Training for the Cross - Bible Study

Monday, December 7, 2015

Ranch Roping Bible Study 4

In The Beginning: A Perfect World

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1).

Photo by www.crossbphoto.com

If a man was driving down the road in perfect peace and harmony with no troubles, hardships, hurts, or cares in the world and ran into something, changing a state of peace, joy, and happiness into confusion and despair, he would have to ask himself a few questions. The first question would have to be, what happened? After he had determined that he had hit another car, then he would ask, how did this happen? Once the man had drawn the conclusion that he had caused the accident by running a stop sign, he would then have 2 choices. He could make excuses for the accident and try to blame it on someone else, then forget the accident and hope it didn‘t happen again. Or he could take responsibility for the accident, learn from it, and prevent it from happening again.

If the man chooses to learn from the accident and prevent it from happening again, he must first determine what went wrong. To do this he should think back to when everything was perfect, and see what steps were taken in the wrong direction, which led to the accident. Most of the time, a person will take a certain number of steps in the wrong direction before they find themselves off the right path, and in an accident. What was the first step that the man took which led to all the destruction? The man had a destination in mind and set out on a path that would lead to his destination. He was driving on the road and was obeying the rules of the road, to ensure his safety and the safety of those around him. The first step that the driver took in the wrong direction was taking his eyes off the road. The second step taken was that he forgot about the road and focused on an object off the road that was pleasing to his eyes. Once he had forgotten about the road, even though it was only for a moment, he unwillingly and unknowingly broke the law. He ran a stop sign, causing pain, suffering, confusion, and death. Taking his eyes off the road did not cause the destruction. It occurred when his focus left the road and was drawn to something else.

Looking at our world and seeing all of the pain, suffering, confusion, and death, I think it is fair to say that we do not live in a perfect world. The question is, was the world ever perfect? God created man, animals, the heavens and earth, and everything in it and God is perfect. "God saw all that he had made, and it was very good" (Genesis 1:31). If God is perfect and He says something is very good, I do not think He would have settled for mediocre. I believe it was perfect. So if God created a perfect world, and we are living in an imperfect world, just like the car crash we should ask ourselves some questions. What happened? How did it happen? And, how can we prevent it from happening again?

What happened? Sin entered the world. "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned" (Romans 5:12). How did it happen? Adam and Eve were deceived by Satan. They disobeyed God, and ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. "And the LORD God commanded the man, You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die" (Genesis 2:16-17). How can we prevent it from happening again? Just like the car crash we need to think back to when everything was perfect, and see what steps were taken in the wrong direction, which led to the accident.

The last verse in Genesis, Chapter 2, says, "The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame" (Genesis 2:25). If they were not ashamed, that meant they were without sin and if they were without sin, they were living in a perfect world. What was the first step in the wrong direction? They took their eyes off the road. "Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman. . ." (Genesis 3:1). Once Eve shifted her focus to Satan it was immediately off God. "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other" (Matthew 6:24).

God created a perfect world and the only thing Adam and Eve could not do in this perfect world, was eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The devil knew this. He knew if he could get their eyes off God, if only for a moment, he could deceive them, cause them to sin, and cause separation in this perfect world, between God and man.

The second step the person took was forgetting about the road and finding something that was pleasing to their eyes. "When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it" (Genesis 3:6). Much like the car crash, taking her eyes off of God did not bring evil into the world, but once her eyes were off of Him, she unknowingly broke God‘s commandment. The man would not have knowingly run a stop sign and hit another car, causing death, but by not watching the road, he could not see the stop sign. Eve would not have tried to purposely disobey God, but by taking her eyes off of God and listening to Satan, she too caused death.

Once the man ran into another car, he immediately knew something was wrong, just like Adam and Eve, when they ate of the fruit. "Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves" (Genesis 3:7). As soon as they had sinned, they too like the driver had 2 choices. They could make excuses for the accident and try to blame it on someone else, or take responsibility, learn from the accident and prevent it from happening again. Adam and Eve chose to make excuses. "And he said, 'Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?' The man said, 'The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.' Then the LORD God said to the woman, 'What is this you have done?' The woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate’ " (Genesis 3:11-13).

So with sin Adam and Eve were kicked out of their perfect world. "So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken" (Genesis 3:23). From that moment sin has been in the world, and man has been in sin. "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned" (Romans 5:12). What are the consequences of sin? "For the wages of sin is death. . ." (Romans 6:23). Nobody is without sin, so by right, everyone deserves to die.

We are all sinners, born into a world of sin. If a person has committed one sin, they are just as guilty as someone who has lived in sin their whole life. Also, one sin is not greater than another is, because in God‘s eyes every sin has the same penalty, death. However, God is loving, and loves His people and wants His people to love him. In His love He sent His son to die on the cross for our sins, and save us from death. "But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23).

How do we become saved? "That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:9). To be spared of our sins and become born again into God‘s kingdom, we must first do 2 things; confess with our mouth and believe in our heart. We must acknowledge that God sent His son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty for our sin. Then we must ask Him into our heart and give our life over to Him.

By Adam sinning, death entered the world, but Jesus’ death gave eternal life. "For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive" (1 Corinthians 15:21-22). Without Jesus we would have died in our sin, but with Jesus we may live with the Father. "Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me' " (John 14:6). How do we go to the Father? We must first die to ourselves. How do we die to ourselves? Be made alive in Christ. "In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus" (Romans 6:11). How do we become alive to God in Christ Jesus? By becoming transformed into the image of Jesus Christ. "And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit" (2 Corinthians 3:18). How do we do that? By eating the bread and drinking the wine. "The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, 'This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.' In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me' " (1 Corinthians 11:23-25). We are changed into Christ‘s image when we read our Bible, and are in His presence. How do we get in His presence? First we must ask God‘s forgiveness for our sins. Then the blood of Jesus washes our sins away and makes us pure, and blameless before God. Then we ask, seek, and knock. "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened" (Matthew 7:7-8).

Ask the Lord to show His glory so that you may feel His presence, and be changed from the inside out. Jesus answers our prayers for such little things as helping us to win a football game, giving us strength when we are tired, and helping us find our car keys. How much more will He gladly answer our prayers when we want to see Him, be closer to Him, experience His greatness, love Him and know Him in a deeper, greater way? "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" (Luke 11:13).

That is what He has wanted from the very beginning. This is what He wanted when He created His perfect world, and it was His intent for our lives before sin entered the world. He wanted to love us and wanted us to know Him, be close to Him, and to walk and talk with Him. What kept us from God‘s perfect world in the beginning? Sin. What keeps us from God‘s perfect world now? It is still sin. However, Jesus died for our sins and ". . .there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1).

If you are in Christ Jesus, you are no longer in sin, no longer of this world, and you can experience God‘s original purpose for your life. This is to know God, to be close to God, and to walk and talk with our Creator. So what is still keeping us from God? Satan. How did Adam and Eve fall into sin in the beginning? Satan deceived them from believing God‘s word. God is never changing. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Satan is also never changing. What he did in the beginning we can expect him to do until the end. Satan deceived them from believing God‘s word in the beginning and he is still deceiving us from believing God‘s truth today. Satan is going to try to deceive us the same way he deceived Adam and Eve. Looking back at the Garden of Eden, we can see he is using the same tactics today, as he did in the beginning and he will continue to use them until the end.

God is predictable; He is loving, kind, patient, wants the best for our lives, and commands obedience. Satan is also predictable; he is sly, evil, and unjust. He comes to rob, steal and destroy, and wants the absolute worst for our lives. He also wants obedience. Who you choose to be obedient to will be evident in your life. God is love. "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres" (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).

We know that Satan will try to deceive us the same way he deceived Adam and Eve in the beginning. By knowing the strategy of the enemy, and what tricks he is going to use, we can prepare ourselves to not be deceived. Eve could not tell that there was anything evil about Satan when he approached her. He looked very innocent. "Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made" (Genesis 3:1). Scripture says that the serpent was subtle. The opposite of subtle is obvious. It is not always going to be obvious when Satan is trying to tempt us. It is also important to note that he was in a snake‘s body. Satan will sometimes use the bodies of others to approach us.

The first words out of Satan‘s mouth were in the form of a question. It had a little truth, but was filled with a big lie. "He said to the woman, 'Did God really say, You must not eat from any tree in the garden?' " (Genesis 3:1). The first words out of Satan‘s mouth were questioning God‘s word. That will be the first thing he does every time. The Bible is the inspired word of God. If Satan can get people to believe that the Bible is not true, he does not have to go any further. He can take their minds and mold them with whatever lies he chooses.

Because man did not love God, Satan has captured the minds of the atheist and the evolutionist, and he is using them to get Christians as far away from God as possible. Due to the popular following of the evolution theory, Christianity and God are no longer allowed in schools. We are instead taught the religious beliefs of the big bang theory and evolution. I love the country that we live in. We have the ability to practice our faith and believe in whatever we choose. What saddens me is that students are being taught that the big bang theory has scientific evidence to support it. I received my masters in animal science and in order for something to have scientific merit it must be tested, observed, and repeated. Evolution within species is science. It is observable; it can be tested and repeats itself. I have no problem believing this. Evolution within species would have had to taken place with the animals coming off Noah‘s ark.

However, in order for the big bang theory to have to taken place, 6 different types of evolution would have had to happen; cosmic (big bang), chemical (periodic table), stellar and planetary (stars and planets), organic (non-living produce living), macro-evolution (change from one specie to another), and micro-evolution (change within specie). The first 5 types of evolution are not science, they are religious beliefs. If you choose to believe in them, you have to put your faith in them, because they cannot be proven scientifically. They cannot be tested and observed (science). If the big bang theory is not science and only a theory, are there any other theories that have scientific findings to support them? Yes, I am sorry but for lack of a better term, creation ―science makes the big bang theory look stupid. I have done a fair amount of research and I am blown away at the scientific evidence to support creation and disprove the big bang theory. At the very least, if we are not trying to brainwash our children, they should be taught both theories in school. Creation and evolution are both religious beliefs. The only difference is the evolution religion is tax supported.

But what is the main reason creation science is not taught in schools? I will let Paul answer this question, "And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie" (2 Thessalonians 2:10-11). People choose to believe in the big bang theory because the alternative is a very scary thought. If there truly is a real God, then we will be held accountable for what we did with our life. There will be consequences for our actions. Creation science offers some amazing material to support the Bible and the evolutionists offer numerous theories to support the big bang theory. However, neither one can be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. Neither one would hold up in a court of law. We have to decide what we are going to put our faith in, which religious theory we will accept. Bottom line, we have to choose if we are going to believe in the beginning God, or in the beginning dirt. I think it all boils down to which theory has the greatest amount of evidence to support it. I have seen scientific debates on creation and evolution, and the creationists tear apart the big bang theory. But where does that get us? We are still going to believe what we want to believe. We need solid concrete evidence in which to put our faith.

I agree that looking at the average Christian church it is hard to find solid concrete evidence to support a real God. However, I guarantee you if you go to God and ask HIM with an open heart, He will give you all the evidence you need. God is real and He wants to show us He is real. However, He cannot be found in religion. He can only be found through His son Jesus Christ, and He does want to give us solid proof beyond a reasonable doubt. I hope this book is able to help you come to the place where you can receive solid evidence upon which to base your beliefs. If it doesn‘t and you truly have an open heart wanting solid evidence from God, I would love to help. This is my calling; to position people to help them communicate with their horse and to position people to help them communicate with God.

It saddens me that so many children will lose their faith based on a religious theory, believing that they are being taught science. America‘s children are taught evolution from the first grade and 75% of kids attending colleges will lose their faith in God. We have the freedom in this country to believe in whatever we choose. However, whatever we choose to believe in, we will be held accountable for all eternity. It is one thing to believe in something that will affect our own life. However, if our beliefs cause one of God‘s children to stumble, we will suffer greater consequences. "And whosoever shall offend (Greek word meaning – strip up, stumble) one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea" (Mark 9:42). If you believe in the big bang theory, I am very proud of you for being open-minded and still reading this book. I pray that God is able to speak to your heart and that He is able to prove to you that He is real. With that being said, God has given you free will and you have the right to believe in whatever you choose. Just remember that Satan’s sole job is to deceive us from God‘s truth. He is the master of lies. I am not trying to convert you to adopt my beliefs. I am only trying to get you to ask God. He will never lie. "In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began" (Titus 1:2).

Satan has and always will come to us trying to get us to believe his lies, trying to get us to question God’s word. Satan will even try to get believers to question God‘s word. Once we start questioning God‘s word, we have set ourselves up to be deceived. GOD‘S WORD IS TRUTH. BELIEVE IT, AND DO NOT BE DECEIVED! There is only one sure way to not be deceived; that is by hearing the word of God, from God Himself.

It is important to note that Satan approached Eve. He did not come to Adam. I believe he did not come to Adam because Adam had heard the word from God, standing face to face with God. Adam knew His word. His truth went into his heart, and he could not be deceived. "For Adam was first formed, then Eve And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression" (1 Timothy 2:13). Scripture tells us that God told Adam not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Scripture does not say that He ever told Eve.

God created Eve after He had spoken to Adam about the tree. I believe that Adam repeated what God had told him to Eve and this is why Satan approached Eve. She had heard God‘s word from Adam, and believed it to be true, but having not heard the word straight from God Himself; she was able to be deceived. "But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled (Greek – deceived) Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ" (2 Corinthians 1:3).

Eve was deceived into sin. Adam ate of the apple, knowing that there would be consequences. From that moment on, sin has been in the world, and sin has kept us from God. Jesus died to wash us of our sins, that we may see the Father. Jesus died to take us to the Father. Let Jesus cleanse you of your sins, that you may go straight to the Father and hear the word of God, AND NOT BE DECEIVED.

"In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God‘s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil" (Hebrews 5:12-14). This book is milk. Go on to receive your meat from God Almighty! Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. Eve was deceived because she tried to argue with Satan after having eaten only milk. From Eve‘s example, we learn that having someone tell us what the Word of God says will keep us alive, give us hope, and keep us on the right path for only a while, but ultimately we will be deceived by Satan.

In God‘s perfect world, Adam walked and talked with God. God loved Adam and Eve, and all He wanted was for them to love Him back, BUT He commanded obedience. He told them not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam and Eve never sinned while they were in God‘s presence; it is impossible to do so. But, it is interesting to me that in God‘s perfect world, He left their presence to test their obedience.

"Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden" (Genesis 3:8). Adam and Eve were out of God‘s presence when they sinned. If they had been in His presence, they wouldn't have needed to hide from His presence when they heard Him coming. It was not the fruit that opened their eyes to their sin. It was the fact that they had disobeyed a command from God. "Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked" (Genesis 3:7). When someone asks, ―Do you love me? And you tell them, ―Yes, I love you. Then they say, ―If you truly love me you will do what I say. It is easy to do what they say when you are standing in their presence. But, when you leave their presence that is when your obedience to the person you love is truly tested.

God could have made Adam and Eve stay in His presence and they would have never sinned, but He let them leave. They did not know of His presence for a while, but after they had sinned, He let Himself be known. Adam and Eve were not in God’s presence when they sinned, but God was watching them the whole time. When we feel like we are being deceived, are going through tough times, and we cannot feel God’s presence we need to remember He is still there. He is watching us, praying for us, and testing our obedience to see if we truly love Him. "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers" (Luke 22:31-32). When Jesus let Satan tempt and deceive Simon (Peter), although Jesus was not in Peter‘s presence, He was still praying for him.

God will let us leave His presence to make us stronger in Him, but He will always let us come back. When you have sinned, run back into His presence, ask for forgiveness, and stay in His presence as long as you can. "There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1). After Satan has tricked you into sinning, he is going to make you feel ashamed, tell you to hide from God, to make excuses, and tell you you‘re not worthy to go back into His presence, "But the LORD God called to the man, 'Where are you?' He answered, 'I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid' " (Genesis 3:910). Satan has already deceived you into sinning. Do not let him deceive you further and keep you from God‘s original plan for our lives; to be close to Him.

God had a perfect world for us until sin entered it. God’s original intent for our life was for us to walk and talk with Him. Jesus died to take away all sin, that we may know the Father. Satan is going to try to deceive us from believing God’s word, and from having a close relationship with our heavenly Father. In order to not be deceived, a person needs to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and continue to hear God‘s word. Without doing so, not only will they not be close to the Father now, but they will also be separated from the Father for all eternity. Mankind is born into sin, and the punishment is death. In order to escape the punishment and have ever-lasting life, we must ask forgiveness for our sins, thank Him for dying on the cross to wash away all our sins, and ask Him to come into our hearts and change our lives.
God Bless,
Wade Black

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