Exodus 37 / Psalms 96-99 / 1 Corinthians 7
Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry.
The most excellent way is not to give ourselves to another human, but to give ourselves over completely to the Son as our true husband in the sense that we are like a loyal and faithful wife who is content with her place and doesn't even want to think about going elsewhere for what she needs to sustain her. She knows that her husband is good and she can hear the goodness of the truth in his words because she was chosen to be able to hear that truth and goodness on a level that goes deeper within herself than any other thing can be experienced, so all she wants to do is sit at his feet and listen to his words as he speaks the truth that the others can't hear. What matters to the Father doesn't matter to the humans, so the things we love and run after—because we see what makes sense and the desire to run after the new things are increasingly appealing to us—the humans will think are foolish and there's no way to convince them to the otherwise. It's not in them to even want to think about running after what they think isn't there, or is so intangible as to not ever being able to contain or control it to enhance their existence or be for their own good in any way. If the Son is revealing the truth to us in those deep places where we're being made certain it is genuine like a true and loyal husband would teach his wife what is true and not, then we should be like that faithful wife to him, devoted beyond question and without a second thought about it.
That doesn't just happen though. The process of being brought to another consciousness altogether must be as significant as it sounds like it must in order to be able to accomplish that level of change of a fundamental consciousness of an animal so complex as we are, which was created by so many competing factors that molded and formed it over so many years of observing and reacting to our environment. That process of observation and reaction caused us to build our own specific walls that we learned to hide behind, because they're built of just the things that we needed, particular to our own situation, and the level of fear that was bred into us because of them.
The process begins by seeing and observing the condition one is in—completely under the control of, then becoming willing to be under the control of another condition. It isn't about learning a secret mantra or some other self-disciplined accomplishment, which are all human deals. It is about conforming to another reality as that reality is being revealed within us, to believe that it is true enough to conform to its strict requirements even though it's unappealing and unapparent—just enough to know it's there but not enough to convince us thoroughly like we need to be convinced. And it seems to be nonexistent to everyone else, because it is since it's a secret and mysterious process, just like the One who initiates it is secret and mysterious. It isn't like some human deal that's opened up to just anyone who wants to figure it out. There is no impetus to even want to figure it out amongst the humans, which is why they don't ever try, which is why it's effective to keep them away from God, who must reveal it to anyone to make them even want to begin finding out.
The disciples said to him, "If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry."
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."
In the spiritual world and reality where the Father lives, the idea of mating and earthly families (touching a woman, as Paul expresses it) doesn't exist. The only important reality is that which is removed from this world, the unseen (heavenly) kingdom of God and His unseen sons, the true family. None of the earthly families, though so totally important to the humans who belong to them, are important for those who are remembered by God and raised out of the ground to live with Him. It doesn't matter for these which earthly family they came from; all that matters is that God did choose them to become His sons, and they chose Him back by responding to that calling; saying yes to the unseen, unheard and unknown God.
The people of this age marry and are given in marriage.
Sex is important to the animals because they are driven by instinct, just like beetles and boar hogs to mate, which provides a certain feeling of conquest and success in the males and safety and security in the females who are subconsciously looking for a place to raise their brood (no matter how much they would deny it). Like all animals they can't help themselves because that urge/need/craving is very strong and present, so much so that it is the most easily exploitable drive in the humans that the marketing people can always count on.
But those who are considered worthy of taking part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels.
The most excellent way is the way of love between the son/bride and the Father & Son. Not just saying with our mouth, "Oh yes, we are the bride of the Christ," yet having no intention of actually fulfilling that vow to him in our hearts because we consider it merely a conceptual notion, as though the life of the believer were just one big concept until we're resurrected, then everything becomes real.
They are God's children, since they are children of the resurrection.
That's all the humans can do, because they're compelled to be and act like animals by the drive that's naturally in them to do everything the other animals do. The idea of throwing away, of laying down their right to be and do what the humans naturally do, for the sake of the Father and Son, is ludicrous to them—even the ones who claim to know the way to God. That's because they don't know that sin isn't actually something one does, but what one is—and that is the human condition, separated from God because they are unclean animals who are all inherently not good. They conceptualize sin as what the bad people do—drinking, smoking, sex out of marriage—as developed by the humans who made their various religions. So externally (where the other humans can see) they steer clear of these easily identifiable and condemnable sins, while their hearts are filled with every sort of drive to the otherwise, and they do things in their minds' fantasies and in private that they would never do in front of other humans. Then they go to church or the ecclesia and pretend again to be what they're not, and as long as everyone keeps playing that charade they even think God doesn't see all the contradictions between what's in their heart and what they're pretending to be on the outside where the other humans observe.
I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
The sons of God have to become pure on that most secret and fundamental level of honesty, possessing a clean heart even down to their very core, even what they think in their thoughts. That's why it's more than just not doing things, but rather not being led by the nature that makes them want to do those things. If the nature that drives the humans to want to mate and get money and things to protect themselves and satisfy every stray craving that enters their mind all day long can actually be taken out of them, then they will be moving toward that state and condition of being pure in their heart, as Jesus was. Pure, meaning he was driven and led by the nature of the good Son (instead of the common animal) to do what pleased the Father (instead of himself).
If you are the Son of God... (then prove it by doing such and such).
The temptation account shows that nature trying to enter in to his mind and persuade him to follow it by gratifying the natural cravings. Because he said no to the nature that rules the humans (the devil, the force that was created to give the humans a true choice), he was able to remain pure in his devotion to doing what pleased the Father, and become the Father's Lamb who was pure enough (unblemished, spotless) to be fit to be offered as the sacrifice which would free all of His sons.
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another (as opposed to your own earthly families).
The sons are *not* commanded to love their wives and children, or to respect their fathers and mothers. They are commanded to hate their wives, children, fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers. They are commanded to leave them behind if they think they want to follow the Lord, as he left his own family behind because he heard a command from the Father about another family altogether, different from the family of animals he was born into.
The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.
Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: "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."
Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family." Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."
Jesus is talking about the preserved words' testimony of Elisha being called to follow Elijah. Elisha was plowing in his family's field when the prophet came to him. Not only did he leave them to follow Elijah, but he butchered the 24 oxen he was driving and used the plowing equipment to barbeque the meat. Then like a crazy person, after giving everything he had—all the expensive tools that allowed him to work for the food that his own family needed to live—to the poor, he went and followed Elijah; just because he was being drawn by the voice of the Father. Compare that to the disciples throwing down their fishing nets to follow Jesus, the better Elijah. In this sense John the baptist was the Elijah who was to come, as he pointed the chosen ones toward Jesus. He gave them crucial information about the one who was coming after him who was more perfect than himself because he heard the voice of God more clearly, so that they would know who he was and how important he would be for them. In a sense that was John's only real work, to show a few men who the Messiah was when he came.
The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, "Look, the Lamb of God!" When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus.
Jesus did not say things that people wanted to hear; he was not like the religions portray him, who merely spout their own modified version of the man-made lies about who he was and how he was received. Hating your natural family—denying it as something to not be valued—isn't a thing you'll hear a lot of exhortations about. If so, they will be rationalizations about how Jesus didn't mean it literally because the humans, especially the ones who think they're the good people in God's eyes, find it anathema to abandon their natural families for any reason. That's what the bad people do, the deadbeats and the irresponsibles who aren't like them (on the outside anyway—in their heart all men are the same love for themselves and hatred for anything that opposes that).
Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.'
Following the real Jesus is an impossible road to walk on, and believing in him means that it costs more than what the humans are willing to pay.
From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
It takes a conformity to something more than what the humans are willing to conform to, which is why the sons who are chosen by the Father are given more than the humans who aren't chosen, to be able to hear what they cannot hear so that they can even know that the command is there.
"You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve. "Have I not chosen you, the Twelve?"
The chosen sons are commanded to love one another because that's what the Father loves, and they enter into a relationship with the Son and Father that is so beyond the scope of what the humans understand that in it there is no thought of marriage or sexuality, but something much higher, better and worth the cost they have to pay. And they are the ones who are given the ability to see as the Father sees, and that it's worth the cost. Otherwise, what is naturally in the humans is too strong to be able to deny.
Then the angel said to me, "Write: `Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!' " And he added, "These are the true words of God."
The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
The mating ritual is reserved to the animals for the purpose of populating to earth while satisfying their cravings by its momentary pleasures. Yet another temporary thing in which the humans can find their hopes, their little momentary episodes of fulfillment that have to keep coming for them to feel satisfied, if only temporarily. Sex is a very powerful one because it creates an immediate yet artificial sense of acceptance for both parties. It's a closeness that can happen in a matter of minutes, but it never lasts. All those wonderful feelings, the "magic" that happens between the people, *always* wears off. There is never a case when this doesn't happen, because it's a law for the animals, as sure and real as the law of gravity. It's part of God's purpose, of being merely a copy of the real thing between the bride and the good husband—not the sex part but the feelings of intimacy, closeness, love, devotion, faithfulness, and 100% dedication toward him and no other, even and especially our own selves.
Since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband ...because of your lack of self-control.
Here is why Paul had to address marriage, and seemed to be advocating it when he really didn't. Sexuality is purely a component of the animal nature, driven to survive and carry on its name by finding, mating, and producing offspring. Apart from the need to eat, it is the most obvious component of the nature that drives the animal, a fact that has been efficiently capitalized upon by the marketing departments of business advertising. You drink this beer, you will conquer and be able to possess this girl. Even though it never happens, nevertheless the suggestion creates a fantasy that works in the back of the male brain that associates that beer with that feeling of happiness within that fantasy that was created by the illusion of the images that brought him into that world just for a second, but long enough to accomplish its goal.
That's not to say anything good or bad about marketing or business, just that they know they can count on that drive to conquer and possess to always be in the humans, and they have learned that it's highly exploitable to sell their shitty beer, or trucks or potato chips. Their ads merely reinforce the power and persistence of that animal drive by their subconscious messages, e.g. if you drink this beer, you can have this girl or if you shave your legs with this product then that man will like you and be your knight who will save you and give you a safe place to raise your brood. It's something the humans can't help being driven by, just the same as none of the animals can help what they do. They feel the instinct welling up and they conform to what it's telling them to do—fly to a warmer place, stick you ass up in the air or jump on that ass and hump it. Donkeys, rats, goats, humans; they're all driven by this overpowering urge to find, attach, mate, conquer—and the Corinthian believers were being consumed by it.
Human marriage was merely a way Paul dealt with that problem for these particular people, how he figured they could put a harness on the stuff that was going on between them. Not something sacred and holy in this case, but a solution to the problem that was causing so much chaos in the place where there should have been peace between the Father and His son, between the good husband and his bride. The only thing that was sacred and holy to Paul was the marriage of the individual believer to the Lord, and by that his relationship to the others who were also given over to him. It is a marriage that is so perfect and real in the way that the humans can't understand, because it's real in the spiritual sense, and has nothing to do with natural things like marriage and mating. It is about being given over, losing our identity and being found instead in him, being a living sacrifice, losing our life for his sake. It is about real, spiritual love between the Lord and his bride, and it happens in the place that is hidden to the humans.
"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.
Although it was a solution to the problem at Corinth which was destroying the unity of the sons, and far better than what was going on there, it wasn't the best way to go, because by doing it one had to give something up; that is, their complete devotion to the Lord as his bride in the most real yet hidden sense (according to the Father). If one didn't fully own their body, they couldn't be fully devoted to the Lord. They gave up exclusive ownership of their body because they couldn't help themselves, because of their lack of self-control. And by it they deprived themselves of the greater gifts, and the most excellent way of all.
Eagerly desire the greater gifts (faith and hope). And now I will show you the most excellent way (love).
Faith comes to the son who is fully given over to doing the Father's will, not carrying an identity in the world, but hidden in his secret identity. It is not something a man conjures up or that comes from within him, or happens because he is some way or does some thing. It does not come from us knowing the text, or going to church. It is a thing that is spiritually and actually imparted from the Lord to the man, in his heart, which allows him to believe what his natural faculties tell him is not real—even and especially in the face of serious consequences for the actions of the man which reflect that belief (like acting in ways that the humans consider hideous and abominable).
This faith produces hope for the son to whom it's given; not like all the little transitory animal hopes by which the humans jump around from one to another in their ongoing attempts to find fulfillment that never happens. The hope that is produced in the son is not episodic but is a thing that grows in him slowly and surely. It is as sure as the life that is growing in him, because it is a component of that multi-faceted life. It is the hope of the Father finally having His family, which is His purpose, and starts as a tiny seed and then grows up to become a large tree that takes over the whole garden, just as the Lord promised in his parables of the seed as the word, the message of the kingdom. Our hope becomes sure and steady, not changing all the time like all the human hopes, which like sex are more immediately tangible and executable by our own power, but are always only temporary—they never last.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
What lasts is the love that is the bonding agent of the child to the good husband she is betrothed to, and the son to the Father. It is knowing with such certainty that we are taken care of, that we are provided for, that we are well-loved, because the Father's reality is becoming our reality and what we assumed was reality before is slowly fading away as the life grows in us. So strong is this knowledge that it is able to drive out the constant fears that drive and plague the animals. Always having to worry if we're okay, if we have enough of this or that, if something's going to happen to us to make us lose what we cling to, whatever we think we can provide for ourselves to make us feel a little less fearful and vulnerable. However, the things we are able to provide for ourselves, like all the things of the animal, are only temporary; everything is vulnerable and the fear cannot ever be completely avoided by any of them.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known (fully loved by the good husband).