CONTROVERSY


Free Masonry has a high regard for the law and the Great Architect. An over-arching sense of order and creative power can be admired. But this not necessarily God. Throughout the ages humans have projected ‘god-qualities’ onto things like hippos and crocodiles, rivers and rocks. Law consciousness has its origin in the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and has seeded itself into paganism and quasi-Christianity. But God calls this Adamic life the regime of the law of sin and death. He reveals God to us in His Son.

The ‘law’ and legalism and with it an obsession with what we might call sin consciousness can lead to falsehoods concerning God and ourselves. Not only does it make God and us less than we are. With its dualistic flavour, it makes Satan much more than he is. Dualism is the belief in two supreme opposed powers or gods, or sets of divine or demonic beings, that caused the world to exist. Dualism has ancient roots in Zoroastrianism and is related to Gnosticism with its heresy of the lesser christ. This lesser christ has surfaced in places in combination with an only slightly less than equal devil. Since Christ is our life and the Source of the new creation, it is not surprising that there would arise cunningly devised fables intended to minimise the Christ and undo the cross.

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POWER TO MANIPULATE GOD

Jeff Turner highlights the implications of these ‘veils’ in His book,
Saints in the Arms of a Happy God. He writes,

"Allow me to ask a question: if something, in this case, sin, has the power to change God, would it not stand to reason that this "something" must also be a God? And would not this God, by necessity, need to be at least the equal of the God that it was able to change? To take it a step further, if one God has the power to change another God, it would actually stand to reason that, beyond being His equal, the one with the ability to change the other would be the greater of the two. If this be true, then sin would not only be a God (yes, with a capitol "G"), but a God greater than man's creator!”

Turner’s topic is sin in this instance. But what he writes is equally applicable to a scenario where God is manipulated, engaged and absorbed in responding to the antics, strategies and schemes of the Evil One. But God was not taken by surprise by the fall. It was planned for. And since God is outside of time Christ had been slain from before the foundation of the world. So the trinity is not dancing to anyone else’s tune.

If it is Satan who is choreographing the play and leading the dance then He is manipulating God. The absurdity of this proposition should alert us to the speciousness of the theologies of dualism and the claims of
other gospels.

‘You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world’ 1 John 4.4 NIV.

God says, ‘He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world.’ God was always greater than Satan.

Firstly Satan was not God.

Secondly Satan was cast out of heaven.

Thirdly Satan was defeated at the cross and man’s stolen authority restored.

Fourthly all things including Satan are under Jesus’ feet which means they are under our feet.

Fifthly, God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit - are the perfecti0n of life in themselves as well as being the hub of the universe. They are beholden to no-one, much less intimidated by anyone. They hold the agenda for the life and well-being of the universe. They are instrumental in revealing the mysterious plan conceived before the foundation of the earth. They empower this plan of the Kingdom that is put it into effect through the sons and daughters of God. You can reign over circumstances because of the supremacy of Christ. The battle has been won.

‘The Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world’ Rev 13.8 NIV.

‘When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters, I didn't use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God's secret plan’ 1 Cor 2.1 NLT.

‘And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ--everything in heaven and on earth’ Eph 1.10 NIV.

If the law is not the chief issue of the universe, then neither is sin, the spoiling actions of Satan and the power of the Enemy. The issue is Father’s love, the sons of God and the Spirit of Sonship in them and the restoration of the earth to glory. Narcissism means ‘it’s all about me.’ An ugly example of this can be seen right now in U.S. politics. This is the implication of the book, The Great Controversy between Christ and Satan. The notion of a great controversy between Christ and Satan comes not from heaven but from the pit. The supremacy of Jesus and the restored authority of the sons and daughters of God is front and centre.

‘And the same one who descended is the one who ascended higher than all the heavens, so that he might fill the entire universe with himself
Eph 4.10 NIV.

The issue of temporal and eternal life is the relentless spread of the supremacy of Christ and His brothers and sisters. The issue of the cosmos is the supremacy of Christ and the re-establishment of the sovereignty of the sons of God. It has nothing to do with ‘Can the law of God be obeyed? This is a red herring. The issue is the revelation of Father’s love and who we are as sons. ‘Father is love and I am loved by our Father.’ The answer to the question, ‘What is Father’s real nature?’ is found in the person of Jesus, His ministry and accomplishments for all. As Paul said the answer is ‘yes’ in Christ.

‘For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us--by me and Silas and Timothy--was not "Yes" and "No," but in him it has always been "Yes"’2 Cor 1.19 NIV.

The supremacy of Christ, the integrity of our Father and the reality of our sonship are the key issues of the ages. While the fall is real and sin is degrading in its effects, the issues are the unquenchable love of God, life in His person, love and freedom flowing from Him and the ability to be ourselves. Both the artifice of law and the degrading power of sin have resulted from the fall and the knowledge of good and evil. But the love of God is greater than the fall, the life of God far greater than sin and the glory of man so superior to law-keeping. This glory is that we each are the manifestation of our Father.

What we believe becomes the reality we live in – which is why we need sound doctrine rather than the illusory teaching of cults.

The supposition that the world is under law and not in the Spirit of Christ, implies that sin is the key issue and that Satan’s authority, far from being undone and made naught is very much alive. This conceit implies that the Enemy is able to engage God’s attention, drain His resources, and carry out frontal attacks and guerrilla war against His Kingdom in a manner that would suggest that he is far from defeated. Not defeated and equal to God – well almost. The notion of a great controversy between Christ and Satan is the effect of a colossal ego, a lie and the attempt to neutralise the vicarious humanity of Jesus and the fact that all things are under His feet.

‘But what does Scripture say? "Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman's son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman's son’ Gal 4.30 NIV.

The slave woman can be a figurative entity and can be a real person with influence over Believers The truth is that there is no great controversy between Christ and Satan. Never was and never will be. Father is infinite, Satan is not great, Jesus is supreme and God in all His fullness. In any case Satan was defeated absolutely at the cross. Any battle that arises comes not because we will not throw the ring that binds into the fires of Mt Doom. Satan can impede us when we continue to live in the regime of Adam, the law and the old covenant instead of living in what is ours: Christ our life. We have a new covenant life. This is called Christ our life.