Because my Katrina Pearls website is no longer a place to store notes for Sunday readings, I post these notes here now. I am placing the reading text, followed by my views on that meaning. There is no sermon formed from these notes; and the Psalm is not interpreted today – Year A RCL, February 5, 2017.
Jesus said, “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.
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Salt is a mineral that is mined from the earth. It is the residue of dried seas. Salt is sodium chloride, with salt being formed when an acid and a base are neutralized in a chemical reaction. The evaporation of water results in salt. This makes water act as the “taste” Jesus referred to; and the “taste” is what ocean fish thrive on. Salt without water is what fish are preserved in. This makes human beings symbolic of fish.
Water is symbolic of life, which means the “taste” of life is rooted in the emotions experienced by humans, as water symbolizes the fluidity of emotions. Life has ups and down, is always changing, never static. Death is stasis life. A life that has become tasteless … void of emotions … “is no longer good for anything.”
A life without emotions is a state of death. Like ashes to ashes, dust to dust, so too is salt to earth. Just as water evaporating from seawater leaves salt residue that forms underground, so too does a human body enter a tomb or grave. Dead bodies are “thrown out” by burial and “trampled underfoot” by those who still have a “taste” for life above ground.
Lost “saltiness” is restored by newness of life. A soul returns to a new body that is lit by the water of emotions. Life is then a torch of light for all others (who are lit by life) to witness. A “city” is a collection of torches, which beacons brightly to the world. A “city built on a hill” is an elevation towards heaven, such that the collection of torches join together as a beacon for God.
God is the source of life, where the “taste” of life is for contact with that divine presence. God’s divine presence becomes the source of raised emotions that beacon others to feel God in the same way. One devoted to God is then a lamp for God, who stands tall and “lets one’s light shine before others, so that they may see God’s good works in others and give glory to God the Father in heaven.”
When Jesus then said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill,” this is a statement of the evolution of life on earth, which not only has the physical laws of nature but also the spiritual “taste” of prophets. This means the “law” is not only those passed on to the Israelites by Moses, but also the rules that have forever existed that govern life. One such “law” states, “Thou doth not achieve a college degree without first taking many courses and passed many exams.” By Jesus saying, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law,” he meant, “Do not expect a get to heaven free card by simply stating a belief that Jesus was-is-will always be the Son of God.” That, in turn, says, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the prophets” means, “Do not think you get to heaven without graduating with a degree in Sainthood.”
When Jesus said, “Whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven,” he was speaking directly to Jews, who were the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Israel). This means the laws of Moses were the laws of God, which establish the degree program and criteria for becoming a Saint for God on earth. Those laws allow one to become a shining light to the world, with Jesus telling Saints to gather as one Church that elevates the earthly realm closer to God and heaven. Still, the leaders of the Jewish temple were rewriting laws to suit their needs; and the same errors of brainyism exist to this day. Anyone speaking from self-aggrandizement (academic acclaim) is making up laws to suit one’s needs, making one not a graduate of the Sainthood program, but an utter failure in the eyes of God … the “least in the kingdom of heaven.” Sure, they are part of the kingdom of Jews, but drop-outs as far as being “tastes” of heaven on earth.
In contrast, Jesus saying, “Whoever does them [adherence to the laws of Moses, as written] and teaches them [speaks from the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, not seminary intellect] will be called great in the kingdom of heaven,” means the laws can only be understood perfectly by God. The loss of saltiness found in dead human beings [dead in Spirit] is rejuvenated by the water that is the emotions of the Holy Spirit yielding one the Christ mind. That is life whose taste is elevated to a righteous state [Sainthood].
Just as the scholars of Jerusalem – the scribes and Pharisees – were failing God and changing laws to suit their personal agendas, so too is anyone of the cloth today [including the lamb’s wool worn by wolves and the fine hats and robes worn by scholastic clergy]. Jesus promised then and the promise still holds fast today: “You will never enter the kingdom of heaven” by making up your own laws, as if think you know what God meant way back then. To assume times have changed so drastically, now versus then, that “surely” God meant for me to adjust His Word to fit a modern desire of the flesh, is to assume you will be going to heaven, when you have become tasteless salt, ready to be trampled underfoot.
1 Corinthians 2:1-16
When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not come proclaiming the mystery of God to you in lofty words or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I came to you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. My speech and my proclamation were not with plausible words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.
Yet among the mature we do speak wisdom, though it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to perish. But we speak God’s wisdom, secret and hidden, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written,
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the human heart conceived,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—
these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For what human being knows what is truly human except the human spirit that is within? So also no one comprehends what is truly God’s except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. And we speak of these things in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual things to those who are spiritual.
Those who are unspiritual do not receive the gifts of God’s Spirit, for they are foolishness to them, and they are unable to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. Those who are spiritual discern all things, and they are themselves subject to no one else’s scrutiny.
“For who has known the mind of the Lord
so as to instruct him?”
But we have the mind of Christ.
When Paul said, “I did not come proclaiming the mystery of God to you in lofty words or wisdom,” he was stating his lack of formal training as a temple priest. In modern terms, it means “I do not come speaking detailed history of my religious education at an esteemed university.” By stating, “I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ,” Paul meant he only spoke what the mind of Christ told him. Thus, “him crucified” was not only Jesus, but the man once known as Saul, who also had been executed in order to be resurrected as Christ. As such, Paul spoke the “words of wisdom” that demonstrated his being “of the Spirit and of power” to speak so wisely. Apostles can only speak with that holy power, which has the effect of calling others to the same (as opposed to making them feel inferior in knowledge).
When Paul said, “I came to you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling,” this is exactly how weak a mortal human is without the power of God, no matter how bold or wise one is able to project. Others who are just as weak can be fooled, but Paul transformed the Corinthians to whom he spoke, so that they too became filled with the Holy Spirit and heard his words and understood. Thus, Paul spoke of the “mature” who “speak wisdom” from years of experience, but more so of those who have become “mature of wisdom through the Christ mind.” The mature of age are “doomed to perish” because man without God is mortal. Therefore, an ageless maturity is the soul spending an eternity of life in heaven, with God.
When Paul said, “We speak God’s wisdom, secret and hidden,” this says all who are filled with the Holy Spirit understand the meaning of all they have been taught to learn, but questioned the meaning. The true meaning of God’s wisdom, spoken through the prophets who wrote all the books of the Holy Bible, is understood through the gift of understanding prophesy, via the Holy Spirit. To understand means for the purpose of speaking that meaning to others, so they can have an epiphany of understanding also. This wisdom is secret and hidden from those who call themselves rulers, so they will never be able to understand as long as they aspire for human heights and not eternal life.
When Paul quoted the verse, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him,” the quote comes from Isaiah 64:5. Isaiah wrote, “For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear, Nor has the eye seen a God besides You, Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.” [NASB] The difference found in the two speaking the same idea is the wisdom of the Holy Spirit in Paul interpreting Isaiah. It is not a failure of his brain to remember Hebrew text.
The Hebrew word “חָכָה” (“chakah”) is the root verb of “לִמְחַכֵּה־” (“lim-ḥak-kêh-”), meaning “to wait,” and fully translated as “in behalf of the one who waits.” While it is clear that “to wait” means to have patience, to tarry, to await, and to desire or long for, the deeper meaning is to serve, as one who waits on the needs of a master or customer. By seeing this, it is easier to see Paul speaking of “the one who waits for God” as “what God has prepared for those who love him.” This means one does not “wait” for God to come serve one’s human wants and desires. Instead, one shows love of God by “acts” of love for God. When “God” is “besides You,” then one becomes one with God, via the Holy Spirit, so God “acts in behalf of one who waits for God.” One’s actions that wait for God are inspired by God within, through love. No human eyes or ears or hearts can experience God without this servitude.
The human eyes, ears and heart cannot see beyond human abilities, but when the Holy Spirit is sent by God to make the waiting (servitude) take one beyond human capabilities, then “the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.” A new set of eyes and ears have supernatural powers, with God seated in the heart of the human’s body, which goes beyond the function of a human organ called a heart. That “heart” is the soul, which God breathes into a dusty form, giving it life on the earthly plane. Thus, Paul questioned the Saints of Corinth, “For what human being knows what is truly human except the human spirit that is within?” Without a life soul, the clay of a body is not human at all. This means the soul of God within a human is the heart that must realize a love and devotion for God, from whom the soul comes and to whom all honor and glory should be given, as a human is nothing more than a captive extension of God that should be seeking rescue by God, to return to God again.
When Paul then stated, “So also no one comprehends what is truly God’s except the Spirit of God,” this is the founding principle of atheism and all philosophies that lead souls away from God. Because the soul is unseen, it cannot be comprehended as an extension of God’s. We cover it with flesh that becomes ego. We believe we give life to ourselves. Thus, we search for higher answers to questions that are most difficult to understand, but no human brain can ever produce comprehension … only confusion. This is why Paul’s letters are so difficult for most people to grasp. Only when accompanied by the wisdom of the Holy Spirit can the answers spring forth.
This is the stated by Paul, when he wrote, “Those who are unspiritual do not receive the gifts of God’s Spirit, for they are foolishness to them.” All human beings have the spirit of life, given by God to a body formed in a womb by God, but a soul’s spirit does not make one “spiritual.” Only the Holy Spirit does that, which is begun by Apostle-Saints explaining the words of the books of the Holy Bible (prophesying prophecy), so that seekers can get the taste of spirituality. This is how old salt regains the flavor of eternal life. Still, religion does not fill one with the Holy Spirit, which is when “the gifts of God’s Spirit” makes one a Saint that acts as a torch by whom others can be led to God. The “unspiritual” are then those – pagans and atheists – who see Christianity as “foolishness.”
The difference between spirituality and the lack thereof is the presence of God’s wisdom leading an individual. Just as the eyes, ears, and heart are human organs that serve human needs, the human brain functions as the control center for human activities. The human brain is programmed by the soul, which never sleeps, so the brain controls all of the internal workings of the human body. This means the human brain is the root cause of all strengths and weaknesses possessed by a living human body. Without the soul the body has no reason to think beyond basic human needs: food, shelter, clothing, companionship, etc. It is the human mind that aspires beyond the most immediate needs, as endeavors of problem solving and enhancement of one’s conditions: present and future. However, the mind of Man is as flawed as is the body and organs of a human being: it can only lead to death as the conclusion.
When Paul wrote, “Those who are spiritual discern all things, and they are themselves subject to no one else’s scrutiny,” his reference to the spiritual was the spirituality of the Holy Spirit in a Saint. In this regard, Paul again quoted Isaiah (Isaiah 40:13), who wrote: “Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, Or as His counselor has informed Him?” Paul wrote, from the Holy Spirit, “For who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” This calls the “Spirit of the LORD” (Isaiah) “the mind of the Lord” (Paul). The whole essence of being filled with the Holy Spirit is to receive the same mind that oversaw the being that was Jesus … that was Abraham … that was Adam (et al). The same “instructor” filled all those Patriarchs of the past, just as it filled all the Apostles who followed Jesus, and just as it has filled all Apostle-Saints since. Paul summed it up to Saints who understood: “We have the mind of Christ.” The “mind of Christ” is the rebirth of holiness in a physical body, yielding eyes that see, ears that hear, and a heart that loves God from every cell of one’s being. That holiness serves the One God (YAHWEH) as an evangelist, a minister, and a pastor that opens the eys, ears, and hearts of others who seek eternal reward, realizing there will be gifts to achieve that goal, but hard word and ultimate dedication is required.
The hardest work is sacrificing the ego of You and losing that unspiritual dependency on human organs.
Shout out, do not hold back!
Lift up your voice like a trumpet!
Announce to my people their rebellion,
to the house of Jacob their sins.
Yet day after day they seek me
and delight to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that practiced righteousness
and did not forsake the ordinance of their God;
they ask of me righteous judgments,
they delight to draw near to God.
“Why do we fast, but you do not see?
Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?”
Look, you serve your own interest on your fast day,
and oppress all your workers.
Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight
and to strike with a wicked fist.
Such fasting as you do today
will not make your voice heard on high.
Is such the fast that I choose,
a day to humble oneself?
Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush,
and to lie in sackcloth and ashes?
Will you call this a fast,
a day acceptable to the Lord?
Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of injustice,
to undo the thongs of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover them,
and not to hide yourself from your own kin?
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up quickly;
your vindicator shall go before you,
the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am.
If you remove the yoke from among you,
the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil,
if you offer your food to the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,
then your light shall rise in the darkness
and your gloom be like the noonday.
The Lord will guide you continually,
and satisfy your needs in parched places,
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters never fail.
Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
the restorer of streets to live in.
In this song of Isaiah the feel is to question why those who profess belief in the One God (YAHWEH) always seem to moan and groan about life being so unfair and unequal. Fasting does not seem to make things better. Isaiah says what Jesus said in Matthew 5:13-20, as if you follow the ways of the Lord and regain the taste of life from the Holy Spirit, “Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly; your vindicator shall go before you, the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.” It fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah’s song when Jesus says, “You are the light of the world.” That state will always be fulfilled when, “You shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am.”
God says, “Here I am,” because YOU have received God within YOU. Home is where the heart is and God is where the heart desires Him.
For Isaiah to sing: “If you remove the yoke from among you, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil, if you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday.” You are the torch of God on earth, just as Jesus was, able to do what Isaiah knew was possible to do … with the power of the Holy Spirit moving YOU beyond simply learning some things and moaning and groaning when nothing changes.
The work of a Saint is ALWAYS hard. It is impossible work without God’s help. Therefore, Isaiah wrote: “The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong.” Just as God asked Ezekiel, “Mortal, can these dried bones live?” The answer is not from a brain that has died and become tasteless salt. The answer is, “You know,” because YOU ceased trying to know the mind of God with a frail human brain. God has brought YOU from salt to saltwater and new life. Therefore, Isaiah wrote, “you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail. Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in.”