The Satanic agenda is to defile, degrade and destroy human beings individually and collectively because we are made in God’s image. We are created “a little lower than the angels” in our bodies of flesh (Psalm 8), but destined to rule over and “judge angels” after our glorification (1 Corinthians 6:3). For this reason Satan seethes with hatred and jealously against us. He wants to hurt us to hurt God, but his ultimate goal is to fully unravel and “void” all the work of God related to human-kind.
We can see that plan at work in the physical realm. Human civilization can be compared to a mature tree whose growth and form reflect the natural laws and rational order of Creation, as described in Genesis. It’s roots and trunk represent the most broad and fundamental legal and social foundations, and its ever more refined and delicate outgrowing branches are representative of humanity’s spiritual maturation over time.
If we can picture this tree as symbolic of humanity’s growth process from the coarse and crude social order of antiquity toward ever greater Christlikeness, then the so-called culture war is like a disease that works in reverse order to kill the tree, starting from the outer tips of the branches and progressing toward the roots, with Christian losses in the “culture war” reflecting a process of steady devolution.
God’s plan and purpose is always redemptive: order from chaos. But in typical Satanic style, truth and falsehood are reversed as the demonic realm brings chaos from order, and his regressive process is called “progress” by his army of “progressives.”
Early post-flood civilization was morally primitive, but a line of priests “after the order of Melchizedek” apparently existed, and the line of Noah’s son Shem set an example of relatively more godly conduct over time per the “Noachide Laws” (a rough framework for ethical conduct). Then Abraham was chosen by God to establish a family line through which the rule of law could guide humanity, and one of the first major milestones was reached: the abolishment of human sacrifice among the Hebrews and a refinement of the Messianic theme of “substitutionary atonement” in the story of the “sacrifice” of Isaac. In terms of moral perception, humanity was like a toddler in those days and God was an attentive father directly controlled his steps.
Many generations later Moses was then chosen by God to further refine the law, which was delivered to him as God’s Torah (teaching), the first five books of the Bible. The Mosaic law was humanity’s “tutor,” functioning like a human teacher toward a school child. The child was taught to learn and keep the letter of the law through rituals and rote memorization of set statutes, which in turn contained underlying spiritual principles that could be discovered through diligent study and practice by the more advanced students.
As Paul made clear, “the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster” (Galatians 3:24). It had always been possible to come to Christ by faith even before His first coming, and many did, even before the Torah was given (Hebrews 11). That goal was always the purpose of the law. Yet humanity as a whole matured very slowly, and only a few exemplars among the chosen people achieved the higher standard. But that was what the Hebrews had been chosen for: to be living examples to the world of the best and worst of humanity (Jeremiah 24), measured and judged by their obedience to or rebellion against the standards God had set (Deuteronomy 28).
Yet, whenever the Hebrews had sufficiently collectively matured, God further refined the law to them and through them. For example, after they had been fully chastised by God in the Babylonian exile, the House of Judah collectively raised their standards on sex and family above the Mosaic Law. The Torah had accommodated some deeply entrenched cultural institutions that technically violated the spirit of His law, such as polygamy, concubinage, divorce and chattel slavery. But upon the return to Jerusalem from Babylon, God caused Ezra and Nehemiah to raise the standards on marriage (e.g., Ezra 10) so that there are no further examples of polygamy seen tolerated among the Hebrews from that point forward. It was moral progress, not perfection, all along.
When Jesus came, He set His followers free from bondage to the letter of the Mosaic law. Yet even as He rebuked the Hebrews on the matter of divorce in Matthew 19:8, He implicitly acknowledged the accommodative policy on some sins in the Mosaic Law, setting a new and higher standard. This alone is proof that the Mosaic law was not the “perfect law” described in Psalm 19:7. But the point was further clarified by Paul in Hebrews 7:11-12 regarding the distinction between the Levites and the order of Melchizedek noting that “when the priesthood is changed, of necessity there takes place a change of law also.”
Like students who grow bored and start acting out when their school work is too elementary for their stage of intellectual development, the phenomenon of Phariseeism in the decades leading to the Lord’s earthly ministry showed that the Hebrews had become so adept at keeping the letter of the Mosaic law they were making up their own additional laws to out-legalize each other. In a backhanded way this showed that Hebrew society had collectively matured to the point that the final standard of the perfect law, the spiritual law, could be grasped and followed by those most diligent. However, in their stubbornness, most Jews of that day refused to acknowledge and follow the living spirit of the law because their social, political and religious standing was based upon their proficiency in dead-letter legalism.
Thus, the law of Christ was like graduation from secondary school into adulthood for His followers, who were entrusted to make their own decisions by the guidance of the Holy Spirit rather than keeping the letter of the statutes by obligation. Jesus closed all the loopholes of legalism and imposed a much higher standard on humanity: to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves in all things, retaining as Scripture all prior iterations of the written law and traditions for general reference to augment the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
The Age of the Gentiles can therefore be viewed as the history of human struggle to pursue Christ’s standard, the process of which we call the advance of civilization. We have obviously fallen far short of the standard, but at the same time we have unquestionably matured considerably beyond what existed in the world at the time the Lord walked the earth.
Note: This essay and the accompanying three charts are drawn from Scott’s nearly finished book-in-progress “The Prodigal Son Prophecy,” which is published in serial form and accessible here.
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