The Gap between the Cross and the Resurrection 2

Although the events leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ are discussed in several places in this book…this is probably the best location to drill down more deeply into the nature of the rejection of Jesus that led to the cross on Calvary Hill.

In a book attempting to make a popular defense of the Bible and Christianity…to illuminate the real truth about God…this topic must be addressed early, clearly, and with four-square honesty…despite the offense it will cause for a large number of people (1 Cor. 1:18, 2:14; Gal. 2:20, 3:22).

The first-century Pharisees, scribes, Sadducees, and lawyers in Jerusalem who were the chief instigators of the rejection and crucifixion of Jesus Christ…were not bank robbers, embezzlers, slave traders, drug dealers, murderers, or common thieves.

Yet the stubborn character trait of self-sovereignty openly led to their eventual exposure…at the critically decisive moment in their lives…to be the greatest criminals of all time…by conspiring to murder the Son of God Jesus Christ through Roman crucifixion…for the simplest and most commonplace of reasons…that they were living in the realm of thinking and doing things “our own way.”

Some people will react immediately here and say: “This cannot be right…how can going our own way be criminal?”

Did not God create within us the capacity for independent moral reasoning and free-will choice?  Does not the definition of love require the freedom to choose to accept or to reject love from another person…including God?

Doesn’t the American slogan of “Go west young man”…to carve-out a place in the wilderness for a ranch or a farm…doesn’t this commendable and admirable worldview validate the worldly conventional thinking of going our own way…in pursuing all of the things that conventional normalcy ranks at the top of purpose,  meaning, and achievement in life?

But the worldview philosophy of humanism unequivocally says that placing faith in the God of the Bible…is a sign of character weakness in leaning upon God as a crutch to get through life…instead of pushing through our life challenges using self-autonomous individualism.

The problem here from a biblical standpoint is that the entire scenario surrounding the crucifixion of Jesus Christ…is that it is a divine set-up…designed to expose the dark side of autonomous individualism at the extreme negative end of the spectrum of belief and unbelief…demonstrating in action the final outcome of a journey of self (Jn. 8:19).

The religious elites in Jerusalem during the time of the ministry of Jesus…had no intention of entering into a journey of faith like Abraham traveling from Haran to Canaan (Gen. 12:1)…or like Joseph patiently waiting in Pharaoh’s prison for God to work out the details of Joseph’s two earlier dreams as a teenager back in Canaan (Gen. 37:5-11)…or like Moses spending 40 years as a shepherd of sheep in preparation for leading the Israelites out of Egypt to their Promised Land…or like the soon-to-be converted Pharisee Saul/Paul to be sent out as a Christian missionary evangelist to the Greco-Roman world…and God knew this about these religious leaders in Jerusalem.

When some of the Jews came to the Pharisees to report what they had witnessed in Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead…after four days lying dead in a stone covered, cave tomb…we would think this would change absolutely everyone’s thinking regarding the divine nature of Jesus of Nazareth (Jn. 11:1-44).

How many people do we know about…past or present…that can bring someone back to life…someone who has been dead for four days?

Yet this news about Jesus bringing Lazarus back to life…does not seem to phase in the slightest…to sway in a positive direction the opinion that these Pharisees have of Jesus of Nazareth.

The first concern recorded by these religious leaders is in regard to their positions and political power in their nation of Israel…of the impending and growing threat of the obvious popularity of Jesus Christ…a person who can raise a well-known person Lazarus from the dead in a small town on the very outskirts of Jerusalem…placing in peril their worldview philosophy of going “our own way”…in direct contrast to the Jewish heritage of journeys of faith (Heb. 11) patterned after the great men and women of the Hebrew Bible…from Noah through Malachi.

“But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done.  Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles.  If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.” (Jn. 11:46-48).

The God of the Bible is the only person in all of existence who would and could expose this extremely subtle character malfunction of going our own way…in self-autonomous individualism…through the brilliantly conceived and orchestrated events and circumstances of the life-script of Jesus Christ…the Son of God incarnate in a human body…landing Jesus on the cross at Calvary as the ultimate expression of unselfish love…prophesied centuries before in Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53.

The flawed character trait of going our own way…as demonstrated in the Pharisees, scribes, Sadducees, and lawyers rejecting and murdering Jesus the Son of God through Roman crucifixion…easily the greatest crime in all of history…is exactly the same offense committed by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden…and the same offense committed by yours truly…the author of this book…in my own way…before I met God…was spiritually born-again…and entered into a journey of faith following Jesus Christ.

“Ye shall not surely die.  For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” (Gen. 3:4-5).

Adam and Eve made the morally disastrous decision to go their own way apart from God…a perfect God having timeless foresight…the worst decision anyone can ever make…as is openly demonstrated by the cross on Calvary Hill.

The divine exposure of the extreme end-point outcome of going our own way…resulting in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ…indicting all of the world in the process…would never originate out of the humanistic philosophy contained within worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…and would therefore not be a product of human literary imaginative invention.

As has been said before in this book…the positive aspects of the American Dream only work for our eternal benefit when they are pursued within a God-composed journey of faith life-script…producing the beneficial and priceless outcome of personally knowing God…from the least to the greatest…walking in an adventure of faith. (Jer. 31:31-34).

The Gap between the Cross and the Resurrection 1

“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”                (1 Cor. 1:18)

            The largest gap…the largest vertical displacement in terms of distance…that has ever occurred in human redemptive history…on the continuum graph-line of goodness and light…is the space between the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and then His resurrection from the dead three days later.

The event of the cross was so catastrophic for the disciples of Jesus that it sent them into a tailspin of doubt and despair…beyond comprehension to these followers of Jesus during the three-day interval in time until the resurrection.

The previously unimaginable gap between spiritual darkness exhibited through hatred, prejudice, and stubborn unbelief producing the rejection of Jesus on the cross…and the incredible jump up the continuum of light of the glorious resurrection of Jesus exhibiting the complete acceptance, validation, and approval of God the Father…of the sinless performance of Jesus Christ the Son of God…subsequently transformed the disciples and changed the world from then on.

Even though Jesus forewarned the disciples in advance of His upcoming death in Jerusalem at the hands of the Jewish leaders, and His rising from the dead three days later…worldly conventional thinking was so strong within the still-to-be-spiritually reborn disciples (Jn. 20:22)…that the gap beginning with the unprecedented depth of spiritual darkness leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus…took these disciples by surprise and sent them scattering at the arrest of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.

The challenge of overcoming the accumulated spiritual darkness of mankind’s sin…even tested the Son of God Jesus in Gethsemane the night before Calvary…as we read about Jesus having to go back and pray a second time…incomprehensible to us in the divine, perfect Son of God…sweating drops of blood…and requiring the aid of an angel from heaven (Lk. 22:39-44)…saying “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful unto death” (Mk. 14:34).

The positive outcome three days later of the resurrection of Jesus having a newly restored body…reaching across this vertical gap…this displacement in distance from death to life…completed the connection within the God-composed journey of faith life-script for Jesus of Nazareth to bridge this gap between our deserved damnation as rebels…to our salvation by grace through faith…unachievable and incomprehensible while we are lost within the confusion of the zone of mixed light-and- darkness in worldly conventional normalcy and thinking.

Even to this day, people within the zone of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking go about their lives without even recognizing this enormous gap in history between the cross and the resurrection…as if it never happened at all.

The two most important events in all of human history…the cross and the resurrection…and the enormous gap between them in terms of spiritual light that only God Himself could bridge through Christ…in restoring our broken relationship with Him…is not only brushed aside as unimportant but is totally obscured by our self-centered pursuit of the cares of this world for the benefit of “me, myself, and I” (Lk. 8:14).

A critically important point for Spirit-born Christians to understand in terms of biblical faith…is that the gospel message of Christ goes into the zone of worldly conventional normalcy and lifts people up and out…unto a higher place on the vertical graph-line continuum of light and goodness (Jn. 10:10; 11:25-26).

Even though we by necessity live our lives partially within conventional normalcy…pay our bills, show up for work, eat well and exercise…a God-composed adventure of faith life-script falls above and outside of worldly conventional normalcy.

Worldly conventional thinking…without God as our King and Ruler…as junior gods sitting atop the thrones of our lives…is where the “blind lead the blind…both falling into a ditch” (Mt. 15:14).  This is where a man can gain the whole world yet lose his own soul (Mt. 16:26).

Worldly conventional normalcy is where the “woman at the well” resides before she meets Jesus (Jn. 4:5-30).

The blindness of worldly conventional thinking explains the townspeople of Nazareth attempting to throw Jesus off a cliff to His death…unable to reconcile the humbleness of His station in life as a local carpenter…with the enormous yet perfectly true statement in their synagogue that the prophecy of Isaiah 61:1-2 was being fulfilled that very day.

Worldly conventional thinking explains the family of Jesus not believing in Him (Mk. 3:21; Jn. 1:5, 7:5).

Worldly conventional normalcy and thinking sadly results in: “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him” (Jn. 6:66).

Worldly conventional thinking results in everyone forsaking Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Worldly conventional normalcy and thinking produces the blindness and ignorance that has Jesus saying from the cross: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Lk. 23:34).

Worldly conventional normalcy and thinking will produce the bewildering opposition to the gospel message (Acts 14:22)…a gospel that Christians lovingly and selflessly bring to this world.

As Spirit-born Christians walking with Jesus…we are in the world…but not of the world (Heb. 11:16).

Even the Life-Script for Jesus has a Gap

“And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”      (Phil. 2:8)

In the Sermon on the Mount, when Jesus says in Matthew 5:13 that Christians are the salt of the earth…Jesus is that very salt that makes Christians salty.

In the next verse, Matthew 5:14…Jesus says that Christians are the light of the world.

As He is speaking at that precise moment…Jesus is the eternal Light of the world…He is our light (Jn 8:12)…and the light that will illuminate the new heavenly city of Jerusalem (Rev. 21:23).

Jesus the Son of God is absolute goodness and brilliant pure light.

Yet when Jesus became incarnate in a human body…by necessity He became part of worldly conventional normalcy.  Jesus had a mother, step-father, half-brothers and sisters as a human family.  Jesus worked as a carpenter…in a small rural town…as part of the nation of Israel.  Jesus was intimately engaged in His ministry to the Jews in the first-century…with all of the political, social, and religious issues that entails.

Yet Jesus emphatically declined the offer of Satan in the temptation in the wilderness to have “all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them” (Mt. 4:1-11; Mk. 1:12-13; Lk. 4:1-13).

When some people came to attempt to forcibly make Jesus a king…He resisted this temptation…the scripture recording that “he departed again into a mountain himself alone” (Jn. 6:15).

There is therefore a boundary line in the life-script of Jesus…regarding worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…beyond which He will not go.

The gap…the space…the distance to traverse for Jesus was to be the Passover Lamb of God…the atoning sacrifice for mankind’s sins.

Jesus the Word of God wrote His own life-script along with God the Father and the Holy Spirit.

The perfect life-script of Jesus did not lead to the coronation crown of Isaiah 9:6-7, but instead to the crown of thorns of rejection and the cross on Calvary Hill…of Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53.

This is the ingenious gap that God inserted into the life-script of Jesus the Son of God, that challenged Him in a similar way that we are challenged…in where we are now to where we need to go…requiring the help of God…yet Jesus is operating at the top-end of the goodness continuum of brilliant pure light…while we have a ways to travel up the continuum line from imperfection and sin toward more needed light…in order to fulfill our life-mission callings.

Listen to what Jesus says leading up to the experience of the cross of Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53…compared to the coronation crown of Isaiah 9:6-7:

”But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how I am straightened till it be accomplished” (Lk. 12:50).

In the Garden of Gethsemane the night before His crucifixion, Jesus prays “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” (Lk. 22:42).

We cannot understand what it would be like to be the sin-sacrifice for all of mankind’s shortcomings.

God wrote into the journey of faith life-script for the perfect Son of God Jesus this incredible gap…to take our place on the cross…to be our substitute…to be our Savior through the cross and the resurrection…because that is exactly what we needed at that point in human history…and not the coroneted king of Isaiah 9:6-7…although Jesus was the brilliant pure light and absolute goodness of a divine King during His entire life and ministry…especially so…as He hung on the cross for our sakes.

My point here is that Jesus is the perfect blend of worldly conventional normalcy and at the same time the higher ways of God…because Jesus followed His journey of faith life-script to be the Savior of the world…perfectly.

What is critical for Spirit-born Christians to consider as we enter the end-times…is that the divinely composed life-script for Jesus led directly to such a lethal conflict with worldly conventional normalcy…that it ends with Jesus being rejected and murdered in the one and only way that would procure the liberty and redemption from sin…as the Passover…that only God alone could imagine, set in motion, and flawlessly guide to its tragic yet glorious outcome.

This is the living God.  This is biblical faith in action.

This gap between Isaiah 9:6-7 and Isaiah 53 in the life of the promised Messiah…confirms the divine origin of the Bible from another angle…because this gap between imperfect people and a perfect God…which only Jesus Christ could fill…is a concept too complex and intellectually sophisticated for the non-existent contemplation of material particles and energy…as the explanation for its origin.

These powerful truths lift up and glorify the name and character of God…likewise beyond human invention and creative imagination.

The Gap that Creates the Space for a Knowledge of Good and Evil

Certainly within the vast region of secular pursuits there is an equivalent gap between where people are and where they would like to get to.

This reality is what motivates people to pursue a college degree, advance in their careers, save up money for a European vacation or their future retirement, explore the natural world through scientific investigation, and search for the cure for cancer.

This curious space…this interval…this gap…in time and in outcomes…insightfully observed and brilliantly described in Hebrews 11:1…is the underlying, fundamental reason for the creation of this physical universe…having the temporal aspects of time, space, orderliness, and intelligibility.

If we are looking for a reason for why our physical world is the way it is…and why we are here…this curious space…this interval…this gap…in time and in space to create the context for a Hebrews 11:1 adventure of biblical faith to actualize…this may be the answer (Heb. 11:6).

A thesis of this book is that the reality of the universal existence of this space…this gap…between where we are and where we want to go…is a necessary condition for the variableness in degrees of faith to exist…to match the unique variableness of the challenges of our individual callings.

Without this space or gap…as universal and as real as anything we observe and experience…on the vertical continuum scale of good and evil…with absolute good at the very top…the free-will choice to exercise faith in God that defines and differentiates variable degrees of righteousness…cannot exist (Heb. 11:1).

            For righteousness to be eternally sustainable for created, non-divine human beings having the moral reasoning capacity for free-will choice…a broad understanding of good and evil…spread-out along this vertical continuum scale of reality…must be fully in-play in our daily experiences in this world environment.

It is also a theme of this book that the exercise of biblical faith…that of enlisting God’s help and participation in closing this space or gap in some particular scenario of circumstances…whatever that may be…is singularly unique in all of human thought and experience.

In my opinion, this is an intellectually plausible and heart-satisfying answer to the universal question of why we are here…in combination with the fact that we are not robots…but instead possess the mental faculties to process and evaluate the deepest of theoretical and philosophical issues (1 Cor. 2:6-12)…such as we are doing in this book.

In my opinion, this is the logical, rational, and reasonable place where we end up after drilling down into the reasons why the world is a rough-and-tumble reality of life for most people.

This curious dynamic of the interaction of faith between the living God and people…in mutually working together through an adventure of faith journey to close the gaps from where we are to where we want or need to go…falls so far outside of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…so far above self-sovereignty and autonomous self-reliance…that this requires an adequate and satisfactory explanation for believers and unbelievers alike.

This explanation is found within the biblical narrative stories of faith…and nowhere else.

Finally, in this question of the existence and the importance of the role of faith in our Christian lives…we can find a powerful answer by borrowing a concept and the terminology from the modern science of Information Theory.

The biblical narrative stories of faith provide the maximum amount of information about God…by purposeful design…because their storylines contain what are called indeterminism and contingency.

These are long words that mean that the biblical narrative stories of faith do not contain repetition and redundancy…that generate little information.

A book having the phrase “I love you” repeated on every line on every page throughout the book…contains very little information content…compared to a murder mystery fiction novel, or a biography, or a book written about some historical event…having non-repeating words, sentences, and paragraphs conveying uniquely specific information on every page.

The narrative stories of faith in the Bible provide the maximum revelation about the nature and character of God…because they are based upon the unique contingency and the indeterminism of faith…that we “walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Cor. 5:7).

God does not give us all of the information upfront in our life-mission callings.

“The just shall live by faith” (Gal. 3:11) because this is the optimum vehicle for God to reveal Himself to us through the indeterminate and contingent higher ways and thoughts of God.

Indeterminate…because God cannot give us the whole story of our callings in advance…because then our walk of faith could degenerate into a paint-by-the-numbers, solitary effort on our part based upon our ability to perform according to the script…rather than building a personal relationship with God achieved through a shared experience.

Contingent…because every biblical narrative story of faith is contingent upon the God-created talents and abilities we possess…and the larger, long-range plans of God in the redemptive history of mankind.

Certainly the Bible contains religious rituals…such as the Jewish festivals, the Passover, water baptism, and the Lord’s Supper communion.

But the concept of God-composed life-scripts having well-defined events and circumstances designed to provide the maximum information about God…while at the same time accomplishing phenomenal benefits for mankind…is itself a compelling evidence for the existence of God and the divine origin of the biblical narrative stories of faith.

The Gap that Creates the Space for a Knowledge of Good and Evil 1

“This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” (1 Jn. 1:5)

It is time to consider a basic question…why can faith be so difficult for us?  Why is it faith of all possible things…that separates self-sovereignty from God-sovereignty…in determining the all-important course and direction of our lives?

Why does the Bible characterize placing faith in ourselves alone…as self-autonomous kings and queens sitting upon the thrones of our lives…as reprehensible…but instead placing faith in God within a journey of faith as righteousness (Heb. 11:7)…again a concept that is as far removed from the autonomous individualism of conventional thinking as is imaginable?

Why is faith the central element…the most important thing…in our personal relationship with God that is tested and put at risk…that is the bonding agent that connects us…that is being twisted and pulled and stretched by the challenging events and circumstances of our lives?

The issue of difficult challenge…inherent in a faith-journey following God…is a central theme in every positive person of faith throughout the Bible (Rom. 4:3; Ex. 3:11; Josh. 1:5-7; Jud. 6:14-17; Lk. 22:42; Acts 23:11; Heb. 11).

In our current cultural and social exploration into the question of the existence of God…the spot-on accuracy of the biblical description of the variableness of faith in our personal relationships…especially in a relationship following the leading of God…beginning thousands of years ago at the start of the book of Genesis…should give us momentary pause.

Is it rational and plausible to think that material particles and energy…according to the philosophy of naturalism…could conceivably be the source and origin of the incredibly complex value judgment system that is an inseparable part of the variableness of faith in our relationships with other people…and with our Creator God?

Does the sheer existence of this thing called faith…which exists only within the personal interactions between moral beings having the capacity for free-will choice and cognitive thinking…place the reality of the entire framework of the natural world above and outside of any naturalistic explanation?

Looking back with the benefit of hindsight…from the vantage point of living in the middle of what is being called the Information Age…doesn’t commonsense Christian apologetics tell us that the oddity of the variableness of faith in the personal relationships between people…should have been an obvious offsetting fact to Charles Darwin when he wrote his famous book The Origin of Species?

Should not the high quality of the variableness of faith be a compelling counter-argument against a naturalistic explanation for the origin of human intelligent decision-making, moral reasoning, qualitative judgment, free-will choice, and communication skills…all coordinated into a functional coherence that cries out for an Intelligent Designer and a Master Craftsman of sublime ability?

On the surface, establishing and maintaining faith in our relationships with other people should be much easier and simpler than it is.

As Christians, it should be easier to place our faith in God in the middle of attacking the current, temporary life-crisis at hand…the current life-lesson for ourselves…and for others in need.

But this is one reason why faith is such an important moral reality…such a central factor in personal relationships…answered at the end of this essay.

In our Christian journeys of faith, the challenging issues always seem to come back around to the same successful strategy of centering our trust in God, releasing our faith, relinquishing self-sovereignty over the control of our lives, listening in the Spirit, and patiently waiting…for the answer to our prayer…for the inspirational solution needed…or for the one right path of action to follow…all of which have an element of built-in difficulty.

Why does the foreign missionary find themselves in the difficult situation of trying to make do with limited resources in their balanced evangelical effort to bring the light and the transforming power of the gospel message to the lost…along with the help that is needed in terms of financial and material support to alleviate poverty…and in the process discover what is the elusive sweet-spot balance…which only real-life events and circumstances can define and delineate…between the eternally valuable and the temporally practical needs of people?

Why does the local church pastor find themselves frustratingly short of finances, church member volunteers, and community support to solve the many social problems and desperate needs they confront on a daily basis?

Why does the heart-broken grandmother find herself investing many hours on her knees as a prayer warrior on behalf of a wayward grandchild…temporarily lost in drug or alcohol addiction and walking along the dangerous edge of falling into the abyss of oblivion at any moment?

Why does the calling of Abraham in the Bible involve a time-period of waiting for the birth of his son Isaac?

Why does Moses, part-way through the ten miraculous plagues in Egypt, find himself waking up each morning without Pharaoh relenting and releasing the Israelites from bondage?

Why does David have to walk through the valley of the shadow of death as penned in his beautiful and famous Psalm 23?

Why does Jesus the divine Son of God say in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before His crucifixion: “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me”…then without missing a beat says in perfectly executed faith: “nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” (Lk. 22:42).

            Why is there this curious space…this interval…this gap…in time and in outcomes…between where we are and where we want to get to…for ourselves or on behalf of others in need…that creates the opportunity…the space…for free-will choice and biblical faith to operate together in tandem?

Timeless Foresight Needs Explaining 2

Darwinian macroevolution assumes…by definition…zero intelligent design through foresight…no architectural and engineering design through premeditated forethought…because to allow design into the mix also invites a supernatural God into human scientific investigation…which is anathema to the materialistic worldview.

Yet the one and only area in human experience where we do exercise extremely accurate, pinpoint timeless foresight…is in the design and assembly of complex systems…in manufactured products…in computer software applications…in the construction of commercial buildings and residential houses…and in storyline scripts for movies, television, and fiction and non-fiction books…for examples.

People are by nature prolific intelligent designers…and can see ahead in time to visualize the final outcomes of human created things.

How does this square with Darwin’s tree-of-life based upon common descent…linked by an unbroken hypothetical chain of ancestors…when in-the-moment animal instinct shows no signs whatsoever of being able to go beyond the strict limitations of time…shows no capacity to step-up into the cognitive, creative freedom of timeless foresight.

Bee hives, beaver dams, and spider webs are produced by instinct…not by deliberative, free-thinking, creative contemplation.

This creates a huge gap between human beings and the rest of the natural living world…a gap that is unbridgeable by materialistic processes…by any stretch of the imagination.

Human beings can design and manufacture an automobile…a physically tangible thing… that functionally operates for years and often for hundreds of thousands of miles of driving…using the future-looking vision of timeless foresight and foreknowledge.

But a young man and woman…getting married at age 20…cannot see ten or twenty years ahead into the future…of either the husband or the wife or both…entering into extra-marital affairs…sadly and tragically ending the marriage.

We cannot foresee our kids going off to college and falling-in with the wrong crowd…becoming addicted to alcohol or drugs.

We cannot see into our future…contracting a deadly disease that takes our life before reaching the age of 40 or 50.

There is an old axiom that applies here: “If we don’t know where we are going…then any road will take us there.”

We know precisely where we want to go when we design an automobile, a new house, or a computer software application.  We know where we want to go when we start-out to write a murder mystery, biography, or technical book.

But the capacity for timeless foresight for human beings stops at a certain point…and this is another area that argues for the participation of an intelligent designer God…and for the over-the-top brilliance of creative imagination in terms of intent and impact…in the targeted crafting of the dimension of time in service to mankind.

Time as we currently know it…creates the singularly unique context for the exploration and discovery of a fuller understanding of good and evil…which would not be possible if the other two legs of the three-legged stool were added…of timeless foresight and absolute goodness.

I do not think an answer to the question of why God cannot create human beings who possess divine timeless foresight and foreknowledge…and possess the divine attribute of absolute moral perfection…exists in this present world.  This might involve the impossibly unachievable goal of creating billions of junior level, divine gods…like the impossibility of creating square circles, or one-ended sticks, or married bachelors, or making two-plus-two equal five.

But only premeditated intention…the thoughtful choice-making between multiple possible realities…could produce something as well-defined…having a targeted function…as precise as “time.”

Trial-and-error, hit-and-miss, accidental dumb-luck, fall-into-place on its own, or some form of directional self-assembly…could not plausibly be the explanation for the fine-tuned essence of time.

Time is an intelligently designed thing…a created reality for a definite purpose.

 

The biblical narrative stories of faith simply cannot happen if people possess timeless foresight.

God created time…not having the feature of divinely timeless foresight…to enable people to enter into a personal relationship with God that actualizes through highly specified events and circumstances spread-out over time…which would otherwise not be possible within the split-second durations of timeless foresight.

Hebrews 11:1 in the New Testament defines biblical faith: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Because God’s personal participation adds the two missing ingredients of timeless foresight and absolute goodness into the life-scripts He writes for the biblical narrative stories of faith…and for walks of faith for today’s Spirit-led Christians…this further explains the meaning of Hebrews 11:6…”But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

This incredible feature of time…purposely lacking timeless foresight…tells us something vital about the real truth about God…that He would craft time in such a way as to enable human beings to enter into the new covenant relationship with God the Creator of the universe…every believer knowing God from the least to the greatest (Jer. 31:31-34).

Timeless Foresight Needs Explaining 1

Animal instinct in the natural living world does not possess…does not exhibit…timeless foresight.

The reality of life is experienced in-the-moment…for absolutely every living organism…including humans.

A leopard on the African savanna plains…resting comfortably in the noonday shade…hidden up underneath the canopy inside a large tree…cannot thoughtfully plan several hours ahead-in-time until the evening sunset at 8 o’clock…when the leopard knows through timeless foresight that its unsuspecting prey a gazelle will conveniently stop to graze directly below this tree…because a leopard does not possess timeless foresight.

Within the program of natural instinct…constrained and channeled into the narrow, forward march of time…the leopard hunts its prey in-the-moment.

Hypothetically, human beings possessing timeless foresight combined with the knowledge of good and evil…yet lacking a third component of absolute moral goodness…would potentially be perfectly successful criminals in being able to plan perfect robberies…except for the police who would also possess the timeless foresight to be able to anticipate the robbery and take perfect steps to prevent it…when the future moment in time came.

If humans possessed timeless foresight…of knowing in advance future outcomes…then gambling in casinos or at race tracks, entering into a lawsuit against another person, and reading a murder mystery book or a romance novel…would no longer have purpose and meaning…because the outcomes…the endings…would already be known ahead of time.

Lack of timeless foresight is one reason why we like reading murder mystery books, spy thrillers, and romance novels…because we do not know the outcomes…unless we cheat, turn the pages to the end of the book, and take a sneak-peek at the story ending…which I confess I have done sometimes…when the story is so suspenseful I cannot wait to see how it will end.

Motion pictures capture our attention for two hours in the movie theater because they condense the events of a larger story like The Lord of the Rings or Star Wars…down into a two-hour long feature film…reducing the story down to as short a time-period as we can achieve yet still tell the full story…a two-hour movie typically being as close to zero-duration timeless foresight as we can go.

We have to watch the entire movie from start-to-finish…for two hours…because we do not possess timeless foresight to be able to take-in the whole movie in a split-second flash of time.

The same thing occurs in reading Tolstoy’s War and Peace over a three-week period.  The interest is generated…is artistically created by the book writer…based upon the absolute certainty of the absence of timeless foresight of the book reader…as long as the book is read from front to back without skipping ahead.

Two things here we know for sure…that human beings do not possess divine timeless foresight…and that we do not possess absolute moral goodness.

All three complimentary components…the knowledge of good and evil, timeless foresight, and absolute goodness…must be in-place and functioning simultaneously for free-will, thinking life-forms like human beings to have lives that operate at the highest optimum level of perfection.

 

The knowledge of good and evil…if only timeless foresight is added to the mix…without the third component of absolute goodness…creates a nightmarish reality of competing plural foresights good and evil…in an exponentially broadened cat-and-mouse scope of interacting outcomes…having a complexity well beyond the cause/effect stability experienced in our current one-dimensional time trajectory.

But absolute goodness without the independence of free-will choice inherent within the knowledge of good and evil…not having the capacity to freely choose between the broad arrays of moral concepts…would produce the equally undesirable reality of human beings that are mere robots…rather than free-will agents capable of the higher attributes like experiencing love, friendship, honor, integrity, courage, joy, and happiness.

The third possible option of having timeless foresight alone…without the knowledge of good and evil…and without absolute moral goodness…would be a bizarre reality that is unimaginable.

Yet curiously, human beings do clearly possess one of the legs of the three-legged stool…the knowledge of good and evil…without possessing either timeless foresight or absolute moral goodness.

 

From the standpoint of illuminating the real truth about God…this indisputable fact that humans have the knowledge of good and evil…eliminates the atheistic philosophy of naturalistic materialism from consideration as a plausible explanation for this reality…because of the unanswerable question of how and why a material causation alone could produce the incredible human possession of the knowledge of good and evil…without also including the minimum two additional required components of timeless foresight and absolute moral goodness…as complimentary to the knowledge of good and evil?

Of equal power as an exclusionary argument that eliminates naturalistic materialism from consideration as the sole fundamental cause behind the natural world…is the extremely fine-tuned moderation of time narrowly advancing in a one-dimensional direction forward…yet lacking the all-important timeless foresight of invaluable worth…a reality of thoughtfully planned moderation that has brilliant intelligent design written all over it.

The Real American Dream 3

Returning to the example of the temptation in the wilderness…it was only after the resurrection of the perfectly sinless Jesus Christ on Easter morning…that Satan realized he had been outsmarted and out-maneuvered by the elevated, transcendent life-script of Jesus designed for the redemption of mankind…on the cross of Calvary…that only a blemish-free Jesus of Nazareth could procure for us…the God/man substitution in our place as the just atonement for our sins.

Attempting to fix this world through the means of the power and glory of the kingdoms of this world…through standard politics…has no overlap…has absolutely nothing in common with being the singular Passover Lamb of God sacrifice for mankind’s sins.

The biblical narrative stories of faith likewise have elevated life-scripts with callings that have nothing to do with pursuing the American Dream.

            This is what distinguishes the Bible from all other religions, philosophies, and worldviews.

The consistent and repetitive theme of God’s higher ways and thoughts (Isa. 55:8-9) integrated into the life-stories of the people of faith in the Bible…is a compelling evidence for the divine origin of these unique life-scripts…but also provides a major clue into the purpose and meaning of human life.

Mistakenly lowering our sights upon the bottom portion of the American Dream…acquiring materialistic things alone…again illuminates and elucidates the real truth about God.

Satan does not care about human well-being…as deficient junior-level gods possessing only the knowledge of good and evil…but lacking divine foresight and absolute goodness.

In the biblical narrative stories of faith…and Christ’s sacrifice on the cross at Calvary…God reveals the bend-over-backwards…self-sacrifice at-all-costs…love-filled value and worth He places in our relationship to Him.

The American Dream subtly morphs into a deceptive half-truth when it focuses solely on the financial materialism of acquiring things…when it descends into the covetousness of amassing worldly wealth as its primary goal.

The God-created human capacity to pursue the higher ideals of the American Dream…as specified and included within a detailed God-composed journey of faith life-script…having positive direction and momentum…becomes knocked-off course, slowed-down, and diluted by the distractions that worldly conventional normalcy and thinking present in the form of goals and aspirations focused entirely upon the lower bottom-third of the American Dream…upon materialistic things alone.

What is criminally deceptive here is that all that Satan has to offer in his limited capacity…is a blanket, generalized appeal of the pursuit of materialistic things…according to the worldly conventional normalcy and thinking of the lower third of the American Dream…being offered across-the-board equally to every person…because this is the outer boundary-line of what Satan is capable of envisioning for human beings…the enticing worldly pride of self-validation through the obtaining of the ownership of material things.

Only God possess the divinely timeless foresight and absolute goodness…to compose life-script journeys of faith tailored precisely to the unique talents and abilities He has created within each individual person.

Being tempted to go our own way according to standard worldly thinking and normalcy…is a form of robbery…designed to prevent people from actualizing their highest potential…from realizing our created destinies that only God our Creator would or could have the complete knowledge of.

Jesus could have decided to use the power and glory of the kingdoms of this world to solve the political, economic, and cultural problems within the contemporary context of the first-century.

But this alone would not have re-established…have repaired…the temporarily broken relationship between God and people…lost years ago in the Garden of Eden.

Whether Satan understood all this…I personally do not think he did.

The cross at Calvary takes us back to the Garden of Eden…where we can start-over again by each of us individually saying: “I’m sorry…I messed-up…I want you God in my life…I will look upward to Jesus Christ as my Savior and King from now on” (Num. 21:8-9; Mt. 4:17).

God is love…He just is.  God loves us…He just does.

Satan hates God and he hates us…I don’t know why.

 

Finally, when a dashingly handsome young man courts a beautiful young woman to be his wife…the suitability of the young man’s fortune…his financial status and ability to support a family…must be considered by the young woman.

We see this reality exhibited in nature by the male bird “displaying” his brilliant colors or his song pattern to a prospective female bird…and in the violent head-butting to establish the dominant male in a herd of North American bison…or in the horn-butting competition between mountain goat males…determining who can mate with the females in the herd.

Yet Jesus Christ offers His forgiveness, redemption, eternal life, and the fresh new start of a personal relationship with God…through the lowest imaginable status of the cross on Calvary…the lowest definition of failure in terms of worldly success, power, and glory.

The apostle Paul…in taking the gospel message to the Greco-Roman world in the first-century…battled against this negative perception coming from the standpoint of worldly convention normalcy…calling it the “offense of the cross” (Gal. 5:11)…many people then and today thinking that a divine “god” could not be executed by Roman crucifixion.

Jesus has nothing to offer in terms of the lower third of the American Dream…as translated into the past or present.

If Jesus enlists us into becoming the “father of faith” like Abraham…or governor of Egypt like Joseph…or deliverer of the Israelites from Egypt like Moses…or to become the king of Israel like David…or to be the premier evangelical missionary apostle to the larger Greco-Roman world in the first-century…like His own unique life-script…then these callings and missions will go through the cross.

This description of the essence of the biblical narrative stories of faith…separates-out and illuminates the parts of the American Dream…according to Christian thought that differentiates the ideal at the top of the American Dream…from the open and blatant covetousness exhibited in the pursuit of material wealth alone…at the bottom of the American Dream.

This corruption by Satan of the higher ideals of the American Dream…higher ideals and aspirations subsumed within a God-composed journey of faith as portrayed within the biblical narrative stories of faith…is consistent with the temptations in the Garden of Eden and of Jesus in the wilderness…designed to rob people of the fullness of achieving their divinely intended and created destinies.

Human beings possessing the knowledge of good and evil…are complete and whole when connected to our Creator God who possesses timeless foresight and absolute moral goodness.

The real American Dream points us straight toward the biblical narrative stories of faith…and the true living God who possesses all of the information regarding our created purpose and destiny in life.

The American Dream 2

The temptation in the Garden of Eden…essentially gave us a bank account with a checkbook full of checks that we are unable to cash…gave us a brand-new automobile without an engine.

Applying this same line-of-reasoning to the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness…the pivotal turn-about here is that Satan did not know…that this time he was the one who was partially uninformed…at the time of the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness…about the premeditated and timeless plans of God for Jesus to be the Passover Lamb of God atoning sacrifice for sin (1 Cor. 2:8).

Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 were brilliantly hidden in the Old Testament scriptures as prophetic, predicted events to be fulfilled centuries later in the future… as were actualized into reality on Calvary Hill and on Easter morning in Jerusalem…about three and one-half years after this temptation of Jesus in the wilderness.

Satan is a created being…and does not possess the divine attributes of divine foresight and foreknowledge.  This time around Satan himself was not “with-it” and divinely savvy to know in advance the precise plans of God for the redemption and salvation of mankind.

The temptation to Jesus in the wilderness…of using the power and glory of the kingdoms of this world as the means to fix humanity’s problems was not an off-target, misdirected temptation…not a random, shot-in-the-dark outcome of Satan’s not fully knowing in advance of the precise details of the life-script for Jesus Christ the Son of God…in a human body here on earth.

But in crafting this deceptive temptation of Jesus in the wilderness…what separates itself out here…that tells us a great deal about the real truth about God…is that Satan this time was the one who did not possess all of the information.

The biblical narrative stories of faith…including and especially the life-script for Jesus Christ…demonstrate that only God has the complete picture…that only God has all of the information…along with timeless foresight and absolute moral goodness.

Satan was unable to comprehend and to interpret the Passover…of the blood of a lamb applied to the exterior top and sides of the entry doors to the dwellings of the Jews in Egypt (Ex. 12:7) that effectuated the plague of death…the “destroyer”…to safely passover the houses of the “children of Israel in Egypt” (Ex. 12:27)…re-enacted by Jews every year thereafter as the Passover celebration for roughly 1,500 years.

Satan was unable to grasp and to anticipate the Passover as a foreglimpse of the prime mission of Jesus Christ the Son of God to be that very Passover Lamb of God.

If Satan had any foresight and advanced knowledge into the true mission-plan of Jesus…at the time of the temptation in the wilderness…he would not have wasted one of his three temptations on the idea that Jesus of Nazareth would be susceptible…would lower His sights…to the enticing allurement of using worldly power and glory as a shortcut to achieve His destiny.

The offer of this worldly conventional means by which to save the world…that might presumably tempt Jesus…again clothed as a deceptive half-truth but lacking the complete picture…intended for Jesus to take the quick and easy worldly path to accomplishing His mission…whatever that was as understood by Satan at that moment in time…the underlying destructive intention was to subordinate Jesus to Satan’s authority (Lk 4:7)…the main goal of this temptation in the wilderness.

To sacrifice His unique role and singular opportunity as the Son of God in a human body…in order to accomplish the saving of the world by taking its repair into His own hands by using the standard, worldly conventional means of political power, glory, and influence…to Satan’s thinking might be appealing to Jesus…as a misguided form of self-sacrifice…at that critically opportune time of physical weakness after fasting in the wilderness (Lk. 4:1-4).

But Jesus emphatically rejects this tempting proposal put forward by Satan…choosing instead the elevated life-script composed by Jesus, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit…before the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8)…because Jesus Christ knows His own life-script calling and mission-plan…because Jesus of Nazareth as the Son of God in a human body…possesses all of the information ahead-of-time (Lk. 2:49; Mt. 9:6, 9:28, 12:40, 26:53-54; Jn. 18:36-37, 19:10-11)…being in direct communion and communication with God the Father at all times (Mt. 11:27; Jn 3:34).

The unique life-script for Jesus Christ to become the Passover Lamb of God atoning sacrifice for mankind’s sin…elevated and transcendent far above worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…and thus outside of the contemplation of Satan at the time of the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness…was foreglimpsed in the aborted sacrifice of Isaac on Mount Moriah (Gen. 22:8)…foreglimpsed in the yearly Passover instituted at the time of the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt (Ex. 12:1-28)…and foreglimpsed in the brazen serpent lifted up on a pole by Moses during the Exodus (Num. 21:8-9; Jn. 3:14).

The extraordinary revelation here that illuminates the real truth about God…as it relates to our free-will choice to follow God or to go our own way…is that Satan at the time of the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness…was incapable of envisioning and comprehending a higher, transcendent mission-plan for Jesus the divine Son of God to absorb within Himself the sins of the world…as the Second Person of the Trinity to accept our punishment for sin…to experience death on our behalf for the one and only time in all eternity…and to be bodily raised from the dead by God the Father after being buried in a cave for three days…thereby having the legal justification to possess the keys to hell and to death…and to be able to offer salvation and eternal life freely to any and to all who will place their faith in the Passover Lamb of God…Jesus Christ.

Satan cannot rise above his own limited capacity and character…in crafting his temptations for Jesus Christ of Nazareth…and for human beings…and this is where God can outpace and out-run Satan…as demonstrated in the biblical narrative stories of faith…and in God-composed journey of faith life-scripts for Spirit-born Christians today.

Before encapsulating all of this…more needs to be said about the American Dream.

 

In the highest and most ideal sense the American Dream can be described as the opportunity to realize our innate potential through the exercise of individual freedom, economic freedom, and personal responsibility…within a political system of rules and laws that is a democratic republic based upon representative government ruled by “we the people” and not by the tyrannical whims of a hereditary monarchy…periodically electing our leaders through popular vote…that creates a fair and open society where people can advance socially, culturally, and economically…as free from prejudice and corruption as is possible…thereby producing the best human generated social environment for “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Slightly lower down the vertical spectrum-line of this higher ideal…is the more basic and worldly-practical motivation of the varied immigrants coming to the United States from other countries…wanting to experience this higher ideal of personal freedom and liberty within an open society…but mainly focused initially upon the expedient goal of securing economic stability through better employment opportunities available in America…historically fleeing from political oppression, culturally closed societies, or local natural disasters causing economic depressions…in their home countries.

The contemporary American Dream might therefore generically be defined as going to college, getting a good paying job we like working at, having a happy marriage, raising a family, owning a house in a nice neighborhood, having friends, enjoying hobbies, playing sports, advancing in our careers, participating in beneficial and fulfilling social work, sending our children to college, being able to financially afford driving nice cars, enjoying good health, taking European vacations, having a solid stock market portfolio, and providing for a secure retirement.

What is important here…in our attempt to understand the real truth about God…is that it is beyond imagination to hypothesize an American Dream scenario…translated back in time to match the first-century culture of the Greco-Roman world…for the life-script of Jesus Christ the divine Son of God.

The comparison of apples to oranges as an analogy is inadequate.

An American Dream life-script applied to Jesus Christ does not fit…even at its highest and most idealized sense…because the biblical narrative stories of faith transcend above the worldly conventional normalcy and thinking of the American Dream…in any era…past or present…especially for the life-script for Jesus Christ the Son of God.

The Real American Dream 1

The temptation in the wilderness…of Jesus…regarding the attractive appeal of the kingdoms of this world, and the power and glory of them (Lk. 4:5-8)…as the sole conventionally recognized and popularly understood means to solve the problems of this world…should not be automatically disqualified…as not being commendable and admirable…just because it comes out of the mouth of Satan.

The cleverest and most appealing of the destructive temptations by Satan contain a kernel of partial truth…being half-truths that have some measure of positive value…their destructive nature being in that they rob the intended target of realizing the full benefit of the half-truth being deceitfully offered…having a final, hidden outcome that intentionally and knowingly falls far short of the misleading promise conveyed…like unknowingly accepting a one-hundred dollar bill from a counterfeiter…only to find out later at the grocery store that it is worthless.

The precisely targeted temptations by Satan in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:1-5)…of Jesus in the wilderness (Lk. 4:1-15)…and now being put forward in this present time…attempt to get people to lower their sights to aim for things below their created potential…to aim for lower goals that miss the mark of people’s divinely intended destinies.

If human beings are created with the privileged capacity to be able to have a personal relationship with our Creator God…to know Him from the least to the greatest (Jer. 31:34)…then one of the most misguided tragedies in this life would be to become side-tracked by alternative goals that distract, frustrate, and dilute the fully realized human life-script…of enjoying a walk with God through life…that actualizes into reality this intimate personal relationship with God.

The destructive intentions deceptively hidden within the temptations by Satan…are masked within the details of choices and suggested courses of action…that have the outward appearance at first glance…of being reasonably beneficial and sensible.

By taking these classic temptations apart piece-by-piece…”sunlight being the best disinfectant”…what is revealed is the real truth about God (Jn. 10:10).

For example, the temptation of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden that: “ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Gen. 3:5)…hopelessly falls short of its implied benefit…misleadingly falls short of the whole story…because simply knowing about good and evil alone…without the dual accompanying divine capacities of timeless foresight and absolute perfect character…leads to the despair of failure…leads to the frustration of not be able to fully achieve consistent success…of not being able to produce and maintain the trouble-free life of secure happiness…elevated safely above the vulnerable zone of being corruptible and mistake-prone.

In a nutshell, this is an accurate description of flawed human nature.  In essence, this is a fundamental explanation for the imperfect record of human history.

Our modern culture denigrates the story of the temptation of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden as a human invented, literary myth…but the highly sophisticated theme here is so far above and outside of the boundaries of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…differentiating the deeply profound concepts of self-sovereignty versus God-sovereignty in the course and direction of human life-scripts…that to lightly dismiss this Garden of Eden temptation story as having a human imaginative origin…in my opinion is being naïvely uncritical  and short-sighted.

No human literary writer…at the time of the writing of the book of Genesis…or in modern times today…could or would get within ten miles of this story…could or would invent this account of the downward fall of mankind in freely choosing to go our own way…independently going about our own lives being the foundational keystone of humanistic self-sovereignty…the diametric opposite of following the counsel and input of God our Creator within a walk of faith.

Obtaining the knowledge of good and evil alone…on the cheap in the Garden of Eden by merely eating a particular fruit from a tree…is like someone giving us an automobile for free that has no motor.  It may be beautiful on the outside…but it is not functional in terms of getting anywhere.

That “knowing good and evil” alone would be a positive thing for mankind…is a classic example of being a half-truth…having an end-point outcome that does not fully deliver as advertised.

The only way that “knowing good and evil” successfully operates for autonomous human beings…walking within our own self-composed life-scripts apart from God…is if we also innately possess the timeless foresight to see into the future to make correct decisions ahead-of-time…and possess the absolute perfect character to always without exception choose the right course of action for the optimum benefit to ourselves and to other people

Without timeless foresight and absolute goodness…”knowing good and evil” becomes a Catch-22 dilemma of only being able to recognize, appreciate, and second-guess our past bad choices and mistakes…in hindsight…after-the-fact in the reactive, cleanup mode.

Not having the benefit in-the-moment…of being able to see ahead into the future the final outcomes of our decisions, choices, and actions now in the present time…and not being able to divinely separate and parse the subtleties of good from evil…at the proactive, preventive, and trouble-free level of perfect character…is a reality of human life.

But acquiring the knowledge of good and evil alone…as non-divine human beings…does indeed work extremely well…if this deficiency in our nature is repaired by the addition of a personal connection with our Creator God…who does possess the divine attributes of timeless foresight and absolute perfect goodness…a reality that is brilliantly patterned for us in the life-scripts of the worldly unconventional, biblical narrative stories of faith.

The tempting appeal of independently acquiring for ourselves one of the legs of the three-legged stool required as a first-start to becoming “as gods”…the three legs of the stool being at a minimum the knowledge of good and evil, timeless foresight, and perfect character…this hasty and rash decision by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden to accept the proposal made by Satan speaking to them in beguiling words through the spiritual apparition/holography of a beautiful serpent (2 Cor. 11:14)…carries with it the unimaginably destructive, hidden by-product of going our own way (Isa. 53:6)…of departing on our own from the clear command of God not to eat the fruit from this particular tree…thereby separating Adam and Eve from the vital personal connection to God that they and we need…the connection to fill-in the missing input of divine foresight and absolute goodness into the equation of life…that they still lacked after acquiring this knowledge of good and evil.

A thoughtfully questioning and worldly-savvy Adam and Eve might have more wisely answered back to the serpent: “What you say sounds good and appealing on the surface…but there is no rush…we will first discuss this with God, think about it, and then get back to you in a few days.  Also, we know God just well-enough now to trust His judgment…and will ask God to elaborate further on why He told us not to eat this fruit…and why someone would be suggesting we do otherwise…as if there might be another alternate reality we are missing-out on in this Garden of Eden…that is independent of and contrary to the council of God…before making our decision regarding this new option you present.”

The absence of all of the information needed to make a thoughtful decision…of not having the whole picture…identifies this temptation in the Garden of Eden as having such a malicious and destructive intention…that its subtlety of being masked within a half-truth containing some limited measure of appealing value…enables us in hindsight to be able to categorize this temptation by Satan as being an injuriously deceptive evil…on a monumental scale as demonstrated every day in the front pages of newspapers around the world…of people having a knowledge of good and evil but being incapable…as less-than-divine gods…not possessing all of the tools needed…to divinely control life-events consistently towards favorable outcomes.