1 Chronicles 15 / Ezekiel 27 / Luke 24
Beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
The humans can't believe what's real and true in the spiritual reality even if they're shown, because the animal consciousness is too strong to allow that to happen, as God's directive and according to His purpose—that they aren't able to believe, and turn to Him so they can be healed. Turning to Him obviously is a more spiritually complicated process than what the liars have told everyone for thousands of years. Turning to Him is very involved and complicated, and requires a huge amount of work that someone has to do. It's not a cheap easy deal, as the liars keep saying, which is why it's so valuable.
Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.
Turning to Him means first of all we have to be given the ability to see what's true, then it's being faithful to what we know we've been told thus far; which is not doing the easy thing that the animal wants to do—following whatever craving, urge, or impulse; nurturing our fears with tangible, natural, easy animal things that we get by the power of our own hand to get them for our selves. The sons have to wait for what their Father wants to give them, which means they have no power to get it themselves.
If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.
For Jesus, that would have looked something like using his power to turn the rock into bread to prove to himself that he indeed was the One written about in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms (his identity before the Father was obviously something he was tempted to doubt). Secondarily that thought could have entered his mind to satisfy his appetite because of the fear in him of dying of hunger after 40 days of fasting. In a more encompassing way, Jesus getting for himself by the power he had would have been using that power to do what everyone around him wanted him to do—redeem Israel and make it the great nation the humans incorrectly assumed would be the work of Messiah.
How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?
One reason he called them foolish was because they considered Messiah the one who would redeem natural beings like themselves, that his work was to redeem them naturally and find his fulfillment in observable terms. It's what he himself was tempted to do (find his fulfillment in the natural), even his own thoughts of how things might be able to go. However, it's not what the living word, the voice of the Father inside him told him, and the natural animal craving clashed with what the Father was telling him in the hidden, secret way He speaks (subtly deniable in the natural). The reason the Father loves him is because contrary to the tempting tangibility of the natural, he went against what was easier and sought out the will of the Father instead, which was going the hard way, turning away from the enticements of the animal so he could seek the Father's face, favor and will, and become found in Him, finally receiving the good gifts instead of the inferior ones.
During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.
The Son spent 3 years with this small group of people, doing miracles and proving that he is from God. He taught them from the OT scriptures, showing them how the Christ would suffer and die and then be raised on the third day; and yet they couldn't understand what that meant because they could only understand earthly things (when a "living" thing dies, it's gone forever) because they were animals, bound up with the nature and consciousness of the animal, therefore bound to the entire creation.
Now I am about to go the way of all the earth.
The earthly mind is obtuse and heavy. It is laden with the things of the flesh, the world, the animal. It cannot grasp the "heavenly" things, the things of the spirit, of God—what is secret and hidden from the humans. Heavenly just means spiritual, or as God is. The kingdom of heaven is the kingdom of the spirit, the kingdom of God. It is purely spiritual in nature, the opposite of earthly. Earthly means fleshly, worldly, of the animal. These are the only 2 states which exist.
The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.
When Jesus said "Kingdom of Heaven," he was making a profound statement about Israel—that in its true definition (according to the Father) it wasn't a group of human animals with their foreskins cut off, but a group of sons who had circumcised hearts (something that couldn't be observed by human eyes). The kingdom of God wasn't what the humans thought the kingdom of David was going to be (humans made great), although Jesus knew that in another very real way it actually was about David, because he knew that God had chosen David to be a son, as he himself had been chosen. Another name for what Isaiah and the other holy men prophesied is the kingdom of the Father and the sons who are born to Him, not of natural origin.
When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.
Before he broke the bread their eyes were only able to see an understand what is so tangible and prevalent—the physical, earthly, natural things; what their eyes could behold and believe to be there in front of them. They eyes work in conjunction with the natural mind, to tell the humans what's possible and impossible, according to how they synthesize their existence and experience (what can be real, or possible).
This doesn't mean that we can just decide what we want to be true in the spiritual realms, which is often the case when the humans think they need to show that they have whatever they've define "faith" as for themselves, then believe in what isn't there because by doing that exercise they think they're going to get something from their gods. In that case they just make stuff up out of their imaginations about how they think things are in the spiritual world where their gods live. And they assume that because their gods are based on things in the preserved words, they must be true. Not accidentally, they imagine spiritual things according to how they understand natural things, so they have to try to mesh the two and it just remains a made up fantasy, pieced together by what they know naturally, what the liars have told them, how they've misread the preserved words, and the other stuff that they can't deny because they're natural animals who are bound to the natural creation.
What's true in the spiritual world is true, and remains true, but God's reality doesn't ever conform to the humans' reality. What changes is the humans' consciousness and everything that follows that, which is so unstable and volatile that its "truth" can change based on what one eats, or how one is treated, or so many other ways that can instantly change what's true in the human consciousness. In reality there is no stability because the natural mind is totally inferior and open to whatever affects it.
"It was because you, the Levites, did not bring it up the first time that the LORD our God broke out in anger against us. We did not inquire of him about how to do it in the prescribed way."
So the priests and Levites consecrated themselves in order to bring up the ark of the LORD, the God of Israel. And the Levites carried the ark of God with the poles on their shoulders, as Moses had commanded in accordance with the word of the LORD.
The way God wants things done is not based on anything natural, or whatever rituals the humans have created their institutions around. The commands He gave to Moses were active and alive; He spoke them to Moses. They weren't just static, religious rituals that they could either adhere to or not, based on their circumstances. They were specific, and reasonable, according to God's purpose for their being given to the people. Those reasons didn't need to be totally understood by the humans so that their animal need to find agreement could be satisfied, which is the evil that the humans always do as they are led by the animal instincts, always calling it good, in the name of their made up god.
The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.
The purpose of God's sons is to become another creature, even down to the deepest parts of his heart, which is totally intangible to the humans. It's not about finding agreement with what he thinks is right, that which has been taught to him by his father the devil and inherently evil (because they're not like God, who is good) humans. That is the temptation for a long time, but that is evil upon evil, trying to be led by himself, listening to the evil of his own heart and making the teaching of the Master conform to what is evil. That's how deceitful his own heart is, and that's only the beginning of the extent of its power to keep the humans where they are—away from God—and why there is no escaping from that impermeable membrane of the animal nature that is the barrier between them and God.
Brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the animal nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the wild animal nature, you will die; but if by the spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the spirit of God are sons of God.
For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." The spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
Sharing in his sufferings means coming away from the humans' reality, not living in it anymore so that we can search diligently for the Father because we believe He rewards those who do that (with the spirit of sonship which makes us able to recognize Him as our true Father and be close to Him). The sons need to listen to the teacher, who is spirit, if he is living in that one's heart, because that's exactly what he teaches them—how to be good sons as he was/is. If he has been chosen by God to become a son and be transformed from that which is evil to a son who can hear the voice of the teacher, then he should listen to the word, who is speaking unintelligible words, spiritual ideas that find agreement in another miraculous way, which is unavailable to the humans because they're natural, earthly, unspiritual, of the devil, filled with their own understanding and given over to their own will and purpose, which is to live and die like all the animals and everything else in the natural creation lives and then dies.
Of course the animals won't believe this, because of what's in them to protect at all and every cost their own welfare. Each one is given over to the idea that they are the one who must possess what is right and true, and each one does that, even though they all say something different, they each one think theirs is the right way, the truth. And they hold up that ability to form and believe their own version of whatever they've pieced together as something good and noble. And they allow that to comfort them, to keep them warm in their hearts by having that concrete knowledge that they don't know or have anything.
So the work of the sons are to listen and believe, because they are not listening to natural words but miraculous, spiritual words that have no precedent or ability to be explained, which can't ever find any agreement in the natural. That's why the sons have to believe, not in something that makes sense to what they know, but which makes no sense, that which cannot be explained or accepted, or for which there cannot be found any agreement, what cannot be validated by their human understanding, experience, and especially other humans. That's the primary motivation of the sons in the beginning, to keep trying to find validation of this totally spiritually process in the natural world, but it won't happen because it's not natural but spiritual, and the spiritual doesn't conform to the natural, because the natural is inferior, only a copy at best of the spiritual reality.
The animal thinks that doing the work of God is doing things in His name, for Him; like giving money to the missions, telling people about Him, stuffing envelopes for a cause, doing exhortations, etc. The work of God, though, is to believe in the supernatural process (*if* it has been initiated), which is what Jesus became when he went to the Father and became purely supernatural, spiritual, not natural. Actually believing is work; it is fighting the animal in us that cannot believe, that keeps pulling us down into the earth because the earthly reality is all it knows. It is ridding the land (our body) of every trace of the canaanite, not allowing it to live in the land so that we can keep walking toward our Father, and might gradually begin to have peace with God, when before there was only hostility because of our condition.
The work of man is merely a means of survival. Man is often fooled into thinking the work he does to survive is some sort of noble work for the Lord's sake. In fact these are just things we do for ourselves, for the sake of what is going to be destroyed. It's work we do for our own belly, and our own bank accounts, to pay our own mortgage and the insurance on our own cars, to feed our own kids, which are just a version of us, even down to them actually containing our own DNA.
Sure we're doing it (slaving away) for our natural family, which in the culture of the humans is such a noble thing, what the "good people" do. Actually, though, the natural family is just an extension of the man, his own flesh and blood, so it can be reckoned as him because it is him. In other words, it's not a work that God necessarily accounts righteousness towards, because it's just yet another way that the man is being led by the animal nature, which always, only, is geared toward survival and self-promotion. That's not to say that a man who has a wife and children should not provide for them. But we shouldn't think that it's some great work for God that we're doing—it's more of an inconvenience because it takes our heart away from the Lord—it means that we are bound to doing the work of man, and being slaves to that.
I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord's affairs—how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world--how he can please his wife—and his interests are divided.
The Lord asks us to be revolutionary in our attitude toward our own life versus our life of following him. The liars made him a natural being by making him a god, retroactively—one main and gigantic part of the abomination of God's true temple in the second, third and fourth centuries. He requires as much dedication from us as he did from any of the people who wanted to follow him in the NT accounts, but that dedication can only come out of a heart which has been given what the first century believers had, before the abomination happened.
We read the NT writers saying that the time is short, and we think they were mistaken about the Lord's return. In reality the time was short for them, because they only had a certain number of years to prove their love and dedication to the Lord, to run the race and win the prize. That limited number of years was according to their own existence, and the time before the desolation would come, when the darkness of the lie would rule the earth for as long as it has.
What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none; those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"
"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."
Martha was all worried and upset that the preparations would not be done, but Mary didn't care because she knew that nothing else mattered except listening to what the Lord said. It's the same type of gravity and import recognized by Mary that Paul is speaking to in the Corinthian account. In effect they each chose between the two works, doing the work of man or doing the work of belief. Martha chose the former, of man; and Mary chose the latter, of God.
In the words of the Lord, "Only one thing is needed." Yes, only one thing is needed, and everything else counts for nothing compared to that thing. If it was important enough to have everything just right, the Lord could have had someone else take care of what was needed to be done. What is important is to listen and be pure in our heart towards him—to have a clean heart that loves him more than "being responsible" in the eyes of man.
The work of belief is to put away the duties and responsibilities of man and instead be responsible to God. When we believe, he'll give us work to do which will test our faith and the condition of our heart. God doesn't need our "work," after all. Any work that needs to be done can be done by the angels, who can work perfectly for Him. And that's the point—they do what He wants them to do, and there is no choice for them.
The son has the choice to live for himself as all the animals do, or live for the Lord and say he doesn't care what his conditions are in this life, or how much he may have to suffer—that he believes enough to give everything up for the Lord's sake in order to follow him. Think about the men who came asking to follow him, asking what it took to be right with God, and what his responses were. "Sell what you have and give that away, and then come follow me," is one response he gave. Now that would have been a work, because it would have shown that the man did believe, enough to lose his life beyond any doubt. That man's wealth was his life, his god and comfort.
Do you think that if you want to follow the Lord, he will let you maintain your status as honorable, respectable and admired family man? The disciples did "sell everything they had" and took on the shame of following Jesus, of appearing out of their minds. They left their lives, threw down their nets and left their father with the family business which they were naturally 'responsible' for. That was a hard and shameful work to do, to leave their earthly 'responsibilities' and join up with this Jesus. It is another way we abandon the way of the animal, the way of man, for the way of God.
To natural man his wealth—what he works for—is his life, because it becomes something he has to worry about, work on and maintain, and protect from thieves or catastrophes or anything else that could threaten it. His wealth becomes his master, even if it's only a little. If we have possessions that are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars (which many people would consider wealth), do we not become slaves to them? According to the Lord we do.
What man considers valuable is detestable to God. What God considers valuable is that a man does the work of believing, going against his nature, choosing the hard way which says to the Lord that even though his mind says don't believe—even though everyone around him says he's wrong—he does believe Him and shows it by the hard decisions that the Lord tells him he has to make.
It is work to deny our self and its desires for the Lord's sake—to rid the land of God's enemies. The animal will always pull us in the direction of itself, away from God. Toward the earth, away from heaven. We're so susceptible to it because it lives in us, it is us—our nature, the animal, which has to be changed from animal to son if we are to actually be a son. Don't take anything for granted.
They asked each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?"