Job 33 / Zechariah 9 / Revelation 7-9
They are before the throne of God and serve him day and night
in his temple;
Never again will they hunger;
never again will they thirst.
For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd;
It's a relief that we don't have to try to convince anyone of anything by our own power or arguments. The fact is they won't hear us because they've already got their minds made up about the way everything is and must be, what is acceptable and what is not. The humans, once they move past the place of possibility in their lives (children whose minds and hearts are not solidified by the fear they must protect against as adults), are as easy to convince about the reality of the Father as a bag of hardened cement. That is not because, as they will think in their minds, they are wise and have life in any way "figured out," but because their walls of defense are built up so high and thick with their own version of what they think is right, there is nothing that comes through that wall except what's allowed to filter through because it doesn't threaten them and the life they are determined to preserve.
Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don't you remember?
That is the way of the animal and why the animals are doomed to never hearing the voice of the Father. It will never come through because their minds and hearts get hardened by the fear they need to protect against. If the Father's word were ever given to them, it would deflect off their hard, thick walls because they already have their minds made up. If they didn't they might feel wishy-washy, not able to protect themselves. But they learn from each other that being open is being vulnerable, and that isn't a good thing for a vulnerable animal to be.
The Jews gathered around him, saying, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."
Jesus answered, "I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father's name speak for me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one."
What the sons know about themselves, because the voice of the Father is telling them plainly, is reprehensible to the humans who must consider their gods inclusive and generic enough to include them even though they are not specifically told so, except by each other, and because of the generic inclusiveness of their gods who accept those who conform to their way, but don't specifically choose anyone because they aren't able to. The activity of the gods, what makes them seem real to the humans who have decided to embrace them, is done by the Father's workers in the unseen places, who can easily make things seem real by coincidence and such, but on such an impersonal level that most of the gods' personalities and purposes are actually filled in by the humans who want to embrace them. There is no information given about the gods in question, just that they might exist because of this or that coincidental event having happened (the work of angels). The information about the particular gods are derived by the humans, because there isn't any information to be given or had.
This isn't some diabolical plan of the living God to fool them into thinking something's there when it isn't. It is His merciful plan to make them think something's there when it isn't. They can develop their religions which promise them their heavens and paradises, and grow to trust in those hopes more and more as they get nearer and nearer to the grave, their final resting place. Is it cruel then to give them information to the otherwise? Their hearts are hardened into place and they'll think we're "loopy" no matter what we ever say, considering ourselves to be God's children, the specifically chosen brothers of the Son who was chosen to save us, who was considered a lot more than just "loopy"
Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, "I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?"
"We are not stoning you for any of these," replied the Jews, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God."
Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your Law, `I have said you are gods' ? If he called them `gods,' to whom the word of God came—and the Scripture cannot be broken—what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, `I am God's Son'? Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does. But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father." Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.
Words that come out of human mouths are the weak tools of the humans to conspire and manipulate others by the fear they know is in them to do their own will—as is anything they can manufacture by their own power to create the consensus they need to validate some thing or way—as compared to the power that has already been displayed to us even up to this point of these beginning stages of the life being revealed in us. We had observed for some forty-odd years how weak and false the claims of the humans were, no matter what they were saying. Whether they were making their claims that they knew the way to God, or knew the best way to live without God, although it was never very much validated by anyone around us, nevertheless we know they were full of a certain amount of shit, no matter what they were saying. That is because even from being young children, we had been chosen by the Father to one day have His life revealed in us, so that very tiny seed was planted in us, even though it never germinated until we were far along in our animal selves—so far that any kind of real transformation away from that reality which lived in us would be impossibly miraculous, if it were to actually happen.
That is the Father's delight, that a hardened animal's heart will be turned around from its hard state to become soft enough to hear the Father's word and be willing to respond, even though it means becoming so much like it doesn't want to be, having already sealed up its wall of protectiveness that it built up over many, many years of seeing the hostile world and responding by building its wall a little higher, thicker and stronger. That the Father's word can seep through a crack in our wall, then take root like a virus and grow like a cancer in us which overtakes what we fundamentally are, then begins to actually transform us away from that stiff-necked wild animal were once fully were to one whose heart is soft and responsive to that same word; is nothing short of the most magnificently impossible thing being realized, knowing the power of the animal to so fully engulf its host.
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears;
Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.
The effectiveness of the word that is speaking to us is because of that tiny seed that was planted in us when we were so young, the same way it was planted in the Son's heart, who heard the voice of the Father and responded to Him.
Then I said, "Here I am, I have come—it is written about me in the scroll.
The collective voice of all of God's true sons is what we hear as the testimony given in the first century, when the world was visited en masse by the spirit of God who chose to enlighten great numbers via the celebration that was going on in the Father's house, when the Son finally came home to Him, to be with Him forever. It was a time when the natural world was turned on its head just a little by that celebratory outpouring of the spirit, which was predicted by the prophets a long time before:
The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,
This short period of time was when the animal nature was being put off by the revelation of the Father's life in relatively large numbers of the humans all at once, in response to the Father's joy of having His own Son with Him by His side. It came rather quickly, but then it gradually left so that in a few hundred years the world was again engulfed in the darkness of its state of normality, ruled by the animals who are ruled by the wild animal nature. It has been that way ever since, devoid of the Father's revelation because the Son has been with Him.
Then Jesus cried out, "When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me. I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness."
Our own agenda is always foolish because we are fools in and of ourselves, ruled by the animal nature, it will always certainly be based on something we dredge up out of the pit of our own self-preserving need—based on what the animal part of us wants to happen so that in some way we can be benefited. Our craving to be validated by the humans we specifically want that validation from will persist until we realize over and over that what is happening in us doesn't seem to be intended for them. Then after so many times of seeing it we actually start to believe that it might be true because the pattern becomes apparent that we can't decide ourselves who will be able to hear what we have to say (we should feel lucky to have one person who believes us).
"As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day. For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say."
When the Father's word came to us it came with power to convince, yet not the type of power that we expected or wanted. We wanted the outward signs—likened to what we assumed the first century brothers experienced. Because the miracle of his coming is just an awakening, a spiritual birth which takes place in the unseen world, it's not noticed in the natural. If it isn't able to be noticed, it certainly cannot be verified or validated. There is a reasonable explanation for this, found in the words, about when God breaks into man's world and reveals Himself.
The LORD said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by."
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire.
And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"
The big show with all of the external miracles, the outward signs of His presence, are not what makes us perfect; they are there only to help us believe what we would otherwise pass by because of our condition of dead to the voice of the Father. It is so we can, over the long period of our gradual transformation, become more perfect—led to a decreasing degree by the animal nature, unlike the humans and like sons of God. It is a fallacy to think that the first hundred years after the Lord ascended were marked by one outward miracle after another everywhere there were believers, a modern assumption that often comes from the reading of Acts. In this regards the similarity of the mind set of all of the modern religious groups who think they possess God's spirit is in the erroneous assumptions about what it must look like, and how it must be.
God lets certain of the chosen humans know about Him, but not everyone around them, for a very good and simple, reason—He doesn't want to because it's not His purpose that they find their validation from those who are dead to the knowledge of the Father. He has another plan and way of revealing Himself to the sons, which does not follow the way man would do it. Because men can't see the spiritual world, they don't believe it exists for anyone, including themselves or the sons. They think that if they were to see some outward miracle, then they might be convinced. The truth is, though, that the animal is never convinced. If a man wants to believe or not believe a certain thing, then no outward miracle will convince him otherwise. He will always be able to explain it away because of some other reason. Faith in what we cannot see doesn't come by some strength in our character. The absence of faith comes from the ubiquitous permeation of the animal consciousness which is like a plague on man.
The Pharisees were examples of men who didn't want to believe, even though they had good reason to believe that Jesus was authentic, because of indirect evidence. Their request of him to perform a sign which they could witness was guided by erroneously assumptions—that they were pleasing to God, close to Him, and deserved to have a sign performed for their benefit. They thought they represented Him, but in reality had no idea who God was or what He wanted from a man—even though they had the law and prophets to guide them. They were also a guide for the Son, yet without the life of God living in him—the spirit of truth, of the Father—they would have been just as they were, unable to believe. There is nothing good in man as long as he is ruled by the animal, and there is no hope to the contrary unless the spirit of truth lives in his body. There is nothing good within man.
A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Aside from Jesus' condemnation of them assuming the role of false shepherds of God's people—wolves who stripped the sheep of their possessions while they exploited the poor, the widows, the orphans and the aliens—the Son's response is revealing with regards to the plan and purpose of God, as Jesus knew it even then. The sign of the prophet Jonah was one which would only be recognized by those to whom he showed himself, after he had been in the belly of the earth for the 3 days and nights when his body was dead, naturally speaking. It was another targeted, supernatural phenomenon, intended to allow a specific group of people to believe Jesus' authenticity. It was only witnessed by only a handful of people.
"Stop grumbling among yourselves," Jesus answered. "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the Prophets: `They will all be taught by God.' Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me. No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life.
The Father decides who will be able to receive the revelation of His life. The "outward signs" are for the purpose of displaying his authenticity, so that those who witness them can believe in what they cannot see with their eyes, and understand a world which exists outside of the natural. They are not random, but for his express purposes. The life and purpose of the Lord is not like man, who thinks he can decide when a miracle should be performed, based on the desires of the sinful nature that lives in him.
That is our dilemma, that we know what we have, and we also trust the wisdom of God more and more, along with His plan and purpose for us. Our desire to be vindicated by Him used to be strong because of the strength of our unbelieving animal nature. Now it is not something that we don't care as much about, because we have more faith. We are becoming less and less animal, possessing a waning desire to have our ego validated as being "right." It's emphasized because within ourselves, we cannot even know right from wrong. That ability comes from the life that lives in us, as it did also for him. As we become more and more sure that what we have isn't going away, so is our understanding that the reality of our new life isn't dependent on whether anyone believes it is true. That is the story of all the sons of God. The miracle which also means the most, gives us the most hope, is that even though it looked like he was leaving them all alone, he came back. As he said, he was going away to prepare a house for them to live in, making the way sure for them. He didn't leave them as orphans, which is the same thing we can count on.
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.