Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3* PART 3 * BOOK 1
Genesis 2:8 – 3:8
We trust that you take your Bible and search these Scriptures with us so that we can compare Scripture with Scripture, because what I say doesn’t amount to anything. It counts for nothing. But, the only thing that counts is – what does God’s Word say? What does it REALLY say! And just as important what it does NOT say. I have found so many times where people THINK it says something that it does not say.
Alright, let’s go back to where we had to leave off last time in I John chapter 2. If you remember, we were looking at the set of circumstances that Eve had to face. I think all the Bible makes it so clear that every one of us, none of us escape it, are faced with these same set of circumstances in the area of temptation. It began in the Garden and as I am going to show you in just a few moments, the Lord Jesus, himself in His earthly ministry also faced them. He knows exactly what we are up against because He faced it Himself.
I John 2:16a
“For all that is in the world, the lust (or the desire) of the flesh,…”
That can be any of our appetites. And any one of them can get the best of us. In Eve’s case, she saw that it was good for food. We are going to see that it was the same case with the Lord Jesus. But it can be any kind of a fleshly desire that overwhelms us and we have to be aware of those, because they will trip us every time.
I John 2:16b
“…and the lust of the eyes,…”
In other words, that which looks so alluring, remember the old cliché is “all that glitters is not gold”. So you have to be aware of that. Then John goes on to say that the other great area of temptation is:
I John 2:16c
“…and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”
Now you see, pride is one of the biggest things that befalls the human race. Pride is probably the one thing that keeps more people from salvation than anything else. People are too proud to admit that they need anything that God has to give them. I can make it on my own. To submit to a Sovereign God and to admit that He is what I need. No thanks, is what most of the world says.
So look at them again. It’s the lust of the flesh. The lust of the eye and the pride of life. I said the Lord Jesus faced those same set of three circumstances. Go back to Matthew chapter 4. These are normally referred to as “the temptations, ” and let’s just drop down to verse 1.
“Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted (or tested) of the devil (or Satan). 2. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward(what? Hungry!) an hungered,”
Now I had to point out to someone just yesterday that you always have to remember, and again we take these things by faith, that Jesus on the one hand was totally human, He was totally man, but, on the other hand He was totally God. So from His human side He was hungry. Absolutely, He was hungry. He had been fasting for forty days and forty nights.
Like I said in the last lesson, Satan knows just exactly where we are weak and our blind side and that’s where he will always hit us. He, Satan, knows that Jesus has been fasting and he knows that Jesus is hungry. So what’s the temptation? Here it comes in verse 3.
“And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, (here again, he’s trying to even plant doubt in the mind of the Lord Jesus. Are you what you say you are? IF, If thou be) command that these stones be made bread.”
What is he saying? Well, IF you are all that you say you are and you are hungry, all you have to do is speak the Word and you have bread! But you see, the whole idea was, had Jesus given in to Satan, He would have lost everything that He to accomplish for our salvation. So, He answered:
“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
What’s the lesson? There is only one way that we can defeat Satan and that is with the Word of God! This is why I am constantly encouraging people to be saturated with Word. Every day. Because how many of us can go a whole 24 hour day with nothing physically to eat? My, we get famished. Don’t we?
And yet, how many believers go week in and week out and never feed on the Word of God. Listen, we have to feed on it every day! And I know we are all in busy schedules. I don’t think anyone has one any busier than mine, but we still have to find the time and take the time to feed on the Word. Alright, we cannot live by material, physical things alone. We have to have that which is Spiritual.
Now, Satan isn’t satisfied. But you remember, he has to hit Christ in all three categories, so he comes right back in verse 5:
“Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,”
At the very highest point there in the city of Jerusalem. Verse 6.
“And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, (See again that taunt? IF you’re who you say you are.) cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee; and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.”
It’s a little harder to see this one. It isn’t quite as obvious as when He was hungry and He could make the stones bread. But, remember, we are looking at the area of temptation of the desire of the eye.
The best way I can illustrate this is, and I am sure you’ve seen pictures of it. I know I have in newspapers. You probably have experienced it if you are walking down the sidewalk of a city and the busy crowd. If all of a sudden someone stops and starts looking up, what does everyone automatically do? They stop and they start looking up. The eyes are being focused.
Satan knows this. So what he’s really telling Jesus is, if you want every eye on you, just cast yourself down from this high point in Jerusalem and let the crowds see if the angels are really going to come and help you escape and bear you up. What a spectacle that would be! You see the temptation? But, oh you see, Jesus refused even that one and His answer was – verse 7:
“Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”
He again quotes the Scripture. Satan still doesn’t give up.
“Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world,…”
Remember, this is the time of the Roman Empire. How far did the Roman Empire reach? From the British Isles to the Ganges River of India and everything in between. Now he is saying, “Look out over all these kingdoms. Everything that you can see and think of so far as material kingdoms are concerned, of this world, fall down and worship me and I will give them to you.”
Now there is so much I want to point out in that particular thing. Number 1: When the Scripture teaches us that Satan is the god of this world. Doesn’t this prove it? He’s got the world in his lap tonight. He IS the god of this world. He IS the one that is in control, under God of course! But he is the god of this world.
And the kingdoms were his to give! Don’t think for a minute that they weren’t. But, I often have to think, Satan just didn’t know, I don’t think, he just didn’t know that the day was coming and is still coming, it’s getting close, when, indeed, all the kingdoms of the world are going to be Christ’s. They are going to be His. He is going to be King of Kings and Lord of Lords! And He is not going to get them by virtue of kowtowing to Satan. Rather, by defeating him!
When He will return with the clouds of glory and by the rod, the Word of His mouth, He will destroy all the kingdoms of this world and set up His own kingdom! Well, all of this leads to what? The pride of life. Oh, the temptation was, “You can have it ALL, if you will just fall down and worship me.”
“And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.”
Again verse 10:
“Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”
He quoted Scripture. And, as I said a moment ago, that’s the lesson for us. When Satan attacks, we go to the Book. We go to the Word of God for our strength!
Now let’s go back to Genesis, where we left off with Eve having just eaten. And, as I mentioned, the punctuation mark after the word “eat” in verse 6 – she took of the fruit thereof and did eat. In the Hebrew the punctuation denotes a long pause. That gives time for Adam to come on the scene.
She has already eaten, as I pointed out in the last lesson, she must have been alone when Satan approached her, and caught her in that moment of weakness. She desired to have something more than she already had. Now here comes Adam, and what did he see? He saw that Eve has eaten of that forbidden tree and I think it must have just given him a momentary shock. It had to have! Let’s read on.
“…and gave also unto her husband with her; and (what does he do?) he did eat.”
Again turn with me to I Timothy. Like I told you when we first started this several weeks ago, we would try to use the New Testament along with the Old, just a much as we possibly can. Because, the old saying is “Whatever is in the Old Testament concealed is in the New Testament revealed.”
Remember this is Paul writing to Timothy. This is certainly an area where we don’t have to feel that this is in an age far removed. This is for us! This, in so many words, is written to us because Timothy was a believer like unto ourselves. So to Timothy in verse 13 of chapter 2, Paul writes:
I Timothy 2:13-14a
“For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14. And Adam was not deceived,…”
A lot of people don’t know that verse is in the Bible. But Adam was NOT deceived. Do you know what that means? Eve was caught in a moment of weakness. And before she knew what she had done, she had eaten. It just happened so fast. But here comes along old Adam, and he has time to stop and think. I think in that moment of shock, he backs off and he contemplates the whole situation. What has my beautiful creature wife done? And she presents the fruit to him. But the New Testament says, he was not deceived. So I think common sense tells us that since he knew the ramifications of eating of this forbidden tree, since he knew it had already happened to his lovely wife, he had to do some fast and serious thinking. He had to debate, am I going to join her? Am I going to lose fellowship with my Creator and stay with her? Or, am I going to join her in eating and lose fellowship with my Creator? I call that the typical being between a rock and a hard place!
I think Adam was there with a deliberation and a decision that would just bowl over any one of us. Because, he was not deceived. A good picture of that very same setting under Israeli law is back in Exodus chapter 21.
All this is tied together Scripturally, so we can get a full picture of all that happened. We don’t have to imagine these things. But, we can compare Scripture with Scripture and get a pretty good picture.
Exodus chapter 21, this is just after the law was given in chapter 20. We have a set of rules and regulations not concerned with the Ten Commandments, per se, but was part of the civil law. In other words, how to get along with their neighbor. And, how was an employee to get along with his boss, and so forth. Now, this is part of the law but it was not a part of the Ten Commandments.
“Now these are the judgments which thou shalt set before them.”
God is speaking to Moses and this is what he is supposed to pass on to the children of Israel. Verse 2:
“If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve; and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing.”
In other words, he had paid out his servitude. Verse 3:
“If he came in by himself, (as a single man) he shall go out by himself: (alone) if he were married, (that is, when he came into servitude. He brought his wife with him.) then his wife shall go out with him.”
“If his master have given him a wife, (He came into servitude single, but in that period of time, that six years, he got married.) and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master’s,…”
This is hard for us to comprehend because we are not accustomed to servitude. But, Israel’s servitude was certainly not like the awful slavery of our bygone days. Israel’s servitude was certainly under the auspices of the law and everything was treated equably. But, yet we look at this and we say. What is equable about this? Always remember, Paul writes in Romans 15 all these things happened unto them, that is the Old Testament people, for our learning.
Now this particular circumstance, I think, God instituted because it fits so beautifully with Adam and Christ. We will tie this all together, hopefully in the next few moments. So he says,if a master has given him a wife and she has born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master’s.
“… and he shall go out by himself. 5. And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free;”
Stop there a minute. What has this young man had to do? He has been forced with a decision, hasn’t he? If he wants his own freedom, he has to leave his wife and kids behind. If he loves his wife and kids, what will he give up on their behalf? His freedom and he will remain a servant. Got the picture?
Now verse 6. If after verse 5 where he says I will not go out because I love my wife. I love my children:
“Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; (that is the civil authorities) he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore (pierce) his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him (not for six years, but for how long? The rest of his life.) for ever.”
That was the choice the young man had. He could take off, and take his own personal freedom and be separated from his wife and children or he could agree to be a servant or a slave the rest of his life because of his love for his wife and children.
Now do you see on what basis he had to make his decision. Alright, now I said I will tie this in with Christ as well. Turn back to the New Testament in Philippians Remember that we said that God extended His love to the human race with the idea that He expected love in return. Now we are seeing this in the attitude of this servant toward his family. He is showing his love for them by actually giving up the rest of his life’s freedom and agreeing to be a servant because of that love.
Alright, we think that is awful, when we think in terms of a human being actually agreeing to be a slave for the rest of his life because he loves his family. But, listen, the Lord Jesus did far more. Paul writes.
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:”
Remember, several weeks ago, I showed you that when we were made in the image of God we were given a mind, and that every person of the Godhead had a mind. Now here is the mind ascribed to God the Son. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus:
“Who, (speaking of Jesus) being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God:”
That sounds like a little double talk to us but if you have a margin in your Bible or a footnote, I think it will explain that all this says is that He was God, He is God and there is no doubt about it. Verse 7. Even though He was God. Even though He was the Omnipotent, Omniscient, Creator, yet:
“But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him (self) the form of a (what?) servant,…”
Just exactly like this young Jewish man back there in Exodus. He agrees to be nothing more than a servant. For what reason? For the sake of you and I. See? So he took upon himself the form of a servant:
“…and was made in the likeness of men:”
It doesn’t say he was made LIKE men. He was made in the LIKENESS of men and there was a big difference. Then verse 8:
“And being found in fashion as a man, (condescending to become a man. The very Creator God Himself. Lowering Himself, as the Scripture says in another place, a little lower than the angels. So) he humbled himself, and became obedient (not just 40 or 60 years of servitude but obedient unto what?) unto death, even the death (not just an ordinary death. Not just a quick death by execution. But His was a death that was the most awful that was ever contrived, I think, in the human race. The death) of the cross.”
Crucifixion is just beyond us. You and I in this 20th century just can’t imagine what crucifixion was like. And yet, it was that death that Jesus was willing to suffer and go through for only one reason. Because He loved us. And that was the choice that He was given.
I always like to point out. Did He have to? No, He didn’t have to! God didn’t have to redeem us. He could have just let us go, or He could have just simply removed the human race from the earth’s experience and forgot about it.
But, oh, He did it because He loved us. Now let’s go back to Genesis chapter 3 where we find that Adam, even though he loved his Creator. I’m sure he enjoyed those moments of fellowship in the cool of every day. But, oh, whom did he really love? This beautiful help meet that God had given him!
Remember, she was a prefect woman, even as he as a perfect man. And, he had been with her long enough that he wasn’t about to lose her. So what I think, more than his open rebellion against God, I don’t think Adam became viciously adamant. I don’t think Adam all of a sudden had an awful countenance that we find in Cain a little later. But, I think it was just a set of circumstances where Adam was brought to a place of choosing.
And, in this case, he had to choose between this beautiful creature, this wife that God had given him, who had already sealed her condition. And, rather than lose her and remain obedient, he knowingly, of his own free will and choice, chose to stay with Eve. So what did he do? He ate!
Nevertheless, it was in absolute violence of the Word of God. So, here is the beginning then, of the whole human dilemma. In our next lesson, we will show as soon as Adam ate, immediately, the process of death began in his physical being. The whole working of cells beginning to die faster than they are produced in the body began. For Adam, of course, it took 930 years, but nevertheless, after 930 years what happened? He died.
He wouldn’t have had to, but the moment he ate, Romans tell us that sin and death came on the human race, the moment Adam ate. On top of that, he immediately lost fellowship with his Creator. That wasn’t something that happened later, that was immediate. At the same moment, his soul; that mind, will and emotion part of him, that personality part of Adam, immediately became a sin nature. It immediately took on a sinful rebellious attitude against God. Oh, if we can just get the comprehension of this, that we are not sinners because of what we do.
I have such a hard time convincing a lot of people that, “Look you are not a sinner because you have “done this or done that” or because of what you haven’t done. We are sinners because we are children of Adam.” See? That’s why I pointed out to be the best of my ability, a few lessons ago, that we were all IN Adam and it’s by virtue of Adam’s sin that you and I are born sinners.