The Gender Bender: Part 2 - An Idol Threat
In case you are just joining in, the previous post introduced the concept that Satan’s millennia old war on humanity is focused on destroying the image of God in us. Satan is not a creator (although, that is the ultimate unattainable aim of his cosmic rebellion), but a destroyer. To destroy something means to de-struct it - to pull it apart so it does not work or even resemble what it was when it was constructed. If Satan can figure out a way to do this with humans, he can “re-struct” them into a rebellious, diabolical, wicked race and thereby “create” a form of humanity in his own image. This is a basic prerequisite for any would-be ruler of the universe.
The first attempt was to introduce inter-being breeding by assigning the fallen spiritual entities that had the capability of sexual reproduction with human women to impregnate them. The resultant offspring had genetic coding that altered the original DNA that God had created and a race of mutant humans were born that could pass on this mutation and in theory destroy the image of God in humanity. God thwarted this plan, and as far as we can tell, He imprisoned this class of fallen angelic beings until the day of judgment so they could no longer violate humans in this way (see Genesis 6, Jude 1:6).
With this option no longer available to Satan, phase two of his destroy and re-struct mission went into action. If direct insemination of his polluted seed into humans was banned, a more subtle and insidious method of producing offspring must be foisted on humanity. Biblical history after the Great Flood reveals the deep longing in the makeup of mankind to worship its creator, to get back to its roots, to find its origin. We can still see this quest played out today in the multitudes of people that are willing to pay a lot of money to find out what their original nationalities are.
The account of the Tower of Babel in the city of Babylon reveals the extent that humans are willing to go to to reach out to their “god” and organize their entire existence around the worship of this being/beings. Humans had tapped into the latent power of unity as they were harnessing all their collective resources to secure their place in the cosmos. Here is their mission and vision statement:
Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth." [Gen 11:4 ESV]
The command of the Lord after Noah and his family left the ark was to disburse and repopulate the earth. Instead, inspired by Satan and his cunning, a great leader named Nimrod (whose name means, “rebellion” - perhaps carrying vestiges of the demonic genetic seed) arose and convinced a great multitude of people to abandon the mandate of God Almighty, and join his rebellious one-world order and live as humans in one nation under their own rule. This sounds like the same theme played out by Satan before he was defrocked, demoted, and banished from Heaven. So powerful was this delusion and so powerful was this unified mass of humanity that God had to intervene and put a stop to the construction project by confusing their languages. Foiled in their plans, a mass exodus of 70 people groups, divided by language, headed out into the vast expanse of the Ancient Near East geography.
Picking up this story in Genesis 11-12, these “nations” of peoples began to settle into cultures that had drifted very far from their relationship and knowledge of the “One True God.” With the seeds of rebellion still circulating around in the human gene pool, Satan was capitalizing on the gullible nature of these need-to-worship-something people and introduced them to the wonderful world of pick-a-higher power to be your god and worship it. The Apostle Paul captured the essence of what happened in the early years of this cultic cultural development:
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. [Rom 1:25 NASB95]
With the true Creator God pushed aside, Satan and the other fallen demonic beings began an all out assault on humans. The vastness of the heavens, the wonders of the created earth, and the mysterious happenings of a world that was seething under the weight of demonic influences, all combined together to make humans feel very small, insignificant, and insecure. They must know who or what is out there that controls existence and they must know how to satisfy and appease these “gods” if humans were to survive.
The various demonic entities that lurked in the dark realms kept their human play toys on edge with fear, and required from them all manor of degrading and demoralizing rites and rituals in order to show favor and prosper and protect their worshippers. These overlords were demanding sexual acts of perversion to be preformed to entertain them. They were requiring tons of butchered animals to be sacrificed to them in mockery of life that God created as the worshippers would drink the blood in proxy for these blood-thirsty demons. The apex of devotion was demonstrated when the worshippers were willing to sacrifice some of their own kind, of which the most desirable of all was the sacrifice of human children.
This system of fear to keep humans anxious and unnerved, and the exploitation of perversion and degradation to draw out the lustful addiction that humans have towards selfishness and self gratification must have a tangible focal point. Satan had stripped humans down from the majestic children of God to the now miserable offspring of chaos and corruption. Satan had become their “father,” and he must give his kids toys to play with to keep their attention. Through his inspiration, humans began to create images of what they believed their gods looked like. They carved, crafted, and forged images of bizarre creatures with features of humans, animals, and otherworldly entities (perhaps the demons appeared to some of the craftsmen to give them some ideas). Humans set these images in very special places called temples or shrines and began to organize their existence around the veneration and worship of these beings.
Humanity had become enslaved and were being trained for the unholy jihad that their wicked master was planning. They were the ever-expendable pawns in Satan’s mockery of the image of God in man. It seemed that Satan was succeeding in his quest to destroy the image of God. Humanity had become critically polluted, again. The moral compass of mankind was spinning out of control and humans were on the brink of losing their way back home for good.
In the midst of this deep darkness God was again about to release His creative redemption. God spoke to a man named Abram, who lived in and among an idol worshipping Chaldean culture. God was going to take one seed out of all the corruption and use it to plant another nation, His nation, from which would come THE SEED that would restore the image of God in humanity, permanently, for any humans that wanted a way back to their true Father.
If you follow the story of Abram (later Abraham) you will see a titanic tug-of-war between the children of Satan and the children of the new nation birthed by God that went on for millennia (it is actually still going on). There were periods where the offspring of Abraham (that later became the nation of Israel), thrived and prospered under the righteous reign of God over their hearts and souls, and there were long, protracted periods of spiritual and moral decay when God’s nation went astray. What was at the root of these rebellious rampages?
The answer comes in the form of a command from God after He had rescued, once again, His people from the consequences of their wandering hearts. At this juncture in Hebrew history, God had redeemed His chosen nation out of bondage in Egypt. For more than 400 years His people lived enslaved by a nation that worshipped demonic gods of just about every rank and order. Images and idols were everywhere. The Hebrews had lost touch with their history and were indoctrinated in demon worship and inoculated from the God of their forefathers.
After the rescue mission through Moses, God had to reintroduce Himself to His own children and re-instruct His people how to live in harmony with Heaven. At this point, God gave His people written instructions so they would have a physical, tangible point of contact with truth. We know these now as “The Ten Commandments” and The Law of Moses. Before God gets into all the details He makes this very direct and definitive statement:
"I am the LORD your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery. You must not have any other god but me. You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea.” [Exo 20:2-4 NLT]
Why was God so insistent on the no-idol policy? God even forbade His own people from trying to depict an image of Himself. What would be so wrong for His people to have a picture of their Father to carry around in their wallet as a reminder of Him? This idol thing must have a much deeper significance than just a point of worship for lost people trying to identify and please their god or having nice reminders and mementos in our lives that we venerate. The answer is revealed in this (and other) scripture:
Those who make them become like them; so do all who trust in them. [Psa 115:8 ESV]
If you read the entire portion of this Psalm, we are told that those who make and trust in idols (representing their gods) will become just like them! This is a deep and profound spiritual truth. We will become like what we focus on. We will become like whatever it is that we are worshipping. We become like the demons that are depicted by the images and idols. Did Satan know this when he enticed humans to become idolaters? I believe he did.
Over the centuries idol worship has been the bane of God’s people. The history of Israel is replete with accounts of the nation falling into idolatry and incorporating the worship practices of the ungodly nations around them. These syncretic practices twisted truth just enough to send God’s people back to the cesspool of sin. The image of God in His people was being blasted away to the point where the distinction between the children of Satan and the children of God could not be recognized. In fact, the idolatrous children of God looked more like the children of Satan than the actual children of Satan!
Satan had found a way to impregnate humans with his seed by getting them to impregnate themselves through artificial insemination. Through the self-gratification of idol worship, the image of God was again in danger of being obliterated. For many centuries of human history this assault was working like a charm. But as humanity progressed, so did their taste for toys. The immature wooden and stone images were no longer holding humans attention. Satan’s children were growing up. They were growing bored with the unsophisticated nature of idol worship. Humans were beginning to throw their baby toys back into the toy box. Satan must capitalize on this new, awakened and enlightened sense of self-realization in humans and go back to the original trap that enticed humanity’s original parents - the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
It was time for the third phase of Satan’s assault on the image of God. Satan’s kids were now ready for adult food to be reintroduced into their diet. Could eating this fruit again really destroy the image of God? After all, as the saying goes, “we are what we eat ,” aren't we? We shall see.
by Pastor Jim Anan