April 22nd.

Deuteronomy 5 / Ecclesiastes 1 / John 17-18

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Everything is meaningless.

All things are wearisome, more than one can say.
The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing.
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.

Is there anything worth doing, anything worth knowing, anything worth having or being? The conclusion Solomon reaches is no, and he feels confident in having the perspective of someone who had everything a man could ever have that the humans consider valuable enough to run after all their lives, who assume that getting just a little piece of what Solomon had will satisfy them. Solomon indulged his cravings and appetite for what the humans run after, surrounded by women, riches and the intoxicating egotistical gratifications of glory and respect. Yet he concludes that he wasn't ever made happy by them, as is the supposition of the humans (why they spend their lives running after these things). It is not a mistake that this is the case; they are ruled by a nature that instinctively drives them to want those things because the illusion is that there is something that will satisfy what is in them to keep craving, wanting, needing. Not accidentally throughout the history of the humans it's always the same things they run after, because they're driven by the same nature that drives them to keep trying to appease their fears and satisfy their cravings, hiding the whole time they're doing it because it's shameful but they don't know why.

I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind.

You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born from above (of God).' 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.

Nicodemus was familiar with the words of Solomon but he didn't understand what Solomon was saying. "Human wisdom and understanding (which Nicodemus possessed) aren't worth anything, because they can't bring you closer to the Father, who is not of this world and can't be found in it," is what Solomon concludes. And he says that in those words that had been preserved, which by studying and knowing was assumed could bring one closer to the truth of God. However, Jesus tells him something totally different than what he expected: it didn't come by anything that the humans expected or assumed because of who they thought they were (good enough to get it), or by their effort according to what they possessed within them to get it e.g., studying the torah at the feet of an esteemed rabbi. And the real Son of David reminds Nicodemus that it was Solomon who actually said that his life was meaningless, yet he nor the other "experts" ever understood what Solomon was actually saying because they all had a very different conception of the worth of their lives according to their own view from within.

You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

But if everything that the humans spent their lives running after was totally meaningless, then what was worthwhile to spend one's life trying to do? Perhaps see what Solomon saw and not be afraid to look past what the humans conspired together to agree upon as to what was worthwhile, and desire to find out what actually does please God, apart from the humans and their attempts to get to Him by working together to build a presumptuous tower that reaches up to Him, by their own will and effort.

The Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent.

God loves the iconoclast whom the real Jesus was, because he saw that the humans were full of darkness and corruption and didn't believe their lies, and that's the principle mode by which he taught the men who were given to him—don't believe or trust the humans or any of their institutions by which they conspire to agree together to make whatever lie they create become the truth.

Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.

 

My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.

Solomon was the natural son of David, the one about whom it was assumed Nathan was prophesying when he told David that his own son would be the one who would actually be pleasing to the Father because he wouldn't be like a human at all (ironically, what Solomon epitomized), who couldn't ever actually be perfectly and only led by wanting to please Him instead of what was created (the serpent) to provide a viable alternative, a real choice. God wanted a son who would choose Him instead of the created alternative which had power to be alluring, but was the choice against Him. He loved David because David chose Him; his heart was with God to want to know, trust, love and believe Him instead of the lie, but only to an extent. His offspring would be the more perfected picture of that.

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.

This is the prediction about the Son who would learn to choose to be led by the Father perfectly—never the animal nature. God loved David, however he, like Moses, was not perfectly faithful in choosing Him all the time. Moses gave in to his anger which made him presumptuous, even just in the moment, while he was being led by that outburst to indulge in the selfishness so that he did not honor God. He angrily and arrogantly claimed that he was the one who made the miracle happen when the water came out of the rock, and didn't attribute it to God. There was no power in Moses that could have made that happen, but because he chose to indulge, even momentarily, in this temptation to become overtaken by the lust of his anger to kill and destroy instead of leading, preserving and shepherding, he irrationally claimed in front of the people of God to be the one that gave them water—that it was not God.

Go up into the Abarim Range to Mount Nebo in Moab, across from Jericho, and view Canaan, the land I am giving the Israelites as their own possession. There on the mountain that you have climbed you will die and be gathered to your people, just as your brother Aaron died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people. This is because both of you broke faith with me in the presence of the Israelites at the waters of Meribah Kadesh in the Desert of Zin and because you did not uphold my holiness among the Israelites. Therefore, you will see the land only from a distance; you will not enter the land I am giving to the people of Israel.

David was overtaken and driven even if only momentarily by the lust of his appetite which caused him to become envious, and he used his earthly power that had been given to him by God (as the power to do the miracle had been given to Moses) to be unfaithful and arrogantly assume that he could become corrupt and use that power to hide from admitting the shameful crime he had just committed against one of his loyal warriors, to save himself by not facing the shame. He used his power and position to conveniently dispose of a man who trusted him, whose heart was loyal and devoted to him—one of his faithful fighting men who was laying down his life for his brother the king of Israel.

The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands.

I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does.

The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life.

Uriah was a copy of how the Father wants His own sons to be to each other, not as the humans are, who are driven to want to please themselves by indulging in their cravings and appeasing their fears and then try to hide because they're ashamed. Uriah was actively willing to lay down his life for a son of God, the king of Israel who was shepherd and leader of God's people. David despicably and shamefully abused his position for personal gain by having him murdered, just because he was ashamed and wanted to hide his sin. He was afraid of how he'd look if the sin were found out and instead of facing it he tried to cover it over and hide in the power he assumed he had as king, to murder his loyal brother and friend who had no power (poor in power) compared to David.

The LORD sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, "There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him.

"Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him."

David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, "As surely as the LORD lives, the man who did this deserves to die! He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity."

Then Nathan said to David, "You are the man! This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: `I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave your master's house to you, and your master's wives into your arms. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. Why did you despise the word of the LORD by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.' "

Although the origin of this behavior is explained by the consequences of the actions of the first humans, who didn't choose to trust God but instead chose and trusted what the created choice was offering them; nevertheless God hates it in His own sons because it is the choice against Him, the reason the first humans were cursed with the nature they were bound to because they loved and chose it instead of God. The first consequence that can be seen after the humans "died" is their getting what they wanted (their eyes were opened), then they were ashamed and filled with fear they hid from God behind a tree, thinking they could be not found out. Indulging in the lust of their appetite they trusted the lie instead of the truth that had been disclosed to them. Even though the lie may have been alluring, trusting and believing it (the created alternative) was the choice against God, the same way Moses and David knew, yet indulged in the lie because, even just momentarily, they loved and trusted it enough to be led by it, choosing the devil, the deceiver and their adversary instead of the One who told them the truth.

That servant who knows his master's will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

 

There is no remembrance of men of old, and even those who are yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow.

Solomon eventually gets everything the humans run after, that they think will give them hope and purpose. First he received wisdom and understanding from God, then he starts to use his power to indulge the lust of his own appetite, which ironically (because of the wisdom and understanding) turns him away from God. He also enjoys the satisfaction of indulging his egotistical cravings of being great, honorable and respectable among the humans. He surrounded himself with everything that is in the humans to crave and run after because those are the things out of which they construct their walls that they hide behind, pretending by them to be something other than the naked, lonely creature stripped of anything good, that they actually are.

The temple was finished in all its details according to its specifications. He had spent seven years building it. It took Solomon thirteen years, however, to complete the construction of his palace.

He has a certain type of understanding that other men do not have, and everything they love and run after, but he doesn't actually know what anything's about because he sees that none of it ever satisfies, and he would know because he tried it all and had it all. Although he looks around and sees the humans trying to be wise and trying to build up more for themselves—more estate, a better, more powerful more honorable name, wealth, beauty, happiness, family, etc—there is actually no point to being or getting any of what the humans spend their lives running after because in just a few years they all just begin to decay at an increasing rate and then expire, becoming one with the ground (the created thing) as they are no more what they once were.

Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

Solomon was given something special from God but he can't come to any completion about what it all means or find any solutions because everything was for the sake of the true Son of David, who incorporated much of the ways of God, as per the spirit's enlightenment and teaching to him, from the words of Solomon. Much of the real wisdom and understanding, that which the life of the Father in Jesus' body (the spirit) told him about the things that are true versus the lie, comes from Solomon's words which were preserved for Jesus' benefit.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.

Wisdom and understanding in the proverbs was about the spirit's enlightenment, primarily in the firstborn Son. Secondarily it applies to all of God's sons. The fact that Jesus would be a man of sorrow was told to Isaiah hundreds of years before, but what does that mean? And if we are sons, and he is our master, and we cannot expect as servants to be above our master, what does it mean for us? Does it mean that we just live our lives like all the rest of the humans, enjoying what they enjoy and like dumb animals following the instinctual urges, running after what they all run after? Then do we assume that because we're sons everything is all set for us and we'll be pleasing to the Father even though we were led our entire lives by the created alternative—in the light that we already know that the firstborn Son of God *did not* do that, but instead specifically and deliberately chose the Father by denying the animal, turning away from what the humans are, do and love?

I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify (separate) them by the truth; your word (the intention to make them sons of God) is the truth (of who they are, not mere animals, but sons of God). As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified (separated from what the humans love and do—not led by the animal nature so as to be defined as a mere animal and remain bound to the lie because of the curse).

In spite of our theoretical knowledge about how things are and what they might be like, they remain theory because the animal still remains a significant part of us. It still lives inside us to try to lead us, which when successful defines us as a mere animal instead of a son of God. It's all necessarily part of the process of the transformation, or the understanding of it wouldn't have been given to us the way it has. However, what we think we might know is still only a foundation that the better things are built upon, which is why we can't rest, or go back to what we used to love like the dog to its vomit.

Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so.

As the writer of Hebrews was trying to exhort the sons who lived in the first century (before the truth of the new covenant was taken out of the world), we have to move ahead and grow into the position that is being conferred upon us, which is the act of walking away from the animal (the created alternative) and toward the Father and where He lives. That means actively choosing Him by denying what seems alluring (the lie) as the firstborn Son did, who is the head of the family of sons of God. He is the model that the sons copy in order to be pleasing to the Father.

It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.

The truth as those first century sons knew it isn't just conferred upon us without the suffering of actually being separated from the nature that formed in us when we became fully mature animals. We like to think that it was okay for Jesus, but we must be somehow insulated from the sorrow and suffering (the lie), because that's how the animal nature works (it always lies)—it ALWAYS acts in accordance with what will help us preserve our own self. It uses anything it can get its hands on to do it, all tactics and strategies are fair game, because it has no rules, all it does is just self-preserve however, wherever and whenever—all the time.

All of our theory is necessary as a basis and foundation of the new way, but as long as it remains that it is merely human wisdom and understanding, what Solomon agreed was useless. Until we actually go into that place where we don't want to go, until the self-preserving animal is stripped from our being, we will just be like flapping clapboards in the wind, we'll know all about it but it will be useless to us if what we theorize about doesn't actually happen.

That's a scary thing because we haven't any idea of just how much we rely on that animal nature of ours to keep us feeling safe in our brains, thoughts, heart and mind. So much goes on inside us that is automatic because it's how it works. It is how we learned to deal with our world immediately around us in terms of how to survive. It works so automatically that we don't even need to do anything, it works whether we want it to or not, which is why it's so efficient. It gave us a lot in terms of dealing, coping, surviving. It helped us develop into what we are, so in terms of us individually, it is our best and closest friend.

That is why the life of the son is the life of sorrow and suffering, because we begin to have those ways and tactics stripped from the way we deal with the life we are living. What used to allow us to cope and mentally survive is taken away so we can't count on it, which is painful in the most secret place we have for dealing with the life we live, coping and manipulating our own minds and the people around us to be for us what we need them to be. But it only seems like a big bad scary thing that we don't want to have to lose, because we're only holding on to what can, nor did, ever actually satisfy us and give us what we want, which is hidden even from us and is now only just beginning to be revealed.

...so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.

What Jesus had was what Solomon kept looking for but couldn't ever find, because it's not in the world or in anything the humans ever consider valuable enough to ever run after, because it's a secret, hidden thing. It's not cheap or easy, which is why it's not just revealed except to those who actually want to find it. It's the most valuable, yet hidden, treasure that a human could ever find. It is not for public consumption as the religious leaders like to claim, like a huge trough filled with pig food that the animals can just come up to and feed on. It is not for the animals, because the Father's sons are not animals, they must be transformed from what they learned to be by that long, slow, painful separation from the animal nature, which is the life of the suffering of the Son of God who went before us. So let us be careful and on our guard to keep listening to the voice of the Teacher, if he lives in us for that very purpose.

We are not ever be able to control God as the humans assume they can, which is why He had no form that was comprehensible to the Israelite humans, which is the copy for us. We often tried to do that with God since the day we were born of Him (of the spirit, from above) because of the ignorance that was allowed to lead us. We in our animal minds tried to think of all kind of ways we were going to serve Him, according to what we needed to serve us (to get for ourselves, hidden in the lie that it was something we were doing for God), according to how we thought we could control Him. It wasn't something we could help, because we didn't even know it existed. However, if we look back, we can see what we tried unsuccessfully to do, and still do, because it's how we cope with our life—it's how we learned to make ourselves feel safe before, and it worked, so of course we still do it. It's not a thing we do consciously.

We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

Paul's suffering wasn't just his external situations of being beaten or in prison for the Lord's sake. That is reinforced in the above verse by the expression, "In our hearts we felt the sentence of death." The losing of all the things he used to rely on to make himself feel like he would be okay wasn't just some easy process for him, any more than it will be for us.  God doesn't accept unclean animals; His sons are clean of the animal garbage that is in them, especially the stuff they're unwilling to admit is there, what they're hiding from, or what they think will just magically fall away because they've been chosen to see. Yes He loves us, which is the reason He tells us the truth about what must happen instead of allowing us to believe the lie that the transformation is not necessary. That is human thinking.

Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.

By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants?
For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken.

He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.

Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.

After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.

Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

 

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