Deuteronomy 33-34 / Isaiah 6 / Colossians 3-4
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
Contrary to popular religious belief, this is not a command that can be exercised or practiced by the power of the reader to listen and then do. Firstly, Paul is writing to a select group to whom he knows a certain thing has happened, and who therefore have the ability to understand what he is encouraging them to do and not do. It is not a generic call to any animal that is told it can get something from God by doing such and such a prescribed thing. Secondly, it is not an encouragement for those who were intended to hear it to do anything in and of their own selves, but to allow themselves to let what was happening in the first century happen to them: to live their lives in the place where that force of power wanted them to live in their minds, heart and body—different from those whose minds couldn't help but be permanently set on earthly things, because that's all they had.
If we walk out into the world of the humans we can observe them running about serving their master-selves, living their animal lives by the drive of instinct in their civilized forest filled with civilized animals, getting what they can for themselves to build up their walls that they hide behind and satisfy those animal cravings that well up within them. When looked at from the human perspective, what they do and are is all good and fine and there's no need to modify anything except perhaps what might give them more to enhance their existence, because that's all there is. When looked at from the Father's perspective, the world is one big chaotic mess, ruled by the humans who make it that way by their groping and raping everything they find alluring to take into themselves to enhance their existence. Their lives are spent getting and having for themselves, then feeling like it's not enough so they spend more time getting more stuff that they think makes their life more valid and more worth living. The humans Paul was addressing in this letter were being encouraged to come away from that world by considering themselves dead to it, so that they could be alive to the new life that was being planted in them which was speaking to their hearts in a secret way.
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
This is a conditional, not a given. The life that the first century sons had living inside them was their responsibility to protect by what they chose to do and not do. They had the power to choose to accept or reject the right or the wrong. It is a cooperative effort between the son who is receiving a revelation about his Father and the Father Himself. There is a personal covenant between the son and the Father, made personal by the life that is living in him which is addressing his own fears and cravings—everything that defines him as just one insignificant piece in the huge amorphous world of animals without distinction. There is no coming to the Father unless one is being separated from participating in and therefore keeping alive in him that condition which defines him as merely another one of the unclean animals, by being led by the instinct that is conveniently in each one to define them as such, when they listen to it and obey it like a good animals is supposed to.
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.
The key phrase here is "whatever belongs to that instinctual nature," the details are merely examples that Paul is throwing down for their benefit. The earthly nature Paul speaks of is the animal curse that the humans are bound to, which the hearers of this letter, and all of the first century sons, were bound to before the life of the Father and the Son came to them to dwell in their hearts so that the process of transformation could begin inside them and the others who were chosen to be able to believe. In order to actually separate from it, everything about the former life has to start becoming hideous because our participation in it separates us from the life that we're beginning to grow close to and love, instead of attractive and alluring as per what we learned to love and value, whatever satisfied us and made us feel safe and secure.
Yet this distasteful conception of the way of instinct is not one that the son can just arrive at by his own power to generate that within himself. If he tries then it's as insincere and transparent as the guy in church who winks and smiles too much and puts on the act he thinks constitutes love by being some kind of generic, sappy milk-toast to everyone he sees. Love will look more like not being nice that being too nice, but not in just hiding behind some hard ass tough love kind of act either, because that's just fear and justification (the hiding), that it's some good work he's doing. Real love can only grow by the absence of the fear that the humans cannot even detect in them, because it's such an integral part of their nature that its central presence in them is the norm. It is the main driving force of the animal nature and the humans don't know what to do without it.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.
The old way is easy to default to because it lives in our hearts, and it's ready to jump up and rule us upon any provocation. Its job is to protect its host so it is trained to automatically jump up when it even senses the slightest threatening situation. The most beneficial way for the sons of God to act toward each other is by keeping whatever might provoke as much as is possible, as per their ability to choose not to allow it be their defense. Even if it wants to come up in one of them, they will be rewarded for not letting it out of their mouth for the sake of the family and especially the Father, who wants peace in His own family, not the chaos of the animal to rule in His own children's interactions with one another. He doesn't want a mirror of what the humans do in their cut throat jungle of their world where everyone is suspicious of the other as competitor, and everyone is trying to out do the others—everyone is trying to accumulate as much as they possibly can at everyone else's expense and they are all each other's competitor and therefore their enemy, no matter how much they wink and smile at each other. Not so in the house of the family of the Living God, who does not tolerate that animal way of dealing with each other at the other's expense, so they don't get taken advantage of .
The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers.
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.
Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
The only way that can go out the window is if the nature is taken out of the host body. That is the process of transformation from animal to son of God. One of the major characteristics of the death nature as per Genesis 3 is fear, then fear brings the impulse to hide. Lying is concealing something so that we're not found out so we can hide there in the darkness where we don't want the light to shine. If we're putting off the old man then there's no point in hiding, unless someone else is hiding. When the animal senses that in another (it works off of instinct as its first mode of operation), then it finds a home and it has a foothold in a relationship, and we'll be compelled to hide too because of the threat and the fear that ensues. It's hard not to hide and lie because it's where we learned to live that secret part of our life that we didn't want the others to see, so we could continue to survive the way we needed to, the way we learned to like any animal that learns to survive in whatever forest he's living. The Father is not interested in outward things like winking and fake niceness. He insists that our heart be pure so that in a way what is secret within us is more important than how we act on the outside where the humans can see and either reject or accept us. The animal lives for the acceptance it can get from the humans to validate its worth; the sons learn to live for the Father's acceptance and validation, which happens in secret.
Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.No human definitions or religious distinctions existed, so no individual or particular group of humans couldn't set themselves up as the holders of God's exclusivity and therefore be able to control it, as the humans control the rest of the creation. That is, not until the whore of babylon took this truth that lived in Paul and established herself in Rome just a couple hundred years later. She set the example for all her prostitute daughters, which exists today as the current landscape of christianity and every other religious group of humans who consider themselves the holders of God's exclusivity. Because they're animals, all they can do is what they do with everything—buy it, own it, control it and use it for their own survival and to enhance their own existence.
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
All these things cut directly against the nature that only wants to survive and keep itself alive, which extends into areas other than merely the physical. The emotional need to survive is perhaps even more important because it's usually the one that affects us in our daily existing, dealing with each other. When sheer physical survival is being met, then mental and emotional survival kicks in. That is the need to feel better, stronger, smarter and/or righter than the others around you. It is the process of finding an agreement with yourself that your life is valid because you are or you have this or that definition that is validated and accepted by the animals around you.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Peace is the only thing the son should fight for, and he fights himself because peace is found in not provoking his brother or needing to find the agreement of feeling better at his expense. Peace is attained by following the example of the Master who didn't lord his obvious position of greatness to the Father over those lowly men who were given to him. Instead he set the example of how they must be to be right with the Father—more righteous than the pharisees—by becoming as unlike the human animals driven by the instinct to protect themselves as they possibly could become, which is seen in everything that he did for them without merely the mouth babble of theoretical intention, when he told them how they must learn to act.
Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.
And the Israelites keened for Moses in the steppes of Moab thirty days, and the days of keening in mourning for Moses came to an end. And Joshua son of Nun was filled with a spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands upon him, and the Israelites heeded him and did as the LORD had charged Moses. But no prophet again arose in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face.
The leaders whom God picked didn't look out for themselves but for Him and His interests, which is the model for each of the members of the family of His own sons He is pulling out of the world of humans, but who still are in that world, presently being transformed. The shepherds set the example for the sheep, not to be and live like the humans but to be the opposite of them. The true shepherds don't take money or egotistical currency from the sheep (out of fear), which is the human way of being a hungry wolf who is wrapped in the clothing of "doing god's work," which is just the hiding that the animal must do because of the shame of the fear that rules it perfectly. The false shepherd, because he even convinces himself, considers himself immune from having to actually heed the words of the good Shepherd who laid down his life for the true sheep, which is the reason the Father loves him—because he didn't act like an animal but he shunned that way to be the model of perfection for the sheep.
Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him. So the Israelites listened to him and did what the LORD had commanded Moses.
This is how the spirit of God was passed from Moses to Joshua—Moses laid his hands on Joshua and he received the gift that Moses had from God. Jesus also touched the people when he healed them (before his ascension). The life of God was actually doing the work, which was not natural because He is not natural. Jesus was being used by God, living in him, as God's only pure host body. The animal nature never ruled him; it was never allowed to come into him and make its home in the Son, who in that sense was just like his Father (unnatural). In the same manner the apostles were able to do what Jesus did, but they also had to lay hands on the recipients, just as Jesus had before his resurrection. After that, though, he was able to baptize with the holy spirit, as John the baptist said he would.
Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the holy spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven."
It is significant that when Jesus came to the 11 in the upper room, he didn't have to lay hands on them or even touch them to give them the spirit, but instead he merely blew on them and they received it. As Moses passed the gift of God to Joshua by the "laying on of hands," so the followers of Jesus did the same.
The power to forgive sins was something that Jesus possessed because God lived in him and was doing His work through him. He also gave this power to the 11 apostles after they had received the spirit. They did not contort themselves or start speaking in tongues. There was no record of tongues of fire yet and no one prophesied, yet they had received the spirit. They were born of God, baptized in the spirit by the One of whom John spoke.
Then John gave this testimony: "I saw the spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'The man on whom you see the spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the holy spirit.' I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God."
This is how the spirit comes, not necessarily with a circus show of miracles unless there is a reason for it. The spirit is subtle and quiet, not uproarious, boastful or flashy. It is for the purpose of revealing the Father to His sons in the world, then pulling them out of it. Miracles are given to corroborate what the Father is telling them, that their salvation is true even though they may be the only ones who can hear Him.
This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. Then it was corroborated by God with signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy spirit distributed according to his will.
The humans will not validate what the true Father says to His own sons. If they do then it's not the Father speaking because the humans always hate God. It's built right into them by the nature that rules them to hate the true God because He speaks and acts differently and against their made up gods who always do what they say. The true Father separates His own sons from the humans because of the nature He is putting into them, which is the opposite of what existed in them before, and which continues to exist in the humans, as per the curse which they cannot control of move out from under its power.
There is a correlation between the Israelites taking over an already inhabited land instead of peacefully growing up within another nation (Egypt), and our conversion from animal to son versus peacefully growing up in the world, learning how to become a full-blown animal, as all the humans do. In fact their account is merely a copy of the truer reality, found in God's firstborn Son. The process required that they be obedient to the covenant as their identity changed from orphan to beloved, and trust that God would displace the land's fortified inhabitants before them.
We grew up in the world (Egypt) and incorporated its ways as we learned how to cope, then survive. By the time we were mature animals we knew how to act and be in order to do what we needed to do. Just like all animals automatically learn to cope and be in order to survive, we also by instinct know what to do, according to our own particular environment that we adapted to. The base nature of all animals runs at a machine code level underneath any of the thought patterns which dictate particular workings out. It's more of an instinctual drive than anything else, and the more universal need to survive is different than the particular ways we learn to survive, as per all the different circumstances each had to adapt to.
Someone who grows up in an environment where there is tons of love and affection will be a much different person than someone who grew up without any nurturing or stability. It's the same with any animal, cats for instance. If they're around the humans from birth they're tame and affectionate toward the humans. If not they grow up wild and afraid, constantly looking for whatever might be a threat and running away from it.
The tendency toward becoming one way versus another is a universal thing in the humans too. Since they're born apart from God they learn to be just like feral cats in the wild. They learn to do whatever it takes to survive on many levels and in many ways. The actual ways of God are totally foreign to them and they don't know Him, don't want to know Him, as much as a full grown feral cat wants to get close to the humans.
The process of taming a full grown animal is long and drawn out, nearly impossible because the nature has concretized in the form it moves into as the animal becomes full-blown. The things of God are totally foreign and alien to the fully grown animals, because they're spiritual and unseen, and the mature animals only believe what they can see with their eyes and affirm with their fully developed minds, because that's what they learned. Compare that state to the mind of a child, which is able to believe in things it can't see. Children have imaginations where anything's possible while adults do not.
I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.
The animal nature with all its many ways of acting, calcified within us, is represented by the Canaanite in the land. They may seem like things we want to hold on to—to not completely destroy—but they only do us harm when we allow them to hang on inside us. God's sons must learn how to be all over again, the reason Jesus said what he did about becoming little children. As they are born over from above, they must also grow up all over again, before Him this time instead of the snake who is the father of the humans in their native, full-grown condition. It's about being able to see and believe what the other can't see, and it's also about being totally dependent on our Father to give us what we need. Not just food and clothing, but everything, especially the acceptance of the only One who even counts, who gives us the guarantee that we are His own children, whom He intends to remember.
Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
You can hear lots of humans teaching about this passage, but they don't believe it. They can't because the words were only meant for those to whom God had chosen to make their meaning known then, as they are now. They can't just reach out and grab what isn't theirs, and God makes sure that His true sons' inheritance doesn't get perverted and polluted by so many presumptuous animals, all claiming to know the way to the one true God, that He is their Father. God allows them to believe whatever lie they want to believe for their sakes because of His great mercy and for our sakes, for the sake of our inheritance. Everything is based on and because of the relationship of God to His first and greatest Son.
And though a tenth remains in the land,
it will again be laid waste.
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD—and he will delight in the fear of the LORD.
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.