Homily for the thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost – Dedicating a temple unto Yahweh

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Good morning bus riders!


I hope everyone had a great past week and you all received the email with the link to the lectionary page and have read all the readings assigned for today.


Remember, I talk about them all, not just one, two, or three. I even talk about the psalms!

So, let’s get started!


The first Old Testament reading comes from First Kings and follows last Sunday’s reading when Solomon had a dream and was promised great wisdom.


If you recall, I said the language written about that promise says, “It pleased adonay that Solomon had asked for this. And elohim said to him.” I pointed out those two words, without "Yahweh" means it was Satan who was pleased, not Yahweh. Because Yahweh had been mentioned asking Solomon a question – because he had broken some tabernacle rules by offering sacrifices and burning incense in high places – the question “elohim inquire what shall I give you?” was about punishment, not free gifts.


Remember how I said that question from Yahweh was not about giving gifts, but giving deserved punishment?


<Look for nodding heads.>


An elohim is an entity that is a creation of the hand of God. Angels are elohim and saints are elohim, as “Yahweh elohim.” However, elohim can also be demonically possessed.


Cain was an elohim who welcomed Satan and turned away marriage of his soul to Yahweh.


When Yahweh saw Solomon breaking rules set by Moses, after being told by his father David to obey all Mosaic Law, Solomon was a soul who had welcomed Satan in marriage, rejecting Yahweh.


David made a point of telling his young ‘love child’ about dangers to his pending realm. After David died, Solomon made sure three men were executed, such that their deaths secured his kingship.


When Solomon misheard Yahweh’s question about punishment, egotistically hearing it as a question about a free divine gift, Solomon wanted to be forewarned about everything … like daddy David had done for him … so his young mind asked to be able to discern good and evil.


We call that asking for the forbidden fruit; but such fruit comes highly recommended by the serpent … the craftiest of all the elohim created by Yahweh.


With this refresher about last Sunday’s lesson, today we find that Solomon has ordered the building of a temple of stone. He began that after four years as king. It was completed seven years later. So, Solomon was twenty-something in the reading today.


His speech makes it seem like he is fulfilling the commands of Yahweh, told to his father David by his prophet Nathan.


That, if you recall the lessons from five Sundays ago, when David had the idea to make a house of cedar for Yahweh, Yahweh appeared to Nathan and told him to tell David:


“When [David's] days are fulfilled and [David] lies down with your ancestors, I will raise

up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his

kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his

kingdom forever.” (2 Samuel 7:12-13)


That, I said, was God talk … divine language … that sounds like it says Solomon, when it really says Jesus. The key hint comes from the words that say “his kingdom forever.”


Solomon did not live to be as old as David. Israel divided after Solomon died, so neither Israel nor Judah lasted “forever.” Far from it.


The interesting thing about this elaborate speech by Solomon, where he repeated saying, “your servant David my father,” Solomon kind of threw in a tidbit about his commitment to Yahweh, saying, “Regard your servant’s prayer and his plea, Yahweh elohim.” That says Solomon publicly proclaimed to be a soul married to Yahweh … like dear ole dad.


The problem is that was a lie, because had Solomon’s soul been married to Yahweh, he would have no need for great wisdom. Solomon would know what Yahweh meant when He spoke to Nathan, telling him to tell David at no time did Yahweh want a fixed building.


The mobile “house of Yahweh” to come would be a body of flesh. Just as the body is the temple of the soul, the soul is the temple of Yahweh … or Satan … depending on if the soul is like Adam or like his son Cain.


The caveat in this reading today is Nathan. Nathan was still the prophete de jour, so Yahweh should have told Nathan to tell Solomon, “You misunderstand the concept of the Ark and the Covenant. No buildings of cedar. No buildings of stone. Only houses of flesh.”


Because Nathan was not telling Solomon what Yahweh meant, it seems the last time Yahweh spoke to Nathan was when Yahweh told Nathan that David was metaphor for the man who stole a poor man’s little ewe lamb, killed it and cooked it up for some visitor.


That would mean when David sinned and received the condemnation of Yahweh and was told, “[Yahweh] will raise up trouble against you from within your own house,” Nathan was a part of that “house.” That says Nathan ceased being a conduit of Yahweh after David died, no longer able to lead the king and the kingdom.


The confirmation of this insight – that Solomon building a temple of stone was not what Yahweh wanted – comes from the other Old Testament reading for today. The reading from Joshua says what a true “house of Yahweh” is.


Joshua was a judge of Israel. Joshua was a true Yahweh elohim. Joshua was led by Yahweh, spoke directly with Yahweh, and he thus led the Israelite people in their conquest of the native peoples who were resistant to the Israelites taking possession of the land Yahweh promised His people.


In the reading today from Joshua 24, he has convened a meeting in Shechem, with all the leaders of the Israelite people asked to attend. The Tabernacle was erected there and the Ark was safely inside. Shechem was given to the Levites as their portion of the land – like a city-state – as Shechem would be where they would maintain that holy ground.


In other words, Joshua did what Solomon would do many centuries later. The difference is Joshua told the Israelite leaders that the power of Yahweh that was in the Ark would rest in Shechem, which was a central place within the area of the Twelve Tribes – like the heart of Israel. But, setting the Ark into a fixed position would free each and every Israelite's soul to serve whatever or whoever they wanted.


In the language of Joshua 24, he referred to both “Yahweh elohim” and to “elohim.” Joshua told the Israelites it was up to each individual, as to who each would serve, be it the “elohim” of Egypt or the “elohim” of Ur (where Abram came from originally).


Given that freedom – which must be seen as being allowed by affixing one space in the land for the Tabernacle and the Ark – Joshua told everyone there, “as for me and my household, we will serve Yahweh.”


The significance of what Joshua said is this. The Tabernacle, with the Ark and the Covenant inside, was placed in the heart of the land; but the land was earth. Earth is dead matter, without life. To worhip the land meant the land named "Israel" became their elohim.


Yahweh was really only atop the Ark when it moved with the people. Once the people moved away from where the Ark stayed put, it was up to them to become tabernacles, with the Ark of the Covenant meaning their souls had married Yahweh. After that holy matrimony, Yahweh still moved wherever the people moved.


That was why Joshua called the leaders of Israel to attend and hear what Yahweh had led him to announce.


Joshua said he would remain a Yahweh elohim; and as such, he would teach all within his realm of responsibility to also give their souls to Yahweh and become His wives and servants. The "household" of Joshua meant Joshua's gathering or assembly, as his synagogue.


After Joshua said that, all the other Israelites said (basically), “We have seen the power of Yahweh lead us here. We too will remain Yahweh elohim.”


That is the truth of the name “Israel.” It means “He Retains God.” A true Israelite is one who is a Yahweh elohim.


If you go over what Solomon said, he never suggested all those who attended his ‘grand opening’ of the temple named after him must be married to Yahweh. He wanted everyone to be like him. He was the King of Israel after all, with Israel then reduced to simply meaning a nation led by a king. The Ark was in Israel's heart, but Israel was a dead nation is the people were not Yahweh elohim.


In essence, Solomon was interring the Ark of the Covenant in a mausoleum. He was burying Yahweh. His dedication speech and his prayer should be read as a hip-hip-hooray for Solomon. If the New York Times had been around back then, the headline would have read, “Yahweh is Dead. Long live the King.”


The Psalm that is attached to the First Kings reading about Solomon is Psalm 84.


Psalm 84 is another of those written by David, which are dedicated to the “Sons of Korah.” We last read a song dedicated to those sons when we read Psalm 48, back on the sixth Sunday after Pentecost, when Saul died and David became the King of Israel and Judah.


Korah was a cousin of Moses, who led a rebellion against Aaron and Moses, because he was a Levite that only was assigned to wash pots and pans in the tabernacle; and, he wanted to be a high priest, like Aaron.


That rebellion was squashed by Yahweh. The earth opened up and swallowed Korah, with all his rebels killed.


Because Korah had sons, he didn’t die. He became the patriarch of the elohim who would forever be the watchers of the Ark and the Tabernacle. Because he had so much fervor for that holy place, Yahweh put that energy to use, as a servant of His.


David knew that, so he wrote songs dedicated to those elohim of the tabernacle. Psalm 84 is thus called [by those who give the psalms titles] “How lovely are your dwellings!”


In this song about the “tabernacle of Yahweh,” David sang, “Happy are they who dwell in your house!” He added, “Happy are the people whose strength is in you! whose hearts are set on the pilgrims' way.”


In this song of praise, four times David sang about “Yahweh of hosts.” In verse seven he sang, “Yahweh elohim of hosts.”


A “host” means both an army and all the angels. So, it is an army of angels. Still, in a song about the dwellings of Yahweh, the “hosts of Yahweh” includes the Yahweh elohim, like Joshua, like David.


This means the elders of the Episcopal Church, who arranged that the reading from First Kings be tied to a reading os Psalm 84, knew that when Solomon locked away the Ark in a temple of stone, it becomes important to sing praises that the Ark was not in Shechem, nor in Jerusalem, but in one’s heart and soul.


That great power is moved into that place when one’s soul marries Yahweh and His Spirit becomes the ruler of one’s soul.


When this is seen, one can then look at Psalm 34, which is now the third Sunday in a row that Psalm 34 has been attached to the optional Old Testament reading. Today, verses 15 through 22 are connected to the story of Joshua telling the Israelites to choose who their souls will serve.


In six of the eight verses, Yahweh is named. David sang, “The eyes of Yahweh are upon the righteous; The face of Yahweh is against those who do evil; and Yahweh redeems the life of his servants.”


All of that sings praises from a soul that has married Yahweh. Those receive the gift of divine insight. Those lay down the face of self-importance and rise wearing the face of Yahweh.

In return for that sacrifice of self and servitude for Yahweh, the souls of the righteous earn eternal life.


The Covenant is one's personal marriage vows with Yahweh. The Ark resides within one's soul. One's flesh has become the Tabernacle. Yahweh moves where that body of flesh goes. Yahweh remains with the soul when the flesh passes away.


Solomon stood on holy ground and praised himself as the son of David. He had the gift of wisdom that equates to brain smarts; but he did not have a lick of devotion to Yahweh in his being, so he wore his own face and never saw all that was possible from the Mind of God.


It has to be from this perspective of Yahweh elohim being those whose souls have made their bodies of flesh become temples (or tabernacles) unto Yahweh … not some worldly talent or addiction … that one reads the words of Paul, where he wrote, “Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”


Take note that Paul specifically warned to prepare for “the wiles of the devil,” where the Greek word translated as “wiles” means “scheming, craftiness, deceit.” The serpent was the craftiest of the creatures created by Yahweh; and, it was his “deceit” that led Adam and Eve (and itself) to be banished from the heavenly realm.


Solomon wore none of this armor written of by Paul: No belt of truth around his waist; no breastplate of righteousness; he wore no sandals in which to walk proclaiming the Gospel of peace; he held no shield of faith in Yahweh; he wore no helmet of salvation; and, he carried no sword that was Yahweh’s Word.


When you get down to looking at what Paul listed, he was naming the dress of a high priest, one set in place to guard the tabernacle and be able to stand on such holy ground.


David wore a line ephod when he danced wildly before the Ark, as it entered Jerusalem. He demonstrated how little a king of a nation was before the Ark of the Covenant.


Solomon dressed like a king (I imagine), looking stately (at age 23, maybe). He offered prayers for the people, like he thought what he was doing was ordained by being king, that making it his right to act priestly. He offered sacrifices and burned incense in high places, while wearing the robes of a spoiled royal brat.


Paul warned us today, when he said, “our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”


Solomon fit that bill then; but does not the Pope of Rome (however many they have these days)? It says "our struggle is not against enemies of the flesh," because our struggle is against the enemies of our souls. Those are the ones who rise to positions of power, decreeing souls turn away from Yahweh.


Can you see Paul was like Joshua, and not like Solomon?


<Look for nodding heads.>


Seeing this explanation of “Yahweh elohim,” which is vastly different from being demonically possessed, as a worldly elohim, listen carefully to what Jesus said to those who hounded him in Capernaum:


“Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them.”


Jesus was like Moses, like Joshua, like Elijah, even like David before he was allowed to sin and his kingdom could be cursed to ruin. Jesus was a “Yahweh elohim.”


All I listed were spiritual food from which the people of their “houses” were fed. They ate the spiritual bread of a divine soul, listening to divine teachings, watching divine miracles, and witnessing how the presence of a judge or prophet filled their souls and bodies with the same spirit of service to Yahweh.


They ate that spiritual food until the divine Spirit of Yahweh was poured out upon their souls, such that they became imbibed with the blood that is the Spirit. It is the blood of relationship to Yahweh. It is the blood that makes one’s body become Yahweh’s Son [regardless of one’s human gender – souls have no gender].


When the blood of Yahweh makes one His Son, then that is the blood of brotherhood. The Son of man now has a name. That name is Jesus, which means “Yah[weh] Will Save.”


When one has become a Yahweh elohim, one then “abides in Jesus, and Jesus abides in that one.”


That reality led Jesus to then add, “Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me.”


That says the manifestation of Jesus in the flesh was to bring true life into a world that only offers death. Jesus represents the “bread of life” because Jesus is the extension of the Father into the material plane. One has to eat the promise of life in order to become alive. Becoming alive means being reborn as Jesus.


It is clear that Jesus said the only way to gain eternal life is by becoming him resurrected within one’s soul-flesh. That is confirmed when he said to the Jews, “This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever.”


The manna from heaven was spiritual food that led the souls of the Israelites to become Yahweh elohim through contact with Moses. The same manna from heaven became the spiritual food of Joshua, which led the souls of the Israelites to again become Yahweh elohim through contact with a divine judge. The same manna from heaven became the bread of life that filled David … but when Yahweh withdrew that gift from David, due to his sins, the people of Israel began a slow slide to death. They only had the spiritulal food that was the Torah, the Psalms, and the Prophets; but, no one was able to explain that as a Yahweh elohim.


By the time the death from worshiping nations as elohim took place, most of the Israelites were scattered to the four ends of the earth … and the beautiful Solomon’s Temple was destroyed.


The Ark of the Covenant, like Moses’ cousin Korah, was swallowed up by the earth.


Some say it is in Ethiopia. Some say it is buried somewhere by the Templars. Wherever it is, few souls have it within them today, because there are few Yahweh elohim around now.


Being a Christian is like being a student in a seminary. The expectation should be to graduate, become ordained as a Yahweh elohim, and spend the rest of one’s days teaching other students to do the same. Unfortunately, most Christians enjoy the idea of being a student, much more than they really desire marrying Yahweh and going into ministry as one of His elohim.


Christianity today is all about worshiping schools and organization. It is about being fans of Jesus. It believes everything will be okay, even as the enemies of the souls are closing in, about to destroy the things worshiped.


That means all the manna from heaven Christians eat – the spiritual food of the Holy Bible – is like listening to Solomon orate about the death of Yahweh, as they close Him away in a tomb of stone. It is like hearing Joshua say, “The choice is yours, as to what gods you serve,” and then cheering, as if someone just said all you have to do is buy a sweatshirt that says “Jesus” on it. Then you can do as you wish.


That is a road to death. Death of the flesh, meaning an eternal soul gets recycled. A soul gets ordered to return to ‘Start’ and begin again. You do not get to take anything with you from this life.


Raise your hand if you have heard anyone else tell you the promise of not becoming a priest of Yahweh means death?


<Look for scared faces.>


John wrote, “Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him.”


Those who turned away from Jesus – who turned away from Yahweh’s offer of marriage – are the same souls returned into bodies of flesh today. They still turn back and no longer want to follow Jesus – AS JESUS.


That is hard work. They say, "This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?"


When Jesus turned to his twelve lead apostles, asking, “Do you also wish to go away?” the sad truth today is those who lead parishes, churches, and divisions of Christianity have answered just like Solomon.


They no longer say what Peter said. They stand in holy places offering sacrifices and orating prayers that demand Yahweh do as they say … as if being a worldly king was something special.


The sacrifices they offer are your bodies and souls.


Think about that for a moment. Get the picture in your mind’s eye. First Kings 8:63 says [after the dedication and prayers were over], “Solomon offered a sacrifice of fellowship offerings to Yahweh: twenty-two thousand cattle and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep and goats.”


Think of that being metaphor of Israelites being sacrificed as “fellowship offering.” Think of them all – 142,000 sacrifices, slaughtered and burned on the altar – then served to the people to eat.


Think of that as eating the flesh and drinking the blood of turning away from Yahweh.


The sacrifice of Jesus’ body released his soul so countless true Christians could feast on his life.


Think about that this coming week. The bus should be arriving soon; so, I’ll stop here.


May Yahweh come into your lives. May you all become Yahweh elohim.


Amen