25 October 2023 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“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: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” (St. John 8:44; all scripture quoted is from the Authorized King James Holy Bible)
Chapter Three of the Book of Genesis is the beginning of the spiritual dimension of the Church and the Elect of God, but also of the doomed and damned who reject the Truth and the Promise of God. The first words out of the Serpents mouth was not a lie but, being the father of lies, it established the basis for the first lie. There is no gray area in the Providence of God – all is either black or white; darkness or Light; truth or False: or up or down.
Most heresies and rejection of truth begins with a question, much like that asked by the Serpent of Eve in Eden. “Hath God said?” That same question is being asked by pseudo- theologians and pulpit dandies today – hath God said? They question the veracity of the biblical text and discover new ones that satisfy their itching ears – abandoning the canonical text received and confirmed by the early Apostolic Age. Naturally, the question is most often followed by a challenge against the Word of God. “Ye shall not surely die if you disregard the commandments of God.” That false Gospel is regular fare at many churches across America and the world today.
It was only a short time after Eve was seduced (or beguiled, same meaning) in Eden by the Serpent that God came walking in the Garden in the cool of the day. The errant couple had only finished attempting to cover themselves with fig leaves when they heard His Voice. How wonderful in the early days of Eden that man could walk sinless with the Lord God! Now there would be a wall of separation.
Not more than day of shame and contrition after that first lie of the Serpent did Adam and Eve hear the First Promise of God: “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Genesis 3:15. Though mankind would suffer physical death as commanded by the Lord, there would be a means of penetrating the wall of separation that sin had erected. God would send His only Begotten Son to redeem His elect from eternal death – instead, He would purchase for His people Life Eternal in Paradise, The Garden was taken from the earth and is today in Paradise along with the Tree of Life (symbolizing the Lord Jesus Christ.)
The world today is bent upon “eliminating the negative and accentuating the positive,” of which Bing Crosby sang. But can we consider everything about life and truth to be positive when eight of the Ten Commandments are negative. Thou shalt nots outnumber the Thou shalts of God. Negatives are too restraining for the easy believers. After all, God wants us to have fun, doesn’t He.
Our sorrows began in Eden and shall continue until the Coming of the Lord in great power and glory. Being a Christian is not always easy, but it is always a joy. We are not assured that we will not face trials and tribulations, but we ARE assured that our Lord will be right beside and see us through them. We thereby grow stronger in character and in spirit.
It is not the smooth pastures that makes us stronger in our march, but the rocky slopes and tangled undergrowth through which our march as Christians takes us. Facing one obstacle after another, we are made fit for the warfare that we face daily. Those who withdraw from the march become soft, lazy, and of no account for any purpose.
God has put enmity between the serpent and the Seed of the Woman that is Jesus Christ. That enmity entails a belligerency between the two that can only end in the unconditional victory of the Seed – we have read the end of the story in Revelations.