Leviticus 9-10 / Psalms 108-109 / 2 Corinthians 1-2
If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.
Satan is not a fallen angel who goes around trying to get the good people to sin and fall away from the gods, which is the christian view. Nor is satan merely lawlessness whether manifested individually or politically, nor merely the unlawful lusts and tendencies of human nature which invariably lead the good people to sin and fall away from the gods, which is the christadelphian view. The only real difference between the two is in the details about what or who satan is, or is not. Otherwise the structure of the process is the same from their thinking to the way their worship services are conducted—it's all just a mater of adhering to a certain set of facts, either one set or the other, which is the fundamental error about them both, and all human religion for that matter: the humans cannot just get to the hidden God by creating a more correct set of doctrines to adhere to, and assume that because theirs is more correct than the others, it is pleasing or even acceptable to the hidden God, who hides from the humans on purpose.
Although some of the details established by the christadelphians are more correct than christianity in its many forms of mythology holding to the many gods idea like the Romans and the Greeks, the whole deal is off because God and His desire to be and remain hidden from the humans is not understood by either. Although the christadelphians consider themselves so very different than the "trinitarians," assuming to have some truer truth than all the others, nevertheless sin (what makes them unacceptable to God just like all the other humans) is understood by the christadelphians in very much the same way that the christians understand sin.
Both groups read the Romans letter and "admit" that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," but they still see sin in religious human terms—it is what the bad people do—and that they can become good according to God by adhering to correct facts, which reinforces their goodness because it triumphs over every other thing. What they can't comprehend is that it is not the bad or wrong humans who are unacceptable to God, but every and all of the humans are bad, wrong, unclean and separated from Him as a matter of existence, not of action or non-action on their part. Both groups would admit that all humans are born into sin (because the preserved words say that), but what they don't understand is the sin and evil look plain and ordinary. Sin and evil look exactly like what all humans inherently are, and the reason they do not and will not get this, as per the deliciously ironic character of God, is because they individually and collectively, across the board and without exception, always consider themselves inherently good, and able to be or become good by doing something like adhering to some correct facts about the gods, which will make them acceptable, or good whilst the others who adhere to incorrect facts are unfortunately bad and wrong because their gods are not the right gods.
Sin is a good thing for humans, because God made it to keep the human animals away from Him on a grand scale. It's what makes humans want to be human, to do what human animals naturally want to do because of the force of the ubiquitous power of instinctual cravings that live in them to drive them accordingly. Sin is a bad thing for the sons who are called to come away from that non-relationship with God, which sin ensures between Himself and them. If sin is naturally built right into the humans as the drive and force of power that makes them what they are, then it can be conceptualized as that which leads and guides them to be what they naturally are. Before the sons are called by the Father, they have no other choice except to listen to and be driven by that force of power, which is the expected thing to do. However, once they begin to know that doing that is the opposite thing that God wants from His own sons, then their response of conformity to another force of power is required, which is what the sons of God called "the spirit" in so many of the letters that were written by them, before it left the sphere of humanity and the world was pitched into the darkness and desolation of the past almost 2 millennia. Since Daniel's vision came to pass the world has been ruled by the whore of babylon and her made up gods, known more commonly as christianity in all its various forms—individually the prostitute daughters of the great mother whore who has throughout the period of desolation spun off many versions of herself (daughters) who look like her fundamentally with their many gods systems intact. They may look a little differently superficially, which they all claim sets them apart from their whore mother, but it doesn't because fundamentally they are the same whore which calls itself the true bride of their made up christ god, forever impotent because it was made up by humans to suit their purpose to be able to control whatever system they made.
The real power of satan isn't in the extraordinary, but the ordinary. It is the nature that all humans inherit, and what becomes solidified in them when they pass over from child to adult. It's what drives them to want, need, crave and feel compelled to protect themselves primarily and their DNA carriers secondarily to make a better life for themselves, to fit into the world of humans just like all the rest, giving their time and lives to it in return for what it gives to all the humans—the right to survive and live their lives as best they can (enhanced survival). The errant assumption the sons should comprehend, which is fundamental to the humans, is that life is worth living and that those who want to follow the Son to find the Father have the right to live their lives just like all animals do. If they want their lives, that's what they'll get because God gives man the desire of his heart. The concept of living out the life like an animal for one's self in full survival mode, and then after it's all over going to some heaven where all the other "good people" are also going—just because they adhered to the same facts about the gods which made them assume that their gods were better than all the others—is a fairy tale that's been rehashed over and over since humans events were recorded. The christian myth is the same as every other myth that just dies out when its consensus wanes, which is not to say that what's written in the preserved words is represented by the christians just because they have claimed ownership of it for the past 1800 years or so.
The way satan manifests itself is in instinctual cravings and fear, the very normal and mundane nature that drives every one of the humans to be and do what they naturally want to be and do. Not to go out and be bad people, but just to be people who are living their lives—raising their families, having their careers, satisfying their needs and just generally following what's naturally in them at their deepest core level, which according to God defines them as animals, like all the other creatures that are bound to this creation by the nature they all share, and who must be and remain totally separated from Him because of that condition. For the humans at large satan is not satan the evil being, but just what they are in their natural state as animals who live and die like all the others. Satan is only an adversary to the sons who are called to come away from satan, which is just being a natural born human and remaining in that state and condition of being driven by the force of power that is common and natural for them and the rest of the animals.
When satan stood before Jesus, it wasn't extraordinary as is portrayed by the christians as some fallen angel standing before Jesus as an actual being with a will and personality. It was Jesus himself, thinking to himself—the way that satan is always manifested—about what he could have and be, what he could get for himself since he thought that he heard the voice of the Father telling him that he was the Son of God. So satan says to him as the voice in his head, "If you are the Son of God, prove yourself to be the Messiah so that everyone will know." That would have meant that he wouldn't have had to trust the voice of the Father who told him all about himself, but didn't make it plain and clear on the outside, where the humans see and live out their lives—where they could have given him the power of the consensus of their agreement, in which case he wouldn't have had to keep trusting and believing what the Father had told him, keep relying on the unseen reality, which was unverified (no agreement given) in the natural; externally, on the outside. Something more significant than just getting for himself by his own hand what the humans love—the substance of the third temptation—was securing proof for himself that he indeed was the Son of God, because that would mean he could bypass the need to trust and believe the Father by validating by his own hand what he believed to be true about himself, but couldn't verify in the natural by that agreement the humans could have given him if they "believed" he was the Son of God, as per their version of what the Son of David was going to look like and do for them.
The reason the temptation account is so important for the sons of God is because that need to be validated by the natural order—mostly the humans around them—is something that is a super strong craving in them, since that's what they are and are used to. It is the purpose of the Father that it be that way so the son has to trust Him and what naturally *doesn't* seem to be the case, which will always be modeled after the temptation account, and why it was recorded and preserved—not for the sake of humans to turn it into a lie but for the sake of the chosen sons to know what can't be known. That's perhaps the most significant lesson of the temptation record, preserved for the sons of God, and we know it to be our own experience as we have been frustrated by it since the beginning. It is a craving that is intense and alive within us to be recognized and validated by the humans, especially the ones who claim to know the way to God, those we have known before the truth of the Father was revealed to us.
The reason that validation from the humans is so appealing is because it's the easy way, and by it we could bypass what we don't want to have to do—trust the unseen, unverifiable life that is living in us to tell who we really are, what the humans cannot know about us because if they did they would be able to give us the validation we crave, and then we wouldn't have to be like the Son, and like Abraham whose life set the example for those sons in the first century, as the teacher taught them about why Abraham was and wasn't important.
The way of the animal is to always look for and find the easiest and best way for its host to go, not the hardest and most difficult way. Trusting our Father and the Son is the hard way, but it's the only way of the transformation away from being natural humans and toward being clean sons—when we learn to and are trusting Him more than the agreement we can find in the natural order. It's easy to talk about the faith of Abraham actually raising the knife, and Jesus in the garden thinking about how the angel saved him, asking that the same may happen for him. Thankfully we're able to learn to do this slowly, with the littler things, which are training for the bigger things. Jesus had been being taught for 20 years by the voice of the spirit of the life of the Father living in him, before he faced the temptations in the desert and the garden. By listening to the voice and learning how to choose the right and reject the wrong, Jesus said "Yes" to the Father, going against what he was tempted to want the situation to be.
The Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by me and Silas and Timothy, was not "Yes" and "No," but in him it has always been "Yes." For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God. Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
The yes that the Father told Jesus was that yes he was the firstborn Son, yes he was the Messiah, and yes He would remember him and raise him up out of the grave. Jesus didn't have any guarantee in the natural order, or even agreement from his own disciples that that was true. All Jesus had was the promise of the Father, which he had to choose to believe or not. It's important to understand that believing what is so hard to believe made the Father happy; it's what He loves from His own sons, what they can give Him to please Him and make Him happy. It's also important to understand that we won't find agreement in the natural order, otherwise our belief in Him who is unseen (hidden, secret) won't be real.
And the sons of Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, took each of them his fire-pan and put fire in it and placed incense upon it and brought forward alien fire before the LORD, which He had not charged them. And fire came out from before the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD.
And Moses spoke to Aaron, "This is just what the LORD spoke, saying, 'Through those close to me shall I be hallowed and in all the people's presence shall I be honored.' "
They had been chosen as a special group to be closer to God than all the others, to minister to Him. It was a great honor to be chosen to be the one group who would function in this capacity, to look after God's interests and make sure everything was done properly. God made quick work of Nadab and Abihu, and Aaron could have been at fault, not teaching them properly or keeping them under restraints not to enter the tabernacle drunk. Not making them understand the severity of their call to be the ones chosen to be the closest to God.
Those whom the Lord has made able to be close to the Father need to come away from the ways and games of man, the many ways we learned to survive and feel okay as animals. They're more like ego lifters, allowing us to survive, or at least believe the lie that we are surviving on our own a little bit longer. The lie we believe is that we don't need to be saved from the dilemma we are in—that there is no dilemma at all—everything will be fine all by ourselves. As long as we're okay right now, in the moment, and that temporary animal hope is fulfilled, we're all okay.
Especially the sexual games that constantly go on between them as so many silent gestures of courtship with no intention on following through, merely an act of acceptance and reassurance. It exists on a scale and can be as slight as even a glance at the one end, and at the other end is full on adultery. There are many steps in between including friendly conversation, flirting, and other forms of interaction. It's all coming from the instinctual animal craving to mate and produce offspring, common to all animals under the curse of being bound to the natural creation via the nature that is imposed onto them.
There is a unifying force between all the steps, an unfaithfulness to the One we desire to be brought close to, the husband we have been betrothed to, the only One who can save us from our death. He is the only One who can renew us and make us desirable and acceptable, a thing that is naturally slipping away from us as we start sagging closer and closer toward the grave, where these bodies which relied on their ability to attract will be unable to. Totally lifeless, they'll just lay in the ground, and then who will we call out to? The slew of temporary lovers who gave us the ability to feel okay in the moment while they bumped up our ego and allowed us to believe the snake's lie that we would live forever, that we don't need a good husband who can save us, that we don't need to be faithful to him? There is no one but him for us, but it will take us a long time to believe that.
It's a difficult thing to learn to be faithful to the Lord who we cannot see with our eyes, because those who can tell us that we're okay without him are more easily tangible to the dying senses in us, like taking a pill and then everything in us is calmed for a little while. But it only lasts a minute and then we have to get it again. And as we get older and older it becomes harder and harder to get that from the world, as we get uglier and uglier to the ones who we always expected that from when we were more physically attractive. Then we have to start looking for those temporary animal hopes in other places.
We should if anything be seeing it for what it is, a big lie and nothing that will save us or give us any substantial hope past when we need it again a few moments later. There are enough lies in the world that we already believe, which the spirit is undoing, so the solitary act of contemplating them, exposing them even to our selves, is a good practice. Our Father is a jealous God, and He is protective of the Son. His bride will not be an unfaithful whore like Israel was to Him, nor will His sons be like a bunch of feral cats running around giving honor to every shrine prostitute and lifeless god, ignoring their Father.
To accomplish this, God's purpose and will is different than it used to be. With the Israelites there were layers of those who were close to God, and strict regulations about how close certain ones could get to Him. Those who were close to Him (Moses) had to be specially treated by a long process which consecrated them and made them holy (40 years in Midian learning the new way to choose the right and reject the wrong), which meant God could bring them close to Him. Otherwise they couldn't get close. There were others, not as close to God as Moses, but a lot closer than all the others. That was Aaron and his family of sons. They also had to be consecrated and made holy to serve in the tabernacle, close to God.
And Moses, and Aaron with him, came into the Tent of Meeting, and they came out and blessed the people, and the glory of the LORD appeared to all the people. And a fire came out from before the LORD and consumed on the altar the burnt offering and the fat, and all the people saw and shouted with joy and fell on their faces.
For the bulk of the Israelites it was different. He could show His glory to them and show them that He was real, and that they were chosen above all other nations, which He did. As the fire miraculously came out from God and consumed that sacrifice they were filled with grateful shouts of joy. They feared God and hallowed Him. Ideally that would have been enough to make them faithful, but it never was.
That is to show us that there is nothing good in man that is redeeming, and if we are left to our own abilities, that is also what we would do and be—the unfaithful, whoring bride and the feral son. It's to tell us that the only one who was able to come close to being faithful to him was the one He handled specially, whom He took from the others and set apart to teach him for forty years. Only the one who was able to get to know Him was able to come close. Even Moses was not perfect, though, and he ended up also—like Nadab and Abihu—acting in a way which didn't hallow God. He heard what the right way was, but because of his animal nature his anger flared up and acted against what he knew was the way God specified. He did not honor God even though he knew that, "In all the people's presence shall God be honored."
The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them."
So basically we can forget being able to please God with something that we possess within our own selves. The lie is that we do, that there is something redeeming about us personally, that must be so great as to actually be chosen to be close to Him—to be His sons and the Lord's bride. Only those who are taken, like Moses, and separated from that which contaminates, are able to start learning the way of Moses.
They shall all be taught by God.
This is the new way, and even the opening verse displays what God would eventually do. "Those close to me" denotes one group, and "In all the people's presence" denotes another group, chosen to be different, but only to a certain extent—not like those who were chosen to be close to Him. We know we've been chosen to be taught the new way, to unlearn the animal directives and learn the Lord's, so that we can be brought near to our Father. We don't need to worry about whether it's fair or not, that some are chosen and some are not, because what God does and how He chooses is always good and right. Those He chooses become consecrated and holy through the same process, but not by the blood of bulls and goats.
He hasn't changed in that He doesn't now not require His children to become consecrated and holy. That requirement still very much remains; however, while we were still unclean animals (while we were yet sinners) we are being able to come closer to the Father, but only under the consecration that is provided by the blood of the Lamb of God who is worthy to make us clean enough to come close to the Father. Taking the holiness and cleanness of the Lord as our own is to come in and be brought near to God under his wing, under his arm, under the protection of the only blood that can purify us enough for that level of closeness to the Father. God is the same God, mighty and powerful and unable to have in His presence anything that is contaminable, like an unclean animal (a human).
Through the Lord we are able to do what the Israelites could never do, come into the sanctuary, and into the holy place and then into the most holy place, and stand in the presence of the Father. And we should remember the Israelites' plight so that we do not forget what an honor and blessing it actually is, so that we do not take it lightly and do not act like it's not worth very much. It's what the religious communities' leaders teach their young ones—that it's fine to be more concerned more with making money (disguised as "providing for my family") than to stand in the presence of God. Of course the reason for that is because they're not being taught, because it is not something available to any Tommy Johnston who comes walking down the street. It is sacred and valuable, not some cheap work of charlatans.
So then, as Paul postulated, do we just do whatever we desire, since we are covered by the Lord's blood and have already received salvation? The perfection of God has also built in to that notion all kinds of safeguards, because being born into a knowledge of that position is only the beginning, and our life consists now of having to stay in the Lord's presence so that we learn the new way. We have to be continually consecrated by the Lord or we will just fall away as though nothing had happened to us, spit out of God's mouth. Our condition then will be worse than when we first started. The lie of the religious community, that we can have our life and also follow the Lord—be his bride—is just that. If we are faithful to ourselves, to promoting our own lives and our own interests all the time (the way of every animal), even if they are disguised as something noble, then we cannot be faithful to our husband.
These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
This is so that the condition of the Israelites does not also become our condition. It's all or nothing now for God's people. If we don't want to be 100% consumed by the Lord, then we can just fall away; but there is no wishy-washy, milk-toasty, "I want to be in the kingdom but I also want to have my own life," business. If we are to be sons of God then we're not gonna do whatever we want to do. Either we know and become consumed by God, for His purpose and glory and honor, or we are nothing to Him. But who wouldn't want to be close to God? Once we get a taste of how good the Lord is, then we want more and more to be pleasing to our Father, and faithful to our husband. Sometimes we just have to be encouraged to do it, because the flesh is strong and its power to fool us is a mighty power.
Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him...For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." The spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, because they could not bear what was commanded: "If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned." The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, "I am trembling with fear."
But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, "Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens." The words "once more" indicate the removing of what can be shaken--that is, created things--so that what cannot be shaken may remain.
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our "God is a consuming fire."
Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.