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Spiritual discernment is about accurately telling truth from lies. The better you get at discernment, the harder you are to con, and the stronger your relationship with God will be. But wait—how does developing good discernment skills help you grow closer to God in your personal life? Because God is the One who defines what truth is, and He’s never going to share much truth with you until you get serious about honoring Him with your soul attitudes. God delights in souls who cling to Him like flypaper and embrace a mindset of “I can do nothing without You.” This isn’t an exaggeration—you literally can’t do anything apart from God, because you are totally dependent on Him for every breath as well as for every kernel of wisdom. The problem is that most Christians are clinging to the arrogant delusion that they are less than absolutely dependent on God. Instead, they prefer to think they are actually wiser than God in many areas, thus they are qualified to constantly criticize Him in their prayers.
Arrogance is the enemy of discernment. Arrogance is about exaggerating what your actual abilities are. Instead of seeing yourself as a powerless speck who is super easy to con, you decide that you are above being deceived. Well, the harder you think you are to deceive, the easier you become to con. The wiser you think you are, the dumber you actually are. You will find that spiritual growth is filled with irony, meaning that moving forward with God often involves pushing through a season of feeling like you’re moving backwards. Epic success is born out of epic failure. For example, if you want strong faith, you must first have all of your false beliefs uprooted. Since you currently think your false beliefs are true, having God uproot them will result in you feeling like you’re being plunged into an ocean of doubt. Ever meet a sincere Christian who has just been chucked into an epic faith crisis? Such a soul doesn’t say, “Hooray! God is in the process of taking me to higher levels of trust and confidence in Him than I ever imagined were possible!” Even though this is what is actually happening, it’s not at all how the Christian sees it. Instead, he goes dragging around feeling utterly devastated by the fact that he is suddenly questioning everything he ever believed.
The common belief among Christians is that it’s a horrible thing to reach a point that you start thinking the whole “God showed up as a Man and died on a cross for our sins” package is a load of hooey. And yet if you’re ever going to gain rock solid confidence about who the real Gods are, you must seriously consider the possibility that you are utterly delusional about everything. After all, what is your faith really rooted in? The Church? The Bible? The things you were taught as a child? Some passing flutter of emotion? God is the only Authority on God, and until your faith is rooted in Him alone, you won’t be able to progress past certain levels of spiritual maturity.
Now on The Pursuit of God website, we have one agenda: to help you get closer to God in your own life. No matter where you are at with God today, you can get a whole lot farther. So how can a website help you? Should we entertain you with a bunch of amusing devotionals and cheery anecdotes? No, there is already far too much of that one dimensional drivel being pumped out by others. We’re not here to massage your ego and tell you how you right you are. We’re here to provoke you, challenge you, and upset you. Spiritual maturity is not a gentle massage. It’s a very disturbing, shocking, and yet terribly enticing journey in which you spend half of the time feeling like a blind ignoramus and the other half marveling at the magnificence of the three non-human Beings who brought you into existence.
Now as we said before, God is the One who defines what truth is, and He won’t share that truth with souls who refuse to embrace the soul attitudes He demands from them. This is why we’re always going on about soul attitudes in our material: because embracing the right soul attitudes is essential to growing closer to God. Equally essential is getting better at spiritual discernment, because it’s only by improving your discernment skills that you can break free of epic deceptions that the Church is always ramming down your throat.
Since we have no respect for the way the Church is trampling on souls who are sincerely seeking God, we have no qualms with calling her out as the conniving rebel that she is. We don’t care how popular some Christian doctrine is or how many big names are pushing it. If embracing that particular doctrine is going to create problems for you in your personal relationship with God, then we’re going to tell you so. You see, trying to be popular with Christians and trying to actually help them are two goals which totally oppose each other. A lot of Christians get very ticked at us because we are bursting the bubbles of deception that they have grown so comfortable floating along in. No one wants to hear that the Bible they’ve built their faith on is filled with a bunch of harmful deceptions about God. No one wants it pointed out to them that singing the lyrics of some catchy worship song is having a detrimental effect on their theology. If we wanted to make friends in this world, we’d tell you all to keep exalting the apostle Paul as brilliant while you boss your Creators around in your prayers and sing smack to Them every Sunday. But since we don’t care about making friends, and since we do care about helping your souls thrive in their own journeys with God, we tell you the truth. The apostle Paul was a spiritual moron, your prayer language needs major improvement, and you really need to stop singing garbage at God every Sunday.
You see, the more you rehearse lies in the prayers you pray and the songs that you sing, the more true those lies will sound to you. And once you’re walking around calling lies truth, the real truth will sound wrong to you and you’ll actually take offense at the sound of someone adamantly arguing that honoring God is supposed to be our top priority as Christians. This is what happens to people who read articles like this one, in which we take some worship song which is peppered with bad theology, and we help Christians recognize the lies that are staring them in the face. Rather than see the value of practicing discernment, some Christians get all huffy over the fact that we’re slamming a worship song. And yet if a song is being promoted as worship to God when it’s actually insulting Him, why shouldn’t it be slammed? What is offensive about saying, “This irreverent slop is hardly a worthy gift to present to our glorious Kings?” This is the bottom line of all of our worship lyric analysis posts. By helping you understand why the lyrics you’re singing are offensive to God, we are helping you to improve your treatment of Him. We’re also teaching you how to look past the surface and identify core beliefs that other humans are trying to shove on you with their song lyrics. Learning to identify core beliefs is a skill that is going to greatly help you in life. So for those of you who care more about pleasing God than you do about coasting with popular trends, let’s dig into the lyrics of Oh the Power by Kari Jobe [pronounced KĀR-ē JŌB].
Now as we say in other worship song posts, the first question to ask is “Which God is this song addressing—Yahweh, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit?” When you sing the lyrics of Oh the Power, you end up addressing Jesus. But, as is often the case with Jesus songs, the things you say to Jesus imply things about Yahweh. And since all three of your Creators are omnipresent—meaning that They are all present with you at all times—implications matter.
Yahweh, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are like three Best Friends who are totally devoted to Each Other. As much as They love us, They love Each Other infinitely more, and that means that Jesus does not find it pleasing when you compliment Him in a way that ends up insulting Yahweh or the Holy Spirit. To honor our Gods with our worship songs, we need to be choosing lyrics that treat all of Them with respect. There’s nothing wrong with devoting a song to just one God, but we do need to be avoiding making nasty inferences about another God in the lyrics we write. In the case of Oh the Power, Kari is expressing appreciation and admiration to Jesus for the role He played in our salvation. The problem is that Kari’s salvation theology is very flawed, thus she falls into the common trap of portraying Jesus as the much nicer God who came to save us from mean old Yahweh. The lyrics of this song also suggest that salvation was unavailable to humans prior to Jesus’ death on the cross. In other words, back when we were stuck with just Yahweh, we were in the hands of some merciless Ogre who refused to associate with us in any positive way. Such theology comes directly from the New Testament epistles—especially from Hebrews and the epistles of the apostle Paul.
It is Paul who teaches that Yahweh responded to the sin of Adam by spiritually damning the entire human race (see Debunking the Impact of Adam: Unlearning Lies About How God Judges You). After remaining in this hostile stance towards humans for thousands of years, Yahweh finally came up with Christ—a mere created being who He sent to earth to die for a bunch of icky humans who were covered in sin which Yahweh’s holy Self couldn’t possibly abide being in the presence of. It is only after Christ made a way for loathsome sinners to become new, sinless creatures, that Yahweh was finally willing to relate to them. This is how Paul presents things. And of course, he was dead wrong.
Now when the author of Hebrews takes a stab at explaining Christ’s role in our salvation, he spins it a bit differently. The author of Hebrews portrays Yahweh as an utterly inept Deity whose Creation was wrecked by powerful supernatural foes. According to the author of Hebrews, Yahweh was incapable of correcting this situation Himself because He wasn’t a human. So He called upon a supernatural non-God creature named Jesus to take on a special mission. Jesus agreed to set His super powers aside and become an actual human, because for some reason, only an actual human could manage to wrench Yahweh’s Creation out of Satan’s vice grip. It was only by dying on a cross that human Jesus managed to destroy the Devil who had somehow found a way to outsmart and out power Yahweh.
Since these children are people with physical bodies, Jesus Himself became like them. He did this so that, by dying, He could destroy the one who has the power of death—the devil—and free those who were like slaves all their lives because of their fear of death. (Heb. 2:14-15)
The death being referred to here is a spiritual death—what Christians think of as eternal damnation. You see, without Jesus morphing into a human and volunteering to die on a cross, halfwit Yahweh just couldn’t find a way to stop that bad ole devil from sucking us all into his kingdom of Hell. This is how little respect the author of Hebrews had for Yahweh—He wasn’t really a glorious God, but some Divine doofus who ended up trumped by some dot of a demon. Are you seeing the problem with calling the New Testament epistles “God breathed”?
Like the author of Hebrews, the apostle Paul also portrays Yahweh as being an inept Dolt who got bested by supernatural foes who He couldn’t beat. Only in the case of Paul, he invents a whole pantheon of powers for Yahweh to duke it out with. Some of those powers are real creatures, such as demons. Others are concepts like sin and death which Paul turns into deities.
And having disarmed the powers and authorities, Yahweh made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. (Col. 2:15)
Both Paul and the author of Hebrews teach that Yahweh needed the cross to defeat His superior foes. He simply couldn’t beat them any other way. So much for being an all-powerful God.
So what happens after the cross? After human Jesus helps pathetic Yahweh break free of the impossible bind He was pinned down in by all of those powers and authorities, where does Jesus go? Paul, Peter, and the author of Hebrews all describe human Jesus as ascending into Heaven to collect accolades, power, and glory from Yahweh. But Jesus’ abilities are quite limited—He’s certainly not Yahweh’s Equal. In Acts 3, Peter says Jesus is now stuck in Heaven until Yahweh gives Him permission to leave (see Know Your Bible Lesson 73: Peter Reduces Christ).
“But Jesus must stay in Heaven until the time comes when all things will be made right again. Yahweh told about this time long ago when He spoke through His holy prophets.” (Acts 3:21)
In Hebrews, Jesus is described as taking up the role of an intercessory priest who has to keep appeasing a short-tempered Yahweh every time we humans do something naughty here on earth.
Therefore, Jesus is always able to save those who come to Yahweh through Him, since Jesus always lives to intercede for them. (Heb. 7:25)
As for Paul, he says that one of the ways Yahweh rewarded Jesus for dying on a cross was by giving Jesus a shot at managing this troublesome Creation. According to Paul—who seems to delight in the idea of spiritual warfare—Jesus still has many supernatural foes who are giving Him no end of grief. Of course given how inept Yahweh is in Paul’s theology, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he portrays Jesus as being some frustrated Bumbler who is still trying to figure out a way to beat that epic entity called Death and all of Death’s shady allies.
After that the end will come, when Christ will turn the Kingdom over to Yahweh the Father, having destroyed every ruler and authority and power. For Christ must reign until He humbles all His enemies beneath His feet. And the last enemy to be destroyed is Death. (1 Cor. 15:24-26)
So then, in the New Testament epistles, we find many derogatory portrayals of Christ. Peter has Him trapped in Heaven like Yahweh’s slave. The author of Hebrews has Him playing the part of the tireless diplomat who is always talking a wrathful Yahweh into calming down. And Paul describes Him as still struggling to subdue a whole army of supernatural foes who are apparently led by Lord Death. Is any of this rot true? Of course not.
The New Testament writers were utterly delusional in their views of Christ, and none of them come close to portraying Him accurately. Christ is God Almighty, He is not some human-angel hybrid. Along with Yahweh and the Holy Spirit, Christ reigns with absolute supremacy over all that exists. He never “emptied” Himself as the moronic Paul claims in Philippians 2:7. Jesus has never been less than 100% God—a point which He will make clear to you if you actually ask Him directly to give you an accurate view of who He is. But going directly to your Gods for truth is something the Church adamantly condemns. Instead, she teaches you that the Christ bashing rot you find in the New Testament is what you need to focus on if you want a solid foundation in truth. Then she teaches you to adamantly defend that rubbish and constantly rehearse it in the songs that you sing. Along comes Kari Jobe—a woman who has clearly been indoctrinated by the Church—and soon we’ve got yet another “worship” song which praises Jesus for being some struggling half-mortal who gives it all up to save us from the brooding and incompetent Yahweh. You see, “the power of the cross” only becomes worth singing about once you decide that it is compensating for a serious lack of power in your Gods. After all, if Yahweh and Jesus really are the all-powerful Deities that They claim to be, then They would hardly need to manufacture physical talismans to give Them power boosts, nor would They ever find Themselves pinned into a corner by enemies who They couldn’t defeat. But more on that later. Now that we’ve gotten a general idea of the malarkey Kari Jobe has floating around in her head from the New Testament, we’re ready to dive into the lyrics of her song.
[Verse 1] Knees to the earth that You breathed by Your word
As You watched the darkness come
Crushed by the weight of the cost as You prayed
“Not My will but Yours be done.”
Gethsemane, where Heaven met me
We struggle to see God Almighty in Gethsemane, don’t we? Instead, we always see some fragile Being who is having a personal meltdown as He bumps up against His own limitations. So what was really going on in Gethsemane if a God-man hybrid wasn’t really freaking out over the idea of getting crucified? It’s simple: God was role playing for us. He was demonstrating the kind of soul attitudes He wants us to embrace when we find ourselves horrified by the way He is directing our lives.
Keep a grip on the fact that Jesus is 100% God Almighty, dump the idea that He is half-human, and then try reading the Gospels again. Does God Almighty ever get fatigued? Does He ever feel confused, surprised or overwhelmed by what His own creatures do? Of course not, so when you see Jesus acting in these ways, realize that He is role playing.
A lot of valuable lessons can be conveyed through role playing. As humans, we understand this, which is why we’re always cranking out the movies and plays in which we often try to make people ponder principles as they watch human actors pretending to be something they’re not. As one of the Gods who decided to make humans the kinds of creatures who learn well through metaphor and pretense, it’s really not hard to believe that Jesus decided to get in our faces and put on a fabulous charade of being human in order to teach us many useful spiritual principles. Once we understand that He was role playing in Gethsemane, we can stop misinterpreting His famous prayer as a statement on how limited and stressed out He personally was. In real life, Jesus is 100% for Yahweh, and vice versa. The two of Them work together, and the whole cross thing was something They both decided to do. It wasn’t a case of Yahweh coercing Jesus to do something that Jesus didn’t really want to do.
While He was walking around Israel role playing what a devoted Yahweh follower would look like, Jesus really emphasized that His personal commitment to Yahweh was absolute. He said that He only ever did and said what Yahweh told Him to do. Because the New Testament authors don’t recognize that Jesus was role playing, they misinterpret His statements to mean that He was some kind of slave of Yahweh—a subordinate who Yahweh commanded about. But no, that’s not how things really are.
Yahweh and Jesus are Peer Equals. There is no rank difference between Them. Jesus doesn’t need Yahweh’s permission to do what He wants to do, nor does He take orders from Yahweh. In our human relationships, we never experience the perfect love and absolute devotion that exists between our Gods, which is why we’re so quick to believe that there are power struggles and friction between Them. And yet Jesus really didn’t get forced into going through some hideous ordeal, nor was He really overwhelmed by the agony of crucifixion when the moment finally arrived. So Kari is incorrect to describe Jesus as being “Crushed by the weight of the cost as You prayed.” A true God doesn’t get crushed by anything. And as for this cost—what exactly does Kari suggest Jesus was paying for? She says it in her next line: Gethsemane, where Heaven met me
Here Kari falls into line with all of the New Testament writers by suggesting that Jesus’ sacrifice caused “Heaven” to somehow come down to our level. Of course by “Heaven” she means “God”—specifically, Yahweh. According to the New Testament writers, it was broody moody Yahweh who we were separated from, and it is Yahweh who Jesus reconciled us to through His death on a cross. Now did Jesus ever suggest that His death on a cross was critical to reconciling people to Yahweh? Did Jesus ever portray Yahweh as some wrathful, grudge holder who was still so hacked off by Adam eating the fruit that He just wasn’t willing to deal with any of us until someone died? Well, let’s see. Long before Jesus died on a cross, Jesus said:
“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in Heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Matt. 7:11)
If Yahweh is off in an angry sulk somewhere, then what’s He doing giving good things to the souls who cry out to Him? Doesn’t He see us all as a bunch of vile, sinful yucks? If it’s true that “Heaven” wouldn’t come to meet us until Jesus died on a cross, then clearly there was no chance for anyone to get into a good place with Yahweh until then. And yet is this what Jesus taught? Not hardly.
Jesus’ parables are filled with characters that represent Yahweh. As we observe how the Yahweh Character interacts with people in the parables, we get a picture of Yahweh that is far different than the stereotypical Character people think of when they refer to “the God of the Old Testament.” Even more revealing is what Yahweh says about Himself in His parables. For example, in Ezekiel 34, Yahweh describes Himself as a Good Shepherd who comes to the rescue to save sheep who are being abused by evil shepherds. In this parable, the “sheep” represent humans who sincerely care about pleasing Yahweh while the shady shepherds are evil spiritual leaders in Israel who were intentionally discouraging souls from thinking they could ever get into a good place with Yahweh. Listen to how “the God of wrath” describes Himself interacting with abused sheep:
“I will search for My lost ones who strayed away, and I will bring them safely home again. I will bandage the injured and strengthen the weak.” (Eze. 34:16)
Rescuing the lost, bandaging the injured, strengthening the weak. Are these the actions of some raging volcano who can’t stand being in the presence of sin? Not hardly. You see, the way Yahweh is portrayed in the Church today is all wrong. He isn’t Mr. Nasty while Jesus is Mr. Nice. Heaven really didn’t “come to meet us” in Gethsemane, and Jesus really wasn’t crushed by the overwhelming weight of the cost Yahweh was demanding before He would look at us. Long before anyone had ever heard of Jesus, Yahweh was walking in Eden with Adam and Eve, He was showing up in human form to Abraham, and He was doing countless miracles to encourage the Israelites to put their faith in Him as Someone who they really could count on. Yahweh is an incredibly kind and gracious Deity, and Jesus’ death on a cross had nothing to do with creating some kind of buffer between us and Yahweh’s caustic Personality. Instead, Jesus died to usher in Yahweh’s New Covenant: a Covenant which dispenses with formal rituals like the Old Covenant sacrificial system and turns the focus back onto soul attitudes (see Confession, Penance & the Old Covenant Sacrificial System: Unlearn the Lies).
[Chorus 1] Redeemer, crowned in endless praise
My Savior, Name above all Names
King Jesus, take the highest place
Notice how Kari urges Jesus to take the highest place—a directive which only makes sense if you think He isn’t already occupying the highest place. Notice how she calls Him her Redeemer.
Here’s a fascinating bit of Bible trivia. The title of Redeemer is never applied to Jesus in the Bible. But do you know who is referred to as the Redeemer? Yahweh.
“For your Husband is your Maker, Whose Name is Yahweh of Hosts; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth.” (Isa. 54:5)
Thus says Yahweh, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, “I am Yahweh your God, who teaches you to profit, Who leads you in the way you should go.” (Isa. 48:17)
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Yahweh, my rock and my Redeemer. (Ps. 19:14)
Isn’t this interesting? And how very like the Church to rip this title away from Yahweh and give it to Jesus instead. Why do we do this? Because calling Yahweh our Redeemer doesn’t work with the dark portrait we’ve created of Him. We’ve all decided that Jesus is the nicer God, so He is the only One we call our Redeemer. He’s the One we give all the credit to for saving us. He’s the One we can’t stop singing praises to, while the real Redeemer gets shoved into the background.
[Verse 2] There on the hill You surrendered Your will
“For they know not what they do”
Grief in Your heart, Your hands bear the scars
Of a love that led You to the tomb
Calvary, where Heaven met me
Oh yes, Jesus just keeps bringing Heaven to us, because Heaven is run by Yahweh, and Yahweh isn’t about to come to us on His own. And what a sweetheart Jesus is to plead for mean old Yahweh to go easy on the folks who were pushing for His crucifixion. It’s not like it would ever occur to Yahweh to be merciful to the little jerks, no sir. We can clearly see what a merciless Tyrant Yahweh is when we take a peek at the way He talks in the Old Testament.
“Come, let us discuss this,” says Yahweh. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are as red as crimson, they will be like wool.” (Isa. 1:18)
“I revealed Myself to those who did not ask for Me; I was found by those who did not seek Me. To a nation that did not call on My Name, I said, ‘Here am I, here am I.’ All day long I have held out My hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways that are not good, pursuing their own imaginations—a people who continually provoke Me to My very face.” (Isa. 65:1-3)
Urging defiant rebels to come and receive mercy that He is eager to give them. Graciously keeping His offer on the table even as His own people spit in His face. Do we really need Jesus to beg for mercy on our behalf? Not hardly. In the Bible, it is Yahweh, not Jesus, who educates us about what mercy and grace look like. It is Yahweh who introduces us to all of the wonderful qualities that our Gods have—qualities which David is praising in his famous Psalm 23. And while Christians are forever depicting Jesus as the Good Shepherd of that psalm, it was only Yahweh who David was speaking of—a point that becomes obvious when you stop replacing Yahweh’s Name with the generic title of “the LORD” and acknowledge that what David actually wrote was:
Yahweh is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for You are with me. (Ps. 23:1-4)
What happened to that terrifying “God of Wrath” who has turned away from sinners in some angry huff? Is David describing a God who creates some epic chasm between Himself and humans? Not at all, and yet Christian evangelists keep cranking out the pictures of two cliffs with Yahweh on one side and all humans stuck on the other. Between the two cliffs, there is some impassable canyon which no one can cross. Then the cross gets drawn in as the bridge that we can walk over to be reunited with the same God who David is describing in Psalm 23 and the same God who we find calling to rebels to repent and run into His open arms. Does this sound right to you? It shouldn’t, because it’s not right at all. Jesus never taught the Jews to interpret His death on a cross the way that they did. He never portrayed Yahweh as a distant, brooding Heavenly Father. All of the Yahweh bashing rot we find being rolled out in Acts and in the New Testament epistles was anything but “Divinely inspired.” Demonically inspired is more like it. It is demons who are always trying to sell us lies about who our Gods are, and it is demons who encourage us to treasure the writings of spiritual imbeciles and treat them as a substitute for God in our lives.
[Chorus 1] Redeemer, crowned in endless praise
My Savior, name above all names
King Jesus, take the highest place
And then there’s Kari, doing her part to add to the Church’s vast collection of offensive worship songs which give all of the credit to Jesus for saving us while grossly insulting Yahweh by inference. After all, we wouldn’t be feeling so desperately grateful to Christ for redeeming us unless we first believed that Yahweh had rejected us.
Now remember how we explained the way Paul and the author of Hebrews explain why Christ came to die on a cross? Remember how both men made Yahweh out to be a Being of very limited abilities, thus He couldn’t possibly conquer His enemies without the help of human Jesus? Well, as Kari comes to the bridge of her song, we see the influence of Paul and Hebrews coming through as she exalts the physical props that she thinks have enabled God to conquer His enemies.
[Bridge] Oh the power of the cross, Oh the power of Your blood
Oh the power of the cross, Oh the power of Your blood
Oh the power of the cross, Oh the power of Your blood
In other words, “Oh, Yahweh, how non-powerful You are to get Yourself in such a ridiculous crisis with Your own creatures.” Or we could say, “Oh, Jesus, how pathetic You are to be so incapable until You created an earthsuit that could provide You with a magical liquid.” Think about it. You’re not praising Jesus the God—just some earthly props that you associate with Him. It’s the props that have the power in your mind. It’s the props that impress you. Never mind the fact that your Gods detest it when you act like created things are more impressive than the Gods who created them. By all means, let’s all wallow in idolatry by falling down and worshiping liquid that dripped from Jesus’ earthsuit and some ratty cross that the Romans threw together. Worshiping wood and blood—surely that’s God-honoring. And just in case you have any doubt that Kari is viewing these things as tools for conquering evil, she clarifies her meaning in the second chorus.
[Chorus 2] Oh Darkness, you have lost your strength
O Hell, you lost everything
King Jesus, take the highest place
And just why are we addressing Darkness and Hell as supernatural entities with independent wills, strength, and territories? This is the influence of Paul coming through—remember that Paul loved to invent gods out of concepts because the man was such a dingdong.
Remember how we said that when we’re singing a song to just one of our Gods, we need to be careful not to imply insulting things to another God along the way? What are we implying about Yahweh when we say that it was only through the power of blood and a cross that Darkness and Hell were defeated? We’re implying that before that blood and cross came onto the scene, Darkness and Hell had defeated Yahweh. Darkness had clearly out powered Him with its great strength, and Hell seems to have stolen Yahweh’s stuff. This cockamamie theology fits neatly with Paul’s teaching that Yahweh’s creation was wrenched away from Him by a host of greater powers who then kept all humans in a state of spiritual damnation. But wait—isn’t it our Gods who judge us and decide whether we’re damned or not? Yes, but that’s not what Paul teaches. Paul teaches that Yahweh was somehow forced into a position of hating and damning everyone because of Adam’s sin. You see, even though the Bible describes Yahweh as the One doing the cursing in Genesis, Paul makes it out like it was Adam who managed to curse Yahweh by unleashing Sin and Death into Yahweh’s creation. Once these evil forces were unleashed, Yahweh just couldn’t find a way to get them corralled. So He sat around for thousands of years scratching His head in bewilderment until He finally invented Christ. Christ went through motions on earth so He could get that magic blood and cross. He then apparently beaned Darkness in the head with that cross, thus freeing Yahweh up from whatever closet Darkness had locked Him into. And then perhaps Jesus sprayed His magic blood all over Hell, who choked and gasped and lost his grip on Yahweh’s creation, thus we can sing “O Hell, you lost everything.” Wow.
Let’s now take a break from the lunacy for a moment and get straightened out on what Hell really is. Hell is not a god, it’s a place which Yahweh, Jesus and the Holy Spirit created. The purpose of Hell is to function as a kind of multi-creature torture chamber that our Gods use to eternally punish those who dare to defy Them for too long. We know that demons are already slated to go to Hell, but they are not there yet. You see, Hell isn’t somewhere that you can flit in and out of. Once God chucks you into it, you’re stuck there getting pummeled with His wrath. But since the New Testament writers were all gaga over Satan, they naturally resisted the idea that Satan is just a pathetic fleck of a creature who has already been damned by his Creators. Instead, the apostle John exalts Satan as the current ruler of the world.
We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. (1 Jn. 5:19)
Of course Satan can’t control the world without also controlling God, but John is perfectly fine with that. Satan was the big cheese to the New Testament Jews—he was the one who they just couldn’t get enough of. And while John exalts Satan as controlling the world, Peter teaches us to view the devil as a prowling lion who is just waiting to rip us to shreds.
Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1 Pet. 5:8)
And then there’s Paul, Mr. “Spiritual Armor” who just can’t let the battle ever die between the forces of good and evil. Paul tells people to suit up in a bunch of armor so that they can quench the fiery darts that the bad ole devil is always hurling at them. Then he teaches that the devil actually has the power to take humans captive and force them to do his will.
Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will. (2 Tim. 2:25)
My, what a formidable foe that Satan is. Peter says he’s waiting to devour us. John says he’s controlling the whole world, and Paul says he’s kidnapping some of us and forcing us to act as his pawns. If only these men had viewed the real Gods as having the capabilities of Satan, they would have been a lot better off theologically. But as it is, Yahweh and Jesus are reduced to Beings who are no match for that mighty Satan and his legions of shady friends. And while we’re being taught to view the real Gods as subordinate to Satan, we are encouraged to start worshiping physical props in Their place. Paul says:
May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Gal. 6:14)
Now there’s some great advice. Boast in the prop, not the actual God. Credit the prop for saving you, not the God. Are you seeing the problem?
Kari finishes her song by praising Redeemer Jesus for manufacturing those potent props that saved us all.
Redeemer, crowned in endless praise
My Savior, name above all names
King Jesus, take the highest place
Oh the power of the cross, Oh the power of Your blood
Oh the power of the cross, Oh the power of Your blood
Wow, what a bomb. And yet some pile of God bashing idolatry is the natural outcome of trying to base a song on the salvation theology of the New Testament writers. The good news is that you really don’t have to spend the rest of your life promoting the delusions of Peter, John, Paul and the author of Hebrews. Instead, you can do what those men never did: you can talk directly to your Gods in the privacy of your own soul and respectfully ask Them to teach you Their unadulterated truth so that you can learn how to treat Them with the greatest honor. After all, isn’t honoring our Gods supposed to be our top priority?
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Know Your Bible Lesson 67: Fully God & Only God
Practicing Discernment: Bible Promises
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