Love, Faith & Stewardship
First Sermon at Ptolemais
Yeshua sends his disciples into the city of Ptolemais to gather people for a sermon that he will give the following day in the synagogue. Over four hundred people show up, and he teaches them about longevity and the necessary lifestyle to have a long happy life upon the Earth, which includes vegetarianism, particularly raw foods, as a means of sustenance. He tells them a wonderful parable about the virtues of good stewardship, explaining that as you are a good steward of your body, the Earth, and all that is on it, God will bless you with happiness in this life and fulfillment in eternity.
1 From Sycthopolis, Yeshua and Miriam and the disciples returned to Nazareth for a night, and then journeyed to Ptolemais on the coast, where Yeshua had gone sometimes during his youth to meditate while looking over the sea and to mingle with the many foreigners in the city.
2 As they traveled, Miriam walked with him, and one time when the others were trailing far behind, she asked, “My Lord, when shall you reveal the greater secrets of the Celestine Light to the disciples you have called to follow you?”
3 Yeshua answered her, saying, “They are still like babes upon their mother’s breast. They must continue with milk before they can tolerate the substance of that which is greater. And there are others I must call, and there must be a Quorum of Twelve before I will speak of the fullness of the Celestine Light to them.
4 Many things I shall not tell them until the very last days before I depart from the world. And many things will wait for you to reveal to them once I have returned to my Father and Mother in Heaven.”
5 Miriam protested, saying, “My dear husband, you know they only tolerate me because I am your wife. When you are gone, I fear I shall have no standing with them and they will not heed my words, nor do I wish to even be upon the Earth if you are not here with me.”
6 Yeshua held her hand as they walked and kissed her lightly on the cheek, saying, “Though my body may be gone, my spirit will never leave you, and the substance of my essence will be so strong with you that it will be as if I walk beside you still.
7 It must needs be that you remain for a time after I have returned from whence I came to nurture our children and the flame of Celestine Light, for before a night has passed ere I have left the Earth, there will be many who will begin to pervert my teachings.
8 Even among my elect who hold fast to my light, there will be some who will not be able to overcome their own weaknesses and will heed you not.
9 Then will come those who never knew me, but act in my name, calling themselves my Apostles and bishops. And they will have a fanatic zeal to purge all of your words, even the record of your life from the annals of men.
10 Such as these are not worthy for the higher Celestine Light that you will offer. But those who are worthy, though their numbers will be small, will receive you with love, honor, and humility. And as marvelous as you are, the Miriam they will know then will be far more than the Miriam they know today.”
11 That evening they slept outside the walls of the city, and as the Sun rose, they entered through the east gate.
12 Yeshua sent his disciples to go into the markets, along the quays and into the streets, proclaiming his coming.
13 The disciples were diligent in their task, and many people came the following day to hear Yeshua speak during their midday break.
14 Many were interested because the disciples told them how Yeshua did not teach the same teachings of old they had heard before, but shared how to have a better life and know God as a friend.
15 And it came to pass that over four hundred people gathered at the synagogue where Yeshua had come, and he blessed them for seeking a greater light and said unto them, “Though you may have a comfortable home and a work that pays you well, if you do not have the spirit of Elohim in your heart, which is evident by your actions of kindness, selflessness, generosity, and love, you have nothing.
16 For the things of this world are here today and gone tomorrow, but the spirit of Elohim abiding in your heart and manifested in your actions gives a comfort in life that all the money of the world cannot buy and a palace in eternity greater than any Caesar can imagine.
17 Though you may think you are young and have good health, if you do not live as God has given for you to live in the food you eat and that which you drink and in the way you love the temple of your body which Elohim has built, then your end is misery in life and wretched remorse for what could have been in the world to come.
18 You have heard it said from the prophets of old that the people of ancient days lived for hundreds of years, even Methuselah, the son of Enoch, who lived for 969 years. How is it then that you know not one person who has reached one hundred years and will count yourself blessed if you live to fifty years?
19 Were the people more righteous than you in the days before? Nay, most were not, for the scriptures are ripe with the accounts of their unrighteousness.
20 But there were some who walked closer to the ways of Elohim, and they reaped many blessings, which included a long and fruitful life.
21 Think not that I speak of the law, for most of the law is of men and I have come to destroy it, not honor it.
22 But if you remember that you are a temple built by Elohim and have been given to live upon a paradise created by Elohim and you honor your temple and partake of your Eden in righteousness and respect, then all that the righteous ancients had shall be yours as well.
23 Your Eden was given to be breathed in purity, and in such your body is renewed by the very air. Therefore, do not breathe the smoke of fires or even a candle lest you destroy the renewal God has blessed you with. And let the barbaric practice of breathing the smoke of herbs to ward off evil spirits have no place in your life or within the walls of your home, for the smoke of anything is death, not life.
24 Elohim has charged you to be a steward over every living thing and over all the Earth, all of which are given for your benefit and as you have need.
25 As a good steward, you must respect your charges and never despoil a land no matter how small, without restoring it to its splendor, nor take a life no matter how insignificant, save there is no other way to sustain or protect your own.
26 Therefore, do not kill the animals or the birds to eat their flesh, for they love their life, even as you love yours.
27 Choose whenever possible to eat only those things of life that Elohim has put in your Eden to give you sustenance without taking life that would have continued for years.
28 Therefore, first eat the fruits of the trees and bushes that give you freely of their pulp that you might spread their seeds and propagate their kind.
29 If you still hunger, eat of the vegetables that give you their fruit and of the plants that wither and die each year and were therefore given to be consumed.
30 But cook them not, for then you have sustenance without life, and each bite brings you closer to your own death. Heat them only enough to enhance the life, not extinguish it.
31 If because of drought or famine or your situation at the time, you cannot be strengthened from plants alone, then eat the lower forms of life: the insects and the schooling fish of the sea.
32 And all others, you should never eat, save it be that there is no other way to save your life at the time.
33 Remember well my words. The more you eat that which still has life and is given freely without fight or resistance, the more you will be renewed to live beyond the years of men in health and wisdom.
34 Use this simple test: If the meal you desire that lives free would try to escape from you and not go meekly and quietly to your plate if it knew your intentions, then it is a life you should spare unless you have no other way to sustain your own.
35 If you domesticate animals to help you with your tasks and treat them with respect as a good steward, Elohim will show you favor. But do not eat for food those creatures which have pleasure in the company of their friends, for they are like you, only in a different kind of body, and eating them would be the same as eating your best friend.
36 Though you might have sustenance in the moment, the despair the animal you slew felt in death taints the meat with a toxin of death that brings you closer to your own grave with each bite.
37 Consider now the Sun in the sky that brings you warmth and light each day. This is the very essence of Elohim, and as such its power is greater than you can imagine. It can give you life or death depending upon your wisdom.
38 Each day, you should come into the light of the Sun. Let it shine into your closed eyes; feel its warmth upon your bare skin, for this very light of Elohim purifies your body inside and out.
39 But be wise and do not linger too long lest you get burned like the bread left too long in the oven, making that which was good become bad.
40 Consider also the water that you drink. Let it be pure without the waste of people or animals, for your body is an ocean and if you keep your water clear, your ocean will still have life long after your friends who heeded not my words have dried up and blown away with the wind.
41 Nor should water just be to drink but also to keep your body clean, and I speak not just of your hands and feet and mouth. Cleaning only those is like only cleaning the doorways of the synagogue. If you love your temple, clean all of it each day. As you care for your temple, so it shall care for you.
42 Nor should you be slothful in the use of your body. Elohim did not create your temple with all its moving parts for you to lounge around on couches, eating grapes as the Romans do.
43 Each day, consider how you can move all parts of your temples in a myriad of ways. Stretch them, strain them, challenge them, and they will become stronger and bring you health and longevity.
44 Take the path of ease and you will have comfort in the moment, but the total of your moments will be far less upon the world.
45 What of your habits? Have you considered how your traits and the way you treat yourself and others might be a great weight upon the scale of your health, life, and happiness?
46 Your actions begin with your thoughts, and if these are not pure, neither will be the actions that follow.
47 What then is a pure thought? Does that mean you cannot lust for your wife? No, it does not, for lust for your wife with love is of God, but lust for another man’s wife is impure and will shorten your days upon the Earth and lessen your reward in Heaven, even if you never act upon your thought.
48 If you say a mean and spiteful thing to your brother or sister, it will eat like a sickness in your heart and take away the days of your life. Even if you only think an evil thought of your brother or sister, but say it not, it will still be a sickness inside that consumes you.
49 Therefore, be not easily offended by the actions of others, whether they are your brother or sister, father or mother, children or friends. Be quick to smile and laugh and slow to condemn or judge and your years upon the Earth will be greatly multiplied, and each one will be a treasure.
50 If you would have the happiness of a new bride and the age of the ancients, then let your greatest habit be love. Let each thought and breath be an expression of greater love, not just for your family, but for your friends and your acquaintances and even your enemies.
51 For Elohim loves you with a love greater than the Sun, despite your weaknesses.
52 Love is the greatest fountain of life you will ever know. Therefore, let it flow from you in abundance by your thoughts and words and actions.
53 And by this, your enemies will become your friends and your friends will honor you, and your family shall cherish you, and your life will be long and full of great joy.
54 And if you love your family and friends, you will be a good steward and serve them and help them in their lives. In this, you also serve yourself, for in every good deed you do, Elohim adds to your days of joy upon the Earth.
55 Lastly, remember to have a good balance in your life.
56 Many people and duties call to you and are in need of your time. Give to all with equality, but do not neglect your own needs for contemplation and prayer and rest.
57 Your temple needs proper amounts of good food and water and air and movement. Therefore, take heed to have balance each day in these things.
58 Take heed to consider the merits of all points of view and do not pass judgment upon others simply because they are not like you, for all are children of your Father and Mother in Heaven.
59 Never forget that Elohim has taken a portion of Heaven and put it upon the Earth to be your Eden that you might live long upon the land and prosper. And so it shall be if you live your life worthy of the gifts you have been given.”
60 Then Yeshua was quiet for a moment so that his words might move within the hearts of the people. And in the eyes of some, a new light dawned, but in others, their countenance was dark for they could not abide the things Yeshua had said, which for them were not as they were inclined to live.
61 Yeshua, perceiving the thoughts of the people, said unto them, “There once was a noble man who owned much land and hired many men.
62 The Lord was a good steward over the lands and people that had been given to his dominion, and he continually looked for ways to reward his faithful workmen and to give them greater responsibilities and stewardship that they might become more than they began.
63 And it came to pass that there was one young man he greatly favored, for he had a willing heart and a quick mind.
64 Therefore, one day the Lord said to his worker, ‘Today is the day of your fulfillment. You have worked diligently and faithfully for me, and now I shall make you master of my mill and of the men who work there. It shall all be in your charge.’
65 The man was very grateful for his reward and worked even more diligently than before. He kept the mill clean and organized the work to be more efficient so that soon they were producing more flour than the mill had ever produced before, and the Lord was pleased.
66 Three years passed and the mill continued to prosper under the stewardship of the mill master, but despite his greater wealth, the man seemed to age far more than three years.
67 The Lord was concerned for him, so he went in secret to inquire in his village about the man, for he favored him and worried that he might be in some trouble.
68 In the village, he was told that since he had become master of the mill, the man thought only of his work. He neglected his wife and children. He slept little, and he came home later than all others and drank far too much wine every night.
69 Straightaway the next morning, the Lord called his mill master to him and spoke of the things he had learned. And the mill master answered, ‘It is true, my Lord. I have neglected my wife and children, because I have served you first as I knew I must.
70 It is difficult to run a mill well, for there are many things to deal with each day. When I come home, I am tired, and the wine has helped me to sleep quickly so I can be prepared to arise early and serve you again the next day.
71 Please do not be angry with me for I have only wanted to serve you well. I have been saddened to see what has become of my personal life, but I have willingly given up some pleasures that I can have others that more money can buy, that my children can have more than I had as a child.’
72 The Lord, seeing the man’s good heart, could not be angry with him, but he said unto him, ‘You have served me well, and in that I am pleased. But if in the course of your service you destroy your own life, you will steal from me the many hours of good work I could have otherwise had from you if you had cared as much for yourself and your family as you do for your work.
73 I did not ask you to lose your life because of me, but gave you your reward that you and your family might have a better life.
74 Understand, it is not from money or position that happiness comes, but from being a good steward over all that is in your charge.’
75 The mill master was confused, saying, ‘My Lord, you must know that I am a good steward. The mill has never produced as much as it does under my care.’
76 And the Lord answered, ‘I speak not of the mill for that is but one board in the wheel of your life. It is of the other boards that I speak and of the hub.
77 Your wife is a part of your wheel of great importance, and you must take the time to love her and be with her.
78 The mill can be destroyed tomorrow and it can be rebuilt, but if you destroy the love of your wife because of your neglect, it will be much more difficult to rebuild that which was lost.
79 Each of your children are also parts of your wheel, and whether they will grow strong and delightful depends upon your presence and love and example of virtue.
80 They are children for only a precious few years. If you do not cherish every moment with them and seek out time to share with them, then the Sun will set on your time together and will never rise again, for they will be children no more.
81 And your family and friends are also parts of the vitality of the wheel of your life. If you neglect them and do not listen to their problems and help them in their needs, they will turn away from you, and in your time of need, your wheel will fail for lack of support.
82 Lastly, my good mill master, you are the hub of your wheel. If you drink too much and sleep too little, if you eat poorly and do not take time to reflect and contemplate and commune with God, then your hub will become bound and you will be seized.
83 Your journey will end before its time because you were not a good steward over the things that were actually the most important.
84 If you can be such a wonderful mill master and such a good steward over the things which I have given to you, then can you not be an even greater steward over that which God has given unto you, even your very life and your wife and your children and family and friends?’
85 And the mill master fell to his knees in tears, for the truth of the Lord’s words had been like a spear into his heart. And he cried out, ‘Lord, forgive me for being a steward more over that which was least and not enough over that which was greater.
86 Give me another chance and I will be the good and faithful steward you have shown me I should be.’
87 The Lord was well pleased. He raised the mill master from his knees and bid him go home, saying, ‘I will see you at the mill tomorrow, but today I think your greater stewardship beckons.’
88 Quickly, the man returned to his wife and children, and there was great joy in their house thereafter.
89 I say unto you, be like the mill master; remember that being a good steward is pleasing to God, but it begins with honoring and caring for the temple of your own body that Elohim has given to you and then by loving your wife and nurturing your children with your time and sincere attention.
90 Verily, it matters not what success you have in the world. If you fail to care for the vessel God has given you, if you fail to give ample love and time to your wife and children, then all else you do is for naught, for your life will be unhappiness and your eternity will be emptiness.
91 But do not despair; for you are children of God, you are Children of Light. Remember who you are, let your heart go to Elohim, and it will always guide you to happiness in this life and fulfillment in eternity.”