Exodus 19-20 / Psalm 73 / Mark 6
You yourselves saw what I did to Egypt, and I bore you on the wings of eagles and I brought you to Me. And now, if you will truly heed My voice and keep My covenant, you will become for Me a treasure among all the people, for Mine is all the earth. And as for you, you will become for Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.
The lasting truth of this is about God's hidden sons, with whom He has a permanent covenant. This is what all the covenants He had with the humans pointed at as metaphor, and why they could be temporary, because they were only ever meant to serve as a copy of the better thing, which the writer of Hebrews started developing in his letter.
The point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by man.
Whatever is set up by man is like everything else in the natural—temporary just like the natural world. When God told Moses to set up the Tabernacle according to His precise instructions it was a kind of exercise of anticipation and a looking forward to. It's sort of like Jesus the human, whom to the humans looked just like them. They thought they knew him because of his outsides, from his life as a human when he grew up around them, not appearing on the outside like anything except a normal old everyday human like all the others, which is why those in his home town kept him in that box, even though he did extraordinary things because of what they couldn't see—that invisible life of the Father who lived in him to make him what he was according to the permanent reality, that which God saw but none of the humans except a few.
"Where did this man get these things?"
According to the Father, the human Jesus that the humans mistook for one of them had another secret identity that they couldn't/wouldn't comprehend because God kept that identity from them. They were mere humans, and the Father doesn't expose His valuable treasure to the unclean pigs that don't want to see or know anything except their little existence, which to them isn't little but everything. The humans will always assume in their own minds that they are something very special, when in the reality that they can readily observe, they are but a mere speck, a blade of grass that shoots up then is gone before you can turn your head around.
All day long I have held out my hands
to an obstinate people,
who say, `Keep away; don't come near me,
for I am too sacred for you!'
According to the Father who is unseen, this one who was mistaken for an ordinary human was His own Son—the firstborn Son of God who was to come into the world, existing in God's mind since the beginning of the world as an anticipation of the good thing to come. However, the humans were looking for someone else, someone who agreed with them, whom they could look at and accept as good, because he would do things for them (which they felt they deserved because they're so inherently good). Even when He was applying the curse that the humans would bear upon themselves throughout their history, He was speaking of the Son who was coming, who would not be like the first humans were, who didn't trust God to be their Father. The Son who was coming would be the One who would choose the Father out of a pure heart, and not let the animal (the serpent) deceive him, lead or guide him so that he remained pure, not 100% corrupted like the humans were and are.
You shall not make with Me gods of silver and gods of gold, you shall not make them for yourselves. An earthen altar shall you make for Me, and you shall sacrifice upon it you burnt offerings and your communion sacrifices, your sheep and your cattle.
I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.
Offering the natural body as the sacrifice is the better thing, what the Exodus commandment was a copy of, spoken to the people who were themselves a copy of the true people of God, His spiritual sons who worship Him in spirit and in truth, as the firstborn Son did. He was worshipped as Lord in the first century because he was elevated to the condition of being made One with God, as the reward and vindication/validation for what he had done as a human—that is, choose God and deny the animal that wanted to rule him.
You shall have no other gods beside me.
A god cannot/does not worship another god, which is why making the Son into a god doesn't honor him, but does him and especially the Father great disservice. It is not just a different viewpoint about the same God and Jesus, and their way of interacting with the humans who were chosen to become sons of God (the spirit). Making Jesus and the mechanism of the new covenant (the spirit) into gods who because of their status as gods are equal with the God of Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David and Jesus is bringing God down into the ground, where they want to keep Him for their evil pleasure.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
What is the present natural body's existence within the pattern of this world? The life we have the chance of living to and for ourselves, what all animals have the right to do. There is one life, then it's over, and the animals live it out the best they can, according to what opportunities they have to enhance it, make it the best they can for themselves. There are many things to attain to in this life—respect and honor, wealth and happiness, comfort and levels of luxury, fame and prosperity, a good name and reputation, someone to look up to, an enviable position, healthy family, intellect, anything that garners acceptability, etc. It seems a pretty benign thing, to live out one's life the best they can afford, and it is expected that the animals seek to and attain as much as is available to them, which is the natural thing for an animal to do.
The sons give up what they could have/be to live a life opposite to that, as a spiritual sacrifice that is only pleasing to Him who is the spirit, to He who can see and be able to accept their spiritual worship. Not for their (or their offspring's) sake, but for their true Father, who cannot be seen by the humans because He has chosen to be elusive to them (existing as pure spirit while they are purely natural), so that only a spiritual being who has been expressly made that way by Him, can comprehend Him. Spiritual not in the sense of how the modern spiritualists (including the christians who all think that the holy spirit god is inhabiting them) define spiritual, which can be anything, and anyone can be an expert. Spiritual is that which is opposed to natural, and there is only one spirit world and one God who lives in it and exists there. Everything else, like all the religions which claim to know the way to the spiritual God, is made up in the minds of the men who want to naturally (ironic) profit from that in many different sorts of ways. Their intended profit is not just monetarily, although that's a big one because the humans love money. Amongst the animals there is a currency for things that satisfy the craving on the level of the emotional and egotistical survival, which are satisfied by things like feeling the agreement within one's self that one is better and righter and extends out to the gods they claim like property. The lust for that kind of craving is deep and deceptive. It finds its zenith in a "pastor" who stands in front of a bunch of humans, doling out that currency by worshipping him for his position, disguised as something good—being "used by god" (to perpetuate the mythology and lies that keeps them in their various currencies.
Jesus said to them, "Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor."
It is a compliment to God when one of His sons gives everything he could have and be up for apparently unknown reasons, for things undecipherable to the humans around him, for what apparently does not exist. He likes it when the humans call His sons crazy, arrogant and out of their minds, because they're going against what seems normal, and to all the humans it is nothing but an attack against goodness and normality. The sons see what the humans cannot.
When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, "He is out of his mind."
He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. And he was amazed at their lack of faith.
The last thing said is an interesting one; it is significant that Jesus was amazed. It must have been something extraordinary that he didn't expect; and he knew what was in man, the unbelief that the humans were capable of. So it seems that he did many miraculous things there in Capernaum, considering both this reaction in him, plus the fact that those who took offense at him admitted that he had such great wisdom, and that he even did miracles. Yet they couldn't help but to take offense at him, to turn away and not embrace him as Messiah, or even the prophet he obviously was. All they wanted to do was find a reason for not believing him, because it was in them to not believe—the animal is repulsed by God.
The obviousness of the fact that he was genuinely a prophet from God is all over the preserved words, yet a stronger force was in play than what allowed for the comprehension and embracing of Jesus as Messiah, Son of David. The humans are petty and envious as one of many definitions of their fundamental nature—who they are at their core—so no matter what Jesus did or spoke with the authority that usually amazed people, all they wanted to do was find ways to reject him, because they didn't want to believe. Even the angels are working to validate all the various lies that the humans want to believe, what sounds good to them. It happens on a level within them where the angels are allowed to affect them, because they are spirit, as the Father is spirit (let us make man in our image). They reinforce what the animal tells them is true, what they're enticed by, what they love—anything and everything but the truth. The truth is reserved for the true sons of God, whose inheritance the angels are instructed to protect at all cost—even and especially to deceive those who aren't chosen to become sons so that they can't just reach out their hand and pick from the tree of life, and be healed of their condition.
This should serve as a warning about just how strong the animal in the humans is, and can be in the sons too if we allow it to rule/lead/guide us instead of the voice of the Teacher. It can act to blind us if we are not careful to "Truly heed His voice and keep His covenant," as the newly saved Israelites were instructed. Second, to confound the humans and disallow them to act on the spiritual reality—in fact not even see it, is how it operates and is 100% efficient in them to keep them from the truth, which is, again, reserved not for them but for the true sons. Because of this, it should reflect something to us also in regards to trying to tell anyone the truth that we know, so obvious to us but so hidden to those we might expect to be able to embrace it. We should wonder whether we're not doing it for it for the wrong reason—to gratify that deep craving for validation, which is a remnant of the animal nature that will continue to keep invading us for a long time because it's so hard to get at and identify, then separate out as something bad since it is us and we tend to want to protect ourselves as we are commanded to by the animal still in us.
The bulk of mature christadelphians and christians who are smug and secure in their assumed position as God's chosen people in the world—yet who cannot understand the most basic message of Jesus' life—fall into this group of those who even if they saw a miracle would just explain it away as something else. That is because they have already decided what they want to believe, because that is something they can have total control over, something that will give them the agreement they seek to find within themselves. While they say they conform to the god(s) of the bible, they actually make their own gods after the likeness of what they're willing to accept, who will conform to them and their animal needs to live out their lives as any animal wants (hold on to their life), and yet think, or believe that they're special to their gods because they "believe" the right facts about it.
After all, what did the phrase "lack of faith" mean with respect to Jesus' encounter with and reaction to those who thought they knew who he was but couldn't know because they couldn't see the God who was inhabiting his body? They would have, to the sternest contrary, told you of their great faith in the God of Israel, and how they considered themselves favored because of their blessed position as the people of God, going all the way back to Abraham and Moses. Little would they be able to understand that the God of Abraham and Moses was starting over again, like He started over with Able, Noah, Abraham & Ezra; and how He wanted to start over with Moses, but he talked Him out of doing that—Moses changed God's mind.
And now, if you will truly heed my voice and keep my covenant, you will become for me a treasure among all the peoples, for mine is all the earth. And as for you, you will become for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.
They would have cringed in horror to think that God was just about to extend His salvation to the gentiles, the unclean pagan dogs who would never comprehend the reality of the only true God of Israel as they thought they did. The hidden thing that God was truly after—not hidden at all, just to them—was something they could never get their minds around to grasp or especially to embrace. That prejudicial thinking ran so deep that even the apostles had to deal with it in their own transformations—not any kind of accident that it is included for us to observe about their inbred predispositions. The mind and its prejudices, fueled by the animal nature, are deeper and more powerful than the humans can imagine, or than they ever can admit, because they aren't allowed to see that, as the sons are able to. The reason the sons are able to isn't so they can feel superior to the humans (an animal trap/craving), but so they can identify what they have to come away from and deny. It is the devil, adversary and deceiver, the ruler of this world who wants to lead the sons astray, yet which ironically serves God by keeping the throngs away from Him.
The Jews thinking that salvation would be extended to gentiles might be a similar thing to think today, of God's truth and salvation being extended to the new age community, those who desire to embrace the reality of some kind of spiritual existence, who are hungry for some kind of truth existing outside of this natural realm, yet who are, like the Greeks in the first century, chasing after all kind of mythical gods. Those who are hungry for some kind of spiritual truth, yet can also honestly look at all forms of religion as man-made, rule based, and totally inadequate to address the truth and power of what God must be. The irony is that the christians also believe in more than one god—they have 3 gods, which is the same as any idol worshipping religion.
You shall have no other gods beside me.
It should be noted that I'm not necessarily advocating new age practices (massage seems pretty good though) or thinking. Also, the new age "experts" in many of their practices seem way too eager for money in exchange for their spiritual healing and love toward man, so I wouldn't say that too much genuineness should necessarily be attributed to their compassionate benevolence. There is something promising though about the desire for some kind of spiritual truth, some sort of new kind of love which apparently doesn't exist by their natural observations, and their acknowledgment that it cannot be found in any of the christian religions, where one might expect it to be found because they claim to follow Jesus. The reason it isn't found there though is because their jesus was made up by humans, and doesn't exist.
The prejudices that color our own pondering about whom salvation will be extended to in the present age of God's coming in to the world—the third and presumably final one—comes from our exposure to the liars. Undoubtedly not those who don't want His truth, because it runs contrary to their smugness and prejudice about what they think God can and can't do. These have the same attitude that the Lord contended with by and large. They want to take whatever's good and make it into something that can serve them, as they are directed by the animal that lives inside them, which totally rules them. Assuredly it must be those who want and are hungry for the truth that he brings, who aren't afraid to look past the animal fear of the religious animals, those following in the tradition of the Judaizers who have created and maintain their own modern versions of the laws of old: "Stay away from what is not like us, and be like us."
Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: "Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!"?
These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom...but they lack any value in restraining the animal indulgences (what that nature desires in us).
The religious systems developed and maintained by men are powerless against the animal consciousness. Contrary to any of the teachings within their religious systems and institutions, this is what actually rules man, not some abstract notion of a "sinful nature," which not accidentally always goes against the law they maintain and the way they pretend to behave (at least on the outside where the other humans can see). This animal consciousness is what keeps the humans from seeing the truth and finding God's love, not an abstract concept of sin, but the root of sin and death.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
They went out and preached that people should repent. They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.
The preview is a tool that is used a lot.