Thread Bible Podcast with Chuck Quinley

Thread Season 4 Episode 11: Double episode! Setting The Stage

April 25, 2020 Thread with Dr. Chuck Quinley Season 4 Episode 11
Thread Bible Podcast with Chuck Quinley
Thread Season 4 Episode 11: Double episode! Setting The Stage
Chapters
Thread Bible Podcast with Chuck Quinley
Thread Season 4 Episode 11: Double episode! Setting The Stage
Apr 25, 2020 Season 4 Episode 11
Thread with Dr. Chuck Quinley

In the first 10 episodes of this season of Thread, we worked our way through the creation overture, the glorious vision of utopia that leads our world's Creator to undertake his masterpiece, a world to connect heaven and earth. Now we shift into the second movement in the symphony. This is a tale about betrayal, broken trust, and ultimately, the shedding of blood. It's the story of the fall of man and the defacing of God's vision.

In this episode we zoom in and learn the personal name of the creator and why he never gave a name to the first human. All this and more in this episode of Thread.

Music by Ryan Andersen and Ross Schmidt

Ryan Andersen is licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial License.

Thread Bible Podcast is produced and edited by Ross Schmidt and is brought to you by medialightonline.com

Support the show (https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=RL4F28KKJPKWQ)

Show Notes Transcript

In the first 10 episodes of this season of Thread, we worked our way through the creation overture, the glorious vision of utopia that leads our world's Creator to undertake his masterpiece, a world to connect heaven and earth. Now we shift into the second movement in the symphony. This is a tale about betrayal, broken trust, and ultimately, the shedding of blood. It's the story of the fall of man and the defacing of God's vision.

In this episode we zoom in and learn the personal name of the creator and why he never gave a name to the first human. All this and more in this episode of Thread.

Music by Ryan Andersen and Ross Schmidt

Ryan Andersen is licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial License.

Thread Bible Podcast is produced and edited by Ross Schmidt and is brought to you by medialightonline.com

Support the show (https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=RL4F28KKJPKWQ)

Hi, I'm Chuck Quinley from the Thread Bible Podcast. In the first movement of the grand symphony of the Genesis story, we were invited into the inspiring dream our Creator had for the creation of our planet and all its life forms. Now we move into the second movement and things turn dark. The humans rebel and God's dream world is vandalized. Is there any hope for the earth? Find out in this episode of Thread.

Welcome to Thread, God's word tying together all the pieces of our lives through verse by verse study of the Bible. In Season Four, we're exploring the bedrock of the entire Bible, Genesis 1-12. Season Four of the Thread Bible Podcast is brought to you by MediaLightOnline.com. And in response to the COVID-19, lockdown, MediaLight is offering two of its most popular courses for free. So use your free time now to discover your mission in life, then learn to use the power of social media to speak truth to your generation. It's all available now for free, at MediaLightOnline.com.

All right, we're back. And we're shifting gears. Now as we move into chapter 2, the purpose of the Creation Overture of chapter 2, (and that was the first 10 episodes of Thread), the purpose of that Overture was to show us what we have lost, it's in the Bible to hand us the blueprint God had for utopia, the perfect world he created for us to rule with him. And in the Creation Overture there was no drama, no villains, no crises, just the unnamed artisan deity matching his skill to the challenge of designing and fabricating a world that is at once both a physical and a spiritual place. And on the seventh day, this deity rested on his throne and passed the work of developing the planet's potential to his highest earthly creation, the human race, and that first movement ends, in chapter 2, verse 4.

Now we began the second movement. It starts in chapter 2, verse 5. And it's the sad story of the rebellion of the highest creatures of heaven and earth. And this plunges the earth into spiritual darkness, and brings it to the state we encounter today. This is a chapter about broken trust, betrayal, and ultimately, the shedding of blood. It's the story of the fall of man and the defacing of God's vision. But before we go there, let's review the purpose of the entire book of Genesis in the Bible. Whether you take an early or late view of the creation of Genesis, it was written for Jewish people whose comfortable life had been crushed by wars, disease, violent abuse by those in power, and by the physical death of so many people who had been the pillars in their lives. And they are now disillusioned, and they need answers to the question: how did our world gets so messed up? And also to the question: is there anything we can do about it? I mean, in relationships, it's messed up. Life at work, it's messed up, money is messed up, marriage is messed up, even worship seems corrupted, and they're asking these questions: how did it get so messed up? And is there anything that can be done? And so God gives this book, and this book is for them, and it's for us. And it basically shows us four things. One: it shows us God's vision for the world, and God's living vision for us, so we get to reclaim God's vision. Secondly: it helps us see what keeps messing things up down here. Thirdly: it reveals his plan to fix it all. And fourth: it shows all of us what we need to do to become useful to God and His mission to set things right and reclaim the earth of his dreams.

Well, in today's episode, we're gonna focus on chapter 2, verses 5-17. So if you don't have a Bible, go get one and bring it right back.

Now, you might have noticed that the creation story is retold in the second movement. And yet, it's told in slightly different ways. One of those differences is the shift between macro to a zoomed-in detail scope in the story. For example, in the overture we see the creation of worlds. In the second movement, God makes a garden. In the overture we see the creation of mankind, in the second movement we watch God create first, one man, then later, in a totally different way, one woman as the rootstock for the human race on Earth. The second movement has a different mission. And that's why it retails the creation story the way it does, it's doing that to support the mission. And this mission is, he wants to talk about a moral choice that we each must make, you know, we're no longer just watching God passively as he creates the world, he wants to talk to us now that we're here as the human race. He wants to talk to us about a moral choice that we've all got to make. And this choice is going to determine the course of our lives and the course of this planet. We'll talk more about the nature of this choice later in the story.

Well, the best way to talk about the most important things in life is of course, to do it as a story because as we said before, story is the operating system for the human mind. It is the most powerful way to take any truth and bring it into our hearts. So this life and death matter that we're going to discuss is wrapped up in a story. And this story has four characters, the Creator God, the man, the woman, and a villain called, in Hebrew, the "nakash", a talking serpent-like creature. This is the biggest story in the Old Testament. And it is the oldest human story that we're aware of. It begins the entire drama of the Bible, it is an epic, and such an epic needs an epic setting for the conflict, and one will be provided. In our text for today, we're going to enter this new setting, and we're going to meet two of the four characters. And these two we've met before, but we're going to meet them again for the second time, the creator and the man. Let me read just the first paragraph, chapter 2 verses 5-7. I'm going to leave part of this in Hebrew. "On the day the Elohim YHWH made the earth and the heavens..." Do you notice that he's reversed the order? It was "heavens and earth" until right now, so let me start over. "On the day the Elohim YHWH made the earth and heavens and no bush of the field was yet on the earth, and no grain of the field had yet sprouted -- for the Elohim YHWH had not sent rain upon the earth, and there was no man to work the ground, but a surge would come up from the earth and water the whole face of the ground -- The Elohim YHWH formed a man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became an animate living thing." Alright, let's unpack this, verses 5-7. 5-7 is here as an introduction of character one in our story. We meet again the unnamed artisan deity from chapter 1 who created all things, but now there's a big change. This deity reveals his personal name to us. And he uses these words over and over through the entire story, the Elohim YHWH.

Why reveal his name now, and not before? Before, it just said, a supernatural creature created the heavens and the earth, but now, the name is revealed. Well the name is revealed here, because the writer wants to show the connection between the person of God and the humans that he creates, as his co-rulers and his images on the earth. The creation of all the other forms of life on this planet was done from a distance, the Creator King would shout his orders from his throne and the universe would take shape, planets would be formed, plant life burst forth, animal life is formed, whether it's in the water the sky or on land, but this time, he touches the clay. And he forms the man. He reveals his personal name. And he shares his own breath with the man of clay. The Elohim YHWH. Let's talk about his name. This tag, "the Elohim" will become important later, and we'll have a whole episode on it very soon. Remember that in the Creation Overture God is only referred to by generic label, this generic label "Elohim". And all it means is a supernatural being. In the beginning a supernatural being created the heavens and the earth. As I said, that's how it reads all the way through chapter 1. "Elohim". To understand this concept of "elohim", just try to strip away all the English words we use. To try and translate it, we use the word "angels", we use "the spirit", talking about a dead human, we use it for fake gods, we use it for the gods of the nations, we translate this word "heavenly beings", and we also translate this same word," the Creator God", "The God". So the word "elohim", it isn't a name, it's a generic category for any conscious being without a human body, let's just say it like that. It's a generic category for any conscious being without a human body. So to ask a question like: does the Bible say there are other gods? The question is confusing because you're inserting one of the English words for "elohim", the word "god", which has lots of baggage attached to it. So let's ask the same question, but let's do it more accurately, like this: does the Bible teach that there are other "elohim" besides the creator? And the answer is clearly, yes. The Bible reports millions of "elohim" surrounding the throne of the eternal Elohim. The Elohim YHWH created all the other elohim, created every creature in the spirit world, just as he created the material creatures on earth. He made all beings whether they're in heaven or on earth, and the great rebellion, (which is the story of the Bible) the great rebellion has impacted all of them. The recurring phrase is: "the Elohim YHWH", the supernatural being YHWH. And you're gonna find as you go through your Old Testament carefully, that one of the most important themes in the Old Testament is YHWH, a personal name YHWH, the great Elohim versus the rebel elohim of the nations, or said plainly YHWH The God versus the gods of the nations. This is the drama of the Old Testament story. It's the drama from Exodus, where YHWH goes to war with the elohim of Egypt through the plagues he sends, and then it's the Elohim YHWH versus the elohim of the Canaanite nations, and then the elohim of the Canaanite nations fight back. And Solomon himself builds temples to them for worshipping them which YHWH calls adultery and treason against him, worshipping those rebel elohim. That disqualifies Israel from YHWH's protection, which allows the other nations to destroy Jerusalem and take the people captive in exile in Babylon. And then in exile, Israel is commanded by the king of the Babylonians to worship the elohim of Babylon, and yea!, they refuse. And we have all these great stories in Daniel, where Daniel is loyal to the great Elohim, and he refuses to worship the gods of the nations. So throughout the Bible, it's the Elohim YHWH versus all the other smaller, ambitious, creature-level elohim. And it's one of these rebel elohim in our story now that devises the plot in chapter 3, to have the two beloved humans put to death by their own Creator.

So we've introduced character one, and God wants us to know he is personally, intimately, lovingly, totally committed to the human race. Our creation is different from anything else on this planet. And God reveals his personal name as he talks about his role in the creation of the first human. Now, let's introduce the second character in our story. And in chapter one, God's utopia was just that it was perfection, and life everywhere was just as He willed it, in every way. But this perfect creation can only be guaranteed to stay perfect if the human co-rulers use their powers in perfect alignment with God's heart. You know, they have to walk in agreement with him if they're going to wield, you know, governmental power on earth. If they are to have dominion over this planet and over all life on Earth, then they have to walk in agreement with him. They have to love what he loves. They have to hate what he hates. His value system has to be their guiding light. And the only way to make sure this happens is to program all the humans to be able to only obey the Creator, you know, just make it impossible for them to do other than what He wills. But that is not YHWH's vision. To do such a thing, to just create robots, that's against the whole value system of God. I mean, his name means freedom. And the creatures he designs to represent him in the flesh on the earth, they must be free to act, free to act as they will, and free to obey has to mean free to also disobey. Obedience has to be their choice. It has to be something that is done from the heart. And granting free will for all humans is God's greatest decision in the creation. He is fully aware of the dangers of free creatures. The angels, it's clear, are free also. He will not create humans unless they can be free, like him. And that's part of what it means to be in his image.

This design choice, free will for humans, it opens the door to all the wonderful and all the horrible things that happened from day to day across the world from this point in our story until today as we're all living. The first recipient of this god-like freedom does not even have a personal name strangely. Well, he's the only one there is, so there's no need to distinguish him from any others. Every human who springs from him will get a name, but the Bible just calls him "the man". Chapter 2 verse 5 tells us that the earth needs a warden. It needs someone with complete authority to develop all life on Earth. Verse 5 says that God has intentionally withheld the true productivity of Earth until the man will arise to nurture and govern life on earth. And who better to govern the earth than someone who's been made out of the very clay of the earth? -- We still name our sons Clay in some cultures -- In verse seven, it says, "The Elohim YHWH formed a man", "formed". We get that word from pottery. Humans are God's own creative project, we are made by the hands of God, not his voice. "The Elohim YHWH formed a man", that word in Hebrew is "adam". "Elohim YHWH formed adam from the dust of the ground", and that word is "adama". "Elohim YHWH formed adam from the dust of the adama", you see where the name comes from? Adam and his race will be the children of the ground, not children of the skies. And then something so unexpected, so tender, happens as the angels look on that day. The Mighty Creator tenderly bends over the clay form, and breathes his own breath into him. There's a long Bible tradition, you can trace all the way through the Scriptures, "wind of God", "breath of God", "Spirit of God" -- it's all the same word. And you'll see the wind, breath, Spirit of God rescuing humans and bringing life and destroying the wicked, Old and New Testament. YHWH breathed into clay man the breath of life. We'll be right back.

Psalm 8 is a reflection on this moment. Let me just read a few verses, 3-6. It says, "When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and stars which you have ordained, what is man?" -- What is "adam"? -- "that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you visit him? For you have made him a little lower than the angels and you have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet." Now, throughout these painful second and third chapters of Genesis, chapter 2, we're gonna see God's intimate love for mankind. Verse 7 says when God breathed into him, man became a living soul. Now, in a lot of modern translations, this sounds wonderful. But this is where a lot of misunderstanding begins about what a human is, and about the soul as the invisible, spiritual part of being human. You know, to the point that it's easy to say, and I used to say it until I looked a little more carefully into the scriptures about it, I used to say things like "I am a spirit", and "I'm just housed in this body". But you have to look at this slowly. The word "soul" in this verse "nephesh", it is not a word about an invisible spiritual side of us, because the animals were also made from the dirt. And the animals are also called "nephesh" in Genesis -- exactly the same word. And they're called "nephesh" because it means and embodied life -- I've been over this before -- life as experienced in a physical body. And this is really important to help us know how to live, because again, the Old Testament view of humans is primarily of a physical, not a spiritual  creature. Life. When the Bible, especially in the Old Testament, when "life", when the word "life" is there, it means: life in a body. So whatever conscious spiritual existence remains after physical death, and it's clear in the Bible that a disembodied consciousness does continue to be experienced, that condition is not the goal. Physical life is the only state called "life" in the Old Testament, and the end of physical life is death. It's not spiritualized in Genesis. Why is that a big deal? It's a big deal because the focus of a human life -- I'm myself, I am trying to let this become a foundational, governing thought, in my own mind -- the focus of a human life is to be in the physical dimension.

According to the Bible, human actions in the physical world, are influenced by forces from the unseen spiritual world, and, said another way -- because we said, you know, our world is an overlap place -- but let me say it another way: our physical life choices demonstrate our loyalty to YHWH the Elohim. And they are our means of making war against the rebel elohim and their human puppet powers. And that's why the law, that was given to the children of Abraham later, it is focused on human actions that have spiritual meaning, even spiritual war. For example, you don't take advantage of people who are having financial hardship. Well, you know, that's a physical thing. It's something you do in the real world. You don't seize their house, you don't, when a husband dies, swoop in and buy up his possessions from his widow when she doesn't know what's going on in business and you can get this super cheap price. And people do things like that, and they don't recognize that is a spiritual -- you're doing a physical thing, but you are doing it based on a spirit world pressure. It's that greed, that love of money, that power, those dark powers are at work. And we can either make war against those powers in the physical by how we treat people in the natural world, or we join those dark powers by things that we do in the physical world. You know, and the law: lenders must treat borrowers with respect and concern. Why? Well, it's spiritual war, that's why. Another thing in the law, you must show honor and gratitude toward your parents and toward the elderly. Another one, you will not carve statues and make amulets and bow down to them. All these are physical things, and the focus of the law is not on an invisible part of our life. Like, you know, "you shall be very spiritual", "you shall..." -- I guess I'm reacting to -- we've turned everything about serving the Lord into going to Bible studies, and going to church, and listening to teaching, as though that is the focus of the Scriptures, and it's not. We hear the Word of God so we can go to the physical world, the one that matters, and make choices, make physical, real world choices. And Christianity has got a great focus on the life after death, and that comes to us, because of, you know, the tables being turned upside down, the historical resurrection of Jesus Christ, when he rose from the dead on the third day. Then that becomes, you know, the center focus of our talk, and that's fine. But you're gonna miss the impact of the world-altering doctrine of the physical resurrection of the dead. If you start reading the New Testament back into the Old Testament -- and I think we're gonna miss so much foundational truth in Genesis from doing this, we need to take the truth as the Bible reveals it progressively. You know, in our modern era, it's getting worse, in our modern era, we find ourselves now living mostly with our minds and our bodies separated because we spend 10 hours a day staring into screens. And sometimes, through that screen, we're interacting with people in other physical places, and we're viewing things that aren't where we are. And we're falling apart. We're falling apart mentally and emotionally because of it. We need to get reintegrated. We need to put our body and our mind in the same place. And that is a physical place, we need to get recentered. So we need to return to the garden with Adam and Eve, and reboot our understanding and our experience of what life in this world is supposed to be, the way God made it.

So calling humans "nephesh" is meant to focus us on life lived in a body, not the invisible life form, force, not our mind, not our spirit-man, or anything like that. That to be a human -- see, we get it backwards when we do that, and it keeps us from centering down on our physical lives, and tasting the wonder of life and the pain of human life, because humans are and ever shall be physical creatures. We will find YHWH the Elohim in our physical life, in this physical world. If you just do a plain reading of your Bible, you will see we never become angels, we'll never have wings, we're not going to live our eternity as spirits in a cloudy heaven. We will live, according to the Bible, a physical life, in physical, resurrected, glorified bodies, on this physical, purified planet Earth. And God will live with us here in the New Jerusalem, because God living with man on earth has always been the plan. reclaiming the Earth is the mission for which Christ died. He didn't come to just save souls, he came to reclaim the world, he came to reunite the communities of heaven and Earth. It's the clearly revealed will of the Creator in the Bible, that God and man live together on paradise Earth, not as floating spirits in clouds of heaven. That's the big picture. And if you don't believe it, please check me out. I mean, get in the Bible, and dig it all the way to the end, you can't get this until you've gone cover to cover. And as you get anchored down in Revelation, you're gonna see it, it's a recreated earth and the New Jerusalem comes out of the sky. It's the big picture. It's the main plot of the Bible story. God had a vision for which he created this earth, that vision was attacked, it was derailed, and he's committed to restore creation to his original plan, and even take it beyond the first design to something more glorious. And we see this clearly in the New Testament, but we get teasers throughout the Old Testament as well.

So we've now met the Creator, the Elohim YHWH. And we've met the creation, first creation, humans, clay man. And now we're going to enter the new setting, and in this setting, we'll see the drama that is to come. So this setting is sort of like a stage. Okay, so God is building a stage, we're going to enter into this stage now, and it is the setting for the big event. And here's verses 8 and 9, "And the Elohim YHWH planted a garden in Eden, in the beginning, in the east. And there, he put the man whom he had formed. And from the ground the Elohim YHWH made to sprout all the trees, coveted by the eyes, and good for food, and the tree of life in the middle of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of..." and I'm going to leave this in Hebrew, "Tov and Ra". This event that's coming up, the event of chapters 2 and 3, all the focus is now to point us, and it takes place in a remote mountain district designed to be the dwelling place for God and man. It is the seat of YHWH's government, a region named Eden, and that word means pleasure. We should think of it as a state or a province. Now although it's the headquarters for administering planet Earth, it isn't a city. It's a mountain paradise, and its focal point is the royal garden which has been designed and laid out by YHWH himself. Amazingly, we're told that the great Elohim himself did the actual manual labor of planting the royal garden. You know, a garden is not a wilderness, wilderness is just nature gone wild, and survival of the fittest. But a garden shows the creative power of a human as it interacts with nature. And so, you know, gardens have order, they have a line, and the words used to describe YHWH making this garden, they talk about design and drawing lines. You know, that he has laid out this garden, and he has constructed it, he built the gardens, and the scripture says he built them from the beginning. And this isn't just a fussy, ornamental garden, it's a perfect biozone. It's filled with all the microbes, the plants and the animals that are needed for the flourishing of mankind, and all the animals within man's own biosystem. And now, we're at the center of the stage and a spotlight goes on, and our attention is drawn in Eden, in the garden, keep on focusing down, now the attention is drawn to two trees in the center of this garden. This is where the conflict is set up. God has planted a variety of life sustaining trees, and trees that are, notice the description, "coveted by the eyes, good for food", we're gonna see that pattern again, and again. It'll start with Eve, it will move throughout the Old Testament, you will see humans looking at something that is beautiful, and they will covet it, their eyes will make them covet it, and now they have to make a choice as to whether they're going to wait to receive it by grace as a gift, or they're going to reach out and take it and make it theirs. And we're going to see that pattern repeatedly. 

Okay, so now we've made the big shift, because we started with the Overture and, you know, the happy report of God, the great Creator, and now we've shifted to the story of man, the garden, and the next element in this story is going to be the great rebellion. And now the writer has taken our focus, and it's gone from macro, and there's the universe and there's the whole planet, now we're down at planet Earth, and then you keep coming in now that we've gotten into chapter 2, now you zoom, zoom, zoom on in, you're in a state, a territory, and now you're in a garden, a royal garden, and now you're standing in the on the grass, and you're looking at two trees, both dead in the center of this garden. Why has he done that? He shifted our focus because he wants to direct our attention to this moral choice that all of us face each day. Stay tuned.

This choice is symbolized by these two trees, and we'll talk more about them later. But just to give you an overview, one tree promises to make us little gods, independent powers on our own. Taking what we desire, owning what we can take from others by our own power. But the other tree promises to give us an unbroken life-giving relationship with our Creator as our king, our Father, and our friend, and in this choice we'll always live beneath the shelter of his benevolent power and provision. We will receive the life he freely gives to us. We're gonna come back and discuss these trees at lengths, I don't want to go any deeper than this. Verses 10-15 are a description of four rivers, but the point that they're making is that this mountain garden was the source of all life in the world, basically, the thought that all the rivers start there. Now, the way this description is done, it points again to the fact that this is intentionally a theological message. It's not science-based history of the world, because one of these rivers is named the Gihon. And the Gihon is another name for the Nile, but it's also the name of the spring that flows out from the base of the temple of Jehovah in Jerusalem. Those are two totally different places. And the first river listed is Pishon, which is an unknown river. Then there's the two rivers we really we know very clearly, even to this day, and that is the Tigris and the Euphrates. Now, the people in that region, they know where the river Nile is, that's in Egypt, and it flows basically backwards. And then you go all the way up into Iran and Iraq, and you've got the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. So they were very clear in their minds that these aren't, you know, this is not necessarily a literal connectedness. Plus, there's this other river that we've never even heard of. It's fuzzy. There's no attempt made to make it clear, because again, this is not the history of the world. It intends to say, "Eden is lost to us, Eden, and the garden is where all the life on the planet flowed from, and you'll never be able to find it. Even the ancients had no hope of ever finding it, we've lost it and we've lost it forever." Let's go to verses 15-17, I'll read it. "And the Elohim YHWH took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden to work it and to keep it. And the Elohim YHWH commanded the man saying, 'Of all the trees of the garden you may surely eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of Tov and Rah, you shall not eat of it, for on the day you eat of it, you must surely die.'"

Okay, I want to make seven quick points about this passage. Okay. First of all, it says, "And the Elohim YHWH took the man". "Took", first word, second word, "placed" him. "Took". That's a physical word. It means he fetched him, he held his hand, he walked with him physically, he led him physically. He "took the man, and he placed him in the garden", that word "placed" means installed. He installed him to a position with full authority. You know, he, it's not just he moved in, like a chess piece. It's that he seated him with authority in the garden, you know, it's, governmentally Adam has now been given the dominion over the garden. What's he supposed to do? There's two complimentary aspects of his purpose in life. The first one is to work it, he's supposed to bring up its production. "I want you to make the garden productive, I want you to bring out maximum yield from all the trees and all the plants. I want you to make nature flourish, I want it to produce, but also, I want you to keep it, and that means protection. You're not just going to be able to build and grow and make it bigger, you're going to have to protect it from being destroyed." Because once again, we're always fighting darkness. We're always fighting Tohu va Bohu, and man has both jobs, make this world better, make it grow, make it strong, but also take care of it, defend it, because it has enemies. You've got to protect the garden. And then God gives him a command and this is the first command in the Bible. It says, "YHWH commanded the man saying, 'Of all the trees of the garden you may surely eat", in Hebrew the way you say "really do it" is, you repeat the word. So it says, of all the trees of the garden you may eat eat. So the first command in the Bible is to eat eat all the trees, including the tree of life, eat them, eat them all. Now that word "surely" is there because it's a necessary part of translation. And it means, it's pointing to two things: factuality, and secondly, focus. God says, "I want you to pay attention to this. This is the truth. You have commandment, I am commanding you to eat eat all the trees, including the tree of life, I am commanding you to do that, I want you to pay attention to what I'm saying. And this is the truth." And then there's a second part of this sentence, and he says, "but of the tree of the knowledge of 'tov' and 'rah', you shall not eat of it. For on the day you eat of it, you must surely die." Pay attention again, "surely die". He's not saying it's a prediction. It's the same as the "surely" used above. He's saying, "This is not a prediction, pay attention. This is the truth. Focus on this, your death will be a necessity the day you eat this fruit." Now, the last word in this passage is the word "die". And that is foreshadowing, because we will see where the story leads us, and it will lead us to death. And that death will be the death across the planet, and across the ages, even until today.

Now, there's so many rabbit trails we could follow at this point. First of all, we could talk about death in the garden before the fall. Because, as you consider this possibility, you may say, "Oh, absolutely not. Couldn't have happened." Well think about it. There's a couple of things to think about. First one is the logic that predators like the tiger, predators, and virus and bacteria, and a whole host of other players, they perform an essential function in the world. I mean, many bugs die in a day, oh, we'd be smothered by them in less than a week. I mean, they'd be over our heads. Animals take nutrients from the soil, then they return them to the soil as they age and die. This is not a disaster for the planet. This is the normal part of the lifecycle. Predators take out, not the unlucky, but the weak. And they keep the pool of reproduction of any species to be led by the strongest and the fastest. These are positive things that are happening. They're not necessarily part of the curse. Well, that's just logic. And you might not want to follow it because it's logical, but more importantly, the threat of death on Adam's life was fully comprehended by him. God says, "Get this because it's the truth. The day you eat this Tov and Rah tree is the day your death becomes a necessity." That doesn't mean anything if Adam doesn't know what death is. He comprehended this. God would not have left such a huge issue in the mind of a man who had no idea what he was talking about. Now, Paul, the reason that we would maybe resist thinking this way is because of something Paul wrote. Paul said, "death entered the world by one man's failure", and you got 1 Corinthians 15 and 2 Corinthians also, but if you read that carefully, he is clearly speaking, he's talking about Adam and Eve's failure in the garden, and he is talking about death, but he's talking about human death, the death of humans. So was there death, animal death, plant death, were these things, I mean, when you eat of a tree, it's not death in the sense of the death of breathing, living being, but you know, we look at trees that are no longer functional, we say the tree has died, and we cut it down. So something about death, did it occur in the garden before the fall? So that would be a long, I think a very interesting discussion. A second discussion, and that one could lead to this one, is a talk about conditionalism. Conditionalism is a belief about life and eternal life which starts with the position that only YHWH the Elohim is eternal. Only YHWH is eternal. Humans were never eternal, and angels are not eternal. Nothing except, and no one, except YHWH is eternal. Anyone else that lives long, or even gets to live forever, must have his assistance to remain alive. Now, before the fall, man had the potential to perpetually renew and extend his, seems like naturally weakening life, because life, naturally there's a cycle of life. And before the fall, man seems to have had the potential to perpetually renew his life, and extend his life, how? By continuing to eat the tree of life. Unless that's the setup, there's no need for a tree like this. It's the purpose of the tree, living in intimate and submissive alignment with YHWH, doing his will for this world gave Adam and Eve permission to renew the life within them that was breaking down as a part of the natural order of creation, they could stay alive forever, but they could stay alive forever, it seems, because of the conditional help they were receiving from YHWH. And that's why it's important to him after the fall, that they no longer have access to the tree of life. That could lead to a long discussion. A third discussion that you can have, and this will come up later, is God's failure to execute Adam and Eve on the spot at the tree. I'm getting ahead of myself, because we're not there in the story, but it's going to come up later. And I bring it up here already because this is the text where God lays out the conditions for staying alive. And a conditions for enjoying the pleasure of the Lord, the condition by which they get to live in the land of pleasure. And we'll return to all this later in the story, but I just want to say that already anyone, you know, even just knowing what we know, anybody who says that YHWH is a bloodthirsty God who loves to execute people simply hasn't read the Bible very carefully. It's the Bible they're quoting, but they're not reading it very carefully, because if you read the Scripture, and you read all the interchanges, read them all, not one, not just a proof text, read God's interactions with humans, and you will find he cares about people. He cares about, in fact, all of creation, and he is slow to anger, he is abundant in mercy, he is always working to bring the erring person around to repentance and restoration. I personally praise him for this, it is the reason I am able to walk with him today. And I want the world to know about YHWH the Creator Elohim. I want them to know about his love for the people of the earth, about his plan to make this world, to pull this world away from being the kingdom of darkness, and to restore it to the garden of Eden, and even take it beyond the initial plan of that garden to the New Jerusalem, where the lion lies down with the lamb, and children can play by the pit of the viper and not be harmed, and where humans beat their swords and spears into pruning hooks and plows, and where everyone lives in peace with God and the angels and each other forever. Amen. Well, that's all for now. It's a little longer than usual, but there were a lot of things in there we needed to get into so that we can move into this second movement of the big story of Genesis. That's all for now. Don't forget about the new free online courses and MediaLightOnline.com. Visit it today and share it with your friends. Okay? Expect God to use you today because you are the light of the world.