Category Archives: CREATION AND EARLY MAN

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?

Was the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah inhospitality?

WAS THE SIN OF SODOM AND GOMORRAH INHOSPITALITY?

by Shawn Brasseaux

In an attempt to get around the Bible’s anti-homosexual stance, some suggest (yea, in great desperation) that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was actually inhospitality. The men of Sodom and Gomorrah were supposedly wicked in that they mistreated Lot’s guests. Is this a fair evaluation of the moral conditions of Sodom and Gomorrah? “For what saith the Scriptures?”

Firstly, it is clear from the Bible that God’s problem with Sodom and Gomorrah existed long before Lot’s guests showed up at his home. Genesis 13:13, for example: “But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.” Also, Genesis chapter 18: “[20] And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; [21] I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.” Lot’s guests did not arrive in Sodom until chapter 19.

Again, the LORD God had a controversy with Sodom and Gomorrah before Lot’s visitors even showed up. “Inhospitality” certainly had nothing—absolutely nothing—to do with it. In fact, the very reason those angelic visitors came to Lot’s residence was that God had sent them to destroy the region. Read the words of God as found in Genesis chapter 19: “[12] And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place: [13] For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it.”

So, what was it then? What made Sodom and Gomorrah so offensive to God? Let us now go to the passage of Scripture that deals with Lot’s angelic guests. We start at the beginning of Genesis chapter 19:

“[1] And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground; [2] And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant’s house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night. [3] And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat.”

Lot was already aware of his neighbors’ lifestyles and intentions, for he urged those two men to come into his house for the night. It simply was not in their best interest to live in the streets of Sodom! The next two verses explain: “[4] But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: [5] And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.”

What does it mean that the men of Sodom wanted to “know” Lot’s guests? Keep reading: “[6] And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, [7] And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.” Verse 8 is indisputable: “Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.” Lot gives the men of Sodom permission to “know” his daughters who had not “known” man, hoping those men will be satisfied and leave his guests alone. Obviously, a sexual connection is implied. When the King James Bible speaks of sexual intercourse, the euphemistic term is “know”—Adam “knew” Eve (Genesis 4:1,25), Cain “knew” his wife (Genesis 4:17), Judah “knew not” Tamar (Genesis 38:26), Joseph “knew… not” Mary (Matthew 1:25), and so on.

Reading again from Genesis chapter 19: “[8] Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof. [9] And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door.” See, the men of Sodom were not interested in taking Lot’s daughters in an intimate union. They wanted to gang rape his male visitors! Without doubt, homosexual behavior is the “wickedness” of Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot called it as such and so did the Bible.

Just so you are not left to wonder what happened, we continue in Genesis chapter 19: “[10] But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door. [11] And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door.”

You keep reading that chapter, friend, and you learn God gives Lot and his family a chance to escape Sodom unharmed. Ultimately, “[24] Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; [25] And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.” Again, it would seem strange that God would consume these cities with such devastation simply because of inhospitality. No, there was sexual perversion here. Homosexual behavior is not God’s intention for mankind: it is contrary to nature. It makes a mockery of His design in human reproduction. Unless there is a heterosexual union, human procreation is impossible, and fulfilling God’s command of man to “Be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:26-28) is unattainable.

Second Peter 2:6-10 is more of the Holy Spirit’s commentary on the subject: “[6] And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; [7] And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: [8] (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds; ) [9] The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: [10] But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.”

This author does not want to get too graphic, but the following information is pertinent to our discussion and extremely enlightening. The Oxford English Dictionary defines “sodomy” as “anal intercourse.” Notice the etymology of the word: “Middle English: from medieval Latin sodomia, from late Latin peccatum Sodomiticum ‘sin of Sodom’ (after Gen. 19:5, which implies that the men of Sodom practised homosexual rape) (see Sodom).” Even these lexicographers—who may or may not be Bible believers—understand the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah. It was homosexualism; it had nothing to do with “inhospitality.”

In closing, it is very important to know that, while homosexualism is indeed a sin (Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 1 Timothy 1:9-11), it is forgivable! The Lord Jesus Christ died and shed His blood to deliver us from all our sins. My dear friend, there is more forgiveness than you can imagine in Christ. It does not matter what we have done, what we are doing, or what we will do; there is acceptance and forgiveness in Christ. In His great (!) love and care for us and His great (!) kindness and mercy toward us, Almighty God made provisions to take care of that eternal penalty of our sin (Hell and, ultimately, the Lake of Fire). We do not have to go to Hell… unless we choose to die without Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour. There is absolutely nothing that God cannot forgive, absolutely nothing that His grace cannot overcome, and absolutely nothing that His blood cannot cover. Come to Calvary quickly, dear friend, come quickly! Come to God by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone: “Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31)!

Also see:
» How many daughters did Lot have?
» What advice can be given to homosexual Christians?
» How do we not live after the flesh if we live in bodies of flesh?