Creation: Genesis as Foundation, Pt. 1

Creation: Genesis as Foundation, Pt. 1

Scripture: John 1:1-4
Date: 05/23/2020  Lesson: 8
'The first chapters of Genesis are foundational for the rest of Scripture. The major teachings or doctrines of the Bible have their source in these chapters.'

Amazing Wonders of Creation - Paper or Digital Download

Amazing Wonders of Creation - Paper or Digital Download
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Jëan Ross: Good morning, friends, and welcome again to "Sabbath School Study Hour," coming to you from the Amazing Facts Studios in Sacramento, California. We'd like to welcome those who are joining us across the country and around the world, part of our extended online Sabbath School class. We'd also like to send a special greeting to our regular Granite Bay Church members. We pray that you will be blessed as we study our lesson this morning.

We've been studying through a great series of lessons, talking about the Scripture, and today we find ourselves on lesson number eight. It's entitled "Creation: Genesis as Foundation, Part 1," so we'll be doing part one today. Next week, we'll be looking at part two.

But just before we get into our lesson, we've got a few announcements we'd like to tell you about. We also have a free offer. It's entitled "Amazing Wonders of Creation," and this is our free gift for those of you who are watching. If you'd like to receive it, just call the number 866-788-3966, and ask for Offer Number 116, or if you'd like, you can get a free digital copy of the book by just texting the code "SH142" to the number 40544, and we'll send you a digital link, and you'll be able to read that online. It's entitled, again, "Amazing Wonders of Creation." And also, friends, if you'd like to know of different things that Amazing Facts is doing, sending announcements of different special programs that we might have. You can just simply text the word "ONLINE," to the number 40544. Text the word "ONLINE" to 40544, and you'll be able to receive these updates from time to time.

Well, before we get to our lesson, let's start with a word of prayer. Dear Father in heaven, we thank You once again that we have the opportunity to open up Your Word and study a very important subject, a foundational truth to our belief and understanding of who we are and why we are here, and where we are headed. So, Lord, we ask Your blessing upon our time today. Be with those who are listening, joining us around the world, in Jesus's name, amen.

Doug Batchelor: Amen.

Jëan: Well, Pastor Doug, earlier this week, we were talking about this week's lesson, and we mentioned how important our study is today, and, really, how exciting it is. We're talking about Genesis as being the foundation, of course, the first book of the Bible, but also the foundation of our understanding of so many important themes.

Doug: Yeah, they say that you can't really be happy unless you know where you've come from, which defines what you're doing here, and where you're going. And so the beginnings, really, it's foundational to everything. And so this was a good lesson. By the way, this is part one. I think for the next two weeks, we're going to talk about the importance of Genesis in studying the Bible. And maybe we ought to start with our memory verse. The memory verse for this lesson-by the way, this is lesson number eight. is John 1, verse 1 through 4: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men."

And so, of course, Jesus is right there at the very beginning, in the foundations in Genesis, and we're going to talk about that in a minute. But before we do, Pastor Ross, why don't we go back and forth a little bit, and talk about some of the big things that matter that are important that are foundations that are found in Genesis. For example, it's in Genesis you first find what the meaning of work is.

Jëan: That's right. It talks about how God created man, Adam and Eve, and had them tend the garden, take care of it. Right at the very beginning of Genesis 1:1, you're introduced to who God is. "In the beginning, God created." Now, a couple things there that I think are interesting. First of all, God is a God of love because He creates. He creates beings with freedom of choice. He creates beings that are able to worship and love Him. He loves them.

We also see that God is referred to here in a plural sense. "In the beginning, God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image.'" And then you read about the Holy Spirit that was hovering on the face of the waters at Creation, at the beginning of Creation, so we're introduced somewhat to God, not all the details are filled in, but at least we have an idea of a being that is a being of love, and we recognize that there is a plurality of the Godhead: Father, Son, the Holy Spirit, and, of course, John even expands that and says, "All things are made through Jesus."

Doug: Yeah, that's right. And then it's interesting that not only do you find God the Father, Son, and Spirit there in Genesis, but when you get to Revelation, again, it says, "The Spirit and the bride say, 'Come,'" and so you can--you read the last chapter of Revelation, rather, and you see all three, all the way, you know, through the Bible then. It's in Genesis that you hear the first prophecies about the coming of the Messiah. It's where in Genesis 3, it's where you find out why is there sin in the world, the introduction of evil. You've got the genealogies in the Bible that explain the coming Messiah through Abraham, David, and, you know, ultimately to Christ. The power of the spoken word is in Genesis. That's where you first see that.

Jëan: God says, "Let there be," and all of the things that God creates in that first week, He simply speaks, and it happens, except when it comes to creating man. God formed Adam out of the dust of the ground, breathed into him the breath of life, and the same thing is involved when He creates Eve. He actually takes a rib from the side of Adam and creates Eve. So we see the power of the spoken word of God in that first Creation week.

We also discover that, in that first few chapters of Revelation, God created something very good, but then something very bad happened, so we have the introduction, or the origin of evil, why there is suffering and pain in the world, and it also points out as to who the author is of evil. It's not God, but it's an adversary. You read in Genesis chapter 3, the devil is coming in the form of a serpent. So right from the very beginning of the Bible, you have the great controversy set up between good and evil, between God and Satan.

Doug: Yup, absolutely, and so, and then you even really have the promise of restoration because you see what is God's ideal. People say, "If God is good, why is there so much suffering and misery in the world?" Well, it's in Genesis. You read, in the garden, it says, "God made everything good, good, good, good, very good," and so you say, "What does God want for us?" "Every good and perfect gift is from God," and "God will withhold no good thing from those that walk up rightly." And Jesus told the rich young ruler, "Only God is good." And so you see the goodness of God and His desire to put man in a paradise, right there at the beginning.

Jëan: Now, another one that's kind of interesting, we don't always think of it, but it's an important one: the origin of languages and the origin of nations. That's actually introduced to us in the book of Genesis. You read about it in Genesis chapter 10 and 11, where the people built the Tower of Babel, and their language, God actually brought judgment on the tower because it was an act of rebellion, and their languages were all mixed up, and eventually they broke apart, and they moved to different areas. So the origin of languages and nations is even brought to view here in Genesis.

Doug: You know, it's probably helpful to mention, why is this so important? Because we're living in a culture today that, even among Christians, many dismiss the first 11 chapters. That's where you find the Tower of Babel in Genesis. And they say, "Well, those were fables that kind of give context. They weren't literal. They didn't really have Adam and Eve. He didn't really have Noah. He didn't really have this tower." And the problem with that, though, is Jesus speaks of them as literal, and so, if you start dismissing the first foundations in Genesis--where is that in Psalms where it says, "If the foundations be destroyed," you know, "what will the people do?" And so the devil hits this.

You know, the foundations were destroyed, and then there was war in the gates. And so, when there's an attack of the foundations, it just destroys everything. And so we're showing here the authors of the lesson are doing a good job demonstrating that foundational to so many cornerstone teachings of Christianity and even life, you must believe in Genesis being literal, the first 11 chapters.

Jëan: The verse you're referring to there, Pastor Doug, is Psalms 11, verse 3, in case you taking notes. It says, "If the foundations are destroyed, what shall the righteous do?" And how true that is. If your foundation of the Bible in Genesis, so many important themes is not there, you don't have a right idea as to why we're here, what the purpose of life is.

Doug: Absolutely.

Jëan: It's so important. Pastor Doug, a couple of other important themes are introduced. You mentioned the promise of a Messiah, and also, we have an introduction here to the covenant people, the covenant that God makes with Abraham and the Hebrews, but you also find a whole lot of genealogy, "So-and-So begat so-and-so, and so-and-so begat so-and-so." Why is that important in the context of the beginnings?

Doug: You know, it was amazing to me--I'll just tell you on a personal note--believing in evolution and believing that, you know, man's been around for--at least modern man, who's not dragging his knuckles, I used to think, "Well, he's been around for maybe 1.5 million years." They got varying numbers-- "and at some point, the glint of recognition popped into his mind, and he stopped being an animal, and he became man."

And--but then I read the genealogies, and if you read in Luke, it traces the genealogy of Jesus all the way back to Adam. And so I thought, "Wow," you know, first it's tedious trying to say the names, but when you realize that those Bible writers, the Jews, had kept such careful genealogies. They could trace the lineage of Christ all the way back to Adam. And in Matthew, it begins by tracing the genealogy back to David because Jesus is the son of David. And it says that "Your descendants would be the King, the Messiah," and so these genealogies are really a tremendous affirmation.

The other interesting thing about the genealogies is, as you read through them, you say, "Oh, it talks about Tamar." Well, there's a whole story about her. "Oh, it talks about Rahab." Got a whole book about her." Ruth--got a whole book about her. And so these characters appear in the lineage of the Messiah, that are telling you that God saves all kinds of people, and, yet they're His ancestors, and so there's a lot you can learn from the genealogies.

Jëan: And then, of course, the big ones that are introduced right at the very beginning of the book of Genesis--and we'll be talking about this a little later in our lesson two--are the subjects of marriage and the Sabbath, and man and woman. These are some big themes that are introduced right at the beginning. And Pastor Doug, it's interesting how these important themes are under attack today, why? Fundamentally the teaching of evolution, there's no real difference why you're here. It's just an accident. And these are important themes that we need to understand, especially in today's culture.

Doug: Absolutely, and to jump in, if you have any questions, we're inviting questions from those who might be viewing. I think the questions come in through Facebook.

Jëan: They do. They're coming through Facebook. And then they'll actually e-mail it to me.

Doug: It's alive.

Jëan: Yeah, so here's our first question.

Doug: Okay.

Jëan: All right, Matt is asking, "Were angels created before the universe or after the universe?"

Doug: Well, I'm glad they asked. That's actually coming up later in the lesson, but I'll mention it now since you asked. So when we're reading Genesis, "In the beginning, God created--" is it talking about the beginning of all time, or is it talking about the beginning of our world? And so we believe from the context of what's in Genesis, it's not talking about the beginning of God. It's talking about the beginning of our world because the context of everything that's mentioned there is, on Earth, these things were done. Man was done, the separation of the days, and so forth. And so God had creatures prior to that, and there's this one verse you can read in Job 38: "Were you there--" and this is Job 38, verse 4. "Were you there when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know. Or who stretched the line upon it? To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?"

So here these beings are shouting for joy when God creates the world, and we think that they're either unfallen worlds or angels, but so I think angels did exist. They're the ministering spirits of God, and man was made a little lower than the angels, so angels must have existed prior to man. So we think the angels came first.

Jëan: Okay, well then that brings us to our Sunday lesson which is entitled "In the Beginning." And one of the important things that are brought to view in our lesson, and I think it's something you'll want to remember is the active involvement or how involved Jesus was in the Creation, even though His name is not specifically mentioned there in Genesis chapter 1. We have almost a parallel passage of Scripture that we find in the gospel of John, in John chapter 1, verse 1 to 3. Notice the similarity in wording. It says, "In the beginning was the Word." Well, Genesis says, "In the beginning, God--" so you see that parallel. "The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God," and then, verse 3, this John 1, "All things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made." So here we're introduced to Jesus, and it says He was in the beginning with God. Everything was made through Him. He is the Creator of all things.

Doug: It's interesting, Jesus is called "the Word." Jesus is called "the bread." The bread is called the Word, and so, you know, one of the ways that Christ is identified is "the Word became flesh and dwelt among us." And He is the Word of God incarnate. We don't know anything about what Jesus looked like. I mean, you know, there's a lot of paintings out there, and all these are pretty much artists' concepts. What we know about Jesus is what He said. He changed the world by what He said. And what He said was so important that, even when He rose from the dead and He appeared to two of His disciples, He basically blinded their eyes or shielded them from recognizing Him so they would hear what He said on the road to Emmaus because what He said was where the real power is.

Jëan: There's power in the Word.

Doug: Yeah.

Jëan: Now, in Hebrews chapter 1, verse 1, we kind of have a connecting verse here. It says, "God who at various times and in various ways spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days," or recently, "spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things--" and here's the point, Pastor Doug, "through whom also He made the worlds." So from John chapter 1, verse 1, we understand Christ is very involved in the creation of our Earth, but here in Hebrews 1, we find out that Jesus was involved not only in creating planet Earth, but He's involved in creating worlds, and, of course, he uses the plural there.

Doug: Yeah, I saw an article in "CNN Science." This goes back, like, to 2003. It says, "Have you ever wanted to wish upon a star?" We're not recommending that. "Well, you have 700 million, million, million to choose from," and it says, "the Australian National University of Astronomers did some calculation, and they said there are probably as many stars--" no, no, I said that wrong. "There are ten times as many stars as grains of sand in all of the world's beaches and deserts." And they say, "That comes to a seven followed by 22 zeros, which is going to be 70 sextillion stars."

And so the Lord's got a lot of life out there. It's like that parable where Jesus said, you know, "Shepherd has 100 sheep, but one's lost. He leaves the 99 safe in the fold to go and look for that one last lamb." And Jesus left the unfallen worlds and came to our world, incarnate, to save man. So there's a lot of life out there. Through Christ, God made the worlds.

Jëan: Now, we have a question that's related to this subject. Miranda is asking, "Did the other worlds exist before creation of the universe or after?"

Doug: Well, if we're talking about other worlds that had intelligent life, you know, we know just from our solar system, God has some worlds that are probably just created for exploring. There's no life on them. So I think that most of the planets and stars you see--of course, stars are not inhabited. They're fiery balls--are uninhabited, but He does have inhabited worlds out there. And, you know, with our limited telescopes, right now, the only way that astronomers can tell if a star has planets around it, is they'll see a flicker in the star, and that means that a planet passed in front of it and--at some point. And they say that means that a planet--they try and calculate, well, how far from the star was it, and is it the right distance where it could support life? And there are so many stars.

Now, keep in mind that figure I gave a minute ago-- what did I say? Seven sextillion? That's not talking about planets. They're talking about stars. That's the ones that are like suns. Think about how many planets there are. And let me read one more that goes along with the question that was answered, and this is under "In the Beginning". Colossians 1:16, "For by him, Christ, all things were created that are in heaven and on earth--" so there are things in heaven He created-- "visible and invisible--" there's the whole spiritual world of angels that are ministering spirits-- "whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things are created through Him and for Him." So now we're understanding not just how much was created, but why it's created.

Jëan: Now related to that, Pastor Doug, talking about God created the worlds and, of course, you mentioned that the verse in Job talks about the sons of God shouted for joy when our world was created, so these other inhabited worlds are out there with intelligent beings, but I guess one of the questions that people have, especially those who reject the biblical account in Genesis, "What is my purpose? Why am I here? Am I just the result of random chance?" Of course, you have Darwinian evolution that really tries to take God out of the picture, but when you try and line up evolution with what Genesis says, especially in those first two chapters, there is a huge conflict. You can't marry the two.

Doug: Yeah, yeah, in Darwinian evolution, if you say, "What is my purpose in life?" There really is no purpose if there's no God and there's no ultimate goal or destiny. You're just a biological random accident, and life is meaningless. Some Darwinists will say, "Well, your purpose is to survive. It's called survival of the fittest." And that means that you take advantage of the weaker so that you can survive, which really is not a very good worldview, but, you know, some people live that way. And that is so counter to what God teaches in His Word, that we are--we exist to love and to worship God and to love, show His love to our fellow creatures.

Jëan: All right, we've got Susie asking a question, Pastor Doug. The question is "Did Genesis say God created Adam outside of the garden and then put him in the garden?"

Doug: You know, it's my understanding that man was probably made in the garden, and then God introduced him to the--what his work was in the garden. What are your thoughts on that?

Jëan: Well, you know, again, Genesis is not always written in exact chronological order. For example, you have Genesis 1, that gives you an overview of Creation, and then you come back in chapter 2. Chapter 3, you've got more details filled in. I think God would've created the garden and a special dwelling place for Adam and Eve. Was sort of their home. Of course, they can probably wander throughout the whole world, you know, if they had not sinned, and go back and forth, in and out of the garden. But it seems as though the garden, the house was prepared for them, and they were created, and then introduced to their environment, to their home.

So, good question. I thank you for asking that, Susie. All right, then moving on to our next day. We have Monday, and it's entitled "The Days of Creation." And, again, it's emphasizing the six literal days of Creation, and why is this so important for us to understand?

Doug: Well, you know, the argument even amongst some Christians who believe that there's room for either evolution--or maybe they don't believe in evolution, but they believe that God created in these big epochs of time--I remember studying. I don't know if their beliefs have changed, but years ago I studied with some Jehovah Witnesses, and they said, "Yeah, those six days of creation are really 6,000 years," but that's not possible. If you take the Bible the way it reads, the word for "day" there is the word "yom," and it means a specific day, a literal day.

You know what? I can't improve on what the authors put in the lesson. They did a great job here. This is Frank and Michael Hasel. "The term used in the singular is not the plural, meaning a single day. Thus, the seven days of creation are to be understood as a complete unit of time, introduced by the cardinal number, 'echad,' 'one,' followed by an ordinal number, the second, the third, the fourth. This pattern indicates a consecutive sequence of days, culminating in the seventh day. There's no indication in the use of the terms or the narrative form itself that there should be any gaps in these days. The seven days of Creation are indeed seven days as we delineate days today. There are seven literal 24-hour days." Says, "The evening and the morning."

And then if, you look in--says, on the third day God makes the vegetation, but He doesn't make the sun, moon, and stars until the fourth day. So if He makes all the plants and if you lock those plants up in darkness for a thousand years, or, you know, a month, they're going to all die. So the next day, God then makes the light. So they have to be literal days.

Jëan: Well, Pastor Doug, let's talk about those first six and seven days of Creation. The first thing God creates on day one, he says, "Let there be light," and it almost appears as though the presence of God at first brings light because as you mentioned, on the fourth day, you have the sun that is created. So the presence of God brings light on this dark planet. He creates the earth. And so, day one, He creates light. A day two, He creates the atmosphere, or the Bible calls it the firmament, where He separated the waters, and we have the atmosphere. Day three, God creates dry land, and He creates vegetation. Day four, you have the stars, as well as the sun and the moon. Day five, you have birds in the firmament, and you have fish in the sea. And day six, you have land animals, and you have mankind.

Now, the pattern that's interesting in these days of Creation, you find God making something, and then He fills it with something. For example, He created the atmosphere, and then He fills the atmosphere with birds. He creates the sea, and He fills the sea with fish. He creates the land, and He fills the land with vegetation and animals. So each of these days, a pattern is established. God creates something, and then He fills it.

Doug: He populates it.

Jëan: He populates it. And when it comes to the creation of man, you read how that God formed Adam out of the breath--formed Adam out of the clay and breathed into him the breath of life. So, God, again, forms him and then fills him with the breath of life. Adam becomes a living being. Now, that's particularly interesting when you get to the seventh day because, the seventh day, God does not make anything, per se. Rather, He pauses. He finishes His work creation. He creates 24 hours, but then He fills those 24 hours with blessing. He sanctifies it. He sets it apart for a holy use.

So God is always making something, and then filling it. Making something, and then blessing it. And, of course, that's true for us today. God wants us--He made us. He wants to fill us with His blessing, fill us with the Spirit, just as He filled Adam and he became a living being, so God wants us to be spiritually living and alive.

Doug: Yeah, and He wants us to be filled with purpose and activity, and one of the things we learn from Genesis is that there's something different God does when He makes man. He doesn't make man the same way. First of all, He doesn't make man or woman the same way he makes the other animals. He speaks them into existence, but He does something unique for man and woman in the way He creates them. Because He says, "They are made in My image," and then He gives them dominion. And so man is the crowning work.

You know, there's a place in Psalms where it says, "Are you not gods?" You know, man was made to be something like the God of this world for the creatures, and we were given the ability, as God creates in His image, man was able to procreate through love in His image. And so there's something in Genesis we learn about, you know, God fills man with His Spirit in a different way than the animals. He's a reflection of God.

Jëan: Okay, well, that ties into another question that we have, Pastor Doug, and the question is "What does it mean that God made Adam and Eve in His image?"

Doug: Well, does God have a form? Yes, the Bible describes, you know, God as having--in many different verses, it'll talk about God the Father and Son--now, the Spirit's unique, but the Father and the Son, it's described as them having everything from hair, to hands, to feet, to ears, to mouth, to eyes. You'll see that we were made in form, similar to God, or we have--there's features and similarity with man and God, and--but man is made in the image of God in that the emotions that we have, the thoughts that we think, God loves, Bible says, God hates. Bible says that, you know, God rejoices, God sings. Says in Zechariah, "He'll rejoice."

So many things that we naturally have, I mean, separated from sin or the abuse of those things, we get these things from God, and so we're, you know, originally created with certain characteristics and traits, and then as God creates, like I said, through love, a man and woman in marriage procreate in their own image. And, you know, there's the delight and joy that goes along with that.

Jëan: And, of course, the Bible is clear that angels, they don't marry, neither are they given any marriage. They don't procreate. So in that sense, we're quite different than the angels. The angels are also very intelligent. They're powerful beings, but one of the things that the devil can't do--and I think that's why he particularly hates mankind is because we are able to create in our image through children. That's something the angels can't do. So that's something unique that it seems God did for Adam and Eve for this--for humanity here on this earth.

Doug: And even aside from the procreation part of it, God created man to create. He put them in a garden. When He said to keep the garden, and He gives them the world, God wanted man to be creative with what happened in the garden, and maybe--you know, I always liked to say, "Do you realize that there were no bananas in the garden of Eden?" A banana is a hybrid of two Asian fruits that are not that exciting by themselves, but you put them together, and you make a wonder fruit. And I think Adam and Eve were probably going to be doing some really creative things with pollination and the creation to make new things and shape buildings out of training vines, and it's all--and it's hard for us to understand, but God made man to be creative as God is.

Jëan: That's good.

Doug: Train the animals to do tricks.

Jëan: That's right.

Doug: He had all those animals, yeah.

Jëan: All right, so we have a couple questions that's coming. These are great questions. Brandon is asking, "Is there a relationship between the Sabbath and the millennium? Does the week of Creation represent a 7,000-year time line?

Doug: Yeah, well, now, we got to be careful when we mentioned this. Personally, I believe that there is a connection, and this was the belief of J. N. Andrews, Martin Luther, Joseph Bates, a lot of the founders, E.G. White, that there's what they call this great millennial week of time, where you have approximately--and this is--I'm very careful to say "approximately" because you can't use this to--you can't, like, take Bishop Ussher's chronology and say, "I'm going to fix the day for a second coming."

But you do see that there's this epoch where you have the age of the patriarchs for 2,000 years, from Adam to Abraham, then you've got approximately 2,000 years from Abraham to Christ, who's the second Adam, and then you will probably have approximately 2,000 years from Christ's first coming to the Second Coming. We don't know when that is. You know, it could be later. You have all those parables that say there seems to be a delay. Doesn't say how long that delay is but that "While the bridegroom tarried." Moses goes up the mountain, and it says, "He tarries." If that evil servant says, "My Lord delays his coming."

And there's a lot of stories that seem to think it could be delayed. Other places, it says He'll cut it short in righteousness. So we don't know what the time is, but then it says that we live and reign with Christ for a thousand years. So you do seem to see a pattern, anyway, that there'll be this millennial week, but don't take that and try to then peg a date for the Second Coming.

Jëan: I know. All right, well, that's a great thought and needs study there. Well, Pastor Doug, Tuesday, He's talking about the Sabbath and Creation, or in Creation, and, of course, today, there's no surprise that the seventh-day Sabbath is definitely under attack.

Doug: Yeah.

Jëan: There's two institutions that come to us before sin ever entered the world. You've got the seventh-day Sabbath or you've got marriage first, and then you got the seventh-day Sabbath. Now, talking about the Sabbath though, we've noticed that there's even some changes in the calendar. They have what they call the workweek. And the workweek, the first day of the week is on Monday, and the last day of the week is on Sunday.

Doug: These governments that have changed calendars.

Jëan: Governments that have tried to change the days of the week. And then something very interesting that you've mentioned before, Pastor Doug, and that is "The Papal Encyclical" on climate change and how it's been emphasized in having a day of rest.

Doug: Yeah, and the Pope in this 2015 encyclical, he made a very subtle transition. He talks about the importance of the Jewish Sabbath on the seventh day, and then he brings in the Eucharist, which was Sunday. And you'd be surprised how many people, when I talked about the Sabbath, say, "Oh, yeah, I go to church every Sabbath." So it's the seventh day. Say, "Yeah, I go on the seventh day, Sunday, seventh day." And there's a lot of confusion on that.

But you and I did a program a little more than a week ago where we said that, you know, in the midst of this global shutdown that we hope it's going to be evaporating soon, that a lot of people are saying, "Maybe, look at all the people resting. The environment is getting better. It seems like the air is a little cleaner. People are, you know, resting at home. Water is cleaner. Animals seem to be enjoying it. Maybe we should start remembering to keep a Sabbath once a week for the environment." Others, churches are saying, "We've been neglecting the Sabbath. We ought to start doing it." And I could just--I think we listed about 15 different national sources that are mentioning a Sabbath day in connection with the shutdown, so it is an interesting time.

Jëan: And then, of course, the next part of our lesson is talking about Jesus and the Sabbath, and we can always follow the example that Jesus gives us. And in Mark chapter 2, verse 27, Jesus said, speaking of the Sabbath, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath." Well, of course, mankind was made on the sixth day of the week. Adam and Eve were created on Friday. The first full day that Adam and Eve had was a day of rest.

You know, it's interesting, Pastor Doug, you see, God works for six days, and then He rests on the seventh day. Adam and Eve are created on the sixth day, the first full day they rest, and then they work for six. So it's the reverse. God worked for six, He rests on the seventh. Mankind rests for one day, and then they work for six days. And so the Sabbath is a memorial of God's creative work. It is a time for us to reflect upon His goodness and a time for us to interact with His creation, time for us to fellowship in special communion with God.

Doug: Yeah, and so the Sabbath because--and God says, you know, "I gave the children of Israel the Sabbath day. It's a memorial or a sign unto them that I'm the Lord that made them." He's a creator. And this is also a reminder that--what else did He do to the Sabbath? He sanctified it. He says that it's also a sign of His sanctifying power. So everyone out there that needs a new heart created in them or if we need sanctification, Sabbath is always a reminder of that.

And one more thing, the Sabbath, it's a reminder that there were literal days. When they go through the wilderness, God rains bread down from heaven six days a week, and then there's none on the seventh day, reminding them that these were six literal 24-hour days, otherwise, they would starve if they went a thousand years without bread.

Jëan: And, of course, we also know that the Sabbath was not just made for the Jew. It says there in Genesis chapter 2--well, Jesus actually referred to it also in Mark chapter 2, the Sabbath is made for man. Well, when it says, "man," it's talking about "mankind." Adam and Eve were the very first people that celebrated the Sabbath, and they weren't Jews. This is long before the time of Abraham. And when it says, "The Sabbath day is made for man," or mankind, that means is for everyone. Doesn't matter what your nationality or what your family connection might be.

And then we also find the Sabbath an important theme, even in the last book of the Bible. In Revelation chapter 14, verse 7, you have the first angel's message, Revelation 14:7, "saying with a loud voice, 'Fear God and give Him glory, for the hour of His judgment has come, and worship Him that made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and the springs of water.'" So the last book of the Bible is calling us back to worship the Creator.

Doug: Yeah, and it's not changed. The word Jesus uses there in Greek when he says, "The Sabbath was made for man," is "anthropos," from where we get the word "anthropology." It's the study of man. And so it's talking about mankind. The Sabbath--Jesus do not need rest any more or less than other races. I mean, the spiritual rest, the worship, the sanctification, the blessings, that's meant for--universally, for everyone. So it is in the middle of God's law, the longest of the Ten Commandments, and even in the Ten Commandments, it points back to Creation as its origin.

Jëan: And then, specifically, Pastor Doug, talking about the Sabbath--you can find this in Genesis chapter 2, verse 3--notice the three things God does in the creation of the Sabbath. It says, "Then God blessed the seventh day. He sanctified the seventh day, and He rested on the seventh day." What's the significance of those three things that God did to make the Sabbath?

Doug: Well, I always remember hearing that this is something that designates it as unique. He doesn't--I mean, He calls the days good when He creates, but when He gets to the Sabbath, God, did He rest because He's tired? The Bible says, "He never slumbers or sleeps." Jesus said, "My Father works here, and too I work," meaning, you know, God sustains things, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

But the word "rest" there is--it's basically when you finish doing something, you sit back, and you go, "That's really neat, you know?" And you revel in it. You enjoy something that you've made. And so, you know, God wants to revel in His creation of man. He wants to rejoice in His relationship with us. It's kind of like a parent rocking a baby. They could be resting, but they're really enjoying looking down into that face. And so He rested, He blessed it, He set it aside as a day. He Didn't bless it for Him. He blessed to be a blessing for us. That's why it says God made man first, then He makes the Sabbath to be a blessing to man." He doesn't make man to exist to serve the Sabbath, which is what was happening in Christ's day. The Pharisees were acting like the purpose of man was to keep the Sabbath. And they made all these man-made rules about the Sabbath, and God said, "No, no, God, made man, and He made the Sabbath to be a blessing to man. It is a law, but we're to be blessed in keeping it.

Jëan: You know, what's also interesting is that we find God blessing the Sabbath, and God also blesses marriage. Now, of course, people today wouldn't say that marriage was just for the Jews or just for one nation, but marriage is, of course, for all mankind. Well, the same word used to bless mankind is also used to bless the Sabbath. Therefore, the Sabbath, like marriage, is for everyone. So, "sanctify," of course, means "to set apart for a holy use." Use the illustration of somebody that's done something, and they rest in satisfaction of the work finished. I think of it as an artist who paints a beautiful picture when everything's just perfect. The last thing he does is sign his name on the bottom.

So the Sabbath, God signs His name on his creative work, and it's a time for us to reflect upon Him as the one who made all things. That brings us to our next subject. We need to move right along, and a very important subject: Creation and marriage. Not only is the seventh-day Sabbath under attack--you know, this institution that came before sin, marriage is also under attack.

Doug: Yeah, and, you know, you don't even know how to say it because it's become so omnipresent in our world today, this attitude that people are supposed to have about marriage as sort of being, you know, whatever you want it to be, and even a person's gender. I'm stumbling for words because I just grew up in the day where, you know, people said that "Girls were sugar and spice and everything nice, and boys were dogs and snails and puppy dog tails." And people just accepted there was a difference, and we would celebrate those differences, and it goes all the way back to Genesis that God created them different with different roles, and it's part of His plan.

And it is a good thing, but now we're in a culture where everybody sort of begins--it's like we're being bombarded by the culture, with everything from the styles to the attitudes and the entertainment for people to second-guess what their gender is, where every chromosome in your body really tells you that--Genesis tells you that. And so, yeah, it's just, if you had said 25 years ago that the day was coming where men would be marrying men, and women would be marrying women, and calling it legitimate when it's so clear from the Bible that men are to marry women, and that's the arrangement for procreation. I mean, it's what you call--in our Constitution, they're called--certain truths are self-evident. It is a self-evident truth. And I think you were saying just before we went on the air, you're talking about marriage and, oh, "Honor your father and your mother."

Jëan: That's right. You've got the fifth commandment, and you've got the seventh commandment. Of course, seventh commandment, "Thou shalt not commit adultery," and that commandment has been left in the past, or society, they don't pay too much attention to that. But the fifth commandment is kind of interesting where God says, "Honor your father and your mother that your days might be long upon the land which the Lord thy God has given thee." Well, if you're living in a home with two fathers or two mothers, how do you honor your father and your mother if you're growing up in that type of society? So we see, once again, the devil's attempt to not only destroy the fourth commandment, the Sabbath commandment, but even the fifth commandment, and, of course, even today, it's looked down on.

Doug: Seventh commandment and the tenth commandment, "You shall not covet your neighbor's spouse." It says, "wife," there, and the commandments were addressed to the men, "Don't covet your neighbor's wife," and so all through the commandments, there's this very clear distinction that's given.

Jëan: Right, and the devil is trying to destroy that, so, yeah, it's not a surprise that we find society in shambles today if you destroy the very foundational unit of society, which is the family, father, mother, children, and you reinterpret--first of all, the children get to decide what gender they want to be, which is amazing to me. Even before a child is in its teen years, it gets to decide "if I want to be a boy or a girl," and then you get to decide if you want to marry a man or a woman--it's just going against everything—

Doug: Or two men and two women.

Jëan: That's right.

Doug: And God made one—

Jëan: Going against everything.

Doug: He made one Eve for one Adam.

Jëan: Right.

Doug: And I think someone asked Benjamin Franklin, one time, they said, "You can't show me a Scripture that says a man can't have more than one wife." And Franklin said, "No man can serve two masters."

Jëan: That's good.

Doug: So the original plan was very clearly one man, one woman.

Jëan: All right, we have a question that's come in, and the question is "Why didn't God destroy Lucifer and his angels as soon as they sinned?"

Doug: Yeah, well, if God had done that--see, Lucifer was casting terrible aspersions on God's character, saying, "God is cruel and vindictive, and He's a tyrant, and He's forcing us to keep His laws." And if God had vaporized Lucifer right at that point, it would've made Lucifer's charges look valid. And instead of the other creatures serving God from love, they would be serving Him out of fear, and that's not what God wanted. And so Lucifer knew that. He knew the character of God. He knew that God was long-suffering and patient. And so God, He said, "I'm going to have to let Lucifer play out his government." And when people here on earth said they'd listen to the devil instead of God, he used this world as the staging ground to play out his government, and you can see what happened.

Jëan: We have a question from John, relating to the question of marriage. He says, "When was divorce introduced in the Bible, and what is God's counsel on that?"

Doug: Well, and this may be a rhetorical question because Jesus is very clear. He said, In the beginning, God made them male and female," so God--Jesus endorses that they were made male and female from the beginning. "A man is to leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife, and the two become one flesh." And then Christ said that it was because of the hardness of our hearts that God allowed Moses to have laws regarding divorce.

Now, Moses introduced several laws that were not part of God's will, just because of the hardness of people's hearts. The original diet is given in Genesis. Moses said in his writings that, you know, there's a provision made for eating certain clean meats because of the hardness of our arteries. It wasn't God's original plan. And Moses made laws about slavery, not because God endorsed slavery, but he wanted to make sure, since people were doing it in their stubbornness, that slaves were not mistreated. And people were abandoning their wives, and God said, "Look, if that's happening, these need to be the criteria." And so all of that was because of the hardness of heart. It was not His original plan.

Jëan: Not His original purpose. Well, that brings us then to Thursday's lesson, which is entitled "Creation, the Fall, and the Cross." Here we have good news in the midst of, you know, the terrible decisions made by Adam and Eve. We find hope and encouragement. Of course, in the very beginning, Genesis chapter 1, verse 31, it says, "Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good." So the Bible begins with "very good," but then something happens, and it becomes very bad, and that, of course, is Genesis chapter 3, where we have the fall of mankind.

Doug: Yeah, the devil, wanting to hide his true intentions, he takes possession of a very beautiful hypnotic creature. It says it was one of the more subtle of all the creatures that God had made, and it's probably one of your favorite creatures if I'm not mistaken.

Jëan: That's why I don't like snakes.

Doug: And through the medium of the serpent, you know, he deceived humanity into trusting the word of the serpent instead of the Word of God. God had said, "Do not eat it. You will die." The devil said, "You will not die." They had to make a decision. And, by the way, first question in the Bible is doubting God's Word. The devil says, "Has God said?" And with doubting God's Word and not having faith in God's Word, all the sin and misery has come into our world. The solution is to trust God's Word, have faith in God's Word, and that's where we find salvation.

But, you know, and then I always think it's interesting, in Genesis, you've got man created in the garden, and everything is good and beautiful, and then through sin, the paradise and the tree of life is lost. There's a serpent, there's a woman. You get to Revelation, and you've got the woman, you've got the serpent. The last three chapters talk about the destruction of the serpent, the restoration of paradise and the tree of life, and it talks about the great wedding. There's a wedding in Genesis, and you get the wedding supper of the Lamb there in the last chapters of Genesis. So it's basically how to get back to the garden is what you find in the Bible between Genesis Revelation.

Jëan: Now, it's very interesting, Pastor Doug. In just a few minutes that we have left here, you mentioned earlier that the way marriage occurred right in Genesis is God caused a deep sleep to come upon Adam, opened up his side, took out a rib, and with the rib, He made the bride of Adam, of course, is Eve. Now, there is a typology there for Christ and the church.

Doug: Yeah, and it's interesting that Adam is put to sleep on the sixth day, which is the day he's created, and you could say his bride comes from his side. Well, you have Jesus, who on the sixth day of the week, Friday, He says, "It is finished." He goes to sleep. A Roman soldier pierces His side. From His side comes that flow of water and blood, and the church is born, you might say, at that point.

Jëan: Yeah, it's a beautiful analogy, and, of course, you spoke about the marriage supper of the Lamb at the end. Pastor Doug, a real quick question here that's come in. The question is "I've been wondering why did Jesus have to wait 4,000 years to come instead of coming right after Adam and Eve sinned?"

Doug: Well, Bible tells us, in the fullness of time, the conditions of the world really needed to be ripe, and by the time of Christ, you know, the Romans were ruling much of the civilized world. They had a common language. There was a road system for the dispersion of the Gospel. Humanity had also kind of reached its lowest dregs at that time. There were more slaves in the Roman Empire than there were free people. And so it was just the time when the world was ripe for the Messiah to come, and then God needed to leave some time to then spread that message.

So for the first 4,000 years they were saved by looking forward to the cross in faith, the sacrifice of the lambs. Jesus comes. John the Baptist says, "This is the Lamb of God." Now we're saved by looking back to the cross, trusting in the blood of the Lamb.

Jëan: 1 Corinthians chapter 15, verse 45, says, "And so it is written, the first Adam became a living being. The last Adam becomes a life-giving spirit." The first Adam would be Adam, the one made there at the beginning of time. The last Adam would be a reference to Jesus. Through Christ, we are recreated. Through Christ, we have eternal life. Through Adam, because of his sin, we have death, but through Christ, we have life.

Doug: Amen, and, of course, it's in Genesis we see death came because of sin. "The wages for sin are death," but the promise is "The gift of God is eternal life." Pastor Ross, in the few moments we have before we go off the air, if some joined us a little late, maybe you could mention our free offer for today.

Jëan: Beautiful little book, talking about the "Wonders of Creation," and if you'd like to receive this, just ask for Offer Number 116. The number is 866-788-3966, or you can get a digital download by texting the code "SH142," to the number 40544.

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Announcer: Amazing Facts changed lives.

Diamond Garcia: Hi, my name is Diamond Garcia, and I am from the beautiful islands of Hawaii. I was raised in a very dysfunctional family, like most families. Being in that environment, I would lie, cheat, steal, rob houses, cheat in school and tests, and lying to teachers and getting into fights, and all kinds of stuff. One day, I was asked to take this little box of something, and I had to walk down the road and give it to someone, and they would give me money, and I would walk back home, and I later realized I was dealing drugs.

Growing up in that environment, I thought that, you know, being an adult was a life of drinking and smoking and partying, and that's just what adults did. When I looked at my family and saw the world that they were going down, getting arrested, getting beaten up, coming home drunk and puking all over the floor, I just didn't want that for myself.

Growing up, I had a grandma who was baptized as a Christian in her 20s, but then she wasn't a real practicing Christian. And so, one day, I was at her house, and there was a box of various books. And I went to the bottom of that box and found a book called "The Great Controversy," and I picked it up, and I said, "This is interesting," and I opened to the first page of that book, and it said, "If thou hadst known--" I had no clue what it meant. And so I said, "You know what? Forget this." I put the book down. I just walked away. I did my thing.

But then something told me, "You know, Diamond, go back to that book." And so I went back to the book, picked it up, went to the last two chapters, and I read it. And I said to my grandmother, I said, "What church is this from? I want to go to that church." So she brought me down to the local church, and then I walk in from the back door, and the piano is off key, people were off key. It's like, "Man, this is really kind of-- I don't want to be here." And I got to the front of the church, and I sat down. I was listening to the sermon and the whole service. It was so boring to me.

But then someone gives me this set of DVDs, and it was called "The Prophecy Code." It was through watching Doug Batchelor explain the truths found in the Bible that really brought me to Christ, and brought me to realize that, you know what? There is a life better than my family's life.

My second week at church on Sabbath, there was one person there. He basically told me, "Hey, Diamond, do you want to make some money?" And I said, "Sure." I said, "What do you do?" He says, "Well, I'm a call porter. We go door-to-door, and we sell Christian books." I said, "Oh, okay, well, that sounds interesting. I do want to make some money too." And so he said, "Okay, well, why don't you come with me?" We drove out to the neighborhood, parked the car, and that night, it was just raining. It was pouring and pouring. It could not stop raining. He prayed. He said, "God, this is Diamond's first night. If it's your will, stop the rain so we can go knocking on doors."

And as soon as he said, "Amen," the rain just stopped. I was just thinking in my head, "Is this guy a prophet, or what?" I mean, he just prayed and asked God, and it happened. And so I was so happy. I grabbed the books, and I went to the first door, and the first door I went to, the person gave me 50 bucks.

That night was actually a big night for me because it was where I saw God's power work in stopping the rain, and people were actually giving me lots of money. I then became a colporteur or canvasser, and I'd save money to pay for my way through academy, and when my church began to see how God was using me, they immediately recognized that it was God's Spirit moving, and they put me, you know, preaching and teaching, and sharing my faith.

I've been engaged in ministry for the past six to seven years now, and God has taken me all over the world on multiple continents, sharing my testimony how God has brought me out of darkness into His marvelous light, which is total contrast as to how I was before and now. You know, it's a total contrast. My name is Diamond, and Amazing Facts has helped to change my life.

Doug: Among the people living in the tropics for thousands of years, the coconut has been a virtual tree of life. The people use it for food, for clothing, for water, for tools, for soap. It does just about everything. The coconut has also saved a lot of lives. During World War II, pilots that were shot down or sailors that were stranded on Pacific Islands, they lived for many months on nothing other than the coconut trees that were on their islands. Yes, sir, the coconut is a tree of life. One of the amazing things about the coconut is they're designed so they're actually able to float across oceans. Coconuts can go thousands of miles after many months, be washed up on some deserted, sandy beach, then they take root, sprout, come to life, and they'll develop a whole new ecosystem, holding islands in place through a hurricane. When the ancient Polynesian travelers crossing oceans saw an island with coconut trees, they knew there was hope. It's amazing how, in virtually no time at all, those living on Pacific Islands know how to make baskets and all kinds of tools from the leaves of the coconut tree.

The coconuts even serve different purposes at different times in their development. The younger green coconut, they're full of water, and that'll keep you alive. Mm, You can even make your utensils from the coconut. My spoon is part of the green shell, and here, this is the coconut jelly. Makes good for breakfast.

The more mature coconuts, that's where you get the meat, but you want to make sure that they're not bad, and the way you test this is you can hear the water inside. Hey, bring that mic over here. Can you hear it? That's a good one. How about we take a bite? Now, that makes a meal that will really fill you up, and it cleans your teeth at the same time. Throughout the Bible, Jesus uses a number of metaphors to remind us that everything we need to survive comes from Him. He says that He's the living water. Jesus tells us He is the bread of life. His robe covers us with righteousness. He is our good shepherd that protects us. Jesus is the living vine through which we get our life and our nourishment. You might say Jesus is like the coconut tree, a tree of life.

You know, the first few verses in the Bible tell that God provided a tree of life for man so he could live forever, but because of sin, man was separated from that tree and from the garden. But through trusting in Jesus and trusting in His sacrifice on the cross, we once again will have access to the tree of life and have eternal life with Him in the kingdom. But this is all made possible because we trust in Jesus, who is the real tree of life. Jesus said, "Unless you eat My flesh and drink My blood, you have no life in you." But when we accept Christ as our sacrifice and we allow Him to cleanse us and fill us with His Spirit, we become new creatures, and we can be with Him in sharing the gift of everlasting life with others. Matter of fact, we could do that right now by tossing a coconut out and praying that it lands on a deserted beach.

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