Homily for the third Sunday after Pentecost – Being mustard seeds of faith

Updated: May 31

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Good morning bus riders!

Today is the third Sunday after Pentecost, which is the Ordinary season when the priests of Yahweh are sent into the world to lead others to Him.

In the Gospel reading for today, Jesus spoke in parables about going into ministry.

He compared one’s ministry to that of a tiny mustard seed. That is the metaphor that needs to be seen from that.

Simply put, the mustard seed reflects an ego that is the smallest an ego can be.

Before I delve deeper into the two parables Jesus told, I want to tell you about a dawning that came to me this past week about Israel.

In the first Samuel reading, we read: “The Lord was sorry that he had made Saul king over Israel.” Yahweh then told Samuel a little later, “I have rejected [Saul] from being king over Israel.”

Then, in the track 2 optional reading [we read them all here!], Ezekiel wrote in his song: “On the mountain height of Israel I will plant it.”

While not directly stated by name, Psalm 92 sings, “Those who are planted in the house of Yahweh.” There, one can assume “Israel” is that “house.”

Still, separate from all that, it was Psalm 20 that triggered my epiphany about “Israel” to begin with. I began pondering the meaning of the first two verses, which sing:

“May Yahweh answer you in the day of trouble, the Name of the God of Jacob defend

you; Send you help from his holy place and strengthen you out of Zion.”

In that, “Zion” is the name of the mountain of Jerusalem, upon which David made his city; and, David was the King of Israel to replace Saul – anointed as a boy by Samuel, the youngest son of Jesse, as we read today.

Still, the naming of Jacob got me remembering the story of Jacob wrestling with an angel all night long. When day arrived, the angel told Jacob his new name was Israel.

How many of you remember that story from Genesis 32?

<Look for raised hands and nodding heads.>

In that story, Jacob came to a place where “the angels of God met him.” Verse one then says Jacob exclaimed: “This is God’s camp!” So he called that place Mahanaim.”

The reality of what that place is needs to be known. The words written in Genesis are “mal·’ă·ḵê ’ĕ·lō·hîm,” which has been translated as “angels of God.” Instead, they truly say “messenger gods.”

Was anyone here when I talked about the seraphim and leviathan are both “serpents” that are actually spiritual entities in the worldly plane that possess human beings, either divinely or demonically?

<Look for raised hands, or quizzical faces.>

Well, the name Jacob gave that place – Mahanaim – means “Two Camps.” The root Hebrew word “hana” means, “to settle down.” So, in essence, that name means where "Two Settle In."

That means Jacob came to a point in his life when he realized he was possessed spiritually. All the evil deeds he had done – stealing his brother’s birthright and running away – was weighing heavily on his soul. Thus, Jacob was possessed by an evil demon, when he came to that critical time when a divine messenger of Yahweh came seeking to possess his being.

One way or another, Jacob was in a place of “Two Possessors,” where a battle ensued over which “elohim” or "spiritual serpent" was going to control the actions of his body of flesh.

The aspect of wrestling all night long means this was a dark time for Jacob. Since it was two opposing spirits fighting over control of his soul-flesh lifeform, Jacob was wrestling with himself.

That says his soul did not want to be possessed by Satan – always saying, “The devil made me do it.”

His soul wanted to do good; but to actually do good, one has to be divinely possessed.

This means the break of day was not so much about when the sun came up in the sky, as much as it is about the light of truth coming to Jacob. Jacob accepted Yahweh’s Spirit in marriage, divorcing his old ‘live together in lust husband’ forever.

To settle with his old demon spirit, Jacob would forever limp through life with a dislocated hip. That means he was still carrying the heavy load of his past actions, even as he went forward led by Yahweh.

The leviathan of Yahweh – His Spirit on earth that divinely possesses souls for Him as His wives – said to Jacob, “You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with humans, and have prevailed.”

That actually says, “you have persevered with elohim over humankind,” which was a possession by a demon spirit [a seraph of Satan].

Jacob came to a place, at a critical time in his life, where he had a demon spirit cast out of him, because he sought the help of Yahweh.

When there is nothing in the story that says Jacob went anywhere else as he wrestled, such that he was still in a place he had named “Two Camps,” after his transformation he named that same place Peniel.”

That name means “Face Of God,” as from the Hebrew “pana” – “face” added to the Hebrew “el” – “god.”

This means Jacob’s name changed to Israel, which is a name that means “He Retains God” or “God Is Upright.”

Does everyone see that meaning coming from the story of Jacob wrestling with an angel [or with God]?

<Look for nodding heads.>

Did you know that in all the subsequent chapters of Genesis, Jacob is still referred to as Jacob, rather than Israel?

In Genesis 46, which the NRSV gives a heading that says, “Jacob brings his whole family to Egypt,” we find Jacob referred to as “Israel.” Then, soon after we read: “the elohim of Israel spoke.” When the elohim spoke, they called him Jacob.

All of this fits into the awareness that came to me, which is “Israel” is a state of being, not a name.

Israel is the “name of Yahweh” that one takes as one’s own, when one’s soul has married Yahweh’s Spirit. Israel is the name all the wives of Yahweh take in marriage to Him.

Thus, Jacob was told his soul had become Israel.

David, once anointed by Samuel, when we read, “the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward,” was another Israel. He became an Israel, to become [later] the King of Israel.

That means a nation can only take on the name Israel when led by Yahweh as the Husband of all the souls in that nation. David was anointed by Yahweh, so the people followed his lead and assumed the name Israel themselves.

That is why Saul was rejected as the king over a people who had assumed the “name of Yahweh’s wives.” Saul was not Israel.

Saul was a soul in “Two Camps,” but he was like Jacob. The demon that possessed him made him think he could do as he pleased, once given the title of king. The spirit that possessed him was a seraph … like Isaiah saw in his dream, hovering over the new king that had taken over Judah after Uzziah.

The call is for all to be transformed and amend the place of "Two Camps," so it clearly adds, “Peniel” or here the soul with the Leviathan wears the “Face Of God.”

In the track 2 optional reading from Ezekiel, the “cedar tree” planted “on the mountain height of Israel” now can be seen as metaphor for the Spirit of Yahweh being married with one’s soul, so a new wife can reach the highest heights possible on earth – a mountain height.

The "cedar tree" becomes metaphor for that state of being called Israel. It epitomizes the truth of "One nation under God." It says all are extensions of Yahweh, from the roots to the tip top.

In the accompanying track two Psalm (92), we hear David singing, “That they may show how upright Yahweh is, my Rock.” In that, the Hebrew word “tsur” is used, which also means “cliff,” symbolizing “strength.” The “Rock” is then metaphor for the “mountain height.” By being “upright,” “they may be Israel,” as Yahweh’s wife.

I firmly believe that every Epistle reading says the same things, over and over, only slightly different. Still, all are difficult to grasp. They are difficult to grasp by brains of souls not married to Yahweh, who do not have the benefit of a divinely possessing Spirit to assist one in understanding.

In today’s example from Paul’s second letter to the true Christians of Corinth, it seems crystal clear to me what he meant, when we read the NRSV translation that says, “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!”

Here, the word “Christ” must be seen in the same light as Israel. The Greek word “Christos” means “Anointed one” or “One set apart by God.” Jesus most certainly was an “Anointed one” who was “Set apart by God.” Jesus was-is-will always be the Christ model for all Yahweh's anointed; and, David was anointed by Yahweh. David was the Anointed one at that time.

When Pilate asked Jesus if he was a king, Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this realm.”

Think about that response now, in terms of Jesus being the King of Israel, knowing Israel is a state of being, not the name of a man or a nation.

The soul of Jesus is the Leviathan that divinely takes control over a body of flesh, which becomes his realm of reign, once the host soul [a Jacob-like sinner] has married Yahweh’s Spirit [the “Advocate,” as Jesus called it]. That presence means that particular soul-flesh entity has had the oil of anointment poured over one’s head, by the command of Yahweh. All so anointed become another just like David, who became a Christ “from that day forward.” So too is anyone who comes to be rightly called Israel.

When Paul wrote, “For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died,” that is more difficult to understand. It is especially compounded with difficulty, when one reads the word “Christ” and thinks it is the last name of Jesus.

The “love” is that which brings a soul to marry Yahweh. The “Christ” is the “name” on takes in that marriage, where “Christ” means “Anointed.” That anointment can now be seen as taking on the name “Israel” – “He Retains God” or “God Is Upright [Here].”

Jesus was a most divine soul – the Leviathan spirit implanted in flesh, from the first cell division that took place in Mary’s womb. Jesus was the seed of Salvation that was sent into this world to be planted and grown.

Jesus was a seed that had to die so his soul could be released; so it could be resurrected in all who would marry their souls to Yahweh. That Leviathan spirit in the world existed before Jesus.

Jesus was sent to be the model for perfection, which all future human beings must know the story of.

Jesus was never flawed, as was Jacob. Thus, David wrote, “ May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble, the “Israel” of the elohim of Jacob defend you.”

David's day of trouble would bring about the end of a nation of people being rightfully able to call themselves Israel. When David died and Solomon proved to be more like Saul than his sinful father, the nation under kings became a reflection of a return to "Two Camps." They returned to being Jacob, led by seraphim.

The day of trouble for Jesus was when he was unjustly arrested, tried, tortured and executed [over three days]; but Jesus never failed Yahweh, like David did.

There could be no human King of Israel for future Israelites to look up to. Only humans with baggage they carry forward from the past can become the miracle of righteousness, through holy matrimony with Yahweh, bringing forth the name Israel upon their souls, where Jesus will rise to be one’s king of perfection.

In the two parables Jesus told, the first is talking about him. To understand that, both parables begins by him explaining what “the kingdom of God” is like.

To understand that, one has to see how Jesus is the king of that kingdom; and, that kingdom is within one’s soul, not some place far away, like in outer space.

Thus, Jesus telling the metaphor of someone scattering seed on the ground, how it took root and grew is deeper than the surface story. Jesus saying it grew until it reached a point of development that full heads of grain were visible, when it was time to bring out the sickle and harvest that fruit; that speaks of the purpose for planting seeds.

Yahweh is the someone. Jesus is the seed. The full heads of grain are the disciples. The sickle is the necessary action that provides sustenance.

Remember now how I have explained the symbolism of Bethphage, as being the “House of Green Figs” that were the offerings of first fruit to Yahweh. Remember now how I have explained that the Counting of the Omer is when green “first fruits” are placed in the Temple and left to mature for fifty days [the meaning of Pentecost].

That parable speaks of Jesus being the plant that was producing the future bread of heaven. For that basic ingredient to come forth – grains threshed and then milled into flour – the plant had to die. Jesus would live on through his seeds that provided nourishment to those in need.

This brings up the parable of the specific mustard seeds, which are very small seeds.

Think back to the name change that Saul took upon himself, after his conversion when he encountered the spirit of Jesus on the road to Damascus. Saul became Paul, where that new name means “Small.”

An Apostle is nothing without the potential that comes from marriage to Yahweh. An Apostle is set apart from weed seeds, such that its specificity in parable means no matter how small it is, it is Anointed by Yahweh and greater than other seeds.

That greatness comes after it has been planted into ministry. It grows to become the “greatest of all shrubs.” It “puts forth large branches.”

In that, the “greatest of all the shrubs” must be seen as a confirmation of the Ezekiel metaphor, where Yahweh told him, “I myself will take a sprig from the lofty top of a cedar; I will set it out. I will break off a tender one from the topmost of its young twigs; I myself will plant it on a high and lofty mountain. On the mountain height of Israel I will plant it.”

The “large branches” can then be seen as supporting what David wrote in Psalm 92: “The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, and shall spread abroad like a cedar of Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.”

This aligns “flourishing” with the constant production of “fresh buds” and “new shoots.” The “branches” must be seen like a vine that produces the good grapes of truth.

When Jesus said, “the birds of the air can make nests in its shade,” the Greek words “peteina tou ouranou” can also infer “winged creatures of heaven.” This should be read as the “messengers elohim” that Jacob encountered, causing him to name a place “Two Camps.” The "nests" are the souls of those married to Yahweh's Spirit, who have found sustenance from a "tree of life."

The word translated as “shade” becomes metaphor for the “shadow” of this dual possession, where the mustard plant is figuratively stated to be the fruit of the Jesus seed, so the “shade” becomes the unseen presence of his soul. This is where “angels elohim” of Yahweh make nests.

In Psalm 20, David sang out: “Now I know that the Lord gives victory to his anointed; he will answer him out of his holy heaven, with the victorious strength of his right hand. Some put their trust in chariots and some in horses, but we will call upon the Name of the Lord our God.” This should be seen as reflecting the “shadow” of Yahweh’s presence.

In that, the word translated as “victory” means “salvation.” That then says, “Salvation brings one the strength of the Christ, as a soul-body wife that becomes the right hand of Yahweh.”

The confusion of the NRSV translation comes when it seems to be talking about chariots and horses. What those words really say is an Apostle becomes the vehicle of Yahweh into the world, where instead of horsepower those vehicles are “winged creatures.” They are the “messenger elohim” of Yahweh, where the words David wrote that are translated as “Name of the Lord our God” actually says, "in the name of Yahweh our elohim.”

The possessive form of elohim, as "our gods," becomes a statement of divine possession, where one's soul has merged with a Spirit of Holiness, experiencing an elevation one's human flesh to a godlike state of being. That state is only possible through marriage to Yahweh.

The “name” of that state of being is “Israel,” which is a state of being where Jesus is one’s king.

The answer of Yahweh to the Israelite elders, who told Samuel to appoint for them a king to be like other nations, was answered by one in human form who was Anointed by Yahweh. David became the human King of Israel, a nation where all the people followed the spiritual lead of that king, thus fulfilling all as truly being in the name of Israel.

Where David led, the Israelites followed, without question. They were all spiritually connected to their king. It had been that way when the Israelites followed Moses and the other judges, who were likewise Israel in essence.

Jesus came to be the human form also Anointed by Yahweh, who would become the Spiritual King that would replace Yahweh as the King to whom all true Israelites must follow.

This makes the importance of reading about David being anointed by Samuel be a call to all who claim to have faith in Yahweh to become David and be the one He anoints.

Now, in what I have just said and in what I have said repeatedly today is this: I have changed where the NRSV has translated “the Lord” and corrected it to “Yahweh.”

Raise your hand if you feel uncomfortable calling Yahweh your God.

<Look for raised hands or hung heads.>

Every week, when I ponder the Psalms of David, I see time and again the English translation showing “Lord,” when the word written by David is clearly “Yahweh.”

When I look up the meaning of “Yahweh” by Strong’s, it says, “the proper name of the God of Israel.”

To many (obviously), “the God of Israel” sounds like saying, “the God of the Jews,” and Christians do not seem to want to call God by the name Moses called Him. Christians do not want to be Jews renewed. They do not want to be the sprig from the top of the cedar tree planted in English-speaking nations.

But, what happens when one learns that Israel is not a name of a nation, or a land, or a group of people who rejected Yahweh as their king, preferring some failure named Saul to lead them to ruin?

If one knows “Israel” means the name of Yahweh that one takes in marriage, as the wife of Yahweh, would one start calling one’s Husband by His name? Or, would one still want to distance oneself and just call Him “Lord”?

Raise your hand if you are married and you speak to your spouse like Quakers or Pilgrims of old did, calling out, “Wife!” or “Husband!”

<Look at dejected faces.>

The message is loud and clear. This bus stop is a place named “Two Camps.” The question is now whether one is possessed spiritually or not. The question is whose spirit owns your soul and controls your body of flesh. There can only be one spirit married to one soul, adding up to two in possession of one body of flesh. No threesomes allowed.

If it is Satan, then one does like ole king Saul did. One listens to what Yahweh wants done, say okay; and, then one goes out and does as one's heart desires, not caring one iota about what Yahweh wants done. One like that falls into the Seraph Camp of two.

On the other hand, if one is like David, then the Leviathan of Yahweh makes one be the right hand of God extended into the earth. That camp all wears the Face of God. It is a divine marriage that brings a soul the name Israel.

It all depends on how low one’s life has become. David had the spirit of Yahweh poured out upon his soul, so he prayed in his song, “May Yahweh answer you in your day of trouble.”

If He does answer your pleas for help, then be prepared to be renamed Israel, as was Jacob. You might come away limping for the rest of your physical life; but when that bag of dry bones falls away [and it will], then putting up with the limp of persecution will easily be forgotten, once eternity with Yahweh becomes one's spiritual playground.

A soul usually has to feel the weight of the world collapsing in on one’s shoulders to even begin to see God as an option.

You just don’t want to wait until that day is when you are on your death bed. Then it’s too late.