Numbers 19 / Proverbs 14 / Galatians 5-6
May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation. Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule, even to the Israel of God.
Paul is drawing a contrast here, even though he doesn't explicitly specify both sides. Jesus the Christ of God, the Messiah of Israel, the prophet spoken of by Moses who would be raised up as the ultimate leader of the "Israel of God" could have gone two ways. The first was the way which is the matter of the temptation record, that as the Son of God he could have displayed his power outwardly so that all Israel could see and recognize that he was indeed the Son of God and go that way, of the conquering Son of the magnificent warrior-king David, using his power to liberate the copy (the Israel of mere men). The second way the Son of God could have gone was the secret way that the Father had chosen for him, of the cross.
Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."
This isn't the same message that the religious institutions have been preaching for hundreds of years, assuming that the power to be able to understand its meaning has been available to the humans since the time these words were written. Their message truly is foolish, especially to God and as Paul would have heard it were he to listen to what they're actually saying about a god who was given a choice which wasn't any choice at all since he was a god. It is the stuff of legend, like the Greek and Roman mythical gods, and not accidentally since that's where this belief came from (Holy Roman Church, the whore of babylon, passed down to her prostitute daughters—every christian sect that believes the Son of God was a god himself).
In this system nothing makes sense as it made sense to Paul, because he knew that the choice the Son made to go the way of the Father broke down the power that keeps the humans away from the Father, so that he, Paul, could be drawn near to the Father *ONLY* because of the Son's choice. To take the power of that choice away by retroactively making him into a god means the choice is trivial, as good as invalid because it doesn't make any more sense then than what the mythical gods of Rome or Greece did according to legend.
You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Paul's exhortation to that tiny pocket of believers to stay with their first love, the new way and covenant of God, which nullified the old way and covenant; was that since the old way and covenant was nullified, they shouldn't be persuaded to go back to it or think it could save them, because God no longer recognized it as the way a man could attain to righteousness (becoming right enough with God to be redeemed from the grave). The law merely represented the natural way to get to God, that one could become right with Him by doing things on the outside, in their bodies, by their own power. Even more, that one must do certain ritualized customs, and must observe certain holidays in order to be a son of God. It was for the copy of the Israel of God, who were not themselves the Israel of God, but only a copy of the better thing to come.
That used to be the case, when the God of no other people apart from Israel required the prescribed commands, rituals and ceremonies to be kept in order to please Him because he knew what was in the humans. He promised that a new covenant would be given, which would be better than the old covenant and make it obsolete because of its superiority to be able to address, fight and undermine that thing that was in the humans. Paul clearly felt that that day had come, when the many promises made by God's holy prophets would be realized on the earth, among the humans, and that it had definitely was happening in him.
"The time is coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant
It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers
"This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel
No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,'
The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:
"Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me;
First he said, "Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them" (although the law required them to be made). Then he said, "Here I am, I have come to do your will." He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Today things are different than when Paul wrote his words. The truth that Paul knew has taken on so many distortions that it doesn't mean anything, because the truth about the things of God went into captivity a short time after he died (Revelation's whore of Babylon is the new captivity, of Paul's "Israel of God"). Now everything is different, made up by those who claim to follow the Christ, beginning with the Holy Roman Church (the whore) and continuing with those who followed her, all through the ages (all the children who embrace her lies about the nature of the Son being a god along with the spirit, and the devil being outside of the body, some fallen archangel).
The "christians" of today all claim to be so much different than their mother the whore of babylon, but basically they all share the same lies about what's important. What they propose is based on a reinterpretation of what the text says apart from what those like Paul actually said, as predicted by Daniel. Therefore, it was God's design for it all to happen the way it did, and still does exist—that the truth of what the NT writers wrote about would go away from the humans to be able to comprehend. The NT writers were saying that something bad was coming, and it did come and it took the "Israel of God" (the first century sons of God) into captivity. Those who implemented the abomination that would desolate the world made up their own truth about what the preserved words were saying, which turns into the predominant belief of most of the world today handed down.
Since we live by the spirit, let us keep in step with the spirit.
In this letter there seems to be a shift from Paul trying to persuade the Galatians to not be swayed by the Judaizers, to living by the spirit versus the sinful nature. But it isn't a shift at all, because he's equating trying to get to God by doing the requirements of the law with living by the sinful nature. If you don't understand what the sinful nature actually is, then you won't be able to grasp the truth about the thing Jesus had to struggle with and have victory over. It's something that's so integral to the very nature of the humans, yet is also completely hidden from their knowledge. It is the very thing that keeps them unable to understand the truth and be set free from it (because it's hidden), yet it is what the preserved words reveal. The understanding of the animal nature is sort of the new gospel for the present time, and is what all of the preserved words point to, and the message can't be stressed often enough to those who would be chosen to understand it. The common conception of the sinful nature as propounded by the jesus followers is that it's something that someone can just move away from in theory by merely willing it out of existence within one's self by thinking correct facts, coupled with some things one is expected to do on the outside. It's something they think the "bad people" do—those who are different from them, who don't hold to their way of thinking—those who are a threat.
What did Paul mean when he said that he and the other people he knew were believers "lived by the spirit," and what does "keeping in step with the spirit" mean? For one it's "spirit" not "Spirit," which seems slight upon looking, but means everything, and another reality which distinguishes us from the animals according to God. First, to address the most common notion that the spirit is some other separate god apart form the Father and the Son, an actual entity who is equal with the Father. It's what 99.9% of the followers of the whore and her prostitute daughters actually think.
If it's not that, then what is the spirit? The spirit lived in Jesus' body. It was the Father in spirit form (because that's what He is), which is invisible to the humans. He inhabited Jesus' body, grew up with him, and taught him His way instead of the way of the animal. He taught Jesus to choose the right (His way) and reject the wrong (man's way). The spirit, or the Father living in Jesus' body, was there to oppose the other thing that drives the humans, the animal consciousness, the curse that binds the humans to the earth. That is what is in all of them, and it finds its fulfillment in each of them when they reach maturity. It makes them self-preserving, fearful animals, unable to be pleasing to God in any way because they are unclean.
The life of the Father kept the Son clean from the intrusion of that animal nature and consciousness (the way of the mature humans), until the Son was ready to choose himself. The manifestation of the power of the nature, and the details of that choosing is recorded in the temptation (Matthew 4, Luke 4), when he denied it the right to rule/lead/guide him, as he chose the Father's way instead of the way of the human (fulfilling his own desires, taking & finding his life for himself). It is what he metaphorically became (Moses' bronze snake on the pole which could save the Israelites by looking toward it) in order to destroy it—what he killed on the cross to set God's sons free from its domination. It's what successfully tempted Adam, the inferior son, to conspire with his helper and the animal against God, so that God bonded the human with the animal as a consequence.
It was God's design to have the serpent in the garden with the humans to be the choice, not a mistake. The same way it was His choice to send snakes to bite the Israelites and kill them. It is also His choice to keep the humans under the spell of the animal nature so that they are not able to "see, hear, understand and be healed," although it's hard to comprehend that because of the democratic ideas we all have about how we think God should be in our inferior intellects. However, as the copy went when Moses was instructed on how to administer the antidote for the snake biting, Jesus understood himself to be the better thing, God's reality at which the inferior thing could only point.
Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.
The sinful nature then is the natural state of the human, that which all of them are born into. It is not just what the "bad people" have, nor can anyone just casually will it out of existence from within them. It's what has to be taken out of one of the humans if he is chosen by the Father to become a son, and its extraction from that one is a long and difficult, tediously slow process than what the humans are normally able to accept—which means it's not cheap or easy. It's what all humans have, which makes them merely animals, no more important to God in actuality than any animal because they exist only to die, go into the ground, and then are remembered no more by Him. That is a reality that He only wants the sons to be aware of, which is why this message will seem ridiculous to all but them.
Man, despite his riches, does not endure; he is like the beasts that perish.
This notion runs contrary to the modern democratic ideas of God being "fair," and loving everyone the same, that He has no actual feeling about one of the humans over another, that it's all about cramming as many strangers into heaven (the kingdom) as possible. It's a quantity over quality idea, and one which doesn't do God much justice because it makes Him some generic robot that isn't alive. It also means that being a son isn't very important either, if it's such a cheap, watered down salvation that everyone and their mother can be okay with God with a few words, erroneously assumed to mean belief.
The spirit is the life of Jesus, now existing without a human body—instead pure spirit because he was made One with the FAther—able to live in the bodies of those who have been chosen to have eternal life because they are sons of God. It was the new state of consciousness for a few people in the first century before the abomination came and wiped out that consciousness (desolation). Its existence on the earth in the time just after Jesus ascended to the Father lasted for a while then it went away. It can't be seen or noticed, because it's secret, like Jesus himself was secret, hidden from the world except to a few. The son will recognize the spirit when it comes to him, because it will just be truth where before there was only confusion. Things that never quite made sense now make sense on a level deep inside him, which all point to the same thing. Not to recruit others, or get people to believe like we believe (an animal craving), or to preach to the world as though everyone was invited.
Our work is to live now as we will soon live in the Father's presence, near Him in His world, and to help the Lord gather up the rest of the sons, to complete the Father's will so that it can be done. That is, out of the natural creation He might gather those whom He wants to be His, to have a family of sons who love Him who have been changed, saved, redeemed by the ongoing work of the great Son and prophet of God, who lives to turn us away from the lies of the serpent by convincing them of the truth. The Father desires that out of the earth a family will be born unto Him which He can love and enjoy forever, in peace, without the chaos of the animal existing in the midst of the family.