Homily for the twenty third Sunday after Pentecost – The foremost Law

Updated: Oct 25, 2021

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Good morning bus riders!


I hope the past week was good for everyone; and, I’m sure everyone on the email list received the link to the lectionary page. I hope everyone took the time to read all the readings set aside for today.


Remember, I will say something about all of the readings, not just a pet reading that I wrote a killer sermon about long ago and just can’t keep from repeating it, over and over again.


Every time I read Scripture, no matter how much I have seen before, I always see things I had missed before. This is because our brains are no match for the Yahweh Mind. We are like little children that need to be led to find the truth.


Yahweh helps those who show him they want to find His truth.


With that said, let’s begin!


The first Old Testament reading comes from Ruth. It is a dark, oppressive tale of famine and death. It is a story of being lost.


To accompany that is Psalm 146, which sings out “Hallelujah!” or “Praise Yah!”


The other Old Testament reading is one of Moses telling the Israelites to always remember and teach their children and their children to always remember to love Yahweh totally.


That is followed by Psalm 119, which praises everything about the Law.


Then, we read a shorty from Hebrews, where Paul wrote about Jesus being the high priest who lasts longer and does more sacrificing to cleanse sins than a regular high priest.


Then, the Gospel reading from Mark tells of a scribe asking Jesus which law is first. Jesus told him; and, the scribe was amazed with what Jesus said. In what Jesus said was a verse from Deuteronomy, which Moses told the Israelites to always remember.


All of that kind of makes the story from Ruth seem out of place.


Raise your hand if you realize the reading is not about Ruth so much, but about Naomi.


<Look for raised hands.>


Good! That is good to know. It is easy you get lost in the title of the book.


Now, the first verse of Ruth sets the timing of this story, saying “In the days when the judges ruled.” This is then after Joshua had led the Israelites into Canaan and they then divided up the land as that of each tribe.


While the story can be read as history, as a story that indeed happened, it makes more sense to me to be like an extended parable, one told in metaphor, so it has greater power to realize.


I see this by the names that are listed in the story. Each name is making a symbolic statement about the famine being less about drought and a lack of crops to support the people. It is about spiritual food no longer being supplied – no manna from heaven to guide the people and feed their souls.


The depth I have seen coming from this reading speaks of a time when religious commitment had failed to meet the needs for the people, so the people were left to each fend for themselves.


Naomi – whose name means “My Delight” or “Sweet” – reflects on those souls who are married to Yahweh and never experience spiritual famines.


The name Ruth means “Friend, Associate” or “Vision, View.” She could see the core strength of Naomi as a source of spiritual food, which she clung to, not wanting to ever separate.


When I looked at the deeper symbolism of this story, my mind was led to compare it to the parable Jesus told of the Good Samaritan. Ruth is the Good Samaritan; but more importantly, Naomi is the man who was beaten, robbed, and left for half-dead.


In that parable, I saw the man Jesus told of as Moses with the Tablets stating the marriage vows. By the time Jesus told his parable, both Israel and Judah had become overrun and left for half-dead, because they had robbed themselves of their commitment to the vows that made Yahweh their Husband. The famine in the days of the judges was the periodic recycling of the same mistreatment of those vows.


This is why Ruth is so important to see as applicable today, in modern times; because we, as Christians, act just like Jesus said the priest and the Levite did, doing nothing to save themselves, as it was their mistreatment of their marriage vows to Yahweh that they ignored. We live today in times of spiritual famine, when we mistreat the Law, as if it were only written for Jews, back before the world became a more complicated place to live.


The story told today in Ruth is accompanied by Psalm 146 because Ruth clung to Naomi out of “Praise for Yahweh!” Naomi was, in essence, a Saint, filled with the assurance that Yahweh would always provide, in some way. Her freeing Ruth and Orpha to fend for themselves is the anthesis of how Christianity has become these days, when priests have become community organizers and social justice politicians, wanting to condemn Christians, so everyone without any belief in One God can be fed material opportunity.


David wrote in Psalm 146, “Praise Yahweh my soul. I will praise Yahweh as long as I live.”

That was what has to be intuited that Ruth heard the soul of Naomi saying, even thought there is no text that says that explicitly.


When David sang, “Put not your trust in rulers, nor in any child of earth, for there is no help in them,” the “child of earth” means a soul that worship the gods of the material realm – Mammon for one. The reality of what David wrote says not to put faith in rulers (he said “princes”), who are “sons of man,” meaning they are not “sons of Yahweh” – as Yahweh elohim.


When David sang, “Yahweh sets the prisoners free; Yahweh opens the eyes of the blind; Yahweh lifts up those who are bowed down,” this sings of Naomi freeing her daughters-in-law, as each of their souls were imprisoned in bodies of flesh that needed to find salvation of their souls. Each had to have their eyes opened to the truth, as to where salvation came from. Each had to kneel before Yahweh and submit to His Will, agreeing to His Covenant terms of marriage, in order to gain salvation.


David knew that; and, Ruth felt that in this reading.


When David sang, “Yahweh loves the righteous; Yahweh cares for the stranger; he sustains the orphan and widow, but frustrates the way of the wicked,” this is like Ruth telling Naomi: “Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; Where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die, I will die— there will I be buried. May Yahweh do thus and so to me, and more as well, if even death parts me from you!”


Ruth felt the righteousness of Naomi and those who had married their souls to Yahweh. Ruth was a Moabite who knew Naomi’s love was the love of Yahweh for a stranger. Both women were “orphan and widow.” Their times of trouble were due to the spiritual famine brought on the land by wicked people.


Ruth declared her commitment to remain always with Yahweh as her God. Those who were married to Yahweh would be her people, because she too would marry her soul to Yahweh. Ruth was willing to die of self-will and self-ego, in order to submit fully to Yahweh’s Will, as His willing servant. Ruth, like Naomi, was willing to die and have her soul leave her body as saved, rather than try to save her flesh at the expense of her soul.


This is how the story of Ruth should be seen. It is not dark and oppressive, unless one’s soul is experiencing spiritual famine and nothing seems to offer hope.


Because the story of Ruth is actually a love story, the other Old Testament reading tells how love of Yahweh must be “with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.”

Now, Deuteronomy is important to see as being about forty years after Moses came down from the mountain, when everyone agreed to marry Yahweh. In essence, they have been wandering in land that was not known for offering human beings great abundances of food and drink. However, for that length of time they were fed a daily ration of spiritual food, to prepare them to be like Naomi was.


Moses said, “Yahweh to whom all of you have become souls married to Him charged me to teach you to observe in the land that you are about to cross into and occupy.” That needs to be realized as Moses saying, “I have been your seminary professor, to prepare you to enter the real world.”


The real world is where there is no daily milk and cookie before nap time spiritual food. The real world is when playing priest is over. It is where you are expected to put your learning to good use and be a priest of Yahweh for others to cling to.


When Moses said, “so that you and your children and your children's children may fear Yahweh to whom all of you have become souls married to Him all the days of your life and keep all his decrees and his commandments that I am commanding you, so that your days may be long,” that says, “Tag! You’re it!” You each have to become me, Moses, married to the Covenant, so you become the teacher of how eternal salvation comes to be.


Survival in the real world, where real famine means barely enough real food to live on – like living for forty years in a wilderness – demands a daily supply of spiritual food. YOU are now expected to be that for the world, beginning with your offspring.


That only happens when one is married to Yahweh; and, that means to “hear Israel” being called out by Yahweh, to each and every one of you, so you know you are married to Yahweh because you dropped your daddy’s name and became “One Who Retains Yahweh as one of His elohim" – one el in a graduating class of elohim, all angels in the flesh that become manna from heaven in the world.


Moses then said, “Yahweh is our most Holy Husband who gives us this power to be His angels, Yahweh alone.” That means all eyes are bowed down before Him, so one does not develop the wandering eye, looking to see lesser gods of the world as sexy and attractive. Marriage to Yahweh means total and complete submission to His Will. Nothing less than 100% willing submission qualifies a soul for redemption and salvation.


The only way that 100% submission can occur is when one has immense love of Yahweh. Love is the cement of all lasting marriages. Love means submission comes from true faith.


To “love Yahweh to whom all of you have become souls married to Him with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might” means a soul like Naomi could watch her human husband die, followed by the deaths of her two sons, then release Orpha and Ruth from any obligation to her, because through everything that happened in the real world, she still did as Moses had taught – she loved Yahweh with everything possible in her soul, mind, and strength.


When we read that Moses then told the Israelites, “Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates,” this is important to see metaphorically, as symbolic statements.


We bind Yahweh to us in marriage by a spiritual ring that is a wedding band typically worn on a finger; but it is the halo that binds a Saint to being the hand of Yahweh on earth.


The Hebrew that says “fix an emblem on your forehead” better makes it possible to see this as a reference to the third eye – the pineal gland in the center of one’s brain – which marks our foreheads as able to hear the voice of Yahweh and respond to Him.


The writing of the laws on our doorposts or gates means to spread the blood of the sacrificial lamb over our souls – where each individual has sacrificed himself or herself totally to Yahweh in marriage – so our souls are marked to be spared death. To be spared death means a soul is marked for eternal life. No more reincarnation.


All of this makes one become spiritual food that not only feeds oneself with faith and commitment, it feeds seekers who are famished from a lack of spiritual food. Ruth was such a seeker and Naomi was that source she clung to.


David wrote Psalm 119 as an 'A to Z' song of praise to Yahweh. It is 176 verses long, which is eight verses for every letter in the Hebrew alphabet. The eight verses assigned to Aleph, the first letter, are what we read today. The first song of praise is about the Law.


If your soul does not sing praise for the Law, then one is not married to Yahweh. Not being a soul married to Yahweh means one will easily get bored reading all of the 176 verses of Psalm 119.


David sang, “You laid down your commandments, that we should fully keep them.” That should be seen as David being ‘all-in’ when measuring his love of heart, mind, and soul for Yahweh. The Law is the marriage vows that must be “diligently” maintained.


David then sang, “Then I should not be put to shame, when I regard all your commandments.” This not only says David knew all 613 commandments by heart, as it also says whenever the real world brought some temptation to cheat on Yahweh, his automatic rejection of temptation kept him from suffering the shame of sinful acts.


This says Naomi likewise knew no shame from being alone in a barren world, because her total commitment to Yahweh in her heart, mind, and soul always kept her blameless and upright. There was no shame surrounding her.


Now, all of this is vital to know, because it links in to the Hebrews reading, knowing the Mark reading has Jesus quoting from Deuteronomy 6. This is where it is helpful to remember that Jesus was quoting Deuteronomy to a scribe, after telling some Sadducees a thing or two about earthly widows and marriage responsibilities in the afterlife. Jesus was speaking to those who created spiritual famine in Jerusalem, which spread throughout the land.


This knowledge makes Paul’s words also be relative to that spiritual famine. Obviously, it did not go away after Jesus was executed by the Temple elite. The famine continued; and, it still continues today.


The danger of reading anything called an “Epistle” from the Holy Bible, in English, is the language of Yahweh has become so obliterated the truth has been beaten, robbed, and left for half-dead. To read the English and not question it for truth is to be like the high priest and the Levite, who walk past English translations as if they want to have nothing to do with any arguments over the words.


To read Hebrews as saying, “When Christ came as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation), he entered once for all into the Holy Place,” this is very poorly translated. Here is what that says:


1. Yahweh’s Anointed ones are all His “Christs,” so each soul married to Yahweh is

one “Christ.”

2. All who are Anointed ones of Yahweh receive the resurrected soul of Jesus – two

souls in one body of flesh [divinely possessed] – so Jesus is one’s personal “high

priest.”

3. All who have become married to Yahweh – His Christ with His high priest Son –

are deemed “good” who have been reborn.

4. All of this takes place within the human flesh of one’s soul, where the soul married

to Yahweh becomes the “perfect tabernacle.” The soul is this realm that is “not

made by human hands.”

5. A Saint has been created by Yahweh.

6. The body of flesh then becomes “sacred,” as one “set apart by God.”


When this is understood, Paul then wrote that a high priest of the Temple in Jerusalem was known to perform ritual acts of animal sacrifice, which was done as a symbolic way to cleanse the Jews of their sins. Those high priests lived and died, served and retired, with none of them lasting for an eternity.


When Paul is said to have written that Jesus was the eternal high priest who will, “purify our conscience from dead works to worship the living God!” the reality of what he said is this:


1. Marriage to Yahweh brings about the resurrection of Jesus’ soul as one’s high

priest; so, that marriage “purifies” one’s soul, which frees the brain from worry

about “dead works,” which only souls unmarried to Yahweh do. That purification

will ensure those souls no longer have to fear reincarnation or worse.

2. The word translated as “to worship” better translates as “to serve.” This is the

ministry of a Saint, meaning purification of souls is not for self-glorification, using

the deaths of poor animals to pay for one’s own sins, so one can go sin some

more afterwards. Purification allows one to become Jesus in ministry anew, only

in a different body of flesh. That is the hand of “God” continuing to minister to the

seekers – the lost sheep of Israel – in a world that is always suffering from lack of

spiritual food.


Thus, Naomi was one whose soul had married Yahweh, making the soul of Jesus be reborn within her. She became a judge of Israel during a time of famine. She became a graduate of the Moses school of Holy Marriage to Yahweh, as a teacher of faith. She was Moses reborn, just as Paul was Jesus reborn. Moses and Jesus can be seen as being the same divine soul sent by Yahweh, for the purpose of ministry.


With all of this seen, we then look at the scribe, his fellow ‘professors’ of the Law, the Sadducees and Pharisees, and the high priests who burned animal carcasses and sprinkled ashes as rituals of cleansing, all of which symbolized fallen peoples, having lost their lands, enslaved to foreign powers, and still pretending to love Yahweh [only when it was beneficial to them]. Mark’s Gospel speaks of a time of spiritual famine.


This reading from Mark makes it seem that Jesus saw a sparkle of hope in this one particular scribe, because the scribe said to Jesus what Paul would later write: “this is much more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” For saying that, Jesus told him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”


The reality of the Greek written by Mark turns that to a greater focus on the word “Not,” which is then linked to a word that means “at a distance.” The capitalization of “Not” means the scribe was still “Not” there – married to Yahweh in soul – as he still had “a distance” to go, in order to be assured his soul would find “the kingdom of God” as his own flesh-soul entity.


As the saying goes: “Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.”


It is not good enough to be close to Yahweh. That is like loving Him in heart, mind and soul 70% - like not failing a test in school, but not getting a perfect score either.


This makes the scribe be less than Ruth and be more like Orpha – a name that means “neck” … like how Moses regularly referred to the complainers around him as “stiff-necked people.” Orpha was one who had been close to Naomi, just like Ruth, as both women were her daughters-in-law. But, like the scribe probably did later, Orpha walked off into the sunset, leaving marriage to Yahweh behind.


In times of spiritual famine, those close to Yahweh often go find something else to worship. That is the meaning of selling one’s soul to Satan. Satan has perfected the art of temptation, knowing human beings will gladly sell their souls for a promise in the material realm, blinded from the truth of the eternal realm.


The thing that Jesus said, and the scribe repeated, which does not come from the Deuteronomy reading is what?


<Look for stunned faces unexpecting a question to answer.>


That is when Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”


That commandment only appears in Leviticus 19:18, where the whole verse says, “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I Yahweh.”


This is where my earlier comparison to the parable of the Good Samaritan comes back into the spotlight. This is because Luke also tells of Jesus speaking with a scribe about inheriting eternal life, where he gave him the same answer as found in Mark 12. However, in that account when Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” the legal beagle asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?”


That question led to Jesus answering in the parable of the Good Samaritan, where he then asked the scribe, “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”


This past week, while looking closely at this pulled from Leviticus, I realized the word commonly translated as “neighbor” is not that.


The word “neighbor” actually has Old English roots, meaning “one who lives near another” or “one who dwells nearby.” The Hebrew written in Leviticus – “le-re-a-ka,” from “rea” – means “friend, companion, fellow.” The Greek word written by Mark is “plēsion,” which means “near, nearby, neighbor.”


This made me realize that any conversation held between Jesus and a scribe, about the Law, would have been in Aramaic, where a version closer to the Hebrew text of Leviticus would have been spoken. That means it would have been heard by the scribe as written, “You shall love your companion as yourself,” or “You shall love a fellow as yourself,” causing him to ask, “Who is my companion?” or “Who is my fellow?”


This then gives greater insight into the capitalized “Not” spoken by Jesus to the scribe, followed by the Greek word “makran,” which means “at a distance, far away, remote, alien.” That says the scribe does “Not” love the one near. He does “Not” love his companion; because his love is “at a distance, far away, remote, and alien” to Yahweh.


The foremost Law is total love – of heart, soul, mind and strength – which is a marriage of one’s soul to Yahweh, drawing His Spirit so near that it becomes one in union. When that is understood, to say “Love your companion as yourself” says the same thing.


When you grasp that “yourself” means “your soul,” because a “self” is a "soul,” then that says “Love Yahweh because He has joined with your soul.”


Jesus added that from Leviticus because so many, so often, hear the foremost commandment and try to imagine total love for one who is separate from oneself. To love Yahweh as Him being One with your own soul becomes a clarification of the foremost Law.


In today’s times of spiritual famine, the ones wearing fancy robes and high hats, who walk on the other side of the road where Moses and the Law is beaten, robbed and left laying on the ground in a half-dead state of existence, they beat a drum and chant, “Jesus said love your neighbor! Jesus said let Muslims enter your land and subvert everything you have been taught your entire lives was good and moral, because in these modern times the world is our neighborhood!”


This past week I saw the truth. Everyone who thrives on pointing to anybody other than himself or herself as being “a neighbor” … “a companion, fellow” … one “near” … they are wrong. They are just like the scribe, who was so close, yet so far away.


Naomi was in Moab, because she and her family could not find spiritual food from among her neighbors – Israelites.


It is important to realize that Yahweh renewed his covenant with the Israelites at Moab before the Israelites entered the Promised Land. Moses died in Moab and was buried there. To go there is symbolic of returning to square one and starting over. In the times when judges ruled the land promised to Israelites, a famine said the Covenant and the people was in a state of divorce. Those whose souls were still married to Yahweh could no longer stay where their neighbors were wicked and wayward.


The deaths of Naomi’s menfolk says they became like Moses – dead and buried outside earth promised to Yahweh’s wives. Their souls found judgment, based on their commitment to the Covenant.


Naomi freed her daughters-in-law to fend for themselves – again understanding a “self” is a “soul.” Both of them were Moabites, not Israelites. Their souls had never been given the option to marry Yahweh. Orpah left to find a human male to marry. Naomi stayed put; and, Ruth clung to her because she offered spiritual food, without trying.


Naomi never said, “Moses said love your neighbor! Moses said let Moabites enter your land and subvert everything you have been taught your entire lives was good and moral, because in these modern times the world is our neighborhood.”


Naomi said to Orpha and Ruth, “It has been far more bitter for me than for you, because the hand of Yahweh has turned against me.”


Naomi was a hand of Yahweh, as a soul married to His Spirit. Out of obedience from her commitment to that marriage, she accepted physical punishment, seeing herself (her soul) as having failed Yahweh.


Think back to how Job reacted similarly. Rather than look within as to why things are falling apart without, isn't it common now to point the finger of blame at everyone but oneself?


<Look for startled faces.>


Ruth could sense that Yahweh was still in Naomi, that she was His hand. Ruth was her “companion,” who would not leave. She clung to Naomi in order to love her near one as her soul’s guide.


This is an invaluable lesson to gain from todays’ readings, especially in these times when spiritual food is basically in short supply.


Rather than inviting the world to come and dilute our Christian nation even further, we need to marry our souls to Yahweh and find inner strength, inner mind, inner heart that sustains life eternally as the source of spiritual food.


We need to take care of our own souls first. It is every man and every woman for one's own soul-self.


The foremost law is to be One Who Retains Yahweh as one of His elohim. We need to “Hear Israel” as our new name, which in marriage brings forth the change that makes one's soul be in the name of Yahweh [Jesus means "Yah Saves"].


Subsequent to that, we need to love Yahweh with all our hearts, with all our souls, and with all our strength, no matter how depleted the world is of spiritual food.


Then, from that total love of Yahweh, it is only natural that we love Yahweh so much it exudes from us, like a halo marking one as a Saint. That radiance of love will draw seekers to us, to feed on one’s eternal source of spiritual nourishment.


Hallelujah! That word says, Praise Yah!"


We love the rebirth within our souls of Jesus’ soul, so much we love the soul of Jesus as our own soul.


When we realize that is the truth of being Christian, then like a nightlight that burns as a signal to those who are lost and want to be found, they will come near to us.


A true Christian is a light of truth that true seekers will cling to, for their souls to be nourished.


Thus, whenever two or more come close together, as neighbors in the name of Jesus, as multiple Christs reborn, then a true church is found. A church is created when we love others who love Yahweh with everything they have, all as oneself married to Yahweh and reborn as His Son.


I see the bus is about to arrive, so I will end here.


Please ponder these things I have shared with you. Fall in love with Yahweh and keep your eyes down. Marry your souls to Yahweh and let Him lead you into ministry.


I hope everyone has a great week ahead. I look forward to seeing you next Sunday.


Amen

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