February 28th.

Leviticus 3-4 / Psalm 104 / 1 Corinthians 12-13

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These all look to you to give them their food at the proper time.
When you give it to them, they gather it up;
when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things.

There is a craving inside our heart, because of the animal still very much living there, to find a natural agreement of knowledge about who and what we want to be, that will align with what we're predisposed to being, according to the instinctual need to be significant, which is the process of attaining to a level of egotistical and emotional survival. The human animal is driven by forces it's not aware of to always be controlling the things around him as much as possible, especially what's inside him. This need for a knowledge about who we are and what our purpose is, what our importance is and what we're going to do keeps coming up because we want to bypass the process of believing, of true faith as our brothers exercised. It's something that the Father loves to see in His sons, but it's something that we in our animal state internally loathe, because we want the sure and easy thing which we're used to thinking we must get by the power of our own hand. So we plot and plan to just know everything already, so we can find that agreement with the animal who isn't letting up with the craving for that and so much more. Around every corner the cravings of the flesh and blood animal are constantly popping up, and we either have to be in the ongoing process of denying them generally, or they'll eat us up if we even let the door open for any of them to be entertained by us.

When you hide your face, they are terrified;
when you take away their breath, they die and return to the dust.
When you send your spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth.

This process of continuing to believe even though it seems like in every other sense except that which is living and growing in our hearts that it couldn't be true—because it's not happening to the humans around us so it's not reinforced or encouraged by them—is the true faith and belief of those who were secretly chosen to hear a voice that the other humans couldn't hear. The choice to believe is more important than any other choice. The sons can't surround themselves with a bunch of humans who believe the lie about their made up gods, which is why they'll be driven away from the institutions filled with humans who claim to know the way to God—because the sons won't agree with them in the most fundamental way. The animal hates God and drives Him out of its presence. The way to the Father is still hidden from the humans, just as the real Jesus was kept hidden from the humans by the Father, who wants the same thing for all of His true sons. If what the institutions say is true, then anyone could, on a whim, just walk in and all of a sudden know the way to the Father, as though it were publicly disclosed and that easy, which means it must not be a very valuable thing if it's that cheap and easy.

And if his offering is from the flock, from the sheep or from the goats, for a burnt offering, an unblemished male he shall bring it forward.

And he shall slaughter it on the north side of the altar before the LORD, and the sons of Aaron, the priests, shall cast its blood round the altar.

And he shall cut it up into its parts, its head and its fat, and the priest shall lay them out on the wood that is on the fire which is on the altar.

And its innards and its legs he shall wash in water, and the priest shall bring it all forward and turn it to smoke on the altar. It is a burnt offering, a fire offering, a fragrant odor to the LORD.

But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation

God required the sacrifice of animals as part of the covenant between Him and His people. Instead of taking their lives for violating the terms of the covenant, they could offer up to Him something that was valuable to them for food, something which ideally had life in it (as opposed to a grain offering) so as to allow them to understand that the life of this animal was being taken by God instead of theirs. In the tradition that the Mosaic law was only a copy of the new law coming by the life of the Lord—done for the benefit of God's true sons—the Israelites were offering a life to God so that they could save another, their own life. Why did the offering have to be unblemished? It wasn't just any life they could bring to present to God, so they could save their own life. It wasn't the life of an animal that was sickly, diseased, or maimed that God would accept. It wasn't something that didn't mean as much to them as the other animals they would have been more likely to hang on to. It is part of the copy again, for our benefit, all pointing to and reinforcing the Romans verse.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

They had to wash the innards and legs for the same reason—that's where the not yet evacuated excrement was still in the animal, so in effect they were washing that, the offending waste, out of the animal—purifying it with water—before they presented it to be burned. Same with the legs, which would have gotten filthy walking around in the dirt, and waste on the ground before being brought forward.

It is an offering up, a fire offering of soothing savor for YHWH.

God wanted the best of their animals, and He wanted them to be cleaned of the offending filth before they were turned into smoke—that which would please Him, satisfy Him, give Him comfort. Whatever was accepted and consecrated went up in the aroma and smoke of what was being burnt. The smell of the flesh of the perfect animal, purified of the offending waste, being burned by fire, was a soothing savor to God. The life was turned from flesh into smoke, via the fire, and transformed the life into a substance that was more like God—represented by pillars of fire and smoke—than it was like man who is obtuse and heavy, flesh and blood just like the animal before it was burnt up and turned to smoke by the priest.

Flesh (and blood) gives birth to flesh (and blood), but the spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the spirit.

The sacrificing of the animals was a looking forward, another copy of how things would become between God and His people as depicted in the verse Paul wrote that signified it. The transformation of flesh and blood into something that couldn't be held or controlled, that which rose up and was gone, blown by the wind away from the fire—that is the life of the believer and follower of the Lamb of God, but especially the Lamb himself for whom the Father had been patiently waiting. Each one of those animal sacrifices reminded God about him, that he was coming and he would fully sooth Him, make Him happy, and allow His love to be the agent between Himself and His sons instead of fear, because they would be fully consumed by Him and would know His love. God was reminded daily by the soothing savor of the smell and smoke of burning flesh that the Son would come and take over the work, and protect Him so that He could be insulated from the uncleanness of the humans and all their animalities which constantly made Him angry, and made Him regret that He had ever made them. When the Son came, then the Father would be free to love him with the family of sons he presented to the Father. God was tired of being vulnerable and loving, only to have the object of His love spit on His commands. So with Jesus everything changed concerning who was made a part of His family.

Inquire among the nations: Who has ever heard anything like this?
A most horrible thing has been done by Virgin Israel.

Does the snow of Lebanon ever vanish from its rocky slopes?
Do its cool waters from distant sources ever cease to flow?

Yet my people have forgotten me; they burn incense to worthless idols,
which made them stumble in their ways and in the ancient paths.
They made them walk in bypaths and on roads not built up.

Their land will be laid waste, an object of lasting scorn;
all who pass by will be appalled and will shake their heads.

Like a wind from the east, I will scatter them before their enemies;
I will show them my back and not my face in the day of their disaster.

God did His work in creating everything, and choosing a people who theoretically would love Him, but He was constantly spurned by this unfaithful wife. His last great work was giving birth to the Lamb, the Son He would teach and train up to know Him, to please Him and know His great love and respond back with love for the Father, shown by his desire to do His will and accomplish His purpose. His life would be the perfect meal, the ultimate soothing savor, what the Father had been looking forward to all the time before the Son was born to Him. As the smoke and smell signified that the animal had been slaughtered and offered—a life had been surrendered to Him, on His account, for His benefit—the love and obedience of the Son was the great savor to soothe Him finally. Before he came, there was only the thought about him coming, which brought a certain anxiety to the Father. The smell of the animals burning soothed Him, which kept reminding the Father of the Son who was going to come. If the Son was already with the Father—as goes the dominating myth—then the Father wouldn't need to be soothed by that savory smoke of burning animals that rose up to Him every day, because the Son would have been with Him already. The desire to do the Father's will, to surrender his own natural life and will for His sake, was the fulfillment of all those animals' lives being surrendered to Him daily.

Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.

It was also the beginning of the new way to please God and find salvation. After the sacrifice of the perfect Lamb's life, God didn't need any more animals because He was finally soothed forever, and His Son was with Him. The old way wasn't needed any longer. To follow the Son meant not merely practicing rituals that only pointed to him, now unnecessary, but to be as he was which pleased the Father. No more would God accept just parts of the son's life as a sacrifice for his unclean nature. Now God required the whole man—what He required from the firstborn Son—everything he had or could have, to be given up to Him. Not just things, but all the hopes, dreams, secrets and aspirations inside the man that made him what he naturally was. The man's entire life was now required of him by God, as per the model of the life of His only Son, who is the head of the family of God's sons.

You are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

What is a man's earthly life, that which God requires if the man is to please Him? It's not what it used to be, not a reversion to the old days when a man would offer God a part of his life that held value to him; and then God would accept it according to the covenant. Now God rejects all sacrifices which do not stand up to the sacrifice that the Son gave and made, losing his life completely for the Father's sake. His new requirement is that the man offer himself on the altar, that he gives his life, his control over it, his innate desire to direct it and everything else that defines him as an unclean animal—a mere man—over to the Lord, as he had done for the Father.

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last.

Only those chosen, as was the case of the Lord's disciples, will be able to do this because it takes something that isn't naturally in the humans to be able to know the path that leads to the Father. Obviously, there are many paths in the world of humans that they claim lead to the only living God, but they don't. Only in surrendering this inferior life to him are we able to be pleasing to God, to bear fruit for Him to eat, because when we do that we say to Him in a genuine way that we believe Him even though it's hard because nobody else sees what we see. The Lord was the perfect meal for God: meat, flesh; bread, body; wine, blood. We can only become fruit for God's enjoyment because the perfect meal has already been eaten. And all of us who are made sons can only add up to one body who is presentable as the faithful bride for the Son.

The life of the particular animal is the universal desire of all of the humans, as per their curse—to call their own shots while they survive and provide for themselves, satisfying their cravings and appeasing their fears by doing their own will all their lives. Maybe they will throw the gods a little piece of it on a regular basis (every Sunday), thinking He might accept their scraps. That life is one which is unable to love because of its preoccupation with keeping itself alive, a condition that dictates everything else for it, especially its ability or not to love. The entirety of the life of the one who would be a son to God is required by Him, just as it was required of God's only good Son, because it is the one thing he has to offer the Father—the genuine choice for Him—that can make him clean. If we don't think that, or if we try to rationalize our way out of actually offering it up to God, then we must think that we are above the master.

A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebub, how much more the members of his household!

If we think we've already offered that up to Him, surrendered our life to God so that He can give us life that is truly life, then we should consider what we love, designated by the things we run after and involve ourselves in as we "live" our life doing what all the other animals do, chasing after what they chase after; while we pretend to love Him by the little parts we attempt to offer Him, the parts that don't mean as much to us as the parts we offer to the world and ourselves—the sacrifice He rejects. God won't even look at a sacrifice of parts of a life, what most of the humans try and offer up to Him, nor will He consider the life as acceptable which is filled with the waste and excrement of the ways of man and what they love in it. He doesn't have to deal with the uncleanness of the unfaithful animals anymore, because of the work of the responsible Son, who is with Him now.

Do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Before any new sons are presented to the Father, they are sacrificed on the altar, their lives surrendered to the high priest. They first have to lose their old life and identity, the nature of the animal—the waste and excrement, so vile and offensive to God—and become born from above, of God. Then they can be trained up and made clean and acceptable by the Lord, the good Son, the master and teacher of all God's sons, who are being made sons by his voice living in them. That is all the process of more cleaning, more purging of the "pattern of this world," the way of man the animal, out of them.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Only the Lord was good enough to be the Son who fully satisfied God, and now only he can teach the sons of God to be as he was—not an animal who was driven to self-preserve, but one whose focus was doing only what pleased the Father, looking after His interests and doing His will.

Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother.

 

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