Creation and Morality

Scripture: Genesis 2:16-17
Date: 02/02/2013 
Lesson: 5
"People love to talk about 'human rights. ... How are we to determine what they are? Why should we, as humans, have these rights, anyway? ... These are hard questions, and their answers are inseparably linked to the question of human origins, the study for this week's lesson."
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It is a pleasure to welcome you, if you're tuning in, on the various television networks and joining us for central study hour - coming to you from the Sacramento Central Seventh-day Adventist church in Sacramento, California. If you're listening on the radio, watching live on our website at - welcome. Of course a very special welcome to everyone here with us in the sanctuary. Every week we open up our hymnals, we sing together, we open up God's Word, we study together, and it is a big part of our Sabbath program here at central church. And we have an extended Sabbath school family and church family that join us from around the world every week.

Today is no exception. You have sent in your favorite hymn requests and we're going to sing a couple of those for you right now. #425 Is our first one, so if you're at home - you have a hymnal - pull it out and sing along with us - 'holy, holy, is what the angels sing'. This is a request from priscilla, andrew and nid in australia, kyana in the british virgin islands, angie and Mark in California, - I'm going to jump down on the list because we have so many - abia, chaniel and bernice in the cayman islands, ernest in ghana, - let's see - selina and jonathan in the netherlands, sternley in saint vincent and the grenadines, chiemela in saudi arabia, grace in tennessee, ronell in trinidad and tobago and a whole long list. It's exciting to hear from so many of you and one day, I know, when we meet on the streets of gold in heaven, we will have our extended family together and it's going to be very exciting as we sing songs together and we talk about our time on this earth and I'm looking forward to that day and I hope you are too.

#425 - We're going to sing the first, second, and fourth stanzas - 'holy, holy, is what the angels sing'. The angels have never felt that joy that our salvation brings. We are a unique group of people. The entire universe is watching us and we are the ones that have the opportunity to be saved and go to heaven, and go to worlds afar and tell the story of our salvation. It's an awesome thing to realize that God has given us the opportunity to be his ambassadors - to talk about salvation.

If you have a favorite song that you would like to sing with us on an upcoming program, it's so simple. Go to our church website at '' and click on the 'contact us' link and the entire hymnal is right there for you to pick your favorite and sing along with us as we're working our way through the hymnal. We started at #1 - we're already to #36 so maybe ten years from now we'll be up in the 600s as we are learning The Songs that aren't so familiar but there are some very beautiful ones. Today it's #36 - 'o thou in whose presence' - this is not an unfamiliar one but it was next in line and it's a beautiful one so we're going to sing it. And this is a request from karyn in ArKansas, edith and robert in england, caroline in the netherlands, anna in Oregon, venus in saint vincent and the grenadines, mahtem in sweden, and hilroy and lydia in the u.

s. Virgin islands. We're going to sing all four stanzas - #36. Father in Heaven, in your presence we are not worthy, but the good news is that you are our loving, Heavenly Father and even though we don't deserve it, one day - if we are faithful to you - we will be in your presence for ever and ever. We look forward to that day - we look forward to your soon coming and I pray that each person here and around the world will be ready to spend eternity with you - to sing your praises - to join with the angels and worship you.

Thank you so much for blessing us with the Sabbath - the opportunity to come apart from our worldly worries and focus on you. Be with Pastor Doug as he brings us our lesson study, as we open up your word and we study together. Fill our hearts and our minds with your spirit. In Jesus' Name, amen. At this time our lesson study is going to be brought to us by Pastor Doug Batchelor - our senior pastor here at Sacramento Central Seventh-day Adventist church.

Thank you very much to our musicians and singers and those who did singing out here too. I want to welcome everybody to central church, we're glad that you're here - and a frosty morning in Sacramento. I want to welcome those who are watching via satellite or on the internet or some are listening on the radio and I also want to welcome those who are part of the extended Sacramento central church family. We have people who are members of this church that are scattered around the planet that don't have a local church that they can attend for some reason and through either the internet or satellite they have been integrated into the family. I want to welcome you as well.

And, by the way, those of you who would like to know more about how you can call in your hymns - or if you're interested in the notes - we're trying to be more consistent in posting the different teachers here at the class - posting our notes from the lesson online and you may or may not get something additional out of that. Today I'm actually holding the teacher's lesson. You have your regular Sabbath school quarterly and then there's a teacher's edition and you can find the teacher's edition online as well. There's some additional notes in there. Pastor Doug and the different pastors that teach here have their notes and so that's at 'saccentral.

org' - '' or if you're one of those isolated people out there and you'd like to know how to belong to the adventist church and maybe you want to be part of central church, you can inquire about that at that website as well. We typically give away a free offer along with our lesson and the offer today is a book called 'is it a sin to be tempted?' We're going to be talking about morality and origins and the creation. 'Is it a sin to be tempted?' If you'd like to request a hard copy you could read just go to - or call the number 866-study more - that's 866-788-3966 and, oh, I'd say 80 or 90% of these offers that we mention to you can also be read for free at the Amazing Facts website. It's the place where it says, 'free offers' at ''. We want people to study the word.

We're going through our quarterly dealing with origins and today we're on lesson #5. Did you study your lesson? We've got some deep stuff that we're getting into as we talk about origins and creations. But, you know, this is the foundational material for everything else in the Bible. Where did it all come from? Today, lesson 5 is dealing with 'creation and morality' - 'creation and morality' - and it's based, principally on the second chapter of Genesis - we're going to be looking at Genesis chapter 2, verses 16 and and that is our memory verse as well. And if you would like to say the memory verse with me, I'll be reading it to you from the new king James version.

Genesis chapter 2, verses 16 and 17. Are you ready? Here we go. On your Mark, get set - just want to make sure you're ready - you don't look like you're ready yet. You're still finding your notes. Okay, here we go.

Genesis 2:16 and 17, "and the lord God commanded the man, saying, 'of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.'" There was right and wrong in the beginning and who decides what is right and wrong? What right does God have to tell us something's wrong. Well, very simply, he made us and so the creator has that option - that privilege of helping us understand and defining what is right and wrong. God appeals to man's reason and faith with his command right here in the beginning. What is it that God's commanding? You know, it's universally recognized in virtually every country of the world - they have different ages but, up until a certain age - it varies even within the states in north America - children are considered minors. They are to listen to their parents or their guardians that are watching over them, right? And it has to be that way.

They have the authority. Why? Because, well for one thing, their parents participated in procreating them - sometimes it's grandparents and it's procreation one generation removed and there's an authority there that 'I've been around longer than you've been around and I'd like to help you benefit from my experience and stay out of trouble.' And there's a certain amount of foolishness that is bound up in the heart of a child and it's good to have parents around to be that authority until they sort of outgrow that foolishness. By the way, it's usually 25. Now, you may get out from under your parents at 17 or 18, but they've done a lot of studies and your brain doesn't really finish growing, physiologically, until you're 25. You know, there is a reason that your car insurance prices will plummet once you reach 25 - because they've looked at the statistics and they can see that there is a much higher incidence of car accidents and other accidents and recklessness - you know it starts to taper off between, you know, 18 and 19, , 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 - by five, boy it just really starts to go down and then you've got a pretty good chance of surviving driving until you get to be about 65 and it starts going back up again.

And there are people who are over 103 that have driver's licenses. I read about one man - just had his renewed for five years - 103 years old. That's called faith. But - so God made us - he's our Heavenly Father. And so he has the right to tell us what is morally right and wrong.

Well, with that cumbersome introduction, let's get into the lesson. 'Our dependence on God' is the first section here and it tells us in Genesis 2, verse 7 - we read Genesis 2:16 and 17 - this is Genesis 2:7, "and the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being." Now this verse, when it says 'God formed' it doesn't use the word hands the way it's used other places, it talks about something where you are involved in forming with your hands. And so, it tells you, that God evidently wasn't afraid to get his hands dirty, so to speak, in making man. Now does this sound a little bit like Jesus in other places in the Bible? Somebody look up for me John - we gave out some verses earlier - John 9, verse 6. Who has that slip? Over here.

And we'll be looking at some others in just a moment. I'm going to read for you Exodus 32:15 - Exodus 32:15 - I'll read verse 16 too. "And Moses turned and went down from the mountain, and the two tablets of the testimony were in his hand. The tablets were written on both sides;" - some people miss that - "on the one side and on the other they were written. Now the tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God engraved on the tablets.

" Oh, I heard somebody say this week that Moses was up the mountain - since he was in Egypt he had learned to be a stonecutter and he probably etched that himself and that's why it took him so long, but the Bible's pretty clear that Moses was not a stonecutter in Egypt. Moses was probably - had a pretty high office in Egypt before he left. It tells us that God etched this - with the finger of God. Does God use his hands when it comes to communicating with man and saving man? And did he, evidently, use his hands when he made man? How about Jesus? Did he use his hands? Go ahead and read for us John 9:6. "When he had said these things, he spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay.

" Now, you all remember this story - the whole chapter 9 of John - it's only found in John 9 is where he heals this man born blind. Could Jesus have spoken and his eyes been restored? He did that with bartimaeus. Or he could have just laid his hand on him and his eyes would have been restored. Matter of fact, Jesus could heal a blind man without even showing up - like he can do it remotely. Why did Jesus choose, in this case, to actually make some clay and to make a poultice of clay and to put it on the man's eyes? Do you ever like doing things with your hands and with your body? I - even just last night I was thinking to myself - I sat for hours - you know, I do a little bit of extra study Friday night because I'm preparing for Sabbath school and church - but you can only sit so long and you start to stir and I was getting just antsy because I wanted to do something, you know, and I think God made us - he created us to be active and to be doers and to be involved and so, God used his hands.

Now hands are unique in the Bible. I was thinking about some of the different ways that hands are used in the Bible. It's unusual. They're not like any other part in that hands work, they provide, God created, God opened his hand to satisfy the desire of every living thing. Jesus often touched someone with his hands.

'Come lay your hand upon her' - the Bible says - 'that she may be made whole.' Several times he laid his hands on people. There's healing hands. There's truth that is communicated with hands. You know, when they had this recent terrible storm in new york - hurricane sandy - mayor bloomberg was giving an announcement up front he had someone who was a signer standing next to him that was extremely animated and nobody was paying anything - any attention to what the mayor said because they were so fascinated with this gal who was signing with her hands and using expressions with her face - but you can communicate with your hands. You ever see an italian talk without using their hands? That's a generalization, I'm sorry, but Jewish people do too.

And so, you communicate. We bless with our hands. There's forgiveness that happens with the hands - when Jesus was writing with his hands in the dust. Hands are used to cleanse - you wash your hands but most of us clean the rest of our bodies with our hands too. The hands are used for discipline.

And so it's very personal when God used his hands to make man - he said - it did something extra. Have you ever seen a surgeon operate with their feet? What do they typically use? Would you want a surgeon to give you brain surgery using his toes? There's an incredible dexterity in human hands that separates us from all other creatures - partly because of these opposable thumbs. I read an amazing fact this week for our Bible answer program - back in 2008, 21-year-old trevor wickre - he badly shattered his right little finger during football practice. He pulled off the glove and actually part of the bone was sticking out of his finger - he crushed it - and they took him to the doctor and the doctor says, 'you know we're going to have to put a pin in there, we're going to have to set it, you're going to have a cast - you're not going to be able to play for 8 weeks.' And he said, 'not play for 8 weeks? He said, 'just cut it off.' And the doctor said, 'no, you don't want to do that. He said, 'it's just a little pinky, cut it off.

' He said, 'your little pinky is a lot more important than you think.' He said, 'my football team is a lot more important than you think.' He was a star player in grand junction - for this football team - in Colorado and there was a long discussion that took place at the emergency room and he finally prevailed on the doctors. They said, 'well, you know, there is probably some nerve damage and you may have problems with it later.' And so they agreed and they cut it off and stitched it up and he had a stub. He missed one practice - one game - and then he went back out on the field again and people asked, 'do you regret that you did that?' And he said, 'no.' He said, 'you know, football is very important to me.' Even though he wasn't planning on making a career of it. He said, 'but it was' - he said 'it was disappointing the first time I went to the store and they gave me some change in my hand - it fell out of my hand because I didn't realize I needed my pinky to plug the hole.' It's a lot more important than you think. Every part of your hand - you know, when God put his hands - you ever have somebody where, you know, you talk to them and you told them something sad and they didn't have words and they just put their arm around you or they touched you with their hand? You can do a lot of communicating with a hand.

And so when God put his hands into making man, this was extremely personal and it also communicates we're very dependent on God. Oh, by the way, Luke 4:40 - "when the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to him; and he laid his hands on everyone of them and healed them." Alright, next section is 'the image of God'. We're going to talk about that a little bit - 'the image of God' - and if we look in Genesis 1:26 through 28, "then God said, 'let us make man in our image," - notice it says, 'let us make man in our image.' Now if I were to ask you - we're talking about origins - if I were to ask you how many Gods are there? 'Hear, o Israel, the Lord our God is one.' Thou shalt love the Lord thy God' - now wait a second. It says, 'the Lord our God is one' but here it said, 'God said, 'let us.'' So is there one God or three Gods? Keep in mind, the word 'one' in Hebrew does not always mean numerical quantity. When Jesus prayed, 'father' - speaking of the apostles - 'I pray that they might be one even as you and I are one.

' Christ already said he was one with The Father. The Egyptians and the pagans and the Babylonians - they had a myriad of different Gods like the Greeks - they had a God of the rocks and the trees and the bushes and all the Gods fought with each other and there was all this divine intrigue - the Gods stealing each other's wives and their territories and - great division among the Gods. And you had to pick your God very carefully - kind of like when people pick what saint to pray to because they're specialists. I don't mean to be critical, but it is kind of strange - you'd think that they'd all - you can just talk to God and that would cover it, right? So when it says, 'hear, o Israel, the Lord thy God is one.' God, The Father, son and spirit, is united. Now God is love, right? Can there be love without someone else to love? Who do you love if there's no one to love? If God's by himself does he just love himself? But if you've got God the father, son and spirit, then there can always be love because love has to give or it stops being love.

You got that? Now, if God is from everlasting to everlasting - he has always existed - there was never a point in time you could fix when God did not exist. And so, God has always been love and if all things that were made were made by God The Son - is that right? And Jesus did not make himself - that means he's always existed also - you still with me? There are people who struggle with this truth about what we call the trinity, but it's really saying that the Godhead is composed of God The Father, God The Son, God the Spirit - they are all fully God with different functions, but they are one. They are perfectly united. Jesus said, 'pray that we might be one.' And again he said, 'a husband and wife are to get married and they become what? One. And one of the ways that a husband and wife become one is through love - they procreate in their image.

And God, as an act of love, created in his image. And Jesus, in particular, to him was delegated the work of creation. God said, 'let us.' Is that singular or plural? 'Let us make man in our image according to our likeness.' Now does God have an image? Does the Bible seem to depict that God has a head? Does the Bible speak of God's eyes? Does it talk about his hands? Does it talk about his hair? It does - it says, 'the hair of his head was white like wool.' Daniel - Revelation. It talks about his waist. It talks about his arms - the arm of the Lord is not shortened.

' It talks about his legs - or it talks about his feet. I don't know if it says 'the leg of the Lord.' I'll have to look that one up. But - so God has a form. But the Bible says God is a spirit, so which is it? You can be both. I think sometimes we think that because the Bible says, 'God is spirit.

We must worship him in spirit and truth' that means he doesn't have a form. You're either physical or a ghost. That's not true. We, right now, have sort of lost our spiritual dimension. There's a whole spirit world around us.

Do angels have forms? But are they also ministering spirits? When man sinned and adam and eve's light went out and they saw their nakedness, they lost this whole spiritual realm. They could see angels back then. They talked to God like I'm talking to you. When we're saved will we again see him face to face? When everything's restored? Alright, so because God is a spirit it does not mean that he doesn't have a form. So, evidently, if you want to know something about what God's form is like, it's probably something like our form and we are his children.

We are made in his image. Now, of course, he's an upgrade in every way, but man was made in the image of God. 'Let them' - it says, make them "'in our image, according to our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.' So God created man in his own image; in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, 'be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.'" You know, I - this is maybe taking a little rabbit trail, but since we covered it I'll mention it. Have dominion over the fish? Before man was fishing how did he have dominion over fish? I have a theory.

You know I like to scuba dive. Our family - all the boys are certified and Karen and I and it's - I don't know if you've ever been snorkeling - or you've probably seen at least programs of the underworld life and coral reefs and it is just so beautiful and you just see these clouds of all these multi-colored fish and some of them iridescent and cosmic colors and it's just - it's heavenly sometimes if you get clear, warm water and a coral reef and the current's moving the fan coral and little harmless jelly fish floating by and it's beautiful. It's hard to believe that adam and eve could never look at that world. I think before sin adam could hold his breath a long time. And, you know, a lot of creatures have clear vision above water and below water.

They just have an extra little lid that they close on their eyes or they reshape their eye - like a penguin does - and they can see perfectly above water and below water. I know, I'm taking this too far. But I think adam and eve not only had dominion above but they had dominion below. I think that they could look below the water and hold their breath a long time or - I don't know how they did it but maybe they got something out of the Tree of Life that we're missing. Now that's one of the ways that man is made in God's image.

Someone look up for me James 3:19. Someone else look up Genesis 9:6. Now who has Genesis 9:6? Right here? Get him a mic here. And who's got James - you found the owner of that verse? Okay. And I'm going to read Ephesians 4:20 - I'll read through verse 24.

"But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard him and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the Spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness." Now what is the most important way that we are made in the image of God? Is it just the physical form on the outside? Or was it to be the love and the motives on the inside? Has the image of God, to some extent, been effaced from man? You know, I don't want to take it too far but there's that story that you find of the demoniac - you find in the gospel of Matthew, Mark and Luke. This man - two of the gospels say it was a man, Matthew says it was two men. That's really irrelevant for my point. The image of God was so thoroughly effaced from this creature that the disciples didn't know exactly what it was. Something comes running out of a cave - where a corpse is supposed to be in the hillside - that is naked and covered with chains and scars and filth - surrounded by pigs - and that was once made in the image of God.

This howling, mad, insane, crazy creature - that's what the devil wants to do with humans. But he met Jesus and when Jesus got done with him the chains were off, he healed his scars, he was sitting at his feet, he was clothed and he was in his right mind. He wanted to restore the image of God to this creature that had been made in God's image. And so one of the main reasons Jesus came is to restore his image. One of the main things the devil wants to do is to make people look and act like animals.

By the way, it's important for us in our study of origins, to understand that we were created in God's image because I've got a theory that one reason a lot of young people in our world and country are growing up so mixed up and so hopeless and part of the reason that the highest percentage of suicide is among teenagers is because if you tell young people during those very important years where they're developing their world view that you are really nothing more than an organism that's happened by chance with no purpose - that you've just evolved from animals - what kind of purpose does that give them? What kind of future - what kind of hope? And they might act like animals if you tell them that. 'Be it unto you according to your faith.' So it's so important to tell young people, 'no, no, no. You are created in the image of God.' That does a whole different thing. Take it from me. That's how I grew up.

I mean, I grew up believing that I was just an animal and the whole concept I was made in the image of God was a radical shift in my thinking. It just changed my whole purpose for existing. It's very different and it's so important that we understand that. Alright, Genesis - we'll start with you - Genesis 9:6 - who are we ready for first? You're ready for both. Okay, go ahead.

Genesis 9:6, "whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God he made man." Alright, now was there a higher penalty for if a man killed a man than if a man killed a sheep? Yeah, it's right here - you're right back here in Exodus - Genesis, I'm sorry - and God's telling Noah, 'you know, all the vegetation is destroyed, you've preserved seven of the clean animals - they'll multiply faster - you're going to be eating animals, but man is not an animal and if anyone sheds man's blood, it's different.' Why? Because he is made in the image of God. Now, what's the message in our world today? Isn't the message kind of you know, 'make sure and save the whales.' Aborting babies - let's not talk about that, but 'save the whales, save the owls, save the lizards and the rare rats' and - I know that was politically very incorrect, wasn't it? But it was true. We're taught in our world today it's politically correct to just exalt the animal kingdom. And I love animals and I think we should be stewards of the planet and care for the animals - I believe all that. If you were a dog you'd want to be my dog - take my word for it.

But we are not animals. Human life is sacred and if you're in a world where we think we've just evolved then it shouldn't surprise us that, you know, self - physician-assisted suicide and some of these things that some people are declared non-persons. If you're made in the image of God, human life is to be regarded as sacred. That's while we'll do something crazy like put a person in prison for life and feed them the rest of their lives as opposed to just executing them all the time. I'm not saying anything about the death penalty, but when you think about that, if human life doesn't matter why would you want to have people in prison for 50 years and keep them alive? Because - you know why they established those laws? Because our founding Judges and the people who established those laws believed they had a hope of redemption eternally and so you would preserve their life to provide them that time.

Otherwise, if everyone's just an animal, why would you want to keep people in prison for 50 years or life - you know, ten life sentences. Why not get it over with, right? Why do we respect life that way? I'm just making - trying to stir up your thoughts. God made us moral creatures. Have you ever tried to explain to your cat that the mouse is not enjoying your play? You ever try to tell your cat, 'don't swat it around before you eat it - let it go and pounce on it again'? And the cat's entertained - have you ever tried saying, 'now think about how that poor little mouse feels.' And the cat goes, 'oh, you know, I hadn't really thought about it that way. I feel sorry.

I'm not going to do this anymore.' You might train a cat to not touch a mouse - you can - but it will not be because the cat cares about the mouse. The cat has not developed any morality. It'll be because you're going to either punish or praise the cat and that's why it will change its behavior. Or when you're walking your dog up the street and someone else is walking their dog towards you and you stop to visit and the dogs start doing things that are unseemly and you tells those dogs, 'stop! Don't do that! It's not appropriate in public.' Whatever it is - I didn't tell you what it was but you know what I'm talking about if you've got a dog. Can you ever get that dog to understand why that morally might not be right? Why is it that people are born with certain moral understanding inculcated in our natures? Why is it wrong to lie? If you're an atheist, don't - aren't there even some atheists that believe that it's wrong to lie? Sure.

There's a lot of very moral atheists out there. My question is, why? If it's survival of the fittest - if that's the rule of life - and if lying can give me an upper hand then why be moral? Or why preserve different life? You know what I'm saying? The foundation for all morality really must be with God, because if you don't have God - if we're just all accidental animals - then who decides what's right and wrong? You're going to tell me, 'well, we've gotten together as a group and we've decided'? But I don't agree. If, you know, if we're just organisms that are sort of bubbling around on this planet that have all happened by accident, we're going to decide that there is right and there is wrong and there is truth and there is appropriate behavior and inappropriate - why do we intervene in countries that are killing their own people? If we say, 'look, that's what they voted, let them do it.' But we know it's morally wrong so we intervene. Even atheists recognize that. Why? Because there are absolute truths and we get that from God.

He's the boss. He tells us what is right and what is wrong. I didn't forget you - I gave out two verses. What was the other verse? James 3:9? Okay, are we still ready? "With it we bless our God and father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God." Alright, here he's talking about the tongue. He's saying, 'with our tongue we bless men, we curse men, but men are made in the image of God.

' James is also telling us, 'be careful what you say about other people. You're talking about someone made in the image of God. You're not talking about a dog or cat or mouse or mosquito. There's something sacred about man.' Why do we - why do we even designate cemeteries and we embalm people and with respect we place them in the ground and we Mark the spot where they lived and we care for their bodies even after they're dead? You know one reason that people have analyzed through history 'why do people care for dead people'? We don't all just push them off in a hole. I know they do in war - terrible things happen - but we try to show respect for the dead.

You know where that comes from? Man is made in the image of God and even his form, when dead, there's something sacred about it because he was fashioned after God's form - made in the likeness of God - it's to be respected. So someone's going to write a question about cremation - I always get that - I don't have time to answer it right now, though. John 10:34, Jesus is speaking here and he's actually quoting from Psalms - I think it's psalm - and Jesus answered and said, "is it not written in your law, 'I said, 'you are Gods''?" Now why does God say that in His Word? When God gave dominion to man back in the beginning - for practical purposes - think of all the different kinds of creatures in this world. Are there more different types of animals in the world or less? Have species become extinct? Is it safe to say that now there are probably fewer creatures in the world than there used to be since the flood? There was a myriad of other things that we don't even know about - I mean, we have some fossils. Who was made the God of this world? Man was.

And even as they came forth from the ark - look at Genesis 9:2 - Noah was probably a little worried because there was no vegetation - or very little vegetation - the doors of the ark are finally opened - I mean a dove came back with an olive leaf in its mouth but there wasn't a lot of food and fruit growing - nothing like what Noah saw when he went into the ark. Now he lets all these wild animals loose and he probably was afraid they were all going to probably gravitate right back. I mean, whenever you feed a wild animal, doesn't it have a tendency to come back where the food was? He probably thought, 'they're all going to come back to the ark and if there's nothing left they'll eat us.' And so God told Noah, "and the fear of you" - this is Genesis :2 - "and the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand." You know, with a few exceptions, most animals will run. Now mountain lions and bears could take out most people pretty quick.

But when I'm up in the woods in mendocino county - frequently up there by myself - every bear I've seen has run from me. I didn't want to tell the bear that 'you're much stronger and faster than I am' because he, for whatever reason was scared - whether I'm armed or unarmed they're scared and they run. Now I know there are some exceptions - polar bears may not - some african lions and a few other things are pretty vicious, but I've even heard stories of lions that are - protect people and are afraid. Of course you've got one in the Bible called Daniel. But man was made basically in the image of God in that he was a God of this world.

Acts 17:27 - this was in our lesson last week, "so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us; for in him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, 'for we are also his offspring.' Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the divine nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man's devising." God is a living God, we can't make him into an idol. In Genesis 2:23, God names eve - evia - this means - it comes from the word 'hawwah' which means 'to live' - it says, 'from her all living came.' And - or it could be translated 'the life giver' - eve's name represents the fact that she is the ancestor of all humans - we are all of one family. I remember years ago, oh, it may have been ten years ago - newsweek magazine had an article where it had eve on the cover. Of course, she looked like a neanderthal or some kind of prehistoric eve, but they said that they've proven from dna now that we - all humans are related - that we didn't, you know, evolve independently from different kinds of monkeys in different parts of the world - that all humans have come from one original human. Of course, they made that human look like some kind of gorilla - half human - but - and they called her 'eve'.

I don't know if any of you remember seeing that. But well we already knew that. We all came from one blood - that we're all related. Acts 17:26 - and this is that verse - someone look up for me Matthew 23:9 - let's just get you ready. You have that here? Get you a microphone.

In acts 17:26, "and he has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and had determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings." He has made of one blood. We are all related. Alright, did I give Matthew 23, verse 9? Are you ready? Go ahead. "Do not call anyone on earth your father; for one is your father, he who is in heaven." Now, when Jesus said 'don't call anyone on earth your father' was that a command that you can't call your daddy father? No, he was talking in the terms of when you talk about spiritual leaders because they did that in the old testament quite a bit. You remember when Elijah went to heaven, what did Elisha say? 'My father, my father.

The chariot of Israel and the horseman thereof.' And when Elisha was dying, the king of Israel came and he knelt down by him and said, 'my father, my father.' So they often called spiritual leaders 'father' and there's nothing wrong with what happened with Elijah and Elisha but they began to do it with rabbis and do people do it with priests in the world today? Where they call them father? And Jesus said, 'be careful about that. You really have one father in heaven and that's God.' The rest of us are brethren. This hierarchy where, you know, there's a different caste - pastors are brethren - that's the way it's supposed to be. But when you've got priests that are like a different caste - a cut above everybody else and they're living in this stratosphere by themselves - that's not God's plan. So we are all made of one blood.

Isaiah 58 - it tells us - and this is verse 7, "is it not to share your bread" - talking about the fasts God blesses - "is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; when you see the naked, that you cover him, and not hide yourself from your own flesh?" Your own flesh. When we see people that are struggling - that are out there - especially in the household of God - if you see people in the family and they've got some practical need and you've got abundance and you can help them, by not helping them it's like you're hiding yourself from your own family. That's the word that Isaiah's using here. But that would also be when you see people who maybe aren't - don't even speak the same language. We are all children of God - meaning that we're all related.

You know, periodically I'll meet somebody who's got the same last name - it doesn't happen very often, but Batchelor is a little more unique than smith or jones and so we always want to know, 'well, are we related? And how far back?' And, you know, you hear people talk about that and they go, 'oh, you know what, I bet we're cousins' and people kind of 'oh, I feel like we're kin.' And if you find out you're related to somebody you kind of go, 'oh!' - You get this kind of 'oh, what do you know? Came from the same town. Have some of the same relatives. We're kin!' And whenever you introduce them to somebody you say, 'and we're related.' When you really think about it, we can all say that, can't we? You're related to Noah? I am too! Hey, we're related!' Isn't that right? Aren't we all related to Noah? Most of us. Some of you might have another story. But yeah, we're all kin anyway.

I'm running out of time here. One of the dangers of not realizing that we're all related - that we've all come from one blood - people who worship darwinism, they don't like to mention that darwin's book on the origin of the species - it's entire title included a phrase about the favored races. Did you know that? Darwin believed in evolution - he also believed that certain races were more evolved than others - more sophisticated - more intelligent - more capable. And they struck that part of the title because darwinism, at its ultimate extreme, promotes racism. What did hitler believe? Darwinism.

Did he think some races were more sophisticated and valuable than others? Uh huh. And was he trying to exterminate the ones that were just, you know, vermin? Just taking up space. Yeah, that's where that ultimately leads. And even during the 18th century when darwinism - 19th century when darwinism began to really spread, they believed in sort of a social darwinism. And this is in your lesson, by the way.

They believed that some were just more sophisticated and more evolved and there was nothing wrong with them grinding down the poor whether it was slavery in America or poor irish workers in factories - they just believed that, 'well, they just aren't as evolved.' And the whole idea that we're one family - that really comes from Christianity. Racism is what comes from evolution. Does that make sense? The idea of us being equal, that Jesus died for all - that's what comes from the Bible - from God's teaching. The character of our creator - I'm about out of time and this is one of the most important sessions - or sections. Please look up Luke 10:29 - who has that? I think we gave that to someone.

Right over here - Luke 10:29 - and I'm going to read Matthew :44, Jesus said, "but I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you," - now that's not called survival of the fittest, is it? - "That you may be sons of your Father in Heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect," - talking about perfect love and mercy - "just as your father in heaven is perfect." We are to pray that God's character is reproduced in us. It's not just that we're made in the image of God with our form, he wants us to reflect his image in our attitudes. Alright, Luke 10:29 - go ahead. "But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, 'and who is my neighbor?'" I think we all know the parable of the good samaritan and Jesus talks about the samaritans and they were believed to be an inferior class of people, by the jews, and when Jesus gets done with the parable he says, 'now who was the neighbor?' Christ shows the one who showed love and care for this man in need even though that man was his enemy, racially, he showed love and care for him because we're all neighbors.

We're all - do you know what a neighbor is? A nigh brother - that's what the word neighbor comes from - a nigh brother. We're all brethren. And, you know, but sometimes we say, 'ah well, but they're far away. They're not my neighbors.' And then, of course, the last section 'morality and accountability' - one reason that we need to think about morality is we will all give an answer to God and there will be a judgment day someday, correct? And that's, of course, acts 17:31. Anyway, time is up.

I want to remind our friends that we do have a free offer and it's 'is it a sin to be tempted?' Talking about morality here in this book. We'll send it to you for free, just call 866-study-more - -788-3966 - ask for offer #708 and we'll be happy to send that to you. God bless you friends. We're out of time until we study together again next week. In six days God created the heavens and the earth.

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