Deuteronomy 6-7 / Ecclesiastes 2 / John 19
I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have control over all the work into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. This too is meaningless.
Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, `This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.' "
Following Jesus wasn't a thing the humans could do lightly or half-heartedly at all. It was either follow completely or not follow at all. It was not a "Have your life, get what you need to have and do what you need to do for yourself then when you're ready to come follow me I'll be waiting" kind of deal. The real Jesus weeded out the half-hearted ones who assumed they could maybe rally behind him because he was starting to say something they wanted to hear, but only if he continued to say things that jived with what they were willing to accept, what they believed they needed to hang onto in the deepest parts of their being—that which was woven into the consciousness of their human identity when they passed over from child to adult. Once that happens in an animal, once that human consciousness calcifies into them, it is impossible to sway them away from what they're willing to accept according to their bias about what's right and what's wrong. That is the animal condition.
The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you (the ones whom the Father intended, by His word, to make sons), but to others I speak in parables, so that, "though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand."
Jesus said what most of them couldn't bear to even consider, not to mention actually do, which effectively weeded out the wishy-washy. He wasn't interested in numbers (a human thing to be concerned with), but the ones whom the Father was actually making ready to be able to hear him, those who could see who he actually was. Though what was in them was battling with what the Father was doing in them—in one case it did win out over the will of the Father—11 of the 12 chosen humans were able to hang on and continue to believe, which means they chose God's way over their own, even though that belief was severely tested as predicted.
If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.
So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labor under the sun. For a man may do his work with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then he must leave all he owns to someone who has not worked for it. This too is meaningless and a great misfortune. What does a man get for all the toil and anxious striving with which he labors under the sun? All his days his work is pain and grief; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is meaningless.
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
The son's heart is where the Father's treasure is, because in his heart is where he truthfully either chooses the Father or his own way—his own life and self. The son's choice against what he learned to love, value and made him feel safe and instead for the Father—to be in His family and exclude himself from what the animals love—is the thing that the Father cannot manufacture in a true way. Because of that, the Father considers the choice of the son for Him like the humans consider great wealth and riches, because it is valuable beyond compare.
If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.
That is *the* message of the life of Jesus, God's genuine Christ who was kept hidden from the humans (and still is). To even suggest that he was a god nullifies the message and makes it into yet another worthless and powerless religion that can do nothing to explain anything true—because they're all built around their various different jesus gods who never existed except in the minds of men. Bringing their jesus gods to life gives them no more power to do anything except maybe dole out abstract religious concepts that don't mean anything, which the humans can only embrace out of fear and ignorance, being a pushover to the "experts," the showmen who perfect their acting skill and the craft of deception, even of deceiving their own selves in order to make the lie become truth. They might have actually convinced themselves it was true and now they live to convince others to maintain that consensus so they can continue to believe what's obviously—to those who aren't being beguiled by their snake charmer act—made up.
I saw that wisdom is better than folly, just as light is better than darkness.
The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
Everything on the outside is meaningless because that's where the humans observe and judge the humans around them, for their own good to weigh whether they're going to fit into their struggle and give them the consensus they crave. However, the decision that is in the heart of the human is what he will be truly judged by (that is his most honest choice), in the place only he knows about and can keep hidden from all the other humans. That is the place whose contents will be revealed when the light shines in it to reveal what his true sentiments always were regarding what he chose as his most truthful decision, and all the garbage that he did in the places where the humans can see and judge him—either to accept or reject him via the evil ways the humans judge each other on the outside and ultimately always for their own gain—all get stripped away.
In the end it won't matter what any of the humans, or all of them for that matter think or feel about the one whose heart is being revealed. The only One who matters in the end is God and His judgment, which is perfect because it cuts through all that peripheral garbage done for the sake of those who don't matter—who won't be there to help him—and displays the secret and most truthful choice that the man either made or didn't, which actually is making the choice. In the end, none of the humans will be able to save him, nor the "experts," who assured him that they knew the way to God, nor all the things he spent his entire life toiling and working to get for himself. It will all be stripped away and there will only be the choice he made, which is everything.
Should your son ask you tomorrow, saying, "What are the treaty terms and the statutes and the laws with which the LORD our God has charged you?" You shall say to your son, "Slaves were we to Pharaoh in Egypt, and the LORD brought us out with a strong hand. Us did He take out from there, so that He might bring us to give us the land that He swore to our fathers. And the LORD charged us to do these statutes, to fear the LORD our God for our own good always, to keep us in life as on this day. And it will be a merit for us if we keep to do all this that is commanded before the LORD our God as He had charged us."
Unless we understand the grip the animal has on us we cannot see the passover ramifications in a true light as the Father intended us to know what it means. It's one thing to say "Oh yes, the animal nature, I see that." It's another to understand how diabolical, deceitful and efficient it is at being those things while at the same time it is those things, meaning how it exists in one undetected, even as one thinks he detects it (mostly because he can really only see it in others while he in his soul considers himself so inherently good that it really doesn't affect him the same way). It is that way because it's our very fibre, it's who we are, and we aren't accustomed to thinking we would lie to ourselves—that is the whole MO of the animal nature, after all, to do everything it can to protect its host at the expense of the other hosts it's also inhabiting. It customizes itself to each particular one that way, as the response to each one's own particular circumstances. It feeds and grows like a parasite in each host and when it reaches maturity in it, it is dug in and cannot be budged or pried out of the host. Seeing it as an enemy instead of a friend will take much more that just a surface acknowledgement. It will take living in a state of suffering and denial of what we love as it's being extracted from us, so that it loses its power.
We're used to seeing the enemy as something outside of us that threatens our existence. That is the truth for every animal we observe, and it's foundational to the truth we know about the animal nature as sinful nature—what keeps the humans unclean and away from God—versus the nature of the son as that which has to be explicitly given by the Father from Himself, to the son, in order to make him clean and able to be brought near to Him. Otherwise he would merely remain an unclean animal that cannot come near to the Father, so could never know Him or be able to comprehend His way instead of the animals way that was before plugged into the son when he passed over to animal adulthood and died. It is why the religious people think that the devil must be some external threat, because it's how the animal thinks and keeps itself alive in its host. It's no accident that the devil quickly evolved into the identity it has today.
Since we were once fully human without any knowledge whatsoever about God, we were steeped in its teaching and being in us to the hilt. It was our only identity, and it served to define us as a mere animal, like a beast in the field destined like all the others to just perish and become no more. Although our Father may have intended to reveal Himself to us at a certain appointed time, nevertheless the animal nature was allowed to grow in us just as it normally does in all the humans, those (the tiny sliver) who are destined to be sons as well as those (the vast majority) who aren't. Because it is the deceiver it lives in us to keep us what we are—enemies of God—unawares of that condition. We will always think that because we have some truth that we didn't have before, that enemy will just magically disappear from us.
That is itself telling us the lie, so that we think it's gone even though it continues to live in us as a parasite and enemy of God. It is fully alive an operational and we won't even be aware of it because we've always had the nature that just makes us dull and unaware of what's going on. We can't do anything about it until it's time for us to have it taken out of us, then we just have to submit to the way the Lord does it. We will constantly attempt to do it ourselves, to force its purging from us, to change ourselves but that's all just a counterfeit attempt at going around what we have to go through, the animal yet again doing whatever it can to survive a little longer.
The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
The owner's servants came to him and said, 'Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?'
'An enemy did this,' he replied.
`No,' he answered, 'because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.'
It works because it's God's creation, for His purpose. The entirety of the humans are afflicted with this condition that they can't even recognize, which keeps them unclean so that they cannot do what Adam did—reach out their hand and grab from the tree of life. However, He also, because of His great mercy, gives the humans the ability to truly believe whatever lie sounds the best to them, so they can actually believe they're "going to heaven," or will be greeted by a harem of virgins in some kind of paradise, or they will "inherit the kingdom." (whatever that means to them, since the kingdom is not a thing that is here or there, or that can be inherited like land or other "things" that the humans love so much)
In this culture it's difficult to properly esteem the value of eternal life because everyone who has ever said anything about it has made it into some cheap thing that isn't worth very much, some consolation prize people assume they'll get for having thrown their gods some bones while they lived their selfish existences driven by the animal, which was the only actual god they ever did have. In that sense eternal life is just something they assume they deserve because they think they're so inherently good, and of course the gods feel the same way about them that they do. Eternal life for the one it is granted to means that one will live with God who is his Father; it is the most valuable thing so it makes sense that He would want to block access to the tree of life, which He did as recorded in Genesis. God doesn't want any and every piece of riffraff that had half a whim to come waltzing in to where He lives on the pretense of the lie he embraced.
After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.
The importance of understanding the passover is first realizing it's for us, and only about or for any other group (the Jews) as merely keeping it alive as the copy for us. Then understanding what Egypt represents for us, which if we observe the struggle within us, we can start to see and be able to accept. It's the plight of being on the one hand chosen to be a son of God, and on the other being afflicted by the nature of His enemy. It's about seeing His miracles within us that show us His power and desire to do something with us, which we went along with. But perhaps more importantly it's about having to trudge through the desert, the undesirable wilderness where the temporary delights of Egypt we enjoyed while we were in slavery to another master are not available, and we have to rely on the things that the animal hates in order to keep us going—the mundane things as compared to what our mind tells us was so great before when we enjoyed ourselves so much, forgetting we were merely slaves. It's about having to trust God even though it seems like not such a good thing to do because the animal keeps reminding us about how good things used to be. It's about having to face conquering the unconquerable giants living in the land, intimidating and frightful, so much that we would rather just pretend they're not there.
For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
So we are concurrently sons of God, destined to be delivered to a place of peace and safety where we can live with our Father, and His enemies because we are citizens of Egypt, slaves to the Pharaoh the animal who still rules us. We have not been delivered to the land, but that situation cannot last within us, and we'll either have to be allowed to wander back to Egypt and surrender as slaves (die), or be delivered to the land where we can actually be sons. We are in the desert, in these bodies, and have to learn to love the manna for what it gives us instead of despise it because it's not like the things we think we are missing as they are being taken out of us.
And the riffraff that was in the midst felt a craving, and the Israelites, too, again wept and said, "Who will feed us meat? We remember the fish we used to eat in Egypt for free, the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onions and the garlic."
Was it "for free?" We can't even understand the process because it's so far above us. That's why the words were preserved for us, though. It is the reason they exist, to show the sons via the symbolic copy teaching what is happening to them, and what must happen within themselves if they are to become acceptable to the Father. The animal nature, which is their own nature, has to be stripped from their midst. They will be gradually unable to count on the things they used to count on before to give them their little satisfactions throughout their lives. Those will increasingly become unavailable because they aren't good, not the things the Father wants them to put their trust in to give satisfaction and fulfillment, the various little hopes for being able to exist and survive. When they do reach out to try to enjoy them and participate in them as they used to, those things will become as the quail became for the Israelites—not what they were dreaming they would be.
While the meat was still between their teeth and before it could be consumed, the anger of the LORD burned against the people...there they buried the people who had craved other food.
The riffraff and the rebellious people represent what God hates in us, as the components of that animal nature that keeps rebelling against Him and what He'd like to do with it—separate those whose hearts are fully devoted to Him from those who are a bad influence on them, like any father would want to separate his own son from the various bad influences around him. That's the only thing that matters for us; it's all about becoming purified and clean, having it stripped and purged, and the sheer number of Israelites represents the number of things that are always in us to potentially be that adversary against the process which must be done in order to make us clean. What is of real value, to those who matter to God, is the fact that the copy was written down and preserved, according to the way God wanted it to happen for His purpose—to be a tool the Teacher uses to teach us about that process and what must happen in us if we are to become sons. That is the same process the Father used in teaching the Son:
When I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve,
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.
These writings aren't meant to establish the existence of God based on the legitimacy of the record. In that sense they're as useless or useful as any other document ever written and preserved as a record of the way things were a long time ago. That's what the creationists are always trying to do by proving that the God of the Bible exists based on the historical accuracy of the text, because they think their enemy is, of course, some external devil who is prompting other animals who want to believe some other theory and attack what they (creationists) think they need to protect. They think that being more correct than the other animals is the way to become righteous, another attempt to get to God on the outside, in the natural. They think that will equate with their gods approving them, because they fought for their honor. What they fought for, though, was their own honor. They sought to satisfy that egotistical component of the animal nature that craves to be justified and set apart as the one who's right, by defending the idea that his gods exist by somehow proving the historical record in favor of that.
The real God doesn't need to be defended by any of the humans. He doesn't need that or anything else from them. What He wants and desires to find, in those He has specifically chosen, is their choice to go the hard way and choose Him instead of satisfying their animal appetites and appeasing their animal fears, which amounts only to choosing themselves. Of course He doesn't need any impotent group of putrid human self-proclaimed and self-maintained "experts" (or their lackey sheep who think they're experts too because it's all so stoopid and democratic) protecting the virtue of His existence. He does allow them to believe they are doing some good crusade and protecting the His honor. By it though they admit they think He's powerless to do it, or that His truth is so small that that is what He wants from men.
Actually, He wants to remain hidden and secret, unknown and unreachable, uncontrollable and unconquerable—except to those whom have been chosen to be able to see and hear what the spirit is saying to the bride. The point is that the words were written and preserved for a specific reason, according to God's ultimate will and desire, that in the end He will have His family of sons who know Him and have been cleaned, stripped and purged of that enemy of His enough to be brought near to Him to be able to know Him and look forward to seeing Him face to face, along with the Son and all the other brothers who loved the Father and the Son more than there own lives.
The record was written to look like one thing on the surface but be yet another thing altogether for those it is intended. It contains the secret, hidden truth of the life and purpose of that life within the sons, and the way it goes in the form of the recorded history of God's people of the old covenant. It is a secret spiritual mystery that is uncovered in the son and used for his benefit, while it remains hidden to the rest of humanity as another thing altogether. The old covenant and everything in it merely points to the new one, which Jesus instituted in the form of the new, yet hidden, covenant. He and John were the first to have this thing happen in them, and by it knew what it was for, the secret truth and purpose of God. But even though he fulfilled it and nullified it as far as how one becomes acceptable to God, it is not unnecessary but vital to the sons in that it contains that secret blueprint for what is happening within them in the unexplainable way that the spirit works.
The writer is contrasting the words of the OT, which all the Jews claimed gave them righteousness, with the living and active word of God, which exists to teach the sons the secret and hidden truth about what the words actually mean. He's on to something big in Hebrews, where this reinforcement comes from. It is made explainable as the copy and should be regarded as such. This idea is introduced in the letter, but it's just scratching the surface of it. The preserved words of the OT are not to establish and maintain the validity of merely another group of animals (the Jews) who wish to distinguish themselves as special, something all groups do in whatever ways they can. That's what animals always do, forming packs and then attempting to protect their own pack in whatever way they feel it's being threatened. Jews, Italians, Muslims, Christians, Christadelphians, Aryans, Black Nationalists, the IRA, opera singers, Jews for Jesus, animal activists—it doesn't matter what they call themselves or what they're trying to protect, they are merely trying to preserve their pack because they find an identity there and they don't want it to die—their identity is an integral and important part of them.
I thought in my heart, "Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good." But that also proved to be meaningless. "Laughter," I said, "is foolish. And what does pleasure accomplish?" I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly--my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was worthwhile for men to do under heaven during the few days of their lives.
I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired men and women singers, and a harem as well--the delights of the heart of man. I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me.
I denied myself nothing my eyes desired;
I refused my heart no pleasure.
Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done
and what I had toiled to achieve,
Laughter and pleasure represent what the animal learned to love when we were mere men, like the fish, cucumbers and melons in Egypt. Everything the animals strive to do in their existence, what they spend so much effort on, is just like the puff of smoke from a match. So much effort and time and energy, as though it were worth so much, and then all of a sudden it's just gone. And that is what we will try for a while to hang on to and protect at all cost until we are able to face the truth of it as not our friend but the dross and lies of the animal, which have to go.
We will try to hide as long as we can from the inevitable reality that the things we think we need so much will do us no good for our real purpose; they will actually do us harm, which is why they have to go. But we will be broken down in those efforts to hang on, and eventually see we can go on without them, and learn to love what God is providing us instead—the living bread which is intangible and boring compared to whatever the flesh loves to satisfy itself with. As we become satisfied with what the animal detests, we can begin to trust that our Father knows what He's doing, and begin to surrender to the process. We will be changed from the fearful, disbelieving spies into Caleb as the riffraff comes out of us, the one who believes God and wants to enter the rest of the land where we can know Him and His love for His own sons.
The righteous perish,
and no one ponders it in his heart;
Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith. Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said,
"So I declared on oath in my anger, 'They shall never enter my rest.' "
And yet his work has been finished since the creation of the world. For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: "And on the seventh day God rested from all his work." And again in the passage above he says, "They shall never enter my rest."
It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in, because of their disobedience. Therefore God again set a certain day, calling it Today, when a long time later he spoke through David, as was said before:
"Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts."
For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.