Job 11 / Micah 7 / James 3-4
What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
We are only here for a minute, then we're gone, like everything else that is a part of this creation—here for a minute then gone. That is the last thing on anyone's mind as they go through their life, living as though there is no death. Everyone plays in to the conspiracy because the lie is available to whomever wants to believe it. Consensus among them can surely prop up the lie by the agreement that the lie is real.
Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.
Since the leaders are no closer to knowing the truth about the only living God than anyone else—all are blind to the Father's reality until He chooses to reveal Himself to one—it's not very amazing that their expertise does not afford them knowledge of the truth. They can only hone a mastery of their popular lie which anyone can learn, from other humans who have acquired a degree of mastery of the subject, or books that propagate the lie, etc.
The sons understand something about no trusting the humans no matter what kind of "expert" they call themselves or how qualified they presume to be able to teach. No matter how polished their public speaking skills (preaching), they don't know the way to God no matter how well they convince according to the act and persona they've taken on as per what they claim to be. The humans are so accustomed to having "experts" around them and trusting them that it's tempting to trust that they know what they're talking about. They very well know all about the gods who were made up by men a long time ago—father, son, spirit and devil—but if they say they know things that are true about the only living God they are wrong, because that is wisdom which comes from the Father and it has to be revealed. But first, the one to whom it's being revealed must be given special ears and eyes that can see and hear what the ordinary (not chosen because not intended by the Father to become sons) humans cannot.
The disciples came to him and asked, "Why do you speak to the people in parables?"
He replied, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. This is why I speak to them in parables:
Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
'You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.'
But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it."
The Father chooses those He wants to reveal Himself to. Otherwise He remains hidden, just as He has always chosen to be and remain a secret that cannot be fathomed by the ordinary humans who are only the same as the animal in that regard, who aren't aware of God. All they know is the instinct that guides them along, what allows them to survive because of the impulses that well up in them so they can and do survive very efficiently. The knowledge of God is beyond their grasp, which is the same for the humans. The humans have a slightly more capable imagination than the others (made in God's image), but that imagination doesn't actually allow them to grasp the Father's reality, only to make up one of their own that suits what they are able to accept. Consider all the thousands of different religions and views of what each conceives their god(s) to be—each is exclusive of the other, and each thinks they're the only one that's correct.
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.
The revelation of the Father comes to those whom He chooses, while the rest are left to make up their own gods according to whatever they want to accept—even if they want to accept no god(s), it's the same thing. The Father's truth only comes from the Teacher who lives in the sons according to the intention of God to make them sons. There are no experts or self-proclaimed teachers, no rabbis, priests, pastors, ministers or voices that speak the truth that comes from the world where God lives—heaven, or the unseen, unnoticed and unobserved spiritual world. All the self-proclaimed "experts" are here on the earth, coming from the substance of the animal nature that instinctually drives them. Like a goose driven by the impulse to fly to a particular spot thousands of miles away, and just knows how to get there, the humans who have chosen to become teachers are driven by the impulse to survive emotionally, so they learn the ropes and take up the mantle for their particular group's lie about the gods they have made up and propagate to those who have chosen to listen and trust them because of their self-given position of expert the others.
Yet if you devote your heart to him and stretch out your hands to
Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression
Many desires and cravings lie in us, waiting to raise up their head and make us obey the nature that prompts these, according to our life as animals driven by those instincts. And they will, and we will fall down because of them, stumbling back into the old way, of running after those cravings and lusts, effectively obeying the serpent, the devil, the Father's adversary. In this sense it's not the particular things we do that are so bad for us, but being led by our instincts toward self-satiation and surviving in many complex ways, which is being led by the enemy (what the Son of God never did). The things that Jesus said no to in the temptation account would have been easy for him to say yes to, because they were in his mind and the devil (the animal which wanted to rule/lead him) was trying to trick him by convincing him that it would be okay to do whatever he was thinking. Although that would have led to him being unclean and unable to save his brothers by actively choosing to remain clean according to the command from the Father that he heard because he had ears to hear.
The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.
What the serpent (satan) said to Jesus was the same sort of deal this created adversary used with the first humans to trick them: "God didn't say that that would happen," and it's convincing because it's our own selves talking to us, and we naturally trust the thoughts coming from inside our own selves about what we want to do according to how we can take care of us, which is our number one, working on autopilot, goal for ourselves all the time. The interplay between Jesus and the devil also happened in his own mind because that's where that ubiquitous force of earth-bound power is allowed to go. He was declared to be "sinless," not by some abstract religious theological concept that means nothing to us and the way we actually are; but because he refused to be led by the animal instinct and impulse to take for himself which would have made him unclean. He refused to be tricked by the serpent, the most cunning of all the animals, the instinctual nature which is that self-promoting curse of the humans to always take care of their own selves, to always survive at any cost like any wild animal is instinctually driven to do all the time.
The sons can understand by hearing with their special ears that sin is listening to the animal and obeying its voice, being tricked by it, allowing it to convince them that God didn't say such and such, and so we embark on whatever it is that we long for, crave, need, desire—according to the instincts that are already in us because we are born into the curse. The matter of understanding what sin and the sinful nature actually is (not just abstract religious ideas that have no meaning to what we are in our selves—wild animals who are driven to survive at any and all cost) is super important for the sons of God. It isn't important for the world at large (especially including those who trust the "experts," or liars) because they need to be able to survive by whatever means they can find. It is for those who have been specifically chosen to be able to see and recognize the enemy for what it is—themselves in their natural state and the nature and character they were born into that defines them as an animal which cannot ever please its true Father in that condition; mainly because it is unclean and can't ever get near Him so cannot ever know or love Him from far away.
Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters--yes, even his own life--he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.'
Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple."
The sons must go through the transformation which makes them clean so they can be brought near to their Father, like Jesus was and the disciples became. It is against everything inherent to our nature so it is not an easy thing; the fight and struggle is intense and we have to go where we don't want to go, but we must go there or we can't come close to our Father, and that is the only thing worth anything. Everything else must fall away so that becomes our only desire, purpose and reason for existing because we are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
Friendship with the world is hatred toward God. Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
What is the world? The world filled with humans and all the instincts that rule and define them as mere animals who can never come close to God because the intention to make them sons is not there. The world is the mind set and way of the animals everywhere we look, what reinforces that animal nature in the sons. Therefore it is bad for them to be exposed to because it only leads them away from their Father. A big part of the transformation, if we look at the text and its repeated message for God's people to come away from what contaminates them, is becoming separated from the world of the animals who rule it and can only lead us away from the Father. They don't have a choice and can only live out their existence as a slave to the animal nature and not even be aware of it, which is one aspect of the lie that it's not there, or if it is it's something else—what the "bad people" do (those who are different than themselves).
If the transformation was easy it wouldn't be worth anything. It happens by the individual sons listening to the Teacher who is alive inside them to teach them the way to the Father by being a good son, what he was when he had a human body, one which was not led by the enemy, not tricked by it into believing the lie, therefore not reaching up with his own hand to grab what looks good. The good son is waiting for his Father to give him what he needs, what He wants the son to have in order to learn how to become pure in his heart, which is to say not defined as an animal, clean so he can come near the Father and be useful and enjoyable to Him who has given that one birth.
You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot
"Have faith in God," Jesus answered. "I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.
It is written in Isaiah the prophet: "I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way—a voice of one calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.' "
Is a mountain ever a bad thing? If one is walking, say on a journey toward finding the hidden truth of God, then a mountain can be a tough (even bad) thing to encounter, definitely if the thing you are seeking is on the other side of that mountain and especially if it's at the bottom of it (what Mt. Sinai symbolized when God filled it). To level the mountain of fear, unbelief and ignorance about the true God in Israel was the purpose of John the Baptist—to make the way and path straight for the great prophet who would come after him, a little easier because of the message that he proclaimed to the people. We know he did that, as some of John's disciples were the same men Jesus chose to be his. They were made ready by John and his words to hear the word, which was Jesus, to be made the ones he was to reveal the life of God to—to be the 12 brothers of the new spiritual order of sons who were like him, which Jesus was about to create by being obedient to the voice of the Father instead of the serpent.
Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, 'Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—I have come to do your will, O God.'
The consciousness of Jesus was such that by the time he was 30 he had been thoroughly brought up by the direct teaching of the unseen life of the Father who lived inside him, who made him ready and able to do the work the Father made for him to do. He taught Jesus about certain OT passages like this one in Micah, and a lot from Isaiah and all the other prophets who spoke about him and his coming to save them, who were the true Israel of God. These were spiritual truths that became part of his understanding of who he was (a being who had little importance in the natural world and a supreme importance in the spiritual world where God is) and at what point in history they were regarding God's promises via the same spirit that lived in His holy prophets—the day of the Lord's favor, to reveal the savior of the sons and begin the new covenant.
I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.
The only way Jesus could communicate the truth about the spiritual reality to Nicodemus was through the secret message contained within the Law, what God set up before and then preserved as the recorded events of those things. They were to serve as the copy for the sons to be able to understand about the spiritual reality, which is God's reality, which is not the same as the natural reality which is man's reality. Nicodemus couldn't understand what Jesus knew because the life of God didn't live in his body as the true teacher. He was an expert in the law, but the law pertains to the natural reality, and was only a shadow of what was coming—the new covenant when God would/could live in men's bodies as He lived in Jesus' first, before all the others.
"You are Israel's teacher," said Jesus, "and do you not understand these things? I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.
It was the life of God Himself, living via the unseen spirit, in the body of Jesus and John (the "we" of the "we testify" and "we have seen" in the above passage). It was also the life that indwelt the bodies of the OT prophets and men of God, who were filled with the knowledge of His purpose (but not under the new covenant), and related that purpose to the hearers, for His purpose. By it Jesus knew that the day of the Lord had come, which the OT prophets spoke to so often, that which all the holy men of God looked forward to and longed to see.
Blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.
What were they all looking for, what did those many prophets and righteous men long to see? They looked for the day when a man could be one with God, as Jesus and the Father were because of the intent and purpose of God to choose Jesus to be the one He would live in and become One with. They only tasted the true life, the life of God, and they knew that it was good. It was in them and they were filled with truth and the knowledge of God, which allowed them to be used by Him, to prophesy in His name about His truth, via that life, or spirit that moved them and gave them understanding. They were given a taste of the kingdom of God but not the ability to actually be fulfilled in it because the great prophet had not yet come, he had not yet made the way to God available. Until the Son came and finished the work he was given to do, they all remained unclean animals.
The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus' resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
Compare that with what the "experts" of his day were looking for. A kingdom, yes, but not the kingdom of God. They were looking for the kingdom of David, the greatness of Israel to come back to her and to be as she was a thousand years before, because that was a thing which would benefit them and satisfy their animal needs to be justified as the ones who were right. It's the only concept about the kingdom that the animal can possess—one group of animals (Israel and her inhabitants) greater, stronger and more powerful than all the other groups of animals (everyone else, esp. the Romans). The glory of animals is their own natural group being more powerful than the other groups of animals.
Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, "The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you."
Only two men knew what the kingdom of God actually was at the time. It wasn't a flaw or fault of the people, but indicative that the animal consciousness ruled men (as it does now). We can see this by reading how difficult it was for the Lord to convince the men who believed in him, who he spent so much time with, that the earthly kingdom was not the one they should seek. That was the kingdom of the animal, a natural kingdom of unclean animals, not what God intended for them to understand or be a citizen of. He is pure spirit, and His kingdom is the kingdom of the unseen spirit (kingdom of heaven).
No one can know or understand the purpose of Jesus until that life is living in them to teach them what it is. Everything we've heard the humans say about his purpose is part of the lie, because it's a different jesus they're talking about, defined by the lie created a long time ago, which made his purpose and truth disappear from the earth. The day of the Lord came when the life of God was put in the body of Jesus.
The earth will become desolate because of its inhabitants, as the result of their deeds.
Shepherd your people with your staff, the flock of your inheritance,
As in the days when you came out of Egypt, I will show them my wonders.
Nations will see and be ashamed, deprived of all their power.
They will lick dust like a snake, like creatures that crawl on the ground. They will come trembling out of their dens; they will turn in fear to the LORD our God and will be afraid of you.
If I drive out demons by the spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
When Jesus said that the kingdom of God was near, that is what he meant, because the kingdom of God lived inside him. It ironically played on the misguided notions of the animals who thought the kingdom would take some earthly shape and form. He also said that the kingdom was in their midst, that it had come upon them. The kingdom of God is the life of God, when it lives in a man's body—as it did in Jesus'.
What will happen after we are resurrected is not as important as what happens now, in the sense that we will not be able at that point to choose the way of God over our life and the way we want it to go, if that life of God which lived in Jesus is offered to us. Now is the time to be obedient to the teacher, and seek to be transformed so that we can see the kingdom, so that the life of the Father and Son can live in us, and so that we can become sons of God. We know that we will be judged, according to Matthew 25:31 ff., on whether we loved God's way, and therefore His children instead of our own self, our own life (what the animal tries to get us to do all the time). Only that life of God, if living in the body of flesh, is able to free us from the animal which prohibits us from actually loving. The love that we receive from God allows us to be free from being a slave to that animal nature, the consciousness of death.
So what is the kingdom of God, as Jesus knew and taught. The kingdom of God is not some earthly kingdom, which will exist in some place or some time as we understand the concepts of space and time. Those concepts are based on the natural order, which is the order of death. Jesus knew about the kingdom of God because it lived in him, it gave him life—and what is life? It is "to know the love of God that is in Christ Jesus." It is to regain what Adam lost, to know the Father's love and respond back to Him in such a way as we are able to participate in it. By participating in that relationship with the Father, of love going back and forth from us to Him and from Him to us, we are members of the kingdom of God. God is love.
In a way the kingdom of God is the garden of Eden, where God was able to be with and love His son freely and vice-versa. So if we have to think spatially that's more what the kingdom is, because it's not just some place where the Lord will reign and we will be kings and priests. It is a place where the ultimate desire of God is realized—to have a family of sons who genuinely love Him, and whom He can love in return. It's a place where God's desire can be fulfilled, where He can be satisfied. The desire of Jesus was to please the Father, which the animal cannot possibly do.
You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
"God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."
God wants His children to take care of His children. When we love the things that the animals who do not have the life of God living in them love, we cannot have the means whereby we can take care of any one but our self. That's all the animal is programmed to be able to do. More than that, though, we don't have the capacity to love God, and God wants love from His children. When He receives it from them, then He gives it back to them, and that gives us the capacity and willingness to actually love our brother. The love that can only come from God is a real, living thing. It is like fuel that powers us to be able to love, to fulfill the new commandment that Jesus gave, whereby we are right in God's sight and have His favor. It is the favor of a Father who is well pleased with His son, and the son's response of love back to the Father because of the gift he knows he has been given.
A voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."
The day of your watchmen has come,
The spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach
good news to the poor.
Do not trust a neighbor; put no confidence in a friend.
For a son dishonors his father, a daughter rises up against her
But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.
Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn 'a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.'
They will lay their hands on their mouths and their ears will become deaf.
For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.'
But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.
Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed."
They will lick dust like a snake, like creatures that crawl on
When he (John) saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?
"You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers.