It started out so well – what went wrong?
“And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good…”
“Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. (2) And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. (3) And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. (4) These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens” (Gen 1:31 – 2:4 KJV).
“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (8) And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. (9) And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil” (Gen 2:7-9).
“And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. (16) And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: (17) But of 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” [dying thou dost die YLT] (Gen 2:15-17).
We’re all quite familiar with the events that followed, but let’s review it once more just to make sure there’s nothing we’ve overlooked.
“And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: (5) For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Gen 3:4-5).
The love of the world was greater than the love of God in Eve’s heart, and so we read: “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (17) And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever” (1 John 2:16-17). Is John implying that there is more to salvation than grace alone? Must the will of God be considered as well?
“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food (lust of the flesh), and that it was pleasant to the eyes (lust of the eyes), and a tree to be desired to make one wise (pride of life), she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat” (Gen 3:6). And that was what went wrong.
But Satan and his lies have been exposed, so now we are not deceived, right? Surely we would not believe those same lies today, would we? We read in Revelation 12:9 that Satan has deceived the whole world, but as Christians, we are not of the world so it couldn’t be referring to us, right? Think about it. If a person is deceived they won’t know they’re deceived, or they wouldn’t be deceived. Obviously then, the world doesn’t know it’s deceived. Wouldn’t that same logic be true for anyone who is deceived, even Christians? Didn’t Jesus warn us of coming deceptions so great even the very elect were in danger of being deceived (Matt. 24:24 KJV)?
Was Jesus suggesting that some of the elect may be deceived? But how could we know if we were? Perhaps we should ask ourselves if we believe God or Satan. God said, “…thou shalt surely die”. Satan said, “Ye shall not surely die.” Well, there’s no denying we die, God said we are made of dust, and we will return to dust; and unless Christ be raised there will be no resurrection, and we all remain dead (I Cor. 15:16-17). Do you believe you will die or do you believe you have an immortal soul that lives on forever after death? Your answer determines who you believe.
But Satan still wasn’t finished. He added another lie, “… ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” Satan convinced Adam and Eve that they were capable of deciding for themselves what was the right or wrong way of life. In defiance to their creator, they thought of themselves as gods and did what was right in their own eyes.
Consequently, in spite of God’s warning to lean not unto your own understanding (Prov. 3:5, Hos.13:2) mankind believes they can decide for themselves what to believe of God’s word and what to set aside. The result is multiple gods, a variety of religions and a Christian religion that is far removed from the faith that was once delivered.
Unbelievably, mankind has chosen to observe pagan holidays instead of God’s appointed times and Holy Days, claiming they are now Christianized. Observing Christmas, the birthday of the sun god, Easter, a pagan goddess of spring, Sunday, a day that honors the sun god, Halloween, Valentine’s Day, etc., but still claiming to worship the true God. “And He said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition” (Mark 7:9).
Do you really think you can worship a God of truth with religious lies? Would not Deuteronomy 12:30-31 apply? God does not change, but neither does man.
Read what Jeroboam did to Israel in I Kings chapters 12 and 13 when they split from Judah and became a separate nation. Although claiming to be worshiping the same God, he set up idols and temples of worship and even changed the appointed times of God’s Holy Days. Thus, the northern ten tribes abandoned their identifying sign and became lost to history (Ex. 31:13).
“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey …” (Rom 6:16).
God’s book of wisdom states that by the mouth of two or three witnesses a thing is established (Deut. 17:6, II Cor. 13:1, John 8:17, etc.). We are given the Old and New Testament, which testify of each other. As has been well said, the New is in the old concealed and the Old is in the New revealed. Thus, the word of God is established by two witnesses and guides us to life everlasting. Yet some consider many of the teachings of the Old Testament as not applicable to Christians, thereby missing some of the greatest blessings and wisdom God has for us.
Take note of what the Psalmist say in Psalms 119:98: “Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. (99) I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. (100) I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts. (101) I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word. (102) I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me.”
God’s word reveals His seven thousand year plan of restitution for all things through His annual appointed times and Holy Days (Acts 3:21). Often referenced throughout the Bible, they are summarized in Leviticus 23 and were all observed by Jesus and the Apostles. Each one has been or will be fulfilled in their antitype in God’s appointed time in history or in a future time. The Passover, the first and seventh day of Unleavened Bread, the Wave Sheaf offering have all been fulfilled at their appointed time in history. Pentecost came right on schedule precisely 50 days after the Wave Sheaf offering. Can we doubt that the fall Holy days will not be fulfilled in their antitype at God’s future appointed time?