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Archive for December, 2011

They knew things we couldn’t imagine, yet they were so naive; Adam and Eve. There was so much they didn’t know. Adam didn’t know anything about competing for a girl, or a job. In the garden of Eden, he didn’t know any thing about losing, being cheated, being broke, or broken-hearted. There was no rivalry. Adam and Eve were one; they were one flesh (Genesis 2:21-25).

If they disagreed on anything, I don’t think they would have noticed. There would have been no anger. Eve didn’t know that it was possible for the male to become domineering. She didn’t know anything about pornography, or child trafficking, or rape. They wouldn’t have understood sweat and toil, pain, or age. Violence, murder, war, and death would have been farther from their thoughts than we can imagine.

God recognized the possibilities, and warned them. We know little, of course, about how much they were actually told. I’m sure that God would have given them as much information as possible without doing harm to their psyche, but they had never experienced such things. There are a lot of things that you don’t really understand unless you’ve experienced them.

There are very few things that couldn’t be used in some harmful way. I’ve only experimented superficially with that idea, but I think it’s safe to say that any bit of knowledge can be twisted. If intelligence is to exist, then a tree of knowledge must exist, and knowledge can be used for good, or for evil.

The Script in Genesis says that everything God created was “very good,” so we know that God-given knowledge is good. God could only have given us very limited intelligence if he had not “allowed” freewill at the same time. Freewill is intertwined with intelligence. One cannot exist without the other. We would only be able to think as we were programmed to think. We would be robots.

The angels, possessing greater intelligence than man, would automatically have freewill, and they would have freedom. God would not have created beings with freewill if he hadn’t intended for them to be free. He did not intend for one person to exercise their freedom by enslaving another, though such a possibility would exist. Slavery was invented by man. If God had only made that which neither man nor devil could mess up, creation would be very small. I don’t believe in blaming God for every idea that comes to our mind.

God didn’t create a devil, but an angel could become a devil. Here’s how it could happen. It could happen just as it happened to man. A thought could arise within the mind of an intelligent being. Thoughts such as this; “It doesn’t have to be this way, many deviations are possible…” could lead to conflict. When conflict arises, it’s necessary for love to exist on both sides for the difference to be resolved. If one party is loving and sacrificial, and the other rejects that, then they must come to a parting of the ways.

I’m not a real fan of John Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” but I think that some bit of it is true to life. Milton has Satan lamenting at one point that God had kept some knowledge hidden from him, and that he had underestimated God’s strength because of that. I think something like that is likely to have happened.

The angel who transformed himself into God’s adversary had seen God create the earth, but he had never seen anything warlike about God. Isaiah 14:12-15 tells part of the story; “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer…for you have said in your heart…I will exalt my throne above the stars of God…I will be like the most high.

Speaking through Nachash (the serpent), this is what Heylel told Eve about knowledge; “You will not surely die…in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God (or gods)…” He deceived his own self, a third of the angels, and then Adam and Eve with the same kind of thinking. Well, now we know more stuff, but we’ve forgotten much truth in the process. Collectively, we still don’t know that knowledge will lead to the complete downfall of man, but we’re getting closer to that discovery. We are outsmarting our own selves.

The name “Lucifer,” is a translation of the Hebrew name “Heylel.” I’ve mentioned that fact before in part 2 of “Hallucinations” (my July 2011 archives), and part 2 of “Hell” (my Jan. 2011 archives). There’s another thing that can be added. (Please note that I do not believe in practicing either numerology or gematria. These things may hold some distorted factual information, just as myths, or lies in general, may contain some fragmented truth).

I’ve mentioned before that the symbols of the Hebrew alphabet have individual meanings and are also used as numerals. The Hebrew symbols used to spell “Heylel,” in our language become HYLL. Meanings associated with “H” are, behold, look, window, or hole. “Y” means the hand. “L” means to goad, push, drive, or teach. The letter “L” used twice in the name seems to indicate an extreme. Heylel could be read as, “Behold the hand that pushes, and pushes.”

Mankind is being driven toward self-destruction, and it is Heylel that is doing the driving. Second Corinthians 4:4 calls Satan (Heylel) the “god of this world,” or “the god of this age…” depending upon the translation. Only the hand of YHWH the true God, only the hands with the nail holes, can stop Heylel.

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“Ets,” is the Hebrew word for “tree” in Genesis 2:17 and 3:6, and “Daath,” is the word for knowledge in 2:17. It is just what it looks like to the English mind though; man eats death. There was nothing forbidden to Adam and Eve except to eat from the tree of knowledge.

I want to go into more detail about that later, but I’m not going to pretend that I understand everything about it. One thing worth knowing is that we don’t know it all. Another is that the difference between what we need to know and that which we don’t can be critical.

The current news is that scientists have altered a deadly strain of flu. The bird flu has killed several people in the past, but it hasn’t been highly contagious. A scientist has now altered it to see if it could become more contagious, and therefore more dangerous. The answer is yes. Now, because of the threat of bio-terrorism, there’s debate over how much the public should know about the process.

What one scientist can do, can be done by another. Sometimes, all it takes is an idea and a little tinkering. I personally believe that the global plagues predicted by the Script, will be loosed upon mankind by science. I believe such things have already happened on a smaller scale.

Knowledge is a Pandora’s box. The myth of Pandora is just a fanciful retelling of an actual happening. In the retelling, Eve becomes “Pandora,” and the Tree of knowledge becomes a box, or jar that she opens. There are even similarities between the names. “Pandora” is a Greek name meaning “all-giving,” or all gifts. “Eve” (Eva) is from the Hebrew name “Chavvah,” which means “life-giving.”

Myths are born when symbolic interpretations are associated with historic events. Eventually, the reality of the actual events is thrown into question. In the perversion of history, reality can be lost. True knowledge can be lost. God has mourned (Hosea 4:6), “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” This isn’t only knowledge in a broad sense, but knowledge revealed by God.

The Script encourages us to seek knowledge, (Proverbs 2:3-5) but warns us not to be too dependent upon our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). We’re not capable of properly interpreting everything, or understanding how all knowledge should be used.

The Script also teaches that Knowledge should be governed by love. First Corinthians 13:2 says, “Though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge…but have not love, I am nothing.” The word “gift” in that passage is easily overlooked. Here is one of the great secrets of life, and of understanding God. You can’t “take” a gift, you have to receive it. Love cannot be forced, no matter how badly you want it. It has to be given, or it isn’t love.

Contrary to the whispering of the serpent, Adam and Eve were already “like God.” They were made in his image (Genesis 1:27). They were loved and anything else they needed would have been given to them, including knowledge. When Adam and Eve took the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge and ate it, they were grasping for something that doesn’t exist apart from God.

Our interpretations of knowledge separate us from God. Our interpretations separate us from each other. For every thesis, there is at least one possible antithesis. All disagreement is the result of the knowledge that we think we have.

In the Pandora story, along with all the evils that are unleashed, there is a little thing called hope. The Script is more specific. Genesis 3:15 speaks of the “seed of the woman” who will bruise the serpent’s head. This is a veiled prophetic reference to the virgin birth of the Messiah (Ref. Isaiah 7:14 and Matthew 1:18-23). In reality, hope is a person.

Christmas celebrates the fact that God was born into this world as a man. He came to be with us in our struggles, and to die with us. He “tasted death” for all of us, and by raising himself from the dead, he’s shown that he can raise us. Death is not the end. The greatest gift that God could ever give us is his son. “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his son.” (Ref. 1st. John 5:11-13) He is the antidote to the tree of death.

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Patterns of thinking affect the physical construction of the human brain. That is well established by medical science. Our brain is like the rest of our body. It grows stronger in the ways in which it is exercised. Within certain parameters, training on the track makes you a faster runner. It can also make you a better athlete in other areas, but those who set world records must train for specific events.

Our personal preferences influence the way our brain works, just as the “preferences” settings for a computer application affect the computer. A great mathematician may know little about other subjects. The scope of knowledge is so broad that focus is required for certain areas. That’s one thing that makes this subject difficult to write about. I can’t branch off into too many directions, or I’ll fail to get the point across.

As we study and learn, connections called dendrites form branches between areas of the brain. “Dendrite,” from the Greek word for a tree, is a fitting scientific term for the process. Knowledge forms a tree-like structure in our brain. The knowledge doesn’t have to be true, or good. It’s like the huge database of the internet. Any sort of information will take up space.

Our thoughts then influence our behaviors, which over time become habitual. To a large degree, we act, and react as we have been conditioned by our education and upbringing. We are “trained” to follow the rails. That’s why governments work so hard to control education.

There are many other factors. In Ephesians 2:2, Satan is called the “Prince of the power of the air.” There is an ongoing struggle for control of the airwaves and the internet. Leaders of countries are aware that whoever controls the media (including education), controls the minds of the masses. This is where Christianity, which is so slow to counter the weaving of the serpent, is losing the war. Besides the “stars” that we look up to, there are the “suggestions” that come directly to our minds from the Whisperer.

The whole world belonged to Adam and Eve. They had it all. They were told to have children, and to “fill the earth.” There would have been no pain in childbirth, and no danger for the children. There would be no child abuse, or cruelty to animals. The wonderful list could go on and on. The only thing we know of that was forbidden to them was “eating from the Tree of Knowledge.” They were to let YHWH Elohim teach them the interpretation of knowledge, rather than vainly grasping by trial and error.

Now we’re left with the impossible mess that someone thinks is knowledge. We have to try to make some sense of it. It is really an impossible task. The only way out is to simply believe in the one who warned us of the dangers of “knowledge” to begin with. The prophecy (foreknowledge) of the Messiah in Isaiah 53:11 tells us, “By his knowledge, my righteous servant will justify many…”

The Hebrew word for knowledge in that passage is “daath.” It is no coincidence that “daath,” looks so much like our word “death.” The “spell check” even suggests that’s what it should be.  It is by his death that the righteous servant justifies us. He is the only real hope for the world.

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There are five words transliterated as “Nachash” in the Strong’s Concordance. The Hebrew spelling is the same for all of them, except for the vowel symbols added many centuries after the Script was written. I’m only interested in two of the usages right now, and this is only a partial list of meanings for the two.

(Strong’s #5172) “Nachash…to hiss, i.e. whisper a (magic) spell, enchantment, learn by experience, diligently observe…”  A spell isn’t necessarily magic as we would normally think of it. We can be spellbound by something that fascinates us. It can be the idea of magic, since that’s something people are attracted to.

It’s being persuaded by enchanting words. It can be the artfully woven tale of evolution, that works scientific data gained by diligent observation into a dangerous fabrication. It can be false science, false religion, the powerful whisper of false love, or anything that deceives us. Deception doesn’t even have to be intentional. It can be built upon simple misinterpretations.

Deceptions can be promoted by people who think they’re doing the right thing. Thoughts are planted in our minds by the power of suggestion. They affect us in ways we can’t imagine. There are empty promises that lift our dreams to the clouds, and then shatter them. Then there is depression and fear that immobilizes us.

(#5175) “Nachash; a snake (from its hiss), serpent…” This is the serpent in the Garden of Eden. The sound “hiss,” is part of the word “wisp,” (handfuls of nothing) as well as “whisper.” People sometimes do horrible things. We hear about it on the news. All those things began as a whisper in the mind.

Words are works. Words are seeds. Ideas are the roots of deeds (ref. “the Mind Games” in my Dec. 2010 archives). The “na,” of Nachash indicates a negative. It’s where our word “no,” comes from. “Chashab,” is a Hebrew word sometimes translated “thought,” “count,” (compute) “consider.” “Nachash,” is associated with negative thoughts. (Strong’s #2803) “chashab…to weave or to fabricate…”

I wish I could tell the world that the thoughts that arise in our minds don’t necessarily originate there, and we don’t have to accept them as ours. Some people seem to instinctively ignore negative thoughts that come to mind, and that’s not the worst way of dealing with them. Sometimes the more you wrestle with something, the stronger it seems to become. Wrong ways of thinking can be woven into the brain. Patterns of thinking and study affect the physical construction of the human brain.

I haven’t had much time to work on this. I love Christmas but I don’t enjoy the preparations. I can’t tell you how many interruptions I’m running into as I try to write. Please pardon my lack of focus.

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There are two basic ways to learn. One is to learn from someone who knows. In order to learn by that method, it’s necessary to have some faith in the one who’s teaching. We’re not going to be as teachable if we don’t have confidence in the teacher. It often takes a little time to tie things together, and make it understandable.

The other way to learn is by trial and error. Byte by byte, some things can be learned by experience, if you survive the experiment. There’s a reason that it’s called the school of hard knocks. Our education is most often a combination of the two methods. We believe some things that we’re taught (even though some of them are wrong), and we get other things the hard way.

In Genesis 30:27 (New King James Version), Laban uses the expression, “…I have learned by experience…” In that version, the Hebrew word “Nachash,” is translated as a three word phrase. Other translations read as if this was something Laban divined from signs or omens. The Septuagint uses the word augur, meaning to foretell, especially from omens.

“Learned by experience,” would cover it all. That would include that which might be predicted from actual experience, either properly or mistakenly interpreted, along with the influence of superstition.

“Nachash” is also the Hebrew word for “serpent,” and is translated that way in Genesis 3:1. How is “learning by experience” like listening to a serpent? It has been my experience, that all people are prone to misjudge others because of past experiences. That is a very sad statement. It tells you of at least one thing that we’re all guilty of. It’s easy for me to misjudge you, and you to misjudge me.

People at church (or wherever you go), may think they see a sign that you are like so and so, that they used to know. They may not be quite right, but they may not like you for that reason. Experience will often lie to you. Sometimes people won’t love, and couples won’t marry, because of past experience. Hurting people hurt other people. It’s something we need to be on guard against.

This is not the way YHWH Elohim created us to be. Nachash has deceived us into living life in a trial and error way, and twists the knowledge that might be gained from experience. I’ve written several things about the Tree of Knowledge. I have a blog-page with that title, and you can “search,” for other places I’ve mentioned it. I don’t want to cover the same ground again, so I’m trying to present something different. There’s plenty to write about. This subject is as deep as knowledge itself.

Adam and Eve may have had little prior experience with “Nachash,” but they had been warned… If only they had believed YHWH. If only we had all believed, but I would never have believed such evil could exist, if I had not experienced this world outside of Eden.

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