May 26th.

Joshua 12 / Isaiah 16 / 2Timothy 2

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Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs—he wants to please his commanding officer.

A soldier is someone who is separated from the general population to do and be a specific thing. He doesn't get involved in civilian affairs because that would compromise his identity as one set apart from the rest to do and be that specific thing. The soldier acts on behalf of the special group to do their will, to fight the good fight so that they might obtain what the soldier has been commissioned to be obtained for the entire special group. If they had already obtained it, then the soldier would have no purpose.

I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.

If there wasn't a war then the soldier would have no purpose. In that case everyone could just live and be like everyone else, without any real or specific purpose except to just be and exist as animals that reproduce themselves over and over, creating their own little replicants that have a genetic piece of themselves in them, which is why they're drawn to be partial to them more than those who do not contain their own DNA. Having one's own natural family of animals you have created may seem and feel like a good and noble thing, and it is for the animals because it's their highest purpose—it's how they're actually able to live past their expiration point—but the sons of God are called to another purpose that the animals cannot even recognize. That is to produce and rear children for the Father who look like Him because they resemble the Son, not like an ordinary, common animal.

The Lord knows those who are his. Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.

The Son knows those who are his because, as the writer has already mentioned, they have been elected to obtain salvation, which is not an eternal survival as much as it is a place in the Father's family, which is the highest purpose that one of the elect can attain to. However, as the Son has firmly established, it carries an exclusiveness which prohibits a participation in the selfish and egotistical pursuits that the animals aspire to attain to, to produce and rear their own little replicants at the cost of the Father's family. The choice that one must make isn't just theoretical, but actual—be a son of God who fights for the community of the elect, or a common animal which lives its life for its own self and the brood it has produced, for its own sake.

Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

The blending of the two is what religion aspires to allow in the common animals—that they remain as they are and at the same time become what they cannot become if they choose to remain as they are. In the world of the animals, everyone pursues their own path, and they all at the same time conspire to honor that way of selfish animal gratification and fulfillment. The Son of God established what having a pure heart meant as his words showed over and over that there was no purpose except the Father's purpose. His heart was pure and his life was singularly devoted to that purpose. The deliberate turning away from his own purpose was his statement of devotion which spoke louder than any of his words. It is the message of his life as a capsule, which was repeated in Paul and the apostles, who left everything they had and could have had to follow the Son because he knew the way to the Father, and they were being drawn to Him but they didn't know the way.

I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

There's only one way and one purpose. There's only one reason to exist which is to find the sons of the Father and lead them to Him. If we have been chosen to be in the family of God then that is our purpose and all the others have no meaning or relevance for us. Those are like wasting time on our own selves and our own purpose while we pretend we're living for the Father by tooling around in the theoretical realms of this means this and that means that while we don't want to take that singular devotion into our heart, to make our selves dirty with it for the Father's sake. The agreement with the self has to come at the expense of being in agreement with the Father.

Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.

Stupid arguments are just the way that the animal protects itself because of the disagreement it finds from the one who is devoted to the Father. Because the animal wants to preserve the way it has decided it wants to go for itself, it cannot agree with his brother but instead wants his brother to do his own will in order to find that agreement he seeks for himself and pull him away from the Father's purpose to find it.

And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

Quarrels amongst the animals are just power struggles, each one trying to convince the other to go its own way, which is the selfish pursuit of swaying another to do its own will and therefore find the agreement it seeks—that another agrees with him enough to conform to his way. It's such a powerful drive of craving that it doesn't matter to the animal that he's pulling his brother away from the Father because it has one singular craving to find that agreement for itself. The easiest way to find it is in having offspring for itself who are dependent on it, and are therefore effectively forced to provide it that agreement it seeks for itself. The trap of the devil is what the humans conspire to do without even knowing what they're doing—just being animals who crave to find that agreement for themselves. The son getting involved in quarrels is him entering into the same animalistic struggle, onto the same level where the antagonizing brothers is trying to pull him to do his will.

Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God's word is not chained.

His being chained was for the sake of the elect, who existed for the sake of God. His word is not able to be chained because it's not really a word or words per se, but the intention of God that His purpose (the will of God) be established and done i.e., His purpose was that there be light, therefore His word was, "Let there be light," which is the testament to the hidden purpose of God being accomplished even though it seems so much to the otherwise. That is the phenomenal paradox by which God works—to seem one way to the humans when it's really another way to God. That is the phenomenon of the Son of God as seen by the humans vs. being seen by the Father and those who are given eyes to see as the Father sees.

The oppressor will come to an end, and destruction will cease;
the aggressor will vanish from the land.

In love a throne will be established; in faithfulness a man will sit on
it—one from the house of David—one who in judging seeks justice
and speeds the cause of righteousness.

The cause of righteousness is seeking to fulfill God's desire, that He would have His family around Him, over everything else—especially the humans' own continual self-seeking agenda which keeps getting renewed in each of them automatically, the same way that the rest of the natural creation keeps renewing itself over and over with an impersonal face of a separate identity in each of them. For the Jews it was always looking for their promised Messiah to come and liberate them to make them into a great nation. They looked for someone great in their eyes, likened to how their legends went about David the great expansionary king. However, the God of David sent them in the impossible form of the unlikely identity of Jesus the peasant man from an obscure region in Israel.

When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he returned to Galilee. Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali—to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah:

"Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, along the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles—
the people living in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned."

From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."

The kingdom of heaven was nothing that the humans thought it was, which is how God kept it hidden from their observing and so be able to come into it against His will that they come. The calling of the Father doesn't just exist as a generic thing that applies to everyone like a blanket. The Father is specific about whom He chooses to call, hence the term "elect," as is used in this letter to Timothy. In that light the Son of David was great not because of what the humans thought about him—he would uphold their purely animal cause of being greater, better, stronger, richer than the others—because they didn't know what to think about him, since his identity as the Son of David was kept hidden from their observations. He was great because of the Father's approval of the desire in the Son's heart to be singularly devoted to the Father and His cause—to be the good shepherd for His people which follows from what David was *before* he was made great by God—why God even chose David to become the shepherd of the metaphor. To be singularly devoted to the Father and His purpose is the only enduring cause of righteousness that counts for anything; everything else just falls away.

I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.

Here was the greater David to God, because he was the perfect shepherd who permanently saved God's sons from their permanent enemy—which otherwise would have been made one forever with the grave, the soil and whole of the natural creation. Yet this one looked like nothing to them because they were blind to the Father's vision. He was someone who challenged the belief system they loved and held onto because they turned it into what served them. He spoke directly against what they taught which came from below, from that which drives and rules the humans to self-preserve and self-promote. He was authenticated by the miracles he did before them which proved he was genuinely from God. However he acted in ways they weren't able to accept and spoke things they didn't want to hear on purpose, according to the desire and plan of God, which trumped their ability to believe because of the miracles he did.

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."

One of their many assumptions was that the long-awaited prophet that Moses spoke of would never go to unclean sinners; but their estimation of what was unclean is the very issue regarding the cause of righteousness. Jesus told them what was unclean, not the outside but the inside, and they didn't want to hear it because they assumed that God was like men, that He only cared about what happened on the outside and was blind to the secret things that lived in their hearts. The Son's action of purposely going to the downtrodden and despised was a clear message from God that righteousness is never what the humans expect. He never works according to how the humans plan for Him to work and do, and what He must be like (always just like they want their gods to be, for their sake).

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

He accepted the people who were scorned by the so-called leaders—the sinners and downtrodden, the orphans and widows, the sick and diseased, the despised and rejected—because they weren't like them on the outside. These were the ones who needed justice, and the Son of God gave it to them as a sign to the leaders that they were wrong concerning the cause of righteousness and the message of Moses.

Do not take advantage of a widow or an orphan. If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry. My anger will be aroused, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives will become widows and your children fatherless.

The humans who used the name of God for their own gain tipped the scales of justice in their own favor with the natural, political power that they had, to hold on to what they could in the human, temporary sense—just as the humans always will. God's message to them in going to the ones they considered least likely to hear from Him is the clear message that He isn't ever what they assume. The real God is secret and hidden. He doesn't allow Himself to be found by the humans. He finds those He wants to be found, and doesn't allow them to grab and hold on to Him via human means—so they can buy, possess then control Him for their sake; what they're naturally driven to do. It's what the humans have been doing with the gods they make up throughout their history.

The world hasn't changed in regard to this hypocrisy. Today there are thousands of groups with self-appointed leaders who all claim to be shepherds—they say they can teach others and show them the way to their gods when they don't even know what the preserved words say about the real God. The words are for a specific purpose altogether different than what they assume—that the words are for them—and can't mean anything unless interpreted by the living word, which is absent from them. So they're left up to their own mechanisms to devise strategies and explanations about how to get to their gods, who are not by accident always on their side because they are the "good people." All they have in the end is just another earthly institution which they think they're doing God a favor by keeping intact. In the end it is about following rules made up by men, based on erroneous interpretations about what the words of God say.

The miracles that Jesus did in healing the sick and raising the dead were powerful and for a specific purpose, though temporary. Because he only healed the recipients' physical disorders, the benefit they received from whatever miracle was done to them would only do them any good for 10, 20, 30 years maybe, and then they'd die. That's not to say they weren't of value to the people, or that they couldn't appreciate what was done for them. However, the ultimate value of the miracles Jesus did wasn't for their recipients, but those who were chosen to have new eyes which could see what nobody else could. By the miracles that the Father did through the Son's body, He proved to the Son's disciples that even though everything natural pointed to the otherwise, he was genuinely from God and those miracles validated something for them, enough that 11 out of 12 were able to hang on and keep believing him, even when it would have otherwise been impossible for them to do so.

The miracles that Jesus did for the sick also pointed to another, greater thing for the sons. For the recipients of the miracles themselves they were of great value, but again they were only temporary. The 12 disciples were chosen by God to become His sons, and they received a different kind of miracle and healing. They received the teaching and message from Jesus about the identity of their true Father, and the way to get to Him. That ongoing miracle started happening after Jesus left the earth because then he was able to live in their bodies and continue to teach and guide them to the Father as the Good Shepherd of God's sheep. The way to the real God isn't ever from the outside, but from the inside, because that way is secret and hidden to the ordinary humans. He was the greater David in the sense that he could, as the better Shepherd, secretly guide God's flock to Him in this hidden, miraculous way that no one could understand except the sons. The beautifully ironic situation that happens, which God loves, is how the humans scorn and look down on the true sons of God, because what's happening inside them (the seed of the life of the Father and Son has sprouted and is secretly growing in them) isn't happening in the ordinary humans, all according to the Father's will.

The miracles Jesus did in his earthly body e.g., healing the sick, were much like the food he produced for the four and five thousand. Although incredible, he was plain about the value of those miracles versus the miracle he was about to do for those who were chosen by God to be sons—His true flock of sheep. Laying down his own life meant for them and all the sons whom the Father had ever loved that they would be given a life like the Father had, so that they could exist as He existed, come near Him to be known, enjoyed and loved by Him—and He by them.

"I have food to eat that you know nothing about. My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work."

Jesus was actually trying to teach his disciples about this animal nature, that it's the thing God wanted to free them from. It was hard if not impossible for them to understand, even though it is the reason for the OT scriptures and what they pointed to. The crowds were following Jesus because he satisfied their temporary hunger for physical food, as any animal is driven to eat and eat because its most fundamental cravings dictate to it that it must stay alive.

I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.

Getting food was only temporary, and the next day they'd be hungry again so they'd want Jesus to do another miracle and give them more food for their temporary bodies. Even an endless supply of food would only do them any good as long as they were alive. The need to eat to stay alive is just the most common drive of the animal, and the crowd was just a pack of animals looking to have their animal cravings satisfied. The disciples needed to become aware of a much bigger, yet secret obstacle, that which stands in the way of knowing the Father and being known by Him. It is the same animal nature that was driving the crowd to follow him, to get something temporary from him.

Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

He wanted the disciples to know that satisfying the animal cravings was fine for the animals but not for them—it is their adversary. If God wanted to give them food He could in a second; it is nothing for Him to keep animals alive. He taught the sons that they needed to overcome a much bigger yet hidden obstacle—to become pulled out from being dominated by the animal nature which rules the humans without them even being aware that it does, keeping them bound to the condition of never being able care about God, but only and always about themselves and their condition, their particular dilemma and struggle. That is the actual plight of all the animals who are bound to the earth by the very nature that makes them totally unable to ever care about God's dilemma and struggle to have a family of sons who have chosen Him above everything else, after the model of the firstborn Son. Even if they think they do care about Him, or have a desire to, they are nevertheless constantly drawn back to having to consistently attend to their own self-preservation by continually satisfying the cravings and needs, dictated to them by their nature. It is such a perfect mechanism put into place by God that they can't even see it existing in them as the singular definition of what they truly are—ordinary animals bound to this temporary creation via their nature.

There is no turning away from it, because it is the seed that's inside each person, so that when they become mature it sprouts and grows up in them, becoming their full blown nature and identity, as ordinary animals who are all dead to God. That's why it's impossible for them to acknowledge, because nobody can turn away from their self, there is no where else to turn. That's why the animals can't even see it existing in them, because that nature disallows them from seeing what's threatening to its self, so while it works for its own good on the temporary, surface level (keeping itself alive, surviving at any cost—even ultimately by finding their made up identity as heaven-goers), it works against itself on the more important one. It's the perfect circle that God set up so that the animals wouldn't be able to turn to Him and be set free from what keeps them separated from Him, because it is them and they won't ever turn on themselves because they are inherently so important to themselves. No matter what they say or think, each one always does what's most important for themselves on an individual basis, across the board with no exceptions. That's the curse of the animal who is bound to the natural creation via that nature of self-love and servitude. That is the adversary, the devil, satan, lucifer, the sinful nature. An irony is that it is so perfectly public in that its ubiquity cannot even be seen by those who it inhabits, while the truth is so hidden and secret because it is *not* for public consumption, one of the big misnomers of the ages about the living God.

Jesus was the opposite of what men wanted to see and what they were willing to accept because that's what the Father made him—for His sake to accomplish His purpose in the world. It's a sort of weeding out process that God uses so that only those who hear their Father's voice are able to respond to Him and heed it, and He only allows certain sheep of His choosing to hear His voice.

The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you (the sons of God, specifically chosen to be able to hear the words of God), but not to them (the ordinary animals). Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. This is why I speak to them in parables:

Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.

In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: "You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.

For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them."

He offers the hard thing when He comes to a son, not what the animal in him wants and expects from what it has learned to value, pursue and get for itself. Not something that would enhance his animal way in the world, his identity or ability to preserve himself better as an animal. Not something easy to accept and integrate into the dead animal that he already is. The son doesn't tell the Father what he wants, but is made willing to accept the hard thing that He offers, so he can come away from what seems to be his friend but is the thing that keeps him from getting what's most important to him—finding and knowing the Father's love and acceptance by thoroughly choosing Him and His way, like the firstborn Son.

The life and way of the Son of God is the hard thing, because he cuts against what the animal nature in the son is naturally prepared to accept. As this seed of the life of the Father and Son continues to grow inside the son's heart, it begins to simultaneously break down that animal nature in him, so that it rules him less and the life of the Father and Son more. Eventually the son actually becomes able to care about God dilemma and purpose, because that power that held him to only being able to be concerned for his own way is being broken down in him. His Father is pulling him out of Egypt and delivering him to the land where He can live with His son in peace. Egypt represents the animal nature, servitude to another master, and the land is the relationship that God wants to have with His son, even in this life. The miracle of the firstborn Son is that He is alive and able to do this incredible extraction from one nature and the deliverance to that nature that can love the Father because it was first done in him.

It's not an easy process although it breaks down to pretty simplistically singular (pure) terms; which again is represented by the trek through the desert and taking the land already inhabited with giants, which seems impossible. It's not just done by pretending they're not there. The animal nature totally dominates the son before he is born from above, and when he's being pulled away from it, its residual effects will create havoc because it's a definite part of him that has to die. Not just concepts and theories (like "everyone's born into sin," whose definition eludes those who spout it), but actual needs and cravings that he used to be able to easily fulfill from within him, will all of a sudden not be available to him anymore, and that creates a desperate kind of emptiness and purposelessness.

He said to those who wanted to follow him that they must abandon everything they naturally knew as right and acceptable (because of the nature that ruled them), everything they held onto as sacred and gave them a sense of security, purpose and individual value. Those who had money to give them a sense of safety must give it away if they wanted to follow him. Those devoted to family (all good Israelites) must have been willing to leave their father and mother and family—an impossibly shameful thing to do in that culture. Good Israelites who found their identity in being separated from the unclean, must have been willing to call mongrel dogs their brothers.

The details are there to paint the picture of what God wants His sons to understand—His way is opposite to what's naturally inside them, as a formula and rule. The isolated details add up to the condition of the necessity of trusting the Father and nothing in the natural, what we used to count on to give us those feelings of safety and security by the things we were able to count on to give us love. Each particular animal is acutely aware of how to love itself by providing the thing it knows it can count on, the thing it won't deny itself because it's driven not to. That is true love, that you take care of this being who needs love, which happens to be yourself. That is the animal dilemma and why they can't ever love God, because they can never break away from that other condition of self-love that is required if one of them are able to love and care about God, or any of His sheep. It's a hard road to walk, impossible if not given the proper shoes to walk on it, or eyes to know the way.

It is hard to imagine how difficult this would have been for the Jewish believers. What Jesus asked of his followers is that they took on his shame, which was real, and would have been impossibly difficult considering this was the culture that considered itself the chosen nation of God. They would become pariahs, the ne'er-do-wells and the outcasts of society. That is what Jesus was after all—a social outcast who touched the untouchable and ministered to the shameful, the people who were thought of as flotsam by those in the culture from which he came. The student is not above his teacher.

That is the real story of how it is to follow the real Jesus—how bad he actually looks to the natural faculties of man. The made up jesus gods are easy to follow because they don't require much from their followers, as intended by those who make them up. What he gives to those who have been chosen, though, is the clarity and understanding on a level where they know it is real, so that it is a compelling choice and they have to separate themselves from the thing that keeps them from knowing their Father. He and his followers were despised, and those who weren't given that thing from God did not see it like they saw it. The animals only have the natural drive to keep themselves from being shameful, to preserve their earthly identity. No matter how hard they say it is to take on their jesus god's shame, it's actually pretty easy because there isn't much shame there, as intended. Taking on the Son of God's shame is an impossible thing for them to actually do if they don't know the Son of God e.g., if they think the Son of God was a god himself, which totally denies his value and worth to God and the work he was chosen to do.

In the beginning we will think we can follow in the way of the firstborn Son, and still be "clean and acceptable," honored and encouraged by our fellow man, because that's one of the many things the animal nature drives us to keep intact—our honor and respect in the world. The is the identity we worked so hard to get and maintain among them. The institutions all whitewash their particular jesus god and make him the lord of what their particular little institution holds up as valuable to them and for their sake. The real Son of God is the hard pill, the thing that looks bad to everyone on every level. To Adam the fruit that looked good to his eyes contained within it the seed of death. Ironically, the Son is the fruit that looks bad to the eyes, but contains within him the seed of life.

Since you call on a Father who judges each man's work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

The things that are valuable to us in the natural we will begrudgingly become willing to give up, because if we have been chosen by God we will be asked to. This is not our world to enjoy; it belongs to the snake, and when we bond with the pleasures of this world like all the sons of Adam do—and especially with them—we say to God that we don't believe Him, and that we cannot wait for Him to deliver what He has promised. We say that it's too hard to choose the way of the Father. Living our lives as strangers here means not participating in what man calls valuable and honorable and noble. That's what the power of God removes us from.

No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.

If the shame of leaving our kids or our parents or our wife or our excellent job and promising career; just to join up with some dead man is too hard, then we are not worthy to be called his and most likely haven't been chosen to know what's real.  He makes it so real for the sons that it's hard to say no, although it is up to us to keep choosing. That is part of our predicament; we lose the ability to take refuge in the things we used to, and it becomes very dark for a little while. His word is alive though, and it is active—it penetrates into the deepest parts of us and tells us what is right in those places where no one has seen and only God can know about. It gives us the witness of the right, which contradicts the lie of the wrong, and it also gives us comfort when he decides to give it to us to teach us that we are 100% dependent on him to give us what we need—even if it's refuge from the unbearable darkness. It is secret and hidden and a mystery unless it is revealed.

Only God can give a person what He gave to Judas—eyes to see, ears to hear, and a mind that understands. He doesn't give this ability to see spiritual reality to everyone, but only to those whom He has chosen to receive it. Without them we would only have the natural eyes and ears and mind of Adam, which Judas chose over the harder thing. If we look with these eyes we will be overwhelmed by the shame and disgust, the self-preservation of Adam who wants and needs acceptance by what the natural deems valuable and acceptable.

Paul had everything before being visited by the Lord. He was escalating toward the top of his culture. Studying at the feet of Gamaliel would have meant he was part of the crème de la crème, positioned to have everything—money, accolades, fame, glory, respect, the best life possible for a member of the Jewish culture. He gave it up for the shame of the gospel, the good news that this Jesus—this presumed false messiah who couldn't even save himself from the Romans let alone overthrow them—was the Christ of God whom they were waiting for. He knew that Jesus was the One promised by the prophets and all the holy men of God before him that he knew so well. It wasn't obvious except by the miracle of the living word (Jesus) being revealed to him and able to live in Paul's body to guide him to the Father who he thought he knew before, but was in the dark until He came to Paul, not the other way around.

Now we have Paul (or whomever wrote this letter if not him), at the end of his life, telling Timothy what was valuable. Instead of being in a palace with hundreds of servants, Paul was in a cold dank prison cell. He wasn't telling Timothy how to avoid his miserable situation, but encouraging him to be just like him—suffering for the shame of his risen Teacher. Paul is not some great pillar of the christian church, which is another big misguided idea born out of the desire to worship the lie of whatever the humans want to make Paul into. He is a shameful little weak man with bad eyesight who chose to follow what he knew was right inside him, rather than continue to enjoy the luxuries of life as the world knew it. He chose the way of the Father because that choice was made available to him. He knew that Moses—whom the Jews made into their cult hero the same way that Paul is made into one by the christians—was his brother not because of his status as a Jew, but because he saw what was hidden—the life of the invisible God. Moses responded to God who spoke to him, and gave up what he could have enjoyed in his life for God's sake, the disgrace of Jesus, which spans all time backwards and forwards. The shame and disgrace of Jesus was the same for Moses as it was for Paul as it is for us.

By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king's anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.

 

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