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 helpful and informative in many ways, the Bible might not 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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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

All That Glitters Isn't Gold

Home Bible Study©
"Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen.
Revelation 22:20

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

HBS Group Genesis Study/ Chapter 3:6-24                   Lesson Ten

All That Glitters Isn't Gold

Before we begin our Bible study tonight, I want to take the time to acknowledge all those who are visiting us on the World Wide Web.  I want to welcome each one of you to our Bible study and we pray this ministry will be a blessing to you.

Please open your Bibles and follow along with us as we continue to examine the book of beginnings.  But over time, we will visit every book of the Bible both the Old Testament and the New Testament.  And we will come to know what it is WE BELIEVE.

At our last meeting, we left the woman of Eden in a precarious situation.
                        Will she believe God or will she opt to “believe” the serpent’s lie?

Genesis 3:6:  "When the woman saw (remember, she isn’t called Eve yet, she is only referred to as the Woman) that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, (what’s this mean in English?  She would be like god) she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her; and he ate." (KJV)

In the original Hebrew manuscripts, after the word “ate,” there is a punctuation mark that denotes a long pause; or to put it another way some time passed between her disobedient act and the appearance of Adam.

I was pleased when I read that because for quite some time now I have been teaching that when the woman ate the forbidden fruit she was alone; Adam wasn’t with her.

I think she was temporarily alone, and then some time later Adam arrived on the scene. Why do I think this?  I’m glad you asked?  Of course, I should present a Scripture reference to demonstrate that this is not my idea, but the Word of God.

Please turn to Ecclesiastes chapter four, and we’ll begin reading at verse 12:  And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.

Now what is this a Spiritual picture of?  It is you, perhaps another Believer or your spouse, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

(*FYI: I choose not to include commentaries on the Bible in this study for the most part and for good reason; however, at times they can be useful, if you’re careful about who you’ve selected to harken to.  The very best commentary on the Bible ALWAYS is the Bible itself.)

I’ve chosen to insert a comment from Matthew Henry right here in order to help demonstrate what verse 12 of Ecclesiastes is teaching us.  In so doing I hope to demonstrate that these are not just my ideas but belong to others as well.

“In our spiritual warfare we may be helpful to one another as well as in our spiritual work; next to the comfort of communion with God, is that of the communion of saints. He concludes with this proverb, a threefold cord is not easily broken, any more than a bundle of arrows, though each single thread, and each single arrow, is.

Two together he compares to a threefold cord; for where two are closely joined in holy love and fellowship, Christ will by his Spirit come to them, and make the third, as he joined himself to the two disciples going to Emmaus, and then there is a threefold cord that can never be broken. They that dwell in love, dwell in God,
and God in them.” Matthew Henry

In other words, if Adam had been by the woman’s side, at the time Satan was lying and attempting to deceive her, it’s quite likely that Adam would have intervened and put a stop to it.

What can we learn from this? (It’s an application moment).
Satan is aware of our weaknesses and attacks when our defenses are down.

I don’t care how spiritually mature you and I are we have to be alert every waking minute because when we least expect it, that’s when Satan will tempt us.  We never get past that, and I Believe your history and mine demonstrates it’s those times when we’re alone, separated from our loved one or another Believer, that’s when we are the most vulnerable. 

Please turn to 2 Corinthians 10:3-4:  For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.

To support this teaching our brother Paul instructs us to put on the full armor of God.  Ephesians 6: 10-11:  Finally, be strong (In whom?) in the Lord and in the strength of His might (not ours), Put on the full armor of God, (This is a command from the risen Lord.  Would a soldier march off to battle without his full battle dress?  I hardly think so.  A soldier is prepared) so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.  For our (daily) struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness (where) in the heavenly places.

As you continue reading in verses 14-18, you will find listed for the faithful specific articles to be used in spiritual warfare.  You all should all become acquainted with these spiritual tools of warfare and then put them to use daily. 

Sadly, most Christians try to confront the devil on their own or ignore him.

“…a threefold cord is not easily broken.”

Only in the Lord do we have a hope of overcoming the devil’s schemes.

If Adam had been by the woman’s side at the time of the devil’s tempting, it’s quite possible he would have been rejected and not the Word of God!

Genesis 3:6:  "When the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was a delight to the eyes…”

Alright, so she looked at the fruit of this tree and was attracted to it.
It was something to be desired (why?) ultimately, the fruit could make one wise...

We’re going to leave the woman for just a minute and fast forward to the New Testament.  I want you to see something:  the root cause of every sin we commit is lust.

You may substitute the word covet for the word lust they’re interchangeable. 

If you doubt that statement, try to find a commandment from God listed in the Ten Commandments that doesn’t involve you coveting something before you disobey it.  I can save you the time.  You’ll discover that it’s not possible to break one of God’s commandments without coveting something first.

What shall we say then? Is the Law sin?  May it never be!  On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, “You shall not covet.”  (Romans 7:7)

Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.  But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its (what?) lusts.  (Romans 13:13–14 - NKJV)

Turn to the book of 1 John.  We’ll begin at verse 15-16:  "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.  If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, (And here they are) the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."

The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life all played a part in the woman’s disobedient act and her fall from Grace.

1. The lust of the flesh.
2. The lust of the eyes.
3. The pride of life.

We will look at these individually.

I John 2:16a - "For all that is in the world, the lust (or the desire) of the flesh,"

That can be any one of our fleshly appetites.  Any one of these can get the best of us.
In the woman’s case, she saw that the fruit was good for food for instance.  But it can be any kind of fleshly desire that rises up and overcomes us so we have to be aware of these weaknesses because they will trip us up every time.

I John 2:16b - "...and the lust of the eyes,"

In other words, almost anything within view is capable of tempting us.

Remember, all that glitters is not gold.

I have a Bible verse to back up this statement.  Please turn to Ecclesiastes 11:9:  Rejoice, young man, during your childhood, and let your heart be pleasant during your days of young manhood.  And follow the impulses of your heart and the desires (lusts) of your eyes.

This Bible passage is spoken tongue-in-cheek, just so you’re aware.  Negative consequences follow such decisions.  Here’s the rest of verse 9:  Yet know that God will bring you to judgment for all these things.
Then the Apostle John goes on to say that the other great area of temptation is:

I John 2:16c - "and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."

Pride is one of mankind’s biggest problems.

Some people believe not hearing the Gospel keeps most people from being saved. 
I disagree.  I believe individual pride keeps more people from salvation than anything else.  People are too proud to admit that they need anything that God has to offer.

What does the God have to say about human pride?

Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before stumbling.  (Proverbs 16:18)

Haughty eyes and a proud heart, The lamp of the wicked, is sin.  (Proverbs 21:4)  

What is the opposite of pride – humility, right?.

The fear of the LORD is the instruction for wisdom, before honor comes humility.
(Proverbs 15:33)

Before anyone gets the “big head” and begins to entertain a prideful thought in regard to any personal achievement, think back to where you were before recognizing the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior.  Take a second…  There isn’t one thing you or I accomplished in our entire lifetime that could gain us an interview with God let alone His forgiveness and life everlasting.  Without the Lord Jesus Christ’s finished work of the cross, and our belief in His shed blood for our sins, what did our works achieve for us?  It was just so much chasing after the wind, was it not?

Let’s get back to Genesis 3:6 and the woman in God’s paradise.

Now arrives on the scene and what does he find?  The woman has eaten of the one forbidden tree in the entire Garden of Eden; she has disobeyed God and her husband.

How do you think Adam reacted to this discovery?

Was he stunned?  Shocked?  Confused?  Disbelieving?  Was he angry?  Was he sorrowful?  Check “all the above” because this is what I believe.  And this is why -
look what happens next:  "...and she gave also to her husband with her; and (what does he do) he ate."  (Genesis 3:6b)

Turn with me to I Timothy I want to show you something.  Remember when we first started this study several weeks ago I said we were going to use the New Testament along with the Old Testament just as much as we possibly can.  There’s an old saying that goes like this:  whatever is in the Old Testament concealed; is in the New Testament revealed.

For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve.  And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the Woman…  (I Timothy 2:13-14)

A lot of people don’t even know this verse is in their Bible.
But Adam was NOT deceived.  Do you know what that means?
It was the woman who was caught in a moment of weakness, and doubt. 

But here comes Adam, after the fact, and he has time to stop and consider his options.
I think in a moment of utter shock and dismay, he backs up, and he contemplates the whole situation.  We can’t possibly know all the thoughts that went running through his head at that time.  But we know what happened next.  She presents the forbidden fruit to him, but the New Testament says Adam was not deceived.

So I think common sense tells us that since he knew the serious ramifications of eating from this forbidden tree, he had to do some fast thinking.  He had to decide, am I going to join my wife?  Should I stay with her and lose fellowship with my Creator and suffer death?

I think Adam was caught between a rock and a hard place!  Understand this.  Adam knew what the consequences would be, if he chose to eat from the forbidden fruit.  But he had to make a choice.  The last four words of verse 6 reveal his decision:  “and he did eat.” 

Now the moment he ate a lot of things happened.  Turn back with me to Romans chapter 5.  The reason I try to clarify this is because I have heard there are those who argue that there is no such thing as an original sin.  But, the Bible says otherwise.

When the Apostle Paul writes, it is certainly that part of the New Testament that is particularly in tune with the "Church Age", or the "Dispensation of Grace".  And he is the Apostle of the Gentiles so, as Gentiles, naturally, he is the one to whom we should turn to for our basic doctrines today.  (Romans 11:13)

"Therefore, just as through one man
(Adam) sin entered into the world, and death (let me use the verb, entered) by sin; and death spread to (how many?) all men…  (Romans 5:12a)

Before Adam deliberate act of disobedience nothing in God’s perfect world died.  But, once he ate, sin entered in, and with sin came death.  This is one of the negative consequences of his bad decision.
The Bible clearly teaches there are now two kinds of death.  First and foremost, let’s look at physical death because that’s what we are most acquainted with. Death is separation.  In the physical, it is a separation of the body from the soul and spirit.
Death is the separation of that invisible part of us from the body.

Then there is another death that is probably more important for all of us and that is Spiritual death.  Spiritual death is a separation from God and His love for all eternity.
The Bible refers to this as the Second Death.  (Revelation 20:10).

Both sin and death had their beginning the moment Adam ate disobeying God.  The woman did not bring sin into the world – Adam did:  "Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam, until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is the type of him who was to come."  (Romans 5:14)

Now some people like to insert the woman’s name in verse 14 and I don’t know where they get the idea because Scripture is crystal clear on this subject.  The Bible does not say that by the woman (who disobeyed first) sin came into the world. The Bible does not say that by both Man and Woman sin entered the world and then to all people. What does the Bible say?  “…death reigned from Adam.”  We have to go by what the book says not by what we think it says or by what man says.

The relationship then, as Paul shows it here in verse 14, is that Adam is the Federal head of the entire human race.  Therefore, when Adam sinned, that act of disobedience to God caused death to come upon the whole human race male and female.

So, the first Adam failed, but the second Adam, which is Jesus Christ, for this is how the New Testament describes Him, succeeded:   So also it is written, “The first Man, Adam, Became a LIVING SOUL.” The last Adam (Jesus Christ) became a life-giving Spirit.”

The phrase The Son of Man is also used.  Christ by virtue of His voluntary death was able to impart LIFE to ALL who believe.  So even though we may look at the whole complex picture and we may say God wasn’t really fair by causing the whole human race to come under the condemnation of sin when it all was because of one man.  But, the whole Sovereign act of God is that just as sure as Adam brought death and separation from God upon the whole human race, Jesus Christ restored all of that. We have been redeemed by His shed Blood.  How do we appropriate it?  By faith plus nothing!

But, it is based on choice.  It isn’t automatic.  That’s universalism and we have to reject that.  Man (Mankind) is now given full opportunity to choose, he can have salvation.  It is a free gift.

The moment Adam sinned against God, his spirit died.  He lost fellowship with his Creator and internally he was changed.  And now Adam’s soul became a “sin nature.”
Now Adam’s soul was in conflict with his Creator.  All it could think and do was that which was contrary to the will of God:  Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked…; (Genesis 3:7) 

Not much is said about the phrase:  “And the eyes of them both were opened.”
Suffice to say they lost their innocence.  They understood the concept of evil and they experienced guilt and shame because of it:  and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.  (Genesis 3:7b)

Remember it was a warm tropical climate.  They didn’t need clothing for warmth.
What was the point of this then?  They sewed fig leaves together to cover their nakedness.  That probably helped to cope with the physical damage already done.
But what area have they still not dealt with?  Why the spiritual of course.

There is no way they can restore their fellowship with the Creator.  Sin destroyed it: 
They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife (did what?) hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.  (Genesis 3:8)

They thought they were covered.  But you see when the chips are down, what do they suddenly realize?  All those fig leaves aren’t going to get the job done.  They are in no condition to meet the Creator God.  So, what do they do?  They run and hide.

Please turn to John’s gospel.  I want to show you the human race hasn’t changed.

Keeping in mind what we just read about running and hiding from God:  "This is the judgment, that the Light has (past tense) come into the world, and men loved (what) the darkness rather than Light, for their deeds were evil.”  (John 3:19)

Now being sons of Adam, what are we prone to do?  Sin!  It is our nature.  The Bible teaches this clearly.  Another way of saying this is:  we aren’t sinners because we break God’s commandments; we break God’s commandments because we are sinners.  That’s the Adamic Nature in a nutshell.

I’ll give you a for instance.  You just baked a couple dozen cookies and you have them on the kitchen counter cooling.  You instruct the young one standing there to leave them alone until after dinner.  You leave the room and return in five minutes.  You notice the youngster standing there with cookie crumbs on the floor and chocolate on their face. What just happened?

You gave clear instructions.  But the child disobeyed you and ate a cookie anyway.
The child is not a sinner because he broke your rule.
He broke your rule because he's a sinner.  Get it!

Do you think God was unaware of their disobedient act?  Of course not; God knew.
And yet, did God come to the garden breathing fire and brimstone?  He didn’t arrive on the scene prepared to finish the disobedient sinners off either.  Oh but that’s how an awful lot of people see God – that’s there mindset.  They picture God as “the punisher” or the “avenger” when in fact He is full of love, mercy, and Grace.

So, God is not a heavenly cop who loves to bust people.  Oh, He can and He has the right to.  You better believe it.  However, instead we find in Scripture that God is long suffering.  He is patient with us and He gives us the opportunity to choose life.

Believe this, If you reject God’s offer of salvation, based on what Jesus Christ accomplished on the cross, He has every right to pour out His judge those who reject Him.   If you trod underfoot the work of the cross, be forewarned.

In keeping with the Genesis story above, here is a Bible fact.  No sinner ever goes looking for God. God looks for the sinner:  Then the LORD God called to the man, (Genesis 3:9)  Please take note, God is not addressing the woman here.  God called for the man:  and said to him, “Where are you?”

What do we learn from this?  No matter what you have done wrong the Lord Jesus Christ will meet you wherever you are.  To put it another way; God will meet you right in the midst of your worst sin and offer you the free gift of Grace and salvation.

What does He require of you?   Your faith plus nothing!  Believe in the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.  (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)

In this case, God calls out for Adam, the sinner who is hiding in the garden.  But God is willing to accept the Hitler’s, the Stalin’s, the Idi Amin’s, the Saddam Hussein’s, the Ted Bundy’s of this world, or even me.

Adam, being the Federal Head of the human race, God calls to him for an accounting: “Where are you?”  He (Adam) said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.”  And He (God) said, “Who told you that you were naked?  Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” (Genesis 3:10-11)

Now God already knew the answer to that question.  Therefore, God is offering him an opportunity to explain:  The man said, “The Woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.”  (Genesis 3:12)

What do we have here?  We have the very first instance of “The Blame Game.”
I told you it was the book of beginnings.  But if you’ll read the verse carefully you’ll see that Adam also tries to place some of the blame on God.  Adam said you gave her to me… meaning; part of this is your fault.

Now God addresses the Woman for the first time:  Then the LORD God said to the Woman, “What is this you have done?” And the Woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”  (Genesis 3:13)

The Woman was honest.  She said to God, “The serpent deceived me.”
I also take note that she didn’t try to blame Adam in return. After all, he wasn’t there to help her resist the devil.  I give her some credit for that.

Now God addresses the serpent, used by Satan, who deceived the Woman:  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;” (Genesis 3:14)

Will the serpent ever see the day God lifts this curse?  No.  Turn to Isaiah 65:25a (This is the LORD God speaking about that day which will come) “The wolf and the lamb will graze together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox and dust will be the serpents food.”

And now in verse fifteen we have God’s response to Satan’s scheme:  And I (The LORD God) will put enmity Between you and the Woman, And between your (Satan’s) seed and her seed; He (The LORD God) shall bruise you on the head, And you (Satan) shall bruise Him on the heel.”  (Genesis 3:15)

So many people read over and through this Bible verse without really understanding what they are reading, so I’m going to break it down for you.

1. First and foremost what we have here in verse fifteen is the very first prophecy. The LORD God is going to send a Redeemer to save mankind.

2. The LORD God is going to put “enmity” between Satan and the Woman. That’s right. This is what my Bible says and so does yours. And why the Woman - because she was the one Satan deceived.

What is another word for enmity?  Enemy.  But also notice that the “enmity” will be between the seed of Satan and the seed of the Woman.  I don’t want to take the time to go into this right now, but soon we will investigate this topic.  I will show you from Scripture that the seed of the Woman is in fact Jesus Christ.

3. “He (Jesus Christ) shall bruise you on the head.”  What is this?  Now how do you disable a snake?  You attack its head.  At the cross, Satan was defeated by Jesus Christ who overcame both death and sin.

4. “And you (Satan) shall bruise Him on the heel.”

When did Satan get the opportunity to torment Jesus - at the cross, right?

When Jesus suffered at the hands of the Jews and the Gentiles (The Romans) and then was crucified on Calvary that was when Satan bruised His heel.  As a matter of fact, one of the stakes that nailed Him to the cross went through His heel.

What is mankind’s status after their disobedience?  Mankind is now “dead in their sins.”  Mankind no longer belongs to God; they now belong to Satan.  At this very moment the LORD God introduces His plan to redeem mankind back to Himself.

What does redeem mean?  Some people have no idea what this word means as it is applied to their salvation.  Let me use this brief story to illustrate.

Under the direction of his father, a young boy spent the summer building a three-masted schooner in their garage.  When the ship was finished, the boy and his father took it to a nearby lake to try it out.  The little boy placed his ship in the lake near the shore and then stood back to admire it.  He turned his back for only a moment but in that moment a gust of wind had moved his schooner far from shore; in no time at all the ship was out of sight; forever lost.  The boy was very sad.  

Time went by and then one day as the boy was walking past Bill’s Hobby Shoppe he happened to glance in the store window and there was his ship.  He entered the shop and informed the storekeeper that the wooden schooner in the store window belonged to him.  Bill, the store owner, explained to the boy that the ship belonged to him now, but he could purchase it.

The boy said, “I’ll be back.”  He worked hard all that winter and into the spring performing odd jobs around his neighborhood.  He got a job distributing the newspaper after school and he even borrowed against his allowance in order to have enough money to buy back the schooner.  Finally, right before school ended, he had enough money saved to buy back the three-masted schooner he so loved.

The lad marched into Bill’s Hobby Shoppe after school, placed the money on the counter, and purchased back his ship.  Outside, the boy said to no one in particular, “I made you.”  “You are my treasure.”   “I lost you temporarily, but I paid the asking price; and now you are mine.”  I will never lose you again.”

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us – for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree” (Galatians 3:13; Deuteronomy 21:22-23)

William R. Newell put it this way and in doing so makes it easy to understand the meaning of redemption and what Jesus Christ accomplished for every man, woman, and child on Calvary:  “The blood of Christ is our entrance into heaven.”