Leviticus 11 / Psalms 110-112 / 2 Corinthians 3-4
I am the LORD your God, and you shall hallow yourselves and become holy, for I am holy.
By only eating certain things and avoiding other things as they were specified by God, the Israelites learned how they became clean according to Him as He wanted them to be. This was not an end in itself but an analogy about something bigger and better. They being made acceptable to Him—consecrated and able to be exclusively His people—is what's leading to that better thing, that they become like Him. Their enigmatic dietary laws, specified and put in place by God, more than anything set them apart from all the other common humans who had not been chosen to be God's holy people, set apart for His special purpose. It wasn't really about eating, it was about seeing what these commands pointed to, and the end to where the obedience to the commands were taking these chosen people. It was about what these chosen people were pointing to, what they themselves represented.
Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. Nothing outside a man can make him 'unclean' by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him 'unclean.' "
After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. "Are you so dull?" he asked. "Don't you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him 'unclean'? For it doesn't go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body." (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods "clean.")
He went on: "What comes out of a man is what makes him 'unclean.' For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man 'unclean.' "
That is the point and purpose with what is being issued by God through Moses in the Leviticus readings as part of the great copy of the way things must become for those who are chosen to be sons of the living God, who is separated from that which is common and unclean. As the Father is, so shall the sons become. If they were already like the Father there would be no need for the commands to be issued and applicable to those who can hear what those who are unclean cannot hear.
Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who finds great delight in his commands.
The commands are only burdensome when we're ignorant of what they're for. When we consider them things that get in the way of what we really love and want to do, they're a burden and something we'd rather avoid than embrace. In that scenario, we try to find ways around them like loopholes, because we don't understand where they're taking us and the power they have to produce the transformation that God requires so that we become like He is—separated from that which contaminates and makes common and unclean, that which reduces everything back down to its level.
Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.
The will of God is mimicked in the humans. Their fathers not wanting to see their own sons look and act like other men is a reflection of the Father and His even stronger desire that His own sons not be like the common animals, from whom He is separated. He doesn't want His sons being sucked into their magnetic field which causes them to be like all the others who haven't been and aren't being secretly chosen by the hidden Father. Following their ways is an abomination to the God who commands His own children to come out from them and be separated from them, because that's how and what He is.
You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
When they declare in their bodies that they are like Him, they are preaching a certain gospel about the God they serve. They are declaring the glory of God that is hidden from the world by being as He is. They say by their actions that they agree to His commands because they're good and they love what comes from the Father, not just because they feel compelled to, but because they understand that they're only there to accomplish a certain purpose that is good, as the Father is good.
"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good—except God alone. You know the commandments."
Good only originates from the Father, so when the sons become like Him, they are becoming good. The way that is not like Him, that which is opposed to Him, is the way that the humans love, that which is planted inside them, how they're driven to live their lives—not on their own accord but according to the whims of the instinctual drives that inhabit them to always gravitate toward the same end, that which elevates and promotes their own welfare, status and the enhancement of their mode of survival.
I seek you with all my heart;
do not let me stray from your commands.
The commands issued by God weren't for the purpose of what the humans who became Jewish leaders ultimately did, using the details of the law to create a system of loopholes whereby they could rule and exploit their brothers, yet themselves be excused from adhering to the same thing. It wasn't about the details, but the bigger picture, of God having a family of sons who are completely set apart from all of the common animals. That in the strongest terms possible contradicts and nullifies what Adam did by conspiring with the animal and the helper to go against God. That is the mystery of God and this creation.
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For 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.
Jesus' revolutionary new statements concerning God and what He was like were all there in the law, hidden except to those who could see them. The real extent of the law was about pointing to the new covenant that was delineated and specified by the Son to those who were able to hear, which would fulfill all of these laws given to the Israelites through Moses, which could only ever be copies of the better thing. It was to secretly expose the hidden animal nature for what it was and toward what God wanted from His people. That is the testament and legacy of the sons of God, to understand the lies of the snake and overcome the animal nature that was put onto Adam and then all the humans after him, and to take on the new nature of the son of God. That is a thing not easily accomplished, not done by flashes of lightening but the warm glow of the life that shines like a light in their hearts, getting slowly brighter, also as time slowly moves ahead.
God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
Unlearning the way of the animal is a long drawn out process that builds upon a foundation, which also takes a long time to form. It is learning through a day to day living with and listening to the voice of the teacher, what is permanent versus what is passing—what is merely for the humans to participate in and run after because they love it. The most tangible things that satisfy the cravings of the body, that enhance the mode of survival for the particular inhabitant of that body, are all a passing cause for each of them. The body ages so slowly that it seems like it doesn't age at all. But in fact it is on a continual movement toward death with every day that passes, so slowly that we don't even notice. But in fact it is all about death, it is death every day that we live, however hard that is to comprehend because it seems like we don't change very much from one day to the next.
The animal nature, however, understands this at its most fundamental core even below the human's conscious thoughts about what makes sense to it. It is the force of darkness that lives in our hearts, which tells us that because we are dying, we need to always be surviving. Because this overwhelming, multi-faceted drive to survive exists at such a machine code level, it isn't even detectable by the ones in whom it makes its home. The effects can be seen, and sometimes identified; however, the actual force is never identified because it's invisible. To be able to recognize it is a secret gift which comes only by the spirit of him who overcame its hold on him, who broke free as the only human who was able to deny its power over him and thereby please God.
He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
We know that this is what was identified by the NT writers who were privy to its existence via that secret gift of knowing what couldn't be known because of the presence of the secret life of the hidden God who lived inside them. They were able to see what the others couldn't see, not because of something they attained to on their own, but because of something given to them expressly by the spirit. That is the Son's new body which was made one with the Father, invisible to the humans but able to live in multiple physical bodies at once. There were no physical limitations for the Son, once he became one with the Father. What happened in the first century was a change of matter, material existence and dimension from the physical to the physical/spiritual mixture to the spiritual—another continuum on which we must travel in this life as we move closer to our real, permanent home. In the present time and body, it is about the slow, steady movement from one end to the other.
To the humans, faith in an invisible spiritual world is ridiculous because they cannot see it; it is invisible to them so according to their ability to comprehend, limited to what they can observe, it cannot be there. It makes sense, because coupled with all of the religious lies about spiritual things (that they are actually naturally comprehendible), they have a good reason not to believe. Then there are those who believe the lies because they want something and they think they can get it by adhering to lies about God, which are all that exist today so they have nothing real to believe in, only a bunch of lies myths made up by men about God different per each of the groups.
The christadelphians are coming a little closer with a few of their conceptions, but they cannot divorce themselves from the body and the physical reality being everything. So their system is entirely human and they cannot understand the revolutionary nature of Jesus, what he was like in the world, how he was against what they inherently must hold dear because they're driven to love their own life and existence. They've put what's important to them onto God, for their own benefit, to keep their own natural lineage perpetuating. Basically they've merely made another religious institution, just like all the rest except with a few things true about the nature of God, Jesus, the devil, hell, heaven, demons, the grave, and a few more. Many of the facts may be correct, but the reason for the facts needing to be correct isn't comprehended. I'm not saying they should understand it if the gift of being able to has not been given to them on an individual level. If it ever is they will have to come out of that man-made institution, because God is free to do whatever and go wherever He wants, via the power of the spirit which is invisible to the humans and unrestrained by the physical laws of the natural creation. He doesn't listen to what man tells Him He can and can't do, our case is a good example.
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 present day leaders have changed it into yet another religious institution so in and of itself, it as a body and belief system has no more power to actually convey the ultimate truth, and therefore point the way to God, than the lutherans or catholics. The power to be changed from the animal that defines every one of the humans to a son of God lies outside of all of them, because it isn't based in what is naturally understandable.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
The beauty of what God did by putting His treasure—that ability to know the truth, and to be set free from what binds us to death—into jars of clay is the definition of baffling the assumptions and predictions of the humans who think they know better, who assume they're intelligent enough to figure everything out and lead the way to salvation. Of course they would have done it differently than God, and put His treasure into the golden vessels encrusted with jewels, the ones who looked as though they already possessed God's truth by what was on the outside. That is the way of man the animal, to be deceived by what it thinks it sees as the truth, but which is a lie.
John and Jesus are the first of the humans to perfectly illustrate God's intentions and His desire to baffle the humans, to confound them by making what seems false actually true, and vice-versa. Their contentious conflicts with the leaders of the day are a recorded testament to this desire on God's part, to be completely different than what the humans expect. It is the record of one of the defining components of the new covenant—that what is will be made nothing, and what isn't will be made everything. What is seen will be made nothing, and what isn't seen will be made everything.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
So we slowly become okay with being nothing in the eyes of the humans, of having no identity in the world, of not considering it our home, of not participating in its lies about how things must be because of what seems observable to them. There is no glory or greatness found by the son in the world, or found in the son by the world. Our worth is completely hidden in these ignoble jars that seem like ordinary old nothings, void of everything that the humans consider important. But inside, where no one ever thinks to look because they are mesmerized by the allure of what can be seen, is the treasure that God keeps totally hidden from the temporary creation. One day, when the spiritual creation is revealed, so will we with it, validated and found in its creator.
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the spirit; for the letter kills, but the spirit gives life.
Now the Lord is the spirit, and where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the spirit.
For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the spirit, through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God's right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.