THE GROUND ZERO ISSUE
The Great Eternal Controversy
"Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not" (Eccl 12:1).
Note: The words, "the days of thy youth" carries the 141 theomatic pattern of the fallen angels at the time of their original creation of innocence in heaven. That is days of youth that this verse is talking about (not little children on this earth who are five to ten years old). The angels forgot and forsook their Creator, and that is why they fell. It all centers around the issue of faith.
When the terrorist attacks occurred on 9/11, people referred to the location where the world trade towers collapsed as "ground zero." That was the location that everybody thinks about when they remember that fateful day.
When it comes to this world and everything happening, there also exists a ground zero. Instead of a specific location or event, it has more to do with a very fundamental issue of debate—a cosmic bone of contention you might say. Like the spokes of a wheel that all converge at the hub, everything happening in this world can be pinpointed to one simple question and contentious issue. All implications emanate out from that one singular point in space and time, which will eventually terminate at the cross of Calvary. It is the very crux—the heart of everything that is happening in the universe. It all boils down to one very simple question.
God Created Everything
The Bible teaches that by God's direct action, all things were created in the cosmos. In the garden of Eden man was created by the very breath of God. This fact includes not only men but also the angels. For in Psalms 33:6 it says,
"By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth" (Psa 33:6).
So the very first fact that we must consider and admit to, is that all beings that exist did not create themselves. In otherwords, we did not make ourselves or originate out from ourselves. By an overt and deliberate action, Someone ELSE created you and me and gave us our very breath and life to begin with. In that sense our life still belongs to God from whom it originated. The key question then is this. Since it did not originate from either you or me, then was my life: (1) Given to me outright? Or (2) Was it loaned to me (with conditions)?
The answer is obvious. Adam and Eve were created and given the right to exist—with conditions. For God told them if they disobeyed, "ye shall surely die." Therefore, to exist is a privilege; it is not an unconditional right. Our ability to think and enjoy life as a conscious living being, is actually a gift that has been granted to us.
Comment: The same principle exists in society. In Oregon where I live, when a person goes into the Department of Motor Vehicles in order to obtain a driver's license, the driver's manual has a statement in bold type that says, "Driving in Oregon is a privilege, not a right." Which means if a person does not obey the laws, they won't be driving any more.
Yet God does not force any person to love Him or to obey Him. If you want to swim off on your own, you are perfectly welcome to do so (as the prodigal son did in Luke 15—the Father will give you YOUR PORTION of the inheritance if you demand it).
As so many men and women go about the business of their daily lives in this world, very few people ever stop and meditate on this fact. They rarely even think about such a possibility or feel any sense of accountability, and simply take their existence for granted.
Creation Vs. Evolution
At the center of this whole scenario is the enormous evolution/creation debate. Either everything came into being by total random chance (a ridiculous impossibility), or there was Intelligent design. These are the only two possibilities for the existence of all things.
The secular/academic community tenaciously clings to the idea of evolution for one simple reason. Not because it is supported by the scientific data (because any possible evidence for evolution is slim to none), but because that is what they MUST believe (beings everybody rejected God prior in heaven) and they are no longer willing to submit to any sort of creationist government.
The debate is far more philosophical, spiritual, and theological, than it is scientific. If there is intelligent design, then there was a Creator. And if there was a Creator, then there must be a God. And if there is a God, then He must have some sort of purpose and plan. And if I am a created being that is part of SOMEONE ELSE'S purpose and plan, then I am probably accountable to that Someone… And also required to SUBMIT to whatever that purpose and plan is. And worse yet, this "Someone" might actually assess and judge me someday. Yikes!
But if everything happened by chance and there is no God, man now becomes the supreme being and he is accountable to no one but himself. The entire philosophy of secular humanism is that man is the center of all things, not some Creator God. Evolution and humanism go hand in hand.
If the fallen angels had somehow created themselves, or if their creation came from a different sphere altogether, then there would be no obligation for them to love, obey or submit to some "God of the universe."
The only thing that makes God worthy of worship, love, and adoration, is the fact that He created us in His image and our life consists of HIS breath, not our own. So the bottom line is simply this.
Our existence is a privilege, not a right.
God is in Need of Nothing
As we enlarge this discussion, one fundamental issue needs to be settled.
There is nothing that prideful and sinful man can do to add a single thing to the glory of God. God is fully sufficient, all powerful, and completely fulfilled within Himself. Nothing can be added to Him or subtracted from Him. Please study carefully the following verses.
"Neither is [God] worshipped with men's hands, as though He needed any thing, seeing He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things" (Acts 17:25).
"Or who hath first given to Him, and it shall be paid back unto him again? For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen" (Rom 11:35,36).
"For who maketh thee to differ from another? And what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it" (1 Cor 4:7).
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus…" (Eph 2:8-10).
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning" (James 1:17).
"The four and twenty elders … cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created" (Rev 4:10,11).
These verses clearly show us the fact that everything we have comes from God as a gift. God is a debtor to no one—He owes us nothing. The fact is that nothing we do or say can add a single thing to the glory of God. We are lucky that God allows us so much as a glimpse into His glory, much less the privilege to even exist and breathe the air.
Father Knows Best
Now this brings us to the second issue of this discussion.
If someone else designed and created me, then they must know all about how I work better than I know myself. Just like a newborn infant who must trust themselves to the care of their parents for both sustenance and knowledge, we too must trust ourselves to the Creator who made us at the beginning. It must be admittedly true, that at the original point of origin, God the Father knows everything and infant man knows absolutely nothing.
… So Angelfall is Simply This.
When God gave the angels life and breath, He created them as free moral agents. He deliberately gave them independent will and consciousness. Adam and Eve were given a choice. They had it in their own power to either obey or disobey the word of God (although God knew they would certainly disobey Him and "put their hand in the cookie jar").
Therefore, as a newly formed creature (and infant class of angel), the created being can choose to take the independent life that he now possesses, and do one of two things.
In following the second path, man also chooses to define what God is—from within himself—and what "rules" he will chose to obey. He looks at himself as being supreme, rather than the Creator being supreme. He may even go so far as to invent his own religion and worship some sort of "god," or buy into an existing religion or world view that he feels most comfortable with, all of course which leads to idolatry which can only be a false God. This is precisely what took place in the mind of man with the temptation in the Garden. Here now is the ORIGINAL sin.
"And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing 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, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat" (Gen 3:4-6).
This was the pivotal issue man was confronted with when God placed the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the center of the garden next to the tree of eternal life. Man had a choice. He could refuse to partake of the forbidden fruit and instead listen to His Creator and heed His command, only eating from the rest of the permitted trees God provided for him (Gen 2:16; 3:2). Or he could follow the voice of the serpent nature within, and reach out his hand (see Chapter 9a on the meaning of the serpent in the garden). The narrow and obedient road led to life. The broad, tempting, and easy way led to death.
When Adam partook of the forbidden fruit, he lost all of his faith in God. He essentially became god himself—"ye shall be as God" was the bait. Satan through the serpent had now become the dominant force in his concerted being. The nature of the serpent had now became man's very own thinking process, both conscious and subconscious.
A am what I am—and You are what you are
The temple in the Bible represents the ENVIRONMENT in which God and man could fellowship together and have perfect harmony. Such was the garden of Eden the first and original temple (see theomatic study on this at http://members.cox.net/8thday/124.html).
When God created man and gave him independent will and consciousness, he was then given the task and responsibility to guard and nurture his heart of his temple, from which flowed all the issues of life (see Prov. 4:23). All of God's resources (the trees of the garden), were at man's disposal in order to accomplish that objective. Each person/angel God created was responsible for their own personal being and thoughts and ultimate essence.
Our spirit, our nature, our desires, our inclinations, our affections, our entire personality, the human disposition et. al.—IT WAS ALL WITHIN OUR OWN POWER AND RESPONSIBILITY TO DETERMINE THE PERSON WE WOULD BECOME.
In time past each angel grew, developed, and became what they were, according to their own personal degree of discipline and obedience to God's laws and principles. Each one of us fundamentally shaped and molded ourselves to become what we became (the animals, birds, fishes, and man having dominion over all those things, are symbolically represented in all of that).
Now when we are born onto this planet floating in the milky way galaxy, our spirit being or essence is now the sum total product of what we shaped ourselves into becoming. There is no escaping this fact. When each human is born into this world, we are what we are. That is why it is impossible for anybody to ever truly change from the Adamic nature during their lifetime on this earth (see Jer 13:23). Only the power of God through the blood of Jesus and the indwelling Holy Spirit of the Living God, can ever truly re-create a fallen sinner and make him a true son of God—conformed to the image of God's ONLY begotten Son (Rom 8:29).
Here Now is the Big Question at Ground Zero
So this is the one great controversy that exists among the stars and the galaxies. It is the bone of contention between God and the angels. Here now is the $64,000 question.
Just because God, who is a "Being" with independent will and consciousness, created me—as another being or individual with free will and consciousness; does that give Him the right to tell me what to do, or to be the determiner of right from wrong? Am I obligated to love and obey Him just because He made me? Or does my intellect belong to me solely and I WILL DECIDE!?
Someone once said that there are only two types or classes of people living upon earth; You are either an atheist or a worshipper. You either rely totally on God or you lean to your own understanding. You cannot have it both ways. Believing and trusting in God is much more than just a concession that God exists or attending a religious service now and then. It is an adaptation to and dependence upon God in every area of a person's life. As Jesus said to the Samaritan woman at the well, God is only seeking true worshippers—those who "worship the father in spirit and in truth" (Joh 4:23).
Becoming a Christian is marked by one thing—the Holy Spirit indwelling the hearts and minds of those who have COME BACK to God and committed their lives to Christ. We are now able to worship the Father in love and in oneness of our spirits. Our thoughts are now aligned with His eternal plan and purpose—the eternal purpose by which He created all things in the first place, including us.
It is Entirely an Issue of Faith
When Jesus was on earth, He spoke these astounding words.
"Nevertheless when the Son of man comes, will he find faith on the earth?" (Luk 18:8).
The only conclusion possible from these pointed words of Christ, is that faith—the true and genuine faith, i.e. the kind of faith that matters to God—it must certainly be a rare commodity. In simple terms, faith means to depend upon God's knowledge and wisdom instead of your own.
Virtually 99% every person living upon earth believes that they have a right to believe whatever they want to believe, and they have the right to figure out and define who and what "God" is. We are constantly told that each individual has the right to pursue their own course in life." You have probably heard some celebrity or sports hero make the remark to young kids at a school rally, "You can become whatever it is that you want to become—follow your dream!"
So the same rebellion that erupted in the hearts of the angels in heaven—now manifests itself on earth in many ways, in the hearts of men (including all false religious beliefs). Nothing has really changed. What that means is that every person cast down here and who is born, is by default fundamentally devoid of faith (some more than others). People instead trust only their own wits and how they view things, and take great pride in their individuality.
There are very few residing on this planet that will truly bow down before God in complete honest humility, shedding all their own goodness and self righteousness, admitting that they know nothing, and then they are willing to submit by faith to EVERYTHING God says—becoming totally dependent upon their Creator for all life, knowledge, and sustenance.
The rebellious spirit and nature of the fallen individual, automatically resist the way of holiness, and he is most unwilling to give himself back to his Creator in complete surrender, and to learn from Him as a newly born again INFANT, everything that he should know, trusting HIM to eventually reveal the true knowledge of good vs. evil. That is God's whole purpose in allowing us to suffer the good and bitter experiences of life—to bring us to the place of surrender and complete trust in Him.
"Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator" (1 Pet 4:19).
That is what Jesus undoubtedly meant when he asked the question of whether or not He would find faith on the earth. Total trust in God is the only kind of faith that is acceptable.
Faith (or the lack of it) is what separates God's people from those who are lost eternally. In this world, the one outstanding characteristic of mankind is lack of faith, even by many who attend church now and then, or claim to be religious—they don't have genuine heart changing or saving faith. They do some religious things on Sunday to alleviate their conscience (but then go home and during the week watch R rated movies (or worse) on their HD big screen and consume alcohol like the rest of the world).
What God is looking for is COMPLETE faith and absolute surrender in every facet of one's life. We are only "children of God by faith" (Gal 3:26), the kind of faith that bears eternal fruit. And to bear this kind of fruit means yielding ourselves to a life of holiness and producing works that reflect God's character and purity.
Faith means, at the very least, attempting to walk in obedience and sanctification (or holiness). God does not demand perfect actions, only a perfect heart. It is comforting to know that any good works that we perform as Christians, are only the RESULTS of our salvation, not the cause of our salvation. No one can earn their way to heaven through good works.
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast" (Eph 2:8).
Floating in Space
As the author of Angelfall, there is a picture that I have constantly had in my mind over the years. A vision that God personally gives to me from time to time. If affects me deeply and emotionally, and I start to cry every time I think of it. It comes to me time and time again, especially in recent years. Here is the picture that I see.
I am alone in outer space, floating among the stars. I have just been created and these are the very first moments of my existence as a conscious living being. I have just been formed and given a life and thought process of my very own. There exists nothing before me, there is no past. All the future is in front of me. And I feel very alone all by myself.
Then I realize that floating along side me is my Creator who has just made me. I know nothing at that point except the fact that I exist and am now alone with the Being who formed me. I lack knowledge of any kind, for I have been created in total innocence.
Today, as I see all the stuff on the news. As I am bombarded with commercials of every product imaginable. As I am overwhelmed by all the computer technology and gadgets out there. As I go to the store and see literally thousands of CD's and DVD's for sale. As I sit in my car in traffic jams listening to the hub-bub on the radio…. As I think a few years back as to how hard I studied to get my FAA instrument rating as a pilot… As I think of how much time is spent on money matters, making a living, getting a good return on an investment… As people in our society who face information overload with more things to think about and do than anyone's brain can possibly handle—it is in times like these that I think back to the simplicity of the picture of floating in space with nothing else to think about other than the fact that I exist and I am alone with God.
I feel an incredible sense of love and trust—sort of like a newborn infant clings to it's mother's breast. Certainly as God looks at me He can feel more love than anyone could possibly imagine, towards the creature He just made (potentially) in His image. He longs to teach me and have mutual fellowship, imparting to me His ways and thoughts and knowledge. It is a father-son relationship in the truest sense of the word.
When I face all the difficulties and challenges in this life, I many times cup my face in my hands, close my eyes, and picture this image of floating alone with God among the stars. At that point I don't need anything else for fulfillment that exists in this world that men finds so fascinating. Just a simple love relationship between me and the One who loves me is all that matters.
I long for Him to tell me why He made me. What His plans and goals are for me. What it means to have been created in His image. To know what His eternal plan and purpose is. Why he created the stars, the galaxies, all forms of life… I don't care about faster Pentium computer chips. I don't care who win's the world series this year, or the superbowl. All I care about is feeling what is in my Creator's heart and mind, and being in love with Him.
Of all the people that are born into this world, live and breathe, probably not one person in ten thousand ever sits down and really thinks through the fact of why they exist and Who created them, and for what reason, and what they should do to show their gratitude. They live their entire lives —50, 70, or 90 years, and give nary a thought to these most fundamental issues. After they die, how can they expect God their Creator to be kind to them? Or to welcome them into heaven with open arms? Yet the Bible clearly teaches that God will reach out to those who seek him in honest faith.
"… that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us" (Acts 17:27).
Except ye Become as… Children
Relevant to this discussion, are these very well known words of Jesus.
"And [Jesus] said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Mat 18:3).
"But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein" (Luke 18:16,17).
What is the mark of little child? What are its qualities? The answer is pretty obvious.
Just like the floating in space scenario, a child is ignorant. It has no firm commitment to any kind of human or religious philosophy. A child is simple. A child is teachable. In fact it will almost believe anything you tell it (including Santa Claus and the tooth fairy). A child has a non-judgmental nature. It tends to accept anybody and love everybody. A little child is most noted for its innocence.
Receiving the kingdom as an infant means accepting God's way without knowing too much. A child does not question things—it simply believes (a child has yet to attend Harvard or Yale or get a PhD in psychology). That is really the only thing God is looking for—simple faith from those who don't know too much, from those who do not yet have a skeptical or cynical spirit. And they have a teachable spirit.
That is why if you go into most gospel churches, you will find mostly simple believers—not too many are well educated, super achievers, or intellectual heavyweights. In that regard, here is a powerful statement from the Word of God.
"For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 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: That no flesh should glory in his presence" (1 Cor 1:26-29).
The more man knows and learns, the more prideful he becomes, and the less likely to return to God in humility and brokenness.
Man from the Dust
All of this brings us back to the central point of man's original creation. There was nothing in man himself that deserved God to create him. The Bible says that God created him out of nothing.
"And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed" (Gen 2:7,8).
After man sinned and fell, this is what God told him.
"In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return"(Gen 3:19).
God creating man out of the dust symbolizes the making of him out of nothing of value (there is a huge theomatic study on this with the number 350). Man was created out of the dirt. The only thing that gave man his value was the breath of Jehovah. When He disobeyed the will of His Creator, he gave up his right to even exist. The Bible says that he will be returned to the dust. Here are the words of Job.
"He hath cast me into the mud, and I am become like dust and ashes" (Job 30:19).
Theomatics clearly indicates that this verse in Job is talking about the casting down of the fallen angels. Earthly Adam was taken from the residue of the fall, i.e. star dust. The word "ashes" has the same 141 value as the fallen angels themselves. Ashes refer to the left over remains after the fire of rebellion has gone out.
Comment: The interesting part is when Job says that "He hath cast me into the mud." Mud has moisture in it. As clay, it can still be molded and made into something useful (see Rom 9:21). Job was redeemable if he had the right attitude towards God, which was indeed the case. God made him into a vessel of honor.
The Opening of the Eyes
The Bible says that when Adam and Eve partook of the hidden fruit, their eyes were opened. This is very significant. What does that mean?
As we know for certain, Eden is a type of the paradise in heaven and the creation of all the angels. When God gave His command to Adam and Eve, He was essentially saying, "there is good out there, and evil out there, but it is wrong for you to know too much about it. If you start looking into it, if you start playing around with it, if you think you can figure it out on your own, it will kill you. Trust Me to tell you what is right and wrong. I created everything that exists, and I created you, and I am the only One who knows how the universe works. No one can ever figure me out on their own initiative—my wisdom and knowledge exists ABOVE the heavens. It is just too high for you. It will take time for you to grow and to learn. Yes, there's good and evil is out there. There is an ultimate knowledge, but it is beyond your ability to handle it. So don't mess with it. Don't open your eyes to it."
All Christians believe that God created Adam and Eve in innocence. When a cat has a litter of kittens, they are born blind. Their eyes do not open for a number of days. When God made man he too was born spiritually blind. His eyes had not been opened to the comparison between good to evil.
Up to the time before man fell, he was invited and encouraged to partake of any of the trees in the garden that God provided as resources for life and nourishment. Evidently those trees did not open his eyes. He should have had no need or desire to discern right from wrong—he simply partook of the good things provided from the hand of his Creator and trusted Jehovah to discern for Him. By listening to the voice of the serpent, man's eyes were opened PREMATURELY, and that brought into existence an inherent sinful nature. As soon as their eyes were opened, Adam and Eve realized that they were actually naked, which means that they were NOT CAPABLE of handling the ability of understanding right from wrong—they were both embarrassed and felt shameful because of it. And that is when man also realized that he was no longer clothed with God's Divine protection. He was now swimming on his own.
Because of the sinless and eternal nature dwelling inside of Him, Jesus was the only One that had the power to open the eyes of the blind as to the true things of God. The entirety of John Chapter 9 is all about the man who was blind from birth, of whom Jesus opened his eyes when ye made clay out of the spittle, and the man washed the dust/dirt from his eyes in the Pool of Siloam. This lengthy chapter is one of the most important chapters in the entire Bible (a huge theomatic study has been done on this—see entirety of Chapter 6g). The man who was born blind—this is NOT talking just about just his being born blind physically on this earth—all of this is symbolic of something far more extensive. The blindness this is talking about is the innocent state that existed when he was created originally in heaven at the time of the angelic creation—that is the "birth" this is passage referring to.
If the eyes of any person are not opened in God's way according to his timing, then man will see and perceive everything in the wrong way. He will discover that he is actually bare and naked. Then he will only be able to look to his flesh for purpose and fulfillment (nakedness and the flesh go hand in hand)—that is why the whole world worships and only puts value on the sensual realm (money, fame, sports, celebrities, sex, etc.) That is the great tragedy of young women in our society, that our taught that they have little value unless they are physically attractive and look sensual. Man will seek to find fulfillment and truth in every human philosophy and idolatry imaginable and will be inherently opposed to anything that is not in keeping with the desires of his sinful flesh. Rampant hedonism will be the ultimate result. We see that everywhere today, especially on the internet and in Hollywood.
People today are trying to discover truth by searching and looking within themselves, they are trying to "figure it all out." That can and will never happen—it is ludicrous to think we can leapfrog over our Creator (and travel someday to the stars). The only solution is that we must go to God, crucify our flesh, by taking up—as Jesus said—our very own cross. Then in God's grace, let Him reveal Himself according to HIS TERMS at the proper time. There simply is no other way.
Jesus Came to Earth to Teach Us an Eternal Object Lesson
Jesus came to earth as the lowly Lamb of God. He came to redeem mankind by teaching us one simple fact—humility before our Creator. The expression "The Lamb" is symbolic of absolute humility and helplessness.
The Bible teaches that Jesus Himself created all things in heaven and on earth (Col 1:16,17). As the theophanies, Jesus IS the Jehovah God of the Old Testament incarnate. The Bible also teaches that Jesus is the Only Begotten Son of God. And that salvation is only possible through faith in God's Son. In otherwords, salvation can only be found in a PERSON. The Bible declares that,
"There is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Act 4:12).
Stating it bluntly, Jesus is the ONLY way to God. For even He said,
"I AM the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6).
Jesus is our high priest and the sole mediator between God and man.
"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (1 Tim 2:5).
The Bible teaches the absolute Divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ. In that sense Jesus IS very God. In Col 2:9 it states that "In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." Yet in another sense He is also man.
"And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (9) Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: (10) That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; (11) And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Phil 2:8-11).
Yet the amazing fact we are about to learn, is that even the great and eternal Jehovah, Almighty God Himself—through whom the Bible declares all things exist—this very God Himself came to this earth and was born a helpless little baby in a manger of grass to teach us one simple fact—the fact that even the Creator of all things—He Himself had to submit to something bigger than Himself. Please look now at these verses.
“Then Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner’” (John 5:19).
“I can of myself do nothing... I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me” (John 5:30).
“ ... you will know that I AM, and I do nothing of Myself, but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things” (John 8:28).
“Jesus answered, ‘If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing. It is my Father who honors Me” (John 8:54).
“If this man were not from God, He could do nothing” (John 9:33).
The supreme fact that shows Jesus' helplessness, is that the Father was the only thing that could raise Him from the dead after He sacrificed his life and died on the cross.
"… God the Father, who raised him from the dead)" (Gal 1:1).
"For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will" (John 5:21).
And this not only applies to Jesus, but also to us who are saved through Him. It is the Father who will likewise raise us up.
"But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead" (2 Cor 1:9).
And then in the very end, after Jesus was raised, He willingly gives all of His own authority as Creator, back to the heavenly Father.
"And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all" (1 Cor 15:28).
The significance of these and so many other verses clearly shows us God's way. As a man or conscious living being, Jesus is absolutely helpless without His heavenly Father—He is dependent upon God the Father for His own life and sustenance. HOW MUCH MORE YOU AND I? Before He died on the cross, He prayed,
"Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done" (Luke 22:42).
When Jesus went to the cross and died, He had to submit to His Father in heaven and drink the cup of suffering. On the cross He completed God's perfect plan. By carrying the curse of our sins up on the tree, He finished FOREVER—in one sacrifice—all the demands of God upon the human soul. Therefore, by accepting and believing that perfect sacrifice, we can therefore be saved and redeemed and once again enter heaven. This time on a level of fellowship—a union and communion with God—that the lower angels in past ages (apparently), were never allowed to have access to (see 1 Pet 1:12).
Even though God will eventually have many sons in glory, Christ is described in the Bible as "the firstborn Son." What does that mean? Jesus and all that He represents, is the ONLY thing that God will ever accept as the BASIS of our salvation. That is why our salvation can only be found in a PERSON—the person of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. God Himself had to become a man in order to redeem man (angels cannot be redeemed as angels).
"And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" (Phil 2:8).
The Bible says that Jesus came to "bring many sons to glory" (Heb 2:10). He is called "the firstborn among many brethren" (Rom 8:29), and He is also referred to as "the beginning of the creation of God" (Rev. 3:14). In essence, He is the PATTERN Son. The Only acceptable way to God.
Note: Here on Angelfall there is an entire expose on the subject of the godhead and the meaning of the heavenly Father (see prior Chapter 3g).
The cross is at the epicenter of this entire relationship issue. What the cross means is very simple—it symbolizes the crossing of man's will against God's will—Christ had to die to that. Jesus had to give up His life (his right to exist as a man) to the Father. That too is our only salvation.
As a created being, we must submit to God. We must manage our mind and our thoughts. God is not going to do it for us. We must die to ourselves and self will.
The Subject of Baptism
Also at the very center of all this is the subject of baptism. No one will enter heaven who has not been baptized (the water is only symbolic of what has actually taken place in the heart). Baptism is all about death. When a person steps into the waters of baptism they are actually attending their own funeral service (the word "Jordan" means death), they are symbolically being crucified with Christ and dying WITH Him. Only then can there be a new resurrection and eternal life.
"Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?" (Rom 6:3).
"For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life" (Rom 5:10).
Comment: Many people have been baptized or sprinkled in some church ceremony, but they have never been truly baptized unless they have made a commitment in their heart. If there was no firm spiritual commitment with the act—their "baptism" is thus vacated in God's sight.
Only by following God's ways and God's methods will anyone ever overcome and be given the privilege to eat from the tree of life and live forever (Rev. 2:7). The tree of man's knowledge (symbolized by the dead wood of the cross), is actually the gateway to eternal life (more on that later in Chapters 10a and 10b). Baptism is death to the entire pre-existent rebellion when all of us were God's enemies—it is death to everything in the old cosmos. Here are the words of the apostle Paul.
"But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world (cosmos) is crucified unto me, and I unto the world (cosmos)" (Gal 6:14).
"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea" (Rev 21:1).
Robots and Zombies
Some people may object to this discussion for the following reason. They feel that by surrendering themselves completely to God—this will make them nothing but robots and zombies. They won't have a mind of their own anymore, thus losing all of their individuality, dignity and self respect. In today's yuppie feel good society, people take great pride in the fact that "I am an individual." Most people would consider it preposterous to surrender or "give up" their intellect.
In reply, when Jesus hung on the cross and surrendered His individual will to God, in the eyes of men He certainly lost all dignity and self respect. To those who rejected His message, He was anathema. Hanging up on the cross, covered in blood, it was a pitiful sight. Yet the Bible declares,
"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" (Phil 2:8,9).
Did Jesus become a robot or a zombie because He surrendered His will to the Father and died as an individual? Assuredly not! By humbling Himself to the death of the cross, He lost nothing. In fact, like Job, He gained far more than He ever gave up—the Father gave to His Son almost unlimited authority after He raised Him from the dead (see Mat 28:18). And the blessing will be that we who have died with Him and given our lives back to God—we too will be resurrected sons of the Father and reign with Him in glory. Look at the following glorious promise!
"To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne" (Rev 3:21).
Individuality vs. Personality
The major work of God in the life of a Christian, is that He must destroy and put to death our individuality. But in the process of destroying our individuality, the
This assessment is most significant. There is a huge difference between individuality and personality. Individuality is blasphemy. It is the serpent's lie. Individuality separates us from our Creator because it makes ME the determiner of everything. Personality on the other hand, is surrendering our individual will to all the positive attributes of God, so they can be reflected in us and through us and enhance our expressive being—becoming the wonderful person God created us to be.
God created every person as unique. No one else on earth quite looks like you or has your unique qualities (even identical twins have different spirits and mothers can tell them apart). By surrendering our lives to God, we don't lose a single thing. We gain God's wisdom and knowledge through the Holy Spirit—the Holy Spirit is God's very mind and thoughts given to us after baptism. But most of all, we learn how to fit into God's SOCIAL government and love others as much as ourselves. All of these things ENHANCE and bring to glorious fruition the person-ality of what God created us to be. But for that to happen our individuality must be crucified.
The Book of Job
It is my opinion that in a certain sense, the book of Job is the most important book in the entire Bible. It is very different than any other book.
The book of Job is the oldest book, written even before Genesis. Where it came from historically, no one knows. There is (or will be) an entire chapter in Angelfall on the book of Job. Here we will present just a recap of some of the major points.
The book is a debate between God and the angels. The entire book is the epicenter of this whole bone of contention. In that sense, the fact it predates Genesis is very significant. Let's read just a little of the first portion of it. Most Christians know the story well.
"There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil" (Job 1:1).
Here is what happened next.
"Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them. (7) And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. (8) And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? (9) Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? (10) Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. (11) But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. (12) And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord" (Job 1:6-12).
The book goes on to describe all of Job's great wealth. He had many children and many possessions. Satan wiped all of that out in one fell swoop. But Job did not turn against God. Later, God allowed Satan to inflict Job with the most excruciating physical suffering possible—he was covered with hideous boils. Yet Job did not curse God. In the end God restored Job with more wealth than he ever had before.
Now without getting into a major discussion on this story, Satan is evidently NOT a conscious living being or fallen archangel as many Christians believe. Satan and the devil is SYMBOLIC PERSOFICATION—the character of Satan is a symbol of evil, the same as the expression "devil" and "serpent" (see entire chapter discussing this 4c). When the sons of God (rebellious angels) appeared before Jehovah, it was the SPIRIT OF SATAN IN AND AMONG THEM, not an individual being. It was the same identical spirit inside the apostle Peter that Jesus rebuked when He said "get behind me Satan." Similar to Jesus and Peter, the dialogue that took place was actually between Jehovah and the angels themselves, not some super angel (otherwise why does the text even mention the sons of God being present, they would be irrelevant to the story?)
The test of Job was a test of faith. Would Job believe God for Who He was, or because Job would get something out of God? That is what Satan's question means, when he asked "Does Job fear God for nought?"
When Job was stricken by Satan, three men came to comfort him. About 80% of the book is a philosophical debate between Job and his three comforters concerning the character of Almighty God. When one carefully reads the statements made throughout Job, the book is absolutely loaded with eternal truth. What is most interesting, is that the expression "The Almighty" in reference to Almighty God, appears 57 times in the entire Bible, but 31 of those occurrences (55% of the total) are in the book of Job. The angels were contending against The Almighty.
The crux of this entire debate, is simply the idea that created beings should only love God if there are entitlements or benefits. This is what the angels were essentially contesting. They were essentially challenging God on the point that if He did not provide those benefits, then Job would curse God (which is something that they themselves were obviously in the process of doing). According to the sons of God, as the Creator, Jehovah had no claim to be worshipped simply because He was their Maker. He had to earn man's respect only if He gave them what they as individuals were after. In otherwords, Jehovah had to EARN His right to be revered.
The same principle applies to the prodigal son in Luke 15, who likewise demanded his rights and share of the "property," and left on his own initiative in order to go off and do his own thing (see Chapter 5g for a complete discussion).
What the angels did not see in all of this, is the fact that suffering proves character (Job obviously went through excruciating suffering). The cocky and conceited angels did not understand the positive aspects of suffering (sinful nature detests suffering and will never submit to God through suffering). Only when our wills are broken to the point of accepting and loving God for WHO He is—rather than what He can give us or bless us with—will we ever develop the deep rooted character that Jesus learned. Jesus had to become poor in order for us to become rich (2 Cor 8:9). Look at what the Bible says about the very Son of God—Jehovah Himself—who came to this earth in the flesh, and suffered immensely in the process.
"Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; (8) Though he were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; (9) And being MADE PERFECT, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him " (Heb 5:7-9).
When Job went through his trials, his wife said the following to him.
"So went Satan forth from the presence of the Lord, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown. And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes. Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? Curse God, and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips" Job 2:7-10).
Job, who represents the male/objective nature, remained true to God. The subjective female nature was Job's wife (she parallels Eve), who encouraged him to curse God and die. That is what the fallen angels essentially are doing themselves—cursing God—because they know they are ultimately headed for the lake of fire and death. All the fallen angel numbers in theomatics are present in relation to Job's wife.
Some Concluding Thoughts
This entire ground zero issue is what separates saints from sinners. It separates the fallen angels who are ultimately headed for hell and perdition, vs. those who have been humbly redeemed and saved by the blood of the Lamb, and who will soon enter heaven and eat of the tree of life and live forever.
The worse sinners are people who don't know they are lost sinners or even believe they are sinners—they are self righteous individuals. Some of the best do-gooders you will ever meet in day to day life, have hearts as hard as stone—fundamentally and on the surface they are clean, decent and moral people. Yet they don't have the least interest in "converting" to God—they are very content with their own world view—their hearts and minds are set in concrete.
Angels and men were not created with the ability to discern good from evil. Even the smartest men on earth with the highest IQ's, can be exceedingly wicked and godless (remember Richard Nixon whom some say was the smartest president the United States ever had?) No one can inherently discern all things according to God's standard and intellectual powers. Only through God's Holy Spirit can one know the absolute truth.
As fallen and rebellious beings, mankind is between a rock and a hard place. We are not given a second chance to go back to where we were. We have been cast down. Here are the words of Job.
"They that hate thee shall be clothed with shame; and the dwelling place of the wicked shall be brought to nothing" (Job 8:22).
The important lesson to realize in all of this is—because of man's rebellion and fall from heaven—he no longer has God's life dwelling within him. He is destined ultimately for death, hell, and annihilation.
"Man is like a breath: his days are as a shadow that passeth away" (Psa 144:4).
And that is the supreme importance of the Holy Spirit. When one becomes a Christian, the very Spirit of life comes to live inside of him and give him God's life, which is eternal life. In fact, if a person dies in this lifetime, without God's Spirit, they will be dead and gone forever. Only those who have accepted God's only substitute—the blood sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ—will be given the eternal spirit (Heb 9:14).
We are, however, given the invitation to enter a brand new creation. How is that possible? We must die to ourselves. Baptism is the only way out of the old and into the new.
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2 Cor 5:17).
We must understand that we are spiritual beings who live in these earthly bodies. When we die, our essential being remains intact. We just move on to a different dimension. Unless our heart and minds and motives have been changed by the Spirit of the Living God, we will be the same old person with the same old thoughts. Conversion to Christ and coming back to God can only take place during this lifetime (there are apparently no second chances for salvation in the hereafter once the physical body is dead).
"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Heb 9:27).
The breath of creation in Genesis (and the original angelic order), was a temporary life given to man on conditions—it was not eternal life. It could come and go.
"Man is like a breath, his days are like a fleeting shadow." (Psa 144:4).
Yet Jesus made the way possible to rise above the limitations imposed by the terms of probation under which man was created. If we are IN Christ, we will receive the gift of eternal life (something Adam and Eve never did attain). Look at these two verses in the New Testament. In the garden of Eden the tree of knowledge protected the way of the tree of life. Man was forbidden to eat from either. Yet in Christ we will be allowed to partake of BOTH of these same trees.
"But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil" (Heb 5:14).
"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God" (Rev 2:7).
The subject of waiting on God in the life of the Christian, is so very important. He has His timing, and if we rush ahead we will pay dearly. The angels did not wait on God. Eve tried to take the shortcut, and that is what happened in the garden of Eden. God's will was that man eventually would be able to discern good from evil and eat from the tree of life. But it could only happen in God's time and in God's way (the cross was necessary first).
"For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God" (Col 3:3).
That is why death and dying to ourselves is so important. Without it there is no entrance into heaven. Jesus paved the way by doing it Himself first as our older brother. Our life is now encapsulated in Him. But we must be willing to take up our cross.
Finally, what takes place when we take up our cross and die to ourselves, is that we crawl back out of the mess that we are presently in. We do what Jesus taught us to do—lay down our lives for the sake of the Gospel and the glory of the Father, giving up our very right to ourselves so that God can be all in all and teach us His ways. That is what death and baptism is all about, dying to self. And unless we are willing to go through that, God has no choice but to destroy all of us along with the rest of the fallen angels.
It is all an issue of sacrificing our individuality in order to be created in the Image of God. We now close this chapter with this astounding verse from the book of Job.
"Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his Maker? Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly" (Job 4:17,18).