Escape Dark Planet
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Escaping the Dark Planet

Introduction

Is a spiritual veil upon the minds of men? The vast majority have no idea as to why they are here, what their purpose should be, why we age and die, what happens after death, why humans can go to such inhuman depths of behavior to one another, why there is war, selfishness, greed, betrayal, infidelity, perversion, deception, why there is this confusing array of religions, and yet on the other hand why there is some measure of unselfishness, kindness, peacefulness and love manifested also. Human existence seems to be under a great mystery of conundrums.

This article’s purpose is to show how the veil of understanding can be lifted and a significant measure of light given to the apparent conundrums of life. For this author believes that the veil is lifted through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. When one becomes a true Christian you enter an unseen spiritual struggle whose main battleground is the mind. For once the veil is lifted off the mind, one finds oneself in the midst of a battle that has raged long between God and Satan. The Bible comes alive, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit gives understanding of the scriptures and power over the old selfish self, the love of this fallen world and Satan's schemes.

God is Spirit but Satan is spirit also, so the unseen realm is a place where many thoughts can come into your mind.

John 4 v 24 God is Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth

1 Peter 5 v 8 Be sober, be vigilent; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour

Revelation 20 v 10 And the devil that deceived them was cast  into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and forever

But first we must speak on how this spiritual veil came over the human race, how four humanly insurmountable barriers have been erected between God and man. Then we will seek to bring to light just what happened in the coming of Jesus Christ into the world, his death, and his resurrection. What was the purpose and what did the life of Jesus Christ accomplish? And most importantly how does it affect me? The purpose as we will see was to take down the four barriers that separates God from man. To offer the opportunity for each person to be restored to a right and just relationship with the God who created them. These four barriers have arisen from Adam and Eve’s disobedience at the beginning when as representatives of the human race they withdrew their submission to God and broke their spiritual relationship with God. A spiritual veil came down upon their minds and this spiritual veil has been passed down to all their descendants. Every descendant of Adam and Eve is now born spiritually dead. The four barriers have arisen as a result of that initial sin. But God, to Adam and Eve told them that a Messiah would come who would undo the barriers that has arisen between them and restore the broken relationship in a just manner.

The first barrier that was erected is God’s holy character versus my character. When Adam and Eve sinned the Holy Spirit which indwelt them departed leaving them powerless to live a holy life. Since every person descended from Adam and Eve, each one of us is born without the Holy Spirit and under our own selfish independent natures or what the Bible calls the sin nature. Understanding God’s character and then examining our character will illuminate the barrier. Let’s first look at God’s character attributes, then we’ll look at God’s Ten Commandments which are a measuring stick to compare ourselves to God’s character.

God describes himself as sovereign. He created everything by an act of his will and has determined physical laws and moral laws and the consequences of violation of each of them. He has a purpose for his creation, he allowed man to have free will, and he allowed the fall of man into spiritual and physical death. He has decreed that his creation will be restored to sinless perfection. In the Bible he has laid out this plan in advance and has guaranteed that it will come to pass. No other religious book predicts the future in advance with 100% accuracy like the Bible does. God declares his ability to predict the future and bring it to pass in Isaiah 46 v 9, 10, "Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me. Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure. Read Revelation chapters 19-21 for the end of the human story.

God describes himself as morally perfect or the Biblical term commonly used is "righteous". This means he can never do anything morally wrong or would cause or influence man to do anything morally wrong. He is the standard to determine what is right or wrong.

Psalm 116 v 5 Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful

James 1 v 13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

James 1 v 14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

James 1 v 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

God describes himself as just. He is the perfect judge that never makes a mistake because he did not know something. He judges based on full knowledge and according to his moral character.

Proverbs 15 v 5 The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good

Revelation 15 v 3 ...Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints

God is love. He loves all people and desires all to be reconciled to him. He always has the best interests of his creation in mind and is not selfish i.e. pretending to be loving to get something. However he cannot violate his justice at the expense of his character of love.

I wanted also to say that the real meaning of love is not the lust of a sexual act that the world portrays as "love". Real love in that area of behavior means you would court that person and seek a marriage relationship and leave the sexual part out until after the marriage. You would seek advice and counselors as to whether as a couple you were a good match.

1 John 4 v 8-10

v 8 He that loveth not, knoweth not God for God is love.

v 9 In this was manifested (revealed) the love of God towards us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

v 10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation (made full payment in God's courtroom) for our sins.

God is eternal. He has always existed and always will exist. He has an infinite life. He existed before he created space, time and matter.

Deuteronomy 33 v 27 The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms...

1 Timothy 1 v 17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen

Revelation 1 v 8 (Jesus speaking) I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty (Alpha and Omega means without beginning and without ending)

God describes himself as omniscient. God knows everything. He knows every thought and deed of every person and created spirit who ever existed. He has perfect knowledge of the past, present and the future. Nothing can take him by surprise.

Psalm 139 v 12 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee

Psalm 44 v 21 Shall not God search this out? For he knoweth the secrets of the heart.

Hebrews 4 v 13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

God describes himself as omnipresent. God is present everywhere at once because he is spirit but yet personal with a mind, will, and emotions.

Psalm 139 v 7-10

v7 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence?

v8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

v9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;

v10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

God describes himself as omnipotent. He is all-powerful, holding the stars in place by the span of his hand. The nations are as a drop of water in a bucket to him. His power sustains the material universe except for the slow decay that has been allowed due to sin. (See Isaiah 40) He has allowed Satan to establish a temporary kingdom of darkness on earth for a short period of time but this will be ended in the near future.

Revelation 19 v 6 ...Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth

God describes himself as immutable. God never changes his moral character and laws; he never bends the rules for someone, he never goes back on his word as found in the Bible. What he says will come to pass.

Malachi 3 v 6 For I am the LORD, I change not

Hebrews 13 v 8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever.

God describes himself as absolute truth. Any thought or deed that is contrary to his character or what he has said in the Bible is untrue and sinful. God's description of this fallen world is absolutely true, traditions of men which speak differently are a lie. God told the writers of the scriptures exactly what to write. The words of the Bible in Hebrew for the Old Testament and in Greek for the New Testament are pure and true and exactly what God wanted to communicate. The King James bible is translated from pure manuscripts as opposed to modern translations.

2 Timothy 2 v 15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Psalm 12 v 6 The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified 7 times

The measuring stick that God has given to reveal our shortfall of character and behavior is the Ten Commandments. Would any of us say that we measure up to the perfect moral character of God as laid out by the Ten Commandments? Let’s look at a few. They are found in Exodus chapter 20. Consider this commandment, "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD in vain; for the LORD not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain". How many of us have used the Lord Jesus Christ’s name as a curse word or combined with a string of curse words when circumstances cross us. I know I have many times.

Consider this commandment, "Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee." How many of us have rebelled against our parents authority, in fact against most people in authority and scoffed at their counsel and admonishments." I know I have many times.

Consider this commandment, "Thou shalt not kill (murder)". Did you know that just to be angry without a just cause is considered murder by God? And believe me what you might consider a just cause is probably not. So just your thought life can make you guilty of this commandment. What do you think God would call the murder of unborn babies? The most defence less people on the planet are dispatched by trained medical people whose conscience must be seared. Just to get rid of the alleged problem caused by sexual immorality. Is this a repeat of past history? Well, yes, they used to sacrifice children to the Baal god Molech. Other cultures such as the Incas have also degenerated to this sad depth before being judged rightly by God.

Consider this commandment, "Thou shalt not commit adultery". This commandment can also be expanded to include all forms of sexual activity outside of a married man and woman. God also calls just looking on a woman and lusting after her body without even physically doing anything as a sexual sin. Do you think the pornography industry and those who buy, participate and look on these things fall short of God’s character? Have any of us not fallen short in the sexual area many times? I know I have fallen short in more ways than one.

Consider this commandment, "Thou shalt not steal". Can any of us say we have never even once stolen anything from a store, a person, or an employer. I know I can’t. Consider this commandment, "Thou shalt not lie". Have you ever told a lie? Come on be honest, or I’ll call you a liar for saying you have never told one!

Galations chapter 5 v 19-21 gives a good description of our character, we read, "Now the works of the flesh (our sinful independent nature) are manifest (clearly seen), which are these; adultery, fornication (sex outside of a married man and woman), uncleanness (our unacceptableness to God because of our moral failures), lasciviousness (sexual excess or indulgence without a care what others think), idolatry (putting religion, career, success, our own goals, fame, power, and fortune ahead of the one true God), witchcraft (occult practices and drug use, see Deuteronomy ch 18), hatred (wrong inner attitudes such as hatred of Jewish people), emulations (jealous and malicious behavior), wrath, strife (seeking to provoke and prolong contentious issues, looking just to win the argument), seditions ( rebellion against parents, police etc.), heresies (holding false ideas and teachings about God), envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings (living to party, self seeking pleasure) and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have told you in time past, that they which do such things (practice these as a general lifestyle) shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Well, if we are honest, all of us have fallen very short of God’s character. This barrier between our character and God’s character has resulted in the penalty of spiritual and physical death as a consequence. God says the soul that sinneth shall surely die. God’s purpose in showing us our character compared to his is not to load us down with a bunch of rules and regulations for us to chaff and fail at, but to show us our need for the Lord Jesus Christ and the new life he can bring to the inward heart. We read in Galations 3 v 24 "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith". There is a very real barrier of character between God and each one of us.

However a remedy to remove this barrier has been accomplished in the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus lived a perfect righteous life as a human being. In 2 Corinthians 5 v 21, we read, "For he (God the Father) hath made him (God the son) to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." We can have the perfect moral life of Christ given to our account and remove this barrier but first let’s continue on with the other three barriers.

Barrier number two is called our "debt or penalty of sin". We need to enter into God’s courtroom to better understand this barrier. God is both 100% just and 100% loving. But he cannot override his "just" character at the expense of his "loving" character. God has to do things in such a way that he can be both just and loving at the same time. In God’s courtroom when a law is broken a penalty is assessed and must be paid. In God’s courtroom the penalty for breaking his laws is spiritual and physical death and eternal separation from his loving presence. This penalty that is due to me is called my "debt of sin". In Roman times when you broke Caesar’s laws and the penalty was a prison sentence they made up list of your crimes called a "Certificate of Debt". This they nailed to your prison door so people could see your crimes and the length of your penalty. When the time had expired the prisoner was freed and on the Certificate of Debt it was stamped "Paid in Full". This person could never be imprisoned again for those same crimes because he could show his Certificate of Debt which had "Paid in Full" indicated on it. Each person who has ever lived has incurred a "Certificate of Debt" in God’s courtroom by failing to keep his laws in thought, word and deed. The penalty decreed is death and eternal separation from God. The penalty has to be paid by each one of us or by someone qualified to take our place. See Ephesians 2 v 14-16. The question becomes, how can God be just and yet loving and merciful at the same time? The barriers are looking pretty insurmountable but there are yet two more.

Barrier number three is called our "Slavery to Satan and Sin". Satan is an angel created by God who led a third of the angels in rebellion against God’s authority. Satan was the first self-willed being, the self-willed part is an important concept, keep that in mind. Satan’s character is described as being self-willed, a liar, a murderer, a deceiver, a flatterer, a promoter of false ideas against God’s word, a promoter of false religions and ways to God, a promoter of humans to engage in sins of all kinds and on and on. As one person has said "Satan has a trip for everyone." If you don’t really like the grossly sinful lifestyle, he has a respectable false religion you can join or perhaps the cloak of a respectable atheistic scientist would be more to your liking. Just relax and enjoy the journey is Satan’s motto. And because Satan and his demons also covet the place of the true God they come to your mind pretending to be God or the Holy Spirit or a spirit guide or an ascended master or as your inner self. But their purpose is to deceive, lead astray and give you a counterfeit spiritual experience. An experience that is contrary to the way God has laid out for us to approach him.

But are we really in "slavery to Satan"? This sounds pretty extreme, aren’t we all part of the brotherhood of man? I know this is going to rile some feathers but let me explain and look at some scriptures. First off, yes, we were all created by God and in that sense we are the same but the scriptures do not indicate that God is our spiritual father. The scriptures indicate that there are two spiritual fathers, God and Satan. In Genesis 1 v 28 God gave Adam and Eve legal dominion over the earth and every living thing upon it and they were directed to care for it. However in a legal sense when Satan tempted Adam and Eve to sin and they bit he gained legal control over the human race. At this point the human race descended into the same dark spiritual realm that Satan reigns over. A realm which is separated from God by sin and disobedience. The beginning of the age of the Dark Planet. We see this in Matthew 4 v 8-10 "Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things I will give unto thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve". Jesus did not dispute Satan’s claim of control. In Acts 26 v 18 it reads, "To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power (or dominion) of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins… Colossians 1 v 13 reads, "Who hath delivered us from the power (or dominion) of darkness (Satan), and hath translated (adopted) us into the kingdom (family) of his dear son." 1 John 5 v 19 reads, And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness (in the power of Satan)." 2 Corinthians 4 v 4 reads, "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." These verses indicate that the whole human race is in the kingdom of Satan and subject to his dominion and power. Jesus did not correct Satan when he offered to give him the kingdoms of this world for worship. And Colossians 1 v 13 indicates that when we come to Christ we are "transferred out of the kingdom of Satan and into the family of God." Now it must be said that Satan does not have absolute power over this world and the human race nor does he own the physical world. God has the ultimate sovereignty as we see in the book of Job. With Job, God limited the testing that Satan could do, however Satan was allowed to take lives, bring disease, and destructive weather. We do read in Romans chapter 1 that when man rejects God’s light he gives them over to their lusts and I’m sure that entails Satan using his power to influence even more depths of sin. We would also say that Satan and his demons can only be one place at a time while God the Holy Spirit is present everywhere seeking to convict each person of their sinfulness and the need to be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. Depending on how a city, tribe, ethnic group or nation responds to the Spirit’s conviction determines the degree of freedom or bondage from sin and Satan. History is strewn with the wreckage of nations and tribes who resisted the Spirit of God and were given over to their desires for sin and to be further deceived by Satan. The last stages generally reflect a total absence of moral discernment and hearts hardened by practicing sin. Our generation reflects this with the murder of the unborn, sexual deviantcy arising with no shame, false religions, sexual immorality of all kinds, the exclusion of the Bible from education and media, drug use, occultic practices, lusting through extensive pornography, and on and on downward it goes until God moves in judgment. One might think Satan is working overtime in our generation as you look around.

Romans 7 v 14 reads, "For we know that the law (God’s commandments) are spiritual (right): but I am carnal sold (into slavery) under sin." Romans 8 v 7 reads, Because the carnal mind is enmity (a state of rebellion) against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." These two verses describes the whole human race as in a spiritual state of rebellion (active and passive) against God and combined with the other verses mentioned above, under a confederate kingdom, with Satan as the head of this world kingdom. An episode with Jesus and the Pharisees of his day will bring the fatherhood of Satan to a head. The Pharisees were the religious leaders of Israel and if anyone in Israel had God as their Father these appeared to be sure bets. Let’s read the dialogue in John 8 v 39-44, "They (the Pharisees) answered and said unto him (Jesus), Abraham is our father (Abraham was called the friend of God and started the nation of Israel). Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I heard of God: this did not Abraham. Ye do the deeds of your father. Then they said unto him, we be not born of fornication (slanders the Lord’s virgin birth); we have one Father, even God. Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? Even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own (inner nature): for he is a liar, and the father of it."

Wow, here we have probably the best people on outward appearance that could be produced and Jesus says that their father is the devil! God puts human character and Satan’s character in the same boat. Separated from him, self-willed, rebellious inner state of mind, and manifesting slavery to various sins and lusts.

We read on Ephesians 2 v 2 "Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience." Is the "spirit of disobedience" working in your life?

God describes the world as a dark miserable human slave market with Satan as its taskmaster and the whole human race having been sold into slavery or bondage both to sin and Satan. The Bible describes it this way and Satan does all he can to obscure and cloud this awful state and keep this knowledge from lodging into the minds of men. Have you ever wondered why there is this conspiracy of silence in the media, the schools, and among men themselves as to God and the Bible? Mindless entertainment and empty things are substituted to keep the masses busy. In Western culture Satan has disguised himself as a myth or a fairy tale from an outdated book yet what better ruse to then work undetected in the minds of people. You see my friend; not every thought you have is your own. Who can break the power of sin and Satan and set the prisoners free?

The fourth barrier is spiritual death. Let’s go back to Adam and Eve in the garden. I am assuming you have heard of the basic account, if not it is found in Genesis chapters 2 and 3. Have you ever wondered how they could be naked and walk around the garden in perfect peace and in perfect friendship with God? If everybody in your town doffed the clothes it would not make for a peaceful nor pretty sight. A lot of people would be embarrassed and ashamed at the sight, a lot of people would be lusting in their minds about this naked person and that one. And frankly a lot of us would be saying, "Oh no, you would be much better with your clothes on, because what I see is hard on my eyes!" So, what happened to Adam and Eve? They were given one prohibition in the perfect world God had created, one test of loyalty and obedience you might say. Let’s read about the one commandment in Genesis 2 v 17,18 "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Now let’s read about the failure of Adam and Eve. It’s found in Genesis 3 v 1-7, Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God hath made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die (calling God a liar): For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil (Satan insinuates that God is really withholding this special blessing). And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons."

A change had happened but what did it entail. Physical death followed as it has to the entire human race but there was also a spiritual death caused by Adam and Eve’s sin. You see Adam and Eve were created with the Spirit of God dwelling in their hearts and what is called the "Shekinah Glory" around them. The Shekinah Glory is the strong and unique presence of God. It has the aspect of being "clothed in radiant light". When Moses spent 40 days on the mountain receiving the 10 commandments written on stone his face shone with light when he came down to the people. Let's read Ezekiel 34 v 28,29 "And he (Moses) was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments. And it came to pass, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses’ hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist (knew) not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with them." In Matthew 17 v 1,2 we see Jesus reveal just a glimpse of his glory state, it reads, "And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment (clothes) was white as light." Israel, when they had their temple had the special Glory of God dwelling in the inner temple part called the Holy of Holies. We can read in Ezekiel chapters 9 and 10 that when Israel sinned greatly the "Glory of God" departed from the temple as part of the judgement to come upon Israel for her sins. You see, sin separates us from God and when Adam and Eve sinned they separated themselves from God. The Holy Spirit indwelling them had to withdraw and God’s special presence around them also departed. We then find that every human being born thereafter is born dead spiritually with the same broken relationship with God. Every descendent of Adam is born with what God calls the sin nature (also known as the sinful independent nature), and physically destined for the grave. The term is called "born in Adam". We read in 1 Corinthians 15 v 21,22, " For since by man (Adam) came death, by man (Jesus) came also the resurrection of the dead. For as "in Adam" all die, even so "in Christ" shall all be made alive."

Well, if you’ve made it this far I know the picture is not a pretty one. I know also that the history of the human race does reflect the sinful independent nature as the wills of little gods collide. The history of man also seems to reflect a spiritual adversary who the Bible calls Satan and the god of this world. The depths of inhumanity that litter the history books point to a special demonic energizer of these events.

Surmounting the Insurmountable

Well, the barriers do look impossible don’t they. It really puts an end to trying to be a good person and hoping God okays it at the end. And did you know that is exactly what God wants. He wants you and I to know that it is impossible to humanly remove these barriers. He doesn’t want you on the futile treadmill of good works as a way to remove the barriers between Him and yourself. That is impossible. Yet, one of Satan’s biggest lies is that you can surmount these barriers by your own good works type religion. And you can see how popular this idea is amongst the religions of this world. It sidesteps the depravity of man and our foolish pride and arrogantly offers up the fruit of our hands on the altar of God just as Cain did. It sidesteps the need for a blood sacrifice to pay for our sins as righteous Abel recognized. Let’s view the "by my good works I will get into heaven" idea by entering into both an earthly and heavenly courtroom. Suppose you were caught speeding with your car and came before the judge. And your defense before him is, "well I have been good for the past month and haven’t driven my car over the speed limit even once". Will the judge let you go free because you obeyed the law for the past month? Of course not! You are before him for the law that you did break and a penalty must be paid. You are before the judge strictly for the law that you have broken. The fact that you did not speed for the past month has absolutely no bearing in a human courtroom. And no human judge would be fooled by such an argument. Do you suppose you would be successful in God’s heavenly courtroom with the same reasoning? Do you think that in God’s heavenly courtroom you will be able to say, "well hopefully my good works will outweigh my bad". No, you will be declared guilty and assessed penalty strictly for the laws you broke regardless of the ones you kept. That is unless you have an advocate.

Now that we’ve digested the bad news, I want to bring the good news. Jesus in his life, death and resurrection has removed the barriers, at great cost to him and because of his great love for you. The King and Creator of the universe lowered himself down to our level to deal with the penalty for sin! Do you think that was not a gigantic step down for Him? Do you not think it was an amazing step of love for you and for me. Think about it, the creator veiled in human flesh, came to earth on a mission of deliverance. The being that had stretched out the heavens and created an amazingly complex world of living creatures through His DNA programming was live and in person in Israel. But as prophesied He would be rejected by His own tribe and most of the Gentiles also. But through that rejection the door for forgiveness was permanently and eternally swung open. Oh the wisdom of God! The love of God for you and for me!

Let's look at how Jesus has removed those barriers and also speak on the cost for you to become a follower of Him.

Who would be qualified to remove these barriers? Well, it can be said that since all humans are guilty before God no human could pay the penalty of sin for others for each is already guilty in God’s courtroom themselves. It would take someone who was truly human and yet not guilty of sin. And since the penalty was death, it would take someone who could overcome death and not be held in the grave. It would seem to call for a perfect human with an infinite life. It would lead us to a need for someone who was both human and God at the same time. And we do have testimony that Jesus was sinless, claimed to be God, accepted worship, forgave people’s sins and resurrected from the dead. Let’s read just a few scriptures of many, 1 Timothy 3 v 16 "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest (seen) in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory." Matthew 1 v 23, "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us." John 10 v 30-33 (Jesus speaking in v 30) "I and my Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, for a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God." Matthew 8 v 2,3, "And behold there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed." Mark 2 v 5-7, 10, "When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. But there were certain of the scribes there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why doth this man speak blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God only? V10 Jesus speaks to the scribes, "But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins."" The Jewish leaders and the Romans could have easily quashed the resurrection claim by producing a body. But it would not be easy to get over 500 people to lie that they had personally seen him after his resurrection especially when it would bring more persecution for you from Jewish leaders and the Romans. Yet we read in 1 Corinthians 15 v 3-6, "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas (Peter), then of the twelve (Apostles): After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some have fallen asleep (died)." Jesus was God’s barrier breaker. Did you know that it only takes 2 or 3 independent witnesses in a courtroom to attest to an event being true?

The first barrier was removed when Jesus as a human being lived a perfect sinless life. His life as a human was equal to God’s character because he was divine, the second person of the Trinity. Though tempted and attacked in many ways he responded without sin. We read in 2 Corinthians 5 v21, "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." The perfect moral life of Jesus made him acceptable to pay the penalty for sin. We will see later that we may receive his perfect righteousness put to our account.

And finally Roman 3 v 22 which speaks of Abraham coming to God in faith, "And therefore it was imputed (put to his credit) to him (Abraham) for righteousness. But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead."

The second barrier brings us into God’s courtroom where the legal debt of sin stood against you and I. Jesus when he died on the cross "paid in full" the debt of sin for every human who would ever live. God’s just character was fully satisfied with the payment made by Jesus for the whole human race. Jesus stood in my place in God’s courtroom and took the penalty due me upon himself. There are two terms God uses to describe this payment by Jesus for our sins. The words used are propitiation and justification. To understand their meaning will bring spiritual freedom to your mind. For propitiation let’s read a couple of verses. In 1 John 2 v 2 we read, "And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." And in 1 John 4 v 10 we read, "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." The word propitiation means that the payment that Jesus made on the cross fully satisfied the penalty in God’s courtroom. And also, the payment was large enough and infinite enough to pay for the sins of every human being that would ever live! God as the Judge in the courtroom of the universe looked upon the shed blood of Jesus on the cross and declared that the penalty for sin had been fully and completely paid for all eternity. There was no need to add anything to it. Reading Hebrews 10 v 12,14 "But this man (Jesus), after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified." Jesus fully satisfied the debt of sin that was against me and God can put that payment to my account when I come to him through his Son. The stamp reads "Paid in Full".

The other side of this coin is called "justification" and relates to how I can have my sins declared "Paid in Full" and receive a pardon from God. Let’s read Romans 4 v 25, 5 v 1, and Galations 3 v 11, "Who was delivered for our offences (sins), and was raised for our justification. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, the just shall live by faith." In God’s courtroom we can be acquitted and pardoned on the basis of the penalty paid. God can legally justify setting me free as my penalty was paid by another. But for a pardon to be received the guilty party must confess his guilt and be willing to take the pardon with the term attached. The term attached is the word "repentance". More will be said in a moment on that.

The third and fourth barriers are covered by the word "redeemed or redemption". The word redeemed has the concept of freeing a person from the slave market by paying the required ransom to secure that freedom.

Ever since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, the human race has been enveloped in a cloud of spiritual darkness. Man is both in slavery to the power of his sin nature inside and will bow to the god of this world as soon as it is demanded. Only the restraining power of the Holy Spirit present in this world has kept things from descending into total rottenness. In the time before Noah’s flood the human race had so resisted the Spirit of God that the time arrived for judgement. I keep thinking of a song written by a worldly writer called, "It’s a Wonderful World". Have you heard that one? Check out the lyrics sometime. It is so delusional and far from reality and yet the world calls it a hit song! God’s word describes a scene that would be better called "The Dark Planet". A planet in the swirling throes of death and sin, humans under a dark delusion in their minds, in slavery to the power of the sin nature in their hearts. And with the whole scene overshadowed by an organized group of demonic spirits casting a spell of blindness upon the whole human race. Reading John chapter 3 v 19, "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, lest his deeds should be reproved (exposed)." It is into this darkness that the piercing light of Jesus Christ entered on a mission to light the way back to the true God for all who would come. It is from this true reality that the word "redemption" finds its meaning. For only through Jesus Christ can one be freed from the power of Satan and the power of the sinful nature. The word redemption has as its main meaning "to be set free by payment of a ransom". The whole human race is in bondage to sin and Satan, a virtual slave planet with a Slave Master. Jesus entered the Dark Planet and made the ransom payment required, his shed blood on the cross. That ransom payment will deliver a person from the slave market of the Dark Planet and will break the power of sin and Satan. We read in 1 Peter 1 v 18,19 " Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed (bought or purchased) with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation (behaviour) received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ (ransom payment) as of a lamb without spot or blemish (sinless)." Also, John 8 v 34-36, "Jesus answered them, Verily, verily I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant (slave) of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house forever: but the Son abideth forever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." And finally, " He that committeth (practices) sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose was the Son of God manifested (came to the Dark Planet), that he might destroy the works (power) of the devil."

Counting the cost and Receiving the Pardon

Before I lay out the way to escape the Dark Planet, you must carefully consider the cost. In order to escape it will mean the surrender of the throne of your will. The term used in the scriptures is "repent or coming to repentance". Many have watered down the meaning of repentance to where it just means that you change your mind about sin and the direction of your life. But I say this falls crucially short of its real meaning. If Romans 6 v 11-13 clearly teaches you must daily yield your will to the Holy Spirit in order to walk in the Spirit surely repentance must involve the surrender of the throne of the will to Jesus at salvation. Surely it cannot mean you just grab the "free gift" and continue on down the same self-willed road. Surely God cannot save a rebel who fully intends to continue to run their own lives but with a cloak of Christianity on? Or does God give you the free gift of salvation like a Christmas present but them turns around and says, surprise, you have to surrender the throne of your will daily to actually live the Christian life! Doesn't the heart need be exercised before real repentance takes place?

I like the definition of repentance given by a 17th century Puritan named Thomas Watson. He described true repentance as having 6 characteristics as follows. The recognition of sin, the Godly sorrow for sin (having recognized ones sin as an offense to God and leading others astray), being ashamed of sin, confession of sin, forsaking of sin, and finally hatred of sin and not wanting to practice it anymore. Thomas Watson concluded that true repentance and faith in the finished work of Christ were two wings that carried us to the Savior. Isn't modern evangelism missing a wing?

You see, one must be firmly convinced that they are a lost sinner on the way to perdition. One must come to the realization that their sin and character is not unlike those attributed to the devil himself. Yes, the gift of salvation was paid by another and is free in one sense but it is not given without real repentance. So I am constrained to conclude that if there is no heartfelt surrender then Jesus cannot deliver you from the Dark Planet. He is unable to provide deliverance if he sees that you just want fire escape insurance but not his will for your life. If you don’t see yourself to be quite as sinful as the scriptures say but have some self confidence in your own righteousness then he cannot deliver you. If you hold to the idea that you in some way can gain merit with God with your religious observances and performance then he cannot deliver you. He can only deliver when you see yourself as a slave to sin on your way to perdition. Some scripture to read, Matthew 3 v 1,2,5-8, "In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of God is at hand. Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region around Jordan. And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees (the rituals and good works crowd) come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance." Also Luke 13 v 3, Jesus speaking, "I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." And Acts 3 v 19, "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord." You see the gospel message that Paul preached is summed up in Acts 20 v 21, "Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance towards God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." The repentance part is seeing your spiritual condition as God sees it with the subsequent willingness to abdicate the throne of your life. How would you say that you have done enthroned and running your own life? How well do you see others handling it? I like these insightful lyrics from a song called "Let Go, Let God" by a Christian band called Hokus Pick.

 

This is the kingdom of my heart

No longer bright, It’s cold and dark

The carpet is not royal red

It’s soiled by the thoughts of my own head

I know that I’ve been a fool

For what I’ve done and how I’ve ruled

I tried to make this all my own

Forgetting that this is your throne

Here are the keys

To a kingdom grim and ghastly

I give to you all my estate

You are the King – I abdicate!

The faith part is trusting and believing that Jesus died to pay the penalty for your sins. They are the two sides of the salvation coin. You can’t have one without the other. However many have watered down the message by excluding sin and repentance in their message and have filled churches with false converts. If you read about the last church of the church age called Laodicea you will see the fruit of easy believism. The description of this church is in Revelation 3 v 14-22. Here we find Jesus in large measure asking most of these people to let him into their hearts so he can bring them salvation.

If you are willing to this point you must also understand that it could instantly cost you your life. In some cultures it is a death sentence for changing your religion. But think about it for a minute. Any religion, which has to hold its members by fear and intimidation, couldn’t possibly be true. It looks more like a tactic the god of this world might use. Do you think the true God tries to hold you with fear, intimidation and threatening to kill you if you leave? No, he reaches out with nail scarred hands and says let me rescue you. You must also consider that family, friends and relatives may reject and persecute you. In Western culture you will be ostracized socially. Many who pride themselves in earthly knowledge will look down upon you in a condescending manner. All manner of persecution may come upon you as many countries have and are beginning to make unjust laws, which will result in the persecution of Christians. Hate crime laws are just starting to be used as a ruse to exclude, then vilify, and eventually to persecute the Christian worldview. You will face misunderstanding and persecution within the religious Christian realm for Satan has started many false cults and religious groups which wave the Christian flag. Although the false teachings are many in these groups there are a few major ones which identify them. Some would be along these lines, Jesus was not God, Jesus plus good works will get you to heaven, Jesus plus the sacraments, Jesus was a being God created and the half brother of Lucifer, salvation must be accompanied with speaking in tongues, you must be baptized in the name of Jesus only, you can’t know if you are saved for sure and many more could be listed. You see the scriptures say the devil is the author of confusion. It is his plan to offer many ways to God through many religious groups. Here are just a few scriptures on the cost of becoming a disciple of Jesus. Luke 14 v 26,27,33, "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. So, likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple." Matthew 10 v 34-36, "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against the mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household." The cost is high on earth but compared to eternity it is insignificant. What profiteth a man if he gains the whole world but loses his own soul? He is no fool to give up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.

You can receive God’s pardon when you personally agree with God that you are a rebellious sinner. When you are willing to abdicate the throne of your life and receive Jesus as Lord (which means you are the servant, he is the rightful master) and Savior (which recognizes his payment for your sins). The first part is called repentance and the last part is called trusting in Jesus alone for a restored relationship with God. The moment genuine conversion takes place the Holy Spirit comes to indwell and make you a new person from the inside out. He delivers you out of the slave market of sin and out from under the dominion of Satan. The Holy Spirit breaks the power of sin and Satan in your life. You no longer have to obey sin and Satan as you yield your will to the Holy Spirit daily and walk with Him. Romans chapter 6 is your freedom manifesto, a good chapter to memorize as the battle begins.