Re: deception in perception

From: Vernon Jenkins (
Date: Mon Jul 29 2002 - 17:31:50 EDT

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    To respond to a few of the matters raised:

    1) God is indeed sovereign. The Book of Job makes that abundantly
    clear. But it also
    reveals Satan as a real person of potentially awesome power - power
    to be exercised
    only within the constraints imposed by God. He therefore appears as a
    (Job 1:6-12, 2:1-7) and is allowed to do Job harm. This ultimately results in
    bringing great glory to God - surely the true purpose of the whole
    episode. Satan's
    natural aversion to those created in God's image is here channelled
    to accomplish
    something significant in the divine plan.

    I have heard it said that Satan functions as God's 'sheepdog'. Job's
    appear to confim this view.

    2) If, as you say, God does not lead us into temptation, what is the
    point in our
    praying, 'and lead us not into temptation'? Surely, He has the ability (and
    sometimes, sound reasons) for doing just that.

    3) Wouldn't you agree that the Lord speaks to, or of, Satan as a
    person? eg Mt.4:10,
    12:26, etc.

    4) You say (paragraph 3), "... to ascribe reality to evil in any
    form, is exactly
    what evil wants us to do ...". But whose 'evil' are you referring to
    here? Are you
    not admitting the person of Satan when you think or say this kind of thing?

    5) The 'principalities and powers' of Ephesians 6:12 may be without substance -
    which is not to say, surely, that they don't exist as spiritual
    entities of great
    power - working within the constraints imposed by God. If you believe
    in angels, you
    must surely believe in 'fallen' angels - the principalities and
    powers and their

    6) In your penultimate paragraph you appear to maintain that God's creation
    (presumably meaning ourselves and all we see around us) is
    _currently_ very good.
    Surely, the Bible tells us that this was once true - but no longer. Your claim
    flies in the face of common experience. If what you claim is correct
    then what of
    the actual state of the world? - and why the need for Incarnation, Cross and



    Stuart Kirkley responds:

    Well, sir, I could just as forcefully argue that the 'wiles' of the
    devil are actually to try and get us to believe in personified evil,
    and to regard Satan as an entity, and to also regard God as a person,
    and to further believe that these are two opposing powers which are
    eternally at war with each other. How can that be if God is
    omnipotent? If you allow that God is omnipotent, then how can an
    opposing power ever exist. If you truly understand what omnipotence
    is then how can you allow that there can be an opposing power to God
    ever. It is only temptation which holds up the illusion of an
    opposing power to our minds. This temptation is the carnal mind
    beckoning to us to believe in personified evil and in mortality with
    all it's attendant pleasures and pains, sin, disease and death. This
    is nothing more than an erroneous mental suggestion which can be
    rendered null and void by upholding the first commandment and
    declaring the truth: that God is indeed omnipotent, and t!
       His kingdom is the (only) power, and the (only) glory, forever, and
    to know that God does not lead us into temptation, but delivers us
    from evil. (Yes, that is part of the Lord's prayer).

    To think that there is personified evil and an actual entity called
    Satan is theological superstition which stems from a misinterpretaion
    of the scriptures. Jesus proved Satan to be powerless, he opposed
    evil and defeated it in all it's guises of sin, disease and death.
    The BIble declares that the last enemy to be defeated will be death.
    Did not Jesus triumphantly demonstrate his dominion over this 'last
    enemy'. Jesus said 'I am the way, the truth, and the life' He proved
    that this way, or Christ, is the truth, which, when faithfully
    declared, rebukes the temptation of the devil, or appearance of evil,
    in all it's myriad guises. The BIble further clarifies this erroneous
    suggestion to be the carnal mind, or carnal mindedness. This carnal
    mind is a bald imposition on our God given dominion over all the
    earth, and everything of it. All we need to do to defeat this
    supposed 'carnal mind' is to faithfully declare the truth ourselves,
    the truth of our own God given dominion,!
    d rebuke the offensive lie of mortality, and claim our God given
    heritage as the sons and daughters of God, as Jesus did, as joint
    heirs with CHrist.

    Again, to ascribe reality to evil in any form, is exactly what evil
    wants us to do, to make a reality of it, and especially to personify
    it. IF you believe that Osama bin Laden is truly an evil man, then
    aren't you breaking the very commandments which Christianity is based
    on, to love our enemies, and to learn how to forgive. As soon as you
    personify evil, it is very difficult to forgive. But if you
    de-personify evil, this better allows us to achieve forgiveness. IF
    we know that the misdeed, no matter how abhorrent, stems from the
    mesmerism of the carnal mind, which is not person, but merely
    erroneous mental suggestion, then we can rebuke the error with the
    truth of God's true creation, where everything is seen by Him as
    being very good, and we de-personify the evil and find we are able to
    forgive, and indeed that we are also forgiven. Did not Jesus say that
    this was the penultimate of grace, to forgive others at all times.

    You mention Ephesians 6:12. It is crucially important to this
    argument to note that the verse begins with the phrase, 'For we
    wrestle not against flesh and blood' . Is this not a clear indication
    that the war is not against anything of actual substance, and that
    the 'principalities, powers, the rulers of darkness, and spiritual
    wickedness' are without any real substance, but are mental
    suggestions. Evil can only start as a mental suggestion, or
    temptation, the lure of the carnal mind. If Osama, or Hitler, etc.
    had been rightly guided, would they have done their terrible deeds.
    But they weren't, they listened to the lies of hatred and malice, and
    became fixated, or mesmerised, by these mental assasins, and allowed
    themselves to be governed by them, instead of by good, which is the
    way, the truth and the life, or the kingdom of God.

    Evil acts stem only from acting on the impulses of the carnal mind.
    There is no evil entity which plays with our livesand wars against
    God's righteous kingdom. Recognising that evil has no power, or that
    Satan is not any entity, is truly liberating for the mind and the
    soul. Seeing that evil is nothing more than an erroneous mental
    suggestion, which can be rebuked by the truth, brings all the power
    of truth to bear on the situation, and no lie can withstand the
    faithful application of the truth. This is demonstrable at any time,
    for the truth is always readily available. Did not our master say
    that 'ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free'.
    Personified evil is not the truth, it is a lie, and the father of it,
    and the sooner you rebuke the lie with the truth of God's ever
    present and wholly good creation, as founded in Genesis 1, then the
    sooner you will experience that freedom which Jesus spoke of, and
    discover the 'peace which passeth all understanding. Th!
    is the benefit of forgiveness which Jesus refers to in Matt 6:14, 15.
    YOu will never be able to forgive as long as you believe in
    personified evil. This is the entire thrust of the sermon on the
    mount. It is always good to read that blessed sermon and be refreshed
    with the understanding of meekness before our Lord, the God of Truth
    and Love.

    YOu warn against thinking that Satan is not a personal entity. You
    probaly believe that my position is a position of being gullible and
    slackminded. NOthing could be further than the truth. It is even more
    important that Christians, and all right thinking individuals,
    realise the error of believing in personified evil. This is a
    dangerous mesmeric suggestion which leads us away from the truth of
    being, the truth wherein God sees all HIs creation, and it is very
    good. Remember that this is GOd's kingdom, and in it He sees all,
    for HE is omniscient, and omnipresent. THe BIble declares that He is
    of purer eyes than to behold evil. GOd sees all his creation, and
    behold, it is very good. WHat is it you are seeing? Are you seeing
    GOd's creation, are you allowing God's creation to be seen. IT is
    ever present, and eternal, and real, and there is nothing evil or
    corrupt in it at all. THis is what the spiritual understanding of
    Revelation reveals, where all evil is cast out of hea!
    , or the consciousness of eternal harmony, and the rule of GOd reigns
    supreme and eternal, from Alpha to Omega. There is no evil there and
    all tears are wiped away. THis is a present possibility, not some
    mystical supernatural event.THe way to achieve this state of harmony
    is to follow CHrist, or Truth, and to uphold the commandments,
    beginning with the first, in which we have no other Gods before me
    (Truth), especially the idea of anything evil in His creation. If you
    believe in a personal devil, then you are making an idol, or another
    god, which is clearly a violation of this first, and most important,

    I know that this may be a bit of a leap from traditional scholastic
    theology, and I could expound upon this a great deal further, but I
    will allow you to try to refute my argument first. My argument is
    not with you, but with what I perceive to be an erroneous
    interpretation of scripture, which has hindered the true, practical
    application of scriptural truths for centuries. IT is the crux of the
    debate of the nature of good and evil, and it will not stand the test
    of scientific inquiry. For me, this issue is crucial to an
    enlightened understanding of Christianity and of reality itself, so
    if you want to have a constructive and objective debate about this, I
    am more than glad to engage you.

    Stuart Kirkley

    On Fri, 26 Jul 2002 15:29:18
       Vernon Jenkins wrote:

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