Numbers 29-30 / Proverbs 21 / John 2-3
All a man's ways seem right to him, but the LORD weighs the heart.
Everyone thinks that his own self, life, purpose and existence is utterly important without even having to think about it, because that sentiment isn't weighed out and concluded, nor is it arrived at by any process of logic at all. That tendency, which is more like a law of human behavior, doesn't come via cognitive process but exists powerfully and persuasively in each and every one of them by the instinct that is naturally in them. They didn't choose this instinct primarily, but they learned to bond with it as they grew into what they became once they were hardened fast into the mold of their identity which solidified and then grew stronger as they learned to build up their walls that they recognized gave them a feeling of safety and security in this hostile world filled with others who are doing the same thing, because of the same condition of instinct that's telling them from within themselves what they need to do to be and remain safe.
This process so resembles that of any wild animal driven by instinct that it must be the same, although the humans would hardly recognize it about themselves because a large part of that instinct is to hide from what's true so as to not be found out as what that individual actually is—just another wild animal living and dying like all the rest, believing the intrinsic lie that formed within him that his life is somehow special and different, not recognizing the fact that each and every one of the humans does the same thing with regards to their own particular existence—under the impression that his own particular life is right and good, special and worthwhile.
This is the crux of what sin is, what makes the humans naturally unclean in their native state, sinful according to God; not inherently good and right as they all are according to each one regarding their own selves' rightness in every way. What the writer says about the humans is true for each one; they are all in a little bubble of self-rightness where everything is judged via the filter of self. Each man's ways seem right to each one and they're all uniquely bound to that position via the nature that's in them according to the curse, so they're all tainted by this very subjective condition of themselves first, emanating outward from there.
"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good—except God alone."
Actually Jesus was good but only because the life of the Father lived inside him to keep him separated from the nature that infests the humans to keep them separated from Him. Instead of following the animal (satan the serpent) and its commands for him, the Son chosen to be led by the nature of the good Father. The man who came to him wasn't aware of that, and was addressing him with the motives of a man bestowing honor upon another man, which according to Jesus wasn't honor at all, because all men are unclean, not good. That is the point of Jesus' retort to this one who was ignorant of the fact that all men are evil, including this man who thought of himself as good and was trying to gain some validation from the Son of God via the consensus game the animals always play with each other.
"Teacher," he declared, "all these I have kept since I was a boy."
He considered himself a good man because he figured that since he had some money God must have been blessing him. The humans around him certainly gave him that agreement of validation which continued to prop up this idea that he was good. The conversation underneath the conversation would have gone something like, "You're obviously a good man because you have authority and do things men don't normally do. I am obviously a good man because I'm rich and I obey the law, which everyone can attest to. So let's get some agreement going here between us two good men." It came as a big surprise to him to be rejected by Jesus, because as he demonstrates he assumed he himself to be a good man right out of the gate, someone who was right with God because he "kept the law" since he was a boy, and everyone assumed that God blessed those who were right with Him by giving them lots of money. It's such a fantastic twist of reality that Jesus spurns his advance and turns the conversation back onto him, telling him that he cannot be right with God specifically because of his attachment to his money, because it has become his very identity and he could not trust or believe in anything other than the agreement his wealth gave him, and the power to keep that agreement intact via the consensus he received from the humans around him.
I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
To be right with God one has to be brought to the place where he doesn't consider it a loss to become separated from everything he trusts (believes) in to give him the agreement he seeks, so that like a little child he can trust his true Father. He will see that he can trust the Father because the Father will show him that He cares about him like the humans cannot care about him, since they're bound to only being able to care about their own selves, by that law of human behavior that always holds true for each one of them across the board without exception.
And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.
The bigger teaching is for the sake of those who are chosen to become sons of God. When any animal passes over from child to adult (goes through puberty) and learns how to trust in certain things in order to survive, it is impossible to all of a sudden unlearn those ways and willingly separate itself from what it trusts in actually, not just theoretically. Men are always thinking that they can come to God and become right with Him by doing certain prescribed things that the leaders of whatever religious institution they've joined themselves to tell them they must do to become right with whatever gods they've made up, which just mask what and who they really worship—their own selves, whom they believe to be inherently and utterly good through and through, enough to be worshipped with a pure heart, which they all do perfectly and without fail.
What they fundamentally are though (a wild animal bound to the natural creation via the curse they're under to only be able to love themselves) remains intact, and they must continue to trust in whatever they learned to always trust, as per their own way of surviving they learned when they passed over to adult animal who had to learn to survive or it would just die. In other words, it doesn't matter what they say about how they feel about any gods they claim to worship because the only god they actually can worship is the god of their own selves, which they are driven to do by the instinct that's in them to do so. They really don't have a choice, which is why some writers like Paul were talking about how all men fall short of the glory of God, how all of them are "sinners." The fundamental and enduring mistake of the christians and every other group of the humans who claim to be able to know the way the God is how they claim to recognize Paul's thought about all men being flawed, yet they then turn around via the power of that same flaw and claim to actually be good enough to be able to just turn from that flawed nature and all of a sudden be good somehow, by adhering to the established party line that has been established for their group, what they claim will allow them to be able to do that simple change from flawed to good by conforming to the standards they hold, which is just being willing to give the group the agreement of consensus they expect from one who wants to benefit from the group's collective agreement that props up the lie that they're good, not flawed anymore like all the others who do not give them the agreement of consensus that they crave.
It goes the same way in each one of them, which is how the animal nature works, what the writer pointed out, that "Each man's ways seem right to himself." God knows what each man wants, though, because the content of the man's heart is a secret only to him, except for the fact that God can also see it and will weigh it out in the end when the judgment about what each man actually deserves to have is declared, not by what he did on the outside where other humans could either reward or condemn him, but what he truly wanted and was in the secret place of his heart where the humans cannot see.
Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men. He did not need man's testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man.
This doesn't say that Jesus knew each man because he was a god, but that he knew what rules man because it tried to rule him; and it is the same for each of them (even the ones who think they're good and right with God because they do the prescribed things, adhere to the sacred lies and conform to the group to give the required agreement). It sums up the reality of Jesus and John versus the humans at large—not just the obvious adversaries like the Pharisees and other leaders whose interests were not in finding out and upholding that of God, but maintaining the status quo because they controlled it for their own good. All humans are naturally against God because they are infected with the nature of the animal that intrinsically hates and is afraid of and therefore only wants to hide from God, instead of the nature of a son of God who is familiar with Him and loves His purpose more than his own animal purpose.
The humans want things that satisfy their animal cravings and appease their animal fears, and they are what it tells them to be (why it's ascribed a sort of personality in the preserved words e.g., satan, or the devil). They were blind to the truth that Jesus was able to see because he had eyes to see as opposed to whatever seems to be true because it is real in the natural realm, where God does not exist. So even though they assumed their intentions were directed toward pleasing God they could only be evil because that was their only perspective—that was their only identity. The humans naturally manipulate situations and people so that their will can be fulfilled, which is to be expected every time, so that they can continue to promote their interests and survive in whatever way they feel they need to survive—physically, mentally, emotionally and especially eternally.
This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.
The common humans, the widows, orphans and poor are those to whom Jesus was sent; the oppressed and sick are those he healed. His closest disciples and those who served him were the "sinners" (from the animal perspective)—the common, unclean, uncelebrated ones of Israel. The fact that God went to them instead of the respected, honored, powerful and admired leaders says a lot about Him in regards to what He thinks about the humans, and especially the systems of valuing and judging they always set up and maintain, which not accidentally work for them more than the rest.
What is highly valued among men is detestable in God's sight.
What the humans esteem He considers nothing; what they throw away He values highly. It is 'the first shall be last and the last first,' not merely as something to be mouthed then forgotten; but truthful, actual, and the good example set first by Him in actual terms for the sons to see and digest into themselves as the way they would have to become in the deepest, most secret places of their heart in order to be right with Him. The humans cannot know the corruption that's in them because that knowledge is kept from them and only given to those whom the Father wants to become aware of His reality and their actual reality and the reason they are what they are and do what they do without even thinking. And there is great opposition to this when it is being given, because it goes against everything that's in that one to be able to embrace God's reality, because it necessarily means that he has to betray the reality he loves and is used to, what he learned to be and trust when he passed over to adult animal. Everything that's naturally in the heart of the animal is a lie because it was formed via the perspective of the reality that is opposite to God's reality. That is, the reality of the natural creation, all that can be seen and observed with the natural faculties, all that seems real but isn't according to God's perspective, because it was created by God when His reality already existed. Those who are tied to it are bound to it so that when they expire they go back into it and become one with it.
Then the Jews demanded of him, "What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?" Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days."
The Jews were talking to God, who lived in Jesus' body so much so that the two were One. God would be the One who redeemed the body of Jesus from hell, sheol, the grave—not Jesus himself. The body of Jesus was the temple he referred to, even though the cleansing of the actual temple was the matter at hand. The purging of the temple of the way of the human, in this case what the humans love most is a metaphor of what must happen to one of the humans if he is to be a son of God. Everything about him that is connected to the way of man must be squeezed and ratcheted out of him, which is a long process of obedience, sacrifice and suffering through that extraction—learning to not be a human anymore, separated from what he loves and trusts on a level so deep that it's considered actually becoming another creation.
The animal in us naturally hates the way of God because it means being conformed to an image and way that it isn't used to. By instinct it can only worship itself, and there are no exceptions to that law (some aren't good, as they all assume about themselves). At first, when we're young, we're dependent creatures who don't know how to protect or care for ourselves. We're vulnerable and needy, and believe in our parents, who satisfy those needs and keep us safe and protected. Then as we mature we become sophisticated, wild animals—independent beings who slowly realize that they don't have anyone else to protect them. Their parents who used to take care of them are not able or willing to do it any longer. As the humans grow into adulthood and maturity, it is the unwritten rule and expectation that they learn to take care of themselves as they are separated from that other relationship they lived in when they were young.
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?"
It's natural for the animals to want to promote themselves because when they passed over from child to adult it's how they learned they must act in order for that to happen, and it's naturally in them to want to be on top, the greatest, because that satisfies the survival craving more than being the lesser. If you're greater you're naturally surviving better than if you're a slave or a child. The reality of God is exactly opposite to the way of the humans, which consistently keeps getting reaffirmed in the preserved words by all these accounts.
He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
"And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.
The real life of a son of God must be marked not by maturity, but instead vulnerability, or he cannot become a son, because that's how a son really is. If we desire to remain a mature human we cannot become a son because mature animals naturally trust themselves, no matter what their mouth babble says. Children are defenseless, naive and vulnerable, a condition that the mature animals despise and ridicule. Yet it is how the Father wants us to *actually* be so that He can protect us—not theoretically according to the abstract religious theories we think might save us while we continue on being what we became when we passed over. He has no need for a mature old goat, wise to the ways of the world, entirely able to protect itself—independent and invulnerable and proud of it. He also doesn't need those who pretend to be something on the outside but in their hearts remain like that old goat, head butting everything that gets in their way, holding on to whatever control they learned to attain to by whatever means was available to them.
"My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.
"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."
God wants His sons to be supple, elastic, soft, naive, unwise, vulnerable and immature little sheep toward Him and His ways. He wants us to not love and participate in the ways of the humans, to not love what they love or be as they are. He wants to teach us His secret, true, hidden way, which is unavailable to the humans unless He makes it available. Our Father wants to make us great in His world which is invisible to the humans, where He lives with the Son and the messengers who do His will and promote His purpose, which is contrary to the purpose of the animals. There, greatness is not like it is here. In the Father's world there is no greatness, only love for the Father, the Son and the family of brothers who are like us—all those who ever loved the Father's purpose more than their own animal existence. He does not care about this world ruled by the humans, as they assume He does. They, who are ruled by the animal nature which is the devil, are all only temporary, just as the creation they are bound to is.
To move from an old goat to a young lamb is an impossible feat, only able to be done by the supernatural power of God as the life and spirit of Jesus invisibly works to do this process which transcends the natural. His work is done without the consent of the humans, nor even their observation. God's declaration that He was allowing the humans to destroy the real temple, and then Him doing the miracle of redeeming, rebuilding, restoring it in 3 days time was all done in secret, yet right before their eyes. There were no eyewitnesses to the miracle of Jesus' redemption from the grave, no one important was there to verify it. None of the leaders was there to validate it because God didn't want the leaders to know; only those He loved and wanted to be with Him. Was it as the humans assumed, that it was the leaders and rich men who were great in the world that he was giving birth to?
Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him."
God hates the ways of man, the systems that the animals create to maintain their order and power, totally opposite to His. When the humans appoint themselves to be leaders, teachers, pastors, ministers in order to "do god's work" (hiding); He needs none of these because His purpose will not be accomplished by wild animals—they can only accomplish their own purpose, like thinking they are securing for themselves some kind of eternal survival, which is the highest sort of surviving. They can only ever accomplish their own purpose. Because none of them know the truth about Him, how can they teach it to others? Impossible, yet they keep trying in their self-appointed modes and positions of human authority, and ironically they fight against the One whom they claim to serve.
God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things--and the things that are not--to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God--that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."
The religious leaders love to quote this verse as they stand up in front of the crowd, being opposite to what they are propounding. They create and maintain their own positions of power within their own little groups, then say God did it. If someone comes along to challenge their power, it is they who defend it, not God. It's all a system of lip service and mockery. God wants those who aren't recognized by the world to be His and proclaim His truth. Those are the ones that human society rejects as neer-do-wells and irresponsible, those who can never fit in to the ways of the humans. Those who could never quite "be somebody" in its eyes, those who are looked down on, the sinners and low-lifes. He chooses those who cannot pull themselves up to "be someone" in the world's eyes, so that He can do it. These are the ones God goes for because they are the opposite of who the humans would pick, and He hates the humans with all their ways of being, picking and knowing, valuing and judging. It's right here in front of their eyes, in the very scriptures they teach from, yet they cannot get it, because they're not sposed to get it. God doesn't want them because they don't, can't need Him. They are self-sufficient, mature animals who know everything, who consider themselves somebody, who are in control, who could not be swayed or bent like a green branch. They break like a dry twig, hard and stiff-necked—mature, wise old hard-headed goats in control of their destiny and unable to let go.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
This is a summary of the relationship between the humans and God, verses the sons and God. The humans, especially the self-appointed leaders, can only see what their eyes tell them, so they cannot see what's real, as God sees it. The sons, on the other hand, learn to see what is real by having the animal purged out of them. They learn the new way of seeing not by studying or learning the ways of man, but by unlearning them. So they will see another self-appointed leader, or responsible member such as they are, and say, "There is a man of God." He will look at someone who isn't in a position of self-appointed leadership, either within the institution or society (the bigger institution), and say to himself, "There is a common person," poor sinner that he is. In the truth of God's reality, as is recorded in the OT & NT scriptures, the first one is a Pharisee, the second is Jesus. He lived an earthly life of suffering, shame and rejection by the very ones who claimed to be what he actually was. His identity is a declaration that God hates the humans and their ways of valuing and judging, and proves it by living in the body of a poor peasant from an undesirable region in Israel instead of Jerusalem.
The liars have made Jesus into some great man, some noble teacher who was loved and respected by many if not most. What is in fact true is that he was despised, not conceptually but actually, and regarded not as a prominent, honest, humble man, but a liar, a fraud, a failure—powerless, pitiful, and shameful because he spoke against what the humans truly love most in their hearts. The humans love and search for acceptance, honor, respect and admiration—even and especially after they have been "born again," or baptized into "the truth," and that is the way of the human, not the way of God.
It's hard to be a son in the world because we can't get those kudos from the world, which is tangible and easy to manipulate in order to get them. We get it from Him who is invisible, who doesn't work according to our human cravings, desires and expectations. He keeps us interested by the many things He does for us, the little miraculous things that tell us we are different, but that's only a means to an end, and shouldn't be regarded as anything but a help. If we stayed there, living as humans, relying on the miracles to convince us we are good, yet only want what the humans live for and run after, then at a certain point they will just start fizzling out, as the truth did in the second and third centuries. We will fizzle out and die and live like the common animals going into the ground unless we're transformed away from that reality into the reality of the secret son of God who remains hidden by the Father, like the firstborn Son was, all the way to his death.
The narrow way, of life, of the son of God, is a transformation out of the way of the humans so that we become immature and unwise again, like a child unable to get and control our own destiny so that what was true for Jesus in his earthly existence is true for us too. The ability to see and recognize the way of the Father and follow it instead of the way of the human, of the common animal. What has been made holy cannot be made common again, and perhaps once God has chosen a son then he cannot fizzle out and die, but he will be taught until he learns. The fact that he was chosen must represent an ability within him to see and desire the way of the Father over the animal.
Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.
If he loves the things that the humans run after and love, I suppose he might have to be immediately destroyed, like Annanias and Sapphira, and become of no use to the Lord on the earth. Theirs is an interesting situation to consider, because it reflects the way God used to deal with men in Moses' time. That is, an immediate judgment and swift death of the body. We should think about what the nature of their crime was, of course they lied to the spirit, and to the ones whom the risen Jesus (the spirit) appointed to be their leaders. But also as important, they tried to hang on to what they thought could save them, an inanimate thing to keep them safe over the love and protection of God.
They didn't believe in the power or desire of God, but withheld what the animal loves because it tangibly makes us feel safer, it allows us to reach out our hand and grab what we want instead of waiting for our Father to give us what He wants us to have. It's what is better for us, as sons, but also what we would never choose on our own. Rather than having to rely on the Father to give them what they needed, Annanias and Sapphira thought they could embrace the animal and way of the human, and therefore they had to be destroyed as a teaching and lesson to the new sons, a visible and powerful way to see not just the power of God, but what He desires from His own sons.