Updated: May 14
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We are always confident; even though we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord-- for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we do have confidence, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For all of us must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil.
[Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we try to persuade others; but we ourselves are well known to God, and I hope that we are also well known to your consciences. We are not commending ourselves to you again, but giving you an opportunity to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast in outward appearance and not in the heart. For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you.] For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them. From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!
This is the Epistle reading that will be read aloud on the third Sunday after Pentecost [Proper 6], Year B, according to the lectionary for the Episcopal Church. This reading will follow either a track 1 or track 2 pairing of readings; such that if track 1 is chosen, a reading from 1 Samuel will say, “Samuel did not see Saul again until the day of his death, but Samuel grieved over Saul.” That reading will be paired with Psalm 20, which sings, “They collapse and fall down, but we will arise and stand upright.” If track 2 is chosen, then the Old Testament reading will come from Ezekiel, who wrote, “On the mountain height of Israel I will plant it, in order that it may produce boughs and bear fruit, and become a noble cedar.” That will be paired with Psalm 92, which sings, “They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be green and succulent.” All will accompany the Gospel reading from Mark, where Jesus said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”
These selected verse begin by saying, “We are always confident; even though we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord-- for we walk by faith, not by sight.” That is so much of a mouthful that it becomes difficult to follow what is said. It forces questions that are not answered, as the reader drones on, adding more to the complexity. What does “confident” mean? What does “at home in the body” mean? What does “away from the Lord” mean?
This confusion comes because Yahweh does not speak in ‘speed reading capable’ language. If the sole purpose of reading things aloud is to practice one’s public speaking skills, then a church is not the appropriate environment. If reading something as fast as possible is only to get a service over sooner, without any in-depth discussion [allowing hands to be raised with questions to ask], then there really is no point in reading anything in church. Just come in, wave some wands, pass out some human-deified material things [water, wafers, wine], adjourn and go home; and, then act like something good happened, when nothing happened to change anything from the way it was before.
What I just presented from the reading is ‘the first sentence’ that will be read by a reader. It is, in reality, two verses of text. Those two verses have pause marks, breaking them into five segments. Each word in those verses could become a sentence or more. Certainly, running on without pause makes it very difficult to understand any Epistle reading, Each verse needs to be understood, before one can go into the next verse. For that reason, here is what was stated in that first ‘sentence.’
Verse 6 begins with a capitalized “Tharrountes,” which divinely elevate the meaning to a Spiritual state of “Being” that brings about “Confidence, Courage, Happiness.” That first word states an Apostle is a soul married to Yahweh and thus in possession of an assurance that cannot be matched by a soul alone. It divinely indicates strength that surrounds one's state of being, as a present participle level of "Confidence."
A lion is a good symbol of strength and courage.
That one word leads to Paul saying that state of “Being” is not temporary, as it is “always and knowing" that state of being will always be. In that, a “kai” is written between “always” and “knowing,” signaling the importance of knowledge from personal experience, thus no doubts can diminish that state.
This then leads to a comma mark, indicating ‘take a breath of pause’ before going to the word “endēmountes,” which is another word in the present participle [“Being”]. That state is where "Confidence" is relative to “being at home” or “being in a place to live.” That “place” is then stated to be “in the body,” where “sōmati” can equally translate as “flesh.” From realizing the first word of this ‘sentence’ is capitalized, meaning a marriage with the Holy Spirit, one can then be aware that the Spirit has merged with one’s soul and is "known" to be “at home in the body of flesh.”
The third segment of words in verse 6 then begins with the word “ekdēmoumen,” which has been translated as “we are away.” The word means, “to be away from home, absent,” which shows the relationship to the home, which is one’s body of flesh. When this segment ends with the capitalized word “Kyriou,” one needs to see the divine elevation that comes from seeing that word as being the Spiritual “Lord” over one’s flesh. This represents a union of self [soul] and Spirit, where the self [soul] is "absent," while still present, subservient to the presence of the "Lord."
In the accompanying reading from Ezekiel [track 2 option], he wrote “adonay Yahweh,” where I explained the intent is to say the “lord” of Ezekiel was “Yahweh. That “lord” was God’s “Spirit,” so the same needs to be read here as “Lord.” When one’s soul is [present active indicative] “away from the Lord,” this needs to be seen as Paul indicating submission in marriage, as one’s soul has stepped aside, so Yahweh’s Spirit has becomes the “Lord” over one’s body of flesh.
While this can be read [equally right, which is the nature of divine language] to speak of the state of sin that humans always find themselves in, such that “to be away from the Lord,” while being “at home in the body,” says one is led by the desires of the flesh. That says one has turned away from the Lord and the soul has been sold into slavery, then possessed by the wants and desires of the body of flesh. The "flesh" becomes the "Lord" then. This way of reading says it is very easy to enslave oneself [self = soul] to a weakness, where no courage or confidence exists. In a world that panders to influencing souls to step away from self-controls that, in essence, makes Satan [or the Devil] become one’s “Lord” of the body. However, simply by seeing the first word of this three segment verse beginning with a capitalized word meaning a divine state of “Being” that brings “Confidence” and “Courage,” that says the present state is known from having married one’s soul to Yahweh. One has turned away from Satan, facing Yahweh.
Verse 7 then explains this transformation that comes from this Spiritual marriage, where the soul now lets Yahweh’s Spirit be the body’s “Lord.” Paul first wrote, “for we walk by faith,” where the literal Greek translates as “on account of faith indeed we walk.” Strong’s explains this usage of “walking” as meaning the way one conducts one’s life. HELPS Word-studies adds to the deeper meaning: “walk around, i.e. in a complete circuit (going "full circle").” In that, one can see how a soul comes from Yahweh, as His “ruach” or “breath of spirit,” allowed to be free to do as one pleases; but after marriage to Yahweh’s Spirit, one then has returned to be with God.
Here, it is important to see the word “pisteōs” has been translated as “faith,” not simply “belief,” because the way one conducts one’s life – the true path one walks – always becomes a case of “do as I say, not as I do” contradiction, when the soul walks alone in the flesh. The translation of “faith” speaks of personal knowledge of Spiritual marriage and the presence of a higher “Lord” leading the direction in life one takes. Therefore, “we walk by faith” becomes a statement of the ministry true Apostles will always be found “walking.”
Verse 7 then adds a second segment of words that have been translated as “not by sight.” This element of “sight” must be seen as contrary to “faith,” as "seeing is believing," while "faith" is trust in that which is physical unknown and unseen. A translation as "not by sight" is also what others see when one walks. That often becomes a failure to live up to beliefs, as what one sees cannot be expected to be the same as what one does.
In this, the Greek word “eidous” [translated as “sight”] truly means “appearance, fashion, shape, sight” (Strong’s Definition), and “visible form, shape, appearance, outward show, kind, species, class.” This makes it clearer to see that “faith” is not shown by what one wears: fancy robes, collars, crosses, high hats, fine suits, etc. This means one does not put on a display that becomes a statement of one’s “beliefs.” If one goes about in ministry feeling a need to announce by the clothes one wears, “Hey, look at me! I am holy and righteous!”
That becomes a projected false power that overcomes people, leading them to “believe” one wearing certain clothes is going to do all the work for them. Seen as having a special relationship with God says others should trust a priest knows what God wants lost souls to do. True “faith” walks the walk and talks the talk privately and without fanfare. This is because the power of ministry is a “Lord” that cannot be “seen” and one does not want to take credit for what that “Lord” does, while one has “stepped away” from the controls of one’s body of flesh.
By slowing down the reading process, incorporating a desire to understand divine text, rather than sit in a pew and dream about what one will do after the service is [predictably soon], one can see great depth arise from what is totally missed by the NRSV translation above. Two verses, broken into five segments of words, brings forth the value of divine insight.
All of the letters of Paul [and the other Apostles] are written in this way; and, all have greater depth of meaning than an English translation read aloud in a church can ever convey. All demand an accompanying explanation by one divinely married, like Paul [and the other Apostles]. The sole purpose of a priest is to provide that explanation, because a priest is like Paul just stated! The purpose of reading Scripture aloud [a practice adopted from the Jewish synagogue reading of the scrolls] is to discuss the meaning, so afterwards everyone “walks” as a priest in ministry – unseen as such to the eyes of others.
Verse 8 is translated above to state, “Yes, we do have confidence, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord,” which clearly repeats all that had been stated prior. This, however, is also begun by the capitalized word “Tharroumen,” which is the same root word as began verse 6, only now stated in the present active form. This capitalization becomes the same divinely elevated state of “Being” that says [collectively] “We are Confident” and “We are Courageous.”
What is missing from this translation is a second segment, introduced by the word “kai,” which places importance on one word, “eudokoumen,” which adds “kai we are pleased.” This is strongly stating that Paul knew all true Christians were “well-pleased, thought it good, were resolved” in that state of submission. That says their marriage was not forced upon them, but lovingly welcomed. Thus, by Paul saying, “we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord,” they had all found much preference from that submission to a divine “Lord.”
In verse 9, Paul is shown to have written: “So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.” In reality, this misses another segment that begins with the world “kai.” That marker word is followed by “philotimoumetha,” which means “we love or seek after honor,” implying “ambition” or “self-motivation.” The root word implies [in usage], “I am zealous, strive eagerly, desire very strongly.” (Strong’s Usage) This strong drive to please, based on love intending to honor” their “Lord,” is not translated into the bland way the NRSV states this preference.
The “aim to please” [actually “well-pleasing”] is importantly based on this inner feeling the presence of the “Lord” brings; and, this presence is always present, whether it is giving commands or allowing the soul the freedom to retain and exercise some degree of control of the body it now coinhabits. The element of "pleasing" must be seen as sharing oneself through divine possession, like one would do "pleasing" things to make a guest feel welcome. It shows one is happy with the presence; and, one does not want that visitor to ever leave.
When verse 10 is then translated to say: “For all of us must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil,” this gives the erroneous impression that “Christ” is Yahweh. Most people professing to be Christian will read the word “Christ” and think it is the last name of Jesus; so, they will think Jesus Christ is the one who sits on a throne judging souls, not Yahweh. In reality, the Greek literally translates to state the following:
“these indeed all ourselves to be made known it is necessary before the face of that
throne of judgment that of Anointed one , in order that might receive what had
belonged to myself but had been lost each these because of that flesh , according to
what done , whether good whether evil .”
While the NRSV translation can be seen as a simplified version of what was written, the truth is exposed that Paul was making a statement [led by the “Lord” within his flesh to write] that says the souls of true Christians [where “ourselves” – “us” – means “our souls”] have found a gift from divine possession; and, they go into ministry because of that found, which is the promise of Salvation ["walking not by sight"]. Only a saved soul can stand before Yahweh, who sits high on a throne of judgment, as a saved soul come wearing the face of His Son. Only a saved soul stands before Yahweh as Anointed, one of His “Christs.”
Paul and the other true Christians went [and still are expected to go] into ministry with that message: Marry Yahweh and become a “Christ” – an “Anointed one” by the Spirit – so the soul of Jesus is resurrected within one’s flesh, becoming one’s “Lord.” Otherwise, play your time in the flesh all you please, and then suffer the consequences of one’s life. All souls will be held responsible to their life's past acts of good and evil. Only those souls who “leave their body to the Lord” will wear the face of a Christ and be allowed into heaven.
Write that down and put the note in your wallet or purse; and, then read it each day. Going to church, believing in Jesus Christ [as one name], and trying to limit how many times one secretly does evil, while praying for forgiveness each time, will not allow one’s soul to enter heaven after death of one’s flesh. That is selfishness; and, marriage to Yahweh means the work of selflessness, in return for washing away the past sins. The only way to be redeemed is to marry Yahweh and become His Son reborn, which means getting off the pew and entering ministry, without any of the fancy clothing. Live that or live again [and again] as ‘go back and start over’ reincarnated souls.
This reasoning for ministry is explained by Paul in the bracketed verses, which many see as “whew, optional, let’s strike those out, thank god.” I will forego explaining them here, simply because so many verses of an Epistle reading becomes a dissertation too long for casual Christians to ever finish reading. It would be good practice to look at the text here [BibleHub Interlinear] and do your own work trying to see the truth for oneself.
That then leaps us to verse 14, which says literally: “this indeed that of love of Anointed one held fast ourselves , having decided this , because one on behalf of all has died .” Here, the word ”agape” is written, which means “love which centers in moral preference.” (HELPS Word-studies) That means not "love" based on a human state of emotions or feelings. It is a statement of the love that joins Yahweh’s Spirit to a soul, which comes from a moral desire, not any tinglings felt by the flesh.
Such mutual “love” marries a soul to Yahweh, who in turn “Anoints one” [makes one a “Christ”] out of “love.” This anointment is not temporary, as it “holds fast” to all “souls” [from “selves”] Yahweh merges within. Again, this is not forced, as the “decision” to enter this divine union is totally upon the soul to choose. The “one” who “on behalf of all has died” is Jesus of Nazareth. His human life in the flesh previewed the way all saved soul-flesh should “conduct a life,” with Jesus' death planned. Only from his soul's release from one body of flesh could it then be free to be resurrected alongside those souls married to Yahweh. The presence of the divine Spirit brings about this birth within, so Jesus brings one the Anointment that he had in the flesh, returning into a new body of flesh, as the “Lord” one’s soul steps aside for.
Verse 15 then literally says, “kai for the sake of all he died , in order that those living , no more to themselves should live , on the other hand then behalf of themselves having died kai having been raised again .” As can be seen, there are two uses of the word “kai,” which marks importance that must be noted.
First, Paul emphasized the importance of understanding the reason Jesus died, “for the sake of all.” The reason was not so everyone thereafter could sin and still go to heaven. Such a lifestyle means one is not “living,” but instead animating dead matter, heading to the dead end road of life that says, “repeat and try again.” The soul of Jesus is what makes one a “Christ,” which is the only way to become truly “living.”
When Paul then followed that statement by adding, “no more to themselves should live,” this states it is up to the soul to decide to marry Yahweh and be reborn as His Son. As such, “no more should live” is stating one's own death of control over one's flesh - dying of one’s ego and self-will. That is when a soul steps away from control of the body and allows the soul of Jesus to become “Lord” of the flesh. This is then stating “”having died,” with the great importance ["kai"] being “having been reborn.”
Verse 16 then literally states, “Therefore ourselves away from that of now nothing regard by way of flesh . forasmuch as kai we have regarded according to flesh Anointed one , but now no longer come to know .” Here, the capitalized word “Hōste” brings divine elevation to the meaning of “Therefore.” That stated prior referred to the conditional [shoulda, woulda, coulda] of making a decision. Paul is now beginning with the heavenly decision for marriage to Yahweh having been made. “Therefore our souls” have stepped “away from” control of one’s body of flesh.
This brings about an eternal “present” or “now,” where “nothing by way of the flesh” has any control over the soul. This is not a state of death, as the soul still occupies the flesh; but the flesh no longer influences the soul. The reason is the souls have allowed their flesh to be controlled by the “Anointed one,” or the “Christ,” which is the soul of Jesus.
The last segment of words can be confusing, but when read slowly they clearly say, “the exception that comes from the now and present is our souls are no longer dominant [instead submissive]. This says our souls have come to know Yahweh up close and personal, through marriage; and, the resurrection of His Son’s soul in one is known to be one's "Lord."
Finally [for this reading selection], verse 17 literally translates to state: “therefore if a certain one in Christ , new creation . that original have past away ; behold! , has come into being new .” Again, Paul repeated the word “therefore,” this time without capitalization. It simply states a reflection on that “come to be known.” While the Greek word “tis” can translate as “somebody” or “anybody,” in New Testament writings it refers to “a certain one,” which implies one who is known. While “anyone” [all souls] are invited to become wives of Yahweh [be known by Him], few will make that decision. This means Paul’s use of “tis” speaks only of those “certain” in the name of Yahweh [His Sons].
These will all be “Anointed ones” by the hand of Yahweh. All will become “new,” as having all past deeds of sin wiped clean. That past will “create” a “new” self or soul. The exclamation to be seen [“behold!”] is Jesus Christ has come again in a “fresh” body of flesh.
In this selected Epistle reading to be read aloud on the third Sunday after Pentecost, when each true Christian should have begun a personal ministry as Christ reborn, the true meaning of what Paul wrote is rarely addressed. This says those preaching the sermons either do not care or they do not themselves understand, meaning they have false ministries as false shepherds or wolves in sheep’s clothing. The truth of this reading selection clearly states what has to happen for Salvation to be gained. The totality of ministry is getting that message out, so everyone who hears the message can commit to marriage of their souls to Yahweh. Each has to wear the face of Yahweh, as His Anointed. Each has to have the soul of Jesus resurrected within him or her – all Sons of man – who leads one’s path of righteousness, while the self-soul stands aside to that “Lord.”