Updated: Feb 5
Every priest stands day after day at his service, offering again and again the same sacrifices that can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, “he sat down at the right hand of God,” and since then has been waiting “until his enemies would be made a footstool for his feet.” For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. [And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us, for after saying,
“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord:
I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds,”
he also adds,
“I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”
Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.]
Therefore, my friends, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh), and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
This is the Epistle selection from the Episcopal Lectionary for the Twenty-sixth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B 2018. In the numbering system that lists each Sunday in an ordinal fashion, this Sunday is referred to as Proper 28. It will next be read aloud in an Episcopal church by a reader on Sunday November 18, 2018. It is important because Paul (once again) explained how an Apostle-Saint is the tabernacle in which the Ark of the Covenant is written on one’s heart. It is within that chamber that Jesus Christ is the reborn high priest. One’s sacrifice of self, in service to God Almighty, brings forgiveness of sins past and brings on the true heart of faith.
Due to the length of this selected reading of Paul’s letter to the Hebrews, I will not dissect it into segments as I have been doing for shorter readings. While this process is important, this translation read aloud makes it easy to follow the intent. However, reading the Bible Hub Interlinear in a ‘side-by-side’ manner makes the message vividly clear, exposing the errors of the public translation.
Verse eleven is speaking of typical priests, as he knew them in Jerusalem, as well as in Greek and Roman temples. It was their daily rituals to make blood offerings to the gods. None of those offerings of animal sacrifice ever took away the sins of the people or the priests. This then translates to all ministers, priests, pastors and preachers of Christianity, who have a college degree to memorize ritual and administer rites, with external laws of Moses forgotten [for Jews only] or misunderstood.
Verse twelve then does not specifically name Christ as read aloud. This is implied by the word “houtos,” which means “this one.” That word implies a singularity not found in typical priests. One sacrifice, of Jesus of Nazareth himself, would last in perpetuity. That means the sins of all could be cleansed by that singular sacrifice. That singular sacrifice was not so Jesus would be raised into Heaven and then be seated [“sat down”] on a throne next to God, by His right hand]. That would mean God sacrificed His Son so His Son could be God II in Heaven [a ridiculous concept]. Instead, the Greek word “ekathisen” needs to be seen differently. Rather than meaning “sat down,” it should be read as meaning “was appointed,” as in “given the official job” (“seated”) as God’s “right hand.” That “hand of God” was then given the authority to be the human sacrifice that would take away the sins of the world. It is God’s right hand that extends from Heaven to the earthly realm.
You are sent by my right hand to be the lineage to my right hand man.
Verse thirteen then does not say that Jesus Christ sits in a throne waiting for his enemies to bow down before his feet. Rather, it says that those who are sinners awaiting redemption (those who think they “should be fixed” by Jesus being sacrificed), without doing anything to show repentance and love of God, are acting as the enemies of God [and God’s “right hand”]. Such refusal to repent places them as the low of humanity, at the feet of God. “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:12) One should realize that reaching for the right hand of God is more difficult when laying in the gutter, at the feet of God and Christ.
Verse fourteen then states that God allowing His Son to be sacrificed, Jesus Christ represents the perfect way to be made holy. Rather than others needing to be offered up as burnt offerings [death, followed by resurrection and ascension of the body and soul], one simply needs to sacrifice one’s own self-ego and submit to God. Since this models just as Jesus of Nazareth did, that prototype of sacrificial perfection. That death of ego then allows the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ to be reborn within one’s flesh, which sanctifies each Apostle [i.e.: Saint]. It cannot get more perfect than that.
Instructions: Follow the real Jesus, not a dashboard model.
Verse fifteen [an optional verse, as well as are verses 16-18] confirms that it is the Holy Spirit that sanctifies one and clears the slate of all past sins. The translation that says “testifies” is actually the first word in verse fifteen, one that is capitalized as an important statement. The Greek word “Martyrei” is written, which better says “Bears witness.” This is the personal experience of the Holy Spirit, where one’s soul is baptized clean of sins, past, present AND future. One then “Bears witness” to the Christ Mind, as Jesus Christ resurrected. That Greek word is the root word for the English word “martyr,” which is then an important statement that “One has chosen to suffer death for religious purposes.” That “Death,” however, is not physical but mental, as the sacrifice of self.
Verse sixteen is then Paul quoting from Jeremiah 31:33, which fully states: “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.” That quote says the presence of the Holy Spirit is known when the law is written in one’s heart by a profound love of God and it is written in their minds by the presence of the Christ. One “Bears witness” to all meaning of all Scripture … because of having sacrificed one’s brain, to stop holding one back from serving God.
Verse seventeen is a partial quote from Jeremiah 31:34, which fully states: “No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.’” In this forgiveness of sins, one has to realize that God KNOWS ALL [He is omniscient]. This then means “remember” is not the best translation [although both Hebrew and Greek verses commonly use that translation]. Both languages allow for their respective words to also say, “call to mind.” One’s sins will then never again (“no more”) “call [out] to [God’s] mind.” The reason is there will be no more sins done by one filled by the Holy Spirit. This is then a statement that once the Holy Spirit has come one with one’s soul, then there will never be any other sins that will call upon God’s mind for judgment. God “remembers” the self-sacrifices of His beloveds.
This is then stated by Paul in verse eighteen, which is how the whole verse of Jeremiah says, “No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me.” Knowing the Lord means being one with God, as a marriage union, such that ‘biblical knowing’ means making a baby. With God as the Husband, the baby that is born is Jesus Christ. When one is reborn as Jesus Christ, one will act exactly like Jesus did, so no more sins will ever need to be repented. Still, all Saints will always feel repentance for past sins; that is when they give thanks to God for having saved them from ruin.
Verse nineteen is poorly translated as it replaces Paul’s use of “brothers” with the generic and meaningless word “friends.” That misses the point of all Saints being the Son [a male designation] of the Father. The “confidence” of which Paul wrote was not “to enter sanctuaries,” but the “boldness” that overtakes one, due to “the entering” of the Holy Spirit within their bodies. That “confidence” immediately comes from the union of God with one’s soul. No longer were they disciples, they had themselves each been transformed into “sanctuaries,” which is better understood as those “sacred.” This means the use here of “hagiōn” (translated above as “sanctuaries”) is repeating that stated in verse fourteen (“hagiazomenous“). They have each become tabernacles in which the high priest Jesus has entered, which is the blood of a human Saint infused with the Holy Spirit. This is the true meaning of Jesus telling his disciples, “Drink from [this cup of wine] all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” Please take note how Jeremiah quoted God as having said the same thing.
Wine is wine. See how drinking of this ceremonial Passover cup of wine acts as a toast to seal the covenant with God that spiritually welcomes my holy blood within you.
Verse twenty then says that a Saint becomes like Moses, who had to wear a veil because the face of God shone upon his. A new Saint is a newly dedicated tabernacle of the Lord, one made of flesh that projects His Son through the “curtain” that is one’s flesh. When one also sees a Saint being a new tabernacle that houses the Lord in one’s heart [the Holy of Holies place, behind the curtain], this is where only the high priest is allowed to go. Visitors can only see the majesty of a phenomenal temple veil.
Verse twenty-one states that Jesus Christ is the great priest [high priest] that resides within that tabernacle of flesh. Jesus Christ is the high priest that makes offerings to God above.
Verse twenty-two then says that this presence of the Trinity in each Saint draws one closer to Father [in our hearts] and the Holy Spirit [sprinkled clean] and Son [washed clean of evil]. In God one knows more than one believes, so Paul said each Saint has the full assurance of faith, through the experience of God’s love and loving God in return.
Verse twenty-three is confusing when “confession” and “hope” are the translations. The better statement means Paul said Saints will hold fast to their affirmations of faith. Rather than expressing hope for others (which is true), hope is best conveyed through “confidence,” which was first stated in verse nineteen. By demonstrating a fast hold on faith, from knowing God personally, others will find hope for them in the conviction of Saints.
Verse twenty-four says that each Saint should perceive each other as the same entity, which makes them all “brothers” [including women], because all are reborn as Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father. By seeing one another in that way, the love of God within each is then stirred up for others in the name of Jesus Christ, which is the love of God shared with all who are likewise wearing the face of God. This is the most important commandment that Jesus told the scribe [two Sundays past]. All other commandments are then naturally subsequent to that love, due to God having written the laws on each Saint’s heart.
Verse twenty-five does not say that Saints should not neglect to gather together, as is the custom of Jewish synagogues. God does not extend His right hand to human beings so they will stay in one place and gather together, not as Jews, but as Christians. While Paul knew there were churches of true Christians, which included both Jews and Gentiles, the intent was not to create a new religion. Instead, Saints were to travel in pairs [not always the same partner] and spread the Good News to those who had not yet heard.
The “Gospel” is not simply that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah, but more importantly it is one sharing with others their experience of God and Christ; to allow those who had never met Jesus of Nazareth to meet Jesus Christ in the body of a Saint. The role of Saints was (and is still) to recognize the Sabbath with strangers, in their churches or synagogues, staying as long as they were welcomed by those strangers. What Saints could not do was fail to encourage other Saints, those whose presence they knew prior [by encouraging them with loving letters], present [encouraging them with loving words], and future [teaching the meaning of Scripture with loving kindness]. This was to be done until those saintly souls were separated from their flesh on their “Day” of deliverance to God.
As the Epistle selection for the twenty-sixth Sunday after Pentecost, when one’s own personal ministry for the LORD should be underway – one should be fluent in the words of Paul, as the Mind of Christ shows one how to speak in the tongues of God – the message here (as always with Paul) is to serve the Lord with all one’s heart, with all one’s soul, and with all one’s strength. Then, one should love all others who equally love God and wear the face of God wherever they go, just as one loves God.
For as often as Paul wrote what it takes to be cleansed of sins, it is the waywardness of Christians that has a false belief in what “confession” means, what “Jesus died for our sins” means, and what the Lord’s Prayer means. One has to be transformed by a profound love of God to understand Paul’s letters.
In the Episcopal Church [all “catholic” churches] there is recited aloud each Sunday a statement of Belief [Nicene Creed], a Confession of Sins, and the Lord’s Prayer.
Christians should have faith, which comes from knowing God personally. The Nicene Creed was originally written [after much debate] by Saints, or people very close to that sacred status. Many who recite the modified words of that Creed [read from a Prayer Book or a printed handout] pay little attention to what the words say and mean. Some might believe that saying those words, like saying the Pledge of Allegiance, means one is Christian. When one’s faith is written on the walls of one’s heart, one’s faith is stated by the glow of wearing God’s face [depicted in art historically as a halo]. Words cannot replace that glow.
As we learn from this reading from Paul, God will not have the sins of a Saint come to His Mind. Why, then, do people speak out loud, in unison in a church about how miserable they were to not sin? They proclaim boldly, “We are sinners!” Certainly, Saints confess their sins every day, multiple times, but they do not get all ‘Pharisee’ about it and shout so everyone can hear them. They silently ask God to keep them from sinning, asking forgiveness for past sins they have come back into their minds … remembrances of how they once were. They thank God for having given them the strength of Jesus Christ, so they cannot sin again.
When the disciples went to Jesus and asked him to teach them to pray, rote memorization of the example prayer Jesus gave his students is not how a Saint speaks to God. How many times did Moses, Samuel, Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Amos and all the judges and prophets of Israel and Judah recite the Lord’s Prayer? The answer is never.
In John 17, when Jesus prayed for himself, his disciples, and all believers, he did not say the Lord’s Prayer. That is a prayer taught to children. It leads one to establish a comfort in talking to God. Prayer is done in private, and if spoken, done so calmly, quietly, and sincerely. Jesus taught his children-disciples, “God is your Father. Address Him as such.” For that relationship to be true, one has to love God as His Son [regardless of human gender].
And that’s all I have to say about that.