14. Breaking the False Covenant
Adam and the serpent made a covenant together, a full binding agreement of purpose and union. By that covenant men and demons agreed to commit themselves to labor together for a shared purpose. It is that false covenant that you and I are commissioned by God to break.
14. Breaking the False Covenant
Just as there is never an end to the increase of our knowledge of Christ Jesus filling our hearts with His Person, so it seems there is never an end to an increase in understanding of what went down in the garden. There will come an end to that particular increase, thank God, but I suspect it will be only as our bodies are swallowed up by life. In fact, the more I understand concerning Genesis Chapter 3, the more clearly I see our certain and imminent Victory.
Thus, I repeat here what I have written before, for in doing so, Truth inserts Himself in surprising ways.
No one who imagines that the serpent spoke any form or modicum of truth can understand what happened in the garden. In fact, most “Christian” theology and definition of the “gospel” is predicated upon the conviction that the words of the serpent are the truth of God.
Once we are delivered from that incredible “belief,” however, we begin to see so many little things God says, all through the Bible, flowing in and making sense out of what happened there.
Now, I have taken the position that Adam and the serpent sinned for the first time by their agreement together, that the serpent was a creature of God without apparent evil, and that the darkness of heaven did not begin before that agreement. Although I think that position is correct, I do not have anything other than a sense inside that it is true. There were a couple of phrases I had used before to think that the serpent fell long before Adam – primarily Jeremiah's statement that God did not create the earth “void.” Those couple of things, however, could easily mean something slightly different in light of present understanding.
Jesus did say that there was no truth in the serpent, but that statement is as true of Michael as it is of Lucifer. No created anything contains truth inside itself; truth is Christ alone and Christ must arise in all through faith, that is, through the consent of the created person. Jesus Himself told people NOT to call Him good. Jesus was a vessel filled with God; God alone is Good. Jesus was as capable of sin as anyone else.
Now, I know that some of my readers object to my use of the name “Lucifer” because of some teaching they heard way back when explaining why Isaiah's statement has been mistranslated. I see no purpose in their objection, however. Feel free to call the serpent, “Bob,” if you wish. I am convinced that it is important to name the guy, because the name shows simply that he is a solitary person, created by God for the purpose of God's glory, created neither good nor evil, but capable of going either way, just as Michael and even Jesus were capable. Names change form from one language to the next and over centuries, no big deal.
“Satan” is not some universal “power” or “mindset” emanating everywhere, that's why I insist on capitalizing the name, to show that he is an individual person, still as respected by God today as in the day he was created.
Let us assume, then, that the serpent is an angel of God, placed there by God as His own representative, presiding over the law, just as Christ presided over the tree of life.
The law came through angels. Galatians 3
Genesis 3 agrees with Ezekiel that this angel, this cherub in the Garden of Eden, was the highest and most outwardly glorious, the most brilliant of all God's created forms. In his brilliance, the serpent was designed by God to reveal a particular aspect of God's glory.
But the serpent was in no way created in the likeness and image of God, no more than a slug. Yet the serpent, in every possible way, “looked like” he “should have been” God's image. Let's use that contrast. Let's use a slug to picture to us the lowest, basest, most repulsive individual entity in God's creation. Even bed bugs could be said to have more glamor than a slug. Then, at the far, far other end of the spectrum, we have the highest, the brightest, the most glorious of all created beings, filled with wisdom and knowledge, presiding over all the hosts of heaven in praise and worship, mighty and renowned. A bit of a contrast, wouldn't you say, between the lowest of slugs and the highest of cherubs?
Neither one is the image and likeness of God.
I have in my mind Alexander Pope's description of the one created being God designed to reveal Father. Let me insert it here before we look at the extraordinary contrast God placed before Adam.
Know then thyself, presume not God to scan;
The proper study of mankind is man.
Plac'd on this isthmus of a middle state,
A being darkly wise, and rudely great:
With too much knowledge for the sceptic side,
With too much weakness for the stoic's pride,
He hangs between; in doubt to act, or rest;
In doubt to deem himself a god, or beast;
In doubt his mind or body to prefer;
Born but to die, and reas'ning but to err;
Alike in ignorance, his reason such,
Whether he thinks too little, or too much:
Chaos of thought and passion, all confus'd;
Still by himself abus'd, or disabus'd;
Created half to rise, and half to fall;
Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all;
Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurl'd:
The glory, jest, and riddle of the world!
You must know that tears come to my eyes as I read these lines. Here alone is found the image and likeness of God. – Plac'd on this isthmus of a middle state – Christ Jesus hanging naked and abused, hanging between heaven and earth. – The tree of life. –
Here is the choice placed before Adam. I said in some of my early Christ Our Life letters, that God placed Adam into a den of iniquity. I was wrong. There was NO evil in the garden. The serpent was God's emissary; the tree of knowledge, created by God, came to Adam THROUGH angels.
The choice placed before Adam – let me state it by putting words in God's mouth.
“Adam, you are My image and My likeness; you, alone in all creation, both heaven and earth, look like Me. You alone will cause the knowledge of God to arise into the experience of all created things. You alone are God revealed. But Adam, you are not yet what you will be; you are not yet complete. You cannot be My image, I cannot reveal Myself through you except by your own human consent. And human consent without a choice is not faith at all. If you have no choice, it will be impossible for you ever to please Me.
“See, Adam, I have placed before you two forms, two outward images. Both images are entirely out from Me. Look well upon both and understand all that they mean. You may freely eat of the tree of life, if you wish, or not, if you wish, but do not eat of the tree of knowledge, for it will separate you from My life, regardless of all the promise of being your own man that it seems to whisper to you. The choice is yours, Adam.”
First, we must understand that this is NOT a static choice for Adam, a choice in which he stands quietly, contemplating the full meanings of both, back and forth, weighing all the implications. Most human choice is not like that. This is a choice that must be made quickly in the demands of pressing relationships and horrendous circumstances. Yet Paul said clearly that Adam was NOT deceived. Adam knew the full extent of the meaning of both the tree of life and the tree of knowledge God had placed before him.
There are two sides to the press of Adam's choice. On the surface, in outward view, Adam chose, not “between the two trees,” but regarding the face of Eve, and not regarding Eve, but her “face.” On a much deeper level, however, the unspoken communication between Adam and the serpent ruled Adam's decision.
Adam and the serpent made a covenant together, a full binding agreement of purpose and union. By that covenant men and demons agreed to commit themselves to labor together for a shared purpose.
It is that false covenant that you and I are commissioned by God to break.
To break that false covenant, we must know two things. First, nothing false ever vanishes until the True is fully known; thus we must know our Covenant Bond with God all through all that we are as we appear right now. Second, knowing the True then shines all light upon the false. Thus, as we shine the light upon the false out from the true, the false simply vanishes away as if it never was.
HOWEVER, we must understand this: billions of angels and billions of humans have invested their entire lives and fortunes in that false covenant. To break the false is to create the greatest fire storm of screaming and rage in both heaven and earth that the universe has ever known, a fire storm that is all emptiness and that blows itself out quickly as if it never was. Yet its screams, as they die out, will tear all outward appearance all to pieces.
If they hated Me, they will hate you also.
But first, let's look briefly at the two choices God placed before Adam, one, the law of God in all of its perfection and beauty, through the greatest of all heavenly forms, the other, a life laid down and love poured out, through a Man hanging naked, bruised, and bloody upon the tree of life.
Do you see how Alexander Pope's contention really is God in our face?
And do you see how Christian theology continues to argue that God's image is found in the first and not in the second?
On the one hand you have the highest and fullest expression of heaven hovering over the beautiful and visibly promising law of God. We love that law, for it is of God, but we are NOT ruled by it. On the other hand you have the lowest humiliation human flesh can know hovering over some distant thing called “life.”
What a contrast! Heaven versus flesh. Law versus life. – We get to choose.
Now, as usual with this contradictory God who tells us He is our Father, we hear another verse that seems to oppose this scenario. Let's bring it in to see what God actually says.
And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adambecame a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Manis the Lord from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.1 Corinthians 15:45-49
In dealing with a God who says too many seemingly opposing things, we do not do as most, use one thing God says to oppose something else God says. Rather, we wait upon Him for understanding to come.
Did you notice all the italicised words not in the Greek? Let's remove them.
The first man of the earth, of dust; the second Man the Lord from heaven. As the dust, so also those of dust; and as the heavenly, so also those heavenly. And as we have borne the image of dust, so we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
I have done that now, I have waited some days after placing these lines on this page, wrestling with them against all the other things God says on the topic. And God does as He always does inside of those who contend with Him concerning all that He speaks. He opens our eyes, as our hearts are already open to Him alone, and He causes us to see and to understand.
Here are four lines from Scripture. I will underline the verbs in question.
Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.
Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.
Do you see the three parts of everything God speaks? He says through John that we shall be like Him, future tense, when we see Him as He is. But Paul says that we see Him now in the mirror and we are becoming, present progressive, like Him right now. Then, Paul says that we shall bear, future tense, the image of the heavenly, but John says that as He is, we are, full present tense in all existence, right now in this present age.
I see the answer to the contradiction, as I have stated many times: Seed—plant—seeds. That’s God’s order. All true now. – Doesn’t look like it at all in present form. – Becoming what it already is.
Remember that Paul also called all the demons “heavenly” beings, the exact same word he uses here.
Adam was not complete. Because he chose against becoming complete as Christ his only life, because he chose to imagine himself to be a self separate from God, he remained entirely “of the earth.” Furthermore, God then clothed Adam with the skin of a beast to protect the human psyche from Consuming Fire.
Then, we do not equate the word “heavenly” as Paul uses it here, to refer to the created realms of the heavens (unless people think that Jesus is just another isolated and solitary created being). Rather, we use it to refer to the God who already fills us full, now arising in us to be known by us and to be seen out from us as rivers of living water. In this case the “heavenly Man” is the One who causes this invisible God to be known to us.
Yet God requires us to deal with the body, human flesh. Where does it fit? How can the life of Jesus be revealed in our mortal flesh except our mortal flesh be central to the transformation of Christ?
We are already fully in heaven.
But God . . . made us alive together with Christ . . . and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus . . . Ephesians 2:4-6
In this line “sit” is figurative, but “in heaven” is literal. Sit means two things. Sit first means a position of complete rest. But because we are seated in Christ upon the throne of God, sit also means all authority moving out from us as all the power and revelation of God. The “heaven” part is simply our actual present experience, if we would but know it.
Of truth, these two full meanings of the word “sit,” always together, all of one and all of the other, are what causes so much of the confusion in those seeking to know all that God means by our union with Christ. I will speak more of this in upcoming letters.
Now I see the same choice set before us that was set before Adam, a choice centered on the flesh.
As the dust, so also those of dust; and as the heavenly, so also those heavenly.
Look at your flesh. Is it the flesh of Adam, of the dust of this earth, low and despised, needing to be brought under control (the law)? Or is it the flesh of Jesus, flesh of His flesh, the flesh of a life-giving Spirit, flesh out from the heavens, designed by God to reveal His Heart and His glory?
As—so—also. Or! As—so—also.
Remember this absolute truth of God: nothing false ever vanishes until the True is fully known. We know the true by faith, by what God says, while the outward appearance looks likesomething entirely different.
Appearance cannot be real. The Spirit that gives life to my present body of flesh is the Spirit of Christ Jesus, as Paul said in Romans 8:11. Our choice is substance; our choice is faith.
Back to the garden and to the false covenant that Christ living as us breaks.
On the one hand is all the perfection of heaven and all the beauty of the law. On the other hand is the lowest ignominy of the flesh – crucifixion was only for the despised, for outcasts and criminals, the lowest of the low, and inside of that bruised and bloody flesh, the Heart of God, the Mercy Seat, life laid down and love poured out. One is the flesh of earth; the other is the flesh of God. Can you tell which is which?
Adam made his choice outwardly by the face of Eve. He did not make that choice because he regarded Eve; rather, he despised Eve. He did not stop to ask Eve what she thought or what she wanted. This is typical of men. We assume we know what the woman wants of us by her face. We never bother to ask her what is in her heart.
We ALWAYS get it wrong.
To blame Eve for Adam's false image of her is to be false like Adam.
Adam's outward choice was to win his own image of the acclaim of others – what we think they think about us. “Eve” to us is all other humans with whom we come in contact, not they themselves, not their hearts buried under all the plastic faces, but their “face.” – What we think they think and expect of us.
Yet Adam's regard for his own image of Eve's face was only the outward portion of what went down. The real deal was an exchange, a trade, a contract, a binding covenant, taking place between Adam and the serpent as they both together at the same moment found iniquity in their hearts.
Whatever one can say about the serpent in his origins is equally true of Adam. Sin, lying, wicked debauchery, murder, rape, and death did not come into the human race through the devil, but through Adam, as Paul so clearly said.
By man death, by man, also, the resurrection of the dead. 1 Corinthians 15
In Adam all die; in Christ all are made alive. 2 Corinthians 5
Adam and the serpent laid eyes on each other for the first time both at the same moment. The serpent, as an angel sent by God as His emissary, knew beforehand that God had fashioned this man to be like God and as God's image, God's visible expression. The serpent was not impressed.
Adam agreed. To become this Man, hanging on the tree of life, was, to Adam, to descend down to the very bottom, to the lowest parts of the earth.
To become like the serpent, however, like this glorious image of the highest of heavenly forms and all the beauty of the law of God, that would be something “to die for.”
How do we do this? How do we accomplish this trade? Adam wanted what the serpent had, outward perfection, beautiful order, all heavenly glory. The serpent wanted what Adam had, the form of being like God.
The serpent said in his heart, “I shall be like the most High.”
Adam said in his heart, “I shall put on a show.”
Understand that this was not an uneven match. Yes, all outward glory and power resided with the serpent. But all authority over heaven and earth resided with Adam. God had commanded him to subdue all things. The serpent was a servant and he knew it. Adam was the boss and he knew it.
In fairy tales sometimes, a little guy promises glory and splendor to someone if they just sign a contract. A recent Shrek movie is like that. Shrek doesn't like the most un-glorious position he has. He may be “king,” but his life is not to his liking. Then, Shrek meets a leprechaun by the name of Rumpelstiltskin. Rumpelstiltskin offers Shrek all the stuff Shrek thinks he wants in return for one day of his life. Shrek signs the deal, experiences pleasure for a moment, and then quickly discovers that the one day he traded was the day of his birth. Thus Shrek enters a world in which he was never born. He finds Fiona, his bride, yes, but Fiona does not know him.
The trade in the garden, however, was a trade between equals. Both Adam and the serpent offered a contract to each other; both signed the other guy's contract, trading one, insignificant thing, “one day of their life,” for all the place and appearance each one coveted from the other.
The day each one traded, that most insignificant of days, was the day of their birthright.
God says that He hated Esau because Esau did the same thing Adam did.
Adam agreed, by covenant, to call the serpent the image and likeness of God. Inside that contract, in the fine print, was a clause by which Adam agreed to kill any of his children who dared to call him or herself the image and likeness of God and to walk on this earth as that image.
Abel reached for the tree of life, for the image of a Lamb laying down His life, for the essence of Blood, of the Mercy Seat, of the Heart of God revealed. Cain killed him by the covenant their father had signed.
The serpent agreed, by covenant, to grant his glory and show to Adam, that Adam might prate himself before his own image of what others thought about him as “the man of the moment.”
But the act of both, in selling their birthright, that is, in trading birthrights, was to lose the very thing God had created them to be. Thus, when each one sought to take possession of the other's birthright, they both found, in that very act, that the birthright had already died the moment the contract was signed.
Thus Adam, in order to impress his own image of Eve's face, discovered that the glory, beauty, and perfection of the serpent and of the law had turned into something far worse than the Lamb upon the cross. Thus the only way to impress “Eve” was with fig leaves, anointed by an angel still pretending to be something awesome.
And the serpent, reaching for the title of calling his own heavenly form the image and likeness of God, thinking to bask in all the acclaim of the universe, found that in the very moment Adam signed away his title, it had vanished from him. And thus the serpent became as Paul described him: an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Romans 1:23
By selling their birthrights to each other, they both lost the very thing each had hoped to gain. Now they were bound by covenant, as well as by the outward desperate need each one had to maintain the charade, to keep the game going, to flatter and cajole, one in the heavens and the other in the earth. And thus the commitment to labor together that men and angels have agreed is to pretend in all that pretending means.
Demons pretend to hide from God behind the shield of man's skin of a beast. They know it's not real, but at least pretending makes them feel better. Humans pretend to feel like something special, like someone “in control.” They know, deep down, it ain't so, but pretending makes them feel better.
Jesus broke that agreement as the Seed. But it is evident that the dance of faces, of demons and men playing the charade together has continued on right on. And thus God planted Jesus into the earth on the Day of Pentecost to become the plant, His church, and by His church, to bring forth many seeds, you and me, who will also break that agreement just like Jesus.
Oh, this is so cool.
We break that agreement by first accepting with all of our hearts and trust, that our flesh, our dying body as it is right now, is NOT of the earth at all, but rather, the very flesh of God.
The word, translated “will give life” is zōopoiēsei. From http://biblehub.com/greek/2227.htm (I have made some slight alterations.)
2227 zōopoiéō (from zōgréō, "alive" and poiéō, "make") – properly, make alive (zōos); i.e. "quicken," vivify ("animate"); (figuratively) cause what is dead (inoperative) to have life; empower with divine life.
zōopoiéō ("make alive, enliven") is particularly used of God infusing His life in the believer. The Lord infuses eternal life (zōē) into us each time we receive faith from Him. This enables livingwith God – not just for Him (cf. Gal 2:20; Ro 8:28-30; 1 Jn 5:4). His self-existent, all-powerful life overcomes all the deadly effects of sin. – (1 Cor 15:36,38) seed, come to life – The resurrection-body of the believer will be characterized by continuity with diversity – i.e. reflecting the physical-spiritual life we live (in now) in a supra-physical fashion (Phil 3:11-21). Both of these aspects of glorification are illustrated in 1 Cor 15 by the metaphor of seeds.
“Will give life” or “Gives life?” The decision is entirely ours, a decision called faith, calling those things that be not as though they are. Either the Spirit of God is right now breathing divine life into what appears to be our dying body as the only source of life it holds, or He ain't. One or the other. The choice is entirely ours to believe it is so or not as we wish.
We are what God looks like – or not, entirely according to our faith, making all that God speaks personal and real right now in us – or not, entirely as we wish.
What do you want?
The act of breaking the false covenant must come from your own heart; it can come from nowhere else.
But now we must look at what breaking that false covenant, inside this world of men and demons who desperately, desperately NEED to pretend, really means.
You see, the moment of honesty required of each individual person is simply the ability to say, without any show on the one hand nor any shadow of loss on the other, “I am so sorry. Please forgive me. I was wrong. I have no idea what I was thinking.” – To say that before the face of Eve.
OKAY! – I have been thinking about the fairy tale. The Shrek story is titled Shrek Forever After; if you enjoy silly animated stories, it's half decent, though not as good as the first Shrek.
Consider this, Shrek cannot break the curse except by one means. He must convince Fiona, who does not know him, that she really does love him. If she kisses him for love, then the curse is broken. Shrek makes many stupid, pretending attempts to prove to Fiona that he “loves” her, but fails every time. Only fighting together with her in their battle for freedom convinces her of love.
Let's bring that into our reality. Must we win the love of the Bride of Christ in order to break the curse? How would we do that except by laying down our life for her in the midst of the battle, when everything is at stake.
By this we KNOW love because He laid down His life for us, and we also ought to lay down our lives for one another. 1 John 3:16
Will I break the curse by winning your love by laying down my life for you.
Will we break the curse by winning the love of our fellow Christians by laying down our life for them?
Just raising the question.
That the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
It's not our love, but the Father's, the Father revealed.
Yet this act of love happens in the midst of all the lights of God turning on.
There is no such thing as the lights turning on except by hearts hot with Father's Love revealed. Yet that very Love revealed is the turning on of the lights.
God would never turn on the lights unless His true sons are fully in their place, ready to reveal Him.
Jesus said, The Word that I have spoken will judge in the last day.
Individual humans walking this earth as a body of believers exactly as God intended, yet clothed in the same outward appearance as all other humans, yet walking as Father Love revealed, ARE the judgment and the light.
Yet in equal measure, they are the hope of all and the setting of creation free.
God turns on the light, an action that causes instantaneous and utter despair in all the pretenders, in all dishonesty of men and of angels, not as “punishment” to despair, but as judgment to life. He would not turn on the light except by and through His answer to all accusation against Him, all the “Did God really say that's” ever spoken in heaven or earth.
That answer is you and me, having chosen fully that our flesh is indeed God's flesh – because He says. And thus we walk without any need to control anything, nor any need to put on a show, nor any need to hide.
We are the light; we walk in the light. Father revealed.
Now, I have come to understand something that is just wonderful to me.
Be ye therefore perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
I was twenty years old, before I ever heard of Sam Fife, when I made a public declaration that I believed that God could fulfill this word in me, right here on this earth. I made that public declaration by raising my hand to a pastor's question while all but one of the entire rest of the congregation made a similar declaration that they did NOT believe that such a word could ever be fulfilled in them.
Thus when I heard this word placed as a vision before me several months later, it was already something God had made my own.
Yet I still defined “perfect” as if God was the highest of angels. That “perfection” is as one who never ever makes any mistakes. It is a cold sort of perfection, high above, aloof, distant. I just knew, however, that, in spite of my own excessive inability, God would do what He says.
But that's not what Jesus said. He said, Be perfect AS Father is perfect.
Father does perfection in quite a different way than men and angels conceive.
Father's perfect is to come up beneath of all imperfection, all falling short, all mistakes, all embarrassment, and, by carrying us inside Himself, He, together with us, causes every mistake, every stumbling, everything intended for evil, to become goodness in the lives of many.
This is Father's perfection; this is our perfection.
I walk in all perfection. I walk in Father, who is always arising in me, and, as we draw all things into the Mercy Seat, my heart, we together turn every circumstance of my life into blessing for you and for many.
Oh, how I love Him.