Bible Lesson 144

Man as created; and as He exists today

“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:27

“God is on the lookout today for a man who will be quiet enough to get a message from Him, brave enough to preach it, and honest enough to live it.” Vance Havner

In the beginning God, in the trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost said, “Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them?Then God blessed them, and God said to them, Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves on the earth” God had personally created man and had made him to be the Crown Jewel, so to speak over all the other creatures. What more could man have hoped for?

Apparently Adam and his wife Eve, who was taken from Adam’s rib and made to complete him in his earthly life, had something more in mind; because when the fallen angel Lucifer tempted her, as the serpent, she was not able to resist and when she tempted Adam to eat, he could not resist her temptation. God had told them when He placed them in the Garden of Eden, that they could eat of every tree in that garden (and there were all kinds of trees there) everyone of them beautiful and with every imaginable nut and fruit that they could desire. However, God did command them not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, because it would not be in their interest to have that knowledge. God told them that if they ate of the fruit of that tree, they would surely die. Most people know what happened?..Lucifer (Satan) had possessed the serpent and began to interest Eve in some government welfare, offering her what sounded like a better deal than God had given them.

He told Eve that she was confused about what God had said and that God knew that if they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, that they would become like God. So Eve having seen that the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil had beautiful fruit, that would make a nice meal, she took and ate of it and then she set the table for Adam and he ate of that forbidden fruit If we read and understand these first chapters of Genesis we have to conclude that God made Adam and Eve equal but gave them different functions. Adam was made to be the stronger vessel.

He was made first and she was taken from him, and in Chapter three and verse 16, we find that Adam was to rule over her. Now what does that mean, that Adam was to rule over her? It is interesting for me right here to think about what might have been , if the first couple had not removed themselves from following God, to following the deception of Satan. Things would have been perfect because the first couple were created innocent, and they could keep themselves that way by walking with and obeying God.

There is no use in us even thinking about that now; because they did sin, and they were pushed out of the garden by God. They would never have known sin if they had not disobeyed this one command, not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They not only lost their free living quarters, they were forced out into a world that had been cursed because of their sin. We look at that today and many people wonder?.why did God punish them for simply taking a bite of that fruit of that particular tree? It was not just that they ate a piece of fruit, it is because God knew what would happen to them if they ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Their sin was not that they ate the fruit, but that in doing so they disobeyed God’s solemn command. As soon as they ate that fruit they gained a carnal knowledge that they would not have had if they had not eaten of that tree. In Genesis 2:25 we find Adam and Eve before they disobeyed God and they were both naked; but having no knowledge of evil, they were able to interact without sin. That changed drastically after the pair gained the knowledge of good and evil. God had created them in innocence, but the devil led them through Eve (The weaker vessel), into sin. We can learn from these scriptures in Genesis Chapters One through Three, that God never overlooks sin.

It is also interesting that we look at how this disobedient couple attempted to hide the fact that they had sinned. As soon as they sinned they became aware of their nakedness and they sewed fig leaves together and covered themselves. Sadly here in America and in most other countries we have not learned that lesson. Our women and now our men (?) attempt to bare as much as the law will allow, as the women wear dresses that do not cover nearly enough to keep men from sinning. Sex and it’s many devices in societies today is bought and sold in almost every venue of our world. Many women have no modesty at all and they flaunt their sexuality even in our churches. The sad part about that is not many preachers and pastors will even call them to cover up. We even allow our young boys to walk about with their pants drawn down to show their behinds. Let me assure you, God has not changed and God punished Adam and Eve for their sin and He will punish us also.

Instead of many women who are mothers and grandmothers obeying God to admonish and teach younger women on being Christian women instead of dressing and acting like prostitutes, too many of our mothers and yes even grandmothers dress like prostitutes themselves. Many of our men are drawn and trapped in pornography, and they buy and read and lust over pictures of naked women, as they dishonor God as they dream and even pursue the sinful act of sex outside of marriage. Sex is honorable but only in the marriage bed. How many young women do we have wandering around or sleeping around here and there with whoever, have some form of STD’s (Sexually transmitted disease)?

America is just witnessing what sin does to families as we have heard about the case of a mother who was so caught up in selfishness and the web of pleasure, that she either killed or allowed the death of her young baby and for 31 days she drank, danced and who knows what else as people searched for her missing child, who was found dead and thrown away like garbage. That my friend is the face of sin and it happens here and it happens in many other places. So what must we as people of the Book, people who are children of the King, do to change what is going on? First, we must come to the place where we stop being silent and never standing for righteousness and God, in the face of sin. We must retrain our hearts and minds to the facts about what is sin and what isn’t. Then we must make sure our families are the first to be called to the standards of God. Then we must begin to hold others to the same standards. It is not easy but it is what God would have us to do. Is everyone going to like it? Probably not; but that doesn’t matter because God has given us the mission to always hold up Christian standards and we have not been, and we are not doing it very well anywhere.

Are people going to rebel against what we ask of them. You can count on it, but we are not supposed to be men-pleasers, we are supposed to be God-pleasers. We are very near the bottom of the barrel in many places today; because we are taking our little daughters, who will be the mothers of tomorrow and hauling them all over the country, dressing them in very seductive clothes and teaching them the wiles of street walkers, as we make fools of ourselves, cursing and screaming and doing whatever, in order to win a phony crown for our little beauty. Folks, that may appeal to some of you, but God will judge us for it. God created us to be innocent, however not all of us, or even many of us like denying ourselves and living according to God’s plan. That is because we are the grandchildren of Adam and everyone of us lived just like Adam to a certain degree. He became a sinner, and in his fallen nature we all descended from Adam and we love to sin just as he did.

Do you suppose that Adam was created without ears and eyes? We all know better, Adam was a man created in the image of God and His senses were perfect, his problem as ours is today, that he could be fooled with lies and intrigue. That is the problem with people today, there is so much contrived heresy floating around in the visible church, that people do not know what to believe, and we are too lazy or too simple to pick up the inspired, inerrant Word of God, the Bible and learn it for ourselves. Even if we come across some verse of scripture and understand it, we will go online to one of the ‘experts’ (Google, Snopes, etc) and take what they offer rather than stick to what God has said. What we need to do is to come back to the beginning and begin there to read, take it for the Word of God spoken to us personally and then act according to what we have read. If you read it and it does not agree with your understanding, what that means is that your understanding is corrupt. Act on what God has said and you can’t go wrong. As the creatures of God, made in His image, we too have ears to hear and eyes to see the problem being that we hear the truth when we read the Bible, and sometimes when we hear a God-called man preach the truth. Even then, most of the time, we don’t have the heart to obey. Somewhere in there we have to question if we or anyone else who has heard the truth and seen for ourselves in the Bible, the truth, we have to wonder if that person is really saved. They are for the most ‘professing Christians’ but that does not necessarily mean that they are children of God. (John 8:30-47).

Now, we are at a place where we must ask ourselves, what is the purpose of the Church of the Living God? Is the purpose of the church to edit and make relevant as the Liberals among us like to propose, or to provide a place where sinners can feel at ease, or to appear successful in the eyes of man? Why don’t we simply ask God about those questions, because the Church belongs to God, and God has given us strict commandments about His church. What about the relevance of the church? The Church is relevant whether we believe it is or not because the church is where the people who have been called out of sin meet to worship God, and to hear the Word of God exalted, explained and applied to the lives of those who hear the Word.

We or no other person alive has any warrant to edit or change the Word of God; and in fact the Apostle John wrote that when anyone comes preaching any revised or erroneous gospel, we are not to have anything to do with them. We are to put them in the road, so to speak (2nd John 10-11; Revelation 22:18-19; Deuteronomy 4:2; Proverbs 30:5-6; 2nd Timothy 3:16-17). Too many of the preachers who fill pulpits in our day are nothing but pragmatic, which means that they operate on the principle of ‘whatever works, whatever brings people to hear, whatever it takes to grow our congregation.’ that is a good business principle; but it cannot and must not be applied to how God’s Church functions, it is not our church, it is Christ’s (God’s) Church. (Matthew 16:13-19; John 12:30-32; Romans 5:15-21; Ephesians 5:1-7,22-31).

The only thing that any preacher whether it be the Pope, or Rick Warren, or Billy Graham, or any other man has to preach is the undiluted Word of God, that is contained in the Bible (2nd Timothy 4:1-5). Now those admonitions there in the fourth chapter 2nd Timothy was addressed to Timothy and to everyone who is truly saved, we are all called to preach the truth of the Word of God, in the face of error and heresy. Are you preaching the Word of God as it comes off the page or do you have someone else’s understanding of the Word of God? If you don’t know what the Bible says, then you have no business witnessing. Now that is not an excuse for you not to witness, it is instead a clear call for you to read and study the Word to find the Truth of God. When ever there is a misunderstanding or misrepresentation of the truth, the default position is always go back to the Bible. Folks, I’m not just writing to kill some time, I’m writing to correct things that are obviously wrong, and have been wrong for a long time.

No sooner was the young church of Jesus Christ begun back there in Acts Chapter One, where we read about the Spirit of God descending like tongues of fire on those disciples that were there, and small groups began to meet and worship, the devil went to work to confuse and plant error in those groups. We can look at the letter or epistle from Jude, who had begun to write a letter defining and explaining in some way, the salvation that people were experiencing, but he was moved by the Holy Spirit apparently, to change his epistle to a warning about deception in their midst. Jude wrote that ‘certain men had crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ’. Who were these people that were ungodly and predestined to attempt to confuse the faithful? We can’t put names on them, but in all probability there were people who simply wanted to have some kind of input into the groups understanding.

They may have felt that their opinions were proper and even biblical, but this man of God knew that they were imposters, wolves in sheep’s clothing and they were a danger to this little church. False teachers do not have to operate under the church’s calling of teachers or evangelist or even preachers. What they do is to stand and pronounce diverse false doctrines wherever there is a crowd. The organized church of our day usually have so many members (lost and saved) that there is no way to prevent this kind of heresy. Well, there is a way but we would have to stand on the Word of God, whenever we find it happening and put the person out of the church unless they came to know the truth and were saved. These are normally people who believe that the Bible is culturally or historically conditioned. In other words the Bible is open to cultural adjustments or historical considerations.

That my dear fiends and bothers and sister is the devils lie. That is the very same approach that Satan used on Eve, she ate first and then she witnessed this great lie to her husband and caused him to eat of the forbidden fruit. We can apply that same kind of scenario to the church of our day in many cases. We are like Eve, beautiful, healthy, and unencumbered; but apparently she had become careless and had allowed her mind to be upon someone other than her creator. Satan had been hovering around the garden waiting for an opportunity to deceive her and he approached her, not with a railing accusation about God but with a subtle statement that was close to the truth about what God had said to her. God had said that she and her husband Adam were free to eat of every tree of the garden with one exception and that was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Satan asked of her, “Has God indeed said, ‘you shall not eat of every tree of the garden?’. Now, can you see how close that was to what God had really said?

It was a part of what God had said, but it was nuanced by Satan in such a way that it asked, if God had not said that they were free to eat of any of the trees. That opened up Eve, whom God had created innocent (sinless but temptable), to a conversation with this false prophet, who had already planted doubt in her mind by the way he styled his question to her. That is what we need to be careful about in our day. We go to church or listen to people who are not God’s called men of the Gospel, and they know that all we want to hear is more of that greasy grace that false prophets (preachers, teachers, evangelists, and writers of books) specialize in. They already know that we have been gospel hardened by cheap grace preachers, who do not have that Holy Spirit steel in their backbones and are afraid to preach ‘Thus saith the Lord’. Our problem is not with our ears, because we could find the truth if we really desired, but we do not want to hear the truth; because it would cause us to change, and we are not willing to change.

Many sit under pastors and teachers who have no problem with telling Congregations lies, and making underhanded comments like ? “Well, we know that the Bible was written by men and men make mistakes. That means that whoever says that does not believe the Bible. These kinds of people always seem to like to say things like, well, the Bible is not true, but it contains the truth. I was having a conversation one day with Dr. W.A. Criswell, the noted pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas. He served as their pastor for approximately 50 years, and he commented to me that these kinds of peoples, those who never seem to be happy that the Bible is the Word of God seem to believe that the Bible is inspired in spots and that they are inspired to spot the spots. My dear brothers and sisters, if the Bible is not the inerrant, infallible Word of God, then we are all going to hell; because that is the only revelation of God that exists. The Bible served as the rule and guide for the lives of faithful Christians for around 2000 years and we were a better people for it.

Now, over a hundred years ago, America began it’s quest to improve or edit, or diminish the inspired word of God and replace it with tolerance for all sin and sinners, acceptance of homosexuals (Sodomites), acceptance and approval of abortion (the murder of our unborn), divorce, and all kinds of pagan beliefs. The way the false prophets (preachers) did that mirrors what Satan did to Eve in the garden. They began small and the steady drip, drip, drip of their insinuations, half-truths, and outright lies has changed the face and the character of the Church in our day, to one that looks like the Church at Thyatira that was noted for it’s corruption (A woman preacher, sexual immorality, and pagan worship).

Does that sound familiar to you? It is past time for us as Men of God to stand up and be counted, by asking ourselves some questions, for instance, Do I know the Bible as the inspired and inerrant Word of the Living God? Am I man enough to preach it, without apology, Am I living it, and am I ready to die for it. This is not a small thing and if you can answer those questions in the affirmative, then you are God’s man for the moment. There are many things to be addressed and only God can point you in the direction that you should go. We know that first we must love Christ more than we love anyone or anything on the earth?read Luke 14:26-32. You will not be popular with the world so don’t look for it. Jesus said that the world hated Him, and it would hate us because if we belong to him we will live like Him and think like Him and preach like He did (John 15:18-25). To show you how the Holy Spirit works for those who preach the truth, I am including the following short statement by John Bunyan who lived and preached in the 1600’s. A faith pastor sent this to me in an e-mail as I was finishing up this Bible lesson and I am including it for your edification.

‘And let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity’ (2 Tim. 2:19). But this is a day that was never read of, a day wherein conversion is frequent without repentance; such a conversion as it is; and therefore doth the Church of God now swarm with them that religiously name the name of Christ and yet depart not from iniquity. Alas! All homes, all tables, all shops have hanging up in them the sign of the want of repentance (Eccl. 7:27-28). To say nothing of the talk, of the beds and the backs of most that profess; by which of these is it one of a thousand for men, and for women one of ten thousand, do show that they have repentance? No marvel, then, that the name of Christ is so frequently mentioned there, where iniquity dwells; yea, reigns, and that with the consent of the mind. I would not be austere, but were wearing of gold, putting on of apparel, dressing up houses, decking of children, learning of compliments, boldness in women, worse in men, wanton behavior, lascivious words, and tempting carriages, signs of repentance, then I must say the fruits of repentance swarm in our land; but if these be none of the fruits of repentance, then, O the multitude of professors that religiously name the name of Christ and do not depart from iniquity. ? John Bunyan (1628-1688).

Until next time,

may God bless and keep you

This is Bro. Bob