Mutiny is a battleground for “sound”. It is all about whose voice is in control.
One of the definitions of mutiny is to “push away” … which is what we do when we try to “silence God”.
Mutiny against God is an attempt to remove the all-seeing eye of the divine from our lives, but it is doomed to failure, because God is the source of the air we breathe, the creator of the lungs that do the breathing, and the judge of the sounds we make with each breath.
“Mutiny” is a central theme in the bible and is key to understanding our relationship with God. It is the underlying context of every setting and the background to every conversation. It is the thread through time that binds Jesus to the earth and it governs our connection to the spirit world. Everything that happens is viewed within the framework of the memory of mutiny.
The opening scenes in the bible describe at least 4 critical mutinies that take place within the first 6 chapters of Genesis. They set the stage for all future dialogue between God and creation, and temper the choices of each.
1st MUTINY - HEAVEN
No one likes to talk about it, but there was a mutiny in heaven.
Jesus said that the devil “fell like lightening”.
Luke 10:18 (KJV)
And He [Jesus] said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
When the devil decided to challenge God’s throne, the reaction in heaven was instantaneous. In an instant the devil was gone! It was a lesson in Electricity 101. The experience would have been somewhat similar to the moment that a high power transmission line with thousands of volts in it, arcs or shorts to ground. I wonder how much of heaven lit up with the blue glow of lightening?
Expelling the devil from heaven did not require a separate thought on behalf of God, it was simply the result of how heaven was designed. Try to “silence God” and you are gone! It is amazing that the devil survived at all, and an insight into the magnanimous grace that God has towards us when we challenge the nature of God.
With a sweep of his tail, the devil took a third of the angels in heaven with him, which tells us that the settings for the other angels had already become loose. It is a cautionary lesson about guarding our values.
Revelation 12:4,9 (KJV)
4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.
9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
The devil wasn’t happy about being thrown out of heaven and made a point to try and “silence God’s voice” on the earth. The devil wanted to invoke the same judgement on the rest of God’s creation, hoping that God would do the same to the earth as God did to him. His plan was to plummet creation into a state of mutiny.
In Genesis 3, the devil enters the Garden of Eden and casts just enough doubt to trigger a push away from God. His quotes show how he uses scripture to bait the hook.
Genesis 3:1 (KJV)
Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
2nd MUTINY - THE FORMLESS VOID
The opening verses in Genesis paint a picture of the Spirit of God hovering above the "formless void" of the earth.
At first reading it seems like God is hovering over an empty planet of rock, much like a meteor, or over an uninhabited landscape, but a closer look at the words "formless void" tells a much different story.
The word "void" in Genesis 1:2 does not mean a “physical” void, it means a “spiritual” one.
It refers to a blank cheque that has been cancelled. It tells us that there was a civilization on the earth that used to cash their cheques in heaven, but that something terrible happened to end that relationship. There was a “mutiny” against God on the earth that was powerful enough to cause God to write "VOID" across an entire chapter of existence.
Instead of a blank palette, the setting in Genesis 1 is one of chaos and utter destruction. The bird’s-eye view describes a “write-off”, a “darkness” that comes from absolute desolation.
I do not know if it looked like a war zone after the war was lost, but it was enough for God to say that what used to be there, was past the point of survival.
Genesis 1:1,2 (KJV)
1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was WITHOUT FORM, and VOID; and DARKNESS was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
The opening scene in the bible of past ruin and chaos is the setting in which God planted a garden to put Adam and Eve in. It was placed in the “east” which is a sign used in the bible to signify “judgement”. The garden had boundaries and was a haven of blessings and protection, separate from the VOID. It is important to note that Eden was not a garden by todays standards, but consisted of many thousands of square kilometres, from which life-giving streams fed and flowed into the rest of the earth.
Genesis 2:8 (KJV)
And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
The mutiny that took place before Adam and Eve arrived, gives us a glimpse into the entire premise for their creation. This was not God’s first rodeo, so to speak, but rather a part of a very long, thought-out journey. The entire story of Adam and Eve is predicated on the failure of past generation(s) to make a lasting connection with God.
Adam and Eve’s story began after a previous VOID, and they were a part of a plan of redemption, put in place before the foundation of the earth, to be a part of a rescue mission for future acts of mutiny. Their’s was a “RE-beginning” designed to enable their descendants, over time, to intermingle with the blood sacrifice of Jesus, to create a “way back” from any future attempts to disconnect from God.
3rd MUTINY - ADAM and EVE
Mutiny #1 and #2 are the backdrop to the story of Adam and Eve, who were a part of a much bigger plan designed to address the cycle of sin. The new plan had to be able to both judge and save.
Even though Adam and Eve eventually chose independence from God, and invoked a mutiny of their own, and almost forced another VOID on the earth, the plan of redemption was already in place. Had it not been for the pre-determined life of Jesus that would one day save the world, their bible story would have ended there.
Adam and Eve slid from perfection to rejection, and after a series of judgments, they were given what they asked for … separation from God.
Genesis 3:23,24 (KJV)
23 Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
Adam and Eve were unrepentant, and were therefore prevented from touching the Tree of Life. It would have been the end of them. After leaving Eden, their lives became exponentially more difficult and their children dove deeper and deeper into a life of strife. Soon the moniker of deception and murder were upon their heads and the tipping point of God’s grace had been reached.
Adam and Eve tried to “silence God” by siding with the deceiver. I don’t think that their hearts were really in it, as was the devil’s intentions in heaven, but the result was almost the same. If it wasn’t for God’s plan of redemption, they too would have been lost forever.
It is interesting to note how “powerful” Adam and Eve were, in that God had to post angelic creatures with flaming swords to keep them from re-entering Eden. The understanding about sin is that “once you are out - you are out for good”, because heaven can not have its “holiness” turned on and off like a light switch. Nor can holiness be dampened or dialled back.
God is not just the embodiment of holiness … God is the author of it. Even God cannot dial-back a “definition” of a truth without defrauding it altogether, which was obviously not an option.
The Holiness of God is not something that can be compromised, and it is a wonder that after they left Eden, Adam and Eve were able to survive on a such a thin supply-line of God’s mercy. In contrast, the devil had been cut off completely, and to this day, survives on an ever dwindling set of almost expired batteries.
Adam and Eve learned, as did the devil, that mutiny against God is an expensive choice.
4th MUTINY - NOAH's GENERATION
The timing for Jesus’ birth was a long way off and therefore Noah was selected to carry the next generation over the horizon, as the founding father of Abraham’s family line. Historians say that Noah and his generation were alive during the life of Methuselah, who was alive during the life of Adam and Eve. Noah would have had the privilege of hearing detailed stories about Adam and Eve’s experiences with God, and what it was like before and after the Garden of Eden. Those stories must have been thrilling and harrowing.
When Noah’s community plummeted into darkness, and he knew that God was planning an escape, he may have thought, “Here we go again!”, referring to the experiences of his ancestors. Then, as the rains began to fall and the earth’s wells opened up from beneath, Noah and his family were sealed into the ark, as a remnant of God’s mercy.
Genesis 6:5-8 (KJV)
5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
6 And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
7 And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.
8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
Noah did not just carry his family and surviving animals past the line of the 4th mutiny, he also carried the gene that would make mutiny happen over and over again. Recognizing this, God made a covenant with Noah to shepherd civilization past the point of no return.
Genesis 9:12-17 (KJV)
12 And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:
13 I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.
14 And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:
15 And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.
16 And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.
17 And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.
From this point on, God would look at the earth and remember the VOID, but also remember the covenant in the rainbow.
WHAT IS MUTINY?
Mutiny IS the deliberate act of trying to silence God’s Voice. It is knowing who God is and trying to shut God down.
Mutiny is also the act of counterfeiting God for the purpose of baiting and harming others.
WHAT IS NOT MUTINY?
Mutiny is NOT the act of asking questions. We were designed to have an inquisitive nature.
Mutiny is NOT a state of mis-understanding, or disillusionment. We were designed to establish a relationship with God that mends brokenness.
There is a caution however, because God is not impressed when people who should know better, question God’s power. As an example, John the Baptist’s father, a high priest, had his voice taken away when he questioned the prophesy of Gabriel.
Mutiny is NOT wondering if there is a God, because wonder actually attracts the Spirit of God. Many people have looked up at the stars and wondered who made them, and received an answer from God.
Mutiny is NOT the act of wondering what God is like. The priests of the Old Testament were trained to approach the inner “Holy of Holies” with a sense of wonder, and to pose questions to God from that point of view.
Mutiny is NOT the act of standing up for what you believe in. We are supposed to defy darkness and defend what is uniquely ours.
We live in a post-mutinous world, and it would be an understatement to say that God is sensitive to the sound of “mutiny”.
It has played such an integral part in the history of creation, and counter-measures to mutiny have cost heaven a great deal, specifically the blood of Jesus. Mutiny is therefore what our words and behaviours are measured against.
The primary attribute of mutiny is “sound”, because sound precedes action. Our “sound” is our signature, and one day computers will use it instead of facial recognition and passwords to confirm our identity. The bottom line is that we need to be “quick” to sound like God.
This essay is NOT a call to”shut up”, rather it is a call to be more vocal and to govern our sounds more effectively.
The world is turning the corner of a new era in which everything that has been swept under the rug for many thousands of years, is being brought out into the light and evaluated … a process that is long overdue.
We still have a long ways to go, and as a species we are often on the very edge of mutiny. However, thanks to God there is a plan of redemption.