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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Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Triune God

HBS Genesis 1:1

Lesson 3

I know I’ve said this before; but I really do want to thank you for the gifts of your time and for making this Bible study a priority. Our lives today are filled with all manner of “things to do.” The world itself is constantly pulling at us and it seems to me that we have so little of this commodity (time) to spread around anymore. And I believe that is one of Satan’s schemes. He wants to keep us busy. Satan will use the things of this world to distract us to keep our minds and hearts far from those things which are Spiritual in nature.

The Bible does have something to say about this?

Turn to Romans 12:2 – And do not be conformed (this means to fashion yourself or to make yourself like another) to this world, but be transformed (this means to change into another form. From the Greek word Metamorphoo, pronounced met-am-or-fo'-o, we get the English word Metamorphosis which means “a change in form, structure, or function as a result of development”) by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Satan is dead-set against anything that is of God, or is good, acceptable, or perfect.

I just think it is so important to fill our lives with those things which are of God and we certainly are doing that right now. When we choose to fellowship with Like-minded believers, spend time studying the Bible, spend time in prayer, and generally focus on those things of God we are “renewing” our mind.

We believers are not the defeated sinners we once were; working our way to an eternal death (The wages of sin are death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus. Romans 6:23). Now as saved individuals we are called righteous, justified, co-heirs with the Lord Jesus Christ, and a child of God (who is our Heavenly Father). So again thank you all for taking the time to be here tonight. Let’s begin.

Genesis 1:1a "In the beginning God…" (This is where we left off two weeks ago). Genesis, again, means “beginnings or onset.” I know we have spent the last few weeks, stuck as it were, in Genesis 1:1. I make no apologies for it.

This is Bible study and we want to take our time to look at all there is to be found in this one verse.

The book of Genesis literally lays the foundation for all that is to come after it, so we want to have a firm grasp of this piece of Scripture, so when we get to the other parts of the book later on, we can better understand what we are reading.

So in the beginning, whenever that was, God started it all. Here we have the term of Deity spelled G-O-D in our English, but in the Hebrew it was Eloheim(pronounced el-o-heem'). And Eloheim in the Hebrew is a plural word.

And so it’s the Triune God in Genesis 1:1 the Bible is referring to. I am a firm believer in the Trinity and this is, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Now always remember that none of them supersede or are above one of the others. They are all co-equal. We see this teaching throughout all of Scripture. Now in the beginning the Triune God created…

The word in the Hebrew for “created” is "Barah" (pronounced baw–raw), which means "called out of nothing". I think this is so important. God didn’t start with something and then somehow rearrange it. He started with absolutely nothing but Himself. And out of that nothingness He called everything into being. The Hebrew word “Barah” also means “perfect creation” which means nothing more needed to be added. And so Gods’ creation was PERFECT!

Before long I will introduce you to that person of the Godhead who actually spoke the word and made creation happen.

Now I think it’s rather interesting that way back here in the very first verse of Genesis before the nation of Israel has even been hinted at, and before we have any idea of the call of this man Abraham, that God is already giving us a clue that throughout all of His dealings with you and I, as members of the human race, God is going to constantly divide things between heaven and earth.

As soon as Abraham is called out of Ur of the Chaldees, God separated him from that mainstream of humanity, and promises that out of that one man will come a distinctive race and nation of people – the nation of Israel. But here’s what makes them distinctive. From the very onset of the promise to Abraham, until the nation is finally dispersed, after they had rejected their king. Israel had it constantly drummed into their mindset that they were a special, called out, separated, covenant people of God, and all their promises are earthly. And so we refer to them as God’s earthly people. Of course we want to see what Scripture has to say about this.

Turn to Hosea 1:10a (ho-shay'-ah) – “Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered.” (NAS). Now what do you associate the word sand with?
The earth!

Hosea 2:23a – “I (God) will sow her (Israel) for Myself in the land (the earth). I will also have compassion on her who had not obtained compassion.” (NAS)

Now let’s turn back to the book of Genesis and pick up another Bible verse. Now Notice how God uses different language as He introduces both earthly and heavenly blessings in His promise to Abraham.
Genesis 22:17 – Indeed I (God) will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens (Gentiles) and as the sand (Jews) which is on the seashore… (NAS). Now I want to show this same concept, or idea, being carried forward into the New Testament writings of Paul. Turn to the book of Colossians.

Colossians 1:20 – And through Him (God) to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. (NAS)

When the Jews experience their resurrection as believers, they will not be a heavenly people, they are going to be an earthly people, and we are speaking of that earthly 1,000 year kingdom that is still future.

And that’s why so many of them had such tremendous wealth. Abraham was a wealthy man. Isaac was wealthy for his time. Jacob was wealthy. David – oh the glory of his entire kingdom. You know of Solomon and my when the Queen of Sheba saw the wealth of his kingdom the first thing she said was "the half has not yet been told." You see, those Jewish people were enjoying those earthly promises from God.

Now when we get over into the epistles of Paul the Jewish Program is fading off the scene as God now calls to Himself, out of the mainstream of humanity, the Body of Christ, or the Church, which is now a mixture of predominately Gentiles, but also with a few Jewish exceptions. Turn to Romans 11:25 – For I (Paul) do not want you, brethren (Gentile believers), to be uninformed of this mystery – so that you will not be wise in our own estimation – that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in (NAS).

The mystery Paul refers to in this Bible verse is the calling out of the mainstream of humanity that group of people known as the Gentiles or the non-Jew. At this point in time God declares that now there is no difference.
Romans 3:10 – There is NONE righteous, not even one (NAS).

For all (Jew and Gentile alike) have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23 (NAS)

All are declared guilty by God who is the Righteous Judge. All fall short of the glory of God both Jew and Gentile alike.

Now we have a group of people (Gentiles) to whom all God’s promises are not earthly, but what? Heavenly!! Let me show you what the Bible says about this. We are gathered here to see what does the Bible say not what Gary says.
Turn to Ephesians 1:3 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.
Let’s look at one more Bible verse to demonstrate that as a member of the Body of Christ our Spiritual rewards are heavenly.

Turn to Phillipians 3:20 – Again, this is the Apostle Paul and who does he always write to? Believers! Paul never penned a letter to an unbeliever. But what happens? His letters find their way to unbelievers.

Phillipians 3:20 – For our (the Body of Christ) citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ (NAS). There is no way you can misread this verse.

Because I was born in the USA I am a citizen of this great country. As a citizen, I am guaranteed certain rights and privileges. Now take this same concept into the Spiritual realm. Because we are “born again” through faith (plus nothing) in the gospel (REF 1 COR 15:1-4), we are now citizens of heaven with all the rights and privileges thereof.

Every thing that is promised to the Church is not of the earth, it’s heavenly. And our future is going to be to rule in the heavenlies. Well, this is immediately what I want people to recognize that as you study your Bible, you have to separate these two entities (Jew and Gentile) in God’s dealing.

When you separate completely the nation of Israel even in the New Testament from the Church, the Body of Christ, then all the so called Bible contradictions disappears. And the Bible then becomes so sensible.

So, in the beginning the Triune, the Almighty God, called out of nothing, everything including the heavens, the angelic hosts, and the earth.
Everything began with our Creator.

Now let’s take a look at how the New Testament treats this very same event, as we have here in Genesis. I’d like to have you turn now with me to John’s Gospel, chapter 1. All these writers are inspired of the Holy Spirit.

They are moved of God to write what they write. And so now naturally John, as he speaks of the beginning, is going to use the same language that Moses did. John 1:1 "In the beginning…" He doesn’t say twenty million years ago. He doesn’t say ten thousand years ago. All John says is "in the beginning" just as Genesis does. But in the beginning, according to John, was the Word…

Now I want to introduce you to that person of the Holy Trinity who spoke the word and created the heavens and the earth. You see, for the most part, the world doesn’t know who He is. Oh they have heard the name and have some vague recollection I am sure. But the truth is most people do not who the Lord Jesus Christ really is!
Jesus Christ is in fact the Creator who spoke creation into being.

John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (NAS) Now the word “Word” here is capitalized so we know it means deity. So in the beginning was the Word, a person of that Triune Godhead, and this person, the Word, was with God, that is from eternity past, whenever that was, and the Word was God.

Now you know I’m a stickler for grammar because after all the whole idea of language is to communicate. And that is what the word "Word" implies. There had to be a person of the Godhead who would communicate with His creation. John 1:2 – He was in the beginning with God. (NKJV)
In other words, the Triune Godhead was complete and they were in absolute consensus with what they were going to do. And now verse 3.

John 1:3 "All things were made by Him;" (KJV) (By whom? The Word.)
Now if you doubt that this is speaking about God the Son come down to verse 14 and here is the clincher.

John 1:14 "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (Now you know God the Father or God the Spirit never became flesh so who is it? Well it’s God the Son – it’s Christ!) and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."(KJV)

Now let’s move on quickly to Colossians, which is well into Paul’s writings. Let’s go to chapter 1, and here we find a tremendous little portion of Scripture. Remember we’re fitting this all back with Genesis 1:1. Now let’s look what Paul says in Colossians chapter 1 and we almost have to come down to verse 15.

Colossians 1:15-16- He (meaning God the Son) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16. For by Him (meaning God the Son) all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. (NKJV)

Satan himself is a created being. He was created by God the Son. Not only did He create all things (but they) were created by him, and for him:"
Now here is something you may not have seen or read before.

Colossians 1:17 - And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And what does that word mean? The word consist means “held together.” Why doesn’t the universe just explode in nuclear fission? Why don’t the planets act like an atom and split one another into tremendous energy and explosion? Because God the Son controls every particle of it with the power of His Word and nothing is out of control in His universe. Not one single thing.

Let me show you what I mean. Turn to Matthew 10:29. Jesus is giving us an example of His knowledge and Control of all things. “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of the Father.” (NAS)

Now let’s come back with me to the Book of Ephesians chapter 3, and look at what the apostle Paul said. Drop in at verse 9.

Ephesians 3:9 - "And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, (Deuteronomy 29:29) which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, (the same God of Genesis 1:1) who created all things by Jesus Christ:" (KJV)
Now isn’t that something? I make a point of that for a reason.

Have you ever stopped to realize that the people who nailed Christ to that cross, and set Him up as a public spectacle, were the created being of the Creator that they were crucifying? Many people have never had that thought. But it’s true!
It was the created beings, crucifying their Creator!
I hope you never lose sight of that fact.

I know when I have to think of my own salvation, I just have to thank God, that here He is, the Sovereign, totally God of the universe, and yet it’s the same God that died the death that I should have died. It’s the same God that rose from the dead, and extended eternal life to all that would believe, and you can’t separate that from Him. He is the Creator!

Now let’s go to the Book of Hebrews chapter 1:

Hebrews 1:1-2a "God, (the Triune God of Genesis 1:1. The Trinity) who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers (that is the forefathers of Israel in the Old Testament) by the prophets, (But don’t stop there, because this same God) Has in these last days…" (KJV)

The last days of Scripture include everything from Christ’s advent on. A lot of people think that the last days are just like the Tribulation and the Second Coming. No that’s the latter days. The last days are that whole period of time from His first advent to the end of the Age of Grace. So in these last days, from the time of His first advent, this same God hath already:

Hebrews 1:2b "… spoken to us by his Son, whom he (God) has appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the worlds;" (NIV)

Now for just a little review of what we have learned today. Everything in God’s dealing with the human race you have to separate between Him dealing with the nation of Israel, His earthly people, and the Church to which is His heavenly people.

And as you study your Bible remember that God primarily deals with Israel, the Jew, with a few exceptions, from Abraham to the writings of the Apostle Paul. But when you come into the letters of Paul, he speaks primarily to the non-Jew, or Gentiles (with a few exceptions), and he addresses us today in the Church Age.

When you read Romans through Hebrews, you read that as if God has written it to you with your name and address on it. But when you read the Old Testament, don’t try to put that into your life today, because that was written to and given to the nation of Israel. We can use it for our learning, you can certainly make application from it, but it is not for our doctrine.

Intro to Genesis

Numbers in Scripture - God’s Attributes

Lesson 2

Now we’re going to start with Genesis chapter one soon I promise.

I invite you to take your Bible and follow along with me as we study God’s Word. But as you study with us, you may also wish to take notes because it’s the only way to really get involved in Bible study. I trust that you don’t just read your Bible, because you have to learn how to study it, and I think that’s the reason the Lord constructed it the way He did. He did not just lay it out in a 8th grade reading format, but rather all these little tidbits of information are buried sometimes, and you just have to compare Scripture with Scripture in order to dig them out.

I am reminded from Scripture of how the Apostle Paul, while attempting to teach these Jews about the risen Lord during his second missionary journey, was consequently set upon by this same crowd of Jews in Thessalonica, and then almost thrown into jail. Paul and his friend left there and went into the city of Berea which was located nearby. Paul and Silas entered into a synagogue to teach them about Jesus the Christ. “They were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness and “searched the Scriptures” daily to find out whether these things were so. Therefore, many of them believed…” Acts 17:11-12.

We need to be like these Bereans of old. We should be searching the Scriptures ourselves, digging deeper into the Word as I like to put it, in order to discover the truth, and then truth once found, must be shared with others.
Every member of the Body of Christ is a steward of the Bible.

1 COR 4:1 – Paul writes, “Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.” A steward is someone who is morally responsible for the careful use of a resource such as the Word of God.
The Bible is “God-Breathed.” The Apostle Paul invented this phrase.

In the Greek it is “Theo-Pneustos.” Theo meaning GOD and Pneustos meaning Breathed. Paul is informing us that ALL Scripture comes from God and this would include both the Old Testament and the New Testament.

2 Timothy 3:16 – “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.”

The Bible is a collection of many writings written in many forms, by many hands, from many ages; but the author is GOD. Meaning: Men of God were moved on by the Holy Spirit and penned God’s thoughts. (Theo Pneustos).

The Bible is made up of 66 books – 39 in the Old Testament written in the Hebrew language and 27 in the New Testament which is written in the Greek language. The books of the Bible are made up of a collection of books such as: The Law, Poetry, History, and Prophecy.

The Bible covers the Oriental, Babylonian, Assyrian, Chaldean, Persian, Egyptian, and the Roman Empires.

The book of Genesis is believed to be written by Moses. Genesis is the first book of the Pentateuch or law. The word Pentateuch means five books.

As we go into this study, please remember that numbers have Spiritual significance and meaning. I just want to review a few of these numbers because we will be encountering them during this Bible Study.

1 = a symbol of unity. Unity being indivisible and not made up of other numbers, is therefore independent of all others, and is the source of all others. So it is with the Deity. All stand in need of Him, and He needs no assistance from any. Hence the first commandment declares “You shall have no other Gods before Me.” Exodus 20:3 (NKJV)

2 = the number two affirms that there is a difference. There is another; while One affirms that there is not another. This difference may be good or evil. Hence the number two takes a two-fold meaning according to the context. Since it is the first number by which we can divide another, and therefore in all its uses we may trace this fundamental idea of division or difference. Where man is concerned this number testifies of his fall, for it more often denotes that difference which implies opposition, enmity, and oppression. Example: When the earth lay in the chaos which had overwhelmed it (Gen 1:2) its condition was universal ruin and darkness. The second of any number of things always bears upon it the stamp of difference, and generally of enmity.
Take the second statement in the Bible. The first is – Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The second statement in the Bible is: “And the earth was (or rather became) without form and void and darkness was on the face of the deep.” Here the first statement speaks of perfection and order. The second of ruin and desolation, which came to pass at some time, and in some way, and for some reason which are not revealed.

3 = stands for that which is solid, real, substantial, complete, and entire. There are three great divisions completing time – past, present, and future. Three persons in grammar, express and include all the relationships of mankind. Thought, Word, and Deed complete the sum of human capability. Three kingdoms express our ideas of matter – mineral, vegetable, and animal. Three is the number associated with the Godhead. Three times the Seraphim cry, “Holy, Holy, Holy, - one for each of the three persons in the Trinity. (See Isaiah 6:3)

4 = the number four is made up of 3+1 and it denotes, therefore, and marks that which follows the revelation of God in the Trinity, namely, His creative works. God is known by those things which are seen. The number four always has a reference to all that is created. It is the number of material completeness. Hence it is the world number. Four is the number of the elements – earth, air, fire, water. Four are the regions of the earth – north, south, east, and west. Four are the divisions of the day – morning, noon, evening, and night. Four are the seasons of the year – spring, summer, winter, and fall.

5 = five is four plus one. We have then the three persons of the Godhead, and their manifestation in creation. Now we have a further revelation of a People called out from mankind, redeemed, and saved, to walk with God from earth to heaven. Hence redemption follows creation. Man and creation must be redeemed. Thus we have: 1. Father. 2. Son. 3. Spirit. 4. Creation. and 5. Redemption. These are the five great mysteries; therefore the number five is the number of GRACE. If four represents the number of the world, then it represents man’s weakness, and helplessness, and vanity, as we have seen. But four plus one is significant of Divine strength added to and made perfect in that weakness.

6 = Six is either four plus two, i.e., man’s world (4) with man’s enmity to God (2) brought in: or it is five plus one, the grace of God made of none effect by man’s addition to it, or perversion, or corruption of it. In any case, the number six has to do with man as destitute of God, without God, and without Christ the Redeemer.

7 = Spiritual Perfection. In the Hebrew “shevah” means to be full or satisfied, or have enough of. Example: for on the 7th day God rested from the work of creation. It was full and complete, and good and perfect. Nothing could be added to it or taken from it without marring it.

8 = It is the number seven plus one. Hence it is the number associated with Resurrection and Regeneration, and the beginning of a new era or order. When the whole earth was covered with the flood, it was Noah “the eighth person” (2 Peter 2:5) who stepped out on to a new earth to commence a new order of things. Circumcision was to be performed on the eighth day (Genesis17:12), because it was the foreshadowing of the true circumcision of the heart (Colossians 2:11).

12 = a perfect number, signifying perfection of government, or of governmental perfection. It is found as a multiple of all that has to do with rule. There were twelve Patriarchs from Seth to Noah and his family and twelve from Shem to Jacob. Israel had twelve sons. When we come into the New Testament we find the same great principle. There are twelve Apostles. The city of Jerusalem had twelve gates. Jesus is but twelve years of age when He appears in public and utters His first-recorded words. (Luke 2:42)
The more I study this book the more God reveals to me. I never fail to learn something new every time I pick it up. Don’t feel badly if you need to read a particular passage six to eight times before you begin to grasp the meaning. The Holy Spirit is our teacher. Knowledge will come from Him, if we do not grow weary of the process. Hang tough. John 14:26 (Jesus reveals this truth) “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things I said to you.”
Let’s turn to the book of Genesis.

The word “Genesis” means the beginning; or origin.
Genesis 1:1a "In the beginning God…"
Now there’s where I usually stop. We don’t know when in the beginning was, and I don’t concern myself with whether it’s billions of years or if it’s only thousands of years. I say it really doesn’t make that much difference, but what does make a difference is "WHO" started it all? GOD!

Consequently, God will be our focus in this first verse.
What comes into our minds when we think about God varies between each of us; and it also defines us.

A. Some people think of God in a parental sort of way meaning He exists only to correct us or to punish us whenever we make a mistake.

B. Some people treat God as if He were some kind of heavenly bell-hop who is standing by to answer our every beck and call. C. Then there are some who treat God as if He were a heavenly ATM machine who exists only to fulfill our every demand or request at a moments notice. D. And then there are those who treat God with a great deal of indifference.

They contend that if He exists at all He could not be the least bit interested in them or their activities. E. Then there are those who treat God as if He were one of the “gang.” Let me give you an example of what I mean.

I overheard a fellow worker the other day; she had experienced a positive event in her life, who said, “That man upstairs really took care of me.”
Now listen, this is bringing God down to a level so far beneath Him that it is impossible to measure. It is true the Bible tells us He is a friend of sinners. We know God loves us, etc. But it seems to me that we have a tendency to forget our place in the over all scheme of things.

God is the Creator. We are the created. God is the Potter, and we are the clay…So I think it would be time well spent, if we took the next few minutes to remind ourselves who God really is. In addition, to set the tone for our Bible study, one has to have an understanding of the Creator God. It is His blueprint we are following after all.

God has these certain attributes, or characteristics, by which He has revealed Himself to us, His creation. These attributes are given to us in the Bible. Any deviation from that insight (from God Himself) is a made-up god.

We’re going to look at a few attributes of God, and consequently what I want to wind up the first part of this lesson on is, since He’s that kind of a God, we can be perfectly comfortable in placing all of our faith in what He has said.

People can’t seem to get the idea that if God has said it, we can believe it. This is not a Book of myths or a Book that was put together as the Jews sat around their ancient campfires as some like to put it. But as Peter says in his little epistle, "Holy men of God wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." And that wasn’t just the Old Testament, but the New Testament as well. The Apostle Paul over and over makes it so clear that everything he wrote was by revelation from the ascended Christ. When the Apostle John wrote the Book of Revelation, it was all by Holy Spirit inspiration. Every Word of this Book from cover to cover is the Word of God and we can believe it, because it has proven itself over and over again.

God is absolutely Sovereign, and there is no one above Him. He never has to go to someone else for advice or for questioning. He is absolute in His Sovereignty.

We can say that God is Immutable, and the best verse that most of us know concerning that is in the Book of Hebrews where it says, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever!" He has never changed in the past, He has not changed as of today, and He will never change in the eternity future, because He is immutable!

God is Omnisciencent. Now the only way I can spell that word is put omni and then science together. It’s the same word as science and knowledge. So God is all knowledge, He is Omniscience! There is nothing that God doesn’t know, and He doesn’t have to go looking anything up in a text book. God knows the end from the beginning!

God is Omnipresent. In other words you cannot go anywhere without God being there. David, in the Psalms, writes, "Lo I go to the deepest Hell, God is there, and though I go to the highest Heavens, God is there.
The Grace of God is an attribute. Remember very few people, even believers, understand the Grace of God. Why? Because Grace is an attribute that’s so far above and beyond the human intellect that’s it’s hard for us to comprehend. Grace does not give us license to sin, but rather Grace is that attribute of God that He is capable of absolutely forgiving and cleansing and calling Righteous the vilest sinner that will believe Paul’s Gospel for salvation.

God is Faithful. Everything that God has promised will come to pass. The faithfulness of God guarantees this fact. God does not lie. Everything God says about Himself in this book is the truth. Jesus declared, I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life. (John 14:6).

Therefore, since God has said it we are to believe it. This is called faith.

Faith is simply “taking God at His word.” To put it another way, “God said it and I believe it.”

One of the absolutes in Scripture is in regard to this action word faith.

In Hebrews 11:6, "But without faith it is impossible to please him: (God) for he that cometh to God must believe…"

That’s why I’m almost screaming at people that today God’s whole requirement for salvation is believe Paul’s Gospel of I Corinthians 15:1-4.

And how do we believe the Gospel? It’s in this area of faith, without which it is impossible to please him. In other words, will God ever fail an individual? Never!

I stood here and watched every one of you come in, and I did not see a single one of you examine the object that you sat down on. Did you? Not a one of you examined the object you chose to sit on to see if it would support you.
Now if we were in an area where the chairs and sofas, etc. were weak and you couldn’t depend on them, this is what you would have to do. You’d have to examine it to make sure you don’t suddenly become embarrassed and fall flat on the floor. Why did you not bother to check the chair that you’re sitting on? You have the utmost faith in it that it’s going hold you. See?

You believed before you sat down that that chair was going to hold you.

Now bring that up into the spiritual realm. God expects the human race to put that same kind faith in what He has said, just as much as you place your faith in these material things that you take for granted.

It’s the very same application, that when God has said something, we can believe it, and when we believe it, God calls that faith, and He is going to reward us with the greatest experience in all of human history, and what’s that? SALVATION!

Over and over I’ll show people Bible verses, and say, "Do you feel this?" "No." "Can you see this?" "No." "How do you know its true then?" "Because the BOOK says so, that’s what God’s Word says." "And when you take God at His Word, what is that?" "FAITH!"

When you go back to Genesis 1:1 where we’ve been studying, and it says,

"In the beginning, God created (called out of nothing) the heaven and earth." Now I can’t prove that, and science still can’t prove it, but I believe it.

We could do an entire Bible study on these attributes of God. We barely scratched the surface on all that God is. With all the attributes of God that the Scriptures have declared and has been proven, how in the world can someone say, "But I can’t believe it.” It isn’t that they can’t believe it, but rather they don’t want to believe it. When people decry the habit of smoking, and say, "Oh if I could only get rid of this habit, but I can’t quit.” I say, "Do you want to quit?" "No, not really," is the answer I get so often. Well if you don’t want to quit, then I guarantee you one thing, you’re not going to quit, because the one has to come before the other.

The Bible Timeline

Introduction to Genesis

Lesson One

As we begin this first lesson we trust that as we open the Word you will learn, and grow in the Grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Before we start our study of Genesis, I want to give an overview of the plan of the ages, in the form of a TIME LINE that the Almighty Triune God precipitated sometime way back in eternity past. That is when the Triune God met in counsel, according to Acts chapter 2, and with the foreknowledge of God, set everything in motion.

I like to point out that God, as Sovereign as He is, nevertheless let men and nations exercise their free will and yet here we are, as close as we can tell, nearly 6000 + years from man’s beginning and everything since that time has fallen right into place according to God’s timetable. Now how He does that without making human beings simply robots or puppets is beyond my understanding. Everything that was prophesied concerning His first Advent was fulfilled. Over 300 prophecies written hundreds of years before His first coming were fulfilled down to the last detail. Everything that has been prophesied concerning the end time, we can now see that these prophecies are falling into place. It’s all according to His timetable. From time to time we may get the impression that we are in control of things and events however, even within our own sphere of influence we are in control of nothing. We don’t own our next breath or our next 1,000 heartbeats. God is in control.

Please know that this is an independent Bible study. I am simply a student of the Word and always will be. I am not here in support of any particular church group, church denomination, or belief. Our goal is to discover what does the Bible say and something else just as important what it does not say. You may not always agree with me and that is all right. My prayer is that this then will lead you to open the Word of God and then study it on your own.

I have been teaching the Bible for over twelve years. I would rather refer to myself as your guide as I lead you through this Book and then together we can show ourselves “approved” before God on that great day.

According to 2 Timothy 2:15 we find this truth, “Be diligent to present your self approved to God, a workman who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.” (NIV)
Approved = accepted – The Greek word is “dokimos” (dok-ee-mos).

In ancient times there was no banking system as we know it today and no paper money. All money was made from metal, heated until liquid, poured into molds, and allowed to cool. When the coins were cooled, it was necessary to smooth off the uneven edges. The coins were soft and of course many people shaved them very close. In one century, more than 80 laws were passed in Athens, to stop the practice of shaving down the coins then in circulation.

But some money-men were men of integrity. They would accept no counterfeit money. They were men of honor who put only genuine, full weighted money into circulation. Such men were called “dokimos” or approved.
Dividing = to teach the truth directly and correctly

I’ve seen it and I know you have too. Every Sunday you watch people stream into the church building to attend the service, find their pew, and take up temporary residence there; but they never bring a Bible. I’ve seen Bibles that were placed in the pews for people to use while in church, and yet they don’t bother. I’ve heard pastors from the pulpit invite people to bring their Bibles or to use one the church has provided for them…and yet they choose not. Instead, they opt to sit there week after week without checking to see what the Bible actually says. Instead of letting someone tell you what is in this book, you take the time to read it, but more importantly, set aside some time and study it on your own.

Now we will look at the events as God laid it out from eternity past beginning with the creation of man. At this time I’m going to put a Bible timeline on the board. In doing so, we are able to see:

1. The Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, reveals God’s plan for His creation. 2. The Bible is not filled with contradictions, as some people would believe. t is without error. We will show that the books of the Bible fit together perfectly just as God is perfect. Those who only read Scripture miss 80% of it. Let’s get started.

One day you may meet up with someone and be asked this important question. “Who is Jesus?” You see, for the most part, the world doesn’t know who He is. The Bible teaches us that His name is above everything that has been created.

Romans 14:11 – It is written: “As surely as I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow before Me; every tongue will confess to God.” (NIV)

Philippians 2:10 – …that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.” (NIV)

The Bible reveals that it was Jesus Christ that created the universe.

Ephesians 3:9 "And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ." (KJV)

For so long chronologers assumed that Christ was born at what we call the year zero, and that in 4,000 BC Adam was created. Then, thanks to archeology, some years ago they put together the fact that because of King Herod’s rule and reign and death, that Christ had to have been born in 4 BC according to our new Gregorian calendar. So if Adam was created at 4,004 BC instead of 4,000 and Christ was born at 4 BC, then that puts Christ’s crucifixion at 29 AD instead of 33 AD.

You may be surprised to hear that a great many people do not know what AD stands for. There are even some pastors out there who haven’t a clue what AD means. In the Latin language, the letter A stands for anno which means annual. The letter D stands for domini which means Master or Lord. So then AD stands for in the year of our Lord.

Now thanks to the powers that be, and archeology, it seems they have got to get Christ out of the picture one way or the other. So they have changed these nomenclatures from BC (before Christ) to BCE (Before Common Era) and AD (year of our Lord) is now referred to as CE (Common Era). Where they get this new ruling I don’t know, but this is what they are doing now. In just the last couple of decades we have seen God and prayer removed from our schools and public gatherings. You can’t place a copy of the Ten Commandments in public view without evoking an argument. Communities have even gone to court to keep nativity scenes from being put up on church property. Shameful.

In this Bible study, our normal approach will be to use BC and AD as we study history, or as I like to call it, His Story.

Now as I write these dates on the timeline please know that these times are approximates. I have rounded them off for the sake of memory keeping.

So I’m going to go over to the very left hand end of the timeline and begin. We’ll start back here with the creation of Adam and Eve at approximately 4004 BC, and we’ll just keep moving on up through time. If you will, picture this time line as if it were the river of humanity, flowing through time, on its way to eternal doom, without God. Now I’ll put the cross out here in about the middle of the timeline and that would be at 29AD.

So I always like to go to about the middle between Adam and the cross and put in the man Abraham, and that would be at 2000 BC.

But before we move on toward the cross after Abraham, let’s back up about 400 years from Abraham to Noah’s flood, and that would make the flood at approximately 2400 BC. In other words, about 400 years before Abraham comes on the scene we have the flood of Noah. From the time of Adam to the flood this entire period of time is recorded in the first eleven chapters of Genesis.

So from Adam to the flood is a period of about 1600 years during which time the whole human race had opportunity to have a knowledge of God after the format that He gave to Cain and Abel, that if they would bring a blood sacrifice when they sinned, God would accept them on the basis of their faith, but for the most part the human race then was no different than it is now, and so they walked it all underfoot, until finally God had to destroy them.

Now coming back to our timeline, we have one other important event that took place between Noah’s flood and Abraham at approximately 2200 BC or 200 years before Abraham and that was the Tower of Babel.

The one thing that I always like to emphasize when I teach the Tower of Babel is that every false religion, every religious cult, and every pagan belief has it’s roots at the Tower of Babel. Remember God had ordered mankind to scatter after the flood, and they would not. So that group of people was determined to find an alterative way to approach God, and that was the whole idea of the Tower of Babel. It was a place of false worship.

So from the Tower of Babel for the next 200 years the human race just goes deeper and deeper in false religions, and idol worship, so that by the time you get to the call of Abram at 2000 BC, I maintain that there wasn’t a single believer in the true God left on earth.

Once again the whole human race has succumbed to Satan’s counterfeit religions. In other words, they were all idolaters including Abraham himself.

Joshua 24:2 - "And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor, and they served other gods." (KJV)

Remember from Adam to Abram, or approximately 2000 years, mankind has had opportunity of experiencing a salvation as Adam, Abel, Noah and so forth, but for the most part mankind had rejected it.

So God had seen in 2000 years of human history man would not accept His offer of simply being obedient and believing what He said, and so now He’s going to do something totally different, when He calls out this man Abram (Abraham).

God is going to bring out of this river of humanity that’s headed for a lost eternity, this one man Abraham. He’s going to give him a covenant, in Genesis chapter 12, and He’s going to tell this man, "that out of him will come a nation of people, the nation of Israel or as we better know them "the Jews." These people would be holy, or set apart from the rest of the Gentile world, and at some point later in time they would be used by God to bring the message of salvation to the Gentiles.

ISA 42: 6 – “I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand, I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles.” (NIV)

ISA 49:6 – Indeed He says, It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, That you should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.”

So from Genesis chapter 12, and the Abrahamic Covenant, to Acts chapter 8 God is dealing with Jew only (with a few exceptions).

Acts 11:19 – Now those who were scattered after the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to no one but Jews only.

We see more of this truth in Jesus’ earthly ministry. Turn to Matthew 10:5 where we find Jesus saying, “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (NKJV) And again in Matthew 15 where we find the account of the gentile woman seeking Jesus’ help to heal her daughter. In verse 24 Jesus responds this way to her request, “But He (Jesus) answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (NKJV) These are the two Gentile EXCEPTIONS revealed to us during Jesus' ministry on the earth.

From Genesis chapter 12 to Acts chapter 8 God is dealing with the nation of Israel, giving them the Law and the Temple, with the idea that one day God would funnel them back in to that filthy, ungodly river of humanity, and to bring to the gentiles a knowledge of the one true God. Now that was the noble plan of God. Of course we know that it did not work because Israel did not believe it, but at least God offered it to the nation of Israel.

Genesis 12:1-3 "Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 2. And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3. And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee, shall all families of the earth be blessed." (KJV)

God put that nation of people in one geographical area of land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, which we call the Holy Land.

Well after Abraham had been promised a nation of people, in a geographical area of land, the third part of that covenant, was the coming of a government, in the person of a king. So here is the beginning, then, of God dealing with the nation of Israel, under covenant promises, and is setting the stage for the coming of their King (the Messiah) who would be the government.

You know common sense tells you that you can’t have a nation of people operating as a society if there is no kind of a government, because then all you have is anarchy. Of course that happened often in Israel’s history. The Book of Judges tells us this as plainly as we can see in the last verse of the Book.

Judges 21:25 "In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes." (KJV)

Well that’s anarchy, but they had that constant promise out there in front of them, that the time would come when God would provide their government in the person of the King, the Messiah, who is the Son of God!

Isaiah 9:6-7 – For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. 7: And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. (NKJV)

So your whole Old Testament, whether it’s history, Psalms, or the Books of the prophets, is preparing the nation of Israel for the coming of their King, their Messiah, and Redeemer, because there had to be salvation before any of the rest of the promises could come to pass.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Invitation to View Christian Basics Blog

Why Christian Basics?

Good question considering I am currently teaching the book of Genesis.

However, it has come to my attention over the years that many Christians lack basic Bible knowledge and Bible related skills.

This is why I have decided to take on this task. It's important to you and others.

When a stranger or someone you know asks a question about your faith or the Bible, there is no reason to shrink back in fear and dread.

There is no reason to look for an exit or excuse yourself.

A friend of mine is an auto mechanic and operates his own business. If I ask him a question about his work or about a specific car problem, he doesn't get embarrassed and he doesn't ask me to change the subject. Are you kidding?

If I ask him a auto related question, he is all over it. Why?

Because he knows his stuff!

He's more than happy to tell me all he knows about my car.

Alright let's bring that into the Spiritual realm. Every single Christian should know enough to explain God's role in the creation event, the origin of sin, and God's plan to redeem His lost creation. (The gospel).

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who (Joins a church, gets baptized, gives money to the church, sings in the church, helps in the kitchen at church, makes the coffee, ushers, serves in the church parking lot, attends church regularly... No. That's not what it says. Salvation belongs to those who) believes...,

What's another word for believes? FAITH!

There is an awful lot of confusion and misunderstanding among Christians when it comes to Scripture. I hope this new series serves those who are earnestly seeking the truth of God's Word.

Please check out Christian Basics at GHeitzman.Blogspot.com