Posted in bride, complementarian, egalitarian, encouragement, Eve, women

The first and last women mentioned in the Bible

By Elizabeth Prata

I recently studied the four women of Revelation. My favorite books are Genesis and Revelation. I love firsts and lasts, the beginnings and endings of things. The 4 women of Revelation are the Jezebel of Revelation 2 representing the pagan church, Woman clothed with the Sun in Revelation 12 representing Israel, the Whore of Babylon of Revelation 17 representing the apostate church, and the Wife of Revelation 21 representing the true church.

And then I realized that in my penchant for thinking of extremes, firsts and lasts, that if I learned in my study time the last woman mentioned in the Bible is “Wife/Bride”.

Continue reading “The first and last women mentioned in the Bible”
Posted in discernment, Eve, heresy, Jesus bible, the shack, william p. young

Eve, an upcoming book by William P. Young of The Shack; The heresy continues

William P. Young is an author of religious stories. You might know him as the author of the runaway bestseller a few years ago, The Shack. (2008). He also wrote Cross Roads in 2012. Young said The Shack was fiction, nonetheless he used biblical theology to twist God’s word and manipulated the “fictional narrative” to present a different Jesus, a different Holy Spirit, a different God, a different view of sin and a totally different view of the atonement. Young’s book harmed Christians by insinuating Young’s aberrant theology into their minds, all under the sensitively emotional flow of ‘fiction.’ You can read a substantive Christian review of The Shack here at Tim Challies’ site.

In addition, I did some digging and discovered that Young channeled some of The Shack. Channeling is when an author turns off his mind, gives it over to a supernatural entity, and allows that entity to write the book for him. The writer is then simply a vessel used by an entity on the other side (a demon) speaking what the demon wants said. It is an occult practice that is surprisingly prevalent. One example is Beth Moore channeling “When Godly People do Ungodly Things.” An ironic title when a supposedly godly person channels demons to teach about God.

Stay away from The Shack.

Unfortunately, Young is not finished with writing, and he has another book of religious fiction coming out. It’s called “Eve“. Read some of the promotional material describing the upcoming book Eve below-

Eve is a bold, unprecedented exploration of the Creation narrative, true to the original texts and centuries of scholarship—yet with breathtaking discoveries that challenge traditional misconceptions about who we are and how we’re made. As The Shack awakened readers to a personal, non-religious understanding of God, Eve will free us from faulty interpretations that have corrupted human relationships since the Garden of Eden.

I want you to double down and really think about what is being said here. This is a discernment lesson on how to resist language that is designed to get you to succumb to curiosity and read a heretical book. I am going to re-paste the same blurb from above with some words highlighted and then explain why they are highlighted.

Eve is a bold, unprecedented exploration of the Creation narrative, true to the original texts and centuries of scholarship—yet with breathtaking discoveries that challenge traditional misconceptions about who we are and how we’re made. As The Shack awakened readers to a personal, non-religious understanding of God, Eve will free us from faulty interpretations that have corrupted human relationships since the Garden of Eden.

Any time you read that someone has discovered a new way to interpret the biblical narrative, RUN. Key words are “unprecedented” and “breathtaking discoveries.” How can a text be ‘true to centuries of scholarship’ yet yield discoveries no one else has ever noticed? Has the Holy Spirit hidden these new interpretations until now? From everyone except Young? No. Just think of the pride and hubris here. Everyone, just everyone has gotten it wrong about Eve, and Wm. Paul Young as he likes to sign himself, is the one man to find out the real interpretation.

“Challenge traditional misconceptions.” ‘Tradition’ is a loaded word, used by bible twisters to paint Christianity, or the Bible, as irrelevant. It’s another way to say what Young said in The Shack, subtly undermining Christianity, with using the word ‘old’, such as “the old seminary training wasn’t helping” and “he half expected him to pull out a huge old King James Bible…”. When a word is used like that enough times within the story, slowly the reader comes to accept the undermining. And again, the hubris and pride here is evident. We have all been shackled to misconceptions and “faulty interpretations”, and William P. Young is going to “free” us. With a book. Of fiction.

You can have a pretty good idea what these so-called interpretations are that “have corrupted human relationships since the Garden of Eden.” All this hyperbole makes it sound like it is another Bible, the book Eve is going to be that startling and powerful. But secondly, given the age of feminism, I am surmising that Young is going to throw out there an egalitarian view under cover of supposed scholarship coated in narrative and then when the blow-back comes coyly say, “It’s just fiction…”

Here is more of the blurb seeming to affirm that indeed, feminism is on the table:

Eve opens a refreshing conversation about the equality of men and women within the context of our beginnings, helping us see each other as our Creator does—complete, unique, and not constrained to cultural rules or limitations.

In an interview, Young said of his new book,

Having said that, most of the existing assumptions we have of the Genesis story have been told from an either/or, and dominantly male, viewpoint rather than holistic and human, and I believe that has had a devastating impact on our view of God and our relationships, one with the other. This novel is not intended to add to the existing adversarial divisions but look for something deeper and truer about us as human beings that will bring freedom to us all.

The Genesis story has been told in God’s point of view. If the Word is absent a response or perspective from Eve, that is because God arranged it that way. And yet it isn’t absent. Both their answers to God’s questioning were recorded. Both were – ahem – equally cursed for disobeying. It is not up to Young to re-frame it.

Secondly, there’s that coyness again, dis ingenuousness, or outright lie. The book Eve IS intended to add to the existing adversarial divisions, because in another interview Young said he fully expects his ‘evangelical friends’ to be upset.

Thirdly, there is that hubris and pride again. Young is saying here that his interpretation of the Garden story of sin has found something truer (than the Bible?!) and will “free us all.” Jesus freed us, not Young. His Word frees us, not Young’s new interpretation of it. Wm. Paul Young is going to free us with his new interpretation? RUN.

Young says that for 40 years he has had questions regarding those moments in the Garden. Quite often the false teachers will seek to affirm their piety by placing a lengthy time frame on something. I’ve been studying for 10 years…I prayed for several hours…Beth Moore told a long story about her 21 days of fasting before coming to some sort of epiphany, which she then taught to the audience. Here, Young seeks to buttress his faulty scholarship by placing it within a long time frame because he seeks to give it substance.

I understand his fascination with that moment in the Garden that changed everything. I have read and re-read Genesis 1-3 many times. My favorite places to go in the Bible are the early part of Genesis and all of Revelation, tremendous bookends. There are many questions, some that can be illuminated by the Spirit with proper scholarship and consistent with traditional interpretations for the last 4000 years, and other questions that will not be answered this side of the veil, if ever. God put in His word what He knew would benefit us and what He wanted to put in there. So we wait, and if it still matters to us in heaven, we an ask there. It’s part of submitting to the authority of God and of trusting Him

However, Young’s questions are sad. He said he has for 40 years asked:

–What happened?
–Where did we all go wrong?
–What is it about us as human beings that can produce such great wonder and do such catastrophic damage?

Answers: “What happened” is contained in Genesis 1-3. Period. It is clear and beautiful and enough.
We “all went wrong” when we absorbed Adam’s sin-nature. Biologically, generations subsequent to Adam and Eve changed when disobedience (sin) entered their heart and mind. Witness son of Adam, Cain, who killed his brother, failed to properly worship God, and backtalked Him. At the Fall of Man, God cursed the earth and prophesied about the pain and anguish Adam’s rebellion will bring to all future generations. This is information that is presented clearly in Genesis 3. Anyone having trouble with it means they repudiate the corrupt nature of our biology and the fact that we are all born sinners. (Psalm 51:5, Psalm 14:3, Romans 3:12, Romans 5:12).

The reason some “humans produce great wonder” is that they are energized by the Holy Spirit to do such wonders. And remember, what seems a wonder to us is not a wonder if it is not done in Christ and for Christ. Anything done in the flesh is a filthy rag to God, even what seems a wonder to our innocent or ignorant eyes. (Isaiah 64:6). Others who remain in sin do “catastrophic” damage to each other and to our Holy God, as did Eve and Adam, because satan comes to steal, kill and destroy. That’s what sin does. It is always a catastrophe. These are not difficult concepts.

Questions answered.

Now, I am not totally being flip when I say that. Young is a perfect example of the verse which warns that some are “always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.” (2 Timothy 3:7). For 40 years Young has been seeking answers to questions that are already answered in the Bible. He continues to ask them because he does not like the answers.

Some, like Young, “… devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith.” (1 Timothy 1:4).

CONCLUSION

At some point, a Christian must come to a settled conviction about what they believe. It might seem pious to wonder about why it all went wrong for 40 years, but it actually betrays the heart of an unregenerate person. When one engages in endless speculations, one cannot witness to truth. If Young wondered for 40 years about the origin of sin and its effects, then he does not understand our need for a Savior from that sin. A person who doesn’t understand why we need a Savior is not a Christian.

When I say we must come to a “settled conviction,” I’m not talking about uninformed dogmatism. The Spirit’s ministry is to make scripture clear. Ask Him to help you come to an informed, grace-filled conviction. Once you know what you believe and why, you can witness with power.

I am being tough on Young and advising you my dear sisters and brothers strongly about the language that Book Publishers are using to arouse curiosity regarding this book. Young himself said in an interview that he understands that many of his evangelical friends will be alarmed at the concepts in the book. Therefore Young said to “read first and ask questions later.” That is exactly what the serpent got Eve to do! Eat first, ask questions later. Don’t fall for it. Book promoters are good at whipping up curiosity. If you read “Eve“, you will become frustrated and upset at the twisting going on, or you will succumb to the confusion that endless questions bring and begin to say “yes, maybe he has a point…”

You will also be shocked to see some of your favorite, previously solid bible teachers, friends, pastors, celebrities you admire, extol this book. Apostasy is growing. Like a magnet sweeping up iron filings, the attraction to apostasy is proving irresistible to many. Books like these naturally draw out the serpent’s poison that is already in them. However it is still saddening and discomfiting when we hear and see comments from teachers and leaders we once thought of as discerning suddenly swerve and extol the left path, and not the right one.

It is all for the glory of God however. Whom He allows to be drawn to these false notions about Him and engage in unedifying things (Philippians 4:8) it is for the purpose of showing who the genuine Christians are. Bear fruit, stay the course, pray always, and exalt Jesus with your heart, mind, strength, tongue and heart. These things please our Sovereign. And that is what we are put on earth for.

Shorter Catechism-
Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?

A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, [a] and to enjoy him for ever. [b]

[a]. Ps. 86:9; Isa. 60:21; Rom. 11:36; I Cor. 6:20; 10:31; Rev. 4:11
[b]. Ps. 16:5-11; 144:15; Isa. 12:2; Luke 2:10; Phil. 4:4; Rev. 21:3-4

Posted in adam, encouragement, Eve, eyes, Garden, sin

Seeing God with eyes closed

I’ve mentioned on my other blog that I love to play around with my photos using the online photo editors. I think it’s cool what you can do these days with a photo by manipulating it into something different or even nearly unrecognizable.

Not that new is necessarily better. I learned about heliogravure and collotype which produced stunning photographs and reproductions with clarity, tone, and detail almost unsurpassed by today’s digital photos. But I digress.

The colors of fall are spectacular. Once the summer haze and humidity clears out the night sky becomes ablaze with stars and the day sky is a deep blue like a sapphire. Years and years ago, I took this photo of a fall tree in Maine, its leaves having dropped and its bare arms crookedly reaching under an azure sky. I’ve always liked the picture.

EPrata photo

I monkeyed with the picture and made this:

EPrata photo

I like the altered photo too. Are they the same picture? The same scene? Do they depict the same reality?

They do … and they do not. By blocking out some tones and colors, it brings forth others. By reversing some aspects, it shows others.

I enjoy reading and studying the first three chapters of Genesis. I spend a lot of time there. In this instance, I was thinking about the moment when Eve and then Adam ate of the fruit.

But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. (Genesis 3:4-7)

Their eyes were opened? Of course we know that isn’t literal. They were not blind before, they could literally see. Eve “saw the fruit was good for food”. In chapter two of Genesis, God brought the animals to Adam, who obviously saw them before he named them. Adam saw which tree not to eat from, because he instructed Eve likewise after she was created. So they could see.

As Albert Barnes’ Notes state,

It must therefore mean that a new aspect was presented by things on the commission of the first offence.

As the two photos above showed, a new aspect of things that had been there all along but now were in the forefront. The happy blue sky is gone, it is now darkened. The glory-white clouds are now ponderous boulders in the sky, scudding ominously. The tree which was of good AND evil, now shows the aspect of evil and ghostly death that the pair could not see before.

Gill’s shows us the depth of the loss:

And the eyes of them both were opened,…. Not of their bodies, but of their minds; not so as to have an advanced knowledge of things pleasant, profitable, and useful, as was promised and expected, but of things very disagreeable and distressing. Their eyes were opened to see that they had been deceived by the serpent, that they had broke the commandment of God, and incurred the displeasure of their Creator and kind benefactor, and had brought ruin and destruction upon themselves; they saw what blessings and privileges they had lost, communion with God, the dominion of the creatures, the purity and holiness of their nature, and what miseries they had involved themselves and their posterity in; how exposed they were to the wrath of God, the curse of the law, and to eternal death:

They had been naked and unashamed (Genesis 2:25) but also unaware. Now they were aware. Their eyes had been closed to evil and thus only glory filled the lamp of their eye. Upon eating of the fruit (disobeying God) the eye’s shutter that had excluded all sin and evil was now opened, allowing its full flow into their eyes, heart, and mind.

When we’re glorified, the shutter of our eyes that was opened in the garden will be closed once more. We will never look upon sin again! We will only see the glory of God, unfiltered and fully Bright. As His children with childlike faith, we will see with eyes closed. Did you ever think that our eyes being closed will be a good thing?

Source
Posted in adam, encouragement, Eve, garden of eden, genesis 3

The Sin of Discontent

Everything was perfect. The Garden was perfect. The two humans were perfect. The animals were perfect. God declared His creation “very good”. The humans’ relationship with God was perfect.

source

We do not know how long Adam and Eve were in the garden but no matter how long it was, there was absolutely nothing to be discontent about. Adam and Eve had full run of the Garden, the animals were submissive, they had plenty to eat, they were neither hot or cold.

When did Eve become discontent? John MacArthur said in his sermon “The Fall of Man,”

“She falls rather innocently into the conversation and the solicitor’s strategy is progressively deceptive. It begins with what appears as this very innocuous question by just this interested observer. Here’s just an animal in the garden like a lot of other animals and this animal comes up and says, “Indeed, has God said you shall not eat from any tree of the garden?” This is the first question, by the way, in the Bible. Before this there were only answers. There weren’t any dilemmas because there was nobody to introduce a dilemma. And the question is designed to start Eve on a path, a path of questioning God, a path that leads from questioning God to doubting God, to distrusting God to disobeying God. It’s a very clever plan and it’s the essence of all sin. All sin follows the same pattern. You have a right to question God, you have a right to doubt God, you have a right to distrust God that leads to disobedience.”

Along came satan, and here we find the first question in the bible. “Hath God said?” by that question released into the world…and it is this deadly force, the assumption that what God said is subject to our judgment.”

Source

Once that assumption that we have the right to judge what God hath said, and Eve entertained it, it turned Eve’s mind in a new direction. With every human afterwards, in sinful flesh, born into a cursed world, we make room for discontent. We must cling to God in order to squeeze out the disgruntledness we tend to feel. Abel was content, and he was close to God. How do I know? Abel sacrificed rightly. God accepted Abel’s sacrifice. Cain was not close to God and he offered a wrong sacrifice that God did not accept. His discontent was expressed in his incorrect sacrifice.

With Eve and Adam though, what was there to be discontent about? Nothing. So how does a person go from complete contentment to utter sin in just a few moments? Drift from God’s word, that’s how.

Source

The Hebrew word for pleasant in verse 3 is ‘avah’, or ‘taavah’ and it means “exceedingly, greedily, lusting.” There is a parallel event in the bible that talks about lust of this kind. The parallel is in Numbers 11:34, 35; 33:16. The place is named Kibroth-Hattaavah. It translates to “the graves of lust.” The graves of lust, one of the encampments of Israel in the wilderness, where the wandering Israelites desired to eat flesh for their sustenance, declaring they were tired of manna. God became angry, and He sent quails in great quantities; but while the meat was in their mouths, God smote so great a number of them. So many were killed, that the place was called “the graves of those who lusted.” Sin always leads to death.

Psalm 78:30-31, a series of verses to warn mankind against the sin of discontent, also records the historical incident and presents the warning in its title “Tell the Coming Generation”:

he rained meat on them like dust,
winged birds like the sand of the seas;
he let them fall in the midst of their camp,
all around their dwellings.
And they ate and were well filled,
for he gave them what they craved.
But before they had satisfied their craving,
while the food was still in their mouths,
the anger of God rose against them,
and he killed the strongest of them
and laid low the young men of Israel.

What was it that the coming generation needed to know? Do not be discontent with what God has provided. Trust His word, His promises, and do not look elsewhere to satisfy any earthly craving.

1 Corinthians 10:5-6 repeats the warning. The heading to this set of verses in the New Testament is “Warnings from Israel’s Past”-

Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did.

Desiring something different than what God promised or is already delivering is evil. It is rebellion against Him. It is the sin of discontent. Discontent will bring us to “the graves of lust”.

source

The evil that Eve did was exactly that- discontent. She didn’t want this fruit, she wanted THAT fruit.

The Israelites didn’t want this manna, they wanted THAT quail.

Paul taught us to be content no matter what, with whatever the Lord is doing in our lives.

for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:12b-13)

Jesus Himself is the source for all the strength we need to persevere, to resist sin, to rejoice, to be content.

From whence does the sin of discontent arise? It arose in Eve the moment she separated from God’s word. Eve had a relationship with God, we presume. We know she had a relationship with His word. She repeated His word to the serpent. She was fine with standing on His word until the serpent came along.

So it is the serpent’s fault? No, he was just a vehicle. The sin in Eve began the moment she failed to adhere to God’s word, and in that little sliver of separation, the serpent got in and widened and widened it and widened it, until the sin inside her was manifested in the action she took, bringing on the Fall.

Eve had a moral choice, she could have said-

“Who are you and where do you come from?”
“Adam, what is this serpent really saying?”
“Yes, God said that, now please leave me in peace.”
“[Falling to her knees in prayer] God- help! I need to understand and the best Person to help me understand You is You!”

Eve did none of those. And her discontent grew with each subtle and crafty comment of the serpent.

Ultimately, what happened? Eve and Adam went down to the graves of lust.

We are commanded not to covet. Coveting is a sin. Why should we covet? We have no reason to!

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! (Matthew 7:11)

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. (James 1:17).

What He gave Adam and Eve was good and perfect. What He gives us is good and perfect. Why not be content with that?

Just remember, satan was successful in instilling discontent into Eve by separating her from God’s word. Learn to be content in whatever circumstance you find yourself in by reveling in His revelation of Him self to us. Whatever circumstance you find yourselves in, (even in persecution – Paul was writing from jail) know He is working, (John 5:17) and know that this work He is doing is for the good of those who love Him. (Romans 8:28).

source

Posted in adam, death, encouragement, Eve, resurrection, sin

The First Mourning

Our earth is beautiful, but for all that, it is still cursed. I wonder what the Garden of Eden looked like! The place was created directly by God, and it was earth as He intended it to look.

He created Adam and then Eve, and the two were as humans intended to look.

For a while, a probably brief while, everything was perfect and in balance and harmony. Adam loved Eve, Eve loved Adam, they both loved God, the animals were friendly and submitted to man, who cared for them lovingly.

Then sin came,

Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— (Romans 5:12)

Eve sinned, then Adam. How did God feel? We know He feels. He takes delight, He is angry, He loves. I wonder if He mourned the eternally changed relationship He’d had with His humans, who no longer glorified Him. They destroyed the very purpose for which they were made. We know He cursed them (Genesis 3:16, 17). Perhaps the LORD mourned.

It wasn’t long after, Cain slew Abel. Cain was the first human to be born. Abel was the first human to die. Brothers, yet sin came between them and Cain killed Abel in a jealous fit. We follow what happened after that. Genesis 4 shows the conversation with Cain and God. The discovery of the murder. The penalty. And then we see Cain go off and our eyes travel down the biblical road to follow the story of sin and redemption as it is laid until its conclusion in Revelation.

But turn your eyes back to Abel for a moment. We do not know how it came about…but at some point Abel’s mother and father of all the living, Eve and Adam, must have discovered their son, laying dead on the ground, blood pooled around his head.

We know both of them were familiar with death. Their spiritual life died the moment they disobeyed (“surely you won’t die” the serpent lied in Genesis 3:4). They were familiar with death because God killed the first animal to make clothing out of its skin (the first sacrifice to cover them in their sin). We know they must have killed an animal themselves because they had to eat. The two humans who had never seen blood before grew to know it intimately once they sinned.

And then…the blood of their son. The bible does not record the discovery of Abel’s body, nor his burial (as far as I know). But perhaps the scene looked like this.

The First Mourning (Adam and Eve mourn the death of Abel); oil on canvas 1888 painting by William-Adolphe Bouguereau.


Oh, the searing pain of losing a son! A pain that would be replicated again and again through history as sin took its toll on a million mothers in epochs to come! A grief that the Father Himself would know soon enough!!

The first death was of a beloved son.

The last death was of a beloved Son.

Praise our Holy Savior for His death, for through Him we have life! Praise our Resurrected Savior for vanquishing sin!


Posted in bride, complementarian, egalitarian, encouragement, Eve, women

The first and last women mentioned in the bible

Jezebel, Byam Shaw, 1898.

I recently studied the four women of Revelation. My favorite books are Genesis and Revelation. I love firsts and lasts, the beginnings and endings of things. The 4 women of Revelation are the Jezebel of Rev 2 representing the pagan church, Woman clothed with the Sun in Rev 12 representing Israel, the Whore of Babylon of Rev 17 representing the apostate church, and the Wife of Rev 21 representing the true church.

So here is how the Holy Spirit extended my thinking some more. I was thinking about the covenant of marriage as described in the bible and reading some passages from the bible.

I took a break and was watching a tv show online from 15 years ago that used to be on the Pax channel, called Hope Island. It is a family oriented drama, a kind of faith show. It is an excellent show, the best scripted drama Pax ever put on, and it got high reviews and fan raves. So they canceled it right away. But enough about my grief.

In the episode I was watching, two main characters are getting married. She is 25 and still lives at home, not with her intended husband-to-be. Even by 1999 standards this was unusual. So the ceremony was concluded with all due gravitas and it was good, and I got to thinking about marriage and what it means to be a wife.

And then I realized that in my penchant for thinking of extremes, firsts and lasts, that if I learned in my study time a few days ago the last woman mentioned in the bible is “Wife/Bride”.

Whore of Babylon, Russian engraving, 1800s

Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.” (Revelation 21:9)

The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” (Revelation 22:17)

The first woman mentioned in the bible was wife also!

And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. (Genesis 2:22-25)

God takes marriage very, VERY seriously. In watching the very good clip of Ryan Anderson of the Heritage Foundation explaining why gay marriage doesn’t exist, it hammers the point home even more. And not just homosexual marriage, bigamy or polygamy is an affront to God. Divorce is also, if done under any conditions but the allowances given in the bible. The first woman is mentioned as wife in Genesis and at the end in Revelation the entire human history is seen to be God’s gathering a wife for His Son.

Margaret Murray Prior, 1882 wedding dress

It also brings home the importance of women in God’s plan. Complementarians know this, but egalitarians don’t. God loves His people. He made two genders and two genders only. This is for many reasons, some obvious and some known only to God. But one thing is sure, one reason was so that we could unite and form a marital union ordained by God, grown by God, and pleasing to God.

And pleasing God is the thing for which we are made.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10).

Posted in adam, discernment, Eve, Garden, holy, sin

Discernment lesson- A rabbi’s new twist to the Adam and Eve story

The attack on Genesis 3 is an old attack and that is for a reason. It is the basis for everything, it is the foundation for all that comes after. It is the beginning of sin, rebellion, and God’s interaction with man. Humans want to deny their culpability in their rebellion against God, so they twist and deny and slyly change the bible’s foundational doctrine…like this rabbi does.

In discernment, first and foremost, any religious person who says that have a “new twist” on the ancient word is lying. In essence, they are saying, ‘I, and I alone, have found the one and only interpretation that escaped everyone else for 3 thousand years.’ Not.

But here is Rabbi Manis Friedman telling his story in an essay titled
A New Twist to the Adam and Eve Story

Right away, discernment bells should go off in your mind.

Additionally, I will make a comment that is sure to rankle some. Our friends, the Jewish scholars and Jewish people, are not saved. They are not under the covering of blood that saves them from the wrath of Gods and are not brethren as defined in the bible (Matthew 12:50). They may be expert in the history of the Jewish people, but they do not have the indwelling Holy Spirit in them because they have not believed on Jesus’s death and resurrection as the Messiah and become saved. Therefore it is easier for satan to work in them. We pray for all the lost, and we know that God is not finished with His people the Jews and His nation Israel, they will come to national salvation at the end of the Tribulation. (Zechariah 12:10, Revelation 7:1-8). But unless a person is a Messianic Jew, they are not saved and therefore have no clue about the whole plan of God in the Old Testament to the New.

I want to link to and excerpt some part from the Rabbi’s piece in the Huffington Post today. He made some statements that a careful reading will show what he is about.

He begins by restating the story of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3. So far, so good. He does say that “within an hour of those explicit instructions,” that they ate the fruit but the bible does not say how long of an interval occurred between God delivering the instructions and the time they ate of the fruit of the tree. It could have been long and it could have been short, as little as a day. Butthe bible does not say it was an hour. So he took a liberty there.

Then he asks, ‘Hasn’t it ever struck you as a bit odd? Why would G-d choose to start the Torah with such a horrible story?”

He didn’t. He started the Torah with the book of Bereishit, which we know as Genesis 1, and the Creation. He began by revealing His power.

Now, asking questions of the bible is good. I ask all the time, not to doubt (like Zacharias) but to wonder (like Mary) ,(Luke 1:5-17) My questions are like, “Wow, I wonder why He did that? I want to study that more!”

But the question the rabbi asked about beginning the story of human history seems more like Zacharias’s question to me, “hath God really said…” More of a doubting nature, questioning the event itself. God began the story there because that is where the story began. Period.

Then the rabbi says the Garden was “a place where the evil inclination cannot even exist, and after being given just one simple commandment they break it within the hour.”

First, he is obviously wrong. Evil inclination did exist, because satan was there. He had already fallen and he was evil through and through. (Ezekiel 28:15). Unless the rabbi does not believe that the serpent speaking to Adam and Eve was satan, which he was.

And there is that ‘one hour’ thing again. The rabbi makes it sound that because Adam and Eve disobeyed so quickly, something else must have been going on. ‘They couldn’t have been so weak as to be unable to resist one ‘simple’ command… Come on….’ However the rabbi’s sly approach denies the strength of the sin nature, which is exactly what God was showing us here.

And then his sly work deepens. He writes, “And if there is no evil inclination in the Garden of Eden, how could they have transgressed this one commandment, and so soon?! If G-d Himself told us to eat from any tree that we wanted, except for one, wouldn’t we listen?”

The rabbi builds upon his false premise that evil couldn’t have existed in the Garden, and cements his proposition that because it happened so quickly something else was happening. He is essentially saying that man has the internal strength to resist sin and to perfectly listen to God on our own. Now his essay is really getting deep into treacherous waters of non-belief in the meaning of the plain text.

Rabbi: “But when He asks Adam to refrain from eating from a tree, Adam’s response is, “I’ll try”? That can’t be; it’s not possible.”

Where has the rabbi been for all of human history? Why does he not take the example from his own people’s history, one of continuous disobedience to what God said not to do?! It’s not possible? Of course it’s possible, it happened over and over! But he is chipping away at the authority of God’s word by denying the fact that we succumb to sin so easily when tempted.

Then the rabbi says that God is a bad psychologist. “It is also bad psychology. When you tell a child, “Don’t touch that crystal vase,” you do not add, “if you do…” What do you mean “if you do”? You don’t! You never introduce the possibility that they will break your rules. When you say, “If you do…” you’re in effect saying that it’s possible that they will touch that vase.”

So God is never to tell us not to do anything against His wishes because we’re children and He knows we will disobey anyway? Doesn’t that make God into a slave to OUR sin-nature?

Rabbi: “And where did Adam learn to blame someone else? His automatic response to G-d’s query was that Eve had forced him to eat the fruit. This man was only a few hours old, having been created just that morning, and he’s already blaming others?”

If the rabbi read Genesis 3:7 he would know that after they disobeyed, a sin nature came alive into them, their eyes were opened, and they knew shame. Before the Fall, they did not know shame (Genesis 2:25) After the Fall, they did. And blame, too, obviously. “Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. (Genesis 3:7).

Adam did not remain sinless/righteous after he disobeyed. He then knew the full pantheon of good and evil, just as God had told Adam would happen when He said not to eat the fruit. (Genesis 2:16)

Rabbi: “The whole story as we know it appears quite problematic. But the main problem is, if you would want to start teaching your child the Torah, would you start with this story? Even if it did happen, why talk about it? And right in the beginning of the book? Maybe the story isn’t all that simple.”

Here it comes. Wait for it…

“Adam and Eve consciously remembered being in heaven when they were informed that their souls would have a special spiritual mission to fulfill in a physical world.”

Really? I can’t find that in my bible.

In order to create a new doctrine, and that is what the Rabbi is doing here, you need to stray off the path. But false teachers don’t grab you by the hand and yank you off the path, They lead you gently. He has brought us to the edge of the path with his questions and false premises and building on those premises as if they were true. Sly questions incrementally drift us to the edge of the narrow road God set before us. Hebrews 2:1 says we must pay careful attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away. Illegitimate questions nudge us off the way and soon we are drifting to the edge. Eventually, the false teachers leave the left foot on the path but take their right foot off it into new territory. It doesn’t feel totally unfamiliar to you because one foot is still on familiar terrain. This is to get you to feel comfortable with the new terrain before he leads you totally off it. Now we take one foot off the path on our veering away into new doctrinal territory.

He sets up quite an argument, beautiful in its false logic, superficially logical in all its evil. Read it. I will post the summary statement here–

“Adam wanted to ensure that his children would all remain righteous. How do you do that? Don’t eat from the tree. If you don’t eat from the tree then you’ll stay in the Garden of Eden, you’ll never die, there will be no sins, and all of your children will be pious. Eve didn’t want that. She wanted her children to be forced to struggle, to have to repent for their inevitable shortcomings. She eventually convinced Adam that one who must struggle to find G-d is worthier than a naturally righteous man.”

Yeah, because who wants that. Perfect obedience to God and living a perfect, righteous life in perfect fellowship with Him? Nah.

Rabbi Friedman says that when God asked Adam if he had eaten the fruit, God was not angry. He was smiling, happy that the humans had figured it out. God is a riddler and woman is clever.

What the rabbi is saying in his piece are several things:

1. God tricked humans with a double-back command
2. Adam was too dumb to figure it out
3. Eve was smart and led the man to the right conclusion, (incidentally paving the way for feminism)
4. A typically Pharisaical hierarchy is cemented by this doctrine, that all Jews are equal, but some (struggling righteous Jews) are more equal that others (naturally righteous Jews). (HT to Animal Farm by George Orwell)
5. Some men are naturally righteous (not so says Romans 3:10)
6. Pure, unadulterated grace is less desirable than man’s self-effort at righteousness

Let’s get back to the beginning for a moment. The Rabbi had asked, ‘is it really that simple’? And proceeded to confuse things. But it is that simple. God said not to do something. They did it. He was angry. He proved He was angry by punishing them with departure from the garden and cursing all participants. He told them they were lost by promising them a savior. It is so very clear.

Back to the Rabbi: “Eating from the tree was not an act of rebellion against G-d, nor was it succumbing to their appetite, for they had no desires other than to serve G-d. The choice they had was between one holiness and another. Their motivation came from their G-dly souls. It is known as the “sin” of the tree for sin means stepping down from an innocent place to a lower place, and they certainly did — not out of weakness but out of devotion to their mission.”

Of course they had desires other than to serve God, The verse in Genesis 3:6 says so.

And in another HT to Orwell, the rabbi’s treatise on the “new” way to see the story of Adam and Eve is typical doublespeak. The rabbi’s evil conclusion- Rebelling against God is holy.

Doublespeak is language that deliberately disguises, distorts, or reverses the meaning of words. For example, in Orwell’s book 1984, we learn that in the dystopian, atheistic world of Orwell’s future, War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength.

In Rabbi Friedman’s world, Sin is Holy.

Hath God really said…?