2 Chronicles 23 / Daniel 4 / Acts 2
Then Jehoiada placed the oversight of the temple of the LORD in the hands of the priests, who were Levites, to whom David had made assignments in the temple, to present the burnt offerings of the LORD as written in the Law of Moses, with rejoicing and singing, as David had ordered. He also stationed doorkeepers at the gates of the LORD's temple so that no one who was in any way unclean might enter.
"The man must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever." So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.
I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.
Guarding the place that is holy and reserved for God and those He is choosing is what the whole story of everything is about. It is in these and other secret messages throughout the words, which seem like little things but tell about the condition of the humans before God and their complete inability to get to where He is unless they have been specifically consecrated in order to be able to go in. The copy under Joash reinforces the original separation from Genesis 3. Both are about the gatekeepers who keep the unclean away from where God doesn't want them to be—near Him because He is holy and cannot be contaminated by what is not. The Genesis account declares something very important about what the humans all of a sudden became way back when, in the beginning. The angel with the flaming sword is what keeps them from ever coming close to God. That is the condition of man before God—not able to come near Him.
After a while since man became bound to the animal via the same nature living in both, God decided to make a representative copy of what He wanted, out of a group of humans whom He had chosen, who all came from one man who He called His friend (Abraham). In the very heart and center of that group there would be God, who would be separated from the humans via layers of humans who were each one consecutively more able to come near to Him according to their position before Him.
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham's descendants. For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess. He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God's house.
The high priest was closest to God. He is the firstborn Son of God. The sons of God are gathered around the Father and Son, the layer that's closest to Him and directly around Him, represented by the priests and Levites. The nation of Israel represents the multitude who are judged by the sons of God to be worthy to be around them as the next layer. In John's revelation these are spoken of as the 144,000, which is an exact number of sons of God who are chosen by the Father to be in His own family, the layer that is closest to Him, the most near buffer between Him and everything else.
Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.
Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads. And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps. And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they kept themselves pure. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among men and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless.
The other group in the revelation that is near God is the multitude that no one can count, not because there are too many but because there's no exact number until they are judged by the sons to be worthy to be that next separating layer. The sons are an exact number because they have all been specifically chosen by the Father. When the sons become able to know right from wrong (because their new nature is complete and they are like the Father), then they take over the work of the Father because they are able to judge correctly, without partiality.
The sons are an exact number and declared to all be from the house of Israel, which in human terms is the representation of the secret family of God's own sons, who are closest to Him. They look like the firstborn Son to the Father because like him, they are special. Only they could learn the song of the firstborn Son. They follow the Son wherever he goes because he is the only way to the Father, and that's the only place they need to go and be, because that's where He wants them.
After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb.
The multitude are not necessarily from the house of Israel (the copy of God's true family, whose number is exact), but they could be Jews or anything else. They could be from any other nation or race of people who ever lived. They are not specifically chosen by the Father, as His own sons are. They are chosen by the sons, judged to be worthy to live as that layer directly around the sons because of what they did in their life.
Then the King will say to those on his right, `Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
Then the righteous will answer him, `Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
The King will reply, `I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
These would no doubt be the ones who for instance helped the sons, gave them water, treated them like the Father would want them treated. They welcomed the sons into their homes and gave them food and shelter. They saw them hurt and healed them up like the Samaritan, who didn't pass by on the other side because they were selfishly interested in not being bothered. They wanted to do what was right, and God is fair and just. So will the sons be fair and just because they see the Father's face and they know what is fair according to Him.
He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the one who sent me. Anyone who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet's reward, and anyone who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man's reward. And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.
Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.
Spoken by one of the humans who before in his pomp and glory considered himself to be something, like a little god who needs to be worshipped (the egotistical component of the animal nature). He was made into what he was, by God for His purpose, and then was shown by the same God in a process of transformation what was true, which wiped out what was false, which is the natural view of the humans. That is, that they are something good according to themselves, which they easily transfer to God out of ignorance.
All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing.
Although they're driven to think they're something very special, they're not anything to Him unless He's particularly chosen them, to pull them out from their condition of being nothing, so that they may become useful and pleasing to Him. His own family of sons are the most valuable thing He has. It is the thing that gives Him pride and pleasure, like the natural fathers are about their own sons. That phenomenal characteristic of the humans did not just materialize out of nothing; it is based on the way the Father feels about His own sons. They are the ones who are driven to want to please Him because they know who He is. He has specifically revealed Himself and who He is to them (their true Father) and they appreciate it so much that they want to smash down whatever sets itself up against the knowledge of Him. Their hearts become set on walking the way the firstborn Son walked, tearing down the strongholds inside themselves that keep them separated from their Father and the Son who saved them.
All the people went to the temple of Baal and tore it down. They smashed the altars and idols and killed Mattan the priest of Baal in front of the altars.
All the ways by which they lived before, when they were mere men—the place and condition all the sons come from—will have to be rooted out of the sons of God in order for them to actually become sons instead of mere animals according to God. This is the process of transformation that happens in them all, which makes them clean to be able to start coming near to their Father so they can know Him and He them. The things that are identified by the writers as so hideous and evil—the Asherah poles and altars to Baal, etc—weren't as obviously evil to those living as Israelites at the time. They were integrated into the society and culture so that to the people those things seemed sort of commonplace and benign, not obviously evil. The obviousness which the words portray is retrospective, for the purpose in the writer's mind when he wrote them.
As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go." Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."
He said to another man, "Follow me."
But the man replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father."
Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family." Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."
The same is true for the things that God hates to see living in His sons. The call to repentance is from being a mere animal who cannot come close to God, defined as such because of the nature of the unclean animal that is living in and leads the son. There is no automatic, instantaneous spiritual washing machine that the son pops out of, then all of a sudden he can just be near God, when before he couldn't. It is not a free gift in the sense that it doesn't cost everything. The reason it's so valuable is because it costs so much and because it's so difficult to suffer through the tumultuous, arduous and painful transformation which has to happen in him, to slowly degrade the power of the animal and replace that with the nature of the son of God. If it were easy or fast, it would be worth nothing.
All the things the humans love and run after because they're built right into them aren't ever identified as what God considers evil, because the human animals who rule the natural world don't consider them evil, according to their own evil will and purpose to avoid suffering and pain. They consider what's evil as just another part of the way they naturally are, and because they consider themselves so inherently good, the way they are is good also. That is ironically and insidiously how the animal nature works within the humans. Because its pure mode is always just survival, it won't/can't identify its own life and presence as the thing that's evil and it never does, which is how and why it continues to survive.
Make the heart of this people calloused;
make their ears dull
and close their eyes.
The fact that even the thoughts of the humans are totally controlled by the animal nature and instincts means they can't escape from it, because they can't even identify it as something they need to escape from. That's the way it is, because that's the way God made it to be, so that only His true sons can ever recognize it, and then be pulled out from it. It is done not by something good living in them—only the animal lives in them natively—but a special, purposed thing that has to come from God, their true Father, because He desires to give it. The seed of the life of the only true and living God has to be planted in them first, which grows so that their eyes can be opened to the Father's reality. When the sons are given eyes to see, then they're able to see, then turn from what they were, and be healed by the growth of the same life by which they have been reborn. The others aren't given eyes to see, so there's nothing from which to turn, nothing to be healed because they're already good in their own minds and hearts. What they see as the enemy isn't the enemy at all, and what they can't see as God's adversary and their enemy—what lives in their hearts to define them as mere animals—they don't see at all, because they're not intended to be able to see. The sons will be shown, be able to see, and will hopefully accept what's true, choosing the way of the Father over the way of the animal who rules the world ruled by the human animals and the way they are instinctually driven to be.
He also stationed doorkeepers at the gates of the LORD's temple so that no one who was in any way unclean might enter.
This is another copy of what God created and sustained in the natural, so that His sons could learn by it, how and what He wants them to become. They are the temple where He wants to live, and so they must maintain the gates so that the unclean things, which are the ways they used to live their lives by, what is naturally and instinctually inside the humans to define them as unclean animals, doesn't get into the temple, which is their body.
The religious animals reckon that their bodies are the temple, and special, because there's something so inherently good and special about them individually, which is right in line with how the animal nature works. The sons have to understand that the only reason they're special enough to regard their body as God's temple is because God chose them to live in their heart, so that their condition can be as Jesus' was, who is the firstborn among many brothers. Even that condition, as long as it's mixed with the natural, is imperfect.
We hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!" Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, "What does this mean?"
The spirit didn't act willy-nilly, going haphazardly to whoever and whatever was in the world. It came from one man, the firstborn Son, and went out from there, just like the nation of Israel came out from only the one man Abraham. The spirit continued the work that had already been started among the particularly chosen humans, by the Father who lived in the body of the Son when he was still a human. There is no spirit of chaos or randomness that comes from God, what the christian leaders claim for themselves and their sheep. They are correct in their assumption and teaching that God is impartial in the generic love they ascribe to Him. Amongst the plants and animals, including the humans (even the religious ones), He is impartial, because they are and remain just another part of the natural creation, bound to keep going by its continual cycles of death. He is fiercely partial to His true sons, who are His own spiritual flesh and blood—a contradiction with a purpose.
Some, however, made fun of them and said, "They have had too much wine. "
Even though the same group heard the men, speaking by the invisible power of the spirit the wonders of God all in their own languages, some heard and were amazed and some heard but made fun, because they didn't hear anything but babbling. This is an important metaphor illustrating the way the true God works amongst the humans, concerning His sons. Because God is hidden the same will happen again—those who don't hear will be far more numerous than those who do hear, and those who don't will think those who do are out of their minds, hearing things which apparently do not exist. They will point toward the numerousness of their ranks of followers as their proof that they're right and the sons are wrong. Just because the mockers cannot see the spiritual reality, does that mean it doesn't exist? For them, yes, because they do not have eyes to see, or ears to hear the invisible God, who allows some to understand while most of them He keeps from understanding. As Jesus said, "He who has ears to hear (him who had been given ears to hear), let him hear." The others will not hear, and there's no point trying to make them hear what they cannot hear.
God wants His people to be zealous for Him—to uphold the covenants, to look after His interests, to talk about His goodness, His gift, His awesomeness and majesty. There's nothing in being zealous though for a lie made up by men. This entire natural existence is a lie, in that it has any inherent value other than the plain fact that we're merely "alive" for a little while then we're "dead." The lie maintains that it's so valuable and so worthwhile to keep going, even though its immediate demise is looming all the time, in and for each of its participants. The entire christian religion is based on a complex set of lies. The mere humans can only be smug and indifferent about God, because the truth is kept far away from them. They act like everything's fine with God because they're carrying on some man made rituals and traditions; they assume they have rights and privileges because they think they have something that no one else possesses—yet every other group like them thinks and says the same thing.
You must obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees. I am the LORD your God. Keep my decrees and laws, for the man who obeys them will live by them. I am the LORD.
The rights and privileges do not exist for God's people, though, unless they are fulfilling their end of the covenant. Just because it's a new covenant, doesn't mean it's not a covenant. God has always been about a covenant, which is something that both parties have to fulfill or else it becomes nullifiable. What the christians and other religious groups made the truth into was that it's some kind of free gift, meaning there is no law to be kept (except their own version of what they made the law into—being good, like they consider themselves because they assume to have the correct facts, even though they don't).
The law is not a bad thing, only ineffective to produce the results God wants by its existence. The new covenant, new law, new commands isn't about not having any law or commands from God to His people. It's not a state of anarchy where there is no law. The law was given to the Israelites so they could have some set of guiding commands to live by, but for what purpose exactly? So they wouldn't be like all the other nations of peoples on the earth whose gods were all made up, false and without power to do anything, especially save anyone. None of these other peoples had the law, given by God to them, so they were left to just making up whatever they wanted, whatever suited them.
The LORD said to Moses, "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'I am the LORD your God. You must not do as they do in Egypt, where you used to live, and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. Do not follow their practices."
Yet the Israelites could only be a copy of the actual reality, because the nature of the animal that was in them was stronger than their ability to be faithful to God and keep His law. They always failed because what is naturally inside the humans leads them so they cannot be led by God and be faithful and pleasing to Him. There was One who did that, but not by his own power. It was a mixture of what was in him, and his desire to remain faithful to it instead of the other thing, what is naturally, instinctually in all the humans.
The sons of God are not known, recognized in the natural, amongst the humans, which is why the christian leaders are all full of themselves when they stand up in front of their sheep and accept the glory of man (the egotistical currency) and say it's what God wants. They're right, it is what the god of their selves wants, and they work hard to become one which can stand up in front of the sheep and dazzle them with their knowledge of the mythology they ascribe to, their own system of lies. They receive the human praise and adoration of the "man of god" he has been promoted to be (by himself and the other leaders who are after the same thing, so they conspire together to bleed the sheep of whatever currency they have and are willing to give these false shepherds)—then say that God did it all, as though anything that gets done in God's name is automatically from Him, just because they mouth the name of the jesus god.
That's all good and fine for the humans. For the sons of God who are being pulled out of the world of humans, there is no self-promotion or ambition that's recognized by the true God. Self-promotion and ambition is what turned the truth of Jesus being God's Christ into the lie that it remains as today—that he was a god before the Father gave birth to him inside the womb of a 12 year old girl. God is the One who chooses His leaders and shepherds, not men. Men choose their leaders as they would politicians or leaders of businesses. Their mush-mouth sentiment is that God is their leader, but it's only conceptual, because their institutions remain purely human and natural, because they remain purely human and natural, nothing to God.
All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing.
The humans don't consider themselves as nothing. Each one of them considers their self very highly, as seen in the way they live, no matter what mouth talk they might secrete stating the otherwise. That philosophy has seeped into this culture so that the value of the lives of individual and collective humanity is the thing that guides everything. It's reinforced by the propaganda that the humans hear over and over and never question because it just seems to be the norm.
This is how the animal nature works in its desire to survive in all the different ways available to it to do so. The unquestioned lie amongst the humans is that they are worth something to God, that they have some great intrinsic value and that He is so happy when they decide to embrace Him, as though He is some kind of insipid, impotent grandfather figure, some totally irrational and imperfect human, like they want Him to be so they can control Him, according to their need to—because of their nature to control everything they possibly can. That's what God has been made into by the humans, for their own purpose, to control the sheep and make them sedated by the feel-good lie (the morphine dripper) so they keep forking over the moolah (financial currency), the adoration (egotistical currency), and the ability to keep the lie going.
I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts.
It's not like the law went away so that there was no law of God to live by or be true and faithful to for the believers in the first century. The law and commands from God to His people still existed, but it wasn't like the inferior law that Moses gave which could only be written on tablets of stone. It was secret and hidden inside the hearts of the believers, just as it had been in Jesus' heart so that he could obey it fully, be totally faithful to it, because it was close and it was alive. It was not like the old law, which was written down on natural things, and was limited to the natural sphere of the humans. The law that lived in Jesus' heart was alive, the living word, the voice of the Father which, being alive, kept speaking to him—showing, teaching, and guiding Jesus so that he learned to choose, live by, and obey, the right (God's way), and reject, abandon and hate the wrong (the way of the humans, what is naturally, instinctually inside them).
You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our work, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
Consider the new command that Jesus gives to the sheep chosen by God for him, to be their shepherd to lead them to the Father. What is a good graphic, working definition of love, so that it can be understood? One way is to say what it's not, what it is the opposite of. That would be what is instinctually inside the humans, what they would always prefer to do—love and take care of themselves because they're driven by an extraordinary power to always do that. And in that state and condition, the other thing, the new command, is not possible. That is what's inside the humans (me), and the reason I can see and recognize it is because I am it, and I can comprehend its presence and power in me to do just that, all the time.
It's not some abstract religious conceptual theory about some sinful nature that I have to be talked into believing is there. I understand it's there, because it's there, and I don't have to talk myself into believing it's there because I know it is (since its presence has been revealed to me). It's been there all my life, and given me lots of grief, and I didn't recognize it as the sinful nature until that was illuminated to me by the teacher. I also know it's what makes it impossible to fulfill the command given by Jesus to the men he was chosen to save. I see what lives in me as the opposite of what lived in those men, after a certain amount of teaching was done in them, to free them from that self-absorbing, self-promoting, self-reliant, self-preserving, self-centered in every way, animal nature—what all the humans are naturally bound to.
Jesus created the ability for the chosen humans to be able to lose, turn away from those instinctual things within him that keep defining him as a mere animal. The son will live by losing his life, what the humans maintain and love, which continues to define them as animals before God. The short and simple definition of life is all the stuff we get and possess for our selves. But it isn't simple at all. In the same way of simple definition, the son lives by the thing he searches for—the most valuable thing, the treasured possession which, when he knows that is actually exists, he sells everything to search for it and find it. He will spend his entire life searching, and he will find it; then he will search more and find more.
Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days."
It is the new law of God, written on his heart (Jer 31), which circumcises his heart and makes him a son of God by what he possesses inside of him—that coveted treasure he learns to love, the life of God living in him. In the old days, people offered sacrifices to God on altars—prescribed places where God agreed to accept their sacrifices. After Jesus, the temple is unseen because the altars are inside the bodies of God's people. Before a man sacrificed valuable animals to God and performed certain rituals and traditions; and God accepted them in exchange for the man's life. After Jesus the only thing God accepts is the sacrifice of the whole human, his whole life in exchange for real life, what God is offering. There is no in-between; there is no hanging on to one's life and also having the life of God. That is a sacrifice that God does not accept because it is double minded—on the outside he lives for God but on the inside he lives for himself. But it has to be offered first, before the man can give it. The lie is that anyone can get and have it, with some words and sentiment, some adherence to rituals, and then you're all good with God—as though what He has to offer means little or nothing.
Jesus, who was the most unanimal of all men—he denied the animal power in his life and instead always chose God—had to be made an animal to bear the sin of God's sons, so they also could unbecome animals. This is what happened directly after Jesus' ascension, to the believers in the first century. Some of the humans who before were slaves of this animal nature, were becoming unanimals, because of the power of the life of God in them, to effect that transformation. The same power, the life of God, which was in Jesus, was now in a bunch of ordinary humans, who were made very unordinary by what they were given. It allowed them to shed the animal skin that had been put onto Adam a long time ago. It is the thing that marked them as God's true people, what the copies (Israelites) could only ever point at, not with the outward markings—doing rituals and traditions which made them God's people along with having an external mark which said they were His (circumcision)—but with unseen and hidden, secret markings that only they could see and understand.
After Jesus' ascension, the thing that marked them as God's people was invisible, and all one could observe about these people externally was that they had a certain love for each other that defied the human experience—it was opposite to what is naturally in the humans to be able to do and be. They weren't like the others, because of an absence of the nature that makes people isolate and want to take care of themselves and no one else (except their own flesh and blood). What marked them was invisible, and only those who possessed it could observe it, or "see" it in others who possessed it.
God's people in Paul's time were affected by that invisible power, the unseen force that marked them as His. Paul was familiar with this thing, and he wrote about it constantly. It is the life of God, which is the only real life, just as God is the only true God. When it lived in Jesus, it enabled him to heal people because it was busting out and doing what God always wanted His people to do—feed the hungry, heal the sick, take care of the widows and orphans and aliens i.e., those who were naturally oppressed by the humans who should have been taking care of them because they had the ability to.
He also wrote about the many troubles that were infecting the people of God. Why were they happening? Because the people of God, who had the life of God living in them, were reverting back to the animal, indulging in the things that the animals indulge in, not being faithful and obedient to the law that was in their hearts. They were not being faithful to keeping up their part of the covenant, which was to come away from the humans and not be like them, driven by the animal nature to do and be mere men. The terms of the new covenant were backed by the power to actually be able to fulfill it, which was the life and power of God living in their hearts to combat the animal nature, which also lived there. But they had to choose which one to follow and be led by, as per what Jesus did in the temptation.
Real love, which only comes from God, drives its recipients toward taking care of the other and away from taking care of one's self (or merely one's offspring, which actually is his own body, his own self). It's actually, truly impossible if one's being led by the animal. With the absence of love, one can only think about his own affairs and interests—which is what we have had all the time with what the mere humans are capable of, in a true way. Sure they pretend to love each other, but that real love, which drove Jesus and the apostles and many of the NT believers, is absent because the condition that drove them because it lived in their hearts, is also absent. That is why all you see is ritual and tradition, people trying to love each other with half-smiles and chit-chat, because that's all they have available to them—but it's far removed from the experience of the NT brethren (the first century believers in the true Jesus).
This is intended as criticism toward everyone who thinks there is something inherently good about the humans—good being as defined by God, not the humans. It is an effort to examine and see what actually exists, which is the depravity and hopelessness of the humans. There's no made up, fairy tale god which has any power to save, who loves everyone and every thing, and wants everything that ever existed to be with him by his side. That's just a concept, agreeable to the humans, made up by them. There is only One real God, and there are only His sons who are gathered around Him to keep His safe and comfortable as His true house and family.
This work is to encourage those who can hear to want more, to believe that there is more than the depravity of the animal, which now exists as the state and nature of man. It is the thing that will allow the sons to turn from their smugness and be zealous for the things of God in a real way because the truth of it lives in their heart. It is the only thing that has the power to be able to allow them to actually love the particular others instead of being in this prison of self-love, isolated animals unfamiliar with the things and the way of God—which is the state and condition of all the humans, naturally.
The only gift that is worth desiring and asking for is the gift of real life, which comes in and takes over and makes the animal not an animal anymore. The life of God pushes the life of Adam out; slowly, methodically and surely. Those who have ears to hear should listen and ask for the gift of the love of God, the life inside, the power to change and heal and turn from dead to alive. It is the only thing that has the power to make them sons instead of animals.
They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live.
A man is not a Jew (God's people) if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a man is a Jew (God's people) if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God.