Exodus 38 / Psalms 100-101 / 1 Corinthians 8-9
I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord's affairs—how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife—and his interests are divided.
An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord's affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband.
I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.
The proper bride who is betrothed to the good husband is faithful to him with an undivided devotion to her Lord. She does and is what pleases him—not whatever she wants, whatever she used to do as a mongrel orphan daughter of the world. After a long, slow process of reconditioning and transformation, what pleases him starts to become the thing that pleases her as she learns to be faithful to his wishes in order to please him, not just because she feels obligated to do it, trying to get something for herself that she needs—the ability to survive forever.
As the metaphor applies, the chosen sons are that Egyptian girl whom the Lord chose and is now making ready and fit to be his bride, a proper daughter-in-law for the Father. There is still a lot of the old way in us, but the Lord is a faithful and patient husband who is ready to take the time to change us into something good and acceptable, actually desirable. It will go better for us if we are willing to realize when we are wrong instead of try and hide the shame of what we are in our heart, where we think he doesn't see.
As we continue to hang onto our old ways, we subconsciously think we are pulling a fast one on him, because that is the old way—to be one way on the outside where the humans see, and another in our heart where they can't see what we are. That is a component of the hiding, which comes from the animal's fear, shame and double-minded ignorance. It takes a long time to realize that the old ways don't work anymore, and longer yet to undo them in us. But again, he is the faithful and patient husband who appreciates a bride who desires to be changed, who is at least trying, and he rewards her true and honest efforts.
For us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.
The relationship between God and the Son is everything, and from this comes everything—all the plans and purposes of God for the creation is bound up in their relationship. The Father originally desired this with the first son, who instead of being a good son and doing His work, looking after His interests, teaching the creation to love and honor the Father, ended up conspiring with the creation against Him.
Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.
The first son didn't want to do that work of the Father and created a family for Him to be surrounded by. He and the other human instead wanted to enhance their own selves and get what the Father had not given to them, wanting not to be for His purpose but to be gods themselves. It's important to comprehend right at this point, that that's what the humans were given over to, and what they became because of their desire to become independent little gods who have nothing to do with God's purpose. And that is what the humans have been since that point, as per the curse that God gave them over to, because of their choice to have it for themselves—little independent gods who live and die unto themselves and who have nothing to do with the God who is hidden and secret, the One who actually does have the power to control their future (choosing them to be a part of His purpose by being like the Son who was raised and is now with Him) or not (letting them become an integral part of the natural creation by unifying with the soil—the grave that holds them, which is sheol or gehenna—where the concept of the man-made hell came from).
The Father separated from the humans and worked by Himself while He was looking forward to the good Son who would be born to Him, who was not like the one who rejected and disappointed Him. And the Father rewarded the good Son with a bride who would either be faithful or not exist at all. Unlike Israel, she would either be a wife who responded to and validated his position as the good shepherd, the good husband, the only Son of God—or she would not exist as his bride because there would be no awareness of God or His purpose, to even be able to choose or reject Him. The Son wouldn't have to go through what the Father went through with His wife, Israel, who wasn't a faithful wife at all. Out of her came sons who the Father knew by name, but the nation of Israel was a constant disappointment.
"The time is coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, `Know the LORD,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest," declares the LORD."
A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God.
So He changed the rules of how the humans could know Him, coincidental to the model of the Son's life and work. No longer would there be a nation of whoring infidels with just a few sons coming out of her whom He knew. No longer would there be any clear choice on the outside of whom God's chosen people were. Beginning with the secret, hidden Son the interaction between God and the humans would just seem random on the outside; different than before when He dealt with Israel. As predicted by one of the OT sons of God, the only thing that would matter was the covenant that existed within the son's heart, where the humans could not regulate or control it. Indeed, beginning with the Son, the humans wouldn't even be able to see the work of God unless they were specially given the means to be able to.
The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. This is why I speak to them in parables: Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
"You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them."
But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.
From that point forward everything God did would be done in secret, hidden from the world's inhabitants. Only those whom He wanted to know by name would know of His truth. To all the rest the truth would be hidden, along with the identities of those who have been chosen to know and understand the truth of the Father and the Son—that they are members of His family. Everyone else can only assume they are, and the world is filled with thousands of different groups, all saying something different, yet all claiming the same thing—that they are members of God's exclusive family. But because they don't have the authentic seal, "the deposit and guarantee of the things to come," they can never know for sure. They can only assume, while they live their lives as animals with the animal nature intact, following the gods they've made up according to what they want to accept.
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the Prophets: "They will all be taught by God." Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from Him comes to me.
The tiny handful of those who are chosen lose their identity as animals and become members of God's family by the same spirit which lets them know in that deep and secret place within themselves that they are being called and are loved for a special purpose, outside of the animal experience. This process of being called to being born and then growing up into the Father and His purpose is all done in secret, hidden from the world's eyes.
The family of the Father and the Son is enough. However, they have also chosen a family of sons to include in their house who can love them and each other, all because they know they're loved because they know they've been specially chosen by the Father for that purpose. We are alive for their purpose and pleasure, and they allow us to live according to their mercy. We know that those who please God are allowed to live, and those who do not want to please God do not want to live, or they would seek to please Him in order to be able to live, knowing that He decides whether an animal can have life in it or just be allowed to rot in the ground, in peace and harmony with the rest of the dying creation. The idea of going to some heaven or some hell because each of the animals has an immortal soul doesn't make sense with what can be observed—that the animals either get eaten by other animals and absorbed into their system, or they are plant food as they go into the ground and become one with it as their organic body decomposes. Either way they just become food for whatever piece of the creation happens to be so lucky to utilize them.
The religious animals are like privileged sons who take their inheritance for granted. Because they read Paul speaking about the free gift of salvation, they assume it means anyone can just get it, and so it must not be worth very much because it's so common and available to anyone who has half a whim to want to survive forever, and all they need to do is follow some rules that the humans have made up and they will get what they think they want, according to their survivalistic animal mode of being driven by instinct to get that. That is where the idea of the spirit living in each of them comes from, as if that life and gift of reassurance was worth so little that the slightest peep out of any one of them meant the spirit lived in them. Their leaders tell them to say a few words and it's done, the spirit now lives in them, speaks to them and guides them as if it were that stupid and easy, and God was so cheap and easy for the humans' affection, as though He has no preference one way or the other except that they become one of the "good people," as if there were any good people.
Their leaders tell them that you can be "filled with the spirit," which is at your service to make you happy for a little while, for no other purpose than that, and to try to convince others to join the happy horse poop club where everyone's "goin' to heaven." Never mind that this so-called spirit (which is actually the work of angels) is compelling you to believe in a made up jesus who only existed in the minds of men bent on consolidating and maintaining their control and power for themselves. That is the picture of a man running toward a finish line which doesn't even exist or a fighter swinging at a phantom without any idea that the real enemy is himself.
I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
Paul is a man who is caught up in the relationship and purpose for which he was called—to be faithful and obedient like the metaphor of a good wife to a good husband and teacher, to have a soft neck which could be turned easily, whichever way the master wanted him to go—according to his purpose, not Paul's. This is what a mature spiritual creature is like, docile and willing to listen for the master's voice and conform to it. Not a softie who bends to everyone's will, but one who knows the difference between good and evil, between what the Lord's will is and what isn't—one who hears and responds to his voice.
But not everyone knows this. Some people are still so accustomed to idols (the old way)...
There will be different levels of the ability to actually do this among the earthlings who are being called out of the world to be patiently waiting for her good husband to appear. As the good Son did the work of the Father out of love for Him, so the good bride heeds his voice and becomes faithful too, not to fulfill her own desire and destiny, but as she learns to love the good husband she learns the right way and helps him accomplish his purpose on the earth. She doesn't hinder him by being concerned only with pleasing herself, being a pig of a wife, and if she does then she's just tossed outside with all the other pigs, where she wanted to be.
If what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.
Without that infrastructure of love that she has for the husband, the younger and weaker ones will just be a bother to her. However, the bride who shows the husband that she is willing to learn his way, the new way, will be responded to by him and given mercy. He will teach her how to love him, and the love of the bride for her husband will make her respond to him just fine. Then she will be able to love and bear with the children who are younger and weaker.