From the Beginning

A STORY OF "TIME" by Trevor Topsfield

An Australian

Loxton in South Australia is a reasonably small scenic town with a population of round 4500 and is about 200 kilometres from Adelaide. It is situated on the River Murray in a farming and fruit growing area with an historic village located at the river’s edge, and although it is a little off the beaten track it is worth the trip. But for me it is very special as it happens to be where I was born.

By this fact alone it makes me an Australian; and as such I am compelled to abide by Australian Laws. I did not choose where I started from, but as it has turned out I would not have chosen to be any other nationality.

Australia is my home and I am more than happy to live here and for the present and I have no ambition to be anywhere else.

What this means is that I have an obligation to be an Australian and comply with both legal and moral standards that make this country a great place to live. However as no one is perfect, everyone will keep on doing things that are wrong. Therefore within the Australian way of life there are certain checks and balances that limit the damage our personal weaknesses cause.

In my study into the Koine Greek language of The New Testament I found there are two Greek words translated into the English word “sin”, one is a verb and the other a noun, and quite often there is no way of telling which Greek word has been used in the translation into English. In my early days I imagined sin to be a verb as it is something I did wrong with a connection to the Church or to God. But now I found these two Greek words are relevant to my Australian citizenship too.

In the last half of the nineteenth century Dr. James Strong completed probably the most extensive concordance of the King James Version of the Bible.

He also compiled a Dictionary of the Hebrew words found in the Hebrew Bible and the Greek words of the Greek New Testament. In these two dictionaries he gave all the stems a number, and these numbers became known as Strong’s Number. Exactly why Dr. James Strong did this I don’t know, but it does make it is easier to keep track of what particular Greek word is being used.

Ἁμαρτια is the noun and its Strong’s number is 0266, while ἁμαρτανω is the verb and its number is 0264.

Also in my studies I have put on computer all the Greek words of The New Testament as they occur with a basic technical description of each one. Because my computer did not have Greek letters I made a code where each Greek letter had an equivalent English one. In most cases the English letter assigned to the Greek have a similar sound. So ἁμαρτια using my code looks this “hamartia” and in this case all the English letters have a similar sound to the Greek, so it sounds reasonably close to how my English equivalent is pronounced.

In the case of ἁμαρτανω the omega at the end of the word I use a “w” because they look similar but have a completely different sound. So when I see a “w” in a Greek word I naturally pronounce it as a long “o” as in bone.

From now on in this story I will only use Strong’s number with a “v” or “n” to indicate whether it is the verb or the noun when I refer to either of these Greek words.

In Luke 15:18 the Prodigal Son says “Father I have sinned (0264 v) against heaven and against you”. In this case it is (0264 v), a verb where the son has “done” something against his father.

While 1 Corinthians 15:3: “For what I received I passed on to you of first importance that Christ died for our sins (0266 n) according to the Scriptures”. (NIV) This is a reference to Isaiah 53:6 as nowhere else in The Bible is there a statement of what was placed on Christ that caused his death. Christ died for our sins (0266 n) which is a noun, being the name of something we are.

Australia has a judicial system so that its continuity is safe guarded, and the population has the freedom to do whatever it likes without interference from others. Therefore we have a Police Force that has the best interest of the public in mind and the capability to enforce it. They have the task to control what we are (0266 n) to limit the production of those un-Australian things we do (0264 v). Of course it is best if we control our own un-Australian functions and live within the Australian way of life long before the Police get involved. This is when our character becomes important as it can curb our desires to do wrong (0264 v).

In the big picture everyone is born into the universe God created whether we like it or not. Therefore we are citizens of his creation and while I am compelled to live under Australian Law, I am equally compelled to live under the Laws of God’s universe. Just as Australian laws are designed for its longevity and that of its citizens so are the laws that God put in place to sustain its eternal quality.

One of the advantages of the Australian constitutions is that it is mainly based on biblical concepts having been built on the best of Britain’s Westminster system, and with some American influence, we have very good standards to follow.

When God created the universe everything was perfect. Because only perfection last forever, it has to stay this way so he and the angels have an eternal home. Therefore perfection is the only standard acceptable. While this might appear to us to be difficult to sustain, where God is in control nothing can go wrong, and for the angels they only have to follow his lead.

The angels have everything they need as God maintains the perfection of heaven from his inexhaustible assets, so nothing is lacking, and there are no faults in either heaven or those who lived there. If there is another way of life the angels did not know about it.

What could go wrong?

The only thing that could did.

Everything God did was perfect without exception. Even to the fact that he gave all the angels their own individuality, so they were complete persons in themselves and could be and do whatever they wanted.

What happened next is a long story, but I think it is worth the telling.

It all started in pre-human times when an Angel call “O Morning Star, Son of Dawn” said in his heart I will make myself like the “Most High” as recorded in Isaiah 14:13+14. O Morning Star was not satisfied with heaven as a place to live with God as the supreme ruler, and while it is the perfect, he was unhappy with deal fate had given him.

He thought he would make it better.

Given that God’s divine nature and eternal power is seen in the things he has made (Romans 1:19+20), and in the case of O Morning Star the perfection of heaven clearly demonstrated the character of God. Therefore to consider he would make himself like the Most High was the ultimate function of his pride. His thought went against all the evidence heaven demonstrated and he became sinful (0266 n) using the truth as the standard by which to judge. He decided to go his “own way” and by doing so rejected God as the ultimate authority.

All the angels would shine as they moved around heaven as their bodies were made of light and as God supplied all their needs, he provided the power for all their lights. But when O Morning Star rejected God, with his rejection of God went God’s ability to be God to him. The connection between the two ceased, his light went out and he became mere ashes of his former being (Ezekiel 28: 5-19).

God had to do something about O Morning star, before his thought became a reality, and because the maintenance of perfection has to continue if heaven is to retain its eternal quality, as any imperfection (0264 v) will compound and multiply until it destroys all it comes in contact with. So God relegated him to the earth along with all who followed him, as they saw in him the one they preferred to rule.

O Morning Star’s name was change to Satan which means accuser, and the angels that followed him became demons. Hell was created as a permanent place for them to live which is the total opposite to heaven. Satan challenged God that it was too harsh a penalty, and so God created man to resolve all the issues.

Adam and Eve were created in the image of God; they too were created perfect and could do no wrong while they were perfect. Like the angels they were complete with their own individuality and could be whatever they wanted. Because man was to settle this argument between God and Satan, we were given the same choices as the angels so this issue could be settled once and forever and heaven could get back to being normal never to have another dispute.

In the Garden of Eden where Adam and Eve lived after their creation were two special trees among all the others. One was the tree of Life which represented God’s side of the dispute and to eat the fruit from this tree was to further enhance their relationship with him. The other tree was the tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil, and to eat its fruit would give them the understanding of how Satan would rule if he had the chance.

Satan was keen to have Adam and Eve eat the fruit from his tree as he was confident he was the better ruler. But how would he be able to convince these two perfect people to eat from a tree of Good and Evil; the name in itself clearly suggests it is far from perfect.

So Satan got a serpent as they were very crafty in those days to convince Eve to eat from his tree. But what was the only thing this perfect pair could do wrong in God’s creation? Satan knew exactly what that is because he had already thought it when he was known as O Morning Star.

The serpent knew the woman had not always listened to God when he walked with them in the garden, so he said to her; “did God really say, you must not eat from any tree in the garden?’ She proved he was right when she answered and said. “We may eat from any tree in the garden but not from the tree in the middle of the garden, nor touch it lest we die” Genesis 3:2 (NIV). But that was not true as touching it was not mentioned by God. So Eve was unsure of what the tree stood for and the implications surrounding it.

The serpent went onto say that if you eat from it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God knowing good and evil. The only thing that had got anyone in trouble in the past was for them to think they could be like the “The Most High” and the serpent is suggesting Eve do the same.

Of course we all know what happened, Eve used her freedom to go her “own way”, and with the thought of it she became sinful (0266 n).

Then she ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil which was her first sin (0264 v). Eve handed some fruit Adam and he went his “own way” when he followed Eve and according to 1 Timothy 2:13+13 she was deceived but Adam was not. So he went his “own way” knowing all the implications and therefore he is held responsible. Eating the fruit from the tree which was clearly not perfect meant it contaminated them, so they were barred from heaven as they too would have the destroyed its eternal quality.

Therefore, just as sin (0266 n) entered the world through one man, and death through sin (0266 n), and in this way death came to all men because all sinned (0264 n). (NIV)

There is a complication with Romans 5:12 that needs a mention at this point.

A science called “Textual Criticism” is where ancient manuscripts are analysed and when differences are found they are rated on the evidence. Because all manuscripts are hand copied, the older manuscripts are generally considered more reliable, but either by mistake or by intention, changes have been made.

The Greek words translated “death came” have a “C” rating which indicates there is a considerable degree of doubt that the author actually wrote these words.

So if we ignore “death came” in Romans 5:12 it looks like this.

“Therefore, just as sin (0266 n) entered the world through one man, and death through sin (0266 n), and in this way all men sin (0264 v).

While Romans 5:12 explains how we of the human race became sinful, and therefore commit sins, so the same principle can be applied to O Morning Star (now Satan) and all those angels (now demons) who followed him in their rejection of God

So O Morning Star intended to go his “own way” and with the thought of it he became sinful (0266 n), and with his intention he had already separated himself from all things Godly. Therefore everything he did was a sin (0264 v) from that moment, as it was all from his own personal attributes and the perfection needed to continue to live in God’s kingdom became non-existent.

Eve went her “own way” as she was deceived when she thought that by eating the fruit from the wrong tree she too could be like God. Being like God is the sad mistake that many people make as they too ignore the divine nature and eternal power of God we all see in the things he has created.

Then Adam went his “own way” because he followed Eve knowing what would happen if he continued down this path. Because of his deliberate action he became sinful (0266 n) which was passed onto his descendants so we all are sinful (0266 n) and will commit sins (0264 v) and therefore we would ruin the eternal quality of heaven.

These three set the precedence and though they were perfect when they were created, all went their “own way” became sinful (0266 n). Now all they can produce from their sinfulness (0266 n) is imperfect or a sin (0264 v) which cannot be involved with anything eternal as God is maintaining its perfection.

If we go back to 1 Corinthians 15:3: “For what I received I passed on to you of first importance that Christ died for our sins (0266 n) according to the Scriptures”. (NIV) This is a reference to Isaiah 53:6

Here is the Love of God in action; Satan is passed redemption. God, even the love of God cannot assist him as Satan’s aim is to oppose God; so he will not lift a finger to assist Satan to be like him.

As for Adam and Eve, Jesus Christ did what Isaiah predicted in Isaiah 53:6.

“We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his “own way”; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (NIV).

Sin (0266 n) entered the world through on man, so we all became sinful (0266 n). While we are all sinful from our birth, and at that time we had no thought of God, either positively or negatively. At that time no one has decided for or against God. While our sinfulness (0266 n) would bar us from heaven, as we can only produce sins (0264 v). Because we at our beginning are neutral towards God, he has given each of us the choice to accept him to be God to each of us, or reject him.

In 2 Corinthians 5:14+15 it states that as one died for all, and therefore all died. And he (Jesus) died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them.

Jesus Christ has taken on board the sinfulness (0266 n) that we all are because of Adam, and died on the cross for them. Therefore no one has the death penalty hanging over us at the time of our birth even though we were born sinful (0266 n).  Paul goes onto say that this gives everyone the option to live for the one who died for us.

No one except Jesus will ever die because Adam deliberately ate the fruit Eve handed him. Because the judgment of all our sinfulness (0266 n) has been dealt with on the cross, no one will ever be judged again for the sinfulness (0266 n) we received from Adam.

Everyone has the option to live with Jesus.

But for those who decides to go their “own way” they will become sinful (0266 n) of their own volition and will incur their own judgement.

However all those who do not go astray but go the “way” God would have them go, starting with believing  in Jesus Christ; for them there is no judgment of death, they simply continue to live on past the end of their temporal life, to begin their eternal life as it will simple take over. But there will need to be some changes made if we are to keep on going forever.

We only have a body with an extremely short life span, so we will need an eternal one, one that is perfect in every way. We will need the righteousness of God so we will not contaminate heaven, and the filling of The Holy Spirit so everything we do is perfect.

It just gets better and better.

If being born in Loxton was a great place to start and it was, and being satisfied with my maker’s choice that gave me the option to end up in the best possible place.

Then for his wisdom I am extremely grateful.

 

Trevor Topsfield.

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of The Bible.

 

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®

Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

 

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of The Bible.

 

 

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