At the present time—or in this age, as the Bible language often expresses it—we are living in a world that is being ruled by the gods. Adam and Eve were given dominion over the earth and were supposed to rule the earth through the image of God, through the moral law of agape love. But they abdicated the rulership of the earth to Satan when they ate of the Tree that represented his principle or reward and punishment.
The gods—Satan and his angels—began ruling here on earth six thousand years ago when Adam and Eve ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam’s single act of not following a single directive from God opened the doors for Satan and his fallen angels to begin ruling the world through their system of Good and Evil. This means that ever since, they have been using the system of reward and punishment to create and keep order here on earth.
GOING TO AND FRO AND UP AND DOWN
The first piece of evidence we have provided that Satan is a god of reward and punishment is found in chapter three of this book, where we showed how his “going to and on the earth” and his “walking back and forth on it” reveals that he rules the earth through a system of reward and punishment. That is also the symbolism of the crook and the flail—the two instruments which Pharaoh holds in his hands, with arms crossed over his chest. Good and Evil, reward and punishment, was revealed in the Garden of Eden by the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
BAAL, THE CANAANITE GOD
The next piece of evidence we will provide is a brief study on the Canaanite god “Baal,” of whom the Bible speaks about over one hundred times. Baal is historically a god of fertility, a god of the weather. In the Bible the word “Baal” is translated as lord, master, possessor, owner. It can also mean a “husband,’ or it can refer to the lords of a city or a lord or possessor of a “thing.” Strong’s Concordance defines this word like this:
a master; hence, a husband, or (figuratively) owner (often used with another noun in modifications of this latter sense archer, babbler, bird, captain, chief man, confederate, have to do, dreamer, those to whom it is due, furious, those that are given to it, great, hairy, he that hath it, have, horseman, husband, lord, man, married, master, person, sworn, they of.
There is no question that God tried to keep His people away from the god Baal. The Bible is filled with His warnings in this regard:
Israel was joined to Baal of Peor, and the anger of the Lord was aroused against Israel (Numbers 25:3).
the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord. They forgot the Lord their God, and served the Baals and (Judges 3:7).
And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria: They prophesied by Baal and caused My people Israel to err (Jeremiah 23:13).
I found Israel Like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers the on the fig tree in its first season. But they went to Baal Peor, separated themselves to that shame; They became an abomination like the thing they loved (Hosea 9:10).
Why was God so concerned with Baal and Baal worship? What is it about Baal that is so abhorrent to Him? What is Baal’s character like? Below is a brief description of Baal by Mary M. Saurer, taken from her book A Comparison of World Religions, Ancient to Modern Day. She says:
During the time period of 1600 B.C. to 1200 B.C. the Phoenicians were a very advanced race, but their lands had become dry and infertile. Phoenician explorers, in search of fertile land to inhabit, sailed along the shoreline of the Mediterranean. On shore they separated into tribes that migrated from place to place, carrying with them their alphabet and their religion. These Phoenicians, whose ancestors had visited this region to practice trade, promote the concept of the God of the Sea, and introduce their Astrology concepts, now spoke of Baal as the God of Rain, Storms, Lightning, Earthquakes and all manner of things that impacted the earth. They said that Baal rides on clouds and wind to watch his people, and judges them in order to punish and reward them. Baal had created a multitude of lesser spirit-gods, who were under Baal’s command, and assigned to different agricultural tasks. These Baal worshippers made stone statues or idols wherever they settled, to represent Baal and each of the spirit-gods. They prayed to the idols for fulfillment of their desires, and practiced appeasement and sacrifice of animals and good to Baal to show their loyalty and worship of Him. We recall that these Phoenicians were the same race of people who had brought the concept of , or desire gods, to this region centuries before [Mary M. Saurer, A Comparison of World Religions, Ancient to Modern Day (USA: Corporation, 2006), 91., emphasis added]
The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament gives us a wealth of information on this god. The following paragraphs are found under the entry for Baal, and all words in bold are our added emphasis:
The god Baal met in the is the West Semitic storm god, (sing..) and (pl.), encountered in Egyptian texts (from fourteenth century on), Tell Amarna Letters (fourteenth century ), Tablets (fifteenth century ), Ugaritic texts (fourteenth century ), Amorite proper names from Mari, Tell al-Rimah, and Bazar, and later in Phoenician and Punic texts. Both within the Bible and outside it the name appears either absolutely or in construct with place names; e.g. Baal- (Num 25:3, 5), Baal- (Jud 9:40), Baal- (II Kgs 1:2). (Baal-, “lord of flies,” is a parody on his name found elsewhere, , “Prince Baal.”) These names do not denote various gods with the epithet “lord,” but local venerations of the same West Semitic storm and fertility deity called simply Baal, “Lord.”
Scholars used to think that the plural form with the article, “the ” denoted different local numina, but the plural form of the name occurs outside the Bible and the mention of “lovers” and “strangers” ( 2:25) suggest another use of the plural than that of a numerical plural. The article occurs frequently in Hebrew with proper names whose meaning is transparent.
Since the biblical writers did not intend to teach the Canaanite religion, we know more about Baal’s roles, consorts, and cult from the extra-biblical literature than from the ; but the picture of Baal presented in the comports well with the extra-biblical sources.
He was also called (=Hadad). He is above all the storm god who gives the sweet rain that revives vegetation. Dry years were attributed to his temporary captivity or even death. But at his revivification fields, flocks, and families became productive. In addition, he is a war god and fertility deity who consorts with Anat (is later equated with Astarte). Both by reciting the myth of his role in reviving life at the autumn new year festival and by magical ritual of sacred marriage represented in the cult by the king, the queen and a priestess, the West Semites hoped to ensure the earth’s fertility, (The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament).
And Wayne Jackson, M.A, in his article The Ras Shamra Discovery published in Apologetics Press, INC, wrote the following regarding the existing mythology which surrounds the beginnings of Baal. Apparently, Baal was one of the seventy offspring of the Ugaritic god El:
The religion of Ugarit was similar in many ways to the Canaanite system that the prophets of God consistently denounced. The chief god was El, who was believed to be the father of seventy gods and goddesses that comprised the Ugaritic pantheon. El was “a shadowy figure who apparently takes little part in the affairs of men” (Wright, 1962, pp. 106-107). wife, the mother of the pantheon’s gods and goddesses, was Athirat or Elat. Her name appears in the form “Asherah” in the Old Testament (rendered “groves” in the KJV; cf. Judges 3:7). Of sons and daughters, Baal was the most popular. He was the storm god who brought rain and fertility, and who frequently was in conflict with Mot, the god of death. El appears to have been a schizophrenic sort of character who at times was “of mild character, good humored,” never refusing what was asked of him, yet at other times, he might kill his father, or his son, or cut off the head of his daughter (Wright, 1962, p. 107). Though Baal was the offspring of El and Asherah, Ugaritic texts indicate that eventually Baal drove El from the leading place and took both his position and his wife (, 1952, pp. 77-78). Significantly, the Bible represents Baal and Asherah as counterparts (cf. 1 Kings 18:19). Accordingly, the (plural of Asherah) of the Bible were the female cult objects that corresponded to the male objects of the Baal cult (Wright, 1962, pp. 29-32). Though there was some similarity in the sacrifices offered in the Canaanite system (both in the names and kinds of animals offered) to that of the Israelites, the former was highly polytheistic, extremely sensuous, and not infrequently violent. Thompson observed: “In the temples of the Canaanites there were male and female prostitutes (‘sacred’ men and women) and all sorts of sexual excesses were practiced. It was believed that in some way these rites caused the crops and the herds to prosper” (1975, p. 84). Also, “from numerous biblical and Roman allusions we know that child sacrifice was occasionally practiced, the story of the Moabite king, Mesha (2 Kings 3:27) immediately coming to mind” (Wright, 1962, p. 112) “Funerary jars have been found with the bodies of young children distorted by suffocation as they struggled for life after having been buried alive as a sacrifice to Canaanite gods” (Wilson, 1973, p. 85) (https://www.apologeticspress.org/rr/reprints/Ras-Shamra.pdf).
This is the same demonic force that attacked Job and his family through wind, fire, and also human beings. The Sabeans, who had given themselves over to his jurisdiction, were used as Satan’s agents of destruction. We see this god of reward and punishment at work all throughout human history under many aliases and across various cultures. But regardless of his name, the essence of his character is still the same: he is a volatile, violent, cruel god of reward and punishment.
Baal is still working today in our world, using all kinds of natural phenomena to destroy human lives. Baal human beings in order to either punish or reward them; that is his principle of keeping order, which is represented by the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
THE GODS OF EGYPT
Before we start this section, we would like to state right up front that we cannot include in this book all the research available on the gods of Egypt. Therefore, we encourage the reader to access some of the research we have already done, in particular Denice Grant’s thesis on Mozart’s last opera, The Magic Flute. The thesis, Die Zauberflöte and the Moral Law of Opposing Forces, can be downloaded from our website: www.godontrial.org. There the reader will find a wealth of information regarding the gods of ancient Egypt and their connection with the moral law of reward and punishment.
of great value will be a reading of one of the articles which inspired Mozart to write The Magic Flute, die der (About the Mysteries of Egypt). This article was written by a fellow Freemason and contemporary of Mozart, Ignaz von Born. In the article in question, von Born compared Freemasonry with ancient Egypt, in particular as it pertained to their mutual code of ethics, the moral law of reward and punishment, merit and demerit. This article which promotes the thesis that Freemasonry inherited all its moral values from ancient Egypt can also be found on our website mentioned earlier. If the reader chooses to go through this material, we advise him or her to always keep in mind that everything they are about to read is from the so-called wisdom that the gods taught. In these articles we are able to see how they lied and twisted everything in order to deceive humanity, including making their moral law of Good and Evil appear to originate from God, and to be the order of the cosmos—the eternal law of the entire universe.
In the Bible, the slavery under Satan’s kingdom is typified or symbolized by Egypt because Egypt was ruled by the gods. Who are the gods? Some would say that they are mythical figures—unreal. But when we looked at what the word “ungodly” means we see that the gods are very real. The greatest proof of this is that God Himself warns us about them in the first four commandments, as well as throughout the entire Bible.
The gods, which come in a myriad of names across different cultures, are really a front behind which Satan and his fallen angels interact with human beings. Satan and his fallen angels are the gods. It is through the gods that Satan has taught us his so-called wisdom, which is the moral law of reward and punishment—the Knowledge of Good and Evil. In ancient Egypt, the gods dictated their teachings and wisdoms directly to the pharaohs and priests. These in turn ruled Egypt through the law of reward and punishment, which they learned from the gods.
There is much in Egyptian mythology that confirms that the gods operated by the moral law of reward and punishment. Take for instance, the Egyptian goddess Maat. Maat was sometimes depicted as a feather (from a fallen angel perhaps?) and was considered to be the personification of the law of order, justice. Order and justice are wonderful concepts, but as far as Egypt is concerned, these two words are simply euphemisms for the idea of punishment. Notice, then, what The Oxford Companion to World Mythology states about Maat:
In Egyptian mythology, the goddess Maat ( Zit), the wife of Thoth, a god associated with wisdom, and daughter or aspect of the high god Atum, is at once a goddess and an idea, the personification of moral and cosmic order, truth, and justice ( or , like the Mesopotamian me or Indian dharma) that was as basic to life as breath itself, which in the Coffin Texts Maat also seems to personify. Pharaohs held small models of Maat to signify their association with her attributes. Maat gives breath itself – life – to the kings, and so is depicted holding the symbol of life, the ankh, to their noses. Maat represents the proper relationship between the cosmic and the earthly, the divine and the human, the earth, the heavens, and the underworld. It is she who personifies the meaningful order of life as opposed to the entropic chaos into which it might easily fall. In some stories it is the sun god Re who displaces Chaos with Maat. When a person died his heart was weighed against Maat’s feather. A heart ‘heavy with sin’ would not join the gods [PUNISHMENT]. Maat was essentially in all Egyptian gods and goddesses as the principle of divinity itself. The goddess Isis acknowledges the qualities of Maat, as signified by the (ostrich feather) she wears behind the crowns of upper and Lower Egypt. Maat might be seen as a principle analogous to the Logos, divine reason and order. As Christians are told ‘In the beginning the Word [Logos] already was’ (John 1:1), Atum announces that before creation, “when the heavens were asleep, my daughter Maat lived within me and around me.” (David Adams Leeming, The Oxford Companion to World Mythology (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), 243., emphasis added)
The Egyptian goddess Maat represented “a moral and cosmic order, truth, and justice.” This is Satan’s moral and cosmic order enforced through his system of reward and punishment. “Pharaohs held small models of Maat to signify their association with her attributes,” because Pharaohs were personally taught by the gods. Every aspiring Egyptian ruler was initiated in the Mysteries of Egypt, and this included direct communication with the gods (theurgy) who taught them their law of Good and Evil.
Did you notice how it is claimed that Maat, represented also by the ankh, is a symbol of life? But isn’t this system of Good and Evil in reality a symbol of death, according to God? Maat also is said to personify “the meaningful order of life as opposed to the entropic chaos into which it might easily fall.” Isn’t this what Satan claimed? That his way of keeping order was superior to God’s way—the moral law of agape love—which in his own wisdom he considered foolish and weak according to 1 Corinthians 1?
The goddess Maat is continually addressed as “the principle of order” in the literature on ancient Egypt. This is because Maat represents Satan’s punitive justice—Satan’s way of keeping order. Here are a few more examples:
Maat is right order, divinely established order and as such is ‘the Egyptian concept of the arrangement and relationship that underlies and governs all aspects of existence, somewhat akin to the western notion of natural law’ (Allen 1988, 26). Moreover, ‘t extends from the elements of nature…into the moral and social behavior of mankind.’ Maat as ‘order is the principle which makes the whole of existence possible.’ At the same time, it is a life-generating principle and force (Maulana Karenga, Maat, The Moral Ideal in Ancient Egypt: A Study in Classical African Ethics (New York: Routledge, 2004), 8, emphasis added).
Maat, as a principle and force constitutive of creation itself, comes to mean, then, an order of rightness which permeates existence and gives life. Thus, Siegfried Morenz (1984, 113) states, ‘Maat is right order in nature and society, as established by the act of creation and hence means according to context, what is right, what is correct, law, order, justice and truth.’ Anthes (1954, 23) also stresses the centrality of Maat as a divinely constituted order. He observes that ‘[the] idea of Maat primarily means the divine order of the world, including the political, theological and social order of Egypt’ (Maulana Karenga, Maat, The Moral Ideal in Ancient Egypt: A Study in Classical African Ethics (New York: Routledge, 2004), 8).
In the next quote, a scene of judgment in the Hall of Double Righteousness is described. We ask the question: what is Double Righteousness? Could this be a reference to Good and Evil? It would seem to be so, because when the word “balance” is used it is referring to the supposed balance between Good and Evil, the balance between reward and punishment:
A feeling of rightness pervades the Hall! The concept of divine balance flows from the Complete One. Justice and Order are the watchwords that Atum must maintain. Atum has appointed his daughter, the Goddess Maat to be the personification of this wonderful concept of balance in the universe. A feather, a simple plume, is her symbol. With the lightest touch Maat controls the balance between opposing forces of good and evil to the finest degree. No individual human strength or weakness dominates for very long. The Goddess applies her feather-light touch to restore divine justice and order in the Ancient land (Anthony Holmes, Tutankhamun-Speak My Name (Victoria, B.C: Trafford Publishing, 2005), 8, emphasis added).
Another writer states that “Maat is an order resulting from opposing powers” (which we believe are the opposing powers of Good and Evil):
Maat was not an abstraction for the Egyptians but an actual order resulting from opposing powers (Anna Mancini, Maat Revealed, Philosophy of Justice in Ancient Egypt (Buenos Books America, 2004), 13).
Another author states that Maat was an “implicit moral code,” “a moral system”:
While the precepts, ankh-–, ‘living by ,’ primarily meant respecting the primeval order of the universe and of society, at least from the time of the Wisdom Texts (c.2550 BC), they could also be understood as living decently, as ‘doing the ethical thing.’ As such, it put the ethical justification for a Paradise into the hands of the Egyptians. It even put the link between everyday life, ethics and religion into their hands, since much in the was an implicit moral code for this life and not just a criterion for universal and societal order and entry into the afterlife. The ethical aspects of the in the negative confession in ‘The Hall of Two Truths’ constituted a moral system, or rather it would have constituted such a system if was not assumed that the afterlife assessors could be tricked by claiming innocence of all wrongdoing and that magic and fraud were the omnipotent passport to the afterlife (Simson , Egypt, Trunk of the Tree, vol. 2 ( Publishing, 2004), 42).
The same author goes on to say that through the concept of Maat, the Egyptians “posed some of the most fundamental problems faced by man – what is correct behavior? What is ethics? Is there a reward or a punishment?” (Simson , Egypt, Trunk of the Tree, vol. 2 ( Publishing, 2004), 43).
In the following excerpt from a book titled Oldest Books in the World: An account of the Religion, Wisdom, Philosophy… of the Ancient Egyptians, Isaac Meyer describes an Egyptian judgment scene. He openly states that the judgment and punishment taking place is done by a demon. And again, Maat is said to be the “order” which is “believed to be the norm of the entire universe”:
The scene of the or Trial of the earthly conduct of the dead, in the Future-world is very important because of the knowledge it gives of the religion of the Ancient Egyptians. It shows the existence with them of a belief in a judgment, after death, of the soul or conscience; for man’s actions committed whilst in life upon this earth; that his good and evil deeds were thought to originate and reside in his heart; that man had while on earth free will in his actions; that his heart, emblem of his conscience, was after death, mystically weighed by Thoth, symbol of the intellectual part of his spiritual nature; that he was subject to the accusation and opposition of a demon, for actions done while in life on this earth, and after a decree against him to punishment by such demon and his followers. That there were certain specific faults and crimes for which he was liable to such punishment, and these his Ka was obliged to state and show his freedom from, before the Forty-two assisting judges of Osiris, the death of the dead; that these faults and crimes are mentioned in the Confessions, in the Book termed by Dr. Lepsius, No. cxxv of the Book of the Dead, of which Chapter or Book the scene of the is part; and that in number they were not less that forty-two. The Ma or Maat i.e. Harmony, Law, Truth, Righteousness, likely including an idea similar to the modern idea of the Kosmos, and of that order which is conspicuous in the movement of the heavenly bodies, was believed to be the norm of the entire universe; that the principal desire of the Ancient Egyptian was for his spiritual resurrection from the dead, and an eternal future happy spiritual life in the Egyptian heaven, with perfect liberty to go where he desired: an absence of all punishment, and especially freedom from the danger of annihilation of his spiritual existence, by the ‘Second death’ (Meyer, Oldest Books in the World, 415, emphasis added).
These are just some of the many evidences tying Egypt with Satan’s moral law of Good and Evil. Maat represents that duality of Good and Evil, the moral order with which Satan thought he could achieve a model society.
Another clear proof that Egypt represents Satan’s system of reward and punishment is that symbol found at the hands of ancient Pharaohs—the crook and the flail. A photograph of King Tut, for instance, will reveal that his arms are crossed, one hand holding a crook and the other a flail. Notice the meaning of the crook and the flail:
The crook and flail are sometimes thought to represent two of the functions of the king: the crook stands for the shepherd, of the people, while the flail as scourge symbolizes the punishments deemed necessary to sustain society (Carol Andrews, Amulets of ancient Egypt, University of Texas Press, 1994, p. 75, emphasis added).
This reveals much light about what the gods of Egypt taught the Egyptians. Through the gods’ wisdom, Egypt was governed through these two functions:
1. The crook, symbolizing the Good of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil—the reward principle, which Satan likes to call beneficence. This is the supposed “caring for the people” through supposedly good means, the reward arm of Good and Evil.
2. The flail, symbolizes the Evil of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil—the punishment, or the necessary violence which according to Satan is needed in order to “sustain society,” that is, in order to sustain societal order.
It is for this reason that in the Bible, Egypt is a type or a symbol of sin and slavery. The horrific methods of torture and cruelty committed in the name of good in this system are unfathomable. The history of the Israelites in the Book of Exodus is a type of the six-thousand-year-history of the human race under Satan’s system of reward and punishment:
Then a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt. “Look,” he said to his people, “the Israelites have become far too numerous for us. Come, we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country.”
they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor, and they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh. But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread; the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites and worked them ruthlessly. They made their lives bitter with harsh labor in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields; in all their harsh labor the Egyptians worked them ruthlessly (Exodus 1:8-14).
The “new king” over the human race is Satan—we mean nothing to him. He deals with us “shrewdly;” he and his angels are “slave masters” over us and they “oppress” us with “forced labor” through reward and punishment. They work us “ruthlessly” and they have made our lives “bitter with harsh labor” in the works system—this is what brick and mortar means. “Brick and mortar” are not naturally occurring elements in nature, they are man-made, and so they represent human “works” of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
The literal exodus from Egypt typifies a future spiritual movement which will take place in the last days. Notice how this is explained by Paul in the following verses:
Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.
Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come (1 Corinthians 10:1-11).
The Exodus was a type, and we “upon whom the ends of the ages have come” are its antitype. This means that a substantial sector of the human race will exit Egypt—in other words, they will leave behind this reward and punishment type of thinking, this dual moral law of the gods, and will enter the Promised Land which represents God’s law of unconditional and impartial love, agape love.
Notice what Paul also says about the gods in the Book of Ephesians:
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12).
The “rulers of the darkness of this age” are ruling, that is, they are using a ruler, a guideline, a law, in order to control human beings. This ruler or measuring system is the “law of sin and death” by which all the actions of the gods are aligned and conformed. The gods are “spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places,” “wickedness” being the same thing as “iniquity,” that principle, moral law, or way, that was “found” in Lucifer:
You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you (Ezekiel 28:15).
Lucifer’s “ways” were no longer “perfect” once “iniquity was found in” him. We too were living by the same imperfect rule of law, until Jesus came and gave us a better alternative. Jesus opened to us the principle of life, the moral law or way of life:
And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh [BECAUSE WE WERE LIVING BY THE MORAL LAW OF REWARD AND PUNISHMENT, THINKING IT WAS FROM GOD], He [JESUS] has made alive together with Him [ALIVE THROUGH HIS MORAL LAW OF LIFE, Agape LOVE], having forgiven you all trespasses [THROUGH Agape, GOD’S CHARACTER OF GRACE, THE OPPOSITE OF REWARD AND PUNISHMENT], having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us [HAVING WIPED OUT THE LAW OF REWARD AND PUNISHMENT, WHICH IS NOT “FOR US” BUT “AGAINST US,” BY SHOWING US THAT GOD IS A GOD OF ABUNDANT GRACE]. And He has taken it out of the way [REMOVED IT COMPLETELY, BECAUSE WE USED TO THINK THIS WAS GOD’S LAW, BUT NOW HE HAS SHOWN US THAT GOD DOES NOT OPERATE BY THE MORAL LAW OF REWARD AND PUNISHMENT], having nailed it to the cross [WHERE HE GAVE US THE GREATEST REVELATION OF GOD’S Agape LOVE FOR US]. Having disarmed principalities and powers [SATAN AND HIS ANGELS, THE GODS, WHO LIED TO US AND MADE US THINK THAT GOD OPERATES BY REWARD AND PUNISHMENT], He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it (Colossians 2:13-15, emphasis added).
The Apostle Peter also mentions Jesus’ victory over the gods of this age:
[JESUS CHRIST] who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him (1 Peter 3:22, emphasis added).
The Good and Evil kingdom of the gods is characterized by pain, sorrow, calamity, stress, distress, fear, and anything negative one can think about because it is ruled by reward and punishment. The Psalmist writes the following about those that run “after” the gods:
Their sorrows shall be multiplied [OF THOSE] who hasten after another god; their drink offerings of blood I will not offer (Psalm 16:4, emphasis added)
“Their sorrows shall be multiplied who hasten after another god.” Not only do they inflict on us a multiplication of “sorrows,” but they inflict death upon us because theirs is the kingdom of death.
We blaspheme God when we say that He takes part in the kingdom of death. When we worship God thinking that He is responsible for any death or killing, we are in reality worshipping a god of darkness. God’s kingdom is the kingdom of life, light only. This is indicated by the fact that when God begins to reign upon His throne, only the Tree of Life will be there. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, which is the curse, will be no more:
And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him (Revelation 22:1-3, emphasis added).
The “curse” in Revelation twenty-two is a reference to the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. This cursed system, responsible for death, will no longer exist. The “curse” is Satan’s “throne of iniquity” (Psalm 94:20). “And there shall be no more curse”—no more “throne of iniquity”but the throne of God and the Lamb shall be in it.”
Just as we cannot “serve two masters” (Matthew 6:24), neither can we belong to two kingdoms—the kingdom of life and the kingdom of death. The same applies to God and Satan. They also cannot belong to or act in harmony with each other’s jurisdictions. They must be in one or the other so that we can clearly choose between them. If God and Satan had anything in common, then we would not have a clear choice between the two masters. Therefore, God cannot operate by reward and punishment as we previously believed.
If we serve God, we must put away everything that pertains to the kingdom of Satan and his angels, the gods of this world. Before the children of Israel entered Canaan, Joshua gave them a clear command to put away the gods:
Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord! And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:14-15, emphasis added).
The above verses have as much relevance for us today as they did in Joshua’s time. The gods spoken of here are Satan and his demons, who operate by the law of reward and punishment represented by the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. He and his angels were the gods of Egypt, under various names. Those gods were horrible, cruel, vindictive, punishing. If we “serve” God as a god of reward and punishment who is horrible, cruel, vindictive and punishing, we are still in effect serving the gods of Egypt, and not the true God; we have not put the gods “away.”
Satan’s moral law of reward and punishment was represented on earth by the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden. This moral law is the “iniquity” that was “found” in him. God had said that death would come into the world if Adam and Eve ate of this Tree. Thus, anything pertaining to “death” has to do with this Tree, which represents the death principle referred to as “the law of sin and death” in Romans 8: 2. This “law of sin and death” is the moral law, which is now in our very “members:”
But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members (Romans 7:23, emphasis added).
Lucifer’s moral law of reward and punishment is the opposite of God’s moral law of agape love, which is unconditional love. Lucifer’s law is a conditional law. According to his law, conditions are necessary for order to exist. His conditions are: if we do good works we shall be rewarded, and if we do evil works, we shall be punished. Or we might be arbitrarily rewarded or punished in order to be motivated to be good. This law of reward and punishment is focused on works. By nature, this law is fraught with fear, guilt, and condemnation.
Reward and punishment the opposite of God’s law of agape love which is based on grace and which is freely given to all. If God’s grace is freely given to us, this means that we don’t need to deserve it. We cannot do anything in order to deserve grace. It is unconditionally and impartially given to all. The only part we play in this gift of grace is how we exercise our choice. We have the freedom to accept it or reject it. If we reject it, we remain in Satan’s jurisdiction of death into which we were born due to Adam’s choice to eat of the Tree.
Order in God’s system of agape love is kept through love, not desire for reward or fear of punishment. In God’s kingdom of love there is freedom, joy, and peace.
Jesus came to save us from the destructiveness, the guilt, and condemnation brought upon us by Satan’s moral law of “sin and death.” He does this by revealing to us God’s law of life, His agape love:
For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved (John 3:17, emphasis added).
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:1-2, emphasis added).
In Him was life, and the life was the light of men (John 1:4, emphasis added).
For the commandment is a lamp, and the law a light; reproofs of instruction are the way of life (Proverbs 6:23, emphasis added).
As human beings, our freedom of choice positions us either on God’s jurisdiction of agape love—righteousness—or Satan’s jurisdiction of reward and punishment—iniquity. There is no escaping this reality—we are all either on God’s side or on Satan’s side. According to the Scriptures, the leaders of these two jurisdictions are clear:
And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him (Revelation 12:7-9, emphasis added).
Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” (Jude 1:9, emphasis added)
The two sides—righteousness and iniquity—are respectively headed by Michael (which means who is like God?) and the Devil, Satan (which means the adversary, the accuser) who is symbolized by the dragon, the serpent. This is a war of ideas, a battle of ideology centered upon these two moral laws, “the law of the Spirit of life” and the “law of sin and death.” These two sides have taken two distinct positions on what should be the ruling moral compass of all intelligent beings. Michael, on the side of God, promotes unconditional love, impartial treatment of all beings, and freedom of conscience:
But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you (Matthew 5:44, emphasis added).
For there is no partiality with God (Romans 2:11, emphasis added).
And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear (1 Peter 1:17, emphasis added).
Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage (Galatians 5:1, emphasis added)
Order that is enforced by violent means is of no value to God. Reward and punishment are coercive and forceful; therefore, reward and punishment are of no value to God. Love is the foundation of God’s government, and God’s love is unconditional, impartial, and freedom-giving—in fact, love without freedom is not love. It was for love that God created us. God wants us to love one another—even those who see us as their enemies, for a Christian should have no enemies—and it is love itself that will produce order among us.
The foundational principle of righteousness behind Michael’s law of agape love is mercy. Mercy and forgiveness work much better toward the overall good of society than cruel and destructive punishment.
And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness (Isaiah 16:5).
Lucifer, on the other hand, strongly advocates keeping order through force. Thus, he promotes the coercive means of reward and punishment to achieve his order-keeping goals. Believe it or not, Satan’s ultimate goal is to have order. But the difference between him and God is that he thinks that all intelligent beings must be compelled, coerced, forced into good behavior through external motives such as reward and punishment. As a result, he doesn’t believe that freedom is a viable state for intelligent human beings. In his kingdom all must fall into line—like it or not—otherwise we pay a severe penalty for our misdoings. That he rules his kingdom with violence is evident by the biblical language surrounding him:
How the oppressor [LUCIFER] has ceased, the golden city ceased! The Lord has broken the staff of the wicked, the of the rulers; he who struck the people in wrath with a continual stroke. He who ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted and no one hinders (Isaiah 14:4-6, emphasis added).
Those who see you will gaze at you, and consider you, saying: ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world as a wilderness and destroyed its cities, who did not open the house of his prisoners?’ (Isaiah 14:16-17, emphasis added).
Satan is an “oppressor;” he strikes the people of his kingdom (the human race) “in wrath,” and what’s more, “with a continual stroke.” We are beaten by him—and by each other, because we too use his principle of reward and punishment in our daily lives. He rules us “in anger” because that is the nature of his law of reward and punishment. He gets furious when we don’t obey him. He makes the earth “to tremble” with his violence, he shakes kingdoms, and makes “the world as a wilderness and destroys its cities.” He keeps us prisoners inside his violent kingdom of reward and punishment. In order to understand what the term “the wrath of God” means, then we must know these things about Satan and his kingdom.
God must go through much pain when we choose Satan over Him, but what is His reaction according to the Scriptures? Does He become furious at us? Does He decide that it would be better to kill us than to allow us to worship these gods? This would indeed be an appropriate reaction for a human being who uses force to make others conform to his will. But this is not how a God of agape love reacts to our rejection of Him and His ways.
As human beings, we have one inalienable freedom: the freedom to choose between these two platforms—Good and Evil and agape love. Once we decide for one or the other, there are a whole set of consequences that come along with our choices under each respective jurisdiction. These consequences are outlined in the Book of Deuteronomy chapter twenty-eight as the blessings and the curses. The blessings are inherent to God’s kingdom, and the curses are inherent to Satan’s kingdom. The curses are “the wrath of God.” The term “the wrath of God” can only be understood when viewed within the context of these two jurisdictions.
So, the next question we ask is this: how does a God of infinite love react from heaven when we trade Him for the gods?