Philippians 3:17-4:1 - Keeping the enemies of the cross at bay, as a Christ

Updated: Jan 21

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[17] Brothers and sisters, join in imitating me, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us. [18] For many live as enemies of the cross of Christ; I have often told you of them, and now I tell you even with tears. [19] Their end is destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things. [20] But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. [21] He will transform the body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself.


[1] Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved.


This is the Epistle selection to be read aloud on the second Sunday in Lent, Year C, according to the lectionary for the Episcopal Church. This will follow an Old Testament reading from Genesis 15, where it is written: “[Yahweh] said to [Abram], “Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” That will be followed by a singing of Psalm 27, where David wrote: “Show me your way, Yahweh, lead me on a level path, because of my enemies. Deliver me not into the hand of my adversaries, for false witnesses have risen up against me, and also those who speak malice.” All readings will accompany one from Luke’s Gospel, where Jesus told the fearful, “How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you. And I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.’”

I have inserted the verse numbers above, in order to clearly mark those transition points. I have also indicated where there is a change of chapters, as that is a significant transition point that must be realized. I also have stricken through the verbiage that panders to the modern concept of ‘women’s rights,’ where the churches of Christianity have seen the manufacture of unwritten text as a ‘better business practice,’ seeing how the old church ladies feel tickled when they suddenly [after decades of only hearing “brothers” be read aloud] hear power to the females! being given through the addition of “and sisters” to the aforementioned “brothers.”

Please, I will ask all menfolk to skip down a paragraph, as this paragraph is solely for women. Girls, you are too young; so, you can go play outside with the boys. This is only for those who seek to destroy humanity through philosophy that loves to rub human private parts. With only the church ladies left, listen to this and listen well: There is nothing about Holy Scripture that is about rubbing anything physical. Everything is divinely written by those souls who have married themselves to Yahweh, becoming in His name, which for Christians means being reborn as Jesus. The marriage of a soul to Yahweh brings on His Spirit, which floods all around one’s soul, being His Anointment, which in Greek is termed being a “Christ.” So, Scripture is about Yahweh elohim, who are all in the name of Yahweh – Israel – or in the name of Jesus; and … ladies … this includes you too. Because there is nothing written that places greater importance on a penis, thereby lesser importance on a vagina, the only thing that matters is a soul … and souls have no private parts. Angels have no need (thus no ability) to reproduce. So, whenever I speak of a soul marrying Yahweh and taking on His name, that means all the menfolk AND all the womenfolk too … because all are non-gendered souls … and those souls are ALL called “brides” and “wives” of Yahweh, with that having absolutely nothing to do with genitalia, of any kind. Menfolk and womenfolk alike have souls that are expected to marry Yahweh and give rebirth to His Son. Because Paul was so reborn, and he wrote to ALL souls in Philippi that likewise had been reborn as Jesus [and we all know that would include menfolk and womenfolk], he was not referring to their genitalia having been married to Yahweh, but their souls. Thus ALL were “brothers,” which included womenfolk. As long as that is clear, then we can all re-gather and read on like responsible CHRISTians.

Welcome back everyone, now on to the lesson Paul teaches us today. As the Baptists love to say: “Turn in your Bibles to ….” now, it is time to turn-in the translation above, as in put it to rest and do not read it. You cannot expect it to tell you the truth of that written. The 'Epistles' are all more greatly difficult to grasp, due to the divine verbiage all are written in. They do not focus on telling a story, which is the ease found in the four Gospels and Acts. They are explaining the truth, which can only be understood by those filled with the same Spirit that led the writers of the 'Epistles' to explain 'in tongues.' The sad thing Christianity faces is multiple denominations, based on how poorly false prophets interpret these letters. That is reflected in idiots finding reason to amend "brothers" to "brothers and sisters." Rather than be led by the Spirit to understand "brothers," they make stuff up, so they hear the 'ka-ching' in the offering plates.

The first verse does not place important focus on “brothers,” as the first word written by Paul is a capitalized Symmimētai.” As such, that capitalization places divine importance in understanding what “Joint imitator” means. The same word can be translated as “Fellow imitator” or “Co-imitator.” That makes this one word be a focus on “Joint,” where that means: “shared, held, or made by two or more people, parties, or organizations together.” The word “imitator” is then defined as meaning, “a person who copies the behavior or actions of another.” When the two are put together as one word AND the divine elevation of meaning means to be Spiritually “Joined” together – two as one – the one being “imitated” is Jesus.

That defines "brothers." Sisters imitate women, not Jesus; so, to be blind to how a woman can imitate Jesus is to not be Christian. It is being worldly, where bodies of flesh are all-important; and, Spirituality means nothing.

Paul was not addressing a 'menfolk only' group of Philippians, as he was addressing the known fact that Paul had left behind those who were souls married to Yahweh, in which the soul of Jesus had resurrected within those souls. So, (like Paul) all were “imitators” of Jesus, having all “Joined” together as one soul-body [in both human sexes], so all were “Joined imitators” of Jesus [in both human sexes], so ALL were “brothers” … as all being Jesus reborn.

Before Paul wrote the separated word “brothers” [from “adelphoi” being within comma marks], he followed “Symmimētai” with “mou ginesthe,” which translates as “of myself am born.” The Greek word “ginesthe” is the second-person plural form of “ginomai,” meaning “to come into being, to happen, to become,” implying in usage, “I come into being, am born, become, come about, happen.” This means Paul wrote this: “Joint imitators in possession like my soul [a “self” is a “soul”] yours are born.” The second-person plural goes beyond Paul writing about himself [his single soul], but to all the “yous” [males and females with souls] to whom he wrote in Philippi, as (like Paul) they too had been “born anew,” “Joint imitators” of Jesus, thereby ALL “brothers” in that name, referring to souls, not sex organs.

In a religious society (as were the Jews of old), a man marries a woman to make a family. All the modern perversions of 'marriage' were shunned back then. Thus, a man took a wife, so together they could bring forth children to raise to be good Jews. The educational process of the Torah and the other holy writings were taught at home, by the father primarily, but the mother was not some 'left out of the loop' meaningless body (a slave without any say). If a man found Paul and was seeking understanding of his religion, once he would be filled with the Spirit of divine marriage, he would certainly pass that on to his wife and children. To assume "brothers" means 'and sisters' is correct in ordinary terms, when both men and women went to a synagogue and came home empty-headed, from not having been taught how to understand Scripture and apply that knowledge to life. However, Paul was referring only to those who had found this Spirit, knowing possession by the Spirit cannot keep it from being spread to others.

This recognition, following the comma that set “adelphoi” apart from that written to follow, Paul then wrote the word “kai,” which is the marker word that denotes importance to follow. Then, following that marker word, Paul wrote “take heed those in this manner conducting their lives” [from “skopeite tous houtō peripatountas”]. The importance of that segment of words says it was most "obvious" to “those” in Philippi, because they “regarded attentively” how much “the manner in which they conducted their lives” had changed. The knew the truth of Paul’s written words; so, when he then added in the last segment of words in verse seventeen: “according to the manner in which your possession models that of us,” that said Paul knew how they had changed, because they had changed “in the same manner” as had Paul, Silas, and whoever else had traveled to Philippi with him in ministry.

In verse eighteen, Paul placed two long dashes within the text, which takes a simple statement and expands on the first part of the simple statement, before making the second part of the simple statement be made. The literal translation of his Greek into English is as follows:

“many indeed are conducting their lives --- those who I often told you of, at this instant

now kai weeping I mention --- these hated ones of this of stake of this of Anointment ,"

In this, it is vital to grasp how the Greek word “Christos” is NOT the ‘last name of Jesus.’ I have translated it as "Anointment" to show the true intent of "Christ." The word "christos," spelled in the lower-case, means to be smeared with grease or oil, usually by some priest or other official, where being “anointed” is a public recognition of favor granted by an organization. The capitalization raises the word to a divine level of meaning, where it is Yahweh who “Anoints." That becomes an outpouring of His Spirit upon a soul. The lower-case goes on physical skin (usually that of a forehead), whereas the upper-case is wholly Spiritual. While Jesus was a soul made by the hand of Yahweh [as Adam, the purposeful Yahweh elohim to save ordinary souls of human beings], Jesus was then “THE Christ,” intended to be resurrected within every soul finding its way back to Yahweh (via divine union). The soul of Jesus is resurrected [the “Joint imitators” club] in them ALL, so those are “Anointed” by Yahweh, thus a “Christ” … and that comes along with the rebirth of the Son named Jesus.

In this statement, where Paul wept as he wrote of the Saints (or Apostles) who were “conducting their lives” (or “walking”) as Jesus in ministry again, they were those of whom Jesus spoke. When he said to deny self (sacrifice your soul) and pick up your cross and follow me, Jesus said that before he was crucified; and, nobody he told that to imagined Jesus ever being nailed to a crucifix. They all imagined a “stake” [the true meaning of “stauros”] as those wooden crosses found in vineyards, which kept the grapevines up off the ground, so wild animals would not destroy the fruit of the vine. When Paul wrote “these hated ones of this of stake,” he spoke of the rejection of Apostles by Jews who rejected Jesus (as the Messiah, as having risen from death). Thus, in addition to the rejection of Christians by Jews, they were the “enemies” of Christians and rejecters of Yahweh’s “Anointment.”

Anchor those stakes to keep them raised.

This is then followed in verse nineteen, where Paul wrote: “of which this an end eternal ruin , of which this god this the inner man , kai this praise inside this shame of their souls , those these worldly thinkers .” Here, Paul was stating that all souls that reject divine marriage to Yahweh, refusing to become His “Anointed” ones, refusing to be reborn as His Son, their futures held “eternal ruin” and their “end.” When Paul then clarified that he was not talking about the death of their bodies of flesh as their “end,” but their souls – the confirmation of this is stated as a lower-case “theos” or a ‘little-g’ “god.” The reference to an “end” of “eternal ruin” was relative to their souls: hearts; inner man as a soul; even though the word “koilia” can also mean “abdomen, belly, or stomach. All of that physicality is internal and unseen; but it refers to that which makes things appear to be alive.

The importance that comes from self-worship [oneself seen as an “god,” thus eternally important] is what “shames their souls” [from “autōn” being the Genitive third-person plural for of “yourselves,” with a “self” equating to a “soul”]. To “shame” a soul means to bring upon it “disgrace,” which is a rejection by Yahweh. This “disgrace” is due to being ‘Big Brains,’ where religion has been reduced to some debatable form of philosophy; and “worldly thinkers” are the ones who think, “If I change “brothers” to be “brothers and sisters," then more women will put the church in their wills, leaving it all to our philosophical organization!”

Verse twenty is then begun by the capitalized word “Hēmōn,” which is the Genitive first-person plural form of “Egó,” which means “I.” The capitalization take the many who claim “Self” as über alles to a divinely elevated statement that is “Self-sacrifice.” To modify many individual "I"s to "Us" says the collective has found a divine source that unifies all as one. That collective experience had led Paul to spread this concept to the true Christians of Philippi. The Genitive capitalization then states the possession of their egos by Yahweh, so He and His Son were collectively divinely elevated to be the Spirits that prevailed “Of us.” This becomes a counter to the lower-case spelling of “theos,” as Paul was saying they were all the possessions “of Yahweh.”

Paul then followed that initial capitalized word with four subsequent capitalized words, all of which support this understanding of “Hēmōn” as meaning all true Christians are “Of Yahweh.” The verse literally translates to state: “Of us indeed this commonwealth within heavens it is in possession , from out of which kai the Savior we are eagerly awaiting , the Lord this Jesus this Christ ,” Here, each soul unites as “brothers” in a relationship with the Father, through willingly subjecting oneself to being a possession in marriage, which then leads to a Spiritual possession by the Son. That is the truth of Christianity, where all true members are "Of Yahweh" through being "Joint imitators" in the same in divine union. As such, they all share “citizenship” or a “commonwealth” by being "Anointed" by Yahweh. The use of “heavens” must be read as the same Spiritual presence in many, so each “heavenly” possession becomes “heavens” of possession.

When Paul then wrote, “from out of which,” leading to another use of the word “kai,” he stated the importance of this divine possession was “Salvation.” That was the 'birth' of a "Savior," who came "from out of" this divine union, "which" is "Of Yahweh." To call that divine possession “the Savior,” one must remember that the name “Jesus” means “Yah[weh] Saves.” Thus, from the name of Jesus possessing one’s soul and flesh that makes his presence be the “Savior.” When Paul said this presence was who “we are eagerly awaiting,” this is less about some promise … like the anxiety experienced by a child on Christmas eve … and more about the ministry that comes. There, “awaiting” takes on the meaning of service. It is this eagerness that has the Savior make commands, which are eagerly awaited, so one can then act on those commands. One is eager to comply with those orders.

In the last segment of three capitalized words, all are divinely elevated to mean “the Savior” has become “the Lord” over one’s soul-body entity. Whereas the ordinary soul animating one's flesh is the born “lord” over that flesh, that relationship changes over time. The flesh become the “master” that the soul then serves. That becomes the worldly trap that souls become stuck in, with escape seeming highly unlikely. When “the Savior” has come to rescue a soul from that slavery to the sinful ways of the flesh, it is “the Savior” that takes over as being one’s “Lord.” The name of that “Lord” is known as “Jesus,” which means “Yahweh Saves.” This Salvation is the plan of Yahweh, as “Jesus” is the resurrected soul of Adam, Yahweh’s only hand-made Son, who was created as a Yahweh elohim for the purpose of saving souls. That means Adam-Jesus was Anointed by Yahweh as His elohim, His Son, whose soul would then be “Anointed” upon other souls that would marry Yahweh and receive His Spirit, then becoming His Son reborn. As such, all who become “Jesus” resurrected will become “this Christ” that his soul enjoys.

The last verse of chapter three (verse twenty-one) then literally translates to say, “that will transfigure this body of this of spiritual abasement of us , conformed to this body of this of praise of itself , according to this working of this empowering oneself kai to put oneself into subjection to himself this all .” Here, Paul used the same word that described the “transfiguration” of Jesus before Peter, James and John, where it was not Jesus who “transfigured,” but his disciples. One must be divinely elevated from the standard entrapment of “spiritual abasement” or the “humiliation” coming from the guilt of sins, so one changes and “conforms” to a righteous way of living [“the manner one conducts his or her life”]. From submitting one’s soul to Yahweh and being reborn as His Son, then one will internally be “praising” this presence within, which brings “Salvation.” The “workings” of this presence is one’s ministry, as Paul and the Philippians were doing. All have the “power” of Yahweh, through His Son within them, so they were “enabled” to “transfigure” from simple sinner to Yahweh elohim [angels born into flesh], as adonay [teachers] of Yahweh. Everything demands total “subjection” to the Will of Yahweh, so one’s egos must be killed in self-sacrifice.

At this point, the call is to overlap this written at the end of chapter three, with the first verse of chapter four. The first word of this verse is a capitalized “Hōste,” which becomes a divinely elevated conjunction, as “So as to, So then, or Therefore.” That gives the impression that this word joins this verse to that verse ending chapter three. The divine elevation joins the final chapter of Paul’s letter to the Christians of Philippi to everything written prior (which includes that at the end of chapter three). Still, as a stand-alone word of divinely elevated importance, the word reflects Yahweh speaking through Paul’s writing, so this use as “Therefore” says there are “Consequences” that must be realized through Paul’s writings. This then leads to the rest of verse one, which is as follows:

“Therefore , brothers possessed like me , beloved kai greatly desired , delight kai

that which surrounds possessing like me , in this manner persevere within the Lord ,

beloved .

In this, twice Paul wrote the Genitive (possessive) form of “egó,” which is “mou.” Rather than translate this simply as “of me,” one needs to realize that which is “of Paul” is his soul being the possession of Yahweh. As such, Paul had subjected himself [a “self” is a “soul”] to Yahweh, in divine marriage. The “ego” of Saul died and Paul was the reborn Son, possessed by the soul of Jesus. That made Paul a “Christ,” when Jesus became his “Lord.” As such, “of me” is shown as “possessed like me,” which was the relationship that created “brothers” [which included both males and females in Philippi], who had done like Paul and become “possessions of Yahweh.”

Twice Paul also wrote the word “agapētoi,” with each presentation being set alone to discern. Every time the word “love” is brought up in the Epistles, it refers to divine “love.” As a “beloved,” one can read that as “betrothed,” where “love” is what brings about the promise of “marriage,” with the word “betrothed” then relating “love” with “truth.” Paul is saying that Yahweh’s “Love” will fill one’s soul with the truth that becomes like a rapture of divine ecstasy.

The two used of “kai” show the importance of understanding divine possession to be “greatly desired” [from “epipothētoi”], which says Yahweh “misses” one’s soul and seeks to woo it back to Him. That relates to being “beloved.” The second “kai” tells of the importance of “that which surrounds, “ which is the outpouring of Spirit coming from Yahweh, which is His Anointment of a soul. It envelops a soul, covering it, so that presence becomes one’s refuge and protection. That security becomes a “delight” to behold [from “chara,” also meaning “joy” and “gladness”]. The use of “persevere” [from “stēkete,” also meaning “stand firm”] says one’s soul is in a permanent marriage, which means eternal life is the promise of divine union, based on Love.

As the Epistle reading selection for the second Sunday in Lent, one should see how Paul warns of the test that comes from those who are the enemies of the stake that hold up the good fruit of the vine from vermin. Because a “stake” or “stauros” is an implement that needs to be maintained by the vineyard worker, it is imperative to make sure the “stake” is always kept upright, especially after rains moisten the soil and the growth of fruit makes the “stake” be top-heavy. If one does not do the work involved in keeping the “cross” upright [and Jesus said, “you must lift up your cross” or keep it raised and upright], then one will fail the temptations of the devil. Those who fail the test will find Judgement not what they hoped it would be, as eternal ruin is not a happy ending. The key to a successful Lent is total subjection in divine marriage [not one simple sin given up]; and, then letting one’s soul find Jesus’ soul has resurrected within one’s own soul, becoming one’s “Lord.” Jesus is Lord when one has become a “Christ” of Yahweh.

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