“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment ..." (Matthew 9:16-17)

“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved." (Matt. 9:16-17)

What does the parable of the 'unshrunk cloth' mean?

Many have called this a parable by Jesus, but it is really more of an analogy. The difference between a parable and an analogy is that a parable is a symbolic tale - a story of sorts. An analogy, on the other hand, is a metaphorical comparison.

Jesus is making a metaphorical comparison in this instance. He is making a comparison between wineskins and spiritual teachings.

This analogy by Jesus - spoken to the disciples of John the Baptist when they questioned Jesus' disciples' not fasting - indicates Jesus' role as the authorized prophet and representative of God ("Messiah").

Let's consider the meaning of this analogy more specifically:

"No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment"

The "patch" here represents the message of the Supreme Being - which is ever-fresh and applicable to our particular culture, time and circumstance.

The "old garment" represents the teachings of sectarian teachers that teach out of context with the time and circumstances. This was the case with the institutional temple teachers during Jesus' time - who claimed their teachings represented the Prophets and quoted them out of context with current events and issues.

Today, this would be applicable to those sectarian teachers who quote Jesus out of context to his message, and the time and circumstances of today.

What is the difference between specific and general teachings?

There are generally two types of instructions given by a spiritual teacher, not just Jesus, but John and the other Prophets as well. There are specific instructions regarding how to live our lives in current circumstances, current society and situation. Then there are general universal teachings that apply to anyone at any time.

The specific instruction may apply to a particular individual or audience at a point and time. It might be appropriate at that time and circumstance, but may not be able to be applied centuries later, during a different time, circumstance and society.

The timeless universal teaching can be applied to any time or circumstance. For example, Jesus taught his students to love the Supreme Being. This is an example of a timeless universal teaching.

Specific instructions given by a teacher can easily be misunderstood and misapplied if they are applied centuries later.

Timeless universal teachings from ancient times can be applied in later centuries. 

This means that one must be able to distinguish between an ancient teacher's specific instructions and their universal teachings.

This is the topic of Jesus' analogy of sewing a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment:

The specific instruction misapplied centuries later is being symbolized by Jesus as like a "patch" pulling away from an old "garment." The specific outdated instruction will not apply to the current situation. Thus it can be seen as "making the tear worse."

This applies similarly in Jesus' next analogy:

"Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins."

The "new wine" represents the teachings of God's representative that can be applied in the current time and circumstances. And the "new wineskins" represent the physical vessel - the current representative of God who speaks in contemporary language to a particular time and circumstance.

Jesus is responding to the fact that the specific instructions of a former teacher - remember Jesus is speaking to John the Baptist's disciples - may not be applicable to the current condition - time and circumstance - of the audiences and students Jesus was teaching.

For this reason, the Supreme Being periodically sends His representatives to teach us in different times and circumstances. They may, or likely not, be obvious to the general public. This is because God specifically steers those who are serious to those He sends to earth. Jesus stated this clearly:
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them ..." (John 6:44)
We can see that Jesus also applied this by the preaching efforts of many of Jesus' disciples who became teachers after Jesus left the planet. Those that did took on the role of representative of God. This is why Jesus sent them out to preach:
"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." (Matt. 28:19-20)
Furthermore, Jesus acknowledges that before him came many Prophets, who also were representatives of God. This includes John the Baptist.

It is obvious from this question by John's disciples and the above statements that the holiday that John’s disciples and the Pharisees were observing commemorated a particular Prophet from the past. To honor a past Prophet’s day with fasting was a tradition for thousands of years in ancient times, as documented in various scriptures.

This also illustrates an accepted lineage of teachers - accepted by John the Baptist, the Pharisees, and Jesus himself. This is why Jesus often quoted the teachings of the Prophets.

"No, they pour new wine into new wineskins..."

God uses a living person who is surrendered to Him to communicate to us his message with words and example. We can see this by the many practical teachings made by God's representatives throughout the ages. We can also see that in each era, those teachings were applicable to the customs and the circumstances of that particular society.

While the same overall message can be received from these messages - to love and serve the Supreme Being - specific practical instructions may not apply to a later society and culture.

Assuming a person can distinguish between specific instructions and timeless universal instructions, we can follow the ancient teachers including Jesus in terms of guiding our lives. But attempting to apply specific instructions from 2,000 years ago today can cause confusion and misunderstanding.

What does the wineskins becoming 'ruined' mean?

Many from different sects around the world teach that their particular Prophet or Saint is the only real messenger of God. This may seem loyal, but it is an offense - not only to the Supreme Being's ability to have and send His other servants to save us - but also to those many servants who made a sacrifice coming here to the physical world to help bring us home in different times and places.

The culture and society of Jesus’ time was dramatically different from what prevailed when Moses or Abraham lived thousands of years earlier. The environment, customs and daily circumstances were entirely different. Yet each was able to spiritually elevate those students who followed them - bringing them closer to the Supreme Being.

This analogy of the "ruining" of the "wineskins") that Jesus was speaking of, has also happened with respect to the use and interpretations of Jesus' teachings today. This comes as a result of political manipulation by ecclesiastical organizations who want to utilize Jesus' teachings to bolster the strength of their institutions and their quest for power and followers.

This was predicted by Jesus - who gave this clear answer:
“Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matt. 7:22)
Jesus is stating the bottom line here. Having a relationship with the Supreme Being is the goal. (Doing someone else's will requires knowing what that will is - and that requires a relationship.)

Jesus came to teach us - in words and actions - how to love God and do God’s will. And he was willing to suffer to underscore the importance of those teachings. He put aside his own physical comfort in order to serve the Supreme Being, and show us the ultimate love and sacrifice in that service.

But imitation is not the same as service. Service means understanding what the Supreme Being wants us to do now.

Through dedication, commitment, praise, prayer and making offerings to God - all universal teachings, we can connect with God. Gradually, we can change our consciousness from self-centeredness to God-centeredness: We can gradually develop our own personal relationship with the Supreme Being, and make Him the center of our lives.

As this takes place, He opens up more to us, and we begin to know Him more. As we come to know Him more, our love for Him can begin to blossom.

Developing this relationship with God is precisely what Jesus illustrated to us with both his teachings and his ultimate sacrifice. This is why he prayed to God:
“My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may Your will be done.” (Matt. 26:42)

“Take heart, daughter, your faith has healed you.” (Matthew 9:22)

Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples. Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment. (Matt. 9:19-22)

What does Jesus mean by 'faith'?

The word "faith" in this verse is translated from the Greek word πίστις or pistis. πίστις means, "the character of one who can be relied on" according to the lexicon. Thus, being faithful within this context is referring to trust. Being faithful means having complete confidence. Being faithful means relying not upon the temporary trappings of the physical world, but relying solely upon God.

This situation and statement by Jesus indicates that the key requirement of Jesus’ healings was reliance upon God. Jesus simply wanted to teach those around him to trust and rely on God. The message of Jesus was not about his power to heal. Jesus wasn't trying to prove he was great.

Rather, Jesus' healings were meant to demonstrate our need to rely upon God.

Jesus drew his power from the Supreme Being. This is confirmed by many statements, including:
"By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but Him who sent me." (John 5:30)
"By myself I can do nothing" reveals the source of Jesus' ability to heal others. It also reveals why Jesus stated that the woman's "faith" - or trust in the Supreme Being - healed her.

Not only was Jesus' power to heal coming from the Supreme Being. His entire life was focused upon doing what the Supreme Being wanted. Jesus was focused upon pleasing God:
"My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will." (Matt. 26:39)
Jesus' intention to do God's will and not his own will illustrates - what?

Why should we rely upon God?

Jesus' teachings indicate clearly that the Supreme Being is not a vague force or burning bush. He is a Person - albeit the most powerful, beautiful, gracious, intelligent and loving Person.

And this is why Jesus was also promoting the notion of coming to rely upon - trust - the Supreme Being: Because He is trustworthy.

Typically when we put our love upon the forms of this physical world those forms at some point abandon us. We might put our love upon an institution but the institution breaks up. Or we might put our love upon our family, but the family members die. Or we put our love upon our children but the children grow old enough to leave. Or we might put our love upon a spouse only to have our spouse die at some point or divorce us.

So we cannot really trust - rely upon - the temporary forms of this physical world. While most might be good-intentioned, every form of this world - every body - will die. Or that person might leave us before that time.

But we can rely upon the Supreme Being. He is eternal and always with us. He never abandons us - even if we abandon Him.

And that is precisely why we are in the physical world, seemingly away from Him. Because we rejected the Supreme Being and our relationship with Him.

So the Supreme Being set up this physical world - for those who do not want to love Him or serve Him. This is confirmed in Genesis:
The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. (Genesis 3:21)
Our physical bodies, and the identities associated with them, are "garments of skin." They are temporary coverings of our spirit-persons. This coincided with the Supreme Being tossing us out of the spiritual realm (Garden of Eden).
So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground (Genesis 3:23).
Furthermore, God set up the physical world to be a place where we cannot see Him with these physical eyes - unless God specifically arranges it. This allows us the ability not to have to face God.

Are we hiding from God?

Within this physical world, we can pretend to hide from God. We can pretend He does not exist. Although it is not possible to really hide from God, we are given the opportunity to ignore Him. This gives us the ultimate freedom to choose to be with Him or not.

After all, if the Supreme Being was visible to our physical eyes, how could we choose to ignore Him?

In other words, the world is set up so that we have the freedom to choose whether we want to love God or not - because love by definition requires freedom. We can instead focus our love upon ourselves, and those temporary material assets like money, family, wealth, prestige, power, and so on.

Or we can decide that we want to have a relationship with the Supreme Being.

Not only does this temporary world give us the freedom to choose God or not, but this world is set up to test our faith should we take some initial steps towards Him. Why?

The Supreme Being does not want us to choose Him whimsically. He wants us to be serious about Him. Therefore, for those who make some effort to know Him, He has created various barriers (illusions of potential material happiness) in order to test us. This is because He wants us to be sincere.

Any relationship requires sincerity. If a boy whimsically asks a girlfriend to marry her without being serious, would the girl immediately say yes? Only a stupid girl would marry a boy who was not serious.

And what would the girl do if she wanted to marry the boy but also knew he wasn't serious? She would probably begin to test his sincerity in the hopes that he would realize his lack of seriousness and become more serious.

This is precisely what the Supreme Being does. His physical world tests our faith by throwing all kinds of doubts and temptations at us. He also continues to hide from us, revealing Himself only when we become serious, and sincere.

This testing of the seriousness of our trust in God is precisely why modern scientists come up with the theories about how the universe was created by accident. It is the Supreme Being who gives those who don't want to be with Him the means to deny His existence.

Certainly, if the Supreme Being wanted to force us to acknowledge Him and serve Him He could.

But He doesn't, because He enjoys loving relationships - not slavery.

This is why Jesus stated:
“ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment.” (Matt. 22:37-38)

“Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.” (Matthew 9:24)

Here is the situation:
While he was saying this, a synagogue leader came and knelt before him and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.” (Matt. 9:18-19)

When Jesus entered the synagogue leader’s house and saw the noisy crowd and people playing pipes, he said, “Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him. After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up.
(Matt. 9:23-25)

Why did Jesus heal the girl?

And why didn't Jesus just heal everyone?

The healing of the girl was not Jesus’ mission. If it was, Jesus would have set up hospitals. He would have become a doctor or mass healer and had everyone line up so he could touch and heal everyone.

Rather, Jesus spent most of his time preaching. And his healings were done selectively at critical moments in his ministry.

As for the premise that Jesus was just having mercy on people - this is not necessarily wrong but it is not complete. If Jesus' purpose of healing this girl and a few others were strictly due to mercy, why didn't he heal everyone who was sick? Why did he focus on healing this daughter of a synagogue leader? Did he have more mercy on this girl than on others?

This element of selective mercy poses a challenge to the assumption of many that Jesus' purpose is about healing people's bodies. This proposition has actually been taken advantage of by some to attract followers by virtue of promising to heal everyone via Jesus.

But Jesus predicted this and disavowed this focus on miracles:
“Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?" Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!" (Matthew 7:22-23)
This relates to motive. If someone is trying to perform miracles by using Jesus for their own personal prestige, that is condemned by Jesus.

So why didn't Jesus heal everyone? Certainly, his healing abilities had no restrictions. He could have healed everyone. Why did Jesus leave so many unhealed?

First, because suffering is part of our temporary physical experience, aimed to teach us and provide consequences for our previous activities.

And second, because Jesus and God had another purpose in mind:

His healings brought attention to his teachings.

Today there are many ways to broadcast information to the masses, including television, radio and the internet. These mediums did not exist during Jesus' time. During Jesus' time, word of mouth was the central means of broadcasting.

This event illustrated that Jesus and the Supreme Being utilized this to help spread Jesus' teachings by attracting people - even into the future as we are today:
News of this spread through all that region. (Matt. 9:26)
This indicates that his healings brought Jesus attention from the masses.

And what was the essence of his teachings? When Jesus was asked what the most important commandment was, he answered:
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. This is the more important commandment." (Mark. 22:27-28)

“Do you believe that I am able to do this?” (Matthew 9:28)

Jesus asked this question of two blind men who followed Jesus and called out to him:
“Have mercy on us, Son of David!” (Matt. 9:27)
After Jesus went inside a building they followed him in, and this is where Jesus confronted them with the above question:
“Do you believe that I am able to do this?” (Matthew 9:28)
"Yes, Lord," they replied. (Matt. 9:28)

Why did Jesus ask them this?

Jesus was most interested in knowing that they were relying upon the Supreme Being. To trust Jesus is to trust the Supreme Being according to the teachings of Jesus.

That's because Jesus is representing God. He is God's ambassador. As God's emissary, Jesus wants to know if they are trusting in the Supreme Being and not just pretending so they can be healed.

How was Jesus the 'son of David'?

One of the essential points of this exchange is that the blind men greeted Jesus as the “Son of David.”

But we know that David was not literally Jesus’ father. We know that David lived about a thousand years before Jesus’ time - his life is put at around 1040 BC to 970 BC. So how could Jesus be David's son?

Yes, Matthew gives a genealogy connecting Jesus’ ancestry to King David. But this hardly makes Jesus David’s son. That might make David a distant relative of Jesus, but this is kind of relationship is not described as being someone's son.

Furthermore, there are issues with the genealogy in Matthew, making the conclusion that Jesus is David's son even more problematic.

The first problem is that according to New Testament texts and their translations, Mary was a virgin. This would mean that Joseph did not father Jesus. If we accept that Joseph did not father Jesus we cannot accept that Jesus' physical body is in line with David's family according to Matthew 1:1-16.

And yet, two verses later, it states in Matthew:
This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. (Matt. 1:18)
And yet Matthew 1:1 still states, before it lists the fathers and sons supposedly leading up to Jesus:
This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham. (Matt. 1:1)
So how could Jesus be the "son of David" who was the "son of Abraham" if Joseph - the son of Jacob the son of Matthan the son of Eleazar and so on up to Abraham according to Matthew 1:1-16 - was not the father of Jesus' physical body?

What was Jesus' lineage?

Furthermore, the lineage detailed in Matthew 1:1-18 is completely different than the lineage detailed in Luke 3:23-38. This genealogy starts backward from Joseph:
Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph, the son of Heli, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melki, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, (Luke 3:23-25)
This lineage continues not just back to Abraham, but also to Adam. The problem is that the genealogy is completely different between Joseph and Abraham. Consider just the portion of the lineage right before Joseph according to the Book of Matthew:
Zerubbabel the father of Abihud, Abihud the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor, Azor the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Akim, Akim the father of Elihud, Elihud the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph (Matt. 1:13-16)
This says that Jacob is Joseph's father, but in Luke it says that Heli is Joseph's father. The Book of Matthew says that Matthan is Joseph's grandfather and Eleazar is his great-grandfather while Luke says that Matthat is Joseph's grandfather and Levi is his great-grandfather.

The contradiction between the genealogies of Luke and Matthew doesn't stop there. The genealogy is completely different all the way through to David. In Matthew, Joseph is in line with David's son Solomon while in Luke, Joseph is in line with David's son Nathan. And there are other differences as well between the two genealogies.

So they are completely different genealogies to Joseph, and Joseph was not even the father of Jesus' physical body according to the texts.

Furthermore, we find this statement in Luke's genealogy to consider as it rises up the chain to Adam:
the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God. (Luke 3:38)
So rather than Jesus being the son of God, Adam is the son of God? And Jesus, who is by these texts, not Joseph's son, is the son of David - though David lived 1,000 years before?

Why is the genealogy different between Luke and Matthew?

Quite simply, Jesus has been misidentified and misunderstood by those who have managed the assembly of the ecclesiastical versions of the New Testament.

These texts have suffered from a combination of manipulation, deletion and addition over the centuries, beginning with the Latin version of the New Testament as assembled by Eusebius in the Fourth Century. Eusebius was contracted for this project by none other than the Roman Emperor Constantine.

Can you believe the irony? The same Roman government that crucified Jesus took the opportunity to assemble the life and teachings of Jesus?

Yes, it is not only irony. In fact, the manipulation of the remaining texts continued for at least 200 years by the Roman Catholic institution. There are proven instances of manipulation of these texts:

1) The dramatic exclusion of so many Scriptures such as the Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Mary, which reveals many more teachings of Jesus.

2) The addition of a variety of verses throughout the four Gospels. This includes Mark 9 through Mark 20. This entire section was added after the earliest records of Mark were recorded. Various other verses were added. A variety of single verses were added or deleted as well. Just in the Gospel of Matthew, the verses of Matt. 6:13, Matt. 16:3, Matt. 17:21, Matt. 18:11, Matt. 23:14, and Matt. 27:35 were either added altogether or added to. These and others are documented in the footnotes of the Lost Gospels of Jesus for Matthew and the other books.

3) The Romans and the Roman Catholic Church burnt all the other libraries containing other Gospels that should have been included in the New Testament. Many of these were found in the desert in the Nag Hammadi library and elsewhere. For some, copies have never been found, but we know they existed because the early Fathers quoted from them.

4) The Romans and Roman Catholic Church persecuted anyone that taught anything that was taught by Jesus and documented in other Gospels, outside the four approved by the Romans. People were systematically burnt at the stake or otherwise persecuted. This began with the disciples of Jesus, most of whom were jailed or otherwise persecuted. Peter was crucified upside down. And James was also persecuted.

5) For nearly 1,000 years, the Roman Catholic institution did not even allow the Latin Bible (Vulgate) to be publically available. The only people who could personally read the Vulgate were priests, Cardinals, Bishops, Pope and other officials of the Church. The only way a "commoner" could access the Bible was by selected readings given by Priests during their sermons.

Even today, the Roman Catholic institution will not open its library of manuscripts to the public. They say now that they plan to make some of the library digitally available, but again not to the public. They will only make it available to Biblical scholars. Who determines who is a biblical scholar? Certainly, it is the Roman Catholic institution.

Does this sound like an organization we should trust to reveal the true teachings of Jesus? Yet it is the translations and interpretations of the Roman Catholic Church that have become embedded (brainwashed) into the consciousness of practically every other sect that sprouted up in the centuries following the first releases of English and other language translations of the Bible.

Most of the early English and other language translations were translated from the Roman Catholic Latin translation (Vulgate). Thus the foundation of the King James and other early English and other language translations of the Bible is the Roman Empire's Latin translations.

Could there be another interpretation?

The critical word used in these verses is the Greek word, γένεσις (genesis). This word means “source, origin,” and “a book of one's lineage” according to the lexicon. Matthew 1:16 and 1:18 illustrate that Joseph was not Jesus’ father. This and other inconsistencies conflict with the notion of ancestry.

The Greek word γεννάω (gennaō) used here as well can mean “to father” but also, according to the lexicon, “in a Jewish sense, of one who brings others over to his way of life, to convert someone.” Such a scenario requires providing guidance and mentorship. This would indicate the list documents a heritage of spiritual teachers and mentors leading up to Jesus, indicating that his teachings had been handed down through a lineage of Teachers and Prophets.

The list may better reflect a lineage of spiritual mentors or teachers as indicated in the next verse.

The central problem is the misunderstanding relating to Jesus' relationship with the Supreme Being and the Prophets. The other part of the issue is the mistranslation and misinterpretation of the texts by those ecclesiastical scribes who did not understand the basics regarding Jesus' relationship with the Supreme Being.

A critical element relates to the translation and use of the Greek word υἱός (huios). It is clear from not only the lexicon but other uses of this word throughout the scriptures, that this word does not always mean "son" as in the male son - the physical body - of a father. Just consider these other uses of the word υἱός (huios) (in bold):
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God." (Matt. 5:9)

"But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." (Matt. 5:44-45)

"And if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges." (Matt. 12:27)

Jesus replied, "The people of this age marry and are given in marriage." (Luke 20:34)

"They are God's children, since they are children of the resurrection." (Luke 20:36)

"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a childof hell as you are." (Matt. 23:15)

"Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, he gave the right to become children of God."(John 1:12).
We can see from these translations of υἱός (huios), that the word doesn't always mean "son" as in the physical male son of a father.

Thayer's lexicon elaborates on this meaning:
Used to describe one who depends on another or is his follower 1) a pupil
and further, with respect to υἱός related to God (typically translated to "son of God"):
"Pre-eminently, as the supreme representative of God"
"those who revere God"
and the pious worshipers of God

Thus we can apply the word υἱός to the situation where a person is a follower of another - or dependent upon another. These two applications cover many of the uses above.

And in the case of Jesus being the "son of David" - we can clearly understand this is a mistranslation by those who have misunderstood the devotional relationship between Jesus and David.

This misunderstanding has missed the reality that Jesus was essentially a devoted follower of David.

In this sense, a devoted follower as in someone who is practicing the teachings of David. One who is in line with David's teachings and living those teachings.

What about the misunderstanding regarding the Messiah?

This is the same misunderstanding with respect to those who were "anointed" - which was translated in the New Testament to "messiah."

While the sectarian interpreters of the Old Testament texts would like us to think the "anointed one" relates to someone who was the king of Israel - it actually refers to someone who was a spiritual teacher - someone empowered by the Supreme Being to represent Him. This is confirmed in this statement by God:
"Bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance to the tent of meeting and wash them with water. Then dress Aaron in the sacred garments, anoint him and consecrate him so he may serve Me as priest. Bring his sons and dress them in tunics. Anoint them just as you anointed their father, so they may serve Me as priests. Their anointing will be to a priesthood that will continue throughout their generations."Anoint them just as you anointed their father, so they may serve Me as priests. Their anointing will be to a priesthood that will continue throughout their generations.” (Exodus 40:15)
This word - anoint - coming from the Hebrew word מָשַׁח (mashach) is a synonym of the Greek word Χριστός which also means "anointed". It relates directly to the empowerment of someone by the Supreme Being to be His representative:
"so they may serve me as priests"
This was Jesus' role, and he admitted this was his role:
“My teaching is not my own. It comes from the One who sent me." (John 7:16)
Jesus also said:
"For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken." (John 12:49)
These two statements - along with many others - clearly indicate that Jesus was empowered by the Supreme Being as His representative. This is Jesus' role and identity.

Is Jesus God's representative?

This does not reduce Jesus' importance. The issue is that when we are reading about Jesus' teachings and his activities, we can understand that those teachings are coming from the Supreme Being, and those actions are pleasing to the Supreme Being. This was confirmed by Jesus:
"For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of Him who sent me." (John 6:38)

"By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but Him who sent me." (John 5:30)
This specifically relates to Jesus' statement above - “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”

Jesus is not feeling that by having faith that Jesus is able to do this is only having faith in Jesus alone. Jesus is referring to the power and authority given by the Supreme Being to Jesus.

And thus believing in Jesus' abilities is believing in the Supreme Being. He said this specifically:
“Whoever believes in me does not believe in me only, but in the One who sent me." (John 12:44)
This is a central point about who Jesus was and where he gained his authority. When Jesus went to John the Baptist to be baptized, this sends the message of Jesus' authority. Jesus was not teaching on his own authority. He was clearly accepting himself a student of a teacher following and teaching the teachings of David, Abraham and Moses. Becoming a follower of John made Jesus a follower of David, Moses and Abraham.

John had also trained under a particular teacher in line with David. This tradition of teacher and student has been an honored tradition and the process for passing God's information and becoming linked up with God. 

We can also see this when Jesus taught his followers and then told them to go out and pass on his message to others - taking on their own students. In other words, Jesus wanted his students to in turn teach and take on students - which they did.

Since Jesus was also passing on the same message as John the Baptist, and John was passing down the message of his teacher, we can know that God utilizes a lineage of messengers as His representatives, in order to pass on the essence of how to return home to Him to different generations and cultures.

Therefore, the authority to represent God is not created by an election by men in an ecclesiastical-political process. It is transmitted and given via a personal relationship between the teacher and the student - and ultimately, the Supreme Being.

This defining of the position and authority of Jesus in no way diminishes Jesus’ position as our savior and master. Jesus had an intimate relationship with God: A relationship that transcends time and space. A special and deep relationship of loving service. 

Through the writings of Jesus' followers, we become aware of the teachings of Jesus. These followers - to the degree they were empowered by their relationship with the Supreme Being - became linked up with Jesus' mission, and recorded Jesus' teachings for us. It is through them that we know today that Jesus' most important instruction mirrored Moses' most important instruction:
" 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment." (Matt. 22:37-38)

“According to your faith will it be done to you.” (Matthew 9:29)

As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they replied. Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”; and their sight was restored. (Matt. 9:27-30)

What does 'according to your faith' mean?

Was he trying to show everyone that he was a successful healer with this statement? No, he was making a point about faith.

The four Gospels only reveal 27 times where Jesus healed someone or cleansed someone. This is out of thousands - if not tens or even hundreds of thousands - of people who came into contact with Jesus by attending one of his sermons or seeing him travel through a town or village.

This would mean that either Jesus' healing power was extremely limited, or healing was not his primary purpose.

Most take this "faith" in the visible - as a faith in Jesus, or the ability of Jesus to produce a healing effect. However, this interpretation would be inconsistent with Jesus’ other statements regarding who he was.

Certainly, Jesus was standing in front of these people, so they didn’t need any faith to accept his existence. He was right there in front of them.

And since he had healed other people, he didn’t need any faith in his ability to heal. There was already significant evidence for this.

The word "faith" is being translated from the Greek word πίστις (pistis). This can certainly be translated to "faith" as in "belief." But its meaning in this context is confirmed by the lexicon as "the character of one who can be relied on."

Jesus was speaking of relying upon the Supreme Being. He was speaking of trusting in God.

This trust - this reliance upon the Supreme Being, is not only why but also how Jesus healed.

Consider this clear statement by Jesus:
"Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and He will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?" (Matt. 26:53)
Jesus is clearly stating the source of his power and authority - they are coming from the Supreme Being. This also illustrates that Jesus himself was relying upon the Supreme Being.

And he was requesting that others also rely upon the Supreme Being as well.

Do we have freedom of choice?

Some postulate that our fate is sealed. Everything is planned out in advance and we have no choice over the matter. This is called predestination. Others contend everything is random and everything takes place by chance. This is called the chaos theory.

Neither of these is true. Yes, there is a design to the physical world, and there is a plan determined for each of our lives. But the physical world still allows us to have a broad range of freedom of choice.

This is because the physical world has been set up to provide a learning experience - one where we get to make choices, and then deal with the consequences of those choices.

We dwell within these temporary bodies for a period of time because of our inclination for independence from God. So God arranged a dimension and temporary vehicles - the physical body - so we could learn.

 This means that we are not these physical bodies. These bodies are coverings over our real selves.

In fact, these “garments of skin" (Genesis 3:21) were designed to shield us from our spiritual identities as children of the Supreme Being. We wanted our independence - symbolized by Adam and Eve eating the fruit. Since we wanted our independence, God gave us a dimension where we could ignore His existence for a while.

Consider what a parent might do if a child were to tell his parents in a fit of rage to get away from him. They might put the child into their room and close the door, so the child could be "on their own" for a while. As the child gets older, some parents might even build a treehouse or something in the backyard, all to give the child their own "space."

While the parents still own the house and the backyard, these facilities - the room and treehouse - give the child a sense of independence from the parents.

The Supreme Being does the same thing with this physical world. He is everywhere and He owns everything. We are also His children. There is really no way to get away from Him, but He created a virtual space where we get to feel independent from Him. This gives us the freedom to choose whether we want to be with Him or not.

This is because love requires the freedom to choose.

What will we choose?

For those who choose to love Him, He set up a way to return to Him. This path, however, is built upon trust. We must first trust in His existence despite what our physical eyes see. Though the world presents us with the possibility that He does not exist, if we trust that He exists - even going against our senses - we begin the process along the path towards returning to Him.

Think about it. Let's say we had a loving friend for many years, and suddenly that friend said they wanted to leave our friendship and get away. Because of our love for them (and pain) we would surely let them go, yes? Why would we want to stay in touch with them after they rejected us? They indicated they wanted to be away from us. Certainly, we would keep our distance, yes?

But say one day the distanced friend called us out of the blue. Would we immediately embrace them and let them back into our life after they had rejected us and told us they didn’t want anything to do with us before?

Most people would most likely be a little distant at first, and wait for them to prove they indeed wanted to return to our friendship. We might even question their sincerity. Are they sure they want to return to our relationship again? Or do they have an ulterior motive?

Certainly, there would be a warming period, where we go slow and see what is going on. Are they sincere or not? Are they committed to a relationship or will they leave again on a whim?

These are natural tendencies of relationships because relationships are universal for living beings. Why? Because our happiness is built upon relationships. Because we were created by the Supreme Being to exchange a relationship with Him. As such, the key to being happy is rekindling our relationship with God.

But just as we might want a lost friend who re-approaches us to be serious this time - the Supreme Being also wants us to be serious. This is why there is a period of testing involved as we approach the Supreme Being. It is not as if He doesn't know our intentions though. He wants us to realize our lack of seriousness. And He wants us to become more serious.

Will heaven bring us happiness?

Many institutions and teachers talk about heaven as some sort of perfect life here on earth. Some even paint the whole picture: We are sipping lemonade on lounge chairs under an umbrella in perfect weather, or floating in the clouds playing harps. Others talk about "heaven on earth” as though if we could just get rid of all the wars and hatred, we would be happy living here.

All these scenarios barely even mention the Supreme Being - and then only as sitting in judgment on a big throne somewhere or floating around nebulously. Either way, He is put in the background, out of the way.

Basically, we are looking for heaven without the Supreme Being.

However, this concept of heaven will not bring happiness. This will not solve the main problems of life: Loneliness, emptiness and a craving for pleasure.

Why do we look for our perfect mate?

We are all craving a perfect loving relationship with the perfect person. That perfect love that will fulfill us. For this reason, most of us are continually looking for that perfect mate.

However, as soon as we think we have found the perfect mate, we soon realize that they are not perfect. Then we spend the rest of the relationship working on the relationship in an attempt to make the relationship perfect. Or the relationship ends in divorce because we want to continue looking for the perfect person elsewhere. The reason we continually look for the perfect mate here on earth - and never finding it - is because we are searching for our lost relationship with the Supreme Being - the Perfect Person.

In other words, we have been separated from our original perfect relationship with the Perfect Person, God. The reason so many of us are lonely and unhappy - even when we are surrounded by so-called friends and family - is because we are without our Best Friend and our real Family.

So trusting in the Supreme Being is the first step of re-developing our relationship with Him. When we learn to rely upon God, we find that He gradually reveals Himself to us. And as we take actions to progress in our relationship with the Supreme Being He opens up more and more, allowing us to come to know Him and love Him. This is the goal of life, as communicated by Jesus:
" 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment." (Matt. 22:37-38)

“See that no one knows about this.” (Matthew 9:30)

Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”; and their sight was restored. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.” (Matt. 9:29-30)

Why did Jesus 'warn them sternly'?

The text of Matthew prefaces this statement with “Jesus warned them sternly.” (Matt. 9:30). This means that Jesus was serious about them not telling others about this healing event. Why not?

Jesus did not want to have everyone gossiping about the healing. Jesus was not into fame and recognition.

But isn’t this why Jesus healed people's bodies, one might ask? Actually, not. As we can see from this statement of Jesus, together with the previous one, Jesus was dealing with two particular people who had shown their trust in God’s ability to heal them. Thus the healing event took place between God, Jesus, and these two faithful people.

Jesus was not trying to prove to anyone his ability to heal. His focus was on the service of the Supreme Being, and as part of his service, these two men were healed of their blindness.

Why did Jesus heal people?

Jesus' intent was to bring attention to God, not himself.

But that is not what the Supreme Being wanted. Here is the next verse from Matthew:
But they went out and spread the news about him all over that region. (Matt. 9:31)
Just as the loving servant of God wants to bring attention to the Supreme Being, the Supreme Being wants to bring attention to His loving servants. Jesus confirmed this here:
“If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me." (John 8:54)
Note also that Jesus healed no more than about 27 people according to the Gospels. This is despite the fact that hundreds of people lined up to be healed wherever he traveled.

As such Jesus, being the loving servant of God, was being acclaimed across the country as a healer not because Jesus wanted the acclaim, but because the Supreme Being wanted to bring acclaim to Jesus. Why?

Because Jesus was focused upon serving God and passing out the message of God - the Teachings of the Supreme Being. Jesus confirmed this:
“My teaching is not my own. It comes from the One who sent me." (John 7:16)

What does this say about Jesus?

We might compare the situation to the ambassador of a government. While the ambassador may be a shy person, the government he or she represents will give them a special office in a special building - the embassy - in another country. 

The government the ambassador represents will also support him and promote him while he is representing the government. Why? Because the ambassador's focus is to serve the government and its people, so the ambassador's government will support those services.

This is similar with respect to God's representative, except for the fact that the position of God's loving servant is not a paid position. It is based upon a loving relationship. God's representative loves the Supreme Being and thus acts on His behalf as loving service. This is how Jesus defined himself.

Furthermore, God has the ultimate ability to empower His representative. He does not need councils and assemblies to authorize His representative. Jesus was an exemplary representative of God. He was God’s confidential servant. Jesus sacrificed his entire life and existence to please the Supreme Being:

He confirmed this in this statement:
“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work." (John 4:34)

“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. ...” (Matthew 9:37-38)

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." (Matthew 9:37-38)

What does Jesus mean by this parable?

This statement was made by Jesus directly to his disciples, as Jesus was seeing large crowds gathering to hear his lectures.

Prior to his statement, Matthew states:
Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. (Matt. 9:35-36)
This clarifies that Jesus' focus was on teaching people. Jesus' intent was to teach them about the Supreme Being. He wanted to introduce them to God. He wanted God to be their "Shepherd."

This metaphorical statement by Jesus regarding the harvest is very clear. Jesus is recognizing that people needed to hear his message, and it was his teachings that had the ability to save them.

Furthermore, Jesus recognized that he could not physically teach everyone directly, but needed his students and disciples to also reach out to people and preach. This is the meaning of his statement:
" Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field.”
This indicates that Jesus is enlisting others to help him preach his message.

And this also indicates that Jesus is not considering himself the "Lord of the Harvest." He recognizes that the Supreme Being is the Lord of the Harvest. This is confirmed elsewhere by Jesus:
“My teaching is not my own. It comes from the One who sent me." (John 7:16)
This illustrates, together with Jesus' statement above that Jesus sees himself a "worker" and is trying to enlist others. Jesus confirmed himself in this way elsewhere:
"As long as it is day, we must do the works of Him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work." (John 9:4)

Who are the 'workers'?

Jesus says, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few." Who are the workers?

The phrase, "we must do the works of Him who sent me" clearly indicates that Jesus included himself as a "worker" - doing the "works of Him who sent" Jesus.

But we also must notice that speaks of "workers" in the plural too. Jesus also says, "we" here. This means that Jesus is a "worker," and his followers are also "workers."

Note also that Jesus is illustrating that the Supreme Being empowers those who teach on His behalf. This is confirmed with his statement, "Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers..."

Why couldn't Jesus 'send out workers' himself?

Because Jesus knows that only the Supreme Being can empower His representative. God's representative will always pass along the teachings of those previous representatives of God. But only God can truly empower His representative.

This also means that councils of cardinals or deacons or any other group of people or person cannot choose or empower God's representative. It is not a position that is chosen by men - or councils of cardinals or deacons. And as Jesus shows here, it is not even a position that can be chosen by Jesus.

It is a position that can only be chosen by the Supreme Being.

Because so many of today's ecclesiastical institutions and their teachers do not represent the Supreme Being, they do not realize that Jesus is representing God. They do not even see God as an individual person, let alone someone who can choose who represents Him. They see God as some sort of nebulous force or combination of forces. In other words, they do not know the Person God.

Jesus spoke of this regarding the temple institution and their teachers:
"Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own authority, but He who sent me is true. You do not know Him, but I know Him because I am from Him and He sent me." (John 7:28-29)
"You do not know Him" is a clear statement. To "know" someone means that someone exists as an independent person. While many have tried to cloud Jesus' clear statement here by taking the phrase "I am from Him" out of context, Jesus is clearly stating that not only is the Supreme Being an individual separate from Jesus - someone who Jesus knows and they don't know - but that individual person - the Supreme Being - sent Jesus. And Jesus states, "I know Him."

This means there are two individuals being spoken of by Jesus: himself and the Supreme Being. Jesus is the knower of the Supreme Being while the Supreme Being is the person who is known by Jesus. And the Supreme Being is the sender and Jesus is the person being sent.

Furthermore, Jesus stated that his authority was given to him by God: "I am not here on my own authority, but He who sent me is true."

But isn't Jesus God?

To confuse Jesus and the Supreme Being - as though Jesus is the Supreme Being - is to completely ignore the existence of the Supreme Being. This is an offense not only against the Supreme Being but against Jesus - His perfect loving servant.

And this is what Jesus was railing against above and with this statement:
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." (Matt. 7:21)
The form of empowerment being spoken of by Jesus with "Ask the Lord... to send out workers" is diametrically opposed to the process of appointment taking place in today's sectarian institutions with respect to their teachers. Here teachers are being chosen by councils of men who think that they can choose who will represent the Supreme Being. Do they even know the Supreme Being?

No. Their criteria are based upon the person's resume and political savvy. Their intention is to attract followers to their institutions, so they pick their popes and priests accordingly.

As such, those who have been appointed to these posts do not represent God. They represent the groups who selected them.

Not even Jesus felt qualified to select God's representative. While God's representative will teach to everyone, only the Supreme Being can empower His representative to teach to others:
"Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field.”
Notice that this has nothing to do with anyone dying for their sins. Jesus was wanting to save these people, not by dying for them, but by teaching to them. This teaching of the Truth and the bringing of people back to God was the "harvest" Jesus mentions in his statement.

After all, if simply dying would save us, then why would Jesus bother to teach at all?

“Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. ..." (Matthew 10:5-10)

“Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, preach this message: The kingdom of heaven is near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out the demons. Freely you have received, freely give. Do not take along any gold or silver or copper in your belts; take no bag for the journey, or extra tunic, or sandals or a staff; for the worker is worth his keep." (Matt. 10:5-10)

Why didn't Jesus want them to preach to Gentiles and Samaritans?

Jesus is giving specific instructions to his students according to a particular time and circumstance. The context of those teachings was founded upon the teachings of the Prophets.

Jesus is sending them out to teach the message of love for the Supreme Being to a specific group of people. He is also passing on the teachings of John the Baptist. How do we know this?

Consider these prior verses:
In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." (Matt. 3:2)
From that time on [after Jesus had heard of John's imprisonment] Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." (Matt. 4:17)
And now we find in this verse above that Jesus was telling his own disciples to carry on that same teaching:
"As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near.’"
These verses indicate that Jesus did not make up his teachings. Once his own teacher - John the Baptist - was imprisoned, Jesus carried on those teachings and asked his own followers to do so as well.

This is the tradition of all the prophets and messengers of God. They each became the student of a teacher, taught those teachings, and then told their students to pass on those teachings.

One might ask why the Gentiles or Samaritans were not to be taught. To answer this we must understand that Jesus is asking his students to teach a particular message to a particular people. It is not as if Jesus’ mercy and teachings are not to be spread to anyone and everyone.

Rather, this is a testament to the fact that particular messages are given at particular times to particular people. For example, a college professor would have an altogether different set of instructions to a college class than a kindergarten teacher would have for a class of kindergartners. The two teachers have the same goal in mind - to teach the children. But their specific information is tailored to the age, maturity and education level of the students.

In the time of Jesus, the people of Judea generally had access to a collection of knowledge that had been handed down from the great prophets such as Abraham and Moses. As such, teaching specifically to that segment of society had to be altogether different than the teachings Jesus would have for Gentiles and Samaritans. This is not to say that Jesus did not teach to the Gentiles and Samaritans - he certainly did, as evidenced in other verses.

As for the specific instructions he gave them to teach the people, “The kingdom of heaven is near;” the interpretation that this is an 'end of the world' statement was put forth by politically-oriented institutions to help create a false sense of urgency among the population. This is an attempt to scare people into joining their institution.

This 'end of the world' interpretation grew out of the Fourth Century's First Council of Nicaea - organized by the Roman Emperor Constantine to politically organize and control the Christian world. This manipulation continued through the Second Council of Ephesus in 449 put together by the Roman Emperor Theodosius II, which led to the creation of the Roman Catholic Church.

The manipulation of information by the Roman Empire continued through the centuries by the Roman Catholic institution - often called the Holy Roman Empire.

As a result, for many centuries, sectarian teachers claiming to follow Jesus have consistently preached that the world is coming to an end based upon this statement by Jesus. (See this page for a partial list.) In each generation, different “signs” have been used together with various quotes of different books within the Bible to offer proof that the world will end next year or even tomorrow.

So many centuries have passed, and still the world has not come to an end. Yet these 'false prophets' are still teaching that the world is coming to an end on a particular date. At what point will we figure out that this interpretation is wrong?

What does the 'kingdom of heaven is near' mean?

The correct interpretation of "The kingdom of heaven is near" is quite different: The Greek word used is ἐγγίζω, which means, according to the Greek lexicon:
1) to bring near, to join one thing to another
2) to draw or come near to, to approach

Near is not a time element: Near is an element of distance.

Near means 'close by.' For each of us, the kingdom of heaven is truly near. For Israelites who had been taught strict adherence to the scriptures, we might say the kingdom of heaven was especially near, because they had access to the scriptures and the teachings of the prophets. They simply had to understand those teachings, and apply them within their hearts. They had to simply realize, as Jesus and Moses taught, that love for God is the “first and foremost commandment.” (Matt. 22:38)

More importantly, the Supreme Being in His expansion as the Holy Ghost is right next to each of us: He is truly near.

What does 'kingdom' mean?

The word "kingdom" is being translated from the Greek word βασιλεία (basileia) - which means, according to the lexicon, "royal power, kingship, dominion, rule" and "not to be confused with an actual kingdom but rather the right or authority to rule over a kingdom." In other words, the word refers to accepting the dominion and power of the Supreme Being. His ultimate authority.

Everything is part of God's kingdom: He owns everything and He controls everything. We can thus have a relationship with Him in whatever part of His kingdom we may reside. The "kingdom" that Jesus is referring to is the consciousness where we are devoted to Him. It is the place in our hearts where we are thinking of Him, and wanting to please Him and do His will.

The kingdom of God is so near that all we have to do is make a decision. We don't have to go anywhere special. We don't have to join any special organization. We don't have to undergo any special ceremony. All we have to do is drop to our knees and ask God directly, by the grace of His representatives like Jesus and Moses, to help us re-establish our loving relationship with Him.

Aren't we in the kingdom of God now?

The physical world is that place where He sends those souls who have rejected Him and have become envious of Him. Each of us living in this physical dimension have decided to reject God at some point. This is the symbolism of Adam's eating of the tree of knowledge in the garden of Eden. Adam (like each of us) rejected God's request not to eat of the fruit. What was that fruit? The fruit is envy - where we wanted to know what it was like to enjoy and be in control like God ("like one of Us, knowing good and evil" Gen. 3:22).

So in this section of God’s kingdom - within the gross physical world - most of us wholly disregard God. We got our wish. We now have the illusion of control - over our physical possessions, our children, our pet, our employees and so on. Yet this is just the illusion of control. We don't really control these people or animals. We just like to think we do.

Indeed, most of us currently seek more control in the form of fame, wealth and a powerful position. We want to be the CEOs, the presidents, the bosses, the judges - and so on. We want to dominate and control others, because we are at heart jealous of the Supreme Being's control.

We are seeking, in fact, the Supreme Being's position. In other words, we are aspiring to gain the position of God. This is the manifestation of our enviousness of God and why we were thrown out of the spiritual dimension (So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden... Gen. 3:23).

Are we all God?

Today there are so-called ‘religious organizations’ that manipulate the teachings of Jesus to proclaim that we are each God. This is the epitome of our envy of the Supreme Being. They are proclaiming that we are all God but we forgot, and now they will teach us to remember we are God.

As if God can forget He is God. This is how far away from God some of us in the physical world have come. We want to enjoy the world as though we were God, and bend His scriptures to accommodate our goal.

So even though we might still be located within the kingdom of God - because everything is within God's kingdom - we are in fact not within His personal kingdom when it comes to our consciousness. We are located outside the personal kingdom of love for God, which is the true kingdom of God.

In the kingdom of love for God, the residents are all concerned about God's happiness. They are concerned about others' happiness. We don't have to imagine such a world, as John Lennon sang. It does exist. We just are not in it because we are self-centered instead of being God-centered.

This is the kingdom that Jesus is referring to as near. This kingdom is ridiculously "near." It is as near as each of us making a decision to change. It is as near as a simple, heartfelt, and apologetic prayer asking forgiveness and offering ourselves to the Supreme Being. It is as near as the ground, where we can place our head and ask the Supreme Being - our Best Friend - if He will take us back, and teach us to love and serve Him again. Jesus illustrated how to do this:
Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as You will." (Matt. 26:39)
This simple key opens God’s personal kingdom to us. This is how near His kingdom is.

Can we depend on God?

We don't need to pretend to be God in order to become empowered. We can simply pledge ourselves, personally and internally, to the Supreme Being. We can become an associate of God's by asking God what we can do to serve Him and please Him.

This is clearly what gave Jesus his power and authority, and what he taught his followers to do.

As for Jesus telling his students to heal the sick, cast out demons, and travel without clothes and money, these are the tools Jesus gave his disciples in order for them to depend upon the Supreme Being and illustrate to others that they can depend upon God.

This is the pure message of Jesus’ instruction: Have complete trust in God and rely upon Him, and give our lives to Him because He is our Ultimate Savior, and He is near - He is readily available to us should we decide to return to Him.

"Whatever town or village you enter, search for some worthy person ..." (Matthew 10:11-15)

"Whatever town or village you enter, search for some worthy person there and stay at his house until you leave. As you enter the home, give it your greeting. If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town." (Matthew 10:11-15)

Why does Jesus tell them to do these things as they preach?

Here Jesus is giving specific instructions to his disciples particular for that time and circumstance.

Jesus touched upon the possibility that no one in an entire town will listen to them. During that time, as still true today, the message of love for God does not interest many. This is because most of us feel we are the most important person. We don't want to love and worship God.

Most of us want to be the master. We don't want to accept that someone else is our master. 

Most might believe in God only if He serves us. So we pray to Him only when we want stuff - as if God is our servant.

Jesus' message is clear: If someone rejected those teachings, it was their loss. This is the situation with every messenger who has been empowered by God to pass on the teachings of love of God. We can accept them or not. No one is forced to turn to the Supreme Being and give their love to Him.

This is the nature of love. Love requires freedom. So the Supreme Being gave each of us the freedom to love Him or not. Those of us who chose not to love Him were sent to the physical world and given temporary physical bodies to allow us the illusion of getting away from Him and acting independently.

We can also see from his statements that Jesus was not trying to elevate his position of being everyone's “personal savior.” Jesus’ life was focused upon teaching a particular message. That message was love for God.

What does Jesus mean by 'peace'?

Jesus says about where they choose to stay:
"If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you."
What does this mean?

The word "peace" here is being translated from the Greek word, εἰρήνη (eirēnē). This word means, according to the lexicon, "a state of national tranquility" but also, "peace between individuals, i.e. harmony, concord" and "the blessed state of devout and upright men after death."

Jesus was not referring to peace as in a lack of war, or fighting between people. Jesus was speaking of contentment. Fulfillment. A person at peace is not seeking more. They are complete within themselves. That is because such a person has a relationship with God. They don't need anything else.

Such a state of consciousness can be communicated to others in words or actions. When someone feels complete in their relationship with God they do not need anything else from others. They do not need to use others. They can give of themselves without reservation or the need for compensation.

This is the "peace" that Jesus tried to give to his followers, and asked them to communicate this to others with action and words.

Can Jesus' teachings save us?

From Jesus' statement, we can understand that the teachings of Jesus have the power to save us.

Those empowered by councils of men - deacons, bishops and other church officials - are not given this power and authority. Why? Because a political appointment by men into a position of teacher, priest, minister, or reverend makes that person a representative of men. Not a representative of the Supreme Being.

We can see from scripture what the authorized process is. We can see that Jesus was personally baptized by John the Baptist. We can see that Jesus' disciples were personally taught by Jesus and then asked to go out and spread those teachings.

From these events we can see how empowerment actually works: It works from a foundation of relationship - devoting oneself to following the teachings of God's messenger. This is one of the key elements of Jesus' teachings.

Institutions and their officials cannot replace these personal relationships. Why? Because the Supreme Being is ultimately a person. And the Person of the Supreme Being must be introduced.

This process has been repeated over and over in the scriptures when Joshua followed Moses. When Samuel followed Eli. When David followed Samuel. And when Jesus' disciples followed Jesus.

And what is the teaching being passed on? As both Moses and Jesus taught, and every other true representative of the Supreme Being has taught, it is about having a relationship with the Supreme Being:
" 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment." (Matt. 22:37-38 and Deut. 6:5)

“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. ..." (Matthew 10:16-20)

“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. But be on your guard against men; they will hand you over to the local councils and flog you in their synagogues. On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you." (Matthew 10:16-20)

Why is Jesus warning them?

Jesus is instructing his disciples on how to go out and preach the gospel of love for God. Jesus warns them to be careful as they preach:
“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves."
This is consistent with how Jesus’ also taught. He guarded against those Pharisees and Sadducees that were trying to trick him into saying things that they could arrest him for. As is the case today among many sectarian institutions that claim to follow Jesus, they did not like anyone who was teaching anything but their interpretations of the scripture. Why is this?

Certainly, those synagogues were supposed to be places of worship in the spirit of the teachings of Moses, Abraham, Jacob, David and other great Prophets.

Why were they 'wolves'?

What had gone wrong to have Jesus warn his disciples against them being trapped and tortured by these people? Why were these men "wolves"?

It is due to envy and power. Many in paid positions of authority amongst organized religious sects are there because they desire positions of authority. They want to have others respect and worship them.

As a result, their teachings become tainted by their desires to gain and maintain a position of authority. They end up utilizing the teachings of Jesus and the Prophets for their own power and prestige instead of passing on the wisdom of these great teachers.

In other words, they are doing their will, not God's. Why else would they be so fearful of someone speaking something different than their teachings?

Why didn't Jesus take a temple priest position?

We notice that Jesus did not take a paid temple position appointed by councils of men. We find that he did speak at the Temple in various locations. But he did not accept an appointment or position with any of them.

Neither did Jesus' teacher, John the Baptist. John was very critical of the two groups of Temple officials:
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.  And do not think you can say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. (Matthew 3:7-9)
Like John, Jesus didn't want his disciples to accept such official positions either. Both of them railed against the temple officials.

Jesus further warned that because his teachings are the Truth, those who were envious and set against doing the will of the Supreme Being will find reasons to hurt them. 

Jesus is now warning his disciples that the persecution that he will face they will also face. What will happen to him and what happened to his teacher John the Baptist, may also happen to his disciples.

And surely it did. Practically every apostle of Jesus was persecuted, as were many other followers of Jesus.

Jesus is clearly warning his disciples so they could possibly prevent being persecuted. Yet at the same time, he is clear that they need to speak for the Supreme Being, and not worry about what they say. Jesus is clearly telling his disciples to speak the Truth and represent God. What may happen to them will be out of their control. But he is preparing them for the possible outcomes.

How will the 'Spirit of your Father' speak through them?

Then Jesus says:
"But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you."
This last sentence is critical, as it defines the relationship between Jesus and God. It defines how Jesus could make statements regarding his proximity to God and the oneness between himself and God.

Jesus is instructing his students to "not worry about what to say" because he wants them to allow the Supreme Being to speak through them. This is the very definition of oneness.

Jesus wants them to take refuge in God and allow the Supreme Being to speak through them. As the “Spirit of your Father” speaks through them, Jesus clarifies, “it will not be you speaking.”

And what does Jesus mean by the "Spirit of your Father" here? This same statement was recorded slightly differently in Luke:
"When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say." (Luke 12:11)
Thus we can see that Jesus is speaking of the Holy Spirit - the Supreme Being's expansion who dwells next to each of us within these physical bodies.

Jesus is explaining the process of preaching on behalf of the Supreme Being, and this also clearly explains precisely what Jesus himself did.

Did God speak through Jesus?

Through his intimate loving relationship with the Supreme Being, Jesus allowed God to speak through him. As this happens, we can say that there is a oneness between Jesus and God because they have the same will and the same words.

But this doesn't mean that Jesus is the Supreme Being. When one person speaks for another we might be listening to one person, but there are still two persons involved - the one being spoken for and the one speaking.

For example, if a country's ambassador goes to a meeting with a foreign president to carry a message from their government, the foreign head of state hears the message as if it is coming from the head of the ambassador's government. The foreign president does not think the ambassador is voicing his own personal opinion.

Yet the foreign president also doesn’t confuse the ambassador with the government or government leader they represent either. He knows the ambassador is an individual, a separate person from the president of that country. At the same time, the foreign president extends the same respect to the ambassador as he would to the president, because the ambassador is representing the president. This creates a oneness between them, but they are still two individuals.

In the same way, we can understand that the messenger of God is not the Supreme Being. We can see that there are two individuals here, just as the ambassador is not the president.

At the same time, however, we can know that the words of Jesus are the words of God because Jesus is representing God. Therefore we can respect and honor Jesus as God’s representative, knowing that he is speaking for the Supreme Being - yet is not personally the Supreme Being himself.

This is also why we find Jesus praying to God, saying:
"Abba, Father, everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will. Let the cup pass from me." (Mark 14:36)
It is obvious from this prayer that Jesus is an individual and not the Supreme Being - "Abba, Father" -capable of having his own will.

This position of being the messenger and representative of God was Jesus' role, but we also now know that Jesus taught that this would also be the role of Jesus' disciples should they also allow God to speak through them.

This confirms that the ultimate authority is coming from the Supreme Being.

This subtle yet glorious understanding regarding Jesus’ position is clear from Jesus’ other teachings:
"For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of Him who sent me." (John 6:38)

“Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child ..." (Matthew 10:21-23)

“Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. All men will hate you because of me, and he who stands firm to the end will be saved. When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes." (Matthew 10:21-23)

What is Jesus warning about?

In sending out his disciples and students to teach the message that Jesus was handing down to them, Jesus is warning them about their future persecution at the hands of the Roman and temple officials.

He is also discussing the effects of the brewing violence in the decades to come against the Judean people by the Romans, in what historians refer to as the Jewish-Roman Wars.

During those years, the Romans burned Judean towns and cities, and murdered millions of Judean citizens in Jerusalem and the surrounding towns and cities. It was a massacre of massive proportions - during which Jerusalem was burned to the ground - and the Judean people scrambled to stay alive. This sometimes pitted them against their own family members as the Romans began interrogating people, looking for rebel instigators.

Have some teachers misled us about the end of the world?

Yes. Just consider a shortlist of the many sectarian teachers who have misled their followers about their interpretation of the "second coming" of Jesus and impending apocalypse. They have been wrong for over 1,600 years:

Hilary of Poitiers: 365 AD (the date predicted as the second coming and end of time)
Saint Martin of Tours: 375 to 400 AD
Sextus Julius Africanus: 500 AD
Gerard of Poehlde: 1147 AD
John of Toledo: 1179 AD
Joachim of Fiore: 1205 AD
Pope Innocent III: 1284 AD
Melchior Hoffman: 1533 AD
Benjamin Keach (Baptist): 1689 AD
William Whitson: 1736 AD
Ann Lee (The Shakers): 1792 AD
Charles Wesley (Methodist): 1794 AD
Margaret McDonald: 1830 AD
Joseph Smith (Mormon): 1832 and 1891 AD
William Miller (Millerites): 1843 and 1844 AD
Ellen White (Seven Day Adventists): 1850, 1856 and "early 1900s" AD
Mother Shipton: 1881 AD
Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (Jehovah's Witnesses): 1914, 1915, 1918, 1920, 1925, 1941, 1975, 1994 and others more recent.

These misleading ("false prophet") predictions have continued to this day.

Why do we continue to believe these false prophets and their predictions? It is because they base their prediction on an erroneous interpretation of Jesus' statement here and elsewhere.

What does 'before the Son of Man comes' mean?

Jesus is speaking of what will come for his followers in the decades to come. We know he is talking about an event that will occur within decades, because he says, "you will not finish going through the cities of Israel ..." This is not describing an apocalypse to come thousands of years later. It is describing something that will occur for them personally, in their generation.

Indeed, this statement would make no sense unless Jesus is speaking of something that will occur within a short time from the time he is saying it. When Jesus says, "you" he is speaking to those around him. Obviously, he is speaking of events that will occur during their lifetimes.

What event will be occurring within decades that bears this appearance of Jesus? And how does this relate to his disciples completing going through all the towns of Israel? And how is it connected with the coming persecution of his disciples, which Jesus is saying that "he who stands firm to the end will be saved"? What does Jesus refer to when he says to his disciples "to the end"?

Many have proposed that Jesus is speaking of his "second coming" - construed as a time somewhere in the distant future when he will return when the end of the world comes and gather all his faithful and bring them to heaven. They usually depict Jesus arriving on the clouds - sometimes on horseback - carrying a big sword to chop everyone's heads off.

This is speculation. Jesus never described such an event. In this conversation, Jesus is speaking specifically to his disciples, as he instructs them to go out and pass on his teachings. He knows that he will soon be departing his body and returning to the spiritual world, and he wants his disciples to continue spreading his teachings. Remember that just before this he says:
"But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you." (Matt. 10:19-20)
So Jesus is instructing his disciples how to deal with the coming events they will each directly deal with as they speak on God's behalf.

The word "comes" is being translated from the Greek word ἔρχομαι (erchomai). This word can mean "to come" or "to appear" when used in a practical, physical sense according to the lexicon. But when used metaphorically as Jesus is speaking, it can mean "find place or influence" and to "be established."

Jesus is not speaking to people thousands of years into the future as some would like to imagine. Rather, he is speaking of something that would happen in the coming decades, as the Romans slaughter the Judeans.

Jesus is telling them that his teachings and influence will become established and will arise as things get heavy with the Romans. As they scramble for survival, they will take refuge in Jesus' teachings. His teachings will provide them with refuge, and a pathway back home at the time of death.

Was Jesus speaking of their time of death?

Jesus is telling them that his teachings and influence will become increasingly established. As they teach, and later scramble for survival, they will increasingly take refuge in Jesus' teachings. His teachings will provide them with refuge, and a pathway to God at the time of death.

The phrase "the Son of Man comes" is better translated to "the Servant of Humanity will arise." (Here is an explanation of the translation to "servant of humanity")

Jesus is speaking of both possibilities with this metaphorical reference. If they survive, he will provide them with the solace of his teachings. But if they are killed, he will be there for them at their time of death - as he will escort them back to the spiritual realm.

In modern language, we often use a similar type of metaphor. We may say, "your time will come" when something will happen to them that they deserve. Or one may say, "when the opportunities arise." In either case, what will transpire in the future is conceptual. It is related to influence or occurrences in the future.

Remember that Jesus says before this, "All men will hate you because of me." In other words, he is telling them that if they stand firm in their conviction to Jesus' teachings, even though they will be hated and persecuted because of it, he will be there for them. This can happen as they withstand persecution or at their time of death if they get killed. In either case, Jesus will be effectively saving them.

Jesus' statement is connecting their coming persecution to his teachings providing refuge to them "in the end" when he says, "When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another."

What does Jesus mean by 'in the end'?

Yet they will not be able to "flee" "in the end." What does this mean? This means their body will eventually be killed.

In this way, Jesus is specifically connected with their persecution and potentially death at the hands of those who "hate you because of me."

Instead of simply saying they will be killed, he uses the word "arise." Why?

Jesus did not teach that when the body dies, it is all over.

He also did not teach that we would wait around in some imaginary purgatory state for some speculative time thousands of years in the future when the end of the world would come.

He taught that the spirit (the self or personality) within the body moves on after the physical body dies. This is also a scientific fact, because when we see a dead body, the life (the self) is gone from that body. The body becomes lifeless because the spirit-person self has left. And for those who have dedicated their lives to following Jesus' instructions, he will be coming for them after death.

The fact that we leave our bodies at the time of death has been scientifically confirmed in clinical death experiences. In many of these cases in fact, many have described the same event: Being met by Jesus after their time of death.

This means that Jesus appeared to them at the time of death.

Jesus also clarifies here what being “saved” is. Some sectarian institutions and their teachers often teach that being “saved” means professing our allegiance to Jesus in a proclamation that states something like “I surrender to Jesus.” This proclamation is often portrayed emotionally in a public place for everyone to see, qualifying that person to be accepted by their fellow church members. In other words, this act is often used simply to gain the respect of others.

Jesus describes clearly how a person is saved: "he who stands firm to the end will be saved." He is telling his disciples that despite being persecuted, ridiculed and threatened, the person who remains committed to following Jesus' teachings will be saved. This means having determination. It means follow-through.

Will we be saved if we proclaim that we surrendered to Jesus?

Consider Jesus' view of the public proclamations of "I surrender to Jesus" currently encouraged by many sectarian institutions:
“Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will come to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles? Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” (Matt. 7:21-23)
So it isn't enough to make proclamations about Jesus. It isn't enough to do lofty deeds in the name of Jesus, even if they include healing people, driving out demons and other 'miracles.'

What matters to Jesus, and what ultimately saves a person is described clearly by Jesus:
"only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven."
A person who does the will of another wants to please that person. This is love. Love means wanting to please someone else. Jesus wants his disciples - and all of us - to learn to love the Supreme Being and live to please the Supreme Being.

And if we "stand firm" in our efforts to please the Supreme Being, we will ultimately be saved according to Jesus.