Deuteronomy 32 / Isaiah 5 / Colossians 2
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.
The most basic principles of this world derive from the most fundamental instinct by which the humans are driven to do and be at their core—animals who rule a world filled animals, unaware of God or any being that is like Him. From that core fundamental set of driving instincts come the traditions and more secondary level type principles they develop so as to be able to explain their predicament and control their environment.
Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: "Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!"? These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings.
The hollow philosophies with their polished explanations are powerless because they don't address what's really indwelling them, what they can observe the by-products of indirectly sometimes, but cannot get at because what's in them is hidden deep down inside of them in a place they don't like to visit because it's too scary and painful. The nature that the humans are bound to, according to the Genesis account, is one that fills them with fear, which causes them to hide. The philosophies they create are the same as all the other things they use to build their walls to hide behind, since that's what they're driven by the instinct they can't even control to constantly do. They don't want to face what they are, so if one philosophy isn't working they just develop another that fits with what they've decided to accept. Because what's in them to define them as what they are actually persistently exists way down on this sub-level, all they can do is develop their hollow philosophies that pretend to explain things on the surface of their lives, like putting so many band-aids on themselves to try to stop an internal bleeding way below the skin.
Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.
To indulge the senses is a primary objective of the animal that is driven by instinct to survive, and when it feels that it is mostly safe then its cravings kick in and it follows that instinct to indulge in whatever's welling up inside it to have, get, take into itself to try to satisfy whatever cravings it has trained itself to want and need on that level where it seems to satisfy, but never can. One might make the case that restraining from sensual indulgence is puritanical, outdated and wrong; therefore the rise of so many looser philosophies that mimic the culture which is rejecting the obviously flawed religious systems which try to incorporate the words of those who lived in the first century and before, when the commands went out to the Israelites that they not indulge in the practices of the nations around them.
And Jeshurun fattened and kicked—you fattened, you thickened, grew gross—
He provoked Him with strangers, with abhorrences he did vex Him.
The Rock your bearer you neglected; you forgot the God who gave you birth.
The humans are quick to follow each other's lead. They're fundamentally liars who are quick to validate whatever lie they've decided to accept by that instinct which is in them to agree with each other by elevating and celebrating the lie they're given over to, which creates the identity of the animal in its host like software in a computer that is driving the machine to make it behave as it does. And they like little machines run about the planet doing what they do, according to the spirit and nature that's driving them to be and do their human things to lie and elevate it by running after what they're told to run after and valuing what they're told to value. All they can do is be afraid and hide from God who hides from them, so all they can do is make up their own gods that suit them and then find others who will give life to their particular lie by giving them the agreement of consent which provides validation to the lie, and it comes to life like the golden calf in the desert.
And all the people took off the golden rings that were on their ears and brought them to Aaron. And he took them from their hand and he fashioned it in a mold and made it into a molten calf. And they said, "These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt."
And Aaron saw, and he built an altar before it, and Aaron called out and said, "Tomorrow is a festival to the LORD." And they rose early on the next day, and they offered up burnt offerings and brought forward communion sacrifices. And the people came back from eating and drinking and they rose up to play.
Eating and drinking to their full, then participating in their sex orgies was the full-on declaration of their willingness to being given over to the God-hating nature that didn't want to conform to any other way than what was inside them to want to be and remain fearfully hiding from Him by their flat out rejection of what He was instituting among them. It's the particular philosophy beneath this episode that is the same pattern common to all the generations of the humans no matter what it is they're claiming has life within itself. Today they're certainly quick to discount in their minds those who made that calf as an antiquated kind of lie by hiding behind their presumed advancement of intelligence. Yet they're prone to adhering to the same collective tendencies as the Israelites by giving life to whatever lie they're willing to accept into themselves so they can hide from God behind their walls built with these philosophies along with their accomplishments, possessions, respectable identities and honorable names. And they live behind these temporary walls as though they will never fall away. Then the next generation does the same thing, covering up the lie of the one that went before it.
Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.
The humans think they're all so free, happy and blessed with their advancements, and that we are to be despised because they assume us to be running after phantoms according to what they can observe and surmise, ironically based on what's *not* happening inside themselves, but more particularly by the agreement they find in elevating whatever lie they conspire to validate amongst themselves to give it life. Like all of Abraham's neighbors in Sumeria who were so happy running about in their blessed little city (concentration of humans reinforcing the conspiracy of their polytheistic lies with one another), they must have pitied Abraham who thought there was only One God, and who believed that God had revealed Himself to him in the face of how unlikely that seemed to the humans around him, because God hadn't revealed Himself to the Sumerians.
These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.
Paul comprehended how the OT words added up and pointed to the life that was living inside him, once the God of Abraham had revealed Himself to Paul in the form of the Son who was able to, since they were One body. It was a highly unprovable phenomenon that was happening inside his own body, much the same as that which drove Abraham away from the humans. It was so powerful and clear within him that it became his reality which displaced his previous reality—an advanced human in the world of humans, advancing by whatever opportunities he had available to himself, which is the human way because nobody else is going to do it for them. So they do it for themselves and they spend their lives slaving away, getting what they can get, and calling it freedom.
Yes they're free to be the proud owner of a body that was as good as it will get when it was about 16-20 years old, but since then is deteriorating and becoming frail. And they're free to spend 80% of their best waking hours serving their cravings and appeasing their fears, spending their lives chasing those things, building them up around themselves until they're old and frail. Then they're free to die and they're free to be thrown into the ground to become one with the natural creation—what they were born for—so that in just a little while they will decompose into it and become perfectly unable to be distinguished from the soil, which they have been made one with forever. Then they're free to never have to worry about anything any longer.
When the Most-High gave nations their inheritances,
God chooses His sons based on things that only He can see, according to His plan that is hidden from the humans. These are major themes of God that we can read all through the accounts of the history of His dealings with the humans who became as a group of animals a metaphor of what He's really been after—why the natural creation exists. He chose Jacob over Esau, and Joseph over the other 11. He chose Moses, Aaron, Joshua, the Judges, David over all of Jesse's other sons. Finally He chose Jesus to be the One who would install the new covenant, to save all of the sons He ever chose all throughout the history of the humans. They will be redeemed as God's sons, and will be His family, the sliver which He has specifically chosen out of all the generations of the humans to be His purpose.
These are a shadow of the things that were to come.
When the sons get the call and revelation of His life inside them, they come away from the humans to unlearn their ways. It is why both Abraham and Moses left the civilization of humans with whom they grew up and around, so that they couldn't help but learn their ways. They were both called out from those populations so they could be separated from that which contaminates, because the written and preserved account of their story provides the sons with a secret formula that their true Father wants them to know. Not to come away from the "bad people" so that we can surround ourselves with the "good people," who will just reinforce and validate whatever lie they're trying to assimilate into their particular version of the false sons, like the whore who calls herself the bride then puts on an act pretending to be a bride, but she has the heart of a whore which comes out with just a little coaxing.
God has a secret family of sons, and only they know who they are, yes that they even exist as such, a group that is to become separated from that which contaminates. That is not just some, but everyone because no matter how we might behold them, they only have the seed of conformity to death living in them, so that's all they're ever going to validate and reinforce in us. What we were chosen for they despise, because it's built right into them to hate the true and living God. They have all sorts of gods at their disposal, whatever they wish to make up and then reinforce by their conspiracy of validation of whatever it is they want to make popular and valuable. What can serve and validate their own existence, because the ultimate reality is that none of those external gods exist, only their own self and life, which to each one is their own god to serve and protect its safety and honor. From the time they become independent (mature) until they die, they know how to serve and take care of their own little god which is their own body—their own self, identity, proclivities, attainments, comfort, accomplishments, dreams and the right to live out their animal existences as all animals do.
The rest of the world is oblivious to the sons' claims and the understanding they receive when their true Father is revealed to them, which is the ingenious way He hides them from the world even right under its nose. The validation they'd like to have which comes from the animal nature that still significantly abides in them isn't given to them, because that is part of the evil process that they have to become separated from, what the humans seek and attain to for themselves. All through the accounts of God we are shown that He chooses His own children, from Able to Noah to Jacob to Joseph to Moses to Samuel to David to Jesus to the 12 and Paul and to us. All the while this fact is right there, smack before everyone's eyes, yet they are blind to it because the process that's happening inside the sons—the revelation of the world and reality of the Father to them by the living word and teacher that is alive inside them—is not happening to the humans around them. Only their true Father can be their validation, which is a consciousness that is gradual, growing slowly within them because it is alive. It goes unnoticed by the humans as though it were all concocted within the minds of the sons, another process of separation and calling away from those who will consider them crazy, over the top and out of their minds—especially by those who claim to follow the one who was very much considered even more so. As the life grows within them they are increasingly forced to come out from the civilization of humans and be separated from them, because so does their allegiance to that hidden phenomenon, so their credibility as humans diminishes proportionately as per the model of the firstborn Son.
When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, "He is out of his mind."
And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, "He is possessed by Beelzebub! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons."
No matter who the humans are they always wish to believe that God is "fair" and that He loves everyone the same, like a robot who has no constraints or limitations. They wish to think that everyone's invited to the party, and all they have to do is this recital and that pandering and they are in—even though we can read quite plainly that God never operated that way in the words they claim to live by. But then they don't really believe this, because they also think He's only ever on their side because they're the "good people," no matter who or what they are. What they think is that everyone is free to become just like them and worship their gods, which are better than the other gods of the "bad people." That is religion.
The real God always chose whom He wanted as His people, to make Himself known to them as their God. This is merely the shadow of the better thing to come, in Paul's words, between His true people (the secret family of sons) and Himself as their Father. It's the same now with us who have experienced the power of the promise of regeneration, and are feeling the beginnings of that process. However, it's hard to know that we must be set apart from humanity to help with that process so we can begin to know Him in the world where everyone smugly assumes they must be able to know Him because He's so cheap and easy in the estimation of the same groups of presumptuous humans.
The truth of God exists as layers within layers, and the heart is His heart. He started with one man (Adam) and chose one of his sons (Seth) over the other to represent Him. Then He wiped all that man's offspring out except for one man (Noah), starting over with him. He chose one representative son (Shem) from that man to represent His lineage, and out of that line he chose one man (Abraham) to represent Him in what He ultimately wanted: A separated family that revered and loved Him above all else, a nation of men who called Him Father and loved Him with all their mind, heart, soul and body.
The humble beginnings of Samuel show the heart of God, that He does not choose based on anything man would choose, but He chooses based on what man cannot see. This is ultimately fulfilled in God's chosen son and shepherd David, whom He chose instead of all David's other, more qualified brothers to replace the super-qualified (according to the humans), man-chosen, Saul.
After a thousand years, after so many promises from all the prophets about a deliverer and Messiah, out of the mass of humanity that called itself the "chosen people," God chose to give birth to the Son for whom He had been patiently waiting. He pre-existed in the mind of the Father since the beginning as per what he would look like in the secret places of his heart, fully devoted to the Father and His purpose through and through. Although he looked less on the outside (to the humans) like the one who had been promised (the man-made messiah) than anyone imagined or was willing to accept, which is how God made His truth, purpose, desire and plan hidden and secret—planted within the body of this unlikely, unacceptable Son. The humans despised and hated the treasure of God's own heart, what made Him the most happy He could ever be to have a Son such as this, which perfectly tells the story of the humans and what they love (those who look like them) and despise (those who don't). He looked like he was illegitimate, from the wrong town saying the wrong things (things that didn't validate them and what they were willing to accept). Yet God gave him the ability to do things no man had done, to verify him with the stamp of genuineness, authority and credibility, and to teach a small group of men whom God had chosen about who He was—their true Father.
The Jews gathered around him, saying, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."
Jesus answered, "I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father's name speak for me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one."
Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, "I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?"
The story of God's dealings with man is filled with irony. What men think about God is the opposite of how things are with Him. What seems right to man is wrong with God and vice-versa. God has always chosen who He decides to reveal Himself to, and those He picks are never who the humans think they should be, according to their standards. There are many more references than those below, indeed the entirety of the Bible reinforces the truth about these two things. They are why it was preserved for us.
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to God's elect, strangers in the world...who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.
...you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."
Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?
Now you dwellers in Jerusalem and men of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard.
What more could have been done for my vineyard
than I have done for it?
Now I will tell you
what I am going to do to my vineyard:
I will make it a wasteland,
neither pruned nor cultivated,
and briers and thorns will grow there.
The vineyard of the LORD Almighty is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are the garden of his delight. And he looked for justice, but saw bloodshed; for righteousness, but heard cries of distress.
The wisdom and knowledge of God's truth was in the Lord's mind, intertwined into his consciousness—put there by the spirit of the Father who taught him the truth about His desire for Israel; a shadow of His family of sons. He wanted them to love and take care of each other while they rallied around their Father. Looking out for the poor is in a real sense going against what the animal nature naturally drives the humans to want to do. God's sons are the opposite of that, and become more and more that way—looking like Jesus instead of the humans—as they move closer to Him.
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
Jesus is specifically alluding back to this passage in Isaiah when he is speaking in John 15 and Matthew 21. The people Israel were like a possession, a vineyard that God carefully tended to and grew so that He could receive something back from His work, some product that He could enjoy and delight in. What He consistently got back from His investment and time was barren branches and weeds (all that the humans can ever given Him). Jesus knew that God was about to nullify the old covenant and make the vineyard of Israel a wasteland, because He finally had the Treasure of His heart, and He didn't need/have to deal with this unfaithful whore of a wife anymore. He was planting a new vineyard with one true, pure vine, and all those who are what Israel was only a shadow of, were being planted as offshoots of that one faithful vine. They look like him, who contains everything that is right about God their Father.
He dug it up and cleared it of stones
and planted it with the choicest vines.
Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and went away on a journey. When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit.
The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. Last of all, he sent his son to them. 'They will respect my son,' he said.
But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, 'This is the heir. Come, let's kill him and take his inheritance.' So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.
Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?"
He will bring those wretches to a wretched end," they replied, "and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time."
Have you never read in the Scriptures: 'The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes?'
Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed.