Homily for the sixth Sunday of Easter (Year C) – Having a friend in a high place

Updated: Apr 12

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Good morning bus riders!

We have reached the sixth Sunday of Easter. That should mean we are forty-two days towards Jewish Shavuot, or thirty-five days towards the Christian Pentecost Sunday. Pentecost is a Greek word meaning “Fiftieth Day.”

If you do the math, next Sunday would place us at the forty-second day, because thirty-five plus seven equals forty-two. From the seventh Sunday of Easter to the next Sunday (Pentecost) is only forty-nine days.

I was raised in a Pentecostal church, where (as far as I ever knew) "Pentecostal" meant speaking in tongues. So, Pentecost Sunday does not have to be the fiftieth day. It just has to be when Christians begin speaking in tongues!

Alas, the Christian mimicry of the God-commanded: “You shall count seven weeks; begin to count the seven weeks from the time the sickle is first put to the standing grain” begins the count when Jesus was discovered risen from the tomb.

So, that misses the Sunday that Jesus was arrested and the “sickle was first put to the standing grain.”

Even so, with the addition of a week after the seventh Sunday, which amounts to an eighth week, when the Seventh Sunday of Easter rolls around … that being forty-two days … six times seven … the Christian churches recognize Pentecost Sunday on the forty-ninth day.

<whispering> Christians don’t know “Pentecost” means “Fiftieth Day.”

The point of this means it is not about the count that is important. Christians worship on Sundays, rather than the true Sabbaths. So, we are pagan Gentiles from birth, not Jews. That means the importance is in understanding the symbolism of the seasons; and, the Easter season is symbolic of oneself having been raised from the dead.

Thus, all the readings during the Easter season are chosen to highlight that theme; and, today’s readings are no different.

Today, that theme is told in several ways, with the central plot for this sixth Sunday of Easter being an inability to be raised from the dead alone.

Alone, we are souls in bodies of flesh. Our flesh becomes our prison of death, because a body of flesh can only stay functional for so long. The soul is eternal; but alone it will always be recycled back into another body of flesh. That means souls fail to find Yahweh and return to Him forevermore … more often than not.

This makes the Easter season be when our souls are supposed to have found a teacher that can lead us to graduate our souls in our flesh to also being a teacher … letting the one within teach as us. That means we have realized we cannot achieve anything lasting alone. Jesus becomes our teacher. We teach as Jesus reborn.

The counting to the Fiftieth Day is then the time our souls ‘go to school,’ until we graduate. Pentecost is graduation day. The next season that follows is symbolic of a soul raised from the dead having become certifiably that teacher – Jesus reborn.

Still, even though anyone can pick up a Holy Bible and try to self-educate … and that is always a positive direction to take … our souls still need help understanding what is written in Scripture. The hidden truth requires divine assistance for understanding.

So, the Easter season is when we realize we are dead without help. It is when we enroll in the school of Saints and let our souls be taught that we know nothing of value to our souls, without Jesus.

With that said, let’s look at the mandatory reading from Acts for today.

In the first verse we read of Paul having a vision; and, the Easter season has been filled with such stories of visionaries. Being able to have divine visions means one is a graduate of the Jesus school of ministry.

What we do not read today, which sets this vision up, is chapter sixteen beginning with Timothy joining Paul, Silas and Luke in ministry. Timothy had reached his personal ‘Pentecost’ and went out to teach, along with those experienced teachers.

When they left Timothy’s home in Lystra, near Derbe, both in southern Galatia, they went north. In verse six we read, “[they] were prevented by the Holy Spirit to speak the word within Asia.” After they changed course, heading west, verse seven then says, “not did allow them the Spirit of Jesus,” to go north into Bithynia.

In other words, the four apostles became bogged down in Troas, unable to teach anyone, because the Spirit that made them teachers of Holy word, that leading them as Jesus reborn, was silently within them. The speaking the word comes from Jesus within; and, that soul presence within one's soul is what made them teachers in the first place.

If Jesus isn't speaking the word through you, then you cannot speak the word alone.

Taking a Bible on the road and then holding it up in the air, while talking feverishly, so people will think, “Man the Spirit is moving that man,” is not what being a teacher in ministry is about.

Paul, Silas, Luke and Timothy were not traveling evangelists who had an act they were taking on the road … for money. They were souls that had become totally submissive to Yahweh, so they were each the resurrection of Jesus in new flesh; and, that meant they walked until the soul of Jesus said to them, “Stop here. I have something to say.”

Thus, when we read, “Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, "Come over to Macedonia and help us," that “man” standing in Macedonia was Jesus calling the four servant-wives of Yahweh, telling them where to go and teach.

Now, the Greek word translated as “man” is not “ánthrōpos,” but “anēr,” which can also mean “husband.” This could then be a vision of Yahweh, appearing as the Son to His servant-wife Paul. This concept of apostles being divinely married to Yahweh is vital to grasp.

In the reality of what Paul, Silas, Luke and Timothy found in Macedonia, especially in what the verses read today tell, had nothing to do with “a man.” They taught women. They baptized women with the Spirit of Yahweh. One named woman, Lydia, became enrolled in the school of Jesus.

The lesson to be gained from this reading is human beings, when souls alone in a body of flesh, think like he or she is it – the master of one’s personal universe. The ancient world (as well as the world today, just the West has blinded itself to this reality) was dominated by males, with females the one’s expected to be submissive to that male dominance.

Because it was ancient practice to not name women and children in Scripture, unless one was important to know, by Lydia being named that tells the reader she was a woman of importance. She was a leader of a house of women.

When we read she was, “a certain woman … a worshiper of God,” that needs to be understood that she was a Jew or of Israelite blood.

In the story told of Timothy, his mother was Jewish, while his father was Greek; so, in Asia there was the dispersed blood of the Northern Kingdom mixed in with Gentile blood.

Because Paul was new to Macedonia, in a Roman colony, he went a Sabbath’s day walk outside the city gates to a river, where he learned those of mixed Jewish blood would gather. It was not an official synagogue; so, those people only knew what they had been taught at home. That would have been far from polished teaching given to them; so, their souls were alone in their bodies of flesh. They sought a teacher.

This means when Paul came to the place of prayer, Jesus began speaking to the women gathered there. Lydia’s heart was opened by what she heard Paul saying, as Jesus reborn.

This is what it means to be an apostle. One opens one’s mouth and the word of the Holy Spirit flows forth. It comes when ears are listening and hearts are desiring to learn. It is not an act; and, it is not entertainment, where others fall in love with the one pretending to be holy.

This lesson needs to be seen as Paul being not a soul in a body of flesh alone. Lydia and her house of women need to be seen as seekers, who were all souls alone in bodies of flesh. A soul alone in flesh is a projection of feminine essence. A soul married to Yahweh becomes a projection of masculine essence, as the Son reborn.

Can you see that?

<Look for nodding heads.>


Last week we went over David’s Psalm 148, which had two “Hallelujahs,” which says, “Praise YAH,” as well as several “Praise Yahweh’s” and “Praise him’s.” It is the epitome of a Psalm of praise; and, it is only sung that fifth Sunday of Easter.

Today, we have another Psalm of praise, numbered sixty-seven, which is not only sung today, but on a Sunday in the after Pentecost season … after one graduates to teach as Jesus reborn.

Last Sunday, I did not explain that it is impossible for human beings – souls alone in a body of flesh – to give true praise to Yahweh. David was singing, in Psalm 148, about an inner presence that constantly sang praise to Yahweh within him, which his soul felt and sang along with.

In the Acts reading, when Paul and Silas are imprisoned, their feet in stocks, they were praying; but, then, Jesus began singing praises to Yahweh. So, Paul and Silas sang along.

Today’s Psalm 67 is stating that inner presence as “elohim” – a word written five times in seven verses, with one time that word paired with a construct of “elohim” – “elohenu.” The translations read show as “God” or “O God,” with the construct saying “our God.”

The Hebrew word for “god” (in the lower case) is “el.” The word “elohim” is a masculine plural noun, which says “gods” (in the lower case).

To David, “Yahweh” was his God. The “elohim” were “angels” who served “Yahweh.” David’s inner “elohim” was the equivalent of the soul of Jesus having been resurrected within his soul … so his soul was not alone in his flesh.

Thus, in Psalm 148 David sang praise to Yahweh as a soul joined with Yahweh; and, in Psalm 67 David sang praise to the inner “elohim” that was Jesus multiplied many times over in other souls that were also married to Yahweh.

Can you see that?

<Look for nodding heads and quizzical faces.>

This is important to grasp.

In verse one, David sang, “elohim be merciful to us and bless us.” That says the inner divine presence was a soul’s union with Yahweh, which brought that soul salvation. The elohim within David was the same elohim in all the true Israelites, who David taught as their king. The true meaning of "Israel" is "Who Retains el," like Isra-elohim.

Then, David sang to the “elohim,” “cause to shine his face upon us.” This says the inner elohim brings on the ability to live up to the Commandments – where the First Commandment says “Do not stand before Yahweh wearing the face of any other god, as only His face can face Yahweh.” It was his elohim who taught his soul to live righteously. The inner elohim blessed a soul by placing the face of Yahweh on that soul’s face.

If David were singing to Yahweh about that face being placed upon his soul’s face, then David would have written “Yahweh” … as we saw he wrote many times in Psalm 148.

In verse two, David sang that the presence of Yahweh’s “elohim” meant David knew his soul was saved.

A soul sings songs of praise for the presence of the Son of Yahweh, making sure a soul in a body of sin does not ever return to a life of sin, where there is only a soul alone teaching the flesh what to do. Being saved means being washed clean and never again getting dirty.

Thus, having an “elohim” within one is the same one within many also saved, thus “elohim” is plural. It is then that "elohim" praising one's soul and body joins in on … and it is the inner “elohim” that gives praise to Yahweh that a soul can feel and take part in.

Alone, no soul can ever know what true praise to Yahweh means.

This can then be seen reflected in the vision John wrote of in the reading for today from Revelation. Here, we read verse ten, then leap forward to verse twenty-two (in chapter twenty-one). That finishes one chapter and then flips over to the first five verses in the next.

Verse ten tells us [NRSV], “And in the Spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God.”

Here, because we are shown verse ten and then sent ahead to verse twenty-two, where we have an image in our minds of a city floating down from the sky, we need to step back and pause for a moment.

John was in a divine vision spiritually. There was nothing physical there, just like there is nothing physical in our dreams. Everything his soul was shown (recalling John was old and blind at this time) was symbolic.

To a high place taken symbolizes being one with Yahweh. A mountain is metaphor for the strength of his elohim protector – Jesus. This state of mind then saw the symbolism of “inhabitants” that all live in the same ways of righteousness. Rather than being shown a physical “city” floating down from heaven, John was shown the collective of “inhabitants” that all shared the same “elohim” in their souls. Thus, the “city” John was shown symbolized the coming of “Christianity.”

The name of that was “Jerusalem,” which is a Hebrew word meaning “Teaching Peace.” Because all of the “inhabitant” were living beings – no buildings possess souls – all were inhabited by Yahweh’s Spirit and His Son’s soul. They were all alike because they were possessed by an inner Teacher, who spoke the word through them. That word brought "Peace."

Can you see that?

<Look for nodding heads and shocked faces.>

When verse twenty-two says there was no “temple” there. The word translated as “temple” also means “a shrine” or “a sanctuary.” This means John did not see a building in this mass of “inhabitants,” which was then was a reflection of the destruction of Herod’s Temple – later to be replaced by a building dedicated to a lesser god – but he did not see any synagogues or churches, cathedrals or other religious building that stood out.

This lack in John’s vision says each individual soul of the mass of inhabitants of Yahweh and His Son were themselves “tabernacles” unto Yahweh; and, the Greek word “naos” means “that part of the temple where God himself resides.”

That is the “throne” John was shown in this and other readings from his Revelation.

Because John’s chapter twenty-one (which we read today) focuses on the “Lamb,” which is the soul of Jesus – the “elohim” inhabiting each soul – John wrote of the inner light that led each of those “inhabitants.”

John referred to the “gates,” which is the plural number of “gates” to many souls, which Jesus told his disciples (and listeners), “I am the gate.” He was the opening to Yahweh’s sheep, as the good shepherd.

John said the Lamb was the light by which all would “walk,” which is the path of righteousness that leads each soul away from sin, towards eternal salvation.

John wrote of the “book of life of the Lamb,” which is the source of every reading we ponder, every Sunday. If Jesus teaches one to know the truth in the book of life, then one's soul will be led to eternal life.

When the page is flipped over to chapter twenty-two, John wrote of the river of life, which was a “broad path” that had the “tree of life” on the side. That “river of life” flowed from the “throne,” which is Yahweh within one’s heart-center.

The “tree of life” was found in Eden, which reflects the spiritual realm, not the physical. The tree of the fruit of knowledge of good and evil reflects the physical. Eating big brain fruit forces a soul to be enslaved by death. To be where the tree of life is producing much fruit is where eternal life has been found.

The tree of life means one’s soul has been raised from the dead.

In verse three, John wrote [NRSV], “the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him; they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.” This is like David singing praise to the “elohim” of Yahweh, as the Lamb within, who leads apostles and saints to be servants. Their inner spirit praises Yahweh and the face of Yahweh is placed on their souls.

In the Acts reading, a possessed girl shouted at the Apostles, saying they were the "servants of the Most High God."

This is John being shown the inner soul of Jesus is for servants to take his soul back into ministry, so others can be led to the light and know the praise of Yahweh and having gained redemption and eternal life.

They offer others the fruit of the tree of live, which includes the leaves of healing.

Now, this element of healing is quite obvious in the optional reading from John five, where Jesus healed a man that was lame, who for thirty-eight years could never be the first in the waters of the pool, once an angle came and stirred them.

What is impossible to see, because the NRSV does not translate text placed within brackets, is how verse four says, “angelos gar kata kairon katebainen en tē kolymbēthra,” which translates literally into English saying, “an angel indeed according to time descended within this pool.” Without that being shown this, it is impossible to see “an angel” is the Hebrew equivalent of an “elohim,” but when we read that it “descended into this pool,” it was like a fallen angel, or a demonic spirit.

It did some good, like the girl who was possessed by the "spirit Python" was led to speak the truth. However, that good was not openly shared with all who were sick.

Instead of raising souls from the dead, it made the souls of the sick scramble to beat one another and get into the “stirred water” first. Such a miracle was not holy, but one designed to make the sick who never entered the stirred water first … eventually … curse Yahweh for not giving them a chance.

The lame man Jesus came to was asked, “Desire your soul to be made whole?”

The lame man answered, basically, “If only I had a little help. It is just me all by myself; and I am so crippled I can never get into the stirred water first.”

The lame man not once – in thirty-eight years – said, “God hates me, so I can never get in first.” He said, “If only God would send me someone to help me, I am sure God would heal me.”

The lame man never gave up his faith that Yahweh could work a miracle. For that reason, the healing leaves of the tree of life came to him that day, when Jesus said, “Raise up your mattress of the poor kai live.”

The help from Yahweh had arrived. The lame man rose and was healed.

Now, I write in my commentary about John five that I believe this man became a devout follower of Jesus. I believe the same happened to the girl who was possessed by a "spirit." I recommend you read those commentaries on my website. However, the point I want to make here is the soul of that lame man became joined with the soul of Jesus, so his soul then had his own “elohim” within him. He was then able to feel the praise of Yahweh that inner presence brought into him.

As for the reading selection from John fourteen, which like the reading choice from John five, can only be read this one Sunday in the three-year lectionary cycle, it is important to understand what Jesus said on his last evening as a free man on earth.

Unlike the lame man, there was already a part of Jesus’ soul with the souls of his disciples; and, he stated that in verse seventeen (not read today), when Jesus told his disciples, “You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.”

In that, Jesus was speaking of the souls of his disciples already having been given a part of Jesus’ soul, which was with them when they went into intern ministry. Their souls were not alone in their bodies of flesh. By having Jesus possess then in that way, they could be sent out in his name to teach: "The kingdom of heaven has come near."

Where we read, “Jesus said to Judas (not Iscariot),” that is not written in verse twenty-three. Judas is named in verse twenty-two, when he asked Jesus the question: “Lord, how is it that you will reveal yourself to us, and not to the world?”

Judas asked that question (divinely inspired to ask it), because Jesus had told them (in verse nineteen), “In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live.”

Here, it is important to realize the disciples were all drunk on Seder wine; and, none of them were able to understand what Jesus said to them. Rather than Jesus speaking to their inebriated brains, his soul spoke to their souls. It would be that communication that each would recall after they had graduated from the Jesus school of ministry, the following Pentecost Sunday.

In verse twenty-six, where Jesus said, “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.”

This was the promise that the disciples would be given a full share of an “elohim,” who would live within their souls forevermore. Jesus would be that “Advocate,” in his “name.”

That is why Jesus then said, “I am going away, and I am coming to you.” The physical Jesus was going away forever; but the soul of Jesus would return within their souls when he was raised within the dead that were his disciples.

Jesus told them, “If you love me you will keep my commandments.” This can be seen in the Acts reading, where Paul, Silas, Luke and Timothy did not force sermons on people without the go-ahead from the soul of Jesus within. They were “deterred from speaking the word by the Holy Spirit," which had sent them the soul of Jesus.

To love Yahweh is to marry one’s soul to His Spirit and become Sacred – Set apart by God. To become Holy – become a Saint – means to be reborn as Jesus. All of that comes by “love,” which … like praise of Yahweh … is impossible for a soul alone in a body of flesh to know.

To “keep the commandments of Jesus” means to submit to the Will of the Father, who speaks the word through His Son.

In verse twenty-five, Jesus confirmed that his soul was one with the souls of his disciples, when he said, “I have said these things to you while I am still with you.”

The literal translation says, “with your souls abiding,” when “you” is read as “yourselves,” and a “self” means a “soul.”

In verse twenty-seven, when Jesus is shown to have said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives,” the Greek word translating as “Peace” also means “Rest, Completion, and Oneness.” It is a capitalized word that has the same meaning as Jesus asking the lame man, “Do you Desire to be whole?”

“Peace” is being “Whole.” A soul alone in a body of flesh is incomplete. It is always seeking “Rest” and “Completion,” because the seventh day is when “oneness” is found created.

When Jesus would appear in the upper room after his soul had risen, he said, “Peace be with your souls.” That is the same as Jesus telling the lame man to “Arise, lift up the you that has lain like a mattress of the poor kai live.”

The Easter season is all about having faith that Yahweh will help us; but faith means doing all that one can to show Yahweh your love.

To begin to love Yahweh your soul has to make the same plea as the lame man, which says, “Lord, my Desire to be healed is still strong. I try the best I can; but I seek divine help.”

It is vital to have that attitude. Seeking salvation cannot be about oneself and oneself alone.

It must be with the love of Yahweh leading one to submit to His Will and serve Him in every way He deems fit. That means being given the ability to “Rise up and walk” a path of righteousness, in ministry.

So many are lame in church pews today, with no plans to ever seek to be healed so another can be helped to salvation through their Acts … as Jesus reborn.

That is why the world is always falling further and further away from Yahweh and His Son. Instead of keeping the faith, we pray for being the first to notice the water being stirred by some fallen angel. Then it becomes a mad dash to win the lottery.

Shouting out, “I won! I won!” is not giving praise to Yahweh, and the first person singular “I” says one’s soul is still alone, without an “elohim” to show one what true praise is.

Few people today are followed by a girl possessed by a "spirit," led to tell the truth, so the world will know: "Here walk servants of the God that is Most High." Such proclamations are eerily silent these days.

I see the bus down at the stop sign, headed this way; so, I will end here.

Please ponder in your hearts what I have said. Rise up from your bus stop bench and walk onto the bus as servants to Yahweh, led by His Son.

I look forward to meeting with you again next Sunday.


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