Exodus 35 / Psalms 92-93 / 1 Corinthians 4-5
And every wise-hearted man among you shall come and do all that the LORD has charged. And every man whose heart moved him and everyone whose spirit urged him came, they brought a donation of the LORD for the task of the Tent of Meeting and for all its work and for the sacred garments. And all the women whose hearts moved them with wisdom spun the goat hair.
Here is a refinement of the copy of the sons of God, their hearts being moved to be concerned for what God is concerned about as they are driven by another spirit than that which was naturally in them by the instincts of the animal nature that drive them to only be able to care about their own aspirations and welfare all the time. Existing on a level below the thinking, it's what drives their aspirations and decision making. The Israelites who were chosen to have their hearts moved were driven by this power of community to help Moses build this house for God, so that He could love them by living in their midst, inside their camp to give them a supernatural kind of safe and secure feeling, that He was with them and that He would be protecting them. It is important that they could see Him every time they came out of their tents, by the pillar of smoke or fire, and that they knew He was inside the camp, with them and for them and able to protect them.
That's why He desired to and did live in the bodies of His own sons in the first century, which is what this Tent of Meeting was destined to point at as the copy of the better thing. Living in the hearts of His sons meant that they would be able to recognize, like the Israelites could, that He was there and not going away. Being in the middle of their communal body, He would be able to make them feel safe and secure. That is important for natural animals, because the reality of becoming nothing is always at hand. Going into the ground and being forgotten is always a possibility. However, the guarantee and seal brought by the life of the Father living in them told them that His intention was to remember them, as He remembered the firstborn Son. That's really all there is to hope for as a son of God; nothing that the humans value so highly matters because it doesn't pertain anymore to their life, which is bound up in finding the Father who is hidden, on purpose.
Your boasting is not good. Don't you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth.
He will not live in a body that is tangled up in and therefore infested with the evil nature that lives in the humans as they embrace the animal they love and the old way they will not reject—just because they don't know about it. He cannot/will not live in a house that is polluted and contaminated by the serpent, and if the animal is allowed to lead us by the instincts that well up within us, then that unclean animal will be there in our house. The choice that we have is to go against what's naturally in us to want to do all the time, which is denying the right of the animal to rule and effectively guide us. To not be led by the animal nature is our choice, and it's very important that we have the choice because true love cannot come by being compelled, either by force or just because the alternative is so bleak. Paul's exhortations away from the evil of the humans aren't as much condemnations as they are him saying something good to them about what they could have if they made their hearts pure by devoting themselves to God completely instead of embracing the animal. That meant that God would live in them and assure them of their safety and security.
I shall not go up in your midst, for you are a stiff-necked people, lest I put an end to you on the way.
He will not live or be in the presence of the evil that comes from being contaminated by the humans and what naturally lives in them. It is not as though He could do it but He's being petty because of disobedience. He has no choice but to not be there if we embrace the wrong instead of reject it. The idea of being lukewarm instead of either hot or cold isn't a condition the sons can live in for long, if they know the right but are too chicken to choose it and embrace the wrong by being too chicken to reject it.
And the LORD said to Moses, "Say to the Israelites, 'You are a stiff-necked people. If but a single moment I were to go up in your midst, I would put an end to you.' "
The way of God (the only good) became the opposite of the way of man (the evil which needs to be rooted out from the midst of the sons) with the birth and life of the Son of God who did not ever embrace the animal, which made him spotless, able to be offered according to the ritual of sacrifice long forgotten now. His life was spent struggling to find the hidden Father while denying what was naturally in him to want to do because of the instinct that wanted to rule and guide him (make him unclean). If he were a god before he was a human, then that struggle would be moot and unnecessary, and the entire story that christianity is built upon would be riddled with the yeast of that fundamental lie made up by men.
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. 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.
He wasn't a god, he was a man chosen by God to be the first one to actually find him fully, which meant being born to Him and why he was raised up to be with the Father, because he was alive to Him, and couldn't stay in the ground, which is meant for the animals, so that they can become one with the earth and soil, one with the creation they are so fully a part of. The road of the struggle was not automatic; he had to keep himself in that place of being not led by the animal, which translates to him "having no sin;" not because he was a god, but because he kept himself from being polluted by the animal that wanted and tried to lead, rule and guide him, which effectively want to make him into one of the mere humans by being able to define him as what he loved and chose. But he loved and chose the Father instead of what was naturally in him to want to do and be, as per the instinct that welled up within him (satan speaking to him in the temptation account) that seemed on the animal level to be alluring and appealing.
We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.
Walking as Jesus walked isn't about being overly kind and mushy, which is the humans' attempt at trying to "love," which breaks down just as soon as the first little crisis hits. It is about wanting to choose the right (trying to find the Father by search and agonizing struggle) and reject the wrong (being led by the animal) out of love for the Father. Loving our brother—not every last human but one we know to be chosen and called to become a son to God—is merely the opposite of what the animal naturally wants to do, which is to consider him another competitor in a world full of the same, trying to get what he thinks he needs to stay alive.
The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
He set a standard for those who would want to find the Father who was calling them, to be found right in His presence, to please Him and be remembered by Him because they are alive (to find the salvation and inheritance reserved for the sons). Whatever the humans desire to attain to in that respect they can't, because they always have to try to get to God via the way of man, which doesn't work because God is against man in his natural state, why He must be separated from the humans. That the way of man doesn't work anymore is important, since the Son came and created a new standard which the humans cannot understand, because that way is not revealed to them. God picks and chooses those to whom it becomes revealed; He draws their heart toward the way that is right, so that they know what is true on the deepest level within themselves. The old way of man and what drives him is bound up in the animal nature that the Son put to death on the cross for the sake of all those whom the Father ever loved and wanted to be with Him where He is.
Then the whole Israelite community withdrew from Moses' presence, and everyone who was willing and whose heart moved him came and brought an offering to the LORD for the work on the Tent of Meeting, for all its service, and for the sacred garments.
What comes most natural to the humans is for a man to take on the identity of a man and a woman to take on the identity of a woman, as defined by the nature that defines all the animals as to what they will be. The role and nature of men and women goes back to Adam and Eve—to the curse of what they would have to become in their new identities as animals. The three conspired against God—animal, woman, and man—and so the three were also cursed together, and in that they become as one, with the same nature and consciousness; that which always needs to survive because there is no one providing for them any more, no one taking care of and protecting them. That is what God intended to do, and was doing, before they conspired against Him. After that it would all be different for them, as they would have to do it themselves—the men would work the land by their back-breaking toil, and the woman would bear the children by the painful process of childbirth.
If we think about what was naturally expected in the culture from good men and women who wanted to please God—to do good and be pleasing to Him—we can imagine certain characteristics. The man took a wife for his own and owned her in the sense that she took on his identity, symbolized by taking his name and losing her old one. It, like her identity, would just disappear. This isn't a bad thing in any natural sense, because she got something in return that she wanted—the faithfulness that she gave to him—which coincided with what her nature was propelled to desire. And by this the good husband also got benefits back from her being bound by the constraints of what she was willing to be.
The good husband took her, made her his instead of who she was before (belonging to her parents) and gave her a home, provision, protection, love in all these senses; and a safe place to have and rear the children she would give to him. That is a work that only the woman could do. And when she felt loved, protected, and well cared for by her good husband, then she wouldn't have a problem giving him the children he wanted from her. Nor would she mind loving them, and most importantly teaching them above everything else how great and honorable a man was her husband, their father, and how much respect and honor he should be given by them, because they could see that she truly did. By truly feeling and believing this about the good husband, she would have no problem teaching it to the children, because it would be part of her fabric and that sentiment would already be there, so the teaching of it would be naturally learned by them.
This is important for the sons who want to follow the Lord and be found in him, because it is another area in which we have to become opposite to the way we naturally behave and want to behave—what our nature drives us to be. Becoming the bride of God's Christ is not some concept that the apostles merely mouthed (as the animal members of the prostitute body do nowadays, ever since the abomination), while not actually believing it in their heart (because there's nothing there to believe except a lie about what once was, now is not). It was a radical thing to think about and especially say, that a man would become like a wife to another man. There are many references to the believers being the Lord's bride, his wife, which pertains to the metaphor of loyalty and faithfulness.
Men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.
Paul was entrusted with the secret things of God for the purpose of taking care of the Lord's children, as a faithful guardian was also given the trust of caring for and teaching the master's children. What Paul actually became to the Lord as he was transformed from a common animal to a son of God was something that would have been very peculiar for a man of that time—totally against his nature and pretty much anathema to men. Men were the ones who took, who grabbed and conquered who they could, who worked the land by the sweat of their brow in the effort to get more for themselves and their sons, to enhance their name by which they found their identity and purpose. The idea of being taken and possessed like a woman by another man would have been abhorrent to most men. Their animal power and identity was found in their manhood and the cultural expectation that they possessed that power. To believe in this Jesus in the first century, to become a servant and caretaker, was difficult in many ways.
For those who were chosen by God in the first century to become the bride for His Son, that is what was expected of them—to consider themselves as women. They were taken by their good husband and given everything that a good husband gives to his faithful wife—love, honor, respect, protection, provision, guidance, help, his name and identity as her new name and her new identity, and a safe place to be found and gain this new identity. Totally against their nature as male humans who are used to controlling and having the power over the woman.
The faithful wife doesn't have to go out and toil for her essentials, because the good husband does that for her. She cares for his sons instead, and doesn't stop telling them about his greatness. That is her work, to believe in her husband, to prop him up and teach the younger ones to do the same. Because of the goodness, security, and all the gifts her husband gives her, she doesn't mind completely losing her former identity, to cover herself so she isn't even seen, and be found only in his identity, under his name, care and guidance.
We are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.
That was Paul's work and mission, because like the Israelites who were driven to help Moses build God's house, he was also driven by a supernatural power that lived in him, moving his heart to build a house for God to live in. The bodies of the sons of God in the first century were that house, and Paul assumed the responsibility of teaching those sons how to be clean so that their Father could have a house to live in that was clean and orderly, not filled with the chaos and contamination that the serpent, the ruler of the humans, brought. Paul was urging them to keep their bodies as like Jesus kept his—clean and free of the serpent's influence—so that the Father could live in peace inside his body, which is the better Tabernacle.
And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.
Such an incredible thing to have inserted here in the preserved words, yet how often have I read this and thought in a ho-hum sort of way that it doesn't have much impact on me, that it's such an obscure thing to have here in the account of the Son finishing the work that the Father gave him to do. What it says is that the copies aren't needed any more because the Son who was embedded into the purpose of the Father from the beginning, why all these copies existed and what they pointed. The Son, who would do the work of the Father and give Him the family He wanted from the beginning, was coming. The veil was ripped in half and the Temple was as good as dead, because that which it pointed to had already come and fulfilled the Father's wishes. He chose the right way and rejected the wrong way, and that saved the family of sons, which he presented to the Father by laying himself onto the cross.
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 will find it.
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. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
Here is the new covenant, spoken by the mouth of Jesus, the words given to him by the Father who lived inside his heart, as per Jeremiah. With God there has always been a covenant between Himself and His people. Something is promised, given; and something is expected, required in return. Learning to hate what once we loved and protected at all cost takes a long time of suffering as those things are being pried away from our clutching hands that keep trying to hold on to so tightly what cannot actually do us any good. Yet hold on we continue to do, because it's all we know. Coming out into the open by exposing ourselves to the light whose purpose is to shine into the places we want to keep dark, is monumentally difficult—a thing that is known by me from experience.
The bride belongs to the bridegroom.
Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory!
The bride of God's Christ is his possession and she doesn't mind that tradeoff because there is so much he gives back to her. The Lord in his life didn't take a wife, which was an odd thing for any man to not do. But it wasn't primarily because he had so much work to do for God, but more because he was taken by God in the same way he is taking his own bride, and his obligation of love was totally to Him. He didn't want to spread his affection out or dilute it by giving it to another.
If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me, but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.
Paul felt the same way about the Lord, who had taken Paul and claimed him for his own.
I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
That was it for Paul, the fullness of God, the most one could attain to in this existence, knowing the love that the Son had for the Father, which was also in Paul for the Son, who now owned him. For the Lord or Paul to not engage in human love like that which was expected from a man towards a woman was the choice they made, because they knew about something much better. That's what all the animals do, and it is merely a copy of the real thing so it's inferior—it wears off or goes away one way or another. It is not satisfying like the better thing, the love of the Father for the Son, and the Son for his bride.
Jesus replied, "Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it."
The sexual aspects of the husband/wife arrangement according to God should be ignored, because what's important is love, which isn't about sex or sexuality. Those are instincts that are naturally found in all the animals so they'll keep making babies—a compulsion and drive that in most cases cannot be ignored because it's so powerful. This is a difficult thing for the animals to grasp because of the same nature that makes them a slave to its rule over them, so they're not intended to be able to grasp it. The heart and message of the Lord and the Father and what is desired by the sons is the pure love of God, which is not found in the humans unless they are driven to want it. The children born to God don't come from any sexual union between humans, but only because of an action of God in revealing Himself to those of His own choosing.
What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a whip, or in love and with a gentle spirit?
Paul was so aware of his being taken by the Lord as his servant and wife, that he also advocates, for those who are able, to not get married in the earthly sense unless they had to, so that they could be as he was—swallowed up into the Lord's identity and having none of his own, understanding the love that came from him to Paul. The care and concern he had for Paul and what he provided to him, desiring to not be distracted by any human love or obligation, because his obligation, his love, was for the Lord and his cause—to give the Father a family of sons who choose Him over that which is merely common and temporary, yet so alluring. That is why a devil exists, to give the sons a real choice so they are not forced to love God, but freely choose Him even though it's difficult beyond belief.