Tuesday, June 30, 2009

MkITN IX, Verses 42 - 50*

42. Whoever hurts one of these little ones…or abuses them in any way…or takes advantage of their simple trust…or causes them to grow up to be less than what they should have been…it would actually be better for that person to have one of those huge grinding-stones that they use in the mills fastened around his or her neck, and to be sunk in the depth of the sea.

43. Let Me clarify this...your desire to be a good example before the young should be such that if, say, your hand causes you to stumble and sin, you would be willing to just cut it off and throw it away. It would, in fact, be better for you to go through life maimed than to have two hands, and your very existence become so worthless that you end up being thrown into the fires at the Gehenna garbage dump outside Jerusalem which never go out.

44. (Verse 44 does not exist in any original manuscripts.)

45. By the same token, if somehow your foot is a cause of stumbling and sin to you, you should also be willing to cut it off, as well! Again, it would, in fact, be better for you to go through life lame, than to have two feet, and your very existence become so worthless that you end up being thrown into the fires at the Gehenna garbage dump outside Jerusalem.

46. (Verse 46 does not exist in any original manuscripts.)

47. In the same way, if your eye causes you to compromise your good example before one of these little ones, be willing to pluck it out! It is more advantageous for you to enter the Kingdom of God with one eye, than to go through life with two eyes and end up being thrown onto the garbage dump,

48. That horrible, maggot-infested place where dismembered limbs and cadavers are discarded and burned, constantly.

49. The reason I'm making this point using such extreme, conceptual language is that I want you to realize that everyone must take responsibility for their own lives, and for the example they set...but, one way or another, everyone is going to go through a refining fire...sooner or later every person will be tried by the flames...if not in Gehenna, then by the trials of life...but when you pass through the fire, you ultimately will be preserved.

50. Salt is a good preservative, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, it is worthless...how can it be restored? So have salt within yourselves...by that I mean, what you need to preserve you in the fire is already within you...you just have to locate it. And those who have passed through the fire will ultimately be at peace and live in harmony with one another...their inner preservative will enable them to preserve the peace."

*The pic at the top is Gehenna (The Valley of Hinnom), right outside of Jerusalem, as it looks today. We were there last summer...ate in a restaurant that overlooks it...as you can see, it isn't burning any more...but the truth of the metaphor that Jesus used is a now word...the good news is that when you are tried in the fire, you will come forth as pure gold!


Son of Zadok said...

"Is there anybody out there?"

-Roger Waters

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

I was wondering the same thing...

I don't usually notice the wordvers, but this one is "pigmisi"...don't know why that's funny to me, but it is...

Son of Zadok said...

That gave me a chuckle, thanks.

Well i did just quote Waters, and he has a famous set of songs called "pigs on a wing" I, II, III. Good stuff, but I don't know if it's your style.

I'm pondering over here about Gehenna now. Will have some thoughts together in a bit.

Son of Zadok said...

Pigs on the Wing

If you didn't care what happened to me,
And I didn't care for you,
We would zig zag our way through the boredom and pain
Occasionally glancing up through the rain.
Wondering which of the buggars to blame
And watching for pigs on the wing.

You know that I care what happens to you,
And I know that you care for me.
So I don't feel alone,
Or the weight of the stone,
Now that I've found somewhere safe
To bury my bone.
And any fool knows a dog needs a home,
A shelter from pigs on the wing.

ver: stalest

That is some old stale 70's, but I'll always love it.

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Thanks for sharing...

Yeah...I really wish I had had my picture taken in Gehenna so I could say that I've been to hell and back...when you're there it's so obvious that Jesus was referring to a literal, geographical location...and it's right at the foot of the Mount of Olives...all those places are right together...puts the whole thing in a different perspective...

Son of Zadok said...

Hell is a state of mind. When we die, we are bound by what we think.

The way out of these hellish realms is to have a willingness to see the light and seek love for others and God.

-Angie Fenimore

Hell is a place where everyone retains the physical desires they were fixated on without a way to satisfy them. Hell is real hell for anyone who lives only to satisfy their selfish desires.

The hell of hells is knowing you were our own devil.

-Arthur Yensen

There is no geographic hell. We build our hells right here in our own lives.

-Harry Hone

Hell is a lack of wisdom and not moving forward to progress. Hell is not a place.


Hell is a spiritual condition we create by being away from God until we choose to return to God. Hell is a spiritual condition that is totally devoid of love.

-Sandra Rogers

What people call hell is really a spiritual time-out condition in which souls reflect and work out the things that blocked them from the power of their own light.

There is no condemnation in hell, only the outworking of our own misjudgments, mistakes, misalignments, or misappropriations

-Dr. PMH Atwater

As there are degrees of heaven or hell on Earth, so there are degrees of heaven or hell in the spiritual world.

Just knowing the bad mistakes you made through your carelessness or your selfishness is a hell. You don't need a devil prodding you with a fork.

-Margaret Tweddell

An extreme neglect of spiritual matters on Earth can result in an earthbound condition. This is the condition people often associate with ghosts.

-Dr. Michael Newton

We create our own hell within us while we live on Earth. After death, we step into this hell.

God does not condemn anyone to hell and there is no eternal damnation. We have the ability to condemn ourselves to the hell we create within ourselves.

Many people believe that those who don't give verbal assent to Jesus are cast headlong into eternal fire to burn forever. It should be common sense to anyone that a God of love would never treat people this way. As Jesus said, even an evil father knows how to give good things to children.

-Kevin Williams

Those with too many negative thought patterns might flee the light of God after death because they are too ashamed or too afraid to have their inner thoughts and negative natures revealed to everyone.

-Dr. George Ritchie

The God of love suffers for those in darkness, ignorance and misery.

-Nora Spurgin

To escape the darkness, you must cry out to God. Then the light will appear.

-Rev. Howard Storm

From what may anyone be saved? Only from themselves! That is, their individual hell. They dig it with their own desires.

-Edgar Cayce

The only thing that burns in hell is the part of you that won't let go of your life: your memories, your attachments. They burn them all away, but they're not punishing you, they're freeing your soul.

-Meister Eckhart

To appreciate heaven well it is good for a man to have some fifteen minutes of hell.

-Will Carleton



Father we pray for those in their own personal Gehenna along with those who may have passed onto the next life and are having trouble finding your light. We ask that in your grace and mercy you direct them to the peace that you long to give them. As Paul admonished us to baptize in remembrance of the dead; we spiritually baptize those lost and wandering souls right now with our prayers. Send your angelic saints to their aide in this hour. Hear their cry and lead them to your holy temple as you did when you rose from the dead. Thank you, that you are at work in every life, and we agree with you in your vow, yes, your vow you have made, when you promised that all people would be saved. Save your people right now Lord.


G8TRGRL said...

Good morning!

I had a very good "object lesson" yesterday with my children, in relation to Sunday's teaching. (Funny, I start to want to use "sermon", but that has such finger wagging religious tone to me).

Anyways... we were leaving Wal Mart Supercenter in Covington and a lady approaches me, in a sort of frantic fashion, saying, that she hope we can help her. She proceeds to tell me/us of her present situation, involving broken water hoses, sick family members that they are visiting, and having been sitting there in the parking lot for 2 1/2 hours, thirsty and without money for gas, b/c of the vehicle repair. You get the picture.

(Here's some background for what my children have in their memory bank for such situations. They clearly remember Mom being scammed by a dude in downtown ATL when using one of the "self pay" parking lots. He approached, saying he could make change, put an outdated receipt in my dash, and took off w/ the $$)

So here is our splinter/plank-in-eye moment.

I went to my wallet, knowing that I had a $1 and a $20 in it. I gave the lady the $20, she looked and me, grabbed and hugged me and said "God Bless You". I didn't watch where she went-- just got in the car, ready for the peanut gallery's commentary to follow. ("Mom, what if she's ripping you off? What if she wasn't telling the truth?, etc")

AHA MOMENT. How wonderful to explain, that it is not for us to JUDGE WHAT SHE DID WITH IT. That I am more than happy to help someone, knowing that we have had friends and family in our very recent past be there for us when I was raiding piggy banks for gas money, and such... that is feels good to be a blessing to others, period. No strings. That WE SHOULD NOT JUDGE.

How great it is to "pay it forward", or build an "ARK" (Act of Random Kindness).

Hmmm, to build an ARK, we need lumber, so take one out of your eye, and proceed from there!

SOZ- you made me giggle. I was scanning your quotes and at first glance thought Rev. Howard Storm said Howard Stern...

Enjoy this beautiful day! ttfn.

Veri word, kid you not, is "wearklic"

Izumi/JOY said...

I like how v.47 refers to the eyes (perception), prior to v.49's refining fire reference. It causes me to think about God's perception. (and, how the Lord's eyes are like a flame of fire)

Iris said...

Thank God we live by His grace and mercy or we would all be abhorrently maimed...

Thank you God that we are refined by the fire of Your Spirit, and when purified Your reflection is seen in us...


Son of Zadok said...


I don't know if you have ever heard Rev. Storm's testimony, but It's pretty powerful. I know their are lots of people who make up afterlife tales in hope of making some money, but the sincerity of Storm's delivery and life direction shift, seem quite genuine. He was a God hater who had a short NDE with hell that led to a paradigm shifting encounter with God that changed his life. I think "Gehenna" serves a purpose like that, but often times the experience is probably very short in duration as the realization of one's spiritual condition is revealed to them.


Maybe yes...
Maybe no...

Son of Zadok said...

If anyone disagrees and thinks that every soul appears in glory with no type of chastisement, I'd sincerely like to hear about it. I'm just curious because I've heard Bishop say that Sheol/Hades/Abraham's Bosom is shut down, and I can buy that, but the whole Gehenna business; sure it was a parable, but what did the refuse dump represent, but a spiritual condition? Rather than it being a "place", wouldn't you think it represents a spiritual state of being one could find themselves in. Aionios Kolasis (age-lasting correction), as it were.

Avatar said...

Your question, SOZ, re: Gehenna representing a spiritual condition...Bishop's School of the Bible I (order online) goes into all of the scriptures about the four words translated in KJV as hell. I think you'd like it.

For my life, I'm currently finding great joy in an understanding that our God, who is Love, has plans to purify us all. Exactly when that happens doesn't matter to me anymore. I'm glad I've been through the purifying I know about so far and I hope it happens more here on this side of the veil, because I desire to walk free and whole...now...and maybe even, with others, found to have helped to bring heaven to earth.

Another clue for me here is the context. Jesus is speaking to the disciples desire to be greatest and be right by choosing children and the way people treat them as examples. So, to me, these particular scriptures do represent spiritual conditions. Conditions and desires that could make part of me or even all of me useless for serving well, on earth...which I DO want cut off and thrown away in the same way that a useless body part was in BC Jerusalem.

Turning the power world upside down (or right side back up!)...no wonder the blinded powerful, then and now, want Him silenced.

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Bishop Jim Swilley said...
Hey SOZ...interesting stuff...I neither agree nor disagree (could be, could be not)...mainly because right now I'm so focused on not seeing anything through the paradigm of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil...but I appreciate your viewpoint, and think it's a valid contribution here...makes me think of this Scripture:

But if anyone builds upon the Foundation, whether it be with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, The work of each [one] will become [plainly, openly] known (shown for what it is); for the day [of Christ] will disclose and declare it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test and critically appraise the character and worth of the work each person has done. If the work which any person has built on this Foundation [any product of his efforts whatever] survives [this test], he will get his reward. But if any person's work is burned up [under the test], he will suffer the loss [of it all, losing his reward], though he himself will be saved, but only as [one who has passed] through fire.
(I Corinthians 3:12-15 - AMP)

Donald said...

I just read those verses in the KJV. Even worse, it was Dake's Annotated Reference Bible.
What I found incredible were the notes concerning the verses (44 and 46) that were not in any original manuscripts.
It was really amazing how he took off on some things that were not originally even there.
That was a real downer.
I really like what I'm reading here so much better.
Keep on scratching these itching ears Bishop! I love it!

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Thanks...his nephew came in to the media center last year and bought School Of The Bible...never heard back from him about it, but I thought that was interesting...

karl cobos said...

Bishop, I liked the comment about hell and back...funny. Thanks for the writings.

I used to love listening to "pigs on the wing" over and over again.

Bishop, I posted your AYITN "Be Happy" on my blog in its entirety, ran out of time to put pictures, but its there.

funny word ver: undes