Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Adam Syndrome

Genesis 3:6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.  7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.  8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.  9 But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?"  10 He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid."  11 And he said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?"  12 The man said, "The woman you put here with me--she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it." 

Now let’s face something here, the very nature of a man makes me question this fruit theory. Point in case, if I see my wife naked holding a piece of fruit in her hand, my mind will not be focused on the fruit. I’m going to be focused on the other fruit not that fruit in her hand. Even if we have already did the encounter, this forbidden fruit, in her hand, would have a stronger meaning to me and I would be more focused on the instruction I was given by God. There has to be more to this fruit analogy than just a piece of fruit. Genesis tells us that God put man in the Garden of Eden, along with the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The tree, in other words, of moral consciousness and ethical philosophy. God tells man that he may eat the fruit of every tree in the garden, except the Tree of Knowledge, ‘for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die’. What happened to Adam before, when, and after he “ate the fruit”? First let’s define “Adam”, “ate”, and “fruit”.

Adam (Hebrew: אָדָם) as a proper name, predates its generic use in Semitic languages. Its earliest known use as a genuine name in historicity is Adamu, as recorded in the Assyrian King List. Its use as a common word in the Hebrew language is ׳āḏām, meaning "human". Coupled with the definite article, it becomes "the human".

Its root is not attributed to the Semitic root for "man" -(n)-sh. Rather, ׳āḏām is linked to its triliteral root אָדָם (a-d-m), meaning "red", "fair", "handsome". As a masculine noun, 'adam means "man", "mankind" usually in a collective context as in humankind. The noun 'adam is also the masculine form of the word adamah which means "ground" or "earth". It is related to the words: adom (red), admoni (ruddy), and dam (blood). According to a number of observers, the word Adam derives from Sanskrit word Adima, meaning "progenitor", "first", "primitive" in Sanskrit (is the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, a philosophical language in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, and a literary language that was in use as a lingua franca in the Indian cultural zone.).

·         A recurring literary motif that occurs (in Gen. 1–8), is the bond between Adam and the earth ("adamah"). Adam is made from the earth, and it is from this "adamah" that Adam gets his name. God's cursing of Adam also results in the ground being cursed, causing him to have to labour for food,[3:17] and Adam returns to the earth from which he was taken.[3:19] This "earthly" aspect is a component of Adam's identity, and Adam's curse of estrangement from the earth seems to render humankind's divided identity of being earthly yet separated from nature.

·         Yahweh then questions Adam and the woman (3:9-13) initiating a dialogue. Yahweh calls out to Adam using a rhetorical question that is designed to prompt him to consider his wrongdoing. Adam explains that he hid out of fear because he realized his nakedness. This is followed by two more rhetorical questions designed to show awareness of a defiance of Yahweh's command. Adam then points to the woman as the real offender, then accuses Yahweh for the tragedy.

Eat (‘akal – Hebrew word meaning to eat, devour, burn up, feed)

Before we define the word “fruit”, let’s take some other thought into consideration.

So why make that tree in the first place? And why put it right next to man, who God knows is not the brightest spark, and say ‘whatever you do, don’t eat this’. It’s like telling a child not to eat the marshmallow. Then God creates Eve, and Eve meets the subtle serpent. Again, why did God create the serpent, and put it right next to Adam and Eve? Most people would presumably say, ‘because He wanted to test Adam and Eve’. Well, sure enough, the serpent tempts Eve and tells her that if she eats of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, ‘ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.’ Sure enough, Eve eats the fruit, and gives some to Adam. ‘And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

·         The first thing to note is that humans’ very first act after attaining moral consciousness is to make aprons.

·         Secondly, for all his reputation as a deceiver, the serpent isn’t lying – the fruit doesn’t kill Adam and Eve, it opens their eyes. The serpent is telling the truth.

·         Thirdly, Eve apparently had knowledge of good and evil before eating the fruit – she knew it was wrong to eat the fruit according to God, but was able to consider an alternative moral view from the serpent. So she was already morally conscious before eating the fruit. If she didn’t have knowledge of good and evil before consuming the fruit, how could she be tempted? Temptation depends on moral consciousness.

So Adam and Eve eat the fruit, and their eyes are opened, their consciousness heightened. Consciousness doesn’t entirely make humans ‘as gods’, as the serpent suggested. It also makes them ashamed, frightened, self-conscious, and uneasy. They cover themselves up, and hide from God. The birth of consciousness is a painful falling into separateness, and paranoia, and a sense of our smallness and disconnection from the rest of nature. The expulsion from Eden that follows is merely an objective correlative for an exile that has already happened subjectively. The painful birth of consciousness has already divorced us from the world of nature, and given us a terrible sense of our separateness, our solitude, our nakedness, our mortality, and a bitter awareness of how hard our life is and will be. God tells us that because we are conscious, we are cursed. And he’s right – consciousness is a curse, it curses us with a restless dissatisfaction with our life of toil, a sense of our separateness and loneliness, and a terror of approaching mortality. So we and the serpent are cursed by God. We and the serpent were the only creatures in Eden that were conscious, that asked questions and challenged God’s authority.

The theory of the late Terence McKenna, as expressed in his “Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge”, that the fruit of the tree of knowledge is really some sort of naturally occurring psychedelic substance, like mushrooms or peyote, one of these strange plants that humans have ingested for time immemorial, which seem to expand our consciousness and give us both a god-like sense of the expanse of the cosmos, and also a terrifying sense of our own smallness, nakedness and separateness. Heaven and Hell, in other words, or Good and Evil.

Genesis is an interesting early attempt to answer the questions: ‘why are humans conscious?’, ‘why does consciousness give us a god-like sense, but also a bitter sense of our own terrible separateness and exile from nature?’, ‘is consciousness a blessing or a curse?’ Let’s explore this a little deeper by understanding the fruit of the tree.

Forbidden fruit is insight because on the basis of Qur’anic and Biblical verses, the Almighty used to call Adam and Eve and without feeling any kind of shame for their nakedness they used to reply. But after eating the forbidden fruit they began to feel ashamed of their nakedness and hid themselves.

In the past they used to be in the presence of the Lord without any kind of shame. Now after eating the forbidden fruit they are feeling ashamed of their nakedness. The proof is that the condition in which they were till yesterday (nakedness), they were not able to see it and now by eating the forbidden fruit they have received insight, so the forbidden tree is the tree of insight. In the story of the Creation of Adam it states unequivocally that the forbidden tree was the tree of knowledge and insight or the tree of good and evil on realization explanatory or recognition. The Holy Qur’an and Holy Bible both say that before setting in Paradise, Adam possessed a vast knowledge and intellect and was to a great extent needless of the tree of knowledge and insight. So much so that he had become the teacher and instructor of the angels. The greatest source of this power of Adam is knowledge and insight. And the greatest sin of that Adam is knowledge. Adam was so that he was able to physically name all the animals and remember what he named them.

Now, just as we find in society today so do we see in scripture. The Quran says that Adam was clothed and stripped of his clothing after eating the forbidden fruit. The Bible states that Adam was naked, and once he ate the fruit, he realized he was naked. Both are correct, although many religions fight amongst each other because of the words spoken. They both are literally saying the same thing. That is, yes Adam was clothed, he was clothed with the actual “image of God”. Once he ate the fruit, he lost the image and became a mortal being, to which, the disobedience caused him shame.

The Almighty described that we should remain free. He gave free will to men and left them on their own but side-by-side he has formulated many rules and regulations for his training

In the book, Duties of the Heart, Rabbeinu Bachya, a philosopher from the 11th century "golden era" of Spanish Jewry, makes the following observation: The most difficult parts of Torah are those which are most familiar. Since we think we already know them from childhood stories, we do not delve into them with the depth that is appropriate for such weighty and complex issues.

·         Let us begin by describing the Tree, formally known as the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The word for knowledge, da'at, is used later to describe the marital union between Adam and Eve. Therefore an alternative translation might be: the Tree of Union Between Good and Evil.

o   And this is the crux of the matter: When God created the world, He clearly defined right from wrong. All moral issues were objective and not subjective. There was one, obvious, absolute morality. True, one could choose to do the wrong thing, but that choice was clear.

o   When Adam and Eve eat from the tree, it triggers a new modus operandi (a particular way or method of doing something, especially one that is characteristic or well-established.) for the entire human experience: The senses become more powerful than the intellect. And because all sensory delights are by nature subjective, at this point man's frame of reference becomes personal rather than universal. Thus each person feels empowered to decide for themselves between right and wrong, and moral confusion enters the world.

·         When Adam chose to enter a state of confusion between right and wrong, God responded by interpreting his actions of good and bad into the very fabric of the natural world. Just as my choice to plant wheat produces a mixture of weeds, so too in the moral realm: I may think I'm making the correct choice, but in fact I may be misled toward a path of moral corruption.

·         Adam and Eve were aware of what they were doing. They knew that that the Tree was off limits. As we said earlier, the delineation between good and evil was quite clear. And it was not that they were lacking anything in the Garden of Eden. So what did they feel was missing? Adam and Eve lacked the opportunity to actualize their commitment to God by entering a state of challenge and then choosing wisely. They felt that a world that did not allow them to overcome such confusion was a sign of insufficient commitment. So they chose to enter this state willingly.

·         It is said that there are two ways to attain wisdom: either to learn about it intellectually, or to acquire it through life experience. From a sensory perspective, the thrill of experience is surely unmatched. But at the same time, it is fraught with danger. Do we really need to experience every drug and every decadent activity to know that it's not for us? For after all, we've all seen how the result of these experiences can carry the danger of permanent physical or emotional scarring. That is why God's discussion with Adam and Eve after the sin is not about punishment, but about consequence. God says: If this is the choice you are making -- the path of challenge -- then this is how your life will play out. And as the progenitors of all humanity, Adam and Eve's choices have (unfortunately) affected all their descendants, for all generations.

·         Before eating from the Tree, Adam and Eve saw each other first and foremost as souls. They knew the soul is the essence of a human being, with the body serving merely as a protective covering. Since Adam and Eve were focused on the spiritual side, they weren't self-conscious about their bodies. However, after eating from the Tree, human perception of the physical world changed. The physical senses enticed as if possessing a value of their own. Adam and Eve's "eyes opened" to a focus on the body. The body had become a distraction from the soul and when this happened, Adam and Eve were ashamed of their naked bodies. For a spiritual being, can there be any greater humiliation than to be sized up as something superficially physical? This explains why animals, who have no divine soul, never feel compelled to put on clothes. But for Adam and Eve, the body needed to be covered, in order to de-emphasize the external, and to let the soul shine through.

·         Adam and Eve are embarrassed by their nakedness, but this time it's not the physical lack of clothing. It is the shame to be in front of God. They have failed in the one task given to them, and are now "naked," devoid of mitzvot (commandment). Adam and Eve know that God has every right to deal with them harshly. But that is not God's approach. He offers them a chance to correct. If Adam and Eve will willingly come to God and acknowledge their mistake, that itself can trigger a reversal of the damage done. This is the concept of teshuva: acknowledging one's mistake, and undertaking not to do it again.

The history of every temptation, and of every sin, is the same; the outward object of attraction, the inward commotion of mind, the increase and triumph of passionate desire; ending in the degradation, slavery, and ruin of the soul.

James 1:15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.; 1 John 2:16 For everything in the world--the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does--comes not from the Father but from the world..

Matthew Henry states: He did eat, overcome by his wife's importunity. It is needless to ask, “What would have been the consequence if Eve only had transgressed?” The wisdom of God, we are sure, would have decided the difficulty, according to equity; but, alas! the case was not so; Adam also did eat. “And what great harm if he did?” say the corrupt and carnal reasoning’s of a vain mind. What harm! Why, this act involved disbelief of God's word, together with confidence in the devil's, discontent with his present state, pride in his own merits, and ambition of the honor which comes not from God, envy at God's perfections, and indulgence of the appetites of the body. In neglecting the tree of life of which he was allowed to eat, and eating of the tree of knowledge which was forbidden, he plainly showed a contempt of the favours God had bestowed on him, and a preference given to those God did not see fit for him. He would be both his own carver and his own master, would have what he pleased and do what he pleased: his sin was, in one word, disobedience (Romans 5:19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous), disobedience to a plain, easy, and express command, which probably he knew to be a command of trial. He sinned against great knowledge, against many mercies, against light and love, the clearest light and the dearest love that every sinner has sinned against. He had no corrupt nature within him to betray him; but had a freedom of will, not enslaved, and was in his full strength, not weakened or impaired. He turned aside quickly. Some think he fell the very day on which he was made; but I see not how to reconcile this with God's pronouncing all very good in the close of the day. Others suppose he fell on the Sabbath day: the better day the worse deed. However, it is certain that he kept his integrity but a very little while: being in honor, he continued not. But the greatest aggravation of his sin was that he involved all his posterity in sin and ruin by it. God having told him that his race should replenish the earth, surely he could not but know that he stood as a public person, and that his disobedience would be fatal to all his seed; and, if so, it was certainly both the greatest treachery and the greatest cruelty that ever was. The human nature being lodged entirely in our first parents, henceforward it could not but be transmitted from them under an attainder of guilt, a stain of dishonor, and a hereditary disease of sin and corruption.

John Wesley state: And he did eat — This implied the unbelief of God's word, and confidence in the devil's; discontent with his present state, and an ambition of the honor which comes not from God. He would be both his own carver, and his own master, would have what he pleased, and do what he pleased; his sin was in one word disobedience, Romans 5:19, disobedience to a plain, easy and express command, which he knew to be a command of trial. He sins against light and love, the clearest light and the dearest love that ever sinner sinned against. But the greatest aggravation of his sin was, that he involved all his posterity in sin and ruin by it. He could not but know that he stood as a public person, and that his disobedience would be fatal to all his seed; and if so, it was certainly both the greatest treachery and the greatest cruelty that ever was. Shame and fear seized the criminals, these came into the world along with sin, and still attend it. The Eyes of them both were opened — The eyes of their consciences; their hearts smote them for what they had done Now, when it was too late, they saw the happiness they were fallen from, and the misery they were fallen into. They saw God provoked, his favor forfeited, his image lost; they felt a disorder in their own spirits, which they had never before been conscious of; they saw a law in their members warring against the law of their minds, and captivating them both to sin and wrath; they saw that they were naked, that is, that they were stripped, deprived of all the honors and joys of their paradise state, and exposed to all the miseries that might justly be expected from an angry God; laid open to the contempt and reproach of heaven and earth, and their own consciences. And they sewed or platted fig leaves together, and, to cover, at least, part of their shame one from another, made themselves aprons. See here what the folly of those that have sinned is commonly: they are more solicitous to save their credit before men, than to obtain their pardon from God. And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day — Tis supposed he came in a human shape; in no other similitude than that wherein they had seen him when he put them into paradise; for he came to convince and humble them, not to amaze and terrify them. He came not immediately from heaven in their view as afterwards on Mount Sinai, but he came in the garden, as one that was still willing to be familiar with them. He came walking, not riding upon the wings of the wind, but walking deliberately, as one slow to anger. He came in the cool of the day, not in the night, when all fears are doubly fearful; nor did he come suddenly upon them, but they heard his voice at some distance, giving them notice of his coming; and probably it was a still small voice, like that in which he came to enquire after Elijah. And they hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God — A sad change! Before they had sinned, if they heard the voice of the Lord God coming towards them, they would have run to meet him, but now God was become a terror to them, and then no marvel they were become a terror to themselves.

The statement of both these writers yield one conclusion, through disobedience, this thing we call sin, manifested in the world. After this sin, Adam committed another act that made it worse, not admitting to his wrong doing and putting the blame on someone else, namely his wife.

James1:13 When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;  14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.  15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. 

This verse gives understanding to what God meant when he said…”in the days ye eat of this tree you shall surely die”…

Hebrew 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin.

Romans 5:12-19 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: ... For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

Matthew 4:1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.  2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.  3 The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread."  4 Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.' "  5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple.  6 "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: " 'He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.' "  7 Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.' "  8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.  9 "All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me."  10 Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.' "  11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

If we look further into this issue, we can compare Adam to Jesus (Yeshua). The reaction to the “temptation” is totally different in comparison. First, Adams wife was led astray and Adam mindlessly follows along. Yeshua, on the other hand, rejects the temptation with factual evidence. The conscious nature of Yeshua gave thoughtful words to the “tempting entity”.

Satan came to tempt Jesus after Christ had fasted forty days and forty nights and was hungry.

“And when the tempter came to Him, He said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.”  Matt 4:3

Jesus replied:

“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”  Matt 4:4 (a quote from Deut 8:3)

In quoting from Deut 8, Jesus was referring back to Israel’s wilderness experience.

“All the commandments that I am commanding you today, you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land that the Lord swore to give to your forefathers.

“You shall remember all the ways that the Lord your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.

“And He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna that you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.

“Your clothing did not wear out on you, nor did your feet swell these forty years.

‘”Thus you are to know in your heart that the Lord your God was disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son.

“Therefore you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him.”  Deut 8:1-6

Jesus quoted from Deuteronomy 8 in order to point to the similarity between His experience and Israel’s.  Israel failed.  Jesus, in taking Israel’s place, succeeded.

Also, the temptation of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden on which the whole human race was plunged into sin, was concerning appetite.  Thus, Jesus had to win the human race back by succeeding where Adam – and Israel - had failed.

The sin of appetite was much more than Adam and Eve just being hungry.  Satan had tempted them to doubt God’s word.  God had told Adam and Eve that if they ate of the forbidden tree, they would die.  But Satan contradicted God.

“And the serpent said unto the woman, (If you eat of this tree) Ye shall not surely die.”  Genesis 3:4

Satan had also tempted them to believe that they could become their own god.

“For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall become as gods. . .”  Genesis 3:5

This has a deeper meaning to the actions of Adam and Eve when it comes to disobeying what God had commanded. Not only did their appetite for disobedience become manifested but their appetite to be equivalent to God was manifested as well. After escaping the bondage of Egypt, the Israelites refused to trust God for their daily bread. The trust and, or, appetite of both the first humans and Israel led the m astray.

In the wilderness, Satan was tempting Jesus to take care of His own needs, to provide His own food miraculously because He was hungry rather than allowing God to supply Christ’s needs in God’s own time and in God’s own way.  Satan was tempting Christ to doubt His Father’s sufficiency just like Adam – and the Israelites – doubted God’s sufficiency.

The sin of lust is defined as wanting what you want when you want it.  Jesus had not eaten in forty days and, naturally, He was very hungry.  The temptation was one of lust.  Satan tempted Jesus to get what He wanted when He wanted it – rather than waiting for His Father to give Him food.  (When the time was right, God sent the angels to feed Jesus.)

Lust means you can’t wait.  Lust is immaturity.

Lust is not always, or even necessarily, sexual.  Lust includes a drive for fame or fortune to the exclusion of the more important aspects of life.  Lust includes living beyond one’s means, wanting what you want when you can’t afford it.

Lust means wanting to live your own way rather than trusting God - and living God’s way, accepting that God’s way is better even when you don’t understand the goal God has in mind.

In the First Temptation, Satan was tempting Jesus to, 1) doubt He was the Son of God, 2) to distrust His Father’s promise to “supply all His needs,” 3) to lust for something that He wanted before God was willing to give it to Him and in doing so, to become His own “God.”

Adam and Eve – and the Israelites – failed on the sin of life’s necessities, specifically appetite.  Jesus succeeded where they failed.  And He made very clear that spiritual food – devouring God’s Word – is just as important to life as is physical food.

(The temptation listed as the second in Matthew, Chapter 4, is listed as the third temptation in Luke, Chapter 4.)

Then the devil taketh Him up into the holy city, and setteth Him on a pinnacle of the temple,

“And saith unto Him, If thou be the son of God cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give His angels charge concerning Thee; and in their hands they shall bear Thee up, lest at any time Thou dash Thy food against a stone.

“Jesus said unto Him, It is written again, Thou shalt not test the Lord thy God.”  Matt 4:5-7 (quoted from Psalm 91 and Deut 6:16)

      Psalms 91:1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  2 I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."  3 Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence.  4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.  5 You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,  6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.  7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.  8 You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.  9 If you make the Most High your dwelling-- even the LORD, who is my refuge--  10 then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.  11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;  12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.  13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.  14 "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.  15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.  16 With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation."

      Duet. 6: 1 These are the commands, decrees and laws the LORD your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, 2 so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the LORD your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. 3 Hear, O Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the LORD, the God of your fathers, promised you. 4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. 10 When the LORD your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you--a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, 11 houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant--then when you eat and are satisfied, 12 be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 13 Fear the LORD your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. 14 Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; 15 for the LORD your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land. 16 Do not test the LORD your God as you did at Massah. 17 Be sure to keep the commands of the LORD your God and the stipulations and decrees he has given you. 18 Do what is right and good in the LORD's sight, so that it may go well with you and you may go in and take over the good land that the LORD promised on oath to your forefathers, 19 thrusting out all your enemies before you, as the LORD said. 20 In the future, when your son asks you, "What is the meaning of the stipulations, decrees and laws the LORD our God has commanded you?" 21 tell him: "We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. 22 Before our eyes the LORD sent miraculous signs and wonders--great and terrible--upon Egypt and Pharaoh and his whole household. 23 But he brought us out from there to bring us in and give us the land that he promised on oath to our forefathers. 24 The LORD commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the LORD our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today. 25 And if we are careful to obey all this law before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness."

Jesus’ response was a biblical one:

It is written, You shall not force a test on the Lord, your God.”  (Luke 4:12; Matt 4:7)

Again, Satan attempts to put doubt in the heart of Jesus that He really is the son of God.

Secondly, this temptation is one of trying to control and manipulate God.  Satan tempted Jesus to jump in order to force God into protecting Him.  Jesus would put Himself in unnecessary danger to manipulate God into saving Him from destruction.

The Bible tells us that God is sovereign, God is in charge – and we are not.  We cannot manipulate or control God.  God controls us.

God is “operating all things according to the counsel of His Own Will” - NOT ours.  (Eph 1:11)

Jesus didn’t have to jump to prove His trust in the Father; He demonstrated it by trusting in God’s word.

How many times do Christians test the Lord by saying, “Lord, if you do so and so for me, then I’ll know that you love me.”

Patients with cancer and other serious diseases often say, “Well, I’ll try God’s Health Plan for awhile, to see if it works,” apparently to see if God really means what He says when He promises to “heal ALL our diseases” (Psalm 103:3) “If we follow His laws, commandments and decrees.”  (Deut 7:11-15)

Instead, if a Christian, of a Believer, truly believes God as he or she says we do, we will follow God’s Health Plan with 100% commitment, permanently, never questioning or doubting the ultimate outcome.  The true Christian believes that God will do what He has already promised to do – whether it is to “heal ALL our diseases” in Psalm 103:3 (if we follow His laws, commandments and decrees - Deut 7:11-15) or to “supply ALL our needs” (Phil 4:19), or to “save us” (1 Tim 4:19).

Unfortunately, the Bible translators have routinely mistranslated the original word expectation as the word hope.  The word expectation implies absolute certainty, whereas the word hope implies uncertainty, such as, “I hope God will do such and such.”  But God’s word is sure.  If God promises to do something (heal us – if we follow His ways, supply our needs, or save us), we can expect (not hope) that it will happen.

With hope only, rather than absolute expectation that God will do what He has already promised to do, it would be impossible to have faith.

The Nature of this Temptation

1.       Satan was seeking to disqualify Jesus as the Messiah.  Had Christ “put God to the test,” He would have sinned, thereby disqualifying Him to serve as the Messiah.

2.       Satan was seeking to put doubt and unbelief into the mind of Christ.  If He had jumped, He would reveal that He doubted God and thus found it necessary to test God’s love and care.

Satan was tempting Christ to try to manipulate God – to save Jesus unnecessarily – almost to perform a trick, or magic.  This is the sin of presumption.  Often Believers say about a particular problem, “Well, it’s in God’s hands” yet they have not spent the time and energy to do what needs to be done so the outcome will be appropriate.  Somehow they think God will work it out for them without them having to do anything.

Living recklessly, whether financially recklessly or physically recklessly, puts God to the test, and becomes the sin of presumption.  We want God to save us from ourselves.  But He will not do it.  We will have to reap what we have sown.

Jesus’ answer to Satan, “Thou shalt not tempt (or force a test) on the Lord, thy God” was a quote from Deut. 6:16 which referred to the test at Massah.

You shall not test the Lord your God, as you tested Him in Massah.”  Deut. 6:16

If we want to understand what it means to “put God to the test” we must learn how Israel put God to the test there.  The account of this is found in the 17th Chapter of the book of Exodus.

Then all the congregation of the sons of Israel journeyed by stages from the wilderness of Sin, according to the command of the Lord, and camped at Rephidim, and there was no water for the people to drink.

Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, ‘Give us water that we may drink.’ And Moses said to them, ‘Why do you quarrel with me?  Why do you test the Lord?

“But the people thirsted there for water; and they grumbled against Moses and said, ‘Why, now, have you brought us up from Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?”

“So Moses cried out to the Lord, saying, ‘What shall I do to this people?  A little more and they will stone me.’

“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Pass before the people and take with you some of the elders of Israel; and take in your hand your staff with which you struck the Nile, and go, Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.’

“And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.

“And he named the place Massah and Meribah because of the quarrel of the sons of Israel, and because they tested the Lord, saying “Is the Lord among us, or not?”  (Exodus 17:1-7)

The word Massah means testing, whereas Meribah means quarrel, provocation, strife.  In Hebrews, Israel’s time in the wilderness is referred to as the rebellion or provocation.  Obviously, God was not happy with Israel’s attitude.

And when God talks, in Hebrews 3:7-11, about whether Christians will be able to enter into God’s Sabbath Rest, He says:

“Wherefore, as the Holy Spirit (God’s breath of holiness) saith, Today if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts as in the provocation (rebellion) in the day of testing in the wilderness;

“When your fathers (ancestors) tested Me, and proved Me, and saw My works forty years.

“Wherefore I was angry with that generation (group), and said: They do always go astray in their heart; and they have not known My ways.

“So I sware in My wrath (letting them reap what they have sown), they shall not enter in to My rest.”

“The Israelites tested God because they felt God was failing to meet their needs and to fulfill His promise.

“The Israelites put God to the test when they realized that God’s purposes and leading brought them into adversity, rather than ease and comfort.

“The Israelites put God to the test by resisting God’s leadership

“The Israelites put God to the test by insisting that God perform according to their expectations and demands.”

The Temptation of Jesus, Part III, Bob Deffinbaugh,

Putting God to the test is often the result of our own impatience, of wanting now what God will give us later.  Such impatience demands that God ‘hurry’ what He is doing.

“Woe to those who draw sin along with cords of deceit, and wickedness as with cart ropes, to those who say, ‘Let God hurry,’ let Him hasten His work so that we may see it.  Let it approach, let the plan of the Holy One of Israel come, so we may know it.”  Isaiah 5:18-19

It is often in times of adversity that our tendency to put God to the test becomes evident.  We may very well place conditions on God, things that He must do for us in order for us to acknowledge that He is present with us, and for us to worship Him.

Following God and His Word can lead us into, what we believe to be as, danger as it did for Daniel (in the lions’ den) and his three friends (in the fiery furnace).  But faith is not foolishness attributed to trusting God, it is trusting God and forsaking folly.

The Third Temptation

“Again the devil taketh Him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them:

“And saith unto Him, All these will I give Thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship Me.

“Then saith Jesus unto him, Away with you, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.  Matt 4:8-10

Satan was tempting Christ to “save the world” in an easier, far less humiliating way than death on a cross.  Satan was offering the Lord a “Quick Fix.”  If Jesus would just bow down to Satan He would not have to go through the severe beating and blood loss, the crown of thorns on His head, being nailed to the cross as a common criminal, being ridiculed and abused by the Roman soldiers, or the derision and mockery of the crowd.  Jesus would not have to die!

But the price for Christ would be - to sell His soul to the devil – and lose the authority to save the world.  It would appear to be a benefit for the short term, but in the long term it would be a complete failure.

Satan tempted Jesus to bow down and worship him.

Then saith Jesus unto him, Away with you, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.  Matt 4:8-10

The response of Jesus at that time is just as accurate today,

“Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.”

Satan is very cunning in the manner of influence. The manipulation of words is a method that has been perfected for centuries by Satan. It is also a method we all have learned to do in today’s time period. Case in point, if I see a woman that I desire and want to have intercourse with her, this is my first thought. In reaction I manipulate her thought pattern through conversation by warming up her emotional current. She physically agrees to what I’m trying to accomplish and we act upon my original desire. Now most women can attest that if a man walks up to her and blatantly states his purpose, she’ll reject him. But if a man can hold an interesting conversation with her and he is entertaining to her, an attraction of some sort will occur. This mannerism has no negative merit, but the motive behind it does. Some of us as men have developed this more than others and henceforth, have women that love to be around us. Confucius says that this mannerism is to display a gentlemen type quality, not to be used for monetary purposes. This negative mannerism goes again to display that when we act upon our desire it can cause a change. This cause and effect can make complicated issues arise. Some women become emotionally attached, which now causes a disruption in the order of nature. Because the man acted upon his desire, his overall intention is not a god-like behavior. If he had of thought this thing out, he would have realized the possibility of the woman natural outcome. He would see that she could possibly be intended for someone else and that he should not cause a disruption in the balance of life. He would see that he may possibly be the key to holding a conversation which may unlock her possible shyness towards men, or maybe even a misconception she may have towards man. All in all, it is not the right manner to react off our desires but to tame them and assess the situation to better understand it.

Disobedience is the key to our sinful nature, this is what we discover from Adam eating of the fruit. But this still does not answer what the fruit was and what he did in the process.

1 John 2:16 For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world

What began sin was to desire, the lust of, and the pride as well. Pride is from not consoling with God and following the desires of our natural being. Let’s look at what happened, Adam ate a fruit. Fruit throughout the bible has literary meanings.

Galatians 5:22, 23 …But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control…….

Ephesians 5:9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)

Matthew 7:16-20 ….By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?  Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

Matthew 12:33 "Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.

Luke 6: 43, 44 …"No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers.

In Galatians fruit is defined as “spiritual behavior”. As we moved through biblical teachings, these fruits are all located upon a tree. The fruits these trees bear determine whether the tree is good or evil. Let’s look at this fruit and tree things in detail by definition.

·         Fruit - In botany, a fruit is a part of a flowering plant that derives from specific tissues of the flower, one or more ovaries, and in some cases accessory tissues. Fruits are the means by which these plants disseminate seeds. Many of them that bear edible fruits, in particular, have propagated with the movements of humans and animals in a symbiotic relationship as a means for seed dispersal and nutrition, respectively; in fact, humans and many animals have become dependent on fruits as a source of food. In common language usage, "fruit" normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of a plant that are sweet or sour and edible in the raw state.

·         Tree - In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated stem, or trunk, supporting branches and leaves in most species. In some usages, the definition of a tree may be narrower, including only woody plants with secondary growth, plants that are usable as lumber or plants above a specified height. Although "tree" is a term of common parlance, there is no universally recognized precise definition of what a tree is, either botanically or in common language.

So in general, this fruit may not be a fruit as we see on an actual tree. This fruit can literally be of a conscious level. All of the analogies I have discussed opens up to a “reaction to an issue or situation”. Human consciousness gives us the ability to ask ‘why?’ You know how children go through that stage of constantly asking ‘why?’ Well, that’s a uniquely human capacity (as far as we know), and it comes from consciousness, that thing inside us that makes the everyday seem suddenly weird and unfamiliar, that makes us look at the way things are, scratch our head, and ask: ’yes but…why? Consciously, Adam should have done this in the beginning when he was confronted with the “fruit” situation. As with most men today, when we are confronted with a situation our reaction will dictate the outcome. Negative reaction equals negative outcome; positive reaction negates positive outcome, this happens in all situations. There is a sense of order we have to maintain in our lives, which is based on merit.

Galatians 5:16 …So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.  17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.  18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.  19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery (excessive indulgence in sensual pleasures); 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions (disagreement that leads to discord), factions (a group or clique within a larger group, party, government, organization, or the like) 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.  22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.  24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.  25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.  26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

What is the conclusion to all of this? Adam’s disobedience made an effect on the balance of this world. The effect of the decision Adam made caused what we see today. This is now passed on from generation to generation, but how does it stop? By the Lord coming down and being an example of how to use this “free will”. The Lord displayed how we are to carry ourselves in all manners and situations. There is a cause and effect upon all that exist and if we all stop being disobedient to the Law of God and become obedient, what we see today will change as well. The actions of me can affect the world as a whole. The story of the Tree of Knowledge is the ongoing story of humanity. We are convinced of the correctness of our actions. And when we err, God presents another chance to realize and admit our mistake. If we do, we draw closer to God than ever before. But if we egotistically defend our position, then we further carve an identity separate from God, putting us outside the true reality.



Holy Bible

Holy Qu’ ran


Monday, November 10, 2014

In The Eyesights

Mentally we encounter a lot of issue that can steer us away from God. The people we associate with, the society we live in, family, all sorts of dealings we have in life can steer up emotions. I love reading the Bible because the inspired writings teach me what God see’s in mankind. Although the principalities we encounter are known of, we learn how to overcome them through reading inspired writings. Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Principalities or “evil spirits” are things we can’t see with our eyes but are things that influence our way of thinking.

First thing we need to understand is that all of us, male and female, are created in the image of God. The word image means, a physical likeness or representation of a person, animal, or thing, photographed, painted, sculptured, or otherwise made visible. The image we are to portray would reflect the likeness of God. The way we think, the way we react should reflect God in existence. I’m not saying this is easy but it is what we are made to do. Upon our creation, it was the freedom to will, in other words “free will” we possess. Meaning God did not create robots but individual people. We all have a particular purpose in life and what we do with it should manifest the Glory of God. Matthew 7:21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Although we all want to enter the kingdom of heaven, most people don’t understand that God’s kingdom can be lived on this earth. Remember I say’ God’s kingdom, not the kingdom of heaven. Daniel 2:44 "In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. God knows that people united for one cause can be destructive in nature. God has separated these types of events due to the nature of mankind.

The title of my sermon is “The Eyesight’s of God”, I ask the question, what is our eyes connected to? It’s our brains, receptors from our eyes transmit signal directly to our brain, or thoughts. What we see with our eyes are transmitted to our thoughts and we develop an image. If we portray evil then what we see will be evil, in our own sight. If we portray good, then what we see will be good, in our sight. But here is the doosey, if I balance my thoughts with good and evil I can then get a prospective of what I see. Example, if I see a woman with a short skirt come to church with an evil thought I may portray her as trying to come a catch a man. If I utilize good thoughts then I may portray her as only having that outfit to wear. If I combine the two thoughts I will portray see has decided to come to the house of the Lord as she is. How I see things has to be balanced with good and evil in order to interpret something correctly. God has the capability to see a person heart but we have to get to know a person before we can even have an assumption of the person’s heart. Believe it or not, we may think we know someone by how that person portrays self; but if the person show the true color of self, we will be surprised. But once we see that side of the person, does it chance the person we thought we knew. It shouldn’t, it should now portray a full description of who this person is so we know how to associate with that person. Where did I get this from, Jesus. Daniel foretold of how Jesus would be in Chapter 7 verse 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed. The portrayal of our Savior will be unmatched by any other being. Our Savior gave us an example to follow to rid the world of the satanic following. Daniel 7 continues to say in verse 27 Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him. Through the eyesight’s of God we can see clearly now the rain is gone, we can see all obstacles in our way. Christ came and allow our vision to be clearer, He gave us the glasses needed so the vision we use to have can be more focal, sort to speak. The song said “What you see is what you get”, but with Christ “what you see is what you must understand”. In Christ judgment is not an option but wisdom becomes our forte. Colossians 2: 2 My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Our vision has to be viewed in Christ so we will have to see things from Gods prospective. We must learn to engage in an everlasting relationship with God so the instructions we receive are clearly understood in order for us to complete our own individual missions. We are all created in the image of so learn to be the reflection of the Most High. When I began my sermon I spoke of principalities in heavenly place and how our mind is connected through our eyes. God has an answer to the statement I spoke in Ephesians 1: 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-- 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace 8 that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9 And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment--to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. 11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession--to the praise of his glory. In Christ we fulfill the Glory of God, in Christ we are fulfilling the image we are created in.