ORIGIN OF MAN
If you like titles, you might try the following for this section, Origin Of The Originals.
The secular anthropologist has a dim view of man. They view him as only an integrated part of the natural order. He has form, and must obey the same laws of nature as the other animal life. He is like a laboratory where chemicals are processed. He takes in materials for his own use and processes them as do the other animals.
It would seem that our mothers missed the boat when they named us. My name should be S-D Laboratories. If man is nothing but one of the animals and nothing more than a part of the natural order then man is a product of nature, rather than God. We know better because of the knowledge we gain from the Word.
The two major systems of thought today, as to the origin of man are Evolution and Biblical creationism. The evolutionary side is based on speculation, conjecture and assumption and lots of the latter. Biblical creationism is based upon the Revelation of God to man. It is truth in all that it communicates and can be accepted as such.
The evolutionist offers many proofs, but no Proof as such. They have presented many things over the years and Christianity has been kind enough to shoot all of them down. Indeed, evolution had been laid to rest in the religious circles as a false teaching, until a few years ago when Carl Sagan decided to make a bundle of money on the resurrected evolutionary theories of the past. He is a very good communicator and has been able to gain the capital to produce some very fine television shows to push his new, yet old ideas.
Within the evolutionary proponents we have two basic camps. The out and out evolutionist that holds to the Darwinian thinking and the Biblical people that want to allow for the evolutionist in Biblical circles (These are the Theistic evolutionists).
The proponents of evolution usually set forth the following items as basic to their theory.
I will just quote these. I found these comments in Hodge’s Systematic Theology page 240. (Gross, Edward N., editor; “Systamatic Theology”/Abridged Edition; Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1988.)
1. “First, like begets like; this is the law of heredity, according to which the offspring is like the parent through out the vegetable and animal world.”
2. “Second, while in all that is essential the offspring is like the parent, it always differs more or less from its progenitor; this is the law of variation. The variations are sometimes deteriorations, sometimes indifferent, sometimes improvements, that is, such as enable the plant or animal more advantageously to exercise its functions.” (I was taller than my father, yet just as bald.)
3. “Third, as plants and animals increase in a geometrical ratio, they tend to outrun enormously the means of support, and this of necessity gives rise to a continued and universal struggle for life.”
4. “Fourth, we have the Law of Natural Selection. In this struggle the fittest survive; that is, those individuals which have an accidental variation
of structure which renders them superior to their fellows in the struggle for existence survive and transmit that peculiarity to their offspring. This is ‘natural selection’;i.e., nature, without intelligence or purpose, selects the individuals best adapted to continue and to improve the race. It is by the operation of these few principles that in the course of countless ages all
the diversified forms of vegetables and animals have been produced.”
The theistic evolutionist holds to evolution, but sees God as the prime starter of all these processes. There are variations on this thinking as well.
God, in Genesis one and two, is very clear in what He is trying to communicate to man. He mentions very specifically just how he went about the creation of the universe, as well as man. If we do not accept Genesis one and two as truth, then that record must be held as untruth, or lies. Can you imagine telling God that He is a liar? That is what the evolutionist and Theistic evolutionists are doing. Think about that one for awhile.
Not only does the Scripture tells us very dramatically in Genesis of the creation, but the Bible also goes on to mention the creation many times more in other portions of the Word. This is very emphatic that the Lord created.
Not only do the doubters call the Lord a liar, but they also are casting insults toward Him. The next time you talk to an evolutionist you might ask him if he really wants to be part of a system that makes God out a liar.
If we leave God out of the creation then we have a lack of many things. We do not have any direction for the universe and ourselves, other than what man might dream up. We have no reason to be moral people. We are products of the goo of past ages so why should we be moral.
Indeed, this is why the movies and the television shows are going totally down hill. They have no standards. The standards have basically been lifted, and all is go.
The illegitimate birth rate is soaring and why? No standards in our society.
It is strictly okay to have a baby and raise it as a single parent, so many are doing just that.
Divorce rates are terribly high. Why? No standards of marriage. Marriage is a try it, and if you like it keep it, situation in our society today.
Abortion is rampant in our country. Why? There is no standard for life. The law says that these children do not exist as life thus they have no value.
If there is no standard then every person is his own standard. I recently saw an interview of a man that had killed another man in the process of a robbery. He was convicted and put away for life. His reaction was one of total indignation. He had done nothing wrong. He had shot a gun, but the dumb person that died was at fault. He ran in front of the gun. His philosophy was that he had done no wrong, and that he had no responsibility.
That is the end result of evolution and humanism. On the other hand the Bible and creation demands much higher of man. Since we are told that we are created in His image then it is also somewhat indicated that we should act in His image as well. You might jot down 1 Peter 1:16; Matthew 5:48 for future reference as well.
We are to be conformed to the image of Christ. We can only do that as we conform to the dictates of the Scriptures. This is where our morals will come from.
Chafer states that if we leave the Bible and God out of the origin of man that we can look to tadpoles for moral standards. If God and the Bible are left out then man is left to dream up his own theologies, and that he does. That is why we have so many cults and isms around today.
Many have realized that the Genesis one and two accounts of the creation are different, yet very similar. This is explainable as follows. Some feel that chapter one is an introduction, and that chapter two fills in the gaps of one. This is the method of some Hebrew writings. They are like the modern day speaker that tells em what he’s going to say, then he tells em what he wants to say, and then he tells em what he has just said in the hope that they heard what he said.
Some suggest that one is mankind in general and that two is speaking specifically of Adam. Chafer suggests the term Cosmical in relation to it being mankind and the term physiological in relation to Adam specifically.
No matter how this similarity is explained, the final result must be that both relate to the creation of the heavens and the earth by the supreme Being, God.
Genesis 1:27 seems to speak quite specifically about the subject of creation. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Since God mentions it three times in one verse it might be indicated that God believes that He is the creator. God did it, He said it, we believe it because faith allows it (Heb 11:3).
Within man’s abilities of observation, there are things which tend to confuse us. The evolutionist on the one hand says that we descend from the monkey. As we observe the monkey, we can see that we are similar. On the other hand God tells us that He created the animals, and then another order, man. We may see similarity to ourselves in the monkey, yet we know from the Word that there is a major difference. We can respond to the Creator and the monkey can only respond to his surrounding and needs.
We, as man, have many similarities with the animal world. If you have ever been to the zoo and watched the monkeys you can certainly see some remarkable similarities. We went to the Colorado Springs Zoo years ago and I was especially taken by one large monkey that was sitting on a shelf in the top of his cage all slouched down like I do to watch TV. He wasn’t watching TV, but he was sure observing the foolish creatures that were passing by him. His actions, and facial expressions made me feel like he was about to get up and come over to me for a long conversation.
Man may have many similarities however we have one very prominent and distinct dissimilarity. Man Has A Spiritual Nature And There Is No Animal That Has This. We Are Formed In The Divine Image.
Genesis does not allow for an evolution for Adam. He was created complete and mature. The fact that Adam was created mature is indicated by the following: 1. No pacifier, formula or diapers are mentioned. 2. He was told to tend the garden. This would require mature motor skills to operate in such a manner. 3. He spoke with God, thus he had speech skills. By the way how do you suppose he felt the moment that he became conscious? Did God create him with memories? Did Adam have a knowledge of God built in? Did he come with completed memory banks concerning gardening and family life?
God created Adam as an adult, and as a complete being in all respects. There were no recalls on the defective model.
One question that has come to many minds is, “When did God create?” There are many theories and ideas. Mark Usher has a system of dating that appears in some Bibles, but most feel that he is probably quite a way off.
We don’t really know when creation took place. There is a feeling that is fairly general today that creation would have been four to 6,000 years before Christ.
Usher used the genealogies of the Old Testament to figure out his dating system. Part of the problem of using the genealogies in the Old Testament is that there may be several generations between names of which we are not aware. There is indication, according to those that study genealogies that the term begat in the Old Testament may well refer to decent of families rather than a direct offspring.
Even in the time of the prophets there is some guess work involved in assembling a chronology and set of dates. Some of the kings dates are given in different ways and authorities differ some on dates even in that period.
There is no real way of dating the creation. Indeed, I see little value in knowing, for the evolutionist would not believe it even if we could prove that it was Feb. 29th 5500 B.C.
When it comes to creation there are some that believe there was a long period of time between creation and the time of the Patriarchs, because of the vast number of cultures and civilizations that we have in history. This is not necessarily so. If we remember at the Tower of Babel, things were a bit disturbed. The nations would have come from the language problem which God created. The cultures also would have come from the people scattering and beginning again.
It is easy to see that man of all cultures and civilizations are descended from one source, and that source Noah, or ultimately Adam. In fact in the late 80’s scientists decided that all of mankind was descended from a woman they called EVE. This common ancestry of man is called the unity of man.
Pardington has a section on the unity of man that I would like to adapt for you (Pardington, Revelation George P. Ph.D.; “Outline Studies In Christian Doctrine”; Harrisburg, PA: Christian Publications, 1926, p 140- 141). He views the unity of the race from four aspects:
From History: History seems to indicate that there was a common ancestry for all races, centered in Central Asia.
From Language: There is evidence that all major languages come from one original language. The lesser languages could certainly flow from that one original language as well.
From Psychology: There is a commonness to all races in the mind games that we play. We all have a concept of right and wrong, though it varies from race to race. The mental capacities are similar to all races, at the same level of maturation. Many of the myths of the races indicate a common origin as well.
From Physiology: Man, no matter the race has a similar physiology. The heart rate is similar, any race can mate with any other, and the average temperature is similar. All races are susceptible to all diseases.
The Bible tells us what happened and we can by faith accept it. Man on the other hand, in his lost state, does not want to accept anything that the Bible has to say, so usually allows himself to create new and better theories that are based on very little evidence, truth or knowledge.
I trust that if you have any doubts in the area of the creation, that you will simply accept, by faith, the Scriptural account. I have always said, that it would take more faith to hold to evolution, that it does to accept creationism.
I would like to look at some introductory information before we move into the makeup of material man. Before we look at man, we need to consider his creation.
There are many theories of the creation, indeed most civilizations seem to have their own view of the creation. They vary from a struggle between earth and water producing creation, to the struggle of good and evil producing creation. One account even involves a cow. One of the oriental theories of creation involved a being diving into the waters and bringing forth a blob of mud and producing things. A look at an encyclopedia will produce some of these accounts.
Creation according to the Scripture was an act of God. It is a simple statement of what He did. God did not attempt to prove His involvement in creation, He just stated the facts as they are. I will list a few texts that relate to the creation. (Genesis 1:1ff; Matthew 19:4; Romans 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:45-49; 1 Timothy 2:13.)
The when of creation is another question. Many believe that there is need of millions of years between now and the original creation.
The philologist [one who studies literature or language] believes that it takes ages to develop languages into the forms that we have and would call for more time. They reject the thought however, that Adam communicated with God immediately in the garden. They also reject the Genesis account of the languages stemming from the tower of Babel. (Genesis 11)
Polygenism holds that each distinct species of man came about from separate creations. I suspicion that the Arian nation movement would believe in this. Some of them believe that they were a creation of God that was separate from all other races, and that they were the superior “God blessed” nation.
Pre-adamitism holds that man existed before Adam. Adam was the head of only a specific group of peoples. This allows for the giants of David’s time and of Moses time.
Bishop Ussher set down and worked through the Old Testament genealogies and arrived at a dating system for the Old Testament. His system appeared in the margin of many Bibles in the past. His dating system is not widely held today. Chafer deals quite well with the information concerning Bishop Ussher’s dating. (Chafer, Lewis Sperry; “SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY”; Dallas, TX: Dallas Seminary Press, 1947, Vol. II)
Many feel that there should be several thousand years added to the date of Bishop Ussher. The extra one to three thousand years set forth by some today allows for some of the scientific facts and is not detrimental to the Biblical records.
It doesn’t really matter how old the earth is as long as it’s only a few thousand years. The problem arises when it is asked that the creative act be set millions of years in the past.
There are some scientists which demand millions of years for the formation of parts of the earth however they forget that Adam was created a mature man — with age. Is it not also likely that God would create a mature earth? That is, an earth that appears to have age. This would include the fossils etc.
The theory of evolution was laid to rest many years ago by Biblical scholars. Mark Carl Sagan decided to make some dollars and dug up all the old ideas and brushed them off, made them presentable, and now we are covering the same territory. Many good books on the subject are available.
Why didn’t God specify the year in which He created Adam? He gives great detail in other areas of history — Ezra and Nehemiah kept good records — the genealogies of the patriarchs and prior men of God. Why not “In the beginning, in the year of Adam 6031 BC, in the 7th month, and the 2nd day, God created.”? Well, maybe we should make that the 1st month and 1st day. Why didn’t God let us in on the date? We don’t really know.
If both Evolution and Creationism have to be accepted by faith then why not accept by faith, the Word of a God that promises to do wonderful things for you, rather than to accept by faith the word of a theory that is going to make you the knee jerk response of nature?
How do we use this in everyday life? Almighty God was DIRECTLY involved in making mankind. If God was interested enough to create man then He must have a very high level of interest in mankind.
God’s interest is illustrated by Allan Knight Chalmers. “There is a striking word picture in Middleton Murry’s ‘Jesus Man of Genius’. It pictures the lonely God at the end of a long corridor behind a great curtain waiting for man to come near enough so that God could speak to him. In beautiful prose the author makes you feel the awful tension of man’s footsteps sounding hollowly on the bare floor of the echoing corridor as man dares a little further toward the deepening gloom of the coridor’s end. Time and again God’s aching heart longed for man to pass the curtain that the Word might be spoken, but always there was fear before the end and the sound of retreating footsteps until Jesus came. He, daring to pass the veil, let the lonely heart of God find rest.” (Stuber, Stanley I. and Clark, Thomas Curtis; “Treasury Of The Christian Faith”; New York: Association Press, 1949, p 318)
A God so vitally interested in mankind that He created, that He sent His only Son — That Is A God That Is Worth Communicating With…
I have to wonder if the Lord isn’t still in this straight of waiting and waiting for his children to come to talk? He removed the fear, for we can go boldly before Him, yet many so seldom do. Hebrews 4:16, “Let us, therefore, come boldly unto the throne of grace. . . .” Prayer is so rich — free — yet we fail to do it. It is free, it causes no rash, it has no calories, it won’t tarnish or rust, it causes no stains, and yet we won’t meet with God.
One final line of thinking. In Genesis 2:8 it mentions “man whom he had formed.” God formed man. No one would argue that the birds are considerably less impressive than man, as life forms go. (Matthew 6:26 agrees that man is more important. God tells us the birds are fed by Him. Matthew 10:31 states we are “of more value than many sparrows.” Verse 28 tells us not to fear those that do ill to us. God knows when a sparrow falls, 10:29.) If God is interested in the birds, then He must have a much greater interest in man. God must care for man greatly — He cares more for us than sparrows, yet feeds and keeps track of the birds. We have a great value before Him.
We have heard of self-worth, of self-image etc. Our only value is not in what we see in us, or what others see in us, but in the value that we have before God. Many today are in trouble because they look to others for value, when they ought to be looking to their creator.
At the same time God the Son was helping in the creation of man He knew, He one day would have to go through the agony of the cross for Adam and his seed. That is love, to create the cause of your future agony. God the Father knew of the cost to Himself in giving His son for a race of sinners.
One must know that the purposes of God in creating man were of supreme importance — else why submit to the cost involved? Then to top it off He has to seek and save the lost, because man turned against Him. Even after He has saved them, He must then use the tools of conviction, chastisement etc. to keep the believer on an even walk with Him. Why does He do it? LOVE.
MATERIAL MAN EXAMINED
Man’s body houses his soul and spirit while alive. When his body dies and is planted in the ground it becomes the seed for his glorified — eternal body. No, I can’t explain it, but we need to consider some of the possible questions related to man’s material make up.
Genesis 2:7 tells us, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Man was created from the dust of the earth; there was something missing. God completed the work by breathing in the breath of life.
When God breathed in the breath of life was the life for an endless existence? From all indications there was some idea in God’s mind of Adam continuing on indefinitely. This is not the same as the eternal life that is provided now.
The life Adam had would have continued on with, had he not sinned, would have resulted in his not having to go through death. We are not told the details of what his existence would have been like had he not sinned.
We since the fall, must go through death to come to eternal life (unless the Lord comes first).
Our existence seems to show that God had a purpose in creating man. That purpose is seen in the fact that we are unique from the animals in a number of ways. Speech, soul and spirit. We must however, by His creative act depend upon His creation for continued life. We must consume of the fruit of the dust of the earth to live. (“In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” Genesis 3:19)
I read a story some time ago about a parent that had explained this passage to a little child. A few days later the child hollered at the parent and said, “Hey Mom. There is a pile of dust under my bed. I’m not sure if they are coming or going.”
We Will Return To The Earth From Which We Came. You can accumulate all the cash and homes and toys that you want, but you are still going to return to dust.
Chafer mentions that there is a unity between the body and soul — that there is no sense of distinction between the two. Can we agree with that? True the soul is linked to the body, in that the soul is basically contained in the brain, a physical part of the body. I know what he is saying and I’m not sure that I disagree, however I believe that there may be a small sense of a division between the soul and body as people age.
I have read of old people that tell that they are 20 year olds trapped in a worn out body that won’t function any more. I have the same sensation at times. I look in the mirror some mornings and can’t believe that old man in the mirror is I. I’m still about 20 years old and going fine on the inside, yet the outside is slowing down. I find that my eyes will not see as well as I remember them working. I find that my fingers are not as good at working with small pieces as they used to. My mind knows how the fingers should function, but the fingers will not function as my mind instructs. I feel that as we age, there may be a sense of division between the soul and body. Indeed, for the believer there seems to be an anticipation of a final division so that the soul can function as it desires without the limitations of the body. Eternity will be great.
Man’s body and soul are separable by death, yet we must rejoice in the fact that they will be reunited one day with some minor changes. The new body will be a much improved model that won’t wear out. 2 Corinthians 4:16 may sum up what I’ve been trying to say. “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” The outward is perishing while the inward is continuing.
Adam’s material body seems to have been subject to death on the long term basis, otherwise there would have been no need for the tree of life. The tree of life will be in the eternal state as well, which brings some to think that the glorified body will be similar to Adams pre-fall body. (Revelation 22:2 mentions the tree of life in the eternal state.) We will look at this a little later in this section.
By the nature of our bodies they are constantly rejuvenating. They add new cells as the old are lost. There is some indication that this process of rejuvenation is slowed and hindered by the ageing process.
The Fact We Must Face Is That Death Is Always The Winner In The Conflict in this fallen state of man. The glory is that every person’s body will be raised one day. Both the lost and the saved have eternal existence from the point of conception. (John 5:26-29; Acts 24:15.)
We are told a little about the believers glorified body but we are not told of the lost persons eternal condition. We know that they will be in torment and much of that sort of thing, but not much of the physical make up of things. It may be that the lost person’s eternal body will be similar in nature to the glorified body of the believer. We do not know.
The old body as we have mentioned is a seed for the new body. As the grain of seed goes into the soil to rot and spring forth in new life, so our body is planted and rots to spring forth one day unto new form.
A question that often arises in this context is this, “Is it wrong for a believer to be cremated?” There are some that believe that it is, and that the Old Testament shows this to be true. They base this on the idea that destruction and judgment in the Old Testament are often by fire.
The problem with this is the fact that believers have died in house fires. Believers have been dismembered with limbs left in foreign countries etc.
Sailors are buried at sea and their bodies are completely assimilated by the ocean. If cremation is wrong then there are many that are in trouble with their Lord because of circumstances beyond their control. (Those being burned to death in house fires, etc.)
God can bring forth ALL bodies no matter where they are, no matter how badly they have decayed, or no matter how they were buried.
MATERIAL MAN AND REDEMPTION
The body soul and spirit are all involved in the wonderful redemption that God has provided for us. 1 Corinthians 15:42 and following mentions the following contrast in relation to our bodies.
SOWN IN CORRUPTION
RAISED IN INCORRUPTION
SOWN IN DISHONOR
RAISED IN GLORY
SOWN IN WEAKNESS
RAISED IN POWER
SOWN A NATURAL BODY
RAISED A SPIRITUAL BODY
Sown as Paul uses it has to do with burial, yet is better than the term bury for bury has a finality to it that sown does not have. Sown has the idea carried with it of new life coming forth, while buried seems to have the idea of finality.
Another term that the New Testament mentions in relation to death is sleep. This again shows an idea of something that is non permanent. The sleeping, awaken. When believers die they are not permanently out of business. We will again have existence, indeed we never cease to exist, only change plains of existence.
The rapture is the changing point for the believer. If he is dead the Lord will resurrect his body and unite body, soul and spirit. If the believer is alive then they will be changed. The how of that change is unknown to us. Whether there is just an instant change of the body or whether the person dies and is instantly changed is not clear. I personally would opt for just an instant change, and not passing through death.
Chafer seems to hold to this view as well, as he mentions that the living at the rapture will have immortality. He is very specific that only those living at the rapture will have this quality.
There are a couple of terms for us to consider in relation to man and sin.
Mediate Sin is the idea that we receive the sin nature from Adam through generation, or at birth. This speaks of the sin nature that we have when we are conceived. It is that natural bent toward sin and wrong.
Immediate when used in relation to sin is that we all were placed under the curse of death when Adam sinned. We were in his loins. Hebrews 7:9- 10 may help you with this idea. We were under the curse of death, but we will die at a later time.
Intermediate Body: Chafer presents a doctrine that might be fun for you to toy around with. He mentions that God will provide us after death with an intermediate body. This body will serve us until our soul and spirit are united with our bodies.
I am not sure that the text he uses to prove this, really proves this, but it might make for a good study for you some evening when you don’t have anything to do. I have some things that I would want answered before accepting this teaching. He suggests 2 Corinthians 5:1-8.
Some thoughts that relate:
1. If, when we die God gives us a temporary body to dwell in the heavenlies, why wouldn’t God just resurrect the old one instead of creating a temporary one. There needs to be an act of God either way, so why create a temporary one now and then resurrect one later and dispose of the temporary? This does not seem to be the action of a logical God.
2. There is no reason for us to need a temporary body in particular. Chafer mentions that we will be uncomfortable as disembodied spirits and will desire a body. I cannot speak to the comfort or discomfort of a disembodied spirt, as yet, but since we are spirit beings in the afterlife, the need for a body — material — seems illogical. (I will mention that the spirits that Christ cast out of the demonic possessed man, sought embodiment in the swine, thus possibly indicating that spirits seek embodiment.)
3. What will happen to all those intermediate bodies that are no longer needed?
4. In relation to his proof text: It would be easier to interpret the passage along the lines that we are in this life, naked in comparison to our future heavenly body. Or this may mean that we will never be naked once the heavenly is put on, as Lenski mentions. This groaning would be concerning our strong desire for our heavenly body. To say that we are groaning over the possibility of being naked, or to say that there is an intermediate body, is to read much into the text.
Lenski views the nakedness as mentioned previously, and sees the body as the earthly and the glorified body as the heavenly. He mentions “heavenly life” in reference to the building from God. (Lenski, R.C.H.; “The Interpretation Of St. Paul’s First And Second Epistles To The Corinthians”; Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, pp 1000ff)
5. If there is an intermediate body, when Paul is speaking of the physical body being the seed for the heavenly, was he speaking of the heavenly intermediate, or the heavenly glorified? The intermediate body idea seems to be a cumbersome doctrine to hold.
6. God is a spirit and needs no body. Why would we “have” to have a body?
In Volume two, page 145 Chafer states that man is “Related in two directions — to substance and to spirit existence.” He mentions this in the context of creation. God formed the body of material items, then breathed in the spiritual part of man. Indeed, we are a combination being.
Q. What practical thought can we give to this thought that we are literally both physical and spiritual beings, at this point in our existence?
1. We might consider whether a person can be drawn to one side to the exclusion of the other side. Yes, would have to be the answer. Someone that has allowed alcohol to become a habit is in essence giving himself over to following after the substance side of himself. There will be little if any thought to the spiritual. It normally is that time when the alcoholic gives his mind to the spiritual needs, which he will finally do something about the physical.
2. On the other hand, can a person give themselves over to the spiritual to the exclusion of the substance? Yes. It is not uncommon for ministers and missionaries to give themselves over to the spiritual life and endeavor, so as to refuse themselves relaxation and a time of healing of body and mind.
We might add at this point, that both saved and lost are thusly related to both physical and spiritual. The lost are not as concerned with the spiritual, yet it often comes up in their lives.
By way of practical application you might consider how you approach different situations of life in your ministry. At particular times the believer, as well as the nonbeliever, is totally occupied in one realm or the other. This is not wrong necessarily as we will see, however dwelling in one area too long can be detrimental.
Consider the person in the hospital with a kidney stone. Terrible pain —
in a hospital you are reduced to the substance side of existence. Literally, if you have pain and are in the hospital, about all you are concerned with is the physical aspects of getting out of the place. The emphasis is totally upon physical.
As you approach a person in the hospital how do you want to minister to him. What approach might you want to use to be of benefit to him?
Spiritual things may or may not be of interest at the moment. Be tuned in on what the person is talking about. They will probably let you know if they want to get into spiritual things. Bring them up if you can, but do not push.
A short psalm or thought, and a word of prayer before you leave may be all the spiritual they can stand. Others may want to really fellowship. Be alert to their needs at the present. (If it is a non-believer feel free to push as much as you can, especially if they are in bad shape. It might be your last chance to share Christ with them.)
When we lived in Salem, Oregon, my wife had a friend whose husband had been sick for a long time. He had had surgery and was not expected to live. He asked for me to come for a visit. When I got there, he asked me to pray for him. He was in much pain, but wanted spiritual. I might add that he did not want me hanging around either. After the prayer, he said something to the effect, “Thanks for coming.” It was evident from his situation and condition that he did not want to talk about the weather. Others I know of that are in pain aren’t all that interested in the spiritual.
How about super saint — the person that spends 26 hours every day doing the Lords work and never takes a break. Again — go softly for you treadeth on thin ice. Any suggestion of slacking off may be taken as “unspiritual.” Possibly a good way would be to try and involve the person in some non-spiritual activities, and encourage further involvement. Again
— do not get pushy unless you think the problem is serious to health or family.
If you are his leader then consider taking part of his work load away. He may have to work like a horse to keep up with what you have allowed him to take on. A pastor must be careful not to overwork those that are willing to work.
A Biblical thought that suggests that we should not be totally engrossed in spiritual things could be found in the Sabbath of the Old Testament. The person was to work the week and rest on the Sabbath. God set aside a day for resting because He knew it was necessary for man. Just how that relates to the pastor that teaches or preaches three services on Sunday, I am not sure. This is probably why so many pastors take Mondays off.
We have many books out on the subject of “Burnout” and it is a very real problem among Christian leaders. Many have devoted themselves to things of the Lord for so long with no rest, that they usually find that one day the need for rest is overwhelming to the point of them not being able to function properly.
I must warn also that this is not licence to be lazy either.
Volume two of Chafer, page 145-146 states: “With its incomparable, sublime simplicity, the Word of God declares that God formed man’s body from the dust of the ground.”
He lists the elements as follows:
calcium, carbon, chlorine, fluorine, hydrogen, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, potassium, silicon, sodium, sulphur
If you consider this listing alone, not to think of the intricacies of the eye, ear or nervous system, you must wonder how something so complex and complicated can be so simply stated. Yet with the dust of the earth God Created Adam.
On page 148-149 Chafer mentions concerning the body of Adam and Eve: “It became a dying, death-doomed body. The fact that, as it was originally created, it possessed vital organs and was self-sustained as the body is now sustained, indicates that, apart from such protection and support as God may have provided, the original or unfallen body was capable of
death. Death was not then inevitable, though it was possible. God imposed the sentence of death….”
Q. I believe this to be true but can we but a Biblical basis to it for Dr. Chafer? Genesis 2:16,17
“And the Lord God commanded the man saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat;
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
All trees but one were available.
After the fall God was concerned that Adam and Eve would eat of the tree of life. Read Genesis 3:22-24. It seems that the tree of life had something to do with continuing life.
Theissen mentions, “Man, it is implied, was created mortal, but had the privilege of attaining immortality by means of the tree of life.” (Thiessen, Henry C.; “Lectures In Systematic Theology”; Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1949, p 257)
Revelation 22:2 in telling of the New Jerusalem states:
“In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bore twelve kinds of fruits….”
Revelation 22:14 adds some insight for us as well: “Blessed are they that wash their robes, that they may have right to the tree of life….” There is a close relationship between the child of God and that tree of life.
I feel that we can be assured that Dr. Chafers statement is backed by the texts in Genesis while the Revelation texts indicate that the tree of life may well have to do with the continuing of life in eternity in some way. (There is no need for the believer to have right to it unless it is a part of eternal things.)
Let us consider for a moment our coming glorified body. What qualities will that body have? Since the only information we have concerning a resurrected body is the body of Christ after His resurrection, we need to view what is recorded concerning this. (Philippians 3:20,21) tell us that our comparison is correct.) I will just list some topics with references for your continued study.
1. Touchable: Matthew 28:9; Luke 24:39ff; John 20:17.
2. Seeable: Matthew 28:10
3. Mobile: He left the grave and went places.
4. Hearable: Matthew 28:9,10
5. Changeable: Mark 16:12; Luke 24:13ff
6. Disappearable: Luke 24:31
7. Feedable: Luke 24:42,43
8. Transportable: John 20:19
9. Recognizable: They knew who it was. Also John 20:27ff. How do we make this doctrine useful for everyday life?
1. As we age, we begin to see the body going down hill. We see the hair loss — the weakening eyes — the lack of ambition — the longer periods of time in bed — etc. God is planning a body that is not plagued by such frailties. We will have an incorruptible body one day to replace this mass of chemicals that is failing us.
2. To the older person this can be a blessing. To the younger it can be a call to patience with the older folks — they are slow in movement — a pain in the neck — but one day so is all of mankind, including the young person.
3. There is hope for the physically handicapped as well. He created me as He wanted me to be, so I should be satisfied with me. Within this context, I might add to the Christian disabled, there is no reason for you to get involved with the self-pity and my rights thinking of the disabled organizations of our day. The disabled and handicapped need to be helped as much as we can, yet their self pity seems to be a bit much.
My father was paralyzed from the waist down from the age of 21 and never once went looking for his rights, nor pity. He functioned as best he could. He did most everything that he wanted to do. He did not wait for people to make ramps, widen doors etc. He just went on with his life, had two children, raised them and enjoyed the life God had given him to the fullest. No, he did not go skiing, but I would guess he would have if he had wanted to.
4. Our body is made by Him for His use, not our own. We should be caring for our bodies.
The body, soul and spirit of man are generated at the moment of conception. The body being man’s environmental, or world consciousness, is the container of the soul which is man’s self consciousness (intellect, emotion, and reason), and the spirit, being man’s God consciousness.
The Bible tells us that man was made in God’s image. In what way are we made in God’s image? Are we physically similar to God? No. Is our soul similar to God? Quite possibly. He has intellect, emotion and reason as we do. Is our spirit similar to God? I assume that all spirit beings are similar in some ways.
On the other hand “in the image of God” has some distinct limitations that are apparent. Our spirit being, will not fill the entire universe, nor is our intellect as God’s, nor are our emotions as deep as His. We are in His image, yet limited by our finiteness. In our fallen state we are not holy, righteous nor can we have a good understanding of God. God however through redemption allows a certain amount of these things to the believer. (Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10)
As a side note to holiness we might consider a question that Chafer raises. Can a person have a habit of holiness before he knows the principle of holiness? Not really. The habit is a consequence of the principle. For example would any of you begin studying for several hours a day if you didn’t know why you were doing it or what study was. Probably not.
We should not condemn people for not living holy lives until we know for sure they have the principle in their mind. Indeed, is this not where the lost are today. They do not have the principle of God’s holiness so they are not apt to enter into the habit, or life of holiness.
We should understand also that redemption is not a process of God trying to salvage something that Adam’s sin destroyed. Redemption is a process of restoration. He is desirous of bringing us to a state that would be the same as Adam’s pre-fall condition. This of course is dependant on the righteousness of Christ.
The unsaved man still has the image of his creator. Chafer suggests Genesis 5:1-3 as proof of this. “This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created. And Adam lived a hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth.” Adam was in the image of God and Seth was in the image of Adam.
Genesis 9:6 also suggests this thought. “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God made he man.” James 3:9 also is a foundation for this thought. “Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, who are made after the similitude of God.”
God’s view of the sacredness of life is also carried in these verses. We are created in God’s image and this image is not lost. Lost man is in His creator’s image.
There are some differences, however now that the fall has come to pass. Our moral likeness is somewhat soiled and lowered, and the lost man’s mind is somewhat clouded by sin.
We are encouraged to follow the example of Christ in the New Testament and this will tend to bring us toward the image that God desires for us in this life.
There are three basic theories as to where the immaterial part of man came from.
1. Pre-Existence: This thought would come from Hinduism in the past, and Theosophy in our own time. I believe that Origin also held to this thought. (Chafer has a good section on this, page 174.) The doctrine of reincarnation is the basis of this thought. Reincarnation tells us that the immaterial part of man is recyclable. As we die, we are freed to reenter into another body to continue on in this life.
The immaterial part of man has pre-existence in this view. It can enter the body of the child at any time in it’s development according to some reincarnationists.
My question is this. Why would anyone that lived this life through once want to go around for a second time? The previous life usually relates to your next life. If you are a really bad person in a life then you usually come back as a bug or some very lowly person. This is why the people of India can walk by a beggar without feeling sorrow or pity. The beggar was probably a murderer in another life. To be caught in a cycle of existence like this would be very depressing to me.
Some older theologians surmised with this theory that in a previous life all of us sinned and that is where the sin nature came from.
The objections to this view are:
a. The philosophy totally ignores the Word of God and all that it says on the subject.
b. The philosophy totally ignores original sin.
c. It ignores the need of proof for validity. They do not have proof.
2. Creation Theory: This theory would come from the Eastern Orthodox church of ages past, and I suspect even today. The theory tells us that the parents create the body of the child and that God creates the soul and spirit directly and immediately for each birth. Their thinking is as follows:
a. The body is from earth, but the soul is from God, thus the soul can’t come from the parent. b. The soul is not material so how could physical parents produce it. c. If Christ is like man and He is, then if the soul and spirit came from the parents, Christ would have a sin nature.
The people holding to this view mention that there are verses that speak of God creating the soul. There are also verses that state He creates bodies, however neither is literal. In the sense that He created all of mankind in Adam and Eve would be true, and He did create souls and bodies in this way.
A couple of things to think about concerning the Creation theory. If man is fallen at birth, and if God creates the soul and spirit, then, God is creating souls and spirits in the fallen state and they are destined for Hell. This is not a concept that is consistent with the Word. This would place God in the position of creating beings for destruction. Also, it must be then assumed that they did not fall in Adam. This contradicts the clear teaching of the Word.
3. Traducian Theory: Most of the western church holds to this concept. The body soul and spirit are generated by the parents at each individual conception.
In the creation of Adam and Eve there was all that was needed for all of mankind present and potential, for production of body, soul, and spirit.
There is one main objection to this thought and that is this: If this is true then Christ would have had a sinful nature. That is a big problem, however there are some answers for this. Some answer this by saying that the sin comes through the male, thus no problem. Others state that the soul of Christ was sanctified by the fact of the conception by the Holy Spirit. Others state that the nature He took from Mary was sanctified before the union with Himself. The Roman Catholics go a step further and say Mary was perfect, and that she gave Him the pure nature. This, however, only puts the problem of a perfect being at the feet of Mary’s parents. Mary’s soul would have to be perfect to produce a perfect child.
It seems easiest to assume that the fallen nature is transmitted via the father. This was the reason for the virgin birth. With no earthly father involved, there was no possibility of transmission of a sin nature.
If you desire to hold to the traducian theory, it is important to make the distinction of the sin nature coming from the father.
Let’s consider Christ’s perfect nature for a moment: a. If the traducian theory is correct, in that the entire being is created by the parents, plural, then He would have received the fallen nature. The key is the fact that Christ was a product of God and woman, not man and woman, thus there was no sin nature.
The fact that the sin nature comes from the male is indicated in the Word. Adam chose to sin — he turned against an express command of God while Eve was deceived. We all sinned in “Adam” not in “Adam and Eve”. (1 Corinthians 15:22 “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive;”) Thus it must be concluded that the sin nature is transferred to the child via the man side of the union. Why else is there a need for the virgin birth of Christ. No other answer really fits the facts that we have available from Scripture. In Genesis 3:7 both Adam and Eve’s eyes opened at the same time to nakedness. This indicates Adam’s sin was the clincher, not Eves.
How can you trace the 1 Corinthians 15:22 concept of “we all fell in Adam”, if the soul and spirit are created at the point of birth? You can’t. Luke 1:41 shows John the Baptist responding to Mary’s presence while he was in the womb. “the babe leaped in her womb;” Excuse me if I feel it a bit ridiculous for a mass of flesh and bone responding to something supernatural. Logic would demand that there was some spirit consciousness present that was responding.
Hebrews 7:9,10 mention the fact that Levi paid tithes to Melchizedek because he was in the loins of his father. It takes more than flesh and bones to do this. A body does not pay tithes. A complete being does.
A result of the creation concept is abortion. That mass is not a person until it is outside the mother’s body. Logically inferior, thus we can get rid of it with no moral problems. The traducian thought relegates a fetus, of any age, to being a spiritual and physical being fully present and growing, or if you will, in the aging process.
God’s creating was finished on the sixth day and it was good. There is no indication that he continues to create each time a baby is brought into the world.
One author suggested that Mary was a surrogate mother. The entire being of Christ was created by God and raised in Mary. To state that the entire being of Christ was placed within Mary for incubation, is to deny the Lord’s humanity.
Conclusions concerning our being created in God’s image:
1. “Thus, also, G.F. Oehler declares man bears the divine image in view of the facts that
(a) human nature is distinguished from that of the beast, for there was no mate for man among lower forms of creation, and man may kill the beast but not the being which is made in the image of God.
(b) Man is set over nature as a free personality, since he is designed for communion with God, and is appointed to exercise divine authority in the affairs of earth. . . .” (Chafer, Lewis Sperry; “Systematic Theology”; Dallas, TX: Dallas Seminary Press, 1947, p 170)
2. The following verses indicate some of the areas of similarity between God and the creatures of His image. Matthew 5:48; Luke 6:36; 1 Peter 1:15,16.
3. Hebrews 1:1-3 shows Christ to be the express image of God. Romans 8:29 shows that we are to be conformed to the image of Christ. Mentally and spiritually we are under reformation, so to speak, to become as Adam was before the fall in these areas.
4. God took the time and effort to create man in His own image. Based on this truth, we are not to kill, nor slander another man. How about the thousands of unborn fetuses that are being destroyed every year by abortion. How about the man that pulls out in front of you from the stop sign? “You dumby” isn’t quite the terminology to use, is it.
Every man is cared for, by our creator — we ought to have a care and love for those people as well. They are created in Our God’s Image even if he rejects our God.
Another question: Is salvation a restoration to the pre-fall condition? Not exactly. We as Christians are not as Adam and Eve were before the fall. Proof: If I ask you all to take your clothes off in a crowd could you do it without knowing that you were naked? No. We are in the post-fallen state. We are partially restored, but we are being conformed to the image of Christ not the image of pre-fall Adam (Romans 8:29). We have a fallen body as well, for it is dieing (Philippians 3:21).
Most theology books raise the question, Are soul, spirit, heart, flesh and mind separate things? They are similar yet separate.
Illustration: My soul can know that something is wrong, my heart may tell me not to do it, but my flesh may go for it anyway. They are separate in their activities.
We have a couple more terms to consider: Dichotomist And Trichotomist.
Dichotomists think that there are two parts to man. There is the material part which is the body, and the immaterial which is the soul and spirit.
Trichotomists feel that there are three parts to man. The body, soul and spirit.
Do you see a semantic problem at this point? The dichotomist is speaking material/immaterial while the trichotomist is speaking body/soul/spirit. They are comparing potatoes with Corvettes. The immaterial part is of course the soul and spirit. Naturally when speaking material/immaterial there are two. When you speak of body, soul and spirit there are three.
Most trichotomists would see that the immaterial part was made up of soul and spirit, yet within the one immaterial there are two parts. The dichotomists also deal with the soul and spirit as two items.
There are three texts which the trichotomist presents. 1 Corinthians 15:44,
“It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.”
1 Thessalonians 5:23,
“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our lord Jesus Christ.”
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a descerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
I am not sure that 1 Corinthians 15:44 relates to the study.
In Thessalonians it is a simple statement that Paul is trusting that all three would be preserved. Indeed, it probably is an emphasis to say, I trust, that you will be wholly preserved. It does state that there are three items.
The construction of the Hebrew’s text shows that the two are separate items. The contrast of joints and marrow would indicate soul and spirit are two items. This still does not say that the two are not parts of the immaterial man. They are different, but both immaterial.
To sum up this confusion may we say that when talking about material/immaterial we are dichotomists. When we are talking about body/soul/spirit we are trichotomists.
I Have It All Figured Out. If you are a trichotomist then you believe that there are two parts of man — material and immaterial thus you are a dichotomist. If you are a dichotomist then you believe that there are three parts to man — body, soul and spirit, thus you are a trichotomist. HA.
ON THE SERIOUS SIDE.
There are two parts of man — material and immaterial. There are three main aspects to man — body, soul and spirit. The soul and spirt are in the immaterial part of man.
Let’s think about the body, soul and spirit for a few moments. What is the body? It is chemicals. It is conscious to it’s environment. It is a vehicle for our soul and spirit. It is in a process of decay. It is our contact with other believers.
What is the soul? It is our self consciousness. It is our memories. It is our ego. It is our emotions. It is our reasoning. It has been put this way:
THE SOUL KNOWING
THE SOUL FEELING
THE SOUL CHOOSING
THE SOUL JUDGING
THE SOUL REFLECTING
We might illustrate this. A student knows via his intellect that it is wrong to bribe a teacher, especially with M&M’s. He feels through his sensibility that he should not, but knows that he needs to, to get his grade up. He uses his will to choose to bribe the teacher and determine whether to get a package of plain, peanut or almond M&M’s. He goes to the store and picks up a bag of M&M’s and bribes the teacher. Naturally, immediately he feels bad because his conscience has said, “Hey you perverse person that was wrong.” He sets all of this out of his mind for the day and goes on with his studies. The next day his memory brings what he has done to mind, and he feels bad again, so gives the teacher another bag of M&M’s to make amends.
When speaking of the conscience we need to realize that the lost and the saved have a different type of conscience. I will list these for your further study.
1 Peter 3:16.
1 Timothy 4:2
We might make mention here that the mind has two directions of flow. It can serve the Spirit or it can serve the flesh. It is the will that determines which.
The body is the flesh and bone that moves and ultimately dies returning to the ground from which it came.
The soul is the part of man that thinks, remembers, feels and decides.
The spirit is the part of us that allows us to be conscious of God. Through it we can respond to our creator.
Intellect is the capacity to think. Ephesians 1:17-18 states, “…the eyes of your understanding being enlightened;”. The term for understanding is “kardia” or heart. Paul seems to think that understandings seat is in the heart which is usually accepted as the seat of the emotions as well.
The term heart is used 600 times in the Old Testament and 120 times in the New Testament. Anyone for a research paper?
Sensibility is an “…..awareness of and responsiveness toward something…..” (By permission. From Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary copyright 1991 by Merriam-Webster Inc., publisher of the Merriam-Webster (registered) Dictionaries.) In short, if we can see someone and respond to them we have the quality of sensibility.
Will is defined by Chafer as follows: “Will is the soul’s power to choose between motives and to direct its subsequent activity according to the motive thus chosen….” (Vol. II, p 193)
We have mentioned flesh and should probably look at the term briefly.
1. It can relate to the material part of man. The meat and skin.
2. It can relate to the human relationships and classifications. Both the meat and the immaterial part of man.
3. It can relate to the immaterial part of man. Only the moral and ethical meaning involved.
The body, as in the meat, is not ethically good or bad. The immaterial aspect of the flesh is bad. It opposes God and all right things of life. A related term is “carnal” which describes a believer that is living in, or is dominated by the flesh.
Victory can be had over the flesh. A couple of verses for your future reference on this are Romans 8:2-4 and Galatians 5:16-17. We won’t spend time on this right now.
The soul of man consists of the intellect, man’s knowing; Sensibility, man’s feeling; will, man’s choosing; conscience, man’s judging. These make up life for man.
1. The soul is quite intricate in its make up. God has given man all the facilities by which to respond to God in a positive manner.
Anyone choosing to reject Christ when he hears the Gospel certainly condemns himself.
Intellect is knowing of the Savior.
Sensibility is feeling the need of a Savior — feeling the heaviness of sin. Will is making the choice to accept Him as Savior.
Conscience, if the person is saved, it becomes your guide to the Christian walk; if the person is lost, it becomes seared.
2. How does the knowledge gained in this study apply to James 1:14-15? “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
Intellect: Soul knowing — temptation
Sensibility: Soul feeling — lust Will: Soul making a choice — sin Conscience: Soul judging
Note that the way to holiness is the same as to sin. The difference hinges on your decision of the will. It is just as easy to be holy as it is to sin.
3. Psalm 62:5-8 mentions, “My soul, wait thou only upon God;” The Psalmist seems to be addressing his soul. “Wait” ONLY upon God.
Your intellect — only thinking of God.
Your sensibility — feeling and sensing only God. Your will — only deciding toward God.
Your conscience — always clear before God.
Wow. “My expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be Moved.”
If your soul is centered on God you will not be moved.
The intellect and sensibility, however both need to be upon God, else Mark Will may stray.
4. I am responsible for all my actions.
5. I am body soul and spirit, and need to control all of them.
6. The immaterial man comes from God and only He can satisfy the spiritual hunger within. We are very complex beings, and only the Word can help us understand ourselves.
I trust that this section will be the stepping stone to the readers further study in this area. It should be a beginning point in understanding yourself and your relationship to your Creator.
MAN IN INNOCENCE
The Before, or the state of innocence.
Introduction: We have some friends that had two little boys. The oldest was out of diapers awhile and the younger was in training pants. The youngest had wet his pants and mom was doing her thing to try and train him. “Why did you wet your pants?” “No mom, he did it,” referring to his older brother.” We Are Always Innocent Aren’t We Folks.
THE STATE OF INNOCENCE-THE ENVIRONMENT
Since we all know that the environment that we are raised in molds and shapes our thinking, and since we know that a poor environment tends to bring about wrong actions, decisions and attitudes in man, we can thus assume that the wrong actions of Adam were caused by the terrible conditions of the environment that God placed him in — namely, the garden of Eden. NO.
It is true that environment tends to bring about wrong behavior in lost man. In fact some judges operate on the principle that the environment can make a person into a criminal, thus the crime is not wrong. None of this relates to Adam, however for we know that the Garden was good and that the behavior of Adam was out of his own desire to go against what God had told him.
By the way, I recently saw the front page of a tabloid which declared that the Garden of Eden had been found. It was south of Denver, CO in case you want to see it. The paper also mentioned that they had found the remains of Adam and Eve. Amazing what man is doing these days. Sarcasm intended.
What do we know of Adam before the fall:
Adam’s Environment: New heaven, new earth, and new wife. The garden was full of fruit trees. All trees were for their food except one. Result of eating from the one would result in knowing good and evil. Nakedness didn’t bother Adam and Eve. Had dominion over creatures. He was created in God’s image. God blessed them (Genesis 1:28). Told to multiply and fill the earth (1:28). Told to subdue the earth (1:28). All of creation including man and woman were viewed as good in God’s mind (1:3). Adam was to till and keep the garden (2:1). He had no sin. Evidently he had not been tempted. He had the possibility of continuing on in that state indefinitely. Obedience was the key. Not A Bad Environment.
God set Adam in the perfect environment and things went sour. Adam chose to disobey, and was no longer innocent.
God was somewhat specific when He told Adam about the prohibitions. “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” I suppose that God could have made it plainer, but I’m not sure how.
So why is man that way? If you tell them not to do something they have to do it just because it was forbidden. How come and why for? Even
Christians do it. The state says 55 mph and many Christians have to do 60 mph.
God tells us lying is wrong, yet many Christians lie on a regular basis. They call it stretching the truth, or just not giving all the information but it is lying.
I think that mostly the answer is that man is self-centered to the end. We want to do what WE want to do. Along with self-centeredness there are many side effects that manifest themselves. I have to be right. I want to look good to others. I want to be a big name. I want ……….. — you fill in the blank. All stem from our total self-centeredness — God can cure this if we allow Him the possibility.
God told Adam what He wanted and expected, but Adam went his own direction. God makes His will plain to all believers for their lives, but I fear many are going their own directions instead.
When it comes to God’s will in general — the things that the Word tells us concerning right and wrong — we as humans usually concentrate on the Can’t Do’s Instead Of The Can Do’s.
While teaching in a Bible Institute, it was very evident to me that the don’ts of the student handbook were the prime emphasis of dislike, conversation, and gripping. There were worlds of freedoms allowed the students, yet the don’ts were the supreme threat to their Self.
It again, is the way of man. Even in economic things when we are short of cash, we dwell on what we can’t do. I can’t go to town to pick up that new pair of shoes that I Need. You could dwell on the fact that there are many things that are fun around town that you can do.
There are negative aspects to the will of God as it is presented in the Word, yet on the whole His will is positive for His children.
THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF ADAM
God told Adam to tend the garden. That indicates Work and that should be plugged into your memory banks. God expected man to work Even When Man Was In The State Of Innocence. Work is not a dirty word unless you are a gardener. We are to work in this life.
Chafer mentions that moral qualities can be active and passive. Adams moral qualities were not active before the fall. He had not needed to use them until the temptation. The fall called his moral qualities into question and into the activity. Our own moral qualities are passive when we are not faced with temptations, but they become active quickly.
Adam was mature so that he was without excuse in what he did. God held him responsible for his activity. God transmitted His will to Adam verbally while He transmits it to us through the Word.
Both Adam and we have the same situation. God told us things not to do and things we could do. It is our own choice between the two that gets us into trouble.
Some hold that the story of the fall is only a myth, while others see a realty mixed with allegory. We of course hold that this is an actual account of an actual event in the life of a real, literal man named Adam.
We might make brief mention of allegorical interpretation at this point. We will look at it in more detail in Eschatology. It is a “Symbolic representation of the truth” according to the Dictionary of Religious terms. (Kaufman, Donald T.; “The Dictionary Of Religious Terms”; Westwood, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Company; 1967)
It is similar to a dump truck full of dirt. The truck would be the vehicle, or carrier of the real load, the dirt. The verses in the Bible are the vehicle, or story, or myth, that carry a deeper truth than the story presents. In short, you read a verse and throw it away when you find out what the real truth was.
The problem with this method of interpretation is that Allegorical interpretation can have as many “truths” as you have interpreters.
So, how do we know that this account of Adam and the fall are not just myths and fables?
a. The rest of scripture treats the occurrence as fact and true. Matthew 19:4-5; Exodus 20:11; 1 Chronicles 1:1; Psalm 8:3-6; Mark 10:6-7;
Luke 3:38; Romans 5:12-21; 1 Corinthians 11:9; 15:21-22; 15:45-47; 1
Timothy 2:13-14; Jude. 14.
b. The Genesis account reads as if it is an account of history. There is no indication that it is a collection of myths or stories.
c. The Jews held to the account as being literal. II Esdras 3:4-7; 7:48; Wisdom 2:24; 10:1; Ecclesiasticus 17:1.
d. Christ held it as literal and true. Matthew 19:4-5,
“And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read that he who made them at the beginning, made them male and female; And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be one flesh?”
Christ quoted Genesis 2:24 and this would show that he held that the creation account was a real occurrence.
e. It would cause some real problems with some of Paul’s theology if there was no real literal Adam and Eve. See Romans 5:12-21; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22; 1 Corinthians 15:45-47; 1 Timothy 2:9ff.
f. Archaeologists have recovered two seals that depict the temptation scene. They were discovered in the 1930’s near Nineveh. Even history seems to bear out the Genesis account.
THE TEMPTATION OF ADAM AND EVE
The temptation is not contradictory to what we know from the Scriptures that we have concerning Satan. It is well within his method of operation.
It was undoubtedly aimed at thwarting God’s plan. All through Scripture it can be seen that the Devil is constantly striving to trip the Lord up. Naturally it is the Devil that keeps getting tripped up.
The thought of someone acting independently from God and God’s desires is not new with Adam. The Devil had a good hand at it before Adam even considered it.
One is left to ponder the question of why did Adam decide to sin? Some suggestions might come to mind.
a. Covetousness. Not hardly. He had the run of the garden, that is unless he wanted to kick God the owner out, and build condos. No, there were no camaros, stereos, tvs, vcrs etc., so doubt that covetousness was involved.
b. Sexual immorality. Hardly. He had the only woman on earth.
c. Repudiation of God. Repudiation is to refuse to have dealings with someone, or the rejection of someone or something due to a belief that the person or truth is untrue. I don’t think that Adam had in mind refusing God or rejecting Him, only disobeying Him.
A rejection of what God wanted him to do is the simplest explanation. The Devil tried to be like God we are told in Isaiah 14:14, “…like the most high….”. He talked Eve into the same concept. “…ye shall be as God….” Genesis 3:5
It kind of reminds me of a little kid that has done something wrong and knows that he will be caught. He naturally tries to entice someone else into the same trouble. Misery loves company.
There were three forms of death involved in the sin of Adam and his punishment.
BECAME MORTAL AND DYING
AT ONCE SUBJECT TO IT WHEN THEY DIED
We won’t cover these in any detail, because they come up later on in our study.
We might notice that the subject of the fruit did not bother Adam and Eve until the Devil came around. Might we dare apply this to the subject of regulations? Usually rules don’t bother people until they are tempted to break them. Oft times in my early college days I noticed that there were no problems until someone began to complain about something. Then others would begin to think about it and the commiseration usually lead to trouble.
Keep the devil away and don’t listen, be it he in person, or be it he in the tongue of someone that is disgruntled.
The devil wanted to be more than he was, or to be more than God. In a very real sense this is the sin of covetousness. He wanted more than he had. As we view our lives may we be careful not to fall into this trap of desiring to be someone we aren’t, or to be better than someone else.
God made you according to the specifications that He wanted, so that you could serve Him as only YOU can serve Him. You may run into someone that is a much better preacher than you are. You may run into someone that is a much better singer than you are. You may run into someone that has more hair than you do. You may run into someone that has than you do.
Remember That God Made You The Way He Wanted You. He does not want you to preach like the other person. He does not want you to sing like the other person. He does not want you to have more hair than you have.
Think of the glory that would be Satan’s now had he left well enough alone.
God set Adam and Eve in the perfect environment, yet they sinned. Now, as you live life and you find yourself in different situations, don’t assume that you will not sin. You will if your will finds the proper conditions in your being. Watch your situations. Keep them as safe as is possible. Don’t allow yourself to enter into situations that give rise to improper thoughts and/or acts.
As we view God’s don’ts we need to realize that His will is positive even though there are negatives with in it. His will is positive and we have no need to fear it.
It is Satan that tempts, but it is we who must choose to sin. He does not have the capacity to force us to sin. He can only set up the situation where we want to sin.
May we appreciate the Spirit’s work within us to teach us and instruct us on the ways of god? He is that which every believer has, that allows them the freedom to say no to sin.
Man was placed in the garden to serve God and to fellowship with God. He was given the run of things, with only one exception. Do not eat of the fruit of the tree of life.
He decided that this was an option rather than a command, and ate of the forbidden fruit. There was a drastic change in his relationship with God and we call that change of relationship the fall of man.
Before we move on, I might mention that there is an appendix that you might find of interest. I have toyed with the question of where the Garden of Eden was for many years. I think I mentioned in a previous section that the tabloids feel that it is south of Denver, Colorado, but I believe that there may be some evidence that might strongly indicate that it was in the area of Jerusalem. I have included this study for your interest and thought.
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SATAN AND MAN AFTER THE FALL
Under His Blinding: 2 Corinthians 4:3-4,
“But if our gospel be hidden it is hidden to them that are lost, in whom the god of this age hath blinded the minds of them who believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”
Lost man has no power or understanding to come to God. God is a stranger to lost man. Satan has no desire for the lost person to learn of God nor for him to understand God.
Under His Control And Life Style: Ephesians 2:1-2,
“And you hath he made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins; In which in times past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the sons of disobedience;”
The normal life style of the lost is patterned after Satan’s ways and means. Lost man seldom desires to live morally, nor properly, though there are those exceptions that desire to come to God under the power of their own works.
Under His Power: Colossians 1:13,
“Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son;”
The verse shows the power of darkness which is the lost man’s plight, yet gives the hope of something far better.
Under His Wickedness: 1 John 5:19, “And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.” This should help us understand why the lost are the way they are. They are in wickedness, so they will Naturally lie to you about the quality of the product that they desire to sell you. They will Naturally try to beat you at the stop signs. Understand them, and they should anger you less.
The condition of lost or fallen man is often termed the Total Depravity of man. It is the thought that man is totally corrupt and that he can do nothing to reach God.
Theissen mentions of total depravity, “By depravity we mean man’s want of original righteousness and of holy affections toward God, and also the corruption of his moral nature and his bias toward evil.”
He continues, “…it does mean, that every sinner is totally destitute of that love to God which is the fundamental requirement of the law…; that he is supremely given to a preference of himself to God (2 Timothy 3:4); that he has an aversion to God which on occasion becomes active enmity to Him (Romans 8:7); that his every faculty is disordered and corrupted (Ephesians 4:18); that he has no thought, feeling, or deed of which God can fully approve (Romans 7:18).” (Thiessen, Henry C.; “Lectures In Systematic Theology”; Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1949, pp, 267- 268)
Now that is a real statement of a condition that is not desirable, yet is the state of all lost people. Is it any wonder that they try to cheat us? Indeed, it is a wonder that the world is as it is, and not much worse in the area of morals. I personally feel that the decline of the Church in this country is the direct cause of the increase in moral problems in the lost people. We, the Church have not been the restraint that we ought to be.
God placed before Adam and Eve a simple moral test. In this test was the potential for complete obedience, or complete depravity. This test was composed of two parts. The command not to eat the fruit in Genesis 2:17, and the temptation by Satan in Genesis 3:1.
God placed this test before Adam and Eve so that they could have the choice between good and evil, and to give them moral experience (James 1:12; 1 Peter 1:6-7). God does not create beings that must follow Him blindly, but beings that have the moral choice to follow or reject. He gave this choice to the angelic host, and some followed while others rejected.
The Devil used several tactics in his temptation:
1. He planted a question (Genesis 3:1). He asked Eve if God said, “Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”
2. He denied God’s word (3:4). “Ye shall not surely die;” This might relate to the fact that he is called the father of lies in John 8:44.
3. He attributed evil motives to God (3:5). He indicated that God was covering up something, to keep them from being like God.
4. He promised personal benefit will come with their disobedience (3:5). They would be as God.
They bought the same lie and deception as the fallen angels. He placed himself as knowing as God knows, and proceeded to tell them that they could be like their Creator. What a falsehood. How can a created being be as the creator. How can a Ford car become the same as Henry Ford? Impossible.
He used different avenues to approach them in the temptation. He appealed to the aesthetic, or beauty of things. He also touched their intellect by promising things that were desirable.
There was nothing magical in the fruit, nor were there powers in the juices to give them the knowledge of good and evil. They knew of good and evil when they ate. It was the act of disobedience, rather than the fruit itself.
There were a number of consequences that came with the fall. Man was condemned by his own conscience. He hid in shame and guilt. Not unlike a small child that knows that they have done wrong. Even some of the animal world reacts to the simple, disobedience/penalty/hide activity. Our little dog began leaving food on the carpet. We began forcing him to eat it. He became very stubborn about eating the SINGLE piece of food. After a few rounds of this confrontation, he would leave the piece on the carpet and go to the bathroom, where we put him for punishment. He knew he had done wrong — he knew we would punish him — so why not get the punishment over with. We as believers, when we sin often attempt to hide from God by failing to have devotions, or quit going to church, etc.
God set penalties for all that were concerned. The serpent was to crawl on the belly and eat dust (3:14,15). Satan was to fall by the seed of the woman (3:15). The woman was to have pain in travail, and she was to be subject to her husband (3:16). The man was to find that the environment would be against him (3:17-19). The man and woman together were to suffer from spiritual and physical death, while being expelled from the garden. Mankind to come also was to suffer, not that they did anything wrong, but that they sinned in Adam. All of mankind would have sinned had we all been in the garden. Mankind is guilty before God (Romans 5:12,18), and he is totally depraved (Psalm 5:9; Romans 5:190.
Sin resulted in three types of death. My How Sin Multiplies. There came upon man physical, spiritual and eternal death in one act of disobedience. Physical death is the separation of the soul and spirit from the body. Spiritual death is the separation of the soul and spirit from God. Eternal death is the separation of the soul and spirit from God eternally. Indeed, it is more than just separation. It involves eternal torment as well.
This eternal separation and torment are also called the second death in Revelation 20:14; 21:8.
Some might wonder what the difference is between spiritual death and eternal death? The basic difference is the length of time. The spiritual death is in this life (a period of years), while eternal death is for all of eternity. The spiritual death becomes eternal death at the point of physical death. There is little difference between spiritual and eternal, for spiritual becomes eternal. The distinction is that spiritual death may be overcome in this life via salvation, while eternal death is permanent and cannot be overcome in the next life. Spiritual death would portray the person’s condition in this life while eternal death would picture his condition in the next life.
The difference is in Adam and Eve. They at the point of sin suffered three deaths. Physical in that they began to die, spiritual in that they became dead spiritually, and eternal, in that, at that point they were facing eternity without God.
What is physical death to the body? A slow process of disintegration that begins at conception. Everything is downhill from that point on. We tend to think of aging as beginning at the point of birth, but actually we are dying from the moment of conception. It is all part of the maturing, and aging process.
Part of the post-fall condition is the conflict between what God wants and what man wants. 1 John 2:16 shows an overview of the life of man in his natural habitat so to speak.
Chafer relates the Genesis text to John’s exposition on evil. This is a very good comparison. Take time to relate Genesis 2:15-17 to the three points of 1 John 2:16.
Lust Of The Flesh would cover such things as physical appetites and desires that we allow to rule our lives. This is a real problem to the believer in this day. We are bombarded by sex and its by-products on a daily basis. A number of years ago the family and I were driving in the mountains west of Denver. We had been gone from the city for most of the day. We were just coming down out of the foothills and a huge billboard of a young woman in a skimpy bathing suit was right in front of us. It dawned on me that we had gone all day with nothing of this sort to deal with. I was shocked to realize how much of this sort of thing we saw every day.
How can we combat this sort of thing? Avoid sources of enticing pictures and thoughts. If you watch some of the television today you will be constantly exposed to it. Shut it off. Keep your mind on spiritual things and pursuits. Have other believers over for fellowship. Do I dare suggest you have lost people over for witnessing?
Believers have been hardened to the trash and sleese that has been given to us on the Television screen. I talk with believers that allow Satan to fill their minds with this slime on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. How can you fill your mind with sex, immorality, lying, cheating and the like several hours a day and expect to overcome the effect in a couple of hours in church on Sunday? You are asking the impossible.
Lust Of The Eye would cover all that we see that we covet and desire. This may lead to lust of the flesh in some areas. We are constantly confronted with this as well. If you go to the mall to walk around you can find all sorts of things that “I Want.”
While shopping with my wife, I spotted a real neat portable stereo. I called her over by saying that I wanted her to see something I needed. As she inspected the stereo she commented, “You need.” I said, Yes, I Need it to satisfy my coveteousness.”
Pride Of Life would relate to the thought of being proud of our way of life, or who we are, or what we are. I believe that Chafer refers this to an unholy love of pre-eminence. That sums it up well. We desire to be at the pentacle of focus, all eyes upon us, and what we are. This is not a good attitude to say the least.
We might see this in many ways in our lives. In being proud of whose church we go to, in being proud of our education. In being proud of what school we went to. In who designed our clothes (Halston, Calvin Klien etc.).
How do we as Christian leaders live our lives so that these things are not a hindrance to our lives and testimonies? Beware of our off time activities. Don’t do anything that will endanger our testimony. Attempt to be satisfied with what God has given us. He promises to provide our needs
— not our wants (Matthew 6:33). Control all of lifes situations so that you are never placed in a position where lust can take root in your life as action. Be aware that you may be lonely in this type of life.
We met a woman in Nebraska that was trying her best to live by faith and as she was doing it she was observing that no body in the church was living the way she was. Indeed, the church tended to not associate with her because of her frugality in life style. Her living by faith extended into all areas of her life and she was very frustrated that no one else was living as the scripture commands us. Be Sure You Live Your Life As Unto The Lord And Don’t Sweat The Other Guys.
The walk in these three areas, is typical of mankind’s natural bent toward evil and away from God.
It is of interest that Humanism is perpetuating these thoughts in the philosophy that it teaches. Humanism tells us that man is all there is, and what man can do is all that can be done. We as man can make our own way
— we can do as we feel we want to do. There is no authority except that which you are to yourself. If you desire a woman it is okay. If you desire to steal it is okay. You can do no wrong because you make the rules.
The ultimate to this thought is that each one has whatever rights he determines himself to have.
Naturally God Has No Place In This System Of Thought Which By The Way Is Actually A Religion In All Senses Of The Word.
“But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin; and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
LET’S CHART THAT AND CONSIDER IT
|the soul knowing
|the soul feeling
|the soul choosing
|the soul judging
|the soul reflecting
THAT COULD JUST AS EASILY BE A CHART THAT LOOKS LIKE THIS . . .
|the soul knowing
|the soul feeling
|the soul choosing
|the soul judging
|the soul reflecting
This is the same process that all of mankind has gone through in their sin. Adam was tempted — he desired — he sinned. The way to holiness is the same for that to sin. The will is the determinate factor.
Adam and Eve become sinners by sinning, while we become sinners by conception, but we all go through the same process of look, desire, lust, and action.
Some feel that man, in his lost state can present some holiness, however the total depravity of man contradicts that thought. The lost man has no hope of finding help for himself and is totally reliant upon the Lord to intervene. He is not depraved because he thinks so, but because God says
so. It is the estimation of God that total depravity is based on. I’m sure that our estimation of ourselves would not be that low.
We need to understand that spiritual death is universal in man. Psalm 51:5, “Behold, I was shaped in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” (See also Romans 3:9-18; Mark 7:15, 20-23)
All death will come to a final end during the end times. Revelation 21:4 mentions, “…there shall be no more death….”. 1 Corinthians 15:26 also mentions something about death being no more.
APPLICATION OF THE DOCTRINE
1. The total depravity of man does not surprise us, but do we understand and live as if we do. Lost man is totally depraved. He can act no other way than he does, so we shouldn’t get upset with him when he acts the way he does. Lost man is naturally going to be obnoxious and filthy by nature. This should move us to compassion not anger. This should move us to witness not reviling. This should move us to concern not contempt.
2. 1 Timothy 5:6 mentions of a widow, “She that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth….” The widow in question is living in pleasures. We as believers are alive — So How Come Some Christians Can Live As If They Are Dead? When we continue to sin our conscience becomes dull and we go further into sin. We don’t know sin quite as well as we should. There is the possibility that many “Christians” are not really Christians.
I believe that many put on a spiritual front so that they can operate in the “church” realm, and not be seen as an outsider.
When in Bible college a preacher preached a plain old salvation message and received a very large shock. An invitation was given and over 1/2 of the student body came forward for salvation. One was a senior and the student body president. They had put on a facade as children, and had never exercised a personal faith in Christ.
3. Can you imagine for a moment what Adam and Eve went through when they sinned and realized what was up? When I was eight or ten, I was somewhat into shoplifting. Only little things that I wanted — You Know The Lust Of The Eye. — I picked up candy and little rings — one had a compass on top and a secret compartment underneath. One day I decided to lift a fat book. They were about two inches thick, and four by five in size. I hadn’t contemplated the size of my pockets opening, nor its relative size to the book. As I struggled to get that fat thing into my tiny pocket the saleslady called my name. I Knew Something Was Up. I Had Had It… She didn’t turn me in, but I did not steal again. Yes, I put the book back Very quickly.
When working in retail sales, my wife recounted to me the story of two teenage girls that had been caught shoplifting. They were being very flip about the whole thing. They were joking and laughing and having a fun time, until the police officer mentioned that she had called their parents to come and get them. The serious side of life reared its ugly head quickly.
4. The fall required God to cover Adam and Eve’s nakedness. He killed animals for skins to cover them. He also provided the sacrifice needed when Abraham went to offer Isaac. It is neat that He sent Christ to be our sacrifice. He set the requirements, and then He sent the required sacrifice.
5. Adam’s bent toward evil is evident in his posterity. Cain killed and there have been murderers, thieves, and immoral people ever since. The positive of this is that Adam through Seth also produced a posterity via following God’s ways and means toward salvation.
6. We need to remember that we are no different than any other lost person except that the grace of God moved someone across our path to share the Gospel with us. We should be sensitive to the Lord’s leading in witnessing. We may be the instruments through which God will lead others to Him.
7. One further step in looking at total depravity would be in the idea of pride. The New Testament is not really for the person being proud. Let’s look at depravity and pride for a moment.
Pride is something that we are to have in our work. Pride is something that we have in relation to our children. RIGHT? Pride is an over high opinion of oneself and letting everyone know it.
The Old Testament mentions a little about pride. Let me share a few of those with you. Proverbs 11:2 mentions that wisdom is the result of no pride. Proverbs 13:10 tells us that pride brings contention. Proverbs 16:18 tells us that pride goes before destruction. Proverbs 29:23 mentions that pride will bring a man low.
The New Testament mentions pride only three times. Mark 7:21-23 — It is from within and is very evil. It is listed with murder. These are defiled men in the text. 1 Timothy 3:6 tells us that pride is not a trait of a mature Christian. 1 John 2:16 lists pride of life with the lust of the flesh and of the eye. Pride of life may come into our personal lives, or in our church lives.
Personal life: In who we are — heritage — family etc. In what we are — educated — job — position etc. In what we have. In what we know. In what we are not — I’m not poor etc. In what we have not.
Church life: In accomplishments of individuals. In accomplishments of the church. In positions in the church. In giving. In dress and appearance. In most trouble. In dictatorships. In non-involvement of members.
Total Depravity explains all this. Man Can’t Love God. Man Loves Self More Than God. Man Keeps Away From God. Man Is Corrupt. Man Can’t Please God. In short, he is absolutely no good. We can do nothing good of ourselves. We are clay — dirt — and as such, no good to God. (Some references to consider, Isaiah 64:6; Jeremiah 17:99; Romans 3:23.)
If there is nothing good about man then he should not be proud. Pride is inconsistent with our nature logically, yet is a very intertwined part of our beings.
I think if you realize that pride is at the root of most of our problems with other people we might be able to begin to deal with our interpersonal relationships and win.
I would like to close with a quote.
AN ORGANIZATION OF SINNERS
“The church is not an organization of good people, it is an organization of sinners. It is the only organization in human society that takes sinners into its membership just because they are sinners. It is the only organization that keeps on saying week after week, year after year, age after age, ‘We have done those things that we ought not to have done and left undone those things that we ought to have done.’ No other organized body bears it its group consciousness the weight not only of its own members sins but the sins of the whole social order. This is the glory of the church, its uniqueness in human society, that it lives perpetually on the vitality and realism of its own repentance, its contrition, and its plea for God’s help and forgiveness. Let us not claim moral virtue for church members or for the church. Let us rather glory in the fact that the church is a society of sinners, who claim no virtue, but humbly rest their broken and burdened lives upon the grace which God has eternally revealed in Christ Jesus.” Charles Clayton Morrison. (Stuber, Stanley I. and Clark, Thomas Curtis; “Treasury Of The Christian Faith”; New York: Association Press, 1949, p 170-171)
I recently heard of a man that had held up a store. In the commission of the crime, he shot a man that died shortly after the incident. The robber was convicted of whatever the charges were in the death of the man, and was imprisoned. When the man was interviewed, he said he was innocent. He had done nothing wrong except rob the store. (The court had eye witnesses which lead to his conviction.)
Guess why the man felt he was innocent. He admitted he had shot the man
— “But, I didn’t make him die. That wasn’t my fault. He stepped in front of my gun and died.” (Ruff quote)
This man was able to reach his conclusion based on the claims of humanism. There is no wrong, if I don’t think that it’s wrong. I can do no wrong. I have no responsibility for what I do. I am my own ethics — whatever is right for me is right.
I would like to share some quotes from “Focus On Missions” a paper put out by the Fellowship of Missions, May 1984.
“Top Offenses in the public schools in 1940.
2. Chewing gum
3. Making noise
4. Running in the halls
5. Getting out of turn in line
6. Wearing improper clothing
7. Not putting paper in wastebaskets Offenses in the public schools in 1982
In recent news reports we know that students are carrying hand guns to their classes. Some schools have installed metal detectors to screen out the weapons before the students are allowed into school.
Some comments from humanists:
“Fundamental Bible-believing people do not have the right to indoctrinate their children in their faith. We are preparing them for the year 2000, when America will be a part of a one-world global society.”
“I am convinced that the battle for humankind’s future must be waged and won in the public-school classroom by teachers that correctly perceive their role as proselyters of a new faith [speaking of humanism].”
“Dr. Paul Brandwon, who is a child psychologist, says, ‘Any child who believes in God is mentally ill.’ Dr. Pierce of Harvard University says, ‘Every child in America who enters school at the age of five is mentally ill, because he comes to school with an allegiance to our elected officials, toward our founding fathers, toward our institutions, toward the preservation of this form of government that we have — patriotism, nationalism, and sovereignty. All that proves that children are sick because a truly well individual is one who has rejected all of those things, and is truly the international child of the future.”
Might we now wonder just what George Bush’s new world order was? I think that we may well know. A world society may come to pass, but the last time the world came together, they turned against God — Tower Of Babel.
“It’s OK to lie. It’s OK to steal. It’s OK to have premarital sex. It’s OK to cheat, or to kill if these things are part of your value system, and you have clarified these values for yourself. The important thing is not what values you choose, but that you have chosen them yourself freely and without coercion of parents, spouse, priest, friends, ministers or social pressure of any kind.”
Need we wonder why the gangs in our cities feel that there is nothing wrong with what they are doing? No.
Let us consider humanism in this section. I would like to go through their manifestoes point by point and make comments. The quotes are all from their manifestoes.
HUMANIST MANIFESTO I (1933)
As you read this document it is clear that they are replacing old outdated religion with the new “Humanist Religion”.
As we go through these points keep our country and society in mind and see if you see signs of Humanism around us.
1. Humanism Is Atheistic:
The universe is “self-existing and not created”. I recently read that all of Wheaton’s scientific faculty were theistic evolutionists.
2. Humanism Is Evolutionary: Man “has emerged as the result of a continuous process” — a part of nature.
3. Humanism Is Mortalistic: The “dualism of mind and body must be rejected.” Only one unit exists. The mind and body is one item that is going to die. Serve it well.
4. Man’s religious culture and civilization emerge from man’s “interaction with his natural environment and with his social heritage.” This is true for the unsaved, but we have the Bible to shape our culture and civilization. Their system is all downward according to Romans one for the unsaved.
5. Realities may be found only by “means of intelligent inquiry and by the assessment of their relation to human needs.” Religion must be based on findings of the “scientific spirit and method.” No. True religion must be based on the Bible. Natural laws can be found by the scientific method, but moral laws come form God.
6. “Theism, Deism, Modernism,” and other thoughts are in the past. They are outdated. This is false advertising. Christianity would be included in their “other thoughts,” and my Bible tells me it is eternal as is our God. Already we can see they reject God, the Bible, and thing’s spiritual.
How can we deal with a humanist? Ask that the Holy Spirit to work in their heart. Philosophically — show them that there is the possibility of a supreme creator. Explain that the Word is God’s message to man. Explain the Gospel, including hell.
7. Religion should grow from “actions, purpose, and experience which are humanly significant.” No. Religion is set within the Scriptures.
They say that “Nothing human is alien to the religious.”
Religion “. . .includes labor, art, science, philosophy, love, friendship, recreation — all that is in its degree expressive of intelligently satisfying human living.” Is there a sense in which we’ve blown this? The Denver Art Museum, years ago, had a lot of religious art, but it was all depicting Roman Catholic theology. We probably should appreciate what is being done in some of our Christian schools in the area of the arts, rather than condemning them for their efforts.
“The distinction between the sacred and the secular can no longer be maintained.” There may be a hint of truth in what they say, if I understand what they say. Christianity has substituted separation from the world for the separation from worldly practices. We have no art, we have no science, we have little philosophy. We have eliminated those things from our existence. Art is not bad, nor immoral as such. Indeed, we use art in our literature and books, so why have we separated ourselves from the idea of religious art.
The problem for the humanist is that they relegate all of these things as an end to bring man to the highest point that he can climb. God says that man can reach much higher plains than just this life.
8. The “development and fulfillment” of man’s personality in this life is of prime importance. In a sense this is true for Christians if God is doing the developing and fulfilling. Many of these points are good points, with God left out.
9. Where religious people gain fulfillment in worship and prayer the Humanist finds fulfillment in a “heightened sense of personal life and in a cooperative effort to promote social well being.” In a sense this is what Christians gain from worship, prayer, and seeing to one another’s well being.
It is of interest that the liberals and the Mormons are fully into this aspect of humanism. They concentrate on the physical needs of people. It might be added that one of the darts of criticism thrown toward Christians, is that they are not meeting the physical needs of people, and those throwing the darts are correct. We have for too long blinded ourselves to the physical in deference to the spiritual.
10. There will be no more “religious emotions and attitudes” associated with the supernatural. (because there is no supernatural.) They think as the Russians thought about religion. Declare it nonexistent and it won’t exist.
11. “We assume that Humanism will take the path of social and mental hygiene and discourage sentimental and unreal hopes and wishful thinking.” Man will face any crises of life in “terms of his knowledge of their naturalness and probability.” This is why people can feel so indifferent to death. It is part of the natural order, so must be taken in stride. No big deal.
This is why abortion is so popular, and it is why the killing of the elderly is coming to our society.
12. To increase joy in living the Humanist will “aim to foster the creative in man and to encourage achievements that add to the satisfactions of life.”
The Christian does the same except that he does it for the satisfaction of God.
13. All religious institutions must be reorganized as soon as possible to help in the fulfillment of life and the enhancement of “human life.” Indeed, this is being done; the world council of churches is going down the humanistic trail.
We see in this point that the humanist is gearing all of life toward life, and not God. God is non-existent, thus must be programed out of our thinking.
14. “A socialized and cooperative economic order must be established to the end that the equitable distribution of the means of life be possible. The goal of Humanism is a free and universal society in which people voluntarily and intelligently cooperate for the common good. Humanists demand a shared life in a shared world.” Sounds like the world economic system. “SWIFT” is an international banking organization of one thousand banks that make their transactions electronically. The control of the individual by electronic numbers is quickly coming to us.
Socialism and communism do not work, yet the American people want more and more social programs. We are speeding toward socialism, while the communist countries are fleeing from it. They have rejected humanism, because it does not work, while we desire it because we are in the middle of its promises, and have not yet reached its inadequacies.
15. Humanism will “affirm life rather than Deny It;” (Somewhat Strange In
that they hold to abortion.)
“seek to elicit the possibilities of life, not flee from it;”
“endeavor to establish the conditions of a satisfactory life for all, not merely for the few.”
From these goals the flow of Humanism will progress. Have you heard this in religious circles lately? Reverend Ike, and several others are preaching a get rich theology, where all you have to do is ask and you will be rich. God is a great big Santa Claus.
“The quest for the good life is still the central task for mankind.” This probably in one sentence, sums up all that God is combating in the world system today. The good life. The good life as Madison Avenue portrays it. God tells us that we can have the good life by walking with Him through trials and troubles, while the humanist tells us the good life requires no trials and troubles.
This manifesto was signed by John Dewey [father of the modern public school system philosophy], R. Lester Mondale [father of Walter Mondale the politician], and others.
In short: A communistic society that can eat drink and be merry for they only die.
HUMANIST MANIFESTO II
They shoot themselves in the foot, so to speak, in the opening statements of this document.
“The future is however, filled with dangers. In learning to apply the scientific method to nature and human life, we have opened the door to ecological damage, overpopulation, dehumanizing institutions, totalitarian repression, and nuclear and biochemical disaster. Faced with apocalyptic prophesies and doomsday scenarios, many flee in despair from reason and embrace irrational cults and theologies of withdrawal and retreat.” Everything isn’t peaches and cream — somebody left some of the pits in.
Yet, they stated in their 1933 document, “Religion must formulate its hopes and plans in the light of the scientific spirit and method.” Much of what they describe comes from some of the people that they have been educating for so many years with the thought of modern education produced by one of their proponents, John Dewey.
In the next paragraph they state, “We need to extend the uses of scientific method,”
Following along with point number fourteen of the Humanist Manifesto I they state, “The ultimate goal should be the fulfillment of the potential for growth in each human personality — not for the favored few, but for all of humankind. Only a shared world and global measures will suffice.”
It is stated that many religions etc. claim heritage in the Humanist camp yet they are not truly Humanist. However the H.M.II states that
“Humanism is an ethical process through which we all can move, above and beyond the divisive particulars, heroic personalities, dogmatic creeds, and ritual customs of past religions or their mere negation.” They say that other isms cannot be humanist, yet all of us, no matter what ism we belong to can be humanist. (listed were: types of Humanism — “scientific, ethical, democratic, religious, and Marxist”. Those claiming to be heirs of Humanism — “Free thought, Theism, Agnosticism, Skepticism, Deism, Rationalism, Ethical culture, and Liberal Religion…”) I might add the “God is dead” issue comes from humanist thought.
In short we all can work toward the goals of Humanism in our own way, but that we will all get there one day through cooperation in areas of commonality. How can you work separately, commonly?
1. No God — Man Saves Mankind
This point seems to restate much that was stated in H.M.I. “No deity will save us; we must save ourselves.” This is also the thought of communism
— only communism will save man. Again, I might make mention of the fact that communism did not save man. The Russian people would declare this openly.
2. “Promises of immortal salvation or fear of eternal damnation are both illusory and harmful. They distract humans from present concerns, from self-actualization, and from rectifying social injustices.” “There is no credible evidence that life survives the death of the body. We continue to exist in our progeny and in the way that our lives have influenced others in our culture.”
This contradicts the history of all civilizations that believed in some sort of afterlife.
They view religions as obstacles to human progress. Other ideologies including governmental systems such as capitalism and communism also hinder human progress. Throw out religion, government, and economics so we can spread the money around. Everything will be great. Once all is given equally there will be no more problems. Again, I mention communism and the total collapse of the system that did not work. I am sure that the humanist would say that communism is not humanism, yet the points of each system are very similar.
3. Moral values come from experience. “Ethics is autonomous and situational, needing no theological or ideological sanction. Ethics stems from human need and interest. To deny this distorts the whole basis of life. Human life has meaning because we create and develop our futures. Happiness and the creative realization of human needs and desires, individually and in shared enjoyment, are continuous themes of Humanism. We strive for the good life here and now.”
No moral standard, they say. No ethical standard, they say. And now we can know where our present world came from. No morals and no ethics have been the result in the United States in the 90’s.
4. “The controlled use of scientific methods, which have transformed the natural and social sciences since the renaissance, must be extended further in the solution of human problems.”
(Didn’t we see somewhere that the scientific method caused trouble? “In learning to apply the scientific method to nature and human life, we have opened the door to ecological damage, overpopulation, dehumanizing institutions, totalitarian repression, and nuclear and biochemical disaster.”)
“As science pushes back the boundary of the known, one’s sense of wonder is continually renewed, and art, poetry, and music find their places, along with religion and ethics.” They have stated that religion was passing away — are art and poetry and music to pass away also? What do art, poetry, and music have to do with science? Can we say that what is going on in current popular music is an improvement on the past?
5. “We reject all religious ideological, or moral codes that denigrate the individual, suppress freedom, dull intellect, dehumanize personality. We believe in maximum individual autonomy consonant with social responsibility.”
“The possibilities of individual freedom of choice exist in human life and should be increased.” Indeed, there is free choice and they practice it when they reject God.
Every single individual is free to do as they please. This can only be if we eliminate not only morals, and ethics, but all laws, governments, committees, schools and anything else that might limit the individual. Can you envision such a social structure. Indeed, is not the legislation of no limits or controls a limit or control?
6. “In the area of sexuality, we believe that intolerant attitudes, often cultivated by orthodox religions and puritanical cultures, unduly repress sexual conduct. The right to birth control, abortion, and divorce should be recognized.”
“Moral education for children and adults is an important way of developing awareness and sexual maturity.”
Sound Like Sex Education In The Public Schools? By the way it is called “community action” in California. The use of anatomically correct models of sexual organs in the public schools is putting sexuality on the completely human — physical level, and is eliminating any possible meaning to sex in the emotional/love realm.
No wonder the teenage pregnancy rates are up. No wonder the age of sexual activity is down. It’s just a biological function to be engaged in when we want to. The Christian Should Be Horrified At What Is Being Taught In The Public School Systems.
How can you have a democracy if you are redistributing wealth — causing all to live on the same income — and how is it governed? Surely they wouldn’t want to tax people and cramp their personality.
7. “To enhance freedom and dignity the individual must experience a full range of civil liberties in all societies. This includes freedom of speech and the press, political democracy, the legal right of opposition to governmental policies fair judicial process, religious liberty, freedom of association, and artistic, scientific, and cultural freedom. It also includes a recognition of an individual’s right to die with dignity, euthanasia, and the right to suicide.”
The American humanist cries for much of what he already has in this country. Most of these items are guaranteed in our Constitution, yet we can’t have the restraints of government. They seem illogical at times. You cannot guarantee the things they desire without governmental control.
The cry for democracy is also seen in that statement — a democracy is a governmental system. They do not want government, so how can they want democracy?
8. “We are committed to an open and democratic society. We must extend participatory democracy in its true sense to the economy, the school, the family, the workplace, and the voluntary associations.” To have this completed they must eliminate all Christians, Muslims, Buddhists etc. Open, requires only humanists in society. Sounds like Hitler’s Arian world. I have to wonder what will happen when they mix humanism with Arianism.
Have we not seen this today? Demanding democracy in the home, in the school, in the work place, etc. Unions have tried in the work place and seem to be failing. People feel the company has no right to run it the way they want to. If a strike is called the company is not allowed to hire replacements. “MY RIGHTS” The unions fail to understand that in a democracy, the company extends rights to the worker as the company sees fit, not as the employee sees fit. If they want democracy, they will have to find a way to function without the free enterprise aspect of it. They will need to have a democracy that controls all aspects of life, which sounds like communism, which is what humanism is.
9. “The separation of church and state and the separation of ideology and state are imperatives.” Yet, the humanism ideology will become the state and that is okay. Again, their logic escapes me.
How can you have separation of church and state if they don’t believe in the church, nor any religious institution?
How do you separate ideology from the state. The state is made up of people that certainly have some sort of ideology.
Some today demand separation of Church and state? They say that the constitution demands it. No, it doesn’t. Indeed, the founders of our country instituted prayer in the governmental sessions, had Bibles printed with government funds, and founded the country on spiritual principles. We in later years have had a judicial system that has given us separation of church and state.
10. Economic systems should be evaluated by “whether or not they increase economic well-being for all individuals and groups, minimize poverty and hardship, increase the sum of human satisfaction, and enhance the quality of life.” “We need to democratize the economy and judge it by its responsiveness to human needs testing results in terms of the common good.”
Have you heard this on the news in recent years? We need to decrease military spending so that we can help the poor. We need to cut the space program and worry about the problems on earth. Yes, the media has attempted to move this into American thinking.
By the way if the riches of the world are distributed evenly as they desire, how can poverty and hardship exist?
11. They view a national minimum guaranteed annual income as necessary to help the poor, sick, etc.
“We believe in the right to universal education.”
This study is continued in the next topic. There you find how humanism has filtered into the church and Christian family.
12. One World Government And Law:
“We have reached a turning point in human history where the best option is to transcend the limits of national sovereignty and to move toward the building of a world community in which all sectors of the human family can participate. Thus we look to the development of a system of world law and a world order based upon transnational federal government.” Have we seen anyone doing this lately? Jessie Jackson has done it several times, going to different places as an individual. In the 90’s there was an entertainment ban imposed on the resort “Sun City” in South Africa, to oppose Apartheid.
It is reported that some public schools are no teaching a global citizenship instead of American citizenship.
13. World Peace: Through decreased military spending, negotiation, and compromise. “It is a planetary imperative to reduce the level of military expenditures and turn these savings to peaceful and people-oriented uses.” The one world government requires us to abandon force for “negotiation and compromise”.
This again, sounds very much like the Bush administration. It occurs to me that the humanist system is putting Bush down for doing what they want to do.
The main premise of this point is not at all wrong. To negotiate and compromise into world peace would be great. Indeed, we have seen it work at times. The problem is that God tells us that wars will always be with us. How can we intelligently know that war will come and decrease our defenses? The American public has been sold a dangerous attitude when it comes to military spending and peace. The only peace that will come is with the Lord in the Millennial kingdom.
14. Save The Earth: Radical change in the environmental attitude of the world would be needed to conserve the earth.
They are correct in their attempt to save the earth. We are poisoning ourselves, and enjoying the benefits of the poison. We as believers should be interested in the environmental issues. We believe that we are stewards of what God has given us, yet we do little about the creation that He has given.
Totally committing your life to environmentalism is not needed, yet recycling a can or two wouldn’t hurt.
15. Human Rights Through Redistribution Of Wealth: “It is the moral obligation of the developed nations to — provide — through an international authority that safe guards human rights — massive technical, agricultural, medical, and economic assistance, including birth control techniques, to the developing portions of the globe. World poverty must cease. Hence extreme disproportions in health, income, and economic growth should be reduced on a worldwide basis.”
In the area of health and physical suffering the world needs help, yet many of the societies that function far below our American poverty level, find that they are happy. The humanist desires that the world population have the same opportunity as the Americans, to have it all — all the things and toys that they want. Things and toys are not the producer of happiness. Indeed, Americans are finding that they do not bring happiness. Why should the world be forced into materialism just to make the humanist feel good.
16. Develop Technology. “We would resist any moves to censor basic scientific research on moral, political, or social grounds.” They would encourage the scientific community to try clones. Raise clones for transplanting organs. Genetic engineering? Go for it no matter the outcome. We have unleashed bacteria that eat oil, in the ocean. Do we really know what long term effects that will have?
I really wonder what effect their free scientific research will do to the environment that they want to clean up and keep pure.
17. Remove all international barriers to international travel, culture, and science. All of Europe is doing this. Indeed, the common market is doing much of what humanism wants. We are now seeing interest on the part of the ex-communist block in economic union. They are talking of an organization of their own, yet one must wonder if merger with The Common Market isn’t in the future.
HUMANITY AS A WHOLE
In closing. The world cannot wait for governments to come together on their own. “Destructive ideological differences among Communism, Capitalism, Socialism, Conservatism, Liberalism, and Radicalism should be overcome.”
“Humanism thus interpreted is a moral force that has time on its side. We believe that humankind has the potential intelligence, good will, and cooperative skill to implement this commitment in the decades ahead.”
How do you react to that statement? True, they have time, potential intelligence, good will and cooperation however the last coming together of man to one purpose ended in trouble. Read the account of Babel.
“These affirmations are not a final credo or dogma but an expression of a living and growing faith.”
Some of the people signing H.M.II were:
Isaac Asimov, science fiction writer (wrote for Playboy)
Edd Doerr, Americans United for Separation of Church and State Bette Chambers, President of American Humanist Association
Alan F. Guttmacher, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Paul Kurtz, Editor of “The Humanist”
Lester Mondale, former President, Fellowship of Religious Humanists and brother of Walter Mondale
B. F. Skinner, Harvard prof.
Norman Fleishman, Executive Vice Pres., Planned Parenthood World Population
Betty Friedan, founder, National Organization of Women
Now we need to use the above information to help ourselves, our churches and our country to realize how much humanism has already affected us.
Robert Schuller, one of the television church leaders: “the new reformation will return our focus to the sacred right of every person to self-esteem” (Robert Schuller, “Self-Esteem: The New Reformation”; p. 36-38) Sound familiar?
How does humanism affect us? Ourselves, our local churches, our universal church, our mission boards, our families, our society, our schools, our business, our labor, our government.
How does humanism affect us? Let us look and see.
1. I am to be satisfied. My wife doesn’t do enough for me. The church hasn’t really ministered to me. (This is where most of our work on renewal has been, and the church is still ineffective in our global work.) My husband never pays attention to me. I want more pay.
2. “I want” The I Want Me To Be Comfortable Syndrome.
Count up. How many stereos do you own? How many televisions do you own? How many cars do you own? How many clothes do you own? Now, how many of these items are really needed?
How many of your personal belongings could you put out at a garage sale and still allow you to live relatively comfortable? Yes, I think most of us have had a case or two of the I Wants.
I’m not pointing the finger at anyone. Only trying to open all of us to the possibility that we as Christians are wide open to the “I want me to be comfortable syndrome”.
When our three children were still at home, I counted up the number of stereos in our home. Now mind you there was a real good reason for purchasing every single one of them.
There was the one in the living room, there was the one at my desk, there was the one in the car, there was the one in Tim’s room, there was the one in Stan’s room, there was the one in Laurie’s room, there was the two in the storage area awaiting the garage sale, and then there are the small portable earphone type stereos of which we had five. Boy are we fixed for sound. Everyone of them was a present, on sale, or needed. At the Derickson home over the years the “I want to be comfortable syndrome” has had its inroads from time to time.
How about at your home?
I overheard two older men at a garage sale that they were having. One of the men asked the other, “Remember how bad we needed these things when we bought them?”.
OUR LOCAL CHURCHES SELF-ORIENTED
1. We dwell on self-esteem. Christ is to be pre-eminent in our lives not ourselves. it is not “what I want in life,” it is “what he wants for my life” that counts.
2. We dwell on how I relate to the church. It is very seldom that I hear that someone is coming to church here because he wants to help build the church up for the Lord. It is usually something like “the church really ministers to me.” or “the pastor really helps me understand the bible.” These are not wrong, but they are not all that “church” is about.
3. We dwell on how the church ministers to me. If the church does not minister to the person the person usually will find one that will.
4. We dwell on having a pleasant building or plant to worship in. If we weren’t so self centered wouldn’t we expand our financial blessings, so that others could be included in the family of God rather than concentrate on buildings?
5. Because we are giving to self, we have less to give to God. Offerings are down, money is short, expanding missions giving is hard, and there is no money for projects and ministries that come along within the church.
One of the churches we attended, refused to increase a veteran missionary’s support by $50 a month to get him back to the field, yet a month later raised commitments in about five minutes, to give $600-700 per month for a youth pastor for about fifteen kids.
6. We have poor attitudes toward divorce and remarriage. Divorce and remarriage is a direct result of “My Rights” and humanism.
7. Church discipline has no meaning: If each person is an authority unto themselfves then there is no one that can tell him he is doing wrong.
I knew a church that had two couples involved in immorality. It was six months before one of the innocent husbands convinced his erring wife that she had done wrong. By the way the pastor initiated no church discipline, the erring parties were never rebuked, and the pastor shortly after, went on to head up a mission organization. Need we wonder why the church is impotent today?
If there is nothing wrong with what goes on with two consenting adults then affairs are the person’s business, and no problem.
A Christian man in the Midwest, when confronted by his pastor about the alcohol from his home that had caused a serious accident via one of his children, stated, “You have no right telling me what to do in my home. Get out.”
8. Leaders and teachers are spending too much time in books and seminars by people that are bordering on humanism in their thinking. More time should be spent in the Word and practical study.
We hear so much teaching on the raising of families and marriage yet some of these people aren’t able to keep their own marriages together.
The humanist tells us the child has rights — let him try what he wants so he can mold himself. This translates into a teen that has molded himself to do what he wants. This translates into a church member that is going to do as he pleases. This translates into a lack of missionaries and pastors. Yes. We Do Have Problems In The Church That Are Caused By Humanism.
The Catholic Church, which is a form of humanism, has a tremendous shortage of priests. They say it is because of celibacy — I have rights — I want — I won’t give up my right to sex for God. This is the attitude of many of the young and old alike in the Roman Church.
9. The stress on enjoying ourselves — good lighting, padded pews, great equipment, maybe a gym, etc.
I have heard this same story in two places when people were discussing the need of a church building. One was a church with a building and the other was a church that was considering their first building. The same reason for the need of a building was given — “It’s so much trouble carrying hymnals in from the car and setting up for Sunday School, in our rented building. This was the main reason for keeping the building in one case and building one in the other case. The church without a building was only paying part of the utilities and were sharing a building with another church. They really had no need of a building except for the inconvenience. The building they were considering was to cost over a million dollars.
Really. A million dollars so they don’t have to carry hymnals. How Can We Carry The Cross Of Christ When We Can’t Even Carry Hymnals? Do you realize a million dollars invested properly would create a fund that would fund five missionaries, or pastors and those that followed them fully, until the Lord comes?
10. Probably the biggest problem and I only place it here for convenience sake as it affects all of our areas — family, church, universal church, and society.
Sin. There is nothing that is wrong anymore it seems we have rationalized most sin away in one way or another. Most things are relegated to the gray areas these days. If you can do it with a clear conscience then it is okay for you. There are a few definites yet, but we see even divorce as becoming accepted in churches. One of the main line denominations reportedly has a divorce service in their Ministers Manual now.
Many Christians allow things in their home, via the television, that they would never have dreamed of allowing ten years ago in light of “well the kids need something to watch.”
11. We dwell on the body (of Christ) at times to the exclusion of the lost.
OUR UNIVERSAL CHURCH
1. A bloated fleshly mass that is comfortable — so comfortable that we can’t send ministers of the gospel out full time. I’m not speaking of missionaries only. I’m sure we would be shocked at the number of pastors in this country, right now, which are working outside their churches to support their ministries. Many other pastor’s wives work to help their husband have time for their ministry.
At least the humanist is trying to change all of man. The church primarily is only trying to improve itself. We are letting the world go to hell while we continually build ourselves up and make ourselves comfortable.
2. Pastors that are turning down $30,000 plus a fancy parsonage as not enough. I was recently told of a man that had been turning down churches offering $40,000 pay packages, so that he would be able to accept one offering a $50,000 pay package when it came along.
3. Churches of 125 members with two missionaries on their budget.
4. Million dollar building programs. One report mentioned that churches spent over one billion dollars on buildings in one year in this country.
OUR MISSION BOARDS
I see in missionaries, something which bothers me greatly, and I believe it stems from humanistic thought in the church and possibly in the workers as well. I see a cold view toward support and supporters. When retirement age comes — you owe me — you shouldn’t drop my support when I retire. The thought that this is Gods provision seems to be way in the background. It is a business to keep your support. This is in part the problem of the church in their spastic and oftentimes, sudden ending support. It is also in part due to the worker looking to the church for support rather than to the Lord.
You write supporters at least every other month, you go see them as often as you can, you send them small Christmas presents, you send prayer letters to report your progress, etc. These things are great so don’t take me wrong, but some view this as “have to” to keep their support, and this is not right.
Some talk I hear concerning support sounds like a farmer talking about so many potatoes that he is going to take to market.
Some missionaries chose the church they go to while on furlough based on which church they think they might receive support from. Some attend two churches regularly in the hopes of gaining support from both. (One in the morning and one in the evening.)
I was told once by a pastor of a pioneer work that I was the only missionary that had ever contacted him. “We are too small to bother with,” he told me.
It has been said that there is little money out there so you can be sure the flashiest person will get it. Is that anyway to finance missions?
Humanistic thought dictates how we approach the lost. In the past God was almost universally held to by the world. It just depended on how they viewed God, or in which god they believed. Today many reject any and all concepts of god. These people must see that there is a God, and then we can introduce them to the God of the Bible.
The lack of commitment of Christians is making recruitment very difficult. We are going to retire many more workers in the next ten years than we recruit. The search for a fulfilled life is not to be found in the underpaid position of missionary. The fun life style certainly isn’t in the South American jungle. Etc.
When it takes as long to raise support as it does to gain your education, recruits are going to go a different direction.
Dr. Kienel the executive director of Christian Schools International in a short article shared some thoughts about the humanization of the Christian home. He mentioned “disrespect for authority”/”decline in discipline at home and at school”/”decline in academics”/”self centeredness”/”total academic freedoms”/”total sexual freedom.” Any of that ring a bell with you?
Dare we ask how much television has affected ourselves and our families with this thinking? The screen is pumping their thinking into our families at nearly every show in some way or another — even if only the commercials…
Schools: It is obvious. We have covered this already.
Business: From Beneficial National Bank, Wilmington, Delaware. “Dear Mark Derickson: Only those who ‘have arrived’ will receive this particular offer, Mark Derickson. . .and rightly so. You see, at Beneficial, we’ve created the prestigious preferred credit program with successful professionals like you in mind. . .proven individuals who have already achieved a station in life far above many people, and most of your peers.” WOW. What a dose of humanistic thought to get me to borrow from them.
Labor: We have already mentioned the problems of labor.
Government: Governor Richard Lamm of Colorado once said that terminally ill old people ought to just die and get out of the way. He likened the dieing as humus for the other plants to grow on. He felt that keeping terminally ill patients alive was ruining the countries economy.
How do we combat the effects of humanism?
On our local churches? On our universal church? On our mission boards? On our families?
On our society? Ourselves:
1. Take time to know humanism and it’s god — Satan. realize what it is, and commit yourself to avoiding it’s teachings.
2. Commit yourself to holding to the Word only, and not trying to apply humanistic thinking to it.
3. Ask God to show you any areas where you need to change your life.
OUR LOCAL CHURCHES
1. The board should be educated about the subject. They should consider motives, methods, and programs of the church to see what influences of humanism have crept in. All new programs should also be reviewed in light of this problem.
2. Inform all people in the church of the problems of humanism — from adult to child. This should be done with a strong eye to the Biblical absolutes that humanism tries to destroy.
3. Be sure that new staff members are knowledgeable of the problems as well.
What areas should we consider and evaluate?
Music: Does it bring glory to God or the performer?
Education: Are we using proper materials and teaching proper concepts. Worship: Is it centered on making us feel good, or is it centered on God? Church Government: Is our church government Scriptural or do we accept a lot of tradition?
Youth Program: Are we teaching the Bible, or some feel good about yourself material?
Discipline: Is it properly administered? To all people?
OUR UNIVERSAL CHURCH
1. As you meet other Christians challenge them with what you have learned — challenge them to do their part at their own church.
2. Leaders: See to it that the schools and seminaries are teaching a proper view of things in all subjects such as theology, philosophy and psychology. If they aren’t, don’t send them money or students.
Our leaders should be educating Christians through magazine articles, books, and teaching.
3. Is not the overemphasis on “Jesus” in our music and in some of our movements a “Humanizing” of Christ? Keeping Him on our level — Someone we can identify with as a man, and not be convicted because we don’t see Him as God, and pure, and holy? Just a question.
OUR MISSION BOARDS
1. This is similar to the items mentioned for the board of the local churches. Education of the people.
2. They might even want to change some of their procedures. Possibly their fund raising is a bit out of line. If so, they should change it.
1. I am not a proponent of Christian schools usually, but this is one very good way of cutting the amount of humanism that your family is submitted to. Most of what your child learns of humanism comes from the public school system. The rest from the media.
2. Be on the alert to what they see and read, and help them to understand the Scriptural precepts involved.
3. Limiting television will help, to be sure.
We need to be helping govern. The public schools are going to keep pumping out humanistic centered people. We need to have our own spokespeople. Help govern. Help run public schools. Get behind politicians you can support, even work for them if you have time.
I won’t go into the detail of a study I did once, but let it suffice to say if you compare humanism to Hitler’s program and to the Roman Catholic Church, I’m sure that you will find many similarities.
What does it boil down to then?
Be knowledgeable, be sure you aren’t a sermon for humanism, share the knowledge you have, be challenged to labor harder for the Lord, serve and give of yourself, and watch for signs of wrong thinking in your family. Correct it as soon as you can
Be assured, the one world government and economy won’t come until God is ready for it. The humanist movement can’t get ahead of God, yet it can affect our families and churches, as well as our own effectiveness.
Think about something for me for a moment. Is not all of sin tied to satisfying self? Is not all of humanism tied to satisfying self?
I REST MY CASE.
THE GARDEN OF EDEN
I would like to trace some different topics backward through the Bible to see what we might see about the Garden of Eden and its possible location. We will deal with a number of topics and show their relationship to one another.
The Millennial Temple: Take a few moments to read Ezekiel 43:1-9. Wow. Let’s turn to another text in Ezekiel and read a few verses. Ezekiel 11:22-23.
The context of this passage shows the Lord has been completely disgusted with the children of Israel and is removing His special presence from His temple area. “Then did the cherubims lift up their wings, and the wheels beside them; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above. And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain which is on the east side of the city.”
We see from these two texts that the Lord was in the temple in the time of the prophets, but that He left due to their sin. We also notice that He will one day return to the temple that will be built in the time of the Millennial Kingdom.
The old temple was on the site of a rock. Indeed, today the Arabs have a mosque on this very site. It is called the Dome of the Rock. Most expositors agree that this will be the site of the future Millennial temple. Indeed, Jews of our own day state that this is the location where they will build the temple of God one day, for it is the site of the old temples.
Well, we have looked at Jerusalem and the temple site in the future and in our present day, so let’s take a look at this site in its past.
Herod’s Temple: In the time of Christ there was a large temple on this site which was built by Herod. This temple was destroyed by the Roman armies in 70 A.D. when they destroyed Jerusalem. The temple burned, and they found that the heat had melted gold and that the gold had run down into the cracks between the rocks. The next logical solution to greed was to tear the temple apart rock by rock to get the gold.
The only part of this temple that is left in our own day is what is called the wailing wall. It is a small portion of the foundation of the old temple where orthodox Jews pray.
Let’s consider the Matthew of Olives for a moment or two. Baker’s Bible Atlas gives a good description of this mountain. “Paralleling the eastern elevation of Jerusalem, separated from it by the Kidron Valley, is the mile long ridge of limestone hills known as the Mount of Olives, or Olivet (elevation about 2,680 feet).” (Pheiffer, Charles F.; “Baker’s Bible Atlas”; Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1961)
Let us look at some items of interest relating to this mountain:
a. Christ prayed there: Luke 31:37, “And in the day time he was teaching in the temple; and at night he went out, and abode in the mount that is called the mount of olives.”
b. Christ taught of the end times there: Matthew 24:3, “And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”
By the way the context of this was a statement by the Lord that is of interest. They had just left the temple and Christ speaks to them.
“And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” Matthew 24:2
Sound familiar? That is what happened in AD 70.
c. The Triumphal entry began on the Matthew of Olives: Mark 11:1. Christ sent the disciples, from the Matthew of Olives, to get the donkey and then marched into Jerusalem from there.
d. He ascended from there: Acts 1:11-12 “Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. “Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet….”
e. He will return in like manner and I would assume to the same place: Acts 1:11. Indeed, Zechariah 14:4 states this as fact. “And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north,
and half of it toward the south.” (Ezekiel 43:1-7 speaks of the return to the city as well.)
f. The Glory of the Lord departed from the Mount of Olives: Ezekiel 11:22ff
It seems that this temple area has some importance to God.
Ezra’s Temple: Prior to Christ’s time there was a smaller temple that had been constructed by some of the Jews that returned from captivity in Babylon.
This return was under Ezra and the temple is mentioned in Ezra 6:13-22. Verse 16 mentions, “And the children of Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the rest of the children of the captivity, kept the dedication of this house of God with joy,”
Since this was a rebuilding of the temple, we must assume that it was on the site of the previous temple that had been destroyed when the people were taken into captivity. The purpose of this return and rebuilding was to restore Jerusalem, their city. This by the way was the site of the Herodian temple of Christ’s time as well.
Solomons Temple: This temple was of great splendor. The site of this temple was on the site of David’s sacrifice after the sin of numbering the people. 2 Samuel 24:18 mentions, “And Gad came that day to David, and said unto him, Go up, rear an altar unto the Lord in the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.”
The account mentions that David purchased this floor and made the offerings. The temple site that Solomon chose is seen in 2 Chronicles 3:1, “Then Solomon began to build the house of the Lord at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the Lord appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.”
We see from this text that Solomon’s temple was built on the site where David offered, however a third title is given to this particular place. Mount Moriah.
What significance is there to the term Mount Moriah?
If you have a cross reference in your Bible, it will send you to Genesis 22:2 where Abraham is told to offer Isaac.
“And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.”
Since the writer of Chronicles names the temple site as Mount Moriah, there must have been basis for thinking that it was where Abraham offered Isaac.
Notice the phrase the mountain “…which I will tell thee of.” There was a special place that the Lord wanted Abraham to meet him with his offering. It is also of interest that the priest that came out to meet with Abraham after Abraham had saved Lot from the armies was from Salem. Melchizedek was the king and priest of Salem. Salem, by the way is Jerusalem.
Do you begin to feel that the temple site in Jerusalem and the city of Jerusalem are of some importance to the Lord our God? Might we take one step further backward and see what we can discover?
Cain And Abel’s Temple: Cain and Abel offered sacrifices according to Genesis four. Genesis 4:3-4, “And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering:”
We don’t want to get into the offerings and problems, but we do want to notice one thing from the verse. Both “brought”. What does that indicate? They “brought: this term would indicate that they brought it to a specific place. Since God was showing Moses the history of man, it would seem that the Lord was trying to indicate that the sons of Adam brought their offerings to God.
The $64,000 question is just where did they bring the offerings. Well, since the text does not tell us might we make a sanctified guess that it was to the same place that Adam and Eve probably took their sacrifices. Since there were only four people on earth I must assume that there was only the
First Baptist church. They wouldn’t have had time to split and start the Bible church yet.
The next question is the same as the last, Just where did they bring the offerings? I am sure in my own mind that the Lord told Adam and Eve where to bring the sacrifices. He doesn’t just let us make up our own minds about such things.
Can you think of where Adam and Eve would take their sacrifices? Where is the last place that they saw the Lord? Turn to Genesis 3:22-24, “And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.”
What do you make of all that? Do you see anything in that text that rings a bell with other Old Testament items?
Cherubim — where do we know them to be? Over the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle.
The sword of flame — could that be similar to the pillar of fire and smoke that was over the tabernacle when the Jews were wandering in the wilderness.
There is some interest in the word “place”. It can, and is translated dwell in other texts in the Old Testament. The verse would then read “so he drove out the man; and he dwelled at the east of Eden….”
It is likely in my mind that when Adam and Eve sacrificed, they did it at the entrance to the garden where the Cheribium were. If they taught their sons to sacrifice, then it is logical that they would bring their sacrifices to the same location.
God was quite possibly dwelling at the entrance to the Garden of Eden where he had placed His Cheribium. If you look at Isaiah 6, and Ezekiel 1, you will find that the Cheribium are a part of the throne scene of God.
So, what conclusions might we draw? The garden of Eden was in the area of Jerusalem and the gate quite possibly was at the site of Matthew Moriah, the site of Ornan’s threshing floor, the site of Solomon’s temple, the site of Ezra’s temple, the site of Herod’s temple, the site of the Dome of the Rock, and the site of the coming Millennial temple. Does that grab your interest just a little bit?
By the way the cheribim in the Holy of Holies were at the east end of the area, which faced east. The entrances to the temples were on the east and here we see that the cherubim were on the east of Eden.
A couple of texts that might be of interest to you now:
“Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.”
Zion was another name for Jerusalem. Zechariah eight tells of the restoration of Jerusalem. It also shows the great love that God has for this city. Zechariah 8:1-3
“Again the word of the Lord of hosts came to me, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury. Thus saith the Lord; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the Lord of hosts the holy mountain.”
Psalm 87 mentions the importance of the city to God as well.
“His foundation is in the holy mountains. The Lord loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God. Selah.”
And one last reference, Isaiah 51:3,
“For the Lord shall comfort Zion; he will comfort all her waste places, and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found in it, thankgiving, and the voice of melody.”
One last thing that may add to the information that we have drawn together.
Turn to Genesis 2:8-14,
“And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every three that is pleasant to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; And the gold of that land is good: there is Bdellium and the onyx stone. And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.”
One river that divides into four rivers. The Euphrates is named and is probably the one that we know of today which is to the northeast of Israel. The Hiddekel is thought to be by most the Tigris also of which we know.
The other two rivers are unknown to us. I would like to notice however, that one of these is related to Ethiopia which has always been viewed as being south of Egypt. The only river related to that area would be the Nile, or the Red Sea. Or might we wonder if the one is the Nile and the other is the Red Sea?
If we were allowed to wonder about that, might we know what the first river is then? The only possible is the Mediterranean Sea, and guess what is at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea. A rift that is over 10,000 feet deep. In places it is 12,960 ft below sea level.
Since most agree that after the flood, there were some tremendous upheavals and down drafts. Might we assume that possibly the Mediterranean was one of the down drafts as was the Dead Sea. Indeed, if you look at maps that show the lay of the land the rift goes to the northeast corner of the sea and it is possible that the Sea of Galilee, the Jordan river and the dead sea were a part of one of the rivers.
Unger holds that the garden was in the Tigris Euphrates valley and that the other two rivers were canals between the Tigris and Euphrates. He does not speak to the question that he leaves — what the first river was.
Unger mentions, “Shifting river beds and accumulation of enormous deposits of river silt make the task of locating the site of the Pishon or the Gihon virtually impossible. But the other two rivers, Euphrates and Tigris, are well known.” (Taken from: “Unger’s Bible Dictionary”; Unger, Merrill F.; Copyright 1957, Moody Bible Institute of Chicago; Moody Press. Used by permission. P 406)
Baker’s Bible Atlas interestingly enough places the land of Havilah on the south east coast of the Red Sea.
If our thought is correct, it certainly fits with the Scripture. Pishon is related to Havilah which is the Red Sea and Gihon is related to Ethiopia which would be the Nile.
You might ask if there are any authorities that agree with my thinking? No, to this date I have found none. I will read a comment from Baker that backs up a belief in much of what I have said.
To quote Baker’s Bible Atlas, “The temple Mount, the location of Araunah’s Treshing-floor purchased by David and later used by Solomon as the site of the Temple, appears to have been north of the original Zion. It is traditionally associated with the place where Abraham offered Isaac — Mount Moriah (Genesis 22:2; II Chron. 3:1), Although the land of Moriah in the patriarchal record appears to have been a remote spot, removed from human activity. The Moriah of David’s day is the central portion of the eastern hill, and the term Zion, initially used of the Jebusite fortress to the south, came to be applied to the Temple Mount as well (cf. Psalm 55:1; Jeremiah 31:6). Once the site of Solomon’s Temple and the Temple built by the jews who returned from Babylon, the Temple Mount is now the location of the Dome of the Rock, a beautiful octogonal structure built late in the seventh century to serve as a mosque.” (Pheiffer, Charles F.; “Baker’s Bible Atlas”; Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1961, p 150)
This is something that I have been thinking about and teaching as serious Theory for some time. I have worked on it since in the 70’s and have added to it as I have found references that might relate.
I trust that others might build upon this study as time goes forward. There is to me, a large amount of information that indicates that the entrance to the garden was at the site of the temples. Notice I used the term “indicates.” We want to realize that the Bible does not state this clearly. This is only a logical conclusion based on the information available to us.
1. The pillar of smoke and flame was Christ Himself. He was over the tabernacle, and at the gate to the garden of Eden. Can we say that Christ was always the access to God the Father? I think that we can.
The last phrase of Genesis 3:24 is of interest to us in this context. “…sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.” One commentary translates the verse as follows: “And He (God) dwelt at the east of the Garden of Eden between the Cherubim, as a Shikinah (a fire tongue or fire-sword) to keep open the way to the tree of life.” (Jamieson, Fausset and Brown)
Indeed, Christ is the only way that we can ever see the tree of life that will be in the eternal state according to Revelation 22:2
“In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of
the tree were for the healing of the nations.”
2. Christ is the Angel of the Lord, and the Angel of the Lord is the pillar of fire/smoke over the tabernacle. Exodus 13:21,
“And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar
of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night.”
There are a number of references to the pillar leading the Israelites. The pillar also came down so God could communicate with Moses at the door of the tabernacle.
As a side note to the idea of a pillar in relation to meeting with God, Jacob after the vision of the ladder and the angels, took the rock that he had used as a pillow and “…set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it.” (Genesis 28:18) Then in 28:22 mentions,
“And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.”
This was at Bethel. (Bethel was a little way north of Jerusalem.)
3. If this has been a profitable study and we see that it may well be true, then are there any questions of Scripture that are unanswerable if we have the time to seek all through Scripture for information that relates to the question?
I have very few questions raised about scripture that I cannot find an answer to, if I take time to do the proper study. A few are still bothering me, and I am boiling those on the back burner until the rest of the information that I suspect is there is brought to my mind.
I trust that the study is of value and interest to you. We should come away from it with a feeling that our God is very definitely interested in meeting with man. We, in the New Testament age have easy and free access to His throne. We should enjoy that privilege to the utmost.
 Stanley L. Derickson Ph.D. B.A. (n.d.). DERICKSON’S NOTES ON THEOLOGY: A STUDY BOOK IN THEOLOGY.