Wednesday, September 23, 2009


n a particular day...a day which just happened to be the Sabbath...Jesus and His disciples were walking through some grain fields. As they moved along, casually talking with one another...not really thinking about anything, other than how hungry they all were...His men began to pick some heads of grain, rub them together in their hands, and pop the kernels in their mouths.

2. Some of the ever-present and always vigilant Pharisees somehow saw them doing this and asked, "Why are you rebels doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?"

3. Jesus quickly answered them, "Gentlemen, have you never read what David did when he and his men were hungry?

4. If not, let Me remind you...he entered the house of God, took the consecrated bread, and ate what is lawful only for the priests to eat. And if that wasn't bad enough, according to religious standards, he also served it to his companions!"

5. Then Jesus said to them, "The bottom line is this...the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."

6. On yet another Sabbath He went into the synagogue to teach, as He did so often during this period of His ministry. And there was a man there that day whose right hand was shriveled and deformed.

7. The Pharisees and the teachers of the law by this time were constantly looking for a reason to accuse Him of they watched Him closely to see if He would be so bold as to heal on the Sabbath.

8. But, as always, Jesus knew what these predictable men were thinking, so He said to the man with the shriveled hand, "Sir, please get up and stand in front of the people where everyone can see you." So, without asking any questions, the man got up and stood there.

9. Then Jesus looked at the Pharisees and said to them, "All right, let Me ask you all a question...which is lawful on the do good or to do save life or to destroy it?"

10. No one said anything, so after He had stared at them blankly for a few moments, He turned to the man and said, "Stretch out your hand." And the man did just that, and as he did, his hand was completely restored and made normal.

11. But instead of being impressed or moved by the miracle, or by Jesus' power and authority, the Pharisees and the teachers of the law were infuriated by this. He had embarrassed them one too many times, and had made their cherished rules and regulations seem silly and irrelevant. From this point they began to seriously discuss with one another what they might do to Jesus, and how they could effectively put a stop to Him, completely.
12. On another day Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and ended up spending the entire night in deep prayer.

13. At daybreak, He descended the mountain and called all of His disciples to Himself, and out of the whole number of them He chose twelve, whom He also designated as apostles.

14. The final group consisted of Simon, whom He named Peter, his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew,

15. Matthew, Thomas, James, son of Alphaeus, Simon, who was a Zealot,

16. Judas, son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who was destined to be used as a traitor.
17. Then He took His newly appointed group of twelve and stood out on a level place, where a large crowd of His other disciples surrounded Him. Soon a great throng began gathering there...people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coastal region around Tyre and Sidon.

18. When the news got out that He was appearing like this, people came from everywhere to hear Him, and to be healed of their diseases...and they got what they came for. Even those who were harassed by rebel spirits were made well and whole.

19. And the people all tried to get up close enough to Him to touch Him, because power was exuding from Him, and He was healing them all.

20. Then He began to teach. Looking at His disciples, He said: "Blessed are you who have lost everything, for in having to change your perspective on owning things in the material world, you are able to own the realities of the Kingdom of God.

21. Blessed are you who hunger now, for in identifying what it is that you really crave, you will ultimately be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep over what is missing in your life now, for the gift of laughter is coming with the revelation of all that is in the Kingdom.

22. And even consider yourself blessed when it seems that people hate you, and exclude you from their religious systems...when they insult you and reject your name as evil because of your affiliation with the Son of Man.

23. Rejoice in the day that you experience this kind of thing...yes, rejoice to the point that you literally leap for joy! Because when you survive such attacks, and come out on the other side of them even from bitterness...all of heaven applauds! Remember, that is how their ancestors treated the prophets, and that kind of treatment actually shaped those men into greatness.

24. But there's a rude awakening ahead for those of you who have become rich through this present world system...those who have become selfish and smug to the point that you think your money can fix everything for you. What you have now is all you'll ever get.

25. There's also trouble ahead for those of you who are self-absorbed and the days to come you'll realize that a selfish life will only leave you empty and hollow in the end. And woe to you who don't take human relationships seriously...who laugh at the idea of making investments into the lives of others. It won't be so funny when you find yourself disconnected and all alone.

26. And watch out if you're only living for the approval of others...if you're so emotionally needy that you refuse to speak your own truth for fear of repercussions. Remember...your ancestors appeased and flattered false prophets, but in the end they turned on them for not being authentic.
27. But this is the main thing I want to say to those of you who are really hearing Me now, because it's the introduction to a whole new way of thinking...the door to a whole new world...and let Me tell you, it's a radical concept: love your enemies...treat well those who detest you, and pursue you with hatred...

28. Invoke a flood of blessings upon those who openly curse you, and sincerely pray for their happiness...ask for God's blessing and favor upon those who abuse and misuse you...

29. If someone slaps you on the cheek, offer the other one to him or her, also... from whoever takes away your outer garment, don't withhold your undergarment...

30. If someone begs you for something that you have, give it to them...of him who takes away your goods, do not demand or require them back again...

31. Here is the summation of all of you would like and desire that people would do to you, do exactly that to them!"
32. You must think this way if you want to create a new world, because if you only love those who love you, what's new and world-changing about that? Why should you even be commended for it? Even those who have no Kingdom mentality, whatsoever, love those who love them.

33. And if you're only kind to those who are kind to you, and only do favors for those who do favors for you, what's new and innovative about that? Any average sinner can do that.

34. Furthermore, if you lend money at interest to those from whom you hope to receive, why should anyone even pay attention to that? Every day sinners lend money at interest to other sinners, so as to recover as much again. There's nothing about that that is going to turn things around.

35. But love your enemies...I don't mean just tolerate and co-exist with them...I mean love them! Be kind and do good so that someone is blessed, whether you think they deserve it or not. And lend, expecting and hoping for nothing in return...and don't complain and whine about it, either...consider nothing as lost! If you can do these things, you will tap into a whole new dimension, and it's from that realm that you will be rewarded. And your abundant reward will be rich and intense...and, most importantly, you will be bona fide sons of the Most High, thinking like He like He lives...doing what He does...for He is kind and charitable and good, even to the ungrateful and the selfish and wicked.

36. So be mercifully empathetic and responsive to the needs of people...become energized with the power of compassion...even as your Father exists in this realm.
37. And while I'm on the subject of the operation of this new world order, I will also tell you not to pronounce judgment on anyone, and you will live beyond the authority of any one's judgment on your not condemn or pronounce guilt on anyone, and you will exist beyond the reach of condemnation and personal guilt...acquit, forgive and release others from your agendas and opinions, and you will never be limited by the agendas and opinions of others.

38. And give...give generously and freely...because if you do, gifts will be lavished upon you...and these gifts will be abundant (to demonstrate the infinite possibilities of the Kingdom), packed down (to make room for more), shaken together (to make sure that you never receive filler), and running all over the place (so that you never have a sense of lack)! People will come into your life just to give to you, and this is the way that they will pour into the pouch formed by the bosom of your robe and used as a bag. You define your own terms in this, for with the same measure you deal out...with the measure you use when you confer benefits on will be measured back to you!"

39. He went on to tell them a proverb: "Can a blind person guide and direct another blind person? Won't they both stumble into a ditch or a hole in the ground?

40. You see, a pupil is not superior to his or her teacher, but every individual, when he or she is completely trained and properly readjusted will be like his or her teacher.

41. With that in mind, let Me ask you...why do you so easily notice the tiny speck that is in the eye of your brother or sister, when you are oblivious to the beam of timber that is in your own eye?

42. And how can you have the nerve to say to that brother or sister, 'Hey, allow me to take out the splinter of wood that is in your eye, when you yourself do not even notice the enormous log that is in your own eye? What kind of phony game are you playing? First take the timber out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly how to perceive whatever is in your brother's or sister's eye.
43. For there is no healthy tree that bears diseased fruit...on the other hand, a diseased tree can't produce healthy's just that simple.

44. Furthermore, each tree is identified by its own fruit. Figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor is a cluster of grapes ever picked from a bramblebush.

45. The person who is known as honorable and virtuous, out of the good treasure stored in his or her heart, produces what is honorable and virtuous...and the evil person who manifests as evil, out of the evil storehouse brings forth that which is unacceptable. For out of the abundant overflow of the inner individual, the mouth speaks.

46. Speaking of being honorable, let Me ask you...why do you call Me, 'Lord, Lord', and do not simply practice what I tell you?

47. Everyone who comes to Me and listens to My words...I mean really listens and understands my intentions...I will demonstrate to you what he or she is like:

48. That person is like a man who built a house...who dug and went down deep and laid a good foundation upon the rock. And when a flood arose, and all manner of inclement weather beat upon the house, the basic structure could not be shaken or moved at all, because it had been securely built on bedrock.

49. But, by the same token, he or she who merely hears but does not practice doing My words is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation...a man who built on sand. When the bad weather came against what he had built, immediately it collapsed and fell...and the fall of that house was dramatic and complete.


Erik said...

The Bible, Qu'ran, Upanishads, ALL books of faith serve people. People do NOT serve these books.

The regulations and inspiration contained therein (see, I can use such language) merely exist for our pleasure and benefit and are adjustable to what serves people. People are not to serve them EVER. that would be blasphemy in the utmost.

So, eat the Holy Grain at your leisure, manifest grace on The Sabbath, and have fun in every Holy expression.

Change and reform, question and develop scripture expressing God Speak as The Spirit guides, since Holy Words are always expanding.

Perform miracles we have at ANY time, since time exists to serve Us. Every regulation exists simply to serve Us, since we are The Masters, it is regulations that conforms to Us, not Us to regulation.

karl cobos said...

yep, most of my life it seemed like I was made for the Sabbath and certain rules and regulations pertaining to that day...there was always a debate somewhere in my circle about these things and were usually very frustrating...kept hearing about more things not to do.
Oh yeah, food was the other one.

Speaking of, I can't go to bed hungry, talk later...goodnight all.

Lisa said...

Wow wow wow!!!! Too many words to try to pin down into 1 post. It so explains so much going on in our lives right now... The light exposes the ridiculousness of the law and challenges us to serve at all times no matter what others see as a cost. I've always been a rebel and it excites me to see that I got my rebelious streak from Jesus it just took some time to channel it in the right direction!
Waiting for the door to completely open to go to Pakistan. I can't wait to see what adventure awaits us there and reading the paraphrases have blessed Mark and I and encourage us to know we are in the will of the Father.....
Blessings to you all....

Anonymous said...

Oni Roberts said...

Just arrived home (Houston) from ATLANTA...all I can say is, "WOW, I'm speechless." Speech-less... rare for me...thanks for an unforgetable experience Sunday at CITN...the Paulk/Swilley cousins do your grandaddy, Earl P Sr., proud. Thanks for "afterglow"...loved, loved being with the family! What a weekend!

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Sunday was a most unusual day...glad you could be a part of it...the whole thing with you and Robert Rutherford (who has never been to my church on a Sunday morning before, and who I have not been in contact with for nearly two years) took the whole "6 Degrees of Separation" thing to a whole nother level...thanks for the confirmation...makes me wonder what's going to happen this Sunday!

TheCenturion said...

Yes and amen.

Anonymous said...

Wow, there is a lot of stuff in this chapter; really too much to absorb sufficiently for one sitting. I love the way Bishop has brought the thought into the NOW.

what really jumped out at me tonight was this verse.
26. And watch out if you're only living for the approval of others...if you're so emotionally needy that you refuse to speak your own truth for fear of repercussions. Remember...your ancestors appeased and flattered false prophets, but in the end they turned on them for not being authentic.
I cant help but think of the many pastors I have spoken with that have agreed with me in private but will not speak truth in public. (I do respect their secrecy, and never reveal their identity)


Avatar said...

My Lord, where to begin?! How about v.28..."invoke a flood of blessings". Timely imagery on 9-22-09. Makes me wonder what was in scripture like that originally. For all time though, it's a beautiful image of the over-the-top way that our Abba teaches us is His heart towards us.

Luke's Sermon on a "level place" (v.17--never noticed THAT "disagreement" with Matthew before!) and the Beatitudes...what a blessing the LITN version is to illuminate, amplify and just plain make more sense out of the enigmas of the Beatitudes.

All have a flow and a glory on them that will inspire but I especially like v.22's "’even’ consider” followed by v.23’s “yes” with it’s contextually implied “that’s right!”...

I am continually struck and awed by the importance of the inclusion of single specific words in all of GITN/BITN. That "even" makes the unattainable lists in other paraphrases seem attainable and even desirable…an ”all of heaven applauds” you-can-do-it challenge, with loving be-careful-of-the-pitfalls “woes”. Who wouldn’t want to seek THIS Kingdom?

The piece de resistance, though? Verse 27’s “door to a whole new world”…beautiful. Just beautiful.

This chapter is a simply beautiful treatise on changing the world that will beg to be read over and over instead of ignored as impossible.

Bravo, Bishop, Bravo.

karl said...


Izumi/JOY said...

I appreciate how the first verse (rubbing grain together in their hands) reminds me of sifting/winnowing.

V.2 & 3 - interesting how the Pharisees greeted Jesus and His disciples. Also, the Lord's response, sowing courtesy and compassion. (activating V.27,28,31,35,37) Pharisees overlooked hunger and Jesus redirected their focus.

V.4 is fascinating when compared to Psalm 14:4 & 53:4.

Love v.21! (..."for the gift of laughter is coming with the revelation of all that is in the kingdom.")

Anonymous said...

The good that just continues to flow out of this writing is energizing. The way this word is penned brings my attention into focus upon the promise of having an unmovable structure to rely on in the time of turbulent waters.

Just by listening and practicing what we hear from the Teacher gives us the assurrance that the structure of our life is sound.

The notion of practicing something gives the understanding that there will be effort required and a noting of that effort to increase the performance. In any practice there is a time when the first efforts begin to become easy and even seem to become effortless. During this time there is both great reward for the effort made and a sense of desire to do something more just to increase the joy.

It is not what we are in the eyes of others that matters most but it is what we do. The greatest reward to the soul is often the thing we do without anyone knowing about it other that ourselves.

Happy to be back in town again and will love being ITB.


karl cobos said...

Sometimes that ground is pretty hard that you've got to dig through first before you hit rock, but if you've got the right tools, you can do it!

Son of Zadok said...

Thinking about the knowledge of the Lord covering the Earth as the waters cover the sea. Says a lot about how much knowledge their is about the Lord. I've heard it said and mentioned here before that we cannot truly "know" God because God is not fully knowable, but we can "love" and be loved by God. That is something that rises above yes an no knowledge.
Then I think about Jesus walking on the water, on the sea of Galilee. That said something to me this week. Jesus walked on the water. To me that says that Jesus walked on a place that transcended knowledge. He was full of knowledge, but He operated at a level above it.

Just some thoughts...

Looking forward to the service tonight.

Cathedral In The Now !

Erik said...

Wed night services was excellent again. To whatever extent flows in our spirit,or how about, how much of The Spirit we drink, breathe in, .. or how about to the extent one is intoxicated with The Holy Spirit, is the degree one is at peace with all others.

The part about 'the sins you remit are remitted, and the ones retained are retained'. I always thought that was crazy talk, I mean what sane person retains sins? Every sin retained lives in us, under our own lock and key, diminishing our experience.

When one retains the sins of 'another' it is really one's own sins retained. Yick. The sin is something that is anti-thetic to ones genuine self, determined by oneself.

Remit, Love self and others as deeply, which is easier to say, Love, Remit, Engage, ....