Deuteronomy 30 / Isaiah 2 / Acts 28
Cease depending on man, whose breath is in his nostrils; for at what should he be valued?
The sons of God stop trusting in the humans and the systems they create to give them any identity or any knowledge of the way they need to go to the Father, which is their only hope of being found and fulfilling what's in them below everything else that defines them as to what they really are on the deep level within them that the other humans cannot ever see. They cease allowing the humans to tell them what to do because the humans are mere animals who don't know how to be right with God, nor do they even want to be. If they ever do say anything about being right with any god, it is that which they have heard of from the humans around them, or have made up which agrees with what's in them. The living God hides from them so that all each of them have is themselves and their own little bubble of fear where they hide from Him, as per what their ancestors became when they died. The humans live within that little life-cycle of their own existence until their body expires, as does every other individual instance of each particular cycle of life that begins and ends, which is how this creation moves itself along with the appearance of eternity.
For this command which I charge you today is not too wondrous for you nor is it distant. It is not in the heavens, to say, "Who will go up for us to the heavens and take it for us and let us hear it, that we may do it?" And it is not beyond the sea, to say, "Who will cross over for us beyond the sea and take it for us and let us hear it, that we may do it?"
The way that one of the humans can become right with the living God is if he becomes what he naturally isn't (an unhuman creature from whom God doesn't hide), by being conformed to a way that is totally foreign to what is already in him, what he has already grown into and become. The commands that God provided for the Israelites to heed was not naturally in them, but was brought into their midst by the purposeful act of God to make it available to them to be able to grasp and heed. It wasn't far away and therefore incomprehensible (as it is today), but was made clear to them, as was the living God's presence who after He had performed many miracles to ransom them from their captors, came to live with them right in the middle of their camp and He gave them the commands that accompanied His presence in their midst to show them He was real and alive, and that He had set up their way of life so that it would go well with them by learning to become conformed to another way that was foreign to them, but not incomprehensible and not impossible to adhere to because He was willing to make the reality of His own presence known to them, and He fully let them know that they were special to Him because they had been chosen to be His people, over all the peoples in the world.
Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
to the house of the God of Jacob.
To know that you are special to someone is to know that you are loved. The only way that you can be special to someone is if there are others who are not special, otherwise there is no specialness because there is no alternative. To say that God loves everyone is to discount that specialness and to be speaking about a different god than the One who specially chose Israel, which is a metaphor for the more secret thing that natural Israel represents—the Israel of God, the secret Israel that is comprised of all those humans to whom the Father has specially revealed Himself, being chosen by Him to receive that particular revealing about who they really are—sons of the most high God who is so thoroughly hidden from the humans at large so that He can be sure that none of them will find Him on their own, but will have to be invited as it were. God is not generic, apathetic or indifferent, which all come from a god who loves everyone the same. God is not a big perfect love machine that has no limits to who He loves. He is particular, just as the humans are particular about whom they choose to love, because the humans and their tendencies are created after that which already existed—in the form of the One who created them.
Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation. Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule, even to the Israel of God.
The only way that the sons can begin moving toward knowing the way to the Father is by proportionally moving away from the reality that the humans are 100% bound and limited to, so that as the sons begin actually finding their fulfillment, they are becoming removed from that which the humans depend upon to find their anchor and balance—what gives them their true identity as per what and who they actually are in the eyes of God. Proportionally, as the sons become right with the Father, they must become wrong with the humans around them, especially those humans to whom they are closest. In this regard it makes sense that the real Jesus condemned the natural family, because even though it represents something good, nevertheless that human institution is directly opposed to the realization of the purpose (will) of God for those who have been chosen, which is to be in His family. It is set up by Him in such a way so that the two are mutually exclusive.
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.
"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."
To be the Son's disciple was to be taught about the true Father by the only Son who ever was right with Him. To reduce his identity to terms that the human sons can understand, Jesus was the only Son in human form who never developed into the mature animal, as is the natural course which all animals must follow. The mature animal is by nature fully dead according to God—not inherently good as the conspiracy amongst the humans goes about themselves in relation to God—in that the nature of death has been fully developed and set into them once they pass over into what they're fully defined as. By having that natural process retarded in him—not passing over into puberty and then adulthood and therefore becoming a mature animal—the Son was unpolluted by the animal nature, which normally at that point becomes fully developed in its host.
He was not ever ruled by it, although he was tempted to, which is what made him different than all the humans who ever were born. He was the only one of the humans who was pure in that respect of not being led/ruled by the animal, which is satan, the devil, the deceiver and adversary of the sons. That is the impetus from which the theories about him pre-existing as some god equal with the Father sprouted, which take away all his work's significance since if he was a god then he wouldn't have done any work, but would have just been fulfilling some token, obscure requirement set up by himself (since he was the god who decided that he should have to come down and die). His godhood, developed by humans in the years following his ascent to the Father, nullifies his position as the cornerstone and model for the other sons because the spiritual condition of him being the only clean human, not a god, set him apart from the humans but not from the sons, since he was like them by being the firstborn, the spotless (clean, not led by the animal) Lamb of God who could do the work required to save the other sons. By that work, the sons can be pulled out of the prison of remaining forcefully ruled by that unclean nature against their will as they have been until the time the Father appointed to set them free. This is the gospel for the present age in its most basic form, the "good news," that we can be ruled by the Lamb instead of the serpent, whose power over God's family was killed by the Son on the cross when he died, after he was made one with it by the Father, against his will, when the Father had to separated Himself from the Son.
The word (intention of God, as in "Let there be light," and it came to be because it was God's intention, or purpose) is very close to you, in your mouth and in your heart, to do it. See, I have set before you today life and good and death and evil, that I charge you today to love the LORD your God, to go in His ways and to keep His commands and His statutes and His laws.
The humans have to always be worried about how to fundamentally survive, then how to please themselves (another level of survival) by what their nature dictates to them in the form of cravings that need to be satisfied and fears that need to be appeased. They can therefore never please God because they're always given over to serving what gives them life and sustains them—the devil, the deceiver and adversary of the sons of God. They can never do what Jesus did in denying the animal as the temptation record reflects because satan does not stand apart from them as it's said to have stood before Jesus, but satan is them in that it is the nature that defines them as per what they truly are because they are one with it. The christian satan, developed in the early years to provide that mythological framework that mimicked the institution of the system of the old Roman gods, is said to be apart from the humans, the evil god with and will and purpose of its own, flying around trying to make the inherently good people (as they observe themselves) become bad (whatever does not agree with their conception of how they assume themselves to be).
The sons follow in the footsteps of the great Son. They emulate what he did by first becoming aware of the animal nature—its power and the extent to which they're hopelessly ruled by it—then learning to deny it as he did by the power to do that which comes from God. The end is the removal of that nature via its dissipation, and the installation of the new nature and heart of the son via the growing life that is being put into him. The process follows to an extent the course that many biological existences of life follow, which are modeled after it so as to be a metaphorical teaching tool whereby the son can comprehend to the same extent what is happening to him. The natural mimics in many ways that which cannot be comprehended by natural minds.
This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.
What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you plant in the ground. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade.
The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough.
The only way to the Father is the way the Son went, which is why he called himself the way, which was the truth about the life which was secret (why he had to speak in parables). If we don't go the way he went then we don't go, which is another reason that making him into a god that is infinitely separated from his brothers who aren't gods, nullifies being able to go the way he went. There is no fairy tale pretend gods who will bring us all to heaven because we want to go and so become subservient to liars and actors who claim to know the way to the Father. The Son is the only way—the way he went, by the work he did and the path he blazed, the rest of the sons go too, because he is teaching the true sons of God how to be good sons, how to choose the right and reject the wrong. From what they were in the world (100% animal), to what they are becoming, they are on the path that leads to God which he first took, which makes him the firstborn of many brothers. The time between when he comes to them and their redemption is the walk along the grid from metaphorical Egypt to the metaphorical land promised to Abraham; from natural to spiritual, from animal forever separated from God to son who knows his Father as a son should.
And you shall choose life so that you may live, you and your seed. To love the LORD your God, to heed His voice, and to cling to Him, for He is your life and your length of days to dwell on the soil which the LORD your God swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give to them.
The son gains a heart that wants to do the Father's will more than he wants to fit in, be normal, enjoy this life, build things up around himself to make him feel safer; and run after the things the common animals run after like families, houses, cars, treasures, jobs, careers, identities, respect, honor, status, security, etc. It all may seem benign, and the animals have the right to secure and possess these things for themselves, because the humans just have and retain the animal nature. They aren't required to be as the Son was. No matter what kind of act they put on before men, they are ultimately all merely in the ubiquitous, hidden prison of their own drive toward perpetual self-preservation, ignorant even of that condition they're under. The incident of the tower of babel is the metaphor of how the humans cannot ever just build or will their way to God.
For to which of the angels did God ever say, "You are my Son; today I have become your Father" ?
Or again, "I will be his Father, and he will be my Son" ?
God takes one of these animals and creates a son whose heart desires to learn His way more than the things he can see with his eyes and therefore understand about the natural world. He is willing to throw away everything he could have or be or get in the world (his right to be an animal) for His sake, in order to do what his Father wants him to do rather than what he wants to do. That is so the nature of the Son can be put into him, instead of the old nature.
The world is ruled by the animals, not God. The humans, especially the one who claim to know the way to the Father, don't know anything about this process, so they can't guide the sons the right way. The values of the world that are blasted at us everywhere we go are not from God, but from other men who have the means to do it, for their own personal gain, by their own power. That is one of many reasons for the call for the sons to come out of the world and not be influenced by it any longer. The humans celebrate the cravings and encourage each other to satisfy them. They conspire to hide together from the fear that's living in them to appease it in all the ways they encourage each other to. So many ways that are so benign for the humans (why they won't get it), but are just ways of hiding from God, as the first humans did when they became dead.
I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.
The hope that any religious community will teach the sons God's values instead of the values of man is hopeless, because the leaders and teachers in those communities are mere men, unaware that there even is an animal nature that binds them to the earth and the rest of the natural creation so they cannot become separated form it. Because they assume that they can just take something not meant for them, they teach the same thing to the others as the blind lead the blind away from God, where He actually desires them to be. They teach that they can just deny sin as though it weren't even there, and for them it isn't there because they don't know that the sinful nature is the animal nature. They can only pretend it's not there, when clearly it is, working itself out in the various situations they find themselves in. They can only aspire to get to God via the outside, by being a better animal than other animals, which doesn't amount to anything according to God, who isn't in the natural creation.
The point in saying this isn't to try to convert them; they cannot be converted because they're convinced that the enemy is outside of them (the devil, which manifests itself as any of the "bad people"—those who aren't like them, who don't think the same facts). The Son of God was only ever ultimately talking to the sons of God, not to anyone or everyone, especially those who considered themselves the chosen ones. Only the true sons are able to hear the true Son, and there are lots of false sons, just as there are lots of false jesuses.
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the Prophets: `They will all be taught by God.' Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me.
From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
The sons are at one point part of the natural creation based on cycles of death, after they've moved from the camp of immature to mature animal and learned how to be fully dead to God—fully alive, responsible, mature dead animals. God pulls them out of that camp as He pulled the Israelites out of Egypt and delivered them to the land promised to Abraham. That is the journey we make from the natural to the spiritual, from only being aware in the natural sense to becoming aware in the spiritual sense; so that we are aware of our Father and the Lord, who are pure spirit and unable to be recognized in the natural. That makes sense.
The love of money, respect from other men and all types of sexual inclinations (however innocent they might seem) loosely define the main categories of what drives the humans—the nature of the animal. The bigger, even more overriding drive is the animal need to survive at all cost and in many different ways, out of which these others are born. And these three give rise to many categories and subcategories, but they all lead back to the top, and they all remain driven by the need to survive because God made them that way. He modified their nature as recorded in the beginning chapters of Genesis, after the human conspired with the helper and the serpent against Him.
Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
The secret loves of the heart of God's sons must continue to be dragged out into the light and exposed so they can shrivel up and die. Those many secret things must be exposed as barriers so the son can cease from continuing to remain a part of the conspiracy to hide them in all the dark recesses where the evil that sets itself up against God likes to hide. God doesn't take a back seat to families, careers, dreams and aspirations, along with the many secret rebellious thoughts in our hearts that we think only we are privy to.
Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the darkness, each at the shrine of his own idol?
They say, "The LORD does not see us; the LORD has forsaken the land."
Everything comes out of us, because everything we are and learned came from the serpent, who makes all of his students into common animals who hate God at their core. We learn not to feel smug about God and our place in His world, the Kingdom, thinking it's all a slam dunk and just fine to live like the world lives because we know the truth. Instead we're motivated by the love that comes from God to us as we know Him and are known by Him, which happens as the animal is taken out of us.
I will turn my hand against you; I will thoroughly purge away your dross and remove all your impurities.
The new covenant's promise to purge out of us the things that bind us to the earth, the serpent, the other dead animals as we are made into sons of God. The dross, death, impurity and uncleanness of the animal that is in the sons' heart only begin being taken out os him via the spirit's work, and only because of the work that Jesus did in killing its power over certain men of God's choosing.
In the last days the mountain of the LORD's temple will be established...
Isaiah foretells the time when Jesus would come to install the new covenant, hidden to the world and made available to the sons. What Jesus already did by denying the animal the right to rule him, and by that being able to destroy its otherwise all-powerful hold on all the humans (the concern here is for those God wants to redeem from the ground), is the work that saves the sons. God's covenant was finally established. Yet as thoroughly as Jesus wasn't at all expected by the humans, so too is the new covenant unable to be comprehended in that it is purely spiritual and not earthly—not based on this creation of death, and not able to be comprehended by the earthly faculties, e.g., physical eyes, ears, or minds. In this respect it's unavailable to the humans unless spiritual rebirth happens to them as reflected in John 3, according to the choice that God makes, whether it happens or not.
They will beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks.
This is the process of moving from animal to son. The animal nature is all about war, because it's all about defending and protecting its self. It's about feeling afraid of dying and needing to self-preserve, hence the need for weapons, to knowing that our Father protects us so we don't have to. Whatever happens to us in the world He either lets or doesn't let happen, so it doesn't matter one way or the other. That is the impetus behind Jesus' teaching in Matt 5. Being fully a son at that point, he was able to say things out of the true heart that he had which was fully aware of the Father's presence in him that never went away.
It's tied in with what he was considering doing in Matt 4, which would have made him impure and polluted by the animal. He knew that if he jumped off the temple he wouldn't die because the Father wouldn't let him die that way. But in doing he would have gained, by his own hand, the recognition that the animal craves, the respect and honor that it feeds off of, the satisfaction of its ego by the validation of other men, trusting his life to them instead of the Father. The sons also know, as they move toward their Father, that if they starve to death it's okay, if they're killed by any means, or not killed, it's all okay. That cuts directly against the way the animal operates, which always just needs to survive at any and all cost. The sons learn that everything they used to hold on to so tightly can all just fall away from them, because there is only one thing that is important—knowing and being known by their Father. That's what they learn to choose, and it will not be taken away from them.
"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."
Isaiah looks forward to the work that the Lord would do for the Father, to enable the other sons—God's family—to be freed from the oppressive nature of the serpent so that we can be as Jesus was in the world, fully aware of the Father's presence and love for us. The fact that we do become as he was guarantees that we will also be as he is in his resurrected state, redeemed from the earth so we can live with our Father forever.
The eyes of the arrogant man will be humbled
and the pride of men brought low;