Read it Backwards
The best way to clarify and discern the truth about the big picture revealed in Scripture may be to read the Bible backwards. Instead of traveling the path by starting near the beginning where much of the confusion originated, struggling through the dark views of God and religion that have hampered humanities ability to discern God correctly and from which most of the lies about Him were developed, why not start with the end of the book where most of the answers are provided and then work backwards to see how these answers address the dark questions?
- We find that the hero in Revelation is a violently-slaughtered Lamb who wins by laying aside His rights and privileges and even His life, but in so doing He earns the respect of all heaven and receives authority over heaven and earth.
- In the epistles of John we discover very condensed and intense descriptions of the truth about God, about our own condition and what is needed to reconcile and restore us back to our original design of living in perfect love and freedom.
- From there it is best to go straight to the gospels where are found stories of the ultimate revelation of the truth about God in the life, teachings, actions, attitudes and demonstrations of love by God's Son. He is the One sent as God's personal envoy to this earth to correct all the screwed up ideas about God that have both ruined this planet to start with and have severely damaged His reputation. This revelation about God has provided the motivational power to enable any one of us to be restored to living life once again with joy and in harmony and peace.
- It then is safer to examine the more theological books of the New Testament seeking to expand and expound on the meaning of how the details work in God's plan of restoration.
Given this foundation of truth before attempting to make sense of the more difficult pictures of God throughout the Old Testament, we have access to use the right filter or lens to avoid being confused by the same messed up pictures of God that have plagued our world for generations after our first parents became infected with the diabolical lies about heavenly Father from His arch-enemy the great deceiver.
- Moving backwards through the Old Testament we can then find glimpses of God more more in line with those as seen in Jesus in the various reports of the prophets.
- We move further back and see mixed views of God throughout the Psalms and in the history of God's dealings with His chosen people and how they interpreted those interactions.
- Moving further back into the books of Moses, God can appear to be extremely legalistic. However, armed with a much better understanding of the nature of God's laws versus the counterfeit system of artificial law, we are much better equipped to discern underlying principles that these laws were meant to convey rather than viewing them through the lens of the tree that got us into trouble in the first place. By starting with a mature picture of God as seen in Christ, it becomes much easier to see why God had to relate to the extremely immature in history without assuming this was God's plan for relating to the mature later on.
- Finally we arrive back at the story of how things went wrong here in the first place and how God originally created us and this world free of all this evil. This brings us full circle around to where we began at the end where the restoration of full intimacy with God is reconnected at both the end and the beginning of Scriptures.
Of course reading the Bible this way could be confusing if one is not familiar with the chronological story of history. But on the other hand it may be far less confusing when it comes to appreciating the real truth about God and what defines reality that Satan has worked to obscure ever since humanity was plunged into the darkness that hides God's face from us. This darkness and ignorance was brought about by the lies we were fed by the enemy of truth and love and that still prevents us from seeing the truth as it is in Jesus.
I am starting to believe that quite possibly the gospel may become clearer more easily if we approached it in this manner. By beginning with the end theologically while beginning at the beginning historically, we could meet in the middle from both directions to discover that Jesus really is at the center of everything. By clarifying the issues more quickly by starting with the answers instead of plunging into confusing questions first, maybe we could hold onto the saving answers like putting on life-vests before plunging into the raging waters of the history of mankind's tragedies and mixed up notions about God found throughout history.
By first getting access to the Light and learning how to hold onto it firmly before entering into the dark caves of superstition, deceptions and perversions about God as seen outside of the gospels, we can then benefit by having the Light with us as we expose the hidden things of darkness instead of groping around for so long in the dark looking for truth as history reports people have been doing for so long.
By starting with the exposure found in Revelation alerting us to the truth that there really is a cosmic battle taking place in the universe, we can be armed with an superior perspective preventing us from falling into many traps of deception as we progress backwards to observe how this battle has been transpiring. It is vital to keep in mind the bigger context in order to make true sense of the details, for that is exactly how our brains are designed to function.
God created our brains to first look for the big picture, the explaining story and find the sense in it before moving on to figure out how all the details fit into that picture. Stories, not facts, formulas and details are how humans have made sense of life from the beginning. But the counterfeit system has has led us to think that we can assemble our own version of a context by starting with details and figuring out how they all fit together to create a context. But this presupposes we have no access to an objective explanation of the true picture so it is up to us to figure it out ourselves. This is the presumption of science and even religion today, which is precisely why there are so many confusing explanations about reality that must be constantly adjusted, discarded or replaced with new systems seeking to make sense of the world and why things are the way they are.
By first embracing the truth that there is a God who is above all things and who knows what is going on and is not absent provides us the advantage we desperately need to make sense of reality. When we believe that God not only knows what is going on but is eager to reveal it to those who honestly are ready to listen to Him; and that this God is actually not hostile towards us but really cares and loves us unconditionally, we then access the greatest weapon of all against error and deception. This truth aligns us with the supernatural forces eager to expose the hidden lies of darkness that enslave us through fear and ignorance. We can then be instructed as to how to cooperate with these forces and to come out on the winning side that will ultimately be victorious in this titanic struggle between truth and lies.
Adopting this approach could revolutionize the effectiveness of what we term evangelism. It has the potential to startle people out of the blinding paradigms and the demonic spells that prevent us from seeing what is outside our narrow opinions about what constitutes reality. It can greatly enhance our ability to arrive at saving, transforming truth much more readily and could appeal to many who are dissatisfied with the formula-driven, narrow conjectures offered by religion and science and philosophy. It provides immediate access to vital points of truth that can strenghten growing faith as we discover that the God in charge is not at all like the God promoted by religions but that this good God is eager to get real and personal with each one of us as we are willing to open up to let Him show us everything from His objective perspective.
Our world is saturated with innumerable explanations proposing to be the context in which to make sense of life. But only in Scripture can we find the truth about the actual context that both makes the most sense but more importantly provides the most satisfaction to both heart and mind. Getting true perspective of the real issues swirling around us and that have rocked even the far reaches of the universe, empowers us to see reality as provided from the perspective of the only One outside of all the confusion this war has brought to created beings everywhere.
God has given us access to knowledge of this truth by coming to know Him personally and whom to know means to enter an eternal life. But He also leaves us free to choose whether or not we will believe what He offers to reveal to us or whether we will cling to our own compilations and inventions and insist on depending solely on our own wisdom to make sense of reality. The choice is ours.