December 31st.

Job 41-42 / Malachi 3-4 / Revelation 21-22

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"See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come," says the LORD Almighty.

The glory of the LORD hadn't yet been realized after the return of the exiles; God had not entered the temple as per the promises of the prophets to distinguish the kingdom and pour out the Davidic glory that the Jews had in their minds to be looking for. This whole verse is playful irony on God's part because the LORD they thought they were seeking was coming to His temple but it wouldn't look anything like they would have expected, wanted or been able to accept. The temple would indeed be glorious, but not from man's perspective. The humans wanted the temple to be glorious in the way that the pyramids, hanging gardens, huge statues and other man made things were glorious, sort of like an "our magnificent statue is bigger and more glorious than their statue" kind of deal. The temple that Solomon built was another one of those competitive types of what the human eyes could behold, magnificent yes but not to God, whose idea for a house the humans could see was a small tent. The idea to build a big edifice came from the humans.

It's no accident that Solomon, who became given over to the glory of his position and the indulgences that came with that position built the temple that God didn't need or want. From God's perspective, a human body that wasn't contaminated with the animal's corruption (like Solomon's became). To the humans, the body of one lowly peasant from a region in Israel that they turned their noses up at was just as it sounds—worthless to them who wanted a glorious Messiah. God came to His temple and lived in that temple, and the messenger of the new covenant would come. However, only the sons desired the messenger God was going to send because the covenant the sons desired would be one that could save them from their prison of the grave that held them tightly. The humans at large always want one thing, while God wants another, because their ends are opposed.

Remember the law of my servant Moses, the decrees and laws I gave him at Horeb for all Israel.

What God did throughout the time of Israel was done for the sons who He looked upon and included in His own secret plan for them, while the world of humans went along as they purposed it. Within the law was the foundation of the revealing of the secret, which was plain but still a secret because the humans couldn't get it.

'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.

They didn't want to get the secret within the law because of the thing that directly opposes what God considers valuable, what lived inside them to make and keep them what they are and were—fearful animals who can only live for themselves and are driven by instinct toward that end, so the heart and soul of the law of God's servant Moses was constantly overlooked by the humans, while they changed it into something that God intended it not to be, which is what the humans always do with anything good the God does. If God makes something good and beautiful, the humans come along and trash it, making it for their own purpose, owning it, controlling it and exploiting it for their own gain until it's so trashed it isn't worth anything. It's what they did with the law of Moses, and what they did with the new covenant. It's what they do with everything—own it, trash it, turn it into something that can serve their animal needs.

My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.
Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.

After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before.

An element of the holy transformation symbolized by Job being restored (transformed) to a more blessed position than before. An element within the people of God being restored, made ready for the Messiah, who would accomplish the work that laid the foundation for eventual restoration. Finally, the whole order of the existence of man being restored to what it was originally meant to be, and that same righteous element, the remnant from each generation who loved God more than their lives, reigning superior with God and His Lamb, no more being trampled underfoot by the swine.

"I tell you the truth," Jesus replied, "no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first."

The story is for the sons' benefit, to be able to understand the things that are happening to them. Whether it's true or not isn't the issue, because that's a natural dilemma (whether it happened or not). That is what the natural being try to hold on to because that's all they can do. The important thing for the sons is that it was faithfully written down, and the words were preserved over this long period of time, because their predicament is not a natural one. That's confirmed over and over in Jesus' words, and ultimately his life, that he considered the natural reality not as important as the reality that lived inside of him, by the means of the spirit, which is from God—it is the Father's reality, because He is the spirit.

But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner's fire or a launderer's soap.

I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

He will either make one clean from the animal's filth and corruption or he will burn up what isn't sealed by the life within that one.

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit," says the LORD Almighty.

The pests are the many ways the animal nature makes us hide from becoming and being honest before the Father, of coming clean and allowing our heart to be made pure and clean, which is opened up and not hiding behind the walls we have carved out for our selves, which is the animal thing to do. This is the ongoing mystery and problem for the humans, that they cannot come to Him any other way except by being made clean, and it only happens by coming through the narrow passage way that is lit by the light that is inside. There is no way to come from the outside, in the natural, by anything in the natural reality, which is always only the temporary way. The things they gather up around themselves and the walls they hide behind are things they conspiratorially pretend are good and they encourage each other to indulge in the same things because they all want to hide together and anyone who rejects what they propose is a threat to them so they are quickly disposed of and rejected by them so they keep the upper hand.

You have said, `It is futile to serve God. What did we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the LORD Almighty? But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly the evildoers prosper, and even those who challenge God escape.'

Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored his name.

"They will be mine," says the LORD Almighty, "in the day when I make up my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him.

This is what everything's about, what was and remained a secret thing to the humans who thought they knew what God was and is doing. But all the while they have been making their assumptions and predictions about Him, He has been doing something different, even though the clues about what He's doing are all there. Nevertheless the humans are too dull and self-serving to get at what it might even be, because of that nature to view *everything* through the filter of their own self and welfare, according to the way things are in and around them.

"They will be God's" because they are the true sons, those who do want God above everything else like enjoying this temporary existence, what all the humans love and run after. They see as He sees, not as the animal sees, and they reject the animal perspective because they know it's a lie. They have been taken down a road full of the suffering of learning that what they think is valuable is actually worthless, and vice-versa.

What is highly valued among men is detestable in God's sight.

And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.

The distinction that God is concerned about is between the sons and everyone else. The humans are concerned with thousands upon thousands of other things, what they hold up to be distracted with, to engage themselves with, to spend their lives running after as though any of it will give them any satisfaction except a temporary filling and enjoyment until the nature is reset and it needs to be filled again by something else. This is the cycle that consumes the humans as they live their lives doing it over and over until they're gone.

See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. He will turn the heart of the Father to the child, and the hearts of the children to their Father; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.

On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.

One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, "Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb." And he carried me away in the spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.

The sons of God are those who are coming out of Egypt with Moses, Aaron and Joshua—going into the land that God has promised to those who love Him more than this life, more than this world. We are coming out of Babylon with Ezra and Nehemiah, rebuilding the city, living within its walls as the place where God will live amongst His people in peace. We are doing that according to the reality that is not seen by the humans. Those preserved words are metaphors for the life that we are living, the process of being pulled out of the darkness and into the light, clues about the secret purpose of the Father and why things are happening inside them. We are getting a taste of the new order, as the old order of things is passing away, even within our human bodies as the spiritual reality is crossing over into the natural, which is impossible unless that intention exists, the God would desire it to happen.

I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

The old order is that of the animal, the time from when Adam was kicked out of the garden, the animal skins put on him (a metaphor for his new animal nature of death, fear and hiding). It is also the order of the entire creation based on these ongoing and overlapping (creating an illusion of eternal), yet temporary cycles of death, for which the flaming sword guarding the tree of life is a metaphor. These both happened at the same time.

The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever." So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

Notice in the last restoration the sons of God will have new clothes to replace the animal skins, and the tree of life will be accessible again. It's no accident that the last of the preserved words speaks to a restoration, an undoing of the curse that started in the beginning, when the humans first died, as promised.

Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, because the time is near. Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong; let him who is vile continue to be vile; let him who does right continue to do right; and let him who is holy continue to be holy.

The natural reality is void of the knowledge of the spiritual reality, and God's intention. There isn't a validation in the natural, and the sons shouldn't worry about those who do not know, who aren't inhabited by the Teacher, because if he's not there then he isn't. The sons should worry about the Father and Son, and the other sons who have the light within them to understand the hard things about the other reality.

Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.

Outside are the dogs (animals), those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood (their very natures determine how they act, what they practice).

God is away not in the natural creation because it is ruled by death, and the sons of men by the animal consciousness, which is unclean and leaves the humans dead according to God. God lives in another dimension, the spiritual world which cannot be accessed by this inferior, unclean creation based on death. God cannot have anything to do with unclean animals, or death, because in Him is only life. Consider what Paul said about the present creation, versus the life he had tasted; what he knew, via the spirit, was coming:

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

Paul had tasted the life, but it's clear that he had only tasted it—that he looked forward to a fuller experiencing of it. For Paul and the handful of regenerating sons of men in the first century, Jesus had broken into their lives, punctured the membrane of the animal consciousness and revealed God to them. Not only that, but he and the Father made their home in their dying bodies, to plant the seed of life in them which would seal them up and give them the hope and guarantee of their resurrection. That was a fulfillment of the new covenant. Still, though, it was a hope of something to come.

The powerful rebirth of the spirit was making them into sons of God, purchasing some from the sons of men (the human population). It is the thing that happened to those brothers which caused them to believe no matter what the consequences—shame, poverty, loss of family, even death. They believed in Jesus because they had proof that he was alive inside them, as he actually lived in their bodies to tell them and give them tangible hope for what is better, what was coming.

Contrast that with the prevailing theory of the sons of men, regarding what they think it means to be a son of God. It wasn't just a matter of their minds deciding to believe that Jesus was actually alive, but the power of his resurrected life living in them, which they understood as something in fact happening in them, an experience they could comprehend and participate in. They could interact with the living Messiah on a level they never before understood even existed, as his life had been born into their mortal bodies. It gave them eyes to see the truth about this inferior creation, about the nothingness of their inferior lives based on death, and about what was actually life, and valuable to pursue.

...so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

This for them was a preview, a taste of the things that were coming when...

The dwelling of God will be with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things will have passed away.

The previews and metaphors of the new life they lived were found in the scriptures of their time. It was represented by the people of God being led out of Egypt by the power of God's hand. It was them being led out of the wilderness into the land flowing with goat milk and date syrup. It was them coming out of Babylon back into the land, where in a few hundred years the long awaited Messiah would be born, and make the way possible for the life that now lived in them.

"See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come," says the LORD Almighty.

No more prophets were sent for 400 years, until the second Elijah came who would prepare the way for the great prophet who was to come. He is the last prophet God would send, as he lives to speak the word of God. He spoke the true words of God to some men when he was a son of man. Then he continued to speak to the same men, via the spirit which could live in their bodies. He was the word of God which spoke to some men's ears, and continued to be the word which spoke to the hearts of that handful of men in the first century, after he was raised up.

See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.

The third Elijah may be coming, who will finally prepare the way for the Lamb to be revealed to the sons of men. Out of a long darkness he may come, as the earth and everything in it has been ruled by the great whore, when the life of God was gone from the earth for many centuries. He will be pointing to the great prophet who was, then was, and is to come. Then the order can be restored, after the third Elijah reveals the sun of righteousness to the world. Then death can be removed, and the animal consciousness will no longer rule the sons of men, nor will it hinder the sons of God from loving their Father. The chaos of its very nature will be lifted and there will be peace between God and His people; and He will live among them in the new city that bears His name.

Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

 

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