The first book that helped me get familiar with the Bible was The Satanic Rebellion by Dr. Robert D. Luginbill. It offers a big picture view of God’s plan that was helpful for me as a new believer, in spite of the fact that many of his beliefs (e.g. premillennialism, the Genesis gap, innate sinful nature) strongly conflict with what the Orthodox Church teaches. Nonetheless, this work played a role in my early catechism by reorienting me away from the secular world and onto the world of God.

God’s love for us

For the supreme love that God the Father has for us as demonstrated in the sacrifice on our behalf of His only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, can also be seen in His determination to let us, to let all His creatures, choose whether or not we wish to follow Him of our own free will. Although God loves all His creatures with a perfect love, He does not force any of them to love Him back. When history finally comes to an end, the only creatures, men and angels, who will be with Him forever are those who have chosen it.

The fear of death

The fear and the terror we humans feel in regard to death is sign enough that, on some very basic level, we understand that through our own devices no good result waits on the other side. This fear is the devil’s ace trump. Through it he has entrapped uncounted millions, coaxing them into a variety of false religions that promise relief and solution, but without Christ. Jesus alone gives us the power to escape this fear through faith in Him and His resurrection.

I don’t believe it when people claim they are not afraid of death. Their lives are often filled with obsessions over health or distractions to take the mind off dying. Buried within the bravado that they are ready to die is a low-level hum of terror.

Jesus Christ is human history

Jesus Christ, in the most complete sense of God’s point of view, is history, because human history has no purpose without His saving work on the cross (which is the entire point of history). From the first, prehistoric Eden, to the garden of Eden, to the dark world in which we now find ourselves (wherein He is the only light: Jn.1:4-5; 1:9; 3:19; 8:12; 1Jn.2:8), to the coming Kingdom of God, Jesus Christ is and has always been the visible Person of God, the face of God (2Cor.4:6; Heb.1:3), and the ultimate issue for every human being who has ever lived. No one, therefore, can approach God the Father apart from embracing the Son and His saving work.

Without Jesus Christ, there is no point of this life. Any good you are able to create, such as children, will fade to dust just like you, their lives reduced to a mere series of moments, neurochemicals flowing this way and that in their brains. In our degenerate age, many will not even have children, and so what then will your life be about? Money-making and pleasure-seeking? Creating all manner of false idols? Letting a little part of you (your genitals) command your entire body? Without Christ, I might as well line up on the edge of a cliff and kindly ask you to push me over, to escape the utter bleakness that is the existence of a mere animal.

Either be a slave to sin or be a slave to God

Simply put, God is glorified by our obedience, by our response to His sovereign authority. Our will is not really “free” in the sense that we can choose the course of our lives without consequence. We really have only one choice: obey God. If we do, God is glorified by our obedience. If we do not, we suffer the consequences (and God still enjoys a measure of glory by dealing with us in justice, though He would have preferred to deal with us in love). No, we really do not have “free will” in the overarching sense of the phrase. Either we choose to do God’s will, or we end up choosing to follow the present “ruler of this world” by default (Gal.5:16-17). Either we accept His sovereign authority over our lives, an authority He possesses by nature of being God, an authority He has underlined to an unimaginable degree by the price He has paid for us through the death of His only Son, or we reject Him for the usurped authority of the devil’s world (1Jn.2:15-17). If we seek Him, if we follow Him, if we serve Him, if we obey Him, we will find that in our lives, in our spiritual gifts, in the production that flows from the ministries He assigns, we will be partakers in the delegated sovereign authority of God that was bestowed upon Adam so long ago.

We were thrust out into a world controlled by demons

As they walked out of the garden, Adam and Eve were not only entering a world characterized by pain, toil and ultimate physical death, but also a world where the devil’s influence would be great and pervasive. This was no Eden, but a world where only the unseen protection of God would prevent them from being annihilated by the satanic forces swirling around them, a world where only the diligent seeking of God (in response to the consciousness of sin they now possessed from their knowledge of good and evil) would lead them away from the otherwise inevitable path of death.

The useless pursuit of happiness

Between birth and death, we human beings have nothing but time, time which must be served on this earth under the Genesis curse. We fill the time with work, with relationships, and with various pleasures and pursuits. We fill the time, we waste the time, we strive desperately not to be at loose ends with our time, lest the realization of life’s vanity dawn and bear heavily down upon us. To the extent that the effort produced by our time-filling, time-wasting activities is directed at all, it is inevitably directed toward the impossible goal of making ourselves happy (whether directly or indirectly). Whether a man toils a lifetime in the depths of the earth searching for treasure, or spends his days at the corner pub, happiness is the ultimate objective, and who can say which man is the greater fool? In the latter case, happiness stops almost instantaneously with “last call”; in the former, great success will only bring an end to the diversion of toil and bring on the realization that riches do not produce happiness (dispelling the illusion that motivated the distracting toil in the first place).

I was able to pursue pleasure more intensely than most men, and when I snapped myself out of the spell, I was determined to cease all of it. I am still able to perceive pleasure by my body, so what does that say about the worthiness of my initial pursuit? It was false and led nowhere. Most men do not want to hear this warning because they already made up their minds to drench themselves with pleasure. They want to duplicate or exceed what I have done, but they will reach the exact same dead-end as I have.

How Satan attacks us

Unbelief always manages to find an excuse (as it did in Jesus’ day), and the devil always manages to exploit this lack of trust in God and His Word (as he did in the garden). The essence of Satan’s strategy in attacking Adam and Eve was the same then as it is now: drive a wedge of deception between the believer (or potential believer) and the truth.

[…]

Typically, the devil’s attacks center around a distortion of God’s truth. [His] strategy as employed against Eve is thus critically important for us to understand today, for his tactics remain essentially the same: first, involve us in a “dialogue”, some form of subtle temptation, verbal and otherwise, which engages our egos and our arrogance; second, use this dalliance with him to throw the slightest shadow of doubt upon some aspect of God’s word, God’s commands, or God’s character; finally, as soon as a fracture of distrust, a fissure of failing belief, appears in our shield of faith, then slam home whatever wedge will fit the crack.

[…]

He observes the chinks in our armor, our ignorance of the word of God, our disbelief, our doubts, our nonchalance about following in the footsteps of Christ (in general or on particular points), and then, armed with this critical “scouting report”, he attacks, providing false information, false assurances, and tempting us (or frightening us) right when and where we are at our weakest.

[…]

Satanic opposition is, quite frankly, a normal and continual part of the Christian life. Certainly, these assaults will take a variety of forms; certainly, they will differ greatly from time to time, from place to place, and from individual to individual. But the fact of their occurrence is a given. As long as we march across this battlefield, we are going to be subject to enemy fire, of greater concentration and intensity to the degree we increase in the effectiveness of our Christian lives (growing spiritually and helping others to do likewise).

[…]

The devil turns need to greed (the fears and pressures of life are at its root). The devil turns self-awareness into self-worship (subjective arrogance is at its root). The devil turns our desire for God into a desire for pseudo-good (objective arrogance and self-righteousness are at its root). The lie is the basis for Satan’s world system. He gained a following through the lie that seduced many of his fellow angels. He re-gained control of the earth through the lie that corrupted Adam and Eve. He exercises control over his cosmos through the lie that seeks to ensnare all of mankind. Our common human responses to the devil’s propaganda, namely greed, pride and self-righteousness, culminate in an integrated system of organized sin and evil that is better known as the chaos called “human history”. Human history (as opposed to the plan of salvation which God is carrying out in the course of history) is not really progressive at all from the divine point of view, but actually and inherently regressive.

[…]

It is important to remember, however, that the devil is not omnipotent. And we have it from God that He will not allow Satan to bring more pressure to bear upon us in this regard than we are able to bear.

Demonic attacks will never stop. You can escape to the desert, like St. Anthony did, but the demons will simply follow you there. The goal shouldn’t be wanting the demons to leave you alone, but to learn how to wield the sword and armor of faith to defend against those attacks, for every temptation you are able to resist builds your virtue and moves you closer to God.

This world is the devil’s world

…this is the devil’s world. That Satan’s world of deep unhappiness is essentially corrupt is a truism evident at life’s every turn. Everything decays. Nothing good lasts. Sin and evil are ubiquitous. And not too far down the road in every individual life lies the grave, the reward and legacy awaiting us all, no matter how blissful or disappointing our lives have been in the interim. Only God is truly meaningful here on earth, if we would but search for Him. Only Jesus Christ offers a solution to the futility of life and the inevitability of death, if only we would believe in Him. Only on the other side of this life is there true meaning, true fulfilment, true and lasting happiness, when we are at last re-united with the God who loved us enough to sacrifice His Son on our behalf, if only we have chosen Him in this present life over the deceptive vanities of the devil’s world. Until that time, like our first parents Adam and Eve before us, we have been left in this strange and alien world where the blinding reality of God is largely obscured from view, revealed almost exclusively in His Word to those who seek Him out. Until that time, we wait for something better as homeless wanderers in a world which finds our perspective and our hope worthless, even idiotic. But by our faith and the actions that faith produces, we show the world that we are not of it, do not love it, and acknowledge that we have no true part in it – except for the God who is the focus and the object of our love all the days of our sojourning here in the devil’s inhospitable desert.

If there’s something you’ve become attached to that is not connected to God, the world has you. All Satan has to do is keep you engaged with pleasures long enough to make your heart so cold to God that it closes to Him completely.

Live in the world, but do not be of it

From the moment we turn away from the hollow manner of life handed down from generation to generation (1Pet.1:18), and turn instead to the living God through faith in His Son Jesus Christ, we are reconciled to Him, and at the same time alienated from the world. There can be no middle ground. Either we are friends of God, or friends of the world (Jas.4:4). Satan has done his best to structure the kingdom he tenuously controls and its mode of operation so as to invite compromise and involvement in the activities and values he sponsors. But God is holy. God is righteous. God is absolute, and the issues He puts before us (of accepting salvation first, and following Jesus Christ ever afterward) are equally absolute. To be sure, Christians sin, Christians stumble, Christians fail; but our imperfect obedience does not change the fact that God’s standards are unbending, unsullied and perfect in every way.

[…]

For this world is not yet a place where God dwells manifestly and in person, but rather a wilderness through which we who believe in Christ are making our pilgrimage to God.

God is looking for sinners to reside with him in heaven for all eternity. Our time in this world is a test, a sort of prolonged interview. Can we still choose for God in spite of all the traps that lay before us?

Material success is vanity

It is sadly ironic that the madcap rush for wealth, fame, glory, pleasure and possessions often serves to distract the unbeliever from the central truth of life outside of the garden: all these things are vain, because we shall all return to dust in the blink of an eye. The godless pursuit of pseudo-happiness (and false security) can never take the sting out of death, but for all those who are manically involved in it, it does provide distraction from death’s approach. The unbeliever, after all, has every reason to fear death, more so than he may know. We should not be surprised, therefore, to find him engaged in a frantic cycle of activity, accepting any and all substitutes to blind his eyes to the reality of death’s grim approach. The unbeliever, in short, although mortal, behaves as if he were immortal, and that is the essence of his folly. He stores up wealth, as if he will be around to enjoy it forever; he seeks glory, fame and achievement, as if it will not fade with his impending demise; he indulges himself in all pleasures, as if the grave will not put his enjoyment of them to an end.

[..]

The devil’s lie is that happiness can be achieved in this world apart from God, and that, with enough effort, security can be vouchsafed for such gains. Sufficient space has already been expended to establish the principle that death makes a complete mockery of this lie from the outset (for any and all who are willing to make a truthful appraisal of the essential calculus of human life in this world outside of Eden). This fact, however, has not prevented a majority of humanity from falling into the pseudo-happiness, pseudo-security trap. Having rejected the truth of God, most people in the history of the world have gladly embraced the myth of true happiness capable of enduring. The exact incarnation of this “myth-happiness” takes many forms, of course, and is sought in a multitude of ways, but, inevitably, it is never really achieved. It always remains vaguely future, no matter how wealthy, or famous, or successful, or powerful a person manages to become in this short life: “I’ll be happy if only I get/do/experience _________ .” Filling in this blank merely opens up the way for other blanks that need to be filled in for the elusive, never-actually-achieved myth-happiness to be attained.

[…]

Indeed, mankind has made a science of discovering interesting amusements and diversions to try and take the sting out of life—in vain.

Security can never be achieved without God. Many people aim to be financially secure. They save for years yet security always eludes them. Their expenses have gone up, their lifestyle has elevated, their children need to attend Ivy League schools, a worldwide pandemic has arrived. They end up needing more money than they thought, and now there is a new fear—the fear of losing money. The rich don’t have to worry about the small things, such as how to pay their medical bills, but they still worry they don’t have enough. They worry that it will all be taken away from them or that their neighbor has much more. They worry than an angry mob will burn down their house, so it’s time to buy a compound in New Zealand, but how much is that going to cost? More money is needed.

I don’t make as much money as I used to. My savings is slowly being depleted. I live with my mother. I don’t know what will happen to me in the future, but I am more secure than ever because I am in God’s grace. Anything that happens to me, no more how uncomfortable, is part of God’s plan for me and therefore must be essential to my spiritual development, and so I will embrace it.

God-given pleasures

Beyond the simple, God-given pleasures of family, labor and food, the attainment of successive plateaus of wealth, fame, power or pleasure may entertain for a brief moment, but like a feast to a man with a full belly, they quickly lose their appeal, thus spurring the myth-happiness faithful on to the next level of dubious achievement as the cycle progresses on its never-ending way.

All parties come to an end, without exception. Some parties go on for a long while—you can travel the world for decades if you choose, but soon you will tire of it, and the joy of hopping on an airplane to see a new exotic destination will one day feel like torture. Any worldly thing that gives you joy will one day stop giving you joy. And then what will you do?

Nothing fails like success

On and on, in never-ending cycle, the more knowledge we amass, the more miserable we become (Eccl.1:18); the more doctors and medical technology, the more suffering; the more wealth in the world, the more poverty (cf. Eccl.5:11); the more information available, the more ignorance reigns. As material prosperity increases and technology advances, as peace and security expand, the more complacent we become and the more easily the essential pointlessness and vanity of life can be ignored.

[…]

If we are slaves to material things, it is them that we shall serve (Rom.6:16-18), but if we follow in the footsteps of our Lord and Savior, the living Word, we will put what God has to say first (Ps.138:2 KJV), and in so doing will never need to fear any lack of provision on His part, for He is faithful (Deut.7:9; 1Cor.10:13; 1Thes.5:24; 2Thes.3:3; 2Tim.2:13; Heb.10:23; 13:5-6).

Look at all the time-saving technology and conveniences we have today. Are we better off than a few generations ago? We’re worse! We’re more depressed, medicated, angry, suicidal, and despondent. The more material comforts and pleasures you have, the more lost you will be.

The Christian life has purpose

From the Christian perspective, life is an entirely different matter, because it has purpose. Our time in this world is neither pointless nor futile, for we remain here in the devil’s world as servants of God, as followers of Christ. Having recognized our mortality and sinfulness, having acknowledged God and turned to Him through Jesus Christ our Lord, we know that for us immortality lies directly behind the mortality the world sees (or chooses to ignore); we know that for us rather than there being no ultimate point to anything we do, there is instead great significance to everything we do. For as believers in Jesus, we remain here as instruments of God, as members of the body of Christ, in order to do His will, that others may likewise turn to Him through Christ and likewise grow in spirit through His Word day by day.

The purpose of my life is to serve God through the world He created—my work, family, church, and neighbor. While I’m not a perfect Christian, and still succumb to worldly entertainments and politics, my aim is to bring God into everything I do, and if there is something I can’t bring God into, maybe I shouldn’t do it.

Trust in God’s plan

Only by allowing us to experience His grace in the midst of the devil’s world, can God bring us to the fullest understanding and appreciation of His love for us, while at the same time leading us to a full and genuine love for Him. Thanks be to God for His ineffable and unsearchable wisdom!

That wisdom can sometimes be hard to see from the nosebleed seats we may find ourselves in, but I regularly remind myself that my feeble human brain cannot even begin to comprehend God’s plan, and if I can just understand the morsel that concerns me, that’s all I need. Maybe one day God will show me how everything in human history fits together to achieve His end, but until then, it’s not important for me to know.

Good can only come from God

Sinful mankind will never be happy, never be satisfied, and certainly never achieve “victory” over poverty, crime, disease, or any other of the multitudinous manifestations of the sin nature within us all. And Man will beyond question never “conquer” death. Trying to make the world “a better place” apart from God and God’s will is an effort that is not only doomed to failure because of the nature of man and of the devil’s world, but buying into this satanic lie in this way and energetically embracing it is subtly yet completely anti-God.

[…]

If we do accomplish anything outside of His will, that is in actuality to our great shame, and whatever we accomplish within His will is, in reality, because of His gracious provision, seen and unseen. All glory, therefore, belongs to God alone. When we attribute success, accomplishment, or natural endowments to ourselves, we are robbing God of the glory that is His by divine right. What makes us think we have any right to take credit for what God has done?

[…]

Claiming to be able to do good apart from God, to be able to improve a world that God has long ago marked for complete destruction in order to burn the evil out of it entirely, is, in essence, to deny the need for a Savior, to deny the need for God’s help, to proclaim arrogantly instead that we are somehow able to “help God” by these paltry activities.

I remember when Zen guru Alan Watts taught that if there is a rising trend of do-gooding in the world, of people who want to make it a “better” place, grab your gun and lock your doors, because they are going to bring death and destruction in their wake. Communism tried to bring good in the form of material equality, and we know how many tens of millions of people had to die for that. Today we have good in the name of “social justice,” “refugees welcome,” “saving lives from coronavirus,” “racial equality,” and other do-gooder acts, yet we also know how many people are attacked, censored, deplatformed, impoverished, demoralized, and tyrannized as a result.

There is no peace in this world

It should come as no surprise, then, that all who become “light in the Lord” (Eph.5:8) have from the point of salvation forward little in common with the world in which they walk. As was stressed above, we believers in Christ are no longer “of the world” (Jn.17:14-16), but are sojourners and aliens in a strange and hostile environment. The corollary to this principle is equally true and equally compelling: just as we have chosen God over the world, so the world has little use for us who have rejected it (Jn.15:18-20). The fact that the present kosmos is under the devil’s influence makes this eventuality the more understandable (1Jn.5:19). As soon as we stop playing according to Satan’s rules, we are no longer his subjects, but only interlopers in his realm. Thus we lose all further consideration on the part of the world and its ruler. By choosing Christ, we gain our lives, but lose the world, thus incurring its undying hostility (Matt.16:26).

[…]

There is perhaps no greater mistake a believer can make than to assume that he or she can ever have any true peace with this world and its diabolical sovereign (Jas.4:4; 1Jn.2:15-17). This is one reason why peace and prosperity are potentially harmful to the believer’s spiritual equilibrium. For the devil is at work in “good times” too. Indeed, he does some of his most effective work on such occasions. Followers of Christ need to remember that the world is not an essentially “friendly” place where bad things happen only from time to time. Rather, it is an entire cosmos of evil where darkness reigns, a mad beast that can never be tamed, only destroyed (as God shall eventually do: cf. 2Pet.3:10-12).

It’s not an accident that after receiving God’s grace I wanted to escape from the city and live in the mountains. It’s also not an accident that most monasteries are built in the middle of nowhere. While I can’t escape from the world entirely, it’s a natural progression for a believer to want to buffer themselves from evil. People who want to worship the world move from the countryside to the city, but since I don’t worship the world anymore, I hope to one day escape the city for good.

False spiritual roads

Despite the hyper-materialistic nature of the world in which we live, human beings have a spiritual side and a deep and abiding need to satisfy this essential part of their makeup. Only a true relationship with God through Jesus Christ can truly satisfy this need, but the devil, recognizing the drive for spirituality in mankind, has developed a kaleidoscopic variety of alternatives. These run the gamut from staid and traditional religions to outlandish, mystical or cabalistic activities. The devil is anxious to find something for everyone, anything to intrigue the spiritual side of man, anything but the truth of Jesus Christ. Any and all religious activities which do not put Christ in the undiluted center of things put Satan there by default. For by helping to still the innate desire to seek their Creator, such activities merely perpetuate separation from Him.

It seems to be a trend these days to declare yourself “spiritual,” a new word for “agnostic.” The so-called spiritual person believes we are all one with the universe and connected into a karmic hivemind of collective consciousness, and yet she can still fornicate and lie all she wants. She can hurt others, obsess over money, and masturbate with sex toys that are now available for purchase at the local pharmacy. If your spirituality does not come with morality or sacrifice then you may be worshipping the wrong spirit.

You have help in the battle against evil

We can also take comfort in the many scriptures that assure us that along with an unseen enemy, there are many unseen allies, angels of God (too numerous to count) to fight this battle for us (Gen.19:11; 1Ki.19:5; Ps.91:11; Dan.6:22; Matt.4:11; Matt.18:10; Lk.16:22; Acts 5:19; 12:10-15; Heb.1:14). Unable to perceive the ebb and flow of the spiritual conflict around us, we become like private soldiers on the battlefield, only conceptually aware of what is going on beyond our individual fox-holes. Under such circumstances, the correct procedure is to walk by faith, not by sight, and to learn to trust God unfailingly (Ps.23; 2Cor.4:18; 5:7; Heb.11:1). The closer we move to God, the more we grow spiritually, the safer we shall be in this conflict, and the more effective our prayers to influence what we can see will become.

God comes first

Whenever our thinking begins to be dominated by personal concerns to such a degree that we lose perspective about our place in God’s plan, our spiritual life is bound to suffer. We have of necessity many ties with the world (family, business, etc.). This is all the more reason to strive to keep God first in our thinking, our conversation, and the actual living of our lives, approaching the distractions of life (whether harassment or enticement) with the proper, professional Christian point of view.

[…]

In doing God’s will, Jesus not only declined this offer of a crown, but, in the end, had to give up everything – even His life – in order to accomplish God’s will. In doing so, He made it abundantly clear that He came to worship, follow and do the will of God, not to glorify Himself (Jn.12:28; 13:32; 17:1).

Whenever I go through an especially busy period, I forget about God. I’m too distracted with tasks at hand, and at the end of the day, when all work is done, I remember Him again. Thankfully these busy periods do not last long, and my worship can return to normal, but many people structure their lives to be hectic on a daily basis, forever. They leave no room for God to come in, perhaps because they know he would not approve of the lives they’re living.

Life is a continual trial

Christians have to affirm their reality by faith in every skirmish of every day as we make our way across this battlefield we call the world. All this takes faith, and the building up of our faith requires in turn the diligent, daily intake of God’s Word consistently applied to life in order to grow. Only through the continuation of this irreplaceable process do the realities of heaven begin to become more real than the ephemeral “realities” our eyes behold.

Technology distances us from God

Faith in technology (instead of faith in God), hope in political solutions (instead of God’s solutions), and love for human cultural accomplishments (instead of for God and the sacrifice of His Son) are common variations on the devil’s theme of working to make heaven on earth. But cutting God out of the equation is not only impossible—it is foolhardy. For only God can satisfy the true needs of humanity: forgiveness, spiritual peace, and eternal life.

[…]

The more we depend upon ourselves and our human abilities, the less we are interested in God and all that He does for us. Technological and scientific “progress” require no moral progress at all. Indeed, all our collective accomplishments on this score (minuscule from the standpoint of all that is in the universe, not to mention from the true point of comparison, the Creator of the universe) have helped to alienate mankind from God, creating a false sense of mastery over the material world (though death remains and suffering has, in some cases, intensified). If we are not careful to take the true spiritual realities of life into consideration (the forgiveness of our sins through the blood of Jesus Christ, first and foremost), it is all too easy to let this dependence upon our technology undermine our reliance upon God.

The smartphone has not been in existence for long, but most people cannot live without it. When I was fornicating, I recall how challenging it was to maintain the attention of a woman who had all sorts of notifications popping up on her smartphone and how much more of a “clown” I had to be to get her into bed. Even if you want to opt out of technology, how will you communicate with those who choose to opt in? People don’t like speaking on the phone as much as in the past, and now a large part of friendship comes in the form of text messages infused with images and emoticons. By refusing technology, you’re essentially refusing the world, and since most people are of the world, the result of your decision will be less human connection. This is the price you must pay to retain your connection with God.

Globalism is Satanic

A highly cooperative, highly homogenized, highly centralized society need only be shifted in a godless direction once. For once the worship of the only true God is deemed anti-social and made illegal, it becomes an easy matter to discourage it entirely under such circumstances—especially in the absence of any alternative society on the face of the earth where religious “dissidents” who had chosen for God might find refuge. One cannot therefore imagine a more ideal scenario for the devil’s squelching of faith than to bring about a single unified, top-down state in charge of all human affairs on earth. For from this beginning it would be but a short step to eradicating all faith on earth by taking away the freedom of those who might choose to exercise such faith.

What a coincidence that today’s society—with its gay pride marches, transsexual acceptance, and child sexualization—is highly centralized in a way that makes it easiest for Satan to spread evil most efficiently. The increasing centralization of the world that has come with globalism also aids in making it more evil.

Conclusion

Dr. Luginbill has created an excellent work that brings the Bible to life, and best of all, he offers it for free. My priest may have a heart attack at some of his doctrines, but in spite of those differences, I was aided by the book.

Read For Free: The Satanic Rebellion by Dr. Robert D. Luginbill

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Could you cover some of the differences between Orthodoxy and Dr. Luginbill's prose? He takes a very descriptive approach to all of his terminology and chronology, very good read.

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"... the Genesis gap..."

What's the premise behind that?
I myself noted that there are two distinct references to the origin of man in Genesis.

KJV
1. : Genesis 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.
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

2. : Genesis 2:7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
8 And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
...
15 And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

Now perhaps the first is a general reference & the 2nd is more specific to Adam?
Or... perhaps the first is the creation of humanity as a whole & the 2nd is the origin of the Hebrew race?
The Old Testament being rather Hebrew centric to say the least...

Just an idea I've had.
It would make Cain going off to an established town after the murder of Abel a bit more understandable.

Not that I tend to get too fussed about the exact origin of man or the age of the earth etc.

Either way.
We're here now. Better to focus on living a Righteous life in the here & now & in the future.

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click to expand...

I am not Orthodox, I am not a believer in the gap theory, and I'm sure I have a lot of different opinions with a lot of other brothers in Christ.

Doesn't matter. I love you all.

We are of the same brotherhood - united in Jesus Christ - and I'm sure we're all attempting to figure out many of the sometimes unclear details of scripture and spiritual things we can't (yet) see.

I am first and foremost a Bible-believer, loyal to Jesus Christ. And if someone else is (as well), then I won't oppose them because I know that they're with Christ.

Do I question how someone could believe in (for instance) amillenialism or asking Mary for favors or speaking in tongues or some other belief or doctrine? Certainly. I hold certain beliefs that I have come to from my reading of scripture.

But...I have to look at the big picture and ask, "do they profess Christ? are they trying to please God? do I see evil or good intentions in what they are doing?" and also, "is this within MY sphere or influence?" (it's usually not).

Then, I try to learn as much as I can from them and (in my mind) wish them the best journey.

One example of this is the exorcist, Father Chad Ripperger. The man has some seriously good, deep teachings on spiritual warfare and manhood on YouTube. I listen to him and get a lot out of it. I don't agree with him on certain things, but I deal with my differences as stated above. If I met him, I think I'd have a good time talking with him (about the things we have in common!).

Kent Hovind is another example. He has one of the most entertaining, informative, though-provoking recorded seminars on creation and the flood and dinosaurs I've seen. After recording his seminar and many other teachings, he went to jail for tax-related issues and changed some of his views relating to end times, rapture, etc. IIRC. That doesn't invalidate his creation seminar, though - it's great stuff. (Even then, is it all 100% correct in every way? I doubt it.)

The point is: no teacher has all the knowledge. I seriously doubt any human is 100% correct, even with geniunely sincere desires to know and teach the truth. We see some things dimly - even though we have the Bible and hopefully search it for the correct doctrines.

Just keep digging, keep learning, and ask the Holy Spirit for guidance. And support the other guys on our team.

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