BY: ANTHONY IDEMUDIA ASAKPA
OCTOBER 15, 2006
Hope you are all well. This may be my longest email yet.
The thoughts on creation don’t seem to be going away. But it’s really important for us to get a handle on this. For understanding our beginnings helps secure our understanding of everything else. So bear with me, as we dig a little more.
Please read Genesis the end of chapter 1, chapter 2 and 3. I’ll quote from King James today and put them in blue italics. I’ll intersperse my comments as we go along.
We’re looking at the creation of Adam and Eve, with events around the fall.
Remember we talked about Bible verses and chapters only existing in the past 1000 years; punctuations also included here. The first Hebrew manuscripts are said to have had no punctuation system. These were added as they were hand copied by scholars in subsequent generations. A vertical bar was added between words to help us understand the text (http://www.bfbs.org.uk/documents/Masoretes.pdf). Aristophanes in 195 BC is thought to have started adding punctuations to Greek literature. Aldus Manutius (or Aldo Manuzio 1449-1515) started the semicolon. His grandson, also called Aldus Manutius (1547–97), known as the younger Aldo, described most of our current day usage of punctuation.
The beginning of Genesis chapter 2 has caused so much confusion.
Genesis, chapter 1 ending rather with Gen 2:3 would really help our understanding. Chapter 2 tells us all about man. It starts first with a summary of what happened in Chapter 1:
Vs 4: ‘These are the generations (toldah-histories) of the heavens and the earth when they were created,’. i.e what you’ve read above is the order of how heaven and earth was made -when they were created.
There should really be another paragraph after this, for the sense is not clear.
‘In the day (remember it’s a summary of chapter 1. It sums the 7 days into one time) that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, Verse 5 and every plant of the field before it was in the earth (This tells us he created the fully formed plant before it thereafter goes through the process of being a seed in the earth in subsequent plants), and every herb of the field before it grew. (He created the fully formed herb before it thereafter goes through the process of growth in subsequent herbs. Gen 1:11-12)
It then tells us how the food (that man and those they rule had been given to eat originally Gen 1:29-30) was watered.
For the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. (So was man to till the ground even if he had not sinned? I think so, but with joy, not suffering). Verse 6 But there went up a mist from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.
It then tells us how the fully formed dust-body of man was made.
Verse 7: And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breathe of life; and man became a living soul.
The breathe of life is not just oxygen. Those who have seen people die even while being given oxygen know this. God breathed into his body life-energy. Just as He did for the animals as well (see Gen 7:21-22). God essentially breathed into the 1st man his soul.
Remember that man/woman is in the image (Gen 1:26 tselem-shade, phantom) and likeness (dmuth – resemblance, shape, model) of God. But these 2 words are used together as well in Gen 5:1, 5:3.
Later on, tselem often used for statue -Num33:52, Eze16:17, Amos 5:26; as well as ‘fashion’ or ‘show’ in Ps 39:6, Ps 73:20
Also dmuth is used as ‘like that of’, ‘likeness’,’ ‘pattern’ ,’looks like’ later on, as in Gen 5:1,3 ;2 Kings 16:10; Isa 13:4; Eze1:5;Dan 10:16.
I think both relate to the body and the soul.
– tselem as the part that you can touch, that looks solid – the body.
– dmuth as what radiates from that solid object-the likeness -the soul.
So Gen 5:3 says – ‘Shem looked like Adam in every way!’ Both dmuth and tselem. So ‘he is the very extension of Adam!’
So body and soul is the mirror. What is the real substance?
I believe the real substance is spirit. He didn’t create spirit on the 6th day when He made Adam and Eve, He only added soul and body to the spirit. Man is all 3 parts. He is not complete without it. That’s why all of a sudden it reads, ‘Let us…’. There is a discussion here. He is talking to angels and spirits. He is saying I am taking your spirits which are my substance and I am placing soul and body on them so they become a mirror of me that can be seen with physical eyes. He is communing with them.
Can you see someone’s soul? When we say, ‘that guy’s got soul’ what do we mean? When we say, ‘the soul of the nation’, what are we saying? Do we see emotions? How do we know a man’s thoughts? By the actions he takes. I think you catch my drift.
So Adam becomes a living soul so he could function on earth. A body energised by soul. Before that he was a spirit without an energized dust-body.
Before we go on, just a point of note. I believe Gen 2:7-25 is a detailed account of Gen 1:26. Not a gap, but a detailed account. Everything here happens in day 6.
Okay back to Genesis 2. Vs8-20
It tells us how God then plants a garden for him. He then places man in the garden.
He causes trees and animals to be formed in the presence of man, so that man may know that God is really the creator (for God knew what was coming next in chapter 3). Man needs to see God’s power in action.
Why is this? Didn’t he behold everything as spirit? He did. But when you are covered with a dust-body, God causes you to forget all you behold while only spirit. Adam can’t remember what happened in the other creation days. For he is now limited by the soul and the dust-body.
Conjectures? No. The evidence is in the text. For if we search, we see.
Consider this. Babies, can’t remember the womb experience; let alone the spiritual existence. Except for a very few who appear to have little ‘pre-birth experience’ knowledge, which they lose as they get out of the toddler age group. Search and see. I do not know if they are all true. But there is some truth that can’t be denied. I know satan can deceive, so care must be entertained. But this is not the same as pre-existence as another person, which the scriptures do not teach. We are all individuals and blessed for it. He knows each of us by name. Amen!
When He covers our spirit with the dust-body, we forget everything behind in our new time zone and we start to face the new life on earth. There is a maturing that only the earth experience can teach you. That is why the debate about abortion is invalid. The baby is cut short of her earth experience and the spirit returns to God who gave it! The baby has died, whether by accident or intention and we must repent if we have sinned, for God will forgive!
Vs 21 This is the creation of Eve. Remember that the commandment of not eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil is made to Adam alone (Gen 2:17). But yet in Gen 1:28-30, God speaks to both of them (not as spirits) but tells both of them to subdue (this was co-dominion), replenish (mala- fill. Same word as in Gen 1:22, Gen 6:11, Gen 25:24) and eat. I believe this commandment was to both of them as they physically stood before God. But God didn’t repeat the tree of knowledge commandment again, because Adam was to tell Eve.
Also remember that God had said every fruit tree was for food (Gen 1:29). God never said the tree was bad. It was the disobeying the commandment (Gen 2: 17) that was bad! Adam and Eve died because they disobeyed God’s commandment. Every tree was good, but it was God’s commandment that had to be obeyed. But why did God place a tree of knowledge of good and evil (ra- adversity)? He knew that evil was coming (cut out of His good) and was pre-prepared. Man failed the test, but He still had the answer. He didn’t add touch to the commandment (Gen 2:17) , Adam added it when he told Eve (Gen 3:3).
So a lot of the time, it doesn’t really matter if something feels good. The question is: ‘ What is God saying to you?’
Eve is separated from Adam, just as a cup of water is split into 2 smaller cups (it is still water, but fills both cups). The individual spirits and souls have no gender per se. Our souls are altered with our training, but the body is different. Some males however, experience a female-type training, some females experience a male-type training. The spirits have no gender. Every form of training can be unlearned.
So Eve is separated and covered with a dust-body. She also forgets the whole experience and can’t remember the commandment about the tree of knowledge, God creating things in the garden, and the other creation days. So Adam tells her all about it.
Gen 3:3 ‘But the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die’
But this was God’s instruction: Gen 2:17 ‘But 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’
So we see with the instructions being passed from Adam to Eve:
1. A less forceful conclusion: more vague, watered down. ‘Lest ye die’. Giving room for ‘you may not die’, which the serpent immediately seized upon.
2. An addition: ‘touch it’. Maybe Adam had a misconception of what God said and felt adding ‘touch’ would protect Eve even more from going near the tree.
1 Tim 2:14 says, ‘And Adam was not deceived (apatao – cheated) but the woman, being deceived (cheated) was in the transgression (parabasis- violation). As Jesse Penn-Lewis puts it: “He sinned with his eyes open. But the woman was ‘thoroughly deceived’ “.
(As a side note, quite related. Ephesus was the city Timothy was bishop over. They worshipped the lady of Ephesus – Artemis, also called Goddess Diana. One of their doctrines was that Eve was created before Adam. So Paul is correcting a deception here. He thus commands the women saying such things to keep quiet by learning in silence the real truth and stop spreading falsehood.)
So Eve didn’t know and ate. Adam had received the instruction direct from God, so he knew what he was doing. But ate anyway, rather than asking God for forgiveness for his wife. He willing partook of it and sinned.
So also would Christ come down, willing partake of death, without sinning, to achieve forgiveness, not for Himself, but for everyone. So it is the reverse of Adam.
We’ll wrap up soon.
In chapter 3, after the fall, Adam hears God’s voice in the garden and is afraid. What is God’s voice? (kole- call, sound. It can mean speech or words). Who was He speaking to? I think He was speaking to His creation. I think He does it everyday you know.
He calls out to Adam, as if He can’t find him (3:9). He asks them several questions in response to their actions. Adam says: I just ate it because Eve gave me.(Vs 12) Eve says: The serpent deceived me. (Vs 13)
He never asks the serpent any questions. Because, He knows that satan is the instigator of the disobedience.
Notice, that God always demands a response from us, even when He knows what we have done. It is a process He has built into us, that without verbal proclamation, we never understand the full import of what we have done/or we can never obtain freedom from our bondage. Hence all the positive reinforcement techniques being used without Him in our age.
Remember that God did not ask the serpent anything, He just judged Him. The animals also suffered. For salvation is for humans alone.
It is only through saved humans that the rest of creation will get back into harmony again.
Stay blessed in Him,
CREATING MAN [Anthony Idemudia Asakpa] 10-15-06 1