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INTRODUCTORY
LESSON


BOOK 1
Lesson 1
Lesson 2
Lesson 3
Lesson 4
Lesson 5
Lesson 6
Lesson 7


BOOK 2


BOOK 3

NEW BIRTH

NEW LIFE

THE CHURCH

Teacher's Questions

 


Enhance Your WEI Lessons by Teacher's Comments

NEW BIRTH           NEW LIFE           THE CHURCH

You can enrich your WEI lessons with scripture, explanations, stories and comments. Many students want to learn more Bible, so teach them. Each WEI lesson builds to the next lesson and shows God's plan as you lead the student through the Bible. You can enrich each lesson by asking yourself, "What point can I enhance and explore with my student regarding the Bible message?" You can generate more interest and experience with the Bible. Here, you will find some examples of teacher's comments and scriptures to explore. You can copy/paste these into your word processor or mail messages. Once copied, you can edit them to make your enrichments special to each student. Remember, tailor each lesson in a special way for each student.

Student answers to the Thought Questions in the Quiz Sections
may be included in some comments.

Introductory Lesson

Teacher's Comment:
This story, like all Bible stories, is written for a purpose.
We discover the purpose of the story when we look deep into it. In this story, we ask the question "Why?"

Here is a thought for you to consider regarding "Why?" in this story. Could it be that the younger son left home because he forgot that this Father loved him?

And, the older son who got angry with his Father, did he too forget that his Father loved him?


We are that way too often, I think. We forget our Heavenly Father loves us and so we act to please ourselves just as the two boys did in this story.

 

A Second Comment:

Introductory Lesson

Teacher's Comment:
H
ere are a few of my ideas on this lesson, as "food for thought."

It's a pity that the younger son thought living in such a wicked manner would bring him happiness. Sadly, many people think that way but it is never true. As this young man discovered, such things can only bring unhappiness and shame. However, the older son had problems of his own - an unloving and unforgiving heart. Actually, the father's welcome to the younger son took nothing away from the older son.  While the older son felt his father loved the younger son more, that is not true! Obedient sons (and daughters) may not receive the dramatic "attention" that this son received but that is because they are always receiving the blessings of living obediently. The father loved both sons but of course he was thrilled when his "wandering son" returned home. I'm sure he was always thrilled to have his older son with him but the older son did not realize this or understand.   Personally, I am happy that God is willing to forgive us like a loving father for we all make mistakes, sometimes serious ones.

Jan Towell

 

A Contextual study of this passage:

Teacher's Comment:
Reading literature demands that the message from the text is understood. To understand what the author wanted to communicate, it is necessary that the context be understood first. Context describes the time, place, to whom, why and by whom was the message spoken or written.


Luke 15

15:1 The Lost Sheep
Now all the tax collectors and the sinners were coming near Him to listen to Him.
2 Both the Pharisees and the scribes began to grumble, saying, "This man receives sinners and eats with them."
3 So He told them this parable, saying,
4 "What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?
5 "When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
6 "And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, "Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'
7 "I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

The Lost Coin
8 "Or what woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it?
9 "When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, "Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost!'
10 "In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."

The Prodigal Son
11 And He said, "A man had two sons.
12 "The younger of them said to his father, "Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.' So he divided his wealth between them.
13 "And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living.
14 "Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished.
15 "So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
16 "And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to him.
17 "But when he came to his senses, he said, "How many of my father's hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger!
18 "I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight;
19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men."'
20 "So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.
21 "And the son said to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'
22 "But the father said to his slaves, "Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet;
23 and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate;
24 for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.' And they began to celebrate.
25 "Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing.
26 "And he summoned one of the servants and began inquiring what these things could be.
27 "And he said to him, "Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound.'
28 "But he became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him.
29 "But he answered and said to his father, "Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends;
30 but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.'
31 "And he said to him, "Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours.
32 "But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.'"
NASU

Summary:  The context is Jesus speaking to grumbling Pharisees with tax collectors and sinners in his audience. He speaks in parables. 

First, a sheep was lost and found. The sheep, a precious animal for the Jews, represents souls lost from God's kingdom.  Jesus' message is that lost souls are of utmost important, and they must be found! Luke 15:15 "...there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance." The message was to sinners.

A second example to enhance his message is the lost coin. Luke 15:7.
"In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." Souls are very important, and sinners must be found and saved.

Then, the third example is about the son who left home, the "Prodigal Son" who was found. Luke 15:24 Rejoice! Put out the red carpet. "...for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.' And they began to celebrate.

Finally, the fourth example in the parable, the son who had served faithfully. He represents believers who serve without heart -- believers who have forgotten their purpose of serving. They just serve!
Luke 15:31 "And he said to him, "Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 "But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.'"

The final message: why did Jesus include this one in his parable to the sinners listening? For us today, is the message to us? Are we not sinners needing to be found? [Sheep -- Coin -- Prodigal -- the servant son -- You and I]

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Book 1, Lesson 1: God Creates The Universe
Genesis 1-2; Psalms 24:1; 50:10-11; 104; Isaiah 40; Mark 10:6; Ephesians 3:9; Hebrews 11:3

Teachers Comment:
Don't confuse the Creator with other gods.

Psalms 24:1-2
1    The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;
2    for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.
Psalms 50:10
10    for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.
Psalms 89:11
11    The heavens are yours, and yours also the earth; you founded the world and all that is in it.
Hebrews 11:3
3    By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

III. Thought Questions
QUESTION 1. The universe is so big that light, traveling at 300,000 kilometers (186,000 miles) per second, cannot travel across the universe in a million years. What does that say about the power of God, the Creator of the universe?

Teacher's Comment:
The universe is very interesting. When I was a child, I wondered about how big it is. Is there an edge? Today, we see very deep into the universe and have not found an edge. Some scientists explain the formation of the universe with the "Big Bang Theory," in which all of the universe came from a very compacted group of hydrogen atoms. When it exploded and expanded, all of the universe began to form. I see this explanation having the "chicken egg problem." Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Without subatomic particles, there would not be hydrogen, without hydrogen, there would not be helium and the other elements created in the proposed Big Bang Theory. But, where did the subatomic particles come from? It appears that the theory of a bang would require a "Big Banger." Could that be God? Indeed, God is powerful.

Hebrews 11:3
3    By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

QUESTION 2. When we study the human body and examine the structure of the brain, eye, ear, nose, heart, lungs, stomach, and organs, what do we learn about the intelligence of God?

Teacher's Comment:
The idea of a Creator of our complex human body is derived from the Bible story and the observation that such a complex system as the human body would require a designer. God, according to the Bible, is the designer. Is that a possibility?
Job 12:7-13
7    "But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you;
8    or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you.
9    Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this?
10    In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.
11    Does not the ear test words as the tongue tastes food?
12    Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?
13    "To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his.

What about evolution?

Teacher's Comment:

Some scientists have proposed The Theory of Evolution. The theory is yet to be proven by the scientific method of experimentation. The only recourse is to make observations and to attempt to explain them. But, observations found have many possible explanations. One explanation is that all forms of life came from a previous earlier form. The theory of evolution proposes that complex life came from simple life -- we originated from a chance chemical reaction that in time formed a living cell and from one cell all living animals and plants have evolved. One observation is fossil data. We need to examine the fossil data explanation.

Here are some facts to consider about  fossils: Fossils are the remains of animals and plants that have been quickly buried whole without decay. This is interesting since it must have happened quickly in a cataclysmic event such as a flood or other worldwide event. The explanation by a theory of evolution proposes that long periods of time were involved and many transitions too place as one form changed into another form. At some point in time the animals were destroyed and buried. They became fossils for us to see at a much later time. The cataclysmic event that is responsible for burying the animals and plants that we see give us a snapshot of all life at that time. Without a cataclysmic event, the animals and plants would have decayed and there would be no fossils to represent them.

If the explanation is true, one would expect to find fossils of the variations between one animal form and another. The many thousands variations have not been found in the fossil record. Only complete animals and plants appear. Where are the intermediates proposed to have existed among the completed animals and plants?

Today, science notes several important observations:

1. The DNA of the missing link, the Neanderthal  Man, does not come close to the DNA of humans.

2. The difference between the vocal sounds of an ape and a human is so great, there would not have been enough time for evolution to account for man to have come from an ape, based on observations of transitions within any animal. For example feathers emerging from hair is much simpler to grasp than complex vocal chords and accompanying muscles necessary for speech having evolved from those of an ape. As with the Theory of Evolution the, claims are pure speculation and cannot be tested.

3. Likely, an asteroid impact on the earth is responsible for the death of dinosaurs, animals found as fossils around the globe. Dinosaurs were not on Noah's Ark as far as we know. The flood occurred after their extinction.

4. The second law of Thermodynamics states that all systems decrease in complexity over time. Evolution states that all systems become more complex over time.

What does this say about the theory proposed? What do you think?

What about the Second Law of Thermodynamics and evolution?

Teacher's Comment:
Your reading assignment claims that the Second Law of Thermodynamics argues against the theory of evolution.

"Scientists have discovered that fire burns out, heat cools, energy is used up, everything decays, and life moves toward death. This discovery known as the second law of thermodynamics argues against the theory of evolution. Life did not develop by itself. It must have been created."

What the Second Law  is saying is that the world is decaying and becoming less ordered. It is running down. The theory of evolution is based on the assumption that everything in the world is becoming higher in order and that everything is evolving to a more complex and higher order of life on this planet. The theory and the law are not in agreement, it appears. What do you think?

What about scientific evidence regarding evolution?

Teacher's Comment:
Remember, the theory of evolution is “theory.”
For a theory to become “fact” there must be proof by experimentation. The scientific method consists of several steps each of which must be performed before a theory can be claimed to be fact. Here are the required steps:


                        Links to Web Sites on Apologetics

SCIENTIFIC METHOD
1.         State a hypothesis. (For example, man is a descendent of animals such as a monkey and that this came about over millions of years.)
2.         Design and perform an experiment to test the hypothesis.
3.         Repeat the experiment and show statistical significance in the measured results.
4.         With data in hand, conclude whether or not the data significantly show the hypothesis to be true. If true, then the hypothesis becomes a fact or law.
If not true, then the hypothesis is discarded.

Questions regarding the theory of evolution:
Point 1:
1.         Has the hypothesis been stated properly? Answer: Yes.
2.         Has the experiment been conducted? Answer: No. It cannot be done in the time available.
3.         Is there evidence representing the experimental data that show the results with significance? Answer: Animal data, including fossils of plants, birds, animals, and humans, and genetic data of microbes, plants, birds, animals and humans, are abundant and continue to be collected and studied. The collected data show a tendency toward similarities in structure between microbes, plants, animals and humans suggesting progressive relationships do exists. However, the assignment of cause is only hypothetical and inconclusive. No data are available to show that one form of life came from another even though there are similarities in chemical and genetic material and in life forms. Drawings suggesting cause and effect are primarily artists' conceptions. To conclude that plants came from microbes, a horse came from a dog, or a man came from an ape as described in textbooks is purely conjecture. The theory is at best still a hypothesis as measured by the requirements of the scientific method. There are no experimental data showing that one species came from another.

Point 2:
Over all time, from the formation of the earth to the present, major events have occurred that are cataclysmic. Major changes in the earth have occurred. Continental shifts have formed new landmasses, shifts in the magnetic poles are believed to have occurred, apparent ice dumps have occurred at the poles, and major atmospheric changes have occurred. These are cataclysmic events, not evolutionary events. The assignment of cause based on evolution is purely conjecture and cannot be taken as fact. It is clear that evolutionary events occur within species and test successfully the “survival of the fittest” proposal; however, it is unclear that one species portents another as stated in the theory of evolution.

Point 3:
The Biblical record indicates that the earth was created from nothing. Physics proposes a “Big Bang” theory for the formation of the universe and the earth. In the “Big Bang” theory, it is proposed that a cosmic explosion marked the origin of the universe in which subatomic particles quickly formed hydrogen atoms that quickly formed helium and all the other chemical elements of the universe.

Question: Where did the subatomic particles come from? This is the “chicken-egg” problem. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Subatomic particles called quarks preexisted in the “Big Bang” theory. This theory does not account for the origin of the universe, but only a mechanism for its formation from subatomic particles that are assumed to have existed. Scientists have not explained where the quarks came from.

Observation: If the “Big Bang” theory is correct, there must have been a “Big Banger” – God!

Point 4:
If God is the cause
of the universe and earth as claimed in the Biblical record, there must be agreement with the rest of the Biblical message. The Biblical message is that Jesus came to earth, was hung on a cross by Satan, and that he was resurrected from the grave.  As prophesied hundreds of years before, these events actually occurred.
If Jesus came out of the grave, it must be concluded that the Biblical claim of creation is true. It is easier to believe creation than evolution if Jesus did resurrect from the grave.

Point 5: The Biblical record is true. It fits what we know about the earth, the atmosphere, and the effect of the sun’s rays on mankind’s lifespan. The Bible says there was a flood, that the earth was covered with water, and that there was rain for the first time. Rain and wind come from an unstable atmosphere. Rain would not exist in a stable atmosphere like a canopy about the earth.

Scientists believe that the earth was covered with water at one time, that there was a massive shift in land mass, and that there were and still are life threatening effects of the sun’s rays.

An accounting of the flood in the Bible indicates that there was a coincident change in the lifespan of mankind at the flood and this was the beginning of rain upon the earth.  Science and the Bible are in agreement about these points. We can believe the Bible’s account of the flood and changes in the atmosphere.

Evidence of a change in the atmosphere is shown in the decrease in man’s lifespan. This decrease began with Noah's flood.
Notice the change in age of man beginning with Noah.

LIFESPAN OF BIBLICAL CHARACTERS
Adam, 900 Years
Seth, 912 Years
Enos, 905 Years
Cainan, 910 Years
Mahalaleel, 895 Years
Jared, 962
Enoch, 365 Years
Methuselah, 969 Years
Lamech, 777 Years
Noah, 950 Years
Shem, 600 Years
Arphaxad,  438 Years
Salah, 433 Years 
Eber, 464 Years
Peleg, 239 Years.
Reu, 239 Years
Serug, 230 Years
Nahor, 148 Years
Terah, 205 Years
Job, "lived 140 Years” after his ordeal, and then "he died at a very great age."
Sarah, 127 Years
Abraham, 175 Years
Isaac, 180 Years
Jacob, 147 Years
Joseph, 110 Years
Amram, 137 Years
Aaron, 123 Years
Moses, 120 Years
Joshua, 110 Years
Eli, 98 Years
Barzillai, 80 Years
Jehoiada, 130 Years
Anna, older than 84 Years.
Paul, "the aged one."

(Outline from Nave's Topical Bible)

This record of decay fits a model of radiation exposure. When we are exposed to radiation, such as UV rays from the sun, our lifespan is reduced. It appears that something happened at the flood to change the atmosphere permitting more of the sun’s deadly UV rays to reach us. The change is recorded in scripture.

Genesis 2:5-6 (In the garden period)
5          and no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground,
6          but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground--
Genesis 6:3 (In the time of Noah)
3          Then the LORD said, "My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years.”
Genesis 7:4 (During the flood)

4          Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made."
Genesis 7:12
12        And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.
Genesis 8:2
2          Now the springs of the deep and the floodgates of the heavens had been closed, and the rain had stopped falling from the sky.

Such a correlation of the lifespan of man to the flood and the beginning of rain gives explanation to the cataclysmic change in the earth’s atmosphere at the time of the flood.

GOD'S STORY
God’s story is that he created the earth. Then, he created mankind. The earth was without rain until the flood. At the flood, there were major changes in the earth and the atmosphere. This agrees with what we know about the earth, the atmosphere, and the effect of the sun’s rays on man’s lifespan.

Question: Which is easier to believe, the Biblical record or man’s “theory of evolution"?

Point 6: The Bible record is true. It agrees with Archeology.
From:   breakpoint@lists.netcentral.net  (BreakPoint by Charles Colson)
BreakPoint Commentary #91027 - 10/27/1999

Written In Stone: Archeology & The Bible by Charles Colson

"Walking past a newsstand this week, your eye may be caught by a dramatic painting of Adam and Eve on the cover of U.S. News and World Report.  Alongside the two figures, the title of the cover story asks, "Is the Bible True?"

"Flip open the magazine and you'll find that the answer is a confident "yes!"  U.S. News has summarized exciting new archeological evidence that confirms the historicity of the Bible. For example, a few years ago, a group of archeologists found an Assyrian stone tablet in Northern Israel dating from the ninth century B.C.  The Aramaic inscription listed Assyria's foes. Included in the list were the words "king of Israel" and "house of David."

"The significance of these findings is that they toppled years of archeological skepticism. Many archeologists have long questioned the historical accuracy of the Bible, maintaining that there was no such person as King David. They pointed to the lack of any reference outside the Bible to David in the archeological remains from Assyria, Egypt, or Babylon. They argued that David's name, a Semitic word meaning "beloved," was evidence that biblical writers created a legendary king to create a glorious past for Israel. But now archeology has given proof that King David was an historical figure after all--exactly as the Bible teaches.

"This latest discovery isn't the first time the evidence has confounded the skeptics. For instance, Kenneth Kitchen, an Egyptologist at the University of London, told U.S. News that documents recently discovered in Syria confirm the amount of money Joseph's brothers received when they sold him into slavery. According to the book of Genesis, it was twenty silver shekels. In later centuries, the price typically paid for slaves in Israel was ninety to one hundred shekels.   If the biblical account were made up later, as skeptics have argued, then the authors would have picked a sum much closer to the going rate at the time.

"Archeological discoveries also help document the veracity of Testament texts. For example, scholars have long doubted gospel accounts of Jesus' burial. They maintained that the Romans simply tossed crucified bodies into a common grave or left them to be scavenged by wild animals. But archeologists recently discovered the remains of a crucified man, a contemporary of Jesus, buried in a family grave.

"These remains suggest that the Romans did allow for the kind of burial described in the gospels. Why are secular scholars constantly being refuted?"

The answer is that they approach scripture from a naturalistic perspective that discounts any document that speaks of the SUPERnatural.  Since the Bible records miracles as though they really happened, the Bible is simply discounted out of hand.  Scripture is reduced to stories that merely illustrate theological points, while containing little that is historically accurate.

But, as the U.S. News article illustrates, this distinction is crumbling under the weight of empirical evidence. The latest archeological news is an exciting reminder that Christians have nothing to fear from scientific inquiry.  In fact, we welcome it.

The next time you hear Christianity characterized as an ancient legend, be prepared to describe the exciting evidence unearthed by archaeology. To answer the question on the cover of U.S. News--yes, the Bible is really true.

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Book 1, Lesson 2: What is Man?
Genesis 1-2; Psalms 8; Luke 24:39; John 4:24; Colossians 3:12-14; Hebrews 2:6-9 

The Garden of Eden  --  stretched hundreds of kilometers in every direction.

Teacher's Comment:
Kilometers and feet are recent measurement scales. Feet is an English scale, as is Fahrenheit for temperature. The metric system is recent too. In Hebrew times, measurements were made in dimensions of body parts. The smallest was the width of a finger. A palm was the width of 4 fingers. Interesting for today, the height of a horse is given in hands, approximately 4"per hand. A big horse is 17 hands. Another dimension was the span -- the point of the thumb to the point of the little finger. We still do that in estimating things. The cubic was the distance from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger -- approximately 18" on an average man, or 46 cm. They used crops of grass or cane for longer measures -- a "reed" was the height of sweet cane, a grass we grow today. It was about 6 cubits, about 10 feet or 3 meters.

Question 1: In what ways did Adam and Eve become one?

Student Answer:
“I think that Adam’s being was not complete, and God knew that, and because of that, God made a woman to be the second part of the complete being. That what man possesses is not enough for proper living, nor that what woman possesses. However, since God put together two half-beings, man and woman became one.

Teacher's Comment:

Pretty good answer, I think. Two, when put together, make a whole. Indeed, the Bible story tells us that Adam was unhappy when he found that all the animals had a mate except himself. He was very happy when God fashioned a mate for him. This is what you are saying -- they became "one," being made complete.
Genesis 2:21-24
21    So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh.
22    Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
23    The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man."
24    For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

In Hebrew and Greek Bible dictionaries, the definition of the word "one" (echad (ekh-awd)) used in the Genesis account of the Bible is “properly united, i.e. one.”

Question 2: In what ways are human beings like God?

Student Answer:
"Let me ask you a question: In what ways could human beings be like God?
Humanity estranges itself from God and that man (if we are created as a copy of him) is a regardless, cynical, unscrupulous, perverse, unintelligent, sick and ill being. I hope you know what I mean."

Teacher's Comment:

We were created "in God's image," according to the Bible, whatever that means. Lesson 2 points out that we are like God mentally, in loving others, deserving respect, and in our capability of knowing him. In this way we are like God, created with these qualities and capable of being like this. We were created to have the moral qualities like those of God.

Of course, you will see in Lesson 3, the Bible story continues and shows that man became cynical and sinful. After man's creation, man sinned against God. When man sinned, his behavior was not like God's behavior, but his nature did not change. Man's created nature remained the same as "God's image."

What is that nature? Well, God is smart. Man has a thinking brain too. God has feelings. So, men are made with feelings. Feelings are the result of our thinking. Most people realize that this is true. Men and women can think. How does that relate to "created in his image"? There have been libraries written on the subject "What is Man?" Some say he was "created good" and some say "evil." That is to say, if he is by nature "good," man will always do something good when left alone without guidance. We can observe this is not necessarily true. Well, try "created evil." If man is by nature "evil," then when left alone without instructions, he will always do something evil. That doesn't work either. It is not necessarily true.

There is another state of “nature” that can be considered: "Neither good, nor evil, but neutral -- free to choose." Consider this to be what is meant by man's nature.

Now, this begins to make sense. God is intelligent. Man has a brain, he is smart, and he can choose. If we conclude that man is created "neutral -- free to choose," it fits the Bible message that man is "created in the image of God." He has the ability to choose. He is free to choose. Adam and Eve were given the freedom to choose between God and Satan. Man's nature, when created, is neither "good" nor "evil," but, neutral -- free to choose. This agrees with scripture. God expects us to choose between His Kingdom and Satan's Kingdom

By the way, we do choose and no one can keep us from choosing. If fact, you cannot NOT choose, for not to choose is to have chosen!

We are created free-to-choose. It's our basic human nature. Created in God's image means we are created neutral, free-to-choose. This is one way a human is like God.

"Human nature" does not say anything about man's behavior -- what he says or does. Man can choose to behave without regard for others (show disregard in his behavior); he can be cynical, unscrupulous, perverse, unintelligent, sick and ill. These are behaviors and not his basic human nature.

Everything in life fits the neutral, free-to-choose model. We choose and we pay the consequences of our choices. When we choose to follow the creator and his goodness, we reap goodness. When we choose not to follow God's goodness, we reap trouble for ourselves and for those around us.

Scriptures:
Genesis 1:26-27

26    Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
27    So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Why did God create the earth and mankind?

Teacher's Comment:
This question is fundamental to understanding our purpose on earth. 
Before the earth was formed, God had many angels. Some were given authority. Angels have free will just as we do. One angel, who had been given authority, chose to disobey God. His name is Satan. When the earth was created, Satan was allowed to roam the earth and to seek followers. There are two kingdoms, God's Kingdom and Satan's Kingdom. There was a struggle between God and Satan before the earth was formed. God won over Satan by resurrecting his son Jesus. Now, the struggle is ours. God wants us to choose his Kingdom.

There is one scripture that tells us about the struggle between God and Satan.
Ephesians 3:8-11
8    Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,
9    and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery (that Jesus came to save all men both Jews and Gentiles -- BP), which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.
10    His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms,
11    according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.


This scripture indicates that God and Satan are at war. Rulers and authorities refer to beings in heavenly places. It indicates that Satan, a ruler in a place "not of this earth" (heavenly realms = a place not of this earth) will know that God is wise when God's created people choose God's Kingdom over Satan's Kingdom. The "church" is made up of people who choose God. God will win. This scripture indicates that God's purpose of creating the earth and man was to show Satan that you and I will know God and choose him instead of Satan. In the end, God will destroy Satan along with his angels.
1 Peter 5:8
8    Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
I John 3:8
8    He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work.
Ephesians 2:2
2    in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.
I John 3:8
8    He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work.
Colossians 2:15
15    And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
John 16:11

11    and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

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Book 1, Lesson 3: The First Sin
Genesis 2-3; Job 1:6; Matthew 13:38; 25:41; Luke 4:6; John 1:12; 6:39-44; 12:31; 16:11; Romans 5:1-2, 6-11; 1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Hebrews 2:10-15; 1 Peter 5:8; 1 John 2:15-17; 3:8; Revelations 12:9; 20:2, 7

Question 2: What is sin, and why does sin separate us from God?

Student Answer: "Sin is disobeying and dishonoring God."

Teacher's Comment:
The Bible story continues and shows that man chose evil -- he is cynical, and even a murderer.
The Bible says man was sinful. Sin means "missing the mark." The word was used to describe an archer shooting an arrow. The archer "sinned" when the arrow missed the target. The announcer cried, "SINNED!" After man's creation, man sinned against God. Man chose to follow Satan. When man sinned, his behavior was unlike God's behavior, but his nature did not change. Man's created nature remained the same as "God's image" -- neutral, free-to-choose. His behavior changed and God no longer walked with Adam in the cool of the day.
Genesis 3:8
8    Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

Why does sin separate us?
Psalms 5:4
4    You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil; with you the wicked cannot dwell.
Isaiah 59:1-2
1    Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear.
2    But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.

What is Death?
Adam was separated from God. He "died" and was driven out of the garden. Death means separation. For Adam and all men and women, death means we are separated from God. Now, we need a savior to put us back together again.

What is the "Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil," the "Tree of Life" and the "Flaming Sword at the Garden Entrance"?

The two trees and the flaming sword are examples of symbolic language in the metaphor.
A summary of the metaphor giving it meaning is as follows:

Adam and Eve were created in God's image and given the ability and freedom to choose. This is their nature -- to be "free moral agents." With their freedom to choose, they chose to disobey God and they ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. They knew the alternatives -- to obey God or to obey Satan. They chose to obey Satan because he told them the consequence of death was not true. This illustrates their freedom and ability to choose and that there are true consequences.  Because they disobeyed, they were driven from the garden. They were driven from the presence of God. They experienced spiritual separation -- death. Eve experienced pain in childbirth. Adam experienced labor in earning a living. Both physically died at an old age. A lesson from the metaphor is that choices always have consequences and that God does not lie.

The Tree of Life represents eternal life and a full relation with God. They were not allowed to eat of the Tree of Life having disobeyed God. They no longer had a full relationship with God because of their sin.

The flaming sword and the angels at the gate to the garden represent God's preventing them from this relationship on their own terms and with sin in their lives. Eternal life was not possible because of their sinful condition. God cannot tolerate sin. In their new state, God offered a way for them to be restored so they could have eternal life. Now, salvation will be on God's terms.

God offered the "Seed of the Woman" to redeem man from Satan and restore the relationship. The "Seed" is Jesus. The prophecy of Genesis 3:15 predicts that Jesus will be born of a woman and will be killed, but he would get over it. Satan will bruise Jesus in the crucifixion. Satan's head will be crushed and he will not survive. The power of Satan will be stopped for those who obey God. Adam and Eve will have to choose to obey God to restore the relation to God and live forever. This is possible because of the resurrection of Jesus from the grave.

What is God's Plan to Put Us Back Together With Him?
God's plan for redeeming man was announced very early
-- Jesus will "crush" the head of Satan. Jesus will save us from Satan. Speaking to Satan in Genesis 3:15, God said that Jesus (the descendant of Eve) will be killed by Satan (heel refers to the body of Jesus on the cross), but he will get over it (God will raise Jesus from the dead). The word "bruise" intends healing, and "crush" means to render impotent. The head is the seat of authority. Satan's head would be crushed, while Jesus' body will "get over it." Jesus will be raised from the dead; Satan's rule over those who choose God will be impotent. God and man will again walk together.

Genesis 3:15
15    And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel."
Job 1:6-7
6    One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them.
7    The LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?" Satan answered the LORD, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it."
Matthew 13:38
38    The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one,
Matthew 25:41
41    "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
John 1:12
12    Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God--
John 6:39
39    And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.
John 12:31
31    Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out.
John 16:11
11    and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.
Romans 5:1-2
1    Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
2    through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.
Romans 6:11
11    In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
1 Corinthians 10:13
13    No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
2 Corinthians 5:17
17    Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
1 Peter 5:8
8    Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
I John 2:15
15    Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
I John 3:8
8    He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work.
Revelations 12:9
9    The great dragon was hurled down-- that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

Question: The Bible is a mystery to me.

Answer:
The Bible is a simple book. Actually, the word "Bible" means book of books. For example, the Bible has two main parts -- the Old Testament and the New Testament. In the O.T. there are 39 books; in the N.T. there are 27 books. Each book was written by some man who was inspired by God. The Bible claims that the Bible is "God breathed." It means that the very thoughts came from God himself.

When you read the Bible, it sounds like a history book. It begins with the creation and continues to tell the story of man's history. The New Testament begins with the story in our year 0 AD. (Today is 2,000 AD.) This is the story of Jesus. After the story of Jesus, comes the story of the church and its worship. The last book tells of Jesus coming to the earth again and the earth being destroyed by fire. God will live through all eternity. Satan will be destroyed.

There is a theme from beginning to end. The theme is "Someone is coming, Someone has come, and Someone is coming again." The Someone is Jesus. You will learn about all this as you study the reading assignments.

In the Old Testament, Jesus is concealed. In the New Testament, Jesus is revealed.

The purpose of the Bible is simple. It tells us where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going. It tells us about our Creator God and how we can have a good relation with him. It tells us how we can be a group of people who love and care for each other. It tells us how to live. It tells us of heaven and deals with life after death.

There is no other book in all history like the Bible. It was written by 40 men who did not know each other. It was written over a period of about 4,000 years. There are no contradictions in the Bible. It is one theme and has one purpose. It is God's book to tell us about himself and how we can please him.

Question: Who is the snake and Satan?

Answer:
The word Satan means "adversary." Satan is God's great enemy. When you read "snake" in the Bible, it refers to Satan. The Bible literature has many forms as does all literature. The story of God, man, and Satan in the Garden is told in figurative language. Each figure has a specific meaning in the story.

God is the Creator. Adam is the first man and represents all mankind. Eve is the female part of mankind. Satan is the evil one who is against God. Being created in the image of God means that mankind has the capacity to love and to be morally right. Mankind, being like God, is able to think and choose. He will choose.

The story tells us that Eve had to make a choice between God and Satan, represented by the snake. The snake represents Satan, the evil one. Eve chose to follow Satan; she ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The tree is a symbol that means you will know the consequences of your choice. Eve learned that there were consequences. She no longer walked with God. She, along with Adam, had to leave the Garden where God had walked with Adam and Eve and talked with them. They had sinned and were separated from God because God hates sin.

Adam and Eve wanted to come back to God, but God said you cannot come back to me on your terms. You can come back to me on my terms. He put a flaming sword at the gate of the Garden. And, an angel. The sword and angel at the gate means you can come to me only on my terms. You cannot eat of the Tree of Life and live forever on your terms. The Tree of Life is another symbol in the story. It means having a relationship with God and living forever.

God's terms of coming back to him is the next part of the story. You read this part in Genesis 3:15, in lesson 3. God will send Someone to remove Satan from the lives of mankind. That Someone in the story will "crush" Satan's head (the snake) after Satan (the snake) "bites" the heel of the child of the Woman. Later, you will learn who is the Someone. It is Jesus. Satan loves to kill. If he can kill you, you will no longer be able to choose to follow God. He killed Jesus -- he "bit his heel." But, Jesus got over the bite -- he came out of the grave and walked the earth as a live human being again! Satan could not keep Jesus dead. Satan's power was destroyed -- his head was "crushed." With Satan out of our lives, God is pleased. When we choose to follow Jesus, God's son, we can go back to God on his terms and Satan is powerless in our lives. This pleases God. Our sins are forgiven.

Satan is evil. He must be punished. The Bible tells us that he will be destroyed when the earth is destroyed by fire. Those who choose to follow God will go to heaven and live forever. Those who choose to follow Satan will be destroyed with Satan, the snake in the story. God is good. Satan, the snake, is evil.

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Book 1, Lesson 4: Cain and Abel
Genesis 4; Matthew 15:8-9; John 8:44; James 1:12-15; 1 John 3:12

Teacher's Comment:
The lesson to learn from Cain's behavior is that we have a choice to make.
We are made to choose. Like Cain and Abel, we are in one of the two kingdoms - either God's Kingdom or Satan's Kingdom. In our studies we will learn to choose God's Kingdom.
Matthew 15:8
8    "'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
John 8:44
44    You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
I John 3:12
12    Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother's were righteous.

Point: It is important that you choose God's kingdom. In fact, you will choose one or the other.

Student Question: Respected Sir here i want to know that why didn't God saved Abel from Cain. Can't God protect his disciple from evil.   

Teacher's Comment:
God can protect others and does when he so chooses. However, here is what is going on and how God works with his creation:

1.    Before the universe was formed, Satan wanted to be God. There was a war going on between good and evil in heaven, a war between God and Satan. Satan is one of God's angels who disobeyed him.
2.    Man was created free to choose. God lets us choose. We are not robots.
3.    The earth and mankind were created. Satan was allowed to tempt mankind.
4.    Satan tempted Eve. She disobeyed God. She found out that her choices have serious consequences because God hates sin.
5.    God has a plan for mankind to come back to him. It is based on trusting and obeying him. We get to choose between God and Satan. It's our choice. We will choose one or the other during our lifetime.
6.    In God's creation, he made all natural laws -- the laws of physics. These laws let us get into trouble -- we fight, we war, we get sick, we are born with defects, we die, there are floods, fire, and disasters. And, there are good things too -- we love, we care for each other, we are well, we make medicines, we are strong, we even learn English.
7.    So, God let's his laws control the universe. He lets Satan tempt mankind. He lets us choose. God took a risk when he made mankind and let us choose. He even lets us choose Satan. He let Cain kill Abel.
8.    His eternal love draws us back to him. He wants this to happen. Abel believed and was pleasing to God.
9.    We get to learn about God's love with these stories of real people. We learn how to please God.

Now, in order for his plan to work, he let Cain and Able choose. He could have stopped Cain, but he did not. Today, he could stop wars; but, he does not always do that.

We will read other stories where we see God do miracles. A miracle is God violating his own natural laws. He won wars that man could not have won. He healed the sick. He even raised the dead. Each time God does a miracle, it is to carry out his plan to redeem us -- to bring us back to himself. His plan is to make a way for us to trust him. He reveals himself so we can trust him. Your will read about Abraham. Abraham learned to trust God when he did miracles to reveal himself to Abraham. There are many more stories to read.

Student Question: where did Cain get his wife?

Teacher's Comment:
Ah-ha! Good question! "Where did Cain get his wife?"

This is a common question. I consider this to be an excellent opportunity to teach your student how to read and interpret scripture. As an English student, he needs to know that the Bible is full of stories and many of these use allegories, parables, and other figures of speech that he will need to grasp if he is to read intelligently. Also, each story is told to make a point. They are not all literal. Most of them are literal and true to history. But, they are not intended to be history.

The stories all tell that "Someone is coming" to crush Satan's head (Genesis 3:15). We will look for that "Someone" as we read through the WEI lessons. In them, we will discover that this special person is Jesus.

Well, we have to go back to interpretation of scripture. What are the rules? We have to grasp the nature of the Bible. Nowhere does the Bible tell all - names, dates, and details. Instead, the Bible is a series of stories each with a point, a message. These all fit together to bring us to Jesus.

So, what can we say? Obviously, there were a lot of people on the earth by the time of Noah (Genesis, chapter 5). There names are not listed. But, two sons of Adam are given. Do we have all of the sons listed? We read into the text that Cain was the first and only son until his brother Abel was born. But, the scriptures do not say that. We read it into the text -- a mistake in good interpretation.

When you get to v.18, you see some genealogy. Now, where did the two wives of Lamech come from? It doesn't say. We can speculate; but, that is missing the point of the passage. The point of the passage is the message.

We cannot know where Cain got his wife. In our own terms, he married his sister or his cousin, perhaps. But, we should not read into the text information that is not there. Often, we simply have to say that it does not tell us. It must not be important to the message or God would have told us.

Proper interpretation does not "read into" the text what we think; it "lifts out" of the text what the author intended for us to know. This is where many go wrong in their understanding of scripture.

Now, let me speculate and make some personal opinion statements. These are simply my own observations.

A system of chronology (dating) of the Bible was worked out by Archbishop Ussher around 300 years ago. The French monk Augustin Calmet (1672-1757) did the same thing in his time. Dr. William Hales (1778-1821) did the same thing, and called it a New System of Chronology. Ussher's dates were highly criticized. Archeological studies dispute Ussher too.

The years from Adam to Noah assume that all of the events in the earth's history are included in the Biblical story.

Here are some Ussher dates:
Adam to Flood - 1656 years from 4004-2348
Flood to Abraham - 427 years from 238-1921
Abraham to Exodus - 430 years from 1921-1491
Exodus to Saul - 396 years from 1491-1095
Period of the Kingdom - 508 years from 1095-587
End of the Kingdom Period - 587 years to Jesus' birth, year 0 (actually the year 4 AD)

Add these up and get 4004 years back to Adam from the year of Jesus.

Now, Ussher comes up with 4001, Calmet 3999, and Hales 5311.

But, some scientist claim the "Old Earth Theory" and assign millions of years ago back to the first man who would be Adam. "Creationist" claim the "Young Earth Theory" and insist on a literal 5,000 year old earth or there about -- some 10,000 years, etc. The Young Earth Theory is in harsh disagreement with the dating of rocks and the Theory of Evolution. So, a number of 4-5,000 years ago is held to dispute Evolution.

Such a claim of "5,000" years is a mistake. To say that it was 5,000 or even 10,000 years is "reading into" the text what we speculate. We are unable to "lift out" the age of the earth or the date of Adam and Eve. It is not there! We do not know! It doesn't have to be 5,000 years to still be Creation. This number actually makes very little sense. This is because, we do not know the time from Adam, the first man, and we do not know the time to the Flood. It is not in scripture and should not be claimed to be there when it is not there!

I think that it would be a serious mistake to insist on the accuracy of any dates prior to the time of Abraham. For example, the date, Adam at 4004 BC has been confronted with the established antiquity of Egypt. Even if the period from Adam to the flood was a period of 1656 years, that does not give us the date of Adam and of the flood. These dates are simply not known. To claim that we know these dates is a mistake in Biblical interpretation. If the Bible doesn't tell us, then we cannot claim it!

One important thing always to do is to go to the New Testament to see what the apostles taught.

For example:

Acts 7:6 Stephen gives this OT story.
6 God spoke to him (Abraham) in this way: 'Your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years.
NIV

Galatians 3:17 Paul argues using 430 years from Abraham to the 10 commandments (the Law)
17 What I am saying is this: the Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise.
NASU

A history and Bible student should know some of the dates, but it is a mistake to become attached to certain dates. When these dates come into question, confusion happens. However, when the NT writers spoke these dates, they are the words of Jesus. Believe them.

The Antediluvian Period -- the time from Adam to the Flood - cannot be taken as known. It can be claimed only by speculation.

Here is an opinion. Since the Genesis account is a simple set of stories each written to convey an important message about God and Mankind, they are not likely pure history with assigned dates. It is safer to say, we do not know because the Bible does not tell us. To do this does no violence to the text.

In my opinion, I think that the Creation story is brief, very brief. There is a lot not told. The Garden story is allegory -- a message conveyed in story form. It is not entirely literal. It has literal elements; but, much of the story is figurative. Consider these questions -- what kind of tree was the Tree of Knowledge? What kind of tree was the Tree of Life? What metal was the flaming sword made of and why did it not burn up? Is it still burning? The questions are for those who insist that the Garden story is literal.

One student ask, "What is the snake?" Well, it too is a figurative element in the allegory. The snake represents Satan. The Tree of Knowledge represents choice. The Tree of Life represents an eternal relationship with God. The flaming sword represents God's total non-acceptance of salvation on our terms, by our own design, and do as we please in appeasing God. The Garden itself  may be figurative representing a relationship with God and a human being who lives on earth where Satan is free to "Roam the earth seeking whom he may devour." Yet, there is a literal component -- the rivers have names that we know today. It is claimed by scientist to be the seat of Man's beginning, a place on earth. That part is the literal setting where the relationship story is told. We can grasp that.

There are around 40 different types of figurative expressions of speech -- metaphors, allegories, parables, etc. It is clear to me, but not to many, that the Garden story is figurative language.

In the allegory, the 3 rivers are named. That is the literal part of the story. God is real. Satan, represented as a snake, is real; but, the snake only represents the real Satan. Such is true of Adam and Eve.

Then, the story's message comes clear: You are free to choose between God and Satan. There are consequences for your choice. You can only come to me on my terms! Gen. 3:15, the conclusion of the Allegory.

With this in mind, it is no surprise that Cain married and had kids -- the rest of the story is yet to be told. The story of Genesis 4 is a story told with a purpose. Apparently, where the wife came from is not important.

We can conjecture that there were many people on the earth, and this story is about those people and what God expected of them and of us today. The message is not uncertain. It is not speculative. It is God's Word.

I hope this gives you a foundation for how to read the Bible and what is to be done with the question, "Where did Cain get his wife?"

Author: Bob Patterson, weibp@aol.com

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Book 1, Lesson 5: Noah and the Flood
Genesis 6-9; Matthew 24:36-39; 1 Peter 3:20-21; 2 Peter 2:5; Titus 2:11-14; 3:5

Teacher's Comment:
God purged sin from the earth. God is decisive about sin. There are serious consequences when we choose Satan's Kingdom instead of God's Kingdom.
Matthew 24:36-37
36    "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
37    As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
1 Peter 3:20
20    who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water,
2 Peter 2:5
5    if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others.
Titus 2:11-14
11    For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.
12    It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,
13    while we wait for the blessed hope-- the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,
14    who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
Titus 3:5
5    he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,

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Book 1, Lesson 6: The Call of Abraham
Genesis 11:10 to 17:27; Joshua 24:2-15; Acts 7:1-4; Romans 4:16-25; Hebrews 11:8-12

Teacher's Comment:

There were three promises made to Abraham -- 1) Land, 2) Nation and 3) The seed promise of descendants who would be blessed.
Romans 4:16
16    Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham's offspring-- not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all.
Hebrews 11:8-12
8    By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.
9    By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.
10    For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
11    By faith Abraham, even though he was past age-- and Sarah herself was barren-- was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise.
12    And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.

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Book 1, Lesson 7: God Gives Abraham a Son

Teacher's Comment:
I find it interesting to compare Abram's faith with Abraham's faith -- Lesson 6 and Lesson 7.
It seems that Abram could not wait on God to give him a son. He had faith to leave Ur, but he was impatience while waiting on the son to be given. So, at age 75 he chose to help God. He had Ishmael with his wife's handmaid. God was displeased.

Then, when he could no longer help God at age 100, he was given Isaac the promised son. This turned his "faith" into "trust." We must learn to trust, not just believe. It is in trusting that we please God. The scriptures use the word faith in Hebrews 11 and refer to Abraham's faith. It is a trusting faith that pleased God. Strong's definition for faith is...

Faith: 4102  pistis (pis'-tis); from 3982; persuasion, i.e. credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstractly, constancy in such profession; by extension, the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself.
KJV-- assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.

It is interesting to compare these two words -- faith and trust -- in the context of Abraham.

Note: In Hebrews, in reference to Jesus, David used the word "trust." Again, Strong's definition:

Trust: 3982  peitho (pi'-tho);
a primary verb; to convince (by argument, true or false); by analogy, to pacify or conciliate (by other fair means); reflexively or passively, to assent (to evidence or authority), to rely (by inward certainty):
KJV-- agree, assure, believe, have confidence, be (wax) conflent, make friend, obey, persuade, trust, yield.
Hebrews 2:13
13    And again, "I will put my trust in him." And again he says, "Here am I, and the children God has given me."
Hebrews 11:8
8    By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.

Author: Bob Patterson, weibp@aol.com

References to Strong's Greek/Hebrew Dictionary is acknowledged. Scripture references are from the New International Version (NIV) except where noted as New American Standard Version (NAV).,/strong


Book 2  / Book 3 / New Birth / New Life / The Church


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Basic Bible
Book 1

b1mlc.jpg (20284 bytes)

The Conflict Between
Good & Evil

SUBJECTS

Prodigal Son
The universe
Human body
Evolution
Thermodynamics
Age of man
Nature of man
Tree of Knowledge

Tree of Life
Why Creation
Death?
Flaming Sword

God's Plan
What is the Bible

The Snake
Cain's Wife
Age of the Earth
Noah
Abraham

 

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