VIDEO Chuck Missler Genesis Session

This is session 01 of 24 all of which are a in-depth bible study on “genesis”

Book of Genesis

Chapters

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Summary

Summary of the Book of Genesis

This summary of the book of Genesis provides information about the title, author(s), date of writing, chronology, theme, theology, outline, a brief overview, and the chapters of the Book of Genesis.

Title

The first phrase in the Hebrew text of 1:1 is bereshith (“in [the] beginning”), which is also the Hebrew title of the book (books in ancient times customarily were named after their first word or two). The English title, Genesis, is Greek in origin and comes from the word geneseos, which appears in the pre-Christian Greek translation (Septuagint) of 2:45:1. Depending on its context, the word can mean “birth,” “genealogy,” or “history of origin.” In both its Hebrew and Greek forms, then, the traditional title of Genesis appropriately describes its contents, since it is primarily a book of beginnings.

Background

Chs. 1-38 reflect a great deal of what we know from other sources about ancient Mesopotamian life and culture. Creation, genealogies, destructive floods, geography and mapmaking, construction techniques, migrations of peoples, sale and purchase of land, legal customs and procedures, sheepherding and cattle-raising — all these subjects and many others were matters of vital concern to the peoples of Mesopotamia during this time. They were also of interest to the individuals, families and tribes of whom we read in the first 38 chapters of Genesis. The author appears to locate Eden, humankind’s first home, in or near Mesopotamia; the tower of Babel was built there; Abram was born there; Isaac took a wife from there; and Jacob lived there for 20 years. Although these patriarchs settled in Canaan, their original homeland was Mesopotamia.

The closest ancient literary parallels to Ge 1-38 also come from Mesopotamia. Enuma elish, the story of the god Marduk’s rise to supremacy in the Babylonian pantheon, is similar in some respects (though thoroughly mythical and polytheistic) to the Ge 1 creation account. Some of the features of certain king lists from Sumer bear striking resemblance to the genealogy in Ge 5. The 11th tablet of the Gilgamesh epic is quite similar in outline to the flood narrative in Ge 6-8. Several of the major events of Ge 1-8 are narrated in the same order as similar events in the Atrahasis epic. In fact, the latter features the same basic motif of creation-rebellion-flood as the Biblical account. Clay tablets found in 1974 at the ancient (c. 2500-2300 b.c.) site of Ebla (modern Tell Mardikh) in northern Syria may also contain some intriguing parallels.

Two other important sets of documents demonstrate the reflection of Mesopotamia in the first 38 chapters of Genesis. From the Mari letters, dating from the patriarchal period, we learn that the names of the patriarchs (including especially Abram, Jacob and Job) were typical of that time. The letters also clearly illustrate the freedom of travel that was possible between various parts of the Amorite world in which the patriarchs lived. The Nuzi tablets, though a few centuries later than the patriarchal period, shed light on patriarchal customs, which tended to survive virtually intact for many centuries. The inheritance right of an adopted household member or slave (see 15:1-4), the obligation of a barren wife to furnish her husband with sons through a servant girl (see 16:2-4), strictures against expelling such a servant girl and her son (see 21:10-11), the authority of oral statements in ancient Near Eastern law, such as the deathbed bequest (see 27:1-4,22-23,33) — these and other legal customs, social contracts and provisions are graphically illustrated in Mesopotamian documents.

As Ge 1-38 is Mesopotamian in character and background, so chs. 39 – 50 reflect Egyptian influence — though in not quite so direct a way. Examples of such influence are: Egyptian grape cultivation (40:9-11), the riverside scene (ch. 41), Egypt as Canaan’s breadbasket (ch. 42), Canaan as the source of numerous products for Egyptian consumption (ch. 43), Egyptian religious and social customs (the end of chs. 4346), Egyptian administrative procedures (ch. 47), Egyptian funerary practices (ch. 50) and several Egyptian words and names used throughout these chapters. The closest specific literary parallel from Egypt is the Tale of Two Brothers, which bears some resemblance to the story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife (ch. 39). Egyptian autobiographical narratives (such as the Story of Sinuhe and the Report of Wenamun) and certain historical legends offer more general literary parallels.

Author and Date of Writing

Historically, Jews and Christians alike have held that Moses was the author/compiler of the first five books of the OT. These books, known also as the Pentateuch (meaning “five-volumed book”), were referred to in Jewish tradition as the five fifths of the law (of Moses). The Bible itself suggests Mosaic authorship of Genesis, since Ac 15:1 refers to circumcision as “the custom taught by Moses,” an allusion to Ge 17. However, a certain amount of later editorial updating does appear to be indicated (see, e.g., notes on 14:1436:3147:11).

The historical period during which Moses lived seems to be fixed with a fair degree of accuracy by 1 Kings. We are told that “the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel” was the same as “the four hundred and eightieth year after the Israelites had come out of Egypt” (1Ki 6:1). Since the former was c. 966 b.c., the latter — and thus the date of the exodus — was c. 1446 (assuming that the 480 in 1Ki 6:1 is to be taken literally; see Introduction to Judges: Background). The 40-year period of Israel’s wanderings in the desert, which lasted from c. 1446 to c. 1406, would have been the most likely time for Moses to write the bulk of what is today known as the Pentateuch.

During the last three centuries many interpreters have claimed to find in the Pentateuch four underlying sources. The presumed documents, allegedly dating from the tenth to the fifth centuries b.c., are called J (for Jahweh/Yahweh, the personal OT name for God), E (for Elohim, a generic name for God), D (for Deuteronomic) and P (for Priestly). Each of these documents is claimed to have its own characteristics and its own theology, which often contradicts that of the other documents. The Pentateuch is thus depicted as a patchwork of stories, poems and laws. However, this view is not supported by conclusive evidence, and intensive archaeological and literary research has tended to undercut many of the arguments used to challenge Mosaic authorship.

Theological Theme and Message

Genesis speaks of beginnings — of the heavens and the earth, of light and darkness, of seas and skies, of land and vegetation, of sun and moon and stars, of sea and air and land animals, of human beings (made in God’s own image, the climax of his creative activity), of marriage and family, of society and civilization, of sin and redemption. The list could go on and on. A key word in Genesis is “account,” which also serves to divide the book into its ten major parts (see Literary Features and Literary Outline) and which includes such concepts as birth, genealogy and history.

The book of Genesis is foundational to the understanding of the rest of the Bible. Its message is rich and complex, and listing its main elements gives a succinct outline of the Biblical message as a whole. It is supremely a book that speaks about relationships, highlighting those between God and his creation, between God and humankind, and between human beings. It is thoroughly monotheistic, taking for granted that there is only one God worthy of the name and opposing the ideas that there are many gods (polytheism), that there is no god at all (atheism) and that everything is divine (pantheism). It clearly teaches that the one true God is sovereign over all that exists (i.e., his entire creation), and that he often exercises his unlimited freedom to overturn human customs, traditions and plans. It introduces us to the way in which God initiates and makes covenants with his chosen people, pledging his love and faithfulness to them and calling them to promise theirs to him. It establishes sacrifice as the substitution of life for life (ch. 22). It gives us the first hint of God’s provision for redemption from the forces of evil (compare 3:15 with Ro 16:17-20) and contains the oldest and most profound statement concerning the significance of faith (15:6; see note there). More than half of Heb 11 — a NT list of the faithful — refers to characters in Genesis.

Literary Features

The message of a book is often enhanced by its literary structure and characteristics. Genesis is divided into ten main sections, each beginning with the word “account” (see 2:45:16:910:111:1011:2725:1225:1936:1 — repeated for emphasis at 36:9 — and 37:2). The first five sections can be grouped together and, along with the introduction to the book as a whole (1:1 — 2:3), can be appropriately called “primeval history” (1:1 — 11:26). This introduction to the main story sketches the period from Adam to Abraham and tells about the ways of God with the human race as a whole. The last five sections constitute a much longer (but equally unified) account, and relate the story of God’s dealings with the ancestors of his chosen people Israel (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph and their families) — a section often called “patriarchal history” (11:27 — 50:26). This section is in turn composed of three narrative cycles (Abraham-Isaac, 11:27 — 25:11; Isaac-Jacob, 25:19 — 35:29; 37:1; Jacob-Joseph, 37:2 — 50:26), interspersed by the genealogies of Ishmael (25:12-18) and Esau (ch. 36).

The narrative frequently concentrates on the life of a later son in preference to the firstborn: Seth over Cain, Shem over Japheth (but see NIV text note on 10:21), Isaac over Ishmael, Jacob over Esau, Judah and Joseph over their brothers, and Ephraim over Manasseh. Such emphasis on divinely chosen men and their families is perhaps the most obvious literary and theological characteristic of the book of Genesis as a whole. It strikingly underscores the fact that the people of God are not the product of natural human developments, but are the result of God’s sovereign and gracious intrusion in human history. He brings out of the fallen human race a new humanity consecrated to himself, called and destined to be the people of his kingdom and the channel of his blessing to the whole earth.

Numbers with symbolic significance figure prominently in Genesis. The number ten, in addition to being the number of sections into which Genesis is divided, is also the number of names appearing in the genealogies of chs. 5 and 11 (see note on 5:5). The number seven also occurs frequently. The Hebrew text of 1:1 consists of exactly seven words and that of 1:2 of exactly 14 (twice seven). There are seven days of creation, seven names in the genealogy of ch. 4 (see note on 4:17-18; see also 4:15,245:31), various sevens in the flood story, 70 descendants of Noah’s sons (ch. 10), a sevenfold promise to Abram (12:2-3), seven years of abundance and then seven of famine in Egypt (ch. 41), and 70 descendants of Jacob (ch. 46). Other significant numbers, such as 12 and 40, are used with similar frequency.

The book of Genesis is basically prose narrative, punctuated here and there by brief poems (the longest is the so-called Blessing of Jacob in 49:2-27). Much of the prose has a lyrical quality and uses the full range of figures of speech and other devices that characterize the world’s finest epic literature. Vertical and horizontal parallelism between the two sets of three days in the creation account (see note on 1:11); the ebb and flow of sin and judgment in ch. 3 (the serpent and woman and man sin successively; then God questions them in reverse order; then he judges them in the original order); the powerful monotony of “and then he died” at the end of paragraphs in ch. 5; the climactic hinge effect of the phrase “But God remembered Noah” (8:1) at the midpoint of the flood story; the hourglass structure of the account of the tower of Babel in 11:1-9 (narrative in vv. 1-2,8-9; discourse in vv. 3-4,6-7; v. 5 acting as transition); the macabre pun in 40:19 (see 40:13); the alternation between brief accounts about firstborn sons and lengthy accounts about younger sons — these and numerous other literary devices add interest to the narrative and provide interpretive signals to which the reader should pay close attention.

It is no coincidence that many of the subjects and themes of the first three chapters of Genesis are reflected in the last three chapters of Revelation. We can only marvel at the superintending influence of the Lord himself, who assures us that “all Scripture is God-breathed” (2Ti 3:16) and that the men who wrote it “spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2Pe 1:21).

Outlines

Literary Outline:

  • Introduction (1:1 — 2:3)
  • Body (2:4 — 50:26)
    • “The account of the heavens and the earth” (2:4 — 4:26)
    • “The written account of Adam’s line” (5:1 — 6:8)
    • “The account of Noah” (6:9 — 9:29)
    • “The account of Shem, Ham and Japheth” (10:1 — 11:9)
    • “The account of Shem” (11:10-26)
    • “The account of Terah” (11:27 — 25:11)
    • “The account of Abraham’s son Ishmael” (25:12-18)
    • “The account of Abraham’s son Isaac” (25:19 — 35:29)
    • “The account of Esau” (36:1 — 37:1)
    • “The account of Jacob” (37:2 — 50:26)

Thematic Outline:

  • Creation (1:1 — 2:3)
  • Primeval History (2:4 — 11:26)
    • Adam and Eve in Eden (2:4-25)
    • The Fall and Its Consequences (ch. 3)
    • Sin’s Progression (4:1-16)
    • The Genealogy of Cain (4:17-26)
    • The Genealogy of Seth (ch. 5)
    • God’s Response to Human Depravity (6:1-8)
    • The Great Flood (6:9 — 9:29)
      1. Preparing for the flood (6:9 — 7:10)
      2. Judgment and redemption (7:11 — 8:19)
        • The rising of the waters (7:11-24)
        • The receding of the waters (8:1-19)
      3. The flood’s aftermath (8:20 — 9:29
    • The Spread of the Nations (10:1 — 11:26)
      1. The diffusion of nations (ch. 10)
      2. The confusion of languages (11:1-9)
      3. The first Semitic genealogy (11:10-26
  • Patriarchal History (11:27 — 50:26)
    • The Life of Abraham (11:27 — 25:11)
      1. Abraham’s background (11:27-32)
      2. Abraham’s call and response (chs. 12 – 14)
      3. Abraham’s faith and God’s covenant (chs. 15 – 22)
      4. Abraham’s final acts (23:1 — 25:11)
    • The Descendants of Ishmael (25:12-18).
    • The Life of Jacob (25:19 — 35:29)
      1. Jacob at home (25:19 — 27:46)
      2. Jacob abroad (chs. 28 – 30)
      3. Jacob at home again (chs. 31 – 35)
    • The Descendants of Esau (36:1 — 37:1)
    • The Life of Joseph (37:2 — 50:26)
      1. Joseph’s career (37:2 — 41:57)
      2. Jacob’s migration (chs. 42 – 47)
      3. Jacob’s final days (48:1 — 50:14)
      4. Joseph’s final days (50:15-26)

From the NIV Study Bible, Introductions to the Books of the Bible, Genesis
Copyright 2002 © Zondervan. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

https://www.biblestudytools.com/genesis/#16163955432941


Amid presidential election confusion, Americans taking bold stand for God

‘We need to think about building the kingdom of God’

By Joe Kovacs

A woman reads from the Book of Psalms during the 20th annual Bible Marathon in Stuart, Florida on Friday, Nov. 13, 2020. (Photo by Joe Kovacs)

STUART, Florida — As millions of people look for solid answers in the wake of the disputed 2020 presidential election, Americans in this South Florida city are at this moment voicing every single word of the Holy Bible out loud, non-stop, 24 hours a day from Genesis to Revelation.

This year marks the 20th Bible Marathon in Stuart, Florida, an annual event dating back to the immediate aftermath of the terror attacks against America on Sept. 11, 2001.

The idea for the annual 90-hour Bible Reading Marathon began with Pastors Gene and Donna Healton of the Spirit of Prophecy Ministries, but they have since handed over the reins to Eddie and Joanne Rodrigues of Step Into Grace Ministries. Interestingly, the 2020 event began on Nov. 11, the 20th wedding anniversary of Eddie and Joanne, and concludes Sunday afternoon.

Eddie and Joanne Rodrigues of Step Into Grace Ministries (Facebook)

Eddie and Joanne Rodrigues of Step Into Grace Ministries (Facebook)

TRENDING: President Trump drops In on ‘Million MAGA March’ in drive-by cameo

The local governments of both Stuart and Martin County have endorsed the event since 2001, issuing official proclamations in support of publicly reading Scripture in a bandshell at Veterans Memorial Park.

Participants sign up for 15-minute increments as they get to read Scripture that gets blasted through loudspeakers day and night from “In the beginning” in Genesis to the final “Amen” of Revelation.

A woman reads from the Book of Psalms during the 20th annual Bible Marathon in Stuart, Florida on Friday, Nov. 13, 2020. (Photo by Joe Kovacs)

CLICK HERE TO WATCH A VIDEO CLIP OF THE BIBLE MARATHON.

WND has covered the Bible Reading Marathon numerous times, including in 2013 when Gene Healton said, “We know the country is really not in good shape right now and we need to get back on the foundation of the Bible. And if we don’t, we’re going downhill fast. We know that. Our country needs the Word of God and so we need to continue to declare it and continue to never stop declaring it. They’re trying to take God out of all the fabric of our country. Any place at all where God may be, they want to stop it.”

A woman reads from the Book of Psalms during the 20th annual Bible Marathon in Stuart, Florida on Friday, Nov. 13, 2020. (Photo by Joe Kovacs)

Gene’s wife, Donna, told WND, “We thought we were just doing it one year … It’s like a mandate God says [to do]. I think this may be the most important thing that the Lord has called us to do here in this county. Just to be able to have God’s Word go forth from here, and with the Ten Commandments here on the land, and here we have the cross and the Star of David. God’s people are just coming together and I think it’s just exciting what God’s doing.”

“Maybe the nation is getting worse and worse and we can see it by the things that are happening on the news,” she continued.

A woman reads from the Book of Psalms during the 20th annual Bible Marathon in Stuart, Florida on Friday, Nov. 13, 2020. (Photo by Joe Kovacs)

“I really feel like God is sending prophets to speak the Word, but if our government is not going to listen to us, God is going to raise up a people. And I think even though we see things getting harder and people are struggling more with their finances and their jobs and just everything, I mean people are working harder, getting paid less.

“We need to think about building the kingdom of God, and so as people are struggling and having hard times, I think they’re seeking God out more. We have to tell people God is our answer, and so we have to turn to Him because He says things are going to happen in the nations, and we’re one of the nations. … There’s no hope sometimes if you look in the natural, but with God, all things are possible, and He’s our hope.”

Follow Joe on Twitter @JoeKovacsNews

VIDEO Genesis and the Character of God

 

Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. (Genesis 1:31)

The message of Genesis isn’t confusing. The information throughout the Bible is consistent: The universe was created by an omnipotent, omniscient, and transcendent Being. The words of Scripture insist that God’s work was recent, complete, and good. Our struggle with that message is that everything we observe is tainted by evil and death.

Secular history presupposes that the “normal” of today has been the dominant operational force behind everything. Geological processes, fossil evidence, sociological development—all are interpreted without God in the story. Some theologians attempt to explain the differences between the biblical message and secular naturalism by suggesting that dying processes are a normal part of God’s creation. Some religions embrace the idea that good and evil are just two sides of the same reality—that our perception of such contrasts is merely a product of our experience and culture.

How can we resolve the conflicting message of a good creation with the evil that surrounds us? For those of us who believe an omnipotent and omniscient God has existed from eternity past, we must use God’s divine nature as the controlling factor to correlate what God has revealed to us with our growing understanding of science. What does the revealed nature of God demand of the original creation? How does natural revelation (what we observe in today’s universe) help us understand the written words of Scripture?

God Himself reconciles His creation to Himself through the death of His sinless Son in substitution for our well-deserved guilt.

Some have suggested the original creation’s processes of nature couldn’t have included a deathless universe since all current natural processes function around deterioration and death. Living things would have worn out and perished, even if the environment then were much better than it is today. Animals would have died as they do now, and Adam and Eve would have died eventually unless they ate of the tree of life God planted in the garden “eastward in Eden” (Genesis 2:8-9).

But the Bible tells us that death is the result of Adam’s sin, and as a result of God’s judgment “death spread to all men” (Romans 5:12). When God tells us death is the “last enemy” to be conquered by the Lord Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:26) and death won’t exist in the new heaven and the new earth (Revelation 21:4), are we to expect the new bodies promised upon our resurrection to be still mortal in eternity?

Before we approach these issues, it’s absolutely necessary to acknowledge what has been recorded about the origin of the universe.

God’s Own Commentary

The repetition of God’s observation in Genesis 1 is worth noting. On five days of the creation week, the Creator pronounced the results of His work “good.” On the sixth day, “everything…was very good” (Genesis 1:31). It’s the same Hebrew word each time and means just what would be expected: good, pleasant, agreeable, excellent, of benefit, etc. There’s nothing unusual about God’s use of the word, except that it’s repeated often and it is God who uses the term.

Given that the Creator is saying it, we should consider the character of the Evaluator. We should gain some understanding of His attributes before we render an opinion of the meaning of “good”—especially as it applies to the original creation.

God Is Holy

Holiness is the preeminent attribute of God. Everything God does is subject to the unchangeable rock of His holy nature. Even the love that drove Him to become man and die a substitutionary death for our sins is driven by the holiness that demands justice for man’s rebellion against that holiness.

“Who is like You, O LORD…glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?” (Exodus 15:11)

“No one is holy like the LORD, for there is none besides You.”
(1 Samuel 2:2)

“For I proclaim the name of the LORD…He is the Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice; a God of truth and without injustice, righteous and upright is He.” (Deuteronomy 32:3-4)

Because God is holy, He must reveal truth in the created things of the universe. He cannot lie (Titus 1:2). God’s words and deeds are “true and righteous altogether” (Psalm 19:9).

God Is Omniscient

Everywhere we look—into the deepest recesses of space or the minutia of the microscope—the intricacy, precision, and complexity of all things stagger us with the enormity of details and vastness of information.

O LORD, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all. (Psalm 104:24)

“For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.’” (Isaiah 46:9-10)

“Known to God from eternity are all His works.” (Acts 15:18)

This is the consistent message of Scripture. God cannot be progressively aware. His knowledge is immediate. He knows all there is to know. His purpose and order flow from His omniscience. His decisions are unchangeable and without confusion. God’s specific will and pleasure are always implemented.

God’s Flawless Good

Whatever God pronounced good would have to be in harmony with His divine nature. Since God is holy, He couldn’t deceive us about the order of the creation week. Since God is omniscient, He couldn’t guess or use trial-and-error methodology. God wouldn’t experiment. He wouldn’t produce inferior things. He can’t create, make, or shape nonfunctional processes. All of this clear evidence requires that we who read Genesis 1 understand “good” to mean “flawless function.”

  • God’s Good Functions Properly

God’s own account of His work specifies His organization and purpose. Because God is omniscient, everything in the universe works as designed. Because God is omnipotent, everything has all it needs to operate, live, reproduce, and populate under the orders of and in agreement with the Creator’s design. Each component was designed to function without flaw. Every part works as ordered, and all living things function under the limits and in the places for their lives. Nothing was misplaced. Nothing was left to chance.

  • God’s Good Could Not Include Sin

For the holy, omniscient, omnipotent, loving Creator to conclude that everything He had created was “very good,” there could be nothing in the completed creation that didn’t function as designed. Nothing existed in conscious rebellion against the immutable nature of the Creator—there was no sin. Sin became part of human nature through Adam. Death was introduced into creation through the Creator’s sentence upon Adam.

  • God’s Good Could Not Include Death

God is life. Everything that is revealed about God centers on His eternal Being. The most personal name God gives is “I AM”—the One who exists by the right and nature of who He is. Jesus insists He is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). The awesome apokalypse of Jesus Christ opens with a loud voice “as of a trumpet, saying, ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last’” (Revelation 1:10-11).

There’s absolutely no indication anywhere in Scripture that the God of life created death. Nothing in the Bible suggests that death was a part of the good God designed into His creation. Death in Scripture is separation from God. Death stops life. Death intrudes into and destroys everything.

When God completed His work, He pronounced it “very good.” If words mean anything at all, “good” must include the flawless functioning of every molecule and all systems and all life. “Good” demands that nothing be out of order or in rebellion to God’s nature. No sin or death existed in all of creation—until the third chapter of Genesis.

Rebellion in the Garden

How much time elapsed between the end of Day 7 and the world-changing events that took place at the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? No specific time period is stated, but it doesn’t appear it was very long. Eve didn’t conceive her first child until after the pronouncement of God’s judgments and she and the man were cast out of the garden (Genesis 4:1). Given God’s command to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28), it’s unlikely either Adam or Eve delayed attempting to fulfill this mandate.

However one interprets the information, it could not have been “ages.”

A Mixed Message

If death is part of God’s original creation design, that makes God the Author of death. Since the creation is part of the revelation of the nature of God (Romans 1:20), such a design would require that death be part of the holiness of God. How could this be? The Bible calls death the “last enemy” and insists the Lord Jesus will destroy it. If God Himself created death, then why would He destroy it later?

If death is not the judgment for sin as the Bible insists, then the gospel message is foolishness. What would salvation rescue us from? If death isn’t the judgment for sin, then the death of the Lord Jesus on the cross is nothing more than a foolish end to an idealist—a martyrdom for an illusionary cause.

The Bible demands an innocent sacrifice be substituted for the sin of humanity. Christ’s death is required for salvation. We are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ on Calvary (Hebrews 10:10), done once, and with and for eternal consequences (Hebrews 10:12-14).

Twisting the words of Scripture so that Christ’s physical death has no meaning is a terrible heresy. If eons of pain, suffering, and death existed before Adam’s rebellion, then a whole sweep of biblical teaching is thrown into the black hole of allegory.

The Demands of God’s Nature

God is omnipresent Spirit (John 4:24). He is not nature. He is not the universe. He is not a cosmic consciousness or a mysterious force. God is not man—He is greater than man (Job 33:12) and does not change His mind (Numbers 23:19).

Since God is holy, He does not author confusion. He is Light (1 John 1:5). God is the truth (John 3:33; 14:6); therefore, He cannot deceive us.

Because of who God is, we can be assured of an original creation that functioned as it was designed—a creation that fits the Creator. The “groaning” of the creation now (Romans 8:22) is a constant reminder that rebellion against the holiness of the Creator required His judgment. God Himself reconciles His creation to Himself through the death of His sinless Son in substitution for our well-deserved guilt.

The Good News

The gospel message insists on the birth from above (John 3:3) that brings about a transfer from death to life (John 5:24). It involves a “new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17) made possible by the death of the Creator Himself (Hebrews 2:9).

The earthly condition of flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. Physical changes are required. Resurrection is the absolute opposite of physical death. Corruption must become incorruption. Dishonor must become glory. Weakness must become power. The natural must become spiritual (1 Corinthians 15:50-54). Physical death is an intrusion into the eternal order of things, and it takes a resurrection to correct it.

The “new man” must be created in God’s righteousness and true holiness (Ephesians 4:24). We await the fulfillment of the promise when the Creator “will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself” (Philippians 3:21).

Adapted from Morris III, H. M. 2012. Genesis and the Character of God. Acts & Facts. 41 (5): 4-6.

* Dr. Morris is Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Creation Research. He holds four earned degrees, including a D.Min. from Luther Rice Seminary and an MBA from Pepperdine University.

Cite this article: Henry M. Morris III, D.Min. 2019. Genesis and the Character of God. Acts & Facts. 48 (6).

https://www.icr.org/article/genesis-and-the-character-of-god/

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