The Book of the Lion and the Lamb - a Biblical exposition manuscript

FOOD

_(Gen. 1: 29) - Adam’s food was the seed plant (bread bearing) and fruit trees (wine), whilst animals were given plants. This food issue for animals, however, complicates the fossil record in which scientists portray animals to be carnivores. Yet, BEFORE “The Fall”, animals had plants as a food source. In the original food chain before “The Fall”, animals were strictly herbivores and there was no competitive striving for “survival of the fittest”. (SEE Isaiah - “animals shall eat straw with the ox”). AFTER “The Fall” of Adam, the food chain was also cursed and “survival of the fittest” became necessary for posterity of individual species (Ex. squirrels start hiding their nuts). Yet, animal’s instinct is smarter than fallen man’s instinct. Just watch “Nat Geo” on any given evening. If you abandon a human child in the wild, natural world, he/she will develop to be more “bestial” than the animal nature. Man is fallen because “man shall not live by bread alone", as Christ Our Lord verily stated. Hence, even food and nourishment must be provided and consumed on all 3 levels. “Seek ye FIRST the Kingdom of God and all His Righteousness, THEN…” - eat, drink, be fruitful and multiply. Spiritual food is a priori to man’s survival BEFORE physical and mental nourishment can be of any benefit.*_

Thanks Katina! Though I hope I haven’t lost my shine after that long gap of not posting – I was away last weekend, and it’s taken me some time to catch up.

I would say that most of my friends aren’t Christian in any way – Quebec in particular is a very secular society. I treasure them all, and I learn from them – some of them might be surprised to hear that I’ve learned how to be Christian from them! But from time to time I run into what I think of as a language gap, where the most natural way to explain myself would involve talking God. I figure they have to accept that, and almost always they do.

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So true! Ironically, Christ has used the secular community as the primary training ground for developing genuine Christ-like love ans Spirit within my own experience. The only instance in which this gets esp. challenging for me is when I am engaging with close family members. Esp. my “Elders”. (Actually, I don’t really have any family). Those in my neck of the wood - have some kind of strange aversion towards “perpetual enthusiasm” for the Word and Spirit. It baffles me!

I admit that it is my fault for neglecting regular church attendance for the past two years. Church folks make me feel icky, Mary. Instead, I strive to BE a church. My body is the building, my mind is the Word and my heart, I suppose is the worship and fellowship.

Yet, I do miss you when you are away. What is it like to be the child of a Shepherd? I’ve always wanted to be the child of a Pastor or the wife of one. I suppose that its not too late for the latter. Its not that I have any particular attraction to “Men of the Cloth” - I just would love to be in the constant company of someone whose heart and mind is devoted to Christ. I even considered joining a Coven once. Like , as a housemother in an orphanage. I had trouble finding a legit opportunity and gave up on the dream. Do you think it is too late?

*GOD’S PROVISION- (Genesis 1: 29 - 31)

ESSENTIAL TRUTH : Every human being has a tripartite struggle going on within his body, soul and spirit of a sexual nature. This is also true of our nutritional need for bread. Yet, our survival is limited if we seek only after the bread which feeds the body and neglect the priority of God’s spiritual nourishment, found in the Bread of Life via Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. .

(Gen. 1: 26 - 28) - Thus far, the preceding verses revealed what distinguishes man from all other creation (in particular, the Animal Kingdom), as well as, what is Man (“That Thou art Mindful of Us”) and what is Man’s purpose (Gen. 1: 26c) . Man is not blind to his own purpose. Nor is man a mere “part” of the Animal Kingdom, but rather, a starting point, directly created by God. Man has a distinct triune nature which differs from animal creation. Man’s relation to animal creation is limited to soul and body. In Spirit, however, man was created in God’s Image. That image and function of God’s triune Spirit is expressed via man in his creativity, communication and moral consciousness.

(Gen. 1: 26d) - Man’s dominion over God’s creation is purely conditional to the fact that it is “ DERIVED DOMINION ”. (Gen. 1: 27) - addresses human sexuality as being pervasive throughout our entire triune nature and being. Sex is also expressed in a tripartite fashion, as follows: Physical Sex = The act of intercourse; Psychological (Soulistic) Sex = The desire to relate to and communicate with others (be accepted by others) via friendship, discourse, etc.; Spiritual Sex = The desire to worship and/or share in and express the Divine nature of the Godhead.

*God’s Sexual Provision - Man’s source of sexual provision is found in the First Adam. (Gal. 3) - A Christian’s nature (before The Fall) is (was) a perfectly mirrored balance of both male and female natures . The New Humanity’s source of God’s sexual provision is revealed upon being born again of the Holy Spirit, into the salvation of Christ and under His Eternal Lordship (To the Glory of God the Father, Amen!), which can be found in the Second Adam .

*God’s Nutritional Provision - Adam’s original food source (before The Fall) was derived from seed-bearing plants (Gen. 1: 29-30). Even the animals’ food source was limited to green plant vegetation, as the first animals of creation were herbivores (providing scriptural evidence refuting Darwinian “Survival of the Fittest”). God planned and balanced a perfect quantity and quality in providing for man’s bodily and energy needs in His acts of creation. Hence, there was no need for a competitive, self-preserving nature in Adam to “hunt and gather” for food to meet his basic survival needs. God ALREADY provided EVERYTHING that both Man AND the animals need(ed) for food and nutritional sustenance!

(Gen. 1: 29) - “See I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the Earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food”. The oceans and land were plush with green plant vegetation to feed the beasts and animals, as the seed-bearing plants were cultivated and in full bloom for Man to have bread from the grains of the Earth. Yet, “ man cannot live on bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God ”. In pre-Fallen Creation, Adam was free of the anxiety which accompanies our post-Fallen, survival-based queries such as, “What shall we eat?, What shall we drink?, What shall we wear? God’s desire to provide remains the same after The Fall (as He even sacrificed His own animal creation to make clothing for our covering as we exited the “Garden”. Christ echoes His Father’s desire to provide for mankind when He lovingly exhorts us in Matthew to “Be not anxious for what you will eat or drink” and reassures that “ all these things will be yours as well” AFTER seeking ye, first the Kingdom and all His Righteousness”. Per heeding these instructions, we need not even search, nor be anxious for our bodily need for food and drink.

Haha, what I remember most about growing up in a church family was the total lack of boundaries between social and professional life. For a pastor, your parishioners are also your friends – it’s part of your job to take them out to coffee and hear about their struggles, whether it’s alcohol, a broken marriage, ailing parents, wayward children. The hours are the farthest thing from nine to five, a sudden funeral can ruin your vacation plans, and people who don’t like your sermons will say vicious things to you. So… worth it I guess, but like many things, messy and hard!

You say it isn’t too late to be a “pastor’s wife” but what I’m hearing from your writing is that you may have a call for your own ministry. If you could only find a church community that fit well, there is a desperate need for lay leadership, for preaching and Christian education. I don’t know whether you’d find out that you enjoyed it – but I can certainly tell you’d be capable of it!

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"the actual verbs used are interesting in their own right. They are to “subdue (KBSh, kabash) it” and “rule (RDH, radah) over it”

Thank you for bringing your linguistic expertise in! I was curious about how much interpretation the translators had allowed themselves.

Every now and then, reading a sacred text we come across these phrases that seem very problematic, and I think “subdue and rule” is one of them. I would not consider this a healthy attitude vis-à-vis creation. Societies that see themselves as part of creation, fitting in to the realities of nature, are I think better equipped to live on this Earth without damaging it and ourselves.

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And I took it as one :slight_smile:

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Umberto Eco said that “translation is the art of failure”. That might be a bit pointed, but he does have a point. When it comes to religious texts – especially those considered “scripture” by their followers – it is not too much to say that every translation is an interpretation.

Given the timing and circumstances of their appearance, and the structure of the original language itself (semantic roots, relative tenses of verbs, and more), I think this is especially true of the Tanakh (the Jewish scriptures, which is not exactly the same as what many Christians consider to be the “Old Testament”). The original language is vastly different than, say, Western languages in general (even their Old versions), and it is certainly very different from modern languages, including Modern Hebrew.

Even reading multiple translations (and there are no fewer than 100 Modern English translations, and that doesn’t include partial translations for specific purposes) can mitigate the issue somewhat, but one must always keep in mind that these various translations are often theologically (if not specifically christologically) motivated; that is, translations often reflect particular doctrinal biases. If you speak/read a foreign language, reading multiple translations in those different languages can also be helpful. (Just like the KJV is not the same as the NASB; the German Luther translation differs from, say, the German Jerusalem translation). For this reason, I, personally, don’t think it’s possible to get a truly deep understanding of the text without some (at least rudimentary, but the more the better) understanding of its original mode of expression. (The references verbs KBSh and RDH are very relevant cases in point.)

But what really gives me pause to reflect is that we all think we know what t-h-e original text is. As we saw in our CCafé sessions on the work of the Meru Foundation, the Torah (at least, but more likely more of the original Tanakh texts) were written as a single string of 304,805 letters: no spaces between words, no punctuation, no vowels (Hebrew letters are all consonants); and that string had to be parsed. We were only talking, for the most part about the first segment of 28 letters (which are generally considered to be the first verse of Genesis), and there are over 900 Rabbinic readings of that string alone. But what our discussion further revealed, there may a number of deeply profound and significant things happening in the text that would be worthwhile to include in one’s ruminations on “what it all means”.

And I couldn’t agree more, but at the same time we have to wonder why these words are used and not others. There is a branch of Kabbalistic thinking that approaches the matter at the letter level, postulating that each letter is imbued with deeper meaning than just its name (e.g., the Hebrew Dalet (analogous to our “D”) means “door”) or its number value (which for Dalet is 4, and which forms the basis for the hermeneutic known as Gematria). According to this approach, KBSh means something like “reception/acquisition of (the notion of) container reveals the Spirit of G-d” … perhaps “subdue” with the idea of truly getting a handle on a notion or idea; and RDH would mean something like “the Cosmic container (all that is) given physical existence brings forth life” … perhaps “dominion” in the sense of mastery via deep knowing. Just something to think about.

In the end, I think there’s simply a whole lot more in the text than we suspect.

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I agree. Yet, when it comes to scripture exposition, the Devil is, indeed, ALWAYS lurking among the details as a source of omission. The problematic aspect of the translation “subdue and rule” loses its sting when we include the crucial, yet often omitted, condition that it is "DERIVED DOMINION". That is, Man’s dominion was intended to be exercised ONLY as “subject” to divine dominion. We conveniently forget this.

Also, Man’s divine purpose to be a "steward over creation subject to the divine will and dominion of the Triune Godhead" (which may not be “translated” this way, but it was certainly “revealed” to be interpreted this way in my handling of these particular verses) is a command given BEFORE the FALL when it was actually possible for man to fulfill this command in the “uncorrupted” image and likeness of the Godhead (absent of a “runaway” will).

Man (Pre-Fallen) was told to subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth. Man was given the task of filling up the earth; and second, to rule it, to govern it, by exercising dominion over everything within the earth; to subdue its forces, to master them and bring them all under his control and direction. The whole course of history is simply the record of man’s attempt to fulfill these divine injunctions. As a race we have never forgotten these commands and have been engaged in doing them ever since (in absentia of God’s will).

And look at the results? The interesting thing is that the fulfilling of these divine commands, given man at the earliest dawn of history, have produced results which are utterly disastrous. What has gone wrong with this image of God in man? Man retains the image of God, but now the creature who is called “God’s glory” has become God’s shame. Men behave as children, without reason, irrationally.

Why is this? For an answer let us examine the second word that is used in Gen. 1: 26 - “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” God made man in his image but also after his likeness. Well, you ask, what is the difference between image and likeness? Aren’t these the same thing? No, they are closely related, but they are not the same thing.

The image, as we have already seen, is the existence of man as a spirit. It is the equipment that God has given us, the capacity to be godlike. The likeness is the “proper” functioning of that equipment. It raises the question of whether man is actually godlike or merely has the capacity to be so. As he was made in the beginning, man was both in the image and after the likeness of God. Thus when Adam was formed by the Creator he stood before God as a spirit dwelling in a body, exercising the functions of a soul. He had the ability to be creative, to communicate, and to make moral choices. But he not only had the ability to do so, he was actually doing it. He was exercising the function of godlikeness.

You may have a watch which has the ability to keep time, but the question is: Does it actually do it? In many cases, the answer is “No, it doesn’t.” It has lost its proper functioning. So man retains the capacity to be godlike but has totally lost the ability to actually manifest godlikeness. But man was not only made to be godlike, he was Godlike, in the beginning.

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The Answer:

The secret, as we learn from the rest of Scripture, lay in an inner dependence that continually repudiated self confidence. This is the hard lesson for us to learn. How confident we are in ourselves. How sure we are that if we set our mind on something we can do it. If we are motivated enough to obtain a thing, all we have to do is to mobilize our resources, set our jaws, clench our fists and move to it and we will get it done. That is the false self-confidence that has been the ruin of the human race.

But the principle of godlikeness is the repudiation of that self-confidence and a resting on the working of Another who dwells within. That is what Adam knew. That is the way he functioned, and thus fulfilled his manhood and manifested the likeness of God.

If you want to see this in history, read the record of the Gospels concerning the Lord Jesus. See him stilling the storm on the Sea of Galilee with but a word, “Peace, be still,” (Mark 4:39). See him walking on the water in the middle of the storm, to the concern and fright of the disciples. Watch him changing the water, instantly, into wine. How does he do these things? Is it because he is the Son of God? Is it because he is the Creator that he can do this? No, he himself denied that. He said it was not because he was God the Son that he did these things. He said, “The Son can do nothing of himself,” (John 5:19 KJV). “The words that I speak unto you,” he said repeatedly, “are not my words. The works that I do are not my works.” “**The Father who dwells in me, he does the work**s,” (John 14:10 RSV). All is done out of a reliance upon the work of the Father indwelling him. He knew the secret of manhood, the lost secret of humanity.

What this world has forgotten and is vainly groping and seeking after, what every course in psychology is hoping to find, what every self-improvement program is attempting to realize but never can, this lost secret of how man was intended to operate, He knew. The likeness of God is lost. That is why man can create, but everything he creates has a twist toward evil. That is why he can communicate, but not only does he communicate truth and beauty, but also lust and hate and filth and bigotry and death. That is why, though he still knows moral values, he denies them and rationalizes them to exalt evil, just as the last verse of Romans 1 describes; men who not only do evil things but delight in watching others do the same things, (Romans 1:32).

There is the likeness of God, being restored in man. The image of God has never been lost, for man still retains the capacity to be godlike but he has no longer the ability – until Jesus Christ is restored to the human heart. When he enters there begins a process which, little by little, step by step, day by day, through trial and heartache, sorrow, disappointment, and judgment, through glory, and blessing, and thrilling experiences of grace, is changing us so as to reproduce in us the likeness of God once again. Thus we not only have the capacity to be Godlike, we are actually becoming Godlike. Is that not glorious? That is what God is after. Being renewed in knowledge is the restoration of the likeness of God.

(SEE ALSO Aurobindo’s “Ascent of the Supermind” - whereby his spiritual philosophy PERFECTLY and PRECISELY CAPTURES the very ESSENCE of the Triune Christian Godhead 's ideology, purpose and vision for mankind. I certainly hope that both of you, Mary and Ed, will be present to participate in the 10.25.18 ZoomCast discussion on Auro’s Book II - Chapter 26 at either 12:00 p. m. and/or 8:00 p. m. EDT!!!)

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An Excerpt form Aurobindo’s “Ascent of the Supermind”:

In Book II, Chapter 26 of Sri Aurobindo’s “Life Divine” text, he addresses the different scenarios that could lead to varying speeds of accomplishing the transformation of consciousness from the mental through the overmental to an eventual supramental basis of action, with all of the impact such a transformation would have on mind, life and body and life in the material world. He points out that it would be a long, slow and difficult process if there were no direct descent, or intervention, of the supramental force into material nature; and if all we had, then, was a pressure from above working to evolve the supramental action out of its involvement in the Inconscient here. Such a process would be limited by having to work through the mind, life and body and their restrictions, habits, impediments and differing principles of action. The end result would also be limited by virtue of the fact that mind, life and body have these differing principles of action and cannot be expected to totally transform themselves if they remain the basis and foundation of the evolved consciousness.

The faster and more effective solution would be for the supramental consciousness to actually descend and work directly in this world, putting in place a foundation and action of its own native and characteristic line of action and results.

BINGO!!! EUREKA in the Bathtub!!!

*Direct Quote from Sri Aurobindo:

For a real transformation there must be a direct and unveiled intervention from above; there would be necessary too a total submission and surrender of the lower consciousness, a cessation of its insistence, a will in it for its separate law of action to be completely annulled by transformation and lose all rights over our being. If these two conditions can be achieved even now by a conscious call and will in the spirit and a participation of our whole manifested and inner being in its change and elevation, the evolution, the transformation can take place by a comparatively swift conscious change; the supramental Consciousness-Force from above and the evolving Consciousness-Force from behind the veil acting on the awakened awareness and will of the mental human a being would accomplish by their united power the momentous transition. There would be no further need of a slow evolution counting many millenia for each step, the halting and difficult evolution operated by Nature in the past in the unconscious creatures of the Ignorance.” (1)

It is for this very reason stated above, that Christ Jesus was born into the world (John 18: 37)!!!

NOTE BENE: (1) THIS STATEMENT IS THE PERFECT SUMMARY of the TRIUNE GODHEAD’S OBJECTIVE IN SENDING CHRIST TO BE BORN INTO THE WORLD!!! If Christians could grasp this very description of the purpose, nature and crucial need in establishing their Faith and Identity in Christ as Lord and Savior, THEN THIS is EXACTLY WHAT IT MEANS TO BE “BORN AGAIN”. Not instantaneous but immediate and manifest via stages, degrees, etc. throughout one’s life UNTIL ONE DAY, as Apostle John revealed in I JOHN 3: 2 - “we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” - As though looking into a mirror and seeing Christ’s image looking back at you. Yet, YOU still remaining YOU - with Christ’s divinely imputed nature, light, truth and righteousness!!!

Aurobindo sounds like a born-again Christian, to me. A rare one who really “gets it”!

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Another relevant quote from Sri Aurobindo ("Life Divine", Book II, Chapter 26), which supports my original premise regarding the necessary condition of “DERIVED DOMINION” as it applies to God’s commandment to Adam to “subdue and rule” over creation. (Gen. 1: 26-28):

"The rule of conscious obedience to the higher truth of the spirit, the surrender of the whole being to the light and power that come from the Supernature, is a second condition which has to be accomplished slowly and with difficulty by the being itself before the supramental transformation can become at all possible.”

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One more reference to my Main Man, “Aurobindo”:

This, also, echoes my interpretative observations regarding the applied concept of “DERIVED DOMINION” as a crucial condition of Adam’s divinely appointed directive to “subdue and rule” all of creation (Gen. 1: 26-28)

“Our notion of free will is apt to be tainted with the excessive individualism of the human ego and to assume the figure of an independent will acting on its own isolated account, in a complete liberty without any determination other than its own choice and single unrelated movement. This idea ignores the fact that our natural being is a part of cosmic Nature and our spiritual being exists only by the supreme Transcendence.” (Sri Aurobindo, “Life Divine” - Book II, Chapter 26)

(MY) NOTE BENE: This popular notion of “free will”, that one is able to act as an independent actor without reference to any other person, power, or consideration is an extreme manifestation of the egoism that characterises the development of the individual as he forms a personality and mental character. It must be noted, however, that the exercising of Adam’s “free will” to “subdue and rule” over creation was never intended to, (and can never be), entirely independent of any relation to the rest of the universe and the transcendent consciousness beyond the manifested universe. No matter how highly developed, humans remain a product of the universal creation and lives and dies in dependence on that creation. Free will that does not take this relationship into account winds up exercising this pseudo-freedom as a contradictory rebound. It is this attempt to impose “free will” that in fact leads to destruction of the very conditions of maintaining and developing life when taken to its extreme in terms of impact on the environment.

It is only by recognition that the sense of an independent free will is properly related to a growth and widening of the power and awareness between individual and transcendent, that we can put the concept of free will in its proper perspective, and the individual be seen as a nexus or locus of the action of the cosmic force. Free will in its true sense is an increasing freedom from the limitations imposed by physical Nature, due to the…

Help me out here, Brother Aurobindo…

submission to a greater conscious Power or an acquiescent unity of the individual being with its intention and movement in his own and in the world’s existence.” (Aurobindo)

Whoo! We are havin’ Cosmic Church up in here, tonite!

Can I get a WITNESS, up in heah, Somebody? (Or, at least a handkerchief to wipe the sweat from my brow)???

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A dear friend of mine shared the video below with me today. Over the years, she has been going to visit Father Thomas Keating in Snowmass, CO (where his Trappist monastery is) and reports that he is now in his last days. She was watching some of his YouTube videos and came across a clip from a talk Keating did with Ken Wilber back in 2003 or '04, where I was in the audience and got to ask him a question. I can’t believe how young I was!

Keating’s answer to my question, and Wilber’s as well, may be of interest in the context of relating the Christian experience of faith to the transformations of consciousness described by Aurobindo.

A brief recent bio of Fr. Keating:


I also mentioned this video in our most recent Life Divine session, and @johnnydavis54 was interested in seeing it.

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Whoa, Marco! You look like a younger version of Ryan Gosling!

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Thanks so much, Marco for introducing me to, yet, another Spiritual Father to guide me along my path. Right now, I am soaking in his commentaries / interviews about Christ and Christianity. I love him!

What a wonderful :gift: !!!

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GEN. 2: 1-3: _Seventh Day - The Sabbath Rest_

ESSENTIAL TRUTH: The work of the priests’ offerings were a shadow of Christ role - now. After Christ, there are no more "Offerings” because “It is Finished”. “God’s Rest” continues today and is interpreted as follows: “To cease from your own effort and rely on the work on Another”. Failure / Refusal to enter into God’s Rest is a source of Man’s Tragic Inadequacy”, that is, “trying constantly to make up in activity what we lack in results”.

(Gen. 2: 1 - 3) - There is immense importance to the Sabbath. There was no MORNING or EVENING on the Seventh Day. This is indicative of an incomplete day. (Gen. 2: 1) - the “meaning” of “sabbath” includes “finished” and/or “completeness”. I will focus on three meanings of the Sabbath. (1) - The primary meaning is that of “Rest” not weariness, but rather, “Stop”. God stopped because He was through. (2) - The Sabbath is also a “Perfected Thing” that we step into. (3) - (Gen. 2: 3) - the “Ending of a specific effort”, regarding creation. God is ceaselessly active but not in creation.

In John 5, the Pharisees were rebuked for accusing Jesus of “working” on the Sabbath. As Christ replied that He was ceaselessly working as His Father - until NOW. He was not “creating” anything. Even the evolutionists acknowledge that creation STOPS with Man. To avoid engaging any doctrinal conflicts, I will simplify the dispute regarding the “True Sabbath” day as follows: The “True Sabbath” is Saturday (the Seventh Day of the week). Sunday is the First Day of the week also referred to as the “Lord’s Day” (as it is the Day of the Week in which Christ was resurrected). God’s Rest includes His ceaseless activity dwelling within us and using (if we allow) our mind, will, emotions and body. (Heb. 4: 11) - Yet, why do we still strive in spite of God’s invitation to enter into His Rest? The simple answer is the Ego. (Matthew 11: 28-31) - “Come Unto Me” - Christ gives us Rest upon the Cross of Calvary where He took our place (in our strivings). He says, “Take my yoke upon you and LEARN of ME, for I a meek and lowly of heart” - a “yoke” is made for two. When an oxen is yoked - it is no longer able to do what it wants to do. Jesus learned obedience, that is, to do what He did not want to do, but what God wanted Him to because He loved Him. Perchance, one decides to accept Christ’s invitation to take upon His yoke, there are two things that Christ will do to “balance” out the yoke:

(1) He will remove YOU from the spotlight
(2) Enroll you into the school that eliminates “ego-satisfaction” and teaches humility.

As you find that you are not your own, but bought with a price. When you don’t enter into God’s Rest, then it is because you are still holding onto something within the ego.

GENESIS Chapter 2 INTRODUCTION & THEME TITLE OUTLINE SUMMARY:

*GENESIS 2 INTRODUCTION: If you are still clicking on and skimming through, then, you will find that my Taurean-natured stubbornness combine with my passionate fascination and love for God’s Word, has not given up the on the process of transcribing my Biblical exposition notes onto a platform, in which I hope to invite feedback, criticism or just quiet, reflective consideration. I hope that my notes will serve you in the same revelatory manner (No…even better) in which I benefited from, during my AMAZING, grace-driven adventuring through the Bible.

Genesis 1 focused on the divinely set forth “Foundations for Living”. Genesis 2 will take an in-depth approach to "Understanding Man".

We come now to Genesis 2, Verse 4, where we begin a new series to be entitled Understanding Man. In Chapter 1 the whole universe was in view. We were there looking at the stars in their multitude, the sun, the moon, the plants, the animals, and finally man. But here in Chapter 2 the record narrows its focus to the human family alone. Like a modern zoom lens the record focuses on the scenes in the Garden of Eden in Chapters 2 and 3.

*The Outline of our journey is as follows:

*THEME II: El - ELOAH: The Mighty One / Ruler Over All the Universe
*SCRIPTURE PORTION: Genesis 2: 4 - 7 - 3: 20 - 24
*GUIDING COMMENTATOR / EXPOSITORS: Ray C. Stedman; Ravi Zacharias; J. Vernon McGee; Alistair Begg

*TOPIC I: THE CREATION of MAN

SCRIPTURE REFERENCE MESSAGE THEME TITLE
GEN. 2: 4 - 7 Man Made - Placed in Eden: Was Adam for Real?
GEN. 2: 4 - 17 The Forbidden Tree: The Making of Man
GEN. 2: 18 - 25 The Creation of Eve: The Making of Woman?

*TOPIC II: THE FALL of ADAM

SCRIPTURE REFERENCE MESSAGE THEME TITLE
GEN. 3: 1 - 5 The Temptation and Sin of Adam and Eve: The Enticement of Evil
GEN. 3: 6 The Sin Uncovered: _The Heart of Temptation
GEN. 3: 7 - 13 The Judgment of God: _The Package Deal
GEN. 3: 8 - 20 The Beginning of Prayer: God At Work
GEN. 3: 14 - 15 The Curse on the Serpent: The Devil’s Burden
GEN. 3: 16 - 19 The Curse on Adam and Eve: Love’s Disciplines
GEN. 3: 20 - 24 The Expulsion from The Garden: Exit from Eden

GEN. 2: 4 - 7 Man Made - Placed in Eden: Was Adam for Real?

ESSENTIAL TRUTH : The myths in the Bible are identified as such by its very authors. There is myth in the Scripture. There are legends which are reported to us in various places in the Bible, but the significant thing is that they are identified as such. You can find them both in the Old Testament and in the New Testaments, but the writers of the Scriptures were aware of the nature of them as myths and recorded them as such. Never once did our Lord suggest that anything in the Old Testament was to be questioned, as to its historical veracity.

Gen. 2-3 are among the most widely attacked passages in Genesis. In spite of the revelation provide within these two chapters regarding, the secret of man’s sinfulness, relationship problems, explanation for the struggles of life, and how this all keeps us “grounded for Grace”, the scholars and critics maintain their discomfort with the supernatural aspects of the Biblical record. There are two general lines of attack upon this story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden; one is an attempt to destroy the literary integrity of the text; the other attempts to deny the historical accuracy of these accounts: FIRST ATTACK: Regarding the authorship of Genesis, critics of the Bible claim that this section of the Bible was not even written by Moses, but rather, a “Redactor” who lived long after David and Solomon. This first critical attack on Genesis 2 and 3, which Bible Expositors refer to as the , “Documentary Theory” of the Bible, who claim that the Torah was not Moses’ pen, is supported only by piecemeal evidence that is completely inadequate. This whole idea has been supported by certain piecemeal evidence taken from the Scriptures. This is always the case with this type of study. Scholars go through the books and extract certain ideas or passages that seem to support their theory, but they ignore others that would contradict it. This documentary theory gained a wide support, and many of you have perhaps been exposed to it. It has long ago been fully answered by both Jewish and Christian writers. I am not going to dwell on it now, but if you are interested in it, there are books that will fully expose the total inadequacy of this theory. Over 80 years age, Dr. Lyman Abbott spoke at the University of California at Berkeley. He was, at that time, a noted liberal scholar working in this field of the origin of scriptural books. He said something like this: “ Young gentlemen, I feel that perhaps I am as qualified as anyone to speak in this field of the origins of the books of the Bible, and I want to warn you against going too far in basing your conclusions upon the so-called ‘assured results of modern scholarship.’ As one of these modern scholars, I know that these results are not always as ‘assured’ as they seem to be. My careful conclusion is that the first five books of the Bible were either written by Moses – or by someone else named Moses!”.

SECOND ATTACK : This is the idea that there are great truths about man here in these opening chapters of the Bible – his fears, his evil, his hungers are all given to us in a remarkable way, and we can learn much about ourselves from these passages – but the authors were attempting to convey to us great and mighty truth, important truth, but doing it through the language of myth – adopting a kind of parabolic vehicle in order to convey these truths to us. There was, of course, no literal tree in a literal garden; there were no actual beings named Adam and Eve, and, of course, there was no talking serpent or forbidden fruit.

What do we say to this kind of an approach? We must say that we reject the whole approach as biblically untenable, scientifically unsound, and in the end totally destructive of truth and faith . Let me give the reasons for this: FIRST of all, this approach of myth violates the integrity of the book of Genesis. Where does myth end and history begin in this book? Where is the line of demarcation? If Adam and Eve is a myth then so is Cain and Abel. And if Cain and Abel is a myth, then so is Noah and the flood . Since the record moves right on without a break into the story of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; are we to assume that these , too, are myths? If so, where does history begin? How can you detect the place where myth, fantasy, and legend ends, and actual human history begins? We have already seen in our first series that the first chapter of Genesis (which is likewise termed myth) is not a myth at all. It is in accord with the true discoveries of modern science, and, in fact, anticipates and corrects much of modern science. We have found that it is definitely not myth . When you begin this process of finding myth in these Old Testament stories you will find that it is impossible to draw the line anywhere except where you, for some emotional reason, may choose to draw it.

SECOND, this approach of myth contradicts the usage of the Lord Jesus Christ and of the apostles themselves . If you believe that the story of Adam and Eve is a myth then you immediately find yourself clashing with the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ. In Matthew 19 it is recorded that our Lord, facing the questions of the Pharisees about divorce, replied with reference to Gen. 2 and 3 - "In the beginning God made them male and female," ( Matthew 19:4, Mark 10:6 ). If you accept that as a statement from One who declared himself to be the truth, and who told only the truth , then you must accept this story of Adam and Eve as actual. The Lord Jesus constantly referred to Moses as the author of the Pentateuch , and said, again and again, that what Moses wrote he, himself, fulfilled.

THIRD, the whole idea of myth is ultimately destructive of the teaching of Scripture, of biblical theology . If you investigate their reasons (though they may seldom admit this) it is obviously because they want to square these stories of Adam and Eve with the teachings of evolution . They do not want to admit that there was a couple named Adam and Eve that began the human race , but rather, that a group of hominids who ascended from the animal kingdom and became men. IF evolution as the explanation of man’s origin is true THEN there never was a fall of man . Either man was created perfect – body, soul, and spirit – as Genesis tells us or he has been slowly developing from the animal kingdom. Either man fell from perfection, or he never was perfect. And IF he never has been perfect , THEN what is the point of redemption? IF all we are doing is moving toward an ultimate goal of perfection , THEN what was the value of the work of Christ upon the cross? You SEE certain fundamental issues come in immediately, certain fundamental questions arise, such as : Do we really need salvation? Are we not moving steadily toward a goal which will ultimately be reached , whether Christ died or not? What is the purpose , therefore, of His redeeming grace? The minute you interject mythical ideas into the opening chapters of Genesis you come into an immediate clash with the doctrine of atonement and of the redemption of man. It becomes the ULTIMATE QUESTION of “ Christ ” or the Critics ? And SINCE CHRIST stands as the AUTHORITY in EVERY REALM in which HE SPEAKS , THEN , the question is NOT EVEN WORTH DEBATING .

GEN. 2: 4 - 17: The Forbidden Tree: The Making of Man

ESSENTIAL TRUTH: God’s creation of Man is akin to the same principle in the operation of an electric light bulb. By itself a bulb is simply some wire and glass, rather commonplace, but with a remarkable potential. Add an invisible substance, electricity, and pass it through that visible wire, and a third function is born: light. Light is different from the wire, and different from the electricity, but comes streaming forth from that bulb. It is very much the same way with man. God made a body, with its possibilities of function as a soul, and breathed into it a spirit, and the union of body and spirit produced the activity of soul, as light is produced from the union of the wire and electricity.

Gen. 2 is the first instance in the Bible whereby God is referred to by a name beyond that of “Elohim” = Creator. In Genesis 2, God is referred to as “Jehovah Elohim” = YHWH = “Our Lord God” or “The God Who Makes a Promise”. The creation of man is linked to the 3rd Day of creation and not the 6th. Skipping ahead to Genesis 2: 6-7 - We find the intro to three anthropological divisions of Man. (1) - God first made the BODY of Man from the “elements” of dust from the ground. We may not fully understand all that is involved in these pregnant sentences about the formation of man’s body, but it is important to notice that though the body of man was evidently formed first, yet the text itself does not say the body but it says “God formed man of dust from the earth”. I rather think that has significance. Man is more than a body. He is not merely an animated piece of beef steak, a hunk of meat with a nervous system. He is more than body; (2) - Man is soul as well as body. The functions of the soul are wonderfully linked to those of the body in ways that we have not even begun to fathom. Reason is related to the brain, for it is only as the brain operates that reason occurs. Glands have great power over our emotional life. The hormones which they secrete directly affect us emotionally. No one fully understands the mystery of it. In the forming of man God made body and soul together, with the capacities for function of the soul lying dormant within the body of man. (3) - Into this body with an inactive soul, the account says God breathed, through the nostrils, a living spirit. The phrase “breath of life”, in the Hebrew, means “a spirit of life.” The word for breath and spirit are the same, (in both Hebrew and Greek). This is more than simply a picture of God breathing into man’s nostrils. This is not face-to-face resuscitation: it is the impartation of a spirit into man. As we know from other Scriptures, the Spirit is our essential nature (Aurobindo). It is this that distinguishes man so remarkably from the animal creation. Man comes into being full-orbed, as a threefold being, existing in body, soul, and spirit. It is the joining together of spirit and body which activates and galvanizes the soul, so that it begins to function and LIFE is present. When the spirit passes from the body, DEATH enters in and the life of the body ends. James 2: 26 tells us, “the body without the spirit is dead”. We bury the body, and the spirit returns to God who made it. Whatever portion of the soul (or the life of man – that part of us that has functioned within this time and space continuum) which has been saved, also returns with the spirit to God. I think it is most significant to note that, in the Scriptures, it is the spirit which is regenerated but the soul is saved.

A Regenerated Spirit + A Saved Soul = A Glorified Body.

After The Fall, the Spirit that is given to man is dead (which is why Salvation via Christ regenerates the Spirit). Ephesians 2: 1 refers to this when it says man is “dead in trespasses and sins”. Due to The Fall, Man’s spirit does not function as it should. Therefore, the soul, which reflects like a mirror the activities of the spirit, reflects a dead and lifeless nature. This is what creates the intense, worldwide restlessness of our race, the inability to be satisfied, the unending search for answers that are never found. It is all an expression of a wasted spirit, lying ruined within us because of the fall of man. But in the beginning as Adam came perfect from the hand of God, he was a lamp – and a lamp that was lit – alive in ways beyond anything that we can conjecture.

In addition, there is Geographical Revelation in Genesis 2: 8. The Garden is never named, but rather, “it flowed out of Eden”. The Tigris and Euphrates Rivers still exist (which proves that Genesis is NOT composed of myth). Yet, certain of these rivers can be identified. The Hiddekel River is the Tigris, and the Euphrates, of course, still bears that name. The other two rivers are perhaps identical with certain streams which still flow, one into the Black Sea and the other into the Caspian Sea, both arising out of the mountains of Ararat in Armenia, where the ark rested after the Flood. There is no suggestion here that the whole earth was a garden, as sometimes we mistakenly conjecture. In this Garden, God hid the secrets to help Man transform the rest of the Earth into a Garden.

Finally, it is important to take a look at the significance of the Forbidden Tree found in the midst of the Garden. The idea of Adam and Eve partaking of an actual fruit that had an evil effect upon them has been ridiculed and derided for many years. Yet, we can’t help but acknowledge the reality of historicity and popularity of the “War on Drugs” which derive their addictive and mind-altering chemical agents from the plants, seeds and fruit of well-known vegetation found all over the planet. Not only are we forced to assent to the powerful and deadly effects of these strange fruits upon the human mind and body, but certain drugs can even affect the chromosome structure of the body and pass along defects in heredity to children yet unborn (I. e., “crack babies”). This is EXACTLY the story of the Garden of Eden_. Adam and Eve passed along the deadly effects of this forbidden fruit they consumed into the souls (and Spirits) of their offspring. Yet, the question still remains, What is the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil? If it produces a moral consciousness, then, why keep Man from it? In contrast, the Tree of Life reappears in Revelation and **_had the power to convey immortality to Mankind. Unlike the Forbidden Tree that Adam and Eve tasted of, the Tree of Life is also a symbol of the Lord Jesus Christ from which Man was excluded until he could approach it the proper way. Satan baits us with Truth, then traps us with lies (as was the case with Adam and Eve). God knows Good and Evil by relating it to Himself, rather than experimentally. God has the right to relate all things to Himself. Only God knows Evil by its relation to Himself, which is Holy Good. Man tried to do the same when He “ate of” the Forbidden Tree. In doing so, Eve and Adam were deceived into assuming a Divine relationship with regard to identifying morality. Man tried to identify with and identify Good and Evil by relating all things to himself, but being a “creature” disqualified him from the right to do this. This curse defines the very essence and danger of EGO. The result is Chaos which creates 4 billion-headed Gods all going in opposing directions, as one man’s “Good” becomes another’s “Evil”, and so on, ad infinitum. Christ redirects us back to all things relating to God.

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