Leviticus 15 / Psalms 117-118 / 2 Corinthians 10-11
For you, O LORD, have delivered my soul from death,
my eyes from tears,
I believed; therefore I said,
"I am greatly afflicted."
And the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, "Speak to the Israelites..."
Before it was "And the LORD spoke to Moses," but now Aaron was included because he was chosen to be a special minister to God. The choosing of Aaron and his family of sons to be drawn close to Him and minister to Him was a big deal. Not just for Aaron, but it also reveals something about the nature and desire of God. Within the chosen nation which would be comprised of people who hopefully were all different than everyone else, according to the plan of God, there was another group who would be brought closer to Him. They would carry on a work for Him continually, and exactly as specified by Himself. That consistent and precise work of looking out for Him and doing things exactly the way He wanted them done soothed Him and made Him happy and content. This imperfect work done by imperfect human animals reminded Him ahead of time about the one who was coming, who would be as one of them but would not be as one of them. He would be perfect and hear Him perfectly. He would do things the way that perfectly soothed God, like none of the others were able to. It was a position of privilege, but also of responsibility to not obey the desires within them that made them want to do things whatever way they thought was best, or just how they wanted to do them—perhaps what seemed easier for them. That was important, as demonstrated by what happened to Aaron's sons who didn't look out for God's interests and do things exactly as specified.
Aaron's sons Nadab and Abihu took their censers, put fire in them and added incense; and they offered unauthorized fire before the LORD, contrary to his command. So fire came out from the presence of the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD. Moses then said to Aaron, "This is what the LORD spoke of when he said:
" 'Among those who approach me
I will show myself holy;
Aaron remained silent.
It is a message for them who have been chosen, to begin looking out for the interests of God over their own. That we are in a prison to do by no choice of our own; when we are old enough to assume a personality and identity as an animal who only knows that it needs to survive, that's just what we did. Establishing that identity was our primary role as we looked around and saw that we were the only ones who were going to do that for our selves. Becoming fully independent creatures who had a handle on surviving, who knew how to manipulate their environment to get what they understood was needed to survive better and be stronger was just a natural thing to do—not bad in the least way, just adapting to the environment.
However, those who become born to God will enter into a personal covenant with Himself and the Son, administered by angels who teach them personally to adhere to the terms of that personal covenant, designed specifically for each of them as per their own circumstances that made them who and what they are, their personality and ability. The personal covenant is where the son learns how to become aware of the Father's interests, and to become conformed to them instead of those of the wild animal that still lives inside him even after he's born to God. Actually, they become especially apparent once that happens, which exposes to themselves just how young, weak and vulnerable they actually are, as compared to the lie that lived in them for so long—that they are inherently special and good in and of their animal identities. But they are given more grace to compensate for their apparent lacking, through the knowledge of being specially chosen by the living God. The intention of the suffering is that the children learn to conform to the way of the Father and abandon the way of the mongrel dog, which is what the humans are in their natural state.
Those interests are not a generic blanket that is the same for all of God's sons who are chosen to minister to Him; which means to come close to Him and make his own heart—where the Father and Son want to live—the way they want them to be, so they can live there. The whore says that anyone can be a minister to their gods, as if the regulations do not exist. They're all encouraged to bring their sound bites and their little quips they learned from MTV and come close to the gods who seemingly have no preference of any one of them over the other. As many as can adopt their puerile philosophy will get crammed into their made up heaven where all the good people and their children will of course be; which is why it's all so generic and unappealing to those who are actually looking for the Father. It's why christianity is made fun of and the name of the Son of God gets mocked so often, because christianity tries to take what isn't theirs to take, and claims to speak in the name of the God who isn't there to be taken, or found by them in any way as to be possessed and owned, to be used for the enhancement of their common animal existences.
The spirit (that which can hear the Father's voice drawing them to the Son) is willing but the flesh (the flesh and blood animal) is weak.
God desires to do things a certain way, and that way cannot be fathomed, assumed, or guessed at by the humans. It is a way that seems to the humans below their great capacities even though they are mongrel dogs, as is their attitude to what they assume the plan of God is, ironically what they cannot know because it's above the human ability to understand masquerading as something foolish. It is actually so far above them and so perfect that is far beyond the genius of man, who is really quite stupid. God hides the way to Himself by making it appear as something that is different than it actually is—low, foolish, undesirable—when it's actually the only thing worth finding. The way of the hidden Father is in human terms like a diamond mine lying beneath a paved over strip mall that sells crappy fake jewelry.
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.
Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the spirit gives birth to spirit.
That what is so perfect is beheld by the humans as bad and undesirable is an important declaration about the character and nature of God, that He would desire to hide the most treasured things in common jars made of unimpressive material—where you'd least expect to find it. He hid the most valuable thing to Him in the body of a poor, undesirable peasant from Galilee to shame the wise and confound the learned, to be the only human who ever pleased Him. This is something to meditate on, because it shows something very profound about the character, desire and intentions of God. The condition He likes is the one He created, and by that we know that it's what makes Him happy. To appear as one thing and yet be another is a formulaic constant in the scriptures, and we cannot assume it's any different now.
That stands in opposition to what the religious communities make the christian gods into, which can only ever exist as abstract theories and confusing conceptual quandaries that don't make any sense so all they have is degenerated quips and things they memorize that mimics the tv culture they learn to imitate. They are in fact incredibly abstract in the realm of human experience, and should be because the things of God were never designed to be understood by the ordinary humans, which is why the majority of them reject what the religious communities are trying to push on them.
What the religious community doesn't understand is that the things of God can only be understood in a different reality than what the humans are privy to, so they themselves cannot attain to an understanding of the things of God unless that gift has been given. In order to understand them one must be transported out of the sphere of humanity, to a certain extent becoming not human. That is the condition of being given "eyes to see, and ears to hear"—having the nature of the son of God. What the religious community tries to do is comprehend and present the things of God in a human way, but they don't understand the most basic thing about God—the humans are unclean and nothing unclean can be brought forward to be in His presence. In that sense the chances of knowing about the hidden Father by being part of any of those groups is as slim as any other group the humans form to do anything.
The LORD has chastened me severely, but he has not given me over to death.
The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone;
Another thing clear is an understanding of the way God has worked on an individual level with particular men, and small groups of men, brothers, & the effects of that relationship radiating out to the others. John's earthly purpose was to make the paths straight for the Son, whose earthly purpose was to reveal the actual way and character of the Father to a small group of men who were specifically chosen to become sons. Then they would later carry on the work he started, which became their earthly purpose, to tend to His purpose (do His will). Each of them had no earthly life to or for themselves; their purpose and reason for existing became that of their Master's, and on up the chain so eventually everything that was done by any of them was solely for the purpose and desire of God—to have a family.
That's the way it should be; it's a picture of the family God desires—everyone and everything gladly, happily pointing to Him. It's the way it is in the kingdom of God but it's not the way it is in the kingdom of man. Man's will is for it to always be aborted prematurely, because he always becomes the center of his own world. Everything he does actually is motivated by how he can serve himself. Even when the humans pay lip service to God, they are driven by the much stronger force which always doubles back as their desire to self-preserve masquerading as something else (the ironic reality and condition of man versus God). That's the way it was set up, so it's not a bad thing in and of itself for the humans who were never intended by and large to understand the truth about the things of God.
That runs quite contrary to the universal idea that God must love everyone and want as many beings as possible populating His kingdom. In this world, the religious community assumes that any Tom, Dick or Harry that has a whim about finding God will be saved, having done the requisite things to secure salvation for themselves. That's a hope they'll sometimes hold on to all their lives, even though they never knew Him. They'll look past much of what the Bible actually says regarding God's requirements, and shape the whole package to fit their fixed positions by conveniently forgetting some things and stressing others.
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.
One thing they ignore is the most obvious, that God does whatever He wants to do, not what their fixed position says He is allowed to do. If He wants to make a couple of the humans look like "sinners," but in the spiritual reality and realm of God put His design and purpose into them; He can do that. In fact it lines up with the formula already introduced many times by God in the scriptures, about how He has always hidden His treasure in the places that the humans would least be likely to look in. The thing to contemplate is that what's valuable to God and what's valuable to man don't coincide, but are opposite one another.
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. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
Paul illustrates this in the passage where he talks about how he in fact held a highly valued position according to the way of man—rich, powerful, influential and revered among men. They considered themselves to be at the very center of the world of God's chosen people, the crème de la crème of the circumcision. That was Paul's identity before he was chosen and taken by the Lord, via the power of God, who would change Paul's purpose from 100% his own to 100% the Lord's, and in turn 100% God's. All for His benefit, purpose and glory—to have a family of sons who lost their own way, purpose and life to their new master, and devoted the rest of their earthly existence to that end instead of their own.
For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh—though I myself have reasons for such confidence.
God likes order not chaos, and in His world the order is fulfilled, i.e. His will is done in heaven (but not on the earth). To know the order of God and to have a circumcised heart isn't something which can be seen by the humans. They can only think they are entering the inner chamber, where God lives, by earthly ways, which cannot be done. They can only imagine themselves able to love God, and their brother, and prove their relationship by all kinds of forced attempts, which are actually hollow and dead. When something real comes up, their house of cards falls down quickly because the reality of the life of God did not build that house; only their intentions, desires, and misguided assumptions based on the temporary reality.
We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.
There were people in the Corinthian church who were starting to try to consolidate their power by their earthly abilities, to establish their own self-assumed authority in place of Paul the representative of the Lord, the representative of the Father. This is the sign of the animal creeping in, the beginning of the darkness that has existed in the earth for so long, when the Lord gave the truth over to the lie, and the truth went into captivity (Revelation's Babylon).
They were acting on their own behalf, exactly as per the way of the humans, the self-preserving and self-serving animals. This was something Paul was definitely concerned about, because he was truly not concerned about his own welfare. On the contrary he had already spoken about how if that were the case he wouldn't have given up his earthly right and privilege to be an important Pharisee, something he was definitely headed for.
He put forth for their recollection that it wasn't by any ability to persuade on Paul's part that made them believe in the first place, nor would their ability to remain in the place where they received their first joy and crown of the knowledge of the truth via any human abilities, or by following any men who had an earthly ability to persuade. It was purely by the power of God that they believed the the Lord was not dead, but alive—living in their hearts and able to extend the salvation of the sons of God to them. It was a supernatural thing that made them believers, not by the will or power of any of the humans, because the spirit is supernatural and not subject to earthly constraints, ways or the regulations of man. It was all hidden and secret, a condition of the secret places inside their heart, not on the outside by anything other men could observe. That is how God works.
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.
Judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts.
At that time each will receive his praise from God.