Joshua 20-21 / Isaiah 26-27 / Hebrews 10
He humbles those who dwell on high,
he lays the lofty city low;
But your dead will live;
their bodies will rise.
In that day—Sing about a fruitful vineyard:
Then I said, "Here I am, I have come— it is written about me in the scroll. I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart."
The sons are to be made as those who are able to say with a pure heart, "Here I am Lord, ready to do your will," instead of the animal who says, "I need to do this thing and attend to that thing. I need to satisfy this craving and that need in me. I need to be distracted by this or that distraction first, then if I have a minute I'm ready to do your will." That's how it usually ends up with us no matter what our intentions, because of the presence of that powerful animal nature in us, always tugging us back to the ground to tend to our own will. It taught us what we should be responsible/responsive to—getting money, enhancing identity, getting earthly love, attending to family, job, boss, career, possessions, etc. We became thoroughly trained by the world in that way—to be responsible to our selves and these other things which enhance our lives, since they are about us and what benefits us directly and indirectly and since our primary desire was to survive these are what we locked on to.
Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven (his unseen Father) is my brother and sister and mother.
The most foreign responsibility that a natural human can have is to God, because He's unseen and intangible in every natural sense. Usually when people talk about the will of God they're talking about what they've decided that should be, as they have derived it from what the words say and what the leaders have told them it is. Think about the firstborn Son and what/who he was responsible to and for. First to the Father and doing His will. Second, God's flock, His sheep, and doing the work he was sent to do for their sake and God's sake. Doing his own will isn't observed, because he wasn't led by the self-preserving animal which is driven to take care of itself without even thinking, without even being able to help it.
When the Christ came into the world, he said: "Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, 'Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—I have come to do your will, O God.' "
What Jesus did for his own sake isn't important, because he knew that his impulse to save himself wasn't important. The reality of him considering himself a true servant was there not as some theory he may or may not have desired to aspire to (as it is in the humans because they aren't pure, their hearts are filled with every kind of self-preserving evil intention which always points back toward their own welfare). The Son was motivated by love for the Father. It's not something which can be taught or learned, nor arrived at by one's own will to get something for one's self (the desire to go to heaven, therefore love is a mandatory condition in order to get what is desired). That motivation was real, and was inside him because of a supernatural phenomenon done by the life of the Father.
"Why were you searching for me?" he asked. "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?"
The more that life has grown in a human, the less influence the nature of self-preservation has over that one because it's being replaced by the desire to preserve the Father's will and purpose, and to be a part of it instead of that one's own continual need to keep fulfilling his own destiny. The Son responded to that life and built it up by nurturing it instead of everything else that pulled on him—the distractions, the cravings, the things he saw with his eyes that said one thing (the lie) versus what he saw with his spirit eyes that told him the real truth.
The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves.
The sacrifices of the law were only the shadow and copy of the real thing, the important thing. Giving up something that meant a lot to you is what the OT sacrifices were about. For many Israelites giving a lamb was a big thing, because it was valuable to them. The copy exists to show the son what's required of him. Not what the religious community tells him, to give God a part of his life while he hangs on to the rest, the best part, for his own service. That's the lie that says the real work is in taking care of your own situation, life, things, brood, and future like all the other "responsible" animals, and then once that's all straight you should give time and effort to God. Everything takes a back seat to the preservation of self and family, which is the curse of separation from God put onto the human animals.
By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.
Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.
It's confusing as to what is "the life" that Jesus is talking about, which the son must lose. In the first 2 verses, "Give up everything he has" is a direct command for the sons if they want to follow Jesus whose work it was to "Give his life as a ransom for many." What will make the son worthy to be called a son, judged in the shadow of Jesus the greatest Son, and what he gave to God—every substantial thing? Why was God happy with Jesus—why did He love Him? Why was Jesus worthy to be given the name that is above every other name (God's name)?
This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.
The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again.
Was the life that Jesus laid down for the sheep only the act of dying for them? The temptation account gives an idea of what his life could have been, the things he was thinking of and being tempted to do by the nature that wanted to rule him. This happened before he did anything else regarding the work that was recorded (except the small bits about him as a child). His death was the culmination of what he had been doing for 3 years, which was the will of the Father and also became his own will (apart from what he may have been tempted to do—preserve his own life, as per the temptation and the garden records). But he denied his own way, and said no to himself. The animal nature that was allowed to tempt him (just as "satan" was allowed to tempt Job) cried out for its needs and cravings to be satisfied in the human part of himself. It wanted him not to be waiting for the Father to give him what he needed (especially the strength to say no to this powerful adversary), but to be taking for himself, by his own hand to gratify his cravings and lust for self-glory and honor, earthly recognition and validation about what he knew on one level about his identity (that he was the prophet Moses spoke about to the Israelites), but was not one bit validated by the humans toward that reality except by one guy who seemed a little crazy, crying out in the places where there were no people.
John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, "I am the voice of one calling in the desert, 'Make straight the way for the Lord.' "
The son's identification of the animal nature within him being allowed to tempt him, how it works and what it does, is vitally important for him to recognize. Within that he can identify what his life is, what he can offer to God as the ultimate sacrifice that will please Him. "Giving up your life" is not some generic thing that covers everyone the same, or some mouthful of whimsical babble one says because they think they're obligated to offer up that flavor of lip service to become instantly pleasing to a God they haven't even known before. Each one has his own particular life, and the things he wants to hold on to so tightly usually define what he is, what his life is. It's usually a whole bunch of things—ideas, dreams, aspirations, cravings, etc., along with all the other stuff he doesn't want to lose or let go of. All together they make up his life which isn't life at all according to God.
Small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
In this way (being generous and willing to share) the sons will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
But we also see in the words of the sons that there is another life that is better than the apparent life, the span of each animal living out their own little physical existence. That is what the son should aspire to find and procure, which isn't at all apparent, but hidden and secret (why it's so valuable when it's found). It's also termed "eternal life," which isn't just the condition of living forever.
You granted me authority over all people that I might give eternal life to all those you have given me. Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
Living forever—not remaining in the ground—is a part of it. There would be no benefit for God to keep His sons in the ground forever. He wants to be able to enjoy them, and to receive real love back from them. That's why He wants to live in a house built with sons, each one a separate brick, and together they all rise up to be the house where God can live in peace forever (metaphor). In order to love God we have to know Him, and know how much He loves us, so much so that He has given us a guarantee about His intention and plan to redeem us so that we will be alive with Him where He is (not in the natural creation).
The real benefit of eternal life is that we will know the love of our true Father, who has chosen us to surround Him and receive His love, and so He might have a family who He can enjoy and give this great gift of life and love to, those who truly appreciate what He is doing for them which is a highly rare and special thing—not a two-bit, dime-a-dozen situation that the liars declare it to be, that anyone can get it so it inherently means very little to them. To be known by the Father is the treasure that Jesus speaks about. To know Him is to break free from that animal nature membrane that covers all the humans so they can't ever know Him or be known by Him. Jesus is very clear here that he is giving this eternal life to a specific group of humans who have been chosen by God to receive it.
In that day the LORD will thresh from the flowing Euphrates to the Wadi of Egypt, and you, O Israelites, will be gathered up one by one. And in that day a great trumpet will sound. Those who were perishing in Assyria and those who were exiled in Egypt will come and worship the LORD on the holy mountain in Jerusalem.
The Israelites may have been a reality in Isaiah's mind, but they cannot ultimately mean the actual group of humans whom God pulled out of Egypt and delivered to the land. Only a few of them were chosen by God to become sons (like Isaiah for instance). The group as a whole is meant to represent, as the shadow and copy of the things to come, the nation of sons who will all wear God's name. Within that nation, there will be nothing that can lead the sons away from their Father because they will all have been tested to be true and wholeheartedly devoted to their Father, and there will be no more need for testing. The book of the testing of Job is a metaphor of the son's existence here in this natural creation.
Every pot in Jerusalem and Judah will be holy to the LORD Almighty, and all who come to sacrifice will take some of the pots and cook in them. And on that day there will no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the LORD Almighty.
That is, there will be no trace of the unclean animal nature, nothing that can pollute God's house will be found there in that day (when the Father's purpose is completed and He is surrounded by His own family who are all safe with Him. Just as has been our experience, He is gathering up His sons one by one, as predicted by Isaiah. One by one God chooses them and seals them up with the spirit in them, which also serves as a guarantee to them about their destiny, that they will be redeemed.
So the LORD gave Israel all the land he had sworn to give their forefathers, and they took possession of it and settled there. The LORD gave them rest on every side, just as he had sworn to their forefathers. Not one of their enemies withstood them; the LORD handed all their enemies over to them. Not one of all the LORD's good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.
Another metaphor and copy of the better thing which speaks to the true sons who have been tested and who have chosen the Father and His way over their own. It is not about the Israelites, at least not for long anyways, because soon they strayed away from Him to worship the foreign, made up gods which appealed to the lust and desire in them, over and over until He destroyed them through the hand of the foreign peoples whose gods the Israelites loved and chose to serve instead of the only God who actually existed. They followed the lusts and cravings that welled up inside them instead of the rock.
You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.
You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
If the servant declares, "I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free," then his master must take him before the judges. He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life.
When a slave was freed from his servitude in Israel he was free to go out from his master. If he loved his master and wanted to stay instead of leaving, the master would pierce his ear and he would be the master's property for life. That is the picture of a slave who wasn't a slave at all because love for his master made him want to be bound to him. On the outside he was free, but on the inside, in his heart, he was bound to him by his love for him. He was free to make the decision to keep his life and go free, or give up his life and serve his master who obviously loved him, and he loved him back. It is the copy of us being bound to the Lord and set apart from the world in our heart where no man can see. Jesus was the pinnacle of it—owned by God, and for His service.
Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but my ears you have pierced;
God isn't interested in a people who do the requirements and rituals in order to get something from Him—what they think they're supposed to do in order to get in to wherever the "experts" tell them they're going after they die (to their made up heaven, where all the half-hearted, couldn't give much more than a rat's ass about what was required to find the truth about God, go to after they die).
A broken and contrite heart covered the sins of a man and made him right with God, as per David's heart, which was the shadow of Jesus' heart, the good thing according to the Father which was to come. Not the ritual sacrifices performed by a man, but one with a soft heart turned toward God is like a docile horse that can be turned and led where the owner wants it to go and be useful to the owner. A horse that has a stiff neck is stubborn and cannot be used for any good purpose. If it cannot be made useful, then it's only good for meat and should be utilized as such; otherwise the horse will just eat food intended for the useful horses.
God isn't interested in the outside of the man, where other men can observe. He is interested in the deep, secret places of our heart where only He can see. If we think that God is pleased with us because of what we do in front of men then we don't understand the simplest idea about Him. That is just us projecting what we would want Him to be according to the residual evil that is living inside us. We might know all the stories, but the meaning of those stories will elude us. The truth that comes from the Father cannot be held on to long enough to be able to use it for ourselves. If we think that being right in men's eyes is being right in God's eyes, then we don't understand God's desire for His sons.
What is life actually worth? Why do we believe the snake's lie that this life is worth so much, that we should put so much stock in it? We are here for a few years then it's over. Why not live for the Lord instead of ourselves? Why not choose to lose our life for his sake, if it's only for a few years? The answer to that is because the animal nature is so completely powerful, the humans can never even see past their own need to survive and maintain their own life, to gratify their own cravings and take care of themselves. To see the animal nature and its influences is merely the first step for the sons. To start saying no to it is a long, slow process, and the response and motivation of love comes not from any strength of will that comes form inside the man. That's just manufactured, forced and not genuine, the attempt on the part of the manufacturing human to get something from God.
The son can only love if he is first loved by God, if he actually feels something to respond to. Otherwise it will just be a shallow, hollow, flaccid and transparent attempt, which is what we can see the liars offering, those who think they can take what isn't theirs. The Lord first has to visit the son with the spirit of truth, something tangible only in that secret way, which shows and urges us and gives us life that we never had before. The spirit corroborates the truth of the Son's life in us first, then gives us the ability to see life as Peter saw it—to live life as Peter did. He's not a spiritual superhero, what the cult of personality has made him into, but a man who was chosen by God and was given the power of a changed life. The inheritance of Adam is just a lie: life is valuable, we are inherently so valuable, God loves everyone the same, our external rituals will get us something from God, etc.
The inheritance of the son of God is God living in him, for the purpose that the son can know Him, as Jesus says in John 17, what eternal life actually, only is. It is making the son look like Him, giving the son what is His. It's nothing more than God living in us, which is actually everything because it takes us, our ability and our inherent value out of it. That's the way it happens for the son; it's our inheritance and treasure. Not money to keep us safe, not kids who look like us, not rituals to make us think we are pleasing God. Just a heart that wants to be honest and pure all the way to the core where we can't even see very clearly.
Our lives in these inferior, aging bodies become a copy of the better thing, what will be, which is God living in us, all together built as spiritual stones so that He can have a house to live in, with each of the stones radiating love back to Him. Everything else drops away when we don't need those things anymore. Living "as a stranger here in reverent fear" is merely the copy of how we will be someday in the spiritual reality, not the end in itself. When we are born of God our life becomes the copy of what will be. We will not be tied to the world or love anything in it, which is why we slowly abandon it now, for our Father's sake, to show the world and Him and the angels that we believe Him more than what seems apparent, which is faith. We want Him more than our lives, which the snake tells us we need to hang on to. Being willing to give up those very important things, for His sake, is what makes God happy with His sons.
Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the animal nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the animal nature, you will die as all animals die; but if by the spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the spirit of God are sons of God.
It's a terrifying thing to look at giving up what we love, what we learned to count on before to keep us feeling safe and secure (though it couldn't ever achieve that in us). If it wasn't hard then it wouldn't be worth anything. If we look at it with the proper perspective then it gets easier. Only the Teacher can give us that perspective. With the supernatural help of what he gives us it is possible. It's not the same for everyone, because everyone has different fears and holds on to different things of the world. Definitely the comforter makes it easy as he comforts us in our hearts where we can feel it. It's all about the secret places of the heart, not the outside.
For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear (the hallmark of the animal nature), but you received the spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." The spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.