Category Archives: Chapter 3
Genesis 3:14 – Was There a Literal Talking Serpent in the Garden? Pt 2
(Ver 1.2) This is now Part 10 in the Bible study series dedicated to understanding God’s spiritual subjects hidden beneath the natural words found in Genesis chapter 3. This is also a continuation of the first lesson in the series relating to the subject, “Genesis 3:1 – Was There a Talking Serpent in the Garden?” I taught on this first subject a long time ago but I was led not to publicly respond to an important question that I received concerning the meaning and application of what God says in Genesis 3:14 and how it relates to what was communicated to us by God in Genesis 3:1. Since I received the same question recently, I felt led to now publish the answer for everyone else to study. If you have not read “Part 1”, the introduction to the identity of the symbolic serpent to discover what the Spirit of God said about Genesis 3:1, I would recommend that you go back and read that lesson first before you continue on with this lesson. Reading the foundational basics will just help to affirm what the Spirit of God says to you today while providing additional context information found in the rest of the chapter. Also by reading this entire Genesis 3 lesson series you should be becoming spiritually aware of how many new subjects are found in this chapter. Not recognizing spiritual content within the natural word description Bible story is one of the greatest reasons why we have such diverse opinions to what the words mean today. That is why I have been teaching this series of lessons on Genesis 3 to help people think in a new spiritual way concerning the very specific words that the Spirit of God has inspired Moses to write in this chapter. This will probably be a long lesson with many new things to learn. I need to go into a level of additional detail in this lesson to help people see that reading Genesis 3 in isolation is a very easy way just to be confused.
WHAT ABOUT GENESIS 3:14?
I am now going to respond to the direct reader question “What about Genesis 3:14”? You see in the past there are has been so many Bible teachers within the Christian body that have taught concerning the existence of a literal talking snake in the garden which tempted Adam and Eve to sin that it is now difficult for anyone to accept any new revelation on the subject. This popular natural way of thinking and teaching promoted the creation of a commonly misunderstood physical interpretation which violates the information given to us by God in the Bible, the natural laws of creation and the mathematical laws of God. People often believe that God created these laws but then they do not believe that God chooses to live by them and I do not agree with that religious philosophy. That type of reasoning promotes a God that says “Do as I say but do not do as I do”. Man being made in the image and the likeness of God clearly must learn to follow and conform to His examples of behavior or we just fail in our own efforts. I believe firmly that man was created to be an imitator of God’s ways. Jesus clearly provided humans an example of this divine lifestyle in the natural when God appeared personally upon this planet. Our Christian belief of following God’s and Jesus’ examples has created the popular modern concept of “WWJD”. When humans are faced with challenging situations and circumstances they should stop and ask “What would Jesus Do”? I believe a Christian should act like Christ, look like Christ and speak like Christ and in doing these point others to Christ. You are free to disagree and not attempt to be like Christ.
This prominent teaching of a literal talking snake is also directly linked into the propagation of the many paintings of a naked man and women in the garden being pictured with a serpent in the tree performing the temptation to eat the forbidden fruit. This has been the prevalent traditional viewpoint of this chapter and people accept it today because it has been so frequently and widely taught. Everyone in the world telling you the same story over and over and us all hearing it told over and over causes people to accept it and believe it more easily, even if it was never true. I have learned this concept by observing what has been happening in the world in the last 50 year with the gay community message. 50 years ago gays were not accepted and even looked negatively upon for their poor choice in lifestyles. But during this time more and more gays have been opening up and “coming out of the closet” to proclaim themselves as being normal. TV and movies began introducing the subject in the 1970’s and now it is mainstream and widely preached. In the last 50 years gays have increasingly proclaimed their normalcy and demanded their acceptance and finally now the majority of the people in the world are buying into these lies to believe them as the truth. However, even if everyone is in full agreement with a belief, that does not change the belief to be a God inspired truth. Truth is only found in the Words of God. But only the Spirit of God can reveal to us His truth in His Word.
This teaching about the literal talking serpent is what I call a tradition of men taught by men based upon a man’s carnal human reasoning rather than the actual Biblical spiritual insight from God. We should become smart enough to see that none of these Bible teachers that teach on the subject of a literal talking snake can provide us with sufficient scriptures to back up their belief. The Bible very clearly says to let every word be established in the mouths of two or three witnesses (Mat 18:16, 2 Cor 13:1). That means we need at least one other reference apart from Genesis 3 where an actual serpent speaks to tempt a human in order to embrace that concept fully. Can you search your Bible and find one for me? God has established specific rules for rightly dividing the Word of Truth and not knowing these rules or choosing to ignore them will result in a chaos random Bible interpretation where any interpretation is truth. We need to become wiser Christians verifying what people teach, applying the correct rules and not accepting blindly anything just because they said it (Acts 17:11). That is what I want you to do with everything that I am going to say today. You analyze it closely with the information found only in the Bible and if you don’t see it like I said it, then that is fine with me, don’t believe it.
What God has shown me is that there was no literal talking snake in the garden. There are two primary reasons why many Christians do not see what is written by God in the Bible and one is that they think totally natural ignoring the spiritual elements of application or two they do not know how to study the Bible from a God spiritual author perspective. I am going to address both of these situations today in this lesson. My goal today is to teach you to think spiritually concerning Genesis 3:14. You may not yet understand that thinking carnally is different than thinking spiritually but if you continue to read with an open mind you should be able to make the transition. Carnally dominated people think that if they cannot see it, touch it, feel it, hear it, smell it or taste it, then they believe that it is not a reality or a state of truth. In thinking this way they believe that spiritual things do not exist or that natural things are superior to spiritual things. Carnal thinkers are totally dominated by the 5 sense realm. Spiritual thinkers are more influenced with the Spirit of God, the Word of God and the unseen spiritual realm. Being spiritually dominated versus being naturally dominated should become your goal today even if you do not understand it yet.
Ask yourself if natural things take precedence and priority over the spiritual things in your life? Maybe I’ll help you, is eating natural food a bigger priority than eating God’s spiritual food from the Bible? God says very clearly that “the unseen spiritual things are literally more important and permanent than anything observable here in this natural universe”. That was my paraphrase of a verse found in 2 Corinthians 4:18. Since all natural things were created by a Spirit (John 4:24) it should be self-evident that the spiritual realm pre-existed everything that is natural and therefore the spiritual realm is greater by definition. What does it mean to be greater? Is the created automobile greater than the manufacturer or is the manufacturer of the automobile superior to the created automobile? If the manufacturer was broken the automobile could not fix it, but if the automobile was broken clearly the manufacturer could certainly repair it. I think you get my point that only the Spirit of God can fix a human to see His superior spiritual ways. Let’s go and begin the study of Genesis 3:14.
ANALYZING GENESIS 3:14 – GOD SPEAKS TO THE SERPENT
I want to begin this part of the Bible lesson by giving you the key Bible verse in question. This Bible verse is easily misunderstood and commonly misapplied. To remedy this problem we will be analyzing the words carefully in three distinct phrases using the Bible to define what the statements mean. Allowing the Bible to render the interpretation will remove our opinions to what we have read discovering what God was speaking about in the verse to begin with. God does not leave us helplessly guessing to what He has written. God places so many clues in plain sight that it is amazing how we do not see them. To correctly determine the verse’s interpretation using God’s methods, I need to give you a list of the basic rules for interpreting and understanding any verse found in the Old Testament. These rules of correct Bible interpretation will take us out of the realm of unstructured random Bible study placing sound organization within the realm of intelligent constraints and these learned laws will provide order and structure to our Bible study methods. I follow these rules whether I tell you about them or not. But by me teaching you how these rules work, you will gain great benefit for how you study the Bible in the future. I will also tell you that these rules of interpretation were given to me by the Spirit of God and I did not learn them from human teachers, so they may not agree with your seminary version of interpretation rules.
As you read this verse please allow the words to be fresh and new ignoring what you have heard about them in the past. I say this because many times people need to remember that everyone was once taught that the earth was flat until some brave people like Columbus and Magellan proved this was clearly not an accurate truth. To allow a round earth truth to become a fresh new normally accepted reality those that believed in the flat earth theory so firmly had to release their corrupted viewpoint in order to see the new. This is what will also need to occur today with what God will teach you in this lesson. It would even be good for you to stop and say a prayer before you start reading God’s Word and ask Him to allow you to see how He sees the words. Only by changing to look at the Bible from God’s point of view can we begin to see the truth from the author’s perspective and not a skewed human viewpoint or opinion. Are you ready to begin?
- Gen 3:14 The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life.
This verse begins with the LORD God speaking directly to the stated serpent. This “serpent” is the same being that was introduced to the reader in verse 1 because God repeats the same Hebrew word H5175 in both verses. This Hebrew word occurs 5 times in this chapter and this mention in verse 14 is the last time God uses the word in this chapter. The other word references are found in Genesis 3:1, 2, 4 and 13. The Hebrew word H5175 by Strong’s definition means a “literal snake”. But is that what this word is really referring to in this chapter? How do we know when to take a word to be literal versus making it a figurative or symbolic representation for something else? That is the answer that we will seek in God’s Word and I hope and pray that you are ready to learn how to do this. I will mention briefly that the only other time this Hebrew word for snake is mentioned in the book of Genesis is when it is found in a prophecy spoken by Jacob about his sons. It would be good for us to stop and take a look at how God used this word there to potentially apply that knowledge to what we are reading in Genesis 3:
- Gen 49:17 Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward.
I must ask you, is this mention of a serpent a literal snake or a figurative representation? Does the son of Jacob named Dan change or transform into a literal serpent? It would be extremely ignorant to think that this is a literal prophetic statement. Why then do people believe the serpent in Genesis 3 which is the exact same Hebrew word must be literal also? It is interesting to note that if we consistently interpret every H5175 word occurrence in Genesis as being symbolic that this would further match the 5 serpent references that are found in the book of Revelation which I believe are equally all symbolic for the same creature. I also find it very interesting that the tribe of Dan is never mentioned in the book of Revelation when the other 11 are clearly named in chapter 7. Just thought I would throw that fact in for you to consider since Dan is prophesied to be a serpent in Genesis 49. Let us look at the definition of this word given to us by Strong:
- From H5172; a snake (from its hiss): – serpent.
In the definition of the Hebrew word H5175, Strong defines it to be a snake and never mentions that this word could be used figuratively and I believe that was an oversight on his part since we clearly saw in Genesis 49 that this word was used this way in relation with the prophecy to describe Dan. Then further notice that this definition includes the sound that a literal snake makes as a “hiss”. I found that part of the definition to be an extreme contradiction to what was just recorded in this chapter 3 of Genesis by God. Nowhere in this chapter is this serpent ever hissing before or after the fall of man. This hissing sound is based upon the Hebrew root word and we will get to that soon but it also corresponds to the modern or present day noise that a literal snake makes and that does not conform to what is witnessed occurring in Genesis 3. This is where too many people try to come up with creative unstated explanations for what they believe must have occurred. These people automatically assume that snakes could talk before the fall but after the fall serpents were reduced to hissing sounds only. I call that a work of fiction based upon imaginative suppositions. Perhaps it will be good to review the first verses of Genesis 3 and learn the sounds the serpent is stated to have made:
- Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which 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?
- Gen 3:2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
- Gen 3:3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
- Gen 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
- Gen 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
This described serpent in Genesis 3 is clearly speaking with extreme intelligent terms using logical and informed reasoning with plainly understandable word statements in verses 1 through 5. Not only can the serpent think clearly and talk perceptively, but this being can hear and understand the women’s responses and communicate back with her on a level that is clearly above her. Believe me I am not saying that the woman was stupid; I believe she is very intelligent but this being must be far above her level of understanding if he is able to deceive her so easily. I want you to go back and notice that the serpent knew what God had said to Adam in verse 1 where there was no mention of a serpent being present during this discussion in chapter 2. How is that even possible? We must conclude from this information that the serpent was either present but not mentioned in Genesis 2 or that the serpent heard about this event from another source that was present and that only included the stated participants God and Adam. Based upon Bible information given about Satan either one of these could have occurred. For example take the story of Job the oldest book of the Bible. In this book Satan appears before God to discuss a human named Job and this story is very relevant to what we need to understand about what is given to us concerning Adam and Eve.
- Job 1:7 And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
I want you to notice certain facts given to us about Satan in this verse. The name Satan means “adversary” or “enemy” and this clearly denotes Satan’s position at this time to not be a friend of God. Yet, Satan has just come from the earth in order to have a conversation with God. We therefore know that God and Satan talk and even communicate about human events. This could be the way that Satan found out about Adam’s conversation with God in Genesis 2. However the last part of this verse also applies to Genesis since Satan is walking about the earth even though there is no mention of him being seen by the human man named Job. Since Job knows nothing about Satan what would make you think Adam knew anything about him either? Satan very clearly walks the earth after the fall of man in the book of Job, could this be the way that Satan found out about the conversation in Genesis 2? I believe it could be. Adam was clearly given the task to guard and protect the garden before the fall of man occurred and this had to be guarding it from an external being like Satan since he is the only being that appeared on the scene in chapter 3 to deceive his wife. Since the first 5 verses occur before the fall of man, this proves that Satan had access on the earth before the fall as well as after the fall of man.
What we have just discovered is that Satan has great ability to communicate with beings even with an extreme intelligent being like God the creator and this means him speaking with a man or a woman on the earth is probably more like child’s play than speaking with God where he is clearly the child. Regardless of how Satan knew of the conversation the fact remains that this stated Genesis 3 serpent being had great knowledge of past events with outstanding memory recall abilities and that is very important to understand who you are dealing with. Satan has been here on the earth for at least the last 6000 years and you have been here probably far less than a100 years. Who do you think knows more you are him?
These facts found in Genesis 3:1-5 would appear to me to be a direct contradiction to what God says in the Bible in chapters 1 and 2 of Genesis if this is a literal snake. All the land animals were created on the first part of day 6 of creation before man was created last as the culmination of all of God’s creation. So would that order of creation make the animals supreme to the man because they were first? Or did God leave all of His creation in the hands of the supreme last created beings as I believe occurred? God says that man was created to have dominion which means to rule and have authority over ALL of the animals in Genesis 1:26. I do not see how a lower created being could have been fashioned to be smarter than God’s man made in the image and likeness of God himself. I do not recall any other being that was made to be like God in Genesis 1 or 2. I also recall no other recorded conversation between God and any other created being. Both of those are major problems for those who believe in a literal talking snake that deceives Eve. We are already discovering some very significant inconsistencies in what is being defined and stated versus what is being taught by many preachers and teachers in the church today. This is a very good time to dig deeper into the Hebrew word definition translated as “serpent” to discover what else is contained within this word. This Hebrew word H5175 comes from the Hebrew root word H5172 and that is a very important new word to learn and apply to what is being communicated to us by God here in Genesis 3.
- A primitive root; properly to hiss, that is, whisper a (magic) spell; generally to prognosticate: – X certainly, divine, enchanter, (use) X enchantment, learn by experience, X indeed, diligently observe.
This Hebrew root word contains the meaning of a “prognosticator”. Do you know what that is? That is someone who foretells the future. This is what many would call a fortune teller who speaks words about forthcoming events in your life. Do these still exist today? Are they still talking snakes? Let’s go back and review the conversation that the woman had in the first 5 verses again using this new information. Do you recall what the serpent said to the woman? The serpent begins the conversation with a question to engage her mind. The serpent asked “Did God say?” The serpent’s question in verse 1 includes a stated connection back to what God said in chapter two as previously stated in this lesson. Then when the woman responded to that question in verses 2 and 3 the serpent responds back in verse 4 “No, you shall not surely die”. Didn’t the serpent just attempt to foretell the woman’s future with this statement? I find that fact very significant to know. Then in verse 5 the serpent makes a claim that is beyond comprehension. The serpent claims to know what God knows. How could a created inferior being on the earth even come close to knowing what the creator God knows and how would the created superior man and woman not know the same thing or even other greater truths that God shared in personal conversations with them? Of course many people will counter this information that I just stated with the fact that Jesus claimed the devil was the father of lies (John 8:44) and therefore the serpent was lying in all of these statements. But using that logic just made this serpent the same as the devil and not a literal talking snake, so which one is it? You can’t have it both ways even though some have tried to claim the devil possessed the physical body of a created serpent in order to communicate with the woman and I gave you New Testament evidence that this would be an illegal supernatural temptation for the devil to do it this way. I’m not going to repeat that again. So far we have at least three possible interpretations given for the identity of the serpent by Bible teachers and these are:
- A literal talking snake (A NATURAL ONLY INTERPRETATION)
- The devil possessing a literal snake with the devil doing the speaking (A COMBINED NATURAL WITH SPIRITUAL INTEPRETATION)
- The devil in the spirit realm talking to the mind of Eve (A SPIRITUAL ONLY INTERPRETATION)
So far I believe that the evidence being presented by God in the Bible dictates that the serpent can only be number 3, but number 2 can be easily beleived by many to be the truth also until you put all of the pieces of the puzzle together correctly and see that this is not possible. Number 1 is definitely out of the question but we will explore more of why this is not possible also. What are the facts presented to us so far?
- We know the serpent is smart and possesses great intelligence.
- We know that the serpent had recall of past events even when not stated to be present during the occurrence of them. We know the serpent knew what God had said in previous conversations with Adam.
- We know that the serpent can remember, think and reason.
- We know that the serpent can speak clearly understandable words.
- We know that the serpent predicts the future speaking of events that have not transpired whether they are completely accurate or fictitious is really irrelevant to the facts given.
- We know from verse 1 in Genesis 3 that the serpent is very cunning.
There is at least one recorded conversation between man and God in chapter 2. God’s voice is also described to be walking with man in the garden in Genesis 3:8. This description clearly makes it sound like it was not the first time that this voice of God walked there since Adam and Eve both recognized Him being present. But up until this point in Genesis 3 I want you to see clearly that there have been no recorded conversations between a serpent and God, yet this creature is clearly more informed than the man and the woman to know how to deceive them.
I really hope you have read the entire Genesis 3 series of lessons because I’m not going to repeat them here. I did one lesson on the subject “You shall be as God Knowing Good and Evil” and that was a prophecy of misfortune but yet it would still come to pass. This statement literally contains the implied knowledge that the serpent understood the current status of God. All of this information is a direct contradiction for a literal snake to know how to speak, to know the status of God and His thoughts or to even predict the future of the woman. This is a major problem for a literal only interpretation yet it is explained away because of what people think that Genesis 3:14 says.
Please review the definition for the Hebrew root word H5172 again and see how it was defined. It is stated to be a literal hiss but then it is directly tied into someone whispering a chant or a magic spell. This changes the word’s usage from a literal hiss sound to become a potential figurative or symbolic word application. Do you have any clue yet how Satan communicates to you every day? Did you even know that the serpent is still speaking to people like you and I every day? Doesn’t Satan still come to us using whispered subtle phrases? Aren’t these whispered words of temptation picked up by your mind so that you can hear them as thoughts? Satan will come to your mind and whisper a thought to entice you and many respond to this mental stimulus, even Christians. The reader of this chapter can still ignore all of this information and try to take these initial verse statements of Genesis 3:1-5 and 3:13 and 14 literally. Many people will still try to think that God was speaking to a literal created being that thinks and talks like a man no matter what I teach to the contrary. But if those that want to see what the Bible really says they should begin to weigh the growing evidence for how this serpent was just a symbolic named reference for the hidden spiritual being named Satan who was not yet revealed to man. But we need more Bible verses to confirm which viewpoint is the truth and that is the objective today for us to find. Let’s continue analyzing the phrases in Genesis 3:14 and see the next stated expression.
- “Because you have done this, Cursed are you more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field;”
Again in this next statement of Genesis 3:14 we can see a common theme reappearing from Genesis 3:1 in that the serpent is similarly compared to the “cattle” a subset of the beasts of the field and then God compares the serpent to the superset of “all the beasts of the field”. We should easily know that a literal serpent is not from the livestock mammal class of beings so that is pretty simple to understand that the serpent does not belong in that set or class of created beings. But again in this verse we see the word ALL being placed in front of the noun set of the “beasts of the field” to qualify the applicable scope of the statement. Since “ANY”, “EVERY” and “ALL” are synonymous terms and they mean none are omitted from the specified set of referenced nouns we know by this statement made by God alone that the specified serpent is not a member of the “beast of the field” superset or class of created beings either. This is not rocket science but people ignore the words on the page to render what they want them to say. God chose these words so it is very important for you not to ignore one word like “all” because it does not conform to what you think it needs to say. Let’s move on to the last controversial statement that was made by God to the serpent and explore this for the remainder of the Bible lesson:
- “On your belly you will go, And dust you will eat All the days of your life;”
People still look at this last statement in verse 14 wondering what it means. In fact that is exactly what initiated this entire Bible lesson and why I am attempting to respond to two different commenters. God says in the last part of the verse that the serpent will travel on its belly and eat dust. Here is where people again begin to jump to erroneous assumptions and wrong conclusions misunderstanding and misapplying what was actually stated. Because everyone knows that has seen a literal modern snake at the zoo or in their yard that they slither on the ground on their bellies as the primary way to get around they therefore assume that this is what God was declaring to happen. Thus they believe that God was talking to a literal snake and this is where they become more creative again to imagine or invent some new unstated explanation of what God just said in His Word. I have heard more than one preacher try to claim that the serpent before the curse walked using legs but after the curse his legs were removed and now he had to slither in the dust on its belly. That is the required logic that must have transpired for a literal interpretation. But, that type of belief or reasoning is based upon a form of reverse evolution. Reverse evolution occurs when a higher formed creature returns, regresses, reverts or mutates backwards to a lesser or inferior form of creation. This belief is the stated antithesis of the theory of “evolution” also taught as the “evolving” of lesser beings classes that are raised to a higher state of development class by some unknown miracle. I have a major problem with believing in either of those two theoretical scenarios since there is no written evidence or fossil evidence that either of these theories ever occurred. If there were walking snakes before the fall then there should be some fossil evidence for them found somewhere on the earth. Instead of thinking on these words from a completely natural perspective inventing creative untruths to confirm them, let’s divert our attention away and try to see the words from a new spiritual point of view. We can only counter theories with facts. We therefore need facts from the Bible that trump the reverse evolution belief.
Do you understand what symbolism is in the Bible? I have already tried to explain that the “serpent” was a symbolic reference to a spiritual being named Satan as revealed by God in Revelation. God uses vast amounts of symbolism in the book of Revelation but yet people like to think that God never used symbolism anywhere else in the Bible especially in Genesis. Suddenly people want to think that God changes to do something new in Revelation and uses a novel technique never before used in the Bible. But that is clearly not sound reasoning to think that way. For example, Jesus taught consistently in the Gospels using parables. What is a parable? A parable is a lesson about spiritual things using natural symbolic references to convey the message. Clearly Jesus used natural symbols and I could give you other uses of symbols in the Bible if you do not believe me ask me a question and I will supply you with an introduction to the subject found in the O.T. and even in Genesis.
There is another important concept that is related directly to symbolism found in the Bible called a “figure of speech”. Do you understand what a figure of speech represents? I’ll not go into this in depth but I will attempt to give you a couple of examples of a figure of speech to help affirm the conclusion. If a person today says “You are a pain in my neck”, was he saying something literally or figuratively? I believe you are smart enough to know that this is a figurative description of the person and not a literal one. You can see God using this illustrated type of speaking example in the Bible several times when He says to the natural people of Israel “Wipe them out or they will become thorns in your side” (Num 33:55, Jos 23:13, Jdg 2:3). You see God was not speaking to Israel literally so He must have been declaring a figurative statement that they should have been smart enough to recognize. What is a thorn in your side? That is just an example of someone who causes you physical, mental or emotional harm or causes you to stumble over something that results in physical, mental or emotional harm. In these three Bible examples that I just gave you, God was saying these people will introduce you to their idols and by you worshiping them these people will cause you great negative consequences. That is exactly what God was doing in Genesis 3:14 when speaking to the symbolic serpent. God was not telling the serpent that he just lost his legs; He was saying something else which you do not even yet understand.
RULES FOR O.T. BIBLE INTERPRETATION
How can we find the meaning of these figurative and symbolic words in the Old Testament? How do we understand any verse written in the Old Testament if the Jews could read them all for centuries but never saw any of the words that described Jesus’ coming? These are finally great questions to answer. Please allow me to introduce you to some very basic rules for O.T. Bible interpretation and understanding. Read these rules over and then I’ll explain them and apply them more completely as we continue into the rest of the Bible study:
We can only understand the O.T by:
- First understanding that the Bible is ONE BOOK written by ONE AUTHOR with superior intelligence (2 Tim 3:16)! Therefore, we must not study one part of the Bible trying to understand it while ignoring the other parts of the Bible that reveal it.
- Secondarily understanding that the Bible interprets itself and we need not add our opinion to the mix or we will violate God’s law of correct interpretation found in 2 Peter 1:20.
- Next understanding the revelations, explanation and descriptions of the words, concepts and subjects found in the verses in the New Testament. The Bible is progressive revelation also called the unveiling, the uncovering or the revelation of the truth (Rom 16:25).
- Searching, finding and observing God’s definitions of the words and subjects in the New Testament and other parts of the Bible where they are given (Col 1:26).
- Observing the context of the verses around it.
- Observing God’s usage of the same Hebrew words in the other verses of the O.T.
- Looking up the definitions of the Hebrew words in dictionaries like Strong’s.
That is certainly not an exhaustive list of rules for correct O.T. Bible interpretation but that was enough to help get you started moving in the right direction for studying this part of the Bible. I have just given you a short “to do” list for O.T. Bible study. This is a list of items to consider when desiring to know what you are reading from the Old Testament. These are very specific things that you should not ignore but rather learn, apply and deliberate on while you read the Bible. These are very direct items that are essential for studying to find God’s revealed answers to your questions. These are the basic rules that I follow and I will apply them directly to the rest of this lesson to teach you how you should apply them to what you do. Not understanding them and applying them is the primary reason why many Christians do not know what the words on the pages mean. They simply have not been taught how to resolve the lack of structure for how they study the Bible. I hope that you at least try to use this initial list and see how it changes what you find in the Bible. If you find them to not be useful, then that does not bother me but it might reveal why we believe differently about the same verse. Let’s study the verse here in Genesis 3:14 using these rules and see what develops and changes about what we can see in the verse.
I will say that rule number 1 is a general statement of fact and truth. It is repeated in more detail in rules 2, 3 and 4. The combination of the first four rules is us finding God’s details and interpretations already recorded in the Bible. We do this these through other rules that I may or may not get into fully in this lesson. I just mention this because I know them and you probably do not unless you have read most of my other Bible lessons where I give you descriptions in certain places on how to use them. I’m sorry I just can’t teach everything that I know in every Bible lesson or I would never get a lesson completed.
RULES 1 AND 2: ALLOWING GOD TO INTERPRET HIS WORD
I want to begin with rules 1 and 2 of every sound Bible interpretation. We must allow God the author of the entire Bible to interpret His own words in order to leave our thoughts out of the meanings. God’s mind is superior to my mind and yours. When we introduce the thoughts of our mind into the discussion we introduce an inferior process and way of thinking. I have discovered from many years of Bible study that God is smart enough to interpret His own writings if we can become smart enough to learn how to find them and apply them. That is your number one challenge being issued within the Word of God. Go find the verses that explain the verse that you want to learn about in the Old Testament. That is what we need to do next so let’s go looking for some New Testament explanatory words for what we have read in Genesis 3:14.
RULES 3 & 4: WHAT DOES THE NEW TESTAMENT TEACH ABOUT SERPENTS?
Since someone was questioning if the serpent in Genesis 3 was literal or symbolic we need to ask what does the New Testament say about “serpents” and how should these references be applied to this question concerning Genesis 3? Can you see that I have already answered a portion of this question in the previous lessons in the series? I pointed you to two verses in Revelation (Rev 12:9 & Rev 20:2) where God directly identifies and names the “old serpent” and the “ancient serpent” to be the literal enemy Satan. This was a God inspired definition that was further mentioned within the context of another symbolic name for the same individual called the “dragon” and that truth helps to teach us that the serpent and the dragon are both symbolic titles for Satan. We need to treat both referenced titles of the serpent and the dragon to be equivalent for the literal spiritual being named Satan. There are also other references to a serpent in Revelation and one is found in Revelation 9:19 where God uses this same word to be like something else. This fact teaches us that God is in the practice of using a serpent as symbolism to teach us about spiritual things that we have never observed with our eyes. The next reference that I gave was that of Revelation 12:9 but also in this same chapter God uses the serpent again as symbolism to be associated with a symbolic woman also mentioned in the same chapter. I hope that you have already read my Bible study on Genesis 3:15 called “The Seed of the Woman and the Seed of the Serpent”. If not you really do not understand that Genesis 3:15 and Revelation 12 are parallel prophecies of a soon coming future event.
If you continue to read down in Revelation 12 to verse 14 you will see the woman and a serpent being mentioned in the same verse. I’m not going to elaborate on these, just understand that they are both symbolic for someone else. In the very next verse Revelation 12:15 you will find the fifth reference in Revelation to a serpent. In this verse you should be smart enough to see that this serpent is again a symbolic reference and he is stated to spew symbolic water out of his mouth like a flood to cause the woman to be carried away by the flow. I really do not have the time to teach this chapter in full. Just understand that the woman and the serpent are both clear symbols for a greater defined spiritual reality and God is for the woman and against the serpent. We also know that the woman is not named or identified directly but the serpent was and that is what we were searching for to understand Genesis 3:14. This is just very basic information that helps us to confirm that the serpent in Genesis 3:1 through 3:14 was not a literal reference but rather also a symbolic association.
The term “serpent” is only mentioned in 15 verses of the KJV New Testament. Only once can it possibly be considered to be a literal created serpent moving on the ground. Let me give you all of these verses so that you can review them for yourself to learn how God uses the term:
|Matthew 7:10||Symbolic||Referenced by Jesus in a teaching about Father giving the Holy Spirit|
|Matthew 10:16||Symbolic||Referenced by Jesus in a teaching to His disciples about them being wise as a serpent but harmless has doves both symbolic references|
|Matthew 23:33||Symbolic/Figurative Speaking||Jesus speaking the leaders of Israel calling them a generation of vipers.|
|Mark 16:18||Symbolic||Jesus instructing the disciples after His resurrection often called the Great Commission|
|Luke 10:19||Symbolic||Jesus speaking in contextual reference to Satan giving authority to His church to tread on the serpent|
|Luke 11:11||Symbolic||Jesus speaking to the church about the Father in Heaven giving the Holy Spirit|
|John 3:14||Symbolic||Reference to O.T. symbol being placed on a pole by Moses|
|1 Cor 10:9||Symbolic/Literal||Possibly a reference to either or both a symbolic and literal snakes killing Israeli people in the wilderness who disobeyed God|
|2 Cor 11:3||Symbolic||An explanatory reference written about Eve being deceived in her mind by the serpent|
|James 3:7||Literal||Here James is using a reference to taming created animals and creatures but this is a totally different Greek word than all the other references to a serpent. This one is G2062 and is translated as “creeping thing” every other time in the N.T.|
|Rev 9:19||Symbolic||Used by God to describe the 4 angels that kill 1/3 of the human race during the tribulation|
|Rev 12:9||Symbolic||Verse where God identifies Satan to be the serpent of old|
|Rev 12:14||Symbolic||Symbolic connection of the woman and the serpent found in Genesis 3:15|
|Rev 12:15||Symbolic||Symbolic connection of the woman and the serpent in Genesis 3:15|
|Rev 20:2||Symbolic||God again clarifies the identity of the ancient serpent to be Satan|
I just gave you 14 verses containing the direct references to the Greek word G3789 translated as “serpent” and the evidence is very clear to me that the vast majority of the N.T. word usage must be considered as symbolic references to a spiritual being. The only verse that I could possibly leave to be a natural snake was 1 Corinthians 10:19 when God was describing what occurred to the natural people of Israel in the wilderness after they disobeyed God. Every other reference appears to be a symbol for Satan and the enemy of God. I can still see how people could argue about some verses being literal but that is probably because they do not see what is stated. For example the 2 times that Jesus speaks about a father giving his son a serpent when the son asks for a fish is definitely an example of a parable where all named nouns represent a spiritual reality not named. The literal symbol of a snake in these verses is used by Jesus to teach a spiritual lesson. Then consider John 3:14 where the serpent was placed on a pole to bring healing to the people of Israel in the wilderness. This is clearly another symbolic representation for Christ being made sin for the salvation of His people in the New Testament. I do not know how you can ignore all of this evidence? If the New Testament references are 13 out of 14 for the “serpent” being symbolic in the N.T. then this teaches us that we must consider this information and apply it to what we are trying to understand in the Old Testament. God would not have given us so many clear examples if we were supposed to not understand them. So if you did not realize it already, I have just used the first four rules of O.T. Bible interpretation to discover the explanation, definition and identity of the “serpent” in Genesis 3.
I would also like to teach you a basic Bible fact that the O.T. was written in Hebrew and the N.T. was written in Greek. How then do we know that a N.T. Greek word is equivalent to a given O.T. Hebrew word? That is another Bible interpretation rule that needs to be learned and observed. There are generally two ways to solve this language difference problem. The first primary way is to find an O.T. verse that is quoted in the N.T. that contains the word that you are searching for. Since the “serpent” word is not found in this manner we must use plan B. Plan B is finding a verse that speaks about the subjects found in the O.T. even though it is not a direct quote. Since 2 Corinthians 11:3 contains the subjects of Eve and the serpent together we can confirm conclusively that the Greek Word G3789 is equivalent to the Hebrew word H5175. We are now assured by rule definition that these verses found in the N.T. are speaking to us about the same subject given by the author in Genesis 3. That was a very important part of the study that I just gave you. I did not use random chance to connect O.T. words with N.T. words. I used rule based methods that were designed by God and that changes everything.
RULE 5: WHAT IS THE CONTEXT OF GENESIS 3:14?
Let’s move on to rule number five for correct Bible interpretation. This rule involves us observing the context of the verse in question. This would include the speakers, the participants and the intended reader audience. Let’s begin this section of study by observing the next verse 15 following Genesis 3:14 because I believe this is very relevant information. I have already published a Bible study on this subject that you should have previously read but if not we will go back over parts of it very quickly. The statement in verse 15 is a continuation of the statement in verse 14, do you understand this? Therefore whatever God was talking about in verse 14 is still being continued in verse 15. I cannot disconnect the two verses and neither can you if you use wisdom. God is still speaking to the same symbolic serpent but God is now introducing a new important connection for the serpent. I’ll give you the verse so that you can read it again for a mental refresher:
- Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
God introduces us to a woman in verse 15 that He declares to be the serpent’s new forthcoming or prophetical enemy. God says very clearly I will put enmity (hostility or hatred) between you (the serpent) and her (the woman). Right there that new statement should become a mental “turn on the light bulb moment” clue for you that this stated serpent is not a literal physical talking snake. Yes women are not the usual friends with natural snakes but that is clearly not what God is saying in this prophesy. You do realize that this statement was a prophetical statement, don’t you? Eve was the only literal physical woman present during this conversation, therefore you must show me where she ever stepped on the head of this physical snake to bruise her heal or bruise the literal serpent’s head. Since you cannot find a verse that states this occurred, that is a major problem for a physical or literal snake’s existence as being cursed by God in verse 14. A physical serpent’s life span in this day and age is less than 50 years by far. Therefore this event if it was a literal snake must have occurred during a time span of reasonable age less than the life time of the woman in this chapter. Since it was not recorded as a past event we must now reassess if a literal snake makes any logical sense at all anywhere in this chapter.
No God is again speaking purely prophetically and figuratively in verse 15 using natural symbols for a coming spiritual event. The woman is symbolic, the seed is symbolic, the heel is symbolic and therefore the serpent must also be symbolic along with the head of the serpent. If you can find me where any literal woman, heel or seed steps on the head of any literal snake to bruise it then we can all join together into the same belief that this is a literal historic account of literal beings. I believe what we have just confirmed is that verse 15 is symbolic and matches what I previously showed you to be symbolic references in Revelation 12. If the context of Genesis 3:15 is both prophetic and symbolic, then the previous verse 14 references must also be prophetic and symbolic and that changes most everyone’s way of viewing it. This means in verse 14 the serpent is symbolic, the belly of the serpent is symbolic and even the dust is symbolic for some things that you have not yet discovered. Who knows if I have convinced anyone yet, but we are not finished with the study so please continue to read the next important Bible interpretation rule application.
RULE 6: HOW DOES GOD USE THIS PHRASE IN OTHER O.T. VERSES?
Let’s review what else God says about this subject in the Hebrew Old Testament to consider the further usage of the words found in Genesis 3:14. We are interested primarily in what God says about a serpent eating dust so I did a search for these key words and found a verse that you must read and apply to what was stated by God in Genesis 3:14. Obviously God knew that He would have many people that would not understand His selection of the words in Genesis 3:14 so He uses them again to teach us what they mean later in another prophet’s words. Read this verse slowly and carefully and observe it to be a prophecy on the same subject:
- Mic 7:17 They shall lick the dust like a serpent, they shall move out of their holes like worms of the earth: they shall be afraid of the LORD our God, and shall fear because of thee.
I need you to examine this verse word by word and then if you don’t know the answers to my questions go and read the context of this verse to see who God is speaking to and about. I guess I was going to first ask you who and what this verse is concerning but I better just answer it for you so you learn how to do this. If you go back to Micah 1:1 you will find God informing the prophet Micah concerning the kings of Judah concerning the area of Samaria and the city of Jerusalem. Therefore the rest of this book is written by that direction and must be interpreted in that light. When God writes to them and tells them in chapter 7 verse 17 that they will lick the dust like a serpent, is that literal or is that figuratively speaking terminology? I can see how people will try to make it literal but God is speaking to men using symbolic application. I connected this verse in Micah to Genesis by looking for “serpent” and “dust” together in the same verse. God uses a synonymous reference for eating with the term lick but they are basically equivalent phrasings. I can very clearly eat an ice cream cone by licking it. Let’s pursue another example of God’s usage of this term in another prophet’s writing:
- Isa 65:25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.
Here is another important verse to consider for us understanding Genesis 3:14. Here is a verse written by the prophet Isaiah literally many hundreds of years after the prophet Moses wrote Genesis and this verse contains the exact same three Hebrew words that Moses used in the Genesis text. These words are H6083 translated as “dust”, H398 translated as “eat” or “meat” and finally H5175 translated as “serpent”. The translators made a slight modification so that the one word “eat” from Genesis 3:14 is not easily recognizable but that is why I searched using the Strong’s numbers and not the English words. Did you read this verse and consider how it applies to Genesis 3:14? Is the verse in Isaiah speaking literally or figuratively? I also want to ask you is this statement a historical past tense description, a present tense right now (at the time of the writing) description or a prophetical future tense based event description? I can potentially hear many different answers to my question but only one answer can be correct. Since this is the prophet Isaiah writing many, many years after Moses wrote Genesis 3:14 and both are speaking of the same thing I cannot agree that this occurred in past history in Genesis 3. No, I see both statements in Genesis 3 and Isaiah 65 to be written about a future coming prophetic event that has not yet occurred. If you do not agree then explain to my when you ever saw a lamb lie down with a lamb and dwell in peace and safety? For that matter when was the last time you saw a wolf eat straw regularly? Then analyze the last part of this verse and tell me when this has occurred in the Bible? God describes that His Holy Mountain will never again be destroyed nor will there be found any hurt or pain present there? I just don’t have the time to explain this verse fully. Please know that this has not yet occurred and will not occur until the end of Revelation the last chapters. Then know that if this verse is a future speaking prophecy it helps us to understand how Genesis 3:14 is concerning the same prophecy.
I want you to understand very clearly that Isaiah 65:2 and Genesis 3:14 are the only two verses in the entire Old Testament (23,145 verses) that contains these three exact Hebrew words together. Do you believe that was a coincidence or a chance occurrence? I really do not believe that. God has placed a design in the Bible using extreme intelligence. He has implement certain rules of interpretation that are being revealed now to help us through the use of computers to find the meanings of what was written thousands of years ago.
Since I have already used Rule 7 in previous discussions of the Hebrew word for “serpent” I will not redo that work in this part of the lesson. I pray that you understand how I applied the definition of the word in Strong’s and the Hebrew root word to the lesson to show how it was used symbolically. I have covered the application of seven Bible rules of interpretation. We have explored New Testament references and definitions and applied them to what was spoken of by God in Genesis 3:14. We have looked at the context of Genesis 3:14 to see that it was both prophetic and symbolic. We have looked for and found other verses in the O.T. to further confirm this was also a prophesy found in Genesis 3:14. What I have attempted to do is to teach you that the words of a verse in Genesis can have a much different intended purpose by God than a literal only interpretation. I have used sound rules to give you a new and different way of seeing the words. I may have not fully explained what the words “upon your belly you shall go and eat dust all the days of your life” mean but I have tried to teach that God does offer a way to learn what they mean by searching the Bible. If you still do not understand we can do more lessons later on this subject of the symbolic serpent if you ask direct questions about what I have presented to you. From everything that I have found so far in the Bible there is only evidence given by God to support a symbolic reference for the serpent in Genesis 3 to be Satan and not a literal talking snake. I thank you for taking the time to read this advanced Bible study lesson and please help others to see what God has said in His Word.
Gen 3:15 The Seed of the Woman! The Seed of the Serpent!
(Ver 2.6) This is Part 9 in the Bible study series on Understanding Genesis 3. If you have not read the series from the beginning you might benefit from starting at the beginning and reading “Part 1” first. I have given some important key points in the first lesson in the series that is needed for you to understand this lesson completely. This lesson concerns the words spoken to the serpent and you need to understand who this serpent is identified to be in order to understand how to interpret these words in this verse. One of the keywords in my title today is the subject of “seeds”. I have already touched on this subject in other Bible lessons that I have published, but since we are studying in Genesis 3, I feel that this needs to be discussed again so that people will understand it more thoroughly. It is disturbing to me how people can read the Bible and not see what it really says. In my opinion there are too many Christians that don’t have a clue what the Bible actually says. There is a great number of Christians who rely on others to tell them what to believe. If their preacher says it’s true then they are instantly on board with it without studying it for themselves. That kind of attitude has caused a bunch of people in the church to be deceived. Do not believe anything I say or anything anyone else says without you reading it in your own Bible and you seeing it for yourself; you must be able to determine if it is really true for yourself and no one else can do it for you. Here is today’s central Bible verse found in Genesis 3, let’s look at it carefully and consider what God says to us:
Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
From the context of this scripture we know that God is speaking. This verse occurs after the man and his wife had sinned by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God is speaking to each participant in the ordeal in the reverse order of mention found in the chapter. If you read all of chapter 3 you will see that Satan (the serpent) is mentioned first, then the woman and finally Adam. But, God comes to the man first, since he is supposed to be in charge of the situation. Did you know if you are just a member of a church that God will not come to you and tell you how to run the church? God always communicates from the top down and not from the bottom up. I just threw that in for good measure; there is no extra charge for any new information that helps you personally. So if you look at this verse God is finally speaking directly to Satan who has initiated the problem. We know that in Chapter 3 of Genesis Satan is referred to in the terms of a symbolic “serpent”. That only means that there was not a literal talking physical snake in the garden during this chapter. If you don’t understand that statement you need to read my lesson on the subject called “Was There A Talking Snake In The Garden“. In that lesson I gave at least 4 sound Bible reasons why there could not be a literal talking serpent. I will not repeat that subject in this lesson to try to prove to you what I have already taught and confirmed with the Bible. If you do not understand there wasn’t a talking physical snake then go and read about it and then come back to study this subject about the seed of the woman. So we can see that God is speaking directly to Satan in reference to a woman. If you automatically try to assume that this woman is Eve, you would be totally wrong. Even though at this point in time Eve is the only physical woman on the planet, we can clearly see that God is speaking of a prophetic woman and this woman has to be a spiritual woman, since Satan is her spiritual opponent. A physical woman is not capable of stepping on the head of a spiritual being. If you think so, you would be wrong again. There are too many distinct differences between natural things and spiritual things for you to think otherwise. Let us start an analysis of the verse by reviewing the nouns in this verse and see what God has said to us. We can see that there are 8 primary nouns given to us in this verse. Here they are in order of mention:
- I (God)
- Thee (Satan, the serpent)
- Seed of the serpent
- Seed of the woman
If you look at my list and you study the verse you might notice that I left off two nouns. One being “it” and the other being “his”. These I believe are mistranslated words and do not reflect correctly the true meaning of the verse so I left them off for now. The first noun in Genesis 3:15 is “I” and this is God and God tells us and all the other participants what He was going to do as a result of their actions. This is the first thing that you should recognize, if God says something you can believe it will happen exactly like He said it would. We can see that this is one of the first direct statements of God’s plan of redemption that has far reaching implications. You can also see that this is God’s Will in action. God says “I will” and then tells you what He is going to do or make happen. Now, here is a list of the important verbs found in the sentence:
We can see that there are far fewer verbs given than there are nouns. Let’s start with the verse’s first verb “put”. We can clearly see that this is something that God says He will do. This word has a meaning “to place”. For example, you can “put” something on a shelf. You can “put” something in the refrigerator. But this verse says God will put something between two other direct nouns. The implication is given that God will change the order of something from one thing to another. You could say a reversal of roles, for example? You could also say this is a division or a separation of one noun from the other noun being separated with something in between. You might see this more clearly if you read my other blogs. What we need to do at this point is see who God is talking to and then to see what was placed between them to cause this separation.
Let’s start by looking at the second noun in Genesis 3:15 and this is “enmity” and this word clearly means “a hatred” or “hostility”. These are words normally between enemies. What we can clearly see at this point is that God says that He will put ”hatred” between the next two nouns. These nouns are of course the “serpent” and the “woman”. You can clearly see that God who has not identified who the woman is, has told Satan that there will be a hatred between him and her. In other words these two will become great enemies who will do battle. These are implied meanings derived from the chosen words and wording from this verse given to us by God Himself. Please note these important items and then notice the next two nouns in the verse. God seems to shift into talking about something new, or does He? I believe what we have here is a new point of view being given but, God is still talking about the same original two nouns. Notice what God says, I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed. So did God change subjects? We are still talking about the same enmity, right? So what makes you think that the “seed” of the serpent is separate from the serpent? Have you ever thought about that? You see if you logically conclude that the enmity is the same between the serpent and the woman as the enmity between the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman, then you could say that God is still talking about the same two individuals. Let’s look at the very first verse in the Bible that talks about “seed” and see what it reveals to us by the law of first mention:
Gen 1:11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
What we discover is a basic principle of the nature of seeds. A seed is something that when planted produces something else. But it only produces, based upon the law of Genesis “after his kind“. In other words apple seeds produce apple trees and not orange trees. Now here is the really important part of the verse, it says that the “seed is in itself”. In other words you cannot separate the seed from the tree or the fruit; they are considered to be one. An apple tree will produce apples, that have seeds that when planted will cause there to be more apple trees that produce more apples, that have more seeds that go on and on. These are the basic Bible laws surrounding seeds. If you do not understand them you can go read my blog series on “Understanding Seeds”. The principles of seeds are quite simple but the implications are vast and complex. If Genesis 3:15 is talking about the seed of the serpent, you have to go back to Genesis 1 and apply the seed law principles and see that they are considered to be one in the same. The seed of the serpent is in himself. The serpent is representative of a spiritual tree that has fruit with seeds in it. These seeds can be planted and will cause to multiply and grow and become greater in number. Yet this multiplication system still demands that no matter how many that are produced from it, they all originated from the one. If you have never studied the Bible on the subject of “seed” you should because it is a wealth of information. Most everything that God does is based upon a seed principle. Jesus told us a parable of a man sowing seeds and said if you don’t understand this one you will not understand any other.
So let’s go a little further with what a seed is in the relationship to a woman. If you search the Bible you will find some very interesting statements. I’ve heard preachers get up and declare that the “seed of the woman” is Jesus of Nazareth. That would mean that the woman in Genesis 3:15 would have to be Mary. Mary was the physical mother of natural Jesus, yes? Did God ever put enmity between Mary and Satan? I think you are smart enough to see that this does not fit the scriptures that we can read. Then you could say that “the seed of the woman” is Jesus Christ who was raised from the dead and called the firstborn from the dead (Col 1:18). That would mean the woman in Genesis 3:15 is the “Heavenly Jerusalem” who we are told is the spiritual mother of Jesus Christ and the church (Gal 4:26) and I hope you can see that this doesn’t work either. God never put enmity between this woman and Satan. So the seed of the woman cannot be Jesus just from thinking logically along these lines. Before we go any further let me show you a verse in Genesis that I think is the first actual reference to a woman having seed. This will at least establish that a woman can have seed. I’ve heard many ministers say that a woman cannot have seed and that only a man or male has seed and they are thinking of sperm as being the only type of seed there is in the Bible. What people don’t realize is there are many different types of things in the Bible all called seeds. Here is just one of them:
Gen 4:25 And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.
Hopefully you can see from this verse of scripture a principle being established. A child that is born of a woman is called her seed. Eve is called the mother of all living human beings since she was the first woman. Given modern DNA research, most have concluded that every human being has originated from this one woman they called “Eve”. This is a basic implementation of the seed principle from Genesis 1. But of course it is more complex than that. Adam and Eve were one flesh, meaning they were one body in the eyes of God. Adam’s sperm or male seed was implanted into his wife, she bore him a child and this child was also their seed. This seed has the potential to reproduce after the original pattern and produce more seed; it is an endless perpetual self-sustaining model of life on this planet. But we know that no matter how many seed are produced, they are still considered to be one with the original model from whom they originated from. Whatever Adam did everyone he produced did, it is a very extensive spiritual and physical law. The sum of the whole is always equal to one. All of the separate and individual parts are still one in the same in the eyes of God. You can learn this principle in the N.T. by reading 1 Corinthians 15:22, where God says “For as in Adam ALL die…”. Did you notice that verse said you were “IN” Adam? That is the powerful concept of the seed being in itself. That means whatever Adam did you also did and that is why death passed upon all humanity by the acts of just one man. This is God’s definition of the natural seed always being within itself, whatever your father did, you did principle. Let me give you another N.T. example of this spiritual and physical seed law:
Heb 7:9 And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham.
Did you notice that Levi was in Abraham? Whatever Abraham did was what his future descendant Levi, also did. So when did Levi come into the earth? You should look at the genealogies given to us in the Bible and see that Levi was generations away from Abraham, yet Abraham paid tithes and therefore Levi paid tithes. We can confirm this by reading the next verse in Hebrews:
Heb 7:10 For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him.
Hopefully you understand the principle of seeds a little bit better now. Levi is said to have paid tithes because his great grandfather paid tithes to Melchisedec. Levi a future descendant was in Abraham and therefore whatever Abraham did, Levi did. That is one of the most important things that you can learn from our lesson today and it is certainly indirectly related to our primary subject of who the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent is in Genesis 3:15.
So let’s approach the subject of the seed of the woman as being Jesus Christ but, from a different perspective. If the seed of the woman is Jesus Christ then who is the seed of the serpent? We know the serpent is Satan, but who is the seed of the serpent? You see you cannot say one type of seed is an individual male child without saying the other is also an individual male child. You must be consistent in your interpretations and not try to make one noun a specific object type and then try to change the definition of the other identical noun to make it to be something else entirely new, do you get it? So if Jesus Christ is the seed of the woman in Genesis 3:15 as many preachers have said, then who can the seed of the serpent be? I do hope you see the logic behind that question. What the Bible says matters, every word and every detail matters and then how you interpret the Bible also matters. If you are not being consistent and treating every word the same, then you are being selective in what you teach and therefore getting it wrong by default. So pay very close attention to every detail; then ask questions. When you read across a detail that you do not understand, start to formulate questions and make notes on them. You never know when you will be reading a verse in the Bible and suddenly realize that you just read the answer to your question you had a few days or weeks ago. So I hope you can see logically that the seed of the woman cannot be Jesus Christ, because we have not named the “seed of the serpent”. Here is another difficulty that I have with saying that Jesus is the seed of the woman, I have not found any verses in the Bible that says that Jesus bruised the head of the serpent. Can you find one? What I discovered in studying the Bible, is that it says Jesus sat down at the right hand of God waiting for His enemies to be made His footstool (Hebrews 10:13). What we learn from this one verse is that Satan (God’s enemy) is not yet completely under the feet of Jesus. Do you get it? So what is God waiting for? So let me ask you again who is the seed of the serpent? Is this Satan’s physical child? I don’t think so. But you have to be consistent, if one seed is a man child you have to make the other seed the same. This is just a basic law of correct Bible interpretation, be consistent and apply what you do equally across the board to each occurrence of the word. If a word occurs twice in one verse interpret them equally.
Getting back to the problem with this KJV translation of Genesis 3:15 I alluded to the fact that two nouns “it” and “his” were mistranslated because some translators thought they were speaking about Jesus Christ and this idea crept into the translation. The word “it” in this verse is a Hebrew feminine word that is actually translated as “her” or “she” many times in the Bible. You can see that in Genesis 3:12 when Adam says “the woman that you gave me, SHE gave me of the tree”. This “SHE” is the same Hebrew word, so SHE is a valid translation for this word. Search your Bible and see it for yourself. Then the term “his heel” does not have an actual Hebrew word associated with it that tells you the actual gender of the owner of the heel. In other words “her heel” would work for this verse equally as well and I believe it could be a much better translation. It totally depends on whose heel we are talking about doesn’t it? Look at your Bible and see if these are true. Is there a Hebrew word for “his” that has a Strong’s definition? I couldn’t find one! So I am convinced based upon other scriptures in the Bible which I haven’t given you here that this verse in Genesis 3:15 should end like this: “she shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise her heel“.
If you need more scriptures I’ll give you a quick synopsis of more evidence from the Bible of who this woman is. In Luke 10:19 Jesus told his church “I give you power to tread upon serpents…“. Reading that verse you have all of the key elements and nouns repeated from Genesis 3:15. You have a woman, who is the church, you have the mention of the serpent who is Satan, and you then have the action verb of stepping on the serpent with your feet. This is just the exact same stuff that we read in Gen 3:15, using different words. I hope you can see it. Then there is another verse that is very critical to understand found in Romans 16:20, “The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly…“. Again we have a verse of scripture written to a woman (the Church) whose feet are to be used by God to bruise the head of Satan (the serpent).” You see, these two verses alone tell me that Jesus Christ did not accomplish this already and they confirm to me who is directly prophesied by God to complete this bruising of the serpent’s head. The Church is a spiritual woman, in covenant with Jesus Christ. Here is another perspective to consider, the church is called the “Body of Christ”. Jesus Christ is said to be the Head and the church is said to be His body (Eph 5). Where exactly are the feet located? Are your feet located on your head or on your body? So if God is going to use anyone to bruise the head of the serpent, would He not use His body? It’s not rocket science you just have to read and see what it says.
I have already blogged on most of the rest of this information when I gave you information about the woman in Revelation 12. Maybe I should rehash it again so that you can see it more clearly. You see the Bible in Revelation 12 speaks about a woman and since we are talking about a woman in Genesis 3:15 we should approach this woman as a potential candidate for the prophecy that God has given to us. You do not know it is not this woman do you? What I found absolutely fascinating was all of the clues given to us in Revelation 12 that fit the pattern of the prophecy in Genesis 3:15. First God is talking to the serpent when He prophecies in Gen 3. God actually reveals to us the true identity of the serpent in Revelation 12:9. Knowing this fact alone should give you some clues that God is revealing something that is much bigger in that Genesis 3 and Revelation 12 are related. You should be able to see that Genesis 3 and Revelation 12 are closely related if you study both chapters very closely. In Revelation 12 we have two primary nouns being repeated. These two nouns are the woman and Satan (the ancient serpent). The dragon we are told in Revelation 12:9 is definitely the “old serpent” so we can now see that the woman certainly could be the same woman being prophesied about in Gen 3. Now skip down to the last verse in Revelation 12 and notice another direct mention that is certainly not a coincidence.
Rev 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
So now we have some information that the dragon hates the woman. The dragon is said to be at war with the woman and that makes him and her enemies. What did God say in Genesis 3:15? God said that he would put “enmity” between you (the serpent) and the woman. Again we see some amazing parallels being spoken of. Then here is the real kicker, did you notice that verse in Revelation 12 spoke of the “seed of the woman” again? Satan was at war with the woman’s seed. Do you understand that statement? It certainly sounds like this is the prophesied woman in Genesis 3:15. If you do not understand how the heel and the head of the serpent come into play you need to stop here and go and read my blog on “The True Identity of the Woman in Revelation 12“. Once you realize that the woman in Revelation 12 is standing on the moon with her feet you will begin to understand this is the woman that God spoke of way back in the beginning. I know this is different than anything you have ever heard before, but yet if you can read with your eyes open you will see that it is all true. I pray that this has been a blessing to you and that you will pass it along to someone who can learn from it also. God Bless.
If you would like to continue to read in this series concerning the spiritual subjects hidden in Genesis 3 please go to “Part 10“.
Gen 3:21 God Clothes Them With Coats of Skin!
(ver 1.2) This is Part 8 in the Bible study series on Understanding Genesis 3. I have been going through the key verses in Genesis 3 and bringing out many new spiritual perspectives based upon God’s explanations found in verses in other parts of the Bible. I do not do this randomly because I use a set of rules that God has taught me about correct Bible interpretation. I will try to teach you these rules later. If you have not read all of the Genesis 3 series from the beginning I would recommend that you go back and read from “Part 1“. I believe by looking for related linked scriptures in the Bible we have a better opportunity to fully understand what God actually meant when He gave us these original writings. I believe the Bible is progressive revelation. What I mean by that is that God systematically builds upon layers of knowledge in a structured manner that increases our understanding of the beginning words. It is like reading a basic math book before you ever try to learn calculus. By learning the basics you can then add to this knowledge and apply it to the more advanced and everything flows together in harmony. You see the complexity of the Bible is so great because the intelligence of the author is so far beyond us. But knowing that God is so much smarter than we are, He didn’t leave us in the dark to figure it out all on our own. God has provided us a vast amount of commentary in the Bible on every subject and in fact I believe He has given us all the information we need to figure out these hidden and secret things, if we learn to follow His Word.
Too many times people teach a verse of scripture in the Bible in total isolation. They focus into a verse and want to figure it out with their own human logic and reasoning. But, God being a highly intelligent spirit being doesn’t write us a book that we can figure out alone in isolation. Even though many men and women have tried, they have all failed miserably. Today I want to focus in on one verse found in Genesis and see what God says to us in the Bible about this verse. This verse occurs in Genesis 3:21 and it says the following:
Gen 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
I have heard many Bible teachers read this verse and claim that God killed an animal and used its skin to make for the man and the woman external physical clothes. They have tried to assume that this is the origination of the blood sacrifice. But I am not convinced that this is what the Bible actually says. What do we know from other verses up until this point in the story. We know that Adam and Eve after they had sinned became afraid and told God it was because they were naked. God confronts them and asks “who said you were naked?” In other words God did not say they were naked? From God’s perspective of the situation they were spirits clothed in a body. But what changed from chapter 2 where Adam and Eve were not ashamed of being naked to chapter 3 where they obviously felt shame and embarrassment. I went into a little bit of this whenever I wrote about them being naked in chapter 2. I will not repeat everything here again. What I said in synopsis is that the man and the woman were more like innocent children who are not concerned with clothing because they are spiritually aware and realize that they are spirits clothed with a body. At a certain age of accountability, children suddenly become conscious of their bodies more than they are conscious of their spirits. Now they are focused upon their bodies and wholly consumed with the natural. This is what happened to Adam and Eve, they are now oblivious to spiritual things and now consumed with natural things.
So did God kill an animal and make them clothes or was this statement reflecting some other action that God did. First let me start by asking this question, who or what were Adam and Eve that God was concerned with? You see if you think naturally you focus in on their bodies and think that is what God is focused in on also. However, God who made these natural things is not that concerned with the condition of these natural things like He is with the spiritual things. We can determine by reading the Bible that natural things are “temporal” or “temporary” (2 Cor 4:18). But, we are also told there that spiritual things are eternal. So what is more important to God, the temporary house of the man’s spirit or the man’s spirit that will live forever? I do so hope that you are following my logic. I believe and am convinced that God cares infinitely more about spiritual beings and things than he does about the planet or natural things that He has made. You see God can make a new heaven and a new earth and He will very soon. What does that have to say about the old heaven and the old earth? The Old will be gone and done away with and its value has ceased. So what should Christians be focused on? Should they be spending all their time and effort trying to save the whales and the trees or should they care infinitely more about the babies that are being aborted before they are born into this world. These babies are the bodies for the eternal spiritual beings that God has planned and sent to be here. For some reason so called Christian want to vote for a president who works against God’s design for them to be here and kill them. Liberal politicians want to place all value on saving the planet and no value on babies and that is a crime. Oh well I’ll change subjects and get back to our topic about skin.
What does it mean to be clothed with skin? If you have never thought of it before that is what you are right here and right now. You are a spirit that is clothed with a body that is covered with skin. Skin is the largest organ in the body. It is a vital part of why you are here. Now I’m going to shift gears again and bring in a new perspective on the subject of skin. Did you ever wonder why God initiated a practice with Abraham that started a process that is called circumcision? This is a practice that most educated medical professionals will agree is a sound procedure that promotes health in the men that have this done. Circumcision is a procedure that entails the removal of unnecessary skin. Have you ever asked yourself if this skin is so unnecessary, why did God put it there in the first place? Didn’t God know this when He was creating a man? That to me is an interesting and an extremely valid question. I would go so far as to say that anything that God does has a purpose and this skin also has a purpose. What was the purpose of this skin? It was done to show us something or teach us something that applies to the spiritual realm. When God makes a covenant with Abraham one of the signs of the covenant was Abraham was required to be circumcised. This was a outward sign of the covenant. It was also a pattern of something else that was to come. God gives us some insight into this practice in the New Testament:
Rom 2:28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
We can see from the subject of this verse a comparison is being made between two types of individuals. It is a known practice that the Jews have practiced circumcision ever since God spoke it to Abraham. This is the outward sign of the covenant from the Old Testament. But God now informs us some new things about this practice and why it was implemented. This verse actually says that those who are circumcised in their flesh are not the true Jews and that this outward practice means nothing except being a pattern to something greater. By continuing to read the next verse you will see the revelation of God being given:
Rom 2:29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
This is an awesome verse of truth if you can see it. It declares the church to be the true Jews because of a circumcision of their hearts that has been performed by God. If God removes the unnecessary skin surrounding our hearts (spirits), when did God put this skin on our hearts? I think that is a really good question to consider. God declares in Romans 2:29 that he has performed a circumcision of our hearts. This would be a spiritual surgical procedure which mimics the natural procedure, to remove all of the unnecessary skin that covered our spirits. This is actually an amazing concept being given to us. Since we all still have the same bodies that we had before we are saved and they all have the same bones, flesh, organs and skin, we can assume that this outward skin is not what God has taken away. It must have been an inward spiritual skin that was removed. Isn’t that what God is saying to us? God is not that concerned with your outward as you are. God is focused in on our inward parts and these are the areas that change us to affect the outward parts. Every spiritual process that God performs works from the inside out and not from the outside in. So I’ll ask this question again, where did this spiritual skin that has been removed from our spirits come from? You see I believe it came from Genesis 3:21 when God clothed them (the spirits) with skin. This skin that God put on Adam and Eve must have been a spiritual covering to shield them from something or someone. I believe it was a spiritual covering of unnecessary skin to keep them from knowing too much, too soon. Every human born on this planet has this spiritual covering that makes them unaware of their true identity as being a spiritual being.
However, now God has removed this skin covering from the church and for the last 2000 years, we are the ones that God has stated to know the truth. We are the ones that will discover all that God has done for us. We will see things of the spirit more clearly than anyone before us. We are the church, the body of Christ the ones that are purposely chosen to know what God is revealing. You can choose to participate or you can choose to close your eyes and stay out of this blessing. I’ll end this blog with this last point, in the New Testament the church is repeatedly commanded to “put on Christ”. This is of course a spiritual exercise and not a physical one. How do you put on Christ? The term put on means to be clothed with. Doesn’t that sound familiar. You see if God removed your spiritual clothing of skin you would be spiritually naked unless you put something else on. So God instructs the church to “wear” Jesus Christ as a garment. To invest your spirit with a new spiritual set of clothing. These are some powerful truths to consider and I hope that you enjoy studying the Bible as much as I do. Jesus informed us that if we continue in His word, then we would be his disciples and then we would know the truth and then the truth would set us free. Too many people are looking for God to do what He has already done. People cry out for God to set us free from this world of evil and temptation. But God said when you arrive at knowing the truth, then and only then will you be free from everything else. Apparently there is so much more to learn and understand to obtain this freedom.
If you would like to continue reading in the Bible study series on Understanding Genesis 3 please continue to “Part 9“.
Gen 3:22-24 Guarding The Way To The Tree of Life Pt 2
(Ver 2.1) This is Part 7 in a study series on the subject of Understanding Genesis 3. It is also a continuation of the last lesson concerning the Tree of Life introduced by God in Genesis 2 & 3. If you have not read the Genesis 3 lesson series from the beginning I might suggest that you go and start with verse 1 and read Part 1 first. If you have not read this current subject on the tree of life from the beginning I would suggest that you go and start with “Part 6” first before you study today’s lesson. Studying the Bible is one of the greatest challenges we will ever face in life, God who is a Spirit writes us a book about both natural and spiritual things and we have to be smart enough to discern which words are speaking of which. This is by far one of the greatest challenge and the trickiest methods that God has implemented in this Book to conceal the truth. You can clearly see that God calls spiritual things and natural things by the same name and that He rarely ever tells you which one He is talking about. In my last blog I introduced you to some more complex subjects found in the Bible. We began trying to figure out if the trees in the garden in Genesis 2 and 3, were physical fruit trees or were just symbolic representations of spiritual truths. I am a firm believer that these trees, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life were symbolic spiritual representations. I have a number of reasons for this logical deduction based upon many verses that I have already given to you and then some more we will discuss today. In my last lesson on this subject I also showed how that God places a Cherubim to guard the way to the tree of life and how God was not keeping the way from the man, but from another spiritual being, someone who was interested in obtaining its power and benefits. If you understand compass directions and reading maps you can understand what I showed you last time about the differences between east and west.
Next I also took you to Revelation and showed you in the last chapter the clear reference to the tree of life. It is funny how things from the beginning are repeated in the prophecies of the end. It seems to me that God must have wanted it (the tree of life) to play a major role in His plan if it ends up the way it started. We can see that this information found in Revelation 22 seems to imply we are that tree, that produces fruit and drinks from the river of life flowing from the throne of God, but that is my opinion. Today I want to go through other scriptures found in the Bible that describes this tree. These are the verses that represent God’s commentary on the subject so I place great value upon them. Hopefully we can, by searching the Bible see who or what this tree of life is and who God was keeping from it. If you search your Bible using your computer you will discover around 11 verses that contain a direct reference to this “tree of life”. These three words occur, four times in Genesis, three times in Revelation and four times in Proverbs. It is absolutely fascinating what these verses say to us. We will start with the last verse in the Bible about this tree.
Rev 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
In this verse that is written to the church it declares that those who keep God’s Words may have the right to the tree of life. The word “right” here is a very interesting word because it means authority, power, and liberty. But more than that, it can refer to someone who is a potentate, magistrate and superhuman. These are all terms of royal sovereignty and ruler ship; terms given to kings for example. I believe what God is saying is that He wants it to end how it started, but without the influence of evil. To me it goes along with Genesis where God said that Adam could stretch forth his hand (power) and take from the tree of life. God intended the man to eat from this tree of life from the beginning, but Adam made the wrong choice. Now let’s go to the first occurrence in Revelation and see what that verse says to us. Here we find Jesus speaking to the church:
Rev 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
You see some more valuable information given to us. Jesus is speaking directly to the church and He tells us, that whoever overcomes, to him will be given to eat from the tree of life. Overcoming implies an enemy or opposition force that is opposing us, trying to keep us from eating and partaking of that which was promised. The prize of winning this battle or contest appears to be us eating from this tree of life. That sure seems to be the reward for overcoming these evil forces of opposition. Finally, we see the location of this tree given again. This time it does not contain any reference to or is any way associated with the Garden of Eden. Even though we do not know the actual location of this tree of life we can clearly see its relationship being repeated with it being in the “middle” of the paradise of God. Adam, when God told him of this tree said it was in the middle of the garden. So what was this garden? Where is this paradise? What does it mean to be in the middle? I feel that the term middle could be a symbolic reference to someone who is well centered. Not into the extreme of this or that, but one that holds on to a well-balanced understanding of God’s Word. Of course this is my opinion again and I would hope that you can at least understand how I arrived at that opinion. I would also make this suggestion for you to consider, Jesus when asked about the Kingdom of God always told people it is not here and it is not there, but the Kingdom of God is within you. People wanted to focus on outward things and God wants us to focus on inward things. Inward things would be things associated with the heart and the spirit of man. Keep that in mind when trying to figure out where this paradise of God is located. I believe that God’s garden is within us. We are the garden of God that produces the precious fruit that God places such great value upon that He purchased it with His shed blood.
We can now move to the only other direct references in the Bible to the tree of life and these are found in the book of Proverbs. Proverbs was written by King Solomon and holds great understanding and wisdom from God. This book contains extremely valuable spiritual information about which we need to better understand. I’m going to start with a verse found in the 11th chapter and it goes like this:
Pro 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.
This verse speaks to us about fruit in relation to a tree of life. But did you notice where the fruit was and what type of fruit it is speaking about? The clear implication is given to us that this is a spiritual tree with spiritual fruit. The church is declared to be the righteous ones by faith, in the New Testament (Rom 10:10, 2 Cor 5:21), so we can claim this verse as applying to us directly with great confidence. If we are supposed to produce fruit unto God as it says in Romans 7:4, then what kind of fruit is this that God is looking for? We can clearly assume it is spiritual fruit and that spiritual fruit only grows on spiritual trees. This is the “fruit” of the righteous and this verse says this comes from a tree that has eternal life. I guess I paraphrased that verse a bit, but we will get there eventually so hang in there.
Pro 3:18 She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.
Here we have another verse which has great spiritual implications. This verse points us to the origin for the fruit that we are supposed to be producing. God’s words are declared to be the spiritual seeds of life. If planted in our hearts and watered correctly it will produce this spiritual fruit. In this verse in Proverbs God speaks about a woman who is symbolic of a spiritual force to be desired. This woman if you look at the context of the chapter is called “wisdom” and “understanding”. To have a sexual relationship with this woman is a covenant act of knowing her. God declares that by knowing “wisdom” and “understanding” you will participate in eating from the tree of life. It is a spiritual system of planting and reaping. God’s word contains all of the essential ingredients necessary to produce this tree of life. It actually says that by us knowing and understanding His word it would cause us to live and eat from the tree of life. But it really says more than that, it implies that we are the trees of life that produces the fruit for God’s glory. It is fascinating that we have read a couple of direct references to the tree of life and that these point us to spiritual things and not to any natural fruit trees in a physical garden. God did make the natural fruit trees, to help us to understand these spiritual concepts, but too many Bible teachers have ignored the spiritual things to focus only on the natural. Let’s continue in Proverbs to the next reference to this tree of life found in chapter 13:
Pro 13:12 Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.
Pro 13:13 Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.
Pro 13:14 The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.
Pro 13:15 Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.
These words again point us to spiritual things. In verse 12 it declares that “desire” is a tree of life. That to me is an interesting concept. If you look up this word in the Strong’s, we can learn that this word means “lust”. That implies there are certainly good and positive desires and things to lust after. Conversely it means there are bad or evil things that you should not desire to know or participate with. To lust after God and God’s Word are right desires that produce good results. By reading down to verse 14 we can see another reference to the waters of life that flow from God’s throne. These waters are again are God’s words and what He has spoken to us. So within the context of these verses we have a relationship established between the tree of life and God’s words. These are very awesome verses in Proverbs and we are at the last direct mention of the tree of life, given to us in chapter 15:
Pro 15:4 A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.
This is probably the most important of all the verses that we have seen so far on this subject. This verse informs us that the words coming out of our mouths produce this tree of life. You see just because God says something good for you in the Bible, does not mean that you have to accept it. You can say something totally opposite to what God has said and you will not benefit from what God has said in any way. What you say is far more important than what you can possibly imagine. What you say affects you personally more than it affects anyone else. What you say personally determines if you are saved or not. If you recall from another verse I gave in an earlier blog, also from Proverbs that says “death and life are in the power of the tongue” and then it says “those who love it will eat the fruit thereof”. We can clearly see that God has given us the choice to live or die based upon what we say. God’s spiritual system is a word based system. Everything that God has done has originated from His spoken words. God’s words have dominion over all other words, but yet they do not overrule the words that you speak. God’s words are ultimate truth, but your words are what are true for you. God does not force His will on anyone. Your will and your words rule your life and determine your destiny. The subject of words in the Bible is probably one of the most important subjects you can study and yet many ignore it and close their eyes to it. Just because you ignore the subject doesn’t mean your words are not working for or against you. The law of gravity works for you regardless of whether you understand it or not; if you do not believe in the law of gravity and step off a tall building you will find that your fall will be met with a disastrous end regardless of your beliefs. It is much better if you cooperate with the laws of nature than if you ignore them. This is the way of spiritual laws found in the Bible also. Be smart enough to learn about spiritual laws and then let them rule your life. Perhaps someday I will get into more depth on this subject of words in a future Blog. I hope that you have been challenged to see these spiritual subjects today in some new light and that they have become more real to your spirit. I have believe that I have given you sufficient evidence that the church is the ones who partake of the tree of life and produce fruit unto God. There are many, many more scriptures in the Bible that speak to this subject and further confirm what I have been attempting to say to you. If you can you should go and search for them and see what they say. God Bless!
If you would like to continue reading the Bible study series on Understanding Genesis 3 please continue to “Part 8“.
Gen 3:22-24 Guarding The Way To The Tree of Life!
(Ver 1.5) This is Part 6 of the Bible lesson series on Understanding Genesis 3. I am going to take this subject out of sequence and teach a 2 part Bible Study series on the Tree of Life first mentioned in Genesis 2. From reaching in this 3rd chapter of Genesis we discover the story of how Eve was deceived by the serpent into eating from the spiritual tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam then listened to his wife’s voice and he also ate from the same tree. The Bible says Adam was not deceived (1 Tim 2:14) so whatever he did was an intentional rebellious act of disobedience to commit sin. If you have ever studied the Bible, you know that God shows up on the scene and places curses on each party involved in Genesis 3 and I have not taught on these subjects yet. However, we know from scripture (1 Jn 4:12) that no man has ever seen God. This fact would include Adam or 1 John 4:12 is not a true statement from God. So how did God curse everyone without making himself visible to them? That is an interesting point to consider, but since it is not my subject today, I’ll leave it alone for your consideration. Now after Adam’s sin, we have the man and woman in covenant with Satan, the symbolic serpent of old. We can now get to today’s subject from Genesis, guarding the way to the tree of life. Who was God trying to keep from eating from the tree of life? You can make the logical conclusion that if God wanted to guard the way to the tree of life, there must have been someone who was greatly interested in it. You don’t place guards on your garbage piles so it must have been something of great value to someone. So, who was after this tree of life? What exactly is this tree of life? Why is it important to keep it safely out of the hands of someone? So many questions to consider? Let’ start with the 22nd verse of Genesis 3 and see what God says to us:
Gen 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
I’ve already addressed the 1st part of this verse in another blog so I will not rehash that part of the verse. It is just important to note that God says the man has become like Him, in covenant with good and evil. That is some very powerful information, and it helps give us some foundational information for why God came in the flesh. If you need more information, please go back and read the Blog on “Gen 3:5 You Shall Be As God Knowing Good and Evil!“. Now pay attention to how God ends that verse. God says “because the man might also eat from the tree of life and live forever…”. Then God abruptly stops talking. This is one of the only places in the Bible that I know of where God doesn’t finish His sentence or His thought. God stops talking and leaves us wondering what was He going to say? Based upon the creation account in Genesis 1, we can see that whatever God says happens, so I would venture to guess that God did not want what He was thinking to come to pass so He shut His mouth and stopped talking about it. But that is just my opinion on the verse. But, I do think that is a powerful lesson for us all to learn from.
Let’s briefly address whether this is a physical tree or a spiritual tree. If it was just a physical tree why couldn’t God have just cursed the tree like Jesus did with the fig tree in Mark and bam the tree would not be a problem anymore. You see I do not believe it is a physical tree, with physical fruit. In this verse God says that the man could have “put forth his hand” and taken from the tree. What does that reference invoke in your mind? Most would think that it is speaking of Adam’s physical hand reaching out and picking a natural apple from a natural fruit tree. But I do not believe this is what God is saying. The term “hand” is a reference to power and ability. Adam had the power and ability to eat from the tree even after they had eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The word hand is a very popular word in the Old Testament. It occurs over 1400 times. Many times it is used in reference to a individual’s power and ability. Here is just one example of this found in the book of Job. Satan is in conversation with God about Job and he makes this statement to God:
Job 1:11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.
You can see the reference here to God putting forth his hand. This is clearly the same terminology used in Genesis 3. Satan was telling God if he used his power to “touch” all that Job had, Satan thought that Job would curse God. Without getting into the story of Job, I will tell you that God did not take anything from Job. God did not hearken to the voice of his wife and do the wrong thing, like Adam did. What I want you to see is the reference that God has a hand that can be stretched forth. If the Spirit of God has a hand it must be spiritual. Just understand the difference between a spiritual hand and a physical hand and both are called a hand. This is one of the trickiest ways God has used to conceal information in the Bible. Speak of spiritual things in natural terms and then challenge your reader to figure it out.
Apparently, Adam had power and ability and was still capable of eating from the tree of life and living forever even after God said he would surely die. Obviously Adam did not understand what had happened, much less how to eat from the tree of life. We know from Genesis 2, that God had commanded the man not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But God never said anything about not eating from the tree of life. There appears to be an assumption that eating from the tree of life is good. But now that Adam was in covenant with Satan, what does God do? Who is God attempting to keep from the tree of life?
Gen 3:23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
We can see from this verse that the man and his wife are sent out of the garden of Eden. They are returned to the ground from where he was originally created. Exactly where was that? Where was Adam created in relation to the Garden of Eden? The Bible tells us if you look for it and pay close attention. Let’s go back to Genesis 2 and read:
Gen 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
You can clearly see that this is the creation account of the body of Adam. Adam’s body was formed from the dust of the ground. So where was Adam when this occurred? All you have to do is read the next verse and pay attention to the compass directions given.
Gen 2:8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
If the garden of Eden is located to the East of where Adam’s physical body was formed, what direction was Adam and Eve returned to after they had sinned? If you guessed back to the West, you would be correct. Why is east and west and these direction so significant? We can begin to ascertain the importance only after reading the last verse in Genesis 3.
Gen 3:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
So God drives the man out of the Garden and then it says God places a Cherubim at the east of the garden holding a flaming sword to keep the way of the tree of life. Are you beginning to see the paradox? Where did God drive Adam? God put the man and his wife back to the ground where they were created and this was West of the Garden of Eden. So where was the guarding Cherubim placed? They were placed to the East of the Garden. It is so fascinating when you see things correctly, isn’t it? God is obviously not attempting to keep the man away from the tree of life, if he was he would have placed the Cherubim on the West side where the man was.
(West) Adam ——-> Garden of Eden ——> Cherubim (East)
I wrote an earlier blog about the differences between the east and the west. I will not rehash all of that, but if you study the earth from the context that Israel is the middle of the world, then east of Israel towards Asia you would see that the religions of the world become increasingly darker and in some countries non-existent. Generally speaking if you move west from Israel you see the majority of the Christian nations in the world being to the West of Israel. Knowing this fact alone should help you see who God is guarding from the way to the tree of life. It is not from the Christians, but it is from the enemy of the church, the devil that God is keeping from the way to the tree of life. If you didn’t realize it, Satan is still looking for a way out of judgment. Eating from the tree of life would by association mean the establishment of a new covenant relationship with those for who it is intended. If you have followed what I showed you earlier you know that by Adam eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, it established a covenant between Adam and Satan. So whoever is intended to eat from the tree of life, Satan is looking to get into covenant with to save his rear end. The tree of life is mentioned again in the last chapter of Revelation and this chapter starts with this statement:
Rev 22:1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
We can see that this verse describes the throne of God and the Lamb. It declares that there is a river of water of life flowing from the throne. That of course is an interesting concept since Jesus told us in John 7:38, that out of our bellies will flow rivers of living water. Our bellies is referring to our spirits, the true inner man. This reference is about the words that we speak and them being a river of life to others in the world. So the river of life flowing from the throne of God must also be the Words of God.
Rev 22:2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
Revelation 22:2 now directly mentions the tree of life. But did you notice where or what this tree is? It says this tree grows in the middle of the streets around the throne of God. Who walks the streets of heaven? I personally believe this is a reference to Christians. It further says that there are more than one of these trees of life. In fact if you look closely it implies there are many, many trees of life everywhere surrounding the throne of God. If you use your brain a little bit you might be able to see that the implication is given to us, that we are the trees of life. But that might be hard for some to see. Let’s approach it from a different perspective? It says this tree is suppose to produce 12 fruits monthly. Exactly what is fruit? To the natural mid it is just apples, oranges, grapefruits, etc. But to the spiritual mind it is much different. God being a spiritual being is speaking of spiritual trees that produce spiritual fruit. So what are the fruits of the spirit? Oh, that changes everything doesn’t it?
I guess I’ll end this blog here and just leave you hanging. Maybe I have given you some new things to consider and challenged you to think on a higher dimension. God had to guard “the way” to the tree of life from Satan. Satan is still after this tree, but I don’t believe he has a shot at it. You see Jesus said “I am the Way”, so nobody can come to God except Jesus allows him access. Jesus Christ is the only legal way to this tree of life and if you belong to Him, you now have access to this tree of life to produce the fruit of the spirit. I’ll try to continue this in another blog to help expand our understanding of this deep subject.
If you would like to continue reading this series on Understanding Genesis 3 you can go to “Part 7“.
Gen 3:5 You Shall Be As God Knowing Good and Evil!
(Ver 2.2) This is Part 5 in the series about Understanding Genesis 3. The Bible has so much information in it, it is challenging just to know what to teach. Genesis 3 is about the spiritual downfall of Adam and Eve. But there are a number of other good lessons to learn from this chapter also. I am shocked sometimes at how people don’t see what the Bible really says and I think today will be another example of that. You can tell if you have read my blogs on Genesis that we are faced with a challenge by God to recognize the difference between spiritual things and natural physical things being described to us. Many times men tend to look at everything in the Bible naturally, but since the author of the Bible is a Spirit, God’s perspective is the only one that should count. Most of the time wrong interpretations of the Bible revolve around private interpretations from the natural minds of men. But, if we use the Bible to help us determine the true meanings, we are far more likely to get it right. In my last blog on Genesis I talked about spiritual fruit being different than natural fruit. I gave you several scriptures that declare that it is not what we eat physically that causes us to sin. We can therefore conclude that God did not command Adam and Eve to not eat of a natural physical fruit tree in the Garden. We can further conclude that God when He was speaking of not eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, was telling them not to eat of a spiritual tree. If you didn’t realize it, God is more concerned with spiritual things than He is with natural things. People want you to save the planet, save the trees, save the environment, save the whales, etc., but God wants us to produce spiritual fruit and become a mature Christian, to be a laborer and to help prepare for His spiritual harvest. So when we read the Bible we need to become more spiritually aware and less naturally focused. Focus only on spiritual things in context with the subject given. Recognize how God applies natural things to give us glimpses into the spirit world.
Today I want to expand on verse 5 in Genesis 3. This verse has some profound truths written in it, that I believe we need to understand. This verse is Satan, the symbolic serpent speaking to the mind of Eve. If you didn’t know the serpent was a symbolic representation for a spiritual being, then you need to read my blog, “Was There a Talking Snake in the Garden?” Many times people overlook what Satan says because he is called the father of lies and they don’t realize that Satan will use the truth, if he thinks it will work to his advantage. Satan actually knows more truth than you do, that is why he can lie so well. Here are the words of Satan spoken to the mind of Eve as a thought:
Gen 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
Satan is of course very presumptuous to think that he knows what God knows. I do believe that God taught Satan everything that Satan knows, however, I do not believe that God taught him everything that God knows. I think people need to learn that lesson, if they don’t learn anything else in this blog. We then see a statement that declares that their eyes would be opened. I would hope that you could see that Satan was not speaking of their physical eyes, but Satan was referring to their spiritual understanding. Here is a scripture from the New Testament which speaks to us along these lines:
Eph 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
Our spirits have the ability to see, perceive or as it says in this verse to understand. To see with our spirits is the ability of our spirits to understand the spiritual truths being spoken to us. The term is repeated to us in this verse “to know”. Isn’t that what Satan said to Eve? Satan told Eve that they would “know” good and evil. So what does this Hebrew word translated as “know” mean? If you have been reading my blogs you already understand the answer to that question. To “know” something is a covenant term. To know something represents an intimate sexual knowledge. God uses this same Hebrew word when He describes “Adam knew his wife and she had a son”. To “know” someone is to be in covenant with that individual. So what was Satan telling Eve? According to the wording and the underlying meaning, Satan said to Eve you will be just like God, in covenant with good and evil. I know I probably lost several readers with that statement, but if you keep reading in the chapter you will see that God did not contradict that statement, but He actually confirms it. You see if this was a lie or a deception of Satan, then God had the opportunity to confront the lie when He was talking to each of the participants after Adam had sinned. But, never do you see any confrontation or rejection of that statement in the chapter discourse. As you continue in the chapter you actually see that God confirms what Satan said to Eve in verse 22:
Gen 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
I should probably go back and address one modification that I made to the verse 5 translation before I talk about this verse 22. In verse 5 the word “gods” is the Hebrew noun “Elohiym”. This is a plural word that is often times used for one of the names of God. God being a triune being is a plural being and not a singular one. It is a complex paradox that God is directly called three personalities, but is still just one God. In contrast there are many gods, but there is one “Elohiym”, the Supreme God. In the first chapter of Genesis, this word “Elohiym” is translated as God around 26 times. So the KJV translators instead of making this word say “God” as they did the majority of other places in Genesis, they chose to make it say “gods”. But the problem with that reasoning was Adam and Eve were already gods, but they were gods that only knew good and not evil. The only thing that Adam and Eve would gain from eating this spiritual fruit was the covenant with evil and what a dumb mistake that was. So translators got the word wrong in verse 5 and focused in on the wrong noun. Instead of saying Adam and Eve were “elohiym” (gods) they should have just made it say “God”.
So why did I have to go into all of that explanation? Because if the translators would have just put these two verses, 5 and 22 together correctly they would have seen what God said in verse 22 “Look, the man has become like Me!”; in covenant with good and evil. God actually repeats exactly what Satan said would happen, so it could not have been a lie. God declares that Adam was now in covenant with evil and therefore we can determine based upon our knowledge of Bible covenants, Satan was now married to man. Whatever Adam was given was now given equally to Satan. There are many verses in the Bible that confirm this statement; I’ll give you one found in the temptation of Jesus:
Luk 4:5 And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
Here in the temptation of Jesus by Satan, Satan takes Jesus on a mental journey to the top of a very high mountain on earth. On the top of this mountain Satan shows Jesus all the kingdoms of this world. That would include every race, creed and inhabitant of the planet. There was nothing omitted or left out so that goes along with a true Bible covenant relationship between the two parties Adam and Satan. Then after showing Jesus these kingdoms, Satan makes this statement:
Luk 4:6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.
We can clearly see that in Luke 4:6, Satan tells Jesus all of this which I just showed you has been given to me, and I have the power to give it to whoever I want. These were all true statements and Satan thought that he was in control of the situation, but God had a different plan. Now let me give you one more example of what I am saying found in 2 Corinthians:
2Co 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
You see God shows us that one of Satan’s titles is “the god of this world” in this verse. Or actually I should say that this is the title that Satan stole from Adam and God just informs us of this. Adam when he was created was given dominion over all of the creation of God’s handy work. You can read this in the 1st chapter of Genesis as well as verses found in Psalms. God transferred complete control and responsibility over the planet to Adam and in effect made him the “god of this world system”. Adam had complete control over his own destiny and whatever he decided carried the decision for every one that descended from him. So after Adam dies, Satan becomes the “god of this world system”. Jesus gives us some very strong insight into this spiritual transaction between Adam and Satan in the book of John:
Joh 10:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
You can see from this statement a very powerful spiritual truth being revealed to us. Jesus is telling us that Satan did not enter into our world legally. He took advantage of Adam and Eve and entered in the world that God had given to them by deception. Jesus is calling Satan a thief that has robbed someone of something that didn’t belong to him. Jesus was also contrasting His presence on the earth as being legitimate, while Satan’s presence on the earth as being illegal. You see God could not come to the earth the same way that Satan did and just take back everything that was given to Adam, without being called a thief and become just as guilty as Satan. So we can see a puzzle being revealed to us. Jesus says whoever enters into the world by the door is legitimate. So what is this legal door into this world? It is only being born here by a natural woman that has given birth to you, and that makes you legally here. You have to be a direct descendent of Adam and Eve to be here legally. God is so very tricky and smart. God knew that He could come into the world and pay for our salvation, if He came as a son of Adam. So we have a man that was born into this planet that was both 100% man and 100% God and this was legal. So I got off track giving you some insight into Satan’s illegal entry and God’s legal introduction into our world. So let’s go back to Genesis and look at this covenant relationship.
What are the spiritual implications given to us from what we just learned? A Bible covenant relationship represents a marriage in the eyes of God. So Adam became married to Satan. Whatever God had given to Adam now belonged to Satan. After Adam’s death, Satan had complete control of it all. A converse truth was whatever Satan had now belonged to Adam, and that was really not a good trade. Adam was originally created to know only good, the things that God had provided for him. But now whatever happens to Satan will happen to Adam and vice versa. Fortunately for us, God had a plan of salvation that would destroy the works of the devil and make a separation from all the consequences that Satan now faces in the future. As soon as the prophesied 6000 year time table of Adam’s dominion is up, Satan will be cast out along with those who are now in covenant with him. The time is very short, and Satan knows his time of reigning on this earth is almost ended and guess why he is so very angry with the church. Lucifer who was once second only to God himself will not enjoy his eternal destiny.
We can see from a previous blog a conformation given to us in these verses in Genesis 3. God is in covenant with the angelic beings. This would include the good and the evil ones. In one of my last blogs I showed you that death is a legal separation of a covenant marriage relationship. Because of the death of the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s covenant relationship with evil was terminated. Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, our salvation was confirmed. All of those who believe in Him will be saved, but all of those who do not will be damned with Satan. It is a covenant reality, you are either joined to Jesus Christ and one with Him, or you are joined with Satan and one with him. These are powerful truths and help to explain a lot of the hidden things found in the Bible.
I know I teach a lot of new things, that you have probably never heard anyone teach before. The disciples in the Bible made a statement that is very profound, they said “Silver and Gold have I not, but such as I have give I thee”. Just as the disciples could only give what they had, I can only give you what I have. This is just a simple but basic Bible truth; everyone gives from only what they have. I hope and pray you enjoyed my Bible lesson today and grasped something from it that you can hold on to. If you liked it please share it with others that can also benefit from knowing the truth. God Bless.
If you would like to continue in the lesson series on Understanding Genesis 3 please proceed to Part 6.
We Are God’s Garden! God’s Farm System for Spreading the Word!
(Ver 1.1) This is now “Part 4” in the Bible study series on Genesis 3. Today will be a different perspective to the study of the Garden of Eden. If you have not read the lessons from the beginning I would recommend that you go and start with “Part 1” first. I believe today’s modern families miss out on the concept of farming and raising your own food to eat. In our modern society, if we are hungry we go the restaurant or go to the grocery store and everything is nicely packaged and easy to buy. Less than a hundred years ago, people normally didn’t have it so easy. Many people grew up on farms that planted crops that not only fed them but were used to sell to others to earn a living. The modern farm has everything heavily mechanized and machines take the place of what use to be done by hand. These large corporate giants have eliminated the need for people to grow their own food to eat and have created a population that is totally dependent upon someone else for what they eat. Someday when the antichrist shows up, he will certainly use this leverage to gain control over the population.
For thousands of years, farming and growing food was the normal everyday life style of the majority of people. When Jesus was physically present on the earth he taught many lessons using principles found in farming and raising crops. These natural elements and systems that God had created pointed us to spiritual truths and reveal to us the spiritual principles we are confronted with on a daily basis. So even though we don’t normally grow our own food these days, it does not mean it is not important to fully understand these concepts.
1Co 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
1Co 3:7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
1Co 3:8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
1Co 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.
The Bible actually declares that God has a garden. This is obviously not a physical garden but a spiritual garden. The term translated as “husbandry” in the KJV of the Bible is a Greek word that means “farm”. This term is referring to a place where things can grow. These verses in 1 Corinthians 3 are describing to you a farming process, using farming methods. To clearly understand what is being taught you really need a firm grasp of how farms operate. I am not an expert, I have learned a few things from some who were farmers so I’ll just hit the highlights of what I have learned. Farming is a multi step process. It involves many factors and while it seems simplistic, it is actually very complex to do it correctly. The ground or soil must be prepared. It normally involves a process that breaks up the hard surface and turns the soil revealing the parts that are covered. We can then begin the process of sowing or planting seeds. There are many ways of planting seeds and the exact method used depends upon the seed that is being planted. The depth of the seed can vary depending upon anticipated amounts of rain that you are expecting. The number of seeds per inch or foot can also vary depending on the crop. Then there is the time factor. Time is a necessary component to allowing the plant to develop. The amount of time can vary tremendously based upon the type of seed planted. Another key factor for planting is the timing or season to plant in. There are designated times to plant specific crops, some are in the spring, some in the summer and even some in the fall. So timing is everything in the process of getting a crop. The other essential element to a successful crop is rain and water. In 1 Corinthians 3 6, it implies that is what Apollos was doing, even though it was the exact same thing that Paul did, the first one planted, the second one watered. Too much water is not good and not enough can be detrimental to the outcome. In these verses it strongly suggests that farming is work. A laborious task and an extraordinary effort to produce a crop. But these verses also speak that it is not just one’s effort that produces the crop. The other factors are the seeds that you are sowing, the timing of the planting, the amount of water the seeds get, the amount of sunshine that these growing plants get, the fight to eliminate pests and creatures that eat you crop before you get to harvest, then there are climate and temperature variations that can cause harm to crops. The lessons of farming and the implications to sharing God’s Word are phenomenally important.
Mat 15:13 But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.
How many know that Jesus is not talking about a natural farm crop? Jesus is speaking of a spiritual crop of people. Those that belong to God will be harvested, those that do not will be burned. This verse declares that God has specifically planted seeds into the hearts of men and women. It also implies there are some plants that God did not plant also. Where did these plants or weeds come from? You see in natural and spiritual farming there are a number of known enemies to the expected outcome. You didn’t have to plant a thing for these enemies to show up and they are not what you want to grow in your soil. I noticed I don’t have to plant thistles and wild flowers in my yard, they somehow just magically appear. Isn’t that amazing?
Lessons from the Parable of the Wheat and Tares
Jesus tells us a parable that has a direct relationship to the Garden of Eden. In this parable Jesus describes to us a spiritual garden. This garden is a place that we are told where God has sown good seed and an enemy has come in and sown bad seeds. We understand from other parables that the good seed is the Word of God. The soil is the hearts of men and women. The fruit that is produced from the good seed represents the harvest and the tares are those that will be damned to hell and burnt. Here is the story that Jesus gives us:
Mat 13:25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
Jesus tells us in this parable that God’s garden has an enemy. It implies that while God was away from the garden, his enemy came in and sowed tares among his wheat crop. There is an amazing truth given to us in this verse if you understand farming. By only looking at the surface of the ground you cannot tell what has been planted. The wheat represents the desired crop of the seed that God has purposely planted. But, the tares are the result of the seed of God’s enemy. We can learn a valuable lesson from just this one verse. You are wise if you recognize that not everything in the world is intended to help you. Every false religion and philosophical writing that is out there are the seeds of the enemy. I’ll go so far as to say that every Hollywood movie and non-Christian television show are seeds of the enemy. I know that went over big?
Mat 13:26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
Jesus then tells us that both of these seeds are growing together, in the same soil, competing for the same water supply, competing for the same nutrients of the soil and existing in the same duration of time. It is only after some time that you can even tell that both are present. This process speaks to the power of God as well as the subtly and deceptive power of the enemy.
Mat 13:27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
In verse 27, Jesus, describes us, the servants of the householder asking God a question. This is obviously a great question and one more of us should be asking today. Where did all of these things come from that are opposed to the truth? Where did all of these things come from that distract us from what we should be focused on? Oh well, I guess I will move on.
Mat 13:28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
Jesus reaffirms to us that these weeds are a result of what Satan has done in the earth. Then in verse 28, the servants ask another question of the LORD. Many have asked the same question but in different terms. We have all questioned God why, when something bad has happened to us? Here we have a bad plant in the garden and what would you normally do with a weed in your garden? The servants want to know if it is OK to pull up these weeds and get rid of them. I’ve often times have pondered the same reality in the earth, why after the resurrection of Jesus Christ did God not eliminate evil from the planet. There must have been a legitimate reason for leaving it here.
Mat 13:29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
So Jesus’ reply is No! Many times in war the Generals are faced with acceptable casualty rates. Acceptable civilian casualties. According to God’s philosophy, there are no acceptable loses. Every plant is important. If you have ever had a garden you know that pulling weeds can sometimes hurt the real plants that you want to grow. The roots are many times intertwined with each other. So if you pull one you may destroy the other. In God’s garden this is not acceptable. God wants every plant that He can get.
Mat 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
Finally, we see the anticipated end to the world described to us. To those that teach there is not a hell, I don’t know how they ignore verses like this. According to Jesus there is a time of harvest coming. We know from basic farming practices that plants are harvested normally when they become mature. That is an interesting spiritual concept. God’s garden will be harvested when it becomes mature also. This verse in Matthew clearly indicates there is a difference coming, a division into two different groups. Those that are to be discarded and to be burned and those that are going to be put into the barn. The barn is a storage facility a home for mature crops. The analogies and lessons of farming are immensely important. I have only grazed the surface of the subject so I pray that you continue to research and learn from what God has done in His Word. I’ll end this blog with this:
Jas 5:7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
In this verse in James, our God is called the husbandman. A husbandman is a term for a farmer. The Greek word literally means a worker of the land or ground. The husbandman is the one that harvests what he plants. He plants, he cares for his harvest, he works the harvest and brings in the fruits of his labors. These are all farming concepts and methods. We can see that God who is a spirit has planted a spiritual garden and He expects to receive the fruits of His labors. So these are spiritual Bible concepts, sow the seeds, water them, care for them and expect God to produce the fruits to harvests.
Now go back and reread Genesis 2 and 3. See how God plants a garden, what kind of garden do you believe this was? If God is a Spirit which the Bible declares is accurate then God planted a spiritual garden.
If you are reading and studying in the Genesis 3 series you may continue to Part 5 now.
Genesis 3:1-6 – Does Eating Fruit Kill You? Pt 2
(Ver 1.3) This is Part 3 in the Understanding Genesis 3 Bible study series and the continuation of the last lesson concerning “Does Eating Fruit Kill You?” I took a break from Genesis to teach some new subjects, but today I will go back to Genesis to show you some more things found in the Bible about fruit. In my last lesson on this subject called Does Eating Fruit Kill You? Pt 1, I showed you that Jesus said that it was not what you put into your mouth and into your stomach (natural fruit) that makes you unclean (Mat 15:11). In this very important verse Jesus was teaching us that it was what comes out of our mouth, the words that we speak that causes us to sin. Jesus was contrasting the fact that spiritual fruit was significantly different than natural fruit and giving us some very important clues into hidden Genesis 3 truths. While natural fruits are a pattern or type revealing spiritual fruits, they are certainly two very different substantative things. In speaking on this subject Jesus gave us some brand new insight into the story of Adam and Eve and why what they ate could not have been fruit from a physical or natural tree. If that was the truth then this statement made by Jesus would have made Him a liar. I also showed you a scripture in Proverbs that declared death and life to reside in the power of the human tongue (Prov 18:21). This verse then spoke of the fact that those who love it will eat the “fruit” thereof. We should now be able to see that if God told Adam don’t eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil or you will die, that God was saying your tongue controls your destiny. We should be able to look into this verse in the Bible to help identify what this tree that God was speaking of to Adam was; this tree must have been a spiritual tree that causes the fruit of death and not a natural fruit tree that when eaten kills like a poison. Do you understand these important concepts revealed in the Bible? We are just using the Bible to interpret the Bible. According to Proverbs it was Adam’s tongue or the words of his mouth that caused him to live or die. Our tongue, is the exact same and it also has the power to produce the fruit that causes us to live or to die. I know that these are very different concepts than most things that have been taught in your church, but I’m just reading the Bible and putting the pieces of the puzzle together the best that I can, with God’s help. So can you read? Do you see what God is saying? Here is another confirming witness to what I just said found in the New Testament:
Heb 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
In this verse in Hebrews we see a clear reference that it is our mouths that produces spiritual fruit unto God. This fruit in this verse must be referring to the spiritual fruit of praise which comes from the words we speak glorifying God. What is the antithesis truth to praising or blessing God? I believe that it would be to curse God with our mouth like many people in the world do everyday. Therefore, our words and our mouth can either produce words that praise (bless) God or words that curse God. Two direct different opposing types of fruit, but yet the same mouth can produce either. This is an important concept to learn for every Christian. Your words have the power to bless or to curse someone. This is not a single verse on this subject in the Bible. James wrote about this concept very clearly when he wrote “out of the same mouth proceeds blessing and cursing and this ought not to be” (James 3:10). Isn’t James saying the same things that God told Adam? Blessing and cursing shall not come from your mouth or you will surely die? I can find some amazing parallels in these scriptures. Let’s take a look at another verse found in Proverbs from the book of God’s divine wisdom:
Pro 18:20 A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.
Here again is another verse from Proverbs that speaks of the fruit of our mouth. If you understand what I have been saying, you quickly realize that this verse is speaking again of a spiritual fruit. In this verse God again refers to our mouth as being connected to our belly. But it is not speaking of our natural stomach, but rather our inner spirit man. Did you realize that the only way your inner spirit man can affect any change in this world is by your mouth? The only contact that your spirit man has with communicating to this natural world is with your mouth. Jesus told us that the words that He spoke they were “spirit” (John 6:63). In other words the words that came from Jesus’ mouth came from His Spirit. The implication is given that we also speak the same type of spiritual words. We should be able to compreshend that one of the only accesses that God has from this physical world into your internal spirit is through your external natural ears. You ears and your mouth are the portals between the natural world and the unseen internal spiritual world. Since the majority of unsaved people do not understand that they are spirit beings they would not understand anything about what I just described to you. Let’s move on to another scripture that is certainly related:
Pro 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.
We can see from this verse in Proverbs more valuable information given to us concerning the trees that were said to be in the Garden of Eden by many Bible teachers. Did you notice that this verse in Proverbs is not speaking to us about a natural physical tree that produces fruit that causes us to live forever? Wow, that was a loaded question. If the tree of life was not a physical tree then the tree of death was not one either. The reference is given to us about about a different type of spiritual tree that produces spiritual fruit. This tree of life label is spoken of in the terms of those who are now called the “righteous” people. Who could this be referring to? Who are the righteous? Do you know the answer to that question? If you do then you are light years ahead of many Christians in the church. Let’s find out using the N.T. who the righteous are:
Rom 5:19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
We can see in this verse in Romans, that God contrasts the two Adams. The first man’s disobedience caused many to sin, but by the faithful obedience of Jesus Christ many shall be made “righteous“. You might quickly ask the question were there really two men called Adam in the Bible? Yes, there was, but one was a natural man one was a spiritual man. The natural man caused all to die, but the spiritual man will cause all who receive His life to live. Let me show you an important verse to help confirm what I just said:
1Co 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
This of course is comparing Jesus to Adam, but Jesus is symblically called the Last Adam in this verse as opposed to the first Adam. If we back up in this chapter you can see more the context of what God is teaching us about these two opposite types of men.
1Co 15:21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
What is God describing here? Can you see the emphaisis to the two trees of the garden first mentioned in Genesis 2? Adam caused all men to die but Chirst came to give each of us a new choice to live to have a different result. There is a definite death and there is a resurrection from the dead that will cause us to live. These are some amazing truths to consider when studying these chapters in Genesis.
Who did Proverbs call the “tree of life”? You see we, the church have been made “righteous” by what Jesus Christ did for us and gave to us by God’s grace. We are now the ones that are expected by God to produce new spiritual fruit of life instead of death. We therefore must be these spiritual trees of God described in Proverbs. What you must see in this verse is the clear but indirect reference to two opposing trees. You have one that Adam ate from that gives us death and then you have one that Jesus ate from that gave us life after death. One spiritual man was obedient and one natural man was disobedient and the end results are dramatically different. Do you understand what Jesus did? Now do you also understand what Adam did? Adam chose the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and Jesus chose the tree of life. That is some very important information to fully grasp. There are so many verses in the Bible that speak about this subject that I just can’t include them all in my lesson today. Here are some verses that have a direct commentary given to us by Jesus Christ:
Mat 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
Mat 7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
Mat 7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Mat 7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Mat 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
How many of you realize that Jesus is not talking about literal physical natural fruit trees in these verses? We know that these words are directly related to Genesis because Jesus starts out talking about the subject of thorns and thistles. If you recall these two subjects were God’s words to Adam in Genesis 3:18. Do you see the parallels and the connection? Jesus is referring to men and women as being analogous to trees that produce fruit. Every tree will produce some kind of fruit, either evil or good. The evil trees will bring forth thorns and thistles, while the good trees will bring forth grapes and figs. One spiritual tree produces good spiritual fruit. While the other spiritual tree produces evil fruit. God says good can’t produce evil fruit and evil can’t produce good fruit. The evil trees will be cut down and cast into the fire of hell and the good trees will be harvested to God’s barn. So we can see that spiritual fruit corresponds to what we produce out our mouths. Whether you choose to offer the sacrifice of praise to God or produce evil things, you make the choice. It really depends upon what you let go into your spirit that determines what you get to come out of your mouth and your spirit. I learned from being a computer programmer that if you put garbage in, you will get garbage out. If you put the Word of God in you will get the Word of God to come out. It is an awesome responsibility that God has given to us.
Mat 12:34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
I thought I would include this verse to end this lesson on spiritual fruit. Jesus gives us the insight into how to produce good fruit. In this verse, Jesus is speaking to the religious Jews of His day. He tells them there is no way that they can produce any good fruit. How could Jesus declare this? Jesus knew that nothing good can come from a container after someone has put evil things in it. Jesus knew that if you plant evil things you will also reap evil things. Jesus declares that from the abundance of the things that you put into your heart is what you will get back out of your heart. I told you earlier that your external ears and your mouth were the portals/gates in and out of this unseen internal spiritual world. What you listen to abundantly with your ears is what you are putting/planting into your heart to produce and bring forth either good or evil fruit from your mouth. Jesus often times said “take heed to what you hear” (Mark 4:24). Why would it be important not to hear some things? Why would it be advantageous to hear other things? Jesus says that whatever you listen to abundantly will cause you to produce either good fruit or evil fruit with your mouth. No one becomes a radical Islamic extremist overnight. There are no evil men born into the world. Men become evil or good based upon what they are taught and hear. If you plant evil things continuously in your heart, you will eventually produce evil. These are the spiritual laws given to us from Genesis to Revelation.
I probably have said enough on this subject for now. I don’t want to overwhelm you with new things to think about, but sometimes I know I do. What we must do is interpret the Bible using the Bible, only. See what God says on every subject and just ignore what people think the story is about. Rightly dividing the Word of Truth involves putting the pieces of the puzzle together correctly. When you start to see what God is saying in the Bible, the Bible is much more enjoyable and eventually becomes easier to understand. You will eventually see that truth will build upon truth. So start by learning the basics and getting a solid foundation built into your life and then step up to the more advanced topics found in the Bible. God Bless!
If you would like to continue reading in this series of lessons found in Genesis 3 please go to “We are God’s Garden” (Part 4).
Genesis 3:1-6 – Does Eating Fruit Kill You? Pt 1
(Ver 2.3) This is Part 1 in the series of Bible lessons on “Does Eating Fruit Kill You”. But this is also Part 2 in the series of Bible lessons on the subject of “Understanding Genesis 3” If you would like to start reading the Genesis 3 series with “Part 1” you may click the link and start there. Two of the primary themes found in the 3rd chapter of Genesis are man’s response to God’s instructions and the temptation of man to ignore God’s instructions. If you have been reading my lessons, you probably noticed that I do not stray from controversy and today will be more of the same. The book of Genesis is full of complex subjects, symbolism and many hidden spiritual truths that challenges us to figure out what is literal and what is symbolic of a much higher spiritual truth. Differentiating between the physical and natural things found in Genesis from the spiritual and supernatural things found there is one of the greatest challenges that God has given to us in reading and understanding the Bible. Over and over I have heard Bible teachers teach that the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil were literal physical fruit trees in the middle of a natural garden; real physical trees, producing real physical fruit. It is a fascinating idea or concept, but one that I believe does not hold water when analyzed by other scriptures found in the Bible. Too many times people teach the Bible in isolation, ignoring what the rest of the Bible says on the subjects that they are studying. This of course results in private interpretations based upon very limited information and leads us into confusion. In order to correctly interpret the Bible we must always follow God’s rules of Bible Interpretation. If you do not know that God has given us rules to interpret the Bible then you should probably go find out what these are before you do any more study of the Bible.
Well in my last Bible lesson on Genesis 3:1 I feel confident that I proved scripturally that the serpent being described to us was not a literal physical talking snake and that it had to be a symbolic named representation for Satan speaking to the mind of the woman. You can go back to this Genesis 3:1 blog and reread this article to review that information “Was there a Talking Snake in the Garden?” lesson or just read it for the first time if you missed it to understand the concepts. So based upon that information, what else in this 3rd chapter is literal and what is symbolic? We should be able to logically conclude that Adam and Eve were literal spiritual beings in real physical human bodies, but that they were confronted by another liteal spiritual being named Satan that they could not see with their natural eyes. So we automatically see that God combines physical and spiritual realities in the same story and this makes the information more difficult to understand correctly. Let’s look at verse 1 again:
Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which 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?
So we see Satan speaking a thought in the mind of Eve, questioning the command of God. Or was it a question? It appears to me to be a statement of fact. So many times we want to look at Satan as the father of lies and think that is all he is capable of speaking, but that is definitely not true. Satan will always use the truth if he thinks it will work to his advantage. Satan is very tricky and many times he will start with the truth and then twist it or misapply it to get you off of what was originally intended. You see the truth was that God did make that statement and told Adam that “every tree in the garden was available to him for food”.
Genesis 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
Reading this verse in Genesis 2:16, I immediately saw something that the LORD God had taught me about Genesis 3:1. The term “Every” is another ALL INCLUSIVE statement that omits none. Again we can see a group association being established. A set of related items can be associated together by a common name to form a well-known and clearly defined grouping of common items. We can clearly see that in this grouping by God’s definition is included EVERY TREE that was designed to produce ANY food to be physically eaten. If the tree did not produce any natural food to eat then it was not in the defined group. Every fruit tree, every nut tree, every tree that produced any kind of edible food substance must have been included in this one group set. If it was not on the list in the set then it did not have food on it. If God said you can eat from EVERY tree that has food on it, then you can certainly see the major conflict and the problem being stated. Since most Bible teach that the fruit that caused Adam to sin was something like an apple, that interpretation would directly conflict with what God has just spoken to Adam. Was God a liar or are we not understanding what is being taught to us here? I’ll vote that we do not fully understand the interpretation that the “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil” was a physical fruit tree? Let’s look at the next verse in Genesis 2:
Genesis 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
You can see the apparent contradiction to the previous statement of God or possibly just a fact that has been missed by most casual Bible readers in that God must have just changed the subject and we missed it. Instead of talking about natural physical food for the body, God is now speaking about a spiritual food and its impact on Adam’s life span on this planet. In Genesis 2:17 God is not talking about natural food trees anywhere but changes subjects to symbolic spiritual trees. I’m sure that you’ve seen the painting of Adam and Eve with the serpent wrapped around a tree and Eve holding an apple. Do understand the contradiction and the problem we have just discovered? If it is a literal fruit tree with physical natural food that is good to eat then God LIED! Since most of you know that it is impossible for God to lie, we must have misunderstood the meaning of God’s statements. What we can say is that in Genesis 2:16, God is speaking of natural physical food and told Adam that they could eat of every tree that has food on it. But in verse 17, God changes the subject and most have just automatically assumed He was talking about the same things. It is a very tricky technique used to conceal the truth in the Bible. Mix spiritual things with natural things and dare people to figure out the difference. God said don’t eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil or you will die. This could not have been a natural physical tree for many reasons. First, where is this tree today? Does it still exist? Did it suddenly vanish from the planet? Then there is this, in the book of Proverbs it reveals some very strong information about this tree:
Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it will eat the fruit thereof.
Uh oh? We can clearly see another paradox of Biblical proportions. God tells us how we live and how we die and it is a result of the power of our tongue. What God is doing is showing you the difference that your spoken words can make in your life. The human mouth is a uniquely designed opening in the human body. The mouth takes physical food in, but it also speaks spiritual words out of it. This is why God connects both kinds of trees together in Genesis 2. Adam didn’t die by physically eating anything. It is fascinating that it also speaks of this process as being related to eating fruit, but, this is spiritual fruit and not physical fruit. Is this a coincidence or is God trying to teach us something about the connection of natural fruit to spiritual fruit. Isn’t fruit what Eve and Adam are said to have eaten?
Genesis 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her and he did eat.
This has to be a spiritual tree for several reasons. First, God said that every natural tree that was good for food to eat was permitted to eat from. Then Eve saw the tree in her mind and it was a tree that could make one wise. Does eating natural fruit make you wiser? If you think it does you are deceived. Nothing you eat physically makes you smarter. This spiritual tree is an interesting concept; Eve could see it and understood that it would make her wise. Science for a long time has tried to claim certain foods make you smarter, but that is not what this is talking about. There is a dramatic difference between being smart and being wise. A lot of people know things, but have no common sense. I guess I won’t go there today though. I want to shift focus and show you some other related verses in the Bible that are very relevant to our current subject. This is what Jesus said about what we eat physically:
Matthew 15:17 Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out at into the draught.
Here are words directly from God about natural food. He asks us a simple question; “don’t you understand the difference between natural things and spiritual things”? He tells us that whatever we put into our mouths goes to our stomachs and is then flushed down the toilet. He is declaring a very simple truth that this is not what killed Adam. God says that this is not what makes a man unclean. If you continue reading in the chapter Jesus says that it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles a man, because these are the things from his spirit. This is what kills a man physically.
Matthew 15:18 But those things which proceed out f the mouth come forth from the heart (spirit) and they defile the man.
It is so fascinating when you put things together correctly in the Bible. You can see that Jesus tells us what killed Adam and we didn’t even know it until now. Too many times we try to interpret the Bible with our natural minds and we just need to figure out what God says about the subject to really understand it. God’s perspective is so much better than ours. Don’t you think? What we have seen is information found in the Bible that tells us that a spiritual reality is more important to see than a natural one that is not true. So people, who teach that there was a physical apple tree that Eve picked fruit from and ate it to kill them, do not understand many things about what God wants to teach them in the Bible. I hope if nothing else that I have challenged you to think differently today and not to try to understand the Bible story of Adam and Eve in isolation from the other related verses found in the Bible.
If you want to continue reading this series you can continue to “Part 2”.
Genesis 3:1 Was there a Talking Snake in the Garden?
(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.