Expositional commentary on Scripture using an inductive exegetical methodology intent upon confronting the lives of Christians with the dogmatic Truths of God's inspired Words opposing Calvinism and Arminianism, Biblical commentary, doctrine of grace enablement, understanding holiness and wisdom and selfishness, in-depth Bible studies, adult Bible Study books and Sunday School materials Dr. Lance T. Ketchum Line Upon Line: UNDERSTANDING OUR OPPOSITION

Monday, February 17, 2020


Irreducible Complexity


          Innocent people are ignorant of the subtleties of hidden agendas steeped in fraudulence and larceny.  Fraudulent and larcenous people depend upon ignorance, innocence, and misplaced trust.  

 Fraudulent and larcenous people prey upon such people.  The innocent trust because they have no experience with the selfishness of others that would destroy the innocent with deception in order to take from the innocent the thing that is of most value – INNOCENCE.  Innocent people certainly do not expect that the people given to protect them and serve them would purposely seek to harm them or capitalize on their weaknesses. 

Satan understood that should Eve be deceived, and Adam disobey, they would both spiritually die.  Adam and Eve may have understood the facts of “thou shalt surely die” but most probably had little comprehension of what it meant.  Therefore, they were too ignorant to fear consequences they could not comprehend.  

Adam’s and Eve’s spiritual death (judgment by God and separation from obedient fellowship with Him) was Satan’s selfish solution to his problem of being unwilling to be their servant.  Satan’s solution: get Adam to sin, which will bring God’s death sentence upon Adam.  Adam’s death was SATAN’S PROBLEM SOLVED.  However, Adam’s problem and all of his progenies’ problems just began. 

8 Be sober {watchful discretion}, be vigilant {on alert}; because your adversary {opposer of righteousness or justice} the devil, as a roaring lion {stalking}, walketh about {preoccupied with}, seeking whom he may devour {using every opportunity to destroy lives}: 9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world” (I Peter 5:8-9).

Adam was completely ignorant of his adversary for the adversary was hiding behind being a protector.  We are the most susceptible to deception and personal injury by those we trust the most.  Innocence has no guardian mechanism because it suspects no harm and knows no fear of harm. 

           Selfishness wants the hopeless whims of the will consumed with a pursuit that will take that person out of the place of the protective custody of obedience to God’s will.  Selfishness foolishly and blindly chases after the forbidden being lured into the abyss of blindness because all selfishness sees is what it wants.  Selfishness is willingly ignorant of the hidden danger of a lurking adversary seeking that person’s valuables; willing even to kill him.  This is Satan’s hidden agenda – DEATH. 


           Because humans have a powerful adversary in Satan and fallen angels (demons), the need for spiritual discernment, enlightenment, and wisdom became essentials to basic survival skills.  The “mystery of iniquity” works covertly with an agenda of spiritual destruction seeking to bring everything that God perfectly created to ruin.  Although God’s creation is incomprehensibly complex, there is nothing more complex than the tri-unity of the creation of one human being existing in the complexity of body, soul, and spirit.  Humanity was created in the triune image of God and designed to live in perfect soulic, spiritual, and physical unity with God.  Most humans barely comprehend the simplest of these levels of unity let alone the trinity of all three. 

Ignorance always corrupts discernment requiring enlightenment to expose the adversary and his tactics of corruption of our fellowship with God and corrupted worship leading sinners away from the one true God to some form of idolatry.  However, education and enlightenment to the covert operations of our adversary does not correct the failure of the breach of fellowship with God and restoration of a harmonious relationship with God in righteousness.  That which is broken must be restored to its original perfect specifications, not merely repaired or reformed.  Something broken that is reformed is nothing more than a broken token of its original.  A glued together broken porcelain teacup will still bear its apparent cracks. 

The foundation for a believer’s restoration to fellowship with God must begin with God’s expectation of perfection before we can understand the difficulty of redemption and complete recreation through transfiguration of the human body, soul, and spirit.  The difficulty for fallen humans is to understand that there are ongoing aspects of redemption necessary to the present and the temporal (in time) and there are aspects of redemption that are future and eternal.  Therefore, spiritual discernment requires our understanding of what is necessary to fellowship with God and retain His blessings in the present and in the physical world as well is in the eternal and spiritual. 

Discernment requires our understanding of what is necessary to fellowship with God and to retain His blessings in both existences.  Discernment begins with acknowledging our ignorance of these things and the necessity of God’s enlightenment to His expectations for both redemption and restoration.  We do not get to make up our own specifications for redemption and restoration to fellowship.  Therefore, when we understand our ignorance, we must understand just how incredibly ignorant we are.  Second, we must understand that our adversary is doing everything possible to confuse, corrupt knowledge, and increase our ignorance of redemption and restoration to fellowship with God. 

The fall of humanity into depravity means everyone is more than a little bit broken and somewhat lost.  Humanity is incredibly broken, completely lost in sin, and totally blind to the way of redemption by grace through faith and restored fellowship with God.  There is an adversary changing the road signs of “by grace through faith” to the sinner’s way home. 

3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (II Corinthians 4:3-4).

           God’s pathway to redemption and restoration to fellowship with Him has always been simply “by grace” and “through faith.”  This pathway throughout Scripture came to simply be known as “the way” (Genesis 3:24).  However, the adversary of humanity does not want anyone to find God’s way home through redemption and restoration to fellowship.  The adversary is not content with humanities lost estate and lost souls.  The adversary wants humanity absolutely miserable in this life and existence. 

The adversary has corrupted God’s grace way in every way possible.  The many corruptions came to be known as the way of works as opposed to the way of grace.  There is a way which seemeth right {looks straight} unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25).  Jesus corrected all the adversary’s ways of works with one simple statement.

1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house {abode} are many mansions {abiding places; dwelling places for the redeemed to live is perfect fellowship with God}: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. 4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. 5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? 6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:1-6).

           The way of works began when Adam and Eve became conscious of their nakedness before God.  Here begins the dispensation of Conscience.  Adam’s and Eve’s solution is, “We broke it.  We need to fix it.”  This is the foundation of the way of works and all the innumerable derivations of it.

The Dispensation of Conscience and the Adamic Covenant (Genesis 3:22-24)

“And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed” (Genesis 2:25).

           Being a sinner and being conscious of sin are two different existences.  Adam’s creation was not complete until God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life {God’s Spirit}; and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7).  

It is commonly believed that Adam’s and Eve’s naked bodies were covered by a radiant glow of light emanating from within them caused by the indwelling presence of God’s Spirit (“breath of life”).  Without knowing what is sin, there is no guilt for that sin and no shame caused by that guilt.  Without guilt and shame there is no conviction of the failure of sin.  Without conviction of sin there is no fear of God’s pending justice and judgment for the failure.  Conviction understands there is a penalty for sin. 

Guilt, shame, conviction, and fear are all part of the chain that should lead the sinner to remorseful “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21).  Adam’s and Eve’s shame of their nakedness was shame before God.  Their sin had exposed their guilt and their nakedness before God to them and they were ashamed of the exposure of their sinfulness before a holy God.  Their nakedness was not exposed to one another or to God prior to their sin because their nakedness was covered by the glory of God from within.  When they sinned, they lost their glow and their nakedness as sinful beings was now fully exposed.  Nakedness is merely an exposure of their internal guilt of sin.  Guilt is good and a gift from God.  Guilt should lead to taking steps toward God for recovery.  However, the very nature of exposed sinfulness is shame, hiding, covering, denial, and even blame shifting. 

7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. 8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. 9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? 10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. 11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? 12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. 13 And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” (Genesis 3:7-13).

           Although the fall of Satan and millions of other angels preceded the fall of Adam and humanity, the curse of God on creation happened because God had given dominion of Creation to Adam (humanity).  Hell was created as a place of separation from God and of eternal condemnation for fallen angels, not for the human beings.  Perhaps the most serious aspect of the fall of humanity and God’s curse is humanities blind ignorance to the real circumstances of the outcome.  Mankind has no real comprehension of spiritual death or eternal condemnation.  Because of this ignorance and spiritual blindness, humanity barely comprehends the pending danger under which they live each moment.  If the seriousness of eternal condemnation is not understood, then salvation offered as a gift of grace will seldom be taken seriously. 


Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18).

Pride is the foundation of all sin laid originally by Satan.  Satan’s fall and his leadership of one-third of the angels of Heaven to rebel against God’s order of sovereignty is sourced in pride.  Pride is the infection of corruption that refuses to be subordinate to anyone, let alone being willing to become another’s servant.  To willingly become another being’s servant is the grand scope and ultimate goal of discipleship and the epitome of having escaped the corruption that entered into the world through the prideful fall of the angels and the infection of humanity with that corruption.  Pride is where “you’re not the boss of me” was born. 

12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit” (Isaiah 14:12-15).

Rebellion against the orders of sovereignty established by God were the seed of the fall of Satan and the third of the angels that followed him in his rebellion against God.  The rebellion was a pride filled rejection of God’s established order of sovereignty.  Satan’s pride refused to submit to be the servant of an obvious inferior humanity. 

Man was given sovereignty over angels.  Angels, although extremely more powerful and sophisticated than humans, were created to minister to humans.  It is apparent from Hebrews 1:7-14 that there are orders of angels that minister solely to God in various capacities and other angels that minister as benevolent servants to God’s redeemed.  Willing servanthood is the ultimate goal of discipleship and the unfathomable communicable attribute of God manifested in His incarnation, death, burial, and resurrection to save the souls of rebels corrupted with satanic pride.  Jesus “became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8).

16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh {satanic device for corruption of humanity}, and the lust of the eyes {satanic device for corruption of humanity}, and the pride of life {satanic device for corruption of humanity}, is not of the Father, but is of the world {this word describes all that is part of satanic influences or ‘mystery of iniquity’}. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever (I John 2:16-17).

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Numerous studies and series are available free of charge for local churches at: http://www.disciplemakerministries.org/ 
Dr. Lance Ketchum serves the Lord as a Church Planter, Evangelist/Revivalist. 
He has served the Lord for over 50 years.

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