Updated: Feb 6, 2021
The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And before him no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account.
Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
This is the Epistle selection from the Episcopal Lectionary for the Twenty-first 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 23. It will next be read aloud in an Episcopal church by a reader on Sunday October 14, 2018. It is important because Paul named Jesus as the high priest sent by God to govern His people spiritually. Becoming Jesus reborn means passing the tests this reading points out.
This is a relatively short selection of Paul’s writings to the Hebrew-speaking (Jews) of Rome. That does not mean this has a short interpretation. Indeed, it turned out to be rather long; but it is an important little reading.
As is my custom, I have broken this down into the segments of words that are marked by points of punctuation (written or implied). The translations are literal English, based on the Greek that appears on the Bible Hub Interlinear presentation of Hebrews 4, with some adjustments. Because capitalization is an indicator of importance applied to a word (such as “Son” bears a higher meaning that “son”), I have not shown the capitalization cases that English blanketly applies to the first word of a sentence (while Bible Hub does). Instead, I show the case as it appears in the Greek text. Some translations are based on the acceptable alternative intent of words (such that “ho” or “tou” are shown as non-translated articles, when they can be alternative pronouns or adjectives).
I will present the literal translation as stated, and afterwards I will add comments of interpretation, based on the language written.
12. Living for the word the [one] of God , and active , and sharper than any sword two-edged , even penetrating as far as division soul and spirit , joints both and marrows , and able to judge thoughts and intentions of the heart .
13. and not there is creature hidden before him ; all things however are uncovered and laid bare to the eyes of him to whom our people reckoning .
14. Having therefore a high priest great , having passed through the heavens , Jesus , the Son the [one] of God , we should hold firmly this confession .
15. not for we have a high priest not being able to sympathize with the weaknesses of us ; having been tempted however in all things by the same ways , without sin .
16. we should come therefore with boldness to the throne this of grace , so that we may receive mercy and grace may find for in time of need help .
The first word of verse twelve is capitalized – “Zōn” – showing the importance of “Living.” The root word (“zaó”) means, “I am alive; I live; I have life.” It should be grasped that the lower case, “alive,” would reflect a natural childbirth, where the soul is received into the flesh at first breath. The soul is sent by God, as an extension of God, as the spirit of “life.”
By understanding birth is “living,” the capitalized spelling, as “Living,” is then rebirth, which comes from the presence of the Holy Spirit merging with one’s soul. Paul was then purposefully (as the voice of God working through Paul) referencing the state of being that all Apostles know, “having come alive” by service to God. “Living” is the promise of eternal life, as opposed to mortals being born to die [of death].
The word that certainly translates as “for” (“gar”) can equally act as a preposition that says “through.” This shows the direction one’s “Life” has taken, as not only is it “for the word the [one] of God,” but “Living” has been made possible “through the word” (“logos”).
Living through modern science is not the same as Living through the word of God.
While “word” is not capitalized, it has its importance reflected on it by it linking to the capitalized “Theou.” By the “word” being that “of God,” it becomes more than a simple definition of “word.” This means the language of Scripture has had an enhanced meaning in those “Living” with the Holy Spirit, more than simply “words” recognized as “of God,” written by holy people. Still, those who have become Apostles are proved to others by “the word of God” that flows through them. Therefore, the “word” is representative of “Living water” that Jesus spoke of, such that the “word” has a reflection on the surface that does not show that which lies underneath.
The second segment then states “active” (from “energēs”). This says that “Living through the word of God” is shared, through the “works” of faith. It means that God “acts” through His Apostles.
When Paul then adds to this “activity” that is “of God,” by stating “sharper than any double-edged sword,” this is metaphor for the quickness that an Apostle will be able to “act” as an agent of the Lord. The “word of God” acts like a knife or sacrificial dagger, which metaphorically cuts to the hearts of other, coming from the lips of Apostles. This imagery can then be seen in John’s Book of Revelations, where Jesus was seen descending, saying, “and out of the mouth of him goes forth a sword sharp.” (Revelations 19:15a)
Relative to that metaphor stated in The Revelations, John also wrote, “and is called the name of him, the Word of God.” (Revelations 19:13b) This means that the first three segments of Hebrews 4:12 can help one grasp the meaning of John’s Apocalypse, while also seeing these words of Paul are placing the same sharp sword of justice in the mouths of Apostles who have been reborn as Jesus Christ.
To support that conclusion, I draw again from The Revelations of John, where he envisioned: “At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers and sisters who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For it is the Spirit of prophecy who bears testimony to Jesus.” (Revelations 19:10)
Paul then said of the activity of this sword of God, “even penetrating as far as division soul and spirit” (read aloud, “piercing until it divides soul from spirit”). The word translated as “penetrating” or “piercing” is influenced by one seeing a physical sword, rather than a metaphorical one. The Greek word “diiknoumenos” also means, “passing through (to), coming through (to), and going through (to),” which is summed up in one word as “penetrating” or “piercing.” However, when this figurative sword is Spiritual, “of God,” the use of “through” matches the acceptable translation of “gar” as “Living through the word,” meaning the “word” is what “divides the soul and the spirit” by “coming through” one.
This is important to realize, as the soul is the life breath from God, which is separate from the Holy Spirit. It is the Living word that actively cuts deep into an Apostle’s being, so he or she can realize a soul is easily influenced by external, worldly distractions. It is the Holy Spirit’s presence that makes those distractions cease to matter. The “word of God” makes it clear a soul is separate from the Holy Spirit.
Again, thinking in physical terms, seeing a double-edged sword slicing through one’s being, cutting in half the soul and the spirit, one immediately visualizes how there are many “joints” in a physical body. While the Greek word “harmōn” does mean “joints of a body,” one has to grasp that “joints” are called “joints” because they “join” parts of a body together. The same Greek word can also mean that, as “a joining.”
This is then not a sword piercing joints, but the realization that having one’s soul separate from God’s Holy Spirit cannot continue. One realizes a need for the two to be “joined together,” so “both” are united as one. This is the marriage to God that one’s soul needs, which is called baptism by the Holy Spirit (not water).
Following the realization that “harmōn te” means “joining ones both,” not “joints and,” one sees how “kai myelōn” does not mean “and marrows” (the central material in bones, which come together at joints), but “through marrows.” Knowing that Paul is painting a symbolic picture, it becomes eye-opening to see how the Greek word “muelos” is rooted in “myelós,” which means “enclosed within,” from “múō,” meaning “to close, or to shut.” Thus, “marrows” is the “joining” of “both soul and spirit,” like a bone surrounds the central material that makes it grow, with the “joined ones” connected to God.
Mortal, can these dried bones be rejoined?
Through this marriage of two in one, God is infused with the Apostle’s human body. This makes the Apostle “able to judge,” as the servant of God. This is the Mind of Christ that supersedes the human brain, with lightening quick impulses of knowledge allowed by God, so the Apostle can discern the truth. This insight comes from “thoughts,” where the Greek word “enthymēseōn” implies, “inward thoughts, and reflections.” HELPS Word-studies says that this Greek word means, “literally, inner-passion, the emotional force driving meditation and reflection.” This is an ability given an Apostle (a talent) by God.
The word translated as “intentions” is “ennoiōn.” That word is clearer when understood to indicate: “thinking, thoughtfulness, moral understanding, consideration, purpose, and design.” When this is then said to be “of the heart,” this becomes the emotional center of one’s being, where God sits on His throne in His kingdom that sets the sovereign rule as one’s “intentions.” The Greek word “kardias” also means “mind, character, inner self, will, intention, and center,” and is recognized as ‘“the affective center of our being’ and the capacity of moral preference.” [HELPS Word-studies]
From verse twelve developing the makings of an Apostle, which Paul knew and the recipients of his epistle would easily recognize, verse thirteen begins with the conjunction “and” (“kai”), which introduces additional information. As the lead word in a segment of words in a new verse, it has the implied importance of introducing a new direction to take. That direction, on the whole, states, “not there is creature hidden before him (read aloud, “before him no creature is hidden”).
In the Bible Hub Interlinear translation, they capitalize “him,” although the Greek word “autou” is not capitalized. The reason “him” should not be read as meaning only God, is verse twelve introduced the joining of God and man as One, as the “marrows” of “soul enclosed in spirit.” Thus, “him” is “both” God and the Apostle, meaning verse thirteen speaks for the Apostle as One with God.
The word translated as “creature” is “ktisis,” which actually means living beings that breathe air, with all living beings a part of God’s Creation. This means the Apostle is a “creature,” in whom God dwells. There is nothing “hidden, invisible” or “unseen” about that “creature” created by the infusion of God’s Holy Spirit with a soul, throughout a Living body of flesh. There are no secrets kept from God; but there is nothing hidden from God’s Eye, whether God is within one or not. Therefore, “not there is creature hidden before the Apostle,” so that no one will be an unrecognized threat to the Apostle; meaning the inner voice of God not only gives insight of spiritual matters, but alerts as to all external dangers.
The deeper meaning of this segment comes from realizing “before him,” which in Greek is “enōpion.” That word actually means, “before the face of, in the presence of, in the eyes of, and/or in sight of,” such that “before” implies standing where one can be seen. This then relates to the word “aphanēs,” which means “unseen, invisible, or hidden (from view).” The deeper meaning is relating an Apostles adherence to the First Commandment, which is “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”
I have written of this at other times, but it stands to be repeated now. The literal Hebrew of the First Commandment states, “No shall have you gods other before face.” That is a statement that sets the rule for being in the presence of Yahweh. As such, one cannot wear the face of any other gods before Yahweh. The face human beings wear that keeps them from experiencing God is the face of self-ego. Only from sacrificing that image of self – a little-g god (one of the elohim) – can one become an Apostle. Once that sacrifice is complete, one wears the face of God, as did Moses and Jesus.
When God said, “No one can see my face and live” (meaning death is the only time God can be seen), the face of God is the glow on Moses’ face (needing to be shielded by a cloth) or the halo depicted in art. One wears the face of God as a Saint, which is invisible. Still, there can be no hidden ego left in anyone who truly serves the Lord. Once God resides in one’s heart and one’s intentions are known, one stops looking in the mirror and starts looking for souls who are lost and seeking help.
With that understood, Paul then wrote, “all things however are uncovered and laid bare to the eyes of him to whom our people reckoning” (read aloud, “all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account”). Keeping in mind how verse thirteen is from the perspective of an Apostle, who is One with God, wearing the face of God and having the Mind of Christ, we can see that the Apostle’s insight keeps him or her safe from threats, from listening to the inner whispers of God. Therefore, (just as Jesus always knew the Pharisees had hidden tricks up their sleeves, so he could be steps ahead of them) there is no lesser god (a creature before God’s face) that cannot be known – seen as one unworthy of treading on holy ground. All attempts to persecute an Apostle will be reckoned, good for the Apostle, bad for the creature trying to hide evil doings.
Here is where I would like to bring out my work interpreting the writings of Nostradamus. My ability to interpret Holy Scripture is based on having been shown how to read the writings of that sixteenth century Saint, which is written in a manner that makes Paul seem like a Saint who got right to the point and said what he meant. I tried to make the meaning of Nostradamus’ work, The Prophecies, publicly known. While doing that, I became acquainted with the weekly lectionary readings of the Episcopal Church, which were speaking to me in the same way as The Prophecies – as having deeper than surface meaning.
I found Christians largely reject the notion of Nostradamus being an Apostle of God, reborn as Jesus Christ. For that reason of rejection, few people know Nostradamus wrote two accompanying letters to his nebulous poems (quatrains), which preface them and explain them. Fewer people still know that in those letters (epistles) Nostradamus quoted Holy Scripture, writing Biblical quotes in Latin, mixed in with his normal (Old) French. He quoted in his preface Hebrews 4:13.
The rejection of Nostradamus has meant an inability for others to discern any true meaning from the verses, while ignoring that Nostradamus wrote about that expected difficulty. He knew no one would understand the meaning for a long time. To me, Nostradamus was a Saint that had the same natural given talent that Paul had been given, by God; so Nostradamus understood Paul’s letter to the Hebrews. Nostradamus wrote a true Prophecy that would not be found realized before many centuries beyond his death had passed. That meant his words could have only come from God, as a true Prophet, one who would be persecuted for writing predictions that no one understood.
In the preface to his book of prophecies, he explained that his words were from a “faculty divine.” He then clarified that statement by stating that eternity consisted, to human brains, three times: present, past, and future. In that sense of time, history would seem to repeat, such that his predictions would seem to fit parts of the past, when viewed in the present. However, true Prophecy is not hindsighted.
The Prophecies were told by God to Nostradamus, for him to write of an unknown future. Those prophecies would always be little more than projections of an unknown future, until “all are naked and laid bare,” meaning the truth of The Prophecies would be foreseeable and predictable. They would be understandable as extremely possible in the present, unless belief came forth and changes delayed that future coming.
Nostradamus then wrote, “c.,” which was an abbreviation meaning “et cetera” [Latin, meaning “and other things similar”], such that the remained of the verse also applies to that future exposure. By adding, “to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account,” allowing the future to unfold will bring all involved to a point of soul reckoning. This means the future told by Nostradamus could be averted by the religious of the world heeding God’s warning; but for all who would reject one of God’s true Prophets, bringing about a horrid future to “the eyes” of those in its presence [the future cycling to the present], that would be “him” who would have to “reckon” with God, when souls would be endangered by reincarnation into a toxic world.
This means the way to avert a terrible future (which the language of Nostradamus’ poems makes vividly clear) is for one to turn to God. One must receive the Spirit of servitude and have one’s soul married to God. This will then expose all the evil happenings in a world that has cycles of destruction that cannot be stopped.
The guarantee of eternal life in Heaven is available to all, but it comes at a price that means sacrifice now for that higher goal later. Being able to see the truth made bare before one’s eyes gives one the motivation to resist evil temptation, with the help of God’s Holy Spirit within one’s soul.
Verse fourteen then makes the statement, “Having therefore a high priest great.” The Greek word “Echontes” is capitalized, meaning this is an important statement of “Having.” The root word means, “to have, to hold, to possess, and to keep.” It is not a coincidence that one’s marriage vows have a priest ask both who will become joined to promise, “In the name of God, I, (name), take you, (name), to be my [spouse], to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow.” [Episcopal wedding language]
In horror movies, such as in The Exorcist, one recognizes demonic possession as a common scare theme; but one overlooks the need for divine possession, where one is “Having” the Holy Spirit take control of one’s life direction. Whereas the Roman Catholic Church supposedly trains priests in the systematic removal of demon spirit that possess Catholics, they do very little “preventive maintenance,” which would be training priests how to be Apostles. If priests were capable of “Having” the Holy Spirit possess them, then they could go evangelize and pass that “Possessing” Spirit onto other Catholics. But, alas, that Church has been largely void of Saints for many centuries.
The “high priest” that is “great” is then the state of being that comes over and “Holds” dear an Apostle. This is what makes one become a Saint, where Holiness comes from on “high,” not from a school or seminary.
It is most important to realize that Moses took the children of God away from the din and distraction of common, ordinary life, so they could embark on a forty-year training program, where their normal way of life would become that of “priests” to Yahweh. While those children of Israel largely failed to transform into “high priests” (Greek “archiereus”), the lineage flame was kept alit by the Prophets, leading to God sending the Messiah, Jesus.
When one is “Having” or “Possessing” or “Holding” this “high priest” within one’s being, one has become an Apostle. All Christians are called to become “high priests,” because of the “great” name that becomes theirs – Jesus Christ.
Before Paul actually named “Jesus,” he wrote, “having passed through the heavens” (read aloud “who has passed through the heavens”). Here is repeated the word “having,” through the past historic form of “dierchomai,” as “having passed through.” Here, again, is a reference to “through,” where the sword had pierced “through” one’s “soul and spirit.” The Greek word “ouranous” should then not be seen as the physicality of outer space, but the “spiritual heaven” that is the presence of God within one’s being. This divine state “having passed through” one’s being has then brought about “heaven” on earth. This “heavenly” state” then makes it possible for one to be reborn as “Jesus.”
I’m alive again!
When the state of “Jesus” has been duplicated by the power of God, one has then been inherited as a child of God. Regardless of one’s human gender, one who is filled with God’s heavenly presence is made the “Son of God.” This, therefore, is why Paul and the other Apostles addressed one another as “brothers.” Even women who are saints are brothers in having been reborn as Jesus Christ.
When Paul then wrote, “we should hold firmly this confession” (read aloud “let us hold fast to our confession”), the plural “we” is applied to the Greek root word “krateó,” meaning all Apostles “should hold firmly” to this divine state of being, where each has become a “great high priest” of Yahweh. Keep in mind that this verse began with the capitalized “Holding,” and now Paul is stating this “Possessing” by God demands those being “Held” by the Holy Spirit should [a conditional intent, by one’s choice] in return “hold fast” to the name of Christ that each has taken on.
The word translated as “confession” is “homologias,” which is less a statement about being open about how one feels and truthful about what one has done, but is a word used to state one’s “affirmed profession.” This is not the business of religion, but the proclamation of the Good News of the kingdom of God coming near. This means one who is an Apostle should maintain “our confession” by bringing others who seek salvation to the same identification, as one in the name of Christ. One then confesses this “Possession” by “Jesus,” by calling the whole group “Christian.” Their confession was each being resurrections of Jesus Christ.
Paul then wrote in verse fifteen, “not for we have a high priest not being able to sympathize with the weaknesses of us” (read aloud “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses”). This segment of words translates “not” two ways, “where “ou” means, “no, not,” and “mē” is designed to follow the word “not,” adding “lest.” While the statement can be read as, “we have not a high priest lest being able (or “being unable”) to sympathize with our weaknesses,” it should be seen as two statements in the same breath.
The first statement says, “not we have a high priest,” where once again the word “echó” is written, stating “possession” and “holding,” now in the plural number. This says one should not become confused and think one has God under his or her control, such that the gift of Apostles is to have God in one’s possession, like having a genie in a bottle. Jesus is not within one’s personality to do as one’s ego demands. Thus, the reverse of this [removing the negative] says, “a high priest has us.”
With that realized, one can then read, “not is able [the high priest, Jesus Christ] to sympathize with our weaknesses.” The weaknesses of human beings are their sins. This then says that one cannot be reborn as the great high priest Jesus Christ, if one wants to pander one’s inability to cease sinning as reason for forgiveness … and, “By the way, could you make my wish come true?”
An Apostle comes from a history of failure, through sins. He or she has sincerely asked to be forgiven and promises to do good works. God sees the efforts and sends angelic help to remove blockages that would cause one to trip and fall. Once the Holy Spirit is sent to marry with the soul, all sin ceases – FOREVERMORE. Jesus Christ cannot be reborn into a fleshy form that sins. While an Apostle retains memories of past weaknesses and can sympathize, Jesus will not condone sin. God gives human beings the complete freedom to destroy their eternal souls; but He sent His Son for those who would rather not burn in hell for eternity.
For all “progressive” wolves in sheep’s clothing who stand at lecterns on altars and preach, “Jesus loves us all, even the ones who do abominable things in the eyes of the Lord, so it is okay to do abominable things and still go to heaven,” they have misunderstood this message from God, through Paul.
Apostles [the only ones who should be preaching on altars at lecterns] know we do not possess the high priest, so we cannot put words in the mouth of Jesus. Apostles know Jesus Christ will not abide the weaknesses of human beings. The weaknesses must be set aside, with one’s ego, for it to be possible to take on the name of Jesus Christ.
As a separate statement that follows this line of thought, Paul was then led to write, “having been tempted however in all things by the same ways.” This repeats the past historic, where the root word “peirazó” says, “having been tried,” “having been tested,” or “having been tempted.” The read aloud, “we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are,” misses the intent of one’s personal transformation from weak sinner to strong Apostle. It is wrong to imply that Jesus of Nazareth was ever a common sinner, who had the same weaknesses to temptations as all human beings do. Jesus was divine from the beginning and never once was swayed by the temptations and tests of Satan. That is because Jesus was born in the name of Jesus Christ.
The translation of “de kata panta” as “however in all things” is misleading. The word “de” is indicating a transition from “having been tested,” such that it says better, “next,” “now,” or “on top of this.” The word “kata” means “in” in the sense that the implication is “throughout” and “according to” the results of “having been tested.” Finally, the word “panta” simply means “all” (from “pas”) where seeing a collection of Apostles as “things” is inaccurate. It is better to see “all” as reflecting “all men [and women]” that “have been tested,” so passing that test has brought about a strength that ignores “weaknesses in us,” “having been tested” for weaknesses to sin in “all now according to” Jesus Christ. This is due to “all” having adopted the “likeness” of him, where “in the same way” (from “homoiotēta”) means “likeness” and “manner.” This is being reborn as Jesus Christ, so all weaknesses become the ways of the past.
The last segment is obvious. An Apostle is “without sin,” just as was Jesus Christ. This is not by wanting to be like Jesus, but because one has become the resurrection of Jesus Christ. As he was ‘without sin,” so too will all who are reborn as him, via the Holy Spirit of God.
Verse sixteen then begins by stating, “We should come therefore with boldness to the throne the [one] of grace.” Again, the conditional form of “coming, approaching, or drawing near,” in the plural number, is an indication that all people who say they believe in Jesus Christ “should come boldly” in the same manner as Jesus, shown in the Apostles.
The words translated as “with boldness” (“meta parrēsias”) instead state what follows, should one come. The words imply, “after freedom,” where there is then a sense of “openness” and “confidence” that has come within one. This is then easily projected to others through speech. This means “boldness” is stating the ministry of Apostles, where their use of the “word of God” beacons that others “should come” and follow in the ways of Jesus Christ.
Rather than one being called to bow down before the throne [remembering the imagery of John’s Apocalypse, when he was told to “get up!”], one is called to be “people seated as those being gifted with the name of Jesus Christ.” This is a viable translation of “tō thronō tēs charitos.” The heart is prepared to be the throne of God, so one becomes a “suitable throne” within “those of favor [or thanks and kindness].”
To end this reading, Paul concluded verse sixteen by writing, “so that we may receive mercy and grace may find for in time of need help.” Again, the conditional in the plural number is used in “lambanó,” which offers all the choice to “receive, get, take, or lay hold of” this “mercy” that is the “compassion” of God for His children. One has to make the choice to sacrifice for God, in order to be given the blessing of being an Apostle.
When Paul wrote of the possibility of when this commitment to change “may” occur, it is when one finds oneself “in time of need,” as a personal crisis. One has to feel the need to reach out to God for help. It is at those times of deepest despair that one is most willing to offer oneself up in sacrifice to a higher spirit. Those seeking Heaven will chose to give a soul in marriage to God. Those seeking worldly riches will be more apt to sell a soul to Satan, allowing possession by a demon spirit. The choice is ours to make.
Many feel compelled to choose politicians to run their lives, but would never vote for God to rule over them. Democracy hates kings.
As the Epistle selection for the twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost, when one’s personal ministry for the LORD should be underway [notice the conditional use of “should”] – one has made one’s soul naked and exposed before the eyes of God – the message here is to hear Paul speaking to all who beat their chests like the publican [tax collector], proclaiming, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” (Luke 18:13c) All have the choice to surrender to the Will of God and gain eternal salvation; but one has to understand that the price is total submission to God.
It is most important to realize that God knows the weaknesses of human beings. All human beings are the creatures that stand before God with their egos written all over their faces. It is their weaknesses that forbid them from choosing to wear the face of God, allowing themselves to be reborn as Jesus, the Son of God. It is human weakness that keeps them from obeying the First Commandment; but God gave humanity the freedom to choose how they will live, as a soul let loose in a world of physical delights. Choosing to serve God over self is an impossibility by a weak soul alone.
God sent Jesus to help the weak stand and praise the Lord. God had His Son killed so his spirit would be released to serve God in countless other human beings, called Apostles and Saints. They are those who come to help those who are weak, as they too were weak once, knowing how hard it is to choose right from wrong, good from evil. God holds fast to their weak souls, so Apostles can demonstrate it can be done. They are Jesus Christ reborn because of that inner strength.
As easy as it is to say the words, few have the strength to take one step towards accepting God’s proposal for marriage. Human weakness is seen in the preponderance of addictions: opioids, heroin, alcohol, sex, wealth, power, electronic gadgetry, gambling, playing games, etc. Those addictions are like warm blankets of escapism from reality, where what seems to be reality (in the material world) is only a short-lived illusion … like a vacation to Disney World. Life on earth is the temporary fantasy realm that is bound to end; and then the reality of an eternal soul makes one open one’s eyes and see the truth.
Those who have had near death experiences (NDEs) see “the light at the end of the tunnel.” They experience death and come back. Some change with a new commitment to serve a life of good. Some change by not caring what happens in life in the flesh, because they know that is only an illusion. They abuse their bodies because they know there is no pain in death. There is only pain in trying to not die. In a way, for them, everything has become apparent and exposed, naked and bare. The truth is known, even if no one believes them.
We all have to experience that moment of truth. We each have to realize that the truth of the Word of God has been staring us in the face for decades, but we have refused to open our eyes and see the truth. We need to fear God, because God is not going to bend the rules to let sinners come home to where they first were born.
Saul fell to the ground when a flash of light came from heaven. He had a “come to Jesus” meeting. He was made blind to the world for three days. An Apostle named Ananias was sent in the name of Jesus Christ to return Saul’s eyesight and give him the Holy Spirit. Saul became Paul, a changed man. That story is not for us to marvel at what happened to Paul, but to see how we are Saul, in need of an epiphany that moves us, by fear, to change.
If we do not fear the Lord in the flesh our souls now wear, we will fear the Lord when that flesh is removed by death, and we become naked and bare before the eyes of judgment.