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In The Beginning

It actually all began way before the creation of makind in Genesis 1 and 2.  Angels were the greatest beings we know of that God created.  And the greatest, most talented of them was their leader, Lucifer, the "Prince of Light."

We don't understand how evil could take root in the heart of a perfect, sinless being.  But when it did, as alarmed and scared as he was, Lucifer found himself drawn to the new ideas of independence and defiance it fostered.

As Lucifer's newfound obsession with himself and his sense of entitlement grew, God tried everything in His power to help Lucifer see the devastation that would result if he kept entertaining his selfishness.  Often he was convinced, but then, as is the case with any addiction, Lucifer would slowly return to caress the sinful thoughts that clouded his judgment of what was real, i.e. truth.

Over time, as Lucifer came to oppose God, this great tragedy evolved into a vicious political battle where Lucifer campaigned against God for all he was worth.  Many bought into his vision, many remained loyal to God, and many were caught in between.

Eventually Lucifer declared war on God and attacked Him. The war forced the undecided angels to choose.  Because of his self-aggrandizement Lucifer never saw it coming.  He lost and God expelled him from heaven, along with one third of the angels—those who were loyal to Lucifer.

It was in this context that Lucifer, now Satan "The Accuser," came to the garden of Eden to "prove" that God was an arbitrary, demanding dictator who always had to have His way.  Satan's plan?  Show everyone that if he presented his view of God—which he considered to be right—even God's beloved Adam and Eve would side against Him!

Sure enough, Satan was able to manipulate our first parents into seeing God as selfish and manipulative (talk about transferrence!) and they cast their vote for Lucifer, who then thumbed his nose at God.

Love.  Freedom.  Life.  Justice.  How do they all work together?  How do the disease of sin and its resulting selfishness affect them?  These are some of the great issues God had to deal with.

God is the source of all life, which finds its highest fulfillment in love.  God is love, which cannot exist without freedom.  God values freedom, which cannot exist without love.  And how about justice?  It's about upholding the law, which is the foundation for security and freedom.

Those who are loyal to God are excited about his laws, which are just, beautiful and make perfect sense.  God's opponents hate His laws because they point out that recklessness can never lead to love or happiness.  The truth?  You simply cannot lie and be trusted, murder and be loved, indulge and lose weight, drink and drive, etc...