The nature of the beast (creature) refers to the inherent tendency that each group of creatures have in regards to their interaction with others.
In the natural realm, such creatures as animals, reptiles, birds, and fish have various types of natures that motivate some to be aggressive and violent, whereas others are, by nature, tolerant and passive.
Accordingly, some creatures within the natural realm make more friendly pets than others. Some require more restraints and confinement than others. Some require more attention and input by their human masters.
Depending on the nature of the beasts involved, there is always the possibility that the true nature of an otherwise domesticated beast can be stimulated, resulting in property damage and/or serious and even fatal injury to Man.
These responses can take place when provoked by Man, and in some cases, when they are not intentionally provoked by Man.
Certain scents, body language, or other stimuli can solicit an unexpected reaction or response from a creature based on its past experiences or from the inherent nature of the beast.
Man has been able to “tame” some of the most aggressive of beasts, but even the most tolerant and passive domesticated or trained animal can be roused to violence when it senses a threat to its safety or well-being of itself or its offspring.
Parents would be wise to consider the “nature of the beasts” that they choose for pets for their children.
Some animals can perceive as aggression what is actually fear in Man. This can provoke a perceived need for a “first strike” scenario on the part of the beast.
Some domesticated animals can follow their nature and become very territorial, aggressively defending unknown “trespassers.”
Acts of negligence and/or abuse that an animal has been exposed to can cause domesticated animals to become aggressive and violent. A raised hand, a raised voice, or sudden bodily movements towards the direction of the animal are classic examples of such provocation, even when there is no harm intended.
Most animals can be taught obedience, usually by being rewarded for performing certain acts.
Sticking one’s head into the mouth of a lion has proven to fatal, even after many years of safely doing the same thing as part of entertainment. The armed guard standing outside of the spotlight is not there just to add to the drama!
The difference between natural beasts and humans is that the natural beasts are NOT doing anything either morally right or morally wrong, but only what comes natural to it, or what it has been trained to do, with expectation of reward or a sense of accomplishment.
Dogs, for instance, that are trained to violently attack will expect to be “rewarded” for doing so, just as much as dogs that have been trained to perform specific functions that their human masters find beneficial. Such beneficial functions would include providing service and/or support, or engaging in search/rescue operations or bomb and drug detection, etc..
Reward can be verbal praise, an embrace, a food treat, or a combination of the above.
The nature of the beast (the breed) of some dogs makes them better candidates than others to engage in these different areas of service, or as pets.
In the courts of Man, an animal’s human master can be held criminally accountable and financially liable for what he allows or encourages his animals to do.
Scripture (Proverbs 12: 10) teach that a righteous man will have regard for the life of his animals.
At the same time, it was God who used animal skins to provide clothing (Gen. 3: 21) for Fallen Man. Needless to say, this required killing the animals involved.
God sanctioned animals for human consumption (Gen. 9: 3, 4). It was God who accepted (Gen. 4: 4) and later called for the slaughter of bulls (Ex. 29: 10-14), goats (Numbers 15: 27), lambs (Ex. 12:6), and birds (Numbers 6: 10, 22) by the ancient worshipers in order for them to make sacrificial offerings during the dispensation of the Old Testament.
The ONE and ONLY human sacrifice in payment for the world’s sin debt (1John 2: 2) that God accepted was the sacrificial, atoning, substitutionary death of the Humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross.
The atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ took away our sin debt, but did NOT take away the presence or the potential influence of the fallen sin nature. Paul wrote of his o-n-g-o-in-g struggle with the fallen sin nature some thirty years AFTER he had been born again (Romans 7). Not only does it NOT go away, it increases the pressure that it can generate on the soul, in order to keep pace with whatever spiritual growth is taking place in the post salvation spiritual life of a born again believer.
The sin nature that is passed down to our humanity at conception (Psalms 51: 5), and remains a force to be contended with as long as we remain in these mortal bodies. How much impact it will have on us throughout the course of our post salvation spiritual life is determined by the ongoing, moment to moment, daily CHOICES that WE make on a daily basis.
In some ways, the “nature of the beast” in Fallen Man is similar to the “nature of the beast” in many of the life forms with whom Man shares this planet, and in ONE major way, it is different.
For instance, there is a similar desire to survive at all costs. Within man and other species there is a desire to obtain, retain, and defend what we consider to be their domain or territory, at all costs. The major way in which the nature of the beast in Man differs from the nature of the beast in and all other life forms is that Man will kill each other over "religious" issues. The first recorded murder in human history took place after one man's religious offering was rejected by God (Gen. 4). Man has been killing ever since. Many wars have been "justified" and/or fought in the name (authority) of religion, including Christian Religion.
No group of human beings on Earth is more violent than those who are motivated by a combination of politics and religion. Where politics and religion become bedfellows, the seeds of tyranny, unrestrained evil, and violence are planted. It was for political and religious reasons that the very religious Pharisees conspired, falsely convicted, and handed for execution, the Lord Jesus Christ to the Roman government.
Fallen Man has a long history of engaging in violence against other humans in order to eliminate, dominate, or control other groups of human beings.
The difference between Man and the other creatures with who Man shares the planet is that Man has an eternal soul, and a God-given sense of distinguishing what is morally right and morally wrong.
Without this sense of morality, the human being is reduced to becoming no more than a relatively more intelligent and more productive life form than the other creatures with which Man shares this planet, with no connection with eternity past, present, or future. This was NOT what God created Man to be (Gen. 1: 27/1Cor. 10: 31). The divine purpose for Man was/is to glorify God in the midst of an ongoing battle between the forces of good and evil.
In the midst of this ongoing battle, Man is accountable for the moral decisions he makes during his/her appointed time to be here on this Earth. This is where the "nature of the beast" in Fallen Man comes into play.
Man always had the freedom of choice, but Man did not always have a nature that was inherently hostile towards God and the things of God (Romans 8:7) with an inclination to sin (Gen. 6: 5).
Adam and the woman (later named Eve) were created in sinless perfection and in fellowship with God. Until the Fall of Man, they did NOT have a fallen sin nature. Before the Fall of Man, Adam and the woman were NOT "naturally" hostile towards God or the things of God. They were NOT naturally inclined to sin.
But what they did have was the freedom and the accountability to make a moral choice of obedience or disobedience to the one law (Gen. 2: 17) that was in place at the time.
“…but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat (Gen. 2: 17 NASB).”
One can easily see where Fallen Man who IS "naturally" hostile towards God, the things of God, and IS inclined to sin, is much more of an easy target for the devil and forces of evil than were Adam and the woman.
The devil deceived the woman (Eve), making the forbidden (Gen. 2: 17) fruit appealing to her eye, good for food, and that the fruit of the tree would provide her with wisdom to improve the environment that she shared with Adam. To "sweeten the deal," the devil convinced the woman that she would NOT die (as a result of eating the fruit), as God had forewarned Man (Gen. 3: 4). When the woman ate of the fruit, she was convinced that it was a good thing to do.
It is amazing how one can turn from what he/she knows God has said, once he/she has determined that he/she “wants” to possess or do something. Adam and the woman did not even (yet) have a sin nature with its inherent hostility or inclination to sin, but they still chose to do what they wanted to do.
Being permanently evicted from the Garden of Eden exposed the devil's lie for w hat it was. They did not improve their environment. Soon enough, they would learn that they did in fact die on the day they sinned, but the type of death that Adam and the woman received was spiritual, and not physical in nature.
Scripture tells us that Adam lived for 930 years having produced offspring along the way. At least one source (outside of Scripture) source tells us that Eve died about one week after Adam. They couldn’t have produced offspring if they physically died on the day they sinned.
Had God forgotten to “kill” them on the day they sinned? Did God change His mind? NO, and NO. They DID die spiritually ON THE DAY they sinned, just as God had forewarned them. God had not changed His mind.
Spiritual death is NOT a state of non-existence, but of existing while separated from a relationship and fellowship with God.
The “ripple effect” of our sin always goes beyond ourselves and negatively impacts the lives of others. The sin of Adam and the woman (later named Eve) not only resulted in Paradise Lost for them, but impacted every human soul that was to born throughout the course of human history.
There were several consequences (Gen. 3: 16-19) as a result of the choices that Eve and Adam made.
To his own hurt, Man has been trying to circumvent some of these consequences by re-designing the family structure (Gen. 3:16), and engineering technology that requires less sweat (Gen. 3: 17). The end result of these efforts is that Man has produced ungodly and unstable societies, a world with polluted and contaminated natural resources, never-ending means physical death and injury, and a global military/political environment that, without God’s intervention, would bring this world to a violent end (Matt. 24: 22).
Man has tried, and continues to try, to address his spiritual issues by engineering and promoting products and practices of false religion (Psalms 96: 5/Mark 7: 8/Col. 2: 8). Yet, for all the "progress" than Man has achieved, his basic spiritual needs has not changed since the Fall of Man.
For the purpose of this presentation, we will focus briefly on the spiritual death status, the fallen sin nature, and the impact that they continue to have on the “nature of the beast” in Fallen Man.
Not only did Adam and the woman become spiritually dead on the day they sinned, they received a fallen sin nature, as well.
This spiritual death status and the sin nature they received would be passed down to every generation of Man throughout the course of human history when the humanities (bodies) of the incoming generations are conceived (Psalms 51: 5).
The “good news” is that our spiritually dead status can be instantaneously addressed through the regeneration (Titus 3: 5) our dead human spirit. This regeneration is one of the many things that take place at the moment one is born again (John 3: 5, 7).
It is by no coincidence that the devil and the forces of evil downplay the significance of one being born again resulting in the new spiritual birth, and promotes the products and practices of Man-made religion that accomplishes nothing in the spiritual realm.
The not so good news is that although issue of spiritual death is forever resolved at the moment one is born again, the potential impact of the fallen sin nature that remains with us (Romans 7) will remain to be a force to contend with throughout the course of one's post salvation spiritual life here on Earth.
At that moment one is born again, he/she becomes a “new creation” in Christ (2Cor. 5: 17), but the nature of the beast does NOT fo away (Romans 7). Although the "nature of the beast" does not go away, born again believers now have access to the enabling (John 15: 5) divine power necessary to overcome the influence and pressure that the nature of the beast can place on our soul structures. It is an ongoing, moment to moment, day to day series of choices that are made.
Rather or not a born again believer chooses to follow the lead of God the Holy Spirit and conducts him/herself as the “new creation” that he/she is in Christ, or chooses to follow the lead of the fallen nature within, is a moment to moment, daily CHOICE that we have to make. God gives us the freedom to decide what we are going to do with choices we are given, but we are NOT free from having to make those choices.
The devil and the forces of evil has mastered the art of spiritual combat. He/they have been at it for thousands of years. He/they know just when to push what buttons for maximum effect.
The new creation (creature) that we became in Christ competes with the fallen nature that remains within us. When faced with a moral choice, both forces will place pressure on us, with the hope that we will choose in their favor. When we choose one, we choose to reject the other.
God the Holy Spirit, who indwells the body (1Cor. 2: 16) of ALL born again believers appeals to the new creation that born again believers are in Christ. The devil, his forces of evil, and those who do his bidding, appeal to our fallen sin nature that is inherently hostile towards God and the things of God.
This results in the daily spiritual combat (Eph. 6) that takes place in the soul structure of all born again believers, with each side desiring to have the immediate control of our thoughts and actions.
We then, make a choice favoring one and rejecting the other. We choose to do (or refrain from doing) something in order to please and glorify God, or we choose to do (or refrain from doing) something that denies God the glory and pleases the fallen nature within us.
Paul spoke of this ongoing battle some thirty years AFTER he had been born again and saved.
The new creation that a born again believer IS in Christ is Christ-centered, and desires to do the things that pleases God. The fallen nature in us is self-centered and desires to do the things that please one self.
These choices can be between what the Bible labels as good, and what the Bible labels as sin. These choices can be between investing our time, talents, and treasures in the things of God, the things of this world, and the things that please an feed the nature of the beast.
The things that pleases the sin nature are NOT only what the Bible calls sin. They can involve what would otherwise be considered “good” things such as personal relationships, jobs/careers, hobbies, pursuit of earthly prosperity) if such things are given greater priority than God or the things of God.
The “nature of the beast” in Man is one that is inherently hostile (Romans 8: 7) towards God and things of God, with an inclination (Gen. 6: 5) to sin.
It matters not (to the devil) rather he can distract us with pain or pleasure, as long as they take us away from the plan that God has for each and every one of us.
When anyone CHOOSES to respond to the leading of the fallen/sin nature, his/her mental attitudes, overt speech, behavior, activity, and motivations will reflect a lifestyle that consists of, “…immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealously, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissentions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing…(Galations 5: 19-21 NASB).”
When anyone CHOOSES to respond to the leading of God the Holy Spirit, our overt speech, behavior, activity, and motivations will reflect a lifestyle that consists of, “ (unconditional) love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Gal. 5: 22 NABS italics mine).”
These dominating characteristics will be manifest themselves regardless of where we are or what we are otherwise doing. Just take a look at the expressions on the faces and actions of most people in traffic and you can tell which force is "having its way" with the person at that moment.
When we have an understanding of where this fallen nature came from and the power that it can have over those who submit to its influence, we will no longer ask why we and/or others do some of the things we do. Its the nature of the beast!
As the Apostle Paul put it, “I find then the principle that evil (the fallen sin nature) is present in me, the one (a born again believer) who (truly) wants to do good (please God). For I joyfully concur with the law of God (what the Bible has to say) in the inner man (my mind), but I see a different law (set of standards) in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind (my edified soul structure) … (Romans 7: 5: 21-23 NASB italics mine).”
At the end of the day, an honest self-examination (2Cor. 13: 5) will reveal to us when, where, and how we honored God, and when, how, and where we CHOSE to submit to the influence of the self-centered, fallen, hostile, nature that remains in each one of us.
The ongoing sins (1John 1: 8) that we commit each and every day are addressed through making a 1John 1:9 confession to God.
It is best to confess the sin as soon as the convicting voice of God the Holy Spirit brings it to our attention, so that fellowship (1Cor. 13: 14) with God can be restored. No sense is blowing the whole day just because we were so easily entangled (Heb. 12: 1) in a sin(s) earlier! Periods out of fellowship with God can be a brief as the few seconds it takes to confess a known sin, or can last for the rest of the day, week, month, year, or the for the rest of one's post salvation spiitual life if that is hows long it takes to address it!
In this light, we can see how the devil can use the words and actions of those around us to pressure us to choose to follow the leading of the fallen nature within us, and for us commit at least a mental attitude sin, if not overt. As far as the devil is concerned, one is just as good as the other (James 2: 10).
The devill's objective is obvious to those with spiritual discernment. When we are operating under the influence of our fallen sin nature or have sin(s) that have not (yet) been confessed, we are out of fellowship with God and will NOT be in the right frame of mine to execute the post salvation spiritual life.
When out of fellowship with God, will we not have a desire to involve ourselves in the things of God, and will “get nothing out of them” when we do. When we are in fellowship with God, then God and things of God will not be a “burden,” but the driving force behind ALL that we think, do, and say. When in fellowship with God, we look forward to the next opportunity to study His Word and to worship Him as He desires.
The willingness and ability of God to forgive is inexhaustible, but the accumulative amount of time we spend out of fellowship each day can NEVER be recovered.
We are ALL given the same 24hrs.each day.
What percentage of each day we spend in fellowship with God, operating under the filling (control) of God the Holy Spirit, and what percentage of the same day we spend are out of fellowship with God, operating under the influence of our fallen sin nature, are daily CHOICES that WE make.
Such choices will ultimately define the quality of our post salvation spiritual life.
The quality of our post salvation spiritual life neither enhances nor does it diminish the salvation (eternal life) that we already received the moment we were born again. However, the quality of one's post salvation spiritual life will greatly impact what heavenly rewards (1Cor. 3: 12-15) and/or the (Rev. 2/Rev. 3) privileges will either be received or forfeited. We do not serve God in order to be seen or rewarded, but God has made it known that He desires to reward in Heaven, those who choose to live for Him while here on Earth.
On going confession (to God) is a moment to moment, daily part of the post salvation spiritual life.
Unlike the type of confession spoken of in 1John 1: 9, the alternative confessionals of Christian Religion, and false doctrines/practices that are associated with are not available 24-7. Its fine with the devil when we choose to walk around with sin that has not been confessed and/or forsaken, knowing that souls out of fellowship with God pose little threat to his agenda.
When we find the need to continually confess the same type of sin(s), there is a need to forsake (John 8: 11) the same type of sin that has become a part of our lifestyle. Confessing, but then forsaking sin, will cause us to go around and around in a proverbial revolving doorway, going in and out of fellowship with God, but NEVER moving forward in the post salvation spiritual life.
To be a winner in the realm of spiritual combat (Eph. 6), the born again believer must be aware of part that the fallen nature in us plays, and how to deal with it.