Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Common Man's Commentary on Genesis, Chapter 3

Chapter 3

“Now the serpent was more subtil 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?” ( V1)
  I must confess to the reader that Genesis 3 is one of my favorite chapters to teach and preach out of. There is so much here, and if you understand what happened in Genesis 3, a lot of other doctrinal questions will sort themselves out. As Kyle Stephens has said “Everything that’s wrong with you is in Genesis chapter 3”
  Here in the first verse we have the introduction to the being that Dr. Ruckman refers to as ‘the old friend of the family’.  We know that this is no ordinary serpent, as the book of Revelation   refers to him as the devil ( Rev 12:9). This serpent has angels. It is interesting that the first thing your Bible tells you about the devil isn’t that he’s a murderer or destructive or a liar; the first thing it tells you is that he’s subtil.  There is a good subtil ( Prov 14:1), just like there is good wisdom and bad wisdom.  But when the serpent comes to Eve, notice that he comes under the guise of a creature that is under their dominion. This is a great disarming tactic.  Had he shown up full of bluster and pride, that might have given them pause.  In similar situations, most of the trouble that arises in a church will not come from an opposing pastor, but rather from a member.
  Carrying this idea of subtil forward, when the Antichrist arrives, he doesn’t conquer through warfare, he conquers though peace (2 Cor 11:3).  Two other people in the Bible are mentioned as being ‘subtil’, (2 Sam 13:3, Prov 7:10) and in both situations, the person involved is involved in a sexual sin.
  Having a complete Bible, we know some things about his character that Eve did not.(John 8:44, Heb 2:14, 1 Pet 5:8).  We know that he knows scripture and quotes them (Matt 4), but he either misquotes them or uses them to exalt himself.  For an interesting study, look at the passages he was quoting in Matt 4 and see where he stopped quoting.  . We know that he has ministers (2 Cor 11:14-15, 11:4, Gal 1:6-8) and that he has men who study the Bible in order to destroy other men (Matt 2:1-2). We know he can appear as an angel of light (2 Cor 11:14), but that in his true form he is a cherub (Ezek 28, Rev 4:7) with some sort of  connection to  multi-headed fire- breathing dragons (Job 41, Ps 74:14 ,Rev 13).  The descriptions of him (Ezek 28:11-17, 10:14, 1:10) indicate that he is (or was) beautiful and wise, covered in precious stones, with a body like a man, but glowing. His wisdom is corrupted ( Ezek 28:17), but word of God is incorruptible (1 Peter 1:23). He is associated with music. We know that, as a cherub, he has the face of a bull (Ezek 1:10 compared to Ezek 10)
We know from Isaiah 14 that he is interested in worship. He is much more concerned with what happens in a church house than what happens at a bar or pool hall.  Knowing this, the persistence of  the worship of  calves and bulls in the history of the children of Israel (Baal -Hos 13:2, 1 Kin 17-19, golden calves, Molech, etc. ) as well as the  pagan  cultures around the world, starts to make a bit more sense.
  In  Job 1:6-7, this character has access to the throne of God. As the serpent, he is mentioned 5 times by name in this chapter of Genesis. The connection in your Bible between 5 and death will be elaborated on later.
  His attack on the man and his wife begins with the questioning of God’s word. This tactic, alas, has not changed.  But notice that it is a ‘positive’ question.  We feel at complete liberty to lump it in with other stupid questions like 2 Tim 2:23-25, 1 Tim 1:4, 1 Tim 6:3, Titus 3:8-9.  It is a question to which he already knows the answer as we will see shortly, and though he spoke to eve, I have full confidence that both of them were present.
“And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:  But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said , Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die .  And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die :  For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened , and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” ( V2-5)
To quote Kyle Stephens, “To debate right and wrong in the clear light of scripture is Satanic.”
  In your Bible, personal pronouns that begin with a‘t’ like thee, thou, thine are singular, in that it is a single person being addressed. Personal pronouns beginning with a ‘y’ as in you, yours or ye are addressed to more than one person. The serpent didn’t tell her that she wouldn’t die; he told her that YE wouldn’t die.
  Either way, Eve nominates herself as spokeswoman of the human race and proceeds to misquote God. The provision was never against touching the tree, just against eating it.  While teaching this   chapter in Sunday school, one of my students asked why God would deliberately put something in their care that would kill them.  He seemed to think it was unfair of god to ‘tempt them’ like that. I  asked him if he was ever ‘tempted’ to eat poison ivy. He said  ‘no’. Well why not, I asked him. Because it’s poisonous.  I told him it wasn’t particularly fair for his parents to allow poison ivy to exist in the world knowing it was bad for him. How dare they tempt him that way?
  The serpents lie was 4/5ths true. God did know what was going to happen.  Their eyes would be opened. They would be as ‘gods’ and they would know good and evil by the time it was over with.  What he left out however, spelled doom for Adam’s race.  He left out that God knows more than he told you (1 Chr 28:9-10). He left out that opened eyes aren’t always good ( Hab 1:13). He left out that being ‘as gods’ doesn’t fix anything ( Ps 82) and  he neglected to mention that it is the  knowledge of good and evil that condemns the sinner ( Deut 1:39, Rom 4:15, 5:13).
  Notice that this perfect woman is still capable of misquoting God and resenting God’s authority. Think of that next time you want to blame your ‘sin nature’ for the fulfillment of your lusts. Men are damned by believing a lie (John 8:44-47) and   saved by believing the truth (John 5:24). In verse 3, Eve breaks Deut 4:2, and Rev 22:19. When she quotes God, she leaves out ‘freely’ and  ‘surely’ and  adds the words ‘touch it’, but when Satan  rephrases what she’s said, he  puts ‘surely’ back in! He obviously knew EXACTLY what she had been told, as he quotes it better than she did!
  But before we are too harsh on great grandmother Eve, keep in mind that her descendants are still in the business of misquoting God, or telling themselves that ‘God didn’t really say that.’   There’s good money in retranslating the Bible every few years, and there appears to be an almost endless appetite in Eve’s children to read the latest perversion.   For example, the American president Jimmy Carter once said “God inspired the Bible, but didn’t write every word in the Bible”. This is a case of a man whose mind is so open his brains have fallen out.   He has no problem taking the exact same stance in regards to God’s word that the serpent took. Mr. Carter’s mind should be closed for repairs. When a modern educator says, ‘the truth shall make you free’, what he means is ‘if you ignore your conscience and convictions and come to us with an open mind we’ll dump enough garbage into it so that you can peacefully co-exist with your sin’. It’s nonsense like that that led Bob Jones Sr. to say “Education without salvation is damnation.”
 In verse 4 he tells her that they won’t die, which runs directly contrary to Romans 6:23. The fact is, the only thing wrong with what she did was the fact that God said not to.  Our modern world is full of people who will look at the sin of their choice and say ‘whats the harm?’ The biblical answer is that if God said not to, that’s reason enough.
  In verse 5, Eve was ‘biting off more than she could chew’, bringing herself under John 8:47, Deut 1:39, Romans 4:15, and 5:13.  We have been paying the price ever since.  They became ‘as gods’  ( Ps 82 and  in doing so gave themselves over to the ‘god of this world’ ( 2 Cor 4:3-4).  The serpent accuses God of an ulterior motive, telling our   ancestors that God was  somehow  holding out on them.  This tactic worked so well with Adam and Eve, and it appears to work just as well with their children, as any honest man will attest.
  In light of Prov 23:6-7, one has to wonder why, if eating of this tree was such a good idea, that the serpent didn’t eat?  Ever since Gen 3, when man’s heart was changed by what went  in his mouth,  men’s hearts since then have  showed themselves by what comes out of their mouth. (Matt 15:19) .
 The testimony of 1 Tim 2:13-14 is that Adam was not deceived. He knew exactly what he was doing and fully understood the implications of his actions.  As children of Adam, I don’t know that we always have a clear grasp on what horrible crime this was against God. I talked to a man once he told me that he didn’t believe in Hell because, to his thinking, the punishment was far more severe than the crime. I informed him that jails are full of people who don’t think they did anything wrong, certainly not anything worth incarceration. What you think of your sin  is  irrelevant, the issue is what does God think of your sin? Adam lived a life of immortality and fellowship with his Creator, but chose to follow the whims of  yet another  created  creature, and in doing so,  caused doom for all his descendants.
  Hollywood denies the Bible, yet steals plotlines from the Bible on a regular basis. This is one example.    Most movies are either about love or death, and in this chapter we have both. We’ve all seen the story of Snow White, the fair maiden who was convinced of a witch to eat the poisoned apple. She then fell into a sleep that resembled death until the Prince came by, and out of his love for her, resurrected her from that eternal death.  By the same token I was dead in trespasses and sins until the Prince of Life came by and quickened me by his love.
  We live in such a biblically illiterate age that the question will come up  ‘what is sin’?  According to the Bible, sin is the transgression of the law (1John 3:4, Ps 19:7). It includes all unrighteousness (1 John 5:17, Ps 33:4), knowing to do right and doing it not (James 4:17), doing, but not in faith ( Rom 14;23, 10:17) pride and wicked works (Prov 21:4) and even foolish thoughts (Prov 24:9).  Certainly this incident in the garden meets all those definitions.
  Sin operates as deceitful (Heb 3:13). It easily besets ( Heb 12:1), is powerful ( Prov 5:22, Rom 6:14) and hurtful (Prov 8:36, Rom 6:23).  The condemnation of the devil was to seek a higher place than what his Creator had given him. He tried to convince Eve to do the same. Eve, discontented with what God had told them,  sought out ‘new revelation’. It always amazes me the people most concerned with the ‘lost books’ of the Bible are the ones who don’t read the ‘found books’ of the Bible.  Those who chase after a ‘new word’ from the Lord spend little time looking at the ‘old word’.
  So paradise is lost, at least for now, as our ancestors trade an inheritance incorruptible for something that wasn’t even true.  They traded something they couldn’t lose for something they couldn’t keep.  D.L. Moody said “This world that so many think is heaven, is the home of sin, a hospital of sorrow, a place that has nothing in it to satisfy the soul. Men go all over it and then want to get out of it. The more one sees of the world they less they think of it….Someone has said that the world is a stormy sea, whose every wave is strewed with the wrecks of mortals that perish in it.”
“And the eyes of them both were opened , and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together , and made themselves aprons.” (V7)
  Babies are born naked (Job 1:21) but soon thereafter it is the habit of the human race to cover themselves. Here the first man and the first woman make clothes to cover their sin (laundry is part of the curse), and that clothing is made from their own efforts, which are grossly insufficient ( Is 64:6). Every man-made religion in the history of the world is just a fig leaf for the conscience. Not only is their ‘fig leaf’ religion uncomfortable and laborious, the fig leaves will eventually rot and have to be replaced. Religious rituals like the Mass are just a fig leaf that needs to be replaced at regular intervals to cover up the troubled conscience   Sin brings guilt, guilt brings shame, and shame compels the sinner to hide. Fig leaves do nothing to resolve the situation, they merely cover it up.    Adam and Eve hid behind leaves, and modern man hides behind indifference, ignorance and indulgence. As Dr. Ruckman has said, “Modern psychology is a pillow case which weak people hide to rid themselves of the fear of judgment and hell after they have seared their conscience”
  If you spend much time talking to men and women about their souls, you’ll see this same dynamic alive and well.  You can ask a man what he plans to do about his sin, and he’ll say ‘You got your religion, and I got mine’, which doesn’t even answer the question.  He will try to jump track on you, asking ‘what about the heathen that don’t know?’ (as opposed to the heathen that do, like himself) or he’ll hide behind the old stand-by “that’s just your interpretation.” You can ask a man   has he received Christ and he’ll say “I don’t exactly accept him and I don’t exactly reject him”. If you stay in the ministry very long you’ll see unregenerate sinners and their fig leaves of all shapes and sizes. All of these remedies have the same thing in common, they cannot take away your sin; can only cover it up.  One religion really is just as good as another. They are all no good.
  Adams descendants always try to cover their sin with their own manufactured righteousness. Man’s righteousness is always built on self-exaltation, and his own works, along with blame-shifting, and comparison with others. Instead, Adam’s seed need to run to the Lord of Life (Mark 10:17) and hide in the Rock of Ages (Ps 17:8, 27:5)
  Interestingly, and as an aside,   notice that all this takes place in a garden, specifically near a tree.  As time progresses on, and man dabbles in idolatry, it seems to happen over and over again near a tree or a grove (Deut 6:21, Ex 34:13-15, Judg 3:7-9, 1 Kings 14:15-23, Is 1:29).  Hollywood itself (where ‘stars’ congratulate themselves on a well-produced deception by awarding each other with tiny golden statues) is built on an old holly grove, hence the name. A few years back, while door knocking, I noticed something very peculiar; whenever somebody had some sort of statue of Mary or St. Andrew or whatever in their front yard,  it was never out there by itself in the open.  They are always placed near a bush or a tree of some kind.  
  Equally interesting is how death entered the world via a garden, and the tomb that Jesus was laid in was in a garden. Death won in a garden by the first Adam, and death was defeated in a garden by the last Adam.  Also, notice that when people   establish graveyards, they   plant trees there, and put flowers on the grave. It seems obvious that somehow we understand as a people that death is associated with a garden, and so we try to make our graveyards look like gardens.
“And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.  And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?  And he said , I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid , because I was naked; and I hid myself .  And he said , Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat ?”( V8-11)
   They heard his voice walking ( John 1:1).  They didn’t seek him out, he sought them out. They hid from him when he came ( Isaiah 53) This has always been the way with God in that the offended party extends grace to his enemies and seeks them out for reconciliation. (Luke 19:10, Luke 15, Rom 3:11, Ezek 34:11-16).   God always makes the first move, and it is the sinners responsibility to respond to God’s offer (John 12;32, John 16:7-10, Rom 10:18, Col 1:23).  Men, if left to their own, will always   search out a religion that will ‘suit’ them, even if it is made of fig leaves.
“And the man said , The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat . 13 And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done ? And the woman said , The serpent beguiled me , and I did eat . 14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go , and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:” ( V12-14)
  Here Adam invents ‘the blame game’ that anybody with more than one child is very familiar with.  He blames his wife, and in doing so, blames God for what happened.  My wife, when I try to  pin something on her with my feeble excuses of ‘I would have done this if you hadn’t needed me to do that’ will quietly  say ‘Nice try, Adam.’
  God never responds to Adam’s foolish attempt to shift blame. He moves right on to Eve, who   , apparently a quick learner, proceeds to blame the serpent.  God never even asks the serpent anything.  One of the characteristics of the human race is hiding, but rest assured, God can put his finger on your sin.
  If you grasp the idea that Satan, in his true form has the face of a bull, it makes a lot more sense that he was cursed above ‘all cattle’.
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (V15)
  Here is the first bright spot in the entire chapter. Someone is coming that will fix all this; the seed of the woman.  Of course, a woman doesn’t have a seed, so that leaves the biologist who has rejected the Bible scratching his head.  For an individual to qualify as the seed of the woman, he would have to have no human father. This is the first direct prophecy of Jesus Christ.
  Also notice that not only does the woman have a seed, but the serpent will have a seed ( Isa 7:14, Rev 12) and that there will be enmity between these two individuals. A  great deal of  your Old Testament is  various attempts by  Satan to mess up the lineage of Jesus Christ before he is born. He tries it  in Genesis 6, he tries it with  Lot, Abram, Judah, Jeconiah. Over and over again, the family line of Jesus Christ is put in jeopardy. There is an old saying “The devil knows more because he’s old than because he’s the devil.” He knows if he can mess that seed up, the prophecy can’t be fulfilled. But since the scriptures cannot be broken, God emerges victorious over and over again.
  There is a teaching that at Calvary, Satan wounded the heel of Jesus, and Jesus wounded his head. Although I don’t entirely disagree with that teaching, I just can’t settle it within myself from the Bible, because the Bible never refers to Satan being ‘bruised’ at Calvary.  What I see, is the completion of this prophecy happening at the return of Jesus Christ in Rev 19.  Coupled with  Ps 68:21, Hab 3:13, and Roman 16_19-20, it  seems really clear that , if that process began at Calvary, it is finished when Christ returns and  wins the kingdoms of this world back from the god of this world (Phil 3:18,Rom 16:17-18, Is 65:25) in open, armed combat.
  Since I am always fascinated with types, I couldn’t help but notice that, just as the Antichrist is wounded in the head by the Rock of our salvation Jesus Christ, Goliath is wounded in the head by a rock by David, a type of the Lord Jesus Christ. Isn’t the Bible an amazing book?
“Unto the woman he said , I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” (V16)
 God, having dealt with the serpent, proceeds to work his way backwards up the chain of command. Woman, already created in a subordinate role, has a bit more put on her as a result of her sin.  She has to now submit herself to another equally fallen creature ( Eph 5:22, 1 Peter 3:5). I personally cannot imagine having to  be married to a man myself, but to  be told to go one step further and submit yourself  unto him, even when he’s an idiot, takes some special dispensation of grace.
   Unfortunately for a woman trying to live for God, the traits that got Eve in trouble still manifest themselves in her daughters and plague them. Eve was curious about things that didn’t concern her.  That still happens (Micah 7:5). She trusted in her emotions and acted on sight (Gen 3:6). A woman, if she isn’t careful, will find herself being subtle, beguiling, and rebelling against authority (Gen 27, Prov 7). She is to submit, and one of the marks of the modern women’s ‘liberation’ movement is a push back against this biblical mandate. Uncut hair is a sign of her submission. If she cuts it, it is a shame unto her (1 Cor 11:6). In the garden she was ashamed. Modern woman is not (Zeph 3:5)  The cutting of her hair is somehow tied to her ability to judge angels (1 Cor 6:3)
  There’s a Bob Jones Sr. story about how a young girl at their school felt the dress requirements were too strict, and she chose to show her rebellion by going ridiculously overboard in her obedience. In the military we called this ‘malicious compliance’. She chose to wear an extra-long skirt that drug the ground behind her. The wise old man Dr. Jones walked past her one day and said ‘Good morning Eve’.
 Her husband is put over her (1 Cor 11:3). She is to keep silent in churches (1 Tim 2:9-15) to prevent her from being deceived. She has no authority in a church to prevent her from deceiving anyone else (1 Cor 14:34-35).  That’s why you should avoid the religious system called the Mystery Harlot, whose ways are the ways of Jezebel (Rev 2) and whose religious devotion is directed towards ‘Our Lady’.
 A woman experiences sorrow, and not just in childbirth.  Women cry more, and bear a lot more sorrows that pierce their heart. They hurt in ways their husbands cannot understand. Every tear that has ever been shed by a woman is Eve’s fault.
  All in all, a woman trying to live for God can only do it by God’s grace, and with God’s help. She has to fight her own heart, as well as the entire world system. It’s a huge responsibility, and God forgive any man stupid enough to take that sort of thing lightly.  We need to pray for our wives and daughters.
“And unto Adam he said , Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee , saying , Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;  Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;  In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken : for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” ( V17-19)
  It’s worth pointing out her that, contrary to   what is taught in some circles, God didn’t curse Adam.  He didn’t curse Adam’s seed, or Adam’s blood. He cursed the ground.  If God had cursed Adam’s seed or blood, that certainly would explain why people die, but it would hardly offer an explanation into why plants and animals die. Everything you eat, comes out the cursed earth, and so  all of creation  suffers because of Adam’s sin with an eventual  redemption and restoration promised ( Rom 5:12, 8:22).
  Of course unregenerate man, having rejected the light of scripture, fumbles around in the dark and makes death into an ally instead of the enemy.  Evolution (which doesn’t work at all) especially doesn’t work without death.  As Richard ‘Koo-Koo’ Dawkins said “We’re going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones.”  Dr. Ruckman adds “Darwin’s followers brag about their upward progress as they march helplessly towards an open grave and the lake of fire”
  Since we’re on the subject, the Bible teaches that death is the payment for sin (Rom 6:23) Satan can execute this payment or at least could before Calvary ( Heb 2:14, Job 1-2, John 8:44). Man is powerless against it , though he’ll give everything he has for one more heartbeat, one more minute, one more breath.(Ecc 8:8) You die for your own sin (Deut 24;16, 2 Chron 25:4).
  If you don’t believe verse 18, you really should try growing something. The ground is cursed whenever man puts his hand to it. I have personally seen grape vines that I’ve cultivated fail to produce fruit and barely stay alive despite help while   grape seeds carried by birds into the nearby forest flourished. But at the same time, Adam was commanded to work before the fall, so work is not a curse. Hard work, toiling work, tedious work, work where the very elements push back against you; that’s the result of the fall.  God gave man plenty to do before the fall, and after the fall the idea was to wear man out; to make the task of living so difficult that man would have little time left to get into trouble without neglecting his responsibilities.
Every weed, very crop failure, every famine is the consequence of Adam’s sin.
  Thorns are part of the curse, so when Jesus bore our curse, is it any surprise to you that he wore a crown of thorns?
God sometimes makes people live under conditions caused by their ancestors. There were plenty of Israeli children born in Babylonian captivity that had nothing to do with the   reasons for the captivity. The fact that the children grew up in bondage wasn’t a judgment on the children, it was a judgment on the parents. By the same token, our sorrows are the continuing legacy of Adam’s disobedience. God will console you over the effects of sin, but not relieve you over it.\
 Most of man’s technological strivings since the Garden have either been attempts to get around verses 17-19 (air conditioning, labor-saving devices, etc.) or better ways to kill, maim and destroy their fellow man (Ecc 7:29, Psa 106:39). Man is obsessed with his body, and his comfort, to the neglect of his soul (Prov 11:30, James 1:21, Heb 10:39). He fears the first death, when he should fear the second death (Rev 2;11, 21:8 Matt 10:28).
“And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.” ( V20)
  Adam named her, not god. God’s name for her was ‘Adam’. That’s why every woman has a man’s name.  My wife before I married her had her father’s name.  When she became my wife, she took my name.

“Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.”(V21)
  Here is one of 2 times in the Bible where God makes clothes for   people.  It’s also a beautiful illustration of how God’s ways are not man’s ways. Man’s way involved his own effort, and his own righteousness to cover up sin. God’s way involved the shedding of blood, and always has.
  What follows is speculation, but it’s speculation that I am quite confident in.  The Bible does not say what kind of animal the skins were made from, but I have confidence that it was probably a male lamb of the first year without spot or blemish, because that’s simply the way God does things in your Bible.  This lambs (or lambs) were the first living things to die, and the sight no doubt horrified Adam as a lamb was slain to cover his iniquity.  Adam had a choice; take what God offered or go on with his fig leaf religion.  Adam chooses the lamb, and God clothes him in righteousness bought by the shed blood of an innocent creature (John 1:29, Gen 22:8).  Blood has a voice (Gen 4:10), Christ’s blood says ‘forgiven.
“And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.  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.” (V22-24)
God once again refers to himself in the plural, and makes a cryptic remark regarding the tree of life. Apparently Adam, despite the changes wrought in him and in the natural world by his disobedience, could still have taken of the tree of life and lived forever.  Man is sent forward to till the ground in order to feed himself (Ecc 6:7).
 A bull-faced guard is placed to keep Adam and his descendants away from the tree. The garden was ‘east of Eden’ and the cherubim was placed at the ‘east of the garden’ so Adam and Eve obviously went further east when they left.  In your Bible, trips that go from west to east usually end poorly.
  So now the  day closes on this tragic story as two sin cursed  people  leave the comfort and fellowship of their creator to go scratch out a living in a world they   helped ruin.  The only  bright spot on the horizon is the promise that the seed of the woman would come and fix it all someday.
  Now that begs the obvious question, why didn’t Adam die that day? As  noted previously, there is a common teaching that Adam died ‘spiritually’ that day, but there is no scriptural case to be made for that since Adam’s spirit is never referred to as being dead. Neither are any of Adam’s descendants ever referred to as having a dead spirit.
 To  get some understanding on why Adam didn’t die that day, there are some  things the reader needs to understand. First of all, ‘the world’ is not the same as ‘the earth’.  The earth was made by God in the beginning (Gen 1;1) and is defined as the dry land portion of the planet. (Gen 1:10, Prov 8:23-26). The earth belongs to God (Duet 10:14).  The world however, sits upon the earth, and is distinct from it (1 Sam 2:8, Jer 51:15). The world, belongs to Satan (2 Cor 4:4) and includes all the kingdoms and people inhabiting it (Matt 4:8, 1 John 2:15).  Therefore, ‘the world’ doesn’t begin in Gen 1, it begins in Gen 3. And according to Rev 13:8, Jesus Christ was slain “from the beginning”. Christ’s death on the cross ‘pre-paid’ for Adam’s transgressions, somehow.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

There is No Santa Claus

    There is no Santa Claus. There, I said it.  Now let the mob with the  torches and pitchforks come and get me.  Let the hysterical moms rend me limb from limb while calling me a jerk.
  We live in the most insane times where people that ought to know better don’t.  .  People who claim to love the truth will either endorse a lie by their participation or will refuse to rebuke that lie, giving credence to it by their silence.
  There is no Santa Claus. There never was, there never will be. It is as much a lie as any other lie you could tell, except it’s a lie that compels you to prop it up with other lies once that lie is put out there.  This skein of falsehood is done under the pretense of giving children a ‘good childhood’, because after all, a good childhood is determined by  how high your parents can build your false hopes before they pull back the curtain and reveal that they’ve been lying to you all these years.
  It is never right to lie.  Ever.
  A relative of mine, when her kids were well past the age in which she should have stopped lying to them (that age is ‘birth’, since you asked)  perpetuated the  lie with elaborate things like  snowy footprints on the roof ( in south Georgia, where it does not snow) and reindeer tracks. All to keep this elaborate insane seasonal hoax going. It is irrational hatred of your children to do so.  And I, as a minister of the gospel, and one who claims to stand for the truth, will not help you lie.
  I know a married couple where the husband is anti-Claus, and the wife believes it to be harmless fun.  This puts them in an interesting   situation where their kids have their picture taken with a man who they are then told does not exist.  See how complicated you can make things? See how easy it is to have division in your home?  See what sin does?
  If someone told their children that God was a giant asparagus, I would  not participate and respect their family wishes if the topic came up. I cannot possibly know all the weird beliefs that every family has and I have no respect for lies glossed over by ‘that’s just their culture’ or ‘that’s just their belief’ or ‘that’s just their family’.  It’s easier just to tell the truth all the time.  I would tell the truth, and I don’t do this to hurt them, or to undermine you. I do this because I am committed to the truth.  You should be too.
  But in the backwards world we live in, those of us that ever year mock the big red lie are the jerks. We are the ‘Grinches’ somehow. We are ones trying to rob precious children of their innocence.  Us, with our truth not you with your lie.   We are the ones lambasted as  ‘meanies’   It’s insane.