Key precept: Freedom is won through natality – the birth of a helpless infant.
“And the LORD God said unto the serpent…I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise [slam down on] thy head [therefore destroy you], and thou shalt bruise his heel [slow down progress but not destroy].” (Gen 3:15)
The Seed of the Woman became the serpent’s nemesis. Destroying it, his obsession.
“…and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born…that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan...” (Rev 12:4,9)
Satan did, in fact, destroy Eve’s first two children – by turning Cain to the dark side and inciting him to murder Abel. No doubt Satan thought, once again, that he had gotten the victory. Not so.
“And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.” (Gen 4:25)
Political theory describes methods of applying organized control over a community of humans. The common assumption, portrayed in the many superhero stories, is that the key to overthrowing the oppressor is being the biggest, the strongest, the smartest, or having a unique superpower.
“But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:” (I Cor 1:27-18)
Hannah Arendt, the foremost political philosopher of the 20th century, based her radical theories on personal experience of the rise and fall of Nazi Germany. According to this secular philosopher, natality – the opportunity for a new beginning through birth – is the condition that triumphs over the evil empire.
Due to their own newness in the world they are born into, humans are both “new beginnings” themselves and are capable of making them by initiating action…This capacity of making new beginnings in the world is the fundamental human capacity to be free – a capacity possessed by each and every individual.
The Adversary learned this lesson. He uses infanticide for the purpose of maintaining control over enslaved peoples.
“And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour: And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage…And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah: And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him:” (Ex 1:14-16)
“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea…Then Herod…sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.” (Matt 2)
Abortion is legal in Israel up until the moment of birth, and girls under 17 do not need parental consent….An estimated 2 million Israeli children have been aborted since Israel’s founding in 1948. The country has a population of 8 million…. The Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), whose mission is to ‘defend life and family at international institutions and to publicize the debate,’ had nothing to say. The same was true for National Right to Life, Priests for Life, the American Life League and most others….
Interesting when one considers that legalized abortion was instituted for the purpose of ridding society of undesireables, AKA the eugenics program which the Nazis learned from American social scientists. Yes, that’s right. And those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.
Paradoxically, or actually logically, natality – new life – is only made possible by death. Mortality is the very essence of change. The fact that we deteriorate and die gives us the capacity to also grow and develop, which then gives us the opportunity to make a new beginning and a new life. We see this daily in the physical dimension through constant death and regeneration of cells which gives us the option of replacing our unhealthy bodies with healthy.
We see this in the soul dimension through mood changes, especially depression and anxiety, for which change is sought through psychiatric medications and other drugs, psychological talk therapies, personal relationships, and entertainment.
Change also happens in the spirit dimension, where it seems, as with the physical, mental and emotional, there is no stasis. The decisions we make lead us inexorably down a path of a worsening or improving condition. Tragically, it is more common to see people, even proclaimed Christians, becoming more and more firmly entrenched in the devil’s deceptions, and worse, the lies we tell ourselves.
“broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait [i.e. preventing actions like a strait jacket on a reckless individual in a psych ward] is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life” (Matt 7:13-14)
Alternately, we can become more and more receptive to God’s truth, beginning with our sorry selves admitting just how self-centered and hypocritical we are, with the ultimate change becoming freed from the destructive forces of sin.
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (I Joh 1:8-9)
In the section detailing Cain’s spiraling degeneration notice that he was not doomed to follow in his parents’ footsteps. Like his mother, he had the choice to become Satan’s servant, or to be free. Notice how Satan is also called “sin.” Humans are trapped by both defined spirit beings and by abstract spiritual processes. This is nicely portrayed in Frank Perretti’s novel The Oath.
“And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord. [This disproves the idea some people have concocted that Satan was the father of Cain. Cain simply chose to make Satan his authority, i.e. father.] And she again bare his brother Abel…And the Lord said unto Cain…if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire…and it came to pass…that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.” (Gen 4:1-8)
“For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother…” (I Joh 3:11-12)
The ultimate freedom from sin goes beyond relying on one’s own willpower, and is experienced as the fulness of life under God’s protection and provision, freed from destructive forces of sin, the destroyer by whatever name described.
“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free…Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin…Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me…Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it…He that is of God heareth [agrees with, as when a crowd shouts to a speaker “Hear hear!] God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.” (Joh 8:31-47)
“I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, [as opposed to being locked up under siege or incarcerated] and find pasture [life as nourishment]. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (Joh 10:9-10)
“Abundant“ life sounds like quite the understatement for what is also called “everlasting” life, but is also a clarification that this is a quality of life far richer than simply length of days.
The desire for a new life free from dismal or destructive forces is what drives the many historic waves of emigration. The Jews’ plight in Nazi Germany provides one of the best examples when hundreds of thousands of German and Austrian Jews tried to escape the persecution of the genocidal Nazi government. The Nazi government was happy to get rid of them. This was their first solution. Eventually they had to resort to a more costly and complicated final solution because no other country wanted them either. Only 345,000 Jews managed to find refuge, most in neighboring countries, which was only a brief reprieve as Germany quickly conquered those countries. Only about 85,000 beleaguered Jews, out of far greater numbers of immigration applicants, reached their haven of choice, the United States.
In one well-publicized case, in 1939 the United States refused to admit 908 Jewish refugees who had sailed from Hamburg, Germany. It had already been turned away from Cuba, had no-where else to go, so circled back to Europe, where England, France, Belgium and the Netherlands each accepted some of the refugees, and of course only England remained free, the others were soon occupied by the Nazis. Of the ship’s 908 passengers, 254, or a quarter of the total, are known to have died in the Holocaust.
People so often imagine they can call out to God in an emergency then ignore him at will. Not so. Just like human laws restrict citizenship privileges to citizens, so spiritual laws restrict spiritual benefits to spiritual beings. So much for calling on a “higher power” in AA. Beware that unnamed higher power doesn’t control the drug trade in your area. We only get God’s resources when we belong to his spiritual kingdom.
Even after Nazi policy towards Jews became known, America tightened the restrictions on European Jewish immigration still further, giving as a reason the threat of enemy subversion during the war. Appalling? There was good reason in the politically tense years between the first and second world wars.
Jews have a rich history of involvement in anarchism, socialism, Marxism, and Western liberalism… many Jews worldwide welcomed the Russian revolution of 1917, celebrating the fall of a regime that had presided over antisemitic pogroms, and believing that the new order in what was to become the Soviet Union would bring improvements in the situation of Jews in those lands. Many Jews became involved in Communist parties, constituting large proportions of their membership in many countries, including Great Britain and the U.S…With the advent of fascism in parts of Europe in the 1920s and 1930s, many Jews responded by becoming actively involved in the left, and particularly the Communist parties,
America, England and other democratic countries greatly, and realistically, feared a Communist revolution toppling their governments as had just happened in Russia and China. A world-wide overthrow of the existing forms of government is the explicit objective of Communism and many under-cover agents were actively pursuing that goal.
Many individuals seeking entrance to the kingdom of God’s protection and provision will likewise be rejected, for the same reason. In a court of law they will be proven to be the enemy of God’s people.
“And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him [recall this is a theocracy, so this is a court of law] as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?...Jesus saith unto them…The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing…Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.” (Mat 21:23-24, 42-43)
“And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them, Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide…And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes, And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this? Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Act 4:1-2)
“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.” (Rev 20:11-13)
“When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world…Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” (Matt 25:31-46)
Just like there are legal processes one must undertake in order to gain entrance into an earthly estate, there is a legal process required before being granted access to God’s spiritual kingdom. The document detailing that process states unequivocally that spirit birth is a requirement for entrance into its spirit sphere of political activity, resources and power.
“Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God…Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (Joh 3:3-6)
This spiritual birth occurs when God’s seed, the same mysterious life-bestowing nonmaterial essence that called the universe into being, AKA his word, germinates in a receptive human.
“As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation [lifestyle]...Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” (I Pet 1:14-16, 23)
Hard to comprehend? Consider the virgin birth of Son of God Jesus. This was made possible when Mary, a sinful human, willingly accepted God’s seed, gestated then gave birth to a son of God who was both human with the capacity to sin but with God’s spirit with the capacity not to sin.
“And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee…For with God nothing shall be impossible. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” (Lu 1:30-38)
Can we see that in the same way any sinful human who willingly receives God’s seed / word gestates then gives birth spiritually to the same kind of new being – a son of God composite human in the flesh like Adam capable of sinning but with God’s spirit capable of not sinning. Unlike Mary who physically birthed a separate human being, the purely spiritual birth occurs to the same individual who received God’s seed. Therefore this spiritual birth is called being “born again.” The same individual who was born once physically is born again spiritually. Both births undergo the same process of an agent accepting seed by a donor (egg and sperm in physical birth, God’s word and heart in spiritual birth), the gestation of the tentative new being into a fully formed individual, and finally birth into the environment where independent action is required (breathing, spiritual warfare).
“Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” (Matt 13:18-23
The statement that the new birth in one individual leads to producing seed for more births takes the concept of natality up a notch. In Born Again: Arendt’s “Natality” as Figure and Concept by Jeffrey Champlin, “Hannah Arendt introduces “natality” as a conceptual moment when one is born into the political as the sphere where acting together can create the truly unexpected. [Emphasis added.] I argue that this new conception of freedom in [her book] The Human Condition draws its strength from…theology…”
“Therefore if any man be in The Consecrated One/Messiah/Christ, [not only] he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, [but going beyond himself] all things are become new. (II Cor 5:17)
“Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain [Jews and Gentiles] one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:” (Eph 2:15-16)
“For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is The Promised Seed / The Messiah / Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” (I Cor 12:12-13)
One of the conditions that makes natality such a powerful political force is that there is always someone on standby with the potential to lead a revolution against the status quo. This concept is well illustrated perfectly in the thought provoking novel Making History by Stephen Fry. At any moment of need one individual out of millions has just what it takes to rise above the madding crowd, providing leadership for masses of disparate individuals, each contributing unique skills and resources into one new entity with one new political identity.
For example, many Jewish volunteers fought in the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War (for instance in the American Abraham Lincoln Brigade and in the Polish-Jewish Naftali Botwin Company). Jews and leftists fought Oswald Mosley’s British fascists at the Battle of Cable Street. This mass movement was influenced by the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee in the Soviet Union.
In World War II, the Jewish left played a major part in resistance to Nazism. For example, Bundists and left Zionists were key in Żydowska Organizacja Bojowa and the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
There is a reason why we describe the beginning of a new nation as a “birth” and call the individual who, like the Turkish leader Mustafa Kemal, formed the new nation, its “father”. We also understand that the “birth of a nation” more often than not occurs with bloodshed. No doubt one reason God refers to the transition into spiritual life as “birth” is that it is bloody and entails a risk of death to the one undergoing the birthing process. How many martyrs died, in addition to the Chosen One / Christ, to bring new life into being?
In 1947, in the wake of the St. Louis failed immigration tragedy, the Haganah, the Jewish underground outlawed by the British rulers of Palestine, packed 4,515 Jewish illegal immigrants onto a scrapped vessel designed to hold 500, for a 7 day run from France to Palestine. It was impossible for that leaky vessel captained by a 23 year old sailor and filled to overflowing with the frail, emaciated victims of the death camps, including women and 655 children, to outrun or outfight the navy that had launched Britain to, and maintained her at, an unprecedented level of world power for 200 years. What were they thinking?
The Haganah also brought onboard Rev. John Stanley Grauel, a Methodist minister who was sympathetic to the Zionist cause, to be a witness to the voyage. According to a Baltimore Jewish Times report from July 25, 1947: Grauel was put on the ship for one purpose — because it was very probable the British were going to be able to take the Exodus. It was the largest effort ever done in terms of movement of refugees. So, if the ship was taken, somebody has to get the information out,” Klinger said. “They said he was a journalist. What his real job was, if the ship was taken, was to tell the story. Because they knew people wouldn’t believe the story if a Jew told it. But what if a Christian told the story? It would be received differently, and that’s exactly what happened…
The immigrants were forcibly taken off and transported to two camps, Poppendorf and Am Stau, near Lubeck. The site of Jewish survivors of the Holocaust being forcibly relocated to Germany caused an international uproar. World public opinion was outraged and the British changed their policy.
The United Nations Special Committee on Palestine was in Palestine conducting its investigation to determine how to resolve the conflicting demands of the Zionists and Arabs. The treatment of the Exodus refugees apparently influenced some members to advocate a solution that would allow Jews to immigrate freely to a state of their own.
The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum noted the significance of the Exodus saga: Displaced persons in camps all over Europe protested vociferously and staged hunger strikes when they heard the news. Large protests erupted on both sides of the Atlantic. The ensuing public embarrassment for Britain played a significant role in the diplomatic swing of sympathy toward the Jews and the eventual recognition of a Jewish state in 1948.
Have you ever heard of Rev. Grauel? And yet, because he was willing to risk his life and his career he was instrumental in birthing the modern Jewish state against all odds.
The concept of a hero inspiring a movement to save entire people groups seems to be inherent to the human psyche, as this universal theme underlies the most captivating stories across time and cultures. We see this in real life in the legacy of individuals like Moses. The biblical prophesied child to come is the literary inspiration for a myriad of spin-off Chosen Ones. Notice how his birth is presented in the political context of war and peace.
“For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” (Isa 9:5-7)
Natality, the capacity of a new individual to make a new beginning, empowers just one human to defeat a host of vastly superior beings. Failed effort? No problem. Another child will be born who is capable, once again, of making a new beginning. The Star Wars series runs on this theme. (Spoiler alert!)
- Episode I – III: Anakin Skywalker is believed to be the Chosen One who would bring balance to the Force, therefore peace and prosperity to the galaxy. However, seduced by the dark side, he transforms into Darth Vader and plunges the galaxy into an era of death and destruction under the control of the evil Empire.
- Rogue One: Jyn Erso risks her life to free mankind from enslavement to the evil Empire.
- Episode IV – VI: Luke Skywalker leads the rebellion that ends the evil Empire’s tyrannical rule, and through love leads his father Darth Vader back to the Force of light and life.
- The Force Awakens – The Last Jedi: Rey brings new hope to a galaxy once again on the brink of war.
Our personal experience teaches us, and should convince us, that we cannot defeat the forces of evil on our own, or even overcome the drives of our own self-indulgent, i.e. sin nature. We need to be rescued from oppressors like war lords and drug lords, and from our own self-destructive behaviors like ruining relationships and bad eating habits resulting in heart disease and diabetes and cancer. Whoever argues with the biblical concept of a hero savior needs to take an honest look at their own life.
“Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it…Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous? Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him? Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty. Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath: and behold every one that is proud, and abase him. Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place…Then will I also confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee… (Job 40:2-14)
But God couldn’t destroy Satan and take back dominion over creation because “…God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began” (Titus 1:2), and one of those promises had been to give dominion to humans, and God isn’t going back on his word.
“The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’s: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.” (Psa 115:16)
YHVH’s / Anu’s delegation of authority on earth to humans is even begrudgingly acknowledged by the Sumerian pantheon.
Anu…himself withdrew higher and higher into the heavens…distanced from both humanity and the other gods. The only deity who had access to Anu was his [immortal human] son Enlil who gradually took on his father’s characteristics and power...
The Book of Enoch provides a more accurate example of the Lord God delegating key actions to his human representative, the Melchizedek Priest-King.
Then the Lord said to me: Enoch, scribe of righteousness, go tell the Watchers of heaven…Then Enoch, passing on, said to Azazyel: Thou shalt not obtain peace. A great sentence is gone forth against thee. He shall bind thee; Neither shall relief, mercy, and supplication be thine, on account of the oppression which thou hast taught; And on account of every act of blasphemy, tyranny, and sin, which thou hast discovered to the children of men. Then departing from him I spoke to them all together; And they all became terrified, and trembled; Beseeching me to write for them a memorial of supplication, that they might obtain forgiveness; and that I might make the memorial of their prayer ascend up before the God of heaven; because they could not themselves thenceforwards address him, nor raise up their eyes to heaven on account of the disgraceful offence for which they were judged. Then I wrote a memorial of their prayer and supplication, for their spirits, for everything which they had done, and for the subject of their entreaty, that they might obtain remission and rest...And behold a dream came to me, and visions appeared above me. I fell down and saw a vision of punishment, that I might relate it to the sons of heaven, and reprove them. When I awoke I went to them. All being collected together stood weeping in Oubelseyael, which is situated between Libanos and Seneser, with their faces veiled. I related in their presence all the visions which I had seen, and my dream; And began to utter these words of righteousness, reproving the Watchers of heaven. (Enoch 12-13)
Sounds fantastical, mythological, doesn’t it? Like stories of a powerful wizard Merlin or Gandalf taking on the forces of evil. But that is in fact just how powerful one single human can be when connected to all-powerful Most High God. Contrary to New Age claims, there is no evidence at all that a human can achieve godhood with all its associated power by ourselves.
What a conundrum! God gave dominion over the earth to humans but mortal humanity alone cannot overpower evil. We all need a hero savior who is intrinsically more powerful than we could ever become on our own, and even more powerful that our adversary Satan. What are we to do?
Humanity needs a champion, just one individual with a unique ability that enables him to succeed where ordinary fighters fail, who can engage in single combat with the enemy in a duel to the death – winner takes all.
I understand that we are not all nurses, so giving fair warning that in the linked film clip there is a quick glimpse of some of the organ used to establish the universal attribution of manhood as in I K 14:10 “I will cut off from Jeroboam him that pisseth against the wall.” You can avoid seeing anything distasteful by closing your eyes when the rider gets off his horse and undoes his fly. I do think this enactment does a great job at bringing the ancient ways to life. If you watch it think of the rag-tag Israelite army coming up against Jericho, one of the greatest fortified cities of that time. Think of David and Goliath.
“And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span [9 ft 6 in]. And he had an helmet of brass upon his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass. And he had greaves of brass upon his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders. And the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam; and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron: and one bearing a shield went before him. And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me. If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants…And David said to the Philistine…I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand…that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD’s and he will give you into our hands…And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth…And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.” (II Sam 17:4-51)
All the earth needs one unique individual like David to champion our cause, but more than David. We need someone like the original Adam before he was himself in bondage to sin and condemned to death. Someone human but also absolutely 100% the likeness of God in right-eousness therefore more powerful than Satan. We need a hero savior who is both God, so powerful enough to defeat Satan, and also human, so qualifies to become the designated human Master of the Universe!
God was not taken off guard when his prototype humans used the freedom he gave them to choose to sin, and suffered the consequences. He knows the future, including Satan’s schemes before they happen, and had already planned in advance for a way to get his children back. He had a champion in the wings, the most powerful being in the universe.
“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were…redeemed with…the precious blood of the Appointed One/ Messiah/ Christ…Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you…” (I Pet 1:19-20)
Satan thought he only had to wage a campaign against humble humans. He was dead wrong. In the complete reverse of New Age mentality, God himself lowered himself to become humble humanity to fight for his children.
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in The Chosen Savior / Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Phili 2:5-8)
We can know that Adam and Eve understood the dual nature – God and human – of the promised savior because they shared this information with their descendants, as recorded by Job:
“For I know that my redeemer liveth [in the present!], AND that he shall stand at the latter day UPON THE EARTH: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.” (Job 19:25-26)
The ultimate expression of the political concept of natality / new beginnings is the birth of Yahweh’s Promised Savior / Jesus Christ. He brings about the destruction of Satan and his evil empire, redemption from sin and death, and restoration to the divine order of everlasting life NOT ONLY FOR HIMSELF at his resurrection, but for everyone who joins him in the new political order of the kingdom he establishes.
David understood that behind the physical manifestation of Goliath, he was engaged in a spiritual battle. He tapped into, IDENTIFIED HIMSELF WITH, BECAME ONE WITH the same power as creation when he declared “I come to thee in the name of the LORD.” This is the same identification and empowerment as a law enforcement officer arresting someone “in the name of the law.” David understood that empowerment comes through the word/Word of God.
“And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance. And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field. Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and…the host of the Philistines…that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly [including the faithless Israelites!]…the battle is the LORD‘s. (I Sam 17:42-47)
In both an abstract and a very concrete sense, the name of the LORD is Jesus = Yeshua = YHVH’s Savior and the stone that was used to topple Goliath.
“This [Yeshua / Jesus ] is the stone…which is become the head…” (Act 4:11)
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men…And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (Joh 1:1-4, 14)
Trusting in Jesus Christ as your personal savior is not a Christian religion that came into existence when Jesus died on the cross. Admitting that you are a sinner in need of a Savior and trusting in Yahweh’s promised redeemer / Appointed One / Messiah / Christ for salvation from bondage to sin in whatever guise – fruit, Goliath, addiction to food – is as old as time, and is the only spiritual belief system that has ever saved anyone. This is unarguably articulated in the oldest book in the Bible, predating the establishment of Judaism as a religion.
“Surely thou hast spoken in mine hearing, and I have heard the voice of thy words, saying, “I am clean without transgression, I am innocent; neither is there iniquity in me”…Behold, in this thou art not just: I will answer thee, that God is greater than man…For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not…If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man his [God’s] uprightness: Then he [God] is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom. His flesh shall be fresher than a child’s: [resurrection] he shall return to the days of his youth [be born again]: He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him: and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto man his [God’s] righteousness. He looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not; He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light. Lo, all these things worketh God oftentimes with man, To bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living.” (Job 33:8-30)
The same being who called himself Yahweh’s Savior / Yeshua / Jesus in the New Testament called himself God in the Old.
“And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil 2:8-11)
“Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.” (Isa 44:22-23)
When God calls his Savior “the seed of the woman,” he is obviously leaving out the fatherhood. The meaning would have been perfectly clear to his audience.
Satan, Adam and his helpmeet would have understood that the woman would be a single human parent.
After all, single parenting was the only known form of reproduction in the entire universe at this time. God alone had materialized himself as a host of spiritual sons of God and two humans.
“So God created [the] man [הָֽאָדָֽם, reading the Hebrew letters backwards, ha-adam] in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Gen 1:27)
It is assumed from this reading that at the moment that God created “them”, one of them had male reproductive organs and the other had female reproductive organs. But is that correct? It is also possible, grammatically, to understand this sentence as meaning that God created each of them in his own image as male and female, i.e. as hermaphrodites.
Are you aghast at this idea? This actually has startling implications for understanding our current sexually chaotic social situation, so stick with me. You know the most effective lies have an element of truth. Do you want to cling to what is comfortable and familiar, or do you want to know the truth? Follow along as we study what the Bible says instead of assuming we, or our favorite denomination, already knows everything there is to know.
Think about it. Why would God call himself “Father” and not simply “Creator”? Doesn’t reproduction require a mother as well as a father? We know God’s male characteristics, especially fatherhood, but have we overlooked references to God’s maternal characteristics, beginning with the most obvious? Where did Eve get her femininity if not from God?
“…in the image of God created he…female…” (Gen 1:27)
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (Gen 2:23)
Who was Adam’s mother if not God? Aren’t we wresting scripture to fit our limited understanding if we insist that this verse in Genesis doesn’t really apply to Adam, only future men?
“Out of whose womb came the ice? and the hoary frost of heaven, who hath gendered it?” (Job 38:29)
“But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my LORD hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.” (Isa 49:14-15)
“As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.” (Isa 66:13)
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” (Matt 23:37)
It is interesting that the Hebrew word “yalad (Strong’s Concordance Hebrew 3205)” applies equally to mothers bearing children and fathers begetting children.
Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children;” (Gen 3:16)
“Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.” (Psa 2:6-7)
The documentation of the event of the creation of Adam’s help-meet gives the translation of the word “woman” as it was intended to be understood at that time, not as it is understood by contemporary readers.
“And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man [הָֽ-אָדָֽם reading backwards in Hebrew: ha adam, in Hebrew “ha” = “the”] should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto [the man] Adam [הָֽאָדָֽם ha-adam]…and [the man] Adam [הָֽאָדָֽם ha-adam] gave names [identified the characteristics] to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for [the man] Adam [הָֽאָדָֽם ha-adam] there was not found an help meet for him.
And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon [the man] Adam [הָֽאָדָֽם ha-adam], and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from the man [הָֽאָדָֽם ha-adam] made he a “Wo-man” [אִשָּׁ֔–ה Is-ah or Ish-ah]. (Hebrew dialects vary in pronunciation, as does American.)
Note: The attribution of the term “woman” to God’s creation is a literary devise called “prolepsis” or “flash forward” to a future condition that hasn’t yet happened but makes the flow of the narrative smoother if referenced at that point. We shouldn’t assume that this reference to “woman” indicates that God created an individual with female parts as we define a woman. We need to mentally back up to the previous notice that it is Adam who named all the living creatures, including this one. We need to remember that a name signifies characteristics. So taking a close look at the text instead of our Sunday School pictures:
And [the man] Adam [הָֽאָדָֽם ha-adam] said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called “Wo-man” [אִשָּׁ֔–ה Is-ah or Ish-ah], because she was taken “out of Man” [מֵ-אִ֖ישׁ meh-is] .” (Gen 2:18-23)
There are many different Hebrew words translated into English as “man”, but pertinent to this passage we find 1) Adam, which we treat as a personal name but actually means the prototype man, i.e. humankind and 2) Is, or Ish, which means “to show oneself to be a man.”
I am not making this up. Check the references for yourself, like Hosea 2:16 where “ishi” means “my husband. (In Hebrew the “i” added to the end of a word indicates ownership, like the ‘s in English.)
There is a reason the text takes the trouble to specify “bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh”. The two started out life as one, and for the time being remained the same. This is confirmed by the translation of the Hebrew word “אִשָּׁ֔–ה Is-sah” in Exodus 26 as an identical “one” coupled with another (different Hebrew word) “אַחַ֖ת” one. Both humans – the one formed from the dust of the ground and the one formed from bone were identical sons of God.
But! you say. Right there plain as day – Adam, not to mention the angels, are the “sons” of God, so they are male, not hermaphrodites. Not so fast.
“Son of God” should be understood as defining a relationship of permanent status as child to parent rather than gender. “Son” stands in contrast to “daughter” which defines a temporary relationship that is lost when the father gives his daughter away to her husband in marriage. This is demonstrated in that it is a rare exception to find women included in a record of lineage, such as Jacob’s daughter Dinah.
The inclusion of Dinah in Jacob’s lineage should be understood as a tacit acknowledgement that, due to her defilement by Hamor with consequent extinction of any possibility of making a good marriage outside the family, she was permanently included in the family, i.e. under the Paterfamilias Jacob’s protection and provision. Her permanent entitlement to the family’s resources can be seen in her union by marriage to her (full) brother Simeon, and even more importantly, by sons to care for her in her old age. A righteous woman’s entitlement to permanent protection within family is so important that it was guaranteed by Mosaic law.
Contrast the treatment Dinah received from her family with the treatment Tamar received from hers. When Tamar begged her half-brother to make up for the damage he had done to her, he only further shamed her. Her full brother, while assuming responsibility for her welfare, ultimately brought nothing but destruction to the family and the entire kingdom when he acted out his rage against his half-brother’s mistreatment of his full sister.
The understanding of “sonship” as permanent relationship vs gender goes without saying in Christianity. I am a female, but I become a “son” of God according to every verse referencing the new birth and adoption.
“…as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name…And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” (Joh 1:12, 10:28
“For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal 3:27-28)
We seem to find it easy to accept that there is no female in the new birth restoring humankind’s original mint condition, but the record also states there is no male, at least as we know it. To further prove the point on Christian “gender fluid”, all human sons of God, men and women, become the bride of Christ, the corporate body preparing to unite with Jesus at the end of time/mortality.
“I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come.” (Rev 22:167-17)
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church. For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery…” (Eph 5:25-32)
How thoroughly is a man joined to his wife? How does a man love his own flesh when he loves his wife’s flesh? What flesh is this? Male? Or, as the text plainly states, the joining of two into one?Scientifically, there is a known, natural condition of a single individual being both male and female.
The trans-formation of fallen human back to perfected humans accords with the account of the formation of the original perfect woman which states plainly that the woman and man are genetically identical. Jesus’ notice that in the resurrection / restoration to original mint condition there will be no sexual activity supports the understanding that the prototype Adam combines the attributes of perfect masculinity and perfect femininity in one.
“Then come unto him the Sadducees…Now there were seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and dying left no seed…And the seven had her, and left no seed…In the resurrection therefore, when they shall rise, whose wife shall she be of them? for the seven had her to wife. And Yahweh’s Savior/Yeshua/Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God? For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven.” (Mar 12:18-25)
Pay attention to Jesus’ answer to the Sadducees – and to us! – that we err because we know not 1) the scriptures neither 2) the power / inherent nature of God.
Which scripture – must be Old Testament because it was available to the Sadducees before the New Testament was written – tells us that, when we rise from the dead, i.e. are fully redeemed from the power of sin and death to return to the pure likeness and image of God, that we don’t marry, i.e. raise up seed through sexual intercourse? The only one I know is to understand Genesis 1:27 as stating that God made the first two humans both male and female, and that they were split into separate male and female only after the fall.
This same scripture tells us about God’s power/inherent nature in relation to his resurrected human sons’ sexuality. The Greek word dunamis has a “meaning as an important feature of someone’s nature. It means that this person or God has some inner strength that does not depend on outward things.” In other words, the nature of God is to be 100% self-sufficient. This is so obviously the fundamental truth of Christianity how do we ignore its application to God as having maternal characteristics?
“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: So God created man in his own image…male and female created he them.” (Gen 1:26-27)
In confirmation with this literal interpretation of the Bible, ancient traditions also attribute composite male and female characteristics to their creator god, such as Ardhanarishvara in Hindu tradition. Shakti, the female principle of God, is inseparable from (or the same as, according to some interpretations) Shiva, the male principle of God. The union of these principles is exalted as the root and womb of all creation.”
In the Egyptian creation myth, the creator god Atum was both male and female. He self-produced two offspring, Shu and Tefnut. The sun god Ra also had double-gender nature with the female counterpart Rat. Agdistis was a deity of Greek, Roman and Anatolian mythology, possessing both male and female sexual organs.
With this background, the current transgender movement should start to make sense from a spiritual perspective. Beyond its most basic level, as a denial of reality AKA, loving and believing a lie, it should be recognized as a specific gnostic, New Age lie which claims that humans tapping into their own godhood experience both genders in one.
We should recognize the spirit entities driving the thoughts and behaviors of humans under their control as the spirits yearn to express the fullness of their own hermaphroditic being. This is the basic lie of the serpent, twisting the Creator’s truth. Yes, godhood does include liberation to express the best of both male and female attributes, but only in Jesus Christ do we regain that perfect image and likeness of God, which is self-sacrificing love resulting in permanent unions, not self-satisfying sexual perversions abandoning one exploited individual after another.
Of course, for centuries it was impossible for learned people, especially scientists, to believe the biblical account that the woman was an identical copy of the man who was made in God’s own image and likeness, but in our technologically advanced society we know that cloning is real. Dolly the sheep was just the first of many cloned – identical – animals. Additionally, scientists are now turning stem cells into almost every tissue in the body, all containing the same DNA. Where do they get stem cells? From bone. The account in Genesis of God creating an entire human being from a piece of bone is true, and has been faithfully transmitted for thousands of years by people who believed what God said despite not understanding all the details, because he has proven his word to be true is so many other accounts, and has never been proven to be false. That’s called faith. How much proof does science give before we believe its claims? That’s called bias.
How much have we studied to confirm the validity of a straightforward reading of the Bible’s statements? Is our belief system based on our limited understanding, or just a matter of what we prefer to believe to feel comfortable? In this case God presents himself as having cloned the wo-man from the man in order to produced mankind in his image and likeness with both male and female characteristics. The images below give a fair impression of how the first man and wo-man were genetically identical,
Setting aside all the Sunday School images and our assumptions, a straightforward explanation of scripture leads to the conclusion that not only death, but also gender differences, human sexuality and the reproductive process as we know it resulted from genetic mutations triggered by a substance in the fruit. The Bible states as a fact that woman’s reproductive functions were changed as a result of incorporating a toxic substance into her body.
“And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said…I did eat. And the LORD God said…Because thou hast done this…I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children…”(Gen 3:13-16)
Contrary to our casual use of the name, the woman is not called Eve until after genetic changes occurred from eating the fruit. This is because this is the name – not “woman” – that defines her maternal, female characteristics.
“And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.” (Gen 3:20)
The images below of male Brad Pitt and his remarkably similar daughter Shiloh give an impression of physical differences resulting from genetic changes. The next set of images shows a male who experienced feminization resulting from hormone changes in gender reassignment therapy.
But! you protest, Adam and his wife were told to multiply before they ate the fruit, so they must have had the ability to do so. Scientifically not a problem. Asexual reproduction. The hydra “accomplishes the feat of apparent immortality by reproducing through budding rather than mating.” All the offspring produced by asexual reproduction are identical to the single parent.
Asexual reproduction is exactly how God reproduced himself in the first Adam, how he reproduced the second human from the first, and how redeemed humans are born again in the likeness of Jesus Christ.
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (Joh 1:12-13)
In contrast to mortal (We shall not all sleep / die, but we shall all be changed” I Cor 15:51), the definition of immortal includes changeless (“I am the LORD, I change not” Mal 3:6). Since the woman’s process of conception was one of the physical changes resulting from eating the forbidden fruit (Gen3:16), it must be that, prior to the fall, procreation of sinless humanity, and immortality of the original Adams, would have been accomplished through a form of asexual reproduction. As we shall discover, sexual reproduction of distinctively different individuals is accomplished through a process that includes death and decay, and is not possible for immortals.
In any form of reproduction the main feat is duplicating the chromosomes – the systems driver and software controlling the functions of each of the body’s cells. DNA is compacted into genes resembling beads then strung into chromosomes resembling twisted rope necklaces.
A set of two matching chromosomes are required for functioning. At the least, this provides backups for any damaged genes. A matched set of chromosomes, which vary in length and genes carried, link together to form the characteristic X shape, with the one exception of the seemingly broken male chromosome which is why it is called Y.
In asexual reproduction – mitosis – the exact full set (referred to as 2N for a matched set) of duplicated chromosomes are passed to the reproductive (stem) cell, producing identical offspring. Since God formed the woman with DNA from the man’s tissue, this confirms that the wo-man, cloned from the man, was identical to the man. The woman could not have gotten the female sex chromosomes of XX from a male with sex chromosomes of XY.
The only way a male or female parent can reproduce a child having a different gender or any of the vast number of characteristics different from either one of the parent, is through sexual reproduction – meiosis. This adds another phase of shuffling the genes across the matched chromosomes, then dividing the sets of chromosomes in half, resulting in cells with only 1N, or half of the full set of chromosomes, each one different from all the other cells produced in this shuffling process. Think of it like shuffling and dealing a deck of cards. Each deal is different.
The ONLY way God could produce a hybrid God-human unique human was through sexual reproduction with a human woman.
Anyone who has enjoyed intimacy in sex should be thinking that the fall wasn’t so bad after all. And here is where we begin to see the unveiling of God’s mysterious rationale for choosing imperfect mankind over perfect angels. The opportunity to love.
In the hugely popular movie Titanic, Jack’s love for Rose is proved, not by his admiration and desire for her, but by giving his life for her. The best and brightest aspects of God’s character can only be perceived in his actions towards humans, and in the actions of his children that reflect their likeness to him.
“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.“(I Joh 4:7-11)
Every loving parent should grasp this intuitively. We choose to have children, disrupting and even risking our lives, because we want to experience love with them. It is through human love culminating in childbearing that salvation was brought, not only to the first woman, but to the whole world.
“Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing.” (I Tim 2:14-15)
“Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children…” (Gen 3:16)
This verse has been interpreted as describing God’s punishment on Eve through painful childbirth. An alternative way of understanding this single sentence is to see it as describing reality-based consequences that we understand perfectly well in the physics dimension, but not so much in the spirit dimension. Humans were given dominion, which means authority to make things happen. Our actions trigger irretrievable reactions. What we do really and truly reverberates through our universe and impacts our world – for good or bad. We are not action figures for God to pick up and reposition when we fall. For him to do so would take away our power, our autonomy, our ability to be free individuals and meaningful change agents.
Our interpretation of why the woman suffers in childbearing is based on our impression of God. Is he a tyrant who brutally punishes slaves who displease him, or a loving, faithful, trustworthy father who patiently guides and disciplines his children through their free-will chosen experiences for their safety, character development, personal insight, maturation and ultimate empowerment? God’s actions toward the woman whose sin rocked the universe should be interpreted from the perspective of his faithfulness, love, mercy and forgiveness towards humanity.
The person who was responsible for corrupting humanity is the person God makes a partner in redemption.
That isn’t a curse. That is a blessing.
The fact is, suffering is not a punishment. It is the proof of our love freely given in our choices to stay involved with our loved ones. How many popular movies are based on this premise? The more we mature into giving and caring adults, the more insightful, wise and sensitive we become, the more we suffer – through empathy at the least, and through sacrificing ourselves to save others at most.
The woman who partnered with God in salvation experienced tremendous suffering, watching her beloved baby’s destiny play out, whether it was Abel who was murdered because he did the right thing, or Cain, who as the murderer was banished, or Yeshua who endured torture as he died for the sins of the world. She would have, like you or me, traded places with her child if she could have.
“And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord…And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.” (Gen 4:1,25)
“…and when the parents brought in the child Yeshua/Jesus…Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,)…” (Lu 2:27-35)
“Now there stood by the cross of Yahweh’s Savior / Yeshua / Jesus his mother...” (Joh 19:25)
Ironically, people can believe in the historical human Jesus Christ, but reject the idea that God is his father. Anyone who believes that God created Adam in his image and likeness should have no problem understanding that God also fathered himself as the human Jesus. Jesus would be, like Adam before he became corrupted, the perfect son of God. Where Jesus differs from the first Adam is that he is also the son of a human woman.
The real shocker here is not that God fathered his son, but that a human partnered in the creation of that being.
“But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law...” (Gal 4:4-5)
“And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women…for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Yahweh’s Savior / Yeshua / Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God…For with God nothing shall be impossible. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. (Lu 2:26-38)
“Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isa 7:14)
“Now the birth of Yahweh’s Appointed Savior / Yeshua Messiah / Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Yahweh’s Savior / Yeshua / Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” (Mat 1:18-23)
This brings us to the main reason it is so important to understand the reproduction of the first man into woman. Because a clone is genetically identical to the original DNA donor, all the genes that Eve received from Adam and passed down to all of her descendants, including Jesus, came from and can be identified genetically as Adam.
Even science has determined (to its chagrin) that every living person can be traced back to one original ancestress through the genes uniquely preserved in the female mitochondria passed down in the maternal egg. The Human Genome Project proved the common ancestry of every human when it discovered that, despite the huge number of mutations that have occurred over thousands of years, “…the genomes [total collection of genes] of any two people are more than 99% the same.” This has tremendous implications.
- Adam, genetically in Yeshua, gets a second chance to defeat Satan.
- All humanity, genetically in Yeshua, can defeat Satan.
- All humanity, genetically in Yeshua, can be masters of the universe.
“For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in The Consecrated One / Messiah / Christ shall all be made alive.” (I Cor 15:21-22)
“And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.” (I Cor 15:45)
Note the contrast between the two Adams. The first was made living by God. The last makes living by God. Life was transferred into the first Adam. Life is transferred out of the last Adam, because he is God himself.
Because Yeshua / Jesus got his male-determining chromosome, what we call the Y chromosome, from God, he is indeed the second Adam son of God, a second chance for a human son of God to come into existence as, and remain. holy, sinless, not condemned to death. His innocent death was therefore able to be applied to my account, to substitute for the condemnation and sentencing of my guilt.
“Yahweh’s Savior / Yeshua / Jesus the Son of God…was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Heb 4:14-15)
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (II Cor 5:21)
“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls. “(I Pet 2:24-25)
The first Adam’s nature started out as sinless, but then degenerated, and this corrupted condition was passed down to all his descendants through his seed / sperm / DNA. A human father couldn’t produce sinless offspring. This leads me to conclude that the male sex chromosome, like the female, was mutated at the fall. This opinion is supported in scripture.
“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” (I Pet 1:23)
Genes provide one vestigial evidence of the changes that occurred in the Adam clones. We know that the Y chromosome is severely stunted when compared to the other chromosomes, appearing to have lost about 90% of the original genes.
If, as one would expect, the Y chromosome is restored to its fullness, then the new identity can justly be expected to be a true “superman, the Ubermensch, in German philosophy, the superior man, who justifies the existence of the human race…a term significantly used by [“God is dead” philosopher] Friedrich Nietzsche…This superior man would not be a product of long evolution; rather, he would emerge when any man with superior potential completely masters himself.”
That’s exactly what Jesus did, and what all born again sons of God are to do – male and female – freely, not through oppression, paradoxically master ourselves by submitting ourselves to the will of the Father even to death, because we understand it is the right thing, the only constructive thing, to do. Does this image show Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane or Mary at the garden tomb? Both were prepared to defy evil and die in the process.
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: [Can we not see how he also immortalized the name of Mary Magdalene for her actions identifying herself with Jesus unto death?] That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (Phili 2:5-13)
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him;” (I Joh 3:2)
“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (II Cor 3:18)
Exactly what that image will look like, we don’t know, but it is highly unlikely that it will be our current image of either male or female. Some people get the idea, though.
“Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping…and saw Yahweh’s Savior / Yeshua / Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Yeshua / Jesus…She, supposing him to be the gardener [who would need to be super strong to wrestle stone doors!], saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Yeshua / Jesus saith unto her, Mary. [On hearing and recognizing his voice, with a flash of insight into the teaching of resurrection, suddenly remembering the recent resurrection of Lazarus, she has an epiphany and] She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni / My Great Master...” (Joh 20:11-16)
It is desperately important to recognize that this biblical Great Master, unlike the Great and Ascended Masters of ancient and New Age religions, the only one who had all the power of creation at his disposal, relied only on the written word of God.
“…And Yahweh’s Savior / Yeshua / Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered. And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. And Yahweh’s Savior / Yeshua / Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. (Deu 8:3) And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. And Yahweh’s Savior / Yeshua / Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. (Ex 20:1-6) And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. (Psa 91:12) And Yahweh’s Savior / Yeshua / Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. (Deu 6:16) And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season. And Yahweh’s Savior / Yeshua / Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galillee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about. And he taught in their synagogues…(Lu 4:1-15)
“Then cometh Yahweh’s Savior / Yeshua / Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt… Then came they, and laid hands on Yahweh’s Savior / Yeshua / Jesus and took him. And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest’s, and smote off his ear. Then said Yahweh’s Savior / Yeshua / Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?” (Mat 26:36-54)
The word of God has always been the power of salvation from sin, experienced as destructive forces now and eternal damnation to come. During the four thousand years or so between God’s promise to provide the seed of the woman and his birth, believing God’s promise – as in “You have my word on it” – was just as much the means of salvation as it has been in the two thousand or so years believing in the fulfillment of the promise since the birth of Christ.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of The Consecrated One / Messiah / Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Ro 1:16)
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand…how that The Appointed One / Messiah / Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” (I Cor 15:1-4)
“For when we were yet without strength, in due time The Chosen One / Messiah / Christ died for the ungodly. For…God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, The Chosen One / Messiah / Christ died for us…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:…For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Yaweh’s Chosen Savior/Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many…Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” (Ro 5:6-21)
But belief alone has never saved anyone.
“Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” (Jam 2:19-20)
Yes, we need a champion who can do for us what we can’t do for ourselves. But that doesn’t mean we do nothing. A champion saves us only if we submit to his leadership which means we follow his orders. That means we change our thoughts, values, motivations, and behaviors.
“Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valour, and he was the son of an harlot: and Gilead begat Jephthah. And Gilead’s wife bare him sons; and his wife’s sons grew up, and they thrust out Jephthah, and said unto him, Thou shalt not inherit in our father’s house; for thou art the son of a strange woman. Then Jephthah fled from his brethren, and dwelt in the land of Tob: and there were gathered vain men to Jephthah, and went out with him. And it came to pass in process of time, that…when the children of Ammon made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to fetch Jephthah out of the land of Tob: And they said unto Jephthah, Come, and be our captain, that we may fight with the children of Ammon. And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, Did not ye hate me, and expel me out of my father’s house? and why are ye come unto me now when ye are in distress? And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, Therefore we turn again to thee now, that thou mayest go with us, and fight against the children of Ammon, and be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead. And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, If ye bring me home again to fight against the children of Ammon, and the LORD deliver them before me, shall I be your head? And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, The LORD be witness between us, if we do not so according to thy words. Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and captain over them: and Jephthah uttered all his words before the LORD in Mizpeh.” (Judg 11:1-11)
Trusting that the LORD will forgive our sins doesn’t mean that there are no actions required of us. This is nailed down in Moses’ notice that Jesus would come to save us. There are things we must do in order to be saved, to be rescued, to “turn captivity.” It goes back to pro-choice, and whoever we choose to obey, his servants we are.
“And the LORD said unto me…I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto [act upon] my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him…(Deu 18:17-19) And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee…the curse…And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day…That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee...if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul. For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.” (Deu 30:1-3, 10-14)
All humans, not just the mother of the seed, must partner with God in salvation. The whole plan of salvation is that humans take dominion over whatever territory God has put under their control, starting with their own body and soul, extending to children and other persons over whom they have some kind of responsibility.
“So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him…And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled. And the men of Israel and of Judah arose, and shouted, and pursued the Philistines, until thou come to the valley, and to the gates of Ekron. And the wounded of the Philistines fell down by the way to Shaaraim, even unto Gath, and unto Ekron.” (I Sam 17:50-52) “…and they anointed David king over Israel. (II Sam 5:3)
Truly believing in Yahweh’s Promised Savior, not just spouting a religious creed but proving belief through actions of public confession of faith, allying with God and his people, and changed lifestyle is what saves. Consider Paul’s Philippian jailor who faced losing his job, being beaten and even being executed for supporting public enemy #1. He proved he really believed in Paul’s gospel, that Jesus Christ would resurrect him from the dead.
“…what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ / Yaweh’s Chosen Savior, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.” (Act 16:30-31)
Peter demonstrates the necessity for public confession of faith followed by acts of contrition proving true conversion from sinful self-centeredness to a submissive relationship with God through Christ Jesus.
“…whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, Yahweh’s Chosen One / Messiah / Christ of God. And he straitly charged them…Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day. And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.” (Lu 9:20-26) And the Lord said, Simon, Simon [Peter], behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death. And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me…Then took they him, and led him, and brought him into the high priest’s house. And Peter followed afar off. And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, and were set down together, Peter sat down among them. But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire, and earnestly looked upon him, and said, This man was also with him. And he denied him, saying, Woman, I know him not. And after a little while another saw him, and said, Thou art also of them. And Peter said, Man, I am not. And about the space of one hour after another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow also was with him: for he is a Galilaean. And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew. And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And Peter went out, and wept bitterly. (Lu 22:31-34, 54-62)
“And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them, Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide. Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand. And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes, And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this? Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.” (Act 4:1-13)
Faith in action has always been the means of salvation from sin. This is obvious if you understand “salvation from sin” as the restoration of relationship with eternal spirit God to overcome the power of sin and regain control of our territory.
“If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. [The result of this inner contest of wills is either] 1) And unto thee shall be his desire [if you do not well], 2) and thou shalt rule over him. [if you choose to do well]” (Gen 4:7)
This is true in the physical resurrection of the body at the Second Coming, but also evident in the spiritual resurrection now.
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Ro 5:1-2)
This grace wherein we stand is NOT God overlooking our faults. We are simply oblivious to the ripple effects of damage from our sinful behaviors if we can believe that a loving Father can just brush off our bad behavior as inconsequential. Grace is the insight God gives us to understand the significance of our harmful behaviors and to repent-rethink our values, and the support to change our ways and to reconcile with those we have harmed.
Faith in action is not the same concept as salvation through works. We don’t change our behavior in order to get saved, we change our behavior because we are saved.
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.” (Ro 6:1-7)
Living righteously is the reality of salvation, and humans have the free will to choose to experience 1) reality or 2) imagination be it by fictional media, video games, drug induced delusions and hallucinations, the ever popular defense mechanism of denial, emotionally distorted perceptions, or unsubstantiated claims by “science falsely so called.” (I Tim 6:20)
“If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.“ (Ro 8:31-37)
Think about it. A drug addict who goes to church and repents and prays for deliverance from heroin addiction then goes back to his dealer for more smack can excuse his actions on the basis that he is covered by grace, but he’s not saved from the current effects of his sin, is he? What makes you think he is saved from the effects of his sin after death? This addict has to collaborate with God for salvation from heroin addiction by a conversion – a changed heart attitude about the awful effects of heroin on himself and his family, and turning away from his drug crowd and joining a (preferably faith-based) rehab and support group to be successful in maintaining sobriety. Becoming free from nicotine addiction, sexual immorality, jealousy, or any of the destructive forces, AKA sins, involves a personal struggle in which the individual applies the supernatural grace and power of God that has been placed at his or her disposal to use, or not, as the individual chooses. Changes are not just zapped into us without any effort on our part. It’s like a drive-through car wash. It’s easy enough to just sit in the car while the machines wash the outside clean, but at some point you have to get out and vacuum the inside yourself.
This is not legalism, a demand to follow a list of dos and don’ts in order to be righteous. Biblical codes of law were never given to make one righteous. Laws simply clarify which behaviors are harmful to self or society. Even before a law is enacted to impose punishment as a deterrent to certain behaviors – like fines for failure to wear seatbelts – the naturally destructive consequences of those behaviors exist – like injury and death from failing to wear seatbelts.
“For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.” (Ro 5:13)
Obeying laws simply promotes a good life. This is true across the board for all people, saved or not. Apply the following truth to Adam’s wife’s situation, who was in a perfect relationship with God.
“…the commandment [don’t eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil] which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. For sin [my own desire for self exaltation], taking occasion by the commandment [here’s the first opportunity to demonstrate my independence from God!], deceived me [using distorted thought processes like denial, rationalization, justification of self], and by it slew me [suicide]. Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” (Ro 7:10-12)
“But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” (Jam 1:14-15)
Human nature is incapable of obeying all laws all the time. It is simply our nature to take charge ourselves. This totally makes sense when we recognize that’s how God designed us – to have dominion. The key to being able to actually have dominion is to be plugged into the power source. We get into trouble when we disconnect from God. That is the sin/self-destruction – rejecting God’s authority and power in our lives.
The only commandment that makes one righteous is the one that defines how we must relate to God if we are going to be in relationship with him.
“Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.” (Matt 22:36-38)
The rest of the laws safeguard and improve the quality of life of someone who is capable of obeying them because they are already in a relationship with the LORD thy God, i.e. already accounted righteous.
“Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it: That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged. Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey.” (Deu 6:1-6)
“But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (Jer 31:33-34)
King David was not saved through strict obedience to the law. He was a murderer and adulterer who was justified despite his crimes. He could claim to be righteous “in God’s eyes” because he did not depart from God’s judgments and statutes when he at least acknowledged their existence, their rightness, that he had broken them, and he repented and accepted God’s chastening as a true son. It was only in that context that David, or any of us, can have a right-eous relationship with God. This is the key difference between Saul, who was rejected, and David, who was forgiven. When faced with his sin, Saul denied and blamed others, but David confessed, repented, and did works “meet for repentance.” (Mat 3:8)
“Samuel also said unto Saul, The Lord sent me to anoint thee to be king over his people, over Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts,..go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass…But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly. Then came the word of the Lord unto Samuel, saying, It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments… And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD. And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear? And Saul said…the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy [THY! – NOT MY!!] God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed. Then Samuel said unto Saul…Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the LORD? And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal. And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken [comply with instructions] than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.” (I Sam 15:1-23)
“And Nathan said to David…Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; And I gave thee…the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house…And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.” (II Sam 12:7-13)
“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.” (Psa 51:1-6)
“The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness: according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me. For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God. For all his judgments were before me: and as for his statutes, I did not depart from [deny] them. I was also upright before him, and have kept myself from mine iniquity [he didn’t say “sorry!” then go out and repeat the sin because “grace” lets him off the hook]. Therefore the Lord hath recompensed me according to my righteousness; according to my cleanness in his eye sight. ( II Sam 22:21-25)
Years later a similar situation occurred with a woman who sinned, and the Son of God dealt with it the same way that God has dealt with sinners since day one – believe on Yahweh’s Promised Savior/ the Lord Jesus Christ and act on that belief.
“And [the legalistic religious leadership] brought unto him a woman…and…say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now…the law commanded us, that such should [die]: but what sayest thou?...He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her…And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst…And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life...If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (Joh 8:3-32)
There is a easy belief system that promises miraculous healing from the consequences of sin in this life and rescue from hell in the afterlife – without requiring any action from the sinner or changes in that person’s lifestyle. Does that even make sense? Psychology calls that enabling someone to keep engaging in self destruction. It is not hard for “soul-winners” whose sense of success depends on high numbers of converts to become co-dependent enablers. “Repeat after me these words…”
The Bible shows a more excellent way.
“Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk [obviously doesn’t mean ambulate, is a euphemism for ‘lifestyle’] in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield [previous to identification with Christ we didn’t have the option, we were servants of sin, now we have the option – we are supposed to take it!] ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. (Ro 6:3-13)
From the first day of history until now, whoever will be saved from the dominion and destruction of sin in this life and after physical death must act on their belief in God’s word, whatever their particular circumstances. For a certain group of people in a certain set of circumstances, believing and obeying God’s word took the form of killing a lamb.
“And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt saying,..Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house…and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it…it is the Lord‘s passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.” (Ex 12:1-13)
For everyone, believing and obeying God’s word takes baptism, i.e. total immersion / identification with the Savior and his followers.
“Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;” ( I Cor 10:1-2)
“Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable, because by him the Lord had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valour, but he was a leper. And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman’s wife. And she said unto her mistress, Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy…So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha. And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean. But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper. [Obviously even then there were Pentacostals whatever they were called in Hebrew. And I’m not being sacrilegious. It’s about letting go and letting God.] Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage. And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean? Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him: and he said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel.” (II K 5:1-15)
“In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight…Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire. Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.” (Mat 3:1-15)
“For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus/Yahweh’s Anointed Savior. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal 3:26-28)
Believing and obeying God’s word is not easy. It means relinquishing everything that is dear and replacing them with the things of God.
“And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him…keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said…Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him [in a direct hit to the lie the young man has been telling himself and just told Jesus about loving his neighbor], If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt 19:16-23)
“But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, (Philip 3:7-8)
For everyone, believing and obeying God’s word means submitting to Yaweh’s Consecrated Savior as the highest authority, which will inevitably result in conflicts with family, social, and political authorities who want us to submit to them.
“If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters [renounce family ties if contrary to Jesus] yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross [accept religious and political persecution] and come after me, cannot be my disciple.” (Lu 14:26-27)
Trust is an inescapable fact of life in a world marked by chaos and uncontrollable natural, political and personal forces. Each person still has freedom to choose who they will trust for success over insurmountable problems in this life and type of existence after death – God’s Word or their own judgment in choosing contrary religions or none at all. God offers salvation, which is to say the recovering of dominion and victory over all the effects of sin, simply by reversing the process by which these were lost. Restore a right relationship with him by believing and acting on his Word, accept the salvation offered to us by our Champion, become a new creature by identification with the Savior.
“Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Ro 8:33-39)