14. The Foolishness of God
We take into ourselves the burdens, the concerns, the failings of those whom God brings across our path, with tender compassion, then we pass into death, whether by faith, or, at a certain point in the fullness of times, for real, not defending ourselves, not arguing or fighting back, and then we arise on high, carrying these precious ones in our hearts with us into glory and victory. To the world this is foolishness, to the church heresy, to us it is the face and power of Christ revealed now as us.
14. The Foolishness of God
For the message of the cross is foolishness . . . Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? . . . the world through wisdom did not know God . . . we preach Christ crucified . . . a stumbling block and . . . foolishness . . .
Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
God has chosen the foolish things of the world . . . God has chosen the weak things of the world - God has chosen the base things of the world - God has chosen the things which are despised - God has chosen the things which are not . . .
to bring to nothing the things that are . . . 1 Corinthians 1:18-31
(Feel free to read the entire passage. By removing the in-between words, I do not change any meaning, but only sharpen what Paul says through those words.)
I use as titles two things God says about Himself - "the foolishness of God" and "the weakness of God." Why do these two phrases seem to the "Christian" mind to be so discordant, so not possibly referring to "God?"
And so the mind of human wisdom forces a re-definition onto what God says in this way. Well then, God means that if human strength at its highest is a 10, then God's "weakness" at its lowest must be a 10,000, so, duh, God's weakness is stronger than man's strength. And if human wisdom at its smartest is a 10, then God's foolishness at its lowest must be a 10,000.
Do you see how this way of thinking simply recreates God in the image and likeness of man - whatever man is, God is so much more. This way of defining is the opposite of what God says.
When man looks at God showing Himself as He is, man says, "That's weak, that's really weak. - That's stupid, man, that's really dumb." But the tone behind those words is the withering scorn of contempt.
To the human mind, God, as He really is, is beneath contempt. He is despicable and to be shunned. There is nothing about Him that is desirable; we turn our faces from Him in shame.
Here are two young men. One joins the military to "fight for his country." He receives the praise and adulation of all, both in the world and in the church. Everyone thanks him for "giving them freedom." The other refuses, "I will not be a part of killing anyone, nor will I defend myself if anyone strikes me." The second is held in the highest contempt by both church and world. He is mocked and ridiculed, called a traitor, a coward, and shunned by all.
There is a movie, I think it is Witness with Harrison Ford, in which some young Amish men are accosted by local punks. The young Amish men do not fight back. They are portrayed by the actors (who cannot ever "act" true Christian love) as wimps and pansies. Then, Harrison Ford comes in swinging. Inside, something says, "Yeah, finally!" That something is the wisdom of man.
The wimpishness of God, to the human mind, is just so inappropriate. "Not fighting back" is considered the lowest form of worm to all human thinking, both Christian and pagan.
We have two opposing images of Christ. The first image is the one who does not fight back, who does not defend Himself, who allows Himself to be whipped and spit upon and crucified. He has the outward ability to defend Himself, yes, but He doesn't even look at that possibility. The second image is the one who comes blazing out of the sky, swinging His sword, striking down His enemies in all directions, forcing obedience, changing everything by an outward show of "real" POWER.
It appears to us, in the present time, that the Apostle John gives us both pictures of Christ, the first in his gospel and the second through his vision on Patmos. But consider this, the gospel is history, the reality of God shown in the earth, the vision on Patmos is a vision. A vision is a series of symbols that must be interpreted through the lens of reality and by the Holy Spirit. In other words, the vision of Christ in the heavens that John saw in Revelation 19 IS how heaven SEES the actions of Jesus through His passage from Gethsemane to the cross. The vision of Christ John saw in Revelation 19 is simply a heavenly view of the reality of Christ in the earth that John described in John 19. The two chapters are the same thing.
So what happened? How did the reality of the power and wisdom of God demonstrated for us through the weakness and foolishness of the cross morph the heavenly vision of that same face of God into the literal, earthly "heaven"-exalted personification of all human ambition - Superman?
How did Christ become anti-Christ? Or, more specifically, when did Christ become anti-Christ?
Christ became anti-Christ in the years 310-313 through a set of distinct and phenomenal circumstances and through the actions and self-exaltation of the man who "freed" the Christians: Constantine the Great.
Diocletian was Emperor of Rome from 284-305; Galerius ruled with Diocletian and then was Emperor from 305-311. In 302, Dionysus and Galerius, seeking the favor of Apollo, sought council from the oracle of Apollo. The oracle pronounced that the presence of Christians upon the earth hindered the favor of the gods. The time from 303 on became the darkest in the history of the Christian church until then.
Constantine was a commander of armies under Diocletian and Galerius. (All of this "knowledge" of history comes simply by perusing the Wikipedia articles on these men, something anyone can do.) Diocletian was crafty, a strategist, thinking outwardly; Galerius was a pagan, a lover of the old gods, thinking backwardly. Constantine was full of himself, thinking of his own exaltation. Let me explain.
First, Constantine is called "the Great."
In my letter "Defining God; Defining Man," I gave three definitions of the word "great": greatness as an outer gift, greatness as a show or façade, and the greatness of meekness and lowliness of service. Really high greatness as an outer gift, something possessed by one in a million (or more), is neither good nor evil in itself. As humans, those with the gift of greatness carry blind spots, they can do good things and evil things with their gift, back and forth. Yet, the essential qualities of human-ness, that is, the image of God, are still fully theirs. Genghis Khan is one example of such a man. All who have studied him, even his enemies coming into his home, quickly came to highly regard and respect him.
There is, however, scattered all through the human race, another sub-grouping of people called psychopaths. Psychopathy is not a gift, it is the lack of something; psychopathy is the absence of the image of God. A psychopath has no conscience, no "light" within, as John said in the first chapter of his gospel.
Those who study psychopathy from a scientific perspective say that about 6% of the human race is psychopathic. Of that group, 1/3 would be full psychopaths, with the remaining 2/3 of varying degrees of functioning without a human conscience. That leaves 2% of the human race, still more than 120 million people in all, quite a large number - 1 out of every 50 people.
It is important for us as sons of God to understand what a psychopath is.
The only safe way to understand the psychopath is by science. The possibility that fallen angels mated with man, producing the Nephilim or the giants of old, and that this genetic line continues in those families that generate large numbers of psychopathic individuals (the Rothschild's, or the descendants of William the Conqueror, for instance) may interest our curiosity and it may even be true. The problem is that God does not say so directly and science is not sufficient at present to demonstrate any such thing. Thus, those who go down that route can follow only their speculations, pied pipers traversing the yellow brick road.
I accept only two things - what God says in the New Testament beginning with the gospel according to Paul and flowing out from there to include the entire Bible, and those things backed by sufficient evidence that a scientific mind, that is, a mind that is always ready to see its own theories proven wrong, can accept. I believe what God says out from the New Covenant of Christ; everything else I study.
If we approach our understanding of the psychopath from science only, then we do not join the "witch hunts" or those who make a mockery of reality (reptile creatures shape-shifting into humans, for instance). From that approach, I do recommend that you read this article: "What Is a Psychopath," in light of Jesus' words, "Be wise as serpents, but harmless as doves." I continue, here, putting these things in my own words.
A psychopath does not carry the same view of others that most of mankind carries. They do not know love or fear or joy or sorrow; rather, they figure out these things by studying other people. In the mind of a psychopath, other people exist only to be taken advantage of, as sheep for the slaughter. They think continually how they can gain advantage from other people, beyond that, others do not exist as anything real to them.
We must know that we cannot know or understand psychopaths. They appear human; they act like the rest of us. They smile and laugh, they lead and cheer, they inspire others - yet they do not know any of those things as we do. Those things are simply means of advantage so that they can suck out of people some gain for themselves.
If you know more than a hundred people, then you undoubtedly know some who are full psychopaths. They may live and carry themselves as Christians in the church, but always, they leave a big question mark in your heart as you see close up how they treat others in the pinch. I'm not speaking of common human mistakes and foolishness, or of the difficulties we find in relating together, but rather of a harsh, manipulative domination with no sign of care or concern in unguarded moments. But never do we analyze or judge our brother or sister in such a way - we will always get such foolish judgment wrong. Rather, we simply understand, and leave all in the hands of our most capable Savior.
Then, we understand that psychopaths, humans who share neither our common humanity nor a human conscience, also come with every level of outward gifting, abilities, and inabilities. A psychopath can have an IQ of 75 or an IQ of 175 and so on.
With the increase of the Internet and the spread of light shining on things done in darkness, the mind control and brainwashing taking place through television increases, almost in desperation. One of the most powerful brain-washing devices is the show, "Criminal Minds." This show uses the same device used both by satanists and government agents to break their mind-slaves. First, show you horrific crimes - beyond belief, then take some innocent person and place them as the next "victim," if the team of good guys doesn't get there in time. But they do, they always save that last person in the nick of time. The relief you feel for "the good guys" is overwhelming. This is purposeful. The "good guys" are always government agents. The bad guys are always low, mentally-ill losers. Any idea that anything less than "good" could be coming out of government is mocked in many of the episodes. Those who chose a different path than that sanctioned by the government and by television are all suspect.
Those who watch shows such as this over and over, without grasping the satanic mind-control implications taking place, have no idea the extent to which they are being prepared for things that are about to hit this earth.
Yes, a large number of the psychopathic population is in prison, but still a minority.
There is another show called "American Greed" that highlights certain psychopaths who do get caught and exposed. Some of them operate fully inside Christian circles; these can be most convincing. But here is the lie perpetrated by modern television: in reality few real psychopaths are ever "caught." Only the stupid ones, or the ones who have no inside connections ever get exposed.
The vast majority of human beings of all religions, races, and personality types are the same - reasonably decent people who, though they can be swayed by false pressure, prefer simply to live a good life and to see their children happy. The vast majority of human beings do not think about dominating and controlling other people in order to suck advantage out of their pain and loss.
A true psychopath thinks of nothing else - ever. And thus we must understand that the majority of psychopaths are found in the halls of power. Any place in society that provides for domination and control over others is the must-go path for the psychopath. Thus the police forces, the militaries, the higher echelons of corporate and banking power, and above all, the halls of political power are filled with these people. And the more psychopaths that flood these arenas, the more impossible it becomes for any decent human to get anywhere near.
I suspect that the population of psychopaths, unhindered by normal human emotions, has a much higher average IQ than the general population. They certainly have a much higher level of political intelligence that knows how to get what they want from others.
There are two ways to obtain what you want in this world. The first is the economic means, the choice of most humans, that is, you work for it. The second is the political means, the path of the psychopath; you take it from others - as in "a sucker is born every day."
Those who understand how the world works have mostly come to this consensus concerning John F. Kennedy. After becoming the President and seeing the immoral wickedness and deceit he must personally maintain in order to "be" the President, all the while putting on an outward show of pomp and greatness, Kennedy discovered inside himself a human conscience. At first, he pulled back, carefully. Then he made definite powerful moves - against the strangling blackmail Israel holds over America, against the illegal actions of the CIA, against the corruption of the military, and against the false-money debt grip of the Federal Reserve - all at the same time. He did not survive the contest, and every move he had made was immediately withdrawn by President Johnson in just a few days.
We must understand that every president since Kennedy willfully and openly embraced the deceit and the wickedness, all for the chance to "be the man," to strut upon the stage for a few days. These are not men to look up to, or even worse, to vote for. Those who vote are implicit in the arrogance, the violence, and the wicked deeds.
Now, let's return to our secondary point. (Our main point is the foolishness of God.) Once in awhile, down through the annals of history, two things come welded together in human form: supreme human greatness as an outward created gifting, and psychopathy, no human conscience nor any light within.
Such was Constantine the Great.
Now, I am laying out this great contrast between Constantine and the Lord Jesus specifically because this is how God does it in the New Testament. "The thief comes to steal, to kill and to destroy; but I am come that you might have life more abundantly." "The Lords of the Gentiles do what the Gentiles do, but it shall not be so among you." God always, over and over, presents His kingdom as the opposite. "This is how Satan and the world do it, but I do the opposite."
The parts of the New Testament that are uncomfortable to some are how God reveals His kingdom - in this context, at this pinpoint, by this backdrop. That is, at the junction of the Word that He speaks, a woman in travail, and the face of the serpent. His kingdom is birthed out of nowhere else.
In order to know the kingdom of God we must find ourselves at its birthing point. The kingdom is birthed through the foolishness of God.
I refer directly to the Wikipedia article on Constantine the Great - "the emperor who used Christianity to empower his government," and to the Wikipedia article on the Council of Nicaea.
Constantine fought his way to victory against rivals and through the difficult currents of powerful men grasping for more power. It was not certain that he would win. Constantine's power base was in Gaul and Britain, so he came against the rival Caesar from the northwest. First, in July 310, Constantine proclaimed that he had:
"experienced a divine vision of Apollo and Victory granting him laurel wreaths of health and a long reign. In the likeness of Apollo Constantine recognized himself as the saving figure to whom would be granted "rule of the whole world" as the poet Virgil had once foretold . . . In his early reign, the coinage of Constantine advertised Mars as his patron. From 310 on, Mars was replaced by Sol Invictus, a god conventionally identified with Apollo."
In other words, Constantine proclaimed himself to be the God of the Sun, Apollo, the giver of victory. The halo comes from the sun image. In other words, the halo is not a symbol of "saintliness," but of Apollo and Constantine.
Ignoring the fears of his counselors and generals, Constantine fought his way down the Italian peninsula. Then –
"On 28 October 312 . . . he approached the keepers of the Sibylline Books for guidance. The keepers prophesied that, on that very day, 'the enemy of the Romans' would die."
This is the moment that, according to Eusebius, Constantine saw a heavenly vision of the cross of Christ and heard the words, "In this sign, you will conquer." The next day, he ordered the cross to be painted on the shields and standards of all his army.
Constantine's opponent commanded twice as many men, but that day Constantine slaughtered his way to victory and to absolute tyranny over the known world by the symbol that God calls "the foolishness of God." And thus the picture God gave us of Himself, of the One who lays down His life for us, was turned on that day into the grotesque satanic ritual of men created in God's image hacking each other apart in a bloody orgy of death and dismemberment. Then –
"in the following years, Constantine gradually consolidated his military superiority over his rivals."
Meanwhile, Constantine, seeing the value to his power of promoting Christianity as the religion of the empire, first tolerated, and then commanded Christianity. He himself, however, continued his personal promotion of Apollo and the worship of the sun. By the time of the Council of Nicaea in 325, the idolatrous symbols had disappeared, but now Constantine used the new "Christian" symbols as emblems of himself and his rule.
Then, "the reign of Constantine established a precedent for the position of the emperor as having some influence within the religious discussions going on within the Catholic Church of that time . . . Constantine himself disliked the risks to societal stability that religious disputes and controversies brought with them, preferring where possible to establish an orthodoxy. The emperor saw it as his duty to ensure that God was properly worshipped in his empire, and that what proper worship consisted would be determined by the Church."
In other words, Constantine understood that power on earth was increased by forced unity, by requiring "one doctrine" on every issue and forcing everyone by fear of death or imprisonment to subscribe to that "one doctrine" as the only truth.
When Paul said that there is one faith, he was speaking truth as it is. When man says, "One faith," and enforces that "one faith" by violence, God cannot have anything to do with such a thing. God did not "use" Constantine to institute the correct view of Himself into the world. Yet it is the view of God enforced by Constantine that rules all Christian theology since.
Here is how it happened. When Constantine ascended to power, he released all the Christian leaders from the torture chambers and prisons. Men who had known years of pain and isolation were suddenly proclaimed throughout the world as the leaders of the victorious religion. These men went from destitution to political power in this world overnight. Not knowing God as the One who becomes and ascends, they saw their new power over others as "God-sent."
Of course, great debate arose in the power centers of the church concerning the definition of God, Christ, and everything else. Religious men love to argue. The Council of Nicaea, 325, a gathering of the leading powers of the church, was ordered by Constantine. When Constantine saw that one side seemed to prevail over the other, he put his backing behind the stronger group and ordered that this one definition of Christ be the only one allowed. This satisfied the leading debaters, including Athanasius, who imagined that God can be known by human argument and debate and who found it religiously satisfying to "win" that debate.
Both Constantine and Athanasius profited by this collusion. Both gained power over others inside their own spheres. Thus the image of the sun god, the image of Apollo that Constantine had taken for his own, became the image of Christ known by all from then until now.
A Man as God revealed, stumbling and falling with His face in the dirt, refusing to draw on power to bring harm to anyone, had now become the image and likeness of man, exalted in power over all. To disagree was to risk imprisonment and death. From then on, the church used the power of the state, bringing violence and pain into people's lives, to force agreement with "Christian truth."
This is the image of man so many call "Christ." And this is the picture so many call "the kingdom of God."
You see, God, as defined by Augustine, is interpreted by most to be some sort of psychopath. That is, as one who sits on high, who dispenses hard things into people's lives because of some sort of "superior plan" without considering or even knowing our hearts, our fears, our concerns. Even those who gain a revelation of His grace and goodness, will fall back on this image with argument when it is challenged.
Jonathan Edwards was a man who knew the grace and love of God. Out from his ministry flowed the Great Awakening in America, mighty rivers of living water. Yet here are just a few of his words:
"They are now the objects of that very same anger and wrath of God, that is expressed in the torments of hell. And the reason why they do not go down to hell at each moment, is not because God, in whose power they are, is not then very angry with them; as he is with many miserable creatures now tormented in hell, who there feel and bear the fierceness of his wrath. Yea, God is a great deal more angry with great numbers that are now on earth: yea, doubtless, with many that are now in this congregation, who it may be are at ease, than he is with many of those who are now in the flames of hell.
"So that it is not because God is unmindful of their wickedness, and does not resent it, that he does not let loose his hand and cut them off. God is not altogether such an one as themselves, though they may imagine him to be so. The wrath of God burns against them, their damnation does not slumber; the pit is prepared, the fire is made ready, the furnace is now hot, ready to receive them; the flames do now rage and glow. The glittering sword is whet, and held over them, and the pit hath opened its mouth under them."
Edwards held inside himself this incredible contradiction, God as a psychopath, and God as the Father of love and grace. Notice that he claims that God is not "such an one as" man, yet he defines God as the image of fallen man, that is, what man would do to others if he had "the power."
More and more you see across the world the "God" of the Old Testament decried as evil and monstrous.
And (Moses) said, "Please, show me Your glory."
Then (God) said, "I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of theLord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion." But He said, "You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live." And the Lord said, "Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen." Ex. 33:18-23
Moses saw the backside of God, but not His face. What does that mean? Man had chosen the tree of the knowledge of good and evil instead of LIFE. Let me point out again that to eat of knowledge required disobedience, but there was no obedience found in eating of life. Life is an entirely different realm.
Since man had chosen knowledge, God determined to show man the utter futility of knowing God by knowledge - thus, the law. The primary purpose of the law was to bring individual people, whom God Himself chooses, to the end of themselves, to the utter despair of ever knowing God by knowledge and argument, by law and obedience to outward command. And thus to step willingly into LIFE the moment God showed them Christ. This is Romans 7.
The Old Testament is the backside of God, that is, God showing Himself as He would be inside the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which is the law, which is an outer relationship based on knowledge. God does not live in or by that tree and we cannot know Him there.
The covenant through Moses is the backside of God, Jesus is His face; Jesus is God revealed. To see God's face, we look at the Man, Christ Jesus, from the Garden of Gethsemane to the Resurrection out of the grave and to His ascension on high. God becomes, taking all that we are into Himself, and then ascends on high and we in Him.
There is one simple solution to the tree of knowledge - turn around, that is - repent. There is only one entrance into the tree of life - the foolishness of God Himself, the cross; "It is finished." Allow God to carry you, to become you, to arise on high as you. Allow yourself to be a man, that is, God revealed.
Constantine took the foolishness of God and turned it into a symbol of slaughter and abuse and power over others. Athanasius and Augustine took the face of God, Man as God revealed, and turned it into the image of man, a Super-Christ, God the Son, coming to rule over others by force.
There is no need for us to hold two images of God; He has only one Face, not two. We cannot know Him by knowledge, by human argument and debate. We know Him only as the sweet stirrings of our own heart, the growing compassion, the inclusion of others in their pain and their hurt into ourselves, carrying them with joy. Here is where we know God, revealed as us in this world. We are just like Jesus, for we see Him as He is.
To the world this is the heights of foolishness. To us who are discovering, for the first time in our lives, God as He really is, it is wisdom indescribable, love without limit, and joy unspeakable.
I want to share with you here, that since I described God by the picture presented to us in the passage of Jesus from Gethsemane to the empty tomb, that is, as the One who becomes all, taking all into Himself, regardless of their present position or any present rebellion, and carrying all into death, arises on high and all arise in Him. Since I wrote these words just a few weeks ago, something big has shifted on the inside of me.
To be the same as Jesus, that is, to be ourselves God revealed, is no longer "robbery." It no longer is "taking something" away from Jesus. In complete contrast, it is the nature of God Himself.
We take into ourselves the burdens, the concerns, the failings of those whom God brings across our path, with tender compassion, then we pass into death, whether by faith, or, at a certain point in the fullness of times, for real, not defending ourselves, not arguing or fighting back, and then we arise on high, carrying these precious ones in our hearts with us into glory and victory.
To the world this is foolishness, to the church heresy, to us it is the face and power of Christ revealed now as us.