Wednesday, February 24, 2010

God’s Purpose in Using Films like Avatar

Avatar has sold over 2 billion dollars worth of tickets. It is closing in on 2.5 Billion and it would not surprise me to see Avatar making 3 Billion dollars when it goes to DVD. That is a lot of impact on the thinking and feelings of the people of the world. With all of this impact how does God see movies like Avatar? Does He like it, or dislike it?

We know from Scripture that God likes that which is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of a good report. He wants us to think on these good things. Philippians 4:8 Many who have seen the movie would say that all of these good things are displayed in Avatar. The people, who have seen Avatar, would say that all of the good things are there, and that they were blessed by the story line and all of the wonderful scenery, the heroism, and the determination to do right though everything is against the truth. But we still don’t know if God likes movies like Avatar.

God says the following in I Corinthians 9:19-23 through His prophet Paul:
19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.
22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
23 And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.

It was Paul’s purpose to be anything and do anything that would allow the gospel out to the people of the world so that they would choose to select it. Paul became a servant, a Jew, to them that are without the law, anything to win people for the gospel’s sake. That is God’s plan as well. He will do most anything, as long as it does not deny His laws and His ways of conducting business. God wants His children to see that He loves them and that wants to do what is best for them. God may not like fantasy but if people are determined to see it He will work with them the best that He can.

God also says:
Philippians 1:18
“What then? Notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.”

God wants His people to see and know the truth. But God will use any and all meetings to stimulate some to ask questions about God and then He can give the answers that they need and help them to find Him when they search for Him with all of souls. So God is willing to use movies like Avatar. He prefers to use the Bible and His people to proclaim the truth. But if people will not use His avenues, God will use the avenues people like to move them to ask questions about Him.

Another text on how nature moves us is found in Psalms 19:1-6
1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,
5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.
6 His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.

Nature reveals God and encourages people to ask questions about Him. Avatar shows us the beauties of Pandora. We experience our longing for Eden when we see Pandora, for Eden is our home. We still have genetic/spiritual connections to Eden our original home. Whenever we see something as beautiful as Pandora, God is trying to get us to see Him in nature and to remind us of the experience, the longing for Eden restored.

God wants to reveal Himself to us in nature. Romans 1:19-21 reveals this thought to us:
19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them.
20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

God has chosen to use nature as a revelation of God. When we study nature, and get into harmony with it we can see God. When we hear His voice we are ready to accept these messages as true things.

There is much beauty in Avatar, heroism, love, joy, adventure, success, victory over evil. God is calling to each person to come back to Him. He promises to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from unrighteousness. He wants to stimulate our hearts so that we will seek to know Him for ourselves.

One final thought about the ways God uses to draw us to Him. In Daniel 3 the story is told about Nebuchadnezzar, the king of ancient Babylon. He had been granted a dream by God to tell him about his future and his kingdom in Daniel 2. Nebuchadnezzar did not like the idea of his kingdom ending so he decided to build a statue of the image in his dream and instead of many metals Nebuchadnezzar would build his image out of solid gold. When doing this he thought to bring all of the leaders of his kingdom to show them the vision, or the movie that he had prepared. If anyone did not like it, or bow down to his image he would throw into an actual furnace and burn them to death. God had three of His people on sight and they protested against this blasphemy of idolatry and they would not bow down to the image on command. When Nebuchadnezzar heard this he was very angry and threatened to kill the three men. They stood fast and said that they would not bow down to the image, regardless of what the king would do to them. The king responded by casting them into the furnace. By the very act of throwing these servants of God into the furnace Nebuchadnezzar created the real event that moved people to see things God’s way. We do not know how many people have chosen God because of the scenes Nebuchadnezzar thought to create but we do know that when feeble man creates an alternative to God’s plan, God will use the very plans of man to bring people to Him.

Avatar is a beautiful movie about a fantasy place in the mind of James Cameron. He thought to make a commercial success and to perhaps influence people to see what he wants them to see. I believe God is using Avatar, the creation of man, to accomplish a larger purpose. I believe that Avatar has reminded people of the ancient symbols of the Garden of Eden, the Trees of Life, and the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Avatar has reminded people that there is a God out there that wants to know us and to work with us so that all of the beauties of Pandora will be experienced in the Earth made new. All that Pandora offers in the imagination, God offers to grant us in reality. Today is our opportunity to communicate our desires to God and He will help us reach the goals He has put into our hearts. God wants to have us be with Him. Will you take advantage of this offer?

Avatar and Satan’s Pandoran Deception

In the movie “Avatar” Jake Sulley is encouraged to come to Pandora to participate in the Avatar program and he will make enough money to get the surgery to repair his spine and he will be able to walk again. He went to Pandora to “drive” an Avatar – a genetic combination of human DNA and Na’vi DNA to make an “vehicle” which allows him to be able to breathe the atmosphere of Pandora and to interface with the local native humanoid peoples – the Na’vi. This Avatar interface will help the Mining Company to continue to make its quota of procuring the mineral – Unobtanium. This is the premise of the movie “Avatar”.

As we have discussed over and over through the postings in this blog, it is remarkable how many religious symbols James Cameron has incorporated into the movie. The issue of a genetic amalgamation of Human and Na’vi is an interesting symbol. We have discussed how Avatar is a Hindu concept of a vehicle in which a god comes to the Earth and is able to interface with humanity. This concept is also present in Christianity and is the foundational point for Jesus to come and take on a human body. He is able to grow up as a child on Earth, interact with His disciples, do all of the tasks that His Father assigned for Him to accomplish, die for us, be resurrected for us, and then return to heaven. Christ claims that He did this to learn the issues of life from a Human Being’s perspective, to live out a life of total surrender on Earth, and to remain a Human Being forever to interface between the Infinite Father in Heaven, and Redeemed Humanity.

Satan has chosen this same concept for an attempt at deception on the Earth. Since Jesus came in human flesh to interact with Humanity, Satan also wants to come to Earth appearing as Jesus Christ. II Thessalonians 2:7-9 describes this event in the following terms:

“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.”

Satan will try any and all ways to deceive God’s people and the people of the world. God says that Satan has the power to appear as an Angel of light. Both Satan and his followers can appear to be something they are not. II Corinthians 11:13-15 says the following:

“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”

Everything Satan does he does with the sole purpose to destroy, deceive, and confuse God’s people. Nothing is ever as it appears for Satan, his angels, and his people here on Earth. All is done with the single-minded purpose of deception. This also applies to the “Coming” of Satan.

In the book “The Great Controversy” Satan’s plan is revealed. Satan seeks to deceive God’s people by getting them to turn away from the Bible to a set of standards, which he controls. Satan knows that if he can deceive and discourage people they will make poor decisions and eventually end up dying in some manner that is not conducive to their walk with God. Satan loves to cause pain and anguish to Jesus. He can not harm Jesus directly now, but Satan still has access to God’s people. He wants them to lose out on salvation. If people lose their salvation then Satan feels vindicated, he feels that he finally could beat Jesus and cause Jesus anxiety, and he, Satan, will not suffer for their sins, the people will.

Satan seeks to deceive in a very specific manner. The Great Controversy reports the following:
“Fearful sights of a supernatural character will soon be revealed in the heavens, in token of the power of miracle-working demons. The spirits of devils will go forth to the kings of the earth and to the whole world, to fasten them in deception, and urge them on to unite with Satan in his last struggle against the government of heaven. By these agencies, rulers and subjects will be alike deceived. Persons will arise pretending to be Christ Himself, and claiming the title and worship, which belong to the world's Redeemer. They will perform wonderful miracles of healing and will profess to have revelations from heaven contradicting the testimony of the Scriptures.

As the crowning act in the great drama of deception, Satan himself will personate Christ. The church has long professed to look to the Saviour's advent as the consummation of her hopes. Now the great deceiver will make it appear that Christ has come. In different parts of the earth, Satan will manifest himself among men as a majestic being of dazzling brightness, resembling the description of the Son of God given by John in the Revelation. Revelation 1:13-15. The glory that surrounds him is unsurpassed by anything that mortal eyes have yet beheld. The shout of triumph rings out upon the air: "Christ has come! Christ has come!" The people prostrate themselves in adoration before him, while he lifts up his hands and pronounces a blessing upon them, as Christ blessed His disciples when He was upon the earth. His voice is soft and subdued, yet full of melody. In gentle, compassionate tones he presents some of the same gracious, heavenly truths which the Saviour uttered; he heals the diseases of the people, and then, in his assumed character of Christ, he claims to have changed the Sabbath to Sunday, and commands all to hallow the day which he has blessed. He declares that those who persist in keeping holy the seventh day are blaspheming his name by refusing to listen to his angels sent to them with light and truth. This is the strong, almost overmastering delusion. Like the Samaritans who were deceived by Simon Magus, the multitudes, from the least to the greatest, give heed to these sorceries, saying: This is "the great power of God." Acts 8:10.

But the people of God will not be misled. The teachings of this false christ are not in accordance with the Scriptures. His blessing is pronounced upon the worshipers of the beast and his image, the very class upon whom the Bible declares that God's unmingled wrath shall be poured out.

And, furthermore, Satan is not permitted to counterfeit the manner of Christ's advent. The Saviour has warned His people against deception upon this point, and has clearly foretold the manner of His second coming. "There shall arise false christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. . . . Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, He is in the desert; go not forth; behold, He is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." Matthew 24:24-27, 31; 25:31; Revelation 1:7; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17. This coming there is no possibility of counterfeiting. It will be universally known--witnessed by the whole world.” The Great Controversy pages 624-625

God has foreseen the above events and has warned us of these events. God has even used the movie Avatar to prepare us for this final deception. The good news is that since God is raising our awareness of such things that His second coming is soon. I pray that we may learn from these warnings, that we may study the Bible to see if these things are so, and that when the time comes we will take the side of Jesus and meet Him in the air. This is my prayer.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Avatar and the Battle of Armageddon

We have discussed many issues regarding the movie Avatar and the symbols used in the movie to move the people to an emotional and spiritual experience. Perhaps one of the most powerful symbols in the movie is the final great battle between the Mining Company and the Na’vi and Eywa. This battle is of such a nature that Armageddon seems to be a title that people could use easily. Armageddon is a word and it is a symbol of something that God has predicted will come just before Jesus arrives. So lets explore the idea a bit more.

Armageddon is a term used only one time in the Bible and is also in the book of Revelation. In Revelation 16 we are informed about the 7 last plagues that will be imposed upon a rebellious Earth. Just as God warned the people in Noah’s day to get ready for the flood, so in these last days God is warning mankind that they need to get ready for these last plagues. One of these plagues, the sixth one, is referred to as the Battle of Armageddon. In Revelation 16:12-16 we have the following:

12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.
13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

God put this story in the Bible to be a warning to us to be on the right side of this battle at all costs. The only way to make it through is to have a relationship with Christ.

This story retells the story of the destruction of the city of Babylon in Daniel 5. The nation of Babylon had deteriorated morally, just as America is today, and the time came that the nations around Babylon concluded that another stronger nation could rise up and take over the city of Babylon and takes it’s lands. That nation was the peoples of the Medes and Persians. They surrounded Babylon but could not get through its great walls or through its soldiers. It seemed that Babylon could not be conquered. But God had told how the city would be taken in Isaiah 44:27-45:13. God even named the Persian general who would be the conqueror – his name was Cyrus. God informed Cyrus of His prophecy, most likely through Daniel. Central in the prophecy was the concept of drying up the river Euphrates, the life source, and protector of Babylon. When Cyrus and his soldiers diverted the waters of the Euphrates river they found that the Babylonian soldiers had left the brass gates under Babylon open and the Medo-Persian soldiers came through and took the city just as God had foretold.

God says that the conquest of modern spiritual Babylon (Revelation 17-18), that consortium of people united against God and all that He teaches and all that He loves (Genesis 11:1-9), will occur similarly to what happened way back in Daniel 5. God’s people have taught the truths of His Word, and have lived out these truths in their lives so that all can see. Satan, and his people, will gather together with the intent of killing off all of God’s people, to keep them from telling them about their rebellion and their need of surrender to Jesus. They will gather to confront God’s people as they did in the time of Elijah at Mount Carmel in I Kings 18 and when they gathered together against Jesus at Mount Calvary. All of the people had chosen whom they would serve, God to go to heaven, or Satan to stay on Earth. When this battle occurs God’s people will have no defense but God Himself. God will come to fight this battle (Revelation 19) just as He had come to the defense of helpless Israel in the Red Sea. Exodus 14-15. God will win this battle just as He had against Satan in heaven, at Egypt in the Red Sea, and every other time that God and Satan have fought over this world. God will win.

It is our privilege to be on the winning side, just as Jake Sulley was on the winning side in the physical and spiritual battle in the end of the movie Avatar. We can choose to be on God’s side and He will take care of us better than what happened on the imaginary planet of Pandora. Will you choose Him today?

Avatar and the Great Controversy Theme

In the movie Avatar the theme of warfare begins to play out soon after the movie starts. The conflict is between the mining company and the Na’vi. The mining company sees the native Pandoran people, the Na’vi, as standing in the way of their access to the mineral Unobtanium. The Mining Company will do anything to get the money that will be paid to buy this mineral which helps to speed up the processing of electronic equipment back on Earth. The Na’vi, on the other hand, are appalled at the way the Company destroys the jungle in their goal to play with dirt. The Na’vi see no value in mining and only see it as an affront to their culture, their religion, and their planet.

Thus, from the beginning, we see the principles that will lead to the great conflict between these two groups of people. Again Mr. Cameron is using a spiritual issue to plumb the emotional and spiritual depths of the audience. He is successful in this because this Great Controversy Theme is present in life. This is one of the central themes of the Bible and God has implanted this idea into the souls of men. God has known from the beginning about this warfare between two peoples, and two sets of angels as was seen in the article about Satan. This Great Controversy Theme clarifies many of the issues in the Bible, as we will see.

We read in the Satan article that the Great Controversy started in heaven. Satan and his angels fought against Christ and His angels. Christ, or as He is referred to in Revelation 12:7 as Michael – One who is like God. This battle was fought and Michael and His angels won the battle, but the war has continued through out the last 6000 years. The war started in heaven and then moved to Earth. It was fought conceptually in Eden and Adam and Eve joined the wrong side for a period of time, just long enough to allow evil to enter into the world. As a result of this warfare Adam and Eve had to leave Eden and then the casualties of the war began to mount. First Abel, Adam and Eve’s second son, was killed by his older brother, and then more and more people were killed until God decided to bring the flood to cleanse the planet because man thought only evil continually.

After the flood occurred God started to repopulate the Earth again with the 8 people who were willing to go into God’s Tabernacle on Earth – the Ark that Noah had built. Soon after they left the Ark people again started to gather together, to build cities and kingdoms and the inevitable warfare continued again. God came down, saw the coalitions gathering and confused the languages so that people would have to spread about and have fewer opportunities to harm people in a collective manner.

God allowed things to develop for a while until He decided that the world needed a priestly nation (Exodus 19:3-6) to communicate the principles of God to the entire world. He raised up Israel to be this nation and to have this task. Satan had control over all of the rest of the world but he did not control Israel at this time. But as Israel stood out the warfare grew intense again and Satan tried over and over again to destroy Israel. The Bible is written to record these conflicts so that people can see the cause and effect issues that are involved in the war and so that they can decide what side they want to be on.

This battle has continued through the ages. It came to a major battle at the time of Christ and both of the generals came to meet in the wilderness and in Gethsemane and then again at Calvary. In each of these events Jesus won the battle and showed His children that they can win there battles as well if they will trust in Him. Soon after Jesus returned to heaven to take His position as Great High Priest Israel the literal nation, their capital city Jerusalem and their temple were all destroyed by Satan’s earthly representatives – Rome. Thus it looked again as though Satan had won but God’s plans know no hurrying and no defeat.

After literal Israel was destroyed those who followed Jesus continued. The Priestly nation concept continued in the Christian church. I Peter 2:1-10. These people who followed Jesus were referred to as sons of Abraham in Galatians 3 – thus the spiritual nation of children of Israel has continued through the ages. They have been persecuted by all sorts of nations yet they continue to exist and bear their testimony to all mankind. Even today the message God has given them is being carried forward even through avenues like Avatar and the commentaries being written about it on this blog.

This warfare between God’s people and Satan’s people will continue until the great war called Armageddon will occur, we will discuss this battle shortly, and Jesus will come to gather His people at the second coming of Christ. I pray that we will be ready for this Great War and the great deliverance of Christ.

Avatar and Satan

As far as I can tell, from the reading of various articles about the movie Avatar, the concept of Satan – the ruler of evil, was not specifically addressed. The closest concept regarding Satan and demons was a statement by the young leader Tsu’Tey who stated “the sky people are demons”. So somewhere in the Na’vi theological mindset the idea of a set of supernaturally evil beings had been established.

The Na’vi had a belief in a benevolent goddess – Away – and they had some awareness of an evil but the concept of Satan as an individual did not seem to be expressed. At the same time the Na’vi had the perceptions that the strip mining practices of the corporation was disrespectful of all nature and the Na’vi wanted them to stop mining and stop destroying the planet. In addition the Na’vi had concerns about the attitude of the Earth leaders and their willingness to harm things to get more minerals off of the planet. The Na’vi would consider this to be evil. Since the Na’vi had a Satan concept, and James Cameron did not choose to add this symbol let us explore the concept of Satan from the perspective of the Bible.

In the Bible the concept of Satan, and demons, is very established. The history of this being is quite detailed and “starts” in Revelation 12:3-9:

3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.
4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.
5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.
6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.
7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
This Scripture makes a number of statements about Satan. First of all it equates the name Satan, which means adversary, to the great red dragon. This dragon – flying serpent – started out in heaven. In the Isaiah 14:12-20 account of Satan, his original name was Lucifer – Son of the Morning, or Light Bearer. Satan was in the beginning a Covering Cherub and was very close to God. After indulging in vanity, envy, and lust (Ezekiel 28:11-19) this Cherub/Angel got into such a problem that it created war in heaven itself. Through his deceptive reasoning (the prophet states that Lucifer lied, Isaiah 9:15) he enticed 1/3 of all the angels in heaven to join him in this war against God. Revelation 12:7-9 says that Satan lost this war in heaven and he, and his angels, were cast out of heaven. Then Lucifer’s name was changed to Satan, because he had become the adversary of God, and anyone whom God loved, including Mankind.

So Satan, one who was created by God for glorious purposes, became the enemy of God and is portrayed throughout the Scriptures as an evil, malicious, deceptive being seeking to harm anyone who loves God. It is Satan who caused sin in heaven, and it was Satan who enticed Adam and Eve to rebel against God. Satan is behind all activities that bring harm, deception, and evil of every kind. He is the enemy described by Jesus as the one sowing evil seed into God’s garden in Matthew 13:27-28. God did not plant any evil seed, or any evil sentiment – this all comes from Satan because he still hates God for casting him out of heaven.

In addition, when Lucifer fell from heaven, he took 1/3 of all of the angels in heaven with him. Revelation 12:4 These fallen angels had sinned in the presence of God and there was not any more that could be done to rescue them than had been done. II Peter 2:4 We use the concept of demon – possessed to describe the kind of spirit that wants to hold people in a distressed state of mind, and control their behavior. This is also called demon possession.

In the movie Avatar, the most evil people in the movie were the leader of the mining group Parker Selfridge, and the chief of security Miles Quaritch. Both of these people are evil because they show a total disregard for humanity, for the Na’vi, for nature, or the God of nature. Whatever makes them happy, and fulfills their selfishness, is “good”, and any thing that gets in their way is “bad”. They refuse to accept that there is a standard of morality higher than that which money and power can provide. This is Satanic thinking in its purest form – the desire to exalt one self at the expense of others. This is a display of demon possession.

I am not sure if James Cameron intended to go this deep into spiritual issues but once one opens Pandora’s Box then all of the issues in the Box will be examined and experienced by the reader. Avatar has exposed all of these issues, and it is my intent to share the truth about these issues so that people can make an informed decision about what they want to do with truth. I pray that God will bless each of you as you read and meditate upon these issues including that of Satan. God has instructed us about these creatures and we need to be aware of them and respect their power and to remember the power of God.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Avatar – Respect for Nature

In the movie Avatar, there are many themes that are explored and expressed vigorously. One of these themes is that of respect for nature. In the movie the Na’vi are presented as highly in tune with and highly respectful of the animals, plants, people, and the planet itself. They even go to the point of identifying the planet as a living organism. Eywa is the goddess of Pandora and is highly focused on taking care of the environment.

The people are presented as just the opposite. The mining methods used in the movie are strictly strip-mining techniques with no known respect for anything about the planet. All references to nature are done in a sarcastic and disrespectful manner. All displays of the majority of the people from Earth shows a disregard for nature and a total disregard for any realistic attempts to care for the environment. This mind set is fully displayed in the bulldozing of the Tree of Souls, the blowing up of the Hometree, and the treatment displayed in the killing of the Na’vi.

Thus the two sides of the story are expressed and the viewer gets to apply the story to their own experience. Some people have felt that James Cameron is trying to express his own environmental beliefs through the vehicle of the movie Avatar. That would certainly be understandable if Mr. Cameron has those views. I do not know enough about Mr. Cameron to decide if that was his intent or not. But, as we have discussed before, Mr. Cameron has certainly presented many symbols and many theological ideas for us to evaluate and to decide upon.

In the issue about environmental issues God has much to say in His Word. So let us look at some of these ideas and see if we can decide if we want to listen to what God has to say about the subject. According to the Bible God created the whole world, and in fact created all of the worlds in the universe, including the sun, moon, and stars. Colossians 1:13-17; Genesis 1.

When God created the world He thought He had done a good job and He pronounced His work as very good. Genesis 1:31. As we have stated before it was God’s intent that nothing was to die in His Creation. All animals were to eat straw and were to lie down next to each other with no fear of harm. Isaiah 11:1-9; Isaiah 65:17-25. God wanted no death in His Creation. Death, in any shape or form is not a part of God’s makeup and He did not want it for His children. As long as man stayed surrendered to Him there would be no death. But God did say that if man did disobey Him, by eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, that death would happen. Genesis 2:15-17

We all know how the story turned out. Satan, a being we will discuss in the near future, tempted Adam and Eve and they did the very thing that God told them not to do – they ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. As a result of this rebellion, of man against God, sin entered the world, and with sin came death to mankind, animals, nature, and even the world.

The interesting thing about sin and death is that we, as human beings, have accepted that death is the normal process of life. We do not accept that death is an alien force and that it does not belong on Earth. We do not accept the Bible story of the original purity of how God made the Earth. We do not accept that God did not want death. We are so used to death that we have incorporated it into our thoughts. Many think that death is the natural balance to life, that both death and life are essential to life. This is not the case at all. Death was never to be a part of God’s gift of life to His children. Death is something that came in because of Satan and Satan only.

To give an example of how things have changed from the beginning I would like to quote a paragraph from a book called Patriarchs and Prophets page 63. It says:
“As they (Adam and Eve) witnessed in drooping flower and falling leave the first signs of decay, Adam and his companion mourned more deeply than men now mourn over their dead. The death of the frail, delicate flowers was indeed a cause of sorrow; but when the goodly trees cast off their leaves, the scene brought vividly to mind the stern fact that death is the portion of every living thing.”
Adam and Eve recognized that even nature was now affected by sin and that death would come to all things. They also had the added burden that they had been the ones to allow death to come into the perfect world that God had made. They were the originals, and true, Pandoras and they had opened the box of sin and only God Himself could come up with a solution.

God recognized the problem that Adam and Eve had initiated. He knew the amount of death that would come and how it would effect the environment. God reports the following about the effect of sin on the Earth. He said:
“For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” Romans 8:22
“The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languisheth. The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.” Isaiah 24:4-5 God saw the needs of man, of nature, and of the earth and He decided to die for all of them and to restore them to their original purity. God also says that He will make new heavens and a new earth and remove all tears from our eyes. Revelation 21:1,3. God plans to get every thing corrected that sin interfered with. He wants His planet to return to His plan. He “formed the earth and made it, He hath established it. He created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited.” Isaiah 45:18 “The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein forever.” Psalms 37:29. God will take care of every thing and when He is done we will see His glory and we will love Him and the gifts of nature that He wants us to have. All of this awaits for those who are willing to cooperate with His plans. This is the promise of Eden restored. That which comes to the heart of man when watching Avatar will be fulfilled for those who watch the movements of God.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Avatar - The Foreknowledge of God

In the movie Avatar Jake Sulley is a former Marine who was received a spinal injury in combat on Earth and lost the use of his legs. It just so happened that Jake’s twin brother was a scientist and was involved in the Avatar program on the planet Pandora. In the process of time Jake’s brother dies and the representatives of the mining company contact Jake to see if he would be willing to go to Pandora to take his brother’s place. This would work out, at least to the companies thought for a great deal of money had been spent in developing an Avatar with Jake’s brother’s DNA. Since Jake would match the DNA then the company could recoup their monies, get some more Unobtanium, and progress with the acquisition of money. It appears that Jake was exceedingly lucky and was in the right place at the right time for a variety of wonderful experiences.

One of the things of life is how in various life events, and certainly in Bible stories, truth is stranger than fiction. It is amazing how many things are determined by what appears to be chance events. People like the concept of “luck”(random chance) as the deciding factor. But in the Bible luck does not have a role at all. In the Bible all events are accomplished by hard work, and the guiding hand of God. The prophet Daniel gives us some insight into this concept in Daniel 2:19-22:

“Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are His: and He changeth the ties and the seasons: He removeth kings, and setteth up kings: He giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: He revealeth the deep and secret things: He knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with Him.”

In Daniel 2 a Babylonian king has a dream and he can not remember what it was. The king recognizes that it is a very important dream so he commands his counselors to tell him what the dream was. The wise men protest because they know that they can not find out this information. The king eventually gives a death decree for all of the wise men in the kingdom. Daniel, one of the wise men hears of this decree and asks the king for a night’s time and he will tell him the dream. The king halts the death decree to see if Daniel can get the job done. Daniel recognizes that he can not solve the question for he knows that he does not know the answer. Daniel appeals to God for the answer because Daniel believed that God did know the answer and could give it and would give the answer to him. Daniel was rewarded for his faith and God gave Daniel the answers he was looking for, for God knows all things.

God claims to be the Alpha – the starting of all things, and the Omega – the ending of all things. God further claims the following:

“Remember the former things of old: for I am God and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me. Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure…” Isaiah 46:9-10

This claim no one else on this planet can make. Only God knows all of the future and He knows all of the past. He can give us answers to all our questions and be absolutely correct. God has the ability to see all of time in a glance and to have made plans for every decision we can make.

So in God’s foreknowledge God placed Daniel in the court of King Nebuchadnezzar, one of the richest and wisest kings in history. Yet Nebuchadnezzar might have died long before his time if God, and Daniel, did not watch over him. God knew what would happen to Nebuchadnezzar and had a detailed plan of how He would handle this situation with Nebuchadnezzar and the wise men. God used it to accomplish a great victory for His names sake and for the protection of the people of Israel.

Going back to Jake. Many people wonder if their lives are just random circumstances or if there is a design and purpose to their lives. Life indicates that events are by random circumstance, or luck. The Bible states that God has a plan and that He is monitoring the plan so that it comes out the way it needs to come to be a blessing on the person and on those people who love him/her.

Jake Sulley seemed to have been extremely lucky. Avatar, the movie, seems to approve of the luck concept. But we are seeking to understand how the Bible sees these things. If Jake Sulley were real we could say that in the foreknowledge of God Jake Sulley was sent to the right place in the universe to accomplish his character change and his ability to be healed both physically and spiritually. Jake eventually comes to the place that he is willing to relinquish his spot on earth to take his spot on Pandora and he thought it was a most worthwhile ex-change.

Each of us, who come into contact with Avatar, and similar movies and concepts, must decide for ourselves like Jake did for himself. Avatar has stirred up all kinds of thoughts and feelings about spiritual issues. We can either treat them as casual events or we can treat them as serious gifts from God. God wants to give us all of the gifts that He has planned for this time through out all history. God wants to do for us what was done for Jake Sulley. In the providence of God He has brought us to the time to confront this concepts and to begin to participate in the things of God – preferably to day.

May God help us to recognize our need and to ask Him to come into our hearts the plan of how to take advantage of His providential movings. Praise His Holy Name.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Avatar and the Tall Na'vi

In the movie Avatar the Na’vi, the indigenous extraterrestrial humanoids are big. The Na’vi are about ten feet tall and in perfect symmetry for their size. They are strong physically and very much in tune with the planet in which they live. The movie conveys the idea that the Na’vi have a primitive culture in the sense of no interstellar travel, no equipment, etc. However, the Na’vi seem to be totally content with their lifestyle and have no desire to be different than what they are.

In contrast the movie has a couple of scenes where the Na’vi and the humans are near enough together to compare and contrast the size differential, and human look very small and puny compared to a ten foot tall athletic humanoid. The human leader of security also conveys that along with their height the Na’vi are very difficult to kill.

Many viewers of the movie seem to wish that they to could be ten foot tall. The interesting part of this story is that it appears that in the beginning, in the Bible’s Eden, that mankind was created to be somewhere about twelve to sixteen feet tall. I would like to share with you some of the Biblical evidence for this idea and then would like to give you a little snapshot from the writings of Ellen White, the one whom the Seventh-Day Adventist Church believes is a prophetess.

In the beginning when Jesus finished creating he claimed that His work was very good. Genesis 1:31. As I have mentioned before it was God’s plan for no killing to be in all of His holy mountain but everything was to be in harmony with each other and death was not a factor of the original creation. Isaiah 11:1-9. This is repeated and God states that in the new heaven and earth again this concept of no death would be present. Isaiah 65:17-25. It was God’s plan to have a happy and healthy nature and that the food granted to the world would be sufficient to maintain all of God’s creatures, including man, without endangering any plants, animals, or people.

Mankind was to have access to the Tree of Life and as long as they ate of this tree they would never die. In the same garden was the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and Jesus has proclaimed that if they ate of that fruit they would eventually die. As we all know Adam and Eve broke the law of God, ate of the Tree of Knowledge, and started the death process by exclusion from the Tree of Life. Adam lived to be 930 years of age. This is almost 14 times longer than what we live. So it would appear that in the beginning God created man with the ability to live 14 times longer than what we can live now. In the writings of Ellen White the Seventh Day Adventist prophetess she claims that Adam had 20 times the vitality than what we have today.

“God endowed man with so great vital force that he has withstood the accumulation of disease brought upon the race in consequence of perverted habits, and has continued for six thousand years. This fact of itself is enough to evidence to us the strength and electrical energy that God gave to man at his creation. It took more than two thousand years of crime and indulgence of base passions to bring bodily disease upon the race to any great extent. If Adam, at his creation, had not been endowed with twenty times as much vital force as men now have, the race, with their present habits of living in violation of natural law, would have become extinct. At the time of Christ's first advent the race had degenerated so rapidly that an accumulation of disease pressed upon that generation, bringing in a tide of woe and a weight of misery inexpressible.

The wretched condition of the world at the present time has been presented before me. Since Adam's fall the race has been degenerating. Some of the reasons for the present deplorable condition of men and women, formed in the image of God, were shown me. And a sense of how much must be done to arrest, even in a degree, the physical, mental, and moral decay, caused my heart to be sick and faint. God did not create the race in its present feeble condition. This state of things is not the work of Providence, but the work of man; it has been brought about by wrong habits and abuses, by violating the laws that God has made to govern man's existence. Through the temptation to indulge appetite, Adam and Eve first fell from their high, holy, and happy estate. And it is through the same temptation that the race has become enfeebled. They have permitted appetite and passion to take the throne, and to bring into subjection reason and intellect.” Volume 3 of the Testimonies to the Church pages 138-139$fn=default.htm$vid=default

So mankind had twenty times the vitality of men today and lived until they were 900+ years old. So the next question is whether mankind had size to match the vitality of human beings before the flood? We have two examples of size in the Bible. We have Goliath, and his brothers, which were around 9 feet tall. I Samuel 17:4 states that Goliath was about six cubits and a span. A cubit was about 18 inches long. So six times 18 inches = 108 inches and divided by 12 = 9 feet.

In Numbers 13:26-33 we find the story of the Children of Israel sending 12 spies into Canaan to assess it for conquest. The spies return and tell of the sons of Anak who were giants. The Israelites felt that they were like grasshoppers compared to these giants. In Deuteronomy 3:1-11 we have the example of Og of Bashan the king, who also happened to be one of the giants of the land of Canaan. Og of Bashan was last king of the giants and his bed was 9 cubits long and 4 cubits wide. That would make Og about 13 feet tall.

The interesting thing about Og of Bashan is that he lived almost three thousand years after sin was introduced to the world. He also lived about 1000 years after the flood and the deterioration of mans lifespan from the introduction of eating flesh as described in Genesis 11. Before the flood, and before flesh consumption occurred on a regular basis, mankind lived on average 900+ years. After 10 generations after the flood, mankind was down to 120 years and soon after that 70 years was the average age of man when they died. So if the Israelites were the norm, and Og the unusual would that indicate that there had been a shift in size as well as vitality, and perhaps intelligence as well.

Going back to the writings of Ellen White, we find that in her book Patriarchs and Prophets page 45 we have the following statement:
“Man was to bear God's image, both in outward resemblance and in character. Christ alone is "the express image" (Hebrews 1:3) of the Father; but man was formed in the likeness of God. His nature was in harmony with the will of God. His mind was capable of comprehending divine things. His affections were pure; his appetites and passions were under the control of reason. He was holy and happy in bearing the image of God and in perfect obedience to His will.

As man came forth from the hand of his Creator, he was of lofty stature and perfect symmetry. His countenance bore the ruddy tint of health and glowed with the light of life and joy. Adam's height was much greater than that of men who now inhabit the earth. Eve was somewhat less in stature; yet her form was noble, and full of beauty. The sinless pair wore no artificial garments; they were clothed with a covering of light and glory, such as the angel’s wear. So long as they lived in obedience to God, this robe of light continued to enshroud them.”$fn=default.htm$vid=default

It is my personal fantasy perspective that Adam was about 16 feet tall and had an IQ of about 2000 and thus had intellectual qualities like total recall. I also believe that Adam and Eve could communicate with the animals and plants that God had made. Thus they were not intimidated by the size of dinosaurs for Adam to dinosaurs would be like humans today to horses and cows. I believe that with the introduction of sin, and the number of curses upon the land, and especially that of the flood, that mankind grew smaller as a result of the impact of sin on the genotype.

One final thought on the size issue. God has promised to restore all things to the state of Eden before the fall for God will make a new heavens and a new earth. Isaiah 65:17. I believe that in this new heaven and new earth, God will also restore the original height for mankind. This is mentioned in Malachi 4:2 where we will grow up as calves in a stall. God remembers how He had made mankind and how He had made earth. He will restore us to a size greater that that of the Na’vi. God will bring us back to the true Eden in all facets and forms. That which we have longed for in the movie of Avatar, God promises to give us in the real time issues of life. Our job is to trust God and cooperate with Him.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Avatar and the Spirit of Prophecy

In the movie Avatar the Spirit of Prophecy is first manifested when a seed from the Tree of Souls settles on the arrow of Neytiri as she is preparing to shoot Jake Sulley. Later she is prepared to leave him to his own ways and the seeds of the Tree of Souls settle en mass on Jake Sulley communicating to Neytiri that Eywa, the Goddess of Pandora, has some business to conduct with Jake. Neytiri decides that she needs more guidance and decides that she needs to take Jake to her mother - Mo’at, the spiritual guide for the Na’vi tribe -the Omaticaya. Mo’at functions as the interpreter between the Na’vi and Eywa and functions also as a prophet – the mouthpiece for Eywa to the Na’vi.

The role of Mo’at is in many ways similar to that of a prophet of God in the Bible. A prophet, or a prophetess – a female prophet – is to speak to the people the messages that God has chosen to pass on. In fact the Bible says that God would do nothing except that He revealed His secret plans through the prophets. Amos 3:7. God was not trying to take His people by surprise. He knew their limitations and He knew, and accepted, their need for guidance. So God sent prophets to express His will to the people, and to use the prophets to guide and keep and instruct His people through the many trials that they had to experience in their relationship with Him.

The role of prophet was also expressed by the term “seer” and was the term used before that of prophet. I Samuel 9:9 This term is used primarily by the Roman Catholic Church to communicate the role of the Pope. He is referred to by the term “the Holy See”. Interestingly enough the place where the Pope “sees” is the Vatican. To Vaticinate is to prophesy. So the “see” or to communicate the counsel of God is an important part to the churches that claim to be Christian.

The spiritual gift of a prophet is important in the New Testament writings and expounded upon in I Corinthians 12-14. The gift of prophecy was to be a central testimony for the edification of the church, just as it had been in the Old Testament community of believers. God even went so far as to identify the Spirit of Prophecy as an identifying feature of the final church of God. This is stated in Revelation 12:17 and 19:10. The gifts of prophecy, along with the keeping of the entire Ten Commandments were two of the identifying signs of the Remnant church.

It is interesting that God gives us many signs by which to test anyone claiming to be a prophet so that we can determine the difference between a true and false prophet. Several of these signs will be listed here. They are:
1. Any prophet, or writings of a prophet, will be in harmony with the law and the testimony – the Scriptures. Isaiah 8:20
2. The prophet will proclaim that Jesus came in the flesh of Abraham and David. I John 4:1-3; Romans 1:3; Hebrews 2:14-18
3. The prophet will proclaim that Jesus is the Christ. I John 2:22
4. The prophet will manifest the fruit of a Christian lifestyle. Matthew 7:15-20
5. The prophecies of a prophet must come true, unless altered by repentance and change. Deuteronomy 18:18-22
A true prophet will meet the criteria above and if not God’s people must turn away from the prophet and look to God for continued guidance.

In the world today there are not that many churches claiming the gift of prophecy. There are a few contenders for the gift of prophecy under the heading that the church that has the true gift of prophecy can proclaim that they are the ones in harmony with the True God and they should be listened to. The Roman Catholic Church claims that the Pope is the true and accurate, and living prophet of God. The Mormon Church also claims the living, active prophetic ministry of it’s current leader. The Mormon prophet is always the leader of the church. Islam claims that Muhammad was the prophet that started the Islamic movement and that his ministry and his writings are the standard for all religious activities today. The only other major church claiming the prophetic ministry of a prophet is that of the Seventh-Day Adventist church who claims that God sent a prophetess – Ellen White, who wrote prolifically about spiritual matters. Each group claims that their prophet/prophetess was/is the true communication link for God the people of today. Each person has to test these claims by at least the five tests given above. As a Seventh-Day Adventist myself I will take the liberty of sharing some occasional comments by Ellen White on some of the issues of this Avatar blog and give each of you the opportunity of deciding for yourselves whether she is or she is not a prophet of God.

In the movie Avatar Mo’at is the prophet and she guides the developmental opportunities for Jake Sulley. Mo’at turns the training of Jake Sulley over to her daughter Neytiri, very similar to Nephertiri, and in the end the prophecy of the Tree of Souls is born out that Jake becomes the Messiah and Saviour of the Na’vi.

This is also the role of the prophet in Christianity, to proclaim the future, to give instruction in righteousness to help the people hear, know, and obey the words and commandments of God. James Cameron did a very nice job of presenting the prophetic gift in Avatar, and the true God of heaven did a very nice job of presenting the gift of prophecy in the Bible. Each of us must make a decision as well, as to whether we will choose to listen to this gift and obey it.

Avatar and the Blue Na'vi

We will continue our processing of the movie Avatar in the light of Christian symbolism and today we will study out the issue of why blue people? In the movie the Na’vi men are about ten feet tall. This would be very tall to humanoids on earth for we average between six feet and seven feet tall. In addition the Na’vi were slender and perfectly proportioned. Apparently, according to the movie, the Na’vi had carbon reinforced bone structure, and they were fast strong, and apparently very intelligent. The Na’vi also had cat like eyes, a tail, and had bioluminescent qualities. They also had a Queue, like a ponytail, through which they could bond and communicate with the various animals that the Na’vi used in order to function on the planet Pandora. All of these things are worthy of discussion but in this presentation we are going to stay focused on the issue of Blue.

Now obviously James Cameron could have selected any color from ruddy pink, to black, to white, to various shades of color as in humanity. Yet Mr. Cameron chose to use the color blue and interestingly enough the Bible speaks quite eloquently, and quite simply, to the issue of Blue. In Exodus 24:10 and Ezekiel 1:26 the throne of God appeared to be like a Sapphire and under God’s feet was the appearance of Sapphire. And of course Sapphire is a blue stone. So the foundational color for God’s throne is blue.

In Numbers 15:37-40 we have the following testimony:
“And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the border of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue: and it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the Lord, and do them; and that ye seek not after our own heart and our own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring: that ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God.”

This text clearly states that in order to help Israel to remember to keep all of God’s commandments that they are to put a ribbon of blue on the hem of all their garments. So when someone looked at an Israelite they would notice the blue on the fringe of their garments and then hopefully ask them about the blue ribbon. And if anyone asked an Israelite about the blue ribbon then they would have an opportunity to tell of how Jesus was so kind to them and how that He had these wonderful commandments to share with humanity, via the Israelites. It also indicates that anything to do with the law of God was connected to Israel through His commandments the connection in blue.

A third major blue connection is that that Ark of the Covenant, containing the Law of God, was to be covered in blue. Any of the articles of furniture that were within the Holy Place – seven branched candlestick, the tables of shewbread, the altar of incense would need a covering of blue when the tabernacle was to be moved. The Ark of the Covenant was to be covered as well with a covering of blue. This is discussed in detail in Numbers 4:1-15

The fourth issue with blue was that of the High Priest’s garments. The High Priest was to wear a garment called an Ephod. This garment was to be made totally of blue and was to cover the undergarments of white. Then there were various other things like the Breastplate with the 12 precious stones symbolizing the 12 tribes of Israel was to be made of a background of blue. The Miter of linen was to have a plate of gold attached to the front of it with a lace of blue to show the law of God written in the forehead saying “Holiness to the Lord”. In addition the pomegranates at the bottom of the Ephod were to be made of gold, scarlet, and blue. All of these articles of clothing were to be attached to the Ephod by ribbons of blue. All of these things are described in Exodus 28.

The final blue connection is that the entrance way into the Tabernacle of the Congregation, and the doorway into the Holy Place and the curtain into the Most Holy Place were made of white linen, red, and purple and blue. This indicates that blue was always attached to the law and any thing connecting us to the law was to be symbolized by the color blue.

With the above in mind, it would appear that James Cameron took the symbolism very seriously and made the Na’vi literally blue. This would convey that they were a law-abiding people in a serious relationship with their God Eywa – an alteration of the Hebrew name Yhwh – or Yahweh. The Hebrew God Yahweh was a God that had a deep appreciation of the need for His law. This same God Yahweh was claimed by Jesus to be Himself. He claimed to be the I Am of Exodus 3:1-14 by using the name “I Am” in John 8:58. So as the Israelites would have been the people of the I Am, or the Blue People – the people of the law of God, so the Na’vi were the people of Eywa – the people of the law of God.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Avatar and Eywa

In the movie Avatar James Cameron presents an extensive spiritual community in the Na’vi. The Na’vi worship the goddess Eywa. Eywa is in many ways similar to the worship of Gaia on earth. Eywa promotes ecological balance and initiates many protective measures to keep the planet in a balanced state. The Na’vi worship Eywa and communicate with her through the tree of souls and the tree of voices. These two trees provide a neural link with the planet Pandora, the dwelling place of Eywa.

In the movie Jake Sulley, in his Avatar state, is located and saved by Neytiri. When she is trying to decide whether to leave him in the forest Eywa speaks to her through the seeds of the Tree of Souls settling upon Jake, testifying that Eywa has special plans for Jake. Neytiri takes Jake to the Hometree where she is examined by the priestess and Jake is allowed to stay and learn the ways of the Na’vi.

Jake is taken through an intensive learning experience and is introduced to the spiritual world of the Na’vi. Jake is happy to learn these things as a way of getting his legs back in his human currently crippled body. Jake is touched by the respect for life, the humility required in the taking of an animal’s life to support the people. His heart is moved as he recognizes the positive qualities of the daily life of the Na’vi and he begins to wish he could be a part of this people.

As Jake continues to develop in his understanding of the Na’vi culture, including their devotion to Eywa, he draws closer to Neytiri and his heart starts to bond with the people. As he begins to understand what the corporation intends to do, at all costs, he casts his lot with the Na’vi and seeks to deliver them from the plans of the earthlings. After leading the Na’vi to victory he is granted the gift of his consciousness, his soul, being transferred fully into his Avatar body and physically and spiritually joins the people, as Savior, husband, and leader of the people, through the gift of grace from Ewya.

One of the interesting events that have come from watching the movie Avatar, is the desire to be a part of a spiritual experience like Jake had on Pandora. People are looking for a way to have this experience in real time. Since it is clear that there is not a literal place like Pandora is there a way to literally have a spiritual experience like that of Jake? The answer is that the true spiritual experience, symbolized by the fictional experience of Jake Sulley, is literally available to each and every person on Earth, and more. All of the symbols used in the movie Avatar, are symbols of the real. Ewya is a fictional Goddess, but there is a real God, who made a real Garden of Eden, and who wants us to return to Him so that He can return us to that real Garden of Eden.

Eywa, is similar to the name Yahweh, one of the names of the God of the Bible. Yahweh was the Creator of all life on earth, and in Colossians 3:13-18, is the Creator of the entire universe, and put everything into the universe. This Creator is also identified as Jesus Christ in His New Testament name. Jesus Himself claims the title of the “I Am” in John 8:58 to be the same God as Yahweh/Jehovah.

In the beginning of Earth God had designed the Earth to function as a totally safe environment for Mankind. He wanted nature to be able to communicate with and be subordinate to Man. God’s original intent was for Man to live forever by being able to eat of the fruit of the Tree of Life. Nothing was to hurt one another and the very animals, including Lions, and beasts of prey, were to eat straw like the bullock. Isaiah 65:17-25. God did not want death of any kind to be present on the earth.

It was through sin that death came to Earth, not through the plans of God. Once sin entered into Earth, it has been God’s plan to return each and every person to the position where they could return to the Garden of Eden and be satisfied with God’s plans. He does not want to recreate Eden and populate it with people who want to harm and kill God’s people or God’s animals. All of the original promises to Man God wants to fulfill for His people. In order for this to happen Man must be changed to meet God’s promises. This plan is called the gospel – or the good news.

The gospel was originally initiated with Adam and Eve in the exchange of garments. This symbolism – garment exchange/life change – runs all through the Bible. All of the Bible stories retell this gospel story in enough ways that any person, in any culture, in any time, would be able to see and understand what God wants to do for us and in us. Every person has this faith built into him or her, it is our form of instinct. We all hear the call to come back home to Eden and God will use any form of communication available to complete this call. Avatar was done in the spirit of commercialism, but God has used it to call His children. For those who go to movies Avatar has had a profound effect on them. They have heard the call, and many want to go to Pandora, or some facsimile of it. Many want to go literally to Pandora, many want to have an experience with God like Jake’s. God will make this experience available to anyone because that is what God is like. What Eywa was to Pandora God is to the universe, including Earth. God has promised to return all that want to go to the Eden state. To get there one will have to have an experience with God that is symbolized by the experiences of Jake. Yahweh/Jehovah/Jesus is more merciful, more powerful, and more creative than Eywa. But only a faith experience with Him will bring that experience to pass.

The story of redemption, the ability and desire of God to return His people to His original plan, is the focus of this blog site. God is calling all to come back to Him. He has used the movie Avatar to stir up the old memories. He wants us to think of Him and to return to Him. Respond to the call while it is fresh in your minds. Ask Him today to start the process of bringing you back to Him, and then ask Him to finish this call as well. Thank you God for your great and tender mercies.

“Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6

“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13

“Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith…” Hebrews 12:2

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Avatar and the Sabbath

In the movie “Avatar” there is no particular mention of the Ten Commandments. It is clear that the Na’vi respect certain of the commandments. They certainly honored their parents and maintained strong family bonds. They appear to bond for life and adultery is not an acceptable form of behavior. The Na’vi appeared to be honest and were not into telling lies or bearing false witness against anyone. There was not indication that the Na’vi stole from one another and did not kill frivolously but only in the context of the safety of the tribe. The Na’vi did not steal from one another and apparently did not covet one another’s possessions. So it would appear that they kept the last 6 commandments focused on family relationships.

Regarding the first four commandments it would appear that they knew only of the One God in their belief system, and they were faithful in worshipping Eywa. From the movie it did not look as though they practiced any kind of idolatry nor did they take the name of Eywa in vain. As for the fourth commandment it did not appear as though they had a Sabbath day or any specific time set aside or the worship of their God.

In the Judeo/Christian community the Sabbath day is an important time. God declared over and over again that the 7th day was a special set aside day to be used to focus on worshipping God. This day was to be honored as the memorial of the week that God took to create the world. Thus the Sabbath is a memorial of the Creator creating the Earth and all of the things that were placed therein. This time was to be used to turn away from the normal 6 days worth of activities focused on survival and on Sabbath was to be used for special communion with God or with one another.

In the Bible the Sabbath is unique as a timekeeper. All other sections of time are dependent on an astronomical event. The day is one rotation of the earth on it’s access. A month is dictated by the rotation of the moon around the earth and, the year is dictated by the rotation of the Earth one time around the sun. But the Sabbath was entirely dictated by the Creator. He set aside the day, sanctified it, set aside for religious purposes, and blessed and hallowed it.

God commanded that we keep the Sabbath because it would help us to stay focused upon spiritual issues. We are to keep from doing our daily work activities on the Sabbath day and keep the focus on God and His relationship with us. In addition the Sabbath was to be a blessing and not a curse upon man. We are to follow the example of Jesus and look for ways to bring the healing message to people on the Sabbath. We are to teach people about Jesus on the Sabbath and be genuinely interested in their spiritual life and well being.

Whenever Israel turned away from the Sabbath their awareness of God began to deteriorate and their focus on each other began to dissipate. They eventually got to the point that healing on the Sabbath day was against the Pharisee’s human laws and they went so far as to criticize Jesus for His desire to heal and to teach people about God and His Creative powers. As they continued in rebellion they began to pick up thoughts and behaviors that were like the heathen tribes around them that did not profess the worship of the Creator God. Eventually, Israel began to practice sun worship with their neighbors and to turn away from all that was of God. See Ezekiel chapter 8.

Whenever Israel turned away from the Sabbath God sent His prophets to instruct them to come back to a relationship of faith with God and to re-establish the law of God as the sign of their surrender to Him as their God. See Jeremiah 17, Nehemiah 13, Exodus 5:5 and Exodus 16. When Israel rebelled against God’s prophets He allowed Israel to be taken into captivity and their city and temple were destroyed.

When the people suffered sufficiently that they were ready to listen to God again He would send a deliverer to restore them to the old ways of truth. God sent Moses, Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, Nehemiah, Ezra, Jesus and Paul to help turn back to God and get these things straightened out. Jesus has many conflicts with the Pharisees and Sadducees over the Sabbath. Jesus made it a significant part of His ministry to connect worship to God, healing of the people, and overcoming sin as essential components of the true gospel of God. John 5, 9, Matthew 12. Paul came along and assisted with these activities as well. Acts 13

In the end it appears that the worship of God will be the final test. When God’s people are surrendered to Him they will worship Him on the Sabbath in compliance to the commandments of God. See Revelation 14:6-12. In Revelation 13 God says that the image to the beast will pass a law that unless one worships the beast, God’s enemy, they will be killed. This will create a final test environment as to whether we will worship God in His way, or whether we will worship God’s enemy. Faith and obedience will dictate how we resolve this.

On Pandora the Na’vi did not appear to have the Sabbath, and apparently Eywa did not have this requirement for the people. On Earth Yahweh require Sabbath of Israel. Jesus, who was the Yahweh of the Old Testament, see Exodus 3:1-14 and John 8:58, requires us to worship Him who created the heavens and the earth, and any real time Pandoras that are our their in the universe. Let us ponder these issues and surrender to His will.

Avatar's Pandoran Prophecy

By definition a prophecy is a statement by someone who predicts the future. When this prediction comes to pass then faith in the predictor, or prophet, is established. Then the next question would be where did the prediction come from since most people do not know the future on their own. In the Bible the only One who knows the future is God, for He claims to know the end from the beginning and that there is no one else who knows. Isaiah 46:9-10

In the movie Avatar, there is no specific prophecy mentioned but since James Cameron appears to be using a Judeo/Christian system of symbols we can draw some interesting insights from the materials that were presented. We know that the people from Earth had found large deposits of Unobtanium on Pandora. We know that this mineral is selling for 20+ Million dollars a kilo. We know that the Na’vi were able to drive off the corporate miners for a period of time. We also know that the needs of Earth have not changed and we know that the mind set of the people who need Unobtanium have not changed so we should be able to predict that the people from Earth will come back for another try at getting their “drug” of choice.

We can also predict certain behaviors off their behaviors in the past, for Ecclesiastes 1:9 says that “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be, and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.” In an old movie by Robert Deniro called “The Mission” there is a message sent to the Roman Catholic Church about certain events in the new world of South America. After pondering the ramifications of all involved the decision is made that the people involved in the international event in South America should be killed so that political issues in Europe would not blow out of proportion. This concept is repeated in John 11:47-53. In this story Caiaphas the leader of the Jewish religious counsel called the Sanhedrin, prophesied that Jesus needed to die – one mans death for the sake of the nation – was approved of by God. So the prophecy was fulfilled, Jesus did die for the nation. So we should predict that Earth will try again to get the mineral of their desire and the sacrifice of a small set of tribes, that no one is sympathetic to on Earth is a small price to pay for the safety and functionality of Earth.

In the Pandoran prophecy Jake Sulley died for the nation of the Na’vi was resurrected and went on to lead the people to victory over the invaders. In order to do that he had to bond with the Great Leonopteryx and by this bonding he reveals to the Na’vi that he is in harmony with Ewya and is approved to lead them into battle. Thus he becomes the 6th Toruk Makto. Since we are using Judeo/Christian symbolism this would indicate that a 7th and final Toruk Makto will come. The number 7 is a major symbol in the Bible and 6 is an unfulfilled symbol – a symbol for fallen mankind.

With these thoughts in mind let us prophesy about the coming events for Pandora. James Cameron has indicated that Avatar will be a 2-3 film series. In at least one of the coming movies should be another attempt by Earth to overthrow the Na’vi to get to the Unobtanium. By this time we should have a son of Jake Sulley and Neytiri that should be coming of age by that time. He will undoubtedly have heard of his father’s and mother’s exploits and he will have to decide if he will follow in their footsteps to deliver the people. This will create the setting for the developmental struggles on both sides to enhance the next movie(s). For this to become complete, within the settings of the spiritual symbolism, Jake’s son will have to decide to be the 7th Toruk Makto – the final Deliverer. This of course will require and Armageddon (Revelation 16) to match the symbolism.

This same issue will also have to be addressed in real life as well. In the Bible Jesus is the Real Deliverer. He has come to earth and He will come again to deliver His people in the “time of the end”. One of the names given to Jesus is that He was the Creator God of the Eden story (Colossians 1:12-18). The sign, or symbol, of His Creatorship is that of the 7th day. He came to earth to die for man, He was resurrected, and He will return to rescue the people from the forces of the greedy, sinful people of the earth. He will come riding on a symbolic beast (Revelation 19), He will be recognized by the true people and He will have victory in the battle of Armageddon. He will make all things right, He will pass judgment on the evil, destroy them once and for all, and will create a peaceful Eden once more on Earth. His people will have peace everlasting and they will participate in all of the wonderful things God has planned for His people to keep them ever growing, developing, and to be of service.

I hope that all will learn the truth from the Pandoran prophecy and find the True Deliverer – Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Avatar's God-Man

In the movie Avatar one of the central themes is that of the Avatar. An Avatar is the following by definition in the Merriam Webster Online Dictionary:
Main Entry: av·a·tar
Pronunciation: \ˈa-və-ˌtär\
Function: noun
Etymology: Sanskrit avatāraḥ descent, from avatarati he descends, from ava- away + tarati he crosses over — more at ukase, through
Date: 1784
1 : the incarnation of a Hindu deity (as Vishnu)
2 a : an incarnation in human form b : an embodiment (as of a concept or philosophy) often in a person
3 : a variant phase or version of a continuing basic entity
4 : an electronic image that represents and is manipulated by a user (as in a computer game)

For the movie the hero – Jake Sulley – a former marine with two damaged legs, is given the opportunity to go to the Planet Pandora and take over the task of “driving” his twin brothers Avatar – a body combining the DNA of a Na’vi and a human, in this case Jake’s dead brother. Since the DNA is the same, identical twins share identical DNA, then the corporation who spent the money creating the Avatar could still use it if Jake would be willing to come to Pandora and utilize the body for the corporation and the mining on the planet Pandora.

The problem that the Avatar was to solve was that the atmosphere of Pandora was toxic to human beings. However, a program had been established whereby a the body created in a vat could be psionically driven by the person from whom the DNA had been taken and could place their mind and personality into the blank Avatar and “drive” it. This would allow the Avatar to function on the planet as though the body and the mind of the DNA provider were one and he same. The body could function in the poisonous atmosphere and to utilize all the powers and skills of the ten foot tall body. The Avatar would also allow who ever was driving the body to communicate with all beings around it including using the Queue. A secondary function of Jake’s Avatar would be to allow him to communicate with the Na’vi with the goal of encouraging the Na’vi the allow the corporation to mine Unobtanium without any bloodshed.

When Jake enters the Avatar’s body he is thrilled for he can walk on his own again. He is able to run, leap, experience movement, and all the wonders of his new body. After he stabilizes a bit then he goes out into the woods to explore. Through contact with the Thanator, a large and deadly carnivore, he gets separated from the rest of the people and he gets exposed to the Na’vi personally, especially through the princess Neytiri. He is going toward the Na’vi hometree when he is blessed/anointed by the Tree of Souls. Neytiri recognizes the anointing and that Eywa has chosen Jake. Neytiri brings Jake to her clan and after being assessed by the spiritual leaders Jake is accepted as a candidate for clan membership.

Moat, the matriarch of the clan assigns Neytiri to train Jake to be able to pass the various rites of passage into clan membership. After acceptance into the tribe Jake is accused by the Earth group of abandoning them to join the Na’vi. During an intercession with the clan leadership, Jake’s’ psionic connection is broken and Jake appears to have fallen dead in front of the people. After reconnection Jake is “resurrected” and seeks to reestablish his connection to the Na’vi. So Jake is fulfilling all of the rudimentary principles of the Messiah to the Na’vi. Jake eventually leads clan people to victory over the perceived forces of evil. The final issue is that Jake, with the help of Eywa, is able to leaves his human body and join the Princess as a Na’vi forever.

All of these factors lead us to the conclusion that Jake is a Messianic character. Jake participates in the Avatar program and is technically an Avatar. When He joins the Na’vi he is moving in the direction of fully spiritually joining the people. Through a variety of experiences He joins the people by defending them and understanding their ways. Then Jake does a variety of heroic deeds testifying that he will join the Na’vi officially and Eywa helps Jake leave his earthly body and forever join his Avatar body and to be literally joined to the Na’vi forever. He is the God man for Pandora.

All of the above is similar to what Jesus did for us. Jesus was God, and He took on himself a human form to get as close to His children, the human beings, as He possibly could, without harming them. Jesus was the Creator of the entire universe and yet He chose to become a human being in a human body. Jesus was the Real Avatar.

Jesus went through a growth process and learned the human experience first hand. Jesus was not like Jake in that He had no defects, diseases, nor physical or mental problems. Jesus was perfect body, form, mind, and spirit. The Bible says that Jesus was not unusually handsome, tall, or physically imposing. Isaiah 53:2. Jesus was not unusually physically attractive but he was healthy, spiritually awake, and spiritually aware. He learned the human experience and learned it through suffering. Hebrews 5:8-9 Jesus took the human experience to a level of love, and sacrifice, that no One could have done on their own.

After a life full of wonderful things Jesus recognized that He had come to the point that prophecy required that He die for mankind. Jesus took the entire history of mankind’s sins upon Him in Gethsemane. He chose to take all of these sins upon His pure and spotless character. He was then taken before the Jewish leadership and declared to be a sinner and must die. He was then taken before the Roman leadership and although Rome pronounced Him innocent of any wrong thing, yet Jesus was chosen to die to settle a political debt between Pilate and Israel. On the road to Calvary and on the cross itself Jesus suffered and bled and died to fulfill the substitutionary death for all of mankind. Then after 3 days in the tomb, Jesus was resurrected to return to heaven to continue to intercede for mankind. When all of the rest of the prophecies of God are fulfilled He will return to earth and resurrect all of his children who have believed on Him by faith. Then He will take them to heaven where they will dwell in special mansions for a thousand years. After that Millennium, He will return to earth again and this time to resurrect the wicked that they may stand before the judgment seat. After pronouncing the final verdict of death, all of the wicked will be burned up in the lake of fire. When the fire has finished consuming the wicked, and then the earth itself, Jesus will recreate the Earth as He had done in the beginning. Then He will give Earth to the redeemed and they will live in Eden restored, that which Pandora dimly portrays, and they will explore the universe in service to God forever.

Pandora, and Avatar have many of the symbols regarding the things of God. But the reality will be more glorious than anything James Cameron could symbolize. All of these wonderful things God holds out to us to entice us to choose His service and to receive the rewards of intimate fellowship with God, and man forever. The suffering of salvation by God has been completed. The door to God has been opened. Jake Sulley, in the fictional story of Avatar, took the step and joined Himself to Eywa and Eywa’s people, we now have that same opportunity to join ourselves to God. I for one will take the step and hope that you will also.

Avatar and Pandora's Box

In the movie Avatar, Pandora is the name of the planet on which the main characters play out their drama. The choice of the name of Pandora is interesting because it’s Greek connections and the Greek connections to the Bible as well.

Wikipedia states the following brief summary of Pandora and the box which she opened.
“After Prometheus' theft of the secret of fire, Zeus ordered Hephaestus to create the first woman, Pandora, as part of the punishment of mankind. Pandora was given many seductive gifts from Aphrodite, Hermes, Hera, Charites, and Horae (according to Works and Days). For fear of additional reprisals, Prometheus warned his brother Epimetheus not to accept any gifts from Zeus, but Epimetheus did not listen, and married Pandora. Pandora had been given a large jar and instruction by Zeus to keep it closed, but she had also been given the gift of curiosity, and ultimately opened it. When she did so, all of the evils, ills, diseases, and burdensome labor that mankind had not known previously, escaped from the jar, but it is said, that at the very bottom of her jar, there lay hope.”

This concept of the evils which a woman allowed to loose is one of the major stories in the Bible. God tells Adam and Eve that they have free access to all of the trees in the Garden, including the Tree of Life, but of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they are not allowed to eat of it lest it cause them to die. Genesis 2. In Genesis 3 we have the story of the temptation of Eve, the mother of us all. After she eats of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, at the enticement of a speaking flying serpent, she then in turn tempts Adam, the Father of us all, to eat of the fruit as well.

In the story in Genesis 3 Adam does not choose to speak to his Father – God – about this choice. He chooses to eat of the fruit out of love for Eve, rather than love for God. After eating of the fruit, the spiritual luminescence leaves Adam and Eve and they recognize that they are naked, a statement of loss of relationship with God and their loss of innocence. They also attempt to fashion clothes for themselves to cover their nakedness.

When God comes to speak with them that evening Adam and Eve choose to flee from Him and hide in the garden. When God asks them why they are hidden from Him and He asks them if they have “sinned” against Him. In stead of answering Him they choose to blame other things – Adam chooses to blame Eve, and Eve blames the serpent. God then tells them that as a result of their choices they have initiated a series of events that will cause them to die – as a result of no longer having access to the Tree of Life. In addition they will have to work for their daily bread, and they will have to struggle with life. God says that Eve, and her daughter’s, will experience pain in childbirth and will be abused by the men in their lives.

Then God tells them that there will be a great warfare between the descendents of the woman and the descendents of those who follow the teachings of the serpent. Then God informs Adam and Eve that He Himself will come to the world and be born of the woman – the Descendent of the church. He would be the Great Avatar – the God man, born of a virgin. As a result of His birth He would defend the church and eventually destroy the great serpent/dragon Satan.

After completing His presentation God offers to exchange clothing that He makes for the clothing that Adam and Eve had made. To get the skins for the clothing, Adam is required to offer an animal sacrifice to show that to deliver them a precious and innocent life must be sacrificed for them. Now Adam and Eve have the personal experience of bringing the first death to any animal on Earth. This death is a type, or symbol, of the death of Jesus when He would come to earth. From the skins of this sacrifice God creates clothing suitable for Adam and Eve and is again a symbol for the righteousness of Christ that God offers to sinful Adam and Eve to cover them and their sinful experience.

So Avatar, by bringing in the story of Pandora, reinforces the story of Divine intervention by connecting it to the real story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Each of us, as reminded by the symbols of Avatar, gets to choose again whether we will accept the righteousness of Christ or to offer Him our own wisdom and actions in place of His.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Avatar and Grace Augustine

In the movie Avatar the head scientist/Xenobiologist is a doctor by the name of Grace Augustine. She has spearheaded the Avatar program and has her own Avatar through whom she has had contact with the Na’vi. She at first resists Jake Sully because of his lack of training but soon finds out that he is able to contact and interact with the Na’vi like no other of Grace’s staff. She begins to like Jake and extends “grace” to Jake and is willing to support, train, and eventually die for him and the Na’vi.

In our study of the symbolism used in the movie Avatar, it is ironic that the name for this lead scientist is Grace Augustine. The symbolic connection seems to be direct to the issue of Grace through the theologian Augustine. Grace is the concept that on our own we can not and will not choose to follow God. When Adam and Eve sinned against God their natures had become so deprived that without God’s help they would not even want to participate in the change process of life. In Genesis 3:15 God said that He would put enmity into the woman regarding sin and Satan. If He did not put this desire to turn away from the old ways we would be so stubborn we would not turn back to God even though dying from lack of His presence.

To further discuss the issue of grace it is interesting to note that grace is often interpreted to be unmerited favor – God granting special blessings to us who do not deserve to be saved. I believe that this interpretation is basically correct. An additional interpretation of grace is that grace can also grant us power to obey Him. II Corinthians 12:9; II Timothy 2:1; Romans 1:5 Thus when Grace Augustine helps the hero – Jake Sulley, she is indeed extending grace – unmerited favor, and unmerited power to accomplish the will of God.

Grace is an essential component in Christian theology. Before the fall Adam was naturally inclined to obey God’s thought and will. After his fall, Adam needed special help from God to obey. With out God’s help, or grace, mankind might want to do right but would be unable to do so. Grace, from God, is the power to do what the Spirit wants to do.

One final aspect of grace, in the movie the spirit of Eywa extends her hand to Jake and identifies him as a special person in the mind of Eywa, and in the end it is Eywa’s grace that helps the Na’vi to win the war and to change Jake into a real Na’vi. Jake could want and desire to change but on his own power he would not be able to accomplish this spiritual task. Grace makes the impossible happen. Grace is one of the essential issues of spiritual growth and change.

Thus grace is a component of the story of Avatar and it is certainly a massive truth in the Bible. Today we can have this grace from God by asking Him and believing that He has extended this component to us by faith.

Avatar and Xenobiology

Xenobiology is the study of extraterrestrial life beyond earth. One of the central themes of the movie Avatar is that on the fictional planet of Pandora lives a race of extraterrestrials called the Na’vi. This race is humanoid, tall – about 10 feet tall, about 350 pounds, strong and equipped to communicate with the animal life and plant life of the planet through a communication link called a Queue. The atmosphere of the planet Pandora was harmful to humans but not to the Na’vi who functioned well in the atmosphere of the planet with no harmful side effects.

The Na’vi had it’s own language, a developed artistic system, and had weapons suitable for hunting the animal life that they interacted with. The Na’vi also had a developed animist religious system and believed in their goddess Ewya – who helped keep the Na’vi from over populating as well as the animal life. So the Na’vi culture was very into maintaining harmony with the ecology. The social life was very similar to that of Native American cultures or certain African cultures with an appearance similar to that of the Masai tribe.

In the movie a Xenobiologist – Grace Augustine – is appointed to study the Na’vi to learn how to get them to move off their traditional home so that the humans can strip mine that section of the planet and remove all of the Unobtanium from the planet. It is this cultural clash that provides the tension for the movie and allows everyone watching it to choose which side they would like to be on and the inevitable crisis that will result from the decisions made.

From the Christian perspective Xenobiology is an interesting issue. One of the central features of Christianity is the existence of, and participation with, Extraterrestrials called Angels. We are told in the Bible of their existence, and the fact that there was a war in heaven and that one third of all of the Angels were kicked out of heaven. Revelation 12:3-11. The leader of the rebellious contingency; of Angels was an Angel by the name of Lucifer (Morning Star, or Son of the Morning), who grew prideful of his beauty and decided to seek a higher position and to attempt to take control of the universe from God. Isaiah 14:12-17 and Ezekiel 28:11-19. After his rebellion Lucifer’s name was changed to Satan which means Adversary. Angels, both fallen and unfallen, are involved with human beings and all through the Bible are stories of the interaction of human beings with Angels, which result in bad results or good results. Angels can be helpful to people under the direction of God, or they can be very destructive – one angel recorded as killing 185,000 men in the Assyrian army in one night in defense of Israel. II Kings 19:35

In Ezekiel 1:4-14 and 10:1-22 we have a description of Angels indicating that Angels have 4 different faces, four wings. They have an ability to fly from place to place, and even to take people from one place to another. Matthew 4:4:1-11. Angels can minister to people, comfort, encourage, communicate, and instruct human beings. Angels do not mate nor are they given in marriage. Matthew 22:30 We are not informed of any ability of Angels to procreate and there appears to have been a set number of Angels.

The Bible gives a couple of hints that there are other beings in the universe in addition to God, the Angels, and mankind. In I Corinthians 4:9 we are told that the Apostles were concerned that they were being made a spectacle, or theatre, unto the world, to angels and to men. This phrase “to men” could be just another way of restating the world, or it could mean other planetary peoples. In Ephesians 3:9-10 “the principalities and powers in heavenly places”. The principalities and powers could be other groups of people that are on other worlds. Then we have situation in the book of Job 1:6-8; 2:1-3 where Satan is participating in a meeting of “the sons of God” where he claims to be a visitor from Earth. These Sons of God could be angels, as in Job 38:7 or it could be representatives from other plants.

There is one other piece of data and that is from the fact of God being a Creative God. The Bible states that before anything else was created, God was already there. He then decided to create angels, and thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers. Colossians 1:13-17. We do know that God spoke the universe into existence. To limit His creative powers to simply that of creating heaven, angels, and earth, is display of restraint. On the other hand the potential of an unlimited creative God creating other beings on other planets is quite possible. When we get to heaven we will have the opportunity to explore more of the universe and see for ourselves what wonders God has placed in the universe for our understanding and blessing. For those who want to find out about these things, all we have to do is make it to heaven and we will see. But in order to get there we will have to discuss these details more thoroughly with God and inquire as to what needs to be done to us in order to explore the universe. We will have to decide whether we are willing to go through the process in order to have this opportunity. God is waiting to review this with you in detail.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Avatar and Unobtanium

In the movie Avatar people were looking for resources in the universe for the earth had become depleted of all valuable resources. There had been a discovery of a mineral that had the property of superconductivity – it enhanced the movement of electrical impulse, as well as magnetism, through wires, computers, and other devices. So people were looking all over the universe to find this mineral. It was discovered that the planet Pandora had an abundance of this mineral, so much that whole mountains floated because of the presence of this mineral and the unique properties it held.

Now all of us know that no such mineral exists today, at least to our knowledge of chemicals and minerals, but the movie has to rest on some sort of logical premise to get people to respond in a manner that the mind can comprehend. Remember also that the purpose of my writings is to show that this movie is loaded with symbolism with the intent of moving an audience to go to a movie. It is my premise that these symbols are often borrowed from the Bible. The purposes of the Bible are significantly different from that of getting people to a movie. But the principles are able to move the mind and hearts of people, the direction of the movement is the significant point.

Back to our story line. With this mineral out there in the universe and it sells for many millions of dollars per kilo, then we have a motive for going to a dangerous place to make a fortune. This concept is what drove the gold rush in the Americas, and it is the principle from which many people indulge in illegal drug sales, because it is dangerous and because there is much money involved. Entrepreneurs, adventurers, criminals, and some industrious people are attracted to the danger, the potentiality, and the financial rewards of this kind of work. Whereever there is money, then all of the support systems tend to come with them providing a basis for the “community” of Hells Gate – the compound from which all of the activities of the mining industry of Pandora are conducted.
Thus we have the framework for the symbolism of all of the old movies – the Dodge City, the West, the purpose of going to America; the hope of all people to have a better life, the thrill of exploration, the willingness of mankind to brave danger for some kind of reward.

On the symbolic side the great issue is what does Unobtanium mean for the spiritual components of the movie. In the Bible the whole framework of humanity comes from the issue of Eden lost. God escorted Adam and Eve from the Garden because they had sinned against Him and as the result of sin God removed them so that they could not get to the Tree of Life and perpetuate their lives while in a sin state of being. God’s original intent was for mankind to live forever by being able to eat the fruit of the Tree of Life. When Adam and Eve chose to eat of the fruit of the opposing tree – the Tree of Knowledge of God and Evil, they incurred the penalty of death – as God had warned them of.

When God removed them from Eden He left the gate to the Garden open but watched over by angels. The open gate was the promise that there was a way back to Edenic purity and eternal life. But to get through that gate a change must be made and that change must be made in mankind. Thus the interactions around the issue of the gate – not Hell’s Gate, but the gate to the restoration of mankind to a right relationship with God was the promise that God left with us. In the hearts and minds of all people the desire to return home is constantly calling. It is this call that the movie Avatar taps into, and that God uses to continue the call to His people.

The problem area usually resides in the fact that in order to get through the gate man must consult with God. In the Bible the consultation with God forms a process of judgment. In Genesis 3 God discusses the fall, the judgment, and the presentation of the plan to ultimately return to Eden. But when God approached Adam, Adam fled because of the sin components in his heart. When God talked to Adam, Adam tried to blame Eve for his fall, and when Eve was confronted she blamed the serpent (the flying serpent/dragon) of that time.

After the confrontation God offered mankind the opportunity and the direction of what must be done to be restored to a right relationship with God and to have the opportunity of returning to Eden. This offer was presented in Genesis 3:15-21. To get there God Himself would have to die for each person and then each person would have to personally accept this offer in the depths of their soul. This exchange – very similar in principle and symbolism – to the psychic exchange in the Avatar machine – was symbolized by the exchange of garments. Adam, after he fell, recognized that he had lost something that helped him communicate with the world of Eden, and he had lost his ability to communicate with God. This again is very similar to the antennae of the Pandorans. Adam attempted to cover himself by making garments out of the best materials at hand – fig leaves. When God came to Adam, Adam still felt naked and spiritually bare. God offered to give him an alternative if he would but take it. This offer extends to us today. We can accept God’s way or we can try to obtain that which we can not do on our own. This process of gaining salvation in our own ways is what the “Unobtanium” of the movie Avatar symbolizes. We will discuss this in much more detail in further posts.