Genesis 1-3 God’s Intent and Purpose In Creation – Heaven & Hell #4

Man was designed, man was made, created, for fellowship with God, to have proximity with God, to be in God’s light, to not be in darkness. And you can say, “But God created day and night,” yes, but if you’re reading what I’m reading, even though all those things are true, the proximity to God would put you in the light, God is light, I just decided to write down a few questions about heaven. What will we know in heaven? It’s a good question. Will all of life’s mysteries be revealed and understood? It’s a good question. Will there be some degree of equality? Will we all be the same? Will we be socialists? Will we have the capacity for emotions? See, there are certain things said in the Bible about what God will do; will we have the capacity for emotions that will need to be answered. What type of bodily covering or clothing will we wear? What about our beloved pets? Many of you who have pets often ask me what happens to your animals, we’ll talk about that. I’ve got a whole, I mean I probably sat down and wrote out all the questions that I can think of, and tomorrow I’ll have more to write down; after I’m done preaching I will have more. It’s good; I bring more questions to myself. Will it be a boring existence? What do you think; do you think it will be boring in heaven? (No Ma’am) Ah, some of you are saying that because you just want to be, you know, you want to sound like you know what you’re talking about. I will say this to you, and I will answer many of these questions and the rest of the questions that I’ve written down to kind of keep myself on track, but one of them I just decided, just like that, let’s talk about it: will we be bored in heaven? Well, we know that being bored has everything to do with time, and there will be no time. So if you’re not sure you almost have to go to the logical questions, but we’re going to tackle all these; there’s lots of things to tackle. But there are plenty of things in Scripture that we can look at and we can kind of gain some insight. One of them, it’s something that’s said by Job, he says, “Man dieth and where is he?” Job was even asking, “Where do people go when they die?” Essentially that’s the essence of his question. If we comb the Scriptures we not only find these answers, they are there, but also; so essentially we have those answers, but those answers are answered for us going back to the origin of man or humankind, and the intention of the creator in man’s destiny. These are important components in the sum total for kind of putting a message like this together, because without going to the beginning where a lot of the answers already are, you will not, and neither will I, be able to get the full insight. Now there’s, there’s a lot of discussion especially amongst the scholars that say essentially the Old Testament doesn’t say too much about death and dying and where the departed souls go. This is not true. In fact, if there’s little, the problem that we have is because we’ve got Old and New Testaments, typically we look back to understand, which is what we are doing right now, but we’re always, when it comes to the terminus of our lives or the end of life on earth, we are always looking forward. In the Old Testament there had not been yet given some form of understanding about the future. So the only thing that we’re going to really be able to glean from is an understanding of those who were alive, and then in this case in the creation after the fall began to die, and their understanding which doesn’t necessarily make them look towards the future, they actually had nothing that gave them a promise of the future. And you can, I’ve said this before, you can open up any number of Hebrew scholars and their interpretations on simply the Pentateuch, but specifically on the book of Genesis, and no two scholars will come to the same conclusion. And there is a reason for that, not just the ambiguity of the language itself, syntactically, which I’m going to get into today, syntactically it, it’s one of those, it’s not enough to say, “I can translate the language,” because that can bring about some interesting takes on, especially on what I’m going to do today, but we are talking about understanding the whole. In other words, the whole sixty-six books, which when you come back to the beginning lets you put things in proper context, and if we have ambiguity in translation it is the syntactical parameters that will help us. I know somebody just went, “Oh, you lost me.” It’s okay, don’t worry about it, I’ll come back and find you at some point, you’ll be around, I know how to scrape the bodies off the floor. All right, so the first thing I want to point out before I take you to my text is I’ve taken license here to write down just a few examples that make clearer something. For example Job 32:8 says, “But there is a spirit in a man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth him understanding.” Or from Zechariah 12:1 where it says the Lord “stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.” In the New Testament we see it even clearer, it is the division of soul and spirit and when we talk about these in terms of Greek words don’t even ask me because they seem to be used interchangeably, the soul and the spirit, kind of a conundrum of sorts. But the main thing that I want to point to is not the conundrum, it’s the fact that through the Old and New Testaments whether man is a dichotomy or a trichotomy is irrelevant, the thing that every inspired writer took note of in some way, shape, or form, is that man, having been given the breath of lives, different from the animals and equally a clear understanding that there is body, there also must be soul, and if you’re going to engage in this conversation, spirit; spirit, soul, body. Now sometimes people have suggested that the soul and the spirit are the same but I will show you in the course of time they are not. They may be coming into the New Testament used in an interchangeable way, but in the way that it is understood when we talk about end of life, or postmortem existence, these things must be abundantly clear in our minds otherwise we are going to have confusion if the terminology is not clear from the get go. So we’re going to be looking at a lot of this stuff which I said is important to understand, but I’m taking you today, believe it or not, to the very beginning of the Bible, page 1, actually it’s page 2. If we start reading how the Bible begins, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” we see that the writer is putting out a statement that the New Testament writers will, at least John does, see the relevance in reaching back before time, why he opens his Gospel with, “In the beginning was the Word.” And I want to kind of suspend these two things together, “In the beginning was the Word,” is John in the New Testament speaking about the preexistence before Christ came, before Christ was here in the flesh. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,” facing God. Well, here, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” And if you keep reading you find something very remarkable, “God said, Let there be light,” so that the beginning of this is we have obviously God, and God speaking, and God who spoke the Word; this is why John reaches back and says “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,” or facing God. In creation the Word was there and the Word, we’re told multiple times in the New Testament, was Christ. Before Christ was in the flesh, the Word that was in the beginning that became the Word incarnate that became the spoken, or what was the spoken word through the Old Testament; but then the Word spoke Himself, which is Christ in the flesh. So when we talk about these concepts it must be understood that in the creation, “the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters,” and God spoke. The beginning of creation, whether people want to admit or deny, we have the Triune God that appears right there in the opening. And as I said reaching to John, John is very interested in the New Testament about reaching back behind the public ministry of Jesus, because when he’s reaching back and says, “In the beginning was the Word,” but all the way into Revelation, fourth chapter, first verse where it talks about he saw the door open and begins to tell us what he’s seen in terms of what he’s seen in the heavenly vision that he has seen, that he’s been permitted or granted to see. So it is important that we really get a clear understanding of something. These opening words of Genesis, the opening words of John, and even what John says elsewhere become an incredible, must to study, to solidify certain points, specifically that there must be, not just that there is, but I will show you with all of the things that I’m going to present that a body may be laid in a grave, but the soul of the individual does not stay within that body, that there is indeed a place; not a state of being, but an actual place where the soul of that individual goes. It is connected to the spirit that is placed inside an individual; spirit and soul go to a place. The body is in the ground and a new body is given to us eventually. When we begin to kind of talk in real terms, not in poetic, and not in caricature, we can start to put together some very good evidence, strong weight on what we can absolutely go through the Bible, glean, and understand is a reality, not wishful thinking. I always will say this to myself, but I’m going to share it with you. I feel very sorry for people who either think that nothing exists after the grave, there, that there is nothing, or that they have no hope whatsoever, so all they have is this life. This is why, I hate to tell you this, but this is why we have such a surge of the self generation, of self-importance, self-aggrandizement; not that that always hasn’t been there, but it’s more so now, because this talk of post-mortem existence is A) not popular. It is not regularly exposited, and quite frankly most people are so engrossed with themselves in the now and their “best life now” (yes, you got that one, some of you did), that it seems quite irrelevant to even ponder about life after life, because you’d have to believe. You’d have to have a starting point. Now, I know I asked you to turn to Genesis. You stay there. I want to read you one thing out of the New Testament that really, to me, kind of sums up why the Old Testament saints, they didn’t have the luxury that we have. They didn’t have the tools that we have. Let me just say this to you. I’ll read this verse and then I’ll get to my message. “But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,” so the Old Testament saints could have never understood this. They would have had nothing to look forward to. So with that in mind, and it’s only, we only get a clearer understanding going into the New Testament and the good news. We only get a clearer understanding, but everything we glean beforehand, believe me, will be helpful in building the foundation. So I have you in Genesis 1, and I too am there now. And I am going to torture you with a little bit of Hebrew, Let’s start with the two words bereshith bara. So a little bit of grammar to explain something; the bet, which acts as your preposition, right, preposition, and your word which is a noun in the feminine and singular; And our word for “create,” bara, which is in the Qal, perfect, three, masculine, singular. And also let’s put this down here, this whole situation is in the construct. And a construct I’ll explain in a minute. So bereshith, which translates “in,” this word reshith, which we take the three letters out of there, which can be “head, beginning, front,” there are many other ways to describe this word, like Rosh Shoshanna, right. We’re talking about the head of the year, the first of the year, the New Year. So this word, which I’m going to come back to, and bara, which is in the Qal as a verb, perfect, which simply means “to create.” So, “In,” if we just do it just like this, “In beginning,” because it’s in construct, and I’ll explain that in a minute, but essentially it lets us do the add the words “of” but it joins two words together. It’s not necessarily genitival in force, but “In beginning,” here we have the word for “created,” and then the next word, which is (I’ll write it in red for you), Elohim, all right, which is the proper, the proper name for God in creation. So what God created, this is what needs to be picked apart. And I’ll give you a reason why when I use grammar and syntax why I do what I do sometimes is to make something to show you then sometimes we can ask questions of the text itself, and that can either clarify or can confuse us even more. So for example, and I want to take this particular text that I’m looking at, which is the beginning of Genesis 1, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light, and there was light,” or He in other words said, “Light be, and there was”” Now having said that I want to talk about and go back to this beginning and creation. The issues are at least minimally twofold, but probably more. You said, “Well, we’re talking heaven and hell and you’re talking about creation.” That’s right. And I’ll explain why this is important. Should our verse 1 be translated as an independent clause; which we should do, we should take it that way, but some have not, and they’ve taken it as clause that is dependent or related to the second verse. And what happens there is something of what I’d call a little bit a translation tragedy. If verse 1 is an independent clause and a complete sentence, or is the first word an indeterminate noun, and if so, what happens? So let me cut, put this into clearer terms for people who are not grammarians. If so we might end up with understanding the following, if we’re just reading from the English, it might read something like, “In the beginning God created the heaven,” and it should be plural, “the heavens and the earth,” and if, if the first clause is unique, distinct and by itself a stand-alone, and not tied into verse 2, then that allows us to A) propose that there is a gap theory between verse 1 and 2, a span of time in which there may have been successive from creation or a created realm to a cataclysm that may have occurred. Whether that is by God speaking or by some other means, but I do hold to something called the “gap theory,” which people say, “Well, that’s unscriptural.” But based on the, as I’ve said before, the ambiguity of the Hebrew language and based on how we understand how we should pick apart a sentence and how it should be understood, this is how we will come to a conclusion of what it means. And I’m pointing this out again for a reason. We could go with a construct state, which I’m describing. This, these first two words being in construct, which means that one word is essentially linked to another, they’re, they form a chain and they must go together. They, they are two words that function together. If that is the case, then we’d have, we could have something that would read something like, “When God began to create, the earth was without form and void.” In other words, if the first word is in the construct state and the verse is a temporal clause, what you have is essentially when God began to create the heavens and the earth, the earth being without form. So here’s where the confusion, just right at the very beginning where people get confused; did God in the beginning create the heavens and the earth, and then the earth became? And that’s why it’s important to syntactically pick this apart, because the earth became; it was not when God designed, and some, as I said, something happened between 1 and 2. But what does this have to do with heaven and hell? A lot, because as we go through, we realize that whether, as some have propounded that the opening of the Bible is nothing more than a clarification of a lot of these streams of creation stories, or whether the other creation stories, like the Babylonian epic or whatever, all flowed from this or a caricature of this, or even a perversion of this. But what is important is when you read this, God started recording right here, regardless of what came before or in the interim, He starts recording right here. And what He records is intent and purpose. The creation was not done in some willy-nilly fashion. And the interesting thing is that if you’re really reading the Hebrew aright when it says, “And God said, Let there be light,” God is light. When He spoke, He didn’t speak Himself into existence, but the first thing that He did after we’re talking about creating the heavens and the earth, is “Light be,” and there was light. Why? Because even in the genesis of bringing things about, the first thing that God was concerned about: heavens plural, earth, and light. And don’t start thinking about planetary functions, atmospheric functions; think more along the lines of what the intent was at creation; to bring light into the world, a representation of God Himself, obviously to separate the light from the darkness, which is, if you keep reading, what happens. But the whole of creation is with purpose and intent. So when people get into this debate and they say, “Well, how can I know? Why am I here? What’s the purpose?” all the questions we ask, if you actually start in the most familiar passage, which is the opening chapters of Genesis, you find that first and foremost, God has all power. Now these are, they’re things most people know. God has all power. And when He spoke, His word became, it was. It wasn’t that He spoke and maybe it will happen. He spoke definitively and it was. The important thing that I want to emphasize here is a great distinction that God made between the heavens and earth, and everything that was in the earth that God made and everything that would be belonging to the sky, the first heaven, if you will, which is the sky and the things that we see around us readily, the atmospheric things that we see that are in the sky, the stars that we can see; those things which were deliberate, not random, with purpose and intent. So it’s inescapable. And when we get the twenty-sixth chapter; I mean the twenty-sixth verse of the first chapter, “And God said, Let us man,” Adam, “man in our image, and after our likeness: and let them have dominion over fish of the sea, over the fowl of the air, over the cattle, over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” So it’s important to keep emphasizing this one thing: purpose and intent. Without these two words being driven into your minds this morning, somebody may just say, “Well, God created.” But the purpose, if you read the whole of creation and everything that God placed on the earth; every manner of tree, every manner of bird, every manner of fish, everything that He created that He placed on the earth, every seed that He placed on the earth, and then here is the creation of the bringing into existence, which tells us about the creation, the origin of man. Now again, if you’re one of these people that believes that you’re related to an ape, help yourself. You can be related to an ape if you so choose to be; I choose not. Not because I don’t like apes, but because God said that He created me and you that we actually came out of another human being that came out of another human being that came out of another human being, and you keep tracing it back to the first human beings, and I don’t find an ape anywhere or a chimpanzee, but anyway, a story for another day or another book or something. All right, so now we are at the creation finished. And what is important is after we read the creation purpose and intent, God blessed His creation in Adam and Eve, and said unto them, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish&” there’s your key word, “replenish,” which is quite suggestive. It says, if you’re looking at this carefully, that there had to be something on the earth before. You don’t use the word “replenish,” unless you’ve used something up, unless it has been annihilated, wiped out, discontinued, not in use anymore; I don’t know what other words I can put in there. That word is the key word to saying that there was something else, which is why I go back to the gap of Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. That one word, replenish “replenish the earth and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish&” and you can see the whole creation being subject or subjected or being in subjection, subordinate to God’s creating Adam and Eve. Now why is this important? He places them in a garden and He tells them essentially, “Everything in your sight, everything that you can see is yours to have, yours to eat, yours to enjoy; but this one tree over here, don’t touch it.” And that one tree, of course, is the tree that Eve will be tempted and succumb to temptation, which essentially throws both Adam and Eve into sin. And the wages of sin, the New Testament says, “The wages of sin is death.” And the day that they ate, when she partook and then she gave to her husband Adam, and in the day they partook they began to die. It says, “Dying you shall surely die.” They didn’t die right away. They lived for a couple of hundred years after that. So it tells you right away there that the purpose, God’s purpose━remember, purpose and intent━God’s purpose in creation was not, “Let’s start something and let’s restart something and let’s keep, a la Alan Dershowitz, let’s keep figuring this out until We get it right”” But rather, intent and purpose here being man was designed, man was made, created, for fellowship with God, to have proximity with God, to be in God’s light, to not be in darkness. And you can say, “But God created day and night,” yes, but if you’re reading what I’m reading, even though all those things are true, the proximity to God would put you in the light, God is light, God is the source of light; He is the lightness or the light, apart from, we’ll call it the other form, which is not light, if that makes any sense to you. But in reading and going back to the intent and purpose of God, it seems quite clear that God made man for His enjoyment. God made man for His pleasure, and God made man for communion with Him, with, for with-ness, oneness and with-ness with Him in creation. Now if we take the words that I’ve written down, and I really don’t care, I have to tell you this. And there’s somebody out there listening that will be sitting, tickled with laughter as I tell this story. But people who fancy themselves scholars will tell you they’ve got the right interpretation of Genesis, but I just showed you and I could take you down four lines of interpretation and all of them, in fact, if we weren’t talking theologically, just syntactically, morphologically speaking they would all be correct; four different ways of interpreting the opening of Genesis. And they’d all be linguistically correct, but I’m not interested for this particular time, I’m not interested in linguistically correct. I’m interested in the essential theological message the Bible carries. So if you want to make an interpretation and apply the, there are some, I think it’s Barclay’s laws of interpretation, especially for Hebrew, go ahead and knock yourself out, but it’s not going to help you understand the very important things that are being said. And you can be dogmatic as much as you want, but the things that we know unequivocally, and most Hebraists, most Semitic scholars will be in agreement with what I’m saying and the way to look at this properly is, and it is in a construct state “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” And I’m again referring to heavens being plural and the earth singular. It is important to look at this in the fullness of how it reads and understand something. Right there at the point of creation God did not, He did not say that He created heavens and earth, and then said, “And let Me figure out the rest of this”” He had a plan. The plan is within the confines of the text. So deliberately speaking and ordering light, deliberately speaking and ordering the separation of day and night, deliberately speaking and ordering the separation of land and water, deliberately speaking and creating, and deliberately “Let us make man in our image.” And this deliberate purpose and intent wasn’t because this is the start, this is the record, but rather if you think about it this way, this was the intent of essentially what we will be looking at when the end of time comes. When the earth is burned up and new earth; a new heaven and new earth and the New Jerusalem comes down; and some people listening to me out there might be going, “Whoa! This is a little bit out there,” but it’s in the book; I’m not making any of this up, because on my own, I would just prefer to tell you that ancient aliens land, abduct you all and you’re going to be forced to sing Christmas songs for the rest of━yeah. You’re like, “No! I don’t want to go to hell!” “We wish you a merry Christmas, we wish you a merry”” No. Intent and purpose will be clear when you see the description of the city from Ezekiel’s perspective, when you see the description of the city in Revelation, and when we understand that there will be a recreated earth, which I referenced last week, which will be once again, if you think about it, people will, will actually be, it will be heaven on earth. Now I know for a lot of people, people envision that heaven is always “over there.” But the reason why I am starting here in the beginning is God could have simply said, “I’m going to make a place that will be My residence, and in My residence there will be these things. I will be here forever with man.” But it doesn’t say that. And what we know and what we absolutely know is that God gave man the ability to make his own decisions, which we call free will. So God could not stay in that place called the garden, and if you want to even just for your own selves in your own time, make a list of things that are the, the comparable, what I’ve called bookends through Genesis and Revelation. The tree that is in the beginning here is the tree that will be for the healing of all nations at the end. And that tree, as I’ve said many times, there’s a double meaning. Was there an actual tree in the garden that then got blocked off with Cherubim and flaming swords to protect it, to prevent man from eating? Yes, I believe that there was tree there. I also believe potentially that if you, if you’re going to believe all of this, I also believe that there was a flood. And the flood, whether the flood was local or global, if the flood was just local, the flood flooded the areas that even God would have designed as sacred and holy for Him. The flood flooded the earth; whether it was local or global, but specifically if it was local, it would have taken out parts of places that we’re reading about and studying until the time of the flood. Because somebody would say, “Well, if God protected that and He put a cherub with a flaming sword,” but in a secondary meaning, in the beginning was the Word. And we know the Word coming to the New Testament is Christ. And Christ is always also referenced, as essentially, I believe Christ being the tree. Christ here is not mentioned, but the tree that would be essentially permanizing them in the state that they would be in, which would keep them in eternal existence, but fallen, never to be reunited with God. So right away at the beginning we see God’s purpose and intent, and heaven is in view. Heaven; if you miss this, the rest of the book is kind of foolish; heaven was already in view in creation, not creating earth essentially the way we understand it. See, we’re only looking at things from our finite or; I’m sorry, from, from a finite perspective, not being able to understand what is around in God’s realm, what He can see, what He’s able to do. We have this, kind of, it’s blinders, but the book begins with revealing to us God’s purpose for humankind and it wasn’t to die. It wasn’t “in the day that you eat, you surely will die,” it was though, to be in perfect fellowship with God to have communion with Him, to be in His light and to have His essential wisdom, guidance; everything that He is that He’s revealed through the book, we should have had in the beginning, if it wasn’t for the fall. And the earth would have been replenished had there not been a fall. I want you to think about this. The earth would have been replenished and over the course of time, in replenishing the earth without the fall. I want you to imagine that for a minute that there, that the fall never took place, even though it did obviously. But had it not taken place, it means that the earth would have been populated with people living forever. There would be, even though━this is the mind-boggling thing, even though there is time. The time is dividing the day, the light/day and the night/darkness and the evening and the morning were the first day. There tells you there’s time right there. So interesting to think that man for a brief window was in time, but was not involved in time. He was in time, because time is there, day and night. See, in eternity there will be no day and night. In heaven there’ll only be light. There’ll only be light and when we talk about heaven on earth, the New Jerusalem, there’ll only be light. There will be no darkness whatsoever, which begs another question, which I know I told you I think I can ask more questions than anybody, but that brings about the question of what will happen to us (oh, here she goes); will we have free will in heaven? I have an answer to that, by the way. Actually the Bible has an answer to that. But if we wrap our minds around this, and this is why when people say, “Oh, I don’t read; you know, Genesis is a book that’s very much a bunch of tapestried fables, stitched together, and you know, if you’re kind of looking for something to latch onto,” I’m sorry! If you have reduced Genesis down to that, you have just thrown away some of the most important information, beginning with the fact that an all-sovereign, omnipotent, omniscient God, who knows exactly how to, would not have created without form and void. That tells you something happened on the earth. I keep going back to this to tell you that the intent of God was already thwarted, not once, but at least two or three times just in the opening chapters here. Who was at work? Well, all you’ve got to do is go and read, whether you’re reading from the Old Testament or the New. Now the statement in the New Testament is comparable, you can patch them all up, but “I saw Satan fell; when Satan fell, he took a third of heaven with him.” Now the question; I’m sorry, I’m, I’m getting into like a whole bunch of hodgepodge pieces here, and you’re probably going, “Well, you lost me a long time ago.” It doesn’t matter! Why, because at some point, all the pieces are going to come together and we’re going to realize something, that the depiction of what God set out to do in the beginning was in actuality what God’s desired will, will bring about in the end. Why, because you cannot, it is essentially impossible to look at the intent and the purpose of creation without understanding that that was the intent at the beginning! Man to have perfect fellowship with God, to be with Him. This is why the Westminster Catechism, the, I think it’s the shorter one; shorter or larger, done in 1647, where they ask the questions, “What is the purpose of man?” or “What is the chief purpose of man? That is to enjoy God.” Well, that was the intent in the creation, to have fellowship and unity with God, to not be separated. But our sin from the first parents separated the rest of creation from God. So in your own time, go back and reread the opening chapters and you find something very specific, because we’re looking for it now. Somebody who’s looking for the origins of man or the origins of understanding God, who God is, the heart of God, just look at these chapters and understand a lot is revealed here. But I’m not looking at it for the sake of understanding our genesis, I’m looking at it in understanding the intent of God that will be essentially His will, will be done. It’s just a span of time in-between to make it come to pass. We have the luxury of looking at this book from cover to cover. And for example, if I were to reach into the New Testament, as I quoted out of 2 Timothy 1:10, that says that it is through Christ that our eternal understanding, it comes through the gospel. It didn’t come any other way except through Christ. So when we begin to look at this we, we not only can see God’s plan for humankind and for the earth that was thwarted, but equally we can see how God, God didn’t wait two thousand years to say, “Well, I’ve got to send My beloved Son to fix what’s wrong.” Right there in Genesis 3:15 God makes the promise. In fact, He says it very clearly “put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, thou shall bruise his heel.” The promise there, which many people have misinterpreted, is the promise pointing to Christ and deliverance made possible through the coming of Christ. So what’s important here, because again, you’ve got to start tying the pieces together. If and I’m looking at this and I’m not saying the Bible got its information from the Babylonian epic creation or any other of the creation theories. I’m telling you that the Bible is the origin. For people who would like to read it and understand and know about God, much is revealed about God, His person. His purpose in creating wasn’t just to plant trees and have animals roam the earth, but perfect fellowship and communion with man. Now we can’t keep that because of our fall, we’re born into a fallen condition, we’re born into a sinning condition because of Adam. That first, we’ll call it fatal flaw in our make-up and then subsequently our capacity to sin along the way; not just the form we’re born in, but the sins that we commit along the way. Why, because we’re sinners. But God’s plan from the beginning was there. And why I wanted to start here, even though it’s rather tedious to start here is to make sure that we understand we are not looking at the creation account to understand creation and the earth. We’re looking at the creation account to see God’s intent from the beginning was essentially heaven on earth. It does say God, and maybe this is an anthropomorphosation of God, but God walked through the garden, spoke, they conversed with each other and there was until the fall, there was perfect fellowship. The fall, after the fall, we have this sense of needing to hide, the separation from God, wanting to even distance ourselves from God. That’s the state we are born into naturally. We’re not naturally trying to run to God; we’re trying to run away from Him. So the account makes it clear. What else, because the probably, the most key thing is when God basically drives them out of the garden and that’s verse 24 of the third chapter, “So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.” In other words, to not have people touch that tree, which would permanize; it would make them eternal in their fallen state. So it really does behoove us to kind of look at this and go back and reread, because the other thing that we have in the opening chapters of Genesis, something very crucial and usually very overlooked. And that is the third chapter we begin to see God as Judge. He’s judging His people, His creation, and we begin to see God essentially having to lay down laws for the earth, the functioning of the earth. The first law was broken: “Don’t touch that tree.” Now God is laying down laws, and these laws must be laid down because God, understanding the creation, knows essentially its capacity. So the laws that begin to be put in place before the law ever was, the laws of God are the spoken things of God, God’s directives. But the important thing is that God cared; now you can look at this both ways, and I choose to look at it in the way that I believe it was designed for us to understand. When it says that God drove out the man, placed━He essentially expulsed them from the garden, that is God who loves His creation. That is not a mean God or an evil God or a God who doesn’t care. Actually, that’s a God who cared enough that now that this plan has been thwarted and creation has been ruined, God in His infinite mercy, “They can’t eat of this tree or they’ll be forever, eternally; they will live eternally in their fallen state.” Somebody might say, “Well, what’s wrong with that? What are you, a weirdo?” If God’s purpose was to have perfect communion with man, then that is God’s purpose. It’s not; this is, this is why I said the problem with Christendom and Christianity today, people have fallen into a stupor. They’re not really interested in God’s purpose, God’s plan, God’s intent, God’s will, God’s wishes; they’re, they’re really interested in how to take whatever God said, reduce it down to something that’s palatable and doable and even enjoyable for them; but don’t make it anything that threatens your existence, your way of life or your desire to lead your life the way you do. And this is why I’ve said Christianity has become impotent, because there is no hope beyond that’s really preached, there is no compass point for us to return to, and when people don’t have any moorings to gravitate towards, to understand, to probe, to discover, they’re left to their own devices. That’s essentially the free will that Adam and Eve used and it’s the free will that we’ve been using ever since to make all of the wrong choices most of the time. So with that being said, the point in presenting this is to say that if we are going to legitimately say that we’re taking the Bible at it’s, the way it is written, the way it is, then in the beginning, when God created, and I go back to that first verse. In the beginning when God created the heavens, by the way, you can put that there, somewhere in your margins it is shamayim, hashamayim, which is the plural. Shama would be singular, shamayim plural, the heavens plural, and the earth singular. There was intent for mankind, there was intent for humanity and there was intent for eternity. If you discount all these things, you have left out a heavy part of the equation as we begin to study the subject of hell; heaven and hell. Now what’s interesting, and I’ll just say this as I try to bring this to a close, as we move into understanding how the patriarchs understood death and dying, you’re going to find some verbiage that will leave us in a very interesting; interesting, and interested and interesting state, which is most of what’s said is people going down, and then the confusion comes in the words which I pointed out last week: qeber, which is grave, or Sheol, which is translated in the Greek by hades, the unseen world. Why we will get into a little bit of a pinch and we have to study all of this, but we will see a change from Old to New, as at some point people will cease to go down. And it, it’s kind of interesting. In Ephesians it says that Jesus descended and then He descended to preach to those departed spirits, and then He ascended. And it seems like that there is a point in time where the understanding of what goes down, what is going down changes to things going up. You’ll see this. I’m, we’re going to study this to make sure we understand what’s being said. But there’s a reason for that, and that is at least the Old Testament distinguished these two words, “the grave” and “the place” for the righteous and the unrighteous dead. There was essentially no distinction, not like we have in the New Testament of heaven and hell, so there was no distinction. But interesting even when we look at our first parents, Adam and Eve, and we begin to see death is a part of life. And we begin to follow what’s happening with free will; the two brothers, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” and the murder of one. And how things are essentially evolving, but not really, to the point of recognizing that God’s purpose and intent at the beginning needed not just a corrective base of rules and regulations to make people do, because we understand clearly now that the law could never make anybody right. With God it could only keep you in the fear, almost like bondage to try and perform that which no one can versus the coming of Christ, which I just quoted this text out of 2 Timothy 1:10, which tells you it was only through Christ that we could understand immortality, eternity; only through the gospel. And no longer going down, but essentially every, from Christ forward, even though people would be placed in the tomb, the reference will be “up.” And that portion must be understood aright; otherwise this is why people end up with all kinds of interesting things, like, “What goes into the earth.” Now people say, “You’re going to go down into the earth, you’re going”━well, there may be a grave and you may go into the grave, but the soul of the person, don’t think for a minute that people are going down into the earth. Why, because people have studied what’s in the earth and I don’t think that they’ve yet found a place that is the place that most people like to talk about as hell; unless of course, if you live in places like Texas, where they have a Hell, or California. Anyway, the subject needs to be obviously now delved into, but essentially this, this for me begins; it’s a point of departure because last week I introduced concepts. This is a point of departure to say let us not look at and comb through, and I said in your own time please do it: the creation account. Why, because the creation account spells out, even though we constantly look at it from an earthly perspective, it spells out God’s intent or His purpose in the beginning, which was not how we ended up, but ultimately we will end up with accomplishing God’s purpose. He will bring it to pass. If you believe that there is a heaven, which I do, then there’s also a hell. And if we read and understand about angels, and I’m not into angel worship, but I, you know, angelology is, it’s an interesting subject, but the important thing to distinguish is, yes, we have angels. Some of them are fallen and some of them are evil and some of them are good. Why is it that most people will not have a problem with that? They’ll read about these angels, fallen or good, and say, “Of course,” and we can read about humanity and say, “Fallen, not necessarily good,” and people will say, “Of course.” But when we talk about this postmortem thing, heaven or hell, the first thing we’d like to do is dismiss hell as nonexistent, because it, it’s something unpleasant, “How could a good God send His creation to hell?” And we would like morph heaven into, as I’ve said, some place that it can’t be what we’ve said it is. And why, because if an understanding of what God did in the creation is accurate, which is perfect communion and fellowship with man, then that was His desire essentially, not in creating an earth, but creating what would have been heaven on earth, which will be recreated at the end of time. Now the rest of this, you know, the fallen angels I just said, for example, we’ve got a lot of evidence to suggest that wherever the false prophet and the Antichrist, wherever these emerge from, which is a certain geographical territorial area, it is also said that there will be legions, hosts of evil spirits, and I would include in that, fallen angels and every other type of evil that emerges from that. Well, I ask you the question; and it’s something again no one can ask more than me, but I ask you the question. If God has taken the trouble to━somebody had to write this down and chronicle it, and we know about night and day, and good and bad, or good and evil, then we also have to say that these fallen ones are somewhere. Now when you read the Bible, it talks about fallen beings, demonic beings being chained to, essentially to the bottom of what is a dry bed right now, a dry river bed. But who knows in the course of time when God begins the process what will be made clear, what will be unleashed? But don’t think for a minute that when somebody says, “Well, I believe in angels, because angels do good things and angels are good,” then you ought to also being saying you also believe in the fallen ones, because the fallen ones, much like heaven and hell, the fallen ones have a destiny as well. And the Bible talks about that too. These are created beings by God. They weren’t born into existence. They are created beings that God says, “Some of these I will destroy eventually. And some of these are for My glory, the celebrate and honor Me.” Now that is the same with the creation. If you want to follow along in this study, I hope to show you, not just what the ancients believed and what they said, because when you start to highlight some of the things that they said regarding the grave, the grave versus Sheol, which is hades, the unseen realm, for example, and I mention this and I’ll just say this and I’ll be done. Jacob, who is Israel, in grieving the death of his son Joseph, who’s not really dead at this point, he’s told simply that his body, “He must have been eaten by a wild animal.” Do you remember that? Then why would Jacob, why would Jacob, who is Israel, say that he will, he will go to━he doesn’t say he’ll go down to the grave. If you’re reading the Hebrew, he doesn’t say, “I will go to the qeber.” He says, “And when I meet my son in Sheol.” These words become━this is why I’m trying to show you don’t think one dimensional on this subject, because as we glean what they understood, there are certain things that they understood, for example, there were eighty days before the individual was put in a tomb somewhere and buried. The process of mourning for, as I’ve said, for the Hebrews is quite different and quite unusual, but the one thing we know is the language they used, something, the body, the mummified body being placed in a grave or a cave versus the expression of Sheol. And these two being uttered by those folks in the Old Testament were never confused. Do you know what we did? When we put the Bible into English we confused the words and we, we basically homogenized using one term or terms that all basically connote the same thing that has brought a massive amount of confusion. So even as I’ve said, with the ambiguity of the language, I will show you definitively that these folks were not confused. They understood the difference between a grave, a pit, a place where you put the body, and where the soul of the departed one goes. Now whether they understood in clarity or not where the departed soul goes, what it does and how long it’s there, that is a different question, but they did distinguish between the two. My next message, I will try and point that out to you and we will try and see at least, what clues. And there are, I would say more than just one or two that can help us on this subject, get real sound biblical clarity on the subject. So I hope you’ll come back. I hope you’ll be here next week, because that is my message. You have been watching me, Pastor Melissa Scott, live from Glendale, California at Faith Center. If you would like to attend the service with us, Sunday morning at 11am, simply call 1-800-338-3030 to receive your pass. 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