Friday, August 5, 2011

ST Excerpt Chapter One

This excerpt is from the Introduction of Shadow Truth by Larry Tate

Chapter One

Early Examples of Shadow Truth

The Garden of Eden

In the beginning, God gave Adam and Eve an Absolute Truth when He instructed them that they could freely eat of every tree in the garden except one, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. He told them that if they ate of it they would surely die. Following God’s command was easy at first, but deception also had its beginning in the Garden of Eden. Satan found a way to deceive Adam and Eve by blurring God’s truth. It is hard for us to imagine how they could have believed his lies, but perhaps it went something like this:

One day as Eve was walking in the midst of the garden, she happened upon the serpent. One can only imagine the following conversations as they actually occurred. After some pleasantries regarding the loveliness of the garden and the wonderful fruits in it, the serpent drew her attention to the tree that was right in the center of the garden. “How do you like the fruit of this tree?” he inquired.

“Oh…I don’t know,” said Eve. “We’re not permitted to eat the fruit from this tree.”

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” said the serpent. Gingerly yet with confidence, he removed one of the fruits from the tree and examined it closely, as Eve peered curiously over his shoulder. After what seemed to be a rather long period of silence, the serpent said, “This fruit looks absolutely perfect.”

“Yes it does,” agreed Eve in a timid voice.

Holding the fruit out to Eve, the serpent said, “Here, examine it for yourself.” Realizing that Eve was backing away, the serpent softly said, “God may have told you not to eat this fruit, but I don’t think he warned you against touching it too.”

Eve stretched out her hand and carefully took the fruit from the serpent. With nervousness showing on her face, she slowly turned the fruit over in her hands and examined every inch of it.

This time, it was the serpent that was peering over Eve’s shoulder. “Look at this wonderful fruit, Eve. Why on God’s green earth aren’t you permitted to eat the fruit from this lovely tree? Surely, it’s as good and nutritious as the fruit from all the other trees. Wouldn’t you just love to sink your teeth into it right now? I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.”

After a few minutes, Eve answered, “I don’t have any idea why we are forbidden to eat this fruit. We don’t have any rules except this one, and it can’t be broken under any circumstances. We are to simply avoid eating the fruit from this tree at all costs; otherwise, we will surely die.”

“Well, Eve,” said the serpent. “I’m sure God had a very good reason for telling you not to eat the fruit from this tree. After all, we know God’s words are true.” Pointing to a nearby boulder, the serpent said, “Come, let’s sit and talk for a few minutes.” Still holding the fruit in her hands, Eve followed the serpent. After they sat down on the boulder, the serpent said, “Eve, what is the name of this tree?”

“This is the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil,” answered Eve.

The serpent pondered her answer for a few moments. Suddenly, a smile spread across his face. “Eve, I believe I understand why you are to avoid the fruit from this tree.”

Leaning forward in anticipation, Eve said, “You do? Please, mister serpent, tell me what it is. I really am curious about this tree and the wonderful-looking fruit that adorns its branches.”

“Certainly,” answered the serpent. “I will be happy to help you understand this better. Since only God has all knowledge of good and evil, if you eat the fruit from this tree, then you too will have all knowledge of good and evil. Doesn’t that sound logical to you?”

Eve’s eyes widened as she marveled at the level of his reasoning. “I believe you are right. Why didn’t I think of that?”

“Oh, don’t worry about that, Eve. You’ve been so enamored with this wonderful garden you probably just haven’t taken the time to consider the advantages of eating the fruit from this particular tree. I’m sure that you would have eventually figured it out on your own.”

After staring at the fruit in her hands for a couple of minutes, Eve asked the serpent, “What would it mean if I were to gain the knowledge of good and evil?”

With a look of compassion on his face, the serpent answered, “Well, Eve, right now only God has all knowledge of good and evil. It appears to me that once you too have the knowledge of good and evil then you will be like God. Come to think about it, you would probably be on the same level as God.”

As if she was in a hypnotic trance, Eve seemed to look right through the serpent as she considered the possibilities of being like God. After a few minutes she came back to the subject at hand and said, “I see it so clearly now. Once we eat this fruit, we will both be just like God.”

The serpent allowed a few minutes to pass while Eve considered the apparent advantages of eating the fruit. Mustering up a look of sincerity, he asked, “Eve, is God eternal?”

“Of course, God is eternal. Why do you ask?”

“Well, Eve, it seems to me that if you become like God, then you too will be eternal and there won’t be any risk of death because you will be just like God—God cannot die!”

Eve’s face brightened as she carefully considered the serpent’s last statement. Her lips pursed as if she was going to speak, but nothing came out of her mouth. Instead, she turned and looked up into the tree. Finally, she turned back to the serpent and said, “Of course, now I understand, you’ve made it crystal clear to me. God forbade us to eat the fruit from this tree because He wanted to keep us from becoming like him.”

“I think you may be on to something, Eve. Why don’t you go ahead and eat some of this fruit. It seems to be the most beautiful fruit in the garden. What have you got to lose?”

“I believe I will, and I am going to tell Adam what you and I have figured out. Together, Adam and I will become just like God.”

Eve’s Shadow Truth Tree

Satan craftily twisted God’s Absolute Truth into his own version of truth. Through his cunning manipulation, Eve was deceived into believing that she would become like God by eating the fruit of the tree. Satan’s lies were based on the undeniable fact that there was a tree in the midst of the garden, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, which God had forbidden them to eat. He then took the truth and began corrupting it by building an alternate, or Shadow Truth. He did this by calling into question God’s motives and character, and presenting Eve with another version of truth. His cunning words seemed logical, good, and even right, and culminated in convincing Eve that if she ate the fruit of the tree she had nothing to lose. She would gain the knowledge of good and evil and become like God. Satan began with God’s Absolute Truth and in his craftiness, twisted it into his Shadow Truth. This, coupled with Eve’s covetous desire, created a situation where she believed his lie.

Shadow Truth Tree of Eve's Temptation

Below, is an illustration of how Satan twisted God's Truth. First of all, following is God's Truth: There is a tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Do not eat of the fruit of that tree. If you eat of that fruit, you will die.

Now, here is how Satan twisted God's Truth, one step at a time: God who has all knowledge of Good and Evil planted this tree. Eating of that tree will result in you having the knowledge of Good and Evil. If you have the knowledge of Good and Evil, then you will be like God. God is eternal, God will not die. If you are like God, then you will not die.

Satan’s Temptation of Jesus

Another example of how Satan uses “Shadow Truth” can be seen in the well-known temptation of Jesus, in the Book of Matthew. In this instance, Satan said to Jesus, “…If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone” (Matthew 4:6, KJV).

Satan attempted to convince Jesus to jump off a high place by quoting Scripture to Him. Jesus knew that although Satan was quoting truth, he was twisting its meaning. Jesus saw through Satan’s cunning deception and responded with another Absolute Truth, which fit the circumstance. He said, “…thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God” (Matthew 4:7, KJV). The lesson we can learn and apply from how Jesus dealt with Satan’s lies is this: We are obligated to test every so-called truth that comes our way against God’s Word before accepting and implementing it into our lives.

Shadow Truth Tree of Jesus' Tempation

The illustration below represents the steps Satan used in his failed attempt to deceive Jesus with Shadow Truth. First of all, let's look at God's Absolute Truth: Jesus is the Son of God. The angels are obligated to protect Jesus. God is not to be tempted.

Now, here is how Satan twisted God's Truth, one step at a time: You are the Son of God. God says that the angels are charged with your protection. Therefore, if you jump from this high place, you will be protected by the angels.

Moving on to the Rest of Mankind

Satan successfully used his Shadow Truth against Eve. While not successful, he even tried it on Jesus. Satan wants to rule the world, not for now, but forever. The concepts of Shadow Truth have been implemented on mankind, all of the way from Adam and Eve to you, me and the modern world we live in.

Every well-functioning society operates from a basis of commonly held rules, laws, and truths relating to human behavior and relationships. A firm foundation of truth must be established in order for a society to be established and function properly. America had such a beginning. Our forefathers established certain governing rules and truths which were based on biblical principles such as: we have a Creator, murder is prohibited, we are to honor and obey our parents, we are to obey those in authority, the family unit is of utmost importance, morality must be a part of our very being, adultery is wrong and must be avoided, we are not to steal that which belongs to others, we are obligated to respect the rights and possessions of others, we must always tell the truth, it is not healthy to covet that which our neighbor has, sexual lust will result in great harm to ourselves and our families, we should do unto others as we would have them do unto us, we are obligated to support our selves, and we are not to expect others to take care of our personal needs.

In their beginnings, young societies are usually focused on survival. Once they have progressed to a point beyond basic survival, they begin focusing on other goals, such as prosperity and achievement. During this phase, societies tend to rise and strengthen. They have ambition and they have purpose. Their citizens are working toward a common goal. They are reaching out toward the future. They are marching toward something greater.

Once societies arrive at a certain degree of greatness, a feeling of complacency overtakes them. They begin to relax and lose sight of their basic goals. They forget the fact that hard work, dedication, and independence was the source of their success. They no longer have a deep and driving purpose. Soon, those successful societies begin drifting toward humanistic practices and rituals. They begin focusing more on pleasure than on survival. Their lust for pleasure results in a cancerous formation of corruption and perversion. Then there comes a point when they begin to fail as a society.

Just as it was in the Garden of Eden, it is in the early periods of the successful era that the ground is most fertile for Satan to begin planting his seeds of deception. His ultimate goal is deceit. He attacks mankind in every facet of society. However, his attacks do not appear to be attacks. Instead, they are disguised as logical and needed answers to genuine societal problems. For instance, many great kingdoms and societies have risen and fallen in the course of human history. When looking at theRoman Empire, the Greek rule, and many other societies, there may be some parallels. A nation grows when there is purpose, but when greatness is achieved, a certain relaxing occurs, thus causing the nation to forget where it came from.

Satan has time on his side. He has no pressing need to corrupt mankind in a single generation. In order to corrupt all of mankind and completely take over theKingdomofGod, he convinces mankind with one tiny little twist of truth at a time.

Eve’s temptation was the beginning of his form of Shadow Truth deception. Once his plan was determined to be immensely successful, the stage for the actual implementation had to be set. Mankind is weak and sinful. Many times we are our own worst enemies. Often times, we blame Satan for our own weaknesses. Sure, Satan may present certain opportunities to us, but we dwell and fantasize on those things until we willfully embrace them.

On a macro level, Shadow Truth is a multifaceted attack on mankind. On a micro level however, humanity is being convinced that Shadow Truth is the salvation of many individual and seemingly unrelated problems. Most of mankind has no idea that they are being led to slaughter. They are swallowing each new progression as if it was the best thing that ever happened. Shadow Truth has mankind smiling, laughing and merrily marching all the way to their ultimate demise.

The above excerpt is from the copyrighted book, Shadow Truth by Larry Tate

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