The Dwelling Place of God—I

Fred R. Coulter—October 7, 2009

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Greetings, brethren, welcome to day number five of the Feast of Tabernacles, 2009. We’re going to see one of the themes all the way through the Bible is God dwelling with His people. So let’s begin at the beginning; and I think we’re going to learn something new about why Adam and Eve sinned so readily.

Let’s begin right here in Genesis 1:26—I know we’ve covered these verses many times in the past, but let’s go through them and ask some other questions, which will help us clarify what is being said—because when you study the Bible and go through the Scriptures it’s always ‘line upon line; precept upon precept; here a little, and there a little.’ We also realize, as Jesus instructed the disciples—after He was resurrected from the dead—He clearly showed that the New Testament interprets the Old. When He told them, as He went through the Law, the Prophets and the Psalms (or the Writings) showing the ‘prophecies concerning Him that He must suffer.’ Which is to say this: You cannot understand the Old Testament without the New. And you cannot understand the New Testament without the Old—because fully one-third of the New Testament are direct quotes from the Old Testament showing their meaning and fulfillment. So let’s keep this in mind. We will see this right here, right as we’re getting started:

Genesis 1:26: “And God said, ‘Let Us…” Now, who are the Us? Because the Jews say, ‘Oh! That’s the heavenly hosts.’ or ‘Those are the ones who help God.’ Well, the New Testament defines who Us are, because ‘Elohim’ is a Hebrew word meaning plural of ‘Elo’—meaning God! And we know the rest of the Bible teaches that there are two in ‘Elohim.’ Are any of us made after the image of any of the ‘heavenly hosts’? No! There are some angels made who look like men. Others who look like other animals that we understand. So let’s answer the question: Who are the Us, first? because this then will tell us about God’s plan. So hold your place here in Genesis, and we’ll be doing this, going through the Bible—‘line upon line; precept upon precept; a little here, a little there.’

Let’s come to the Gospel of John, chapter 17. Now, John 17 is really the Lord’s Prayer. This is the prayer that He prayed just before He was arrested and led off for His illegal trial and subsequent rejection and crucifixion—and He knew that it was coming.

Another very important thing in studying the Bible is this: You compare Truth with Truth; Scripture with Scripture. You never come into the Bible to try and study it to try and prove a theory that you have in your mind. Because more often than not, that ends up with an improper interpretation and misunderstanding—and worse: an addition or deletion of the Word of God. So since the Jews, who have the Old Testament—and most of them reject the New—have to find out Who the Us are by their own reasoning. And since they don’t have the New Testament, they don’t let the New Testament interpret the Old. Well now, let’s review before we begin v 17, and we’ll see again a little later: Who was Jesus? He was God manifested in the flesh! Correct? Yes! So that means the One Who said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image” was the One Who became Jesus Christ, because Colossians, the first chapter tells us that Jesus ‘created everything.’

John 17:17—where He’s praying to the Father, Who is God: “Sanctify them in Your Truth…” That’s how we’re sanctified. Anytime you start adding traditions; anytime you start adding human ideas and thoughts and hypothesis, myths and legends—and there are a lot of people, even in the Church of God, that have itching ears and are doing exactly as Paul told Timothy they would do: ‘heap to themselves teachers.’ And they will turn away from the Truth. The reality of it is this: There is no salvation without Truth. How can there be? Just like we’ve said many times, over and over again—and the world doesn’t understand this—how can they worship the God of Truth with lies? And everything that they have in worldly Christianity is a lie. They claim the Bible. They use parts of it, but it’s just like a counterfeit, it’s made to look like the real thing, but it’s not.

So whenever we’re dealing with anything, we must deal with the Truth:

  • What does the Bible say?
  • What does it not say?
  • What does it really mean?

Well, here it’s clear: “Sanctify them in Your Truth; Your Word is the Truth. Even as You did send Me into the world… [and how many times did Jesus say, ‘I came from above’? And still today, people wonder: ‘I wonder where Jesus came from?’ He told you, but they won’t believe.] …I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, so that they also may be sanctified in Your Truth. I do not pray for these only, but also for those who shall believe in Me through their word” (vs 17-20). And the only true belief then is what? Preaching the Truth. Isn’t that correct? Yes!

Now notice v 21 answers the question: Who are the Us in Gen. 1:26: “That they all may be one… [that’s one God Family] …even as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they… [the disciples and those who would believe] …also may be one in Us…” So the ‘Us’ in ‘Elohim’ are the two Elohim: one Who became the Father and one Who became the Son when Jesus was begotten in the womb of the virgin Mary, and then born to be the Savior of the world. So that answers the question.

So, let’s come back to Genesis 1: and let’s see what else this is telling us, because there are some people who believe that God created pre-Adamic men. We’ve put it up online and we’ll probably mail it out, that this doctrine actually started in the 200s A.D. and yet, some people come along and say: ‘Oh yeah, the way we can reconcile the Bible…’ and evolutionist to say, ‘Well, there were pre-Adamic men.’ But you see, the truth is, you can never know the age of the bones buried in strata because of the exchange of minerals from the bones to the ground and from the ground into the bones. That’s why a petrified tree, you can never tell the right age because it became—through the process of petrification—the same age as the minerals in the rock in which it’s found; same way with bones of dinosaurs and etc., etc.

Genesis 1:26: “…‘Let Us [the two Elohim] make man in Our image… [now, you want to know what God looks like? What did Jesus tell Philip? He said, ‘If you’ve seen Me, you’ve seen the Father.’ So the Father is an individual personage Who is God, composed of spirit, and He made us after His image. So, if you want to do a study in the Bible, study about

  • the eyes of God
  • the arm of God
  • the feet of God
  • the head of God

—and you will know that we are made in His image.] (notice): …after Our likeness…” God gave us minds; God gave us a spirit of man in us so

  • that we can think,
  • that we can have emotions
  • that we can build
  • that we have capacities very similar to God.

—because, as we know, the ultimate purpose for mankind and salvation is to enter into the God Family and be changed—at the resurrection—from flesh to spirit. Now, there’s one exception for that and that is those few who are still alive when the first resurrection takes place. And what will happen to them? They will be ‘changed in an instant, at the twinkling of any eye, when the last trumpet sounds’—and they will be changed from flesh to spirit, from mortal to immortal, from corruptibility to incorruptibility. We know that now, and I’m bringing this out because it’s going to give us a very important understanding as to why Adam and Eve apparently sinned so readily.

So what we’re trying to do with all of these things is bring to bear upon these verses the full understanding of the Bible; to give us more realization of what was taking place. Now, in the Passover book I’ve got a chapter in there which talks about the nature of man and the nature of God. So you can read it in that. If you don’t have the Passover book, write for it. And if you haven’t read it recently, it might do some good to read it.

Notice, God made us to rule the earth, just like God rules the heaven and also the earth, He gave ‘dominion’ or rulership to man to rule the earth, to manage the earth and everything that there is. “‘…and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of heaven and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that crawls upon the earth.’…. [So God has given the earth to all mankind as a free gift. We obviously didn’t earn it; He made it and created it—right? Yes] …And God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him. He created them male and female…. [Now, here’s the command that all human beings do to this day, regardless of their nature right now]: … And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth… [Just a little sidebar here: If you replenish the earth, that means there was something here previously—does it not? As we find a little later in Gen. 9, He said the same thing after the Flood: ‘replenish the earth.’] …and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of heaven and over every living thing that moves upon the earth’” (vs 26-28).

Now then, when God got done with everything, v 31: “And God saw everything that He had made, and indeed, it wasexceedingly good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”

The first thing that God did so that He could have a relationship with man—that is man and woman—was then after they were created and God married them (which we’ll see a little later in chapter two), He created the Sabbath day by resting on it.

Genesis 2:1: “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And by the beginning of the seventh day God finished His work which He had made. And He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it… [no other day! We all know that! But for those who don’t, never on a Sunday!] …because on it He rested from all His work which God had created and made” (vs 1-3). Why did God make the Sabbath day? First of all, to have fellowship with mankind beginning with Adam and Eve, and so they could be instructed; so they could learn; so they could find out why God created them; so they could be taught.

Let’s come down here and see after God made Adam, v 7: “Then the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being…. [We know from James 2:26, that the body, if it doesn’t have the spirit, is dead. And we know that we do not have a soul, we are a soul—or as translated here: a living being.] …And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life also was in the middle of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (vs 7-9). Because after creating man—just like all human beings subsequently born through the process of procreation are confronted with—there is good and evil, life and death, blessing and cursing. So He gave them choices.

Cursings do come until there is sin. So there were no cursings to begin with. Adam and Eve were perfectly formed, Let’s read a little more of that before we get into chapter three and why did they sin so readily? Verse 15: “And the LORD God took the man and put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and keep it…. [the Hebrew also means to guard it. So, not only did He give us the earth—which we were to expand out upon with the population and the increase of mankind, to give us rule and dominion over everything that was there—but also, in keeping it or guarding it, it shows that we have a responsibility to God for what He’s made and created and given to us.] …And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘You may freely eat of every tree in the garden, but you shall not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for in the day that you eat of it in dying you shall surely die’” (vs 15-17). And that is the correct translation. Because we know when they ate it they didn’t die that day. But we’ll see something else that took place.

Verse 18: “And the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make a helper compatible for him.’…. [Which means a helper, a sustainer, beside him.] …And out of the ground the LORD God had formed every animal of the field and every fowl of the air—and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them…. [Someone said, ‘How could God do that with every one? He brought everyone of the main species. Not everything that He had made—a bird is a bird! So He probably brought the main species of birds, the main species of animals, and passed them by Adam to see what he would call them.] …And whatever Adam called each living creature, that became its name” (vs 18-19). Now what does this also tell us? This also tells us that when God created Adam, He also preprogrammed his mind with a language so he could talk, he could think, he could converse with God, he could analyze, he could name the animals and everything. So, we don’t know exactly when on the sixth day that God created Adam. Perhaps it was just before dawn (I’m just guessing here), so this was accomplish, say, by three in the afternoon.

Now then, it’s still the sixth day. “And the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone” (v 18)—and He’s going to make a helper compatible for Adam. “And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall over Adam, and he slept. And He took one of his ribs, and afterward closed up the flesh underneath…. [from the inside out so there would be no scar.] …Then the LORD God made the rib (which He had taken out of the man) into a woman, and He brought her to the man” (vs 21-22). And after introducing them there was a ceremony performed; a ceremony of marriage. We’ll see that later God calls Eve his [Adam’s] wife. So here God did the first marriage, performed the first marriage, instructed them in everything about themselves.

After Adam saw her, which probably blew his mind because she had no clothes: “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.’ For this reason… [now, let’s stop right here. Did Adam know where she came from? Yes, God told him. Did she know where she came from? Of course! God did not withhold information from them, He taught them; He let them know.] (notice, here is the first marriage ceremony): …shall a man leave his father and his mother… [Because He told them they were going to have descendants. Josephus records that Adam and Eve had 56 children—sons and daughters—so they were very prolific; and they also lived a long time.] …and shall cleave to his wife—and they shall become one flesh” (23-24). That’s not just in the physical act of procreation, but this is in the very sense of the two becoming as one, as a foretaste of what it’s like for man to become one with God. It takes a lot of work. It takes a lot of effort and cooperation, yielding to God and all that sort of thing.

Let’s stop and ask a question here, that maybe some have not asked: In what form did God appear to Adam and Eve? We know from the account of Moses that God told Moses, ‘No man can see My face—that is in the glorified form—and live.’ This tells us that God did not appear in His glorified form to them. Well, then, how did He appear to them? We can deduce that He probably, which is entirely correct I believe, appeared to them as a man, because they were made in His image—correct? Yes! Now, after Adam and Eve got to know about God, talk with Him, be instructed by Him, walk with Him, ask questions about things, learn from Him, then could it be that they began to be accustom to God appearing as a man? Yes! After all, they were very intelligent, so they were learning quickly because they started out with a full working vocabulary in their minds.

Would it be beyond reason to suppose—and I think that we can understand that it would be true—that God told them that the purpose of their being created in the flesh was to become like Him. We don’t know how much that God told them that they would also be able to glorify themselves as He was able. We do not know. But seeing God only appearing as a man, appearing as almost an equal to them as viewed from the eyes of Adam and Eve:

  • Did this lend itself to Adam and Eve believing what Satan told them because God also told them that ‘you will become like Me’?
  • Why would they be so anxious to become like God?
  • And why would they believe Satan the devil’s lie?

—unless they pretty well thought ‘Hey, we’re going to be like God, and God told us He’s going to make us that way.’ With that in mind, we don’t know how long that Adam and Eve were there together in the Garden of Eden with God. The Bible doesn’t tell us. But we also know this from the rest of the Bible: That God does not impute sin where there is no law and there are no commandments and there are no instructions—because without law there is no sin. So based on that principle, we can get a greater understanding, that yes, God did tell them and they had a basic working understanding of who they were, why they were here, Who God was and God appearing to them as a human being would appear to them. He also commanded them, because He commanded them, saying, ‘You may freely eat of all of the trees of the garden, but the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat of it; for in the day that you thereof, in dying you shall surely die.’ Did Adam and Eve know and fully comprehend what death was? No, because everything was newly created, and there was no death apparent anywhere.

With all of that, let’s read beginning in Genesis 3:1: “Now the serpent was more cunning than any creature of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman… [We also need to understand this: Women make judgments based upon feelings. To a woman, the facts are secondary to how she feels; how comfortable she is. So this is why Satan appealed to the woman first. This does not take away from the guilt of Adam. It does say in the New Testament—and Eve also said that ‘the serpent deceived her.’ But the greater sin (Rom. 5) was on Adam.] (So he said to the woman): …‘Is it true that God has said, “You shall not eat of any tree of the garden?”’…. [Now what is the first attempt when someone makes an incorrect statement? What is the first thing you want to do? Correct them! So she responded back. She could have said, ‘I’m having no conversation with you. There’s my husband over there. Talk with him.’ But she didn’t.] …And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may freely eat the fruit of the trees of the garden, but of the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has indeed said, “You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die”’” (vs 1-3).

Now, some interpreters say the woman added to what God instructed. Well, since there was a duration of time from the creation to this point, it is more likely that God gave them further instruction, and part of it was ‘you shall not touch it.’

“And the serpent said to the woman, ‘In dying, you shall not surely die!’” (v 4). Since they had not seen anything die, and they themselves were totally unfamiliar with death; and at the time that they were created they were not subject to death, nor were they subject to eternal life; because they had not eaten of the tree of life nor had they eaten of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. So Adam and Eve were kind of in a neutral situation as far as their standing before God. Up until this time, they did as God said. They hadn’t sinned. They did not eat of the tree. They did not touch of the tree. Obviously, in order to live, they had to eat of the fruit of other trees. Would that not be so? Yes, indeed!

“And the serpent said to the woman, ‘In dying, you shall not surely die!….’” Also, there’s another thing in here in the instruction from God to them, which may be part of something that we know concerning the resurrection. If you are faithful and alive at the time of the return of Jesus and the first resurrection, you shall be changed from flesh to spirit. It’s probably an instantaneous death and recovery. But you won’t experience death like you die and then you’re put into the grave and resurrected out of the grave. Could it be that they also understood from God, that if they were faithful and if they did right, they would not die? Very possible! Let me just say this: if you don’t have the sermon What Would the World have been Like if Adam and Eve had not Sinned? well, you ask for it, you download it or you write in for it.

Let’s notice what else Satan told Eve—v 5: “‘For God knows that in the day you eat of it, then your eyes shall be opened… [remember, he’s a liar! So what actually happens is your eyes are closed and blinded! But Satan likes to come along and say your eyes will be opened.] …and you shall be like God… [Now, was Eve thinking, ‘Well, that’s just what God told us. Maybe this is the key to become like God.’] …deciding good and evil.’…. [You can choose for yourself, because then you will be as God! And that’s the only way that they were like God. They weren’t like God other than the fact that they were created in the image and likeness of God. But they were not like God as God is God as a spirit being. However, they were like God in the matter of deciding good and evil for themselves, instead of listening to God. So this is the correct translation by the meaning of what was going on. They were not like God in any other way. No! Only in deciding what is good and evil for themselves! This was their sin: disobeying God!

Notice here’s exactly how Satan appears, just like it is there in 2-John: ‘Love not the world nor the things in the world’—the pride of life and all the things in the world. It’s of the world and it’s going to perish. Well, here’s where it started.

“And when the woman saw… [lust—she didn’t think by the facts and say, ‘God said not to do it. It doesn’t matter what it looks like, God said no!’ So she saw and she reasoned emotionally] ...that the tree was good for food… [How could she know it was good for food, but make an emotional, subjective decision.] …and that it was pleasing to the eyes… [‘Can anything looking that good be so bad that it would cause death? And after all, isn’t that what God wants us to become? Like Him!? Maybe this is the way God wanted us to it. I think that is the way that God wanted us to do it’; otherwise, why would they have done it?] …and a tree to be desired to make one wise… [‘We will learn more! and in learning more, we’ll become as God.’ So what happened?]: …she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate” (v 6). So Adam was right there. What was his responsibility toward his wife? ‘Eve, don’t touch it! God said don’t touch it! And you even answered correctly to the serpent.’ No, maybe Adam was thinking, ‘Well, that’s a pretty persuasive argument that the serpent has. And maybe after all this is the way we’re going to become like our Creator. And the only thing is, that He hasn’t told us that before. So IF we eat of this fruit, we’ll be like God. And after all, God is not too much different than we are right now, is He?’ No, because God appeared to them in the flesh.

So you see, it also gets down to the same thing that we find all the way through the Bible: You must believe and have faith, and faith leads to obedience, and obedience leads to good works and following the instructions of God.

“…and gave to her husband with her…”—and you know what the situation was. Adam figured in his mind, ‘well, if something goes wrong with this, I can always blame her.’ And God will understand that. The same thing when anything goes wrong today, human nature figures the same thing—doesn’t it? ‘He made me do it.’ ‘She made me do it.’ ‘There was a lot of pressure on me and I just gave in.’

Verse 7—after they ate it: “And the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked… [So whatever else transpired with that, I think all we have to do is look at the problems of sexual sins today and understand that that’s probably what they got involved in; and now they had a conscience and were ashamed when they did it; because God gives everyone a conscience. And people generally know when they sin, although they don’t understand the gravity of it in some cases.] …and they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.” God knew that they had done this, but He wanted to find out their reaction to Him confronting them. An atheist said, ‘If God is God and He knows everything, why did He call for Adam?—He knew where he was. But since He didn’t know where he was, how can He really know everything?’ Just because God knows everything doesn’t mean that He tells you everything!

“And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day. Then Adam and his wife… [so they were married] …hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden” (v 8). Like little children who did things that were not good and tried to hide thinking that it would go away; or that God would pass on.


Let’s continue on in Genesis 3:8: “And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day. Then Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ And he said, ‘I heard You walking in the garden, and I was afraid because I am naked, and so I hid myself.’ And He said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree which I commanded you that you should not eat?… [Of course, God already knew this, without a doubt!] …And the man said, ‘The woman whom You gave to be with me… [‘It’s Your fault, God, You gave me this woman.’ And the Lord could say, ‘Well, Adam, when I brought her to you, you welcomed her and thought this is marvelous.’] …she gave me of the tree, and I ate.’ And the LORD God said to the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ And the woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate’” (vs 8-13). Typical of human nature—right? When something goes wrong you blame someone else.

So now God gives His sentence and His judgment, and we will see that everything changed. Verse 14: “And the LORD God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this you are cursed above all livestock, and above every animal of the field. You shall go upon your belly, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman… [So here is the first prophecy of the coming Messiah Who was the One giving the prophecy Himself, right here, the One Who became Jesus Christ.] …and between your seed and her Seed… [that is between the children of Adam and Eve and the serpents, and also between those who would be called into the Church later of the seed of Abraham, spiritually, who would be in the Church.] …He will bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.’…. [Showing the victory of God over Satan in the final analysis, and the crucifixion caused by Satan the devil.] …To the woman He said, ‘I will greatly increase your sorrow and your conception… [Not only just in conception, but also in the bringing up in the rearing of children; because women are always more emotionally attached to their children than their father—not in every case, but in most cases.] …—in sorrow shall you bring forth children…. [Because they’re going to end up doing exactly like you did. They’re not going to do what you tell them to do. And sure enough, what was the first great sorrow that they had? The murder of Abel by Cain.] …Your desire shall be toward your husband… [Not what you want to do yourself.] …and he shall rule over you’” (vs 14-16). And in the New Testament it says: ‘Wives, submit to your husbands as unto the Lord.’ Now this rule, of course, has to be in love and understanding, etc.

“And to Adam He said, ‘Because you have hearkened to the voice of your wife… [They were married—right? Yes!] …and have eaten of the tree—of which I commanded you, saying, “You shall not eat of it!”—the ground is cursed for your sake. In sorrow shall you eat of it all the days of your life. It shall also bring forth thorns and thistles to you, and thus you shall eat the herbs of the field; in the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return’” (vs 17-19).

Now, everything changed at this point. Here we see that the whole environment was changed. Which also means that the nature of the animals were changed. As we read in Isaiah 11 that the lion is going to feed with the lamb, and the children are going to play on the cockatrice’s den; and the bear is going to eat grass with the cow. Today, that’s not so. So the whole environment was changed. Thorns and thistles and all kinds of weeds then were the result of the sin. What else was changed? The nature of man and woman was changed!

Let’s quickly go to Romans, the fifth chapter. Hold your place because we will come back here, and then we will see what happened to Adam and Eve. Let’s see what it says that occurred because of the sin of Adam. Romans 5:12: “Therefore, as by one man…” Adam was responsible for his wife, and he should have told her ‘no, don’t touch it, Eve. God said not to.’ That way they would be obeying God and not usurping to themselves to decide good and evil according to the way they see things. Just like today, we see it everywhere! Everybody’s opinion is sacred! Everybody’s opinion is equal! Everybody’s religion is the same! The nature of all people is all exactly the same! Not so!The truth is opinions do not count unless they agree with the Word of God!]

Here’s what happened: “…sin entered into the world… [that means in the human realm. Because sin had already entered into the angelic realm by the rebellion of Lucifer and a third of the angels. This is into the human realm.] …and by means of sin came death… [They weren’t subject to death until they had eaten of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Now came death! and their nature was changed, and death became an inherent part of their beings which Paul defines in Rom. 7 as ‘the law of sin and death.’] …and in this way, death passed into all mankind… [We’re all born with a nature of death. And today, they call it the death gene. The body shuts down and dies. The spirit goes back to God, the body goes into the earth back to the dust. If you’re cremated you’re turned to dust in just a short time. Now notice: because we have the nature of death and ‘the law of sin and death’ in us, passed on to us by genetics, therefore]: …and it isfor this reason that all have sinned.

You have a sinful nature. That’s why human nature is a mixture of good and evil. Adam and Eve ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and God’s sentence was: you’re going to have a nature that is basically sinful. ‘Howbeit (as we’ll see a little later) I’ll still let you have access to Me—not like it was living with Me.’

Let’s go back to Genesis the third chapter; let’s finish it up here and then go into Genesis 4 a little bit and then we’ll progress a little faster in going through this on how to dwell with God. Verse 20: “And Adam called his wife’s name Eve because she was the mother of all the living.”

Just go across the page here for just a minute. Let’s come to Genesis 5:1: “This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female and blessed them, and He called their name Adam in the day when they were created” (vs 1-2). So, it’s like Mr. & Mrs. Adam. Which also shows that the woman, or the wife, takes the man’s name—correct?—when they’re married. Same thing, right there.

Genesis 3:21: “And for Adam and his wife the LORD God made coats of skins and clothed them. And the LORD God said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to decide good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever—’… [There’s a dash there—not recorded what else God said there.] …Therefore, the LORD God sent him out from the Garden of Eden…” (vs 21-23). Exiled from the presence of God! and also, through all the Scriptures it shows that when people and nations sin, they are exiled out the of the blessing of the land that God gave them. (We’re going to see later when we come to Day 7 that this is an important factor to keep in mind.) They could no longer dwell with God. God was not dwelling with them. God lived in the Garden of Eden all through the time until the Flood, and then the Garden of Eden was destroyed! That’s also something to keep in mind, regardless of where God puts His name (as we’ll see a little later) be it a tabernacle; be it a temple; be it a church. When the people of God sin, they are removed from His presence. And in the case of those who are in the Church, when you sin grievously and do not repent over an extended period of time, God withdraws His Holy Spirit, because He’s no longer dwelling in you. That’s a key to think on as we go forward with this.

“Therefore, the LORD God sent him out from the Garden of Eden to till the ground from which he had been taken. And He drove out the man, and He placed cherubim at the east of the Garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life” (vs 23-24).

Now from here we get the first glimpse into the tabernacle/temple setup; because in the tabernacle, where the presence of God was, there were cherubim overshadowing the Ark of the Covenant, and cherubim directly over the Ark of the Covenant itself.

At the east of the Garden of Eden: they hadn’t lost all contact with God (as we’ll see here in chapter four), but they weren’t living where God was living. They were living outside the Garden of Eden. So they could come to the East entrance of the Garden of Eden and, I imagine, on the Sabbath day, that’s where they went, and God would converse with them; they could offer the sacrifices like Abel did (as we’ll see here in just a minute). There was an altar there. And all of these things require the laws and commandments of God to do things in a proper way according as He would accept them on the basis of their new configuration, being carnal, with the ‘law of sin and death’ in them and really not wanting to keep the laws and commandments of God the way God said. So we’ll see this manifested in Cain, and we’ll see also that like Abel, if you did what was right, God would accept you under those circumstances. And it also shows that very, very few were going to qualify for the spiritual Kingdom of God from this time forward, until the coming of Jesus Christ.

So let’s pick it up here in Genesis 4:1 “Then Adam knew Eve his wife… [that means he had sexual relations with her] …and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, ‘I have gotten a man from the LORD.’…. [probably thinking the prophecy that God gave them concerning the offspring of Eve, that this was the one who would save them. But it wasn’t, because that prophecy—of course, they did not know it at the time—would be 3,500-years later. How could they know?] …And she bore again… [and it sounds like they were twins] …his brother Abel….” (vs 1-2). Then it doesn’t tell us anything about them growing up. It doesn’t tell us anything of how old they were; because God is teaching a very summarized form here, so that we can bring things from the other parts of the Bible to give us more understanding. We don’t know how old they were when all of these things took place.

“…And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground…. [Nothing wrong with being a tiller of the ground. But are there rules and commandments concerning agriculture, land-sabbaths, what seeds to plant, etc.? Yes! So, being a tiller of the ground, if he did what God said he would be accepted. So we need to state that before we come to the rest of it here. It’s possible, from what we read, that this could have been 135-years from the creation. So this means there was a time when Cain was doing right as a tiller of the ground. Then there was a time when he changed—and as Josephus recorded ‘forced the ground’; probably meaning that he didn’t give land-sabbath rest. So let’s see what happens here:

Verse 3: “It came to pass that Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground…. [What are the fruit of the ground that we are supposed to bring to God if we are in agriculture? Firstfruits—the tithe! Isn’t that correct? Yes!] …And Abel also brought of the firstlings of his flock…” (vs 3-4). This also tells us that God gave them the laws concerning agriculture—fruit of the ground—and the animals and the sacrifices, which means everything that God gave to Israel was what He also gave to them after they had sinned. Because:

  • God changes not
  • His laws are perfect from the beginning
  • They never change!

Firstlings tell us of the firstborn, and if you have the firstborn then you have the second born and you have tithing, etc., etc. And what did God tell the children of Israel? All the firstborn that opens the womb belongs to Me—of man and beast. And so, Abel had to bring the firstborn. Let’s carry this forward and let’s see what else happened here.

“…and of the fat of it. And the LORD had regard unto Abel and his offering… [Why? Because he did it according to God’s instructions. He brought it to the east entrance of the Garden of Eden where the cherubim were, and God would meet them there; and he could offer the offering and the sacrifice on the altar that was there. And God had regard to it and accepted it.] …But He did not have regard unto Cain and his offering…. [Why? Because he didn’t do it according to God’s instructions or commandments.] …And Cain was extremely angry and his countenance fell. And the LORD said to Cain, ‘Why are you so angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well… [that is, if you do what is proper] …shall you not be accepted?….’” (vs 4-7).

So, this tells us that he didn’t do what was right; he didn’t do what God had commanded. And this is exactly what human nature does today in what we call ‘religion.’ Men want to do things their way and have God accept what they do in spite of the fact that it’s contrary to the instructions of God. You can apply that to Sunday-keeping, holiday-keeping, clean and unclean meats; every commandments of God—correct? Yes! So, if you want to be accepted by God, you have to do what God says. If you want to have contact with God, you better keep the Sabbath, because that’s the day God puts His presence in. Whatever God says!

“‘…But if you do not do well, sin lies at the door…. [What is sin? Sin is the transgression of the law; or sin is lawlessness (1-John 3:4). Lawlessness is an interesting word, because it can mean the absence of law or the exclusion of the laws of God substituted with the laws of men. In this case, ‘sin lies at the door’ because Cain did not do what God had instructed him to do in bringing the fruit of the ground. So therefore, he sinned! Sin lies at the door—the door of what? This entrance of the Garden of Eden. ‘You want Me to accept this, Cain? You didn’t do it the right way. If you do well—that is do it the right way—I’ll accept you.’ But he didn’t want to do it. Here’s a key: Even in the world without God’s Spirit, by knowing what is right and what is wrong—and people can choose what is right and what is wrong—you don’t have to be converted to keep the commandments of God in the letter. ] …Its [sin’s] desire is for you, but you must rule over it!’” (v 7).

Could he have said, as he was preparing this offering from the fruit of the ground: ‘Well, God said this, and God said that, and God said the other thing, so I’m going to bring it to Him according to His instruction.’ He would have been accepted! But if he says, ‘I’m going to do this, and I think this is better, and I think that God ought to accept this because of the goodness of my heart.’ NO! If you think you’re heart is good, why would you disobey the commandments of God? Is that not the same thing that people do today? ‘Oh, we’re all good people. Therefore, if we’re well-intended and if we believe what we are doing is good, God will be pleased with us.’ NO He won’t! This proves it!

What are we talking about here. The book of Jude condemns the way of Cain. And the way of Cain is taking the words and commandments and intentions and meanings of God and substituting them with wrong interpretations, substitute days of worship, substitute ways of serving God according to the devisings of men. That is the way of Cain! And most people in Christianity in the world—which is a false Christianity—that’s how they do it.

  • They don’t like the Sabbath, so they keep Sunday.
  • They don’t like the Passover, so they keep Easter.
  • They don’t like the Feast of Trumpets, depicting when Christ was born, so they keep Christmas.
  • They don’t like the fact that God says you shall not be involved in witchcraft or worship the dead, so they embrace Halloween.

—and come to God and say, ‘Oh, these were blessed and sprinkled and prayed over so now, God, You have accept these abominations.’

  • That’s the way of Cain!
  • That’s the way ofhuman nature!
  • That’s the way of religion!—and why God hates religion!

Let’s see what else happened here (and then we’ll make some progress): “And Cain talked with his brother Abel. And it came to pass that when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him…. [Jealousy! Martyrdom! Abel, who was keeping the commandments of God was hated by the sinner, and the one who devised his own religion and his own way, which God rejected, blamed Abel for his circumstances—just like Adam and Eve blamed the serpent; Eve blamed the serpent and Adam, his wife. The same thing happened here. ‘It’s your fault, Abel, because God had respect unto your offering and not to mine; and I was really well-intentioned.’ And he let this brew and brew and brew, and finally, he had a spirit of jealousy, a spirit of hate, and now a spirit of murder—and then the act of murder! So he killed him.] …And the LORD said unto Cain, ‘Where is your brother Abel?’ And he said, ‘I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?’” (vs 8-10).

What are the laws and commandments of God based upon? Loving God, loving your neighbor, loving your brethren. Hasn’t changed, has it? No! Of course he was his brother’s keeper.

“And He said, ‘What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries to Me from the ground…. [And of course, God knows how that works, and it was ‘crying from the ground.’] …And now you are cursed from the earth, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you, and you shall be a wanderer and a fugitive upon the earth.’ And Cain said to the LORD, ‘My punishment is greater than I can bear’” (vs 11-13). So God put a mark on him. No one knows what the ‘mark of Cain’ is. Some speculate that it was a cross right up on his forehead. Could very well be. I’ve often thought, if that’s the case, I wonder what Cain told his children and his grandchildren. I’m sure he didn’t tell them, ‘God put this up here because I killed my brother.’ He probably told them, ‘Hey, God did this to show that I really am accepted of God.’ Because the whole religion before the Flood, came right from the cauldron of Cain and his family and what he did. So God exiled him even further away from Him.

  • Adam and Eve were exiled from the Garden of Eden, but they could come to the entrance.
  • Cain was exiled even further, to be a ‘wanderer.’ And he didn’t wander but built a city in defiance against God. And the whole line of Cain turned out to be evil.

We find in Genesis 5 that the line of the patriarchs and we find that Enoch ‘walked with God.’ What does that mean? That means that Enoch always came to the entrance of the Garden of Eden to bring whatever God required to be brought there, to talk with God, to keep His commandments, and to walk with God. He was also warning the descendants of Cain and the descendants of Adam, when they were sinning, and that’s why God took him so they wouldn’t kill him. But later he died in faith, because Heb. 11 says ‘these all died in faith.’

Likewise, when we come to the time of the Flood, it says ‘Noah walked with God and was righteous in his generations’—when the rest of the whole earth was corrupt and filled with sin! Just like we’re coming into today, in these days. Let’s read of it here:

Genesis 6:5: “And the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually…. [That’s exactly what the heart and core of human nature is, as Jesus said there in Mark 7:21: ‘For out of the heart of men come evil thoughts and adulteries’, etc., idolatry—all of those things.] …only evil continually.” So much so that God decided He had to destroy the whole race—destroy the human race—and He had to destroy all the animals and all the birds, with the exception of those that God sent to Noah to put into the ark. So God saved the human race through Noah and his wife and his sons and their wives.

Now, let’s come to Genesis, chapter eight. We won’t go through all the details of the Flood, but after the ark was safely rested, the ground had dried and God opened it up so all the animals and the birds could get out, then Noah made an offering unto God.

Genesis 8:20: “And Noah built an altar to the LORD… [probably very much like God told the children of Israel in Exo. 21: ‘If you’re going to build an altar to Me, make it be of whole stone. Don’t carve on it, don’t make any tool upon it at all.’] …and he took of every clean animal… [showing he understood the difference between clean and unclean meats. So if you go through the book of Genesis, what are you going to find? You are going to find all the laws of God in motion and binding upon people before we ever come to the time of Mt. Sinai. So if you hear anyone tell you this stupid, inane religious lie: ‘There were no laws until the Ten Commandments were give 3,500-years after creation.’ Nonsense! There’s a Greek word for that which is: ‘skubalon’—that’s what that is.] …and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the LORD smelled a sweet savor; and the LORD said in His heart, ‘I will not again curse the ground for man’s sake… [that is the way He did in bringing the Flood] …—although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth… [that’s the great error of mankind; they view themselves as good and they can decide what’s right and wrong for themselves because they’re good. And they miss the whole point that they are evil and wicked from their youth up and they need the laws of God, they need the commandments of God to tell them what to do and how to live. Because they don’t, they sin! So we are again, as Jesus said, going to reach a time like it was in the days of Noah and in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah.] …and I will not again smite every living thing as I have done. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease’” (vs 20-22). That’s what God told them.

Now, as we’re going to see, God did something with the Flood. He destroyed the Garden of Eden! Just like (as we’ll see a little later) because of sin, He destroyed the tabernacle that was over in Shiloh; He destroyed the temple that Solomon built (which we’ll see in just a little bit); He destroyed the second temple that was built by Zerubbabel and Joshua under the guidance of Haggai the prophet, and Zechariah the prophet. And then, during the days of Herod the king of Judea, he remodeled it and made it very fancy. God destroyed it because of sin! And exiled the people because of their sins! And sent them away because of their sins! So now, as we’re going to see, God is no longer going to appear as a man to human beings, except on very rare occasions.

So, we’ll pick it up here tomorrow, beginning in Genesis 9.


Scriptural References:

  1. Genesis 1:26
  2. John 17:17-21
  3. Genesis 1:26-28, 31
  4. Genesis 2:1-3, 7-9, 15-24
  5. Genesis 3:1-19
  6. Romans 5:12
  7. Genesis 3:20
  8. Genesis 5:1-2
  9. Genesis 3:21-24
  10. Genesis 4:1-13
  11. Genesis 6:5
  12. Genesis 8:20-22

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Colossians 1
  • James 2:26
  • 2-John
  • Isaiah 11
  • Romans 7
  • 1-John 3:4
  • Jude
  • Genesis 5
  • Hebrews 11
  • Mark 7:21
  • Exodus 21

Also referenced:

Books:

  • The Christian Passover by Fred R. Coulter
  • Josephus

Sermon: What Would the World have been Like If Adam and Eve had not Sinned?

 

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