Corrupt Seed

Spiritual death is one of the most difficult Bible truths to understand. It truly boggles the human mind. It is truth that human ears have never heard. To begin to understand we have to go back to the way that God created Adam – technically. I picture this special creation this way. God the Son was the Creator of all things (Col. 1:16). He made everything. He spoke everything into being (Psa. 33:6-9). He made Adam from the dust of the ground. I picture in my mind the Lord Jesus Christ in His preincarnate form working as the divine Potter, beautifully shaping the man – taking care of every detail: his head, torso, arms, and legs, and then the critical part. He bent down over the man and breathed into him the breath of life (Gen. 2:7). It is at this point that God gives another amazing glimpse. The Hebrew words should not have been translated “the breath of life.” That would have been the singular, nephesh chayah. This is the phrase that God used when He created the air-breathing animals (Gen. 1:20). The Hebrew Bible, in a crucial but silent contrast, uses neshima chayyim in reference to Adam. To make an English word plural, you add an “s” or “es.” If you sought to make a Hebrew masculine noun plural, you would add an “im.” For example, one cherub, two cherubim; one seraph, two seraphim, etc.

So, the Lord Jesus breathed into Adam literally breaths of lives – one breath for the soul, connecting Adam to the earth (earthy), and the other breath for the human spirit, connecting Adam to God (heavenly). The Lord Jesus breathed His image into us! This is the major truth that makes human beings different from animals. God equipped people to worship Him. God made man a trichotomy: body, soul, and human spirit. This fact is reflected in Paul’s words to the Thessalonian believers when he prayed that their whole spirit, soul, and body, be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thess. 5:23). The soul and spirit are also divided in the book of Hebrews. The writer says that God’s Word has the ability to separate the soul (earthy) from the spirit (heavenly), “even to the division of the soul and spirit” (Heb. 4:12). Though soul and spirit are often interchanged in the Bible, there is a difference – a critical difference. The point? When Adam sinned, both he and the woman died twice – they died spiritually and they began to die physically. All of God’s created order that was attached to Adam began to die. And this death continued because all seed – human, plant, and animal – became corrupt, stained with death.

At the moment Adam sinned, the Bible says that “all sinned.” How was that possible? Remember, every word in the Bible matters. And every word is placed in just the correct order. There are no mistakes. Death passed upon all because all sinned (Rom. 5:12). There are many who want this part of the passage to say “all have sinned.” But the word “have” is not there. All sinned means that all sinned and died in Adam the very moment that he sinned. Being the original father of the human race, everyone’s DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid, the stuff of physical life) was in him seminally the moment he sinned. Thus, we were all there – in the garden – in Adam’s loins. We were all a part of him. The moment he sinned, everyone who would ever live became sinners too. Amazing! Repetition! All humanity was in Adam’s loins: every family, clan, nation, and tongue that would ever live would come from him. Everyone was in his genes, his DNA, at the very instant he chose to rebel against God. If Adam and Eve were truly our first parents – and they were – then we had to be in them. In a rightly mysterious but in a physical way, we were all involved in Adam’s act.

Adam, Eve, and the serpent were not the only ones present. And this death began to spread! At that moment his seed became corruptible seed, stained with death. In fact, all seed of all creation became stained with death. This is how sin and death passed down through the plant world, the animal world, and through us: plants die, animals die, people die. Death was built into Adam’s corrupt seed. This humanly corrupt seed passed from Adam to Cain, to Abel, to Seth, to Enoch, through Noah, through Shem, through Abraham, etc. This would be the seed that – generation after generation – would produce the rest of us. This corrupt seed continues its journey, generation after generation.

But hold it! This is what makes the virgin birth of Christ shout to us. Jesus missed this stain of the sin and the death seed. He was not born a sinner. He knew no sin! This is why He could die for sin. This truth of people being in the loins of another is not strange to the Bible. The Scripture clearly says that all of God’s high priestly line of Levi was in Abram’s loins (his seed, his DNA) when he met and submitted himself to a strange king/priest named Melchizedek. Abraham submitted himself to Melchizedek, symbolized by the giving of an offering.

Even Levi, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, so to speak, for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him (Heb. 7:10).

The entire Levitical priesthood, though years from being born, were all in the loins of Abraham when he met Melchizedek. Amazing!

Blessings!

 

Sin and Death

A most difficult part of putting the initial pieces of the puzzle of God’s Word together, in my way of thinking, is a correct understanding of sin. Being born physically alive but spiritually dead is very difficult to comprehend. The fact is we do not become sinners if, when, or because we sin, but we will all choose to sin because we are sinners. We are born into this world as sinners. We are born as slaves into a slave market of sinners. This slave market began with the first man, Adam. 

“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come” (Rom. 5:12-14).

Through a simple act of disobedience, sin and death entered this world. God gave Adam and Eve all that their hearts could ever desire. He gave the man just one simple “don’t,” just one simple “but this tree is forbidden.” It was not an ugly tree with slimy fruit hanging from it. It was really no different than any other tree. It was probably very beautiful, and its fruit looked delicious. But this was true of all the other trees.  The only difference was the fact that God said “No.” God said, “You eat, you die” (Gen. 2:17). It appears that Eve was mystifyingly drawn to that tree. She may have found herself often standing by it – pondering! Adam may have walked up and stood beside her as she gazed at it – observing her and then the tree. 

Satan did not just appear from nowhere. This was happening in his back yard. He had already failed God and had been cast into the fallen, cursed earth (Gen. 1:2). God had said to him, “You were perfect in your ways [you were innocent] until iniquity was found to be in you” (Ezek. 28:15). This sin was in the form of simple, silent, private thoughts. “I will ascend into heaven. I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. I will sit upon the mountain of God. I will ascend above the height of the clouds. I will be like the Most High God” (Isa. 14:12-14).  Hard to miss the repeated phrase “I will.” That is the beginning of sin: pride. Pride became mixed with power: ascend into heaven; exalt my throne; sit upon God’s mountain; ascend above the clouds; be like god. Pride mixed with power is a lethal combination – the measure of sin.

Satan knew that God had created Adam and Eve for a righteous purpose. He realized that if they succeeded, it would further seal his doom. Adam must fail and, like Satan himself, fail of his own free will – no deceit, no enticement, and no excuse before God. He probably observed the couple staring at the tree and conceived his evil plan. Satan’s plan was simple: deceive the woman and let her do the rest. It was masterfully wise!

Satan slithered up to the woman as she looked longingly at the forbidden tree and said: “Has God told you that you cannot eat or every tree in the garden?” Eve responded, “Every tree but this one. God said that if we eat from this tree, or even touch it, we will die.” God did not use the word “touch.” She added to God’s word; she lied! Satan seized the moment. “You will not die!” It is impossible to know what the creature was thinking or the woman. But he realized that she lied. He seized on this and called God a liar. In fact, he said that God knows the moment you eat from this tree you will receive true understanding. You will be like God, knowing the difference between good and evil.

Satan used the phrase “you will” three times. This was very similar to Satan’s sin. The woman then saw; she really saw for the first time. Her sight was then mixed with the lust of the flesh; she desired the fruit. It was pleasing to look at and appeared delicious.  Here is the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life running amuck. She finally gave in. She ate from the fruit and handed it to her husband, and he ate. The difference is clear. She was deceived; he was not! The woman was legitimately deceived, allowing her womb to remain sterile. No corrupt seed invaded it. This left God a toe in the door to come into a fallen world at a later date.

But Adam’s sin became a conduit to bring Satan’s sin/death mixture into this present world. At the moment of Adam’s sin, death passed from Satan to the man, and then to the woman, and into the world. The result is that they instantly knew that they were naked. They had been naked all along, but there was no negative thought about it. Suddenly, nakedness became bad – something wrong. Sin entered the world and along with sin came death. Sin and death always go together. Shame slammed into their heart, and they stitched themselves clothing from fig leaves to hide this strange sensation from their eyes. 

The couple instantly died twice! Twice? This truth was couched in the command from God when He told them, “If you eat of this fruit, dying, you will surely most positively die” (Gen. 2:17). Two deaths were in view. The couple would first die spiritually. They would become separated from God. They would also begin to die physically. In time, their bodies would be separated from their soul and spirit and would go back to dust. How do we absolutely know this is the case?

Blessings!

 

 

 

The Picture on the Box

When I was young, I was given some old hand me down puzzles for Christmas.  These were definitely not children’s puzzles because they contained hundreds of various sized pieces, mostly small, and in all kinds of shapes and colors. The boxes were tattered, revealing that others had used them. I simply had no clue where to begin putting the pieces together. After the decision to try, I dumped all the pieces into the lower part of the box and set up the picture on the box in front of me. I knew that the finished product was to match the picture. I would begin by looking intently at the picture. I would look at it over and over again trying to etch that picture in my mind. The more familiar it became, the more I zeroed in on the location of various color shades and the shapes of the pieces, some with straight sides, some with square corners, some with rounded corners, etc., all the time keeping the picture on the box in mind. Then piece-by-piece, starting with the straight edges and matching the lines and the colors, I began.  The outside usually went quicker. Through much trial and error, I began to locate the proper position of the pieces. When I finished all around the outside, I gradually began to make a little progress and headed toward the inside.  I did not work long at one sitting, but I was constantly drawn back. One piece here, another there. The hours turned into days and days into weeks, but little by little the picture began to take shape. It did not take much progress to encourage and motivate me to go back and work on it a little more. Then, though agonizingly slow, the picture began to come into view and the progress quickened. At last the final few pieces were inserted and ultimately the last piece was put in. And finally, there it was! When the last piece was put in place, the hundreds of pieces were beautifully transformed into the picture on the box. Piece by piece, I had put it together. It was time to celebrate! 

It is very much the same when attempting to understand the big picture behind the Bible. I discovered that there are 178,137 words in the Old King James Bible. No, I did not count them, I just Googled it. There are a lot of small two-letter words and some very big words. God’s Word is a book, and it is to be read and understood as a book, and each word matters. Every word is a piece of the big picture.  Where to begin! It seemed overwhelming, but I really wanted to know what the Bible said. As with the puzzle, I decided to start with the picture on the box. Not a picture that I saw but a picture that the apostle John saw and a message that he heard. John wrote at the end of His final book:

“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also, there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.’ Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ And He said to me, ‘Write, for these words are true and faithful.’” (Rev. 21:1-5)

This became my big picture. I began to put the puzzle together piece-by-piece, or as I call it, glimpse-by-glimpse, from the thousands of words of the Bible. 

I launched out with the understanding that God had created me for His purpose. God alone made the decision to give me life. I did not ask to be born, nor did I choose who my parents would be or where my birth would occur. He determined when my life would occur. He decided what nationality I would be, that I would be male or female, that I would have blue eyes or brown, black hair, red, or blond, and these decisions were made long before I was here. I was given no choice in any of this.  David said that God saw my substance even before I was in my mother’s womb and all my days were written in His book before I was here, and he called this information, “precious” (Psa. 139:17).

I would like to refer to the word “mucilage” mentioned from my last series? Mucilage is a glue-like substance in plants that plays a role in the storage of water and food, seed germination, and thickening membranes. It makes beneficial elements stick to seed to help it germinate and produce. Repetition is Bible mucilage. It makes the amazing living seed of Bible truth stick in minds and become productive. I am a fan of repetition.

The Word of God came directly from God by means of His Holy Spirit and then through the fallen minds and pens of human beings that were set apart for this purpose. Its truth is then made clear to all who are given eyes to see and ears to hear its invisible, inaudible truth. God opens to the eyes of blinded minds that they might understand (1 Cor. 2:7-10; 2 Cor. 4:16-18).  The apostle Paul said that in this life we will have only partial knowledge. There will come a time, however, when limited knowledge will give way to full knowledge. Paul taught that when he was a child, he spoke as a child, and understood as a child. But when he became a man, he put away childish things. He then made this point. “For at this present time we see in a glass dimly, but then face to face. Now we know in part, but then we shall know just as I also am known” (1 Cor. 13:12). When believers – those who have the Spirit of God living inside – begin to unpack the truths of the Bible, it is as though they are looking down through a dimly lit corridor. We catch but glimpses of God’s amazing truth here and there. But there is coming a time when God will draw back the curtain and allow us to see – to really see, His wisdom and genius.  Our dim, foggy glass will become crystal clear and bright. Full knowledge will eventually prevail. Not full in the sense that we will ever know everything about God. That could never be true, or He would not be God. This is where Deuteronomy 29:29 comes into play. “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” God gave us His word in writing through special men that he called “holy men.” His truth came together in one book – the Bible.

Our one textbook is to be the Bible alone and our one Teacher is the Holy Spirit alone (John 16:13-14).  At the end of the day, it comes down to what the Holy Spirit teaches us from God’s word, nothing more and nothing less. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would guide us into all truth.  I assume He means all the truth that we would ever need. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would glorify Jesus Christ – only. He is the member of the holy Trinity that God will shed light on. The Father will take that which sheds light upon Christ and reveal that to us. 

Blessings!

E-zine Volume 4, Issue 4

Thank you for taking time to stop by and check out the articles in this edition of our e-zine. We are grateful to our editor, Michael Moore, for pulling together the articles each time. Thank you to each of our contributors for the time, thought, and prayer that went into your article. May we all be growing in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, as we see the Day of His return approaching!

 

Is the Church a Building? – Dick Hill

Kingdom Stories: Guardians of the Gospel, Chapter 6, Battle Ready – Danny Forrest

Tanya’s Thoughts: Love – Tanya Moore

Moore Thoughts: Is There Not a Cause? – Mike Moore

R.O.I. – Ken Sheppard

Front Porch Living: Stay Soft – Jessica Otto

The Heart of an Honest Pastor – Phil Engelman

Better than Fair – Justin Moore

Well Said – notable quotes

 

Credits
Richard J. Hill, Editor-in-Chief
Michael L. Moore, Editor
Linda Hill, Design Editor

Contact Info
Glimpses of Grace, 2587Attala Road 1153, Kosciusko, MS 39090
www.glimpsesofgrace.org
(662) 347-8291 (727) 458-1813

Glimpses of Grace Board Members
Richard J. Hill, Linda Hill, Danny Forrest, John Howell Jr., Quinn Hill, Michael L. Moore, Ken Sheppard

Life in the Kingdom

Believers in Christ live in hope. Many of us are already groaning within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the redemption of our bodies. For we were saved, having this hope but hope that is seen is not hope. Why should one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance (Rom. 8:22-25). There is coming a time when the King of this entire universe, the Lord Jesus Christ, will return to this earth and be crowned King over all of His created order. This small planet, so seemingly unimportant, will become the centerpiece of God’s amazing plan for this universe.
Christ’s universal reign will commence when He establishes a kingdom over a redeemed earth and reigns over it for a thousand years (Rev, 20:6–9). The thousand-year segment of this everlasting kingdom will allow God to finally and forever demonstrate to the human race and the angelic realm that the only political system that will ever work for humankind is one in which God alone rules over the hearts of people. It will not be a democracy, nor a republic, nor socialism, nor communism. It will be a kingdom ruled over by our Lord Jesus Christ. Our Lord’s kingdom will place on display the immense value of the second member of the Holy Trinity.
Just imagine a world dominated by what is right and fair. The new world will be ruled by a perfect government bringing true peace on earth and goodwill toward men. All weapons of war will be remade into instruments for growing food. No nation will dare to be aggressive against other nations, and war will be no more. The curse from the fall will be removed, and the environment will be restored to the pre-fall beauty of the Garden of Eden. Wild animals will no longer eat each other in order to survive, and small children will have no fear of any of them. This will be a world ruled by a perfect and glorious Ruler. Imagine a time when there will be no fear of deadly natural disasters or uncontrollable diseases. Think of a time when every court will deliver perfect justice for every case, when truth will be established in every conflict, and when all who deceive will be exposed and judged swiftly.
Picture a world where all children from every race and nationality will be fully educated by the King. Physical deformities and social, political, and religious oppression will be no more. All forms of slavery will be abolished. Imagine a world where the length of life will be restored and where the elderly will not grow feeble, will not lose their hearing or sight, and will not fear Alzheimer’s disease or cancer but will grow old with clarity of mind and a sound body. Imagine a world where what is appropriate and right marks every aspect of life, including relationships between people, businesses, and governments. It will be a world where there is absolute permanent peace and where that peace is enforced, a world filled with joy and good health, so much so that people live for hundreds of years (Isa. 9:6-7).
The King will renew this fallen creation and will rule with supreme wisdom and understanding (Isa. 11:1–9). The King will cause the blind to see, the deaf to hear, the lame to walk, and the dumb to sing. The desert will flow with water and the clouds will be rolled back (Isa. 35:5–6). The King will be known by all and all will have access to Him (Isa. 2:2-3). All sins will be forgiven and remembered no more (Jer. 31:34). All nations will flow to the Lord’s dwelling place to learn of Him and walk in His paths. His law will go forth from Jerusalem. All the scattered and lost sheep will be brought home. The people of Israel will be scattered because of their disobedience, but the Lord will gather a remnant of His flock from all countries back to their own land. They will be fruitful and have every need met. They will no longer be afraid or dismayed or lacking.
The Lord will raise up from David a King to reign and prosper and execute judgment and righteousness. His name will be called “the Lord Our Righteousness” (Jer. 23:5–7). King Jesus will be as a banner to the people so that even Gentiles will seek Him (Isa. 11:10–16). The King will rejoice over His subjects. In that day, Gentiles will realize that Israel is God’s chosen people, and all kings will recognize her glory.
God will give Jerusalem a new name, a crown of glory, and a royal diadem. She will no longer be called forsaken or desolate but shall be called Hephzibah, and her land will be called Beulah (Isa. 62:4). Jerusalem will be the city on the hill. The mountain of the Lord’s house will be established on the top of the mountains, and people shall flow into it. Many nations will come and say, “Come let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths for out of Zion the law shall go forth and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” Swords will be beaten into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks. War will be no more, and people will dwell in safety under their own fig trees. The Lord will gather His remnant and reign over them in Mount Zion (Micah 4:1–5:5). The whole earth will be filled with the King’s glory because He will be king over the entire earth (Psa. 72:1–20; Zech. 14:9).
When the King sets up His kingdom, we will see Him in His beauty. Our eyes will see Jerusalem, a tabernacle that will not be taken down. No stakes will be removed, nor cords broken. The Lord will be our lawgiver, our judge, and our King (Isa. 33:17–24). At the end of the reign of the Lord Jesus Christ, He will turn His kingdom over to His Father, who will transform it into a new heaven and a new earth, wherein righteousness will dwell forever (1 Cor. 15:24-28). We will at last be home. Blessings!