Judges 20 / Isaiah 42 / 1 John 5
I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and I will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.
The Son is the new covenant. The covenant between God and His family of sons is primarily between the Father and the Son, and everything flows from that relationship of trust and choice for the better thing despite the thick cloud of alluring lies.What happened between the Father and the Son is what comprises the terms of the new covenant for the other sons of God. In other words, the road that leads to the Father is the same road the Son walked on. Walking on that path leads to the transformation that is 100% necessary, if the blind animal is going to find his way to the Father and become a son.
I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
All of God's sons must go through the same process to become what the Son was in order for them to fulfill the terms of the new covenant. What is the new covenant about, and what is its character, versus the character of the old covenant? Knowing the love that is in the Father. Its nature is discussed in Jeremiah 31, which is all about the hidden and secret places of the heart where only God can see. Therefore the new covenant is a secret covenant which cannot be entered into except by the secret invitation from the One who initiates it—the Father and the Son, now made One being.
Those who trust in idols, who say to images, 'You are our gods,'
The character of the old covenant is about the outside, the external places of the man which doesn't matter to God. That's for the animals in the world who don't know Him because they're separated from the Father and the Son so they have to look to idols and myths and other lies they make up and call their gods.
You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you.
The old covenant was open to all Israelites and those who made themselves Israelites via the knife and other external conformities. Was Abraham one who was primarily defined before God as one who was circumcised? Circumcision was merely an act that reflected what was true about Abraham before that external sign was given.
Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer.
His actual skin being cut off of his secret place was a representation of something much truer about him in the deep, secret places within Abraham where no one could see except God. It was the copy of the covenant that the Son would institute, which would necessitate the circumcision of the place the humans didn't have access to, so they couldn't be the ones doing the circumcising—it had to be God doing it.
A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God.
The old covenant was established before the ritual, and circumcision was only a sign of the covenant, which was based on something far better than merely an outward thing. The outward thing was merely a sign that pointed to something much better, that Abraham's heart was the thing that was circumcised. The unneeded garbage of the animal nature, the flesh (as it's referred to in the NT) was cut away from his heart via the testing of God, and the reason for all the testing.
Abraham knew and walked with God, and God knew him. But he never "arrived" while he existed in his mortal body. God started testing him and continued testing him throughout his life, and the overriding question within all of the testing was, "Do you believe me, or what the world tells you. Do you trust what I've told you which seems impossible, or do you trust more how things seem to be on the outside, because of what you can see?" Because he believed God instead of the other thing, that's what made him a friend to God.
The same type of scenario existed with the humans and the serpent which was created by God to be the alluring choice between the words God told them (trust me, you don't want to eat from that tree) and the allure of the lie that the snake was offering them (it's good—just look at it, God's a liar, it'll give you things you want, you'll be better off, etc). It's the same type of process we are dealing with all the time with the allure of the old ways being offered to us, by which we used to satisfy our cravings and appease our fears. We have to trust the new way and the new process, which are merely words we have heard within us, reinforced by the preserved words, that which cannot/won't be validated or reinforced by any way we want within what's in us to make things happen for us on that level (being satisfied or rewarded).
The sons' life is refined by the testing and the teaching about the old and the new, and the questions for the first humans and Abraham are also the questions for them as they enter into the new covenant with God via Him living in their hearts. It's a secret journey and the covenant is about the road they have to walk on without the validation of the humans—only the sons who don't look alluring or seem credible i.e., those we would never pick ourselves, via the nature that rules us. God doesn't care about human credibility. The ways of the humans are the ways of the world, which is God's adversary, the devil, merely a creation of His which works for His good to keep the animals away from Him, and to separate His sons away from them, so they will be drawn to Him. To those who are called according to His purpose (to conform them into being fit for His family), everything (even the devil) and everyone (God's workers and messengers) works for their good.
Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?
The crux of one dilemma of the religious people before God is that they think the old covenant is still in play, just with different names and players. They think they can do outside things that are pleasing to God. Circumcision has been replaced by believing the correct doctrine and participating in outward rituals, and Jehovah has been replaced with the jesus god, spirit god, devil god; and last the father god who by this population has lost his credibility and power as the only true and living God. Otherwise it's pretty much the same thing as before—being identified by some outward thing (which facts you "believe"). Each of the groups develops its own set of rules that one must adhere to if one is to become pleasing to God. If one doesn't adhere to the rules then one is kicked out of the group, while they conveniently forgive themselves for all of the sin that lives in their own hearts, what only God can see.
The sin of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great; the land is full of bloodshed and the city is full of injustice.
They say, 'The LORD has forsaken the land; the LORD does not see.'
They say that God doesn't see, so they can just make up whatever rules they want, which have an appearance of godliness externally, but is trashed at its core where God actually does see. This is important for the sons because they will most likely have been exposed to some or a lot of the religious groups' influence on them while they searched for God before He called them. He needs to know what is wrong with their view according to Go—that no human can ever teach them anything true about their true Father, only the lies they love to make up to comfort themselves and by which they find their validation within those lies—versus the terms of the new covenant, which can't be known by those who are mere men. It's a way he will have to learn and it will be difficult because it's supernatural, above and beyond the natural, which is all the animals are able to understand. It can't be understood or figured out, therefore controlled as the humans so like to control everything around them to make everything conform to them and their needs, wishes and will about how they want things to be.
"I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols."
God will not give the praise due Him—from His sons—to idols. Thankfully, Israel is only the copy in the natural of the truer, better reality. God separates His sons by the events that happen in and around them, so they cannot help but become separated from the world with all its idols. It's for the son's good, even though it hurts, and it exists as the testing and suffering in his flesh, for the purpose of cutting the garbage out of him, the unneeded flesh away from his heart that remains as he continues to participate in the system of the humans, which can and will only reinforce the old way in him if he allows it. Because there is no truth in the humans about the Father or how to ever find Him, they can never show the sons the way to get to Him. They are only blind animals who can only lead other blind animals into a ditch.
We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.
The devil, God's adversary, the deceiver, is God's creation. It only exists because He created it and it only continues to exist because He allows it to, because it works for Him. Whatever "evil" spiritual things people like to think exist as the devil or demons in the world can easily be created and maintained by those ministering spirits who serve the sons of God by keeping these others away from their inheritance. They want to believe it because it satisfies something inside them, like that they're so important that the devil god would actually be interested in them to visit them with his evil doings. In the end, they just want to believe it because it makes them feel important, and it's all about them and their importance, which is the animal nature and how it works to keep them away from God. Those who are called to know don't think they're important like that because they understand that only the Father is important, and now the Son too because he has been taken into the Father's body and made One with Him, so that he is Him—the two are one.
"Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments."
The life of Jesus—the seed alive and growing inside those who were once dead, blind and in prison to the nature of Adam—is the anti-devil, that which transforms the sons just like the humans who say they know the way to God, but are merely animals, are the anti-christs about whom John speaks earlier on in his first letter. They were those who went out from the sons, who denied them as brothers because they weren't chosen and couldn't see who they were, nor who the Father was, so they went away from where the sons were as did the betrayer. They detached themselves from the family of God in the world to seek their own good. They did not love the Father and His purpose to have a family, but instead wanted their own, for themselves, what could satisfy their persistent egotistical animal cravings to be someone special.
We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true—even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
John declares the truth of Isaiah's prophecy, that the Son in fact has come, and has given God's sons understanding, sight where before there was blindness, so that they could know Him who is true—so God would indeed receive His due praise from the true sons who know and love Him.
What is the blindness of man and what are the idols of today, and how is the world under the control of the evil one? John's definition of the "whole world" was everything except for the community of sons (from whom those anti-christs went out) who were being transformed by the life of God inside them, just as Jesus had been conformed to the Father's reality by suffering. The religious Jews, Greeks and Romans would have been included in John's definition of the world. Those who looked good and fine outside, who treated people fairly; those who were thoroughly good, decent, responsible, honorable human beings were all in the world and under the control of the evil one. Those who weren't were the ones who could recognize who the sons were and their value to God, and therefore stayed, didn't go out from them.
The culture of man defined the idols of jewishness, far from the real God, for those jews who weren't called to believe that Jesus was the Messiah, and also those who said Jesus, but wanted to use him only for their own purposes; they didn't want to become conformed to another purpose than their own, which is the way of the animal, always promoting itself even while he's pretending not to. John is concerned with trying to communicate to the sons how they could know who was and wasn't of the family, and it sort of boiled down to those who couldn't/wouldn't love. The family of God John knew was the only important aspiration and hope for the true sons, and so his ability to love or not love the family was a certain test. If one like John was chosen to be a son, then one's fundamental animal nature would be being changed. If one kept acting like an animal, then that was a sure sign that one indeed was an animal.
The culture of man (the world) also defines and maintains the idols of today for the humans. The culture of man is everyone's mother, father, teacher, rewarder and god. The things that define the human are what it learns as it's growing up, mostly from the culture around it which constantly reinforces what it fundamentally is (a creature with the animal nature which can only love itself), so that it grows up and becomes fully cemented into that nature. Those are the things it learns that allows it to make judgments and values, the things that humans celebrate as the source of their individuality and independence. The celebration of and quest for maturity is, unbeknownst to the humans, death to God.
One thing that underlies cultural influence through all time is the nature of self-preservation. Even if someone was raised in total isolation, the survival instinct would always be kicking in and it would learn the nature of self-preservation from itself. Very few, if any, people are ever raised in perfect isolation though. Most of us grow up in a culture that reinforces that nature and the idea of what is valuable over and over, day in and day out. If someone, raised normally, did not develop a high degree of self-preservation, along with knowledge of what is valuable to humans, there would necessarily be something out of whack with their ability to learn normally—one form of retardation or another.
The point that is central to every one of these writings, as important as the real Jesus never having been a god, is that self-preservation is integral to the human nature, what all humans possess in common; and as they grow up in the natural they learn on the most basic level what is valuable and not. Everything else stems from that. For instance, they all learn that acceptance is valuable so they strive to be acceptable. Because they're also taught that being externally beautiful makes them more acceptable, they all try to be beautiful in whatever way they can. The reinforcement of the value of external beauty is ubiquitous and lucrative—it's one of the biggest industries and obviously valuable to the culture of the humans.
Money is also highly valued in human culture. It's probably one of the first things that kids learn. From experience they learn that it has very high value as they are taught to hold on to it for dear life and not give it away or leave it somewhere or lose it. The reinforcement for the value of money is everywhere—impossible to get away from. It's something that is so reinforced in us that it becomes a mark of a normal person, to know that money has high value. Anyone who gives it away, if they're not loaded (or getting something else of value in return), would be considered crazy or retarded—according to human behavior it is completely out of order. It becomes a thing we learn to love, because it's so integrally tied in with the self-preservation nature. Money allows us to buy food and clothes so we can survive. On top of that it buys us houses to live in and cars to drive and other modern necessities. In reality money can buy us girlfriends, wives, jobs, influence, status, external beauty, respect, and many more things valuable to the humans but worthless to the son because they can never help him get to the Father, but only ever hinder his progress by reinforcement of the negative if he allows it.
Another thing it apparently allows us to buy is time. Because we are slaves to the earth (thanks to Adam), we spend the majority of our best hours as slaves so that we can buy the things we need to survive. Even though they don't act like it, humans know that they're going to die—that their time is limited to a certain number of years and then that's it. In that light, money equals freedom for the humans, because with enough of it he can buy his way out of that slavery and be free to live his own life. Ironically, though, he becomes a slave to it, and he can never get enough of it.
God on the other hand grants His own sons the freedom from those time limits—eternal life. That is why the son can eventually not worry about where he will get what he needs to live. Food and clothing are just things that symbolize what a son needs to live in the natural. Because he has the word living in him, growing and changing him from dead to living, the words of Jesus become reality instead of merely concepts.
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
The son also realizes—as John did—that he doesn't put his Father to the test by requiring too much of the things he needs in this life. He knows they're all the same worthless junk, and that the gift he has—the Son living in him who is teaching him about the Father and His love for the family and how much the Son means to the Father—is infinitely more superior than what money could ever do for him. He also knows that they rival each other, that he can either love money or love God, and he can't do both.
No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.
John knew that the greatest gift, the highest thing to strive for was Jesus living inside him, giving him regeneration from the old, dying man that he once was. By the time he wrote this he would have greatly understood the real value of money, external beauty, acceptance from the world, and the ability to preserve himself—all of the things that the humans run after and strive for, but which stand in the way of a son knowing his Father.
As he learns that his Father is able and willing to provide him with the things he needs for this life they become enough in a real way—true in his heart, not just with mouth babble that they are while he spends all his time searching and acquiring what he says he doesn't want. A large part of the son's relationship with the Father (living in the land) is being honest in the secret places where only He can see, so that it doesn't matter what the humans see or think about him. He becomes free to not put his hope in things—which decay and are gone—and to truly put his hope in his Father, to be an integral part of His purpose instead of always wanting to advance his own all the time. He recognizes that his Father can give him gifts that no one can see or understand, let alone appreciate. The sons must remember, though, that these things were said and written by mature sons, and there is not instantaneous presto change-o and you've arrived. This entire existence is a journey of walking, testing and suffering with regards to what we'd want in our animal souls; because we have to continue to exist in these natural, temporary bodies while at the same time we have to wait patiently and endure while we're being transformed, and help in the process by learning to choose the right that we don't naturally want, and reject the wrong that we naturally would always choose of the way of the Father for us. Learning a new way is an impossibly hard thing for an old animal.
What is impossible with men is possible with God.
Just like Abraham, who is yet another copy for us as to how God wants us to be, we're continually posed with the same questions: "Do you believe me, or what the world tells you. Do you trust what I've told you, or how things seem to be on the outside, because of what you can see?" To the world, the gift of life is worthless. To the son it becomes his life—what he loves, what he hopes for, and what becomes infinitely valuable, because it's what leads him to a knowledge of his Father.
Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil (unclean animals who cannot ever come near to God), know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the spirit (the life of the Father and Son inside his mortal body) to those who ask him?