Chapter 26 Meanings

Adam’s Peace

“Adam had … envisioned himself crashing into the banquet hall, clutching the Ruler by the arm, and beseeching him to come with him to the orchard. … But now, as they strolled along the path to the cottage, all his anxieties settled behind the solemnity of the moment. Peace fell upon him as he watched the swaying treetops massage the sky in the cool breeze. As urgent as his concern for Abigail was, he sensed the Ruler could be trusted to carry that anxiety while Adam faced the momentous occasion at hand.”

This illustrates Jesus’ promise of peace to those who come to him.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28-30).

The Foyer

The entry to the cottage features a series of plaques detailing how all things came to be and how the half-real world became broken and lost its connection with reality. This is the book of Genesis.

The Ten-Sided Room

Each of the ten walls emitted a different color. This room is the law of God, which is based on the Ten Commandments. God’s law reflects his will, which is an expression of his nature.

On each of the walls hung a mirror. This illustrates the fact that God’s Word exposes the reader’s heart like a mirror (James 1:23).

“Utterly condemned, his lungs still drew air but in the truest sense, he was dead. This room had killed him by showing him that on the inside, in the ways that matter most, he had been dead all his life.”

This illustrates the condemning ministry of God’s law.

“For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good. Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful” (Romans 7:11-13).

The Blood Room

The blood room is the place where the Father slaughtered the Ruler as he bore the punishment for his people’s sins.

This illustrates the cross, where it was the Lord’s will to crush Jesus (Isaiah 53:10) as a sacrifice for our sins (1 Peter 2:24).

The Promise Room

Multiple padlocks and deadbolts sealed the promise room, and only the Ruler could gain entry. This is to show that our access to God’s promises comes only through Christ (2 Corinthians 1:20).

The room contained people at rest and people carrying out great projects. It is in trusting God’s promises that we find rest (Isaiah 26:3) and perform mighty deeds (Matthew 17:20).

That the room had no floor illustrates the need to trust the Lord. Only by trusting him can one remain in the realm of God’s promises (Ephesians 1:18-19).

Chapters 27-28 Meanings

The Promise Room (cont’d)

“The Ruler’s smile lit up the entire promise room as Adam walked to him across the floorless expanse without sinking an inch.”

The most fundamental way we can please the Lord is by trusting him (Hebrews 11:6).

Adam faces a test of faith when he is forced to choose between his greatest desire (returning to his family) and being with the Ruler. The story of the treasure in the field (Matthew 13:44) shows him it is joy that drives a person to forsake all he has in exchange for the Lord, because the Lord is worth so much more.

“Use the Mirrors”

Anzu chastises Dagon, the demon assigned to Adam, saying, “You had one job.” All Satanic attacks really boil down to one objective: destroy our faith. Unless Satan can get us to lay down the shield of faith, all the rest of his efforts are useless because faith extinguishes his burning arrows (Ephesians 6:16).

Anzu instructs Dagon to use the mirrors. The law of God is designed to condemn the unbeliever and drive him to Christ. But Satan also tempts us to use the law in a legalistic, self-justifying way (Dagon tempts Adam with thoughts like, “I’ve never killed anyone …”).

Sift You as Wheat

The Ruler warns Adam of an enemy who has the power to sift him as wheat. This phrase comes from the warning Jesus gave Peter in Luke 22:31. Satan is powerful, and if we lay down the shield of faith, he makes short work of us.

Trust in Christ’s Work Alone

The Ruler’s penetrating gaze lays bare Adam’s self-justifying thoughts, illustrating God’s examination of our hearts (1 Samuel 16:7).

“Adam, he who justifies himself will have himself as a defense and no other. But he who comes defenseless—I will plead his case.”

When God is angry with us, the only remedy is God himself pleading our case (Micah 7:9). Self-justification results in condemnation (Luke 18:9-14).

Salvation

When Adam trusts the Ruler more than he trusts himself, the Ruler is elated and gives Adam the blue fluid, which stands for grace. In this case, saving grace (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Then the adjacent room erupts with celebration. This illustrates the rejoicing of God and his angels over each repentant sinner (Luke 15:10).

Adam then looks in the mirror again and discovers he now resembles the Ruler. This illustrates the washing and transformation that takes place at conversion (1 Corinthians 6:11). The new self is a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), created to be like God (Ephesians 4:24).

The Ruler then promises Adam that as he walks with the wind, he will grow deeper into this new identity. The Christian life is a process of becoming more and more what we already are (Ephesians 5:8).

The Ruler assures Adam that all his past wrongs are forgiven and the Father’s anger is erased.

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalms 103:12).

“All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions— it is by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:3-5).

“… You turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead— Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath” (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10).

Adam is now the Ruler’s brother.

“Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers” (Hebrews 2:11).

“His love for you is now just like his love for me, because when you trust me, you are connected to me in the Father’s eyes—grace by association.”

This illustrates the concept of our being in Christ. Our association with Christ is so close that all the Father’s favor on Christ lands also on us. See John 17:23, Ephesians 2:7, and 1 Corinthians 1:30 as a few of many, many passages that speak of us receiving favor from the Father because we are “in Christ.”

Study Questions

QUESTION 1

Even unbelievers can read the Bible and understand the meaning of the words and sentences. So what aspects of Bible study require divine intervention? See 1 Corinthians 2:14-16; Psalm 119:18; 2 Timothy 2:7.

MY ANSWER

Unbelievers can understand the meaning, but they can’t accept it or welcome it into their hearts. They can’t love it as the reflection of the heart of God or gain insight from it to see the glory of God.

QUESTION 2

In what sense is the Bible a source of light? See Psalm 36:9; 119:105, 2 Corinthians 4:4–6, Psalm 119:130.

MY ANSWER

Ps.36 & 2 Cor.4 – Scripture enables us to perceive and experience aspects of God’s nature that are otherwise inaccessible to us. And seeing his glory gives us spiritual life.

Ps.119 – Scripture guides us to be able to navigate life in God’s way.

QUESTION 3

If the Creator of the world is good, why is there so much evil, suffering, and death? See Genesis 3:1-19.

MY ANSWER

God did not create the world with evil, suffering, and death. What he created was only good. Evil arose with man’s sin and God’s curse in response to man’s sin.

QUESTION 4

What role does the Holy Spirit play in the Scriptures? See 2 Peter 1:21; 1 Corinthians 2:14.

MY ANSWER

The Spirit “carried” the writers of Scripture along in such a way that those men were not the originators of Scripture. They wrote what was in their minds—what they wanted to communicate to their readers, but the Holy Spirit saw to it that what they wrote was his Word.

Having inspired Scripture, the Holy Spirit then works in the hearts of believers to enable them to receive and accept the truth of God’s Word.

QUESTION 5

God’s people have a deep love for God’s law (Psalm 119:47-48). What is the connection between loving God and loving his law? See Psalm 25:14.

MY ANSWER

They are often interchangeable in Scripture. God’s Word is the expression of his very heart. It’s the communication of his intentions and purposes. What he loves and what he hates. Nothing is more essential to his being than his Word. It is impossible to love God without delighting in his Word.

QUESTION 6

What role does meditation play in Bible study? See Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:2-3; 2 Timothy 2:7.

MY ANSWER

Meditation is the key to getting from knowing to doing. Just as food provides no benefit until it is digested, so it is with the spiritual food of God’s Word. Mediation is how we make God’s Word part of us.

QUESTION 7

In what way does the Word of God function like a mirror? See James 1:22–25.

MY ANSWER

Just as a mirror reveals what is out of order and needs attention in your physical appearance, so the Bible reveals what needs correction in your soul.

QUESTION 8

God’s law makes our sin appear “utterly sinful” in our eyes (Romans 7:13). Why is this a good thing?

MY ANSWER

It is only when we see the severity of our sin problem that we will be capable of true repentance. It was only when the law put Paul to death that he was broken enough to rely on Christ alone for righteousness.

QUESTION 9

What knowledge about God is embedded in the soul of every person? See Romans 1:19-20. If everyone knows this, why does it seem new to people when they first accept it? See Romans 1:18.

MY ANSWER

God’s eternal power and divine nature are plain to all people, along with the fact that God is the Creator. But it doesn’t seem like common knowledge to many because mankind has suppressed that knowledge.

QUSETION 10

What do unbelievers know about what their sin deserves? See Romans 1:32.

MY ANSWER

Deep down, they know they deserve to die for their sin.

QUESTION 11

Why is it impossible for us to atone for our own sin? See Jeremiah 13:23; Psalm 51:4-7.

MY ANSWER

Our sinfulness is part of our nature, like spots on a leopard. We have a sin nature from conception.

Also, our sin is against God, so only God can forgive us and cleanse us. If someone owes you a debt, that person cannot forgive the debt. Only you can.

QUESTION 12

In what way does the law of God put a person to death? See Romans 7:7-13.

MY ANSWER

The law of God reveals God’s nature, which is the standard for goodness. When an unbeliever tries to conform to that standard, he experiences hopeless failure. The more this happens, the more the person is driven to the point of despairing of being able to be what he should be. Being right with God seems so hopeless, all self-confidence is lost. His spiritual existence was dead all along, but when he reaches this point of despair, he finally realizes his own spiritual deadness. At that point, his only option is to humble himself and seek mercy from God.

QUESTION 13

The law is essential for showing us our condemned state and teaching us the will of God, but that’s not enough. What was the law powerless to do, and why? Galatians 3:21; Romans 8:3.

MY ANSWER

The law is powerless to make us righteous because it has no ability to transform our sinful nature (the flesh). Only the grace that comes through faith in Christ can do that.

QUESTION 14

Sometimes people debate whether it was the Jews or Romans who put Jesus to death. Both were involved (Acts 3:15; 4:27), but who was the primary actor in putting Jesus to death? See Isaiah 53:10; Acts 4:27-28).

MY ANSWER

God the Father.

QUSETION 15

Some theologians argue that Jesus’ death was not substitutionary (in our place), but that it was merely an example for us. Did Jesus suffer punishment in our place? See Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24.

MY ANSWER

Yes. Without question, Jesus was punished for our sin in our place as a substitutionary sacrifice. Were there also other factors—such as Jesus providing an example for us to follow? Yes. But that does not negate the clear statements in Scripture about the substitutionary sacrifice.

QUESTION 16

Is it possible that hell is a place of temporary punishment where people eventually go out of existence? See Matthew 25:46; Revelation 20:10.

MY ANSWER

No, it is not. The eternality of the punishment in hell is the same as the eternality of the life in heaven.

QUESTION 17

Sometimes people assume that since God knew beforehand who would be saved, those people were never really on their way to hell. Some even suggest that our sins were forgiven 2000 years ago. What does the Bible say about our condition prior to the time we placed our faith in Christ? At what point was our sin actually forgiven? See Ephesians 2:3-5.

MY ANSWER

It says we were, by nature, objects of God’s wrath. Prior to our conversion, we were most definitely on our way to hell.

QUESTION 18

What was our fate apart from Christ’s intervention? See Romans 2:5; Matthew 13:50; 24:51.

MY ANSWER

The wrath of God, judgment, punishment, and eternal fiery torture.

QUESTION 19

Who is subject to the threat of hell, and how is one rescued from that threat? Matthew 5:29, 25:31–46, Luke 12:4–5, and John 3:16–18.

MY ANSWER

People who continue in unrepentant sins, such as failing to treat believers the way Christ deserves to be treated. To avoid hell, one must fear God and trust the Lord Jesus Christ enough to follow him (which requires trusting him more than you trust yourself).

QUESTION 20

In what sense was Jesus able to recover from the punishment we would not have been able to recover from? See John 10:18; 2:19,21.

MY ANSWER

Jesus had the power and authority to raise himself from the dead.

Scripture also says God the Father raised him from the dead, which shows the Father accepted Jesus’ sacrifice. If we died for our own sin, we would not have been raised to life.

QUESTION 21

What is our responsibility to those around us who are subject to the threat of condemnation? See Ezekiel 33:2–6; Proverbs 24:11–12; 2 Corinthians 5:11.

MY ANSWER

Our responsibility is to warn them, so their blood will not be on our hands. But it is not enough to simply give a disinterested warning, not caring how the person responds. The warning we give should be as persuasive as we can make it.

QUESTION 22

What access do people have to God’s promises apart from Christ? See 2 Corinthians 1:20, James 1:6-8.

MY ANSWER

None. God gives many gifts of grace to unbelievers (Matthew 5:45). But he does not promise those gifts to them. He does promise them to us. And the promise makes a huge difference, because we can count on them. If I know for sure I have a benefit coming in the future, I can enjoy it from now until then through anticipation. Unbelievers don’t have that.

And many of the gifts we have access to, unbelievers never receive (such as forgiveness of sins and eternal life). Those gifts are only accessible to those who are in Christ.

QUESTION 23

Why is it impossible to be saved apart from faith in Christ? See Hebrews 11:6; Titus 1:15.

MY ANSWER

Unbelievers can do things that are better than other things. But no unbeliever can ever do something so good that it is pure in God’s eyes. Even our best works are tainted with evil. Apart from Christ, there is no sacrifice to cover that evil, so nothing we do can ever please God.

QUESTION 24

What one virtue enables both rest and ability to accomplish great things? See Isaiah 26:3-4; Mark 11:23.

MY ANSWER

Trust.

QUESTION 25

Make a list of the benefits that come from trusting God’s promises in the following passages: Isaiah 26:3, Psalm 13:5, 28:7, 31:6–7, 32:10, 52:8, 56:4, 84:12, Proverbs 28:25, 29:25, Jeremiah 17:7–8, Romans 4:5, 2 Corinthians 1:24, Galatians 3:14, 2 Corinthians 6:17–7:1, 2 Peter 1:4, Romans 4:20–21, Mark 9:23.

MY ANSWER

Perfect peace, joy, strength, protection, help, God’s compassion, God’s love, courage, blessing, prosperity, flourishing, justification, steadfastness, participation in the divine nature and escape from the world’s corruption, the ability to glorify God, everything God is willing to give you.

QUESTION 26

Suppose a person is very religious, sincere, kind to others, generous, honest, hard–working, and does his best to be a good person, but does not trust in Jesus Christ. According to the following passages, what will happen to him on Judgment Day? Romans 10:13–14; John 3:16–18; 8:24.