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Before the Beginning...

Before the beginning, God was. The LORD Almighty - the God of the armies of the heavenlies.

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. He created the sun and moon, seas and lands, plants and creatures. But the creatures and the lands had no one to care for them. So out of the dust of the earth, God formed the man - in the image of Himself.

I wonder if, before He breathed the breath of life into the man, God thought of His Son, knowing that breath of life would cost Him life.

For there was a heavenly war raging - God and His kingdom had an enemy. The enemy was the embodiment of evil and was consumed by his desire for power. The enemy hated God and became the opposite of all that God was.

God is good. The enemy is evil.

God is life. The enemy is death.

God is truth. The enemy is lies.

God is love. The enemy is hate.

God is freedom. The enemy is captivity.

God knew the enemy would deceive the man and his kind in order to enslave them for a kingdom of his own.

But the LORD Almighty, knowing all, perceiving all, and purposing all for good, breathed that breath of life into the man He had created.

Out of the bone of the man, He created woman and settled them in a place of beauty and abundance, peace and freedom.

Now, within freedom, exists choice.

Among a multitude of beautiful, delicious fruit trees, there was a single tree the man and woman were not to eat from. For God said if they ate the fruit of that tree, they would surely die.

Therefore, the enemy of God crafted a plan to exploit God’s gift of choice. Disguised as a serpent, the enemy - the deceiver, the father of lies - enticed the woman to eat of the forbidden fruit. He promised her power, knowledge, and wisdom and deceived her into believing the stipulation God gave them was not for their good.

So he used the same tactics he still uses today.

In a moment, the enemy brought sin into the world, and mankind was separated from God. For just as God had warned, there is a penalty for sin - death.

Through his facade of freedom, the enemy enslaved mankind. He bound mankind with chains of darkness and death, yet cleverly disguised them as light and life. For the enemy masquerades as an angel of light because God is light. The enemy placed a veil of darkness over the eyes of mankind, yet once again disguised it as light.

For remember, the enemy is