October 25, 2013

The Law Myth – part 3: Grumpy Old God

Posted in Religion, Terminology, The Dispensations, The Law tagged , , , , , at 2:57 PM by E. M.

NOT AN ACCURATE REPRESENTATION OF GOD

NOT AN ACCURATE REPRESENTATION OF GOD

We’ve been looking at some of the myths about the Law and the 5th Dispensation.  In this final post on the subject we’ll discuss a set of myths that are both pervasive and controversial – the idea that God’s Law is meant to make us feel bad about stuff that makes us feel good.

The myth is that God is a cosmic kill joy who gets perverse pleasure out of telling us “Thou shall not…”    And the perception is that all the stuff God doesn’t want us to do are things we find enjoyable.  It’s almost like He set us up to fail by telling us not to do things we are naturally inclined to do.  But is this true?

We’ve seen over the last two posts that the rules of the Law are not meant to be repressive or religious.   But they actually have positive intentions – namely helping prepare the world for the advent of the Redeemer.

So where does this myth come from?  Frankly, much of it is self-serving.  Because of our nature and our tendency toward pride, we tend to desire things that are evil.  Evil leads to destruction.  God is not being repressive; He’s trying to protect us from destruction by identifying our evil tendencies and steering us away from them.

But since we don’t like anyone telling us that we are wrong, it’s easier to cast God in a negative light than admit that we like being evil.

The myth is also acerbated by religion. Mystics heap up additional religious laws on men in order to stifle uniqueness and retain their power.  But these superfluous rules aren’t from God.  Worse, since people ascribe them to God (because they believe the mystics who claim to speak for Him), they begin to believe that in order to follow God they have to be in constant compliance with innumerable arbitrary rules.

Sometimes well intentioned non-mystics are guilty of this too.  Ever hear your grandmother say things like “cleanliness is next to Godliness”, or “God helps those who help themselves”, or “an idle mind is the devils workshop”?   Being tidy, self-reliant, and focused are nice attributes, but these rules didn’t come from God, and ascribing His name to them doesn’t make them Biblical.

But let’s focus on the area that has been the biggest source of the “God is a big ol’ prude” myth – Sexuality.  The myth is, that generally speaking, God doesn’t like it when we have sex.  It’s a low, dirty desire that we mammals are cursed with and He’d just as soon we not even speak of it.  It should only be done for the express purpose of procreation.  And even then, it should only be done in a locked room.

In the dark.

Missionary style.

Completed as quickly and quietly as possibly.

And we should bath ourselves in bleach afterwards.

Honestly, the source of this myth is rooted in the very detailed sexual morality rules of the Law.  Its clear that God only approves of sex in the marital relationship.  BUT within the confines of marriage, sex is encouraged.

Sadly, well-intentioned (and some not so well-intentioned) people made the myth that “God hates sex” even more pervasive by going overboard in enforcing sexual morality and vilifying the sex act in any form.

So if this is a myth, how does God really feel about sex?  I would contend that God thinks sex is pretty damn awesome!  Why? Well, first of all He created it!  He created it to feel good to us!  And He created us to desire it!

After God created the first man and woman, He told them to “be fruitful and multiply”.  He commanded them to have sex!  He basically said “Adam, here’s your wife.  Eve, here’s your husband.  Now go get some!”

Moreover, the fact that the Song of Songs in even in the Bible proves that God delights in the joy of our sexuality.  The entire book is about a bride and groom who physically desire one another and delight in sex.  Here’s a snippet of the grooms description of his bride’s body.

How beautiful are your feet in sandals,
O prince’s daughter!
The curves of your thighs are like jewels,
The work of the hands of a skillful workman.
Your navel is a rounded goblet;
It lacks no blended beverage.
Your waist is a heap of wheat
Set about with lilies. Songs of songs 7: 1-2

To get the full impact of this passage, it’s worth mentioning here that the word “navel” is mistranslated due to the desire of the translators to be polite.  Notice that he’s working his way UP her body in the description.  There is an, ahem, “opening” on the female body between the thighs and the waist. . . but it ain’t her navel.  I’ll just leave it at that.

But if God thinks sex is so awesome, why are we only allowed to do it with the person we’re married to, and them alone?  That’s actually not a valid question.  God doesn’t see sex and marriage separately. The “marriage ceremony” we do today is a man-made tradition.  To God, sex isn’t something you do with the person you’re married to.  The sex act is what makes you married!

Technically there is no such thing as “sex before marriage” because sex IS marriage.  The act of sex is the consummation of the marriage covenant.  So technically, in God’s eyes, you married the first person you had sex with (I’ll give you a moment to recover from the horror).  And you are committing adultery with any person you have sex with subsequently.  So you see why God wants us to take sex seriously?

God is strict about sex because of the tremendous value he places on marriage and what it symbolizes.  The joy and ecstasy of sex is God’s earthly representation of what Heaven is going to be like!  Kind of makes you anxious to get there, doesn’t it?

And as mentioned above, the rules of the Law are God’s way of protecting us from ourselves.  Again our tendency is toward evil so we have strong desires to be sexually immoral.  But the consequences of that immorality is destructive.

Promiscuity, infidelity, and adultery are emotionally devastating.  They break hearts, break up families, and ruin childhoods.  Sexual immorality can also lead to physical damage (disease) and physical dependency – the neurochemicals released during sex are identical to the ones released when addictive drugs are used.  God intended this function to bond you physically and emotionally to your spouse.  But illicit sex leaves you empty and constantly in search of your next “fix”, be it at the local bar or in front of a computer screen.

Lastly, let’s tackle the big controversy (at least in the eyes of contemporary society) – homosexuality.  I’m not going to sugarcoat the subject, because God doesn’t.  God calls it an abomination.  It’s listed as one of the effects of intentionally disregarding God and our inherent knowledge of Him.  Is this because God “hates” homosexuals as some zealots proclaim?

No, it goes back to how important marriage is to God, and how He defines it.  God defines marriage as the sexual covenant between a man and a woman.  Period.  And He considers anyone or anything that intentionally perverts that definition an affront to Him.  I know that’s not politically correct, but I kind of doubt God is terribly concerned about popular opinion.  The question is, should God conform to the whims of His creation, or should His creation conform to Him?

I won’t argue with someone who says they were born with a desire for someone of the same sex, any more than I would argue with someone who says they were born with a bad temper, or a predisposition to substance abuse, or even a desire for heterosexual promiscuity.   The issue is not the desire.  It’s what you choose to do with that desire.  We are creatures with free will – AND the responsibility that goes along with it.

The bottom line is that homosexuality is a sin in God’s eyes – like every other sin we all commit.  It has the same source, the same consequences, and the same remedy.  Presenting it as anything more or less than that is misrepresenting God.

Now that we’ve addressed some of the major myths of the Law, it’s time to focus on the major outcome of the Law – the advent of the Redeemer.  Considering the extraordinary and eternal impact of the event, it’s safe to say that the Redemption of man is the most important even in our history.  Understandably, this advent is the most well described event in the bible.  In fact, much of this description was detailed hundreds of years before He even arrived!  We’ll begin to explore all this next time.

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April 7, 2013

Know Thy Enemy – Part 8: Tools of the Devil

Posted in Satan, Spiritual War, Spiritual Warfare tagged , , , , at 4:11 PM by E. M.

Jimmy Fallon devilThis will be the last post in the current series examining the character and career of the primary antagonist of our existential narrative – the being called “Satan”.  In the last two posts, we looked at Satan’s partners in crime, the many fallen angels who rebelled with him against God and have joined him in his vain attempt to thwart God’s plan.

In this final post, we will see that there is one other group that share the goals and aspirations of the fallen angels and act as their agents in a symbiotic relationship.  They are a group that is familiar to us because we’ve analyzed them before – human Mystics!

The goal of Mystics is to rule over humanity and recreate Eden on earth without (or in defiance to) God.  Since their goals are so closely aligned, its not surprising that they would strike up a partnership with their supernatural cohorts.

The Mystics of Spirit rule over men by claiming to have an association with “the gods”. They keep their position by invoking fear of said gods and have maintained their influence through history by being the keepers of these “arcane secrets”.

And that’s all well and good, however I admittedly left something out of my original posts that can be brought up now.  Which is the question, how could Mystics maintain this façade over any moderately intelligent person for so long based only on their empty claims?

One explanation (and the one we probably default to) is to assume that the ancient masses were just not as smart and sophisticated as we are today.  Basically, the knuckle-dragging morons of the ancient world were so backwards and superstitious that they took theses charlatans at their word when they claimed that sacrificing your first born under the full moon at midnight would assure a bountiful crop next season.  Or they could bring down fire from the gods on infidels.  But of course WE wouldn’t fall for that kind of stuff because we’re soooo much smarter.

But is the depiction of the ancients as drooling, sloped-forehead troglodytes really accurate?

Lets keep in mind the fact that these are the same people who invented math, science, and language.  They built monuments such as the Great Pyramid and Stonehenge, which are structures of such precision, accuracy, and astrological/geological expertise that to this day we cannot duplicate them of figure out how they made them even with all of our sophisticated gadgets.

So if the ancients were not necessarily the rubes we think they were, how were the Mystics able to dupe them?  Well, I think it is highly likely that these was some actually truth in the Mystics’ claims.  Insofar as the fallen angels were given god-like regard, certain Mystics DID have a connection to them that they could use to convince the ancients.

If you get in front if the masses and SAY that you have the power to do the miraculous, you might get a few (or a lot of) suckers to believe you if you have enough charisma (I’m pretty sure that’s how our current president got elected – oops, I promised to keep politics out of this blog…).  But if you make those claims, AND give people an occasional demonstration of your supernatural connections, well your argument becomes exponentially more convincing.

The reason that otherwise intelligent folks in the past believed the Mystics is because they saw proof of their supernatural connections!  Remember, that at the end of the fourth dispensation, when God brought the 10 plagues on Egypt through Moses, the Mystics at Pharaoh’s court were able to duplicate the first two using their spiritual connection to the powerful fallen angelic “gods” who governed that empire!

The occurrences of supernatural events are almost taken for granted in the Bible and other ancient texts.  The writers of these stories fully expected their readers to take them seriously when they presented narratives about floods, and plagues, and signs and wonders.

Not only were there physical demonstrations of power, the apocryphal Book of Enoch implies that fallen angels provided sophisticated knowledge of agriculture, medicine, astronomy, and industry to people of the Second Dispensation.  If this information was kept and guarded by the Mystics throughout the centuries, they could make use of it in very convincing ways.

For example, if the Mystics had (and kept secret) knowledge of the cycle of solar eclipses, they could tell people that “the gods will darken the Sun next Tuesday to show their displeasure!”  You can then imagine the reactions of the masses when the eclipse happened as predicted.

So how did this all work?  Well, starting with the Mother of Mystics (who may have had access to supernatural through the being who sired her son/husband), the connection to the supernatural could have been passed on to her various priests, who, when Babel was divided into nations, took their knowledge and connections with them into other societies as they spread throughout the globe.

In this mutually beneficial arrangement, the Mystics would get the power they desired to rule over men, and in return, the fallen angels would mortal aid in their endeavors to thwart the plan of God.  After all, its one thing for them to try to ruin God’s plan on their own, but its an even bigger slap in the face to have that plan opposed by some of the very creatures it is meant to benefit.

Thus, throughout the ages, certain men have engaged in Faustian deals with the gods of this world to gain incredible wealth, power, and influence, in exchange for their souls and allegiance.

Despite how incredible it sounds, its probably not as uncommon as one would think.  If you look just past the superficial façade of our society, stories abound about people taking spiritual short cuts to success. (I mean how else do you explain how incompetent politicians and talentless celebrities gain inexplicable wealth and influence?  I’m sure that when Satan flosses his teeth, chunks of Jimmy Fallon’s soul fly out).

So then, if all of this is true, it begs an obvious question – Why don’t we see overt supernatural shenanigans today?  Surely with common access to video equipment and the Internet, it wouldn’t be much of a chore to document some infidel getting char-broiled by a Mystic channeling “Moltar the god of fire”.  But instead all we get are the occasional fuzzy shot of a “UFO” or the silhouette of Big Foot ducking behind a ponderosa pine tree.

There are a few possible explanations:

  1. The supernatural stuff only happens in uncivilized parts of the world where you can still find the occasional shaman tuning people into frogs.  Maybe, but why is the western world immune?  Are fallen angels afraid of electricity and freeway traffic?
  2. It still happens, but its kept secret by the current ruling Mystics who only trot out their tricks in hidden enclaves like Bohemian Grove.  This idea is touted by the conspiracy theorist, but despite whatever merit it may have, you still wonder why its kept so clandestine when Mystics of the past made a big show of it to aid their cause.
  3. God is currently keeping things in check.  The Bible strongly implies that in our current dispensation (the sixth), God is actively restraining evil.  In the Sixth Dispensation, God resides in the hearts of believers on earth (obviously we’ll detail all this when we examine the Sixth Dispensation).  God’s active presence in the world is the restraining force that literally prevents all hell from breaking loose.  So Mystics and fallen angels are not free to operate as they once did.  However, when this current dispensation ends, the Bible makes it clear that demonic activity will ramp up exponentially…

If explanation #3 is correct.  It would be interesting to observe how the influence of evil in this world grows in proportion to the amount that God’s influence through His believers wanes…

There is a great deal more to say on the subject of Satan and his minions, but for now, we will end our look at the dark side here.  Its time to get back to out examination of the dispensations.

In the first four dispensations, God gave men fairly open-ended opportunities to chose Him over themselves.  With the failure of men to do so each time, it would seem that the only just thing for God to do would be to give men very specific examples of how things should be done – culminating with the ULTIMATE example of how to choose God over man.  The Fifth Dispensation begins next time…

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January 22, 2013

Know Thy Enemy – Part 7: The Devil’s Advocates (cont.)

Posted in Satan, Spiritual War, Spiritual Warfare tagged , , , , , at 8:25 PM by E. M.

Angels

ANGELS DON’T REALLY LOOK LIKE THIS (UNFORTUNATELY)

Unlike God, Satan is not transcendent.   He can’t be everywhere at once to rule his kingdom, but he has help.  When he fell, a great number of angels fell with him.

The Bible doesn’t give us a great deal of information about angels, and since human curiosity abhors a vacuum of knowledge, people have filled in the blanks with details and characterizations of angels, any of which are fanciful and/or completely wrong.

For example, there are no female angels; angels are always depicted as male (despite a very convincing argument by Victoria’s Secret).  Also, angels don’t have a pair of feathery wings.  A small group of special angels called Seraphim have wings – but they have six, and it isn’t clear that they look anything like bird’s wings. And they don’t have halos (I’m not even sure what the point of depicting them with halos was in the first place).

In the last post, I presented a Biblical passage which provides a rare look into the world of angels (good and bad).  In this passage from the book of Daniel, we see that there is an invisible war going on all around us that impacts our world (and that we can affect!).   In additions to giving us insight into God’s plan through the prophesy that the angels gives Daniel, this passage also gives us some interesting details about angels.

Angels are powerful

If you were to ever see an angel in all its glory, you wouldn’t feel comforted or enraptured by its beauty.  You’d nearly drop a brick in your shorts, just like everyone else in the Bible who encountered them! Angels operate on a level of power that we can scarcely understand and dwarfs anything we can come up with.  One angel killed 185,000 Assyrians one night after dinner!  There are NOT creatures that you want to mess with.

Fallen angels share Satan’s goals

Satan’s goal is to block and hinder the plan of God and all efforts to advance that plan.  The prophesies given in the book of Daniel are some of the most important in the Bible and reveal much about God’s plan. So it seems that the most powerful territorial spirit of that time went to battle in order to prevent Daniel from getting the prophesy (Persia was the most powerful world empire at the time).  Which brings us to the next thing we learn about fallen angels…

Fallen angels are territorial

When Adam and Eve committed Original Sin, their dominion of Earth was given to Satan and his crew.  We know from Daniel and other Biblical references that spiritual entities are often the power behind human leaders.

Its interesting that the “Prince of Persia” was the spiritual entity trying to block Daniel’s message.  Persia was the dominant world empire and Daniel lived during the height of that kingdom.  But note that the Angel with the prophesy stated that after he goes back to fight the prince of Persia, he will have to later fight the Prince of Greece!  The Greek empire conquered the Persians and became the subsequent world empire, but it wouldn’t happen for another 200 years after Daniel’s life!

There is a LOT going on in the spiritual world that we can only scarcely perceive.  And it leads to other provocative questions: has every dominant world power in history had an evil spiritual “prince” ruling over it?  Is there currently a “Prince of the Power of the United States” presiding over us right now (and is he from a red state or a blue state)?

And to bring it a little closer to home, since there are possibly billions of fallen angels out there (enough for each one of us), are you someone’s spiritual “territory”?  (Boo!)

Satan’s kingdom is fractured

As we saw in an earlier post, Satan’s desire to rule over the earth perfectly is constantly thwarted because men share his rebellious nature and his desire to rule.  Well, the same is true for his angelic counterparts.  Although they may share the same big picture goals, they fall into lockstep with Satan when it comes to ruling their particular principalities.  Note that when the prince of Greece succeeded the prince of Persia as the dominant world power, it wasn’t through an amicable transition of power.  It was the result of a bloody war that cost tens of thousands of lives! (Not to mention whatever battles took place in the spiritual realm)  And so it has been with just about every conflict between kingdoms.  Even as the world marches toward the Armageddon scenario where Satan’s own personal world rule is at its zenith under the Antichrist, there are still kingdoms that don’t fall into line.

So man and fallen angels have something in common in that they share Satan’s comparative goals to rule.  It would seen logical that they take advantage of this shared ambition to advance their common aspirations.  And in fact they do!  Evil spiritual entities have often been the power behind a group of mortals that have had historic designs on ruling this world.  We will explore how Satanic entities have used and been used by our old friends the Mysticsnext time

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October 28, 2012

Know Thy Enemy – Part 5: Giving the Devil His Due

Posted in Government, Satan, Spiritual War tagged , , , , at 7:38 PM by E. M.

SATAN’S ARMY

We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. – 1 John 5:19

Satan’s position toward man is one of antagonism and envy.  When God created Adam, Satan saw more than a new creature in the universe.  He saw a rival.  Although Adam was not created with the same level of angelic power and glory that he had, it was clear to Satan that God held him in a special place.  Adam was created in God’s image. That is a claim that no other created being, including Satan could make. Moreover, God gave Adam dominion over what was once Satan’s.

Not only was part of Satan’s former primordial kingdom on earth given to Adam, his descendants were destined to have all the things that Satan desired before he fell.

This was not a situation that Satan’s pride could bear.  He desired to bring God’s new creation under his own control and thwart man’s destiny. If Satan could take what God gave Adam, AND get man to choose Satan over God – he would achieve a double victory – he’d thwart the Plan of God and get the worship he desired.

When the serpent convinced Eve (and ultimately Adam) into eating the forbidden fruit, Satan achieved more than just the failure of the First Dispensation; he actually used a legal technicality to usurp Adam’s position as the ruler of Earth (does this make Satan the archetype for all lawyers?  It would explain a lot…).

When Adam fell, the world came under the authority of Satan.  And as a result of Original Sin, we are born with his desire – to rebel against God; to be prideful, deceptive, and destructive.

But even with this victory, Satan does not get what he wants.   God gave man something that Satan does not have – free will.  Although man is born with enmity toward God, he does not automatically turn to Satan as an alternative.  Instead, man chooses to go his own way.  In some cases, man may choose to worship Satan directly, but usually man emulates Satan’s rebellious nature by resisting all authority and doing his own will.  So while the world lies under the SWAY of the devil, men still chose to do what they want in defiance to all authority.  In short, Satan wanted worshipers, but instead got a bunch of unruly teenagers

Satan has legal authority over the earth and if he were able to rule it perfectly, it would go a long way towards showing his equality with God.  But with individual humans possessing a nature as rebellious as his own, Satan cannot replicate God’s perfect rule in heaven. The only way to have perfect authority is for all the subjects under your dominion to have a common will or a common goal.

Although individual humans have their own wills, they have something in common with Satan in that their wills are in defiance to God.  Satan uses this to his advantage in trying to create his kingdom on earth.  Satan uses his evil influence to try to get men to unify behind their dark desires and completely extinguish God’s influence from the planet.  Yet Satan has never been able to completely accomplish this because throughout history, there have always been a remnant of humanity who was willing to choose God.

In Genesis 6, all of humanity was totally subdued by evil , but God found one faithful man through which he could salvage humanity in Noah.  After the flood of Noah, man was again united and, committed to evil, and again God found a faithful man in Abraham through whom he could execute His plan .  Israel was God’s chosen people who preserved His Word and will while Godless world empires rose and fell all around them.  After the death and resurrection of Christ, the early church held up the light in darkness. Their existence kept the world from completely succumbing to corruption. Even today, Satan tempts men to get behind causes that attempt to place entire world under a single authority in defiance to God – be it fascism, communism, socialism, environmentalism, capitalism, theocracy, or any other man-centered form of authority. But the presence of the few who decide to choose God prevent this from happening.

As we’ve seen in this post, Satan’s ambitions to grandeur did not end when he got the boot from heaven.  He still wants to rule the universe and be worshipped.  If you think that this is way too big of a job for a single being to carry out (especially one that does not have God’s transcendence and access to information) then you’re right.  Satan has had a LOT of help.  Satan’s co-conspirators consist of powerful beings like himself, as well as powerful and influential men on earth.  Next week we will take a look at the first of Satan’s little helpers – Fallen Angels.

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October 1, 2012

Know Thy Enemy – Part 4: To Rival the Devil

Posted in Satan, Spiritual War, Spiritual Warfare tagged , , , , , at 11:45 AM by E. M.

 “From now on we are enemies, You and I. Because You choose for Your instrument a boastful, lustful, smutty, infantile boy and give me for reward only the ability to recognize the incarnation. Because You are unjust, unfair, unkind, I will block You, I swear it. I will hinder and harm Your creature on earth as far as I am able!” – Salieri, “Amadeus”

Satan’s pride and desire for worship led him to rebel against God. He was defeated and cast out of Heaven.  With this in mind, its understandable, that Satan’s position toward God is one of animosity.  But when you look through the Bible (and the world in general), its pretty clear that Satan has a healthy dose of antagonism toward us as well.

Why does Satan hate us so much?  Well obviously if Satan hates God, he’d naturally want to destroy anything that God loves.  But I think there is more to it than that.  Satan doesn’t just see us as cannon fodder in his war with God.  He sees us as his rivals.

In fact, the creation of man may have been a part of the impetus for Lucifer’s rebellion.  We don’t know exactly how it happened; however during a recent beer run in Nepal (no one makes ale like the Nepalese) a street merchant sold me a parchment that detailed a conversation between God and Lucifer that may shed light on the subject (and of course we know that if something is written on a mysterious ancient parchment, it MUST be true.  Right?).  Here is the transcript:

Lucifer – “Oh glorious Lord, your Angels all agree that your creations are a worthy reflection of your holiness and perfection! (None more so than me, of course, since I am your ultimate creation).”

God – “That’s true, but  I’m not done.  What I’m about to do next will be the pinnacle of my creations.”

Lucifer – “…but…I’m the pinnacle of your creations…right?”

God – “Well, yes.  Currently.  But I’m going to create Man.  And Man will be greater than you.”

Lucifer – “But I’m the Seal of Perfection!  How can this  “man” creature be greater than me?!  Nothing is greater than me!”

God – “I’m greater than you.  And I’m going to make Man in my image.”

Lucifer – “Why would you do that?”

God – “To add another Person to my Trinity – to increase Our love.”

Lucifer – “So you’re going to make Man in your image…but he will be created equal to me, right?  After all, I’m your ultimate creation.  Technically you can’t create anything higher than me.”

God – “ Actually I’m going to create Man a in a lower form than the Angels.”

Lucifer – “You’re kidding!”

God – “I don’t kid.  Men will have free will.  I want to give them the opportunity to choose Me, my righteousness, and my love.  If they do, they will become one with me and share my Throne.”

Lucifer – “Are you serious?!”

God – “I’m always serious.”

Lucifer – “How do you expect me to deal with these creatures?!”

God – “I expect you and the rest of the Angelic host to serve and minister to men.  Man will eventually rule over you.”

Lucifer – “No way!”

God – “Way.”

Lucifer – “You expect me to serve these things?!”

God – “Yes.”

Lucifer – “Do you know who I am?!”

God – “Uh, yeah.  I made you.”

Lucifer – “These are absolutely unacceptable working conditions!  I won’t stand for it!  I demand to speak to my union rep!”

God – “What are you talking about?  Where are you going?”

Lucifer – “I need to make some calls.”

Adam was created in God’s image. That is a claim that no other created being, including Satan could make. Moreover,  we’re destined to have all the things that Satan desired before he fell:

For you have said in your heart: “I will ascend into heaven.  I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High. – Isaiah 14:12-14

However, it is God’s human children who will ascend to Heaven. We will be in a position of authority over the stars [angels] of God . We will share God’s authority .  We will be like the Most High.

So what do you imagine someone as vain, destructive, and temperamental as Satan would do if he felt that someone has stolen what was rightfully his?  He’d steal the things that have been given to them by God!

And Satan has actually been pretty successful in that venture to the point that he has taken possession of much of what God originally gave to man.  How?  We’ll examine that question next time

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July 21, 2012

Know Thy Enemy – Part 2: Sympathy for the Devil

Posted in Satan, Spiritual War, Spiritual Warfare tagged , , , , at 12:57 PM by E. M.

And Jesus said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” –  Luke 10:18

According to the Bible, there is a supernatural, malevolent, spiritual being called Satan.  He is presented as the one who opposes the plan of God.  He is the adversary of the human race; actively opposing us and dedicated to our destruction – in short, he’s a major league a-hole.

But where did Satan come from?  Is he a preexistent force in equivalent opposition to God?  Did God create him?  If so, why would a good God create evil?  Since Satan has shown that he is dedicated to actively deceiving people about his existence and identity, it is important that we know his true origins and intentions in order to effectively deal with him.

In popular culture, Satan is depicted as God’s arch-enemy; an equal opponent who rules over Hell and all things evil, in eternal conflict with God who rules over Heaven and all things good (with human beings caught in the middle).  Despite this presentation, Satan is not God’s equal in any way.  The Bible shows that Satan is a created being, vastly inferior to God in power, influence, and intellect.  His story is one of inflated pride, delusions of grandeur, wasted potential, utter corruption, continual futility, and ultimate defeat (he’s essential the career path model for the Kardashian family).

“Satan” and “Devil” are titles of our enemy which mean “Adversary” and “Accuser” respectively.  When God created the being that would become Satan, he was, like everything God created, good.  He was a holy Angel, but not just any Angel; he was The Angel – the highest of all created beings.

“You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: the sardius, topaz, and diamond, Beryl, onyx, and jasper, Sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created. “You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God; you walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created … Ezekiel 28:12-15  (* See the note on this verse at the end of the post)

The phrase “seal of perfection” loosely translates into our word “ultimate”.  There was no created being higher than him.  He was called Lucifer (the light bearer, one who bears the light of God).  He was the High Priest of the Angels; he was “anointed” by God, and the precious stones that covered him were the same ones that were on the breastplate of the Jewish High Priest.  His job was to lead and gather angelic worship and present it before God.  Lucifer was gifted by God with stunning beauty, extraordinary musical talent (timbres and pipes), great wisdom, and an exalted place in the angelic hierarchy. What would cause such a powerful being with such close proximity to God to rebel against Him

You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created till iniquity was found in you. “ By the abundance of your trading you became filled with violence within, And you sinned; Therefore I cast you as a profane thing out of the mountain of God; and I destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the fiery stones. “ Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings that they might gaze at you.  “You defiled your sanctuaries by the multitude of your iniquities, by the iniquity of your trading; Therefore I brought fire from your midst; it devoured you, – Ezekiel 28:15-18

The word “trading” (also translated “merchandise”) probably refers to the angelic praise and worship that Lucifer would present to God (like the Jewish High Priest would on earth).  Two causes are given for Lucifer’s rebellion; his trafficking of angelic worship, and his great beauty and splendor.

It would seem that he began to think so highly of himself and the gifts God gave him, he rationalized that he was worthy to receive some of the angelic worship for himself!  The Bible isn’t clear on what started Lucifer down this path, but it may have begun with some Angels expressing their personal admiration for him, and him accepting it instead of reflecting it back to God as Angels should do.  But anytime we engage in actions that distort the will of God, the possibility of addiction occurs; and it seems this was the case with Lucifer.  The more praise and worship he took for himself, the more he wanted.  Eventually his addiction warped his mind so much that he sought to sit as God’s equal and take His worship for himself.

“How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: “I will ascend into heaven.  I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol [Hell], to the lowest depths of the Pit – Isaiah 14:12-15

In his mad ambition to take God’s throne, Lucifer, along with the Angels who worshiped him (possibly a third of the angelic host), launched a futile assault on God’s Heavenly kingdom.  Some see this battle as taking place between Genesis 1:1, and Genesis 1:2, with the devastation of the battle being responsible for the earth being the desolate wasteland described in Genesis 1:2, (Isaiah 45:18 states that God did note create the world in vain (“vain” is the same word used to describe the desolation in Genesis 1:2) so something happened to make it that way)In any case, the result of the battle is clear.  Lucifer and his cohorts were thoroughly defeated:

Therefore I brought fire from your midst; It devoured you, And I turned you to ashes upon the earth In the sight of all who saw you. All who knew you among the peoples are astonished at you; you have become a horror, And shall be no more forever.” – Ezekiel 28:18-19

Lucifer now exists as a gruesomely twisted and corrupt version of his former glory called the Devil and Satan.  Although he can appear as an “Angel of Light” to deceive men, this is a facade.  Cut off from God, Satan has no new knowledge.  No source of hope.  No object of faith.  He is doomed to repeat the same failed patterns; doomed to pursue the same futile goals.

He was addicted to worship, and that addiction has not ceased.  He still wants to be like God, but now his attention is focused on human worship instead of angelic worship.  He wants man to be conformed to his image instead of God’s.  Through Satan’s corruption of man, we are born with enmity toward God which will lead some to irrationally try to dethrone the Most High just as Satan did.  But this corruption ultimately results in Satan’s total and eternal defeat.

Satan knows this.  He can read the Bible just as we can. But without God’s grace, Satan is cut off from his source of wisdom.  He doesn’t have free will.  He does not have the ability to change course.  He is doomed to a preordained fate with no ability to alter it.

So now that we have an idea of what Satan was like before he rebelled against God, in the next post we will examine what his character is like now…

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*Ezekiel 28 begins with a message to an evil human ruler, “the prince of Tyre” who ruled the ancient kingdom of Tyre in Ezekiel’s day.  In verse 12, God begins to address the “power behind the power”, called the “king of Tyre”.  This is a reference to Satan.  Here and in other places in the Bible, we’re told that spiritual beings are given dominion over earthly kingdoms.  Furthermore, we know that this king of Tyre is not a human ruler because he is said to have been: 1.  In the Garden of Eden, 2.  a cherub (angel), 3. In the presence of God.

 

May 28, 2012

Know Thy Enemy – Part 1: The Devil You Say?

Posted in Satan, Spiritual War, Spiritual Warfare tagged , , , , , , , at 12:39 PM by E. M.

NOT QUITE

“The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist” – Verbal Kint, “The Usual Suspects”

The seed plot of the entire Bible centers around a war between those who support God’s plan, (and the redemption of man from the effects of Original Sin), and those who oppose it.

The Bible takes for granted that we accept the existence of God.  This is because God’s existence is self-evident. But there is another supernatural personage whose existence the Bible also expects us to take for granted: man’s adversary; the personal, intelligent, powerful, and malevolent spiritual being called the Devil and Satan.

The very idea of “the devil” usually elicits eye rolling, and condescending smirks. Many people put him in the same category as Big Foot, unicorns, and the Loch Ness Monster – an insignificant figment of myth and legend embraced mostly by the lunatic fringe.

Even when Satan is acknowledged publically, it’s often in a satirical manner such as the depiction of a guy in a red suit with a goatee and pitchfork. Or he’s simply dismissed as a psychological boogeyman for weak-minded people.

Looking at the matter objectively, Satan’s place in the Biblical narrative appears to be that of a character necessary to complete the dramatis personæ of the story – the villainous plot device needed to create the drama – he’s the Bible’s arch villain, he’s perpetual boogeyman; the Darth Vader, the Moriarty, the Svengali, the Vodemort, the Hannibal Lecter, the Dick Cheney.

One could argue that with the inclusion of Satan, the writers of the Bible merely utilized the classic story telling components that have existed since man first tried to get his kids to go to sleep at night.  You have:

The protagonist (God)

The antagonist (Satan)

The theme (the viability of God’s Plan)

The journey (the Dispensations)

The conflict (Original Sin, and Justification)

The resolution (Redemption)

The prize (Heaven and Earth)

The MacGuffin (Us)

(However, I would contend that it is not the Bible that is mimicking man’s story, but rather all of man’s stories mimic THE story of God’s plan that began with the creation – the classic story telling elements that are present in every epic narrative we’ve ever told or heard appeal to our hearts and spirits on such a deep and fundamental level BECAUSE they reflect the story of our existence and destiny.  This is something I plan to explore in more detail after we finish with the Dispensations.)

With all this in mind, the question is, should we really give significant attention to the idea Satan?

I would say yes.  Why?  First of all, the Bible makes it clear that he IS real, and since we’ve already shown the validity of the Bible, then it would be safe to say that if it says he’s real, then we should take his existence seriously!

Secondly, we should pay attention to Satan because if you choose God, you are at war with him!

And even if you are not on God’s side, you’re not off the hook.  As we’ll see in upcoming posts, Satan hates humanity.  ALL of us.  Depending on your level of antipathy towards God, Satan will either consider you a pawn, a spoil, or a useful idiot.

The Bible clearly expects us to pay careful attention to Satan, and our understanding of his identity is the key to deciding our success or failure in our encounters with him.

We are expected to know that Satan is real and is the source of our struggles

Sin entered this world when Satan tempted the first man and woman to disobey God.  Since then, he has continually been the catalyst for spreading evil throughout the earth.  We must understand that our temptation to do evil comes from satanic influence on our fallen flesh.  But we have the will and the authority to resist.

We are expected to know that Satan is our enemy

The temptations that we receive from Satan are appealing.  They seem to be beneficial and pleasurable in the short term, but we have to understand that any temptation of our flesh will lead to negative consequences.

We are expected to know Satan’s method

We are all unique individuals with different strengths and weaknesses.  We need to be mindful of our vulnerable areas because these are the places that Satan attacks.  He has a specific and effective plan of attack tailored to our weak points.  We know Satan’s method of attack in these areas of our lives because he assaults us the same way over and over again!  How often do we find ourselves asking “Why do I keep making the same mistake again and again?”  The areas where we continually fall are our points of vulnerability.  We have to make the conscious effort to protect ourselves.  Speaking of which…

We are expected to resist Satan

Whether we like it or not, we are not passive participants in spiritual affairs.  God expects us to take an active role in defending ourselves and having victory over our adversary.  God gives us the authority, and the Bible tells us how.

Satan employs one of two deceptive strategies when it comes to our direct confrontation with him.  His primary strategy is the “I’m not really here” approach.  He tries to get us to think that all the negative thoughts and actions he uses to influence us are really coming from us instead of him!  The result is that we blame and condemn ourselves while ignoring him.

If the first strategy does not work, then he goes in the opposite direction.  He leads us to obsess on him and give him an undue amount of attention.  He tries to convince us that he is responsible for everything that goes wrong in our lives, including things we have caused ourselves, events that are merely happenstance, and even things that God initiates in our lives for the long term good.   The result is that we feel that Satan has more power over us than he really does.  We become fearful of him and think that we have no hope of overcoming him.

Why does Satan try to deceive us in these specific ways? Because if he is successful in getting us to believe either of his strategies, then we will fail to do the one thing the Bible tells us will defeat him – fight! (this is a war remember?)

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. – James 4:7

If we don’t acknowledge Satan, or feel that he is invincible, we won’t fight against him as the Bible command us to do and we will not have the victory over his machinations through God.

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God – 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

The only way to lose the battle against our adversary is to not fight him.  Satan goes though great pains to make sure that he can execute his schemes without resistance because he knows that we have the ability to be victorious over him through the authority that God has given us.

But if everything I wrote in this post is true, it just leads to many more questions.  Where does Satan come from? What does he want? Why does he hate humanity? Why does God allow him to exist? How powerful is he?

The next few posts will further explore the origin, identity, and methodology of Satan as well as how to overcome him.

March 12, 2012

The (Seed) Plot Thickens

Posted in Spiritual Warfare, The Dispensations tagged , , , , , , , , at 12:01 PM by E. M.

If only it was that easy…

Toward the end of our look at the First Dispensation, I mentioned that the curse God pronounced on the serpent in Eden was the seed plot of the entire Biblical narrative.

“…And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.” – Genesis 3:15

I also gave my reasons why I believe that the serpent either was Satan, or represented Satan. This promise that the “seed of the woman” would crush the serpent (and his kingdom) represents a spiritual war (we struggle not against flesh) going on in the background of human affairs which greatly affected (and continues to affect) man’s history.  Having a proper perspective of the seed plot and the war is vital to understanding many of the events in the Biblical narrative and the narrative of our own lives.

We took a detour from this important topic during our discussions of the Second and Third Dispensations in order to address faith, organized religion, and mystics. However, the events of the Fourth Dispensation present a good opportunity to address this subject again.

The Fourth Dispensation was defined by the covenant God established with Abraham and the representative nation formed by Abraham’s descendants (Israel).

I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” – Genesis 12:2-3

The Abrahamic covenant states that the nation comprised of Abraham’s descendants would be a blessing to ALL the other nations in the world.  This blessing is due to the fact that the Seed of the Woman; the One who will redeem mankind, reverse Adam’s transgression, pay the penalty for Original Sin, and reclaim rulership of the earth from the serpent – would be a descendant of Abraham!

Knowing this, it would make sense that Satan and his forces would target the fledgling Jewish nation as a part of the war to prevent the advent of the Redeemer.

Now the term “war” may seem like a bit of an exaggeration, especially since we do not have the ability to directly observe much of what goes on in the spiritual realm, but a look at the end of the Fourth Dispensation provides a dramatic example of the scope and impact of the theater of this war.

At face value, the 10 Plagues visited upon Pharaoh and the nation of Egypt was God’s judgment for the failure of the Fourth Dispensation.  But there was more to it than that.  Each of the plague specifically targeted a member (or members) of the pantheon of “gods” that the Egyptians worshipped.

Our first inclination is to believe that these so called “gods” were not real, but made up by mystics.  However there is evidence that there was significant supernatural power behind the Egyptian religion.

The Bible clearly states that mystics in Pharaoh’s court could access supernatural power – to the degree that they could even duplicate the first two plagues God sent through Moses!

It seems that the Egyptian gods were either supernatural beings (fallen angels) or were to some degree associated with these beings via the mystics’ machinations.

Here is a summary of the Plagues and the associated “god(s)”

Plague 1: Nile water into blood – Hapi: god of the Nile

Plague 2: Frogs in the land  – Hekhet, the frog-headed goddess of fertility, water, and renewal

Plague 3: Lice from dust – Geb: Egyptian god of the Earth (Pharoah’s mystics were not able to duplicate this or any of the next seven plagues.  The lice infestation also made them ceremonially unclean and therefore unable to perform rituals to the gods – if only lice could affect all mystics in a similar manner…)

Plague 4: Infestation of Flies – Khepri: Egyptian god of resurrection, creation, movement of the Sun, rebirth; depicted as having the head of a fly or beetle (lovely).

Plague 5: Death of Cattle/livestock – Hathor: cow-headed goddess of love and protection.

Plague 6: Boils on the skin of Egyptians – Isis: goddess of medicine and peace. Im-Hotep: real person turned deity, patron of wisdom and medicine. Sekhmet: lion-headed deity of plagues, believed to bring about or prevent epidemics or pestilence.

Plague 7: Hail and fire rain down – Nut: Sky goddess. Shu: god of air. Tefnut: goddess of water/moisture.

Plague 8: Locusts– Senehem: locust-headed, god of protection from ravages of pests. Seth- Egyptian God of Storms and Disorde

Plague 9: Darkness – Ra or Amon-Ra: god of the sun.  Osirus: sky god; sun was his right eye, moon his left.

Plague 10: Death of the firstborn – Pharaoh himself who was considered Horus (son of Isis and Osiris) in the flesh.  Min: god of reproduction.  Anubis: god of the dead and embalming.

The Plagues not only resulted in freedom for the Jewish nation, they showed that the God of Abraham was superior to the gods of the Egyptians (some of the mystics were even convinced). They also increased the spread of the reverence and respect of God’s power into other nations ahead of the Israelites.

But this brings up a point I touched on earlier.  When we initially studied the mystics a few months ago, I portrayed them as charlatans who attempted to gain power and rule through guile and deception (as well as exploiting human nature).  And in the vast majority of cases, that’s true.

However, I intentionally left something out of the posts on mystics because I wasn’t ready to examine it until now.

The truth is that the fragile house of cards that the mystics built on secrets and lies would be unlikely to allow them to remain in such positions of power and influence through the ages.  They’ve had help.  Supernatural help.

Some of the most powerful and influential mystics through the ages have used (and been used by) spiritual entities that are in fierce opposition to God’s plan.

These beings are intelligent, powerful, immortal, and evil.  They are at war with God and anyone who chooses Him.  We can’t see them or touch them, but they are all around us and they desire our destruction.

If all this sounds a bit disturbing and spooky to you, that’s because IT IS!  We’re extremely uncomfortable with the idea of beings we can’t see influencing our world.  Even Christians who acknowledge the existence evil spiritual beings prefer to ignore them most of the time.

Unfortunately, unlike the monsters that were under our beds as children, pretending they don’t exist won’t make them go away.

I mentioned them briefly when we discussed the origin of the Nephilim in the Second Dispensation but I haven’t gone into a detailed discourse on the subject until now because I wanted make sure we understood the roles of God and man in our historical narrative first.

Now its time we got to know our enemy.   In the next post we will begin our journey into the dark side with a look at the one who started it all; the greatest enemy of man; the first and grandest failure of creation – the being called Satan.

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March 29, 2011

Faith part 4: Fear Factor

Posted in Faith, Terminology tagged , , , , , at 7:36 AM by E. M.

In the last few posts, we have been examining faith. Generally speaking, faith is the willingness to rely on something that we do not have full knowledge of.

Biblically speaking, faith is the expectation of something good, from a source or object that is not fully known, based on some previously validated knowledge and/or experience with the source

There is another “faith based” reaction to that which is not fully known.  There are circumstances where we react to what we do not know with some level of trepidation instead of hope.  This reaction is called “fear”.

Like faith, fear can be reasonable or irrational depending on whether or not it is based on knowledge and/or experience.

It is reasonable and sensible to be afraid if you are walking in a high crime area, being tailgated by a teenage driver, or swimming in shark infested waters.  Why?  Because we have knowledge (or experience) that crimes tend to happen in high crime areas, teenagers are clinically insane, and sharks tend to bite the living  $#!&% out of people whenever they get the opportunity.

Reasonable fear can be defined as the rational mindfulness of something that has the power to affect us.  Another word that can be used as a definition of reasonable fear is “respect”

The type of fear that will be the focus of this post is irrational fear – Fear that is not based on knowledge and experience – fear of the unknown.

Irrational fear is that general, undefined dread that people often feel without any logical reason.  This fear is so common that it has become a major aspect of clinical psychology where it is known as “anxiety”.  It can manifest as anything from simple anxiousness, and obsessive-compulsive activity, to debilitating panic attacks.

This type of fear is actually the antithesis of Biblical faith.  Biblical faith is the expectation of something positive based on knowledge.  Fear is the expectation of something negative based on the unknown.

In the Bible we are told to “fear God”.  It doesn’t mean we are to quake before Him in primitive dread of His arbitrary whim.  It means we should demonstrate a rational respectfulness based on our knowledge of His power and His nature.

There are nearly 200 admonitions in the Bible that we not be fearful or anxious.  Those admonitions generally refer to fear that is not based on knowledge.   For example, just about every time people witness the appearance of a supernatural being in the Bible, there first reaction is to be paralyzed with fear (or worse) because they don’t understand what they are seeing.  At this point, the being quickly tells them not to be afraid, and then gives them knowledge to help them understand.

Why is admonition against irrational fear so prominent in the Bible?

If you have no knowledge of a situation that is causing you fear, then you have a choice to be comparative or contrastive.   The contrastive choice is to either cognitively acknowledge that it is pointless to fear the unknown, or rely on a source that has some level of knowledge of the unknown thing you fear.  The comparative choice is to rely on yourself to deal with the unknown situation; but since you have no practical knowledge, you will either become paralyzed by the fear or you will take destructive (evil) actions.

The Bible does offer a remedy to fear – that remedy is love!

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” – 1 John 4:18

How does love remedy fear?  Remember we defined love in an earlier post as the willingness to give without expectation of getting anything in return.

The common theme in love and fear is “expectation” – fear expects something negative.  Love expects nothing.

Therefore, if you are focused on love (no expectations) then you can’t have negative expectations – you can’t love and fear at the same time!

We will conclude our discussion of faith by focusing on the cognitive process that acts as the gateway to faith and fear.  Next time, we will examine  “belief”.

November 20, 2010

A Tale of Two Trees part 5 – Eating Yourself to Death

Posted in The Dispensations tagged , , , , , , , at 4:02 PM by E. M.

THE EPITOME OF SHORT-TERM THINKING

This week we conclude our examination of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil by understanding why eating the fruit of the Tree led to death for Adam and Eve (and consequently, for all of us).

It’s easy to see what has become of humanity since the fall of man (just watch an episode of “Jersey Shore”).  But what were things like before Original Sin?

Before Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, they were in a state of complete innocence.  They lived and thought only in the moment.  They “walked with God” daily and thus received constant direction from Him.  They never had to think about tomorrow or “what to do next”, because God was always there to tell them.  Their only obligation was to obey.

The Bible makes a point of saying that they were naked and unashamed. They didn’t know the implications of being naked because they never thought that far ahead!  They ran around naked and free in their naïveté without giving any thought to what would happen next.  They were like babies in that sense (or college kids on spring break).

So what happened when they ate from the Tree?  Well, as advertised, they gained knowledge of good and evil – of creation and destruction.

Does this mean that Adam and Eve did not know what creation and destruction were before they ate the fruit?  No, they knew about creation because God undoubtedly explained the origin of the world to them, plus Adam knew that Eve had been created.  They knew about destruction because they witnessed it on a small scale whenever they ate fruit from the other trees (“destroying” it in the process).

But the complete definitions of good and evil are creation and destruction in the long-term. That is what Adam and Eve gained knowledge of:  the long-term!

When they disobeyed God, they voluntarily disconnected themselves from His influence.   Their constant “life guide” was gone. They were on their own for the first time in their existence. They were no longer led by an intelligence that was always and completely right and just.  They had to figure out what to do next based on their own imperfect judgment and thought processes.

The human brain is in a constant state of creating and “rewiring” itself based on our thoughts and experiences.  This is most dramatically true with infants because their lack of experience gives them the most new neural connections to make.  As heretofore-innocent beings, Adam and Eve were in a similar position.

When they had to think long-term for the first time, brand new connections would have begun to form in their brains.  They began to process long-term cause/effect relationships and they started to understand the ramifications of what they had done.  They were able to imagine a future in which they were separated from God.  They became afraid, and they hid.

When Adam and Eve ate the fruit, they began to see all the long-term implications of their nakedness – desire, sexual intimacy, joy, pregnancy, heart break, child rearing, guilt, jealousy, etc. (basically, they took on the opposite mindset of a kid on spring break).

When they experienced this flood of knowledge and the guilt associated with it, Adam and Eve committed the first religious act by covering their “shame” with fig leaves.

What was it about the fruit that caused this?  Did it have some type of “magical” composition?  Did it contain a deadly brain toxin (could this have been the origin of high-fructose corn syrup)?  No, I think that it was just regular fruit.  What made it significant was God’s command not to eat it, which entailed the choice to stop living with moment-by-moment direction from Him.  It was the choice that disconnected Adam and Eve from God, not the fruity goodness.

God told Adam that in the day that he ate the fruit, he would die.  How could God accurately make that prediction?  Because He knew the causes that would lead to the effects.  God knew that Adam and Eve were not always and completely right and just, so when they gained the knowledge of the long term and had the burden of decision, they would choose to pursue death by being comparative.

But God, being just, had to give them the opportunity to be contrastive – to repair their brains and live.  Instead, they predictably chose to be comparative.  They chose death.

And thus all of their descendants (us) follow the same pattern.  We are all born innocent, however, since we are born without a connection to God, we all quickly gain knowledge of the long term.  And since we are not always and completely right and just, we (like our original ancestors) choose to be comparative.  We all eventually commit Original Sin and our brains become wired to pursue death.  We damage our brains and compound and escalate that damage as we gain more experience.

But fear not.  All is not lost.  In the next post we will conclude our study of the first dispensation by examining the curses that God placed on Adam, Eve, and the serpent after Original Sin.  The curses are the source of many of the struggles we face today, but in the midst of the curses He pronounces, God also gives us our greatest hope for redemption.  Next time.

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