Pursuing God #1: Your spirit, God’s garden

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These are the generations
of the heavens and the earth when they were created,
in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens. When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, 

Genesis 2:4-5ESV

The Bible means the Book, and it is the ultimate guidebook for life.One that combines metaphor, prophecy, and history into the perfect guidebook for life. But every guidebook has an objective. And God’s objective is to develop a rich, lasting relationship with you. Today, I have two objectives. First: to show how spiritual heart is God’s garden and second to prove that a relationship with God must be constantly nurtured.

The Garden of God

The very first place of human habitation was a garden east of Eden. While Eden was a real place in another dimension, let us look at it from a symbolic perspective for a moment to bring out a point. Let’s compare Eden to your heart.

When I say the “heart” I don’t mean the physical body part in your chest. I mean your spirit. The invisible part of you that houses your emotions, your memories, your sense of logic, your conscience—which judges right from wrong—and your imagination.

Let’s visualize this inner part of us as a garden which God intends to be His dwelling place, just as the Garden of Eden was the dwelling place of God and His children. I have to say first that this can only really happen if you’re a Christian for Christ changes our heart from a place of torment to a place fit for His presence. Outside of Christ, our hearts are filled with anger, self-indulgence etc.

But, when you are a Spirit-filled Christian, your heart becomes the home of Jesus Christ.Your spirit is now filled with God’s spirit. Jesus alluded to this when He said that His Father is the gardener (John 15) and He is the true vine or the Tree of Life.

Perfection must be maintained

In Eden, a perfect relationship existed between God and his two children: Adam and Eve. They also had a perfect relationship with each other and the earth.

So many times we think of Eden as a place where no work needed to happen. Everything was perfect so what needed to be changed? But that thought isn’t correct. God’s entire purpose of putting humans on earth was so that they could upkeep this garden. Work on it to keep things running perfectly.

And that’s what I’d like to emphasize today. Once we are regenerated by the Spirit (see John 3:3), we must work to keep our hearts free of anything that would destroy that relationship with Christ and with His people. We must cultivate our relationship with God as we would a natural garden that we want to be productive.

Threats to our spiritual garden

Sooner or later Spring will come. Millions of us gardeners will break out our tools and start working on the soil. But, if you’ve ever gardened, you know that plants aren’t the only things to multiply in the soil. Weeds. Bugs. Strange creatures that target your favorite fruit or vegetable multiply—especially when you get close to harvest season.

The same is true of our spiritual garden. Satan sows fear wherever he can, knowing it is a spiritual pesticide that kills the plant of faith. He allows weeds of discontent where God has sown the seed of joy in your heart. He inundates you with sexual messages, hardening you to its pervasive effects in hopes that you get so used to seeing weeds of lust in your garden that you’ll allow them to grow unhindered.

Bitterness thrives because words are spoken in the flesh and not the spirit. Frustration and confusion wall up within us because we rush through life instead of cultivating the quiet of God’s holy atmosphere. We produce only scrawny fruit instead of the powerful abundance Christ intends for us to bear. Where are the miracles promised to the church? Where is the beauty and joy of the Holy Ghost? Where is the peace, gentleness, and faith that we are to bear in abundance according to Galatians 5?

Missing.

Evil in God’s garden

Note that even in Eden there was a threat to the spiritual well-being—the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. If you read Genesis 2 carefully, you will see that God did not plant this tree but Satan had a right to test humanity and was allowed access to the Garden. This evil tree was not removed from the garden and ultimately ruined perfection. I hope you see how important it is to keep your garden clean.

In short: through many ways— media, scientific knowledge, busy lifestyles etc.—Satan works to sabotage the believer’s ability to bear fruit unto God. You are the only thing that can keep your spiritual life from becoming an unproductive mess. It is not God’s job to till the soil of our hearts any more than it was His job to till the soil in the garden of Eden.

But, unlike Adam, we are slow to upkeep our own garden. Too often we are like the woman mentioned in Solomon’s Song of Songs who confessed,

 …they made me the keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept.

Song of Songs 1:6 KJV

Left alone our gardens become unproductive. Like relationships with family or friends, if neglected it deteriorates into a chaotic mess. So let us purpose to nurture our gardens until we are bearing an abundance good fruit.

The Word Seed has been sown but it is not bearing fruit because we fail to “work the ground” of our hearts. Think: after hearing a sermon, do you take time to reflect on what you heard? Do you dig into the parts of your life to which the Word applies and water it with praise and prayer? Do you act upon what you’ve heard or is it simply seed scattered on the ground (see Luke 8) that is swallowed up by the busyness of life, the worries about getting what you want, or the pursuit of wealth and beauty?

God’s work, our hands

God’s first garden was a work of creation but it was maintained by human hands. Our spiritual garden is also a work of creation by the Holy Spirit but it must be maintained by our efforts to make it what it needs to be especially in these last days of the harvest time.

As we close, remember that the Eden is a metaphor of the ideal relationship with God. Let us do all we can to build and protect our spiritual life against anything that can hinder its productivity.

Live it!

Take time this week to identify one area of your spiritual life you know needs to change. Focus your prayers on that aspect of life, then decide what you will do to bring about a different outcome. For example if you want deliverance from anxiety how will you change the situation? A good starting point is to repeat over and over that you can change it.

Say it. Believe it. Live it.

Living Words:

 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. —John 15:1-3

Maximize your life

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“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

John 10:10b ESV

A word for life

Each January, my wife and I discuss our plans and establish clear goals. This year I decided to take that a step further and define our focus for the year in one word. Defining your outlook for the year in one word can help guide your spiritual and natural decisions. It keeps you focused.

Our word is Maximize which Merriam-Webster defines as “to make the most of.” What a great lesson! Make the most of every day. Make the most of the relationships in your life. Make the most of the body God has given you, nurturing it. Make the most of the earth that He has created by not being wasteful or abusing it.

Abundant living

Jesus taught us that He came to bring abundant life. Without a doubt He was speaking of the Holy Spirit giving richness of life to those who would receive It. But Christ is also speaking of our natural life as the entire scope of Scripture proves. In other words, these few days that we have upon the earth are to be rich in meaning and purpose.

Maximize was first used in colloquial English in 1802. Note that it’s a verb which means you have to do something. The goal is to maximize the value of each day. To strengthen relationships while increasing our physical and spiritual well-being.

Making the most of something means understanding what can be accomplished and focusing on that aspect. While we all make hundreds of choices each day, our choices are often emotional instead of focused on what should be done.

For example, this morning I was really tempted to hit the snooze button on the alarm but that would have cut into my morning workout and prayer time. So, I rolled out of bed on time and made it happen.

Maximizing vs productivity

There’s a difference between maximizing your day and being productive. The world stresses productivity which often leads to full days and empty lives. Christ urges us to abundant living. Life lived to the full, regardless of our income or social standing.

Productivity is simply checking boxes off a never-ending to-do list but maximizing your life means drawing the full potential from each moment.

 Jesus calls us to an abundant life. Here are five steps to achieving this:

  1. Start your day with worship. In prayer, reflect on God’s goodness and keep praising Him until you feel positive.
  2. Get a morning workout in. Getting moving in the morning will get endorphins (happy hormones) flowing, help you combat stress, and reduce depression.
  3. Pause in the busyness of the day to connect with the Lord, friends, or family.  
  4. Integrate upbeat God-pleasing music into your day. Music shapes our moods and outlook. It affects your emotions which impact your decisions. Keep it moving. Paul taught us to sing and make music throughout the day for a reason.
  5. At day’s end, reflect on the blessings and challenges of the day. How did you handle them? What could have been done better? Perfection isn’t possible in this life but we should strive constantly to improve.

In the end, the goal is to have a rich experience that leaves you feeling fulfilled. This is true whether we’re talking about relationships or daily tasks.

Maximize your choices

Maximizing life means making hard decisions. Which opportunities to pursue and which ones to pass up. Telling ourselves “no” when we’d really like to say an enthusiastic “yes.” You cannot have all things.

Jesus gives a parable in Luke’s gospel chapter 13. A landowner has a tree that hasn’t born fruit despite several years of fertilization. He approaches the gardener and tells him to remove the fruitless tree because it’s “burdening the ground.” In other words, it’s taking precious resources from the earth without giving anything back. The gardener pleads successfully for one more year.

While this parable has many spiritual applications, it’s also a good reminder that we must maximize each aspect of our lives. Remove the parts of life that aren’t producing positive results. You might need to distance yourself from an emotionally toxic environment. Or cut out whatever keeps you from becoming the best that you can be.

Can you ever really know if you’re truly living each moment to the fullest?

Not exactly. Life often doesn’t have simple to its most important questions. God allows us to live with questions so we can pursue Him for the answers we need. But life’s beauty is contained in the journey. In the efforts we make to improve ourselves and the world around us.

It’s natural to think about maximizing opportunities but it’s also important to make the most out of problems. Negative situations are teachable moments. Moments where God either wants to reveal Himself in a new way or spotlight something in our life that is keeping us from abundant living, even though we don’t always feel like it at the time.

These moments of soul-searching will lead you to a better understanding of yourself and how to maximize both opportunities and problems so you too can have life abundantly.

Live it!

Choose one action step listed above and implement it faithfully for 14 days. How do you feel?

Living Words:

Proverbs 27:19: “As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.”
James 1:12: “”Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”

LWBC Name change

We’re excited to share that our church will have a name change effective 1/1/2023. The Living Word Bride Church will become Living Word Fellowship. We trust this change will better reflect our mission to be an oasis of fellowship as we wait on the the Lord’s soon return.

God bless you!

Tearing Down our Towers of Babel

Maximize Your Life Walk Through the Word

 Jesus calls us to an abundant life. Here are five steps to achieving this.
  1. Maximize Your Life
  2. Tear down the Tower of Babel and Build the Kingdom of God
  3. Of Faith & Doubt
  4. Genesis 4-10: Worship, Murder, & the Human Experience
  5. From Spirit to Flesh: Study on Genesis 2 & 3

The Bible tells us how humanity was scattered across the whole world in the Tower of Babel story found in Genesis 11:1-9. Called “the world’s first skyscraper,” history places the Tower of Babel at about 330 feet tall and at the center of the ancient sprawling “city of Cities.”

Today, all that’s left of this symbol of ancient pride is a watering hole. So, what lessons can we learn from this as Christians today? Over the next few moments let’s identify three lessons from Genesis 11.

God’s instructions

God had instructed Noah and his descendants to spread across the whole world and that he wouldn’t destroy the world by water anymore.

Nowadays, it’s hard to imagine a global flood but the evidence was all around them in that time. But the invisible God that their fathers once talked about wasn’t so easy to see. Instead of obeying, in just a few generations humanity forgot both God’s command and his promise. They settled in the Shinar Valley and began construction on a Tower that was both an icon of pagan worship as well as a backup plan “just in case” the floodwaters that destroyed humanity came once again.

Spiritual Towers of Babel are easy to build. In fact, we might be erecting them in our lives right now.

Consequences of our decisions

First: The Tower was the result of human decision. I’d like to say the consequences of our attitudes and life decisions. Instead of choosing to follow the path that God has outlined, we often are tempted to make our own way, relying on our abilities or those of people around us just like the people in Genesis 11 chose to unite themselves to accomplish a particular goal. Their question was reasonable. What if a flood comes again? But God had already said that it wouldn’t come. Their attitude was one of doubt.

Remember: if your attitude toward someone or something isn’t lined up with the Word, it will lead you from one bad decision to another.

The question then becomes, how do you know if your attitude is Christ-pleasing as I mentioned in my live sermon this morning? The answer is by staying connected to the Holy Spirit. Humanity at this point had strayed so far from being in an active relationship with God that they were willing to trust stone and slime more than the infallible Word of God that brought the flood in the first place. Which brings me to my next point.

Second: Where there is no passion for Christ it is very difficult to know whether your actions or attitudes are correct.

Being passionate about Jesus will drive you to seek Him humbly in prayer, to pore over the pages of His word, to listen for His voice in every puff of wind and in the quiet places of your heart. Knowing Him, and what pleases Him, becomes the very center of your life. But those who are building towers instead of God’s kingdom fall out of love with their Creator and make their own life pursuits their god.

When choosing your career, for example, ask yourself if you can freely serve the Lord in this path. Or will you be helping evil to spread or be placed in compromising situations? For Noah’s descendants, this became a life pursuit but it was one that led them away from the very purpose that God had placed them here to accomplish. So be in love with Jesus in order to discern whether your decisions and attitudes towards God and other people is pleasing to the Holy Spirit. Remember, we’re here to please Him not the other way around.

Finally: the Tower was a note of security whereas God was challenging humanity to step out into the dangerous wilderness and survive by trusting in Him alone. Now, to get a better picture of what I mean, remember the world had been tilted about 23 degrees from being perfectly upright. This sudden shift resulted in massive changes—seasons, land slides, volcanic eruptions to name a few. Talk about climate change!

But in the midst of all this, God clearly directed Noah’s descendants to step out and fill the whole earth. He still asks His children to step out into unknown situations, into difficult and dangerous environments, to fill the earth with His glory. Because it’s in the difficult situations that we see Him act in our life. We can choose to stay where things are comfortable in our spiritual or natural life, right up close to the Tower of Babel that we or others are building, or we can move out in faith and watch God work His wonders.

The blessing of obedience

It was only when humanity moved away from its comfort zone that God was finally able to get a man under his control. A man who would change the course of history and get the first stage of God’s redemption plan going. His name was Abraham and we’ll pick up with his story next time.

Until then, tear down the towers in your life and build the kingdom of God.

Of Faith & Doubt

Maximize Your Life Walk Through the Word

 Jesus calls us to an abundant life. Here are five steps to achieving this.
  1. Maximize Your Life
  2. Tear down the Tower of Babel and Build the Kingdom of God
  3. Of Faith & Doubt
  4. Genesis 4-10: Worship, Murder, & the Human Experience
  5. From Spirit to Flesh: Study on Genesis 2 & 3

Genesis 11 opens with a story that many of us have heard since childhood: the Tower of Babel. But I’d like to take a different angle on this story in today’s sermon on Walk Through the Word. I’d like to focus on fulfilling the calling of God in your life.

Two chapters earlier, God commanded Noah to spread throughout the whole world after the Great Flood. He said,

And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.

Genesis 9:1 ESV

Yet, just about two generations after Noah, humanity made a choice to rebel against God’s purpose for them. Why did God want humanity scattered across the world? Why didn’t humanity listen? And what lesson can we learn that’s applicable to our lives today?

Let’s focus in on these three questions for the next few moments.

The plan of God

Before the Flood, all of humanity was gathered together and filled the land as we’ve shown in previous lessons. When man builds cities, sin and moral decay swiftly follow. God knew the evil that resides in humanity–just look today at our cities from New York to Las Vegas which has earned the deplorable name “Sin City.” So God resolved to spread mankind across the planet. He did not want groups of humans clumped up together which would lead to rebellion against his plan. Remember, He knows our nature better than we do.

We don’t need evidence to prove God’s Word. Frankly, I believe that science is supported by the Word of God and not the other way around. And there are many factors that show that all humanity was once of one language, from common language roots and similarities to astronomical charts that are relatively consistent in how the stars are analyzed across ancient civilizations.

So the Bible’s statement that “nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them (Gen. 11:6b)” is very accurate.

Humanity’s response

Now, this is where I want to spend the most of our time together. Mankind had an answer to God’s declaration. And that answer was a firm NO!

They wouldn’t scatter across the world.

They wouldn’t believe that another Flood would not happen.

They would stick together, because there’s safety in numbers, right? They would build a tower that would reach to heaven so, just in case another Flood happened, they would be safe.

You see, the sad reality is that, within just a few years of the Flood, humanity already had forgotten that God is faithful to His Word. They didn’t see this as the work of God. It was a story told by old men (Noah and his sons), and not a living reality. How we can compare that to the way the Word of God is treated today! Regardless of how many signs and wonders God does to prove His Word, regardless of how many prophecies we see fulfilled before our eyes, to many the Word of God is simply the words of old men that can be debated, questioned, and reasoned with.

Then as now humanity chooses doubt instead of faith.

So, ruled by fear, humanity chose to follow a logical course of action. God had said He wouldn’t destroy the earth with water. But they didn’t believe that. So they instituted their own safety plan–a tower which could serve as a temple for worship as well as an escape route in the event that the Flood happened again.

You see, humanity didn’t question that there was a Flood. The evidence was all around them. But as their faith in God waned, their trust in their own ability and self-worship grew.

Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower bwith its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” 

Genesis 11:4

Their decisions were not made by faith but doubt. Fear kept them from accomplishing the very purpose that God set them here to do and, as a result, they turned to idolatry. So today, you cannot accomplish the plan of God as long as you are afraid of failure. Or of the devil. Or anything in this life.

Being the man or woman, boy or girl, that God wants you to be requires you to step out in courage and faith. Staying where you are in doubt or self-reliance might give you the illusion of security but you will never have the testimony that you would have had had you obeyed God and trusted His Word.

We see that this doubt actually led them away from the God who had spared their ancestor Noah (the God to whom they owed their lives) and led them to idolatry. You see, God’s Word will always convict a heart that is not right with him. If your attitude, or perspective in live isn’t pleasing to God, don’t expect Him to leave you alone. God comes to chasten us, to hammer us into a state that we’re finally pleasing to Him (see Hebrews 12:6).

And God didn’t leave humanity alone.

God confused their language and showed that He is the master of every situation. If they wouldn’t obey Him of their own free will then He would force the situation to bend to His Will.

Why? Why does God care? Because He is the God of love and He knows that if left alone we will destroy ourselves.

Think!

It’s taken 4,000 years for our species to come back to a similar amount of evil as the world had before the Great Flood. And that’s with us being scattered by geographical and linguistic barriers. What would have happened if we had all been together speaking the same language?

Before the Flood, when everyone spoke the same language and dwelled together, God had to destroy mankind in only 2,000 years. It was His mercy that caused us to scatter. He was saving us from ourselves, and giving us as a chance to know Him as individuals.

Your life

Like early humanity, each of us has a choice. We can stay behind the crumbling tower walls of our unbelief or we can step out in faith and embrace the challenges of the Word and life that God sets before us.

God wants to bring out the best in you. So He will prod at your life, reach after you day after day, trying to get you to a place that you’re fulfilling His plan and not simply hiding behind your doubts, fears, and carnal insecurities.

Don’t build a tower of confusion in your life. Step out in faith and walk with God.

lightning strike on forest during night time

Gen. 4-10: Worship, Murder, and the Human Experience

Maximize Your Life Walk Through the Word

 Jesus calls us to an abundant life. Here are five steps to achieving this.
  1. Maximize Your Life
  2. Tear down the Tower of Babel and Build the Kingdom of God
  3. Of Faith & Doubt
  4. Genesis 4-10: Worship, Murder, & the Human Experience
  5. From Spirit to Flesh: Study on Genesis 2 & 3

Thank you for listening to this episode of Walk Through the Word. This is Brother Joseph. As we dig into our study of Genesis 4-10, we want to focus on the theme of meeting God’s requirements. What does He require from us in worship? In the way we interact with others?

The Book of Genesis is the story of our human beginnings. It’s also a prophesy of the global conditions that will exist at the end of time according to Matthew 24:37-39 and Luke 17:26-30. So let’s examine our hearts as we approach this great text.

From worship to murder

Eve was pregnant. Normally, we get happy when we hear that a wife is expecting. But, in this case, the child she carried would be the bane of humanity. For his father wasn’t Adam. It was the serpent with whom she’d had a sexual relationship in Genesis 3. Our focus today isn’t the lineage of Cain (which is proven throughout the scripture). Today, let’s look at the approach to worship.

Both Cain and Abel (who was Adam’s son) grew to adulthood. Now there were physical differences between Adam, Eve and their children. For starters, these boys had a belly button whereas Adam and Eve did not. We know this because Adam and Eve came from the hand of God whereas the children came from Eve’s body. Now, this might seem funny but that physical mark reflected a terrible reality—that the boys would one day die. For God’s promise was that “the day you eat thereof, in that day (1,000 year period) you shall die” (Gen.2:17).

As they grew to adulthood, the boys knew that they had to get right with God because time was running out. So today is time running out for you, sinner who’s listening in. None of us know when God will call us from this world. So, let us learn from their example and come to the throne of God for mercy.

Note that both Cain and Abel had religious desires, even though Cain was of an evil seed (see 1 John 3:12). It goes to show that Satan hides himself in religion. And when Satan’s goals are thwarted, religion paves the way for murder. Let’s look at this more closely.

Abel approached God with a revelation that blood (his father’s semen) had made his mortal body. The Bible clearly calls a man’s semen, his blood (see John 1:13) and the link between adultery and murder runs throughout the Old Testament. Both could only be atoned for by the shedding of blood according to the law. But Adam and Eve would not have told their children the truth of their parentage. What parent would? Can you imagine a mother saying to her son that the man he thinks is his father really isn’t and, because of her wrong doing, he and all the rest of humanity will die?

Not at all.

Therefore, Abel’s approach to worship is based upon one thing alone—divine revelation of the will of God. Somehow, Abel heard from God and, according to Hebrews 11:4, he offered a sacrifice which pleased God by faith which is revelation. So, to answer our first question: how do we worship God?

It must be by a personal revelation of Jesus Christ—everything else will be rejected.

The Christian religion has lavished countless dollars upon gorgeous churches and invested heavily in all sorts of religious rites that fail to offer revelation and true consolation to the soul. Now, with a virus, our church buildings are just like our religious works—empty.

Jesus taught us that we must worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:12). What does the Spirit bring but divine revelation of who God is? For the Spirit is the Teacher as well as the Comforter (John 14:26). So, if your worship is not revealing God to you, if it is not making Him know to you as well as through you, then your worship is in vain (Matthew 15:9).

Notice that Abel’s worship brought him in contact with God but it also revealed God through his literal body. As he offered up his lamb, Abel was foreshadowing that one day God would offer His Lamb upon an alter. Worship, my friends, reveals God through your body and through your life. So we cannot truly worship the Lord if we look, act, think, or feed upon the sins of this age. Our worship is to last, like Abel’s until our death. Our entire lives are to be a “living sacrifice unto God” according to Romans 12:12.

Before we move on, ask yourself: is my life one of worship? If not, lay it on the altar of God today.

Cain shows the hypocrisy of religious orders. Once he failed to achieve his goal he went from being a worshipper of Jehovah to a murderer. Here we see clearly the pattern followed throughout history—if they disagree, kill them! If they have a trace of the Spirit about them—they are a threat! From the Jews throughout the ages to the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant churches, empty religion has always set the stage for murder. And the Bible predicts the emptiness of intellectual Christianity that does not have the Spirit, will soon unleash the greatest murder persecution the world has ever seen (see Rev. 12:17).

Cain crossed a line. For the first time, the earth drank the blood of a human. And nothing would be the same again.

The beginning of the end

Cain married his sister (perhaps a daughter of the serpent) who was in the land of wandering or Nod. God had condemned him to be a wanderer (see Gen. 4:14) but, instead of accepting his punishment, Cain decided to fight against the Lord’s judgment and build his own civilization. He could not live among Adam’s children, for he was now an outcast, so he decided to start his own race. Just like Lucifer, he rebelled against the divine plan and decided to create a city.

But the sins of the father come down to the children.

Lamech is a descendent of Cain and Lamech introduces the idea of polygamy. Prior to this time it was one man for one woman among the human race. But Cain’s tribe unleash a new idea that will soon spread across the world. Towards the end of Genesis 4, we see a remarkable statement that many overlook.

One day Lamech said to his wives,

“Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; listen to me, you wives of Lamech. I have killed a man who attacked me, a young man who wounded me. If someone who kills Cain is punished seven times, then the one who kills me will be punished seventy-seven times!”

Genesis 4:23-24

Right after polygamy is introduced we see the second human killing–a death caused in self-defense. .Lamech is more justified than Cain because Lamech killed to protect himself. And so we see the seeds of human war are sown. And now there’s no stopping what will lead up to the greatest destruction humanity has ever seen.

The power of genes

In a natural sense, the human story revolves around one basic principle—genetics. God gave Adam and Eve perfect genes that allowed them to live eternally with sickness unable to touch them–although it was present. Remember the Tree of Knowledge and Satan were in Eden all along. Genes are what allow the Son of God to enter the human race as redeemer. And in Genesis 5, God takes the time to list the genealogy of the righteous line from Adam to Noah’s sons.

Before I go further, let me say that I know believing that Eve was impregnated by the Serpent of Genesis 3 is difficult for many to swallow. But once you get over that hurdle, the Bible literally becomes a new Book. Genesis 5 again proves this to be the case. Note verse 3:

And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:

Genesis 5:3

Note that Adam was 130 when he fathered Seth. But the Bible says nothing about how old he was when he fathered Abel. Do you get it? Adam was an eternal being when Abel was fathered. Time wasn’t reckoned unto him. But by the time Eve conceives with Seth, Adam is now mortal. He is aging. Time is applicable to him. But the hand of time is also moving toward the promise of redemption.

The next seven generations span a timeframe of about 2,000 years. Humanity is reproducing but we can see that life stages, such as puberty, are happening a lot later than they do today. Most of the marriages occur when the adults are between 60-90 years old, which makes sense if the entire lifespan is almost a thousand years old as was the case with Methuselah. But as you look at the line of Adam, we see that in general the age before fathering the first child decreases which shows us that humanity is getting slowly weaker.

For example, Adam fathers Seth at 130. Seth’s first child, Enos, is born at 105 years old. But Enos fathers hi son at 90 and the process goes on. With a few exceptions, the genetic pool of Adam’s race is changing. What does this tell us about the ancient world?

Adam’s race is getting weaker. As the world was rushing toward its first destruction, something was happening that led to earlier puberty. We see the same in our world today. In 1860, the average age for puberty in girls was documented at—get ready— 16.6 years old. In 2010 that number had dropped to 10.5 years, globally according to a study reported by The Guardian. This varies across races but the general trend is clear. Humans are becoming physically capable of sexual acts at a younger age while marriage is being postponed or forgotten altogether. What does this produce?

A world primed for immoral living. Sexual promiscuity always leads to overpopulation which, in turn brings about competition for natural resources such as food and raw materials as societies become burdened by demand. In a limited sense, this same problem of limited resources and unlimited needs was behind the rise of the Nazi Germany and the United States’ genocide of the Native Americans. Looking at the conflicts in our planet now, we see that little has changed. Competition leads to war which ultimately brings about destruction.

The human experience: then & now

As we zoom into Genesis 6 & 7, we see two distinct groups of humans emerging: Seth’s line and Cain’s line. Each represent a spiritual reality: the righteous and the damned. Again, remember that before Christ came, your spiritual status depended a lot on genes. Hence the reason that Christ came “to His own (the Jews)”. Even the calling out of the remnant of Israel, the 144,000 will be linked back to the family groups or genes (see Zechariah 12:10-14, Rev. 7:1-8). Their inheritance in the land, even the physical locations where they will live in the Millennium are all dictated by their genes as shown in the book of Ezekiel.

Notice that when Israel came back from Babylon in the times of Ezra and Nehemiah, they went straight back to the inheritance that was allotted to them by their genealogy. It was attached to them from the time that Joshua divided up the land and was never taken back. So, it’s not like the U.S. where anyone can buy another person’s property. Even if I liked to live by the sea, I couldn’t just pick up and buy land in Zebulun’s tribe if I was a Judahite for example. Each inheritance belonged to the individual family groups forever! And God still will remember the rights and privileges of that ownership even after the return of Jesus Christ.

Blessed be His Name!

What a great grace is shown then to us Gentiles in re-geneing us so that we too can have a part in God’s inheritance. It goes to show that we who are not of Israel but are Gentiles have so much to thank God for! We had no genetic promise to tie us back to God like Israel, through Abraham, did. But Jesus Christ brought us into the family of God by a new birth that changed our spiritual genes and gave us an inheritance.

giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.

Colossians 1:12 NKJV

Now I hope you can see the need for the New Birth. It is a spiritual transformation that literally changes our genes from the coding of our earthly parents to the spiritual faith of our heavenly Father. That is why you’re now able to rise above the emotional obstacles that your natural birth laid down on you. You will have to struggle against them all your life but you will have the power to overcome, thanks to this re-geneing of the Holy Spirit.

Truly, genes are important. I’m so thankful to have the genes of the Holy Spirit, aren’t you? We could take that a lot farther but you just meditate on that awhile on your own. Let’s turn our attention back to Great Flood.

The rise of race

But back in the antediluvian world, humanity was divided into two groups of people.

The Bible tells us that things changed as humanity multiplied. Instead of bearing predominantly sons (see the genealogies of the previous chapters), humanity began to bear daughters. Obviously girls had always been born or the human race would have ceased to exist. But now, there was an abundance of women born upon the earth. And, with the pattern established by Lamech of taking more than one wife, there was no longer a need for monogamy. Being faithful to one woman was no longer a requirement.

Sound familiar?

The truth is that Cain’s side had launched a sexual revolution.

But remember there was a race war going on at the time. Satan was the author of it then and he is the author of all racial tension now. His goal was to annihilate the sons of God (see Isaiah 14:13-14). But how could he? They were freshly descended from God through Adam. Adam, Seth—the patriarchs were living for almost a thousand years teaching the Word of God. How could he break through this hedge of preachers?

Through the woman.

Satan learned in the Garden of Eden that men have one major weakness. It doesn’t matter how holy they are, how much they pray, every man’s weakness is a woman. And still today every man must face the temptation. Even the Son of God Himself had to face it. Christ struggled but He overcame. And so will you brothers if you keep your eyes on where we’re going and not the temporary pleasures of this world.

So sisters, remember to be careful what you say to men and how you conduct yourselves around them. Dress in ways that will lead to holiness as the Bible tells us in 1 Timothy 2:9 remembering that you have the power to either keep his mind on things of God or to inflame his lust.

And, if you’re married, Sisters, remember to be patient and listen to him if he talks to you about his struggles. The Bible commands that you meet his needs (1 Cor. 7:5).Don’t drive him away or make him feel like he’s an abnormal creature. That’s his nature. He was made to propagate life.

And men, keep your conduct under the Word, striving to keep your thoughts and bodies sanctified to God. And if you’re married, keep yourself only for your wife. Meet her physical and emotional needs as the Scripture commands you to do. Listen to her struggles and pray with her.

The race war then wasn’t so much black versus white or any of the nonsense we see today. It was a spiritual war focusing on bringing down good and elevating evil.

Don’t we see the same today?

Behind the fog of racism and antisemitism, liberalism and conservatism, the real agenda is faith versus doubt.

Satan won that war.

The fall of the righteous and the end of the world

Adam’s line quicky forgot their religious principles when faced with the temptation of the gorgeous Canaanite women. Like today, the clergy failed to hold the people accountable to God. By the time of the Flood, only Noah and his family—out of a population of billions—had enough spirituality to hear from God.

As the female population exploded, there simply weren’t enough men to pair with one woman. Society then became a world of women’s rights, with women leading homes, being worshipped, and leading nations. We see this by the lack of spiritual knowledge shown by Adam’s sons, and the prophecy of Jesus Christ that our world will be a reflection of what was in Noah’s time.

But on the heels of hedonism comes violence. Then as now, physical wars broke out across the planet. Wars fueled by the discovery of nuclear technology. We’ve often been taught that early civilizations were primitive but that simply isn’t born out by the Bible or archeological evidence.

Humanity is like a pendulum. It swung once toward a technological peak, was destroyed and swung backward, then now is swinging back toward another technological peak. Keep in mind the following:

  • Cain’s side was actively tapping into knowledge (shown by Tubal Cain’s inventions)
  • Each scientist lived for hundreds of years, passing down knowledge
  • There were no language barriers because everyone spoke the same language so knowledge could be easily shared
  • There were no geographic barriers because there was one landmass.

It is utterly illogical to think that the science and technology would not have continued to grow, especially when we look at our world. In just 250 years, we’ve gone from a primitive steam engine, which launched the Industrial Revolution, to space travel. And that’s with scientists living about 80-90 years!

What would happen if scientists were living for an average of 800 years and we had 2,000 years to experiment as was the case between Adam and Noah? Stone axes and animal skin clothes?

Not at all. We have Noah being able to build a boat that is over 500 feet long. God inspired him but he still had to build the physical structure. And a boat the size of the ark (the British SS Great Eastern which was 692 feet long) wasn’t built until 1858, according to the Visual Capitalist.

One of the reasons people question the Bible is because we present to them a very unscriptural view of what it says. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that Noah and his family didn’t have access to the technology of their time, even though they weren’t scientists themselves. Think about it: I trust you all are Christians listening to my voice this morning or reading this online. Yet you’re using the technology developed by critics of God’s Word to listen to this podcast!

I was very pleased to recently read an article by Quartz Hill School of Theology in which they also recognize that the world of Noah was one with highly developed technology and nuclear technology.

Noah and his family survived the equivalent of a nuclear holocaust — in fact, for all we know there might have been one just before the flood. Radiation poisoning and the resultant genetic damage would go a long way in explaining why human life spans, which before the flood averaged over 900 years, declined rapidly to their current levels after the flood.

Quartz Hill School of Theology, Was there modern technology before the Flood?

Without reading this article, I’ve often stated that the lifespan of humans after the Flood is shorter because they were trying to grow crops in a world that had been contaminated by radiation. When we look at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we see that humans were literally vaporized when atomic energy was used on a small-scale level. What would happen if the entire planet went to war? There would be little or no evidence left. And the survivors would be starting over, from scratch.

Just think about it: if you and your family were the only survivors of a nuclear holocaust, how much of our technology could you reproduce? Could you build a car? How about a spaceship? Or maybe you could reinvent the internet?

When the nuclear technology of that world was misused, it altered the entire balance of creation. Floodwaters covered the planet, unleashing the wrath of God. And so today the same will happen again. But this time it will be fire. The bombs of our world will trigger volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and tsunamis like we’ve never seen. The Pacific Ring of Fire, the Phlegraean Fields near Naples, Italy, the Supervolcanoes right here in the United States, will belch forth and God’s wrath will again be unleashed.

Our only prayer is to be right with God. Then, it doesn’t matter what happens to this body, as long as our soul is ready to meet Him. For hell is right beneath us all. It is a physical place in the earth (where these volcanoes are active) as well as a spiritual dimension. The Bible clearly tells us that Jesus descended into hell after He died to preach to the lost, does it not?

Oh, that might be a hard one for you. Let’s read it together.

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.”

1 Peter 3:19-20

Again Peter says,

For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.

1 Peter 4:6

Paul also brings this out clearly.

In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? 10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)

Ephesians 4:9-10

Hell therefore is in the earth but, just as we cannot see the Holy Spirit and the angels of God until we leave this body of flesh, so can we not see the demon powers that inhabit the dark world. Let’s hear what Brother Branham had to say about this.

And then man,sitting a pot of hell, hits hisself in the chest and defies God’s Word, and says, “There’s no such a place as hell.” (I got that down here in a little bit, and we’re going to get to that, see.) You’re sitting on a big pot of it every day. And while you’re here you’re sitting right on it, and hell’s just beneath you.

53-0729 – Questions And Answers On Genesis

Coping with the stress

The Bible doesn’t just tell us the good that God’s servants do. It also reveals their weaknesses. This encourages us as well as provides instruction, telling us what we should not do when faced with similar situations. After the flood, Noah is traumatized. I’m sure you can understand that. Imagine, all your friends, your family, they’re all wiped out.

You are the only survivor. And all the comforts that you’ve known are now non-existent.

Even though God has blessed Noah and his family, it still doesn’t take away the heartache. What a good lesson here for us to remember. God may bless and use you but He expects you to be willing to sacrifice everything to serve Him.

Sometimes this is our stand for Christ. You might be facing ridicule or pressure from a coworker. Maybe you feel like you’re missing out while others are living in pleasure and sin. Or maybe you’re fighting to break free of a habit. You see, every action that we do for God brings a blessing but it also comes at a price. And, at times, that load can be heavy to bear. Don’t be alarmed if your cross gets heavy at times. It doesn’t mean that you’re not a Christian. It simply means that you’re human.

The Bible encourages us to keep on doing the work of God for we will be rewarded (see Gal. 6:9). Simply lean back on the arms of Jehovah and seek His strength.

Noah didn’t do this. His escape was the one thing he still understood in this world—making wine. Now, is that the kind of example that a prophet of God should be showing? It brought reproach upon his testimony and a curse upon his grandson that we’ve seen carried out through the ages.

Here’s the lesson that I’d like to point out.

Be sure that your ways of coping with stress and pressure glorify God and don’t hinder your Christian testimony.

I think every Christian should have a hobby. Especially in this age of pressure, we need natural things to relax our natural bodies. God didn’t command us to pray all the time. After all, a huge part of Adam’s day was spent in physical work, not just prayer. Be it a sport, outdoor activity, or some kind of art, it’s good to get our bodies and minds out of the routine. But don’t let your stress outlet lead you to acting out of a Christlike character (isolating yourself, or using foul language or violence for example).

The consequences of our decisions

I want to close out this podcast with a stern reminder that everyone of our decisions will always bring a consequence—sometimes well after we’re gone. Noah’s decision to live as a drunk would impact the entire world more than four thousand years after his death. Ham disrespected his father when he saw him lying naked in the tent. As a result, in anger Noah cursed Canaan, Ham’s son.

Keep in mind that Ham himself could not be cursed for God had already blessed him (Gen. 9:1). But Canaan was a different story. Although Canaan himself had done no wrong, the judgment fell on him. The prophecy of his angered grandfather condemned him to slavery and subordination to his brothers.

Now I want to clarify something here. This scripture has often been used to justify the enslavement and racial inferiority of the black race. I recently read a text that was popular in America during the 1860s which claimed that God instantly changed Canaan’s skin color from a white to black and his features from European to “thick lips” and other “negroid” characteristics!

The ability of humans to twist God’s word to their own evil intentions is nothing short of amazing. That being said, I want to clarify this subject as it is so important in our modern world, especially in America, and many criticize the Bible without understanding that there is God’s will and then human choice.

God’s intention was never to have slavery, however slavery did come. And Noah, the angered prophet, unknowingly set this chain of events in motion. Much like Elisha who cursed the children (2 Kings 2:24) the word of a prophet must be honored. This was not God’s intention. But He had to honor the prophet’s position because Noah was His mouthpiece.

Looking at the genealogies in Gen. 10-11, we see that Shem fathered the groups that we know as the Semites (including but not limited to the people of Israel), Japheth began many of the groups in eastern Europe and Asia (such as the Greeks, the Celts and Russians) whereas Ham settled in Africa (see Psalm 78:51 and others).

And, as we know from history, his descendants did end up in servitude to the other races of the world. For centuries, slave traders and other evil minded people used this text to justify their actions. To make things worse, Ham’s name in Hebrew, Arabic and Egyptian, according to the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, is associated with heat, blackness, and servitude while Japheth (meaning enlarged) has been linked back to the Hebrew yaphah (which is to be beautiful or white). I want to really emphasize that the will of God (who came to set the captives free) was never slavery or racial discrimination.

But, sadly, it did happen as Noah said. Many races have been enslaved throughout human history, including Europeans and Anglo-Saxons. But the African slave trade was especially noteworthy both in terms of its brutality and its global impact.

Again, there is God’s will and then there is the consequences of human decisions. I don’t say this all happened because of Ham. But there’s no denying that unfortunately humans used this story to do what was in their heart all along as a quick read of pro-slavery literature shows.

So here is the lesson:

Don’t leave a mixed record of your life as Noah did. Remember that your actions, for good or for bad, will have consequences that outlive you. So, live in such a way that others can only be inspired by your life. Believe with a faith that will leave a testimony for others to follow. Because, in the end, all that matters is the record we leave for Christ.

Well, this has been a long and in-depth study of Genesis Chapters 4-10 on Walk through the Word. I truly hope it’s been as much of a blessing to you as it has been to me.

Here’s a quick summary of what we covered:

  • Our worship of Jesus Christ must be based on revelation
  • When we are born again we are spiritually regened by God and are brought into fellowship with Him
  • Be on guard! Satan infiltrated God’s line through unlawful sex and tries to sabotage us still today by the same trap.
  • Live in a way that you are right with God at all times
  • Be sure that your means of coping with stress please the Lord
  • Don’t be dismayed if your burdens get heavy at times. Lean on Christ for strength.
  • Your actions/decisions will have long lasting consequences.
  • Live in a way that inspires others to serve the Lord.

If you’re part of the global audience and have questions, just write them as a comments on our website: thelwbc.com.

Until we meet again, walk in the Spirit.