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Monday, March 24, 2008

Theocracy - Part 2 "Life, Death Good and Evil"

See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;
Deut 30:15

In the last post we looked at the beginning of creation, and the introduction of light. We considered the possibility of the existence of a false and true light to be chosen between and the ramifications of this fact when considering the Scriptural exhortation to "look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen" (2 Cor 4:18). Now we move on to the introduction of man into God's creation.

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Gen 2:7-9

"..God formed man of the dust of the ground.."

Here marks an interesting twist to the creation account. Previously we had seen things coming into being, from nothing, at the word of God's mouth. Now we see God actually "forming" something from the matter that exists within His creation. God had taken the dust, which He had created, and used it to form man.

It is interesting to note that dust is an opaque substance, which by nature would restrict light, and yet we see an interesting turn around to come...

"..breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. and man became a living soul."

The event that caused the formed dust to become a living soul was that God "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life". In our English language we miss out on the depth of meaning attached to the word "breath". In both the Hebrew and Greek language one word is used to mean "breath", "wind" and "spirit". In fact Hebrew doesn't stop at just one word to express "breath", but each one crosses over the same English translations.

It could be said that when God breathed into man's nostrils, He invested part of Himself, as the "Spirit of God" that "moved upon the face of the waters", into man. In other words, the "neshamah" that God breathed in man's nostrils, transforming him into a "living soul", was the same "Ruach Ha Elohim" that was denied access to the material creation, subjecting Himself to hovering over the waters, with its face covered in darkness. The "Light source", which was without, had now come within, not only creation, but that which was formed out of creation, man.

Perhaps this is what John meant when he wrote of Jesus, "In him was life; and the life was the light of men" and later, "That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world" (John 1:4-9). After all, the "Ruach Ha Elohim" (Spirit of God) is also the "Ruach Ha Kodesh" (Holy Spirit), who is the "Ruach Ha Meshiach" (Spirit of Christ).

Suddenly a line is drawn in the sand. The stage is set, where we have the "true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world", who has invested Himself within the being which was formed by God out of the dust, and another "light", brought into the world at God's command. The players were in place, and now here is the scene...

"..the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed."

Eden didn't just appear at God's command. It is said that He "planted" it. Thoughts come to mind of the deliberateness of God's design. He created an environment for man where his every need could be met. It was a pocket within God's creation where there was food to eat and shelter from the elements. It was an organic habitation void of human intervention, because it was planted by God.

"..out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food.."

God's deliberate design continues to shine through as we see that out of the ground of the garden, which God had planted, He caused food bearing trees, which He made to be pleasant to the sight. Within the environment that God had created for man's habitation, He had placed everything they needed for their survival. Not only that, but He had the good sense to cause these trees to be "pleasing to the eye" so that regardless of the "light source" man would "see" by, their source of physical sustenance would be appealing to them. Such is God's mercy.

"..the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil."

Here we see two trees which are in the middle of the garden, thereby giving them a place of prominence. One of the trees is described as a source of life, while the other as a means of knowing what good and evil is.

Again we can see an allusion to John's description of Jesus, "In him was life; and the life was the light of men" (John 1:4). However we are discussing two trees here, and not a man. These two trees can be seen as alternative source of "life" and "light" (knowledge of good and evil) to Jesus, as God come in the flesh.

And so now the drama begins...

Next post : Theocracy - Part 3 "The Perfect Gift From Above"

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Theocracy - Part 1 "The true light..."

by Aaron Ireland

8 He was not that Light , but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
9 That was the true Light , which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
John 1:8-9

So far in this series we have both defined and applied Theocracy. Now, from the perspective of having a working knowledge of Theocracy, we will look at God's establishment of his rule at the beginning of His creation.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
Gen 1:1-4 (KJV)

"In the beginning.."

Beginnings mark a transition. Something that previously wasn't, now "is". In order to grasp something of this transition, we must look at what was already there and what event marked the actual beginning.

"..God created.."

God existed prior to the beginning, and continued to exist after that beginning had begun. What was He doing before the beginning? The passage doesn't say, and therefore it can be assumed that it isn't important for us to know. Elsewhere in Scripture we are given some cryptic statements, regarding "before the foundation of the world", but they mainly deal with God's intention for the future (Eph 1:4;1 Pet 1:18-20;Rev 13:8).

What we can see though, is that the event which marked the beginning was an act of "creation". God created something, and that "something" wasn't Him. His act of creation made there be something which was distinct from Himself. And so there we have it; God and creation.

"..the heaven and the earth."

This creation was divided into two components; the heaven and the earth. Here we see an increasing diversity. Firstly we have the Infinite and the finite, God and creation, and now finite is broken into ethereal and physical, heaven and earth. We have the place of God's abode, and the place that would soon be ours. An eternal place, and a temporal. Heaven is not further described here, while the earth is further defined...

"And the earth was without form, and void.."

The Hebrew word that is translated "was" here implies that it "became" as opposed to "always was" void and without form. The word implies the earth had a "form", which it lost. Whatever it was before, it was now desolate, a ruin which had become indistinguishable from what it had been. Perhaps this came about as a result of creation itself. That which was perfect Order, in the person of God, had now produced something which has an introduced disorder.

When one considers earth contrasting heaven, one can be reminded of Christ's words contained in the Lord's prayer, "...Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven." (Matt 6:10) Christ highlights a need for "a will" to be replaced with His will, which is already existant and being done in heaven, and calls his disciples to plead with their "Father, which art in" that "heaven" to cause that "will" to be done, as a result of His kingdom being established in earth's realm in like manner to His reign being in heaven.

"..darkness was upon the face of the deep.."

Now we are introduced to darkness. The state of equilibrium in God's creation is darkness, except where light is added to it. We know that "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all" (1 Jn 1:5). So where did this darkness come from? Considering that darkness cannot be introduced, how can it be possible. It would only be possible, in the sense that light can be removed or obstructed. So which was it?

"..And the Spirit of God moved upon the face.."

Although the earth was dark on the face of its deeps, God dwelt over the face of the earth in the person of the Holy Spirit. Therefore Divine light was present over the darkness which was upon the face of earth's void formless deeps. If light was simultaneously present alongside darkness, then something must have been obstructing that Light. It would appear that a form of opacity was introduced shortly after creation began which rendered God's Light as incomprehensible (Jn 1:5).

Although what was obstructing God's light is not directly mentioned, perhaps an allusion can be drawn from the veil of the Most Holy Place, in God's temple. The major difference being that here we have God's light being kept outside of the world, while there we have the world being kept outside of God's light. Perhaps the Most Holy Place can be seen to be a "pinhole" in the veil between the Spirit of God, and the darkness that was on the face of the deeps.

"..God said, Let there be light.."

And so light is introduced to darkness. It is interesting to note that at God's command "there was light", and yet the physical light source wasn't introduced until later (Gen 1:16-18). The question that must be asked is, "How can light be introduced without a light source?"

It is of interest to note the introduction to the Gospel of John:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God.
All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
John 1:1-5

Here we see that "life" is in Jesus (the Word), and that life is described as the "light of men". We also see in Revelation 22:16 Jesus describing himself as "the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star". The "morning star" marks the end of night and the dawning of the new day. Before Jesus came into the world there was another who was referred to as the morning star.

How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer (Heb: 'the morning star'), son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
Isaiah 14:14

This verse has been the basis of some contention. Without going into it too much, the passage surrounding this verse describes someone who bears remarkable similarity to one of the kings of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar. His life, in turn, bears a similarity to that of the "god of this world", Satan. In light of this could it be that Satan was the "light bearer" who responded to God's command, "Let there be light"?

In essence, the question I pose is this, "Is it a coincidence that 'Lucifer' also means 'light bearer'?" (Note: I'm not suggesting that Lucifer is the light, or that Satan is good, merely that he has been utilised as the means of delivering light.)

"..God divided the light from the darkness."

By the apearance of "light" in the world, God divided what was utter darkness, into a separate light, and darkness. There appears to be two light sources: The Holy Spirit, who illuminates a "spiritual light", which has the potential to enable us to "walk by faith" and not sight; and physical light itself, as a principle which, as yet, has no physical source. We must note that physical light isn't evil, in itself, God called it "good" ("..And God saw the light, that it was good..").

The implication here is that Lucifer was originally intended to serve a purpose in the Kingdom of God, by presenting us with a choice, where we should choose to "walk by faith, and not by sight". Potentially, this "Luciferian light" can serve as a distraction from seeking "Divine light", which is "unseen" (2 Cor 4:18).

Next post : Part 2 - "Life, Death, Good and Evil"