Job 16-17 / Habbakuk 3 / 2 Peter 1-2
If the only home I hope for is the grave, if I spread out my bed in darkness, if I say to corruption, 'You are my father,' and to the worm, 'My mother' or 'My sister,' where then is my hope? Who can see any hope for me? Will it go down to the gates of death? Will we descend together into the dust?"
Hope does go down with Job into the dust and lives with him, as it does with all of God's sons. The hope and surety of the love, goodness and faithfulness of God will raise them according to His hidden intention to remember to raise them up out of the grave, which is a thing that can be generally known (like being "saved"), and if it was it would not be genuine. Only those who are secretly chosen are able to recognize each other, because of the life that is put into them, which is what does the recognition. In other words, it's not open to the general public. There is no convincing that one can effect in another whereby he does such and such to become "right with God." The real God is not a recognizer of men, nor is He recognized by them, or even able to be understood. He is secret and hidden from the humans, as per His wishes to be. So are the sons He is choosing to be in His family, which is the abiding will of the Father from the beginning.
Not everyone who says to me, `Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
Hearing his words has a special meaning as he says it here. It is not as though he is talking about everyone who hears the words and then does them because it's impossible for a human animal to be what the Son is instructing those who could hear his words that they must become in order to be right with God. What he is saying is that everyone who is first able to hear what he's saying, not because they're smarter or have a better attention span, but because they have been given that special ability to see and hear what to everyone else is totally secret and hidden. For instance, while the crowds were wondering—because of all the commotion and even because they thought he may have actually done a miraculous thing—if he was a prophet, or even *the* prophet predicted by Moses, while the leaders were demanding a sign from him to show them that he was the Messiah they should support instead of ridicule and harass, while his followers were turning away from him because of the words he purposely said to them which he knew they wouldn't be able to accept; the few men who were given that special ability to see and hear who he actually was were declaring that he was the Messiah, the Son of David, the Christ of God, not because of their acumen but because their eyes were opened by the specific work being done inside them to be able to receive what they were being given.
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.
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 conversation could have gone like this: "Why do you speak in a secret language, don't you want the people to understand what you're teaching them?" This came from the same wrong assumption his own brothers had about his identity and his message:
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.
The real Son of God purposely spoke in riddles so that the general public would not be able to understand what his words meant. He commanded those on whom he performed miracles specifically to not tell anyone what he had done to them. He told his disciples to not tell anyone who he was. He purposely kept his identity and message a secret from the people because being secret and hidden is the nature of the Father, and it was the Father's desire that the Son be like Him—hidden from the humans, not disclosed. His condition was found by the Father, yet hidden to the humans at large, which is the secret message that the words reveal.
That the Son of God made careful attempts to keep himself and his identity hidden from the humans is the opposite assumption that the humans have about their made up jesus god, whom they try to cram down everyone's throat so they can get some mental and emotional agreement from them that they are driven by instinct to crave. By securing it for themselves they think they can feel that their lives are worth something, that they are going somewhere after they die—that they are the ones who are right which is a very powerful drive in the humans to want to satisfy because it means a validation of their selves and their very existence among those who are doing and searching for the same things—just a little harmless validation that they're okay, just a little acceptance that they're good enough so they can feel some relief inside themselves from the fear that is constantly buggering them to seek more of what they're driven to need/crave on that level of instinct they can't control. The christians are taught to seek the same kind of agreement for themselves (the incessant call to be converting others to their position about who are the real gods) because it's the way the human animals are naturally and instinctively driven to be—validated by the others—which makes them feel that they're surviving better, that they're a little more right, that they have the edge in this game of survival on so many subtle levels past the outright physical, which in this day and age isn't for most of the humans as pressing as the subtle ways people are made to feel that they're surviving.
There is a good lesson here for the sons, which will jive with what's naturally inside them as the way the animal works when they're ready to start honestly observing what they are at their core, because of what and where they came from. The tendency to seek agreement from the humans could be the most powerful thing they will encounter because that's what the animals are always wanting to get from each other. It's what validates their very existence, so it's not just something that's not there for the sons either. Until they see the real Jesus for who he actually was—someone who purposely kept his secret identity hidden from the humans, one who *didn't* want to be found out—they will keep living in this false mode of trying to get what is impossible for them to get. Just as the Father's will was that the Son be kept hidden, the same will applies to them too. Their validation cannot come from those who don't know, only from those who do, who are themselves being kept hidden by the work of the Father.
The sons have a chip on their shoulder until they begin to comprehend the reality that their identity is meant to be kept hidden and not disclosed, because they know a certain thing about themselves yet nobody else is experiencing the same secret reality they are obviously (obvious to them) experiencing. And they know they're not crazy or delusional to dream it all up, to make things happen that they want to happen, even though those things are not there. For a while they're bound and determined to tell people and try to convince them that what is happening in them is valid—that it's going on. However, after so much observing the same reality they are so reluctant to accept (because it's against everything inside them because of their animal heritage) it occurs to them on a logical level that what they're experiencing is specifically for them and not intended for the others. If it were, then they would be experiencing the same things. But they're not, so it must be for them the way it was for the firstborn Son of God—found in the Father yet hidden in the world because they've been determined by the Father's intention to bring them into His secret family, to not be part of the world inhabited by common animals, so they cannot be validated by it or those who live there.
This is a difficult thing to accept, but accept it they must because it's the Father's way for His own sons. They are the Israel of God, the secret Israel at which the observable Israel only represented as a metaphor of the hidden reality. This Israel is populated by the Son and all those like him, who were not recognized by the humans at large as such. More often than not they were considered by the humans at large to be nuisances, thorns in their sides who spoke words to them that they were unable and unwilling to accept because those words were against what they wanted within themselves to accept, or what they could accept because of the instinctual drive to go the opposite way toward a god they made up, that agreed with what they wanted.
So why did Jesus speak to crowds then, if he didn't want them to hear? Because he wasn't a god who knew beforehand who would be given ears to hear later, when he went to the Father. The Father did tell him certain things, like who had been chosen to be loyal to him (his disciples), and who would betray him; but he wasn't told everything or else there would be no room for him having to believe the Father and trust Him for what he needed. So he spoke plainly to those he knew the Father had chosen for him, but in vague terms to the general public, in parables (stories & riddles) and other indirect rhetoric. Later, when certain of the humans were given the ears to hear what his obscure language meant, that which gave them that ability (the spirit of the Father and Son, perhaps administered by angels) would remind them of his words and instruct them about what those words actually meant.
I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated-- the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.
These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
All of those whom God loved from the OT and all of the brothers whom the apostles knew had the life of God living in them (the sign that the new secret covenant when the law would secretly and invisibly live in their heart had been given, which superceded the old covenant, which was open to the general public—even foreigners who wanted to accept it and publicly convert), were being inhabited by the same unseen power that inhabited Jesus, which was transforming them away from what they were to what the Father intended they become. The hidden sons (whom the world doesn't recognize) are in the same secret group, as even now we can recognize that we are presently being made ready for the transformation. What is that process of being made perfect look like? It is sorrowful like a slow, deteriorating death; mournful and unappealing, not like anything we would naturally want for ourselves. It is being made clean by the word that is now speaking to our hearts, teaching us how to actually move away from that which contaminates, what doesn't come from the outside but lives in our hearts. It's not easy or pretty because the teacher urges us to do what we least want—fight the animal and put it down, what we hate to even think of doing because it's where we live and how we find our own peace, how we've learned to all our life. When we have to put that down, there is an unimaginable havoc that happens within us. It's terrifying and unsatisfying, and we'll think we can't do it.
You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.
When we're finally, fully transformed into a new creature, which will not happen in this life of living in these failing bodies; then we will be clean and pure, able to live with and come near to God and not be burned up because His life and not the animal lives in us (why we're called sons of God). We will also be fully able to be as God wishes His own sons to be—able to love and care for our true brothers and treat them as such, instead of competing animals who we must naturally be on our guard against (they want what we want). They are from the small group of humans who were chosen to receive the secret life of the Father in their heart, His metaphorical name on their foreheads. The time between when the Lord comes and that future time is the now—walking toward the new way, away from the old, the way of the animal that we know so well, that is at home within us so thoroughly because it knows how to take care of us like we want, so it is acceptable to us.
We understand that our experience is as the same in this group of men from the OT and also the period just after the Lord went to be hidden in the Father, as it is different than in the human animals around us. At first we thought we could just explain to them what had happened to us, because 1) it was so genuine and exciting, compelling and satisfying, unlike anything we had known; and 2) we figured they also wanted the truth about God, the taste of the power of an incorruptible life which the first century brothers possessed, who "participated in the divine nature." We naively assumed we could share the joy that was in us with the others. Although it wasn't necessarily a fault of ours to assume; nevertheless it was, and I'm afraid still is, somewhat misguided. It is an assumption of the animal, there because of our ignorance. And what did the Lord do with us? He made us look like a couple of sinful dirt bags so that our experience wouldn't come close to them. He drove us right out of their midst, very quickly.
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
Previous year's thoughts on the secretness of God's revelation:
I suppose we just can't help ourselves from thinking we need to try to convince others that what we have is authentic and from God like it's our duty or something. That's just how we learned to hide, because what we want is the ego part of our animal to be gratified, to have the humans recognize us as the ones who are right, which is a huge part of our old nature, what has to die. The ego component of the animal nature drives us to want to be validated by the animals. It is the opposite of love, because it says that we must be gratified by being the one who is right, and we try whatever course of action to achieve that. In the old days people got killed because of it. It's a power struggle that happens in every relationship when both or all parties need to be right, and the humans use whatever force they need to, to establish it.
Yet regarding this phenomenon that is happening within us, we should understand where that need comes from, along with how things happened to us—that it wasn't anything we did to get it. It just came to us and then we responded, and it has been growing in us, not stopping except when we are stubborn and want to have our own way pushed through, as per that power struggle, the opposite of love. We should also realize that we have no ability to judge who is worthy to receive the gift of life, and it is only the evil that still lives in us that compels us to think we can do that. If we remain in him, and his life remains in us and continues to grow, then we will be in the place we need to be, no matter about the humans. We cannot control nor persuade them in this matter, especially those who are convinced that the religious institution they possess and control can lead them to the Father.
What we should try to understand is that the most predominant facet of the animal consciousness is to constantly fear for its life, which necessitates in it the uninterrupted need to protect itself and preserve its life in all the forms that life takes. Ironically the animal protects itself from God because it assumes it already has God, which is part of its life that it needs to protect. That is the control which was set up long ago, so the animal couldn't just grab life if it wanted to. It is invulnerable to anything we could ever say or do—only the Lord can penetrate it, and only if he chooses to.
Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
How do we make our calling and election sure? How do we participate in the divine nature? How do we work out our salvation? How are we actually able to love? How are we able to overcome the animal that constantly draws us back to its origin—the dust, the grave? How do we let go of that which holds us back from knowing our Father's love? By going in to the long dark tunnel of grief, mourning and suffering of losing the old nature and all its ways of making us feel safe and secure, even though that's a false hope.
In his great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
I suppose we should look at it like a fortified, impenetrable wall that is slowly being chipped away at by the power that is growing in us. We are only able to stay, to abide in the Lord because of the gifts that he gives us, so we have no power in that respect. However, it's obvious that when we choose to not be guided by the animal nature, he responds with gifts of the knowledge of his life in us, which brings us inexpressible joy. So in that respect we do have the power to choose to either abide in him or not. That is being reinforced more strongly all the time by the flip side of that—the darkness and depression that follow the choosing of the animal instincts which constantly pull on us and desire to rule us.
Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.
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.
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.
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
We've already tasted the Son's life in us. Now we must remain in that life. It is important that we continue to choose him while we deny the animal its pleasure of living in our body, of having its way with us, of choosing to satisfy its will in us, which defines us as common animals and not sons of the living God. We know that when we do choose the wrong way, then we suffer in order to learn to choose the right way and learn to reject the wrong way. That gives us hope that we actually, eventually, will learn to remain in him, and that some day our joy may truly be complete. When we choose the right way we also suffer, because the animal is unsatisfied, but we have to put it down and not give in to it because we can only be led by one life or the other.
Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died--more than that, who was raised to life--is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
"For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
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."