Joshua 13 / Isaiah 17-18 / 2Timothy 3-4
For, before the harvest, when the blossom is gone
and the flower becomes a ripening grape,
They will all be left to the mountain birds of prey
and to the wild animals;
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.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
The Son knew that he and his importance to God was continually pointed at throughout the entirety of the OT writings, and Isaiah was especially pointed in proclaiming God's promise of Messiah and the family of spiritual sons he would present to the Father by believing, and not turning to the right or to the left but going straight to the Father by continuing to believe in His deliverance. That deliverance came, but not according to what he may have wanted or expected, considering how God had saved Abraham from executing his own son.
Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.
Jesus may very well have anticipated the rewarding of his belief with being excused from having to be that suffering, sacrificial Lamb. In fact the Son had to believe in the Father's deliverance all the way to the very end, then when there was no chance of going back he could finally say that it was finished. Laying inside the grave, he was just where the Father wanted him to be—totally safe, having chosen the right and rejected the wrong; completely and utterly dependent on His deliverance like a little child waiting to be picked up by his Father. He did pick up the Son and gave him the eternal deliverance and the position as the head and teacher of all the sons of God. And the way he went is the only way a son can go to get to the Father.
Everything Jesus knew came from his understanding of what the scriptures said in the spiritual sense about the Father, himself the Son, the adversary (the choice against the Father) and the family of the sons of God whose work it was his to save or not save by the choice he made, as revealed to him by the unseen life of the Father living inside him. That is the same life who must live in all of God's sons (replacing the animal life that naturally inhabits them, according to their humanness), the same way it first lived in the firstborn Son of God. He was the first to know the fullness of the secret and hidden mystery about who God was and what He wanted, because he was the first Son chosen to know. He was taught little by little, day by day, year by year, protected from becoming an animal until he could choose the way of the Father on his own.
When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him.
As a human he grew up strong not in the natural sense, but filled with a totally unnatural wisdom and grace because the life of the Father lived inside his earthly body. He was at conception what the other sons become when they are much older. He was raised not by any natural father because he didn't actually have one of those; Joseph was more of a guardian who was given a responsibility to take care of the child in his infancy. After that Joseph's significance dropped off because his influence as a human father was a hindrance, not a help to God. Jesus' real Father didn't want Joseph teaching or guiding His Son because He didn't want him learning to become a full-blown mature animal. Hence Jesus never became a man in the human sense, like all other humans become when they pass from puberty to manhood.
The life of his true Father, the spirit of truth who lived inside him, raised him and taught him about the things that were true—not about the way to become a mature animal, just another piece of the dying creation that Joseph and the rest of the humans are bound to and eventually made one with—until he was mature in the way of the Father and able to understand and strong enough to endure what he had been chosen by the Father to do for Him and the rest of the family of the Father's sons. That was the life that continued to live in his body, even when his human body was dead, which was a mark and a seal, signifying that he was going to be remembered by the Father, to be raised up from the ground, which otherwise would have swallowed him up to make him one with it. He was sealed as one who wouldn't forever be bound to the natural creation, one with it by melting into it as all organic matter eventually does. Instead, he was raised up by the Father, and went to the Father to become One with Him to be bound to Him forever, which is the most final deliverance.
Every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom...After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you."
At twelve years old he was already able to see the hidden truth about the OT scriptures and what they meant, enough to answer the Rabbis who had studied the scriptures all their lives but weren't enlightened by the Father as to what they actually meant. The significance of this passage's mentioning of his age seems unconnected until we understand about the animal nature and what happens to all of the humans when they pass over from child to man, contrasted to the process of one of His sons. Twelve years old is just about the time when the males of the species start that process of puberty, on that journey often celebrated by the humans when a boy becomes a man.
"Why were you searching for me?" he asked. "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?" But they did not understand what he was saying to them. Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
It's not a celebration to God because it means that the once vulnerable child is becoming a fully dead, unclean, mature animal who has to learn and incorporate into himself all the ways he needs to survive in a hostile world. But because the Father lived in Jesus' body even from the time of his physical birth, He prevented that process from happening in Jesus, so he never became dead—the animal nature never lived in him, never made him one with it. The presence of the life of God in him (as it must become in all God's sons) is what made him clean and consecrated to God, for His purpose like the Levites (the copy of the sons, closest to the Father).
To the tribe of Levi, Moses had given no inheritance; the LORD, the God of Israel, is their inheritance, as he promised them.
Because the Father lived in him before the time of puberty, which is the significance of mentioning his age in this passage, he remained holy and consecrated and never became a mature animal. God protected him from that condition by His life in Jesus' body being a buffer against it and teaching him to choose the right a reject the wrong, which allowed him to remain unpolluted, unstained, unblemished and spotless. He is the firstborn Son of God, the cornerstone of the building which is the house where the Father wants to live, surrounded by His own sons. That means in practice that he is the model they must follow.
Contrast his process with the rest of God's sons (the rest of the bricks built on the cornerstone) who all go through the earthly process of nothingness > child > puberty > man, and so they all have to become dead to God in the sense that they all become mature humans, and therefore dead because the animal nature is allowed to become fully grown and set in them like concrete. When the human is a child he is dependent, vulnerable, soft, and able to believe things he can't see—all the things God likes, because He is the unseen and the unknowable. Once the human moves into manhood he has to lose all those things in order to become a man. He must become independent and learn how to develop the defense mechanisms that form in him so he can deal with the hostile world around him, protecting himself and surviving like the rest of the animals. He learns to adjust and how to survive in many different ways, and learns that the fantasies he believed when he was a child are not real so the only thing he can trust is what his eyes can see, his hands can touch and hold, and his will can control. All the ways of the animal nature become consolidated and petrified inside him as he becomes a full grown animal who is led, guided and ruled by that nature which comes from below (the earth it is bound to).
I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again (step one, the new birth).
All of the sons of God who were once children but became full grown animals will have that process reversed in them so that they can become alive to God, as they once were when they were little children, before they became dead to Him: "When you eat of it—the fruit that makes you become a man—you will surely die." It's a reverse growth process that Jesus talks about to those who would have to go through it, from the unclean animal fully dead to God back to the child who is alive to God, clean and consecrated by His spirit living in the one who goes through this process.
I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (step two, the new growth backwards, un becoming a man)
Step one is the spiritual rebirth that happens, the initial change of the human's identity when the seed of God's DNA is planted in its body. The copy for the sons is in the natural, as every birth begins with the man planting his seed in the woman, or the gardener planting a seed into the soil. God's seed however is hidden from the natural so the moment of conception isn't able to be pinpointed like the copy is. Then the seed is nurtured and it sprouts; it is hatched inside the vessel—the warm host body or warm soil. Step two is the growth of whatever is alive; everything in the natural creation follows the same kind of path or germination (birth) and growth.
In the case of the sons it is a backward growth away from what he became when he became a man, and a forward spiritual (hidden & secret) growth as he slowly becomes able to see the things that are unseen by all the dead humans. They remain as they always were, just another insignificant component of the natural creation where everything dies. As the sons become alive to God they grow up into Him, and out of what they were before—dead animal destined only to remain in the cycle and go back into the earth, like everything else in the natural creation.
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.
This is the process of spiritual growth, which happens in a miraculous manner by the same power that quietly and secretly raised Jesus out of the grave, vindicating him in the invisible realms as per Paul's suggestion. We neither will receive our validation of what's happening in the secret places within us from the humans because that's how it was for the firstborn Son, so we can count on it being that way for us who must go the way he went—secretly and without even being barely noticed. The sons of God become detached and separated from the world that the humans inhabit and rule for themselves. We who were once fully a part of that family of dead humans simultaneously unbecome a part of it as we are becoming alive to God and a part of His family of sons. Dead to the dying creation, not controlled by its dictates, not led by the animal nature that used to lead us; alive to the Father, ruled and guided by His life that is hidden within us to make us like the Son.
It's tough because we, being fully led by the instinct that rules the animals, are going to want to remain part of it, not separated from it. We're going to want to participate in it like we used to and enjoy what we used to enjoy, to be satisfied with the things that used to satisfy us. We will try to employ them as before, but we'll see that there is no satisfaction in those lesser things once we've tasted what the treasure is, and there's no way to get to it by those old things. They can only reinforce the old way in us, dragging us back to the earth and the stench of its death. When we became fully mature human animals we learned how to satisfy and fulfill ourselves as part of the dying creation by whatever was available to us. Those are the things that allowed us to survive and feel like our life was worth living, and it's something that is part of every one of the humans that pass over from child to man.
"Explain the parable to us."
"Are you still so dull?" Jesus asked them. "Don't you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean' (according to the Father). For out of the heart comes what makes a man 'unclean' (because it lives in him to define him as such); but eating with unwashed hands does not make him 'unclean' (that was only a copy of the better thing—becoming truly clean according to the Father )."
The disciples didn't get too much of what he told them while he lived with them—that is, external to them in his earthly body—because he said things that could only be interpreted by the life of the Father which wasn't yet inhabiting them. What the Son said wasn't able to be grasped by them in their condition of being ruled by instinct. What they did get was that he was genuinely from God—the reason for the miracles the Father did through his body—enough that they believed him even though it was the hardest thing, because he didn't satisfy any of their animal expectations, needs or desires. When they saw him do miracles and speak with the undeniable authority that he had, they were excited because they knew he was from God. But when he told them the truth about what was going to happen to him and then to them, they didn't expect or like it, nor did they understand it because all they knew was what their dead animal experience, mind and heart told them. They didn't want what he offered nor did they accept it because it looked like something so totally against what they were willing to accept, being who they were—dead animals with animal dreams, hopes and ambitions.
Unlike the one destined for destruction, they held on even though they weren't able to see what was valuable treasure as he could until they reached a certain point in that growth process from dead to living, when the life of the Father actually did inhabit them. Before that, they heard him and saw that he was the real deal, as the miracles and his teaching thoroughly validated him to them who were able to see. But they didn't understand exactly who he was, nor the extent of what he was saying to them about the Father, and especially what he had to do to save them until they were born from above—when they had received the new life and form of the Son and Father living in their bodies, as per the model of the Father living in the Son's body, and were far enough along in the new way to see what was true according to those who could see what the humans can't.
Peter, even after living with Jesus for 3 years, was drawing a sword and fighting those who came to kill him. He did not know the mystery of who Jesus was and what he was going to do even moments before he went to do it. Through Peter's human eyes and mind the death of Jesus was something bad, but Jesus knew that his death was his work and it defined who he was—that Lamb of God who could take the power of death to hold them as prisoners bound to the natural creation away from the sons, to free the sons from the prison of the chief of the animals. That's not to say that it was easy for the Son to be that Lamb which had to be sacrificed, as witnessed by his request to the Father that the cup of suffering be taken away from him.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden?' "
After Peter received the spirit and the Son received his new body, Jesus told Peter the mystery of who he would be also. He had received the spirit from Jesus in the room with the others, and had been visited by Jesus twice already. But because he was an infant and didn't know any better, he thought that he could just go back to his old life, the thing he was familiar with. So he just went fishing. This is the third time that Jesus visited them after his resurrection; and he told Peter again who he was.
When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?" "Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my lambs."
When Jesus asked Peter if he loved him more than these, he was referring to the huge load of fish that he had just caught, which represented the old way—what Peter learned when he became a man, how to survive in the world. That was Peter's life before the Lord chose him to give it up to follow him. Jesus wanted to tell Peter that his life would be different now, that he would have a new profession and would not be able to worry all the time about what he would eat, but instead would provide others with food from the Father. Instead of him feeding himself, he would now feed others and take care of them, just as Jesus had for him for the past 3 years.
Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me?"
In the coming years there would be lots of little lambs that would be given this spiritual birth, who would need to be taught by Peter about the new way as Jesus had taught him. The fishing thing was just the way he learned to keep himself alive physically and retain his identity amongst the humans. That's not valuable to God, because staying alive as an integral part of the dying creation means nothing. Once something is gone then it's gone; it has its time to exist, then it becomes no more, and back into the earth it goes to become food for something else whose time it is to exist as part of the dying creation. The natural counts for nothing because everything in it is temporary and inferior; the spiritual is everything, because it's where God lives and moves and has His being, the permanent creation.
By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
The sons of God break free from the spinning wheel of the natural creation's endless cycles of birth, growth death. They unbecome what they became through a slow process of undoing, which is a transformation from the death they took into themselves, to a life that is recognized by the Father.
The spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the spirit does not accept the things that come from the spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment:
"For who has known the mind of the Lord
But we have the mind of Christ.