When People Love the Lie!

We live in a time when half the nation is living on subsidy of some sort.  None is willing to let that go, so they perpetuate the fiction that some things are free and they deserve the subsidy they receive.  Recently a teacher denied that the dictionary was an authority on the meaning of words!  She said she was probably smarter than the dictionary!  Over forty years ago I met a girl who didn’t believe in the dictionary and said so, quite vehemently!  And I wondered how she could correctly understand anything!  Or believe anything she had to say!  We parted ways in short order.  When I heard the story, I wondered if she had become this teacher.

Our nation is sick because the people in it are sick.    It is sick to think you can decide the meaning of the words you use!   It is sick to deny objective truth!  We claim to love freedom and yet look around and see something we disagree with and say, “There ought to be a LAW!!”  Politicians are more than happy to oblige us!  We live under hundreds of thousands of laws and regulations.  Many are contradictory in that obeying one puts us in violation of another.

The Israelites demanded a king.  God told them what to expect but they wanted one anyway.  Why?  I submit that it was so they could point to him and say its his fault.  We were just being  obedient subjects.  Well, why couldn’t they just be obedient subjects of God?  Because they loved the lie! What lie?  The lie that man can govern his own affairs and doesn’t NEED God!  We don’t need objective truth. We can define truth for ourselves!  That is the lie and has been since Eden.

That is the inconvenient truth!

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The Case for the Personification of Evil

Before making the case for the personification of evil, perhaps it would be best to define just what personification is:  http://www.dictionary.com has it:  the attribution of human nature or character to animals, inanimate objects, or abstract notions, especially as a rhetorical figure. | That is assigning personality traits and a name to something, in this case, evil.  i.e. Satan, Lucifer, father of lies, the serpent in the garden, Old Dragon, roaring lion, etc. so that it might be examined as another person with whom we may or may not want to associate ourselves.

Now that that is cleared up, these are questions that must be answered beyond a reasonable doubt to prove the existence of Satan as an individual spiritual being.  Unless it can be shown beyond a reasonable doubt that Satan is a person and not a personification, then our entire concept of the source of sin and death and evil in this world must be reexamined to get to the truth of its origin.

Beginning in Genesis 1:27-28:

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

God’s command to man must be defined if we are to understand his duty before God in the beginning.  Little has been done beyond the assumption that we know what being fruitful and multiplying means to God.  But do we?  (Strong’s #6509, ‘fruitful’ is  grow and #7235, ‘multiply’ is be in authority)

Next there has been some discussion of the term ‘replenish’.  (Strong’s #4390 consecrate) It has even been the basis of the idea that Satan destroyed the first creation and Adam was given the task of rebuilding it to its intended glory. But can that reasonably be?

Next is the command to ‘subdue it’. (Strong’s #3533 is conquer, subjugate which means to ‘overcome by force’)  Which (to me) utterly begs the question:

What was there in the creation God pronounced “very good” that required of Adam that he ‘overcome by force’  something in it?

The key to this answer lies in the last phrase of the verse, ‘over every living thing that moveth upon the earth’.  We assume that understanding this to mean everything outside of himself is the intent.  The problem with that assumption is that it utterly fulfills the old wisdom of what assuming anything ends up doing:  it makes an ass out of u and me!  (Ass-u-me)  How so?

Man is the only morally accountable being God revealed in the creation account.  That is what it means to be created in the image of God and bear His likeness. We are morally accountable because we were given the laws: thou shalt and thou shalt not referring to the way we are to conduct our interaction with God and with man.  God revealed no other creature that was given such law.  All other creatures listed in the creation account are subject only to the laws of nature.

The Word of God, His revelation to us, concerning that accountability is the very first thing He revealed and the very first thing we reject in our understanding of that revelation!  We reject it by assuming that subduing all the rest of the creation is what was meant when in point of fact the only thing that really mattered was that we bring ourselves into absolute submission to the will of God each and every time we are tempted to defy Him.

He created us to be at the top of the list of ‘every living thing that moveth upon the earth’!  Not absent from it!  Adam failed.  He failed willfully and willingly to obey God’s command never to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  What is that fruit?  It is the idea that Adam could decide for himself what was good and what was evil.  Could it have been an ‘apple’ that he took a bite of?  Sure!  But taking the bite proved the condition of his heart and as Jesus said in Mark 7:

18 And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him;

19 Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?

20 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.

21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,

22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:

23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

I know that this was given in answer to the objection to eating food sacrificed to idols.  But Jesus went beyond the physical to the spiritual truth of the matter.  That is what we are all called to do!  Eternal life is a spiritual truth!

How does this all apply to the ‘Personification of Evil’?

The answer to that does not begin with the Serpent in the Garden.  It begins with the creation of Eve!  I see the leap to conclusions and the name calling and the dismissal of everything up to this point that this fool has written!  Please, give me one more minute to make a point.

Genesis 2:

20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.

21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;

22 And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

We can imagine the physical activity here rather easily.  But what is the spiritual outcome?  Yes, there have been many commentaries that say Eve was taken out of the side of Adam indicating she was his equal, and all that is correct as far as it goes.  But let’s take it a step farther.

Eve was created.  But she was not created from the dust of the earth as was Adam.  She was created out of Adam.  She was a distillation of his nature and created to be his ‘help’, ‘meet’ for him.  (Strong’s #5858 for both!: aid, help)

It was Eve who saw that the fruit was good for food, pleasant to look upon, and good to make one wise.  She was deceived, Adam was not. (1st Tim. 2:14) Eve was in the transgression but it was Adam’s disobedience that brought the curse of sin upon all mankind.

Romans 5:13 states:

12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

(The parenthetical phrase begun in verse 13 continues through verse 17.)

Why?  Why did Adam sin?  Given the source of sin described by Jesus in Mark 7, how are we to understand God’s declaration of His creation as ‘very good’?  There are only two possibilities. One is that it was a moral certification.  If that was the case, then for Adam to sin against God, he would have to change his own nature from one of absolute moral submission, to one of utter moral rebellion.  Or two, it was a declaration of fitness for purpose.  As a declaration of fitness for purpose we have to trust God to reveal to us what that purpose is.  Did He?  Did God reveal what the purpose of His creation is?  Yes!  He did!

In the end, the bride of Christ will join Him in eternity.  The bride of Christ will exhibit one overwhelming character trait that cannot be denied.   We will be holy as He is holy.  Holy means separate. It means to set one’s self apart from something.  God reveals only one trait that He holds to the superlative, His holiness, and we are to be holy as He is holy.  So, what did he set Himself apart from in eternity?  Evil!  How does He define evil?  He defines evil as the ultimate worship of self.  He defines evil as pure selfishness.  The fruit of the Spirit, each of them, are manifestations of selflessness.

Adam sinned because he sought the throne for himself.  He did not care that if he said ‘No’ to Eve, God could and would forgive the transgression.  He cared only that he decide, and he would rather die than submit and obey.

The only way for man to be willingly and willfully holy, which is the purpose of God for his creation, is for man to see for himself, individually, first hand, leaving no room for doubt that to put self before everything else, is to reject the spiritual meaning of life.  That is the life that God blew into the nostrils of man.

Adam, the man of flesh, the elder, must be subdued by the younger Adam the man of Spirit, to live in holiness.  That is what Adam the elder, rejected and by doing so brought death to the younger.  It is the younger that must then be born again in each of us.  It is the younger that must learn and exercise holiness against the strength and wiles of the elder.  In doing so the purpose of God is served in this creation.  In doing so the ultimate plan of God will come to fruition. It is in trying to understand this that the question of ‘free will’ must be addressed and the truth of it accepted.

The revelation of evil as the serpent in the garden, Satan in the book of Job, the devil tempting Jesus,  all of its manifestations in this world, form the personification used in Scripture to allow us to externalize who we are in the flesh.  Who of us wants to admit that we absolutely would have been screaming, “Crucify Him!” with wholehearted enthusiasm had we been standing in the crowd when Pilate said he could find no fault in this man?  Which of us wants to believe as Paul did that ‘I am the chiefest of sinners’?

Personification is the only reasonable way to rightly understand the evil spirit of this world.  Evil must be subdued within and shunned without.  It must begin in our own hearts and minds.  It must be given no quarter in precisely the same way Jesus gave it no quarter.  He answered His temptation the same way we must:  It Is Written…!  Holiness puts God on His throne.

Every argument for the person-hood of Satan, demons, the devil, evil, et al. can be better answered,  and its presence in Scripture understood, by seeing the idea personified. Describing them as a persons is used by God to convey spiritual truth just as using the four types of ground in the parable of the sower conveys the spiritual truth of the four types of  reception the Word gets in the hearts of men.  We do it all the time in plays and stories to make concepts of good and evil easier for children to understand.

I close with these words of Jesus so that those of you with ears to hear may begin to understand: Matthew 13:10-13

10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?

11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.

13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:

15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.

17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

Externalizing evil is always easier than facing its truth within us.  God knows that, Satan does too!

Also, you may, as you read the passages above in light of the Strong’s definitions I have inserted, come to the shocking conclusion that God’s revelation becomes much more revealing of His ultimate plan!

The question you must ask yourself at this point (if you really care) is:  Do I still believe beyond a reasonable doubt that Satan is a person?

The sequel to this is examining the truth of how regeneration must, of necessity and beyond a reasonable doubt,  precede faith!

May all who read this be blessed.

 

 

 

Objections to Commentary w/Answers

I appreciate your response!  But you start off saying, “Your way believes that God can use evil tactics and deeds and hold humans accountable for them and not be blamed Himself.”  What evil tactics and deeds am I saying God uses?  He eradicated all mankind from earth save 8!  Because every intention of their heart was only evil continually!  Is that one of the evil tactics I am saying He uses?  Is that where you go when considering the power of the potter over the clay of the same lump to make one vessel to honor and another to dishonor?  That if God makes a vessel to dishonor it makes Him the ultimate Author of evil?  No.  That is why one must seek to understand His ultimate Purpose for us! SO,
Let me ask this:  What is the ultimate purpose God has in The Creation, given that man is indeed the acme of it? To me, our purpose is to be holy as He is holy, because we cannot live in His eternal kingdom unless we are. I am certainly not there yet and when Paul said in 1st Tim 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.   There are two parts of the saying, one Christ came to save sinners, and two, every sinner should consider himself chief among them.  That leaves no room for me to claim I am better than anyone else.  Off the subject!

You said, “Second, scripture no where says or teaches that we are free in the sense of being outside of God’s control, we live on the earth and are subject to all of its laws and sciences including death and have no control over those matters, but we are indeed free to make willing choices that have real effects. Sin is a choice and you are free to do so, including rejecting Jesus as Lord,. If we don’t have a choice, then we are basically fatalists and that our decisions and choices do not matter.” 
Is God’s control absolute?  Yes or No.  I do not claim God forces me to do evil.  Jeremiah 17:9 and Mark 7:18-21 speak very clearly of the condition of the unregenerate heart.  But throughout Scriptures It is made very clear that what man means for evil God can and does use to produce ultimate good.  We can’t outsmart God, we can’t outguess God, we can’t outmaneuver God.  Either He is in absolute control of man’s eternal destiny, or He has ceded control of that eternal destiny to a creature that has all the inate holiness of the serpent in the garden!  Since our relationship with Jesus is personal my eternal destiny is between me and Him.  It is not a corporate endeavor.  Unless of course you believe one must be a member of a church to be saved.  I do not, nor do I believe Scripture teaches that.

“Third, Why pray? God’s Word says to do so but if all is predetermined by God then what’s the use?
We are commanded to pray by a Sovereign God.  That should be enough of a reason.  But we are told in no uncertain terms that mostly we pray for the wrong stuff.  So what should we pray for? It isn’t as much what we should pray for as how we are to pray: in the spirit.  It is only then that we are in full accord with the will of God in what we are seeking.  It says those are groanings of the spirit that cannot be uttered.  That means they most likely do not have a vocal component.  I’m by no means an expert in prayer and I’m sure people are comforted by prayers offered up for them. Does God answer prayer that is contrary to His Will? No. Well, yes, but the answer is NO!

“Fourth, you quote Jeremiah 18:4-6 as a basis for the making of a man, the the true text is about the nation Israel. God sent him there to give him an object lesson for what was going to happen to them as a nation, not individuals.
I was not referring to Jer. 18:4-6 at all.  I was referring to Romans 9:20-22
Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?  22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

Just Who fit those vessels of wrath for destruction?  When you worked construction, didn’t you use ‘expendables’?  Those were tools and bits and files and stuff that were good for their purposes, but were meant to be used up or destroyed so the ultimate plan could be completed.  Indeed the end result could not be achieved without them.  Do you believe God, in order to achieve His ultimate goal would not have need of anything like that?  It is not up to us to decide which is which.  Our job is to carry out the Great Commission.  In John chapter 6 it says hundreds turned away and followed Him no more.  But of all those He was given by the Father, He would lose none. So I did not give myself to Him until after the Father gave me to Him.  That decision was made before the foundation of the world!!
I think there is little doubt this passage is precisely about someone who questions the Sovereignty of God in His absolute right to use any part or piece of His creation according to the good pleasure of His will alone re:Judas and Pharaoh, re Jacob and Esau.  And it is no different for one to question the right of God in how He uses someone else.   i.e. It would not be fair of Him to decide if John Doe is saved or not without John Doe having a voice in it before He does either.  The problem with that line of thinking is it is refuted in the choice of Jacob over Esau: before they had done anything god or bad God chose re Romans 9:11.  If God can sovereignly choose in their cases, why can He not sovereignly choose in mine?  
My response to the call proves His choice. My choice does not force His response.
‘My response proves His choice. My choice does not force His response.’ also answers your fifth statement.  “It is the responsibility of man to repent and trust Jesus as Savior and Lord, God’s Word places the responsibility on the person in numerous places.  Ezekiel 18:23, 32, John 3:16 – 18, 2, Acts 16:31, Romans10:9-10, 13, 2 Thess. 2: 10 – 12, Rev. 22:17”
Regeneration precedes faith!
And it is only in faith one comes to Christ.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
By faith He IS Lord and Savior to us as we walk this sod!
The Book of Romans is our theological primer concerning the power of God over man and many other topics. It seeks to teach the proper use of reason in understanding God; an extremely lofty goal considering the depths to which its readership has fallen,

Again thanks for your response. Iron sharpens iron. 

The Trinity Considered

We have tried to decipher the Trinity from what the Bible says about God.  In one place it says He is One God.  In another Jesus says He is God and in another the Holy Spirit is God and in another we have God the Father  and in Genesis He uses the plural when referring to Himself.

We have been through several ways to explain the One and the Three, but I’ve not seen any effort to describe the revelation of God from God’s point of view.

Consider this:  God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit exist in Eternity.  Their cooperation in the Creation is absolute.  There is not one particle of difference in the Plan of God between them.  The only difference is the role and purpose each assumes in fulfilling the plan.  Every detail from one subatomic particle to the absolute ends of the universe is agreed upon.  Every being, rock and tree, is here for a purpose in that plan.  In the outworking of that purpose and in the unity of that purpose They are ONE!  In their moral code and perfection of coordination of their revealed individual persons They are AS One.  As Jesus said you have seen Me, you have seen My Father also.

The revelation of God to us in terms of absolute unity of final purpose for Creation teaches He is One.  In terms of accomplishing those individual goals as revealed of His plan in time the Three Persons each have individual actions and activities.

We have ruled out modalism but cannot seem to wrap our heads around how three persons can be One God.  If we conceive of God’s unity of purpose as binding the three persons together so perfectly that from our point of view He IS One in Three, what have we lost?  What violence have we done to our understanding of the Trinity as three persons, One God?  Need there be factionalism and discord over accepting such a simple understanding?  After all, aren’t we dealing with a God who is capable of such perfect alignment of purpose between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit that they are One?

Defining Infinite!

That which is without limits—infinite!  Literally Not Finite!

In practical application, for instance in trying to describe the nature of the Creator God, it is vital that we understand who we are!  We are the creature with the finite mind who was created by the Creator to accomplish that for which the Creation was created in the first place!

A proper understanding of God must be reasonable to us even if hard to comprehend!  So I have this opportunity to posit a view on the “Infinite”:

The Creator God that we worship, Who is the Father of Jesus Christ, Who Created all that is in this realm, while totally able to affect this realm as He sees fit, exists outside of it.  He knows the end of it from the beginning of it because He truly comprehends its entirety, beginning to end, top to bottom, front to back, and has total access to it anywhere and any-when He chooses.  To us His being and power truly are infinite, without limits, because from our point of view they are.  BUT:

Our God exists in ETERNITY!  Where He lives we have no clue concerning its structure except that Christ has assured us that He has gone ahead to prepare a place for us so that where He is we may be also!!

On this celebration of The Resurrection , I would like to say that His Word is good enough for me!  When we join Him in the air and begin to comprehend the Purpose of God and see the place for which we were created to have fellowship with Him!!!!  THAT will be when we begin to understand the infinite, maybe!

God bless ALL who believe in the One Who defeated death and the grave, paid the debt to justice for us that we could never pay, and loved us more than we can comprehend.  To Him be the Glory now and forever, Amen.

Fruit of the Poisonous Tree Chapter Eight

The King of Tyre   Ezekiel 28:11-19

A very good statement of the orthodox position is at http://www.gotquestions.org/King-of-Tyre.html.  Here is an exerpt:

However, some of the descriptions in Ezekiel 28:11–19 go beyond any mere human king. In no sense could an earthly king claim to be “in Eden” or to be “the anointed cherub who covers” or to be “on the holy mountain of God.” Therefore, most Bible interpreters believe that Ezekiel 28:11–19 is a dual prophecy, comparing the pride of the king of Tyre to the pride of Satan. Some propose that the king of Tyre was actually possessed by Satan, making the link between the two even more powerful and applicable.
of-Tyre.html#ixzz3J3scesFV

Rebuttal:
The author says, ” In no sense could an earthly king claim to be “in Eden”…”.  Adam was in Eden and an earthly king since he was given dominion by God over “every living thing that moves on the earth.”  If being given that dominion does not qualify to make Adam an earthly king, I’m afraid nothing could!  So, an earthly king could claim to have been in Eden and the author’s assumption (or at least this part of it) is false.
The  author says, “…or to be “the anointed cherub who covers…”.”  God created man as the acme of His work.  He was created “in His image”; the most beautiful of all earthly beings; he was set apart from all other beings by one thing: into his nostrils God breathed the “breath of life”.  This statement of Adam’s creation is in chapter 2.  In his being, Adam carries the gift of life; a type of life that no other being has: spiritual life.
The carnal Adam is the cherub carrying–covering–the spiritual essence imparted to him as something to nurture and mature with the same selflessness and loving-kindness God had shown in giving carnal Adam paradise in which to live and the perfect mate and the imperative to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.  Thus, the covering cherub, the cherub with a mission to protect and serve: the elder shall serve the younger. If the reader will check out the etymology of the word cherub and angel, you will see for yourself the assumption is called into doubt!  So much for the author’s second assumption!
The author says, “or to be “on the holy mountain of God.””  Where or what is the “holy mountain of God.”?  The passage in Ezekiel places Eden on the holy mountain of God.  and refers to the “King of Tyre” as walking back and forth in it.  Again the only king in it was Adam!
The author goes on to say, “Before his fall, Satan was indeed a beautiful creature (Ezekiel 28:12–13). He was perhaps the most beautiful and powerful of all the angels. The phrase “guardian cherub” possibly indicates that Satan was the angel who “guarded” God’s presence. Pride led to Satan’s fall. Rather than give God the glory for creating him so beautifully, Satan took pride in himself, thinking that he himself was responsible for his exalted status. Satan’s rebellion resulted in God casting Satan from His presence and will, eventually, result in God condemning Satan to the lake of fire for all eternity (Revelation 20:10).

The author cites Ezekiel 28:12-13 as proof text for his assumption that “Before his fall, Satan …”  when in point of fact that text makes no mention of Satan at all.  He builds upon that assumption with, “He was perhaps the most beautiful and powerful of all the angels.”
Lets see, http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/angel?&o=100074&s=t, gives these definitions for angel:

3.  a messenger, especially of God.  4. a person who performs a mission of God or acts as if sent by God: an angel of mercy.

So, just because one is referred to as an angel does not necessarily mean that one is: one of a class of spiritual beings; a celestial attendant of God.  To assume so is to place oneself in the land of speculation every bit as far as I am right now.  Difference?  I am not creating a pre-existent domain where, “Satan was the angel who “guarded” God’s presence.”
Guarded God’s presence from what?  How could a contingent, created, being, no matter how beautiful and knowledgeable possibly guard an omnipresent being?  I mean how could a pre-fall Satan possibly be on guard everywhere God is all at the same time?  And!  Why would an omniscient, omnipotent God need a guard anyway?!
Pride led to Satan’s fall; Pride led to Adam’s fall, he was not deceived!
I am working to keep the word of God consistent as the revelation of God to man, containing information about Who God is and who man is.  As well as accept that Jesus was telling it just like He meant it when He was asked why he taught in parables: Mark chapter 4:10 And when he was alone, those present along with the Twelve questioned him about the parables. 11* He answered them, “The mystery of the kingdom of God has been granted to you. But to those outside everything comes in parables, 12so that‘they may look and see but not perceive,and hear and listen but not understand, in order that they may not be converted and be forgiven.’” (From http://www.usccb.org/bible/mark/4)
Question:  If we are saved then why must we study to show ourselves approved?
I leave it here for now.