LESSON ONE * PART I * BOOK 2 Adam and Eveís Faith and Salvation Genesis 3:14-24 Now if you remember where we left off the last time we were together, we had just watched Adam partake of the forbidden fruit, knowing that he was up against a choice that he had to make. If you remember we emphasized the fact that Adam was evidently absent when Eve partook of the forbidden fruit. And when he came on the scene, he knew what she had done, and as the New Testament tells us: I Timothy 2:14 "And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression." So we see Adam was not deceived. In other words Adam was in a totally different state of mind than Eve. Eve was caught in a moment of weakness, and before she even realized what she had done, she had eaten. But then along comes Adam, and he has to decide whether to eat or not. He knew what she has already done, so his decision was based with regard to her, and without regard to the Creator, and he ate willfully, and disobeyed that revealed will of God! Also in our last lesson we closed with the fact that when Adam sinned, immediately he died spiritually. Now Iíve put the three circles back on the board as we had a few lessons back, only for illustration purposes. And for those of you who are super critical, I realize that the soul and the spirit are so closely intertwined that we usually think of both of them as the same, but the Scripture does separate the soul and spirit, as well as the body.
LESSON ONE * PART I * BOOK 2
Adam and Eveís Faith and Salvation
Now if you remember where we left off the last time we were together, we had just watched Adam partake of the forbidden fruit, knowing that he was up against a choice that he had to make. If you remember we emphasized the fact that Adam was evidently absent when Eve partook of the forbidden fruit. And when he came on the scene, he knew what she had done, and as the New Testament tells us:
I Timothy 2:14
"And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression."
So we see Adam was not deceived. In other words Adam was in a totally different state of mind than Eve. Eve was caught in a moment of weakness, and before she even realized what she had done, she had eaten. But then along comes Adam, and he has to decide whether to eat or not. He knew what she has already done, so his decision was based with regard to her, and without regard to the Creator, and he ate willfully, and disobeyed that revealed will of God!
Also in our last lesson we closed with the fact that when Adam sinned, immediately he died spiritually. Now Iíve put the three circles back on the board as we had a few lessons back, only for illustration purposes. And for those of you who are super critical, I realize that the soul and the spirit are so closely intertwined that we usually think of both of them as the same, but the Scripture does separate the soul and spirit, as well as the body.Hebrews 4:12a
"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit,Ö"
So we see man is a makeup of body, soul and spirit. Then we showed that when Adam ate, immediately his spirit died and lost fellowship with his Creator, and his body also began to die. Now Adam didnít die until he was 930 years old, but the moment he ate, the seeds of death entered and he began to die, but remember he immediately died spiritually.
Then in our last lesson we went to Johnís gospel, chapter 3, and we might want to look at it again, because the name of the game for any kind of education is repetition and review. I always have to remember that a couple of years ago, the academic community was all shook up by a mathematic professor here in Oklahoma, and if I remember correctly it was at Rose Junior College in Oklahoma City where he had all of a sudden taken average mathematic students and had raised their testing level sufficiently so that all of education all across the country was taking note of it. They were wondering how in the world he was getting these kids to learn math to the place they were scoring so much better than the national average. But do you know what it amounted to? He was constantly reviewing. Instead of teaching a segment of higher mathematics for a week and go on to something else, all through the semester he would be constantly be going back and reviewing. So by the time the semester ended these kids were ready for a test having freshly reviewed what they had learned nine weeks earlier.
And I think that has helped me in my Bible classes also, as a lot of times I have to apologize for reviewing something, but every time I do, someone will come up to me after class and say, "Well this is the first time I saw that." So Iím trying not to apologize for reviews, so letís go back to the Book of John chapter 3. This is all because of what had happened to Adam, and weíve been emphasizing that for the last several weeks, how that Adam was the Federal head of the human race. It was in Adam that all of us inherited our sin nature! Weíre not sinners because we have done something wrong, but rather weíre sinners first and foremost because weíre sons of Adam. Now being sons of Adam, what are we prone to do? Sin! And this is what the Bible teaches so clearly, and this is what weíre going to try and show more clearly on the chalk board using these circles, which again is a format that Iíve had more comment on than anything Iíve ever taught. People tell me over and over, "Letís go back and study those circles," so this is the reason I keep at it. Now here in John chapter 3 Jesus is speaking:
"And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved."
Now thatís the Adamic Nature. Thatís the very first thing we saw in Adam way back in Genesis chapter 3. Even though Adam and Eve had sewed fig leaves together, and thought they had their nakedness covered, when they heard the Lord was back in the Garden of Eve with them, and was ready to spend that time of communication with them in the cool of the day, what did Adam and Eve do? They ran and hid! They didnít want to meet God. And that has never changed. It is human nature to run from God.
Now weíre going to also see in the next few moments, and again for those of you in television, weíll never get all of this done in the first thirty minutes, so we trust that even though we do shut it off almost instantaneously, weíll pick it up in our next program. As we said, mankind will always run from God, but God comes right back, as Martin Luther used the expression and when I read it I was almost aghast and thought that wasnít a very nice way of putting it. But the more I thought about it the more apprapo it became. When Martin Luther referred to God in his Approach to Sinful Men as the Hound of Heaven, but really, thatís exactly the way it is. How does hound operate? He pursues, and pursues until he finally has his quarry. And thatís exactly the way God pursues the person. He just keeps after them and after them.
And as I read that I couldnít help but think of Psalms 42 and verse 1. Keep your hand here in John. Weíre going to wear out Bibles out today, I just know we are. Psalms 42 says it so appropriately. And this is exactly the way it is. In fact after Iíd used this illustration in one of my classes, a gentleman came up afterward and he said, "You know Les, thatís exactly the way it was with me. For forty something years I ran from God. I can see it now, looking back. But as soon as I was brought to the Lord, (in fact it took place in our kitchen, round that old kitchen table, I just showed him the Scriptures and he believed) and ever since then, I just canít get enough of the Word. Itís the last thing I read at night and the first thing I look at in the morning."
The hound of Heaven has pursued until He finally brings that person into the plan of salvation and believing it and then what happens? As David puts it so appropriately:
"As the hart (sort of like our deer) panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God."
Isnít that it? Oh, once weíve come into this relationship we just canít get enough of God. But until then, what did we do? We ran! Thatís human nature. Now flip back to Johnís gospel then and continue on in verse 20.
"For every one that doeth evil hateth the light,Ö"
Men donít love God naturally. And weíre going to see in Romans in just a second that they are natural enemies of God. Now letís read on.
"Öneither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21. But he that doeth (or believes or responds to the truth) cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God."
Now letís turn over to Ephesians. We looked at these verses a week ago, but letís look at it again as we review as well as an introduction to the lesson this evening. Letís go to chapter 2 verse 1 and also verse 5. This is Paul writing and remember he always writes to the believer. And then the unbeliever has to be approached by simply the Spirit of God dealing with him. But here Paul is writing to you and me as believers.
"And you hath he quickened (made alive. Thatís a past tense experience. He writes to a believer that sometime in the past he was made alive) who were (again, past tense verb) dead in trespasses and sins;"
Now some of you I know were in a class some time ago when I asked the question, how much faith can a dead man have? NONE! How much can a dead man do, spiritually? NOTHING! Now letís come down to verse 5 and itís emphasized again.
"Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace ye are saved:)."
Now getting back to the three circles, and while I go back to the board you can be going back to Matthew chapter 16. Now the plan of salvation is so simple that a child can comprehend it, but on the other hand, as Iíve said before, it is so complex, so deep, that none of us will ever really comprehend all that God accomplishes when He grants us His salvation. Remember Adam, as the head of the federal race, has left the condition of every child born into the human race, beginning with his own first children, Cain and Abel in spiritual darkness. They were in this spiritual situation. They were functioning bodily, physically A-OK. The seeds of death were within them. They are going to die some day but the body is alive and well.
Within the body, they have a soul. They havenít lost that like they lost the spirit part of them. But, again, for the sake of illustration only, this soul immediately, instantaneously as the spirit died, the soul, or the very personality became a sin nature. Now, again, I should have pointed it out when we were there in Ephesians, where in the next verse in Ephesians chapter 2 verse 2, Paul says that we do these things that are contrary with God. How? Naturally! And maybe we should look at it. Ephesians 2:2 it says it so plainly what Iím trying to bring across. That now as sons of Adam, we are spiritually dead and as a spiritually dead person this is how we operate. This is exactly how lost people around us are living. Someone has made the expression, "The world is full of walking dead people."
"Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, (who is that? Itís Satan! Heís the god of this world. And when weíre without Christ, he is the one who is in control of our life.) the spirit (the spirit of Satan) that now worketh in the children of disobedience."
Who were these children of disobedience? Every child of Adam that has not experienced salvation. Now letís go back to Matthew. The thing that is hard to comprehend is that if we as individuals are what the Bible says we are, and weíll be looking also in Romans chapter 3 and verse 23, where it says, "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." Everyone of us by virtue of being sons of Adam, hereís where we begin. Weíre nothing more than a body with a sin nature. An unbeliever has got nothing going within him that would make him want to approach God.
Now when people become religious that is something that is pressed upon them by society, parents, or whatever, our inhabitations are put into place and itís fortunate that they are or society would never operate. But that is not what is required to get right with God. Now, when I can help people see this, then they can begin to understand a little more of that expression "born again Christian" that President Jimmy Carter used and it was made to seem less than it should have been. What did that do to the term "born again?" Oh, the world just picked it up and used it. The Chrysler Corporation picked it up and spoke of being "born again". Defunct professional teams who got back on top said they had a "born again" experience. Thatís not what the Bible was talking about. So now, rather than using that particular term again, I prefer to use what it should have been used in our scriptures in the first place and that is "born from above." What did God do? Here we are in a body with nothing but a sin nature and no concept of God. No communication with God. How, if weíre spiritually dead, do we become capable of believing anything? Now I always maintain that the first step of faith, and you remember what faith is? Taking God at His word. The first step of faith is believing that the Bible says we are sinners. Thatís the first step. Thatís the first thing that people rebel at. They say, "Iím not that bad. Iím pretty good."
The Bible says we are sinners and remember, not because of what weíve done, but because weíre sons of Adam. So God must do something and this I know can cause controversy in a hurry. In fact, itís been debated by theologians ever since the Reformation. And itís the idea of Calvinism over again Armeninism. Now a lot of people donít even know what that is, unfortunately. But you see, back in the Reformation, men such as Calvin and I think Luther. A lot of people probably wouldnít agree with me, but I think Luther was more Calvinistic than most people think. But you see, Calvin came up with this idea that nothing can happen, spiritually, unless God makes the first move.
Then there were those who followed Calvin who took it a step too far, I think. And they became what we call today, extreme Calvinists. And they are the folks who maintain that it doesnít make any difference if we preach the Word or if we send missionaries, because if a person is going to be saved, God is going to see to it he is saved, so why worry about it? Well, thatís not Scripture. But on the other hand the Armenian view, who was contemporary with Calvin. He came up with the idea that Calvin was all wrong and that everything with regard to manís salvation, was based on manís on free will. That if a man decided to become a child of God, he was the one who made the decision. Well that is certainly not according to Scripture. In fact, I normally donít like to read things but I just happened to run across this last night. Itís a statement by a great theologian of by gone days, Dr. Louis Sperry Chaffer. Heís quoted so many times on varies subjects and if I may, let me just read just one little paragraph:
"Within the whole enterprise of winning the lost, there is no factor more vital
than the work of the Holy Spirit in which He, the Holy Spirit, convinces or re-
proves the cosmos world respecting sin, righteousness, and judgment. The
Holy Spirit does that. The wholly, the completely unscriptural and untenable
notion of a common grace, which asserts that all men at birth are so wrought
upon by the Holy Spirit that they are rendered capable of an unhindered res-
ponse to the Gospel invitation, has the aid of human vanity, so disseminated
itís misleading errors that little recognition is given to the utter incapacity
of the unsaved natural man to respond to the Gospel."
Now thatís a rather deep way of putting it, but what heís really saying is that none of us have anything within us that energizes us to approach God for salvation on our own. It has to be the work of the Holy Spirit. Now, letís just show you some Scripture verses to back that very thing up. Matthew 16 and verse 13 and here we have the setting of Jesus and the twelve, shortly before Heíll be going up to Jerusalem to be crucified. Coming toward the end of His three years of earthly ministry.
"When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14. And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? (and as was typical, Peter was the spokesman and he says,) 16. And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God."
See, that was the question that had to be answered at this particular time. And this is what most Jews could not comprehend. They couldnít believe that He was the Messiah. I mentioned the little quip last night out of the Jerusalem Post and I thought it was so amusing and I think the class last night thought so as well. This Jewish Rabbi was having a discussion with an evangelical Christian. The evangelical was speaking of Christ returning very soon. And this Jewish Rabbi said, "No, Heís not going to return, but Heís going to come." Well you see, they donít recognize that Heís been here the first time. The evangelical said, "No, Heís coming. Heís been here before and Heís going to return." And the Rabbi responded, "Well, letís just wait till He gets here and weíll ask Him if Heís been here before." And you see, this is the whole idea that they couldnít believe that Jesus was the Christ. But Peter does. Now letís read on.
"And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven."
Now the Holy Spirit has not come down in a functional roll as we know Him now today and so the term "Father" is appropriate. Now, letís go to John 15 and verse 16
"Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of
the Father in my name, he may give it to you."
How did these disciples get to where they were? Jesus chose them. . Now letís move on to Acts chapter 16. Now we come into Paulís ministry. And here weíve got Paul in the land of Greece. He has just recently come over after that Macedonian call. And heís in Philippi. And on the particular Sabbath day he goes out to a little riverside park where evidently Jewish people were meeting, since they didnít have a synagogue. Now letís look at verse 14.
"And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God (she had a concept of God. But she knew nothing of Godís salvation. There are a lot of people like that, even in Scripture. Cornelius was one and the Ethiopian Eunuch was one. And we see them scattered throughout the Scripture where they had a knowledge of God, a concept of God, but they knew not God) heard us; whose heart (who opened) the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul."
It wasnít Paulís fancy preaching that got to her. But what? The Lord opened her heart and when she opened her heart, she attend to the things which were spoken of Paul. Who made the first move? God does. Now letís go to Ephesians again, in chapter 1.
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ. 4. According as he (God) hath (whatís the word?) chosen us in him (when did he choose us? I know this is mind boggling, but we have to take it by faith, because the Word says it.) before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love."
I hate to leave this here, but I told the television audience Iíd probably leave them hanging by a string and they are going to have to wait a week. But nevertheless weíre going to pick it up right here the next time we get together.
LESSON ONE * PART II * BOOK 2
Adam and Eveís Faith and Salvation
Now in our last lesson we ran out of time to finish our teaching of "how weíre chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world." So letís pursue that because we donít like to give people the idea that they donít have a thing to do with it. Oh yes, we do! If youíll turn with me to pick that theme up, to I Peter chapter 1, and letís just drop right in to verse 2. Remember what we were talking about last week, how that Jesus told the twelve, "You have not chosen me, I have chosen you." And He asked Peter the basis of his faith and Peter responded:
"ÖThou art the Christ, the Son of the living God."
And what did Jesus say?
"Ö flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven."
And then if youíll remember we looked at the seller of purple, Lydia, in the book of Acts, and again it was the Lord who opened her heart and then she attended to the things of salvation that Paul spoke of. Alright, now how does this work? I think I Peter chapter 1, verse 2 probably throws as much light on this whole idea of election and being chosen as any other portion of Scripture.
I Peter 1:2
"Elect (remember the elect of scripture whether itís back in Genesis, in Christís ministry, in the Church Age, or the elect of the Tribulation, the elect are always the believers) according to the (whatís the word?) foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit (the work of the Holy Spirit) unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ; Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied."
Now that word, "foreknowledge" settles all the controversy. We donít have to sit back and say, "Well, if someone is going to be saved, they are going to be saved regardless of what I do about it." And on the other hand, we have to realize that in the flesh we can do nothing. God has to precipitate something. And the word, "foreknowledge" just opens it up for us. The word "foreknowledge" means that before the world was ever created, before Adam was ever created, God knew what you and I would do with the Gospel. Thatís mind-boggling, I know it is. But thatís the God the Bible presents. An all-knowing God who knows the end from the beginning. Not just the big picture, but of every individual, of every nation, of every empire.
Now, I can probably be a little more at ease with that whole Middle Eastern situation than a lot of people, because I look at it that the Sovereign God is in complete control. Nothing is going to happen over there that isnít within His particular program. I hope Iím not stretching the point, but you know Jesus made the statement about "not casting pearls before the swine." Have you heard that? What was He talking about? Well, thereís no use wasting your breath with someone who is absolutely contrary, rebellious and indifferent to the things of the Word. Now we have to approach and we have to do our best to present, Godís plan of salvation to anyone and everyone. But you see God knows which ones are going to respond. And knowing which ones are going to respond, what can He do? He opens the heart. And now this almost comes full circle, I know it does, but nevertheless, this is where I think Scripture unfolds the beginning step of coming into the plan of salvation.
A body, a soul with nothing going for us but a sin nature and the spirit is dead. And as I said in the last half hour, dead people canít even believe anything. So the first thing that has to happen as the Word continues to go out among the human race, God the Holy Spirit, somehow lights a spark within an individual and it makes a period of time before that individual finally comes to the place of really believing. Others may not take as long. But the Holy Spirit has to somehow precipitate an activity within the heart and the soul of the individual.
Now turn back with me if you will to Romans chapter 8. Now, I donít know if the Lord will tarry long enough, and I donít know if weíll be staying on the air long enough, to get to the book of Romans. But if we were to teach the book of Romans verse by verse, as weíve started back in Genesis, I would point out in chapter 7 that there is no mention of the Holy Spirit whatsoever. Paul is almost bereft with all kinds of thoughts: "Why is it that the thing I donít want to do is what I do and why is it that the things that I want to do, I donít do." Arenít we all in the same boat many times? But you see, the Holy Spirit is never mentioned in chapter 7. And then all of a sudden you turn over to chapter 8 and, remember there were no breaks in Paulís letters, whatís it filled with? The Holy Spirit.
If Iím not mistaken the Holy Spirit is referred to 19 times in Romans chapter 8. And only once before in the previous 7 chapters and that is in Romans chapter 5 where the Holy Spirit is mentioned only once. Now that should make us sit up and take notice.
"For they that are after the flesh (this person right up here, with nothing more than body and soul and he is dead spiritually) do mind the things of the flesh; (thatís what Jesus meant when He said, "They donít seek the light.") but they that are after the Spirit (that word is capitalized, so now the Holy Spirit has come into the picture. And the Holy Spirit has done something to make us pay attention to what God has to say.) the things of the Spirit."
Now come down to verse 7.
"Because the carnal (the natural, the unsaved) mind (this one right up here on the board now) is enmity against God; (You know what that word Ďenmityí means? Just what it says. Heís an enemy of God. Heís no friend of God. And that carnal mind is) for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be."
Now thatís strong language isnít it? You know, every time I read that verse I have to be amazed that the world behaves as well as they do and we know that itís almost coming apart at the seams anymore. But still, there is no concern for the things of God among the carnal mind. Now verse 8.
"So they that are in the flesh (until the Holy Spirit moves in) cannot please God."
Then in verse 9 Paul draws the difference between the believer and the carnal or unbeliever.
"But ye are not in the flesh (not under the control of old Adam anymore) but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God (whatís the word?) dwell (where?) in youÖ."
So the Holy Spirit has to begin a work within the very heart or center of a human being. And the first thing, as I said a moment ago, that the Holy Spirit convinces us of is found in Romans chapter 3. The first thing that the Holy Spirit reminds us of and makes us aware of is that weíre sinners.
"For all (everybody, anyone ever born into the human race) have sinned and come short of the glory of God."
Now thatís the first step of faith. This is what God says about me. Iím not as good as I think I am. I can in no way please God with my works, because Iím a sinner. Now, when we believe that, then the doors begin to open up. And our mind and our whole make up begin to realize that God is doing something with me. I realize that Iím a sinner, Iím a son of Adam and thereís nothing I can do. Now, again, thatís why I like to keep my circles up here on the chalk board, we have to constantly remember that when man was created by God in the first place, the body is the only part of us that is tangible and visible. The rest is all invisible.
Now something that is invisible and yet is a viable entity, something that we know is there and the Scripture uses the illustration of the wind. You canít see the wind, but is it there? Yes. Because you can see the effects of it and feel the effects of it, itís there. Well, itís the same way with our spiritual makeup. I say spiritual because itís that invisible part of us, that soul and that spirit, that were invisible. They are all a result of the creative act of God. Now then, if weíre going to deal with the invisible part of our being, doesnít it follow that there is nothing man can do to correct something that is wrong in the invisible? I mean we canít lay the invisible on an operating table and perform surgery on it. We canít feed it a dose of some miracle drug, because weíre dealing with the invisible. People have to understand that weíre in that area of a manís makeup that only God can do anything with.
So what does God do? He promptly shows us that weíre sinners. Now when we understand that, and the Holy Spirit begins to move us to this place of believing Paulís Gospel, the power of God unto salvation, and maybe we should look at Paulís Gospel. Keep your hand here in Romans chapter 3, and come back to I Corinthians chapter 15. We look at these verses several weeks ago, but Iím sure that even the best of us would have forgotten by now, what those verses said. Here in a nutshell is Paulís Gospel, and the only Gospel you must believe for eternal life. Itís the only one! Iíve told my classes over the years, I wish I could just force myself to use these verses at least every week, but I donít because we get too covered up with all the other things. Here is where it all has to center.
I Corinthians 15:1-2
"Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel (notice "the is singular, thereís only one.) which I preached into you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2. By which (this Gospel preached by Paul) also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain."
You must understand what you are believing for eternal life. . Now I donít maintain that someone has to know the Bible from cover to cover to be saved, but on the other hand we have to know what we believe. Salvation is not just something that is glib. We have to know what the Book says, and where to find it. We have to know what God is requiring of us. Now here comes the Gospel of salvation in verses 3 and 4.
I Corinthians 15:3-4
"For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4. And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:"
Thatís the Gospel of salvation that saves you! Now flip back to Romans chapter 6 if you will. When we begin to comprehend Paulís Gospel, that Christ died for our sins, and again according to the foreknowledge of God, this was all part of Godís plan of bringing the human race into the picture. God knew that Adam would sin. He knew that mankind would need a Redeemer. He knew there would have to be salvation, and so God programmed the whole thing with that in view.
Romans 6:6 Now remember this is after the Holy Spirit has begun to work on this part of us that weíre going to call the soul and spirit, albeit itís a sin nature. It is spiritual dead until God begins to open up some understanding, and the first thing we realize then is, we see the Gospel that Christ died for our sin and rose again. Now what do we do with that?
"Knowing this, (full knowledge) that our old man is crucified with him,Ö"
Now who is the old man? That sin nature. The old man of Scripture is always the sin nature or what we call the old Adam, itís the nature that weíre born with. Now Paul is saying that when we believe the Gospel, what happened to that old Adam? He was crucified. Letís read it again.
"Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him (Christ) that the body of sin might be destroyed,Ö"
That old sin nature is not removed, but merely defeated. Heís put in a place that now we can control him, but how does God see him? Crucified on that cross with Christ. When we begin to understand the Gospel that Christ died 2000 years ago for you and I living now today. God considers this old Adam within us as on the cross. There are so many believers have told me after hearing me teach for while, that theyíve enjoyed an assurance of salvation that they never had before. When we get to the place that we know that our old self is on the cross, itís been crucified. To back that up, turn with me to the Book of Galatians chapter 2, and here Paul makes it so clear. Itís a verse that many of you memorized when you were kids in vacation Bible school.
"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; (Paul wasnít literally put on a cross and crucified, but yet in the mind of God he was. Paul was living physically when he wrote it, but heíd been crucified) and yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh (in this body) I live by the faith (or the faithfulness) of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."
Now come back again to Romans and letís put something on the board. Just as soon as we believe that weíre sinners and we know that the gospel is the only remedy, and we believe it, then God takes this old sin nature and He considers it crucified. Now, you remember when we were way back in the days of creation, and I do it purposely with the idea of coming to lessons like this down the road. Do you remember that I emphasized, who was the Creator? Who was it? It was Christ. The Lord Jesus in His Old Testament personality. He was the Creator. He was the Creator God. Heís the Omnipotent, Omniscient, All-knowing God. And if Heíd been anything less than that, then His death would be for nothing. Then He would have died just like the thief on either side of Him. But He WAS the Creator. He WAS the God of glory. And as such, indeed He could suffer the punishment and penalty for every human being. And this is what we have to understand. This is what it means to put your faith in the Lord Jesus. Iím afraid that too many people are going to miss glory on cliques. You know cliques are little handy things that we pick up along the way. Now, they are alright as far as they go, but if we have nothing more than a cliques, I think weíre on pretty thin ice. Iím thinking of one like, "Iíve taken Christ as my Personal Savior." Now there is nothing wrong with that. But what do you mean by "taking Christ as your Personal Savior?" Thatís just a cliques. Itís not in scripture. The Bible doesnít say to take the Lord Jesus as your Personal Savior and thou shalt be saved. What does the Bible say? We have to believe the Gospel! And when we believe the Gospel we get an understanding that Christ died my death. He took my punishment. And because I am crucified, now, and all this takes place you want to remember the instant the Spirit opens our hearts and we believe, as soon as this old sin nature is crucified, Christ begins to live in us and I call that then the new nature. And itís a divine nature and itís set right opposite the old Adamic nature. Now, I said a moment ago when God considered it crucified, yes, God considers us dead. But in actual experience, where is He? Heís still with us. You bet He is. But contrary to Him now, set in contradiction to the old nature, we now have a new nature.
Letís go on to II Corinthians chapter 5 and weíll drop down to verse 17. Normally I like to start with verse 14 but for sake of time, letís just come on down to verse 17 where Paul writes:
II Corinthians 5:17
"Therefore if any man (woman or boy or girl) be in Christ, he is a (what?) new creature; (who is the Creator of all things? God is. So the moment we believe God does a work of creation. And what does He do? He creates within us a new nature) old things are passes away; behold all things are become new."
Now letís drop down to verse 21.
II Corinthians 5:21
"For he (God) hath made him (Christ) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."
Now do you get the flow? Who is doing all the doing? God is. All we do is believe. Now letís go to Ephesians chapter 4. And again, our time is gone and weíre just going to have to cut it off. For those of you on television, just bear with us and come back next week if you will and weíll pick this up again because this is so paramount. Oh, itís nice to know what the Old Testament teaches and itís nice to know some of the other things throughout scripture and itís nice to know prophecy and whatís coming on the scene. But listen, thatís not going to determine our eternal destiny. This does. This is whatís going to determine where weíre going to spend eternity. And it is so basic and so paramount.
"That ye put off concerning the former conversation (or former lifestyle, your former manner of living) the old man, (who is the old man? The old Adam. Weíve got to put him out to pasture) which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23. And be renewed (regenerated) in the spirit of your mind; 24. And that ye put on the (and hereís the word I wanted and what is it?) new man, which after God is created (an act of God) in righteousness and true holiness."
Now those are all things that only God can do. And how do we get it to happen in our own life? When we believe the Gospel. Oh, if you would just learn to study it.
LESSON ONE * PART III * BOOK 2
Adam and Eveís Faith and Salvation
Now letís pick up where we left off last lesson in Ephesians chapter 4, and weíre still dealing with that old sin nature. Weíve left our circles on the board so that we can make a quick review. Remember when weíre born as sons of Adam then weíre nothing more than body and soul. Also remember that the soul is a sin nature, and something has to happen to it in order to get us into a relationship with God.Now I just had a thought and the word Redeemer came to mind, and if we have time in this lesson, weíll talk about the Redeemer concept because after all to be redeemed means to be bought back. Well if weíre bought back it also means that something was lost along the way, and weíll try to look at that in a few moments.
But for right now letís go back to where we left off, how that as sons of Adam we recognize that weíre sinners according to Romans 3:23
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"
Weíve all sinned, and weíve all come short because weíre born of Adam. And now the Holy Spirit has somehow or other, and itís hard to explain it, but somehow the Holy Spirit opens our understanding so that we can believe that Christ literally, physically, as well as spiritually, died the death that we deserved. In other words Christ took our place on that cross, and we call that substitution. He died in my place! And then in the last lesson we saw back in Romans chapter 6, how He reckons our old Adam now as crucified. Thatís the only thing you can do to deal with the old Adam, is to put him to death, and thatís the way God sees our old Adam after salvation.
Then Paul can go on and teach throughout the Book of Romans that now since the old Adam is dead, we donít have to let him rule and reign in our lives, because now we reckon him dead. Now letís go ahead and look at Ephesians chapter 4, and come in again to those verses we looked at last lesson.
"That ye put off concerning the former conversation (or manner of living) the old man, (that old Adam) which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23. And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24. And that ye put on the new man, (not the old Adam, weíre going to do him out of the way, but the new man) which after God (moves in) is created in righteousness and true holiness."
When God moves in a new part of us in created in righteousness and true holiness. When that happens you see, Paul can continue to instruct us. Whatís going to be part and parcel of the change of our living? Well weíre going to put aside all the things before was rather commonplace, theyíre just natural and we wonít take time here to read them in the next verses, you can do that at your own leisure.
Now if you will again come back to Romans chapter 3. Youíll notice that a lot of these references with regard to what God does in salvation come from the Book of Romans. And again the Holy Spirit was so careful in even the alignment of our New Testament books. Iím afraid a lot of people donít realize that the Book of Romans was actually written after Galatians, and I and II Thessalonians. And yet, when the Church leaders of the years 300 and something, came together and put our New Testament together, the Holy Spirit was so evident that He puts the Book of Romans right after the Book of Acts instead of Thessalonians or Galatians or one of his earlier letters. There is a reason for it and that is because the Book of Romans is so basic in these salvation teachings. And when we come out of the Book of Acts and here we hit this Book of Romans and all the foundation is laid in this letter. And then, as we have been doing, we put all the pieces together from our other epistles. Now letís go back to Romans chapter 3 and start at verse 20.
"Therefore by the deeds of the law (when we see the word "law" whatís the first thing you normally think of? Well, the Ten Commandments. The Law per se was that whole concept of the Law of Moses. It was ritual, their worship, their sacrifices. It was the Ten Commands, the moral law, but it was also the civil law. How neighbor would deal with neighbor and so forth. But here, when Paul refers to the law, heís talking about the moral law, the Ten Commandments) there shall no flesh be justified in his sight; (why? Because the law only has one purpose in Scripture, and it is what?) for by the law is the knowledge of (not of God but of what?) sin."
Now when God gave the Ten Commandments, they just literally showed the old Adam how he really operated. And that was all the Law could do. All the Law could do was show man that he was bent to take Godís name in vain, to worship idols, to be envious, to want to steal, he is bent to all these things the Law prohibits. And so all the Law was intended to do was to show man his sin. Now letís go to verse 21.
Whatís the now? Weíre not under the Law of Moses. Letís go over to chapter 6 because there are so many folks that donít understand the difference between Law and Grace. And thereís all the difference in the world because the Bible delineates it. And here we come now in Romans chapter 6 and verse 14 and what does he say?
"For sin (the old Adam) shall not have dominion over you: (he isnít going to rule you anymore. Heís dead.) for ye are not under the law, but under grace." (Do you see the difference? And then he comes right back and repeats the statement in verse 15.)
"What then? shall we sin (go ahead and do as we please?) because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid."
Donít think such a thing. Grace doesnít give us license but on the other hand, weíre not under that demand of the Law: Thou shalt, and ĎThou shalt notí because thatís a thing of the past. Now come back to chapter 3:21.
"But now (since weíre not longer under the Law) the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, (oh people rebel at that. I donít know how many say, Ďyeah but Iím keeping the Ten Commandments. But God isnít demanding that we keep the Ten Commandments per se. We have to recognize that now itís a whole different set of circumstances) being witnessed by the law and the prophets;"
See nothing flies in the face of that which has g one before. It all fits in itís proper unfolding of the Word of God. Now look at verse 22.
"Even the righteousness of God which is by (not by Law keeping, and being religious, but by) faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe, for there is no difference:"
Why isnít there any difference? Because weíve all sinned. The Law keeping Jew was a sinner, and the non law keeping Gentile were sinners. So we have to recognize that itís only by faith in Paulís Gospel that we get to the place that we believe that Christ did indeed died for sins, and rose from the dead.
Now I want to come back again to verse 22 in light of when we go back to the Book of Genesis and weíll be doing that in the next lesson. But when get back there and talk about Adam being covered by the skins of those animals that were no doubt sacrificed, weíre going to see that itís fulfilled right here in this verse. Because we are clothed not with animal hides, but rather "Even the righteousness of God."
In other words again, coming back to our circles. Just as soon as the old sin nature is crucified with Christ, the old Adam is put to death, heís defeated, and God puts opposite him within each believer a new nature. God literally clothes us now with the righteousness of Christ, so that when God looks on us as a believer tonight, He doesnít really see me, and He doesnít really see you, but rather God seeí Christ! And so thatís what it means to be in Christ. Weíre just literally clothed with Him. Iím glad God doesnít see me, because Iím not worth looking at from that point of view. But He doesnít see me. He sees the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now letís go back to chapter 6. Now youíll find that after verse 6 that we looked at some time ago that our old man is crucified with him, and has been put to death. Now verse 7.
" For he that is dead is freed from sin." (The old Adam)
Thereís only one way we can get rid of old Adam. He is going to constantly be a sin nature until we reckon him crucified. Now heís dead and if he is dead, what can happen to the rest of us. It can take over. The new nature comes in and the Holy Spirit is going to take residence with our spirit. Thatís the way Paul puts it. Now weíve got this whole set of circumstances from Godís side, now beginning to put itís influence on the body and whatís it going to do to our life? Totally change it. And as Paul says, the things we once loved, we now hate. And the things we once hated, now we love. Itís a whole new ballgame, if I may use that expression. Now, letís go on to verse 8.
"Now if we be dead (the old sin nature has been put to death) with Christ, we believe that we shall also (whatís the next word?) live with him."
What has happened? We have been crucified with Christ. We have died with Him, but now letís go one step further. When they took Christ from the cross what did they do with Him? Where was He placed? In the grave. He was buried. Then after the third day and third night, what happened? He rose from the dead. Now weíve got to carry this identification all the way through. If we were with Christ on the cross and He died my death, then when they put the body in the grave and He was buried, who else was in the grave? You and I!! Here we are, in the grave, but Christ didnít stay in the grave. He rose from the dead and now since He rose from the dead, what can He impart to us? New life!
Okay, letís follow this concept if you will, to Johnís Gospel, chapter 12. Letís go down to verse 20. Now, get the setting. Weíre in Christís earthly ministry, but weíre getting right close to the crucifixion. Itís probably just a matter of days away. And there was a great crowd gathering for the Feast of Passover. And you remember the Jews came from every corner of the Roman Empire to these feast days. And here this massive crowd of Jews have been coming from all over the then known world Ė the Roman Empire Ė for the Feast of Passover. They are meeting there in that temple complex. And no doubt many Jews had Gentile friends whom they would bring along. After all that was quite a trip to go all the way back to Jerusalem. But whatever the consequences, letís go down to verse 20 of chapter and we see the account.
"And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast: (Gentiles). 21. The same (the Greeks) came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, (in other words, one of the twelve) and desired him saying, Sir, we would see Jesus."
This is interesting and without some in depth teaching earlier you wonít understand it, but nevertheless, do you remember when the Canaanite woman came to Jesus and wanted Him to perform a miracle on her daughter? And what did the disciples say? "Send her away. She is a pest." And Jesus made no comment and finally after much begging from the woman, He finally condescended to her and granted her wish. But you see, on first glance He didnít because she was a Gentile. And He told her that.
"I have not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
"It is not meet (right) to take the childrenís (of Israel) bread, and cast it to dogs. (Gentiles)
And you remember she came back and said, ĎOh, true Lord, but donít the dogs eat the crumbs?í She said, ĎCanít I at least have a crumb?í You have basically the same thing here. These Gentiles tell Philip, "We would see Jesus." But Philip remembers all these things that have been taking place and he says, "I donít know now, what am I going to do?" And so he goes to Andrew in verse 22 and what does he tell him? "Hey there are Gentiles that want to see Jesus." And Andrew doesnít know what to do with it. So itís just like a hot potato and so they both go in and tell Him. So they go in, and I say go in, because I think that all this took place out there on the pavement in that great crowd and Jesus was very likely in one of the other temple buildings. And so now they have found Jesus and they say, "Lord thereís some Greeks that want to talk to you. Now, hereís what I was driving at in verse 23.
"And Jesus answered the, saying, The hour is come, that Son of man should be glorified. 24. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn (or kernel) of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit."
What was Jesus referring to? His coming, death, burial and resurrection. And any of you that garden, every time you plant seed in your garden, or a farmer plants his crop, he is rehearsing the whole plan of salvation over and over again. Why? Because you see, as a seed is put into the ground, and it waits for the sunshine and the rain, unless itís put into the ground, it will never reproduce. You could leave it in the granary or the seed packed and it will never reproduce. But as soon as itís buried in the soil, then what happens? New life!!! Jesus was referring to His coming death, burial and resurrection. And to these Greeks, these Gentiles, He could not be an object of faith until that had taken place. For the reason is that now in our Gospel, this becomes our salvation. The fact that Christ died in my place. Iíve identified with Him. As He was buried, you and I were buried. But we didnít stay in the earth, we didnít stay in the grave. As He rose from the dead we rose from the dead and we have new life.
Now letís go back again to Romans chapter 8, following up this whole concept, letís go to verse 10.
"And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; (the old Adam) but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken (make alive) your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you."
Now, isnít it all coming together? I hope it is. All of it comes together in this complete plan of redemption. Weíll look at that in the next half hour. But, letís review it again. The Holy Spirit somehow makes entrance into our thought processes and convicts us that weíre sinners, weíre sons of Adam and that the Gospel is the only remedy. Then when we begin to understand that, yes, Iím a sinner, Iím without fellowship with my Creator, but Paulís Gospel of I Corinthians 15:1-4 is the remedy.
Then we believe that Gospel, and we identify with the death of Christ, even though it was 2000 years ago. To the Creator God, what is 2000 years? A snap of the fingers. He is just as aware of us in 1990 as He was in His own time or in the time of Adam. Time means nothing to God so donít ever get the idea that Ďhow can a death 2000 years ago have any affect on me today. So then, as He was buried, signifying complete death, then also as He was resurrected, we also are resurrected to that new life and thatís exactly what Paul is talking about. Now, letís continue on here in Romans 8.
"Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh (not to live just to enjoy living) to live after the flesh. 13. For if ye live after the flesh (in other words, all youíre concerned about is the old Adam) ye shall die: (spiritually, not physically cause thatís going to happen any way.) but if ye through the Spirit (the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives) do mortify (put to death) the deeds of the body (the old Adam) ye shall live. 14. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they (might be? hope to be? No, whatís the verb?) are the sons of God."
Thatís what we call taking God at His word. He said it and we believe it, that when the Spirit of God has worked that work in us, we are the sons of God when we believe. Oh, we may not always behave like weíre His children, because any of us can fail and we can always have our weak moments, but nevertheless God is faithful. Now, come down to verse 16 and hereís where weíre going to kind of wind this up.
"The Sprit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God."
Now look at that verse carefully in the light of our diagram. The Holy Spirit beareth witness with our spirit that we are no longer a son of old Adam, but as a result of Godís plan of salvation, we are now what? Weíre sons of God. Now, if weíre sons of God, look at the next verse.
"And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together."
I hope you can get a glimpse of what so many over the years have been able to see from just using these diagrams. How that our salvation is not just something that we glibly say, "Yeah, I believe it." But oh, that we can just enter into it and experience it and know that the promises of God are ours and we place our whole eternal destiny on them, without fear, without any consternation whatsoever. The promises of God. And those promises are steadfast and they are sure and we donít have to waver or doubt. This is all I want people to do is to study the Word.
LESSON ONE * PART IV * BOOK 2
Adam & Eveís Faith and Salvation
Now letís go back to the Book of Genesis as weíve been out of it now for the past 3 lessons, so letís pick up where we left off in chapter 3 with the account of when Adam sinned. In verse 14 and 15 we have what I call a parenthetical statement and weíll just touch on it briefly then weíll probably come back to it at a later date.
"And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, (in other words, he had tempted and caused Eve to fall, which in turn led to Adamís fall) 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."
Now verse 15, and this is one of the primary verses in the book of Genesis. This is also the very first prophecy, if I may call it that, of the coming of the Redeemer. Now I left the word on the board from last week specifically so we wouldnít miss it, that the redeemer concept is begun right here in chapter 3 and verse 15, and what is it? Where God speaking to Satan says:
"I will put enmity between thee and the woman, (because she was the one that was tempted first, and hereís the important part) and between thy seed and her seed; it (the seed of the woman) shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."
Now a lot of people just read that verse and they donít even know what they are reading or whatís it really talking about? God is going to put an enmity between the forces of Satan and all the powers of darkness and the seed of the woman. Now who is the seed of the woman? Well, weíve got to take it from Scripture so letís turn back again to Galatians and as Iíve said so often in my classes, what I say doesnít really hold that much water. But if we can show that itís what the Word says, and oh how I want people to learn to just study the Word. Not to just read it casually, but to study it, and then these things get so exciting. Now Galatians chapter 3.
"Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, (plural) as of many, but as of one. (singular) And to thy seed, which is Christ."
So according to the Bible the seed of the woman is Christ. Now, like I said, weíre not going to take time in this session, but weíll be coming back to this subject and following the Seed of the woman, and why that term is used concerning Christ.
Now looking back at Genesis at verse 15 again, thereís going to be a running enmity, this battle between the forces of Satan and the Christ. Now you get a little glimpse of that as you come up through the Old Testament. Every thing that God put in place to bring about the coming of the Messiah, Satan did everything to destroy and disrupt. Now, right off the bat, you come into the line of Cain and Abel. Abel is the one who is in the line of the seed of the woman. What does Satan prompt? Cain to murder him. I imagine Satan thought heíd now already won it. But you see, God in His Sovereignty came back with a replacement for Abel in the man, Seth.
You come on up into Israelís secular history as a nation, and it was to be through the nation of Israel that the Seed of the woman would come. And how many time did Satan almost succeed in destroying the nation of Israel. Oh he came so close, but the Sovereign God made sure that he didnít succeed. Then you come to the birth of Christ, and when the wise men went to King Herod inquiring the whereabouts of the One that had been born King of Jews, what does Herod immediately do? Out of jealously and envy put out a decree to put to death all the Jew baby boys under the age of two. Well it wasnít just Herod, but rather the Satanic effort again to destroy the Seed of the woman. So beware of that as you study your Bible, that the powers of Satan are constantly hindering the work of God, but also remember that God foretold that it would be that way.
Then you go a little further, and God actually foretells the crucifixion, not as crucifixion itself, but rather by the language Heís referring to it in verse 15.
"Öit (the Seed of the woman) shall bruise thy head, and thou (Satan) shall bruise his heel."
Now when did all that take place? At Calvary! At the cross Satan was defeated, and remember thereís only one way you can put a serpent to death, and that is you attack the head. So that is why that kind of language is used. Christ literally defeated Satan at the cross. He bruised the head of the serpent, but Satan got his licks in also, by bruising the heel of Christ, by causing his suffering, and all he went through there at the cross.
Now letís go on into the following verses because I want to come on to verse 20 as soon as possible. In verse 16 on down we have the curse that was brought on the scene when Adam ate. Even as we speak today the world is in turmoil over the middle east, and itís been that way since the beginning of the 6000 years of human history. War, pestilences, catastrophes, and enmity between individuals, nations, and family members. Why? The curse. Thereís sickness, and disease, and why? The curse. Every thing that is connected with the worldís problems, all come back to the curse, and you canít escape it!
As someone has put it, "When Adam was created, he was human, but the moment Adam sinned the human race became in-human." Now thatís not original with me, but the moment I read that someplace in the past, I thought, isnít that exactly the way it is? Can you think of a single specie in all of Godís creation that will torture members of itís own specie like man will with man? My when you read of some of the things that man invent to torture his fellow human shows mankind is in-human. Man is a sinful creature, and is so prone to think up things that will hurt the other individual, and itís all because of the curse, because of sin. Now letís begin with verse 16.
"Unto the woman (we know now as Eve) he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children;Ö"
Do you realize thatís the reason a woman goes through all the birth pains in delivery? Thatís not the way God intended it originally, itís all part of the curse. This is what sin brought in.
Also remember way back in chapter 2, when I said, God looked at all his creation and He had charged the creation with all the energy that it needed, and that became the first law of thermodynamic, do you remember that? The definition of thermodynamic is "there is nothing now being created or destroyed." Now with sin coming into the picture, and the curse on the scene, the second law of thermodynamic became operative. And do you know what that is? "Even though there is nothing being created nor destroyed, yet everything is constantly going into a less useable state."
The best way I can describe that is, say you have a beautiful home, and every thing about this home is tip top. Then you decide to leave for a town for a year, and donít leave anyone in charge to watch over your property, you lock the door and leave. What do you think your beautiful property is going to be like 12 months later, will it be better or worse? Worse! Something is going to happen in that 12 month period. A wind storm will blow off some shingles, a hail storm may break some windows, something is always going to make that house deteriorate. The scientific word of course is entropy. Everything is constantly moving into a less useable state.
Another for instance is, you take a tree that may have taken nature 100 years to grow. It has taken sunlight, rain, and the nutrients from the ground to grow that tree. The tree is cut down and is put it into our fireplace. You burn that tree to the place whereís there nothing left but the ashes. Now in our common everyday thinking, that tree is destroyed. But really it isnít. Every part of that tree is still in the universe, including the heat that went up the chimney, because heat is energy. The ashes that are left are all part of that which came from the earth and sun to begin with, so that tree was just put in a less useable state.
Gasoline is another example. You fill up your car tank with gasoline, and we think we burn that gasoline up. No we donít. We merely put it in a less useable state. It goes up into the atmosphere as heat, it creates energy to move our car down the road, and that all part and parcel then of that second law of thermodynamic that everything is constantly going into a less useable state.
Now that should tell us that sooner or later everything is going to run out of steam. But God in His Sovereign Grace has so programmed it that weíre not going to run out and things are going to fall apart, because God has set everything in place so there is enough to take it to the end of HIS program. Now thatís all part of the CURSE!
Now letís read on in verse 17.
"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. 18. Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shall eat the herb of the field;"
This is all a result of the curse. Before Adam sinned there were no thorns, and briars, and such. Everything was perfect! But when sin came in the curse just literally ruined everything. Remember everything in this world that is a problem, goes all the way back to the curse, and it will never end until the curse is lifted, and of course it will be, we think one day very soon, at the return of Christ.
Now looking at verse 19.
"In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread,Ö"
As long as man lives heís going to have to work for his living. Iris and I have often talked about, what would our economy be like if people didnít have to eat? Have you ever thought of that? Have you ever thought of all the jobs, and industries that are all in place simply because mankind has to eat? Just think of all the things that are connected with our having to eat. I mean itís just mind boggling, but hereís where it started. Man wouldnít have had to have all that, but yet it had to come about, so our whole economy is structured on the fact that man has to work, and man has to eat:
"Ötill thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."
Now then verse 20 is an interesting verse. But again Iím afraid too many people donít stop and think of what it says. I donít know how long Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden, because the Bible doesnít tells, so I wouldnít have the slightest idea. But however long they were in the Garden, Adam never had a name for his wife. She was called the Woman! But now you see after sin entered, and after the curse has came down, the woman is named.
"And Adam called his wifeís name Eve; because she was the mother of all living."
Now all Adam has been told from the Scriptural account is, "in the day he would eat of that tree, he would surely die." But now Adam comes back and names his wife, Eve, which meant the mother of all living. Now what does Adam understand? That even though he has sinned, and lost fellowship with God, God must have told him something that he believed, and what was it? That heís going to live, and have children, and the whole human race is going to come from him and his wife Eve. Now you have to study that and really think about it to get the whole picture. Whatís really involved here is, God told Adam that this is the way it would be, and what did Adam do? He believed it.
So here in verse 20 is the first instance of FAITH, which is taking God at his Word. By faith Adam believed what God said concerning him and the woman, so he named her "the mother of all living." Now then Adamís faith promoted God to do something. Just like we saw with our "circles" the last few lessons, that when the Spirit of God prompted us to believe, then God moved in on our behalf and does everything that needs to be done for us to have eternal life. And God does the same thing back here with Adam! Adam shows that particle of faith that he believed what God said, and God moves in and does what needs to be done in verse 21. Keep in mind also that Hebrews chapter 9 says:
"Öand without shedding of blood is no remission."
So there had to be a sacrifice for Adam and Eveís sin. In the Old Testament animal sacrifices are merely a foretelling, a picture of that supreme sacrifice that was to come in Christ Himself. So right here with Adam and Eve God institutes animal sacrifice in verse 21. And the animal sacrifices would continue until the perfect sacrifices gave His life one the cross.
"Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make (Adam and Eve didnít do this, but rather the LORD God make) coats of skins, and clothed them."
God somehow or other killed the animals, and the blood was shed. You have to study Scripture in order to comprehend the language here, and weíll look at that in just a moment. But it says:
"Öthe LORD God made coats of skins, (that covered their physical nakedness. But then God did something else) and clothed them."
Now to get a better understanding of "and He clothed them" letís go look at the Book of Isaiah chapter 61. Iím afraid too many people think that when they read verse 21, that it just meant, "Well he gave them skins and hides for them to make some kind of a physical covering, but oh it was so much more than that." Now verse 10 should tell us something.
"I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he (God) hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, (isnít that beautiful?) he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, (whose righteousness? Godís righteousness!) as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels."
Now thatís what God has done for you and I as He did for Adam and Eve. Now letís go back for a moment to Romans chapter 3, where we were in the last lesson. We looked at the verse last week, but I didnít make this point because it wasnít the appropriate time, but now we can. Weíll start with verse 21, but verse 22 is the one we want to compare with Isaiah chapter 61. Now remember what Isaiah said. "Thou hast clothed me with the garments of salvation."
"But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, (or brought into the spot light) being witnessed by the law and the prophets; (thatís all been building to bring us to this point in time) 22. Even the righteousness of God which is by faith (or the faithfulness) of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe;Ö"
Isnít that beautiful? Oh the righteousness of God clothes us, like the young man decked at his wedding or like the Bride decked for her wedding there in Isaiah 61:10, So the righteousness of God is placed upon us, and as I said before so that God doesnít see you and I, but rather God sees in us as believers the righteousness of Christ that covers us. And how do we get that beautiful covering here in the Church Age? By believing Paulís beautiful Gospel! (I Corinthians 15:1-4 & Romans 10:9-10)
Now look at that verse because Iím going to put things in there that everybody else thinks belong in there, but itís just not here.
This righteousness comes upon all them that keep the Ten Commandments. See it doesnít say that. This righteousness comes upon all them that repents and are baptized. It doesnít say that either. This righteousness comes upon all them that join a Church. It doesnít say any of those things. Do you see what Iím driving at? We have to understand as much as what the Bible does not say, as what it says. All these things that Iíve just used is not in Paulís Gospel or his teachings, and also remember Paul tells us that everyone is going to be judged by his Gospel. (Romans 2:16) So just leave the Word as it sets. This righteousness comes how? When we believe. Believe what? The Gospel. And when we believe the Gospel then everything else falls into place.
Oh, we canít believe all the things that are in Scripture unless youíre a believer. Well, while weíre in the New Testament let me just show you what Iím talking about. Turn over just a few pages to I Corinthians chapter 2. Paul has been rehearsing all through the first 12 verses of this chapter, how that he wasnít something special, or some great orator that got their attention. But how did he get to where he was? Letís look at verse 13 & 14.
I Corinthians 2:13-14
"Which things also we speak, not in the words which manís wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14. But the natural man (thatís why Iím glad Iíve taught the circles. You should be able to start seeing what weíre talking about. Who is that natural man, that only body and soul? The natural man is the one who is spiritually dead. He canít comprehend the things of God. He is spiritually dead.) receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, (Why?) because they are spiritually discerned."
A lot of times if I have unbelievers come into my class, Iíll just simply, without pointing them out cause we donít know who is or who isnít, just make a blanket statement: "If you donít know the Lord, youíre not going to understand everything that Iím teaching. Itís impossible. Itís just going to go over your head." But, oh, Iíve had so many people who knew nothing of the things of God, but as soon as they became believers what happened? They could just see the whole thing!! And they could question nothing. Iíve had so many, especially men, come after class and say, "You know itís just like you turned on a 300 watt bulb tonight." No, I didnít. Thatís the Spiritís work.
I just show what the Bible says. I think I spend half my time just reading to people and they will see things as I read that they never saw before. Itís not me, itís the Spirit at work. Thatís what we have to understand. Now letís come back to Genesis chapter 3. Weíll wind it up now so that weíll be ready for chapter 4. Iím not going to get to the word "Redeemer" even this time. Weíre going to have to leave it up there for the next time. Letís look at chapter 3 and verse 22. God has now restored Adam and Eve to fellowship by virtue of his faith and the animal sacrifice.
"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 forever:"
Do you realize how that leaves you hanging? Thereís no period there. The English has a colon and Hebrew has a punctuation that says, "now you just try to imagine what it would be like." And so thatís where youíre left. What if Adam would have been able to partake of the tree of life and live forever in this body of sin? That would have been awful. Now verse 23.
"Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. 24. 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."
And now weíre going to pick it up next week with Adam and Eve out of the garden. Itís all over so far as theyíre concerned in that beautiful setting.
LESSON TWO * PART I * BOOK 2
Cain and Abel
Genesis 4:1 Ė 5:24
Tonight, weíre just going to pick up where we left off last week, so turn with me to Genesis chapter 4, and weíll begin right with verse 1. For a little review from our last lesson, youíll remember that Adam and Eve were brought back into fellowship by virtue of the animals that were slain, and God provided the blood sacrifice, first and foremost, and them being clothed by the righteousness of God, they were also clothed by the skins to cover their physical nakedness. And since sin had now entered they had to be removed from the Garden of Eden.
Then as we come into chapter 4, we have a whole different set of circumstances. Since sin has now come into the picture, there is a necessity for getting back into a right relationship with God. They are no longer under the light easy keeping of the Garden as they were before, and now theyíre going to go out and make their way by the sweat of the brow. Now theyíre going to have to live under the effects of the curse. Theyíll have to fight against thistles, thorns, weeds, insects, and all the things that the curse brought in are now part and parcel of Adam & Eveís environment.
Now they are going to being raising children, but always remember it is now all under the curse. So as we come into verse 1, we find them out of the Garden of Eden, and we donít know how long, because the Bible doesnít tell us specifically.
"And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, (the first child) and (Eve) said, I have gotten a man (child) from the LORD."
There are some Bibles that say, "with the help of Jehovah" and still others, which I prefer, that say this is better translated, "I have gotten a man child, even Jehovah." Now think about that for a minute. Come back now to chapter 3, and we touched on this verse, and when we read it earlier, I said weíd be coming back to it, so I didnít at that time go into it too much depth a couple of lessons ago. The Lord God or Jehovah is addressing Satan in verse 14 and 15, but verse 15 is the one we like to look at where it says:
"And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, (that is between Satan and Eve) and between thy seed and her seed; it (the seed of the woman) shall bruise thy head, and thou (Satan) shalt bruise his heel."
Remember we pointed out this is foretelling this long run of enmity between the powers of Satan and especially the Son of God who would be coming on the scene as the Redeemer. Now if you will flip back to Galatians chapter 3 for a moment because we always have to qualify everything with Scripture. The whole idea of studying is that we can compare Scripture with Scripture.
Now the Seed of the woman is unique in verse 15 of Genesis chapter 3, but we have to follow that Seed all the way through Scripture because, like I said it was looking forward to the coming of a Redeemer. Here in this passage itís certainly qualified as to who is the Seed of the woman.
"Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not. And to seeds, (plural) as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ."
So we can always Scripturally refer to the Lord Jesus then as "The Seed of the woman." Remember when we first started way back in Genesis 1:1 with creation, and then as we came into the verses about Adam and Eve eating of the forbidden fruit? At that time I certainly tried to make a point that first and foremost we had to understand that Adam, as he was first created, actually contained within him the woman as we now know was Eve. So when Eve was created, the Bible makes it clear that she came out of Adam, because Adam had to be the Federal Head of the human race, and that everyone, including Eve, would now come from that line of Adam. So thatís why the Scripture tells us so plainly that the human race didnít come under sin by virtue of Eve, even though she ate first.
I Timothy 2:14
"And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression."
So sin came on the whole human race by way of Adam! Now we have to understand that Eve was in Adam! Also because even though God didnít put the curse on Eve for eating from the tree, yet she inherited that sin nature just like every other person since, through Adam. Now all of this should begin to tell us something. For some reason or another, God had to keep the fault that fell upon mankind from Eve, because she was tricked into it. So God insulated her from being at fault. She simply inherited her sin nature from Adam. She was a fallen creature, and under the anathema sin just as much as Adam or anyone else, yet God had something else in the long range view in order to provide a Redeemer, and that had to come through the woman.
Now if you really stop and think most of us certainly ascribe to the virgin birth of Christ, and isnít it amazing that Christ would be born of a woman, who out of the line of Adam, was a sinner like everyone else. Always remember Mary was not sinless. But isnít it amazing that God could bring to pass the birth of the Christ child from a normal human being of the female species, and yet her offspring would be sinless, and not pick up anything of that human element of the sin nature.
Now why? I know this is getting a little deep, and Iím afraid that the average Christian never even stops to consider it, but I teach so that we get down to the basics, and the things that maybe arenít so easily understood. Remember God intends for us to study, and grow, and go into the deep things, as Paul calls them.
So Eve was somehow or other insulated from the blame of the curse when she ate of the tree Ė and I think the easiest way I can show this is that the seed or egg of the woman, when she begins to get ready for reproduction, within her body there is building all of these potential seeds if you want to call it that. And those seeds will never be anything except just that until they are impregnated from an outside source, such as from the father.
Now this is hard for some people to understand, but as soon as the young mother become pregnant, then the first thing that happens is these cells begin to divide and multiply rapidly, up until we get from 16 till maybe 32 of these cells. Then at about 32 and maybe sometimes at 64 cells all of a sudden in the development of that little embryo, that process of cell division and multiplication stop, and the body cells begin to develop. Now when I say the body cells, Iím talking about the fingers, toes, feet and legs and all that. All of this is going to form that little human body. Then at some point quite a while down the line, these little reproductive cells find their way into the fetus as a whole.
Thatís why several lessons ago I said that Eve wasnít a rib, but rather she was taken out of the side of Adam, and was probably the reproductive part of Eve, and I think the correct term for that is the germ plasm, and thatís all part of our reproduction. Now hereís the amazing thing: Eve had to be insulated from any part of the curse, so that these reproductive cells, beginning from Eve all the way down to Mary and probably continuing on to this very day, do not carry the curse from one generation to the next except through the father. Itís only the father that precipitates what we would call the circulatory system or the blood system.
Now you have to thank about this because this doesnít come easy like 2 + 2 = 4. So if the female of the species has been insulated from the effects of the curse, in the reproduction area, she cannot pass down from her generation to the next the curse of sin. That can only come from the father. Now physiologically again there is none of the motherís blood that ever becomes part and parcel of that little infant baby, because the blood comes from the father, and always remember that.
Now then the line of the curse comes through the blood, through the father! Therefore every human being is a born sinner, by virtue of the fact that he has inherited from the father, although she is just as much a sinner as anybody else. But why has all this happened? Why did God see fit to insulate the seed of the woman from the curse. Well God was looking down through the eons of time to the coming of that Redeemer. Christ had to be born of a woman, but He also had to be sinless!
Since the ovum or the reproductive cells of the woman did not carry the curse, God as we know, was the One who impregnated Mary and so she became the mother of the Lord Jesus without the benefit of a human father, and thatís why we call it the virgin birth. Now then you see the Lord Jesus could be born of the woman, without the effects of the curse that came from the human father and so what was He? He was sinless, He was Divine, His blood circulatory system did not originate with the human element, it only originated with God. And yet since He was born of the woman He was human, He had the same appetites that we have, He lived, He ate, He slept like we do, and yet He was without sin.
So now then coming back to Genesis chapter 4, and verse 1. I never like to use the word "assume," because we can never do that with Scripture., but I think it is so perfectly implied here that since God had provided the way back to Himself, by virtue of Adam and Eveís faith, that they would continue to live, and they would continue to have children, they would be the parents of the human race. God provided that blood sacrifice that was necessary, but faith is always another one of the prerogatives. It has to be faith + the blood offering. Remember what Hebrews says?
"Öand without shedding of blood is no remission."
Then for the other one that is required here is also found in Hebrews chapter 6.
"But without faith it is impossible to please him:Ö"
And it was the same way here with Adam and Eve. God provide the blood sacrifice for Adam and Eve, but they had to believe what God said thus showing their FAITH. Now letís look at Genesis 4:1 very carefully. Stop and analyze, what Eve is driving at here in verse 1, when she says, "I have gotten a man (child, even Jehovah) from the LORD."
Well what did Genesis 3:15 promise? The Seed of the woman who would defeat Satan. We know that took place at the cross. So evidently, and I know this takes some deep thinking, the Lord had shared this much with Adam and Eve. That since sin had come into their existence and sin would be plaguing the human race, God Himself would come back on the scene, born of the woman, and become their Redeemer. So Eve had this front and center in her thinking, and when this little boy baby (Cain) was born, what did she think? "This is already HIM. He has already kept His Word. But you see Eve didnít realize that it would be generations down the line before that Redeemer would come on the scene, but she certainly had the concept.
Now Iím convinced that she had no idea that He would be crucified on a Roman cross, but she did understand that God was going to provide a Redeemer to bring the human race back to Himself. Now letís just look at the Redeemer concept again. So if you will come all the way back to the Book of Romans chapter 3. We pointed out a couple of lessons ago that the Book of Job tells us:
"For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:"
So this whole concept of redemption is all the way through the Old Testament. In fact over in the Book of Exodus, what do we normally call that Book? The Book of redemption! Because God bought His covenant people out of the slave market of Egypt, He redeemed them, He bought them back, and that the whole concept of redemption, it is something that you have lost control over, but you buy that control back. In other words letís just put down into todayís language. I guess just about every American knows what a mortgage is. Maybe you were fortunate enough that you had a home that was paid for, and then you become unfortunate and had to have some cash, to put the kids through school or whatever. So what do you do with that home thatís been paid for? You go to the bank and you mortgage that property. Now who has really got control over that mortgaged house? Well your banker does. You canít do anything with that house until you have somehow settled that debt with your banker. There is a way you can get that banker out of your hair, and what do you do? You buy that mortgage back, you pay it off, and thatís redemption.
"But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets: 22. Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: (that is between Jew now and the non-Jew) 23. For all have sinned, (by one man, Adam) and come short of the glory of God; 24. Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption (through the process of buying us back) that is in Christ Jesus. 25. Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood,Ö"(Remember the two absolutes in Scripture that is found in Hebrews 9:22 and 11:6?)
"Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission!"
"And without faith it is impossible to please Him!"
It takes those two, and you canít shortcut them, or detour around them, but you have to face them head on. So here we have it. We are redeemed when we believe what God says about the shed blood, about His death, His burial, and His resurrection.
"Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus."
Now letís look at this system of buying us back. When God put Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, who did Adam and Eve really belong to? Well, the Lord! They were His! He enjoyed their fellowship, He enjoyed their company and they enjoyed His. But you see when sin entered, and they became sin creatures, now who took control over Adam and Eve and their surroundings. Well Satan did. So God lost them, and control over them, Satan now had them, but you see God immediately, in their behalf at least, came in and redeemed them, by virtue of that animal sacrifice and speaking to them in words that they could understand, and they believed Him, so He redeemed them back to Himself.
Now that was just the beginning of the redemption process, and so all the way through Scripture we have this whole idea of redemption. Iíve already alluded to the Book of Exodus as the Book of redemption. Take the nation of Israel for example, when God had called out Abraham and promised him a nation of people that would come from that one man. They would come through the line of Isaac and Jacob, and Jacobís twelve sons, and God was in full fellowship with that whole line of people.
Then you remember the story of how the brothers hated Joseph because he was the favorite son of their father, and for all practical purposes, what did they do with him? They killed him so far as they were concerned, howbeit God had something else in mind and spared his life. But Joseph ends up in Egypt, and because Joseph ends up there and becomes the second greatest man in Egypt and was in control of the grain and getting everything for the seven years of famine. So when the famine hit Canaan and news had it that there was grain down in Egypt, where did the brothers have to go? Down to Egypt. You know the story.
Now as a result of Abrahamís offspring, Jacob and the twelve sons now in Egypt in that pagan godless land, what happens to them? Well they lost their fellowship with Abrahamís God, and they became you might say, mortgaged to the pagan, heathen Egyptians. They went into bondage, and so whatís God going to have to do? He going to buy them back. Heís going to redeem them. So thatís the whole story of the Book of Exodus, how that God instituting first and foremost the night of the Passover, the shedding of the blood of the Passover lamb. The placing of the blood on the door post, it had to start with that.
But as you move through the account of Israel moving out of Egypt after the blood has been applied, then what did Israel have to do? They had to move out, and God led them through the man Moses, and they come to the shores of the Red Sea, and theyíre trapped, but what does God do? Oh, He redeems them with His power by opening the Red Sea, and they come through on dry ground, and as a result, theyíre bought back by the power of God, by the Passover blood, out of Egypt and unto Godís own self.
LESSON TWO * PART II * BOOK 2
Cain and Abel
Genesis 4:1 Ė 5:24
Ok letís pick up where we left off in the last lesson, and that would be in Romans chapter 3 and verse 24. We want to have a little more discussion on that word "Redemption," and/or "Redeemer." So now letís look at that verse again.
"Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:"
In other words there is a way whereby God will purchase back that which He lost, back there in the Garden of Eden. You want to remember that when Adam and Eve were in the Garden they belonged to God, and they were in perfect fellowship with Him werenít they? But when sinned entered, that fellowship was broken and God lost control of them because they had come under control of the god of this world, old Satan. So immediately God institutes a way whereby He can buy the human race back to Himself, and we call that redemption.
And youíll find that all the way through the Old Testament when God purchased Israel out of the slavery of Egypt, and that is also a beautiful picture of our own salvation. We too as sons of Adam were slaves of sin; weíre in the slave market of Satan. I guess you could say that Godís hands are tied because He has given us that free will. Now God will do everything He can to bring us out of that slave market, but first we have to want to. See, God cannot force you and I out of that market. Remember when we were created, we were created with a mind and will, as well as a set of emotions. And when God extends his love toward us, then He can rightfully expect us to love Him in return. But we donít have to love God in return, we donít have to do anything, but Heís made it all possible.
Now Paul here in this word redemption actually goes into a physical, literal setting, and he uses a word that was so common in the days of the Roman Empire and the slave market. If you know anything about ancient history, slavery was just part and parcel of everyday living. These Roman Legions would make their journeys up into Europe, and wherever they went conquering, they would always bring back slaves. This is also what finally made the Roman Empire so corrupt, because the Roman citizens didnít have to work. These slaves that were constantly being brought in did all the manual work, and for little or no wages, it was slavery to the utmost. Of course that gave rise then to softening of the Roman physique and they finally fell apart, and then they were conquered.
So letís talk about this slave market that the Romans had. I like to picture some young teenagers that had been taken prisoners maybe up in France, or Germany or some other country, and they bring them back to Rome. They are put into the slave market for people to purchase. The end result for those not bought, are to be made sport of by the lions in the coliseums, Iím sure you remember that from Roman history.
So far as a person coming into the slave market, if someone didnít come along and buy them out, the end was death! They didnít have much to look forward to, but letís take for example an attractive brother and sister, maybe they were both captured at the same time, and the Roman legion brings these kids back to Rome. Letís say they are in the prime of life, 18 or 19 years old, theyíre lovely kids, but theyíre now slaves. So theyíre in this slave market with nothing to look forward to except death in the coliseum.
But along comes a benevolent Roman, who is well to do. Now in the Roman slave market language there were three different words, and it doesnít hurt to remember them. The first word was "agerozo" The second word was, "exagerozo" and then the third word was "Lutroo." Now those were the Greek words that were constantly in use in that Roman slave market. Iím not up much on the stock market, but I know they too have their own language. I know you can sell short and buy long, and take options, and so forth. Any way they have their own language, but so did the Roman slave market.
Now if they wanted to "agerozo" someone who is in this slave market, it was sort of like the stock traders do today. Theyíll buy stock in the morning and maybe it goes up 2 or 3 points in the afternoon and they sell if for the profit. . In other words they have no real intention of hanging on to that stock, theyíre just playing the market. Well they could do the same thing back in Rome with slaves. They could buy a slave at 8 oíclock in the morning and could leave that slave in the market, hoping that maybe later in the day the market would go up and they could resell the slave and take a profit. It was kind of a sport to these traders.
But the next word "exagerozo" we will use the Ė ex Ė means out. Now they also have the prerogative that if this rich Roman would come down to the slave market and pay the price of redemption, but he could also say, "Iím going to take that slave out of the market, Iím going to take him home with me." Now letís take that brother and sister, these two beautiful kids, but now theyíre slaves, and are in the market. So this rich Roman comes and pays the price, and he takes them out of the market, and takes them home with him. But this Roman is very benevolent, and has a big beautiful home, and he gives each of these kids a beautiful room in his home, and gives them a whole wardrobe of beautiful clothes, and gives them also just light labor that they must do taking care of his landscape. Heís really a good master, and heís done everything for these two lovely teenagers.
Then one day he comes along and says "Tell you what kids, Iíve also gone one step further, I have also now given you "Lutroo."í What does that mean? Freedom! And he tells these kids, "You are now totally free. I have bought you out of the slave market, I have paid the price for Roman citizenship for you, and so far as Iím concerned, youíre free to go any place in the Roman Empire, and do whatever you want to do, because I have paid the full price."
Now under those kind of circumstances, here these two kids fresh out of the barbarian nations of northern Europe, and they have never had it this good before, theyíre eating like theyíve never eaten before, and now this master says, "Youíre free to go and do as you please?" What do you suppose these kids would say? They would say, "Master Iíve never had it this good before. Iíll be your slave, and servant for the rest of my life if I can just stay right here and serve you."
Now isnít that exactly what God has done. See, God went into the slave market of sin and bought you back. Even though, like I said in the last lesson, itís a constant invitation, in fact I like to put it this way. All along this river of life there are doorways of escape that we can get out of that slave market. We can let that benevolent individual in the person of the Lord Jesus Himself buy us out of that slave market, but we have to agree that we want to get out. God canít force us out. So all along this river bank of life, weíve got these doorways that have signs across the top of each that says, "Whosoever will may come!" The redemption price has been paid, and all we have to do is take the way out, then as we understand all that God has done for me, what should be our logical reaction? "Lord I want to be your servant for the rest of my life. After all youíve done all this for me, and Iíve never had it this good before" But how many Christians do that? Precious few.
Now getting back to what I mentioned a lesson or two back with regard to Calvinism and as to whether or not we do have a choice about salvation, I like to put it this way: On the front of this doorway of escape for the lost, is that sign "Whosoever will may come," but after we walk through that door of freedom of salvation, if we could look back at the other side of that door, then we would see another sign that reads, "Chosen before the foundation of the world."
You know the rest, as that says it all. I had a lady in my class who has been a missionary all her life, and she is now retired. I gave that illustration to her, and she said, "You know I have never heard it put any better." But you see for a lot of people itís a problem when we point out the fact that God has chosen us long before the world was created, He knew (foreknowledge) that you and I would be His. But also remember we canít cancel out that "Whosoever." So this just kind of covers both sides of that door. From the front side is "Whosoever will may come." Absolutely nobody is left out, but when we decide to go through that door, and except His remedy for our sins, then what can we see? Oh He chose us before we were ever born. Now you just think about that, and the more you think about it the more thrilling it becomes.
Now then letís go back to Genesis chapter 4.
"And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Can, and said, I have gotten a man (child) from the LORD."
And after Eve realizes that Cain wasnít the Redeemer yet, for I imagine the Lord made it plain that Cain certainly wasnít going to be the Redeemer, although Eve had the right concept, because this is the way the Redeemer would come. But in verse 2 she has another child and she calls his name Abel.
"And she again bare his brother AbelÖ."
Now one of the first rules of thumb in Scripture is that all the way through the Bible youíll always have first the appearance of what we call the natural, and then that is always followed by the Spiritual. And you can follow that all the way up through Scripture.
1. Cain as you well know never became a Spiritual individual.
He remained the natural, and he was born first. Abel, on the other hand, was the Spiritual one of the two, and he was born second.
2. Another one we could look at would be Isaac and Rebekahís children,
Esau who was born first, the natural, and this brother
Jacob who was the Spiritual believer.
3. Then we could look at King Saul, the natural who was the first king of Israel,
but not a believer, and then the second king of Israel, King David
the Spiritual who was a believer.
4. And if you want to go to the Book of Revelation and the finalizing of
Godís program, first weíre going to have the appearance of the
anti-Christ the natural and then the appearance of
the true Christ, the Spiritual.
So remember this as you study your Bible that itís always the natural and then the Spiritual. So here in chapter 4, we have Cain the natural, and his brother Abel is going to be the Spiritual.
"And Abel was a keeper of the sheep, (a Shepard) but Cain was a tiller of the ground." (a farmer, and evidently had no livestock) 3. And in process of timeÖ"
Now letís stop right there, because the Hebrew indicates that what happened was that God had instructed this little family, Adam, Eve, Cain, and Abel, on how to approach Him. In other words God didnít just send them out of the Garden and let them fend for themselves. God still has their spiritual needs at heart. So after a time of instruction when He had made it so plain as to what they must do to gain fellowship with Himself. "And again remember the premises that weíve been holding up, there had to be a blood sacrifice, and it had to be accompanied with faith."
Now as you know by now Iím always reviewing, so whatís our definition of Faith? "Taking God at His Word!" Now letís look at these two young men. We find Cain is now farming, raising things from the ground, and his brother Abel is a herder of sheep.
"And in process of time (God had told them plainly what they must do) it came to pass that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD."
In other words the things that He had worked for by the sweat of his brow. Whether he brought a bundle of grain, or whether he put a bouquet of sorts together of various flowers and vegetables we donít know. But we do know it was definitely a sacrifice of things that he had raised from tilling the ground.
"And Abel he also brought of the firstlings (or the best) of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
Do you see those two different sacrifices? Cainís sacrifice is one that cannot shed blood. It is something that grew from the ground. Abel on the other hand brings the best of his flocks, a blood sacrifice. Now letís read verse 5.
"But unto Cain and to his offering he (God) had not respect. And Cain was very wroth and his countenance fell."
Now lets go back to the Book of Hebrews, chapter 11 for just a moment.
"By faith (by taking God at His Word) Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by (that faith, not by the sacrifice) which he obtained witness that he was righteous,Ö"
Now that word righteous, too many people shrink from it, and think Iíve got to be holier than thou, and walk around like I have a halo on my head, but thatís not what righteous means. Righteous, just simply means that now weíve been put on a footing with God that we can communicate with him, and God has declared us right with Himself.
"Öby which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifyingÖ"
See Abel didnít have to go back and brag. God had now made it clear that Abel had made himself accepted with God, and even though sin had made itís mark yet by virtue of his faith and obedience in sacrifice, Abel was right with God.
Now what about Cain? Letís come back to Genesis chapter 4, and Iím always amazed at how many people who have been in Church all their life, have never caught why Abelís sacrifice was accepted, and Cainís was not.
"But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell."
See, itís just like the human race today. Mankind has not changed a bit. When people are shown from the Word of God that theyíre out in left field with whatever they may be practicing, whatís their first reaction? Oh they get mad! And the first thing that struck Cain when God rejected his offering was what? Well why not, and he got angry. But you see God is so gracious, and so kind. God doesnít just go ahead and zap Cain, but rather He pleads with him, so letís look at it now in verse 6.
"And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? (angry) and why is thy countenance fallen? 7. If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?Ö"
Do you know what God is saying to Cain? Cain if you would just listen to what I say, and do what I tell you to do, then Iíd accept you. See here we boil down to the man of faith in Abel, and a man destitute of faith in Cain. Abel remembered what God said to do to be accepted, and what was that? Bring me a blood sacrifice and Iíll accept you! Abel did it. Why? He believed what God had said!
Cain on the other hand rationalized. Here heís a farmer, and doesnít have a flock of sheep. Here in Oklahoma we can picture very readily that maybe on the other side of the mountain was Abel with his sheep, and Cain said, "Thereís no reason I should make my way over that mountain and barter with my brother Abel for one of his sheep. Surely if I do the very best I can, if I put together the most beautiful sacrifice for God, surely He will accept it." But you see that rationalizing, and not doing what God said to do.
Now think about it? Isnít that what the vast majority of people are doing today. Instead of coming into the Bible and seeing what God clearly says through the Apostle Paul in this Age of Grace, what we have to believe for salvation, as found in I Corinthians 15:1-4 and Romans 10:9-10, they rationalize and say, "Well look, if I do such and such, or live in a such and such behavior pattern, surely God will accept me." Listen, God is not going to accept that person anymore than He did Cain! It has to be Godís way!
Now letís quickly finish verse 7, and weíre going to see God is going to go one step farther as He always does, and now He tells Cain:
"If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, (In other words if you want go yourself and find a sacrificial animal and bring it to me, Iíll go you one step further.) sin lieth (or a sin offering) lieth at the doorÖ."
Now itís unfortunate that the King James Version doesnít make that plain. But the same Hebrew word for sin is the same Hebrew word for sin offering. And if you put that in verse 7, and Iím not the only one that does that, but if you read it like this.
The Lord saith, "if you doth not well, a sin offering lieth at the door, and unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him."
Now the best illustration I can give here is: Remember when Abraham was going offer Isaac, and God stopped him, but Abraham still had to have a sacrifice, but what had God provided for that sacrifice right behind him? A ram was caught in the thicket. God had provided it, and He had done the same thing here. Heís telling Cain in so many words, "Cain if you go back home, right at your tent door, Iíve provided a lamb. That lamb is not going to argue with you or run from you, and that lamb will succumb to you, and all you have to do is go pick it up, and bring it to me, and Iíll accept you."
Now isnít that plain? But does Cain do it? No, because Cain is self willed, and Cain doesnít believe a thing that God says. I also use the same word of Esau as well as Cain, they were destitute of faith. They just could not believe what God said.
Now did I make that plain enough? Why was Abel accepted and Cain rejected? Because Abel brought a blood sacrifice and Cain brought a bloodless sacrifice. Cain brought what he thought God would accept.
Now bringing it into our own present time. Look at people all around us, and you can ask them why God should let them into His heaven, and youíll get all different answers because theyíre rationalizing, and refusing to just simply consider what has God said, and when we do what God says, thatís FAITH.
LESSON TWO * PART III * BOOK 2
Cain and Abel
Genesis 4:1 Ė 5:24
Now letís just pick up again where we left off last lesson, and that would be in Genesis chapter 4, and verse 8. If you remember the last time we were together we were talking about Cain and Abel, and why Abelís sacrifice was accepted and Cainís rejected. And it all boils down to the simple matter of obedience to what God said to do. Remember Abel brought a blood sacrifice as required by Godís instructions, and God accepted it, and Abel came back in the right relationship with his God.
However Cain brings a bloodless sacrifice, that which was of self will, and God rejected it. We then found Cain got angry, and God came back and said, "But Cain Iíve already provided the lamb for you to sacrifice if you will only go to your tent door, pick it up and bring it, and Iíll accept you." And still Cain would not do as he was told.
To get our mind kind of cleared as to why some people seemingly can never get these things to the place that they can believe it, letís go back again before we go any further in Genesis chapter 11, the great faith chapter and again look at verse 4.
"By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, (why was Abelís sacrificed accepted? His faith!) by which he obtained witness that he was righteous,Ö"
Now come on over to chapter 12, and weíre going to pick up that other individual that I alluded to in our last lesson. A man also who morally and in every other way was probably better than his brother Jacob. Just about everyone knows the story of Jacob and Esau, and how that Esau was a hunter and was loved by his father, and when Isaac wanted that venison meal, Esau went out and got it. But in the mean time, Jacob by trickery, had beaten Esau to the blessing.
And remember earlier in the story, when Esau came in from the field, and was all exhausted and hungry, he glibly gave up his spiritual birthright for a bowl of bean soup Jacob had made. Now why would he do such a thing? Because like Cain, he was destitute of faith. What God had said concerning the coming of a Redeemer through the line of Abraham, meant nothing to Esau. But Jacob, the rascal that he was, evidently had enough of a concept of what God said He would do that Jacob could believe it. So Jacob was a man of faith, and Esau was not.Hebrews 12:16-17
"Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. 17. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: (just like Cain was) for he found no place of repentance, through he sought it carefully with tears."
Now that verse is hard to comprehend until you can understand, that even though Esau wept because he missed receiving the blessing, yet he never got to the place that he could understand why he missed the blessing. And why did he miss it? Because he could not believe what God had said! Esau was a man who had no faith.
And again I always have to bring all these things up to our own contemporary time. How many people have we got all around us who are good people, I mean morally good people, and theyíre emotions are stirred, but they just cannot simply believe what God has said to believe for their salvation, as we find in I Corinthians 15:1-4 and Romans 10:9-10. So where are they? Theyíre out there in disobedience and trying to make their own way, usually under the Law of Moses. Theyíre like Esau or Cain, they are destitute of faith. They just cannot accept what God has told the Apostle Paul concerning Salvation for the Church Age, which we are now part of.
Now then letís come back to chapter 4 of Genesis and carry on. We should make a little head way this Ĺ hour. So now we see that Cain is still carrying that rebellious attitude with him and now he is filled with that four letter word, "envy." Whatís he envious of? Oh the fact that Abel is now right with God, and he isnít. There is nothing else that has come between these two brothers except this one fact. So now Cain becomes envious. Do you realize that you cannot break a single one of the Ten Commandments without first being guilty of envy?
Letís look at that in Romans chapter 7 for a moment where Paul is having this great battle. And you know the concept here is that Paul makes it so plain "the things I would, I donít. And the things that I should do, I donít." So heís got this great controversy within himself. But now in verse 7 he says:
"What shall we say then? Is the law sin? (is there something wrong with the Law?) God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, (for what it really is) but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet."
So think about that in the next few days as you go about your daily work, and see if there is anything in the Ten Commandments that you can break without coveting? Thereís not a one. Everything that is in our relationship with God, so far as our disobedience is concerned, is always triggered by coveting or envy, or jealously, and it can just eat at the inner being of people, then pretty soon it comes to the surface.
Now come on back to the Book of Genesis chapter 4. You see, thatís exactly what happened to Cain. Oh he became so envious of Abelís relationship with God. The very fact that God accepted him, and instead of just going back to God in obedience, what does he do? He letís that envy eat and eat until finally Cain settles this jealously with his brother by killing him.
"And Cain talked with Abel his brother: (he didnít just talk with Abel, but rather he confronted him) and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him."
Now over the twenty years Iíve been teaching, Iíve developed a few little cliques I call them, that I use over and over, and one of them is, "sin begets sin." Once we get down that road of sin, another sin just follows so naturally, sin begets sin, and thatís what happens here. What was Cainís first sin? A lack of faith. He could not believe what God said was true. After that sin, what followed? Envy, jealously. Now his envy and jealously actually comes to the place where he commits a still more terrible sin, when he murdered his brother. Now verse 9
"And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not; Am I my brotherís keeper?
So then Cain lied, and whatís a lie? Another sin. See he just keeps piling them up. Now verse 10.
"And he said, What hast thou done? The voice of thy brotherís blood crieth unto me from the ground."
Now I think thereís more in this verse than Iím even able to gleam from it, but there is a connection here with the blood of Abel going into the ground, which is already under the curse. There is a connection Iím sure, but Iím not to the place where I can clarify it just yet. So it might be something that you would want to study on your own. Now verse 11.
"And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brotherís blood from thy hand; 12. When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth."
Now Cain comes back and cries doesnít he? He cries just like Esau did. Remember in Hebrews, Esau cried bitter tears, but he was still destitute of faith.
"And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear."
Listen, would God have forgiven Cain even here? Sure He would have. All Cain would have had to do was just let his pride come down, say, "Oh God Iíve sinned, Iíll do what you want me to do, Iíll go and get that sacrifice, and bring to you." But Cain doesnít, and you just see the man go down, down, down. Letís read on.
"Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me."
Here God says: "Oh no they wonít, Iíll prevent that." Now verse 15.
"And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD sat a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him."
Now we donít know what that mark was, and I wouldnít even venture a guess, but Iíll tell you one thing, everybody that was contemporary with Cain, knew who he was. And they wouldnít touch him for anything. So God providentially put that protection on him.
Now this also points out something else. Here we are in the dawn of human history, and from Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel, and these first families that are just starting up on this side of the Garden of Eden, all the way to the flood, you want to remember that there is no system of what we call law and order. There is no government, or law and order. In other words everyone operated simply from conscience. There was no system of organized worship. Now they knew to approach God with an animal sacrifice, but there was no system of worship as we find introduced to the nation of Israel, or as we find Paul introducing to the Church. But rather every person was more or less on his own to be obedient to his God by virtue of the conscience within him. Maybe I can show that best from the Book of Romans chapter 2. I always stress that we have to use all the Scriptures.
In fact it came up in our class last night where we have been studying the Book of Acts, where Paul had been driven out of the little city of Thessalonica up there in Northern Greece, where they refused to let him teach and preach, and so he went down to the next little city south of Thessalonica to Berea, and that verse says what?
"These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."
And oh thatís a good admonition for us. If you donít agree with me, donít come and argue with me, but rather search the Scriptures. I always like to make it clear that I donít trumpet any one denomination, and I donít try to get a person to leave his denomination, but rather all I try to do is teach the Word! I just told someone at break time, that very seldom do I ever come down on the so called "sins of society." You donít very often hear me talk about drugs, and sex and gambling, and so forth, because I donít have to. All you have to do is get in the Book and those things will take care of themselves. So now in Romans chapter 2 we find Paul writing to the Gentile believers at Rome, and heís explaining all of this, as heís preparing for chapter 3, a chapter weíve already looked at quite a bit in our study.
"For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, (do you see that? Gentiles that Paul is referring to are those who are either contemporary with Israel while theyíre under the Law or that civilization coming up to the time of the Law, when as yet there was none.) do by nature (or naturally) the things contained in the law, (in other words they refrain from murder, adultery, stealing, and so forth. They didnít do all these things because there was a law that told not to,) these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: 15. Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)
Now that tells it as plainly as it can be told, that for these people who lived before the Law was given, operated on the influence of conscience. That which God had placed in the very breast of Adam and Eve and those following of what was right and what was wrong.
I was amazed years and years ago when we first got interested in foreign missions, and missionaries would come home from parts of the world that 30 or 40 years ago were still pretty much steeped in a spiritual darkness. It isnít so much that way anymore, in fact much of what we used to call dark Africa is now beginning to send missionaries to America now. I hope you know that. But anyway I remember missionaries coming back and would say, "These pagan people, under the influence of the witch doctors, yet they had a moral code that would make us American look pretty shabby." Where did they get this moral code? Oh from their conscience! They knew deep inside that it was not right to murder, or commit adultery, and be immoral.
In fact I remember one missionary in particular that their missionary work was down in central, South American down on the Amazon River, and that particular tribe was so hung up on sexual immorality that if any young girl was married with any doubt whatsoever that she was pure, her first child was taken into the jungle and killed. Now think of that! They had that much emphasis on a pure marriage relationship. Now where do they get it? Conscience. Now letís come back to Genesis chapter 4. So at this time there is no system of organized law as we know it, no controlled behavior, nor are there any organized system of worship. Now verse 16. Cain, we know is a rebel
"And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD,Ö"
Cain didnít want any more to do with God. I suppose also that when the Lord told him that He had put a protection on him that no one could avenge the death of his brother death. In fact Cain I think had a smugness that he had nothing to fear, and he removes himself from the place where God wonít have any contact with him.
"Öand dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden."
Now the question coming up quite often lately is, where was the Garden of Eden? Well I think most people who give any credence at all to the Book of Genesis, especially out of the archeological community, I think they would all agree that it was someplace between the Euphrates and Tigress River. And with our controversy with Iraq, which is right in the cradle of civilization. So Cain moved somewhere around that area or maybe the area of Babylon, itís in that area of the world.
"And Cain knew his wife, and; and she conceived, and bare Enoch:Ö" (not the same Enoch that walked with God in Genesis 5:22)
Now in these verses between 17 and 24, we have the explosive beginning of that first Cainatic civilization. Iím saying Cainatic because this civilization is going to explode technology, itís going to explode in population, but it is totally destitute of a relationship with God. There is nothing spiritual in this civilization whatsoever, although itís going to explode. Remember now, Godís out of the picture. Now when you force God out of a situation, there is a natural phenomena, and who comes in? Satan. Now donít delegate Satan to the little guy in a red suit with a pitchfork, with a couple of little horns on his head, because that is not the Biblical picture of Satan. Satan is an angelic personality with tremendous power. The Apostle Paul tells us:
II Corinthians 11:14
"And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light "
We also know that he has the power of the universe at his disposal with only the Sovereign power of God to control him. So this Cainatic civilization is going to be driven by the powers of Satan, and not by the power of God. Now letís read a few more verses.
"And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch; and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch.
Now you know Iím a strict adherence of the Genesis account. I mean after all this is what God says about it, and I believe every word of it. The other side will try to tell us that man came up in the process of evolution from that primeval soup and finally came up through the monkeys and apes and what have you. And then after he began to walk up right, he began to hunt and raise a family, and all that garbage that they spew out of their mouths and books. Then he lived in caves almost like a wild animal, and little by little he finally formed a civilization.
Well that is not what the Bible says! The Bible says the first thing the off spring of Cain did was settle down, and they buildth a city.
Now it wasnít a city like New York or Chicago, but nevertheless it was not just a cave dweller or two, these are groups of people who have actually settled in one place and they have set up a community, a society is the best word I can use.
Now if youíre going to have a city, whether itís 500 or 1000, or 10,000 I think you all realize that a good many of the people involved in that society are in service. Most of our jobs even today are service connected. In other words you have the grocer, the hardware store, and all of these things that are basically service. Very few jobs are really connected with production, now thatís just part and parcel of having a city. Now it was the same way here.
You go back into some of the tribal areas that Iíve already referred to, like down into the central part of South America, on the Amazon River. When our missionaries go down there and approach these natives, running around in the jungle, they know nothing of a civilization like we do. They donít have villages and towns, they just roam through the forest. And as soon as our missionaries can see them converted, teach them our so called Western ways of living, then whatís the first thing these people do? They settle down in a little village, or community, and begin to work together for one common purpose, and that is to enhance their little village.
Now we wonít have time to go into it any further than this, but this is exactly what Cain and his offspring began, a city. Thereís nothing in this Bible that agrees with evolution process, but instead weíre going to see that God said it happened in a particular way, and thatís the way weíre going to believe it.
LESSON TWO * PART IV * BOOK 2
Cain and Abel
Genesis 4:1 Ė5:24
Now letís pick up again where we left off last lesson, and that would be in Genesis chapter 4, and weíll start back at verse 16. Now for a little review, I want you to remember that after Cain murdered his brother Abel, he continued to be rebellious, and he leaves the very presence of the Lord, with nothing more to do with Him. I think perhaps after Adam and Eve had to leave the Garden of Eden they would return in the vicinity of the Garden to sacrifice to the Lord.
"Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. 24. 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."
So I would agree with those who would maintain that this probably was the place that this first family met the Lord with their sacrifices. It was probably a designated place that they would come to this area of an angelic gatekeeper with their sacrifice, and thatís where the Lord met them.
Well anyway, Cain just totally removes himself from any contact with God, and goes out from the presence of the Lord as it says in verse 16, and he began to build a civilization. Now the question came up after our last lesson, "Well who does Cain marry?" Well itís very obvious that these early families married sisters and gradually they married cousins, and next of kin. Now that sounds awful to us, but you want to remember back here at the beginning human history, the physical makeup, the gene makeup was so pure, and so perfect that there wasnít any problem with inner-marriage of next of kin.
In fact all through the Scriptures until after the time of Abraham they married next of kin. In fact Abraham himself married a half sister. So it wasnít until sometime later that God put a taboo on close relatives marrying because by now you see the gene pool had degenerated to a place where it was causing genetic problems. So donít have a problem with that back here at the dawn of the human race, because they were so pure. Their gene pool, as we use the term, was so perfect that it didnít cause any problem whatsoever. Cain now then takes a wife from the daughters of Adam and Eve, as weíll see in chapter 5. You want to remember that Adam and Eve had far more children than just Cain and Abel. Now verse 17.
"And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch; and he builded a city,Ö" (not the Enoch that walked with God in chapter 5)
As we discussed in the last lesson, they didnít become cave dwellers, and uncivilized wild people, but rather they immediately began with the very core of civilization, because the first thing humans do when theyíre civilized, they congregate together and form communities. So he built a city, and called the name of the city after his sonís name, Enoch.
Remember now as these families are beginning to enlarge, keep in mind there many years going by. Weíre not talking about just a couple of years when all this is taking place. Remember Adam lived 930 years, and thatís hard for us to comprehend. And in that period of time Adam and Eve continued to have sons and daughters, and their children lived that long and had sons and daughters. And again remember the race was so pure that there wasnít much death and sickness or diseases so they were profound in their populating the earth. Now come on down to verse 20
"And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle."
Now there you have your domestic animals, livestock production and ranching in full bloom. So youíve already got people living in a city, a good number of people living in a concentrated area, but out over the countryside, now there are those who are beginning to raise herds of livestock. Now verse 21.
"And his brotherís name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ."
Now what have we got? Music and musicians. And I always say that this isnít the little old tonette that most of us learned our first 4 or 5 notes on, but rather these were the complicated instruments, the harp and the organ. So every thing is coming together now. Weíve got city dwellers, weíve got livestock people, and weíve now got music, and along with the music, Iíll just put in all the aspects of culture. Now letís read again.
"And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron:Ö"
Now again you go back to secular history and the evolutionists, and they maintain that the human race didnít know anything of metals until way, way, down the line. Well here we are at the very dawn of human history and according to Biblical account they were already mining the ore so that they could put brass together, and their iron, and now we see theyíre manufacturing with it. They are beginning to produce things made with these metals. Now put all that together and what have you got? Youíve got a civilization beginning to bloom, and grow, and its technology is going to explode.
Now when I say explode, all I have to do is call to your mind how much of what we take for granted today was evident back then. Letís just go back to World War II, some of you are old enough to remember that far back. From 1940 on up to where we are today, about 50 years, do you realize what an explosion of technology that weíve experienced? I read here not too long ago that about 80% of the items that are in your supermarket tonight were unknown in 1945. So if we look at a period of time from Adam to the flood a period of over 1600 years, and theyíre starting out this well, can you imagine what they had by the time we get to Noahís Flood.
I like to think that the technology and life style of the pre-flood people just before the flood was equal to or surpassed to where we are tonight, and thereís evidence of that. Thereís a little paper back book, by the name "Weíre not the first." I wish I could remember the authorís name but I canít. The author is certainly not a Bible believer, and he writes all of his information just from what heís gathered from archeology and other, and shows ample proof that at some point in our human history there were people who had space travel, they knew air travel, they had computers, they had the storage battery that we use in our cars. Theyíve even found replicas of the internal combustion spark plug. Now we know that none of that was evident after the flood, so it had to have been before the flood.
In this Cainitic civilization there was a literal explosion of knowledge and technology. Now why can I say that? Number 1. Adam was a perfect human being. Adam had a mind that would probably blow ours, and his children were not that much below him. And on top of that tremendous intelligence, look at all the years they had to use it. What if Einstein, who died if I can remember correctly at the age of 90 or 91, could have lived to the age of 900? Can you imagine what that mind would have produced? Or an Edison or any of these great men who have been responsible for so much of our technology, what if they could have lived ten times longer than they did? Can you see what would have happened? And thatís what youíve got here before the flood. Youíve got people with tremendous intelligence, but they had 900 years of time to use it. So I stick by my guns that there was tremendous technology on the scene by the time we come to the flood. But always remember, where were most of the people spiritually? Out there in utter darkness. Without God itís a Satanic inspired civilization.
Now just look at our own time, with all the things that man is accomplishing, and we enjoy all of it. But really how much of it is to glorify God? Now when I talk about our technology, Iím talking about our transportation, our air travel, look at our technology in the recent war, including our smart bombs, and what have you. Is God the architect of all that? Why no.
Remember that Satan will promote anything, even a beautiful city park, or work of art. Satan will promote anything as long as it will keep menís eyes and hearts from God, so never forget that. The world tonight is Satanís domain, the world is his, and I pointed that out a few weeks ago at the temptations with the Lord Jesus back there in Matthew chapter 4. And when Satan offered Christ the kingdoms of this world if He would fall down and worship him, was he sincere? Sure he was, because they were his to offer. They wonít always be, but tonight he is still the god of this world according to Paulís writings.
So this Cainitic civilization then is driven by the very forces of Satan. If this will help you understand this a little better, consider what was the state of this great civilization by the time we get to Noahís flood. In spite of all their intelligence, and all their technology, where had they gone morally and spiritually? Theyíve hit rock bottom! That should tell you again that Satan was driving it.
So now letís come on down to verse 23. Here, if Iím not mistaken, we have the first instance of multiple wives or polygamy. Lamech actually took these two wives up in verse 19.
"And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt."
Do you really know what heís saying? I have killed a man who was trying to kill me. Lamech killed in self defense we would call it today. Now verse 24.
"If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold."
Now I canít put a lot on that except to say that here again there was no human government or system of justice to maintain law and order. Now by the time we get chapter 6 which may be in these next few moments, but I doubt it, weíre going to see that the thing that I think came before the heart of God, more than anything else in that pre-flood civilization was the "Murder!" They were killing each other just left and right, and weíre seeing just a little bit of that in our society today arenít we? Every news cast, what do we hear? Murder.
I read way back in the middle 70ís and at that time Detroit was the murder capital of the country, itís changed now to Washington D.C. But at that time some statisticians had put together a set of numbers that a baby born in Detroit during that era had something like a one-in-three chance of being murdered by the time he was 25. Now we can hardly comprehend that, but that was just the situation that existed in this pre-flood Cainitic civilization. They had a tremendous society, but as Jesus refers to it in Lukeís gospel
Luke 17: 26-27
"And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. 27. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all."
Those people were as busy as a colony of ants, and our society today is doing the same thing, to include all the building that is going on. So if youíve ever had the idea that those of the pre-flood civilization were cave dwellers, I hope you will forget that, because these people had everything going for them. They had cities; they had manufacturing; they had music and culture; that had livestock production. And as I said before, whenever you have a society living in a city environment you have just as many people or more working in areas of service as you have in areas of production.
Now letís leave that Cainitic civilization for just a moment and go on to verse 25, and God is going to pick up and bring on the scene a replacement for the spritual man that was murdered by Cain, a replacement for Abel. Now again I imagine that Satan thought that he had already "lickedí God before things had gotten too far by removing the "Spritual Seed," Abel. But God in His sovereignty comes back through Adam and Eve who have another child who is a special individual because he is to replace Abel.
"And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth:Ö"
Now you want to remember that name because out of him will come genealogy the man Noah and eventually Christ. Now finishing the verse.
"ÖFor God said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew. 26. And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD"
Now maybe we can go to the board and show what Eve had in mind when she said that "God has given her another seed." Now there comes that word "seed" again. Remember what weíre always keeping in mind is the Seed of the woman. Now as the seed came down from Adam, the next one was Abel, who was murdered, so God replaced him with Seth. Now through the line of Seth will come Noah, and through the three sons of Noah we have Ham, Shem and Japheth. Then from the line of Shem we come right on down to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And through the 12 sons of Jacob we have the formation of the nation of Israel, and then through the nation of Israel, the line of King David, and Davidís son Solomon, and then the genealogy follows all the way to the birth of the Messiah.
Now thatís all based on that word "Seed of the woman" in Genesis 3:15, and we know God keeps it all the way through. Now this is why I just canít comprehend men who claim to be students of the Bible, learned men, theologians, and they canít comprehend this. They try to tell the world that the Bible is not entirely the Word of God, and they tell the world that Christ never claimed to be God. Well the whole idea of Scripture is beginning with "The Seed of the woman". Beginning with Eve, and through this Godly line it would all end up with the coming of Christ the Redeemer, in whom as He told Abraham "that all the families of the earth would be blessed." All we have to do is search the Scriptures and all this becomes evident.
Now in the time we have left, letís go on into chapter 5 and verse 1.
This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him: 2. Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, (remember we referred to that in one of our earlier lessons) in the day when they were created."
"And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth; 4. And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters;" (plural)
Sons and daughters, and we have no idea how many children Adam and Eve had just between the two of them. Now verse 5.
"And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died."
Remember when were back in Genesis chapter 3, and when he ate of that forbidden fruit, he died spiritually immediately, but physically the seeds of death began, and even though he lived 930 years yet that promise finally caught up with him, and Adam too died.
Now letís move on down to the next verses, and weíll be ready for the flood in our next lesson hopefully. So we come through the line of Seth, and we donít have to concern ourselves with every one of these, because Iíve already shown you the Scripture is so explicit in how the "Seed of the woman." would finally come on the scene, and how Israelís Messiah would come through that Godly line of Seth, who takes Abelís place. So letís pick up the genealogy of the Spritual man Seth:
"And Seth lived an hundred and five years, and begat Enos:"
Then come down through all these gentlemen and their sons, and so forth, and now come down to verse 22 where we have Enoch who was the father of Methuselah the man who lived the longest of any of them.
"And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: 23. And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: 24. And Enoch walked with God; and he was not: for God took him."
In other words, Enoch was here one moment and gone the next, and we have no record that Enoch died. He was, I think, a beautiful picture in type of the Rapture of the Church. Now Iíve said it once and Iíll say it again that there is nothing spoken in the Old Testament about the Church, but I have to feel that this is a picture in type of whatís going to happen to the Church just before judgment falls. And the judgment that is about to fall here in Genesis is the flood. And just shortly before the judgment of the flood this Godly representative, Enoch is suddenly translated, he disappears.
Enoch believe, it or not, left us some tremendous prophecy before he left the scene, and so letís look at that in the Book of Jude. I think most of you are aware that I certainly believe in the imminent return of Christ for His Body, the Church, the True Believers! And as Iíve already spoken the event of Enoch translation, I think is a picture in type of the Church being suddenly snatched away the same way that Enoch was. But I like to point out that this man Enoch prophesied of things that are approaching even our own day and time.
"And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his (not angels, but rather His) saints, 15. To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinner have spoken against him."
But the thing I want to point out is, that this man Enoch who was translated just shortly before the judgment of the flood was able to leave the prophetic statement that Christ is going to return with the ten thousands of his saints. Well the first thing I have to say is, how can He return with the saints, unless He takes the saints out first?
So the whole concept of our chronology is that the Lord will take the Church out one day we think rather soon, although we never try to put a date on it, but in the minute we have left, turn with me to Revelation chapter 3, because a question came up in our class last night, "Will the Church, the Body of Christ, go into the Tribulation? And I maintain that we will not, no more than Enoch went into the flood. This passage is to the Church at Philadelphia which was representative of all true believers. And to them in verse 10 the Lord Jesus says:
"Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, (or testing) which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth."
Now the only time that would fit would be in the Tribulation seven year period. But here the Lord Jesus is promising the True Believer, the ones who believe for their salvation: "that Jesus died for their sins, was buried and rose again," He is promising that we will be kept from that hour of awful testing that will come upon all the world. So if weíre a believer tonight we can rest and take hope that one day soon weíre going to be snatched away in His presence.
LESSON THREE* PART I * BOOK 2
Noah: The Ark of Security
Genesis 6:1 Ė 7:10
We will pick right up where we left off in our last class. If you will, turn with me to Genesis chapter 6. Those who watch us on television, we would ask you to take your Bible and a notepad and follow right along with us and be part and parcel of our class time. Last week we were discussing chapter 5. Notice that we came to the man called Seth. If you want to go back for a moment of review, Genesis chapter 5 verse 5.
"And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died."
But before Adam died, Seth came on the scene as a replacement for Abel who had been murdered earlier by Cain. Then we come to verse 6 and we pick up the genealogy of this man Seth, the replacement for Abel, or the beginning of what we would call the "spiritual" line.
Remember, that we pointed out earlier that all though Scripture the process is first the natural or the unbelieving end of it then the Spiritual or the believer. Cain, the unbeliever, followed by Abel the spiritual man. Abel was then replaced by Seth. Then as we come up through the Scriptures you have first Esau and then Jacob. First King Saul and then King David. As we approach the end time, we will have first the appearance of the anti-Christ and then the appearance of the real Christ.
This follows all the way through Scripture. So Cain was the beginning of the natural or the non-spiritual aspect of the human race. But, now Seth comes on the scene to become the head of the spiritual line. We pick it up in verse 6 where it says:
And Seth lived an hundred and five years, and begat Enos;..."
And so on down the line. We arenít going to take all of these names. But, finally we get closer and closer to the flood and I think in the closing remarks of the last lesson, we talked about Enoch, who walked with God, and then Enoch was translated, he did not see death. And I think thatís probably a perfect picture, in type, of the out calling of the Church or the believers before the coming judgment of the Tribulation. Enoch was translated shortly before the flood, as the judgement of that day came upon the scene.
Then as you come through the genealogy you next run across Methuselah, the man who lived the longest of any one in Biblical history. Nine hundred and sixty nine years as against Adamís 930 years.
After Methuselah, we have Lamech in verse 28 and finally we get down to Noah. Noah of course, is going to bring us to the flood of chapter 6. But before we go to chapter 6, Iíd like to explain these two family lines.
First the natural posterity of Cain. And even though Cain was out from the presence of God, he turned his back on God, yet, he was not without a motivating power. Remember, I pointed out that when Cain pushed God out of his life the very power of Satan enters in.
You canít create a vacuum. There is no such thing as having absolutely no spiritual influence. If we push God out, Satan is going to come in. I pointed out that just because we speak of Satan of being evil and he is that which represents wickedness, Satan doesnít always do awful things.
Satan is very well qualified to promote good things. Beautiful things. Things that even we as believers enjoy day by day. Paul says in II Corinthians he can transform himself into an angel of light. He is the master counterfeiter. I like to use that word. He is a counterfeit of God at every opportunity. If he can make a sham or if he can make something look like an original ( I said look like), he will do it!
I always like to remind my classes that I read sometime ago, that when the United States government brings in young people to work in the Treasury Department, especially to work on counterfeit, they donít sit down and show them a lot of counterfeit bills. But for six months all those people study are legitimate American currencies. That is all they study. The idea is that if they know meticulously how the original looks, when they see something that is a counterfeit, they will recognize it immediately.
This is what I beg people to do with the Scripture. Be so profound in your knowledge of the Scripture that when the cults come along, and when people come to your door with something less than the truth, that you will recognize it immediately as a counterfeit.
The master counterfeiter is so capable of making it look like the original. Satan is the master counterfeiter. So as he comes in to the experience of Cain, we saw that this becomes a tremendous civilization with technology.
With technology, I use the word, explodes! The reason for it is that Adam was a perfect person. Adam and Eve were both perfect. They had tremendous intelligence. I donít think that we can even use a percentage of what Adam and Eve and those early members of the human race were capable of doing. Always remember that. Adam was created perfect.
Now as these people began to multiply they didnít become cave dwellers or savages. Thatís man on his way down. Iíve had that question come up so many times over the years, especially from college age young people. Well, what about the cave man. Where did he come in? Well, he is not man on his way in his ascendancy. Thatís what evolution likes to show us, that man gradually crawled up until finally he reached where we are today. But itís not Biblical.
We know that Adam and Eve started as perfect human beings. They had a tremendous civilization that just erupted from their offspring. Then, as years and centuries and yes, millennia go by, what happened to the human race? Well, they degenerated. So in that process of degeneration, sure we have had cave people. There is enough evidence of that, but always remember, itís man on his way down not on his way up.
So the Cainitic Civilization, the natural aspect, begins to explode in technology as well as in population. It is very easy to comprehend that by the time we get to Genesis chapter 6, by the time of the flood, probably about 1,600 years after Adamís creation, it is very easy to believe that there were probably four billion people on the earth.
About equal to the population that the earth had at the turn of the 70ís. I think we reached about four billion people somewhere in the 70ís. Now in just the last 15-20 years, we have come all the way up to six billion. The latest figures I have read is that we will probably approach something like eight billion people by the year 2000. Then, if the thing were to keep going, that would double again by about the year 2020 or 2025.
Itís just like that old story. Remember when the king offered a job to somebody for a penny a day but he would double it every day of his life. And a penny a day doesnít seem like much. Two cents a day doesnít seem like much. But, as you well know, if you keep doubling it isnít very long until it becomes explosive. So thatís the way it is with the population here and we are seeing the same thing in our own time.
The civilization of Cain went out from the presence of God, precipitated a society and economy that was tremendous but was without God. It was motivated by the powers of Satan. But remember, that doesnít mean it was all bad.
So over on the other side, we have the line of Seth and again we come down through the genealogy until we finally get down to Noah. And, Noah has his three sons: Ham, Shem and Japheth. We will be covering them later.
Now I think we have the setting so that we can come into Genesis chapter 6 and verse 1. We are about 1,600 years after the creation of Adam, which puts us about 2,400 BC.
"And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, (I have already alluded to that. You are going to have a doubling. And every time it doubles, itís just going to be that much shorter period of time until it will double again. So men were beginning to multiply.) and daughters were born unto them,"
Then verse 2. Now these are points of controversy among the best of theologian and Bible scholars, and I donít claim to have a corner on it. But I prefer to agree with the consensus of opinion that the Sons of God here, are simply the Godly line of Seth.
We have the ungodly line of Cain and they have been going on in their materialism and in their technology. But over against that, probably quite well separated, was this Godly line of Seth who had not become too involved with what we today would call this worldly community. They have maintained a relationship with Jehovah God. In fact it says in there that then began man to call upon the name of Jehovah.
So as this godly line of Seth comes down through the centuries of years building up to the flood. Letís look at it.
"That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took wives of all which they chose."
There is that controversy where some feel that the Sons of God were angelic beings, who took on sexuality and actually cohabited then with human women. That offspring became the giants of verse 4. There are a lot of good men that adhere to this. And I mean good men. But, there are also as many or more, and this is the one that I will stay with, who feel that the Sons of God here were the Godly line of Seth. They had kept themselves pretty much from the ungodly line of Cain and their children had intermarried within this family and had totally kept themselves separated from the line of Cain.
Until, as you come down through the years of time, and I think we have seen it even in this the Church Age. Up until about 1900 the Christian community was pretty well separated from the world. Christian people had their testimony and the world knew it.
But since about 1900, we have seen the same thing happen, where more and more the Christian community has just overlapped with, and has joined with the world, or where the world has come into the church. And the church goes out into the world.
Consequently I am one of those who just canít get too enthusiastic about Christian Rock. Because in my line of thinking that is just another amalgamation of the church and the world. The world coming into the church.
So, I think what we can see here then in verse 2, is that the Godly people in that line of Seth finally came to the place where they lost that separated character and they began to intermarry with the line of Cain.
We know from genetics, any kind of genetics, in animals or in plants and it also comes into the human elements, that when you have a long line of bloodlines totally separated from this blood line and you begin to cross them then the word we use for that today is hybrid.
What do you get? You get a species that is stronger, more virile. Everything is just expanded. Size, energy. And, I think that all that we can see here is, that after hundreds of years, the line of Seth began to intermarry with the line of Cain. As a result, those children were probably six, eight or ten inches taller than their forefathers. They had greater physical stamina. So the world called them giants. Now, all I have to say is if you think we are not living in much the same kind of a situation today with our increase of nutrition and technology, look at our pro football players. Look at our pro athletes now approaching seven feet tall and 350 pounds. Iíve had one or two of these pro football players in our class and it is just unbelievable the size of these guys. We would call them giants.
So, I donít think that you have to look at this verse 4 and think they must have had men ten or eleven feet tall. Not at all. I think that probably the average size of men at the time of Adam was about 5í7" or 5í8". But, then all of a sudden they began to get people well over six feet and maybe even as much as seven. And so the Scripture refers to them then in verse 4 as giants.
Before we go on any further. Letís come back up to verse 3.
"And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: (in other words, God hasnít lost sight of the fact that man is still man. He may have accomplished a lot of things in his technology over here on the Cainitic side. They may have even accomplished an increase in the size of their offspring when they began to intermarry. But, they are still men. And now look at what God says:) yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years."
Here is another portion of Scripture, I think, that has been maligned and has been taken out of context and all it refers to is that from the point of time here that God says ĎNow Iím not always going to put up with this. Iím going to give man 120 years and then judgement is going to fall.í
The New Testament refers to Noah as that Preacher of Righteousness. From that I think that we can take that from the time that God commissions Noah to build an Ark until the flood would come is 120 years.
Thatís a long time in our way of thinking, but you want to remember that people lived 900 years back here. And so, Noah has 120 years to build the Ark but every blow that goes into the building of that Ark, every piece of energy that went into it was also a sermon to the surrounding people of the coming judgment.
Now I think we are finding ourselves in much the same situation today. We are right on the threshold of another tremendous judgment of God, which the Bible calls the Tribulation. But, oh, look what God is doing to get peopleís attention. Iíve been amazed these last few months in the awful increase in interest in prophecy. We were listening to a gentleman Sunday down at McAlester, Ok., and we enjoyed him tremendously. He alluded to the fact that a really good friend of his, and I am assuming that it must have been Dr. John Walvoord, he didnít name him, who had written a book back in the early 1970ís and it had only sold a few hundred thousand copies. It was a book on prophecy.
After the invasion of Kuwait, I think it was Zondervan who published it, they put it back into publication, and renamed it, if I am not mistaken, "Armageddon, Oil and the Middle East Crisis" by John Walvoord. I read it a few weeks ago. Iím sure some of you have read it. But since they have now come out with a new printing, they have sold a million copies just in these last few months.
I read in one of the news magazines, either Insight or Time are the two I subscribe to, and they were giving a full page article on the same thing, that Christian books stores have just been deluged with requests for Hal Lindsayís book "Late Great Planet Earth" and some of the other books on prophecy.
Well, I think it is as it should be, because suddenly, at least the Western world, is realizing that we who have been teaching prophecy for the last many, many years and have literally been screaming at people that the center of everything is going to be Israel. The center of all end time events is going to be the Middle East and now when they suddenly realize this is where it is all at, then they remember.
In fact I had a young man call me just the other day that I had taught in Sunday School years and years ago. Taught these same things then. Now he is a practicing professional man and he said "Les, I was just suddenly remembering the things that you tried to put into our heads when we were kids. And I had to give you a call. Is this what you were talking about?"
Well, itís the beginning of it. Now certainly this war that just ended was not Armageddon, not by any stretch of the imagination but it is showing the world that the Bible knows what it is talking about when it speaks about all these end time things as culminating there in the Middle East.
So anyway, before judgment would fall, God is going to warn that generation of people for 120 years while Noah is building the Ark, of a coming judgment. But for the most part Iím afraid people just didnít listen and probably for the most part most wonít listen today. Then we go to verse 4.
"There were giants in the earth (as a result of this intermarriage) in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown."
Well I donít think there is anything special to pick out of that except that this generation of people that came out of the intermarriage of these two lines, became better at everything. They were probably more ambitious. They were more energetic and they just simply capitalized on everything that they possible could.
Then we get into verse 5. Now, along with this tremendous increase in technology, and I will be bringing that out more in detail in the next lesson, but along with this tremendous increase in technology, look what also comes. Again we are seeing it in our own time. We have tremendous technology. We have tremendous intellect. But what has happened to our moral fiber? It is rotting away right before our very eyes.
Murder is on the increase. Crime is on the increase. Immorality is on the increase. Drug use, drunkenness. Everything is increasing in spite of our tremendous level of standard of living. Look at it here. Verse 5:
"And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every (what?) imagination (those people couldnít think a thought but that it had to be evil in one sort or another) of the thoughts of his heart was only evil (not just now and then but) continually."
If they woke up in the middle of the night the only thing they could think was something evil that they could perpetuate when they got up in the morning.
When I would hear a dirty story - I havenít heard one now in years and years and years but I was just like anybody else, I heard my share when I was in sports and service and what have you. And, I used to wonder, who thinks this stuff up?
And I read one time. Do you know where most of it comes from? From our prisons! Where you have that mentality of just thinking evil continually. Not all of them, but most of them. That is all they have to think about, so they can just spew this stuff out.
Well it was the same way back here. This society of people couldnít think good thoughts. It just constantly enveloped their thinking to come up with something evil, something wicked, something less than honorable.
Now, how did that affect God? Well, verse 6. Hereís a word that a lot of people have come and asked me about. You mean God had to "repent". No that isnít what it means here. It says:
ĎAnd it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart."
God didnít repent of the fact that He made man but, when God saw what man was doing, He had an act of sorrow. Oh, He was sorry to see what His created beings had now become.
In fact I have often had to think of this. Adam lived within just a few hundred years of the demise of that human race. So, he must have seen the beginning of all this. How do you suppose the man must have felt? I canít help but wonder. What must Adam have thought when he realized that he had precipitated all of this rebellion against the Creator. The Bible says nothing about it but I am sure that he must have had some thoughts on the matter. Well lets go on down to verse 7. So then God was sorry that He had brought mankind into the picture:
"And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; (everything that He had created had been affected by this terrible degeneration of the human race to the place that He couldnít just destroy man. He had to take everything with him, except the things that were living in the sea.) for it repenteth me that I have made them."
As you read your newspapers and you watch television, and you watch some of the "stuff" that comes into our living rooms, do you ever stop and ask yourself, what must God think of this? Iím sure you do. Arenít you amazed that God puts up with it? He doesnít have to. Heís Sovereign.
But, there is coming a day when He is going to say "Iíve had enough." Even as He did back here. It finally got to the place where as God looked upon that human race, maybe some four billion or more. I think probably more rather than less. And steeped in wickedness. How could God help but say Iíve had enough.
LESSON THREE* PART II *BOOK 2
Noah: The Ark of Security
Genesis 6:1 Ė 7:10
Please, turn to Genesis Chapter 6. We are going to pick up right where we left off in our last lesson. For those who join us on television, we just love to have you find a Bible. Find a place where you can sit down and just share these things with us. Learn to study! After all the only reason I teach is to try to help people to study the Bible on their own. To be able to understand what it says, why it says it and to whom it says it.
In our last lesson, we were talking about that whole human race that had become so wicked. Had become so corrupt that God actually got to the place where He said He was sorry that He had made man in the first place. And, that He was going to have to do something Ė drastic. Then in verse 8 now as we continue on in Genesis chapter 6:
I always emphasize to my classes over the years, watch for that little three lettered word Ė b Ė u Ė t . Itís just a conjunction. But in our English language it usually denotes what I call the flip side! Even though on the one side we have seen the demise of the human race because they have just been going down the tube. But, the flip side was, there was still this one man, Noah!
"...found grace in the eyes of the LORD."
Always remember, God has been a God of grace from day one. And, even though we speak of our particular Church Age as the Age of Grace, yet, that doesnít mean that the attributes of the Grace of God started with the Church.
If you will, remember when Adam and Eve had sinned and had sewn on their aprons of fig leaves and yet the minute God approached them in the Garden, where did they go? They ran and hid! Well, what prompted God to go and find them? His Grace!
God is a God of Grace! Thatís one of His attributes. So, here again, even though the human race, for the most part has totally turned against God and have put Him out of their life, yet, weíve got this man Noah to whom God could extend His Grace.
"These are the generations of Noah: (remember, Noah comes out of the line of Seth and later Shem) Noah was a just man (he was a believer) and perfect..."
Now the word "perfect" in the Bible, if you look at the Hebrew and the Greek; and I donít claim to be a scholar in either one of those disciplines, but I can go to a Greek or Hebrew dictionary and can find that the word translated "perfect". At least in the King James Version NEVER means a sinless perfection.
The word perfect simply means a spiritual maturity. You want to remember that the Christian life, the spiritual life begins, and the New Testament makes that so clear that we are babes in Christ. Peter writes as new born babes desire the sincere milk of the Word that you might grow thereby.
Paul refers to the believers of his day as not being capable to digest spiritual meat. Well, what had they been on? They had been on milk and so many times over the years, I will tell people coming into my classes that the first thing that you going to have to do is get off the bottle. The milk bottle. You are going to have to throw that milk bottle away because we are going to put you on a diet, hopefully, of meat.
Now, the same way here. The word perfect doesnít mean that Noah was sinless. But, he had a mature spirituality like no one else of his day and time. So he was perfect:
"... in his generations, and Noah walked with God."
He had fellowship with God. He communed with Him. He was a man of Faith! Verse 10:
"And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth."
They become important names after the flood when we see the whole earth will be populated once again from those three men. Ham, Shem and Japheth and we will cover that in detail when we get to it.
The earth also was (what?) corrupt..."
I donít have to define the word corrupt, do I? When we think of something as being corrupt, we think of it as being vile. It is something that just simply turns us off; whether it is a corrupt politician or whether it is a corrupt garbage can out there waiting to be picked up.
Corruption is something that is abhorrent. Now this was the civilization just before the Flood. It was corrupt! It was rotten to the core! Read on, verse 11.
"...before God, and the earth was filled with (and again I like to emphasize the next word. With what?) violence."
We hear a lot about television lately as being filled with sex and violence. Well, what do we think of as violence? Murder! The killing of human beings by other human beings. Thatís violence!
I read again the other day, where foreign movie markets donít think our movies, which we think are already awful, are bad enough. If there are only three or four killings in a movie, they wonít even look at it! So we can count ourselves fortunate again, for living in America, We at least havenít gotten quite as bad as the rest of the world.
The rest of the world wants movies that are just filled with violence and filled with nudity. Filled with pornography and as yet you see, America, thank God, hasnít swallowed that completely.
But, here we are before the flood and this is the picture. It was a society that had just gotten totally corrupt but the epitome of that corruption is violence or murder.
What I like to impress on anyone that I teach with regard to this civilization before the Flood and again letís look at a verse of Scripture, I want you to see it with your own eyes. Go back with me to Matthew chapter 24, verse 36 where Jesus, during His earthly ministry, is speaking of the end of the Age.
I always like to again remind my students that when Jesus spoke in His day and time, He gave no hint, He gave no indication that there would be two thousand years intervening between His first coming and His second coming.
He never let that even be hinted at. So, He spoke of it as something that was not too far into the future. So in Matthew chapter 24 beginning with verse 36, He says:
ĎBut of that day (that is, of the end of the Age as we think of it) and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."
Here I like to stop for just a second. It always becomes so apparent when someone reads that verse; then Jesus didnít know! Oh, didnít He? What do you think? Sure He did! Because in Johnís gospel, what does he say regarding Himself and the Father? Hey, We are One!
Now, the reason Jesus said this and He was not being facetious. He was not putting out misinformation as, we like to call it today, He wasnít lying when He said that no man knoweth but the Father.
Always remember that Jesus on the one hand was TOTALLY man but on the other had he was TOTALLY God and by virtue of that fact He never let the two interfere. In other words, at no given time, when He was operating in the human did He let His Deity interfere with that humanity. He could have, but He didnít.
When He got tired. When He got exhausted, He could have just let the Deity part of Him overtake and rejuvenate Him and so forth. But what did He do? He rested! He slept. He played the role of the human.
But, on the other hand, He was totally God. See? He never let the two interfere. What we have to look at when He makes a statement like this in verse 36; I know that this is a departure from Genesis for a moment, but this is the way that we cover every aspect of Scripture as we go. Here we have the Lord Jesus speaking from His human side when He says that no man knoweth.
From His God side, He knew! But, since He was speaking from His human side He could honestly say, no man knoweth the time or the hour but my Father only. Thatís just "a little aside." But, He and the Father are One so of course He knew. He could have told the disciples exactly at what day and time certain things would take place, but He didnít. Now verse 37. This is where we are connected to Genesis.
"But as the days of Noe were, so shall also (that is the events and the economy and the activities of mankind) the coming of the Son of man be. 38. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, (there is nothing wrong with that. And they were) marrying and giving in marriage, (there is nothing wrong with that) until the day that Noe entered into the ark. 39. And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the son of man be."
Letís just bring that up into our own time. I think all of us are agreed that the return of the Lord Jesus is verily at the doors. Now we donít set dates. We donít know when it will be but we know it is getting close and the more the Middle East broils, the closer the end is coming!
Then all we have to do is look at the world in general again. What is the world all hung up on? Materialism. Just materialism. A constant pressure to buy and to own "things". The constant pressure to have something that as yet you donít have, but oh, youíd better have it, or you wonít be "living"!
Not only that. It is such tremendous activity! Everybody is so busy! And guilty! We are all guilty of it. We are SO busy! I am always amazed that night after night people find time to come my classes. And, I will mention it once in a while, I am just surprised that everybody is here on a week night because everyone is so busy.
Well now, look at it. We are in the same situation. We are busy eating and drinking. Satisfying the demands of the flesh and there is nothing wrong with that. And we are busy with the marriage of friends and loved ones and we go to weddings and all these things and all the preparation. But, it all just adds to that hyperactivity that man finds himself in tonight.
So it was, before the Flood. They were just so involved. They were just go, go, go, go, go! And we are in the same thing today! But, you see, Genesis tells us a little more. Come back to Genesis. That in the midst of all this activity and I think itís the activity that precipitates so much of the wickedness.
In fact, maybe Iím a little odd and I wonít deny that. I can be watching a newscast and I will see these riots and they are out in the streets, and kids are throwing rocks or stones or bottles. Do you know the first thing I ask myself? Why arenít those people at home!? If they were at home, you wouldnít have all this turmoil in the streets! Isnít that about right?
Well, why arenít they home? Because they are too hyped up to just spend an evening at home with Mom and Dad. They have to be out burning up that energy. So it was here. These people were just burning up their energy and along with it, you see, they had inflicted upon themselves such a demise in the fabric of their society that they were murdering one another in unprecedented numbers.
The violence was getting so tremendous that God had to look at unborn generations and what did He see? That these children as yet unborn, as soon as they would come in to that kind of a society, what did they have to look forward to? Probably being murdered because it was becoming so common. Or, becoming a murderer themselves.
So, God says, I have to put an end to it for the sake of the unborn generations! Now that is the way I have to look at it. It has just become so awful that it canít continue. We are fast approaching the same thing in our own day and time. Continue on to verse 12.
"And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt;..."
I have mentioned for the last several months, even as we have been teaching on television, that whenever the Bible repeats itself almost to the place we think, well why does it have to say it so often? It is for a purpose. And that purpose is to get our attention. Or the word we use is for "emphasis".
This is for emphasis. To help us understand that this generation was vile! It was corrupt!
And donít forget it. Alright, letís read on.
"...for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. 13. And God said unto Noah, the end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth."
Now, a couple of lessons ago, I alluded to a little paperback book and I couldnít remember the authorís name. I remembered the title. Well, I went home and looked it up and in case you want to write it down, if you want to go to you library, it is an interesting little paperback to read. The title of which was "WE ARE NOT THE FIRST" and it was written by a gentleman whose name was Andrew Tomas. I think maybe he was an Englishman, Iím not sure.
If you get a chance, find that little paperback, WE ARE NOT THE FIRST. He is without a doubt NOT a Bible believer. I think it is evident from some of the statements that he makes. But he draws all of his information from archaeology and other items of antiquity going all the way back into the archives of some of the ancient Eastern religions where those priests had things that, as I read the book, I couldnít help but think, well I think it is very possible!
Ham, Shem and Japheth as young men, going into the ark may have taken a few of those things with them. And they came out on this side of the Flood and it ended up finally in the hands of some of these Far Eastern Oriental religions. I have no trouble with that. He points out in that book the technology that existed at some point in time on the earth.
Again, he doesnít allude to the Flood. He never mentions Noahís Flood. All he says is that sometime in our past man evidently went into space. Man had rockets. Man had storage batteries. He had the internal combustion engine. They found bits and pieces. I mentioned it a few lessons ago, and a few of you couldnít quite believe it! Where they had found bits and pieces of a spark plug. Not just laying in the soil someplace, but imbedded in rock!
And, all these things show us that at some point in our human history there were people who had tremendous technology. Like I said, he never alludes to the Flood, and I will tell you why. Turn back to II Peter chapter 3. These are good verses to just sink you teeth into, if I may use that expression, because it is SO on the mark! Where Peter writes beginning with verse 3:
II Peter 3:3-4
"Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4. And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? (Have you heard that before? I have. I hear it every day. Well now wait a minute Les, the worldís always had war. The worldís always had earthquakes. The world has always had pestilence from time to time. That doesnít really mean anything. Well, you see thatís the scoffersí line. Where is the promise of His coming?) for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation."
People say, there is nothing different. But, read on!
II Peter 3:5a
"For this they willingly are ignorant of,..."
Now if someone is WILLINGLY ignorant. What does that tell you about them? They have no desire to learn and if they heard it, they would just say, "Hey, I donít believe it. Donít tell it to me!" They are willingly ignorant. They donít want to know the truth.
In other words, Iíve always liked to use the illustration of electricity. I know enough to be able to hook up a light switch. And I know enough electricity to wire a few things and I had a little of it in physics in my days gone by. But, nevertheless, when it comes down to the nitty gritty of the knowledge of electricity. I am ignorant!
But now, I am not willingly ignorant. In other words, someone hasnít said "Les, if you will just take the time, I will teach you all about electricity. And if in that situation I would say "No, I donít want any part of it!" Then, I would be willingly ignorant. But as it is, I am ignorant simply because I have never been exposed to it.
Look at this again. Peter is writing by inspiration that mankind is going to be willingly ignorant of one great historical fact. And what is it?
II Peter 3:5b-6
"... that by the word of God (as a result of Godís word of judgement) the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water: 6. Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:"
In plain English, what are they willingly ignorant of? Noahís Flood! They will not accept the fact that his world at one time was totally demolished and destroyed and renovated by Noahís Flood.
I always like to remind my classes, I have never had anyone refute this. I donít think you can find a single college or high school text book in either the literatures or the history or in the sciences, that will ever maintain the fact of Noahís Flood. They will not do it.
They are sometimes mentioned in literature. In fact, I was a guest teacher for a college literature class several years running because the textbook used the first chapter of itís course studying the first six chapters of Genesis. It was the only literature that alluded to the Hebrew Nation. Then they would go to other books of literature for various other people.
But, anyway, never will textbooks of high school or college or anywhere else, ever make a statement that they would agree with Noahís Flood. They just totally ignore it and if they are brought to a point where they have to say something, they deny it. They will never admit that there has been a point in time where this world was utterly destroyed.
The amazing thing is that the Flood is in the myths or the legends of every major culture on this planet. It was in the Babylonian culture that there was a great deluge. And, of course, in their legends and myths, they always have it that one of their own was a survivor.
The South Sea Islands, the Polynesians had a legend of a great universal flood. But, their chief happened to survive in some kind of a bath tub, and then was able to bring about the Polynesian people.
South America, the Incas. They had it in their culture, that there was at one time a great flood. And so in all the great cultures of the world itís there. It came from someplace. And it is near enough in itís description that when you come back to the Biblical account you can say thatís where people got it. It actually happened and somehow along the line it was handed down.
But our intellectual community. Our scientists for the most part, now not all but some, reject the fact of the Flood. So, they are willingly ignorant of it.
I also said with regard to this tremendous technology, long before I saw this little book by Andrew Tomas, I had taught, and anyone who had been with me a long time knows that I have, that from Ecclesiastes chapter 1 I can only come up with one reason for the Holy Spirit putting this in the Word of God.
Ecclesiastes chapter 1 verse 9. Again, it is repeated in chapter 3 verse 15. But look at chapter 1 first, verse 9 where the Word says:
"The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; (now watch the language) and that which is done is that which shall be done; and there is no new thing under the sun."
This was being written when Solomonís kingdom was at its height of glory. When Solomon was doing things that for a long time our contemporary people couldnít believe that he had accomplished. But now we know that he did.
Solomon here was writing that everything that was apparent in his kingdom was not new. It has been here before. But he also leaps into the ages to come and he says everything that will happen has already been here before. Now turn to chapter 3, if you will, verse 15.
"That which hath been is now; and that which is to be (that is in the future from Solomonís point in time. Remember the Scripture is eternal. The Scripture just leaps the centuries. It leaps the millennia and yet Solomon can write..) hath already been;..."
When I take those two verses in their context and really look at what it says, then I have to say that whatever technology we think we have today that is brand new, itís not new at all. Itís all been here before.
I am of the total conviction that this generation from Adam until the Flood had tremendous intelligence. They were living up to 900 and so years. Adam lived 930 years and Methuselah 969 years. And everybody contemporary lived that long.
Imagine the great men of today who have to accomplish everything almost within 40-45 years for the most part. What if they could go for 900! Look at the technology that these people could bring out. And they did! I am convinced of it. Then after I read this gentlemanís paperback book, I know that by the time we get to the Flood that they had a technology that was just unbelievable.
But along with that technology, what had happened to them spiritually and morally? They went down the tube. Down, down. Up technologywise and down otherwise until finally God had to destroy them.
LESSON THREE* PART III *BOOK 2
Noah: The Ark of Security
Genesis 6:1 Ė 7:7
The Bible says lets "buy up the time", so we want to use every minute we possibly can. Turn to Genesis chapter 6. Come back to verse 13 just to recap a little bit.
We mentioned in the last lesson that the standard of living, the technology just before the Flood was probably equal to or even surpassing where we are today. And, I know this is something hard to swallow for a lot of people. But, as an example, the legend of the sunken city, or the sunken continent of Atlantis. I donít think that is all just fabrication. I think there was a civilization of Atlantis and God saw fit to totally remove it from the scene.
Along with their tremendous standard of living and their technology; morally and spiritually as the Bible said, they became so corrupt. They became so wicked. They became so violent. Murder was just running rampant and God said, I am going to have to bring it to an end. So, letís pick that up in verse 13.
"And God said unto Noah, the end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth."
Now, watch that last prepositional phrase! Heís not just going to destroy man. In other words, it isnít just a matter of killing the life, but Heís going to destroy the planet! The whole surface of the earth is going to be totally; I like to use the expression, turned inside out. Itís going to be totally destroyed. We will see that in just a little bit. Now verse 14. The instruction to Noah is:
"Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch."
I never like to just hurry through these verses in the Old Testament because Paul says in Romans 15 that "all these things were written for our learning." I always maintain that you do not get doctrine back here but we get the learning. We get the foundation. I like to make the analogy between Bible Study or becoming a Bible student and our secular education. How many computer scientists would ever become a computer scientist without third and fourth grade arithmetic? Impossible! So no matter what professional discipline someone ends up in, he had to get his basics of education back there in grade school.
It is the same way in the Scripture. In fact, it is rather interesting. For years I had a good missionary friend. They go to these tribal people, the uncivilized people. And, they would immediately approach them with the Gospel of Mark. For a long time when he would come home on furlough, I would question that and say "How can you approach these totally ignorant people, immediately with the Gospel and have them comprehend?" Well, he said, it seems to work. But it must not because here a few years ago, and I like to think I may have had a part in it, that Mission Board went to what they call the chronological teaching of the Bible.
In other words, they take these uncivilized people that they have brought out of the jungle and they begin to reduce the language to writing. It is a long process, but they are finding that it works. They start back in Genesis and they take these ignorant, uncivilized types and they teach them the whole chronological unfolding of the Old Testament. Bring them into the New and then they present the Gospel.
And I agree with that whole heartedly because I have had people who have come into my classes who knew nothing of the Word of God. Well, the first thing that I do not do is try to twist their arm to be saved. Because I just donít think that this is the way to do it. There has to be a time of preparation. The Holy Spirit has to do His work. So, I donít get into a hurry. I have had some instances where people came to my class for a year, a year and a half or two years, before they actually got to the place they were ready to make that step of faith.
Noah, now, is being approached by God to do something that has never been done before. And, that is to make an Ark or a boat that would survive a flood. You want to remember, it has never rained before! But, what made Noah do it? Letís go back again to the book of Hebrews chapter 11. We call it the great Faith chapter. Hebrews chapter 11 verse 6. We allude to it quite often.
"But without faith it is impossible to please him:..."(God)
No matter how good we are, mo matter how schooled we are or anything else, if there is no faith in it, God will have nothing to do with it. He demands faith!
"...for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Now verse 7, we have an example.) By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet,..."
Whatís he talking about? It had never rained! How can you have a flood if it has never rained? Remember back in Genesis 1 told you that the earth was watered from beneath and there was no weather. It was a perfect environment. A perfect climate. It was constant from pole to pole. Remember all that as we studied it back in chapter 1. Now all of this fits that perfectly. How can there be a flood if it has never rained? But, God said there would be, so now come back to the verse. God warned of things not seen as yet:
"By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith."
To answer my own question, what prompted Noah to build the Ark? Faith in what God had said! God said "Noah build an Ark". What did Noah do? He built the Ark!
This is the perfect lesson of the obedience of faith throughout all of Scripture. When God told Cain and Abel to bring a blood sacrifice. What did Abel do? He brought a blood sacrifice. Cain, disobedient, destitute of faith, said, Iíll take something else.
So you see, all the way through Scripture we have these examples and chapter 11 covers most of them. We have these examples of God telling someone something and that person believes it and God counts that believing for that manís righteousness.
This flies in the face of a lot of peopleís thinking, I know it does. But this is what the Book says. This same chapter 11 of Hebrews says by faith Abraham when he was told to leave Ur and to leave his family, what did he do? He left! And by his faith, God called him a righteous man.
It doesnít say anything about Abraham offering sacrifices or Abraham entering in to the covenant of circumcision. It all came later. But Abraham BELIEVED what God said to him.
We discovered that in our class in Wilburton just last night, so it is fresh on my mind. So, what is the obedience of faith for us today? Now, we are told to BELIEVE that Christ died and rose from the dead and thou shalt be saved. And, what are we to do? We are to BELIEVE IT! And when we believe it, what does God do? He calls us righteous!
That is the whole concept of Faith.
Back to Genesis chapter 6 verse 14. God gives him the instructions for the building of this Ark. Might as well call it a boat, but on the other hand, remember, itís not a boat that is going to travel someplace. It doesnít have to have the pointed bow. It doesnít have to have anything to propel it. All it is going to have to do is survive.
So, I like to think of the Ark, not as most people think of the Ark. Everyone that I have ever had in my classes immediately, I can tell by the smile on their faces, when you mention the Ark, visions come into their mind of those little pictures they saw back in Sunday School as a Kindergartener. You saw that little old round tub with a little box shed in the middle. Out in the front was a giraffe with his big head sticking up. Isnít that your picture of the Ark? Sure it is!
Everybody has that same immediate mental picture of the Ark as this little boat like thing with a shed in the middle and some animals on it. Listen, that was not the Ark! The Ark was a rectangular box for all practical purposes. But, God was going to make sure that it would be built in such a way that it would survive the awful events of this coming flood. I will tell you before we get any further. The Flood was not just forty days of rain. It was far, far more than that.
So, this Ark is going to have to be built with real stability. It is going to have to be built to not only survive for a few days, but it is going to be in the water for almost a year. So, consequently, Noah must have been very meticulous in building this box or this Ark.
If fact, this just comes to my mind. The Hebrew word translated Ark is also translated in several other places in Genesis as coffin. Did you know that? A coffin. Well, whatís a coffin? Itís a box!
You take the Ark of the Covenant set back there in the tabernacle. Same word. What was the Ark of the Covenant? It was a box. Wood overlaid with gold and had tremendous significance but nevertheless it was a box.
Alright, thatís what Noahís Ark was. It was one huge box! Letís go on.
"Make thee an ark of gopher wood: (that was something, I think, akin to our cypress. It would stand water and it would not waterlog. It would just survive however long it needed to survive. Then) rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it..."
Hereís another interesting analogy. The Hebrew word pitch is also the same word translated atonement. Pitch and atonement. Now, what was the significant part on that day of atonement? What did the priest take in behind the veil? The blood! See?
So the pitch then of Noahís Ark is a significant "type" or picture of the blood of Christ. Because pitch was tar. It was something that would seal out the water. You have to put this whole picture together.
The waters of the Flood were to be judgmental, not on the righteous family of Noah but on the unbelieving multitudes. So, the flood waters become the waters of judgement. But for those within the Ark, it was a place of safety. Wasnít it?
Now, how safe would that Ark have been for the next year had the cracks leaked? Oh, it would have sunk! But you see, with the pitch it sealed out the waters of judgement and it kept the family within in perfect safety.
Letís bring in ourselves. When we enter into Salvation, we enter into Godís ark of safety. And the water of judgment, the fires of judgment, will never touch the believer. Why? Because the pitch is going to keep it out. Remember, what is the pitch? The blood of Christ! Judgment will never touch the believer because of the blood of Christ!
Letís take the time to turn to John chapter 20. This also is fresh in my mind, because it came up in my class last night. Since we are talking about the blood of Christ and itís power to seal out the forces of judgement. Johnís Gospel chapter 20.
I didnít plan to do this in this lesson, but I have to feel that the Holy Spirit prompts me to do things that I really hadnít planned on doing. In Johnís gospel chapter 20, here we are on that resurrection Sunday morning. Drop down to verse 11. Look at the verses closely.
We have the account that I am sure you are all familiar with, where Mary has come to the sepulcher on that early Sunday morning to anoint the body of Christ, as was the custom. So at verse 11 she stands outside the sepulcher weeping and as she wept, she stooped down and looked into the sepulcher.
Now all the people are very human, arenít they? And no doubt as Mary left home in the darkness of that early morning predawn. She must have wondered, "Well, I wonder who I can get to roll that stone away so I can anoint the body?" This was customary.
So she gets to the tomb and it was already open! But, filled with grief and I think she is probably weeping and through her tear filled eyes she realizes that she wonít have to find somebody to roll the stone away. It is already open. As she makes her approach to the body and was going to anoint with the ointments, it wasnít there! The tomb was empty!
"And seeth two angels (I donít know if she comprehended who they were but the Scripture says she saw two angels) in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain."
But, He was gone! Then verse 13.
"And they (the angels) say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him"
I always like to ask my students, did these people, Mary and the Twelve (or the Eleven because Judas is gone. All these followers of Jesus) did they know that come Sunday morning He was going to rise from the dead? NO!! Here again, most of Christendom just doesnít seem to realize that.
These people, the last they saw of Him as He hung there on the cross, said "Itís all over". Heís dead." And they had no idea that come Sunday morning, He would be risen from the dead. Now they should have, but they didnít.
Alright, so here she comes now and she says, what have you done with Him? Verse 14:
"And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus."
Now, that may seem hard to comprehend, but after all, itís only been a couple of days. But what was her last mental impression of Jesus? Hanging on that cross. You want to remember that the book of Isaiah tells us in chapter 52, that He was so disfigured, that by the time He gave up the ghost, He wasnít even recognizable as a human being.
So, awful had been His physical mutilation by the Romans but also the affects of that burden of sin that had been placed on him. So, Isaiah could say that He was marred so that His visage was not even as a human being. I have to think that this is what Mary had remembered. She saw him just totally, almost inhuman.
Here she sees this perfectly normal human being standing there and she canít put two and two together, that this is Jesus. So, she supposed that he was, what? The gardener. Now read on.
"Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? Whom seekest thou?..."
If you will go back through Christís earthly ministry, do you ever realize how many times He will ask questions even though He knew the answer? But He gave the people the opportunity to speak without being confused. They could answer a question. So here again, He says, "Woman who are you looking for?" And all she had to say was "Jesus". Whom seekest thou? Well, Jesus! Reading on in verse 15.
"...She (Mary) supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast lad him, and I will take him away."
Now Jesus in verse 16 says:
"Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master."
You want to remember that Mary was one of His closest friends of the flesh, here in His earthly ministry. I think He spent a lot of time in their home. What did she recognize? Oh, the voice! That voice of endearment. "Mary."
But, here is what I want you to see. She turned herself and said "Rabboni". That is to say "Master". What do you suppose was her natural inclination? Oh, she was going to go and embrace Him! To think that this one that we thought was dead, was alive! So she went to embrace Him, but Jesus stopped her.
What does He say? "Touch me not". Now that is rather unusual because you go on through this chapter and you come to the end of it and by this time He has come to the Eleven and poor old Thomas who couldnít believe. What did He tell him to do? He said, Thomas put your finger in my hand. Put your hand in my side. That wasnít anything like saying, touch me not. But, to Mary He said, touch me not. Read on.
"Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father:..."
Where is the Father? Heís in heaven. Christ is here on earth but Heís telling Mary, "Now Mary donít touch me because I have to go FIRST to the Father."
We have to go back into the Old Testament. On the day of atonement, and that is what made me think of all this, before the priest could even put on his clothes which had been washed and washed and washed, until they were impeccably clean, what did he have to do with himself? Same thing. Wash and wash. There had to be an impeccable cleanliness to approach the Holy of Holies by the High Priest.
So this is what is implied that Jesus couldnít be touched with this defiled earth person, and after all thatís what we all are. Because, where is He about to go? Into the very Holy of Holies. Not in the temple there at Jerusalem, but the one in heaven. I will show you that in just a minute. So He said:
"... but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God and your God."
So Mary immediately goes and tells the Eleven and then later in the chapter Jesus appears to them and He tells them to touch Him. To handle Him. To make sure. So what did He do? Again we have to go to the book of Hebrews. You should be able to find that one easily now. Hebrews chapter 9 and hereís the clue to the events there on that early Sunday morning and the reason that Jesus had to tell Mary not to touch Him. That first He had to ascend into the very throne room of heaven. Then He would be back and appear to the Eleven.
Now, we are tied up in space age lingo and we know how many hours it took just to go to the moon. But always be aware of this. That when we come into the things of the Spirit, the things of God, I think we can attach it to the speed of light! One hundred and eighty six thousand miles per second. So however far out the very throne room of heaven may be, it was a matter of seconds for the Lord to transport from earth to heaven and back again. The speed of light!
Look at Hebrews chapter 9. This is why I know that He made that journey in those moments or hours before He came back to make Himself available to the Eleven. In Hebrews chapter 9 Paul is rehearsing in the first ten verses, the day of atonement. And how the High Priest would go in, that is in verse 7:
"But into the second (that is the second little room behind the veil) went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood,..."
He wouldnít dare go behind that veil without the blood of that sacrificial animal to sprinkle on the mercy seat. So it is a whole allusion to the day of atonement by the High Priest.
"But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come,
Now, Heís a priest, remember, after the order of Melchizedek and Melchizedek was not a priest of Israel. He was a high priest of ALL. So Christ is not a high priest after the order of Aaron in the Old Testament Jewish economy. But Christ is a high priest after the order of Melchizedek, who appeared long before Israel even became a nation.
So, as our High Priest, Heís not just a high priest of Israel out of the tribe of Levi and in the line of Aaron, but Heís the high priest of EVERY human being. Verse 11:
"...by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, (more perfect than what? Than the one that Moses had. Or more perfect than the temple that finally Solomon built but on the same pattern, of course. But he says a greater and more perfect tabernacle) not made with hands, (not constructed by men) that is to say, not of this building; (or creation)"
In other words, this tabernacle with evidently the holy place and the Holy of Holies, the very presence of God, wasnít on this earth. So where would it have to be? In heaven! So, into this tabernacle in heaven. Into the very throne room of God Himself, God the Father, verse 12:
"Neither by the blood of goats and calves, (as the high priest of Israel did but how?) but by his own blood he entered in once (the reason it says once is He didnít have to do it every year. But, it was ONCE for ALL. He entered) into the holy place, (in heaven. We could go back to Exodus to see where God is giving Moses the instructions for building that little tent in the wilderness and again God says itís going to be patterned after the one in heaven. So we know from all Scriptural accounts that there is something like the tabernacle architecture and the floor plan in heaven. And into that holy place the Lord Jesus entered in once with His own blood) having obtained (whatís the word?) eternal redemption for us."
As I mentioned to my class last night. Jesus said one time in His earthly ministry, that it was harder for a rich man to enter into heaven than it was for a camel to go through the needleís eye. That has caused so many problems but if people would just read the next verse, that puts the answer on it. And what does the next verse say? With God nothing is impossible!
Alright, I know that the blood of Christ flowed down that old wooden cross on to the soil and the ground of Golgotha. But, do you think it was any problem for an eternal God to put that blood in a container? I donít see any problem.
And I think that the blood that flowed there on that cross, somehow, the Lord Jesus was able to take it right into the throne room of heaven. And I think it is there tonight! I think that blood is going to be there for all eternity and all the time we are going to be aware of it. We are going to know that thatís why we are there, ourselves. It is because the blood of Christ was shed for our eternal redemption. And the Lord Jesus presented it, Himself, as our high priest.
Now, that is comfort. To know that it is eternal, in the heavens never to be rescinded. Never having to be done over again!
LESSON THREE* PART IV BOOK 2
Noah: The Ark of Security
Genesis 6:1 Ė 7:7
Again, lets pick up where we left off in Genesis chapter 6. I know it seems like we are making precious little headway. I had one person who has retired complain that he would be dead and gone before we got half way through. But, nevertheless, always remember that once we get through Genesis and Exodus, then we zip along. We will be up in the New Testament before you know it.
I have always felt that Genesis and Exodus are so foundational to everything else. It bears taking the time necessary to get a good understanding of it. From then on we will be able to see history unfold rather rapidly and like I said, we will soon be to the New Testament.
Remember we were talking about the pitch. That Noah was to build this Ark of wood but he was to pitch it with the bitumen, or the tar, that was so prevalent in that area of the world.
I have had the question come up, so I will anticipate it for you since we are limited in our time factor here in the taping studio. The question came up that if there was such amazing technology equal to what we have today, there must have shipyards. Why didnít Noah just go to a shipyard? Well, I will tell you why Noah couldnít go to a shipyard. Because that isnít the way God wanted it done! God wanted this Ark to be built clear out on dry land, somewhere far removed from water so that it would seem all the more absurd to the unbelieving masses.
Again, I would just like you to picture this, if you will. I am sure others have brought this to your mind, your preachers or teachers. Can you imagine the response of the people of Noahís day when this old gentleman is out there and no doubt he had to hire a lot of people. There were big timbers to be handled.
But, donít you suppose that the people of that day just ridiculed this crazy old man, building something that he says is going to float in water, when there isnít water for miles and miles. And, he talks about a flood when it hasnít even rained an inch or two let alone enough to cover everything.
So, God had His purpose. On top of that, I think God wanted this to carry on for 120 years so that generation would have ample time to wake up and realize that judgment was coming. So there were a lot of reasons.
The technology? Yes, I think Noah could have gone to a shipyard and I think he could have made it from steel or whatever he wanted to but that wasnít the way God intended it to be done. So He said, make it of gopher wood.
Secondly, remember God is going to have Noah build this thing so that it can withstand tremendous forces. Sitting out there with no destination. All it is going to have to do is survive. Just so it doesnít sink. And, it will be there for over a year in the water. Letís go on. Genesis chapter 6 verse 15:
"And this is the fashion (or the pattern) which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits,..."
Now from what reading I have been able to do, there are two lengths to a cubit. The short cubit was what we would call 18 inches. But they also had the long cubit which could be as much as 24 or 25 inches. I usually stick with the short cubit so we donít look like we are being extravagant or exaggerating.
So if we use the short cubit and it was to be 300 cubits long, then our rectangle would be 450 feet long by 75 feet wide. And, it was to be 45 feet high from top to bottom. Three stories. That would be 15 foot ceilings. Thatís a pretty good size room.
In order to bring this into perspective, we have to understand that not until the great battleships of World War II, in fact they used them again in the Persian Gulf the last couple of weeks, the battleships, Wisconsin and the Iowa and one or two others, maybe the New Jersey are 45,000 ton displacement. I will never forget that figure! But you see those ships werenít quite even 450 feet long. And yet, up until that point in human history that had been the biggest vessel men had constructed.
Now, of course, our great oil super tankers are something a little bit longer than this. I think, about 600 feet. But they are huge! Other than that, the Ark is by far the largest floating vessel that mankind has ever had any reason to construct. Four hundred and fifty feet long. Again to help you picture that, a football field is 300 feet from goal to goal. Here we go another 150 feet beyond that. Thatís a pretty long box!
Like I said it must have implied the use of tremendous timbers. Huge timbers. So, Noah and his three sons, even it they were obedient enough to help old Dad, couldnít have done it alone.
In fact I was reading another book titled THE FLOOD by DR. REHWINKEL. He was a professor of theology at Concordia University in St. Louis. He makes the same statement that evidently Noah had to hire many, many outside people. But he made a tremendous illustration that I had never thought of myself and I was impressed with it.
He said to just think of all the men that helped Noah in the building of that Ark. Day in and day out, they labored with the sweat of their brow to help build that Ark. But, when the flood came, they were not inside and they were lost. And then he made this allusion: Today, how many church members are working in the church. They are busy doing what they think is their duty, but they have never entered into salvation and when judgement comes they are not going to be IN the Ark. They are going to be OUT.
I had never really thought of it that way. Here are these men and these people who had helped Noah build the Ark. They could have enjoyed the safety of it, but instead they mocked this crazy old man building a boat and it has never rained.
He goes on with his instructions in verse 16 and not only was it to be a big rectangular box, remember there were no open decks. There are not great openings or windows or anything like that. There is one window and itís going to be in the center of the top. I think the top was flat.
Up in the top he was to make a window. It was to be a cubit. In other words, 18 inches by18 inches. Then there is to be one door in the side of it. And only one door. Then there were to be first, second and third stories.
I am sure you have all read descriptions of how much space was in this vessel. All you have to do is just read some good articles on Noahís Ark, and I am sure you can find them in any good library. But, I read one illustration that certainly made an impression on me because I can remember when I was young, I used to ship cattle from Montana to Iowa in box cars. A box car is pretty good sized vehicle. This Ark, one person alluded to it, would have had as much room as a thousand cattle cars! Now, we canít imagine that. A one hundred car train is pretty big. In fact, the other night I happened to see a coal train go by and it had 100 box cars of coal. That was a long, long train. But, imagine 1,000 of them! And, that is how much room was in this Ark. Itís just beyond our comprehension.
For this reason, God wasnít limited by the space in the Ark. Secondly, I like to remind people, no where in Scripture does it say that all the animals were mature. In other words, when Noah brought in a pair of elephants, there is nothing to say that they couldnít have been a couple of baby elephants.
Because God wasnít in any hurry to have them reproduce within the next year after they were off the Ark as long as there was a pair coming up. So, I think we can also take this into account, that no doubt a lot of these pairs of the larger animals probably came in real young. And, they wouldnít demand much space nor did they demand a lot of feed.
So there are a lot of ways to analyze this thing without doing any violence to Scripture or taking away any of the miraculousness of it. And, yet I want people to BELIEVE that it happened just the way the Book says it did! Going on to verse 17.
"And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth (God says) shall die. 18. But with thee (with Noah) will I establish my covenant;..."
Now, I havenít said too much about covenants in these first six chapters. But, when we get to chapter 12, I am going to use the word until it almost drives you crazy. Because, the covenant that we run across in Genesis chapter 12 is again so basic to understanding all the rest of Scripture. I will just be harping on it.
But before we get there, get this understanding: A covenant is something that God makes with man and it is not man making it with God. So, a covenant is without rescinding. It can never be changed or rescinded. Once God makes a covenant, it is secure. And, there are many covenants throughout Scripture. One of them is the one that He is going to give to Noah and we call it the Noahic Covenant. That is that God will never again destroy the earth with a flood. And He used the rainbow as the sign of that covenant.
Remember, God made the covenant not Noah. So we can rest assured that this earth will never be destroyed by a flood. It will be destroyed by fire but not by a flood. Letís go on. Verse 18 again.
"... and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sonsí wives with thee. 19. And of every living thing of all flesh..."
That doesnít mean every species or every sub-species. But it means ONE of the major components of a species. We know there are all kinds of horses for example. You have the Shetland Pony and you have the big draft horse and the race horse, the pleasure horse, the quarter horse. Those are all within the species of the horse. Now, he didnít have to have every one of those represented. But, there has to be one pair of horses.
From that pair then everything came from it after the flood. The same way with all the other major species, there came a pair of each one. Everything into the Ark. Always, remember, look at the cat family. How many cats are there, all the way from the huge lion down to your little house cat. But they are still all cats. Same way with many of the other things. So, just remember that all of these various sub-species were not necessarily represented. But the major only. Now verse 20:
"Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle (domestic animals) after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, (within that species) two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive."
I hope you donít read that too casually. Two of every sort shall Ė what does it say? Come! They came to the Ark from every direction. Now, what should that have done to the people of Noahís day? Well, it should have waked them up, shouldnít it? Hey, what in the world is going on? All these creatures are finding their way to a central spot on the planet. They were coming to the Ark. It was Providential. Noah didnít have to go out and trap them. Noah didnít have to go out and do anything to bring them in. They came under the providential act of God. Read on, verse 21.
"And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them."
That is perfect accord with Genesis chapter 1. Remember? What was the diet of both man and beast? Everything that grew naturally. The herbs, the fruits, the grasses. That was Adam and Eveís diet, the humans, as well as all fowls and all animals. They all ate the things that grew naturally and so all they had to have was one class of food brought into the Ark and it would be enough for man and beast and fowl and everything else. Now verse 22:
"Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he."
Noah again is obedient. He does just exactly what God tell him to do. Didnít he have every right to say, "Now, wait a minute. This is absurd! What in the world is the reason for all of this?" Noah says nothing of the sort. Noah takes God at His Word. Whatever God says to do, ridiculous as it may have seemed at the time, Noah did it!
Now, we are in the same situation, today. A lot of people look at some of the things I teach and they say "Les, thatís ridiculous!" I canít help it. It is what the Book says!
In fact, I was in a phone conversation with a gentleman this morning from another part of the country. This happened to come up about standing on the Word of God, and I just said "Well, look, I know there are some people that wonít believe anything unless their particular denomination or their particular church says that this is it." I have run into people like this. They tell me, "Les, my church teaches that THEY are the final authority. That the Bible is secondary. And, that I canít comprehend it unless the church interprets it for me."
Now you show me that in Scripture! "Well, I guess it isnít there," he said. And I said, "I guess it isnít!!" Because the Bible constantly encourages us to what? Study! What does Paul write to Timothy?
II Timothy 2:15
"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
That is given to every individual believer. We donít have to wait for someone to interpret it for us. Thatís why I am always telling my class people, some of you who have been with me a long time, you know I have said it. Donít just hang on what I say. Donít go out and say well this is what Les says. That does not hold anything. But, oh, if I can just teach you to go out and tell people: "This is what the Bible says! This is what Godís Word says." I donít want any credit for any of it.
That is what Noah did. He did what God said. Now I think we are ready to go into chapter 7.
"And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; (again watch that language. Analyze it. Where is God speaking FROM? IN the Ark. He is speaking from in the Ark. Now it is finished. It is ready and from within the Ark God says, "Come, Noah." He doesnít say, go Noah into the Ark. He says, come! You see what a difference that makes?) for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation."
I like to make that emphasis that God was IN the Ark, because when the flood waters raged, I donít think that wooden box would have survived, had not God Himself been the gyroscope that maintained that equilibrium.
Remember, when Jesus was here on earth. They were going across the Sea of Galilee and if you know the geographical setting of the Sea of Galilee, it is right at the foot of the Golan Heights. It is a relatively shallow sea. Shallow water has a tendency that when the wind comes, what happens? It gets real rough in a hurry! Now deep water isnít that easily shook up, but shallow water immediately will have tremendous waves.
So, Jesus and His disciples are going across the Sea of Galilee in a little ship. I think it was more or less a boat. But I think it was a boat large enough that it had a deck and a lower level. But, what happened as they were about half way across the Sea of Galilee? Oh, a tremendous storm!
The disciples got all shook up and fearful. Where was the Lord? Down below, sleeping. Do you think that boat would have ever sunk? Never! Not as long as He was there. But the disciples didnít know that. They didnít have faith enough to realize that. But, always remember, that little boat would never have sunk.
It is the same way here with the Ark and it was God the Son, who was implied in God back here as being part and parcel of anything to do with mankind. Remember, I showed you that back in Genesis chapter 4. So, God the Son, invites Noah now to come in to the Ark. He becomes the gyroscope. Heís the stabilizing power that going to hold this little old box throughout all the terrible days of that flood. Now verse 2, He said:
"Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by (not twos but by what?) sevens,..."
It is kind of interesting that way back here in Genesis, we are made aware of clean beasts but we donít know what they are until we get to the law of Moses. There it is stipulated that a clean beast is something that has the split hoof, has the two stomachs and so on. Anything that did not have those qualifications could not be used sacrificially.
Now the clean beasts back here, were the same kind of beasts. I think there were only supposed to be ten of those types of beasts, if I remember correctly. And, they were to bring seven of them. Yes, Exodus lists ten of those clean beasts and they were to bring seven each. So seventy animals were brought on board the Ark to be used later for what? Sacrifice.
There had to be more than two, otherwise, if they sacrificed one, they would have stopped the genealogy of that species. So now they bring seven of the sacrificial species, so that they will have plenty to sacrifice and still leave the pairs to perpetuate that particular species. Reading on in verse 2:
"... the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. 3. Of fowls also of the air by sevens, (because they are going to also use these for sacrifice) the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth. 4 For yet seven days,..."
Remember, everything is all ready. Everything is in the Ark. The animals are in, the birds are in, the provender is in, Noah is in and the LORD is there. But he says, what? I am going to wait seven days.
What is this seven days? Seven days of Grace!
What is God giving the human race an opportunity to do? Oh, they can still come into the Ark. Everything is ready now for the cataclysmic judgment to fall. But, God says I am going to give them seven more days.
You know, too many people think of God as somebody up there who is just some kind of an ogre who is just waiting to zap people. Even a lot of well meaning religious people are scared to death that if they donít do everything exactly perfectly, that God is just waiting for a chance to zap them!
Thatís not God at all. God is the God of Mercy and of Grace. And, even in this horrible society of Noahís day, what does God want? Oh, He wants people to still come into the Ark. There would have been room. There would have been food enough. But how many came? Not a one. But the door stood open with the gangplank down if you want to picture it that way, for seven days. Then God says:
"... and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth. 5. And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him."
In verse 6 we come to some chronology.
"And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth."
Just use a little simple arithmetic. Adam lived 930 years. The Flood came at about 1600 after Adam was created. But now Noah comes on the scene, goes into the Ark and he is already 600 years old. So how far removed from Adam is Noah? Hardly any at all.
All the way up through this period of time there has always been a godly testimony. They were never without a testimony of who God really was. Then, the amazing thing is when we come out of the Ark after the Flood, Noah lives within just a few years of Abraham.
Probably not quite up until but awfully close. And that doesnít even take into consideration the three sons of Noah who were much, much younger. So always remember that as you come up through the Old Testament.
There are a lot of good chronological maps available. Just go to a good Christian Book Store. I have had people give me a couple over the years and I have them hanging on my office door. You can just follow the genealogy down and see all these people overlap. And so on down the line, so that there were always godly men on the scene. They were never left without a testimony. So Noah was 600 years old when he goes into the Ark.
"And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sonsí wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood."
I have a question that I havenít been able to answer myself, and I donít think anyone else is able to. No doubt, we have to feel that Noahís three sons and their wives must have been believers. And yet, when you see what happens to them after the Flood, what are we prone to wonder? Were they? I donít know.
On the basis of their going into the Ark, we have to believe that they were. But, oh my, they were mighty poor testimonies on the other side. Because just as soon as civilization takes off again from six young people, from those three sons and their wives, what direction do they go spiritually? Down!
I canít give you the answer to it. All I know is that Noah was a righteous man. His sons and their wives went into the Ark with him. Their spiritual condition I am in no position to guarantee one way or the other.
So then, we are coming up to the time that the Flood is going to break loose. I am going to show you was something totally, totally different than most people think. It was not just a rain. It was a cataclysmic event. So ferocious that most people canít comprehend it.Home Page * Copyright Policy
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