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FROM ADAM TO ABRAHAM
(1) Adam and Eve
And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. . . . And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die (Gen. 2:8-9,16-17).
I believe the two trees in the Garden of Eden were real with far reaching physical and spiritual significance. Regardless of everything they stand for, one thing stands out—they represent the choice between right and wrong, life and death.
When God created man and woman, Satan didn’t waste any time trying to destroy them. He knew he couldn’t touch them unless they disobeyed God. He used the serpent to call God a liar and tempt Eve to sin. “And the serpent said unto the women, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Gen. 3:4-5). Eve believed Satan’s half-truth and gave in to her temptation.
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons (Gen. 3:6-7).
God gave Adam and Eve a body of perfect health and placed them in a beautiful environment. They knew the Lord as a friend. It seems He literally walked, talked, and had fellowship with them as He did with Abraham on one occasion. After they sinned, they were ashamed and “hid themselves from the presence of the LORD” (Gen. 3:8).
When Adam and Eve entered this world, they were declared innocent. When they disobeyed God their human nature changed and Satan infected them with a deadly disease called aging. Satan had told Eve a half-truth. She did become as the angels, to know good and evil,a but she also became dead to God and began to die physically. If Adam and Eve had eaten of the tree of life after they sinned, this would have reversed the aging process and they would have lived forever,b but they would still be spiritually dead and cut off from God.
Adam and Eve and the unborn human race were now faced with a dilemma. God promised a way out, but He left just how and when it would be accomplished very vague. The solution is in the prophecy given to Satan, the serpent. “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Gen. 3:15).
Man would now have to live by faith. Except on rare occasions, he would no longer have the privilege of seeing the Lord and His angels.
God loves the sinner but hates sin. After Adam and Eve sinned, something happened to their human nature. They saw they were naked and were ashamed to face the Lord. They made clothes out of fig leaves, but God gave them another covering. He shed the blood of an innocent animal and made “coats of skins, and clothed them” (Gen. 3:21).
Their covering represents man’s efforts to cover up his sins by so-called good works. Man had rather cover them up than acknowledge them and repent. God’s covering of animal skins didn’t solve the problem either; it only symbolically covered it from His sight. It was a temporary covering until something permanent would be done. This was the promise He gave to Eve. Through her someone would come and strike Satan a fatal blow. The serpent would strike the Coming One’s heel; but it would not be fatal, for God’s Anointed One would crush the serpent’s head—destroying his ability to poison. The solution would call for a perfect man who would lead a perfect life on earth.
The Lord knew the physical attraction to things and the opposite sex would be greater than the love for Him and His way. He knew that Adam and Eve and the whole human race would sin. The commandment not to eat of the tree of knowledge was for their own good. But if they learned from sin and turned from it, they would be better for it in the long run. They would learn that God’s law of love is the only thing that can bring eternal and true happiness. This is what will make the new heaven and earth perfect.
You may ask: Why did Adam and Eve choose the tree of death instead of life? The same reason millions do today. They love the pleasures of sin in this life more than eternal life. God offers eternal life today, spiritual and physical. The spiritual part can be obtained now by the new birth. The physical will come later. Man will work trying to stay young and healthy; he will work to acquire material things, forever trying to fill an emptiness and find happiness. All this, plus more than we could ever imagine, will be given to those who turn to Christ. Jesus said, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33).
When God created Adam and Eve, they became a living soul; but they did not have the divine spiritual nature of God, and their bodies were subject to temptations. After they sinned, they were even more subject to sin, and this is the kind of mind and body we inherited.
The Spirit of Christ is perfect and eternal, it was not created. Jesus was born with that perfect Spirit, and because of His virgin birth, He had a body not subject to disease. But, like Adam and Eve, His human nature was subject to temptations. Hebrews 4:15 says, He was tempted in all points as we are, yet He never sinned. Being tempted is not sin: giving in to it is! Because of the spiritual difference between man and Christ, this is why Jesus never sinned: for He was God in the flesh. When He was resurrected, His body was “perfected”c and was no longer subject to temptations.
When we are resurrected, we will also be “perfected” and not be subject to temptations. And besides, the “tempter” and all his angels will not be around to do any tempting. In the new heaven and earth, all the redeemed will have a recreated perfect spirit in a perfect body in a perfect environment with no one causing trouble. It’s all going to be perfect! This is the way God planned it, even before the world began.
It has been said we need to get back to where Adam and Eve were before they sinned. No! For it would all just happen again. Adam and Eve came into this world with a spiritual problem that began before the world began, and their new human nature was subject to temptations. They both must be changed, and the cross made it possible. The spiritual part can come now; the physical will come at our resurrection.
(2) Cain and Abel
And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: am I my brother’s keeper? (Gen. 4:8-9.)
We are our brother’s keeper. And like Cain, we all have slain someone in words, deeds, or thoughts.
Adam was the first man, and his actions represent the whole human race. James 1:14-15 says we have been “drawn away” from God by our “own lust” and “when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin; and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
Adam’s sin represents the whole human race, and his first two sons represent the two different decisions that men make. Both Cain and Abel became sinners by choice. Abel chose to repent and offered the sacrifice that was pleasing to God,d but Cain chose to remain in his sins and left this world separated from God and all His plans for the redeemed.
(3) The Translation of Enoch
By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him (Heb. 11:5-6).
The Bible says, “It is appointed unto men once to die.”e There have been two exceptions to this that we know about. Enoch was one and Elijah was the other. Many believe there is going to be a whole generation of Christians taken to heaven without seeing death, and it might happen to this generation.
(4) The Flood
There is a delicate balance between the earth freezing or becoming too hot. Some scientists believe the vast water canopy suspended above the earth before the flood gave the earth a universal warm climate. It has also been suggested that the water canopy above the earth shielded the earth from the deadly rays of the sun, and this may be why man lived longer before the flood. When this canopy fell, there was a radical and sudden change in the climate at the north and south poles. An article in the Saturday Evening Post brings out that the climate of the frozen north was at one time warm with plant and animal life:
About one seventh of the entire land surface of our earth, stretching in a great swath round the Arctic Ocean, is permanently frozen. . . . It is usually for the most part composed of fine sand or coarse silt, but it also includes a high proportion of earth or loam, and often also masses of bones or even whole animals in various stages of preservation or decomposition. . . . The greatest riddle, however, is when, why and how did all these assorted creatures, and in such absolutely countless numbers, get killed, mashed up and frozen into this horrific indecency?. . . Many of these animals were perfectly fresh, whole and undamaged, and still either standing or at least kneeling upright.1
The flood of Noah’s day may have caused the sudden climate change and trapped these animals. Another possibility is that these animals were trapped during the gap of verses 1 and 2 in Genesis One. (See Chapter 4, Topic 2).
The flood was God’s judgment on a very sinful human race. God said He would never use water again. The next time He is going to use fire. Christ compared the sin of Noah’s day with the time before His return. He said, “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of men be” (Matt. 24:37).
At that time all mankind spoke a single language. As the population grew and spread eastward, a plain was discovered in the land of Babylon, and was soon thickly populated. The people who lived there began to talk about building a great city, with a temple-tower reaching to the skies—a proud, eternal monument to themselves. “This will weld us together,” they said, “and keep us from scattering all over the world” (Gen. 11:1-4, TLB).
As the population began to grow after the flood, God commanded that the people scatter out rather than unite together. Many still think that if the world could unite under a one-world government, gain more knowledge, and communicate better, it would be a better place to live. But that is not true. Until the Lord returns, a one-world government is not in man’s best interest.
As for more knowledge and better communications: We have increased communications and gained more knowledge during this century than during all the previous centuries combined—but we have more confusion and turmoil than ever before. In fact, we now have the knowledge to destroy humanity. The world lacks the wisdom and moral character to use knowledge correctly. This is why God confused the language and scattered the people. The world probably would not have survived this long had He not done so.
It is thought the tower they were building was for religious purposes. Archaeologists have uncovered towers in ancient Babylon, called ziggurats. They were used for the worship of their gods and astrology. This ancient belief, which began in Babylon, is still believed by millions today, especially in America. God condemns astrology and the things often associated with it, and for good reason.f It’s putting your faith in the stars rather than the God who made them.
It seems Babylon was the first city where world trade and religion flourished. It had a strong economy and banking system. The World Book Encyclopedia says, “Babylon was one of the greatest cities of the ancient world. It was an important trading center and capital of the ancient kingdom of Babylonia. Babylon stood about 60 miles south of Baghdad on the banks of the Euphrates River where the present city of Al Hillah, Iraq, now stands. Babylon means gate of god, and the city was the religious center of Babylonia. The Biblical word for Babylon was Babel.”2
Some work has already taken place in rebuilding ancient Babylon. An article in the Pensacola News Journal, September 18, 1989, said, “Songs written 6,000 years ago and deciphered from stone tablets will waft through this fabled city Friday as Babylon relives the days when it was the center of civilization. Tens of thousands of people are expected at the huge cultural extravaganza planned in Babylon . . . .”
It seems Babylon is Satan’s first attempt to unite and rule the post flood world through one man. Genesis 10:8, 10 tells us, “And Cush begat Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one in the earth. . . . And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel . . .” Nimrod’s empire was nipped in the bud when the Lord and His angels “came down” and confounded the language and scattered the people. (See Gen. 11:1-9.)
The Lord and His angels will be coming “down” again.
Revelation 18 speaks of a city called Babylon, which is to be destroyed in an hour—by fire. Some believe the Babylon of Revelation 18 represents America, especially New York City; others believe it is speaking of the rebuilding of ancient Babylon, and this is where the Antichrist will rule the world. Both views may be right. (More about this later.)
(6) Simple Addition
Establishing a chronology to Adam is not a simple matter, for God left the bits and pieces of information a little vague. But anyone with an elementary education in reading and math, and a little faith, can find out how many years there are between Adam and Abraham’s father, Terah.
Adam..............130 Genesis 5:3-5
Seth..............105 Genesis 5:6-8
Enos...............90 Genesis 5:9-11
Cainan.............70 Genesis 5:12-14
Mahalaleel.........65 Genesis 5:15-17
Jared.............162 Genesis 5:18-20
Enoch..............65 Genesis 5:21-24
Methuselah........187 Genesis 5:25-27
Lamech............182 Genesis 5:28-31
Noah at Flood.....600 Genesis 7:6
Birth of Arphaxad...2 Genesis 11:10
Arphaxad...........35 Genesis 11:12-13
Salah..............30 Genesis 11:14-15
Eber...............34 Genesis 11:16-17
Peleg..............30 Genesis 11:18-19
Reu................32 Genesis 11:20-21
Serug..............30 Genesis 11:22-23
Nahor..............29 Genesis 11:24-25
Terah born.......1878 years after Adam.
Many believe you cannot take the years in Genesis and simply add them together, especially from Terah back. It’s pointed out that the Cainan mentioned in Luke 3:36 does not appear between Arphaxad and Salah in the Old Testament. But Salah was simply the grandson of Arphaxad. The omission of Cainan doesn’t change the 35 years between the birth of Arphaxad and Salah. No doubt there are many names not recorded in the genealogy above. A 17 or 18 year old is quite capable of having a child.
Another reason some believe you can’t add the years together, is this would make Noah and Abraham alive at the same time, and the Bible does not mention them being contemporaries. I fail to see the logic in that Noah and Abraham could not have been living at the same time simply because the Bible doesn’t mention it.
Scripture References [a] Gen. 3:5, [b] Gen. 3:22-24, [c] Luke 13:32, [d] Heb. 11:4, [e] Heb. 9:27, [f] See Deut. 18:9-14.
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