Category Archives: CREATION AND EARLY MAN

What about the “mythological” animals in Scripture?

WHAT ABOUT THE “MYTHOLOGICAL” ANIMALS IN SCRIPTURE?

by Shawn Brasseaux

In a desperate effort to disparage and discredit the King James Bible, skeptics point to these “imaginary” animals as proof that Scripture is not inerrant. They jest as follows: “The Bible is nothing but a book of fairytales because it says dragons, satyrs, unicorns, and cockatrices exist. We should not take it literally because it has no basis in reality.” Can we answer these charges? Yes, we most certainly can—and will (!)—reply with an intelligent response!

WHAT ABOUT “DRAGONS?”

According to The Oxford English Dictionary, a “dragon” is “a mythical monster like a giant reptile.” It continues, “In European tradition the dragon is typically fire-breathing and tends to symbolize chaos or evil, whereas in East Asia it is usually a beneficent symbol of fertility, associated with water and the heavens.” The word originated from a Middle English term that also denotes a large serpent. Actually, the name comes to us from Old French, via Latin from Greek “drakon” (“serpent”).

The term “dragon” appears in excess of 30 times in a King James Bible. In Hebrew, it is “tanniyn.” Genesis 1:21 renders it “whales” (as in sea monsters): “And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.” This seems to be the sense of Job 7:12: “Am I a sea, or a whale, that thou settest a watch over me?” Also, Jeremiah 51:34 may be speaking of a sea monster: “Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon hath devoured me, he hath crushed me, he hath made me an empty vessel, he hath swallowed me up like a dragon, he hath filled his belly with my delicates, he hath cast me out.” Psalm 148:7 fits with this idea too: “Praise the LORD from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps:….” Lastly, Jeremiah 51:34: “Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon hath devoured me, he hath crushed me, he hath made me an empty vessel, he hath swallowed me up like a dragon, he hath filled his belly with my delicates, he hath cast me out.”

On three occasions, it was translated “serpent.” See Exodus chapter 7: “[9] When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying, Shew a miracle for you: then thou shalt say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and cast it before Pharaoh, and it shall become a serpent. [10] And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the LORD had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent…. [12] For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods.” This would seem to be the sense of Deuteronomy 32:33: “Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps.” (An “asp” is a venomous snake.)

The “dragon” in Jeremiah 14:6 is enigmatic; we have no way of knowing what it is. “And the wild asses did stand in the high places, they snuffed up the wind like dragons; their eyes did fail, because there was no grass.” Neither can we say what the “dragon” is in Nehemiah 2:13: “And I went out by night by the gate of the valley, even before the dragon well, and to the dung port, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem, which were broken down, and the gates thereof were consumed with fire.”

A dozen Bible verses link “dragons” to ruins and desert places:

  • Job 30:29: “I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls.”
  • Isaiah 13:22: “And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces: and her time is near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged.”
  • Isaiah 34:13: “And thorns shall come up in her palaces, nettles and brambles in the fortresses thereof: and it shall be an habitation of dragons, and a court for owls.”
  • Isaiah 35:7: “And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.”
  • Isaiah 43:20: “The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen.”
  • Jeremiah 9:11: “And I will make Jerusalem heaps, and a den of dragons; and I will make the cities of Judah desolate, without an inhabitant.”
  • Jeremiah 10:22: “Behold, the noise of the bruit [report, news] is come, and a great commotion out of the north country, to make the cities of Judah desolate, and a den of dragons.”
  • Jeremiah 49:33: “And Hazor shall be a dwelling for dragons, and a desolation for ever: there shall no man abide there, nor any son of man dwell in it.”
  • Jeremiah 51:37: “And Babylon shall become heaps, a dwellingplace for dragons, an astonishment, and an hissing, without an inhabitant.”
  • Micah 1:8: “Therefore I will wail and howl, I will go stripped and naked: I will make a wailing like the dragons, and mourning as the owls.”
  • Malachi 1:3: “And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.”

In the above verses, the Bible writers may have been referring to physical animals they observed in Palestine thousands of years ago. These creatures may have since gone extinct. Some suppose it to be “jackal,” but this author views that as rather absurd. Be that as it may, we must also bear in mind, that some of these passages are prophetic—future. The verses from Isaiah and some from Jeremiah have not been fulfilled yet: they look forward to Christ’s return in fiery wrath, when He judges Babylon. (See our “satyr” remarks later in this study.) Perhaps they are creatures from the spirit world, and resemble the dragons of mythology!

Psalm 44:19 seems to indicate “dragons” are connected to the spirit world or death: “Though thou hast sore broken us in the place of dragons, and covered us with the shadow of death.” Whatever they are, they are real beings because the Bible says they are. Most importantly, we must not forget to see the spiritual aspect of the dragon in Scripture. As noted earlier, the word originated from a Middle English term that also denotes a large serpent. The word comes to us from Old French, via Latin from Greek “drakon” (“serpent”). Bearing in mind the etymological relationship between “snake” and “dragon,” we better appreciate how the Bible pairs them when applying those titles to Satan figuratively.

  • Isaiah 27:1: “In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.” Here is Satan’s destruction at Christ’s Second Coming, which is also pictured in Job chapter 41.
  • Isaiah 51:9: “Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon?” Again, this is Satan’s destruction at Christ’s Second Coming.
  • Ezekiel 29:3: “Speak, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers, which hath said, My river is mine own, and I have made it for myself.” While there is a historical application, this too may be Christ destroying Satan as His Second Coming.
  • Psalm 74:13-14: “[13] Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength: thou brakest the heads of the dragons in the waters. [14] Thou brakest the heads of leviathan in pieces, and gavest him to be meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness.” Once more, this is Satan’s destruction at Christ’s Second Coming.
  • Psalm 91:13: “Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.” Here is God’s promise to the Little Flock, Israel’s believing remnant, that they will overcome Satan upon Christ’s return. The Devil deliberately omitted this from his quotation of Psalm 91 in Matthew 4:6 and Luke 4:10-11!

Revelation chapter 12: “[3] And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. [4] And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born…. [7] And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,…. [9] And the great dragon was cast out, that 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. [13] And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child…. [16] And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. [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.”

Revelation chapter 13: “[2] And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority…. [4] And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?…. [11] And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon…. [13] And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.”

As Revelation 12:9 reveals, the “dragon” in the Revelation is none other than Satan, the Devil. Lest we fail to make the connection, it is repeated in Revelation 20:2: “And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,….” Satan is a “serpent” in character, sneaky or duplicitous, as seen in Genesis 3:1: “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made” (cf. 2 Corinthians 11:3-4, Ephesians 4:14, and Ephesians 6:11).

WHAT ABOUT “SATYRS?”

As defined in The Oxford English Dictionary, a “satyr” is “[Greek mythology] one of a class of lustful, drunken woodland gods. In Greek art they were represented as a man with a horse’s ears and tail, but in Roman representations as a man with a goat’s ears, tail, legs, and horns.”

“Satyr” appears just twice in King James Bible. “But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there” (Isaiah 13:21). “The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the wild beasts of the island, and the satyr shall cry to his fellow; the screech owl also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest” (Isaiah 34:14). Some make these verses references to baboons—and translate the Hebrew thusly—but this seems ridiculous and not worthy of our consideration.

The Hebrew is “sa`iyr,” meaning “hairy.” It was used two times to refer to Esau the brother of Jacob (Genesis 27:11,23). Almost 30 times it was translated “kid,” a young goat. Two dozen times it was rendered “goat.” Interestingly, it was twice translated “devils”—a goat-idol the ancient Hebrews worshipped. “And they shall no more offer their sacrifices unto devils, after whom they have gone a whoring. This shall be a statute for ever unto them throughout their generations” (Leviticus 17:7). “And he ordained him priests for the high places, and for the devils, and for the calves which he had made” (2 Chronicles 11:15).

Regarding the two quotes we read from Isaiah at the beginning of this section, “satyrs” are connected to cursed Babylon (cf. Isaiah 13:19) and cursed Bozrah and Idumea (cf. Isaiah 34:6). Like “dragons,” they are found in desolate or ruined regions. Babylon is near present Baghdad, Iraq, whereas Bozrah and Idumea are south of the Dead Sea. These are two areas to be judged with fire at Christ’s Second Coming: “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;…” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).

Read Isaiah chapter 34: “[8] For it is the day of the LORD’S vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion. [9] And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. [10] It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever.” Compare this to Revelation 14:9-11.

Could there be some type of real creature that resembles a satyr—a half-goat/half-man being? After all, we read earlier about the goat-idol the ancient Israelites worshipped. Even today, the “Baphomet” idol of Satanists is partly man and partly goat. What could inspire such a horrific image? This should not surprise us, as we see a creature equally disturbing in the Book of the Revelation. Look at these “locusts” of chapter 9, and you will see they are no ordinary grasshoppers!

“[1] And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. [2] And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. [3] And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. [4] And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. [5] And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. [6] And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.

“[7] And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. [8] And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. [9] And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. [10] And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months. [11] And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.”

These beings from the “bottomless pit” (spirit world) have a face like a man, hair like a woman, teeth like a lion, and tails with stingers like scorpions. They can fly, and generate a great deal of noise when swarming. Such a dreadful sight and sound! They indeed are monsters—but exist in the spirit world. We cannot see them with physical eyes yet they exist. Sin has corrupted even these fallen angels, and, one day, they will work with Satan to torment lost mankind during Daniel’s 70th Week. We can consider the “satyrs” as just another group of these deformed and evil beings, to be let lose in the ages to come (after our Dispensation of Grace).

WHAT ABOUT “UNICORNS?”

According to The Oxford English Dictionary, a “unicorn” is “a mythical animal represented as a horse with a single straight horn projecting from its forehead.” “Unicorns” appear nine times in the King James Bible. The Hebrew word is “re’em.” Notice them:

  • Numbers 23:22: “God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn.”
  • Numbers 24:8: “God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows.”
  • Deuteronomy 33:17: “His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh.”
  • Job 39:9: “Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib?”
  • Job 39:10: “Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee?”
  • Psalm 22:21: “Save me from the lion’s mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.”
  • Psalm 29:6: “He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.”
  • Psalm 92:10: “But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil.”
  • Isaiah 34:7: “And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness.”

Various ideas have been offered to explain what “unicorns” are in Scripture. Some believe them to be a buffalo, an ox, or even an antelope called an “oryx.” A general explanation is a wild bull. Based on the description in the above verses (Numbers and Job), whatever the “unicorn” was, it was a beast of burden. It is associated with a bull or calf. We would do well, again, to notice the spiritual connection. “Unicorns” appear at Christ’s Second Coming (remember Isaiah chapter 34 and the dragons and satyrs?). There may very well be spirit creatures that have just a single horn on their forehead. Never forget: cherubim, in addition to having four wings and a calf’s hooves, have four faces—a man’s face, a lion’s face, an ox’s face, and an eagle’s face (Ezekiel 1:5-10)!

In the case of Psalm 22:21, this is Christ Jesus during the three days and three nights He was dead, and in the heart of the earth. He was with “unicorns”—that is, in the spirit world, where Satan was attempting to keep him and prevent His resurrection. For more information, see the Psalm 22:20-21 study linked at the end of this article.

WHAT ABOUT “COCKATRICES?”

In The Oxford English Dictionary, a “cockatrice” is “[heraldry] a mythical animal depicted as a two-legged dragon (or wyvern) with a cock’s [rooster’s] head.” “Cockatrices” appear four times in the King James Bible. The Hebrew word is “tsepha`.” Look at those now:

  • Isaiah 11:8: “And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den.”
  • Isaiah 14:29: “Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, because the rod of him that smote thee is broken: for out of the serpent’s root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent.”
  • Isaiah 59:5: “They hatch cockatrice’ eggs, and weave the spider’s web: he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper.”
  • Jeremiah 8:17: “For, behold, I will send serpents, cockatrices, among you, which will not be charmed, and they shall bite you, saith the LORD.”

Are these “make-believe” verses? No! It should be pointed out that “tsepha`” was also rendered “adder.” Proverbs 23:32: “At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.” A “cockatrice” in the Bible is a venomous snake, and, as you can see, the context of all these verses is definitely snake-oriented. Beyond that, we cannot be sure what it is. Perhaps it was a type of animal alive on Earth in Bible days that has since become extinct. Once more, the idea is certainly related to Satan (remember “dragon” and “snake”). Go back and check Isaiah 14:29 (see Lucifer/Satan in the context, verses 12-15 in particular).

CONCLUSION

The Bible sometimes uses “dragons” and “serpents” interchangeably because of their resemblance. In fact, a dragon in Scripture is often used figuratively of Satan to underscore his craftiness (as in the common idiom, “a snake in the grass”). Other times, however, “dragons” and “serpents” are not synonymous. A “dragon” can even be a sea monster—such as the whale or fish that swallowed Jonah. As with every Bible term, let the context restrict the meaning!

Concerning “satyrs,” they are half-man and half-goat beings in Greek mythology. As touching the Bible, they are certainly associated with goats—namely, a goat-idol that is a physical representation of an invisible, evil spirit creature. These are fallen angels, undergoing the deteriorating and disfiguring effects of sin. The “unicorns” are most enigmatic. Scripture speaks of them as strong beasts of burden, which existed in Bible days. Yet, there is a spiritual connection because they are associated with Christ’s death and resurrection. Regarding “cockatrices,” they are a type of venomous snake in Scripture. They have some relation to Satan, the serpent.

These creatures, even if they never existed on Earth, are linked to and exist in the spirit world—namely, Hell and accomplishing Satan’s work. We never want to discount the fact that various animals of the ancient world have gone extinct, and this is just as valid an explanation. Maybe the Bible writers were alluding to physical animals alive in their day. Then again, some were spirit beings God afforded them the opportunity to see in order to write His Word. As Bible believers, we should not and do not see their inclusion as a challenge to the historicity or literalness of the Scriptures. Even when employing metaphorical or figurative language, the Bible communicates literal truth. For example, while Satan is not an actual snake with scales and fangs, he nevertheless is a serpent in character—sly, deceptive, insidious. We use such terminology when describing people, do we not? Why are we so opposed to the Scripture doing the same? (Perhaps we have an agenda to shame it so we have an excuse not to believe it when it speaks of our sin problem?!)

(By the way, if someone should mock a Bible believer for saying “dragons” exist, just politely remind them of “make-believe” “Komodo dragons” and “bearded dragons.” That should reduce them to silence!)

Saints, please remember us in your monthly giving—these websites do cost money to run! 🙂 You can donate securely here: https://www.paypal.me/ShawnBrasseaux, or email me at arcministries@gmail.com. Do not forget about Bible Q&A booklets for sale at https://arcgraceministries.org/in-print/booklets-bible-q-a/. Thanks to all who give to and pray for us! By the way, ministry emails have really been backed up this year. I am handling them as much as humanly possible. Thanks for your patience. 🙂

Also see:
» Can you explain Psalm 22:20-21?
» What about the “talking snake” of Genesis 3?
» What swallowed Jonah—a fish or a whale?
» “But, what if I don’t accept the Bible’s authority?”

How long were Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden?

HOW LONG WERE ADAM AND EVE IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN?

by Shawn Brasseaux

How long did Adam and Eve live in the Garden of Eden before they sinned and God threw them out? While there are all sorts of wild speculations, we need to search the Scriptures to see if we can find verses to answer our question.

As per Genesis chapter 4, Eve did not bear her first son (Cain) until after she and Adam sinned and were expelled from the Garden of Eden in chapter 3. Her body was healthy, sexually mature at the moment of her creation. She did not have fertility issues (and Adam was not sexually immature or impotent either). Obviously, not long after they met, they would have connected sexually, meaning it would not have taken months or years for her to conceive a child. Some married couples struggle to bear children for a long time (if ever resulting in pregnancy), but this was not true of Adam and Eve. Had they lived in Eden for years, enough time would have elapsed to result in several children. This is one indication they were in the Garden for just a short time. They could not have been in Eden for more than a year before they sinned.

Here is another Bible fact we must consider. The Sabbath Day is connected to the Creation Week. It was the seventh day—Saturday—to follow the six days of God’s creative acts. We turn to Genesis chapter 2: “[1] Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. [2] And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. [3] And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” Adam had been created on the sixth day, Friday (Genesis 1:26-31).

Now, here is the Fourth Commandment as it reads in Exodus chapter 20: “[8] Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. [9] Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: [10] But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: [11] For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.”

There was the first Sabbath (the one that closed the Creation Week), and then there was the following Sabbath. God would have come down and dwelt with Adam and Eve in an earthly kingdom on that second Sabbath. The LORD had Israel observe the weekly Sabbath in order to remember their purpose: He will use them as His earthly people, in the same capacity Adam and Eve refused to participate all those thousands of years ago!

Consider Matthew 25:34: “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:….” Also, Acts 3:19-21: “[19] Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. [20] And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: [21] Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” Since God placed man (Adam) on the earth, He had an earthly kingdom in mind. However, sin disrupted that plan—and man has yet to experience God’s reign in the Earth!

Now, read from Hebrews chapter 4: “[3] For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. [4] For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works…. [9] There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. [10] For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. [11] Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”

Again, the earthly kingdom believing Jews are anticipating (which will be established at Christ’s Second Coming—Acts 3:19-21), is the very earthly kingdom Adam and Eve would have enjoyed had they not sinned and been evicted from Eden. Hence, Adam and Eve would have been in the Garden of Eden for less than a week. We know they did not see the second Sabbath—the one following the original Sabbath of Genesis 2:1-3—because we know God’s earthly kingdom is delayed even now. Adam and Eve were not allowed to see it, which indicates to us they were in Eden only about a week before they fell.

Also see:
» Why did Jesus Christ heal on the Sabbath Day?
»
Is the Sabbath day—Saturday or Sunday?
» Where in the Bible did God give Satan domain over the Earth?

Did God “forget” to create Eve?

DID GOD “FORGET” TO CREATE EVE?

by Shawn Brasseaux

When God created the animals, He made them male and female. The Bible’s language is that male and female animals came into existence simultaneously. Adam, however, was created alone. Why?

Genesis chapter 2 relates the matter: “[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. [8] And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man [alone!] whom he had formed. [9] And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil…. [15] And the LORD God took the man [alone!], and put him [alone!] into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. [16] And the LORD God commanded the man [alone!], saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: [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.

“[18] And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. [19] And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. [20] And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.”

Here is one way this passage is handled. The LORD God noticed lonely Adam and confessed a fault: “Oops, I was so busy making him that I forgot to make Eve!” Surely, this is most ridiculous. How could the omniscient (all-knowing) Creator God not foresee the problem in making a single person? Adam’s first moments alive were spent without another person present. It was only later that Eve was created. Why did God wait to form Eve, instead of making Adam and Eve a pair right from Adam’s very beginning?

Adam and Eve were both created on the sixth day, but Adam was created first and Eve was created later that same day. By the time of the seventh day, the Sabbath Day, all of God’s creative work was finished (Genesis 2:1-3). Chapter 2, serving as a review, concludes as touching the sixth day: “[21] And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; [22] And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. [23] And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. [24] Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. [25] And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”

Bible skeptics, or those approaching the Scripture from an immature perspective, will wonder how God could create Adam but “accidentally” forget to place Eve with him. Such is no accident! The arrangement was for Adam’s benefit. It was to reinforce in him the understanding that there was more to his life than his own existence. He should be living for another! Adam could see all the animals with their mates, but he was by himself. Again, he should be living for another! Once God formed Eve and brought her to Adam, then Adam learned firsthand the lesson he would not have known otherwise. Human existence—especially marriage—is not about isolation. We are social beings for a reason.

If we look at life in the Godhead, we will see the absence of selfishness. The three Members of the Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Ghost—live for the benefit of the other two Persons. For example, the Son was submissive to His Father’s will rather His own will: “And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt” (Mark 14:36). Jesus Christ went about doing His “Father’s business” (Luke 2:49). The Son said, “I honour my Father” (John 8:49). “The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself” (John 14:10). “It is my Father that honoureth me” (John 8:54). “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was” (John 17:5). “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). “For thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name” (Psalm 138:2), Father God said of the words the Holy Spirit wrote. The Son said of the Holy Spirit, “The Spirit of truth… shall not speak of himself… He shall glorify me” (John 16:13-14).

Genesis 1:26-28 asserts that the Creator God designed mankind to function in a similar capacity. This is the idea of man being made in God’s image, after God’s likeness: “[26] And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. [27] So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. [28] And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

Of course, Adam did not walk in that selfless identity, thereby leading to the Fall of man into sin. Today, with the entrance of sin, we behave selfishly. Man is not about living for others; alienated from the life of God, he is all about living for self. Rather than worrying about God forgetting something (which He did not), it is more important we recognize that we have forgotten the lesson God taught Adam using Eve.

Also see:
» Why did God ask where Adam was?
» Did Adam die or did he not die in Genesis 3?
» Could you explain 1 Timothy 2:15?

How is Jesus Christ the “firstborn” of every creature?

HOW IS JESUS CHRIST THE “FIRSTBORN” OF EVERY CREATURE?

by Shawn Brasseaux

This question stems from Colossians 1:15: “[God’s dear Son; verse 13] Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:….” Lest we misunderstand the matter, it is better to read all the way through to verse 20 to grasp the sense of the verse.

“[15] Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: [16] For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: [17] And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. [18] And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. [19] For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; [20] And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”

God the Son, Jesus Christ, made creatures (angels and humans, respectively) to occupy the offices of government in Heaven and Earth. These offices are the “things” in the above passage—“thrones, dominions, principalities, powers” (verse 16). In the original creation, creatures ruled for Jesus Christ’s glory. Alas, angels and humans sinned. Satan and his angelic cohorts corrupted the heavenly places with sin (Job 15:15; Job 25:5; Isaiah 14:12-15; Ephesians 6:12). When the first man, Adam, willfully followed that rebellion in Genesis chapter 3, he allowed sin to spread to the Earth’s governmental offices (Genesis 1:26-28; Matthew 4:8-11; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Galatians 1:4).

The Holy Bible is the record of how the God of Scripture invented and enacted a plan to restore to Himself the offices of government (“things”) in Heaven and Earth. In the Apostle Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon, we see the final pieces to that scheme laid out. Both God’s earthly people (the nation Israel—the prophetic people) and His heavenly people (the Church the Body of Christ—the mystery people) are formed through Jesus Christ’s shed blood. Calvary’s finished crosswork makes it possible for both groups of sinners to become saints, people set apart for God’s purposes. Where Adam failed on Earth, redeemed Israel will succeed. What Satan and his angels defiled, the Church the Body of Christ will take over. This is the first step in understanding the excerpt from Colossians chapter 1. (We will return to this shortly.)

In the physical world, the “firstborn” son is said to be “the beginning of his father’s strength.” See Genesis 49:3: “Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power….” Moreover, Deuteronomy chapter 21 says the firstborn son received the double portion of his father’s estate: “[16] Then it shall be, when he maketh his sons to inherit that which he hath, that he may not make the son of the beloved firstborn before the son of the hated, which is indeed the firstborn: [17] But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath: for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his.”

When we consider Colossians 1:15-20, we should think of the firstborn son being the heir of his father’s estate. The governments of Heaven and Earth are Christ’s Father’s estate. Jesus Christ is “the firstborn of every creature” (verse 15) in that He is the Man who holds the place of headship over His Father’s house. Christ is the leader of both groups of creatures—redeemed Israel and the Church the Body of Christ—who will reign in their respective offices in eternity future. Father God has appointed His Son Jesus Christ as head of all governmental offices in Heaven and Earth. It is through the nation Israel and the Church the Body of Christ—both of whom He is the Head—that Jesus Christ reigns in Earth and in Heaven throughout the endless ages to come.

Jesus Christ was “declared to be the Son of God with power…by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4). When Colossians 1:18 says He is “the firstborn from the dead,” it refers to Him being resurrected to subsequently reign as King over Heaven and Earth. Having shed His sinless blood to form the redeemed nation Israel and the Church the Body of Christ, the offices of government in Heaven and Earth will return to His Father’s authority (and no longer under the control of Satan and sinful man). Post-resurrection, Christ possesses His Father’s governmental power or political strength. Consider these two passages from the Book of Hebrews. Pay attention to Christ’s death and resurrection, and how His reign follows.

Hebrews chapter 1: “[3] [His Son, verse 2] Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; [4] Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. [5] For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? [6] And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.

“[7] And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. [8] But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. [9] Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. [10] And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: [11] They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; [12] And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail. [13] But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?” (Verse 12 is the change in governmental officials, saints replacing sinners in both Heaven and Earth.)

Hebrews chapter 2: “[5] For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. [6] But one in a certain place testified [Psalm 8:4-6], saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? [7] Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: [8] Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. [9] But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. [10] For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” (The “sons” of verse 10 are Israel’s believing remnant, the Little Flock of Luke 12:32.)

Here is the government in the heavenly places to follow Christ’s resurrection as regarding us, the Church the Body of Christ. Ephesians chapter 1: “[19] And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, [20] Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, [21] Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: [22] And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, [23] Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.”

Of course, the actual reigning of Christ in Heaven and Earth has yet to be brought to pass. He is currently a royal exile in Heaven, where He has been for the last 2,000 years since Israel rejected and crucified Him. Yet, in due time, the Dispensation of Grace will close, the Church the Body of Christ will be complete, and we will be brought up to reign in the Heavens (at the Rapture). Then, the nation Israel will be redeemed to reign in the Earth (at the Second Coming). It is Father God’s will that all power in Heaven and Earth be consolidated in one Man—the Lord Jesus Christ. Indeed, “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell” (Colossians 1:19). “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matthew 28:18).

Ephesians chapter 1 thus summarizes: “[8] Wherein he [Father God] hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; [9] Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: [10] That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: [11] In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: [12] That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.” (The purpose of our salvation from Hell to Heaven, verses 11-12, is to make us be in the heavenly places the corresponding unit to redeemed Israel in the earthly realm, verses 9-10! Yes, it is God’s wise and prudent plan.)

SUPPLEMENTAL: COLOSSIANS 1 AND “THE NEW WORLD TRANSLATION”

It is no secret that the “Jehovah’s Witnesses”—better termed “the Russellites,” after their founder Charles Taze Russell—consider Jesus Christ “a god” and not JEHOVAH God. This is apparent in their controversial rendering of John 1:1: “In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.” (cf. King James Bible: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”) The official Russellite position is Jesus Christ is a mere created being, Someone who is not co-equal and not co-eternal with God the Father. Allegedly, God created Jesus Christ, then God used Christ to create “everything else.” They use a depraved version of Colossians 1:16-20 to justify this claim. To them, Jesus is the “firstborn” of every creature in that He was the first being “Jehovah God” created. What nonsense!

Without any manuscript evidence whatsoever anywhere, they add the word “other” to the passage five times in their “New World Translation:” “[15] He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; [16] because by means of him all [other] things were created in the heavens and upon the earth, the things visible and invisible, no matter whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All [other] things have been created through him and for him. [17] Also, he is before all [other] things and by means of him all [other] things were made to exist,…. [20] and through him to reconcile again to himself all [other] things by making peace through the blood [he shed] on the torture stake, no matter whether they are the things upon the earth or the things in the heavens.” (Bold emphasis mine. Notice “by” has been changed to “through,” which is how modern English versions—including NKJV—read here as well. Also, did you see how the New World Translation did not use “cross” but “torture stake?” Jesus dying on a pole or stake is another unorthodox or peculiar belief of the Russellites.)

Their insertion of “other” five times is an unmistakable indication of their spiritual blindness. The Holy Spirit did not inspire or originate such garbage. “Things” in this context does not refer to any creatures (check verse 16). The noun “things” points to governmental positions or offices. Could Jesus Christ be “another throne?” Could He be “another dominion/lordship?” “Another principality/government?” “Another power/authority?” The language refers to the political influence being exercised, not the people exercising that influence.

“Other” is completely unnecessary; hence, the Greek Bible never had it! The Russellites translators added it—not once but five times. Such is nothing but a deliberate alteration to teach a pet denominational idea. It is awkward language, a sure testament to the false doctrine found among the Russellites and their authority (their sectarian “bible,” the New World Translation). No matter the cost—even if it means perverting God’s eternal words and diminishing the Lord Jesus Christ—they will keep their “traditions of men!” Again, the Holy Spirit would certainly not be involved in such a translation or denomination. When approaching Colossians 1:15-20, be careful not to fall in this trap!

Also see:
» Did Jesus Christ ever claim to be God?
» Is Jesus Christ God’s “one and only Son” or “only begotten Son?”
» What do you mean—“the prophetic program” and “the mystery program?”

Why did God place a curse on creation?

WHY DID GOD PLACE A CURSE ON CREATION?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Anyone familiar with the Bible knows about the Fall of man in Genesis chapter 3. Also therein is the institution of the infamous curse upon creation. Verses 16-19 relate the matter to us: “[16] Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. [17] And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; [18] Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; [19] In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”

It often seems “unfair” that God, because of Adam’s sin, has punished creation. Why did He alter plants’ genetic makeup so they produce thorns and thistles? Why should wholly-herbivorous animals be forced to become carnivores, no longer having exclusive plant-based diets? Why must work be strenuous and exhausting? Why should women have conception/pregnancy pains and birth pangs? Why do we have to physically die? Pay close attention, dear friends. It is quite easy to explain and not impossible to understand. There is something terribly wrong with creation in the spirit world. Consequently, it is only appropriate that something be extremely wrong with the natural world to reflect it. In other words, we can see the physical effects of an invisible spiritual war. God placed a curse on creation in order to indicate to us something is amiss in a realm we cannot see with physical eyes.

Adam was God’s king or representative in the Earth. Notice Genesis chapter 1: “[26] And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. [27] So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. [28] And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

When Adam made a conscious choice and sinned, deliberately siding with Satan in the Garden of Eden (Genesis chapter 3), he as Earth’s God-given leader handed over that government to Satan. Adam relinquished his position of governing in the Earth, and Satan gladly occupies that office instead. Hence, Satan is called “the god [ruler] of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4). Notice the following exchanges with Satan and Jesus Christ; particularly observe how Satan boasted that he had usurped Earth’s governments, and then he used that as leverage to challenge Christ!

Matthew 4:8-10: “[8] Again, the devil taketh him [the Lord Jesus Christ] up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; [9] And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. [10] Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”

Luke 4:5-8: “[5] And the devil, taking him [the Lord Jesus Christ] up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. [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. [7] If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. [8] And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”

In addition to reflecting that spiritual war, there is a second reason why God put a curse on creation. We find it in Romans chapter 8: “[18] For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. [19] For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. [20] For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, [21] Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. [22] For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. [23] And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. [24] For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? [25] But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.”

God in His wisdomnot recklessness or indifference—temporarily granted Satan the ability to exercise dominion over the Earth and all of creation, but Satan cannot use creation to its full potential. While a crude illustration, here is something that may help. Renters may vandalize or destroy real estate before they permanently move out, taking vengeance on the property’s owner. Similarly, before God momentarily gave creation over to Satan, He put limitations on it. Satan receives less worship in a fallen world than he would have in an un-fallen one. Additionally, a world that is dying is not perpetually trapped under his control anyway.

What is most important for us to remember here is the temporariness of the fallen creation. Creation has not always been fallen, and it will not always be fallen. The God of the Bible who cursed creation because of sin has left us with the promise—the hope—that He will remove that curse one day. Such a wonderful hope saves us from despair, hopelessness, doom and gloom.

Romans chapter 8 again: “[21] Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. [22] For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. [20] For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, [21] Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. [22] For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. [23] And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. [24] For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? [25] But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.”

Just think, dear friends, we are moving closer and closer to this day of redemption. Time is indeed running out on Satan’s reign and the bondage of corruption. Deliverance for creation is coming, and in God’s (!) own (!) time (!) we will see it with physical eyes. He who subjected the creation to a cursed condition will one day subject that same creation to a glorious restoration! “Then do we with [!] patience [!] wait [!] for it.” 🙂

Also see:
» Why do we suffer?
» Is God “unfair” to punish us for Adam’s sin?
» Can you explain “knowing” good and evil with respect to the Garden of Eden?

Can you explain “knowing” good and evil with respect to the Garden of Eden?

CAN YOU EXPLAIN “KNOWING” GOOD AND EVIL WITH RESPECT TO THE GARDEN OF EDEN?

by Shawn Brasseaux

On four occasions in the Holy Bible, we read of “knowing” or “knowledge” as concerning the forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden. Exactly what concept is involved here? Was the fruit itself evil? (No!) Partaking of it—eating it—was the problem. But, how was consuming it such a “big deal” before God? Why was the LORD insistent that Adam and Eve not eat that fruit? What underlying idea made their act so offensive, eternally serious, worthy of expulsion and damnation?

Genesis chapter 2: “[9] And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil…. [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.”

Scripture says in chapter 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…. [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:….”

To have knowledge of good and evil”—to know good and evil”—is not about possessing the ability to know good from evil. It is not a matter of understanding good and evil. Adam and Eve knew right from wrong from the very beginning. They understood that to follow God was right and to disobey Him was wrong. That was not the purpose of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Rather, the emphasis on partaking of the forbidden fruit is being a judge, determining what is good and what is evil. This is the LORD God’s job alone. If Adam and Eve eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they are attempting to usurp God’s right to be the final authority. As the Creator God, He alone sets the standards: His rules must be followed and not disobeyed. He defines or decides what is good and what is evil.

In chapter 3, Satan enticed Adam and Eve to be their own authority. Eating of the forbidden fruit is significant because they are showing God they want to function like He does. Verse 5 again: “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…. The “gods” here is not a reference to “God” (as modern English versions read). Adam and Eve knew they cannot actually become God. However, they were led to believe they could be “gods”—beings who pretend to be God in that they make their own rules and do as they please. Satan himself is called “the god of this world” in 2 Corinthians 4:4, for he is ruling this evil world system as a usurper (Galatians 1:4; 1 John 5:19). Fallen angels—those who sided with Satan against God—are the “gods” of Genesis 3:5. They had already rebelled against the Creator, and Satan encouraged Adam and Eve to follow suit.

Unfortunately, we know the rest of Genesis chapter 3 (see also 1 Timothy 2:11-15, and the related study linked at the end of this article). Eve was deceived but Adam was not deceived. Operating without sound Bible doctrine, Eve ate the forbidden fruit—and Adam made a deliberate choice to follow her in eating. Here is the Fall of man, described quite clearly in Romans chapter 5 (which passage also discusses how the Lord Jesus Christ came to die and save us from that sinful state).

SUPPLEMENTAL: THE TEST OF LAW OR GRACE

Let it also be understood that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was a test that God placed before Adam and Eve. Would they rely on God’s performance—what He did for them, what He gave them? Or, would they prefer their performance—what they wanted and what they could do for themselves? See Genesis 2:16-17: “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 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.” (Eve was not created until later that day, so she did not hear this directly from God. Presumably, Adam told her God’s Word.)

The LORD God Himself told Adam—and Adam was to convey the message to Eve—that He had given them all the trees of the garden for food except one. Save for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they had been granted permission to eat the fruit of any and every tree. This is God’s grace—abundant blessings, more than enough provisions, simply given because of His goodness!!! “Thou mayest freely eat.” Here is free will, friends. God did not force them to eat from the good trees, and He did not force them to eat of the one “off-limits” tree. It was not, “Thou must freely eat.” Neither was it, “Thou must not freely eat.” It was entirely up to them. Satan caused them to be ungrateful, ignore God’s provisions. They made the wrong choice, indeed, but it was their choice. God did not make it for them: He did not create them to be mindless robots!

God laid before Adam and Eve two choices. Firstly, they could function within the limits that He established for their own good. They could enjoy His goodness—and eat of all the trees except the one forbidden tree. In other words, they could by faith cooperate with His grace. Secondly, they could cross the barriers He erected. That is, they could ignore His grace, and attempt to be creatures He had not intended them to be, and try to provide for their own needs. It was most unfortunate—awful—they chose the latter route. This is the same course Abraham took when he ignored the son God promised him (Isaac) and fathered Ishmael. It is the same path the nation Israel took at Mount Sinai, when they threw aside everything God had done for them thus far and demanded a works-religion system. This is the same route people are taking today when they snub Christ’s finished crosswork at Calvary, and go about establishing their own righteous with religious works! It is absolute folly… and it will result in eternal damnation!!!

Also see:
» What was “the forbidden fruit?” Was it really an apple?
» Was God “unfair” to punish us for Adam’s sin?
» Could you explain 1 Timothy 2:15?

What was “the forbidden fruit?”

WHAT WAS “THE FORBIDDEN FRUIT?” WAS IT REALLY AN APPLE?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Nearly all people—even “learned” ones—speak of Adam and Eve eating an “apple.” This idea has become so engrained in public knowledge and speech that it is likely the most pervasive Bible misconception. In fact, the prominent nodule on the throats of human males—the so-called “Adams apple”—derived its name from such nonsense. There is no Scriptural proof that an apple was the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. From where did such confusion come? How did an apple ever become associated with Adam and Eve? Can we use the Bible to discover the identity of the forbidden fruit? “For what saith the Scriptures?”

LATIN AND THE FORBIDDEN FRUIT

Never once does the Bible indicate that the eating of an apple led to man’s fall into sin. The Book of Genesis merely provides the generic word “fruit.” So, when and how did the idea of an apple enter the picture? Confusion likely arose with the Latin Bible over 1,000 years ago. The Latin “malus/mala/malum” means “bad/evil.” It is important to note that it has a short /a/ sound—as in “malnutrition,” “malpractice,” “malady.” The Latin “malus” (pronounced differently) translates to “apple.” It has a long /a/ sound—sounding like “age,” “day,” “laid.” (The Latin word is from the Greek for “apple”—“malon” or “melon.”) Since Scripture calls it “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” that word “evil” in Latin sounds very similar to the Latin word for “apple.” People began associating the two concepts, and the erroneous notion was eventually established to plague us with confusion even now.

If it were not an apple, can we use the Bible to learn what type of fruit it was? Yes!

LETTING THE SCRIPTURES SPEAK

We turn to Genesis chapter 2: “[9] And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil…. [16] And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: [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.”

Moving to chapter 3 now: “[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? [2] And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: [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. [4] And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: [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. [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. [7] And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.”

As you saw for yourself, friend, there was nothing here about an “apple,” was there? The Bible said “fruit” and that is all it said. If we are to find out anything more, we will have to look for other Scripture verses. In fact, the Book of Judges contains an interesting and insightful “Parable of the Trees.” Let us consider Judges chapter 9 now:

“[7] And when they told it to Jotham, he went and stood in the top of mount Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried, and said unto them, Hearken unto me, ye men of Shechem, that God may hearken unto you.
“[8] The trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive tree, Reign thou over us. [9] But the olive tree said unto them, Should I leave my fatness, wherewith by me they honour God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?
“[10] And the trees said to the fig tree, Come thou, and reign over us. [11] But the fig tree said unto them, Should I forsake my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to be promoted over the trees?
“[12] Then said the trees unto the vine, Come thou, and reign over us. [13] And the vine said unto them, Should I leave my wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?
“[14] Then said all the trees unto the bramble, Come thou, and reign over us. [15] And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, then come and put your trust in my shadow: and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon.”

Did you notice four “trees” are identified here? We see an olive tree (verses 8-9), a fig tree (verses 10-11), a vine tree (verses 12-13), and a bramble tree (verses 14-15). A group of trees visit the olive tree, then the fig tree, next the vine tree, and finally the bramble tree. These four trees appear elsewhere in the Bible. If we are diligent in picking them out, we will better understand the passage in Judges as well as the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

The fig tree first shows up in Scripture in Genesis 3:7: “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.” Instead of Adam and Eve letting God clothe them with animal skins (verse 21), they clothed themselves with itchy fig leaves. The fig tree in the Bible is a picture of religion, man’s futile attempt to “cover up” his naked (sinful) spiritual body, going about to establish his own righteousness instead of submitting to the righteousness of God (Romans 10:3).

Genesis chapter 3, albeit indirectly, mentions the bramble (a prickly shrub). Scripture does not speak of these thorns until the Fall of man and the Curse of sin on creation: “[17] And unto Adam he [the LORD God] said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; [18] Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;….” The bramble is connected to sin, a departure from the one true God and His doctrine; that is, the bramble tree symbolizes apostasy.

We find the following in 1 Kings chapter 6 as concerning the olive tree: “[31] And for the entering of the oracle he made doors of olive tree: the lintel and side posts were a fifth part of the wall. [32] The two doors also were of olive tree; and he carved upon them carvings of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers, and overlaid them with gold, and spread gold upon the cherubims, and upon the palm trees. [33] So also made he for the door of the temple posts of olive tree, a fourth part of the wall.” King Solomon used olive wood to fashion the doors and doorway of the oracle of the Jerusalem Temple. God’s presence—the Shekinah glory—dwelt in that innermost room. Olive wood thus typifies spiritual life, access to the one true God.

The vine tree* is found in Psalm 80:8: “Thou [Almighty God] hast brought a vine out of Egypt: thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it.” Surely, this “vine” is the nation Israel. Read Isaiah 5:1-7, and especially note verse 7: “For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.” The vine tree is typical of Israel as a national entity. Of course, Israel corrupted herself with Satan worship (idols, false religion), so Jesus Christ said the nation Israel that God wanted must have a personal relationship with Him (Christ). Christ declared, “I am the true vine…. I am the vine, ye are the branches…” (John 15:1,5). Only Israel in the Lord will be accepted of God (Isaiah 45:17,21-25).

(*NOTE: Someone may inquire if it is “natural” for us to say “vine tree.” After all, is the vine really a tree? The title, although awkward to us, is appropriate because a vine has branches like a tree. Our King James Bible thrice uses the term “vine tree” [Numbers 6:4; Ezekiel 15:2,6]. We are thus not in error concerning the term. On the authority of Scripture, we can rightly call the vine a “tree.”)

In summary, we have four trees—fig tree, bramble tree, vine tree, and olive tree. What was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? There were many trees in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:9,16; Genesis 3:2,8) but the Scriptures outright name two of them. One is, of course, “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 2:9,17). The other is “the tree of life” (Genesis 2:9; Genesis 3:22,24). Read Genesis 2:9 to recapitulate: “And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.”

Using the process of elimination, the forbidden tree was not the fig tree, for the fig tree does not appear by name until after the Fall (when Adam and Eve covered their bare bodies). It was not the bramble tree either, since thorns and thistles were the result of the Fall (God’s curse on creation). Therefore, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was either the vine tree or the olive tree. If we keep studying Scripture, we can narrow it down even further—right down to one!

As we saw earlier, the olive tree was used to make the doors to the Most Holy place in Solomon’s Temple. Olive wood symbolizes access to God, spiritual life. This would therefore suggest—to this author anyway—that the tree of life was an olive tree. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil would have to be the remaining tree—the vine tree. If the tree of the knowledge of good and evil were a vine, then the forbidden fruit would have been (not an apple but) a… GRAPE!

SUPPLEMENTAL: THE “SERPENT-SEED” DOCTRINE

There is a rather absurd claim that sex with Satan was the “forbidden fruit.” If ever you have heard of prostitution as being “the world’s oldest profession,” you have heard an offshoot of this heresy. It is said that, in prohibiting Eve from eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, God was actually telling her (euphemistically), “Do not have sexual relations with Satan!” This is all borne out of a twisting of Eve’s words in Genesis 3:2-3.

“And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 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.” True, Scripture can use the word “touch” to euphemistically indicate a sexual connection (see Genesis 20:6, Leviticus 15:19, Proverbs 6:29, 1 Corinthians 7:1, for example). However, it is downright preposterous to suggest God forbade Eve to commit a sexual act with Satan. By the same token, God would actually be telling Adam not to have sex with Satan either (Genesis 2:16-17)!

As a further nonsensical departure from the plain and simple truths of Scripture, such adherents say Cain was the result of the sexual act between Eve and Satan (1 John 3:12 being their proof text). This ridiculous idea is not worth our time, and it should be outright rejected as nothing but vain speculations of the natural man!

Also see:
» Can you explain “knowing” good and evil with respect to the Garden of Eden?
» Was God “unfair” to punish us for Adam’s sin?
» Could you explain 1 Timothy 2:15?

What does the Bible say about lunar exploration and settlement?

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT LUNAR EXPLORATION AND SETTLEMENT?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Exactly 50 years ago this weekend, United States astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first man to ever set foot on the Moon. Within five years, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) plans to return to the Moon… with the intention of sending a woman as well. Should we be visiting the Moon? What does the Bible say about humans establishing permanent lunar colonies? Would God endorse our settling some other celestial body such as the planet Mars?

As a member of the natural science community, this author enjoys learning about Earth. He is an amateur astronomer (stargazer) too. For the last 20 years, Earth and space science have greatly fascinated him. They were his favorite subjects in elementary and high school, and then particularly college. In fact, he once toyed with the notion of becoming a planetary scientist. Eventually, he obtained Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Geology (Earth science). He absolutely is not “anti-science” or “scientifically-illiterate.”

Why do we endeavor to explore outer space, friends? Why land on the Moon again? Why do we wonder about the feasibility of settling Mars or some other planet? If we can answer these questions, then we can compare those answers to the Bible. This will thus reveal to us whether or not God approves of such plans.

GOD IS NOT ANTI-SCIENCE BUT SCIENTISTS ARE OFTEN ANTI-GOD

Here is what we know about the scientific community (and, remember, this author speaks from personal, or firsthand, experience). Except for the occasional creationist or theistic evolutionist willing to speak up, the concept of God is shunned and discouraged in scientific discussion. The Bible is unwelcome, reduced to nothing more than a book of superstition, fables, myths, legends.

The following is usually heard or read with respect to God and science: “Unless we can analyze it with our five senses, it just is not real and has no place in the scientific method. There is no ‘god’ and we have no need for ‘god’ anyway. The notions of ‘god’ and religion are imaginary, shallow explanations our ancestors invented long ago to account for events they really did not understand. They described things as best they could but now we have abandoned those primitive and superstitious views. Today, we have so much more enlightenment about the natural laws governing our universe. It was those laws, not ‘god,’ that originated the universe and life itself.”

Why is there a desire to land on the Moon? Why explore outer space? This author doubts most of these proponents want to enjoy God’s creation. Almighty God’s glory is not being sought because His Word has already been rejected (refer back to the previous paragraph). Man is much more than curious; he wants to be his own god. Remember, sinful man can be summed up as follows: “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen” (Romans 1:25). Sinful man endeavors to create his own rules and conduct his life apart from the Creator. Science and religion are the two most useful methods to accomplish this end! Religion can be used to replace God and science can be employed to wish away God.

SELF-SUFFICIENT MAN

It is not uncommon to hear the following paranoia expressed today: “Climate change is real! The data shows warming oceans, melting glacial ice, and rising sea levels! Pollution (air, water, soil) is going to drive human civilization to extinction! If we are to survive, we need to find a new home. We must populate the Moon, Mars, and beyond. Humans are destroying Earth and we must save ourselves!” Here is man’s attempt to sidestep his reliance on God. After all, they say, we do not know whether or not there is a ‘god’ and we cannot know one way or another anyway. We cannot take any chances, though. Once this world goes, we go with it! We have to take it upon ourselves to save our species from oblivion! (We Bible believers have no reason to fret, for we are not those who have no hope!)

Friends, it is no secret that people are usually on a quest to disprove the Bible… and so-called “science” is an easy route to take! If they can discover life forms past or present—namely, evidence of advanced civilizations—on other planets, then they can dismiss Earth as “just another planet.” Then, they can argue that life did not originate on Earth as Scripture says but rather was possibly brought to Earth from some remote location. Maybe “aliens”—not the God of the Bible—are responsible for Earth’s biosphere. See, as long as God is challenged, we can pass off whatever “science” we can find. If the scientific data does support Scripture, that data is disregarded. The technical name for this is “confirmation bias,” and scientists can be guilty of suppressing data that does not back their suppositions.

Here is how this author, as a Bible-believing scientist, views science: “I want to better understand God’s creation. If I could discover some cure for this disease, if I could design a new machine to make that task much easier….” These are noble endeavors. There is nothing sinful here. Now, watch how science can be used nefariously and dishonestly. “What scientific evidence do we have against the teachings of the Bible? What new discoveries can we make to discredit the ‘miracles’ of Jesus?” We could go on and on here, but we will stop and proceed to dealing with the question at hand.

GOD’S HEAVENLY SOLUTION TO COLONIZING THE HEAVENS

What about Moon colonization? Mars colonization? Other planets? Ultimately, the human body is not meant to function in outer space. Earth’s magnetic and gravitational fields keep us healthy and protected from ultraviolet radiation. Microgravity detrimentally affects astronauts’ physical bodies. Earth’s atmosphere contains the correct types and proportions of gases we need to breathe. Temperatures on Earth are just right for life, the planet being the appropriate distance from the Sun. When astronauts enter outer space, they require special suits. If we can minimize the effects outer space has on the human body, we can safely leave Earth for a time. However, permanent settlement outside Earth could be problematic with human means. Eventually, God will instate a plan for human colonization throughout outer space.

In the ages to come, humans will most definitely live throughout the universe. How will that be possible? One day, Almighty God will intervene into human affairs and give Christians new glorified bodies. This is the eternal destiny of the Church the Body of Christ. We will have new bodies that can function in the heavenly places and glorify the Lord Jesus Christ there.

Ephesians chapter 1: “[3] Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:…. [19] And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, [20] Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, [21] Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: [22] And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, [23] Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.”

Ephesians chapter 2: “[6] And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: [7] That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”

Philippians chapter 3: “[20] For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: [21] Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” (You may also read 1 Corinthians 15:35-58 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 to learn more about our resurrected or redeemed physical bodies and their heavenly nature. Romans 8:18-25 and Colossians 1:16-21 are other insightful passages.)

Instead of worshipping creation (namely, the celestial bodies), worship the Creator, the God of the Bible: “Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name:…” (Amos 5:8). Worldly-minded Israel had to be corrected here, and billions today need a similar adjustment in their thinking.

Psalm 19: “[1] The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. [2] Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. [3] There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. [4] Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, [5] Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. [6] His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof. 

“[7] The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. [8] The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. [9] The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. [10] More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.”

Also see:
» Why are “the heavens not clean in God’s sight?”
» Should we Bible-believers investigate and promulgate conspiracy theories?
» Why does Ephesians conclude with such a “dark” passage?

Can you explain Genesis 6:3?

CAN YOU EXPLAIN GENESIS 6:3?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Genesis 6:3 says, “And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.” What are we to take from this?

Firstly, this “spirit” is none other than the Holy Spirit. Still, what does JEHOVAH God mean, “[his] spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh?”

Secondly, the words “not always” correspond to “an hundred and twenty years” at the end of the verse. God the Holy Spirit will not strive with man indefinitely—120 years is the maximum period. Once that time has elapsed, God will change His dealings with mankind.

Thirdly, when the Scripture says, “strive with man,” it speaks of a struggle or competition. The Holy Spirit and mankind are at odds, each opposed to the other. Notice, the rest of the verse explains—“for that he also is flesh.” The term “flesh” carries the idea of weakness or frailty; that is, man is naturally sinful. In the case of the antediluvian (pre-Flood) world, there was much violence (especially murder). Genesis 6:5, “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” We can infer from Genesis 9:6 that this verse is God’s post-Flood rule to prevent the sinful activity (namely, murder) that had occurred before the Great Flood.

Lastly, how exactly was the Holy Spirit striving with man during the time leading up to the Great Flood? This is answered, not in Genesis, but centuries later in the Bible. It is a feature called “subsequent narrative.” God provides details about an event many decades, centuries, or millennia after the fact. Unless we study all the Bible, we will miss such interesting little tidbits and fascinating extra clues.

Turning to 1 Peter, chapter 3, we read: “[18] For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: [19] By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; [20] Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.” As Noah assembled the Ark, he preached to the world of his day.

Go to 2 Peter, chapter 2, verse 5: “And [God] spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;….” For 120 years, Noah warned the world of coming judgment—a flood is coming but there is safety in the boat he is constructing. Alas, they continued in their daily activities as if nothing were wrong. His cries fell on deaf ears. They were having a good time and did not want to bother to think about the consequences of their sin. God would be completely fair in destroying them. They had had ample time to reform, but they despised His Word and His servant Noah. God the Holy Spirit would not be irritated forever, competing against these sinners on the Earth for endless ages to come.

The Lord Jesus remarked in Luke chapter 17: “[26] And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. [27] They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.” The parallel is Matthew chapter 24, “[37] But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. [38] For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, [39] And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”

Even before Noah’s 120-year ministry, Enoch had preached to the world. Genesis 5:18-24 introduces us to Enoch: “[18] And Jared lived an hundred sixty and two years, and he begat Enoch: [19] And Jared lived after he begat Enoch eight hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: [20] And all the days of Jared were nine hundred sixty and two years: and he died. [21] And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: [22] And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: [23] And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: [24] And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” (Noah was born later, in verses 28-29.)

Jude, in his little epistle, provides additional subsequent narrative, supplying information that the Holy Spirit through Moses left out in Genesis as pertaining to Enoch: “[14] And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, [15] To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” Enoch was a Bible teacher, a preacher, and he too warned of God’s coming judgment against sinners. Then, Noah was born and he began his preaching ministry, continuing what Enoch (and Methuselah) had done in decades previous.

Yea, the God of the Bible is loving and merciful. Nevertheless, His justice demands that His righteousness be enforced. Mankind had plenty of time to believe His Word to them during the centuries leading up to the Great Flood. In the case of Noah, God gave man an additional 120 years—the time it took to build the Ark. Noah surely had times of great discouragement. They made fun of him. They ignored him. After 120 years of preaching, Noah had a mere seven (!) converts—his wife, their three sons, and their three wives. First Peter 3:20: eight souls were saved by water.” Second Peter 2:5: “[God] spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness.” Just remember, God the Holy Spirit will not tolerate our world’s sin forever!

Also see:
» Can you explain Genesis 6:1-4?
» How did the Great Flood’s water save the eight souls in 1 Peter 3?
» How did the Israeli patriarchs resist the Holy Ghost?

What does Scripture mean, “[God] sitteth upon… the earth?”

WHAT DOES SCRIPTURE MEAN, “[GOD] SITTETH UPON … THE EARTH?”

by Shawn Brasseaux

What does Scripture mean when it says Godsitteth upon the circle of the earth?” Why is He “sitting?”

You are referring to Isaiah 40:22, which reads, “It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:….” In recent years, the “Flat Earth – Spherical Earth” debate has seen a resurgence, so this has actually become a highly disputed verse (especially online). Some time ago, this author released a Bible study to address the controversy. For more information, see the study linked at the end of this article. Here in this study, though, we want to focus on why God is said to be “sitting” on the circle of the Earth.

We will start at verse 12 and continue to the end of the chapter. Remember, this is all about JEHOVAH God, the God of Israel, the God of the Bible.

“[12] Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? [13] Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being his counsellor hath taught him? [14] With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and shewed to him the way of understanding? [15] Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing. [16] And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering. [17] All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity.

“[18] To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him? [19] The workman melteth a graven image, and the goldsmith spreadeth it over with gold, and casteth silver chains. [20] He that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh unto him a cunning workman to prepare a graven image, that shall not be moved. [21] Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? [22] It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in: [23] That bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity. [24] Yea, they shall not be planted; yea, they shall not be sown: yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth: and he shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither, and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble. [25] To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. [26] Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth. [27] Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the LORD, and my judgment is passed over from my God?

“[28] Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. [29] He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. [30] Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: [31] But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

This entire passage is how JEHOVAH God, or LORD God, is Creator, unmatched in magnificence, power, and wisdom. If you want to see the larger context, read chapters 40-48 of Isaiah. Here, we are getting an introduction into that section where God compares Himself to, and contrasts Himself with, Israel’s idols. The Jews have abandoned the Creator God for their own creations. They worship and serve worthless, empty idols. In other words, they have traded their relationship with the one true God to take up relations with the powerless gods of the Gentiles! Israel has separated herself from spiritual life, spiritual strength, and spiritual health. The LORD God is unparalleled, having no equal. He rules over creation as King, and thus He alone should be worshipped. Everything else is nothing compared to Him. This is what Isaiah 40:22 is communicating. JEHOVAH God sits on the Earth like a king sits on his throne to preside over his land. He alone is worthy of our praise and loyalty. Israel has (and we have) no business worshipping and serving anyone but Him!

“It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:”

Also see:
» Does the Scripture teach a flat Earth or a spherical Earth?
» Was God “bored” before creation?
» Who are God’s family in heaven and on earth?