Lucifer can’t actually win the competition that he set in motion, but he doesn’t have to. As has been so well demonstrated in politics, he only has to destroy the opposition. And God placed the weapon in his hands when he placed forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden.
All Lucifer had to do to was convince two guileless human beings to eat the fruit. And for that, all he had to do was tell a lie.
“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.” (John 8:44)
The fundamental lie, perpetrated since time began, is that humans don’t need connection to Almighty Creator and Sustainer Singularity God – godhood is intrinsic to the self. Humans only need to learn how to access their spirit-godhood to transcend human limitations and gain access to hyper dimensional power and immortality.
“Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman…God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing [having power over] good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat.” (Genesis 3:1-6)
Imagine Adam’s horror when he saw his wife after she was affected by her substance use. Like God, he had the ability to see that she was naked, i.e. exposed – her changed nature was observable.
This image of before and after methamphetamine use gives an idea of what Adam might have seen, what God certainly sees, and what ministers in God’s kingdom can ask God to open their eyes to see – the nature of everyone who is spiritually the “walking dead”, mindlessly straining to lay hold on an illusory source of life.
Then Adam eats the fruit.
“gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” (Genesis 3:6)
in full knowledge that he is losing his splendor, his immortality, and laying down his life.
“…Adam was not deceived…” (I Timothy 2:14)
Why would he do that?
This is when time, as mortal humans understand and experience it, begins.
The Hindu religion, which preserves the most comprehensive and oldest accounts of the activities of the gods from this time period, validates this.
When God asks him for an explanation, Adam is often accused of blame-shifting to his wife, but that interpretation is undoubtedly a result of our habitual use of projection, the defense mechanism in which we attribute our unacceptable thoughts and attitudes to others. It’s a reflection of our own sin nature.
There is another explanation.
God gave functions to all his creatures, things to do like give light, be productive, multiply, etc. but only to mankind did he give the function of having dominion.
In order to do this, mankind has to do more than take action. We have to take initiative. Mankind is not a military grunt or robot with preprogrammed responses to circumstances.
To make a likeness is to give a function, something to do.
A key concept to understand is that having dominion over the earth, wielding that much awesome power, is inextricably linked with having the image (appearance) and likeness (attributes) of God. This abstract concept is expressed in the costumes that must be put on by Superman and others like him before acting on their superpowers.
With this background, we can understand that Adam’s ultimate likeness to God in love came into existence when Adam took the initiative to act out of consideration for his wife’s welfare instead of his own.
In this light, God was not stupid or cruel when he placed the fateful tree in the garden of Eden. He was giving his son the opportunity to become like him, by choosing to exercise his freedom of choice by copying his Father’s behavior.
Lucifer had the same opportunity to increase his likeness to God. He only had to gracefully agree to put humanity’s welfare above his own. But he didn’t.
“And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (Genesis 2:18-24)
“[H]e which made them at the beginning made them [identically both] male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh [taking on each other’s characteristics]. Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” (Matthew 19:5-6)
And Adam proved he believed God, and acted on his belief by basing his actions on faith in God’s word.
Consider a straightforward biblical interpretation of Adam’s response, one in which Adam acts on his God-given responsibility for the woman. He simply obeys God’s word to leave his father and mother – which in his case is God – and cleave to his wife.
- “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me” – The woman you entrusted to my care, for whom I am responsible
- “she gave me of the tree” – she already had it and was doomed
- “and I did eat” – I couldn’t leave her alone, we are one flesh.
Adam was faithful to his promise to care for his wife.
Surely we recognize the parallels in Walt Disney’s Snow White, where the vain ruler who wants to be supreme in the land uses a poisoned fruit to kill the rival young woman, who is however brought back to life by the man who loves her so much he shares the poison on her lips.
In Adam’s courageous willingness to die for his wife, he demonstrated the supreme likeness that mankind alone shares with God.
If a tree falls in the forest and there is no-one to hear it, is there sound? If God is loving but there is no-one to experience his love, does love actually exist? Does the reader comprehend the depths of misery of unrequited love, the complete opposite of the ecstasy of love fulfilled?
When God created humans with self-will who had to overcome selfishness for the benefit of others, he created the potential to love.
“love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth [is united with] 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 John 4:7-11)
There is only one end to marriage for a human son of God.
“if the unbelieving depart, let him depart….For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?” (I Corinthians 7:10-14)
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.
And it is by the same action – choosing to die out of love – that the first human son of God developed his likeness to God, grand-slamming anything the brilliant spirit son of God Lucifer had to show in competition.
While The Lord of the Rings falls short of being a completely accurate biblical allegory, it does bring to life a host of biblical concepts, including this one in which an immortal being chooses mortality, out of love.
God’s choice of humble humanity was vindicated by Adam’s decision to eat the fruit and die.
“…Adam…is the figure of him that was to come [the Savior].” (Romans 5:14)
“Husbands, love your wives, even as The Promised One / 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: but I speak concerning Messiah / Christ and the church.” (Ephesians 5:25-32)
Let’s rephrase that, putting Adam in the action.
Husbands, love your wives, even as the first Adam also loved his wife, and gave himself for her, that he might take away the corruption caused by her action, wiped clean of decay by the power of the word that gave life in the first place, that he might present her to himself a glorious wife restored to perfection. For this cause Adam separated himself from his heavenly Father, and joined himself to his wife by eating the fruit and experiencing death with her, so they could continue to be united, have the same flesh. This is a great mystery, that is revealed as the story progresses.
That should send chills down your spine. This fragile, childishly innocent human countered the most powerful, evil monster in the universe in his first move, simply by choosing to act according to the word of God, even to apparent failure, to death! – instead of leaning on his own understand or acting on his own self interests.
Did he know how his action would send shock waves through the universe? Undoubtedly, no. The opposite of “knowledge is power” is “faith is power,” where faith is simply trusting that what God said is true and acting on that instead of a calculated likelihood of achieving desired results.
Adam knew only that God had given him a companion who he was committed to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance.
Our faith in the love of God is what overcomes the power of evil. It’s that simple.
Adam knew the consequences when he chose to join his wife in death, and it was his faith that his Father / Mother Creator would be faithful to his word to grant dominion to mankind that empowered him to face death, sure that the source of all life would be able and willing to override death.
“Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.” (Hebrews 11:11)
“Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust. O my soul, thou hast said unto the LORD, Thou art my Lord…my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell…Thou wilt shew me the path of life.” (Psalm 16, Acts 2:22-35)
The following New Testament passage about Jesus Christ is validated, affirmed, proven trustworthy by the first Son of God’s actions.
“Marriage is honourable in all…for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that WE may boldly say, The Lord is MY helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me…YHVH’s Savior – the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” (Hebrews 13:4-8)
“Greater love hath no man that this, that a man lay down his life for his friends [intimate acquaintances]…For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners [like the woman in the Garden of Eden], The Promised One / Christ died for us [like Adam].” ( John 15:13, Romans 5:7-8)
Adam gave his life in both in death and the new man he became.
“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 [to the corrupted woman], and was made in the likeness of [the corrupted wo-]man…humbled himself, and became obedient unto death.” (Philippians 2:6-8)
I’m sure Adam was pretty upset when he saw what his companion had done. Love is not a good feeling. It is not feeling attracted to another. It is, in fact, the opposite.
Love is commitment, determination to stay even when things get worse,, willingness to suffer and sacrifice. 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. We choose to stay married for the sake of the children’s welfare rather than leave to find fulfillment of personal desires.
The classic passage defines love as embedded character traits: long suffering, kind, does not envy, does not brag, doesn’t have an inflated sense of importance, doesn’t attract attention inappropriately, doesn’t exploit others for own advantage, is not easily provoked, doesn’t attribute wrong-doing to others, doesn’t take pleasure in wrong-doing but rather in doing what’s right, bears up under trouble, believes all things are possible, continues in hope, endures tribulation, never fails. And these three character traits remain forever – faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Love is not a quality that can be bestowed or inherited, like royalty. We become loving only through our chosen responses to challenges.
Cultural historian Warren Susman researched the rise and fall of the concept of character, tracing its prevalence in literature and the self-improvement manuals and guides popular in different eras…During the 1800s, “character was a key word in the vocabulary of Englishmen and Americans,”…Young people were…told that character was the most priceless thing they could ever attain. Starting at the beginning of the 20th century, however, Susman found that the ideal of character began to be replaced by that of personality…
“The vision of self-sacrifice began to yield to that of self-realization,”…the new advice manuals concentrated on what others thought he was and did…A great example of this is Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People from 1936. It focused on how to get people to like you and how to get others to perceive you well versus trying to improve your actual inner moral compass…
The etymology of character is quite telling. The word comes from the Greek kharakter for “engraved mark,”…Anciently, a character was the stamp or marking impressed into wax and clay, and as Henry Clay Trumbull explains in 1894’s Character-Shaping and Character-Showing, it served as:
“… trade-mark, of the potter, the painter, the sculptor, the writer, or any other artist or artisan, or inventor, as indicative of the personality of the maker…”
“Character is…nature cultured and disciplined, so that natural tendencies are brought under the sway of the moral motive…
Above all, [character] includes a choice, a settled habit or bent of will, so that it can be seen in its outcome in conduct…
The one quality most associated with character in the nineteenth century was self-mastery – the dominion of an individual over his impulses and desires, so that he was in control of them, and not the other way around. A man of self-mastery embodies the kingship of self-control and can direct his will and make his own choices, rather than being a slave to his base impulses.
The following dogma, claimed as uniquely Christian from the 1st century AD, is just as fully applicable to the first two humans on the first day of time.
“I am crucified [executed by tree] with the Chosen One / Christ: nevertheless I live! the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
- Adam also “was the son of God” (Luke 3:38).
- Adam was YHVH’s first Chosen One / Messiah / Christ.
- “For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world.” (Hebrews 2:5-6)
- Adam willingly chose to share the judgment and punishment of the tree with the first fallen human.
- Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree. (I Peter 2:24)
- Adam redeemed the woman from the curse of utter isolation that defines death, when he joined her in the experience of separation from YHVH to a desperate struggle for survival.
- YHVH’s Chosen One / Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.” (Galatians 3:13)
Adam lived in his wife through the unity he chose to experience with her physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
- “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear son?
- Adam, when he joined the woman in mortality, founded the first kingdom of mortal humans headed by Melchizedek, Priest-King of Righteousness.
- Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature?
- Adam, without question. (Genesis 1:26)
- having made peace through the blood of his cross / tree
- Adam, by keeping faith with God’s Primary Directive to have dominion and to cleave to his wife.
- you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: (Colossians 1:13-22)
- “the…unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.” (I Corinthians 7:16)
Adam’s change from immortal to mortal allowed the two original humans to reproduce into countless generations of children extending, in a new modality, the life of the original parents.
- “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived…And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living..” (Genesis 4:1, 3:20)
- “For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one:
- Adam stayed one with his wife – by sharing her death.
- for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren [family],
- Adam could have repudiated his wife and declared himself too good to identify with her, assuming the Creator could just clone another companion for him.
- Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren / family, in the midst of the congregation of believers / church will I sing praise unto thee.
- Can you not imagine Adam reassuring his wife that “I love you, and I’ll never turn my back on you.” I’m not asking you to speak from experience, mind. Maybe from a movie or romance novel…
- And again, I will put my trust in him.
- Can you not imagine Adam reassuring his wife that “Our Father will fix this, I don’t know how but I know he will. Granted, given the state of fatherhood most people experience, that is hard for some people to imagine.
- And again, Behold I and the children [of God, family] which God hath given me.
- Adam reassuring his wife “We’ll still be able to multiply, we’ll have children, I’m sure of it.”
- Forasmuch then as the [human] children [of God] are partakers of flesh and blood, he [Son of God / Adam / Jesus Christ] also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” (Hebrews 2:11-15)
- Can you not imaging Adam comforting his wife when she is seized by the shock of the death throughout her entire body? If not from experience, from the scene in the Titanic?
Sounds heretical? According to the Bible, that is exactly God’s plan for humanity.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to his purpose…to be conformed to the image of his son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover…them he also…justified: and…glorified.
What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?…Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect?…Who is he that condemneth?…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 any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Yahweh’s Chosen Savior / Messiah Yeshua / Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:28-39)
The penultimate YHVH’s Anointed had to go through this same developmental process before he was made the King of the World.
“And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.” Luke 22:41-43)
When Adam faced a choice to respond to his wife’s crisis, he freely chose to act for the benefit of his wife, at the expense of his own welfare, even to death. By this act of love he began to develop God’s likeness, and it was only by mastering his own domain that he began to develop the ability to have dominion over anything else.
As he inadvertently did again later in the Garden of Gethsemane, instead of wrecking God’s plan in the Garden of Eden, Satan actually became the agent to realize God’s plan – by providing choices.
The first rule of war is “know your enemy.” Lucifer miscalculated both Adam’s and God’s responses. They both acted out of love and mercy, and used their power for the benefit of others. Lucifer couldn’t anticipate Adam’s love for his wife and God’s love for his children because he doesn’t know love.
“In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil…he that loveth not his brother. For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.” (I John 3:10-11)
The reason bad things happen to good people is that we are interdependent, so we are affected for good or ill by the choices made by our family, employers, politicians, etc. But the circumstances imposed by others aren’t what define us. Our responses to circumstances – good and bad – transforms who we are becoming throughout our lifetime, until the point of death in which we are locked into our eternal destiny.
Adults become increasingly more other- or self- centered throughout our lives as we choose to sacrifice one of two options: self-indulgence or others’ needs. We become more or less loving or hateful, educated or illiterate, wise or foolish, righteous or wicked by the choices we make in response to the experiences we face. The evidence of how we relate to others becomes apparent in the relationships we nurture or pursue, and can most easily be recognized through caring for the vulnerable and powerless members of society in positions like underpaid teachers, nurses, social workers, and unpaid parents versus one’s pursuit of wealth, power or social admiration in business, politics, religion or entertainment.
Every human being has the opportunity to choose to believe in the love of God, or the lies of the devil. Every human being has the opportunity, by faith in God’s promises, to be transformed into the image and likeness of God. Every human being has the opportunity to choose to become a son of God and expand God’s righteous kingdom into his / her territory by trusting in God’s word as the basis for making decisions and taking action.
It is only by transforming into the image and likeness of God that we can fulfill our destiny to take dominion. The fundamental principles of dominion are given in the very first chapter of the Bible.
1) Be fruitful, i.e. be productive. Be a good worker. Make good things happen, in both the earthly and the heavenly/spiritual domains. Interestingly, God gave this same instruction to animals.
“And God created…every living creature that moveth…And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful..
Life on planet earth is interconnected in what is called the biosphere. We all depend on every species being fruitful in good works in their particular niche such as trees producing oxygen and flowers, and bees pollinating flowers and making honey, and bears breathing oxygen and eating honey, and microorganisms aiding digestion in intestinal tracts and… (It does make you wonder how evolution could happen in such an interdependent system…) In any case, we all suffer when any single element of the ecosystem is harmed.
Most representations of the man and woman in the Garden of Eden picture them wandering around aimlessly. That’s not what the Bible says. Anyone who has ever been put in charge of anything can tell you that it is hard work. Being fruitful, or working hard, is just as much a New Testament command as it was an Old Testament command. And in my psychiatric career experience, personal accomplishments are essential to good mental health.
“…walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.” (Colossians 1:10)
“For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day…this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.” (II Thessalonians 3:7-15)
2) Multiply, i.e. procreate to continue God’s creation of mankind. Again, God gave the same instructions to animals. It is entirely possible that God only made prototypes of the animals, just as he only made prototypes of humans, or that so many were destroyed during every evening’s blitz that they had to be bred back from the edge of extinction.
“And God created…every living creature that moveth…And God blessed them, saying…multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
“And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare…” (Genesis 4:1)
We also multiply spiritually.
“I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you. For though ye have ten thousand instructors in The Chosen One / Messiah / Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Yahweh’s Appointed Savior / Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.” (I Corinthians 4:14-16)
3) Replenish the earth, i.e. engage in activities to fill up the earth. Based on these instructions, which are identical to those given to Noah after the flood wiped out the rest of humanity and animals, it seems that, indeed, a massive catastrophe killed off most of the first creations.
“And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” (Genesis 9:1)
4) Subdue the earth. Too subdue is to bring under control.
“For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me.” (Psalm 18:39)
Everyone has a piece of territory to subdue – our own bodies. Biochemical cravings for sex, drugs, food, even the desire to just laze around instead of getting to work, have to be battled by everyone.
“But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. (I Corinthians 9:27)
It is not until we accomplish all of the above steps that we can in reality have dominion in any arena, as small as our body and as large as the universe.
In God’s kingdom, to have dominion means to lovingly care for those entrusted to us.
Too often we equate “dominion” with “dominate.” Too many leaders are psychopaths whose idea of power is to transform free men and women into slaves and sycophants by instilling fear through oppression, abuse, death and destruction.
It’s easy to hate and compel. It takes real power to love and create new life. It’s easy to isolate from people and exploit them as subjects. It takes real power to engage in relationship and and to transform fearful oppressed peoples into free and successful men and women through role modeling forgiveness, kindness, and support of their personal growth and development.
It’s easy for religions to demand women to submit to male authority, and many women do tolerate abuse to maintain access to the basic necessities of life. That’s not what the Bible teaches. It’s rare to find men who will sacrifice their prerogatives and advantages to meet the needs of their companions like Adam and Jesus Christ did.
“Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, even as The Chosen One/Messiah/Christ also loved the congregation of believers / church, and gave himself for it…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 / congregation of believers.” (Ephesians 5:21-29)
Mickey Mouse amusingly demonstrates the reality that power gets out of control when wielded by an unqualified individual. We qualify to rule when we develop God’s likeness, or attributes, of right-eousness, doing the right thing. Like Mickey Mouse, when things aren’t done right, chaos and destruction result. We’ve experienced this through bad cooking, driving accidents, relationship breakdowns, and major disasters regardless of the intention to do good or bad. Just extrapolate what kind of damage can be caused universe-wide by someone who doesn’t function in the full knowledge and understanding of the truth.
The ultimate source of truth to overcome destruction can only be the Singularity Creator, who designed, put into action and maintains the laws of physics, converts energy to matter and matter like physical bodies to energy like hyper dimensional spirit bodies, and transmits life energy into lifeless objects like at resurrection.
“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…as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name / attribute of Singularity source of all power.” (John 1:1-12)