A Genesis Encounter is a search for truth – what is found in the Bible, what is observable, and what is recorded.
Biblical, Scientific, and Historical truth.
The study of the Bible has four primary purposes:
to understand the real causes behind mankind’s fall and the epic battles facing God in His efforts to redeem us,
to discover the true purpose for the coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,
to grasp the amazing truths that were hidden from the foundation of the world and were taught by Jesus to mankind, and
to trace the two genetic lines of men, the children of Lucifer and the Children of the Woman, that provide the foundation behind all the truth found in the Word of God.
Since, “In the Beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, the Word was God” and then “the Word became flesh”, we should pay special attention to this Word. Of course, that Word is Jesus Christ and Jesus is the Word made flesh. The Holy Spirit revealed this truth in John 1. Jesus also said in Matthew 13:35 - “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.” I don’t know about you, but I’m interested in knowing Jesus better and I’m interested in discovering the truths hidden since the beginning of our age. With that in mind, remember that two crucial rules apply to this study of the Bible and that nearly every other study of the Bible fails to live up to this standard.
First, as we study the Bible, it will be interpreted or analyzed ONLY by the revelations and truths found in the Word of God itself. We will not quote famous theologians, Church or Denominational doctrines, or well-known writers to support personal beliefs or thoughts about the Bible. I will demonstrate how all of these non-Biblical sources end up supporting the interpretations of the Bible. I will be not be using these sources to determine how we interpret the Bible.
Second, we will assume that all existing doctrines and preexisting beliefs are in error. They will have to stand up to a pure interpretation of the Bible by the Bible. All beliefs and doctrines must hold up to the teachings and truths revealed in the Bible just as Science must.
It may come as a shock, but many of the commonly accepted truths of the Bible that nearly every Church teaches as infallible and every Christian holds dear to their hearts is false. A good example is a common expression used by every Christian and taught in every Church. That expression is, “Christians will spend eternity in Heaven.” This is probably the most common belief apart from the belief that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Most Churches and Christians eagerly proclaim with great enthusiasm that they when they die, they are going to spend eternity in Heaven. It sounds great and it’s what I was taught in two Bible Colleges. The reality is that I have even preached this as truth in the past. Unfortunately, it is wrong, although the truth is even more exciting. Listen to what the Bible does say about where we spend eternity.
In 2 Corinthians 5:8, Paul reveals that when we are absent from the body, we are present with the Lord. So we know that we leave our bodies here on Earth when we die. IT is our souls which go to be with the Lord, not our bodies.
We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.
In Ecclesiastes 12:7, King Solomon states;
Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.
As can be seen, our spirits, not our bodies, is present with the Lord. Our bodies were created out of the dirt of the Earth. They belong to this physical realm or universe. Our souls were breathed into us by God. They originate in Heaven and belong to the spiritual realm or universe. The body is left behind in the grave and it is only the spirit that ascends into Heaven according to Revelation 6:9-11 which says:
“And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the Earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.”
Paul then teaches in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 how our bodies on Earth and our spirits in Heaven will one day be reunited.
“For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
So, you see, it is when Jesus returns that our bodies and spirits are reunited to be with the Lord forever. At this point, you might say, “See, we will go back and spend eternity in Heaven with Jesus.” However, we should not be so quick! Again, the truth is even more exciting than that. In Revelation 21:1-10 it says:
“And I saw a new heaven and a new Earth: for the first heaven and the first Earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,”
Notice that we will not go back to Heaven to dwell with Jesus, but that Jesus will come down from Heaven with a New Jerusalem and set up His throne and kingdom from the Earth. Get this! We will not be going to Heaven to be with Jesus; Jesus who will be coming down to Earth to spend eternity with us.
We do not spend eternity in Heaven even though the Church considers this a sacred doctrine. How in the world did the Church find itself teaching the wrong thing as if it were truth? Simply by simplifying the Word into little bit size templates, that sounded good to the hearing, but require no real thinking. These little templates have taken over our Churches and the minds of Christians. Since we don’t know where we are going, my question is, “How far are we off in other teachings that the Church teaches and believes?” Sad to say – a lot!!!
You might downplay this error by saying, “What’s the big deal! Does it really matter where we go?” Yes it does. Just as the Church has created a simple unscriptural template that says that if you believe in Jesus and live right, you will go to Heaven for eternity, it has also created many other simple unscriptural templates. The danger of these templates is that each one directs the believer to look at Scripture from a skewed or a warped viewpoint. This falsity misdirects the believer away from truth just enough to cause him to misinterpret other passages of Scripture by relying on a false viewpoint to understand another truth. As a result, the believer and Church is deviated further from the truth by more and more erroneous points of view. Christians believe they have the Bible to back them up, but, instead, they continuously see things through the eyes of a false set of beliefs. That is one reason there are so many denominations and conflicts within the universal Church. This is evidenced in John 3:1-13,
“There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: the same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you Earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.”
Jesus attempted to reveal truth to Nicodemus, but He was met with misunderstanding. Why? Because, like most of us, he was so far removed from truth by predetermined beliefs that he was not on the same page as Jesus. Nicodemus was so blinded by his own preconceived ideas that he could not understand the obvious nor see the truth. He was unable to grasp one simple statement because his understanding was based on erroneous preconceived beliefs that were not grounded in the Word. Nicodemus asked, “How can these things be?” Like much of the Church, he had accumulated a lot of knowledge that learned men had filled his mind with, but he did not know the truth. Jesus replied, “Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?” In other words, Jesus said, “Do you mean that you claim to be a teacher of truth to all of Israel and have access to all the revelations given to man by God and you still don’t even know the basic truths found in the Bible?”
The reality if that you can plant crops, build houses, cook food, clean houses, and raise a family, you can believe that the Earth is flat and, guess what, life will go on. However, you will never comprehend real truth because you are starting your understanding from a false preconceived idea. The Church finds itself, today, in much the state that Nicodemus was over 2000 years ago. We don’t know truth, but we can quote manmade doctrines and beliefs with zeal. We quote millions of books, authors, commentaries, television ministers, radio preachers, long dead saints, and good people from all over the world. Yet, we don’t understand what Jesus is actually saying because we hear only through ears of preconceived ideas. We only know what people have told us Jesus said and while they may sound spiritual, we don’t really know what Jesus said. Many of our beliefs are simply erroneous.
Now, if I haven’t shaken you up enough, let me point out another area where the Church is also wrong. The Church is fond of proclaiming that the Bible is the Word of God and that the Bible is infallible. However, even in this very sacred doctrine of the Church, they are very wrong. The Bible that they hold in their hands every Sunday morning, if they can find it from where they left it the week before, is not the Word of God. WOW!!! Now that’s a big statement – one that I hope makes everyone sit up and shout, “Are you crazy? Of course the Bible is the Word of God.”
To this, I must reply, “Sorry, the Bible is not the Word of God. It contains the Word of God, but the Bible contains many other things that are not the Word of God.” First, the Bible is actually only a translation of the original Word of God. That means that it is not going to be perfect because we are trying to restate in our own language and culture the thoughts of God given to men thousands of years ago. We are not perfect, so our translations cannot be perfect. Second, translators translate the Bible and they, like anyone else, translate with a personal perspectives and agendas in mind. I know that the Church proudly proclaims in their bylaws that they believe the Bible is the Word of God and without error. The Church needs to listen to the Bible that they claim to be without error. For those who bother to read the Bible, Jeremiah 8:8 states the very opposite:
Jeremiah 8:8 (NKJV)
How can you say, ‘We are wise, And the law of the LORD is with us’? Look, the false pen of the scribe certainly works falsehood.
The Bible states that the Scribes have tampered with the Word of God. During our examination of the Bible, we will discover that ungodly men, Kenites by name, became the Scribes of Israel and worked falsehood in the Bible. We will study this truth later. The fact is that we do not have the original texts of the Bible. The oldest original manuscripts that come to us in the original language of Hebrew or Greek, with some Aramaic thrown in, are the only writings that we can safely call the actual Word of God. The various translations of the original manuscripts into English come in many versions. The King James Version, the New International Version, the American Standard Version, the Message, the Living Bible, the Vulgate, or others are only translations of the original manuscripts. Other translations are made into hundreds of foreign language translations such as Spanish, French, Russian, Chinese, and others. The numbers of Bibles that exist in the world are huge, but we have to understand that each one of them is only a translation. Every Church has in its Statement of Beliefs or Doctrinal Statement a paragraph that will read something like this: We believe that the Bible is the Word of God. What many leave out is; We believe that the Bible is without error in the original manuscripts.
The leaders of the Church know that the various translations are not the actual Word of God. They know that only the original manuscripts can be trusted. Now, let me be clear that most of the translations that are made of the thousands of verses in the Bible are excellent. But, let me be clear also that there are passages in all of the translations of the Bible that are wrong. Human bias and perspective have caused them to make errors. Yet, we say that the Bible is the Word of God and never realize that we making an erroneous statement.
To understand what God is saying, you must go to the original language to see the original Hebrew or Greek words. Then, by using a translation source such as Strong’s Concordance, you can see that, in some cases, the translator chose to use English words that do not convey the original meaning. Your question should be, “Why?” It’s this simple. They are influenced by their own biases, perspectives, beliefs, prejudices, and agendas. They see something that seems to violate a core belief that they hold or one that the Church or Christian organization they belong to and they make adjustments in the translation to cover it. They aren’t even aware they are doing it, because they believe they are getting the translation to say what they think it should say.
On top of this, most people have erroneous ideas concerning what they think is truth and they’re certainly not going to let something like a passage of Scripture change their minds. They use excuses like: “That is a figure of speech” or “The culture was different then” or “I don’t believe everything that the Bible says.”
Face it! If we don’t know where we are going to spend eternity nor the difference between the Word of God and the Bible, what else do we not know? Too much, I am afraid. Therefore, this Bible Study is actually going to look at the Bible with a systematic look at the original language, culture, and history and seek the actual truth and not modern interpretation. To do this, let’s begin at the very beginning.
The Bible’s Time Line
A lot of confusion has arisen over the first two chapters of the first book found in the Bible. Genesis is suppose to be about beginnings, but it has turned into something else. Nearly all Christians and Churches have forced an interpretation unto Genesis that supports their stand against a theory of science called evolution. They have made their faith dependent on the Genesis story speaking against evolution. They have become dependent on this interpretation rather than listening to what God is saying about Himself and life.
Unless you are willing to forgo an obsession against evolution, you are already predisposed towards error. There is more to Genesis than this view. Open your heart and mind to the truth and everything else will fall into place including the truth about evolution.
Two things to remember:
Genesis does not tell us the minute details of how God created the heavens and Earth; it only tells us that He created. It is a generalization of history, not a detailed scientific thesis.
Genesis does not tell us how old the Earth is. Here is another falsity, quoted without blinking an eye, but one that is false just the same. The Church teaches that the Bible reveals the Earth is 6000 years old. Let me say it straight out – it’s a lie! In fact, nowhere in the Bible does it tell us how old the Earth is. Yet, I hear Pastors, Christians, and Churches state that the Earth is 6,000 years old and never ask themselves why they believe it to be true. Absolutely, nowhere in the Bible is this statement supported. In fact, there are no other legitimate sources that can be used to support such a statement.
Excuse me. They do have a source, but it is the only one. That source is based on the work of Archbishop James Ussher, who lived during the 16th and 17th centuries. Archbishop Ussher tried to determine the time of creation by calculating the life spans of biblical characters and their lineages backward from assumed dates in ancient history. He came up with a date of 4004 BC for the creation of heaven and Earth. He printed his conclusion and now, Churches and Pastors quote Archbishop Ussher as if he was inspired by the Holy Spirit and it was Scripture. Not only did the Archbishop have old concepts, ideas, understandings, and data to work with, his very premise is off. The Bible never claims to provide an unbroken genealogical record of anyone alive today. First, you can’t trace time back by the record given in the Bible. Second, you can’t expect a 16th or 17th century intellectual to be able to accomplish this feat. It can’t even be done today. Yet we quote Archbishop Ussher as the inspired source of the age of the universe. The fact is you wouldn’t accept any other thought or belief originating from the time of Ussher as being infallible. The knowledge they had about sickness, health, disease, science, relationships, space, national sovereignty, time, dental hygiene, travel, race relations, animal life, ocean life, tropical life, planets, inventions, government, human rights, women rights, geography, children’s right, education, or history was filled with myth, legend, and false logic. Not one person I know would accept that this age understood dental hygiene or surgical methods. They lacked basic knowledge. Yet, many people quote Ussher from this period as having discovered the age of the universe without a second thought. The reality is that the Bible repeatedly states that His works were old or ancient. Psalms 74:12-17 says:
But you, O God, are my king from of old; you bring salvation upon the Earth. It was you who split open the sea by your power; you broke the heads of the monster in the waters. It was you who crushed the heads of Leviathan and gave him as food to the creatures of the desert. It was you who opened up springs and streams; you dried up the ever flowing rivers. The day is yours, and yours also the night; you established the sun and moon. It was you who set all the boundaries of the Earth; you made both summer and winter.
Once again, many Christians and Churches are teaching and accepting false assumptions as truth and ascribing them to the Bible when, in fact, they are found nowhere in the Bible. Using Archbishop Ussher as a reliable source of truth and covering it with Biblical authority simply because it supports your predetermine beliefs is not only scary, it downright dangerous. In fact, it’s heretical.
Therefore, we will examine the Bible through the lens of the Bible as we search for truth.
1. In the beginning, God created the heaven and the Earth.
2. 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 (Strong’s Hebrew Reference Numbers)
1. |7225| In the beginning |1254| created |0430| God |0853| - |8064| the heavens |0853| and |0776| the Earth
2. |0776| and the Earth |1961| was |8414| without form |0922| and empty, |2822| and darkness |5921| on |6440| the surface of |8415| the deep |7307| and the Spirit of |0430| God |7363| moving gently |5921| on |6440| the surface of |4325| the waters.
Verse 1 states simply that God created the heavens and Earth. Hebrews 11:3 says that God created all that we see from that which is not seen.
Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
The heavens, which were created, were the two heavens of atmosphere and space, but not the Third Heaven or the abode of God. It was already in existence and, as far as we know, has always been in existence. The Hebrew word for ‘heaven’ in this verse is in the dual singular, which means two heavens that are treated as one heaven. We have the same usage in English when we speak of wearing a pair of pants. We say a pair, which means two in most cases, but in this instance, we actually mean one. In reference to ‘heaven’ in verse 1, it means that God created the 1st and 2nd heavens, which are the atmosphere and outer space. This took place along with creating Earth. We know He created the Earth because verse 2 speaks of its sad condition. It states that the Earth was without form and empty or void.