Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost

Scripture: Genesis 2:17, Genesis 3:1-24, Genesis 4:1-26
Lesson: 4
Genesis 3 and 4 describe how the world fell into sin and the moral condition of the early Earth.,

A New Revelation DVD and Study Guide by Doug Batchelor

A New Revelation DVD and Study Guide by Doug Batchelor
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For a fresh, practical look into God's Word, join us now for "central study hour." Pastor Doug Batchelor and the pastoral team share new insights into the weekly lesson study. Receive power for practical living today. Good morning. It's nice to see your smiling faces, and we have some visitors this morning. We have another visitor up here.

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You got engaged. Yes, alisa is sitting over here. David got engaged. But he's back with us here at central. And we're gonna start our song service this morning and we're so glad that you're joining us from across the country and around the world watching on television, three weeks delayed, watching live on the internet or listening on the radio this morning.

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In Jesus' Name, amen. At this time our lesson study is going to be brought to us by our senior pastor here at central, Pastor Doug Batchelor. Morning. Thank you, debbie, our musicians. Thank you, David.

Congratulations. That's exciting news. Good to see each of you here this Sabbath morning. And in case you don't know it, we have great weather in Sacramento. I have experienced weather other places this time of year and this is nice.

We are continuing our study in a new quarter series dealing with beginnings and belongings. And some of the most foundational material in the Christian faith, is in this series. Today we're on lesson number four and in just a minute we'll get into that. I was gonna say you can go to the church website which is saccentral.org and you can watch live on the actual day. We stream our services live or you can watch the study of the lesson three weeks in advance when we record it.

Our free offer for today is called, "wonders of creation." For the next few weeks, we're talking about the subject of creation and it's offer number 116. "Wonders of creation," offer number 116. All you gotta do is call -788-3966. And, of course, we not only want to welcome those who are watching on television. We know a lot of people are listening on the radio.

We have a memory verse, the memory verse for study number four. Study four is titled, "paradise lost," and the memory verse is Genesis 3:15. This is the first prophecy in the Bible. And why don't you say that with me? Genesis 3:15, "and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed. It shall bruise thy head and thou shalt bruise his heel.

" A very important foundational, little bit cryptic, prophecy in the Bible. This is talking about the war that would rage between the woman and the seed of the serpent. You know where it says, "seed" there. It's singular. It's not like "seed" in descendants.

It is a specific seed. "The seed of the woman," meaning a certain one and that is Christ. And then, of course, you go to Revelation 12 and it talks about the war between the dragon and the woman. And so it continues there. And this is the battle of the Bible, the ages is between the dragon and the woman.

Now our study today is covering Genesis 3:1 through Genesis 4:26. We're not gonna get through all of that. We'll do our very best. And it begins by introducing this serpent. Why don't you turn in your Bibles to Genesis 3.

And we've got a number of other verses that we'll consider in the process. Someone read for me Genesis 3:1. Where are the microphones? Got one here. Pancho, come to the front. And who else has a microphone? Anyone on this side? Well, it looks like we got one today.

All right. Hold your hand up, mike. You want to read that? Do we have a mic over here? Nope, just one. All right. Genesis 3:1, "now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.

And he said to the woman, 'has God indeed said you shall not eat of every tree of the garden.'" All right. Now in this chapter, we're gonna be talking about--up until verse of chapter 3, everything is good, good, very good. Is that right? There's no sin. There's no death. There's no suffering.

They are in a virtual paradise. Have any of you ever read the classic epic poem by milton called, "paradise lost?" Some of you, if you read it, I bet they told you to read it in college as an assignment. It's a long poem. You can read it for free online. You just go to the internet.

I went there yesterday or the day before and looked it up and just began to read it. I'd read aspects of it before. It is brilliant--how many of you have heard of "paradise lost" by milton? It is considered one of the most brilliant pieces of poetry in the english language. You owe it to yourself to look that up and read at least some clips of it because it is amazing the way it is put together and how much theology, good theology, for the most part, is encapsulated in that epic poem. Old english but it's the beautiful form of old english and it will challenge your vocabulary.

It's an incredible piece. In any event, up until chapter , it was paradise. Then paradise was lost when you begin with chapter 3. Now if you had just started reading the Bible and it says, "now the serpent was more cunning," who do we know the serpent to be possessed by? Satan. Do you know that if you just pick up the Bible if you're a buddhist and you pick up the Bible and you read up to chapter , how do you know who he is? Do you know anything about the devil at this point? He is not introduced yet.

You need to keep reading in the Bible to find out about him. Matter of fact, we learn a lot more about the devil the closer you get to the end of the Bible and through the new testament than you do in the beginning. He's tried to veil himself like the wizard of oz so you don't know who's back there pulling the switches. But the closer you get to the end, you know who it is. The curtain's pulled back and you see who's in the background.

And Jesus talks very plainly about the devil and the work that he does. I'm gonna read some verses to you and maybe you'll help me. Tell you what, I'm gonna get some verses distributed. Mark 1:13, someone make a note of that 'cause I'm gonna ask some people to read. Mark 1:13, Luke 10:18, Corinthians 11:14.

That's 2 Corinthians 11:14. And I'll be reading some from Isaiah and Ezekiel. All right, who has for me the first one, Mark 1:13? Got a hand? Somebody willing? Here's the microphone. Got a hand right here. Okay.

Go ahead. Oh, you got a mic right there. I'm sorry curtis. All right and then somebody else. I want to get you all set up ready to go.

Luke 10:18. Did I see, birdie? You got your hand up? Luke 10:18. You're next. All right. Go ahead.

Mark 1:13. "And he was there in the wilderness 40 days tempted of satan and was with the wild beast and the angels ministered unto him." Did Jesus have very clear hand-to-hand combat with the devil? Here you've got the seed of the woman fighting the serpent there in the wilderness. Now we're gonna go back a little bit, Luke 10:18. Birdie, did you have that one? "He replied, 'I saw satan fall like lightening from heaven.'" Satan in heaven? I didn't think the devil was in heaven, I thought he lived in this flaming cavern under yosemite somewhere. How did he get to heaven? Did God make a devil? Now people normally ask these questions.

To get the history of this a little bit, and I didn't forget about 2 Corinthians 11 but I want to go somewhere first. I'm gonna read this for you 'cause it's a big passage, Isaiah 14. If you read in verse 12, let me tell you how the prophecies frequently work. God begins by talking about an evil earthly power, king, empire. And I'm in Isaiah 14:12.

Then he talks about the evil power behind the political power. In Revelation 12, it talks about how rome tried to kill Jesus, all the babies in Bethlehem. Remember? King herod did that. But it's telling you it was the devil, the dragon behind rome doing that. It was the dragon that tried to kill the Messiah thinking he was coming during the days of Moses when he inspired the pharaoh to kill all the babies and throw them to the Nile.

And then when you read in Isaiah , he talks about the King of Babylon and the evil of that king. And all of a sudden, the prophet goes from that king and he pulls back the veil and he goes to the power behind the King. And suddenly without telling you, now I'm stopping and now I'm starting, his prophecy transitions from the King to the power behind the King which is the devil. "How you are fallen from heaven, o lucifer, son of the morning." That's what Jesus said, he saw satan fall. You read in Revelation 12, there's war in heaven between Michael and his angels and the dragon and his angels.

And the dragon and his angels lost and they were cast out. Was Christ there to see that happen? Some prophecies look ahead, some prophecies look back. In Revelation 12, it's looking back to the war in heaven when satan was cast out and Michael saw that. Christ said, "I saw satan fall like lightening from heaven." "How you are fallen from heaven, o lucifer." His name used to be lucifer. He was the highest of God's angels.

God did not make a devil, he made a beautiful angel. "You were cut down to the ground who weaken the nations. For you have said in your heart--" why did he fall? "I will ascend into heaven. I will exalt my throne above the stars of God." Remember the stars were a type of the angels in Revelation 12. "I'll also sit on the mount of the congregation.

I'll sit over everyone. On the farthest sides of the north, I will ascend above the heights of the clouds. I will be like the most high." Now don't miss that. What was the devil's supreme desire? "I want to be God." Not just like God, he wanted to be God. He wanted God's place.

He wanted to displace God. Now that's important 'cause as you read through his temptation that he offers eve, he offers her the same thing that he wanted. You know something I've discovered about human nature. Have you ever known people that are often looking for the worst in everybody? They always are questioning everybody's motives and they see things in other people? It's typically true they see evil in others that they have in themselves and they automatically superimpose their own motives on other people assuming they think the way they think. And the devil did that with eve.

He said, "I want to be God." I bet you do too if you think about it long enough. And he planted that, his own desires, in her heart. He still operates that way. Tell you what, there's more here but I'm gonna go to Ezekiel real quick in the interest of saving time. Ezekiel 28.

If you ever want to remember these passages, x 14 is 28. So you got Isaiah 14, Ezekiel 28. And I want you to go to-- oh, let's see here. Why don't we start with verse 14. It says, "you were the anointed cherub--" oh, no start with verse 12, sorry.

"Son of man, take up a lamentation for the King of tyrus. Starts with the King and say thus says the Lord God, you were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom, perfect in beauty. You were in eden." No king was ever in eden, no human was ever perfect. "The garden of God. Every precious stone was your covering.

The sardius, the topaz, the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, the jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and the emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and your pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created." He wasn't--people are born. This person is created in eden. It's talking about the devil, perfect. "You were the anointed cherub.

" Now we know. He was one of the covering cherubs by the throne of God. "I established you. You were on the holy mountain of God." What did we just read? We wanted to exalt himself above the holy mountain of God. "You walked back and forth in the midst of the flaming stones.

You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created till iniquity was found in you." God did not have a bad transistor at the factory and he just put it in lucifer and it was defective. God makes everything perfect. God is good. Every gift of God is good, but he makes his creatures free. And really if you ever want to appreciate the freedom that God gives you to love him, you look at the devil.

You realize that God is so honest in giving freedom to his creatures, his intelligent creatures, they can choose not to love him. Even the most intelligent could make that choice. Lucifer is exhibit a. He chose to put himself first and began to entertain these selfish thoughts. It was in him.

He chose to nurture it. Have you seen children before, same parents, same raising, same opportunities? One chooses to serve God and one goes to the world. And they had--they made choices. It's not all preprogrammed as though, "well, it all the environment and it's all the genetics and it's because of the providence and things that happen to them." People make choices. We're living in an age where everybody says, "well, they're the way they are because they're a victim of the way they grew up.

" Well, sometimes circumstances have an influence but everybody has a choice. Haven't we all met people that grew up in the very worst of circumstances and turned into a tremendous person? They just chose not to let the circumstances overcome them. The devil, he had the best of circumstances and he went bad. It's interesting, adam fell in a garden with the best possible opportunities. Jesus overcame in a wilderness starving in the worst environment surrounded by lizards and buzzards.

I mean you can overcome if you want to, right? And if you're bent on falling, you can get put in the best Christian school and still not be a Christian. Isn't that right? You can be in the worst Christian school and turn out a Christian. You can go to public school and still be a Christian. But I'm not saying the circumstances and environment doesn't make a difference, but you can't always blame that. "You were perfect.

" All right. Well, I read that. Now I wanted someone to read for me, 2 Corinthians 11:14. Got a hand right here. Go ahead, curtis, real quick.

We're learning that the devil started out good and he went bad. "And no marvel; for satan himself is transformed into an angel of light." All right, we learned--we had a crash course in the devil. God made a beautiful angel named lucifer. He rebelled because he wanted to be God. There was a war in heaven.

He was cast out. Christ said, "I saw satan fall like lightening. How you have fallen from heaven, o lucifer." And now we've just read that he can transform himself. He was an angel of light, great power. One of the highest of God's created creatures.

Now if he can transform himself into a minister of righteousness, if God can speak through a donkey, can the devil speak through a serpent? And then it goes on back to Genesis 3. I told you we weren't gonna get through this all. It says that the serpent was the most cunning of all the creatures. Now I'm reading--i recommend in reinforcement for this Bible study today, read a classic called, "Patriarchs and Prophets." That is a great book. "Patriarchs and Prophets" by e.

g. White is a--you know there are a lot of pastors out there, they won't tell their congregation because they don't happen to be Seventh-day Adventists, but they've got "Patriarchs and Prophets" in their library and they refer to it frequently 'cause it fills in more gaps than any other book about the origin of sin and the fall. And I suggest you read the chapter called, "the fall." I think it's chapter 3 in that book. So satan can be transformed. In that book, page 53, "in order to accomplish his work unperceived, satan chose to employ as his medium, the serpent.

A disguise well-adapted for the purpose of deception. The serpent was then one of the wisest and most beautiful creatures on the earth. It had wings and while flying through the air, presented the appearance of dazzling brightness having the color and brilliancy of burnish gold. Resting in the rich laden branches of the forbidden tree and regaling itself with the delicious fruit. It was an object to arrest the attention and delight the eye of the beholder.

Thus, in the garden of peace lurked the destroyer watching for his prey." Now as she was engaged in her work of tending the garden, a very delightful work, the work that God gave man before sin was not unpleasant. It was not weary or tedious. It was a joy. And as they were engaged in their work and they went from one task to another going, "ah, oh." I mean it was just a delight working in the garden of God. She ventured away from her husband.

You're always safer two by two. That's why God sent the disciples out two by two. Two are stronger than one, three-fold cord is not quickly broken. At first she was frightened. She thought, "you know, I have been warned that there is a deceiver going through the universe trying to recruit, and I should be on my guard and stay away from this forbidden tree.

" But she thought, "you know, God's given me intelligence. I'll be able to tell." And right about then she was by the tree that was forbidden, and she saw this dazzling creature. Now the serpent was cursed to crawl upon its belly. It's interesting that you can look at a number of snakes today and they have what are called vestigial remnants. And there's disagreement among the zoologists about what that means.

Some argue that the snake is growing legs like a lizard. Others argue that it used to have limbs but that's all that's left, vestigial remnants. So they don't even agree among themselves. But I've actually shown photographs of this. Some of you have seen it before in my evangelistic meetings.

It shows these little extra spine. It's like vertebrae that kind of protrude in some cases from certain serpents and they don't know what they're for. So Bible scholars say these are the vestigial remnants of wings. Now one thing we do know, in the fossil record, there used to be a lot of flying serpents. Right now they do have serpents in indonesia.

Is it madagascar? I think it's madagascar. I forget. But they jump through the trees. They flatten the rib cage and they glide. How many have seen them before? They're gliding serpents.

But we know that they used to have pterodactyls and peradactyls and these other enormous, flying reptiles. What we don't know, the fossils will not tell you what color they were. You know, usually all you got is bone. Every now and then you'll get some membrane is impressed on the fossil and so you can get some idea. But we know some of them were big.

Some of them didn't have heads exactly like snakes. They had these massive, majestic heads and they could have had crowns on them. And you see something like that flying and it's got--ever see a shimmering fish where it's scales are close together and they just shimmer? And here you've got--and it's got golden scales, and it shimmers as it flies with iridescent colors. And it's got those hypnotic serpentine movements and it lands in this tree that is a beautiful, symmetrical tree with beautiful fruit and flowers and this fragrances just coming at you. And it could be a hypnotic scene.

So this arrests her attention. And this creature that is moving and these hypnotic moves and flapping from branch to branch, suddenly speaks. And she didn't know there were any other creatures that could speak the language of canaan accept for her and adam. Or the language of eden I should say. And maybe she's a little cautious at first.

But how much fear did eve feel? Had she ever been afraid of anything? So I mean she's pretty vulnerable in that respect. There's nothing to be afraid of. They didn't even wear clothes back then, so they were pretty relaxed. Well, she had robes of light. We know that.

So she ventures closer and what is the first question in the Bible? He says, "hath God said you shall not eat of every tree in the garden?" You know what that implies? Has God said? The first question in the Bible is the serpent questioning the Word of God. Why is there sin in the world? Because we question the Word of God? Do you remember when the children of Israel began to complain about the bread God gave them in the wilderness? And it says, "the Lord allowed serpents, fiery serpents, to go among them and by them and many of them were dying. When did the serpents come? When they started to question the bread that God gave them, that's the Word of God, the bread that came down from heaven. And they were bitten, and the only way they could live was by looking to that dead serpent on a pole. That's when they finally were healed.

Questioning the Word of God is where sin came in. Losing faith, doubting the Word of God is how sin came into our world. The reason I'm emphasizing that is I'd like to suggest to you the solution is the opposite of doubting God's Word is believing in God's Word is how we find our way book to the garden. It was through doubting God's Word and listening to the serpent, we get in trouble. If we will listen to the seed of the woman, Jesus, and not believe the serpent, we'll get back to the garden.

Does that make sense? There's so much, almost infinite theology, in just this first chapter. And he doesn't completely misquote. He alters. "Hath God said?" He doesn't say, "God didn't say." He questions if she's understanding correctly. Maybe you didn't really understand.

And the woman, quick to defend the Lord, she says, "we may eat from the trees of the garden but of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'you shall not eat of it, nor shall you touch it." Now that's something that's added. God doesn't mention that earlier, but evidently he also said that, "don't even touch it or you'll die." Well, there's some things you can understand. It's pretty well understood that not everything is recorded here. And I'm sure there was a little dialogue that took place. He probably said, "boy, you are a beautiful creature.

" The devil's a smooth operator and a lot of other women have gotten in trouble because someone said, "you're a beautiful creature," and had ulterior motives. And of course, everyone appreciates appreciation. And maybe that was flattering. And he said, "look, I'm eating the fruit." And she could see it dripping from the serpent's mouth and he said, "I couldn't speak until I ate this fruit. Nothing happened to me.

Matter of fact, I now have extra powers. And if you would eat this fruit, you'll be like God. And God knows that he's keeping something great from you. He doesn't want you to be on an equal plane with him. You will be like God if you eat this fruit.

" And she draws closer. She thinks, "well, you know, it is true. Serpents usually don't talk, not that I know of. And here he's talking. He seems to be getting some benefit.

He didn't drop dead." And this rationalization is going on. You know how much we get into trouble because we rationalize? "Well, they're sinning and they're not--they seem happy. Sin can't be that bad because I see people seem to enjoy it." How often have you seen liquor companies advertise their product by showing drunks in the gutter throwing up? Would you sell very much wine by showing winos puking in the gutter? Pardon me. That's kind of crude, I know. But let's face it.

Doesn't that happen a lot every day in every city? Don't they get sick? Aren't there people with ulcers? Aren't their families broken up? Could you sell wine with that advertising? So how do you sell it? Well, you show the people smiling. You show some guy dressed up like James bond and in the background is a $50 million car and he's got a $10 million girl under his arm and that's what it costs to maintain her. And so he's got all of this and he's drinking this brand of alcohol and you go, "look, they're having a good time and they're sinning." I mean so often sin is portrayed as attractive. And they show the temporary pleasure. Is it true that sin does have some temporary pleasure? The devil offered Moses the pleasures of sin for a season.

There is a season of pleasure. But he doesn't want you to see that the end is death. And a lot of people, for immediate gratification and one night's fling, the pleasure of sin, it can ruin their reputation, ruin their lives, change the course of their lives. Something they'll never forget. And the devil doesn't want you to look down the road.

He wants you to see, right now you can have this. "Look what happened to me. I'm not dead right now. I'm eating the fruit." By the way, that serpent's been dead, whatever serpent he chose to speak through died a long time ago. So the serpent said to the woman, "you'll not surely die.

" By the way, a lot of preachers echo that first lie, "you won't surely die. You won't completely die. You don't really die. You're immortal. You either live forever in heaven or you live forever in hell, but you're immortal.

You can't really die." Does the Bible say anywhere that man is immortal? No. When God comes, then this mortal puts on immortality. God and God only hath immortality. So you know, a lot of lies and the state of the dead is being questioned here as well. "For God knows in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened.

You'll be like God knowing good and evil." People always want to know, "what kind of tree was that?" They think--how many times have you seen it, it's an apple? You know they call this an adam's apple. You see that. 'Cause it got stuck in his throat when he first ate it. No, we don't know exactly what it was. I speculate that it was called a hershey tree.

What else would a woman find irresistible? Ha, ha, okay. I'm sorry. Oh, well. I still enjoyed saying it. "So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes--" in other words, it looked like nutritious healthy fruit.

"Pleasant to the eyes. It was attractive. It had a good fragrance. It was desirable to make one wise. She took of the fruit.

" If you read in "Patriarchs and Prophets," it says he actually helped place it in her hands. "She took of the fruit." Devil could not force her to eat it, could he? It's not sin if you're forced. You must choose. Some people say--i remember flip wilson, some of you remember years ago, he was famous for what? "The devil made me do it. I couldn't help it.

" Geraldine. He'd dress up like geraldine. She'd say, "the devil made me do it. I couldn't help it." And the people often echoed that, "the devil made me do it." Can the devil make you do it? Nope. You've got to choose.

She took and she ate. Let me read this. And then it says, "she brought it to her husband with her." Some have speculated adam was standing right there because it says, "with her." It doesn't mean that. In Hebrew what it means is she brought it to her husband who was with her in the garden, not with her at that location. She was alone during this initial exchange.

And it's just understanding the sentence structure in Hebrew there. It doesn't mean he was next to her. It just means he was with her in the garden. He ate it along with her, he ate it. That's all that's saying.

I heard someone preach a whole sermon that adam was right there next to her when this happened. "And he ate." You read in the book, "Patriarchs and Prophets," when she brought him the fruit, her arms full, she seems exhilarated." And you know what? There may have been. When it first went in her mouth, you think it tasted good? Yeah. Matter of fact, I've got a theory that when she first bit into that fruit, that it was exhilarating. I mean, you know, at least between the tree and adam, she thought it was the greatest thing in the world.

She felt enlightened. She felt plugged in. And then they came down. They crashed afterward, right? But when he first brought her that fruit, I think adam thought, "oh, no. What have you done?" But he loved eve so much.

And she said, "look, I ate it. Nothing's happened to me." And he began to doubt. And he thought, "you know, if the penalty is death--" you've heard folks say before, "well, you know if you don't get along with her, there's a lot of other fish in the sea. She's not the only woman in the world." But for adam, she was the only fish in the sea and she was the only woman in the world, right? So when he thought, "I'm gonna lose her." And he loved her so much. She was the perfect--you know, sometimes men and women look the world over for the perfect mate.

He had one tailor made. She was the perfect dream for him. And he thought to himself, "look, if she's gonna die, I don't think I want to live in the garden without her. It won't be paradise anymore." And he seized the fruit and ate it. And he put his love for her above his love for God.

Now man has been placed in a position in the family where he's to reverse that and put his love for God supreme and show his love for his family by putting God first. And I won't go into that right now. But the relationship between man and woman even changed because of sin. And the Bible bears that out. And then it says, "the eyes of them both were opened.

" Doesn't it seem they had some kind of enlightenment? "And then they knew they were naked." Well, part of the reason their eyes were opened is because after they sinned, the glory robes that they wore--they had robes of glory and light faded. Moses used to talk to God on the mountain, his face glowed and gradually that glow would fade. And we talked about glory in our sermon last week and their glory faded. Now listen, "then they heard the sound of God walking in the garden in the cool of the day and adam and his wife hid themselves." So what's happening? Does sin bring them happiness or do they have now fear? "And they hid themselves among the trees in the garden. And the Lord God--" oh, I left out the part, it says, "they knew they were naked and they sewed fig leaves together.

They made themselves aprons of fig leaf. And they heard the voice of the Lord coming to commune with them." He wanted a relationship with them. It might have even been Sabbath when this happened coming for their weekly communion. And he said, "where are you? You're not where we're supposed to meet? I can't find you." Now does God know where we are? I think the first question God asks, "where are you? Where has sin gotten you?" And you know, realizing you can't hide from God, he says, "I heard your voice in the garden, I was afraid." Sometimes people after they sin, they're afraid of the voice of God. When we're living a life of sin, the Word of God makes us tremble.

Sin will keep you from the Bible or the Bible will keep you from sin, but they are not congruent. The Bible, the Word of God, and sin, Jesus is the word, they don't go well together. One is light and one is darkness. If you give yourself to the word, it will keep you from sin. If you cling to sin, you'll find you lose interest in the word 'cause it's convicting.

The two don't go together very long. "I hid from your voice because I was afraid." And he said, "who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree?" Did anyone tell him he was naked or did he realize he was naked when he disobeyed? He realized when he sinned. He says, "who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you that you should not eat?" And the man said, "the woman who you gave to be with me. I didn't ask for her. It's your fault.

She gave it to me and I ate. And the Lord said to the woman, 'what is this you have done?' And the woman said, 'well, it's that serpent you made. The serpent deceived me and I ate.'" So what's happening now? And then they asked the serpent what he did and the serpent didn't have a leg to stand on, did he? They asked the serpent and he said, "it's the devil you made. He did it." And everyone is ultimately--you know what they're doing? They're pointing the blame back to God. The devil's number one attack is all the sin and suffering in the world here, it's an act of God.

It's God's fault. Sin is not God's fault. Matter of fact, if God left us to ourselves, we'd be doomed. The solution is God's fault. The problem was not God's fault.

God made creatures free. This is something, if you capture it, it will all make sense. It took me awhile to really understand it. You cannot love--God wants our love. He wants to love us and he wants us to love him.

You cannot love without freedom. You cannot force love. You cannot preprogram love. If it's preprogrammed, it's not love. A robot, an automated machine cannot love.

Because you have the ability to choose, you must be totally free. And because of that total freedom, satan chose not to love God. Other intelligent creatures have chosen not to love. And sin is a mystery of iniquity. It rises from itself? Where did the virus of aids come from? Can anyone tell us where it was born? We don't know.

Where do some of these virulent streams come from? You don't know. I mean I get a cold and I blame somebody else, who do they blame? We just keep on blaming till we blame God, right? There's some things that just--they rise up through various combinations and develop that way. And so they begin to blame God. Now I want to show you some things that I think is interesting to consider. The Bibles tells us in 1 John 2:15 and 16.

Someone read that for me. I'm just rambling here and I want to get you to read. Got a hand right here. Jason. Go ahead, curtis.

It's on your side. Bring jason the microphone. John 2 read verse 15 and 16. "Love not the world neither the things that are in the world. If any man loved the world, the love of The Father is not in him.

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life is not of The Father but is of the world." All right. Thank you very much. There are three areas of sin. I've got good news for you. Do you struggle with sin and temptation? You've only got three things to worry about.

You only got one thing, really. Remember when the rich, young ruler came to Jesus? He said, "there's one thing you lack." But sin can be divided in three categories. How many temptations came to Jesus? Three. You might say, "Jesus wasn't tempted like me." Yes, he was. Those three temptations cover any category of temptation you might ever experience.

The lust of the flesh turned these stones into bread. The lust of the eyes, he showed them all the Kingdoms of the world and all their glory. The pride of life. You're immortal. Throw yourself down from the temple.

The three areas where adam and eve fell, the tree was good for food. Physical temptation, lust of the flesh. "It was pleasant to the eyes." The lust of the eyes. Covetousness. Shopping at the mall.

"A tree desirable to make one wise." The pride of life, intellectual pride. Those same three areas where adam and eve fell, the three main areas of sin, the second adam overcame. And how did Jesus overcome? They fell because they doubted the Word of God. Jesus overcame by it is written, it is written, it is written by trusting the Word of God. Well, after they've been exposed for their sin, now comes the sentence.

And we're under--oh, I forget what day we're under now but "the fallen." You notice that there's shame now. There's guilt. There's fear. They're afraid. They're blaming each other.

Shame and blame. So the curse comes. Verse 14, "God said to the serpent--" he starts at the bottom, you might say. "Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle and more than every beast of the field. On your belly you will go and you will eat dust all the days of your life.

" Now some of you who are animal lovers, you're thinking, "why would God curse the poor little snake? I mean he just was, really, a victim of being in the wrong place at the wrong time." That's like when those devils filled the pigs and they all ran off the cliff. I mean the devil just arbitrarily chose the serpent. Why take it out on the whole species? Well, one reason God is allowing this, the same way he put the rainbow in the sky as a constant reminder of his promise, the serpent was cursed as a constant reminder of a warning. You know serpents live in the ground. There are serpents that live in the water.

There are serpents that live underground. There are serpents that live in trees. There are serpents that glide through the air. They inhabit every environment. They're there as reminders that when you listen to the serpent, you're gonna crawl.

You're gonna eat dust. What did God say to adam? "Dust you are and unto dust you'll return." If you follow the serpent, you're gonna eat dust. If you follow the Lord, you'll eat from the Tree of Life. I kind of think that the taste of that forbidden fruit turned to dust in their mouths afterward, after the initial exhilaration that they might have felt. So they went down, down, down.

And then he goes on and says, "I'll put enmity--" this is our memory verse. "Between you and the woman." The serpent, now he's speaking to the devil. "And between your seed, the seed of the serpent, and her seed." Singular, capital s, Jesus. "He, Jesus, will bruise the head of the serpent and you will bruise his heel." All through the history of the church, the serpent has bruised the heel of Christ and the church, their progress. You ever walk with a sore heel? It impedes your progress.

The church has moved forward, but it's limped. The church has been wounded. We've got folks who are limping right now in the church. The church is a hospital full of people on crutches. We are making progress, but the devil's nipping at our heels all the time, right? How do we overcome? We look at that serpent on a pole by faith and we're healed from the venom of sin.

Back to Jesus' illustration that he used. Then he goes on he says, "to the woman, I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception. In pain, you shall bring forth children." All right. Let's pause there for just a second. Keep in mind this is a dual prophecy, do woman typically have babies with discomfort? Yeah.

I mean you know, right now they've got a lot of advantages. But even before you get to the hospital, there's usually contractions and an element of discomfort. And praise the Lord for modern medicine. I've been in the maternity ward before where someone decided to opt for natural birth, and you can hear them coming down the hall. And they're begging for anaesthetic and it can be a very painful thing.

But beyond that--oh, you notice it also says, "in pain you'll conceive." Conception is not birth. Conception happens nine months before birth. Sometimes women are miserable right after conception. And you can tell that somebody has conceived because they look kind of pale and seasick. So it may be a reference to that.

But the women is the church. Do churches grow easily or is it a painful process to grow? I'll tell you, evangelism is a bittersweet experience. It's exhilarating when you see a child is born, when someone's born again. But you see people come to the borders of the Kingdom and they turn back and it is heartbreaking whenever there's a miscarriage. And a lot of churches only grow through persecution.

And it is in pain that the woman brings forth. It isn't easy. If the devil--if a church is growing evangelistically, you think the devil just stands back and applauds or does he cause pain? If you're doing the work of the Lord, it's gonna rile the devil and there will be resistance and there will be pain. And so it goes on and says that, it says, "your desire will be for your husband." There's a spiritual analogy there too. The church should be looking to Christ and he will rule over you.

There's no question, of course, that Christ rules over the church. Husbands love your wife as Christ rules over the church. But in the same way that's in the Bible here, we're just going through it. God does here establish that the men should be the servant leaders in the families. Because of sin and because of selfishness and because man wanted to be God, there is a clambering for power in relationships.

And God said, "in order for their to be harmony in the home, men should be the servant leaders, the priest leaders in the family." I realize that is not popular, friends. But I've got to be true to the Word of God and that's what I read from bow to stern in the Bible. God says that men should be the servant leaders. Doesn't mean they're to be tyrants. Doesn't mean they're to be abusive.

It doesn't mean that they're to tell their families to do things contrary to the Bible and that wives should submit to that. They shouldn't. But in the relationship, men and women, there is no difference when it comes to value and salvation between male and female, servant and master. The slave is just as valuable to the Lord as the master is. Isn't that what the Bible tells us? His soul is worth just as much as the King's soul.

A woman's soul is worth just as much as a man's soul. Jesus died for 'em all. But in their relationships together while they are to be partners, there is an area where men are to be the leaders in the family. And I think if more men were doing their jobs, we probably wouldn't have so much of the radical feminism that I think causes disunity in our society right now. I'm probably gonna get letters on that.

But it's in the Bible, I needed to say it. "Then to adam, he said, 'because you've heeded the voice of your wife and have eaten from the tree which I commanded you, you shall not eat of it. Cursed is the ground for your sake.'" You notice, for the woman, the curse affected the relationship with her husband. For the man, the curse affected his work. What is the most important thing to women? Relationships.

What is the most important thing to men? Their work. If you want to see a women have a nervous breakdown, have all of her relationships break down. If you want to see a man at a point of tears, after 30 years, take away his job with nothing to do and they go to pieces. A man has to have something to conquer, something to do, something to achieve. God wired us with our work.

And so God, basically, in his curse, the curses ended up being a blessing. God's curse on the woman in the relationship was designed to be a blessing. The curse on man with his work, it wasn't saying that, "you don't have work anymore." He wasn't saying to the women, "you don't have relationships anymore." But it was changed for protection. Why does man need to till the ground now? He had to work harder. 'Cause it keeps him out of trouble.

Not only do we need it physically but idleness is the devil's workshop. Before the flood when it was still a paradise, the thoughts of men's hearts were only evil continually. So the curse intensified on the earth after the flood to make man have to work a little harder, keep him out of trouble. That is a problem today when we have so much ease in our society. "Cursed is the ground.

In toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it with bring forth." Another type of sin on the head of Christ, the thorns. "And you will eat the herb of the field." Vegetables were added to the diet and every child knows that's part of the curse. "And in the sweat of your face, you will eat bread. You'll return to the ground, for out of it you were taken, for dust you are and unto dust you'll return.

" And adam, the word "adam" means man. He called his wife's name eve because she was he mother of all living. "Eve" means living. Or she's called "woman" which means from the womb of man. The first man came from God.

The first woman was born from man. Every other man was born from woman. It's kind of interesting. And so man is evicted from the garden. And then we read on and we don't know how much longer but they have two children, cain and abel.

I'm just trying to get through the study for today. And what else does it bring? The sacrificial system is set up. When they leave the garden, God says, "your aprons of leaf will not work." He gives them tunics, robes of skin. Not only was it the wrong material they used. Fig leaves have to do with hypocrisy in the Bible.

Jesus cursed the fig tree 'cause it had only leaves, no fruit. Self-righteousness. He gave them skins. The sacrificial system is established at this point. Isn't that right? And then--and he gave them tunics, robes.

They wore those out of the garden. Cain and abel are offering sacrifice. God told them how to sacrifice. "Don't offer fruit, offer a lamb." Cain wants to do it his own way. His brother does it God's way.

Cain kills his brother. Right after sin, after they disobeyed God, again in the Garden of Eden, first thing that happens is there's death. The devil is called a liar and a murderer from the beginning. And don't we see that in what happened with cain? Cain lies to God. He says, "I don't know where abel is.

I'm not my brother's shepherd." And he murders his brother. Who is inspiring cain and his descendants? Satan, the serpent. Ah, friends, again I rushed through. I did actually get to most of the passage that was in our lesson. I only got to one side of my notes, a lot more to share.

For our friends who are listening, we have a free offer. It will give you more information. Talks about creation. It's called, "the wonders of creation." I want to offer something else. If you go to the Amazing Facts website--we talked about temptation today.

There is a book called, "tips for resisting temptation." And you'll learn a lot there about resisting temptation. Just go to amazingfacts.org and you'll see where it's got the free library. You can read that there online. We hope you do. Also, don't forget to send your songs to saccentral.

org. We'd love to hear from you. God bless you and keep us in your prayers. By the grace of God, we'll study again together next week. Over a billion people, nearly % of the world's population, india, a land of huge contrast and overwhelming opportunities.

Outside the bustling cities the majority of indian people live in smaller villages. Here life is hard and contact with Christians is rare but the message of Jesus is offering hope to all and finding incredible, responsive hearts. In spite of all the obstacles, the door is cracked open now. And in this unique moment, we have an opportunity to touch thousands of hurting, often hopeless, people. But we must act now while the door's open.

Your financial support is crucial and I'm asking you to join our efforts this week to reach india. Through this open door, we're planting seeds that will touch this entire continent of over a billion souls. Your gift will bear an incredible harvest. Please let us hear from you today. You can make a difference.

Please call or visit amazingfacts.org/india.

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