Job 37 / Zechariah 12 / Revelation 14
...no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark,
Buying and selling is what the humans want to participate in if they can because they think they can acquire wealth by commerce. Wealth is what they love and run after in real terms, because it's in their heart to love it since they have a need and craving according to their nature to build up tangible things around themselves in order to insulate them from their condition—naked, wild animals who came into the world naked and will leave naked and alone, forgotten in the ground.
That is frightening and scary, so the humans conspire to hide from that fact, behind whatever lies they can invent and sell as truth. These also give them a false hope, that they and everyone like them in their conspiracy are going to some made up "heaven," even if they don't believe in a god. But heaven, as it's found in the preserved words, is the word for the place where God lives, the world of the spiritual reality that is hidden from the humans. The liars have the humans all convinced they're all going to heaven, even the ones who couldn't give one rat's ass about knowing the truth about the living God, but are content to trust the "experts," who are liars.
Each of the humans thinks they're inherently good, because that's how the animal is able to survive (instinctively considering itself good enough to continue to exist). Therefore they're easily convinced that they're all going to whatever heaven or paradise they've invented. That is the plight and definition of the humans in their condition. Each one exists in his own little bubble of self-contentedness and rightness, and they are their own judge and ruler about what must be pleasing to the god they serve, which is themselves. So each one, no matter who he is or what he does or thinks, assumes he is right all the way to the grave. This condition makes the humans unable to bust out of their bubble of self-love and ever be pleasing to the living God, because they are in service to themselves. Like wild animals who run away, driven by fear and the need to stay alive at any cost, the humans can only live their lives afraid so that taking care of themselves is their driving pursuit.
...which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. His number is 666.
The number just represents what the name means. The only thing that John would have understood was significant about the number 666 was what all good Jews understood about it, embedded in the story of Solomon, the one the humans (even the great king David) presumed to be the Messiah. But he turned out to be not like David, but an animal driven by the cravings that welled up in him, a heavy stone that fell fast from the stature that David held in God's eyes. Solomon is the perfect picture of the human as beast, an animal which lives to satisfy the instinctual urges, cravings and all the various lusts that are welling up in him and demand to be satisfied—like a servant living to satisfy his master.
Three fundamental things that are in the humans, that which serves to define them as mere animals (instead of sons, as David was), are all found to an extravagant degree in Solomon. Though they're being individually defined here, they all fall under the macro heading of what the curse is all about as it is defined in Genesis 3, when the humans became like the wild animals with the same nature, integrally bound to the earth and everything in the temporary creation. Fear is the predominant characteristic of all wild animals, and hiding is the way they try to quell that fear that lives inside them. The idea that the first recorded thing the humans felt was fear coupled with the urge to hide because of that fear is the most significant thing to say about the cursed nature, because it is what drives them away from God, who is the initiator of that fear in them. The humans will never relate to this because it is their purpose and passion to hide from the fear that lives in them, so the last thing they ever want to do is admit they're afraid, which is what keeps them where they are, separated from God (like He designed things to be). So even though I'm breaking them down in the following paragraphs, they're all about the fear that lives in and drives the humans to be what they inherently are—just fearful wild animals separated from God, trying all their lives just to hide behind whatever they can find.
The first is the appetite and lust for some specific thing the animal is craving, and the need to satisfy that appetite. It's always very complex and different for each one of the humans, according to what they learn to want and love, whatever they learned to love themselves with, that which satisfies their animal appetite. For Solomon it's simple because his life is for the teaching of the sons, to show them the animal nature in its extravagant simplicity, what they're all cursed with and bound to, and therefore must be separated from. Solomon loved women.
King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women...They were from nations about which the LORD had told the Israelites, "You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods." Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love....and his wives led him astray. As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been.
The second is the egotistical component of the animal nature, that which craves honor, acceptance, and respect from other humans, so that the individual who receives it can be validated. It is a very powerful thing, because it's intangible, but the craving for it is strong, because it is validating, which is satisfying and soothing to the animal that wants to lead and rule us. Solomon loved the glory and pomp of being king, dressed in the finest clothes—a thought that Jesus plays on because the Jews knew about Solomon.
See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.
The third fundamental division of the animal nature and what it loves and runs after is wealth, which Solomon loved and ran after with gusto. The animals love wealth, money and the stuff the humans trade for it—which represents it in another form toward the same end—because it makes them feel good. There is an underlying craving built in to the animal nature to feel safe and secure, because there is no guarantee of safety and security in the world of wild animals, what the humans are. It's kill or be killed, protect yourself because no one else is going to, so it's perfectly natural that the humans would love money because of what it gives them, a kind of love and safety, that they're a little bit insulated from what they're afraid of at their core, because of their condition as a wild animal that's going to die.
The weight of the gold that Solomon received yearly was 666 talents.
For the Jews who heard the scriptures, that peculiar number 666 would have been significant in that it definitely related to Solomon, since part of the preserved record of Solomon specifically records this number, and the Jews knew it. Gold was valuable, and represented greatness and wealth, what Solomon loved and wanted to surround himself with instead of finding and knowing God like David his natural father.
If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number.
Algebra says that if the number of the beast is the number of man, then man must either be the beast or equal to it in some way if their numbers are the same. The way that the humans are so like the beast is because they are its sons, born into the same nature as that which rules all the fear-driven wild animals running around trying to hide. The lesson for the sons of God is the record of Solomon and what he loved and ran after, contrasted with his father David, who ran after knowing God and finding out how to be right with Him, which is the copy of Jesus the true Son that Solomon and the other humans erroneously thought he was. But in the end Solomon was not great like David or Jesus; he became a mere animal who ran after everything the humans are cursed with loving (themselves), according to the dictates of the nature that's living in them. The contrast is the picture of the true sons of God, what comes next in John's record:
Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads. And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps. And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they kept themselves pure. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among men and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless.
Unlike Solomon who gorged himself on women and represents man the beast which cannot please God because it's so preoccupied with pleasing itself, the sons did not defile themselves with women, but kept themselves pure for God's sake, as Jesus kept himself pure from being led by the animal nature as the temptation record indicates. This is the picture of the true family of God, the sons who look like the true Jesus (as opposed to the jesus that the abominators made up a few hundred years after he left the earth), who didn't love and run after the things the humans love and run after, because the nature of the serpent did not live in him. They are redeemed from the earth that is ruled by the animal and everyone in it, to be born to another Father, and receive another nature which is their "mark," the Father's name written on their foreheads.
"Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery."
The disciples said to him, "If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry."
Jesus replied, "Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it."
The nature that lived in the Son of God was the nature of the spirit of the Father, whose inhabitation of Jesus made him the firstborn Son of all God's sons, those who make up His true family, who follow the Lamb wherever he goes because he is their true shepherd. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 means that they had to have something special living in them which allowed them to learn the song—something exclusive that the humans didn't have, something that distinguished the sons from the human animals, a secret key that only they possess, which unlocks a hidden mystery to which only they become privy.
That life which lived in Jesus is what allowed him to do miracles and to know the secret mysteries of God that were hidden to the humans, especially the leaders who assumed they knew because of their natural positions amongst the humans. That life was the manifestation of the new covenant promised by the OT prophets like Jeremiah, who predicted that the covenant would change so that the laws were not natural (observable, recognizable), but unseen and unknown to the humans just as God is. Because they took this new form they were able to live in the recipients' hearts who were chosen to receive it and be under this new covenant. However, because it was spiritual and not natural, it was unable to be owned or possessed, as the Rabbis thought they could own and control God's law; as all religious leaders, by the dictates of the animal nature in them, think they can control God for their own benefit. The new way to God became a secret mystery, just like God is secret and hidden from the humans. The way to God became unlike any religion of man ever or still does exist.
A second angel followed and said, "Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries."
Here is what was coming, Babylon the Great, first predicted by Daniel in the abomination that would cause a desolation, reaffirmed by Jesus and spoken of by the NT writers on a few occasions. They knew that something was coming which was very bad, and they warned the believers who lived in the first century about it. They didn't actually know when, or what it would be, but the key word about it is captivity.
He who has an ear, let him hear. If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints.
God used the nation of Babylon to take the copy of His people into captivity in the physical sense of the word. They actually deported the humans away from the land where they were faithfully delivered by God to and where they lived, as part of the covenant God had with them. This new Babylon, the mystery Babylon was mysterious because it wasn't a physical captivity. The new Babylon was the formation and power of the lies, which gained momentum in the humans who became leaders of the false bride.
One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed.
What seemed to be a fatal wound, but which healed, was what the Son did to the animal nature, that ancient serpent the devil, on the cross.
And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your
offspring and hers;
The significance of what Jesus did was not actually seen in the natural world like the false bride claims. As far as the natural is concerned, Jesus the human was a shameful failure who had no power because he set it aside, which was a declaration that the natural doesn't matter because everything in the natural creation is temporary and ultimately meaningless. The reason no one can see God is because He lives, moves and has His being in a different dimension, that which is invisible to the humans, unseen because it isn't made up of physical matter, because He doesn't want to be another one of the things the humans possess for themselves (what the humans' religions claim to be able to do by defining the gods and the way to get to them). Because of his obedience to the life of the unseen Father in the face of being human, and more specifically his denial of that human animal reality, the Son kept himself pure and saved God's family of sons from their fate of being and remaining forever one with the temporary creation because of the animal nature that inhabits them.
The sons had to be purchased from among men so that they could become spiritual sons, because their Father is spirit so they had to become transformed into spiritual creatures like Him if He was to be able to have them with Him, and enjoy them as sons. It's the same as a man not being able to love a snail because they cannot even begin to relate to one another, so of course the man couldn't love a snail. The billions and billions of common animals which have ever existed on the earth, including the humans, are to God as the snail is to a man. The sons, however, are invaluable to Him. The first human Adam, intended to be a son of God, was created from the dirt (Adama means dirt). The sons of God have to be purchased from among the cursed stock of humans since the humans were cursed with the nature of the anti-son, the animal who cannot know nor love the Father.
By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
The humans (unclean animals) were given power to create lies about the truth that was delivered by the work of the true Jesus and those he came to save, so that they were able to take that truth and the new covenant into captivity as the mystery Babylon, the whore who claims to be the bride of the long forgotten Christ. The animals set the nature that rules them (the serpent, the animal) up in place of God in the temple, which according to Jesus was his body and to Paul was the collective body of Christ, or the bodies of the believers who lived in the first century (before the abomination). This fulfills Daniel's prophesy, as the temple was defiled by setting up the unclean animal nature in it, and it made the earth desolate of the truth that the true Jesus had, what made him the firstborn son—the life of God living in the bodies of humans, the mechanism of the new covenant. That condition was taken away from the earth since that abomination was done, and it has been in darkness since, made desolate of what was good.
Listen! The report is coming—a great commotion from the land
of the north!
For the animal it's always business as usual—whatever it can see it believes because it's naturally based and driven by what it can reach out and grab for itself to satisfy the needs of its own self. Those who especially fall into that category are the ones who consider themselves the ones who are blessed with correct doctrine and therefore think they own and control God. They cannot actually believe in the power of the true spirit of life living in a man, because that condition was taken away long ago. They can only believe what they can see with their eyes, hear with their ears, and by that understand with their minds. They can only comprehend what can make sense to their natural senses because that's all they are. Not spiritual, looking like God, just like the snail doesn't look like the man. Therefore all they can "believe" in is their biased version of it, whatever they're willing to accept because it fits into their philosophy.
It's okay that they don't believe us—they shouldn't believe us because they can't. That power and ability to believe has not been given to them. They cannot learn the new song like the 144,000 who follow the Lamb, because the ability to learn must be given to them, but it hasn't been. If it had been, we would recognize them as our true brothers. However, all they seem to be are just smokestacks puffing out their hot air about their official version of the gods. We can be comforted by the fact that they didn't believe the true Jesus either. The humans called him deranged, loopy, heretical and out of his mind; just because he knew what they hadn't been given, the knowledge that he was chosen specifically by the Father to know, while they hadn't been.
Jesus replied, "What is impossible with men is possible with God."
Only 11 men and a few others came close to actually believing him, but even they didn't believe things would go the way he said they would because they were still fully animals inhabited by the animal reality, and hadn't yet been transformed into sons of God. To their natural eyes, ears and mind he was something other than what they wanted him to be because he didn't fulfill their animal will to be great and powerful amongst the humans. To the animal, the world only exists according to what seems to naturally be possible, that was the thing that ruled them—certainly not the hope of him being raised from the dead. They had to become conformed to the Father's will, not the other way around, which is what happened a little later when the humans conformed their version of God into what they wanted Him to be. But He didn't care because the Son was with Him.
One irony is that the people who cannot believe anything except what their natural senses tell them are the same ones who do believe they are going to be raised into some quasi-natural kingdom, where they will be honored for adhering to the correct facts about the made up gods. These are the same ones who hate us with their exclusionary behavior while they sit smug and justified, sharing the "cup of suffering" with one another that they think is going to save them, pretending to be fulfilling the command of their made up jesus to love as he loved, yet being bound so tight to the animal which can only love itself that their efforts can only ever be meaningless. That's a beautiful expression of God's irony with regards to man, who always thinks he's so self-important because of that nature he serves day and night. He sets His own children up to look like the fools of this world, because the irony of them appearing as one thing when they are so much the other is so incredibly delicious to the Father who has chosen them, and who will one day reveal their identity to the same humans who mocked and scorned them. They will be the ones who will be honored by Him, for giving up what seems so important for His sake, and for tangibly loving Him enough to be made fools in the world where men try so hard to be the opposite, according to their nature to love what the humans have always loved.
It's the same irony that the Lord suffered, and by this we should know that we are right, while we feel grateful that we are able to share in his suffering and shame. The Messiah of Israel being excluded from Israel in the most shameful way. Those who assumed to be the shepherds, who only wanted to rape her, by their earthly power shunned and scorned, shamed and ridiculed, beat and killed the only offspring that was ever worthy to be called a true Israelite. The only One who genuinely loved the Father enough to have everything, yet became nothing, for the sake of his brothers—God's sons.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Whatever the humans naturally love and run after, because of the nature that rules them, the sons will run away from. They will have to because it's part of the transformation from animal to son. Only those who are chosen to learn the new song will hear these words, because they don't come from anything naturally within myself. The new song is the secret mystery, that which only the true sons can hear because they've been given eyes that can see, and ears that can hear the song, and a mind that can understand the secret mystery that has been long forgotten.
Because those who rule the religious institutions are so completely ruled by the animal consciousness, they will never comprehend the value of what the Lord did for the family of God, his true brothers. The earthly power which he could have wielded was enormous, yet he shunned that power to be found in the Father; to allow the Father to wield the power or not, for His purposes not the Lord's. His great temptation was to take that power for himself and use it to accomplish what he wanted. Of course the Jews thought that their power to kill Jesus was final, that it would put an end to his purpose. The purpose was that he would be killed, offered up as the sacrifice which saves God's true family. The important part, of course, is that he was raised from the dead so that he could live in those whom he came to set free from the animal's domination. What they feared was that he would leave them, that they would have to suffer alone as he did. In effect, though, he suffered alone so that they wouldn't have to, because he lived in them to let them know that they weren't alone.
If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
He and the Father, the new creation which was made by the union of the Son with the Father, was the counselor, the comforter, the spirit of truth which came back to live in the humans Jesus loved. As the Lord explained to them that the world would not accept the spirit which would soon be living in them, the false sons of God will never accept that the spirit lives in us because there's always enmity between the offspring of the serpent and the woman.
It also lived in those who went before us, who also were condemned for it. For them the second part was more important—that he would come back to them to live in them forever; then they would never have to be alone again. That is our greatest hope, what keeps getting renewed in us, because we know that he lives in us to let us know that we aren't alone. Anything that we suffer, we suffer with him in us, who comforts us by the knowledge of his presence, and that we are doing what's right according to the living God even and especially though it's wrong according to the humans (the non-sons). What he had to endure—being separated from the Father, even for just a few hours—will never be our fate because he will never leave us.
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.