Genesis 32-33 / Psalm 36 / Matthew 21
Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.
Kingdom of God and Heaven was a term that Jesus used a lot because the kingdom of David and of Israel under the coming Son of David was such a predominant idea in the culture of Israel. Their collective worth and identity swirled a lot around the hope of a resurgent Israel and their anticipation about what Messiah would do for this group of human descendants of Abraham among the other humans in the other nations around them, particularly those who became strong enough to be able to oppress and rule over them.
The LORD declares to you that the LORD himself will establish a house for you: When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with the rod of men, with floggings inflicted by men. But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.
The hope of Israel wasn't actually about a group of humans who inherited a mantle of being God's chosen group which was led out of Egypt into the land promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob's descendents. The humans, no matter what name they claim for themselves, don't fulfill God's purpose because all they can ever do is get, take, own and control for their own purpose, acting like wild animals whose life is about preserving their own will, and following God only in terms of enhancing that individual or collective animal will they are driven to fulfill. Yet through the mouths of His prophets God kept promising that He would save Israel, or at least a remnant of her.
I said to the city,
`Surely you will fear me
and accept correction!'
On that day you will not be put to shame
for all the wrongs you have done to me,
The will and pride of the human animal who is driven to fulfill its own "life" for itself and provide whatever it can get to surround itself with and to hell with the others, and God in the process is the motivation behind all of the disappointments God had with the nation of Israel. The human is driven to be strong and proud, self-sufficient and willful. It despises the meek and lowly, those who cannot defend themselves.
But I will leave within you the meek and humble, who trust in the name of the LORD.
The remnant of Israel will do no wrong; they will speak no lies, nor will deceit be found in their mouths. They will eat and lie down and no one will make them afraid."
When the prophet was raised up among the true brothers of Moses—those who were waiting for the consolation of Israel—the humans who took upon themselves the mantle of being God's chosen people without conforming to God's requirements didn't recognize him because he didn't look like them, or what they wanted to see in their Messiah. That is, he was not corrupted by the animal to be and look like a human looked according to how God looks at the humans, naturally evil because they are ruled by another foreign master—the devil, or satan, which is just the mechanism He created to be an adversarial force, for His own purpose to test the ones He was choosing so they could choose Him back in a reciprocal kind of way that God likes to see in His own sons.
If He tested the firstborn Son to such an incredible degree, we should not think that we will not be tested, not in the cheesy ways that we would choose, but according to how the Father has already set up the example of the firstborn Son, after whom the true brothers must follow, him and not the animal. When he said to the men who were chosen by God, "Follow me," he was setting up the contrast with the alternative that lived in their hearts, that old adversary the serpent who wanted to rule them as it had ruled the first Adam, and desired to rule the second Adam. Out of love, honor, respect, loyalty and faithfulness to the Father, the second Adam turned his back on the animal that wanted to rule him as he turned his face toward the Father and chose the way the animal did not want to go, the slow steady walk straight into the serpent's mouth, to kill the serpent's power to hold the sons in the ground forever.
Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. "Abba, Father," he said, "everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will."
The real Jesus wasn't celebrated or worshipped by the humans, like the liars seem to want to portray their mythical jesus god as. Even the one closest to him was so afraid for his own life that he couldn't identify with him but swore he didn't know him to protect his own animal self. The idea of him being a king was such a pertinent joke to the humans who executed him because it seemed like such a ridiculous thought that he would be thought of as a king of anything. The reason for this actual beholding of Jesus the shameful failure of a Jew and not honored king is simply for the reason that like the Father concealed Himself from the humans, the Son's identity was also totally hidden from them. Such is the same reality for all of God's sons, who will not be honored by the humans until their time comes, when they will all be honored together.
On that day they will say to Jerusalem, "Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands hang limp.
The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
"The sorrows for the appointed feasts
I will remove from you;
At that time I will deal
with all who oppressed you;
I will rescue the lame
At that time I will gather you;
at that time I will bring you home.
Have you never read in the Scriptures: "The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes?"
The metaphors are pictures that humans can understand if their mind lets them, so of course he talked about the kingdom in metaphors. But what he said about the kingdom was that it wasn't a kingdom at all according to the way the humans understood it—as a nation filled with human animals with a human as their king.
When they said, "Give us a king to lead us," this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the LORD. And the LORD told him: "Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you.
Jesus replaced the idea of king, prince and subjects with Father, Son and family of sons, because that is God's intention from the beginning, to have a house and a family of children who have chosen Him when they were given the choice to choose Him, and then the Son who did the Father's will, who took over the Father's work and business as a good son is expected to. Jesus is the head of the sons, the cornerstone of the temple, yet another metaphor intended to be able to allow the sons to understand the concept.
And he said, "Not Jacob shall your name hence be said, but Israel, for you have striven with God and men, and won out."
Searching and clawing our way to the Father is like Jacob's struggle, and Jesus' time on earth crying out to God to be heard. It is the baptism that all the sons must go through, that path away from the animal and toward what they naturally and instinctively don't want to walk, because it goes against everything that lives in them to define them as the animal they are before the transformation must happen, which makes them sons of God.
During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.
Much of the Son's own awareness of the life was formed by everything he heard from the Father about the stories of his true brothers. The phrase "I am sending you out like sheep among wolves; therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves," may have come from his understanding of the life of Jacob. Scheming and plotting to nevertheless receive what God already wanted for him seems like it doesn't make sense to the natural mind. His ways are against and above man's ways and expectations, which have been formed by a life of hearing lies about Him.
If God wanted Jacob to be blessed over the firstborn Esau, why didn't He just put that into Isaac's mind? Why did he have to connive and get what God wanted by what seems to be deceptive means? The mind set we are used to is thinking that if God loves us, He will just make it easy for us to find His way. That follows the thinking that He just loves everyone the same, and wants as many sons as possible to populate His kingdom.
For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
Wrestling and fighting with God, men and especially our own natural selves and the nature that continues to define us as wild animals before the Father are what the new life is about. After so much wrestling comes a blessing, which is our hope. There is much more to the account of Jacob's life than just some only slightly relevant stories. He was the father of the 12 tribes, but most importantly he was the father of Joseph, whom he favored more than the others. The Father is partial to the one he loves more, which is the message. They were in fact only the copy of the true, hidden Israel—a nation of sons who knew His name, who interacted with Him and fulfilled His purpose for the humans. That is, out of this race of animals comes a family of sons who struggled and fought in this life to find the treasure that is His love.
We should know by now that God does favor some over others, as it is clear that He has given us some way to see that He hasn't given to the others who just continue along in their lives as usual. That has been a difficult thing for our feeble animal minds to comprehend all along because we've been brainwashed to believe from the human standpoint, and it still seems unsettling because of the conditioning our natural consciousness has had all our lives about the way God must be—fair, democratic, and impartial.
Jesus knew that God didn't love everyone the same, just as he knew that Jacob didn't love all his sons the same, for he knew that He had only chosen 12 men to follow him and hear the truth about the way of God and the secrets of the kingdom of the spirit. To the rest he purposely spoke in riddles that they couldn't understand, because God didn't want them to understand—He didn't want them to hear the truth, to turn to Him and be healed. That passage should shoot plenty of holes in our mushy milk-toast view of God being unselective and impartial, that He wants as many people as possible to know the truth about Him.
The ultimate reason that this life is about struggling and fighting to find our way to the Father is so that we can share in the fellowship of the suffering and shame of the firstborn Son, and each other in the truest sense of camaraderie because the purpose is so valuable and we're the only ones who know about it. Otherwise we would be illegitimate children, not worthy to wear the hidden name of God our true Father. The practical working out of this is when we are standing in the assembly of the firstborn sons of God, and our lives are being replayed for all our brothers to share in all the things we overcame to choose our Father and His way over our own way—the devil, the animal nature and the humans who are ruled by it. And by this, we will have also chosen them as our brothers, who did the same. There we will be, standing in the midst of no great men according to the world, but those who will be made great by the honor and glory bestowed on them by God and the Lord, for choosing Him.
"If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels."
Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?"
Being a martyr for the sake of the Lord, like Stephen, is just a more severe way of not choosing to indulge the animal's needs, appetites, urges and cravings. The animal's chief goal is always to preserve itself in many ways, including the physical but also extending to other areas such as mental and emotional. Pretty much this life, which is just death waiting to happen, is just a bunch of decisions about ways and methods of survival from one day to the next; to make it easier or better for us and our offspring (same DNA = same). Choosing to acknowledge the Lord for our first century brothers is not anything like it today, because the name of Jesus doesn't mean anything today in the world.
So now we wrestle and fight, but not to become some good-standing member of a community of liars. They unfortunately share in the brotherhood of only being able to pretend to love God and follow the Lord, because in reality they are helplessly at the mercy of the animal nature, which they cannot even recognize—what prevents them from knowing God despite the presumptions. There would be no wrestling in that, but merely fitting in, not saying what is actually true, but continually putting on the act for all the other good people about who they are; pretending to be one thing on Sunday—on the outside—when they all know that they are quite another in their heart, despite their good intentions, even on Sunday.
It's easy to for the humans not to bat an eye about this condition while they excuse themselves as helpless creatures with a sinful nature—the "nobody's perfect" syndrome, which they often do regarding this dual nature that exists within them. And that is the very point of the words we write, the new gospel, in terms of the humans being able to comprehend the depths of the depravity of man and his helpless condition of being unclean, and not pleasing to God. It is why they cannot be humble before Him, because they cannot even see or understand their condition, which doesn't explain their assumption that they deserve to be sons, even though they are still wearing the skins of the animal.
But that's no gospel, or "good news" for them. It is news for the sons of God who will not be noticed by the humans. The good news is that there is a chance to overcome that nature which they don't even know is there. First they have to be told, then they have to see it in themselves, then the process begins, of a pulling away from that deceptive, dictatorial thing they wear in and around their heart so the possibility of knowing the Father is completely impossible because it means they are being defined as wild, fearful animals who can only hide.
Our objective isn't to ridicule or set ourselves up as 'better.' It is, though, to establish the difference between the two groups—humans versus sons—and that their involvement with the humans will only serve to reinforce that condition which is bad, because it keeps them in that wild animal state of fear and hiding.
If we know the truth do we do anyone a service by not preaching that, just because we don't want them to feel uncomfortable? There is obviously no honor in that. Our desire is to point out that just because someone thinks he should have the blessing of the firstborn son, like Esau—that he deserves it because of any reason, especially a lie propagated by men—that doesn't mean he'll get it. Man doesn't tell God how to be or who to choose. If they haven't yet been called to share in that secret brotherhood, then they haven't been called, and we shouldn't pretend they have just so we don't hurt their feelings. That's just the way it is, the same way the slaughtering of apparently innocent Canaanite children and women was just the way it was—because God wanted it that way. They should pray that they might be called. But the life of the son of God isn't like they think it is, so it might be better that they weren't called because it takes everything to follow the real Jesus, not just a fake smile and intention.
Instead of assuming something is correct just because a bunch of men say it is, the sons will understand the preserved words, about which the misinformed claim to be experts, and desire to have the secret and hidden life of God instead of anything the humans love and run after, that which is lacking in their communities of animals who say one thing, but can't help do another. God's mind can be changed, but if someone is happy living a lie like all the other animals, why would He desire to have that one as His own son? If he doesn't want the treasure, enough to actually be as Jesus was, why would he expect to receive it?
"Stop grumbling among yourselves," Jesus answered. "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.
It is written in the Prophets: 'They will all be taught by God.' Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me.
No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father.
No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.