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.
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