Monthly Archives: October 2009
(Ver 1.4) This of course is a very difficult subject for many Christians to accept or acknowledge. So many Christians struggle with believing the concept that God would intentionally hide important information from us. How could a loving God ever keep us from easily finding that which He desires us to learn and know? I once heard a minister say that studying the Bible is like a natural man searching for natural gold and I found that I could really not improve on that analogy so I’ll use it to help you understand how the Bible was written by God’s design. If you’ve ever panned for gold in Colorado or California you will have already discovered how difficult it was to find anything of significant value on the surface. I tried it but I came up empty even after several attempts when I was in Colorado, I guess it was fun, but it would have certainly been better if I had left with something that I could have said WOW, look at this!!! Look at what I found. This is a lot like reading the Bible and many do it everyday, but never walk away with the WOW, look at this. “Look what I found in the Word of God”. Why is that? There are probably a lot of reasons and I cover many of them in this Blog. Here is a verse of scripture about God and it describes a characteristic of His nature that must be understood if you are going to be a serious student of the Bible:
Proverbs 25:2 It is the glory of God to conceal a thing, but the honor of kings is to search out a matter.
What an amazing statement of universal truth. This verse clearly states that God is glorified by Him hiding information for us to find. Oh yes, I should have told you first that we are the kings and priests of God that He is referring to in this verse. Jesus is called the King of kings and the Lord of lords (Rev 19:16). The reference to “kings” is us! I know that bugs the heck out of religious people, but please get over it see what the Bible says.
Like digging for gold in the natural world so it is in the spiritual world with the Word of God. People don’t usually find many big gold nuggets of truth on the surface of God’s Word by just reading the it. There we must ask, how do we find them? We find them by digging deep for them. It involves work and that is a four-letter word to many. Proverbs 25:2 said that the honor of kings was in the searching of the information. Searching involves effort and that is spelled W O R K! There is a lot of information that can be found on the surface of reading the Bible, but the really good stuff is always found much deeper within the text. Did you ever notice the world’s largest gold producers are finding most of the valuable stuff deep underground using tunnels, blasting, digging and a whole bunch of effort. Occasionally they might find a large vein and strike it very rich by digging deep. Bible study is the exact same thing. I noticed this scripture in the Old Testament that confirms that God has secrets:
Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he reveal his secret unto his servants the prophets.
This verse informs us that God has secrets, but it also says that God will not do anything without first revealing his secrets to His servants, His prophets. That tells me the Old and New Testaments both have the potential of an extraordinary number of hidden secrets of God. Some we have discovered and most that we have not yet found.
Proverbs 1:23 Turn you at my reproof: behold I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.
God says in this verse in Proverbs that He will make known His words after He has poured out His Spirit. We can see that the work involves the Holy Spirit. We can also see the clear implication that the meanings of the words must be hidden if God is going to make them known. You see we have had these words recorded for us to read for thousands of years. But yet the implication is that there is still more to know. Many will try to explain this away as having happened back with the apostles. But that event was only the former rain and now is the time of the later rain. Now is when God is again pouring out His Spirit unto men. Now is the time for the harvest. There are so many scriptures that tells us the same information, here is one from the book of Daniel:
Daniel 2:20 Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: 21 And he changed the times and the seasons: he removes kings and sets up kings: he gives wisdom unto the wise and knowledge to them that know understanding. 22 He reveals the deep and secret things: he knows what is in the darkness and light dwells with him.
You see from these verses that God is the one that holds all wisdom and that He gives it to us so that we can become wise. But verse 22 says the main point of this Blog, God reveals the deep and secret things to us. A “Deep” thing is an implied truth that is not easily understood or seen. These are very strong statements of truth and teach us a lot about the Bible. It tells us that everything in the Bible is not shallow and easy to find or understand. It implies that there is an extended effort and a commitment necessary from those who want to find these “deep” secrets. Let’s jump into the New Testament and look at another verse:
1 Corinthians 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the world unto our glory.
Here we read another verse that declares God has hidden things in the Bible and it even refers to them as mysteries. What is a mystery? A mystery to me would be a complex puzzle, a code, riddle or something that is not plain or obvious. If you could look at it and immediately know what it was, it wouldn’t be a mystery would it? So apparently if you haven’t figured it out, the Bible is written in a style that conceals many things and makes hidden much of the knowledge, understanding and wisdom of God.
Romans 16:25 Now to him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began.
This is another great example of the fact that God hid the revelation of Jesus Christ from the very beginning of our created world. We can observer clearly in this verse that God must reveal this information to us in the form of a revelation given to us in this instance by the writer Paul. If you didn’t know it, there are still Pauls in the world today that God uses. God is revealing things, giving revelation to many within the body of Christ and all you have to do is recognize it when you hear it. Yes, there will be false teachers, prophets and etc. in this world But, the Word of God will always be correct when rightly divided. Judge what people say by the Bible. So we can see so many verses that declare that the Bible contains the mysteries and secrets of God, here is just one more:
Colossians 1:26 Even the mystery which has been hid from ages and from generations, now is made manifest to his saints.
This is a fantastic verse if you are one of God’s saints. For if you are a saint of God then this verse assures that you are potentially destined to know these hidden secrets. The implication is clearly given that they are intended for God’s saints to know and understand. Some will attempt to explain, that was only for them, the early church and not for us now. I can hear it all now. But there is no way it is not for us right here and right now. This is what Jesus said about the secret things of God:
Luke 8:17 For nothing is secret that shall not be made manifest: neither anything hid that shall not be known and come abroad.
This is of course a little difficult to see in the King James version of the Bible, but it basically says that there is nothing that was hidden or secret that will not be made known or revealed so that we can see them, understand them and know them. That is a powerful prophecy and the words of God himself speaking. Has this occurred yet? I really only think we have scratched the surface of this prophecy, but I believe it will be fulfilled before Jesus’ return. You of course can believe whatever you like. You might ask how can this be, is it possible that the body of Christ could unify and see the truth? I think it is possible if we allow God to do it. This scripture in Daniel shows us what God is capable of by just one Old Testament prophet:
Daniel 2:47 The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is that your God is a God of gods and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets seeing that thou could reveal this secret.
So the King of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar recognized the power of God. By God revealing a bit of information to him the king was convinced that he was the true God. You see God just has to reveal a few key things to get people to see and He knows what those are. I believe that is why we will see major changes in attitudes and major changes in the true church of the living God.
So what have we seen? That the Bible contains mysteries, secrets, riddles and puzzles that God is starting to reveal to us in these end times. If you start looking for them, and expecting them to happen, God will make sure that they do happen. But since there are so many false teachings going around, here is what the Bible recommends for us to do:
Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
You should follow this example of the early church. Be open to hear and learn, but search God’s Word everyday to see if they are really true. Don’t buy into anything I say or anything anyone else says just because they said “Thus saith the Lord” or I have a revelation from God. Too many ignorant people have done that and burned or died in a compound when their leader suddenly said it was time for them all to die. God can and will show us if what is being taught is true or not in His word if we stop and ask and listen to His leading. If God doesn’t bear witness within your own spirit that its right, reject it and run far away very fast. Just remember that God still expects us all to search and work for it and to see what His word says. God will reward them that diligently, meticulously, conscientiously, thoroughly seek Him. It will be up to you, what you learn in these last days, more than it will be up to God. Thank you for reading these Bible lessons and I pray that they are all a blessing to you. Please tell someone about this website and help the Gospel go forth to as many as we can reach.
(Ver 1.1) Many try to classify Christianity as a religion, but it is not a religion, it is a relationship. You either know God or you don’t or more importantly God knows you or He doesn’t. In Luke 12:25, Jesus tells a story of those that are standing on the outside crying out “Lord, Lord”. Jesus tells them “Depart, I know ye not”. What a sad story of people who thought they did everything right, but didn’t know God and more importantly weren’t known by God.
Reading the Gospels, I found Jesus to be a loving and compassionate individual, to all but one group of people. So did God show favoritism by not treating these people the same as he did the common sinners. These people that Jesus constantly confronted in abrupt terms were the religious people of His day. These were the rulers of the Jews. These were those that thought of themselves as being better than everyone else. These are the people that thought they knew more than everyone else, including God who was standing before them. These were the keepers of the law of God, who added to the Word of God and made it of no affect due to their traditions and decrees. Jesus was not kind to these people and said some very blunt things to them. He called the children of Satan (John 8:44). He called them serpents, a generation of vipers (Mat 23:33). He said many things to them that can still be said to people even in the church today.
Religion has always been man’s attempt to please a God they do not know. Most of the time religion involves strict rules of thou shalt not do this and that. Many religions people punish themselves, do with out things, even hurt themselves by beating their bodies with chains or other crazy things. All in an attempt to make themselves worthy of something that God has already given to them for free. But religious people go so far above and beyond that simple definition and description. There are religious people probably sitting next to in church. Full of themselves and how good they are. They are so much better than you and I. Try to teach them something new and they scream heretic, hearsay, garbage, junk. They close their minds, ears and eyes to the truth and are content with what they think they know. Happy to live in ignorance and remain ignorant. You probably noticed I take after Jesus, I confront religious people straight on, I’m not trying to please everybody with a watered down teaching that just let’s everyone do as they please. Jesus wasn’t like that and you shouldn’t be like that. Jesus would commune with sinners, eat with tax collectors and call religious people idiots. Ok, idiots was my interpretation of some of His strong words. Love those that will let you into the houses of their hearts, but confront those who say that you are wrong to do that.
(Ver 1.2) I’ve heard many, many Bible teachers stand up and speak about creation in the terms that God created a perfect world for Adam. When Adam came on the scene everything was perfect, they would say. The implications to this always bothered me, since that is not what the Bible said. I’m not sure how these teachers came to that conclusion, but I simply have to go by what the Bible says. Six times in the chapter 1 of Genesis God declares what He has done as being something that is “good”. Good is of course a positive term, but it is also a highly subjective term. What is good to me, might not be good to you. I could say Apple Pie is good. But you might not like it. However, if I said something was perfect that implies something else entirely. Here is the definition of perfect found in the Webster’s dictionary:
being complete of its kind and without defect or blemish; “a perfect circle”; “a perfect reproduction”; “perfect happiness”; “perfect manners”;
So according to the dictionary, perfect means something that is complete, but not just complete, but something that is free from defects and flaws. In my opinion, perfect would imply something that could not fail or be brought down. If Adam was created perfect in a perfect world, it would have been impossible for him to sin. Since we all understand that Adam did sin, we can understand that he at the very least had the potential for flaws. Adam possessed the ability to fail, like an appliance you might buy at the store. Have you ever bought a perfect appliance? I really don’t think so.
So when God says it was good, what does that mean? I would say that in God’s perspective or viewpoint on the event, it was a positive outcome. It was an opposite of evil or bad. What if we could come up with a rating system and many have, that says something like this:
Worst –>Worse –> Bad –> Neutral –> Good –> Better –> Best
Many times consumer reporting companies have similar rating schemes for appliances or cars, etc. You can see by the scale that there are varying degrees for bad and good. You could never say that about “perfect”, there are not varying degrees of perfect. Given my rating scale where would you put God’s “good” creation? It would have to be somewhere to the right of Neutral, but where I’m not sure. If you notice I did not even put the word “perfect” on the scale, since that would go so far above and beyond what I consider to be even the best. I am convinced that “good” is not “perfect”. However, it is really not my opinion that matters, but what God thinks about it that counts. I found some interesting scriptures in the Bible that speaks to us along these lines:
Genesis 2:12 And the gold of that land is good;
God said the gold in the land was good. But gold is a metal that is mixed and very hard to find in a pure state. Gold has a grading scaled from 1 to 24 carats. 24 carats would be the best and purest but yet I doubt if you could call it perfect. Sometimes it can be good to see what is opposite to a definition in order to help understand the positive side of the subject. In Genesis 2:18 God says it is not good for man to be alone. That would be the opposite of good and looking at that verse it could be a highly subjective term. I don’t know if we have gained a definition or not of the term what is good. Let me throw another scripture in the mix that says something totally different.
Psalm 119:96 I have seen the end to all perfection…
Many times we read stuff and don’t apply it to what we learned earlier because we don’t really understand it and aren’t asking the right questions. This verse has a statement that has broad and far reaching implications. What does the term “All” mean? To me that means “All”, “everything is included” and means it is all inclusive. There is nothing that is left out. If you said “most” or “some” that would leave some items excluded from the list. So the term “All” is all inclusive, there is nothing left out or omitted. This is not going to sit well with a lot of religious minded people, but this would also include God himself. God did not leave himself out of the term “All”. I have always believed that God was a perfect Spirit being. In capable of errors, with no flaws. But if God says in His word that there is coming a time when there will be no perfection, what does that mean? How would we possibly apply that fact to God? I wish I had the answer to that, but maybe you do. Tell me what you think about this scripture. Maybe you know some other scriptures in the Bible that answer that question. In my mind this verse is speaking of Jesus who was God in the flesh. If Jesus was born a “perfect” man that would mean it would have been impossible for him to sin, just like “Adam” if he was perfect. So when God became a man, the Bible says that He was tempted in every way just like we are. Satan came to Jesus and tempted him just the same as us. So, if this was the divine God, was it really a temptation? Of course it was and that would imply that Jesus was only “very good” and not perfect. Jesus had to be capable of sinning and failing, otherwise it would not have been a temptation. That is what I think. Do not misunderstand me, I did not say Jesus sinned. I just said He had to have the possiblity to sin our he would not have been tempted just like we are. It just would not make any sense to me.
(Ver 1.2) This Bible lesson may be a brand new perspective for you and it just may be something that you may have never considered to think on. Have you ever studied the many different writing styles of books? College text books are written radically differently than fictional literature. Technical writings and software documentation are written consderibly different than a President’s biography. Realizing that there are so many different writing styles, let me ask you what literature style is the Bible written in? I believe that is an interesting and very important question to consider. From my research and study I’ve discovered that the Bible is significantly different than anything else that I’ve ever read. I believe that this makes it difficult to label it as just one writing style and say that it is only that one. For example Psalms many times resembles a poetry writing style but it certainly cannot be labeled that alone because it contains so much more than that alone.
It is almost easier to determine what the Bible is not rather than to try to assign it a specific style. For example, the Bible was certainly not written in a text book style using technical documentation methods. However, the Bible does contain great technical information about creation. Why didn’t God write these creation facts, events, descriptions and dates using more revealing, plain and indisputable evidence? Do you think that God is not capable of describing all of the little creation design intricate details of DNA, Sound Waves, Laws of Physics, etc. using the scientific terms involved and the background proof data behind every part of His creation? Can God not compete intellectually with the modern PHD professors in our colleges and universities? Are the scientific discoveries and the theories of men superior to God? Do believe that God not able to dispel the theory of human evolution using His knowledge of creation?
I personally believe that God’s intelligence is so far beyond the Einstein’s in our world that He could solve the debate with only a few lines of specific information. But, if He did that, what would be the end result of that type of information? It would be like the classic movie “The Day the Earth Stood Still”, when the man from another world went to the professor’s house and solved a very complex technical equation on the chalk board, that the professor had been trying to figure out for a long time. What that information did was take away any doubt that he was not from this planet and that he was much smarter than the professor and anyone else in the world.
If God provides us undeniable evidence that proves His awesome power, knowledge and ability to us all, the net result would be that every human man would no longer have any other option but to believe what God says is truth. I believe that this type of strong evidence would result in the loss of all human freedom for a man to believe whatever they wanted to by faith. If God proved that He was God, no longer does any man have any freewill choices or decisions to make about the existence of God. It is an interesting paradox. The God who proves His love for us by coming personally and shedding His blood to pay the cost of our sin and He doesn’t even write down one letter in any book or leave any evidence proving His appearance. He doesn’t us leave any photographic proof of His existence. He doesn’t leave any scientific or DNA evidence other than the words of a few witnesses, some people who are told to go and tell the world that He appeared. He tells these witnesses that those that believe their words spoken to them will be saved, but those who do not, will be damned (Mark 16:15-16).
Therefore, every man on the earth is left with only one choice, to believe or to not believe in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. The ball of decision is not in court of God, but was specifically designed to give man the choice in a human court of faith. A man must be sent to preach the good news to others (Romans 10:15-16). This preacher man must believe that he is called to preach and then choose to preach. Then men that he is sent to must choose to listen, hear, understand and believe the message. This method of salvation is a spiritual system called faith that was designed, created and implemented by the sovereign God alone. Knowing this should change everything about our perspective when we read the Bible. We should change to begin to look for the hidden evidence in the Bible and we should start by believing in things that we can not understand completely without overwhelming evidence.
We can learn from just the simple story of Adam and Eve in the first 3 chapters of Genesis, that God provided everything that they had need of and it was all said to be created good in the eyes of God. But, God said there was one thing that they shouldn’t do and that was to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He didn’t say they couldn’t do it, but He did warn them that the day that they did eat they would surely die. The Bible does not say that God fully explained what death was or that Adam remotely understood the consequences of disobedience. But yet, God gave man the choice to make. This is called freewill and every man has a right to it.
Apparently, Adam didn’t listen to the warning when he was faced with one of the world’s greatest decision choices that anyone could possibly make up until that time. I do not believe that Adam understood the consequences of his choice for himself or all of his descendants and he definitely chose wrong. Could God have stopped Adam from making this bad choice by providing more information, proof and evidence? I believe the answer is YES! Should God have stopped Adam by force from making this bad choice using His great knowledge? I believe the answer is NO based upon His love alone! Those are both interesting questions that only God can fully answer, but I believe the further involvement of God would have taken away the free will of the man to make his own choice to choose to obey and that is something I believe that God does not do.
So why is the Bible written in such a controversial way that appears to allow men to believe whatever they choose to believe? I believe the primary reason is the fact that God has continued to give man a freewill choice in everything that he believes. We can believe in Jesus is the LORD GOD or we can choose to believe that Jesus was just a prophet like Islamic teachings say. We can believe in the existence of eternal damnation and hell or we can choose to believe in universal salvation. We can believe in evolution or creation. We can believe in whatever we want to believe in. God wrote the Bible in this manner to allow us to find whatever we wish to search for in the Bible. But, of course that right to believe in something that is so wrong will not help us on judgment day. On judgment day, God will not be interested in our opinion or our beliefs. It won’t matter if we think we are right with all of our heart. We’ll not get to share our opinion with God on why we believed what we did on earth. We better make sure what we believe is right here, right now and is based upon the most truthful and accurate information that we can search and find in God’s word.
Thank you for reading this little Bible lesson. Infinite choices are presented in the Word of God. However, there is always only one true interpretation and understanding and this will agree with God’s opinion and not mine or yours. God Bless you and keep you and please leave a comment if can.
(Ver 1.1) In my last lesson on Genesis I talked about the prophesied coming of a perfect or more literally a mature man, but today I want to shift gears and change our focus on something new. Back in verse 27 we saw the creation of man in the image of God. I want to stop right there and point out something that I found very interesting while I was studying this verse. The Hebrew word translated as “man” is H120 in the Strong’s. Now that is all well and good until I noticed that the name “Adam” was from the Hebrew H121. So what is the problem? If you don’t speak Hebrew you would never know that these two words are the exact same word. Strong decided to give the one word two different reference numbers even though it is the same word. That is a major problem for translators and readers. How do you know when you should translate the one word as “Adam” or as “man”. The determination of the meaning becames a highly subjective decision process that can be very easily mistranslated based upon someone’s opinion of what they think it means. I hope you understand the problem. You see I for one believe after searching the Bible for the occurrences of these words that sometimes they did it right and a few times I believe they did wrong. Uh oh!
Gen 1:27 So God created Adam (man) in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Look at verse 27 and see what changes if I change the one word. “So God created Adam in his image, in the image of God created he him, male and female created he them”. Thre was nothing that super dramatic that changed. Was it completely different, not really. The original said “man” my modified version said “Adam”. But since they are the same word in the Hebrew which one is right? Verse 27 actually contains a major contradiction, riddle or puzzle. Did you notice it? It said at first God created him, and then it says God created them. We really haven’t gotten to the creation of the woman even though she is clearly mentioned for the first time in this verse. As we get into chapter 2 of Genesis we will begin to see that chapter 2 is really just a more in depth look at some specifics that occurred in chapter 1. Chapter 2 is simply a more detailed account of the creation event using new information given to us and a more in depth look at some very new huge subjects such as God’s definition of family and marriage.
Getting back to the puzzle of verse 27 what is the solution to the contradiction? This is why I believe the word should be “Adam”. When God created the male and the female God called both of their name “Adam”. It use to be common practice in our world for women to take the name of their husbands so that they were both called by the same name. When we get to chapter 2 of Genesis we will see why more clearly. So why did God call both of them Adam? Maybe we should stop and ask, did God call them both Adam? There is actually a confirming scripture that says this later in Genesis. Look at this verse in Genesis 5:2:
Genesis 5:2 Male and female created He them; and blessed them, and called their name “Adam” in the day that they were created.
It is truly amazing what the Bible says when you can see it and put the pieces together. This verse is speaking directly about the cretion account we just read about in Genesis 1:27 but this time it is worded correctly and stated accurately. The translotors had no choice but to make it this word based upon context. If they would only understood this more clearly I believe that they would corrected what they had already done in chapter one. What caused them to make this verse Adam and the other one man? In this verse there is the direct association of this word being both of their “names”. These are the kind of little quirky things that you just need to become aware of when you read and study the Bible. The translators were men and they sometimes made mistakes. Every Bible translation has some problems, but there are none that can’t be solved by you studying. God Bless!
(ver 2.6) This is “Part 1” in a series of advanced Bible lessons on the study of hidden spiritual subjects found in Genesis 3. In this lesson I am going to confront a popular misconception and misunderstanding found in the chapter. Was there a literal talking natural snake in the Garden of Eden? Did a naturally created snake approach, walk up to, or slither up to Adam and Eve and start a conversation with them to deceive them? I’m sure most of you have seen the paintings of the temptation, the naked man and woman holding an apple with the snake creature nearby. We’ve all heard this story taught this way in Sunday School as a child. However, is this what the Bible really says? Must we take every scripture, verse and word literally in the Bible? What if God intended the verse to hide a greater spiritual meaning? If so, then how would we know when to take something inspired by the most intelligent Spirit literally in the Bible and when to view it as only a symbolic reference, a figurative expression or even as a figure of speech? Please don’t misunderstand what I am saying. There are literal statements and stories in the Bible. The Genesis 3:1 account is a very true and real story of what actually happened during the fall of man. We just need to begin to understand what was actually given to us to read.
Too many Christians want to take everything written by God completely and totally as if the Bible was written in a school text book style with every truth obviously presented in a straightforward and plain ordered bullet point or numbered manner. But the problem is that the Bible is not a textbook and it contains many, many hidden mysteries, puzzles and concealed truths that are not self-evident on a surface only reading of the text. You can also find there are truths written on the same subject anywhere in the Bible from front to back, cover to cover, Genesis to Revelation. The Holy Bible is written in a multitude of literary styles by around 40 different men that were given the words by God to write for us to read, study and learn from. God purposely hid many of these truths, not from us, but for us to find (Prov 25:2). So here is the divine challenge, how does God encode secrets for someone to find without using a standard encryption system that makes the text totally useless? The government encrypts information to keep it out of the hands of other enemy governments. Web sites encrypt credit card and customer information to keep it out of the hands of hackers and criminals. What we can learn from this principle is that God obviously had an enemy that was trying to steal information and use it against us. Therefore, I believe based upon scripture that God has encoded within the natural text message a spiritual message within so that He could reveal it by His Spirit in us His people at the appropriate time, which I believe is now. I call this technique, God hiding the truth in plain sight.
THE CREATED SET CALLED BEASTS OF THE FIELD!
So the question remains was there a literal physical talking snake in the garden of Eden? I’ll have to tell you right now that there is absolutely no way based upon rightly understanding scriptures that I have found in the Bible that there was a physical talking snake in the garden. You can clearly see where I stand upon this issue so let’s find out why I am a firm believer in this. Here is what the beginning of Genesis 3:1 says to us, read it very carefully and then I’ll explain it.
Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field that the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
I am only going to be focusing on the first phrase of the verse in this Bible lesson. But I did give the entire verse to help avoid criticism from those that would like to criticize and find fault. Let’s begin by doing some close analysis of the exact wording or phrasing of this initial statement “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field that the Lord God had made”. You should be able to understand from reading the entire verse that the primary subject of the verse is a “serpent”. This Hebrew word is H5175 and does mean “a snake” in the literal definition and this is why people begin to believe that God is speaking of a literal talking snake in Genesis 3. This Hebrew word being translated as “serpent” is used 31 times in the Old Testament and is found in 28 verses with 5 references being found within 5 verses of Genesis 3. But let’s change the perspective in order to see the characteristics of this “serpent” being described by God and maybe this new knowledge will begin to change how we think.
Now observe that this “serpent” is stated to be more subtle than “any beast” of the field that the Lord God had created. I want to focus upon the Hebrew word H6175 which is translated as “subtle” in Genesis 3:1. The Hebrew word translated as subtle means “cunning” in an evil, negative or bad manner. The ESV and NASB versions of the Bible translated this word as “crafty”. The CEV Bible translated it as “sneaky”. The Young’s Literal Bible translate it as “subtile”. This Hebrew word is clearly represents an evil connotation being applied to this class of being labeled or named as the “serpent”. Right there that should raise some red flags in our minds to teach us something that is very important. How did God create every beast (living) animal on this planet? Didn’t God create the beast of the field and say that they were all “good” in Genesis 1:25 and “very good” in Genesis 1:31? Good is not evil and very good is definitely not anything that is bad. There were no evil connotations placed upon any of the created beings found in Genesis 1, so that is something brand new for us to consider and learn from. It would contradict with Genesis 1 if this was a created literal snake in the Garden of Eden. I hope and pray that you can see that but we also need to learn what else this verse is saying or should I say is not saying.
This is what the Holy Spirit said to me when I studied the verse and it changed my entire perspective dramatically when I saw it and fully understood it. I read this verse and suddenly the still small voice of the Holy Spirit asked me this question, “Did you notice that didn’t say ‘other‘?”. Almost immediately I knew what He was asking me because of divine revelation. When I studied Geometry in High School, I remember a part of the class dealt with the subject of mathematical “sets” and “set theory”. Do you understand what a “set” is? A set is a grouping of related items. Let me give you a more complete definition of a set. A set is “a well defined collection of distinct objects. The objects that make up a set (also known as the elements or members of a set) can be anything: numbers, people, letters of the alphabet, other sets, and so on.” Within mathematical sets you can also have subsets. Then you can have multiple sets with some common or overlapping members that are in more than one set. For example, a set could be Animals, under that set could be a subset of mammals, under that set could be a subset of birds, fish, land animals and on and on. Each set or subset is a grouping of related items. In other words every member of the set has the same characteristics and can be easily identified as belonging to the group. So why did I just spend so much time going through all of that math explanation and set theory overview? Do you see it? Was the primary noun serpent of this sentence a created beast of the field that the Lord God declared a member of the set of created beings of the field defined by God to be very good? I’d like to ask you a question and I want you to consider it with great thought. What would change if God would have added the word “other” to the verse? Read this modified verse with the word other added and observe what changes:
Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any ‘OTHER’ beast of the field that the Lord God had made.
Now do you see it? What comprises the set “beasts of the field”? What are the members of that set? Beasts of the field would be the superset of all created animals, birds, reptiles, etc. Isn’t a natural and physical snake one of those beasts of the field that the Lord God has made? So what happens when you take out the word “other” like the verse really says. The logical conclusion has to be that the serpent was not a member of that category of the made or created creatures of the field. Let me teach it to you like this, if the adjective “any” is placed before the noun “Beasts” we have to conclude that there are no beasts omitted from this grouping. The Hebrew term (H3605) translated as the English word”Any” is an “all inclusive” statement that omits none of them. The Hebrew word translated as “Any” literally means “All” or “EVERY”. By God NOT putting the word “Other” after the word “any” we know concretely that the referenced “serpent” in the beginning of the statement was not a member of that set of created living creatures. In other words, there was no physical literal created talking snake based just upon the correct reading, understanding and interpretation of this verse. I hope and pray that you understand basic logic and math laws and how they apply to the correct interpretation of the Word of God. God is a highly intelligent being and has designed and implemented the Bible using Laws that we must follow in order to correctly understand what is written.
NATURAL OR SUPERNATURAL TEMPTATION?
So let’s find some other scriptures that help us to confirm what God has just taught you by the omission of the word “other”. Here is one verse that I know most don’t immediately associate with Genesis, but it is related even though you’ve never seen it or applied it to what we have just read in Genesis 3:1.
1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation overtaken you but such as is common to man:
What is God’s primary subject that is occurring in the beginning of Genesis 3? What is the initial theme of Genesis 3? Some say that Genesis 3 is about the fall of Man, but what happened before that. Before the fall there was a state of everything being created good without sin on the earth. Then Satan appears and does what? Of course we are talking about the “temptation” of Adam and Eve by the serpent or Satan, right? So what did God just teach us about the subject of human “temptation” in 1 Corinthians? This is another law or principle of correct Bible interpretation, the Bible always interprets itself. So you must go and search the Bible for related scriptures that help to explain what is written in the Old Testament.
In 1 Corinthians God says every time we (humans) are tempted by the enemy (Satan) it is a common human occurrence. The Greek word that was translated as “common to man” is G442 and it means “after the manner of men”. In other words any satanic temptation is one that is a natural temptation, meaning it is NOT a supernatural temptation. Did you realize that according to what God has just written in His word that it is illegal for Satan to tempt you supernaturally? What is a supernatural temptation? That would be any temptation that did not occur naturally by created design or created laws or any temptation of a non-created material substance or nature. Have you ever seen a talking snake? If you can find me one I would love to see it and this would provide the evidence to support a literal talking snake in the garden being the tempter. Seeing talking snakes in the past and today would make this type of temptation a common occurrence for man. However, I’ve been to many zoos and if there were any talking snakes, I didn’t see them. No you see a talking snake would be a supernatural temptation, a non-common human temptation occurrence and that would cause God’s word in 1 Corinthians 10:13 to become a lie. Since God does not lie I have to conclude there was still no literal talking snake in the garden.
We can therefore reason with great confidence that a talking snake being a tempter would be an illegal supernatural act and if Satan can’t tempt you this way, then he can’t tempt Eve that way either. This scripture is an example of a universal truth. In other words this scripture applies across the board to every person in the human race at any given time within human history. There are some scriptures that only apply to the natural nation of Israel; there are some scriptures that only apply to men; there are some that written to only women; there are some that are written only to the church and others that are written to other groups or sets of people. However, there are also those scriptures like this one that will apply to everyone equally. This is a verse that is in the Universal set of Truth. These represent spiritual laws and God enforces these. The Bible says God watches over His words to perform them and this would be an example.
HOW DOES SATAN TEMPT SOMEONE TODAY?
Have you ever been tempted by Satan? Sure you have whether you admit it or not. How did he come to you and try to tempt you? Did Satan have to manifest himself in the body of an animal to tempt you? Of course he didn’t. Satan when he comes he speaks in your mind, by using your thought life to tempt you to do something that you shouldn’t, or to say something you that you shouldn’t, or whatever. If Satan tempted you this way, then he tempted Eve this way also. Do you think we can find any scripture to confirm this? Of course we can if we look:
2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty , so your minds be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
It is amazing what the Bible says when you look for it, understand it and apply it to Genesis 3 interpretation correctly. You see this verse is written to the church and it said Eve was deceived by the serpent, because of his trickery. But did you notice how he did it? This temptation occurred in Eve’s mind and it was not carried out by a talking supernatural snake in the garden. How can we further confirm this? Ask yourself was there ever any mention in Genesis 3 of Adam hearing the snakes voice? If you read closely you will observe that God rebukes Adam for hearkening to the voice of his wife and never mentions the voice of the serpent to Adam. Was not Adam standing next to Eve in the garden? If there was a literal talking snake present then there would have been an audible voice for Adam to also hear. I really believe that Bible need to learn to read and see what is there and what is not there and quit adding tot he words to make them say something that they do not say. We have just learned from God’s commentary on the story of Genesis 3 that whatever Satan said to Eve was a thought in her mind and this caused her to be deceived. Satan is still the same subtle deceiver today and he works and operates in the exact same way that he has always worked. He tries to deceive you through the same avenues of your mind. This verse clearly warns the church to watch their thoughts in order to keep Satan from corrupting their minds. That is why we are instructed in the Bible in this way:
2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imagination and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.
Apparently our minds are still the battle ground for the attacks of the enemy and we are responsible to police this mental realm and exercise our authority to keep the enemy out of there. Because preachers and teachers believe that Satan had to borrow the body of a physical snake in order to manifest himself in the earth, they think this is the only way he can communicate to you. We have clearly seen that this is not the case using the Bible. Eve was clearly deceived in her mind; you can also be deceived in your mind if you let him operate there. God tells us what to think on in the Bible, perhaps you should go and search for them and learn to keep only those things in your mind.
WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF SATAN ENTERED AN ANIMAL’S BODY?
I think now would be a good time to introduce you to another set of scriptures that is certainly related to our subject study. If Satan had to borrow the body of a literal physical snake in order to manifest himself to Adam and Eve, what would happen if he actually did this? According to the Bible it is not a positive outcome for the natural snake. You can see in the Gospel where Jesus when He walked the face of the earth and came across a man who was possessed of devils in Matthew 8. The devils started to talk to Jesus and asked Jesus if they could go into the bodies of the herd of swine that were nearby. Jesus said Go! The devils went out of the men and went into the nearby natural animals. Then what happened to the animals?
Mat 8:32 And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.
Apparently animals are aware when evil spirits enter into them. Did you see this? The animals were driven mad and committed suicide. After the suicide the evil spirits had no living bodies to possess, so they went about looking for another human to deceive. Did you learn anything from this story? Did you see how it applies to Genesis 3:1? Yes it is confirmed that a spirit being can enter into a body of even a snake but we must conclude from what was just presented that the snake would not have been a willing participant to the possession. God gives us clues like this in the Bible and we are required to put the clues together in order to understand what is being said. What we have learned is that even animals have a sensitivity to spiritual beings. Sometimes I think that animals are more sensitive than many people about pending disasters. Cats and dogs can sense earthquakes before they happen. Animals around the coast line ran to higher ground before the tsunami killed so many people a few years ago. Do not assume or think that any animal will just allow a devil to come into them and use them without them knowing about it. This is just another reason I do not believe there was a physical talking snake in the garden.
IS THE SERPENT LITERAL OR SYMBOLIC?
Now there is a major problem being presented for those who want to take every scripture literally. You see the problem is that the serpent must be a purely symbolic reference for a spiritual being that was not directly named or identified in the book of Genesis at all. You see I have been talking like you already knew that they serpent was Satan throughout this Bible study, but I have offered no Biblical proof to confirm this fact. How do we know that the “serpent” was Satan and not a literal talking created snake? I state the serpent was Satan based upon where else the serpent is mentioned in scriptures. God gives us the definition of the serpent in the last book of the Bible. You do understand that God is the author of the entire Bible, don’t you? You do understand that God can give new information for the same subject found in Genesis wherever He desires to, don’t you? You see God uses a symbolic serpent to describe Satan in several places in the Bible but I will only give you two verses that identifies the serpents real name to us very clearly:
Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, the old serpent called the Devil and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth and his angels were cast out with him.
Rev 20:2 And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years,
We can see from these verses in Revelation the true identity of the symbolic “old serpent” is revealed to us to be Satan, the deceiver. These verses also contain another symbolic reference and calls Satan the “great dragon”. Apparently Satan’s strength and ability has increased substantially as the symbolic dragon at the end to a level greater than he possessed at the beginning as the symbolic serpent. You can clearly see why God selected to use symbolic references in both places of the Bible. By comparing these two symbolic references we can gain additional information about this unseen spiritual enemy named Satan. What I am doing is attempting to teach you that God reveals the true identity of the symbolic “serpent” found in Genesis 3:1. You can see two times in Revelation 12:9 and Revelation 20:2 that the “serpent” is a symbolic reference for the devil called Satan. If the “serpent” is not literal here in these verses there is NO legitimate way for the “serpent” to be literal in Genesis either. So we just learned a valuable lesson, of why we can’t take everything in the Bible literally. We have also learned that we can’t study any book of the Bible independently in a vacuum. We must always use the Bible to interpret the Bible! We must see what God’s says about the subject we are studying in the Old Testament in the other places of the New Testament, because He always provides additional information, explanations and definitions that are critical for us to see in order to correctly understand what was being taught.
I have just given you at least 4 good reasons why the Bible says there was no literal physical talking snake in Genesis 3:1. These are not all of the reasons that I could have presented but there were enough reasons why I can say with great confidence that there was no physical talking snake in the Garden of Eden! I thank you for you time and comments. Be blessed in the Lord and continue in the pursuit of the knowledge of His Word. Until the next lesson please tell your friends about what you have learned from God.
If you would like to continue to read Genesis 3 “Part 2 – Does Eating Fruit Kill You” please click.
(Ver 1.2) Here is a topic that might raise a huge debate. Is the Bible hard to understand? Can you read the Bible cover to cover and know exactly everything that it says? There are many that I have heard who think that you can. However, I believe based upon the number of divisions, dominations, unbelievers and atheists in the world, it is clear that the Bible is very, very difficult to read and understand. So why is this such a delicate subject? I think it could be partially because there are so many people in the world that have learned something that they think is in the Bible and are holding fast to it like there is nothing else to learn. I see this all over church denominations, they learned something great a hundred years ago and they stopped learning. There is a famouse statement that applies to this discussion and it says “The greatest enemy to knowing the truth is believing that you alread do”. That statement precisely describes a great number of people in the world. God brings along someone new with a new revelation of something that He wants to teach His people, and we have idiotic denominations preaching these people are of the devil and saying they are all heretic teachers. If only they would be open and receptive enough to study and find out if it was true before they condemned it, most of them would have to change their minds and ask God to forgive them and then they would have to change what they are teaching. Pride causes many to fail this requirement quickly. No one wants to admit I was wrong please forgive me for what I use to teach.
So why is the Bible so difficult to understand? The Bible is a highly unique book written by over 50 different human authors in many different writing styles. But that is not what makes it so complex to understand for you see the entire book is really written by only one author and He is God. God used different men to write down what He wanted to say but it all goes together in harmony. So what is the difficulty? Here is a scripture that helps to explain at least part of the problem, if not the majority of the problem.
1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
There are some really strong words given to us here and this verse contains the primary reason why even many Christians don’t understand the Bible. You see this verse doesn’t say it is talking about an unsaved man, just a natural man. What is a natural man? If you look up the word it means one that is dominated by their senses. In touch with how they feel more than what they believe. The Bible speaks of a carnal mind being an enemy to the things of God (Romans 8:7). A carnal mind is a mind that is dominated by the flesh and not the spirit. So we begin to see a pattern to the problem. The unsaved world doesn’t have a clue that they are a spirit living temporarily in a human body so there is absolutely no way they would ever be able to understand the Bible. It is only after we let Jesus come into our hearts that we can begin to see and understand the Words of God.
So then what do Christians need to do to become more spiritual and less flesh dominated? That is another point of controversy but I’ll tell you what happened to me, because I can’t speak with any authority about what happened to you. I was saved, I believe as young child in Vacation Bible Schools and Christian Summer Camps. I was raised in a Christian home and my father was a pastor of several churches. However, as I grew up I drifted away from the things of God and became flesh dominated and controlled. I married and we had kids and finally through a series of events that occurred, God had my complete attention. I began to seek God for more of Him and started asking to be filled with His Spirit. Before, all of this I really never understood the Bible, didn’t like to read the Bible and didn’t care about anything that was in it. However, God answered my prayer and filled me with the Holy Spirit and all of sudden the Bible came to life and the words on the pages spoke with meaning, power and authority. A new awareness of God, a knowing God on a deeper level, an actual personal relationship with God occurred. So many people read the Bible to learn about God, when God really is more interested in them knowing Him first. So that was a quick testimony of my story and how God was able to change my heart and as a result while I don’t know everything, He has certainly been able to teach me a lot more than I use to know. God is capable of teaching you whatever you need to know, but the problem is not with God, the problem is always with us being able to change and receive from Him. It is a complex world we live in, we were created by a highly complex God who has developed complex rules and systems that He operates within. The idea of an omnipotent God that places limitations upon himself and what He can do, is probably offensive to many religious minded people. But, I didn’t create the systems, the rules, the guidelines, the laws that He imposes upon us and himself. We are required to figure out how He operates and change to fit His requirements, we should all know and understand, that God will not change to fit our requirements.
This was not a long lesson, but it requires a lot of humility and deep thought for the reader to see what is covered. I thank you for reading it and I pray you learned something from it. God Bless you and if there is anything that I can do leave me a comment and I will try to respond in a timely manner.
(Ver 1.1) We have arrived at the last day of creation, the last day of God’s work to create our current world system. We again see the law of Genesis being restated in the creation of the animals and the rest of the creatures that inhabit the earth. Everything on the earth produces after its own kind. Squirrels produce only squirrels, mice produce only mice, horses produce only horses, cattle produce only cattle, etc. It is very interesting to note that everything is completely created before man arrives. God has provided everything that man would have need of and there was nothing lacking. No there were no cities, houses, cars or roads, not even any computers or internet but God provided every raw material necessary for man to create all of these. It is also interesting to note that God created man to be an inverntor and a creator. Man does not create on the level of God, but we create, music, art, machines, tools, on and on. I’m sure God gave many these ideas for these great inventions and creations and maybe even helped them build them. But creating stuff is in man and no other creature possesses this feature to man’s creative degree. I’ve never seen a monkey paint a Mona Lisa.
We can see that God created everything that man would have need of physically, but spiritually would be another question. I don’t know how preachers can teach poverty and self sacrifice. It seems religious minded people have a tendency to look at a mother Theresa and think she is some kind of saint because she owns nothing. I personally think that is slap in the face of God who created everything for his creation to enjoy, to possess and to use. If God had not intended for man to have any of it, why would He have went to so much trouble of putting it here in the first place. If you have children and your two year old wants to play with a knife would you put it on the table and say leave that alone it’s not for you. Any two year old will forget quickly whatever they are told and pick that knife up and do whatever they want to with it. In order to keep somebody from having something that is harmful the best things to do is not to put it any where within their reach in the first place. So obviously God is smarter than parents if He thought wealth and riches were not good for His children because it would hurt them, the would He have put them here anyway? Do you see how idiotic people’s opinions can get? No you see in Revelation that heaven is paved with streets of Gold. That sounds like wealth to an extreme. It doesn’t sound like God thinks that wealth is harmful does it? Oh well let’s move on to another subject. Let’s skip down to verse 27 and look at the creation of man.
Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
I firmly believe that starting in verse 27 that the creation of man is a prophetic event signifying or prophesying the coming into maturity of the new creation of those in the church or those called the body of Christ. Man was the last part of the process of creation and if you want to get technical, woman was the actual last work of God’s creation process. Man was created and came into being at the end of the 6th day of creation. I believe that as the Bible says, that in the last days knowledge will increase and I believe that men and women in the church will again start to resemble their creator. Reading verse 27 we see the explicit statement that God created man in his image. What exactly does that mean to you? To me that means if you looked at Adam and Eve you would immediately think they look like God. Did you ever notice red headed parents normally produce children with red hair. Looking at the red headed children you can say they were made in the image of their parents. You immediately identify one from the other. You can look at one child and recognize the source or origin. That is what I believe God is prophesying about his church, we will finally be able to see a Christian and say wow! he looks like Jesus. God’s family resemblance should be there for all to see. There are several scriptures that I could include here but search your KJV Bible for words like “perfect”. This word is a little bit misleading because it means “mature”, “complete”, “fully grown”. There are several verses in the New Testament that ask us to wait for this perfect man to come and I believe the time is now.
Gen 1:20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
(Ver 1.1) According to Day 5 of creation, God caused the seas to fill with every type of fish and sea creature. During this time period we also see the fact that every type of bird is said to develop to fill the sky above the earth. It is interesting to note that I guess evolutionists seem to believe every animal on the planet originated from the sea. At least this is the way that I understood what they were saying. I do not profess to be an expert on evolution theory and whoever has studied it is of course no expert either, since they can’t prove anything they are saying. According to the Biblical record of the creator, the fish did come first, followed by the birds. But in no way does it say they evolved one from the other, in fact it declares the total opposite. I alluded to the law of Genesis when we discussed tree and plant life development. The law of Genesis says everything produces after its own kind. Every fish, bird, mammal, insect, reptile, or whatever, has within itself the ability to self sustain it’s own species. Each one has the ability to reproduce itself and to keep it going. Every species has the seed within itself to reproduce.
Using the study of DNA recent scientists have made a lot of discoveries. DNA is an extremely complex coded formula that dictates what a creature will become even before it starts to develop. There are no overlaps or DNA evolution between species that I know of concerning God’s creation. I know that humans contain a similar DNA characteristic to that of monkeys but on close examination they are completely different from that of a monkey Therefore a monkey will never be able to reproduce or to transition to the form of a human. They are just too different. DNA research using what is known as “mitochondrial” DNA has determined that all of the human race originated from a common woman they so appropriately have named “Eve”. I remember reading this in the News Paper several years ago. Of course they buried this information on one of the inside pages, but the result of the article was the conclusion that the Bible was more accurate than we thought. We didn’t come from monkeys, but rather from a single woman named “Eve”. Since that publication the world’s scientific atheists have done their best to explain away the findings. I pretty much just ignore their ramblings. I know the Bible is true, I know that it is the words of the one that created it all and therefore I would rather read the Bible than listen to the words of an ignorant man attempting to say there was no God involved.
I would like to be able to discuss the prophetic implications of these verses but, I have to be honest and say that I don’t know of any right now. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist, it just means I don’t know them. I do know that they early church used a symbol of a fish and this is an event that occurs on the early part of day 5. So if you can see any prophetic implications from Day 5 in how it would relate to the early church please let me know. I’ll be happy to learn.