2 Chronicles 21-22 / Daniel 3 / Acts 1
After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive.
It's easy to get caught up in the things of this natural existence, because they're so apparent and tangible to the animal that still lives in us and still wants to lead us. The sons learn that the natural, tangible existence means nothing, even though at first, like all the time before, it still means a lot because it's where we live and have our existence. The reason the miraculous things began to happen and are even increasing, is to reinforce the Father's reality so that it can compete in the son who is being transformed. It is such an impossible task to take an dumb animal and turn it into a son of God, that it requires a supernatural force living and growing in him to do that; because that nature of instinct, cravings, fear and hiding is stronger than any will power or other power available to overcome it.
That's why none of the human animals can just will themselves into the kingdom of heaven as per their own choice because they can talk and promise all they want, but that position is not theirs to promise or give. It is reserved for the sons who are being called to the Father; it is not a random deal where anyone can just come in to the Father's house. To make sure of this, a rigorous process must be initiated then followed before a son can even come near the Father's house, let alone come into it. The revelation must first happen, then the intended son must respond, which is his choice and declaration of what he wants—his own life, or the life of the Father. One must be abandoned and left to die so that the other can live and grow, like Abraham having to send Ishmael away from him even though he loved him, so that Isaac could be the one to receive his love and blessing. Anything that isn't God's intention is an unclean kind of thing, unable to come near because it isn't part of the plan and purpose of the Father and what He intends to accomplish for Himself.
The child grew and was weaned, and on the day Isaac was weaned Abraham held a great feast. But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking, and she said to Abraham, "Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that slave woman's son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac."
The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son. But God said to him, "Do not be so distressed about the boy and your maidservant. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned. I will make the son of the maidservant into a nation also, because he is your offspring."
The birth of Ishmael was according to human methods, by them and for their purpose—so they wouldn't have to wait for the miraculous, supernatural birth to happen. The humans like to promise that anyone can just come to God, because that's the human way of getting what you think you deserve by working, or paying or just laying hold of something "free," because you think you deserve it (because you're inherently so good and the gods must be so pleased with your magnificent existence). That isn't too far off from what each of the human animals thinks about their own selves, which is bizarre but nobody seems to mind because they are under the spell that prohibits them from seeing how things are, even though it's right there to be able to see. But it's too close to them (it is them) and it means that they would have to be self-critical and admit that they're not good at the most fundamental level, which no matter how benign that seems is quite impossible for the humans because they're driven to think something else on a level that's beneath and more powerful than their level to reason, so they don't because they can't escape their own self-love. It's something they can't change because they can't get to it; it exists whether they want it to be there or not and there aren't any exceptions to that universal condition.
He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."
The thing that had a power to break that condition was what they were instructed to wait for. The purpose of the spirit was not just to prove that their God was the right God, but to break that condition in the humans who were being called so that they could become transformed from dumb, lifeless animal to a son of God who could come near to the Father and be enjoyed by Him, primarily for His sake. Of course, what the Son would receive after becoming a true child of the living Father is obviously beneficial to him, but the exchange is mostly for the Father's sake, because it is what He wants more than anything else—a family of sons who have chosen Him and proven that they love Him. They are the object of blessing and inheritance, and all this happens in secret just as the Father is secret and works in secret. Everything that became official and disclosed (the humanizing of the church which became firmly established around the 4th & 5th centuries), although part of the Father's intention, was not what was happening in the first century, which was not a public thing like the church became then, what it remains today.
Having the power to baptize with the spirit (the life of the Father and Son planted into them) came from the Son's unification with the Father in the very form of their bodies. The power that came to these people in the first century was for the purpose of the Father's declaration that the Son was right, and the humans are wrong. Those who were faithful and loyal to the Son, who believed that he was the Son of God, the Savior who was promised by God through the mouths of His prophets, were vindicated by receiving this gift of vindication from the Father, so that what the Son had been promising them—that he would not leave them as orphans but would come back to them to live in them and be with them forever—he would be able to fulfill in the most supernatural way, when he would "come back" to them to be with them.
Jesus' spiritual understanding and life is more evident than the natural for him, which sets him apart from the others. People often talk about the spiritual things as though they exist for them, but their life shows that those things are merely concepts for them, about which they can hypothesize and go on about, and since they're far away things and nothing about them can be proved one way or the other, they can just continue to talk as though this life actually existed, but live as though it didn't. Meaning, if they believed the spiritual reality they propose exists for them, and that they believe in, wouldn't they be living it too, shouldn't there be more than words about it? Shouldn't it be extraordinary enough for them to make them not act like every other animal roaming the earth living for itself and its brood?
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.
It's not a naturally observable or controllable kind of power that Paul's talking about, or one that the humans can prove with words or arguments, which is not accidentally what Paul was fighting against then, as the sons will fight against now. The fact that there are so many words indicates that it doesn't exist, and that they feel they have to promote its existence with words about conditions they say exist in them, but which can't be proven. If you question them, they'll just say you don't have enough faith, and point to their validating consensus, those who don't question them, as though that were proof. Then they'll kick you out of their so-called open community because you cause too many problems, as though they were protecting the gullible sheep, when they're protecting them from the truth.
Although a spiritual world exists, it is the christian blunder which assumes that what was going on between God and the believers who existed shortly after Jesus went to the Father must still be going on now, that it must never have stopped. That does some very negative, obvious things to the truth. First, it cheapens the work of Jesus and the new covenant which was given because of that work. If what's observable about the christian leaders is the same thing that was happening in the first century, then Paul's a liar when he said that the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk. The christian leaders are all talk with no power except their ability to persuade the gullible, fearful sheep that what they have is genuine and authentic, and that not on account of any power, but merely playing on the fear that drives them. It's how any good charlatan learns to persuade, knowing that's his only way to convince gullible humans about something un provable, so they buy the lie that their crap is actually worth something, that it can save them from something, out of the trickery they perform—that they are trustworthy experts because they study the words.
Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king's command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.
If the leaders truly had what they claim to have, they certainly wouldn't be taking money from their hearers to support themselves. The testimony of Paul, to whom it actually was happening, says that although he could have taken money from the Corinthian believers, he rather did his full work and then worked with his hands making tents, so as not to be a financial burden to them, or in any way allow the truth and power of God even the possibility of being tarnished by some implication that he peddled it for money. Also, Paul didn't take the very valuable animal currency of ego satiation from the believers either. He couldn't because he was a weak little man with failing eyesight (making him appear as one who was cursed by God) and little human ability to speak powerful, naturally persuasive words, like those who were challenging him.
The christian churches are all run by their leaders like businesses, because that's all they are. They take in many form of currency from the fearful, gullible people who believe the lie that they know the way to God, and with that they buy some kind of credibility as though they were ordained by having enough money and "church cred" to continue the charade(they developed and speak a particular jargon that makes them seem like they know something). Because they exist as little businesses which can continue to pay the bills, they declare that to be a sign from God that they're credible witnesses, even though they tell the same lies made up by their fathers in the second, third and fourth centuries.
Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.
The true God doesn't work with numbers or consensus because that's how the humans work and develop their credibility. In contrast, the secret Father works in secret, right in front of the humans yet totally hidden from them. He delights that His sons are outnumbered by thousands and millions. Numbers are the animal way to convince itself and others that what it says and thinks is correct, because that's all they have. He delights in His sons not believing the lie of the natural, even though it seems convincing, like the crafty serpent who obviously had an ability to persuade the humans. The sons of God are always outnumbered, outgunned by everything the natural uses to validate its truth to itself.
Then Elijah said to them, "I am the only one of the LORD's prophets left, but Baal has four hundred and fifty prophets."
The prophets of Baal are just like the christian leaders, everyone who claims to have the exclusive and correct way to God and the power of the living God working in their midst. But that power is not there, which is why they must build attractive looking buildings with comfortable seats, to draw in the crowds who will give them the ability to continue to peddle their lies with needed financial and egotistical currency, which gives them consensus and encouragement. They look around and see all the people that believe their message about the the jesus god who was made up by men so long ago, and they say they must be right, to themselves and each other. They look at each other, and they all preach the same lies about their jesus god, holy spirit god, father god, devil god, the hell, sin and the sinful nature that doesn't exist. They tell the sheep that if they just be like they (the leaders) tell them (the sheep) to be, and back that up with their erroneous interpretation of the preserved words, then they'll all get what they have promised them. They'll all get to go to some fairy tale heaven land which is going to be populated by anyone who had the slightest self-centered and self-driven notion that they wanted to go there instead of the other made up place. And this cheap whore of a god who extends this reward to anyone and everyone, is going to welcome them as though he's so happy and grateful that they thought the correct things about it and the other gods, and weren't like the bad people who aren't like the good people because they think the incorrect facts about the gods. And it's this silly.
There's a notion that as long as the jesus god is being preached, then that's good enough and there's nothing to fuss about, based on the idea that the jesus god is the same as the Son of God who lived in the first century. There's even a scripture from Paul about how it didn't matter to him, as long as Jesus was being preached. However, in Paul's time there was only one Jesus, and he wasn't made up. There weren't fifty thousand different versions of jesus, each one with a different flair or purpose. Jesus meant one thing to Paul, and that thing was lost by around the middle of the fifth century.
It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.
The sons learn that listening to the liars is like siding with the prophets of Baal, because that so-called truth about God is not given by Him, and it's the wrong jesus—one who is powerless to save because, ironically, he has been given so much power (having godhood attributed to him is what makes the message of his life null, void and totally confusing). That version of jesus (the good god) and the devil (the bad god) is right from that pages of any comic book, which is the modern version. The original version came from Roman and Greek mythology, made up by humans, the leaders of the great mother whore; and the spin off religions, all the little sects and parties of christians of all different flavors, all come out from her. It is called the mother of all the prostitute baby girls who look a little different than her, but not that much when you consider the most important things, what matters about Jesus and his work, who he came to save, and what sin actually is. Even though they're all just a bunch of lying prostitutes, they all call themselves the faithful bride of God's Christ. Like the prophets of Baal, they're all just common animals who claim to have something they don't have.
At noon Elijah began to taunt them. "Shout louder!" he said. "Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened." So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed. Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention.
In light of all this human tendency and the darkness that has prevailed, the sons should ask themselves what the gods of the present age are, or maybe how the animal nature presents its little gods to be worshipped. One god which is present across all the generations of man is money, wealth, riches. Then there is the preservation and promotion of the self, the egotistical component. Then there are the appetites and cravings of the animal, the lusts that well up which are numerous and ever-presently willing to come up at the slightest opening of the door of the son's heart. These are all things that are alive inside the hearts of the humans, what leads, guides and defines them as mere animals before God, because unlike His sons, they are being led by the Serpent instead of the one who killed the serpent for the Father's sake, so the sons could become free from its total dominion over them.
With the reward he got for his wickedness, Judas bought a field.
Judas loved, ran after the money and the self-promotion of the animal nature—the need to have and control, and be the one who's right—more than being faithful to the Lord. We might believe the lie and consider money just something we need to survive, but there has to be more to it than that, especially if the Son would single it out and specifically address it in regards to our regarding it. Also, we might think it doesn't apply to us because we aren't "rich," like a billionaire.
When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
... but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.
"No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."
The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. He said to them, "You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts.
What is highly valued among men is detestable in God's sight.
When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, "Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father's house into a market!"
Our attitude to its place in our lives should be examined in the light of the words of the Lord, and the regard he had for money and commerce. It is something very tricky, and not so simple as just "don't do this," however its allure is obviously deceptive, otherwise the Lord wouldn't have spoken so much and so plainly about that fact. It may be similar to opening your house to a convicted child molester. He might say he's rehabilitated, but you'd still not be easy with his presence around your kids. Because he poses a threat to what you love, you'd probably move him out. It's kind of similar to us saying that we don't actually love money—we just serve it with the best years, days and hours of our lives.
That's real love, to commit more than half of our years, days and hours to the gathering of money; even 50 or so of the best years of our life, when we are most alive and vibrant (15-65)—roughly 62% of our best years. Then we commit and give 5 out of 7 days of every week—71%. Then we commit and give 10 of our 16 of our best waking hours, when we are most awake and attentive, to it (8 plus an hour before and after for preparation and transport, including lunch)—62% again.
Now because the years we give and the hours we give are not only actual blocks of time, but the most premium blocks of our time; we have to adjust for that. The days of the week are a constant; without the existence of the "work week," no day would be better or worse in actuality. Meaning, the work week itself makes the weekend seem more valuable, but it's not. Considering that until we are 15 or so we are just growing up, almost not conscious of the world and hardly able to serve anyone; we can't count those years. Also, after 70 years of living, we are tired and should be resting (this is not across the board, as I'm sure there are plenty of people over 70 who are willing and able to serve—merely a generality). So, out of our years between 15 and 70, 50 out of 55—90% of our years we commit and give to the gathering of money. That's 85% of our years, 70% of our days and 60% of our hours, roughly and conservatively.
I'm going to stick with the 60% figure for the hours, for the sake of being conservative. Because the hours we actually give are premium hours—usually just after we awake so we are most restful and continuing through the daylight (waking) hours. However, since there isn't a way to quantify the value of one chunk of hours over another I'll just stick with 60%, still obviously more than half.
There's nothing to prove with numbers—they're just to show the enormous chunk of time that we are expected to serve "the system," the entity that provides us with the money we apparently "need" to live. Who tells us what we need anyway, if not the same system who gives us our reward—what we exchange for our slavery to it? And what do the christian leaders say regarding it? They want everyone to do it, pointing to the few Thessalonian verses about the lazy people in that group, so they can continue the circus and pay for the tent. The brainwashing and propaganda dealt out by the current culture of money worshipping zombies doesn't excuse anything. Twisting the preserved words to suit what you want, then hiding behind consensus, won't be a viable excuse.
I don't know what all the details of something else will look like, except maybe something other than each "family" left to fend for themselves—each little worker unit giving away his life for the gathering of money, pretty much on their own, in real terms, to survive; calling that serving god. In a very real way that's exactly what it is, serving the god of the individual self, the animal, the serpent who wants it to be that way. That's what it did with the first humans, question God's word and get something for themselves, by their own hand. The snake didn't pick the apple for them, they had to actually purpose and commit to do it.
What would it be like to have to actually count on each other, as the first century believers did, for what they needed to survive? It might produce a different set of values about what we "need." It might also produce a higher regard for each other if we saw others who were willing to give up their things, their lives, for us. More of an actual community of believers who needed each other, counted on each other, and actually—shall I dare say it—loved each other?
We give up so much for things and money, providing for our selves and our "family," that it's no wonder they are so important to us. But what about God? There is this consensus feeling that God will understand our plight, and that it's okay with Him that we spend almost all our years, the overwhelming chunk of our days, and more than half of our hours for the gathering of money.
It's ridiculous and absurd to talk the way I am, I know. Yet there is another who talked in even more radical terms. He said that there is only one thing to seek after, and everything else is irrelevant because in the end it amounts to nothing. Believing that is the hardest thing, because it's hard to imagine how God will give His sons what they need. But He is able to act and purpose outside the scope of the natural limitations, so even when it happens it may not seem like something out of the ordinary. The cares and worries of this life cause the "pagans" to run after the things they think they "need." It also causes those who may hear the word to abandon that living word (the only lasting treasure) in order to satisfy themselves, and to allay the inevitable worries and concerns of this life.
Earthly treasure is not going to get the sons any favor with the Lord, because it only means something to the animals who can only see and participate in the natural world. Jesus tells us that we should use it, if we have it, in a shrewd way, as the shrewd manager did, so as to gain treasure that will last—favor with God. What does that look like? Doing the opposite of what the animal would naturally do—giving it away—shows that we understand its value, which is nothing. That's a very advanced thing for the son to know, that he sees the spiritual reality more clearly than the natural.
Yet this One also says that setting ourselves toward anything more than food and clothing is harmful to our "real" life (seeking the favor of God, the good gifts, heavenly treasure), and actually our Father is able and willing to give us that if we need it. So the only things worth seeking in this life are the heavenly treasures, the food that doesn't spoil, and the robes of righteousness we will be clothed with if we are indeed found worthy to be called a son of God.
The early believers had everything they needed—the spirit and power of God living in them. That condition is gone now. The life of the one true God and the Son, alive in their mortal bodies, was worth more than anything they "thought" they needed to survive. Actually they knew that being alive was not about being an ordinary human, but the only thing that made one alive, was having the real life alive inside them, as Jesus did. Being a human without this life and power in them was actually being dead. Alive as an animal, a child of Adam—but dead to the Lord.
If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.
What is impossible with men is possible with God. Everything is possible for him who believes.