Deuteronomy 23 / Song of Solomon 3 / Acts 16-17
You are not to charge interest to your brother,
When you vow a vow to YHWH your God,
When you come into the standing-grain of your neighbor,
These precepts were given before they went into the land. God issued them as warnings because He knew what was in man and what the humans naturally do. Natural humans constantly gravitate toward self-preservation, which includes exploiting their brothers, lying in their hearts to God, being unfaithful to Him and hating Him.
God gave these words to people who were unable to comply—the animal instinct is too strong—so there had to be a way of atoning for the sins they committed. He did it as a pointing-forward to the Son who could do everything that God desired, because he never became a mature animal so he wasn't led by the nature that is in the humans via the instincts of fear and cravings that drives them. The writings pointed toward the good Son, the One who would look after his Father's interests above his own; Only he was ever able to do that with a pure heart, unpolluted by what pollutes the humans. Some came close, but the allure of the animal lusts, anger and fear made them choose themselves, submitting to the dictates of those instinctual reactions over being led purely by God. Jesus was the true Levite who ministered to God and looked after His interests. He was true and honest with his Father in his heart, where no one saw except God. He was able to come and remain close to God because he was clean.
Take off the turban, remove the crown. It will not be as it was: The lowly will be exalted and the exalted will be brought low. A ruin! A ruin! I will make it a ruin! It will not be restored until he comes to whom it rightfully belongs; to him I will give it.
Jesus understood God, but only because he was clean of the curse of being bound to the animal so that God to live inside him. That relationship was what kept Jesus from becoming an ordinary common animal, and allowed him to be transformed into who he was—God's Son—and what he became—God's Messiah who would save the family of God's sons by denying the animal and then killing it, when he was killed. He understood from the words which had been preserved, what God wanted from His people and how He wanted them to live and be toward Himself and each other. How was he able to? Because he was being protected by the spirit of the life of the Father, not allowed to be ruled by the animal until he was able to choose himself which he would follow. He could understand love and be loved. The thing that keeps the humans from being able to truly love—the self-appointing, self-preserving, survival and any cost condition of the animal nature—had been rooted out of Jesus' body by the life of the Father. The only way to be able to love or be loved is if that condition is rooted out of the son, otherwise they can only be and remain fearful, self-preserving mature animals, what they all become because of their condition—dead to God.
You must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.
And you shall root out the evil from your midst.
The Deut. verses encapsulate what the Lord says a man can do to be right with God—treat his brother without the stain of exploitation, look after his interests and feel free to take a reasonable amount from him to quench his momentary needs, not to fill up his pouch as if to take advantage of him. It is about brotherly kindness and love, looking out for one's brother. That pleases God, whose whole reason for this creation is to pull His family of sons from it. The idea that they take care of each other and love each other like they love themselves is a very important thing to God, who is the Father and loves to see His own sons taking care of what He loves, His valuable treasure, His own family of sons.
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
Not everyone, which is wishy-washy, but each other, the ones you know have been chosen by the Father by the declaration of His intention to make them His own sons. The reason this is so important to comprehend is because it declares what the humans are in their natural state—prone and instinctually driven to be exactly the opposite of that condition which the Lord says is the new command that replaces and overwhelms all the old commands and laws. The human condition is incapable of loving because it is driven to be consumed by the need to always survive, and everything takes the back seat to that condition. It's not something one can fake either, which is why the religious people try to love but they can't help being drawn back to always loving themselves all the time.
Jesus is merely reaffirming what God had already established in the commands He gave to the Israelites. Not understanding the human condition for what is actually is (never able to actually love), means never understanding what God requires of His own sons (the opposite of what it's driven to be, desire, consider valuable, run after, secure, & get for itself).
'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.
The commands in Deuteronomy are a looking-forward to the family that God would start with the Lord as that good Son, the cornerstone on which the example would be set as to how to treat another son of God—not receiving their due honor, for the super-pervasive animal ego's sake, but washing each other's feet for the Father's sake. That better thing was being realized in his own body, as the Son who would lay down his actual and only human life for the sake of the Father, to save His own family of sons, which is reflected in what he said about those particular men who had been chosen losing their lives, loving each other instead of even their own family members.
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.
The disciples' ties to each other were unseen to the humans, who consider their flesh and blood offspring to be their own family members. The spiritual family of God's true sons are not defined according to the way the humans define it, who are only able to truly love one another if there is an actual piece of their own DNA in the other. Then they're compelled to love and take care of that one by the natural instincts that are in them, which drive them to do it. But because of the DNA sharing, they're just loving themselves, which is the standard MO of all animals so they can merely survive.
Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?" Pointing to his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven (the unseen Father who was not a human) is my brother and sister and mother."
The true God asks His own true sons to disregard that compelling draw to do what the animals are driven to do by the natural instincts living inside them, and recognize another hidden reality that only is revealed to those whom the Father wants to know, those whom He has chosen by the declaration of His intention (the word that goes out from His mouth) to bring into His secret family.
You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.
Remain in me, and I will remain in you.
It is a looking forward to the sons of God being redeemed by the power of love and moving them from animal to son of God. Everything points to that transformation, because it must happen before the son can be brought near to his Father to bring Him the joy of having His own sons around Himself, and being able to enjoy them in peace and love without the animal garbage mucking things up. It must happen for the Father to be able to have His will be done.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will (to have His family).
The will of the Father is not transitory, it remains the same. It isn't in particular works unless those works are related to convincing a son about the Father's reality and the choice he needs to make. It is for the few who are chosen to see because the blindness of the animal condition (also the will of God, so that those who aren't intended to become sons cannot see, turn and be healed) which blinds them is being taken out of them so they can see. The religious guys who assume Jesus was speaking to everyone who ever lived in John 15 (in fact he was only addressing 11 men), think they can just go out and love, but it's obvious that their love is merely a forced facade, a sham, and it remains that way because the evil condition of humanity has not been rooted out of them, because God has not decided to do that in them.
So these religious leaders speak week after week, pounding their podiums about how all the people just need to love God and each other, which is impossible because God doesn't want that, as though it actually were possible, as though the words were for them just because they want them to be. What they don't realize is that the condition that plagues humanity doesn't allow that—there is no possibility for love amongst the humans because their nature prohibits them from loving anyone but themselves, as Jesus loved the disciples whom he knew had been chosen by the Father to become transformed into His own sons.
The humans can try all they want, but they cannot just shake off what they are at their core and will remain without the purifying work of the spirit rooting it out of them, particularly. That is done by God, not to whomever wants it, but to whomever He decides will have it. That is the process of making a human into a son who will live with Him forever, and He's particular about who that will be. The true God doesn't get forced into the mold of what the humans want/need Him to be because of the dictates of the culture which dictates to the humans what's acceptable and not.
One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?" But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, `Why did you make me like this?' " Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?
The religious humans love to quote these verses about the mercy of God, as though that mercy was of course being extended to them and those who were giving them what they wanted to get from them (money, ego gratification, whatever else the animal seeks to secure for itself). They say that God particularly chooses, as long as He is choosing the way they've outlined He needs to choose, so it fits in with the rules of their particular institution (how one must act in order to be right with God—like them of course), and the doctrine they've extracted from the magic book about the correct facts one must think (what they erroneously call belief).
They say that those rules are sacred because they're taken from the magic book of rules which they call God's word. But it's not intended to be a magic book of perfectly inspired words (since those words have been changed according to whoever was copying it or interpreting it into its final language. They say that one must "believe" (think the correct facts) that Jesus was always a god, and the spirit is a god, and the devil is outside of you. Ironically, those are the things that keeps the humans from being able to comprehend the living God, and the Son of the living God, and the way the living God interacts with His human sons (the spirit), and the nature that competes with the spirit, which is in all of the humans via the instincts that grow and take root in them to lead and guide them (the devil).
The humans are defined by the self-interested and self-preserving nature they've grown into as full grown animals. That is the curse of Adam; what he wanted and what he got. God wanted to provide everything for Adam, his good Father who took care of him and loved him. Adam rejected that and wanted independence, wisdom like God, the ability to know good and evil, to be equal with Him which translates into being ruled by someone other than his Father (himself as god). God is interested in His sons being what He wanted Adam to be. Instead of the natural, self-preserving mode of Adam, His sons become self-denying—something so radical and foreign to human beings that it is quite impossible to accomplish without the miracle of the spirit's regeneration.
The sons must lose that instinctual characteristic of the mature animal that Adam took on, which can only look after its own interests because that's what it chose (to be its own god, which it successfully becomes when it passes over into animal adulthood). It must be done on such a level that it is true to our very nature—who we fundamentally are gets changed. This is done by being born by the spirit into the new family where God is the good Father, and Jesus is the good Son and brother, the Teacher who is teaching all the other sons how to also be good sons like he was, because they are not being led by the animal nature (the devil). It can only be accomplished by the regenerative and purifying power of the spirit (how the living God interacts with humans), which transforms us from the old way of death, decay and self-preservation to the new and living way, God's way. This fundamental purification and regeneration is not an instantaneous magic wand being waved over the sons; the process of suffering and having the animal quashed out of us is painful and it takes a long time to do it.
The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the spirit, let us keep in step with the spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
The process of following the real Jesus in its most basic definition is the journey of losing that self-preserving characteristic that defines natural man, and taking on the nature of the servant of God and His family who is more interested in the affairs of his Father than his own life. That condition isn't just arrived at because someone wants it. Since the affairs of his Father are the safe-keeping of His children, then the interests of the spiritually mature son naturally are for the others who are His possessions, who are the true brothers (not flesh and blood) in the spiritual family of God. As we grow in the spirit we take on the nature that Jesus had, and the old nature of Adam gradually falls off. We slowly become one like Jesus, who truly looked after the interests of his Father and took care of those God had given to him.
I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name—the name you gave me—so that they may be one as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.
This prayer reveals the height of a true, spiritually mature son's character—his concern for God's possessions as though they were his own. We are not this way now because we're only recently born, and still carry the nature of Adam—the curse of the animal which can only look after its own interests. We never love the way we are urged to by Jesus, Peter, James, Paul and (especially) John—unless we have been born from above as children of the new creation, and allowed to grow up into the spirit and family of God rather than Adam. It is a long, slow process—the same as a natural child being born and growing up.
There is no magic poof and then all of a sudden we're perfect, like we think happened in the first century. However, there is a requirement that we are born of the spirit, that part of God living in us that can regenerate us from dead to living. That is the spiritual birth that Jesus tells Nicodemus about. If we have been born from above then we are not ordinary humans; we may look, talk and feel like them, but we will have the seed of the life of the Son and Father living in us, which keeps telling us we are his, and to keep moving towards Him. We are the new creation of real brothers and real sons who are learning to love God in a real way. Then the love that grows in us begins to allow us to do what we could not do before—look after our Father's interests instead of our own.
We cannot will to love within ourselves or anything we naturally possess, it is a gift that is given to those He has chosen to be His. The most the humans can do is participate in the copy of love (infatuatory love between animals for the purpose of mating), but it always wears off. Of all the gifts that Paul speaks about in 1Corinthians 13, love is the greatest gift a son can hope for. It is a characteristic of the regenerated man, what sets us apart from all the others, and the exact sentiment John had when he wrote about loving our brothers.
John knew about the love that Jesus had for him, and late in his life he distilled this knowledge in his epistles, mostly concerning this love the sons are to have for their brothers. Without the regenerating work of the spirit, we are doomed to only love ourselves, and no amount of will on our part can allow us to do to the otherwise. If we can only love ourselves then we cannot love our brother, and without the spirit we can only love ourselves because that's all the animal can ever do.
We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death.
We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.
They will know we are His because of our love for one another.
John knew about the animal nature in humans, and how they were unable to love without the power from God to do so. There were lots of people who were claiming to be born of God who weren't. John could declare that that is what marks a person who is truly born from above, and without that he could draw the conclusion that they were not of God. John knew that the Way wasn't about what you knew, or how much power you could gain for yourself. In short John was saying throughout his epistles that a person who was born of God can be known by his son nature, and a person who was not could also be, by his animal nature. The person who is born of God will be changed, and the animal nature that rules all men will be diminishing in him. That is what has to take place before the son can love, or know his Father's love.
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead.
Why did God want His Messiah to suffer? Suffering according to the humans is not suffering according to God, which is a purifying process. Why did God require that His Messiah be purified? Because he came out of the race of the humans, and according to his earthly ancestry he was able to be tainted/polluted by the animal nature which afflicts all humans without partiality. Why is the animal nature bad? Because they always have to move from the cleanness of the vulnerable, pure child to the self-preserving, full-blown mature animal, which by its nature hates God. It can never love God, nor any of God's sons, because it is forcefully kept in the prison of self-love by that nature.
If the humans were just allowed to stay suspended in their child state, everything might be fine. But they don't, and as they progress toward death they must grow into their nature of God's adversary. It's something the humans celebrate and love, while they discourage and disdain the other state, of the child. Only in this state, though, are they truly able to love and be loved, because they have no consciousness yet of all the animal fears and anxieties that the mature ones are plagued with. No matter what the intentions of the humans are, it is impossible for them to love or be loved, because of the nature they grew into and adopted because of their condition. There are no exceptions.
He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them, "Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me."
Because Jesus never made the transition from child to man (kept by God from it) in the sense all animals are required to, he was able to be and remain the unblemished, spotless Lamb of God, unpolluted by the nature of the mature animal, fully dead to God. That is why his age is specifically mentioned in the story of his dallying in Jerusalem at age 12, and his desire to be in his Father's house even then. The true house where God lived, was his own body.
The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else.