Deuteronomy 26 / Song of Solomon 6 / Acts 21-22
This day the LORD your God charges you to do these statutes and these laws, and you shall keep and do them with all your heart and with all your being. The LORD you have proclaimed today to be your God, and to go in His ways and to keep His statutes and His commands and His laws and to heed His voice. And the LORD has proclaimed you today to be to Him a treasured people, as He has spoken to you, and to keep all His commands, and to set you high above all the nations that He made, for praise and for reclaim and for glory, and for you to be a holy people to the LORD your God, and He has spoken.
This is a message that the sons of God can take as their own, as the Father wants to speak it to them through the filter of the words spoken originally to that which existed as a metaphorical representation of the secret family to which they belong. Chosen to be His particular people, He intended to exalt them above all the rest, but only if they conformed to Him and what He wanted them to be. The alternative to them choosing to be conformed to the Father's way was them just doing whatever was in them to do, via the instinct that would rule and guide them if they chose their own way instead of the Father and His way. In other words, they could be God's people or they could be given over to become just like all the common nations around them who didn't know God and weren't particularly chosen as such, which translates for the sons into the choice of being conformed to becoming a part of the Father's purpose, or else just being a common animal ruled by instinct like all the others.
Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.
Although she had the choice to be conformed to God's way or choose her own, Israel consistently failed in this respect because she really only ever was just a creation of God to exist as a metaphor about something deeper. As a whole, Israel was just like all the other nations around her, because she was populated by the same type of animals that populated all the other nations, although she in her intended form (not what she became) reveals secrets about the intention and desire of the God who is secret. The Son of God was also kept secret and hidden by the Father, but when the secret was revealed in the heart and mind of one who was chosen to hear that revelation, the Son's life and attitude fully represents the conformity that the Father not only desires, but expects and commands from His sons. Otherwise, they become given over to being just like all the rest who are not chosen to be a part of His purpose. This revealed secret about the Son of God is mirrored in the words of Paul who no doubt studied and knew very well this Deuteronomy passage and others like it that declared the intention of God through the metaphor of Israel:
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
The difference between mere men and the true sons of God is that the sons know what the mere men do not know, so they're actually able to make the all or nothing choice for the way of the Father or else the way of their selves. It is about deliberately choosing God and choosing to be part of His overriding purpose, which is to have that family He set out to have even from the beginning; or else choosing to love and uphold their own purpose, which is the right of every animal born under the sun.
The mere men may want to know, and may have a strong conviction that they should act like they know. But that's manufactured because their more convincing reality is the life they're living as they go about their day to day, surviving to and for themselves like any common animal naturally does. Their identities are formed and contained in raising their brood while they slave their time away to the humans who give them money and things. That way they can realize their destiny by building "valuable" stuff up around themselves which becomes another part of the wall they hide behind—to stave off the fear and aloneness they spend denying all their lives, yet also knowing even if it's in the back of their minds that they're only going to eventually end up in the cold wet ground, afraid because they're not sure about anything else since there is no guarantee about anything more than that. There is only what they're told, which isn't convincing on the level deep inside them where truth is actually validated. So they have to trust these "experts" who tell them that they'll all be remembered by the made up gods who aren't even real, so how can they raise an animal up out of the ground, not to say be able to even remember them and take them to the fairy tale heaven.
Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.
Did Paul know what he knew, which motivated him to throw everything away for the sake of a man who had been killed, just because some humans convinced him? Is he merely to be regarded as yet another untouchable superhero? Paul is a model and possesses within himself a testimony about what happens to an animal when he's chosen by the Father to become one of His very own sons. The life of the Father is planted internally into the son's heart, which reveals the secret life of Paul as a tool that the teacher uses to teach the particular son about his own life as a chosen son of God. The purpose of recording Paul's life isn't as is often mistakenly assumed by the humans who follow after the visions of grandeur about themselves and think they can fulfill those longings for a feeling of egotistical survival (acceptance by the other animals) by "becoming" like Paul—whatever that means to them. They start studying the words as though they were a mathematics book which can be studied and learned as such, and they think that that's being "Wise unto God," that they're getting wisdom and understanding from their pursuit to fulfill their own purpose. Their life becomes one of chasing after the devil (the need to fulfill their egotistical desires in them because they're bound to the serpent via the curse), wrapped in the cover of doing something good; that is, working for their gods (because they convince themselves, and are encouraged by the agreement of consensus from the others, that they're pursuing noble things).
And it shall be, when you come into the land that the LORD your God is about to give you in estate, and you take hold of it and dwell in it, you shall...go to the place that the LORD your God chooses to make His name dwell there.
God chose to make His name dwell in particular places within the land He was giving to His people, which represents the truer reality for the sons. The heart and center of everything was to be the specific place where He designated the Tabernacle would finally come to rest. Not just any ordinary tent moving around in the desert, but built specifically as per His instructions, to finally come to rest somewhere within the land. The idea, imperfect in the natural (because it was only a copy of the better thing), is that it was to be according to a specific design, and for a specific purpose. It doesn't find its definite end in the natural, but in the ultimate declaration that the natural is the imperfect, and nothing can ever be perfected in it, as long as something remains an integral part of that creation. Being bound to the natural reality is the ultimate reality of almost everything we can see and observe within the natural, with our natural eyes and other faculties. The brotherhood of the humans with the other animals and plants means that they are one with it, and will ultimately become and remain one with it in the most intimate way—by their bodies dissolving into the soil so that eventually it isn't even able to be recognized as an individual entity any longer. All that any of the particular citizens of this creation can ever finally become is a fading memory, because their individual lives get plowed back into the soil they're forever an integral part of as they become one with something much bigger i.e., they lose all their individual importance, which they spent their entire lives trying to enhance and preserve, when they become nothing, unrecognizable as per what they once were.
Keep me safe, O God,
for in you I take refuge.
I will praise the LORD, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay.
You have made known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
The Son's perfection was not made complete in the natural creation, nor was he allowed to even rot a little, which is the statement the Father makes about him—that he never was like one of the common animals because he always chose to be led by the nature of the Father and not the animal. That conformity to the Father carried with it an identity of being the spotless Lamb of God who was able to save God's family of sons. The Son's perfection was made complete when he went to the Father to become One with Him, which was the Father's intention for him. But first he had to undergo the baptism of being put into the ground, totally submerged in hell (Hebrew sheol), while he waited for the Father to remember him. He did that because he trusted Him, unlike Adam who thought he needed to secure something that looked good, but was only a ruse created by the same God who cursed him for choosing it, because he chose to not conform to the Father, because he rejected the Father and wanted to go his own way and pursue his own identity, being a god himself.
The point isn't in the details or the evil sentiment that may come up about it, or even if the details all actually happened according to the way they were recorded and preserved. The point is that there is a secret message contained within those words, which upon its revealing in the son's heart explains what exists and why—especially what the words are intended to mean. God wanted to be a Father and have a family of sons who surround Him and love Him. But there is an ethical dilemma, because if it's obvious that there isn't any alternative except to choose Him then that means He just has sons who were forced, compelled to love because they have no other choice. One of the most fundamental things to understand about God is that He wants a family of sons who choose Him even though the choice is so difficult. The choice must be a real one; not one where we say we choose with our mouth babble, but we choose another thing with our decision for our selves. Whatever we spend our lives running after is what we actually say more strongly than anything else about our actual choice and what we love.
Our own perfection will be accomplished in our redemption, which is a totally unnatural thing. However, the choice for what we want to be and remain happens now, as is modeled after the firstborn Son, whose choice for the only true and living God and against himself is seen in the things he said and did. It cannot be adequately even thought about while we're still so much grounded in the natural, because our thoughts were formed and are based on natural events, phenomena, observations, etc. The things that we can observe—the stuff of our own particular lives—is natural; it's all we have available to us within ourselves. The erroneous path we often cannot help but go down is trying to mix the spiritual with the natural. The reality is we're totally helpless within our own selves, by anything we possess, to get to God at all. It's something we say with our mouth as yet another concept, but we don't believe it because we keep getting pulled back into the natural reality by the animal reality, which still rules us more than the Father's. As the latter starts taking over the former, then we begin to understand.
Before, while still in Egypt, the Israelites were in a big way just a loose group of individuals without a center to revolve around, only an idea and memory of who their ancestors were. There was no center, and there was no shepherd who rounded them up to take them to another pasture. God did that, then put Himself right in the middle of them so they had a center which their entire existence revolved around all of a sudden. Then He made another type of central place when He brought them into the land, this time it was a city. The city of David was where God finally chose to make His name dwell.
The Israelites in Egypt is us before the Lord came, all chaotic and blown around by whatever we thought we wanted or needed. No center to revolve around except our selves, but instead just like all the humans running around trying to accumulate and fulfill themselves, building their little families and fortresses around each of their own particular existences, trying to keep ourselves safe which gets ultimately revealed as our solitary motivation. God pulling them out of the world is the copy of what He's doing with His own sons; and not just that but everything He purposed in the Israelites is for the family, in whom He has chosen to make His name dwell. It like the rest of the words are pointing to the true thing, that which cannot be found in the natural, to which we are so dull. Designating the place, right in the middle of them—not in any way ordinary but spectacular and precise—is the copy of what He desires to do in us who have been chosen to know the truth. Jerusalem, the Tabernacle, and most precisely the ark of the covenant which is kept within the heart of the Tabernacle convey the intentions of God with those He desires to know the secret, hidden truth, and then become sons by it. "The truth shall make us free," from the animal's lies about what's real versus what's temporary.
What we have right now is a natural body, which will soon be rotting in the ground like everything that once had "life" in it just naturally rots away. That is the negation of the lie of the animal, that even though this fact is obvious, nevertheless there must be some type of blissful afterlife for everyone. That continues because people think that what the animals are and have is an actual life, and that it isn't temporary, as it obviously is. It actually continues because God wants it that way, to declare the value of the sons' relationship to their Father, and preserve the value of the our inheritance.
In this natural body of ours we have lots of different parts which seem to be alive because we can move them, muscles contract, tendons connect, bones support, blood runs through our tissues, etc. But there is another part of us that's more a central, fortress like part of us, not flesh and blood—our heart, thoughts and mind where the Father desires to live. It's where He can live because it's a different kind of life within us, something unseen and unobservable, unlike our flesh and blood parts, like our hand, which we could cut open and observe how it works. We cannot, on the other hand, cut open our brain and see our thoughts and what they look like, the emotions or even how the brain tells a muscle to contract. That is a hint about the existence of God apart from what is observable.
However, there is also the established fact that He is hidden and secret, He cannot just be found by whomever wants to find Him. One reason is explained by the various religious communities and what they think they can do to Him, since they assume they've found Him. That is, once they have found Him they then think they can buy Him, then they assume they own Him and can put Him in a box and say He works this and that way. Then they use Him to fulfill their own cravings and appease their own fears, thinking that the better they know Him (the higher they go in the institution, the more of an "expert" they can be), the better off they'll be when they "go to heaven," or wherever they think the rewards will be for the ones who dispensed all the various lies to the other humans who trusted them, like sheep going to the slaughter.
All of the human and other animals have the same kind of structure. In the animals, the thoughts of the mind and heart are just like the Israelites in Egypt, randomly doing what they needed to stay alive. The ruler of this world, defined by chaos, controls the mind and heart of the humans, who live and die in a random manner, according to what they can see, hear and observe about the world. It's alike a level playing field of randomness and chaos covered up by all of the "order" they create with their systems and rules (governments, religious institutions, etc.).
God's desire for His sons is that there will be a center in them where He will live, according to the copy already established by the words specifically preserved by the humans for His sake—to be able to use them to teach His own sons the truth by revealing to them the secret mysteries they contain. He is the center of the son's body, but He isn't flesh and blood like the hand or foot. He is spirit, unseen and unconstrained by the natural. He exists in and as a dimension which cannot even be properly understood, not to mention perceived by the humans who can only perceive, observe, explain and control the natural world. Just as already established, He desires that that center be kept clean, orderly, and separated from the chaos and impurity of the world.
Even the natural creation is an inferior copy of the desire of God for the sons, from the atomic level to the way He made the solar system, galaxies and universe. All of the individual components revolve around the center, and everything is perfectly held in place while it moves in a circle around that center i.e., everything becomes obedient to that movement around the center which keeps it all in place. It's the copy for the sons, and where our Father wants to dwell within us, the center of our most secret thoughts, the place where before we were able to hide who we were from the other humans. It's the place in the other humans where they think they can continue to hide their secret things from God and He doesn't see. That keeps the common animals unclean and impure, unworthy to be a son.
Just like the Tabernacle, which God wanted to be precisely built and maintained in an advanced kind of higher order, so He desires to clean our heart and maintain that cleanness and order where He wants to live. Before God ever came to us, our heart was just like all the other humans—chaotic, random, pulled here and there according to sexual urges, the need to protect our selves and our things by way of deceit, anger, force, hostility, envy, etc—all our most basic instinctual drives. Now continues to be much like it used to be, however changed just a little. That we can observe, and it should give us hope that the miracle of the life of God's Christ as the planted seed is still continuing to grow within us. The work He started in us is continuing to change us according to this new reality, which we only recently knew, and which is still being revealed in us.
Before God makes His truth and order know to a son, the thoughts of his mind and heart are random, driven by whatever animal desire to self-preserve in whatever way he feels compelled to satisfy his cravings and appease his many fears. There is no randomness for the sons—everything's precise just like the Tabernacle instructions. When it's time to know their Father, then He is perfectly and miraculously revealed to them. The truth that comes from that knowledge and relationship begins to make what was once all random and chaotic—driven by his animal lusts, instincts and desires—into an orderly creature driven not by the chaos of the animal but the life and dictates of the Father. The thoughts of his mind and heart begin being restored, put back into their proper place, which is being held in a revolving orbit around what is at his center now, and what will remember to redeem him, what will keep him alive forever.