Mystery of Iniquity
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The Mind of Man.
Following the Root of the Tree of Knowledge.
 

A Logical Rebuttal to Pelagianism:
If you break one law, then you have broken them all.  All comes back to the first Commandment: Thou shall not have any gods before Me.  Because of self idolatry, self justification, by Pelagius or any man, is an impossibility before Holy, Holy, Holy God Almighty.

With a general observation of the brain along with a little anatomy, we hope to increase the readers understanding of our base nature, by producing an allegory for your physical and spiritual evaluation. Anatomically, the root of manís thinking, reasoning and judgment begins in the frontal portion of the two cerebral hemispheres of the brain.  The two larger frontal areas of the cerebral lobes of man are designed with greater potential intellect when compared to the cerebrums of animals.  The sensory perception of man, is processed in the frontal lobes of potential intellect, where the interpretation of body life, such as emotions, pain and pleasure, hearing, learned speech, touch, taste, with lifeís experiences, are coming together through the brain's limbic system of associated structures to form the mind of reasoning.  Within the mind of reasoning is the conscience of a person that together is the candle of the Lord.  The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly. (Proverbs 20 verse 27.) What the Bible calls the inner man is the spirit of man conceived in the mind of reason.  This is where both the perceived good and the bad are determined on an individualist bias, and the choices affects the soul of the person.  The Light of the World, the very Holy Spirit of Christ Jesus is absolutely necessary to keep the candle of man a light.  Contrast that thought with this scripture: There shall be no reward to the evil man; the candle of the wicked shall be put out. (See Proverbs 24 verse 19-21.)

The baser portions of the brain, the cerebellum and brain stem are similar in created function to that of the animal kingdom.  The cerebellum principally deals with coordination, while the brain stem controls the autonomic responses necessary for breathing, the heartbeat, wakefulness and involuntary body functions of all animal species.

If we look at the human brain with its nervous system extended throughout the body, the brain itself looks like a root ball of a tree, while the spinal cord has the appearance of the trunk of an inverted tree or a tap root with its many out branchings.  Please observe the pictures of our allegory of the brain and its out lying branches. 

Indeed, the neuronal anatomist, in his observation, speaks about the 'arborization' of the brain.  The definition for 'arborization' is: "The formation of a tree like arrangement or figure". The term "dendrite" comes from the Greek word "dendron", meaning "tree", while  the word "cortex" has its root in Latin, meaning "bark".  Under the microscope, the complex adult human brain, with its tens of billions of neurons and having as many as 100 trillion (1014) synapses between neurons, also has the appearance of roots or rootlets of plants.

Each neuron is composed of a cell body (soma), with any number of dendrites surrounding the soma, which also has a single myelinated axon with its multitude of un-myelinated end synaptic junctions that connect and transmits electro-chemical signals to the dendrites of other cell bodies within the processing brain.  The brain, being the conductor of the whole body, has several structural pathways to facilitate control in the body.  One pathway is through the autonomic nerves that continually sends electrical stimulation, to the receptor cites within the various organs in the body.  The other is through the motor nerves that send the intentions of the individual to control movement in the skeletal muscles throughout the body.  Through the various brain chemistries and hormones, these root-like neurons form the electro-chemical pathways and neural networks that are designed to allow us to function in our humanity.

Now, the solitary child, birthed into this world, undoubtedly is initially innocent in the mind of self, neither knowing good nor evil. But, unfortunately with the defiling nature and consequences of idolatrous sin, this destructive seed within the idolatrous flesh of Adamís offspring, will begin to continually breed the infestation of sin's self idolatry.  Without God's Life remedy for self serving idolatry, then autonomous sin will work its ends, bringing about the corruption of innocent thought, and alienating a possible relational understanding with God, with the eventual consequences of death for the offspring of sinners. David, the psalmist, perceives his nature thusly in Psalm 51. verse 5. Surely, I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. (NIV.) And in another rendering:  verse 5. Behold, I was shaped in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. (KJV.) Sin is indigenous to the flesh of all of humankind, and the insidious infection is passed on to each generation.

The continually expanding brain of a newborn child coming into this life, has a capacity for reason, but reason itself has yet to be developed in the cerebral hemispheres.  Outside of recognizing physical and emotional discomfort within its body, the infants cerebral cortex is virtually blank of rational understanding, for the simple reason that the infant has no processed experience with the world and its surroundings to begin to formulate thought.  The new mommy and daddy are touching and making smiley faces while talking and cooing sweetly to the infant, waiting expectantly for responses from their prodigy.  Obviously, in healthy infants, hearing exists and continues to naturally develop its roots, but language has no formed neuronal root in the brain of the child and cognitive understanding is not yet present.  Initially, the babe's eyesight is blurry, mainly detecting motion, and initially fails to recognize the facial details of the parents.  The eye's optic nerves, are an out-branching of the brain, that sends these beginning visual messages to the brainís receptor neurons in the visual cortex within the occipital lobes of the brain, and they in turn, start making new reinforced synaptic connections via the visual hierarchy, for eventual clearer interpretations within the cerebral grey matter of the brain of the infant child.

With each passing day, the normal babyís innate (God created) senses of taste, touch, hearing and eyesight are enhanced and further stimulates the brains neuronal out-branching, which progresses through varying growth stages, related to age and gender of the infant.  The experiential process of self-reasoning awareness, probably begins to focalize in the awakening psyche of the infant between the second and third year of the child's life.

The brain's early expansion of the neural network, with the cell bodies elongation of axons and synaptic junctions branching out to the dendrites from the other cell bodies, looks very much like the roots of a healthy growing tree that are branching out, seeking water and nourishment for the functional structure of the tree.  In our simile, with all things being equal in a nutritionally healthy young person, information searching with processing stimulates the rooting arborization of the cerebral cortex of the brain, giving rise to our learned thinking process in the cortex of the cerebrum.  Neural pathways are further established with use, and information is acquired by naturally inquisitive minds that are thirsting for knowledge, and this new found knowledge is then electro-chemically transmitted and stored in the tree like root structure of the human brain's cerebral cortex. This information that we begin processing early in life, becomes chemically imbedded in the neuron bodies from their dendrite connections with other neuron's axon roots coursing through our minds and body, thereby putting further demands for expansion of the neural network.  With what starts out in a newborn's brain at an estimate of 10 billion neurons, ends with the onset of adolescence with as many as 100 billion neurons with exponentially countless interconnections. 

The central nervous system of the brain continually receives stimulation from neuronal receptors, augmented by hormonal interactions from all over the body, causing the expansion of the brain's networking construction.  From childhood to adulthood, the essential nature of our individual human persona, is a dichotomy of the genetics, parental nurturing, nutritional and body chemistry with electrical responses, all rooted in the brain, along with our learned experiential process of internalized thinking and judgment of the good and the evil, and will be expressed outwardly by the flowering of our speech and actions.  For from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

The root of all conduct is the mind; four branches it shoots forth: Good and evil, life and death, and their absolute mistress is the tongue.  A word is the source of every deed: a thought (being the source or beginning root), of every act.

In the beginning of life, the children of human kind are quite naturally nurtured and taught by their genetic parents, or perhaps surrogate adoptive parents.  No matter the intentions of the parents, whether Christians or not, the children will all derive their original way of thinking, through their own unique experiences with their individual decisions of what they think is good or evil, and apply their decisions to their own life.  Some corrections can be made with a little gained knowledge from the law of sowing and reaping.  This human chronicle of existence is an ongoing and repeating process of independent choice making, generated from the Tree's one root of good and evil that serves self with confusion.  From childhood  to adulthood, all of humanity is part of the genetic tree that had its beginning source in the loins of Adam and Eve, our first parents.  And from our first parents, we all became little gods that will determine the best course for the individual self.

The beginning roots of our independent self determining minds began, in the Garden, with Eve's deception, and her willfully eating of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil.  Adam, given charge of the garden by God, committed high treason against His Maker, with his partaking of the same forbidden tree.  With the conception of sin having taken place within the core of their being, our first natural parents formed their own independent judgment, against God's good will, and when they both ate of the forbidden fruit, they set in motion their own death and alienation from the God of the living, and also that of their offspring.  The potential for the continued life of our first parents, in union with the Life of God, was changed to that of death, and the potential of all of humanity was changed with them.  All of  humanity came into the bondage of the self seeking will of sin that was birthed in our first parent's desire to be in complete control through their perception of good and evil, with an independence from God.  God allowed Adam and Eve's own desires and judgment to possess them, and unfortunately in their judgmental wisdom, they rejected the Love of God and Life Himself.   With their initial desired independence from God, the sustainer of Life, Adam and Eve chose the corrupting fruit of confusion, with its autonomous knowledge of good and evil, and with their own wisdom, judged that this knowledge could only be good.  Tragically, that which they thought would be good, became only a choice for evil, as they found themselves in willful  rebellion to their Creator of life, and through their own judgment, brought the evil choice of death to themselves and their prodigy. 

So then in the mind of man, our self derived individualistic thought processes are already rooted into an arborization image of the Tree of the Knowledge of good and evil, that was birthed in us from our family tree, which had its beginning with our branching lineage, going back to our first parent's corruption within that Tree of self idolatry.  We have all become little gods made of our own corrupt self determination of what is good or evil for our selves, and unwittingly, have made ourselves slaves to Satan, the author of sin and death.

The children of men, entering into adulthood, with their self serving minds being independent from God, will naturally choose the course of the roots of this Tree of Knowledge that they were birthed into, and then follow the already ingrained self serving roots that have become well established within their minds by their own choices in life, with its mixture of good and bad results.  Generally speaking, with our life long experiences from childhood to adulthood, we have each internalized knowledge, with our own perception of love; offenses with rejection; judgments and disciplines accompanied with bitter root rejections or good acceptance, compounded with individual mixtures of good and bad health; and we will judge in response to the natural roots of our ingrained iniquity, spiritually being forced upon us through the idolatry and self-preservation of the single mindedness of the independent will of the flesh.  After all, in our spiritual deception, as little gods, we all think that we are right in our own minds, and will judge all things and people accordingly.  Individually or collectively, the subjective good that we perceive in the natural man, on its own merit, is not capable of overcoming the subjective evil in our minds' of self-idolatry because it is the same autonomous root that brings death and destruction to all self serving gods.  For that matter, the subjective good that we would do, only justifies ourselves within our own minds that we are good; but that self serving righteousness does not lessen the condemnation of sin birthing death within all of humanity.

Therefore, as we continue to delve into the logic of the Tree of Knowledge, perhaps we will discover that the good and the evil that we are prone to judge within ourselves and others, are from the same idolatrous root derived from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  Both, the good acquired knowledge and the evil acquired knowledge, are synonymously in sync; for they are inextricably linked with each other, having come from the same primary or source root, originating from the forbidden Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, whose judgmental fruit, in the end, is death.  The rooting process from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil within those 100 trillion synaptic connections within the ten's of billion neurons in the brain of the adult person, leaves the sons and daughters of Adam in a helpless quandary of dark and deadly confusion.  Although that person may have come to Christ Jesus seeking God's mercy, he or she does not have the ability to sever the multitude of synaptic connections that are already linked to the deception of self that is deeply rooted in sin's autonomy, with sin's derivatives being sustained naturally from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  The serpent, even Satan was intertwined in that Tree of knowledge, and his thoughts of self first, are continually being perpetuated in the idolatrous minds of men.  Jesus rebuking the self righteous Pharisees, says to them:  You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do.  He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. (See John 8 verse 31 thru 44.) Now certainly, we refuse to see ourselves in this light, but that is exactly where we are in our own self justification, as we remain in the dark shadows of our own understanding of good and evil.  Scripture says that what ever a man sows that is what he will reap. (See Galatians 6: verse 6 thru 8.)

With Satan sowing the spiritual seed of lust, in the minds of Adam and Eve, and with its conception within their collective hearts, Satan brought them into the captivity of the will of sin and that of its author.  Because Satan's implied wisdom within the forbidden fruit seemed good to our first parents, they, when succumbing to the enticing deception of the talking serpent, reached for the forbidden fruit, and then in partaking of what they perceived that they did not have, they allowed the flowering of the seed of rebellion and autonomy within their own spirit and souls, and thus reaped for themselves and their prodigy the consequences of their own self fulfilling actions. 

The fruit, of the Tree of Knowledge, is self determination apart from the God of the living, and without repentance by turning to Christ Jesus the Author of Life, only death is the reward.  For he that sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap Life everlasting.  Whatever a man cultivates in the soil of his mind that is what he will become.  If that man follows the will of the flesh, then he will continue to cultivate death.  If that man is following the leading of the Lord's Spirit, then he will cultivate God's Love within his mind, and reap the Life of the Spirit of God.  Whatever is practiced, is strengthened, and whatever is not reinforced, atrophies or dies, even so for the roots of our minds.  The multitude of those neuronal roots and branches are subject to use.

If we are followers of Jesus Christ, then we definitely need to practice, even daily, the Chief Physician's prescription for the maintenance of a healthy spirit, thereby offsetting sin's pandemic and lethal infection in the flesh that is generic to all of humankind.  With the denial of self and the taking up of their cross daily, the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ are beginning to cut off the autonomous rule of their flesh, and are not allowing gross sin to continue to flourish and manifest its independent self serving ways of gratification.  Sin's deception will always try to justify itself in the corrupted roots of our minds.  But, everyone who names the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, must depart from their wickedness.  (2nd Timothy 2 verse 19.)  While it is exceedingly prudent to exercise the denial of the will of sin, it is also incumbent upon us to follow the Master's full instructions that leads to eternal Life with in Him. 

It is an inescapable fact: The nature of sin and death remains rooted within the flesh of all of the children of men, saved by God's grace or otherwise.  Each one of us grownup children is carrying a life long laundry list of of dirty underwear within the tattered bulging baggage of our individualistic minds.  Therefore, Paul rightly calls out: O wretched man that I am!  Who will save me from this body of death.  I thank God for Jesus Christ our Lord!  Paul's continuing thoughts on this matter are amplified for contextual understanding.  So then with my mind [conscience], I serve the [good] commandments of God [the Decalogue], (See Ephesians 4 verse 23.) but with the flesh, the [other] law of sin and death [that is still present in the flesh of our thinking]. (See Romans 7 verse 21 thru 25.) And Jesus called the multitude, and said unto them; Hear, and understand: It is not that which goes into the mouth that defiles a man; but that which comes out of the mouth, this [is what] defiles a man.  Then came His disciples, and said unto Him:  Do you not know that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?  But Jesus answered and said: Every plant, which My heavenly Father has not planted, shall be rooted up.  Those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.  For out of the heart proceeds evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defiles a man: (See Matthew 3 verse 10 thru 20.)  The defilement of man is already present, and is revealed by what proceeds out of the mouth.

By the inspiration of  Faith, Paul recognizes for himself, the substitutionary crucifixion death and burial of Jesus Christ for the sins of mankind, and that for his own damnable self serving sin.  Upon initiating God's Gift of justifying Faith, Paul sees himself as having died with Christ Jesus, and yet he is made alive within the Lord's resurrection into the eternal Life of Christ's righteousness.  The condemnation of sin unto death, is no longer being cultivated in the renewed spirit of Paul's mind, and is being denied control, but nevertheless, sin's selfish desires remain rooted in the dark recesses of His brain, awaiting its own desired release to do its own will.  When our failure to deny the will of sin does happen, and sin comes to the surface revealing its deep rooting within the substance of our being, then we are to acknowledge our failures and appeal to God and His mercy.  That mercy for confessed sin is always found in the Lord Jesus Christ, the very WORD of GOD, for God has provided His very own eternal Antidote within His Holy Provisions in Communion for the Lord's Body of believers, through the sanctifying Blood of the New Covenant.  This is My Blood of the New Covenant poured out for many for the remission of sin.  Do this in remembrance of Me [that is Who I AM].  Every plant, which My heavenly Father has not planted, shall be rooted up.  Those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.

Again we say, it is vitally important to follow all of the Lord's instructions to the fullest, so as to enjoy the fullness of our Communion with God's Spirit and with each other in His sinless Body.  In a healthy body, even as the whole blood, with its defensive white cells and antibodies, tries to ward off and destroy antigens or foreign viral or bacterial invaders that would compromise the integrity of our physical bodies, so then likewise in the spiritual Body of Jesus Christ, the Holy New Covenant Blood of our Lord not only defends, but in our acknowledged repentance, reveals and abates the control of sin within the souls of the members of His Body, through a Love that surpasses our natural understanding.

However, be very careful of that sanctifying Blood, for it is Holy, coming from the Holy Spirit of Life in Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the last Son of Man/Adam, Who was wholly dedicated in His Love for the Father to do the Will of His Holy Father God.  If a person continually follows after the will of wicked sin that is in their corrupted flesh, they will surely perish, and the Holy Covenant Life Blood of Jesus Christ, will judge them in the end.  (See Hebrews 10 verse 26 thru 31.)  But, if a person follows the Will of the Spirit of Life within Christ Jesus, then they shall surely partake of that sanctifying New Covenant Life Blood of Jesus Christ and the Power of God's Perfect Love, now in the present, and in the Life to come.  It is not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the LORD of hosts.  So then it is not of him that wills, nor of him that runs, but of God that leads in His Love and mercy.  (See Zachariah 4 verse 6 and Romans 9 verse 16.) But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds, which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, Whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so then, being justified by His grace, we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3 verse 4 thru 7.) For there are Three that bear Witness [of God's Love and Mercy], the Spirit and the Water and the Blood, and these Three are ONE.

Yeshuah (Jesus) says: Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: For the tree is known by his fruit. (In Context see  Matthew 12 verse 32 thru 34.) For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. (Galatians 6 verse 3.) It is not our goodness that commends ourselves to God, but it is God's goodness in Jesus Christ that reaches out to save us from our selves that we might be grafted into the Tree of Life in Christ Jesus.  That Tree is goodness Himself, and we need to be abiding partakers in the richness and fatness of Jesus Christ's eternal roots of righteousness, and forsake our natural roots in the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  Abide in Me, and I in you.  As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; No more can you, except you abide in Me.  I AM the Vine, you are the branches: He that abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: For without Me you can do nothing.  (John 15 verse 4 thru 5.)  And you shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth his fruit in his season: His leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he does shall prosper. (Psalm 1 verse 3.)(See also Jeremiah 17 verse 7 thru 8.) If Jesus Christ is the Vine, then know for a certainty that He is the Root of the Vine Who sends forth His instructions for Life and the enablement of the branches to bear the Fruit of God's Spirit. (See Galatians 5 verse 22 thru 26.)

To proceed to the next chapter, please click on The Potential in the Tree of Life.

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Robert Glenn Pratten