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“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The merit controversy, pt. 2

The new couple instantly and constantly found their love for their Creator expressed in perfect obedience to Him. They had no cause to do differently. As a newborn comes from the womb without concern for any wars happening in the world, the first couple were brought forth completely unbiased with regard to the controversy in heaven. Love molded their every thought and desire and action to fulfill every command the Son put upon them, and humility gave them perfect freedom to adhere to the guidance of the angelic visitors and teachers. Witnessing this brought a wave of relief to the nursing angel hosts. They saw, in a new way, that God was righteous, perfectly fair. All the allegations against the Father, though not completely answered, were satisfied in the new Garden of Eden.

Satan’s attempt to impugn God character was thwarted; the tables turned on him. He was now left out in the cold and in his camp there was much weeping and gnashing of teeth. But the gifts God bestows upon His intelligent creation remain with them forever. As long as His creatures exist, He gives abundantly to them and keeps giving. Thus, God kept in Lucifer his original powerful attributes. His power of choice would remain ever before him, and his dynamic and forceful persona could not back down from defending itself to the very end. He encouraged and re-invigorated his followers with a new zeal to avenge themselves of their right to design their own kingdom built upon self-achievement and self-defense and self-exalting affiliations toward one another. In this perfect government no one could ever be blamed for wrong because each was his own standard. Grace would play no part here in any operation if no one ever did anything wrong.

And Satan had another plan—to use planet Earth to prove that his government style of meritorious exaltation was superior. He would introduce to the new inhabitants his own principle of life and see if they would agree to it. If they did, Christ’s great argument against him would be disproven, and the king and queen of Earth would be the next to accept the new system of superior governance.

Another brilliant morning broke as the dew left by the dense mist amplified the glory shining from leaf and fruit and flower. The beasts freely roamed, subdued and gentle, all species in a wonderful menagerie in harmony and peace, and Adam conscientiously worked the easy ground to promote the growth of the abundant perennial greenery. His perfect companion, the joy of his life, wanders off in her own quest to improve on the delightful garden home given by the royal Son.

She finds herself standing near the Tree of Life, that vitality renewing tree, heavy with its produce. Also, close by stands the forbidden tree, which she beholds with a shudder. “Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” Startled, Eve looks up and sees a beautiful, fire-glittering serpent moving from branch to branch.

Instead of running away to the arms of Adam, she is curious and inquisitive of an animal possessing the ability of speech, the first that she has ever heard. It is so dazzling with the sunlight flashing off its scales as it glides about the tree, its small wings fluttering in a blur. And it even has an intellect beyond any animal she has ever crossed; a subtlety and clearness of thought that is so different from the other lower beasts. She is entranced and magnetized to its fascinating words.

So she answers its introductory challenge. “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” Having gained her full curiosity and trust, the serpent deploys a line of thought that brings her to the edge of normalcy. “You will not really die. For God knows that in the day you eat of this fruit you will gain new advantages. You will be as wise as God Himself.” And it bit some fruit in her sight as proof that death would not occur.

Becoming more obvious to Eve, the serpent had discovered what the others hadn’t. This was plain to see with its ability to think and analyze and communicate in the highest form. She deliberated on eating the fruit herself, not now from the perspective of holy consecration to her Creator, as before in her holy state; but in a state of unbelief. She was locked in a trance and viewed life in a whole new light. She could advance herself and Adam far beyond what God had provided them. She sized up the tree and fruit; it looked perfectly benign, and even greatly beneficial. The old life was in the past, nothing except good could come out of a knowledge of good and evil mixed. God had given them only half of the world of knowledge. He had been secretly sparing after all. She craved for knowledge and wisdom. A knowedge of good was OK. But she deserved more, and in her own right to self-improvement, she would take full advantage of this amazing offer. She took and ate. Its intoxicating flavor thrilled every fiber of her being. So this is perfect wisdom! This is infinite knowledge! She felt the universe was at her fingertips.

A rush of self-exaltation brought a grin to her mouth. Soberness disappeared and an imperious look of drunkenness took hold of her face. This was infinitely better than that mundane life they had had up till now. She picked more fruit and ran to give Adam the good news. When Adam saw her coming, screaming with delight, he immediately knew a great trouble had occurred. This was not the quiet, even-keeled Eve of his deep affection. There she stood, giddy with electric exuberance. The woman of his pure fondness had committed the unpardonable sin! Unbelievable as it could be, there she was offering him the forbidden fruit and exhorting him to try it. Out of her head, she went on and on about its benefits, how she was so much wiser than before! How she could see truth for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles and miles and miles and miles!

Adam, speechless, his large frame swayed in painful disbelief and anxiety before her. How cold his be happening? But Eve was still just as delicate and radiant as before and the ties of his ardor for her were just as strong as ever. So he quickly took the fruit before he would have to weigh these heavy issues any longer, and ate. Now both travelled together in the realms of the astral planes. There, empty of holy thoughts and incapable of morality, Satan filled them with the innervating thrills of knowledge and wisdom devoid of righteousness and love. He fed them volumes of his self-made truth strained of any connection with reference to their beloved Christ.

When the deluded spouses land again they are totally familiar with another existence—one that introduces godlessness. They are polluted and violated. They have lost their single focus on heavenly things. Gone were the beautiful lessons dancing on every leaf and blade of the garden, and radiating from every wonderful beast of the field. The glory of quiet Eden was eclipsed by the blinding barrage of communications that had taken possession of them. Gone also was their garb of light.

Suddenly naked, they ran for the bushes. The loss of the vision from the forbidden fruit left a horrible emptiness, a paranoia, a painful anxiety. They were dying! They had been fooled by the very enemy their angel friends had been warning them of! They had been warned that he would strike, but no one knew how or when. Regardless, they must save themselves more harm and embarrassment. First, use their skill of invention to fashion clothes. Then, use their prowess to act non-chalant about the whole matter. If they acted like they had before, when the daily visits by the royal Son and His entourage arrived, they could pass as still loyal and He would not need to destroy them as enemies of God’s government. They could let all this pass as if it never happened, continue to eat of the Tree of Life, and ignore the forbidden tree forever; forgetting those things which were behind, they could go on in their garden home as if this terrible tragedy had ever happened. That was their plan; those were the terms of their secret covenant. Perfectly reasonable.

The familiar blast of a falling asteroid screamed from above as the Son of God arrived. Despite their previous resoluteness, the unholy pair abandoned all fortitude and poise, and fled for their lives. “Adam, Where art thou?” Adam heard those words cringing with fear and sorrow. How that voice had come with such celebration and joy. But now all was gone. Now he must save himself from the terror of the Avenger of all His Father’s enemies. What should he say? How would he answer Him? The voice was closing in on him. Finally, when he could hide no longer, Adam bravely stood out from behind his tree. “I heard Thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.” That was a good answer. It made perfect sense. So hopefully this walk together could be like all the others and the incident could be overlooked and forgotten, never to be resurrected.

“Who told thee that thou wast naked?” Adam felt himself crashing and burning. Then the second round of artillery hit menacingly. “Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?” The Son was no longer his mentor and wonderful counselor. Now He was his antagonist and adversary. Emboldened self-defense rose up in Adam. “The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” Eve, no less defiant and self-preserving said the same but blamed the serpent.

Marshalling the fiery flying serpent front and center, He commanded and it stood fast. As He would speak through Peter many millennia later to warn off Satan, now He speaks to His sworn enemy through one of His most gorgeous creatures. On its belly it would traverse the earth—on this planet alone would Satan be allowed to dwell, until the Offspring of the Holy Spirit would one day crush Satan to death. The adversary might be instrumental in hurting His majesty the Son of God in the battle, but ultimately Satan and his self-exalting, merit-based Kingdom would be destroyed. Making use of what was on hand with Adam, Eve and the serpent, Christ spelled out the plan of salvation in object lesson format.

The results of a meritorious, ambition-laden lifestyle—accepting the complicated life built up from their own achievements, instead of the simple life of dependence on God—had just demonstrated itself and its fruit. Now for the antidote. “Eve, bring Me those ewe lambs and those kid goats over there. Adam, bring Me those heifers.” “Now, break their necks.” (Neither can do it.) “Break their necks, so they die!” (Looks of, Do we have to?) “Yes, you must!!” “You will do it now!”

In the dying cries of those animals, the proud ambitions of the rebel couple disappear, and lingering remnants of Satan’s spell breaks. Humility, once again takes the throne of their reason, and Eden resumes its original warmth and beauty. But the animals have perished and the blood is still on the murderers’ hands. A word from the Son, and the skins flay off the victims. He gives them to the supplicants, and they wrap themselves in them, forever a reminder that high treason is unpardonable, but traitors can be.

They are cast out of their garden home but Jesus is not mad at them. God is far removed; His voice is rarely sensed, but by the sure word of the Son of God, their forever friend, their base behavior to God would be covered by the daily sacrifice and the reconsecrating of their broken hearts to God. They would have to live in a bleak new world that would remind them of their fallen character and evil hearts, and they would be more open to the devious Satan than ever before. But God promised His acceptance and a future return to the garden paradise, as they promised to faithfully obey His commandments.

It was the new desire for recognition and great cerebral accomplishments that destroyed Satan and led him to do the same with out first parents. Existing on the merits of mental capacity, self-worth based on intelligence and intellectualism began Earth’s fall into sin. And through grace came its ever so gradual climb out of it, through the patience and mercy and strength that comes with a knowledge of God.

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