So far we have looked at the work of an evangelist with the Message of Christianity, followed by the work of the Teacher beginning with the Discipleship Orientation and ending with a look at what happens when we died that I called “The End.”
In order to introduce the third of the five ministries in the Church, we went to the Old Testament Book of Job to show the problems with a “Teacher-Led Church” and watched Job’s fourth friend (Elihu) doing the ministry work of a Pastor.
Now we are going to continue Exploring Christianity by looking at the Book of Genesis. Our goal is to stop teaching about the work of a Teacher so we can begin teaching about the work of the Pastor, and at certain points along the way we will begin laying a foundation we can use to learn about the ministry of the Prophets.
Now we can begin in the Book of Genesis.
“In the Beginning” (1:1)
In Genesis 1:1 (ESV) the Bible begins by telling us that “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The first thing we need to look closely at is the idea that the universe had a beginning.
In other words, the world we can see around us today has not always been there. This should make us wonder about where the universe came from, and looking back into the past of recorded human history the answer to this question can be divided up into one of two answers.
The first answer is the one presented to us in the Bible: there is a Supreme Being, a God who created the universe and everything in it. The second answer has many different versions that all have one thing in common: there is not a Supreme Being, a God responsible for the existence of the Universe and everything in it.
The followers of world religions that promote the second answer all have an undefined origin story for mankind’s existence, and they also include spirits (I am referring to the gods) whose reason for their existence in this world whose origin is also unclear to us.
I want to give you an example of this, so let’s look at Greek mythology for a moment. The ruler of the Greek gods was Zeus. Zeus had a father named Cronus; and he also had a father named Uranus.
In Greek mythology, the names of Uranus’ parents were Chaos (the father) and Gaia (the mother). Where did Chaos and Gaia come from? In Greek mythology there is no explanation. They simply appeared out of nowhere, and if I really wanted to be bold about this I would tell you they were the result of some ancient cosmic evolutionary process.
The Greek gods were simply the result of evolution in the universe. Now compare that to the God of the Bible, a Creator God whose existence predates the universe when it first appeared “in the beginning.”
My reason for explaining all of this is because we need Pastors to help guide the people who are gathering around the Death, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus Christ to set boundaries in their lives on how they will respond to the influence of ancient myths.
The God of the Bible (Elohim)
Now that we have seen the difference between the God of the Bible and the gods of every other world religion, I want to take a closer look at how God described Himself at this point in the Bible’s story.
This portion of the Bible was written in the Hebrew language, and the word translated into our English Bibles as “God” is the Hebrew word pronounced “El-o-him.” In the mind of a Hebrew, there is only one Elohim, and He is introduced here as the Creator of Heaven and Earth.
By introducing Him as the Creator of Heaven and Earth, He is also being presented as a King with unconditional authority. To state it simply, the “God” or Elohim of the Bible is a Dictator. Now that I have mentioned that, I want you to consider carefully what we read in the English Standard Version of Genesis chapter 1 verse 3:
“And God said, Let there be light, and there was light.”
My reason for explaining all of this is because we need Pastors to help guide the people who are gathering around the Death, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus Christ to understand what God’s place is in our day to day lives.
We need Pastors to help guide people through the problems in our relationships when a lack of sanctification causes one person to recognize God as a dictator while another person disagrees (which is what we saw happening in the Book of Job).
Without Form and Void, and Darkness (1:2)
In Genesis 1:2, the English Standard Version (ESV) tells us that “the earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep.” There is something very important hidden in this statement that I do not want you to miss.
When Moses wrote this in the Hebrew language, he used three words here that I want to help you take a closer look at. The reason we need to take a closer look is because we are examining the foundation of the universe that God built “in the beginning.”
The three Hebrew words Moses used are pronounced To-hu, Bu-hu, and Cho-sek. These three words were chosen to cause a picture to appear in your mind, and I want to make sure you are able to take a good look at it before we move on.
In the English Standard Version of the Bible, Tohu is translated as “without form.” Next to it, we find “Bohu,” which is translated as a “void.” The last one is “chosek” which is translated as “darkness.”
What I want to do next is share some synonyms for these three Hebrew words with you. According to a Hebrew dictionary I have Tohu can also be used to describe desert, while Bohu can describe a place where no one would want to live, and Chosek can describe misery, ruin, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow and wickedness.
That may sound really confusing to you, so let me explain it in simple terms. When the universe first appeared on the scene, it was not the kind of place you would want to live. In its initial condition, it was a place where anything could happen, and I do not mean that in a good sense.
It was a hostile environment that God began making changes to, and each change ended with a proclamation being made that said “and it was good” which brings up a question: why did God lay a foundation for the universe this way?”
The Bible was written to help us understand how God interacts with this world, so we should take a few moments and think carefully about the very first thing we see God doing here. God created a universe that (in its initial condition) could not sustain any form of life.
In order to understand why, we can simply think of the alternative. Instead of creating a universe that could not sustain life, he could have created a world that was as good natured as He is…and then we could survive without Him.
If God had laid a foundation for the universe that was as good as He is, we would never need Him.
By allowing “Tohu, Bohu and Chosek” to be the foundation of the universe, God was able to set things up in a way that would world could remain full of good things as long as we remained loyal to Him. This would be a good time to remind you the Bible presents God as a dictator.
As long as we were obedient to God, we would only be able to know good things in life through our personal experiences as we made the earth our home. I hope you can begin to see the Bible’s main conflict slowly coming into view off in the distance right now.
My reason for explaining all of this is because we need Pastors to help guide the Church through the consequences of what happens in our lives when we make choices that leave us getting lost and confused by the “Tohu, Bohu, and Chosek.”
God is providing us with a process we can study to gain insight into how He works to fill our lives with good things here, at the very beginning of the Bible that can help us understand what Pastors are for.
And God Said, Let There Be Light (1:3)
In Genesis 1:3, the Bible says that God looked at the “Tohu, Bohu, and Chosek” and then He made a decree by saying “Let there be light.” The Hebrew word for light used here is pronounced “Owr” and is presented as a solution to the Chosek (that is “darkness”).
There are a few important details here that I do not want you to overlook. Let’s take a look at the first important detail we are shown here. In the Bible, we are told that God separated the light and the darkness.
This means that the light and the darkness still exists today. God took the darkness (The Chosek) and pushed it out to the very edge of the Universe. If we could travel on a space ship through the universe, we would eventually reach a place where there is nothing but darkness and the water that was mentioned in Genesis 1:2.
The Expanse of the Heavens (1:6)
The next thing we see God doing is to create a barrier around the earth that we would describe today as “the sky.” According to Genesis 1:6 (ESV) the goal here was to separate the waters from the waters.”
What the Bible means here is that God wanted some of the water that filled the entire universe (see 1:2) to be trapped in the Earth’s atmosphere while the rest of the water was pushed out to where the “Chosek” (the darkness) is right now.
The Dry Land (1:9)
The next thing we are told is that God spoke and His decree caused all of the water to “be gathered together into one place” and as a result “the dry land” would appear. According to Moses, there was a time when the Earth had one ocean and one super continent.
The existence of a single super continent began to be taken seriously when a German scientist named Alfred Wegener began arguing for the need to begin doing research on this topic back in year 1912 of the Common Era. That was when scientists began searching for evidence of something the Bible has been saying to Christians and Jews for centuries.
I will have more to say about this later, my only reason for mentioning it now is to show the Bible accurately describes what the scientists began looking for back in 1912 a few thousand years earlier.
Plant and Fruit Trees (1:11)
At the same time a super continent was formed, God also made another decree allowing plants and fruit trees to begin to exist on the earth. We are told in Genesis 1:11-12 (ESV) that each plant was designed with the ability to create more of itself “according to their own kind.”
The very first plants and fruit trees would have grown very fast in order to fulfill their purpose of being a food source for the birds, land animals and people who God would make later. God wanted to provide a reliable source of food on the earth before it was needed.
God also intended for there to be enough food for the plants to continue reproducing after the birds, animals and people He was going to create would have eaten several months worth of meals. There needed to be more “seeds” available for growing new plants after the animals and people had enough to eat.
Lights in The Expanse of The Heavens (1:14)
I want to stop here and look at what skeptics consider to be an inconsistency in the Bible’s story: how could light exist in the universe without a source? That is actually a really good question. It is such a good question that I want to give you an answer. My answer is that I do not know.
What the Bible describes here is a miracle happening on an astronomical scale, and we have to respect the inequality between God the Creator and people as His Creation. This does not mean that we have nothing available to investigate.
Anyone wanting to be intellectually honest would simply examine the Hebrew text and discover a surprise in the Genesis account. This is one place where the English versions of the Bible fail to explain the meaning of the Hebrew text in every translation I have had a chance to read carefully in the past.
In Genesis 1:3, our English Bibles use the word “Light” as a translation of the Hebrew word “owr.” This causes a problem because the word “light” used in Genesis 1:14 is the Hebrew word “mateo.” The end result is that we have one English word in our Bibles used to translate two different Hebrew words (“owr” in Genesis 1:3 and “mateo” in Genesis 1:14).
The “mateo” refers to the Sun, the Moon and the Stars. How can there be a light (an “owr”) without a “mateo?” It would require a miracle, and miracles are pretty easy for the God of the Bible to provide.
So light can exist without a source, but God went ahead and added a different kind of light that comes from a source (in this case, the source is the Sun, the Moon and the Stars). In this part of the Bible we are also told that God gave them authority over our lives. The amount of light they provide controls several aspects of our lifestyle – especially for those of what who grow crops for a living.
There is one final note about the Sun, the Moon and the stars: God intended to use them as “signs,” which is something we will take a closer look at later when we come to the parts of the Bible that share information about how God used them as “signs.”
The Fish and the Birds (1:20)
The next thing we see God doing is creating animals that live underwater along with animals that can fly through the sky. When God finished creating the fish and the birds, He engaged in another activity that we have not seen Him do up to this point: He blessed them.
A blessing is a decree made by God setting boundaries for the Divine Council of the Elohim to follow. I realize I have not mentioned the Divine Council of the Elohim so far, but we are going to run into them soon enough because they were eye witnesses of everything we have read about in Genesis so far.
If you ever wondered why God created birds first, the answer is really simple. God did that so they could begin leaving fruit on the ground for land animals that could not climb trees to find and eat, before the land animals became hungry and were in need of food.
God was thinking that far ahead.
The Living Creatures on the Earth (1:24)
Now we are told that God created every kind of animal that lives on land. For his final act, God created a man, and He used a blessing to make a decree for the Divine Council of the Elohim to follow. The decree stated that mankind was given authority over every other form of life on the earth.
This decree God made is recorded for us in Genesis 1:18.
Today there are some people who violate this decree by demanding that animals not be seen as potential resources to provide for people’s needs. We need Pastors to help guide the Church away from this way of thinking.
God Created Man (1:26)
God took the initiative to define the role that men and women would have in the world He was building for us to be our home. God taught the first man he could survive by living in a vegetarian diet; and that same food plan would provide all the nutritional needs of every land based animal and bird.
The Sabbath (2:1)
Moses intended for the first three verses of Genesis chapter 2 to be the end of the origin story He wrote down in Genesis chapter 1. Looking at these three verses as the end of what we are told in Genesis 1 can provide an interesting perspective on the direction the story is headed.
Everything we have seen so far in the Bible is explaining how God laid the foundation for the universe; which included the idea of resting on the Sabbath day. God pronounced a blessing on the Seventh day to make a decree for the Divine Council of the Elohim to follow.
The reason God included this in the foundation of the universe was because He wanted to make a provision for people to have a chance to rest before it was needed. God’s foreknowledge of human history allowed Him to see that mankind was going to need this IF mankind became corrupt and began living in disobedience.
The decree God made here is still being used by the Divine Council of the Elohim to compensate for the weaknesses we experience as a result of the corruption in human nature and our disobedience. God put this here so the Divine Council of the Elohim could make plans without working us to death along the way.
God was thinking that far ahead.
The Seven Days of Creation (2:3)
How long did the Seven Days of Creation last?
The Bible tells us that all of this was done in seven literal 24 hour days; and there are some people who find that hard to believe. The Hebrew word Moses used here refers to a 24 hour period that begins and ends when the sun sets in the sky.
That explanation is so simple a child could understand it, but some of us are so broken by the corruption that exists in human nature that we cannot trust the eye witness testimony Moses received from God about how God made our entire world out of nothing.
We need Pastors to organize prayer meetings to ask God for insight into how we can help people who are broken become content with the explanation we are given by God; an explanation that is so simple a child could understand it.
The Second Creation Story (2:4)
In Genesis 2:4 (ESV) we are told that “These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created.” So we find two very different versions of the Creation story presented in Genesis. The fact that we got two versions has been misunderstood by some Church leaders in the past, so I want to take a moment and explain why we were given two different versions.
The first version (found in Genesis 1:1 to 2:3) was written to explain who the God of the Bible is. We are presented with the existence of an uncreated Creator God. The wisdom and power of a single spirit is presented to us as the reason everything in the universe exists.
When Moses did that, he was writing something very culturally insensitive here. If we could go back in time and talk to the people who lived in the past, we could ask them who their god is. They would answer by saying “my god is the sun (or the moon, or the river, or the mountain).”
Then we come and talk to Moses. We ask him, Moses is your god the mountain? Moses responds by saying No, my God is not the mountain. My God creates mountains, and suns and moons and stars and rivers and plants and animals.
This is a very culturally insensitive claim being made here. As we get farther into the story, I will explain why people began worshiping the sun, the moon, the rivers and the mountains. For now I want to remain focused on the reason there are two creation stories.
To state the reason simply, the first Genesis story displays the glory of God, and the second one displays the glory of mankind as creatures that bear the image of God.
The LORD God (Yahweh Elohim)
There is one important details here that I do not want you to miss. In Genesis chapter one, we can read about God, but in Genesis chapter two we can read about the LORD God. I want to explain why Moses replaced “God” in Genesis chapter 1 with “The LORD God” in Genesis chapter two.
The reason Moses replaced “God” (Elohim) with “The LORD God” (Yahweh Elohim) is Moses wanted to recognize the presence of the Divine Council of the Elohim in the Creation story. The Bible presents the spirits that we commonly call angels as eye witnesses of the Creation week.
In Job 33:4-7 (ESV) God mentions the spirits that we commonly call angels were watching him do all of the work described in Genesis chapter one: “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements – surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”
So if you ever wondered when God crated the angels, the book of Job lets us know they were all there with God “in the beginning” (Genesis 1:1). So Moses decided to replace God (Elohim) with the LORD God (Yahweh Elohim) to introduce the Divine Council of the Elohim.
So while God is the Elohim of Moses, there are other elohim in the world as well. As we continue moving through the Bible, I will show you where they have been hiding in plain sight when we get to parts of the Bible that present them to us.
The Garden of Eden (2:8)
The Bible tells us that God created a Garden in the land of Eden. This Garden was designed to be a home for mankind, a place where people would be able to meet with God and the Divine Council of the Elohim on a regular basis.
God was laying the foundation for a Kingdom, and the Kingdom He was building had three parts to it: the first part was God the King, and the other two parts were His servants: The Divine Council of the Elohim and mankind.
The Garden of Eden was a place where the three of them could meet to talk.
This is why the ancient myths all had some kind of place where “the gods” meet on a regular basis, but mankind was not allowed to go. The ancient myths are all misunderstood memories of the Garden in the land of Eden, a place in the ancient world where we are not allowed to go anymore.
Where Was the Garden Located? (2:10)
The myths of the past tell different stories about where “the gods” made their home. In Greek mythology, “the gods” lived on top of Mount Olympus; a place where people could not go. In ancient Persian mythology, “the gods” lived in a garden that was hidden from people.
These two examples provide clues for us to consider when we want to know where the Garden of Eden was located. It would be a place where a garden could be grown, and there would be mountains that people cannot easily cross on foot nearby.
When we read the Bible, we must also consider there would be one river in the Garden as well. This one river would eventually break up into four different rivers, whose names are mentioned in Genesis chapter 2 verses 10 through 14.
The Hebrew names of the rivers are the Tigris, the Euphrates, the Gihon and the Pishon, although they have different names in different languages that those who live nearby use today, which present a challenge to confirming their location.
In addition to that, the Garden of Eden would also have to be a place near the Fertile Cresent, that part of the Middle East where historians and archaeologists have found the world’s oldest human settlements.
Interestingly enough, there is a place that meets all of these conditions.
Within the borders of Iran, there is a mesa surrounded by mountains on the north and south. The mountains make it impossible for someone traveling on foot to reach the top of the mesa. The only way to get there on foot is on a land bridge located on the eastern side of the mesa (which is where the Bible says that God put the only entrance to the Garden).
The mesa itself has a single river on it. The water of the river flows naturally to the west, right off the side of the mesa, into a marsh like swamp land that has been cultivated for use as farmland. Before it was cultivated by modern farming techniques, the river water would flow west from the mesa into Lake Urmia, which would also overflow into the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.
In the ancient world, anyone standing on the land bridge on the eastern side of the mesa would have to walk for an hour or two to reach the Fertile Crescent where historians have found the world’s oldest human settlements.
Today there would be nothing left of the Garden for us to see because it was all washed away by Noah’s Flood. On top of the mesa there is a city named Tabriz that stands where I believe the Garden of Eden used to be, in case you want to take a look for yourself.
The Two Trees in the Garden (2:16)
As soon as the man was brought to the Garden, God spoke to him. The message God shared has been recorded in Genesis 2:16-17, which says this in the ESV: “You may surely eat from every tree of the garden, but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
With this statement, God has given the first man to ever live an opportunity to make a choice on how he wanted to live his life. Would he embrace the good things that God created or the “tohu, bohu and chosek” that God separated from the place He intended for us to live?
As our representative, the first man who ever lived had to choose which part of the universe’s foundation that the entire drama of human history would use as a stage. So there were two trees in the Garden – The Tree of Life would allow mankind to embrace all of the good things God has created, and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil would allow mankind to embrace the “tohu, bohu, and chosek” as the foundation for human history.
Naming the Animals (2:19)
Before the first man could choose to embrace all of the good things God had created or to embrace the “tohu, bohu, and chosek” as the foundation of human history was one thing that needed to be done. God wanted the first man to pick names for all the animals.
In Genesis 1:28 we are told that God intended for mankind to have dominion over all the animals that lived on the earth. By giving the animals names, God was allowing the first man to have the authority to decide if “tohu, bohu, and chosek” would dominate their future existence as well as his own.
The First Woman (2:21)
The very last thing God did was to create the first woman who ever lived. This took place after the first man who ever lived had finished choosing names for the animals. The first woman was created as a being of equal worth to the man, but she was given a different set of responsibilities than the ones God assigned for the man.
The Marriage Relationship (2:23)
The only social custom that God introduced while mankind was allowed to live in the Garden of Eden was the concept of marriage. In the original language we can find God’s thoughts on the marriage relationship.
A marriage is a relationship between two people. One of those people is an “ish” (a man) and the other is an “i-shaw” (a woman). Before the first man who ever lived chose the “tohu, bohu and the chosek” to be the foundation of human history, a marriage relationship required an ish and an i-shaw.
So the first man who ever lived took the first woman who ever lived to be his wife. As a result of this God’s agenda for marriage was shown to the Divine Council of the Elohim, and it was also celebrated in the world’s first piece of poetry:
“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh and my flesh;
she shall be called woman,
because she was taken out of Man.”
-Genesis 2:23 (ESV)
The Serpent (3:1)
In Genesis chapter 3 verse 1, a new character introduced as “The Serpent” appears out of nowhere, unless you are familiar with the existence of the Divine Council of the Elohim. The Serpent was a member of the Divine Council who saw God creating the universe in seven days.
The Serpent came and spoke to Eve about the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil as a member of the Divine Council who served God. This is why Eve was willing to trust him.
The Serpent’s Description of God
Before we begin looking at the conversation the Serpent had with the woman, there is one important detail that Moses shared with us that I do not want you to miss. Up to this point in the Book of Genesis, we have seen God described in two different ways.
The first way was “elohim” used in Genesis chapter 1, and the second way was “Yahweh Elohim” used in Genesis chapter 2. When we see the Serpent talking about God in Genesis chapter 3, was God spoken of as an “Elohim” or as “Yahweh Elohim?”
What about the woman? Was God an “Elohim” or Yahweh Elohim” in her mind? While I do want to avoid putting every word under close examination, these kinds of details I just mentioned here are worth taking a closer look at.
So what do we find in the Hebrew text?
In Genesis 3:1 the Serpent refers to God, and the Hebrew word used is “Elohim.” When the woman responds to the Serpent, she also uses the word “Elohim.” Let’s look at it in context. Moses used “Yahweh Elohim” to emphasize how God is different from the rest of the “Elohim” – the members of the Divine Council that we commonly call angels.
The Serpent would have understood that difference, but used “Elohim” as a term for God to hide the difference when he spoke to the woman. It is also somewhat concerning to see that God was an “Elohim” in her mind instead of “Yahweh Elohim” as well.
Did God Say…
Before we get into the conversation the Serpent had with Eve, we should take a moment and take a closer look at all of the information the first man had been given by God to prepare them for this moment.
They actually had enough information to avoid making the world a place full of “tohu, bohu, and chosek.” Let’s take a closer look at what they had been told by God.
The first piece of information the first man was given is found in Genesis 1:28 (ESV), where God told the first man to “fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion.” The implication here is that not everything in their environment was trustworthy. At some point in the future, mankind would have to restrain the free will of someone or something they found on the earth.
The second piece of information the first man had is found in Genesis 2:16 (ESV) which says “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
Looking closely at this, I want to point out to you that God did not mention the serpent at all. God did not tell the first man to subdue the serpent and have dominion over it. God did not give a clear explanation of which direction the danger would come from.
Since God did not give a clear explanation, the Serpent could have made a different choice: he still had the freedom he needed to avoid behaving the way he did in Genesis chapter 3. Now that we have taken a good look at Genesis 1:28, we need to stop and take a good look at the information we are given in Genesis 2:16.
In Genesis 2:16 the first man was given a warning about eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The first man was told he and his wife could do anything they wanted with the other trees of the Garden (including the Tree of Life), but this one tree was something God did not want to share with them.
Since we see the Serpent asking the first woman about the instructions they were given about the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, it would be wise to remember that the Serpent and other spirits that we commonly call angels are not all knowing.
They have to learn things the same way that men and women do.
So when the Serpent seemed confused about what God’s expectations were, it was a normal response to correct the misunderstanding one loyal servant of God had about the instructions given to another loyal servant of God.
Now let’s consider for a moment the different choices that the first woman could have made here. The first choice was to tell the Serpent to go ask her husband for an answer. A second and even better choice would have been to ask God to come and answer the Serpent’s question, for we have been told in Genesis 3:8 that God walked around in the Garden. The first woman actually made a third choice to speak as someone who represented God herself. The main problem with that is that she misunderstood what God’s instructions were.
The first woman added the idea that they were not allowed to touch the fruit. When the Serpent heard that, he became really bold because he understood the woman had not been paying attention to God’s instructions.
This is still a problem today. We are not born knowing what God’s instructions are, and we need Pastors to help us make a conscious choice to try and learn in order to avoid misunderstanding God’s instructions. If we depend on ourselves the way the first woman did, we are going to be misled by evil spirits the same way she was.
If that was not enough, the woman managed to mislead her husband as well. While I do consider this to be toxic femininity, the bigger point here is that the closer to someone we are, the less restraint our will power has.
It is almost impossible to say no to those closest to you. The reason for that is that the people closest to you in your family and among your friends can become stronger than your will power as an individual.
This is why we need access to a Pastor’s supervision. The woman did not ask for her husband’s advice. She also did not think to ask for God’s advice and as a result the world became a place full of “Tohu, Bohu, and Chosek.”
As a result of embracing “Tohu, Bohu, and Chosek” the first man and woman began to experience insecurities that motivated them to hide from each other “and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin clothes.” (Genesis 3:7 ESV)
Where Are You? (3:9)
After the first man and woman embraced “Tohu, Bohu and Chosek” by eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, they began to experience a deep insecurity towards the Presence of Yahweh Elohim and went to hide.
While they were hiding, God took the initiative to be reconciled with them. God’s method involved putting them both through some painful self examination that would allow the first man and woman to understand how much human nature has changed.
Today, this kind of painful self examination is something we need Pastors for.
The LORD God Speaks (3:14)
When God speaks to the Serpent, the woman and the man about the consequences of their actions, Moses uses the Hebrew “Yahweh Elohim” to describe God. Using “Yahweh Elohim” instead of “Elohim” makes a distinction between God and the Divine Council of the Elohim.
The distinction between them will become more obvious the further we get into the Bible, but the basic idea begins right here, before our ancestors were exiled from the Garden of Eden. When God speaks, He is making decrees about what will happen in the future to the Serpent, the woman and the man.
God is explaining some new rules He is making for the members of the Divine Council to follow. The point here is to let the rest of the spirits who attend the Divine Council meetings know how to deal with the changes that have happened here.
The Serpent will be despised; the woman will suffer in child birth and in her relationships, mainly with her husband. The man will have to work hard until his strength eventually fails and he dies.
The spirits who served on the Divine Council would have to keep these things in mind as they worked to fulfill their obligation and responsibilities toward the advancement of human history.
Replacing Their Loin Clothes (3:21)
When Adam and Eve realized that human nature had changed, their initial response was to make clothing out of fig leaves to wear in self defense. In the English speaking world, this is still being done today by the followers of Joseph Smith in Utah. When it was time for Adam and Eve to be reconciled with God, God came and took their fig leaf lion clothes away and replaced it with animals skins.
Into Exile (3:24)
We see God explaining the change that has occurred in human nature to the Divine Council, and God lets the members of the Divine Council know that Adam and Eve cannot be allowed anywhere near the Tree of Life.
Adam and Eve were exiled from the Garden, and after they were gone, we are told a Cherubim was placed on the land bridge allowing access into the Garden with a weapon he could use to kill anyone who came back for the Tree of Life.
On a side note, I think it would be a good idea to take a few minutes to consider how the presence of the Divine Council fills in a lot of the plot holes in the story so far. The appearance of the Serpent, the willingness of Adam and Eve to trust the Serpent, and the unnamed cherubim guarding the entrance to the Garden of Eden make more sense when the Divine Council of the Elohim is standing in the background of our minds when we read the text.
The Cast of Characters So Far
Now that Adam and Eve have gone into exile, we need to stop and take a good look at the Cast of Characters so far. There are a few important lessons hidden in this that I wan to unpack for you, but let’s look at a list first. There are some important questions we need to ask about the cast of characters, so here is a list of them for you:
- The Divine Council members
- The Serpent
Now we can ask two important questions about the cast of characters.
The first important question is this: were Adam and Eve the first two people who ever lived? According to the eye witness testimony recorded in the Bible, the answer is yes.
In Genesis 2:20 (ESV) we are told “the man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.” The Bible is very clear on this issue – that Adam and Eve were the first man and woman to ever live on the earth. Let me be very clear on this – if Adam was not a real sinner, then Jesus Christ cannot be a real savior because Jesus Christ came to fix what Adam (and Eve) allowed to be broken, and if Adam was not a real person then Jesus Christ died for nothing.
This is not complicated.
The second important question is this: were Satan and his demons in the Garden of Eden?
I have heard many times over many years that Satan and his demons were there in the Garden of Eden, because in the last book of the Bible (The Revelation) we are told that the Devil and a third of the angels fell from heaven.
The question is when exactly did they fall?
A carefully reading of the Book of Genesis will show that there is only one evil spirit active in the world at this point in human history, and his name is the Serpent. All of the other fallen angels spoken of in the Revelation were still members of the Divine Council that were loyal to God at the end of Genesis 3, although we will see them stop being loyal to God later on. I will not let you miss such an important historical event.
Now we can begin to look at what happened in Genesis 4.
The Divine Name of God (4:1)
Before we begin to look at Cain and Abel, I have one very important detail to share with you about the lives of Adam and Eve after they left the Garden of Eden. In Genesis 4:1 Eve says “I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD.” This is important because while they lived in the Garden, Even spoke about God as “Elohim,” but now that she is in exile she speaks of God as “Yahweh.”
The Difference between God and the other members of the Divine Council has become painfully obvious to Eve (and to her husband). So God is referred to as “Yahweh,” instead of Elohim or even Yahweh Elohim, two titles which emphasize his place in the Divine Council.
Having been exiled, they no longer have any confusion about God’s place in this world. Eve no longer thinks of the Serpent or any other member of the Divine Council as being “equal” to God.
With The Help of the LORD
In Genesis 3:1 (ESV) we are told that Even became pregnant and gave birth to a son “with the help of the LORD.” When I take a good look at the cast of characters I shared earlier, a question comes to mind, and that question is “who on this list was the world’s first midwife?”
We only have 4 choices: God, Adam, The Serpent and the members of the Divine Council. Which of these four would have understood the birthing process and been willing to show Eve some love by guiding her through it?
If you look at it that way, there is only one person who could have helped Eve. We know from other parts of the Bible that God had some strict rules to follow concerning how women recover from being pregnant, but his love for Eve was so great that he overlooked his personal preferences to be the world’s first midwife because no one else knew how to do the job.
Cain and Abel (4:2)
At this point, the Bible introduces two brothers named Cain and Abel. The story of these two brothers took a very dark turn, but before we get to that I want to tell the story in its proper historical context. So let’s take a good look at the details we are given here in the Bible about these two brothers.
In Genesis 1:28 God had told Adam and Eve to have “dominion,” so let’s take a good look at what Cain and Abel chose to have dominion over. In Genesis 4:2 (ESV) we are told that Cain chose to be a farmer and Abel chose to be a shepherd.
At this point in time, what did these two professions contribute to the dominion of human civilization?
The only contribution to human civilization a shepherd could make was to provide animals used for the sacrifices. In other words, Abel was a worship leader, providing insight into the expectations God had for anyone who wanted to be on His good side. Abel worked full time as a shepherd, which meant all of his time was spent taking care of animals in a world full of vegetarians at a time when God had not given people permission to eat meat yet.
As for Cain, his contribution to human civilization was pretty simple to explain. As a farmer, Cain was fighting to prevent the spread of poverty by providing food to eliminate the threat of world hunger in the lives of people around him.
So when it was time for Cain and Abel to prove their loyalty to God, Abel brought an animal sacrifice and Cain brought some of the crops he had grown to oppose world hunger, only to find that Abel was accept and Cain was rejected.
The kind of work Cain did to improve the lives of other people as a farmer left the real problem of the corruption in human nature unchanged. Providing for the needs of others is not enough to reconcile people to God.
This made Cain very angry. Since Cain was angry, we should take a moment and look at how God tried to resolve the potential problem this anger could and eventually did cause. Our goal for reading and studying the Bible is to discover how God interacts with people after all.
The first detail to notice here is that Cain did not have a conscience.. There was no inner voice in Cain’s heart and mind telling him the truth about his situation. As a result, we see God speaking with an external voice into Cain’s ears trying to point him in the right direction.
We need Pastors to avoid assuming that a person’s conscience can control how people think and put pressure on people in danger of sinning the same way God did here with Cain. It is not safe or wise to just assume that the conscience is able to restrain the corruption in human nature when “sin is crouching at the door.” (Genesis 4:7 ESV)
Now we can look at the death of Abel; and when that is done we can take a few moments to think about the information we are given about the rest of the life of Cain in the larger context of the Bible’s story.
The Death of Abel (4:8)
I think the first question people ask when faced with what happened to Abel is “Why?” With that in mind, I am going to go ahead and tell you why. There are actually two reasons God stood by and watched Cain kill Abel.
The first reason is to let the members of the Divine Council see the depth of the corruption that existed in human nature. We have to remember that the members of the Divine Council were not all knowing spirits like God, and God used this moment to help them become mentally and emotionally prepared for the consequences of what Adam and Eve did in the Garden would have on human history.
The second reason God stood by and did nothing to stop it is because when a person dies, the corruption in human nature is completely removed from their soul and spirit. God’s love for Abel was so deep that God wanted to take him to a place where he could live without the corruption that now exists in human nature.
The quickest way to do that was to stand by and do nothing while Abel’s “civil rights” were being violated because he had chosen to be a worship leader that was loyal to God. If you have read through the notes I prepared for the Book of Job before coming here, you should not be surprised by this.
The reason the story is the first one we are told after Adam and Eve were exiled is because God wanted to set the tone for the expectations for living in this broken world in a very low place for those who choose to be loyal to Him as we celebrate the Hope of the Resurrection.
The Fugitive and Wanderer (4:9)
Now we can look carefully at what happened to Cain. The first thing I want to point out to you about this is that Cain still did not have a guilty conscience over what he did to Abel. Instead of having a guilty conscience speaking in his heart and mind as an inner voice, we see God speaking in his ears as an external influence active in Cain’s life proclaiming his guilt.
We need Pastors to be willing to speak up as an external influence in the lives of people the same way God did here with Cain in order to try and point him in the right direction. Of course, this needs to be done with no assurance the person we are speaking to will listen.
Cain did not want to be held responsible for what happened to Abel. This is why he said “am I my brother’s keeper?” in Genesis 4:9 (ESv). When Cain found out that God was going to hold him responsible for what he had done, he thought God was being unfair.
Cain had misunderstood who God was, and he hated his misunderstanding. I mention this because we need Pastors to identify and isolate people like Cain before people like Abel end up getting hurt.
I have two more thoughts on Cain to share with you. Cain thought God was being unfair in all of this. I want to point this out because we have seen the strong sense of justice Cain feared before; I say that thinking you have gone over my notes on the Book of Job before you started on Genesis.
Just to be clear let me say now that Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar from the Book of Job and Cain in the Book of Genesis all had the same misunderstanding of who God is. Let’s take a look at the details involved in this comparison.
Let me state it as simply as possible: Cain, having committed murder without being influenced by an evil spirit came to think of God the same way that three men who did not murder anyone came to think of God because of an evil spirit.
In the Book of Job an evil spirit came whispering to Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar who never killed anyone and they ended up believing in the same misunderstanding of God that Cain had as a result of being a murderer without the influence of an evil spirit on his mind.
I want to emphasize this because I hope Pastors will encourage the people they supervise in the discipleship process to understand how the corruption in human nature can influence the people around us.
The members of our local Churches need to be told that a murderer named Cain without an evil spirit is just as dangerous as three men named Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar are with an evil spirit even thought they have not murdered anyone in the past.
The second and final thought explains why God chose not to punish Cain with the death penalty immediately. The reason is because God loved Cain. God gave Cain a long life instead of punishing him with the death penalty right way so he would have a chance to repent and be reconciled with God, although we are never told whether they were reconciled or not.
I want to emphasize this because I hope Pastors will use their influence and authority to let the members of the local Church they supervise know that God sometimes allows Cain to “get away with murder” even today so “Cain” will have a chance to be reconciled with God before he dies and join the rest of us in celebrating the Hope of the Resurrection.
The Land of Nod (4:16)
When Adam and Eve were exiled from the Garden of Eden, they traveled to the part of the world known as the Fertile Cresent in modern day Iraq, which was in a south west direction from the entrance to the Garden of Eden (where the city of Tabriz, Iran now sits). They would have made their home between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, which had good land for farming.
After the death of Abel, Cain moved away from the area between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, and traveled back towards the entrance to the Garden of Eden, eventually settling in the mountains which were not a good place for farming.
Cain’s Family Tree (4:17)
We are given a brief record of how Cain’s family began to grow. The main thing about this is that it was Cain’s family who took the lead in developing new forms of technology. Cain’s family was the first group of people to be tent makers, ranchers, (which would have involved building fences of some kind), musicians, and blacksmiths who made things out of metal.
That would explain why Lamech wrote a piece of poetry threatening to kill anyone who looked at him the wrong way, along with their entire family because one of his sons was a blacksmith who made swords.
Lamech was also the first man to practice polygamy, he had two wives while the rest of the people alive at the time were still loyal to the one man and woman formula God decreed in Genesis chapters 1 and 2.
While all of that was happening, we are told that Adam and Eve had another son named Seth to fill in the hole that Abel’s death caused. This is another demonstration of God’s great love for mankind.
The First Prayer Meeting (4:26)
In every story, there are certain things that go unspoken on the assumption that they are so obvious it is considered a waste of time to explain them in detail. This leaves gaps that have to be filled in by later generations who hear the stories told while living in a different time and place.
I want to fill in one of those gaps for you right now. Cain’s family had gone to the land of Nod and made their home in the mountains around modern day Tabriz, Iran. These mountains in the land of Nod were good for mining, but could not be used for farming anything.
Because they did not have access to farm land, the future generations of Cain’s family began making weapons with the metal ores they found in the mountains and started using those weapons to steal food from the rest of Adam and Eve’s children in the farmlands between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.
This turn of events got so bad that a prayer meeting began, and the results of the prayers being offered led to Noah’s Flood, an event I will be talking more about very soon.
The Generations of Adam (5:1)
The Bible gives us a genealogy here that moves the historical narrative being told here across ten generations, beginning with Adam and ending with Noah. This particular genealogy has a few important lessons for us about how God interacts with people that I do not want you to miss.
With that in mind, I think the first thing we should pay attention to are the things that each of these ten men have in common. With one exception that we will look at later, each of these men 1) were born, 2) got married, 3) had children and 4) they died.
In order to see the significance of this clearly, I want to help you see these four things in the context of the story written down in the first four chapters of Genesis. God’s original agenda was for mankind to have dominion over the earth. In Genesis 1:28 (ESV) they were told to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.”
God said that was his agenda for mankind, and He has not changed His mind; even after what happened with the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden. To state it simply as possible, the agenda God decreed for mankind in Genesis 1:28 was not cancelled the moment human nature became corrupt.
This is important for us to recognize because when God has an agenda of some kind, that agenda is not cancelled just because we messed everything up. Let me give you an example. I personally believe that God’s agenda for Joel Osteen is for him to be an evangelist. I also believe the corruption in Joel Osteen’s life has compromised his potential and is holding him back. I also believe that God’s goal for Osteen to be an evangelist has not changed, even though Joel Osteen has not been faithful to fulfill the obligations of his ministry assignment.
This is why he has become so well known, even though all of the things holding him back could have been avoided if the local Church he was a part of in the past had just followed the instructions we were given in the Bible about preaching the Gospel and making disciples.
God has an agenda for Joel Osteen’s life that cannot be changed as a result of failure on his part, which is the same thing we see happening in Genesis 5 with the decree God made in Genesis 1:28. The decree in Genesis 1:28 remained unchanged, even though human nature was no longer “pure” in God’s sight.
I wanted to mention this because I believe every false prophet and cult leader was a person God wanted to recruit into the ministry. The reason those “bad people” never made it is because there was a lack of evangelism and discipleship on the part of the Pastors who were guiding the local Churches that these infamous enemies of God were associated with in the past.
There is another concern I have for the ministry of the Pastor; which I promised I would share thoughts on as we began exploring the Old Testament together. Let me show you something else hidden in the genealogy of Genesis 5.
Enoch Walked With God (5:24)
In Genesis 3, God made a decree that death was going to be the fate of every person who ever lived, and yet we find one man named Enoch who was allowed an exemption from the death penalty.
How is that possible? How in the world could God make a decree concerning death and then allow Enoch to be excused from the death penalty? Why is God violating his own standards like this?
At this point in human history it should be obvious why, but the Serpent and the members of the Divine Council were all very confused at the time it happened. However, I have something even more amazing to show you about this genealogy.
The Meaning of the Names
Some of you may be familiar with the idea that in the English language, each name has a particular meaning of some kind attached to it. The same thing is true in the Hebrew language; and I want to give you a Hebrew lesson on the names of the ten men listed in this genealogy.
The names of the ten men in Genesis 5 genealogy are as follows: Adam, Seth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech and Noah. When you recite these names in this order you are actually saying a sentence in Hebrew that I want to translate into English for you.
In English, it says “Mankind is appointed mortal sorrow, but the Blessed God shall come down teaching by His death, He will give the weary rest.” Now what does that remind you of? You do not have to answer that. I just enjoy people’s reaction when they hear about this for the first time. I deeply enjoy helping people see in the opening pages of the Old Testament how far ahead into the future God was thinking.
Relief From Our Work (5:29)
Since I just mentioned how far ahead into the future God was thinking, there is one more thing in this genealogy that we need to take a good look at. This genealogy contains the very first prophetic statement made by a man.
We were already introduced to prophecies given by God in Genesis 3, but this time we see a prophetic statement being given by a man named Lamech. Lamech was Noah’s father, and in some undefined way Lamech knew in Noah’s lifetime that God was going to “bring us relief from our work and from the painful toil of our hands.” (Genesis 5:29 ESV)
The details behind this statement that Lamech made is what we are going to look at next.
The Sons of God (6:2)
In the years leading up to Noah’s Flood, we are told that there was a population explosion. In order to help you understand what that means I want to share a piece of information from a non biblical source.
There was a Jewish historian named Josephus who lived shortly after Jesus died. Josephus was an eye witness to the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem by the Romans, and he began writing books to make a record of things that were considered important to first century Jews.
In one of his books, he mentioned that Adam and Eve had 55 sons and 37 daughters before they died. I want to mention this to give you an idea of how a population explosion could have happened in the ten generations described for us in Genesis 5.
In addition to that, we have another important thing to consider. The Bible tells us that “the sons of God” began paying attention to “human women” and began procreating with them. The “sons of God” mentioned here were members of the Divine Council of the Elohim.
This means the number of evil spirits active in our world has increased from one known as the Serpent to a much larger number that we are never told in the Bible. The question is why did some members of the Divine Council decide to do this?
Back at the end of Genesis 4, I mentioned that “in every story there are certain things that go unspoken on the assumption that they are so obvious it is considered a waste of time to explain them in detail.”
In order to explain why some members of the Divine Council did this, we have to look closely at the information we have been given in Genesis so far, and spot one of the unspoken assumptions that was considered a waste of time to explaining when Moses wrote all of this down.
Here is what you come up with. Back when Seth was born, the sons of Cain had learned how to produce weapons and were running around causing problems as a result. During that time, a prayer meeting began in which people were asking God for help.
The members of the Divine Council saw God listening to those prayer requests for 1,526 years. Think about this for a moment. There was 1,526 years worth of prayer requests for help that God had done nothing about.
The reason God did not answer them is because He wanted the 10 generations I mentioned in “the Meaning of the Names” earlier to be born first. That is what God was waiting for. While God was waiting for the 10 generations to be born some members of the Divine Council of the Elohim grew impatient with Him and decided to try and fix the problem on their own.
Just to be clear, I am not making any of this up. All I have done is read the stories and built a different set of bridges between them that make my version look different from what you may have heard about this part of the Bible in the past.
The 120 Years
While the Sons of God began causing problems, God made a decree that the problems they were causing would be dealt with in 120 years. It was also implied here that God was imposing a new age limit on mankind that the Divine Council would need to consider when they were making their plans to accomplish God’s goals.
The Nephilim (6:4)
The Bible tells us that “The Nephilim were on the earth in those days.” The term Nephilim is a Hebrew word that means “the fallen one(s).” The Bible explains who the fallen ones were by saying “the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.”
The basic idea here is that a group of spirits came to earth and began having children with human women; and that the children they had were “super human.” This basic idea is not limited to the Bible; there are many other ancient documents that tell some version of this. Since I am writing for English speaking people, I would like to offer the stories of Zeus kidnapping, raping and having children with beautiful women from Greek mythology as an example.
I think it would also be wise to mention at this point a second example of stories about the Nephilim that exist outside of the Bible with you. A while back I was doing research on architecture in India and I was surprised to hear the following comment about Hinduism:
“The Hindu gods and goddess were an ancient race of prehistorical giants who died in a worldwide flood.”
The entire Hindu religion is designed to encourage the worship of the Nephilim who died in the Flood; instead of pointing the people of India to the God of the Bible who sent the Flood to bring a really bad situation under control by destroying all of His enemies.
I mention this because I hope the Pastors in your area will begin organizing prayer meetings to pray for the Hindus living in your area to be rescued from their loyalty to the Nephilim by being reconciled with the Christian God after hearing the Message of Christianity.
Having said that, I also want to have a moment of silence right now for the untold millions of people living in India whose loyalty to the Nephilim have kept them away from the God of the Bible.
The Wickedness of Man (6:5)
The influence that the Nephilim had on human civilization allowed the spread of “Tohu, Bohu and Chosek” to overwhelm every part of culture in the ancient world; and when God watched the daily “Tohu, Bohu and Chosek” happening on the earth “it grieved him to his heart.” (Genesis 6:6 ESV).
God disapproves of what was happening, and He decided that He was going to kill everyone alive in the world at that time in order to bring the chaos under control. God decreed that a global flood would take place, and the members of the Divine Council worked for 120 years to set it all up. I will explain more about what actually happened to cause the Flood later.
Noah Found Favor (6:8)
Of all the people alive at the time, there was one man alive who took God seriously. His name was Noah; he was a righteous man who God wanted to save from the global flood that was going to destroy all living things on the earth.
One of the main privileges of being a righteous man is that God shares information with you. Noah was warned of the coming disaster and given detailed instructions to follow that would help him survive the global flood.
Make Yourself An Ark (6:14)
God came and gave Noah instructions on how to build a boat that would allow him to 1) save his family, 2) save every kind of land animal, and 3) store enough food to feed them all. The measurements used for building the ark are called cubits.
A single cubit is the length of a human arm from the elbow to the fingertips. Using our modern systems of measurement, a single cubit is about 20.4 inches or 50.8 centimeters. That would have made the length of Noah’s Ark about 510 feet long. The width was about 85 feet and the height was about 51 feet.
According to the fossil record, Noah would have had to take 1,318 different kinds of animals with him on the Ark. Then as those animals were released into the wild after the Flood, the process of Natural selection would have developed the kind of genetic diversity we see in the world today.
The animals Noah took with him would have been very young. Having one year old animals would have saved a lot of room on the Ark, and it also would allow for several years worth of mating seasons to happen for the handful of animals who came off of the Ark after the Flood.
And Rain Fell (7:12)
What exactly caused the Flood? We are told in the Bible that God sent it, but how exactly did He do it? If you have ever wondered, then I have some good news for you. I have prepared a simple, non technical explanation of what happened, and I am going to share it with you right now.
The first thing I want to say about this is that the process of the world wide Flood started with an earthquake. This particular earthquake created a hole in the ground that reached down into the lave deep under the surface of the earth.
The motion of the earth during the earthquake also caused a giant rock to fall into the newly created hole, plugging it up completely. The giant rock that fell into the hole had the bottom part of it submerged into a water reservoir deep underneath the surface of Pangaea.
The lave caused the giant rock to become hot, and the heat caused the water around the middle portion of the rock to boil and turn to steam. Eventually the steam and the boiling water ran out of room in the underground cavern and blew a hole in the surface of the earth sending tidal waves out in every direction. At the same time, the steam began to enter the earth’s atmosphere and as it cooled off it began to rain.
The release of water pressure also caused earthquakes that broke the continental plates up while the Tsunamis coming out of the underground water reservoir carried them off into their current positions at speeds reaching up to about 350 miles an hour; a speed that would allow the collision of the Indian subcontinent’s plate with Asia to create the tallest mountains in the world in just a few minutes.
The Tsunamis caused all of the land based animals to be buried alive in landslides with different kinds of fish that provide us with fossil fuels today. The summary of the Flood I have shared with you is based on a two hour presentation on Geophysics by Dr. Kurt Wise titled “An In-depth Explanation of What Caused Noah’s Flood.”
You can search for this two hour video on the Internet if you want to hear more about this.
Only Noah Was Left (7:23)
How exactly could Noah’s ark survive the Flood? There is a ministry called Answers in Genesis that built a replica of Noah’s Ark we can look at. It was built according to the measurements I shared earlier so that visitors could get a visual example of its actual size.
Note: There are people standing on the left side of this picture.
But is a ship that size actually seaworthy?
The answer is yes, it was sea worthy. Could God, with his infinite intelligence, really be so bad at the science of shipbuilding? The only reasonable answer is no, but we still have to ask how could a wooden boat survive the earthquakes and Tsunamis that were happening when the continental plates broke apart and began traveling up to 350 miles an hour?
The scientific answer is that a calm belt would develop at the Earth’s equator while all of the chaos is taking place. The earth’s rotation would create a place near the equator that Noah’s ark could find smooth sailing because water from the southern hemisphere would collide with water from the northern hemisphere and create a calm belt on the water’s surface.
God Remembered Noah (8:1)
When the lava was no longer heating the underground water reservoirs and the earthquakes that followed finally stopped, the water would begin to flow downhill and settle into the lowest places it could find when the continents stopped moving. This would slowly allow land to reappear, although there would be less land available because the underground water now rested on the earth’s surface.
The Raven (8:6-7)
When the tops of the mountains became visible, Noah had no way of knowing what the environment outside of the Ark was like, so he decided to release a raven to investigate. The Raven is a kind of bird who can make itself at home in any kind of environment. They tend to be scavengers who will eat anything, and they are not afraid of trying to land on an object that is constantly moving as it floats on water.
This is why the Raven did not return to Noah, there were trees that had been torn up by their roots everywhere, and the rocking motion caused by water did not scare the Raven at all.
The Dove (8:8)
The Dove however is different than the Raven. Doves are the kind of animal that can be scared by their own shadow. The constant motion of an object floating on the top of water terrifies them, which is why the Dove returned to Noah in the Ark.
The second time Noah sent the dove out, it came back with an olive branch in its mouth. This was important because the very best environments for growing olive plants are in valleys below sea level. The fact that olives plants had begun growing in the nearby valleys helped Noah understand the depth of the water around the Ark.
When the Dove was released a third time, the dove did not return because the constant motion of fallen trees and other debris over the surface of the water had stopped.
Leaving The Ark (8:18-19)
When the dove did not return, Noah decided to open the Ark, but he chose not to leave because the ground was still covered with mud. It would take another month for the mud to dry up enough for the ground to be safe to walk on.
When it was safe to walk on. Noah began to release all of the animals so they could begin reproducing and take their place in nature as the world was being born again.
Then Noah Built An Altar (8:20)
This is the first time in the Bible we see “burnt offerings” being made. The Hebrew word in the text that describes what Noah did as soon as he came off the Ark is the same word Moses used to describe the offerings we can read about in Leviticus chapter one.
Another interesting thing here is that this is the second time in the Bible we can read about the existence of clean animals, another idea that Leviticus will explain in great detail. The first time we see a reference to the idea of clean and unclean animals appeared when God was giving instructions to Noah about which animals he could take with him on the Ark.
God told him to take a single pair of every “unclean” animal along with seven pairs of every “clean” animal. This would allow the “clean” animals to be used in sacrifices when Noah came off the ark without making the “clean” animals become extinct.
The main point here is that the knowledge of “clean” and “unclean” animals was available before the Flood. Noah knew about this several centuries before Moses wrote it down and built the Tabernacle.
Noah and the Names of God
Here is another interesting thing that I do not want you to miss. Did you notice that in the story of Noah’s Flood, there are two different words used to describe God? We have seen both of them a lot up to this point, but I am going to mention this because I want you to pay attention to the difference between the times we see “Elohim” and the times we see “Yahweh” show up in the life of Noah.
Moses switched back and forth between “Elohim” and “Yahweh” constantly, and we should take a moment to think carefully about why. So let’s take a moment to slow down and look carefully at when “Elohim” and “Yahweh” are being used.
It was “Yahweh” who spoke in Genesis 6:3 (ESV) and said “My spirit will not abide in man forever; his days will be 120 years.” “Yahweh” is speaking here to share a point of view that the members of the Divine Council could not see because they are not all knowing spirits.
It was also “Yahweh” that found favor with Noah in Genesis 6:8 (ESV).
Yet in Genesis 6:9 (ESV) we are told that Noah walked with “Elohim.” The use of Elohim here in Noah’s life points back to the Divine Council members who were loyal to God. When God made a decree that He was going to “destroy” all life on the earth in Genesis 6:13 (ESV) we see God is “Elohim” because He is working with other members of the Divine Council.
Genesis 7:1 let us know that “Yahweh” told Noah it was time to get on the ark; the other members of the Divine Council of the Elohim had finished all the preparations for the event, but only “Yahweh” had the authority to decide when the Flood began.
When Noah was gathering the animals to take with him on the Ark, it was “Elohim” who commanded him which animals to take, but “Yahweh” closed the door of the Ark in Genesis 7:16. This makes me wonder if some of the members of the Divine Council came down to earth and brought the animals to Noah that he took with him on the Ark.
It was “Elohim” who remembered Noah and the animals on the Ark, so I wonder if God and the Divine Council “made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided” according to Genesis 8:1 (ESV).
“Elohim” told Noah when it was safe to leave the ark, but it was “Yahweh” who smelled the burnt offerings and was pleased by it. Did God and the Divine Council of the Elohim tell Noah when it was safe to get off the Ark in Genesis 8:15, while Genesis 8:20 tells us that “Yahweh” alone – without the rest of the Divine Council – received worship at the altar Noah built?
In Genesis 9, Moses wrote that “Elohim” – God and the members of the Divine Council – who decided to apply the Genesis 1 mandate to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” to Noah and his sons. All the future goals God had and the future plans that the Divine Council would propose to achieve those goals would allow Noah to stand in Adam’s place.
I Establish My Covenant (9:9)
God decided to make a covenant with Noah, which means the concept of a covenant was something people understood before the Flood. God was proposing an idea that Noah would have been familiar with in order to help Noah and his sons understand what they could expect from God.
Interestingly enough, the term Moses used to describe God in the part of the Bible where the Covenant is being explained is not “Yahweh” but “Elohim” because God was setting a standard for Himself and the members of the Divine Council to follow in the future.
The use of “Elohim” continues when God sets a rainbow in the sky, because it was a sign for mankind and the members of the Divine Council to observe in the future as they work to make plans on how to accomplish God’s goals.
Changes To Human Culture
God allowed two major changes to happen in human civilization as a result of the Flood. The first major change God made was one that allowed people to eat meat in order to survive.
UP tot his time, everyone who wanted to be loyal to God followed the vegetarian diet described in Genesis chapter 1. Of course we should recognize that there were plenty of other people alive who did whatever they wanted without any consideration of God’s decree in Genesis 1.
But since all the fruits and vegetables had been washed away by the Flood, and they needed some time to begin growing again God made a concession and approved of eating meat so Noah and his family would not starve to death while they had to wait for the next harvest to begin. This would cause animals to instinctively fear the presence of mankind in order to prevent animals from becoming extinct.
The second major change involved the use of the death penalty. God was giving people permission to use the death penalty. The future generations of mankind could use violence to discourage the spread of violence which had made the earth a horrible place to live before the Flood.
A Man of the Soil (9:20)
After the Flood, Noah had an incident where he had a little too much to drink and passed out. While hew as lying on the ground in a compromised position, one of his sons saw him and when to go tell his two brothers about it.
The Hebrew word that Moses used here when it says Ham “told” his brothers is the kind of word that carries the idea of speaking in public with the intention of embarrassing someone. The language Moses used here strongly suggests that Ham thought what he had seen was funny, and wanted his two brothers to have a chance to laugh at their father.
His two brothers did not think it was funny, and they took steps to protect their father’s dignity; and when Noah became sober, he responded to what each of his sons had done.
Noah’s response to each of his three sons is a very important part of mankind’s history. When we read what the Bible says about Noah and his sons, we are examining God’s memories of the past. God’s reason for sharing these particular memories with us is because He wants to show us how He rules the world as a dictator.
I have mentioned many times already the existence of the Divine Council of the Elohim, and the information we are given here had a huge impact on how the Divine Council makes plans in order to accomplish God’s goals.
Noah was a member of the Divine Council, and as one of God’s representatives he pronounced two blessings and a curse on the future generations of his family. These words that Noah spoke were used by the Divine Council to make plans on how to accomplish God’s goals.
Cursed Be Canaan (9:25)
Let’s take a look at what we can learn about the way God and the Divine Council work together by taking a good look at the curse that was placed on Canaan by Noah. The first question we should be asking is this: “are curses even a real thing?”
The Bible’s answer to that is yes. Yes, curses are real. We have already seen God place a curse on the Serpent, as well as Adam, Eve and the Universe. But what about curses like the one we see Noah making here over the future generations of his grandson?
In the Bible, we are told that Ham spoke with the intention of embarrassing his father in public. Why did Noah choose to pronounce a curse on his grandson instead of his own son Ham?
If we look closely at what the Bible says the answer becomes obvious. God had already pronounced a blessing on Shem, Ham and Japheth that would allow them to “be fruitful and multiply, increase greatly on the earth and multiply in it” (Genesis 9:7 ESV)
God had already made a decree for the Divine Council to follow, and that particular blessing set the agenda for the growth of the future generations of the families of Shem, Ham and Japheth. That means that Noah, who was standing as mankind’s representative in the Divine Council the same way that Adam did, had to uphold the blessing God already made.
Noah, however, was completely free to place a curse on his grandson(s). Since Noah was a member of the Divine Council that could help make plans for the future growth of mankind that God had set as a goal, that curse carried a lot of weight on how the Divine Council made plans for the growth of mankind.
Noah’s words here cast a dark shadow over the future growth of his grandchildren’s future. The other grandchildren of Shem and Japheth who were not cursed could marry into the “curse” line of Canaan and then have to live with the burden of being “cursed” as well.
I want to mention this as a warning that I hope the Pastors in your area will share with parents about being careful when we speak about our children. I hope the Pastors in your area will remind people that the Divine Council is always listening carefully to what Fathers (and mother) have to say about the hopes and dreams they have for their children.
The conversations the members of the Divine Council hear us having about our children are used to make plans behind the scenes on how to accomplish God’s goals. So what exactly were the long term consequences of the curse Noah placed on Canaan as a member of the Divine Council?
Now we are getting into some difficult issues because the descendants of Ham eventually made their home on the African continent. What are some of the things that the people living on the African continent are famous for?
The African Slave Trade comes to mind. Where the descendants of Ham whose ancestors had married into the “cursed” line of Canaan being kidnapped and exported as slaves by the other descendants of Ham whose ancestors never married into the “cursed” line of Canaan?
I can totally see that happening as a result of the Divine Council if we recognize that not every member of the Divine Council at this point has mankind’s best interest in mind. This is why I wanted to start exploring the Old Testament writings with the Book of Job .
I was using the book of Job as in introduction so we could see the dark side of the Divine Council’s existence to soften the blow. The African Slave Trade, the Genocide in Rwanda, the poverty, the racism, the apartheid and all of the other problems that people were born and raised in Africa struggle with came as a result of something Noah said as a member of the Divine Council.
I remember how the Americans tried to intervene in Somalia with Operation Restore Hope? What about the Black Hawk Down incident? The members of the Divine Council who used Job to dishonor God were opposed to the American intervention to try and turn Somalia around; and the American government along with the rest of the United Nation peace keepers just gave up and walked away.
Their efforts could not overturn the influence of the evil spirits who are members of the Divine Council that we saw in the Book of Job who get to participate in how plans are made to accomplish God’s goals for human history. One day soon, Noah is going to have a lot of apologies to give to a lot of people for allowing this to happen.
I did not want to talk about this at all, but decided to include it because anyone ordained to the ministry of the Pastor is allowed to influence the planning sessions of the Divine Council. A Pastor has the authority to offer objections to plans presented in the Divine Council by evil spirits to uphold this ancient curse; although Pastors may or may not learn how to participate in the meetings of the Divine Council.
Now that I have resolved an unpleasant subject with an encouraging thought, we can take a look at the blessings that were given to the other sons of Noah, which the Divine Council is still using today to make their plans for human history.
The God of Shem (9:26)
As a member of the Divine Council, Noah was able to influence the plans made for the future generations of Shem’s family in a more hopeful direction. The main thing we are shown here is that the future generations of Shem’s family would have a special relationship with God.
If you look at the genealogies in Genesis you will find that Abraham was a descendant of Shem, and that also means that Jesus was a descendant of Shem as well. The close association God has with the future generation of Shem’s family was simply the result of Noah being a member of the Divine Council.
May God Enlarge Japheth (9:27)
Since Noah was a member of the Divine Council, he would also get to be involved in planning how the Divine Council of the Elohim accomplished God’s goals for the future growth of Japheth’s family. The main contribution Noah made is that Japheth would “dwell in the tents of Shem.”
Noah’s blessing here moved the Divine Council to make plans that allowed the descendants of Japheth who lived in Russia, America, and Europe to prosper in ways that the Church in other parts of the world has not because the Divine Council made a different set of plans on how to support the spread of the Christian faith in other parts of the world.
Generations of the Sons of Noah (10:1)
In Genesis chapter 10 we are given a series of genealogies that is known as “the Table of Nations.” This document maps out the growth of Shem, Ham and Japheth’s families for a few generations before the Bible’s emphasis shifts to the nation of Israel.
There is one very interesting thing I have to share with you about the Table of Nations. There is a scientist named Dr. Nathaniel Jeanson who decided to do a research project on Genetics to try and use DNA to provide evidence that the Table of Nations is a historically reliable document.
His research on Human DNA has actually proven that every ethnic group in the world today began to develop around 4,000 years ago from one of three sources: Shem, Ham and Japheth. Dr. Jeanson’s research has also confirmed that the first “woman” to ever live appeared on the scene about 6000 years ago.
The reliable scientific research on human DNA that Dr. Jeanson has been doing has completely embarrassed the “scientists” who claim that evolution is responsible for the existence of mankind.
If you find this to be interesting and want to take a closer look, you can find Dr. Nathaniel Jeanson online. He has several books he has written for sale and several videos he has made available with Answers in Genesis to watch online for free.
Nimrod and the Tower of Babel (11:1)
There are two stories that appear in Genesis 10 and 11 that are connected. The first is the story of a black man named Nimrod, and the second is the Tower of Babel incident. Let’s take a look at who Nimrod was first.
In Genesis 10:9 (ESV) we are told that Nimrod was a “mighty hunter.” The “mighty hunter” phrase is somewhat confusing to English speaking audiences. I think it would be better if we referred to him as a warlord because in Genesis 10:10-12 (ESV) the Bible says “the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh in the land of Shinar. From that land he went into Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth-Ir, Calah and Resen between Nineveh and Calah; that is the great city.”
In addition to that, it was also Nimrod who decided to built the Tower of Babel. Nimrod’s goal for the Tower of Babel was to become recognized as a member of the Divine Council like Adam and Noah were before him.
God had made a decree that mankind would “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” in Genesis 1:28 (ESV) which was also applied to Noah after the Flood in Genesis 9:27.
So while God had already given instructions for the Divine Council to follow, Nimrod decided to ignore those instructions and set his own goal for God and the Divine Council of the Elohim to follow. In order to bring Nimrod’s ambitions back under control, God set a new goal for the Divine Council to follow.
In Genesis 11:7 (ESV) the Bible tells us that God’s new goal involved confusing their language “so that they may not understand one another’s speech.” This brought all of Nimrod’s ambitions to an end; and people began spreading out and searching for new places where they could live with other people within their own language group.
The confusion of languages required the Divine Council of the Elohim to change the way they operated because mankind no longer had a common language. God began giving the members of the Divine Council assignments to oversee the dcvelopment of the different language groups.
We can read about this in Deuteronomy 32:8 (ESV): “When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he divided mankind, he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the Sons of God.”
When God had finished setting up the new assignments for the members of the Divine Council he did one more thing we need to recognize: God decided to disown mankind. To state it simply, God announced His resignation as the leader of the Divine Council.
God had grown tired of all the corruption, and no longer wanted to be in charge of the mess that human history had become. This should not be a surprise to us if we take the following comment made in Genesis chapter 6 verses 5-6 (ESV) seriously:
“The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.”
So God gave up his throne without losing any of His attributes, and the members of the Divine Council no longer had a “higher power” to guide them. While they were thinking about the implications of God’s resignation, all of the members of the Divine Council were not sure what they were going to do when they had disagreements with their new assignments.
After seeing the potential problems that lay ahead for the Divine Council with their new assignments, one member of the Divine Council who was well respected for his wisdom and glory volunteered to be like the Most High, and one third of the Divine Council members proclaimed their loyalty to him.
The name of the spirit who became the newly appointed leader of the Divine Council was Lucifer…
(to be continued…)
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