Home Bible Study

"Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen.
Revelation 22:20

This is a Home Bible study. It exists to promote the Word of God as it's written, which means nothing added or taken away, and minus opinions.

The Bible is the only source of Divine Truth in the world today. Although it is both helpful and informative in many ways, the Bible often doesn't tell us everything we want to know but the Bible does tell us everything we need to know.

My role is to guide you through the Scriptures; to explain what this book says and in some cases what it does not say because this is just as important.

Ultimately, you have a decision to make concerning your salvation - no one can make it for you. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator God, has given everyone the ability to make choices - this is is called "Free Will." I pray you consider your choice wisely.

II Timothy 2:15

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.


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Friday, January 30, 2009

HBS Group Genesis 2:15; 3:24
Lesson Nine
The Lie That Caused the Fall of Both Angels and Man


Again I want to thank you for your comments, concerns, and suggestions. I appreciate your input and will welcome it always.

When we started this study of the Bible I said I considered myself a Bible student first and foremost and I always shall be. I don’t believe anyone can honestly say they know all there is to know about this book. That would be quite a boast.

God has chosen not to reveal all things to His creation. Having said that, it is also true that God has revealed much to His creation and we are to accept it on faith.

Stop and think a moment. If God chose to record each and every detail from creation to the second coming, how many books to you think it would take to hold that knowledge? It boggles the mind. Instead we have enough to get the job done and it is contained in this one book which we can carry around with us.

We owe our very being to the Creator. The proper creature attitude then is one of faith, not questioning. (W.R. Newell)  “Frail creatures of dust, And feeble as frail, In Thee do we trust, Nor find Thee to fail.”

Let’s pick up our study in Genesis 2:5.  Read along with me.

Genesis 2: 5 – Now (Now is a time word) no shrub of the field was yet in the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the LORD God had not sent rain upon the earth, and there was no man to cultivate it.
 

6: But a mist used to rise from the earth and water the whole surface of the ground.

We’re going to be coming across the phrase The LORD God many times in our Bible study. Now is a good time to understand what Scripture means when the phrase The LORD God is used. We have changed from God (Elohim) throughout all of Genesis chapter one; and now all of a sudden we have the introduction of LORD God. Now the LORD (All Caps) is the word that we are going to be later introduced to as "Jehovah." Jehovah is that person of the Godhead who is always involved or is interacting with the human race.

It’s that person of the Godhead who is to be the Communicator. (The Word) He is the one who is going to be the Savior of mankind.

We see Jehovah enjoying fellowship with Adam in the Garden. Jehovah is that person of the Godhead that is going to appear to Abraham and to Moses (At the burning bush) and many others throughout the O.T.

God knows that man is going to have to be able to identify with his Creator. Exactly what does this mean? It means man is going to need to be able to not only fellowship with Him but be able to know that He is.

Now our translators, I’ve read, used that word "LORD" most of the time out of courtesy to the old Jewish writers because they had such awe for the name Jehovah. These Jewish writers wouldn’t speak it or even write it.

So the Jewish writers would simply leave a blank wherever it came up. But our Bible translators came along and instead of using the word in opposition to that Jewish tenet, they wrote the word LORD and not Jehovah.

…the LORD God had not sent rain upon the earth, and there was no man to cultivate it.
Some theologians and Bible scholars teach that no rain fell on this planet until the time of the Great Flood of Noah. They will use a verse from Hebrews chapter eleven to support this belief. Turn to the Hebrews chapter 11.

Hebrews 11: 7 – By faith, Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household…
"Things not yet seen" are their reasoning for teaching there was no rainfall on the earth since creation. These theologians will marry this verse with the one in Genesis 2: 5-6, however, the Bible does not specifically say.

If no rain fell on earth for a period of about 1600 years (From Adam to Noah), I would think somewhere in Scripture you would find a comment about this.

Instead I think this Bible verse in Hebrews is referring to the Great Flood which God said He was going to send upon the entire earth in judgment. This would indeed be something man had never before seen.

Of course it is a sure bet that man has never seen an ark like the one God commanded Noah to build either. Therefore, since the Bible does not say no rain fell after Man was placed in Eden, we should not choose one side of the debate or the other. But it is interesting to talk about in our Bible study.

Genesis 2:8 – The LORD God formed a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom he had formed.
Why did God create the earth and make it such a perfect place?

Isaiah 45:18 – For thus says the LORD (Note the capitalization), who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it a waste place), but formed it to be inhabited.

You know, I thought of something the other day that I had never thought of before, as long as I have been teaching. And, I wonder how many of you have?Where do you suppose Adam actually lived? Have you ever thought of that?

Did God give him a home? Did he just lay down in the grass and sleep? Did he just eat off the trees or did he have a place where he could prepare a meal? Have you ever thought about it? I never had, but I think it is something interesting to think about. I take the time to mention this now; and I take you back to one of my opening statements. You see, the Bible doesn’t tell us everything.

Whatever situation Adam found himself in I’m certain it was ideal.

9: Out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Here we have the two named trees in the garden The Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Not much is said about the Tree of Life; but it is interesting to note that after the Genesis experience, there is nothing more mentioned of this tree until the book of Revelation, in the New Heaven and the New Earth (Revelation chapter 22). For now our focus will be on the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Genesis 2:10-14 – Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it divided and became four rivers… 2: 15 – Then the LORD God took the man (Adam) and put him into the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.

Now we have man in a perfect environment and there God has placed his food source. Remember from our last lesson the Bible taught us that man was not a meat-eater. Man and the creatures in the animal kingdom ate those things which the earth produced. Preposterous! No Way! Unbelievable, you may say? This Bible fact may surprise some of you; but it’s true.

It wasn’t until after the time of the great flood that God permitted the eating of animal flesh; (approximately 1600 years).

Let’s skip ahead to Genesis chapter nine to check this fact out. Genesis 9:1 – And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply (Sound familiar? It is the same command God gave Adam) and fill the earth. The fear of you and the terror of you will be on every beast of the earth and on every bird of the sky; with everything that creeps on the ground, and all the fish of the sea, into your hand they are given. Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you, I (LORD) give all to you as I gave the green plant.”

Do you see? The animal kingdom was now going to live in fear of God’s crowning achievement (Man). Why? Because God has expanded Man’s food source to include animals. Man has the intellect and the skills to be a successful hunter. Once again here is evidence of God revealing a new program to man when He chooses to do so. (Deuteronomy 29:29)

Genesis 2: 15 – Then the LORD God took the man (Adam) and put him into the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.
Adam was not to be a man of leisure. Adam was assigned work to do. Man was placed in Eden to cultivate and keep this garden of the LORD.

Now here is evidence of God giving Adam a command. Please turn back with me to Genesis, chapter two. We’ll begin at verse sixteen.

Genesis 2:16 - The LORD God commanded the man (Not Man and Woman), saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely;

17: - but (Here is the EXCEPTION) from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.

How could anyone misinterpret this command? God gives Man choices; but He also reveals their consequences!

Now the first question that comes into the average individual’s mind is, if God had everything so perfect and he has created a man that is perfect and could live forever; why in the world did He put something in front of him that would make it possible for him to lose it all? It is a valid question.

To answer it I have to revisit one of the points that I made in a previous lesson. When God created man, God gave man “free will.” God did not create a ROBOT who would respond to his creator as programmed. No. Man was given the ability to make choices.

Remember, I said that God and His creation of mankind had direct parallel with the husband and wife relationship. Do you remember that?

God wanted a creature that He could extend His love to and receive love in return.

God expects and commands the husband to love the wife (Ephesians 5:25) because God created the woman to respond to that love.

Alright, in order for man to be put in a place of exercising that will, and to show that he really and truly loves the God that created him, God had to give him an alternative.

Man’s prosperity depended on him being obedient to his Creator.
Prosperity = the condition of enjoying wealth, success, or good fortune.

Of course we want to see what Scripture has to say about this. Turn with me to the book of Deuteronomy, and then chapter 30. We’ll start in verse 15.

Deuteronomy 30:15 – See, I (God) have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; 16: in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, (And how does man demonstrate his love to God?) to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply.

Joshua 1: 7 –Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or the left, so that you may have (what’s the next word?) success wherever you go.

Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for your welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

Believing God is how mankind prospers here on earth. God has not changed. Man can choose life and prosperity; or he may choose death and adversity. God permits man the choice. God offers salvation to all…whosoever shall come.

Romans 10:13 – For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be shall be saved. (KJV)

The Presence of Evil in PARADISE!

Always be mindful the advance of time. When you read Scripture, the clock is ticking. Time is marching onward.

The Bible does not indicate how much time passed from the time the LORD places Adam and the Woman in Eden and the appearance of Satan disguised as a serpent. It could have been ten days, ten months, or even ten years or more. When it happened is not important. The fact that it did happen as recorded for us is important; and we accept it on FAITH.

And now verse one.

Genesis 3:1 – Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, “You shall not eat from any tree of the garden?”

Once again, there are more than a few things going on in this verse; and since this is a Bible study, we’ll investigate them one at a time.

1. Here is one of those words I like to stop and examine. The word crafty (Your Bible translation may use the word subtle instead) actually has more than ten different meanings. The word subtle means: sly, devious, slight, intelligent, experienced, delicate, elusive, obscure, perceptive, refined, artful, ingenious. No wonder Satan chose this creature to inhabit before approaching the woman. Think about it.

We’re still reviewing Genesis 3:1.

2. This serpent is speaking to the woman. Yes. That’s what my Bible says and so does yours. This serpent approached the Woman and spoke to her. What’s more she understood it, so it must have been speaking her language. Talking snakes? You bet and why not? Later on in Scripture we find recorded for us an episode of a talking donkey. Let’s skip over to the book of Numbers 22:28-29 – And the LORD (See the capitalization. This is Jehovah – God the Son) opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?” And the conversation between the donkey and Balaam continues from there.

If the Bible reveals to me that there was a talking donkey, I have no problem with a talking serpent in the Garden of Eden.

From reading the text, we find the Woman is not the least bit surprised when this snake saunters up to her and begins to speak.

Notice the woman does not overreact or cry out in alarm.
She doesn’t faint dead away. There is no indication of this in my Bible.

Therefore, I can only conclude the snake has the ability to speak. And what’s more, the Woman answers the serpent.

Please note what the Bible does not say. It does not say that the serpent communicated with the Woman by way of ESP, Mind Exchange, or Sign. The Bible says the serpent spoke to the Woman.

3. I think this snake probably walked upright. I think this creature could actually walk. The Bible does not comment on this; however, if you carefully read verse 14 there is a clue to be found there. We read that God cursed the serpent saying, Genesis 3:14 – The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, Cursed are you more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you will go, And dust you will eat All the days of your life;”

Doesn’t it seem logical then that the snake moved about by some other means?

Throughout the Old Testament starting in Genesis, and continuing even up through portions of the book of ACTS, you will come across the Supernatural. It’s a fact. If the creation of the universe and all that is in it is not a Supernatural event, I’d like to know what qualifies.
I mention this because supernatural events just don’t happen to us today. Why if you encountered a talking snake, or any other talking creature, on your way into work, I think the event would probably cause you to check into the nearest nut house. But back in the O.T., the supernatural was almost an everyday occurrence.

It was common. And that is why we find the nation of Israel over and over again saying, “Show us a sign.”

Now I don’t like to just put something out there without offering Scripture to support it; so let’s turn in our Bibles to Matthew chapter 12. Drop in at verse 38.

Matthew 12:38-39 – Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.” (Note the capitalization. This is Jesus) But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet;”
We’re still reviewing chapter 3, so let’s get back to it.

Genesis 3:1b - And he (The serpent) said to the woman, “Indeed.” Has God said, “You shall not eat from any tree of the garden?”

Oh, how subtle Satan can be. Notice Satan does not approach the Man. Satan waits until he can confront the Woman at a time when she is temporarily alone. Look closely at the words Satan chooses in his opening remark. What has this devious creature just planted into the woman’s mind? DOUBT!

The serpent has caused the Woman to doubt what God has said.

As soon as Satan can get a human being to doubt the Word of God, you know where he has that person, right in his hip pocket.

It is a fact the majority of the people living today doubt God. They don’t trust the Word of God. So, what is the opposite of doubt? Trust.

God gives us the truth and we are to believe it. It has been said that Jesus and the truth are synonymous. You could say Jesus is truth and truth is Jesus. Of course you know I have a verse to support this thought.

John 14:6 – Jesus said, “I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life no one comes to the Father except through Me.”

However, what does man do with the truth most often when it’s presented?

Answer: The majority of Mankind doubts the very existence of God and they act as if there is no consequence by this choice. At the cross where Jesus died is the most blatant example of rejection, however, there are countless others.

God gave the command to Adam; and I’m sure that Adam relayed it the Woman. So, the Woman had knowledge. You can see that in verse two.

Genesis 3:2 – The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3: but from the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, “You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.”

Look closely at that last sentence. The Woman has added something to God’s original command. Do you see it? She added, “or touch it.” Oh, she knows!

The Bible does not say, but it may have been Adam who added ‘don’t even touch it” to God’s command; and the Woman simply recites what she has been told. Maybe she came up with it while she was being pressured by the talking serpent. It’s not important really, but once again, it’s interesting to discuss.

The serpent has the Woman’s full attention now; so he continues the assault.

Genesis 3:4 – The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die!”

What just happened here?  Satan just contradicted God.   Satan just called God a liar in a subtle way!

Satan continues to nurture that seed of doubt. Satan is setting the Woman up for the big one. The Lie.

And here is the lie that caused the fall of both angels and man.

Genesis 3:5 – “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

“You will be like God.” That is the lie

This is the very first lie in the human experience. Because what has God said?The day you eat thereof you shall surely die!

Do you see what this is saying? That is the lie that is still being thrown at the human race tonight! And people are gobbling it up by the thousands. Yea, by the millions! Because how many groups, how many of the cults, say "That you will one day become god."

You see, within the human makeup there is that desire that if only they could have complete control of everything! If only they could be their own god. This is appealing to the human mind.

Sometime back a well known female T.V. hostess, I won’t drop a dime on her at this time by revealing her name, but you may have heard her national T.V. proclamation. During her program she revealed “I was raised in a Baptist church and we were too hung up on traditional ways.

I was sitting in church and heard that God is a jealous God. I asked why? To her, a “jealous God” is an insecure God.

Her thinking is this, why would God be jealous of me? Unless, I have the ability to be like Him.

This woman is a typical New Age Movement follower. They believe they can elevate themselves to the position of god.

Now, Satan presents it to the Woman as you can be like god, knowing good and (what) evil. Up until now, they knew no evil. See?

They knew nothing of sin. They knew nothing of death.

But now, Satan is making it appear as if that is something to be desired.

Again bring it into our own contemporary situation. What can Satan do with the things of this world that do nothing but destroy it? Oh, he can glamorize it.

He can make it look as though if you are not doing "that" you are not living.

Isn’t that true? And, it will do nothing but just tear people down.

The Bible teaches us that Satan is the father of lies. There is no truth in him.

Have you seen a beer commercial lately? How do they promote their product?
Why there always seems to be a party going on, doesn’t there? Scantily clad young women and athletic type men engaged in all sorts of activities, but with a beer in their hand. Drink beer and enjoy life is that the message?

Isn’t that it? Sure it is. How many people buy into that Madison AVE promo?

Have you checked the latest statistics on teenage binge drinking? Have you not heard of MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers)? Do you know our state leads the nation in alcohol-related traffic deaths among young people?

Why I just read in the paper today where a deputy sheriff pulled a man over who was driving erratically. The man was intoxicated and on his way to a DUI class for driving intoxicated! Hello People!

Remember, how this was presented to us?

It’s a party atmosphere and everyone is having a good time.

Come on and join the fun. The god of this world can make it appear so glamorous. But what is the flip side? The reality is all about you.

We’ll put a bookmark there. We leave the Woman for now with a decision to make. The fruit of this tree is appealing to her; and if she eats of it she thinks she will be like God. That’s the claim. What is the reality?
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