Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Did the Exodus Happen?

Today I am bringing you a video that looks at a few of the arguments against the Exodus and discusses them. I think it's good to know what some of the arguments are against and why they do not hold any water  sand! It's only about 5 minutes long...enjoy!



Hope you have a good day! 

Friday, October 16, 2015

Philadelphia, The Faithful Church


Philadelphia became the greatest trade route in the whole country in Byzantine times, which gave the city its commercial prosperity. It was a center for spreading the greek language and culture throughout the asian provinces. The city was prone to severe earthquakes that caused the people to move out and dwell in tents at times. A key crop in Philadelphia was grapes for wine making. 

The city was known for its resistance to Islam and kept it's christianity long after some of the other cities in the area. The city had many pagan temples, including Dionysus, the god of wine and revelry. 

In Revelation, Christ is revealed in this church as holy and true. He is also identified as the One who opens and shuts. This church is said to have an 'open door.' The commendations to this church was evangelism, works and missions. Though they were few in number, they kept the Word and did not deny Christ, despite those of the 'synagogue of satan,' who also persecuted them.

There is no correction spoken, but there is a warning that they should believe God's promises and stick with Him. They are told to 'hold fast,' which has a strong connotation meaning to cling to tenaciously, with a warning that if not, someone may take their crown. This implies that if you let a God given opportunity slip by, God can call someone else to do it and they crown will go to them. You will lose your reward! 

As believers, we have a permanent identity in Christ. The believer will be given a new name, uniquely his (Rev 2:17). He also says he will 'keep thee from the hour of temptation.' The word 'kept' means to preserve and protect.  To take care of, to guard.  The word 'from' means out of, or it can mean, in the midst of. God is with us through our trials! 

This church, also known as being faithful and having brotherly love,  was a church that Christ loved. In this church, Christ is revealed as having the key that opens and shuts the door to salvation. The door is wide open for most of the missions established during this time, as well as times of revival. 

As Christians we are called to be overcomers. What does this mean? We must be totally loyal to Christ, sharing our love and the Gospel with all men. This relationship with our saviour should be the focal point of our lives. Our minds set on Christ and His will for our lives. Then will our lives truly have full meaning and satisfaction. To be in the will of God is the most exciting place to be! 

The Seven Churches of Revelation

Introduction to the Seven Churches of Revelation
Sweet Smelling Smyrna
Where Did I Leave My Love (Ephesus)
Pergamus: Compromised and Indulged
Sardis: The Living Dead
Falling Away into Laodicea
The Church of Thyatira




Monday, October 5, 2015

The Four Horsemen of Revelation, Color Study

Sometimes Scripture shows us things so clearly, that we miss it!

In Revelation we are introduced to four horsemen as the Lamb breaks open the First Seal. These ride horses, each with a different color. The focus is on the riders. First we are introduced to a white horse whose rider rode forth conquering and to conquer. Many interpret this as conquering through great deception as the Antichrist is ascertained by many to be the rider of this horse. Then a flaming red horse follows whose rider takes away peace from the earth. Next a black horse appears whose rider brings famine upon the earth. The last horse is a pale horse (chloros in the Greek, which is actually pale green). It's rider's name was Death and he was closely followed by Hades.

Four Horsemen by MarkWilkinson
                                                Source: Four Horsemen, by Mark Wilkinson, Deviant Art

These have authority over a fourth part of the earth to kill and bring famine, plagues, pestilence & disease and wild animals. We are not told that they kill a fourth part of the earth, rather that they have authority and power over a fourth part of the earth.

So we have been introduced to four horses and given some specific information about each of their riders, but what of the horses? Each horse has been identified with a color. Could this have any meaning at all? Since God took the trouble to label each horse with a distinct color, wouldn't it suggest that there is meaning to these colors? Yes, sometimes prophecy is stranger than fiction and it's so easy to miss things if we don't look closely. Let me remind you that many people missed the First Coming. We look back and wonder how they missed it, but if we're not careful, it'll happen to us too! 

I watched a video by Pastor Steve at Discover Ministries and it is him I thank for this information. I may not necessarily agree with everything Pastor Steve says, but I found this particular information to be interesting and somewhat enlightening. If you would like to watch the video, I will provide a link below.

Pastor Steve connected the colors of the horses to Flags, and a rather interesting picture emerges. Have a look at the flags I've pictured below. What do you see? 

Image result for Flags,JOrdan
Jordan

Image result for Flags,palestine
Palestine

Sudan

Kuwait

United Arab Emirates

Image result for flags, libya
Libya

Image result for flags,afghanistan
Afghanistan

Image result for flags,syria
Syria

Iraq


Arab Revolt Flag (not a nation, but interesting nonetheless)

If you're not sure, the answer is: White, Red, Black and Green. Each of these flags uses the same color combinations. This makes sense, because they have similar roots. Did you also take note of the countries, states, or nations that fly these flags?

The countries that will lead World War 3 (Psalm 83) share the same colors on their flags!

[Map of Arab world using national flags. Image from unknown source.]
                                                                                   Source: Wikimedia.org

Here's another map for comparison:
Image result for arab world in flags
                                                                            Source: Jewish Virtual Library.org

I guess the question then becomes, are the Four Horsemen already riding? Has the First Seal been opened? Interesting, right? I don't know for sure yet, but I stand amazed over and over again at how detailed God is and how interesting His living Word is. Those who say it's an antiquated outdated book, probably haven't taken the time to read it and take it seriously!

As promised, here's the link to Pastor Steve's video.

You Will Never Read the Book of Revelation the Same Way Again!

Have a good week and Blessings to you and yours! 

Friday, October 2, 2015

The Church of Thyatira


Thyatira: 'Continual Sacrifice'

Thyatira was a prosperous town which was well connected to other important cities. It was located on the Hermus River, 38 miles from Pergamos, and 32 miles from Sardis. It was an important manufacturing center noted for dying fabrics and garment making (Lydia, in Acts 16:14 had a business in fabric dyes). Thyatira was also known for its pottery, it's coppersmithing and brass working industries. These powerful Trade Guilds not only controlled business, but each Trade Guild had its own gods which were involved in pagan religious worship and immorality. It was almost impossible to conduct business without belonging to a Trade Guild. 

During his second missionary journey (Acts 16:13-15) the apostle Paul travelled to Phillipi where he meets Lydia, a seller of purple. She listens to Paul's preaching and is so convinced of his message that she and her household are baptized. It is likely that Lydia helped spread the Gospel throughout Thyatira.

In the message to this church, Christ calls Himself, the Son of God, stressing His deity. He is revealed as a Judge. The 'eyes like a flame of fire' suggest discernment and perception which searches out all iniquity. His 'feet like fine bronze' shows He is all powerful in judgment. Bronze, which symbolically means testing shows that Christ tests the works of man. The reference to bronze is also an illusion to the brass working industry of Thyatira.

Christ praises this church for works, love, service, faith and patience. This is the only church that Christ gives praise to for its love. It's love became a part of the problem, though. The congregation loved so much that they tolerated sin and failed to exercise church discipline. This church allowed 'Jezebel' to teach compromise and immorality. 

(Remember King Ahab's Jezebel. She was the daughter of a priest king of Tyre and was married to Ahab for political reasons. She had a strong, domineering, forceful character and was fanatically devoted to Baal. This eventually led to the death of many true prophets of God.)

God extends grace to the Jezebel of Thyatira to repent, but she would not. This indicates she made a conscious choice to continue on in her sin of compromise and immorality. She tolerated evil and had learned Satans' so called 'deep secrets,' which she also taught.

This church therefore allowed 'Jezebel' to teach compromise and immorality. They evidently did not accept the finished work of Christ on the cross as enough, but thought they needed other gods and religious systems, much to their hurt!

However, those who are victorious and do not fall for her deception, God gives authority to rule over the nations. He says they will rule with an iron sceptre and dash them to pieces, like pottery. Another allusion to one of the top industries of Thyatira - pottery. He says He will give them the place of the morning star.

(Lucifer is called the morning star, as well as Jesus Christ. The title was a place that Lucifer attempted to gain but which was triumphed over by Christ, who is the true Morning Star! The 'morning star' will be given to believers who rule and reign with Christ in the Millennium. Revelation 2: 28; 2 Peter 1:19; Daniel 12:3)

The Seven Churches of Revelation

Introduction to the Seven Churches of Revelation
Sweet Smelling Smyrna
Where Did I Leave My Love (Ephesus)
Pergamus: Compromised and Indulged
Sardis: The Living Dead
Falling Away into Laodicea
Philadelphia, the Faithful Church

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sardis: The Living Dead


(Sardis: Revelation 3;1-6)

Sardis was the capital city of the ancient kingdom of Lydia prior to the colonization of the Greeks. It was built on a steep hill surrounded by loose rock and was therefore considered to be impregnable even though Cyrus of Persia, Antiochus the Great and the Romans all overtook the city by surprise attacks. The people of the city falsely thought they were safe based on their feelings of security in the City’s location.

The city was on an important trade route. Their chief industry was dyed woolen garments of beautiful coloring, and they were also known for their jewelry making. It was a wealthy city with powerful influence. Emperor worship, pagan temples and idols, and occult practices were all part of the religious environment of Sardis. Little is known of the church there, other than its reputation for being alive, though they were dead. Herodotus tells us they were lax in their morals.

On a positive note, this church has some who have not defiled their garments (a reference to their woolen garment industry) and whom God accepts and clothes in white. In other words, some in the church were morally pure even though most had lost their zeal, were apathetic and indifferent, and compromised with the world of the day. Theirs were dead works.

Dead works are anything that is not inspired through the Holy Spirit. This is why He had not found their works ‘perfect.’ These were not fulfilling the purpose of God but were motivated by a desire to build their own reputaitons. This church may have had a lot of activity and programs, but none were supported by the Holy Spirit.

Christ’s counsel to them was to watch (you must be awake to watch), strengthen what remained (that which was good), hold fast (keep His word and commandments) and repent (of wrong attitudes and practices). The challenge given was perfection: "walk with Me in white." Soiled garments in the bible frequently relates to the mingling of pagan practices with biblical faith to the point of defiling our relationship with Christ.

Having a combination of wealth and power combined with lax morals and poor Christian influence definitely affected these people. In God’s eyes, they were as good as dead. The city was finally completely destroyed in 640 AD and never rebuilt, as to this day. There are only ruins and a small village near the site of the old city. They did not repent so God removed their lampstand.

What is the personal application?  Do not be quick to judge outward appearance, for reputation is no guarantee of inward character!

How do we remain alive and moving in the Spirit, especially amongst dead Christianity? Know and be alert to the tactics of the enemy. Keep your purpose in Christ as the focus of your life! 

Image result for Sardis, Dead
Source: Danieltrainingnewtwork.org

The Seven Churches of Revelation:

Introduction
Ephesus: Where Did I Leave My Love?
Sweet Smelling Smyrna 
Falling Away Into Laodicea
Pergamos: Compromised and Indulged
The Church of Thyatira
Philadelphia, the Faithful Church

Have a good week everyone!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Who are the Genuine Children of God?

I came across this post through Berean Research and thought I'd have a peek. Honestly, I found this to be a very on-point essay on what it is to be a child of God. So read on and see what you think.

Who are the Genuine Children of God? 

by Mike Ratliff

28 Καὶ νῦν, τεκνία, μένετε ἐν αὐτῷ, ἵνα ἐὰν φανερωθῇ σχῶμεν παρρησίαν καὶ μὴ αἰσχυνθῶμεν ἀπʼ αὐτοῦ ἐν τῇ παρουσίᾳ αὐτοῦ. 29 ἐὰν εἰδῆτε ὅτι δίκαιός ἐστιν, γινώσκετε ὅτι καὶ πᾶς ὁ ποιῶν τὴν δικαιοσύνην ἐξ αὐτοῦ γεγέννηται. (1 John 2:28-29 NA28)

28 And now little children, abide in him that when he is manifested, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before him at his coming. 29 If you know that he is righteous, you also know that everyone practicing righteousness has been born of him. (1 John 2:28-29 translated from the NA28 Greek text)

I am sure many of you have come across the following video lately that many younger "Christian Leaders" are saying defines Christianity in the eyes of the "Millennials."


In 1 John 2:28 - 3:10, the Apostle John gives us "evidence" that is most definitely not "politically correct" that will enable us to determine those who really are the genuine children of God and those who aren't. Of course, we should take a close examination of ourselves as we go through this passage.

View Original on Possessing the Treasure

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Pergamus: Compromised & Indulged

                                                                                               Photo  Source: Bible History Daily

Pergamus, located in modern Turkey, was a provincial capital and the seat of Emperor worship. It was the center of four of the greatest pagan cults: Zeus, Athena, Dionysus and Asklepious. The latter was the god of healing and was honored with a great medical school which was associated with the worship of this god. This idol was shaped like a serpent, a symbol still used for the medical profession today. It was a very wealthy city sporting a library of 200,000 volumes later given by Anthony to Cleopatra.


The name 'Pergamos' according to some means 'elevated to marriage' or 'bigamy and/or
polygamy.'  In other words, 'mixed marriage' or 'compromise,' indicating the marriage of the church to the world. This was indeed what happened in this great city. However, the word etymology is mostly uncertain.

According to Revelation, this church is in a dangerous place, as this is where Satan's throne dwells - in fact, this is where Lucifer is not only present, but 'dwells.'  He also rules, as is inferred by the word throne.

The Pergamon Altar or 'Altar of Zeus'scholars believe was the Throne of Satan mentioned by John in Revelation
                                                                                                Photo Source: Bible History Daily
When Emperor Diocletian died in 305 AD, the succession of the Roman Empire was in dispute. On the night before a battle, Constantine had a vision of a flaming cross in the sky with the latin words "by this sign conquer." He won the battle, became emperor and stopped all christian persecution. Christianity became the state religion, and by law everyone had to profess to be a christian or lose his job. All heathen temples were converted to churches, all the names of the pagan entities were changed to christian names. Pagan feasts were converted to christian holidays but some maintained their pagan symbolism - like Easter and Christmas. In fact, many of the practices that exist in the Catholic church today trace their beginnings to this time period.

Unfortunately, Constantine brought about a religious dominion backed by secular power, which brought about a religious system with a form of godliness, without the power thereof. His efforts brought about an apparent freedom for christians, but at the altar of compromise.

Revelation mentions two false doctrines being practised:

The doctrine of Balaam (Numbers 22:2-6,12; Numbers 25:1-3). Balaam taught that people should intermarry with the heathen in order to compromise their beliefs.

The doctrine of the Nicolatians: "Niko" means 'to conquer,' "laity" means 'the people.'
This was a group who tried to separate laymen from clergy for the purpose of power. They claimed to be christians but lived immoral unclean lives believing that what you did to the body had no effect on the spirit (gnosticism).  They Lorded themselves over the laymen of the church, therefore this doctrine destroys the concept of the body of Christ as a whole unit.

Even so, Christ had commendations for them; their good works, they did not deny the faith; they held fast Christ's name. They were challenged to 'eat the hidden' manna'  (manna refers to God's provision for the Israelites in the wilderness and typifies Christ.) 

Did you know? 

The Altar of Pergamom was re-assembled in the Pergamum Museum in Berlin during Hitler's reign. Only the foundations of the altar can be seen at Pergamos today. The Turkish government wants this structure back on it's base and has been pressuring Germany for the return of the Zeus Altar.

The Base of the Altar in Pergamum. Photo Source: wingsofeaglesct.com

The Altar in Berlin.    Photo Source: whale.to
The Seven Churches of Revelation:

Introduction
Ephesus: Where Did I Leave My Love?
Sweet Smelling Smyrna 
Falling Away Into Laodicea

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Genesis Bible Study, Chapter 3

GENESIS CHAPTER THREE: THE FALL OF MAN

                                                              Ford Madox Brown, Public Domain

God did not create man after any of the models of angels, seraphs, cherubs or other existing orders of beings. These, by their names and other biblical revelation, are seen to possess great might and are called principalities and powers. 

Man was created tied to the earth and would be beneath the lowliest angel in power and rank, yet he was created in the image of God.

“For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels.” Psalm 8:4,5; Hebrews 2:6-8

There is a passage in scripture indicating the interest of the angel hosts in all events which concern man, the earth, and the plan of God. In addition, Peter tells us that the OT writers studied their own writings in order to find out the meaning of the revelations from God of which they had been the channel in 1 Peter 1:10-12.

The passage closes with a statement to the effect that the angels themselves were intensely occupied with this same study. (Stronger in the Greek than in English: 'Things in which angels long to look')

Genesis 3:1 THE SERPENT

Demonic spirits evidently have the ability to indwell or “possess” either human bodies or animal bodies; and the text suggests that possibly Satan chose the serpent as suitable for his purposes.  Luke 8:33

Serpent: The Hebrew word is ‘nachash'   (Strongs Concordance #5175, from 5172)

The word ‘nachash’ can function as a noun, a verb, or an adjective.

Strong’s Concordance-

As a noun 'nachash' means “snake or serpent.”

As a verb ‘nachash’ means to practice divination, enchant, bewitch, etc.
It also means to hiss, mutter or whisper, as do enchanters. It also means in a secondary sense to divine, or enchant or mesmerise, as a snake often does before catching its prey.

As an adjective ‘nachash’ means: ‘bright, brazen, shining brass’ and is translated to ‘shining one.’ It also has the meaning to shine or sparkle, like bronze or copper.
Some Scriptures also tell us that Satan has an extremely attractive appearance ( 2 Corinthians 11:3,14), and this Hebrew word therefore also conveys the meaning to fascinate/charm and bewitch. Deuteronomy 18:10-14.

Some maintain it originally meant ‘shining upright one.’ Consider that angelic or divine beings are often described in the Bible as shining or luminous.
(Ezek. 1:13-14, 26-27, Dan 10:6, and also Mar 9:3 and Luke 24:4).

What’s significant about this is that the name Lucifer comes from the Latin Vulgate translation of the Hebrew in Isaiah 14:12, “Helel ben-Shachar” and literally means, “Shining One, son of the Dawn.”

With the help of the serpent, Adam and Eve did sin. But God reacted in a way that this adversary did not anticipate; He gave them another chance.

And while the humans were driven from the Garden of Eden, at least they weren’t destroyed. But even more important; God made a way so that their transgression could be atoned for. And He knew that one day a human child of Eve would undo the effects of the fall in the Garden.

THE TEMPTATIONS

The temptation of "the first man Adam" began with the question "Hath God said?"

The temptation of "The second man, the Lord from heaven" began with the similar question "If Thou be the Son of God," when the voice of the Father had scarcely died away, which said "This is my beloved Son."

All turned on the truth of what God had said!

Temptation of Eve:  Genesis 3:1-5

The Word of God being questioned, led Eve in her reply….

(1) to omit the word "freely" -----Genesis 3:2, Genesis 2:16,

               (Eve) - "We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden"
              (LORD God) - "Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat"

(2) to add the words "neither shalt thou touch it" ---- Genesis 3:3,  Genesis 2:17.

               (Eve) - "God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it"
               (God) - "thou shalt not eat of it"

(3) to alter a certainty, by changing the meaning.

               (God) -" Thou shalt surely die" - (Genesis 2:17)
               (Eve) - "Lest ye die" - (Genesis 3:3).

Temptation of Jesus  Matthew 4:1-11

It is not without significance that the first words of "the second Man" were "It is written", three times repeated; and that His last Ministerial words contained a similar threefold reference to the written Word of God (John 17: 8, 14, 17).

Why was Satan’s temptation to Eve successful?
The Word of God was misrepresented three times.

Why was Satan’s temptation to Jesus defeated?
The same Word was faithfully repeated; "It is written"

Satan’s Questions and Response to Eve:

 “Has God said you shall not eat of any of the fruit of the trees?”(Here Satan is questioning God’s Word with a note of mocking condescension at Eve’s naive acceptance of God’s command, along with an inference that God was not quite as good and loving as she thought.)  

Genesis 3:4,5

First Satan questions God’s authority and goodness, then he completely denies His Word, calling God a liar.

“Ye shall not surely die” (Instilling doubt and directly challenging God’s Word)
Then he suggested God had another motive to withhold this knowledge.

“Ye shall be as gods/like God” (You’re missing out/you deserve more). This was the temptation that had led to Satan’s downfall (Isaiah 14:13,14) and it was a temptation to Eve as well.

*As soon as one denies God’s Word or questions His sovereign goodness, he is really setting himself up as his own god because he decides for himself what the standards of truth and righteousness are.  The same temptation comes to us day after day. We must resist the devil and have faith in God.

Genesis 3:6  THE ATTRIBUTES OF SIN

To Eve it seemed that the fruit was...

1) Good for food: something appealing to the physical, bodily appetite. (Lust of the flesh)
2) Pleasant to the eyes: something appealing to the emotions, the esthetic senses. (Lust of the eyes)
3) Able to make one wise: appealing to the mind and spirit, to pride of knowledge and spiritual insight. (anything that exalts us above our station and offers the illusion of God-like qualities, wherein we boast in arrogance and worldly wisdom is the pride of life.) (Pride of life)

1 John 2:16 “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”

Temptation may be directed at the body, soul or spirit, or against all three at once as with Eve and Jesus.

The source of the temptation is said by James to be “earthly, sensual, devilish” James 3:15   
   
The woman being deceived was in the transgression, which seems to place the main blame on her, accounting for her being cursed and made subject to man. 1 Timothy 2:14

However, Adam’s sin was deliberate. In fact, it was not by Eve’s sin, but by Adam’s that “sin entered into the world, and death by sin.” He was the true federal head of the race (Eve herself having been formed from him), and it was “through the offence of one that many be dead.” Romans 5:15

Genesis 3:7

Their eyes were opened and they knew they were naked.  A sense of guilt and shame came over them. They covered themselves with fig leaves. They realized what they had done and hid.

(Compare Isaiah 64:6 filthy rags of self made righteousness, Isaiah 61:10 garments of salvation)

Genesis 3:8-10

Adam and Eve had hidden themselves from God. Their excuse was that they were naked and afraid.

*The shame of nudity is no artificial inhibition introduced by the conventions of civilization. It has its source in this awareness of sin and is only discarded when the moral conscience has been so hardened as to lose all sensitivity to sin. 

The Bible tells us that clothing is also worn in heaven (Rev 19:14)

Genesis 3:11-13 Who Told You?

Adam would not have known he was naked unless he had disobeyed God.

Hast thou eaten of the forbidden fruit?  An opportunity to confess?

Adam blamed his wife and God, Eve blamed the serpent, neither willing to acknowledge personal guilt.

There is no indication of repentance, only attempts to justify themselves. How much like us!

What actually happened?

1) Their eyes were opened
2) They were ashamed, they feared, they experienced guilt.
3) They began to die.  (In Adam all die. All his descendants. Rom 5:12; 1 Cor 15:22)
4) Fellowship with God was broken.
5) No longer permitted to eat from the tree of life.
6) Cast out of the Garden.
7) They were cursed.
8) They now knew evil through their disobedience.
9) There was now a sacrifice required.

Based on what the serpent said, what didn’t happen?

1) They did not truly become as God, although now they knew the difference between good and evil and everything associated with that.

That's the way it is with sin. It promises so much but delivers so little. What it does deliver, we didn't expect (shame, guilt, death).

Genesis 3:14  What about the curses?

For Adam and Eve, their subjection under the curse was in hope (Romans 8:20) of eventual redemption; for Satan it was final and irrevocable. He had not only rebelled against God in heaven, but now he had also infected mankind with his rebellion.

The serpent was cursed above all animals. Whatever was its beauty and posture before, it would go on its belly and be an object of dread and loathing by all. 

(All other animals were brought under the curse at this time as well. Each was a part of man’s dominion and everything in that dominion was affected through sin.)

Doesn’t that rule out the translation of a “shining one” and keep with the traditional interpretation of a snake?” 

That would be a misguided approach since it would make more sense if the curse were directed at a fallen divine being than a snake. First consider the curse with respect to Eve. God tells the serpent that there will be enmity between the offspring of Eve (humankind) and the offspring of the serpent.  If the nachash were an actual snake then all humans would hate or fear snakes and snakes by nature would exist to attack and harass humans. That is not the case.

God also tells the serpent that he will eat dust all the days of his life. Snakes do not eat dirt as a means of sustenance so the curse is not meant to be taken literally. If that were the true it would make a great case for evolutionists. 

Eating the dust of the earth was a term used for someone of lowly social status of defeat. (Micah 7:16-17, Isa 49:23).

If all Scripture is to agree with itself then a divine super natural being is the only explanation of what tempted Eve and not a snake.

When Satan is spoken of as a “serpent”, it is an implication or figure of speech.
For example, Dan is called a serpent in Gen. 49:17;

Nero is called a “lion” (2Tim. 4:17);
Herod is called a “fox” (Luke 13:32);

Judah is called “a lion’s whelp."

It is the same when “doctrine” is called “leaven” (Matt. 16:6).

It shows that something much more real and truer to the truth is impressed; and is intended to be a figure of something much more real than the letter of the word.

Genesis 3:15,16

I will put enmity between thee and the woman and between thy seed and her Seed.

The earth had originally been put under man’s dominion. By persuading them to follow his word instead of God’s word, Satan probably believed that he had now won the allegiance of the first man and woman and all their descendants. They would be allies in his effort to dethrone and vanquish God. Satan was now the “god of this world” 2 Cor. 4:4.

However....God had now put enmity between them and their seed.

Note that Eve’s “Seed” is capitalized. What does this mean?

This is the first prophetic implication of a coming Saviour.

Christ will be uniquely the Seed of the woman, miraculously conceived and virgin-born. This One would not be of the man’s (Adam’s) ‘seed,’ and therefore not under Satan’s dominion. (more at Seed of the Serpent, Seed of the Woman below)

God prophetically announces the outcome and man’s hope. Satan will be completely crushed beneath the feet of the woman’s Seed, but first the serpent is able to ‘bruise the heel’ of the woman’s Seed. 

 One day a Saviour would come who would destroy the devil and reconcile man to God.

The bruising of Christ’s heel is the most eloquent and impressive way of foretelling the most solemn events; and to point out that the effort made by Satan to evade his doom, then threatened, would become the very means of insuring its accomplishment; for it was through the death of Christ that he who had the power of death would be destroyed; and all Satan’s power and policy brought to an end, and all his works destroyed (Heb. 2:14; 1 John 3:8; Rev. 20:1-3, 10). 

What literal words could portray these literal facts so wonderfully as these expressive Figures of speech?

Seed of the serpent? Seed of the Woman?

As far as we know in this situation, the Serpent would not produce seed.

The woman could not produce seed. 

Therefore, these 2 seeds must refer to spiritual progeny!!!

Satan’s seed consists of those who wilfully set themselves at enmity with the seed of the woman. John 8:44; Ephesians 2:2,3

The seed of the woman would be those in the human family who are brought into right relationship with God through faith, children of the Father.

In addition, there is one primary seed of the serpent and one primary seed of the woman.

The former is the “son of perdition” 2 Thess. 2:3, the end time antichrist.
The primary seed of the woman is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Satan did not know when this would happen, so may have assumed it would be Eve’s firstborn. As a result Satan has continued his attack against the males born in the promised line in case one of them was the promised Seed.

THE CURSES

Specific Curse of the Woman.  Verse 16

-As the mother of all living, Eve would experience and pass on a greatly multiplied suffering during childbirth.

This is a recurring reminder of her sin, and yet it comes with a blessing. John 16:21

-She acted independent of her husband in her decision to taste the desired fruit, but now her husband would rule over her and her desire would be for him.

An insatiable desire or yearning for his time, his attention, affection and assurance. Her need would be so great, but her now sinful husband would seldom be willing to meet it. "He shall rule over you."
(The Honeymoon is Over - The Story of Adam & Eve. Bible.org.)

Generally speaking, in many cultures man has subjugated woman with little regard for her own personal feelings and needs. Such harsh rule went far beyond God’s intention. Though the husband was the head of the house, he was to love and cherish his wife, considering her to be one flesh with him and clinging to his wife. (Genesis 2:23,24)

Genesis 3:17-19

The ground (earth) was cursed.

The earth had previously cooperated as the man worked in it, but now it would become reluctant to yield his food and would bring thorns and weeds requiring toil, sweat and tears before man could eat of it.

The curse on man was fourfold:

Sorrow: resulting from continual disappointment and futility

Pain and suffering: signified by the thorns which hinder man in his efforts to provide a living for his family

Sweat/tears: the intense struggle against a hostile environment

Physical death: which would eventually triumph over all man’s efforts.

The Second Adam: was the man of sorrows, acquainted more with grief than any other man, wounded, bruised and chastised, wore the thorns as His crown. In the agony of His labor, he sweat drops of blood, offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears and finally died. He bore all the curse Himself for us and the former things are passing away. Genesis Record pg 128

(Gal. 3:13, Isaiah 53:3-5, Luke 22:44, Mark 15:17)

There will be no more curse when Christ returns to purge and renovate the earth. Malachi 4:2; Rev 22:3

Genesis 3:20

Adam named the woman, Eve: (Life spring)

She was the mother of all living.

He thereby indicated his faith in God’s promise that they would have children, and that God would send the Seed of the woman to bring salvation.

No children were born to them before the fall as then those children would have been born in a sinless state. The Bible tells us that all died “in Adam” 1 Cor 15:22

Genesis 3:21

God provided a covering for their nakedness. This would have required shedding of innocent blood.  Leviticus 17:11 They learned, in type, that an atonement (covering) could only be provided by God and through the shedding of blood on the altar.
John 6:53-56

Genesis 3:22-24

Apparently the Garden of Eden continued to exist for some time after Adam and Eve left. The tree of life still grew there, but man was prevented from eating of it.

Man had “become as one of us, to know good and evil….”

This statement has a tone of sadness and the sentence is left unfinished...as if to hasten to avert the tragedy suggested of men living on forever in their now fallen state.

Prior to this man had only known the goodness of God, but now he had experienced the evil inherent in rejecting God’s word.

His hope for ‘god-ness,’ as promised by the serpent was not as he expected. He had been created uniquely in God’s image, but now that image was marred and defaced by his experience of evil.

Did Adam and Eve want to leave the Garden?
They were driven out from the presence of God and separated from Him.

Where did they go to?
Back to till the ground from which Adam was originally taken.

The Cherubim Guards

God placed Cherubim to “keep” or guard the way of the tree of life. There were two, with a flaming  sword flashing around them.

These creatures were the highest in the angelic hierarchy and are always associated with the throne of God (Psalm 18:10; 80:1; 99:1).

Cherubim are described in Ezekiel 1:4-28, Ez. 10:1-22, Rev. 4:6-8.

Later, His presence was revealed over the mercy seat in the holy of holies in the tabernacle. Exodus 25:17-22; Hebrews 9:3-5.

This mercy seat is overshadowed by two golden representations of the cherubim.

It was here that once a year the high priest entered with the sacrificial blood of atonement to sprinkle over the mercy seat.

It is possible that it was here, between the cherubim guarding the way to the tree of life that God continued to meet with Adam and his descendants who desired to know Him? He had shown Adam and Eve that an atonement required the shedding of innocent blood to provide a “covering” for the guilty.  Possibly at an appointed time and place, men were able to meet God, being careful to approach Him with an offering marked by the principle of substitution – the innocent for the guilty.

One’s attitude of the heart determines his destiny in eternity. If he accepts God’s Word, by faith in God’s provision through the shed blood of the Redeemer, then he is of the ‘seed of the woman.’ 
If he rejects God’s Word, relying on his own merits to earn salvation, he is fulfilling his own will in place of Gods’ will. He is presuming to be ‘as gods, knowing good and evil,” and consequently becomes of the serpents’ seed.

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Chapter Three Hand Outs

Lucifer
One Will, Two Wills, Freewill
Who is the Morning Star?
What's His Name & His Limitations

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Lucifer

Ephesians 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

After God’s creation, He said that everything was good! So where did this enemy come from and why is he opposed to God?

The Bible tells us that God placed a mighty being to rule and govern in His name.  This being was created with more power and beauty than any other. This spirit being was called Lucifer, “Day Star,” “son of the morning.”

Lucifer, upon his creation, took his place as the highest, most beautiful, most powerful and wisest of the created beings of God. In the first moment of his existence, he awoke in the beauty and power of his exalted position; surrounded by all the magnificence which God gave him. He had never known a lesser moment!! He saw himself as above all the hosts in power, wisdom and beauty. Only at the throne of God did he see more than he himself possessed.

In Ez. 28:14 it states “I had placed thee and thou was upon the holy mountain of God” (a mountain is the symbol of government). Before his fall he may be said to have occupied the role of prime minister for God.

Satan is a created being (Ezekiel 28:15) as are the other hosts of heaven, and they were all ministering spirits “for them who shall be heirs of salvation” (Hebrews 1:14).

At some point this being became filled with pride and decided he could govern independently from God. He proclaimed he would set up an independent rule, and a third of the angels joined him in his rebellion against God. These are the company of fallen angels and demons. Ezekiel 28:15-17

When did this take place? According to the time allowed in the Gap Theory? During or just before the Fall of man? Prior to the creation of the heavens and the earth?

Ezekiel 28:1-19 The first part of the chapter is a lamentation against someone called the PRINCE of Tyre. This was probably a contemporary of Ezekiel.  In the eleventh verse there seems to be a change of address.  This is against the KING of Tyre. In the judgment addressed to this King, it is apparent that a being above and beyond the sphere of humanity is in view. (The Lord on several occasions addresses Satan indirectly: Gen. 3:15; Matthew 16:22,23; Ezekiel 28:12; Isaiah 14:9-11; 14:12).

Now, behind every earthly power there is a satanic power lurking, seeking to control and dominate for the glory of Satan. However, all that Satan has done or is doing or will do is by the permissive will of God.

Satan is still working within the limits of the eternal plan of God.

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One Will, Two Wills, Freewill

ONE WILL
Ezekiel 28:15 “Thou was perfect in thy ways from the day that thou was created, till iniquity was found in thee”

Until iniquity was found in the heart of Lucifer, all was order and harmony. There was only one will in the universe, and that was the will of God.  Isaiah 45:7 is the declaration by God that sin originated in the heart of Lucifer, His created being.

TWO WILLS

Isaiah 14:13,14 “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High”

There came into the universe a second will, rising from the heart of Lucifer, the highest and most wonderful of all the created beings in the universe. There was now a second voice saying “I will”.”

Luke confirms this in the passage of Christ’s Temptation and Satan’s offering to Him there:

Luke 4:5-7 “All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it (the kingdoms of the world). If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine”

A careful reading of these verses in which Satan is speaking will show that in the three words italicized, they say, flatly: “mine is the kingdom, the power and the glory.” This is a challenge by Satan of the right of Christ to enter into the principality which Satan held and over which he now claimed right of possession.

Jesus answers to the point: “Get thee behind me Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God and Him only shalt thou serve.” (vs 8)

Then immediately after the temptation He gathers His disciples on the mount in teaches them the disciples’ prayer ascribing the kingdom, power and glory to God alone. (Matthew 6:9-13)

See: The Limitations of Satan

FREE WILL

God created man with free will/moral choice. What Lucifer didn’t expect was that God gave mankind a second chance through the coming sacrifice of His only begotten Son which would cancel out the penalty.

The world cannot solve any of its own problems because it is subject to the one who is the god of this age.

(2 Corinthians 4:4 "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.")

Time must continue until it has been thoroughly demonstrated that there is no health or hope apart from God. Christ shall put down all rule and all aughority and power (1 Cor. 15:24,25)


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Who is the Morning Star?

The first reference to the morning star as an individual is in Isaiah 14:12:
 “How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!” (NIV).

 The KJV and NKJV both translate “morning star” as “Lucifer, son of the morning.” It is clear from the rest of the passage that Isaiah is referring to Satan’s fall from heaven (Luke 10:18). So in this case, the morning star refers to Satan. In Revelation 22:16, Jesus unmistakably identifies Himself as the morning star. 

Why are both Jesus and Satan described as the “morning star”?

It is interesting to note that the concept of the “morning star” is not the only concept that is applied to both Jesus and Satan. 

In Revelation 5:5, Jesus is referred to as the Lion of the tribe of Judah. In 1 Peter 5:8, Satan is compared to a lion, seeking someone to devour. 

The point is this, both Jesus and Satan, to a certain extent, have similarities to lions. Jesus is similar to a lion in that He is the King, He is royal and majestic. Satan is similar to a lion in that he seeks to devour other creatures. That is where the similarities between Jesus, Satan, and lions end, however. Jesus and Satan are like lions in very different ways.


The idea of a “bright morning star” is a star that outshines all the others. Satan, as perhaps the most beautiful creation of God, probably the most powerful of all the angels, was a bright morning star. 

Jesus, as God incarnate, the Lord of the universe, is THE bright and morning star. Jesus is the most holy and powerful “light” in all the universe. 

So, while both Jesus and Satan can be described as “bright morning stars,” in no sense is this equating Jesus and Satan. Satan is a created being. His light only exists to the extent that God created it. Jesus is the light of the world (John 9:5). Only Jesus’ light is self-existent. 

Satan may be a bright morning star, but he is only a poor imitation of the one true bright morning star, Jesus Christ, the light of the world.

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Please Note:


The information above is from a Bible Study I arranged which was based mostly on information found in "The Genesis Record" by Henry Morris. Any additional hand outs or information will include source information whenever possible. 

To do this study, read the chapter first and then go over each verse where it is posted in this study. Then go over the notes as provided. I encourage you to allow discussion in your class time.

*The student notes are in black text (shows white on the blog) , the additional teacher information is in grey, and answers are in red text. 

Copy and paste this study in Word as a teacher copy. Then make another copy, remove the grey and red text and 'save as' a  student copy. Make sure you leave room for answering questions. I suggest you copy and paste the hand outs into Word and run them off separately.

To see all the Genesis Bible Study Chapters, click on "Genesis Study" in the sidebar.

Please be patient as I update the information onto my blog.  This study will include Genesis Chapters One through Eleven. 

Blessings,
Carmen

What's his Name & his Limitations!

                                                        Gustave Dore, 1866, Public Domain

There are many names the Bible uses for the devil and his minions. I came across an interesting tidbit about the name 'Satan,' but first, here's a bit of an overview (not exhaustive) of some of the names he is called in the Bible. Some of these are interesting and I suggest you look those up.

Abaddon- Hebrew name meaning 'destruction.' Rev 9:11
Accuser - Rev 12:10
Adversary - 1 Peter 5:8
Angel of Light -  How he likes to present himself. 2 Cor. 11:14
Annointed Covering Cherub - Before the Fall.  Ezekiel 28:14
Apollyon - Greek name meaning 'destroyer.' 
Beast - Rev. 14; 9,10
Beelzebub - "Ruler of demons." Matthew 12:24
Dragon - Rev. 12:9
God of this age - 2 Cor. 4:4
King of Tyre - Ezekiel 28:12
Lucifer, Son of the Morning - Isaiah 14:12-14
Prince of the power of the air - "The spirit who works in the sons of disobedience." Ephesians 2:1,2
Ruler of Darkness - "Over spiritual hosts of wickedness."  Eph. 6:12
Ruler of this world - "Who will be cast out." John 12: 31,32
Serpent of Old -  "Who deceives the whole world." Rev. 12:9
Son of Perdition - "He sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." 2 Thess 2:3,4
Wicked One - Eph 6;16

And there are many more, including 'Satan.' 

In many cases, the translators chose to transliterate 'saw-tawn,' which means 'adversary, accuser or opponent' as 'satan.' Then they changed the word into a name by using a capital 'S,' so 'saw-tawn' was turned into a proper name, 'Satan.'

Saw-tawn in Hebrew, and satan in Greek is not a proper name. It is simply a word that means adversary, accuser or opponent! 

So now you know! :) 

What are his limitations?


"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness int he heavenly places."
Ephesians 6:12

There's no doubt that he is powerful, but he is not like God. Satan is a creature, as Ezekiel 28:15 states. He is a created being! However, we must also remember how the archangel Michael did not make any reviling accusations against him when they were contending over the body of Moses, but merely said, 'the Lord rebuke you!' (Jude 1:9). If an archangel was careful in how he confronted Lucifer, perhaps we should be too?

Regardless of this, he does have his limitations, as listed below.

He is not omniscient: 

Only God knows all things, but Lucifer does not. He can make guesses because he knows man, mankind's history and not just the prophetic words of the Bible, but the whole Bible.

(It's a big bit of an advantage, therefore in addition to knowing God and having relationship, this is one more important reason we have to read the Word of God!)

Those who rely on mediums and fortune tellers should know that when their 'prophecies' are not outright deceits, they are just guesses based on the information given and the medium tapping into the spiritual hosts of wickedness who are familiar with man. Thus, familiar spirits...but this is not necessarily true knowledge, nor will it ever be true knowledge of what is to come. 

God made a challenge to all false gods in Isaiah 41:21-24.  He states that they are less than nothing and their works are utterly worthless! 

He is not omnipotent:

He cannot do anything he wants to do. God puts boundaries on him. Remember the story of Job? Only God is omnipotent!

He is not omnipresent:

He cannot be everywhere at the same time. He wanders to and fro on the earth seeking whom he may devour (Job 2;2).  However, he does have many angels doing his bidding since a third of the angels (now called demons) fell with him. 

The true God can help all who call on Him, all at one time!! He is omnipresent.

We must never underestimate the devil, neither must we overestimate him.

God is our strength. He limits Lucifer and will never permit us to be tempted above what we are able to handle, and he will always provide a way of escape (1 Cor. 10:13).

Blessings, 
Carmen

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Genesis Bible Study, Chapter Two

Genesis Chapter 2

                                                                                                                                             Source: Imagefriend.com

(Instructions on how to use this Bible Study are located at the bottom of each Chapter)

Chapter 2 of Genesis gives us more detail on the first week of creation beginning in verse 4 focusing mainly on the creation of man and woman, and describing the area in which they lived.

Genesis 2:1-3

-Many believe that the first 3 verses of chapter two of Genesis should belong at the end of the first chapter because they cover the 7th day.
                     
The Sabbath:
-The 7th Day - Blessed and Hallowed.
-There is no mention of a morning or evening in this passage.

Does this mean the seventh day is still continuing?

No. The Scripture does not say He is resting on the 7th day, rather ‘He rested’ (past tense) on the 7th day.

In fact, the words “seven, Sabbath, and rest” are the same word in Hebrew. It means the cessation of effort. It is not a restoring rest brought on because of fatigue. God stopped because He was finished, not because He was tired.  (Interpreting Symbols and Types, Kevin J. Connor)

The end of the 6th day was the last account of any creating activity. God is still active, although not in creation (as in the visible being created from things which are not visible).  That is confirmed in the passage John 5:17-19 where Jesus is in the synagogue healing a man on the Sabbath.

                                  “My Father is working until now, and I am working“

 It was proper for Him to do a deed of mercy on the Sabbath because He was imitating His Father who was unceasingly active. However, God’s creative activity in this realm has ended.

There is also a spiritual parallel here to the spiritual rest found in Christ!

- Interestingly even evolution agrees to this. There is no ‘creating’ observable today.

Why did God appoint a Sabbath day?
Colossians 2:13-17, Mark 2:27,28 (23-28 for context)

    1)  It’s a shadow of things to come (it has symbolic value)
    2) The Sabbath was made for man. For his rest and refreshing, and for turning our attention to God.

Also Romans 14:5, 6; Galatians 4:10,11

The weekly (shadow) Sabbath ended at the cross. The next day became the Lord’s Day...and that’s what Christians began to celebrate.  

“Often first-day worship was practiced alongside observance of seventh day Sabbath rest and was a widespread Christian tradition by the 2nd century. Over time, Sunday became known as the Lord’s Day, and later as a rest day. On March 7, 321, Constantine issued a decree making Sunday a day of rest from labor.” (Wikipedia)

What is the True (full and complete) Sabbath rest?
Hebrews 4 (esp. vs: 9,10)

To cease from your own efforts and depend on the works of another. Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Although the Old Testament tells us to remember the Sabbath to keep it holy. Ex. 20:8, this seems to have been turned into a more excellent observance. In Hebrews 4:9-11 where we are told to “enter in and remain” in a Sabbath rest!

Most of us are inadequate and unable, but why? We depend on our own efforts, looking to ourselves, our background, training, gifting, talents, education, etc.  We become overconfident and underequipped, or under-confidant and overworked! We constantly try to make up in activity what we lack in results. God knew that would be our problem -- He understands us.

Matthew 11:28-30 Come unto me, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you. Learn of me.

Yoke: to fit over the neck of two oxen. It was made for two, never for one. Christ on one side, you on the other.  It is a symbol of servitude, controlled labor and activity. He learned obedience through the things he suffered. 

“If any man saves his life, he shall lose it. If any man loses his life because of me, he will find it. He will enter my rest.” Matthew 16:25

Genesis 2:4

Again, chapter 2 is the beginning of a recap of what happened during the creation days.  It does not contradict the account in the first chapter, but instead is complementary to it.  

There is a difference in the vocabularies in the two chapters.  Some say that the section from Genesis 2:4b to Genesis 5:1 was written by Adam.  The most distinctive vocabulary difference is the use of the divine name Lord God (Jehovah Elohim) instead of God (Elohim), In Genesis 4, however, Lord (Jehovah) is used almost exclusively.

“In the day”....YOM here is most properly translated “in the time.” (vs 4)

Genesis 2:5, 6

The present hydrologic cycle involves global and continental air movements as well as annual and seasonal temperature changes.  It centers around the solar evaporation of ocean waters, transportation to the continents in the atmospheric circulation, condensation and precipitation in the form of rain and snow. Then it transports back to the oceans via rivers.

As originally created, the earth’s daily water supply came from evaporation and condensation causing a mist (fog, vapor) to form on the land which watered its surface. There were also spring fed rivers.

Genesis 2:7 A Living Being (KJV translates this as Living Soul)

This verse focuses not on the creation of man (as in Gen. 1:27), but of the formation and energizing of his body. Man’s body had been completely formed, equipped with nostrils, lungs, and the entire breathing apparatus, as well as bones and organs, etc.

Man was made from the dust of the earth. It is now known that the same essential chemical elements are found in man and animal life that are in the soil. Also see 1 Corinthians 15:45-49 along with the following question.

What had to happen before man became a living being?

God breathed the spirit of life into his nostrils.

Life can only come from life, and the living God is the only self-existent Being, so it must ultimately come from Him. The breath of life is shared in common with animals (Gen 7:22) At this point man became a living soul. 

What is the difference between the spirit and the soul?

The spirit is the element in humanity which gives us the ability to have an intimate relationship with God.

Whenever the word 'spirit' is used, what does it refer to? (John 4:24)

The immaterial part of humanity that 'connects' with God, who Himself is Spirit. 

The soul and the spirit are connected, but separable (Hebrews 4:12).

What is the soul?  The essence of humanity’s being;  it is who we are.

Genesis 2:8,9 Eden

Eden means delight. The root word is “watering.”  It means - a place that is well watered.

It is also called (?)
Isaiah 51:3   The garden of the Lord
Ezekiel 28:13; 31:9    The garden of God
Revelation 2:7    The paradise of God

What trees received special mention?

The tree of life.
The tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

The tree of life was planted in the middle of the garden. If man ate from this tree he would live forever. (Genesis 3:22)

The tree of the knowledge of good and evil was also planted in the garden. If man ate from this tree, he would surely die (Dying, you shall die).  (Genesis 2:17)

The moment Adam disobeyed God, the principle of death and decay began to operate and he would eventually go back to the dust from which he was formed.

The Hebrew word for ‘knowledge’ is translated 'wisdom, perception and understanding.' In short, it means having the power to decide for one self. 

Does the ‘tree of the knowledge of good and evil’ make one wise?

No, Knowing good and evil does not give one the power to choose the good and reject the evil! Ultimately there’s only one result from this tree, the experience of evil - which results in death!

Genesis 2:10-14 The Rivers

There was a single river entering the garden. It separated into four headwaters, or rivers, each having its own name. This single river does something that most rivers DO NOT do; specifically, split into four separate "heads" or rivers that flowed downstream, all fed from a common single river source. Almost all rivers start from a single source or are fed by multiple sources (tributaries). For that reason, nobody has been able to look at modern maps of the regions mentioned in Genesis and figure out exactly where the Garden of Eden was, at least by the present topography of the lands of the Middle East. 

Pishon: It winds through the entire land of Havilah. Havilah is in central Arabia east of Israel (Genesis 25:18). It is known for its pure gold, aromatic resin and onyx. (according to Josephus, the Greeks called this the Ganges)

Gihon: It winds through the entire land of Cush.  The land of Cush is often associated with Ethiopia, but not always. In this instance, Ethiopia is in Africa, but the garden is described as being in Mesopotamia, to this is probably located east of Mesopatamia, or east of the Tigris river. (Josephus: The Nile)

Hiddekel: It runs along the east side of Asshur in what today is northern Iraq. It is believed to be the Tigris River. (Hiddekel was also given in the Assyrian monuments as the Tigris)

Euphrates: Which is in ancient Babylonia, or modern southern Iraq.

Two of these rivers that are known today, and two rivers are unknown.

If the Tigris and Euphrates rivers mark the northern and southern borders of the garden, then the other two may have marked the western and eastern borders...but this is just a guess. Based on what we do know, the Garden of Eden was probably between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in what is today modern Iraq or modern Turkey.

Genesis 2:15

God placed Adam in the garden. His first knowledge of his Creator would be of one who loved Him and abundantly provided for him. He was to tend, guard (a careful and loving stewardship) and keep it (beautiful and orderly).

What was Adam to do in the Garden?

Work
Even in a perfect world, work was necessary for man’s own good. 

Genesis 2:16,17

Of what concern was God’s first command to man?

1) It concerned Life and Death
2) Positive Blessing: Freely eat of every tree
3) Negative Consequences: Do not eat of the tree of good & evil…you will die.

All earthly goods and pleasures were at man’s disposal, except the tree of the knowledge (or knowing) of good and evil, which was forbidden. Its purpose was to test their obedience to the will of God.

Adam was not to assume that because he was given authority over the earth that he was independent of God and exempt from His law.  Although he was created in a perfect state, he had the ability to make an imperfect choice.

In other words, he had free will.

Moral Choice/Free Will

However, in order to make a right moral choice, it was necessary that a wrong moral choice could also be made.  God’s creation of morally free spiritual beings, “in his own image,” clearly must run the risk of having them reject Him and His love.

There was every reason for man to conform to God’s command and no reason to disobey. Yet he did have a choice and so was truly a ‘free moral agent’ before God.

There can be no doubt that God’s nature of love was central to His purpose in creating man and woman. (1 John 4:16-19; Eph. 2:7)  A perfect Creator could hardly be satisfied with an imperfect love relationship. Therefore, if God created people with the purpose of bestowing His love on them, His purpose must also have included a mutual and reciprocated love on their parts. But love, by its very nature, must be voluntary. If they are really to love God, men and women must be able to choose of their own will to love God!

How can we show love to God?

1 John 5:3   Obedience
1 John 4:21; Matthew 22:37-40   Loving others
1 John 2:15   Do not love the world
John 16:27   Love Jesus

Genesis 2:18   "It is not good that man should be alone."

God made woman out of man “a helpmate for man”...literally “a helper like man,” suited, adapted, complementary for him.

It does not say that Adam was lonely.
It does not say that anything was evil, only not good in the sense that it was incomplete. This all took place on day 6.

Genesis 2:19

Chapter 2 verse 19 does not contradict Chapter One which seems to state that the birds and land animals were made before Adam. God had just expressed His purpose to make a ‘helpmeet for man,’ and it’s absurd to think He would set about to carry out this purpose by first making animals.

Rather, verse 19 merely shows that God also made animal bodies from the ground, however, though the physical elements were the same in the bodies of both man and beast, there was still no real fellowship possible between them, as Adam would soon learn when he examined them. He had been created “in the image of God” and would require a being of like nature to himself.

The conjunction ‘and’, could also be translated “also.”  (vs 19)
The word “formed,” can in the context legitimately be translated “had formed.” (vs 19)

God describes the sequence of creation in Genesis 1, then clarifies its most important details, especially of the sixth day in Genesis 2. There is no contradiction here, merely a common literary device describing an event from the general to the specific.

Genesis 2:20 Adam Names the Animals. * Handout

These probably included birds, cattle, beasts and smaller wild animals, but not the fish, the creeping things and the beasts of the earth (Genesis 1:24).

“Whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.”

We have no way of knowing how many “kinds” of animals appeared before Adam. The fact that he gave them appropriate names shows he was a man of high intelligence and quick discernment. There seem to have been no second thoughts or later name changes. 

This established Adam’s rule over them. When you name someone, you have authority over them (2 Kings 23:34; 24:17).

This also established that although he could rule over them, he could not intelligently fellowship with them.

Genesis 2:21,22  Flesh of his flesh

The account of the creation and formation of Eve is a problem for evolution. Even if Adam evolved from an apelike ancestor, there is no way in which the account of Eve’s unique mode of origin can be interpreted in an evolutionary context.

To make matters worse, the NT confirms this record. Adam first, then Eve. (1 Tim. 2:13; 1 Cor.11:8)

All other men have been born of woman, but the first woman was made from man!!

God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam. This was the first surgical operation.

Was Eve actually made from Adam’s rib?
Not just his rib.

The Hebrew word used is ‘tzeila’ and refers to Adam’s side, not rib. Both bone and flesh, as well as blood.

Eve came into existence out of the very life of the man. Life begets life.

Then the Lord God made “banah” a woman from the rib (side)....
The Hebrew word “banah” means “to build.” God actually built a woman out of Adam’s side.

Genesis 2:23,24

“This (creature) is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh.” This is Adam’s response and the first recorded words of man. This phrase is a statement of commitment (2 Samuel 5:1) from Adam to Eve. He realizes that she is his complement.

Spiritual Symbolism: In like manner, God is now forming a bride for Christ, as in ‘building up the body’ Eph 4:11-16

Adam named her "woman" because she was taken out of man.

Man=Ish in Hebrew
Woman=Isha in Hebrew.

Isha comes out of Ish.  This is a Hebrew wordplay and only makes sense in Hebrew.

*Could this show that Hebrew was the first language???

God brought her to the man: God will bring His bride to Jesus and He will go to meet her and she will evermore be joined to the Lord. (Rev 19:7-9; 1 Thess 4:16,27

Institute of Marriage

The Hebrew word for ‘be united’ means to stick like glue. This word is often used to signify the maintaining of a covenant and is used that way several times in the book of Deuteronomy.

It is plain that God’s intention from the very beginning was a permanent, life-long monogamous relationship for the man and his wife.  Jesus based His own teaching on marriage on this passage
(Mark 10:2-12) and he chose this relationship to show the picture and pattern of the relation of Christ to His Church (Eph. 5:22-33)

However...because of sin after the Fall, God has allowed polygamy (Abraham, Jacob and David, and to bless the work of some who practiced it). Similarly, the Law of Moses allowed divorce, and in some cases, God even commanded it (Ezra 10:11).

Genesis 2:25

They were alone with no other people before whom to be embarrassed, however, they felt perfectly natural with each other. More importantly, they were innocent, with no consciousness of sin or moral guilt.  God had commanded them to be fruitful and multiply, so there was no reason for their physical union in marriage to bring guilt feelings.  They had done nothing wrong.

This was the Dispensation of Innocence.

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Hand Outs: 
Six Godlike Qualities Man Displays
Adam Names the Animals

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Six Godlike Qualities Which Man Displays:

Language: Only man communicates by speech and writing, and this he has done from the dawn of history. How does a newborn baby learn to speak? It is now accepted by linguists that speech is innate, or inborn. That is, speech happens because the infant is human

Creativity: We have an insatiable desire to be creative. Animals are not creative. They endlessly reproduce a stereotyped design. A particular spider constructs a web of constant pattern. The song of a bird is species specific, or mimicry of another bird or human. No originality is demonstrated.

Love: Love is the quintessence of God’s character. God is love (1 John 4:16). Man, because of the given image, has the capacity to love—a virtue of a completely different order from the mothering or sex responses of an animal.

Holiness: Un-sinning Adam and Eve walked in the garden and communed with God—until the Fall. Only the faintest afterglow of that holiness is left in natural man. After years of buffeting by storms and abuse, man is now defaced, yet still shows something of his past grandeur—so man still retains the remnants of his original nobility. Man is still man, even in ruins.

More than that: because man is made in the image of God whether he acknowledges it or not, he still seeks after beauty and holiness; but beauty of body rather than of character, and personal esteem than the glory of God. A man re-created in the likeness of God puts on true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:24).

Immortality: God is immortal. Man too is immortal. This is another part of the image. Jesus said, “A time is coming when all who are in the graves will hear the voice (of the Son of Man) and come out—those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned” (John 5:28–29). God’s chosen ones will live with him forever in his newly created earth. 

Freedom: Adam was created only a little lower than the angels (Psalm 8:5), as a free spiritual being. A responsible moral agent with a thinking mind and powers of choice and action, able to commune with God and respond to him, he could love and worship God—or if not, as he chose. Man could rebel against God. And the tragedy for the human race is that Adam and his wife, tempted by the serpent, did just that. Man, with such a golden start, used his freedom to turn against his Creator.

Man now misinterprets freedom as independence. Satan’s lie was to trick man into believing that to be independent of God was to be “free.” But there is no such thing as freedom. We are all slaves, either to Christ or to Satan. Since the Fall, man remains a free agent in the sense that his decisions and conduct proceed from his inner character and not from external constraint. But because his very nature is now sinful, his decisions and acts are sinful too. 
In any case, the “image of God” in which man was created entails aspects of human nature which are not shared by animals. 
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Adam Names the Animals.

There's no way anyone knows precisely how the animals were named (i.e. were they in a line, did Adam walk around and see them, etc.), but based on Genesis, we do know that Adam did so in the span of 24 hours. The criticism then is this: If we use current estimates of the number of animals in existence, it’s impossible for Adam to have taken less than the day God provided him with. How do Bible students explain and justify the account in Genesis in light of this criticism?

When considering the land and time in which Adam was created along with supporting Biblical evidence (and in some cases, the lack of evidence), strong and reasonable assumptions can be made to help fill in some of the gaps. Ultimately, it is the hope that this examination of Genesis 2:19-20 will provide enough information to either springboard an individual into further study or be an effective tool in answering Bible critics.

1. Genesis tells us that animals were created according to their “kinds”, rather than their species. This word indicates limitations of variation. Note the definition of the Hebrew word “kind”: Groups of living organisms belong in the same created "kind" if they have descended from the same ancestral gene pool. Therefore “snake” instead of “python”, “corn snake”, “eastern coral snake”, “cottonmouth”, etc.

2. There were less species in Genesis. For example, there were no domesticated dogs which means “wolf” would have been the “kind” that Adam named instead of the as-of-then-non-existent “Irish Wolfhound”.

3. It is often pointed out that Adam alone wouldn't have had time to name the hundreds of thousands of insects that currently exist. This is a bogus argument. While it looks impressive and certainly lends itself to the impossibility of the situation, the fact is Adam didn’t name insects or sea creatures. Genesis 2:20 says he named "cattle", "birds" and "beasts of the field".

5. There is no suggestion in Genesis 2 that the naming was meant to be comprehensive. It would make more sense if Adam simply gave a set of general names to a selection of animals rather than providing scientific taxonomy. The former and not the latter would have been of greater benefit to the humans who would come immediately after him (see below).

6. Cattle: There are several species of cows (at least five) but there’s no indication in the Bible that a breakdown beyond the generic "bos" (the genus of wild and domestic cows and oxen) was ever required or indeed ever implemented, especially when one considers the broad use of the word “cow” in Scripture without there ever being a distinction between a dairy cow, a meat cow or an ox (an animal which isn't actually referred to until the days of Jacob in Genesis 32). Likewise, the same naming structure could easily have applied for animals such as horses, snakes, birds, etc as we'll see below.

7. Birds: When examining the naming of birds, the same possibility applies. For example, there are 300 species of parrot today. Instead of Adam naming them all, the word “parrot” would legitimately have applied. While we don’t know if all parrots are descendants of one created “kind” or several “kinds” which had enough similar characteristics to label them as “parrots”, in either instance, the naming process would have been quick. There are between 17 - 20 species of penguins but they're all legitimately called "penguins". There are approximately 200 species of owls, all of which are a "kind" of owl. There are around 180 species of woodpecker, all of them legitimately labelled under the single kind of "woodpeckers". And so on...

8. Beasts of the field: Firstly, what animals are considered to be “beasts of the field”? The Hebrew word translated ‘field’ has the meaning of a flat plain. Using the Bible to form our description of the word, "beasts of the field" include animals that move in when humans move out (Exodus 23:29), ‘wild asses’ (Psalm 104:11), ‘dragons and owls’ (Isaiah 43:20), animals that prey on sheep (Ezekiel 34:8), and a range of carnivores (Ezekiel 39:17). Therefore, we can conclude that beasts of the field were probably animals that today live in open country and/or who venture close to human habitation. Further, we can conclude that animals living exclusively in forests, jungles, mountains, wetlands, deserts, etc. wouldn't have been named as they don't meet the "field" criteria.
9. Conclusion: Adam spent far less time naming animals then most critics would like to suggest. When one excludes insects, animals living in the sea and all relevant animals on the basis of habitat, it would seem generous to allow for the naming of a thousand or so “kinds” of animals. For sake of argument, if there were a thousand animals to name and Adam named one every 30 seconds or so, the process would have been a relatively leisurely event, taking a little over 8 hours. 

All in all, a pleasant, normal day’s work in the Garden of Eden.

Please Note:


The information above is from a Bible Study I arranged which was based mostly on information found in "The Genesis Record" by Henry Morris. Any additional hand outs or information will include source information whenever possible. 

To do this study, read the chapter first and then go over each verse where it is posted in this study. Then go over the notes as provided. I encourage you to allow discussion in your class time.

*The student notes are in black text, the additional teacher information is in grey, and answers are in red text. 

Copy and paste this study in Word as a teacher copy. Then make another copy, remove the grey and red text and 'save as' a  student copy. Make sure you leave room for answering questions. I suggest you copy and paste the hand outs into Word and run them off separately.

To see all the Genesis Bible Study Chapters, click on "Genesis Study" in the sidebar.

Please be patient as I update the information onto my blog.  This study will include Genesis Chapters One through Eleven.