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.