Light and Darkness 2
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Eph 5:14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

Editing Note: When this writing was originally published, there was an important error. In expressing my thoughts on  Adam in the garden, I made it sound like God created something that wasn't perfect and good. I said God created a perfect place and put an imperfect creature there. I was thinking ahead to what Adam became after he sinned-imperfect and I got a little ahead of myself and it came out sounding wrong. Everything God made was perfect and good. I made it sound like God deliberately created Adam imperfect and he did not. This has been corrected and edited. I pray the Lord forgive me for saying something that was not right. I did not mean it to come out like it did. One of our readers caught this error and reported it, and I had to get on here and change this. I do not want any part of error or misleading anyone on the Holy Scriptures of God. His word should be handled with much care, reverence, and dedication to truth. My apologies for any confusion.


August 3, 2006             Light and Darkness, Part 2            Kathleen Maples

I've been stuck in Genesis for two weeks now. I have seen more in these Scriptures than ever before. Then I listened to a message preached at Bethel Pulpit Ministries, in Swansea, Wales, UK, by Pastor John Rhys Watkins, called "The Raven and the Dove" and it touched on some of the same things I've been stuck on and the Lord helped me understand some things. I had to listen to this message twice. I would highly recommend it. Click this link to download the message free and you can also burn this message to CD, which is what I do.

But some of these same Scriptures provoked another line of thought, so I am continuing on here, because somehow it applies to my life, or the Lord wouldn't be continually drawing me to these Scriptures. We all as believers deal with the same temptations and the same devil, so I believe it's good for us to share with one another what we learn, and are taught by God. I know I want my children, and my husband, when God saves them, to have a written testimony of the way God has worked in my life, so whenever they face things, they know, God helped her, he'll be faithful to me, too.

Gen 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

That had never stuck out to me before. The greater light is to rule the day. The lesser the night. As I began to see these Scriptures through a spiritual sense, they looked so different. We all need to examine ourselves or we should-and ask ourselves an important question: which light is in you? The Greater or the lesser? I've been thinking on these Scriptures for some time now. John says in 1Jo_4:4 "Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world."

Gen 1:22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.

When I read this, where God said "be fruitful", the thought ran through my mind "When God says be fruitful, you can be sure the devil will go after the fruit to destroy it." You have only to go over to Gen_4:8 to see that. Darkness will always try to put out the Light of God in a Christian's life. When you go on to read Genesis 2, and how God had so wonderfully prepared a special Garden of Eden and Eden means "pleasure, delight." When you consider how God took his time, creating this beautiful place, stocked it full of wonderful and beautiful things, so full of provision for every imaginable need. Then he made man. He prepared a beautiful place, perfect in every way, and then made a perfect creature, and gave him supremacy in this perfect place. Adam was his son. God loved him, and prepared a beautiful place full of provision for his child.

Gen 1:29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

Consider what He said "Behold, I have given you..." he had given Adam every provision he would need. In 2 Peter, the first chapter, God tells us something important, too.

2Pe 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,

2Pe 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

2Pe 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

He's given us every promise, all things that pertain unto life and godliness, by his promises, because HE SAID WE COULD, we can partake of HIS DIVINE NATURE. Have you ever heard the phrase "you are what you eat?" Oh, Glory to GOD!!! No wonder Peter says these promises are precious, exceeding precious. Nothing we can do to obtain them ourselves, but because of HIS PROMISE which expresses his desire to share His Divine Nature with us, we can partake of it and it will consume by default the corrupt in us. It will overtake it. Light chases out darkness. So, here is this beautiful garden, and this man, and God made Eve to be his companion. Everything was in perfect harmony. They did not know they were naked.  They were as innocent children not knowing wrong, only right. They knew nothing of evil.  They had been given life, they had been given a perfect place. They had fellowship with God. He came and talked with them in the cool of the evening. Everything was great. This awesome God who had so much love in his heart, and wanting fellowship with someone He could pour His love out on, share what He had with, fixed everything perfect, then presented man with his creation. It's yours. Name it. Tend it. Take care of it. Consider the love on display here by such a holy, powerful God, to his creation. That same message is available now to us. It's still on display-the record was written for us to read and believe-and hopefully understand. I can just see how bad the devil wanted to mess this cozy arrangement up. He was mad. He wanted vengeance. He couldn't touch God, so who did he go after? Those God loved. Can you see it? Can you see the heart of God on display here? I am beginning to, and it awes me. Have you ever wanted to do something nice for your children? Remodeling a bedroom, and fixing it nice for your teenager? Buy them a car and fix it up for them? Or perhaps build a little club house for your kids? Turn your back yard into a playground? Just because you loved them and wanted them to have their own special place they could enjoy? You wanted it just right for them, because they were precious to you. The whole time, you might have had an eager sense of anticipation of delight in seeing the surprised and excited look on their faces when you presented them with it? Can you see this in GOD here?

Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

Look at that word "subtle" and understand it means sly, artful, cunning, smart. Even the word "serpent" conveys the image of a deadly and malicious enemy. The devil picked the smartest animal to use to deceive Eve. He deliberately surveyed what God had made, chose the smartest creature to use, and set about to trick this woman into disobeying God. The Lord, on the other hand, praise His holy name, uses the weak and foolish things of this world to confound the wise.

1Co 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

You might be surprised how many times I've taken comfort from that Scripture in 1 Corinthians. More than I care to remember. He tricks her into thinking there is more she needs to know than what God has told her. He tricked her into pursuing knowledge and distracted her away from the tree of life. I've often wondered if she were near the tree of life, if she was considering it, when the serpent came to her and perhaps drew her attention away to the tree of knowledge of good and evil. He certainly didn't want her to partake of the tree of life. And who is the Tree of Life to us, now? Jesus is. He said " except ye eat my flesh and drink my blood you have no life in you." John 6:53 

The enemy drew her attention away from life to knowledge. He made it sound so appealing, like something she needed. When she saw it was pleasant to her eyes, and would make her wise, she made a tragic mistake, a mistake that would lead to the death of her second son at the hands of her first.

 Isn't that the premise behind the advertising campaigns of the world, to promote people, products, and things of this life? This same strategy is used everyday in commercials, ads; it's everywhere. This will make you smarter, prettier, better, new and improved. This is a good deal. It's in every commercial or ad you see. Now you know where it came from.

You also need to understand God does not want to be promoted in the same fashion. He doesn't need to be nor will he accept it. A quick example: I got an email from a Christian organization offering free graphics for a web site, and their idea was themed with the new Superman movie, which is not as patriotic as it's predecessor. They used one line from the movie to draw an imagined parallel with Christianity and it offended me that they would want to use a worldly movie to promote a holy God. I politely emailed back, please unsubscribe me. They asked why and I told them the same thing I just told you. Just the fact that they would consider using worldly methods, worldly movies to promote Christ, I feel, is sad. It betrays the presence of an inner longing to be accepted or validated by this world. For the Christian, that should be a horrifying thought-not a desire. Yes, we want to see the world saved, but we know it will not be. If the world validates your Christianity, you have not Christ of the Bible in you. The world hated him and rejected him. The world glorifies self. Christ says it must be crucified. The world walks in pride and rebellion. Christ came as a servant, and we are to follow in his humble footsteps. He said they would hate us, too. The Bible says woe to you if men speak well of you. That is the context it should be understood, I believe. We should be have in such a way as our good can not be spoken evil of, but if the world speaks well of you, something is wrong. (See Luke 6:21-26, where Jesus gave the sermon on the mount, and here was looking directly at his disciples..) We all need the help of the Lord with this. Our adversary is constantly trying to provoke us into getting in the flesh and reacting wrong, or distract us from our God-given purpose.

Gen 3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

After she eat, and gave Adam to eat, and their eyes were opened, what was the first thing they realized? They were naked. They were vulnerable. They needed a covering. Who did they need a covering from? Not the animals, or plants or trees. A holy God whom they'd disobeyed. They were ashamed. I believe they loved God. Surely, they heard the pain in God's voice when he called "Adam, where art thou?" Shame and fear and insecurity are the results of disobedience. The devil knew if he could trick them into sinning, their fellowship with God would be broken. He knew they had been given the choice by the very presence of a choice in the garden. It had never occurred to them to disobey God until the devil seduced them into doing it. He injected the thought, and once entertained, the impulse was strong enough to lead to action. He did it because he wanted to break up their fellowship with God-to separate them from the Source of their life and love of God. He knew God loved his children. The devil doesn't know how to love-he just hates. When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit and their eyes were opened to know the difference between good and evil-that knowledge caused shame. I have thought about this, too: was it something in the fruit that opened their eyes to know good and evil? Was it just that when they broke God's command, it opened the door for sin to enter, and with it came death, and the knowledge of good and evil. Either way, the end result was the same. How does that apply to you and me? I can tell you how it has worked on me. When I first got saved, I easily accepted the new concept of conversing with God, praying to him, reaching out to him in my heart and mind.  I was not afraid, or intimidated, or on edge about praying and talking to God. It just came naturally-and I delighted in it. In HIM. I devoured his word. I took my Bible to work with me, I didn't care what people thought. I wasn't ashamed. I didn't preach at people, I just was too busy falling in love with the Lord. He had freed me from so much. He had given me a peace and opened my eyes to a hope I passionately embraced. I was not the least self-conscious about going into his presence, talking to the Lord, it just came naturally to me. Those first few months, I was on cloud nine all the time. I was giving up this, giving away that, if I learned the Lord didn't like it, I give it up, cheerfully, for the most part. My bikinis, my short shorts and halter tops, it was no sweat to give them away. My blue jeans, didn't need them anymore. I had something better. I was the daughter of a King and I didn't want HIM to be embarrassed of me. What he said went, and I was glad of it. But then one day, I came under mental attack. My mind came under attack at work, and there was this vicious voice that hissed in my mind trying to persuade me I was crazy for giving up so much of my life, for allowing such changes in my life, and the thought kept pounding my mind "you've given all this up and what have you got to show for it?"  I was thrown off balance, and all I knew to do was cry out to God, and ask him to forgive me for these terrible thoughts and help me. I didn't realize at the time what was happening. He saw me through this and helped me understand what was happening.

But over the years, as I have read the Scriptures, and saw how far short I was of the holiness of God, it bothered me and I began to read and study this. The more I became aware of more of who God is, and by contrast, my shortcomings, the harder it got to pray. A sense of shame crept in, that made it hard to enter his presence or hold my head up. I want His holiness. But I didn't understand at the time, he already imputed the righteousness of his perfect Son to me, by faith. I have listened to solid preaching on the New Covenant, thought I had started to understand and had rejoiced in what I had learned. But at the beginning of this year, I started digging into the Word of God deeper, hungering for more, and learning more, and fell into this trap again. After about 5 months, by June, I had fallen into this trap again, of being ashamed, overwhelmed and weighed down by my own flaws, wanting to be what God is, which is pure, holy, good, with no flaws. I hate sin. I hate how it makes people act. But as I fell into this trap again, my prayer life began to suffer. When you have seen for yourself who God is, as much as you are able to comprehend, and then you see who you are in contrast, your first realization is you need a covering. You are ashamed. That's why Adam and Eve tried to cover themselves. They had seen God. They had experienced his love. He knew they needed Him because they were His creation. HE made them because he loved them and wanted a relationship with them. He wanted to be their provision, their help. He made them innocent and perfect. The devil wanted them to see themselves through his malicious eyes. As he saw it, they were weak,  flawed, stupid as animals, easily manipulated and deceived. That is the same tactic the devil uses to bring God's children today under guilt and condemnation. God says we are the righteousness of Christ, because we are complete in Christ, in whom we place our faith. The devil points out God said be holy, and you can't this and you can't that, and weighs us down if we allow him too. I've fallen for this myself. He will point all your flaws out to you as long as you will let him. He hates what God loves, he probably doesn't understand how God could love us. Once their eyes were opened, and they saw themselves through the devil's eyes, and he pointed to their vulnerabilities and flaws and frailties, their first reaction to the presence of God was to hide. Sin is heavy. It makes you feel ashamed. How many times I have felt the wooing of the Spirit to pray in the past two months and in shame, and discouragement, didn't. Even as I am seeing this now, I am amazed at the faithfulness and mercy of God. I could not see what was happening but he will not let your enemy triumph over you. He will not leave you in his hand when you are in error. Not if he hears a sincere cry of love and hunger for him and his righteousness. If he sees a person really wants the world, he'll let them have it. But if he sees you are wanting HIM, he won't let go. He deals and draws and I am living proof. I am so thankful. I love you Lord, for your mercy is so magnificent. He does not need me but oh, how I need HIM!!!!

And then I have to wonder, how did it make God feel when he knew his children were hiding from Him? Surely, it hurt. Surely, it hurt to know he could no longer walk with them like he had. My mother told me once, God had made angels, and some of them betrayed him, the most beautiful of them all, Lucifer, betrayed him and caused others to, as well, and it had to hurt God's heart. But he didn't give up. He made people. And then they betrayed him as well. Still, God didn't give up. That has stuck with me. He is so compassionate with us it's breathtaking. Oh, how we need to appreciate him more!

But then, and remember, what God said still went: be fruitful and multiply. Look how the devil still determined to destroy. He went after the fruit. He tried to overthrow God's plan-he knew the Redeemer would come, but not through who or how or when. Whenever he sees goodness he wants to crush it.

Gen 4:3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.

Gen 4:4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:

Gen 4:5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

Gen 4:6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?

Gen 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

Gen 4:8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.

I've thought about this, and I can imagine-and this is speculation on my part, but reasonable assumption, too, how Adam and Eve must often have reminisced about their time with God in the Garden of Eden. They must have talked about it with their children. They must have taught them what they had learned of God, and warned both of them about the serpent. As they did this, the devil was already busy sowing seeds of destruction in the heart of Cain. He easily manipulated this young man into feelings of resentment, and anger. Can you see Cain as he's toiling in the field, or pulling weeds away from the crop, wiping sweat from his brow, his back and legs aching as he plants crops for food, or works to clear ground from the thorns and thistles, and bushes so he can plant. Can you see him as his mind rehearses the stories his parents have told him about the Garden, and God, and how easy and good life was then. How unfair the devil made it sound to his mind. How cheated he felt. All they had to do back then was care for the animals, dress the garden, and eat and play and fellowship with God. It wasn't Cain's fault they disobeyed, why should he have to suffer for their sin? And then Cain would look over and see his brother, Abel-all he did was take care of a bunch of sheep. Perhaps he felt Abel was the favorite son, because it was apparent God accepted Abel's offering but not his own. Why not? Abel brought a life to sacrifice-the life of the lamb. He sacrificed his best, and we know it was because God accepted it. What did Cain bring to offer God? The works of his hands. Cain worked the ground, planted food, and brought the works of his own hands to God. Why wouldn't God accept Cain's offering?

Isa 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

We can't bring what flesh accomplishes in itself to God and offer it to him, no matter what our good works, and expect him to accept it. From what I've learned I can't see any place in Scripture that God accepts flesh. He didn't accept Ishmael, when Sarah and Abraham tried to help God's promises come to pass. No, Ishmael was cast out with the bondwoman, Hagar. The child of flesh persecuted the child of promise.

Rom 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Gal 4:29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.

Gal 4:30 Nevertheless what saith the Scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.

Gen 21:9 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking.

Gen 21:10 Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.

Surely Cain resented the fact that Abel just accepted the situation, still had a desire to honor and know and serve God, and brought his best offering-a life. Can you see how easy it was for the devil to sow seeds of discontent in Cain's mind and cause a division and all the distortions of truth he whispered to Cain. Just like he convinced Eve God was withholding something that would be good for her, he convinced Cain he had been cheated. God knew Cain's heart. He even personally went to Cain and warned him. God didn't go to Adam or Eve and explain to them what was happening and tell them to talk to Cain. God went to Cain personally. He warned him. He knew the anger was building in Cain. Cain felt like he shouldn't have to work so hard. Keeping sheep must have looked easy. It was more like what Adam and Eve had done in the garden-care for the animals. I sense self-pity, resentment, anger, bitterness in Cain as I read God's warning to him.

1Jo 3:11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.

1Jo 3:12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.

Spiritually applying this truth, if you are growing in the grace and knowledge of God, be careful and stay close to the Shepherd. The enemy will try to sow tares in you, of discontent, anything that will dry up those living waters of Christ that are flowing. He will try to distract you from what God has for you, just like he did Adam and Eve when he drew their attention to the tree of knowledge of good and evil and away from the tree of life. Don't be fooled in to pursuing knowledge. Pursue LIFE. Jesus said "I am the way, the truth and the life, and no man cometh unto the Father but by me." (Joh 14:6) You don't have to understand everything. You just have to KNOW HIM. The devil can use your friends to distract you from what God wants you to do, even well meaning friends. He can get you distracted with work, or good works, even. Anything that keeps you from spending time on your knees and in the Word of God. I know. I've lived it. God help me learn this lesson and never fall into this trap again. Time is too short to walk around feeling empty and dry and discouraged. We must be spending time with the Source of our life, and drawing oil from Him so we are brightly burning and shining in the darkness for those who want to come in out of the cold and escape the wrath to come. He's coming. God help us let the Holy Ghost prepare us to meet HIM. God help us get our eyes off ourselves, our flaws, our mistakes, trust in his grace, and be about his business, seeking and helping the lost find the Light.

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