34. Adam's Grave
The moment Adam bit into the law, the law did the only thing it was made to do, the only thing it can do. The law killed Adam. We are the ones who bury him. Look in the tomb of Christ. Can you find any atoms of Adam remaining there? Not a one! You are not a sinner; you are not fallen; you have no “human nature” other than that humanity that is designed to look just like God in the earth and just like God in the heavens. An outer mirage of Adam remains in our minds for one reason, that we ourselves might bury him in the grave of Christ.
34. Adam's Grave
No one wants to be like God. No one.
Not a single New-Ager I am aware of has ever wanted to be like God, not even a little bit. No Christian wants to be like God; no angel wants to be like God.
The church has Adam's rebellion 100% backward. They have it backward because they actually believe that the serpent was telling Adam the truth. Adam did not fall because he reached out to “be like” God. He fell because he saw what he was, the image and likeness of God, because he saw what he would become, Christ revealing God upon the tree of life, and he hated himself. Adam rejected being like God.
Adam refused to reach out and take the fruit of life that would have sealed him as the revelation of God forever.
And Adam's children to this day hate the very thought of being like God.
Yet they are. – And that is all human psychosis.
Why is it that Adam hated being just like God?
You see, every human being has an image in their mind that they call “god.” This image is of an exalted and superior being, one who appears as superman. All Christians have the same image of God, an image they have “Christianized,” and then they tack the descriptions of God in the Bible onto their image.
Then, when God does show up in the earth, they cannot recognize Him. God does not fit man's image of God.
The simple reason is that man's image is of the serpent in outward appearance, not God at all. More than that, we see that there is a simple inversion between things in the heavens and things in the earth, just like light is inverted as it passes through a lens. Things lowly on earth are high in heaven; an exalted God in the heavens becomes a lowly man walking the earth.
Look at yourself, you look ridiculous, don't you? ----- God's image.
You are weak ----- God's image.
You stumble and fall ----- God's image.
You are filled with daring ambition ----- God's image.
You dream of great things ----- God's image.
You can't make your dreams happen ----- God's image.
You desire pleasure and intimacy ----- God's image.
You men like the looks of a good-looking woman; you women like the hunkiness of a strong-looking man ----- God's image.
You are weak ----- God's image.
You stumble and fall ----- God's image.
You are created to serve ----- God's image.
You are created to rule ----- God's image.
When God shows up in the earth, He looks like you!
When God shows up in the earth, He, Himself in Person, is you.
You know, this picture of the inversion of light as it passes through a lens is so helpful; I had not thought of it before, though I understood its implications. Let's say that the boundary between spirit/flesh, heaven/earth is the lens that inverts the light. Thus things of little account in the heavens show up big on earth. And things that are huge in the heavens show up as of little account on earth. Wow, this picture works all the way through on so many things. Take time to ponder it.
Thus, Adam preferred the outward appearance of the serpent; he hated being like God.
Look around you at almost all humans; they hate being like God, don't they? In every direction we see people trying their utmost to improve on God's image. It's because they don't like it. Christians especially hate being like God. They create realms of doctrine and works by which they try so very hard to “fix” the image they already are.
God just doesn't look like the serpent to them, and that is deplorable!
Let's put Adam in his grave, let's give thanks, give thanks, give thanks that we are just like God.
God is meek and lowly of heart. When God shows up in the earth, He gets down on His knees to serve the lowest of the low.
I have said there are three still-frames of God as He really is, yet I have also mentioned a fourth. Here it is.
Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. John 13:3-5
This scenario requires a snapshot that is implied, though not stated directly. That snapshot is a picture of God on His knees in full bowing posture before man, doing for them the work of the very lowest of slaves.
Let's consider this picture. You see, we humans not only “deify” everything about Christ, from a halo on the baby to the crucifix on the wall, but we also deify God. And it turns out that every part of our deification of God and Christ is simply turning them into our image of the glorious serpent. Consider the inversion of light.
You see, the servant chosen to wash the feet of guests was always the lowest regarded, the most worthless of servants. This is why the disciples responded in horror. Jesus was making Himself the most worthless person in their knowledge. We do not, then, take that picture and deify it. Rather, we see the inversion of light, that what God calls “great” is this that we see. And that what man calls “great” is, to God, only empty appearance.
A man on his knees thinking only to serve.
This is God. What is God?
By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 1 John 3:16
Let's rephrase that with a paraphrase that is 100% Biblical.
By this we know God, because God. And we also ought to God.
In the move of God we were taught that washing your brother's feet was going to him and telling him where and how he was sinning. And we were taught that is primarily the service rendered by those who are “over us” in the Lord. Thus “just washing your feet, brother,” was a mark of superiority, that is, deifying, idolizing God.
The dirt is not on our brother's feet; it is in the eyes of those who see it. We always find exactly what we seek.
I hope to conclude this letter by explaining “lay down our lives” as clearly as I can in the present moment. But before I arrive there, I want to bury Adam as far beneath our memory as I can place him.
You see, since I began writing, I have been unable to stay away from Adam. Something inside was always reaching to understand, knowing that I did not yet have it right. I have a sense, now, that I finally see the real essence of Adam's rebellion. But, you know, I read back through previous letters in which I have explored Adam's rebellion and I find nothing to change. I was seeing clearly, just not far enough.
I doubt, though, that I can now refrain from teaching concerning Adam’s rejection of God. A teacher watches one group of students leaving the classroom knowing that they know how to write, then turns and sees a new group of faces who don't have a clue what you are talking about. A good teacher is always improving his lessons by the fruit in his students.
Adam hated being like God, but in the moment of his repudiation of God, he hated something else far more. Adam hated the image of Christ he saw upon the tree of life. Adam already was just like God, but what spurred his decision was seeing who Jesus really is, that Jesus, looking just like Adam, really is life poured out.
Let's get the picture once more.
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Genesis 3:6
There is a sense in this passage that Eve was alone while chatting with the serpent. But then, this line says that Adam was “with her.” Both are true.
The whole reason the two of them are in that clearing is that Adam felt such a drawing inside to the tree of life. When they arrive in the clearing, Eve's attention is caught by beauty, but Adam's is caught by the stark harshness of the other tree. That is not a defect in Eve, only natural. As far as Eve knows, this glorious and beautiful creature talking to her out from this glorious and beautiful tree can only be from God. She has no idea that anything might not be from God. But while Eve is contemplating the words of the serpent, Adam's whole attention is fixated on the full understanding God is giving him concerning the tree of life.
If Adam was not deceived, then he must have known everything in that moment pertaining to the human revelation of God. Adam sees Christ as He really is, and Adam sees that he is made just like Jesus. Adam sees “Father, forgive them,” out of the midst of taking upon himself the pain and grief of others. He sees the Cup Jesus drinks, the stumbling under the cross – and yes, he sees the Joy that fills the heart of this One whose image he is.
Adam is seized by the full knowledge of something he has not yet tasted.
Then he feels Eve tugging at his arm.
When Adam turns, he sees three things all together, all at the same time, as if they are one thing. In that moment as well, he comprehends the full meaning and extent of what he sees.
I do find one thing incorrect in former things I have written about Adam, but I will not change it. I implied at first that Adam was ignorant, that God had not explained anything to him. Paul's words,“Adam was not deceived,” blow that thought right out of the water. Adam was the master of his domain, both heaven and earth; Adam understood everything pertaining to the human.
A huge part of being a man just like God is the great need for approval from a woman. I talk about that more specifically in “Clothed with the Sun.” The first thing Adam sees as he turns is Eve's eyes; the first thing Adam feels is the enormous desire to be approved by her. Yet this knowledge is hitting up against the vision he just saw of Christ stumbling under the whips for the sake of His own woman, for her approval of Him. (When we accept Jesus as our very and only life, we demonstrate how much we approve of Him – He lives in our approval of Him. He gave everything to win our approval of Him.)
The second thing Adam sees is the serpent behind the woman. In that moment he sees equally the outward strength, wisdom, and beauty, the grandeur of the serpent. He sees no pain in that image, yet he knows it is no human he is seeing. Adam knows that this angel is his servant, subject to him. Adam knows that this appearance of grandeur is not at all like God.
At this point, Adam is fully between two. Two images stand front and center before him. On the one hand is all glorious outward appearance, but no care for others and no thought of bearing anyone's pain. On the other hand is a Man, the image and likeness of God, just like Adam, but who always pours Himself out for others, whatever the cost. Adam fully understands the depth and meaning of both BEFORE the third and final thing inserts itself into his consciousness – the law of God.
The law of God is not God, yet it is a definition of God.
It is here, in this fix between two images, outward self-exaltation and inward life poured out with no outward beauty, that Adam makes his choice. It is the law that allows him to do so.
Faith places us into the hands of the Word God speaks. The law places the word God speaks into our hands.
In that moment, Adam understood that by the law of God, he could hide himself from that haunting image of Christ, of a life always poured out. He understood that by the law of God, he could shape himself. He could be the master of his own fate, the decider of his own destiny. By the law he could make himself look like his own image of God, the outward image of the serpent.
But the moment Adam bit into the law, the law did the only thing it was made to do, the only thing it can do.
The law killed Adam.
We are the ones who bury him.
Look in the tomb of Christ. Can you find any atoms of Adam remaining there? Not a one!
You are not a sinner; you are not fallen; you have no “human nature” other than that humanity that is designed to look just like God in the earth and just like God in the heavens. In the earth you look meek and lowly, just like God. In the heavens you are altogether glorious, just like God. If you make yourself look good in the earth, you become a wimp in the heavens whom no one notices.
An outer mirage of Adam remains in our minds for one reason, that we ourselves might bury him in the grave of Christ. God wants us to feel the feel of our enemies under our feet. He wants us to KNOW all the victory of Jesus.
God on the outside of you will always be your death. Only God on the inside can be life.
Revelation 19:11-16 AND John 19:17-30 are two views of the exact same thing, one view from heaven, the other from earth. The words Jesus spoke that slew all of His enemies were: “Father, forgive them.” Those “with Him,” are found in these words, “Here am I – and the children whom You have given Me.”
We are now the second witness of Christ.
Let's look again at the serpent. The serpent was not at all like God, nor did he want to be like God. The serpent liked himself and wanted to be only himself. What he wanted to do was replace the image of Christ in the human mind with an image of himself. And he wanted us to imagine that his image of a super-Christ was really God showing up in the earth.
The serpent's desire to be “worshiped” as if he were God is as far away from being like God as one can get.
The serpent is wildly successful until the moment when he loses everything. That moment is the birthing of the true image of God into the universe, a manchild caught up to God and to His throne.
Now, in my previous letter, “Appearance Versus Substance,” I saw that there is no evil substance. Evil does not and cannot exist as a thing in itself. All beings are persons. All persons are created and sustained good by God. All persons are free of God and can do as they wish. Evil exists only as thoughts, words, or deeds. A created person, in order to execute evil, must turn always away from the goodness by which alone God sustains him or her.
Yet some of what I shared remains a question in the hearts of some. Thus I want to respond. Here is a question I received, followed by my first response.
Daniel, your last letter "Appearance vs. Substance" was very interesting. I have a question or two. Jesus said that Satan was a liar and a murderer from the beginning and transforms himself into an angel of light – Is he not the one of whom Isaiah wrote: created the waster to destroy, the smith that blows the coals on the fire? Was Satan not created by God as an instrument to do a work? God says that He creates evil and darkness and darkness and light are alike to Him? Satan as a created evil being that serves a purpose. R__
Hi R__, Yes, I did bring in the two passages you mentioned and positioned them against what else God says on the subject. In Isaiah the word is poorly translated, it is not “evil,” but calamity. More than that, the Hebrew idioms used are simply not known by translators. I would never take a vague Hebrew idiom and use it to silence what God says in the New Testament. In John, Jesus was not referring to Himself when He said "In the beginning." Jesus is the beginning of the creation of God, all things come through Him. Thus His wording there must refer to the beginning of the human experience, exactly as I refer to it.
Now, the majority of my readers are not ultimate reconciliation people, thus some have a problem with hell not being forever, as the idioms of the Greek New Testament require. It's only ultimate reconciliation people, however, that, having accepted that "torturing His creation forever" is a false accusation against God, turn and want to accuse Him of all evil deeds.
You see, if one idiom stands, "I create evil," then why should the other idiom not also stand, "forever and ever"? If we base our knowledge of God on minor and vague references taken out of context and used to rule over the important things God says about Himself, then we will never know Him.
In complete contrast, let's take the absolutes God says, that the Lord Jesus Christ sustains all things, that is, that all creation is sustained every moment by the good speaking of Christ - and use that absolute truth to know what to do with these obscure things that are most likely translated or understood poorly.
Read again my argument. If God creates evil, then Jesus is the murderer and the rapist. There is no other possibility. It's all of one or all of the other. On the other hand, if God sustains all things good, which is the only way He can sustain – God does not know evil, He cannot create evil beings – then every evil action is a rejection of the goodness of God, and fully the responsibility of the created being.
I see the accusation against God, that He does evil deeds, as abhorrent as the accusation that He creates beings for the sole purpose of torturing them forever. I reject both accusations.
Here is what I know. The more we know the God who fills us full, according to the absolutes of the New Testament, the more our seeing changes. Everything looks different, including many things in the Bible. We once thought that God was talking about one thing, but as we see through His eyes, we see that, no, He is talking about something entirely different, on an entirely different plane. Only when we did not know Him, did we "find" such ideas in His Word.
The truth is, R__, this is something I puzzle over. You see, it is ONLY ultimate reconciliation people who argue that God is the source of all evil. That's why it is only they who "get rid of" the statement, also by Isaiah, that iniquity was found in Lucifer. And that makes no sense to me.
You see, there are still strong arguments in the New Testament for eternal punishment of sin. Yet UR people have argued every one of them away. I accepted one such argument UR people say and used it and found myself in trouble because I discovered that the particular argument was false. I hate that, to step out onto someone else's reasoning and have it give way. In complete contrast, there are strong arguments in the New Testament that God does not do evil, yet UR people have found a few phrases that allow them to say, "Yes, God does do evil, see, it says so here." Again this is a mystery to me, I don't understand this way of thinking.
Before continuing this conversation – and I responded in this way only because this individual is a friend whom I know personally and who has read my letters from the start, I am not normally brave enough to answer in this way – I want to bring in God's absolute, this time through James.
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed (We are free of God). Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth... James 1:13-17
God sustains all by goodness, evil is the immediate action of an individual created person who cannot be evil by substance because all substance is sustained good.
There is no evil substance. God speaks no evil words.
Then, I received the following reply.
Someone explained that all things came out of God in creation and when Satan was created God withheld something from him like truth for there is no truth in him as Jesus said. When I realized how false the Catholic Church is and full of confusion, I was free of it to never go back. Now I learn much in the Bible is unreliable due to theologians and translators. Now I have much to seek out.
-- First, more than the occasional poorly translated or deliberately miss-translated lines in the Bible, especially the Old Testament – whose idioms and nuances cannot be known for certain, God has set His word as the garden of Eden, full of a promise of life and full of a warning against death. We find in it exactly what we are looking for. Some accuse the Bible by saying, “Well, you can find any argument you want in it.” But that is not an “accusation,” that's exactly how God crafted it. The Bible is an impenetrable barrier to those whose hearts are wrong and a wide-open door to those who desire to know Him alone.
But be careful of “study.” Study has its place, yes, but only by seeing through eyes of fire can we ever know God.
Evil deeds are easy to explain. God is love. Love highly regards and honors all individual created beings. God never binds any creature to Himself; all things are created free in their origins, thus all can sin, all are corruptible. You see, what you heard about Satan is correct, BUT the same is true of Jesus. Jesus said, “Don't call me good; only God is good.” If Jesus could not have sinned, in the same condition as all created beings, then the whole thing is fake. The only Being who is incorruptible is God. Jesus was tempted as James describes, just as ALL created beings.
More than that, God bears in Himself all consequence of that freedom. God bears every pain, every sorrow, every sin. God wins all ONLY by love, only by a completely free and uncontrived surrender of the heart.
The problem, however, is our human definition of God. We see God as some Man up there, over there, separate and isolated. We see all created persons as disjointed individuals, bumping up against each other from time to time, yet utterly separate.
Here is the ONE thing we know about God. We cannot know Him. He is NOT known or seen by heaven or by earth. God is invisible Spirit, He is an Always Speaking, He permeates all and He sustains all. God, utterly unknown, shows Himself to His creation in two ways, by His Spirit in the heavens and by His Son in the earth. By these two alone do we know God. The Spirit is Christ in the heavens; we are the body of Christ in the earth. We do not try to make it all work intellectually, we simply believe what God says out from John 14:20.
We are one spirit with God in the heavens; we are one body, flesh of His flesh, with God in the earth. And God does say both of those statements in the gospel of Christ our only life.
Yet all persons, angelic, human, animal, and any other realm of species in the mind of God, are all free, yet always sustained by the all-goodness of God. Out of that freedom, any created being can do wicked acts, and by doing wicked acts, they draw a wall of protection between themselves and the sustaining goodness of God, a wall that is illusion only, a wall that does not really exist. Yet this God who sustains all by goodness, also carries all by that same goodness, thus He lays down His life always for all.
This God who sustains all by goodness, who carries all in weakness, when He is seen, as He is known, is always there beneath, stooping to serve.
By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. – By this we know God, because God. And we also ought to God.
As we speak what God speaks concerning Christ our life; we see as God sees – all things through eyes of fire.
Nothing ever “comes out of God,” for there is no other place to exist. (In the Bible, “comes down from” is figurative language, as Jesus said.) All demons exist only inside of God. He does not know their wicked deeds, though He does carry inside Himself all the pain and suffering caused by those wicked deeds, turning all of it into goodness. But those demons, as well as all men who also do wicked deeds in the same way that demons do wicked deeds, are sustained every moment only by the God in whom they live.
And God is all goodness.
God does not know evil; knowing evil never makes anyone “like God.” It was a lie then; it's a lie now.
What does it mean to be like God? What does it mean to be life poured out?
First, it means to be utterly content, to be fully satisfied with ourselves as we find ourselves to be, the very likeness of God in the earth. It means to give thanks, give thanks, give thanks, that in all of our stumbling and foolish weakness, all that we are is Christ living us all the way into the full knowledge of the God who fills us full.
I have gone through a bit of roughness these last few days in stumbling foolishness, both big and small. I absolutely refuse to see any of it, to place any part of myself anywhere but utterly inside of Jesus and He in all that I find myself to be. What I “feel” like, I refuse to consider.
I choose to rest utterly in Jesus in my present state, flesh of His flesh. I wrap ME entirely with Him.
But that is not yet “life poured out.”
Life poured out begins inside of faith, inside the bold audacity of faith.
I believe that I am the intercession of Christ. I choose to see God, even through my own stupid mistakes, moving through me to reconcile the world to Himself. Even in the midst of my petty wrong, I received an email from another brother, caught in those same mistakes, longing to know the God who fills him full.
And I find myself able to sit side by side with him and to place all that he is, including his sin and his shame, entirely into Jesus, and to see Jesus all through all that he is, stumbling with him all the way into Life!
Be the Mercy Seat. – Be the Mercy Seat.
Be just like God.
Carry all in weakness, in tender compassion, all the way through all the difficulties of vanity, all the way into life.
Disregard what you see, God fills you full. Disregard what you feel, God fills you full. And this God who fills you full IS that Mercy Seat. And we also ought to – God.
A life poured out does do good things for others, but out of joy, never out of obligation, always as God Himself flowing out, never as ourselves trying to “look like God.”
Adam did not want to be like God. – We do.