Genesis 22-23 / Psalms 26-29 / Matthew 14
And it happened after these things that God tested Abraham.
Perhaps the most distressing thing about being tested is not having that animal agreement of whether he had actually heard the voice of God tell him to do it or not, which takes the account out of the realm of just another bible story we've heard a thousand times and makes it a definition of belief. For the secret sons of the hidden God, faith and belief isn't "believing in jesus," or "accepting jesus as our personal savior," or adhering to any of the established and accepted points of factual detail about the gods.
The animal agreement we look for and find is the basis for the decisions we make in our lives. If we can find the agreement we seek about a certain thing then we pursue that thing; if we don't then we look for something in which we can find that agreement in ourselves that it's the best thing for us. Abraham sought to have the agreement of having a son of his very own fulfilled for a long time. When he thought he had found it, the voice came to him and took it away so that he would not rely on the animal agreement for what actually sustained his hope, which is always only temporary.
The sons aren't asked to adhere to a certain creed or system created by the humans. They are asked to believe that the voice of their true Father has established that fact to them in a secret place deep inside themselves, which the humans around them aren't hearing so they cannot validate it for them, which would give them the animal agreement they naturally seek to continue going further in to what has already been started inside them.
And He said to him, "Abraham!" and he said, "Here I am." And He said, "Take, pray, your son, your only one, whom you love, Isaac, and go forth to the land of Moriah and offer him up as a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I shall say to you."
The deal with the testing is that we're never absolutely sure—according to the way the animal is used to and comfortable with the agreement it needs to find in order to continue pursuing whatever it sets out to find—that what we're doing is right and good and worth continuing in. The call of the Father to His own particular sons isn't like what the animal hears which makes and keeps it comfortable with what it's spending its time pursuing, according to the agreement it finds within itself about whatever it might be.
The LORD looks down from heaven
on the sons of men
God looks to see if there are any who understand that searching for Him, once the genuineness of His existence has been established, that there is nothing worthwhile to search for except that hope and promise of the calling which has already been established. The obvious conflicts will arise when the humans, to whom the call has not been extended, are affected by the decisions that the sons must make as they listen to the voice that established their authentic heritage as a genuine son of the living yet totally hidden God.
As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."
The story of the Father being to Jesus what Abraham was to Isaac leads to the incredible idea that God would be willing to give up the thing He loved most, as an example for His sons; and in the same way Abraham let go of his claim to Isaac and the Son giving up his life as an example for his brothers to do the same. The Father took the same risk with Jesus as He had taken with Adam; there was no guarantee that the Son would choose the Father and not the animal. The pivotal importance of this concept is why the christian message about the Son being a god who existed beforehand is ridiculous and confusing; and why everything else built upon that creed must be the same ridiculous and confusing story that cannot ever make any real sense. That's why christianity is reduced to a set of abstract religious ideas based on token instances of requirements and fulfillments which themselves remain abstract and confusing.
If the jesus god existed before he popped down from heaven to fulfill some prophesy, then the prophesy itself is reduced to just some words that need to be fulfilled. It means that there was no risk on the Father's part to Himself hope and trust that the Son would remain loyal and faithful to the calling, choosing to obey His voice instead of the animal's. It means that the Son's loyalty to the Father becomes a moot point and means nothing, because that would be easy for a god to do. Since that loyalty to the Father to choose the right and reject the wrong was the basis for the Father's family to be redeemed from the grave, since it's what allowed each of His own sons to be saved from the fate of all organic matter, then there is no coherent message that can come from christianity. According to its requirement, one *must* adhere to the athanasian creed of the trinity, which established the many gods explanation, or else one cannot be right with them, or "saved." Since every branch of modern day christianity is based on this model developed in the fourth century, the entirety of it is just a comic book type of story, not much different from the Roman and Greek models after which it was fashioned.
When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, "Abraham! Abraham!"
"Here I am," he replied.
"Do not lay a hand on the boy," he said. "Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son."
It's up to us to realize what our life is and come to the point of saying "Here I am, ready to be what I don't want to be, and do what I don't want to do." What we love most in this life comes from that agreement about what's best for us according to our animal disposition toward surviving better and longer, steering away from what threatens that and toward what helps it. That is what we give up for the Father's sake, to receive His word of the promise of sonship if we hear His voice. If we have the life of God and the Son living in us we will be able to hear the living word that can speak to us and teach us what that is for each of us individually, according to the personal covenant being established, unique to each of the sons. We respond with either "Here I am," or "I cannot do that, that is too hard and too much to ask."
If the voice of the Teacher is not there, then any rationalization is fair game: "The Lord would never ask me to do that, that is against what we believe, God doesn't work that way," etc. If we aren't called/chosen then we won't have to give up what we love; if we are then we will have the choice to, which is the overarching message within this well-known passage for the sons. "Your only son" is similar to your only life, which is all we have to give, but that which is necessarily the thing we love most. The wood piled on Isaac's back is similar to the cross put on the Lord's back. Take up your cross daily is a metaphor for what exactly? What is important is that it seems like a bad thing to the animal in us, just like to Jesus the cross would have seemed like a bad thing, similar to the disciples thinking that the predictions of Jesus for them in John were a bad thing.
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."
Now I am going to him who sent me, yet none of you asks me, 'Where are you going?' Because I have said these things, you are filled with grief. But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away.
Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.
It's a good thing because like everything that is true about God, it is opposite to the way the animal would think, feel or do. The way of God leads to life; the way of the animal to death. The animal wanted Jesus to choose the immediate things, what seemed good to the humans, like taking the kingdom by his own hand and force because it belonged to him (and he had the power to do it). He would have received the support of all the Jews, even the leaders would have rallied around him—all the things that man naturally wanted would be fulfilled. But Jesus knew another way, completely foreign to all the animals, that which the Father had whispered to him secretly, and only he knew about it. He had to do what seemed the wrong thing to all the people, and to that animal which also whispered, but echoed the desire and way of man, not God.
To prove that you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written: 'He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'
The true sons will be asked to do what seems wrong to everyone around them, those who claim to have whatever truth gives them their animal agreement. The teacher will whisper secretly about the right thing according to the Son and the Father, and they will know for sure the difference between the two—enough to be able to choose. It won't be some bogus situation they need to concoct on their own, nor will it be limited to the constraints of what they think God is limited to doing, either actually/physically or morally. One human who claims to hold the key to the way to the Father told me, "No, God can't do anything he wants." This is also the one who likened His spiritual calling and work is us to a "warm fuzzy feeling."
No hard feelings against the man in particular, nor any of those who have been chosen to be antagonists in this work. Their notions about the way God must always work aren't their fault entirely. It's just the fear working with the ego component of the animal nature, which presumes it can own and control the way to the Father because it knows some facts which seem more reasonable than the rest of the world's humans, regarding the Son. Setting up yet another religion in the world which claims to know the way to God, they become as misguided as any of the man-made religious groups despite a few truths they might know about the scriptures. It's the same way the Pharisees and teachers of the law were misguided about the real truth of God even though they knew the Law so well (so they thought). We have to remember that the secrets of the kingdom of God have been given to us, and the secrets are hidden—only uncovered to those God chooses to reveal them. There's no getting to the Father via human intellect or established facts or rules, which are all entirely a natural things. In other words, they don't necessarily come from the living God, but are developed by the humans to get and retain that animal agreement they so desperately need to have about what's in store for themselves. That is the truth as we have been given the opportunity to know it. And the fact that we know it means that we should say the truth about it—not what they want to hear, or what would make them like us, or even tolerate us.
It doesn't matter that they think we're crazy, wrong or pompous for thinking that we have been given what they do not have, what our first century brothers had—the power and life of God living in us to teach us the new way and show us the path that leads to Him. The humans cannot show us because they don't know where it is, because it's hidden and secret. We just say what we know is true, and we shouldn't expect them to like or accept us for it, and especially we shouldn't think they'll believe us—that we actually do possess what we claim to possess. The good thing is that the Lord has provided others, if only a tiny amount, who believe us because it's also happening in them. In this way we will have no choice but to count on each other, fight with each other, and eventually as we see the value of these, to love each other. This is the experience of the 11, chosen by God to have eyes to see His life in the other, and ears to hear Him whispering that to us.
As both Isaac and Ishmael were progenitors of great peoples for Abraham's sake, God the Father will in this way have a family of His own, set apart from all the unclean animals who cannot love Him—a family of the spiritually alive, those who have the deposit of the spirit living in their hearts and the name of their true Father written on their foreheads. The natural copies of the spiritual reality at work again. And the spiritual reality, of which we have become aware, is the only reality because it is not based on the cycles of death like everything else in this creation which is passing away.
In that sense, "Your only son" evokes the understanding that as Ismael would have been considered by the earthly peoples as Abraham's son, God did not. Only Isaac was the son of the Father. In the same respect, that being a copy of what is true, only those who have been called to know the spiritual reality are called sons of God, and the rest are sons of Adam, destined to die like any beast. It also addresses the emotional ties of the Christadelphians to flesh and blood, which was at the root of our experience with them, and their seeming unwillingness to address these words of the Lord about who and what is real family, according to God.
Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
And Abraham called the name of that place YHWH-Yireh>The LORD sees "On the mount of the LORD there is sight."
God sees that Abraham feared Him/loved Him/trusted His way instead of what Abraham thought should be done, which is the overarching message to all of it. So also "God sees the right way that things should be done," which will undoubtedly differ from ours, and also that of those who think they know the right way. Perfect segue into what the Lord did/is doing with us. First he asks do we love him more than our lives, then he allows us to serve him. Therein lies a formula of God:
By my own self I swear, declares the LORD, that because you have done this thing and have not held back your son, your only one, I will greatly bless you...and your seed shall take hold of its enemies' gate.
God is testing His sons to purify their hearts and allow them to realize and attain to what they ultimately desire more than anything, which is to be a true son and no longer an animal. He hasn't chosen us to make peace with the christadelphians or any other humans, which would just be fulfilling that animal need for the agreement we seek to find in ourselves by the consensus we find might with the humans. We know that from what He has already done between us/them. He brought a sword between what He wanted to accomplish, and what was and is the erroneous assumption about who is a son and what is required of a son. Sanctification, being set apart is God's way of saying "These are mine, those are not." Wheat and tares, sheep and goats.
We can also see very clearly that the Lord's desire for us is making us look bad to the natural—in their very words we are "Trees that are producing bad fruit." It's actually the perfect course that everything has taken. Again, the irony of God to give His treasure to the nobodies, who look like bad fruit, and they condemn God by their very words, "What God is doing is producing bad fruit," calling the work of the living God evil the same way the Son's antagonists called the life of God living in the Son evil. What the Lord said regarding John the Baptist also holds true for us. Jesus understood his value to God, in the spiritual reality, yet to the animals he looked worse than everyone else. That is of course another formula for God—that which isn't, is; that which is, isn't.
I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
He who is least among you all—he is the greatest.
In the eyes of the Christadelphians we are definitely low, which should give us great pleasure that we have been called to become this, to share in the fellowship of the Lord's suffering, to share in the shame that follows the calling of all of God's true sons. If we think that is a bad thing, or that we don't want it, that is the animal desiring to be something in their eyes, desiring reconciliation, respect and honor among them.
"I am a sojourning settler with you."
So in terms of the actual reality, they should feel lucky that they are being given a chance to experience the Lord's actual dealings, for there must be something about them which sets them apart from all the other communities. Do they want to gamble, like the Jews did, that we are crazy? Could we possibly be correct in what we are saying? If so, then it has nothing to do with us, it was all initiated and engineered by the Lord for his purpose (everything that happened, and is still happening), so the things they are all so sure are true could be just the opposite. And what will the ramifications of that be?
At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the reports about Jesus, and he said to his attendants, "This is John the Baptist; he has risen from the dead! That is why miraculous powers are at work in him."
Superstition isn't the same as the hidden truth which is supernatural, not natural or observable. The power of the life of God who lived in Jesus' body, unseen to the humans because He is spirit, not material, was why miraculous powers were at work in him. The same thing was later true about the apostles who did miracles. They were able to do them because the newly formed life of the Father & Son was living in them.
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"
The process of transforming the son from natural to supernatural isn't noticed in the natural, amongst the humans. That's why the sons will not find validation from the humans, because they're purely natural beings. Their validation comes initially from a supernatural source, and keeps coming from there, although they will continue for a while to find it in the natural, banging their heads until they learn that it isn't there. Finding it in the natural would be easier and more settling, but not genuine because the Father is not one bit natural, so the sons have to come away from that world where they used to find their identity, where the humans are defined as the animals they are, but the sons can't find a home in.