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FAITHWALKERS OF GENESIS: ADAM (1)

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      Regarding what the Lord Jesus requires of Christians, we have the benefit of ancient Hebrew history. We can discover from their example the spiritual definition of obedience. We can know what honors the Lord and what does not.

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       The origin of what Biblical historians call Yahwism, which many centuries later developed into the rudimentary forms of early Judaism, began with a few solitary men wandering in vast open wilderness regions and barren deserts. The population of the planet was a small fraction of what it became in later ages, and a man could wander for great stretches and never see another. Such boundless open scenery and limitless night skies, ablaze with distant starlight and an ever-phasing meandering moon, set loose the imagination of these nomads and awakened cosmic wonder regarding Creation. Some paid more attention than others.

STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND   

         Many centuries earlier, after the fall of Adam and Eve and their banishment from the garden, they wandered in the wilds for 130 years on a subsistence diet doing whatever they must to survive. They had been separated from God by sin and severed from communication with Him, and their own relationship with each other was no doubt often strained to the point of breaking. Every day brought another reminder of their calamitous disobedience and rebellion, and how the new god they had chosen had abandoned them soon after and caused disaster. Adding to their torment, Adam and Eve’s good son Abel, the one from whom the Messiah would have descended, had been murdered in his relative youth over a century before.

         Amid this dismal backdrop, we have a better understanding of the depressing condition of Adam’s protracted life in exile. After long decades of worry and introspection, and vainly seeking an unknown undiscoverable land of comfort and rest, if only a brief oasis, Adam at last surrendered. There in the midst of a stark and unforgiving landscape so unlike the wonderful abundant garden of his early memories, he found a place of repentance: He got right with God. As the fruit of obedience, joy returned, and they were immediately blessed:

         Adam had relations with his wife again; and she gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, for, she said, “God has appointed me another offspring in place of Abel, for Cain killed him.” To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then men began to call upon the name of the LORD. [Genesis 4:25-26] [1]   

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.  


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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BIBLICAL WIKILEAKS (2): Exposing the Rip-Off Plan (Listen Up, Real Christian)

         Every Real Christian has a vineyard granted by the Lord Jesus. The vineyard is a Christian’s ministry. It is the specific spiritual work belonging only to each Real Christian.

         No one else is responsible for it. The only way to possess it is by first giving oneself to the Lord 100%. It is His gift. The only way to keep it and make it function is to possess it fully, be responsible for it, guard and protect it, and work it always. This is how it becomes and remains fruitful.

         It is the Lord Jesus who chooses the particular vineyard for each of His children. He puts a longing and desire for it in one’s heart. Once receiving it, the believer wants to do nothing else but answer the call, throw oneself into the work, make the work productive, do his or her part, and thus please the Lord. It is a Real Christian’s entire reason for being and only ultimate purpose for living.

THE GARDEN BEFORE THE FALL

         The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. [Genesis 2:8]

         Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. [Genesis 2:15]

         One will note the following:

         (1) It is the Lord’s garden. He planted it.

         (2) In the Hebrew, the garden is defined as “an enclosure.”

         (3) The Garden of Eden was specifically an enclosed fruit tree orchard.

         (4) The Lord created Adam, chose Adam, and put Adam into His garden.

         (5) Adam had two jobs to do with reference to the garden:

         1. He had to cultivate it. This meant he had to work it and make it productive and fruitful.

         2. He had to keep it. This meant he had to be responsible for it, guard it, and protect it against all enemies.

         We know from the initial text of Genesis 2 that Adam did a great job and that the Lord was pleased with him. The garden was very fruitful. He worked very hard to make it productive. He began expanding it into territory previously occupied by wild nature. He was taking dominion of the earth as the Lord instructed him to do.

         Also, Adam fought off the serpent who wanted to rip him off. There was always a battle, especially on the periphery. Yet Adam slowly expanded the garden and took fruitfulness into the land of wildness where everything grew of its own accord without a gardener, and where “there was no man to cultivate the ground” (Genesis 2:5). In time, he would expand the garden over the entire planet. The devil never deceived Adam. Adam never gave in to the serpent’s temptations.

         In these two things, cultivating the garden and keeping it, Adam excelled. He honored the Lord. To separate faithful Adam from the Lord’s garden of which Adam was in charge, the enemy had to resort to another plan of attack. He eventually found a way around Adam’s dominion. The devil ripped him off.

NABOTH’S VINEYARD

         Naboth was an honorable man who possessed a vineyard. The vineyard had been passed down to him as a family heritage. Naboth’s Vineyard was located next to the palace of King Ahab, a notorious jerk and wicked Hebrew king of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. The inference in Scripture is that Naboth’s Vineyard predated Ahab’s palace.

         Keep in mind that Hebrew kings were never supposed to exist in the first place and only did exist because the ancient Hebrew people rejected the Lord God as their King and demanded mere sinful men to reign in His place. The sad tale of Naboth’s Vineyard is one more lurid example of what happens when men leave their proper place in God and give themselves over to selfishness and evil. Explosive sin and corruption, as evil fruit, always results.

         Naboth was an Old Testament type of Real Christian with a spiritual ministry granted by the Lord. To separate faithful Naboth from the Lord’s vineyard of which Naboth was in charge, the enemy had to resort to another plan of attack. He eventually found a way around Naboth’s dominion. The devil ripped him off:

         Now it came about after these things that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard which was in Jezreel beside the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. Ahab spoke to Naboth, saying, “Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden because it is close beside my house, and I will give you a better vineyard than it in its place; if you like, I will give you the price of it in money.” But Naboth said to Ahab, “The LORD forbid me that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers.”

JEZEBEL STRIKES AGAIN

         So Ahab came into his house sullen and vexed because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him; for he said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers.” And he lay down on his bed and turned away his face and ate no food. But Jezebel his wife came to him and said to him, “How is it that your spirit is so sullen that you are not eating food?” So he said to her, “Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite and said to him, ‘Give me your vineyard for money; or else, if it pleases you, I will give you a vineyard in its place.’ But he said, ‘I will not give you my vineyard.’” Jezebel his wife said to him, “Do you now reign over Israel? Arise, eat bread, and let your heart be joyful; I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.”

POLITICAL SKULLDUGGERY

         So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name and sealed them with his seal, and sent letters to the elders and to the nobles who were living with Naboth in his city. Now she wrote in the letters, saying, “Proclaim a fast and seat Naboth at the head of the people; and seat two worthless men before him, and let them testify against him, saying, ‘You cursed God and the king.’ Then take him out and stone him to death.” So the men of his city, the elders and the nobles who lived in his city, did as Jezebel had sent word to them, just as it was written in the letters which she had sent them. They proclaimed a fast and seated Naboth at the head of the people. Then the two worthless men came in and sat before him; and the worthless men testified against him, even against Naboth, before the people, saying, “Naboth cursed God and the king.” So they took him outside the city and stoned him to death with stones.

HATE, MURDER, RIP OFF

         Then they sent word to Jezebel, saying, “Naboth has been stoned and is dead.” When Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned and was dead, Jezebel said to Ahab, “Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth, the Jezreelite, which he refused to give you for money; for Naboth is not alive, but dead.” When Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, Ahab arose to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.

AHAB JUSTICE

         Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, “Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who is in Samaria; behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth where he has gone down to take possession of it. You shall speak to him, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD, “Have you murdered and also taken possession?”’ And you shall speak to him, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD, “In the place where the dogs licked up the blood of Naboth the dogs will lick up your blood, even yours.”’” [1Kings 21:1-19] [1]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.] 

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church 


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Portals of Progress (Part 5)

         For those who have read the full series thus far, you may have noticed the roundabout nature of the subject matter, in that what started out in Part 1 as an urging to step forth through a portal of spiritual growth has gone full circle regarding what happened to our first parents.

         The devil fooled ‘em. No doubt about that. And for those who desire a real walk with God, the enemy will attempt to fool them too.

         As a result, for many, a wholesome healthy fear of getting it wrong has resulted in an unwholesome unhealthy paralysis brought on by fear that one will get it wrong. And rather than possibly mess up one’s life by seeking to climb a spiritual mountain by the Lord’s direction and fail, one will almost always obey the tendency to leave well enough alone and be satisfied with much less or dead religion.

         In that light, we must always remember that the Lord is trying to get us back to the Garden.

         This process, dubbed by the Lord as the narrow road with a small narrow entry, is mandatory for the real Christian, of course, but substitutes are much more comfortable. The majority of that which is called Christianity, which I call Unreal Christianity, has institutionalized the comfortable way, as a third way, of which none actually exists.

         The Lord called this comfortable way the broad way. It is the way of the world, the way so easy anyone can walk it, and the way leading in the direct opposite direction of the Garden. Due to such overpowering religious indoctrination and conditioning, most “Christians” fear the real road and thus see the real gate as the wrong gate.

         Here is the Lord’s instruction:

         “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” [Matthew 7:13-14]

         Sadly, Christians who drive down Broadway end up at the same place as unrepentant sinners. Imagine all the wasted effort that went into a Christian life that never included full obedience to the Lord, as if some could invent their own more suitable path, and one will understand better what Adam and Eve wasted. They had it all and then they blew it. Believe it or not, they got religious. The forbidden fruit was said to make them wise and be like God and the angels, but it did just the opposite.

         Faux Christians have a very hard time seeing this, but it was the exact problem embraced by the Pharisees. They ate the forbidden fruit. They continued to eat it. They turned eating it into religious practice. As a result they became children of the devil.

         This is why the Lord made the following curious statement to the religious hierarchy—the chief priests and elders:

         “But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go work today in the vineyard.’ And he answered, ‘I will not’; but afterward he regretted it and went.

         “The man came to the second and said the same thing; and he answered, ‘I will, sir’; but he did not go.

         “Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.”

         Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you that the tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you.

         “For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him; but the tax collectors and prostitutes did believe him; and you, seeing this, did not even feel remorse afterward so as to believe him.” [Matthew 21:28-32] [1]

         These religious people were so bound up in religion they repeatedly rejected the kingdom, exactly the same way so many “Christians” reject the kingdom and the real portal to it.

         And remember, the Lord Jesus called Himself the Door, so He is the Real Portal.

         This rejection of the real road for the sake of honoring one’s religious tradition is the height of spiritual blindness, something the Lord talked about often.

         Adam and Eve saw everything from the opposite perspective of us and still got it wrong. They already had Paradise and went through a portal they thought would lead to greater paradise, which of course did not exist. Most Christians see the kingdom of heaven the Lord Jesus brought to this world as whatever they might currently possess even though the kingdom they claim to be within has none of the evidence the real kingdom possesses.

         Unreal Christianity is a faux spiritual kingdom and its leaders warn their subjects to never venture outside it, just as the Lord teaches we must do the opposite. Hence, such unreal Christians are afraid to enter the Real Portal and travel the straight and narrow road as commanded by the Lord. They routinely violate His commands, and have been taught to refuse the full instruction of the Lord and the original apostles, just as the Pharisees did.

         But the disparaged tax collectors and prostitutes were not burdened with any religious yokes and were thus able to enter the kingdom relatively quickly compared to the religionists, who for all practical purposes in this day and age are predominantly “Christian,” since such people claim to already have the full Gospel when they don’t, and religious pride keeps them bound up in grave clothes even though the Lord continually tries to call them forth from their respective tombs.

         © 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.