Hide & Seek

(Part 2)

by Jeff Pohlman

17 September, 2005

 

Part 2 - Israel

We have seen in Hide & Seek (Part 1) about Adam and Eve hiding in the garden, what they hid from, when they hid, what was lost, what was gained back by Jesus and how, plus the fact that it can be gained back for us, now and for all eternity.  If you haven't read those points, I recommend going and reading them, for we will build on them here, without referencing them yet again and they are key foundational points for your understanding of where we go from here on.

Now we move on to see the archetypical pattern that the Hebrews repeated, as an example to us, of how NOT to behave before our God.  Can you just imagine how good our God is because He has preserved a written book for the last 6,000 or so years and it has plentiful examples of how we should and shouldn't behave?  It is repeatedly expressed that the Hebrews were hard hearted in their stubbornness.  We should pay attention, and avoid repeating someone else's mistakes (something I have not always been good at, I must admit).

As a quick side point, heart is rarely written in the Bible to reference one's muscle in the upper left side of the chest cavity that pumps blood.  It is most always written to point out one's spiritual center, or more simply - spirit.  So for the Hebrew people in general to be continually referred to as heard hearted, stubborn and implacable is another way of saying that they stiffened their spirits to not allow entrance by God, nor His precepts which were meant for good in their lives.  Instead, they chose spiritual rebellion against God.  This got them in trouble with God so many times, and it is chronicled for us, in hopes that we won't repeat the same pattern.

The simplest of questions should come to mind.

l  What on earth could continually cause a whole people-group, and individuals in particular, to consistently turn away from God, picking flesh-gratification over spirit-relationship every time?

l  What is so appealing in the flesh that CAN cause people to be so tempted and to repeatedly turn away from Him because of their deep addiction?

If you are a person who can be "real" with yourself, you have just done a self-inventory and answered it for yourself.  Please do see it clearly for what it is, for you personally, and don't try to project your solutions into someone else's problems.

Whatever that something is, is most certainly embodied in a life style of those who blatantly don't follow God.  Not only are they open in this exhibit of running counter to God's Will, but they most certainly exalt themselves.  This people-group is otherwise known as heathens and pagans.  Think about those two questions I asked (and highlighted in color), very carefully, really; read them again and again so they truly make sense to you.  If you don't, you may find the same temptation luring you in as it did for so many unsuspecting Hebrews.  If you see it for what it is, you will guard yourself, and you will stand with the other brethren who seek to guard ourselves from this temptation.  To ignore it is a form of denial, and that can get you caught in the snare just as sure.  See the temptation for what it is, keep from trying to hide it, keep it exposed to His light or righteous correction, and you too will walk in light.

Rather than publish a whole text of Biblical writing, I would ask you to pause here and read the amazing and exciting story from Joshua 7 : 1, to 8 : 25, and then I'll simply come back and reference individual verses.  Your grasp of this whole story is essential.

Just like we saw in Part 1 where Adam and Eve made a choice, cutting themselves off from eternal reciprocating fellowship with God, we see here that the Israelite people made a similar choice at Ai.  They should have been able to take the pagan city of Ai and conquer it much the same as they just had Jericho.  One small but significant choice caused them to hide from God (turning their backs before their enemies because of powerlessness in the face of having sinned privately), and be forsaken by His support in the battle.  It's one small-but-IMPORTANT choice that is indicative of a sin that is so pervasive that it continues to derail even the best of Christians to this day.  This is a most humbling situation - the Lord God WILL use your enemies to point out your abject choice to sin, by having your enemies question and even slaughter you, because you have indulged in the very sins that run counter to God.  The enemies WILL point it out for you, if you are in such denial that you won't see it for what it is.  You will be as humbly defeated as Israel was before the Aites.  Crucial repeat...

Josh 7 : 12-  Therefore the sons of Israel cannot stand before their enemies; they turn their backs before their enemies, for they have become accursed.  I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy the things under the ban from your midst. 13-  Rise up!  Consecrate the people and say, "Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, for thus the Lord, the God of Israel, has said, 'There are things under the ban in your midst.  O Israel.  You cannot stand before your enemies until you have removed the things under the ban from your midst.' "

(New American Standard Version [NASV]- AMG Publishers - Spiros Zodhiates, Th.D. Greek Study Bible)

 

Hopefully, you really stopped and read the whole account of this story.  The problem here was that Israel had just freshly come from true obedience to God's expressed will, destroying Jericho.  Yes, they followed the Lord's miraculous hand, by obeying - - - uh oh, there's that word again.  Then, just as quickly, they were utterly embarrassed and defeated at Ai.  There was cause and effect for the defeat, and The Lord purposed to get to the bottom of it.  Unfortunately for Israel, this is a pattern that was chosen all throughout its history, where they could have chosen the righteous way, but they chose instead to desire "the things under the ban," the idols of the heathen pagans that surrounded them at every step.  This is your clue.  Whatever this choosing "of things under the ban" is, it still affects us today, in a strong way, and it is most definitely a matter of choosing obedience or disobedience, but it IS a choice each of us makes.

 

HIDDEN IDOLS

This phrase "hidden idols" may seem almost transparent to you.  Some might say it is surreal, unreal, mystical, smoke-and-mirrors, not part of our modern-day language anymore, whatever, but the problem is that the specific phrase "hidden idols" is most usually lost on today's reader, and THAT is the problem.  You must understand what idols are in the first place, in order to understand why intelligent, usually-God-fearing people would have them, and then hide them, as if hiding themselves from God.  Herein lies your answer to the line of questioning I have been proposing.  This is crucial for you to understand.  You must get a grip on what it is in your life that you might hide, what is so strong that it might even pull you away from eternal fellowship in and through Him, with him reciprocating in you.

I am not going to go into long exposing studies at this point.  In fact, I will simply point out the obvious for you, and let you do the studying.  Whether you delve into centuries of books handed down to us, or uncover studies found on the Internet, you are going to find some very consistent and common knowledge that the pagan heathen world already knows, but much of Christendom has hidden from for more than a millennium (the early Christians, for at least the first 300+ years, knew very well this demarcation point and it didn't get blurred until official state religions, steeped in superstition and incorporational manmade rules, started appearing on the landscape).

 

IDOL

Leviticus 26 : 1-  You shall not make for yourselves idols, nor shall you set up for yourselves an image or a sacred pillar, nor shall you place a figured stone in your land to bow down to it; for I am the Lord your God.

(New American Standard Version [NASV]- AMG Publishers - Spiros Zodhiates, Th.D. Greek Study Bible)

 

Here it is.  If you research the Hebrew word "idol(s)" you discover several different words that are all simply translated as idol.  Don't drift off now just because this is a little wordy, because it is crucial for your understanding.  You might want to reread it slowly a few times.

One of them is miphletseth which has meanings like - a terror, a taunting, a joke, a tease.

In some places you find eliyl (pronounced el-eel) with meanings - good for nothing, vanity, wasteful vain, no value, thing of naught.

There is the more obvious cemel (pronounced say-mel) meaning - something like, or likeness, to resemble, to be a likeness, or an image; much like atsab (pronounced aw-tsab) or pecel [used in Lev 26:1 above as idols] (pronounced peh'-sel) also meaning carved fabricated image.

Now we get to the more specific and abundantly found gilluwl (pronounced ghil-lool) in its simplest iteration it means - round log or pole.  Many of the instances are parallel written with the words "Asherah Poles" (the erect upright versions of idols).  In common spoken Hebrew, this word is many times mixed with the word shiqquwts (pronounced shik-koots) meaning - filthy, disgusting, abominable, or detestable.

Another version of this conceptual term is matstsabah or matstsbeth [used in Lev 26:1 above as image or a sacred pillar] which some Anglican Druid etymology historians attribute as the root word for the current English word masturbate (and remember this - I do not claim to be anything of a language expert in any dialect- including English, I just know how to look things up in dictionaries), but the Hebrew words have meanings of vertical erect columns or pillars, a standing upright image of a pillar, and finally, the most descriptive and disgusting is the image of the trunk and stock of a tree from it's uprising ground-root-base to or of the way up, without its upper branches, to purposely depict the root and base of a man's sexual member, otherwise known as a phallic symbol.

We've just read enough to upset most gentile personalities, and without further upsetting sensibilities too much, nor tip-toeing into pornography, let me point out the truth, as simply and obviously as I can.  The idols were (and still are, in all of paganism) round log poles (for the females), and/ or rings (for the males), utilized in self gratifying sexual exercises, common amongst pagans.  Whether you like it or not, the act of sex is most highly worshipped, as a form, within all of heathen paganism.  If I upset your sensibilities, I apologize, but it IS the unfortunate truth, and the sooner we stop hiding from this perversion, the sooner we will put the idols out from our own midst (and if you ask whether idols ARE within our midst, you'd better hold on to that question a moment, because you will have to do the researching, and you may be surprised to find out that YES, they are right within your own tents - but I get ahead of myself).  Maybe you are seeing the beginning reasons why hiding idols for secret sex-worship acts, in one's home, is an abomination to God.  It shouldn't surprise us that the heathen pagans do it, but it is not fitting for God's people.  Let's keep going to be sure of exactly why it upsets our deeply relational God and Creator.

Many people have an attitude that the word idol is simply meant to be a metaphor for anything that gets between you and God.  That's fairly accurate and it gets to the center of whether something we hold dear has a motivational INTENT of separating us from God or not.  If idol it is viewed as a metaphor for its intent, it does get a point across that we should let nothing get between us and God.  The problem is that the true definition of idols, whether they are STILL in our midst, hiding, much like Achan and his family at Ai, is still haunting us the same as they did for all of the Israelites we see chronicled in the entire Bible.

You probably had a loose mental picture about idols handed down to you (I certainly did) to be a cast-metal or carved animal, much like the Hebrew words described above, cemel, atsab and pecel.  When I talk with people about this, the most common image that comes to mind is a calf, for some reason.  That is a huge distraction or diversion from the truth.  If you go back to those two questions I asked in color (repeated in a moment for your ease of reading), try to fill in the answer with "a cast metal calf or a carved wooden calf."  Remember, the Israelites may have been a largely agrarian community throughout history, but they were intelligent nonetheless.

l  What on earth could continually cause a whole people-group, and individuals in particular, to consistently turn away from God, picking flesh-gratification over spirit-relationship every time?

l  What is so appealing in the flesh that CAN cause people to be so tempted and to repeatedly turn away from Him because of their deep addiction?

I submit to you that the answer of cast metal or carved wooden animals is ridiculous.  A few people may have been duped into worshipping a statue of an animal, but not a whole group for long long periods of time.  One key is also that the animals in all of paganism point toward something else (like road signs) far more important to them (the sex act), and the animals are not as pervasive (in quantity of possessions), as the true idols themselves, i.e. the logs and rings, or the true meaning of the word that the Hebrews have ALWAYS used to describe these things - devices that promote the sex-act, without two humans actually interacting.

As just one of many examples for you, ask any pagan who will give you a true explanation (as opposed to a disguised-explanation in order to lure you in), what the intent is of a unicorn.  Obviously none exist in reality.  The mythical purpose is supposedly as a good savior, and it's pointed nose is most certainly intended as a phallic symbol, always a good thing to pagans.

Folks, this is a disgusting topic, much like the Hebrew word shiqquwts describes, and it is so permeating of Israel's history (and Christendom's history for the last 1,500+ years) that it must be dealt with.  Unfortunately, it must be dealt with much the same as many of the blood and guts stories that also dot the whole Bible.  Humans are spiritually ugly, and we must figure out how to deal with it.  The idol-grip is so strong that we must guard ourselves, lest we fall also.  Don't get ahead of this writing, and don't get too haughty, because you may find that the "ancient" perverted practices are actually very close to your own door step of your family, and then you will have to humbly ask forgiveness of the Lord for being so judgmental, as you try to turn around the situations.  Take care how you tread in this subject.

A statement is in order here, that may not be obvious to all Christians.  Paganism itself, as a religion, is female-based.  That is not a prejudicial statement, nor does it mean that males are excluded.  It is a fact.  If you ask people within paganism's grasp, you will find out that what I am saying is correct.  As such, it is found that the basis for all of their "worship" is indeed circulated around sexual practices.  Temple prostitutes exist for a reason (female and male).  The terminology "bow down" has a very specific sexual connotation within paganism, and despite what sensible Christians might think of as submission to our Lord Jesus, instead the perverted sex-idol-worshipers view as just another in a long litany or references to the sex-act.

It matters not within paganism whether an individual is [hetero] or [homo] sexual, male or female, they all relish the act of bowing down and playing (they call it worshipping) with their Asherah poles or rings (idols), they loudly proclaim it, especially on their web sites.  THEY don't hide it.  However, those who wish they were called by the name of Jesus, who live a life of denial, do hide it, if they engage in this activity AND "go to church" pretending to also be Christians.

 

HIDDEN PAGANISM

I'll touch the point for a moment here, but if you think I've upset your sensibilities, wait until you research the true meaning behind "church steeples," and such items as freemason or masonic monuments like the Washington Monument in Washington DC (also seen as head stones at many a grave site), and you will then see that the pagan community absolutely laughs at Christendom in full derision, for adopting the IDOLS of the pagan religion into "Christian" ceremonies, buildings, clothing, jewelry and sacraments.

Furthermore, "holidays" (holy days?) within Christendom have been altered and bent to transform to paganist sexual celebrations, not the other way around.  One little proof text for you to research, in case you question what I am saying:  research Easter, and you will find out that it is the Feast Of Ishtar, goddess of fertility (you may not be a language expert, just like I am not, but can you hear the linguistic similarity:  Easter - Ishtar ??).

PROOF:  If Christians are truly staying the course of rejoicing over Jesus resurrection (a GOOD event indeed), we will be celebrating what the Greeks STILL pronounce-and-call Anastasis (to rise up from being dead).  Doesn't sound anything like easter or ishtar does it?  The Greeks still have it in their verbiage to this day, at that event-time (usually not at the same time as the vernal-equinox-induced Feast of Ishtar either), proclaiming to each other repeatedly, "Christos Anastis" (He IS risen)  And when they repeat it back and forth to each other it means Truly He IS risen!.

Hear the watchman's cry, "Judge today's idols for yourself."  Instead of purely celebrating Christ's rising from the grave and conquering death forever, many of today's "churches" commingle and have hidden idols, celebrating Sex Goddess Queen Ishtar's fertility celebration of springtime equinox, underneath their Asherah Pole steeples, and play the same fertility games as the pagans, hunting for eggs and celebrating the fast-copulating rabbits.  Sorry, I know this rattles cages, but it is incumbent upon us to remove the idols, OR ISN'T IT?  Are we so modern that we can ignore old fashioned Biblical warnings from our God?  Hmmmm.

 

CURRENT BLATANT PAGANISM

I'm not going to fully go into it here, but if you haven't been broadsided by the recently-popular Harry Potter book-comic-and-movie series (and I wish that you haven't), you have missed some of the current onslaught by paganism against the world.  The spirit battle of eternity is heating up, and it behooves us to be alert, and REAL (as opposed to being in denial), about understanding the enemy's tactics.

If you think this is a new tactic, think again.  Within the last 50 or so years, two notable standouts as onslaughts have been the popular movie The Wizard of Oz and the TV series Bewitched.  Both of those were blatant attempts by paganism to develop public relations pieces that loudly proclaimed that the things of heathen paganism and the occult are okay, they are safe, and fun, so indulge.  I know I was duped, you probably were too.  As I said, I'll not expound, but leave it to defining the obvious.  If you doubt the verity of my claim, then take a look, but please please please pray the blood of Jesus over your spirit-mind as you research.

Paganism is once again glorified in Joanne K. Rowling's current book series, the writer herself being a self-proclaimed white witch (like there's a good-and-bad difference in witches) and millionaire many times over, grateful for her wiccan powers.  The item of interest to you is that the satanic-luciferian subject-matter is being presented as good and wholesome for Christians.  I've seen many well-meaning Christians recently duped, and I wish it weren't so.

I'll give you this one example that you CAN easily research and find to be true.  I was recently given an article directly from Christianity Today magazine (you can find it for yourself), written by a modern cleric who is supposedly a discerning "Christian" leader, expounding on how all of the creatures in these Rowling-books are types that point directly to Jesus, and that reading the books is a good thing for Christians, he says they are safe and fun to read.  Heresy!  Anti Christ!!!  Let's look at scripture written for that person who purposely leads God's chosen-ones down the wrong path, found repeatedly in the New Testament books of Matthew, Mark AND Luke.  I truly humbly pray for his soul, with all hope of his repentance.

Luke 17 : 1-  And He said to His disciples, "It is inevitable that stumbling blocks should come, but woe to him through whom they come!  2-  It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should cause one of these little ones to stumble."

(New American Standard Version [NASV]- AMG Publishers - Spiros Zodhiates, Th.D. Greek Study Bible)

The interesting point is that the people who write these pagan books in today's world are not hiding from who or what they are - wiccan pagans.  The authors of the previously mentioned movie or TV series cloaked their intentions.  This recent breed of pagans are coming right out and saying it, and then telling you and me that it is a good thing, and that we should join them.  Their groups have always been called wiccans, or wicca, in case you missed it and stumble onto that terminology coming from some of the youth within your charge.  The wiccan "gospel" openly proclaims that adults don't understand, and that "today's youth" better understands it than those old fogies they live with, or are tutored by in schools.  At the core, their worship is nothing less than sex-centered.  They do not hide it anymore.

 

CLEAR DEFINITION

Let's get to the center of this battle so you can have the clearest understanding, because all of this, up to this point, is sensational, and if it were being covered by the news media, it most certainly would have the shock value that captures our attentions enough to watch the evening news over and over, without their giving real meaty underlying truth.  You need real strong truth at the core, to understand and fight this battle on your very personal home front.

The ex-angel lucifer (the Hebrew word for lucifer - heylel -  meaning; clear, shining, brightness, morning star) has always been well known to have been the angel of light, appointed by God Himself to be in charge of all things pertaining to light.  When he decided to try to put himself above his Creator, he was forever lost, separated, doomed to eternity away from God, in eternal torment and destruction.

That's all good for your understanding of the reality and the type, shadow and figure now known as satan (the Hebrew word meaning; opponent, arch enemy, adversary, attack, accuse), but what does it mean in the practicality of the subject we are looking at?

It means that you do have to get a grasp on the fact that that individual, deviate as he truly is, has a substitute for everything you see in Christ's Kingdom (shades and shadows of twisting the light), except one thing that is impossible for satan to counterfeit (eternal exchanged-spirit-life-relationship bought by the blood of Jesus).  What he offers as a seemingly-plausible-substitute is so blatantly lacking, that when you see it, you should have the spirit-sense to NOT engage.

Reread that paragraph, let it sink in, get it, because it is pivotal for all we are talking about.  The best military generals understand their enemy, not in the sense of wanting to join the enemy, but to defeat the enemy.

Don't let satan's counterfeiting surprise you.  See it for what it is.  He, satan, will try to trump up any substitute he can come up with, if it means tricking you into accepting second-best, every step of the way of your life on this side of eternity, because he knows that if you sucker for a counterfeit, he has you in his grasp, and he truly does want to keep you for the fires of hell, insidious as he is.  I'm not going to quote chapter and verse here (it IS there if you want to look it up), but know this - as the evil-one that he is, satan's sole purpose is to be sure that he robs your birthright in eternity, steals the very essence of Christ's Life from you, kills and destroys YOU.  Doesn't sound like someone I want to trust or align with, and I hope you don't either.

 

SO WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL?

Quite simply, satan has substitutes for everything we see in Christendom.  The question always is whether you will choose them - - or God (sound familiar? ... Tree of Life / Tree of knowledge).  The highest stakes where satan tries hardest to distract you are when you see the real rock bottom issue of salvation (the need to have Christ in you and through you as you - truly exchanged life), as we say in business, The Bottom Line.  You've just read through a whole montage of what the strongest substitute is that satan will pull out of his bag of tricks, to keep you from having The Real Life of Jesus coursing in and through you as you.  There are a few other twists that he'll throw in as barbs and hooks, but he hasn't deviated from his game in over 6,000 years.

Yes, for everything real in Jesus (sometimes things that we even hold so dear), satan has a substitute (whether wiccan-pagan [open society], or masonic [secret society]).  There are many apologetic books, pamphlets and web sites exposing the satanic deceptions, with printed truth.  If you think that a particular symbol is reserved for Judeo-Christianity alone (a Star of David, a cross, a fish, a steeple, a circle with a cross in it, a circle by itself, three circles, and on and on), think again, and research.

There is a substitute for every one within heathen satanic paganism.  Those are just symbols, images, and we certainly are told to have NO images before Him (basically, between you and Him).  None means none.  Don't intellectualize or rationalize it away - it means none.  Nothing is sacred, satan will pervert anything of a visual image, and God knows it, so don't try to play a game.  Just have no images where you hold it sacred or deify it.  God neither holds nor inhabits any form (building, statue, painting, cloth, whatever) other than to show Himself living in spirit, in and through humans who have surrendered to the shed blood of Jesus, as those humans, utilizing the Jesus-and-Holy Spirit side of who He is as a three-in-one being.

The betrayal of satan's substitution-scheme shouldn't surprise one Christian, when you see that the ex-angel of light now twists light, bends truth, to trick, kill and destroy, hoping that as many as possible will go with him into eternal separation from God's relationship, hell.  Let's look at a few common words in our language to accent the point.

 

TWISTED LIGHT

Substitute    Think for a moment;  what was your attitude like when a substitute teacher came in to a classroom for you, even for just an hour?  When someone is there as a substitute, you don't really take them as serious as the one who is your primary-lead teacher.  That's how satan thinks too, if he can get you off track just a bit, accepting a substitute teacher instead of Jesus, you'll not take The Kingdom so seriously, and you'll have a cavalier attitude all the way to hell.

Vicar (Vicarious)    The root Latin word vicar simply means in place of.  Many people speak of living vicariously through someone.  Here are some examples...

- When parents seem to take on a life through their children's endeavors, like sports or ballet, or acting, even in painting or ceramics, and many other interests their children have.

- When an understudy of a music teacher's starts performing publicly and the teacher gets all animated with joy over her virtuoso's accomplishments.

- When a mentor/ role model in business has an entrepreneur-and-learner as an understudy, then the learner goes out on his own, as a new stand alone business, the mentor makes some suggestive moves through the understudy and shares in the glee of successes.

There are people within the halls of religion who actually have the title (event scripted on items of clothing they wear in ceremonies) of "The Vicar Of Christ."  Quite literally, that means that that person is for you, IN PLACE OF CHRIST.  You choose whether to let someone take Christ's place in your life.

I personally don't want to usurp Jesus FROM His rightful place, by putting myself there between Him and anyone else.  Apparently, there are plenty of folks who have no problem with doing that, and they have their hallowed halls of their religions.  Again, satan will try to wedge in all sorts of vicarious substitutes, so you never get to experience the REAL Jesus.  Remember, satan would much rather you choose second or third best all of the time, all the way to hell.

Replacement    Of the many things that I have done in my life, I have mostly been a car mechanic and a carpenter in some fashion or form.  In both of those trades, there seem to be teams of engineers in the silent background who are endlessly researching to find replacement parts and materials.  The purpose is to find something that comes close to the original, but more probably costs less to produce, otherwise why make it.  Sometimes it has it's advantages, many times it just cheapens things in a continual downgrading cycle.  Here are two examples of replacements that have worked.

In cars, real vulcanized rubber quickly became a scarce commodity in the early days of cars.  Rubber is a wonderful commodity-marvel for the applications it fits into, tires, hoses, etc., but it was soon coming into short supply and high demand.  It was a stroke of fortune that chemists discovered plasticizers and all other forms of plastics, and eventually, synthetic (a misnomer - but I'll use it) rubber was developed, and saved the supply-and-demand disaster that was coming.

In construction, virgin lumber was becoming more scarce, until we learned how to farm forests better (some would argue that the learning still isn't up to pace with use).  Pure wood products like stud lumber and plywood panels were getting to be more in demand and less available.  The method for forming plywood (exactly that - several layers [or ply's]) was applied to making what we now know as particle board.  Actual chunks of wood and sawdust were gathered, then pressed and formed together with glues to make what looked like the same size and form of wooden pieces needed.  Instead of plywood panels we now use particle board in many applications, and instead of beams in some applications we actually have particle board beams.

In both of those cases, there are still certain applications where the original substance can't be beaten for quality of material, and the original is still utilized.  In God's Kingdom, there is NO replacement for Jesus, the blood of Jesus, Jesus' Holy Spirit, and the real relationship He offers to us.  Any satan-fabricated replacement simply doesn't hold the test of God's approval, and it fails EVERY time.  Think of satan's offer of a replacement like that time in history when someone invented fashionable throw-away paper garments for beach-&-pool-going, until the people wearing them in public got wet and suffered utter embarrassment.

Proxy    In many business settings (which includes institutional "churches") you will see a provision made, in case a member of the management-and-control group happens to be absent, and a vote needs to be taken while the member is away.  The absent-person gives his or her right to vote to someone else, so the vote can be counted, as if they ARE all there.  The risk is that the person sitting in proxy may not vote according to the wishes intended by the one giving away his or her right to vote in the first place.  It is a sure example that satan has all sorts of scheming set ups where you CAN give up your right and responsibility to have personal relationship with Jesus, to someone else, as if you can walk away from that responsibility, and let your assigned proxy do all of the work for you.  This is most certainly a hoax.  You can't really give up your responsibility in Jesus Kingdom.  Whomever you would give up your right and responsibility to, will certainly not watch over it anywhere as good as you would.  Further, your learning will always be second, third, or fourth rate, and you'll likely starve to death in spiritual oblivion, if you trust someone else for your spiritual responsibility.  Jesus will bring along many good examples of models and mentors to encourage you, but the responsibility of direct action in relationship with Him in you and through you as you is always direct.  Jesus' provision is for you to have direct access, responsibility and reward, with NO intermediaries in the chain between you and Him.

Legal Fiction    Now we look at one that strikes at the heart of our legal system.  A legal fiction is an item that is viewed as if it is real, or a real person, although it is a fiction.  Clear as mud?  There are several versions of this, from the simplest "fictitious name filing" to full blown incorporations and partnerships.  Sometimes these have to do with tax matters and protection, other times they pertain to forms of business.  At the level of a county court house fictitious name filing (some states call it an assumed name filing), all you do is file papers (once it is determined that the name you want is indeed available) that say that you are also to be known as (hence the acronym a.k.a.), or that you are doing business as (hence the acronym d.b.a.).  Here's one you'll easily recognize.  If I were to give you a history of someone named Norma Jean Mortenson, you'd probably not have a clue of whom I was talking about.  Her fictitious name filing, her assumed name, her dba, was Marilyn Monroe, which she eventually incorporated for protection reasons.

To help you in understanding this, I am the US citizen Jeffrey S. Pohlman, I could also be a dba of Jeff Pohlman Tire & Auto, and I could be incorporated as Pohlman, Inc..  In the case of Jeff Pohlman Tire & Auto, it is not me, but it is a business in Ohio.  In the case of Pohlman, Inc., it is also not me, it is a manufacturing concern producing auto industry parts, also in Ohio.  What is it with Pohlmans and Ohio JJJ    I happen to be Jeff Pohlman the citizen, with a dba in Collin County, Texas of Alpha Capital, and an incorporation in Austin, Texas of  iZak Group, Inc..

In the "church" sense of things, in order to have a tax license in these United States, you need an incorporation, so you also have some fictitious name filed in order to legally hold that tax ID.  The true ekklesia Body of Christ needs no such ID, and certainly needs no fictitious nor assumed name filed.  We're free to gather anywhere we want, thanks to our constitution, something we should not take lightly, especially compared to some of our other brethren in other states/countries.

In the sense of satan and his wiles, he'd love for you to swallow some fictitious name filing scheme so you could do and get away with any sin possible, all the while thinking you could cash out at the end with some legal mumbo jumbo of a bankruptcy or divorce filing, all the while getting off without being responsible for your actions.  In business, these legal fictions were invented by the Greeks, to protect people and governments in business, and not initially intended for unscrupulous behavior of purposeful defrauding of fellow citizens.  True to mankind, they have become such types of instruments - no surprise there.

Fiat    Here's an interesting Latin derivative word.  You don't hear many people use it much in this day and age.  It was bantered about during Abraham Lincoln's time because the banks he hated at that time were pressuring to create what is now referred to as a form of fiat money, which we now use extensively.  The word fiat simply means "a decree," or "let it be done."  The more technical aspect of something being declared as done is that an arbitrary order or decree is given, where something is authorized or sanctioned, typically where a substitute is chosen and the phrase encompasses where it technically allows this to become that.  That might be a bit wordy for you, but here's a simple example, from what Lincoln was so opposed to.  In theory, a penny is worth an exact amount of copper, a commodity, whether melted into a lump or formed into a penny.  A nickel is an exact amount of silver that is worth five pennies.  On the enlargement goes, until you get to silver and gold one-dollar coins being worth the equivalent of 100 copper pennies.  I think you have it so far.  At a minimum, you have heard of the days when we also had silver and gold standard fiat money.  Supposedly, somewhere, there was silver or gold stored up that the paper represented, and if the bearer of the paper called in the "note," i.e. the fiat declaration that said that the paper was the equivalent of the stored metal, the two would be exchanged and the bearer would still have the same worth.

What Lincoln saw was potential abuse of the system by unscrupulous rulers.  He was right.  We are now in a system that is so bankrupt in it's base value that you'd be hard pressed to find any precious metal to support the monetary system, much less real metal coins that have the value they represent by fiat decree.  Even pennies are filled with aluminum, and are not all-copper anymore!

The spiritual lesson is easy and plain in this example.  If you allow satan to declare that "X" or "Y" is a suitable fiat substitute for Jesus' shed blood or His eternal relationship of Him living in and through you as you, the next thing you know you'll be choking on aluminum-filled copper-plated pennies in hell for all eternity.  Those are absolutes and there is no substitute by any decree.

Counterfeit    Now here's an even more interesting word, as a close to this section of language examples.  You might not be interested in etymology - the study of words - but you can stretch your thinking just a bit and see that the last four letters and how they are pronounced (feit) are somewhat similar to the four-letter word we just discussed (fiat).  It is not a coincidence, it is just one of those developments of time that the spelling is slightly different.  The intent of the word counterfeit is exactly that, something that is opposite to the initial decree.  We think of a counterfeit as a fake, an imposter.  But, this is a good way for you to see the final truth about what satan really does.  As the ex-angel of light, he twists and twists, ever so subtly, until you are looking at pure black but declaring that you are looking at pure white.  If ever there was a master of the counterfeiting scheme, it is satan.

Using the analogy of the fiat money above, he would start out with a gold standard one-dollar coin.  He'll be patient for a while, but he sure can't stand too much integrity for too long.  It wouldn't matter if it were a coin, gold powder, dust, slivers, chunks or globs that weighed out one-dollar's worth, it is a weight measure - just so many ounces.  Then one day he'd trick some genius human being into scheming up the idea that we declare a piece of paper that is printed a certain way on certain-quality paper to be the equivalent-in-worth to that one-dollar gold coin.  He is patient enough to wait for the masses to accept his schemes like this - after all, he's only got hell to look forward to, and he'd just as soon have you join him in his scheming.  Humans don't catch on to him being the imposter that he is in this scheme, so he presses his advantage still further.  Now he gets another member of the human race's top-genius Mensa society to propose that we do away with the paper money all together and just forge our signatures on thin air, maybe we'll sign paper once in a while, and call it "credit" money.  Nowadays everyone worries about newspaper accounts of inflation - but they don't have a clue about what it means.  If they could relate back to a loaf of bread that used to be worth one silver dollar coin, and now see that it's worth one silver dollar coin-plus-one nickel-and-one penny, then they'd have a grasp of inflation, but the real meaning of money inflation when it's being printed or signed (which doesn't really exist) becomes a totally lost concept.

Again, if you can't see it clearly, satan will most certainly try to get you to bastardize what is of true value in Jesus' Kingdom to the point that the original is totally unrecognizable to your natural spiritual eyes.  Here's the proof.

The word counterfeit doesn't just mean that a fake is possible, but it smacks that there is a possibility that a fake of the fake is possible (yes, the initial fiat is indeed a fake already, and to make an unauthorized copy of that, is a fake of a fake).

How silly is this?  How silly do we look?  At what point do you stand up and take notice?  Your answer should be - when it's your true eternal spiritual relationship with Jesus at stake.

To revert to this money analogy - you know that any physical representation (powder, dust, blob, shaving, coin, etc.) of pure metal, be it copper, silver, gold, whatever, in the proper measure, constitutes real VALUE - - - BUT you have the sense that when you are pushed, and your perpetrator starts tearing off pieces of corners of your fiat money, asking if it's still worth the original amount, and at some time, long before you are left with a pile of shreds and shards, you'll say it is no longer worth the face value.  Please understand that satan will try to quickly have you move away from the gold standard that is most definitely Jesus.

 

REAL VALUE

Let's get this value thing down to something that you can really relate to.  Let's say that your eternal salvation, your relationship with Jesus coursing in you and through you as you, is such a unique and valuable commodity that there is only one of them in the universe, embodied in you.  I can tell you right now that satan will try to get you to believe that that is nothing special; that you are nothing special; and, that there really isn't anything special or of value there.  But here is a pictorial way of proving how uniquely special and valuable you are.

I am an inventor, amongst other things that I do (did I mention car mechanics and carpentry J), so here is a picture of the first three pages of a patent of mine.

It can be researched and found in patent libraries, on the US Patent & Trademark Office's website, and so forth.  It will always belong to me.  I have the original copy.  If it gets lost, burned, torn to shreds, whatever, upon proof of it being me, a new printed, certified & stamped copy would be made up and given to me.  No one else will ever be able to lay claim to that.  It will always have my name ascribed to it, even when the patent protection expires after so many years.  No one can print up a bogus copy with their name inserted in place of mine, and be accepted, under scrutiny of research and inspection at a USPTO facility.  Anyone receiving a copy of the copy can go look and see that it is truly ascribed to me.  I can sue and receive all benefits and compensation from this device, at any time.

I'm sure you see the application to your spiritual birthright in Jesus for all eternity.  No one can rightfully lay clam to substituting themselves for your salvation.  No one can spiritually enter into you and live through you as you, as a replacement for Jesus - ONLY He can be that in you, and you in Him.  Believe me, it's much better than the US Patent & Trademark Office has to offer.  Not just because it's for eternity, but it starts now, and you don't have to wait for benefits to kick in at a later date.

 

HERESY OR REALITY?

Some skeptics would challenge all of what I have been saying, wondering whether I am saying that I am God, or that you are God, and so forth (no different than what ex-angel lucifer was doing).  No.  What I am saying is that God has some capacity to have SOME of His Holy Spirit living in and through each one of us, as us.  Skeptics of course are looking for heresy, but heresy is not something we are desirous of being a part of.  What we are desirous of being a part of is the Life that only He gives, and that happens to be where He takes up residence in us, and through us, as us.  The Bible sometimes refers to that as us being the (collective) Temple of Jesus' Holy Spirit.

 

Now let's finish up with the crux of the situation.  What is satan going to try and get you to give up?  The one thing he can't possibly come up with a substitute for.  He might use the same looking cross, the same looking fish, the same looking Star of David, the same looking building, in all of his ritual and sacramental abuses, but he has no good substitute for the visceral dynamic relationship that Jesus offers.  Notice that he certainly tries, and he gets you to think that he-and-you come close, but there is no substitute.

 

THE ONE THING THAT CANNOT BE FAKED

Forgery by satan cannot create THE REAL relationship of Jesus living in you and through you as you.

He tries to promulgate all sorts of religion.  All forms of sacraments - religious ceremonies.  Counterfeits that come awfully close, but in the end they are actually way off.  I heard it said once, that to miss a target at 50 feet, by one one-thousandth of an inch seems incidental, but when that same target and the arc of the error gets extrapolated out over the distance of eternity, it misses the mark by thousands of miles.

When it comes to the closest of intimate relationships, with Jesus in you and through you as you, satan's ploy is to try to substitute other smaller vicarious experiences, other proxies, other fiats, other replacements, and when he has to pull out all of the stops - he pushes to substitute human sex and the little seemingly harmless sex-toys called idols, but TRUTH BE KNOWN, they don't hold a candle to the bright light of His true relationship with you for eternity.  Will satan try to get you to sucker for second best, third best, fourth best, one-hundredth best?  Ask all of historical Biblical Israel and they will answer you this - Count On It.  So, please stand against the ploy.

And please do not forget what we just pointed out:  for everything real in Jesus, satan has a substitute.  You may have been duped, and you are indignant because you were betrayed in your innocence.  I am sorry you were betrayed.  From now on you will be on guard.  Go for the deep relationship of Him in you and through you as you, look for the others who are His called out ones and who go for the same thing.  Accept no counterfeit substitutes, do not settle for second, third, or fourth best, and so on.

Dropping back to the earlier account we started talking about, once Achan and his family were destroyed and the idols were totally removed from Israel's midst, the proof was in the results, where only 5,000 Israelites took out 12,000 of their Aite enemies.

Josh 8 : 12-  And he took about 5,000 men and set them in ambush between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of the city.  25-  And all who fell that day both men and women, were 12,000 - all the people of Ai.  26-  For Joshua did not withdraw his hand with which he stretched out the javelin until he utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai.

(New American Standard Version [NASV]- AMG Publishers - Spiros Zodhiates, Th.D. Greek Study Bible)

Those are God's odds.  Once you are on His righteous terms, when you have totally removed the sinister relationship-robbing sex-pervert-idols from your midst, you will take out 2.4 of the enemy camp that stands in your way.  In other places, there are even better odds, this is just one example, and God is limitless in what He will do, once you are on the Holy terms He desires you to be in.

If you are looking for a non-sexual or non-bloody account of history, then you'd be well advised to NOT look in the Bible.  Some people have sensibilities that are offended by the mention of sex or bloodshed, and unfortunately for them, the Bible gives the very real accounts of both good and bad sexual behavior and the result of sin - bloodshed.  The net result of this is the sometimes-unpleasant account of even women and children being slaughtered en masse right along with their men.  This Achan story is obviously one of those accounts (if you read it through).

There is a reason why the Lord has verbiage in His infamous Ten Commandments for Israel to follow, after their leaving Egypt, which states...

Ex 20 : 4-  You shall not make for yourself an idol (Hebrew word pecel), or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.

(New American Standard Version [NASV]- AMG Publishers - Spiros Zodhiates, Th.D. Greek Study Bible)

... because He knows that mankind has a propensity to want to make a physical image for everything that is awesome in a man's eyes.  He also knows that man-as-a-sinner will eventually substitute that image for the real relationship that was our original birthright for eternity.  Don't get caught in the trap.  Do not worship or try to have a spirit-relationship with angels, animals, plants, rocks, anything, and He limits our physical human-to-human relationships to one person of the opposite gender, for a lifetime.  Stay away from anything that compromises your relationship with Him for all eternity.

While you were reading, you may have had this little thought screaming in your spirit that is saying, "Hey wait a minute."

Why?

Because you are thinking of exceptions to the proposal that's just been taught.

For some people, "idols that are hidden" may not be an overtly sex-oriented object, and the phrase "hidden idol" might be more of a metaphor that points toward some other problem, like food intake (either obesity, bulimia, anorexia, or some other peculiar diet/ eating habits to some extreme or another), gambling, lust of money, power and control of life issues, alcohol or drug use that is destructive of life, whatever.  The Bible has a way of stating these in a simple threesome - 1)  lust of the eyes, 2)  lust of the flesh, 3)  pride of life.  While the possibility of the phrase "hidden idols" may be more of a metaphor for you than an actual physical object, just remember that for Israel throughout all of the Bible, the proverbial ring-in-the-snout that COULD be grabbed by an external controlling satan, and twitched to control the whole of the nation, was this very issue of idols - or sexual deviation as a substituted preference over spiritually knowing their God and Creator.  That being said, the same is still true today, a large MAJORITY of the human race chooses that particular substitute over the real relationship.

You may be of the minority that has to deal with other hidden issues and the word idol is thus a metaphor, or you may be of the majority that chooses sexual deviation as a substitute for real relationship with Him in you and through you as you.  Whatever your choosing, the fact is that you need to have all of your intentions, all of your spirit-choices out in the open, not hidden.

To be very personal, I have no idea whether you can hear with spiritual ears or not, but I most certainly hear the question coming at me that asks, "Jeff, what's your idol," and then I experience His loving kind way which helps me get past my poor choosing of a rather stupid substitute, and on to real righteous relationship with Him.

Before we move to Hide & Seek - The Conclusion, I leave you with one of the most awesome and convicting of scriptures to meditate on, related to this whole subject...

Heb 4 : 12-  For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.  (meaning the center of a person's spirit)

(New American Standard Version [NASV]- AMG Publishers - Spiros Zodhiates, Th.D. Greek Study Bible)


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