Deuteronomy 20 / Ecclesiastes 12 / Acts 11-12
When you go out to battle against your enemy and you see horse and chariots, troops more numerous than you, you shall not fear them, for the LORD your God is with you, who has brought you up from the land of Egypt.
Let your heart be not faint. Do not fear and do not quake and do not dread them. For the LORD your God goes before you to do battle with your enemies to save you.
Believing the unbelievable is like fighting against an overwhelming army you know you cannot destroy. Only the true sons, those who have been chosen to have the proper eyes to see what cannot be seen, are able to know and believe, and only that after their true Father has been revealed to them (been given those eyes). Otherwise belief in God must be forced, like a thing that the humans desire to have (going to heaven, being in the kingdom), similar to a good job, a nice house, good-looking girlfriend or a box full of treasure. It must be something made up that is presented to the humans as something they need, like a retirement pension or some other guarantee that they'll be taken care of. Where it is wrong for the humans (why it's not generically meant for them) is that it must remain a purely human thing, like all the other things that the humans do, day in and day out. Along those lines it cannot be what the Lord said it must be in order to be genuine, as it was inside him—a thing that takes over everything else so that nothing else remains in that human except the journey toward the Father, moving toward where He is, becoming more able to please Him, doing His will; all because the identity that defined him previously—being a human like all the other human animals—is falling off of him so that he is able to do it. That infestation of the life of the Father and the Son, living in the humans, is what chews up everything else, making it all invalid as things to search for and run after. They are indeed becoming like garbage—not merely theoretically because they aren't but we think they should be, because the preserved words say that should be the case for the genuine sons (to whom those words were written—not generically for everyone, as is presumed). So we feel obligated to forcefully declare them to be like garbage out one side of our mouth while we continue to love and run after the thing we love with our heart, mind, energy and being (living our life the way we want to, like all the other humans). That's all we could do if it's a forced thing, if it's not actually genuinely planted there by the Father's intention to make that one into a son—if the choice doesn't exist.
I speak for myself and the years I spent trying to do it, forcefully trying because I wanted to believe, and seeing the other humans doing the same—some more able to convince than others (better actors). The truth did not come until a certain appointed time, not decided by me. Only after that certain point in time was I able to actually find what is true; before that there only existed the hope of finding it, but not the ability to actually do it. The mistake I made was in thinking I could or had to do it by the power I had to take on and then act out the part I thought I should be playing, even though I knew it was forced and fraudulent. It's easy to pick out the phonies, even if they claim to be experts about God, which is a joke in itself because nobody controls or even can be able to have such a hold on how God works or what He is and does to be able to accept the term "teacher," or "pastor" for themselves. That is a stamp created and maintained by other humans who don't know, who are upholding this conspiracy of fraud and good acting skill, thinking that the real God doesn't see.
Whatever man is afraid and faint of heart, let him go and return to his house, that he not shake the heart of his brothers like his own heart.
Sin, fear, unbelief, unfaithfulness—all the animal can be in its natural state—is like yeast that quickly spreads. We cannot please God without believing the unbelievable, but first that reality of the unbelievable actually existing has to be revealed, individually. Then the response is either I want to believe that enough to do it even though it means I lose what I truly love i.e., I have to choose between the two realities. I cannot hang on to one while I choose the other too, because that's not choosing. That's just saying we want to play it safe, and also have the guarantee that is only given to those who actually do make the hard choice to believe the unbelievable, knowing that that choice costs them the believable, which is the reality and promise of all the creatures bound to the natural creation—they have the right and opportunity to enjoy the life they have been given to live out and enjoy.
Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
What does "Lose your life" actually mean, as the real Jesus intended it when he spoke it?
Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
The idea of losing one's life as a good thing being equated with the choice of abandoning one's own natural family (as per how Jesus actually meant it when he spoke it) is preposterous to the humans because they would consider that choice irresponsible, even sociopathic. Destroying the social fabric on such a fundamental level as the nuclear family would be irresponsible if it were done merely for personal gain as it is so often—to get something better for one's self, to satisfy the craving for some new feelings of "love" and lust, that one perhaps felt a long time ago and craves finding again. What Jesus was saying to those who were listening to him was that they would be soon given the chance to be able to actually make a choice to believe the unbelievable, because it (the new covenant) would soon become available to them. That was the condition of the life of the Father and the Son actually living in the bodies of those to whom it came, who were given the opportunity to choose that new covenant.
No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.
However, in choosing the new covenant, one would necessarily be choosing against the old covenant (he was speaking to Jews). But he makes it clear that that offer would not necessarily be being offered to the others, because it was not a random type of thing that God was going to do but pointed and specific, so a father might have to choose not just against the old covenant but against the members of his own nuclear family in order to actually choose what was being offered to him by God.
I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is completed! Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.
It was real enough for him to be compelled to choose it, because it was definitely happening, as per the testimony of the record, but—and this is the bigg but—it was not being validated by the other humans around them, even their own family members, because it wasn't being offered to them. It wasn't worth it for the others to lose everything they had, and be persecuted and put out of the synagogue for something that they figured was just being made up by those who claimed to know that the Jesus who had been killed was indeed the actual Christ of God and Messiah Israel claimed to have been waiting for, for so many hundreds of years—because he was living in their bodies and had revealed himself and the Father to them!
No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number.
God is pleased to see a man believes in Him and what He has done for him even though everything in the natural points to the otherwise, which is always the case when He comes. The true God is hidden, and remains secret when He comes to a human to give him the true choice. His way is not for public consumption, so that there are no fraudulent conspirators amongst His own sons. These do not receive their validation from the humans at large, so that they must remain dependent on their true Father for everything, especially the validation of His life, His intention to remember them, and the guarantee of His promises, which are not generic, random, or publicly available like anything the humans try to secure for themselves by their own power and choosing. If the choice hasn't been offered to them, then the choice doesn't exist, which is why it's said so often that it doesn't depend on man's works, but the grace (the specific choosing and offer) of God.
Before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad--in order that God's purpose in election might stand: not by works but by him who calls—she was told, "The older will serve the younger." Just as it is written: "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."
The humans who claim to know the way to God quote this verse a lot, but they don't believe it. It is obvious that God chose one over another and that they were not both offered the same considerations by God. But because of their theology and philosophy—God must be democratic and fair, so He loves everyone the same and He gives them all the same chance to "be saved," they have to turn what Paul said into something that contradicts itself so they can fit it into their pre-existing theology, which is what they think will "save" them (that they think certain facts are true instead of other, wrong facts about God, what the "bad people" believe, those who aren't pleasing to God because they think the wrong things—Like Jesus because he claimed to be what they assumed was impossible because of the facts they thought they controlled). They say that if anyone turns into one of them, then they must have been already chosen for them to do that, so that's what being chosen means—not actually being chosen but given the label of being chosen after they chose themselves, like any of the others could have done because they all have the same opportunity, because of course God must be democratic because democratic and fair is good, and specifically choosing one over another is bad and mean and unfair, which God must not be because He's "good."
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
When a man is called by the true God, he isn't being led by what he used to go by—the animal nature which relies on the things he can see with his eyes, hear with his ears and understand with his natural mind. When he responds and chooses God, when he truly follows the Lord into the places he has never been, it is more difficult than anything he can know because he cannot rely on those things he used to rely on, the only way he knew before he was called. The two ways cannot be mixed, nor chosen because it's set up that way by Him who can easily manipulate natural space and time. Before he is regenerated he doesn't even realize that he only lives by what he sees, hears and understands with his natural faculties. There is no choice that exists, nor is there even the awareness that there is or isn't a choice. When the Lord comes he starts seeing in a different way, he begins believing in the things he cannot see (the unbelievable) rather than only being able to think them conceptually. He starts seeing what is unseen, and has to start choosing one way or the other.
A mistake is often made when we read the accounts of God intervening in the lives of men. We assume that they were always engulfed in huge displays of naturally observable power. Actually God remains hidden even when He is doing miracles in the lives of His sons. His MO is to be hidden from the world and visible only to those chosen to see Him. When He does these things it will look on the outside, to the world of the humans, that it is merely some explainable occurrence, like nothing significant happened at all. Even to the recipients of that miracle it will seem like it could have been some explainable phenomenon and not God. This happens when we are young and the spirit is faint within us, as it has just begun to grow, but the animal component is so much stronger than the son.
This is for a good reason, so that we actually do learn to live by faith in Him who is unseen by the natural faculties of man, and so we aren't able to use our animal power to control God and use Him for our own evil (natural animal) purposes. The animal in us is always geared toward the way of self-reliance and preservation, and its influence over us doesn't just die because we think it should. Our fearful need to hold on to and control God is a thing that is curtailed by Him in this process of not being able to do what we'd like to do, which is suffering. Our emotional fears and needs that we used to live by 100% will gradually guide us less and less. However they are still alive and drive us for a long while after we've been born, until we can begin to live instead by the urgings of the spirit, trusting our Father more than the natural way—what we can see with our natural eyes. Left to our own animal devices, we would most certainly use the gift He has given us for our own gain, to enhance our own status, ego, and self.
You have no part or share in this matter, because your heart is not right before God. Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.
Living by faith in the Father we cannot see and believing that He has done this miracle in us will take time, as we gradually learn to accept what He is offering (choose the right), and reject all that which we used to love and run after (reject the wrong). When He does choose to give birth to a son of His own, He does not leave us as orphans, but continues, like a good Father, to teach us how to live His way rather than how we learned to and have been living all our natural lives before the process of the regeneration of our hearts started in us. That is the process of changing us from animal to son, from a being who can only see earthly things to one who can see spiritual things.
At one end of the spectrum is the earthly, animal, physical, temporal, human. At the other end is the spiritual, eternal, permanent & enduring world where God lives. The humans and the rest of the animals are at the first end, and God and Jesus and the angels are at the other. Most of the humans stay at the one end all the time, never moving. Those who are chosen to become sons of God, at a certain appointed time, begin a movement out of the one and toward the other, a thing that begins to happen while we're still in these earthly bodies. It isn't complete until we're fully redeemed, resurrected by the power of God with all of our brothers, the other ones who were also chosen.
Let your heart be not faint. Do not fear and do not quake and do not dread them. For the LORD your God goes before you to do battle with your enemies to save you.
We can read that after the LORD did the incredible miracle of pulling an entire nation out of another, those who He pulled out instantly forgot what an incredible thing had just happened. He wanted their allegiance, obedience, devotion and love. All they could do, though, was the opposite. After the excitement of the miracle wore off, they wanted new gods like the ones they remembered in Egypt, gods which could be seen, held onto, and controlled (what we desire to do because we're ruled by the animal the same way they were). Even while Moses was on the mountain they made it for themselves, by their own hand, according to their own desire.
This is for the sons' benefit, to show us how strong the animal is, and what its tendencies will be. This condition lasts a long time because it's so strong. We will do the same things as we experience miracle after miracle—unexplainable events that we know have been engineered by the Lord—then hours or days later we will go right back to our old way of living, doing the things that used to satisfy us, living and looking with old eyes. Our flesh is strong and we don't trust God because we don't know Him. But like Jesus, He will continue to teach us until we understand more and more, and as we become older we are more able to choose the right and reject the wrong, in the tradition of the Good Shepherd, until we actually begin to look more like sons and less like animals. It's a long, slow process of changing our most fundamental nature. If it happened overnight it wouldn't be worth anything. Think of Moses in Midian for 40 years unlearning the old way and learning the new. Even then he wasn't perfect, but he knew God and learned to be like Him instead of his old father.
Of the towns of these people that the LORD your God is about to give you in estate, you shall let no breathing creature live.
We too must be moving toward the state and nature of not allowing the animal in us to rule and lead us where it wants us to go in our heart, toward being led to the place where the Lord and the Father will be able to dwell in us because the animal is being purged. The way that begins is by allowing the Lord to start rooting that evil out of us by not feeding it so it gets weak and dies. It's hard to have true faith. It's a made up faith to say we have faith but then live like all the other animals, as though we actually don't have faith but are just saying it, as though our faith is merely mouth babble. That's because those who do this don't have anything real to respond to, just as we didn't before He came. He may have been making us ready, but that's not the same thing as being given the choice of becoming a son. Those who want something they cannot have must make up their faith and say they believe in the "God of the Bible" even though there isn't a precedent or reason for that belief. Their "belief" is not believing the unbelievable, but thinking that the "correct" facts are right, what the leaders have declared. In the end, all they're actually able to live for is their system of rules & doctrines—the by-laws of their earthly institutions—because nothing genuine has been initiated by God to respond to in the form of true faith. That is why all the religions who claim to know the way to God are so powerless and impotent, because there's nothing genuine driving them, only the desire to have what isn't for them. And they're all basically the same as their whore mother, pretending to be the bride, who started it all so many years ago.
During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.
It's the same situation between Jesus the firstborn Son and the leaders of Israel. He is the first who was able to learn how to live by the way of the spirit instead of the way of the humans. He was genuinely from God, while they were counterfeit sons by way of their natural power base. Yet he wasn't just magically transported into who he became; it was an ongoing experience for him growing up before the Father, learning to live the new way, slowly changing as he grew up, being made perfect by the experiences God engineered for him, the suffering of his flesh, listening to the living word, and becoming the Son who would do the Father's will on the earth, on behalf of all of God's other sons.
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.
He went before us in the regard that even though he was God's Son, the prince of the eternal spiritual world, he had to live his life as a journey away from the animal and toward the Father. He had to suffer in his flesh to be on the straight path, to learn to choose the way of God and not the animal, to become obedient to the Father instead of the devil. That choice of obedience is what saves the rest of the family of God's true sons. "Once made perfect" means that it was a long process and journey of unlearning the old way and learning God's way, until he was "made perfect," ready to do the work that Father gave him, to save all of His sons as the source of eternal salvation.
We too will learn to live a new way, the way of the Father, the way of the spiritual man instead of the natural man. We will learn to live that way by the things that we suffer in our flesh, just like he did, to teach us that the natural creation is temporal and wasting away, just like our natural bodies waste away. It is to teach us that only God is eternal and the things that are eternal are what we cannot see or understand with our natural senses (invisible to the natural creatures who are tied to this creation via their nature, the software that runs them). Now the Son lives to teach the sons of God, the same way God taught him. The Son is teaching the other sons how to be acceptable sons for their true Father. As the Father changed the Son and taught him how to be a good Son, now the Son changes the other sons and teaches them how to be good sons for their Father.
By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king's anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.
God's sons learn to live a new way, not the way of the animal, of the earth, of all the other humans running around merely hanging on to their lives and never letting go. We cannot understand the new way until we are shown it, until we are given the key that allows us to understand. That key is the spirit, the counselor, who gives us birth from above and teaches us the new way of living, seeing and understanding. He allows us to see our new Father, who is invisible. As we see Him more clearly we begin to know Him more clearly, then we actually begin to have a relationship with Him, not possible before the process began.
We tried all our lives to fit God into the box of the physical, trying to find Him in this thing or that, trying to explain Him by this or that thing we can understand with our view of the world as we know it, as we see it, as the old father tells us it is. He does not work within the confines of the parameters man sets for Him. He does not act according to how man says he can act, but does whatever He wants. What man says is "appropriate," or "proper," He has no respect for. He's not explained or controlled by any man or group of men.
When He visited us, He told us to communicate with each other, not to worry about how it "looked" to everyone else. We both knew that He was telling us many secret things, and that we couldn't heed the demands of the people around us. We knew, despite how it looked on the outside, that it was all perfectly engineered by the Lord to look so bad for his reasons. One was to teach us that we could not shaken by how it looked, or how it felt to us on the outside, because we knew He was there doing everything on the inside, albeit only apparent to us. Thankfully, we had each other to tell the other that we weren't crazy, and that the things that we thought had happened, and were happening, were genuine.
The way of the spirit is not the way of man, and God is the spirit. Jesus, now one with God, is teaching us to learn to accept the right way, the way of God, which seems wrong to our natural facilities, and to reject the wrong way, which seems right to us because it is all we know. Our father for so many years was the ruler of this world, who told us through many different avenues what was right and wrong. Now we have a new Father, who has adopted us and given us His name, and is teaching us the new way.
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. He will eat curds and honey when he knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right.
Jesus, the firstborn among many brothers, learned to see and know his Father slowly. It was a gradual process for him, as it is for us. We are not different than he was in the way that we learn to live for God instead of the animal. That means we learn to see and rely on Him who is invisible, and stop relying only on what we can see with our eyes, hear with our ears, and understand with our minds. We will be changed as he was, into the new creation, the sons of the God who is alive yet invisible. He cannot be seen or recognized or realized by natural human faculties. It is a new way, God's way—the way of the spirit and not of the flesh.
When you approach a town to do battle against it, you shall call to it for peace. And it shall be, if it answers you in peace and opens up to you, all the people found within it shall become forced labor for you and serve you.
And if it does not make peace with you, and does battle with you, you shall besiege it. And when the LORD gives it into your hand, you shall strike down all its males with the edge of the sword. Only the women and the little ones and the cattle and everything that is in the town, all its booty you shall plunder for yourself, and you shall consume the booty of your enemy that the LORD your God gives to you.
Thus shall you do to all the towns far distant from you, which are not of the towns of these nations. Only, of the towns of these people that the LORD your God is about to give you in estate, you shall let no breathing creature live. But you shall surely put them under the ban...
The land is the copy of the relationship the son has with the Father. The most sacred place within the land is the Tabernacle, where God lives, and points to our heart. The old ways of the animal are represented by the inhabitants of the land. Those ways must be rooted out of our heart, where they're dug in, already living and rooted in us, just like the inhabitants of the land. If they're allowed to continue to thrive within us, they will lead us away from our Father. The breathing creatures are all of the old ways of the flesh, the lies and loves, crutches and mechanisms we used to survive and live to and for our selves.
The metaphor is a bunch of layers of holiness, starting with the towns on the outskirts of the land, not what was properly promised to Abraham but just outside of it. The idea was that the Israelites would control them either by making them forced labor and under their control and administration, thereby purging even these areas of the foreign gods, making a buffer of a tempered holiness around the land proper. The land itself was intended to be totally free of the influence of the foreign gods, so God's people wouldn't be led astray by them. Within the land the Levites would be yet another layer of holiness, keeping the Tabernacle clean and unpolluted from all forms of human uncleanness.
All of this points not to a God who couldn't be known, who wanted to be feared and separated from His people. On the contrary, He wanted to live right in the middle of them. The problem is that He couldn't live in the midst of the humans' uncleannesses, because of their condition as unclean animals—all of their dirt, garbage, filth, rot, waste, etc. All of the stories are for us to see what the real, spiritual situation is like. If the land is the relationship between the son and the Father, then the Tabernacle is the heart of the son, where God desires to live. It is the most secret place of our true feelings and emotions toward him, without any of the outward garbage, tendencies and lies of the flesh to contaminate that place. One of the most important things we learn is to become honest in our heart with our Father, meaning keeping the polluting garbage out of there, so He actually can live in us.
The correlation of the outer towns is a little different. Because God lives in the Tabernacle which is our heart, He isn't as concerned with the fray things of our lives, as long as they aren't things which actually turn our hearts away from Him. As long as they don't contribute to harboring the lies of the flesh, the strict limitations of consecration and holiness don't apply to them as they do to the land, and God's house within the land. Perhaps this is so we don't become too overzealous and try to make ourselves holy and consecrated by thinking we can, or need to. The process happens according to how the Lord wants it to go, as we are ready to be given the good gifts of the spirit.