Category Archives: CREATION AND EARLY MAN

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?

What was the significance of Joseph’s “coat of many colours?”

WHAT WAS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF JOSEPH’S “COAT OF MANY COLOURS?”

by Shawn Brasseaux

Any and every Sunday School child has learned about Joseph and his “coat of many colours.” However, rarely is the coat itself studied in-depth. What exactly was it? And, what interesting lesson can it teach us? As we will see, unwinding this one mystery is actually the key to unlocking and understanding several nebulous Bible passages.

We read in God’s Word, the King James Bible, in Genesis chapter 37: “[1] And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan. [2] These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report. [3] Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours. [4] And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.”

Notice the “coat of many colours” first appears in Scripture in verse 3. It shows up twice more in that passage: “[23] And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stript Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him;…. [32] And they sent the coat of many colours, and they brought it to their father; and said, This have we found: know now whether it be thy son’s coat or no. [33] And he knew it, and said, It is my son’s coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces.”

“THE COAT OF MANY COLOURS” AND TEXTUAL CRITICISM

Not surprisingly, scholars have professed great difficulty with the original language here. One study Bible footnote says to this point: “Genesis 37:3 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain; also in verses 23 and 32.” Those who consider “a coat of many colours” a “doubtful” translation invite us to question it with them. Using human speculation, the world’s “wisdom,” they try to make sense of the Bible. Some people are genuinely seeking answers from the Scriptures.

Oftentimes, though, they are interested in discussing the Bible strictly from a “theological” viewpoint. They pay more attention to the original languages themselves rather than the actual teaching of those languages. Hence, they extract very little to nothing from the Bible. They are not looking for pure and sound Bible doctrine. Unfortunately, they have been trained in most Bible institutions to remove or add words to the Scriptures. They do not appreciate the doctrines that are distorted or obscured by their tampering. They have adopted the idea that Bible thoughts, rather than words, matter. They feel like they have been granted the liberty to take from—yea, “correct”—the Bible whenever they do not understand it.

Dear friends, if we are Bible believers, we are going to believe the Bible and not concern ourselves with the vain speculations of apostate modern-day translators, denominational theologians, or any other fallible humans lacking the Holy Spirit’s illumination. We have every reason to believe that the King James Bible is correct in these instances. Our 1611 translators were learned, Holy-Spirit-filled men. “A coat is many colours” is a faithful, reliable rendition of the original Hebrew Bible. We would do well to trust their judgment over any modern translator or translation. In this day of itching ears, mass apostasy, we cannot afford to question our final authority. The King James Bible that Bible-believing Christians have used for over 400 years will certainly not fail us at this late date. It is the commonplace theological system that will deceive and disappoint us because it has always been apostate!

“THE COAT OF MANY COLOURS”—COMPARED TO OTHER VERSES

Firstly, let us think about the phrase “coat of many colours.” What the Bible is speaking of is a rainbow cloak or mantle, an article of clothing richly embroidered or decorated with various colored patches or strips of cloth. This rainbow appearance made it a very beautiful garment. Its wearer stood out in a crowd. No doubt it was very expensive (such rare dyes being used to make it). By looking at other Bible passages, comparing verse with verse, we can understand the importance of this rainbow of colors and this “coat of many colours.”

In Ezekiel chapter 1, the Prophet Ezekiel saw a glimpse of God’s throne in the third heaven: “[1] Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. [2] In the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin’s captivity, [3] The word of the LORD came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the LORD was there upon him.

“[4] And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire. [5] Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man. [6] And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings. [7] And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf’s foot: and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass. [8] And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and they four had their faces and their wings. [9] Their wings were joined one to another; they turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward. [10] As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle….”

“[26] And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it. [27] And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about. [28] As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.”

When Ezekiel saw God’s throne, he noticed an “amber” color (verses 4 and 27). Verse 28 says this “amber” (or yellow) light was actually a “bow” (that is, a rainbow). He saw a yellow rainbow around God’s throne—that glow was the “appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD.” Several hundred years later, the Apostle John saw glimpse of God’s throne. What color did he see? Well, let us just say that it was not amber!

Revelation chapter 4: “[1] After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. [2] And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. [3] And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. [4] And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.” John sees an “emerald” (green) rainbow around God’s throne! God’s glory has a greenish appearance here!

Based on these two passages, there is only one sound conclusion. The color of the light around God’s throne changes through time. In Ezekiel’s day, it was amber (yellow). Some 600 years later, John saw it as emerald (green). Various colored rainbows encircle God’s throne depending on the time in history. While we often think of a bright white light, a more accurate description would be a flashing rainbow light. Someone once likened it to a “kaleidoscope of colors.” The language of Ezekiel is flames flickering, fires of various colors, maybe like strobe lights flashing, pulsating lights, and the like.

This explains why Psalm 104 says what it does: “[1] Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. [2] Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain:….” God covers Himself “with light as with a garment.” Assorted colors of light surround His throne. Now we understand what 1 Timothy 6:14-16 means: “[14] That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: [15] Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; [16] Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.” The “light which no man can approach unto” is the “light” of Psalm 104—the light of Ezekiel chapter 1 and Revelation chapter 4.

Working backward, we read in Genesis 2:25: “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” Adam and Eve were originally physically naked. Yet, they were “not ashamed.” Then, in chapter 3, we read of them eating the forbidden fruit. There is man’s Fall into sin. Now, Adam and Eve are ashamed of their nakedness. Why?

Genesis chapter 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. [8] And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.” Originally, Adam and Eve were physically naked but they were not ashamed because the light of God’s righteousness covered their bodies. Once they sinned, they lost that clothing of light, and their nakedness led to them being ashamed. They attempted to cover themselves with fig leaves—replacing God’s righteousness with their own human efforts/religion (Genesis 3:7).

When someone is justified, made righteous before God through Jesus Christ’s shed blood, they receive the spiritual clothing that Adam and Eve once had. Now, as Christians, our fallen physical bodies do not reflect an outward light as Adam and Eve did. While God shed animal blood to cover Adam and Eve’s sin, He had to cover them physically too. Genesis 3:21 says: “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” There was a physical covering (animal skins) and there was a spiritual covering (animal blood). That blood typified, or represented, the blood of Christ that would be shed on Calvary many centuries later.

Speaking of national Israel’s future redemption, Isaiah 61:10 says: “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” When God’s righteousness is applied to one’s account, the event is likened unto putting on a “robe of righteousness.” God is clothing someone “with the garments of salvation.” All of those who are on God’s side have His righteousness. They reflect His glory. This reminds us of something else—another special set of clothing that mirrored God’s glory.

Lucifer, who became known as Satan after his fall, was a spirit being (cherub) in the third heaven. This beautiful, wise creature wore a garment of precious stones. Notice in Ezekiel chapter 28: “[11] Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, [12] Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. [13] Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. [14] Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. [15] Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.”

We want to pay special attention to the various precious stones that decorated Lucifer’s body: “…every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold” (verse 13). Verse 14 says Lucifer was the “anointed cherub that covereth.” According to Ezekiel chapter 1 (what we read earlier), Ezekiel chapter 10, and Revelation chapter 4 (what we read earlier too), four cherubim (“living creatures”) surround God’s throne. Before Lucifer’s fall, there were five cherubim. Lucifer’s body formed some type of canopy over that throne. The multi-colored precious stones served as prisms or mirrors. Lucifer’s body reflected the glory (various colored lights) that radiated from God. Surely, all these colors formed a beautiful rainbow. Of course, Lucifer became prideful and lost that position, wanting to be worshipped instead of worshipping God. You can read Ezekiel 28:11-19, Isaiah 14:12-15, and 1 Timothy 3:6 for more information. Time and space do not permit us to quote and expound those verses here.

CONCLUSION

Joseph’s “coat of many colours” (Genesis 37:3) was a representation of God’s “light of many colours.” It was a depiction of God’s glory found in the third heaven. It is God’s righteousness emanating from Him! Furthermore, Joseph and Jesus Christ have many similarities—some 150 various analogous traits! As a type of Christ, Joseph reflected God’s glory. Christ, the antitype, also reflects God’s glory. After all, Jesus Christ is God in human flesh, fully God and fully Man. He shines forth God’s glory as well!

Colossians 1:15 says Jesus Christ is “the image of the invisible God.” Also, Colossians 2:9: “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.”

Read Hebrews 1:1-3, paying special attention to what verse 3 says about Jesus Christ: “[1] God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, [2] Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; [3] 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:….”

SUPPLEMENTAL: ANOTHER “GARMENT OF DIVERS COLOURS”

As an interesting side-note, we see the Hebrew expression twice more in the Bible—2 Samuel 13:18-19. “And she had a garment of divers colours upon her: for with such robes were the king’s daughters that were virgins apparelled. Then his servant brought her out, and bolted the door after her. And Tamar put ashes on her head, and rent her garment of divers colours that was on her, and laid her hand on her head, and went on crying.” Here, King David’s daughter Tamar, and her sisters, wore a “garment of divers colours” (same as “coat of many colours”) to signify their virginity or pureness. Once she was sexually assaulted (raped) by her brother, however, she tore that garment. Poor Tamar! Her glory had departed; she was now defiled and ashamed!

Also see:
» Why are the heavens not clean in God’s sight?
» Are we created in the image of God?
» Does God give us “points” for trying to be good?

Why is there so little human history in Genesis 1-11?

WHY IS THERE SO LITTLE HUMAN HISTORY IN GENESIS 1-11?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Adam, the first man, was created circa 4000 B.C. Abraham was born in the closing verses of Genesis chapter 11, approximately 2100–2000 B.C. In other words, the first 11 chapters of Genesis focus on about 2,000 years of history. Think of it—the Bible’s first 300 verses cover 20 centuries! Why is there so little world history in these Scriptures? Furthermore, why does Genesis spend the remaining 39 chapters (over 1,200 verses) discussing a period of less than 400 years? This study will offer some enlightenment regarding this “Genesis timeline disproportionality.”

I. THE CONUNDRUMS

Much of the first 11 chapters of Genesis are various “high points” of history, not an uninterrupted, exhaustive, detailed commentary of all 20 centuries. Notice the following stats:

  • Chapter 1 covers the first week of creation.
  • Chapter 2 is dedicated to the sixth day of that first week.
  • Chapter 3 seems to have covered only the second week.
  • Chapter 4 covers Adam’s first 130 years alive.
  • Chapter 5 is a genealogical record from Adam’s creation to Noah’s birth, chapters 1-5—approximately 1650 years.
  • Chapter 6 spans just over one century (Noah building the Ark).
  • Chapters 7-8 cover a little more than one year (the Great Flood).
  • Chapters 9-11 span approximately 350 years (the post-Flood New World, the dividing of the nations and languages, the Tower of Babel, and Abraham’s lineage).

After outlining some 2,000 years in 11 chapters, Genesis’ layout takes on a bizarre form. From chapter 12 all the way to the end (chapter 50), Scripture covers approximately 400 years. Why provide some 39 chapters of information about a four-century-long period, but only 11 chapters about a 20-century-long period? The first 11 chapters of Genesis leave us with a lot of unanswered questions. Several dozen people are actually named in the Scripture here. Surely more people than that lived during those 20 centuries prior to Abraham! Why is the content of Genesis chapters 1-11 so “limited,” an edited (incomplete) version of the history between Adam and Abraham?

II. THE CONFIGURATIONS

Five divine establishments form the heart of Genesis chapters 1-11. It would do us well to survey them.

1. VOLITION

We know this concept by the more common term “free will.” This ability of free will is the first divine institution. It appears in Genesis chapter 2: “[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.”

The LORD God created us to be free moral agents. We are not robots, forced to behave a certain way. We are creatures capable of choosing how we want to conduct our lives. That is, we can decide to follow God by faith, or we can resolve to follow the flesh (sin) in unbelief. God did not force Adam to do right (avoid eating the forbidden fruit). Genesis 2:16-17 is not, “You will only eat of those trees other than the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” Neither did God force Adam to do evil (eating the forbidden fruit). Genesis 2:16-17 is not, “You will eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”

Genesis chapter 2 once again: “[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.” God left Adam with the volition—the choice of “freely” choosing—and however Adam reacted was his responsibility and will. The God of the Bible loves freedom, dear friends. Volition is the most basic creation institution. Free will enables the individual to have control over his or her own life.

Satan attacked volition by endorsing Eve’s misquoting God (she omitted “freely,” the reference to free will). Genesis chapter 3 tells us: “[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:….”

2. MARRIAGE

God established this second creation institution in Genesis 2:18-25: “[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…. [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. [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.”

As per the divine institution of marriage, a man and a woman are to be permanently joined in matrimony for the purpose of companionship (“an help meet for him”) and reproduction (“be fruitful and multiply”). Genesis 1:26-28 says: “[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.”

The marriage relationship is at the heart of the family (third divine institution, to be discussed shortly). Satan attacked marriage, of course, at the Fall, when Adam failed to function as the head of the relationship. Adam and Eve turned on one another.

Genesis 3:11-13 tells us: “[11] And he [the LORD God] said [to Adam], Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? [12] And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. [13] And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” First Timothy 2:11-15 comments: “[11] Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. [12] But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. [13] For Adam was first formed, then Eve. [14] And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. [15] Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.”

3. FAMILY

The issue of family, the third divine institution, is spoken of first in Genesis chapter 4: “[1] And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. [2] And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.” Adam and Eve had two boys, Cain and Abel. Satan attacked this divine institution by inspiring religious Cain to kill righteous Abel. Verse 8: “And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.”

4. NATIONALISM

God established the fourth and final creation institution in chapters 9-11 of Genesis. After the Great Flood of Noah’s lifetime, God formed human government and endorsed capital punishment. The Bible says in Genesis 9:5-6: “[5] And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. [6] Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.”

In chapter 10, God divided the nations (dividing the three sons of Noah—Shem, Ham, and Japheth): “[5] By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations…. [20] These are the sons of Ham, after their families, after their tongues, in their countries, and in their nations…. [31] These are the sons of Shem, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations…. [32] These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood.”

Satan countered God’s institution of nationalism with the internationalism recorded in chapter 11. At the Tower of Babel, Satan promoted the nations gathering for a one-world government and a one-world religion. God intervened by confusing the languages, giving rise to the name “Babel” (which eventually became Babylon) and the “tongues/languages” referenced in chapter 10.

5. SEED-LINE OF MESSIAH

The first Gospel message—the “Protoevangel”—recorded in the Bible is Genesis 3:15: “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” God issued this declaration to Satan, a promise that a Man would be born one day and defeat Satan and all that he purposed. This “seed of the woman” is what we now understand as the bloodline of the Lord Jesus Christ. Eve carried that bloodline, and it passed on through Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, King David, and finally through the virgin Mary.

  • Genesis 3:15 – seed of the woman
  • Genesis 22:18 – seed of Abraham
  • Genesis 21:12 – seed of Abraham passes through son Isaac
  • Genesis 28:14 – seed of Isaac passes through son Jacob
  • Psalm 89:3-4 – seed of David
  • Galatians 3:16 – seed of Abraham is Jesus Christ

In Luke chapter 3, we find the genealogy of Jesus Christ (traced backward, albeit we cite a partial listing here for brevity’s sake):

  • Son of Mary (verse 23)
  • Son of King David through Nathan (verse 31)
  • Son of Judah (verse 33)
  • Son of Jacob, Isaac, and Abraham (verse 34)
  • Son of Noe/Noah through Sem/Shem (verse 36)
  • Son of Adam and Eve (verse 38)

This narrowing-down of Messiah’s seed-line covers approximately 4,000 years of lineage—Eve to the virgin Mary. This matters because Jesus Christ, in order to be the “Kinsman-Redeemer,” must be biologically related to all people. Jesus is just that because His bloodline goes all the way back to Adam and Eve, the parents of the human race. The Lord Jesus is the perfect Man, what Adam should and could have been forever (but chose in Eden to give Satan his God-given crown). Yet future from us, Jesus Christ will rule the planet for God’s glory, doing exactly what Adam chose not to do. Jesus Christ will also rescue/redeem creation from Satan, reversing the damage that Adam caused when he chose to follow Satan in Eden.

Genesis 1:26-28 (of Adam): “[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.”

Hebrews 2:6-9 (of Jesus Christ, quoting Psalm 8:4-6): “[6] But one in a certain place testified, 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.”

III. THE CONCLUSION

Why is there so little human history in Genesis chapters 1-11? God the Holy Spirit was not interested in documenting every little detail during those first 2,000 years of human history. God limited that information to emphasize five key ideas:

  1. The identification of the four creation institutions God established for the formation, organization, and perpetuation of the human race (volition, marriage, family, and nationalism/human government).
  2. The tracing and isolation of the seed of the woman—from Eve, chapter 3, to Abraham, chapter 12. This is the bloodline of Jesus Christ, thus qualifying Him to redeem all sons and daughters of Adam.
  3. The demonstration of how God was just or fair in setting aside the unbelieving and satanic nations at the Tower of Babel.
  4. The necessity of the formation of the nation Israel in Genesis chapter 12, Israel being created to do in the Earth what Adam and the Gentiles/nations failed to do. Israel picked up Messiah’s seed-line (Abraham onward), so Genesis 12-50 focuses very specifically on that nation. The Holy Spirit took meticulous care to detail what happened with Israel during her first 400 years.
  5. The documentation of Satan’s relentless efforts to utilize his policy of evil to hinder and destroy what God attempts to accomplish in and through creation.

Also see:
» Was God “unfair” to punish us for Adam’s sin?
» Can you explain Genesis 6:1-4?
» What about that “talking snake” in Genesis 3?

Can you explain Genesis 4:7?

CAN YOU EXPLAIN GENESIS 4:7?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Genesis 4:7 says, “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.” What are we to make of this verse? We will search the Scriptures!

CRITICISM, CONTROVERSY, AND CONFUSION

Dr. Scofield, in his eponymous study Bible, has the following footnote on “sin” in Genesis 4:7:

“Or, sin-offering. In Hebrew the same word is used for ‘sin,’ and ‘sin-offering,’ thus emphasizing in a remarkable way the complete identification of the believer’s sin with his sin-offering (cf. John 3. 14 with 2 Cor. 5. 21). Here both meanings are brought together. ‘Sin lieth at the door,’ but so also ‘a sin-offering croucheth at the [tent] door.’ It is ‘where sin abounded’ that ‘grace did much more abound’ (Rom. 5. 20). Abel’s offering implies a previous instruction (cf. Gen. 3. 21), for it was ‘by faith’ (Heb. 11. 4), and faith is taking God at His word; so that Cain’s unbloody offering was a refusal of the divine way. But Jehovah made a last appeal to Cain (Gen. 4. 7) even yet to bring the required offering.” (Bold emphasis mine.)

While Brother Scofield has furnished us with much sound instruction in the Scriptures in his notes quoted above, this author has one major disagreement. It is an objection to the dear brother’s alternate translation of Genesis 4:7, “a sin-offering croucheth at the [tent] door.” Let me explain.

Some believe that since Cain did not originally bring the required blood sacrifice as the LORD God commanded, God has now (as in Genesis 4:7) actually supplied the animal Cain should offer. Like Dr. Scofield, they assume the term “sin” is really a “sin-offering” and the “door” is actually “a tent door.” In fact, oddly enough, they may say something such as: “God knew Cain still refused to go through the ‘trouble’ of obtaining a blood sacrifice, so He put an animal at Cain’s tent door for Cain to take and offer.” They blast our King James Bible translators for not making it clear that God really gave Cain a sacrificial animal at the tent door in Genesis 4:7.

The aforementioned individuals thus read the verse as: “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, [the sin offering stoops at thy tent door]. [If you want to take that animal and offer it, you can dominate him and he will submit to your will.] Is this an acceptable interpretation? Friends, must we really resort to changing Scripture to gain understanding? Or, ironically, dear brethren, will we lose understanding in “correcting” the Bible? Here are some considerations, clarifications, and corrections to bear in mind.

CONSIDERATIONS, CLARIFICATIONS, AND CORRECTIONS

As Dr. Scofield pointed out, the Hebrew word chatta’ath indeed can, depending on the context, mean “sin” or “sin offering.” Of the 300 times that it appears in the Hebrew Bible, our King James translators rendered it—“sin” (182 times), “sin offering” (116 times), “punishment” (3 times), “purification for sin” (2 times), “purifying” (1 time), “sinful” (1 time), “sinner” (1 time). Our 1611 Authorized Version translators knew the Hebrew word and how to handle it. As we can see, they rendered it “sin offering” over 100 times, and “sin” nearly 200 times. To fault them at Genesis 4:7 is very unfair. Charging them with “clumsiness” by putting “sin” instead of “sin offering” in Genesis 4:7 is for we to be ignorant of truth. Those King James Bible translators were fully competent to handle the original languages, and we trust their—yea, the Holy Spirit’s—judgment. What can “sin” teach us if left alone in Genesis 4:7 (that “sin offering” inserted cannot)?

Re-reading Genesis 4:7 as it appears in the King James text: “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.”

Firstly, God asks questions when dealing with people in Scripture, that they think and confess/admit to some truth. The LORD asks Cain, “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?” The answer is YES. If Cain does by faith what God’s Word says, God will indeed receive Cain’s payment for sin.

Appealing to Hebrews chapter 11 for commentary: “[1] Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. [2] For by it the elders obtained a good report. [3] Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. [4] By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh…. [6] But without faith it is impossible to please him [God]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Read Genesis 4:7 in context: “[5] But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. [6] And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? [7] If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.”

Simply put, Cain had no valid reason for growing very angry. God had rejected his bloodless sacrifice, true, but God had already told him what to bring. Cain deliberately brought what he wanted. Sinful Cain had no justification for frowning, feeling mistreated and acting disappointed. Remember, like his brother Abel, he could have done what God commanded. Cain could have come to God, God’s way, and God would have accepted him as He had Abel. God asked Cain questions in verse 6 to generate deep thought. Those warnings could have led to faith and sacrifice if Cain responded positively to the reproof. This was faithful God dealing patiently with a most headstrong sinner!

“And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.” As noted earlier, this is the problem part of the verse. Here, some will argue that the word “sin” is really highlighting the “sin offering” (a supposed sacrificial animal God has now supplied Cain). Allegedly, the animal sacrifice will submit to Cain, allowing him to kill and offer it. However, this is to read something into the Bible text that simply is not there. A sin offering is not under discussion; sin itself is the issue God is underscoring. Remember, we already grasped the thought-flow of the verse by looking at previous verses. Verse 7 is not going to suddenly talk about a sacrifice; it continues to highlight Cain’s unbelief and waywardness.

God reminds Cain that if he does not obey His Word, then sin (the attitude of unbelief and the action of not bringing the blood sacrifice) is present. Sin wants to control, dominate, Cain. However, the LORD God says Cain can overcome it. Cain can still do right if he so chooses. Notice the issue of free will (obscured if “sin” is changed to “sin offering”). He can walk by faith in God’s Word to him, and have victory over sin. Notice again how the LORD God is very patient with Cain, the stubborn works-religion man that he is. God is very generous in allowing ample time for Cain to get right even now. Cain willfully disregarded His Word, but He still gives Cain the opportunity to reform.

There are two ways Cain can go at this point. His first option is to let sin continue reigning over him, persist in his refusal to bring the blood sacrifice, and let sin ultimately destroy him. The second option is to conquer sin by faith, find and bring his own mandatory blood sacrifice, and thereby obtain fellowship and favor with God. What will Cain do? Verse 8 is the historical record: “And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.” The Apostle John remarks in 1 John chapter 3: “[11] For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. [12] Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one [Satan!], and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous. [13] Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.”

CONCLUSION

To use Genesis 4:7 to say that God provided Cain with a blood sacrifice, and God laid that blood sacrifice at Cain’s tent door, is to miss the verse’s point entirely. It is preposterous for someone to argue that God gave a sacrifice to Cain when He knew Cain was not interested in bringing one anyway. Why would God help an unbeliever in disobeying His Word? If the unbeliever was not interested in bringing the blood sacrifice as instructed, would God then bring the animal for the person to catch and offer? Of course not! God would not provide the sacrifice if Cain refused it in the first place. Even after counsel from God, Cain declined to do what was right. There is no way God would do for Cain what He expected Cain to do! Cain had to find and bring the sacrifice, or God would not accept him.

Does this really matter? Why, yes it does! What we can learn from the King James Bible’s reading of Genesis 4:7 is simple. Sin is always lurking, ready to attack us, crouching just on the other side of the “door.” We can doubt God’s Word (open the door) and sin will devour us. Or, we can trust God’s Word (keep the door shut) and sin will not reign over us! Cain was unprepared, but it was deliberate unpreparedness. He was given two opportunities to make the right choice (and ultimately conquer sin). Cain failed both times because he was not walking by faith in either instance.

Dear brethren, we can make application in our lives even today, some 6,000 years after Cain and Abel. If we want to make decisions that honor and please the LORD God, we need to by faith follow His words to us. We need to especially heed His instructions to us Gentiles, the Pauline Bible Books of Romans through Philemon. Remember, “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.”

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Also see:
» Why did God reject Cain’s offering?
» Why did God demand blood sacrifices?
» What does “kicking against the pricks” mean?