [reading between the lines] John’s ministry had to end first, in order for the ministry of Jesus to begin.  As such, the same Jesus who told his mother [at the wedding in Cana], “My hour has not yet come” (John 2:4), knew he could not begin his ministry until John’s ministry had ended.  Therefore, after Jesus had successfully completed his time in the wilderness, he was prepared to enter that practice; but only “After John’s ministry had been handed over to Jesus, by the Will of God.”

When one reads this introductory partial verse that way, it then allows one to see the importance of what followed: “Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled.” 

The hour of Jesus had arrived; so, “the kingdom of God has come near.” 

Just as John had washed the sins off the Jews who were repentant, so too did Jesus say, “repent.” 

Here comes the final part of what Mark’s fifteenth verse has Jesus saying.  That statement is begun by the lower case spelling of “kai.”  That word again marks a point of importance needing to be read into the words that follow.  Those words state “believe in the good news,” but can also be translated as “put your trust in the Gospel.”

Now, modern Christians call the four books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John the “Gospels.”  Most adult Christians have heard it said so many times they also know “gospel” means “good news,” thus the translation above affirms that knowledge. 

This translation as “gospel” or “good news” comes from the Greek word “euaggelízō,” which is recognizable as the root of the English word “evangelize,” which is commonly defined as meaning: “preach the Christian gospel” (while also being a means to “convert someone to Christianity”).  Few know that the Greek word “euaggelízō” is a combined form word, where “” means “good, well” and “angellō” means “announce, herald.”  Thus, the word literally means “proclaim the good message.” [HELPS Word-studies]

Well, let’s pause and reflect on that for a moment.

<pause, with quiet whispers of reflection>

Raise your hands if everything I proposed about the words “After John was arrested” was something you knew, so everything I wrote above was boring as heck [as if you were reading and saying to yourself, “Come on!  We know that already.  Get past that!”]?

<look out at a sea of people sitting on their hands>

 

Okay.  That is an example of what “Gospel” truly means.  It is not going into work and proclaiming, “I went to a Christian church Sunday, so I believe in Jesus .. <singing> Because the Gospels tell me so.” 

When we read Mark 1:15 end by Jesus stating, “believe in the good news,” everyone has to grasp that Jesus was talking about the same words Jews had been memorizing for many centuries, but few had ever figured out what they truly meant, much less how to believe in words that no rabbis could properly explain.  Jesus announced, “have faith in the truth of God’s Word.” [Rather than “believe in the Gospel.”]

That has to be grasped; and, it must be understood that every time Jesus began a statement by saying “Truly” he was speaking the truth of what everyone knew was written, but nobody knew what it meant.  The same condition is still around today, because God does not allow just anyone to read His Word and know what His Word means.  If that were to be the case, then Christians would know only what they read [very little] and atheists would know everything [by reading the Bible just to make fun of ignorant Christians].

That proclamation of Mark says the ministry of Jesus began as a new phase of letting the truth of God’s Word be known.  The ministry of John, which had come to an end, was to find out who wanted to know the truth enough to ask John to wash their sins clean, because nobody in the synagogues [or the Temple of Jerusalem] could tell them how to stop sinning.  By identifying there were indeed seekers of the truth, Jesus could begin sowing the seeds of truth to those who truly repented and sought a life of righteousness.

Okay, I have written over 1500 Word Count words explaining two of seven verses in this reading.  To be perfectly honest, not one sermon on the third Sunday after the Epiphany will focus on Mark 1:14-15.  No truth of those verses will be shared.  No truth of those verses will be heard; so, nothing inspiring faith will be spoken that will lead a pewple to rise up [become spiritually elevated – one’s soul merged with the Spirit of Christ] and become the next in a lineage of most divine priests [aka Saints].  If anything, sermons will focus on Jesus calling Simon and Andrew, then James and John.

Rather than spoil those orations, let me just point out a few pieces of deduced fact, based on a holographic whole view of what is written, which connects to verses 16 – 20.

First, John wrote about Jesus coming out of the river after being baptized by John, where he met Andrew, who went and got Simon to bring him back to meet Jesus.  That was when Jesus said he was going to call Simon “Peter” (“Kēphas“), an Aramaic name meaning “Rock” (“Petros” in Greek).  Since John was still baptizing then, that meeting occurred before John was arrested.  Therefore, one should realize that when Jesus called to Simon and Andrew, they were already acquainted; so, the call by Jesus was awaited, causing the immediacy of their response.

What is missed in the truth of these verses is the presence of the word “kai” between the names Simon and Andrew.  The imagery created makes me see two men holding onto one large net, which they are both about to cast into the water, meaning they were on the sea, not at a dock.  That leads one to think Jesus saw the two, making them out at a distance; and, knowing it was the two he knew, Jesus then hollered as loud as he could to get their attention (maybe waving his arms too), with both hearing him at the same time. 

The “kai” announces that Andrew was as important as was Simon, the way Jesus “perceived” them.  So, Jesus did not “see” them so much with his physical eyes.  What Jesus “said” to the pair was heard by their souls, equally, more than their ears.

The translation of what Jesus said, [above shown as] “Follow me and I will make you fish for people,” is not the best translation for the truth to shine forth.  The Greek text states, “Deute opisō mou  ,  kai  poiēsō hymas genesthai halieis anthrōpōn  .”  Notice the comma-kai combination in the middle.  That separates what Jesus said into two commands, one important by beginning with a capitalized word (“Deute“) and the other important because of the marker word “kai.”

The first command says, “Come after me,” where the word “Come” is important as an imperative command, which can also say “Follow!”  When the word “opisō” is seen as a statement of “after,” by having realized the truth of Jesus’ ministry “Coming after” that of John, the command is much more than Jesus saying, “Hey guys!  You remember we agreed that you would carry things for me when I begin my ministry?”  It is a command that his ministry had begun and they would need to stay close to Jesus, so they could be the next in the lineage as most divine priests.

The second important statement is then best read as, “I will act    you to be born fishers of men.”  Here, one needs to pause after one word, without a mark written to indicate that need.  This makes the word “kai” directly place focus on “poiēsō” alone, which says, “I will act” (in the future active indicative).  By reading that one word separately, it becomes a statement that the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John could be dubbed “The Acts of Jesus.”  The fifth book of the New Testament being named “The Acts of the Apostles” is then a statement that the disciples of Jesus had all [sans Judas] been born as those who acted like Jesus, all fishing for souls to bring to God.

The word “halieis” translates as “fishers,” but because both Simon and Andrew were fishing by casting nets, the promise of Jesus says each [the individualization of “kai” between Simon and Andrew] will cast nets in the world, where men live as fish out of water.  Such a realization also becomes metaphor for a spiritual soul being lost in the material realm.  The acts of Jesus would be the model of preaching the truth of God’s Word, which says the nets that will catch the souls of men [and women] are woven by the truth of God’s Word.

An important point in this regard comes from remembering what was written in John 1:39, when Jesus told Simon and Andrew, “Erchesthe  kai  opsesthe” or “Come  kai  you will see.”  Last week, we read how Philip told Nathaniel, “Erchou  kai ide” or “Come  kai  see.”  Today, those commands relate to the importance of being a “Follower” [a Saint] that will have divine insight into the truth, so one who “follows behind” Jesus will be enabled to “Come after” him, doing the acts of true evangelism.

At this point in the reading, the truth of what Jesus had promised Simon and Andrew is brought as proof before their eyes.  The reality of Jesus walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus saw James kai John, might have been what physically took place; so, when Jesus called to them and they immediately came, such a response makes one think the brothers of Zebedee had also made some arrangements with Jesus. 

While that might be the case, the truth becomes exposed more easily in the form of metaphor, as new ways to view fishers of men, and their use of nets.  This metaphor is then aptly set upon the model of Judaism, where the rabbis were the fishers of Jews, whose nets were woven by the scrolls of Mosaic Law, the Psalms, and the Prophets.

This means the names of James, John, and Zebedee are meaningful and necessary to realize.  James is a Greek form of the Hebrew name Jacob, which is a word meaning “Supplanter.”  A supplanter is one who takes the place of another, as Jacob would do to Esau.  The name John means “Yahweh Is Gracious,” with the male children of Jews seen as God’s blessings upon parents.  The name Zebedee means “Yahweh Has Bestowed.”  Together, the three names reflect the state of Judaism, where Zebedee is the religion God Bestowed upon Israel, with the sons reflecting a need to replace the Old with the New, by receiving God’s Graciousness and Supplanting Judaism with Christianity.

In this metaphor, we are told James and John “were in their boat mending the nets.”  Here, the word “ploiō” can be generalized as a “vessel,” which should be seen as a building for believers, like a nave is both a boat and a church.  This means the nets used by synagogues to catch Jews was the Law; but their nets were traps that entangled human beings, rather than freeing them.  By using the Law as a battering ram on sinners, that misuse caused many holes to be opened, letting sinners escape punishment the rulers  used against Jews.  In order to keep the Jews compliant to Law, and thus their rule, that net was always in need of being mended. 

This means Jesus “called” out to James and John the truth of the Law, which they heard for the first time.  The truth was so attractive to the ones who would Supplant Jesus and become bearers of the Graciousness of Yahweh that they left the synagogue.  That identified Zebedee as being left there with “hired hands,” where the Greek word “misthōtōn” implies someone who is only there for selfish reasons, not seeking to help anyone else without pay.

The power that the truth these words of Mark bears says all true Christians are those who hear the voice of truth calling, such that he or she cannot stop from becoming a Follower in the lineage of Jesus.  Anyone who is still sitting in a church pew, waiting for Jesus to wander by the shoreline and call out to him or her is out of luck.  That ship has sailed. 

Jesus has to be reborn in someone that looks more like Simon, Andrew, James or John (and women like Mary too), whose voice sound is inconsequential, because the soul is not listening with ears that hear vibrations of sound, but feeling the truth that is spoken from God.  Those souls hearing the truth of God’s Word do not stay in the nave mending nets.  They jump out and become Jesus reborn.

This reading from Mark only comes during the third Sunday after the Epiphany.  The meaning of Epiphany is echoed in the responses of Jesus, Simon and Andrew, and James and John.  Jesus did not have John arrested so his path to priestly stardom was free and clear [there were no lures of high hats and crosiers with golden handles that led him to his wilderness experience].  The disciples of Jesus did not drop their nets and leave their boats simply because Jesus called them in words that made them coo like women listening to their favorite minister preach.  The all had Epiphanies that heard the voice of God speaking to their souls, telling them, “You’re next, so get in line.”

When was the last time your pastor, preacher, minister, priest, or rabbi had that effect on anyone?

Hmmmm.  Maybe someone needs to tell them the truth.

R. T. Tippett

Posted in Christianity, Education, Language, Spirituality | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The gods humans worship

Now that nothing I post here is seen by anyone [friend or foe], I can do like Koko the Clown on the old movie The Groove Tube and take off my red rubber nose and start reading Fanny Hill to children (after telling them to make sure mommy and daddy are out of the room). 

Creepy Clowns Are Nothing New: A Brief But Disturbing History | Den of Geek

Instead of erotica, I will tell you about Scripture [as always].

Back in the day when I was new to Episcopalianism and my successful wife was attempting to give everything material up, in her decision to serve God, as a priest in the Episcopal Church, I enrolled in a program they have called “Education for Ministry” [EfM].  I longed mightily to have someone educated in Biblical matters to confirm what I had been seeing, which came from insight I had [I say divinely inspired insight] about the meaning of Holy Scripture.  My wife entered that program also, but because she was a very successful businesswoman, she took the Internet version, whereas I went to an Episcopal church every Wednesday for two hours, over some thirty-something weeks.

The course was designed to be three or four years long, before one could be deemed “educated for ministry,” with each of the years designed to teach three ways of being so educated: Bible readings; presentations of prayers and meditative practices; and, theological reflection.  Theological reflection is defined as “knowing God and knowing about God through experience.”  Over the whole length of that first (and my only) year in the program, nobody caught on to how theological reflection was a normal part of life; and, when the Bible readings turned into hour-long discussions about one or two verses, the mentors told us, “This is not a Bible Studies course, so we will limit the Biblical readings to fifteen minutes, with little discussion.”

The first year was when the Old Testament was to be read.  Before it came to the point that we were told we could not study Scripture [because theological reflection was what EfM was all about], we read Genesis and the Adam and Eve story.  In our discussion, it seemed clear to me that Adam and Eve were set up to fail, so they could enter the world as God’s priests.  Someone asked, “How could God allow that to happen?”  I said, as a matter of fact, “God knew they would sin.”

A professional woman (a neurological nurse for a neurological group in town), who was raised Roman Catholic but converted to Episcopalianism because she once opened the large Bible the family kept on a stand by the front door and her mother slapped her hand, saying “That is to be looked at, not read,” she had explained that Genesis was all news to her, because she had not been allowed to read the Bible.  When I said that God knew Adam and Eve would sin, she loudly exclaimed, “How could he know that?!?”

I calmly said, as a rhetorical question, “Because he is omniscient?”

The entire class became quiet.  It seems I was the only one who had come to that conclusion.

I mention this because that class is a reflection on the vast majority of people who call themselves Christians.  Few have ever read the Holy Bible, and fewer have ever put much thought into what they have had read to them in church (which is just some number of Sundays, not all).  Most Christians have placed their souls in the hands of people who have become trained mentors of something like an Education for Ministry program.  In the Episcopal Church, every ordained priest is qualified to mentor such a program, but most leave it up to course graduates to lead a group of students (if their church has enough interested to form such a group – must have twelve).  This is because most Episcopal priests don’t really know that much about the program, nor do they care to teach anything beyond a sermon orated.

So, here is one of those opinions of mine that will make all the Catholic girls leap up and scream, “How can you say that!!!”

Satan is a creation of God. 

Let me give you more background, before you click the “x” button and run away.

In that EfM course, one of the first things they had us read (we had to pay over $350 for this literature and the binders to put the pages in) an introduction to theory that would remain a cornerstone in this educational process, throughout all years of study.  For that reason (alone), it was important that us newbie students ‘get with the program’ and buy into this theory.  In the literature it clearly stated, “This is a theory and cannot be proved.”  Then, they demanded adherence to this theory: There is only one God, so when you read “elohim” in the Old Testament, you should recognize that as meaning “God,” even though the Hebrew says “gods.”  Thus, when Genesis says, “In the beginning gods created the heavens and the earth” [and every reference to “God” in Genesis 1 says “elohim“], you should read that as “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

Their theory, which the literature said many scholars supported [therefore that makes it believable] the concept that the original oral account of the Torah was not written down for quite a while, so when it was written down, some guy [they call him the “E writer”] wrote “elohim” all the time, rather than “el.”  In addition to the “E writer,” there was a “J writer” [he liked to write “Yahweh,” which the Germans write as “Jehovah”], a “D writer” [he wrote the Book of Deuteronomy], and a “P writer” [he wrote the Psalms].  I laughed out loud when I read that, because it all is hooey.

I refused to accept that theory and argued my point from the first discussion on the matter.  I became as outcast in that group as I am here on this blog now.  I tried to explain that refusing to believe that God led every writer of the Holy Bible [Old and New Testaments] is sacrilege.  Thus “elohim” has to means “gods,” because to think otherwise is what makes one an atheist.  I said it was akin to taking a course in Greek Mythology and on the first day of class being told there is only Zeus, as all the other gods do not count.  The reasoning being, the Greeks must have had A writers (for Ares, Aphrodite, Apollo, Artemis and Athena), H writers (for Hera, Hermes, and Hephaistos), a P writer (for Poseidon), and a D writer for Dionysus; but all gods really mean Zeus (like the Z writer wrote).   

I was ridiculed because I was outspoken against stupidity being called education.

By the time I was halfway into this course that would take most of a year, I absolutely hated going to each class.  I offered little-to-no opinion when I went.  I made my disgust with the mentors and the students in the class be shown in my demeanor, which matched their having shunned everything I had said, equating my insight as that of a nobody, incapable of offering anything of value.  Then, after at least twenty-five meetings, the lead mentor [due to some group conversation that I was merely present for, but not paying attention to] said to me, directly, “I’m beginning to see what you meant about there being other gods.”

I remember him saying that but I did not respond anymore than the tar baby responded to Br’er Rabbit.

Br'er Rabbit - Wikipedia

“I say, I’m talkin to you boy.”

I finished the first year course [because they had $350 non-refundable U.S. dollars for my membership], only missing one class [on purpose, because one particular bitch was leading the prayer that Wednesday], but I certainly did not sign up for the second year.  The program is run by Big Braiwashers who have not one iota of divine inspiration.  It is much like the peek-a-boo readers here, on this free WordPress blog.  I am not put on this earth to appease atheists, by telling atheists what they want to hear people be taught about Scripture.  I am here to make atheists run away, in fear of God.  All others must be seekers of the truth or be gone.

There are way too many statements in Scripture that confirm what I say about Satan being a creation of God.  Satan is one of the “elohim,” along with angels like Michael and Gabriel.  The “elohim” are as dead as are the “sciences” and courses in “mathematics,” which most certainly exist as the principles that assisted God in His Creation.  Just as God created the equivalent of ‘Santa’s little helpers,’ God created gods. 

Time Tracker: Enhancing Santa and His Elves - eBillity

God commanded His gods to do His work.  This means God is a manager, not a laborer; and, look at the parables told by Jesus [of the landowner and vineyard owner who hired laborers] to confirm this.  Satan is thus one of God’s employees, not an equal to God; and, the story told in apocrypha (the Book of Enoch) is this god [an angel not named Satan, but Azazel] fell from grace, along with other angels that followed him.

That story should be seen in the same light that one sees Greek mythology (or other mythology), such that human brains can understand greater topics when those topics are presented in simple human terms.  Humans can grasp the concept of a god being humanlike. When God created the universe by using gods He created – principles of physics and laws of mathematics – it is easier for simple minds to grasp angels that look like humans, with wings.  So, when God created everything that is part of a human world, they included light and darkness – visible representations of life and death; good and evil.  This means everything created by God was deemed good, because included in the good plan was to the the tests of souls placed into His universe.

A test is something human beings love to avoid as much as possible.  Still, God created tests because they were good, regardless of the scores those test would generate.

The Roman Catholic Church has figured out these good and bad angels of God, when they present the “seven deadly sins” and the “seven heavenly virtues.”  Those are:

Deadly (dark. evil) –  Pride; Envy; Gluttony; Lust; Anger; Greed; and, Sloth.

Virtues (light; good) –  Faith; Hope; Charity; Fortitude; Justice; Temperance; and, Prudence.

Satan then becomes the supervisor of all those deadly tests of human beings.  This makes Satan one of the MANY ‘lower-g’ gods [the “elohim“] God created, in the beginning, with His All-knowing foresight, because God’s plan for creating a material universe was to have a place to send souls, all of which are extensions of God, given the freedom to experience the material world.  The caveat of such a ‘vacation’ from being required to absolutely serve only God in His natural abode [heaven is the absence of all material things, which human brains cannot fathom] comes with the expectation that the soul must return and be one with God, which means passing some tests that ensure a squeaky clean soul in the beginning is a squeaky clean soul in the return.

Possibly [I cannot remember, due to lack of interest at that time], the mentor of my EfM group leaned over and said to me, “I’m beginning to see what you meant about many gods” because we had reached the point in the Old Testament readings when Elijah challenged the priests of Ba’al to have their god light a fire [and Ba’al could not]. 

This is symbolic of Abel’s sacrifice on an altar and Cain’s.

I am not sure if that was why he had some sudden epiphany and felt moved to finally give me credit for having seen the many references in the Old Testament that speaks of many gods that human beings worshiped.  Refusing to accept all that as truth in words, simply because one is reading Genesis 1 and that means one cannot jump ahead in the ‘story’ is idiocy.   Human beings bow down and pray to many gods, which is the entire reason God knew in the beginning that He would eventually have to send Himself in human form [Jesus] to show all the failed souls how to get squeaky clean again and return to heaven. 

In this menagerie of gods on earth [“elohim“] is the greatest of all time, which is your own ego.  Because you [and all like you] have a Big Brain, you bow down and worship yourself as an equal to God Almighty.  If you call yourself Christian [but do only a few miniscule things like Jesus], then you are breaking the Law that says “Thou shall not bear false witness against your neighbor,” by making it appear that you have been filled with God’s Holy Spirit and been reborn in the name of Jesus Christ [the truth of being Christian].  The reason a human being would make such a false claim is that one is influenced by the deadly sins: Pride; Envy; Gluttony; Lust; Anger; Greed; and, Sloth.  That means one listens to Satan [a god not God, by whatever name] and obeys his suggestions, hints, and influences.

When the time finally comes for you to reach the point of darkness in your human flesh’s ability to sustain life with a soul [death], you will be challenged, just like Elijah challenged the priests of Ba’al, to have Satan come down and give you the fire of eternal life.  You will find the same result.  You worshiped so many ‘lower-g’ gods in your lifetime, the greatest being the god of Big Brain [yourself], that for all the things you thought those gods brought into your life, none of them had actually done anything.  Everything you gained in life [even everything you lost in life] was Godsent; but you always failed to give God any credit, while always giving full credit to the “elohim” you worship.

That is what God created Satan [or Azazel, or Lucifer, or you name him] to do.  Satan serves God foremost.  God ordered all of His angels [“elohim” or gods] to serve Him foremost, but when God created Man [male and female He ordered His gods to have them made] He ordered His angels to serve Man too.  That order was because Man [in all genders] is an extension of God, thus God on earth, just free to enjoy the material plane without realizing he or she is actually God incarnate.  Satan’s job, along with all his little helpers, is to keep Man’s brain focused on not being God on earth.

Now, in Genesis 4 one finds the story of Cain and Abel. 

Lesson 02 - "God's Creation Spoiled" - My Bible First - Kids Club Online  Bible Academy

Because mentors with diplomas from EfM were never told to think about what that story represents, few people in the world today can see how Cain and Abel were sons of the first priest on earth [not the first Man], thus they were the sons that were taught to maintain the legacy of priesthood.  Abel was a priest who sacrificed from his flock, such that he released a soul [in an animal] to return to God the Father.  Cain was a priest who sacrificed of the earth, which had no soul to be released to return to God the Father [albeit Mother Earth – a goddess, was pleased].  When God asked Cain why his face was so long, as he lay on the ground where serpents slither, God advised this priestly son of Adam, “If you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”

Cain had the power – as a priest of Man – to command Satan to get out of his face and get behind him, as a servant of God who obeys that order of the foremost importance.  Cain – as one of Man – had the freedom to choose what he would do, based on worldly influences.

Cain listened to the influence of Satan.  He murdered and was punished to forever become the priest on earth that misleads human beings, sending them away from God the Father and towards the influence of Satan.  Whereas Abel was doing good, as all human beings must be taught to do – as each being a priest like Abel – Cain was doing evil by teaching others there were gods that would allow people to sin and not be destroyed.  This has become the poisonous mushrooms that are religions in the world [founded by Cain], which are those religions that pretend to be doing the Lord’s work, when the only lord they bow down before is the “elohim” of self-benefit.  There are no pastors, preachers, priests, ministers, rabbis or EfM mentors that teach the flocks like Abel, saying “YOU must be sacrificed to God.” 

While some mushroom are edible and not poisonous, meaning some religions – some individual churches are led by individual pastors that are like Abel – teach self-sacrifice to God, most are incapable of lighting the fire of God under their flocks, who are not expected to sacrifice themselves, but their things.  They are then like Cain at his altar that burns the produce of the fields.  That means it is so easy today to think one is feeding off good religion, when one is ingesting the poison of deadly sins.  Those religions, as representations of Cain, lay on the ground and listen to the whispers of Satan, rather than realizing Satan is an angel created by God, ordered to serve Man as God on earth.

If you are walking behind anyone as a disciple, rather than being yourself a priest filled with God’s Holy Spirit and helping God as did Elijah, then you are placing all your trust in a god [“elohim“] not God.  It is good to walk behind the teachings of Jesus, as did his disciples; but the measure of that goodness is seen in one’s transformation from disciple to Saint, who then becomes a model of Jesus, leading your own disciples to become Saints also.  The problem, however, is walking behind a Pied Piper, who plays a tune you love to dance to, because it releases you from all responsibilities to serve God the Father as His Son.  The moral of the fable of the Pied Piper is he walks the children down the road to death [darkness, evil].

File:Pied Piper2.jpg - Wikipedia

R. T. Tippett  

 

Posted in Christianity, Education, Philosophy, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

John 1:43-51 -Following Jesus means rising to be fruit-bearing

John 1:43-51
Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

———-

Guy lying under tree Stock Photos - Page 1 : Masterfile

I last wrote about this reading on December 7, 2017.  It is available to be read here.  I stand behind what I was led to write then.  I have also written about how this reading has become the root of a campaign ad for a theological school in Tennessee, as part of a sermon that includes this reading and the others that accompany it on the Second Sunday after the Epiphany.  You can read that sermon here.  I also stand behind those words I was led to post in January 2015.  Still, if one compares the two previous articles, one can see how the same NASB translation of nine verses in John’s Gospel can inspire one to see the same things in new and different light.  That is the motivation here, now; and, I imagine I will have more insights to share in the future, God willing I live till then.

Today I want to make sure everyone understands what Jesus meant, when he said to Philip “Follow me” (“Akolouthei moi“).  The Greek word “akoloutheó ” translates as “to follow,” with the definition being “I accompany, attend, follow.” (Strong’s)  The form written by John is the present active imperative, written in the second person singular.  Thus, Jesus commanded Philip specifically “to follow me.”

What is missed there is the capitalization of “Akolouthei,” where capitalization acts like a sign from God, running from the Christ Mind to the fingertips that held a quill with ink, forcing John to make it discretely clear that the command to “Follow” meant more than standing up and forming a line behind me, as some simple command to do what I do, as I say, for as long as I have human life on earth.  It is vital to see that and understand what the more means.

The Charles Dickens Page - Oliver Twist Asks for More

Please Mr. Pastor, tell me more than your sermon said, more than Scripture shows. I want to be fed more spiritual food, please.

To understand the more, one needs to understand the implication of what ears today hear, assuming that is what Philip heard.  A command “to follow me,” which was received simply as, “Okay,” transformed Philip into a “follower.”  When Christianity lost the Holy Spirit (when Saints became as rare as unicorns), those pretending to be saintly convinced the pagans (those not allowed to read Latin or ask questions) that Jesus commanded duty in his believers, such that all must be like Philip and become “followers” (again, without reading between the lines or asking questions); and, that is the state of Christianity today – a bunch of sheep walking in line behind someone holding a book of New Testament quotes.

Bah!

The dictionary defines “follower” in two ways: “1. an adherent or devotee of a particular person, cause, or activity.” [That would be the motivation of Jesus]; and, “2. a person who moves or travels behind someone or something.” [That would be the motivation of Philip].  This makes everyone who claims to be Christians be believers, because like Philip they “follow” what Jesus had to say, by going to a church and listening to someone tell them what that was.  However, that is the result of a lower case “akoloutheó,” not a capitalized “Akolouthei.” [Meriam-Webster calls those “FANS, DEVOTEES.”]

The capitalized word, as one bearing divine meaning, coming from the Godhead, even though it came from the mouth of Jesus, speaks as bearing the importance of lineage.  God the Father spoke that Command to Philip, which (if you read between the lines) says, “This is My Son, in who I am well pleased.  You are to Follow him and become My Son reborn in you, so you too will be My Son who will survive him when I take his body away.”  That voice of God resonated to the soul of Philip, causing him to stand up quickly, snapping to attention, saying, “YESSIR!”

Think about it.  If you were in the lunch room at work, on your time off without pay, and some unknown person walks up to you and barks out a command, “Follow me.”  You would refuse that order, unless that person was wearing a uniform and had a badge; and, then you would resist, saying, “Let me finish my sandwich” or “When I’m on the clock.”

The importance of the capitalization of “Akolouthei” goes well beyond the immediate and projects to the end of Jesus’ ministry, beyond his death and resurrection, beginning when he and the other eleven disciples graduated from “followers” (disciples) and were ordained “Followers” (Apostles, which also means Saints).  Jesus had the power to speak the Word of God and he had many “followers” of his three-year ministry, with many who were touched by him having the Holy Spirit secretly becoming “Followers” that did not walk behind Jesus after being touched by God. (They began ministries of their own, as Jesus reborn within their souls.)  On Pentecost Sunday, those twelve “Followers” of Jesus spoke the Word of God and three thousand more “Followers” were instantly born – all resurrections of Jesus Christ, as Apostles-Saints.

That has to be understood as why Philip would go find Nathaniel and tell him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.”  In this is something worth investigating the Greek text.  Philip goes to Nathaniel and from Jesus speaking to him he knows Jesus is “whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote.”  That would be Philip knowing the voice he heard, commanding him to become a disciple of Jesus, so he could eventually become Jesus, spoke to him that Jesus was the Messiah.  That says Philip was a devoted Jew, who knew the Torah, Psalms, and the Prophets.  However, he introduced Jesus as such:

Iēsoun huion tou Iōsēph  ,  ton apo Nazaret  .

This is two statement, one that says “Jesus son of Joseph” and another that says “who of Nazareth.”  

Because John had previously informed the reader that Philip was from the same place as was Andrew and Peter, Bethsaida, Jesus was not in Nazareth when he spoke to Philip.  He was in Bethsaida, which is confirmed when Nathaniel replied to Philip with the question, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”

What Philip said to Nathaniel (in two parts) was that Jesus was the adopted son of Joseph, where “huios” is “from hyiós – properly, a son (by birth or adoption).”  If we know Jesus was divinely born, then God made it known to Philip that Jesus was divine, not the offspring of Joseph, but known as his son taken to raise.  The same order of words says “Jesus (the) son,” which designated him as the “son” of Prophecy.  The addition of Joseph then named someone Philip knew (in some way), named Joseph, with that name meaning “Increaser, Repeater or Doubler.” (Abarim-Publications)  As such, Jesus was a “Double son,” the Son of God and the son of Joseph.

When part two of what Philip said is a separate statement, “who of Nazareth,” it should be realized that when Jesus first met Simon (who would be called “Peter”), he called him “bar Jonah” – the “son of Jonah,” the father of Simon.  A son would typically be named as such, differentiating two of the same name as being different because of who his father was.  When Philip said “Jesus son of Joseph,” he clarified that as meaning “Jesus of Nazareth.”  The naming of a son after the town where the father lived was a statement that the father was not the true father of the son (as a foster parent or father by adoption), which many times was a statement of a bastard son, one claimed by a man who sired a son through a woman he was not married to.  This relates to Joseph having first decided to not marry Mary, because she was pregnant with a child that was not his.  Even though Joseph married Mary and adopted Jesus as his son, Jesus would not have been allowed to be known as the “son of Joseph,” because he was not.

For Philip to even know the name of Joseph, who had died at least a decade before this event took place, Joseph must have made a name for himself, in one way or another, such that people talked about him after his death.  I believe Joseph was a rabbi and priest of the Essenes, and that would have been a way for his name to take on a legacy among other Essenes.  I believe that every disciple Jesus touched, who became his disciples, were of the Essene sect, neither Pharisee or Sadducee influenced.  The reputation of Joseph as a high ranking Essene would pass beyond his death, to other Essenes.

When Nathaniel replied to Philip with the question, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” the key word to focus on is agathon,” a form of “agathos.”  This cannot be read as some negative opinion on Nazareth, as Nazareth was the town created to serve the Essene temple, on Mount Carmel (ten miles to the west of Nazareth).  The question of inherent goodness was based on Philip saying Jesus was the Messiah foretold in Scripture.  Thus, the question by Nathaniel was like asking, “Is Nazareth said to be where the Messiah will be born?” [Flash back to the Magi asking Herod the Great where the king of the Jews would be born.]

When Philip then answered Nathaniel by saying, “Come and see,” the actual words written is this: 

Erchou  kai  ide.”

If you look closely, you will see the first word in that response is capitalized, which announces a higher meaning must be sought.  Next, you should see how the magic word “kai” has been made clear in bold type.  That is because that little word must never be translated as a simple conjunction (at least not at first), but as a sign from God (through the fingertips of a Prophet) that separates words and announces importance to follow that mark or sign.  Thus, Philip told Nathaniel two important things about what was intrinsically good about Nazareth.

First is “Erchou” is written in the present imperative middle voice, second person singular, such that Philip spoke to Nathaniel from personal experience, rather than from memory of his Torah lessons and synagogue teachings.  What is good has “Come” already and Philip is now commanding Nathaniel to rise up and “Go” with him, so he too can become a disciple of Jesus.  After all, the promise of the Messiah was what all Jews were awaiting.

Following the word that marks importance, the word “see” is written, which is another imperative in the second person singular, meaning the word implies an exclamation point with it, as “see!” or “behold!” or “look!”  This becomes a most important element of what makes one become a disciple of Jesus [then, now, forever], as it implies spiritual insight, not physical eyes viewing panoramic vistas and beautiful icons.  It says Philip had been shown the truth of Jesus, so everything written about him was absolutely, perfectly true, but he could not begin to put all that insight into words.

 This is when the story of John goes into Jesus meeting Nathaniel: “When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.”’  This begins by stating Nathaniel went to Jesus, which must be realized as the first steps a disciple of Jesus must take.  One must seek Jesus in order to be found by Jesus.

When Jesus declared from seeing Nathaniel coming to him that he was “an Israelite” (not a Jew) who had “no deceit,” that says Jesus knew the heart, mind and soul of Nathaniel and it was where only truth took root.  This means that Nathaniel was one who questioned what he was told, rather than listen to what he was told and obey without investigation.  That says Nathaniel would not have gone to Jesus had Philip not emphasized Nathaniel had to “behold!” Jesus with his own truth-seeking eyes.

Jesus making the statement, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you” is much more than this translation allows one to see.  The key part comes last, as the words “onta hypo tēn sykēn  ,  eidon se  .”  Those words state: “being under the fig tree  ,  I saw you  .”  The word “onta” is a form of “eimi,” which states “I am, exist.”  Thus, “being” is more than resting, taking it easy in the shade of a tree.  It says Nathaniel’s soul was the roots of truth that made for fertile ground so he could become the good fruit of the vine, or produce countless figs as a tree of life-giving Spirit.

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These are the good fruits of a fig tree of life.

There is the story in the Book of Judges, about the prophetess Deborah, who is thought to hang out each day in the shade of a palm tree.  The same implication there (she produced good fruits, like a date tree) is the same here.  God would not have John write meaningless fluff that only meant Nathaniel was some lazy guy that rested under fig trees.  In Mark 11:12-25 is the story of Jesus cursing a barren fig tree so that it withered and died.  Jesus was making the point that anyone who does not produce good fruit in the name of Jesus Christ (barren like was Judas Iscariot) has no place in heaven.  That must be a point grasped by Christians today, who God only sees lounging in the shade of a church pew, doing little to determine the truth and produce good fruits.

When Nathaniel then told Jesus, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” he spoke as the good fruit he would become three years later, on Pentecost Sunday.  He knew through the Holy Spirit that Jesus was indeed the King of the Jews, a new David, the promised Messiah.  Nathaniel had indeed “seen” the truth in Jesus.

We then read that Jesus said to Nathaniel, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.”  That says that the roots of Nathaniel’s soul were just beginning to transform his body from Jew, to disciple, to good fruit-bearing tree of life.  All he had to do from then on was keep his eyes open to the truth of Jesus and God.

When this selection ends with Jesus telling Nathaniel, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man,” this verse is relative to the Epiphany season.  Last Sunday was read of Jesus going to John in the Jordan, when Jesus and John had their souls opened and the divine voice of God spoke to them both, saying “You are my Son.”  The dove (or pigeon) lit upon them, as a symbolic fluttering in their hearts (pigeons are not graceful fliers).  Now, we are continuing that theme of the Holy Spirit becoming one with a “Follower,” who will become filled with the Holy Spirit – a Saint – the union of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Jesus told Nathaniel the truth, that he too would have the same experience as he and John had in the Jordan River.  On Pentecost Sunday, at the end of Jesus as a physical human being on earth, Nathaniel (some think he was also named Bartholomew) would become the Son of Man, along with eleven others who would also become the Son of Man, all the physical embodiment of Jesus the Messiah reborn.

Until a Christian has that epiphany, one has not yet “Come” and one has not yet “Seen” the truth.  One is still needing to be told what to believe.

R. T. Tippett

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1 Corinthians 6:12-20 – If only Christians could understand this

1 Corinthians 6:12-20
“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are beneficial. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food,” and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is meant not for fornication but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Should I therefore take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that whoever is united to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For it is said, “The two shall be one flesh.” But anyone united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Shun fornication! Every sin that a person commits is outside the body; but the fornicator sins against the body itself. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.

———-

Here are a few of the words used in the above reading (as translated by the NASB):

lawful, fornication, bodies, prostitute, and sin.

In Greek, those words are: exestin, porneia, sōmata, pornēs, and hamartēma.

Included with those words is Paul telling the Christians of Corinth (symbolically everyone who God intended this epistle to be read thereafter – you) about the natural state of union: Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food; The body is meant not for fornication but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body; God raised the Lord and will also raise us; whoever is united to a prostitute becomes one body with her; two shall be one flesh; anyone united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him; and, your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you.

All of this duality reflected in the words of Paul says there is a right way and there is a wrong way.  When he said “All things are lawful for me,” he then added “not all things are beneficial.”  When he said, “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food,” that says all things have a purpose.  The implication is God made both stomachs in mortal creatures and God made food for mortal creatures to eat and digest in their stomachs; therefore, “God will destroy both one and the other.”  Everything made by God on His green earth is seasonal: it comes and it goes, as by natural design, intended by God.

Of that “natural selection,” Paul said, “The body is meant not for fornication but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.”  Paul was writing a letter to others like him, those who were true Christians and not just a bunch of heathens thinking he or she could gain some benefit from going to listen to Paul speak his epistles out loud.  To affirm that targeted audience, Paul asked a rhetorical question, which (in essence) states how a true Christian is measured by God.  There he stated, ” your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God … you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.”  That is the measure of all true Christians, then and today and for all times.

It seems that Christianity in the West, in particular in the United Snakes of America, the only words remembered from this reading are: “All things are lawful for me.”  In that statement, the word “exestin” would be better translated as “permitted,” or better yet as “possible.”  The law or the legality of what could be done is a moot point.  Paul was a Roman citizen, although also a Jew, which meant anything permissible by Roman laws was good to go for a Roman citizen.  Paul, being a Jew, was limited in what he could do, relative to Mosaic Law; but still, that is not what Paul was saying.

Paul was saying he had a penis [a sex organ that tingles with delight sometimes] and although it was possible for him to stick his penis in someone’s mouth [human or animal], or up the anus of another [again, human or animal], or in the vagina of a hooker … that was all possible physically; but it was not beneficial to his soul.  While Paul later implied sticking a penis in a prostitute was possible, when he asked “Do you not know that whoever is united to a prostitute becomes one body with her?” he was saying your soul merges with whatever your body leads it to merge with.  

When Paul ended this reading with the statement (one made to other true Christians), “you were bought with a price,” that applies to everyone, no matter how perverted one is.  You pay the price for the actions of the body.  That price is a soul.

The word written that has been translated as “fornication” (“porneia“) also can translate literally as “whoredom” and metaphorically as “idolatry.” (Strong’s)  HELPS Word-studies says of the word: “[It] is derived from pernaō, (“to sell off”) – properly, a selling off (surrendering) of sexual purity; promiscuity of any (every) type.”  This means to limit that meaning to simply “sexual intercourse between people not married to each other” (the Oxford Dictionary definition of the English word “fornication”) is to miss the widescale meaning that selling one’s soul for whatever it is the world offers the body to wallow in.

When Paul wrote “sōma,” “sōmati,” and “sōmata,” words that translate as “the body, body, and bodies,” it is easy to know the reality of one’s flesh and know food goes in the stomach and sex organs mesh pleasurably with other sex organs, and fail to realize the spirituality of his using an extension of those words when he wrote “melē Christou” – “members of Christ.”  It is missing the point to think of a physical “body” as a church, when a brick and mortar building, or a network of buildings each run by some brain in a human body writing the rules that say what an organization finds permissible in its “members” (where membership comes with a price called tithes), cannot receive the Holy Spirit.  Buildings and institutions are not “bodies.”

The meaning of a “body” is one that is alive.  The Greek word for a corpse is “ptóma,” where that translates specifically as a “dead body” or “carcass” (Strong’s)  Still, that word “ptóma” (very similar in sound to “sōma“) also has the primary meaning that states “a fall, hence a misfortune, ruin.” (Strong’s Concordance).  When one sees how the figurative meaning for “sōma” is “the mystical Body of Christ (= the Church, the one people of God)” (HELPS Word-studies), the implication is a “body” that is alive because of the “mystical” presence of the Christ Spirit.    

A “body” is only alive because it has a soul – the breath of life that in Hebrew is “ruach” or “ruah.”  That is the true “member” (“melos“) of importance in a living “body.”  It is not one’s lips, tongue, eyes, mouth, throat, stomach, anus, penis, vagina, or any other part of flesh, because all of that is nothing more than parts of a corpse waiting to happen – KNOWN TO HAPPEN because human beings are mortal bodies of flesh, hung around eternal souls of life.  Still, a soul is single.  A soul needs to find union … which is the theme of duality Paul states in this reading.

When God breathes a spirit (“ruach“) into a body of flesh, the flesh grows and grows, so it surrounds and envelops the soul, with the soul feeding that growth.  In this process that mankind has deemed to be “biological,” a brain becomes the central organ, through which all commands of God are received and transmitted throughout the developing body.  In this normal growth and human development, the brain slowly begins to take control over the soul, eventually making the soul a slave to the body’s wants and desires, beyond its essential needs.  Once a body of flesh reaches a point of development called “puberty,” the sex organ kicks in big time.  The natural purpose of this law of nature is for creating babies, as an innate drive for survival of the species; but, as Paul said about all things being possible, the brain can be usurped by Satan’s voice, keeping the soul from hearing the voice of God.  Thus, not all things are beneficial for the growth and development of the soul, once the body has taken full control.

This is where one needs to understand the meaning of “pornēs” or “prostitute.”  This word can mean “harlot” (Strong’s), but the word’s use in the New Testament is universally read as meaning “any woman indulging in unlawful sexual intercourse, whether for gain or for lust.” (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)  That brings out the feminine essence that needs to be explained; but let me first point out the similarity to this word and “porneia” (“fornication”).  Just as “porneia” was metaphorically a statement about “idolatry,” so too does “pornēs” have the same metaphorical meaning.

Now, as to the feminine essence that “prostitute” (“pornēs“) yields, the metaphor of the duality of a living body – body with soul spirit – is this: Flesh equals earth, physical, material, such that a body is feminine in essence; and, Soul equals spiritual, invisible, immaterial, such that a soul is masculine in essence.  By understanding that metaphysical aspect, the body is what receives the spirit of life, just as a vagina opens and receives a penis.  Rather than make it seem like female human beings are the only life forms that can prostitute their bodies, it is important to realize that all humanity is a collection of prostitutes.

The primary definition of “prostitute” [Meriam-Webster] is “a person who engages in sexual intercourse in exchange for pay,” where no human gender is applied.  The axiom most adults know is: The world’s oldest profession is prostitution. (Again, without any human gender being assumed.)  The key element of “prostitution” is then based on personal profit, which mostly is measured in some form of monetary exchange; but some people may profit emotionally or physically, if addicted to sex, rather than money.  This needs to take one’s mind back to Paul saying, “not all things are beneficial,” where moolah and tingly feelings might seem beneficial, but the benefit is fleeting, thus on the grand scheme of things temporal.  Temporal things always leave a body wanting more.

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All things human are thus possible, but not all possible things are beneficial.  All things human (the capitalized importance of “Panta“) are then all things created by humans, where human beings become the parts or members of those things created.  When Paul says “members of Christ” and those calling themselves “Christians” interpret that as an organization created by human beings, called a “church” (but denominational and separate from other bodies called churches, all with their own “lawful things permissible”), the reality is all things created by human beings are feminine in essence and therefore prostitutes because they profit in some way (moolah or pleasure), usually by playing God on earth, speaking for some external man known as Jesus.

In my history of writing articles on blogs, I have come down hard and heavy on all those prostitutes that call themselves popes, because they are the furthest from being filled with the Holy Spirit a human being can be.  The whole pope thing began because someone misconstrued Jesus telling Peter he would be his rock [“Petros” means “Rock”] and some others figured out the cornerstone statement, so brains came together and figured out Saint Peter was like the first pope, even though he was never a member of the body [organization] called the Roman Catholic Church.  Peter, like Jesus and like Paul, never found reason to build a new building and call it a church.  Paul never wrote to a building in Corinth, Ephesus, or Colossae.  He wrote to people filled with the Holy Spirit, who met together as many people with the same Christ Mind, all reborn in the name of Jesus Christ.  The Emperor of Rome saw a need to change directions, in order to keep profiting from the little guys of its world, so it decided to start calling its emperors popes. 

Well, let me just add here that the Roman Catholics are not the only group of human beings with organizations for profit that have false shepherds acting as leaders that have the magical ability to know what Jesus would say, if Jesus were alive today.  One of such churches is the Episcopal Church [whatever name it officially goes by now, after it became so disgusting itself splintered into another denomination of a similar name], the one with Michael Curry named as the presiding bishop.  He is nothing more than the head prostitute [do they call those Madams?] of a prostitution ring.  Beside the fact that Mister Curry is parading like some political celebrity negro [he married the bastard Harry boy to the mulatto Meghan in some cathedral in London and now has opinions about crucifying Donald Trump in Washington D.C.]  that benefit (as a leader of an “organizational body” calling itself a church) can only be seen as such because so many white Episcopalians are so guilt-ridden over being white that they will sell what’s left of their souls for a non-white (from Chicago) to be presiding bishop over them, simply to keep them from being afraid to go to the Target or Walmart and mix with peoples of color.  Mister Bishop Curry took the place of a presiding bishop that was openly gay [maybe two: 1 male, 1 female?], who supported a bishop who denied Jesus ever lived [his name sounds like a virus – Spong].  So, the Episcopal Church has all its members of its body kneel at the rail each Sunday and open an orifice so it can be filled with some penis of social injustice and political punishment.

This mistreatment by organizations whose creators and members call their groups “religious,” based on  an ability to proclaim “All these things we believe make them lawful to us to do and remain religious,” is little more than enslavement of people as prostitutes.  This is actually why Paul asked the question and then immediately answered it: “Should I therefore take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never!”   

When Paul then continued, saying “Do you not know that whoever is united to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For it is said, “The two shall be one flesh,” you are who you lie down with.   If you submit yourself to an organization, then how can you then submit yourself to God … without being called a prostitute?  When Jesus said you cannot serve two masters, he was referring to the Jews who bowed down before the Temple leaders and did what they said to do, rather than bow down before God and let Him lead them submissively through life.

One has to be able to read Paul’s writings and see how him stating “anyone united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Shun fornication! Every sin that a person commits is outside the body; but the fornicator sins against the body itself” as meaning “fornication” is not having physical sex with anyone, IT IS WORSHIPING A CHURCH AS AN IDOL.   Any church leader who says, “It is okay to suck penises or kiss labia out of wedlock, because I speak for Jesus” is a fornicator; and, anyone who believes a fornicator is a prostitute looking for a good time.

This is where understanding “sin” becomes vital.  The Greek word “hamartanó” translates as “sin,” but more often means “miss the mark, do wrong.” (Strong’s Concordance)  The roots of the word say, “properly, having no share in.” (HELPS Word-studies)  By understanding this, when Paul wrote “Every mistake that a person commits is outside the body; but the idolater misses the mark against the body itself” … that says humans are born flawed, prone to make mistakes, thus always led to sin.  However, when one begins to enjoy missing the mark, finding pleasure and profit in all those tingly sensations the world brings upon one’s body, then one begins searching out those who justify one’s sinful way of life.  For a homosexual to go to an Episcopal church and think God has forgiven all his sins is akin to a drug addict going to a drug dealer who has free samples … temporarily (until you can sell your body for the money to pay for the next fixes).  Finding someone who tells you what you want to hear is only going to benefit the one using an idiot with no backbone and a weak soul.

When Paul then asked the true Christians he knew in Corinth if they knew “your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own?” that said one who is filled with the Holy Spirit of God is married to Him and has given birth to His Son within their flesh, as a companion that leads their soul.  The human organ called a brain no longer leads the body to seek pleasurable and profitable experiences that come and go, as quickly as they came.  The brain’s self-ego has bowed down before the true Lord, knowing all things might be possible, but all things are not to be done.  The soul is not left alone to fight against the wants and desires of a body that is as fleshy as is the brain.  The presence of Jesus Christ means the brain becomes an organ that only acts as designed by God, just like every other body part.  That means the High Priest of one’s body is no longer a Satan influenced brain, but the Mind of Christ.  That means the Ark of the Covenant has become one’s heart, upon which God sits and all Law is therein written.  One no longer needs an organization to explain the rules, which they make up as they go along, making sure they make the most in that exchange.

When Paul ends this reading by being shown to say, “For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body,” it means a true Christian has sold his or her soul to God Almighty, the true owner of that breath of life.  The price paid is the price of servitude and obedience.  One has to prove one’s merit to God, which comes by showing one wants to learn what Scripture says.  This can mean being educated in an organization that calls itself religious.  It does not matter what sect, form, or denomination that is, as none of the leaders will have their names as the author of any holy books.  The truth is always in the words written, but one needs to get rid of all laziness and search for that truth, which means looking up words, asking others what they think, or asking close advisors what they see the meaning being.  Sitting in a pew and thinking receipt of the Holy Spirit comes as easy as laying in a tanning bed for a tan won’t cut it.

R. T. Tippett

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