Exodus 11-12 / Psalms 66-67 / Mark 1
...so that you may know how the LORD sets apart Egypt and Israel.
There is a setting apart of the sons of God from the humans, because the latter are ordinary to God and the former are special, the ones He has specially chosen to be His while the others just remain what they are, have been and will be. God does not want His sons to be ruled by the nature that rules the humans, so He separates them from the humans and the nature that lives in them, which can be a bad influence on the sons from exposure. For the humans it's what keeps them motivated to continue moving along the spectrum of their existence, but for the sons it is like a disease that will contaminate them if they're around the humans, who aren't even aware that they have the disease. Quarantine from them is the best way of interacting with them.
Come out from them
and be separate,
says the Lord.
The command is that those who are chosen must not cling to the idea that their human fathers are anything to them, because they have been chosen by a true Father, One who isn't merely another animal which has no capacity to love them as their unseen Father has because He is not afflicted with that disease of having to constantly look after his own hide all the time like the humans must, since they're driven by instinct to always be doing without even being aware that they are (they won't know what the sons know about their condition).
If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple.
This may seem cold and pointless in the current cultural climate of tolerance and equality, and it's against everything the humans stand for when they think of doing good. It is ironic because the way that God set up doing good according to Him is opposite to the way the humans consider it. First being able to identify, then coming away from that which contaminates is the way God has always been regarding the people of His own choosing, who are the copy of His true sons, the distinct group of humans He is choosing to be different than all the rest. If Israel had stayed in Egypt, they wouldn't have been pleasing to God, because it was His plan to pull them out and separate them from Egypt. The place He intended to take them also had humans living in it, who weren't chosen by Him to be His people either.
In the cities of the nations the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. Completely destroy them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the LORD your God has commanded you.
Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their gods, and you will sin against the LORD your God.
The reason that the Father loves the Son is because he laid down his human existence, he put it aside, he did not take it by the power of his hand for himself, but he surrendered it for the sake of the Father and the family of sons, whom by that surrendering of his life became saved so that they could be remembered and redeemed from the earth which claims all the humans once their existence is over. Whether buried or burned, the gravitational pull on all objects back into it assures that everything becomes swallowed up by the earth and therefore permanently one with it—an unnamed piece of matter that gets worked back into it to feed another part of the creation, plant or animal, which itself will suffer the same fate; and on and on goes the cycle of "life."
Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, "The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, `Here it is,' or `There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you."
The sons become a creature that is separated from the natural creation, so that they are able to be remembered by Him who is not a part of it, and His Son, who was once a part of it but was made to be different than the rest so he could be a participant in the kingdom that isn't in any way natural. That is Jesus' point when he keeps talking about the kingdom, over and over to those who thought it would be an extension of David's natural kingdom populated by humans.
I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.
The fact that the sons of God have to become like their Father; that is, a new creation from that which they have been until they are born of Him—spiritual not natural—will only be something theoretical for them at first because they are still very much human for a long time while the process of their transformation starts to form like an embryo. The separation of themselves from their old nature will begin to take more shape when they start seeing how their involvement with the humans, on whatever level they continue to bind themselves with them, reinforces the old way and keeps their growth in the new way stunted. It keeps them from being able to know their Father, because they're allowing themselves to remain infected by the disease that may look benign to them, but only because they're not able to see what it does to 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.
The sons' biggest hindrance is probably not being able to see with the Father's eyes, what the permanent reality actually is. Receiving that ability to see correctly is what drives the transformation from ugly duckling to beautiful swan, according to the Father. To the humans though the sons will go the other way—from acceptable and accepting them and their ways to unacceptable, distasteful and scornful, pitiable and ugly. That is one of the biggest fears to the humans, who always want to be acceptable to the others because it males them feel like they have an agreement with their need to feel like they are emotionally surviving. That's why the humans can't just choose to become sons of God, because it goes against their nature and they can't help but hating it down to the fiber of their being. It's just something they naturally are repelled by because it goes against what's in them to be able to find acceptable in the place where they are what they most truly are.
I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away.
God choosing His sons is not a joke, and He is pleased when we respond to the call when He calls us. Abraham wasn't commended because he stayed in a place where he was comfortable, or because he rationalized about all the reasons he shouldn't have killed Isaac. It wouldn't have been a pleasant thing to kill the inhabitants of the land, especially if they were seemingly peaceful, or defenseless and weak. The Israelites couldn't have seen the damage that these weak, peaceful humans would do to them in the future, even not consciously or purposefully, but merely being a host for the enemy to live in and become strong. The command given by God was for the purpose of purifying the land of all those things that contaminated it. It is a copy of what is true in the realm that is true, where God lives. It has no permanent or lasting ramifications in the natural, because the natural is temporary. Only God's reality and world, and those He brings into it, will last.
And should a sojourner sojourn with you and make the passover offering to the LORD, he must circumcise every male of his, then may he draw near to do it and he shall be like a native of the land, but no uncircumcised man shall eat of it.
The passover ritual became another definition of the Israelite chosen by God to be a particular people. Building on circumcision, no one who was uncircumcised could offer it to God unless they offered themselves first, their bodies as a sacrifice, allowing themselves to be mutilated by the cutting off of a part of what made them a man, permanently making themselves set apart as God's people. Not merely with words or sentiment, and by this command God is making sure that that would not happen. It shows how untrivial it was to God, that it wasn't just some celebration to be done lightly, but required this level of commitment to the way of God, to permanently cut off the foreskins of all the males in their family. Otherwise, if someone was not up to this level of committing himself and all his males in this very serious way, they would not participate and just move on.
Yet the LORD set his affection on your forefathers and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations, as it is today.
Circumcision defined the Israelites, setting them apart from all the other humans. However, just the outward sign did not make them right before God. Because they were specially chosen as God's people didn't mean they could take that relationship and grace for granted, which many ended up doing, to serve as a warning to the true sons. The condition of their heart was the more important thing to God—to be always renewed and soft toward Him, knowing they were unable to hide from Him because He searches the heart of man to see who the man is. This is what circumcision symbolized as another copy: that the skin by which man thinks he can hide from God is cut off and he is naked before Him, knowing that he cannot hide anything from the eyes of God, especially the thoughts and motives of his heart, which he easily hides from men.
Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer. For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes.
God states that He does show partiality, that He chose them above all the nations. Then He says that He doesn't show partiality. Speaking to the chosen group He assures them that they have been chosen, but within their group of brothers before Him they are naked and equal, stripped bare of any of the pretense that men think they can hide behind. The lie of the devil is claiming sonship and yet thinking at the same time that he can be freed from the requirements of God for His sons. It isn't a fair or unfair deal; it's a "you are diseased and cannot come near me" deal, which cannot be instantly changed by the wave of a magic wand.
As with anything in the natural world (the copy), it takes time, effort and nurturing in order to grow something up from seed, or baby, to a thing that is healthy. It is not easy to make a son of God from an animal, which is the lie of the religious leaders, that being one is so run of the mill and easy. That's why God made such a big deal about the yeast in the passover texts. It represents, as a copy, the sin of the hypocrisy of man which easily makes him think that because he is chosen, then he is freed from the requirements of being a son, of being pure in his heart toward his Father.
Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.
God was not partial amongst His people, requiring that every one of their foreskins got cut off, and in that respect they were all similar before Him. But the cutting off of their fleshly foreskin was only the copy of what He wanted from them. The removal of what their earthly eyes couldn't see, the foreskin of their heart, was what God wanted from His sons.
The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live.
Break up your unplowed ground
and do not sow among thorns.
In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.
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.
With man it's all about what he can see with his eyes and then draw conclusions based on that, make a judgment and create an evaluation in his mind because he is 100% natural, and that's where the humans find their gods. According to man and his earthly mind, being physically circumcised made one a Jew; keeping the law made him a good Jew and supposedly pleasing to God. Being baptized also seems to make a man good; being in fellowship, attending meeting, pumping out a bunch of babies whom he can convert to "the truth" also seems to make someone pleasing to God, according to man.
One of man's biggest falling points before God is that he is excused from the rigorous requirements of the son because of any number of things, such as being baptized "into the truth," religiously attending meeting every Sunday, adhering to the correct collection of interpretations of what the printed words say—even bribing God with money. He forgets that money is not important to God, only to man. He thinks that if he gives God lots of money then the bible mission will be able to convert more people to "the truth," and so God will be happy with the man's gift. However, how did the man get all that money in the first place—was it not by his laboring all day long for the nine times more he rewards himself with, than he gives to God?
You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did (pure in his devotion to the Father, separated from the diseases of the humans, dedicated to the family of the sons of God even to his own death—the model and example of all the other sons).
This is how we know what love is: Jesus God's Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.