Exodus 26 / Psalms 79-80 / Mark 11
You brought a vine out of Egypt;
you drove out the nations and planted it.
Return to us, O God Almighty!
Look down from heaven and see!
Watch over this vine,
Let your hand rest on the man at your right hand,
the son of man you have raised up for yourself.
Then we will not turn away from you;
revive us, and we will call on your name.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 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.
The baptism of John—was it from heaven, or from men?
Good was God's plan and purpose for His inheritance Israel, to bring a vine out of Egypt and plant it in the place He desired it to be. He desired that it be a good vine, that it might fill the place and grow strong before Him and be what He wanted it to be. He wanted to be able to prune it and train it, so that it produced something good for Him, the gardener. Love and obedience seem perfectly reasonable things to desire on God's part from a people He chose to be His own, to make a covenant with to protect and love.
Evil is everything else, the whole dying creation, subjected to frustration until the sons of God are revealed. There is only one good, which is God and His sons—His purpose for this creation—and evil, which is everything else in the creation that is based on so many cycles of death, not to be redeemed unless it is judged worthy to be. There is no middle ground where we can mix the two things. "If they aren't for us, then they're against us" speaks to this, and we should expect them to be against us until and unless the Lord draws any others to the Father by revealing Him to them, to be part of His pure purpose of having a family of sons who love Him and desire to do His will, to be in agreement with that instead of their own animal will.
We can only expect to find among the humans who claim to know the way to God the need to mix the two things—the unclean animals, sons of the dying world and the serpent which rules it trying to get to God by their own way—the will of the human animal which constantly needs to survive to and for itself, like any common wild rat that only knows what it's driven to do and just keep doing that. The deal is that it's not available to the humans unless it's made available. The true calling of the living God has never been something that is just publicly available, like becoming a citizen of another country or joining the rotary club, which is what christianity is like.
When and if it comes it's not a matter of mixing the two things—the way of man with the way of God. That's what we see now with the humans and all their little religions, trying and trying to get to Him but unable to, so all they can do is form their little clubs and each one of them says, "Our gods are better than your gods." We see that it doesn't work, because what is true cannot work that way. The God who has left a record has always been hidden and particular about whom is able to comprehend Him, and He isn't ever general, generic or open to the public. What is true must come from God particularly and purposefully. All the humans can ever develop are a bunch of impotent institutions, all claiming to have the ultimate truth about God, yet none possessing it. If they did, we would see His genuineness as it existed with the baptism of John. We would also be able to see its authenticity as it existed within the body of Jesus. But we don't see that in any of the religions which all claim to be from God, yet have no power because they aren't. They are just a bunch of humans who think they can make their own way to whatever gods they can make up and adhere to, and they are all just a copy of the other.
Having a form of godliness but without any power.
Plenty of human power from the validation of consensus they give to each other, but no power of the truth as Paul knew it. Starting with the Holy Roman Church (Mystery Babylon the great whore), and including all those claiming the christian name (all her prostitute daughters who also claim to be the bride of their made up christ god, but are actually just little street whores who think they're something they can't be). They wholly embrace their whore mother's lies about the nature of Jesus (that he was a god), which takes away all his power. Since about the fourth century, the truth and power of God that started with John has been in captivity, its landscape dotted with hundreds of little whore babies who look just like their mother Babylon, the mother of all prostitutes.
The reason the real Jesus has power was because of his obedience in not being led by the animal nature, and if he were a god then what he did is all undermined by that one assumption. Rather it is more like an abomination to say that the Father loved him because he denied the animal the power to rule/lead him, but if he were a god then that denial is worthless because that wouldn't be a problem for a god to pull off.
The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again.
It would be a significant thing if he were a human who was born from above, as all of the sons under the new covenant were to be according to what he told Nicodemus. If he were the firstborn of many brothers as the record states him to be—not some god along with the spirit, which was the life of the Father living inside him, what made him to be born from above—then his obedience to the voice of the Father/Teacher living in him instead of the animal nature would be supremely significant, because that is the requirement of the other sons, to be as Jesus was. If we behold him as a god, then we could never even think to be like him because we are not gods.
The way we must be like him is that in order to be a genuine son of God, that life of the Father with the addition of the Son must be inhabiting our bodies, as his human body was inhabited by the life of the Father. That life then teaches us about the enemy, the animal nature which rules all of the humans (including us) and everything else in this creation. That is the curse put onto the humans in Genesis 3, which is still fully in effect. The son who has this life in him, learns on such a deep level that that learning is able to undermine what the animal nature has taught him up to the point before the life came to him. This is the same process Jesus had to go through as a young boy, as recorded in Isaiah 7, to learn to choose the right (the secret, hidden way of God his true Father) and reject the wrong (the way of the humans, of the deceiver, the adversary, the serpent whom all the humans are ruled by).
This process is difficult because the son himself is one of the humans, raised by the serpent and fully defined as one of its sons, like all the humans must fully become when they enter adulthood, in order to be a participant in this creation which means they have to learn to survive. The son in his former life learned how to be and act, what to love and run after, what was valuable and not valuable, and how best to get what is needed to survive as well as he wanted to.
When the Father, who is now united with the Son, comes to him, then the process of unlearning all the old ways begins. The way of the Father is hidden and secret, and so it must be revealed to the son slowly, as he is able to begin to choose it over the old way, all he ever knew before, what is reinforced by the humans all around him. So the son becomes kind of a freak to them, because he starts to be unlike them as he begins to reject the way that they instinctually love because of the nature that rules, leads and guides them to be what they have become. The ruler of the humans hates the sons of God because of Him who lives inside them, to teach and lead them to the place the humans cannot go.
If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: `No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me.
This title was written on her forehead:
Off she went into the darkness of man, who tried to harness the truth and make it work for him, to accomplish his own ends instead of conforming to another will than that of itself, of being a truthful representative and agent for his desire to be accomplished among men, a faithful bride. They abandoned the truth of the Son and Father and instead made their own rules, even changing the meaning of the power of God and the purpose of the Christ into a set of rules which man thought he could harness and control for his own gain. The truth was taken away by the whore and replaced with false religion and the love of money, commerce, the ability to buy and sell.
He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number. His number is 666.
Wisdom would say that the humans by and large love money in all its various forms more than they love God; and what better number for the name of man, than the amount of gold Solomon collected each year. Whatever we truly love in our heart is the number that will be stamped on our foreheads. Not what we say with our mouths, but what we run after, what we spend our time accumulating around us to protect us from death, like all animals do. The ones who spend their lives working for gold, then trading it for houses and other valuables, for children and respect; the same ones sit in church and believe the lie that they are devoted to God, and blessed by Him because they are the chosen ones who uphold His truth in the world of men. Their mouths utter lies, but their hearts are far from Him.
As for you, son of man, your countrymen are talking together about you by the walls and at the doors of the houses, saying to each other, 'Come and hear the message that has come from the LORD.' My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to listen to your words, but they do not put them into practice. With their mouths they express devotion, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain. Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice.
To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each other: 'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not cry.'
For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, 'He has a demon.' The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners." ' But wisdom is proved right by all her children."
How many times did it happen before, as God's purpose and desire for the humans was thwarted by their desire to control Him, to put Him in a box and say "God works this way, not that way. We are the bearers of the truth about God. We have chosen ourselves to be His shepherds"? But the shepherds haven't been good shepherds like David, because their hearts are evil—they only know the way of man, the dying animal, to take care of themselves in their heart and then say another thing with their mouth. That is the curse of the animal, and the way of the son hasn't been made available to them. That ability is a gift which comes from the Lord; it is the tree of life that is guarded by the angel with the flaming sword, so that no one can just come up and pick its fruit and live forever like a son of God does.
Why would He want that anyway—is He like a man, a whore for man's affections, some god who sits by and waits for as many animals as can be crammed through the gates, who think they can become sons by their own power to act like and be the "good people?" As they go through their animal gyrations—their "rules of salvation" made up by men according to their own laws they have created, by which they assume they are blessed as the chosen ones—does He convulse with elation each time one more son of the snake has chosen Him? Will His kingdom be filled with the sons of the deceiver, themselves a bunch of deceived snakes slithering around before Him—thinking they are so pleasing to Him and yet filled only with the evil of man who says one thing with his mouth, but the self-preservation and fear of the serpent rules his heart?
The way of man:
They angered him with their high places;
they aroused his jealousy with their idols.
The way of God:
And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.
The way of God is to take one of these unclean snakes, whose heart has been ruled by the animal nature, the evil way of unclean man for so many years; and give that one life by giving him birth into His way. He pulls him out of Egypt and plants him in the land, and it's all unseen to the other animals. His way is hidden and invisible to the humans, as much as He is unable to be seen by the eyes of all the animals slithering around hissing at Him. This is what came to Jesus from the forked heritage of David, from his human ancestry and the legacy of the "integrity of his tender heart" before God, who wanted to know and please Him more than anything. One man in a sea of men whose "hearts were not loyal to Him; they were not faithful to His covenant."
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, `Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'
Such is the case for the condition of Israel when her Messiah, inhabited by the life of the God of Israel, came to her. Only He and one other knew the actual truth about God and His desire and purpose to have a family. Everyone else was in the dark about it, especially those who assumed to be leaders, even though the scriptures—which they claimed made them righteous because they arrogantly assumed to know them so well—pointed the way to what God always wanted, was about to do. They only knew the human interpretations though, what they developed so that they could control what they made their God into. The knowledge of that secret and hidden purpose and will of God, based on what the scriptures actually said, had not been given to them.
It is not taken by a man or group of men, but given by God to whomever He chooses to give it. And He gave it to this unanticipated peasant guy from Nazareth, and another guy who grew up in the wilderness, away from the people and culture who assumed to be the blessed and chosen ones. That knowledge is reserved for His true sons, those who truly desire to do what pleases Him, not change what's good into something that can serve them. Even that ability comes as a gift from Him, so that no man can boast before Him. If it is not there, then the man just remains in Egypt, thinking he is free but actually being a slave and servant to this ubiquitous nature of the serpent, which has ruled the humans since Adam was kicked out of the garden. And that is what we see in the humans today, even in those who claim to be the followers of His Christ, those "Having a form of godliness but denying its power."
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People (who say they follow the Christ) will (actually) be lovers of themselves (self-preserving), lovers of money (the best way to do it), boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love (they can only love themselves), unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good (the way of the son, as Paul tried to teach it to Timothy), treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
What Paul maybe didn't understand is how soon that would come and how long it would last, and the pervasiveness of this captivity which gobbled up the truth that he knew. What the spirit told Paul about the coming state of man has been true for so many centuries, beginning shortly after his earthly body was destroyed. There is no one who is good, no one who seeks God, because they can't—that ability has to be given by Him, and it hasn't been for a long time.
Being brought out of the darkness of the captivity of the whore of Mystery Babylon and the rule of the love of money, commerce and everything else the humans love so much is a long, slow process. Many things have to happen in preparation for the return of the exiles, and it all happens slowly and gradually. Little by little the truth is brought back and the hearts of the people are made ready to accept the way of God instead of the way of man, the way of Babylon and Egypt, that which the humans have been enslaved to for so many years.
How many times throughout the centuries has a group of men come along and said, "Here's the truth of God, all wrapped up for you in this nice little package. Just do this and this and such and such and you will be saved." But what did the Lord warn about that?
"Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am he,' and, 'The time is near.' Do not follow them."
Claiming "I am he" is the same as claiming "This is the way—do this to be saved. The truth is here." But where is the power and authenticity that was possessed by the Lord and John, and those who came after them, the small group of humans who were chosen to know God's truth? Absent, and that whichever has claimed something, which has some form of godliness, has been merely a man-made institution without the power of God driving it. They prey on the fear of the animal and the desire to be good but without that ability. The prevailing thought is that all one has to do is reach out one's hand and grab the fruit from the tree of life—reserved for the sons of God—and eat. Nevertheless they can only be yet another institution modeled after their mother the whore of Babylon, the Holy Roman Church, a fake wife of the Lord who claims to be his faithful bride but is actually just a common street whore.
Here is the picture, put in John's mind, of the true sons of God:
Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads. And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps.
And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. These are those who did not defile themselves with women (the whores), for they kept themselves pure. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among men (the animals) and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless.
Compare this with the multitude, a different group than the sons of God, who cried and shouted about the glory of Jesus that Lamb of God:
After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice:
"Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb."
Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted,