2 Chronicles 28 / Daniel 8 / Acts 8
The Israelites took captive from their kinsmen two hundred thousand wives, sons and daughters. They also took a great deal of plunder, which they carried back to Samaria.
But a prophet of the LORD named Oded was there, and he went out to meet the army when it returned to Samaria. He said to them, "Because the LORD, the God of your fathers, was angry with Judah, he gave them into your hand. But you have slaughtered them in a rage that reaches to heaven. And now you intend to make the men and women of Judah and Jerusalem your slaves. But aren't you also guilty of sins against the LORD your God? Now listen to me! Send back your fellow countrymen you have taken as prisoners, for the LORD's fierce anger rests on you."
Then some of the leaders in Ephraim—Azariah son of Jehohanan, Berekiah son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah son of Shallum, and Amasa son of Hadlai—confronted those who were arriving from the war. "You must not bring those prisoners here," they said, "or we will be guilty before the LORD. Do you intend to add to our sin and guilt? For our guilt is already great, and his fierce anger rests on Israel."
So the soldiers gave up the prisoners and plunder in the presence of the officials and all the assembly. The men designated by name took the prisoners, and from the plunder they clothed all who were naked. They provided them with clothes and sandals, food and drink, and healing balm. All those who were weak they put on donkeys. So they took them back to their fellow countrymen at Jericho, the City of Palms, and returned to Samaria.
There is nothing as important to the Father as brotherly love, which is the central message of the entire Israelite existence, the preview of what was coming (the new covenant), which was yet another preview of the best thing (the family of brothers who are the chosen and called sons of God). That is a pure love without the garbage of the animal attached to it e.g., sexuality or greed (financially or emotionally). Love driven by financial greed is giving a love because you intend to get something back like money or things, maybe career help, etc. That by emotional greed is giving love because the other could satisfy some egotistical or emotional craving by giving it. That could be the animal survival component of feeling acceptable, better or having that agreement of being more right than others. It could be that love is given because I expect to get some kind of reciprocal emotional security and safety by giving it out.
You have heard that it was said, `Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Perfect love doesn't mean what most humans interpret it to mean. It is not an indiscriminate call to purposely pick out your enemies and then direct your love at them, or try to love anyone and everyone you see, based on the misguided notion that because the humans are so inherently good, God loves every one of them the same and wants to cram as many as possible in "heaven." Perfect love is a very discriminate love aimed by a perfect means of being able to discriminate, which comes from the Father and not from the animal. The animal loves because it gets something back, plain and simple, to aid its own survival efforts. The sons of God love because they are first loved by the Father whom they know has chosen them to be with Him. In response to this, they love the Father and grow to understand Him and His motives—what He wants (what His will is). When they understand what He loves and wants, they can then start to fall in love with the same thing that He is in love with, and the object of His love starts to become theirs too, which is the process of becoming one with the Father and the true brotherhood, and perfect like the Father is perfect.
All judgment of good and evil extending out to perfection and imperfection, purity and hypocrisy; comes via whether or not whatever it is lines up with the Father's view of good and evil. Nothing is judged by any other means except that, which is why the first humans wanting to be able to decide for themselves between good and evil—to themselves want to be gods instead of sons of the only living God—was such a hideous thing. Perfect love is loving with a pure heart i.e., not doing it via the animal motives—not giving because you expect something back—loving not with animal motives attached, but because your heart is one with the Father's heart, so you love what He loves. Pure love is that which is driven by the motivation that can only come from the Father's emotions instead of the animal's (our own).
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love.
The Son is most often engaged in teaching those few men who were specifically being called by the Father to learn from the Son how to become sons of God. Not very often is he aiming his words at the multitudes, but to a specific few who were close to him, whom he understood had been chosen to have ears to hear what he said. What he is telling them is that they shouldn't be trying to decide, by their totally biased animal emotions, who they should be loving. By love he means sticking together with each other as part of the same close brotherhood, taking care of each other, looking out for them and extending your emotions to them like they were brothers instead of animals. He had shown them examples of what love looked like (washing each other's feet like a servant) versus what it didn't look like (demanding respect and honor from each other like a king).
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
Their love should be as his love was, pure and honest and for the right reason. The joy of the animal is to always be getting its needs met and to be able to continue to find that agreement with themselves that they will continue to be able to do so. The joy of the Son was in first having the life of the Father grow in him, so that his emotions became the same as the Father's emotions. What made the Son happy was being One with the Father, and that oneness was real, not theoretical. That oneness found its highest expression in the Son and the Father having the same desires, the same intentions; the things that made them happy and gave them joy became the same because they were One.
I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
Their joy becoming complete was predicated upon a correct sense of joy living in them first. Not the joy that the animal brings which is always based on the self, but the joy that is the same as the Father's joy—learning to become happy and joyful by the same things by which the Father becomes delighted. It is in sharing the same emotions with the Father that He has, which can only come from above, not below. Those emotions of happiness from the Father as far as this creation is concerned are mostly about why He created it—that out from it He could draw His own family of sons who love Him. Pure and perfect love is that which is driven by the same emotional motivation that the Father has and is putting in His sons, so they can be one with His purpose, and love the same way that He loves. When the object of His love is the same as that which drives the son, then they are becoming one in purpose, precisely because their love is not from the animal's instinctual motivation.
Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
What was the reason he loved those 12 men? Purely and totally because he first loved the Father, and that because the Father first loved him, and told him over and over until he understood it, until he actually believed it. Because he was unified with the Father in His emotional motivation, he knew that the Father had chosen those specific men to be in His true family; as had so many prophets and righteous men from the OT era, about whose love for the Father he had heard as he grew up. He fell in love with these sons even though just hearing about them, because he understood their love for the Father and their desire to do His will above everything else. He understood that he was one with these sons and that they were actually alive, even though their bodies had already expired. He knew all this because he had the Father's mind and heart living in him, so their emotional motivation was the same.
The vision of the evenings and mornings that has been given you is true, but seal up the vision, for it concerns the distant future.
God is hidden. We think that because we can read about Him that our situation is the same as those contemporaneous with the writers of the particular books, His prophets driven by His life and words in them. We have the benefit of having the whole record to read, but what about those who existed before it was completed and compiled? What if the record isn't yet finished, and even right now the third installment of the record is being initiated and compiled. What do we have so far if that is true, and what might the last one be?
God makes man, wants to take care of him as a good Father, and wants the man to trust Him. The man trusts the animal instead, so the nature of the son who loves his Father and the relationship of the Father taking care of the son is taken away, and the nature of the animal is "put on" the man (animal skins). At the same time the way to the tree of life is guarded (flaming sword) so that man cannot get to it (sonship).
God then gives birth to a family of His own, and makes a covenant with them to be His family (the copy). He would be faithful to keep them safe, and give them a home of their own in a land that was rich in being able to satisfy their needs. They would be a prosperous nation, and would have peace on all sides from the animals who weren't chosen to be His people,t he representative copy of the better thing. He would live in the midst of their community to remind them they were safe and protected. They would be a people who would be different than all the other people (sons of God vs. unclean animals), who would love and revere Him and live as He wanted them to live; not like animals, but like sons—like a faithful wife would love, respect and honor her good husband.
Ahaz gathered together the furnishings from the temple of God and took them away. He shut the doors of the LORD's temple and set up altars at every street corner in Jerusalem. In every town in Judah he built high places to burn sacrifices to other gods and provoked the LORD, the God of his fathers, to anger.
They continually wanted and loved every thing and every god but Him. Israel's shepherds continually led them away from the true God, towards the gods of the animals around them, even carved images made in the shape of animals. They constantly rejected Him in favor of the things and ways of the animal instead of His way. Like the first humans, they trusted and wanted those things (your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil) instead of His offering to them (satisfied with being children in His family). They said to God, "We don't want to be your family, we want to be like you."
"The time is coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah." I will be their God, and they will be my people.
They will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.
He put His own life and words in some men (those from that era who were being secretly chosen by Him), who spoke about His goodness, and spoke against the unfaithfulness of the wife that He had chosen to be His, but who loved others instead of her good husband (Ezekiel 16). These spoke about One who was coming to make everything right, who would liberate his brothers from their bondage to the animal via their nature, and show the orphans the way to their Father who intended to adopt them.
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
So the Chosen One came and he did show those who were chosen to become sons, the way to their new Father. He told them who God was, and spoke against the animal nature that had always deceived men into trusting it instead of Him, even from the beginning. He was able to reveal who the Father was to the few who trusted him, only because they had been given the ability to see what was true, and believe it over what the human animals saw and believed was true by their animal faculties. They were too bound up to their animal existences (their lives) to hear and believe anything except what they wanted to hear and believe, what could aid them in their ongoing dilemma of needing to survive in many different ways.
This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.
A new covenant was given by God to His people, which was better than the old one. It had been promised for a long time by God's holy men under the old covenant. It would be able to teach them the way of their Father (make them one in purpose with Him) because it could live within them, in their hearts, so they could be obedient and pleasing to their Father. His people could never be that in the past because of the animal nature and its dominance over them to get them to follow it instead of God, which is its purpose (so the unclean animals can't decide on their own what they need to do, then turn and be healed of what separates them from God, unless He chooses to allow it).
I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
The animal nature is what lives in the humans to be the wall that keeps them totally separated from God. In other words, He doesn't indiscriminately love every human and want them all to be near Him. That is an idea that the humans love because they always consider themselves to be so inherently good, just because of the same nature that makes them believe that so they'll continue to want to survive. Actually just the opposite is true about the Father. He wants them all to be separated from Him because they're unable to be pleasing to Him—they aren't for His purpose, to be in His family. The gate is the Son who pleased Him by being perfectly clean; that is, unified with Him in mind, emotion and purpose. The Son loved what the Father loved and wanted to please Him because they shared the same emotions, the same mind and purpose. The same things made them happy and joyful. The animal drive is the complete opposite of that, because it's always about the individual, each one assuming they're so inherently good, so everything coming back to whether it does them good or not, whether it aids them in their drive to survive.
He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
He showed them that the only way to the Father was by a way that the humans couldn't understand, because it had to do with things that weren't natural or a part of the present natural creation, just as God is not natural or a part of this creation but above it, better than it, over it—perfect and by what everything is judged, whether it is good or evil in contrast to God who is the perfection of good. Although the sons in whom the Father was living were still bound to the natural creation, they were learning the truth about God, that He was above the natural, He was their real Father, and He didn't conform to the way of the humans and what they were bound to. He could act and be in their hearts what the humans couldn't see or control, to make the sons aware of Him and obedient to Him, more than the god of the natural, the devil, the serpent from ancient times.
Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to him, "How long will it take for the vision to be fulfilled—the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, the rebellion that causes desolation, and the surrender of the sanctuary and of the host that will be trampled underfoot?"
Then the unclean animals took what was clean (God living in the bodies of some humans, which was a more refined copy of God living in the midst of the camp of the Israelites), and made it into what they could understand, control and profit from. They made up all kinds of myths about their good gods versus the bad ones—devils, demons and hell the home of the bad god satan. They took the words and twisted them into a fairy tale which had nothing to do with the One true God of Israel, His wife, their Son, or His purpose of having the family that all of these metaphors represent. The serpent who is the father of all those who inherit the animal nature, which had been put on and into Adam, was now a fallen angel, something outside of man, an entity which had nothing to do with the nature of man as an animal with an animal's nature—the true nature of man which defined him as an unclean animal, unable to come near God.
The good Son who came to do the Father's work, whom the Father loved because he did do the work, was elevated to some kind of god himself, so that the work he did meant nothing, but became merely abstract symbolism as it exists today in every group that claims the "christian" name, what their mother the whore of babylon gives them. In the name of the Son they ironically wiped out the truth, value and significance of the Son according to the Father, so that none of the humans can become one with Him in purpose and emotions. Also, the life of God, the truth that lived in His holy prophets and put words in their mouths because it lived in their hearts (the spirit of God, how He interacts with His sons who are in their human body), was also made into a god and equal with Him, even though it's just a mechanism, a way of interacting. Yet it was given an actual personality, another good counterpart god to the bad gods—a scripted superhero comic book story, thousands of years old.
They made up all kind of lies about the Son and about the Father, in his name. Because they just mimic and conform to the society of animals to which they belong, being mere animals themselves, they made Him into a "democratic" God who loves everyone. They made their gods into whores for the human's affection (because they're so inherently good), gods just sitting around waiting for men to accept them; gods who don't care who the followers are, or whether they even love, honor and respect them—as long as they just regurgitate a few lies made up by men they could just come right in to the made up heaven. The more the better is the philosophy of the gods of the liars.
The truth of God even from the beginning is hidden in lies about Him and the nature of man, who is now a sort of god himself (what the first humans wanted to be instead of the living God's happy and content children), made that way by humanist philosophies of men who think they are smarter than God—that they don't need Him. The truth is that He doesn't need them, nor does He want them. He is only interested in the few who actually want Him more than anything else, who have His truth and life in their hearts, who love Him and the truth about Him more than their own lives. To the rest He remains hidden, just as He wants it to be.
What we have now is the same situation that has always existed—man worshipping himself, money and his appetite, everything but the God who always was and always will be. There are no other gods beside Him, although there are many fools who come and go and never find Him because they loved the lie more than the truth, while they think they're so smart and have it all figured out.
They are dogs with mighty appetites; they never have enough. They are shepherds who lack understanding; they all turn to their own way, each seeks his own gain.
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 (what the holy roman church made up about Jesus, which spun off into all the different forms of christianity, and all other religions who also claim their own made up version of jesus as their master).