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Bible Readings

by

Ron Parsons

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In this reading the old-fashioned words of the KJV have been modernised, and in some instances, the man-made punctuation has been altered for greater understanding. Some of the comments are adapted from books in my library. No recognition is given because they are not intended as authorities, but are used because they express my understanding clearly. All the ideas expressed in these readings, right or wrong, are my own. Some of these readings are available at http://ancient-sda.com/readings/books_index.html Past books will be available from time to time.

 

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The Beginning

How about a new direction to our studies?

I thought we might profitably go back to the beginning of the word of God and see how this controversy all began. I have a friend who often says that the best place to start any study in the Bible is the book of Genesis and so that’s where I propose we look. Our Elder Brother likes to show us something and then have us figure it out under the guidance of the Spirit, and He was doing this in the story recorded in the first chapter of Genesis.

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Genesis 1:1-5.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

And God said, "Let there be light:" and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light "Day", and the darkness He called "Night." And the evening and the morning were the first day.

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"God created." Hopefully by now we understand that this Person was the Son of God whom we know as Jesus the Christ, or the anointed One. Hebrews 1:1-3. It was He who had the job of creation because our Father thinks the thought, Jesus speaks the thought, and the Holy Spirit continues it.

But why?

And when was the "beginning?"

For answers to these questions we must look elsewhere in the Bible. In one place we are told of a creature who thought up sin by twisting the works of the Son of God.

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Ezekiel 28:12-15.

Son of man [Ezekiel], take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyre [as a type of Lucifer], and say to him, "Thus says the Lord GOD; You seal up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. You have been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of your tabrets [internal organs] and of your pipes [blood vessels] was prepared in you in the day that you were created."

"You are the anointed cherub that covers [one of the angels of the second apartment]; and I have set you so: you were upon the holy mountain of God; you have walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire [the sea of glass]."

"You were perfect in your ways from the day that you were created, till iniquity was found in you."

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The possibility of sin had been there from the initial creation because for every positive thing there can be a negative. The kingdom of heaven had only positives, but Lucifer turned these around and made them into negatives. And that’s where sin came from and why sinless beings who are positives themselves, have a tough time dealing with it for they don’t understand it. We, as Christians, have lived in both worlds (and sometimes still do!) so its not quite such a "black hole" to us. We understand how love can become hate etc. But of the King of the kingdom of heaven it is written:

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2 Corinthians 1:19.

"For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me [Paul] and Silvanus and Timothy, was not yes and no, but in Him was yes."

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It is obvious that Lucifer and the rest of the created beings were made at some far distant point in time, and when that was does not really concern us at the moment. What does matter is that the Spirit tells us that they were made because God wanted them, and, by extension, so were we.

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Revelation 4:11.

You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for You have created all things, and for Your pleasure they are and were created.

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However, when Jesus came to make this world fit for Adam and Eve to live in we are told that many angels came with Him to watch.

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Job 38:4-9.

[Jesus asked] Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if you have understanding. Who has laid the measures thereof, if you know? Or who has stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? Or who laid the corner stone thereof; when the morning stars sang together, and ALL THE SONS OF GOD SHOUTED FOR JOY?

Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it broke forth, as if it had issued out of the womb? When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it...

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So they were there to witness what is loosely called by many "the creation." However, when we look at the words in Genesis more carefully, we can see that the earth was already here when they arrived. Admittedly, the dry land was under a covering of constantly moving water, but the planet was already in existence, although deep down. And "darkness was upon the face of the deep."

So, the real "creation" of this planet took place when all the suns and planets were made in the far distant past. The angels and other creatures who now live on the various worlds of the universe, moved in to their home planets after their creation and universal life began. Then as we have seen, one day Lucifer thought his "evil" thought. He wanted to be "like God" and have his own dominion, for he had become jealous of the other "covering cherub", Jesus. Lucifer thought that he should be given the same treatment which he saw as "privilege", or VIP status. We all know what that feeling is like because we are all born with that same spirit. In a word "selfishness."

It is written of him:

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Isaiah 14:12-14.

How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How are you cut down to the ground, which did weaken the nations! For you have said in your heart, "I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit ALSO upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north [where God sits]: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High."

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It was in response to this rebellion (which can be called "egomania") that Jesus eventually came to this corner of the universe, and to this dark world, and began to make it habitable. His plan was to create a new race of beings to replace the rebellious and doomed angels and use this world as their home. Thus the "beginning" of the earth in Genesis 1:2 is not the same as the original creation. This was a re-arranging of the matter of an existing solar system to sustain the lives of Adam and Eve and their descendants.

The moving surface of the watery planet was "without form", or permanent shape, and "void" of life. And there was no light in this corner of the universe.

As Jesus and His friends came near to the cold solar system (the sun with its planets and their satellites), Lucifer and his angels followed. After their rebellion each was very interested in what the reaction would be. Although they had left heaven of their own free will (Jude v6) there was still a lesson which they, and all the rest of the universe needed to learn. They all knew that their Father had not used force against them in the past, and although He had said that they would "die" as a result of their attitude, the full meaning of that word escaped them. All they could think of was banishment from the courts of heaven, and when Lucifer and his crew left they gave out the impression that they were being forced into moving.

But it was really the sin which was now IN THEM that caused the evacuation. They could no longer "kick against the pricks" of the righteousness of Jesus and His people, because that irritated them too much. But, true to his negative nature, Satan blamed God for the move, and the others backed him up. We find a similar situation when Jesus came face to face with some devils on earth.

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Mark 5:11-13.

Now there was there near to the mountains a great herd of swine [pigs] feeding. And all the devils besought Him, saying, "Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them." And forthwith Jesus gave them leave [permission]. And the unclean spirits went out [of the possessed man], and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.

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As Jesus and His righteousness (aka positiveness) moved into the life of the maniac, so sin and the evil angels moved out with their negativeness, because they could not co-exist together. What the rebel angels had not realised was that the strength of two thousand pigs was not the equal of one man, and their presence made the pigs commit suicide! Of course, ever since then Jesus has been blamed for killing the pigs even though the devils made the request!!

Getting back to our story, we find that the first thing that Jesus had to do at the foundation of the world was speak, "Let there be light," and it was so. That light did not come from the sun or the moon because they were not yet shining. It came from within the Son of God and was a picture of the fact that He had life within Himself.

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"In Him [Christ] was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not." John 1:4-5.

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It is not physical life that is here specified, but immortality, the life which is exclusively the property of God and it showed itself in the light. Jesus, the Word, who was with God, and who is God, had this life. Physical life is something which each human individual receives at birth. It is not eternal or immortal except in God; for the Life-giver takes it back again when it is relinquished. "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return to God who gave it." Ecclesiastes 12:7.

Natural man has no day-to-day control over his life. But the life of Christ was unborrowed. No one can take this life from Him. "I lay it down of myself," He said, speaking of the crucifixion. John 10:18. In Him was life, original, unborrowed, underived. This life is not inherent in humanity. We can possess it only through Christ.

In this way the controversy was fully resolved in one action for those who would listen. Lucifer’s claim that the other covering Angel was one just like himself, and that they were equals was exposed for what it was – a deception. Self-deceived, he refused to accept what was so plain and continued in rebellion for the next twenty-four hours. For Jesus did not do anything more during that period. He left both the loyal and disloyal angels time in which to listen to the voice of the Spirit and confirm themselves in their decisions.

The "evening and the morning were the first day." Time had started with the darkness that covered the whole solar system, and then went on into the dawn of the new age. To this day, God’s time starts with the sunset, not midnight as the world’s does. To this day "darkness" symbolises sin, while "light" reflects the idea of truth, dispersing the darkness.

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John 12:35-36.

Then Jesus said to them, "Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walks in darkness knows not where he goes. While you have light, believe in the light, that you may be the children of light." These things spoke Jesus, and departed, and did hide Himself from them.

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The evidence that Jesus was the Son of God had been given. It was now up to each individual to accept or reject.

In these few words from the Bible we have covered the first day of the world that had just begun. From our inspired records we Christians calculate that this took place about 6,000 years ago, give or take a few. However, the Jews say we are only in the year 5760 since the beginning of time. No one knows for sure.

Despite all the best efforts of the evolutionists over the last century not every one is convinced that there have been billions of years with life on this earth, or that it came into existence as a fluke of chance. Some of us prefer to take the Bible explanation of a designed world to suit a particular situation which has now gone horribly wrong. Even the most biased of archaeologists are reluctant to move past a point of about 10,000 years ago. The leap into millions and billions of years based on fossil teeth and a few bones requires a lot of faith, and a complete rejection of the Bible record.

See you next week,

Ron.

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Hebrews 1:

1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds.

 Colossians 1:

12 Giving thanks to the Father, which has made us meet [fit] to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son [who is also the the Son of man]: 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 15 who is the image of the invisible God, the Firstborn of every creature. 

16 For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him: 17 and He is before [above] all things, and by Him all things consist.

  Ephesians 3:

8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; 9 and to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world has been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: 10 to the intent that now to the principalities and powers in heavenly places [the people of the universe] might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11 according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our LORD.  Back

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