Job 39 / Malachi 1 / Revelation 17-18
Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord.
Our first and ongoing desire is to give to God the sacrifice of the crappy parts and keep the best for ourselves because we're afraid we might need the good parts to survive better. Our focus and attention has been on our own selves all of our lives, so now to just all of a sudden change that is like changing our hair color just by thinking hard enough or else just pretending it's a different color when it isn't. We toss Him the crumbs while we keep the best parts that we love under tight guard, with all intentions of ownership in our hearts being toward our selves, unwilling to let go of our life and what and how we need to continue to provide for ourselves because it's the process we love and cherish most, what we can't imagine living without it. That process is the best ways we learned to take care of ourselves, and they are in the truest reality sacred to us in the most secret place we have. It is the place where we are most clearly defined as what we truly are before God, according to what we love and run after, the master we follow there in the secret places where the Father sees but the humans can't see—where we live, establish and maintain the truest definition of who we are. That is how we will be judged, because it is the most honest declaration of what we are before God who is the only judge who matters, and when we're stripped bare that's all there will be.
After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice:
"Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb."
Then one of the elders asked me, "These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?"
I answered, "Sir, you know." And he said, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore,
"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. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat.
For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd;
This imagery near the ending of the words that were preserved has great significance to the words very near the beginning, when God wrapped the humans in animal skins to declare what they became according to Him. The stripping off of that animal skin so that the son stands naked before the Father without being ashamed or afraid is the same allusion Jesus made to the fact that those who wanted to follow him in truth would have to become like little children—that is, standing in front of the Father naked (without the skin of the animal hiding them), without being ashamed or afraid of Him (wild animals that the humans naturally are because of the curse). Learning to truly trust the Father is just that, the transformation from that scared wild animal that wants to hide as per the humans when they first died as recorded in Gen 3, to a true son who isn't afraid of the Father or ashamed of his nakedness before Him. While the humans are busy their whole adult lives gathering better fur to wrap themselves in, the sons must be losing that animal skin, which is the process of learning to trust what to the animal eyes doesn't seem to be there.
The Father did not reveal Himself to us through the natural world, nor did any of the natural humans deliver His message to us, so we know we will not find Him within that reality where the humans find their value and worth. The reality of the son is increasingly not the same as that of the humans and their "normal" reality—that which they have judged to be valid, safe and healthy. If the Son of God was openly declared, even by the members of his own family, to be out of his mind because he lived in a reality to which they weren't privy, how much more should we expect to be railed against for our delusions? If he suffered the shame and derision of the humans for what he knew, what was put on him by the Father according to His purpose and to His delight and satisfaction (because He is against the humans and their reality, not for them as they always assume), how much more shame should we have to expect to endure for believing the same process he was subjected to, which was not approved of by any of the humans, even those who were chosen to later know the revelation of the Father when the Son came to Him.
"I have loved you," says the LORD.
The true sons of God, like the nation of Israel which is the seen metaphor that represents the hidden reality, are chosen by God because it is them He loves while the rest He hates because they have a nature that hates and despises Him and what He is after. The nature of the animal is all about the self, getting whatever it needs to survive and then, because the fear is never pacified in it, needing to get more of the same thing. This is the process that never ends in the animals, because that fear never goes away. It doesn't matter how much pacification it accomplishes for itself, the fear just keeps coming up because the nature of the nature that rules them. For the animals, the only thing that matters is getting more & better fur to wrap around themselves, and it comes in many forms.
When we were mere humans with only the natural reality to grab hold of, it was expected that we live in that place because son of the serpent was our birthright. That is the birthright that is not chosen by God to know, therefore He hates them—not hate in the form we naturally think but hate in the form of merely not being chosen by God, as Esau wasn't chosen but Jacob was, even though according to what the humans would expect in many ways, Jacob was the lesser. That metaphor represents how the choice of God is totally unlike the choice that the humans would normally make, because they don't see like He sees.
"A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?" says the LORD Almighty. "It is you, O priests, who show contempt for my name."
If we stay in the reality and run after the cravings and intentions we learned to protect and obey as mere animals, which God hates because it is not His intention for us to stay there, are we not rejecting God and showing contempt for the inheritance He has planned for those who love Him because they respond to the fact that they know He has loved them first, by the knowledge of their being chosen by Him? No matter the cost or shame, pain or suffering, at a certain point we will be ready to be able to come out from that which continues to contaminate us and choose the right, because our ignorance that the reality the humans live for and run after will no longer rule us. We will have a knowledge of the Father's reality because we have chosen to go further in to that reality, by learning to accept the right and reject the wrong, through the pain and suffering that's inflicted on us as we are learning, which is an enormously difficult thing to accept and be conformed to a completely hidden reality, and why the genuine article is such an awesome display of power on God's part, even though it remains completely hidden from the humans at large.
The Pharisees challenged him, "Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid."
Jesus answered, "Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going. You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one. But if I do judge, my decisions are right, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me. In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two men is valid. I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me."
Then they asked him, "Where is your father?"
Another part of God's purpose that delights Him is the fact that His true sons are totally hidden in the world and not found out by the humans at large. The sons are not for the humans' purpose to validate their reality, nor can the humans validate the reality of the sons of God, who are only validated by the Father and His secret revelation to them, which only they comprehend is the truth. The humans, because they are not privy to it, can only invalidate that reality the sons are being brought into, because it's not theirs. So the sons, by virtue of their being chosen by the Father, are sort of automatically destined to being categorized by the humans just like the firstborn Son of God was—deluded, crazy, arrogant heretics who claim the impossible, which cannot ever be verified by the humans so they go deeper and deeper into the identity that is opposed to that of the humans, knowing they are more and more right because that reality is being further and further revealed to them, yet becoming more and more detached from the reality that the humans hold onto. The sons of God are increasingly being called to reject the reality of the humans, what they grew up into and learned to count on as their ultimate reality, but which they are called to reject in favor of the Father's reality which is being revealed to them secretly and quietly, according to His purpose that it won't be known or understood in a public way, but only by those who are intended to know that reality.
How good and pleasant it is
when brothers live together in unity!
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
You call me `Teacher' and `Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
The call to know and embrace the Father's reality is also the impetus for the commands of Jesus to his disciples to embrace each other as he had embraced them, because they would be alone together against the world of humans at large, which wasn't going to be able to hear the voice that they already heard, and would be hearing a lot more of once he went to the Father. He had chosen them to become a community based not around anything natural that the humans could observe or control—like adhering to a set of official facts, which is one of the wimpiest bonds there is as seen in the various religions that the humans have and continue to set up—but around the unseen voice of the Father who secretly and quietly told them the truth about who Jesus actually was, while the rest of the world did not hear that same voice.
"Who do you say I am?"
Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.
That the specific ability to hear what the others couldn't hear was intended and controlled by the Father is pretty clear, yet so mysterious as to not be able to be comprehended by the humans, who must think of God as fair and open to all the humans the same, and who would never choose one or some of them over the others. That is a horrific thought to the humans that they are repelled by, yet a fact that is repeated and reinforced throughout the words that have been preserved about God and His legacy, which is the choosing of His own sons throughout the history of the humans. Those many characters written about, and many who weren't, are the ones who were chosen by to hear what the others couldn't hear, yet that thought is so appalling as to be totally rejectable by the humans. Through their many ways of rationalizing, even though they claim that the words are from God, they are able to reject the same words as impossible because God wouldn't "play favorites," even though it's plain that He does all throughout the stories the same words tell. Normally they just assume that things must be different now because of their prejudice about how God must be, which is conforming their god to their preconceived notions about how they want and expect them to be, according to the logic they learn from their society of other humans who dictate how everyone must think in order to be acceptable and normal.
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. 12 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.
That place where the disciples believed Jesus is where the Father spoke to them those secret things in that unseen place, what the preserved words call the heart. It is where they were bound together because the same voice spoke the same words to each of them, but not to the others. That is where we will know our actual identity before the Father and where we will have to become honest, because although we don't believe it for a long time, those who live in the spiritual reality can see that place, and although we try for a long time to hide from that reality (because we just want to be humans, which is neater and easier, and feels more comfortable and agreeable with the animal that still rules us) we'll see that we can't hide anymore, as we move closer to that reality and away from the natural reality of the humans at large.
When you bring injured, crippled or diseased animals and offer them as sacrifices, should I accept them from your hands?
We are a different creature now than what we are becoming as much as we are different now than what we were before. We are still plagued by the residue of the animal, though we are moving the other way. How do we gauge that movement? As we move further along in the new creation, we should sort of be cringing when we observe how dominated we actually were even a short while ago by the old nature compared to now. That should bring about our next logical, although reluctant, conjecture—how much we will be cringing, even in a short while from now, about how we are dominated right now by the animal consciousness. That is a tough one because its nature in the humans is to keep them from seeing, and because we came from the humans we are all the victims of its silent oppression. We are only even able to become aware of it after we've been given new eyes to see what we couldn't see before, what the humans obviously can't see or else they'd be speaking our language.
A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?
Since we know that the nature of the serpent is deception, to tell us everything but what is true according to God's reality, we must participate in the transformation process by observing the relationship it has with us, by trying to understand how it rules/leads/guides/controls us. If we try to live in the logic by which it operates, in other words not hide from the reality of it controlling us, we can get an understanding. Contrast this to our normal mode, which is allowing it to rule and control us, then hiding, pretending it doesn't, which is to be at its mercy. As in the case with all animals, it determines the way we are going to react and feel according to some circumstance that happens. Jesus' words to his disciples about the animal consciousness was that they should be as shrewd as snakes but as innocent as doves. Shrewd in understanding how it works, innocent from its domination.
One key is letting go of the control we always feel we have to have, which comes from the nature of needing to survive in all the different ways. A big part of that is our need to find agreement between what is happening inside us, and the natural world we're existing in with the humans and their systems, especially their religious systems and the influence they've had on us which have created so many assumptions and prejudices that we try to apply to what's happening inside us. But if what's happening in us is truly from God, then we can't control it by any of the ways we learned to control the stuff that happens to us for our own good, according to the dictates of the animal nature.
If we have the life of the Father living in us, then by that spirit we will learn the truth about the animal nature that has always lived in and ruled us, and continues to even after we have been born of God. At first our assumptions, naive as they are, will be that since something has obviously happened to us, then we're all perfect and right before God. In reality the presence of the revelation about the Father's intention for us merely means with regard to the wild animal nature, that we can just begin to see it for what it is (what we need to move away from) and isn't (what can't remain in us if we are to find the Father). Knowing what's true doesn't mean we live there. The transformation from wild animal to son of God is long, excruciating and filled with suffering and grief over the death of what we love and cherish most—our own lives. Merely knowing about it is easy because it's another thing we learn to hide in so that we don't have to come clean, come out of our dark holes where we love to live because we learned to find safety and security there. Becoming what the Father intends us to be is built upon the knowledge, but an altogether separate process from just the knowing.
What we will notice is that situations will arise around us so that it becomes even more defined and accentuated, appealing and tempting to engage in, especially between those of the same journey, those who understand, those who are chosen to know who have the teacher living in them. This is all good, even though it will bring us lots of grief and heartache, as the purpose is to reveal to us just how deep we are in it, how much a stranglehold it has on us. Otherwise we might be misled into thinking, as we did when we were dead, that it isn't even there—that we've arrived even before we've begun.
The fact that it doesn't exist is truly one of the major deceptions of the animal. As we start learning that it is there, we also learn how it affects us; each one will be affected differently, yet all to the same end. That is to keep us from finding the treasure, which is the love of God, and to keep us from being useful to God as objects of His affection whom He can love, and whom can love Him back (bearing fruit, being useful, enjoyable to Him). To be fully dead animal is to be fully away from God, hidden from Him in the world, unseen by Him. To be born of God is to have the seed of the kingdom planted in us.
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.
Like anything, the planting is only the beginning. The difference between a seed and a full grown tree is immense. In the same way, the seed that has just been planted may indeed sprout and shoot upward, then grow leaves and branches. Does that mean, though, that it will be useful to the farmer right away? Not until it has been nurtured for a number of years and has grown up, having its branches pruned, developing according to how the farmer desired it to grow so it would give Him the intended results. Only then can it begin to be useful to the farmer, to produce fruit for Him to eat. We are useful as infants in a different way than when we get older, never in and of ourselves because that which was in us is all bad, and can only lead us away from the Father.
We cannot be multi-dimensionally useful to God until we have grown out of the animal nature and in to the new creation—that which looks like Jesus looked when he existed on the earth in his human body, teaching the chosen sons the things about the kingdom of God that he learned, not according to human understanding but the Father's. How good was Peter at first? Good enough to betray the Lord, the opposite of what he claimed he would do by his big animal mouth with all its boasting because he was still fully human. Growing out of the animal will be accomplished by the life, which at first is like the seed, growing up in us. He will nurture the plant so it grows up and remains healthy. We also have a part to play, to help the spirit to keep that life in us safe from all the animal's influences and schemes, which hamper our transformation and growth in the new way. As far as that nature is concerned, its desire is to have a field full of weeds, thorns and completely useless vegetation.
Rejoice over her, O heaven!
Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a large millstone and threw it into the sea, and said:
It is the same animal nature, of the serpent that the humans were bound to as the curse, the working out of their predicted death, that created what exists today in the world regarding the landscape of all the religions that claim to know the way to the Father, which is secret and unknown to the humans. The woman who is the whore (instead of the bride she claims to be) rode on the back of the beast, which is the power of the wild animal in the humans who have the power to accomplish their will, which is always the same because it's the will of the serpent, who is the craftiest of all the animals, that inhabits them. That will which manifests itself in each of its hosts is to persevere and survive as well as it can for itself because it can only love itself according to the curse (it can never love God or His sons).
At a certain point we become able to observe the animal in us, reacting to certain scenarios and situations as the teacher creates them for us so we might observe the serpent's hold over us—how we react to those situations in knee jerk fashion, purely by the animal's desire to rule us, which is the ever-present instinct to survive. Our observations of its way will be beneficial in not being ruled by it as we live now with our overriding purpose to move closer to what will make our joy complete. As we become completed we will also be becoming useful to the Father and valuable to Him.
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.
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched--this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.
We write this to make our joy complete.