01 A Chance to Choose
The Bible tells us that we should always ask for the old paths.
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where [is] the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk [therein]. Jeremiah 6:16
We are admonished to ask our fathers and elders.
Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will show thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee. Deuteronomy 32: 7
If I have to ask my father, then how did my father know? He had to ask his father and so on. If we follow this principle that the Bible lays out, we end up having to ask Adam. What’s happening, what is the right way?
The number of studies I have prepared is entitled the Gospel in Genesis. The studies will go through a map of where we are travelling, looking at Genesis and not just the creation of Genesis, but the whole book in a nutshell. This study reflects on creation and man’s chance to make a choice of what he wants. We will also look at the story of Cain and Abel and how what you choose will be manifested on your face as it was upon Cain’s face.
We will then look at Noah, how he made his choice to obey the Lord and he was safe inside the ark. Then we will consider the time of Jacob’s Trouble because Genesis lays out last day events. When you think of last day events, you thinkof the book of Revelation talks of Babylon. Babylon originated in Genesis in the tower of Babel. The mark of the beast in Revelation correlates with the mark put on Cain. This mark was the same as the mark of the beast. All these things in the book of Revelation are depicted in stories held in Genesis.
While ever we will be looking at the gospel of Genesis, we will be looking at it in relation to last day events. We are going to consider Jacobs trouble because when the door shuts and there is a safe inside reality, there is still a trouble to experience. That is depicted in the story of Jacob.
God Protects His Own
We will also consider the power of God to protect His own. The time of Jacob’s Trouble is a very dangerous time in which God has power to protect His own, those that come out of Babylon. Abraham came out of Babylon, the land of Chaldea. He obeyed the calling out of God, and God rebuked kings for the sake of Abraham’s life. We will consider an open door, as when God protects His own He also delivers His own, which we see in the translation of His people. That was shown in the story of Enoch who was translated, he had an open door before him and he walked to heaven.
There are some things we forget. The Bible says in Genesis to remember Lot’s wife. When the Bible says remember something that means we should remember it.
How many know the first words God ever spoke to sinners? “Where art thou?” These are the first words to a sinful race – where are you?If someone wrongs you, , do you want to find out where they are? Human nature does not want to know where they are. God actually wants to know where we are. When God’s principles are acted upon the person in the right does the seeking. God didn’t do anything wrong, but He sought Adam. How many know the last the last words that Christ spoke to sinners in the Bible? “Behold, I come quickly.” This is the whole message of the Bible “Where are you?” You want to know where someone is because you want to go to them. He is waiting for a response. Between Genesis and Revelation He is waiting. What are you going to respond to Him? If you say, “Here I am , Lord.” He says “I am coming to get you.” This is what the gospel is all about, seeking that which is lost and it is the first words ever spoken to sinners in the book of Genesis
What makes a gospel, a gospel? In the Bible there are the books of the law, the books of history, the books of poetry, the major and minor prophets, the four books called the gospels and then the epistles and prophetic books. What makes the gospels, the gospels? They are different from all the other books in that they are all about Jesus from His birth to His death and resurrection. We sometimes think that the other books are not gospels. We tend to believe that the gospels are not in the Old Testament. The thought is that because the Jews rejected Jesus, the Old Testament is not about Jesus otherwise they would have received Him. We don’t put doctrinal weight upon the Old Testament. If you believe you are a gospel Christian, there is some news that the gospel is in the Old Testament. The Pharisees had only the Old Testament. They read and studied it and today this is the religion of Judaism but they misunderstood the Old Testament.
Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. John 5:39
If you study the Bible, does that mean you are approved of God? The Pharisees studied the Bible and they thought they had eternal life but they missed out Jesus. The scriptures testify of Jesus. If you read the Old Testament and come up with something other than the gospel, don’t think you have eternal life and that Bible study will benefit you. Any study we do must be in reference to our Lord Jesus Christ. That is the focal point of studying every book whether it is the major or Minor Prophets, or even Leviticus. This is what Jesus says.
For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words? John 5:46-47
Moses wrote about Jesus. That is, He wrote a gospel. If you can’t believe Moses, you will not believe Christ. How many people believe in the first words that Moses wrote (the creation)? How many believe they can have Christ and not creation? If you don’t believe in creation you are not a Christian.
The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. Mark 1:1-2
He starts his gospel by quoting the Old Testament.
Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace [that should come] unto you:
Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into. 1 Peter 1:10-12
He is talking about the salvation which the prophets wrote about. What Spirit did they have? The Spirit of Christ was in them and they were enquiring into this. In verse 12, the gospel of Christ was revealed. “unto us did they minister”. The prophets starting from Moses were writing for the sake of the Christian church. They weren’t ministering to themselves. Moses wasn’t writing for the children of Israel, he was showing an amazing prophecy in symbol for the Christian church to understand.
“Which are now reported unto you” means the things that Peter was reporting to the Christian church was what the prophets communicated to Peter. Was Peter a preacher of the gospel? He was. He got his gospel from the Old Testament. The Christian gospel comes from the Old Testament. If you take away the Old Testament, you are taking away the foundation of Christianity. Because the Jews misunderstood the Old Testament doesn’t mean that we can afford to do this.
Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:
Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. Luke 24:25-28
Christians today want the Old Testament for the nice gems they can get out of it, but they don’t want to understand the rest of it. Christ wanted the New Testament Christians to believe all that the prophets have spoken, concerning Him. If it is concerning Himself, then it is the gospel. The Lord starts at the beginning and He begins with Moses.
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called [to be] an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,
(Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)
Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; Romans 1:1-3
Paul states that his mission is the gospel which he got from the prophets. It is all concerning Jesus.
For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
The things that were written in the Old Testament were written for the Christian’s learning, that they can have patience in understanding the Old Testament. Through patience and comfort gives hope. One of the most powerful illustrations of that is the creation story. If we understand the God we serve and the power He has we would not worry half the amount we do. We would have comfort. We would understand that the God we serve has the ability to make something out of nothing. How many feel like nothing sometimes? Praise the Lord, because God can make something out of you. He didn’t take an old world and repair it, He made it out of nothing. That is the gospel. This gives us patience, comfort and hope in all the darkness. When we can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, we need a God who can create light in my dark tunnel.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. Romans 1:16-17
The gospel is all about how powerful Jesus Christ is. Christ is the creator, not just a clever prophet who walked the streets of Galilee. He has un-borrowed, underived life in Himself. That power in the line of saving you and me is called the gospel, the good news.
Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1:5
The power of God is working upon people who were dead in trespasses and sins who had no life in them. He had to create something in them. How do we understand the power of God? The gospel keeps and sustains us.
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Romans 1:20
The things which you can see tell you about things you cannot see, namely God’s power. From the creation of the world, those things are clearly seen, showing His eternal power. If the gospel is the power of God unto salvation and creation shows the power of God, what is Genesis all about? It is all about the gospel.
To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork.
Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge.
[There is] no speech nor language, [where] their voice is not heard.
Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, Psalm 19:1-4
You can talk Chinese and you can still understand creation. You can talk any language, you can make a language up and you will still understand the gospel through what He has made. The creation will declare and never stop speaking of the knowledge of the gospel. This text is quoted by the gospel writers.
And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world. Romans 10:15-18
If you have ever looked upon something that is created, you have heard the gospel. This is how people can be saved when the church is not doing what it is meant to do. Nature, even the stones, will cry out. All these things preach the gospel. Has the whole world heard the gospel? Yes, they have, but they haven’t all believed. They haven’t all obeyed the gospel.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. If there is ever a beginning of anything, you can be sure that God is there. When you start the day, the beginning of your day, God is there. That is how our planet started, and that is how we should start.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. Genesis 1:1-2
By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. Psalm 33.6
God created by His word. The Spirit of God moving is the action. There are two beings spoken of here, the word and the breath. When the disciples received the Holy Spirit, what did Jesus do? He breathed on them. The breath is the Holy Spirit and the word is Christ. There is a thought that because it was a breath that Jesus breathed on the disciples, it means that the Holy Spirit is only something that comes from the lungs of Christ, a force. Is the word a person, or not? Are my words a person? Of course not, so it is hard for us to consider that the Word of Christ is a person. The Bible says that the Word became flesh. If the Word is a person then the breath can also be a person. When we consider the creation story, we consider the relationship between Christ and the Holy Spirit and how close they work. When God made man, He breathed into him and he became a living soul.
The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.
Jesus Christ formed man out of the dust of the ground. Once the form is there, the frame is built, then He breathes and the Spirit of the Lord made the man. What the word says, the breath will do.
He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show [it] unto you.
All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show [it] unto you. John 16:14-15
His work is to take what Jesus has done and display it in you and me. This is not just showing it in a picture form, but a revelation of experience. When we behold Christ and see the words of God, the Holy Spirit will take those words and do the action in you and me that is the relationship. If the Word didn’t speak it, can the Holy Spirit do it? No. Therefore I can’t get the Holy Spirit without obeying God’s Word.
It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, [they] are Spirit, and [they] are life. John 6:63
If it wasn’t for the Holy Spirit it would only be the words that you and I can speak, but the Holy Spirit takes those words and He will act upon it. Do you recall the vision of Ezekiel in chapter 37?
So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. Ezekiel 37:7
The word prophesied means to preach. We are meant to be preaching the word of God. As he is preaching these bones start moving, acting upon the Word that the Son of man is prophesying. As the form comes upon the bones, there was an exceeding great army, but they needed something else. He said to prophesy unto the wind. The wind came and ratified everything that was preached beforehand.
So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.
Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.
Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.
And ye shall know that I [am] the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,
And shall put my Spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken [it], and performed [it], saith the LORD. Ezekiel 37:10-14
The performance of what God says can only be done through the power of God’s Spirit. Whatever God says, it is the Spirit’s duty to do. When you read something in the Bible and you think it is a bit hard, who is the command given to? The Spirit is the one that has to act upon Christ’s words. When Jesus was in the tempest and He said to the waves “Peace, be still” it was the Spirit who moved upon the waters. When it comes to inanimate nature nothing is resistant to it, therefore He speaks and it is done. The Spirit will create according to the word that God speaks. That is the relationship between the Son and the Holy Spirit. We understand the power of the Godhead when we understand the power of creation and how it works.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. Genesis 1:1-2
In whom we have redemption through his blood, [even] the forgiveness of sins:
Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. Colossians 1:14-17
We have redemption through His blood. The word firstborn means the chief or number one in rank, the most important. Born means the source of, or to produce. Christ is the most important. The source of all creatures has its beginning in Christ. The context here shows this as well as it being correct in the Greek language. If it exists, it came from Christ, whether visible or invisible. By all Him all things hold together and are kept by Him. When God makes something, He takes the moral obligation and duty to sustain that which He brings into existence. There are many men who will bring a child into the world and never look after it. God does not do that. Mothers can give birth to a child and just leave the child. God does not do that. All things that He makes He is also obligated to sustain. He has assumed the moral responsibility to do this. Did God bring you into existence? God also loves to look after you and sustain you by the same power that created you.
Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Matthew 6:25-26
How many of us stress about the needs of life? There is an illustration here. God made the birds and our Father in heaven feedeth them. Are you not worth more than the birds? Did Christ make birds in His image? Did Christ die on the cross for birds? Did Christ go through the resurrection so He can resurrect birds? How much more will He look after the one He has created in His image, has died for and is coming to raise again? If God made it, He will sustain it.
Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. Matthew 10:29
Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?
But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows. Luke 12:6-7
Birds are worth very little and your Father knows when one of them is gone. Isn’t He cognisant of you and your problems? Doesn’t He understand what you are? Is God moral or not? He will make us and look after us.
Verse 25 of Matthew 6 starts with “therefore”. This is a joining word to the previous thought.
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Matthew 6:24
We can’t serve two masters. If you don’t want God to look after you, He can’t. If we opt out and say, Lord, “I am going to go with the other party”; who will look after you then? Will the devil look after you? Will the devil solve your problems for you? You can’t say, Lord, I like your blessings, but I want to serve Satan. Many find Christianity so impossible because they are trying to do the impossible and that is you can’t serve two masters. If we are finding it hard to overcome, it’s because we haven’t given ourselves to the Lord.
Man had a chance to choose. When man chose, he chose Satan. Is this world looked after quite well? Everything now under the care of humanity via the devil is not looked after. God is not allowed to look after it. If I take an animal into my possession and I damage that animal, I am not following the Lord. I can’t be violent to dumb animals, because when God makes or has something He looks after it. Suffering starts when we choose to look after our own possessions instead of letting God look after them. We need to be solely the Lord’s. He is the creator and sustainer of me, so why don’t we let Him? If we understood how much Christ loves us, how much he longs to look after us, our cares would go. He wants to take us out of the quagmire into a heavenly place.
There are two trees in the midst of the garden right next to each other, the tree of life or the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That which pertains unto life is right there for you to choose, or you can take the option of the knowledge of evil. Adam and Eve already knew good as it was just the addition to evil that they understood. As they understood evil, then they could fully understand good. We have a choice to make. God says, “Do you want me to look after you, or do you want the devil to look after you?”
God made the lilies of the field. The flowers are on the side of the road, are you? You’re in a house. Do you think God will look after you? Do you think God can clothe you and support your life? If He can do that to the flower which today is blooming and tomorrow is bent over and dead, He can look after you. God loves to take care of the grass, He built the grass beautifully and He wants to build you and I beautifully if we will give ourselves over to Him. When the planet is fully redeemed by the Lord Jesus Christ when He comes, He will make it all nice again. He wants to look after the crowning act of His creation first – “Where are you?” If He can look after us, then we can look after the planet together.
Sometimes we dwell with the Lord so long we forget what is ours. In the story of the prodigal son, he left taking his inheritance and wrecked everything looking after it himself. When he came back the Lord was waiting for him and the Lord made a celebration over the salvation or the returning of his returning lost son. The son that was always with him heard the music and asked one of the servants what was happening. He was told that his brother had come back and his father has killed the fatted calf. He wasn’t happy. He said to his father “I have never transgressed your commandments and you haven’t given me a baby goat with my friends to make merry.” The father’s reply was “All that I have is yours”
The older son had been living with the father for so long and did not know that everything that the father had was his. Do you think that as Christians, we can dwell with the Lord and forget that everything he has is ours? We start complaining, murmuring and repining because of all the difficulties and other people seem to be blessed more than I am when all we have to do is ask our Father and He will give what we need because everything He has is ours. The Lord loves us greatly. He didn’t just speak us into existence like everything else, He formed you and me.
The Man In the Field Who Finds the Treasure
That man can be the Lord Jesus Christ. He is walking along and feels something under His foot. In the dirt He finds this treasure, picks it up and says “This is worth everything.” As He looks at it, this is you that He’s looking at. It will cost everything, even His life, that is you. He made you, He will redeem you, and He will give up everything for it. If we understand the power of creation that when He made it, He will sustain it, if you will let Him. If you will look at creation and the things He has made, you will clearly see His power to help you. If we study our troubles, we will stress out and fail of making the correct decision.
God has given us a chance to choose and what this choice is will determine what’s on your face. Whether you radiate the joy and peace of heaven, or whether you show the frowns and stresses and annoyances of life. What do you want to show on your face? Your face will be telling what choice you make, whether you choose your redeemer and sustainer or whether you are self-sufficient and choose to do it yourself.
I pray the Lord will help us in this study to see the gospel in Genesis and to make our choice in these last days.