Friday, April 24, 2009

Genesis Chapter 2 & 3 highlights

Genesis 2:1-3 “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.”

1) - As we can see in these verses, God tells us four times that he was finished with the work of creation. First He says finished, then He says ended, then He says rested twice. He also states three times that this includes “all of his work”. He emphasizes yet again that He created all of this in the course of six literal days, because He was finished by the seventh day and rested that day.

2) This is the first physical state of the world. It is in perfection and was not deteriorating or decaying. It maintained a status quo of perfection. The present processes we observe in the world are the first two laws of thermodynamics - energy is conserved , energy goes from a higher to a lower state. This is what causes so many problems for evolutionists, because creation - any kind of creation, including evolution (if it existed) has to be a process of innovation or creating or making, which is the direct opposite of the way the universe is working. The only explanation for this is something outside of the universe having input into our universe. This can only be explained by the divine revelation that God has given us. Heb. 11:3 says God framed the world by His word. Eph. 3:9 says Jesus created all things.

3) When it says that God rested, it doesn’t mean that He was exhausted and needed to recuperate. It merely means that He ceased from working. The Hebrew word is “naphash” which literally means to take a breath. So God took a breather to survey and enjoy the wonderful things He had created. He knew in advance that it wasn’t going to last long, so He wanted to enjoy it while He could before He had to start the work of redemption, which probably happened rapidly. This can be deduced from the fact that Adam and Eve were perfect in their creation, so they would have no trouble conceiving children - both being very fertile, and they had been commanded to get right down to business. The fact that she was not pregnant when she sinned (all mankind has been conceived in sin) shows that there was not a long gap of time as some have speculated. Some even say 40 years or so passed before sin entered. This is ludicrous given that God had commanded them to get busy and fill the earth. At this point, Satan had not yet sinned as all creation was perfect and good, so he had to fall, then he had to tempt Eve. Things must have happened rapidly at this point. When Christ said, “It is finished,” on the cross, He meant that that part of redemption - His coming into the world and dying for our sins- was finished. But in fact, redemption has not been concluded yet, and won’t be until the earth and all of creation is redeemed from the curse.

4) God pronounces his third blessing. This time it is on a day, not a creation. God sanctifies the seventh day and sets it apart as holy. We know that it was a command to Moses for the children of Israel to observe the seventh day as a day of rest. One can assume that Adam had been told the same thing, but it is unknown as to how long man observed this command, given that the whole world became full of sin. (Since the world really doesn’t observe a day of rest these days, as we are told that the end times are as in the days of Noah, one can surmise that they probably didn’t observe it either).

5) We have already covered the meaning "all the host of them", so there is no need to repeat it.

From this point on, we are only going to look at chosen sections of Scriptures that are pertinent to the development of our end times study. If I miss a few on the way, I will jump back when I need to and go over them.

Genesis 2: 5b-6 “for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.”

1) This is just to reiterate that in the antediluvian world, whether before or after the fall, there was no hydrological cycle.

Genesis 2: 9 “And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.”

Genesis 2:15-17 “And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, of every tree of the garden thou may freely eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

1) In the garden of Eden God had placed the tree of life. This tree was not forbidden to Adam and Eve, they could freely eat of it. Only the tree of knowledge of good and evil was forbidden. This tree (tree of life) was put under protective custody by angels with a flaming sword after the fall - Gen. 3:24. It was destroyed during the flood, but will make its appearance again in Revelation. When man was cut off from that tree in the day he sinned and was cast out of Eden, he began to die physically. It is just that the world was still so perfect in its ability to give health, that it took a long time for them to die physically. There is a dual meaning to the phrase “in the day that thou eastest thereof thou shalt surely die.” First, Adam died spiritually that day. This is the death that really matters. Secondly, he began to die physically. Then if one considers the phrase “a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as a day with the Lord”, Adam died before he was 1,000 years old, so he did die the first “day”, from God‘s perspective.

Genesis 3:1-5 “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? 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 middle 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.”

1) This Scripture is one of those over which there is debate. Some say that it is referring to what we would call a snake today, and that Satan entered and possessed it. However, if we take Scriptures literally, which is what we are supposed to be doing, this is not a snake but Satan’s actual form. He is a type of serpent. To get some idea of his original form, we must assume first that God calls him a serpent knowing that we will associate this term with a reptilian creature. While we cannot know for sure what Satan looked like, there are some clues that help us out. Starting with the reptilian part - If one looks at some of the pagan drawings of pagan gods (for instance Quezalcoatl) one finds reptilian gods. In Quezlcoatl’s case, it is a feathered god, or a reptile with wings. That is interesting in that after Adam sins, God places a curse on Satan that he will be cursed above every other beast and will crawl on his belly the rest of his days ( 3:14) - meaning that originally he did not, so either he had legs or wings. Based on the pagan representations, which came from Satan, we can make a case for wings. Possibly that is why Satan has some cultures create images of him in this guise. He wants them to see him as he was, not as he is now, crawling on his belly. God doesn’t want to demean one of his lower creations, he wants to demean Satan. Where is the curse on Satan here, if God only means a snake? Why should some poor innocent creature who is unintelligent and being used (if this was a case of possession) be punished and Satan not? While this does fall under the category of speculation, I think there is enough evidence to present a reasonable case for Satan having been a beautiful winged serpent at the start. Another passage in Ez. 28:13-15 tells us that Satan had, as a literal part of his body, musical instruments as well as precious gemstones. No wonder he was so beautiful. We now look upon reptiles as not being so pretty, but God may not have seen them that way.

2) Satan’s first words to man is to try to make man question 1) whether or not God meant what He said or could they have misunderstood and 2) was God trying to deny them something really good and was just being mean and selfish? To this day mankind is questioning whether God means what He has said in His Word, and whether His rules are to keep us from enjoying ourselves as much as we might. That is why there are so many interpretations of Scriptures and so much debate as to what God means. Instead of taking God at His word and taking it literally without adding or taking away, man finds all kinds of ways to change what God has said. And here is where it started. Does not every attack on God and the Bible start with, "Has God really said?" Is not every word questioned as being literal truth or merely a literary devise? It is Satan's main question to lead people astray.

3) Look at Eve’s response. The first things she does is change God’s word, making it more restrictive than it actually was. This is exactly what the Pharisees did and Jesus rebuked them for this, saying that they were making people more children of hell than themselves by all their rules (Matt. 23:15). God’s rules were never meant to be a burden. They were created with very specific purposes in mind and were for the benefit of man. At this point, even keeping the Sabbath was not a rule. They simply had to not eat of one tree. And I don’t believe it was any particularly special fruit. There was no special knowledge within the fruit as some people seem to think. The knowledge of good and evil came about as a result of disobedience, rebellion, and sin and its consequences of being separated from God, not from some miraculous thing in the fruit. Now they knew what rebellion was and were cut off from communion with God, so they knew evil.

4) Satan always couches his lies in some portion of truth. He says that they will not die, meaning “you’re not going to drop dead”. This was true. They didn’t just drop dead immediately, but they did die spiritually immediately, and they started to die physically, even though that took a lot longer. His next lie was to try to tempt them with his own sin, pride. He tells Eve they will be like gods knowing good and evil. Again, a half truth. We do know good and evil as a result of sin, but we are not gods. This is what most of the world is striving for, to be their own gods and rule their own destiny. They even like to tell God whom He has to accept into heaven and on what terms He has to accept them. This first lie, being like gods, is still the strongest lie that keeps people from coming to Christ. Everyone is striving to be a little god. New Age, Mormonism, it goes on and on. Nobody wants to answer to a higher power. They want to be that higher power. New Age is actually very old age.

Genesis 3:17-19 “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.”

1) Sin brought about the curse. Now the world enters into its second physical state. The cursed state. The laws of thermodynamics take over as everything starts to deteriorate and decay and die. Not only that, the ground brings forth unpleasant thorns and thistles, weeds, etc. Instead of just sowing, pruning, and watering (dressing and keeping) the plant life and harvesting the fruit, man had to till the soil by the sweat of his brow and weed his gardens to enable the plants to grow. This curse will not be lifted until the end of time when God creates a new heaven and earth - Rev. 21:1. (Another reason for not believing in life on other planets. The curse went throughout the universe. Any other creation would have suffered without having sinned.)

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