1 Samuel 18 / Isaiah 62 / Matthew 7
After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return to his father's house.
And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.
If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.
And Jonathan, and David with him, sealed a pact because he loved him like himself. And Jonathan took off the cloak that was on him and gave it to David. Do to others as you would have them do to you.
The only love this world knows is love between the humans, which theoretically leads to creating families where before there were individuals, and then love between the flesh and blood offspring of that union. They are born out of the dictates of the animal nature, the first from the instinct to propagate and the second from the instinct of self-preservation, the condition whereby the animals are driven to love themselves. Those who carry one's DNA are them in a very real, yet hidden way. They look like them, are drawn to want to be and act like them because there is an actual piece of themselves in that one who carries their DNA.
This natural condition that exists among the humans is the copy of the better thing, the process of the Father having His own sons who look and act like Him and want to be like Him, who see through the same eyes He sees through, because they carry His unseen DNA, because He Himself is unseen. When they are able to see through His eyes, they see the opposite to what the humans see with regards to what's valuable and worthless, the opposite of how they saw before He was revealed to them as their true Father. Before their view was aligned with the humans, because they were animals; after they start to be able to see with different eyes.
Being an animal led by the animal instincts, therefore being defined as that, is the opposite of the son's identity. If the Father has chosen us to become His inheritance then He doesn't want us to remain animals, because animals can only respond to His enemy, and not to Him. His sons are pure, holy, and consecrated, which is why they don't busy themselves with the work that the world's inhabitants constantly engage in—constantly surviving, constantly surviving. That reinforces the animal identity in them because they have to continually participate in the humans' systems to get what they need to survive, therefore having to compromise their work and devotion to the true family of God's chosen sons. The humans will only ever reinforce the way and system they believe is correct—of the animals who do not have the DNA of God in them to give them their identity.
Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.
It is the right of all animals to live their lives as they're able to, getting whatever they've decided they want and need in them. Searching for and finding a mate, then producing offspring that look like you is the most fulfilling animal function. If the sons go and get married though, the burden to survive will be even greater, which is why the Son advises they don't. God's way is not man's way; the thoughts of His sons are higher than the thoughts of the humans. It's so drilled into the humans' heads, even from such a young age—especially in the religious communities—as a right of all animals to engage in, which they do because it's in their nature to. God's sons are not animals though, and so aren't led by that instinct to always be procreating (because it's only a copy of the better thing), and if not procreating then having sex, and of not having sex then playing sex games with their eyes and the other animals around them—and their hearts are filled with it. In a way sex, because of greed and commerce, has become a necessary thing in this culture, and even as common considering the games the animals play all day long—the cravings for acceptance and the look, the glance, the subtle flirtations and non-verbal engagements.
The son is driven by something bigger, stronger, better and permanent—the love for the Father and his brothers, the preview being Jonathan with David, and Jesus with the disciples. That's a pure love without the always contaminating animal nature's dictates driving it. It comes from another source. Instead of it coming from out of the heart of the human via the animal dictates, it is put in the sons, by the Father, when they are made sons. It crosses over and is not based on its instincts to survive by propagation or by protecting itself and its brood.
It is something that appeared within Jonathan, according to God's plan, when David had finished speaking with Saul. Jonathan's very self became bound up with David's and Jonathan loved David as himself. And they sealed a pact of love, not any love that this world knows, but a pure love that came from God, as the copy and preview of what is to come, the brotherly love between God's true sons who know that they have what isn't found in the world of the humans who all lack it. They learn that the Father's choice isn't generic but particular, and they comprehend who it is that He has chosen. When they are able to see not with animal eyes but with the eyes of the Father, they are able to know who is valuable, which is the basis for the brotherly love that is seen in Jonathon for the one he knew the Father loved, because He told him, rather He gave Jonathon the means to be able to see David as the Father saw him—highly loved and chosen by Him to replace his own father Saul.
It's the motivation behind God's solitary purpose in the world, His will and desire to have a family of sons who love their Father and each other with the same love that He loves them, the copy of which is found in the world of humans, but not the fulfillment. One must be being transformed away from being human in order to be able to begin to participate in the real love. Not an inferior, temporary love based on the animal instincts of self-satisfaction and self-love (which encompasses the love of one's offspring), but a perfect and permanent love which doesn't rely on factors that are always changing, but originates and is maintained by the word of God, that it would be so, and it is.
The love of a human parent toward their offspring may be genuine, but it's biased because of DNA and instinct so in a way it's not genuinely coming from the goodness that that person is but the instinctual drive to do it. It's also not ever permanent because it's based on things that don't last—the participants in that exchange always have to go away, and they do. In the world of the temporary and dying, there is nothing which lasts forever; it always changes and it always goes away one way or another. God doesn't change like the shadows that move across the dirt as the sun moves, nor does He go away and leave His family like the animals that are here and then gone because of selfishness, circumstances, disease or death.
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!
Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."
The biggest thing the animals have going against them is that they cannot love. And love here is not relative to how the individuals want to define it, or the society or culture of humans who form religious communities. Love is what is defined by God, as it is practiced by Him. It is the love of Jonathan and David, and Jesus and his disciples, which came from his love for the Father and His flock, His family, His purpose for this creation, to gather up His family of sons from it, which constitute a very tiny fraction of the humans who are ever born into it. It's what drove Paul to spend his life teaching, working for God's sheep and protecting those he considered to be his brothers from the false teachers trying to sway them away from the Father. Paul learned to become genuinely concerned for the family of God, filled with the same supernatural love for David that God had put into Jonathon, and a peace about his own natural condition of being replaced as king by the very one he loved so genuinely.
The humans' version of love is based on whether or not you fulfill certain conditions, like not breaking certain rules or being and acting a certain acceptable way, which is all the humans can ever do, and therefore isn't genuine love, but a transitory, conditional one. That's just conditional acceptance which is volatile and apt to change because of any one of many different factors. What the humans have are emotional responses to particular situations, which are temporary and transitory. They seem like they will last forever when they are feeling them, but as soon as the situation changes, so do the feelings, and the condition. That's a little less obvious in the flesh and blood situation, however enough rule breaking or fear will cause that to breakdown too.
Once God decides that a son will be born to Him, it is not some off-handed, willy-nilly decision He makes, but as serious as His intention that Jesus would be the Son who saved all the other sons. It's not automatic any more than Abraham's decision to kill Isaac was, or Jesus' decision to allow himself to be led by God instead of the animal breathing down his neck. However, as strong and compelling as the animal nature is to rule the animals, there is something that comes from the Father that is even more compelling, enough to make the sons want to deny the seemingly undeniable impulses of the animal nature so they can go instead against what's naturally inside them and please their invisible Father. The love that we see as the preview, as Jonathan was compelled to love David, is the pure love that comes from above (the spiritual world where God lives), not below (the earth, of the animal).
The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all.
You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.
We were first loved, and because of that chosen, by a Father who has been telling us that very thing personally for a few years already. His love and decision are lasting—they will exist after this body is destroyed. What we have to do is choose in response to His decision, then we receive the love that is in the Father, which can only come from Him. That love comes from the transformation of our nature from the thing that cannot love, to the nature of the son who can, and must, love because the entirety of the new covenant is based on that.
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
All the old commands are fulfilled by that one, so what replaces all the other commandments isn't other commands, but responses to this other condition that didn't exist in us before—that we know the Father's love and choose it and Him over everything else. Every thing that comes out of that relationship is a response of love for the Father, because we actually know and understand His great love for us. It also transforms from the theoretical, what could possibly be, how we might like it to be but it never can because of our condition; to true and real—something we can know and feel and understand as the thing that seals us up and guarantees our redemption from the ground.
That situation, the relationship between the Father and His sons, is what the land is meant to represent in the OT accounts regarding it. The sons go through the reality at which those accounts can only point: being pulled out of the prison of being enslaved to the animal nature, delivered to the place where there is safety and isolation from its threats of re-enslavement and the chaos it always brings. The land is the relationship of love between the Father and His sons, of us sitting in the Father's house, at the Lord's feet listening to him, not going out into the world where there is darkness and chaos.
Martha had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said.
"Only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."
It's what the NT writers actually, even if imperfectly, experienced. It formed their new hopes and dreams, which replace the hopes and dreams they used to have when they lived as animals, destined only to temporarily dredge up little their little hopes throughout the day, whatever kept them going—"If only I had this thing then I'd be happy. Just a few more years and I'll be satisfied." They're never satisfied because their hopes are based on the temporary natural creation, on getting things, or building up stuff around them which is only the hope of feeling a little insulated from their inevitable demise, and just a response to that.
We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure.
Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.
The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.
The humans' various forms of conditional love, which change like the shadows, can only ever be arbitrary, pointless and temporary. We know that because we've started to cross over and can see the tiniest bit of light, of which the apostle John spoke and knew because it was in him in a much bigger way when he wrote about the light. We see but a tiny speck of what our brother John saw, in a much more complete way, because of his enduring patience in growing in the new way. That used to bring about an anxiety in us, a wondering why we didn't feel like we thought we should, based on the writings of those who were relatively mature in the new way.
If we go back to Jesus' words, we know that he kept talking about the kingdom of the spirit, the land, the relationship between the Father and His sons, like a tree that must start out as a seed and grow into what it will become. This is meant as encouragement, so that the anxiety of not being there yet, and a little disbelief because we think it's not real, can be turned into the hope that we are getting nearer each day we wake up—a little copy for us every day that points to our redemption. Our waking up from the sleep we are in, to our Father and Jesus, and all of our brothers in the family of God. This is what becomes the hope of the son in this life.
The words Paul wrote to his contemporaries aren't words by which we form religious institutions, the rules to live by to be pleasing to God. What happens when the humans do that, as we have seen first hand, is that the rules they make based on Paul's words conveniently override the command of Jesus to love, for their own gain, so they can control their little institution via the rules they have made. What they do is take the new covenant, based only on love, and turn it back into the old covenant, based on rules and regulations. Love becomes something they cannot know because of their nature. Even the old covenant, though, wasn't based on rules, but came from love—the Father's intention to have His own family, represented by those who were under it.
"It is written," he said to them, " `My house will be called a house of prayer,' but you are making it a `den of robbers.' "
The humans, being given over to their animal nature, kept perverting it to suit their own needs, so they could use it to control others and either enhance or maintain their positions, totally corrupting what was originally good because it came from God. That is something that the Lord takes exceptional and personal offense to in his dealings with the self-appointed leaders of God's people, who like their father's before them took what was good and perverted it to fulfill their own will, to satisfy their own needs and desires under the guise of doing God's will and representing Him, when they can only, obviously, represent themselves and their own needs, wants and strategies.
If as sons we obey the Son's command, then nothing else matters because God will take care of any situation we are in. According to the natural (the only way we know) that seems impossible, like it must be held theoretically because we know we have to create or maintain any situation we are trying to accomplish. Paul's words are unique and extraordinary, because by them we have a chance to examine the heart of a human who has been transformed from an animal to a son. We can observer his vigor and vitality of running a marathon race, as he analogizes his relationship to the Father, for which he has effectively sold every thing, dream and aspiration to be able to attend to.
Inasmuch as we don't all start running marathon races, we also don't make the other words of Paul into rules that we try to live by. That is dead and static, all the humans can ever do. Paul's words are inspired by the life of God (the spirit) who lived inside him, and should be seen as responses to that life, the love he understood that came from the Father toward him. Because the same life lives in us too, we feel the bond between what Paul writes and what we understand. He was concerned about those he considered his true brothers, the members of God's real family—His flock. What he wrote is because he obeyed the Son's command and understood the importance of even one little sheep going astray. He didn't know the extent of the darkness and blackness of what was coming, even though he mentions it. Even while he wrote, it had already begun to take hold, and why there were so many problems that he addresses, which come off a little bit sounding like rules, but aren't. He's just trying to stave off the chaos being created by the animals infiltrating the churches he established and loved.
Emotional responses are the stuff of the natural, the temporary world that is passing away, and all that the animals have available to them. Nothing lasts in the natural. Emotional responses are how the natural man lives his life, how he makes his decisions—sort of like software in the computer. I like that girl, she makes me feel this way or that way, so I think I'll marry her. Everything's fine until one of us starts feeling differently about the other person, then what we promised to each other all of a sudden becomes conditional. Human love isn't love at all, nor does it last, because it's based on feelings which are transitory. The object of one's love always goes away, either voluntarily or involuntarily, because that's the nature of the present creation.
God can use our emotional responses for our good, but we shouldn't be fooled into thinking they are more than that. They vanish just as soon as the situation changes, because they are based on the transitory feelings we are experiencing. A human saying "I love you" to another human in the throws of new love may not seem as trivial and transitory as other urges, but it comes from the same place. It's merely an inclination, an impulse spawned within the animal, based on that instinct that drives them. It comes and then goes as quickly as it came.
Who we are is what matters—sons of God instead of animals who like the beasts in the field merely perish. Living day in and day out with the teacher, hearing his voice and responding to it, trudging up the mountain step after mundane step, is eventually what makes us who we are. It's where we're going, away from the sea of humanity, none of whom know God or the way to Him. Allowing Him to change us slowly and gradually, by patiently enduring and responding to His voice is what makes us into sons who look like the Cornerstone of the building.
We are shaped and tooled to fit into our place by listening to and observing what he is saying to us in each of our circumstances, saying no to the flesh and the things that used to give us pleasure and define us—what wants to rule and guide us. Growing up into the Lord when you're already old in the natural is a hard load to carry, because it means killing our selves that we grew to love, trust and nurture—our very identity as animals. Doing this is a lot different than just thinking about how wonderful it will be when we can do it all the time. One day we will be mature and filled with God's love, and behold the good in each other more than the animal instinct to kill, because we will be changed more. What counts is who we finally will be, oaks of righteousness that aren't blown over every time we feel this or that way.
They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.
Thankfully, God doesn't change like shadows that move all day long, like we do as animals that respond to whatever situation comes up. Our obedience to what we hear the voice of our Father tell us is important, to heed it instead of the animal voice, so that we can be transformed.Our lives are not about how we feel one day, and again about how we feel the next. As we grow we will need to calm down and start learning the things He has been teaching us instead of just living for that emotional high of knowing He is still there, we are indeed chosen, He is not going away. His purpose is still in His hand.
For Zion's sake I will not keep silent,
for Jerusalem's sake I will not remain quiet,
The nations will see your righteousness,
and all kings your glory;
You will be a crown of splendor in the LORD's hand,
No longer will they call you Deserted,
or name your land Desolate.
As a young man marries a maiden,
so will your sons marry you;
Growing up is a difficult road, because we have to start choosing the right way even though we don't feel like it, or feel close to God. The excitement we're used to craving and living for isn't the nature of this transformation. The excitement is muted and enduring rather than instantaneous and plateauing. If we know we have been born then we make choices with the knowledge that we know He doesn't change, not because we feel this way or that way. And we have the knowledge of the love that is growing in us that we are able to respond to. Sometimes our emotions give us the ability to choose the right and reject the wrong. Soon we will start to make those choices based not on our emotional state but the knowledge that we know our Father's love, and know who He is. That is the process of real change, when we are actually changed into another creature. We will be different, not based on transitory situations, but because we are married to the Son, and one with the Father by that relationship. Our obedience is represented by the Israelites being willing to say no to the inhabitants of the land, merciless in their work to extinguish all forms of that alien life which is dangerous to the relationship we have with our Father.
"On that day, I will banish the names of the idols from the land, and they will be remembered no more," declares the LORD Almighty. "I will remove both the prophets and the spirit of impurity from the land.
On that day HOLY TO THE LORD will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, and the cooking pots in the LORD's house will be like the sacred bowls in front of the altar. 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."