Job 12 / Nahum 1-2 / James 5
Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.
Ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air,
and they will tell you;
The humans want to believe in gods they can control, so the gods they create are those which fit them. I saw a movie last night (big fish) and realized that one of the subplots, the situation of the old man, will also be our situation. He knew that the stories he told were true, however nobody else would/could believe him because they were so outrageous to the reality that seemed normal and acceptable. All of the sons of God throughout the history of the world have believed what was contrary to popular belief—they all heard a voice that the humans at large didn't hear, and the agreement they all shared didn't make them right, but actually wrong. This is how the Father works and has chosen to work, unpredictable and unable to be bottled up or controlled by the humans who think one thing's happening, when another they are not being apprised of, actually is.
To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his.
The wisdom of God runs contrary to man's. His wisdom is that the validation of the supernatural world would be living in the bodies of two unlikelies while the rest keep on going along thinking we're oblivious to what's obvious (that it couldn't be as we think), only because it hasn't happened to them. We have to understand and remember why it's in us—to judge what seems to be as only that, and what's been revealed in us as the more important, permanent reality. It happens in secret because that's in line with how God always acts—it seems to be one way (the Son of God was just an ordinary peasant) when it's actually another (the unlikely fellow was the Messiah and his identity was only fully disclosed to about 15 or so people).
"Who do you say I am?"
Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.
Before the revelation of the Father came to us it was impossible to know because it didn't exist, because it isn't as the humans claim—available to anyone who wants it. If it didn't exist then we couldn't just go and grab it because we may have wanted it (also what the humans claim). All we had were the subtle signs of its possibility until the revelation came. After it happened, although we could understand was its presence and we were unable to comprehend its purpose because the animal reality (which it fully contradicts) was too strong in us and all we could do is think with our egotistical natural minds, on behalf of our selves, about what we think must still be the case. That is, that the only important thing is our own well-being—as is dictated to us by the wild animal nature that rules us—and everything else is subservient to that, including the will of the Father which we know nothing about until we have been trained in the righteousness of the Father, which is opposed to all that we know being animals who have been pulled out of the animal reality.
Jesus' brothers said to him, "You ought to leave here and go to Judea, so that your disciples may see the miracles you do. No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world." For even his own brothers did not believe in him.
When the revelation came, the things we presumed would be going on didn't all of a sudden just happen. None of the outward miracles, which we hoped and expected would be validating signs to the humans around us, actually came about. What did happen were ongoing daily miracles that only we could comprehend, because the whole idea of the Father's revelation—which we were unaware of until just recently—is that it is a secret just as He desires to remain a hidden secret to the humans at large while revealing His existence to those of His choosing. When we started being able to rely on these secret miraculous things that just kept coming, what we started to notice was a subtle, almost unnoticeable shift in us in a place that is below everything else.
Our true Father works on individual levels with those He is choosing to be part of the true family, which like Himself is secret and hidden from the humans at large, opposite to the way they think and work (how He keeps His revelation hidden from them). The humans always work on mass levels, on a "more is better" philosophy—the bigger the number of people who believe a certain lie, then the truer it must be. That is the agreement they seek to find in each other all the time—whatever group has the power to do so tries to persuade on as massive a scale as possible that their way is the right way, which agrees with the animal nature fundamental to each that always needs to be right, a component of the survivalist instinct.
Now we are just beginning to understand that the reason we have what we have is so that we can find our way back to our Father, so we can be found by and live in Him, and He in us. To have an actual, living relationship with the Son who saved us and the Father who created us is the purpose of this secret journey. To be made one with the Father and the Son, as the Son and Father were one while he existed in his temporary, earthly body. To be useful to the Father as sons who love Him, and who are loved by Him. To produce fruit that He can eat i.e., be of some value to Him as sons who are alive to Him. To be a sacrifice that satisfies Him like the firstborn Son did, instead of holding on to our dear life like any wild animal instinctively does.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.
Everything for the animal revolves around it—there is no notion that God wants anything, that it's all just conceptual. Jesus understood what God needed/wanted and he gave it to Him. As we are beginning to realize how valuable and important that is, we are also observing that people who say they want it, just don't want it—or maybe because they don't think it's possible they just don't try. What they want, as per the animal attitude toward everything, is something for themselves, to attain to the ultimate survival: "Going to heaven," or "Being in the kingdom." As it turns out, those who consider themselves learned academics and seem so certain about their place because of their great knowledge, don't know what the kingdom is. They think it's something they can get for themselves by knowing something special, and observing some rituals, while 90-odd percent of their life is in living like mere animals, like all the rest of the humans, and that's okay to them. They seem satisfied living lives that are useless to God, unaware of His existence or the possibility of knowing His love, because they don't believe that's possible.
There's no good point in being critical though, because just a few years ago we were the same way, "Without hope and without God in the world." In many respects we are still the same way, because the animal still lives in us to a larger degree than we may desire because we're young. One minute we're able to see with eyes that can recognize the Lord, and the next we're pulled right back down to the earth because of our natural constitution.
Therefore, now is when the many exhortations of Paul are valuable for us, which he wrote to others who were in the same situation as us, although many years ago. All he could do was to encourage those listeners to press on in the life that had been born into them, to continue to run toward the prize, to assure them that it was all very real, and that there was treasure to be found. But it wasn't in living earthly lives, as earthly creatures who live and die without ever tasting the life of God.
We don't just shake the animal consciousness out of us like a pair of trousers. The miracles are exciting, even sustaining; but the prospect of finding and abiding in the Father's love is starting to be much more than just a possibility, and a much more important and satisfying possibility. It's the better thing, what the miracles are for, like the disciples who believed Jesus even though it looked very wrong to do so. The miracles proved that the life of the Father did live in Jesus' body, and that even though it seemed wrong to believe in him, they had to in order to not fall away. That's what we need to remember.
Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.
It is beginning to be an inevitability for us, as we learn to abide in the Son and not our old nature. The prospect of satisfaction and fulfillment in that existence seems not only attainable but the only thing that can satisfy. Yet we are also coming to grips with the fact that it is a long, slow process. The life of God follows the earthly copies of growth rather than the instantaneous fireworks, the unreasonable metamorphoses from the old to the new life we expected in our even younger, even more ignorant days.
You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
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.
We begin to understand a little bit why our brother Paul was driven, because he was satisfied and fulfilled by what he found, and he wanted more of it. He tasted the Lord's life and love, and knew it was so good that he wanted to spend his life in an effort to comprehend it, live in it and receive more of the good gifts. He also did not mind being spent, just to try and convey the same thing to the others whom he knew had also received that gift in them. To go away from the world and its loves, drives and pleasures, and instead go toward God, because that's where the treasure was.
Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
Although we recognize and believe this, we cannot realize it in ourselves yet, because we are still just children. As we've said before, the letters Paul wrote were when he was 15 or 20 years old in the new creation. The beauty is in the steady march toward the Father. Once it starts it keeps going along like a steamroller, little by little creeping along, what we have already witnessed. The command to abide in the Son is applicable to us, as we have seen that is the only way we're able to grow into what the Father desires that we become, away from the animal and toward the Son.
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
In the old days there was a separation between the holy and the common things. Now there is no separation, as our entire life must either be consumed by God in the way that He instituted with the offering of His Son, or we will be spewed forth from His mouth as useless to Him—branches that bear no fruit for Him to eat. If a branch will bear no fruit, do we fault the gardener for pruning it off the vine that He knows is good, and that He knows is capable of producing branches that do bear fruit for Him? A useless vine just takes valuable resources from the good vine, but gives nothing back to the gardener.
Jesus delineated that there were two "lives" that a man could live. One was the natural existence of being born, growing up then dying, and everything in between which the natural senses can fathom. That is the life that we can see and feel, smell and taste by our natural faculties. That is not real life, though, according to Jesus and Paul. The life that is life cannot be touched or understood, as humans are able to feel and understand. It can't be observed, noticed, owned, held on to, possessed or controlled by the humans, as they do with their religion. The life that is life is the invisible treasure, the life of God that lived in Jesus, which very few people actually recognized. They are not one in the same thing; actually they collide and are opposed to one another. If one is strong then the other must be weak, and the other way too.
In the following verses, earthly denotes the natural, that which we can comprehend, that which is held captive within the cycle of death, which all of the old creation is subjected to. It is the world that science investigates, made up of chemical elements that are comprehensible to the human mind. Heavenly means spiritual, of God. It is the life and world of God, who is invisible. It is the world that exists on a different dimensional reality than the animal is able to comprehend, made up of elements unnoticeable to the earthly beings.
Do not worry about your life (earthly existence), what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.
Small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life (heavenly, spiritual, according to the Father), and only a few find it.
Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
Whoever finds his life (natural) will lose his life (spiritual), and whoever loses his life (natural) for the Lord's sake will find his life (spiritual).
We can see the cultural conceptions of the things of God on the religious horizon, instituted by the whore and adopted quite readily by all the different christian groups, and those who say they have "the truth." This is where the animals who cannot conceive of God have attempted to build a bridge to Him in the natural, to establish themselves what are the two lives that Jesus speaks of apart from his intention.
We see these "lives" as that which are separated into common and holy segmentations. When Sunday comes along, they dress up and adopt their "holy" behavior, because of course the "holy" day has dawned. That's the day when they put on the show of pretending to love their brother; because again, the Lord commanded it so they believe they should do it and are trying to. What they don't understand is that it is impossible to get to God in the natural, which the whore has told people they can do for centuries. They also cannot love their brother, as the command exists. All they can do is put on an obligatory smiley face for a few hours until they each depart and revert back to normal.
In fact this looks a lot like the old law, of keeping one day holy above all the other days, and that is just one aspect of it. Actually, our entire culture is built up around this institution of the whore, which says that the week is for the common things while the weekend—namely Sunday—is for resting and devoting our lives to God.
Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God--or rather are known by God--how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.
I plead with you, brothers, become like me, for I became like you. You have done me no wrong. As you know, it was because of an illness that I first preached the gospel to you. Even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself. What has happened to all your joy? I can testify that, if you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me. Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?