February 19th.

Exodus 30 / Psalms 87-88 / Mark 15-16

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I am counted among those who go down to the pit; I am like a man without strength.
I am set apart with the dead, like the slain who lie in the grave,
whom you remember no more, who are cut off from your care.

These are thoughts that would exist in the mind of the Son of God, written hundreds of years before he existed. It is significant not necessarily because it proves some fulfillment of prophesy, which is a human thing of importance, something that provides a level of the animal agreement of the sort like, "See, our gods are the right gods because this prophesy got fulfilled." All the humans can do is make stuff up that agrees with what they're willing to accept that they think advances their cause and plight of needing to find and hold onto that animal agreement that they are right because their gods are the good and right gods, whilst everything and everyone that doesn't align with their agreement are bad and evil, because they don't agree with them.

"He saved others," they said, "but he can't save himself! Let this Christ, this King of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe."

The significance of knowing what had been said by another son a thousand years before didn't find the light of day in the world of the humans, but in the world of the Father and the Son, which is secret and hidden from the humans. The Son knew how important he was to the Father, but the humans did not because the power was in him that wasn't in the humans, so much that he could call upon angels to save him if he chose. The mystery seems to be that this all important Son of God, for whom the Father and the world had waited so long, was going to die like an ordinary criminal, which seems strange since he was so important. But it's not strange when one understands that the world of God is not the world of the humans, and that He thwarts and confuses them by doing the opposite of what they would expect.

In the same way, He is the opposite of what they construe about whatever gods they decide to make up in their minds and then call them powerful, only through the power of the conspiracy of consensus the humans give to each other by adhering to whatever lie they've agreed to prop up in each other that tells each other that they are the ones who are right and all the others wrong, because their gods are the right gods and all the others wrong. This all happens within the natural mode of their natural existence as animals in a world full of animals, against whom they need to feel right and correct, which gives them their agreement of feeling like they're surviving better because they're all "going to heaven," or "bound for the kingdom," or whatever sort of paradise they've made up and conspire together about to give each other the animal agreement that calms their fear and uneasiness about not knowing what none of them know i.e., they can never actually get that agreement they seek, which is why they have to make up lies, and then conspire together to make the lie come to life.

You have taken from me my closest friends
and have made me repulsive to them. I am confined and cannot escape;
You have taken my companions and loved ones from me; the darkness is my closest friend.

His closest friends, those to whom he revealed the truth about the Father as only he knew, for whom he was poured out like a drink offering onto the ground—laboring, suffering and dying for them and their true brothers (the chosen sons of God)—could only abandon Jesus when he was handed over to be killed, because they were inhabited and driven by a nature that protects its own self at the expense of everyone else when it senses danger, like any wild animal would react when it senses any sort of danger. That seemed like the last thing that would have happened to this one in whom the supernatural power of God lived, strong and apparent enough that he did miracles and healed the sick and neglected (a metaphor for the disciples, orphans of the world but adopted by the Father). They even thought he didn't trust or believe that he heard the voice of the Father clearly and tried to set him straight. If they did, perhaps one or more of them would have chosen to die with him, but instead they were scattered because of the animal fear that drove them. And Jesus the only good Son, was left alone to believe that the words the Father told him, which nobody else heard, were true; and trust Him enough to submit to becoming the opposite of what he actually was.

Do you show your wonders to the dead? Do those who are dead rise up and praise you? Is your love declared in the grave, your faithfulness in Destruction? Are your wonders known in the place of darkness, or your righteous deeds in the land of oblivion?

Because we have something in us that reaffirms to us that we've been chosen, we will have a tendency to think we're all changed and better, free from the devil's schemes. We will think that we need to—or that we can—present up some new image and identity, as if to say, "Look, I'm all better now. I'm all changed and different now that I know I'm a son of God." But it doesn't work that way, because that old animal is still very much living in us and the best thing it does is be an adversary and deceiver to us, to lead us away from the truth and back into the lie that we are special animals. Its names—the adversary and deceiver—should give us a good picture of what's going on, but because it deceives, that's a difficult thing to comprehend. Is it an adversary to every one of the humans? No, it's a friend, it's what the animal relies on to do what it needs to do to protect itself in the many ways it does.

...be as shrewd as the snake and as innocent as the dove.

The Son of God told his disciples to, "Be as shrewd as the snake that's trying to deceive you. Remember that it's inside you, as close as your own self. Recognize its patterns and how it lies to you, especially when it's pretending to be your friend, to make you feel good some way, to massage the animal part in you that always wants to usurp the Father's rule."

He also in the same few words said, "Be as innocent as a dove to those whom you know are your true brothers (not brothers because of natural family ties)." Giving up our right to tear down our brother for our own sakes is the beginning of love, and that will grow into something good, but not if we're controlled by the animal. It will start out even as small as that, but there is no other option except believing the snake's lie that we're all changed and better, putting on a false identity that's as thin as paper and gets blown all over because it has no root to anchor it. Growing roots takes years—it's a long slow process that the animal hates. It needs everything and it needs to have it now, and it can get it if it has the resources of the world to do it.

Patiently enduring is a different process and we can't think we can mix the two processes, that we can use anything from the old way that we used before to accomplish things for ourselves and apply them to the new life. We have to wait for the gift from the Lord to be able to do anything, and if we're responsible in a little then we can be responsible in a lot. However we don't just jump in and take charge because that's the animal's way. It is the common, profane thing, versus the holy. It's the way of the human to take charge and grab control, for the benefit of the self in the world where it's every man fro himself, even if they pretend it's not.

The holy is waiting for what the Lord has to give us, then allowing that to change us into whatever he wants or needs us to be, FOR THE FATHER'S BENEFIT, not ours. Everything is for the Father, which when we understand it will actually allow us to love Him, and then our brother. As it is, and until that happens, we are unable to, because that idea is so totally against the animal consciousness, where everything it thinks about comes back to how *it* can be benefited. Even if we know the concept of loving God, it will be marred by this other thing that flies on autopilot even after the life comes that tells us we're being called, until we're able to be what is impossible for us to be, not by our effort but by and because of the process of being transformed. Unless we are more shrewd than it (not by our own effort), we will continue to be carried off by it's luster and appeal. We will think there is no war, and we have no enemy, even while it's living in our camp. But we don't just become more shrewd by some or another strategy, but by waiting and listening, then becoming.

The rich man shall not give more and the poor man shall not give less than half a shekel to atone for their lives.

The humans who are important to God are those He is choosing to become His own sons. The rest of them must be like all the animals that live and die—too many to keep track of. The idea that God is some big impartial love machine without feelings is what the christians made Him into, but it isn't so. What is true about God is the same for human fathers, because the way they are is based on the way God is—their design didn't just come from nowhere but was modeled after what already exists. However, within and of themselves and their accomplishments they are just run of the mill animals who get born, then exist, then die and go back into the ground. So be on guard about the identity that we always think we need to have, maintain, and have validated all the time. Try to contemplate and understand that we are nothing, and wait for the good gift that can actually change an animal like us into something that doesn't hate God in its heart while it pretends on the outside to be something different (beware of the hypocrisy of the Pharisees—very susceptible are we to that lie).

As we are that's all we have, what we're doomed to be, nothing noble or good lives in us. Until the gift comes to us that is genuinely from God, that's how we should continue to regard ourselves, totally lost and nothing without it. There is nothing inherently good about any man within himself, nothing that is valuable to God. Man, within himself, is just a bother to God with all his chaos, lies and self-importance.

We can gain some objectivity if we step back and realize that everything is and must be about God. He is at the center of everything and if that were not so there would just be chaos. That makes sense because the automatic, natural way of the animal is to make it the center of everything. If there is no center then there is just chaotic scrambling about, with power struggles, everyone needing to be the leader. God desiring to be camped smack in the middle of their tents says something not just about Him wanting to live inside us. It says that He is the center of everything, He is the only thing that matters, because without His life in us we would just go into the ground and be done with, never to be heard from or about again.

The animal nature on the other hand, is the opposite. It doesn't need God, it is valuable within itself, it seems to contain something that is able to exist on its own so it believes that it can live without any thought or knowledge about how it was created or how it and its world is all being sustained. So therefore there must be something within it that allows that to happen. That's how the Father set it up, so that they don't call out to Him to be saved, so that their own ridiculous hypocrisy, which defies any kind of logic that it thinks it possesses, will condemn it.

But that which God has chosen for His purposes is a different story. God said, "I want these men," and He took them. He didn't ask anyone if it was okay. The reward of being the closest to Him was great, however those who were chosen didn't minister to Him any way they felt like doing it, and if they did they were just swallowed up, quick and easy. Neither do we decide by our old faculties how we will serve Him. He is giving us the ability to see how things are, but that doesn't mean we are free in any way to do anything the way we think is best, according to anything we think is in us that we have consecrated as good.

Although the enemy constantly tried to sway them away from seeing, realizing and believing God, the Israelites could always see Him who was right in the middle of their camp. He was the One who pulled them out of slavery, He was the One who loved them. He was the One who wanted to give them everything good. But the covenant has two sides which must be met in order for it to be maintained. That is common sense logic, that which they seemed to always forget.

And I shall abide in the midst of the Israelites and I shall be God to them. And they shall know that I am the LORD their God who brought them out from the land of Egypt for me to abide in their midst.

I am the LORD their God.

A good question to ask would be, "Why did they always forget?" Perhaps the lesson for us is that the pull on them to forget was very strong, and it was easy to believe the lie, just as easy as it was for the woman to believe the snake's lie or Judas to believe that his idealism about the kingdom of David and some money was important. That's the lie that we're continually offered, so the Lord's advice to be more clever than the snake is no metaphor, because the spirit of the snake lives on to deceive us. Neither is him urging them to bring to their brother what the dove brought to Noah—the proof of life, that they were all going to be okay.

Be as shrewd as the snake and as innocent as the dove.

And the serpent said to the woman, "You shall not be doomed to die. For God knows that on the day you eat of it your eyes will be open and you will become as gods, knowing good and evil."

My eyes are dim with grief.
I call to you, O LORD, every day; I spread out my hands to you.
I cry to you for help, O LORD; in the morning my prayer comes before you.
Why, O LORD, do you reject me and hide your face from me?
From my youth I have been afflicted and close to death; I have suffered your terrors and am in despair.
Your wrath has swept over me; your terrors have destroyed me.
All day long they surround me like a flood; they have completely engulfed me.

And the dove came back to him at eventide and, look, a plucked olive leaf was in its bill, and Noah knew that the waters had abated from the earth.


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