A recent sermon by our pastor made me realize that I didn^t know where salt came from or how it was processed and that such information would be vital to my understanding of the scripture and who and what I am. I really didn^t even know what it was. I read several articles about salt and discovered, much to my surprise, that basically all commercially available salt is sea salt. It either comes from recent deposits or from old deposits. Table salt is refined or processed sea salt. White salt is refined or processed sea salt. Refined or processed salt is sea salt with the vast majority of its minerals removed. Unrefined or unprocessed salt is coloured because of its mineral content.
Refining or processing salt is done by running water over and through it which causes the heavier minerals to settle or be washed away. The refined salt is then gathered or scrapped off the upper layer, in effect removing all the minerals, several dozens of them, only sodium chloride is left behind. This upper layer is 100% NaCl, sodium chloride, the salt that most people today are familiar with and that is sold in all regular grocery stores very often with added iodine in the case of table salt. It is also important to note that salt was defined as NaCl in our school books and science classes when I was school and that I now view that as a form of brainwashing much the same effect that salt washing has and is closely linked to spiritual washing as well.
I discovered three types of commercially available unrefined salt; Redmond^s Real Salt, Himalayan Salt and Celtic Salt. The harvesting of these salts is a simpler process that does not separate the rich natural compounds that make up natural salt. Himalayan salt has a reddish tinge and Celtic salt is greyish. The difference in colour is due to slightly different mineral content. Himalayan salt is from an ancient salt bed in Pakistan and is expensive to import and therefore costs more in America. Celtic salt is harvested from the Atlantic Ocean and is subject to present water pollution. Real Salt, which is offwhite and speckled, is harvested from Utah in the United States and is also from an ancient ocean salt bed and not affected by water pollution. From a cost and quality perspective, Real Salt is the best choice on this continent.
Refined salt has two minerals, sodium and chlorine and often has added iodine. The several dozens of other minerals have been washed out and are used for other purposes. Refined salt has been rendered worthless or near worthless to the body and in some cases even harmful.
Unrefined salt has about 60 minerals, 5 dozen minerals, most of them in trace amounts. These minerals are found in nature in the form of salts and are mixed together in what is called natural salt. These minerals are essential to the body and beneficial for optimum health and functionality both physical and mental.
Note what Jesus said when He called us the salt of the earth. Bear in mind that most people eat refined salt today.
Matthew 5:13 (AMP) from the Amplified Bible.
You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste (its strength, its quality), how can its saltness (or quality) be restored? It is not good for anything any longer but to be thrown out and trodden underfoot by men.
And He said this in another passage in the book of Mark.
Mark 9:49 and 50 (AMP)
For everyone shall be salted with fire. Salt is good (beneficial), but if salt has lost its saltness, how will you restore [the saltness to] it? Have salt within yourselves, and be at peace and live in harmony with one another.
Notice the concept to be salted by fire. It is a very interesting concept but not one which I will explore here at this time.
As for the rest of these two passages, I wonder if these translations have lost some of the intended meaning or if Jesus spoke so that His disciples would understand something of what he was saying. I wonder if Jesus was speaking of the dozens of minerals in salt, the large variety of mineral salts found in natural sea salt, when he referred to it as having lost something translated here as saltiness. I wonder if Jesus was speaking of not being able to restore the complexities of natural salt once they have been removed by refinement. The apostles knew practically nothing about elements, chemistry, the difference between an atom and a molecule or the biological benefits of consuming minerals but Jesus surely did. Had He not spoken in simplified terms they would not have understood anything He said. It also seems obvious to me that greater understanding is to be had today by disciples of Jesus than back then.
I think Jesus was seeing far into the future to a time like now when men would use techniques of refinement to extract the beneficial qualities in food for vain or lucrative reasons like removing trace elements from salt, vitamins from wheat and rice and turning sugar white. People love white, the symbol of purity and perfection. The market knows this and takes full advantage of it. If they don^t get you at the supermarket they^ll get you at the hospital. A day when the intended use and quality of God created and God provided food and food enhancers would be gravely adulterated and rendered not only useless but even harmful for consumption to a degree. It is said that common table salt causes or increases high blood pressure for example and the lack of trace elements in the body introduces cellular malfunctions, weaknesses and malformations of potentially all the cells in the body.
The body needs minerals, lots of minerals and possibly or even probably all minerals. These minerals are essential minerals. Essential minerals are usually sorted into major minerals (macrominerals) and trace minerals (microminerals). These two groups are equally important. Trace minerals are needed in smaller amounts but this is not an indication of how important they are. A good pure natural unrefined salt is a highly important source of minerals.
If you think that I am getting far too technical and scientific consider that we are the temple of God, that God dwells in us, and that God created the earth and all that is in it and that He considers it all good. Each one of us is the custodians of a temple of God. This earth is our training ground and a necessary step in the process of salvation and preparation for a transformation. It is all part of the miraculous work that God is doing in producing members of His divine family. The single greatest thing wrong with this world is the presence of Satan who corrupts man^s thinking and man^s activities.
Here are some benefits of unrefined natural salt:
1. Natural salt helps regulate blood pressure and helps to maintain a regular heartbeat.
2. Natural salt helps clear congestion in the lungs and nasal passages. It clears mucus, phlegm, and congested sinuses. Natural salt is a strong natural antihistamine.
3. Natural salt helps to balance the body^s blood sugar levels which benefits people suffering from diabetes.
4. Natural salt helps to remove excess acidity from the cells of the body which helps to prevent cancer and other abnormal conditions.
5. Natural salt is essential for energy generation by the cells.
6. Natural salt is essential to nerve cell communication which is vital to proper brain function.
7. Natural salt is essential to maintaining strong bones.
8. Natural salt is necessary for absorption of food particles through the intestinal tract.
9. Natural salt does not contain any chemical additives that can be harmful to the body.
10. Natural salt has more flavour, a complex flavour.
The people who best understand how this salt, which is really a mixture of a variety of salts, works in the blood and in the body are probably endocrinologists. I know of no endocrinologist in the church. I suspect that is because they are filled with a greater desire for riches, honour and pride than with God^s holy spirit.
To draw another analogy leaning more toward the spiritual, to remove mineral content from salt would be like removing your personal experiences, your character, your insight into life, your understanding of the word of God, your sincerity, truth, justice, mercy and fifty other qualities from you and reduce you to just repeating distortions of the word of God like some parrot or like a broken record. The word of God would be rendered good for nothing and even detrimental to your salvation process and to that of your listeners. This might remind you of some churches, religions and denominations.
Lets read Matthew 5:13 again. This time from the (NKJV).
You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.
Jesus used this comparison to salt because it is a very good comparison and analogy. It may well have been ahead of its time for His apostles but it is certainly very apparent what He meant today as I speak.
Will you reach that state as a Christian? Will I? Will we lose flavour? Can we get lost in God^s word or stray from it to the extent of being deemed worthless? Many ministers in many denominations, not excluding the Churches of God, have tried very hard to do just that to the brethren, that is confuse and scatter, and in many cases have succeeded.
We are to be and remain unstained by the world and the ways of the world, like unprocessed salt. We must remain pure.
Here is one way to look at it according to the apostle Paul.
Philippians 1:10 (AMP) reading from the Amplified Version again.
So that you may surely learn to sense what is vital, and approve and prize what is excellent and of real value [recognizing the highest and the best, and distinguishing the moral differences], and that you may be untainted and pure and unerring and blameless [so that with hearts sincere and certain and unsullied, you may approach] the day of Christ [not stumbling nor causing others to stumble].
Let^s read it again from the New American Standard Bible.
Philippians 1:10 (NASB)
so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ;
In Revelation 14:5 (NASB) We read another explanation of what it means to be a pure Christian:
And no lie was found in their mouth; they are blameless.
And James the brother of Jesus also explained in
James 1:27 (GNB)
What God the Father considers to be pure and genuine religion is this: to take care of orphans and widows in their suffering and to keep oneself from being corrupted by the world.
The corruption of salt by the world comes in the form of a refinement processes, the extraction of very important compounds, salts, electrolytes, minerals and trace minerals, reducing the quality and effectiveness of the intended functions of the salt as well as the flavour of the salt. I believe that Jesus had this well in mind when He uttered the words of Matthew 5:13 and Mark 9:49 and 50.
You may not all be aware of the meaning of all these terms; minerals, mineral salts, electrolytes, trace minerals, trace elements, compounds, elements, molecules and atoms. Let me quickly run through them briefly. This will just be a review for some the more educated among you and perhaps too much to take in all at once for some of the younger and less educated among you, such is life.
First an atom, it is very likely that none of the apostles had any idea what an atom is. An Atom is the smallest particle of a substance that can exist by itself. Some atoms are found in nature combined with another atom or other atoms to form a molecule.
An element in chemistry is one of the basic substances that are made of atoms of only one kind and that cannot be separated by ordinary chemical means into simpler substances without destroying that substance. If you try to break it down further you end up creating atom bombs or nuclear bombs and such things. It makes me think that you can only probe or push God and His creation so far then His wrath breaks out.
A molecule is the smallest particle of a substance that retains all the properties of the substance and is composed of one or more atoms of the same or of different elements or types of atoms. Think what makes water water or oil oil? These molecules can be further broken down into hydrogen and oxygen in the case of water and carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, sulphur and metals in the case of oil, that is fossil fuel not olive oil. Olive oil is more complex.
A compound is a substance made up of two or more ingredients of constant proportion by weight. Like bread or meat.
A mineral, in chemistry, is a solid, homogeneous (uniform in composition) crystalline (something composed of crystals) chemical element or compound formed by natural processes and usually extracted from the earth.
Trace minerals and trace elements are minerals and elements in very small amounts which is often a factor of their rarity in nature.
A mineral salt, for our purposes here, is a salt partially made up of an element other than sodium. Most of the elements found in natural salt are in the form of mineral salts. It is important to note that a salt is a complex substance because of the different types, acidic, basic and neutral salts and because of the variety of which they are found in natural salt. Natural salt is really a large mixture of different mineral salts.
My last definition here is electrolyte. An electrolyte is basically a salt once it has been added to a fluid or ingested. It is often electrically charged and it conducts electricity. This has very significant spiritual implications. As salt of the earth, once added to or heard by a listener, you become electrifying to him or her, which helps in the proper processing and understanding of many thoughts, ideas, perspectives, ideals, beliefs etc. Realize that natural salts contain several dozens of electrolytes.
Also, beware of becoming like whitewashed tombs, Jesus warned in another analogy. Here is something He said to the Pharisees;
Matthew 23:27 and 28 (NKJV)
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men^s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
The Pharisees were the religious leaders in Israel at the time of Christ. Their religion had rendered them hypocrites. Such are those who misrepresent the word of God. To be the salt of the earth you cannot be hypocritical like the Pharisees. You must be true to God and His word.
We become the salt of the earth by mining or harvesting or gathering the word of God. The word is not to be refined or altered in any way but it is to be properly understood and applied with wisdom.
Deuteronomy 4:2 (NKJV)
You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
You shall not add as in whitewashing, which is painting over, nor take from it as in refining or washing. These are in great contrast to expounding and unravelling.
Ecclesiastes 3:14 (GNB)
I know that everything God does will last for ever. You can^t add anything to it or take anything away from it. And one thing God does is to make us stand in awe of him.
Sometimes I think that the Amplified Bible adds things to the word of God but much of the time it is as if the authors were explaining with detail and adding understanding, which is what I must often do in study, prayer and meditation anyway.
Revelation 22:19 (NKJV)
and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
Refined salt has great appeal to many. It is conceived as being pure and white and perfect, beautiful to so many. But it is actually worthless as Jesus pointed out and is still pointing out to this day.
Pure doesn^t always mean stripped bare of all complexities and impurities. Pure natural gas for example is not broken down into its many component gases. It is the sum of its gas components as found in nature and as extracted from the ground. Pure banana does not have its potassium removed. The same goes for all fruits and vegetables, you don^t extract things from them to make them pure. These things are kept intact as compounds and as mixtures. The same should be true for salt, but the world has erred big time. Salt should not be stripped of its many natural minerals and trace minerals. It should be kept natural to benefit the consumer.
There are analogies that God uses to show refinement and purification of unique elements such as refined gold and silver. An example might be the development of a Godly characteristic like patience. The understanding and acquirement of patience is from God and is a life long purification process.
But salt is not an element, it is a group of compounds, a mixture, and it is treated and used differently than an element. Good salt is actually made up of more than half the elements.
You can again look at patience as an example where patience itself has certain qualities that need to be adopted and maintained. It is joined and combined with the other elements of the spirit love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and selfcontrol to form the fruit of the spirit, a compound that should not be refined to exclude certain elements. See Galatians 5:22 and 23.
We are compared to gold and to salt in the Bible. Gold is to be refined but salt is not. This can be a stumbling block for some but remember what Paul said in
1 Corinthians 2:14 (NKJV)
But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
I feel that I have explained something here that anyone educated in English and science should be able to understand with little difficulty. Nevertheless it seems that Paul is right. Now look at what Jesus said in
John 3:12 (NKJV)
If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?
Another example of the duality and variety of Biblical, Godly concepts is Christ being both our leavened bread and our unleavened bread. He is the bread of life. He is the unleavened barley bread of the wave sheaf offering during the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the two wave loaves of leavened wheat bread at Pentecost.
We are also compared to lambs, fish, light and other things. You can see the character of God in all these also. They are all like a shadow of what is to come. We only see dimly from these examples what God wants us to be.
White light is a combination of all colours of light. Lambs and many school fish display the general fruit of the spirit, gentleness, selfcontrol, peace, speaking loosely. And salt should contain many minerals. If each one of us is a grain of salt from the rock of salt that is Jesus then each one of us should contain some words of God with understanding and wisdom to apply them.
You are the salt of the earth. Pure salt contains about 60 minerals in the form of salts that are essential to proper biological functionality and good physical and mental health. Such are also pure Christians, speaking and spreading the fruit of truth with sincerity to the brethren and to the world.
Purification is common as a tool of the devil. Large segments of the population get deceived by refining and purifying processes. Look at refined sugar, refined flour, polished rice and refined salt. Once the nutritious substances have been extracted from these things they cannot be reinstated. The quality is diminished to such as extent that the food value has been severely compromised and what was originally beneficial to the body is now worthless or even poison.
A similar analogy can be made with the Roman Catholic Church refining the Biblical content out of the religion. They then proceed to try to enhance, embellish and enrich it by adding all sorts of pagan observations, decorations, idols, icons, images, sketches, paintings, superstitions, habits, rituals, doctrines, explanations and other deceptions and lies that further separate adherents from the true God and from a chance of salvation. The refinement renders the religion worse than worthless and the enrichment can render it harmful and poisonous.
We ought to be chips off the old block, the rock, that is Jesus, reflections and images of Christ and our Father and true to the Holy Scriptures.
Simply put you may not understand just what you are doing or how it is being done but realize that it is very important and significant.
In conclusion I would like to remind you of these passages;
2 Timothy 3:16 and 17 (NKJV)
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 4:2 to 5 (NKJV)
Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
Finally, be aware that salt was used in all the animal sacrifices and grain offerings that were performed in the old testament (see Leviticus 2:13, Numbers 18:19, 2 Chronicles 13:5), in the preparation of incense (see Exodus 30:35) and was to be used in cooking vegetables also (see Job 6:6).
2016 Jacques Gauvin