This month, we are covering a seemingly simple concept that has powerful, revelatory, and wide ranging applications: Right-Right vs Right-Wrong...Right WHAT-Right HOW/WHY vs. Right WHAT-Wrong (or NO) HOW/WHY.
The overview for the rest of this Series is that God wants our brain to have Profitable Thought Processes. The enemy and our flesh wants our brain to have Unprofitable Thought Processes.
Throughout this Series we have seen the brain is the battlefield on which God and our mind participate in Spiritual Warfare against the enemy and our flesh. So, there are two participants attempting to access our strongholds: the enemy and our flesh.
This week we will conclude this series. In the previous post, we looked at a practical application of the HOW of Spiritual Warfare: Conviction vs. Condemnation.
Conviction is the confrontation the individual feels when he fails the HOW of Spiritual Warfare and sins through action, attitude, or thought. This conviction comes in the form of guilt and is NOT focused on the being of the individual.
Condemnation is the confrontation the individual feels when they file the experience of failing the HOW of Spiritual Warfare along with everything else that the person values that is Profitable. When sin is filed away in the cortex along side things that are Profitable, we saw that it can lead to the individual losing faith and not having a Profitable interaction with grace. It can lead to the person losing their Salvation. Condemnation is focused on the being of the individual.
Today, we will look at Old Testament examples of the HOW of Spiritual Warfare.
THE HOW OF OLD TESTAMENT SPIRITUAL WARFARE
Remember, the overview of the HOW of Spiritual Warfare for both sides is as follows...
The HOW of God's Spiritual Warfare Overview
1. The goal is to bring about God's Will
2. God supplies the power through the Holy Spirit with an influence upon our heart
3. We (Mind) choose to speak WORDS that are truth
4. These WORDS are spoken according to our understanding and experience...our imagination and memory.
The HOW of the flesh and the enemy's Spiritual Warfare Overview:
1. The goal is to hinder God's Will
2. The enemy supplies an influence upon our heart
3. The influence from the enemy is meant to encounter strongholds (sin) in our brain
4. The flesh attempts to weaken our understanding and experience...so that our imagination and memory serves the enemy.
Now, let's apply these overviews to our first example: Cain.
Remember, when we began this series we saw warnings about being deceived.
"9 But Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing judgment, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
10 But these rail at whatsoever things they know not: and what they understand naturally, like the creatures without reason, in these things are they destroyed.
11 Woe unto them! For they went in the way of Cain, and ran riotously in the error of Balaam for hire, and perished in the gainsaying of Korah." (Jude)
Notice, the way of Cain (verse 11) is the result of doing the causes in verse 10: rail at things they KNOW not, and what they UNDERSTAND naturally (according to the flesh), like creatures WITHOUT REASON, in these things are they destroyed.
Verse 10 is concerned with the HOW of Spiritual Warfare! It states that thinking in the flesh WITHOUT REASON will lead to destruction. We covered this process in last week's posts:
Strongholds: The Enemy (Faith)
Strongholds: The Enemy (Mind)
Strongholds: The Enemy (Heart)
Let's look SPECIFICALLY at what happened to Cain...
"1 And the man knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man with the help of Jehovah.
2 And again she bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground."
People like to say that Cain was cursed because God cursed the ground. The Bible does NOT support that Cain was cursed at this point.
"3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto Jehovah.
4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And Jehovah had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
5 but unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell."
This is a HUGE point: Cain did NOT do anything WRONG.
Basically, God gave to Cain (rain, good soil, etc.). Cain gave back to God. When a pastor or teacher states that Cain did something WRONG at this point, they miss the value of this story. Cain gave an offering to God...HOW can that be BAD?
God gave to Abel (healthy animals, etc.). Abel gave back to God MORE...the best of the flock. God gave back to Abel (respect) BECAUSE of Justice.
Cain and Abel both offered to God. Abel's offer required God to have respect because God is Just. Cain's offer did NOT require God to have respect.
HOW of Spiritual Warfare: Cain's response to this experience was negative emotions. Cain was upset and his countenance fell. Cain is at the end of The Second Feedback Loop. Is Cain going to file this information away in a negative fashion? Is Cain going to ignore it and be at the mercy of his amygdala? What OUGHT God to do to Cain at this point?
Before we go on, I would like you to take a moment and decide what God says next to Cain. Don't read ahead. Take a moment to determine what you believe are God's Words to Cain.
During this two month series, my appreciation for God's and Jesus' spoken WORDS has grown. It looks so easy to say what God and Jesus say...until YOU have to state their WORDS. Then you find out how damaging we would be in the same situation...and how awesome God and Jesus are with their WORDS.
Here is what God said to Cain:
"6 And Jehovah said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?"
First, God asks Questions! (Did you ask Cain Questions?) God does NOT say Cain is WRONG. Everytime someone teaches this story and states that God said Cain did something WRONG at this point, they are NOT teaching God's Word!
God used causality. God is asking Cain to look for the cause of his negative emotions. He wants Cain to FACE the situation and file it in his cortex with accurate information. God is helping Cain complete The Second Feedback Loop!
"7 If thou doest well, shall it not be lifted up? and if thou doest not well, sin coucheth at the door: and unto thee shall be its desire, but do thou rule over it."
God poses another Question in the form of an IF/THEN. This Question focuses on a good cause and asks Cain to IMAGINE the effects of doing a good cause. This is the Sixth Stimulus!
Then God poses an IF/THEN Statement. Notice, God is stating the SIN is waiting for the opportunity. Sin has to be activated. As we saw, SIN is waiting for the individual to create strongholds in their brain. Remember, we change our brain (either for better or worse) every time we begin The First Feedback Loop.
SIN is waiting for Cain's brain to form a stronghold...God is attempting to help Cain do Spiritual Warfare...to cast down a stronghold.
"8 And Cain told Abel his brother. And it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him."
Reread the first sentence ONLY: And Cain told Abel his brother.
Cain told Abel about his conversation with God! Cain is now accountable for the information. Cain understands what is happening. NOW if he does something opposite of what he understands...it would be apart from understanding...apart from faith...SIN.
Notice that after that first sentence, time passes from when Cain told Abel about his conversation with God. They were in the field. Was Cain asking Abel's help in picking out the best so Cain's offering would get respect? The Bible does NOT say. The Bible does say that Cain killed Abel.
This is SIN. This is when Cain would feel guilt. Now Cain needs to decide how he will handle this guilt. Will he use it to do the RIGHT thing: confess and repent? Will he succumb to a stronghold and try to ignore the guilt?
"9 And Jehovah said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: am I my brother's keeper?"
Again, God approaches Cain with a Question. How many times do people quote God as making Statements when the Bible actually has God asking Questions?
Cain LIES...he says he doesn't know where his brother is. Cain has completely accepted the stronghold. This is the way of Cain...
The passage from Jude that began this post speaks about the devil...
The ULTIMATE Old Testament example involves the ULTIMATE being to succumb to an Unprofitable Thought Process: Lucifer.
"11 Moreover the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying,
12 Son of man, take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.
13 Thou wast in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, the topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was in thee; in the day that thou wast created they were prepared.
14 Thou wast the anointed cherub that covereth: and I set thee, so that thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till unrighteousness was found in thee."
This situation troubles a lot of people: how could Lucifer be made "perfect"...yet unrighteousness was found in him?
Some people want to say that God made Satan flawed. That is NOT what the Bible says.
Some people want to say if Lucifer was truly made perfect, he wouldn't have sin in him. The Bible says he WAS made perfect...and eventually sin was found in him.
The ONLY explanation is that Satan chose to become flawed. Without this two month series, you wouldn't be able to explain HOW that happened. Now you can!
Satan's thought process began to go down a path that resulted in the formation of a stronghold.
"16 By the abundance of thy traffic they filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore have I cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God; and I have destroyed thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire."
This says that "abundance of thy traffic" resulted in Lucifer being filled with violence and sinning. What is traffic?
Strong's #7404 rekullah - "fem. pass. part. of 7402; trade (as peddled)"
Strong's #7402 rakal - "to travel for trading"
Basically, all of Lucifer's activity in interacting with others caused his thought process to form strongholds. In fact, it was an abundance of activity...and perhaps NOT completing The Second Feedback Loop.
"17 Thy heart was lifted up because of thy beauty; thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I have cast thee to the ground; I have laid thee before kings, that they may behold thee.
18 By the multitude of thine iniquities, in the unrighteousness of thy traffic, thou hast profaned thy sanctuaries; therefore have I brought forth a fire from the midst of thee; it hath devoured thee, and I have turned thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.
19 All they that know thee among the peoples shall be astonished at thee: thou art become a terror, and thou shalt nevermore have any being."
Satan's heart was "lifted up" (in pride) over his attributes (beauty, wisdom, brightness, etc.). Verse 18 calls the actual interactions (traffic) "unrighteous". What was it that Satan actually did that PROVED he had unrighteousness in him?
"12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O day-star, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, that didst lay low the nations!
13 And thou saidst in thy heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; and I will sit upon the mount of congregation, in the uttermost parts of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High."
Satan said in his heart FIVE "I WILL's"...
1. I will ascend into Heaven
2. I will exalt my throne above the stars of God
3. I will sit upon the mount of the congregation in the uttermost parts of the north
4. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds
5. I will make myself like the Most High
Satan understood that NONE of these were RIGHT in the Long Term. He acted apart from faith...apart from what he understood and experienced to be Right in the Long Term.
Cain and Lucifer both chose to pursue an Unprofitable Thought Process that EVENTUALLY formed a stronghold and led to sin having the opportunity to activate in their lives.
Tomorrow, we will look at a stronghold affecting leaders in today's churches...