Updated: Jun 8
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Good morning bus riders!
Today is the sixth Sunday after Pentecost, which means ministry time is full speed ahead!
I hope everyone received the email with the link to the Episcopal lectionary page, so you read all of the readings for today. There are only six this week, unlike the past two Sundays.
Still, all six of the readings for today tie together to tell a deeply connected story.
To tell you the truth, I wrote deeply about all of the readings for today three years ago, when they last came up in the lectionary cycle. However, this year has been one new revelation after another for me; so, I am seeing depth never perceived before.
As the saying goes, its something I can’t unsee.
The revelations I had began with the first reading from Second Samuel. That reading seems simple enough: David was made King of Israel and Judah and he made Jerusalem his capital.
The thing that piqued my interest was the three omitted verses in the reading. They appear to be omitted because they are confusing and lead to questions being asked that most scholars struggle with answering.
Everything has to do with realizing it was not a simple matter of David moving from Hebron to Jerusalem. Jerusalem was in the possession of the Jebusites and had been for more than the nearly thousand years the Israelites had been in Canaan.
The Jebusites had lived there since before Abram went to Salem and met Melchizedek, who was the King of the Jebusites.
I mean, Melchizedek never died … like Enoch and Elijah … so Salem [also known as Jebus] could go back to the beginning of Genesis, when Adam and Eve were cast out of Eden.
I began to see Jerusalem … Salem … Jebus … as being relative to where Genesis 3:24 says Yahweh placed Cherubim at the gate to protect the path to the tree of life.
Once I saw that, an amazing revelation came to me about why David would take Jerusalem, which no one before him ever had.
The accompanying “response” to the Second Samuel reading – Psalm 48 – sings of Mount Zion, which is where Jebus-Jerusalem was located. We read: “David occupied the stronghold, and named it the city of David.”
I have talked to you many times about the problems Americans face from only reading English translations of the Holy Bible. Recently, I have complained to you about “Yahweh” being written, but rather than learn to know that name the English translations say “Lord.” Another problem comes when the Hebrew written is “elohim” [or a form of that plural number word] and the translations presented to us say “God” [in the singular, capitalized].
In verse one of Psalm 48, David wrote [literally translated into English], “great Yahweh to be shone abundantly; in the city of our gods, his holy mountain.”
The English translation sung aloud says, “Great is the Lord, and highly to be praised; in the city of our God is his holy hill.”
In that the word “elohenu” is written, which has been translated as “of our God” [singular and capitalized], when the truth of what David wrote says, “of our gods.”
The entire first chapter of Genesis repeatedly says “the gods” made this and “the gods” made that, with every place “elohim” is written the translators of the English say “God” made this and that.
That limits God. It says God cannot created gods.
A lower-g god is an eternal spirit. A soul is an example of one. The angels are examples of many. However, a “soul” is “ruach” and the “elohim” are those spirits infused with Yahweh, as divine.
Adam and Eve were thus “elohim,” as souls made by the hand of God. All the prophets of Yahweh who talked with Yahweh were “elohim.” Jesus and all the Saints of Christianity were, are, and will always be “elohim.” We know that because all are divinely infused by Yahweh’s Spirit.
When one sees this, it becomes something that cannot be unseen. The Hebrew text comes alive with new meaning – higher meaning – truth that allows one to see deeper meaning being exposed.
By having that understanding in hand, verse one of Psalm 48 says, in effect, Jerusalem was a stronghold of “elohim” that was on Mount Zion. It says Mount Zion is a “holy mountain.”
There is so much to say about this revelation. I wrote about much that I saw on my website and my Word Press blog – Our Daily Bread – which I encourage you to read and offer comments. Rather than go into all that Biblical history that is involved, I will simply say now that the Jebusites were the “elohim” married to Yahweh that watched over Canaan as the land set aside for Yahweh’s chosen people. No Israelite had ever attempted to defeat them because they were their heavenly ally.
That was made known to David by Yahweh; and, it is the meaning behind the words he sang in Psalm 48 that say, “As we have heard, so have we seen, in the city of Yahweh of hosts, in the city of our gods; elohim have established her forever.” In that, “of hosts” means Yahweh has created an “army” of divinely infused creatures, which are easily accepted as meaning “angels.”
Still, to follow “Yahweh of hosts” with the words that say "in the city elohenu," the “gods” there must be seen as part of that “host.” Therefore, Yahweh created “elohim” who were placed on a “holy mountain,” to protect that place eternally.
None of this can be seen by reading the English translations. By knowing what to look for in the original text, it becomes meaning that cannot be unseen.
Now I have been a firm believer that the call of Scripture is for one to see the truth it holds and have one’s heart – a.k.a. soul – opened up to a marriage proposal from Yahweh. Accepting that proposal leads to one receiving His Spirit and becoming saintly. It is that union of a soul with the divine that creates one of the many “elohim.”
This should be seen as the way it has been since Adam and Eve became the first “elohim” that were priests of Yahweh on earth. Abram and Sarai were the same, with Moses’ soul likewise married when he led the Israelites away from Egypt.
This means David moving from Hebron, where he reigned for seven and a half years over Judah as king, to Jerusalem, where he ruled as the King of Israel [and Judah] for thirty-three years, that was for a specific purpose. That purpose was to force the Israelites to likewise marry their souls to Yahweh, because when the Jebusites stopped possessing Jerusalem then the Israelites no longer had a ‘safety net.’
When the Second Samuel reading for today says “reigned forty years.” That is a significant number in the Old Testament and should not be overlooked.
Forty years was how long the Israelites wandered in the wilderness before entering Canaan.
Forty years was how long the Israelites would obey the Law and prosper in Canaan. Then, forty years would be how long they would fall away and suffer, calling out for redemption.
By reading that David would rule for forty years – when he was first made king – acts as a prophecy that David marked a time for Israel and Judah to prosper. We read that David “became greater and greater, for Yahweh, elohe of hosts, was with him.”
That says David’s soul was married to Yahweh – he was Anointed by His Spirit – so he was one “elohe” of the “elohim” that is the “host” or “army” of divine souls on earth that serve Yahweh.
The forty years meant there would be no more judges who would come to save the day for the Israelite people. David was the last; so, Yahweh told him to take Jerusalem, so he replaced that “host” of “elohim.” It was up to David to teach the people they had to equally submit their souls to Yahweh or the land would be lost.
In Psalm 48, the reality of verse 11 sings, “ Let rejoice - Mount Zion, let be glad the daughters of Judah, the purpose of your decisions.” Taking Mount Zion meant accepting one’s responsibility of one’s soul. The reason to rejoice is seen in being a “daughter of Judah” given away in marriage to Yahweh. The joy comes from knowing the intent and purpose of one’s responsibility for one’s soul has been placed in the hand of God, when the decision to marry His Spirt has been made.
The meaning of “from the Millo inward” is each Israelite being made a fortress of Yahweh, so the whole of one’s soul – that “inward” – is filled with the presence of His Spirit.
The problem was, of course, that the people followed David’s lead, without actually marrying their souls to Yahweh. After David sinned, the people also began to slip.
The ‘follow the leader’ model was forever broken. The Israelite elders broke it when they demanded a king [to be like other nations], when having a king like other nations had kings meant worshiping a human being, not Yahweh. Saul was the choice they made and that ended badly. David had been anointed by Yahweh to be the last judge of Israel, long before anyone ever asked David to be their king.
From grasping all of this from the simple reading of David being asked to be the King of Israel, we can see the reality of that being a prophecy of the land no longer being protected in the Ezekiel optional reading.
Ezekiel was a prophet of Judah. He wrote after Israel had long before been overrun by the Assyrians and the Israelites scattered to the four corners of the earth. He wrote after Judah had likewise been overrun by the Babylonians, as a prophet in Jerusalem, which was the last stronghold left of everything that was when David rose to be the last judge.
In the nine hundred sixty-plus years prior to David, the tribes of Israel had gone regularly through the forty years good, followed by forty years bad, such that after forty years bad they screamed out for redemption. In some way, the Jebusites were connected to the Levitical line in each of the twelve regions of Israel, so when begs of forgiveness were heard, a judge with amazing powers arrived on the scene.
When Ezekiel’s soul became married to Yahweh and he became a true prophet, there had been a series of kings, most with foreign queens, and one bad turn following another bad turn, with a plateau here and there. The heroes were the prophets, all of which kept saying, “Admit your sins and beg Yahweh to forgive you and give your soul to Him, so the land can be saved.” Few took their advice.
Thus, we read Yahweh sending out Ezekiel, so: “they shall know that there has been a prophet among them.”
When they died and their souls were released for judgment, they would know a prophet had been among them. A little too late to do anything positive at that point, however.
When we read in Ezekiel that “a spirit entered [him] and set [him] on [his] feet, so [Ezekiel] could hear the voice of Yahweh,” that told of his soul’s marriage to Yahweh. He became “upright” and he entered ministry, saying what Yahweh told him to say.
The accompanying Psalm 123 then sings the same, in four verses. Two verses sing of a soul’s marriage to Yahweh, then two sing of the woe that comes to those souls who reject that marriage proposal. Two sing of the joy of David and Ezekiel. Then, two sing of all the other failures that led to ruin.
While the NRSV translations are not the full truth of what is written, one can get the picture of the later when we read: “Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy, for we have had more than enough of contempt, Too much of the scorn of the indolent rich, and of the derision of the proud.”
That becomes a prophecy of David’s Judah, hundreds of years after he was dead and gone.
This means the theme of today is rejection of Yahweh’s marriage proposal, which became a responsibility placed upon each individual soul forevermore.
It was not simply a responsibility for those descended from the Twelve Tribes of Israel, it was a responsibility for all who would truly be the children of Yahweh. Bloodlines mean nothing today. Property ownership means nothing today.
We see that rejection theme playing out in the Gospel reading from Mark, when Jesus went back to Nazareth, along with his disciples in tow, and “he began to teach in the synagogue.”
When it says “many who heard him were astounded,” the word translated as “astounded” means “many were stricken with shock or panic.” In other words, Jesus did not show up telling the Jews of Nazareth what they wanted to hear.
Looking back on what I wrote in 2018, I found that Luke 4:17 says Jesus read from the scroll of Isaiah. That is identified in Luke's Gospel. That means it was from a prophet that Jesus read, so he sat down after reading Isaiah 61:1-11 saying, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
Mark and Matthew both left out that detail, but the result was a bunch of flabbergasted Nazarenes who loudly objected to Jesus saying that.
The detail Mark wrote, which is the important focus that needs to be realized now – more than us thinking we know Jesus was the fulfillment of anything written in Scripture, because knowing demands proof one has been Jesus reborn – is those Nazarenes then were just like any Christian in a Christian church today.
Mark detailed them saying: “Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?”
Mark says, “And they took offense at him.”
Now, before anyone get onto the Jesus bandwagon and starts waving a flag of celebration in support of believing Jesus, while condemning those Nazarenes, I can tell you that every church I have ever entered over the past fifteen years has been exactly the same.
In all the involvements I have had in Bible Study classes and ministerial courses, if you say the things you have heard me say here, at this bus stop, they all react the exact same way. If you don’t show up telling the people what they want to hear, they will always be “astonished” and “shocked to panic.”
After Jesus had an already proved record of achievement – healing the sick and casting out unclean spirits, having a following of disciples – Mark said, “[Jesus] could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them.”
Mark added, “he was amazed at their unbelief.”
Realizing Jesus was known as a son of Joseph and Mary and how the Nazarenes displayed a great lack of faith in Yahweh, it should be easy to see how Ezekiel too was rejected, after Yahweh sent him to tell the priests running the Temple of Solomon, “I am here to speak for Yahweh to you.”
That attitude of rejection comes from having one’s soul made one’s own responsibility. That attitude thinks it is okay to sin, if it benefits oneself; as long as you give thanks to God for having benefited.
There is nothing in this world you can thank God for, if you reject Yahweh and His Spirit for material gains and physical pleasures. All that is the rope Yahweh gives to the unbelievers, so they have plenty to hang themselves with it.
Now it is easy to see this short reading from Mark appear to have a fork in the middle of the road, such that Jesus being rejected in Nazareth became a ‘shake it off and keep going’ thing. When we read, “Then he went about among the villages teaching. He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two” that seems to be a different story.
It is not. It is an expansion of this story of rejection (unspoken).
The commission of the twelve, sent out in six pairs, must be seen as a test of Christianity, before anyone commonly knew that word.
All of the twelve were touched by the soul of Jesus, so Jesus became reborn twelve more times. Those twelve were then sent out with the same talents of the Holy Spirit, each anointed by Yahweh [like David, like Jesus, like Ezekiel], so they went to their hometowns as true prophets. They went without fanfare. They went without any disciples following them.
We are told, “they went out and proclaimed that all should repent.”
Raise your hands if some old school buddy were to come up to you this very moment and tell you to your face, "You need to repent" and you would say, "Thanks buddy. You're right. I do need to repent."
<Look for shaking heads.>
While we are not told the success record of the twelve ministers, beyond how they “cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them,” the expectation is the same: “Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.”
For Jews, their bloodline makes all of them be kin. They are related by heritage, history, and religion. Their own house is the synagogue and a claim to the land of Israel. The prophets of Israel and Judah were not without honor, as their books are still read religiously.
But, after the fall and ruin of Israel and Judah, nobody believed there were ever going to be any new prophets. In that line of vision, Jesus was not a prophet; so, neither were any of the disciples.
Nobody today believes any new prophets are truly being born.
To drive that point home, look at the reading from Paul’s letter to the Christians of Corinth.
When Paul confided he knew “a person in Christ” that means he knew another soul who was married to Yahweh and possessed the resurrected soul of Jesus within his being, anointed by Yahweh’s Spirit. For Paul to “know” that, Paul was likewise “a person in Christ.”
I believe that “person in Christ” along with Paul was Barnabas.
The reference to “third heaven” is not a good place to be forcibly taken to. It means a demon spirit was prevalent in one place where Paul and Barnabas went together in ministry.
The word translated as “was caught up” is better put as “was forcibly snatched” or “was violently seized.”
This event must be seen as a physical rejection of prophets coming into someone’s hometown, where Jews were like Paul had been, when he was Saul - before his soul married Yahweh. This rejection was when both Paul and Barnabas were stoned and left for dead.
When Paul then said both he and Barnabas were then “suddenly caught up” in “Paradise,” this must be seen as them going to Eden, which is heavenly but still on earth.
This means Paul and Barnabas were dead of body, such that their souls had left them quickly; but, they had an “out of body experience” [an OBE], which is akin to a near death experience [an NDE]. Had any monitoring devices been hooked up to their bodies, the technicians would have deemed them dead.
When we read Paul saying he and Barnabas “heard things that are not to be told, that no mortal is permitted to repeat,” that is a bad translation. What the Greek text really says is this: They heard words that were not spoken to them from some physical mouth – what they heard was beyond description, as unspoken or inexpressible. Then, what words they heard said were not possible to speak physically, by any man.
Rather than being secret words, they heard so many words, so quickly, it was impossible for either of them to recall everything heard.
It was like knowing the Mind of God, but then having only a human brain to process all that knowledge.
What Paul was boasting about was he, with Barnabas as his witness, had died, went to heaven, met Yahweh without seeing Him, had everything they ever questioned answered, and then they returned to life in their bloodied and injured bodies. Like Lazarus, they then got up and went on their way.
The reason Paul went to this source of deep spiritual knowledge that Yahweh allowed his soul to experience, is that in the process of recovery or in the aftermath of continued ministry, Paul said “a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated.”
In the story of Jacob wrestling with himself – his evil spirit versus his elohim-to-be – he came away with something like a permanent hip joint injury, which caused a limp for the rest of his human life. The limp became a reminder of his sinful past.
In the same way, Paul received a lingering injury that he wanted to go away. He said, “Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.”
That becomes the expectation set by Jesus to all who will enter ministry. Expect to be persecuted. Expect to be verbally assaulted. Expect to be physically assaulted. Expect to be harmed.
Many of the people who call themselves “Christian” today are not true Christians, simply because they never leave the house in order to help others. They are like the Israelites, who were born with their parents feeding them from the ‘silver spoon’ of birthright. All one has to do to be a child of God is be born Jewish.
The Christians have adopted that system, in a downgrade way. If you got water on you because of seing a pastor or priest, then you never have to do anything more.
That rejecting the responsibility of saving yourself so you can save others was lost when The Romans decided to stop killing Christians, so they pretended to become Christians. In the same way, it is why Israel split into two nations, both of which fell and were destroyed.
That is why Yahweh sent Jesus to teach us the only way to “Paradise” is through one’s soul marrying Yahweh and becoming Jesus reborn.
Yahweh does not promise His children that they can have everything they want. If He did, then when Paul was hurting from having been stoned to death his prayers would have been answered by Jesus saying, “Your wish is my command. Consider it done.”
That does not happen. Jesus is not a genie.
Jesus told Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” That means being Jesus reborn is all one needs when a soul is still trapped inside human flesh. Whatever limps one develops over however many years is nothing compared to eternity.
The presence of Jesus within says “Paradise” awaits.
That cannot be expected by any souls still selfishly clinging to false hopes and fantasies.
That is why ministry is necessary; and, it is why Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.”
Yahweh wants more laborers.
After all, everything about saving a soul is on our shoulders now. Nobody else is going to save us.
I see the bus is coming. I’ll end here. Until next Sunday.