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Tuesday: Missing the Message — 14 Comments

  1. Satan has a willing ally in self. I was an 18 year old when I encountered a Christadelphian while doing a stint of student colporteuring (unsuccessfully, I magic add). He tried to convince me that Satan did not exist and was a metaphor for self. While I disagree with his theology, he did highlight the role that self plays in the sin scenario. We are willing partners. We are easily deceived. Someone once said that the person we deceive most easily is ourselves.

    Solomon eventually got it right. In fact in proverbs he repeats himself:

    There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. Prov 14:12 KJV

    and again ...

    There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. Prov 16:25

    Eve was deceived by the temptation of knowing and experiencing more. The temptation was subtle and appealed to her "self" and she became a willing partner.

    Paul understood the issue very well and spends a lot of time talking about dying to self:

    I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Gal 2:20 KJV

    • Sir Maurice, I'm kind of confuse. Wasn't Eve with Adam when she was deceived and ate the forbidden fruits??
      Gen 3:6 reads "So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate." (ESV)

      • Sarah, I have found the translations do not give a clear answer to this question - does Gen 3:6, mean Adam was with Eve during the temptation or does it mean he joined her in eating the fruit? In his excuse to God he said that Eve gave him the fruit, he didn't blame the serpent, which seems to imply he didn't hear the serpent's words.
        Paul says Eve was deceived not Adam. This is what I have learned from the Word.

        In Patriarchs and Prophets, pg 54-56, EG White tells us that Eve unconsciously wandered away from Adam's side and only after eating did she go to him with her hands full of the fruit.

      • I agree with Shirley on this one. There is the implication that Adam was not with Eve but no direct statement to that effect.

  2. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. James 4:17.

    Missing the Message
    Did Eve missed the message? Did Adam missed the message? But what was the message?
    The tree in the garden with the fruits was a tree like any other edible tree, the fruit was not poisonous but good to eat. The problem was not about the tree, the problem was about being obedience to the God of love who made the tree. Eve was given free choice and the test was about, 'will she be obedient to her God?'
    There are clear guidelines in the scriptures for us today. Will we obey or disobey and that is in every aspect of our lives.
    Romans 2:1-29; 1 Peter 2:1-3; Rev 21:7-8. tells us about humans who practice or takes pleasure in those sins shall have their parts in the lake of hell.

    Solution- Some Christians focus on two sins- abortion and homosexuality. Eve and Adam did not committed any such but was banished from Eden forever. I was just listening to one of our preachers yesterday and that was the focus of his sermon. But
    I will say, sin is sin and its consequences follow.

    What am I doing in my daily live to live above sin? While I pray everyday, sin still knocks and lodge at my door. For a few days there was a relative dispute, a family member tried drawing my children into it. My children text me about the matter because the relative kept texting them with derogatory words. I was about the settle the matter forever. As I was about to text the relative with some hurtful words that they might remember for a long time, I heard in my spirit a voice saying to me not to do it. I deleted the text then all I said to my children was, block the family member and do not respond to the calls or text messages.
    How does the bible says we should treat our enemies?

    Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile and hypocrisies and envies and all evil speaking.....that ye may grow thereby. 1 Peter 2:1-2

    • Thank you Lyn,for sharing a real instance of not making enemies. (first step to making friends) One of my Mother's favorite texts was "as much as it depends on you live in peace with all people"
      You ask how we should treat our enemies, Paul and Jesus give us sound advice.

      Rom 12:17-21 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Therefore
      “If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
      If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
      For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head. Prov 25:21-22”
      21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

      But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, Matt 5:44

  3. When a relative used hurtful words to me, I used calm words in response. I could have retaliated but I knew I was dealing with the Devil and I did not want to wage a war against the Devil alone. Like the wiseman, for me it was a soft answer that I gave. Unfortunately I was called a hypocrite. I did not block their number from my phone but I decided not to respond to the messages sent. I pray that one day, this relative of mine will one day accept Jesus Christ.

  4. Why have I been missing Genesis 1:27? The Devil has been taking advantage of my lack of education. Education is being able to apply what one has learnt.

    I am created in the image of God, in His likeness. Isn't this sufficient for me to face the Devil head-on and tell him to back off? The Bible is full of promises for us to claim but doubt often comes in and fear takes over. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength is converted to I cannot do anything, I am on my own. This is all the Devil's making and he is happy when God's children do not put their trust in Him who created us.

    So many of us look at Eve as a failure, but we are going through the same experience of Eve everyday. We read the Word of God but we just don't live up to the standard because of doubt. When we are faced with life's challenges, we don't go back to the Creator and seek for divine help. Instead, we take matters in our own hands and find solutions. And more often than not, our choices lead to regrets.

    • Just what I thought of as I was studying and meditating, putting myself in Eve's shoes, would have done same or even worse. The lesson is not for us to be judgmental or blaming Eve for the worlds predicament but for us to learn from their mistakes and live aright.

  5. Gen 3:1 NKJV, I looked up this verse on Bible Hub which gave me a lot of versions and they described the serpent as follows: he was more crafty, shrewd, cunning, subtle, sneaky, clever then any beast of the field.

    As the study guide points out the serpent mixed truth with error. See the steps:
    1 Does? - immediate doubt
    2 uses the name God as in Gen 1 not the LORD God as in Gen 2, in other words the ruler authoritarian creator God not the caring loving covenant God.
    3 the serpent is insidious, faking incredulity, surprise, asking Eve to explain and defend God's Word
    4 then he says - you don't understand what God meant, let me explain what God was really saying - although you were created in the image of God, this fruit will take you to a higher level of wisdom.
    So the woman then believed him and thought, this must be the next step in my development, not only knowing good, that was basic, but now I will really understand God by knowing the advanced philosophy like He does, so I will take part of His nature.

    This method of the serpent is still used knowingly and sometimes unknowingly by people today. I need to imbibe, digest the Word of the LORD, make it part of my being, so that whenever I am reading seemingly good words from others that alarm bells go off in my mind when what they say seems even slightly off compared to the LORD's Word. I need to stop and double check with the Word, SoP and others I have learned to trust. Just like Eve should have first checked with Adam, her partner, and the LORD God, her teacher, before acting on this "new" information.

  6. I have a question on this weeks lesson. Did the serpent had a choice to deny the devil from using him as a conduit to seduce Eve?

  7. The books of Psalms and Proverbs contain special writings for the edification of the mind and heart of the believer and those looking for Wisdom and Truth – God’s Wisdom and Truth. We can find ‘truth’ and ‘wisdom’ in many self-help books – some more successful than others. But the only Truth and Wisdom that reaches into the heart and Soul of man, is God’s Word.

    I think this is how the first pair ‘missed the message’ – they sought the Truth from a source that invented the lie. Why does our Father insist on us walking in His Way, by His Light in His Truth? It is because there are other ‘ways’, ‘lights’, and ‘truths’ offered which will lead those astray that do not have God’s Light in them or is yet to be established by applying Faith.

    Prov.3:3-6 – “Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck: write them upon the table of thine heart: (4)So shalt thou find favour and good understanding(success) in the sight of God and man. (5)Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (6)In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy path.”

    These words are spoken in the Spirit of God’s Love, the same Spirit that spoke the words of God to Adam and Eve – place your trust only in ME!
    How many detours have we taken before we arrived and accept to live by the Truth? Some might still be wanting to take detours to figure out for themselves if they are on the right ‘road of truth’; should God’s Mercy and Grace prevail, they will be lead right back to where they started. (I speak from experience).
    There is no other Truth we will be satisfied with if we seek whole-heartedly the Ultimate Truth which comes only from the Father above.

    Heb.4:11-13 – God’s Truth is spiritually discerned Truth!
    “Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest (apply faith), lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
    (12)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 discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
    (13) Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

  8. Eve was unfallen when she met the serpent, and her mind was in perfect working condition, and she could recall accurately what God had commanded. I don't think we should interpret her words as some often do. The lesson for us today is WHY did she believe the serpent. How was she led to be blinded to the realities she was aware of, which could have kept her from being deceived and overcome?

    If we know the story of Lucifer's fall, we will find the answer.

    However, the greater puzzle in this event, not mentioned in our lesson, the fall of Adam who was not deceived(1 Tim 2:14).

    So, how many have considered that UNFALLEN beings were so easily led to ignore God's will , and realize the greater peril we face with our fallen nature? Only by a true knowledge of God's character, government and purposes(GC 593), can we be safe from temptations that easily lead us astray. It is this personal knowledge of God, seen in the life/death of Jesus, that leads us to exercise faith in His expressed will. Easy to see why Paul urges us to understand the will of God for ourselves(Eph 5:17).


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