11 April 2022
This world, this mortal existence, is a curse. It is punishment. This life is the result of the Fall. This is not what we were made for, and it is not our native existence.
The worst thing that can happen is to be stuck here without a clue how to escape it. If God had simply left us here with no revelation, it would have been indescribably awful. This revelation was the greatest grace gift of all, because it tells us how to connect with the eternal life for which we were designed. It gives us hope for what comes after we escape this life.
The revelation points to the Covenant, the path to adoption as the Children of God. We can join His household as family. Our names will be written down in the Lamb's Book of Life.
One of the hardest things for our fallen minds to grasp is that eternity is not endless time. Eternity is a wholly different quality of existence in which time is a variable that can be manipulated. Eternity is a state in which time and space are not controlling factors. Because the Curse of the Fall includes being trapped by space-time constraints, we simply cannot imagine a life without them. But there are places where Scripture refers to Eternity, and the idea is to avoid thinking in terms of "when" in considering that existence.
Starting in chapter 4 of Revelation, John attempts to put into words his experience in the Eternal Realm. He describes events in Eternity that affect our lives here, but which do not have a single reference point in time and space. There is no "before" and "after" in that sense. Along with other passages, we discover that the Lamb was sacrificed in Heaven "before" the foundation of the this world. In that same vein, we read about a war in Eternity, and how Satan was punished for it. And that this punishment was in effect when Satan entered the Garden of Eden.
There is a sequence of sorts, in that Satan was cast down into this time-space world for punishment. Being restrained here, his only hope for whatever it is that passes for maintenance -- payment, food, sustenance of his existence -- was possible only if he could seduce the eternal humans in the Garden to forfeit their eternity. The temporal earth was under their management, and his mission was to persuade them to surrender that position of authority. He succeeded.
This puts us under Satan's feudal authority, and we are forced to endure a mortal existence under the time-space constraints that afflict the natural world. We are now a part of that natural world, instead of working here as God's managers from a position superior to it. The worst thing He could do is abandon us to this fate.
Instead, He provided a path back to Eternity. That path is to endure this cursed existence under Satan's authority while recovering our eternal orientation. Granted, we either have one or don't, but the presence of a large number of those who have no eternal destiny is simply a part of the crap we endure. The real issue is not those people, but the condition in which we are tempted constantly to forego that recovery process. The real fight is restoring our eternal awareness. It's built into those with an eternal destiny, but it's our mission to rediscover it.
Satan's job is to tempt us to keep our focus on this life. Anything that he can offer as false inducements is fair game, except that our Savior stands ready to keep it all fair and just. Since Jesus easily outranks Satan, it's not a struggle. They aren't fighting. Satan always bows before Christ and obeys His commands. But Jesus will not weaken the tests we must endure; He is the executioner of His Father's will in that sense.
So, obviously it is Satan who works so hard to sucker us into believing that there is great promise in this fallen existence. He would naturally want to persuade us that his lordship is benign and happy. He'll offer whatever it is that turns us on. Since it's all lies in the first place, he's not picky about perverting anything and everything God has said is real. Sin is anything different from what God says.
When I read Genesis 6 about why God prepared the Flood, in the Hebrew symbolic references there, I sense that a major element in what was going on in Noah's world before the Flood was a concerted effort to find ways to elevate fallen humanity above its normally squalid existence. I get the image of trying to create seductions for God's Elect Children (who called on Him), by using the Children of the Curse (who didn't call on the Lord). The seduction resulted in serious efforts to generate a stronger and longer living human, resulting in the great human heroes whose legacy was wiped by the Flood.
As best we can figure, the first Covenant was with Noah, the first moral law restraints. In this age of human existence since the Flood, we have returned to that preoccupation of the pre-Flood people. The trans-humanist movement sounds to me just like the temptations the Elect faced before the Flood. Part of this is the research into AI and how to breach the boundary between man and machine. It includes trying to advance networking so that we no longer think about it at all, but just assume it like the Borg. It includes efforts to unite mankind into one whole, so that there is no distinction between the Elect and the Damned. That this brand of unity is such a horrible thing we learn from the Tower of Babel, where the Lord forcibly dispersed humanity into decentralized tribes.
It helps if you can see clearly what false unity is, and what divine unity in the Spirit is, and how they differ. Spiritual communion does not exclude human conflict. This is one of Satan's best kept secrets. Events and influences that separate us in the flesh come from the hand of God, but they are a blessing only when they come on the wings of following your convictions. When led by the Spirit, our human cooperation is tentative at best, and should always be limited to those essential elements that glorify the Lord.
We are forbidden to breach the sense of alienation that God wired into a fallen human existence. That sense of loneliness that God alone can soothe is a blessing that keeps us focused on Him and His Eternal Realm. A primary mark of spiritual maturity is giving each other room to be different in all the ways that don't that hinder our convictions. It's an art to learn to sing in harmony instead of in unison. It is the otherworldly focus and purpose that makes it the same song.
Do you suppose this message is so very hard for those still trapped in Satan's clutches that there will be precious few who ever embrace the Covenant gospel? It requires divine humility to give folks room to obey their own convictions, particularly when they diverge from yours. Whatever plans and projects we find ruined by such an orientation were not important in the first place. God is not looking for accomplishments. He is looking for the ongoing ability to love folks sacrificially, to hold them with a loose grip.
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