Friday, December 11, 2015

From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded

From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded
What have YOU done with what you were given?

Luke 12:48
Peter asked him, Lord, are you addressing this parable to us or to all alike?
The Lord answered, who then is the faithful and sensible manager, whom the master will put in charge of his servants, to give them their food allowance at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master at his coming will find so doing. Truly I tell you, he will set him over all his possessions.
But if that servant shall say in his heart, My master is taking his time in coming, and shall begin to beat up the men and the women servants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, the master of that servant shall arrive on a day he does not expect him and at an hour he does not figure on, and shall cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unfaithful.
And that servant who knew his master's will but did not get ready or act in accordance with that will shall receive many blows of the lash. But he who did not know and did things that call for a beating shall receive few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, all the more will be demanded.

“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked” (Luke 12:48). This statement of Jesus has become somewhat of an idiom in Western culture and is found, paraphrased, in Uncle Ben’s words of wisdom to Peter Parker in Spider-man: “With great power comes great responsibility.”

The idea of “to whom much is given, much will be required” is that we are held responsible for what we have. If we are blessed with talents, wealth, knowledge, time, and the like, it is expected that we use these well to glorify God and benefit others.   Jesus is the Master that is going away, we are the servants that are to be true to Him and Look for His return. 
I want to discuss some of what this passage means to us in the “Body of Christ”
We will start with where do these things given come from?
Then look at, How did we get them?
And finally we will look at, Just how much were we given to use for Our Lord?  And the responsibility that goes with what we were given.

They came from GOD!

God is "Self-existent". All that is in existence beyond the point of God's Self-existent Person is from and in God. God inhabits Eternity (all of time), which is from His self-existence. God does not live moment by moment, day by day in eternity, God inhabits Eternity, IN PRESENT TENSE, All of Eternity and every second of time before Him NOW!
All the Majestic Glory of the HOLY GOD exist in His self-existent Person.
All Knowledge exist in eternity before Him thus He knows all.
All eternity is before Him thus He is present to all, all the time.
All Power, Majesty, and Glory are from His self-existence thus He is all powerful. 
This is the God from whom we get all that is for us in Christ. All we are, all we have, comes from God, and His Grace in us.
God has given us MUCH, let’s look at just what that is.

In the passage Luke 12, Our Lord’s Galilean ministry was drawing-rapidly to a close. The time was near when He would go to Jerusalem to die. In view of this and His promised return He urged upon His disciples the importance of loyalty when He should no longer be present with them in person. He was going on to Calvary-there to make an atonement for sin. And in God’s due time He will return, not as He came before as a little Babe, as a lowly Man to be despised-but as King of kings and Lord of lords, to whom every knee shall bow. We read in the Revelation, “Behold, He cometh with clouds: and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him: and all kindred of the earth shall wail because of Him.” H. Ironsides

The Son of man returns clothed with power and majesty and with awe and terror. Royalty’s robe to his feet; that golden belt buckled at the breast; that hair so glistening white like the purest snow on which the sun is shining it hurts the eye; those eyes of flashing fire, eyes which read every heart and penetrate every hidden corner; those feet of burning metal glowing in order to trample down the wicked and stand firm in Holiness; that loud, reverberating voice, like the mighty thunder of Niagara falls in all it power; The word of His mouth a sharp, great-sword with two biting edges of Truth; that entire appearance “as the sun shines in its power,” too intense for human eyes to stare at—the picture taken as a whole, is a symbol of Christ, the Holy One, coming to purge His world.

The Good Master has gone away, the suffering servant that came as a man will return in Power beyond what we understand, The question is will HE find us watching for HIM? Will we be ready? 
From everyone who has been given much, much will be required,

When He comes what will we have done with what he has given us?

1.       Grace, Jesus work on earth and the BLOOD of Calvary. 
Eph 2:8  For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;

2.     Holy Spirit indwelling believers. We have in Christ the indwelling Power of the Living God.
1 Corinthians 3:16  Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
Romans 8:9  However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.
2 Corinthians 6:16   Ezekiel 36:27   2 Timothy 1:14   Acts 6:5   Ephesians 5:18   Romans 8:11   John 16:13  1 John 2:27 John 14:17

3.     We are Priest of the Most High GOD.
A royal priest hood to make sacrifices and offerings to HIM.
1Pe 2:9  But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God's OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellences of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

4.      We are New Creatures.
Old things and sins passed away and remembered no more, all things are made new in Christ.
2Co_5:17  Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
Psa 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
There are several passages in the Bible that indicate that God forgives and forgets our sin. Isaiah 43:25 says, “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. ”Hebrews 10 explains how Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for sin was a once-and-for-all sacrifice. Unlike the sacrificial system of the Old Testament, in which sacrifices were continually made for sin, Jesus paid for sin once. His payment was complete. Hebrews 10:14–18says, “For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

5.     Adopted into the family of God.
Romans 8:15For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!
Galatians 4:6  Rom_8:23  Rom_9:4  Gal_4:5  Eph_1:5

6.     Heirs of God, joint heirs with Jesus.
Rom 8:17  and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

7.     We are the temple of God Indwelled by the Holy Spirit.
1Co_3:17  If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.
1Co_6:19  Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?

How much was given? What is our responsibility?

Peace, Joy, faith, hope, adoption of sons, Temple of God, Indwelling Holy Spirit, Priest of the Most High God, Gifts – we have the Power of the Living God!
What have we done with what God gave us?

Php 3:10 - 15  that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable to His death;  11 if by any means I might attain to the resurrection of the dead. 12  Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect, but I am pressing on, if I may lay hold of that for which I also was taken hold of by Christ Jesus. 13  My brothers, I do not count myself to have taken possession, but one thing I do, forgetting the things behind and reaching forward to the things before, 14  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 15  Let us therefore, as many as are perfect,{justified Innocent } be of this mind.

The scripture we are studying says  “to give them their food allowance at the proper time”
The Lord answered, Who then is the faithful and sensible manager, whom the master will put in charge of his servants, to give them their food allowance at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master at his coming will find so doing. Truly I tell you, he will set him over all his possessions.

We so often teach the illustration we miss the point!  The “servant” was to meet the needs of his fellows. The illustration is of food, but that is spiritual needs as well as physical.  The evil servant says “My master is taking his time in coming, and shall begin to beat up the men and the women servants, and to eat and drink and get drunk“ this is more than just food but wellbeing.
We to whom Much Is Given must also live our lives so others can see Jesus in us. It has always been the office of a Priest to teach, guide and minister to the people.  We are to be the example both in this life and in “Watching for That Glorious Returning”.
Heb 5:10 Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.
Heb 5:11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.
Heb 5:5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.

A priest by birth, a priest sanctified to God, a priest from the people, and a priest as spiritual teacher for all, this is the King and priest by birth order of Melchisedec. Why was this Old Testament man selected? Maybe it is because he was both priest by birth and a king.

The point of this discussion, and the many things to say, and hard to be uttered is this priest hood. The fact that Christ is our high priest is not hard to follow, God said it. What that means to us in daily life seems not to have been widely seen. Christ is our High Priest after the order of Melchisedec, that is by birth. When we look beyond our self and see the wondrous Grace of God, and with the simplest Faith reach out to Him, the one who paid sins price with His own Blood, on that old rugged Cross, we are born into the family of God.

It is a birthright with eternal life and eternal responsibility!

Rom 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
Rom 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Rev 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
Rev 1:6 and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

The spirit of adoption making us the children of God and joint-heirs of Christ is the new priesthood. It is the adoption into the family of God. There is much that has not been included in what it means to be a Christian in the teachings of the church. Part may have been because it was hard to say and we are weak of understanding. But, in the history of the church a good part of the problem is telling the Christian story in a way to help those in leadership positions control the masses of people.

How do you tell someone you are a child of the king, heir to rule with Christ, member of the heavenly family, Priest under the High Priest Jesus Christ. You may go directly to the Fathers side with your petitions.

Then tell them I am in charge and will tell you what you need to know and do for the church. I will tell you what the scripture says and all you must do. 

The failure to teach the truth about the Priesthood of the Christian is a choice of the leaders in the church to control people and the same grasp for power that lead to both the Reformation and the Enlightenment.


First the priest hood was by firstborn birth, responsible to lead the people to God.
Second is a tribe of Israel chosen by God to replace the birthright.
Third is the High Priesthood of Jesus, and our adoption into the family of God.


1 Peter 2:4-5 (NKJV)
4 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious,
5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 2:9 (NKJV)
9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
Revelation 1:5-6 (NKJV)
5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,
6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Revelation 5:10 (NKJV)
10 And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth."
Revelation 20:5-6 (NKJV)
5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.

We are adopted heirs to the wonders of God. These verses say Jesus made us kings and priest unto God. We need no one to take our cause to God. We have the adoption of sons, the status of family, and may go to God on His promise and blood.

Heb 5:11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing…

This new birthright and our place in it along with our relation to Jesus Christ our High Priest is the heart of “many things to say” and of which we cannot allow ourselves to be “dull of hearing”. Much of the problem in our present time comes from the church not teaching the true position and responsibilities of the Christian.
We have a responsibility to go tell others the wonders of God’s grace. If there is suffering and hard work, the toil is nothing compared to the love of God. And even this suffering has a promise.

Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Rom 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

We have a responsibility, Every Christian has a responsibility, to support the Church and learn the truth from the word of God and to share this truth with others. We must learn what we can of what the world is saying and the errors that confront the Church. How else can we ever seek to teach the truth and correct errors if we do not know what they are?

The birthright with Christ carries with it a great responsibility.

I am sure you know of the “Romans Road to Salvation”.  This is Paul’s outline of the steps or method of being saved.  It is often only partly quoted, but here is what he said.

1.     The righteousness of God is needed
2.     The righteousness of God is made known to us
3.     The righteousness of God is Available to us In Jesus.
BECAUSE  a. there is no difference in people  b. for all have sinned
Please do not make “For all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God” the subject and meaning of this passage.  You will miss the subject “Righteousness of GOD!”
Rom 3:20  Therefore by the deeds of the law  there shall no flesh be justified in his sight:  for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 
Rom 3:21  But the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
Rom 3:22  Even the righteousness of God which is  by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Rom 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

2. Not what we did!  God loved us before we knew Him.
Rom 5:8  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners,  Christ died for us.
Rom 5:9  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
Rom 5:10  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
Rom 5:11  And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

3. Wages of Sin Death, but in the Righteousness of God we are free form sin.
Rom 6:22  But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
Rom 6:23  For  the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

How to be saved, Confess and Believe!
Rom 10:9  That if you  shall confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God hath raised him from the dead, you shall be saved.
Rom 10:10  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.This very familiar verse tells us how the act of being saved works. With the Heart=Believes, with the Mouth=Confesses.  

How Shall they hear if the Priest of this age of grace fails to carry the message?

Our position in the family of God carries with it a Great responsibility, we are the Priest of Grace the messenger to tell the world about Jesus.  The next verses are not so often read but they tell us of that responsibility.   

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a messenger? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?    
Romans 10:14-15


Christ said “You must be Born again,” and as such we are new creatures in Christ.
We have a birthright responsibility to tell others the wonderful story of the Gospel. We are the Priest of this age, the Priest of Grace, to live each day in the fullness of Grace so others may see JESUS in our Lives is our spiritual office, to tell the world about JESUS is our Responsibility.  If they do not hear they will not be saved, and that is an eternal loss.  WE are to live a new life dedicated to God to spread the Gospel. We must be the example that the world sees of what a Christian is.

We have failed to stand, to be heard, and to teach the truth. We have allowed the liberal humanist to establish the standards of debate, and once in power they are hard to move.
Have we chosen to follow the easy path in our busy lives?
Have we let others claim the authority to say, “Live any way you want to”?
Could we stand with the martyrs and face the wild animals or torture for the name of CHRIST?
Who can face death with Polycarp and say, “Eighty and six years He never failed me I will not deny Him now”?  When the need is great who will stand in the gap?
The church today has lost her way and can’t seem to stand where the stand matters.
Yet we are responsible as heirs to heaven, Priest of Grace, We must take a stand.

 What Do I Owe Jesus?  
We often speak of Tithes of 10%, and a gift to meet special needs. We may even get to Church AND Sunday school, or Prayer meeting and Bible study, some even go to evangelistic outreach.  We may even read our Bible sometime in the week, AND read the Sunday School Lesson BEFORE Sunday School. Look at all we do for Him.

What Do I Owe Jesus?   The wealth of the universe “That Debt” could not repay!

He in love, stepped from eternity and across time and was born a man. Totally GOD (second person of the Trinity, existing for all eternity,  Became, Totally a man just as we are. The man had a beginning with birth, died on the cross and was rewarded and seated with God in heaven.)
He lived as a man, learned a trade, taught us to know Him, and paid a debt we could not pay.
He is, He must be, my all, my all in all, life and Lord, Master and FRIEND.  Lord and Master, yet wants to commune with us and be a true friend.  We owe Him ALL. 
The Question is not “What Do I Owe HIM?”  

The question should be, In that deepest private personal place of thought and hope, deep in my soul, "What would I withhold from Him” ?

This view of a Christian is beautiful, breath taking, exciting, there is victory in knowing Jesus.
How do you make this work and not seem proud?
How do you access the power of God?
By choice I give my all to Jesus, a bondslave to serve Him.  Life is not about me and what I want.  I give my wealth, life, position, and Faith to the savior, He is my all in all I only live to serve Him.  The more I yield to Him the more His Power can flow through me.
Are we watching for the Masters return, Can the world see Jesus in us?
Would they want what they see?
From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, all the more will be demanded.

Who am I?        A bondslave of Christ Jesus!

The twenty first century Christian needs some first century Living Reality of Christian Life.  Mr. Wesley was accused of ”experiential theology”, the educated of the day made fun of him basing any part of his “theology” on having lived it.  Yet the only way to know it is to live in Christ.   The problem in the Church today is “we are so busy we fail to stop to worship, pray, or just be still and let Him speak to us.”   To know Him is to understand His word. To know Him is to hear Him speak.  If you have studied scripture long I am sure you have read a familiar passage only to have some new truth pour over your soul and thrill you with God’s meaning. This is God speaking to you through scripture.  But, we have to listen, be quiet and listen. 


Steven Randall Eubanks,  δοῦλος Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ

Two Roads Out of time and into eternity

Two roads out of time and into eternity!

Introduction
“I can explain it to you, but I can't comprehend it for you.” 


Do People today lean on what has been said and is being said without challenging its content in serious study?  Do People just hear and repeat what “the teacher” says without seriously studying to test the doctrines for themselves?  Much of the “orthodox teachings” of the Church come mixed with Ancient Babylonian mysticism, Dualism, Greek Philosophy from Plato interjected into the Church in Alexandrea Egypt, to Augustine, Medieval Teachers, to Calvin, Luther, and on a more direct level todays New Age Movement.
If we look at what the Bible SAYS, There are many things being said which just do not hold up to careful study.
First Scripture interprets scripture. There must not be an idea that is contradicted in another place in Scripture. Context is the key as we will see the context tells us the story.
Second, Time and place and known history shed light on what happened and help reveal truth.
Third, Culture, Who is speaking, what is the Subject and purpose of the discussion, we cannot jump to a different teaching in the middle of a discussion. 

In the beginning God.

Who is God?
God is "Self-existent, The I Am, He who is". All that is beyond the point of God's Self-existent Person is from and in God. God dwells in Eternity, which is from His self-existence. God does not live moment by moment, day by day in eternity, God inhabits Eternity, IN PRESENT TENSE, All of Eternity and every second of time before Him NOW!
All the Majestic Glory of the HOLY GOD exist in His self-existent Person.
All Knowledge exist in eternity before Him thus He knows all.
All eternity is before Him thus He is present to all; all the time.
All Power, Majesty, and Glory are from His self-existence thus He is all powerful.

Created the Heavens and the Earth.

The God described above could have, with a single thought, brought the world into existence just as was needed for man to have a place to live. But, the Bible says He used 6 days to create the world. There were lessons that needed to be taught to man. When we study the Creation Story we can see that there is a lot taught there.
Here I will only deal with WHY!

Two Roads!
Out of time and into eternity run two roads that man may travel.  One is the narrow way that leads to eternal life, the people on this road obey God and keep His commandments. The other is the broad way that leads to destruction, the people on this road by a God given choice refuse to obey God. Although the two are discussed in literature, stories and poems all too often we seem unable to remember that they both are real and a part of our world.  
The Didache, or teachings of the Apostles from the late second century opens, There are two paths, one of life and one of death, and the difference is great between the two paths.
Yet, I ask What are we talking about?  What is the PATH?  I will try to show TWO ideas presented wrong that change the entire understanding of the Bible.
First is here What is the PATH?
Second is when Jesus began preaching what did he mean by KINGDOM?

I hope to show that the PATH, is simply to Obey God. We were made for fellowship with God and have the choice to Obey Him or not.
Adam made a choice to disobey God.

We must define a word here, it is used in so many ways and most wrong, we need to get it meaning right.
SIN  =  ἁμαρτάνω  hamartanō
Thayer Definition:
1) to be without a share in
2) to miss the mark
3) to err, be mistaken
4) to miss or wander from the path of uprightness and honour, to do or go wrong
5) to wander from the law of God, violate God’s law, sin

Rom 3:23  for all miss the mark and fall short of the glory of God,
Rom 3:23  for all are without a share in and fall short of the glory of God,
Rom 3:23  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
BUT, LOOK AT THE VERSE, IT SAYS WE MISS THE MARK OF THE GLORY OF GOD CREATED IN US!!  WE miss the mark, fail to follow the PATH, AND FAIL TO SHARE IN GOD’S GLORY.

The Idea of SIN being great or small, seems to me to be an inconstancy in thought.  Sin, to leave the path, or to miss God’s glory is to Disobey GOD!
I ask what is there that we do that is “the Source of our SIN”. There is no work that we may do to gain, deserve, or to earn God’s Grace.  I will also say there is no act or work we may do to gain, deserve, or earn rejection from grace and a place in Hell. Man rejecting God will live as he chooses and all the evil resulting there is only the natural behavior of rejecting God. This evil shows one that rejects God, BUT,  the subject is still a Choice Obey God or Not. We spend too much time focused on “Evil” and not enough time really focused on “Knowing GOD!”
God’s Grace is freely offered, and we by faith accept or ignore that offer.

The First Century Church was not an organization of detailed theology, they were a people that knew and Loved Jesus Christ and through Him God. They were filled with God’s Spirit and knew they were Priest of God in the family of God.  They met in homes as family and saw all the “Christians” one Body, one blessed  community in Christ. Every Christian was a part of the family, the Body of believers.  Their Worship was based on LOVING each member of the family, as they LOVED GOD. The point is they praised each other’s LIVING IN GOD and God for loving them. Jesus was real to them and they knew He willingly died for them to reconcile them to the Father. 
FAITH WAS NOT THEORY TO THE FIRST CENTURY CHURCH!  Faith was so real to them they would enter the arena to face wild animals or Soldiers intending to kill them and do so Singing Praises to God!  The more the world tried to stop them the more they showed their LOVE for God. Their Love was so strong they moved the masses of people and changed the world. We today are still to Love God, our only responsibility is to God. We must obey Him and keep His Commandments, so purely that others will see Jesus in us. It is a Christian’s responsibility to LOVE the other Christians, and obey God. We do not judge others, we do not tell others how to serve God, and it is our place to LOVE God. Yes, there is sin, failure, weakness, yes even evil. But, that is not the subject we are discussing such evil is the natural behavior of a person that is LOST "the natural man." Christians forgive, Love, keep God’s commandments, Love other Christians and put God first.
The First Century Church saw a person’s responsibility as a personal responsibility to God. The Old Testament says about 79 times something very near, “Hear my words (voice, commandments, instructions) and keep my commandments,(Law, Word) and I will be your GOD and you will be My people.  When Jesus came He said “Change your mind” or “Change the way you think”, in other words stop disobeying me and ”Hear my voice, keep my commandments” Come near for the royal authority of God. What Jesus said is not so different from what had been said in the OT. Obey God keep his commandments and He will be your God, Jesus said Change the way you think, Obey Me, Come near the indwelling of God’s Spirit.
Please bear with me it does not say kingdom, it says kingdom authority.
A word for word translation of this verse is: Mt 4:17
"Change your mind and draw near for “the royal authority of heaven”.  Note in this verse the “draw near” is in reference to the one changing their mind not the “a kingdom or royal authority”. There is no grammatical reason the move the “draw near” to a “kingdom of Heaven”.   Change your mind is “You” second person plural, Draw  near “the ones changing” is third person singular.  Royal authority of heaven is the object of the preposition “for” and first person singular.
"You change your mind the ones changing draw near for the royal authority of Heaven"   
The royal authority of heaven is the power of the King of Kings, God's authority to rule over eternity.  When changed by grace, children of God, we are heirs and joint heirs with Christ. He is the King there is only one King, yet as heirs we have the authority (βασιλεία) of The King.   When Christ said Mat 16:28  Truly I say to you, There are some standing here who shall not taste of death until they see the Son of Man coming in His Power.  The word βασιλεία is used that is "Coming in His Royal Power."  
 The ones saved by Grace and obeying Christ Lordship share and have that power.  This is not some distant eventual result it is a present possession. 
Gal 6:16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. 
God gave to His People (every one saved by GRACE, OT Remnant and the NT Church) the position of the Nation Israel. The Nation Israel lost its place by disobeying God, by Changing the way we think (stop disobeying God) and walking according to His Rule (keep His Commandments) the position is given to the ones saved by grace.
Jesus taught a simple gospel, it dealt with the needs of real people. He told us how to see and deal with real problems. Jesus said He was the way to Life Eternal. Jesus teaching was to follow Him and Know God, He would be the way to Life.

The early Church was just this practical simple and loving. Meetings in Homes were to support and hold up each member of the group. They all were family, the family of God.
We do not need the later generations to tell us who Jesus was, Prophets for told it, Angels announced it, Simeon and Anna praised Him, Peter knew, even the demons Jesus cast out knew, He was the Son the God.
It was later men seeking control of masses that try to say He is only human, or He is only God.
The early Church knew Jesus was the God-Man. God the Son born on earth Totally Eternal God, and Totally man.
The early church was much like ours today it was made up of some people very serious and dedicated to Jesus, there were some that believed to a degree but lacked the fire of deep devotion, and there were some that saw the new church as a way to profit or get ahead. There were many struggles and errors on the way to becoming the church we know. By the year 180 to 200ad the books of the bible were established and widely known. The elders of the early churches agreed on a standard for the “inspired books” they had to be written by an apostle or someone working with the apostle. The adoption of formal “Cannon of Scripture” years later was to stop heresy from being added to the Bible. There were several groups that wanted control of the church, some of the early church disagreements were over power.
The early Church met in homes in small groups where everyone was equal in Christ. They knew Jesus as a man, and they knew Him as Christ the Son of God. They lived dedicated lives “Living in the Spirit, Pure and Holy was real to them. So real they would die before rejecting Christ.
Paul taught there is only one way to be saved. (13)  He spent seven chapters of Romans discussing there is no difference in who or how to be saved. The Jews as chosen people, the seed of Abraham had no special favor. Paul called this the Mystery revealed to the ApostlesAll are saved by Grace. Old Testament faith heroes of Hebrews 11, The Greek or Barbarian all are saved by Grace through Faith. The law was never the way. Grace leads to Living in the Spirit, A life In Christ, Rejecting the world and the things of the world looking to a higher calling. The Mystery is simple all are saved by Grace, God in His mercy provides the gift of Grace allowing us to by faith be saved. When we are saved, we stop disobeying God and yield to His position as Lord, we are indwelled by God the Holy Spirit. We are adopted into the family of God. We have the "Power of the Living God" if only we yield to Him and let Him work through us.
 The early Church knew this and living in the world were not a part of the world. They were separate and often misunderstood because of this. Ro.11:25 Col 1:27

What did they do in those early house churches? The activity was diverse and spontaneous but always centered on belief in the risen Jesus. We know they broke bread together, following their Master's instructions to remember his death and resurrection (e.g., Luke 22:7-38). Everyone brought food and shared it. We don't know for certain if they celebrated the Lord's Supper every time they met, but we do know it was very common.
Beyond sharing the Lord's Supper together, the agenda for house church meetings was flexible. Paul wrote to the house church in Colossae, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God" (Colossians 3:16). Paul wanted the house church believers to encourage one another, share transparently, and rejoice in God's goodness. The members enjoyed each other's presence, laughed together, and drew near to Jesus.
Robert Banks writes, "We find no suggestion that these meetings were conducted with the kind of solemnity and formality that surrounds most weekly Christian gatherings today." At the same time, they accomplished a lot. Most scholars agree that the early house churches emphasized the following elements:
·         Worship
·         Fellowship
·         Teaching
·         Prayer
·         Evangelism
·         The Lord's Supper
·         Baptism
Communicating information was another essential activity in the early house churches. News from visitors, letters that were passed from one city to another (e.g., Paul's letters, 2 and 3 John), warnings of persecution, and accounts of actual persecutions were all shared through the house churches. They also served as centers of social services for those members who were in need. Young widows and the poor looked to the house churches as a means of support.
Oikos (Family Home) Transformation
One of the major cultural gaps between then and now is the extended family, or the ancient oikos structure. Those who live in the Western world have a hard time imagining the New Testament culture in which it was normal to live with parents, relatives, servants, and other workers. We are accustomed to living in nuclear families—father, mother, and children. Yet, the ancient world didn't even have a way to express what we call the "nuclear family." We only find the word oikos, which means family home, household, house, or extended family.
God used the oikos to extend the gospel throughout the Roman Empire. The early believers modeled transformed lives and distinct values that were often countercultural. Yet, in these crowded, urban environments, people were able to see Christianity up close. They heard and saw the testimonies of those transformed by the gospel, and they desired to experience Christ for themselves. Husbands loved wives, servants were treated with dignity, married partners submitted to one another, and love reigned supreme. Friends and neighbors were drawn to this new transformed community.
Developing Leaders Organically from the family structure already in place.
Many are amazed at how quickly Paul developed leadership in the early church, but the early house churches were natural incubators for leadership. In Paul's church plants, we don't see formal leadership structures. The person who opened his or her home would assume leadership, and the rest of the leadership structure was already in place—Paul used the oikos structure that was already built into the social infrastructure.
The titles of later “Church officials” do not mean what the church made them mean.
They simply say the elder in a family or the person in whose home they met.

Original: πρεσβύτερος - Transliteration: Presbuteros  - Phonetic: pres-boo'-ter-os
- Definition: 1. elder, of age, a. the elder of two people b. advanced in life, an elder, a senior
                   2. forefathers 3. a term of rank or office
Original: ἐπισκοπή- Transliteration: Episkope  (BISHOP)- Phonetic: ep-is-kop-ay'
- Definition: 1. One in charge, Host, owner of where we meet
      2. Overseer ship, office, charge, the office of an elder
From the Home Church setting Paul simply uses the structure already in place THE FAMILY ELDERS.
Πρεσβύτερος Elder or presbyter is just that in the Home Church, the family elders already having responsibility for the family.
And ἐπισκοπή  Christian episcopate  (BISHOP)  is to say “Our Host where we meet” it is not an office but a responsibility.  Yes, there are men appointed to this position in Churches but it was as leaders and teachers not “Priest or Rulers”. In 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13, Paul says, "Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work." Paul is talking about house church leaders, they developed organically within the Family- House Church structure.
In this first century church every member knew the responsibility of being a Christian, every Christian was a Priest of God, indwelled by the Spirit of God, the temple of God, a child of the King. They knew the requirement of serving God, to serve God they walked into the arena to face death Singing God’s Praise. They were ALL LEADERS!!


The problem
All men left to themselves after the fall (natural man) will fail to keep God’s commandments. From the very worst we can describe to the very best a great man may be, the result is the same, each is lost.  It is not about how good or evil a person is, it is about obeying God.  We use the little euphemism “sin” to discuss what we all really know to be disobeying GOD. The offence of Adam was to disobey God. The offence we do is also to disobey God.  It is just this simple “If you do not obey Him, you disobey Him”. The task is not what I do of myself, for me, what I want. It is Do I obey God?

 Introduction of sin into the world
The word “entered” indicates the introduction of a principle till then external to the world, and the word “by” throws back the responsibility of the event on him who, as it were, pierced the dyke through which the irruption took place. Paul evidently holds, with Scripture, the previous existence of evil in a superhuman sphere. Assuredly no subsequent transgression is comparable to disobeying God. It created, here below, a state of things which subsequent sins only served to confirm. If the question is asked, how a being created good could perpetrate such an act, we answer that a decision like this does not necessarily suppose evil in its author. There is in moral life not only a conflict between good and evil, but also between good and good, lower good and higher good. The act of eating the fruit of the tree on which the prohibition rested, was not illegitimate in itself. It became guilty only through the prohibition. Man, therefore, found himself placed—and such was the necessary condition of the moral development through which he had to pass—between the inclination to eat—an inclination innocent in itself, but intended to be sacrificed—and the positively good Divine order. At the instigation of an already existent power of revolt, man drew from the depths of his liberty a decision whereby he adhered to the inclination rather than to the Divine Will, and thus created in his whole race, still identified with his person, the permanent proclivity to prefer inclination to obligation. (Prof. Godet, D. D.)
 

Assuredly no subsequent transgression is comparable to this”, disobeying God.  All the descriptions of “sin” are but the choices men make in their own regard as to their actions that THEY WANT. “a state of things which subsequent sins only served to confirm.”  But, what greater evil can we name than to disobey God.  Men go the heaven for by faith accepting God’s grace and obeying Him. Please note and be sure natural man goes to hell for ignoring God’s grace and disobeying Him.
There are and always have been two ways a person may follow.

For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.  So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.
For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.  Ro 5:17-19

The Beginning
After being created in the “Image of God” and living in the garden, Adam walked with God. There have been many books written on the standing or state of perfection man had before the fall, so I do not pretend to have all the answer, just a consideration.
In the garden before the fall Adam had “Direct Revelation from God!” God told Adam many things, And Adam knew to OBEY GOD. Adam had no personal knowledge good and evil. His will at that point was obey God or not. But, he had that will! 

Think about it
The Self-existent, Holy, Most High (Sovereign), Infinite One made
Man finite, sovereign (highest of creation) for fellowship and gave him all that was needed to truly fellowship with God. (Explained more later, and YES, sovereign only means highest, NOT Dictator)!    

At first Man was to obey the Direct Revelation from GOD, he was not burdened with understanding Good and Evil and deciding for himself how to best serve God. He only had to obey what God told him.

 Adam disobeyed God and had to pay a price for it. Broken fellowship with God and put out of the Garden because of the Tree of Life, yet, God taught Adam A new way to obey Him. Gen 3:21 It was still Adams choice to obey or not. Every time the sacrifice was made it was to specifically obey God and under that blood be right with God. Adam looked forward to the promise of the messiah, and was in right standing with God “in Christ”.  God tested Adam and he failed. God taught him to obey, our God is so wonderful, He tested Adam, Adam failed, then God gave Adam the correct answer, God taught Adam how to obey and be in right standing. The shedding of blood for covering was also a sacrifice a blood offering. God taught Adam of the Promise, one day a savior would come and pay the sin debt for all people. The sacrifice was taught to all from Adam to Moses and the ones serving God made the sacrifices.
It is very important for all to see that God made man with a free will to obey Him or not, and it was a great risk to God because God gave man the RIGHT and ABILITY to choose to obey or not. The Death in the story is Physical death. Spiritual Life or Death has always been a free choice, a choice to obey God or Not. But look at context stay with the story, God made man for fellowship and in Love gave man all that was needed to truly choose to love God and Fellowship with Him or not.

Adam is not the only one tested. Abraham was tested and I think it was harder, “Take the promised son to the mountain and sacrifice him to ME”. I do not think many of us would do so well, there is a lesson here. Abraham’s test was to the level of Abraham’s faith. Abraham had made mistakes, did things his way, but, we are told he believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness.  It was a hard test, “offer you only son’s life to ME”.  Reading the story over and over it seems to say Abraham believed God would keep His promise. Abraham believed Isaac would come back home with him.  Abraham passed the test yet he was under the blood just like Adam, looking forward to the promise. 
Moses passed his test. Protected by God, taken from the river by the princes Hatshepsut and given a nurse to tend him. All he knew of God and Israel came from that godly woman, his mother.  When the test came Moses choose to be with God’s people than to be a prince in Egypt.  Hebrews says Moses endured as seeing Him who is invisible. Moses believed God, he made the sacrifice and was in right standing looking forward to the Cross, just like Adam.  
There are many more who passed and failed but the choice was always obey GOD or not.

Paul said he was righteous, dedicated, zealous, and blameless, and that was not enough. It was not the right subject.  He had to obey God. To know and obey God is the answer to sin’s problems.

If any other man thinks that he has reasons he might trust in the flesh, I more:
Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.  Phil 3:4b-6

 The subject is obeying GOD.

There are two groups of people.

1.      The ones that obey God and as Paul did give all as lost for Christ. I count all things (but) loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord:
Phil 3:7 But what things were gain to me, those I [have] counted 8loss for Christ. Yea, doubtless, and I count all things (but) loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them (but) dung [refuse] that I may win Christ, 9and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by [upon] faith; 10that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable  [being conformed] unto his death.
2.   The ones left to themselves, By choice apart from God. Lost, lost, lost. No matter how GOOD or GREAT still they are LOST. 
Depravity is real but it is a choice.

Psa 14:1-4  The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.
They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.  Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the LORD.
CAIN AND ABEL  Gen_4:1-26

IT is not the purpose of Moses in his five books to write the history of the world. It is not his purpose to write even the history of mankind. His object is to write the history of redemption. Starting from the broad fact of man’s alienation from God, he means to trace that element in human history which results in the perfect re-union of God and man. The keynote has been struck in the promise already given that the seed of the woman should prevail over the seed of the serpent, that the effects of man’s disobedience of God should be removed. It is the fulfilment of this promise which is traced by this writer. He steadily pursues that one line of history (Called the Scarlet thread through the Bible) which runs directly towards this fulfilment. His method is first to dispose of collateral matter and then to proceed with his main theme. As here, he first disposes of the line of Cain and then returns to Seth through whom the line of promise is maintained.

The story of Cain and Abel was to all appearance told in order to point out that from the very first men have been divided into two great classes, viewed in connection with God’s promise and presence in the world Always there have been those who believed in God’s love and waited for it, and those who believed more in their own force and energy. Always there have been the humble and self-diffident who hoped in God, and the proud and self-reliant who felt themselves equal to all the occasions of life..  Expositors Bible Commentary e-Sword

Every religion we know of has had some form of a DUALISM of Good and Evil. Mankind’s misunderstanding of Good and evil has caused most of the failure of people to know and love God. We get so focused on evil and where and why it exist we fail to see we are to focus on knowing and Fellowshipping with God.  We mistake evil as missing the mark and that is not true. To miss the mark, sin, is to miss God’s glory, created in us, to fail to fellowship with Him. Evil is only what a natural man does without God. This man had already decided to disobey God.
How far back does the discussion of Good and Evil go, There was a tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden, remember.

Adam lived in the garden and fellowshipped with God, he knew God and to obey God, that is the definition of GOOD.   The “TREE” was the one thing God said DO NOT DO!  When Adam ate of the “Tree” he disobeyed God. That is the opposite of good, EVIL. Now Adam had knowledge of both good and evil and the result of disobeying God.

The idea of a dualism of good and evil is very misunderstood, no one “Created Evil” and we need to get this point right.
The problem is how could the Eternal Holy God create Evil?  How Could the Holy Son of God be born of evil flesh?  The answer to both Questions is “the premise is wrong.” 
God did not create evil and all flesh is not material evil.   There are some ideas that are basic to logic. If there is good the absence of good is evil. There is a level of thought that comes from elemental concepts. God cannot be evil. The very meaning of evil is an elemental opposite of God. To say this another way some ideas are so basic they are the foundation of the discussion. Elemental Ideas are so basic they come from the character and nature of God Himself and were not created by God they ARE the basis of the discussion. Words and ideas have meaning, elemental ideas come from the foundation of reality, and they just are.  God is Holy, Love, Good. Did God create Holiness, Good, Love, Mercy, Justice? No, they are the attributes that describe God.  The Opposite exist because opposite is elemental to the Idea. Ungodly is unholy, hate, evil.  From the idea God could not create sin came the many other ideas trying to explain how sin came to be. It is simple, To Disobey GOD is SIN. Satan and man made a choice to disobey God.

 Gen. 4:26 then began men to call upon the name of the Lord; not but that Adam, Able and Seth, and all good men, had called upon the name of the Lord, and prayed to him, or worshipped him, and made Blood sacrifices to Him before this time personally, and in their families; but now the families of good men being larger, and more numerous, they joined together in social and public worship, they also formed themselves into distinct bodies; and not only separated from Cainites, but called themselves by a different name; for so the words may be rendered: "then began men to call themselves", or "to be called by the name of the Lord" (p); the sons of God, ( in Adam & Seth Godly people that Obey GOD)  as distinct from the sons of men (in Cain worldly People that trust in their own ways); which distinction may be observed in Gen_6:2 and has been retained more or less ever since:  Expositors Bible Commentary e-Sword
There are TWO groups of people, the ones choosing God and the ones that reject God. There is now and always has been two groups in the world “sons of God” and  “sons of men”.
Being saved, Living in God is about acknowledging and obeying and trusting GOD.
1Pe 2:5  Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
Rom 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

There is more to BEING SAVED than church attendance and saying “I’m Saved.”
              There are the sacrifices!
a.    Rejected by the world and rejecting the world and self.
b.   Dead to self and sharing the cross of Jesus dead with HIM.
c.    Risen as new creatures in Christ in the family of God.
            Francis Shaffer  From True Spirituality ( it is worth reading)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has regenerated us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and unfading, reserved in Heaven for you by the power of God, having been kept through faith to a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time; in which you greatly rejoice, yet a little while, if need be, grieving in manifold temptations; so that the trial of your faith (being much more precious than that of gold that perishes, but being proven through fire) might be found to praise and honor and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen, you love; in whom not yet seeing, but believing in Him you exult with unspeakable joy, and having been glorified, obtaining the end of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1Peter 1:3-9

There is a problem in the Church today, our Church, all Churches. I fear the problem may be so serious that it effects the very salvation of some who do not know the truth!

Christians ARE NOT sinners.
Without being IN CHRIST you are LOST!
There are TWO groups in this world. 
Natural man LOST.  Depraved and living for self. He will not obey God.
SPIRITUAL man, In Christ SAVED!  Indwelled by the Holy Spirit a Child of God.
He makes the sacrifices required by God.
There is more to BEING SAVED than church attendance and saying I’m Saved.
Do people, professing to be Christians learn the teachings of the Church that have been passed on for 2000 years, or do they look to the scripture for the meaning of these truths?
I fear that in many ways people simply repeat what they have always heard and do not grasp the depth of scriptural truth. We tend to quote and reverence “Church Fathers” both ancient and more recent without challenging their teaching.

God in His own time decided to make man for fellowship, a creature able and willing to by choice come to Fellowship with GOD.
Did God need man? NO!
Did man in any way add to or complete God? NO!
God made man because He wanted too.

In the beginning God created the heaven and earth and it was good.
God created man and woman and it was good.
The next point we jump to in the study is man disobeying God.  And we often come to some, I think, unfounded conclusions.  Possibly we need to start with WHY God created all the world and Mankind in the first place. We need this foundation before we get to “The Fall” and a medieval intermix of ideas from many sources.

Which point do we need as the basis, the foundation of our theology?

1.     God created Man for Fellowship and gave man “The Image of God” so he could truly fellowship with God.  Man has to have enough of the “Image of God” to Truly Commune with and Relate to God.  Man was made to Rule with Dominion over the earth. God gave man enough free will so that he could and has the right to make choices on his own,
and God will honor the choices.

2.   God from eternity knew man would sin, creation and God’s plan was to provide a foundation for the plan of saving Grace.  When Adam disobeyed God he became totally depraved and cannot come to God by choice. Man has no free will or a will so corrupted that he cannot use it to know God.
But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people:    Jer_7:23
We so often look at the creation and jump right to Adam disobeying God that we miss the point of the story, and the foundation of all the rest of our understanding and theology.
The question has been asked, “Why did God create the world and man if He knew man would sin?” Like so many questions this one may be placing the emphasis in the wrong place.
Look at a few ideas that may help us understand.
 1. The universe, the milky way, our solar system, the Earth were made by God for MAN to have a home, A place where God and Man could fellowship. God, self-existent, eternal, Holy, unchanging, all knowing, sovereign, made the world and man because HE WANTED TOO. God was making a creature for fellowship, love, and service. Someone to commune with, this fellowship, I think, is the key!
 2. God did not gain from, have too, or need to make man. All this is about fellowship. Fellowship with a creature that could and would choose to fellowship with Him.
 3. God is self-existent (eternity, space and time, exist in the self-existent God). He does not live in eternity, minute by minute, day by day, God INHABITS eternity, self-existent, NOW. All of eternity, every second of time, is now present before God. Yes, He saw the broad way, He saw the choices people would make, not to love and obey and fellowship with Him. Yes, He saw all the ones that by free choice would choose not to love or know Him. God gave man enough free will so that he could and has the right to make choices on his own, and God will honor the choices IS 57:15
 4. But, so long ago when God looked at eternity He saw the ones that choose to love Him. Yes, He saw the narrow way that few find, He saw all our sins and failures. But, He looked beyond all that and saw fellowship with the ones that choose to follow Him. He saw in eternity that there would be some that elect by their free moral choice to serve and fellowship with Him.
 5. Yes, He saw His holiness and righteousness and He knew the price of man’s sin would have to be paid. Yes, He saw the Cross. Before time He knew He would go to that old rugged cross in my place…
               HE DID IT ANYWAY!

I do not know where in your theology you need to place this, but it is a fact of the Bible story, The Relation between God and man is FELLOWSHIP not Grace!  Grace comes later to fix a problem and restore fellowship.  

Some say man cannot have a free will because the sovereignty of God would be limited.  Nothing can happen that is not the will of God. OK, God’s will is that the creature in His world can choose to serve Him or not.
Religion has resulted in the invention of a new meaning for the word "sovereign," which basically means God controls everything. Nothing can happen but what He wills or allows. However, there is nothing in the actual definition that states that. The dictionary defines "sovereign" as, "1. Paramount; supreme. 2. Having supreme rank or power. 3. Independent: a sovereign state. 4. Excellent." None of these definitions means that God controls everything.
It is assumed that since God is paramount or supreme that nothing can happen without His approval. That is not what the Scriptures teach. In 2 Peter 3:9, Peter said, "The Lord is...not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." This clearly states that it is not the Lord's will for anyone to perish, but people are perishing. Jesus said, "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in there at" (Matt. 7:13). Relatively few people are saved compared to the number that are lost. God's will for people concerning salvation is not being accomplished. The Sovereignty Of God By Andrew Wommack
The “Not” and all that follows from people not obeying God is the result of people choosing to disobey God, using a free will choice that God gave them.  How important is that choice?   God seeing eternity, knowing some would choose the world and not obey Him, Then looking to all who would obey and fellowship with Him, loved us so much,
EVEN SEEING THE CROSS;    HE ALLOWED FREE WILL CHOICE ANYWAY!

Everyone in Gods eternal Kingdom will be there because they chose to be, It is all about fellowship with God, CHOOSING to FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD!

At some point here we come to the “Image of God in man”.  There are almost as many opinions to the meaning of this as there are people. Still, I will venture to offer one more.
Given: God made man for fellowship. 
Given: God and man are Persons.
Given: God and man have reason (knowledge), feelings (emotion) and the
            ability to act (free will). 
I feel the best definition of the Image of God in man is,
The ability to , “With knowledge of result”, MAKE A CHOICE.
 No other creature in all creation has such an ability.  I will further state that for God to truly and personally fellowship with man, man must have the  reason, emotion, and free will, (that is to say the Image of GOD);
 “AT LEAST TO A LEVEL TO TRULY FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD.
Think about this the Self-existent infinite sovereign God made finite sovereign man with a Free Will to FELLOWSHIP.  They had to have enough in common TO FELLOWSHIP! What we need in worship is to return to that fellowship!

The teaching on this subject; apart from “everyone” having their own description of  “The Image”,  the teaching has been very poor and fails to show how wonderful God is. The Self-existent infinite sovereign God made finite man with a sovereign free will and moral responsibility. But, more than just free will “The Image” includes the moral attributes of God, holy, wise, good, merciful, loving, and sovereign.  Man was made to fellowship with God. 

When “the fool” said in his heart, using the free choice God gave him we get to result listed in Psalms 14:1 and 53:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. The Hebrew word נבל  nabal, which we render fool, signifies an empty fellow, a contemptible person, a villain. One who has a muddy head and an unclean heart; and, in his darkness and folly, says in his heart, “There is no God.”
 This Fool does not represent or include the entire race of man
There are two groups

“Natural Man” the Fool and
“Spiritual Man” saved by Grace.

 Gen 1:26  And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

The Hebrew word ֶצֶלם    ṣelem: A masculine noun meaning an image, a likeness, a statue, a model, a drawing, a shadow. The word means image or likeness; its most celebrated theological and anthropological use was to depict human beings as made in God's own image (Gen_1:26-27; Gen_5:3).
The Hebrew word ָרָדה  rāḏāh: A verb meaning to rule, to have dominion, to subjugate. This Hebrew word conveys the notion of exercising domain, whether legitimate or not, over those who are powerless or otherwise under one's control.
(Just for Fun, John Wycliffe translated it Sovereign, William Tyndale translated it Rule.)  
In our image, after our likeness - What is here said refers to his spirit. This was made in the image and likeness of God. Now, as the Divine Being is infinite, he is neither limited by parts, nor definable by passions; therefore he can have no corporeal image after which he made the body of man. The image and likeness must necessarily be intellectual; his mind, his soul, must have been formed after the nature and perfections of his God. The human mind is still endowed with most extraordinary capacities; it was more so when issuing out of the hands of its Creator. God was now producing a spirit, and a spirit, too, formed after the perfections of his own nature. God is the fountain whence this spirit issued, hence the stream must resemble the spring which produced it. God is holy, just, wise, good, and perfect; so must the spirit be that sprang from him: there could be in it nothing impure, unjust, ignorant, evil, low, base, mean, or vile. It was created after the image of God; and that image, St. Paul tells us, consisted in righteousness, true holiness, and knowledge, Eph_4:24 Col_3:10. Hence man was wise in his mind, holy in his heart, and righteous in his actions. Were even the word of God silent on this subject, we could not infer less from the lights held out to us by reason and common sense. .  (Adam Clark)
And let them have dominion - Hence we see that the dominion was not the image. God created man capable of governing the world, and when fitted for the office, he fixed him in it. We see God’s tender care and parental solicitude for the comfort and well-being of this masterpiece of his workmanship, in creating the world previously to the creation of man. He prepared everything for his subsistence, convenience, and pleasure, before he brought him into being.(Adam Clark)

 Gen 3:21  Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them. 22  And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever: 23  Therefore  the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.

God, in the garden, shed blood to cover sin and shame. He taught Adam about the sin offering and that the Messiah would one day come.  ADAM LEFT THE GARDEN UNDER THE BLOOD, IN RIGHT STANDING WITH GOD! Looking forward to the PROMICE! Still a free moral agent with the right to choose to obey GOD or not! Adam knew that he could choose to obey God this time and make the sacrifices God told him to make. He was still the highest of God’s creation, still had dominion over the world, and still could make Free Will Choices.
It is foolish to say Adam after he disobeyed God was so sinful that he could not Know God. From WHAT TREE did he eat? I thought it was the “Knowledge of Good and Evil”. 22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil:

God made coats of skins - It is very likely that the skins out of which their clothing was made were taken off animals whose blood had been poured out as a sin-offering to God; for as we find Cain and Abel offering sacrifices to God, we may fairly presume that God had given them instructions on this head; nor is it likely that the notion of a sacrifice could have ever occurred to the mind of man without an express revelation from God. Hence we may safely infer, 1. That as Adam and Eve needed this clothing as soon as they fell, and death had not as yet made any ravages in the animal world, it is most likely that the skins were taken off victims offered under the direction of God himself, and in faith of Him who, in the fullness of time, was to make an atonement by his death. And it seems reasonable also that this matter should be brought about in such a way that Satan and death should have no triumph, when the very first death that took place in the world was an emblem and type of that death which should conquer Satan, destroy his empire, reconcile God to man, convert man to God, sanctify human nature, and prepare it for heaven.  (Adam Clark)

Why COULD man fall? If man was to be a truly Free Moral agent, which could “Choose to fellowship with God “OR NOT” man had to be able and free to choose not to know God!  The point here is God wanted a being that could and would, choose to know Him, to Love Him, to serve Him, TO FELLOWSHIP.

The Danish Theologian/ Philosopher Soren Kierkegaard says that this fact, the fact of our free will, “is the cross that philosophy could not carry but was left stumbling at”. What a paradox it is—that it is up to us whether Omnipotence’s will may be done! But that is what freedom means. There is one thing that even Omnipotence cannot give to Himself: Our own free choice to love him.

Why did God not just kill Adam and Eve and start over?
God gave them the Right to choose. They may not have had the “knowledge of Good and Evil”, but they had the word and command of God, They lived in the garden with God and had God’s direct revelation on all matters of life and obedience that much they knew, they knew the result “you will surely Die”. Adam and Eve were to follow the direct revelation of God, they were not prepared or required to use their own wisdom and knowledge. They had a free will to obey the revelation from God.
 It is interesting how when they knew the result, they knew what God Said, they put the desire for knowledge and power above obedience.  They were not so different from so many millions through History that have made the same choice.  God did not just kill them and start over because God gave them the right to choose.
IT says God separated Adam from the “tree of life”. Adam still had to deal with the result of sin, till the ground by the sweat of his brow, with weeds in his field.  But, the covering blood left him in right standing with God.  Adam knew what he had to do to obey God. Adam had the free choice to obey. Still a free moral agent with the right to choose to obey GOD or not!

So, I ask how important is that choice?
And the answer is to me profound.
God in love to protect that right of choice and offer man a resolution for making the wrong choices,  Himself paid the debt of my sin on an old rugged cross.  The choice, that is the right to make the choice, is sealed with the blood of Calvary.  The choice only works if there is a way to correct wrong ones.
Can you grasp the idea, “Victory is sweet in proportion to the reality of failure”.
If you could not fail, if you could not make a real choice, the result would be meaningless.
But, IF you choose to serve God because you want to, you love HIM, it has meaning.

The worst aspect of the problem of evil is eternal evil, hell. Does hell not contradict a loving and omnipotent God? No, for hell is the consequence of free will. We freely choose hell for ourselves; God does not cast anyone into hell against his will. If a creature is really free to say yes or no to the Creator’s offer of love and spiritual marriage, then it must be possible for the creature to say no. And that is what hell is, essentially. Free will, in turn, was created out of God’s love. Kreeft, Peter (2009-10-29). Fundamentals Of The Faith (p. 58). Ignatius Press. Kindle Edition.

Hell manifests God’s love. God’s love created us free, not robots, and our free choice of evil is the only thing that makes hell.  Love stoops to conquer. And it’s not mercenary because hell is not only punishment for sin (missing the mark) but sin itself (eternally missing God’s Glory and Presence), brought to consummation; just as heaven is not just reward for goodness, it’s goodness itself consummated (in eternal fellowship with God).
Kreeft, Peter (2009-10-29). Fundamentals Of The Faith (pp. 72-73). Ignatius Press. Kindle Edition.

There are two groups in this world.
The ones that follow Satan’s Counterfeit (Natural man rejecting God)
And the ones that offer the sacrifices and obey God (Spiritual man obeying God). 
Then some say, “We offer no sacrifices, we have the blood of Jesus that paid our sin debt. There are no sacrifices today.”
OH! But that so misses the point. A person of self, my will, my ability, and knowledge cannot pay the debt for disobeying God. God planned in His thoughtful reason how to pay that debt. God carried out that plan and Jesus paid the debt on Calvary’s Cross. This is God’s Grace freely offered to all. I only have to accept God’s free gift and follow the plan. There are no works in my receiving God’s Grace. I accept it by Faith. BUT, this is where we fail to follow the plan.

Grace is THE STARTING POINT, not the Destination!!

THERE ARE WORKS IN LIVING FOR GOD!!
The sacrifice is being rejected by a sinful world because I am not part of this world. And rejecting natural self, I give my all to God.
The sacrifice is I die with Christ and share His Cross, I die to self, a bondslave to the Master.
The Promise is that I am risen in the Risen Christ.
The risen Savior Jesus is my King, my all in all and my promise, I will rise in Him when He Comes.
To live in myself, my will is to follow Satan’s counterfeit. Psalms says the Fool has said in his heart there is no God. But to make the sacrifice rejecting the world and the counterfeit is to die with Christ to share His Cross and die to self. A bondslave to Jesus not my will but always His.
The sacrifice of today, the part of the plan we fail to see and I fear practice is rejection of self and the world, to share in the cross. I belong to the King of Kings not to me. 
Romans clearly and in very specific detail says man disobeys God. And Paul is clear the “Natural Man” as a natural man by following Satan’s counterfeit cannot by knowledge or any other power of “Myself” come to know God. Paul was once a Pharisee and very well knew the teachings of the Mystic traditions, the ancient teachings of Satan’s counterfeit. It is the non-Christian religions that have taught that man may by knowledge and mystic power free himself from evil of Flesh and in spirit Rise up and be God. Today’s New Age movement says man’s sin is not to know that he is god part of the eternal god.
The ones that by faith accept God’s gift of grace know what romans 3 says. The answer to disobeying God is in what God gives, His Righteousness made known in Jesus. We must have that righteousness to come before God. Jesus took my place and paid the debt I could not pay and in HIS BLOOD gave me that righteousness.

There is therefore (The therefore is Jesus) now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. Romans 8:1-2  

The THEREFORE is the Blood Paid Price that gives to us The Righteousness. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.
 Saved by Grace through Faith Rejecting self and the world we are indwelled by God’s the Holy Spirit. The position of God’s Spirit is the surety of the promise of the resurrection. The promise that when we die with Christ and yield our self to Him we shall be risen at His coming. Yet, it is a present position. Just as in Christ Blood, Adam was covered by the sacrifice “Looking forward to the promise was in right standing with God. So too we in Christ are new creatures, Old things are passed away and all things become new. Today’s sacrifice is rejecting self and this world and dying with Christ on the Cross. We are His yielded to Him. The sacrifice, the cost is, “MY all on the Cross with Jesus.” The righteousness of God and the resurrection are the promise of that sacrifice THEY ARE MINE NOW!!!
If however Satan can convince us that we are so evil so “Totally Depraved” that we cannot know God, Satan has made a major step to making every man a sinner. 
Christians are not and cannot be Sinners.
Satan has made this, “you are a sinner” idea work for a long time and steals the Christian Victory we should have. If people are convinced that they are too sinful to choose, God must do it all and choose who will be saved “what difference does it make God will Do it all any way” But, if we recognize that there two groups of people and that a free moral agent is responsible for the choice they make. We must choose to make the sacrifice to live for God. Reject the world, reject self and Satan, die with Christ on His cross to Live again.
I hear preachers talking about “Repentant Sinners” almost to the point you would think we have to be saved or at least repent of our many sins every week, day, hour.
 But, the work of Jesus on the cross made a difference, we are not, cannot be in the flesh bound to sin.  Jesus changed all that!

Rom 5:19  For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous.
Rom 8:2  But the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
Everything Adam did to damage fellowship between man and God: JESUS restored and more too.   Jesus is now at the right hand of God as our intercessor, so if we fail He is there to protect us.   We are in Christ, we cannot be living in sin!
 A Christian is not a Repentant Sinner.    
 A Christian is in Christ! In Christ we are “Indwelled by the Holy Spirit”, Adopted into the family of God, Adopted as Children of God, Heirs of God, Joint heirs with Christ. Old things are passed away ALL things are become new. We are the temple of God indwelled by the Holy Spirit we are Priest of the Most High God with Jesus as Our High Priest. We are a Royal Priest hood and will rule with Christ in the Kingdom.  

Now I Call that VICTORY!!        Please do not let Satan steal it!!

There are Two Roads that man may travel. The choice has two ways to go and so we see another way.  The second road, The counterfeit of Satan, starts in eternity past when Satan said “I will place my seat above the stars of God, and I will be as God.”   We said Man was made for fellowship and Satan wants that fellowship. Satan wants to be god.  The fact that Man can choose and Satan wants to be the one selected causes Satan to do all he can to entice and deceive Man.  Before Adam disobeyed God he lived in simple obedience to the direct revelation from God. After he failed to obey God Adam opened the door to knowledge and gave Satan a platform to tempt all men, man had the ability to reason and decide what HE WANTED. That is where Satan’s plan begins, “With Knowledge you can save yourself!”

 Please look with me as we try to see a parallel road of deceit that Satan planed and established to deceive men and gain there fellowship. In Job 1:7 we learn that Satan comes before God and he goes to and fro in the world to accuse men. In Rev 12:10 when he is finally cast out of Heaven He is called the accuser of the breathern before God night and Day.  At least between these two points Satan goes about the earth to deceive and accuse man before God.  
The second road the broad way, is the method Satan uses to teach men “HIS WAY” a way to by “knowledge” rise up and free one’s self of sinful flesh and in Spirit become as God.  This knowledge is what he offered to Eve in the Garden, “You will not die, your eyes will be opened and you will know good and evil.
Satan wants man’s fellowship and will offer any thing a human heart can desire to entice man to follow him.
From this beginning to today’s New Age Movement there is “One Continuous Story of Satan using all his wiles to deceive and accuse man.  I do not recommend everyone to study and follow all of Satan's Ancient or Modern Mythology, but, here let’s review the outline just to see that it is One Continuous Story.

Satan's plan before the flood was fairly good because so many people followed him God killed all but Noah and his family.  In the Expositors Commentary it says the story of Cain and Able looks as if it were placed in the Bible to high lite the fact that there is and has always been two groups of people.

From the Garden Adam taught what God taught him. He taught all his family the meaning and importance of the Blood Sacrifice.  There is an interesting side question here. Many Debate which came first Natural Revelation or Special Revelation. How did the people know what God said?  I would argue DIRECT revelation from God Himself was first.   DID ADAM WALK WITH GOD IN THE GARDEN? Why would one say Adam did not learn from God and pass what God told him on to others? Of course if you make Adam totally depraved then I guess he could not teach what God had told Him. This I feel is an example of theology controlling translation.

The story of Cain and Abel was to all appearance told in order to point out that from the very first men have been divided into two great classes, viewed in connection with God’s promise and presence in the world Always there have been those who believed in God’s love and waited for it, and those who believed more in their own force and energy. Always there have been the humble and self-diffident who hoped in God, and the proud and self-reliant who felt themselves equal to all the occasions of life..  EB e-sword
Gen. 4:26 then began men to call upon the name of the Lord; not but that Adam, Able and Seth, and all good men, had called upon the name of the Lord, and prayed to him, or worshipped him, and made Blood sacrifices to Him before this time personally, and in their families; but now the families of good men being larger, and more numerous, they joined together in social and public worship, they also formed themselves into distinct bodies; and not only separated from Cainites, but called themselves by a different name; for so the words may be rendered: "then began men to Profane”, or "to be called by the Personal name of the Jehovah" but did they go too far, when were they given permission to be called by the “Name not spoken”. We have the sons of God, (in Adam & Seth Godly people that Obey GOD)  as distinct from the sons of men (in Cain worldly People that trust in their own ways); which distinction may be observed in Gen_6:2 and has been retained more or less ever since: EB e-sword

Then began men to call upon the name of the Lord - The marginal reading is, Then began men to call themselves by the name of the Lord; which words are supposed to signify that in the time of Enos the true followers of God began to distinguish themselves, and to be distinguished by others, by the appellation of sons of God; those of the other branch of Adam’s family, among whom the Divine worship was not observed, being distinguished by the name, children of men. It must not be dissembled that many eminent men have contended that הוחל  huchal, which was translated “began”, should be rendered began profanely, or then profanation began, and from this time they date the origin of idolatry and men saying “I can of myself rise up and be as God.” Most of the Jewish doctors were of this opinion, and Maimonides has discussed it at some length in his Treatise on Idolatry; as this piece is curious, and gives the most probable account of the origin and progress of idolatry, I shall insert it here.
“In the days of Enos the sons of Adam erred with great error, and the counsel of the wise men of that age became brutish, and Enos himself was (one) of them that erred; and their error was this: they said, Forasmuch as God hath created these stars and spheres to govern the world, and set them on high, and imparted honor unto them, and they are ministers that minister before him; it is meet that men should laud, and glorify, and give them honor. For this is the will of God, that we magnify and honor whomsoever he magnified and honored; even as a king would have them honored that stand before him, and this is the honor of the king himself. Part of their error was Man was made in the image of God to rule the creation and is special before God. Therefor Man can of himself overcome evil and be as God. When this thing was come up into their hearts they began to build temples unto the stars, and to offer sacrifice unto them, and to laud and glorify them with words, and to worship before them, that they might opinion obtain favor of the Creator by glorifying Man and Creation; and this was the root of idolatry, etc. And in process of time there stood up false prophets among the sons of Adam, which said that God had commanded and said unto them, Worship such a star, or all the stars, and do sacrifice unto them thus and thus; and build a temple for it, and make an image of it, that all the people, women, and children may worship it. And the false prophet showed them the image which he had feigned out of his own heart, and said it was the image of such a star, which was made known unto him by prophecy. And they began after this manner to make images in temples, and under trees, and on tops of mountains and hills, and assembled together and worshipped them, etc. And this thing was spread through all the world, to serve images with services different one from another, and to sacrifice unto and worship them. So, in process of time, the glorious and fearful name (The name not spoken the Self-existent God ) was changed in of the mouth of all living, and in their knowledge, and they acknowledged themselves.
And there was found no people on the earth that knew aught, save images of wood and stone, and temples of stone and man as god, which they had been trained up from their childhood to worship and serve, and to swear by their names. And the wise men that were among them, as the priests and such like, thought there was no God save the stars and spheres, for whose sake and in whose likeness they had made these images; but as for the Rock everlasting, there was no man that acknowledged him or knew him save a few persons in the world, as Enoch, Methuselah, Noah, Sham, and Heber. And in this way did the world walk and converse till that pillar of the world, Abraham our father, was born.” Maim. in Mishn, and Ainsworth in loco.  Clark e-Sword       (blue is my additions)
There are TWO groups of people, the ones choosing God and the ones that reject God. There is now and always has been two groups in the world “sons of God” The sons of Adam and God’s People, and as is clear in the flood account destroying all flesh they made wrong choices and “sons of men” the sons of Cain that said to God “Depart from us”. "Perverse" generation of irreligious Cainites, "who said unto God, Depart from us," &c. {Job_22:17} This Job speaks there of these wicked, "which were cut down out of time, their foundation was overflown with the flood." {Job_22:16}  Trapp e-sword
The next step down this road is with Nimrod the leader and King of Babylon and his wicked Queen, who established herself as the “Queen of Heaven” the Moon Goddess.  Nimrod was a powerful King and builder, He left “religion” to his wife, that mistake got him killed. Samarimis and her son who she said was Nimrod reborn, ruled in Nimrods name for 102 years.  The Queen of heaven was a powerful ruler because the ones that followed her saw her as a god and she gave them what they wanted.
The religion they developed, which was all the details of Satan's deceitful plan, was written by the son Nimrod II, under the priest title Zoroaster.   (3)
There were only 4 families after the flood, they all knew one another and the religion spread to all nations by travel and trade.
Contemporary to Nimrod was the great leader of God's people, Abraham.  Two men, two roads, two ways to go, but the same choice that God gave Adam, Fellowship with God or follow man's way.
     
Mythos and legend are based on events that are true. True because Satan used all he could control to make the people believe and practice what HE taught. So it is with the Babylonian mythos, and the story of Nimrod and Samarimis, we know there is truth here because the Bible references events and results from the story. We know that some of the story grew bigger than life, yet bigger in this case is only to make the application of the resulting religion and worship that much more evil.  There is and always has been two levels of thought, an antithesis of the elemental concepts, Good .vs. Evil.  Satan has had a plan since he wanted to “be as God”, he teaches this plan to men that will listen. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the Good News, the plan of Satan is the Humanistic news, Man allowed to do as man wants. But be sure you see the two run parallel they have always been a simple choice, Do I put God First?  Do I choose to serve God or Self and thus Satan?   
… I saw a woman sitting upon a scarlet beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, decked with gold and precious stone and pearls, having a cup of gold in her hand full of abominations and the unclean things of her and of the earth's fornication, and upon her forehead a name written, Mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of the harlots and of the abominations of the earth.  Rev 17
This story covers all the years of history from the flood to the end of the tribulation. For all of time GOOD has been to Know and obey God. EVIL has been the work of those that deny and attempt to usurp the authority of God.  Please look with me at a story in two parts but one story, good and evil and the right of people to choose the path they will follow.  “Evil” is the story of the beginning of all the “wisdom” that said “good is in men and the way by self-aware knowledge man  may overcome the flesh of this life “evil” and rise in “spirit” to be as God.”  

If you look in modern text books on Ancient History they try to start with Egypt, then add something about Mesopotamia and the Fertile Crescent, but then go on as if Egypt were the origin of civilization.  They make no reference to the flood, Babylon, Nimrod, nor any other part of the Bible History.
2Pe 3:3-5  Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
      And saying, where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
      For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
Omitting the Bible history and order of events is deliberate, modern historians do not want to admit God is in charge. God IS in charge and Satan does go about on earth to accuse and deceive mankind. The Mythos DID come from Satan, he taught men to “in themselves rise up to escape EVIL FLESH and in SPIRIT be as God.”
I will offer a time line to help you follow my thinking, you may agree or not this is only the order as I see it. 
Satan choose to “rise up and be as God”                                                         
Creation
Adam & Eve Eat of the Tree
Mankind’s Sin, They disobey God.
The Flood
Nimrod, a king, takes a Queen, and proclaims that twins from the highest god control the world Good and Evil. 
Zoroaster (Nimrod)   made a “duel” religion teaching how good and evil is in all. 
The Teachings are spread to other parts of the world by moving and trade.
Egyptian Mysticism is started.
Epic of Gilgamesh, just a retelling of this story, but on tablets in one of the oldest writings.
NOTE: there are now two systems of pagan thought:
   Polytheism, pantheon of gods for every need and purpose
               Monotheistic, One god and his twins of Good and Evil.
Beginning of Greek pantheon and mysticism and Philosophy.
Hebrews disobey God and go into exile in Persia
The religion of Persia, Old Babylon, even parts of India was and in some places
still is practicing Zoroastrianism.
Hebrews  learn and accept the teachings of Zoroaster,
Middle Class men wanting power became the lawyers of Tradition, Sopherim (Scribes and later called Pharisees).  Sopherim is wisdom, expert, Sophia meaning knowledge.
The beginning of Jewish Mysticism.
Christ and Christianity
Gnosticism appears as just the latest version of the ancient mysticism. Secret wisdom that will allow one to “rise up free of evil flesh and in spirit be as God.”
Although it had been in practice since the captivity as a secret religion, the teachings and traditions of the Pharisees were written down as the Cabala, Jewish Mysticism.

This is a very important discussion because it so totally fills all the teachings and beliefs of all people of all time. And Yet it is not always presented as evil. All to often the “wisdom” is desired and used as “ANOTHER WAY OF SALVATION”.   Yes the Church and modern religions are full of the ancient mystic teaching. Calvinism is based on Gnostic thought. New age is reworded mysticism.  Total depravity as it relates to man totally evil and can’t know God because all FLESH is evil is the ancient mysticism properly stated.

I feel that a good example of this error being practiced is seen in the “Oral Traditions”
This is a simple question, What were the “Oral Traditions”?
I am asking, were the traditions the work of men of God seeking to teach God’s law? Or were they a mixed teaching of many mystic and ancient cults that were offered by Satan to deceive men? Taught by men who for special Knowledge, Position and Power followed a secrete teaching of a higher knowledge that would free them of evil flesh and allow them to come to God by their own works.   Do they go all the way back to Babylon?
Mat_15:2 Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.
It was commanded to wash the hands before meals, it was one’s duty to do it after eating. The more rigorous did it between the courses. The hands must be immersed. Then the water itself must be “clean” and the cups or pots used must be ceremonially “clean.” Vessels were kept full of clean water ready for use. So it went on ad infinitum. Thus a real issue is raised between Jesus and the rabbis. It was far more than a point of etiquette or of hygienic. The rabbis held it to be a mortal sin. The incident may have happened in a Pharisee’s house. AT Robinson.
How much of this is an interpretation of OT law which did not require such a washing and how much comes from the tradition based in the Dualism that all material flesh is evil. Not washing had become considered sin.

Mat_15:3  But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
Tradition is not good or bad in itself. It is merely what is handed on from one to another. Custom tended to make these traditions binding like law. The Talmud is a monument of their struggle with tradition. There could be no compromise on this subject and Jesus accepts the issued. He stands for real righteousness and spiritual freedom, not for bondage to mere ceremonialism and tradition. The rabbis placed tradition (the oral law) above the law of God.  AT Robinson
The Oral Tradition of the Jews had been shaped by their contact with the Persians (Zoroastrian Dualism) when in captivity and the fact that not one of the kings of Israel and only one in Judah had obeyed God and led the people to God. We often think of Israel as “God’s People” but they did not live up to the promise. They followed idols and handed down traditions that came from ancient mystic cults, they failed to follow the Law or obey God.  Any person or group that knew and followed the Law of Moses would know of all the symbols that point to the Messiah. All the feast of special meaning and the sacrifices, Blood shed to cover sin. The traditions were NOT THE LAW OF MOSES.
 At this point it may be good to ask, “Where did the Scribes/Pharisees come from any way?  They are not included it in the Law given to Moses, of which they claim to be “Lawyers or Teachers and “Experts”. In fact they seem to be a result of the captivity, a middle class group that were given position of “Teachers of Wisdom” by Ezra. These teachers given to keep the people in touch with God. Nehemiah continued what Ezra started and it was these teachers of wisdom that were called Scribes later some scribes joined the Pharisees, a religious movement or party, All Pharisees were Scribes but all Scribes were not necessarily a part of the Pharisees party. The teachers of Wisdom seem to have been highly influenced by the Persian, Babylonian Mysticism and taught more than the Law of Moses.
  If they were so dedicated to The Law they would have to teach that God’s plan was for the Priest of the tribe of Levi to teach and be the Spiritual leaders of the People. The Pharisees tried constantly to usurp the position of the Priest and gain power with the people. By the time of Christ they were very powerful but it is not a position established by God.  More to prove this point the “Cabala” is the tradition of the Pharisees teachings written down, it is pure Mysticism.
We most often see this word “Tradition” and think of the teachings of the religious leaders. Maybe the Talmud, or Writings of Rabbis (Midrash or Talmud), But what are these based on.  Do not jump to the conclusion that they are from interpretations by pure teachers of the Word.   I have said several times “Free ones self of Evil Flesh, and In Spirit rise up as god.” Remember the difference: In the Bible we are told to be right with God is to obey God and by grace by faith Accept Him.  In Mysticism we are told By knowledge and mystic truth you may free yourself of evil flesh and OF YOURSELF in spirit rise up and be as God.  We have a comparison of FLESH:Evil,  SPIRIT:Good. For example look at all Paul's discussion of FLESH vs SPIRIT. {Paul understood, He was trained as a Pharisee.}

Without reviewing the details of each separate idea I want to see a progression of thought that is opposed to God and the Bible message.  It has a purpose and a plan and is I feel ONE Continuous MESSAGE.   A message of Satan for all time, a message that man can by knowledge be as god. Its purpose is for Satan to offer man the “Faith Wisdom” {Pistis Sophia} and have us all follow him in trying to ascend to the place of God, a view that says we can come to God by our own knowledge. Its author is Satan, he has a plan and it is a good one at least it has worked for many years. One of the first if not the first of these religions is that of Babylon, the kingdom of Nimrod and his Queen, Samarimis. I cannot say how much of the legend is true but all the worlds’ mystic religions are based on the story, so true or not as the basis of mystic religion it affects all cultures of the world.  Another of the most ancient forms of this is the Chaldean Mystic Numerology, a system of reading meaning and power from the letters of words and related numbers.   Another is the structure that came to be Persian and Indian Dualism and was developed into a monotheistic, Zoroastrian Dualism of good and evil 1500 to 1200 BC.  Around 1500bc Zoroaster (Zoroaster, more likely a title of religious High Priest) developed his religious structure based on the religion started by Nimrod and Samarimis. The relation of this religion is very important because the legends say Zoroaster is Nimrod or his son.(3.)  This means the link between Babylonian mysticism (the thinking of the young man) and Zoroastrianism (the knowledge of a mature system and thinking) is simple they have the same author/ source. At this early point the Babylonian mysticism under Nimrod/Zoroaster included magic and power of demons.
Chaldean, Persian, Babylonian, Egyptian, Jewish, Greek, and Roman each of these civilizations share, develop, and spread the Ideas of  Mystic Numerology and Dualism of good and evil and a secret that can rise one to God by his works and knowledge. Yes, the meaning of numbers and Allegory is occult, very old and from Satan. (But that is another study.)

There is an important split in the presentation of the occult religions.

First there is the widely reported and better known pantheon of gods that each nation or culture had and worshiped. This was a religion for the common person to see and hold to, something they could do to be “Religious”. To a large extent it requirements were used to control the masses of people.  The “practice” side greatly affected the behavior and belief of the people it had an enormous impact on nations and culture of the world.

Second and not so well knows was the secret “Faith Wisdom” {Pistis Sophia} which was passed along to a select few that were able to understand the meaning of the teachings.  The word mystic means secret. This was the Zoroastrian Mysticism that led to Egyptian Mysticism, Jewish Mysticism, and later Gnosticism, the Cabala and New Age Thought.

It started when Satan by his beauty and knowledge thought to rise up and be as God.  In Gen 3:5 Satan offered Eve enlightenment and knowledge that would allow her to rise up and become as God. In fact every one of the traditions, Mystic Religions, and All Philosophy is based on knowledge that will allow the person to overcome the evil of flesh and rise up to God by their own ability of self-aware thought and power. Satan still trying to do the one thing he wants most, to be like God worshiped, loved, and have the Fellowship of man.
When Israel went into captivity they were directly influenced by the Persian (Zoroastrian) ideas and they adopted many of the teachings in their traditions. Cyrus the Great was relatively liberal. While he himself ruled according to Zoroastrian beliefs, he made no attempt to impose Zoroastrianism on the people of his subject territories. The Jews most famously benefited from this; Cyrus permitted them to return to Jerusalem from exile in Babylon, and rebuild their temple. This act of kindness made a huge impact on Judaism. Zoroastrian philosophy powerfully influenced post-Exilic Judaism. It is the foundation of Jewish tradition and mysticism. Darius the Great was famously pious and showed the same general tolerance for other faiths as his predecessor Cyrus. He also showed kindness to Israel.  His piety is expressed in religious inscriptions left on his tomb.
  Like most of the mystic religions the “Faith Wisdom” teachings were passed down to ONLY an elite that “Could Understand the Meaning”.  These teachings were not accepted by the masses and had to be kept secret passed along orally.
There are many sources of the specifics of these teachings and they are all very similar.  Where these traditions that developed by the time of Christ no more than the Mystic Dualism of the secret Traditions that became Jewish Mysticism, Gnosticism, and Allegory?   Remember, these were secret teachings and we have only a little real data on them, SO YES I am “Reading Between the Lines” still I feel this idea is worth considering. Is it reasonable that Christ would have been so hard on a specific literal keeping of the LAW?  Was there more to the “traditions” in these verses (Mt 15:2) than we may have thought?  Then too we have the Egyptian mysticism and allegory that saw the words as symbols and meanings (from Chaldean Mystic Numerology) and they were free to “interpret” the Bible as they wanted. Philo was one of the teachers in this movement.  When” we” read the ancient mystic writings they seem meaningless to us, WE DON’T READ ALLEGORY.

 Based on his Gnostic background and lack of Greek language,  Augustine interpreted other passages of Scripture in this light. For instance, he read Romans 9-11 as if St. Paul were talking about the concept of predestination regarding who would be saved and who damned. There's no justification for this in the text itself, and no other Father of the Church read it this way. Augustine's interpretation was entirely novel, and based on his Gnostic assumptions.

Another example of such flawed, Gnostic-tinged theology is Augustine's introduction of the concept of Original Sin. The closest that we come to such a concept in Christian writings pre-Augustine is in the writings of the Gnostics, who supported the idea that the material world was "utterly depraved." Sound familiar? It should -- this idea, along with predestination, carried over into the grandchild of Gnosticism: Calvinism, and became one of the essential principles thereof. Augustine based his belief in Original Sin on both his Gnostic assumptions and, again, his flawed Latin translation of Scripture.


Satan has a PLAN!!

Satan failed to over throw God and is condemned and he knows it. He goes about on earth to deceive as many people as he can and he has a good plan. From the most ancient times the idea of good vs evil has been known. Satan created and taught men to believe mysticism dualism and magic as a way they could rise up free of evil flesh and be god.

There is a progressing system here from Satan to Nimrod who became known also as Zoroaster and Tammuz and Adonis, yes following Satan these four famous names are the same character in the story. The mystic traditions are all part of the plan to teach men they could become “as god” by knowledge from the religious system they taught. The Bible tell us many times Man cannot save himself. But, that is what mysticism is all about, man's way not God's way.

In Satan’s system the TRUE ALL POWERFUL GOD is not knowable by man. A lesser god made the world in an error. Man was made in an error and mistakenly given a spark of the divine light. Because of the mistake all of the world and man were created evil. Satan used a man (Nimrod/Zoroaster), he gave a vision to start a religion that on the surface sounded good, but, went far beyond the surface good and included mysticism, magic, and the knowledge cults in its development. These errors came from Babylonian folklore, Zoroastrian Dualism, Buddhist ethics, Egyptian Mysticism, Greek Philosophy, Jewish Tradition and Mysticism, Manichean, and Gnosticism.

Zoroaster is said to have received a vision from Ahura Mazda, the Wise Lord, who appointed him to preach the truth. He said he saw many problems with the polytheistic religion, so many gods and no one would be committed to any. It was at this point he started to present a monotheistic religion to focus the allegiance of followers to one god. Nimrod was the sun god, fire and light. Samarimis was the “queen of heaven” the moon god.  Zoroaster began preaching his message of cosmic strife between Ahura Mazda, the God of Light, and Ahriman, the principle of evil. According to the prophet, man had been given the power to choose between good and evil. The end of the world would come when the forces of light would triumph and the saved souls rejoice in its victory.  The secret knowledge was needed when a person with the spark of light died. They had to traverse the spirit world to get to the one true god. That meant getting safely past all the Aeons who ruled the levels of the spirit world. You had to have the magic spells and passwords and knowledge of the way to pass that would take you safely through.   Zoroaster's teaching became the guiding light of Persian civilization.   BC1500

The idea here is that man, by knowledge, can ascend beyond the evil of flesh and come to pure spirit of god by himself. This is the origin of “All Flesh Is Evil and total depravity” only the spirit is good.  It is the origin of the idea some are "elect"  be saved and some "elect" to be lost, only the ones with the spark of light can be saved.   It was the Mystic secret knowledge given by Satan to deceive the world.
Mysticism says Man can do all he needs himself. 
The Bible says God gave man a choice to obey God or not. Only God's Grace offered freely can save any one.  The two roads run parallel through time.

“But especially does “Wisdom of Knowledge” that is “Faith Wisdom {Pistis Sophia}”, testify to the antiquity of the Mystic Wisdom. Of Chaldean origin... Gnosticism was Jewish in character long before it became Christian... Gnosticism that is,(wisdom of Knowledge) seems to have been the first attempt on the part of the Jewish sages to give the empirical mystic lore, with the help of Platonic and Pythagorean or Stoic ideas, a speculative turn; hence the danger of heresy…of which the systems of Philo show many pitfalls...
Jewish Gnosticism unquestionably antedates Christianity, for Biblical exegesis had already reached an age of five hundred years by the first century C.E.  Judaism had been in close contact with Babylonian-Persian ideas for at least that length of time, and for nearly as long a period with Hellenistic ideas. Magic, also, which was a not unimportant part of the doctrines and manifestations of Gnosticism, largely occupied Jewish thinkers. There is, in general, no circle of ideas to which elements of Gnosticism have not been traced, and with which the Jews were not acquainted.” (Jewish Encyclopedia)
 Closely connected herewith is the doctrine that the pious are enabled to ascend toward god even in this life, if they know how to free themselves from the trammels that bind the soul (good) to the body (evil). Thus were the first mystics enabled to disclose the mysteries of the world beyond. According to Anz, l.c., and Bousset, …the central doctrine of Gnosticism—a movement closely connected with Jewish mysticism—was nothing else than the attempt to liberate the soul and unite it with god.
(Jewish Encyclopedia)  (1)

Please understand this is the whole point. The modern world rejects the creation, and free will of man.
      2Pe 3:3 -4
      Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on  as it has since the beginning of creation.  (These scoffers are mystic.  Ancestors or Fathers are mystic teachers in the world of Satan.)
Without these points there is no bible message. God did not create sin. Man was given a choice and made the wrong one. The cause for sin is man’s choice, A choice to DISOBEY God. The only SIN is to disobey GOD.  There are two sides {God=Good} or {self, world, what I want = Evil}, the question is which do you choose.  Satan is actively enticing the mind of men to do as he had done, “With Knowledge you can be as God”!
A Devilish Crime
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Ephesians 6:11
When you think of counterfeiting, don't just think of money. Fraudsters are creating knock off web sites that imitate those of real companies. Customers are tricked into purchasing inferior products on these fraudulent Internet pages, thinking they're shopping on the genuine web site.
Counterfeiting in all its forms is a devilish crime. Satan is the original counterfeiter, and his goal is to duplicate everything God has made and to trick us into buying the bogus article. The Bible says of false teachers: "Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works" (2 Corinthians 11:14-15). During the Great Tribulation, the devil, the Antichrist, and the False Prophet will even try to trick the world into following a counterfeit trinity.
Satan can imitate God, but he cannot duplicate Him -- God is the only One who can deliver us from our pain and suffering. Let's look to Jesus, put on His armor, and resist the wiles of the devil.   Turning Point   Wednesday, October 15    With Dr. David Jeremiah


The “church” has left the foundation of exclusive worship of the Father and is morphing into an environment where, utterly illogical and unthinkable, the worshiper esteems and exalts self above the One worshiped. Ancient apostasies are returning full circle as age-old Gnostic teachings are dramatically changing the religious landscape. They called it New Age, but there was nothing new about it. It was as old as Babylon and even older. This heresy that says we humans are really "gods" reaches all the way back to the Garden of Eden, when Satan enticed Eve that she could be "divine" if she followed his instructions to defy Yahweh.
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Popularized by the ‘80s New Age Movement, the dogma of self-glorification moved into mainstream culture and now into the Main Street church. Ancient mystery worship is back. One of its daughters, Gnosticism, began to permeate the New Testament movement early on and to pollute true teachings nearly from the start. So insidious were its diabolical dogmas that they were to dramatically influence the next 2,000 years of church doctrine and worship, opening the door to the grand-scale sacrilege we see today. It is time we learned where today’s trendy doctrines really came from and how you can come out from under the spell of an age-old scourge that Paul calls "damnable heresies" and their "pernicious ways that many would follow."
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Apostles Were Concerned
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As he traveled from town to town teaching the truths he learned from the Savior, the Apostle Paul was a witness to many successes. At the same time he began to be increasingly concerned with what he was hearing from various quarters.

Concern led to alarm as Paul launched a campaign to warn the various Assemblies about the insidious heresy. So did Peter. Each was aware of apostates out to get their own followers at the expense of truth taught in the newly established Assembly. Just as the New Testament Body was beginning to get its feet on the ground, wolves were circling. The Apostles' early fears proved abundantly justified.

Little is known about what exactly happened in the first two centuries following the death of the Apostles. One thing is sure, however. What occurred was far-reaching and would change the face of New Testament worship worldwide for the next two millennia down to our day. The die was cast, and its imprint was a familiar one. Many heretical teachings have become major tenets today, and none supported in Scripture. We also know that Gnosticism was at its most influential while the early Assembly was in its infancy. One researcher describes it this way:

"As the apostolic age comes to a close, the [Assembly] seems to pass through a dark tunnel. When it comes out at the other side, the original bond of unity, the clear standards, and the love of [Yahweh] seem to have been replaced by an unsettling, institutionalized spirit of domination and by beliefs which are more Gnostic than Christian. What happened? We are now confronted with the possibility that the original identity and true definition of Christianity have become lost," from The Apostasy of the Lost Century, p. 9.

Why were the Apostles so concerned? What was it that posed such a deadly threat to the truth? It was nothing less than age-old Babylonian mystery religion beginning to take root through heretical and influential teachers. These apostates were mixing the teachings of Eastern mysteries and Greek paganism with the Bible. The Apostles had already confronted one of them, whom the Scriptures identify as Simon (Magus). "Magus" because he was a member of the Median tribe of Magi or Persian mystics who interpreted celestial phenomena and used wizards' spells, according to the writer Herodotus. We read of Simon Magus when he attempted to buy the Holy Spirit from Peter and John in Acts chapter 8.

Another heretic was Marcion, a man who worked hard to completely separate the Messianic Faith from its Old Testament roots. He regarded the Old Testament as a catalog of crimes against humanity by an evil, sinister Mighty One.

Truth Nearly Smothered

These men were leaders in this far­ reaching movement of Gnostic teachings. This was primitive idolatry that centered on worship of self, not on Yahweh. In fact, Yahweh was seen by Gnostics as an evil sub-deity who made a serious mistake in creating the physical world. He imprisoned human beings in physical bodies even though they are innately "divine." You can sense the rudiments of the immortal soul doctrine in the making.

The Gnostic believed humans possessed a spark of divine nature just waiting to be released at death to reunite with the true deity. The problem the Gnostic saw is that man doesn't know that he is at the center of this great plot by a sinister creator, and is imprisoned by the created world. All that is physical is evil and useless. The way to salvation is knowledge, the Gnostic says. Enlightened knowledge is what Satan tempted Eve with: “For Elohim knows that in the day  you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing  good  and evil,” Genesis 3:5.

This heresy, according to some historians, became a formidable contender with the early Faith and nearly smothered it. So powerful were its dogmas, so far-reaching was Gnostic teaching that its tenets were to impact church teachings irreconcilably and saturate popular worship all the way down to today.

More than one source has noted that Gnosticism made a deep impact on Christianity: "Scholars have debated whether (1) Gnosticism was a wide­spread scheme that flourished before the birth of [Messiah) and influenced Christianity from the outset, or (2) whether it was a movement that developed concurrently with Christianity and came to affect it significantly only in the second a subsequent centuries, or (3) it was a basic alteration of Christianity that arose after the disappointment of the earliest Christians' expectation of the end of the age, "Dictionary of Bible and Religion, "Gnosticism," p. 396.

Regardless as to the exact time of its inception, Gnosticism was to work its evil on the early faith. As one scholar writes, "The great menace, in fact of Gnosticism, was its refusal to remain outside of Christianity. It fastened itself as a parasite upon the Christian faith, drawing substance from it and at the same time robbing it of its individual character and vitality, "Deceptions and Myths of the Bible by Lloyd M. Graham, p.284.

That "individual character" being robbed was the early Assembly's Israelite faith and the fact that the New Testament Assembly shared the same bond with Yahweh that Israel did -- including the same commanded obedience to His statutes. With Gnostic influence, that relationship would forever change, and the "church" would early on-adhere to unscriptural beliefs and practices that would dominate and alter its personality and character. Only a small remnant would continue teaching the truth of the Bible.

Back to Babylon

With today's decline in Bible-centered religion and worship, the sinister teachings of ancient Gnostic forefathers and other Babylonian mysteries have begun to grow and infiltrate in ever newer and bolder ways. How could such an obviously pagan movement be coming back? For Neo-Gnosticism to flourish today, traditional standards and values must first be dismantled. This is being done socially, politically, in the classroom, and now in churches. For this new Gnosticism to be successful, the past and its values must be completely erased. Secular history is being rewritten to take out references to the Bible and Biblical mores. The breakdown in the family and educational misdirection will ensure that traditional values will not be passed on to the next generation.

Socially, behavior that was once driven by Biblical undertones supported by a deep reverence in and fear of the power of the Almighty has been replaced by a man-made "politically correct" worldview. Whereas Biblical religion teaches that Yahweh alone constructs the reality of right and wrong, good and evil, Neo-Gnosticism sees the culture itself as divine. Gnostic philosophy says every problem must have a societal solution. The new behavioral standard of correctness is now fluid, changing with the times, rather than unchangeable since creation.

To grasp the significance of what is happening to the “church” as well as to society, we must first come to know more about the Gnostic religion, how it rose to prominence in the first centuries of the New Testament era, and how it still lives in doctrines and teachings of most denominations.

Gnosticism: A Quick Course

The Greek word Gnostic derives from a verb meaning "to know" It combines aspects of Greek philosophy, Oriental mysticism, and Christianity. It stresses salvation through gnosis or knowledge.

This teaching says "history is a progress from materialism and paganism, by way of religion and ethics, to spiritual freedom and gnosis ....The spirit in man is united with the soul so that it may be formed and educated in practical life, for it needs psychic and sense training," Encyclopedia of World Religions, p. 146.

How did such a hybrid religious system arise? According to the book, Mystery Religions in the Ancient World, by Joscelyn Godwin, it was a combined effort. "In both Palestine and Egypt at the end of the Hellenistic age, unorthodox Jews mingled with Greek philosophers and Persian dualists; and somewhere in that confused but thrilling encounter Gnosticism was born, the religion of Gnosis — knowledge of the true nature of things" (p. 84).

"True nature"? Here is what this source describes as a major tenet of Gnosticism: "The world is a stupendous mistake, created by a foolish or vicious creator-god. This creator or Demiurge (Yahweh) is a god of very low grade on the celestial hierarchy, himself the result of a grave error, who thinks he is supreme. His pride and incompetence have resulted in the sorry state of the world as we know it, and the blind and ignorant condition of most of mankind. The Gnostic, however, is not fooled. Although like every man he suffers under the tyranny of this monster, he knows that far above the Demiurge there is another God. He believes, moreover, that humanity is not totally without hope of reaching this true God whom the Demiurge does his best to hide, both from himself and from his subjects," Ibid. (Demiurge is Greek meaning "craftsman, maker, creator.")

To understand modern doctrines we need to realize that Gnosis-centered teachings also reject the law of the Old Testament, the holy days and weekly Sabbath, as well as many other com­mands Yahweh gave to His chosen people Israel.

It is the hidden force behind the immortal soul doctrine, universal salvation teachings, the once-saved-always-saved tenet, the belief in a reward in heaven, and many practices engaged in but not supported by the Scriptures (like the custom of pouring rather than immersion for baptism). It even explains the pervasive belief that Yahushua the Messiah came to do away with His Father's "harsh," Old Testament laws.

Clearer View of Worship Today

As one digs deeper into the tenets of this mystic religion, one begins to see the pieces of a diabolical puzzle begin to come together.  When the pieces are placed side by side a clearer picture of modern worship emerges from the darkness of mysticism. The simple fact is, Gnosticism and Christianity grew up together and would strongly influenced each other.

Notice this statement: "Gnosticism emerged in schools of thought within the church in the early second century and soon established itself as a way of understanding Christianity in all of the church's principal centers ... Gnosticism was thus a major threat to the early church," Holman Bible Dictionary, p. 558.

Another source shows just how powerful this movement was in turning people from the Scriptures: "Its rapid growth in the ancient world was encouraged by an early Christian fascination with Greek philosophy and mythology ... early Christians were led into Gnosticism when they rejected the Old Testament and their Jewish roots, and turned to Platonic Dualism," Mercer Dictionary of the Bible, p. 334.

One of the Gnostic sects had a particularly profound impact on early Christianity. Its founder was the Persian Mani. "He established a highly syncretistic form of Gnosticism called Manichaeism, which became widespread and which even included Augustine among its converts," The New International Dictionary of the Christian Church, p. 417. This heresy combined Zoroastrian, Gnostic Christian, and pagan elements.

With one of the "church fathers" even involved, it is no wonder that many Christian teachings would be forever influenced by the heresies of this paganistic movement.

Doctrinal Ties to False Worship

There are really only two religions in the world: the religion of "He" (Yahweh) and the religion of "Me" (paganism). All false religion has as its core the worship and advancement of self through human philosophy. Anything that replaces the worship of Yahweh is idolatry. Any religion based on the worship of another mighty one either springs from a rebellious heart that refuses to acknowledge Yahweh as supreme, or is simply practiced out of ignorance. Either way, True Worship is displaced while glory is given to idols — even the idolatry of self-worship. The Prophet Samuel told King Saul, “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry” (1Sam 15:23).

Let’s look at some modern doctrines and see how they equate with what was being taught in Gnostic circles even while Peter, Paul, James, and John were teaching the truths of Yahshua and the Scriptures.

First, here are some revealing statements about some of today’s New Age notions, as well as church beliefs and practices that, astonishingly, are tied to Gnostic teachings. "From the Coptic Gnostic papyri (and their Greek originals) it is evident that the Christian Gnostic systems developed for some centuries alongside the orthodox forerunner of the main Christian church. and were distinguished by such matters as giving priority to immediate experience rather than ecclesiastical structure, teaching that ignorance rather than sin is the cause of suffering, recognizing a feminine as well as a masculine element in the divine, explaining the resurrection of [Messiah] as spiritual rather than bodily, and pointing to self-knowledge as knowledge of [Yahweh]," Myth and Mystery by Jack Finegan, p. 258.

This writer explains that while Biblical worship stresses a single, correct faith that is ever one and the same, the Gnostics believed that the Holy Spirit continued to teach new things in an evolution of beliefs.
As a result, the apostate church "came to alternative thoughts and practices that were plainly meaningful to many, and that have continued to be of influence in various forms of religious tradition, including the esoteric," ibid.

The belief among some that the "church" has the authority to set doctrine over the Bible is in line with this same Gnostic belief of an ever-growing and expanding belief system. This belief is at odds with Psalm 119:89: "For ever, O Yahweh, thy word is settled in heaven." In other words, no new is revealed over what has already been revealed in Scripture.

Teachings that were once Bible based began to take on Gnostic flavor, as one authority notes: "The early Christian preachers and writers, seeking to speak and write to be understood, used terms current in the first century world in the vague context of gnostic religious longings and gave them new meaning in the context of the incarnation, death, and resurrection of [Yahushua]," Holman, p. 559.    This same source also reveals, "The classic answer to the question of why Gnosticism arose is that it represents the 'radical Hellenizing of Christianity.' In this view, Gnosticism' resulted from the attempt of early Christian thinkers to make Christianity understandable, acceptable, and respectable in a world almost totally permeated by Greek assumptions about the reality of the World," p. 559.

Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea, says that the "church" did not go into wholesale corruption until after the martyrdom of James the Just (61-62 C.E.), "when Symeon the cousin of [Yahushua] was chosen bishop of Jerusalem, and a certain Thebouthis, who was not chosen, began the corruption 'by the seven heresies, to which he belonged, '" A Source Book for Ancient Church History, Joseph C. Ayer, p. 109.

Old Heresies Strong Today

These seven heresies or movements in Gnosticism were initiated by Gnostic teachers, two of whom were Simon Magus and Marcion. They and other teachers were so effective and influential that many of their heresies are still alive and well in the basic beliefs and major doctrines of most denominations today. Let's look at some.


Universal salvation

The Gnostic Carpocratians taught that each person must pass from body to body until one has experienced every kind of action in the world. Then the soul is liberated to soar upward to the god who is above the maker(s) of the world (meaning the lesser mighty one, Yahweh). In this way all souls are saved. This belief arises from Oriental teachings of reincarnation. It traces to the world's first lie, when Satan told Eve, "You won't die if you disobey Yahweh."

Elements of this universal salvation teaching of Gnosticism are still evident in the common belief that the dead live on in heaven when they "die." Furthermore, if all are saved eventually anyway, where is the need to honor Yahweh through obedience? The logical conclusion leads inevitably to the Gnostic-rooted teaching of grace over obedience, along with the "faith alone" teaching, neither of which the Bible supports or teaches.

Law versus grace
 It was the Old Testament Mighty One of harsh law and retributive justice (Yahweh) who made the world, Marcion taught. Through it He maintains unjust control. It is the higher New Testament god of love and grace, from whom Yahshua came, who is above Yahweh and unknown who will ultimately triumph over the lesser Old Testament deity. Marcion made much of the contrast between the law and the Evangels, that is, the first as coming from a wicked mighty one while the latter from a loving Father. These Gnostic notions were to profoundly affect church doctrine. As one source notes, "Christian theology also had taken seriously the concepts of love and mercy, rather than stressing law and ecclesiastical authority," Mercer, p. 548.

The law is against us

This idea is implicit in most church teachings today with their misinterpretation of grace and love. That the law is somehow bad is not found in any Scripture, however, and therefore had another origin. In fact, the Scriptures say just the opposite, that the law is good and good for us, Romans 7:12; Psalm 19:7; l John 5:3; John 14:21. The Gnostic Ptolemaeus wrote that the law was imperfect, unjust, and had to be abrogated by Yahushua. The law came from an imperfect Demiurge (Yahweh), an inferior mighty one.

No-law beliefs were popular among Gnostics. "They claimed that the spiritual Christians were not responsible for what they did and could not really sin. Thus they could act in any way they pleased without fear of discipline," Holman, p. 558. In the mind of the Gnostic, it wasn't the human being who brought on his own problems, but Yahweh who was responsible.

"The Gnostic Marcion thus rejected the Old Testament, pointing out that the lesser or subordinate god revealed in it dealt with matter, insisted on law rather than grace, and was responsible for our decaying, tragedy-filled world," Ibid. The reason Marcion rejected Yahweh "was not for His role as Creator, but for having given the Law," Mercer, p. 548.

Gnosticism lies at the core of the modern belief that if man obeys Yahweh he is being "legalistic," which is the same diabolic lie Satan used on Eve when he told her that she need not obey Yahweh's warning against eating of the fruit of the tree. "He's only trying to keep you from being as great as He is, Eve." The Gnostics fell under the same spell, only they thought they could even be GREATER than Yahweh.

Finegan says that obeying the Scripture was not popular among the enlightened Gnostics, "For those [Gnostics] who are spiritual and perfect, however, such a course of conduct [obedience to Yahweh] is not at all necessary. They will be entirely and undoubtedly saved, not by means of conduct, but because they are spiritual by nature," Myth and Mystery, p.231.

The same reasoning is shared by the no-law clerics of our day. If I'm already saved, why obey any law? Is their rationale.

The strength of Gnosticism was that it played on man's carnal desires. And it struck at the heart of True Worship by attacking Yahweh and opening Him up to suspicion and doubt. Since Yahweh was inferior and was doing all He could to keep man from attaining his full, spiritual potential, keeping His laws and commandments will only inhibit man and keep him chained and in subjection, the believed.

In the same way, to reject Yahweh's laws today is reflective of a covert animosity toward Yahweh as well. Only a rebellious heart refuses to obey. Romans 8:7 says, "The carnal mind is enmity against Elohim." Enmity means deep-seated hatred.

John, however, writes, "For this is the love of Yahweh, that we keep His commandments," l John 5:3. The converse of this verse is also true — disobedience to His laws means a rejection of Him and His desires for His people.

The ancient Gnostic and today's neo-Gnostic both reject what Paul wrote in Romans 7: 12, "Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good." They also avoid the passage that reads, "He that has my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him" (John 14:21).

Immortal soul

The teaching that the human being is an immortal being is central to Gnosticism. As shown, the Gnostic held that man is divine being held in a physical world by an evil sub-Mighty Onewho created the physical world and imprisoned us. Man's true place belongs with the gods, says the Gnostic.

Finegan writes, "The Gnostic systems envision not only the end-experience of the individual, for whom death is liberation from entanglement in matter and the beginning of the ascent of the soul to its proper heavenly home, but also the end-goal for the whole cosmos," Myth and Mystery, p. 257.

The notion of an immortal soul is rooted squarely in paganism. As Ramsay MacMullen writes, "Their religious views we might suppose began with, or logically rested on, ideas of immortality. Homer portrayed man as having a soul, and Elysian Fields to go to after death. Plato taught of life indestructible" (Christianizing the Roman Empire, AD 100-400, "What Pagans Believed," p. 11).

This writer offers further insight as he describes the words spoken at a pagan funeral, remarkably similar to what one hears in funerals today: " ... he [the deceased] now lives among the gods, traversing the heavens and looking down on life below" (Ibid.).

The pagan Greek philosopher Plutarch, writing in the first century, once gave this consolation on the death of a child: "It feels no more pain; its soul is indestructible, according to 'traditional teachings' and Dionysiac rites; better, according to 'traditional and ancient customs,' the soul returns to a 'finer and more divine fate and country," MacMullen, p. 126.

An inferior Old Testament

The biggest force for rejecting the teachings of Yahweh in the Old Testament comes from Marcion. "The gnostic Marcion thus rejected the Old Testament, pointing out that the lesser or subordinate god revealed in it dealt with matter, insisted on law rather than grace, and was responsible for our decaying, tragedy-filled world." =Holman Bible Dictionary, p. 558.
Another source writes about Marcion, "He has [Yahshua] descend to Hell after the Crucifixion to rescue the Old Testament 'villains' and all the Gentiles, leaving behind Abraham, Moses and all the other henchmen of [Yahweh]" Godwin, pp. 85-86.

Marcion even compiled and wrote his own New Testament, in which he contrasted the Old Testament to the New Testament on love and justice. He omitted what did not promote love.

Through the influence of Marcion the picture is becoming clearer why the precepts of Yahweh as first given in the Old Testament Scriptures are put in the closet today by most denominations.

Trinity

Some Gnostic teachings reflect the Babylonian and Egyptian concepts of a trinitarian godhead. The worship of three main deities is common in ancient, pagan religious systems. The oldest is from Babylon, where the father Nimrod was worshiped along with his wife Semiramis and son Tammuz. Other variants of this include Egyptian (Osiris, Isis, Horus); Graeco-Roman (Zeus, Poseidon, Hades; Jupiter, Neptune, Pluto); Christian (Father, Son, Holy Spirit).

The Gnostic work called The Gospel of the Egyptians includes the Trinitarian concept and provides another bridge to this teaching in churchianity. "The first section of the work…tells of the origin of the heavenly world. From the supreme God, who is the Great Invisible Spirit, there evolves a trinity made up of Father, Mother (Barbelo), and Son," Myth and Mystery,p. 251.

Significantly the deification of Mary as the "mother of G-d" fits well into the trinitarian pattern of ancient worship systems involving a mother in a trine god hierarchy.

Mother of G-d

The idea of a mother god is 4,000 years old. The Chaldeans called her Beltis, in Assyria she was known as Ishtar (from which we get Easter); the Phrygians called her Cybele; she was Isis or Hathor in Egypt; Astarte among the Canaanites; Dianna with the Ephesians, and Aphrodite in Greece.

Here is how the Gnostic embraced mother god-ism: "The being who fell out of the Pleroma [heavenly hierarchy] became the mother of Christ, and Christ returned to the Pleroma. Jesus emanated from Christ who returned to the Pleroma (although other ideas of his origin were advanced too), and the Holy Spirit emanated from Ecclesia. The mother, however, was unable to return to the Pleroma, and she brought forth another son, the Demiurge, who is the creator of all things outside the Pleroma, and the ruler of everything under him," Myth and Mystery, p. 229.

Hence we have the Gnostic concept of the ancient belief in a "mother of G-d." She becomes the literal mother of the Demiurge Yahweh and is called Sophia (Wisdom). Significant are the parallels between this mother concept and the "Virgin Mary" is presented venerated today. Ultimately, Sophia or Mother wisdom is restored to her place among the deities, not unlike the way prayers are directed to Mary today.

New Age

New Age is nothing more than warmed-over Gnosticism, as noted by Christopher Lash in an issue of Omni magazine: "The New Age movement is best understood ... as the 20th century revival of an ancient religious tradition, Gnosticism ... "

As churchianity accelerates the watering down of Scriptural precepts, New Age neo-Gnosticism is stepping through church doors and into the pulpits. As the book The New Age Explosion explains, "It is interesting that New Agers such as Besant would mention 'Gnosis' in the church.' For in essence, the New Age is a revival of the Gnosticism that was prevalent in the days of Paul and the early apostles," p. 42.
 Sophia the Feminist

Exalting of the female long predated Gloria Steinem and Bella Abzug, who are just minor characters in an age-old worship of feminine power and mystique. Feminist roots reach back to the beginning of creation — to the mystic's interpretation of Genesis, where Eve caught on to the "plot" of the Demiurge or creator and realized that it was the snake, not Yahweh, that was telling the truth. The snake was the emissary of the real "god." The enlightened Eve with her special wisdom realized that she need not be subject either to Yahweh or to her husband and could transcend this fleshly existence through ignoring what Yahweh told her. All she had to do was to believe Satan.

After the flood, therefore, the wife of Nimrod, Samarimis, becomes the bearer of truth on earth for the mystic, The Moon Goddess, Wisdom.  From the idea of wisdom in the form of a woman came the Gnostic Sophia, a feminine deity whose name in Greek means skill and wisdom. She is seen as the mother of Yahushua, even the progenitor of Yahweh and the world-soul. She is seen as the mother goddess of many pagan religions.

New Age religion also focuses on Sophia as the divine providence who will save humanity. According to certain Gnostic teachings, man is physical and evil; woman is spiritual and divine. The idea of women as manifestations of the true "divine" is at the root of the movement to ordain women, to lead worship back to its "true" origins — back to Dame Wisdom.

As William Gentz writes of Gnostic teachings, "The two most common themes in this literature as a whole are the creation of the world as a perversion of the divine plan, and the role of wisdom [Sophia] and/ or Jesus as the bearer of the divine message of deliverance from the world of matter," The Dictionary of Bible and Religion, p. 396.

History is also reflected in the modern push to get rid of the patriarchal order in society and replace it with a matriarchal one. Because the family is what passes on traditional values to the next generation, the family order is the next logical institution to come under attack.

Family responsibilities to rear children are increasingly being taken over by the state, which can mold them into its "politically correct" ideology. Without parental guidance, young people are increasingly finding their values on the streets and in gangs. Instead of advocating a return to family values and responsibilities, those in power perpetuate what has already proven to fail. As a former first lady said in a Mother's Day commencement address at George Washington University a few years ago, "Our community must be a family."

'Come Out of Her My People'

These are some of the salient teachings of Gnosticism. This ancient heresy that is making a big comeback throughout our culture stands Biblical truths on their head as it seeks to make right wrong and wrong right. Gnosticism is an effective and powerful tool that the Adversary has used through the centuries to corrupt True worship and twist proper and true teachings so that the vast majority will worship in error. This is the heresy that gave Paul one of his biggest headaches, which was a harbinger of bigger problems to come in our day.

Return with us to pure, unadulterated worship of the one true Father in heaven. Leave the doctrines of heathendom produced by compromise with error. Come out to the light of truth. Enter the strait gate and walk the narrow way that leads to everlasting life!




The New Age Movement
The New Age Movement is a growing belief that blends the theology of “god is all things - all things are god”, with the practice of astrology, {the magic in the stars}. The term New Age itself refers to the Age of Aquarius, which, according to New Age followers, is dawning. It is supposed to bring peace and enlightenment and to reunite man with God. It is a widespread way of thinking that appears in many forms, beliefs, and practices.
{Peace = the idea that no one will impose on or limit others, all are one all work together.}
{Enlightenment = to the new age SIN is not knowing you are god}  {Enlightenment is knowledge and understanding that takes you past needing absolute truth or “God”. You with knowledge ARE GOD!!}
{To reunite man with God = in mysticism, man was made by mistake and made with a spark of god he was not to have, another mistake, it is by knowledge of elements and traditions of mysticism with astrology {the magic of the stars} that people may free themselves of the ignorance of the flesh and come to know they are god!}
Some of the practices seem to be little more than innocent relaxation techniques with no religious content – only designed to reduce stress and physical tension. But actually all of them are based of one or more of the following beliefs
1. All is one – all reality is part of the whole
2. Everything is God and God is everything
3. Man is God or part of God
4. Man never dies, that is ceases to exist, and everyone is reincarnated.
5. Man can create his own reality.
The terminology used for these beliefs by NAM sound safe and fascinating, but also hide the true religious content behind a “What I want right now” life.  As a result, New Age practices have made their way into almost every area of the culture - even the church. Christians and non-Christians alike have been seduced to accept practices and beliefs that are clearly based on anti-Christian doctrines.
                           History

Historically, the New Age Movement can be seen as the modern revival of ancient religious traditions and practices. Its actual original roots are found in the time when Lucifer thought he would rise up and place his throne above the stars of GOD.
Isa 14:13   Thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
Isa 14:14  I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
Lucifer tried this in the Garden of Eden, as described in Genesis 3:4–5, and he is still trying today.
And the serpent said unto the woman, you shall not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.
In the original lie, Satan questions God’s word and authority and, disputes that death results from disobedience, and claims that through the acquisition of wisdom man can be enlightened and can be like God. Over the centuries, this lie of Satan and Ancient Mysticism became the foundation of every  religious tradition and occult practice, which were already strongly condemned in the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 18:9–17; Isaiah 47:9– 15) but nevertheless developed in the pagan cultures. It continues to its ultimate state of development and will be revealed as Satan’s one-world system at the end of the age (Revelation 17-18). This is why it is important that we understand “The New Age Mysticism”, It is real, It is VERY OLD, It is of Satan.

These teachings were transplanted into modern times by Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772), the Theosophical Society founded by Madame Helena Blavatsky (1831-1891), and through the First World Parliament of Religions, held in Chicago in 1893, and many other groups and teachers, which essentially initiated the spread of Ancient Religions throughout the United States. The 1960s witnessed a particular revival of Eastern mysticism and the study of secret wisdom of enlightenment. {They refer to Hindu, Buddhist, or Muslims but this is only people that teach “A” view of mysticism. The teaching is Ancient Babylonian Mysticism!!}     Today, various research polls are consistently demonstrating that a significant shift has been occurring in the West and that millions of adults have embraced a world view that is totally at odds with the faith they profess. According to surveys 86% of Americans claim to be Christian, yet 72% reject the notion of absolute truth, 40% believe a New Age (pantheistic “all is god – god is all”) view of God, 30% believe in reincarnation, and 36% believe that astrology is scientific. The New Age Movement is now comprised of hundreds of groups and individuals who have gained significant influence on almost every area of our culture. The movement expresses itself in widely divergent forms, from the blatantly obvious to the subtle and from the organized religious to the secular ones. As a result, even many Christians have been fooled by New Age thinking and now tend to mix beliefs into their faith which in today‘s world sound so plausible but are completely wrong from a biblical perspective. In this sense, the New Age Movement is the successful continuation of Satan’s ultimate lie, “Man with knowledge, enlightenment and magic {the power in the stars or astrology} can rise up and be as god,” ultimately aiming at the seduction of Christianity.
For false Christ and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things. (Mark 3:22–23)

Major Doctrines
As far as doctrines are concerned, there is nothing really new in New Age. Its two key elements
– Evolutionary Godhood,
The spiritual evolution of man into God, and
-Global Unity,
The assumption that everything is linked together –
Are only modern reformulations of ancient mysticism’s teachings and almost identical to the foundations of Persian Dualism, and Babylonian Mysticism with modern applications in Christian Science or Scientology – if you abstract from certain peculiarities. Nevertheless, the New Age formulation is smoother and more appealing. The new age, which is soon to come, shall bring peace and enlightenment, harmony, mutual love and acceptance – and who does not want that? Naturally, New Age followers look forward to the coming of a new leader {Is this the Antichrist of Revelation?} who unites the world in love and harmony. New Age practices are designed to explore the human potential and to push man ahead into a new spiritual horizon, closer to God and closer to being God. Therefore, we will not only discuss New Age beliefs but also reveal how they are hidden in the various New Age practices that can be found everywhere in this country.
Sources of Authority – anything but the Bible?
The New Age Movement rejects the idea of an absolute truth and therefore does not have any particular source of authority.  Dr. Francis Schaeffer Built a system of thought based on absolute separation of God’s way and Satan’s way. He made it clear that ALL truth is ALWAYS TRUE, never relative.
The only absolute dogma in New Age is that truth is relativistic – each person has its own reality and subjective experience: what is true for one person may not be true for another. This makes it almost impossible to dispute with devoted New Age followers. If you have a different opinion, they simply say “it’s fine – if you believe so, that is your reality”. But they do not think that your reality is relevant for them as well – at least not on the spiritual level. Nevertheless, due to the sheer number of New Age groups there are many publications such as the New Age Journal, Body Mind Spirit, Yoga Journal, Gnosis, East West, Noetic Sciences, and Omega, which    influence the minds of New Age followers and constantly stir up new concepts.
Dr. Schaeffer was a theologian of the antithesis. His system of thought cannot be understood apart from this concept which he stressed throughout his books, films and lectures. The word antithesis refers to two entities, movements or principles that are set over against each other. If a statement is true, the opposite of the statement cannot be true. We live in a world of opposites. There is light and darkness. There are children of Christ and children of Satan. These entities are always in conflict.
The antithesis principle involves the notion that there are Biblical absolutes in every area of thought and life. God's Word is true. The verbalized communication from God to man in the Bible is infallible, inerrant. We must not compromise our view of Scripture. The Bible is without error not only when it speaks of values and faith, religious things, but it is also without error when it speaks of history and the cosmos. A non-Christian must be shown that his basic thinking is in contradiction to the truth. Dr. Schaeffer called for a return to the logic of the antithesis as the only way out of our modern predicament. He went so far as to say that if we let go of our sense of antithesis, we have nothing to say. Dr. Schaeffer viewed the principle of antithesis as a basic theme in Scripture. "Christianity turns upon antithesis," he wrote, "not as some abstract sense of truth, but in the fact that God exists, and in personal justification." The Biblical concept of justification is a total personal antithesis.
Before his justification, natural man is dead in sin. He is in the kingdom of darkness. The moment he accepts Christ, he changes from death to life. But this antithesis also works its ways through all of life. There is no neutrality possible. A man is either for or against God who is there and who speaks. In life the whole of God's truth must be interrelated in all its parts and aspects. Christianity is not just for home or church. It is for all of life.

In the Bible there are TWO “ideas” or “religions” or Two “World Views”. The antithesis of Evil and Good in God’s world. The stories are clear and have great meaning for they explain to us man’s relation to God. 

We are shown the creation of the world and Mankind. WE are told of the relation God wanted to have with Man and the image of God in man.  
Two lines of thought and world view that run parallel through the Bible. They are always there. God warns us and teaches us with an antithesis of Good and Evil, Obey God or Obey SELF.

God
Even though many New Age adherents describe God in personal terms, the New Age concept of God is quite vague. God is an impersonal life force, consciousness or energy – much like “The Force” in the movie Star Wars. The New Age view of the world and the universe is monistic and pantheistic, which means that everything that exists is of One essence, and that One essence is God. Everything is a different form of that essence and the Divine Force is what holds everything together. There is a variety of colorful descriptions of this divine force in the many New Age publications and many names for God among different New Age groups, such as God- consciousness, Universal Love, Self-Realization, the I AM, Higher Self, Brahman, Nirvana, etc. However, New Age generally rejects God as a personal eternal being who created, rules over, and defines the limits of His creation (Acts 17:24–26).
In many places today, even Churches, this is what people mean when they say GOD!
Man
The fact that God is in everything obviously elevates the position of man. New Age adherents often believe that man is perfect and divine, able to create his own reality. In New Age, Psalm 46:10 reads as “Be still, and know that you are God”. Each individual thus has a higher self in separately and eternally related to its person. For some, this is the immortal soul, for others an extraterrestrial being. The higher self is immortal and has perfect memory. In New Age terminology, it lives in holographic time which is not bound to the linear order of time as we know it. It is also androgynous, that is in perfect balance between male and female, positive and negative energy. Since man is intrinsically divine, perfect, and with unlimited potential, his only real problem is ignorance of that fact. Man‘s perception of finiteness is in reality an illusion. Thus he needs to become enlightened through experiential knowledge (gnosis).
{To the new age SIN is not knowing you are god}  {Enlightenment is knowledge and understanding that takes you past needing absolute truth or “God”. You with knowledge ARE GOD!!}

Salvation
Reincarnation is usually seen as a step in the progression towards Godhood. But progressive steps are not always guaranteed and the number of reincarnations may run into millions. That is determined by the law of Karma – the law of cause and effect. Self-realization, total enlightenment, or illumination, where the soul enters into the endless freedom from the demanding control of karma, is the ultimate goal. None of the New Age books emphasizes ascetism or clean living as a way to clear the karma. Instead, there is a great emphasis on Global Unity. Since everyone and everything is linked together, man is to live in unity with man, nature, the earth, the universe, and God. The New Age Movement teaches that we will learn our proper divine relationship with one another and through this achieve harmony, mutual love, and unity. At a first glance, this appears to be a goal well worth to be pursued, but there are several caveats. • The New Age understanding of unity with nature and the earth opposes the Scriptural teaching of man’s superiority over plants and animals (Genesis 1:26- 27, 2:19). Most New Agers believe that harmony can only be achieved through economic unity. They hope for a single world leader, who will eventually guide the world into a harmonious economic whole. The scriptures warn us that such a leader will very likely be the coming Antichrist (2. Thessalonians 2:3–4): Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. There is a very thin borderline here between honorable goals and ideas that are in sharp contrast with the Scriptures and we have to learn to discern properly.
Jesus Christ
The New Age teachings about Jesus Christ have become very popular among those who believe Jesus to be only a great moral teacher. He evolved to the state of “the Christ”, the ultimate state of self-realization. He taught a Mystic world view of Christ consciousness, expressed in terms that the Hebrews would understand. So Jesus was merely a way- shower, whose primary function is to awaken humanity and illumine the path.
The Holy Spirit
There are no teachings about the Holy Spirit.
Things to come
We are at the beginning of a new age – the Age of Aquarius, the eleventh sign of the zodiac. Astrologers say that this age is characterized by a new religious atmosphere and a heightened degree of spiritual and cosmic consciousness. It will be a time of liberation of the mind, of love and enlightenment, an age of a balanced viewpoint. During this age we will move beyond the masculine God the Father, who has dominated the Piscean age during the past 2000 years, and be nurtured by the Mother-Goddess, a feminine energy.
The Eternal Holy God of ALL or The “Queen Of Heaven” is the same Choice God gave Adam in the Garden!

Astrology
Astrology is a method using the position of the planets, sun and moon at the time and place of birth as signposts to explain the person’s character, life and destiny. It is based on the occult belief that man and the universe are connected by a mystical force, or are – using New Age terminology – in global unity. Today, the humanistic view of a person as the master of his or her fate has turned the Astrological chart into a set of possibilities and choices.   Already in Deuteronomy 18:9–12 the Bible strongly condemns divination and worship of the heavens, both of which Astrology is a part. Verses like Deuteronomy 4:19, 17:3, Daniel 2:27–28, 5:7, Isaiah 47:13, and Acts 7:42 are equally clear.
 Astrology is not from God, which can only mean that those involved in Astrology operate – often unknowingly – on demonic supernatural power.

Channeling
Channeling is the process whereby a human host claims to enter into an altered state of consciousness thereby allowing a spirit entity to take possession of their body and give instructions to New Age believers. In the 1960’s and ‘70’s that Channeling became commonly accepted and even fashionable. Today, there are ten thousands of channels throughout the world today.  The ultimate message of the New Age is manifest in the message of the various channelers. That message being, All is God, you are a part of the All, therefore you are God. Since you are God then you can alter reality to fit your view of truth. New Agers come to the channelers to find out how they can use the spirit world to influence reality. Again, the Bible strongly forbids communication with the dead (Necromancy), as expressed in Leviticus 19:31; Deuteronomy 18:9-12 & 15; 1 Samuel 28; 1 Chronicle 10:13-14; Isaiah 8:19. It should also be noted that channelers either commit fraud (i.e. fake spiritual communication), are self-deceived (2 Thessalonians 2:10; 2 Timothy 3:12) or in actual contact with demons who are masquerading as deceased spirit masters (see Isaiah 19:3; Ephesians 6:12; 1 John 4:1-3). Neither of these options is in any way beneficial.
Summary
The New Age Movement is a conglomerate of seemingly unrelated groups, techniques, and beliefs that keep influencing each other and constantly create new mixtures. Its characteristic is not a homogeneous doctrine, but practices that are based on a modern version of Satan’s original lie. Although no leader can be made out, one can clearly observe how Satan himself orchestrates the whole movement, spreading his lies wherever he can find people open to deception. Discussions with New Agers sometimes appear to be hopeless. But if you address the fundamental issues – the irrationality of relativism, the inconsistencies of living out the New Ager view of the world, factual and historical errors, and the biblical account of the real God, Jesus, and gospel – then they may realize that there is a choice to be made instead of blurring the distinctions, and that love and forgiveness can not be found in an impersonal force but only in the God of the Bible.

"Parts of this publication have been included verbatim or have been adapted from material copyrighted by BDM. Used by permission."   http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Cults/newage.htm


Here is Satan’s Plan.

3:1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
3:2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3:3 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.
3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
3:5 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.
3:6 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.
3:7 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.
I hope I have made my point on the beginning of sin and I am not going to cover the story of Eve and the Serpent told here, I hope to look beyond these stories we have all heard so often and point out some new Ideas. I hope to show a comparison of Satan’s method in the garden and today in our world.
First an incomplete thread of truth, this is only part of what God said.
3:1 God said, Ye shall eat of every tree of the garden?
In her answer Eve added to what had been said. God had not said anything about touching the tree.
Second Satan offers a misleading idea to further his point.
Ye shall not surely die:
Then he adds an appealing reason to do what she wanted to without God.
3:5 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.
Choose to possess the enlightened knowledge, your choice makes you a god.
Third we see a progression of disobedience, incremental movement to sin.
the woman saw
it was pleasant to the eyes
be desired to make one wise
she took of the fruit
and did eat
gave also unto her husband with her;
and he did eat.
The outline we have here is the modern method to deny God, the bible, and moral right and wrong. Satan devised this outline in the garden; he and his servants still use it today. Please understand this is not a small thing, there is a plan to the Liberal Agenda, and it is an Old Plan.

1st Misstate the facts to SOUND the way you want them,
use a thread of truth as a foundation.
2nd Offer a misleading idea to further the point,
make your point, add your position or opinion.
3rd In small increments keep making the claim and moving public thought to your way of thinking.

There is a story that all the demons and Satan were trying to decide how to make this plan work best and a little demon cried out “WAIT” he wanted to be heard. When Satan heard “Wait” he exclaimed, “THAT IS IT”, “You have the best Idea of all”, There is no hurry just WAIT, Put off the decision, state what we want over and over.

Modern Man says there is no GOD.                                                               Evolution
The world JUST HAPPENED by chance.                                        
Man has no Free Will, we are only a more self-aware animal.                      Naturalism
All of nature is equal.
Do not eat other animals they are just as valuable as man.
Man as the highest self-aware animal answers only to man.                         Humanism
Moral Right is what “I” want right now.
Wrong is anything that keeps me form what I want.

If God did not create the world and man in His image there is no absolute authority for moral law, Man is free to be god and answer to only himself.
Modern Liberal Humanist want to eat of the tree; “in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” They do not want an absolute, almighty, all knowing, GOD to whom they must be obedient.
Modern Liberal Humanist cannot believe in God, if they did they would have to answer to Him and keep His commandments. They could not be god and make the rules.
This is the choice we have to make, will I accept God and his promises or shall I choose to be enlightened and not need god because man is god.
The Enlightenment of the 18th century was this very comparison, Educated People rejecting the God of the medieval church. They rejected the Bible and its God. Enlightened man had moved beyond the need for God. He was free, by his own reason and now the master of all he understood.
Enlightened man rejected creation of the world as told in the bible, even though many scientist and leaders of the time rejected Darwin as poor science, and Darwin admitted that he had never proven or fully explained the theory. There was a large group of humanist Philosophers that accepted even promoted Darwin’s theory. They had made up their minds before the discussion started. They did not accept the idea of God. These theories were the lie. They denied God, they denied the creation, the enlightened man did not want an all knowing, all powerful God that he had to answer to and obey.
The men of this period of thought made a choice the wrong one. They made up their minds there was no God. Man was a product of natural events. With their minds made up, they went on to prove the point.   A mind yielded to Satan is controlled by Satan and can use and follow his outline with skill.

They told a partial truth.
Man Changes, and change in nature are normal.
They offer a misleading idea to further the point.
God controlled how the world evolved.
They progressively, repeatedly promote the idea of humanism.
For many years now in little steps they have progressively pushed the theory of evolution. They knew it was an unsound and unproven theory but it fit what they wanted. The theory has slowly been moved from an illustration of the flow of life; to a theory of how all life came to be; to scientific fact. And it has been incorporated into almost every idea in our lives.

Evolution is the best argument against Historic Christianity as a way of belief. Prove God did not do what the bible says He did and there is no Bible, God, or absolute power, truth, right, wrong. Man is his own master, the highest self-aware animal that lives a little while on earth then is no more.

This evolution vs. creation argument is not a minor disagreement. It is the foundation of the historic Christian system of belief and values. We have a choice, look at the world around us all the wonders of creation and know God created all this for us, or believe the entire world just happened by chance.



The Bible, what does it mean? Why do we have the bible?
The bible is God’s word to us. The educated liberals try to say men over many years and from many places wrote stories these were told and handed down.
They told a partial truth.
men over many years and from many places wrote stories.
They offer a misleading idea to further the point.
The bible is just mythology, stories of men.
Liberals deny, discredit, and laugh at the bible. Over the years they teach the wisdom of men. The bible is degraded to the point it is unacceptable to reference it or quote in public.

Satan is still working the Plan, he has not given up.  Please do not be mistaken Satan is very active in the affairs of men.  The plan allows men to choose to serve “Human self” instead of God. Natural man disobeys God and puts man before or instead of God.

Romans 1:18-24
21  For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their peculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22  Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23  and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. 24  Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25  For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
Knowing the enemy is important because he is real and will continue to accuse until he has been thrown down by Michael and his angels in the future.    If the Bible records the over throw of Satan and stopping him from accusing our brethren, “for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them before our God day and night.” It stands to reason that accusing the brethren IS what Satan is doing. Satan’s plan is real, his purpose is deadly serious, and he is in the world today.
(Rev_12:7-12)
Satan is active in this story. Satan is the one with the plan and is ACTIVELY seeking to deceive mankind. He wants to be worshiped, admired, and in control. Today Mysticism, Dualism, and Gnosticism are active in our world, an example is The New Age Movement.


The Road Not Taken

Robert Frost, 1874 - 1963
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Now maybe we can see just what Frost was picturing here!

SEMIRAMIS, QUEEN OF BABYLON

Any effort to trace the origins of the myth, legend, and lore of goddess-worship will eventually lead one back to a single historical figure---Semiramis, wife of Nimrod and queen of Babylon.
Before we can begin to deal with Semiramis though, we must (as with any historical figure) gain at least a general understanding of her cultural and temporal setting. Since I have found in my researches that neither proven scientific truth nor gleanings of fact from the body of ancient legends in any way contradicts a proper understanding of biblical revelation, I will use the scriptural framework of history as a basis upon which to reconstruct the story of Semiramis the woman.
When Noah and his family left the ark after the flood, they settled first at the northern feet of Ararat facing what is today Georgia, USSR. From here, these eight souls began to spread out into the surrounding districts of northern Iran and Syria, as well as eastern Turkey. After a considerable period (perhaps 5 to 6 hundred years), the families of Noah's descendants began to scatter a bit more widely due to increasing population, and perhaps some degree of rivalry or even enmity between the families of Japheth, Shem, and Ham. In this way we find that within about half a millennium the entire "fertile crescent", as well as the Nile valley, the Anatolian and Iranian plateaus, Arabia, and Ethiopia have been sparsely settled---but with a decided majority of Noah's descendants living in the lower regions of Mesopotamia (which would come to be called Sumer and Akkad).
Modern archaeology has confirmed the fact that the first inhabitants of these areas were homogeneous in both race and culture, and the most reliable researches indicate that it was from here that population, animal husbandry, metallurgy, agriculture, and "citification" spread throughout the earth. The scientific and scriptural views are in exact agreement upon the origin and spread of races and civilization---the only point of difference is the time scale involved! Whereas the scriptures clearly indicate the existence of all these elements of civilization long before the flood; orthodox science, by it's denial of the bible is required to construct a mythical stone age several millennia long in order to account for the same phenomena.
It was in Mesopotamia that the first cities were built after the flood, and the first of these was quite naturally named after the very first city built by man before the flood---Enoch. Due to vagaries of linguistic permutation, this name has come down to us as Erech or Uruk in Sumeria. In all there were seven major cities built near the head of the Persian Gulf, leading to the name "Land of the Seven Cities" commonly found in the early mythologies of the world. These seven cities are enumerated in Genesis as those which were conquered by Nimrod, establishing the world's first empire. The earliest Babylonian legends tell of a conquering people who came up out of the Persian Gulf and established an empire from these cities. This seems to fit well with what we know of the movements of Nimrod in his early career. He was a native of Ethiopia and was widely traveled among the few populated areas of those days. When he set out to build himself an army of conquest, he recruited from his "cousins" the descendants of Sheba and Dedan who had come up through Arabia to settle on the Asian mainland at the Straight of Hormuz and on the Indus river in what is now Afghanistan (these people were the Dravidians who were driven southward into India by the later Aryan invasion). After raising his army, Nimrod ferried them up the gulf in the world's first naval armada, and conquered his empire. The best estimates place the time of the conquest as about 4000 to 3500 BC, and about 1000 years after the flood of Noah.
In the midst of the tumult of war Nimrod and Semiramis met--and in none too savory circumstances, for tradition states that she was an inn/brothel keeper in the city of Erech---leading one to speculate upon the nature of their initial acquaintance. Semiramis was a native of Erech, which as evidenced by it's name seems to have been built by a Hamitic family (Ham's wife was said to have been descended from Cain who built the first Erech in honor of his son). The name Semiramis is a later, Hellenized form of the Sumerian name "Sammur-amat", or "gift of the sea."
The initial element "sammur" when translated into Hebrew becomes "Shinar" (the biblical name for lower Mesopotamia), and is the word from which we derive "Sumeria". This one tarnished woman then, had such a lasting impact upon world history that not only do we call by her name the land from which civilization flowed, but God himself through the sacred writer has let us know that its distinguishing characteristic was that it was "the Land of Shinar," or Semiramis. Very little has come down to us through the millennia concerning Semiramis' rise to power, but it is safe to assume that it was initially upon Nimrod's coattails that she rode, although later in life as well as throughout history her influence overwhelmingly obscured that of her husband. Of course, it would not do to have an ex-harlot upon the throne, so the "polite fiction" was invented that she was a virgin sprung from the sea at Nimrod's landing, and hence a suitable bride for the emperor(thus the title Semiramis which has totally obscured her original name).
Semiramis was the instigator in forming the false religion aimed at supporting their rule, and of course her suggestion fell upon open ears. The religion she invented was based primarily upon a corruption of the primeval astronomy formulated by Noah's righteous ancestors before the flood. In the original this system depicted by means of constellations the story of Satan's rebellion and the war in the heavens, his subversion of mankind, the fall of Adam and Eve, the promise of One to come who would suffer and die to relieve man from the curse of sin then be installed as Lord of Creation, and the final re-subjugation of the cosmos to God through Him.
These eternal truths were corrupted by her (rather, quite obviously, by the evil one controlling her) into a mythic cycle wherein the great dragon is depicted as the rightful lord of the universe whose throne has been temporarily usurped by One whom we can recognize as the God of the Bible. The serpent creates man in his present miserable state, but promises that a child would one day born of a divine mother---which child would supplant God, become a god himself, and return rulership of the Earth to the serpent. These fables were based upon the then widely-known story of the constellations, and were introduced under the guise of revealing the hidden esoteric knowledge concealed in them (regardless of the fact that the original was quite straightforward).
Although this esotericism was the second element in Semiramis' cult, it only masked the actual goal which was the worship of the "heavenly host," which the Bible equates with Satan's army of fallen angels. Satan was quite willing to receive worship "by proxy", hence the third major element of the mystery religion was emperor-worship. This religion was propagated by a hierarchy of priests and priestesses, to whom were assigned the task of initiating the populace at large into it's ascending degrees of revelation, culminating at the highest level in both direct worship of Satan and demon-possession.
Although Nimrod was a brilliant strategist, he made a fatal blunder when he allowed Semiramis to retain full control over this religious hierarchy, and through it the minds and hearts of the people; for when a schism occurred between them she was able to turn it from a tool of support into a deadly weapon. The rift between husband and wife occurred when the queen bore an illegitimate son, and the king threatened her with both dethronement and exposure of her true origin. Semiramis, of course would not allow this to take place, and devised a plot to overthrow Nimrod.
During the course of the New Year's festivities at which the advent of Nimrod's rule was celebrated, there was a certain feast exclusively for the royal family and the upper echelons of the priesthood. During this feast, which included "courses" of psychedelic and hallucinogenic drugs, a year-old ram was traditionally sacrificed by being torn limb-from-limb while still alive, and it's flesh eaten raw. This ram symbolized the old year passing into the heavens to allow room for the new year. A new-born lamb was then presented which, symbolizing the new year, would be kept and fattened for the next year's ceremonies. This year Semiramis directed the ritual according to the formula, with the exception that when the time came for the ram to be slaughtered, it was the king who was torn to pieces at the hands of the drug-crazed priesthood and Semiramis' bastard son was installed as king. Thus Nimrod, the mighty hunter, died a horrible death as a trapped beast himself.
Semiramis named her son Damu (from the Sumerian "dam," or blood), which in the later Babylonian language became Dammuzi, in Hebrew Tammuz, and in Greek Adonis. Of course, Semiramis assumed the regency for her infant son, and ruled as absolute monarch for 42 more years. In order to avoid having to kill her son on the next New Year's Day, she instituted an annual nation-wide sports competition, the winner of which would have the "honor" of taking Damu's place and ascending into heaven to become a god.
Semiramis was not unopposed in her arrogation of the regency, however, or her rule as a woman. The military arm of the government was divided into two camps for and against her, and a short war ensued which ended when the populace (roused by the priesthood) not only refused to support the "rebels" but actively opposed them. In the course of this war, though, things became so close that Semiramis was forced to build a system of walls, towers, and gates around Babylon to defend herself. She was thus the first to build fortifications and her crown afterwards was in the form of the turreted walls of Babylon. To oppose the accusations of "mere" womanhood laid against her, she had herself deified as the mother of the god Damu (since only a god can beget a god) , and installed as "The Queen of Heaven" pictured in the constellation Cassiopeia, which the ancients had intended as a corporate representation of those people faithful to God who will be enthroned by Him after the end of the age.
In spite of her cleverness, though, she also sowed the seeds of her own destruction. As she raised her son, she imbued him with divinity in the eyes of the priests and people as the means of retaining control as the divine mother without seeming to aggrandize herself. As Damu grew he became used to having every whim instantly gratified by a subservient, indeed groveling, populace. For safety's sake he had a personal bodyguard/companion group which he was never without, and which formed an elite corps of soldiery loyal and accountable to him alone. Upon coming to maturity and demanding of his mother to be installed as king, she not only refused him this--but, seeing him now as a challenge to her rule, slated him for the same death she had meted to his father. Damu caught on to her scheme, and pre-empted his "assumption" by slaying his mother with his own sword, and putting down any priestly protests by purging the hierarchy of all who would not vow allegiance to him. Thus Semiramis died after reigning as queen over Babylon for 102 years.
These events laid the groundwork for all of the pagan religious systems of antiquity, as well as many alive today. Semiramis, in particular was the model and original of every goddess and female cult figure in the ancient and modern worlds (either directly or by derivation); and thus it essential to know her story in order to discern what is factual legend and what is merely myth.
Bryce Self   http://ldolphin.org/semir.html  4/28/84.

End notes and References.
1.
MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT BY BARBARA AHO
http://watch.pair.com/mystery-babylon.html#cabala
2. Web  pages that tell this story:
{ Semiramis http://ldolphin.org/semir.html; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semiramis }
{  Zoroasther:  http://tenets.zoroastrianism.com/;  http://www.infoplease.com/encyclopedia/society/zoroastrianism-origins-beliefs.html ;
3.
Title: ANF08.  ANTE-NICENE FATHERS 08
Schaff, Philip (1819-1893) (Editor)
Chapter XXIX.--Fire-Worship of the Persians.
  "First among whom is named a certain king Nimrod, the magic art having
  been handed down to him as by a flash, whom the Greeks, also called
  Ninus, and from whom the city of Nineveh took its name.
Fire-worship the Persian Magi did not pretend to have invented;  Tahmurs, who founded Babylon (WILSON, pp. 202, 203, and 579)---i.e., the time of Nimrod. In confirmation of this, we have seen that a fragment of Apollodorus (Muller, 68) makes Ninus the head of the fire-worshipers. It can be proved, that though many others bore the name of Zoraster, the lines of evidence all converge, so as to demonstrate that Ninus and Nimrod and Zoroaster were one. The legends of Zoroaster show that he was known not only as a Magus, but as a Warrior (ARNOBIUS, lib. i. p. 327).