IN THE BEGINNING
Jesus declared four times in the book of Revelation (Rev 1:8, Rev 3:14, Rev 21:6, Rev 22:13) that He was the Beginning, and one of His apostles, specifically Paul, said that all things were created in (Grk, en), not by, Him, and in Him all things consist (Col. 1:16-17). All things were one in the Beginning. There was no fragmentation. I have no doubt that creation's voice lifted as a resounding symphony of harmonious praise, such worship that no carnal man could know or imagine. Every chord and tone embraced one another in perfect intonation when all the stars sang together, and the sons of God shouted for joy.
There is still a similitude of that original harmony; but in creation's song we can now hear the groan of death. Although living, it is always dying, killing and being killed, which is the result of man's sin and God cursing the ground for man's sake. Even though it is cursed, we can still see the immense beauty of creation, so much so that at times we may have attempted to become one with it by going back to nature. One might assume that this is the path back to God. We have all heard it said by dear people that their church and communion is in the forests, or flower-studded valleys, or mountain tops overlooking distant horizons. And these places away from the bustle of crowds, cars belching their poisonous fumes, and their horns blaring are wonderful. Such havens can bring a great deal of tranquility to our souls; yet, we often fail to hear nature's groan or notice the constant struggle between life and death that surrounds us in those quiet places, because we have grown accustomed to it. Beneath our feet beautiful autumn leaves are decomposing, moles devour worms and grubs. A hawk plucks a mouse from the mouth of its den. The birds sing their songs, seemingly without a care in the world; but if we looked closely we would see their constant fear of death. While pecking at the ground for bugs and other tasty morsels, their heads never cease to swivel between pecks, from side to side, keeping watch that they are not the next to die and be eaten. Ah, yes, nature is beautiful and so inviting to the harried soul; but let us not reach to that which is dying for our life, and it goes the same with what we eat. It is good, very good for that matter, to eat wholesome foods whether raw, cooked, or half-cooked. But try as we may, we will fail to find the fruit of life in our diets; for every organic asparagus spear we eat has God's curse coursing though its delicious veins. In our communion with the natural we are still partaking of that which is dying.
What a vast difference it was in The Beginning where everything was joined together as one with the life of Christ flowing through every vein of that perfectly tuned body, and it will be the same in the End, who is also Jesus Christ. However, there is more to the story than just the Beginning and the End. There is the rest of the book sandwiched between the covers of the First Page and the Last Page. We could read those two pages alone and get somewhat of an idea of how things turn out; but we would miss the terrible process that shapes and molds creation into such a glorious manifestation of the heavens and earth coming together as one. We would miss seeing that which resides between the two pages, which is creation's grave struggle. Without the body of the book, there would be no book. We would be lacking and ignorant of the great war between life and death that has raged from the initiation of death into the world, and with death always winning the last battle, and that is the way this book on life and death will continue to read, that is, until the End swallows up every word and page that lies between. It is then that the victory song will rise from the final battlefield of death and declare that life has won, and there will be no more war. The End.
When God (Elohim, plural) created man in His own image, which was male and female (plural), the Two said that it was very good. However, God also said that it was not good that man should abide alone (Gen 2:18). Therefore, the scenario began, first by bringing into him all the living creatures made from the ground; but when there was no help meet to be found, God took from man a suitable part of his own substance. Soon afterwards things began to fall apart. The severing of the woman from the man was the first fragmentation. From there everything else eventually did the same. The woman submitted to the temptation of being independent. That which had formerly been united in The Beginning became disconnected. God first removed her from the man, and then, she removed herself from God, with the man following the woman's lead. The Adams' world fell and came tumbling down. The whole of creation became fragmented, broken into a million pieces. Compared to the Beginning, when all things were embodied in Christ Jesus, that which we see today and call unity is more like discombobulation, organized chaos, or chaotic organization, and regardless of the good intentions and ardent efforts of the most brilliant minds -- the dying of this present world, individually or collectively will never be made alive by anyone who walks in the shadow of Adam. However, in the End, everything will be brought together, made one, and quickened in Christ Jesus. Perfect order will be known again. All things will be renovated, balanced, and made new in the Grand Finale.
All things made new? How far can we carry such a thought? What about those who die without confessing Jesus as Lord? What about real bad people, can they be made new? What about Satan? What about the devil? What about anything and everything that came out of God? Can we limit the all things? Do we believe He will fail to have victory over every fragment of the whole that was once in Him? Now, do we believe He will put all the pieces back together again? "And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful" Rev. 21:5. Could we suggest that not everything that Jesus laid claim to will be made new? Which one of us is ready to step forward and tell the One who is true and faithful that He cannot and will not make all things new? Hmm... I don't hear the thunderous tramping of boots stepping forward to such an accusative occasion. Even so, there will be plenty who will deride those who agree with His words. I can testify to that.
It is strange, to say that we are able to reconcile the fact that God has reconciled all of humanity to Himself, and eventually all humanity will reconcile God to itself, but not so with the devil. Even though we say that reconciliation is for everything in heaven (spiritual) and on earth (physical) through the blood of the cross, as Paul wrote in Colossians 1:20, the devil is a hard one to reconcile. Paul said that all things came out of God, all things proceed through Him, and all things end in Him (Rom. 11:36). Moreover, with all things, every creature of ever realm, all humanity ending in Him, they will all be blessing and honoring Him: "And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever" Rev. 5:13.
These two verses, Romans 11:36 and Revelation 5:13, are clear and easily believed by most. Therefore, of necessity, the devil is included in the all things that came out of God. Since this is so, he is one of the all fragments that Jesus said He would make new. And please remember, the devil did not create himself, neither did he just suddenly appear by spontaneous combustion of some sort. He came out of God.
From what we see of Satan in the secular and religious world today, it would still be difficult for a lot of people to believe that Jesus really meant all things; for in their traduced minds, it most likely seems that Satan stepped over the line a long time ago, and the quantitative train loads of evil laid up to his charge would certainly seal his eternal doom. Yet, such thinking clearly stems from what adverse religion has taught, not to mention from men and women's own creative imaginations.
I remember listening to a taped interview of a dear friend that was recorded by Timothy Carroll in 1990. Upon being asked about Satan and his fate, in essence, the response was this:
"Everything came out of God; therefore, Satan is an abstract of God, but with something lacking. When that which is lacking is brought back into Satan, the Satan we know will be no more.
"We might note that no railing accusations were ever made in the Bible against Satan. Jesus never spoke of the devil in terms of hatred. He never said anything like, 'You dirty old scoundrel. Just wait until I get my hands on you.' He just called him and the demons as they were. He spoke as a judge, as a basis of law, as a judicial fact. No personal feelings were involved. No animosity. And Michael, the archangel, when contending with the devil about the body of Moses, didn't bring a railing accusation against him, but simply said, 'The Lord rebuke thee.'
"While in the desert for forty days of testing, Jesus did not cuss out the devil and send him scurrying back to hell when He was tempted by him. He just said, 'Get thee behind me Satan." (Quote not verbatim).
When there is something lacking in anything, it will not be the same, act the same, or react the same as when it was whole. With understanding there are times we can take a judicial stand and call things as they are without a hint of personal feelings or unrighteous condemnation. We can meekly clear the temple with a scourge of cords, or call present-day Pharisee's the generation of vipers and the son's of the devil that they are. Doing so would not be personal, unjust, sinful, prejudiced, spiteful, vindictive, retributive, carnally judgmental, or even nit-picky. It would simply be calling things as they are at the right time, in the right place, and for the right purpose. Such would be the words of the meek.
What do we suppose was lacking in the crafty Pharisees, those religious leaders who were able to transform themselves into angels of light, they who were and are the true adversaries of God's people? What is lacking in those serpents of religion that makes them what they are today? At least one thing, and it has been lacking since the initial fragmentation and fall; namely, the dove.
It is easily accepted that one becomes meek through training and their lion, leopard, wolf, and bear, are joined and are at peace with the lamb, the calf, the kid, and the child. However, when we speak of the serpent doors began to close, and strongholds are reinforced, and sentinels posted. Nevertheless, let us ask a simple question: Would not being wise as serpents and harmless as doves be the quality of being meek? Of course it would! Jesus said something to that effect: "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves." Matt. 10:16.
This union compliments and flows very well with meekness. There is no difference in the wise serpent and the gentle Dove becoming one than it is for the ravenous lion and the gentle Lamb. If the weaned child can put his hand in the cockatrice's den without harm, so can the serpent and dove become one in those who are disciplined unto meekness. They are wise, subtle, cunning, and crafty, yet without guile, without selfish motives, without harmful intent, without death. Every subtle thing they do is unto life, and there is no lie to proceed from their lips or their lives. So it is with every creature in God's holy mountain.
We are well aware that Jesus was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world and that slaying was brought to fruition and manifested on the cross. We also understand that He was the fiery Serpent that the Lord had Moses to put upon a pole and lift it up in the wilderness, and everyone who looked upon it was healed of their snake bites (John 3:14, Num. 21.8-9). Therefore, can we not also see that the serpent and the Dove, that is, the Lamb came together as one, and this union destroyed the serpent that had the power of death, even as the Lamb destroyed the serpent upon the pole of Calvary. "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." 2 Cor. 5:21. And "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil" Heb. 2:14. It was upon that pole of the cross where he revealed to the world that He too had the body and passions of sin that could bleed and die. It was there where He became a visible manifestation of both -- the Lamb and the serpent -- the Son of God and the son of man. He was the Lamb, the Dove, the Kid, the Child, and the Suckling from heaven; but he was also the lion, the serpent, leopard, the wolf , and bear from the earth. In the End, He brought the two realms together. Heaven and earth kissed and a new creation was born, a new creation that would swallow up everything of the old. Ah, what a controversy, a great controversy, to say the least! However, when the End begins to bring together that which was joined in the Beginning, what can we say, except, praise God!
With these things in mind, let us pose the next question. What happens to the devil when that which was taken from him is restored? What happens when there is no fragmentation anywhere in the universe, including in this enemy of life and truth. We may not know exactly what he will be; but we can be assured that there will be no more devil as we know him today. The traducer, the twister of minds, words, and thoughts will be no more. There will be no adversary. There will be no Satan. And there will be no more death. It is then that the world and the church will have been cleansed by the meek who inherit the earth.
Until the time of complete victory there will be war. As long as there is an unregenerated, carnal mind in any man there will be the enemy that God created to oppose us, and for our good. If the opposition was not for our good and leading to a greater end, I doubt that Paul would have written: "For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly (on its part), but by reason of Him (God) who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. Rom. 8:20-21.
It was God who subjected man to the bondage of the carnal mind and made him a slave to the spirit which feeds upon the dust of that mind; however, once His purpose is fulfilled there will be an end to that mind and spirit. Isaiah wrote: "...I have created the waster to destroy" Isa. 54:16. Or, as it could be translated from the Hebrew -- "...I have created the waster, the one who brings decay and ruin, I have created the devastator for the end purpose to destroy him, to wind about and bind him tightly." Until that time the subtle creature will serve his purpose very well.
Let me share a vision another friend of ours had recently (8/4/2004). He said that he heard a court order being announced, and the order was for the devil to appear before the Lord. Upon appearing, the Lord said to him -- "Well done, My good and faithful servant."
I will not attempt to expand upon what he heard and saw, except to say that everything in the universe ultimately serves God's purpose. For instance, we note men such as Pharaoh, Judas, Hitler and the like, and can hear Him saying, "well done my good and faithful servants in bringing about my designed purpose according to the age, for which I have created you." And the devil is no different. If he wasn't serving God's purpose, then the creature would be more powerful then the Creator, which would be an absurdity. The good part about services rendered by anything other than Christ, is that once it has fulfilled its purpose, it is changed or destroyed. The fact is, the change destroys what it was. I can see the devil as being akin to a sharp, wooden stick for roasting marshmallows. The stick is in the guiding hand of the Master. It is doing what it was designed to do, and after the fire has roasted the marshmallow, the gouging, piercing, sharp stick is thrown into the fire and turned to ashes, changed, destroyed by the consuming fire.
I must say, however, when all hell is breaking loose, and nothing but gut-wrenching flood-tides of heartache are sweeping over us, and we are smothered by the demands placed upon us, it is sometimes hard to grasp the fact that God actually created such a monster. Moreover, in the anguish of it all, to see that anything good could possibly come from being roasted like a marshmallow is next to impossible. Frankly, it is difficult to warmly embrace such scriptures and rejoice in them. We are not usually overjoyed while in the midst of the lions crushing jaws and with the poison fangs of the asp piercing deep into our flesh. It is rare for us to see a good reason for any of it, especially when we do not realize that God is the one behind it all, as he was with Job. At such times, whether we understand the process or not, it matters very little to us if the devil is doing a good job or not. The foremost desire in our minds is to escape the pain or destroy him by any means we can, regardless of his value to our progression.
Very often we find strength in prayer which can alleviate the pain; but that generally destroys the effects of the onslaught, not the perpetrator, and temporarily at that. To completely destroy the adversary has much to do with the degree we are joined to the Lord, as well as what our mind-set about the enemy might be; but it is becoming increasingly clear that our mind-set is often carnally induced and can't stand the test of fire and time.
How then can such a dark being be destroyed? Namely, in the same way darkness is destroyed -- by Light! Simply light the Lamp, the Lamb of God, and darkness will be destroyed. When it is lit, you will notice that the darkness doesn't go anywhere and hide. It is just no more, and that which was hidden in the darkness is dealt with and destroyed by the same revealing, judicial light, along with the keen-cutting edge of the word. Any thief, liar, or murderer is destroyed when he is judged, enlightened, and rehabilitated. The man remains; but the offenses disappear as they are swallowed by the life of the Lamb. When death and darkness are swallowed up of life and light, there is nothing left in a man that could possibly steal, lie, or murder. The evil man is no more, he has been destroyed, and in his place is a godly man who gives rather than steals, who loves rather than hates, who hates the lie rather than loving it, and who dies that others may live. Each of us lacked before we knew Jesus, and we all sinned and came short of the glory of God. But when the dove came with a flaming fire in its wings, the people we once were ceased to exist, and our new creation stands as a living testimony in the midst of a dark world that awaits the same change.
Another question: What happens to that old serpent, the deceiver of nations when he is cast into the lake of fire? He is bound tightly, of course, by the flaming chain of God, by His fiery word of truth, and also by His ministers who are flames of fire. This is what the lake of fire is composed of -- holy god-fire, and that is what binds and destroys the deceiver. He who is adverse to good is destroyed by the consuming essences of good, which is God, the One who is a consuming fire. When the religious mind is consumed by the flaming mind of Christ, there will be no more Satan. The adversary becomes history. When there is no field of the carnal mind, he who formerly lived in that field and transferred one's thinking from spiritual to carnal will no longer be an issue. The mind-twisting traducer is therewith destroyed. The holy flames of god-fire makes it impossible for a cunning work of evil of any kind to take place. And when He who is the flame of fire in the midst of the sea of glass compasses about and refines every soul and ignites the one who once deceived the nations, their muddied waters will be crystal clear and transparent glass! There will be no more deceiver of nations -- ever! In the End, all things will have been made new, and there will be no more death! Period!
Ah, my dear friends, my fellow flames of fire, and sojourners in the mysteries of Christ, that is the mighty, wonder-working power and transforming love of our God in the living lake of fire. But until that time, the Lord will be saying to the waster, that evil one that He created for His purpose, "Well done my good and faithful servant." Until the time of the End, this vessel of dishonor will continue in his calling and doing only what he knows to do. He will be seen working very faithfully in the church and the world as well as in every soul called to sonship.
Testing, temptation, and severe opposition, are very necessary parts of our growth. Without the trying of our faith, we would never be more than what Adam was in the Garden before his fall -- inexperienced, naive, immature children with the potential of submitting to the first self-centered suggestion posed by the most subtle beast of the field. But we are not inexperienced children. We are more than what Adam was before his light faded. We are sons of the living God in Christ Jesus, and we do not desire to go back to that place of fragmentation and lack! We do not box the air nor the shadows of our minds. We have a more worthy opponent, and we are able contenders. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty to the pulling down of strongholds, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. Our final conflict will bring the serpent to naught. The serpent will no longer beguile, and the lion will not rend and tear; for there will be no hurt in all of God's holy mountain. Praise Him, all ye saints, and let the once fragmented earth lift up her voice to Him as she is reunited with that which was in the Beginning and who is also the End!
To be continued...
Elwin R. Roach
From the mail:
Dear Elwin & Margit,
We are so very appreciative of all the subjects you have covered in The Pathfinder, and we want you to know that the writings on 'meekness' have become quite personal. When we had dinner with another couple recently, my husband commented that we need to remember to pray for our president, because he is constantly being bashed in the media. As he continued to talk, unaware of the effect of his words, I was watching the expression on the faces of the couple sitting across the table from us. It was like watching a fire get nearer and nearer to a tank of gasoline and realizing that it was going to blow. And it did!!! Apparently, their political toes had been stepped on, and the two began a high-volume, filibuster rant that went on for hours. My husband stood his ground, but I eventually retreated into another room when I realized we were not going to have a conversation.
The next day Carl and I sat down together and read #174.04 of The Pathfinder. It was the Lord's perfect timing, because we had been unable to find the time or inclination to do so before that day. As we read, healing balm was poured on the wounds still fresh from the night before. We stopped toying with the ammunition that we hadn't used, but probably would have if we had the change; i.e., I could have said this...I could have said that...
"As you said, 'Our angered passion will be restrained and trained. We will truly be meek. We will be angry for the right reasons, against the right people, in the right way, and for the right amount of time.' And it was time to let it go. As together we prayed for the other couple, the anger drained out of us. Given the right circumstances, I am sure it'll be back, but that's okay, too. Our Father is training us! What a comfort!
And may He bless you and yours with His Highest and Best!
Carl & Becky Roehm
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