Revelational Foundations Series Lesson 3
30 January 2022
© 2022, Charles A. Clough
We’ll continue this morning going through the basic foundation of all revelation. In your bulletin, you have a diagram. I’m going to put that on the screen here. What I’m trying to do with that diagram is show the components of looking at the Scriptures in the Framework pattern.
Of course, to do that we want to somehow diagram it so that it’s not just chronological. What I tried to do there is to put Creation and Fall as building blocks with the Fall on top of the Creation. But what I’m trying to do, is express that it’s not just a chronological sequence of revelation. It’s a pedagogical sequence of revelation.
Lesson 2 comes after Lesson 1 and Lesson 2 includes the data from Lesson 1. So, as we progress, each event is anchored on the previous one, because if that weren’t so, then God would have to repeat Himself. Everything He did in Genesis 1 and 2, He’d have repeat it in Genesis 3.
So, there’s a sequence of it. And the other kind of thing that we’re trying to do in these events is look at some of the events in the Bible, the key ones. Not all of them by any means. This is just a small sample, but we’re trying to look at events where it’s a dramatic play.
In other words, in our mind’s eye, in our imagination, try to use your imagination to imagine yourself in the event. I think if you kind of discipline yourself to join the event as real history, then you pick up things and I think make it a little bit more useful.
The other thing that we want to remember here and that’s the attempt I’ve done in the diagram of the black arrows pointing out. That is to remind us that the Word of God has implications for every area of life. This is not just talking about a personal relationship with the Lord in the sense of just our private life. We are ambassadors and we have to make decisions every day of our life. In our country, thankfully as citizens, we are part of the decision-making for our society. It’s good for us to understand if we believe the Bible, then what follows is from that belief in the Bible.
We said one thing is that we have six days of a literal creation that are given to us. The description of all parts of each of those days is given to us by the Person who did it. So, we have on-the-scene historic data. We have an observational record of what went on.
Contrast that with as we said historical geology. It was started by deists. Well, who are deists? Deists are people that deny that there ever is revelation. So, if you start with that, you dismiss the Bible; and then if you dismiss the Bible, as I showed with the kite string across the auditorium, you’ve got no measurements. Where are your measurements? Where are your observations? You don’t have any!
Therefore, you don’t have real operational science. You have conjecture that unfortunately is often called science; and I think that’s where it’s confusing. Historical science is not the same as operational science because historical science has no observations.
It’s sort of like a courtroom case where you’re called in on the jury and you’re all talking about an event that happened. Maybe there were no witnesses to it. So now what do you do? You can only surmise what might have happened. So, it’s the same thing with Genesis. We have a record of sequential actions; and they’re miraculous actions.
If we have trouble imagining how those events happened, think of this. In John 2, Jesus walks into a wedding. They’ve runout of wine. So, Mary comes to Jesus and says, “Can You do something here?” And so, Jesus walks over to these urns. These urns aren’t little small things. They’re about that tall [he motions they are about 4 feet tall]. So, there are many gallons of water that He wanted put in there.
All of a sudden, He creates wine. Well, how do you create wine out of water? You don’t drop in Kool-Aid. So, what can you do? You have to create carbon atoms. Wine has carbon atoms in it. It’s organic. So somehow, He rearranged the electrons and neutrons to be what they are and organize them. We have no idea how He does it. We just observed that He does it because He is the Creator.
Then we said if we really believe Creation and we’re creatures, the proper response we have to God as our Creator and our Judge and our Savior is one of humility. As men we try to redeem ourselves by our works like the Pharisees tried to do. That’s arrogance. So, we’re at that knife edge between being humble toward the Lord or being arrogant and saying. “I’m going to do it myself”. There is no middle ground—one or the other.
The other thing we said that’s one of the implications here in Creation is that there’s no excuse for unbelief. Skeptics historically have said, “The problem is I can’t believe because of the insufficiency of revelation. God just hasn’t given me enough revelation.” That’s not going to pass at the Great White Throne Judgment. That’s not an excuse. The reason it can’t be an excuse is because as Ecclesiastes says, “God has put eternity in our hearts.” And in Romans 1, “What can be known of God is plainly recognized.” It’s a play on the Greek words there. “The invisible things of Him, the invisible things of Him, are clearly seen.” Well, how are the invisible things of Him clearly seen? By His handiwork, by His craftsmanship.
I’ve been bringing books in just to show you some of the interesting literature that’s out there for your library and perusing. This morning I brought in a book by a math teacher in junior high, a Christian math teacher, who got sick and tired of people saying there is no such thing as Christian math. Well, yes there is. Math viewed as a biblical worldview; and what he’s done—about 20 years ago he wrote this particular book. The title of it is Mathematics: Is God Silent? His argument is, God is not silent, that God gives us the purpose of math. So, what he does in this to get the students so they won’t grow up the rest of their life hating math—he’s trying to interest kids in learning math.
Half of this book is not talking about equations. It’s talking about the godly Christian scientists like Boyle and Newton and Pascal and how these were the men who used math. So, immediately you have a role model that these men knew their math, so it acted as a tool so they could understand the handiwork of God.
That was the motive, and they were quite forthright in saying it in their writings. People forget. Yes, Newton formulated the laws of gravity; but how many of us understand that Isaac Newton wrote more on prophecy on the Bible than he did on mathematics and gravity? That’s because these men saw math as a tool that we can use to understand God’s general revelation.
I only mention that book because the last three or four years, he has completed a complete mathematical curriculum for grades 7, 8, and 9. It’s on Amazon; and it consists of a block of books and so on. But it’s his culminating work as a Christian trying to get students to like math and to understand why it’s there as a tool to subdue the earth.
Finally in Genesis 2 we had the image of a garden that God planted. We try to make the point that outside of the garden it was all wilderness. That simple picture of a garden with wilderness outside of the garden is a picture of what is subduing the earth, according to God, what He intended we do. That is, we develop nature. We don’t rape nature.
We develop nature and that we mentioned is the famous argument between Pinchot and Muir in the days of Teddy Roosevelt. San Francisco wanted to build a dam and the dam would flood an entire very pretty valley. So, Muir said that no we are going to preserve nature. “We’re not going to interfere with nature.” On the other hand, Pinchot said, “No. We’re going to very carefully work nature for the good of mankind.” So those are not mutually exclusive positions.
What happens however, historically is you have two philosophies toward nature. So, this is the rise of environmentalism and so on in the last 10 years. This is becoming a vital conflict here about public policy and our personal lives.
The difference is we are not arguing when we say God says to subdue the earth that means we just promiscuously ignore it and just take what we can. That’s not the image of the Bible. The Bible says this is our Father’s property. We are walking not on our property. It’s His property; and we take care of it and do what He says. And what does He say? “I want you to turn the world as it were, into a garden. Just like I planted the garden for you by giving you a model of what I’m talking about when I say subdue the earth.”
Of course, Genesis 2 gives us a pattern of the early Earth with all kinds of natural resources in different locations. So, we have the case where it’s not just our local subduing the earth, but God wanted what? He wanted us to fill the earth. Well, what did that do? Filling the earth means the population expands outward from Eden. As we do, we got into different regions of the earth with different natural resources. So, you have economic prosperity through world trade. Ultimately, the picture there is world trade where people living in one area have a resource that these people need over here, but these people over here have natural resources that are needed over there. So, all of this comes out of a Christian worldview.
One of the problems we have now, however, is when people propose things like the Green New Deal. They’re doing the same thing that they were doing with rapid development of vaccines before the science told us what are the ultimate three- and five-year results of the vaccines going to be when we don’t have any measurements?
It was the same thing here. All the time, particular people, people who talk about investing—investing in electric vehicles. This is going to be the new thing—lots of money in electric vehicles. But here’s the problem they’re not thinking about. Electric vehicles have to be manufactured. So, do you really clean the atmosphere when you’re manufacturing and the manufacturing process is emitting greenhouse gases? Then what do you do when you refuel an electric vehicle. You’ve got to get electricity. How do you generate electricity without also creating greenhouse gases?
So, you have all kinds of problems. You’ve got to think this through. It is not saying don’t develop technology, and maybe decrease the overall emission of greenhouse gases. But we’re pretty clean as a nation. We don’t have to be ashamed of what the United States has done.
The problem is we went through our Industrial Revolution in the last century. What do you do with India? What do you do with China? They’re going through their Industrial Revolution now. China is building 30 coal-fired electrical plants so their people will be warm. In Britain, as an example, they shut down all of their coal-fired generation. Now we have 20,000 or 30,000 people dying of hypothermia.
You know it’s cold outside this morning. You recognize it. How would you like to be in a situation where energy costs are so high that you have to decide between eating and heating your home? In Britain, the UK, they did that because last winter and the winter before of all things, Britain is on the east side of an ocean. The winds run from west to east and therefore cloudiness occurs in the UK during winter. What does cloudiness due to solar generation?
Moreover, last winter, particularly, the winds died down. So now what do you do with wind power? Well, what they had to do is start buying coal from Europe when they had coal all through Britain. Remember that slogan “Bringing Coals to Newcastle?” It was a joke because of a natural resource. But they’re not using a natural resource.
So, we’re not saying all conservation is bad. We’re just saying when you propose to do something, you’ve got to think about all the components of what you’re talking about.
The largest emitter of greenhouse gases is not automobiles and trucks. The largest emitter of greenhouse gas is the manufacture of cement. I was surprised to see that. But Bill Gates is writing all the stuff for getting ready for a climate catastrophe. But I will say this about Bill Gates, he thinks about the technical implications that go from A to B and he points this out. How are you going to generate cement cleanly? Haven’t got a clue how to do that; and that’s the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases. But we’re fussing about cars.
So, this is an example—applying the ideas of Scripture is not necessarily simple. The other thing we want to point out here by way of Genesis 1 and 2 is we want to deal with the fact that people often freak out by overpopulation. You’ll see these statistics. The big statistic here of the world’s population is growing. Yes, it is.
But here’s the problem. It’s not the absolute value of the population. It is the sustainability of the group of people in a certain area or certain acreage. For example, Hong Kong, Tokyo, New York are concentrated populations. A lot of people live in a small area. Now, can that small area sustain that population? Well, it can if it’s developed. They don’t have a problem in Hong Kong. They don’t have a problem in Singapore because they have productivity.
Where you have people together, they could be in the jungle with no productivity and they’re overpopulated because there is not enough production in that acreage to sustain that population. It’s the population per acreage of productivity. That’s the issue here, not just the raw number of overpopulation.
We have in Genesis 2 the idea of by binary sexuality. We say that’s because the big picture here is that we have males, and we have females that come together in marriage to have families and the families create the culture of the next generation. That’s the big idea; and it’s very clear. It’s anatomical. There’s no debate about that.
But at the turn of the 1900s, we have a guy that started psychiatry call Sigmund Freud. Sigmund Freud constantly throughout his career argued that Christianity is a neurosis, and it needs to be eliminated. So, Sigmund Freud said, “You know I want to destroy the Christian idea of the immortal soul because I want to destroy the idea that we are individually responsible to a Creator. That’s a neurosis. So, if I get rid of that, what do I replace it with? I have to have something to replace personal identity.”
So, what he proposed was sexual orientation. Something that’s individual. Something that can be very selfish and so that idea … Ideas have consequences. That idea has percolated down for 100 years and now were seeing the fruit. Bad ideas yield bad fruit. Good ideas yield good fruit. So, this is why we have a conflict.
Then we have the other lesson from Genesis 2, the description of the geography and the terrain. We have rivers that we don’t see today. We have Eden on the top of a mountain and waters come out of the ground to water rather than rain. So, the hermeneutic that we use to interpret Genesis 2 sets us up for Genesis 6, 7, and 8 with the Flood, the antediluvian world, the post-diluvian world.
It sets us up for the return of Christ, because we are going to have this present world and the Millennial Kingdom. Those are all catastrophic events. So, either you interpret Genesis 2 and the early days as literal or you have to allegorized these other events because it’s the same kind of language. Anyway, so that’s the background.
Now we’ve got to move on to something else. In Genesis 3, we’re going to go through every verse of Genesis 3. But before we do that, we want to get into a section of Genesis 3. Of course, it’s the Fall. Satan is introduced, but when Satan comes into the text, this is the first time we’ve seen humans interacting with unseen personalities. So, we want some background on how—who are these, the host of Heaven? They don’t have physical bodies as such although they can get into physical bodies. They can morph into physical bodies temporarily. But they’re persons; and they’re responsible to God.
So, let’s look at some texts outside of Genesis 3 to get a flavor for how this is done.
We were singing this morning. I noticed in hymn 22, which is Isaiah 63, and says this. “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts.” It’s talking about the hosts of Heaven. It’s not a strange idea; but maybe it kind of sounds strange because we don’t normally talk in this way. So here is Genesis 2:15. This is the warning passage. Something is amiss here. There’s a warning to Adam and Eve. We haven’t seen a warning until we get to Genesis 2:15–17 which says:
“Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend (HEB: abad) and keep it (HEB: shamar). And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.’ ”
I pointed out last time, the word “tend” there means to serve. It’s used for priestly service usually. “And keep it.” Shamar means to protect it. So, it sounds—like what is Adam supposed to protect the garden from? Weeds or what? What’s his job there?
Clearly there’s an order from God about how to do the garden; and it’s ominously phrased as you’ve got to guard this, Adam. This is serious business. So, let’s go to some other passages.
Here are some passages that deal with the evidence of created person spirits. Job 1:6 and Job 2:1. Most of us are acquainted with this particular passage.
“Now there was a day when the sons of God …”
Notice the title. That’s using haelohim. That’s the title that’s used of God Himself.
“came to present themselves before the Lord,”
Notice the play on words. Remember what I said critics always say, “Well, Genesis 2 talks about Jehovah God, and Genesis 1 talks about Elohim God—two different names, two different sources”. No, the name when you see L-O-R-D in most English translations; that’s the translation of the word Yahweh in in Hebrew. The reason that the name of God is so important is because that’s the name that He uses to sign all contracts. When He signs a contract with Abraham, it’s the LORD God. When He signs the Mosaic Covenant, it’s the LORD God. So that’s His personal name when He’s dealing with business and spiritual relationships with people.
“and Satan also came among them.”
“There again was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them.”
We know it was a temptation case. But Satan is prowling around and he seems to be not quite part of the sons of God—notice. The sons of God come there to present themselves; and then the text adds like it’s in footnote—and Satan came up there too. Notice they’re having a meeting. We’ll see more about those meetings in a moment.
Here’s another one: Job 38:7. In Job 38:7 it’s talking about the end of Job’s misery. God confronts him with a big, long quiz and asks Job, “Where were you when I created the world?” and so forth and so on. This is part of that passage. Notice, God is saying that when He was creating in those six days; this was happening.
“When the morning stars sang together,”
There it is again, bene haelohim.
“And all the sons of God shouted for joy?”
Several neat things fall out of that. If they were singing, that shows that music existed before Adam and Eve, and the music originally originated as a tool of worship. Now music can have other purposes. But it’s kind of interesting to think man did not invent music. Music was around before man was created.
Then we have God telling us that there were witnesses to His work and they were singing. Apparently from this passage there is no hint that there’s a division in the sons of God yet. So presumably, the sons of God were created in Genesis 1:1 where it says that God created the heavens and the earth. He created the heavens and that included these beings and then He created the earth and then He started building from the earth for man.
Let’s do some more verses. Here’s Psalm 29:1. In the Book of Psalms you’ll see this from time to time; and only recently have Hebrew scholars began to really pick this up and work with it. Psalm 29:1.
“Give unto the Lord, O sons of El; Give unto the Lord glory and strength.”
That’s a command between God and the sons of God, between God and the host of Heaven. The psalmist is saying, “Give to the Lord, O sons of El.” It’s asking for worship of our God. “And you guys worship Him, please. Join in. We’re worshiping God. You guys join in with [worshiping] God.”
Psalm 82:1, “God stands in the assembly of El; He judges among the gods.”
Now it’s easy to read that as saying well that’s a metaphor for the polytheistic beliefs of the Ancient East. It is not a metaphor for that. This is a group of beings. “God stands in the assembly of El; He judges among the gods,” which shows He is the ultimate authority. They’re not. They may try to compete, but He is the one. His work matters. That’s going to be so comforting as we work through this that we aren’t in control of this. The Creation is a lot more complicated than we ever thought. There is a whole realm out there that we have no idea what they’re doing. We have no idea how to control or influence them. But thank the Lord. He knows. He’s in charge.
Then Psalm 89. This is a psalm of David. You can see what David’s viewing. It was so important for David to be certain that he was going to rise to the throne of Israel. He was anointed as king, but it took him years. He had to survive.
I was going through a book by Dr. Meisinger. His wife found some text after he died and so some of us are going through his literature to critique it and edit it. He points out there are 17 times when Saul tried to kill David—17 times David had to survive. David was in a position—“Why can’t I have the throne now?”—because it was customary in the Ancient East—if you thought you were worthy of the throne, you simply assassinated your political opponents.
We do it in the press, but they did it literally. So, they would assassinate. So that scene that we’ve talked about he caught Saul in the cave with his pants down. All right. In that situation, as humorous as it may be, it was very politically significant because he and his armed guards were in that that cave.
They said, “Now you’ve got him. Go get him.” David very meekly went up and he cut the garment and even cutting his garment, it struck his conscience. “I should not have done that. I am supposed to trust the Lord.” So here he is and he’s talking and the Holy Spirit obviously must be motivating him here, but notice what Psalm 89:3–7 says. “I have made a covenant with my chosen one,” that’s God speaking. I made a covenant or contract. “I have sworn it to my servant David: ‘your seed I will establish forever.’ ”
And then David responds and this is his response:
“The Heavens will praise your wonders, O LORD, Your faithfulness also in the assembly of the holy ones; … for who among the sons of El can be likened to the LORD?”
Do you see how he acknowledges there are spiritual beings in the universe and we have to watch how he does this?
Now we are going to take two passages to see how God works His will through this assembly. We have no idea how many there are, but apparently there are myriads and myriads and myriads of these spiritual beings and turning the whole universe.
Have you ever been to Star Wars? You get those conferences with creatures from all over. Well, that’s what these things must look like.
So, I’m going to take you now to one individual. Here’s a dialogue (we started with Job) between the Lord and Satan. Now I’m showing you this because this tells us what this particular spirit being does; and it’s sobering for us in our personal life. Job 1:8
“Then the Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, … one who fears God and shuns evil?’
“So Satan [sarcastically] answered the Lord, ‘Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? …
“ ‘But now stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!’ ”
Look at the context here. Here God is omniscient and all-powerful. But Satan is making an attack against the way God runs history. He says, “Of course these people down there that believe in you God. They do it because You’re blessing them. Take away the blessing; and they’ll curse You to Your face.” So, Satan’s theory is that we down here in human beings, we’re faithful only because God strokes us. Now God does bless us. But now look what God says.
“But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!”
That’s what Satan says.
“And the Lord said to Satan, ‘Behold all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person ...”
Now there’s an instance where God is allowing Satan to assault the individual believer; and Satan’s theory is that the believer will cave in every time. This shows you that trials in our Christian life are not just for sanctification of us. There’s also stuff going on in the doxological realm where when we don’t fold up under trial, we not only gain our sanctification, but we’re also showing these unseen powers that we genuinely believe in the Lord when you guys didn’t. So, there’s a trial, as it were, a doxological conflict going on between the bad guys including Satan.
Now I want take you the one most stunning passages of all. We are actually going to join a meeting between God and the host of Heaven about Earth. Nowhere in the Bible do we have something quite like this passage. In 1 Kings 22, the background of this passage is you’ve got the Northern Kingdom that’s “Ba’alistic”. The Southern Kingdom is still “Yahwehistic”. The king of the Northern Kingdom is Ahab. The King of the South is Jehoshaphat. Ahab wants to go up to Syria to conquer it and reclaim land for Israel; but Ahab married the daughter of the Prince of Ba’al of Phoenicia. So, he’s completely changed the Northern Kingdom, got God out of the way, and his prophets are saying, “Go get him. Go get the Syrians” and so on.
Now they bring up Michaiah. Michaiah is a kind of a John the Baptist guy. He is the only one of the Yahwehistic guys left in the Northern Kingdom.
Micaiah said to the king, “I am going to give you a report on the vision God gave me. So, take care, King, because I’m going to give you a pile of bad news.”
“Then Michaiah the prophet said, ‘Therefore hear the word of the Lord:’ ”
Notice the name, Lord.
“ ‘I saw the Lord sitting on His throne’ ”
And now look.
“ ‘and all the host of heaven standing by, on His right hand, and on His left.’ ”
That is talking about the good guys and the bad guys. They’re all there.
“ ‘And the Lord said, “Who will persuade Ahab to go up that he may fall at Ramoth Gilead?” ’ ”
Look at this next sentence. Isn’t this intriguing?
“ ‘So, one spoke in this manner, and another spoke in that manner.’ ”
They’re having a discussion. So, God is saying, “Here’s what I want to happen. I want Ahab out of the picture. He has ruined the Northern Kingdom. Take him out. How do you propose this [be done]?”
So, they’re figuring out how do we get rid of Ahab. “How do we get rid of Ahab? I think we ought to do it this way. I think we ought to do it that way.”
Then a spirit comes forward.
“ ‘Then a spirit came forward and stood before the Lord and said, “I will persuade him.” The Lord said to him, “In what way?” So he said, “I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.” ’ ”
Do you see what he’s saying? “I can influence a mob. I am one lying spirit and I can control how they think, the entire entourage.”
“ ‘And the Lord said, “You shall persuade him, and also prevail. Go out and do so.” ’ ”
Now Michaiah is talking. He’s ended the report on the vision.
“ ‘Therefore look! The Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these prophets of yours, and the Lord has declared disaster against you.’ ”
So that’s a strange meeting, but it is there in 1 Kings 22. So, we infer from this that God has a decree; but it’s like He turns over how that decree works out in history through these intermediaries.
With the knowledge of the presence of these beings, let’s look our way through Genesis 3.
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, ‘Has God indeed said, “You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” ’
“And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden, but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden God has said, “You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.” ’
“Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die.’ ”
Let’s look at some observations here. There is a play on a word here. See where it says, “Now the word of the serpent was more crafty.”
The Hebrew word for “crafty” there is the word harum. The previous verse to this one is the last verse in Genesis 2, where it says:
“And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”
In Genesis 2:25 that word is how wrong harom. The play between these two words is saying Adam and Eve are vulnerable to a very crafty being. In other words, they’re up against somebody who can outmaneuver them. So, there’s a subtlety in the vocabulary.
What also is true from this passage is that you now have revealed a profound antagonism between Satan, who is apparently angry that we have been given the mandate to subdue the earth and not him, because Ezekiel 28 says he was the one that was the big, big boy in Eden. He had problems in Eden obviously. God said, “Okay the rest to you, you just circulate around the earth, but you’re not going to run things from up here.” So, there’s this antagonism.
Now the beast of the field, how did he appear—snake and so on? We know angelic powers can assume physical bodies and animal-like bodies.
I have one son who’s a veterinarian. I kid him every once in a while, when he talks about exciting things he did as a veterinarian. I said, “Don’t you realize these animals are made of angel parts?” “Angel parts?” “Well, what are the seraphim around the throne of God?” They have six wings. They’re spirit beings. They’re not birds, but the idea was they have wings. Then God creates birds with wings. So, there’s a strange kind of thing in design here.
So anyway, Satan took on the form of some actual animal, probably like a serpent of some sort. Because Jesus in Matthew 23, when He’s talking to the Pharisees, He calls the Pharisees serpents. “You guys are serpents.” So, they’re looking at the serpent, who is low. It’s one of the lowest animals that circulates.
The key to take away from this is the first part of Satan’s temptation that is repeated over and over and over. It’s done in the universities. It’s done by atheist authors. That is to deny the authority of the Word of God by saying God does not reveal Himself. And even if He claims to, He’s lying to you. So, this is deism—American Revolution time
Now we come to the next part. Genesis 3:5–8. Then he extends the temptation. First, it’s the denial that God reveals. Then he says,
“For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Notice three things.
“So when the woman saw that the tree
Was good for food,
that it was pleasant to the eyes,
and a tree desirable to make one wise,”
Reminds you of 1 John 2.
“she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.
“And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden, … and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.”
Some observations. One observation is that Satan not only denies revelation, but he urges an arrogant attitude that we have the capability of discerning right and wrong ourselves. Ethics, remember, are functions of what we believe about reality.
So really what this verse is saying is, “You guys build your own worldview. You don’t need God. You don’t need revelation.” So, on one hand he’s denying revelation; the other hand, he’s stroking us thinking we are so brilliant. The idea of “You have so much capacity. Use your own capacity”. So that’s the essence of what he’s saying to Eve.
She has the three appeals, of course, the lust of the flesh, the lust the eyes, and pride of life.
Now the last thing we notice in this text is they made coverings for themselves out of the fig leaves. Now folks, if you can remember when you were an unbeliever, you knew that God was there in your heart of hearts, but either you feared Him, you felt embarrassed to come to Him, or you felt distant from Him. You devised all kinds of things. In the university campus, it’s always some cosmic philosophy; but it can be other things. It can be the fact that I don’t want it to be associated with believers, or something else, a fig leaf to make me feel good in spite of the fact my heart condemns me. This is a common thing, and we want to also say that later on we will see one of the ramifications of this in psychology.
Let’s turn to two other slides. This is getting into the Fall. Now watch God’s conversation here in the words that He uses.
“And the LORD God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this, cursed are you above all the wild beasts and all living creatures of the field! On your belly you will crawl and dust you will eat all the days of your life. And I will put hostility …’ ”
Now here is the great proto evangelium, the first case of God’s gospel of grace.
“I will put hostility between you and the woman and between your offspring and her offspring; her offspring will attack your head, and you will attack her offspring’s heel.’ ” I am using the NET translation for that.
Anybody remember, if you studied Greek mythology, Achilles? Remember? The idea was that his mother took him and immersed him in something that made him invulnerable except for his heel. Achilles heel. What is that? Isn’t that Genesis 3 coming up? It’s almost a pagan distortion of what’s going on here.
“And to the woman He said, ‘I will greatly increase your labor pains; with pain you will give birth to children. You will want to control your husband but he will dominate you.’ ”
That’s the origin of marriage conflicts.
“But to Adam He said, ‘Because you obeyed your wife …’ ”
Now count the number of times the word “eat” or “ate” is in this address addressed to Adam and think of why God’s talking this way to him.
“ ‘Because you obeyed your wife and ate …’ ” That’s the first one.
“from the tree which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat …’ ” That’s the second one.
“ ‘from it,’ cursed is the ground thanks to you, in painful toil you will eat …” Third time.
“of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, but you will eat …” Fourth time.
“the grain of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat …” Fifth time.
“food until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to the dust you will return.’ ”
God has not cursed them. Notice I said watch the verb. Curse was to the serpent and curse was to the ground, but neither Adam nor Eve were cursed.
What happened to Adam and Eve both was their pre-Fall job was now made more difficult. Now the dominion of the earth is harder. By the way, notice in both of these instances we’re talking about binary sexuality. We’re not talking the 32 genders here. We’re talking about the functional basic productivity of man.
The distinction then is only Satan and the earth are cursed. It’s the proto evangelium. This is where we first see the gospel. Now we know redemption has happened. This is the first verse—think about this—this is the first verse where we see God’s grace. God loved before, but once the Fall happened, He didn’t have to love anymore. These were sinners that violated His authority. Now He reaches out; and He says, “I’m going to redeem.”
The vehicle for redemption is not going to be the man. The vehicle for the redemption will be the woman. This is why Jewish Passovers to this day after thousands of years the Passover in an Orthodox Jewish home cannot be conducted until the woman of the house lights the candle. The woman of the house is the one through whom the light comes. Then and only then can the rest of her family fellowship together around the Passover table.
There are very clear, sexually distinct roles here. That’s what we’re trying to say. It’s part of the Christian worldview and to replace it with Freudian requirements, I believe violates our First Amendment.
I’m going to write to the ADF, The Alliance Defending Freedom, to ask their lawyer staff, how about instead of defending us before an attack on our faith, how about reversing it and saying, “I am an employee in this organization. I’m a doctor or happen to be a teacher and I have the right to exercise my worldview against being told that I have to submit to a Freudian worldview. You are imposing your pagan religion on me and it is violating my First Amendment. So, let’s live and let live. You want to live your Freudian lifestyle. That’s fine with me; but don’t impose it on me. And I’ll leave you alone. I’m not imposing Christianity. The gospel is not imposed. We’re not talking about the Inquisition here. The gospel is a free choice. We’re not cramming the gospel down the people’s throat. So, I would appreciate it if you wouldn’t take Freud and jam it down my throat. And then we can both live together.”
All right and let’s go one more time. See Genesis 3:20–24.
“The man named his wife Eve …”
That’s the first response that we see by faith to God’s Word. Adam says, “I will name my wife Ish,” which is the word for life. Adam recognizes that somehow God is going to help him through the woman.
“I will call her name Ish because she is the mother of all life.”
“All life,” he says. “The LORD God made garments from the skin for Adam and his wife, and He clothed them.”
Another work of His grace. And that work of clothing them we’ll see has powerful soteriological impact.
“And the LORD God said, ‘Now that the man has become …’ ”
Now this is the other side of rejection. But it’s God in His grace doing this. Let’s watch the text and see if we can see where grace comes in.
“And the LORD God said, ‘Now that the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil, he must not be allowed to stretch forth his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.’
“So the LORD God expelled him from the orchard in Eden to cultivate the ground from which he had been taken. When He drove the man out, He placed on the eastern side of the orchard in Eden angelic sentries who used the flame of fire of a whirling sword to guard the way to the tree of life.”
We’ll get into this sort of next time.
This is the first time capital punishment is being authorized; and it’s not given to government here. It’s given to angelic sentries that guard and protect Eden. They have a lethal weapon in their hand. You don’t come in here, but you know this is an act of God’s love and His grace. Do you know what He is trying to prevent? Adam and Eve from touching that tree because if they touch the tree they will live forever in unredeemed bodies. God says, “I can’t allow that. I’ve got to stop it.” And so, we have the Creator’s first revelation of redemption and grace; and we have Him getting them out of the Eden for their own good, so they won’t make a mistake.
So, we wind up then with the implications of the Fall.
We have here something we need to think about. Why is it we are included in Adam’s sin? There is a big fight in church history between Augustine and the Pelagians about the fact—are we all born neutral? We are not. Babies do not have to be taught evil. And here’s why.
It’s a complicated thing here; but we want to just go through it; and you’ll see why it’s the basis of the gospel. It’s why we can be saved and why the angels can’t be saved. Angels and the spirit beings (the host of Heaven, the bene haelohim) are all individual beings. They are all created separately. The human race was not created separately. The human race was created with one couple; and we’re all connected genetically to Adam and Eve.
So, in Romans 5:14. The heart of the gospel. Paul says,
“Death reigned from Adam to Moses even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him Who was to come. But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ abounded to many.”
1 Corinthians 15:22, Paul says,
“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.”
Here’s the theological part of this. We use the word imputation. When Mike teaches about God in the Christian life, he distinguishes between justification and sanctification and then glorification. The reason he does that is because you can’t mix imputation and inherent sin. We all have inherent sin, but by the law of God the moment you and I trust in Jesus Christ, we have imputed righteousness from Christ. We are now placed under a new head.
So just as we were in Adam and we shared his imputed sin, his sin imputed to us; now, as we transition over to faith in Jesus Christ, we are in imputed (credited) with His perfect righteousness.
And yes, in real life, we are not sanctified; but legally we are sharing the absolute righteousness of Christ, for which we should give Him thanks every day of our life. We are given His righteousness that He showed when He faced all the trials we face on Earth and yet was found without sin. That’s where He was qualified to be our Savior.
So, we have three areas that are implications of the Fall. One is the theological and that is that we have salvation by imputation. No angel, no host of Heaven, no bene haelohim can gain imputed righteousness. It’s not offered to them and apparently that’s because of the way they were created.
A second area is the psychological implications of the Fall. To me this has powerful implications on counseling theory and that is that all approaches that seek meaning in life by arrogance toward one sense of deity are going to be doomed to fail.
Think of the slogan often used in psychological circles. You’ve got to know yourself. Excuse me, how do I know myself? There is only one Being that knows Himself and that’s God because He’s omniscient. We’re not omniscient. We don’t know the half of our own heart. So how can we know ourselves? Yes, we can get familiar with how we sin. We can get familiar with other things; but the arrogant attitude that we will know ourselves, Operation Bootstrap, doesn’t work.
If we want identity, if we want hope, our identity isn’t how we felt last Tuesday. Our identity is Psalm 139. That’s the identity God has given to us. Psalm 139 is overwhelming. It says every day of our life was created when we were in the womb, but we’re not told every day of our life. We’re just told that our life has meaning. It has purpose. And that’s one that drove me to the gospel.
I was in high school doing fine and everything else and felt on top of the world; but then I got the awards. I remember it to this day. I was in an auditorium and had a bunch of awards and I went back to my seat in the auditorium and said, “This is it?” The only thing I could think of at that moment was cotton candy. I ate and there’s nothing, no substance to this. All that work and there is no meaning, no purpose. That’s what the Lord used in my life to trigger searching for Him.
Finally, the third and last implication deals with politics. It’s so simple. You wonder, how is it that we don’t get this. We are fallen beings. We are not going to reestablish Eden or some utopia. That’s behind Marxism. It’s behind every nitwit movement in politics—progressivism and everything. I understand why people can feel this way because this is an abnormal environment. We all intuitively know this is not the way we should be living. We shouldn’t have poverty. We shouldn’t have disease. We shouldn’t have suffering. So, it strikes us in our heart and our natural response is that I want to fix it. But we can’t fix it because we’re all sinners and we’re all depraved.
The other thing that is important politically, is that the Cross of Jesus Christ is the only place where law and love are perfectly matched. Look around our society where you have a strict dictatorship of regulation after regulation after regulation. It results in a pharisaical environment where it’s legal minutia.
If I want to get somebody politically, I hire a sophisticated attorney or I bribe somebody in the Department of Justice, and we haul them before magistrates. That’s the tyranny of a legalistic fashion.
But then we also have in our society—“Well, we’re going to solve crime in the cities because we going to be nice and loving to all the crooks and thugs. And we’ll defund the police because miraculously if we’re nice to the bad guys; they’ll be good guys. Their good nature, their perfectible human nature will just sprout overnight.”
So again, only the Cross resolves the tension and only the Cross provides the answer. Thankfully we have a thing in that we have this class tonight on the Living Constitution. One of the things we want to remember with the Constitution ... Thank God that yes, the Founding Fathers owned slaves, but the Founding Fathers knew that this wasn’t going to last … plenty of evidence of that. But what the Declaration does and why it’s so hated by the modern people that want to stack the Supreme Court—and get rid of the Electoral College.
The reason we have the Electoral College and other things is to restrain a depraved population. You do not concentrate power among depraved people. We all know from our own being. We get abusive in those situations. We get naturally abusive. So that’s important political stuff.
Finally, I want to conclude today with going back to a promise, 1 Peter 5:5. We’ve looked at the first part of this passage, but now that we’ve gone through Genesis 3, look what happens right after this.
“All of you, clothe yourselves with humility …”
So, there is the modus operandi before we assume our role as creatures before our Creator. God opposes the proud. He gives grace to the humble. He does not give grace to the proud. He gives it to the humble.
“And God will exalt you in due time, if you humble yourselves under His mighty hand …”
I like how the NET translates the next participial clause as an instrumentation of the main verb … “by casting all your cares on Him for He cares for you.” We usually stop there.
But now let’s finish one other verse followed immediately after this promise.
“Be sober, be alert. Your enemy the devil, like a roaring lion, is on the prowl looking for someone to devour. Resist him, strong in your faith, because you know that your brothers and sisters throughout the world are enduring the same kinds of suffering.”
What he saying there is, you see other people they are suffering, not necessarily because of their sin; but that’s what can happen to us. Think of Job. Satan can say, “Hey God, all You have to do is make life a little more difficult and these people will curse You to Your face.” So just remember what suffering looks like.
“And, after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace who called you to His eternal glory in Christ will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To Him belongs the power forever.”
That’s our promise—to Him is all the power—that principalities and powers are administrators. They’re not the boss. The boss is our Lord and our Savior. May the Lord comfort us this morning with this story. Genesis 3 is so important for every area of our life, but it has a good note. It ends well.
“Father, we thank you for your gift of Scripture once again. In Christ’s name. Amen.”