A Garment of Innocence

Scripture: Genesis 1:27, Genesis 2:15-17, Genesis 3:1-11
Date: 04/16/2011 
Lesson: 3
Adam and Eve lost their original garments of light and purity, but God Himself supplied new garments for them to cover their shame.
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Good morning. Happy Sabbath. We're so glad that you are tuning in and joining with us this morning as we study God's Word and we sing on this beautiful Sabbath day. No matter what the weather is like where you're from, it is Sabbath and that is what matters, that it is a blessed and holy day. And we come together every week to worship our creator and our loving Heavenly Father.

So this morning, we're going to sing a song about that we are children of the heavenly king. This is a request, 468 in your hymnals. This is from simao in angola, aaron and gloria in australia, veronica, angel, jasmine in bahamas, carlisle in barbados, abelino, alciro, ameidi and valencia in belize, elias in California, helen in dominica, malindi in england, maisie in France, Israel, naomi in the grenville church in grenada, bella in Hawaii, Rebekah and joanna in india, clifton, sinone, justin, pamella, and petal in jamaica, andrew in malawi, Johnny, guille and hugo in Mexico, beulah and chigozie in netherlands, charity in New Mexico, marilyn in New York noel and victoria in nigeria, rudy in Philippines, jean, marsha and Titus in saint lucia, billy, anne and maureen in tonga, and marcos in Virginia. Okay, 468, we're going to sing 1st, 2nd and 4th stanza, "a child of the King" Those of you who are watching this morning on our website at saccentral.org, those of you listening on the radio or on the various television networks, you get to participate in our Sabbath school by sending in your favorite hymn requests. And so you have the opportunity to do that again this week.

And it's very simple. You just go to our website at saccentral.org, click on the "contact us" link. And you can send in any request from our hymnal. And we will do our best to sing that for you on an upcoming Sabbath. Saccentral.

org, and click on the "contact us" link. It's very, very simple. Our opening song, 290, "turn your eyes upon Jesus." This is from emilka, chris and leomar in australia, dorothy and Michael in California, lennart in denmark, chawe, Christine, kiran and anita in england, and katelynne and ketyana also in england, kadie and toby in florida, alex in Georgia, ralph in germany, John in Hawaii, joyce in Illinois, dave and stephane in jamaica, hadassah in Louisiana, k.c. In Maryland, kenny in Nevada, sandie, vern, jamie and jenny, North Carolina, andreas in norway, lyla in Pennsylvania, darius in the Philippines, abel in puerto rico, Joseph in tanzania, don, lyn in Texas, 290, all 3 stanzas, "turn your eyes upon Jesus" Father in Heaven, this morning, we turn our eyes upon you. We look to you.

And the things of this world truly do grow strangely dim. Father, we thank you so much that there is something better then the things of this world. There is something more substantial. There's something that's lasting forever. The things here fade.

They rust. The moths eat them. They're corrupt. But you never do. And your kingdom never will.

We thank you so much for loving us. Please be with us as we open up Your Word and we study together this morning. Speak to our hearts. In Jesus Name, amen. At this time our lesson study will be brought to us by our senior pastor here at central, Pastor Doug Batchelor.

Good morning. Welcome, friends. We're glad to have you here studying with us, Sacramento central Sabbath school. We're going through our Sabbath school quarterly dealing with the subject of "garments of grace." And today we're on lesson number 3, we'll get to in a moment. We have a free offer, as we always do.

The offer today, "down from his glory." It's free. The number you call is 866-study-more, 866-788-3966. We'll send you the book, "down from his glory." We're on lesson number 3, "the garments of innocence." And we have a memory verse. The memory verse is Genesis 1:27. I like to always ask our class to say that out loud with me.

Genesis 1:27, you ready? "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." You know, the worldview, the paradigm from which Christians view what's going on in the world around us is so very different from that of the world. In the world they basically say that man started out as an amoeba or less, and we have slowly over millions of eons been morphing and evolving into something almost divine. You know, man has become the God of this world. And you do have to admit, if you just go back the last 200 years through the industrial age and the great advances of technology and medicine, wow, there's been a lot of changes. I've heard some varying statistics, but they say something like in the last hundred years man has learned more than in all the written history of man combined, in the first 6,000 years of man's history.

But really according to the Bible, man was made with much more intelligence and sophistication and a vaster memory than we have now. And we have not been going from sludge to God; we've been going from God to sludge. We have been evolving, backwards. Man is becoming more animal-like. Our memories have been weaker.

And you know, it is interesting that the written history of man goes back to about 4000 years b.c. It seems like there was this surge of great intelligence in building and sophistication of man. And then in some ways, they degraded for many years. There's a reason the dark ages are called the dark ages. But if you go to Egypt, I've been there, I've been in the great pyramid, and just all over the world.

Any of you ever been to micronesia? There's a--you know where nan madol is? Pohnpei, on the island of pohnpei, they've got ruins there. They call it the venice of the pacific. Just saw a program on this on national geographic. And it's mind-boggling, they built this great, big city out there on this island, remote island. And they moved these stones that are like 50 tons a piece.

And they don't know how they did it. And you can go and you can see the ruins in thailand and india and just all over the world. There was a lot of engineering and wisdom and knowledge that's been lost. The Bible says that man originally was made in the image of God. First 1500 years of man's history, it wasn't until sometime after the flood that anything was even written down because man's mind was so profound that they almost had a photographic memory.

I think adam did have a photographic memory. Can you imagine at the rate you begin to forget things now, I'm speaking to those of you that are part of aarp, at the rate you begin to forget--they keep sending me things trying to get me to sign up, but I'm in denial. How much would you remember when you're 800 years old? The memory of man had to be much more powerful. But by the time of Moses, I mean he only lived 120 years. And he wasn't an enigma.

His sister lived longer than he did, so did aaron, lived 123 years. They were living longer back then. Their minds were sharper. But they had started to degrade. They needed to then cartify the Word of God, because eventually man would reach his three score and ten years, where we are today, and memories we'd quickly forget.

And so you can even see in history that evolution is not true. Man was made in the image of God. In what ways was man in the image of God, besides does God probably have a head, two arms, two legs, hands and feet? Does the Bible tell us that? It does. Divisions they had of God The Father, even God The Son, describes the hair and hands and eyes and feet. And man was made in God's image in that respect.

It doesn't mean God's got all the same plumbing that we've got. But, you know, we were made in the image or likeness of God. And beyond that, in the same way that God is the Lord or ruler of the cosmos, man was made to be the ruler of this world. And God created in his own image, man was given the ability through an act of cooperative love to procreate in his own image. God said, "let us make man," because of love, God cooperated in the making of man.

And man and wife cooperate in procreating in their own image. So there's a lot of ways that man was made in the image of God, right? But we're going to be talking about garments in particular in this quarter and in our lessons today we're talking about "garments of innocence." Man was made originally innocent and no artificial clothing. Today man is different from other creatures in most creatures are born with their clothes on. Or if they're born naked, their clothes soon grow shortly after that. I used to have mice and they were all born naked, as are kittens often are born like that and many other animals.

But they quickly grow their coat of fur because they're not always there to cuddle. But man does not grow, at least not an adequate coat. There's probably a few at the circus that are pretty hairy, men and women, talk about at the circus. But we need artificial clothing. But in the beginning, man was not ashamed.

He had garments of innocence. I remember reading a story, this has often been repeated, I'm hoping that it's based on some truth, that a pastor was new in his district and he wanted to get to know all the members. And so he was making the rounds. And then one Friday afternoon he went to a house and it was obvious from what he thought was scurrying inside, lights on, car in the garage, he thought he heard somebody home. And he knocked, no answer, knocked again, no answer.

So eventually he thought, "oh, I better give up." He took one of his business cards and it had his name on it, and he just wrote, "Revelation 3:20" and stuck in the screen door. Well, then that Sunday as they were counting the offering, they found this card of the pastor's and another verse had been written underneath it. And it was the verse Genesis 3:10. Well I think everybody here knows what Revelation 3:20 says. It says, "behold I stand at the door and knock.

" And Genesis 3:10 says, "I heard your voice but I was afraid for I was naked and I hid myself." Ever have the pastor come to the door when you're not quite ready for a visit. And you know, every now and then Karen's got to field phone calls for me. And some people are very persistent. And they say, "is Pastor Doug there?" And Karen will say, "he's not available." And they'll say, "but is he there?" And she'll say, "well, yes." "Well, how come he's not available?" "He's in the shower." And just people say, "got to talk to him right now." You can't always--can't always answer the door. Anyway, adam and eve originally had no artificial clothing, but then because of sin shame came to the world.

Now this comes in later in our lesson. Look with me at Genesis 1:31, and then there's some verses I might ask you to read with me. Genesis 1:31, "and God saw that every thing he made, was very good." Now you realize in the first chapter alone of Genesis, you go to chapter 3 and I lose count. But the first chapter alone of Genesis, it's interesting the word "good" is found seven times. "God saw it was good.

" "It was good." "It was good." And finally he punctuates it, the seventh good, he says, "very good." It's kind of like the Sabbath. There's something blessed about that seventh good. And he said everything was very good. There was no shame in the garden. And there was perfect innocence.

Now someone always raises the question, not always, but I've often heard the question. "Pastor Doug, how long were adam and eve living in the garden when it was paradise before they were tempted and fell?" Have you ever wondered that? How long was it? How long was this vacation in paradise. I just want your opinions. And I'm not going to embarrass anybody, because the jury's out on this answer. But I just wonder what you're thinking.

I'm just curious for my sake. How many of you think that it was a matter of days or a few weeks before they sinned? Let me see your hands. I see oh maybe a dozen. How many of you think it was a question of a few months before they sinned? Are there any here that believe they may have had a few years in the garden before the sinned? Wow, that's the majority of you. That's called positive thinking.

How many of you are hoping to have eternity in the garden. You know, he calls it paradise. Eden, eden actually means paradise. Let me tell you why I think it was probably weeks or months. When God made adam and he--first of all, the devil operates on the idea of blitzkrieg.

You know what blitzkrieg is? It's a german word that kind of meant fast war. You know, hitler realized that if you could attack before people had a chance to prepare and surprise 'em, do it very quickly. Adam and eve had been warned shortly after creation not to eat the forbidden tree. There was this place where they could be tested. And before they could get too much information, I think the devil tried to hit them in their innocence.

That's one reason. Another reason I don't think they had very long was because God, shortly after creation told them, "be fruitful and multiply." And they were in perfect health. And they had this command of God. They still hadn't had any children yet. And I could be wrong.

I think it was less than a year. That's just my opinion. I have no authority. You could be right. But I do think they had long enough in the garden to never forget what they lost.

You know, when they were finally driven from the garden and they wistfully looked where the gates of eden were. I mean until the flood they could look over the hedge or the wall or whatever barrier God had. Probably the barrier was a river. You know, there were several rivers around eden. One of those was maybe a natural barrier.

And God's angels said, "you cannot enter this place anymore." Notice God said it was, "my garden." It'd become holy ground. They were now unholy. They were not allowed in that garden. And I think they could look wistfully over the river. And by that angel with the flaming sword and remember what they lost.

And for the rest of their lives. So I do think they had some time there. I personally think it was less than a year, 'cause they hadn't had any children yet. And I think the devil kind of caught them off their guard early on. So but can you imagine what those days must have been like, and the work they did, and the beauty? I mean everything, they were living with just pleasures at their right hand forevermore, innocent pleasure.

No guilt, no chill, no fatigue, no shame, no aches, no fear of death. We live in constant fear of death. I mean you might be thinking, "Pastor Doug, I don't live in fear of death." But really, I mean, you know, the reason you look at the lights before you cross is 'cause it's not good for your--your death if you don't pay attention to that. And so, you know, we're just always apprehensive in this world where there was nothing to hurt or destroy in everything, in all of creation. And so, but then they lost that.

Now how do we get it back? How do we get those garments? We'll talk more about the garments in a minute. How do we get those garments of innocence back? Someone look up 2 Timothy 3:16-17. We gave that out. "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." Alright. Talking about how do we reclaim that purity, that innocence again? For one thing it tells us the Bible contains everything we need.

Now that should make sense, because what was it, through what vehicle or power did God first make man in his innocence and purity? "And God said." So for us to be recreated with that same innocence and purity, "all Scripture is given," and it is thoroughly, complete for us to get everything we need for salvation, for righteousness. That purity again, right? Someone said one time, "whoever blushes is already guilty. True innocence is ashamed of nothing." I heard about this country club that they had an all-women's golf tournament. Well, because of that, they needed to dedicate not only the men's locker room, but even the--or the women's locker room, but also the men's locker room for the women to change. And they, you know, put a sign up.

But one of the boys whose father worked there was so used to just barging right on in, he didn't even look at the sign on the door. And this eight-year-old boy, all the women were in there changing. He went walking in, they all started screaming. And he thought, "what? Have you never seen a boy before?" He couldn't figure it out, just had that innocence. Already, John 17:3, "this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

" So for us to regain that eternal life, that glory, that innocence again, it's through the word and then through who else? Through Christ. And what's another name for Jesus. "The word was made flesh and dwelt among us," right? Alright, there is a passage. I'll read this for you, Matthew 6:25-33. We're talking about garments of innocence, or getting that righteousness again.

And I want you to underline, I did. Well, you don't have to underline in your Bible. But just take note of how often you'll find reference to clothing in this passage. Matthew 6:25-33, Jesus is speaking, "therefore I say unto you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your Heavenly Father feeds them.

Are not you of much more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all of his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is today, and tomorrow thrown in the oven, will he not much more clothe you, o ye of little faith? Therefore do not worry saying, 'what will we eat?' Or 'what will we drink?' Or 'what will we wear?' For after all these things the gentiles seek. Your Heavenly Father knows you have need of these things. But seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." You notice there, "what will you put on?" "Clothing," "about clothing," "clothes the grass," "not arrayed," "what shall we wear?" What is one of the principle concerns people have? How many of you think at some point every day about what you're going to put on? I'm assuming you thought about it today unless you slept in your clothes. So you know, we always have to think about that.

It's something people are conscious of. And especially, you know, for homeless folks where it's cold, they not only worry about, "where am I going to get my next meal?" They worry about getting their clothes cleaned, or getting sufficient or adequate clothing. And I remember when we had our--we called it our dorcas ministry, or community service, names change here at central church. When I first came to pastor here, we just had a whole corner of the church that was dedicated to repairing and shipping and receiving clothing. Now we're actually preparing to open a whole thrift store for that.

But--yeah, you all pray about that. Anyway, won't say much about that, but we're looking this whole new avenue of ministry right now. But it's because it's a regular, ongoing need that people have to cover themselves. Now Jesus refers to Solomon arrayed in all of his glory. Who is the richest of the Kings? The most glorious? Solomon.

Who do you think probably had the best robes, of all the--he was a Godly king. It started out that way. But he was rich. And he had even the queen of sheba was probably blown away with his threads of Solomon, had gold woven in. Jesus said the flowers that God makes are more beautiful than Solomon in all of his glory.

How does a flower get its clothing? How do we get our robes of righteousness? Does a flower go shopping? Or does a flower grow its clothes? By receiving the sunshine, the light, the nutrients, the flowers bloom. How do we get our robes of righteousness? By our receiving the light of God's truth, the nutrients in His Word, biblical teaching, through experience. Sometimes it means that it even comes through darkness and rain. Eventually it blooms. It grows.

And so these garments will grow, but they need to be nurtured. How important is it that we have these clothes? Are we all going to have to be clothed when Jesus comes with the right clothes? You know the parable of the wedding feast? I don't want to say too much about that, 'cause I think it's covered in another lesson. Having to always guard during this lesson not to go too far, too fast. But someone look for me Luke 21:36. I don't think I gave this out, so you're just going to have to--i need a volunteer.

Luke 21:36. "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before The Son of man." Now when it says, "stand before The Son of man," those who aren't prepared are going to run and hide. They're going to say, "I was naked, and I hid myself." But for us to be prepared to stand before him when he comes, we're going to have to watch and pray, watch and keep our garments. Alright, let's go back now and we're going to talk a little bit about "naked but not ashamed." Genesis 2:25, "and they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed," "naked and not ashamed." Does that mean they had special contact lenses and they just didn't notice? Some kind of sunglass lenses on, and then with sin the sunglasses fell off. And were they smarter after they ate the forbidden fruit? They were just, you know, ignorant and ignorance is bliss and they had no idea and they all of the sudden became a little more perceptive? Alright, go ahead now read for us Genesis 3:7.

"Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings." Alright, and then I tell you what, keep the microphone. Can you jump down, read verse 10 and 11 also. I know I didn't warn you I was going to do that. "And he said, 'I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself." Read the next verse, keep going. "And he said, 'who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?' " Alright, thank you.

So something obviously changed. They were naked. They were innocent. They felt fine. Then they eat the forbidden fruit.

That fruit gave them--was it carrot juice and it enhanced their vision? Is that what was in there? You know, you can read in the book, "Patriarchs and Prophets," page 45, now some of you have heard of this before, but a lot of our students who are watching or listening maybe haven't heard this: "the sinless pair wore no artificial garments. They were clothed with a covering of light and glory, such as the angels wear. So long as they lived in obedience to God, this robe of light continued to enshroud them." You might think, "well that's nice that you've got that inspired commentary, but what Scripture support do you have for that?" I believe we do have it. Mark 9:3, when Jesus was on the mount of transfiguration, something happened to his clothes. "His clothes became shining," a light is emanating, "exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them.

" Now I don't believe that it was really his clothes that became white. I believe when you put a light behind clothes, the clothes look like they're shining. I think the light was emanating from Christ, 'cause he was now glorified and his clothes appeared to shine. You know what I'm talking about? And it was his righteousness. I don't think all of the sudden he had some very interesting illuminating fabric.

How many of you have heard the story of the shroud of turin? There's this--it's been a lot in the news and there have been programs I think by probably history, national geographic, discovery: all kinds of people have done programs on this 'cause it's very interesting. They have this shroud. I think it's rome now, I'm not sure it's in turin anymore. And it's a grave wrapping of someone who is evidently crucified. And a man, roughly 6 feet tall, and it wrapped over the front and around the back.

And it seems like it is impressed with the image of whoever it wrapped. And they've done all kinds of tests on it. What they've come up with is it doesn't date far enough back to be Christ, but it appears to be authentic. It is authentic blood that's on the garment. And somehow this image was impressed.

And I used to wonder. Now I'm not trying to endorse the shroud of turin; I don't know, but I used to think to myself what would make the image of a man be impressed on that fabric like that. And what--what really surprised them is one day they took this big picture with more modern equipment, you know. And they looked at it and someone pressed the negative on their computer screen and they looked at the negative image and it changed the whole thing. And suddenly it became clear when they looked at the negative image of the shroud.

And I began to think within myself, and I said, "self, when they embalmed Jesus with all those ointments, then they wrapped him, maybe some of those embalming fluids acted like polaroid chemicals. And when he came back to life he flashed. And the fabric acted like photographic film, and it took the image of that flash." Now I know this is crazy speculation and like I said, that shroud ostensibly doesn't even date far enough back. But I used to wonder in my mind how that can happen. And now just keep in mind, I was just--just mind wandering.

I just sharing you how my mind wanders right now. But it wasn't the shroud; it was the flash. And so I think that people glow from light with righteousness. When they lived in the presence of a holy God, and when they talked to angels, they glowed. Alright, read for us now Exodus 34:29.

You thought I forgot. Exodus 34:29-30. "And it came to pass, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses' hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him. And when aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him." Any of you ever seen that material that--it's in a lot of children's toys, it's a kind of plastic or something. You hold it near a light, and then you turn off the lights, it'll glow for a little while.

It's--i think they get it from nuclear reactors. I'm not sure where they get that stuff. But anyway, you know, the old timex watches, men you remember that? At night it would glow for a little while. And expose to the light, take it away, turn off the lights. It retains some of the light.

Any of you folks ever unplug your laptop computer and your little charge box, even though it's unplugged, the light still glows for a little while. You know what I'm talking about? It's like a little transformer. It still retains. Moses came from 40 days of talking to God, and he was so full of the glory of God that he glowed for days or weeks after that. And he actually--people said, "Moses, please.

" And he had to veil his face! If adam and eve were in the presence of God, if he talked to 'em, at least weekly face-to-face, does it make sense that when they looked at each other they saw these robes of light? I think it's biblical. I've got another verse or two. And the reason I'm pressing this point, I don't want you to think adam and eve were streaking around the garden. It's so hard for artists. You know, whenever artists paint adam and eve in the Garden of Eden, they've always got to strategically put bushes and their poses and tigers and things all have to be in the right places, at least if it's in children books.

You gotta make sure that they're covered up. But I think in the Garden of Eden, they had robes of light. And you could have looked at them, and you would have seen them, but you wouldn't have seen their nakedness. Daniel 7:9, "I watched 'til thrones were put in place, and the ancient of days was seated; his garments was white as snow, and the hair of his head like wool." Now where have you seen that before? "White as snow," "wool." Go to Isaiah 1:18, "come now, let us reason together, says the Lord, though your sins be like scarlet, they will be white as snow; though," your sins, "are red like crimson, they shall be as wool." So God describes him saying, "white as snow," "like wool." Those were the purest whites they had in Bible time they could talk about. Though our sins might be that way, can we have that glory again through Christ, through his blood? We can have that same shining.

Matthew 10:26, no matter how much money you have or what store you shop at, there are no earthly clothes that you can buy that will prepare you to stand in the presence of God. He--I'm sorry, Matthew 10:26, "therefore do not fear. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known." Someday everything is going to be unveiled. Alright, now read for us Hebrews 4:13, that goes along with that verse. "Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

" Do you have to be embarrassed that God's watching if you're in the shower, or is everything always naked and open to him? I used to watch these superman tv programs. And he had x-ray vision. How many of you remember that? But they always had him just looking through walls. And as a boy, thinking about superman having x-ray vision, I used to think he's really wasting that power. Because you know, we always think in terms of what's hidden and what's not hidden.

But God sees everything, doesn't he? Nothing is hidden from God. Alright, everything is open to him, so a Christian ought to live a life that is transparent. You ever heard that said before? We ought to live lives that are transparent. If you've got to hide something, then maybe something's wrong. That doesn't mean that you're more holy if you wear a bikini.

We're not talking about that. We're talking about in our behavior. If there's anything that we've got to hide, then you have to ask why, 'cause God sees everything. Everything is naked and open to his sight. Those things that are hidden now will be proclaimed from the housetops someday, those things that aren't covered by the blood of Christ.

Alright, we're going to talk about the blame game, under that section. Genesis 3:11-13, and I'll read this for you. After they sinned, God said, remember adam and eve were aware of their nakedness, "who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you should not eat? And the man said, 'the woman that you gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.' " It's the woman's fault that I ate from the tree. Who is the second adam? That's Jesus, right? Why did Jesus have to go to the tree? The woman's fault. Who does the woman represent? It's the church, isn't it? It was for his bride that he went to the tree.

Just a--i don't want to take these analogies too far, but it's something that came to me. "And then God says to the woman, 'what have you done?' And the woman said, 'the serpent." Now ostensibly what she's implying is, "the serpent that you made, he deceived me and I ate. Why'd you make him?" And then at this point the serpent doesn't know how to speak anymore. Someone said he didn't have a leg to stand on. He said nothing in his defense.

And then the serpent gets cursed. Now, this is very interesting. Where does the final curse rest? Adam and eve both experienced a curse, don't they? The woman: "in sorrow you'll conceive and bring forth children." The man: "from the sweat of your brow you'll eat your food." But for--the serpent gets a final curse. It says, "you're going to go down on the lowest part." Upon whom through the end are the sins ultimately placed? Is Christ going to forever be bearing our sins in heaven, or are they placed on the serpent before he's cast into the lake of fire? Is the serpent dying, is the devil dying for his sins or for the sins that he's caused? So he's not being forgiven. He's going to end up being responsible and rewarded according to his works.

So is there a curse, a final curse placed on the devil and his angels? Keep in mind, whenever you say the devil it also includes his minions, the fallen angels. So they all begin to blame one another. What did sin do to the relationship of man? It brought separation between man and God. It brought separation between man and man, and man and woman you might even say. And it brought separation between man and animals.

It brought separation between man and vegetable. Didn't thorns and thistles come out? Before you could reach out and grab it. And now, you just, "oh!" Sin brought separation. And I always like to add, sin will not only separate you from God, from each other, from the environment; sin will separate you from you. Low self-esteem, shame.

Man stopped liking himself. Now is there anything wrong with liking yourself? Did God first create man in the beginning where he's supposed to loath himself? Or is one of the great commandments, "love the Lord," "love your neighbor as you love yourself." Adam and eve, when he was made, they were made in the garden, they felt great about themselves. After sin, shame and blame came from sin. And then the big cover-up. They realized they were naked, and what did they try to do? They sewed together fig leaves.

Now why do you think they did that? Why fig leaves? Well, for one thing, even fig trees today--in the garden everything was bigger. In the garden, I mean, if the fig leaves today--our neighbor who is a member here, he's got, you know, fig leaves right on the fence that, you know, couldn't be that big. In the garden, they might have been that big. Of course adam and eve were* that big too, so they needed some big leaves. And maybe they took some vines or something.

It's interesting, they knew how to sew. They didn't have a sewing machine, but they were very intelligent. They stitched together these leaves that were probably more durable back then than they are today. I mean everything's changed. And it says they made aprons.

They made these little skirts. From that time to the present, fig leaves and fig trees have sort of been a symbol of self-righteousness. How many remember when Jesus came to the fig tree looking for food, he thought it had fruit because it had figs. Again, our neighbor's fig tree, at the same time the leaves are in their perfect maturity, it will also fruit on the tree. Fig trees are different.

You know, some trees, they have all the leaves just at the blossoms and much later in the season the fruit ripens. But not so with fig trees. Fig trees when the leaves are mature, the fruit will be there. But this tree that Jesus went to, it had all the leaves and no fruit, meaning it had the pretense of fruit, but no fruit. Adam and eve, when they put the fig leaves on, they had the pretense of a covering, but it was a manmade covering, self-righteousness.

It would never do. The Jewish nation had all the rites and ceremonies. They were like that fig tree, like the church today too, all the outward trappings of righteousness, but they don't have the fruit. So if we've got a church, and we have programs and we have ceremony and we have our communion service and we've got our rituals, and if we don't have the fruits of the Spirit, what good is it? Just fig leaves. What did Jesus do to that tree? He cursed it, and it shriveled by the roots.

And what happened to the Jewish nation? They shriveled up as a nation at that time. They were destroyed by the Romans. What happens to the church that doesn't bring forth fruit? In John 15, it says, "if you abide in me, you'll have much fruit." But if we don't, we're good for what? It says, "good for nothing except to be gathered and burned." So we got to have the fruits of the Spirit in our lives or it's fig leaves. It's all pretense. The pharisees, they prayed to be seen.

They gave to be seen. They fasted to be seen. It was all outward show. God wants an inner light. Our clothes ought to be coming from the inside out.

It's that righteousness of Christ that's on the inside. And so you know, I often wondered about the tree. I've got more lesson than I've got time for right now. Why did God put that test there with the tree, and the tree is called the knowledge of good and evil. Now is there anything wrong with eating from a tree of good? Why didn't he just call it, "do not eat from the tree of evil?" You know what made it especially dangerous? What makes the devil a deceiver is not just that he lies, what he does is he mingles truth with lies.

What makes sin so dangerous is there is some good in it. I mean you could argue that probably with the internet, television, there's a lot of things where you could say, "it has a lot of good!" But it's also got evil too. And I'm not telling you you got to all cut your internet cables and throw out your television sets. I'm just saying that how often have we argued for something bad because we can also rationalize there's something good in it? I forget whether it was Joe Crews or who said, "theoretically there's a lot of vitamins in a garbage can." If you start pulling things out of the garbage can and analyze it, you'll find vitamins. But who wants to get their vitamins out of the garbage can? And so what made this tree really devious is that there was something tasteful there.

It looked attractive. It smelled fragrant. It seemed desirable. But God said, "don't." That's what made it evil. And so adam and eve, after they sinned, they felt a cool chill they had not felt before, 'cause where there's light, there's usually heat, right? Where there's light, there's usually heat.

People struggle to develop cold light. It's hard to do. Adam and eve probably stayed a little warmer with their robes of light. And they also felt the chill at that time. Ecclesiastes 1:18, did they have enhanced knowledge at that point? A little bit, but the wrong kind of knowledge.

How many of you worry when you send your kids off to college in today's age. But college is a place of great learning! Sometimes it's a tree of good and evil, isn't it? Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 1:18, "for in much wisdom is much grief, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow." There is a Scripture that they never read at graduations. You'll never hear some commencement address, get up saying, "in much wisdom is much grief, he who increases knowledge increases sorrow." "Friends, ignorance is bliss!" You'll never hear that at a commencement address at a college. Who said that? Wisest man who ever lived. Now that does that we should embrace ignorance? No.

Just be aware that sometimes when you know things, you end up wishing you didn't know. You know, even being a pastor, you got to know how to sort things out, because you begin to work with a lot of people who are Christians on an intimate level. And you find out even what you think are good Christian people are struggling with all kinds of problems, that you sometimes wish you didn't know. And so what do you do? Give up caring about people? No, it's not the answer. You just be advised that with knowledge comes sorrow.

Yeah, that was a tree of knowledge, and with it came much sorrow and grief. God said, "your fig leaves--" let's go down to animal skin. It says, "and the Lord God made for adam and his wife--" he said the fig leaves won't work-- "garments of skin," Genesis 3:21. "the Lord God made garments of skins." That mean there's more than one. And where do you get skin? We've talked about this.

God did not speak vinyl or naugahyde or into existence. It was not polyester, imitation skin. This is, we believe, the beginning of the sacrificial system. And God, participating with adam, instituted the sacrificial system and it broke adam's heart. And these animals had to provide their skin to cover their nakedness.

And it says tunics. It wasn't an apron anymore. It was not only better material; it was more. So go ahead and read for us now Leviticus 8--I'm sorry--Leviticus 7:8. "And the priest who offer anyone's burnt offering, that priest shall for himself the skin of the burnt offering which he has offered.

" He'll have for himself the skin. The burnt offering is burnt. But did they skin it first? They did. I mean these are sheep and goats. Their skins are used for all kinds of things.

They're valuable. And they were set aside. And they were kept, and they were tanned, and they were used when the victim was sacrificed. Did Christ leave a robe at the cross? It says in the Bible here that John 19:23, "then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments and made four parts, to each soldier a part, and also the tunic. Now the tunic was without seam, woven from top in one piece.

They said therefore among themselves, 'let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be, that the Scripture might be fulfilled that says, 'they divided my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.' " There when an animal was offered in Leviticus, the skin was set aside. That's like the robe of Christ that was set aside. And that's what God did there in the beginning, symbolizing that Jesus would provide a covering for our nakedness. There's more, but I bet we'll be able to cover it in future lessons, 'cause it's all talking about these garments of grace. Out of time.

Don't forget our free offer, friends. It's "down from his glory." The number one more time: 866-study-more. Let's say two more times: 866-788-3966. God bless you, and keep studying the word. Journey back through time to the center of the universe.

Discover how a perfect angel transformed into satan the archvillain. The birth of evil, a rebellion in heaven, a mutiny that moved to earth, the hold, the creation of a beautiful new planet and the first humans. Witness the temptation in eden. Discover God's amazing plan to save his children. This is a story that involves every life on earth, every life.

"The cosmic conflict," if God is good, if God is all-powerful, if God is love, then what went wrong?

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