Deuteronomy 8-9 / Ecclesiastes 3 / John 20-21
He afflicted you and made you hunger and fed you the manna, which you did not know nor did your fathers know, in order to make you know that not on bread alone does the human live but on every utterance of the LORD's mouth does the human live.
And it happened at the end of forty days and forty nights, the LORD gave me the two stone tablets, the tablets of the Covenant.
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread."
Jesus answered, "It is written: `Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.' "
As for men, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals. Man's fate is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same spirit; man has no advantage over the animal.
Everything is meaningless. All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. Who knows if the spirit of man rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?
This question written by the natural son of David encapsulates the gospel as we've heard it. By its implication it tells the story of the humans and what they became in real terms according to God. The thought is always that because they are stronger and smarter than the other animals and they rule the creation they all inhabit, because they're able to use the animals for their own gain and have total control over them to do with them what they want, they are intrinsically a more valuable creature than the other animals. Because this is obviously their perception, they assume that it is also true according to God. That first level of overlording—their collective feeling of superiority over the other animals—is superceded by that which defines the curse they're under. Within their collective identity as superior animals there is a condition that is native to each one of them, which is effectively the thing that is causing them to be isolated and separated from God, because it makes them unclean. It's quite natural and makes sense for the animals to be this way, because if they didn't instinctually feel that their lives were so valuable then they wouldn't want to protect them. Yet that is one defining aspect of this creation, that the each of the players, whether animal or plant, would strive to exist (survive) as long as they possibly could, and the humans are just another player in the creation.
They are unable to come near Him because it's what they were given over to long ago and they are all naturally under that condition, across the board with no exceptions. It's also what He naturally hates and cannot stand to be around, which is why He is not around it (because He doesn't have to be since He is God). That condition is the individual feeling of superiority amongst each one of the animals, within the collective group of superior animals, about the inherent feeling of superiority about their own self, plight, dilemma, struggle—and the importance of their own existence and life as opposed to everything else. The uncleanness of that condition comes out of the very definition of what that condition produces—an inability to love as God requires because of the curse of self-love that each of the human animals is under. That is the sin Paul writes about in Romans, that each one is under, and why the humans are cursed.
Now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
The glory of God from which all the humans fall is the pinnacle of the idea that the Israelites represented, which was a brotherhood of holy sons whose God was real and lived in their midst, who would become His family of all who conformed to His way by obeying the commandments He directed them to live by. They would not be like all the other animals that existed, to become like them and conform to their way by obeying the instincts that drive them all to make them inherently what they are—merely cursed animals that can't come near to God because of their condition. Yet Israel was specifically chosen by God and there was nothing random about it. For the humans everything must be and remain random, especially their institutions by which they claim to know the way to God,a nd the salvation that they produce for all those who agree with the credos of their particular institution.
To address the christians, who love to quote this verse as part of their credo that their gods want any and every one of them who ever had half a whim to want to get an eternal survival for themselves as though that were some high aspiration or even surprising that an animal which is equipped to survive by the instincts that are naturally in it to be constantly surviving would want to survive forever: There is no Jesus any more, as Paul has in his mind when he wrote these words. At the time of this writing there really was only one Jesus, who was not a god that eternally existed alongside the Father forever. There was only Jesus who was the Son of God, the Hebrew Messiah who was kept hidden because he wasn't the Messiah for the humans, but for those who were intended to receive a salvation that he created for them. So when Paul writes that "this righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe," he certainly wasn't talking about all the humans who ever lived or who lived concurrently with him and who ever would live. That scope is way too broad, which makes it impersonal, which is what the christian gods have to be in order to fulfill this condition that they desire every single living thing to get crammed into their impersonal heaven with the impersonal gods.
The curse for the ages that is on the humans (all have sinned) isn't that they're "sinners," classically defined (by those who believe and adhere to the lie) as the bad people who need to become the good people by hearing then believing the correct facts about doctrinal (mythological) things (even though, ironically, they are totally false, merely made up lies). The origin of that curse which is on the humans, why they inherently have an evil, sinful nature, is because of the animal whom they trusted, so that they were bound to the animal via being given the same nature of fear, hiding, and instinctual cravings. The nature that is put into both actually leads them in an automatic sort of way—instinctually—so that they actually are ruled by that nature, as all animals are. Because of this, they actually aren't as they always assume, ultimately any better than the other animals in the sense that their spirit goes up to their gods while the animals' spirit goes into the ground (hell, sheol, the grave). There must be some differences, since it is from the human pool from which the Father draws His own sons (Jesus the most important example); however it is not as the humans always assume, that they are so important that they're all "Goin' to heaven!" (or wherever they think they're going after their body goes into the ground. Where they go is back into the earth, the ground, in Hebrew sheol which is hell; and there they perfectly become one again with the dirt,t he earth and the natural creation as they decompose.
"Woman," he said, "why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?"
Jesus was not allowed to rot and decompose in the grave so as to become one with the natural creation as all the human and other animals and plants do; not because he was a god but because he chose the Father instead of the animal. The importance of him going to the Father is monumental because it means that he became One with Him instead, and that was the reward for choosing Him instead of the ruler and prince of this world (the devil, the animal nature). It also meant something huge for Mary (and the other animals who loved him).
Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet gone to the Father.
It is the animal tendency to want to hold on to something it considers valuable, and she wanted to hold on to Jesus so he wouldn't go away again like he did before when his human body was destroyed. She assumed that was the end of him so now that she "has" him again with her she doesn't want to let go of him. However, as Jesus told Nicodemus, who Jesus is and what God does isn't something that can be owned or possessed, so that one can hold on to it, and control it for their purpose even if that purpose seems good to them. It cannot ever, because the humans are always bad, meaning they always act for themselves and their own self-preservation because they're under the curse that makes them that way.
Now I am going to him who sent me, yet none of you asks me, `Where are you going?' Because I have said these things, you are filled with grief. But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.
You heard me say, "I am going away and I am coming back to you." If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.
When the Son went to the Father to become One with Him the Father was so happy because His own Son whom He loved and longed for since the beginning (he was in the mind of God even in the pronouncement of the curse) was finally with Him, so much so because the Son had been made One with the Father so he wouldn't ever have to go away. Choosing the Father meant the Son had also just finished the work he was given to do, which saved the family of God's sons who couldn't have otherwise been able to come near to the Father because of the curse (being bound to the animal via their nature) which made them unclean. Because of the joy in the spiritual world, a huge celebration of the outbreak of the spirit in the world happened—for a while.
Tied in with that was what would benefit Mary and the others who loved Jesus and wanted to hold on to him so he wouldn't go away from them. It is the new covenant that Jeremiah prophesies about, which would replace the old covenant. It was the same life of the same Father who had previously inhabited the Son when he was existing in a human body, doing the work he was given to do. However, the Father by Himself could only live in a human who was perfectly clean; that is, not inhabited by the animal nature. So the Father could only ever truly live in the "only begotten" Son of God, not any of the humans who were being inhabited by the animal as per the curse. When Jesus went to the Father to become One, the body of God took on this other form. He was actually changed by the incorporation of the Son into Him, so that He, along with the Son, after that unification happened, actually could live in the bodies of humans (the first century sons of God) who also were being inhabited by the unclean animal, as per the terms of the curse.
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
The Son became a kind of buffer between the Father and those particular humans who were chosen (not random, not anybody or everybody) by the Father to become sons of God after the model of the firstborn Son of God. That intention of God which He disclosed to Jesus, that He desired that they become His own sons too, was the word that made them clean. The intention was there but they weren't yet transformed into sons who could actually understand what he was even talking about, as they often admitted. The transformation of these animals into sons of God happened after Jesus had gone to the Father. It wasn't when he blew on them and they received the spirit; that was another promise, another reiteration of the declaration of God that they were indeed still chosen, and that everything Jesus promised them would still happen to them, although not as they would have guess, or wanted.
The transformation of their lowly animal bodies into those who were worthy to be called sons of God (because they actually were sons instead of the animals they were before) happened as a result of going through the same process that the firstborn Son went through. That is, they had to be willingly made like little children (not like a mature animal who knows everything, but like an ignorant child), so that they grew up before God and learned to choose His way (the right) and reject the way they had learned before when they were animals, the way the whole world learns to choose and obey their entire lives (the wrong). And they would learn this the same way Jesus learned it, by and because of the life of the Father and the Son (the new nature of God) living in them.
That is the spirit, the life of the Father and Son. To define the spirit as yet another god alongside the father god, the son god and the devil demigod is to totally misunderstand the condition these first century sons were under. It is to completely make oneself unable to understand what must happen for one to become a son of God. That pretty much wipes out 99.99%of every human who says they are a son of god. Knowing what the terms mean doesn't guarantee salvation, but it leads to that place of being pleasing to the Father, enough so that His intention to remember that one is revealed to him. Then the transformation begins, which is the suffering of being separated from the old way so that that one can learn to choose the way of the son of God, and learn to reject (deny) the way of himself (the state of all humans, in slavery to the animal nature that rules them).
Feed my sheep. I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go (Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God). Then he said to him, "Follow me!"
It doesn't make sense that Jesus was talking about how Peter's body would die (as a martyr), what the commentators conclude about this interaction. When Peter was young, signifying the time until the teacher first came to him and said, "Follow me," (that is, become willing to be transformed by conforming to another secret way that you don't know about) he was led and controlled by the animal nature, which was himself, so he did what he wanted to do according to the animal needs and fears within him by instinct (conforming only to himself and the instinct that ruled him). He grew up as an animal before his human father who was just another animal in this world full of them, and he learned from him how to be a self-sufficient, self-preserving, mature, responsible animal who could take care of himself and propagate the animal species by pumping out replicants who would also become full-blown animals with the nature of their father the "craftiest of all the animals."
That is the cycle of overlapping deaths that the humans call life, but it's all about death more than life because death is the final state of all the participants in this creation. The fact that another participant came along to replace the one that died off doesn't say anything for the status of the one that died except that they're in the ground, becoming one with the earth (as organic matter that others will feed on to exist until they become the same thing.
Because Peter had been chosen by the Father (His intention, His word which stated that He wanted Peter to become transformed from an animal to one of His own sons), Jesus first said "Follow me" to him, about 3 years before this episode on the beach (John 21). Now he was saying it again, and telling him what must happen and how his life must be if he does want to follow Jesus. The Someone else dressing him and leading him where he doesn't want to go is the Father, leading him in the way of the Israelites, being brought out of the world that he grew up with and knew how to adapt to (Egypt), that which he learned to survive in and exist.
And He afflicted you and made you hunger and fed you the manna, which you did not know nor did your fathers know, in order to make you know that not on bread alone does the human live but on every utterance of the Lord's mouth does the human live.
Where he didn't want to go is through the desert, having to rely on what the Father would give him to afflict him so that he became dependent on Whom he couldn't see (the invisible life of the Father and the Son living in him) instead of what he could see (the created reality), what he was familiar with, what he learned to get by his own hand. He wanted to be delivered to the land, i.e., follow Jesus and be his disciple, but didn't want to do what was required, going through the deserted and barren places and learning to love what the animal in him hated.
As mature animals we're used to finding and making our own way, satisfying ourselves with what we have learned to employ by our own hand to do it. Actually, though, it was taught to us by our father the devil, the ruler of this world, the lying snake, the ruler of Egypt who promises us all the things our animal nature loves if we will bow down and continue to worship him—the melons, cucumbers, onions, leeks and fish—anything but what is detestable to ourselves, the horrendous manna every day. Whatever we learned to be satisfied by, that is what our old father will keep offering us if we follow him instead of the Lamb. These are the things that ease the pain of our existence like euphorics of all kinds, alcohol, food, the fantasies of sexuality, the allure of the prospect of having more money, or things around us that make us feel whole, the prospect of being more acceptable and valuable by being powerful, beautiful, honorable, respectable, wealthy, etc.
There are so many more, but they are specifically tailored to the person in question. For example, we know that for Jesus it was at least the few that are recorded in Matthew 4, e.g., proving to himself that he was indeed who he thought he was by performing a miracle to satisfy the craving of his appetite. Then proving to the humans he was who he thought he was, by doing another miracle and taking by his own hand that which wasn't his to take—earthly power and glory. These were all things he definitely could have gotten by his own hand, as he was obviously aware he could do the miracles he proposed to himself. And they were things that would have satisfied his own desires—that which the animal attempted to persuade him to crave enough to run after it and deny the Father. However, he knew that he had to go another way, the way of the desert, the way he didn't naturally want to go, and he knew that that was the way the Father wanted him to go. So he had to choose, to satisfy himself with what he knew would at least temporarily satisfy him, or be led where he didn't want to go—the way of the affliction and suffering of the flesh, to deny that which was so alluring to please the Father instead of the king of the animals.
Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."
He went away a second time and prayed, "My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done."
"Which you did not know nor did your fathers know" indicates that the manna was miraculously given to them by the hand of God; it wasn't just a fluke, or something that others had ever seen before. The Father can give His sons bread to keep their bodies alive, that is not a problem for Him to do. He did it for Moses, Elijah and Jesus, feeding them the hidden manna. "Every utterance of the Lord's mouth" is the intention that he, being The Son of God, would do the work of the good Son and save his brothers—all the human sons of God who lived for and wanted to genuinely please God, to be close to Him and to know Him and love Him, and find out about His love for them.
According to Jesus it was the life he lived for the Father instead of the snake, because he heard the Father's voice and followed it even though it was a thousand times harder than just reaching up his hand and picking a piece of fruit (giving in to what was being offered to him). Contrary to the humans' perspective that this physical body is worth so much—and to them it is because it's all they have—it is the real body that is valuable to God, that which cannot be seen by the humans. And the real food is what strengthens that body, not earthly but spiritual, the living word which strengthens us spiritually so that our eyes can be open to what is real instead of what can be seen and observed in the natural.
"I have food to eat that you know nothing about."
It's no accident that Peter's encounter with Jesus has to do with the contrast with physical food, which he miraculously provided for them without any effort—it was just there—and the spiritual food that he wanted Peter to recognize and crave instead of the food for the physical body (the fish). That was his word, to please the Father and fulfill his little part of promoting it instead of the animal's agenda. His word was spirit and truth—that which he wanted Peter to guide the other sheep to, to take from him and give to the others God had chosen. The word was alive according to God, because he was obviously alive and talking to him on the beach even though he had clearly been killed just a little while before. The words which came out of his mouth when he existed as a human, which promised his resurrection, were not dead words, but were alive because they were the Father's words—His intention to raise Jesus up. The word that made Peter clean was the intention of God to remember to raise Peter too, and they would be living words inside Peter's body just as they had been in Jesus.
He wanted Peter to be for others as he was for Peter in his earthly existence, by that word which would soon be living inside him. He wanted Peter to be a shepherd, as he was for him. That is why he lived with him for 3 years and taught him the new way, that which would come after this encounter. But it wouldn't go the way Peter decided; he would have to be docile and led to where he didn't naturally want to go. It would be the hard way because of the fact that he didn't want to go there. But just as Jesus went the hard way, the way he didn't want to go, so also Peter would have to go. Not back to the old way of self-preservation and self-provision (fishing), the way of his mature animal, fishing for the food and money to keep his body alive, which is what he presumed he could just go back to.
The time before Jesus came to him was the old way, the way of the animal, which Peter learned and became proficient in—that which all animals learn to live by. It is aptly represented by what he was doing, going back to his old life, that which he knew well—fishing for physical food and money to naturally survive as an earthly being. That's the way he wanted to go in, because he knew how to provide by his own hand that which he needed to satisfy and fulfill himself. The way through the desert was the way the Lord wanted him to go.
The 3 years he was with Jesus was like a bridge between the old and the new. The time to come would be the new way, that which Jesus told Nicodemus must happen if one is to see the kingdom of God. It is being led through the desert, the place no one chooses to inhabit because it is undesirable to the animal. It is being led by the Lord into the places we don't want to go, because they're unfamiliar and we don't have any skills or knowledge with which to satisfy ourselves by the fruit of our own hand, no way by our own efforts to reach out our hand and pick whatever we want to eat.
The new way is the promise of the land flowing with milk and honey, it is going to the place the Father intended for the sons. But we don't find ourselves automatically delivered, the way we want it. The way of the animal keeps us from knowing our Father, and it is His will that it isn't in us to rule us and define us as mere animals, which is the lie if the Father's intention to make us sons has already been declared. However, it doesn't just magically fall away, which is how we would like it to go. Peter saw Jesus do miracles first hand, and he believed that he was the Christ, but Peter also had his own ideas about the way everything should go, which is the natural way of the flesh. That happens to us too, because we learned, as animals, that we could control our environment to make things go the way we want & need them to go by our own efforts, and we naturally feel we can just apply that to the new life.
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.
We "Dressed ourselves and went where we wanted; but when we are old we will stretch out our hands, and Someone else will dress us and lead us where we do not want to go," like a little child has to wait for its parent to do all those things for it. When we are old we will become new, unable to do anything for ourselves—like being born a second time. The life of the son is learning the new way of going where we don't want to go. It is being afflicted by the arm of the Lord, learning obedience through the suffering of our flesh to be remolded into something we don't naturally want to be.
It isn't just arbitrary suffering, that which we suffer merely because of our condition as animals. For instance I know someone who thinks that God is, in his words, "Burning the sin out of him," because he suffers from bouts of depression. But lots of humans suffer from much worse depression than he does. Yet because he wants to believe the lie the pastors and radio preachers told him, that it's the Lord's hand on him, he's allowed to believe that the spirit of God is in him, working to make him into a "man of god." The problem, and there are many, is that he thinks the spirit is a god, like his jesus is a god, just as the father is god, and he thinks the devil is outside of him—that it is something different than the "sin" his god is "burning out of him." In his world of made up gods and jesuses and devils and spirits as gods nothing can make any sense, because the jesus he believes in was made up, and sin is something he can just move away from with enough self-induced bouts of depression.
He cannot see that the very thing he exists as is what keeps him away from God, because the animal always wants to think it's good. Nor can he ever see the work that Jesus actually did, because it's been invalidated by him being a god, so there was no effort necessary on his part to deny what he denied—the devil, himself—to do the will of God. And not knowing this leads to the obvious ignorance of what is required of an actual son—to follow the Lamb wherever he goes, just as he told Peter to "Follow me." So one day he might just decide he has become the "man of god" he thinks he needs to be to satisfy what his animal nature tells him it needs, and become yet another religious leader dispensing the lies of the animal to others. The dilemma of this one is that other liars told him, directly and indirectly that he was something he wasn't, and because he wants to believe the lie, he's just given over to it.
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 way of the son is the secret way. It is not talked about on the radio or in the churches because it's hidden to the humans. It isn't the way of the humans at all, but the opposite, the way of unlearning that old way and becoming separated and isolated from it. The example is Jesus, who is the firstborn Son—afflicted by the temptations of the animal nature, the first to be taken through the real wilderness of going where he didn't want to go and denying the way that he did know, what was familiar to him, that which he could see with his eyes, what the devil told him was true. That is taking what we can by our own hand, to satisfy and fulfill our selves by the way we learned as the mature animal we grew up into and became. It is Egypt, what seems good to us because we remember all of the things we enjoyed, while we forget we were merely slaves to the animal nature, with no promise of being free.
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.