What is God Up to Anyway?

Talking about Jesus as the new Adam means more than you might think. First of all, who was the old Adam? Was he the first man? Was he the proto-man? Was he the only man? That’s right, the only man? There is evidence in the bible itself that he wasn’t the only man. You don’t have to look any further than the story of Cain to see it. Cain killed his brother Able and was sentenced to wander. The first thing Cain said to God when the sentence was imposed was, “they will kill me if you do this”. Why would he say that, unless there was a considerable they out there for him to be afraid of. So God put a mark on Cain so that all of those out there would leave him alone. Where exactly did the they come from? Logically they came from Adam, or from unmentioned children he had fathered with Eve before Cain killed Able. What if Adam actually went way back, long before the story of Cain? What if contrary to popular thinking Adam and Eve had loads of children in the garden before the fall? Naturally a person would ask, wouldn’t those children be free from the curse then, since they didn’t participate in the original sin? To say that may ignore something about Adam, and Jesus, that is vitally important to understand.

No, they would not be free from the curse. In fact, it was their existence that guaranteed that Adam could not just go back, that man could not just go back.

I’ve said previously that there is no devil. That is partly true, in the sense that there is no one spiritual being who has it out for us in a protracted war against God. The devil is, however, referred to as a serpent, or snake, or dragon in the bible. What is this about? I think you don’t have to look any further than the image. I think the analogy is to the spine, representing the flesh, the body, the physical presence wrapped as it was inside the covering of God, which resided centrally in Adam. As long as Adam was true it didn’t matter what kinds of thoughts his children had. They could experiment with selfishness. He couldn’t. The structure was pinned on Adam, not on man. This meant that when Adam fell the structure ceased being pinned on him. Instead it moved to being pinned on everyone. The covering of God that held the thing together as a living thing had no place to rest when it didn’t rest on Adam, except onto everyone together which was the realm of the serpent, not of the covering. Think how Eve didn’t go about in fig leaves before she gave Adam the fruit. Adam failed and man went about uncovered, and then they knew it.

In this same way there is something to the tales of the leaders in the bible. God likes to work in those tales through a single man. In this way He tells us about His Christ, that he would be a single man, like Adam. In fact, the central single man, the most like the Christ, Moses, tells the story of Jesus over and over again, both in his life and in his work. Everything Moses did was a foreshadowing of Jesus and mankind. As Moses tied together several Israel specific epic tales, taking them into the story he was working out and re-spinning, so he also foretold of the ‘Body of Christ’ as it works several threads of meaning simultaneously.

If you leap over the personal origin story of Moses, which is probably a mistake, but hey, the first story to consider is that of the Exodus. Moses goes to Pharaoh, the devil, and demands that he let the people go. He does this with power working through him to do two things, show Pharaoh who God is and show Israel that he is from God. To show Pharaoh he was given the plagues to work. To show the Israelites he was given the rod, the leprous/non-leprous hand in the garment and water from the Nile poured out on the ground that would become blood. Actually, he was told that the rod was to convince the Israelites that Moses came from God, but he worked it on Pharaoh too. He probably did that same thing in a private meeting with the leaders of the people, where he also probably showed them the leprous hand as well. The rod is really quite important. It works to begin both missions, to convince the people and to reprove the devil. After that the plagues are for the Egyptians and the leprous hand and the water to blood are for Israel. Three things for Israel, like three patriarchs. Ten things for Egypt. The rod plus ten things.

The rod is not just a rod. It is also a snake. Moses runs from it when he first sees it. It must have been either a big or a dangerous looking snake. But God tells Moses to reach out his hand and take the snake by the tail, at which point it becomes a rod again. We already have seen what a snake is, so what is the importance of it here?

Moses was to simply show the snake to the leaders of Israel. He wasn’t supposed to do any particular work with it. As such we aren’t told the account of him showing them. Presumably anything more than the showing of the one snake was not important. We know it was the one snake because we know there was only one snake when God showed Moses about the rod at the burning bush. Now, what did he do with the rod/snake before Pharaoh? Yes, he cast it down and Pharaoh’s magicians showed that they could make snakes of their rods too. The thing is, Moses’ snake ate their snakes up. The Christian devil has likewise proceeded from the time of Jesus to eat up the other devils that man can make. The collective consciousness of man, the same that was immediately Lord over man after Adam’s fall, that makes what is the devil, has become a single thing with the advent of Christianity. All the better for God to deal with in one go. One necessary go eventually putting the covering back on one man, this time back on Jesus.

But is the covering back on Jesus? No, not yet. The two threads told by Moses haven’t  worked either of themselves out yet. Think about the plagues as a foreshadowing. Yes, they took place at that time in Egypt, but they also have and will continue to take place now. What is the first plague? Remember the first plague is upon Egypt, upon the devil, so it works out that way, working to take the people out of the clutches of the devil, the collective thing man is outside the covering. The first plague turns water into blood, just as it would toward Egypt, not Israel.

Water, the same water of the wells of the individuals Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The same water as that of Elijah. The water is the Spirit of God. Jesus came to baptize, like John, but with something other than water, but water serves as the metaphor for it. The first plague is the outpouring of the Spirit upon man at Pentecost. The first plague is the work of God to free man from the devil, a newly singular devil at that, think Judas Iscariot and the meaning of Jesus saying, “one of you is the devil”. There is hidden stuff in that. I don’t have time to go there, but suffice it to say Jesus wanted there to be eleven apostles left, the devil, just as we have seen, singularly taking the office of the twelfth. The same thing God was trying to tell us by telling Moses to convince the Israelites by using the rod, without it eating up any other snakes.

So, all this time God has been bringing man around to face him singularly, rather than in a splintered fashion. This makes sense in the story of the plagues. It also makes sense in the story of the leprous hand. The church has been something that taken into the breast was first pulled out leprous, then put back in again comes out clean once more. Clean, but when? Perhaps the timing is told in the message of the plagues? Which plague is a second outpouring? Isn’t it the hail?

The Church period is split in the same way that everything Moses did with Israel was split. Split by a time in the wilderness, where the people had to learn not to complain, not to judge. Split by a time where the devil of our own making learns. Split by a time where man learns to come to a point where God can communicate with him and where the people of God decide they would actually rather be with God than against him. This same split told from the devil’s perspective is finished by a second outpouring, the plague of the hail. After that plague certain crops are withheld from the Egyptians. Then, there is darkness over the whole land of Egypt, but not over the land of Goshen. The Revelation of St. John tells the same story when it tells of Satan being bound for a thousand years. The darkness over the land of Egypt is the same thing. The hand coming out whole again is the crops restored to Israel, but withheld from Pharaoh/Satan. The binding of Satan coincides with a difficult time for the church, they have to come to grips with everything they have gotten so horribly wrong. They will see water, the Spirit, turned to blood for them. This is not a bad thing, for it is blood on the lentels that causes the angel of death to pass over. In the absence of their self-created devil they will learn like they could not learn otherwise.

Afterward, in the power of the water, for there will be those who did not need the third sign, but believed, and the blood, Satan will be defeated forever. Afterward the Israelites will be cast out, let go. That’s why the millennium John talks about is so important. We have some thinking to do, some deep thinking we don’t have the power to do yet, but will.

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