Updated: Feb 5
I remember attending my wife’s seminary class (I call it a class), which was held in the School of Theology’s chapel. It was an episode of practicing being a priest, where some senior class members were going to hold a ‘pretend service,’ which was only the readings and a sermon. The adult family members of the students (spouses of seminarians) were welcomed to join; so I went. I recall the professor speaking before the ‘class’ began. He cautioned us all that someone was about to present a sermon orally, before a ‘live audience’ and this was an important role a priest must master. Thus, practice was necessary. In reference to a future career that would have a priest doing this frequently, he implied that was what a priest was paid to do. In that regard, he quoted Scripture, saying, “The worker deserves his wages.” To that quote a loud round of cheers and applause came from the student section. I got the impression from that response that the students had been putting in a lot of priestly work; but, not only were they not getting paid to do any of that work, they were paying [those not on diocesan scholarship] out of pocket for that privilege. I remember that now when I read of Jesus sending out the twelve, to be followed by his sending out seventy later. The element of “a worker deserves his wages” comes from Paul’s first letter to Timothy (1 Timothy 5:18), where the same verse begins by stating, “For Scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and … “(the above quote).” This is referencing the laws of Moses. Paul basically said the same thing in his first letter to the Christians of Corinth, making his remark to Timothy be a memory jog. In First Corinthians 9, Paul wrote: “For it is written in the Law of Moses: “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.” Is it about oxen that God is concerned? Isn’t He actually speaking on our behalf? Indeed, this was written for us, because when the plowman plows and the thresher threshes, they should also expect to share in the harvest. If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much for us to reap a material harvest from you? If others have this right to your support, shouldn’t we have it all the more? But we did not exercise this right. Instead, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ. Do you not know that those who work in the temple eat of its food, and those who serve at the altar partake of its offerings? In the same way, the Lord has prescribed that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel. But I have not used any of these rights. And I am not writing this to suggest that something be done for me. Indeed, I would rather die than let anyone nullify my boast. Yet when I preach the gospel, I have no reason to boast, because I am obligated to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! If my preaching is voluntary, I have a reward. But if it is not voluntary, I am still entrusted with a responsibility. What then is my reward? That in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not use up my rights in preaching it.” (1 Corinthians 9:13-18) This means the professor was wrong to imply that a priest of God (Yahweh) deserved to be paid, because (as Paul wrote), “If my preaching is voluntary, I have a reward. But if it is not voluntary, I am still entrusted with a responsibility.” That was the deeper meaning of a Law of Moses that says [even to non-ox owning Americans today], “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.”
This aspect of “not bearing a purse” means both “Do not take something to keep money in,” as well as “Do not give the impression that you are selling religious ideas,” where a money belt will be where one stores payment for services rendered. Simply by wearing a belt designed to hold money projects an expectation that a stranger has come with making a profit in mind. A priest can then appear to be a traveling salesman (selling himself or herself), which can then be rejected because a member of a house cannot afford to pay the going rate; but, likewise, a priest can be welcomed because that going rate is seen as affordable. Money cannot not be the measure of expectations a priest sets [what Paul explained].
A “bag” is an indication of a traveler, where one is always prepared to leave – as packed and ready to go. One is not to give the impression that one is ‘just passing through.’ A bag hides that which is inside, thus any miracles performed can be assumed to come from a ‘bag of tricks,’ not God flowing through one of His servants. Again, a “bag” gives a misleading impression that can keep a seeker distant or welcoming for all the wrong reasons.
As hard as it is to imagine these days, where socks and shoes are worn daily, without thought of ever going anywhere distant without shoes on, the use of “sandals” is symbolic, while truly a viable instruction during ancient times. The implication of sandals says a need to wear leather soles under one’s feet (attached by straps of leather), due to the feet not being toughened enough to walk barefooted. The lack of sandals says to a stranger, “I am not a ‘tenderfoot,’ meaning a statement of experience, not a novice. When added to not showing a need for payment and not showing the vagrancy of a vagabond, being tough enough to ‘walk the walk’ is the outward appearance all priests of Yahweh will demonstrate. A priest must display the confidence of faith. Still, sandals represent an article of clothing that is necessary in the earthly realm. The absence of sandals projects that one’s path is divine, where one’s feet no longer touch the ground. That lack is projected so others will want to also walk the walk without fearing the ground is too rocky and hard to travel without material aids. When the instruction then says to not greet anyone along the road, the intent is not to be sidetracked by those who might misdirect one’s focus, aims and goals. Priests of Yahweh sent out in ministry are not sent out to minister to those who also are headed somewhere different, especially those going in the opposite direction. Everyone is on a journey of some kind and in the process of doing the work involved in getting from one place to another. Traveling means one has not yet reached an intended destination, which keeps all travelers from coming to a restful state. A state of rest means peace has been obtained, while also being symbolic of a “death” in the material state. Priests of Yahweh have already reached the goal of peace, by receipt of the Spirit [died of self-ego]; and, travel is the road of ministry priests of Yahweh are sent to begin. Number two: “Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house!’ And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you.”
Here, a “house” is not meant to be a building, but the “family” who resides within. Second, the Greek word “Eirēnē” is capitalized, which becomes an elevated spiritually statement of “Peace.” Rather than Jesus instructing, “say Peace to this house,” the Greek word “legete” should translate as “command,” where the disciple is not the origin of the spoken Word. This becomes God speaking to the household to let their souls find rest by the presence of God, through His priest. While the statement “Peace be with you” has become a catchphrase commonly used in many churches, Jesus was not teaching his disciples to greet anyone like a hippie from the 1960’s. The aspect of entering a house means more than walking through the doorway. Just as Jesus had entered his disciples, as “two” – soul and Holy Spirit united – that same sharing of the Holy Spirit is the meaning of “Peace.” The command is for the family to receive the Holy Spirit, which is the greatest “Peace” one can come to know. In verse six, where the NRSV translates “if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person,” a major omission is made. This omission is easily explained, simply because a mark of explanation cannot easily be translated. The verse begins with the word “kai,” which is a signal that alerts the reader to an important statement to follow. Following that marker are words that translate as “if there is,” but between the words “there” (“ekei”) and “is” (“ē”) is a mathematical symbol, called a left right double arrow. That symbol means “material equivalence,” as “A ⇔ B means A is true if B is true and A is false if B is false.” Thus, what was written by Luke says “if there,” that is “A,” which is a statement of the condition (“if”) of the disciple having brought the Holy Spirit “there.” The equivalent truth or falsity that then exists (“B”) is based on that condition having been met. The Holy Spirit “is” also “there,” “if” the disciple is a true priest of Yahweh, whose command for “Peace” is heartfelt by a family. If a priest is a hired hand speaking meaningless words of “peace,” then a false condition has been set. When one is aware of this ‘either-or’ condition, the result is then spelled out as being relative to a “son of peace” (“huios eirēnēs”). While the seventy disciples were sent out in pairs, each was also paired with the Holy Spirit as each becoming a reproduction of Jesus; but, in today’s world [as then, less publicly], women are claiming to be priests of Yahweh, making the aspect of “sons” be seen as all having the masculine Spirit of God the Father with them. This means all souls are also of masculine spirit, so the addition of the Holy Spirit only creates “sons.” The repetition of the word “eirēnēs” [in the lower-case], says the “Peace” of the Holy Spirit is within each of God’s “sons.” This use in the lower-case makes a statement of inner “peace, quietness, and rest,” making the capitalized spelling be the outward projection of the Holy Spirit’s “Peace, Quietness, and Rest” upon others within a family or household. The ‘either-or’ condition of “peace” on an individual level of inner-being is then stated in the remainder of this instruction. If one within the household is receptive to the Holy Spirit, then the Holy Spirit will reside within that human being as “peace” received. If there are any who reject the Holy Spirit, then the projection of the Holy Spirit – the proclamation “Peace to this house” – is returned, meaning nothing will be lost by the disciple. This is a statement that no one in the house will have any power to negate the presence of the Holy Spirit that a priest of Yahweh has been sent out with. If the condition is a hired hand arrives and proclaims “peace,” then that same state of mortal being will remain, having had no effect on the family. The Holy Spirit cannot be generated by a group of believers, where none have a personal relationship with God. Since the lands to which Jesus sent his seventy disciples were those of ancient Israel, where Jews resided in pockets of communities, amid Roman occupation and the free allowance of immigration of all kinds of Gentile people, it should be realized that a “house” was more than a simple “family house.” Each community would have a “house” recognized as a synagogue. Within that building [which was probably where the rabbi lived with his family], the Jews of a community would gather on the Sabbath. This should be seen as where the priests of Yahweh were sent and where they would pronounce “Peace to this house.” Thus, the target audience was all who proclaimed to be children of Israel. That then applies in modern times of Christianity [where a true Christian is one who is paired with another true Christian, both souls having been paired with the Holy Spirit, so both are in the name of Jesus Christ, as Jesus reborn] the “house” where one is to proclaim “Peace to this house” is a Christian “house” of worship [more than a local family “household”]. Again, the purpose of ministry, as priests of Yahweh, is not the hippie gadabout that is happy hanging out with all kinds of people and thrilled to experience some ‘kumbaya’ comradery. While the presence of the Holy Spirit within an individual [and partner] will more often than not lead those filled with the Spirit to be totally focused on where God wants one to go, which is home with God’s children who are seekers. God does not want to waste one [two in pairs] by having one running around the world promoting “Peace” in a self-serving manner. Thus, finding a “house” where one can “enter” means simply attending a pre-existing “house” of worship, not becoming a hired hand of that “house.” Being a hired hand demands one wear a money belt [purse].
[Note: In this regard just stated, Matthew recorded how Jesus told the twelve not to take “two tunics” or “a staff.” That was unstated to the seventy, in Luke. However, a “tunic” (Greek “chitón“) can be read as “vestment” and a “staff” (“rhabdos“) implies “authority” or “scepter,” which means Jesus was instructing the priests of Yahweh not to go about looking priestly. That relates to going into existing houses as an equal to the others, not a superior.] When one sees the probability that each “house” of worship will include some number of people proclaiming to be Christians, but all struggling to know if one’s works and deeds qualify one’s soul for heaven, those will be the ones who will be receptive to the projection outward of “Peace,” proclaimed by the new presence of a priest of Yahweh in a place where the religious gather. The probability is the larger majority will reject the Holy Spirit’s presence, due to self-importance; and also an indication that an immediate rejection comes from believing that another [anyone] cannot actually be filled with the Holy Spirit. As a member of a new church, the priests of Yahweh should then focus more on those who are seeking to understand more, than those who have placed their souls under a self-protective shield that rejects “change afterwards.” Number three: “Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the laborer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house.”
This is where we find the element of “wages,” from the translation of the Greek word “misthou.” To grasp that, one needs to see that the works of the “workman” or “laborer” are those which include the acts of “eating kai drinking this alongside of them” (translated by the NRSV as “eating and drinking whatever they provide”). This has nothing to do with “eating and drinking,” as those are physical functions. Priests of Yahweh are not sent out looking to have one’s physical needs be satisfied by others. Thus, the “work” or “labor” done is to feed those who receive the Holy Spirit (“Peace”) with spiritual food – answer all the Scriptural questions they pose – and (importantly, from “kai“) fill them further with the blood of Christ, so their Spirit takes them higher towards God. When one sees the works done as the priests of Yahweh are those of Good Shepherds to flocks, then caring for the sheep will never have the lead ram come to a priest with a check in hoof, saying, “Thank you for your services. Well done.” The “wages” of ministry are not paid in dollars or currency of material values. The priests of Yahweh do labors of love, meaning the “rewards” of that service to God are a big check mark by one’s name in the Book of Life. This is how realizing that Matthew did not write of Jesus sending out the twelve by using the word “misthou.” He instead wrote “trophēs,” which means “provisions” or “food,” where the NRSV translates Matthew 10:10b to state, “for laborers deserve their food.” The deeper intent of “trophēs” is seen when the translation reveals “nourishment” or “maintenance,” which is the “reward” of one’s soul. The presence of the Holy Spirit within is maintained by it being shared with others [not hidden under a bushel basket]. Doing so means the “workers” [priests of Yahweh] “deserve rewards.” Therefore, when Luke wrote “par’,” translated as “provide,” this word truly means: “beside, in the presence of; alongside of.” Those uses seen are then where this is the “two two” (“dyo dyo”) being passed on to “them” who are hungering and thirsting spiritually; so, the wages are maintenance of one’s soul justifying eternal life in heaven.
[Note: Being sent out by God, as a reproduction of His Son, does not mean that a flesh and blood priest then becomes a walking-talking Holy Bible encyclopedia of knowledge. With one being reborn as Jesus Christ [the “dyo dyo” of two paired with the Holy Spirit of Christ], one is as unknowing as the next guy, if not more so. Thus, when the Holy Spirit moves Jesus to speak [he is the Mind of God, thus All-Knowing Son], the revelations become just as awe inspiring to the flesh and blood priest of Yahweh as it should be to the one hearing the divine Word. Therefore, the deserved rewards of being an Apostle are being fed this Spiritual food regularly, with each morsel known as a divine gift, from one’s relationship with God.] When Luke wrote of Jesus adding, “Do not move about from house to house,” this says not to be ‘church hopping’ or trying to find more who want to receive the “Peace” of the Holy Spirit. By finding rejection from a majority of church-goers, one should remain for the few that sense the presence of the Holy Spirit and welcome it. The last thing a seeker needs is to go to church wanting to find the priests of Yahweh befriended, only to find he or she has abandoned him or her for another church and some other seeker. The worker is told to stay until the work in one house of worship is finished. Number four: “Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you.”
Here, the operative word is “esthiete,” which is translated as “eat.” This is the second person plural form of the verb “esthió,” which repeats the present participle form stated in “esthiontes,” where one is to “be eating kai drinking” in list number three. The questions posed by the seekers who receive the “Peace” are ones desiring spiritual food. They must be fed, in a way that their fears and doubts are eaten away. Again, this has nothing to do with Jesus sending out priests of Yahweh to “consume” food or material sustenance. It says, if one goes to a place where there is reception to the Holy Spirit, then “feed” on that need for spiritual food “set before you.” In short, this is the main purpose of one’s ministry. Rather than force feed Spiritual food that one thinks was most important in one’s own conversion, one’s brain must always remain subservient to the Father’s Will and let the seekers set before the priest what the seeker wants to consume. Number five: “Cure the sick who are there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’”
Here, the simplicity of “cure the sick” is missing the detail given to the twelve, which included “raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, and cast out demons.” (Matthew 10:8b) Matthew preceded those instructions by writing “asthenountas therapeuete,” which is translated as “cure the sick.” Luke, however, wrote “kai therapeuete tous en autē astheneis,” where the word “kai” introduces the importance of “caring for those within self weak.” As such, every infirmity of sin becomes the outward projection of an inner weakness, where many maladies of humanity are self-inflicted, brought on by a lack of faith in God [more than belief by birth]. From seeing this aspect of “curing the sick,” one is able to realize that Jesus never did anything more that pass on the faith within him, which came from the “Peace” of the Holy Spirit. Regardless of the form in which one’s inner weakness of faith is expressed on one’s body, the people healed by Jesus did not require him performing surgery (or prayer or touch) in order for healing to take place. Healing was done by increasing one’s faith, via transmission of the Holy Spirit. That transmission (receipt of the Holy Spirit) made those healed become reproductions of the “Change afterwards,” that which paired the soul of a sick Jew to the “dyo dyo” union of a soul with God’s Holy Spirit. The “cure” was then not temporal, but permanent. This then becomes the truth of the statement, “The kingdom of God has come near to you.” The Greek written includes two capitalized words, “Ēngiken” and “Theou,” drawing importance to the elements meaning “Has drawn near” and “God.” A literal translation of the Greek has to be read as a statement that says, “Has drawn near on the basis of you this kingdom [or sovereignty] of God.” The literal makes it possible to see that it has been the welcoming of God into one’s heart [state of soul-being], so the soul is no longer the master of one’s flesh [the cause of illness and infirmities]. The ‘king’ over one’s being has become God, who sends His Son to rule one’s mind. Thus, like “Peace to this house” is not a catchphrase, so too is not “The kingdom of God has come near.” Number six: “Whenever you enter a town and they do not welcome you, go out into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off in protest against you. Yet know this: the kingdom of God has come near.'”
This says that ministry comes with the expectation of evil resistance. Here, the Greek word “polin,” which has been translated as “town,” has to be read as being parallel to “house” (“oikian”), being a reflection of the “inhabitants” of any place. Therefore, some “cities” will be places where evil has taken total control of the people there. In our modern times, such a place can be seen as Communist Russia or Communist China. Both places are run by people who have no desire to allow their souls to be joined with God. They totally reject religion of all kinds. This is then why Jesus added the condemnation of such places that do not welcome the priests of Yahweh: “I tell you, on that day it will be more tolerable for Sodom than for that town.” Matthew’s writing about the twelve being sent out, remembered Jesus adding Gomorrah with Sodom, both of which are only known by Biblical accounts. The places are irrelevant, as they are where the inhabitants have been judged for their mass rejection of God. The symbolism of “dust of a town” is then a statement about the material products of those inhabitants. “From dust you have come and to dust you shall return” says any place that has been sold to worldly existence, for love of the material plane, will be one’s self-fulfilling epitaph. To “wipe off in protest” says one must cleanse oneself of the filth from having trod in evil places. This is a requirement of any Jew who came in contact with a sinner being restated. This is then synonymous with a ritual bath; but, the point is to refuse to take anything from a place where the inhabitants are willful sinners, as one should want nothing to do with taking away from those inhabitants anything they hold dear. When Communist nations are seen as such places, a symbolic statement made against them is a refusal to possess any product those nations freely sell to the world.
[Note: In modern times, it has become fashionable to come into a house of worship, breaking all of these rules set by Jesus for his disciples ministering for Yahweh. One common love of “dust” is homosexuality, where a true priest of God would have absolutely nothing to do with accepting that filth on one’s being. To not go out into the streets proclaiming, “You can act as you wish, but God will play no role in your pretense,” is to then wallow in that setting – the epitome of “When in Rome, do as the Romans.” Such acceptance [and the list goes well beyond homosexuality acceptance] is a strong statement that the one wearing the clerical garments is nothing more than a hired hand, hired to say what the employers want to hear.] To repeat the statement, “The kingdom of God has come near,” there is nothing said to the place or those people, as words will have no positive effect on them. The statement made is the symbolism of having nothing to do with them. This is actually how one “loves one’s enemies,” as told by Jesus. You love them by allowing them to freely reject God and by playing no role in their ultimate judgment by God. Love, in this case, means not being affected by the presence of evil in the world, by letting evil exist separate from oneself. Out of sight is out of mind, so not associating with evil in any way removes all thoughts of hatred; and, the absence of hatred can be defined as love. With this seen, the list of six instructions from Jesus to his disciples sent out into ministry can be read as this: 1. Demonstrate the gift of the Word that is everlasting and proved as truth and remain focused on being a conduit of the Lord.
2. Proclaim the Holy Spirit’s presence within a house of worship.
3. Stay where one is received and share the Word and the Spirit as the ones who receive your presence will present needs of a true priest, meaning the priests of Yahweh will remain focused only on those in need.
4. Feed the needs of those who seek the truth, based on what needs they openly confess.
5. Heal the inner soul’s lack of faith found in others, so others may rid themselves of blocks created by a lack of faith, by self-sacrifice of soul to allow the presence of God’s Holy Spirit to rule over one’s being.
6. Do not resist the evils of others who relish Satan’s reign over them by attempting physical force. No one comes to the Father by self-will. Take nothing from that place, as everything about that place represents what their souls have been sacrificed to gain. If evil refuses to allow its inhabitants to welcome the presence of one possessing the Holy Spirit, then leave; but, let it be known that God sent a messenger that was rejected.
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