Scripture reveals that God pronounced everything that He had made very good after He had finished His original work of creating everything (Gen. 1:31). After the Fall of man, however, it reveals that God has repeatedly made clear His displeasure with many angelic beings and many human beings.

Certain passages even raise the issue of divine displeasure with subhuman entities after the Fall, but do these passages really show God’s displeasure with them? The following treatment examines such passages and attempts to provide at least some understanding of them.

Cursing of the Serpent

God cursed the serpent for its role in the Fall of man:

Genesis 3:14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: 15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

His cursing the serpent shows His displeasure with it because of its sinful role in the deceiving of Eve.

Judgment of Beasts That Shed Human Blood

After the Noahic Flood, God revealed that He would hold accountable all beasts that shed human blood:

Genesis 9:5 And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man.

Later revelation that ordained the killing of oxen that gored humans shows God’s displeasure with animals that kill humans:

Exodus 21:29 But if the ox were wont to push with his horn in time past, and it hath been testified to his owner, and he hath not kept him in, but that he hath killed a man or a woman; the ox shall be stoned, and his owner also shall be put to death.

These passages teach us that God is displeased with animals that kills humans.

Cursing of a Fig Tree

Christ cursed a fig tree, showing His displeasure with it:

Mark 11:21 And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away.

Remarkably, this passage reveals divine displeasure that was not even with an animal, but with a plant!

Cursing of Certain Lands

Whereas Scripture revealed that God cursed the ground after the Fall of man (Gen. 3:17), that revelation does not provide any indication of differences in God’s dealings with the ground depending on its having or not having certain characteristics. Later revelation, however, shows that some lands yet are blessed of God but others incur His displeasure:

Hebrews 6:7 For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: 8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.

This passage is noteworthy because it shows that God is even displeased with certain lands that are not fruitful in the ways that they should be and produce things that are not desirable for them to bring forth.

Discussion

The passages discussed above reveal divine displeasure with various subhuman entities, including certain animals and plants. Scripture even reveals divine displeasure with certain lands!

How do we explain such displeasure? Certainly, God’s cursing of the serpent resulted from its sinful actions in deceiving Eve. Perhaps, we can even understand His ordering the execution of animals that shed human blood as resulting from their sinful actions.

Understanding divine displeasure with a fig tree and with lands, however, hardly could be the result of their having sinned. It seems that God’s displeasure with these entities must stem in some humanly inexplicable way in connection with the bondage of corruption to which God subjected all creation (Rom. 8:20-21).

Conclusion

Divine displeasure with something does not always result from the sinfulness of the entity itself. At least for some subhuman entities, such displeasure seems to display a noteworthy aspect of the Curse on the entire Creation that we cannot explain but must nevertheless account for in our theology of the state of all things after the Fall of man.

Whether or not people should consume any alcohol is a hotly disputed point. No passage sets forth the eternal riskiness of consuming alcohol more solemnly than what Paul wrote to the Corinthians to warn them about those who would not inherit the kingdom of God:

1 Corinthians 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

In no uncertain terms, Paul proclaims under inspiration of the Spirit that drunkards will not inherit the kingdom of God! Those who become enslaved to alcohol will perish eternally unless they repent of their being drunkards.

Given that one’s eternal destiny is at stake on whether he becomes a drunkard or not, no one should risk perishing eternally by choosing to consume any alcohol.

Scripture teaches that God subjected “the whole creation” to “the bondage of corruption”:

Romans 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. 20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, 21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

What does “the bondage of corruption” that God subjected the whole creation to mean? Because the Spirit does not provide additional information in this passage to answer that question, we need to consider other relevant passages.

Passages about Imperfect Animals

To understand what the nature of the corruption is, we must consider three passages about imperfect animals that provide important relevant revelation:

Lev. 22:19-24 Ye shall offer at your own will a male without blemish, of the beeves, of the sheep, or of the goats. 20 But whatsoever hath a blemish, that shall ye not offer: for it shall not be acceptable for you. 21 And whosoever offereth a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD to accomplish his vow, or a freewill offering in beeves or sheep, it shall be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no blemish therein. 22 Blind, or broken, or maimed, or having a wen, or scurvy, or scabbed, ye shall not offer these unto the LORD, nor make an offering by fire of them upon the altar unto the LORD. 23 Either a bullock or a lamb that hath any thing superfluous or lacking in his parts, that mayest thou offer for a freewill offering; but for a vow it shall not be accepted. 24 Ye shall not offer unto the LORD that which is bruised, or crushed, or broken, or cut; neither shall ye make any offering thereof in your land.

Deut. 15:19-21 All the firstling males that come of thy herd and of thy flock thou shalt sanctify unto the LORD thy God: thou shalt do no work with the firstling of thy bullock, nor shear the firstling of thy sheep. 20 Thou shalt eat it before the LORD thy God year by year in the place which the LORD shall choose, thou and thy household. 21 And if there be any blemish therein, as if it be lame, or blind, or have any ill blemish, thou shalt not sacrifice it unto the LORD thy God.

Mal. 1:7-8 Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible. 8 And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts.

Because Scripture teaches that God pronounced everything that He had made “very good” after He had created it (Gen. 1:31), we know that God did not create any animals anywhere on the earth at that time that had any of the imperfections that these passages speak about various animals having.

How then do we explain the subsequent existence of animals that have been imperfect in the many different ways that these passages reveal?

Who Made These Animals Imperfect?

We know that these animals themselves did not make themselves imperfect in any of these ways. We also know that human beings did not make these animals with these imperfections.

Furthermore, Scripture does not provide any evidence that Satan and his demons made these animals have these imperfections. This line of reasoning, therefore, shows that God is the only One who could be and is responsible for these animals having these imperfections.

Conclusion

Comparing three passages about imperfect animals with Romans 8:19-22 teaches us that the bondage of corruption to which God subjected His entire creation includes the reality that many animals have various imperfections that such animals did not have when God first created those types of animals.

 

Scripture provides a sobering account about a man who pretended to care for the poor, but his real concern was not at all about caring for them.

“The Judas Approach” to Helping the Poor

Seeing Mary lavish on Jesus her affection for Him by anointing His feet with very expensive perfume, Judas protested against what she did:

John 12:3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. 4 Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him, 5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?

He asserted that the perfume should rather have been sold and the money given to the poor to help them. His real motivation, however, was anything but an earnest desire to help the poor:

John 12:6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.

Instead of genuinely wanting to help the poor, Judas was a thief who wanted the steal the money for his own wicked gain.

Application

We must beware “the Judas approach” to helping the poor that pretends to care for the poor but actually is intended for getting money for oneself through iniquitous means.

Reading recently in John 2, a directly stated distinction between two wines caught my attention. Pondering that passage led me to consider whether something similar is also true about instrumental musics.

Some Wine That Was Better Than Other Wine

It was apparently commonly agreed among the Jews that some wine was better than other wine:

John 2:10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.

Since Jesus was the One who created the wine in this account, we can be certain that it was wine that was objectively better than other wine that the ruler of the feast had previously tasted.

Are There Similar Differences among Instrumental Musics?

We have seen that there was some wine that truly was better than other wine. Does something similar also apply to styles/genres of instrumental music, or are there no styles/genres of instrumental music that we can objectively say are better than others?

If there are not any instrumental musics that are better than others, why are instrumental musics different than wines? How do we know that instrumental musics are different than wines in that respect?

Scripture certainly teaches that God is love (1 John 4:8) and that He loves the world (John 3:16). Knowing these truths about God, many think that to hate anyone is to not be like God.

Scripture, however, shows that such thinking is wrong. Scripture plainly teaches that God hates evil people:

Psalm 5:5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.

Psalm 7:11 God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.

Psalm 11:5 The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.

Moreover, not only does Scripture teach that God hates evil people, but also it teaches that His people hate evil people:

Psalm 26:5 I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked.

Psalm 31:6 I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the LORD.

Psalm 139:19 Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men. 20 For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain. 21 Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? 22 I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.

Application

Scripture teaches that God hates evil people. It reveals that His people hate evil people. To hate evil people is to be like God!

In a recent thread on Sharper Iron, I posted the following remarks concerning why many believers reject secular testimonies that speak about demons and music:

Another frequently used basis for rejecting these testimonies is the claim that believers who use these testimonies to argue for the rejection of music of the occult commit multiple logical fallacies in how they use those testimonies. Such claims include the purported use of guilt-by-association (GBA), the genetic fallacy, hasty generalization, and ad hominem.

To address the claim that GBA is routinely used to support the fallacious rejection of music of the occult, it is necessary to examine various passages of Scripture. Consider the following comparison of passages about Balaam:

Numbers 31:14 And Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, with the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle. 15 And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? 16 Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD. 17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.

Revelation 2:13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. 14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

In spite of 1400-1500 years (we do not know this time span exactly but can approximate it closely enough for our purposes) having elapsed after Balaam’s death, the glorified Christ indicted believers in a Christian church for having people in their midst who were holding the doctrine of Balaam. We know with certainty that Christ was not guilty of using the GBA fallacy when he rebuked the believers in this church for doing so.

Scripture does not provide any basis for our understanding that the doctrine of Balaam had been faithfully transmitted by his followers for all those hundreds of years since his death and had spread from where the Midianites had been all the way to Pergamos. How, then, was the glorified Christ able to validly declare that in essence the same perverse doctrine that greatly corrupted ancient Israel was corrupting a first-century church?

Because I have not received any interaction on that thread for several weeks now, I have decide to discontinue posting on that thread and continue posting further information on the topic here. To profit fully from what I plan to treat in future posts, I encourage you to go and read all my preceding remarks in the thread, “What Does 1 Corinthians 2:14 Teach about What Unbelievers Cannot Know?

Many people believe that they have the ability to decide whether music is fit for human use by listening to the music and analyzing it musicologically. They even think that they have the ability to analyze music of the occult in the same manner.

The following comparison between consuming spiked beverages and listening to music of the occult shows just how faulty and deadly this thinking is.

Consuming Spiked Beverages

Suppose a malicious scientist invents a colorless, odorless, sweet-tasting liquid that slowly poisons people so that their brains very gradually malfunction more and more. In collaboration with a corrupt, secret government organization, beverage manufacturers mix this poison in various beverages and then ship them to select grocery stores in neighborhoods of enemies of the state.

Not knowing what the government has done, scores of political enemies gradually go insane because they were never able to detect that the beverages were spiked. Because of the properties of the poison that make detecting its presence impossible through ordinary means, those who drink it have no ability to know of its presence and its poisonous effects merely by tasting, smelling, seeing, or drinking the spiked beverages.

To them the spiked beverages look, smell, and taste perfectly fine. Using their aesthetic abilities to determine the fitness of the beverages has disastrous consequences for them.

Listening to Music of the Occult

Music of the occult is music that evil humans produce either under the influence of demons or for summoning them or both (see footnote 1 in this post for some information about such music). Because demons are supernatural beings whose knowledge, ability, and experience concerning music far surpasses any ability or knowledge of humans, such music is incredibly dangerous music.

Humans who assert that we must listen to such music to know whether it is demonic music wrongly think that they have the ability to understand and detect anything about the music that would make it either harmful for humans to listen to it or unrighteous for them to listen to it or both. As with the spiked beverages, however, humans completely lack the understanding and capabilities to detect and determine accurately the deadly properties of this music.

Application

Christians should never assent to challenges to listen to music of the occult for the purposes of analyzing it and explaining what is demonic about it. Rather, we must totally reject all such music without exposing ourselves to it in any way.

 

Through the Bible in 2020!

August 31, 2020

This morning, I finished reading through the Bible for this year! I praise God that He has allowed me to do so at least once a year every year of my Christian life!

Given the incredible upheaval that is happening in our country at this time, who knows whether the day may soon come when the Bible may be a banned book in our country. For as long as we still have the freedom to do so, I urge you to immerse yourself in the Word of God every year and every day of your life.

Late in his life, king Saul removed two groups of practitioners of the occult from his kingdom:

1 Samuel 28:3 Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had lamented him, and buried him in Ramah, even in his own city. And Saul had put away those that had familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land.

When he did so, he was doing what was right in the sight of God:

Leviticus 20:27 A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.

At a later crisis point, however, Saul consulted with an occultist woman who had a familiar spirit:

1 Samuel 28:4 And the Philistines gathered themselves together, and came and pitched in Shunem: and Saul gathered all Israel together, and they pitched in Gilboa. 5 And when Saul saw the host of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart greatly trembled. 6 And when Saul enquired of the LORD, the LORD answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets.

7 Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and enquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor. 8 And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee.

Not knowing that he was Saul, the woman responded to his request by telling him what she knew Saul as king had done to others who had familiar spirits:

1 Samuel 28:9 And the woman said unto him, Behold, thou knowest what Saul hath done, how he hath cut off those that have familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land: wherefore then layest thou a snare for my life, to cause me to die?

Hearing this remark from this occultist woman, Saul was reminded of his own previous righteous actions to eliminate the people with familiar spirits out of the land.

Did God providentially use these words from her to implicitly warn Saul not to go through with what he was seeking to do then? If so, these words are a magnificent example of the goodness of God to us as sinners in showing that He sought to warn him not to go through with his sinful intent even when he was on the brink of doing so!