2 Samuel 14 / Jeremiah 18 / Romans 1-2
Since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
Invisible qualities clearly seen are the powers that made and which sustain the creation, but the creator and sustainer can't be seen. God hides from the humans because He doesn't want to be found out. He exists and is seen by the creatures who exist in the creation that is superior to this one, that which existed before this and will exist after this one is gone, or will meld into, be gobbled up by when its purpose is complete. It's a much more complicated thing than the humans are able to fathom with their puny minds, but what we can observe is that God cannot be seen because He doesn't want to. If He wanted to be seen then He would just show Himself, but He doesn't. The reason is because He wants to be seen by specific humans, of His own choosing, those whom He has chosen to make part of His purpose. Certainly not those who embrace the lies made up by humans, who claim to know the way to whatever god they have made up to suit their own purpose of enhancing their animal existence while promising them an eternal place in their made up heaven—gods who will serve them and their instinctual needs, cravings and desires that rule them to be what it tells them they need to be.
Inquire among the nations:
Who has ever heard anything like this?
Israel was only ever intended to know One God, but she desired the made up gods of the nations around her instead, because they served the humans (because they were just made up so could be whatever the humans wanted them to be—not accidentally always working for them). A faithful virgin faithfully and patiently typically waited for her husband, to whom she has been betrothed, to come get her. She goes about her business and patiently endures/waits for him while the time of her betrothal to him is passing, while they are not yet united as one. We know that we have been chosen by the Father to be bound and united to the Son. That's the marriage we look forward to as we learn to unparticipate in all the human rituals and systems they love and participate in as humans. Now that we are chosen and sealed with the vow of God and the promise of the Son, we don't whore ourselves to the humans or declare ourselves to be citizens of their world by our running after the things they love, participating in the things they love and run after all the time.
If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple.
Making families by marrying and being given in marriage and producing natural offspring who haven't been chosen by God so that we have to look out for their interests and safety means our devotion to the Lord and the Father's interests can only be minimal—since we are giving our lives for things that are merely destined for destruction. Laboring for the money that the world gives while building an earthly identity that will end at the grave are things the humans love and run after.
The gospel was promised by God beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead.
Declared by the fact that he was a god beforehand, equal and existing concurrently, since the beginning of time, with and alongside the only living God? Paul's declaration is that who the Son was and what he did was an extension of what the prophets of God had been saying about the Son who was coming all along. He wasn't some new idea that hadn't been known before since the prophets had been talking about him, so he was part of the same system that had been existing for thousands of years, created by the hand of the same God of Israel, what the Son and the prophets came from. One of the characteristics of the nation of Israel is that it only had One God, not many gods like the Romans and Greeks had (out of which christianity was born with its jesus god, spirit god, devil god and god god).
Paul says the the human Jesus was declared to become unhuman, the Son of God only because the only living God (the God of Israel) raised him from the dead as promised via the same prophets. Otherwise he would have just stayed in the ground like any other natural creature must unless it becomes God's specific intention to raise that one, in the same manner He raised His highly anticipated and long awaited firstborn Son.
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, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
The power of God which raised the human Jesus is something that came from God; something that He, the only God, did as the reward for his obedience to His purpose—to save his brothers and God's sons which is the family of God, the purpose of the observable creation. It is something that God who had the power to do it, did for the being who was powerless to do it, who just laid dead and lifeless in a grave like any other human would upon expiration. There was no automatic time when Jesus had to be raised, as though the prophets' declarations meant it had to happen. It happened because God the Father made it happen, because He did it. That's important because there is a tendency to think that everything about God is all just automatic, to think of Him as a machine so far removed from everything (which is true) that everything just happens automatically (an untrue conclusion from a true premise). However, things only happen because He decides they are all specifically going to happen, like every son who gets born to Him.
It doesn't appear to be specific because that process originates and ends with the spiritual reality, unseen and uncontrolled by the humans. The process of God who is unseen revealing to those who are chosen to have the life and reality—that God is their true Father, not any human—revealed to them, is done secretly and privately. The humans at large, who think they're so important that they deserve to be apprised of anything and everything—even what God is up to—aren't made aware of God's process of birthing sons because it all happens in a way that is concealed from them. Even the humans to whom it is happening aren't aware of the magnitude of what is being done in and to them, because they are dull and lifeless because they are humans fully under the membrane that keeps them separated from their true Father. The process of coming out from under the membrane where all the humans are, separated from God, is the process of their transformation, growing up before their real Father. That is learning the reality of where they came from (the state of being dead to God), ruled by a nature of instinct that rules all the animals and keeps them under the membrane, then learning to listen to a new voice of their true Father so they can be ruled by it instead.
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.
God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you. And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.
The good news (gospel) is about God having a Son who is the cornerstone of the whole family, what all the brothers' lives are based on, why they are going to be redeemed. The good news is that out of the race of humans who have been unilaterally united and bound to the animal nature because of God's original purpose—to keep the humans away from Him—He is secretly choosing some to be separated from that same thing to be bound and united to the Son instead, at the appointed time (when the Son would come about whom and when the prophets had been continually speaking—"the time is coming when I will finally do this..." ). The plan and purpose of God makes a complete circle back to the beginning. The humans and the land animals (not fish or birds) were made the same day in the creation account. The human was made in the image of God, the animals weren't, so their nature and capacity to know God was different. The human then conspired with the helper and the animal against God, saying "I don't trust you, I don't want to do what you want me to do, I want to trust the snake and be what I want to be, not what you want me to be."
The humans were then bound and united to the most crafty of all animals—whom they loved and trusted, whom they preferred to God—by their nature, in effect unmaking them in God's image, undoing what He had done. That was, God's intention for the human and the helper as per Genesis 2:23 (they become a family for Him). Instead they went from being sons who had the capacity to know God to being animals separated from Him by what they became by nature. God joined the humans and the animals together by that nature.
What God has joined together, let man not separate.
The humans cannot separate themselves from their condition of being bound and united from the animals because it was God's intention to join them and He desires it to be that way, so what God has joined together, man does not separate.
...their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened...they became fools...Therefore God gave them over...They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator...Because of this, God gave them over...Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind...
The dilemma of the humans, because of God's choice and purpose, is not good people versus bad people, but humans bound to the animal versus sons secretly remade in the image of God their Father. Only God can separate one or a few of the humans from their condition of being mere animals, permanently and forever bound up to the natural creation, in order to reverse that condition He purposely implemented at the beginning with the humans. So also, what God has joined together, only He can separate, only He can divorce a human from his animal nature, status and condition, according to His will and purpose to do it (because He wants to, specifically not generally).
Out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man unclean.
It is the condition of the human to be evil and away from God not because he's bad, but because he's human, according to the plan and purpose of God all the way back to Genesis 3 when He implemented that marriage and unification of him to the animal and everything else in the natural creation.
The good news that Paul devoted his life preaching, what the Son implemented, is that he had been chosen to reverse that curse by the work of taking the animal nature into himself, up onto the cross and killing it, so that it could be removed from the brothers who were chosen, as Jesus the Son of God was chosen. According to the ironic nature of God, the beautiful, loving and obedient, the perfect Son had to become the vile, unclean, God-hating serpent on the pole. He who became that serpent gained a salvation for everyone who would be given eyes to see him—everyone who looked at him was saved as per the copy:
The LORD said to Moses, "Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live." So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, he lived.
Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.
The word of the LORD came to me: "Son of man, you are living among a rebellious people. They have eyes to see but do not see and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious people.
When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am the one I claim to be and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.
But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.
When I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men (those who were chosen to be given eyes to be able to look) to myself.
"All men" in the last verse is all sons, those who have been allowed to see who the Son is, those who can see what the others can't see, who can look at him and be redeemed, not because they are good but because it is God's choice (based on whatever criteria He has, which is also hidden from the humans) to save them and make them into sons who He wants to live forever with, surrounded by all of them who have been redeemed by the Son and his willingness to do what the Father wants instead of the animal. Because he was willing to serve the Father and not the animal, himself as per the temptation account, he was able to be the one who was predicted from the beginning, the only one able to kill the serpent by becoming it, the Lamb of God who had the power to be the perfect sacrifice because he was untouched by the animal that wanted to pollute him (make him as we are, dead to God). He was untouched by it because he was kept that way by the Father, while he was young and learning to choose the right and rejected the wrong as per Isaiah 7. Then when he was ready, he on his own chose not to embrace or follow the animal when he was ready to choose, but the Father. And he continued to choose even though he was tested and tempted by the animal who was allowed to tempt and test him as per Job, but never live in him, or he couldn't have been spotless and unblemished. That choice kept him from becoming just another animal bound to the natural creation by the nature he chose to serve, but didn't, so he could remain and be the spotless Lamb of God promised by the prophets, the only one who, by his choice for the Father, could save his brothers.
The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months. He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.
He who has an ear, let him hear.
If anyone is to go into captivity,
into captivity he will go.
This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints.
The saints were those to whom Paul was writing, who had been chosen to have the ears to be able to hear the message of the gospel and come out of the captivity of the beast who rules the humans with an iron fist (without them being aware). By doing what Adam didn't do and being what Adam wasn't (one who chose the Father instead of the animal), he was able to do the work of undoing that marriage and binding up of the humans who were chosen to become sons of God. Making that same process possible for his brothers—not an automatic thing but an opportunity to choose, just as he had—is the gospel that Paul was preaching, that some of the human animals were being chosen to follow their brother out from under the membrane, to the Father. The good news was that they could be separated from the animal nature that held them captive to the earth and the rest of the temporary natural creation.
It is not as though God's word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham's children. On the contrary, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned." In other words, it is not the natural children who are God's children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham's offspring. For this was how the promise was stated: "At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son."
Not only that, but Rebekah's children had one and the same father, our father Isaac. Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad--in order that God's purpose in election might stand: not by works but by him who calls--she was told, "The older will serve the younger." Just as it is written: "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."
What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses,
"I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy.
God's mercy and God's choice extends not to every human ever born, but to whomever He wants to give mercy, to whomever He intends to remember to redeem from the grave as He remembered the Son, just because He wanted to live with him forever. The humans aren't even aware that they have been given over to a depraved mind by being united with the animal, so they cannot know they are separated from God. They always just think they can become good people and be all of a sudden right with God. They assume they can just all of a sudden become His people, according to their choice to embrace Him, based on the assumption that His salvation is for every human that ever exists, so it's up to them, not Him, who will live with Him forever—which is stupid. The picture of God in His house and thousands of rats (animals) trying to get in where He doesn't want them, but not being able to, is the reality. They think they can get in by their own desire, choice, control and power, and i the meantime Go is just sitting there waiting for anyone who has any wild hair or whim to want to get something for himself to decide he wants to go to heaven, be in the kingdom, be in paradise or wherever their particular lie goes about where they're going.
There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
Paul had an idea of what was coming. Just as the knowledge of Jesus' identity was kept hidden from all but a few of the humans to whom that hidden secret was revealed, so also the life and mystery of God is hidden from all but the few who have been chosen to have it revealed to them, as per how He has always done it. It's nothing new; it's just been so long forgotten, and the truth has been twisted and distorted for so long, it's just impossible to see through all of the doings of the humans who did and continue to do all that.
God will judge men's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.
I have become (the church's) servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness—the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints.
To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
It is God's choice even from the beginning who He revealed Himself to, not by man's ability to be good or right. God chose Abraham and Abraham chose God back. He said okay, I will do what you want me to do, not what I want to do—I choose you. By that he was declared right with God. That relationship was an imperfect copy of the better thing, the better Son, whom God waited patiently for while He was dealing with the humans. When the Son was raised form the dead and given a new body, he was able with that new body to go to the Father and become One with Him, with God where He could enjoy His perfect Son. After the short while of the spirit being poured out on the world of humans (God giving birth to sons as a celebration of the Son's victory over death), He refrained and retreated from the humans so that He could just enjoy the Son who is now with Him by His side.
That is the period of time since the pouring out of the spirit happened until it started to wane, then was complete when the humans took over what the sons had set up, as per their nature to always want to own and control anything and everything. It's not as though God didn't allow it to happen, nor that it's actually a bad thing that the whore of babylon took the truth into captivity, where it has been since 400 or so a.d. when the captivity was finished, because the Son is safe with the Father and that's what He has been enjoying for the past however many years. The next step, now that He has the Son safe with Him, is to have the entire family of sons with Him, the bride of the Son, safe and secure for Him to enjoy while they to are with Him by His side forever, just as the firstborn Son is and has been. It's the Son's job to gather up the rest of his brothers for the Father's sake and purpose.