Genesis 20-21 / Psalms 23-25 / Matthew 13
Redeem Israel, O God, from all their troubles!
Israel was a copy of the better thing, the true Israel, which is the family of true sons, represented within and before Israel existed by those whom the Father chose to interact with and show Himself true to—like David and Abraham.
The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.
The Father makes His covenant known personally to the sons He chooses to be His own sons in the world populated by those who aren't chosen, as is explained by the Son of God:
Jesus told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
"The owner's servants came to him and said, `Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?'
" `An enemy did this,' he replied.
" `No,' he answered, `because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.' "
The family of God and a house to dwell in with His sons around Him is the motivation of everything natural that we can see, from the beginning when God made it, then created a son to take care of it. Throughout all the generations of the humans the Father has been choosing His sons secretly and quietly, revealing Himself to them while at the same time keeping them hidden from all the weeds that are growing around them. Their position according to the living God isn't disclosed to the other humans who remain separated from His will to have a family around Him, so all they can do is make things up about Him that aren't true because that truth has to be specifically revealed; it is not just another thing to learn and then do like all the other things the humans try to be proficient in.
And Abraham said, "For I thought, there is surely no fear of God in the place and they will kill me because of my wife. And it happened, when the gods made me a wanderer from my father's house, that I told her, 'This is the kindness you can do for me: in every place to which we come, say of me, he is my brother.' "
And Abram heard that his kinsman (Lot) was taken captive and he marshaled his retainers, natives of his household, 318 of them, and gave chase up to Dan. And he and his servants with him fanned out against them by night and he struck them and pursued them up to Hobah, which is north of Damascus. And he brought back all the substance, and also Lot his kinsman and his substance he brought back and the women and the other people as well.
If we contrast the first and second samples we can notice a discrepancy in the attitude and path Abraham decides to follow in each. Why would he convince Sarah to lie to save his skin one time, yet be willing to risk his life and go to so much trouble to save his nephew in another? It wasn't the first time he risked losing his wife to the king to save his own life, and that even after he was told that the promised child would come from Sarah's body.
The explanation of this dichotomy was the presence in the first, overarching everything else, of the subconscious nature of Abraham which affects all humans. It was more than anything the natural state of his consciousness, that which needed to physically survive at any cost, even if it meant losing his wife to a king or pharaoh, even after he was told that the child would come from her. There is a subconscious state of fear that guides and motivates men, which we have many times introduced as the consciousness of the wild animal—that curse man was given, what he was made into when everything changed. It is an invisible phenomenon, yet obviously present, which we can see even back in the stories of Abraham. The humans will not admit it's there, even if they're shown how prevalent it is in them.
My own observations go back quite a ways, as I was always puzzled by my own fears as certain situations arose for me. On many occasions I found myself wanting to make something happen, in a social situation for instance. But when I sensed subconsciously that I was in the situation of clearly needing to do something about it, I was struck with an irrational fear that made me unable to be myself, talk correctly, etc. I always seemed to act fearful, weird, not confident, and say dumb things because of my circumstance. That is just one example of hundreds, which most people would just say is another thing, and not necessarily a pattern about human nature.
Try if you will, as many have unsuccessfully attempted to do, but it cannot be changed in humans, as can be clearly seen if one is honest. Look at the world filled with grief and heartache—it is caused by the fear that was introduced in the beginning, and still exists as the main thing that drives the humans—the fear of not knowing, but also knowing they will soon be no more, and the way they act because of it. The brief moments in time, when that "love" infatuation is experienced for example, or a drug-induced state, is when that normally ubiquitous state of fear is lifted. It never lasts for very long, though, because it is only a temporary thing, either induced by the hand of the one (drugs), or an inferior copy (infatuation state) of the real love which can only be found in the Father and the Son.
We have experienced something profound, these constant miracles day after day that we know are from the Lord to assure us that this process is genuine, although unseen and most importantly, uncontrollable. That is to drive us toward a place where the Teacher can teach us who we are according to the Father—chosen to know who He is. We recognize that it must be the same force of powerful yet subtle life that also lived in the NT brothers nineteen hundred years ago, but which also left after a short time. It is only a small beginning of a fellowship with the same life that causes in us the same, yet seemingly more perfected results that we can witness in the writings of Paul and others, as a kind of proof that it was also happening inside them too. It is a power that is beyond what seems possible; we understand it is supernatural just as they did. It is a knowing that allows us to just understand what we could only theorize about before, like analyzing a novel and stabbing in the dark about the message, usually trying to find that agreement of understanding with other humans who claimed to know what it means.
Every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.
The same place that Paul went, and Jesus before him, and the very small handful of others who were chosen to be taken over by this incredible force is also where Noah, Moses, Abraham, David, Samuel and Elijah were going and went—to the hidden Father who was specifically calling them.
Blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.
It is the place where we recognize more and more the purpose of God, His hand in our life every day, and we increasingly want more and more of it—a desire strong enough even to deny what we used to love so much in order to get more of it. It is making us start to comprehend another way besides the way of the animal. That is the way the the Father wants His true yet hidden sons to know and learn, sot hey can become sons instead of what they are in their former state, before He came and revealed Himself to them.
The one who becomes mature in the new way is the one who knows love—not the temporary kind, of the animal, which is always about the self and always wears off; but the love of God which is in His Christ, what Paul spent his life working, fighting, running and searching for. It is a force that allows us to love those we might normally despise, for example those who are treating us badly, which was the case in our ultimate example, that of the first Son when he existed in his human body.
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.
We can observe the many examples of the animals trying to love one another to fulfill this command, and it always produces a pitiful showing, but not because there is something flawed about them in particular, but in general because it must remain generic for those who don't know they are specifically chosen. It is impossible for the animal to love anything but their own selves (that which has a part of its own DNA in it is technically its own self), as per the curse put into them when they were bound to the animal (serpent) via their nature. The dilemma for those who claim to know the way to the Father, via natural means, is that the Lord commanded his disciples to love each other genuinely, as much as they would love their own selves. Their erroneous assumption is that if they know the truth, then they should, or will just be able to automatically love, and if not then the command is rescinded for them because they believe the right facts and regularly go to meeting, which is what they change the command to, because it's something they can do. If we are honest we should be able to admit that only those who obey the commandment of the Lord are right in God's eyes, and since it is impossible for the humans to love, it is impossible to be right with God unless they can genuinely love the way Jesus did.
Then he will say to those on his left, `Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'
They also will answer, `Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?' He will reply, `I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'
Some personal observations regarding this:
You have heard that it was said, `Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.
The reason the Lord commands his disciples to go even farther and love their enemies, which is practically impossible for the animal to do, is for this very reason: that man will make up all sorts of conditions about love and brothers to satisfy the command on his own terms. He will go so far as to create justification scenarios from the very scriptures he does his many exhortations from. The reality that we know is that it is impossible to love our enemies, or even our brothers as the Lord has commanded us to, unless that animal consciousness is lifted from us.
The most obvious reaction to any of our claims is that they are in fact loving us, as they all love each other, and if they're not well then there's a very good reason for it, considering what we appear to be (sinners, unbridled threats to the sanctity of everything that's good). Consider the Lord and his accusers, those who beat him for no reason, yet he loved them. Consider Stephen, being stoned by those murdering him, in the name of God. Yet somehow he received the ability to love and forgive them. Also consider the reality of the first century believers' lives if you will for a moment, that they had to love each other because of so much external opposition to what they knew was the life in them.
Now, and I bring this up as a matter of illustration (not with so much mud to sling as in days gone by), consider our own experience with the Christadelphians, who for all intents and purposes because they know the truth about God, should be expected more than anyone one would assume to be able to love us since we have consistently expressed a desire to know the truth, who have been through the ceremony which they regard makes one a brother. These are the very ones who know that Jesus was not a god before he was born, and so should theoretically, if anyone could, be able to grasp the impact of what he did, out of love for his brothers. Knowing this, one would assume that they would actually be able to love as Jesus commanded his disciples to love—that which he said must be done in order to be right with God. I have found, on the other hand, the opposite, and I say this not to establish that they are wrong, bad, or weak.
One person actually contacted me outside of the Sunday meeting, drove all the way to Napa to spend a few hours meeting and talking with me. That happened twice in four years. Everyone else, quite sadly (being the truth bearers of this generation and all), seems quite ready to dismiss me as quickly as they could snap their fingers. Instead of being in the midst of the disciples of the Lord, I have felt in the times I did go back to the ecclesia that I was among very distant and uncomfortable people who don't like each other very much.
Now I bring this up not to show them in a bad light, but rather to illustrate the gaping hole between what they believe they are doing—loving me I would presume would be their primary focus since they consider themselves disciples of the Christ and therefore subject to his commandments—and the commandment first of all to love their brother, which I know some to regard as the situation (that I'm a "brother"), and even if not, to love their enemies; I would hardly say that I have done anything to deserve enemy status. But even if I did, there remains the commandment to love their enemies. I understand that it's not something they can help, it's just the way that they feel, and feel quite justified in that it seems. after all, they have lives to live, children to raise, meetings to attend, and bibles to read. I understand that my presence is just waaaay too uncomfortable for everyone, which I totally understand. I myself do not like to do things that are uncomfortable.
However, unless I begin to see this as a state of consciousness I am very much imprisoned to, the animal nature in me that pushes me toward a certain disposition, then nothing matters except that, and there is where I will remain, unable to love as the Lord commanded. It is that nature in the members of this ecclesia which causes the same sort of imprisonment toward the same disposition in their dealings with me, past and present. Again, I don't mean to necessarily beat anyone up, but expose the obvious truth that there is no ability to genuinely love amongst the humans. I wish to merely establish the existence of that consciousness, prove it from the many examples from the scriptures, and say that it will only always lead to the same thing—the inability to love in any genuine sense for all the wild animals, especially those who know the truths about the fundamental concepts about God.
All we want to demonstrate to anyone, in or out of the ecclesia, is that it is impossible unless the condition of being born from above is also the condition of the person in question, and that this condition cannot just automatically be assumed to be the case for us because we know some things that are true. If that were the case then I would assume that when I showed up wanting to be fellowshipped I would feel love, that another one has been born into the family of God. I know, I know, I did receive it in the beginning, but when I wouldn't listen to the brothers then it was their duty and right to cut me off and wash their hands of me, one and a half years without a peep from any of them.
Is that love? Yes, they would argue, because there is a passage Paul wrote that says if someone does such and such then treat him like an unbeliever, which apparently lets the whole ecclesia off the hook from fulfilling the Lord's commandment. Heck, one of the brothers, after I showed up at the Belmont ecclesia, went out of his way to ignore me, to not acknowledge my presence before him, I suppose because he had a good reason, no doubt one scripturally founded.
This is the same mistake I made over and over, feeling justified in my own animal behavior. The smug resistance to love because of any one of a hundred reasons. Then again, the animal lives to deceive us. It takes more than what we presently possess, as Jesus told to Nicodemus. That nature which was imposed on Adam must be fundamentally changed, and can't by our own efforts. Only by the experience of being born from above, which is an obviously altered state for those it happens to—not on the outside but deep within our heart where God lives.
Otherwise we will merely remain animals who can only love themselves and their own flesh and blood, which is just themselves. This is the state of all humans. What has happened, as has happened in numerous other situations, is that a group of beings, afflicted by the animal consciousness, has assumed the role of disciple, yet without being freed from that nature. In fact, as all other humans do, they don't even know, or they wouldn't admit, that it exists in them.
Yet, if they were honest they should be able to admit, beyond merely "not being perfect," that they are ruled by this state of fear inherited by Adam. But they can't because they won't because they are unable to even see it. They will continue to say, "Well, were not perfect," which works for a while. But when even the most senior members of the ecclesia seem so fearful, totally under the control of the animal, so lacking in what we should expect from a disciple of the Lord; then when does it happen? Will you just continue to say that, even when you have been in the truth for 30 or 40 years—that you're excused from loving as Jesus commanded us to love, just because nobody's perfect? I feel confident that they are relying on what all the christians rely on, that they will just be forgiven because they "believe" the correct facts, and that will make them pleasing enough to God to skirt them in.
The good news, if only at the moment realized by us two "sinners," is that the curse of the animal is slowly being reversed in us, that there has been this new birth which we can witness within ourselves when the seed was planted, and it has continued to grow. That is the real substance of the life of the NT sons of God, what made it genuine. First he tells us the truth, then he sets us free. It is an escape from the hegemony of this brutal force that controls the world, and has for nineteen hundred years, when it was alive for a brief moment in time, then vanished as per the prophesy of Daniel and warnings in various NT letters, that it would go away. I suppose that the natural outcome, as was true for Paul, will be more and more to share this with others who claim to have the truth, who know much more about God than the rest of the world who could not even begin to comprehend the ultimate truth because what they believe was made up by men in the second and third centuries. That's all I desire to do in any of these entries, not as much to bash but more to share the bad and good news. Bad in that the humans cannot be pleasing to the Father because they are ruled by His enemy the serpent, via their nature; and good, that the sons who are chosen to know can become freed from that oppression, and must if they are to become pleasing children. If there is anyone presently existing whom the Father and Son desire to be freed from the animal nature they will hear his voice, and understand.
In a way, it's sort of a new gospel for us, that the state of humanity is under this spell of the animal consciousness which produces all of the problems in the world—fear, death, violence, no love. But on the other hand it's not a new gospel at all, because even though they didn't say the same words, we know that the concepts are the same for all of those who ever knew God. The truth shall set us free, but from what? That nature which makes all animals afraid, and defines them as creatures of fear instead of love. The examples that reinforce what we are saying are everywhere, but the nature of this animal nature is that it cannot see what is so plain to us. Not that there is something so great about us, but only that we have been given eyes to see what they cannot see.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
Saying this, we understand that there will be no validation of our reality without the condition of being chosen by the Lord, to any one of the humans unless it is to be satisfied within them, as it has already started in us. Therefore the rejection of everything we say will be in order, as the Lord promised his true disciples. The animals naturally hate God and His true sons. Knowing the truth produces in us, as it did in Paul, the desire to want to say it—call it preaching the gospel, wanting to share the good news of what has happened to us with others, to find the sons of God in the present age.
The beauty of what God has done is to make us look like sinners and crazy people, so that we cannot ever find the validation of this new reality for us in the world, or even in the place where we would assume it to be (the ecclesia). Also, we can thoroughly understand that we do not have any power to sway or convince anyone about the reality of being born of God within ourselves, or anything we might say. What that produces is the condition of being unable to boast, and also being set apart from the rest of the world, even those who claim to have the truth, or sanctification.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- not by works, so that no one can boast.
In fact Paul knew the animal nature very well in his musings about wanting to do the right thing, but being prohibited by some other force that seemed to be always present in him, that which made him want to do the wrong thing. That is what we call the nature of the animal, motivated by fear which makes us want to look after our own skin, like Abraham did in the examples we can read. He calls it the sinful nature, but it's the same thing.
What is fear though? As John's verse says, it's the opposite of love. We get a small taste of it, sometimes, in our brief encounters with the love that happens between humans. It happens when we first meet someone and "fall in love." Some call it infatuation. When we are taken over by it, we feel like superman, and would do anything for the one we love. All we see about them is good, even when they do things that later bother us, after that feeling has worn off. And that's the thing about this human love—it's just a feeling and it always wears off, because it's only a copy of the real thing.
The real love is that treasure that Jesus talks about, which guides and motivates him, and to do what? The opposite of what the animal wants, to lay down his life for his brothers, to go against that thing in him that he had to fight off, the subconscious fear in him which caused him to think things like, "I'm going to die of hunger," I can be king of the entire world," and "I am the great conquering Messiah that everyone has been waiting for."
It is fear that causes people to be afraid to believe that Jesus wasn't a god before he was born, or that there is no devil, or hell. And it is fear that ironically prohibits people from accepting that they are totally controlled by it, and that there is no way out except the miraculous intervention of the Lord, that which he has made happen in us two sinners. It is fear that also caused the leaders of Israel to look upon Jesus as a tree with bad fruit growing on it, because he told them the truth that they couldn't accept.
Jesus was telling the pharisees a good tree yields good fruit and a bad tree bad fruit----what an ironic thing to say pointing back to the garden knowing Adam had no ability to recognize a good tree from a bad one, in the same way they had no ability to recognize Jesus as the tree who produced the perfect fruit---they thought he was a bad tree producing bad fruit and considered themselves good trees. Blind guides, seeing no Light.
It's fear that makes men desire control and power, many times at the expense of the ones they supposedly "love," who obviously indeed once loved. Going back to our discussion about human love, I do believe that even physical abusers one time did feel a love for the now recipients of not love but seething hate and violence. What was at one distant time a relationship of love for each other, however short a time period that may have been, is now many times one of toleration, conflict, or even violent action and reaction to the many provocations of one on another. This is merely the irrational reality of humans, plagued by the animal consciousness motivated ultimately by fear than anything else.
Full circle we go, back to how the Jews perceived Abraham, the father of their nation, natural lineages, folk hero and legend...but what is his real importance? Hebrews 11 example, that faith was unseen. Paul knew that the natural lineage and heritage that the Jews held up so high was nothing..what made someone a Jew? Romans verse circumcision of the heart not of the skin.
A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God.
Dare I go here--Christadelphian importance on lineage, the natural, that which we can see with our eyes...what God came to destroy in our experience, and still a matter of contention... reliance on the natural bonds and lineage. Common sense tells us that Christadelphian stock comes from within the natural lineages, how many outsiders are actually brought in? So what does that say about the authenticity of the Christadelphian experience, in light of what the Lord says about natural family?
He replied to him, "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?" Pointing to his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother."
"Where then did this man get all these things?" And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, "Only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honor." And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.
What we ultimately are freed to be is a being who desires not to merely know about love, or be able to write about it, or even to gain converts if that is possible. We are being made into creatures in whom the spirit of the last prophet, the great prophet, now lives. His voice speaks to our spirit, assuring us that we are becoming free from the fear that plagues man, so that what we desire is to know the love of God that was first found in His Christ, and ultimately has its definition there, but thankfully extends out to us. That is the condition of grace.
Who, then, is the man that fears the LORD?
He will instruct him in the way chosen for him.