Underserved Atonement

Numbers 16:41-50

On Israel’s march to the land
Promised to them by Grace
Some men rose on pride’s wings
And flapped at the Moses’ face

It was a rebellion of equality
For as they said Moses was not
The only man called to lead
None in Israel is a robot
To follow commands without question
And rely on fabled inspiration

God in anger slew the rebels
They descended into dark hades
No tombstones or relics
No graves or digging spades
The earth swallowed them
Like you furtively swallow phlegm

Israel was aghast; Moses and Aaron
Had conspired to kill great men
They failed to see it was retribution
For defying the Anointed men
They mourned instead of learning
The sombre lessons of usurping

God’s judgment descended
A whip of a plague for the sinful
Moses with the Mind of Christ
Began to intercede for the scornful
And Aaron with censer of sacrifice
Raced through the camp of vice

The plague was stopped in its path
Pardon for the sinners obtained
They sought not but they found
Mercy over judgement had prevailed

So it was two millennia ago
While men walked in sin and scorn
Flourishing in reprobation
Defying the Royal Firstborn
Christ came to intercede
Giving mercy-our unknown need

Israel chose Korah over Moses
Again Barabbas over the Messiah
Still He pardons our ignorance
Saving us despite our desire
Let us be glad and rejoice
For He has made us His choice

End Of All Things

The world grows old and ready
For it’s fiery cleansing baptism
But love for God grows cold
Like the ashes of a cataclysm

The earth sits on a timer
Ticking merrily while iniquity
Abounds and rises to the detonation
That causes the annihilation

Some are cold because of gold
Such will attract the refiner
To purge out the dross
Cleaning like the fabled Fuller

Others are ashen and cold
For the many sundry cares
For fame, title and passion
Are fanned to slumber for years

At Year-end the credits roll
And new targets are set
An endless cycle of chasing
And getting keeps us inert

Hurry and scurry,
Flurry and flourish
Round and about
Until the volcanic kettle
Finally belches its spout

And all accomplishments of man
Melt into dark oblivion
Feats crushed by fervent heat
Greatness faces worry’s extinction

Eve & The Greatest Salesman

Selling to the unwilling is a difficult thing. You have to move the prospect from the valley of indifference to the plains of acceptance and finally to the summit of the buying decision.

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And so it is remarkable that a woman was tempted out of the comfort of Eden by a Salesman who was peddling what turned out to be a lemon.

He preyed on her curiosity and exploited her hesitancy. He, like all good salesmen, moved her through the gears – Attention…Interest….Desire…Action. The last step was the fateful decision to ‘purchase’ and use the damnable product.

A tested and proven four step method…

Attention:

Genesis 3:1 “And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”

A rhetorical question that gets you thinking is a good way to attract your attention. It made Eve pause and think.

It was a rhetorical question because the Serpent knew the answer to it. The answer was obvious to both the questioner and questioned.

The way it was asked though, left Eve thinking that they could be a different answer. Her curiosity thus piqued, she was now ready for Satan’s next hook.

Interest:

Genesis 3:4
And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die”

The serpent now had Eve’s attention. But mere attention in itself is noncommittal. It only guarantees listening. He had to do more.

And the above grand statement was it. In one fell swoop, he described the product in a way that addressed the root of Eve’s deepest fears. She would not die! Death was supposed to be the sad consequence of disobedience to God’s command. And it would no longer happen! Suddenly Eve’s pulse quickened. She was excited. This proposition was now interesting.

Satan had her literally where he wanted her to be. It was now time for the next hook.

Desire:

Genesis 3:5-6 “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise…”

Now that he had gotten the attention of the customer and had earned her trust, he swiftly took advantage of it. He showcased the benefits of the product. He appealed to her sense of sight for the fruit was pleasant to the eyes. He appealed to her sense of taste and sensual pleasure. He made it clear that the ‘fruit was good for food’. He appealed to her need for intellectual affirmation, for it was a ‘tree to be desired to make one wise’.

Marketers know that you pitch the benefits of a product and not the physical or technical features. Otherwise the presentation would be a dry one lacking in emotional appeal.

Satan, being a wily old salesman, focused on the benefits and not the features too. Eve never realized until it was too late, the actual specifications of the product she was desiring. Or how difficult it would be to return or dispose of it. That would come later. For now, all the talk was about benefits!

Action:

Genesis 3:6 “…she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”

After moving her up the ladder – from the rung of Attention to Interest and from Interest to Desire, there was one thing left to do; to go for it.

She was convinced about the product, it ticked all her boxes. Then she reached with aroused anticipation and took the fruit and ate it. There was no immediate post-purchase anxiety. None. She even flaunted the benefits to Adam. He ate of the fruit as well.

The World’s greatest salesman had done a good job. He was so persuasive that his convert became an influencer for the cause. Word-of-mouth/viral marketing was in full swing.

This virus had an unmentioned feature. It would enter the bloodstream and doom all of Adam & Eve’s descendants to be perpetual addicts to the product. The delighted Eve did not know that yet.

This great salesman is still wooing customers today. His tactics have not changed. He is slick and cunning. His campaign focuses on creating a buzz, arousing desire and talking exclusively about benefits not features. He appeals to the senses, and is an astute judge of human emotions.

Beware of him. Do not be deceived as Eve was. Stay with the Word. To get back to the Eden of God, you must withstand the wiles and charms of the greatest salesman.

Christ or Caiaphas

In the year that Christ was Crucified, He prophesied. In that year Caiaphas was the High Priest, he prophesied too about the substitutionary salvation of the Messiah.

Christ sent his disciples to cast out devils, Caiaphas had his caste of preachers too, his Pharisee children that defied devilry
Christ was the Teacher and Lawgiver. He proclaimed from Mount Olives. Caiaphas thundered his sayings from the temple mount
And if you lived then, who would you have chosen to follow? The signs were the same in deed and name. But Christ was the promise of the age manifested. Caiaphas was what the human sages suggested.
Same stark choice stares us in the face today in the sunset of the human race.

Importance of Revelation – Uzziah’s Usurpation

Uzziah was a great king of Judah. He had followed the Lord from his youth. He knew the Word. God had blessed his loyalty. He was by many accounts the greatest king since Solomon.

All was blissful and peaceful till Uzziah decided to ruffle the order of his kingdom.
One day the king decided to offer sacrifice at the altar. He was not a priest. He was not of the tribe of priests – Levi. In the temple,  priests rushed to stop his infamy. They pleaded, yet he would not be dissuaded.
While he held the sacred censer, his skin turned to that of a leper.
This is a warning to us coming after – for times when ambition defies revelation’s tether.

Importance Of Revelation – Elisha & Sons Of The Prophets

After Elijah was taken bodily into heaven, the double portion of his Spirit came upon Elisha, who witnessed his rapture first hand.

There were other prophets who knew about Elijah’s exit but did not have a Revelation of what really happened.
Soon after Elijah’s disappearance, the sons of the prophets began to lobby for a rescue party to be sent to look for him. Perhaps the chariots of fire had suffered engine failure and had landed on a mountain far away?
Elisha refused to authorize the search. He knew where Elijah was. But they pressed until he became ashamed, lest he look like an uncaring disciple.
The search party wasted three days in a forlorn escapade, and came back sorrowful.
As it was then, so it is now. The rapture is a revelation only to those who are watching and waiting.

Importance Of Revelation – Elijah & Baal Prophets

Ahab married a pagan queen called Jezebel. She was a dominating female. She vented her spleen of idolatry on Israel. The whole nation fell into the error of Baal worship. Not Elijah.

He called for a showdown with Baal’s prophets. To offer a sacrifice that must be divinely consumed by fire. Elijah called for this contest according to a God-given vision.

The fiery consumption of the evening oblation soon vindicated the prophet that came by revelation. And those who came by their own volition paid the ultimate price for their indiscretion.