Updated: Jan 30
Today is the eleventh Sunday of the Pentecost season. In metaphysical thought, the number 11 is a “Master Number,” which means it can represent lower (a two, as 1 + 1) or it can be higher (eleven) vibrations. The lower is representative of one plus a separate other one, as two. The higher is a reflection of one plus a heavenly one, as eleven.
If you recall, back on the Day of Pentecost, now 11 weeks ago, I said that was to be recognized as Graduation Day – when all good students would go out into the world and apply what they have learned.
The season of Pentecost represents a time of ministry.
After all, as Christians we are admitted priests of Jesus Christ, regardless of how little (if anything) someone pays us to spread the Gospel, ministering our faith to the world. Priesthood is a vocation, rather than an occupation.
You do not have to wear a collar to be a priest, and when the disciples stood up and began speaking with tongues of fire, they were not dressed any differently than the other Jews who filled Jerusalem that day.
Today we get a glimpse of what it means to truly be a Christian … not just a student of Christianity … as an eleven – one with the Holy Spirit. Of course, we can remain a student at heart, forever spared any responsibility of being a priest simply because, “I still need to learn some more.” That keeps one as a two, as one holding onto the one who was Christ, separately, and not as one.
Paul wrote a letter to the Christians of Rome, who were true Christians. They were priests to the One God, as Jews, who had been schooled in the Law of Moses, the Psalms of David, and the messages of the Prophets.
They were priests who had no clue how to serve Christ, but as Jews they thought they still had more to learn. The claimed belief, but they moaned, complained, lamented, and cried about not being able to control themselves and truly act like priests.
Paul told those true Christians, “Brothers and sisters, I appeal to you by the mercies of God to present your bodies as a living sacrifice.” He made an emotional plea for them to stop trying to live like they had been living before. He told them, “You have to place yourself on the altar and offer your body to God, so you can become holy.”
You do not become holy by wishing to become holy. You do not become holy by memorizing answers or going to places where the holy go.
You become holy through a spiritual transformation, “by the renewing of your minds, so that you will discern what is the will of God.”
If you do not change the way your mind works – how you think – you will do the opposite of transforming, which Paul said was “conforming to the world.” You do what other normal people do … which is not holy.
So, how appropriate is it that on the eleventh Sunday of Pentecost we get a letter in the mail, from Paul, asking, “Are you a two, who conforms to the world – you plus an earthly existence? Or, are you an eleven, who transforms your mind to discern what the will of God is – God-inspired?”
Before you answer that question from Brother Paul, listen to the benchmarks he listed. We each need to be check off the one or ones that fit us. We need to be able to truthfully say, to one or more, “Yes, that’s me!”
Are you able to prophesy? Meaning: Can you tell what the future holds or explain what the prophets meant, pertinent to our future?
Are you ministering to others? Meaning: Can you be found sitting with others, like Paul, making sure others are motivated and encouraged to keep serving God and Christ?
Are you teaching others? Meaning: Do you understand Scriptures well enough to explain the meaning to others, so they can see between the lines too?
Are you exhorting the Gospel [Good News of the Messiah]? Meaning: Do you display a sense of urgency in promoting a need for others to become ministers of Christ, because tomorrow may be too late?
Are you giving and generous? Meaning: Are you able to heal yourself of the sources of ill health, so your presence is freely given to others in order to help them to also be healed?
Are you diligently leading? Meaning: Do you seek out those who want to be Christians, but lack direction, becoming a beacon of light for them to be guided?
Are you cheerfully compassionate? Meaning: Do you spread a sense of understanding of forgiveness, while feeling the hearts of others still need some positive reinforcements to allow their minds to be transformed?
Before you answer if you are a two or an eleven, based on how many of these traits of the Holy Spirit you checked “yes” to, consider where the disciples were, before the Day of Pentecost found them transformed.
Jesus asked them, “Who do the people think I am?” They answered (basically), “A prophet like Elijah.”
“Well, they see me doing miracles, and they hear me explaining the meaning of the Law,” Jesus must have thought, leading him to then ask, “Who do you think I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Peter did not think that. Ordinarily, Peter thought just like one of the people. His mind thought just like those who conformed to this world. Peter’s mind reasoned, “Jesus, you are a prophet;” but he said different than he thought.
Simon Peter transformed his mind for that one answer, as a disciple projecting to the Apostle he would become. His answer was discerning the will of God. Peter opened his mouth and God said, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus exclaimed, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah!”
Peter was not “Blessed” because his mind knew the right answer. He was “Blessed” because God entered his mind and came out his lips.
Jesus said, “On this rock I will build my church.” The fact that “Peter,” in Greek, means “stone, rock” does not mean Jesus would have a stone church in his name built in Rome. The man name “Rock” spoke, symbolizing “This rock” of speaking from a holy source would be the foundation of Christianity.
That “Rock” was having one’s mind transformed. It was no longer conforming to the world, but sacrificing of self so that you lips moved and the Holy Spirit flowed forth.
The “Rock” of Christianity means emotionally sensing the seven keys stated by Paul, which tell us today how we can know if we are truly Christian.
The reason Jesus “sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah” was because of this: If people said, “Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the living God” simply because someone told them it was “blessed” to say such things, those people would be mistaking a two for an eleven.
You have to transform to an eleven and know from a changed mind what God wants you to know.
When we look at the Old Testament reading for Exodus, we see a seemingly non-relative story about the plight of the children of Israel in Egypt, up to the birth of Moses.
As a “two” we symbolize the children of Israel in captivity. In a world that conforms to hate people who are different, “number two” Christians we forced to struggle. We are slaves to building structures that defend the ruling class from the potential attacks that would expose just how frail our government and society is … without God, without Christ.
As “number two Christians,” the government wants to take advantage of our willingness to cite self-sacrifice as a good thing. The government wants to kill any chance of us spreading the influence of a Christ mind to others. Because of blind faith we have no power to stop that planned genocide of the church’s bodies. We do not have a clue how to stop trends that promote severe changes to what we were raised to respect and value. We are slaves to moaning, complaining, lamenting, and crying.
As an “eleven,” we have the guts of a midwife, to go before the king and explain why we did not do as ordered. We say, “We did not kill Christianity because Christians are vigorous and do not need midwives to deliver their babies.”
Christians are unlike the spiritless conformers of the world. Christians are willing to sacrifice themselves so they can discern “what is the will of God.” They change so God will deal well with the midwives and so Christians will multiply and become very strong.
As members of a church, which itself only represents a “two,” until it fills its seats with members who all check off one or more of the traits listed by Paul, we represent a mass of bodies tied together forming a wicker basket, which is then plastered with bitumen and pitch, or Scriptures from the Old and New Testaments. In that “two” form, we can carry the baby Jesus and keep him alive, just as Moses’ unnamed mother saved the one who would save a nation of people later.
Just as Moses was named because he was drawn out of water, where water symbolizes our emotional being, so too must be become Moses, able to lead our body from a world where we conform, to an unknown place that we know nothing about.
Rather than needing a boat to float on water … remember how Jesus walked on water? We must heed the call and leave the boat, letting our emotions support our actions. We cannot do that by conforming to the world, because just as Peter found out, you sink and cry out for help.
“Save me Mister Wizard!”
The impossible must have an outlet through our sacrifice of self.
That is the message today. We need to be emotionally recharged, so we are reassured our school days are well behind us. There is nothing we can learn that will stop our palms from sweating, our knees from shaking, and our minds to be filled with doubt.
We can no longer rely on smarts to grow strong and become Apostles for Christ.
We are one as the body of the church, where one body is the sum of its parts.
We need a letter from Paul to touch our hearts, so emotionally we are reminded to keep the faith. We can walk on water when we stop trying to be “ME,” and start being transformed into Christ.
We need to give a heartfelt answer to who Jesus is to us, not just pretend to be something we have been afraid to surrender to.
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