This is post 9 in a 12-part series contrasting servant and beastly leadership.
This post reviews two symptoms common in beastly powers–lying and murdering. These symptoms are outward manifestations of a deeper disease process. We discuss those symptoms and the disease process (its etiology).
Jesus, the great physician, knew how disease operated because he knew how it eroded the life he created humans and this planet to enjoy. He could see how the disease invaded body, mind, soul and society.
He understood sin better than those most infected by it, just as those who aren’t drunk can discern those who are. He came to heal that sickness.
At Jesus’ birth, the impact of sin was rampant. Political powers were abusive. Rich did not help the poor. Ethnic and economic differences divided communities. Leaders lorded it over others instead of serving them. Hate ran strong even in the blood of God’s chosen people Israel.
Satan, had by Jesus’ first advent, left the world in moral and spiritual coldness and darkness. His rebellion had deteriorated not only his mind and view of God and his ability to understand and hear God’s voice, but this delusion he now spread to most of the world’s citizens.
That is why the apostle John when scrambling to find a powerful metaphor to convey what the gospel does to heal people embraced the story of Jesus as LIGHT into darkness and the WORD of TRUTH into the deception.
“The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” (John 1:5, NASB).
Again, “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).
The gospels were designed to open eyes to see and ears to hear.
Herein lies the etiology of evil, beastly powers. They can’t comprehend light and work to keep people in the dark. They can’t hear words of truth and seek to fill the air with lies or silence.
The life, death and resurrection of Jesus brings healing understanding of God’s character. It opens eyes to see and ears to hear the truth about God.
As I point out elsewhere, John 8 is one of my favorite passages of gospel truth. It is a Jesus judgment scene. Not only is our Rabbi called to judge a woman caught in adultery but he uses that to heal her and show the men who didn’t get healed the deep state of their disease.
I pick up the story after Jesus has liberated the woman, and she is free. Jesus is now in conversation with those who are not. They left in the heat of the judgment before they could have also been healed.
“As it is, you are looking for a way to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God…..
…… “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say.
You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” John 8:40-47.
Lying and murdering, the opposite of truth and loving, are the most natural activities of beastly powers. All other activities they engage in as deception to allow them to lie and murder.
However, the etiology of those two actions shows a deeper disease: it is in the closing down of the mind and heart to God and others.
The core of the beastly disease is summed up in the line: “you are unable to hear what I say.”
Satan resisted the truth about God and that resistance left him to deeper estrangement and inability to hear and see. That unable to appreciate and see the light and truth about God leads him to ultimate destruction. Their internal darkness fosters delusions and murders are the inevitable outcome.
Deception kills is carriers.
“Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day [Christ’s coming] will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.
….For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work….And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-12, NIV).
When we turn off the light, close the ears, and turn down the truth to an ever quieter whisper, we seek our own destruction.
Eventually only delusion will survive and when people carry truth, if Satan can not deceive he will move to kill them as evidence he can’t handle.
God help us avoid these beastly processes that shut us up from listening and submitting to God and others.