15.4 Death, Mercy, and Hope
15.4 Death, Mercy, and Hope
© 2016 Christ Revealed Bible Institute
Death, Mercy, and Hope
The final three parts of the curse also work together as death. “Till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return.” – Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them (Genesis 3:19 & 21).
I realize now that there is another part of the curse, an eighth element, that also is part of this death. So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life (Genesis 3:24).
The final two parts of the curse are God’s mercy and His hope.
Returning to Dust
For dust you are, and to dust you shall return. Physical death – the final enemy to be defeated. The severance, the splitting apart of heaven and earth.
Our physical body cannot return to the dust unless the bonds by which heaven sustains earth are broken. The physical death of the human body is the focal point of the curse, the point around which all the other elements of that curse circle and in which they all culminate. Our physical body being swallowed up by life is the mighty turning point in the history of the universe.
We investigated death in Symmorphy II: Essence, I will bring in here only a summary of Lesson 11.2 What Is Death?
The word “death” has many differing definitions in its use throughout the New Testament. Death began when Adam’s spirit “flipped” away from Christ and onto self, the old man. Adam could no longer hear Christ. Thus the “seeing” of Adam worked in him a false story of self, a second meaning of death – living in sin. Living in a false story of self is a death that continues after the body dies, a living in hades. In that same moment the physical body began to die, a process that took centuries in Adam’s body, but only decades in ours.
That Christians still die is contrary to the gospel and evidence that the curse must yet be cast off from the earth.
I Was Naked
I would suggest that you re-read the entirety of Lesson 11.2 What Is Death? in reference to this discussion of the curse.
In order to understand our full victory over death, coming up soon, we need to explore the final two parts of the curse, God’s mercy and His hope, two things that are very much tied up with death and with our victory over it. God’s mercy to Adam and Eve was to clothe them with a beast skin. We must understand what that means.
I was afraid because I was naked. Probably the most horrifying words in Scripture are Paul’s statement: Adam was not deceived. These words of Adam come a close second.
Stunned in Horror
It is not possible for us to comprehend the horror of Adam in that moment. No human experience since has come close. At this point, Adam’s spirit has already died; it has already flipped away from the good speaking of Christ and oriented itself onto Adam’s own false story. Already, the spirit of the evil one, the serpent himself, most likely, has entered into Adam to become one person together with him, but in a very disjointed way. Adam’s symmorphic qualities were not made for angels, but for God. But Adam has not yet generated his own self-story of boasting and pride, thus he blinks in horror at the awful turn of events, seeing darkness all around and Satan now fallen inside of him.
Adam Was Exposed
Adam and Eve saw heaven as clearly as they saw earth. The cherub in the tree did not have to take on any physical form for Adam and Eve to see him clearly. In the heavens, actions proceed immediately from thoughts. You think; you do (at least this is true in hades, the lowest part of the heavens, according to my present understanding). But in our present lives, we think first, sometimes for awhile, before we act. Our thoughts are not easily seen.
Adam was fully aware that everything going on inside himself was visible in full to all kinds of persons all around. Adam was EXPOSED. He was really naked. And this exposed Adam was utterly ashamed of being the image of God.
And mostly Adam was fully aware of an invisible FIRE in which he lived and moved and had his being. Adam knew God, also according to Paul. So Adam and Eve tried leaves; that didn’t work, so they tried tree trunks. Tree trunks didn’t work so well, either. Their limited self-story was simply not sufficient in which to hide. They were, shall we say, toast, and burning badly.
Think of the most out-of-touch and delusional mentally-ill person you can imagine. Adam and Eve were headed straight there and far, far worse, within a few hours. The skin of the beast with which God clothed them in His mercy, covered their eyes so that they could no longer see.
Free to Fantasize
Adam and Eve could no longer see the heavens, and all knowledge of God vanished from their consciousness. They were on their own, free, now, to build their own self stories of imaginative boasting, of manipulating and controlling, of abusing and being abused, of arrogance and shame, that is, free to fantasize. And they especially were no longer aware of the dark angels inside of them, sharing their form, sharing their story, sharing their death, hiding themselves from God behind man’s beast skin.
You and I continue to possess the qualities of that beast skin, our inability to see the darkness in which all humans live.
The Mercy of God
It is the mercy of God for us as well. Yet we do not see that beast skin as part of a curse against us, for we walk by faith and not by sight. We walk by every Word from God entering into us through our faith to become all that Christ Jesus is in us. Thus we are perfectly free to form a new self-story of all the good speaking of Christ – entirely by faith in His Word.
Do you see how acknowledging the good things of Christ inside of us is a big part of casting off the curse and setting all creation free? It’s the very thing God is really after through all this mess.
The Hope of God
The beast skin has made the human race very beastly indeed. Yet, as Jesus indicated, that beastliness does not remove the fact that humans are the image of God, that humans are what God looks like when He appears to His creation. You see, what the beast skin did was allow mankind to continue, at least for a season, until the HOPE God also set before Himself in this chapter could unfold through time.
Let’s get the setting of that hope. Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become as one who knows good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”—therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken (Genesis 3:22-23).
There is no greater evidence that the Bible translators are Calvinists than the deceitful insertion of the two words “of Us” into Genesis 3:22. The Hebrew neither contains nor allows for those two words; they are there ONLY because Calvinists believe that the serpent spoke the truth in the garden. God does NOT know “good and evil.” And only Satan would place such an ungodly definition upon our Father.
But God is suggesting that, now that Adam and Eve were seeing “God” through the lens of the serpent, now that their spirits were cut-off from any knowledge of God, now that they were free to weave their own deluded self-story, that they could still climb the tree of life and steal its fruit for iniquity.
I have no idea what that could mean. And thankfully, we have no need to know what it might have meant, for we do not live in any “alternate” universe; we live only in what is, and the pro-knowing of God is what is.
So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life. The key word is, in the Hebrew, shamar, and it means to keep, to watch, to guard, to preserve. In fact, looking through the list of English words into which it is translated, we see that it is the most frequent commandment of the New Testament: keep, watch out, take heed, beware.
Shamar is a door. A door serves two purposes. A door blocks out those who do not belong, and welcomes in those who do.
The curse is that Adam was driven out and blocked from even knowing about what God’s real universe might be, a universe flowing out from the tree of life. The blessing is, however, God’s hope. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God (Revelation 2:7).
And here is that tree of life, of which we freely eat. Know that I am in the Father and you in Me and I in you. A complete symmorphy of God and man.
The Rule over the Entire Bible
Do you see how full understanding comes to us when we place Romans 8:28-30 as the rule over the entire Bible? Let’s do that as we close out this investigation of the curse. You see, we study the curse, not to glorify it, but to know what it is so that we might also know how simple it is to defeat it and to cast if off of the human experience by using the really awesome weapons we already possess.
Romans 8:28 is our full and final answer to every element of the curse, God and us together turning all things meant for evil into unending goodness. The rubble of our lives becomes all the goodness of Christ by the confession of our mouth, by the story that we speak.
But the center of God’s ruling verse, His pro-thesis, is true symmorphy, the symmorphy of God in us. The most momentous moment in our lives, then, was when Christ Jesus came in Person into our symmorphic selves, eliminating all dark angels from inside our persons, and giving us His own self-story by which to live. And our new self-story of Christ comes out of the pro-knowing arising from God’s heart every moment.
But then, Romans 8:30 says, “Already glorified.” And we know that we are free, not just to eat from, not just to live in, but to be the tree of life, and to know that the river of life itself IS, right now, flowing out of us setting all creation free.