by Alan Breitenstein
March 24, 2019
Scripture Reading: Genesis 3:1-3:
1) “Now the serpent was more subt 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?
2) And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3) But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.”
We were told that this event that took place was the cause of all the woman’s seed to be born in this world was given an original sin. Psalm 51 v 5 says that we were born into iniquity and in sin did our mothers conceive us.
Definition of original is the source or cause from which something arises specifically: ORIGINATOR. It is also that from which a copy, reproduction, or translation is made.
I was led to read this book, “That Old Serpent --The Devil” by F.J Huegel, written in 1954. I read this book about two years ago and going through my books came upon it again and read it again. What you miss the 1st time you read something you will pick up the second time and a third time will bring to light even more.
The third chapter of Genesis sets the stage for our life. As Jim gave his message on the importance of who we are, it is also important to know who or what your enemy is--especially when put on the battlefield.
Now we know that this congregation knows the contents of this message, but it is good to refresh and who knows, pick something up that we did not know. This message is more for me to find understanding.
What needs to be understood is the original sin. Whatever scenario the woman went through all Adamic man inherited. What is it that we all have that can relate to what she did. There have been many books about the devil and what the woman’s sin was, and just recently Jim directed me to some books on the subject and Don's message on Hinduism has really opened up the picture of what happened in the garden. When any of us was told that due to the woman's disobedience we inherited original sin and we just sort of accepted that as being a mark on our soul. I wonder if we ever thought whether we could overcome this original sin.
Well let’s add to this scene of the confrontation in the garden. Could it be that we were given continuous thoughts; thoughts of both good and evil. After all it was a tree of the knowledge of good and evil. What is difficult at times is that the Serpent is cunning and can appear as an angel of light leaving us with the difficult decision of who is speaking in our thoughts.
In these three verses of Genesis 3, we notice that three characters are mentioned:
Now the main character is the woman. What needs to be understood is that with each and everyone one of us, we entertain two characters most of the time. Ideally, if we can entertain just one (that is the right one) then rest assured we are on the right path. This is not the case though. That rotten serpent rears its head quite often, just like a jack in the box. We have 6000 years of DNA in us from our ancestors that have experienced that which is evil and made to appear as good and we have to decipher what is good and what truly is evil. Can we truly know all the evil that has infected our ancestors and us? Only with God’s help.
Let’s look at this scenario from what we experience in our minds. Let’s just say the woman was walking through the garden and admiring the beauty of the trees and the flowers and she comes upon this tree that God commanded not to take of. She starts to ponder 'what is it about that tree that I cannot eat of?' Curiosity or the Serpent is eating at her to take of the fruit from that tree, for that voice inside her head tells her that the fruit will make her wise and become like gods. And lo and behold, she puts God’s command on the back burner and takes the forbidden fruit.
This is pretty much the same scenario we face when whatever we are doing are distracted by or have an opinion in our mind, or when we see other people or an advertisement, or actions of others to get us to say or do those things we ought not to say or do. For instance, when traveling to work there is a car that is off the side of the road with flashers on and the hood popped up or a flat tire. You drive by and a voice inside your head says that it isn’t very Christian to not stop and help. Whose voice is that, God’s or the Serpent’s? I know very little about fixing a car. 'What good would I be?' is my reply to that voice. We have an opinion or thoughts on everything we see or hear or taste; some good some bad. Who sends these thoughts, God or the Serpent?
Now back to the garden. We know that the serpent was actually present. Was the serpent present in the woman’s mind or present in the flesh ... or both? Either way, the serpent was present.
God introduced this serpent to Adam, who had told the woman to forbid taking from this tree of knowledge of good and evil? We do know that the woman was conceived from this ordeal or why else would God declare enmity between the serpent’s seed and the seed of the woman.
Genesis 3:15: “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
If this is not the case, then why didn’t God just give the woman lockjaw or food poison? This was a conception by way of deception and had it not happened then there would be no reason for the Immaculate Conception.
Now if we were to label this sin with a four- letter word, what would it be? And it would not be “love”; it would be “self”.
Self or the serpent gets into our head making us feel so worthy, so important, to have whatever we want or desire, to create doubt and guilt.
Ephesians 5:29a: “For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it…”
The serpent plays on that to get one to love themselves which leads to selfishness. This article was taken from the web. We all know that self-esteem, sometimes referred to as self-worth or self-respect, can be an important part of success. Too little self-esteem can leave people feeling defeated or depressed. It can also lead people to make bad choices, fall into destructive relationships, or fail to live up to their full potential. Too much self-esteem, as exhibited in narcissistic personality disorder, can certainly be off-putting to others and can even damage personal relationships. (If the serpent plays on self then the serpent is both too little and too much)--parenthesis mine.
Self-esteem levels at the extreme high and low ends of the spectrum can be harmful. So ideally, it’s best to strike a balance somewhere in the middle. A realistic yet positive view of yourself is generally considered the ideal. But what exactly is self-esteem? Where does it come from and what influence does it really have on our lives?
What Is Self-Esteem?
In psychology, the term self-esteem is used to describe a person’s overall sense of self-worth or personal value. In other words, how much you appreciate and like yourself.
Self-esteem is often seen as a personality trait, which means that it tends to be stable and enduring. Self-esteem can involve a variety of beliefs about yourself, such as the appraisal of your own appearance, beliefs, emotions, and behaviors. Signs of a healthy Self-Esteem would be if you have a good sense of who you are if you exhibit the following signs:
Ability to say “no”
Ability to see overall strengths and weaknesses and accept them
Negative experiences don’t impact overall perspective
- Ability to express your needs
Signs of Low Self-Esteem: You may need to work on how you perceive yourself if you exhibit any of these signs of poor self-esteem:
Lack of confidence
Inability to express your needs
Focus on your weaknesses
Feelings of shame, depression, or anxiety
Belief that others are better than you
Trouble accepting positive feedback
Fear of failure
Let’s see what God says about self-esteem, take notice of all these verses and apply them to the days we experience. Is anyone humbling themselves?
“And the mean man shall be brought down, and the mighty man shall be humbled, and the eyes of the lofty shall be humbled:” (This verse focuses on those who have high self - esteem).
2 Chronicles 12:7:
“And when the LORD saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah, saying, They have humbled themselves; therefore I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance (through Trump); and my wrath shall not be poured out upon Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak” (Hillary).
“They are not humbled even unto this day, neither have they feared, nor walked in my law, nor in my statutes, that I set before you and before your fathers” (This verse covers both low and high self-esteem).
2 Chronicles 12:6:
"Whereupon the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves; and they said, The LORD is righteous.”
2 Chronicles 32:26:
“Notwithstanding Hezekiah humbled himself for pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the LORD came not upon them in the days of Hezekiah.”
2 Esdras 8:49:
49) “In that thou hast humbled thyself, as it becometh thee, and hast not judged thyself worthy to be much glorified among the righteous.”
3) “And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.”
“Let’s look at some different types of self. We have those who work and provide for their family, we have those who work just to provide for themselves, we have those who rely on others to work for them, we have those who steal from those who work so they can give to those who do not work and take credit for helping the poor. We have those who just steal to help themselves, we have those who preach that giving 10% of what you earn goes to the welfare of the preacher and the sick and afflicted in the congregation, we have those who preach that giving to the government and to the church as much as you can is Godly and you will be rewarded. We have religions of all sorts started by those whose sole intentions are to tickle the ears of their followers and the followers donate their estates to such people upon their death. Atheism is now considered a religion, at least to the Portland Oregon council members.
Now what needs to be shown is that each one of us are not just our self. Jesus gave us the commandment to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart soul and mind and strength and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Mark 12 v 33. Not too much of this commandment is being followed these days. When first reading this commandment, we always set our sights on loving our neighbors or brethren but did not put much emphasis on loving God. If we are to love the Lord thy God as the commandment suggests then how do we have any love for ourselves? The problem today is loving ourselves too much. Had God not intervened to some extent we would have complete chaos, wars, poverty, only the strong would survive. This is exactly where we are headed, and it seems to be the work of the serpent, aka politicians, wolves in sheep's clothing, Jewish bankers, and thanks, Don, for showing us Hinduism.
Looking at the perspective of sins of the flesh or sins of self seems to be orchestrated and led by the devil or the serpent or Satan and his seed. There are two types of self, one being with God and the other being with the Serpent.
Let’s look at the many verses where we are to know and deny self with the serpent.
James 3:16-17 ESV
“For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.”
2 Timothy 3:2 ESV
“For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy.”
“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
Romans 15:1-2 ESV
“We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.”
James 3:13-15 ESV
“Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.”
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;”
Romans 2:8 ESV
“But for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.”
Philippians 2:21 ESV
“For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.”
“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law…” (as you can see every one of these sins are generated by self).
Proverbs 18:1 ESV
“Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.”
Isaiah 56:11 ESV
“The dogs have a mighty appetite; they never have enough. But they are shepherds who have no understanding; they have all turned to their own way, each to his own gain, one and all.”
“Just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.”
John 3:16-17 ESV
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
Proverbs 30:12 ESV
“There are those who are clean in their own eyes but are not washed of their filth.”
Leviticus 19:18 ESV
“You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.”
Ephesians 2:3 ESV
“Among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.”
“And he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.”
“But made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name.”
Malachi 1:10 ESV
“Oh that there were one among you who would shut the doors, that you might not kindle fire on my altar in vain! I have no pleasure in you, says the Lord of hosts, and I will not accept an offering from your hand.”
Psalm 140:1-8 ESV
“To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. Deliver me, O Lord, from evil men; preserve me from violent men, who plan evil things in their heart and stir up wars continually. They make their tongue sharp as a serpent's, and under their lips is the venom of asps. Selah Guard me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from violent men, who have planned to trip up my feet. The arrogant have hidden a trap for me, and with cords they have spread a net; beside the way they have set snares for me. Selah ...”
Philippians 2:7 ESV
“But made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.”
Romans 13:10 ESV
“Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”
Proverbs 30:5 ESV
“Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.”
1 John 2:16 ESV
“For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.”
Hebrews 6:4-6 ESV
“For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.”
Psalm 119:36 ESV
“Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!”
Let’s expand on the desires of self and the desires of the eyes that are not from Our Father. Could we say that all sicknesses are from the evil one? For instance, if someone has a desire to put say that MSG or fluoride and other harmful products into our food are they doing it to enrich themselves and to create ailments or doing it to satisfy our taste buds? What about the vitamins that we need? Do you know that as long as there is a product that starts out with a vitamin it can be passed off as that vitamin in the product no matter whether or not the vitamin was reduced to practically nothing after the process they put it through?
We are told that God would put His laws on the hearts and minds of His people. God's people apparently are not listening to the right voice in their head. Also the number of books that are in existence written by well-advertised authors on the subject of the Bible and they promote: universalism, God loves everyone, the Jews being God's chosen, the affliction of the Jews during World War 2 and the list goes on and on for the dark side. I must wonder that with all the preachers and authors and religious figures that are in this world whether they even care about what they preach and write about being truth? Being a preacher is a dangerous job, more dangerous than an amateur being on a high-wire 1000 feet above ground. Have they ever considered that they are on the front lines of a big battle and the only ones you can call on when the battle becomes fierce is your fellow countryman next to you and God? Why take the chance of offending Him? Yet to them He is a loving God and will forgive them no matter whether they continue in their falsehoods.
Here are some imaginings to counteract one of the Beetle’s songs, “Imagine”. I can only imagine what life would be like if we were taught from the moment we were born to the day we die that the original sin that we possess is self and that the highs and lows of self are unfruitful and not of God.
I can only imagine what life would be like if we were taught from our birth to our death who our enemy truly is, both in the flesh and in our thoughts.
I can only imagine a priest or preacher standing before his congregation every Sabbath giving them heads up of the daily workings of the serpent and his seed and convicting them for doing nothing to prevent the enemy’s daily workings.
I can only imagine what life would be like had we had true shepherds.
I can only imagine our kindred brothers and sisters being able to accept the truth and not choke on it.
I can only imagine these things only because someone imagined the evil that we are experiencing now.
I can only imagine these things because God chose me to imagine them.
I will end this with for all to take notice as to the times that we use the word "I" and judge yourself on whether or not that I is being selfish or whether or not that I has God next to you, and 2 Corinthians chapter 10 v 5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
I am going to put a continuation on this message as soon as I can find out what John Wesley said about it.
To be continued.