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printer friendly God's Little Joke go back

As I stand outside of the Bible and become able to see the Bible in its entirety, all at once I begin to realize a strange little truth. Seems to me that God has known this bitter truth from day one. Assuming the Bible is a literal series of eternal truths, it is easy to see that God got off the first shot in Genesis and it is God who gets the last laugh now. As I scope the time-line of the Bible, I can see that most people get tripped up at the very first note. My sense of the situation is that only God knows the game we all have to play. Not only does God set up the game; God makes all the rules. God knows all the players and God knows how the game must be played in order to win.

Instead of realizing who held all the cards, Adam and Eve sought to live their lives based upon their own understanding rather than obeying Godís word. On one level it could be argued that Adam and Evesí first mistake was also their last. Given the story as presented, didnít God create every element within the Garden of Eden? All the snake had to do was to appeal to Eveís vanity in order to manipulate Eve into doing something that was ultimately totally self-defeating. Adam suffered from yet another flaw: Adam could not stand-alone.

God appears to have created all of the various elements within the Garden of Eden plus God also set up the scenario by telling Adam and Eve not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge. In addition, God created the temptation (to disobey) by creating the tempter as well as the faculty to disobey (gift of free will) within Adam and Eve. Seems to me that God sets up the capacity for choice, then warns us that we do not know how to use it.

The mind boggles at what the planetary outcome would have been if Adam had said the following: "If you want to eat that apple, that is your decision. As for me, I think it is best if I do as God commanded."

When Adam and Eve got caught, both of them lied/denied responsibility for their own behavior. Their disobedience coupled with their denial engendered their own fall. One could argue that one of the principles of The Fall is that one can learn willingly or* through unremitting suffering*.

All throughout the Old Testament, Yahweh leads, protects as well as destroys Yahwehís own people. Yahwehís main point of view seems to be "If you make me your God, I will make you my people." It would appear that it was not enough for God to be God in order to restore or preserve Godís people. The people also had to believe that God was their God in order to be restored.

As one travels the path from Exodus to Revelation, at the end of the Old Testament, one is taught again and again that as long as the people obeyed Godís commandments, they flourished. But as soon as the people began to do what was "right in their own eyes" (Book of Judges) they began to become their own worst enemy. Jeremiah relates that often times God would refer to Godís own Grace as a hedge placed around Godís people. Repeatedly, God warned his people that if the people did not obey Him, that God would remove the hedge. [Grace]

Job illustrates another factor in Godís little joke with humankind. In Job, the devil has to ask God for permission to tempt Job. Jobís test reminds one of the story of Jesus Christís temptation after Jesusí baptism. The Bible states that God proclaimed that Jesus was a son in which God was well pleased. Immediately after being blessed, by God, God had The Holy Spirit lead Jesus Christ into the wilderness in order to be tempted/tested.

It is as if God gives with one hand and attempts to take away with the other. To me, evil has become nothing other than the left hand of God. Gurdjieff once stated "If you know yourself, God and the Devil are of no account". Could it be that Godís little joke is that all human beings have the capacity to actualize a broad range of behaviors? Could it be that in order to know yourself, you must realize that you contain a portion of the godhead plus a serpentine form of ego consciousness?

What objective role does evil play within the long journey from Genesis to Revelations? In Job, evil created a series of external/internal losses. Job did not loose everything because he was a failure at being a servant of God. Job suffered because Job could not see what Job had done to warrant such losses.

What role does evil play within the Bible? The most obvious role is as a form of temptation. Evil attempts to appeal to our vanity. Evil also appears as various forms of outrageous misfortunes. Evil is the form of the test. Evil is our inability to do what we know we should. Evil allows us to evade taking responsibility for ourselves. Evil is an essential part of the system. Evil can and will separate the goats from the sheep. Evil will separate the wheat from the chaff. Throughout the New Testament, what role did evil play? In Mark, we see that the demons recognized Jesus Christ first! In the New Testament, evil creates various forms of suffering, which Jesus Christ, as an agent of the good, was able to neutralize and/or transcend.

If the Bible ended before the Book of Acts and the Epistles, it might appear that evil succeeded in extinguishing the Light that Jesus Christ talked about. Yet, as the Bible illustrates so clearly, evil was just another essential element within the great equation of life. Evil is our loyal opposition, that omnipresent reality, that attempts to convince us that what we know we can do. It is evil that attempts to justify our sloth and greed. It is not only the good which can separate the bone from the marrow.

There will always be a lower, quicker, more self-centered way to behave which remains omnipresent without/within ourselves. The trick is to be able to see the positive purpose that our Holy Father Below can provide. Far too often, Ďthe goodí is too naive to be able to transcend the evils of this world. But when our lower elements willingly turn around and obey our higher aspirations, a unity is formed which, enables The Work student to become able to walk on the waters of life.

No one can enter the Kingdom of Heaven within/without befriending this apparent enemy within. Once the initiate has been able to incorporate the higher, the everyday, as well as their own lower natures into their sense of self, they have paid the price to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven Within.

At the beginning, Adam and Eve were too unconscious, too underdeveloped to withstand temptation. But once a student reaches the Book of Revelation, he has learned how to be wise as a serpent while being gentle as a lamb. Godís little joke remains that no one gets "out" in imagination. The only way to win at the game of life is to incorporate the lesser into the higher within oneís self.



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