Remember Eternity

What is the world like today?  

  • Hatred, wars, unrest, violence, ethnic strife – a society gone haywire. 
  • The unreal attempt by nations and rebellious groups to destroy Israel.  What did Israel do wrong?  They are God’s people who live in their God given land.    
  • The continuous war against God, His Word and His people that leads to social unrest and divisions in countries.  

 Why all the evil, drama, climate change, unhappiness, et cetera?

The Bible testifies that there are two invisible kingdoms at war.  The Kingdom of Light is led by the Lord God Almighty.  The kingdom of darkness has Satan, the destroyer, as head.  He is the ruler of this world.  The battle is for the hearts and minds of men; for the loyalty and allegiance to either of the two leaders. 

What is at stake?  Eternity  

  • God gives each person the opportunity to decide for him- or herself, while you live on earth, where you will spend eternity – with God in peace and harmony or with Satan in the lake of burning sulphur.
  • How important is eternal life?  It is time that never stops.  A billion years, a trillion years is only the beginning.  Therefore our decision is of the utmost importance – eternal peace versus eternal pain, torment and anguish.      
  • God calls people to Him and Satan opposes the call. 

Conclusion

Without eternity the Bible makes no sense.  If there is no eternity the devil would not lift a finger to oppose God.  It is his fear of eternal hell, where he will spend eternity, that drives him to deceive people. 

Satan’s long war against God, Part 1

The title of this blog might sound strange.  It is about the end of Satan’s story after   his long war against God.  What we want to discuss is the goal of God versus the goal of the devil and what the final outcome will be. 

To refresh memories: It was decided by the Godhead before creation, that 

‘man will be redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, a Lamb without blemish or defect.’  1 Peter 1:18-19

The event that made it necessary for man to be saved by the Almighty God, took place in the Garden of Eden.  Man lost his relationship with God and became a stranger to Him.  So he needed to be restored to that blessed relationship with God.  Job 33:28 tells us, 

’He redeemed my soul from going down to the pit, and I shall live to enjoy the light.’ 

We are all familiar with God’s promise to the devil in the Garden of Eden.  It is a promise that is central to God’s Kingdom plan, 

‘And I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and hers; He will crush your head, and you will strike His heel.’  Genesis 3:15

Please note that we write the ‘He’ in capital letters, because we believe the ‘He’ refers to the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ.  He bought (redeemed) man back from the devil, to live eternally with God in glory. 

Now Satan is an ambitious angel.  He said, as recorded, 

‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly; …I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’  Isaiah 14:13-14 

Make no mistake, he was not going to let God’s promise that Someone will crush his head, stand between him and the high position he aspired to.  In case people might think that Satan is just a minor issue, look at the following verse that describes his character,

‘The great dragon was hurled down – that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray.’  Revelation 12:9

Scripture tells us the history of Satan’s strategies against God’s promise of Genesis 3:15.  We will discuss the following, 

  1. Satan did not know which woman would give birth to the one who would crush his head.  His first strategy was to pollute the pure blood of Adam and Eve.  So his angels (demons) married women and had children with them.  It failed. 
  2. Then God narrowed the ‘woman’ down to one family, the family of Abraham. Satan thought he had an easy victory to kill all the male babies during the Israelites’ slavery in Egypt.  It failed.  
  3. God then narrowed the family down to David’s offspring.  The devil used the queen mother, Athaliah.  She attempted to kill all the boys in the bloodline of David.  It failed.
  4. During the Babylonian exile, Satan attempted to kill all the Jews through Haman.  It failed. 
  5. Finally the Messiah, the promised Seed, was born.  The devil instigated Herod to kill the baby.  It failed. 
  6. Before He began His ministry, Jesus fasted forty days in the wilderness.  The devil thought He was weakened and tried to bribe Jesus.  It failed. 
  7. Then he decided to outright kill Jesus, but it was part of God’s plan.  So it failed. 
  8. His strategy for the last 1,500 years is to destroy the Book that explains his failures and God’s victories.  This one will also fail. 
  9. Revelation tells us that Jesus is the final Victor.  Satan’s kingdom will be completely destroyed.  He will finally depart into the lake of eternal suffering.   

To be continued….

The War against Marriage, Part 1 of 4

We live in a two kingdom world.  

  • Some people belong to the Kingdom of God, but the majority do not.  The Bible often talks about the ‘world.’  By that it means people who do not submit to God’s authority.  They are quite content to be part of Satan’s kingdom, although they often don’t realise it. 
  • The two kingdoms have different ‘constitutions.’   The people of God’s Kingdom have the Bible as their Law book.  The people of Satan’s kingdom, have no laws to guide them.  They do as they please. They do not regard the Bible as the authoritative Word of God. 
  • Because Satan is hostile towards God and His people, the world in general is hostile towards the followers of Jesus.   That hostility has been evident since the time Cain killed his brother.  1 John 3:12 says Cain belonged to the evil one [Satan].   
  • The world does not understand Christians.  ’They think it strange that [followers of Jesus] do not plunge with them in the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on [them].’ 1   
  • The ‘war’ against God and His people is increasing in intensity.  Revelation 12:12c explains, ‘He [the devil] is filled with fury, because he knows his time is short.’   The short time relates to the final judgment when he and his followers will be thrown into the lake of burning sulphur.  

Adam and Eve, the first married couple   

  • God ordained marriage between a man and a woman shortly after creation.  He created Adam and gave him the right to rule over creation.  Then God created a female out of Adam.  God brought her to him and Adam said, ’This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, for she was taken out of man.’ 2 
  • As Scripture describes it, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.’ 3 
  • God blessed them and said, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number;  fill the earth.…’ 4  Though there are couples who cannot reproduce, and God does not blame them, in general man and woman is able to reproduce and fill the earth.  
  • God needs people of many generations to fill heaven.  So obviously, while the world cries, ‘stop the bus, reproduce less,’ it does not worry God.  

Adam and Eve’s honeymoon in the Garden of Eden

  • God planted a garden east of Eden and there He put the couple.  Adam was to work the Garden and take care of it. 5 
  • God put two trees in the middle of the Garden: the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.   
  • Adam was commanded not to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  He had enough other fruit and probably nuts, to eat.  It was their test of obedience. 

God’s plan for man right from the beginning was an eternal nation of people.  We know that one of the biggest problems in most countries is disobedience.  If all citizens would obey the laws of a country, it would be almost heaven on earth.  Yet most countries need law enforcement departments, prisons, et cetera.  God does not envisage prisons or police officers in His eternal Kingdom.  Therefore He had the test for obedience.  

Note that it was a fairly easy test: don’t eat from one tree, but eat from all the others.  However, the test or command had a ‘clause.’  If you eat of it, ‘you will surely die.’ 6  God did not elaborate on what kind of death because He did not want to instil fear in them to obey.  God always wants free, voluntary obedience out of pure love for the Lord. 

An abrupt end to the honeymoon

All of a sudden, a serpent addressed Eve (not Adam).  That should have alerted Eve.  Yet before we judge her, remember that she was not present when Adam named the animals.  He knew animals cannot talk.  Yet it is strange that he was with her but did not warn his wife when the serpent spoke.  From what we understand, he watched the whole encounter that cut their honeymoon short.  

The crafty serpent asked Eve, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?’” (Who was the serpent?  Scripture reveals that he is the ‘Dragon, that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan.’ 8  Satan was an angel who rebelled against God and deceived many angels to follow him.  They oppose God in all possible ways.)  

Eve’s response was, “We may eat the fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'” 9   Satan replied: 

  • ‘You will not surely die.’  That was the direct opposite of God’s command.
  • ‘For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ 10

Why did the serpent focus on the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?  God, as Creator, has the right to decide what is good for man.  After all, He created man.  If they ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil they would become like God and decide for themselves what is good or evil.  

Eve fell into the trap.

‘When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.  She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.’ 11

The bubble burst.  Their harmony and peace evaporated.  When Adam ate from the fruit,  Satan took over Adam’s authority to rule over creation.  The rebellious angel had status.  He was now the ruler, the prince of the world.  He wasted no time.  He got Adam and Eve’s firstborn, Cain, as his first human citizen.  Cain murdered his brother because he belonged to the evil one. 12  

The ruined honeymoon opened the way to the two kingdom world we live in.  If we understand it, we are well on our way to grasp what happens in the world.  The kingdom of darkness never stops its war against the Kingdom of Light.  

Conclusion

Genesis 3 explains how the world was divided into two groups that oppose each other.  It is God Almighty with His people and Satan, a created angel, with his people.  That was the beginning of our two kingdom world: the Kingdom of Light and the kingdom of darkness. 

To be continued…

References

  1. 1 Peter 4:3-4  
  2. Genesis 2:23  
  3. Genesis 2:24  
  4. Genesis 1:28  
  5. Genesis 2:15  
  6. Genesis 2:17  
  7. Genesis 3:1  
  8. Revelation 12:9; 20:2  
  9. Genesis 3:2-3  
  10. Genesis 3:4-5  
  11. Genesis 3:6  
  12. 1 John 3:12
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