War on Mankind (Chapter 2): Most Controversial

War on Mankind (Chapter 2): Most Controversial

War on Mankind

The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, set your face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him and say, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. And I will turn you about and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed in full armor, a great host, all of them with buckler and shield, wielding swords. Persia, Cush, and Put are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; …
While the man and woman are enjoying the Garden of Eden like their own personal Paradise, evil forces were brooding. God placed His children in a special place that He prepared for them. God obviously doted on Adam in Eve. In like manner Jacob later preferred Joseph. Both situations would prove to foster envy. While God was pronouncing everything to be very good, trouble was coming to the Garden of God.

Before Genesis chapter three, there is peace on earth. God’s beautiful creation is functioning in perfect harmony. God said that everything was very good! Not, just good, VERY good! God is quite happy with His creation before the events of Genesis Chapter three. God gives multiple declarations of the goodness of His creation. Those who claim that a war is happening during the creation narrative need to justify their position in the context of God declaring everything very good. It is just not possible that God would have called it very good if a war was in process. The trouble must have been yet in the future or God would not have said everything was very good! In case we miss the point, the idea of very good can also be said extraordinarily, fantastically, extremely, incredibly, exceptionally, etc. God is obviously well please with the standing of all His Creation.

From the text it is evident that Satan is busy plotting the destruction of mankind. It is a precursor or the spark that ignites war with God. Speculation that this as a war in heaven needs to give space to what is more likely, war on planet earth. Before we get our focus on proverbial War in Heaven, we must pay close attention to the events here on Earth. While theologians have imagined a War in Heaven in the first two chapters of Genesis (or before), there is no reference to such in the Scriptures. We do find War in Heaven in the book of Revelation but not in Genesis. Why? From whence do theologians get their Genesis extrapolations. The idea of adding man’s ideas or notions to various passages is like ‘reading between the lines”. Using this manner of Biblical interpretation, you may come to literally any conclusion. This kind of Biblical interpretation is dangerous. False elucidation is the root of all false doctrines.

The information available to us about Heavenly matters or wars is scant in comparison to the information we have about events here on Earth. Let us see if we can discern what happened in God’s exceptionally good creation. The theologians could quite possible be ‘warm’ in their search of the proper application of the War in Heaven first mentioned by Apostle John by hoping to find it somewhere in Genesis. When Satan enacts his plan, it is a declaration of War on Mankind. War on God, War on Earth and on War on the Supernatural realm are all implicated in Satan’s treachery. While many speak of the so called Supernatural, we must know assuredly that God is the only truly Supernatural being. All others are created beings. Offers of supernatural abilities from other than God are the same as what Satan offered Eve.

Apostle James helps us understand the path to sin, “Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” It may not be easy to ascertain the point when desire is conceived, but when it gives birth to sin it is generally much more visible. Sin is an action word. So, when did Satan sin? When did Satan’s actions (sin) incite war on Earth? The sin of Satan was premeditated and intentional. Most often people place all the blame for sin solely on Satan. However, Satan had a few willing accomplices. It is true that without Satan there would not have been sin on Earth. The fact remains that there is a Satan and he started war here on earth. The result of the activity in Genesis is war between Satan, his angels and their God. The number of those former angels who join Satan’s conspiracy against God is not known. It may be that it was not initially revealed which angels had conceived sin in their hearts. We also do not know the total number of God’s angels. It is not given to us to know. War in Heaven is a theme of the book of Revelation, but the events that precipitated the War in Heaven ostensibly started here on Earth long before the Book of Revelation was received and written by the Apostle John.

The angels were previously shouting for Joy at God’s creation. Now, some have chosen to be God’s enemies. There must be a reason for such a radical departure! We may venture that the source of this discontent rests somewhere in the Creation epic. Nowhere in the story of Creation do we find mention of any other creatures except the ones that God creates for Earth. The fact that the angels are not included in the narrative may be more telling than we realize.

The primarily reason that there is not more mention of angels in Scripture is because the Scriptures were not written to or for angels. The Scriptures were written for mankind, particularly fallen, mortal man. We know this because most of the topics deal with men after they had fallen or about mankind’s fall from immortality to mortal. All of the Bible was written after man fell from immortality. When we say fallen man, we are inferring mortality. Before the sin in the garden mankind was immortal. After their sin Adam and Eve were mortal. One of the horrors of those who are mortal is physical death. Incidentally the Scriptures were not only written for mankind, they were written down by mankind as moved on by the Holy Ghost. Thus, man’s message has the imprimatur of Almighty God and He saw no need to give more attention to angels.

The other reason that the Genesis epic does not focus on angels is that our worship, our veneration and attention are intended for God. God is a jealous God when it come to our attention. He was careful not to allow mankind to be confused about to whom we owe allegiance. In His diligence He made daily visits to our first parents. “Let all the angels of God worship Him.”

Eden: The Garden of God
Eden means paradise. Eden was an area of land and within this area was a special garden that God had planted. Some scholars project that the Garden of God (Garden of Eden) was the dwelling place of God. “The river that flows out of Eden and into the garden is no ordinary river. Ordinary rivers have tributaries that feed water into them, but this river runs the opposite way: it feeds water into four other rivers which supply water to all directions of the realm (2:10). Eden is the source of provision, the head of the life-giving water that nourishes the realm. Eden is the fountain of providence, the torrential spring that flows from the sovereign to sustain life in his realm.” If Eden still exists it is safe to say that it is not in this realm. Mankind does not have access to the Garden of God. There is no place on Earth where five fivers all meet in one location! The potential for life in such an environment is extraordinary.

“Right in the middle of the garden is another symbol of the sovereign’s life-giving provision for His subjects: The Tree of Life. Taken together, all these provisions suggest that Eden is the earthly dwelling of the heavenly sovereign. The king not only constructed this realm; he provides everything to sustain life in his realm. Eden is therefore the palace of the great king – not a physical building made of stones, but the dwelling-place of the sovereign who oversees and takes care of his earthly realm.”
Almighty God may have more than one special place, but it is certain that Eden was one of them. “If we understand “Eden” as the dwelling-place of the divine sovereign, then “the garden of Eden” is the visually stunning and providentially nourishing landscape associated with Eden—the grounds of the palace. Together, Eden and its garden form a picture of the heavenly sovereign living among his subjects. This theme—the heavenly sovereign dwelling among humans—is central to the whole Biblical narrative.” “Some scholars talk about Eden as a temple. Eden is the original ideal of God living among his people, and that ideal is re-expressed in the tabernacle, in Solomon’s temple, and so on.” The theme of a dwelling place for God carries into the New Testament where Apostle Paul said that we are the temple of the Holy Ghost!

If indeed Eden was the original palace, then the Throne of God, the presence of angels and more makes perfect sense. In this utopian Kingdom. Here God plants a special garden and in this garden, God placed His special creation. His children were the very likeness of Him, Adam and Eve. Made in His likeness (image). Angels were present in this area but access to Adam and Eve was not authorized to angels. Adam and Eve were treated as mirror images of their creator. Certainly, angels could be nearby, but they were not in direct communication. They were welcome to tour God’s creation, but angels were of a different kind (species). Beings from another realm did not engaged in conversations with God’s special children. The angel’s domain was to serve the one on the throne. Mankind’s job was similar, but we might see it more as “in development”. In all cases there is a penalty for disobedience.

“For the Lord your God in your midst is a jealous God—lest the anger of the Lord your God be kindled against you, and he destroy you from off the face of the earth.” Notice the penalty for disobedience is referenced in the language of the obliteration. The same God who brought a great flood on the earth to destroy those who did not keep Him first; will do similar to those who fail to keep Him in His proper place. Similar language is used throughout Scripture. Serve the Lord with all your heart and wonderful things happen, including eternal life! Serve Satan’s path of sin (rebellion against God’s commandments) and you will die forever. “And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

Everyone is not Happy that God made Mankind in His Image
While the angels were busy doing angel assignments, Genesis Chapter three abruptly introduces a being that is obviously not exhilarated with God’s newest creation. This is the first indication readers of Genesis have of these beings. This being is an angel destined to become more notorious than any other. This angel’s reaction to God’s very good creation assessment develops into quite a departure from the public reception most of the angels had given to God on the subject.

What is this being doing in the Garden of Eden? We know that he was granted access to this paradise because, like all the angels, he was a committed servant of God. It does not seem like Satan received special treatment. We should ask what held Satan’s interest that he made apparently made multiple trips to the Garden? Ezekiel’s declaration “you were in Eden, the garden of God” lends us to wonder if Eden was also home to this being. “This also is a strong irony. Thou art like Adam, when in his innocence and excellence he was in the garden of Eden! Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth – The irony is continued; and here he is likened to the Cherub that guarded the gates of Paradise (Eden), and kept the way of the Tree of Life; or to one of the cherubs whose wings, spread out, covered the mercy-seat.” This points to Satan in a light we rarely consider. Notice that God responds to the sin in the Garden by releasing His Angel army (Cherubim) in Eden to defend the way to the Tree of Life. We must consider this to be in response to Satan’s role with such an elite group.
Planning the Deception
Why was Satan so focused on getting on this stage with Eve? A stage that was not in his realm. Satan likes to pretend he is above mankind. If Satan was really above mankind would he care about the two people in the Garden? Even Satan knows that he was created lower than mankind.

The angels, like mankind, are afforded choice. It is easy to wonder; Why did God let Satan pull off this hoax? Didn’t God know that Satan was about to sin? We might also ask the same about Eve. Did God know that Eve was going to sin? Why did He not just stop her? God knew. God knows we might sin. He is not going to stop us from sinning. This is a choice. There will nonetheless be a penalty for our transgressions.

The all-knowing God is aware of Satan’s visits to the Garden of God. No surprise there. We should inquire, “what is Satan’s objective in confusing Eve?” What we know about the serpent is very little and in fairness the passage in Genesis does not give us much information. Most of what we learn about the serpent we learn much later, primarily from Isaiah and Ezekiel. However, if we pay careful attention to the text, we will learn all we really need to understand at this point. Although it is clearly not in the text, we imagine that Satan was buddies with Adam and Eve! While Satan may have a ‘frequent flyer’ card for visits to the Garden of Eden, we need to understand that these were not visits to Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve were in the Garden of God and Satan may have been there as well. But there was no communication. Adam and Eve’s communication was with God – not with angels. Satan was not on Adam and Eve’s guest list.

Satan used his visits to set the trap for his ultimate manipulation of the ‘serpent’ and surrounding manipulations. Satan needed a way to manifest so that he could communicate with God’s special children. He needed a medium. A creature that was already in communication with Eve would be ideal. We know that Satan had to use some form of manipulation or deception to accomplish his plan. Satan was not from this realm, so he had no body. He sought a way to ‘appear’ because, like all angels, he is a spirit, he had no body. So, he formed a plan to co-opt some unfortunate creature to support in his scheme.

The reason why we have no mention of the angels in the Creation narrative. Mankind was not created for the angels. Mankind was created by God for God. If there were interactions with angels before the tragedy of Genesis chapter three, God would have included such in His narrative. The angels could only observe what was happening. Angels were not part of the proceedings on Earth. Angels are from a different realm than mankind. We do not even know if they can actually speak like men unless given some special circumstantial privilege by God; much like Balaam’s donkey. We assume angels speak because of God allowing several incidents of angels bringing messages to men. Those may be special manifestation that God granted under unique circumstances.

Envision the Garden of Eden like a stage play. The angels are permitted to be part of the audience, but they have no role in the production. Angels had no permission and no means of direct communication with mankind. Like cheer leaders standing on the sidelines cheering, but not part of the game. What kind of conversation would an angel need to have with a man anyway? Unless of course, God sent the angel. This is one of many areas where mankind has allowed themselves to get caught up in Satan’s schemes. We do not worship angels!

Satan decided he wanted to be part of the production. His lust to be ‘on the stage’ was driving him to find a way to communicate with mankind. Permission was needed. That was not a path that would work for Satan. There was a problem here that would be reflected throughout the history of mankind. How could a creature from another realm communicate with mankind? God had separated them for a reason. Some theologians have erroneously postulated that Satan in his state before his fall could somehow communicate directly to mankind in the state they were in before the fall of man. They propose that for Adam and/or Eve communicating with the angelic host was a normal, regular activity. This is not factual. There is no Scripture to support such philosophies. Adam and Eve were not in regular communication with angelic beings before or even after their fall from immortality to mere mortals. The only being that they communicated with was God! This communication was intimate and daily until they sinned. I understand that this is hard to imagine in a world filled with so many messages and most of them from our adversary the Devil.

It is true that there are later incidents where angels communicate with mankind, but these are very few and with the direct imprimatur of God. God had open communication with mankind before Adam and Eve rebelled, but afterward God is presented with a challenge. How does he communicate with fallen man? Man, because of his transgressions against God is no longer a participant with those who were partakers of the Tree of Life. Fortunately for all of us, God has a plan for our redemption and He immediately begins to enact His plan.

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