(Celebrating Jesus Christ ;Celebrating humanity)
‘Let no one say when he is tempted, I am tempted from God, for God is in capable of being tempted by the devil and He Himself tempts no one. But every person is tempted when he is drawn away enticed and tempted by his own selfish desires i.e. lusts and passions. Then the evil desire when it has been conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully matured, brings forth death’ [James 1: 13-15].
Sin has been defined as an estrangement from God due to certain acts of disobedience. In ordinary parlance sin implies a lot of evil acts and the opposite of good behaviour. And just as human laws prohibit certain specified acts [as a crime], sin is unacceptable to God’s kingdom and we shall soon see why. The above biblical quote informs that sin originates from the heart while craving for things that appeal to the eyes and other senses. This aspect of human behaviour which we are about to review has a well documented basis in the Bible’s first Book of Genesis.
When we read the Bible like a mere literature, like literature it permits us to freely accord our individual interpretations to it and thus we remain blind to its many mysteries of life ‘hidden’ from worldly wisdom.[Matthew 11:25] We cannot comprehend how the serpent could have possibly talked to Eve, etc. But the truth is that when we question like that, we despise God for availing us these priceless info about our creation- an event that has no human witness, happened in a very different era and was informed with remarkable detail. But today you will understand without doubt how the serpent spoke to Eve, for in that era there was no death, no fear, no sin, no worries as God overlooked every affair in this place of His Holy presence. Everything was fine until the opposition struck and disrupted the entire arrangement.
The opposition leader is a fallen angel of God named Lucifer whose pride and disobedience led to his ejection from God’s kingdom and Holy presence. He was an arch angel, highly exalted and so influential that when he left he took along some angels whom he had deceived into rebelling against God and had ever since plotted ways to destroy God’s perfect kingdom. He has never stopped accusing God of ‘undue favouritism’ in a bid to justify his own supposed ill treatment by God [Job 1:10]. Read more on this former duty manager of God here[The end of life- death] and we would not be truly honest if we don’t accord some recognition to his intelligence which had earned him the exalted office he once occupied. We must not forget that this same devil witnessed our creation and thus know more than we do about our human tendencies.
Now God had earlier said to His beloved children Adam and Eve- you may eat from all the trees in the garden except one ‘the tree of knowledge of good and evil, blessing and calamities for the day you eat from the tree you shall die’. As one would expect, they had no problem with this as they never lacked.
But like the Bible later informed, ‘the serpent beguiled by the devil approached Eve...’ The devil, having been ostracized from God’s holy presence has no access to Adam and Eve but found a way to confuse and convince the serpent to carry out his ploy. The unsuspecting serpent became his victim too as it received a punishment from God for obliging the devil’s request. The original serpent is very different from the snakes we see today [after God’s punishment]. The original serpent walks, have hands, does not spit or bite [no terror in God’s presence], talks, laughs and free to roam about like others. But we all know the serpent to be an unpredictable animal and a sly one and must trust the devil’s acumen to employ the serpent of all the animals in this devious scheme of his. It must have taken the devil some thinking and smooth-talking to get the serpent going and oblivious of the severe implications for all. When a criminal chooses an accessory [assistant] they find ways to trivialise the offence or find suitable inducements which their unsuspecting victim [assistant] would find irresistible, for e.g. convincing a staff to poison the president.
The serpent approached Eve as the devil directed and aimed for their minds in a bid to get them to disobey God’s warning. The serpent did not just tell Eve that they will not die [contrary to God’s express warning], it further distracted her and aroused her curiosity by adding that God only said that so that they would not be like God, knowing the difference between good and bad, blessings and calamities- craftily using the same words good and bad, blessings and calamities [as the devil instructed] to make it sound believable. Like the opening quote and most of our life temptation, the Bible further revealed that the fruit appeared fine to Eve’s eyes. This means that even though the fruit has been there all along, today it bore special appeal and suddenly appeared irresistible to the taste. The finesse of this fruit to the eyes and its promises of wisdom [power] made Eve eat the fruit which she later offered to Adam too. But in fact they have just disobeyed God’s warning and though they did not drop dead, they had become terminally ill from that point and were truly going to taste death.
In a nutshell this is where the problems of the world started and there is no running away from it for every human walking the face of the earth has a direct genealogical link to Adam and Eve, please read both Romans 5:12 and 1st Corinthians 15: 21 and 22 to see how we inherited in this ‘walk of shame’ in our existence. So no matter how hard we try we will always have ourselves to battle in a bid to contain this inherited trait of disobedience. The effect was instant for Adam and Eve as they suddenly became ashamed of what they know and capable of knowing, e.g. they saw their nakedness for the first time and [with critical intelligence] sewed fig leaves together and made themselves apron-like girdles.
Now at this level of human development ,we must understand that this emerging industry in the name of sin is a huge success story for Satan and his fellow rebelling angels ,while on the other hand sin and death for Adam and Eve indicated a total turn around in events, handing down the implications of this walk of shame to the entire human race. The only thing the devil had to do at this stage was to wait until Adam and Eve exited the Garden,so he could have full blown access to their minds and heart ,manipulating and initiating all manner of evil and penury .We unsurprisingly beheld this specialized satanic scheme in the life of their immediate descendants, where Cain killed his twin brother Abel out of Sheer jealousy. And even till today, we have all continued in this pattern.
By now i'm pretty sure that it's quite clear that this game plan is still, pretty much active in our time and the many ways in which evil has infiltrated our society today is mind blowing in its own right.It seems the master mind himself [Devil] ,has successfully infiltrated the world with his own attributes,take pride for instance and even some forms of unhealthy competition where the Book of Isaiah, tells us the devil made comments like ‘ I will ascend above the heights of the cloud; I will make myself like the most high...’.[Isaiah 14:14]
Even during the temptation of Jesus, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him the kingdoms of the world as belonging to him and requested Jesus to worship him so he can have them. [Matthew 4:8-10]. That is how confident he is that he owns the world.
The human mind is the central focus of sin which starts by arousing the senses we feel. Romans 8:7 inform that the mind of the flesh with its carnal thoughts and purpose is hostile to God simply because it is incapable of submitting itself to the laws of God which is simple pure and good. Even in our societies today, obedience to law is near impossible as seen in crimes and news reports, and though we may will what is good and long for perfection our weak flesh stretches our resistance, arouse our senses and finally provide justification for our sinful act with superb argument and intelligence. At the height of this typical mental battle between the good and bad in us, Apostle Paul exclaimed ‘who will release me from this body of death? Oh thank God Jesus Christ our Lord so then indeed I, of myself with mind and heart serve the law of God, but with the flesh serve the law of sin. [Romans 7: 25] Please read all of Romans 6, 7 and 8 for a comprehensive digest on sin, the law and of sin’s laboratory- the human mind.
From the foregoing, it becomes easier to appreciate how the knowledge we all acquire and possess originated in disobedience to God and which has created this seemingly wide distance between God and Man [Genesis 3:24], with the devil somewhere in the distance doing his best to manipulate our hearts away from God and to himself. The kingdom of God is God’s dwelling place/domain which abhors evil of any kind and was remarkably mentioned and revered by Jesus on several occasions. He had compared it to a field of treasure, precious stone of immeasurable worth, a dragnet of good and bad fishes to be sorted out and a place near-impossible for a rich man to enter, a place of many mansions, etc. See[Matthew 13: 44-48].
Now as far as knowledge is concerned we know its crucial to human existence , hence from knowledge we derive innovation and technology from the scratch and even advancing in a plight to aid man’s journey on earth. However there is a problem, when such knowledge takes a particular bearing on the human mind to a point that they become, boisterous arrogant and proud due to a demonstration of an ability or talent , a state of God becomes acquired on their part sometimes without knowing and worst still all glory and praise that should be ideally accorded to God ,who as we can see so far and even biblically is now accorded to them .Unfortunately ,some people buy into their popularity and even strive to be like them . For this group God Almighty is irrelevant to the fact that this highly renown guy has just discovered the latest mode for outer space travel .This is a huge problem in our world and we cannot look far to see it in our very before. And what more the devil is very good in giving this group of people reason to believe that they are the alpha and omega in such matter.
Taking a biblical trip to the book of Romans Chapter 1 from vs. 20 -32, to further buttress our point the apostle Paul once again expresses these stark realities “for ever since creation of the world the invisible nature and attributes of God have been made intelligible and clearly discernible to men as per his handiworks such that men have no excuse and lack defence or justification. Because when they knew and recognized him as God they did not glorify him as God or give him thanks, instead they became futile and Godless in their thinking with vain imaginings and their senseless minds were darkened, claiming to be wise they became fools, professing to be smart they made simpletons of themselves. And by them the glory and majesty of the immortal God were exchanged for and represented by images, resembling mortal Man and birds and beasts and reptiles. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their own hearts to sexual impurity, to the dishonouring of their bodies among themselves abandoning them to the degrading power of sin. Because they exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them over to vile affections and degrading passions. For their women exchanged their natural function for an unnatural an abnormal one .And the men also turned from natural relations with women and were set ablaze with lust for one another, committing shameful acts with men and suffering in their own bodies and personalities the inevitable consequences and penalty of their wrong doing and going astray which was their fitting retribution .And so since they did not see fit to acknowledge God ,God gave them over to a base and condemned mind to do indecent things .Until they were filled with every kind of unrighteousness ,slander malice ,greed ,iniquity, ill will ,cruel ways, inventors of new forms of evil ,disobedient and undutiful to parents etc.They were without understanding ,faithless ,loveless and merciless . Though they were fully aware of Gods righteous decrees that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them themselves but approve and applaud others who practice them." The point here is that Our knowledge need glorify God by being selfless in nature, serving others more and dedicated unto God, the creator and owner of our lives.
In conclusion, I’d say fear not but rejoice in the goodness of the Lord for He has solution for every single problem of humanity. When Jesus said that it was easier for a camel to pass through the eyes of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God, his disciple became worried asking ‘who then shall be saved?, but Jesus replied, ‘with man it may appear impossible but with God all things are possible’ [Mark 10: 24- 27].
Remain with us here and we will always pray that God visits you with His own knowledge so that sin would not prevail against your entitlement to re-enter the kingdom of God [after the exit of our first parents] and according to God’s will for our souls when He permitted our procreation.
Wait upon the Lord with humility and you will walk, may stumble but never fall in life’s long journey [Isaiah 40:31], seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and every other need shall be furnished [Matthew 6:31-34] and finally love Him and have Him in your heart in all you do and your sind will count as nothing for it is written, 'For i will be merciful to their unrighteousness and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more' Hevrews 8: 12].
Stay here and invite your friends and family and all, because there is going to be bad news for the devil, says the Good Lord.
God be with you now and always.