Love, Faith & Stewardship
Second Sermon at Ptolemais
Yeshua gives another sermon in Ptolemais, and over six hundred people show up to hear him speak. He teaches them about the Temple of Forever and how to have a joyful and fulfilling life.
1 The following day, Yeshua again gave a sermon during the midday rest, and the number of people who came to hear him was greater than the previous day, numbering over six hundred, including men, women, and children.
2 Many people came early and brought food and drink with them so they could listen to his preaching while they ate their midday meal. And numerous small awnings were set up in the crowd to shade the young and old from the Sun.
3 Ptolemais was a bustling city with residents and visitors from all parts of the Mediterranean and beyond. Among those who came to hear Yeshua were both the rich and the poor, Hebrews of many persuasions and Gentiles of many lands, including a number of Romans. It was with this varied audience in mind that Yeshua chose the subjects of his sermon.
4 And Yeshua said unto them, “Is Elohim the God of the life to come or the God of the life you live?
5 Truly, Elohim is the God of both. Yet how different is the life you live from the life you expect to live in the hereafter?
6 Your life in mortality is meant to be a challenge that you may grow stronger and of more sure faith. But it is not meant to be misery, for the man who is beat down without end eventually becomes so numb from torment that he stops trying to rise to something better.
7 It is for this cause that those who unnecessarily cause pain and suffering in others, giving pain and suffering instead of compassion, will reap the evil that they sowed, seventy times seventy in the hereafter after they are weighed in the balance and found wanting.
8 So too will the man or woman who gives compassion instead of torment reap their good reward in the hereafter, seventy times seventy after they are weighed in the balance and found to have multiplied their light.
9 Nevertheless, though you may die in a moment, the hereafter seems distant and far away, even but a dream, while your challenges of today are unavoidably before you, both those you inflict upon yourself and those inflicted upon you by others.
10 But you are the master of the Celestine Light that dwells within you. If you choose to embrace the light, there is no darkness deep enough to overcome you.
11 If you choose to let the Celestine Light of Elohim fill your body, no problems in life are great enough to take away the warmth and tranquility you will feel inside.
12 Though you may be poor, you will feel rich.
13 Though you may be persecuted, you will feel peace, without anxiety.
14 Though you may hunger even for food, you will feel filled.
15 Think not that Elohim is the God only of the world to come, for it is Elohim that made the world you now live upon and everything in it, and this for your happiness, joy, and fulfillment.
16 Life becomes sour for many people only because they do not take good actions to make it sweet like honey; therefore, it spoils and becomes unpalatable.
17 Verily, I say unto you that Elohim gave you a world where life abounds that your life might have exceeding joy by being one in spirit with all the life around you.
18 Go and stare for an hour at the sea, listening to the waves lapping on the beach. Rest in your garden for an hour and quietly watch the bees gathering nectar on the flowers or the ants patiently building their nest by removing one small grain of sand at a time.
19 Take time to immerse yourself often, if only for an hour or a day, in the life of the world around you, and you will find the Celestine Light of Elohim comes alive inside of you, and your burdens become lighter and your life becomes brighter.
20 When a man becomes a man, he stops being like a child and he thinks well of himself. But in truth, when a man stops being like a child and takes life too seriously, it becomes drudgery and monotony, and his life goes from the continual pure happiness of a child to the frequent unhappiness of a man.
21 The more years of drudgery and monotony that pass, the more unhappiness builds within the man, until in his old age he becomes as shriveled as a stale dried date, with little of the soft joy remaining from his youth.
22 Does this sound like anyone you know? Perhaps even you? Have you become so caught up in being an adult that you have forgotten how to be a child?
23 Do you play with your own children, sharing in their delight at a new discovery or accomplishment?
24 You may say that you have no time for the foolishness of children. But I say unto you there is little that is as great of importance, for unless a man can easily and often become as a little child, he can in no way enter into the glory of the Kingdom of Heaven.
25 Being as a child does not throw off your responsibilities as an adult. It merely seeks a balance of stewardship to your family and stewardship to yourself of recognizing that there is a time to work and a time to play, and that the time to play, just like the time to work, comes every day, except for the Sabbath.
26 For this cause look often for occasions to celebrate. At the end of each week of work, reward yourself and your family with a special celebration, even if it is only an extra date for a dessert and a quiet hour on the beach with your family.
27 Celebrate the planting even if you are not a farmer, for you still hope for fair weather and a good crop that you may have food on your table.
28 For the same reason, celebrate the harvest; whether the bounty came from the farmers’ fields or your own plot of land, it is the blessing of life and the pleasure of good food.
29 Celebrate each full moon, even if your life has been greatly challenged during that moon, for you still live and still enjoy great blessings.
30 If the lamp of Elohim is lit inside of you, then you will always see the blessings that surround you. Your joys will be magnified in your heart, and your sorrows lessened.
31 Celebrate each birthday in your family, even if only with an orange and a day off from work, for each soul of life is a blessing, and each step you walk in life is laying the foundation for your eternity.
32 As you celebrate the lives of your loved ones, your thoughtfulness reminds them of how special they are to you, even as they will remember how wonderful you are to them.
33 As a community, look for occasions to be festive and celebrate things great and small, for sharing and rejoicing together is the glue that binds the stew pot of cultures and people, that is, Ptolemais.
34 Why do you think I speak to you of these things? It is to help you to know that God did not create you to have endless sorrow, but to have endless joy.
35 You were not born to wait for death as a blessing, merely hoping to escape life and pass to an eternal paradise. Verily, God gave you life and gave you this world that you would have joy and make it into a paradise, beginning within the walls of your own home.
36 You may be accustomed to hearing a long list of laws you must obey from your priests, but the only laws I give you today are to acknowledge God in all things and to treat your neighbor in your thoughts, words, and deeds as you would hope to be treated by them.
37 Respect and humility toward God and respect and courtesy to your neighbors are the foundations of peace on Earth and everlasting joy in Heaven.
38 But what does that mean to you who live in Ptolemais? Here your neighbor may be a Roman or a Persian or a Syrian or a Greek, all with beliefs and habits different than yours and perhaps even objectionable. Is this a cause to fight with your neighbor or just to disdain them?
39 I say unto you, do not fight them or disdain them, but accept them and respect them if they are of good character.”
40 Then Yeshua pointed to a man with a red sash far to his right at the edge of the crowd and another with a brown sash far to his left and beckoned them to stand, and he said, “Though Elohim is the one God of all the Earth and every star in the sky, there are many ways to find and know God, even as those who sit to my right see me differently than those who sit to my left; yet both see me.
41 If I were to ask these two men to come to me, they could not walk in each other’s footsteps. In truth, they would have to take very different paths. Yet both would have their eyes upon me, both would be seeking me, and in the end, I would embrace them both as they came to me.
42 Therefore, do not look to see if a person is from the same country as you or the same faith to befriend them. But look to their good character and virtue as a sure foundation worthy of friendship.
43 If they are seeking God with virtue and good character, even on a path different than yours, know with certainty that they are loved by Elohim. And if they are loved by Elohim, can you treat them any less?
44 And I say unto you that the day shall come in your lifetime when there shall be contentions among those who live in Ptolemais, and among the narrow-minded, there will be some who will incite violence against those that are not of their tribe or country or faith.
45 On that day, remember my words. If you would show devotion to God, then give only peace and solace and refuge to everyone who has virtue and good character, even as they would return it to you, regardless of the color of their skin, the language they speak, or the path they walk to God.
46 On that day, turn your back upon the instigators of intolerance; support them not. For in the eyes of Elohim, it is far better to give comfort to a man who walks a different path than you, but walks toward God with humility, honesty, and virtue than to stand against such a man and is far worse to stand with the ignorant and intolerant, simply because they are of your faith, or speak your tongue, or are from your tribe.
47 The fact that you listened to the spirit of Elohim that led you here today testifies that you are seeking something greater than you are and are seeking to become more than you have been, not in the ways of the world, but in the ways of God.
48 Remember now my words and the twelve pillars of the Temple of Forever and the capstone over all, which I give to you now in my love for you.
49 The true temple of Elohim is in a circle and no other shape, for only in a circle are all good things included in harmony and unity.
50 Though man may build a likeness to fulfill his needs for sanctuary and communion on Earth, the true temple of Elohim is not built by man, but is within man, as he lives in harmony with the spirit of God.
51 Live these pillars; rest your thoughts and your words and your deeds upon them, and they will support you in life against all that the world may bring upon you and lift you to the highest mountain in the eternity to come.
52 These are among the things God does for you, and you should do no less for yourself and your fellow men.
53 When a choice is to be made between conflict and peace . . . choose peace. Be ever willing to find the path of harmony and common ground and ever reluctant to walk down the path of discord and anger because of differences.
54 There are many pious people who consider themselves godly, but do not act in ways that are pleasing to God; who become angry when others do not walk the same path to God that they do. But I say unto you that a faith that is worthy of God is not based only upon what you believe, but even more upon that which you do.
55 Your actions are the gold of your life, which is weighed in the balance of the scale of Judgment of Resonance. And in the world to come, it will not be asked of you what you believed in life, but rather what did you do in life?
56 Therefore, do unto others as you would have them do unto you; for that which you do to others, both the good and the bad, will come back and in an equal way to you from others, both in this life and the next.
57 And when good is done to you, reciprocate it back twofold.
58 But when evil is done to you, find forgiveness in your heart; and unto the repentant, do not hesitate to forgive them in your words and your actions.
59 Laugh and play and listen and watch and wonder; be a child each day, for it is one of the secrets of perpetual joy and communion with God, and for this cause have you been created and given this world; that you might have joy in abundance.
60 Be a good steward of all that is in your care by protecting, increasing, and enhancing all that has been entrusted to you, beginning with your own life, then your family, then your brothers and sisters of light, then your community, then your world and the life of everything therein.
61 Verily, the more you serve others, the greater grows your own spirit and stature.
62 Seek knowledge every day; for ignorance is slavery and knowledge is freedom; and these enliven your soul.
63 Verily, it is easier for a man or a woman with knowledge and freedom to do good in the world than one existing in ignorance and slavery.
64 Embrace love as a star to guide your life, for more miracles are possible with love than any other power save faith. In truth, these two work together, and one without the other is but an empty cup.
65 Love yourself first, in humility and truth, for only then can you give true love to others. Such is the circle of love.
66 Love your wife or husband as you would like them to love you, for when the love within a marriage is returned, it blossoms into a fulfillment and tranquility that is equaled only by the spirit of God flowing in your heart. Such is the circle of love.
67 Love your children as the most precious jewels and show your love by giving them your time each day, which speaks more powerfully of love to them than anything you can say, and it will be returned to you multiplied many times when you are old. Such is the circle of love.
68 Love your brothers and sisters of light and remember you are all part of the family of light; therefore, their concerns are yours, and their joys should be in your heart as well.
69 Care for them in their times of need, even as they will care for you. Such is the circle of love.
70 Love your neighbors, even those who are different from you. Verily, you are all still children of God and brothers and sisters of spirit. An injury to one is an injury to all, and a blessing to one is a blessing to all. Such is the circle of love.
71 Love the animals of the wilderness and the deep waters and the fields, for when you give love even to those creatures who know you not, you gain a greater capacity to give and receive love from the people in your life that you do know. Such is the circle of love.
72 Love the plants and the mountains and the valleys and the forests and every life and place that is upon the Earth, for as you love all that Elohim has made for you, your heart opens to receive all the love that Elohim has for you. Such is the circle of love.
73 In loving all these, your kinsmen and all the world and everything therein, show gratitude to them and to Elohim, for with gratitude, you become worthy to receive all of the miracles Elohim would give to you.
74 Let it be known across the land that love is married to faith. Even in the face of great hardships and grief, do not abandon your faith in the reality and omnipotence of Elohim, for faith is the conduit to powers unseen and the channel through which all miracles flow, both the small and the great.
75 Therefore, waver not in the face of adversity, for only those who do not falter prove their faith is true and thus open the door to all the powers of Heaven.
76 Each day, choose to eat a variety of simple foods that retain life; various fruits and vegetables, sprouted bread, and sometimes a little honey for a treat. Such brings you both pleasure and health.
77 But if you were to eat only one food, such as dates, for every meal, and dates alone, you would soon become sickly and be very unhappy and disagreeable before that occurred from having to eat only dates for every meal.
78 Even as a wise man eats many different foods for happiness and health, so should you embrace balance in all of your thoughts and actions, if you desire to obtain happiness in life and true progression of your soul.
79 Too much of anything, even things which are wonderfully good, entombs a man in a grave he has dug, while moderation leads to a long life full of wonder and contentment.
80 If you nourish only one part of your life, you allow the other parts to recede, and all are needed for the journey.
81 It is fine to be a zealot for a short period of focus to gain a specific desire, but to be continually zealous to the point that reason and harmony hold no sway is to condemn yourself to contentions that trample lives that should instead be uplifted, both yours and those of whom you love.
82 But balance alone can be a false justification to squander the sands of your life, if you do not insure that virtue guides your path.
83 Elohim delights in the virtuous man and woman; virtue is the fruit of the tree of Celestine Light, and the sweetness thereof is made known to all, but tasted and savored only by the worthy.
84 Virtue is gentle and sleeps soundly at night. Virtue is faithful and kind. Virtue has patience and self-mastery. Virtue is peaceful and loving. Virtue is honest and reliable. Virtue is chaste and pure.
85 Find a virtuous man or woman, regardless of their religion or culture, and you will have found a true son or daughter of God.
86 To hold virtue in your life, you must instill it in your heart, so the habit to be virtuous becomes greater than the temptation to be unvirtuous.
87 By this, you conquer yourself; you defeat the adversary within; and in overcoming yourself, you become greater than he who conquers a city.
88 The capstone of the Temple of Forever is a golden sphere that has no beginning or end and endless mysteries to discover hidden within. It is the admonition of Elohim that all who would walk the Earth in righteousness would leave a legacy; that they might continue to uplift their brothers and sisters of spirit long after they have been freed from the bonds of mortality.
89 Even as Elohim has left you a legacy of the commandments of Sinai and the Eden of the Earth and the true teachings of the prophets, that you might become more than you began.
90 As you see God do, so do you. You cannot give commandments unto men, nor can you reveal the truths of Heaven to the prophets, but as Elohim created the Earth and everything therein, so you can create beauty and wonders which edify your brothers and sisters of spirit long after you have gone to your eternal reward.
91 As worthy, righteous, and virtuous Children of Light, true sons and daughters of God, let it be so.”