May 4th.

Deuteronomy 21 / Song of Solomon 1 / Acts 13

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Should a man have a wayward and rebellious son, who does not heed his father's voice and his mother's voice, and they punish him and he does not heed them, his father and mother shall seize him and bring him out to the elders of his town and to the gate of his place, and they shall say to the elders of his town, "This son of ours is wayward and rebellious, he does not heed our voice, is a glutton and a drunk." All the people of his town shall stone him to death, and you shall root out the evil from your midst, that all Israel may hear and be afraid.

And should there be against a man a death sentence offense and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, you shall not let his corpse stay the night on the tree but you shall surely bury it on that day, for a hanged man is God's curse, and you shall not pollute your soil that the LORD your God is about to give you in estate.

When they had carried out all that was written about him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead, and for many days he was seen by those who had traveled with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They are now his witnesses to our people.

We tell you the good news: What God promised our fathers he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus. As it is written in the second Psalm: "You are my Son; today I have become your Father."

The fact that God raised him from the dead, never to decay, is stated in these words:
"I will give you the holy and sure blessings promised to David."

So it is stated elsewhere: "You will not let your Holy One see decay."

For when David had served God's purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his fathers and his body decayed. But the one whom God raised from the dead did not see decay.

The irony of God is superb in His dealings with men when everything goes topsy-turvy with how the humans presume things are and will be according to their presumptions, about what He does when He comes. What seems to be is not, and what seems not to be is. Man likes to think that God loves everyone so much that He would never "trick" anyone—that is, cause one reality to appear to be true when in fact it is not the ultimately true reality (His). He does confound men in their ways and allows them to do what they say they would never do, thus convicting themselves by their own actions. He comes as someone they would never expect or accept, because He speaks against their precious little meaningless existences, so by whatever animal power they possess, they push Him out of their midst.

Look, you scoffers, wonder and perish,
for I am going to do something in your days
that you would never believe, even if someone told you.

He gives them the chance to prove how much they don't want Him by showing up in the form they loathe because it's a threat to their needs and cravings, to survive and retain whatever power they have built around themselves to control their temporary reality for their own gain. That's what the humans are about because they're afraid; they're infected with a fear that they can't even notice, and their actions are always in response to that thing which drives them by instinct and impulse, so much so that they're always engaged in the battle against it, to appease (serve with their whole heart) this thing inside themselves that they can't even recognize. They're corrupt, always acting on their own behalf because that's all they can do. So when the truth of God comes near them to tell them the truth, they hate it and do whatever they want, in the name of their gods, to get Him away from them.

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!

The pharisees thought that Messiah would look just like them, or someone else whom they could accept and honor, who would accept and honor them for what they assumed for themselves (they were the leaders of God's people, even though they didn't care to do what pleased Him because that costs everything, and they aren't willing to give that up, but instead want to heap up for themselves as much as they can). They figured that when Messiah came they would be first in line and that he would lift them up.

In fact Messiah looked like everything they didn't expect. They assumed the role of the group God chose to be close to Him in the Levitical tradition given by Moses (they assumed to be his disciples), to attend on Him and bless Him with their service. According to Moses, they had no inheritance with the rest of the Israelites, because God Himself would be their inheritance—being able to come near to Him was more valuable than anything they could get, own and possess for themselves. Instead they became the self-appointed "holders of the truth," and turned the original position of honoring God instead of self on its head. Instead of serving God as the Levite had been chosen by Him to do, they used the position to serve themselves—to profit in so many ways from their self-appointed and maintained positions of entitlement, as they neglected the sick and oppressed the poor from the stock of their own brothers, for their own gain.

It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.

God directly challenged their self-appointed positions by Himself honoring the poor and needy instead of the privileged—by not going to the leaders but to the beggars, prostitutes and "sinners," the ones whom the haughty leaders assumed were cursed, because they looked with animal eyes. His work, through the body of Jesus, directly challenged the positions of these leaders who were supposed to be shepherds of God's people. Instead they became shepherds only of themselves, and cared for themselves by maintaining their positions as the privileged at the expense of the poor, the widows and the orphans.

Do not take advantage of a widow or an orphan. If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry. My anger will be aroused, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives will become widows and your children fatherless.

If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not be like a moneylender; charge him no interest. If you take your neighbor's cloak as a pledge, return it to him by sunset, because his cloak is the only covering he has for his body. What else will he sleep in? When he cries out to me, I will hear, for I am compassionate.

Why were they like this? The same reason it always is with the humans—they were afraid and needed to survive they best they could. Their oppression and neglect is always justified by the need to survive. They were born into their privileged positions, they used the power available to them to control and maintain what earthly power they were able to get according to the dictates of the animal nature to build up as much as you possibly can around you own self and family, because that's all there is. Jesus on the other hand was not led by the animal; he let go of the power he could have laid claim to in order to save those neglected by the false leaders. That is why the Father loved him (big clue as to why we cannot consider him to have been a god before he was created by the Father, who creates everything—it means his choice was not real).

I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.

The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again.

No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.

The pharisees rationalized that they were doing God a favor by having Jesus killed, according to the law of Moses. That is how they hid the evil they knew they were doing (David with Bathsheva) so they wouldn't lose what they needed to hold on to. In their fear of being dispossessed of their power, they accused Messiah of committing  a crime serious enough for execution. Those men considered themselves to be the obedient sons, and the actual Messiah—for whom Israel had waited hundreds of years—to be the wayward and rebellious son of the Deuteronomy passage. The leaders had developed in their minds and doctrine their own picture of how Messiah should look, because of what they wanted, according to what would work for their benefit because that's how the animal nature always works. Messiah did not fit in with their expectations of what he should look like, how he would act, and what he would do and be for them, and say to them so they just got rid of him.

Judas was an extreme example of animal blindness, self-preservation and the betrayal and hostility of man toward God. Judas was excited by the fact that Jesus proved he was from God by the power of his authority and the miracles the Father was doing through him, but he also had different expectations of what the Messiah would eventually do and be for him, according to what he wanted (his own self-glory, hidden in what he was doing for the nation of Israel, for God). He was a revolutionary nationalist, a Zealot, and had passion about the expectation of greatness of Israel, as per what he thought God's promise was for her. His agenda, as it was for many in Galilee, was to throw off the oppression of the Romans, liberate the nation of Israel and make it great again as it had been under David the great King. When it became obvious in Judas' mind that Jesus was not going to do the things he expected him to do; it was then that he decided to betray him for money.

"When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. I tell you the truth, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her."

Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and asked, "What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?" So they counted out for him thirty silver coins.

What was the actual crime that Jesus committed? That he had the true God of Moses living in him, and wanted to do what pleased Him versus the humans. He was the One true Son who was led exclusively by the nature of the Father, and never the animal (making him an acceptable offering, the spotless Lamb). Whenever God comes to a man, He will set that man apart from the rest of the world via the circumstances that He makes happen in and around the man. It is the process of engineered sanctification, which is the spiritual order setting the son apart from the humans so he starts the journey of becoming clean for his Father, unlike the other humans who aren't set apart. No human father wants a dirty child who loves the things he hates and hates the things he loves. In the same way, our Father wants a clean child who hates what He hates and loves what He loves—a child who loves Him more than preserving his own life (what those who are ruled by the adversary do). Not a stubborn old animal but a very docile one, unable to defend itself, without all the self-preserving crap of the mature, stubborn animal who never does His will (us).

Jesus' whole life and purpose is different than what the humans expected or wanted. This is as true today as it was in the time that the Lord was alive on the earth. When a group of men who claim to know God expect one thing of Him, He gives them another. When we think that God will do one thing, He does another. God isn't for man's purpose, and isn't controlled by any of the humans, or even His sons. When God comes to a man or a group of men He doesn't come all nice and pretty and clean and acceptable to the humans, who expect Him to be the way they want/need Him to be, according to their own personal aspirations. He comes as they won't accept Him because what's naturally in them is what He hates, as what's in Him they hate because of what's naturally in them to survive at all cost, even turning away the living God from their midst because He doesn't come to serve them, and that's all they want from Him or anyone, anything else.

This will be true for all the true sons of God, who aren't approved by the humans because they have no power to do that. We will be met with resistance from those who claim to know how God acts. Because they don't know how He will act, He will be contrary to their made-up expectations of who He is and what He's doing. The words and stories in the words that are preserved for us will show us how it will go. The hypocrisy of the nature of man does not change throughout history; the reaction will be the same. That is why Jesus warned his disciples to be on guard against hypocrisy, as it is such a deceitful and ubiquitous part of the animal nature. We have it in us like a virus, because we're subject to the curse. It will grow and spread like yeast within us if we're not aware that it's there.

Jesus began to speak first to his disciples, saying: "Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy."

The death of Jesus is one of many ironies of God. The actual Son, the only clean One, is allowed to be put to death by the hands of the unclean men who claimed to know God more than the rest.  It shows the once again that within man there is nothing good; and he always acts to get rid of whatever is good around him to remove the threat to what he always thinks is so good (himself and his plight). Natural man cannot help but follow their father. When Adam disobeyed God he was bonded with the animal, whose lie he believed more than God, and so took on the animal nature of fear, hiding and cravings that constantly need to be satisfied, making him a slave to those fears and cravings. He became the independent animal that could only serve and think about its self, always at the center of his own universe.

After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision:
"Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward. "

God promised to be the center of Abram's universe, a symbol of a man being transformed from being a child of the animal with no father to a child of the living God. God's true children revolve around Him, while the children of the devil are all little universes unto themselves—everything emanates out from them, who are at the center. His sons are changed from beings who can only serve themselves, like any wild animal, into beings who are set apart to minister to their Father, priests who receive Him as their reward.

He puts a part of His life in them, called the spirit, which becomes the center of the man, replacing himself. He puts this spirit in His sons as the deposit to let them know they are His, and what He intends to do with them (His desire to remember to redeem them from the ground so they can live with Him forever). This spirit becomes the thing that the son of God starts to hunger and thirst for, that his entire life begins to revolve around. The things that he used to love and run after become centrifugally spewed out to the edges like dross as He moves toward the center—his new Father's love—the love that was in Jesus while he was in his human body. The things that used to separate us from this love begin to have less power over us, become less of an obstacle to us in staying at the center. As they grow dim, the love of God grows strong, and we faintly become as Jesus was in the world.

I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

While we are here, living out the rest of our lives, we will have discomfort and suffering in our natural bodies because we are moving away from what used to give us purpose and comfort. This is designed so that we learn to not count on the old ways of self-preservation, and so we will become set apart from the sons of Adam. We learn to depend on our Father, who is good and will take care of us in a real way, as a good Father is expected to.

It is this same spirit, who Jesus refers to as the comforter, who will comfort us and remind us that we are His sons, and eventually allow us to live our lives by faith in Him instead of our selves. He gives us this spirit as that firm deposit and ultimate comfort, while we are here living amongst the children of Adam, the mere men who have no father. They are all orphans, abandoned to fend for themselves in this world.

Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.


Should a man have two wives, the one beloved and the other hated...and the firstborn son be the hated one's, it shall be, on the day he grants estate to his sons of what he has, he shall not be able to make the beloved one's son the firstborn over the firstborn son of the hated one.

This is about Jesus, who was hated by the world—murdered because they hated him so much. What the world hates, God loves—and vice versa. The way of the humans is opposed to the way of God, the ultimate message of God spoken in the life of the hated Son.

Should a man have a wayward and rebellious son, who does not heed his father's voice and his mother's voice, and they punish him and he does not heed them, his father and mother shall seize him and bring him out to the elders of his town and to the gate of his place, and they shall say to the elders of his town, "This son of ours is wayward and rebellious, he does not heed our voice, is a glutton and a drunk." All the people of his town shall stone him to death, and you shall root out the evil from your midst, that all Israel may hear and be afraid.

The leaders called Jesus a glutton and a drunk because of this passage. Being obedient to what God desires is more important than anything the humans consider valuable, even watching your own son being executed. Rooting out the evil from amongst us preserves the delicate balance that God is creating in us, which makes us able to hear His voice so that we can heed His voice.

"Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?" Pointing to his disciples, Jesus said, "Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother."

"Mother and brothers" means family. His spiritual Father was the only Father Jesus recognized. Natural family, according to human flesh and blood lines, means everything to the humans, but nothing to God. When the humans expire, who they were according to that holds no value except maybe what piece of ground their body will rot in.

Do not call anyone on earth "father," for you have one Father, and he is in heaven (spirit, unable to be seen by the humans).

"I tell you the truth," Jesus replied, "no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields--and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first."

 

Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.

For God will bring every deed into judgment,
including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.

"This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the LORD.
"I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people."

What are the commandments of the new covenant? Because the old law was written on stone, it was static so the same law had to apply to everyone. The people who claim to know God always want to continue in this line of thinking, because it's the only way to control others, because they don't believe that God would leave them out of the decision of who is righteous and not, and because they are bound with their earthly perceptions about what God is capable of doing. It's pompous, arrogant and presumptive, which is the definition of the animal, so it's not surprising they act this way.

Because the commandments of the new covenant are spirit, and written on our hearts, they aren't static, nor is there one set of commandments that covers the entire population as it was for the Jews. Our Father deals with each of His sons personally, and each has his own set of commandments for himself, written on his heart by the spirit, who is personal. God knows each of His sons, and knows what they need to heed in order to become pure, free of their own particular animal nature that rules them in the particular way it learned to rule them. The true God, our Father, is efficient and personal with His own sons.

After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: "I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do."

From this man's descendants God has brought to Israel the Savior Jesus, as he promised. Before the coming of Jesus, John preached repentance and baptism to all the people of Israel. As John was completing his work, he said: "Who do you think I am? I am not that one. No, but he is coming after me, whose sandals I am not worthy to untie."

Jesus' position and credentials were hidden from the world. God and the angels knew who he was, but none of the humans did, except those to whom the ability to know was given—a pointed and particular ability, not generic. Because he was human, even he had to learn who he was, and then trust that that was actually true. The temptation specifically and exactly addresses this, as we can imagine himself thinking "If I am the Son of God, then prove it by doing this or that."

The identity of the devil as God's adversary is as important as the identity of Jesus, because it was tempting him to allow it to rule him instead of the Father. The self-preserving animal wanted to be alive in him, but he chose against it, unlike us who have no choice until the choice is given. Our ability to see it is necessary as the first step in being separated from it. Jesus thought about all that he could be in the natural, how being the Son of God he could have chosen to use his power (take up his life) to make that evident to the humans so that he could fulfill his own appetite for self-love, preservation, and earthly honor and glory, which the animal was allowed to make him crave, being in the weak state he was in. The leaders of Israel, as the contrast, always did what their father the devil wanted them to do, because they had no choice but to serve themselves. That doesn't mean they aren't guilty though. They saw the miracles he did, yet they were too given over to letting go of what they thought they had (which was taken away from them as soon as they expired).

If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.

The leaders of the ecclesia, of which we were members, also decided we were guilty of breaking the rules they made up according to the words, then acted to separate us from the "good people," those they felt we threatened by listening to God rather than them. However, by the same words, they're guilty of a thousand different trespasses against God, daily. That is, if they judged themselves according to the same standards they used to judge us. Because they only consider the particular words which reinforce the rules they've established, and bury their heads in the sand about the words which condemn them; they became biased judges, abhorrent to God because of the hypocrisy they flagrantly exercised.

It's not up to us, however, to condemn them for it. We could only warn them, if their necks weren't so stiff with the self-reliance their self-appointed positions afford them in their minds—just like the Jews. Just as the leaders used their earthly power to separate the Son from those whom he was influencing for the good (by killing him), the modern leaders also use what earthly power they have to do the same corrupt thing, and hide while they're doing it in their service to their gods (themselves), keeping their race pure. Our Father in fact desires that we are separated from them, the reason He made everything happen according to His purpose, making us to appear as "sinners" (sound familiar?) We are happy that we are able to suffer in this way, for His name, for listening to and heeding His voice instead of the humans'.

We tell you the good news: What God promised our fathers he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus. As it is written in the second Psalm: "You are my Son; today I have become your Father. "

The fact that God raised him from the dead, never to decay, is stated in these words: "I will give you the holy and sure blessings promised to David."

So it is stated elsewhere: "You will not let your Holy One see decay."

For when David had served God's purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his fathers and his body decayed. But the one whom God raised from the dead did not see decay.

Just as Jesus was raised up as the significant and tangible declaration of God validating his life and words, so we too will share in the inheritance of the sons—the redemption of our bodies and the ability to live with our Father forever—because we choose to continue to heed His voice, and ignore the voice of the humans (esp. the one in us), to our earthly peril. Our Father knows we're safe, that our inheritance is guaranteed—the Son and the angels do too. He desires that we have earthly adversaries so that we have the ability to prove our faithfulness to Him by choosing Him instead of the alternative.

The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize Jesus, yet in condemning him they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath. Though they found no proper ground for a death sentence, they asked Pilate to have him executed.

...and all who were appointed for eternal life believed.

 

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