Perspectives: Blind Men And The Elephant

The Bible explains that no matter how hard we try, everyone’s theology is just a little bit wrong.  “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” (1 Cor 13:12)
Perhaps you remember the poem entitled “The Blind Men And The Elephant” by
John Godfrey.  Below is the introduction and conclusion of that poem:
It was six men of Indostan, To learning much inclined, Who went to see the Elephant (Though all of them were blind), That each by observation, Might satisfy his mind…
And so these men of Indostan, Disputed loud and long, Each in his own opinion, Exceeding stiff and strong, Though each was partly in the right, And all were in the wrong.  So, oft in theologic wars, The disputants, I ween, Rail on in utter ignorance, Of what each other mean, And prate about an Elephant, Not one of them has seen.
John Godfrey’s insightful poem makes two important points:
  1. It takes more than one perspective to get the whole picture
  1. Even if you have ALL the perspectives (and are not missing any perspectives), you still end up with what the Bible says is a distorted view.  Again, “For now we see through a glass, darkly…” (1 Cor 13:12)
So, based upon each blind man’s (theologian’s) detailed description of his/her perspective, we carefully compile what we have learned about the elephant and now record the elephant’s composite as you will see on the following page.
Does the detailed composite of all the perspectives look like the real elephant?  And, obviously, the elephant would look even worse if we did not have all of the perspectives.
I think that most people, when they read the poem “The Blind Men And The Elephant,” get the message that we all have a distorted view compared to how God sees things.  But… the second message is even more important which is the realization that we need more than one perspective (more than one way of looking at and understanding things) in order to see the whole picture.
Considering that thousands of books have been written on the perspectives listed below, it is difficult or impossible to summarize into a single sentence each perspective.  To date, the Lord has caused me to discover four different perspectives (and I am sure there are more than four perspectives):
1. Faith Camp/Word Church perspective
2. Deliverance & Inner Healing perspective
3. The Ages To Come perspective
4. Family Of God/Relationships perspective
The Faith Camp/Word Church perspective explains what Jesus purchased for us when He died on the cross.  The Faith Camp puts emphasis on the authority of the believer, positional truth, and how to appropriate by faith the things that Jesus purchased for us on the cross by renewing our minds with what the Word of God (the Bible) says.
The Deliverance And Inner Healing Camp perspective does a nice job of trouble shooting why the authority of the believer is not working for you.  By analogy, the Faith Camp would tell you how to appropriate and install electricity into your new home, but it is the Deliverance And Inner Healing Camp which helps you figure out what went wrong (where your electrical circuit got short circuited and messed up) and why you are not enjoying the benefits of electricity in your new home.
The Ages To Come perspective explains that God builds things and that foundations have to be laid.  Our experience here on earth is apparently a pre-requisite foundation for the things that God will have us doing in the ages to come. 
The Family Of God/Relationships perspective does a nice job of explaining that God wanted a family (created us in His own image and likeness Gen 1:27), and that He wants us (His sons and daughters) to learn how to act like and become like Him (learn how to love unselfishly).  Simply put, it is all about relationships and learning how to love unselfishly.  There is only one thing that you can take with you to heaven when you die and that is relationships.
Have you ever asked yourself the following questions:
Why did God create man?  God wanted a family:
  1. We are children of God, heirs of God, joint-heirs with Christ, and sons of God (Rom 8:16-19)
  2. God says we are part of His family (Eph 3:14-15)
  3. God describes Himself as a generational God (Matt 22:32)
  4. We have to be in an approved, connected relationship with God (Matt 7:22-23, John 15:5-6)
  5. God wanted children (not robots), so He had to give us a free will
  6. A free will means that our free will has to be tested (tested = to prove or be tested, tried and proven)
Why did God put man on earth?:
  1. We have a free will, so
  2. Our free will has to be tested – did you learn how to judge righteously  (use God’s Word to make “right” choices) and did you learn to love unselfishly like our Heavenly Father in the face of contradictory circumstances  (i.e., under pressure).
I was minding my own business one day (March 23, 2010 to be exact), and Jesus by the inward witness started to give me a revelation… Jesus wanted me to understand that God is PURE, UNSELFISH love (John 3:16), and He decided to LAVISH His love on each one of us.  So when God created man (you and me), His most lavish gift was that He gave us the ability and the legal right to choose.  Think about it – you can choose to do anything that you want to do, and Jesus will let you.
It’s like giving someone a stick of dynamite – you have the potential to hurt yourself and others – but it is your stick of dynamite.  What are you going to do with your stick of dynamite (what are you going to do with your life).  So, what did it cost Creator Jesus to give such a lavish gift (called free will) to humans?  The answer – Jesus had to sovereignly choose to limit Himself.  (We can say no to Jesus, and He will not over rule our choice and decision.  He upholds our decision.  He is bound to honor our choices even if our choices are against his express will.)
It is so sad that today 99% of the church world has been taught that God controls everything when in fact God has relegated control to mankind.  (Relegated means to consign or dismiss to an inferior rank or position.  Consign means to deliver something to a person’s custody.)
So the truth is that God did not want Adam and Eve to eat from the wrong tree (God warned them).  God did not want Cain (under the influence of the devil) to kill Abel.  God warned Cain (Gen 4:7), but then God had to watch (did not interfere with) Cain’s free will decision to kill Abel:
  1. Yes –      Jesus is God
  2. Yes –      Jesus is Sovereign
  3. Yes –      Jesus chose to limit Himself so that you could have a free will.  If He had not limited Himself, then you would not be able to make choices that are binding – choices that Jesus has to live with forever.
When Jesus sovereignly limited Himself in order to give you a free will, He had to sovereignly delegate SOME authority and responsibility to you.
  1. SOME –  meaning the correct kind and amount consistent with your having a free will as a steward and as a Policeman/Policewoman for God here on planet earth.
  2. Because He sovereignly delegated to you some authority and responsibility consistent with your free will, He is therefore required by His own love nature to hold you responsible and accountable for what He has put in your charge.
  3. As God’s steward on this earth over the things that God owns, Jesus has put you in charge and holds you responsible and accountable to protect the earth (which God owns but has made you a steward over) from the bad things that the serial killer devil wants to do. In other words, God has already judged the devil and fallen angels, our job is to uphold and enforce that judgment as God’s policeman/policewoman on the earth (Gen 2:15)
  4. As God’s steward and as God’s policeman/policewoman on the earth, we need instruction, training, mentoring, discipling, testing, correcting, and scourging (Heb 12:5-6)
So, God does TEST (proves) us, but he never TEMPTS us:
Let no one say when he is tempted, I am tempted from God; for God is incapable of being tempted by [what is] evil and He Himself tempts no one James 1:13 (Amplified Bible)
That I may prove (test) them, whether they will walk in my law, or no. Ex 16:4
And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove (test) thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. Deut 8:2
It is the devil that TEMPTS us:
Then…Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. Matt 4:1
Because of your FREE WILL and FUTURE INHERITANCE (God’s plan for the ages to come), your free will has to be TESTED by God and TEMPTED by the devil:
I do not ask that You will take them out of the world, but that You will keep and protect them from the evil one. John 17:15 (Amplified Bible).
I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]  John 16:33 (Amplified Bible)
So be subject to God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him], and he will flee from you. James 4:7 (Amplified Bible)
I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live Deut 30:19
To summarize, Jesus sovereignly chose to lavish a wonderful and free gift upon us (a free will).  Therefore, He had to also sovereignly limit Himself (let us make choices that are permanently binding, choices that Jesus has to live with – forever).  And, because of his own love nature, He must therefore hold us responsible and accountable for what He gave to us.  Therefore, Jesus tests us, and Jesus will allow the devil to tempt us (and Jesus expects us to use our free will to request God’s help when necessary so that Jesus can deliver us).   Jesus knew (before He created man) that the devil was already on planet earth.  So… allowing the devil to tempt us is another form of proving us (to see if) we would ask God for deliverance (from evil) when necessary.
God offers family status as a free gift, but He will not force this free gift upon us.  Assuming that we accept His free gift of salvation (by receiving His son Jesus), then we become part of God’s family, and our purpose or calling is to rule and reign with Him (judge rightly and love unselfishly) which is to become like our Heavenly Father.
Becoming like our Heavenly Father is a process (unselfish love is developed not robotically issued) which requires God to prove, develop and test us under pressure.  It’s all about becoming like our Heavenly Father (letting him develop and refine us), then take and pass each test (just like progressing through school).  As a human (gifted with free will) this is our calling (what Jesus is inviting and asking us to do).  There are His tests of obedience, and there is His calling to repentance.  If Jesus had to pass those test(s) of obedience, then we also have to take and pass those test(s) of obedience.
The Family Of God/Relationships perspective invites and then challenges us to choose (by using our free will) to receive Jesus as Savior (become part of God’s family) and learn to serve and become like our Heavenly Father (to lovingly and unselfishly) serve the God that created us:
Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended (entrapped, tripped up, made to stumble, enticed to sin, does a total desertion of or departure from the faith). He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Matt 13:18-23
Acts of sin (breaking God’s Word) is what opens the door for the devil to attack us and/or our children to the fourth generation (Ex 20:5).  But if we (instead of sinning) practice doing God’s word in our daily lives, then the devil and his evil workers can still tempt us but cannot attack us.  The devil’s temptation turns into an attack when we  sin (fail to pass a test).
We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not [does not deliberately and knowingly practice committing sin]; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself [from evil], and that wicked one toucheth him not. (1 John 5:18)
In Conclusion:
Can you see that it takes all four perspectives to understand why we are here on planet earth?  God has a future ages plan (Ages To Come perspective) which requires some up front testing during our life on planet earth.  This future ages plan (our future inheritance) will be given to us as a gift if we willingly (of our free will) choose to become part of God’s family (Family Of God/Relationships perspective).  God has provided a straight forward game plan (Faith Camp/Word Church perspective) for us to follow.  But… in the likely event that we (and those that we are in relationship with) get snagged into a trap, God has provided deliverance and inner healing (Deliverance And Inner Healing Camp perspective).  By combining the four perspectives, we get a more accurate overall picture, and we can stop the “prate [foolish, tedious debate] about an elephant.
Rick Hollman, Director                                     402-896-3760
House Church Ministries For Jesus                 Email: HollmanInsuranceGroup@Cox.Net
5605 Blackwell   Drive, OmahaNE  68137      Web: www.HCMFJ.Com
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