Post 130 / The Next Language
February 21, 2023
Those “Other Sheep” 6 — BC
Why do we think that ethnic histories before Christ would have been so different from what we read in the Bible? When you read ancient records on any continent you find a lot of commonality – wars and power successions and massive transmigrations of people and gods galore and always somewhere in plain view, the serpent. And also those peoples that had descended into tribalism and marginally subsist in nomadic drug-induced shaman-directed vengeance cycles.
How does God fit in all that?
I think one of the reasons we Westerners have trouble handling the complexity of all this is because our “enlightened” culture has tried — albeit unsuccessfully — to reduce everything to pure science. Even theologies have been streamlined and simplified to the point of not even accommodating what we read in our own Bibles. And our archeology mostly misses the traces of real spiritual revelation through the centuries. It even misses — or tries to hide — real geological evidence. Dating methods are subverted to support everything but a Creator.
Let us turn to Truth.
Come with me to a scene in I Kings 22. Here you have King Ahab enlisting King Jehoshaphat to go with him into war against Syria. They are sitting on their thrones listening to their respective prophets divining what would be the outcome of such a venture. The prophet Micaiah was called and he reported a vision of another throne room- the LORD’s. He sees the LORD God sitting with the hosts of heaven on either hand and God asks “What can be done to get Ahab killed at Ramothgilead?”… “ ‘And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him,’
And the LORD said unto him, ‘Wherewith?’ And he said, ‘I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And he (God) said, ‘Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so.’”
Four hundred of Ahab’s prophets unanimously agreed with the prediction that Ahab would win.
Micaiah (the solitary voice for God) then reported that the Lord had spoken evil against Ahab and he saw all Israel scattered on the hills as sheep that have no shepherd. And we know at the end of the day Ahab lay dead in his own blood in his chariot from a random arrow that pierced his armor even though he had camouflaged himself as an ordinary soldier.
This blend of earthly and heavenly created beings, all with their own free will, interacting with the Creator over earthly affairs is not all that different from the scene in the book of Job (and don’t forget Genesis, Daniel, the Temptation of Jesus, etc.). I can’t help but wonder if this kind of activity isn’t played out on a routine basis as God has dealt with sin and rebellion and sincere seekers/servants around the globe Before Christ (“BC”).
Paul rolls back the curtain a little when he talks about this realm.
[Eph 3:10 KJV] 10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly [places] might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
[Eph 6:12 KJV] 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].
[Col 1:16 KJV] 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
My discussions with practicing shamans and reading about archeological findings suggests that some places in the Americas held an inexplicable degree of power given their location, but as ceremonial centers they were known conduits of oracles and prophesy. Various descriptions of the host of spirit beings on call or even coming unwanted to a shaman made one of his biggest challenges not getting overwhelmed in the stampede.
So how is God perceived in this panoply of spirit beings?
Even Westerners and church folks often (mistakenly) perceive God to be angry, vengeful, capricious and deadly. It is a wonder that some raw animists would find the way to a God who is true, light, good and loving – but they did.
I remember conversations with Amazon tribesmen asking them to contemplate how it could be possible that their most basic staple for food would be the poisonous manioc. I suggested that surely God had shown them how to use that plant for good. They had a ready explanation. The Curipacos (of the Amazon) had wanted wisdom on this so they asked God and He directed one of their chiefs to stick his head into a bee hive. In the beehive the chief was told how to extract the poison and enjoy God’s gift to them. The missionaries that came later told them the devil did all that. But I think they sold God short and missed a chance to demonstrate a loving and compassionate God whose arm is not shortened to bless those who seek Him even through the instrumentation of what could be called a demon. Remember Balaam.
There is a similar story about how the Curipacos figured out which combination of plant juices to put together to produce the poison for their hunting darts.
Even corn if eaten exclusively will lead to death by niacin deficiency … unless it is processed with alkaline. The Amerindians had been taught that but the Europeans had to go back to the Americas to find this out after exporting the first corn.
It is not a stretch for the animist who already knows there is a Supreme Being to be convinced that the sun, water, fire, fish, game, cotton, medicinal herbs, poisons, and even language and life are evidence of a good God. It is actually more of a discipline for a Westerner to understand the rightness of a good and holy God who even in covenant with humans promised to bless where possible but to bring the same curses and even annihilation on His own children who submit to the serpent (whose visible representation is carved on stone everywhere). When we understand God’s holiness and His desires to bless we begin to see how it is actually an act of mercy to wipe out some that would not repent. At the same time his merciful reaction to a repentant Nineveh shows the He is no racist. More than a hundred years later God would use the backslidden Ninevites to wipe out the northern kingdom of Israel.
I think we would do a favor to ourselves and to the nations we are reaching to more broadly illustrate how and why a just God would not only save His people out of the bondage of Pharaoh then wipe out the Canaanites whose iniquity had boiled over but also use the pagan Babylonians to destroy Jerusalem when His own children’s idolatry and evil cancelled their covenant which was supposed to result in blessings to the nations.
History that is plugged into the “heaven” & “earth” reality suggests that in both Israel and the nations Before Christ there were a few that figured it out. Moses, in his farewell speech in the end of Deuteronomy, correctly predicted Israel failing as a nation, but God mercifully preserving his “servants” who were few to non-existent at times. Read Deut. 32 for a very graphic song exposing the heart of God.
Don’t you think that songs played into the spiritual warfare of BC nations? Almost universally the shaman would call his helper spirits with a unique dedicated song for that individual. He would normally show up with a throng but the song would exclude everyone but the one that may have been needed to know where to find the specific plants to cure a snake bite. I saw this in action with Celestino and read and heard the song that the Yanomamo Shoefoot used to sing. I can give you a link if you want to hear it.
If you want evidence of songs that are more graphic and based on pre Colombian documents produced on the eve of Cortez taking the Aztec empire go to: Nezahualcoyotl: Texcoco’s Warrior Poet, Philosopher and King
You can see the lyrics of some of his songs to “the Giver of life.” You see in plain array worship that could have been uttered by Job or David. I challenge you to listen to both of those epic poems recited in Nahuatl (but follow with the English translation) and hear a philosopher/theologian in profound worship. He was active against the human sacrificial proliferation. You decide if God wasn’t listening and pleased with those psalms.
I fully expect to find a surprising number of intelligent, intentional, seekers that were responding to the light they had worshiping with us before the throne of our God in the new heavens and earth.
In this era of the church (but still Before Christ for nations that are still waiting for the Good News) we have some distinct advantages. Christ announced that He saw the Satan falling from heaven during the disciples’ missionary trips announcing the Kingdom. That would correspond directly to a scene in Revelation. We are certainly contending with the reality of a serpent that has a deadly head wound. But we are also enjoying the benefit of not having that serpent in heaven accusing and contradicting our intercessions and those of Christ. We are also enjoying a more direct presence of the Holy Spirit. We have the ancient scriptures with a lot of the “mystery” unveiled and a better understanding than ever before of the workings of God.
May we experience the joy of walking into grounds that are already plowed, and planted, and ready for harvest. May we maximize the enhanced access to the throne room to intercede for the lost. May we be led to those seekers that are looking for more than the hate and vengeance and bitterness and bondage of the serpent.
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