Love, Faith & Stewardship
Sermon in Capharsalama
Yeshua and Miriam return to Capharsalama with Yeshua’s disciples. At the request of Gimiel, Yeshua gives a sermon that over two hundred people attend. As it takes place during the time of the midday meal, some people bring food, but most do not, so Yeshua asks those who have food to please give it to his disciples so they can distribute it to everyone present. The amount they gather only fills four small baskets, but after Yeshua blesses the food, there is a never-ending supply coming out of the baskets and there is enough to abundantly feed everyone in the crowd. Yeshua speaks about “obeying the law” and the “fear of God” verses the “love of God,” as well as which laws are the creations of man in the name of God and which are actually of God.
1 And it came to pass that early in the morning, after they had broken their evening fast and communed with the Earth through the Contemplative Movements, Miriam and Yeshua, accompanied by his disciples, began the journey to return to the Community of Light at the Delta of Gennesaret.
2 Martha did not journey with them but remained behind to spend more time with her parents. She made plans to bring all of their children in a fortnight, in company with Lazarus when he made his monthly trip to Tiberias to meet with the manager of the family fish business on the lake.
3 And it came to pass that Yeshua and his followers came upon the town of Capharsalama as they traveled north on the road. Seeing it in the distance, Yeshua bade everyone to stop their journey for a moment, and they listened intently as he shared the events that had occurred on the road north of the town when he and Miriam had journeyed through there previously.
4 While he was speaking to his disciples, a citizen of Capharsalama passed them on the road as he was returning to town. He was one of the men that had previously confronted Yeshua. He recognized him immediately and, without a greeting, hurried into town to alert the citizens that Yeshua had returned.
5 Seeing the startled recognition on the man’s face and his haste to arrive at the town, Cephas conjectured, “From the rudeness of that fellow, who gave not even the slightest greeting, I’d say the way is even now being prepared for a less-than-friendly welcome.”
6 The other disciples nodded in assent, but Yeshua merely smiled knowing the true intent of the citizen of Capharsalama.
7 Nor did they have to wait long to discover that intent, for within minutes, a group of at least three dozen men issued forth from the town and came down the road toward them with obvious intent.
8 “We are outnumbered and virtually weaponless,” Amram said. Looking to Yeshua, he asked, “How shall we protect ourselves if they attack us?”
9 But Yeshua was as calm as a summer morning and said unto him, “Fear not, they mean us no harm.”
10 Despite his words, the disciples were tensed for a confrontation. But as Yeshua had assured them, when the men were near, one of them opened his arms to embrace Yeshua, who returned his welcome, saying, “It is good to see you again, Gimiel. I can see from your countenance that the Celestine Light of Elohim has grown in your heart since we last met.”
11 Gimiel nodded enthusiastically and said, “So it has, good Rabbi, and also among many of the others that have come out to greet you.”
12 Yeshua gave his great warm smile and said unto him, “It gladdens my heart to know that the few seeds I planted when last I was here have taken root and grown.”
13 Then looking at the faces of the men of Capharsalama, he inquired, “But where is Ephres? I would have hoped to see him again as well.”
14 Gimiel looked down at the dirt for a moment and said, “I know not where he has gone, good Yeshua. Many of us followed your admonition and welcomed him or at least did not malign him. But some others who did not hear you speak in person still treated him with disdain and continued to threaten his life. He remained but a few days in Capharsalama after you left, and I know not what became of him.”
15 “And your kind-hearted rabbi?” Yeshua inquired.
16 “He remains still in Capharsalama,” answered Gimiel. “But I doubt he will show his face while you are in town, as you embarrassed him greatly when you were last here, showing by your teachings, words, and wit upon whom the light of Elohim truly dwelt.”
17 And it came to pass that Yeshua and the disciples mingled and spoke with the men from Capharsalama for some time, standing on the road outside of town. They introduced themselves and told of their families and their experiences with Yeshua.
18 Gimiel asked Yeshua, “Would you bless us with a sermon while you are here? For we may never again have you among us.”
19 “Of course, Gimiel,” Yeshua answered. “Let us pass through the town and you can gather those who would desire to hear my words. On the small hill north of town, I will speak at the midday.”
20 And it came to pass that upon the midday, Yeshua and his disciples sat atop the small hill and a crowd of over two hundred men, women, and children came to hear him speak. The men sat to one side and the women and children to another, as was the way of the people of Capharsalama.
21 Some had brought food with them to eat their midday meal while listening to his words, but most had not, and seeing this, Yeshua asked that those who had brought food would bring it to his disciples so that they might share it and distribute it to all.
22 Those with food came up to the hill and gave the disciples the fish, bread, vegetables, and cheese that they had brought, and it filled four small baskets.
23 Looking at the small amount of food and the large number of people, Yohhanan commented to no one in particular, “There will only be enough for each person to have maybe one or two bites.”
24 Then Yeshua came and blessed the food, saying, “Our Father and Mother in Heaven, we are grateful for this bounty and the good Earth, which has borne it. We ask your blessings upon it, that it will come forth in abundance and deliciousness, that all might be filled and nourished.”
25 He beckoned for the disciples to bring some large empty baskets, and taking a loaf of bread from one of the small baskets, he began to break it into large chunks and place them inside the larger basket. Soon the larger basket was filled, and he bade some of the men from Capharsalama to distribute it to the people.
26 Likewise, using two hands, he scooped several of the small fish from the smaller basket and placed them into the larger basket and continued to do this until the larger basket was filled to a weight that two men could carry and then bade some men from Capharsalama to make sure each person had enough for their satisfaction and to return for more if they were lacking.
27 In like manner were the vegetables and cheese distributed. And the disciples were astounded by the miracle they were witnessing as the four small baskets never diminished the food they held, even though the items from them filled several larger baskets.
28 Even among the people of Capharsalama, it became evident that there was far more food remaining after they had all eaten their fill than had been present before the first bite had been taken. And seeing this, they spoke in quiet wonder to one another and gave great attention to Yeshua as he began to speak.
29 And Yeshua said unto them, “My brothers and sisters of Capharsalama, when I was last here, I heard much about the law and what the law as recorded in the scrolls of the prophets say about the things you can and cannot do in your life. These laws are said to be from Elohim; therefore, who cannot obey them without condemnation? The penalty for disobedience, for even small things, is severe. And for greater things, death awaits.
30 Knowing a sword hangs ever over your head lest you take too many steps on the Sabbath or eat or touch something that is unclean, or (pointing to the crowd) sit men with women, does the fear of the law and the punishments therein not weigh upon you and cause you to act or not act from fear, rather than love of God?
31 I speak now as I spoke before when I came upon your town. Because I see you are very devout in keeping the law, I will speak more upon it because of my love for you.
32 Only man can craft a god that must be obeyed because of fear not love. Only man can create a god who demands actions which are contrary to common sense and God’s own interest.
33 Every person upon the Earth lives today because Elohim made alive their first ancestors in the Garden of Eden. Just as your children are a part of you, so every person who has ever walked the Earth from the descendants of the garden has a spark of God within them.
34 Every man from every country is your brother, and every woman from every country is your sister.
35 I say unto you with words of soberness that every man and woman upon the Earth is a child of God.
36 Would you kill your own children because they disobeyed you in some slight thing or even in some great thing? How about your neighbor’s children? How about the children of the Egyptians or the Romans?
37 I hope you would not. Do you think that Elohim, a God that is real and living, and not a contrived creation of men, would demand some of the children upon the Earth to kill others or would give favor to some over others, when all are children of Elohim?
38 Would a God that created all people as equal sons and daughters demand that some be sacrificed at the altar, slaughtered in war, or given as plunder to be raped and enslaved?
39 Could you separate your children and say, ‘These will find my favor, but these are to be raped, enslaved, and killed as needs be?”
40 Do you truly believe that a true and living God, creator of all that is, father and mother of all the children of men, would ever treat their children so blessed with love in creation to such a despicable and ignominious end?
41 You have heard it said that it is easier for Heaven and Earth to pass away than for the smallest of the laws to pass away. But I say unto you it is easier for a lamb to get into Heaven than for a man who obeys a law that is contrary to the very essence of Elohim.
42 Elohim is love.
43 Elohim is inspiration.
44 Elohim is fair and just.
45 Elohim is compassionate and understanding.
46 Elohim loves virtue in whomever it is found and gives no preference to one child over another for any other reason.
47 Elohim cherishes the life of all things that have been created and blesses the man that honors and protects life.
48 But men who take life without necessity for food or in self-defense bring a curse upon themselves, not from Elohim, but from their own soul, for their inner guilt cries out for the sin they have done against God.
49 Consider how you would be if you were the perfect father or the perfect mother to your children; as you would so be, even so is Elohim many times more to each of you, the children of God.
50 Nor would true laws of the true God demand the beauty of the body to be hidden. What would be the point to create the most magnificent work of art that is, the human body, only to hide it forever under great coverings of clothing?
51 If the body is not hidden but seen, there is greater incentive to honor it and honor the creator by keeping it fit and trim. But if it is forever hidden under flowing and voluminous clothing, with only the eyes and the feet to be seen, then it can be allowed to get fat and sagging, for who will know or see it to condemn the poor steward?
52 And why do you think men and women lust for one another? Is it evil as many would have you believe? Consider that it is a desire Elohim instilled in every person. How then can a gift of God be evil?
53 Is it simply to insure the race of men perpetuates as others proclaim? If that were so, then you would cease to have desires of that kind once you were beyond the age of fertility, for there would be no need for such desires. But any of you who have passed that age know of a certainty that the desire remains.
54 Verily, I declare unto you that you desire one another and can give physical pleasure to one another because that is a gift from Elohim that you might always have a source of joy and pleasure, even if you do not have a single coin or a roof over your head or food to eat; and not just any joy or pleasure, but one that fills you with a glow that lasts and a happiness that does not diminish with the waning day.
55 But in this joy, procreation does bear weight, for within the true laws of Elohim, the Great Commandment says to multiply and fill the Earth and the commandments of Sinai say to not fornicate or commit adultery.
56 Therefore, it is only in righteousness that men and women may quench the fires of their lust, only within the halo of a marriage, given before witnesses, with commitment for life.
57 Elohim gave the commandments; Elohim gave the desire that stirs the loins; and these two were given that they might be fulfilled in each other, even as the man and woman are fulfilled in one another.
58 Marriage then becomes the only resolution that honors God and fulfills the desires that stir the loins.
59 It is for children that all of this is so, that they might be born into homes of balance and light and have the best chance to grow into balance and light in their lives.
60 And it is for the parents that they might overcome their weaknesses and selfishness and make their weaknesses their strengths.
61 But never forget this total pleasure has been given to you by Elohim to enjoy, and enjoy often for all of your life.
62 Remember, the time to procreate is but a few hours in your lives; all the other days Elohim has given this great gift of pleasure and comfort and love, that you might have joy and fulfillment that is above the cares of the world.”
63 Bending his left arm and holding his chin with his hand, Yeshua looked toward the heavens and asked aloud, “Let us consider what other laws of the prophets can be revealed as merely the foolishness of men who would be kings over their brethren.
64 Certainly, circumcision must fall into this pit. Consider that if circumcision was necessary or important, the sons of men would be born from the womb already circumcised.
65 Who is man to cut up a child made in the image of God so that the child is no longer in the image of God? Why would Elohim create a child one way only to ask the child to be disfigured by men once he was born?
66 They say it is to distinguish the sons of Israel from the Gentiles and to show obedience to God, but I say unto you if that were important, the sons of Israel would have been born circumcised.
67 Verily, Elohim would ask men to cut off their own finger to show obedience before they would ask them to cut an innocent and defenseless child.
68 In my condemnation of the law, know that I do not condemn all of it for there are some parts that are reasonable and just, but they are few and the unreasonable and unjust are many.
69 Therefore, I will teach you some of the signs by which you can judge a law of Elohim from a law of men in the scrolls of the prophets.
70 If obedience to a law gives Celestine Light to your life and only light and causes the light within you to shine and to always shine, then it is of Elohim and you should give it a place in your heart and life.
71 Respect those laws which have eternal significance and bring Celestine Light to you. Cherish those laws and live them as your life.
72 Do not listen to the interpretations of men, concerning the law and the prophets, for many are the laws of man that have been said to be the laws of God but have no value in the world to come or value in the world in which you now live.
73 Verily, if it is of God, it will have eternal significance and will bring Celestine Light into your life, and if it is of man, it will have no consideration or merit for your entry into glory in Heaven and, instead, will often be onerous and not of light.
74 The ways of Elohim are simple to live and easy to understand, not convoluted and ritualistic like the ways of men and the religions of men.
75 The laws of men have no meaning in the world to come, but the laws of Elohim involve the purity of your heart and your good works in this life, and those jewels of character have great weight on the day of eternal judgment.
76 If a law is of man, it will give power to men to judge the spiritual correctness of other men, and God has not given to men to judge the spiritual worth of souls or to take life or abase the spirit of the children of God upon the Earth.
77 Nevertheless, there are some things in the traditions and the law of the prophets that are true and worthy, given for your benefit and edification; and these are easy to recognize, for they have significance both in this world and the world to come.
78 Verily, if that which is given or expected expands your spirit, or is for your health or for the strength of your family, or for building your good character, or for helping your relationships to be deeper and more fulfilling, or to increase your knowledge, and does not demean you or take away your spirit or constrain your finite time upon the Earth or hurt others and keeps balance in your life and promotes harmony and peace in your heart and among all men and women, then you may know that it is good and of God.”
79 Then Yeshua stopped speaking, and gathering his wife and his disciples, he bade the people of Capharsalama farewell, for he desired still to travel far upon this day.
80 Gimiel came to him as he prepared to leave and said, “Good Yeshua, once again my heart has been moved by the wisdom and sense of your words. May I follow you and become one of your disciples?”
81 Pointing to some of his friends, he said, “Not just me, but several of my friends would also be honored if we could walk with you wherever you go and hear more of your divine wisdom.”
82 Yeshua grasped his right forearm in a way that Gimiel also grasped his, and holding him thus, he said unto him, “My friend, you are welcome among us and any that would come as well.
83 But already I have taken my brothers here (pointing to his disciples) from their wives and families. If you would truly help build the Kingdom of God, come with your wives and children to the delta of Lake Gennesaret, where you will find a Community of Light, wherein dwells my family and the families of all of my disciples, and where I most often reside.
84 We are in need of stout men, devout women, and happy children to build up this community of God. Will you accept this important calling?”
85 Gimiel bowed his head, saying, “I cannot express the joy my heart feels. Nothing has ever felt so right. I know this is where I belong and where my family should be.”
86 And it came to pass that as Yeshua continued northward on his journey home with Miriam and his disciples from the delta, they were joined by Gimiel and his wife and children and three of his friends and their wives and children.
87 And great was the joy in Capernaum and Bethsaida upon the return of Yeshua and Miriam and the disciples to their wives and children and the joy upon meeting the people of Capharsalama who had come to join the Family of Light.