Jewish Lives Matter: The Coming Millennial Kingdom; Part 4
Part 4: Abraham and the Family Affair
God put two trees in the midst of Eden, “The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” This series will not speculate on why God presented this choice or in some people’s assessment an actual temptation, but the backdrop was the rebellion of Lucifer.
Something else should also be noted moving forward: the creation account and subsequent deception in the garden raises a host of interpretive questions that remain unanswered by organized religion. For instance, after the deception, God prevented Adam and Eve from eating from the other tree in the midst of the garden that they were previously allowed to eat from, “The tree of life” lest they “take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” The tree of the knowledge of good and evil brought forth death while eating from the other tree would have brought forth eternal life. It seems strange indeed that Adam and Eve could have reversed their mortality by merely eating from the other tree. The only way these challenging questions will be answered is by diligent and free collective study of God’s people apart from agenda-driven orthodoxy.
True Christianity is fundamentally individualist resulting in the collective good, not the other way around. This will be explored in the future parts of this series; ie., the difference between an organized body and institutions. The collective and free actions of individuals lead to the collective good, not the dictation of “good” determined by an elite few. Stated another way: the individual has direct access to God; there is not an epistemological pecking order.
All in all, most religion has always been predicated on philosophy proffering the idea that God has appointed knowers over those who cannot know reality. And by the way, the knowers usually find their credibility in the idea that no one can know; so, the knowers are the knowers because they know that they cannot know. This series will address that construct in detail.
But for now, we will explore what God did in response to the deception, and what the Jews have to do with that. As stated before, the two trees represent a backdrop of epic conflict between God and the rebellion of angels led by Lucifer. This epic conflict is good versus evil, and life versus death. We are safe in regard to that assessment via the very descriptions of the trees and the stated result of eating from them. But God’s initial response, among many other things, marks one of His modes of operation: whatever His detractors do, He responds by upping the ante so-to-speak. God’s enemies cannot strike without God making something better of it. In this way God mocks evil; the evil actions of God’s enemies results in the previous good being made very good.
Adam and Eve were created beings, but after they were deceived, God responded by making them His very family. He created mankind as living beings that would have a family structure for organizing and increasing their state of happiness, but in response to the deception He elected their means of reconciliation (salvation) by making them His very own family. Mankind was elevated from created beings to His literal children.
Religion strongly emphasizes the forgiveness of sin, but in reality forgiveness is a by-product of becoming part of God’s family. Mankind is reconciled to God by becoming family.
The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
Aside from a myriad of discussions and interpretive questions that could be discussed about this passage and many others in the Bible, it is clear that there would be “enmity” (hatred) between two posterities: The “offspring” (many other translations use “seed”) of the serpent and the offspring of the woman. Much of the Bible’s historical documentation reports this enmity between God’s offspring and the serpent’s offspring. In fact, the enmity begins with the first siblings of human history, Cain and Able:
1John 3:12 – We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous.
All are born into the world with indwelling sin and are thereby children or offspring of the one who executed the deception in the garden. People become God’s offspring; ie., “righteous” when they believe God and what he says resulting in a “walk” with Him. Different creatures walk differently—they walk according to their nature. Ducks waddle and kangaroos hop because of how they are created.
From the beginning, starting with Adam and Eve, people were reborn into the family of God resulting in becoming God’s literal children. The Bible refers to this as being “righteous.” Don’t confuse this Old Testament new birth with the New Testament “baptism of the Spirit” which makes Jew and Gentile one body with Christ. This is “the promise” which will be further developed as we move forward.
Religious scholars are fond of constantly referring to Genesis 15:6,
Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness (NIV).
This verse, on its face, seems to indicate a mere declaration that Abram was righteous by noting the word “credited.” The Hebrew word translated “credited” can mean that, but it can also mean “to fabricate” or create. At any rate, Old Testament believers were in fact recreated as righteous beings who were credited as such and acted as such. They were righteous as a matter of their state of being. How do we know this? Christ said their very life blood was righteous:
Matthew 23:34 – Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town, 35 so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. 36 Truly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.
These were not only deemed righteous; their very life blood was righteous. That’s because they were, in fact, righteous. This new birth comes via another seed in the Bible; God’s word. Faith comes by hearing the word of God and believing it;
Romans 10:17 – So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (KJV).
Matthew 13:18 – “Hear then the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.[b] 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”
Matthew 4:4 – Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.
Galatians 3:2 – Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith?
1Peter 1:22 – Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
Abraham believed God and was made righteous. As we will see, he is a key person in God’s elected plan to reconcile mankind to Himself by making those who believe His very family. God the Father, His only Son, and the executor of the righteous offspring—the Holy Spirit. Abraham is a key figure in God’s grand plan involving a righteous royal family and its kingdom that will make all things one as opposed to sin’s major objective to divide.
And a last point before we move on: God’s word is a seed that gives us new birth, but for those born again, it is also the milk by which we grow. According to 1Peter 2:2, that must be “pure” milk. This is a call to the individual born of God to ascertain what is pure truth and not pure truth. We are not to take other people’s word for it and thereby be tossed about like the waves in regard to every wind of doctrine.