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Stop! Look! Listen!

Stop believing the lies about God.  Think for yourself!

Gen. 2:16, 17.

And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” 

The #1 Lie

“You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman.  “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”  Gen.3:4, 5.

God said: “you will surely die.”  The serpent said: “you will not surely die.”  The question is:  Who’s telling the truth?  Did God tell the truth or did Satan in the form of a serpent tell the truth? 

Did either Adam or Eve die when they ate the fruit as God said they would?  No, neither Adam nor Eve died; in fact, nothing seemed to happen to them.  Furthermore, they both lived many, many years after that episode.  Hence, the beginning of the great controversy came into existence.  Who were they to believe  -  God, who it appeared was untruthful, or the serpent, who appeared to be correct?  Besides, since the short time that had elapsed since Creation, nothing had died.  No plants and no animals had experienced it.  Death was something with which they were not acquainted.

Belief in this lie did not end in the Garden of Eden.  A quick look at present-day organizations shows the same identical scenario, and this belief seems to transcend through much of the religious community, regardless of the smorgasbord of cultural and religious groups.  There is no boundary to this particular belief, it seems, as it is part of the religious community world-wide. 

In addition to this basic of all lies, Satan’s influence to malign God’s character has not diminished since Creation week, as his confusion and distortion of God’s attributes have steadily increased with time. 

Satan was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him.  When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and father of lies.   John 8:44

Stop eating the apple.
Stop internalizing the devil’s lies about God!
Look at the evidence recorded in the Bible.

John 1:29.

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”

Not once did John the Baptist point out to those within ear-shot of his voice who exactly Jesus was, but he did so twice (see John 1:36 also).  This confirms Jesus as the one to whom John was the forerunner.  Positive identification has been made as to who Jesus was, and recognition of Jesus as the only One who could ‘take sin away’ was made by John.  A study of what ‘the sin of the world’ is that Jesus takes away and how Jesus does that would be beneficial to everyone as well as the reader of this book. 

When we look at Jesus, who do we see?  Do we not see God?  Such was Jesus’ dilemma when he was with the disciples.  Thomas and Philip were not settled in their minds concerning Jesus and what he was all about  -  they only wanted unquestionable evidence about the Father.  Philip implored Jesus: “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”  (John 14:8).  Philip’s request did not go unanswered very long, as Jesus replied to him: “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.”  (John 14:9).

Mark 8:22-26.

They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him.  He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village.  When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?” 

He looked up and said; “I see people; they look like trees walking around.”Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes.  Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.  Jesus sent him home, saying, “Don’t go into the village.”

After Jesus placed his hands on the man’s eyes the second time, the man “saw everything clearly.”  Did Jesus not do it good enough the first time?  Did the man lack enough faith that Jesus could cure his problem?  Why did it take two attempts for Jesus to restore this man’s sight?

It seems a bit odd for Jesus to first take the man outside the village before he restored his sight, and then afterwards told the man not to return to the village.  Why would Jesus do this?

Is it any different with people who are not handicapped or blind and have always had their eye-sight?  Isn’t it true of everyone that the learning process and understanding take time and that we usually don’t get it right the first time around?   Is this blind man’s problem basically just a lack of understanding? 

Listen to Jesus reveal his Father.

Mark 7:31-37.

Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis.  There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged him to place his hand on the man.

After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears.  Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue.  He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means, “Be opened!”).  At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.

Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone.  But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it.  People were overwhelmed with amazement.  “He has done everything well,” they said.  “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

Imagine being this ‘man who was deaf and could hardly talk.’  Your friends bring you to a person called Jesus and ask him to restore your ability to hear others speak.  You are deaf and can hardly converse with anyone, and now in Jesus’ presence you are not quite sure what to expect.  Are you nervous and apprehensive?  Are you uneasy concerning what is about to happen? 

Jesus, of course, can read the man’s emotions and his thoughts, so he immediately inserts his fingers into the man’s ears, signifying what is about to happen to him  -  the man’s ears are about to be opened.  Jesus then spits, meaning Jesus puts his own finger on his own tongue, and then touches the man’s tongue, signifying the man will be able to speak.  Jesus does all of this in advance as a means of letting the deaf and mute man know what was about to happen to him.  Visualize this happening.  Isn’t it marvelous the way Jesus so carefully disengaged the man’s apprehension before doing anything to him?  With a simple spoken word meaning “Be opened,” the man can at once hear with his ears and can speak with his tongue to the amazement of all of those present.  The people had a correct assessment of Jesus, didn’t they?  “He has done everything well,” they said.  “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”  If the Father had come instead of Jesus, wouldn’t the same identical thing have happened?

John 18:37.

“You are a king, then!” said Pilate.  Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a   king.  In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.  Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

Admitting he was born to be a king, Jesus further announces for all to hear that he came into the world to tell us the truth about his Father, and to those who were willing to listen to him reveal his Father, Jesus would supply the necessary facts.  Explaining and demonstrating the truth about God was Jesus’ mission, and as he says while in Pilate’s court for all to hear, “Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” 

The climax to Jesus’ life on Earth was about to take place.  His representation of the Father was complete as well as his finished work that the Father gave him to do (see John 17:4).  The disciples finally “believed at last” (John 16:31) what Jesus had taken three years to teach and instill in their minds:

“If you see me, you’ve seen the Father.”
John 14:9

What more can a person do than extend the invitation for others to meet the One who is called the Messiah, the One who is known as Jesus?

The Invitation by Philip to his brother Nathaniel: “Come and see!”  (John 1:46).         

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