Here is the replay of the last exercise in our series of exercises on Sanctification. In it, we learn that the Holy Spirit uses Worship to bring our wills into alignment with the Will of God. To learn more, please go to Sanctification: Restoring the Soul through Worship | His Truth, My Voice (histruthmyvoice.org)
Now that we have finished mapping out the first two tiers of Satan’s earthly kingdom…
…it is time for us to move on to a survey of its third tier, which is the Religious Landscape over which he rules. As we do, we need to keep in mind that the Structures in these Landscapes have been especially designed to maximize Satan’s control, conditioning, and corruption of Corporate Humanity’s Body, Soul, and Spirit. As we have learned previously, it is through the manipulation of the…
Physical and Financial Structures that he Controls what people
can do and where they can go;
Educational and Media Structures that he Conditions the way people think and feel;
…and, as we shall learn in this session, it is through the…
Religious Structures that he Corrupts the worship of God and
redirects that worship to himself.
As we have been reminded of so often over the course of these exercises, Satan’s motivation for this Corruption is his obsessive and self-destructive quest to usurp God’s throne and grab the glory that goes along with it. Since most people consider Religion to be the means by which we are drawn closer to God, to say that Satan uses it to do just the opposite, might seem somewhat incongruous at first; however, once we have examined the matter more closely, I think we will come to see that the difference between Religion and the Righteousness required by God is as vast as the distance between the Heaven and Hades we learned about in Spiritual Warfare: Getting the Lay of the Land. So, to clarify what we mean when referring to Religion, we must pause for a DOT—or, a Definition of Terms for this particular structure.
- Religion—What Is It?
As defined by Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, Religion is…
…a system of thought, feeling, and action that is shared by a group and that gives the members an object of devotion; a code of behavior by which individuals may judge the personal and social consequences of their actions; and a frame of reference by which individuals may relate to their group and their universe.
Breaking this definition down, we find that…
- Because it is a system of thought, feeling, and action, Religion is something that appeals to, encompasses, and makes use of every aspect of the Human Soul—both the individual and the corporate one;
- Because it is shared by a group, Religion provides its adherents with a community that they can be a part of and relate to; and,
- Because it provides its followers with an object of devotion, a code of behavior, and a frame of reference…
- Religion satisfies their inherent need for something to worship or revere;
- Religion provides them with guidelines on how to behave or act by defining morality and establishing boundaries for them; and,
- Religion helps them make sense of the world around them and explain its origins.
Religion, then, is the belief system expressly designed to meet the needs of the Human Soul which, as we know from our previous exercises, has been a part of Man’s Carnal or Fleshly Nature ever since it became separated from his Spirit (and God’s Spirit, as well) as a result of Sin. Given this, and the fact that…
…God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth (John 4:24); and,
…all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment (Isaiah 64:6)…
…the Soulish Worship produced by Religion—no matter how pious it may appear to be on the surface—is something which is reprehensible to God.
- Religion—When and Where Did It Originate?
When trying to determine just when and where Religion originated, we must first decide which approach to the subject we are going to take—the Secular Approach or the Biblical Approach. In choosing the secular one, we would find ourselves in the company of Anthropologists, Sociologists, and Historians who approach the subject from an Evolutionary Perspective; one which…
…starts with the view that man evolved from a pre-simian ancestor. Since animals have no religion, there must have been, it is said, a long ascent through apish chatter and fear of the dark unknown to…a ‘belief in a vague, potent, terrifying inscrutable force.’
Animatism developed into ‘animism,’ the spirit-fearing religion of most isolated tribal people. Then came the polytheism immortalized in the Greek mythologies. Israel’s glory, so this summary of the development of religion suggests, was that she was able to narrow down the many gods of the surrounding nations to one tribal god. And eventually the one Creator-God of the Hebrew prophets, together with the philosophical monotheism of Plato, paved the way for higher religion.
The Biblical Approach, on the other hand, gives us a completely different and, to my way of thinking, a far more reasonable explanation; for…
According to the Bible, the first true man was a monotheist, and when he falls into sin, he seeks restoration through animal sacrifice. The theory of the evolution of religion suggests that man is an animal taking a long time to become divine. The Bible describes a human couple made in the image of God, who degenerated into what we are now.
According to this approach, instead of it being the unexpected byproduct of, or the evidentiary support for, Man’s upwardly mobile evolutionary journey, Religion is actually the degenerative process that was set in motion by Man’s Original Sin back in the Garden of Eden. Although we have made quite a few trips to the Garden already, it will be necessary for us to visit there once again, if we are to expose the roots and the true nature of Religion’s False Faith.
To do this, though, we must first have an understanding of the significance of the Garden to the relationship between God and Man. Because God is Spirit and Man is Flesh, for the two of them to enjoy fellowship together, it was necessary that a special meeting place be created for them. In much the same way that man’s spirit and his body of flesh needed his soul to be a place of mediation between two such disparate entities, God and Man needed a place—something like a Sanctuary, a Tabernacle, or a Temple—where they, too, could come together. This, then, is what the Garden represented to them.
Although the world that God created was beautiful enough in itself, when it came to creating the Sanctuary of the Garden, He pulled out all of the stops. He filled this Sanctuary with everything that was beautiful to behold and to enjoy. It was well-watered by a river flowing up from underground springs and filled with every tree that was good for food. In addition, the areas surrounding it were also well-watered and filled with gold and precious stones! When this special Sanctuary was completed, God took the Man He had created and placed him in it, and charged him with the responsibility of caring for it. God made it clear to Man at the time that if he wanted to maintain their fellowship and continue living there, he would have to obey the Word God had given him, even when tempted to do otherwise.
In addition to all the other trees in the Garden, God placed two very special ones at its center—the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. His purpose for doing so was to test Man—giving him the opportunity to choose for himself whether to obey God and be blessed, or to go his own way and reap the consequences. In reality, what He was setting before the first Man and Woman was the choice between the only two Systems of Faith that would ever be available to mankind—the choice to either put their Faith in the Works of the Flesh and try to achieve Salvation on their own terms, or to do things God’s way and put their Faith in His Word as the only means of securing their Salvation and Eternal life. Since these trees were representative of those two systems, an examination of their roots and fruit will aid in our understanding of the systems themselves.
Such an examination reveals that…
The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil…
…was rooted in the same desires that motivated Satan to rebel against God. As listed in Isaiah 14:13-14, these were…
I will ascend into Heaven;
I will be like the Most High;
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; and,
I will also sit on the Mount of the Congregation.
The SAP produced by it was Selfishness and Pride, and its Fruit was all about Me and My Glory.
On the other hand…
The Tree of Life…
…was rooted in the same desires that characterized Jesus, as described for us in Psalm 40:6-10…
I delight to do Your will;
Your law is within my heart;
I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth;
I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation; and,
I have proclaimed the good news of [Your] righteousness in the great assembly.
Its SAP was Submission and Praise, while its Fruit was all about God and His Glory.
In comparison, then, the Two Systems of Faith line up something like this…
Of course, hindsight being what it is, it’s easy for us to see that the reason the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was so attractive to Adam and Eve was because of its overpowering appeal to their flesh—to their selfishness and pride, as well as to their desire for self-determination and glorification. Unfortunately, when they chose to eat of this tree, there was no way for them to know the kind of fruit it would bear in the lives of their children, grandchildren, and in the generations to come. They had no idea that in choosing the Way of Works over the Way of God, they were dooming every one of their descendants (with the exception of Jesus Christ) to enter this world already bound to the same system–the system of Satan’s Soul-Centered False Faith of Religion, which actually leads it followers away from the Truth of God and on to their Spiritual Deaths.
- Religion—How Did It Develop?
Starting out as just a small seed of unbelief in the hearts of our first parents—but, nurtured as it was in the fertile soil of Satan’s prideful ambition—it didn’t take long for this False Faith of Religion to grow into an enormous tree with a very sturdy trunk. That’s because it was founded upon Cain and his self-styled Worship of Works, it was fed and grew stronger on Man’s Worship of Nature, and its reach was eventually extended to cover the whole world through the many branches it developed following God’s confounding of the languages at the Tower of Babel.
Cain’s Worship of Works
That Cain and his offering would serve as the base upon which the Tree of Religion was founded should come as no surprise to us; for his—and his brother Abel’s—offerings were the first ones to be recorded after their parents’ expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Given their proximity to that event, in both time and location, it seems reasonable to expect that Adam and Eve had instructed their sons concerning the type of offering that would be required of them by God. The fact that Cain brought an offering of produce from his field, which was rejected, and Abel brought a lamb to be sacrificed and it was accepted, would tend to lend support to this theory. But, was the difference in their offerings the only reason to look upon Cain as Religion’s Founding Father, or was it something that went much deeper than that?
We get an indication of the real issue in Hebrews 11:4, where we learn that the truly distinguishing feature between these two men and their offerings was faith, for…
By faith, Abel offered up a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts.
Why, then, was faith the deciding factor here? Because…
…without faith it is impossible to please him [God], for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him (Hebrews 11:6); and,
…the Lord sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, the Lord looks on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).
If it was a heart of faith that was required to please God, how did Abel’s offering reveal that? The most logical conclusion is that, since…
…faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Rom. 10:17)…
…Abel must have taken to heart the Word that he had received—most likely from his parents and something to the effect of “…without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins (Heb. 9:22)”—then, acting upon that Word, he offered up to God his best lamb as the substitutionary payment for his sins.
Cain, on the other hand, having rejected the same Word, and determined to do things in his own way, foolishly attempted to come to God on his own terms, rather than approaching Him in the manner previously ordained. Such an arrogant action on his part revealed that his heart was far from God, he was in denial concerning his sinfulness and need of sacrificial atonement, and his faith was in his own worthiness and works. So great was Cain’s sense of self-righteousness that even when he was corrected by God and given an opportunity to repent, he refused—choosing instead to try to vindicate himself through the murder of his brother. The true nature of Cain’s heart and actions were described centuries later by the Apostle John, when he warned his readers…
We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous (1 John 3:12).
So, it was these characteristics of Cain…
- An unbelief in and a rejection of the Word of God;
- A life built upon deception;
- A faith based on self-worth and the works of the flesh;
- An inexplicable resentment and envy of the truly righteous; and,
- An unjustifiable need to suppress and eliminate those who are walking with God…
…that have, ever since the time of Cain, become the hallmarks of the structure we know of as Religion—hallmarks which were clearly demonstrated by the Religious Leaders of Jesus’ day who, in their resentment and envy of Him, felt completely justified in their persecution and crucifixion of the very Son of God.
Man’s Worship of Nature
I must admit that when considering the transition from Cain’s Worship of Works to Mankind’s Worship of Nature, I was at a loss to explain how it could have happened. I mean, why would any reasonably intelligent person choose to worship a being or a material entity lower in rank in the created order than himself? It just didn’t make any sense, for the leap from the one to the other seemed far too great. Thankfully, in Romans 1:21-25, the Apostle Paul provided us with some insight into this highly illogical progression (regression, actually) as he explains that it was really just a short hop because…
…although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever!
It would seem, then, that if we—like Cain—don’t believe God and we reject His Word as the only source of Truth in the world, not only will we fall for any and every lie that comes down the pike, but we will also have to invent a few of our own if we’re going to ever make sense of our existence and the world in which we live. After all, how else can we explain why…
- The sun rises in the east and sets in the west on a daily basis;
- The moon and the stars come out at night and move from place to place in the sky;
- The wind is so powerful and yet invisible;
- The thunder thunders and the lightning flashes randomly across the sky;
- The land is separate from the seas and the earth, at times, rumbles mysteriously under foot;
- The rivers race downhill from the mountains to the sea;
- People are people and animals are animals—why we eat one but not the other; and,
- People die and what happens to them after they do?
Well, those in ancient times chose to explain these things through the use of Myths…
Myths explained how Earth was created, where life came from, why the stars shine at night and the seasons change. Why there was sex. Why there was evil. Why people died and where they went when they did. In short, myths were a very human way to explain everything.
…in its most basic sense, a myth is defined as ‘A traditional, typically ancient story dealing with supernatural beings, ancestors, or heroes that serves as a fundamental type in the world view of a people, as by explaining aspects of the natural world or delineating the psychology, customs, or ideals of society (American Heritage).’ ‘Explaining aspects of the world’—that’s another way to say ‘science’ or ‘religion,’ the two principal ways people have used to explain the world.
Creation myths set out to explain the origin of the world, the birth of gods and goddesses, and eventually the creation of human beings. Explanatory, or causal, myths try to give a mythic reason for natural events, such as the Norse belief that Thor made thunder and lightning by throwing his hammer…another fundamental type of myth is the ‘foundation’ story, which explains the beginnings of a society—often with the distinct sense of superiority that direct descent from the gods clearly implies.
This eventually gave rise to the rule and domination of men over men because…
Once local rulers understood that connecting themselves to the gods would cement their hold over people, myth was elevated to an institution that could prove more powerful than an army. Most of the great ancient civilizations…were theocracies, in which there was no difference between religion and state. With connections to the gods and usually the cooperation of a potent priesthood, divinely anointed rulers held the power of life and death over their subjects…
…a development which eventually led to the founding of the world’s first empire in the land of Shinar—as well as the world’s first Religious System at the Tower of Babel.
A System of Worship for the World
In Genesis 11:1-2, we are told that following the flood of Noah’s day…
…the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there.
Then, in Genesis 10:8-12, we learn that Shinar is where Nimrod, Noah’s great-grandson, came to power—and, where it was said of him…
…he was the first on earth to be a mighty man. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD. Therefore it is said, ‘Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before [against] the LORD.’ The beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. From that land he went into Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth-Ir, Calah, and Resen between Nineveh and Calah; that is the great city.
Although the Bible doesn’t tell us much about Nimrod, there are a number of references to him in ancient extra-biblical literature. One such reference is in Antiquities of the Jews, compiled by the Jewish historian, Josephus…
Now it was Nimrod who excited them [the people] to such an affront and contempt of God. He was the grandson of Ham, the son of Noah, a bold man, and of great strength of hand. He persuaded them not to ascribe it to God, as if it were through his means they were happy, but to believe that it was their own courage which procured that happiness. He also gradually changed the government into tyranny, seeing no other way of turning men from the fear of God, but to bring them into a constant dependence on his power…
From what we read here, Nimrod sounds very much like the man of lawlessness the Apostle Paul warned his readers about later in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-10—and described there as…
…the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God…The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan, with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing because they refused to love the truth and be saved.
And, from Josephus’ description of them, it would seem that those who were following Nimrod were very much like those just described by Paul…
Now the multitude were very ready to follow the determination of Nimrod, and to esteem it a piece of cowardice to submit to God; and they built a tower, neither sparing any pains, nor being in any degree negligent about the work: and, by reason of the multitude of hands employed in it, it grew very high, sooner than anyone could expect; but the thickness of it was so great, and it was so strongly built, that thereby its great height seemed, upon the view, to be less than it really was. It was built of burnt brick, cemented together with mortar, made of bitumen, that it might not be liable to admit water.
It should be noted here that the building of this tower…
…was not an innocent, scientifically naive, primitive effort to reach the highest heavens! It was, instead, a brilliant but blasphemous effort to dismiss forever the God who had commanded Noah and his three sons after the Flood to ‘be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth’ (Genesis 9:1). Instead of honouring His name [i.e. God’s character and attributes], they said, ‘Let us build for ourselves a city … and let us make for ourselves a name; lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth’ (Genesis 11:4).
In reality, this tower was created to be a religious center; one designed in the shape of a mountain which, when ‘scaled’ through the accomplishment of varying degrees of religious ritual, would elevate men to the status of deity and to the pinnacle of human power. The ziggurat—or stepped tower–is probably what this “mountain” would have looked like; a place where…
The top compartment represented heaven. The inner walls, in all probability, were decorated with blue glazed tile, with the sun, the moon, and the five known planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn) lined up along the plane of the zodiac. In the centre of the room would be their “god” seated upon a throne! Nebuchadnezzar later rebuilt such a tower in Babylon, which the Sumerians had called E-TEMEN-AN-KI (‘the building of the foundation-platform of heaven and earth’). The pyramids of Egypt and, much later, the great Mayan temples of Central America, reflected the design of the original Tower of Babel.
So, in addition to establishing himself as the first tyrannical emperor in human history, Nimrod also made a name for himself as the instigator of the first organized false religious system in the world—one …
…based primarily upon a corruption of the primeval astronomy formulated by Noah’s righteous ancestors before the flood. In the original this system, depicted by means of constellations, [was] the story of Satan’s rebellion and the war in the heavens, his subversion of mankind, the fall of Adam and Eve, the promise of One to come who would suffer and die to relieve man from the curse of sin [and] then be installed as Lord of Creation, and the final re-subjugation of the cosmos to God through Him.
[However] These eternal truths were corrupted…into a mythic cycle wherein the great dragon is depicted as the rightful lord of the universe whose throne has been temporarily usurped by One whom we can recognize as the God of the Bible.
According to this corrupted version…
…the serpent creates man in his present miserable state, but promises that a child would one day be born of a divine mother—which child would supplant God, become a god himself, and return rulership of the Earth to the serpent…
…and, it was this woman and child who would later become known everywhere as the Madonna with Child.
These fables…were introduced under the guise of revealing hidden esoteric knowledge [but]…this esotericism…only masked the actual goal, which was the worship of…Satan’s army of fallen angels.
Satan was quite willing to receive worship ‘by proxy,’ hence the third major element of the mystery religion was emperor-worship. This religion was propagated by a hierarchy of priests and priestesses, to whom were assigned the task of initiating the populace at large into its ascending degrees of revelation, culminating at the highest level in both direct worship of Satan and demon-possession.
Given the true nature of this rebellious and blasphemous endeavor—and the fact that it was God’s declared will from the beginning that human beings scatter abroad over the earth so that the earth would…
…be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14)…
…it was no wonder that…
…the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. And the LORD said, ‘Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.’
So the LORD dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth. And from there the LORD dispersed them over the face of all the earth (Genesis 11:5-9).
As a result of this scattering, when the people made their way into strange new lands, one of the things they all carried along with them was the false religion they had known at Babel in the land of Shinar—the place later called Babylon…
…from Babylon this mystery-religion spread to all the surrounding nations…Everywhere the symbols were the same, and everywhere the cult of the mother and child became the popular system…The image of the [Madonna] queen of heaven with the babe in her arms was seen everywhere, though the names might differ as languages differed. It became the mystery-religion of Phoenicia, and by the Phoenicians was carried to the ends of the earth. Ashtoreth and Tammuz, the mother and child of these hardy adventurers, became Isis and Horus in Egypt, Aphrodite and Eros in Greece, Venus and Cupid in Italy, and bore many other names in more distant places. Within 1,000 years, Babylonianism had become the religion of the world, which had rejected the Divine revelation.
And, it was for this reason that Babylon came to be known as the “mother” of every pagan religious system in the world— the system referred to in the Bible as Mystery Babylon, and the one described in Revelation 17:1ff as…
…a woman arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality;
…the great prostitute…with whom the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality, and with the wine of whose sexual immorality the dwellers on earth have become drunk; and,
…having written on her forehead a name of mystery: ‘Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth’s abominations.
This is the same Religious System used by Satan throughout history to deceive and seduce those following in the Way of Cain, and to oppress and destroy those choosing to follow in the Way of Abel. The one…
- Out of which God called Abram, in order to create Israel as the nation through which His Son would come into the world;
- That enslaved the Israelites in Egypt—and, the one that God crushed when He delivered His people from bondage there;
- That God commanded His people to destroy when they went into the Promised Land—but whose failure to do so led to their eventual corruption;
- That killed the prophets God sent to call His people to repentance;
- That eventually carried God’s people into captivity, destroying their temple and leaving their land barren and in the hands of their enemies;
- That crucified Christ;
- That has persecuted the Church throughout its history and been responsible for the death of its martyrs;
- That was responsible for the Inquisition, the Holocaust, and all the religious wars throughout history;
- That led to the formation of Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Rationalism, Atheism, and every cult the world has known; and,
- Whose syncretism is now manifesting itself in the New Age Religion that will soon serve as the State Religion during the reign of the Antichrist.
4. Religion–How Will It End?
Most importantly, it is the one that God will one day judge and destroy…
…and God remembered Babylon the great, to make her drain the cup of the wine of the fury of his wrath. Rev. 16:19
…for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. Rev. 18:5
‘Pay her back as she herself has paid back others, and repay her double for her deeds; mix a double portion for her in the cup she mixed.’ …her plagues will come in a single day, death and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for mighty is the Lord God who has judged her. 18:6,8
Alas, alas, for the great city that was clothed in fine linen, in purple and scarlet, adorned with gold, with jewels, and with pearls! For in a single hour all this wealth has been laid waste. 18:16-17
Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, for God has given judgment for you against her!” Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, ‘So will Babylon the great city be thrown down with violence, and will be found no more;’ 18:20-21
…[for] all nations were deceived by your sorcery…and in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all who have been slain on earth.” 18:23-24
In that day, like her Master and Manipulator, Satan’s Soul-Centered False Faith of Religion will meet her well-deserved doom—and, she will be seen no more!
Phillips, Craig, and Dean remind us that our salvation is all about God’s amazing grace–not our works…
 “religion.” The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia. © 1994, 2000-2006 on Infoplease.
© 2000-2017 Sandbox Networks, Inc., publishing as Infoplease.
14 May. 2018 <https://www.infoplease.com/encyclopedia/philosophy-and-religion/other-religious-beliefs-and-general-terms/religion-general/religion/>.
 Robert Brow, “Origins of Religion,” in Eerdmans’ Handbook to The World’s Religions (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1982), 30.
 Brow, Eerdmans’ Handbook, 31.
 Kenneth C. Davis, Don’t Know Much About Mythology (New York, NY; HarperCollins Publishers, 20060, 23-24.
 Davis, Mythology, 12.
 Davis, Mythology, 12.
 Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews: Book 1 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Kregel Publications, 1960), 79-80.
 Josephus, Antiquities, 79-80.
 Harry A. Ironside, Babylonian Religion (http://www.biblelineministries.org/articles/).
In our last Workout Session, as part of our on-going effort to map out Satan’s Kingdom, we began surveying the Landscapes of the Terrestrial or Earthly Division of his realm. Given the amount of territory to be covered in this exercise, it will no doubt prove to be one of the most strenuous ones we have undertaken to date; so strenuous, in fact, that it must be spread it out over the course of four sessions, with…
Session 1—Covering the Political and Financial Landscape of Satan’s Kingdom;
Session 2—Covering the Educational Aspect of Satan’s Cultural Landscape;
Session 3—Covering the Media Aspect of Satan’s Cultural Landscape; and,
Session 4—Covering the Religious Landscape of Satan’s Kingdom.
Since the subject matter of these sessions is also progressive—with the first one laying the groundwork for the second, etc.—to help prepare us for the additional stretching we will be doing in this second session, let’s pause briefly to review what we learned about these landscapes during the first of these sessions. So far, we know that…
- Just as the human body is made up of a Body, Soul, and Spirit, Humanity as a whole also has a Body, Soul, and Spirit.
- In order to keep Humanity under his control, Satan—as the ruler over this world’s systems—has designed these systems to not only satisfy the needs and wants of Humanity’s Body, Soul, and Spirit, but to do so in ways that allow him to maintain his domination over of every aspect of its being…
- Through the ubiquitous Political and Economic Systems, he can control what human beings do and where they can go;
- Through the multifaceted Cultural System, he can control what human beings think and how they feel about any given issue; and,
- Through his counterfeit Religious System, he can control what human beings believe and what or whom they worship.
- As for the Political and Economic Landscape, over the past century Satan has used it to establish the framework for the coming One World Government—over which he will one-day dictate—through the creation of the Federal Reserve System, the United Nations, the Bilderberger Group, the Council for Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, the Club of Rome, the World Economic Forum, and their assorted subgroups.
Although most people have no know idea what these groups do—or, that they even exist, it is essential that we familiarize ourselves with them and their activities because, as we shall eventually see, they are, in effect, being employed as Satan’s puppet-masters who, from behind the scenes, are pulling the strings that determine what we see, hear, and read in the media, what we or our children are being taught in school, and what we as a people are supposed to believe about the nature of Family, the World, and God.
To understand the necessity for such control and coercion, we must remember that Satan’s ultimate goal is to be like God—that is, he wants to rule the world and receive the worship which should rightfully go to God. He made a giant leap in this direction when he successfully wooed and won Man away from his Creator in the Garden of Eden; however, given his own experience with willful rebellion, and knowing all too well that Man, also endowed with a mind and will of his own, could one day choose to reject him and follow God once again, he has remained ever-vigilant in his control over the systems which might otherwise be used to reveal the Truth about God to those under his dominion, and expose him as the lying, thieving murderer that he is.
So, with this ultimate goal in mind, Satan has designed…
- The Political and Economic Structures of the world’s systems to be the external controls which will eventually be used to coerce the masses into worshipping the Beast, the Antichrist, and, ultimately Satan himself;
- The Cultural Structures of the world’s systems to reprogram our minds and emotions; using every form of social interaction to transform the masses into willing, or at least cooperative, “citizens” (slaves) in his New World Order; and,
- The Religious Structures of the world’s systems as the ultimate deception and the best counterfeit of God’s Kingdom; using them to convince the masses that they are part of the one great Brotherhood of Man and, the gods and the masters of their own destinies, while simultaneously alienating them from the One True God and conditioning them to worship him instead.
Now, having established in our previous session that the Political and Economic Structures are the legs upon which Satan’s future kingdom stands, it is time for us to learn how, through the Cultural Structures he has erected, Satan is filling out the torso of Humanity’s Corporate Body, and using its soulish aspects to deceive the masses into accepting and supporting the ideals espoused by that kingdom.
The Cultural Landscape
Since the Human Soul—both the Individual and the Corporate one—is the seat of our Personality or our Mind, Emotions, and our Will; and, since the Thoughts and Feelings produced by our Mind and Emotions are what determines the things that we Will to do, in order for Satan to direct our actions, he must first gain control of the way we think and feel. To do that, he has fashioned an entire Cultural Landscape through which he and those whom he empowers work relentlessly to…
Change the Way We Think About the World;
Change the Way We Feel About Family; and,
Control the Things We Will to Do…
…a necessary course of action if he is ever to realize his goal of world-wide rule and worship. As he is (and always has been) incapable of creating living beings in his own image over which he can rule, his only option has been to take those created by God for His glory and, through the systematic eradication of the Divine Image within them, as well as their knowledge of the Divine Plan for them, remold them in his own distorted image and in accordance with his own devilish plans. To accomplish this, he has become a master manipulator of every form of Media–Art, Music, Theatre, Films, Television, Books, Magazines, Newspapers, and Social Media—as well as the curriculum at every level of Education, from Preschool through Post Graduate Work, to slowly and insidiously redefine, in the minds of men, what it means to be a human living on planet Earth.
Changing the Way We Think About the World
Before we can grasp the changes that Satan wants to make to our worldview, we must first understand what God has to say about the World—for the former will be in direct opposition to the latter. From the revelation He has given us in Genesis 1-11, we know that…
- God created the world ex nihilo—that is, out of nothing;
- The world came into existence in an orderly and progressive manner over the course of six days, in response to the spoken Word of God;
- The world was created to be the home for Man, and was especially designed to sustain his life and to meet his physical needs;
- The world was meant to be ruled over and blessed by the Righteous Rule of Man—both Male and Female—but instead, it came under a Curse and the Right to Rule over it was transferred to Satan as a result of Man’s Sin; and,
- Because of Man’s Corruption of it, the primeval world was destroyed by a catastrophic and Universal Flood, which permanently altered the Earth’s Climate and Geologic Features.
Of course, this Worldview, as a God-Centric one, is one that demonstrates God’s great Wisdom and Power, His Love and Grace toward Man, and Man’s High Calling and Superior Standing in and over the created world—something which Satan is determined to eliminate from the Mind of Man. From the Garden of Eden onward, he has been busy feeding Lies about the World and its Origins to every gullible person who has ever rejected the revelation of God—for, in his rejection of the Truthful testimony of the only Eye-Witness present at the time of the Earth’s inception, Man has been left with no other choice but to come up with his own explanations for how it and he came to be. And, throughout his history, he has managed to come up with some real lulus.
For example, in one of Man’s earliest civilizations in Sumer of Mesopotamia, near where the fresh waters of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers merged with the Persian Gulf, he concluded that the earth originated when two creator gods emerged from the eternal and sacred primordial waters. Apsu, the god of the freshwaters, and Tiamat, the goddess of the salty waters of the sea, came forth from the primeval chaos, merged their waters together and, in the process, brought into being the other gods who made up the Sumerian pantheon, or household of gods.
Unfortunately, life in this household did not remain divine for very long, for the younger, rowdier gods soon became too noisy to suit their father. In an effort to get some peace and quiet, Apsu came up with a rather extreme solution—he decided to kill the “kids” to ensure that he could get a good night’s sleep. Before he could carry out his plan, though, one of his sons, Ea, found out about it and killed Apsu first. Ea then took his dad’s place as ruler; after which, he and his wife, Damkina, gave birth to their own wonder-son, named Marduk, who later became the sun god.
Relationships in this family of gods went from bad to worse when Tiamat, the mother of the younger gods, decided to avenge her husband’s death. Taking the form of a dragon, she gathered together an army of monsters for the purpose of waging war against her own children. Marduk, her grandson, went to the other gods and offered to fight Tiamat on their behalf—but only if he could become their ruler. Once they agreed to his terms, Marduk went into battle, first defeating the monsters, and then Tiamat. After killing his grandmother, Marduk cut up her body, using half to make the sky and the other half to make the earth; then, with some leftover parts, he created other features such as rivers and mountains.
Following a period during which he whipped the rest of the universe into shape, Marduk decided to create man. The motive behind this decision was in no way benevolent, however, for Marduk and the other gods were just so tired of doing all of the dirty work needed to maintain order on the earth that they decided to create a race of people who could do the work for them. Their plan became a reality when Marduk, after killing Tiamat’s consort Kingu, mixed some of his blood with dust to create man as a servant for the gods. It would seem, then, that to the ancient Mesopotamians, the earth came into existence because the loser in a family fight among the gods was hacked up by the winner and then hung up to dry; with the earth’s human residents being created solely for the purpose of doing the earth-related housekeeping chores—chores considered too menial for the gods to do.
As far-fetched as this explanation might seem to us today, it is no more fantastic than those found in many other ancient cultures. Take, for example, one of the early Chinese creation myths which began with the cracking of a giant “cosmic egg.” Contained within the egg were the two forces of Yin and Yang, the universal but opposing principles of masculine and feminine. As these forces struggled inside the egg, they caused it to break in two, making it possible for the creator god, Pan Ku—usually described as the child of Yin and Yang—to emerge. As he did, the “light” or masculine part of the egg, the Yang, rose to become the sky, while the Yin, the feminine or the “heavier” substance, dropped down to become the earth.
For 18,000 years, Pan Ku held the earth and sky apart, while he busily worked on the creation with his hammer and chisel. When he thought the sky was finally secure and wouldn’t fall down, he laid down to rest, but died instead. As he expired, Pan Ku’s body morphed into the various elements of nature: his voice became the thunder; his breath the wind and clouds; his eyes the sun and moon; and his limbs the mountains. Additionally, the fluids in his body turned into the rivers and the rain, while his body itself became the soil; the hair on his head became the stars, the hair on his body changed into vegetation, and his teeth, bones and marrow became the minerals in the earth. Lastly, the bugs on his body became human beings—a rather inauspicious beginning for humanity, to say the least!
Sadly, in the absence of the Truth provided by God, and when left to their own devices, these are the kinds of crazy stories concocted, in all seriousness, by men of old, from cultures all over the world, seeking to explain the origins of Life. Each story is a reflection of the unique culture which produced it, and of the environmental conditions impacting the lives of those within that culture; and yet, as dissimilar as these appear on the surface, when examined more closely, there is a detectable pattern—a methodology, if you will—in the way they were created; one requiring their…
- Observation of the then-current environmental conditions around them;
- Projection backwards in time in an effort to come up with a theory as to how those conditions came to be; and,
- Creation of a story around those natural elements which might explain events happening before their time.
In other words, those responsible for the creation of these myths arrived at their conclusions by trying to explain the unknown past through their observations of the natural processes occurring in their present time—something which men have continued to do until this day; with the one difference between then and now being, that those in earlier times typically made gods out of the elements they observed, while those who came later sought to eliminate any reference to god in their explanations.
A Modern-Day Creation Story
Probably the best and most successful example of this—and, by successful, I mean the most well-known and universally accepted one— is the explanation produced by a British Naturalist, living in the nineteenth century, named Charles Darwin; a man who, like the men preceding him, set about trying to explain the unknown past by first observing the natural processes at work in his day. In 1859, he presented those observations, and the suppositions which he had drawn from them, to the world in a revolutionary book entitled, On the Origin of Species—a book which laid the foundation for the modern-day Creation Story we commonly refer to as the Theory of Evolution. Although it has been touted as fact and embraced by most of the scientific community, in reality, this evolutionary theory is nothing more than a pseudo-scientific religion; one in which God has been eliminated and Man reduced to the status of a highly-evolved species of animal.
In sharp contrast to what we have already established about the world’s origins from God’s Word, Darwin’s theory was predicated upon four basic principles…
- …the first and most fundamental one which states that all life originated from one single cell. If true, this would mean that all forms of life are related genetically, and that all plants, animals, and humans are derivatives of the same original substance. Although this principle has come to be regarded by most as scientific fact, no one—not even Darwin—has ever been able to say just when, where, or how this single cell came to be. In fact…
… “Darwin himself speculated that spontaneous generation of life may have occurred by chance formation of proteid in ‘some warm little pond’ with all sorts of ammonia and phosphoric salts, light, heat and electricity (emphases added).”
- The second principle, as an outgrowth of the first, proposes that life, since its origination from that one primitive cell, has been a progressive development from the simplest of life forms to those of the most complex. This upward movement resulted from the on-going struggle of the cells, and their subsequently produced organisms, to survive in the natural elements; with their survival being made possible through the changes, modifications, or mutations taking place in some of the life forms. The surviving cells or organisms—those proven to be the “fittest’ for survival—were the ones having undergone genetic mutations or random changes in their makeup, changes which gave them advantages the other organisms didn’t have. In short, the organisms with mutations were the ones that survived, while those without them died.
- The third underlying principle supposes that, as a result of this natural process of selection, the struggling, upwardly mobile organisms became more and more complex, more numerous, and more adaptable to their environments. As they did, somehow they were able to come together to form the earth as we know it, and the various life forms that came to exist upon it.
- Closely related to this is evolution’s fourth principle—which states that, since these random mutations take so long to occur, the earth would have to have been in existence for millions of years in order for them to have taken place.
According to these principles, when it comes to understanding our origins, evolution would have us believe that as human beings, man is nothing more than the accidental product of millions of years of genetic mutations. Having originated from the same cell and being genetically linked to all other forms of life, including the animals, means that he need never aspire to being anything more than the most highly-evolved form of animal life—a species which, through self-effort and chance alone, has happened to work its way to the top of the food chain.
In its classification of him as an animal, evolution has provided Man with a rationale for eschewing accountability to any and all forms of externally imposed laws or codes of conduct. The one exception to this would be the “the law of the jungle,” the one code permitting humans to act beastly with impunity. In its reduction of men to mere brute beasts, without any codes to guide or control their behavior, humanity is also relieved of its need for any morality or religion in life.
With these restraints removed, man’s purpose in life becomes focused on the pursuit of physical or fleshly gratification, with the highest ideal of this gratification being the mating with, and the reproduction of, the most genetically superior humans possible. In this way, he can continue to produce offspring with the most favorable mutations, insuring that in the future, the species will become even more highly-evolved than it is now—and, with the expectation that these more highly-evolved humans will be better equipped to solve life’s most perplexing problems. Given enough time, perhaps a few more billion years, they may even evolve into perfect human beings, or physically superior specimens of male and female who are absolutely devoid of any soul or spirit.
As for satisfying the basic human question concerning life after death, evolution promises us that there won’t be any afterlife to worry about; our animalistic bodies will simply return to the earth from which they came, with our only lasting contribution being in our service as the most genetically superior fertilizer to date, for the soil of all future generations of human animals.
What we’re presented with, then, are two diametrically opposed ways of looking at the World—the Biblical Worldview originating with God, or the Secular Worldview, produced by Man’s Enlightened Thinking…
This certainly begs the question, that given the more meaningful and hopeful nature of the Biblical Worldview, why would anyone (most of the world, in fact) choose to buy into the meaningless and fatalistic existence offered by the Secular Worldview? Well, two reasons immediately come to mind; there is…
- The Theoretical Reason—this being the same reason Adam and Eve chose the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil over the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden—because they fell for the Big Lie promising them their independence from God and divinity on their own terms; and,
- The Practical Reason—because this Big Lie has been promoted world-wide through the Cultural Landscape set up and managed by Satan.
Selling the Lie
When it comes to selling people a Lie–big or otherwise–nobody does it better than Satan, and the method he continues to use is the same simple one he has been using since his initial success with it in the Garden of Eden. As he did with Adam and Eve, when it came to convincing the masses to buy into this Secular Worldview, all Satan had to do was…
Discredit the Word of God; and,
Replace the Truth with a Lie.
And, the best way for him to do this on such a massive scale was with a masterful manipulation of the Educational System and the Mass Media.
Because we will be discussing Satan’s use of the Media at length during our next session, what’s left of this one will be given over to highlighting how he has been working through the Educational System to discredit the Word of God and replace the Biblical Worldview with a counterfeit one. His strategy for this, like his Lie, has been simple yet highly effective, and is based upon the three-pronged approach of…
- Promoting an Alternative Worldview—Offering the Intellectual Community an Appealing Alternative to the Biblical Worldview;
- Compromising Biblical Scholarship—Infiltrating Seminaries with the New Worldview in order to Compromise Biblical Scholarship;
- Corrupting the Public School Curriculum—Infiltrating Teacher Training Schools, then the Public Education System, and gradually but systematically changing the Curriculum to promote the Alternative Worldview.
1. Promoting an Alternative Worldview
Before the publication of Darwin’s On the Origin of the Species, the Biblical View of Creation was the most widely-accepted one—at least, as far as Western Civilization was concerned. For some time before that, though, the scientific community had been searching for an alternative theory; the reason being, that for centuries the institutional church, in its zeal to prevent any potential heresy, had routinely suppressed scientific inquiry and persecuted those who were engaged in it. The intellectually curious, who had long suffered under this type of oppression, were ready to cast off the teachings of the church and pursue a more rational, enlightened explanation for the Earth’s Origins. They had a big problem, though—which was, how to explain the more dramatic features of the earth’s landscape, like its mountains and canyons, apart from any reference to supernatural catastrophes which may have taken place in the past. This belief was called Catastrophism, and it…
…was accepted as the only possible explanation until about the 18th century. Catastrophism taught that the geologic rock strata were primarily a result of catastrophes like the world-wide flood of Noah. At that time James Hutton and Sir Charles Lyell proposed an alternative explanation of uniformitarianism. The theory of uniformitarianism taught that the present was the key to the past and exactly the same slow process that we see today is the one responsible for the formation of all the geological rock strata.
Since deposition with the uniformitarianism theory was so slow, long eons of time were required. This meant that the current biblical beliefs at that time of a young earth, the recent history of the life on earth and the worldwide flood of Noah were discredited. In addition, uniformitarianism laid the foundation for Darwin’s’ theory of evolution, which also needed an old earth to be credible.
So uniformitarianism dethroned catastrophism and evolution dethroned biblical creationism and both became the dominant theories in academia and science until the present time.
2. Compromising Biblical Scholarship
Given the speed at which it was embraced by the academic disciplines, it would seem that Satan had picked the perfect time for the publication of Darwin’s book because…
…his book seemed to provide support for a point of view, a world outlook that was just what the intelligentsia of his day wanted. What Darwin wrote was evidently just what the ‘mainstream’ of academia in England, and subsequently in nation after nation, were waiting for.
Not surprisingly, then—given who was pulling the strings behind the scene—one of the first disciplines to be affected by this broad-based acceptance of Evolutionary Theory was Theology, with the person most responsible for its application to Biblical Scholarship being a German rationalist scholar named Julius Wellhausen…
Wellhausen was an Old Testament scholar, an intellectual, and a theologian…and produced a colossal change within the church by presenting to the Christian community a new, and he would say better, way of understanding the Bible.
He held…that human reason was totally dependable and insisted that it was the Bible that could not seriously be trusted. He presented the idea that the Bible, far from being the Word of God, was in fact a sublime collection of human documents. For instance, he insisted that we must not hold that Moses wrote the Pentateuch. Rather, this history of early man was given to us by a number of writers, whose views were compiled to form what we now call the Pentateuch. Therefore, the story of Adam and Eve is a lovely myth that can illustrate certain truths, but it surely does not represent the actual story of people whom God called ‘Adam’ and ‘Eve.’
Exodus, he thought, was completely historical; prior to that, all was myth.
During his career as a theological professor, Wellhausen published many books in the German language on the subject of biblical criticism. Over the years, his reputation grew as the leader of a school of thought concerning a method of interpreting the Old Testament Scriptures. This school of thought came to be called Higher Criticism…
…a school whose scholars…
…’seek to explain Old Testament belief in God in terms of evolution. They would have Old Testament monotheism be the resultant from lower stages, or from polytheism, or regard it as a peculiar instinct of the Semites, or as borrowed from neighboring nations.’
The lasting effect of all this was…
Wellhausen’s scholarship became an important contribution to liberalism as it sought to demythologize the Bible by taking God and spiritual things out of it. Through this means, Wellhausen opened the door for subsequent scholars to expand the base of liberalism and add to it their own interpretations of biblical truth. Some found the Bible to be an endless round of allegories rather than necessary historical truth.
The logical consequence of all this speculation was a defection from sound doctrine by the church and its leadership, as well as a fundamental shift in religious allegiance from Christianity to an empty humanist religion.
3. Corrupting the Public School Curriculum***
With the seminaries no longer producing ministers who believed the Bible to be the inerrant Word of God, the Church lost much of its spiritual power and was fast becoming more of a social institution, preaching a social gospel. As such, it…
…abdicated its responsibility to be a corrective within society and instead cooperated with the golden promises of the secular humanists. Moving with the tide, the church quickly changed its message of salvation through the cleansing of the blood of Christ to a message of salvation through the improvement of the social structure…
…thus, leading to the conclusion that…
If man is no longer a sinner, all he needs is education and inspiration, and the flame of bright possibility will burn brilliantly in all society.
Of course, Satan had a man ready to step into the situation—one who would revolutionize the educational system that was training new teachers, and the system that was shaping the minds of the children in the Public Schools of America. This man, known as the “father of progressive education,” was John Dewey—a socialist and one of America’s leading atheists—who wrote…
There is no God and no soul. Hence, there are no needs for the props of traditional religion. With dogma and creed excluded, then immutable (unchangeable) truth is also dead and buried. There is no room for fixed, natural law or permanent moral absolutes.
Dewey viewed public education as being…
…a massive behavior-shaping tool and enterprise. Dewey knew that that you could sway the beliefs of a generation in the classroom and thereby alter the course of society. He saw the public school system as an ideal platform to proselytize his radical socialistic view. Regardless of what the parents believed, it was only a matter of time before the successive generation took over.
But John Dewey’s ideas did not just come out of a vacuum. He was influenced by an insider group of intellectuals in England known as the Fabian Socialists…an elite intelligentsia of world socialists who envisioned an end to war and poverty by a united world order dedicated to the ideals of socialistic humanism.
Unlike Marxists, who advocated bloody revolution for world socialism, the Fabian Socialists of Britain advocated a more gradualist path to socialistic globalism. The plan of these early one-worlders was to use intellectual penetration, from the top of the pyramid down, into key areas of influence on society. Elite minds were to influence and change the social order.
A brief resume for Dewey reveals that…
- He began his career teaching classics, science, and algebra to high school students.
- From there, he went to John Hopkins University, where he earned his doctorate in 1884.
- That same year, he became a professor at the University of Michigan, where he stayed for ten years.
- Then, in 1894, he became chairman of the Department of Philosophy, Psychology, and Education at the University of Chicago. While there, he ‘…founded the Laboratory School, which then became known as the Dewey School, and wrote a number of important books on education.’
- In 1904, he took on his longest and most influential position as chairman of the Education School at Columbia University in New York City; and…
…from this position of influence, he labored until his retirement in 1930, gaining international prominence for his radical views in education and philosophy. The Columbia Teacher’s College soon became a training center for teachers from around the world, thereby spreading Dewey’s education philosophy literally to the ends of the earth.
So, how has Satan used Dewey’s views on education and his tenure at Columbia Teacher’s College to transform the mindsets of students and teachers across America?
Dewey knew that to penetrate the existing social order a united front of educators, who embodied the new viewpoint, needed to emerge from graduate schools. These teachers of teachers would then influence future teachers. Among the new views was a national self-criticism that spurned narrow patriotism for a broader globalism. At the same time all traditional values were to be questioned, from parental authority to the validity of established religion.
Rather than equipping the child to handle the demanding academic and moral standards of the old order, with its McGuffey Reader and its implicit moral virtues, Dewey’s progressive education considered behavior-shaping as its highest education priority. ‘Socialization’ was now defined as a type of learning at least equal to traditional learning. Now the old morals and ethics could be replaced by situational ethics or ‘values clarification.’ Reading, writing, and arithmetic took a backseat to an array of experimental programs such as ‘sensitivity training.’ The virtues of hard work were replaced by new permissive standards that would pass a failing child rather than ‘harm’ him by labeling him a failure. Total equality was the new ideal…
Now, if we go back to our question of why anyone would choose to buy into the meaningless and fatalistic existence offered by the Secular Worldview, we have our answer. It’s because they have been duped by the master deceiver into thinking that it is the only viable one out there—which is why, for a lot of people…
It’s more comfortable to feel that we’re a slight improvement on a monkey thin a fallin’ off from the angels.
I, on the other hand, would prefer to believe that I am a unique creation of my Heavenly Father’s Love, rather than anything remotely similar to a monkey…
*** I am well aware that there are many fine, godly educators in the public school system–my husband being one of them–so in referring to the corruption of public education, I am referring to the system and not to those ministering so faithfully as teachers–so often overworked, underpaid, and underappreciated. I am also so grateful for the truly dedicated teachers who have taught all five of our sons over the years.
 Information on the creation myths of ancient cultures is summarized from these sources:
Philip Wilkinson, DK Illustrated Dictionary of Mythology (New York: DK Publishing Inc., 2006), 22-23, 46-47.
Kenneth C. Davis, Don’t Know Much about Mythology (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2005), 137-150, 370-373.
 A.E. Wilder-Smith, Man’s Origins, Man’s Destiny (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers,1975), 33.
 Professor H. Enoch, Evolution or Creation (London, England: Evangelical Press, 1967), 86.
 Taken from an article, with no author or date given, on the website https://www.allaboutcreation.org/catastrophism-versus-uniformitarianism-faq.htm.
 John N. Moore, M.S., Ed.D., 1977. The Impact of Evolution on Social Sciences (http://www.icr.org/article/impact-evolution-social-sciences), Acts & Facts.6(10).
 Dave Breese, Seven Men Who Rule the World from the Grave (Chicago: Moody Press, 1990), 91-93, 95.
 Breese, Seven Men, 93.
 Breese, Seven Men, 95.
 Breese, Seven Men, 153.
 Gary H. Kah, En Route to Global Occupation (Lafayette, Louisiana: Huntington House Publishers, 1991), 60.
 Tal Brooke, When the World Will Be as One (Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 1989), 100-101.
 Breese, Seven Men, 157-158.
 Brooke, When the World Will Be as One, 103-104.
 Finley Peter Dunne, “On the Descent of Man,” Mr. Dooley on Making a Will and Other Necessary Evils; 1919.
The image of Pan Ku provided by Wikimedia.
Now that we have finished mapping out the y-axis, or vertical dimensions of Satan’s kingdom, it is time for us to do the same with the x-axis, or the horizontal reach of his domain. As we do, we will discover that just as there were three divisions along the previously studied y-axis, there will also be three tiers or levels along the x-axis of this spiritual map.
As you may recall, the three divisions that we learned about in our last exercise were…
The Celestial Division;
The Terrestrial Division; and,
The Subterranean Division…
…with the first of these divisions serving as the location for Satan’s headquarters—or, “command central” for all of his operations in the Heavenlies, on Earth, and in the Underworld. Being somewhat similar in nature to our military headquarters at the Pentagon, it is the place where Satan and his generals oversee and coordinate the activities of the demonic underlings who carry out his orders and implement his evil plans for man, both during the here-and-now and in the afterlife. In our last exercise, we spent some time discussing what awaits the unregenerate in that afterlife in the Subterranean Division; however, having glossed over much of the second or Terrestrial Division then, we will now double-back to that Earthly Division and devote this workout session to a more in-depth look at it and its three different tiers or Landscapes.
The Levels of Man’s Makeup
Since everything that transpires on Earth revolves around Man, and since Man’s on-going allegiance and worship is what Satan is determined to secure, we can be sure that anything and everything which affects or influences the lives of the humans living here has been corrupted by him so as to ensure his success. And, knowing Man and his makeup as well as he does, we can also be certain that his corruption of this world’s system has been perfectly designed to appeal to every level of Man’s human nature. To understand what I mean, we need to return—one more time—to the story of Adam and Eve, for it is in the story of their creation that we will discover the three levels of their makeup which Satan repeatedly exploits.
In one of our earlier exercises, we learned in Genesis 2:7 that when God created Man, He did so by first taking some dust from the earth and then fashioning it into a human body. Next, God breathed into that inanimate mass of flesh and bones, imparting to it both Life and His Spirit—and, when He did, Man’s Soul or Personality came into existence. Thus, Man became a living being made up of three parts which were perfectly designed for relationship. He was given…
A Spirit—so he could relate to God;
A Body—so he could relate to the natural world around him; and,
A Soul—connecting the two, and with which he could relate to other people.
God’s purpose for creating Man in this way was really quite simple: it was to provide a means of communication and fellowship between Him and Man, and to facilitate the implementation of His Will on the Earth. You see, because God’s Spirit will only relate to another spirit, and not the Flesh, this plan provided a way for His Spirit to communicate God’s Will to Man’s spirit—which would then relay the message to his Soul for processing through his Mind, Emotions, and Will. Once Man’s Will was in sync with the Will of God, it would direct the Body on how to carry it out.
This system worked well, initially at least—that is, until Man sinned. When this happened, and Man’s spirit died (or became cut off from God’s Spirit), communication between the two beings was suspended. As a result, rather than obeying the Voice of God through his spirit, Man began giving into the lustful dictates of his Flesh—encompassing both his Soul and Body.
In formulating his plan for Man’s Fall, it is evident that Satan knew enough about his makeup to devise a scheme which would appeal to his prey on all three levels of his existence. 1 John 2:16 describes these levels, as well as the order of Satan’s temptation, in the following way…
For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world…
…for, it was in this same order that he made his appeal to Eve…
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate (Genesis 3:6).
And, since this approach worked so well with the First Adam and his bride, Satan used it again in his wilderness temptation of the Second Adam, Jesus Christ, just prior to the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. Matthew 4:1-11 records how Satan attempted to entice Jesus to sin on each of these levels…
The Body—If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread. (v.3)
The Soul—If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,
‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.’ (v.6)
The Spirit—Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, ‘All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.’ (vv.8-9)…
…a temptation to which the Second Adam failed to succumb.
The Levels of Humanity’s Makeup
While it may be fairly easy for us to recognize the three-part constitution of Man, what may be more difficult for us to grasp is that, as a collective unit, Humanity is also made up of three parts; just like the individual Man, it has a corporate life consisting of a Body, Soul, and Spirit, which Satan manipulates in every way possible to achieve his desired end. From the moment when sin first entered his heart, that end has always been…
To ascend to heaven; above the stars of God to set his throne on high;
To sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north;
To ascend above the heights of the clouds;
To make himself like the Most High (Isaiah 14:13-14).
To achieve this goal, he has been working tirelessly and ruthlessly throughout history and in every realm of Human existence to eradicate all knowledge of God and the Truth, and to replace God with himself and the Truth with a lie. As Lewis Sperry Chafer so astutely discerned back in 1919…
…Satan’s ambition was not to become a fiend, but rather to become like the Most High. Therefore he will strive for all that is moral and good, yet at the same time do all in his power to draw men from their natural reverence of God in order, that, in due time, they may acknowledge him without fear. The satanic ideal of this age is, then, an improved social order, a moral and cultured people who are devout worshippers of Satan, though for the present they many imagine that they are worshiping Jehovah through their empty religious forms and ceremonies. Actually, they are in a state of God-dishonoring unbelief, and all their thoughts are energized by Satan alone. The satanic message for this age will be reformation and self-development, while the message of God is regeneration by the power of the Spirit.
Satan, in his imitation of the Most High, also is working toward a universal kingdom of morality and people upon earth, which will be temporarily realized under the reign of the Beast (Rev. 13). The difference between Satan’s ideal and the purpose of God, apart from the utter folly of the one and the glorious certainty of the other, is the difference of both method and time. According to the satanic program, the present order of society, with Satan on the throne, is to be developed into an ideal brotherhood, in which all men will practice what is moral and good.
We can certainly see this push for a “brotherhood of man” taking place all around us today, in every sphere of life, through Satan’s control and manipulation of what we may not have realized before was the Body, Soul, and Spirit of Humanity. To gain and maintain the control of the populace, he has exploited the physical needs of Humanity to create a Political and Economic Landscape which consolidates his power and advances his agenda; he has played upon the emotional and social needs of Humanity to create a Cultural Landscape in which people are conditioned to think and feel whatever he wants them to; and, he has used Humanity’s inherent need to worship to create a Religious Landscape built upon empty rituals, pseudo-good works, and deluded attempts at self-achieved divinity.
The Political and Economic Landscape
Satan’s first real drive to consolidate political power began at the Tower of Babel where, working through a mighty rebel named Nimrod, he nearly succeeded in establishing the first world government on the plains of Shinar. We find the story of this failed endeavor in Genesis 11: 1-9…
Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there.
And they said to one another, ‘Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.’ And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.’
And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. And the LORD said, ‘Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.’
So the LORD dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth. And from there the LORD dispersed them over the face of all the earth.
Although God’s dispersion of the people into different ethnic groups made Satan’s attempts at consolidation more difficult, it certainly didn’t deter him from the quest. From that time until now, in every tribe and nation, he has been at work, seeking to ensure that the godless rise to power and control all the wealth and resources, while the masses under them remain in bondage and in poverty. Gradually, as those with the most ambition and might launched out and conquered more territory, empires developed—empires which have been and are currently being ruled by the devil and his demons.
As we have just noted, the first of these empires was the one established in the land of Mesopotamia under the leadership of Nimrod, a great-grandson of Noah…
The beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. From that land he went into Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth-Ir, Calah, and Resen between Nineveh and Calah; that is the great city (Genesis 10:10-12)…
…an empire which came to an abrupt end when God confused the language of the people at the Tower of Babel.
However, as the people dispersed and moved into other lands—seeming to have learned nothing from their experience at Babel—other empires soon developed. Although there have been too many to mention here, the Bible makes reference to seven of the world’s major empires; major because of the parts they have played—and will continue to play—in the history of Israel and in the fulfillment of God’s Story of Redemption. From the least to the greatest, these empires reshaped the political and economic landscapes existing during the Old Testament era and, in the process, created templates for the empires which would arise in the era to come.
As indicated by this chart, we are currently living in an Americanized version of the old Roman Empire; however, we are quickly being moved toward what is commonly thought of in Biblical terms as the Revived Roman Empire—which, in secular terms, is the Globalization of Government, Banking and Business, Education, Media and Entertainment, and Religion known as the New World Order. This amalgamation of the Structures of Human Life is what Satan has been working toward ever since his failure at the Tower of Babel, as it will be the vehicle through which he, through the persons of the Antichrist and False Prophet, will finally realize his dream (however short-lived as it may be) of being revered and worshiped as god on a world-wide level. While each of these Structures represents an important feature of the Political and Economic, the Cultural, and the Religious Landscapes he has created, the Political and Economic one is the first one that we need to consider because it is the one which will provide the other two with the legs upon which they can stand.
The Legs of the New World Order
Although the plan for this “New World Order” has been in the works for millennia, and it has been partially realized in fits and spurts at various times throughout history, until recently, its ultimate realization has been all but impossible because of nationalism, ethnic rivalries, and problems attributable to distance and communication. In effect, it didn’t have a leg to stand on; however, with all of the improvements in travel and advances in technology over the past century, the political and financial legs of this New Order have been fleshing out and strengthening at a very rapid pace.
During this one century, some of the major accomplishments of those working behind the scenes to usher in this global governmental platform for Satan have been…
1913—The establishment of the Federal Reserve System as a means of controlling the nation’s money, which…
Contrary to public belief…is not a government institution. It is a privately held corporation owned by stockholders…approximately three hundred stockholders, all of whom are known to each other and are sometimes related to one another.
Because of the way in which the Federal Reserve System was designed by its founders, whoever controls the Federal Reserve Bank of New York essentially controls the system. For all practical purposes the Federal Reserve Bank of New York ‘is’ the Federal Reserve.
Class A stockholders control the system by owning the stock of the largest member banks in the New York Federal Reserve Bank. The controlling interest is held by fewer than a dozen international banking establishments, only four of which are based in the United States. The rest of the interests are European, with the most influential of these being the Rothschild family of London.
Each year billions of dollars are ‘earned’ by Class A Stockholders of the Federal Reserve. These profits come at the expense of the U.S. government and American citizens paying interest on bank loans, a portion of which ends up going to the Federal Reserve. Much of this money, along with the annual profits stemming from hundreds of corporations and banks owned by these same interests, is then funneled into tax-exempt foundations where it is then re-invested into American and foreign foundations and used to further influence our economy. In this fashion, a small group of people apparently dedicated to the establishment of world government has gained considerable influence over global activity.
1920—The creation of the League of Nations; as the first but failed attempt at global government, it…
…was established at the end of World War I as an international peacekeeping organization. Although US President Woodrow Wilson was an enthusiastic proponent of the League, the United States did not officially join the League of Nations due to opposition from isolationists in Congress.
…effectively resolved some international conflicts but failed to prevent the outbreak of the Second World War.
The non-entry of the United States into the League of Nations represented a huge setback for…the globalists. There could be no world government without the participation of the world’s leading power…To make sure that a similar incident didn’t happen again the second time around, the cartel…would establish the Council on Foreign Relations.
1921—The creation of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) which, according to its website is…
…an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher dedicated to being a resource for its members, government officials, business executives, journalists, educators and students, civic and religious leaders, and other interested citizens in order to help them better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries. Founded in 1921, CFR takes no institutional positions on matters of policy.
…in Study Number 7, a CFR position paper published on 25 November 1959 the CFR stated that its purpose was to advocate the ‘building [of] a new international order [which] may be responsible to world aspirations for peace [and] for social and economic change.
The goal of the CFR, quite simply, was to influence all aspects of society in such a way that one day Americans would wake up and find themselves in the midst of a one-world system whether they liked it or not.
1945—The creation of the United Nations…
With the start of World War II the CFR, thanks to the help of Franklin Roosevelt, would gain control of the State Department and, therefore, our foreign policy…CFR control of the State Department would ensure U.S. membership in the United Nations following the war. In fact, the Council on Foreign Relations would act through the State Department to establish the U.N.
To make sure that the United States would not back out of joining the United Nations as it did with the League of Nations, the international body would this time be located on American soil…land…’graciously’ donated by John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
By getting the United States to join the U.N., which represents a limited form of world government, the Council on Foreign Relations had accomplished its first major objective. Using its influence in public education and the media, the CFR would now proceed to cast a favorable image for the United Nations among the American public, eventually leading step-by-step to U.S. participation in a full-blown system of world government.
The immediate purpose of the U.N. was therefore merely to warm Americans up to the idea of global government. It was all part of the conditioning.
Along with being responsible for the United States, the Council on Foreign Relations would go on to serve as a mainspring for numerous spin-off groups, such as the Bilderbergers, the Club of Rome, and the Trilateral Commission, each of which was designed to carry out a specific task within the broader mission of establishing a New World Order.
1954—The establishment of the Bilderberger Group, a super-secretive group of some of the world’s most powerful people who meet once a year to “discuss” the issues confronting the world…
Since 1954, the Bilderbergers have represented the elite and the absolute wealth of all western nations—financiers, industrialists, bankers, politicians, business leaders of multinational corporations, presidents, prime ministers, finance ministers, state secretaries, World Bank and International Monetary Fund representatives, presidents of world media conglomerates, and military leaders.
Why this alliance? Because one of the main objectives of the Group was to submit the sovereignty of the free nations of Europe to a Bilderberger-controlled British-American One World Government, using a nuclear threat as a battering ram against the rest of the unwilling world.
According to one observer…” The intention behind each and all of the Bilderberger meetings was about how to create an ‘Aristocracy of purpose’ between Europe and the United States, and how to come to agreement on questions of policy, economics, and strategy in jointly ruling the world.”
1968—The establishment of the Club of Rome—a group which, according to its website is…
…an organisation of individuals who share a common concern for the future of humanity and strive to make a difference. Our members are notable scientists, economists, businessmen and businesswomen, high level civil servants and former heads of state from around the world…The Club of Rome conducts research and hosts debates, conferences, lectures, high-level meetings and events. The Club also publishes a limited number of peer-reviewed ‘Reports to the Club of Rome,’ the most famous of which is ‘The Limits to Growth.’
The Club of Rome’s mission is to promote understanding of the global challenges facing humanity and to propose solutions through scientific analysis, communication and advocacy. Recognizing the interconnectedness of today’s global challenges, our distinct perspective is holistic, systemic and long-term.
The organization claims to have the solutions for world peace and prosperity…these solutions always seem to promote the concept of world government at the expense of national sovereignty.
Toward that end…
The Club of Rome has been charged with the task of overseeing the regionalization and unification of the entire world; the Club could therefore be said to be one step above the Bilderbergers in the one-word hierarchy.
The Club’s findings and recommendations are published from time to time in special, highly confidential reports, which are sent to the power-elite to be implemented. On 17 September 1973 the Club released one such report, entitle ‘Regionalized and Adaptive Model of the Global World System…[which] reveals that the Club has divided the world into ten political/economic regions, which it refers to as ‘kingdoms.’
These “kingdoms” appear to be very similar to the ones seen by Daniel in one of his prophetic visions…
After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, terrifying and dreadful and exceedingly strong. It had great iron teeth; it devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns.
Then I desired to know the truth about the fourth beast, which was different from all the rest, exceedingly terrifying, with its teeth of iron and claws of bronze, and which devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet, and about the ten horns that were on its head…
I approached one of those who stood there and asked him the truth concerning all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of the things.
As for the fourth beast, there shall be a fourth kingdom on earth [the Revived Roman Empire of the Antichrist], which shall be different from all the kingdoms, and it shall devour the whole earth, and trample it down, and break it to pieces.
As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings shall arise… (Daniel 7: 7, 23-24)
Here, in this illustration, is the way the Club of Rome has divided the world up into kingdoms…
1971—The founding of the World Economic Forum by Klaus Schwab…
This “impartial, non-profit” organization appears to be the economic equivalent of the Council on Foreign Relations, and its purpose seems to be the transitioning of the world’s economies from the current Shareholder and State forms of Capitalism to Stakeholder Capitalism, which positions private corporations as trustees of society.
According to their website…
The Forum engages the foremost political, business, cultural and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.
Our activities are shaped by a unique institutional culture founded on the stakeholder theory, which asserts that an organization is accountable to all parts of society.
Business leaders now have an incredible opportunity. By giving stakeholder capitalism concrete meaning, they can move beyond their legal obligations and uphold their duty to society. They can bring the world closer to achieving shared goals, such as those outlined in the Paris climate agreement and the United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda. If they really want to leave their mark on the world, there is no alternative.
In other words, they are actively engaged in ushering in a new business model based upon the shared environmental goals of the One World Government, where every business or government organization will no longer be an independent, autonomous entity but merely a cog in the wheel of the Globalist Economy.
1973—The establishment of the Trilateral Commission…
By the early 1970’s, thanks to burgeoning communications technology, many Americans were becoming more aware of secretive organizations such as the Council on Foreign Relations. Former CFR chairman David Rockefeller, apparently in an effort to deflect public attention from CFR activities, instigated the creation of a more public offshoot organization: the Trilateral Commission.
The purpose of the Trilateral Commission would be to promote world government by encouraging economic interdependence among the superpowers. Steering the economies of the member nations into a position where they would be completely intertwined, the Trilateral Commission augments the regionalization efforts of its sister organizations, the Bilderbergers and the Club of Rome.
Like the CFR, the Commission is headquartered in New York City. However, unlike the CFR, whose membership is only drawn from the United States, the Trilateral Commission is composed of leaders from the world’s three economic superpowers—North America, Western Europe, and Japan. Hence, the term ‘trilateral.’ (It is worth noting that these are also the first three economic regions [kingdoms] listed on the Club of Rome’s global model.)
Although this is a lot to take in and absorb, the long and the short of it is…
- Satan has been at work behind the scenes orchestrating a takeover of the governmental and financial powers of the world;
- Through the Federal Reserve Bank, he has taken control of the money supply, ensuring that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer—and, that his future front-men will be able to enforce his worship through their controls of the economy;
- Through the Council on Foreign Relations, he set up the United Nations—providing the US and the world with a model for his future One World Government;
- Also, through the Council on Foreign Relations, he was able to birth three sister organizations—each with a specific role to play in the advancement of globalization, with…
- The Bilderbergers responsible for Europe’s integration into regional trade associations;
- The Club of Rome charged with the task of overseeing the regionalization and unification of the entire world; and,
- The Trilateral Commission charged with promoting world government through economic interdependence of its three superpowers.
- Through the World Economic Forum, using the threat of a potential Environmental Crisis, Satan has organized the Business Leaders and their Corporations of the world into a Global Economical Network for the purpose of obtaining control over the World’s Supply Chain.
And, as we shall see in Part 2 of this exercise, not only has he been busy reshaping the Political and Economic Landscapes of our lives, he has been busy doing the same with the Cultural Landscape, too!
Whatever happens in the world, here is a reminder that our God is bigger than any of its problems and He is always in control…
 Lewis Sperry Chafer, Satan: His Methods and Motives (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1919), 67-68.
 Gary H. Kah, En Route to Global Occupation (Lafayette, Louisiana: Huntington House Publishers, 1991), 13-14.
 Kah, En Route to Global Occupation, 20.
 Article written by Dr. Michelle Getchell. This article is licensed under a CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 license, and found on the Khan Academy website at https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/ap-us-history/period-7/apush-us-in-wwi/a/the-league-of-nations.
 Kah, En Route to Global Occupation, 30.
 Kah, En Route to Global Occupation, 33, 36.
 Kah, En Route to Global Occupation, 36-38.
 Daniel Estulin, The True Story of the Bilderberg Group (Walterville, Oregon: Trine Day Publishers, 2007), 20-21.
 Jim Marrs, Rule By Secrecy (New York, New York: Harper Collins Publishers, Inc., 2000), 22.
 Kah, En Route to Global Occupation, 45-46.
In our last exercise, Service: The Church as the Body of Christ, we were introduced to the concept that the Church, like the human body, is composed of three parts serving on three different levels, with each part being delegated a specific role to fulfill in its service for Christ. As…
- The corporate Body of Christ, the Church is to reach outward into the world; bringing the good news of Salvation to the lost in order to bring them into the Family of God;
- The corporate Soul of Christ, the Church is to reach inward to the members of the Family of God; loving and encouraging them while helping them grow toward spiritual maturity; and,
- The corporate Spirit of Christ, the Church is to reach upward into the unseen spiritual world; waging war against the powers of darkness who are doing everything in their power to promote the worship of their leader, Satan, and to keep the will and kingdom of God from being established on the earth.
Since we covered the basics of the Church as the Body of Christ last time, and since we will wait until we get to the next level of exercises on Spiritual Warfare to tackle the role of the Church as God’s Spiritual Army, this exercise will be given over to a discussion of the role of the Church as the Family of God. In order to get it going, the first thing we need to do is establish just what a Family is, and how it is supposed to function.
What is Family?
It used to be that if asked to define the term Family, most people would respond in the same way—that a Family, the most basic of all societal groups, is made up of a Father, Mother, and their children; with such extended members as grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins sometimes added into the mix. But, in today’s culture, with its escalating divorce rate and proliferation of lifestyle choices, the term has too often come to mean whatever an individual wants it to mean, or whatever his or her circumstances dictate. So today, in addition to what is known as the Nuclear Family just described, some of the other definitions in use are…
- Single-Parent Families…where a parent lives with dependent children, alone or in a larger household, without a spouse or partner;
- Blended Families…consisting of members from two (or more) previous families;
- Co-custody Families…where divorced parents share legal responsibility for their children; children who either live alternatively with both parents or permanently with one while having regular visitation with the other;
- Cross-Generational Families…where grandparents or aunts, uncles, etc, either raise the children or play major roles in their lives;
- Adoptive Families…where one or more of the children has been adopted;
- Foster Families…where one or more of the children is being cared for legally but temporarily by a family that is not their own;
- Bi-racial or multi-racial Families…where the parents come from different racial groups;
- Gay or Lesbian Families… where one or both of the parents’ is gay or lesbian;
- Immigrant Families… where the parents have immigrated to another country as adults; and,
- Migrant Families… who move regularly from place to place looking for employment.
To be sure, many of these are deviations from the ideal established by God at the time of Man’s Creation, documented for us in Genesis 1:27-28 in the following way…
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
This standard was later confirmed by Jesus when, as the Pharisees questioned Him as to the legitimacy of divorce, Jesus replied…
…from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate (Mark 10:6-9).
Established by God and confirmed by Jesus, the divine standard, then, calls for 1 Male + 1 Female + their Children to equal a Family. However, with the introduction of sin into the world following Adam and Eve’s fall from grace in the Garden of Eden, deviations from this ordained norm not only became a possibility but also a reality. As we now know, had there been no sin, there would never have been any abuse, neglect, adultery, divorce, or death to make the aforementioned deviations possible—and, the Family would have functioned and flourished in the way that God had intended it to do.
How is the Family Supposed to Function?
When considering how God intended for the Family to operate, it is imperative that we keep the following things in mind…
- Being created in the image of God means that God intended for Men to be reflections in the flesh of His Masculine Principles, while Women were to be the reflections of His Feminine Principles;
- Additionally, it was God’s intention that Men and Women come together in sexual union so that they could reproduce the life He had so graciously shared with them—something they would not be able to do on their own; and,
- As the masculine and feminine representations of God in the flesh, God meant for Men and Women to model before their children and the world the unity and selfless love shared by the members of Godhead themselves; becoming, in effect, living illustrations of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit for everyone to see.
As long as the members of any given family are living in right relationship with God and in obedience to His will, not only they but everyone around them will be able to witness God being lived out in the flesh—with…
- The Man/Husband in the Family demonstrating the love, leadership, strength, guidance, provision, and protection of God the Father;
- The Woman/Wife in the Family demonstrating the love, respect, wisdom, nurture, gentleness, grace, empathy, and sensitivity of God the Holy Spirit ; and,
- The Children in the Family demonstrating the love, respect, and obedience of God the Son.
However, God’s imaging purposes for these families were not to be limited to their being illustrations of the divine community known as the Trinity; it was also His intention for them to serve as earthly illustrations of the nature and workings of the much larger heavenly family known as the Church.
The Human Family as a Pattern for the Church
The fact that the earthly family was meant to be a living illustration of God’s heavenly family will become clearer to us once we have compared each according to their…
- Origins or creations;
- Missions or mandates; and,
- Means or methods of carrying out their missions.
From this illustration, we see that when God created the First Adam (1 Cor. 15: 22, 45) and his bride, He did so in such a way that it would serve as a prophetic picture of the Second Adam and His Bride, the Church. For Adam, referred to in the genealogy of Jesus Christ in Luke 3:38 as “the son (with a small “s”) of God,” was meant to foreshadow the eternal Son (with a capital “S”) of God, Jesus Christ, in that…
- He was without sin (at the time of his creation);
- He was lord over God’s creation; and,
- He was without his companion and helper.
Therefore, God set about providing him with a helper through a unique creation: first putting Adam into a deep sleep, God then opened his side and removing a rib or bone from it, He fashioned from it a female counterpart specially designed for Adam. This process, on a prophetic level, was to be a picture of what God was going to do through the Second Adam when, as Jesus was dying on the Cross, He fashioned His Bride, the Church, around the “bone” taken from the wounded side of Christ—that “bone” being the Disciples.
As for their Mission and Means for accomplishing them, they are virtually the same; for, both types of families were created for one purpose: to reproduce the life of God, both the physical and the spiritual, as a means of bringing the will and purpose, and the glory of God to the ends of the earth. Given the significance of this Mission to time and eternity, it should come as no surprise that the number one priority of God’s enemies would be the corruption and destruction of the Family, both the earthly and the heavenly ones—which is something we will learn more about in our next exercise.
Bill Gaither reminds us what it means to be part of “The Family of God”…
 Edwards, Julie Olsen. “The Many Kinds of Family Structures in Our Communities.” Based on the author’s work with Louise Derman-Sparks in Anti-bias Education for Children and Ourselves NAEYC 2009.
 This is not to say that men cannot be nurturing or that women cannot be leaders or providers, etc. These statements are merely meant to be generalizations of Godly ideals.
In our previous exercise, we began a new level of workout routines dealing with Service; and during the course of that introductory routine, we learned how, through our service for Christ, the good works which He began are still being done in the world today. Then, as we searched for a definition of the word, especially as it relates to us as believers, we discovered some of the Terms of Service which must be adhered to if any enduring work for Christ is to be accomplished. These are…
- Service must begin at the altar of worship, where we surrender our wills to God’s will;
- Service must be motivated by our love for Christ;
- Service must proceed from clean hands and pure hearts; and,
- Service like that which Jesus performed—and other than our post-salvation, personal MDLA, or Minimum Daily Lifestyle Adjustments—must be done in cooperation with other members of the Corporate Body of Christ, or the entity better known as The Church.
Too often, when we hear the word Church, the image that comes to mind is of a building. However, the real Church of Jesus Christ is not and was never intended to be an architectural structure or an organized institution into which the Children of God could retreat in search of protection or insulation from the world.
Rather, it was designed by God to be the collective and universal spiritual manifestation of Christ on the earth; one in which Christ is no longer limited to serving through just one physical body, living in one time and in one place. Instead, with His Presence and Power multiplied many times over in the lives of Believers scattered across the globe, the works that He once did during His Incarnation are now being replicated worldwide by the members of His spiritual body, the Church.
In order to grasp this concept a little better, we must realize that even though God loves each one of us individually, Christ died for each one of us individually, and we are each saved individually, at the moment we receive our Salvation, the Holy Spirit is busily and quite imperceptibly baptizing us into the Collective Spiritual Body of Christ; positioning us within that Body wherever He deems best, and assigning specific roles or functions to us that we are to carry out within the Body…
For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member but of many…as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose ( 1 Cor. 12: 12-14, 18).
But before getting into what those roles may be, we first need to learn how God intended for the Body of Christ to operate.
In one of our earlier exercises, Sanctification: Regeneration Perfected, we learned that when God created Man, He fashioned him with an individual or Personal Body, Soul, and Spirit, so that…
- Through his Body, he could relate to and function in the physical world;
- Through his Soul, he could relate to others on both emotional and intellectual levels; and,
- Through his Spirit, he could relate to God and learn how he could use his will to bring God’s will to pass on the earth.
In much the same way, God’s design for the Body of Christ called for it to have a Corporate Body, Soul, and Spirit, so that…
- Through its Body, the Church could relate to and carry on the work of Christ in the world outside of the Church;
- Through its Soul, the Church could relate as a Family to those within the Church, ministering to them and their needs in love; and,
- Through its Spirit, the Church could serve heaven as an Army of Spiritual Warriors; one united in its mission to overthrow the Enemy of God, take the territory previously held by him, and bring the Kingdom and the Will of God to rule on the earth in his place.
In short, God’s intention for the Church of Jesus Christ is for it to…
- Function externally in the world as a unified Body, under the direction of its Head, Jesus Christ;
- Relate internally to its members as a Family, under the loving guidance of God the Father; and
- Serve eternally by advancing the Kingdom of God through Spiritual Warfare, under the command of its General, the Holy Spirit.
The Church as a Body
Since God’s purpose in creating mankind was to obtain a spiritual family of holy sons and daughters and, since He was not willing…
…that any should perish but that all should reach repentance (2 Peter 3:9)…
…God purposed that His Church, in its function as a unified Body, would reach out to those in the world who had not yet to come to repentance—that is, those who have yet to be adopted as His children. In fact, forty days after His resurrection, as He was preparing to go back to His Father in heaven, Christ charged His disciples—those who would soon become the Church—with this very task in the Great Commission…
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you (Matt. 28:19-20).
As for how Jesus intended the soon-to-be Body of Christ to fulfill this charge, it was to be accomplished by its members…
- As they lived before the world according to the kingdom principles He had taught them in the Sermon on the Mount; and,
- Through acts of service empowered by the giftings of the Holy Spirit, which would soon be bestowed upon them.
The Body and Kingdom Living
After choosing His disciples, one of the first things Jesus did was to gather them together and give them an introductory lesson in Kingdom Living. This lesson, called the Sermon on the Mount (found in Matthew 5-7), must have been tremendously unsettling for them because in it, Jesus was establishing as their new standard for living, a set of principles which completely contradicted everything they had been taught was true. That’s because, in the culture of that day—much like in our present day—they had grown up believing that being healthy, wealthy, religious, and without any apparent problems were all indicators that one had been blessed by God. But here, in what has come to be known as The Beatitudes, Jesus was declaring that for the Children of God, the very opposite of this was true; that the ones who would be blessed by God are…
…the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
…those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
…the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
…those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
…the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
…the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
…the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
…those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
…you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account (Matt. 5:3-11).
And it would be these seemingly weak, insignificant, and oftentimes marginalized members of society, as they learned to live out the Kingdom Principles Jesus highlighted in His Sermon—principles such as…
- Kingdom Living requires more of us than surface level righteousness; it requires true righteousness which begins in our hearts and then proceeds outward;
- Kingdom Living requires that we love our enemies, blessing instead of cursing them;
- Kingdom Living requires that we treat others the way we would want them to treat us;
- Kingdom Living requires that we replace outward demonstrations of piety, designed to impress others, with giving, praying, and fasting done in secret; and,
- Kingdom Living requires that we cease judging others and that we forgive them instead, just as God has forgiven us…
…who would become the salt of the earth and the light of God in a darkened world, and so spiritually emboldened that they would later be spoken of by the Thessalonians in Acts 17:6 in this way…
These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also.
The Body and Spiritual Gifts
Surely, living according to God’s Kingdom Principles—that is, living lives radically different from the cultural norm—would prove to be a great way for believers to pique the interest and attract the attention of those living outside of the Body of Christ; however, just getting their attention would not be sufficient to get them saved and moved from the outside to the inside of the Body of Believers. To make a transfer like that happen, from the world’s kingdom to the Kingdom of God, the involvement of the Holy Spirit would be required, which is why, just before His ascension Jesus ordered His disciples…
…not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, ‘you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’
[For] you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and [after that] you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
It would take the power of the Holy Spirit, working through individual believers, to produce Acts of Service like the ones Jesus performed and in the way that God had ordained–which was, with the members of Christ’s Body working together, using the Spiritual Gifts assigned to them at the time of their Salvation.
Spiritual Gifts, unlike the natural talents we are born with or the skills which we develop on our own throughout life, are the special spiritual abilities or enablements given to believers for the purpose of growing and building up of the Church, the Body of Christ. The Apostle Paul explains them far better than I could, here in these passages from three of his letters…
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed…there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone (1 Cor.12: 1, 4-6).
To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills (1 Cor. 12:7-11).
For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness (Romans 12:4-8).
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.
Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love (Ephesians 4:11-16).
So, to summarize what we have learned so far about Service and the Church, we now know that…
- as the members of Christ’s Body model the character and behavior of Christ before the world—the character developed in them as the Fruit of the Spirit and the behavior epitomized in the Kingdom Living Principles taught in the Sermon on the Mount; and…
- as, the members of Christ’s Body reach out to the world through their Acts of Service—service which has been initiated, coordinated, and empowered by the Holy Spirit…
…the world will be reached with the Gospel, the family and kingdom of God will be expanded, and the function of the Church as the Corporate Body of Christ will have been realized.
Unspoken reminds us that if we are to do the works of Christ, we will need the Holy Spirit to “Start a Fire” in our souls…
Original image of the Sermon on the Mount courtesy of http://www.freebibleimages.org.
So far, through our exercises in Sanctification, we have learned that it is the work of the Holy Spirit to restore our emotions through Prayer and our minds through the study and application of the Word of God—a ministry bringing our hearts into alignment with that of the Father and transforming our minds into ones more like Christ’s. But this only encompasses the restoration of two of the components of our souls—leaving the third one, our all-important and powerful wills, for the Spirit to deal with. And deal with them, He must; because unlike our emotions which are simply expressions of how we feel, and our minds which merely reveal what we think, our wills through their actions express what we want and who we really are.
Throughout these workout sessions, we have learned that it’s always been God’s will for us to be saved from our sins and be adopted into His family–becoming sons and daughters who have not only been redeemed by the blood of Christ but who have also been conformed or remolded into His image. This means that we are not only to become like Jesus in character, but we are also to share in His mission and ministry here on the earth—a ministry committed to carrying out the will of His Father…
My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work;
I can do nothing on my own…because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me; and,
I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me (John 4:34, 5:30, and 6:38).
Since doing the will of the Father was at the heart of Jesus’ mission, and since becoming like Him is the goal of our Sanctification, it stands to reason that doing the will of the Father must become the mission in our lives as well–something that is a lot easier said than done!
That’s because, before coming to Christ, our wills and the actions they precipitated were dominated by our flesh—by how we felt and by what we thought. If our bodies hungered for or lusted after something—regardless of whether it was appropriate or beneficial; or, if our minds harbored certain thoughts about anyone or anything—regardless of whether they were true or not—our wills would initiate actions geared toward satisfying those feelings and vindicating those thoughts. In short, before our Salvation, with no access to Godly input through our dormant spirits, our wills were like puppets whose strings were being pulled by our baser human instincts–instincts solely concerned with satisfying our unregenerate and ego-dominated selves. However, the moment we said yes to Jesus and were Born Again, all this began to change.
Salvation and the Will of Man
The goal of and long-term impact of Salvation on our wills has been well described by Watchman Nee in his book The Spiritual Man…
What is salvation? It is none other than God saving man out of himself into Himself. Salvation has two facets: a cutting off and a uniting with. What is cut off is self; the uniting is with God.
What is self? …were we to say self is self-will we would not be too far from the mark… [because] man’s essence is in his volition…
Salvation, then, is to deliver man from his created, natural, animal, fleshly, and self-emanating will…
The gospel is to facilitate the union of our will with God. Anything short of this is failure of the mission. God aims his arrow of salvation not so much at our emotion or our mind, but at our will, for once the latter is saved, the rest are included.
[For] …God intends to destroy the life of the soul but not its function, so upon being joined with the Lord in life, He launches forth to renew our soul with its various parts in order that our soul may be one with our new life and consequently one with His will.
In the face of such a challenging, time-consuming, and (on our parts) painful prospect as the transformation of our self-absorbed wills into ones totally given over to the pursuit of God’s will, we might find ourselves wondering if it wouldn’t have been better for us, rather than being endowed with the capacity to choose, to have been pre-programmed for obedience by God. Surely, this would have been much easier on everyone involved. And yet, if God hadn’t designed us in this way, we wouldn’t have been made in His image and therefore not been eligible for adoption as His children. For us to be like God, it was essential that we be free to choose to act in ways that He would–such as…
- Choosing to do what’s right, rather than what’s expedient;
- Choosing to do what’s in the best interests of others, even at the expense of our own interests;
- Choosing to speak nothing but the truth, even if we are the only ones doing it; and,
- Choosing to believe God and take Him at His Word, even though we can see no evidence of His existence; and even when our thoughts and feelings do not concur.
The failure to make this last choice—which is really the first one we each need to make—is what caused our first parents, and eventually us, to be at odds with the will of God in the first place. As Genesis 3:6 relates it, in spite of the fact that Adam and Eve had been told not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil…
…when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.
Sadly, when Adam and Eve were given an opportunity to prove that they would carry out the will of God, they failed. Rather than complying with His will, they allowed their own wills to be seduced by the promises of self-achieved divinity offered to them by Satan, the one whose will has always been in direct opposition to God’s.
On this, Watchman Nee comments again…
We may say that there are two massive contradictory wills throughout the universe. On one side stands the holy and perfect will of God; on the other is arrayed the defiled, defiling, and opposing will of Satan. In between subsists the sovereign, independent, free will of man.
The War of the Wills
While we are being overwhelmed by the countless mundane issues in life, it is very easy for us to lose sight of the fact behind everything taking place in our lives is this unseen, on-going conflict of wills between the one Righteous Ruler of the Universe and Lucifer, the evil imposter who is seeking to overthrow Him. Lucifer—aka Satan, is none other than “the prince of the power of the air (Eph. 2:2),” and “the father of lies and a murderer from the beginning (John 8:44).” His bio, in Ezekiel 28: 12-17, reads like this…
You were the signet of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, in the garden of God…an anointed cherub…blameless in your ways from the day you were created, till unrighteousness was found in you…
So I cast you as a profane thing from the mountain of God, and I destroyed you, O guardian cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
Your heart was proud because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor…
His arrogant ambition and the self-centered nature of his will are also noted for us in Isaiah 14:12-14…
How you are fallen from heaven, O Daystar, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low!
You said in your heart…
…I will ascend to heaven;
…above the stars of God I will set my throne on high;
…I will sit on the mount of the assembly in the far reaches of the north;
…I will ascend above the height of the clouds;
…I will make myself like the Most High.
His opponent, of course, is God—the Sovereign, All Powerful, All-Knowing, Holy Being who not only…
…created the heavens…formed the earth and made it…[and] formed it to be inhabited;
…speak[s] the truth…[and] declare[s] what is right (Is. 45:18-19);
…gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist (Rom. 4:17);
…is light and in [whom] is no darkness at all (1 John 1:50;
…is love (1 John 4:10)….
…the One who could, at any time He chooses, destroy this impudent adversary with just one word from His mouth. Instead, in His wisdom, He has allowed him to “…prowl around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).” Why? Because in this cosmic battle of wills, the decision as to which Will prevails on earth has been delegated by God to the will of each—relatively speaking—puny and seemingly insignificant human being who has ever lived on this planet.
In the classic apologetic novel, The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis provides us with some insight into the nature of this war of wills through the instructional letters that seasoned demon, Screwtape, sends to his nephew, Wormwood, a lowly demon-in-training. Here, in a slightly abridged version of one such letter, we learn that in the view of Satan and his minions…
…Humans are amphibians– half spirit and half animal…As spirits they belong to the eternal world, but as animals they inhabit time. This means that while their spirit can be directed to an eternal object, their bodies, passions, and imaginations are in continual change, for as to be in time means to change. Their nearest approach to constancy, therefore, is undulation–the repeated return to a level from which they repeatedly fall back, a series of troughs and peaks…As long as [they live] on earth periods of emotional and bodily richness and liveliness will alternate with periods of numbness and poverty…
…To decide what the best use of it is, you must ask what use the Enemy [God] wants to make of it, and then do the opposite. Now it may surprise you to learn that in His efforts to get permanent possession of a soul, He relies on the troughs even more than on the peaks; some of His special favourites have gone through longer and deeper troughs than anyone else. The reason is this. To us (demons) a human is primarily food; our aim is the absorption of its will into ours, the increase of our own area of selfhood at its expense. But the obedience which the Enemy [God] demands of men is quite a different thing. One must face the fact that all the talk about His love for men, and His service being perfect freedom, is not (as one would gladly believe) mere propaganda, but an appalling truth.
He really does want to fill the universe with a lot of loathsome little replicas of Himself—creatures whose life, on its miniature scale, will be qualitatively like His own, not because he has absorbed them but because their wills freely conform to His. We want cattle who can finally become food; He wants servants who can finally become sons. We want to suck in, He wants to give out. We are empty and would be filled; He is full and flows over. Our war aim is a world in which Our Father Below has drawn all other beings into himself: the Enemy (God) wants a world full of beings united to Him but still distinct.
And that is where the troughs come in. You must have often wondered why the Enemy [God] does not make more use of His power to be sensibly present to human souls in any degree He chooses and at any moment. But you now see that the Irresistible and the Indisputable are the two weapons which the very nature of His scheme forbids Him to use. Merely to override a human will (as His felt presence in any but the faintest and most mitigated degree would certainly do) would be for Him useless. He cannot ravish. He can only woo. For His ignoble idea is to eat the cake and have it; the creatures are to be one with Him, but yet themselves; merely to cancel them, or assimilate them, will not serve. He is prepared to do a little overriding at the beginning. He will set them off with communications of His presence which, though faint, seem great to them, with emotional sweetness, and easy conquest over temptation.
Sooner or later He withdraws, if not in fact, at least from their conscious experience, all those supports and incentives. He leaves the creature to stand up on its own legs– to carry out from the will alone duties which have lost all relish. It is during such trough periods, much more than during the peak periods, that it is growing into the sort of creature He wants it to be. Hence the prayers offered in the state of dryness are those which please Him best. We can drag our patients along by continual tempting, because we design them only for the table, and the more their will is interfered with the better. He cannot ‘tempt’ to virtue as we do to vice.
He wants them to learn to walk and must therefore take away His hand; and if only the will to walk is really there He is pleased even with their stumbles. Do not be deceived, Wormwood. Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy’s [God’s] will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys…
Worship and the Will of God
Although he didn’t refer to it as such, the act that Screwtape is describing when a child of God chooses to obey the will of His Father—even in the face of any thoughts, feelings, or circumstances to the contrary—is something that God looks upon as Worship. In spite of what we have been conditioned to believe, worship isn’t so much about what we do when we gather together in church on Sunday morning, it is more about what we do when we leave church and go back into the world. That’s when we come face to face with the people and situations that Satan typically uses when tempting us to abandon God’s will in favor of our own. But it is also then that, as we are strengthened by the Spirit and reminded that…
God is God, and we are not;
He created everything, He owns everything, and He established all the rules by which His creation operates;
He knows everything, is everywhere, and has all the power;
He is holy and always does what is right; and,
His thoughts or ideas, and His ways of doing things are better than ours; and,
He can always be trusted to do what is right, not only for us but for everyone else, as well…
…we can lay aside our will and what we want and choose to do what Jesus would do if He was there in our place. This, in fact, is what Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane when in the face of the Cross, He surrendered His will to that of His Father so that His Father’s could be carried out on the earth. What we learn from His example is that worshiping God simply means living surrendered to Him, in any and every circumstance in life, and that anything less is not true worship.
With that in mind, let’s be quick to submit to and embrace the work of the Holy Spirit as He continues the work of restoration in our souls, so that in every situation our attitude will be…
O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.
For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand (Ps. 95:6).
 Watchman Nee, The Spiritual Man (Richmond, VA: Christian Fellowship Publishers, Incorporated, 1968), Book 3, 81-83.
 Nee, Spiritual Man, 77.
 C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2001), chapter 8.