In the previous post, I presented one of two scenes from The Iron Giant animated feature that relate to pharmakeia, the Greek word for drug spells, enchantments and sorceries featured in Revelation 18:23. There was nothing particularly subtle about that drug ploy, but the scene I'm about to address is very subtle. While the drug use is obvious, the role it plays in the movie plot is not.
The scene presents nine year old Hogarth subjecting himself to the influence of a drug. The drug of choice is caffeine. While under the influence he hears a philosophical maxim and accepts it as truth. This is passed on to the iron giant and subsequently becomes the key to the salvation of the lives of men at the climax of the movie. I believe this is a lie that will induce many to accept the mark of the Beast!
As the story goes, Hogarth visits the scrap yard where he is trying to hide the iron giant. He has not yet told Dean McCoppen, the proprietor, about the iron giant. While there, Hogarth persuades Dean to make espresso for him, which Dean describes as like coffee-zilla. The effect on Hogarth as he drinks it is played up with humor as the caffeine buzz make him pace about and talk really fast. When he chatters on about how his peers at school view him, it's in this state of over stimulation that the cool and calm hipster passes on his philosophy. Hogarth stops pacing and sits down across from Dean. "Is there any more coffee?" (See image on right.) Here's Dean's response, delivered while Hogarth gives him his full attention.
"Look, its really none of my business kid, but, uh, who cares what these creeps think, you know? They don't decide who you are, you do. You are who you choose to be!"
"You are who you choose to be." Really? No. That's a presumptuous and arrogant statement that shows utter disregard for the sovereignty of God!
13) Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit."
14) Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.
15) Instead, you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that."
16) But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.
Does that support Dean's philosophy? Does vapor need to be empowered?
31) Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
32) And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
33) They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?
34) Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
35) And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.
36) If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
If you simply are who you choose to be, what need is there of being free, of continuing in Y'shua's word? Is there no value in knowing the truth?
Certainly, there are choices some can make in life that don't run afoul through boastful arrogance. There is at times a range of options that are fully within the Lord's will. Could Hogarth be something other than "a shrimpy dork who thinks he's smarter than them," which is the immediate context of the delivery of the aphorism. Perhaps. Extending that further, could he be a doctor or a lawyer? Eventually, possibly. Could he be Miss America? Could he be a Navajo or a Watusi? Well, no. Even where there may be options, there are still limits.
Are the children targeted as the cartoon's audience likely to analyze the statement like I've done? No, they generally just accept it at face value. They won't understand how to assess real limits, and they are encouraged to boast in their arrogance, which is evil. This same maxim, by the way, is taught in our government schools.
Given that the movie is a clever set-up for the mark of the Beast and that the ultimate goal of pharmakeia is to facilitate the serpent's procreative scheme, let's consider the maxim in that context.
If you are who you choose to be, you can accept the mark now and enjoy the perceived benefits. Then, later, if you change your mind you can reject the mark, choosing to be an unmarked person. If you really are who you choose to be, why not? The problem here that is that Hogarth couldn't choose to be a Watusi, and no one choosing to accept the mark, after receiving it can repent of it. No one so marked can choose to become an unmarked person. Will some have this philosophy in mind when they are offered the mark and make their big decision? Oh yeah.
And, that all presumes one actually has the option of rejecting the mark, which will NOT be the reality for many. If one continues in life boastfully following what is presumed to be their own "self-directed" plans, they are in truth sinning and, as a servant of sin, are therefore not free. How then will they (you?) decline the mark of the Beast when it's offered?
In the NIV, 1 John 5:19 is rendered, "We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one." This is well put, because the Greek word keimai here means "lies in the power of the evil one, i.e. is held in subjection by the devil."
The freedom most think they have is an illusion. Of this, I am absolutely convinced. To get a better grasp of the really important subject at hand I highly recommend doing a word study on exousia, meaning, "power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases." If you already have but it was some time ago, you may be surprised at what insight you'll glean as you take another look.
This movie is really an excellent resource for teaching about pharmakeia, and this scene in particular which really lays it out for us. The Revealer of Secrets Y'shua is so generous to open this up for us, exposing the handiwork of the deceiver!
More to follow, Lord willing!