Jesus Works Chapter One Jesus – A Man of Many Talents: Upper Echelon Jesus

Jesus Works Chapter One Jesus – A Man of Many Talents: Upper Echelon Jesus

Jesus the Son


I understand how being a son might seem to be outside the bounds of work. But, it’s important to realize that not only was the position of son in the first century an occupation, it was an elevated position in society. Inheritance and the transfer of power and wealth in first century Jewish society was very similar to what we see throughout the Old Testament. The firstborn son basically inherited the greatest share of the father’s wealth and then carried on the family name. In Jesus’ time, He as a Son was doing this very same thing. He had all the inheritance, he was the firstborn, and He was expected to rule in His Father’s house and learn how to be just like Him. Not only was this a huge responsibility, it was very hard work and carried with it dominion over hundreds (or in Jesus’ case all of humanity for all time). This brings us to the upper levels of work in society. In a wealthy and powerful family of that day, the place Jesus occupied would have carried with it great wealth and influence. Not only did Jesus understand this extremely important position, He excelled at it! We’ll look at Jesus’ as the Son later, but keep in mind that as The Son, His work was and still is pivotal to our understanding Him and His Kingdom as well as our place in His Kingdom as heirs and sons.

Jesus the Prophet


While the position of Prophet in the Old Testament was definitely one of power and exaltation, it was also one fraught with danger and rejection. However, in the manner of highly favored prophets like Samuel and Nathan, Jesus was able to bring information from the Father to the world and make a difference that was immediate and eternal. In the God-centered governments of David and Solomon, prophets were seen as not only respected, but absolutely vital to doing God’s will. As God’s special Prophet, Jesus was placed in the highest position of being a prophet that any prophet ever had been placed.  We don’t have a modern day equivalent to that of the Old or New Testament prophet, but we do have those who are in today who advise those in positions of power. In His infinite wisdom, Jesus perfected the work of the Prophet to such a degree that no other prophet before or after Him could even touch His insight and power.

Jesus the Priest


Priests also were included in the higher levels of society in the first century as well as the Old Testament. They were very powerful, usually to their own spiritual detriment. But, those who humbly carried out God’s will were counted as those who were closest to God, not only in proximity, but in heart, soul, mind, and strength. Jesus’ position as our High Priest is absolutely singular in all of history. His place of importance as intercessor cannot be overstated. But, how does this position of priesthood apply to us and to our own work? When we look at Jesus the Priest, we see someone who doesn’t hide that power or keep it from those who follow Him. There’s a place of work and importance in the priesthood for us all and we need to know what that is.

Jesus the King


The highest level of work anyone could think of if asked would have to be King. Even during this epoch of history when the office considered as the “most powerful in the world” is occupied by one man, it’s really not a position of power anything like what a king wields. Kings don’t answer to anyone. They rule completely and without need for advice or instruction. At least, that’s how a true Kingship should be. This is the kind of King we have in Jesus. He is perfectly loving, just, kind, and powerful. There is no comparison anywhere else or at any other time in human experience. But, do you know what is the most amazing part of Jesus’ Kingship? He shares it with everyone in His Kingdom! We are princes and princesses in an eternal Kingdom.

Work Application


All of us do different jobs and have to make various decisions about how we are going to work for God. Working for God isn’t just about the work we do for Him in His Kingdom, but the way we accomplish our daily jobs. Working with love, kindness, and deferential treatment toward our coworkers, supervisors, and subordinates must be a part of how we conduct our Christian walk. We think of Colossians 3:17 many times when we consider how we work. “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” But, what does Paul say immediately preceding this verse? “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” (vss. 12-14).  Working in Jesus name is more than just saying it; it’s a change of heart and mind where we live it! This is where Paul ties up the loose ends with verses 22-24: “Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” Wow! Isn’t that freeing? Isn’t it great to know that we are serving the Lord of Heaven and Earth, Jesus Himself? I can think of no better motivation to do a good job.

Questions for Thought

  • If a supervisor, coworker, or subordinate approached you in anger about something you did or did not do at work, how would you react? What if it was not your fault?
  • How do you accomplish your work as “working for Jesus”?
  • What kinds of conflicts might we come across when working for the Lord in our secular occupations?

Jesus Works Chapter One Jesus – A Man of Many Talents: White Collar Jesus

Jesus Works Chapter One Jesus – A Man of Many Talents: White Collar Jesus

Jesus the Public Relations Rep


We now shift into the realm that most people today would identify as “white collar” work. Jesus knew how to bridge the gap between those who were considered the working class and those who were in the upper echelons of society at the time. Today, He still knows how to do this. Interestingly, there wasn’t really a middle-class during the early first-century. Basically, there were those who lived on most of the wealth and then those who were the poor, scraping along through life. Of course, there were exceptions like tax collectors (Matthew), but even these exceptions would have been considered so far above the poor in social and monetary status as to be considered wealthy. However, Jesus was in the mix with all of these segments of society and was able to understand and communicate with all of them, effectively demolishing the boundaries that separated them. This comes to fruition in the early church and later as Paul writes about the equality of humanity (no slave or free, male or female, etc.) Jesus was and is the penultimate PR guy. We’ll look at just how great he is at understanding and dealing with humanity on all these levels in a later chapter.

Jesus the Teller, Teacher, and Trainer


There are three main ways to get information across to other people. You can tell them something. Telling is basically just giving someone information. I tell you that Jesus is God’s Son. Now you have the information. The end. Teaching goes farther. When you teach someone, you give them the information and then tell them what it means. I tell you Jesus is God’s Son and that He died to save you from your sins and that means that if you become a Christian, you can be with Him forever. But, the ultimate way to get information to someone is through training. When you train someone, you’re making a disciple. I can tell you that Jesus is God’s Son and that you can have eternal life in Him, thereby teaching you about what it means, but you won’t really get it if I don’t live it. Jesus was what you would call today a Full Professor of teaching about how to live in Him. He combined telling, teaching, and training into a perfect synchrony of how to have life and have it more abundantly. In our study on Jesus the Professor of life, we’ll get a clearer view of how He Professed life and how those who tell, teach, and train today can produce life and power in their own work.

Jesus Works Chapter One Jesus – A Man of Many Talents: Blue Collar Jesus

Jesus Works Chapter One Jesus – A Man of Many Talents: Blue Collar Jesus


Jesus the Carpenter

When people think of Jesus and work, one of the first things they imagine is Jesus the carpenter. This is obviously due to the nature of His earthly father’s occupation, but is this where Jesus’ experience with craftsmanship ends? Jesus uses His vast experience with the craft and art of carpentry on numerous occasions; probably far more often than we realize. His parables and sermons are replete with words like cornerstone, line, and build.  There’s a depth to His understanding and personal enjoyment of making something beautiful and useful that transcends the work itself and moves into a mentality and practice of being made new in His Kingdom. We’ll look more deeply at Jesus the carpenter in a later chapter.


Jesus the Shepherd

I am a sheep and the Lord is my Shepherd…We’ve sung this song many times. We all can probably recite Psalm 23 by heart. There’s something about being a shepherd that Jesus not only understood, but found extremely instructive for the Christian life and work. Jesus used this type of work to explain the relationship between Himself and us and He uses this example today as well. The work of a shepherd is one of love, sacrifice, and danger. It’s a place of authority and protection and care. Our Shepherd leads us in a way that would impress Jacob and David, even though they were veritable masters of the trade. Jesus as the Shepherd, watching over our souls will be discussed later. We’ll also look at His shepherding pattern that continues in His Kingdom today.


Jesus the Farmer

You might see a pattern emerging to the study. Yes, we’re approaching Jesus’ knowledge of occupations from what we would call “blue collar” jobs first. We’ll also look at some “professional” or “white collar” and finally the highest levels of work as society sees them. But, as the Farmer of farmers, Jesus understood a great deal about how to grow things. We’re very familiar with His parables concerning soil and seed. But, where does He draw this from and how does He interpret how this type of work can change humanity? You see with Jesus, it’s not just about using the farmer’s work as a model, but also telling those who are producers how they can use their own talents and might to produce for Him. Jesus, like you and I, loved to watch things grow and make something good and beautiful and delicious. When we look at Jesus the Farmer in a later chapter, we’ll see just how much joy He takes in things that grow!


Jesus the Fisherman

Jesus spent some serious time in boats. A full third of His core disciple group were fishermen (Peter, Andrew, James, and John) so He not only was exposed to fishing, but immersed in the full scope of a fisherman’s life. While fishing and the act of changing His followers into “fishers of men” were central to Jesus’ teaching, the act of fishing itself seemed to be of some importance to Him. Jesus didn’t just catch fish, He ate fish, multiplied fish, and even used fish in His ministry! Jesus the Fisherman was the best angler you’ll ever read about. He didn’t need radar equipment, waders, or even a fishing pole. He was that good! We’ll take a look into Jesus’ tacklebox in a later lesson to see how He viewed the act and work of fishing and how our own work can catch, produce, and multiply today.


Jesus the Cook

Food and eating together was an integral social and religious activity of the day when Jesus carried out His traveling ministry around Palestine. The Jews still carried out all of the various feasts that are mentioned in Numbers 28 and 29. Besides daily, weekly, and monthly offerings, there were five major religious festivals on the Jewish calendar and every one of them included cooking and eating. Jesus didn’t just cook, He created. When we think of the culinary arts, we tend to see them as a means to an end. Someone takes the food, adds some spices, applies heat in order to soften, warm, and sanitize the food, and then it’s ready for consumption. But, Jesus did more than this. He went a step further and made food something altogether new. He showed humanity how to look at food and other material necessities in a new way. The blessing of food today is no different than it was then. We still need it to live and we still need to look at it in a way that makes sense within the context of the Christian life. Not in a legalistic way, but in a way that takes our attention off of the material and directs our heart, soul, mind, and strength toward the spiritual.




Chapter 7 discusses Writing and Research

            The act of writing and research in academia is one as old as education itself. Throughout history, the practice of searching out knowledge in order to complete or inform one’s field has been instrumental to the present and future functioning of said discipline. At AU the strategy of internal growth and innovation through research and production of empirical writing resources will only add fuel to an already good reputation as a school of excellence. The following articles give some good advice and a look into the practice of research and writing within higher learning. The first article, “Students’ perspectives on academic writing in the digital age” gives a view into how digital research and communication can be used to sustain and grow research within academia. Indeed, this very literature review was written using digital research. The second article, “Developing faculty as a writing community” looks at some of the same strategies for research and writing from the point of view of teachers. The united concepts of collaboration and synthesis within both groups have direct application to research within education as well as other fields.

Academic writing for all intents and purposes has changed drastically over the last few decades, mostly due to the ubiquity of online journals, books, and other digital resources that are easily accessed, researchable, and open for use by basically anyone who wants or needs information to use in research, qualitative or quantitative. Research used to be a laborious process of going to a library, schlepping stacks of books to a table or copier, poring over microfiche, and flipping through endless journals to glean some information on the appropriate topic. However, now with most content online and open for use by almost anyone, information on any topic is searchable inside and outside of almost anything. “The result is an exploration of how time and space together affect and alter modes of academic communication, how communication itself emerges from dialogues that combine our own and others’ thinking, and how attempts to close down and conventionalize academic practices will (and can usefully) be overcome through experimentation with genre” (Sinclair, 2015, p. 44). Through the means of digital research and collaboration, just about any topic can be scrutinized and analyzed to its deepest core. In her research, Sinclair borrows a concept from Bahktin’s essays on the novel published in The Dialogic Imagination (Bakhtin, 1981). “They are: The chronotope – a mutually constitutive configuration of time and space: for example, a meeting or a journey. Interanimation – the process by which languages and dialogues mutually illuminate each other: for example, picking up a new understanding from an interlocutor’s metaphor. The monologic – in contrast to the dialogic where language and ideas are negotiated, the monologic is authoritative and fixed, not open to change: for example, the genre of classical epic poetry” (Sinclair, 2015, p. 45). Through research and practice, these three conceptual methods can be used to explain and guide research in the digital age. Part of this concept is the use of the chronotope as a means of understanding ways in which to use time and space differently in education and research. “Bakhtin’s idea of the chronotope as a time-space ordering device in literary contexts has been adopted by writers on education to suggest that our current conventionalized routines of time and space are outmoded and that there is a need for new ways of thinking about time and space in technology-mediated learning” (Sinclair, 2015, p. 46). The practice of interanimation can also be used to great effect in research. “Interanimation means that one person’s words are taken on by others, who make them their own through their own practice. It is happening all the time” (Sinclair, 2015, p. 47). The idea behind this is that there is an ongoing conversation, academically, culturally, and socially, that was, is, and will continue to be. As researchers, the key is to be involved in the conversation and never discount information just because it appears to be outdated, but use the information either in different and new ways or as a way to transform modern conversation and research. Finally, Sinclair looks at the monologic as it relates to modern research. The monologic is characterized as authoritative and not open to change or discussion. However, in the sometimes post-modern world of academia and research, the monologic is seen as too restrictive as a means for meaningful and progressing research. Esearchers have the need to take a novel idea and make it take flight. This, after all, is what doctoral candidates are encouraged to do when writing dissertations. However, the tacit need to include supporting research in any study is understood, but sometimes more restrictive to the research process, especially in nascent areas. This leads to a need for reaching outside the monologic toward the novel and less supported. “Recognizing and challenging the monologic may be half the battle” (Sinclair, 2015, p. 48). While this method of research is counter to the best-practice of supporting research, some of the lesser-supported research of today is where the biggest breakthroughs ate being made. It’s through the hard work and courage of researchers operating on the fringes of the monologic that these leaps are made.

            Writing communities have long been a constructive way to encourage and produce research in academia, but are often not used within the university. Unfortunately, there is often so much individualism and competition within academia that researchers tend to go it alone or simply are not encouraged or supported by their peers. However, through community and interaction, this can change. Human beings, after all, are social animals. “They want to live as writers in community rather than isolation” (Muller, 2014, p. 34). Through the interactions and encouragement within writing groups, researchers can produce more and better ideas and research. “Lots of people exercise more in groups, read more books with groups, lose more weight in groups. Wouldn’t it stand to reason that many faculty members might write more in groups, too?” (Muller, 2014, p. 35). In his study including faculty members at UNC Chapel Hill, Muller decided to set up a writing community and invite any and all participants. “The response was enthusiastic. Sixty-two faculty members joined the program from thirteen departments within the College of Arts and Sciences and nine of the university’s eleven professional schools” (Muller, 2014, p. 35-36). After the membership was settled, the researchers were sorted into groups after being surveyed to ascertain how they wanted to be sorted (i.e., by discipline or interdisciplinary). The general consensus was to be sorted at least along broad disciplinary lines. “The various groups developed different ways of working. All set regular in-person meetings (weekly or biweekly) of varying durations, and a few experimented with Skype sessions or other virtual meeting solutions. Some of the groups created writing log systems as a way of fostering accountability. Some of the groups experimented with tools for managing distractions. Some groups developed systems for sharing and critiquing drafts; others focused exclusively on the writing process and did not read one another’s work. Some of the groups interspersed sessions simply for writing rather than talking about their writing” (Muller, 2014, p. 37). After the inaugural program was finished, the results were examined and found almost universally positive. “There is little doubt that even in its inaugural season it was a success both at supporting scholarly productivity and building faculty relationships across campus” (Muller, 2014, p. 39). This type of writing and research community strategy could be extremely useful and productive within AU. Imagine giving the opportunity for your smartest people to really put their minds and power together and produce empirical research that can change the face of not only how AU does things and thinks, but the way education across the spectrum can be realized.


Muller, E.L. (2014). Developing the Faculty as a Writing Community. Academe, 100 (6), 34-38.

Sinclair, C. (2015). Students’ perspectives on academic writing in the digital age. TechTrends, 59 (1), 44-49.

Soulbook: Psychological Disorders and the Soul – Do People With More Than One Personality Have More Than One Soul? @Enwrightened

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This is the thirty-third excerpt from Soulbook. Order Soulbook from Enwrightened Publications or Amazon.

Soulbook: Psychological Disorders and the Soul – Do People With More Than One Personality Have More Than One Soul?

Again, people are heart, soul, mind, and spirit. In cases of DID, people who have been through extremely traumatic experiences. “Most people diagnosed with MPD were either physically or sexually abused as children. Many times when a young child is severely abused, he or she becomes so detached from reality that what is happening may seem more like a movie or television show than real life. This self-hypnotic state, called disassociation, is a defense mechanism that protects the child from feeling overwhelmingly intense emotions. Disassociation blocks off these thoughts and emotions so that the child is unaware of them. In effect, they become secrets, even from the child. According to the American Psychiatric Association, many MPD patients cannot remember much of their childhoods.” In the instance of DID/MPD, people are affected in what we would call the “heart – emotional part of a person” and “mind – intellectual part”. While these two parts of a person do affect the well-being of one’s soul, they are not the soul. Therefore, the soul remains singular while the broken emotions and intellect of a person reflect separate, hidden pieces of the affected person’s life. People are also universally referred to as having a singular soul in the Bible. “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matt 10:28, for example. We have one soul and only one.

Soulbook: The Whole Christian Soul and the Incomplete – The Complete Christian @Enwrightened

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This is the thirty-first excerpt from Soulbook. Order Soulbook from Enwrightened Publications or Amazon.

Soulbook: The Whole Christian Soul and the Incomplete – The Complete Christian

What does this mean for us today? When you look back over the torrent and flood of sin that had built up higher than the deluge of Noah, you begin to see just how helpless, how devoid of hope, we all were. Today, people are still in this condition, but the difference now is, there’s hope! As Christians, we have been restored to God through Jesus! There is no flood, only the ark of Christ that bears us up.

Hebrews 11:39-40: “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us, so that only together with us would they be made perfect.” We have been made “very good” again! We have been “made perfect” through the blood of Jesus. Hebrews 4:16: “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet He did not sin. Let us, then, approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” We can approach God ourselves through Christ, (I Peter 2:4-9). We are a royal priesthood under Jesus. As Christians, we can go into the Most Holy Place and have our sins forgiven forever.

II Corinthians 5:21: “For our sake, He made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” God has taken our sin and shame away! We don’t have the sin and shame that Adam and Eve had after they fell. That shame is gone and we can walk with God in His garden once more. John 1:1,14: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” God once more walks among His people. He has not only come and been with us, He is still here. We need only accept Him in His death, burial, and resurrection in order to walk with Him! We can enter the Most Holy Place, (Heb 10:19, Mark 15:38), and climb the mountain of God, (Heb 12:20-22). Where, in the Old Testament, the Israelites were very restricted in their contact with God, we are now completely unrestricted through Jesus. When Moses went up on Mount Sinai, God told him that no person or animal could touch the mountain or it would die. Also, if anyone other than the high priest tried to enter the Most Holy Place, he would die. But, in Christ, not only can we enter these places and be with God, we are commanded to go see God and be with Him.

God will give us “hidden manna,” (Revelation 2:17), referring to the manna in the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 16:33). This “hidden manna” refers to the bread of life or Jesus, Who sustains us in our lives and throughout eternity. Through Jesus, we can virtually look into the mysterious ark of the Covenant that was only permitted for the high priest and see the mysteries of Jesus that are no longer hidden to us. II Corinthians 3:12-18 says the veil has been removed and we see God’s glory clearly. Where Moses had to wear a veil for the Israelites and be hidden in the cleft, so as not to die in God’s presence, we can see the fullness of God through Jesus.

Life, through Christ, has been made perfect again. This is not to say there is no evil or suffering, but it does mean that Christ has made us whole and reconciled us to Himself, the Father, and the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the complete Christian is made up of more parts than just heart, soul, strength and mind and soul, spirit, and body. We also have Father, Son, and Holy Spirit! We are ten-fold people! Of course, we are not God, but as I Corinthians 3:16 says “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” God is a part of us as Christians who have been made complete. But, this also means that we have a whole world full of incomplete people. Now, we have to go do something about that!

In the beginning, all was very good and perfect. God had a face-to-face relationship with His people. There was no sin to get in the way or to cause immediate death in God’s presence. There was only perfection and love and a choice. Adam and Eve sinned and we lost the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as part of ourselves. We were reduced as humankind from ten part people to seven part people. As incomplete people, mankind slogged on through history for thousands of years without hope. The Patriarchs were given a promise, but were still seven part people, without God and without hope. God gave His promise to them without salvation, but indicated that the promise would bring that salvation in time.
Under Moses, the Law atoned for sins, but still left people incomplete. While the relationship between God and mankind still didn’t exist, the figure of the plan of salvation was being explained and learned, although it would take thousands of years for it to be finally understood. Finally, Jesus returned us to ten part people again, but many are still incomplete, seven part people in our world. Our souls are at the center of all of these parts because they are who we are and relate to every part of us all at once. Think about the richness and depth of yourself as a person with ten, very important parts, three of whom are the rejoined Godhead with you through Jesus. Now consider how poor the rest of mankind is without these Three. The Gift is here. Let’s take it to the world!

Soulbook: The Whole Christian Soul and the Incomplete – After the Fall: The Law @Enwrightened

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This is the thirtieth excerpt from Soulbook. Order Soulbook from Enwrightened Publications or Amazon.

Soulbook: The Whole Christian Soul and the Incomplete – After the Fall: The Law

As mentioned above, the Law was given to Moses, who acted as a mediator between God and the people of Israel. As the mediator, Moses was able to speak to God and take His messages back to the Israelites in order to establish a law that would allow them to be set apart from the rest of humanity as God’s people. The only person allowed contact with God was Moses himself, (Ex 19:20-24). Clearly, God’s presence was extremely limited to the Israelites. While He considered them to be His people, He still could not have a close relationship with them due to the perpetuation of mankind’s sin. This is evident in all of the rites and ceremonies God set up as a way to bring the people closer to a right standing with Him. But, even through these various laws, God was still not a part of mankind.

The same limits applied to the tabernacle and temple, (Leviticus 16:1-10). God only allowed the high priest to approach Him and to sacrifice the lamb for His people. Only the high priest could enter the Most Holy Place before Him in order to sprinkle the blood on the Mercy Seat upon the Ark of the Covenant. Only this person could speak to God on their behalf and God did not return the favor. He still only spoke to Moses during this time and the rest of the people could not have the kind of contact Moses did, nor could the priests. God was their God, but He was too Holy for public consumption. He was the purity that was unattainable and unknowable, even by Moses himself.

We see that Moses could not look at God like Adam and Eve once did. His own sin did not allow him to see God in His purity and might. God Himself said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.” There was a definite separation, even for Moses. Obviously, there was still something not right with human beings and this incompleteness prohibited them from seeing Him and having a relationship with Him.
Even with the sacrifices the High Priest made, Heb 10:1-4 tells us that these sacrifices merely put off the sins for another year. They were never forgiven under the Law. The people of Israel suffered under the weight of their sin, year after year. The sin was like a bank debt that you postpone until it finally has to be paid. Of course, by then the debt has built up so much with interest that you can’t pay it even if you had a thousand lifetimes. Ultimately, under the Law, the Israelite people were not reconciled to God, nor were the Gentiles. Mankind was just as lost as that day in the Garden when Adam and Even took the fruit and ate it. The sin of mankind kept building up and up and up, until it was an overwhelming mass of filth. The sin and death that man was resigned to did not relent, no matter how many animals were sacrificed and no matter how many prayers were uttered. All of humanity was incomplete and lost. They all still were missing a piece of themselves; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.