There is one authority under the sun, emanating from God. All creatures obey the Creator’s authority. The principle of obeying the creator includes even the most detested creatures. After His resurrection, Jesus declared that all authority had been given to Him (Matthew 28:18). Satan is currently assumed to be in authority, so Jesus’ authority functions only with those under Jesus’ authority.
Satan uses the principle of self-centeredness, driven by self-importance, or pride. But, Satan’s authority is the opposite of God’s authority, as playing a deceiver’s function. Satan is authorized to deceive, to sift the unwanted chaff from God’s Kingdom. Where there is authority, there would be control.
As created in God’s image, humans do not deserve to be controlled. Without control, a vehicle may go for some distance, before a collision. Where humans fail to control, there would be calamity. For instance, drunken driving causes the car to inevitably plunge into a tragic calamity. That describes the condition of nonexistent authority.
All known disasters are a product of a lack of authority. All problems emanate from lack of control, or inability to stick to the rules. A problem becomes one when falsehood exists. Hence, assumption causes all problems. It is impossible to experience problems when sticking to rules. Problem-solving is most vital among all purposes of living.
The relevance of any person is nullified by failure to solve problems. The exodus of Zimbabweans to neighbouring countries displays a failure to solve problems. Anything is considered problematic when unsolved. Unemployment causes the inability to access necessary income for survival. This is a result of not knowing that the responsibility to control issues is vested in the job-seeker.
Jesus’ authority implies bypassing Satan’s authority, to take instructions directly from the source. Physical life in general is unlivable because of problems. Illness is problematic as it renders a person unproductive. All problems are solvable but caused by those benefiting from the existence of such problems. This is what makes suffering a part of humanity.
The majestic problem of the highest magnitude, since Adam, is death. After solving the death problem, all other problems become solved. People encounter multiple challenges due to desiring livingness. Although many people may be unaware, all problems emanate from the Garden of Eden incident.
To Adam, he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil, you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow, you will eat your food until you return to the ground since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return”(Genesis 3:17-19 NIV).
The above pronouncement is a verdict passed onto humanity, after Adam’s sin. A bad prisoner continues to commit more crimes, during his time of serving his sentence. However, a good prisoner remorsefully serves according to the requirements of his sentence. That prisoner is a problem solver, doing what the jailer requires of him, according to the terms of his sentence.
Adam’s punitive decree was pronounced as hard work for the duration of physical life. Ordinary humans are better off remorsefully obeying the jailer’s terms of sentence. This does not mean self-abnegation, necessarily, but understanding the principle of responsibility. This requires submission to the authority and serving others as intended by God. Mischievous prisoners may attempt to escape, before the duration of their punishment. Such characters are in abundance:
One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise”(Luke 23:39-43 NIV).
The simplicity of life is in conducting life according to authority. One invites misery when disobeying authority. The second prisoner received solace, as Jesus used His authority to grant him access to paradise. A remorseful prisoner feels comfortable serving his deserved imprisonment. This ought to be the aim of every Christian. The worst is entertaining the behaviour of the first criminal.
The definition of Adam’s sentence is death, which, according to the limited understanding is cessation of existence. However, a deeper understanding of death refers to spiritual separation from God. Although mostly hated, physical death is better than waiting for its ultimate arrival—hence King Solomon lamented:
Then I said to myself, “The fate of the fool will overtake me also. What then do I gain by being wise?” I said to myself, “This too is meaningless.” For the wise, like the fool, will not be long remembered; the days have already come when both have been forgotten. Like the fool, the wise too must die!
So I hated life because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, chasing after the wind. I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. And who knows whether that person will be wise or foolish? Yet they will have control over all the fruit of my toil into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. This too is meaningless”(Ecclesiastes 2:15-19 NIV).
One may die at age twenty, avoiding all the troubles of this world. And the other living up to a hundred years, but still destined for burial. When considering toiling under the scorching sun, common sense dictates favouring dying at age twenty. Dying at one hundred years, when confined in one of those mostly dreaded old people’s homes, unable to perform youthful activities, can be torturous.
Can anyone ever be sufficiently rewarded for good work? God’s Kingdom is unreal to those who have not yet accessed the truth. The author of Life states that physical life is death. Living in the physical body, according to Genesis 3:17-19, does not make one better than those in graveyards. The heralded good news is about the eradication of death, once and for all.
Physical life may be interesting to some people, but nothing is better than paradise. What is susceptible to decaying cannot be compared to the incorruptible. The good news is unsalable to the corrupt but should be motivating to those in need of genuine life. Nothing else motivates me after having accessed Jesus’ true knowledge.
It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man was of heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man.
I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.
When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain(1 Corinthians 15:44-58 NIV).
The good news message is not intended for persuasion, but for helping those desiring freedom. This present life is favourable to those who wouldn’t exchange it for anything, preferring the current state of corruption. Such people feel threatened by any possibility of change. However, the un-workability of self-centeredness can be obvious, even to non-Christians, currently living in this world.
A new dispensation transforms the entire world’s governing system, which crystallizes a new pattern of living. The stipulated one thousand years of Christ’s reign is as imminent as ever before. The purpose of Jesus’ reign is to help those unable to grasp the reality of the pronouncement of Adam’s sentence in Genesis 3:17-19. The permanent condemnation is accorded to Satan, whose fate includes those comfortable in a self-centred lifestyle.
When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and gather them for battle. In number, they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night forever and ever(Revelation 20:7-10 NIV).
The above passage reveals what will happen after the one-thousand-year period of Jesus’ reign. Satan is currently in charge of the entire world. The altruistic philosophy under Jesus will set new standards, according to axiomatic laws. The new governing system will be based on the principle of altruism, which is opposed to self-centeredness.
Jesus’ new dispensation establishes an educational system that instils responsibility on humanity. This implies God’s authority being put in place, to replace Satan’s authority. Competition is commonly inspired by Satan, rather than advancing Godliness. For the first time, the Golden Law will be established.
“So in everything do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets”(Matthew 7:12 NIV).
The golden law disregards issues like faithfully paying tithes or church-going. It is inapplicable to most of those living in a corrupt environment. Taking advantage of other fellow humans appeals to most people. Unless willing to be unpopular, the above law cannot be applicable, as advocating altruism to be an acceptable way of life.
Altruism is not necessarily based on obeying specified rules, for receiving personal benefits. The Good Samaritan parable emphasizes the principle of altruism, showing that caring is not driven by personal desires. The nobility of the Good Samaritan was not for receiving rewards. He was comfortable helping the needy, rather than focusing on personal gains.
This world is full of those expressing pity but unwilling to pay even a dime to the needy. They would rather blame others than do anything to help. The current Zimbabwean government is blamed by those unwilling to sacrifice for better living conditions, in their environments.
Where did the idea of self-centeredness come from? Others may assume that self-centeredness was instituted by God when observing species in the animal kingdom. The life of self-centeredness will cause the uprising, at Satan’s release, after Jesus’ one-thousand-year reign. God’s plan is intended to avoid manipulating anyone against their willingness into God’s Kingdom.
Every human goes through the test of choosing between self-centeredness and altruism. The exposed are Christians in the current dispensation. Christianity is highly attractive to most people. But rarely do those people ever consider the responsibility that goes with Christianity.
Blaspheming implies pretending to live under God’s authority when the opposite is true. Enjoying comfort in Christianity exposes one to the risk. Jesus suggested rejoicing, only with persecution (Matthew 5:10-12). He never insinuated an easy life for Christians. The invitation is to go back to the drawing board and reconsider what Christianity entails.
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing relief to those who have witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. Most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope, in a simple conversational tone.
The Print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99