Friday, June 22, 2018


BOOK BY BOOK BIBLE STUDY
larrydalexanderbiblestudies.blogspot.com

BIBLE STUDY LESSON
For the week beginning Sunday June 24, 2018

FROM ADAM TO NOAH
Genesis 5

   The Old and New Testaments of the Christian Bible is GOD’s only written revelation of HIMSELF to mankind. In this extensive, detailed, written Will, GOD commits HIMSELF unconditionally to bless human beings, and HE accepts our “faith in HIM”, as a substitute for the “righteousness” that we sorely lack and will not achieve on our own.
    As we read this wonderful Will, it is paramount that we remember that we not only hold in our hands, a very human document, but we also hold in our grasp, the living Word of the only wise GOD, WHO created us in HIS OWN spiritual image. HE is also the ONE WHO gave us our “physical image”, and bestowed upon us, the power (authority) to rule over the earth as HIS “figurative representative”.
   In the Old Testament times, GOD’s written law distributed responsibility for society throughout Israel. There was no national police force needed, or national court system who heard civil or criminal cases that were judged using criteria apart from, or contrary to, the laws of GOD that are commanded in Scripture. Individuals with relevant information were required to testify truthfully, and the elders, or other GODly leaders, would pronounce the judgment and penalties that are established in GOD’s law.
    As long as the majority in the community remained just, and faithful to GOD and to HIS laws, decisions of justice, not injustice, would always be reached in community jurisprudence. But men and women had to always take their privilege and responsibility of being “GOD’s figurative representative on earth”, seriously.
    Most of the people in the Old Testament days seem to understand much better than we do now, that the only way we can truly resemble GOD, WHO has no physical image, is to learn how to behave like HE wants us to behave.  Through acceptance and obedience to HIS Word, we show our love for GOD. In fact, the only way we can show our love for GOD, is, by obeying HIM.
    In Genesis 5 we follow the first ten generations of man from Adam to Noah. It is here during this stretch of time that GOD first dubbed mankind collectively (male and female), “human”. It is a term that would forever remind man of his temporal residency here on earth, and to permanently connect us to our own immortalities under GOD. And just as GOD had made the original man, Adam, in HIS OWN “spiritual likeness” (“tsalem” in the Hebrew), so too did HE program man’s reproductive cycle to regenerate humans made in our own “physical likeness” (“dmuwth” (dem-ooth) in the Hebrew).
    Living in a time when men were capable of conceiving children up to, at least the age of 187 years, as is evidenced in this chapter of Genesis (v.26), when Adam was 130 years old he and Eve conceived Seth, who grew up to become the splitting image of his father, Adam. After the birth of Seth, Adam lived another 800 years. He and Eve conceived many more sons and daughters (v.4) before he died at the ripe old age of 930 years.
    Chapter 4 gave us a seven-generation vertical list of the descendents of Cain. Here in chapter 5 we are given a ten-generation vertical list of the descendents from Adam, through Seth, to Noah. Both these lists are a testament to the long lives that were lived by the people during the early years of modern man’s creation by GOD. It is believed by most scholars that the way GOD manipulated the environment in those days, most likely attributed to their longevity. GOD’s plan for man to replenish the earth was achieved through super long lives of child-bearing capabilities in both men and women.
    Chapter 5 also serves to show the link between earliest man and Noah’s generation, and, at one and the same time, show us the end result of sin, and how GOD will not hesitate to bring an end to man’s disobedience and rebelliousness toward HIM, by way of an eventual physical death. This physical death will always, before long, follow an immediate “spiritual death” (voluntary separation from GOD).
     In the case of Enoch, the son of Jared, the Bible does not state that he died, but rather it states that he was “raptured up” to GOD alive. He had lived his whole life in close fellowship with GOD, before he was taken up by HIM, at the age of 365 years old. Enoch was the father of Methuselah who lived to become the oldest human being in recorded Scripture. Methuselah died at 969 years old, and was the father of Lamech.
    This chapter concludes with the introduction of Noah, a very important figure in early Scriptures. He was the son of Lamech, who had prophesied that Noah would bring relief from the painful labor of farming the ground that the LORD had cursed because of Adam and Eve’s poor judgment in the Garden of Eden. Lamech died at the age of 777 years old, and by the time his son Noah was 500 years old, he had three sons of his own, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Stay tuned.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander





                                 
LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website




Friday, June 15, 2018


BOOK BY BOOK BIBLE STUDY
larrydalexanderbiblestudies.blogspot.com

BIBLE STUDY LESSON
For the week beginning Sunday June 17, 2018

CAIN, ABEL, AND SETH
Genesis 4

   Sin introduced “physical death” into the world. And even though, that physical death might not necessarily occur immediately, it is sure to come over time. On the other hand, what does come immediately with the commission of sin, is a “spiritual death”, or “total separation from GOD”, that, must be atoned for through repent, and, with a “blood sacrifice” of GOD’s choice, on a regular basis.
    In the Old Testament times atonement for sin came through “repent” and “the blood sacrifice of animals that were specified by GOD as being acceptable”. However, in the New Testament times, and now, “the Church Age”, “repent”, along with “the acceptance of the blood sacrifice of CHRIST JESUS, our LORD and SAVIOR”, is what is necessary to satisfy GOD’s requirement to reconnect us into a personal relationship of friendship with HIM.
    Here in Genesis 4, Moses records the origins of the spread of sin throughout the world, which has now rendered us the “near GODless society” that we’ve become today. The flight of Adam and Eve from the sight of GOD set in motion, the spiritual and physical effects of rebellion that now manifests itself here in the twenty-first century. And as we continue to become more and more “numb” and impervious to GOD, the more the effects of degeneration promises to destroy life before very long, unless of course, the LORD intervenes and ends it real soon.
    When Adam and Eve experienced each other sexually, she conceived and bore a son whom Adam named “Cain”. Then she gave birth to another son, and Adam named him “Abel”. And since the bible doesn’t say that she conceived again, it is possible, and even likely that Cain and Abel were twins.
    When the boys grew up, Cain became a farmer, and Abel became a shepherd. At harvest time Cain brought GOD a gift of his farm produce, but he did not bring HIM a blood sacrifice to atone for his sin as Abel did. In fact, the bible doesn’t even say that he brought GOD “the first” of his pickings, but rather, only states that “he brought HIM a gift”. Abel, on the other hand, brought GOD several choice lambs from the best of his flocks as an offering. GOD accepted Abel’s offering, but Cain’s gift, GOD did not accept.
    In bringing the gift that Cain brought, he was, in effect, denying that he was a sinful person. GOD most likely likened Cain’s gift as one that a person might give to a friend or an acquaintance, perhaps, someone whom he was equal to in status. He approached GOD with “the attitude of personal worthiness”, pridefully excluding himself from under the sentence of Divine condemnation under GOD.
    In verse 5, when his offering was rejected by GOD, Cain exhibited an attitude of anger toward GOD, instead of being concerned about how he could remedy his situation, and repair his lost relationship with GOD. He failed to learn the valuable lesson that, we can’t worship and serve GOD any way we want to (via various Christian denominations, for example), but rather, we must worship GOD the way HE instructs us to. GOD has HIS OWN instructions as to how we should worship HIM, and all those ways and methods are recorded in HIS Scriptures.
    GOD instructed Cain that if he did not remain obedient, he would be leaving himself vulnerable to the wiles of satan. In verse 7, the Hebrew word used for “desire”, is “zuwd” (zood), and it is “the sin of pride and arrogance”. Like all sin, it can only overtake a person if that person’s emotions are not under control. The bible teaches us that all sinful behavior can brought under submission by practicing “self-control” and “Christian discipline”, and here GOD tells Cain that he must “subdue”, or bring his pride and arrogance under submission before it destroys him.
    GOD wouldn’t have told Cain that if HE didn’t already know that “sin is a choice” that we don’t have to make, because we share HIS nature from birth. JESUS knew it too, that is why HE told people over and over again, following their Divine encounters with HIM, to “go and sin no more”. This is resounding evidence that we sin because we choose to, not because we can’t help it.
    The power of GOD is in us from birth, as we all share HIS nature from our beginnings of life in this world, and we can make the right decisions every time when we totally submit to GOD and allow HIM to lead and guide us in all of our decision making. The problem is that, because we want so badly to do what we want to do, we find it far too difficult to give total focus to GOD the way JESUS did when HE operated on earth as a 100% human being.
    Remember, it is impossible for that “instinctive nature” that we share with GOD, or the HOLY SPIRIT, to lead us into a bad decision, we have to choose to do so of our own volition. Only a person working under his or her own power, or the power of an inferior source, satan, can lead a person wrong. We only need to reconnect to GOD’s nature that is already in us, so that we can hear the HOLY SPIRIT when HE speaks to us directly.
    Cain’s sin, just as all sin does, began with a hostile or rebellious attitude toward GOD. Instead of taking GOD’s rejection of his attitude as a motivation for improvement, he became angry at GOD, and jealous of Abel. And since he naturally couldn’t come up against GOD in a fair fight, he took both sins out on Abel, and slew him. And while Cain showed remorse because of the stiff penalty that GOD gave him (all of his sorrow was directed towards himself), his “pride” (“zawd”) never let him repent for the wrongdoing of killing his brother (Vs.9-14).
    And so the LORD banished Cain from the area where he had slain his brother Abel, because now, the land had, for the first time in man’s short history, been contaminated with the blood of murder. No longer would the land yield abundant crops, no matter how hard Cain worked. Furthermore, GOD made Cain to become a fugitive vagabond known all over the earth, wandering constantly from place to place.
    The events in chapter 4, taking place after verse 2b, likely occurred some 100 years following the union of Adam and Eve, and so, most likely, most people knew exactly how GOD wanted them to live, and, how HE wanted them to worship HIM and have a personal experiential, relationship with HIM. At this point Adam and Eve had had many offspring (Genesis 5:4), and those offspring began to intermarry with each other, as it was not forbidden by GOD at that time to do so. GOD had ordered Adam and Eve from the beginning to multiply and “replenish the earth” with people through childbirth (it was part of HIS plan). And so we don’t have to be so perplexed when we see in verse 17 that Cain also had a wife at this time.
    Cain and his wife conceived a child, a son, and he called him Enoch. He later founded a city and named it after his son, and when he grew up, he too conceived children through his marriage. And with each generation, society became more and more industrious, and, at one and the same time, became more and more GODless in their lifestyles.
    In verses 19-22, we see Cain’s grandson Jabal became the first of the great herdsman who began to live in tents. We also see another grandson, Jubal, becoming the first musician on earth (after satan), and he also invented the flute and the harp. A third grandson, Tubal-cain, became the first man to work with metal, forging instruments of bronze and iron.
    Verses 20-22 depicts the “Cainite civilization” (descendants of Cain) that began to develop a culture with leisure and entertainment, as well as a workforce that began to advance in a technology that was capable of smelting ores into tools and weaponry. And though they forged forward in human achievements, their spiritual lives seemed to drift farther away from GOD for quite some time.
    One day Lamech, Cain’s son, came home bragging to his wives how he had used one of the weapons his son, Tubal-cain had made, to kill a young man who had attacked him. Instead of feeling sorrowful for having to take the young man’s life, he took on a feeling of superiority, pride, and power, that, he could take the life of anyone he pleased. In fact, he was so full of pride and arrogance that he even issued “a GOD-like edict” telling them that, if GOD could punish anyone who takes revenge on Cain “seven-fold”, then certainly he could punish the person who tries to get revenge against him, “seventy-seven times more”.
    GOD granted Adam and Eve another son after the death of Abel, and Adam named him Seth. When Seth became a man and married, he and his wife conceived a son whom he named Enosh. It was during his lifetime that men began to regularly “call on” (“qara”- kaw-raw), and proclaim, the name of the LORD GOD, preaching HIS good name throughout the land, praising and worshiping HIM.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander
      
   
   
   


Friday, June 8, 2018


BOOK BY BOOK BIBLE STUDY
larrydalexanderbiblestudies.blogspot.com

BIBLE STUDY LESSON
For the week beginning Sunday June 10, 2018

THE MAN AND WOMAN SIN
Genesis 3

   Before GOD ever made man, the Scriptures tells us that Lucifer had already been ousted from Heaven and confined to the earth where he would be the shrewdest of all the creatures that GOD would create later on (Ezekiel 28:12b-19, Luke 10:18). In actuality, satan ruled, or, had dominion over the earth at that time, as GOD had not yet saw fit to place HIS figurative represent here.
    When GOD created mankind the way we know him now (the creation account of the Christian bible), HE then gave dominion over all things on earth to man, who would serve as HIS personal, figurative, representative, and by doing so, HE automatically usurped satan of his self-appointed position as “prince of the earth”.
    Here in Genesis 3, satan regains control, or dominion over the earth, back from man, because Adam and Eve weren’t willing to do what GOD had commanded them to do in order to keep control of what GOD had given them. There in the Garden of Eden, they “accepted satan’s sin nature” the moment they disobeyed GOD, and as a result, sin and death entered into the world and became a powerful force upon man’s existence.
    On that day, the serpent, a “subordinate to Adam and Eve” at that time, quickly pounced upon his first opportunity to take advantage of his “lackadaisical superiors under GOD”, and became, himself, “the prince of this world” once again. The serpent successfully convinced Eve that her “disobedience” would make her equal to GOD, and Adam, who was there with her at the time, apparently agreed (Vs.1-6). It was at that moment that they both realized just how “vulnerable and naked” they were, because they were now, “totally separated” from the GOD, WHO created them, in HIS OWN spiritual image. They were now feeling “the sting of guilt” for the very first time.
    If we are to be victorious in this life, just as CHRIST was, we must do so by understanding, remembering, and doing exactly what GOD commands of us in HIS Word, just as CHRIST did. In this world, we all eventually come to know we are “naked” and “unprotected” from the subtleness and shrewdness of satan’s temptations, unless we stay in obedience to GOD. When we don’t know and adhere to the laws of GOD, it always leaves us vulnerable to satan. A personal relationship with GOD is a relationship that we simply cannot afford to live without. And that relationship must be an “experiential” and personal one, the only kind that GOD has to offer us.
    The position of “innocence and peace”, that GOD had placed Adam and Eve in, was destroyed by their yielding to temptation from man’s only enemy, satan. And the consequences of that disobedience would affect the entire human race, for all times. Satan’s shrewd enticement of Adam and Eve will forever remind us that we are never forced to sin, but rather, we are always vulnerable to temptation, and must ultimately “choose” to do the “right” or “wrong” thing.
    For among all of the wonderful things GOD bestowed upon us, most importantly, and perhaps most critically, HE gave us “wills” that are free. In order to overcome temptation we need to know the Word of GOD accurately, and then, be voluntarily willing to trust in HIS Word and judgment that it is the very best thing for us to do.
    If we believe GOD’s Word, we believe that “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom”. Satan convinced Eve that “disobedience to GOD” was the beginning of knowledge and wisdom”. However, the truth is, that, wisdom can never be obtained by disobeying the CREATOR of wisdom, WHO is GOD. GOD’s Word tells us that, before the world was ever created, wisdom already existed with GOD. In other words, GOD created wisdom first, before HE ever created anything else (Proverbs 8:22).
    Following the spiritual fall of Adam and Eve, the spirit of “mistrust” and “alienation” entered into their personal relationship with each other (their marriage), and their personal relationship with GOD. They begin to hide themselves from GOD, and made excuses when they were finally confronted by HIM. They both blamed GOD directly for their sin, instead of accepting responsibility for their own “bad choices”. Adam claimed that it was the fault of “the woman GOD made” (v.12), and Eve claimed it was the fault of “the serpent GOD made” (v.13).
    Today we react in the same way that Adam and Eve did when confronted with our sins, but instead, we claim that “it is the “sin nature” that GOD gave us when we were born”. And so, again, we see it as GOD’s fault that we sin, not ours, which is still just as ridiculous as it was when Adam and Eve originally voiced their lame excuses.
    We sin because we want to, not because “we can’t help it”, and a 100% human JESUS, proved that with HIS OWN mortal life. For a wide variety of inexcusable reasons (bad teaching, laziness, the desire to do only what we want to do, etc.) most people don’t have an accurate knowledge of, or desire to obey the Holy Scriptures, and this is in spite of it being available to us today, in almost every language there is.
    Human beings are not born with “sin nature”, but rather, we are born with “GOD’s nature”. We acquire “sin nature” from satan the moment we first disobey GOD at an age of accountability, just like Adam and Eve did. GOD would not be a “just GOD” if HE started us out with the disadvantage, or “deficit”, of already having sin in us.
    Instead, what Scripture teaches us is that we are born into a “state of sin”, or, “a world of sin”, a world where sin already exists. The sin is not originally in us, but rather, we are “born into it” by way of our parents, who sinned before us, starting with Adam and Eve, who were the first to choose to do the wrong thing.
    Psalm 51:5 is one of the most misinterpreted verses in Scripture, and its misinterpretation is what gives rise to the demonic thought of “being born with sin in us”. There the Hebrew word used for “born”, “chuwl” (khool) means “shaped” or “born into a state of”, in this case “iniquity”, or, “brought forward” into “a state of being”, or an environment that already exists, and therefore am destined to become a product of that environment. Therefore, correctly interpreted, it means that we are born into a world where sin already exists, and not that we were born with sin nature already in us. We accept satan’s sin nature the first time that we disobey GOD at an age of accountability, just as our predecessors, Adam and Eve did.  
    GOD wouldn’t be angry at us for sinning, if HE in fact, “made us” to sin from the beginning, starting us out in a state of helplessness, for that is a ridiculous thought. GOD made everything “good”, from the beginning just as HIS Word says, and HE still does, especially with “the human side” of HIS creation. The originals (Adam and Eve), and the reproductions (us), were, and are, made perfectly well and good in the beginning (Genesis 1:31), particularly in the spiritual sense (being made in GOD’s spiritual image).
    Sin brought “physical death” into the world, however, we don’t have to fear because JESUS has covered it, and will eventually replace it all together with “spiritual life”, the end result of HIS vicarious sacrifice on the cross at Golgotha. Satan crippled mankind with temptation and deception, but JESUS “crushed satan’s head” with HIS “righteousness”, and has now “reclaimed” man from under the dominion of sin and death (v.15).
    The only way that we can keep our “restored relationship” with GOD, and with each other pure, is by accepting responsibility for our sins and bad choices, earnestly repenting, and then, by relying on the “forgiving love” and “life-giving blood” of CHRIST JESUS to heal the damaging effects that our sin can have on our lives, and, on the lives of others.
    GOD banished man from the “ideal setting” of the Garden of Eden for his own good (Vs.22-24), however, HE did not banish man from HIS heart, and, from the ideal setting of “the Millennial Kingdom, or “the Kingdom of Heaven”, for the same reason. And so, biological death can now be viewed as a “grace gift” from the Almighty GOD (for we can’t enter Heaven unless, we first, die to this world). And when we choose the right path, we will be kept from the “punishing consequences” that lie on the road to destruction, and, in the end, we will come to know the absolute full extent of GOD’s redeeming love for mankind, HIS greatest creation, when HE welcomes us into the paradise that is, the Kingdom of Heaven.  

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander





                                 
                                           LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website


Sunday, June 3, 2018


BOOK BY BOOK BIBLE STUDY
larrydalexanderbiblestudies.blogspot.com

BIBLE STUDY LESSON
For the week beginning Sunday June 3, 2018

THE MAN AND WOMAN IN EDEN
Genesis 2
   Back in Genesis chapter 1, verses 26-31 Moses tells us that GOD created mankind and “patterned him after HIMSELF, spiritually”. This means that HE gave only humans the capacity for “spiritual fellowship” with HIM, or, in other words, HE shared, only with the human side of HIS creation, “HIS nature”.  In verse 27, the Hebrew word used for “image”, is “tselem” (tseh-lem), and it means, “a representative figure”. And so here the word “image” is not literal, because JESUS tells us that GOD does not have a “physical” image, but rather, HE is Spirit (John 4:24).
   When GOD created us, HE assigned us a special “body” or “physical image” just as HE did for all of HIS creation, however, by sharing with us HIS nature, HE singled us out for a special personal relationship of friendship and fellowship with HIM, and worship of HIM. GOD is spirit, and so the image of HIM that we share is spiritual, not physical. Therefore, the only way we can really resemble GOD is through our behavior. We must act like we are children of GOD, and behave the way JESUS taught us to behave, in obedience to GOD, when HE lived here on earth as a 100% human being.
    And so the phrase “made in GOD’s image” is speaking of a “spiritual image” that consists of the communicable spiritual attributes of GOD, which we now know as, “GOD’s Nature”, or, “The Nature of GOD”. GOD’s Nature is what all men and women have in common from birth. And when we are in touch with GOD’s Nature that is within us, we don’t desire to do things that displease GOD, or get confused about what our roles are under GOD. We know that if we are born male, we are “a representative figure” of “manhood” under GOD, and if we are born a female, we are “a representative figure” of “womanhood” under GOD.
    When GOD uniquely breathed HIS spirit and life into man, HE also imparted to us, the elements of HIS nature, which allows us to have the capacity for spiritual fellowship with HIM, and to worship HIM as GOD.  These are the seven basic elements, or attributes of GOD’s nature that all human beings are born with;

·          Life – Genesis 2:7a, John 1:4 & 14:6
·           Personality – Genesis 2:7b
·          Truth – John 14:6, Hosea 14:9b
·          Wisdom – Proverbs 7
·          Love – 1 John 4:8 & 16
·          Justice – Jeremiah 50:7b, Psalm 89:14a, Deuteronomy 16:18-20  
·          Holiness – Leviticus 11:44 & 19:2

    With that being said, now let us look at the creation of man in even more detail. In Genesis chapter 2, verse 1, the bible tells us that “the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was complete”. This means that GOD had “totally finished” HIS work of creation, and left nothing undone that HE would have to come back later on and finish, or change. And neither does HE need man to come along and try to change anything for HIM, or, desire to change the things of GOD to suit our own selfish, evil, pride-filled purposes.
    And so, we are to function as GOD originally purposed us to do in this world that HE created, and if we are to stay within HIS Will, we must stay within the creation roles that HE has blessed us with, be it our “general” creation role as “male” and “female”, our “specific” creation role that HE assigns us to when working as a team or group, or, our “personal” creation role in life that only we, as an individual, are called to do.
    Man is incapable of improving upon GOD’s work, period. He cannot improve upon GOD in any way, not in nature, not in animals, not in insects, not in birds, not in human beings, human functions, nor in our creation roles, and certainly not in the way that the institution of marriage was originally set up. As mere humans, we don’t get to change the definitions that GOD has already placed on morality, marriage, creation roles, etc.
    Here in Genesis chapter 2, verses 8-17, Moses tells how GOD carefully shaped the “Garden of Eden” so that Adam and Eve (not Adam and Steve, nor Eva and Eve), whom HE created, would be able to use all of those “communicable attributes”, to make wise decisions based on obedience to HIM. They were not to use human ingenuity, sexual perversion, or any of the other things that evil minds concoct to do, through pride, self-worship, and worship of other people, places, and things (self-made idols).
    GOD left it to them to take care of their place of residence that HE had so generously provided for them here on earth, and, HE also left them with specific instructions as to how they should live under HIM. Those attributes that HE embodied in them were to also come in handy as they explored and discovered their love and respect for each other, their delight in meaningful work, their moral responsibility, and even their passion for invention.
    When GOD fashioned beautiful Eve from the rib of Adam (the world’s first surgery–v.21), it let man know that “he and woman” would always share a common identity in GOD, and “a distinct identity from each other” (separate and distinct creation roles). They would always be equals, who are interdependent upon each other, sharing in GOD’s likeness, or, spiritual image, and, as husband and wife, they should always be distinct, and yet inseparable. They would always share an equal responsibility in caring for each other, and, for all of GOD’s other creation.
    And so we see in verse 7 that GOD made man distinctly for HIMSELF, shaping him from the dust of the earth, and breathing life into him, along with all the other characteristics of HIS nature, giving him a personality (making him a living person) that was compatible with HIS OWN, so that he would obey, serve and worship HIM, at all times, in the capacity in which HE wants him to serve. And then later (Vs.20b-22), HE made woman, from man, for man, to be a companion who will help him at all times, in the capacity in which GOD wants her to serve him (v.18). They were also to come together in marriage, to “reproduce life” through sexual intercourse (Genesis 1:28a), and the man (Adam) and the woman (Eve) knew no sin at that time. This would be the only time period on earth, be it very short, when a full-grown man or woman lived perfectly under GOD, until JESUS came.
   
A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander





                                 
                                           LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website



Friday, May 18, 2018


BOOK BY BOOK BIBLE STUDY
larrydalexanderbiblestudies.blogspot.com

BIBLE STUDY LESSON
For the week beginning Sunday May 20, 2018

INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK OF GENESIS

   The purpose of biblical theology is to make known, GOD’s sovereignty over all things. The specified purpose of the book of Genesis is to take us back beyond the pages of recorded history, and reveal to us, the very origins of the universe, and the human race itself. The thrust of the message of this book is to help us to understand, who we are, where we came from, and how that search for those answers must begin and end with GOD.
    The book of Genesis traces the creation of the universe back to a personal GOD, and portrays human beings as unique and special creations of that personal GOD. It explains the origins of sin and evil, affirms man’s moral responsibility, and lays the foundation for a “doctrine of redemption” through CHRIST JESUS. It also lays out the concept of what the Christian Church (a separation of GOD’s people unto themselves, while living in the world), would be like, with the example of the community of Israelites living in Goshen (the community of GOD), which was located in Egypt (which represented the world).
    Genesis also explains the origins of the Jews, GOD’s chosen people, who were to serve as a channel of blessings for all mankind. The Jews trace their origins back to the towering figure in their history known as “Abraham”. Abraham is the direct recipient of what is now known as “the Abrahamic Covenant”, which is the origin of “the promise” of GOD’s continuing purpose of eventual “salvation” that is now available to all mankind through JESUS, the CHRIST, and has been worked out over the process of time.
    The book of Genesis also lays the foundation for the understanding of all Scripture, as the entire bible speaks from its contents. It clearly defines how GOD was, is, and always will be the only wise GOD, and, how HE cares uniquely for us as HIS greatest creation, “human beings”. However GOD must and will, always judge sin, even though HE has set in motion, a process that can bring even sinners back to HIM through repentance and acceptance of a MESSIAH, HIS SON, WHO would snatch us, quite literally, from the permanency of the grave, which we have dug for ourselves in this world.
    Because of JESUS’ vicarious sacrifice, “death” (permanent separation from GOD) is no longer permanent for those who believe on HIM. Now, through repent and our acceptance of HIM, we can re-enter into a personal relationship of friendship with GOD the FATHER in Heaven, and can be led into eternal life by the HOLY SPIRIT, WHO has come to dwell in every body that is willing to accept what JESUS accomplished, not as GOD, but rather, as a 100% human being under GOD.
   
THE ACCOUNT OF CREATION
Genesis 1

   In Genesis chapter 1, we see GOD, in the beginning, exercising HIS creative powers and authority to, quite literally, speak the universe into existence. And after creating the earth, GOD created “the 24-hour day” using “a short span of light”, that HE called “day”, coupled with “a short span of darkness”, that HE called “night”. HE then allowed this 24-hour period to perpetually, automatically repeat itself over and over again, even until this day that we now live in.
    In this chapter of Genesis, we learn how, from day 1, GOD uses “divisions” and “distinctions” in order to fulfill HIS divine purpose for the world.

·         On “Day 1” - GOD separated “the light” from “the darkness” (Vs.1-5).
·         On “Day 2” – GOD separated “the atmospheric waters” in the heavens above, from “the terrestrial waters” of the earth beneath (Vs.6-8).
·         On “Day 3” – GOD separated “the land” from “the seas” (vs.9-13).
·         On “Day 4” – GOD further distinguished “the night” from “the day” by appointing the sun to preside over the daylight hours, and the moon and the stars to govern the night (Vs.14-19).
·         On “Day 5” – GOD created and distinguished between the various animal life by making the fish to reside in the waters of the earth, and the birds in the skies (Vs.20-23).
·         On “Day 6” – GOD makes HIS greatest distinction of all, as HE makes a difference in how HE created man, and how HE created animals (both livestock and wildlife) (Vs.24-31).

    On the sixth day, after GOD had “spoken into existence” all the universe and earth, and fashioned from the soil, all types of animal life, bird life, and marine life that were to dwell upon the dry land of the earth, the air, and the sea, in dramatic fashion, HE suddenly changed HIS “creation method” when HE created man. Here, like with the other animal life, instead of speaking man into existence, HE formed him from the dust of the earth, and then, instead of leaving man without “a human spirit”, as he had done with all HIS other animal creation, GOD decided to embody mankind with HIS own “image” (tselem), or, “nature” (of an invisible GOD).
    This “image”, or, “nature”, is in reality, a set of “communicable attributes”, or qualities, that would make man compatible with GOD, and be able to be “the only figurative representative” of GOD, here on earth. GOD wants man to have fellowship with HIM, and always seek to worship and obey HIM, deeply desiring those things that are pleasing to HIM only, at all times.
    And so GOD then breathed into man, the breath of life, and from that day forward, man became a living person and began to embody the elements, or attributes of “GOD’s OWN Nature”. Mankind became “personally” related to GOD through HIS nature which includes Life, Personality, Wisdom, Love, Justice, Truth, and Holiness. He became a living “person”, having a “personality” just as GOD does.
    These communicable attributes provides man with the spiritual capacity we need in order for us to have fellowship with GOD, and enter into a personal relationship of friendship with GOD. Without these qualities we would be just another animal, like wildlife, livestock, and all the other domesticated animal life forms.
    When GOD said “let us make man in our own image”, HE, being an invisible Spiritual GOD, was not talking about a “physical image”. “We do not look like GOD”, because “GOD doesn’t have a physical image”. JESUS tells us in John 4:24 that “GOD is SPIRIT” and so, the only way that we can resemble GOD is to act like HIM by incorporating HIS spiritual attributes into our everyday behavior and existence. We must resemble HIM Spiritually.
    We are required by GOD to use those communicable attributes of HIS to reflect HIS “image” to others through our behavior, the same way the coming CHRIST would do during HIS first advent. These attributes also equip us with the capacity to care for ourselves and GOD’s other creation, similarly to the way that GOD cares for us.
    After perfecting man for HIS service, GOD then blessed us and instructed us to multiply ourselves and “replenish” (“male” – pronounced “maw-lay” in the Hebrew, and it means “to fill again”, or “refill”) the earth (v.28). That command from GOD suggests that there was something here before mankind, and the earth we now know. In fact, it is true that many archeological finds have been discovered to show that human, animal, and plant life, and even the universe can go back millions of years.
    The phrase “in the beginning” suggests just that, “that GOD was already here in the beginning”, or, in fact, before the beginning was, there had to be GOD. HE’s the ONE WHO got the ball rolling, and so, HE had to be already here before the beginning. This is too great for us to understand because we can only think in “linear time”, however, by telling Adam and Eve to “replenish the earth”, that tells us that GOD already had put something here before HE decided to start all over again with the creation of earth and mankind as we see it today. It suggests that everything began with GOD, and not that, everything began with us.
    In addition to providing us with the wonderful reproduction system that HE fully intended for us to take advantage of, GOD also commanded us to subdue all of HIS creation, and to maintain full responsibility and dominion over it (Vs.26-28). GOD then set up all of HIS human and animal creation with an almost unlimited vegetarian diet (Vs.29-30), with one distinction or restriction of course, and that is that we not eat of “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil”, which was planted in the center of “The Garden of Eden” along with “the tree of life”.
    GOD evaluated each of the first five days of HIS creative work that HE had spoken into existence, and at the end of each day HE called HIS work “good”. However, near the end of the sixth day, HE physically created and formed man from the dust of the earth, and when HE had finished making man, HE called HIS work, “very good”.
    GOD, our CREATOR, seems to have invested much more time into the creation of man than HE did in all of HIS other creations, and as a result, HE expects much more from us than the rest. The intricate details that GOD embodies into every living thing clearly suggests that HE deliberately and strategically placed each and everything here on earth, and, in the heavens above, with great vision, and, with great purpose. And man, and everything else, was made specifically to serve GOD in a predetermined special way, according to “a superiorly wise plan” that we need not fully understand or comprehend, but rather, must go forward with it, by faith.  
   
A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander