Homily for the fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost – A double-edged sword

Updated: Aug 28, 2021

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Good morning bus riders!

I hope everyone had a great week and received the email with the link to the lectionary site and read all the readings set aside for today.

Remember, I don’t brush any of the readings aside, running away from the true message that some sermon orators are too afraid to speak about. Hired hands can always get fired; but I don’t get paid to stand here and I pass no plate among you either.

So, with that disclaimer, let’s get started!

This past week, as I wrote commentaries about each of the six reading selections for today, I found myself using the term “double-edged sword” a few times. That is how I see the theme for today. It is a form of duality, where each reading can cut two ways.

A perfect example of this is seen in the Song of Solomon. Overall, the Song of Solomon equates to Israelite erotica. Although the words are flowery metaphor, it is easy for me to see how Solomon was known to have seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines. I can imagine every ‘date’ he had led to him saying, “I’m a poet, if you didn’t know. Would you like for me to read you some of my poetry?”

Over the past Sundays, I have talked about the dream Solomon had, where Yahweh asked him what punishment he deserved, for breaking Mosaic Laws relative to high places; but Solomon heard the question as asking what gift he should receive, for being a boy king. I said it was Satan who promised Solomon the wisdom that allowed him to know good and evil, not Yahweh. Then, we read how Solomon orated at the grand opening of a temple in his honor, while entombing Yahweh and the Ark within stone walls. I warned about falling in love with Solomon, simply because he was a King of Israel.

Now, it is easy to see how that wisdom (along with wealth and pretty things girls love to be given) made Solomon a slick tongued lover boy, who knew what was good for getting the ladies into bed with him. That intent can be seen as somewhat wicked.

That is one way the Song of Solomon cuts. However, the true reason we find the Song of Solomon in our Holy Bibles is the same words written by Solomon have higher meaning; meaning I wonder if he could tell was coming through.

The verses read today are those of a dialogue, which chapter two sets up as being between the male lover (Solomon) and the female lover, where the plan is marriage. As such, the divisions of the verses are set up as the bridegroom’s speech of love, followed by the bride’s speech of love. One translator of the Hebrew into English denotes the verses read today as being “The Bride’s Adoration” of the bridegroom.

It seems to me that the intent of marriage for Solomon was to have sex with a woman legally, so the female would not be written off as a conquest of lusts. That falls in line with Satan having given Solomon a mind that could make the ladies swoon. The concept of marriage was little more than a legality that made it all okay. However, the cut that goes the other way is this love song is clearly (to me) singing about the love of a soul in a body of flesh, longing to unite with Yahweh.

Solomon was an elohim, one possessed by a demon, rather than Yahweh. Still, the demon is a creation of Yahweh and it does whatever Yahweh says to do. So, if Yahweh knows Solomon wants to write a love poem, Yahweh has the right to command the demon to lead Solomon’s brain to choose words that can cut two ways.

The reason the elders of the Episcopal lectionary, those who wisely chose what readings should be grouped together from Sunday to Sunday, selected these verses is they were led by the influence of Yahweh. The Song of Solomon verses read today are the only verses from his whole love poem that are read aloud in Episcopal churches; and, they are only read today and one other Sunday during the after Pentecost season, in Year A. These verses are chosen because they cut to the right, as words that should be sung from one’s soul towards a desired marriage with Yahweh, seeking to receive His Spirit.

The bride’s adoration means every soul in human flesh is feminine, with Yahweh the masculine essence who penetrates a soul and impregnates it with the soul of Jesus. Thus, we should all be longing for that time of togetherness. We should desire to be reborn in that holy name.

The accompanying Psalm, which are verses from Psalm 45, is clearly a love song written by David. David also was an elohim, but his soul was married to Yahweh, so there is no question that Yahweh’s words flowed through David as he composed his songs, while plucking his harp.

In verse one of Psalm 45, David wrote lyrics that said, “my tongue shall be the pen of a skilled writer.” That says David had never been promised great wisdom or wealth, by a voice in a dream; but David had both, simply from marrying Yahweh and letting Yahweh’s Mind lead David and all the Israelites. David admitted his words in this song came from a divine source.

In verse two, the NRSV translation has David singing, “You are the fairest of men; grace flows from your lips, because elohim have blessed you forever.” In that, David is singing about the beauty of a masculine essence, which is translated as “fairest of men.” That masculine essence is Yahweh, as He is the Bridegroom and His is the Spirit that penetrates the soul bride. David was thus a young bride, as a soul in a body of flesh, such that all flesh is feminine essence and makes a soul take on that gender identity.

The word written by David is elohim, not “God.” That word says David was recognizing his soul-flesh was one of many brides married to Yahweh; and, all of the Yahweh elohim had been “blessed” with eternal life. Solomon, on the other hand, as an elohim married to a demon spirit; so, he only had wisdom and wealth … until death did all that part from his soul. There was no “forever” for Solomon.

Still, in David’s Psalm 45, he referred to the fragrances of love, which symbolizes the sweet smells of nature, which unseen (like the Spirit of Yahweh) flows and surrounds a soul. He sang “All your garments are fragrant with myrrh, aloes, and cassia, and the music of strings from ivory palaces makes you glad.”

Similarly, Solomon sang, “The fig tree puts forth its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.”

While Solomon’s brain was seeing images of a woman in bed, talking sweet nothing to her bridegroom, Yahweh was using words like “arise,” which means a soul saying to Yahweh, “lift my soul up to you and take my soul forever in your love.”

Because David is readily seen to be a soul married to Yahweh, due to his history saying Samuel anointed his head with oil, as Yahweh poured out His Spirit upon David’s soul forever, we read his love song – and it is identified as such – and we intuit his words as singing about Yahweh. We do not feel that same divine application of interpretation when we read the Song of Solomon. His words keep our minds on the carnal plane. However, David’s love song can equally be read on that same level. If these songs were not identified by their authors, just read aloud in a public place, it is difficult to determine them as sacred texts. That makes it apparent how the words written can have two different meanings.

From these songs of love, the optional reading from Deuteronomy 4 seems to be a complete turn-around. It is selected verses that tell of Moses preparing the Israelites to receive their Promised Land. He was reminding them to adhere to the laws taught to them; and, he told them to forever teach their children to abide by those laws.

As far as love songs go, Moses spoke the words of wisdom that recognizes the initial attraction, that which leads to the desires causing a couple to jump right into bed together, as changing over time. While infatuation ignites a flame, with the special union or marriage comes a contract of commitment.

The marriage vows most commonly read when two human beings make a promise of commitment – forever – speaks of “for better or worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part.” That says, “Hey guys, you are young now and the figs are blooming and everything looks sexy and delectable; but marriage is not about a one-night stand. It is a commitment that does not envision divorce.”

Solomon must have had his lawyers draw up prenups that said he was only getting married for sex; but when the novelty wore off, the wife would have a room at the far end of the palace, where she could raise any children that came. End of agreement.

To have so many lovers, Solomon could not have chased after one more than once or twice. As a boy, he entered into an arranged marriage with an Egyptian princess, which was taboo. He allowed his wives to import their religions and built temples to some of their gods in Israel. His views of marriage were slack.

That would be a reflection on how much he cared about the Covenant Yahweh told Moses all the Israelites had to agree to when their souls married Him. When Solomon locked the Ark and the Covenant in a stone mausoleum, he was symbolically saying, the Covenant is dead.

Moses said, “Give heed to the statutes and ordinances that I am teaching you to observe, so that you may live to enter and occupy the land that Yahweh elohe of your ancestors, is giving you.” In that, Moses was reminding them of the commitment made in marriage, by the souls of their forefathers – the Yahweh elohe – that they were expected to also be – AND – they were expected to teach their children’s children to also marry their souls to Yahweh and also become His elohim.

His use of "live" [from "chayah"] is one of those two-way words. Human life is temporal, when a soul is born into a mortal body. Spiritual life is eternal, beyond the death of a body of flesh. So, "you may live to enter and occupy the land of Yahweh [as] elohim like your ancestors" means the potential is for eternal life in heaven: a greater reward than some hot, arid land in the Middle East.

The song of love has turned to a song of everlasting love, which is the truth of commitment. Moses said, “keep the commandments of Yahweh eloheka with which I am charging you” … “You must observe them diligently, for this will show your wisdom and discernment to the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and discerning people!”'

Think about that for a moment. Ask yourself this: If Solomon was taught to be married to Yahweh, to become one of His elohim and depend on Yahweh to bring forth the wisdom and discernment of the Mind of Yahweh – the “Christ Mind” – wouldn't his song flow from the tongue of Yahweh?

<Pause to let people reflect.>

The Song of Solomon cuts two ways. One way is too sensual and carnal. Only when one holds these verses up to the light of truth can the tongue of Yahweh be heard.

Now, the accompanying Psalm to this reading from Deuteronomy is Psalm 15. In the first verse David posed two questions, writing: “Yahweh, who may dwell in your tabernacle? Who may abide upon your holy hill?”

In those two questions, one needs to remember the stories read on past Sundays about David. In one, we saw him dancing wildly before the Ark, as it was moved into the City of David.

Prior to that, when David was named King of both Israel and Judah, he took Jebus, which was also called Jerusalem. He made that fortress his place of government. It was the “hill” known as Ophel, leading up to Mount Moriah, which the second question needs to be seen as focusing on.

In Psalm 45, the accompanying love song to the Song of Solomon, in addition to announcing that was a “love song,” David also stated in the first verse that the psalm was one of those dedicated to the “Sons of Korah.” Korah, if you recall, was the cousin of Moses, who led a rebellion against Aaron and Moses, because he wanted to have more responsibilities – as a High Priest – in the Tabernacle.

Yahweh caused the earth to open up and swallow Korah; but because he had “sons” it can be assumed he did not completely go away. We are told Samuel was a descendant of the sons of Korah; and, Samuel was the great prophet who anointed David, who spoke with Yahweh. That is why I see the sons of Korah as the Yahweh elohim that Yahweh made become the watchers of the Israelites, as well as the monitors of the Ark, after Moses released them and Joshua led them across the Jordan River. I believe the sons of Korah lived underground, as servants of Yahweh.

When you can at least get that concept, the questions posed by David about the Tabernacle and the hill are questions about “Who can become Yahweh elohim?”

Can you see that?

<Look for nodding heads or quizzical faces.>

When Moses addressed the people, he called them “Israel.” That is a sword that cuts to the left as the name of a nation of people, whose souls are married to the land and to the material realm. The cut to the right says all the people hearing Moses speak were “He [Who] Retains God.” All who retain God are Yahweh elohim, meaning the intent in Moses telling them, “take care and watch yourselves closely, so as neither to forget the things that your eyes have seen nor to let them slip from your mind all the days of your life,” says they must be married to Yahweh, as His elohim, so He will keep their commitment always on their minds and always in their hearts.

This then says Psalm 15 was chosen to be read along with this focus on the commitment of divine marriage, by David singing out questions that are relative to this commitment. Whose soul cares so strongly about serving Yahweh in His Tabernacle that he will make Yahweh take notice of one’s desire to “dwell in his tabernacle” and “live in the hill of elohim”?

David sang in verse 4, “In his sight the wicked is rejected, but he honors those who fear Yahweh.” The rejection must be seen as relative to divine marriage.

When Solomon heard Yahweh ask, “What shall I give you?” Solomon was so egotistical he asked to be as smart as God. That attitude did not sit well with Yahweh, so Solomon’s soul was rejected. Yahweh turned over the conversation to Satan. Solomon had no fear of Yahweh whatsoever. He felt he was superior to Him; so, he thought Yahweh had come to him to bow down before an imp.

David then sang out, “He has sworn to do no wrong and does not take back his word.” In that, the double-edge of “sworn” means, cutting one way, it is a “curse” uttered upon oneself. In the other way, the same word means a vow of marriage sworn to. One receives Yahweh’s Spirit in marriage; or, one rejects that divine union.

We hear those lyrics when the Old Testament choice is the reading from Deuteronomy 4. The only way to forever remember the commitment made to Yahweh – which is stated in His Commandments of marriage – is to have those rules written on the walls of one’s heart (i.e.: one’s soul). For that to happen, a soul must swear to love, honor, and obey Yahweh.

Say, "I do" and mean it … live by those words.

When Jesus said, “You cannot serve two masters,” that means you cannot halfway serve Yahweh, while halfway serving Satan (or self). There is no in-between in divine marriage, just as there is no almost pregnant. You either are or you aren’t.

The sword cuts cleanly, one way or the other.

This then leads us to the Epistle reading from James. He began by saying, “Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”

In this, the words “giving” and “gift” have to be seen as what Paul termed the “gifts of the Spirit” [“pneumatikōn”]. The confirmation of this comes from the word “perfect,” where only Yahweh is that; and, Yahweh comes from “above,” meaning a much higher state of existence.”

James' reference to “the Father of lights,” which come with “no variation or shadow,” says the light of truth is certainly the foremost gift given by a bridegroom to His brides. The light of truth is brightly lit, with no dim places. In legal terms, the truth is ‘black and white,’ with no gray areas.

The Covenant is, with no negotiations. Still, to understand what the words in it mean ... well that requires a soul get some divine assistance interpreting. Wisdom alone [a.k.a. intelligence] is not enough. Ask Solomon.

This needs to be seen in terms of the Laws of Moses, which Moses told to those who were Yahweh elohim [all who were "Israel”], “do not forget the things that your eyes have seen,” and “do not let slip from your mind” what laws you agreed to maintain.

When a marriage agreement turns into some written document that lawyers ponder, trying to come up with loopholes and ways out of commitment, then one has forgotten what was shown and let slip all that matters.

The warning Moses gave must be seen as one unheeded, at least as far as “make them known to your children and your children’s children” is concerned.

The history of the Book of Judges is two generations trying to be committed, followed by two generations becoming more and more uncommitted. The up and down led the elders to go to Samuel and demand a king, to be like other nations.

Other nations means being like what Egypt was modeled after. There were no Yahweh elohim in Egypt. Other nations have kings who are not Yahweh elohim. Why else leave Egypt and go some place where people who were not Yahweh elohim already lived?

Saul was not one who remembered the warnings of Moses. David had to come slay the giant, to remind the Israelites what that name meant - Those Who Retain God - Yahweh elohim. However, David became sinful and then Solomon was born, never being taught to remember the Covenant of marriage.

In the Gospel reading from Mark, some Pharisees and scribes confronted Jesus about his disciples not washing their hands before eating. Jesus heard them mutating the Law, which was written for those who entered the tabernacle and attended to the Ark - the Levites. Jesus quoted Isaiah to them.

Jesus said, “This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching human precepts as doctrines.”

That was Jesus reminding those supposed holy men that they were supposed to be married to Yahweh. They were supposed to become His elohim, and do like David sang: “Whoever leads a blameless life and does what is right, who speaks the truth from his heart.”

The Pharisees and scribes were full of blame. They routinely went around criticizing others, just as they accosted Jesus. They were, as the saying goes, the pot calling the kettle black. They could not speak the truth from their hearts, because none of their souls had married Yahweh.

The quote from Isaiah was to the King of Judah, as Yahweh speaking to those who led Judah to ruin through His prophet. A prophet is a Yahweh elohim.

Isaiah spoke to them as Yahweh, because those rulers and scribes had forgotten what Moses said. They read the Song of Solomon and got sexually aroused. They read the scrolls and misinterpreted what had been written. They too were like the little boy king Solomon, who deserved a whipping for having broken the laws of Moses, egotistically thinking he was all-wise and able to make up the meaning of the Word … to suit his needs.

Israel collapsed because they forgot the warnings of Moses. Judah collapsed for the same reason. The returning Jews had become the illegitimate step-children of the self-imposed legal authorities, whose stronghanded nonsense was supposed to keep ruin from ever happening again.

Their glorious Temple, refurbished in honor of Herod the Great, would be demolished not too long after some Pharisees and scribes told Jesus his disciples were sinners.

The Pharisees and scribes thought they were religious. They criticized Jesus because his hungry disciples ate grains with unwashed hands. They were insinuating that Jesus was not religious, therefore neither were his followers.

James wrote, “If any think they are religious, and do not bridle their tongues but deceive their hearts, their religion is worthless.”

Isaiah spoke as Yahweh saying to the kings of Judah, “Your religion is worthless.”

Jesus spoke to the Pharisees and scribes saying, “Your religion is worthless.”

When James followed that statement by saying, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”

The Pharisees and scribes cared for nobody other than themselves and whoever could fast-track their climb to financial success. Thus, there was nothing pure and undefiled about them.

The sword cuts two ways. Your religion is either worthless, or you are a Yahweh elohim, whose religion is pure and undefiled before God, the Father.

It is not half of one and half of the other. It is all or nothing.

Jesus told the crowd that surrounded the Pharisees and scribes, “Listen to me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.” For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come.”

Jesus was not talking about grains being unwashed, or hands being unwashed. He was not talking about the ideas that lawyers come up with when reading Scriptures. He was not talking about an arranged marriage, where a pure and innocent daughter would be given away in marriage to a tax collector.

Jesus was not talking about anything that manifests in the material world – that which is external.

Jesus was talking about everyone who stood by listening to him - those having a soul. A soul is not part of the physical world. A soul is imprisoned in a body of flesh, trying to find its way out of the material realm, so it can return to be with Yahweh.

What Jesus was saying was the people of Galilee and Judea – the Jews – were taking into their souls demonic spirits. They were becoming married to sinful lusts and pleasures. They were fearing everything external to them, rather than only fearing their soul losing the presence of Yahweh.

Jesus was talking about the double-edged sword of carnal pleasures verses spiritual joys. He was pointing out how commitment to a divine marriage meant understanding the intent of the Law, without every having to think about what the Law means. Jesus was saying the ways of righteousness would come as a gift from Yahweh, so a blameless life, doing what is right and speaking the truth, comes as natural as Isaiah telling a King of Judah, “your religion is based on merely human rules they have been taught” by sinful idiots.

You have to grasp this that Jesus said as being a reference to the dangers of becoming a demonic elohim, by receiving the spirit of Satan as the controller of one's body of flesh. Thus, Jesus said, "it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly." Those are not the deeds of a Yahweh elohim.

When Mark ended this reading selection by telling us that Jesus said, "All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person,” "evil things" becomes a statement about demonic possession.

Moses reminded those who retained God in their souls to always remember the marriage vows that join one's soul to Yahweh … in divine possession. It is a lesson that still matters today.

The bus is coming, so I will close quickly. We live in a carbon-copy world as did Solomon, David, Moses, Isaiah, Jesus and James. We call ourselves Christians, when the sword of that name means nothing or everything.

The value of our religion is how much we invest into it. The only way to be all-in is to submit one's soul fully into marriage with Yahweh. Each soul has to make this eternal commitment to divine marriage. That marriage comes with a stipulated Covenant, which cannot be broken once commenced. We need the gifts of Yahweh to keep the fire of desire always burning.

Keep my words in mind as you go through your work week. May Yahweh smile lovingly into your hearts and souls until we meet again.


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