Living in the Truman Show
Have you seen “The Truman Show?” The concept behind the movie is a very interesting one indeed. A television network adopts a newborn and raises him on live television. His entire world, his life, his whole existence has been created specifically for him. He has lived his entire life in an artificial world, but to Truman it is the only world he has ever known. It is his reality. And if the producer of the show had his way, Truman would have never known any different. After years of being on the air, Truman begins to realize that things aren't as they seem. Through sheer determination Truman finally manages to escape his manufactured world and he steps into our world - this world that we call reality.
Now, let's take a look at this world we live in. It's the only world we know. And if the “producer” of this world had his way we'd never know any different. The producer, or ruler of this world is Satan and he has taken great pains in orchestrating history to try and obscure reality from humanity's conscious. From the beginning of time Satan has desired to be the god of this world and in many ways he has been quite successful. No, there aren't vast hoards of Satanists wandering around, but there are multitudes across the face of the earth who deny the one, true God. Paraphrasing the words of Jesus, if you aren't for God, you're against God. If you're against God you're looking at spending eternity separated from God and His love. Not a pleasant prospect.
Now, exactly how has Satan manipulated mankind throughout the ages to try and usurp God? From the beginning of time he has used the same strategy over and over again, packaged in various forms. It started in the garden of Eden when Satan, in the guise of a serpent, told Eve that if she ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that she would be like God. Wow! What an ego booster that would be - to be like God! Satan has been massaging men's egos with that lie for a very long time.
Satan has also taken aim at the one source that exposes him for what he is - the Bible. He has been trying to discredit the Word of God from the beginning as well. That's how he got Eve to take that famous bite. He twisted God's Word, mixing the truth with deception. Satan has also taken it upon himself to try and wipe out the lineage of the Messiah who was promised in Genesis, chapter 3. We see the beginning of the genealogical pollution in Genesis, chapter 6. Once the Messiah, Jesus, came, Satan tried to thwart His plan while He walked the earth. Now that we are on the other side of the cross and Jesus' resurrection, Satan is trying to wipe out the only people who can ask the Messiah to return and establish His kingdom on earth - the Jews. (For further study on this and other pertinent topics for today, please visit KHouse.org.)
That is a highly simplistic overview of what's been happening. But how would anyone ever know that what's going on in the world isn't as real as it seems? Well, there's only one way to discover the truth and that is by having a relationship with Truth Himself - Jesus, the Way the Truth and the Life (John 14:6). When a person asks Jesus to forgive him or her of their sins and to become Lord of their life, something happens in what we call the supernatural realm. Our name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life. Our transgressions are wiped clean and God remembers them no more. We become a citizen of the kingdom of God. We become God's child. You might think that these are just nice, “churchy” phrases, but they are very real - more real, in fact, than what we can see or feel in this world in which we live. When we accept Christ and receive God's Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit guides us into all truth and we begin to see and understand God's reality.
In the television and movie series “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” there is something on board the Enterprise called a holodeck. It can be programmed to simulate any place imaginable. And the simulation appears just as real to those who enter the holodeck as their own reality.
This world in which we live, though it appears quite real, is not the one, true reality. It is not the be all and end all of our existence. This world is the result of sin entering into a perfect universe. For centuries ancient rabbis have determined from Scripture that our universe was originally formed in a minimum of ten dimensions and that when sin entered the universe six were curled in to minute spaces that today can only be inferred by quantum physicists, and the four dimensions that we live in remained (height, width, depth and time). So, as I stated earlier, our world is not the one, true reality.
If that's the case, why does the prevalent thought of our time go something like this: “This is all there is to life, so make the most of it while you're here!” The answer is as old as the universe itself. Let's take a quick look at what happened at the beginning of time.
Everything was going along quite smoothly in eternity past when Lucifer (or Satan, meaning “adversary”) got it in his heart that he could take the place of the Most High God (Isaiah 14:12-14). In Genesis we see God reforming the earth that was without form and void. God created Adam and then formed Eve from Adam's own flesh. When Eve was deceived by Satan in the Garden, and when Adam willfully disobeyed God by following Eve's lead, something happened to reality. Suddenly Adam and his wife knew they were naked, and they were ashamed. Prior to the entrance of sin in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve had unfettered fellowship with God. Afterwards, everything changed. And from that point on we, the descendants of Adam and Eve, have needed to make atonement for our unrighteousness and sin nature in order to have fellowship with God and to secure our place with Him in eternity to come. Satan knows where he's headed when the final curtain falls on history - “And I saw an angel coming down out of Heaven, having the key of the abyss, and a great chain on his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, the old serpent who is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and threw him into the abyss, and shut him up, and sealed over him, that he should not still lead astray the nations, until the thousand years are fulfilled. And after these things, he must be set loose a little time.” - Rev. 20:1-3
Satan's sole purpose since his appearance in the Garden of Eden has been to prevent God's plan of redemption from taking place, to make as many people as possible miserable here on earth and to keep as many people as possible from entering into a redemptive relationship with God through His Messiah, Jesus. One of his most effective weapons in this war of deception has been to convince people that this world and this life is all that there is, because if there is no life hereafter why would you need salvation through Jesus? You wouldn't be headed for heaven or hell, you'd just die and, depending on the popular view of the day, either “go to sleep” or be reincarnated and come back to earth as your own grandchild or some such nonsense. (Please note that Scripture makes it quite clear that once a person has passed away they can neither come back as a “ghost” or be reincarnated into a new body. Hebrews 9:27 clearly disputes the notion of reincarnation - “And as it is reserved to men once to die, and after this, Judgment; so Christ having been once offered "to bear the sins of many," Christ shall appear a second time without sin to those expecting Him for salvation.” I have included verse 28 also.)
This world is filled with Satan's sour grapes for God. Satan knows he's already lost and he knows where he's going.
Just as Truman began to question the reality of his world and sought the truth, we must do the same. We must embrace God's Truth, study the Scriptures and turn away from what the world would have us believe is truth. Press in to God and you'll be living in the freedom of His reality in no time!