1 Samuel 15 / Isaiah 59 / Matthew 3-4
There is a son who lives in brotherly love.
Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
For rebellion is like the sin of divination,
and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.
What is there to obey—the generic lies made up by the humans about the good people (them) vs. the bad people (anyone who doesn't agree with them)? It seems here to be a specific and particular word, given to a man who had a responsibility to carry it out. Who was the responsibility to—the group of humans who helped him carry out his mission about the first part of the word? He wanted to reward those who stood beside him and fought with him, so when the city and the worthless things were destroyed the men looked to him to spare the valuable things, to carry them off as their reward, which seemed like a just thing to do.
However, he had another word from the One who had made him king over these men, and who could unmake him king just the same. It was a test to see if he would obey God even over what the humans wanted/expected from him—what naturally seemed like the right thing to do, even harmless and in the spirit of brotherly love and kindness to those who stood beside him and fought his battle for him. They didn't necessarily know the details about the word given to Saul, probably only he and Samuel did, so them understanding that he had to obey the word of the LORD even against what seemed fair to them, would have been difficult.
When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with the rod of men, with floggings inflicted by men. But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you.
The Son of God also looked at the same predicament, because he heard the word inside himself, and like Saul it was only in him, and perhaps one other (John, as Samuel). The word told him specifically about what he would do, and it wouldn't be an acceptable word to the animal inclinations, not necessarily in him (he remain untouched by it) but that which is in the humans, and which wanted to rule him (touch him and make him unclean).
We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?
Those he took under his wing, who were given to him by the Father so that he could reveal the Father to them, like Saul's warriors were faithful to him even when everyone else deserted him. They had a special gift from the Father of being able to hear and accept what nobody else could. They left everything to follow him because he gave them reasons to be able to—the phenomenal and miraculous things he did proved that he was genuine, and the time they spent with him built a momentum in and around themselves about what they might expect from him. Like Saul's warriors they expected a bounty of the valuable things as a reward for following him, leaving everything behind and becoming shameful and irresponsible for his sake. And why wouldn't they have expected a reward for being faithful when everyone else fell away and abandoned him.
Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.
There is a big caveat at the end there, meaning that their rewards would not be according to what the world of the humans (and them, being fully human at that point) thought was valuable (first) versus what the humans thought was worthless (last). Yes, they responded correctly by not abandoning him as all the rest did, by seeing his authenticity and "leaving everything behind to follow him," however, they were given eyes to see by the Father while those others weren't, so they had a special ability the others didn't i.e., their response was only partially commendable, because the real test hadn't even started. They were still under the assumption that they would be receiving a hefty booty of the plunder, once Messiah (Jesus the Christ they were following) overthrew the Romans and the Davidic kingdom was reestablished and the Israelites ruled the world of humans as promised in the prophets.
But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.
What they didn't understand though is that what the prophets were always talking about weren't human things at all, just as what Israel represented wasn't/isn't a human thing, but a thing that transcends the world of the humans. Israel is the copy of His family of sons who aren't known amongst the world of the humans because they are secret and hidden, just like their Father is and always was. That's why the identity of the Son was also hidden and secret—even though he was the one whom all Israel had been waiting for, no one actually recognized him as being that. The identity which was acceptable to the humans was one they wanted for him because it's one that was based on what the humans are able to accept, what the disciples wanted from him as the momentum gained a head of steam in and around them. But then he told them what his real identity was—
"Who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.
From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.
As soon as he knew that they knew he was the one all Israel was waiting for, then he immediately told them the real identity of the real Christ, not the christ made up by the humans who called themselves Jews for their own sake (a familiar trend regarding the modern day "people of god"). They thought the Christ was going to be for them, for Israel, for God's chosen people—to make them great amongst the world of humans as promised in the prophets. However, the real God is exactly opposite—according to what is valuable and worthless—to the human view so that many who are first (according to the humans) will be last (according to the Father), and many who are last (according to the humans) will be first (according to the Father).
Your iniquities have separated
you from your God;
No one calls for justice;
no one pleads his case with integrity.
So justice is far from us,
and righteousness does not reach us.
Like the blind we grope along the wall,
feeling our way like men without eyes.
We all growl like bears;
we moan mournfully like doves.
For our offenses are many in your sight,
and our sins testify against us.
rebellion and treachery against the LORD,
turning our backs on our God,
So justice is driven back,
and righteousness stands at a distance;
Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey.
Why did God love the Son? Because he (like Saul) heard another word that they didn't hear, but he (unlike Saul) was willing to let down those who had been faithful to him, because of the word, and his desire to be faithful to it instead of them. They were ignorant of what the word of the Father told the Son, so they couldn't help him choose to obey; they actually tried to deter him from it as an adversary.
Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."
Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom."
The whole world of humans are under the rule of that which makes the animals completely blind to the word of the life that lives inside the sons, so they hear what the humans don't hear. That is what they must be obedient to, not what they want and not what the humans want, but that which they hear because it lives in them to teach them how to be able to choose the right and reject the wrong.
"The Redeemer will come to Zion,
to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,"
"As for me, this is my covenant with them," says the LORD. "My Spirit, who is on you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouths of your children, or from the mouths of their descendants from this time on and forever," says the LORD.
The truth only lives in the sons, which seems highly unlikely but true. The humans will not validate that truth in the sons for them, because that is impossible. They like Peter will only ever try to deter the sons from believing what they are trying/wanting to believe—the impossible scenario. Believing the unbelievable is the dilemma already established in the preserved words, which all of the sons of God are faced with. It is no new thing, however it is new for them because it's happening inside of them when everything that is natural, even what they know (they came from the natural) points to the otherwise.
God wants this dilemma for His own sons because it means that they must choose the life that was planted in them, the highly unlikely and unbelievable scenario according to the humans and even the human nature that still is allowed to exist in them to test them (like the tempter was allowed to test the Son). This is the established process (the testimony is in the words that are preserved for their sake) of how the Father is gathering up His sons from the world of the generations of the humans that have existed throughout the time that they have existed in the world. It is how He is giving them a choice about which one day, when they are gathered together with their brothers, they will be able to exult in because they like their true brothers had the courage to choose the Father over their own will, over what seemed likely and possible. They chose to believe the unbelievable, as all the sons had done in their lives too, because they had the choice to obey the word or go along with everything else, and they chose the hard, difficult, unappealing road. By that choice for the Father they become redeemable, because they undo the curse put onto the humans because of the original conspiracy—the choice against the Father.
Do not think you can say to yourselves, "We have Abraham as our father." I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
The life of God's useful son is not an intelligible ability to remember verses and stories and then weave them into clever exhortations that fit together nicely, but a consciousness that is altogether formed and driven by the spirit of the Father that lives in each one of His sons to teach them and form them into what is valuable and purposeful for Him (choosing Him instead of the animal, themselves). It isn't about the individual's benefit, which is the way of the animal, but the Father's benefit and purpose, to do His will and accomplish what He desires (choose Him).
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers! (mere humans doing those things to get something from God, driven not to do the will of the Father but their own will)'
The consciousness of the true son is a member of an unseen, unnoticed, unvalidated family of sons who do that will on the earth, those who are useful to Him because they are faithful to His word instead of what seems to be, or the pressure of the humans on them, or the drive to satisfy their animal cravings or appease their animal fears. Those humans who remain animals cannot be useful to Him because all they can do is love and take care of themselves—that is the way of the animal—so they can never be one who has the consciousness of Jesus, John, Isaiah, Moses, Abraham, etc. It only makes sense that if the farmer has trees that don't produce any fruit for Him, but only take up water and nourishment and never give anything back to him (the humans with the animal nature who have no concern about finding out what might be true), He would want to cut them down.
I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you (the sons) with the spirit, and (the rest) with fire.
His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
John's message is: I baptize with water for repentance, which is only a pointing to, another righteous copy which points to the ultimate reality and truth. I am merely getting some future sons ready to hear the voice of the good Shepherd who will lead them to the Father. The One who is coming will not be baptizing with water, but with the reality at which the water only points. He baptizes with the spirit, for repentance from the animal nature. That is, by the spirit he pulls them out of Egypt and puts them on the highway that goes straight to the land, where the Father wants them. No mulling around, circling around in the desert for a period of time, but a straight shot to the place of deliverance.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.
The spirit is effective, and its baptism produces that in the son—repenting from the deeds and worthless, temporary life of the mere animal with its circular movements back to itself, back to the ground, back to the temporality of existing only to die. The spirit effectively sets the sons on another path than that which would have otherwise made them useless, ultimately worthless animals, but instead makes them useful and worthwhile to the Father. Those who are baptized with the spirit and repent, come out from the animal nature become wheat, trees that produce fruit for God, thereby they are useful to Him. The others who are not baptized with the spirit are the useless ones to God—the chaff and the barren trees, which get baptized by fire instead of the spirit which saves the sons because it makes them like the Father who is pure spirit.
The word of the LORD came to me: "Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally. So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals. My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them.
" 'Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, because my flock lacks a shepherd and so has been plundered and has become food for all the wild animals, and because my shepherds did not search for my flock but cared for themselves rather than for my flock, therefore, O shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them.' "
It is actually normal behavior for an animal to only be able to be concerned about its own welfare. The life of the Son of God living in a human body is for the purpose of making that one useful to the Father by teaching him what the others can't hear, what is against everything inside of him and the other humans that is acceptable. That is having an existence that is opposite the animal's which only has a will and purpose which always circles back on itself, satisfying its needs and desires. This is the hidden message, secretly revealed to the sons and not the others, that runs throughout the scriptures—that all the sons of God (Jesus, John, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Moses, David, Samuel, etc.), instead of loving themselves and being continually engaged in satisfying their own needs so that they live and die without ever having the son's consciousness; learned to and then chose to make, as their life purpose and mission, to do what would benefit their Father. They were driven by the love He put in them to do that. They were the shepherds of His flock.
Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed, and he healed them. Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.
Moses (who points to Jesus) did miracles in Egypt to prove His authenticity and to accomplish what God desired to have happen—that His people (who represent His family of sons) would be pulled out of the nation that represents the world (the state of being ruled by the animal nature). Moses' real worth to God wasn't in doing miracles, but that which happened after they went out from Egypt. Moses' value was in being the shepherd of God's people, of being like Him, of leading His sons to where God wanted them to be.
In the same way the miracles that Jesus did were immediately beneficial for the recipients, but temporary nonetheless because they were only about the first part of the disciples' journey toward learning to trust what seems not to be. The lame man may have been able to leap like a boy, but soon his body would expire, so for him that miracle was temporary. The value of the miracles that Jesus did were in proving his authenticity to those men who were chosen by the Father to have the truth revealed to them and hopefully become sons by choosing Him over what they wanted in their animal selves, for the purpose of helping them stay on that path of transformation and deliverance to the land, the place the Father wanted them to be. Jesus' value was in becoming the great Shepherd who leads the sons to the Father.
I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again.
That happened imperfectly while he was alive in his earthly body, revealing the truth of the Father to those men chosen for him. However, it wasn't until he was baptized by God—going into the belly of the earth and then being pulled out—that he was able to become the perfect and great Shepherd of all of God's sons, leading them away from the animal nature and to the land where the Father wants them to be—where He is. Also it wasn't until then that he was able to baptize the sons with the spirit, as per John's declaration, so that they could repent from being mere animals, and be set free from that prison of being led by its dictates against their will, even unnoticeably.
The miracles Jesus did were for the sons' benefit, because they allowed [most of] them to believe that he was the one who could save them, even against what it looked like to their natural eyes and ears—what seemed believable. Because they believed, they were rewarded with the transformation of their lowly bodies from mere animal—totally useless and worthless to God and meaningless to His desire and will—to a son who is the opposite of that. Their continued choosing (belief) caused their continued transformation to beings who are worthwhile and meaningful to God, and so able to come near Him and be loved by Him, and He by them. That is the highest purpose and end for God's sons, to find the treasure of His love, and to in turn because of that, accomplish and retain their end and purpose, the reason they exist, desiring to do the Father's will and accomplish His purpose instead of their own. That's what it's all about.
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance."
No one calls for justice;
no one pleads his case with integrity.
They hatch the eggs of vipers
and spin a spider's web.
Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.
John's consciousness, awareness, and very life was formed and driven by the living word of God inside him, teaching him to choose the right and to reject the wrong. It is the same life that lived in Jesus and all of God's holy prophets, the reason that John and Jesus echo the words of Isaiah—because the same life in them forms the truth in them and makes their consciousness and awareness what it was. That is also the message we're receiving—that nothing matters except living for the Father and accomplishing His will on the earth, for the sake of His heritage, His family of sons whom we will be able to exult with forever, our true brothers who had the courage to choose the hard way that nobody wants to take. That God will have His family of sons who are meaningful and valuable to Him (whom He loves) is our one solitary purpose as sons of God, the reason for our existence.
The LORD looked and was displeased that there was no justice.
He saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene;
He put on righteousness as his breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on his head;
According to what they have done, so will he repay wrath to his enemies
From the west, men will fear the name of the LORD,