Exodus 22 / Psalms 75-76 / Mark 8
You shall not cheat a sojourner and you shall not oppress him, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt. Now widow nor orphan shall you abuse. If you indeed abuse them, when they cry out to me, I will surely hear their outcry. And my wrath shall flare up and I will kill you by the sword, and your wives shall be widows and your children orphans.
A poetic illustration of God as the protective Father of those who normally get abused and exploited because their opportunity for advantage is slight, warning the humans that although it may seem like an easy thing to take advantage of a helpless sojourner, widow or orphan, He will actually avenge them Himself, and will create for the offender's family the same situation that existed for the object whom the man assumed he would be able to cheat. Our Father is the poet, protector of and provider for those who cannot protect themselves, a thing He establishes right at the beginning with the Israelites. We are the sons of God who are the sojourners, widows, orphans and paupers in the world of humans.
When we become secret children born of the hidden God, then our status in the world in relation to the humans changes to orphan instead of son of man. The shame of Jesus is the characteristic of the true son of God, and that becomes our badge and seal. The animal in us cringes at the thought of being an outsider, losing our respect, beheld by any of them as a contemptible and pathetic dreamer, hearing things that no one can verify. The animal in us was busy all its life trying to prove the opposite to itself and everyone around, and to lose all of what it built up around itself is difficult to accept. What a son of the world spends his life trying to be—acceptable, worthy, respectable, honorable—with the many tools available to him—money, success, cunning, intelligence, status, etc, the son of the living God must see it for what it actually is—nothing but an unquenchable smokescreen—then respond accordingly.
If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels.
As we become more aware of our actual status as sons of the living God, by the gifts He give us to gain that awareness, we become less dependent on our animal faculties to get what we think will aid us in our mode of constant survival. The wild animal nature is designed to produce only fear in us to the end that we're always afraid of dying or being found out that we're nothing but a speck of dust and not actually very important, with the reaction being that we have to constantly act on that fear and pretend that we're something and that we're not ever going to die. When all the humans engage on that conspiratorial level, then it's easier to believe because they can validate that lie in each other. They must always be engaged in trying to placate that fear within them by wondering and worrying about how they are going to continue to survive, and pretend that they're not actually, so they develop their various fairy tale scenarios where they all go to heaven because they're good, or americans, or republicans, or christians or christadelphians. Whatever they are, that makes them somehow good enough to "go to heaven," where all the other good people will be too, and of course all their kids because their gods are so fair and want them to be so happy because they're so inherently good.
The Exodus passage says a lot about the character of God—not just what He wants from His people but what He loves to do. It is so easy for Him to provide anything for anyone, yet who actually believes that? The animal cannot believe He is able or willing to do it, because of the driving need to do the tangible thing, whatever it can do by its own means to take care of itself. Another reason the animals can't be enjoyable to the Father is because He wants to provide for His sons, and loves to see that they actually do depend on Him to do that even though He can't be seen and everything on the outside points to the opposite of that.
Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.
This isn't about wisdom as is often assumed, because the humans in their natural state (to whom he was speaking at the time) have no wisdom as per what wisdom actually is—knowing who the hidden Father is and that one is being called to become part of His purpose (the only way one can know who the Father is). It is about giving one's allegiance, loyalty and faithfulness not to the humans (the pigs) who will only be able to validate their humanness; but to the process that will make one able to not be what he naturally is in his wild animal condition—the wild animal who will hiss, spit at, hide and protect himself from God rather than trust Him.
Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's.
The verse about pigs couples with what he told them about money and caesar, that the called sons should give what is not actually valuable to him who holds no ultimate power over them; and to give to the Father everything that matters. That which is valuable to the humans is money because it's an easy way to make one feel safe and insulated from the world. What's valuable to the Father is the son's life and heart laid open, trying to become honest and come out from his hiding places deep within himself, being able to behold the Father without the animal fear that makes him want to hide all the time. The only way to begin moving in this direction is by seeking the One who has already called him to begin seeking Him who is hidden and not easily found, on purpose.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
The son of God learns what is valuable, only through a long period of discovery and searching for Him who is hidden and wants to be found, yet not very easily. Otherwise anyone and everyone who had half a whim to want to get something from the gods would be able to water down the sons' inheritance, which is finding their Father and being part of His purpose. This can create that level of trust and belief and drive out the unbelief and distrust of the animal, which wants/needs/craves its host to find what it trusts in the natural world of the seeable and comprehendible, and drives it toward getting that for itself.
If you should lend money to My people, to the pauper among you, you shall not be to him like a creditor, you shall not impose interest on him.
If you should indeed take in pledge your fellow man's cloak, before the sun comes down you shall return it to him. For it is his sole covering, it is his cloak for his skin—in what can he lie? And so, when he cries out to Me, I will hear him, for I am compassionate.
The idea of not having to protect ourselves or provide for ourselves is so far removed from our consciousness that it is an impossible thing to actually believe, even for the sons who have already tasted the spiritual birth (because the animal still lives in them). It colors every situation we're in; most of the time it's a subconscious thing and we don't even realize we're doing it, and other times it's more apparent. We can say all we want that we believe such and such (the habit of hiding), but the actual truth is very different than the theoretical thing we might say with our mouth because of some knowledge we think we have and hold onto as though it's going to save us. We might be able to believe it on a certain intellectual level, and even get excited about its possibility for us, to be freed from the constant worry of having to look out for ourselves and wonder how we are going to continue to survive.
We've talked about it many times, and have been shown the possibility of becoming aware of the Father's presence and His desire and ability to provide for us, edging toward the edges of the degree by which the Lord understood and was sensitive to the Father's life in him. However, to be aware of the possibility is just the beginning, which should be recognized and contemplated by us for the purpose of producing humility, knowing the great hold the animal nature still has on us. The beginning is filled with the things that are designed to get our express attention; otherwise we probably wouldn't be able to endure because the animal is so strong and its design is to not let its host see anything that's real. The angel with a flaming sword is the image of its efficiency and power—how the hidden God stays that way. The fact that it is the beginning should also give us hope for what we will become as we move more into the consciousness of the Son, who was aware of the spiritual world in the place much deeper and real than our present grasp can provide.
God says, "I choose the appointed time; it is I who judge uprightly.
If we look at our situation through the eyes of the animal—practically all we have available to us now—we will be bowled over by the unbelief and impossibility that it suggests. The spirit gives us new eyes to see the reality unavailable to the animal but the process of becoming stable and dependable so as not to be blown over every time we turn around takes a long time. The pain and confusion of enduring is significant, but if we are being called we will be shown the way and given the ability to endure.
In the hand of the LORD is a cup full of foaming wine mixed with spices;
The Lord was able to properly understand these sections of the OT, which helped create his identity not as a son of the world, but the Son of God. The cup in the hand of God, foaming up and spicy, is the way of man. It's the alluring cup that all the sons of the world drink from, thinking it's the better way, drinking it down to its dregs.
Rise up, O Jerusalem, you who have drunk from the hand of the LORD
The Lord knew about another cup than what the humans drink from, not filled with foaming, spiced wine which took away the pain and grief that the animal spends its life trying to avoid. It was filled with his own blood, the cup of God's wrath—and represented for him everything the animal hates and avoids. We can see the cup that the force of power of the animal consciousness (satan, the devil) presented to him in the things he thought to himself that he could get by the power of his own hand while being tempted in the wilderness, because he believed that he was who the Father told him he was, but only the hidden Father told him that, and no one else even thought it could be true considering how he looked so contrary to the Son of God on the outside.
If you are the Son of God, feed yourself. If you are the Son of God, show the humans you are the One they are all waiting to lift up, honor and rally behind. If you are the Son of God, take all the world has to offer, because you are entitled to it.
The Son of David was entitled to have all these things as Messiah but he turned his back on them to wait for what the Father had promised, which was how he kept searching for the Father, how he kept knocking on the door to where the Father was. He was the only one who even thought he was Messiah (besides the mother who forgot), so he had to believe, even though and especially because it wasn't so clear all the time. That is how Jesus the human struggled and fought his way toward finding the Father, which wasn't easy for him.
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.
If he were a god then the point of this and everything else becomes moot, which is the nature of the darkness that has made the earth desolate for the past so many hundreds of years of what the writers of the NT letters knew. If we think of Jesus as a god then he can't be a model for the rest of the sons who are called and must seek the hidden God, just as he was. If he was a god then he did things we're not capable of doing, nor should we be asked to live as he lived.
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.
The sons of God are not entitled to live their lives as humans, to have wives and families and careers, enjoyable identities as honorable, intelligent, respectable men. They give up whatever they have or could have that the humans enjoy, love and run after because it doesn't mean anything. It's all temporary and weak because it all falls off once the body expires.
If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.
The sons' identity as stranger and sojourner in the world comes directly from the model; being a human yet coming away from that identity, that nature and everything that reinforces it in them. They live lonely lives among the humans, giving up trying to attain to a get those things the humans love, instead searching for and clawing their way to the Father; learning how to stay on the path that leads to Him from much pain, suffering, correction and enduring the mental and emotional anguish of discovering that so many things aren't the way they assumed they could count on them being and remaining. The sons slowly learn that the things the humans spend so much time, effort and energy on getting just go away once the life is over. If the sons have wasted their lives working for money to feed, clothe and house themselves and their brood, bent on needing/wanting/craving what the world tells them they must have/love/run after, how ashamed will they be when they stand next to Stephen or Paul, who heard the call from the Father and responded with action; not theory and mouth babble, which is cheap and how the animals think they can hide from God.
If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels.
Although the animal does everything it can to avoid the cup that God has for the son, the Lord was trained by the Father to embrace it, because hidden within the cup of suffering, shame and pain amongst the humans was the means of salvation and approval from the Father, who does not embrace the wild animals. He does not want His sons to find their validation from the humans and He is jealous that way.
"You don't know what you are asking," Jesus said. "Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?"
"We can," they answered. Jesus said to them, "You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared."
The cup from which Jesus drank is the cup all of God's sons drink from, because he was not a god but the firstborn amongst many brothers who are the true sons of God because like him, they must seek and search for and struggle toward the Father until they find Him who wants to be found by them (not everyone or He'd just show Himself to the world).
"You ought to leave here and go to Judea, so that your disciples may see the miracles you do. No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world." For even his own brothers did not believe in him.
It is the statement that they are not sons of the world, of the animal, what the humans are bound to being. Although the animal hates the idea of suffering, in a way it will be okay for us (I dare not say easy) because of the gifts that He gives us to be able to endure, and the pure joy of knowing that we are called and chosen, already judged to be sons of the living God, knowing we are by the seal that is put on us to know. That is our validation, and it keeps getting renewed as the life grows in us.
The sons don't have to try to figure out how to go against the animal nature, those opportunities come by design. They have already, and they will continue. They along with other things are tools used to train the old nature out of us so that it can be replaced by the new. The suffering that produces obedience takes on many forms, but they are all for the same end and purpose—to have the old purged out of us, and to gain the new consciousness of the son of God, in the tradition of the highest and most beloved Son.
Therefore Jesus told them, "The right time for me has not yet come; for you any time is right. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that what it does is evil."
His circumstances were like ours in every way except one (clean vs. unclean). There was no halo glowing around his head, nor was he regarded as anything on the outside but a poor peasant i.e., he wasn't recognized for what he actually was to God except by a very small number of people, reluctantly and only after so many years of growing and learning to accept the right way, and reject the wrong. Even after he had done so many miracles for them to witness, they still had a hard time believing him:
"Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don't you remember?
This should fly in the face of those who say that one must believe in the jesus god. An all-knowing god would know what their problem was, and not need to be so surprised at their unbelief. But Jesus was a human inhabited by the life of God, who didn't make everything all crystal clear all the time for testing, so that he would have to continue to search for and believe what didn't seem apparent then keep searching, what the Father loves. Jesus wasn't so sure about everything all the time. The garden conversation he had with the Father shows that clearly. If he was a god, why would he doubt? He would have just known the right thing to do , and then just do it. There wouldn't need to be any record preserved that he doubted what he had to do, especially considering the ramifications of his death. He was probably as surprised at their inability to believe/understand as Moses was when the Israelites started complaining just a few days after their miraculous extraction from Egypt.
He said to them, "Do you still not understand?"
Jesus spent thirty years growing up before God, learning the ways of God instead of man, and he was born of the spirit from birth so he had sort of a head start over his brothers. He needed one, considering the gravity and significance of the work he was chosen to do. It wasn't as much a head start as much as a way to keep Jesus from being touched/contaminated/made unclean by the animal (serpent) who rules the humans and makes them unclean, unable to come near to God. That is integral to the gravity and significance of his work, which was in its most basic and truthful terms, to choose the Father all the way until he couldn't choose any more. And when he knew it was over he said, "It is finished." There was no strength or ability within him at that point to choose to call down the angels and remove him from the pole he was dying on. The choice was over and the animal was dead. Up to that time he could have chosen either way, which is a significant thing for the sons of God to understand. The Father wants sons who choose Him, not who are compelled or feel forced, or want to get something from it, because what they'll get is not what the humans propose: that it'll be a cakewalk, like any other thing they choose to get for themselves. That lie will die with their made up religious institutions, which cannot be of any service to the sons of God. They can only lead them astray. The voice of the teacher is hidden within them, and secret.
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 experience of the disciples and Jesus' reaction to their dullness should be a testimony to us how utterly blinding the old nature is to see what is going on in the world and reality of God. We, like the disciples, were completely born into and then inundated by the teachings and ways of the world; truly and in every way sons of the serpent. Now we are having to unlearn all those ways, and have only been at it for a small amount of time. The animal instinct (the devil) will be hiding around every corner to deceive us, to make us believe its lies. And we will until we are able to trust the other way, our new Father, and the teacher who will remain hidden from the world of humans, as always.
What we do is patiently endure before him, listening to his voice, which is anything from dead like the religious people say and believe in their heart, apart from concept and theory about how everything will all make sense once they've all "gone to heaven." That is what it takes for the real change to occur, just the same as it did in the Son. Not the animal's pace where everything is and has to be immediate, but the speed and stability of an oak tree growing up before the Lord—so slow yet so steady. Unfortunately, the nature of the unbelieving animal is still very much the major part of our consciousness, and it doesn't just go away except by this slow, steady transformation.
The sons should be able to observe how much they have changed even in the past few years, which provides some encouragement to continue. Continue and remain in him they must, or they will shrivel up and die like cut branches, good for nothing except to be burned in the fire, to warm the children who are alive because they remain, and they abide, in him.
If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.