The Last Frontier #2

Fred R. Coulter—November 15, 2008

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So far I have four books. I'm not going to do extended reading from them, but I have one here that I'll probably be reading from later on. It is called Controlling the Human Mind by Dr. Nicholas J. Begich. In it there is a page which has the face of a man and right in the middle of his forehead is a chip.

Then I have the one, Who Switched Off My Brain? by Dr. Caroline Leaf. The thing that's important to understand is, that how we think and the thoughts we let into our minds, are most important. Just alike anything else, what you put into your mind is what you are. What you allow to go into your mind is how you're going to react.

Then I have the book, Change Your Brain, Change Your Life by Daniel G. Amen, M.D., which is very interesting. The most profound thing that he brings out in this—all of these are available on Amazon.com, by the way—is that the human mind lies to itself automatically, unless it's trained to recognize the truth and operate by the truth. So, the mind actually can be trained and, as we would say, 'wired' in a way of thinking.

In the book Who Switched Off My Brain?, by Dr. Caroline Leaf, she makes everything into positive/negative thinking. As we will see, that is not enough. However, positive and negative thinking are very important, provided you understand what is truly positive and what is truly negative and how that your thoughts affect even your blood cells. The connection with the heart is very similar because there are 90-thousand neurons surrounding the heart. That's the heart/mind connection.

{Note Sermon Series: Who & What Controls the Human Mind?}

I'm going to repeat almost every time in this series until we really get it, Prov. 4. This time, we're going to add a few other verses to it and get the context flow.

Proverbs 4:13: "Keep hold of instruction; do not let go…" We're going to cover instruction, wisdom, understanding, etc. out of the book of Proverbs.

"…keep her, for she is your life. Enter not into the path of the wicked… [the way that they do or the way that they think] …and go not into the way of evil men" (vs 13-14). There are consequences that are going to happen because all the laws, commandments, precepts, and statutes of God are all automatic, with the exception of those commands for the offering of sacrifices at the altar. He says:

Verse 15: "Avoid it…" That's the first thing!

I want to show you the unity of Scripture, here. I want to show you the unity of Scripture, Old and New Testament. There are just too many people—unfortunately some of them are even in the Church of God—who do not believe that the Old Testament is really fully applicable to us today. However, they are greatly mistaken, because Paul wrote to Timothy that he knew 'the Holy Writings,' meaning the Old Testament, 'which are able to make you wise unto salvation through Jesus Christ,' which is interesting. The teachings of Jesus Christ interpret the Old Testament and the Old Testament is the foundation for the teachings of the New Testament. We will see how absolutely similar they are.

1-Chorinthians 6:15: "Don't you know that your bodies are members of Christ?…." As we said, we belong to God. God created us. Everything goes back, as we will cover today, to Adam. We will analyze what went wrong and why human beings are the way they are today.

"…Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? MAY IT NEVER BE! WHAT! Don't you know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body? For He says, 'The two shall be one flesh'" (vs 15-16). That's directly to the Ten Commandments and all of the things in the Old Testament to back it up.

Here's another way, you come to the New Testament and you find this. Then, you go back to the Old Testament, into the Law, into the Writings, and into the Prophets and you will see that principle carried through and the laws that God carried through in every case, which means the laws of God carry through in the New Testament as well.

Notice the spiritual comparison because we will get there as we go through this and the whole purpose of the human mind.

Verse 17: "But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit." The purpose of our minds and our bodies is to receive the Holy Spirit and to become a temple of God.

1-Corinthians 3:16: "Don't you understand that you are God's temple…" Your body is the temple of God. That's why God created it.

Here's where it's identical to what we just read in Prov. 4.

1-Corinthians 6:18: "Flee sexual immorality…." The Greek word there is 'porneia.' Sexual immorality covers all sexual sin. We will see that this goes right back to all the teachings contained in the Old Testament.

Verse 9: "Don't you know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators… [those who commit all kinds of sexual immorality] …nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor abusers of themselves as women…"

Men who are homosexuals and take the female role, are in a special lower class of sin, because they are 'abusers of themselves as women,' completely changing the whole role.

"…nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the Kingdom of God. And such were some of you; but you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God" (vs 9-11).

Upon repentance, baptism and receiving of the Holy Spirit, God can change your brain and change your way of thinking!

Without the Holy Spirit of God you can change your brain and 'wire it' so to speak to do good or to do evil. You can also change it. That's why your have rehabilitation programs where people are able to overcome drugs, alcohol and bad behavior. They put in the right thoughts into their minds and every single one of those programs that are successful are always linked to Bible teaching, always. There is hope! Bringing out some of these things, you need to realize that in order to understand the way that God works, you've got to understand the laws of God and you've got to know what sin is so that:

  • you can choose to stop sinning
  • you can choose to overcome
  • you can choose to repent
  • you can choose to love God

All of these things are choices and decisions.

Verse 18: "Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man may commit is outside the body, but the one who commits sexual immorality is sinning against his own body." Isn't it interesting? I don't believe there's ever been a case of sexually transmitted disease between husband and wife who were faithful before marriage and faithful during marriage. That's because sexual immorality and all sexual sins, when they come to the full, reap all kinds of physical and mental diseases.

You even see about it on television—don't you? 'Oh, I have herpes, but I take this medicine and my partner doesn't get it. Isn't that wonderful?'

Verse 19: "WHAT! Don't you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, which you have within you from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought with a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's" (vs 19-20). If you glorify God in your spirit, you're going to glorify God in your mind.

Proverbs 4:15: "Avoid it…" Flee! Flee means to avoid it quickly! Speaking of fleeing fornication or sexual immorality, what did Joseph do when the wife of his boss came and tried to entice him many times? He refused! Finally, when he was caught alone with her in the house—which he should never have been in the first place, if he were wise—she tried to force him and he fled. She held onto his garment, double-crossed him and got him thrown into the prison?

Verse 16: "For they do not sleep except when they have done mischief…" True, hardened criminals, have designed their minds—they can by thinking—to accept criminality as positive. Therefore, they have no conscience, though they know they are doing wrong, but they feel that they are right. We'll see where this comes from in a little bit.

"…and their sleep is taken away unless they cause some to fall" (v 16). They've got to go out and find some other victim, whether it be:

  • to lie
  • to steal
  • to cheat
  • to get involved in immoral sexual relations

I'll just have to say here that our experience has been, especially with Nigeria, they are known in the world as the highest number of con artists and thieves for all kinds of monetary crimes. They are also known as the most lying 'Christian' thieves, going after churches seeking for money; no other country in the world. If anyone is in Nigeria, lead the nation in repentance and get rid of that reputation.

They had a whole hour on MSNBC about all the scams that were done in Nigeria and how many people had been taken for hundreds of thousands of dollars. When they get caught, there's hardly anything they do to them. Now a lot of Nigerians, to get their scams working, they go to the country next to them, to the west, called Benin, so that it doesn't sound like it's coming out of Nigeria. That's like going across the border of a state, like between California and Arizona, or Nevada, or Oregon. No, they don't sleep unless they can do it.

Verse 17: "For they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence." That's where it always ends up.

Stop and think about this: I want you to take v 17—actually you can take all the verses there that we read from vs 13-17—and I want you to watch your television. I want you to begin judging the television shows that you are watching and what is entering into your mind. I want you to think about some of the games that many people let their children play—these computer games and little Play Station games—and I want you to understand it. Judge it by this:

  • Is wickedness being sown?
  • What do they show?

If you watch the 'soaps' and get addicted to them, you're letting:

  • adultery
  • fornication
  • lying
  • cheating
  • stealing

—come into your mind on a regular basis. Then, if you don't have the discipline to put on the mute button when the commercials come on, you're going to be fed a lot of messages through them. You'll understand that even more when I get into the book Controlling the Human Mind, because they have audio and visual messages that can be transmitted to the brain and you don't even know it because your watching it. That's especially important for teenagers:

  • What do you think the messages are where they are taught in school—beginning in kindergarten—the ethics of homosexuals and taught right in class all they need to know about sex?

Then they wonder why we have so many teenage pregnancies!

  • If you teach them how to do it, what do you think they're going to do?
  • Sit down and play a game of chess?

So, anyone who is a teenager:

  • What are you letting into your mind?
  • What are you being taught?

You also have to think very, very importantly about, why would you listen to:

  • rock music?
  • rap music?
  • go to rock concerts?
  • have the music driven through your very being?

Then you wonder why or maybe your parents wonder why. Maybe you don't because, if you're a teen, maybe you think its 'cool,' but your parents wonder why you're so rebellious. It pounds rebellion in your head. You need to understand that.

Here's the contrast, which is the contrast that goes all the way through the book of Proverbs. It shows the way of life and the way of sin.

Verse 18: "But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shines more and more to the perfect day." You can take that and apply that spiritually to those who are converted and have God's Spirit, that you are being perfected with the Spirit of God. This becomes very important.

Verse 19: "The way of the wicked is as darkness…" It always involves lying, cheating and rebellion. Remember this: Proverbs says, 'As a man thinks in his heart—that means anyone—so he is.'

Verse 20: "My son, attend to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart" (vs 20-21).

The worst thing that they ever did in education was to ban the Bible and to quit teaching children the Ten Commandments, because that would teach them what is right and what is wrong. That's why you cannot legislate any number of laws to create a society that will be law-abiding if you don't teach people how to be law-abiding, by acknowledging God as the Author of law; it will never work.

Verse 22: "For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh."

When you have young people, you have successful young adults and you have successful older adults who follow the principles in the Bible—whether converted or unconverted—and they manage their lives and direct their lives in a way that is right:

  • What happens? They're successful!
  • Why? Because God blesses people who want to follow His way, whether they're converted or not!
  • What happens with the wicked, since they don't do that and they don't want to do that? They see the success of the other people and they go to their politicians and say, 'I don't have enough, let's spread the wealth around'!

Even the New Testament says that 'if you won't work, you won't eat.' I don't think Obama could have gotten elected on that platform. That's always true because there is always God.

Verse 22: "For they are life to those who find them and health to all their flesh." Think about that. What is this talking about? This is talking about your physical well-being! Your physical well-being is directly related to how you think. With all the chemicals and things that we have today, you cannot say that it's 100%. What the exact percentage would be, we don't know. We'll talk about this a little more when we get to it, because it's health to your flesh. Very important! Your physical well-being depends upon how you think.

After all of that, verse 23 I want you to memorize, and I also want you to write down and analyze what you're watching on television, what you are reading in books and newspapers. Think about it the next time you go through the check stand and how many bosoms are exposed—not by men—don't think I'm picking on women. What is that designed for? That's designed to get men to lust, from that point of view! It's more designed to the envy of women, that they want to be the perfect, physical, model. So, Satan has it out there, 'How to lose 50 pounds in 2 weeks.' Of course, those things never work! Notice how many women buy those. Notice how many men don't buy them. Also notice that on the checkout stand rack of magazines:

  • You don't have any 'muscle men' books—do you?
  • You don't get a book there, 'How to succeed by obeying God'—do you?

 'Look at this man. He was successful because he kept the commandments of God.' Oh, no! It's all about:

  • sex
  • divorce
  • remarriage
  • boyfriends
  • split-ups

That tells you where the society is.

I know there was one time that there was a magazine that was so pornographic that I went to the manager of the grocery store—Knob Hill in Hollister where I live—and I said, 'Could you please not have these things displayed?' I said, 'Take a look at this.' He says, 'The magazine companies buy this space and put up the magazines, so we can't change them.' I said, 'Could you at least cover it up?' It was so indecent. He went along and put a little cover-up thing they had, on there. My little rebellion against that is, when I go through the checkout stand, if the magazine is really bad, I turn the back cover so that it's visible.

Verse 23: "Above all guard the door of your mind with diligence…" It says in most translations, 'your heart.' That really means your whole way of thinking, which is your mind.

"Above all guard the door of your mind with diligence…" The most important thing is what goes into your mind. There have been people in the Church who have lived double lives. They're one way when they come to church and they're another way when they leave church.

  • some live in adultery
  • some take God's name in vain
  • some are only 'glad-hander' socialites

That's why the churches had to be scattered. That's all part of it. It's too easy to blame the ministers and the leaders. Yeah, they all had their problems, but we need to focus on our part, too. What goes into your mind?

Verse 23: "Above all guard the door of your mind with diligence, for out of it are the issues of life." The very substance of how you think, the way you act and the way you react. If you fill your mind with toxic, negative thoughts, you actually imprint that into every cell of your body, in degree. Likewise, if you let God, with His Spirit, put into your mind:

  • love
  • faith
  • hope
  • His commandments
  • His laws
  • How is that going to 'wire' your brain to think like God? It will!
  • How does it get there?
  • What is God doing?

We see that we are to:

  • put in
  • take out
  • avoid
  • guard

Verse 24: "Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and devious lips put far from you." Why is that? Isn't it interesting that Dr. Daniel Amen, in trying to solve the problems of behavior, the very first thing he has to tell everyone who has all kinds of problems, is that your brain lies to yourself. Notice what it says here: "Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and devious lips put far from you." Stop lying to yourself!

  • alcoholics think, 'I'm not addicted, but give me another drink.'
  • obsessive gamblers think, 'Oh, I'm not addicted, but I want to win that big jackpot.'
  • adulterers and fornicators think, 'Ah! I know it will never happen to me.'
  • drug-takers think, 'I'll never be addicted.'

Every single one in drug rehab admits that that's what each one told him/herself and got hooked. That's why it says, Jeremiah 17:9, " The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked…" That's why it says in Gen. 6 that the heart of man is only 'evil continually' and that the 'imaginations of his heart' are that way all the time. Stop and think about the inundation on the human mind in society today:

  • you watch that on television
  • you watch it in news
  • you do it in channel-surfing
  • check the newspapers
  • check the magazines

Go to the magazine rack where there are magazines, that you never have even looked at or whatever. You just pass by, you don't have to open the magazines and look at them. Just look at the magazines.

  • What are they?
  • What are they saying?
  • What is the message?

Then, consider this: Wherever you go, you're kept under control—whether you know it or not—by music. You go to the grocery store. What do they have? Music!

I remember that I came into the grocery store about nine in the morning to get something. They had this rock music just 'bangidy boomidy, bang!' I just couldn't take it. I asked the manager, I said, 'In the morning, for some of us old folks, couldn't you put on some nice, soothing, music? Maybe we'd be more inclined to buy some things.' He says, 'It's piped in from corporate headquarters.' Whatever music you hear wherever you go, whatever store: Macy's, Penny's, Best Buy. Costco doesn't have music. Shop Costco, most people do. I went to the drugstore and whenever it is, they have music going all the time, especially the big chains.

The question you need to ask, because they've run tests, that if they put subliminal messages in there that you can't even hear audibly, they affect sales. They've noticed that with the music containing the subliminal message, the sales of certain items go up. Just like they've done in movies. They've put in there, 'Buy Coke. Buy popcorn.' Everybody runs out and gets a Coke and buys popcorn, which also then, fuels the mind, fuels the body. Living in this world today, is a real challenge.

Let's amplify Prov. 4:24 a little bit, here. If you put away thoughts out of your mind and if you pray about it and ask God to cleanse your mind and wash your mind, it will go away, because God designed your brain to change! He designed your brain to be able to get rid of those thoughts with His Spirit and with His laws! When you do that, you put it away.

Proverbs 4:25: "Let your eyes look right on, and let your eyelids look straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet, and all your ways will be established" (vs 25-26).

Think about what you're going to do before you do it. Here's another 'truism' that we're going to learn all the way through this. You are responsible—every human being is—to control his/her thoughts and emotions.

Too many people let their thoughts and emotions control them. When you let the lying, negative, devious, part of human nature, control you through emotions and not controlling your thoughts, but your thoughts controlling you, that's important for us to realize. What we're talking about is the essence of life, the means of overcoming and salvation.

Verse 27: "Do not turn to the right hand nor to the left; remove your foot from evil." Let me just say that a lot of thoughts that are lying thoughts seem like they're good, but the result of it is sin. That's how Satan is going to try and tempt. He's not going to come along and say, 'Go out and murder.' He's going to come along and say, 'Boy, that person really offended you.' Get a root of bitterness and hatred, and he's got you!

We will expound just a little bit more. In this series we are going to go through a lot of the book of Proverbs and Psalms, because this has to do with the mind and the heart. Psalms has to do with the heart, your emotions, feelings and relationship to God. Proverbs has to do with our mind and choices. Ecclesiastes has to do with the futility and vanity of life without God. The book of Job has to do with why all righteousness comes from God. Therefore, if you keep the commandments of God and you do all the things that Job did:

  • What have you done? You've done what God has said to do!
  • Whose righteousness is it?
  • Yours?

or:

  • God's in you?

If its God's in you, that's why Elihu said to Job, 'Job, do you think it's right that you said, "My righteousness is more than God's?' The whole thing is, you get away from why we were created, why we are here in the first place, our purpose in life and all of that.

We've gone through Prov. 3 before, but let's read it again, because by repetition comes learning, reinforcement, affirmation of Truth, and becomes incentive for following God's laws.

Proverbs 3:1: "My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commandments." This gets to the heart. How does it say that we are to love God? 'With all our heart, with all our mind, with all our soul, with all our being, with all our strength!' That's how we're to do it. Notice what it does even in the physical life.

Verse 2: "For they shall add length of days, and long life, and peace, to you." Isn't that what everyone wants? Even the worst criminals, when they're caught even after murdering other people and the police are pointing their guns at them and moving in to arrest them, what do they say? 'Don't shoot! Don't shoot!' That's not how you get long life. You love God and obey Him.
Verse 3: "Do not let mercy and Truth forsake you…" Mercy gives you tender-heartedness toward other people, and forgiveness toward other people. Why forgiveness is so important and why Jesus said, the very first thing there in Matt. 5, that 'if you have anything against your brother, you go get reconciled to your bother and then come and offer your gift to Me.' The reason is, if you don't, you cannot be in the right frame of mind because you don't have mercy, you don't have grace, you don't have forgiveness.

"…bind them around your neck; write them upon the tablet of your heart" (v 3). As I explained before, God is the One Who does the writing (Heb. 10 & 8) with His Spirit in us. People who are not called to salvation, they do the writing by training.

If you want to see the exact opposite of that, think of the training that the radical, Jihadist get in their madrasas. If you want an example of a completely insane brain, wired to death, hateful, evil and absolutely just the most incredibly wicked thing that could be, to train kids from four-years-old, and up and just drill it, drill it, drill it, into their head—deprive them and discipline them to where by the time they get to be 16 or 18, they are angry, hostile, mean and willing to kill, blow up and even become suicide bombers. It's important what's being written on the 'tablet of your heart.' Here's why:

Verse 4: "And so you shall find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man." God has not abandoned all people in the world. He still gives them everything that they need to live.

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Verse 5: "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding."

This is why children need to be taught the right way. They now know—for all of the young people who think you know everything in the world because you are in your 'teen ages'—your brain has not been fully developed until you are about 22. You actually do not stop growing until you're 24. That's why the Bible had the year 20 between youth and adulthood. The reason that you make so many mistakes in your youth is because you're leaning "…to your own understanding," and your prefrontal cortex of the thinking part of your brain, has not been fully developed. So, you do not have the 100% capacity to make the right decisions. If you let your heart and your passions overcome what you know is right, then you're going to get involved in problems.

This is why, and I know it's true, that when young people get away from their parents and get together in their own groups, they are given over to various kinds of sins in various degrees, and foolishness and stupidity, because their parents aren't around and they know; you know and I know and everyone of us as adults know:

  • Did we not do the same thing in whatever degree when we were teenagers?
  • Did we not do things that our parents would never approve of?
  • Did you not, when you came home, if you did something that you shouldn't do, tell your parents that's everything's okay?
  • How many times to teenagers lie to their parents so they can get out of the house and then go do something else?

Unless you're doing what is here: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding," your own human nature and the lying deceitfulness of human nature is going to pull you down. It always is!

This is why the instructions of parents and their examples are so important. That gives the young person the thoughts of mind to weigh against the impetuousness and emotions of the moment to do something that is not right, or to give you caution so that you won't go out and sin.

My dad, who was first mate on a troop ship which carried soldiers over to Japan and Korea during the Korean War, told me some very vivid tales about what happens to the men when they go out and have illicit sex and contract a venereal disease, andall the problems and difficulties that they have health-wise. It was so graphic that it really stuck with me and kept me from committing those sins. So, yes, it is true that the instructions of a father and parents will stick.

For example: I remember one man, when we had R & R over in Japan—that's the time when all those little escapades take place—we were going to take a tour of Tokyo. He ended up in the brothel. I didn't know where he was going, but he knew where he was going. I walked in with him and here are these women all ready—'Ah, so, G.I.!' Then it dawned on me what was going to happen. Even though I didn't know anything about the Bible, I looked at the woman, drew a cross with my hand, turned around and walked out, got a cab and went back to the base. I spent my R & R touring the city and staying at the camp on base rather than out there.

Verse 6: "In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes…" (vs 6-7). We're going to talk a lot about that:

  • trusting in yourself
  • being conceited
  • the vanity of human life without God

"…fear the LORD and depart from evil. It shall be health to your navel… [the innermost part of your being] …and marrow to your bones" (vs 7-8). The other place, it said up here at the beginning that it will 'add length of days, long life and peace to you.'

That's why it says back there in 1-Cor. 6 that 'every sin that a person does is outside their own body,' but he who commits sexual immorality, it's 'against his own body' and against God. We'll leave it at that and we'll go on. There's some other things.

Verse 9: "Honor the LORD with your substance and with the firstfruits of all your increase."

Let's talk about mankind. In part one we saw that God is actively creating more human beings through the process of procreation. That it is actually what God put into the genes and chromosomes, with the human spirit of life, that activates that conception to begin growing into a full-fledged human being, howbeit weighing six to nine pounds, and that it was 'knit together' according to the way that David described it (Psa. 139). Elihu said, 'The Spirit of  God has formed me.' This is the creation of God still going on. When we get further down into this series, we're going to see the spiritual creation that God is doing in our lives, all our life, becomes the most important creation that God is doing.

We will allude to some of these things here. Let's see something about all human beings. This is what Paul was explaining to those in Greece when he came to Athens and was on Mars Hill and was preaching the 'unknown god' to them. Isn't it interesting that human beings, as I mentioned before, are always 'religious'?:

  • whether you believe in Satan
  • whether you don't believe in God, as Newdow says, 'That's my religion'
  • whether you are of whatever 'religion' in the world
  • whether you are a Catholic
  • whether you are a Protestant
  • whether you are really converted and part of the spiritual Church of God

All human beings are 'religious.'

Here, in Greece, they had many gods. Paul was preaching about Jesus Christ being resurrected from the dead and also, they looked upon him is someone preaching foreign gods.

Acts 17:19: "And they took him and brought him to Mars Hill, saying, 'May we know what this new teaching is that is spoken by you? For you are bringing certain strange things to our ears. So then, we desire to know what these things mean.' (Now, all the Athenians and the strangers sojourning among them spent their leisure in nothing other than to tell and to hear something new.)" (vs 19-21). They had their own form of knowledge and misinformation, preaching and teaching. If you don't have television, what are you going to do? All assemble on Mars Hill and there it is!

Verse 22: "Then Paul stood in the center of Mars Hill and said, 'Men, Athenians, I perceive that in all things you are very reverent to deities.'" I think the King James says, 'religious' and the Greek says 'reverent to demons,' whom they considered deities. I translated it 'deities,' for the sake of the flow of things.

Verse 23: "For as I was passing through and observing the objects of your veneration, I also found an altar on which was inscribed, "To an unknown God." So then, He Whom you worship in ignorance is the One that I proclaim to you. He is the God Who made the world and all things that are in it. Being the Lord of heaven and earth, He does not dwell in temples made by hands" (vs 23-24). Note Isa. 66: 'What are you going to build to God?'

Verse 25: "Nor is He served by the hands of men, as though He needs anything, for He gives to all life and breath and all things."

  • What was it that the Greeks had?
  • What was their religion?
  • Worship of human beings and the mythology of Zeus, Artemus, Mars and all of the other gods in human form!

When Paul says that 'He (God) is not served by human hands,' etc., Paul is really cutting right to the quick of what they were believing.

Verse 26: "And He made of one blood all the nations of men to dwell upon all the face of the earth, having determined beforehand their appointed times and the boundaries of their dwelling; in order that they might seek the Lord…" (vs 26-27). That's the whole purpose in it. We are going to see that God did not leave them deficient, beginning with Adam and Eve.

"…if perhaps they might feel after Him and might find Him…" (v 27). What does that tie in? That ties in with what Jesus said, 'Seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened, ask and you shall receive!

"…though truly, He is not far from each one of us" (v 27).

Here's the truth about all human beings, whether they believe it or not. v 28: "For in Him we live and move and have our being…" Whether you're righteousness or whether you're sinful, you 'live and move and have your being' because of God:

  • every breath of air you breathe
  • every morsel of food you eat
  • every ounce of energy that you have
  • every part of your being

is because God created you!

"…as some of the poets among you also have said, "'For we are His offspring'" (v 28)—which shows that they had knowledge at one time. You can see, also, in this nation a very similar thing.

  • Did we not as a nation, in the letter of the Law, have knowledge of God?
  • Is it not the very foundation and basis of our Constitution, in principal? Yes, indeed!
  • What happens when we are led astray and get away from God and deny Him? We end up being just like the Greeks here! We're astonished at this!

Just like one of the writers, who is an editor for World Net Daily (WND), wrote a book, Shocked by the Bible by Joe Kovacs. He goes through and takes all the basic things that people have generally assumed to be true and debunks them.

I was happy to get the book, wrote him an e-mail, traded him some of our literature with it and some of our books. I said, 'This will go a step beyond what you have written. I'm disappointed that the World Net Daily can't add a little more to what they do and say.' He wrote back and said, 'We're a news agency not a religious outlet.' At least he's got the things that are there. He covers some of the basic things. I may bring it out in a sermon later. I'm going to e-mail him and tell him, 'You did a good job in the book, but that's a start.' The same way here.

Verse 29: "Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we should not think that the Godhead is like that which is made of gold, or silver, orstone—a graven thing of art devised by the imagination of man." Where was he standing? On Mars Hill! Right there where the Parthenon was, with all the idols, all the gods and all of the story that is there! This is a pretty powerful place to bring this message. Paul gives them a little caveat. He gives them a little way out.

Verse 30: "'For although God has indeed overlooked the times of this ignorance, He now commands all men everywhere to repent'" Not only at that time but also at this time. That's why Jesus said that, 'This Gospel shall be preached in all the world and then the end shall come.' I believe there's quite a bit more time and I know there's a whole lot more of the Gospel that's going to be preached, not only by the Churches of God, but also by those who will come to the knowledge of the Truth, in addition to the political prophets and the secular prophets. God sends a message; they're not without understanding.

Verse 31: "Because He has set a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness by a Man Whom He has appointed, having given proof to all by raising Him from the dead." As Peter told Cornelius, 'You have heard about Jesus and all the miracles that He did in Judea.' He says, 'I want you to know this was not done in a corner.' It was well known!

Verse 32: And after hearing about the resurrection of the dead, some mocked; but some said, 'We will hear you again concerning this matter.' And so, Paul went out from among them. But certain ones who believed joined themselves to him, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them" (vs 32-34).

Let's look at something else. Let's come back here to Malachi. That's just before Psa. in the new order of the Bible, by the way.

Malachi 2:7 is talking about the Levites, the priesthood of Aaron. Then it also talks about the Jews in Judah. We can learn some principles, here, too.

Malachi 2:7: "For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and the people should seek the law at his mouth; for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts." That's exactly what the ministry is today, not priests. We are to bring the message of God as messengers from God, so that you can establish a personal relationship—upon repentance, baptism and receiving the Holy Spirit—with God the Father and Jesus Christ. Then 'grow in grace and knowledge' unto salvation at the first resurrection.

Notice. Here's a little correction, v 8: "But you have departed out of the way…" That's what has happened with too many of the leaders who are professing Christianity in Protestantism. Protestantism is dying because of many different factors, which I'll cover at a later time. Also, the Church of God has been corrected because of their sins, because they didn't keep the knowledge of God and they 'departed out of the way.'

"…you have caused many to stumble at the law…" (v 8). With the Protestants saying that the law was abolished, and the Catholics saying, 'We could preach the gospel, their gospel, without the Bible.'

"'…You have corrupted the covenant of Levi,' says the LORD of hosts" (v 8). We could also say that in modern day, the ministers and elders have corrupted the covenant of eternal life that Jesus Christ gave.
Verse 9: "Therefore, I have also made you contemptible and base before all the people…"

  • Isn't that true?
  • Don't people hate ministers?
  • Hate priests?
  • Hate religion?
  • Why? Because they've gone against God!

They don't speak the Truth. They don't know the knowledge of God.

"…just as you have not kept My ways but have been partial in the Law" (v 9). We will teach as much as we can.

It was asked of Billy Graham why was it that he didn't preach about the Sabbath? He knew about it because the truth about the Sabbath and Sunday is that every Protestant minister knows which day is the Sabbath and which day is the first day of the week, because they assemble on the first day of the week. They asked him, 'Why don't you preach about the Sabbath?' He says, 'I will preach as much as I can to bring as much as I can to a large number of people.' When you understand, that statement, it is: 'I will only preach what the people want to hear.' The people want to hear that they'll have their sins forgiven. Just believe in Jesus, of course. You "…have been partial in the Law."

Speaking of Levi, but we can also apply this to Adam, v 10: "Have we not all one father?…." Of the priesthood of Aaron, Aaron was the firstborn and Moses was the second born. One father Levi, and for the priesthood one father Aaron.

"…Has not one God created us?.…" (v 10). Which also substantiates and verifies that God, through procreation, is creating human beings. That's why abortion is so evil. Let's apply this to all men everywhere:

  • Have we not all one father: Adam?
  • Has not one God created us? Yes indeed!

As I mentioned, the genealogy of Jesus Christ ends up with 'the Son of Adam, the Son of God'—all the way back.

"…Why do we deal treacherously, each man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?" (v 10). This is what happens when people start doing things their way instead of God's way and when ministers, priests and teachers start teaching things that are not right and start bringing in traditions, whether they be of any other religion, Catholic or Jewish. Note Mark 7 and how Christ debunked all the traditions of the Jews. If the priesthood deals treacherously, or if the ministry deals treacherously, then you get in trouble.

Now what do we have? Verse 11: "Judah has dealt treacherously…" Who came from Judah? The kings! David was of the house of Judah. From whence in the bloodline did Jesus come? From Abraham, Judah, David—through Nathan—then Mary! Now, you have double treachery:

  • Is that not what we have in the land today?
  • Treachery by the religious leaders and treachery by the political leaders?

If you don't believe all this economic mess, throwing money out everywhere is not the height of treachery, deceit and folly, you don't understand anything.

"…and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem, for Judah has profaned the sanctuary of the LORD which He loves, and has married the daughter of a foreign god" (v 11). You can read what they did. We covered that the last time about what they did right in the house of God. Have we not done the same thing in this nation, throwing God out of every aspect of life? Yes, indeed!

Isaiah 48:12: "Hearken to Me, O Jacob and Israel, My called…" You can apply that two ways:

  • to the physical nations
  • to the Church, which is spiritual Israel

"…I AM HE; I AM THE FIRST, I ALSO AM THE LAST" (v 12). You can tie that in with Revelation.

Verse 13: "My hand also has laid the foundation of the earth, and My right hand has stretched out the heavens. When I call they stand up together. Let all of you be gathered together and hear; who among them has declared these things? The LORD has loved him; He will do His pleasure on Babylon, and His arm shall be on the Chaldeans" (vs 13-14). He's talking about bringing the Jews back out of captivity from Babylon. This was a couple of hundred years before they went into captivity.

Verse 15: "I, even I, have spoken; yea, I have called him; I brought him and he makes his way succeed. Come near to Me, hear this: I have not spoken in secret from the beginning…." (vs 15-16).

I want to focus on this as a very important part of what went wrong in the Garden of Eden. "…I have not spoken in secret from the beginning." God has always let it be known.

"…From the time that it was… [the earth] …there am I.' And now the Lord GOD, and His Spirit, has sent me" (v 16). God always, in every generation, everywhere, from the beginning, had those who preach and taught the Word of God.

Let's apply this to what happened in the Garden of Eden and we will also understand the condition of man today. That is important to realize when we come to understand about:

  • what we think
  • how we think
  • what we need to do
  • guard the door of our mind with diligence

We've all been created of one blood. We all have one father, which goes back to Adam. Let's read about it, and how that God 'created man in His image, after His likeness' for the very special purpose of having them be transformed into spirit beings.

I'm convinced that that's why Lucifer, or Satan, and the third of the angels rebelled. God created the earth and the angels—as I brought out in the sermon Creation-Re-Creation—were there and rejoiced when the foundation was laid. So, angels were created before the earth was created. When God revealed to them that they would be the servants of men, made from the dust of the earth, and that in the final analysis, men would rule over them—after the men had been made spirit beings—I'm convinced that that's why Lucifer and the third of the angels rebelled.

Genesis 2:7: "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're going to stop here and analyze this just a minute.

The way that we have been made, as David said, 'We're awesomely and wonderfully made.' Here is Adam created, the first man of the dust of the earth, formed by the hands of God. All the other creation of God, He commanded and they were made. This shows the personal relationship that God wants to have with man, with a great purpose and great understanding as to why He made him.

"…and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life…" (v 7). The 'breath of life' is the air that we breathe but also the Hebrew there for breath is 'nshmth,' which can also mean spirit. At the time that God breathed into his nostrils, the breath of life, God also gave him the spirit of man, because we know that there's a spirit in every man.

We also know that living souls die. 'The soul that sins, it shall die' (Ezek. 18). As we've also seen:

James 2:26: "For as the body without the spirit is dead..."—without the spirit of man, there is no life. That gives life to the whole body, especially the mind.

Let's look at something that medically we can understand today. They have a medical term that is called 'brain dead.' It means that there's no activity in the brain; the spirit has left. They keep the body alive on life support to keep the lungs and the blood moving, which then answers 'the life is in the blood thereof.' In other words, there are two factors to human life:

  • the spirit power, which must be there
  • the chemical power, which is through the soul

The soul can die. It doesn't say the spirit can die. The spirit goes back to God. The spirit without a mind and a body has no consciousness.

Man became a living being and God put him in the garden to dress it and keep it, and so forth. We'll see some things we know and then we're going to review some things to understand. We will take this verse that we read and Isa. 48:16 and apply it here.

Genesis 2:8: "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 8-9).

Verse 15: "And the LORD God took the man and put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and keep it." Also, the Hebrew means to guard it. He had responsibility.

What did God tell him? We know that Adam and Eve—Adam was created first—were created with a full functioning, language; they had full intelligence. God was able to communicate with them. They had a perfect relationship with God. As a matter of fact, the first thing that they were taught of God probably began on the sixth day and then extended over into the seventh day Sabbath when God was fellowshipping with them. In order for Adam to 'dress it and keep it' God had to give him instructions.

  • How are you going to do it?
  • Why would he have to guard it?
  • What do you suppose God told him? We don't know!

Remember that God has always given the information necessary 'from the beginning' (Isa. 48:16).

  • Do you think that God would create Adam and Eve without telling them why they were here?
  • Would not God be derelict in His duty if He didn't?

 'What are we doing, here, Lord?' To show and teach Adam a lesson, let's read on and see what God did.

Verse 16: "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 16-17).

This tells us an awfully lot. At the time that God said this, Adam was not subject to death. We'll have this verified a little bit later in Rom. 5. Adam was told all about that. He wanted another lesson because God's creation was not complete until there was woman.

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.' 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. And whatever Adam called each living creature that became its name" (vs 18-19).

That's delegating an awful lot of authority. God didn't bring it by Adam and say: 'Adam, this is an elephant, this is a lion, this is an eagle.' He said: 'Okay Adam, you're going to rule the world. I've made the world for you and all your descendants and I'm going to have you multiply and replenish the earth. To let you know that I want you to be an integral part of what I am doing, I want you to name all the animals and all the birds.'

That's quite a thing! So, far from being Neanderthal cave men and women! None of that! They were intelligent. Probably the most intelligent human beings ever! They could start out right, but it was dependent upon:

  • their choices
  • their decisions
  • their relationship with God

Since God said He's 'made it known from the beginning,' then, we have to conclude that God told them their destiny to become spirit beings of the God Family. We will see how that comes out in Gen. 3.

Verse 20: "And Adam gave names to all the livestock, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field, but there was not found a helper compatible for Adam." What was God teaching Adam in all of this? 'There is nothing in all the creation that I have done, Adam, that is compatible or comparable to you! What you have seen is male and female of all the animals. What is missing? There's no woman for you! Notice that Adam was aware of what was going on, because God told him.

Verse 21: "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. 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).

He understood the whole process that went on. God undoubtedly told him, 'Look, Adam, you're going to go to sleep and when you wake up, I'm going to present you with your mate, your wife, who is part of your very being.'

Verse 23: "And Adam said, 'This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called Woman because she was taken out of Man.'"

Here's something that was written in there, probably by Moses: Verse 24: "For this reason shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife… [no polygamy here.] …and they shall become one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and they were not ashamed" (vs 24-25).

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The human mind is having far more research and many things done on it to try and figure out how it works, what it's doing, and how they can control it.

As a matter of fact, I have a book called Controlling the Human Mind. As Delores' brother said when they were watching one of these futuristic things with chips in the head, and so forth, and the kind of communications they have, he told her, 'They've had that for 20 years. What they're working on is absolutely fantastic.' God is 'one up' on them!

Let's go to Psa. 8 and tie this in with the creation of Adam and Eve. What we are going to see is, that God has made it 'known from the beginning.' We analyzed some of the things that God told Adam and that both Adam and Eve were created with a functioning language within their minds, right at creation.

Psalm 8:1: "O LORD our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth! You have set Your glory above the heavens! Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings You have ordained strength because of Your adversaries, to silence the enemy and the avenger. When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars which You have ordained" (vs 1-3).

Isn't it interesting that in this age we have more knowledge of the universe than ever before? With some of the satellites they have up there, like the Hubble, they're going to send up another one which will be far greater in capacity than the Hubble and bring back pictures of what the universe looks like. It's awesome! Absolutely fantastic! Just like God said, 'I fill the heavens and the earth.' That is, not with His Person, but with His power and His creation.

Verse 4: "What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You care for him?"—as a prophecy of Christ. Think of that. Men do not want to be mindful of God, but God is mindful of men. For what purpose? Here is a tremendous verse that lays out the purpose of God.

Verse 5: "For You have made him a little lower than God…" Not 'angels' The Hebrew is 'Elohim,' which means God. The Hebrew for angel is 'malak.'

"…and have crowned him with glory and honor. You made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; The birds of heaven, the fish of the sea, and all that pass through the paths of the seas. O LORD, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth!" (vs 5-9).

Let's think about this for a minute. God made us after His image for a great and a fantastic purpose. We're going to learn something in Isa. 48 that's very, very important. Do you suppose, after God:

  • creating everything that He did
  • making Adam and Eve the way that He did
  • putting them in the Garden of Eden
  • blessing them
  • telling them to be fruitful and multiply

Do you think that He didn't tell them what His plan was? Of course He old them! It was revealed, again, to David that we are little lower than God. For what purpose? To become like God!

Isaiah 48:12: "Hearken to Me, O Jacob and Israel… [which refers to the nation of Jacob and Israel, but also can refer to the Church, spiritually] …My called…" That's very important. God called Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and dealt with them. Likewise with the Church, God has called us, He called the apostles and He's called everyone in a special and particular way, as we know.

"…I AM HE; I AM THE FIRST, I ALSO AM THE LAST. My hand also has laid the foundation of the earth, and My right hand has stretched out the heavens. When I call they stand up together. Let all of you be gathered together and hear; who among them has declared these things? The LORD has loved him; He will do His pleasure on Babylon, and His arm shall be on the Chaldeans'" (vs 12-14).

This a prophecy of loving Jacob and after their exile into Babylon He would call them back. This was hundreds of years before it occurred.

Verse 15: "I, even I, have spoken…" When God says something, it is by His very Being:

  • God is true
  • God cannot lie
  • God will not lie
  • God has a purpose

"…yea, I have called him; I brought him and he makes his way succeed. Come near to Me, hear this: I have not spoken in secret from the beginning…." (vs 15-16). What does this tell us? If He didn't speak in secret, then He had to have revealed His plan to Adam and Eve!

As I said, He had to have revealed it to the angels and that's why Lucifer and a third of the angels rebelled. They did not want to have spirit beings on a God-plane level as the family of God to be ruling over them.

"'…From the time that it was, there am I.' And now the Lord GOD, and His Spirit, has sent me" (v 16)—that is Isaiah speaking.

Let's throw out the window the thought that many theologians have said that there was no law from Adam until Moses, which is utter nonsense. You go through all of Gen. and you pick out the Ten Commandments, they are all right there. We also noted that Adam was not only to keep, but to guard the Garden of Eden.

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, 'Is it true that God has said, "You shall not eat of any tree of the garden?"' 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). This shows additional instruction from God.

We're not told the timeframe between the time they are put in the Garden of Eden and the serpent is allowed to come in. If Adam had been guarding the Garden of Eden, he probably should not have let Satan in.

Let's notice what the serpent says. They had some idea about that they would die, but that 'in dying you shall surly die' did not mean an instant death penalty. That meant that they would die sometime in the future in an unknown date—'in dying you shall surely die.' In going against God, they understood that the 'wages of sin is death.' Now we're going to see something very interesting here, that the serpent says.

Verse 4: "And the serpent said to the woman, 'In dying, you shall not surely die!'" If you analyze it, that is admitting that you will die but you will really not die. In other words, as we have heard from past time, 'immortality of the soul.'

Verse 5: "For God knows that in the day you eat of it, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be like God…" Why would the serpent say that? If God had never told them anything about His plan that they would become like God—like Psa. 8 and Isa. 48 indicates, that He didn't 'speak in secret from the beginning.'

  • Do you think God would create Adam and Eve and not tell them what His purpose for them was?
  • If He didn't tell them what the purpose was, then that would be a secret—wouldn't that be correct?

If God told them, 'You're going to be like God' then this makes more sense; because Satan was coming along and saying, 'You can be like God now, your way;' whereas, God was saying, 'You'll become like Me after you have lived My way.'

It's like my wife says every once in a while about God's way, 'It's My way or the highway,' which is true.

"…deciding good and evil" (v 5). The King James says, 'to know good and evil.' Why did I translate it 'deciding?' I have in the margin, there, 'to know or to ascertain by observing and experimenting.'

Verse 22: "And the LORD God said, 'Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to decide good and evil…'" Why did I do that word, 'decide,' instead of know? There is actually in the Hebrew, no equivalent Hebrew word for to decide, but it comes under the verb to know.

  • Did God know and also decide good and evil?
  • Did He know the utter depths of evil?
  • Did He know the heights of good?
  • Yes, He did!
  • Did Adam and Eve come 'to know good and evil' by whatever they did with the serpent for however long it was?

We're not told whether it was a day, two days, three days or a week, but:

  • Did they come 'to know good and evil' as God knows good and evil?
  • Was it really meant to be to decide for themselves what is good and what is evil?

I did what you would say would be a contextual translation. In other words, the context demands that it can't be 'know good and evil' as God knows good and evil, because God has existed for eternity. God created the angels. He went through the rebellion of Lucifer and the angels. So, He knew good and evil. God did not know it by experiencing it for Himself by sinning, because God cannot sin.

God is the One Who determined or decided what 'good and evil' really is. So, when Adam and Eve sinned, they were taking to themselves, or deciding, what was good, by their own judgment and what was evil by their own judgment, rather than God's. Remember this: Satan always comes along with a benefit: 'If you sin, you're going to benefit.'

Like this voice came along one day and said, 'If you bet on this horse, you're going to win 100 to 1.' The guy said to himself, 'Um. 100 to 1, I can't lose.' He bet on the horse and won. The voice came along later and said, 'You bet on the football game and you going to get 20 to 1.' He won! The voice came along again and said, 'Why don't you bet on this lottery? Pick these numbers.' And he won! The voice came back again and said, 'Look at all the money that you have. Why don't you bet all the money on this power lottery.' You ever heard of Power Ball? So, he chose the numbers, bet on Power Ball and lost it all! He said, 'What happened?' The voice says, 'You can't get it right all the time.' Satan always comes along with a benefit that fulfills the lust of the mind.

At this point, Adam and Eve were not in a state of sin, because they hadn't sinned. They were not in a state of salvation, because they hadn't fully accepted God's way, yet. They were kind of in-between; they were neutral. Isn't that always something that human beings like to do which is to decide something for themselves for a benefit to them? Yes, indeed!

Verse 6: "And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food… [a benefit] …and that it was pleasing to the eyes… [this looks really, really good] …and a tree to be desired to make one wise…" We're going to make ourselves wise. We'll get one up on God!

"…she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate" (v 6). Wait a minute! This tells us an awful lot. She didn't pick it and run around the Garden and say, 'Adam, where are you. I got this fruit.' He was with her.

  • Why did he let her do it?
  • Was it that he, himself, wanted to eat of it, but thought that if she picked it and ate it first that he'd be 'off the hook'?

We'll see in just a minute that he probably thought that, so, he let her do it. In guarding the Garden of Eden, he should have said, 'Eve. Don't touch that! God said, 'Don't touch it!' He should have said to the serpent, 'Get out of here, go slither some place else!'

Every time I think of the serpent, I think of the cartoon movie, The Jungle Book. This little boy was out in the jungle and this big python dropped down, had his eyes all different colors, saying, 'Trust in me! Trust in me! Come here a little closer so I can wrap myself around you so you will know how much I love you. Trust in me!' Then the lion came and whacked off the serpent. Every time I read this, I think of it.

This is what Satan was trying to do. Trust in him instead of God. 'Trust in your own judgment. You can't trust God because your judgment is better. You can't let anyone dictate to you what is right and wrong.'

Something did happen, but instead of opening Adam and Eve's eyes to good, to righteousness, to God's ways, it closed their eyes to it and opened their eyes to evil.

Verse 7: "And the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves." They were ashamed of what they did. There was the conscience that God gave them.

Verse 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." You all know this. They couldn't hide from God. God called to them. He knew where they were but He wanted Adam to speak up and answer Him.

Verse 9: "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'" (vs 9-10). Where does it also talk about spiritual nakedness? Rev. 3! It shows that they have sinned.

What all went on we don't know, but all you have to do is look at what Satan promotes and you can pretty well guess and imagine what went on; for how long, we are not told.

Verse 11: "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?'" Here's a clue that Adam thought he could get away with it if Eve picked it and ate it first then gave it to him.

Verse 12: "And the man said, 'The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.'" Then God goes down the 'pecking order.'

Verse 13: "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.'" Rather than saying, 'Yes, I did, I sinned.' They said, 'No, it's not my fault.'

The first thing in coming to spiritual maturity is to acknowledge your faults, to repent, to understand that God's way and God's way alone, as He has said that it is, is true, righteous and correct.

Verse 14: "And the LORD God said to the serpent, 'Because you have done this…'" He didn't ask him, 'Why did you do this?' He didn't say, 'You should have known better.' Satan knew better. It was deliberate deception and getting them to sin.

"…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" (v 14). That's true with every physical serpent that you see.

It's also true what God said here in v 15: "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed…"

I remember the times that we went down to the San Diego Zoo. All of us were walking around the serpent house and my sons said, 'Oh, dad, come and look at these snakes!' I walked about six feet away. Boy, some of those big pythons! The one that really got me was the Palestinian adder. It was about five feet long and had a head like the head of a goat without the horns. The poison sacs on the cheeks were really full. It was as big around as a cantaloupe. When it came to the tail, it came right down to nothing very quickly. I looked at that and I said, 'Man! Can you imagine walking in the desert of Palestine and all of a sudden that thing comes up after you? I hate snakes! I can't stand to be around them. I never watch them on the animal channels. They like to show the snake coming to you with it's mouth open and it's tongue slithering out and all that sort of thing. I go 'click,' to another channel.

Notice, that's true, enmity—"…between your seed… [all the demons and all the men that Satan influences, because there are the children of the devil (Rev. 13)] …and her Seed…" (v 15). Referring directly to Christ and to those that would belong to Christ.

"…He will bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel" (v 15). This is the first prophesy of a Savior to save mankind from sin.

Verse 16: "To the woman He said, 'I will greatly increase your sorrow and your conception—in sorrow shall you bring forth children….'" That's not just the physical pain of bringing forth children. That is the sorrow that comes because your children sin, because your children don't do what you tell them to do, and the sorrow that happens when they go their own way.
Men have sorrow but not in the same way, because mothers are attached to their children far differently than men because they bear the children. It's more a part of them.

"'…Your desire shall be toward your husband, and he shall rule over you.' And to Adam He said, 'Because you have hearkened to the voice of your wife…'" (vs 16-17)—instead of Me. How many times have we talked about obeying the voice of God? That's the implication, here.

"'…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). No man has ever turned that back!

What happened to human nature at this point? Let's see how Paul writes of it. This becomes very important for us to understand. This tells us an awful lot.

Romans 5:12: "Therefore, as by one man sin entered into the world…" Did Adam sin? Yes, Adam sinned!

1-Timothy 2:13: "For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived…" (vs 13-14)—which means that since Rom. 5 says he sinned, he knowingly sinned and had the greater responsibility. A lot of ministers like to read:

"…but the woman came to be in transgression by being deceived" (v 14). So they say, 'See. It's all on account of women.' No! The equation is: Adam sinned knowingly. Eve was deceived because she was going on feelings.

Let's see what happened to human beings, because God judged them for their sin and sentenced them.

Romans 5:12: "Therefore, as by one man sin entered into the world and by means of sin came death…" Before they sinned, God told them that if you eat of the fruit, 'in dying you shall surely die.' If they hadn't eaten of the fruit, things would have been different.

We've got a sermon on that: What Would the World Have Been Like if Adam and Eve Had Not Sinned?

They had a choice! God has given free will; God will never violate the free will that He has given. Otherwise, you are no longer a separate, independent, entity, to make choices; you have become a robot. God wants us to exercise that free will. He will never take it away! Death came!

"…and in this way, death passed into all mankind…" (v 12). That sin was so great and so grievous, because God, I am sure, revealed to Adam and Eve their very purpose—to become like Him. So, it changed the genes. God in His sentence and judgment changed the genes. Now they were subject to death. Although it took another 900+ years for them to die, they still died. Like Solomon wrote, 'What is it if you live 1000 years, twice told, and die, you're still dead. That's vanity, too.' So, 'death passed into all mankind.' That's right from the Greek.

"…and it is for this reason… [because of the nature of death] …that all have sinned" (v 12). You sin because you have a nature that is subject to death. You sin because sin and death now became a part of the nature of Adam and Eve, which they passed on to their children. That's why it says, 'All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.' Now, they have a nature of sin and a nature of death!

  • That doesn't mean that they can't do good things.
  • That does not mean that they cannot be saved.

That means that if you want to go your way, separate from God, know that it's going to be difficult! Know that in the final analysis, you're going to die. The older you get the closer you come to it and realize that that is true.

When you're young, strong, tough, beautiful and all of this sort of thing, you never think about dying; that doesn't enter into your mind. Over the years, you look in the mirror every day. If you don't, someone else looks at you. Over the years, you look in the mirror and you see wrinkles, aging, white hair. People are shocked when they come to:

  • age 30, I'm old
  • at age 40, that's not too bad
  • at age 50, still in pretty good shape
  • at age 60, got a few weaknesses
  • at age 70, it begins to take it's toll:
    • more gray hair
    • more wrinkles
    • double chins
    • flabby stomachs
    • flabby arms
    • you can't do the things that you used to do

—because 'in dying, you're going to die.' You don't die until your take your last breath and the spirit of man and Spirit of God goes back to God. So, death was passed on to all and this is why they sin.

Verse 13: "(For before the law…" That doesn't mean 'before there was law.' It means, 'before the Law that was given to Israel.' It has nothing to do with the absence of law, because if there is no Law there is no sin (Rom. 4:15). If there was no law for Adam and Eve, they could not have sinned.

"…sin was in the world…. (v 13). If you have sin, you have the laws of God. What Paul is saying here, in a roundabout way is that the laws of God were active in the world before God gave the law to Israel.

"…However, sin is not imputed when law does not exist; nevertheless, death reigned from Adam until Moses, even upon those who had not sinned in the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the One Who was to come" (vs 13-14). Adam and Eve did it:

  • directly in the face of God
  • in the presence of God
  • in the Garden of Eden
  • knowing better

No one has done that! We don't know where they stand as far as salvation is concerned.

What else does this do? Paul understood something else. This also tells us about the nature of human beings. Here's the struggle of human beings, whether you know the law of God or not. The law is always in effect whether you realize it or not.

You don't have to have the Ten Commandments nailed on the wall of your house to know that stealing is wrong. You may have to have it there to know that adultery is wrong. You don't have to have it nailed on the wall in the house to say that lying or bearing false witness is wrong. There are some things that people have a conscience or knowledge of, that helps keep society from becoming absolutely, totally, unruly and lawless. As far as being good of yourself:

  • this is where Christ comes in
  • this is where salvation comes in
  • this is where yielding to God and receiving the Spirit of God comes in

to overcome the nature that we have as a result of the sin of Adam and Eve, which is passed on to all their descendants.

Romans 7:14: "For we know that the Law is spiritual; but I am carnal…" Of and by yourself, you're carnal; that's what human nature is. A mixture of good and evil.

"…having been sold as a slave under sin; because what I am working out myself, I do not know…." (vs 14-15). You ever done something and you say to yourself, 'I don't know why I did that!'

"…For what I do not desire to do, this I do…" (v 15). You ever come home, for example, and you want to have a perfect evening tonight, you walk in the door and your wife hits you with something? Immediately you're in an argument and your intent was to be nice. Your intent was to be good. It didn't work out that way. Or you intended to say something nice and it came out what you really meant, not so good.

"…moreover, what I hate…" (v 15). When you get done with it, what do you say? 'Oh, I hate myself for doing that!' This is today's language.

"…this is what I do. But if I am doing what I do not desire to do, I agree with the Law that it is good" (vs 15-16). The carnal mind does not agree with the Law. The carnal mind says, 'If this is the law and it's causing me problems, get rid of the Law.' God's way is that the Law says it's going to bring you death, misery and suffering in between. So, you need to have repentance and be saved. "…I agree with the Law that it is good." There's nothing wrong with the Law.

Verse 17: "So then, I am no longer working it out myself…" In other words, as a converted Christian and struggling against sin, Paul was saying, 'It's really not my intent to sin, but I do.' We'll see why.

"…rather, it is sin that is dwelling within me" (v 17). How did the sin get in you that is dwelling in you? All human beings have this and it goes clear back to Adam and Eve!

Verse 18: "Because I fully understand that there is not dwelling within me—that is, within my fleshly being—any good…." We'll have a little lesson in Job on that a little later. Not right now.

Just summarize it this way: Since you have a nature, which is a mixture of good and evil and you have inherent in your genes and your being, the 'law of sin and death,' can you, of yourself do any spiritual good from your own being? No!Anything that you do that is good, such as keeping the commandments of God like Job did, was the righteousness of God. That's why Elihu said to Job, 'Job. Do you think that it's right that you have said that your righteousness is greater than God's, when God made you? God created the heavens and the earth and He is inherently good and you're not.' This is what Paul is also backing up, here, too.

"…For the desire to do good is present within me… [always there, always good intentions] …but how to work out that which is good, I do not find" (v 18)—within myself I do not have the means, the resources, the ability or the understanding to really work out good myself, separate from God.
Verse 19: "For the good that I desire to do, I am not doing; but the evil that I do not desire to do, this I am doing. But if I do what I do not desire to do, I am no longer working it out myself, but sin that is dwelling within me. Consequently, I find this law in my members…" (vs 19-21). Because it's part of your genes and chromosomes and it goes clear back to Adam and Eve.

"…that when I desire to do good, evil is present with me" (v 21). Have you ever done something really nice and good and then turned around a committed some stupid sin? Yes! I've done it! You've done it! Paul is talking about what we all know.

Verse 22: "For I delight in the Law of God according to the inward man… [I know the Law of God is good] …but I see another law within my own members, warring against the law of my mind, and leading me captive to the law of sin that is within my own members" (vs 22-23).

It's a living Law. Only God can take care of the 'law of sin and death,' with repentance on our part, mercy and forgiveness on His part and the giving of His Holy Spirit. That's why He gave the human mind. In spite of the fact that the 'law of sin and death' is in our members, God has given us a way so that we can live and overcome the 'law of sin' in this lifetime and the 'law of death' at the return of Christ at the resurrection! That's the only way it's going to work. This is quite a profound verse.

Verse 23: "But I see another law within my own members, warring against the law of my mind, and leading me captive to the law of sin that is within my own members. O what a wretched man I am!… [cut off from God] …Who shall save me from the body of this death? I thank God for His salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of this, on the one hand, I myself serve the Law of God with my mind…" (vs 23-25).

That's why we have it 'written in our hearts and in our minds,' because God is molding us with His Spirit and He gave us the kind of mind that can change. He can change it! He can convert it! When that happens, even without the Spirit of God, people can change their behavior and it actually changes the structure of the physical brain. We'll talk about that when we get more into this controlling the mind. We have the way out and the way out is with Christ.

"…but on the other hand, with the flesh, I serve the law of sin" (v 25). As long as it's in the flesh you going to sin. You can overcome sin. Why do you think that Jesus said for the daily prayer, 'Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us?' Because we sin and others sin! We're going to find out how vital it is to the brain, our health and our behavior in forgiving others their sins.

Romans 8:1: "Consequently…" That means in the light of all of this that Paul has written, beginning with chapter 2-7, this is a summary of all of it.

"…there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus…" (v 1). God is not going to condemn you because you still have the nature of 'the law of sin and death' in you, because He's given you a way out.

"…who are not walking according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit" (v 1). That means:

  • you're loving God
  • you're keeping His commandments
  • you're walking in His way

which is:

  • a tree of life
  • a fountain of life
  • the way of the Lord
  • all of that

Verse 2: "Because the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has delivered me from the law of sin and death." In other words, you now have a 'counter-power' within you from God—His Holy Spirit—to counter act the 'law of sin and death.' That's really something!

  • that's why it's called conversion
  • that's why He made our minds to be molded
  • He is the One Who is now molding our minds if we yield to Him

That's what's so powerfully important!

Verse 3: "For what was impossible for the Law to do…" The law cannot make anyone do anything because God has given free choice and free moral agency. Each one of us have to choose.

"…in that it was weak through the flesh, God, having sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh" (v 3). To overcome the sin of Adam and Eve and to help us overcome the inherited 'law of sin and death' that we have.

Verse 4[transcriber's correction]: "In order that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us… [by the spiritual help and power of God to do it] …who are not walking according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit:

All Scripture from The Holy Bible In Its Original Order, A Faithful Version
Scriptural References:

  • Proverbs 4:13-15
  • 1-Corinthians 6:15-17
  • 1-Corinthians 3:16
  • 1-Corinthians 6:18, 9-11, 18-20
  • Proverbs 4:15-24
  • Jeremiah 17:9
  • Proverbs 4:25-27
  • Proverbs 3:1-9
  • Acts 17:19-34
  • Malachi 2:7-11
  • Isaiah 48:12-16
  • Genesis 2:7
  • James 2:26
  • Genesis 2:8-9, 15-25
  • Psalms 8:1-9
  • Isaiah 48:12-16
  • Genesis 3:1-5, 22, 6-19
  • Romans 5:12
  • 1-Timothy 2:13-14
  • Romans 5:12-14
  • Romans 7:14-25
  • Romans 8:1-4

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Genesis 6
  • Matthew 5
  • Hebrews 10; 8
  • Psalms 139
  • Isaiah 66
  • Mark 7
  • Ezekiel 18
  • Revelation 3; 13
  • Romans 4:15

Also referenced:
Books:

  • Controlling the Human Mind by Dr. Nicholas J. Begich
  • Who Switched Off My Brain by Dr. Caroline Leaf
  • Change Your Brain, Change Your Life by Daniel G. Amen, M.D.
  • Shocked by the Bible by Joe Kovacs

Sermon series: Who and What Controls the Human Mind?

Sermons:

  • Creation/Re-Creation
  • What Would the World Have Been Like If Adam & Eve Had Not Sinned?

FRC:nfs
Transcribed: 05-15-17
Proofed: 5/17/17

BOOKS