© 2016 Christ Revealed Bible Institute
We are at war. But we are at war against a very different enemy and in a very different manner than what we have known. Now, technically, we have the same three enemies as before, fallen angels, the beast world system, and death. Yet because we finally understand the purpose of our warfare as it really is, we find ourselves ready for the battle.
Let me underline, of course, that we are not at war with ourselves or with God as we were once taught. We are one, and being one, one inside ourselves and one with Father through Jesus, we are unmovable and strong, ready to bear any cost, utterly together with Father.
This session is on the curse, and the three enemies against which we are engaged in battle are part of that curse spoken by God in Genesis 3. We do not think of the curse as a whim of God meant to punish Adam because Adam had disobeyed God. If a man jumps off a high building, it is not punishment that kills him, but consequence. When God told Adam not to eat of the knowledge of good and evil it was to save his life, to spare Adam from the consequences of living without being filled with life.
At the same time, the entire old creation, including the curse, has vanished in substance, though it remains in appearance.
Winning All Battles
Sun Tzu, in The Art of War, stated that those who know neither themselves nor the enemy will lose every battle, those who know themselves, but not the enemy (or vice versa), will win some battles and lose others, but those who know themselves and their enemy will win every battle. I have studied two generals who proved Sun Tzu correct on the third point, Subodai of the Mongols and Arthur Wellesley, Lord Wellington, yet they did so with very different styles.
We will win full and final victory as we know precisely who we are and why, what our enemy is and why, and what our weapons are and why. Central to the Kingdom of God is victory in battle; that is, casting all remnants of the curse from off the human experience.
In this investigation of our enemies and the battle in which we are engaged, I want to use four metaphors that don’t at first appear to fit together. The first metaphor is battle, the second is the butterfly casting off the chrysalis, the third is the construction of the highway for our God, and fourth is the lens through which God is seen.
Setting creation free and God becoming known by all ARE the same thing. Our warfare is always to make God known as He is; that is, the lens is the central metaphor. But God becoming known includes the other realities happening as well, defeating our enemies and casting off the curse, for by these two actions, we come to know ourselves as Christ through us, for we are God’s lens, His image.
A Fifth Metaphor
In actuality, I am also using a fifth metaphor, the garden of Eden, and I will be going back and forth among these five metaphors as if they are all the same thing. I now see the two trees in the garden as a choice of which lens we will use through which to see and know God.
Man is symmorphic, and both lenses result in symmorphy, sharing our same form with other persons. Either we see a God of good and evil through the eyes of man/ Satan or we see a God of life through the eyes of man/Christ. It is only in writing the last session, “Not Knowing God,” that this distinction has become clear to me – two “God’s” claiming the same place, but very different in nature and quality.
And so I have been pondering these two “Gods” and seeing how far and how deep this distinction actually goes. A God who thinks more highly of Himself than He does of others versus a God who thinks more highly of others than He does of Himself. A God of arrogant superiority versus a God of a meek and lowly heart. A God who would ascend above all versus a God who humbles Himself for the sake of others.
Cain murdered Abel for the exact same reason that John Calvin murdered Michael Severus – the utter opposition, the violence, of transcendence against immanence.
And I have been pondering this definition I found in Webster’s 1926.
Transcendence: the doctrine that God is prior to creation in his essential nature, that he is exalted above it, and that he has real being apart from it; – opposed to immanence.
Immanence: 1. An indwelling. 2. Doctrine of immanence, that God is immanent in the world (creation, heaven/earth).
A false logic then takes immanence and requires that if God is IN all things and all things are found only IN God, that must mean that the creation IS “God.” The utter immanence of God in all things does NOT mean, nor does it have to mean, that creation is then “God.”
A Sixth Metaphor
What is really happening Paul refers to as two mysteries (a sixth metaphor), the mystery of godliness versus the mystery of iniquity. And for the first time I now understand 2 Thessalonians Chapter 2. Wow! It all fits. “Showing himself that he is God” is seeing “God” through the image of the serpent, a “God” of arrogant superiority, a “Christ” whom we can know only by ascending “above” our low human weakness.
The thing that is hated is God manifest in the flesh. Cain murdered Abel because of God manifest in the flesh; the Pharisees murdered Jesus because of God manifest in the flesh.
War Against the Flesh
Okay – the war IS against human flesh, only it’s not us battling our flesh, that trickery is the greatest weapon of the evil one. The war is against us being God manifest in our “low” humanity, a God who shows Himself as He is through humans living their lives on this earth, a God immanent in US.
Now, as we study the curse, we are studying the appearance of an old creation that no longer actually exists. The appearance of the old creation continues for one reason, that we might know we are sons of God as we set creation free. Think of the butterfly in the chrysalis. The chrysalis is not the butterfly, yet the butterfly must break and cast that chrysalis off in order to know and to be what it is.
More than that, at our ready disposal we have a bunch of really cool weapons that are incredibly effective. A huge part of knowing ourselves is knowing the weapons in our hands and being fully exercised in their use.
We are proving the lie false; we are casting down the liars; we are eliminating the curse from the human experience; we are revealing Father as He is to all.
In the rest of this session, we want to understand the curse as it is, as God spelled it out in Genesis 3. Then, in the next session, we will investigate in our present light the meaning of the rule of the serpent and in the following session, the mystery of iniquity as it works in this world.