April 20th.

Deuteronomy 3 / Proverbs 30 / John 13-14

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Keep falsehood and lies (the way of the animal) far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches (enough to live, making this existence neither fanciful nor treacherous), but give me only my daily bread (your living word, the hidden manna).

The humans are always scheming and scraping, trying to get more of this and that, just a little more will finally satisfy that craving, the hole inside them that never gets filled. They spend their lives in this mode, living for the next little transitory hope, the thing that will do it. Then it's on to the next hope that needs to get generated and then lived for, and on and on it goes that way. There are few if any who are satisfied because everything changes and so too the hopes attached to whatever that is also change. There's always a hustle, always a scam, always a pipe dream that never gets fulfilled although living in the hope of those transitory dreams are what keeps the humans jumping from one day to the next, thinking their lives mean something, looking and hoping for something that doesn't actually ever come. Whatever is just dressed up like it is the thing that will do it, then it fades away and another thing comes along.

The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.
Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.

Fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing.
The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

It's in the animal to grab what he wants in order to get what he craves. He prowls around looking for what will satisfy his cravings then moves in to get it. The sons wait for their Father to give them what they need, and they don't need to participate in the way of the humans to get what the animal inside them craves by the power of its own hand to get it. By denying it the power to rule them they starve the animal so it dies, and as the animal dies then the life of the Father grows stronger inside them. The animal nature is what the Son of God took with him up onto the pole to die with it after he was made one with it. Being the only Son of the living Father, he is the only human who should have never had to become one with the animal, but should have remained as he singularly was—one with the Father. But he gave up that right and position to allow himself to become what he wasn't in order to save the family of God's sons whom the Father loved and would love. As the sons who are chosen themselves choose to purposefully deny the animal cravings and lusts—what leads, guides and rules the humans—for the sake of the Father and their brothers (especially the Son), they are choosing to disallow it to rule them, which is saying yes to the Father and His way for them, like all of God's prophets and righteous people that He ever loved.

I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

The Son knew the way to the Father, and showed the men the way, which was how he acted and lived his life—not for himself but everything for the Father's sake, to save His family of sons and present it to Him whole and safe. He is the one from whom we take our cue, and our identification with the Son by saying that all we want to do is follow him the way he went—not saying we are above him—is what the Father loves. The Father loves His firstborn Son and honors those who honor him by wanting to submit to him and be found in his identity while being willing to lose their own (something the animal can't do because that's all it has). That's what we've been struggling with for the past few years, and the reward for being willing to struggle and suffer through this painful death of our animal identity isn't merely getting something for us (living forever), but being able to have within ourselves what the Son had. Being one with the Father in the way we can't even understand can only be comprehended when it starts to happen. Before that, all the stories we have read over and over are all just a bunch of factoids that we have to try to piece together to find some kind of mental and emotional agreement that we actually have something to hold onto, which is just another static thing only for our own selves.

If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

By that choice they are allowing the life of the Father to come in to them and make His home in them along with the Son who has been made One with the Father. They make their home in the son instead of the animal (the ruler of this world), which used to live inside them exclusively, although they didn't know that. It is a slow transition from the one inhabitation to the other, not an instantaneous magic wand kind of thing, which is why the sons have to keep choosing the Father instead of the animal to stay and remain close. That is the part that the son plays in the process of this transformation from darkness to light, why it is called work to believe—because the son has to keep believing in order to keep denying what the animal in him tells him to love and run after. Both the Father choosing the son and the son choosing the Father depend on each other to be viable.

I know those I have chosen.

If we keep choosing to satisfy the animal needs and cravings we will suffer in ourselves, which the hand of the teacher can easily accomplish in us, and we should feel lucky when we do because in going our own way we are no more fulfilling the command than those who don't even have the choice to believe. And we're not fooling anyone, which is the game we used to play when we could lie in our secret places about who we were and what we were doing. That was when we lived with the humans in their systems and either conformed or manipulated our way around them to get what we wanted/needed/craved. Now the One who gives us what we need—being able to safe and secure by feeling close to the Father and the Son—can see into the secret places of our heart and all the things we're hiding there, what we're still desperately holding on to as we think we can still get what we want and need like the old way. Even though we try to gratify our selves by indulging, those things that we used to want do not satisfy us because we've gotten a taste of what does. Only being and staying close to our Father is what is becoming what we want and need, what truly satisfies us in the deepest places. This is what replaces the fear that is associated with the wild animal nature that was always in us, with that feeling of a genuine safety and security of a knowing and fulfillment that cannot be shaken or taken away.

And the LORD said to me, "Do not fear him, for in your hand I have given him and all his troops and his land..."

The land wasn't just Og's territory, but the entirety of the land promised to Abraham to which the Israelites were being delivered. They as a people had known only servitude in a foreign country, then 40 years of wandering in deserted area where no one wanted to be, so the promise of having their own lush land was huge. Stability, permanence and peace in a land that they owned, somewhere to live and flourish in with momentum that wouldn't be taken away. It represented the hope of wealth and independence to the Israelites because it meant they could tend to their livestock, grow their own food, and build up that stability for their family and its name. Without land, there was only the life of slaves or nomads, chased about from pasture to pasture, never able to know for sure that their sons were going to be able to survive, or where. There is something good about land because of those factors of permanence and stability. But the earth is temporary so even though it is more permanent than living in a country not their own, it's ultimately not about a piece of the earth we're talking about because the earth and every other created thing is temporary. The land is only a copy of the real thing.

Live your lives as strangers here (on the earth with the animals in your earthly bodies) in reverent fear (knowing it is only a copy of the better thing, so don't do as the animals do). For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold (Earthly designations of wealth, success and happiness because of the security it brings) that you were redeemed from the empty way of life (living as mere animals who were destined to go into the ground and just be forgotten) handed down to you from your forefathers (trying to get to God by earthly means).

Earthly parcels of land are a representation of something much greater for the sons—the peace, permanence and the stability of a true knowledge of their Father which won't be taken away. As far as the earthly existence goes, the sons are to live as strangers on the earth, aliens who don't settle in next to all the others and so remain merely human, striving for the things that all the mere men run and strive after all their lives, like animals in the forest doing what they're instinctively told to do by the instinct that rules them. Our earthly existences, though they mean everything to the humans and all the other animals, should be evaluated based on what they actually are—temporary and unimportant in comparison to our real life, which is hidden with our true Father.

We will come to him and make our home with him.

Is this inhabitation a natural phenomenon that we can see with our eyes, or prove with our speaking or any argument? What the sons have is intangible in the earthly sense, contrary to the popular definitions of "faith." That's why ours is valuable to God—because it's not watered down or arbitrary—and we prove our belief in this invisible way by not running after the things the humans run after, but instead seeking something much greater, which only we can see exists. God makes sure that our inheritance isn't cheapened by others being able to buy it, then own and control it as they presume they can, by making it impossible to even comprehend except to those who have been chosen. This is a frustrating thing until we learn that it's not for them, which is why they won't believe us. That frustration will exist until we understand that we will just not be able to find a validation about it through them (how they continue to believe their religion, by surrounding themselves with other humans who validate it in each other and prop up the lie as some truth). That is so we cannot find an agreement which will allow us to rely on the earthly witness for what we believe, but will have to keep staying close to the Father by what we choose, so we don't slack off and get lazy, stagnant, pompous and arrogant, which is fine for the animals who are kept far from Him; but the Father doesn't tolerate that in His own sons.

All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return.

The idea of faith in terms that humans understand is so watered down by everyone and everything that it means nothing, no matter who says it or what they're referring to. There were a few, picked from many of the generations of the humans, identified in Hebrews 11, who are recognized as having had the arm of the LORD revealed to them just as it had been revealed to the writer. That brought upon them the choice to either believe or not, but it wasn't an easy or obvious thing, which makes the son's faith so valuable to God. Faith in what He has specifically done with us, in the face of its unlikelihood and unacceptability in the earthly sense, our inability to be validated by the humans—that is like currency, land and wealth in the spiritual world, to the Father who cannot manufacture that faith in a human.

Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

We're looking for citizenship in a better country. Abraham didn't receive the promise of the land that God promised him; he's still waiting. But he's not waiting for actual pieces of earthly property to be given to him, because the real life isn't a piece of the natural creation, which is inferior. The land is the relationship with our Father where we can live in peace with Him so we can fully know His love and be fully able to love as well. In our present earthly existence it is impossible to love because we can only love ourselves, as slaves to this other nature, of the animal. The land is the place where we can know our Father's love, and gain the ability to love Him back. He wants His family of sons to be with Him in the land, which is what everything that is a copy of the better thing points to.

There was not a city we did not take from them, sixty towns...fortified towns with high walls, double gates and bolt...and we put them under the ban...putting under the ban every town, menfolk, the women, and the little ones.

Can we imagine butchering little children or cutting babies in half with a sword? Yet that's what they were commanded by God to do. It would have been a lot easier killing grown men who were trying to kill us than the helpless women, children and babies. But that's not the point for us, because it like many other OT accounts these are copies of the better thing that we're commanded to do. The Canaanite inhabitants of the land are the copy of the things that are in us, as per the animal's influence when we choose it and allow it to rule us. Feeding the animal makes it strong, while denying it makes it weak in us. The cravings and impulses are what we learned to love and count on to satisfy and fulfill us, as are all those things we learned to consider valuable and therefore spend our life running after. They will lead us away from the place we need to be (close to the Father) if we allow them to live in us, if we don't work to completely destroy them by choosing to kill them by starving them off, by not feeding them or feeding on them, following them to effectively allow them to control us.

They (the OT priests) serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: "See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain." But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises.

In this sense the entire old covenant was a copy of the real thing which was instituted by the Son. Everything pointed to him, because everything in it was fulfilled in him. But did he fulfill it in an earthly sense? Not permanently or finally, as we can see that there is no order or recognized authority in the natural regarding his name. Instead there is total chaos, with thousands of groups anarchically claiming exclusive authority of his name, with no ability to prove it as genuine because their gods are made up. What they actually do is resuscitate the old covenant over and over in an attempt to get to God in the earthly sense, as the Israelites did by observing things on the outside.

Does God give you his spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?

We know that the new covenant, which the old one merely pointed to, is not earthly (the old covenant was all about the natural order) but spiritual and invisible to the humans. It is only revealed to those who have been chosen to be sons, like those mentioned in Hebrews 11, the apostles, some others in the first century, and us who know we are sons because it's been revealed to us. He wants to take care of us; not as a fierce and terrible God who cannot be known by a man but by the arm of our good Father who wants to cover and shield us, protect us and make us feel safe and secure.

The nation of Israel points to the family of sons whom God desires to redeem from the earth and make into spiritual beings based on their being chosen as Paul knew he was. The land points to the relationship between God and His sons, that of peace, safety and stability, which in turn represents eternal life, no more fear of death or uncertainty. No more changing from desirable to increasingly undesirable as we inch toward the grave, as we sag toward the earth from whence we came.

You shall not fear them, for it is the LORD your God who does battle for you.

And of course the men, women and little ones point to the old nature, of the humans, which we learned and love so well, but is the enemy of God. It is the thing that conveniently keeps the mere men away from Him, the sinful nature that Paul recognized. For the sons it represents the old way which must be taken out of us, which God destroying the people who were already inhabiting the land points to. Yet just as there was an onus on the Israelites to slay them after they had been given into their hands by God, it points to us in our struggle against sin. First of all to know what it is (the way of the humans, the animal nature), and then to deny it power in our lives by actively moving away from it.

That's harder than killing a foreign baby, because it's the baby of our own selves that we have to kill, our earthly life and identity that we took care of and nurtured all our life; and it's immeasurably precious to us. When we think about our own earthly identity and the way we have carved out for ourselves as humans, we don't think of it as an enemy but our greatest and closest friend, something that only we know about because it's hidden in the most secret parts of our being, where no one can ever see, so it's like hidden treasure to us.

Let me, pray, cross over that I may see the goodly land which is across the Jordan, this goodly high country and the Lebanon. And the LORD was cross with me because of you, and He did not listen to me.

And the LORD said to me, "Enough of you! Do not speak more to me of this matter. Go up to the top of the Pisgah, and raise your eyes to the west and to the north and to the south and to the east and see with your own eyes, for you shall not cross this Jordan.

This sounds harsh, but it needed to be said to Moses because for him as a true son, the actual land wasn't important, just like it wasn't for Abraham. He could see it with his eyes, which was enough, because the enjoyment of it in earthly terms isn't something Moses was ever destined for—it is inferior to what Moses, Abraham, and all the sons will inherit. That is, real land, the relationship with God that is guaranteed by His promise to redeem us from the earth and make us permanent citizens of another, better world.

Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.

This account is tied in with the thorn in Paul's body, his inability to see, caused by his the Lord on the road where he blinded Paul. Obviously the residue of that miracle was on Paul for the rest of his life. Like Moses thought that crossing the Jordan and David thought that building God's house were good things, Paul also thought that it would have been good to be able to see with his earthly eyes. However in reality, Paul had a different kind of ability to see that other men didn't possess, and that was the most miraculous thing. He saw the real world of God, invisible to the humans, and he had been at least partially delivered into the land of the relationship with his Father. It's no coincidence that Moses was allowed to look at the land with his earthly eyes, and not touch it with his body. Going in to the land was nothing compared to what Moses actually had (knowing his Father personally), as being able to see what is temporary and passing was nothing to what Paul had.

God told David that Jesus would be the one who would build His house, not with earthly things but living stones, a thing he is doing even today, with us as the building material. It was Jesus in Paul who took away his natural vision and gave him the ability to see the things that were real. It was Jesus who delivers all of God's sons into the land by the work he did.

To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

The LORD declares to you that the LORD himself will establish a house for you: When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with the rod of men, with floggings inflicted by men. But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.

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.

Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my (earthly) weaknesses, so that Christ's (invisible) power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak (naturally), then I am strong (spiritually).

 

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