2 Chronicles 7 / Ezekiel 42 / John 8
As for you, if you walk before me as David your father did, and do all I command, and observe my decrees and laws, I will establish your royal throne, as I covenanted with David your father when I said, `You shall never fail to have a man to rule over Israel.'
But if you turn away and forsake the decrees and commands I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, then I will uproot Israel from my land, which I have given them, and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. I will make it a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples. And though this temple is now so imposing, all who pass by will be appalled and say, `Why has the LORD done such a thing to this land and to this temple?' People will answer, `Because they have forsaken the LORD, the God of their fathers, who brought them out of Egypt, and have embraced other gods, worshiping and serving them--that is why he brought all this disaster on them.'
Here's an example of a personal covenant that God made with a human, a copy which served to reinforce the covenant God had with David, which was still only a copy of the better thing, that which God told David about through Nathan, but David couldn't help misinterpret because of his condition of being a human with human expectations, unable to comprehend the great prophesy He declared about the head of His only true family, that which everything natural can point at because it's inferior.
So he measured the area on all four sides. It had a wall around it, five hundred cubits long and five hundred cubits wide, to separate the holy from the common.
Ezekiel's vision happened just after Solomon's temple was destroyed. God blessed that temple on David's account, but it doesn't mean He intended that he build it, or even wanted it. He let them build it for David's sake because it was his idea, and he thought he was being pleasing to God for doing it. It's clear that God just wanted the humble tent He gave to Moses, another greatly loved son of God.
I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought the Israelites up out of Egypt to this day. I have been moving from place to place with a tent as my dwelling. Wherever I have moved with all the Israelites, did I ever say to any of their rulers whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, "Why have you not built me a house of cedar?
The nations in the world at the time were building all kind of humongous statues and edifices to show the rest of the world that their god exists and it is the correct god, which could be seen by beholding the greatness of whatever they had built and dedicated to it by their extraordinary human efforts. The imposing edifice was built based on David's interpretation of what God said to him about His Son (descended from David, whose heart pointed at the coming Son), and the real temple that he would build (his body first, then the collective body of sons later). The Son was not a human ruled by instinct, whose heart became turned inward toward himself and away from God from excess (Solomon the natural son of David); but one whose heart was turned perfectly toward His true Father, which is what the Father loves most from one He calls into His family (a hint for the sons about how to please the Father).
I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
Here is another declaration about the differentness of the sons of God versus the humans. Every one of the humans is born under the curse of being bound to the unclean animal, and therefore sins just by existing. They are a slave to that sin, about which they aren't even aware. No human, because they are all automatically and permanently slaves, can have a permanent place in God's family. For that to happen, they must be transformed from slave to free, ransomed from their condition because of the specific intention of the Father to make them sons, because they have been specifically chosen by the Father to come into His family. Those whom the Father has chosen and called to be in His family, He expects to treat each other exactly opposite to how the animals treat each other, who cannot love because of their condition.
We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.
The way of the humans is always against the way of God, from the beginning to the end. They want to see, control, contain, hold on to their own gods by their own human power, because that's all they have. It always boils down to them only ever being able to love themselves, because they're driven to that end. The end of the son of God is so much higher than that, because they are given an ability to see and hear what the animals cannot. By that seeing and hearing they are able to understand what is otherwise impossible, that those who see and hear as they do are sons of God, not animals, and the Father wants His sons to treat each other like they know who they are, even as what they want to consider themselves (chosen sons of God).
So he measured the area on all four sides. It had a wall around it...to separate the holy from the common.
The way of the only real, true and living God is always opposite to the way of man, which is a truth that runs throughout the history of the times of the humans and God, even to today. The temple was the humans' version of what God gave to Moses, His humble little tent, after which the temple was fastened. The splendor and majesty of Solomon's temple was good in that God could have it totally wiped out and desecrated by the Babylonians as a symbol of its worthlessness versus having a soft heart toward Him. Its destruction demonstrated that it wasn't worth much because its intention was very much rooted in the way of the humans—to confine God to something they approved of—which is evil and opposed to God. His idea of a humble little tent which could be moved from place to place, not in the least imposing, was that it was special and serious, and made a distinction between the holy and the common, but it was only a copy of the better thing, that which was hidden and secret.
Now we know that if the earthly tent (tabernacle) we live in is destroyed, we have a building (permanent house) from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.
Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple.
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
So I will always remind you of these things (the things that might help to make the calling and election of Peter's brothers in the first century sure), even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have.
As you come to him, the living Stone--rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him—you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent (tabernacle) of this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things.
The apostles, chosen by God to receive their own personal covenant with Him in the likeness of that which the Father had with the Son as predicted by Jeremiah, understood that the temple and the tabernacle were the same in that they were copies which pointed to that better thing, that which had been revealed to them in the process of their transformation into living sons of the living God. The Son had given this family to which they belonged to the Father by remaining loyal and faithful to the personal covenant that God had made with him, by not following the animal which tempted him and therefore making the declaration of his firm choice for the Father clear. This has been the will, intention and purpose of God from the beginning, to have a house to live in and a family to live in it with Him. Because God is so much greater than we can even imagine, He cannot be contained by any human-made house or building. His house will be special because it will be actually made of His living sons, alive to Him, each of whom will be one little piece of the material that constitutes the house where He wants to live. His house will be alive with the love of each and all of the sons who will be radiating their love toward Him, which will soothe Him and give Him a peaceful place to dwell with those who have proven that they love and want to be with Him.
If I do judge, my decisions are right, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me. In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two men is valid. I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me.
The Father lived in the Son's body. He taught Jesus to choose the right way and reject the way that all the humans are bound to, so in this sense he was different than any human who had ever been born because he was never under the condition of the curse of sin, being bound to the animal via the nature, the instincts that rule them—until he was made into the serpent on the pole, which was then killed while the Father turned away from him because of his uncleanness.
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.
Once more Jesus said to them, "I am going away, and you will look for me, and you will die in your sin. Where I go, you cannot come."
They would die, which didn't mean the expiration of their body, but what Jesus knew was the real death, that which the human conception of death only is another copy of. Unlike the sons of God who will be remembered by Him, their death will be the true death, which is not being remembered by God, not being redeemed, not being united with Him.
This made the Jews ask, "Will he kill himself? Is that why he says, `Where I go, you cannot come'?"
Another human reaction from the humans who can only understand the earthly, natural things, which come from below (from the earth, hell as Jesus knew it, the grave and rotting in it like all other plants and animals do). They do not understand what Jesus understands because they haven't been chosen to have that life of God living in them, as the disciples had been. They weren't being given eyes to see or ears to hear what the Father wanted to reveal to His own sons. That intention of the Father, extended to those He was choosing, is what made them clean (the Father intended to make them clean by the living water which would clean them of their sin—born under the curse of being bound to the animal via the same nature).
You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
Yet those who were chosen couldn't understand what Jesus said because even though the Father intended to make them sons, they were still so fully human and totally unlike him. At the time he told them this, they weren't yet delivered in to the condition of being able to comprehend the covenant which would live in their hearts to teach them the way to the Father from the inside (because it didn't inhabit them yet), when the new Father and Son unified being was created who would come back to them and make their home in their bodies the same way God by Himself had with/in Jesus. The intention of God (His will), was that both He and Jesus would come back as the newly created being that God intended to become when He was united with His Son, and live in their bodies as He had lived in the Son's body. They would be under that same type of spiritual covenant promised by Jeremiah—with Him and Jesus as this newly created being—which was already established by His life in Jesus. That intention was the promise that made them clean, that word, or intention, which God had told Jesus, and which he had told them.
You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins.
Below, inferior, evil, against God is of this world—any ordinary human driven by the animal instincts within it which naturally oppose God, that which Jesus wasn't. That intention of God is what made Jesus who he was, and the copy of that—God living in his human body—was what allowed him to do what he did. Not what was inside him because he was inherently some god (the christian myth), but only because God chose to live in his human body, and He did.
The time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
The humans are not the sons of God and cannot become sons unless the intention of God exists for that to become true. The humans like to say that everyone can become a son of God, which makes the very life of the chosen and loved Jesus worthless and invalid, if God is so generic and indifferent and none of God's sons are particularly loved and chosen by Him to become that. Jesus doesn't judge the humans because he the good Son is only sent to teach the intended and chosen sons of God how to be good sons like he was.
You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one (of the humans, which is not his domain).
He makes them aware of the covenant that they have with God, because of that intention, which will be planted like a seed (birth from above) and grow in their heart so that they can become sons who know who their real Father is, and can be known by Him. Then they can become useful and pleasing to Him as dearly loved children instead of common animals, what they would have remained if not for that intention to make them sons.
I am telling you what I have seen in the Father's presence, and you do what you have heard from your father.
That is, the serpent, the animal that leads them and everyone else, via the instincts that are within them because they do not have the life of God, nor the intention of God that they will have His life living in their bodies. So they're not clean like those whom God intended to become sons, who are made clean by that intention even though they're still officially unclean animals, and the word of that intention spoken to Jesus, which he revealed to them.
"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!"
This is another thing on which the christians base their lie that he was a god, equal with the only true God. Why does Jesus talk like this, as though he actually were some god who existed before, who was greater than Abraham? Because the life of God was in him already, and he understood that the intention of God was the better thing even than that which existed in his human body. Because God did live inside him, he was already very close to what he eventually became—united with God permanently and forever, like God because of that unification.
Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going.
While Jesus was still in his human body, there was always the chance that he could have chosen to break the covenant and follow the way of the animal which kept trying to get into his heart and lead him. When Jesus said, "It is finished," he knew that there wasn't any more time or chance to turn his heart away from the Father, so it was kind of a relief because he knew he was about to die, so he could say such a thing. Finally dying may not even have been as excruciating for him as denying that temptation to break the covenant by following what the animal proposed, taking the power for himself, what he knew he could do. Being on the cross listening to the humans scorn and ridicule him, there may have also existed a very intense temptation for him to call down the legions of angels, and do exactly what they taunted him to do, and what he still had the power to do, until he said, "It is finished."
I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.
Death to Jesus was not the expiration of the body, but being forgotten by God, not knowing Him or being known by Him as a true son, and therefore remembered and redeemed from the grave so as to become united with Him, part of His body and He part of the son's—what Jesus was the ultimate and firstborn copy of. The will and intention of God was what finally came to be, just as God promised Jesus, but which Jesus had to continue to believe in order to be faithful and loyal to his Father, because of that covenant which had been personally made from the Father to Jesus, personal and exact, and just for him.
That personal covenant was what the Father told, taught and showed him he needed to do and be in order to remain in that covenant. And the promise to Jesus was what came to be, because the covenant was not broken, and so the Father gave Jesus what He promised—that is, being united and made One with Him. The copy of that, the seal of that covenant, that which gave Jesus a guarantee of God's intention, was that He lived in Jesus' body to keep reminding him of the covenant they both had together.
At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.
There's a great irony, the animals who presumed to be the people of God wanting to destroy the cornerstone of the only true temple—that which everything they believed to be true, and on which they based their righteousness only ever pointed at—on the temple grounds.
Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say.
He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.
The righteousness of the son comes from his desire to make the love of the Father his end and fulfillment, to remain faithful and loyal to the covenant that is growing in his heart. He knows that nothing in the natural is good, because the natural creation is just death continually turning over and over again. So he slowly learns, as the life grows in him, to die to those natural things, the way of the humans, which before ruled him but now becomes increasingly inferior. It is all just common, for the common animals to enjoy, love and run after—to make their god and life the fulfillment and satisfaction of the instincts living in them until they expire and become yet another part of the creation, decomposing into what other things in the creation will use to sustain themselves until they expire as the cycle continues along.
The son of God learns to not love the things of man, to actually begin to despise them because he knows that they stand in the way of knowing the Father's love. They are actually the enemy which can turn his heart away from his Father, as Solomon did because he loved the things of the humans—appetite, ego and wealth, the three "heads" of the devil (animal nature) that lives in to control the humans. Solomon totally indulged in them, because he could, because he had the earthly power to take, grab and get for himself. He didn't remain in the personal covenant God had with him, outlined in the verses that begin this writing. He's the copy of Judas, while David is the copy of Jesus.
The son of God recognizes that the earthly things are for the humans, not for him, and not participating in them becomes the way that the Lord produces a sanctified, holy people for the Father to enjoy as His possession, desiring to remain faithful and loyal to that personal covenant that lives in their heart. The sons become a people made in the likeness of His image, who carry His values instead of the world's, even if that itself is only a copy of the better thing, which is too different and incredible for the humans to be able to comprehend, which is why we have to have so many copies which can only point at the better things, what is to come. While all the animals run after the things that the world holds up as sacred and valuable, the son runs the other way, toward his Father and the love which he increasingly knows is ultimately satisfying beyond everything else—because he has tasted it and yearns for more—yet is also so elusive because of its rarity amongst the humans, and therefore its value.
It's not that we have attained this yet; it is the struggle we fight to remain loyal to the covenant in the manner of our perfectly obedient brother Jesus, who denied the serpent the right and chance to rule and lead him, his part of being faithful to the covenant, and therefore was pleasing to God. When we just begin to see the goal, when we have tasted the life and love that the Lord is bringing, then we can just begin to know what we are running for, and why it's worthwhile to press on toward the mark for which we were called (to be sanctified to God as His people, to be set apart from the common animals). The animals can't and won't understand it, because they haven't been given eyes to see and ears that can hear the voice of the teacher, and a mind which can understand what the teaching means—but the son does. The more mature he is in the new way (more like a damnable, scorned child as far as the humans see him), the more he is able to understand.
But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ--the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
All of us who are mature should take such a view of things.