Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Law of Eden


I absolutely love the book of Genesis, the book of beginnings. Genesis introduces us to God, explains who we are, how we got here, and where we are going.

As many of you know, I am in love with teaching. When my life is all summed up one day in heaven I know that it will confirm the passion of my call to teach the eternal principles of God to all mankind. I can hardly recall a moment in my life when I am not motivated and inspired to teach others what I have learned. I am continually consumed with its potential to meet needs and change lives.

I have an overwhelming zeal to impart the principles of God’s Word to people and see them embrace the revelation, commit to the truth and begin ordering their lives and families according to God’s plan.

My greatest fault lies in my sensitivity to rejection, not personal rejection, but rejection to the Word of God of which I have been made but a messenger. At times the burden to teach others the way of the Master is overshadowed by the pain of seeing them ignore, discount, disregard, or discontinue the very Word which would give them life, love, joy, peace, and a future.

So, you can understand why each time I approach this pulpit I am, on the one hand confident that I have a Word from God and am well prepared to teach, while on the other hand so very concerned that some might not be listening or might not realize the opportunity they have to hear the Holy Spirit of God speak directly to them through the scriptures He has given me to share.

With that in mind I pray this morning that you will listen and be attentive to the Word – it might be the Word which will save your soul from an eternity in hell or from the hell of this life. Or perhaps, it is has the potential to forever change the person beside, in front of or behind you, if only they are encouraged to listen without undue distraction.

Won’t you turn to the Book of Genesis, Chapter 1, and we will look at a brief outline I wrote this week in preparation for what the Lord wants to teach you today. I’ll put the outline up on the big screen for you to see while I set the stage for the meat of today’s message.


Chapter 1

· The Law of First Mention

· Creation

· The Law of “After Its Kind”

· The First Five Commandments (Adam’s Law/Eden’s Law)

1. Be Fruitful

2. Multiply

3. Replenish the Earth

4. Subdue

5. Have Dominion

Chapter 2

· The Sabbath

· Covenant

Chapter 3

· The Fall of Man

1. Spirit

2. Soul

3. Body

4. Flesh

· The Parenthetical Process

1. Dealing with Sin

a. Its Right

b. Its Power

2. Restoring Relationship

a. Redemption

b. Reconciliation

c. Restoration

i. Salvation

ii. Justification

iii. Sanctification

From Genesis 3 through Revelation 22, we are in a parenthetical moment of God dealing with sin. After God fully deals with sin, He will pick back up with His original plan for mankind and planet earth. Sin, sickness, poverty, and defeat will be locked up forever along with the devil, his angels, and all who would offend the grace of God. There will be a new heaven and a new earth and we will get back to the life God originally intended in the Garden of Eden.

At that time, the laws of Eden will once again be the commandments under which the children of God will live. However, I do not believe that we have to wait until God locks up the devil and destroys the earth with a fervent heat for us to get right with God and start living according to His original plan for our lives.

If you have been born again by the blood of Christ and are living a life that is right with God, there is no reason why you should wait to follow God’s original and eternal design for your life. With that in mind, let’s look at the original 5 commandments of God, which I also call:

The Law of Eden

Genesis 1:28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth."

1. Be Fruitful

2. Multiply

3. Fill the Earth

4. Subdue

5. Have Dominion

Simply put in today’s terminology:

1. Be Productive

It is the will of God that once you are born again by the blood of Christ and have become a child of God that you begin living a life of productivity. Idly wandering or aimlessly moving from one dream to the next, one goal to the next without sticking to anything long enough to make it productive is not the will of God nor the life which God intends for His children.

Productivity, fruitfulness takes time, hard work, and an enduring commitment.

To have any lasting fruit there must also be an enduring root.

God is a God who is not just active, but rather productive. At the end of the day He has something to show for His labor … and His mind is always on His work.

2. Increase

To take what we have been given and make more of it. Whether it is our talents, our time or our money. The blessings of the Lord are but opportunities for increase. Your job is an opportunity, your children are an opportunity, your hobby is an opportunity, your day off is an opportunity, your life is an opportunity. God wants us to make the most of the opportunities we are given and increase.

When Adam and Eve were right with God He told them to be fruitful with what they had been given charge over but also to pay close attention to it and work it in such a way that it brought them increased opportunities. Increase is one of the first 5 commandments of God.

3. Expansion

Don’t just produce and don’t just increase, but also – Reproduce! This is the concept of filling the earth with others just like you who do what you do. God made it Adam and Eve’s responsibility to make disciples who would go into all the world and work God’s plan throughout the earth.

It is not enough to simply increase for our own purposes but we must increase for God’s purposes, so that the whole earth can be filled with the Children of God living right with Him and obeying the laws of Eden. To replenish the earth means to give the earth what the earth so desperately needs – like rain to cure the drought … God wants His Kingdom to expand.

This Hebrew word translated, “Fill” or “Replenish” means to “Abundantly Satisfy”. The Law of Eden requires that we who are right with God, go beyond the pursuits of our own increase and abundantly satisfy the whole earth with the glory, the grace and the gifts of God.

The Apostle Paul brings this into its New Testament reality with the verse:

2 Timothy 2

2 And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

He goes on with some of the other tenets of the principles from Genesis by saying:

2 Timothy 2

3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

4 No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.

Jesus gave the same commands with the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20. Basically, go and make disciples …

4. Subdue

To subdue means to conquer and bring into subjection. Sound familiar? Under the Law of Eden, Adam and Eve were commissioned to go forward and conquer the whole earth bringing it into subjection to the Kingdom of God. From animals to angels, whatever resisted must not be allowed to win. Adam and Eve were given an aggressive, decisive, and determined spirit to resist temptation and defeat the serpents of life.

It’ no different today. There is a battle waging for the souls of mankind. It is a battle in the mind and it is a battle for the mind. Spiritual wickedness in high places desires to captivate lives, destroy families, and bring this world into chaotic ruin. We who know Christ must be willing to fight and lay down our lives for the Kingdom of God.

Our fight is not with men for we do not wrestle with flesh and blood but with the forces of evil which try to take us captive, make us ineffective, and keep us busy, distracted, and worried, in bondage to debt, lust, idolatry and sin.

If we cannot win the battle in our own minds how can we win the battle for the world. If we cannot conquer selfishness in our own lives how can we ever conquer the devil in the lives of our children, our community, our church or the world.

The Law of Eden demands that we:

1. Be Productive Where God Has Placed Us

2. Increase Our Opportunities

3. Expand the Kingdom

4. Overcome the World

5. Have Dominion

God is desirous for each of His children to live in victory … to be in control, not out of control … to overcome, not to be overcome … to have dominion instead of being dominated by circumstances and situations of life in this world.

God established His family on planet earth to govern and rule over, not to be governed and ruled over by the elements of this demonic world system.

It begins with you! And it begins today!

Psalms 8:6 You have made man to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet.

We were created to have dominion and have been given the right and the power to govern and control. It’s high time that we started acting like children of the most high God. God is saying to you today: Be productive; Increase; Expand; Overcome; Live In Charge of Your Life.

Take control today!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What Can We Do?


It takes only one glance at the world news headlines for anyone who is a believer in Jesus to realize that we are living in days when Bible prophecy is unfolding right before our eyes.

Yesterday afternoon I arrived back in the United States from my latest trip to the Middle East. This last trip took me to the nation of Israel including the last 4 days which I spent in the city center of Jerusalem. While I was there I recalled the difficult days of the intifada and how many of the securities had relaxed since the days when bombs were exploding all around the city only a few years ago.

I must say however that I was not surprised, sad yes, but surprised no, when I awoke this morning to the news that there had been another bombing at a bus stop in the busy rush hour moments in the center of Jerusalem. It only re-affirmed in my spirit that these are the days of great trouble, trial, and turmoil of which the Bible speaks.

We are living in the prelude days to the tribulation and the great tribulation which will come upon the world to judge the world of sin.

Along with today’s bombing in Jerusalem the headlines continued with a nuclear meltdown and radiation fallout concerns in Japan; wars and rumors of wars in Libya; civil unrest in Egypt, Iran, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen, Jordan, and 5 other countries in that region; flooding in country after country; famine and drought in countries where there are no floods; tornados all around the United States; kidnapping and murders throughout Mexico; an increase in volcanic activity worldwide; new strains of antibiotic resistant diseases; alarmingly high rates of unemployment; the lowest ever recorded levels of new home sales; and even a report of illegal aliens being smuggled across our borders dressed in US Marine uniforms, just to name a few of the “Breaking News” events covered in only one segment of the news cycle between commercials this morning.

What is happening?

Matthew 24 NKJV

3 Now as He (Jesus) sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?"

4 ¶ And Jesus answered and said to them: "Take heed that no one deceives you.

5 "For many will come in My name, saying, ’I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.

6 "And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

7 "For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.

8 "All these are the beginning of sorrows.

9 "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.

10 "And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.

11 "Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.

12 "And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.

13 "But he who endures to the end shall be saved.

14 "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

It is evident what is happening … we are in the days of the “beginning of sorrows” … days of trouble when the world is waxing worse and worse … days of lawlessness, days of tribulation, days of deception, days of trouble for others in which we are told to:

Matthew 24:6 … “See that you are not troubled” …

How can a person escape being troubled in these troubled times?


Jesus encourages us to not lose our focus and lose sight of our purpose in the midst of these troubled times which face the world in which we live. My dear friends, we must endeavor to keep our focus on the purpose to which we are called. What purpose am I speaking of:

The fact that:

Matthew 24:14 This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

In the midst of these troubled times God has chosen that the gospel shall be preached in all the world as a witness to all nations before the end shall come.

The church moves its farthest and its fastest in times of trouble, trial and tribulation.

Isaiah 59:19 So shall they fear The name of the LORD from the west, And His glory from the rising of the sun; When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him.

Because when the enemy comes in, like a flood the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.

How shall God lift up that standard? What will God use? How can the Gospel be published in all the world in such times as this?

Colossians 1:27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Well the fact of the matter is, God’s special weapon in times such troubled as these is you!

It is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

There are three things God is hoping you will do in times of trouble.

1. Be not troubled.

a. Don’t be disillusioned, worried, or afraid

b. Don’t be confused or lose focus

c. The world’s trouble is not your own – it’s not about you …

d. Refuse to lose heart, lose hope, or lose your willingness to help

2. Endure

a. Keep on keeping on

b. Don’t let trouble or trials give you reason to quit

· Caring

· Sharing

3. Proclaim the Gospel

a. Lifestyle Evangelism

b. A Personal Display of Faith in God

They shall know you by your fruits: (Matthew 7 & Galatians 5)









Self Control

In times of trouble you may be the only Bible some people ever read.

Don’t worry; Keep caring; and Show others the Jesus in you!

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Gospel of Mark Series – Part 7


Tonight we will conclude our brief study of the Gospel of Mark with part 7 of this series. During this review of the 16 chapters Mark provided, we have noticed several repetitive themes. Mark not only gets right to the point of Jesus’ earthly life and ministry, recording more about what Jesus did than what He said, but he also repeats himself over and over, driving home important points of the Gospel message.

For example, out of the near 80 times the word “straightway” is mentioned in the 1,189 chapters of the King James Version of the Bible, half of those mentions are contained in the 16 chapters of Mark. Mark also takes great effort to speak of deliverance from demonic influences 16 times; speaks of authority and power 10 times each; over and again Mark records Jesus dealing with “hardness of heart” issues even amongst His disciples.

The 16 chapters of Mark reflect concentrated doctrines, what I call dynamic doctrines, such as the doctrine of “Faith and Confession” which we studied last week. Mark is a powerfully concentrated account of the life, ministry and teachings of Jesus.

Tonight we conclude our brief study with a look at another repetitive theme concerning the human vanity and carnal ambition which can creep into the lives of even the closest followers of Jesus. Turn with me to Mark, chapter 8.

This account takes place just after Peter’s confession that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah. With that understanding Jesus foretells His coming death and resurrection, entrusting these enlightened followers with this information for the very first time.

Mark 8 NKJV

31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

32 He spoke this word openly. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him.

Many people believe, as do I, that Peter was feeling pretty good about himself about now. Perhaps he had gone through what I call a “self promotion” phase. This occurs when we get the right answer to a hard question, perhaps a question which no one else could answer. All of the sudden, we believe we know things others do not and we “self promote” and become an expert.

The Apostle Paul called it, “thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought to think” syndrome. (Romans 12:3) – Paul’s remedy for that type of thinking is to “sober up”. Well, Jesus is just about to help Peter sober up a little.

Mark 8

33 But when He had turned around and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, "Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men."

Now it’s time to teach everybody a lesson. (This is what teachers do – they teach and thereby inoculate everyone who might have been infected or affected with the virus.)

Mark 8

34 When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, "Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.

35 "For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.

36 "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

How quickly human vanity, self promotion, and fleshly ambition can set in. Jesus was bearing His heart, telling of His coming crucifixion and resurrection and all the while Peter was day-dreaming, “self promoting” and not paying attention to the greater moments facing them all.

Fast forward perhaps a year, and we see Jesus once again opening His heart to foretell His disciples about His coming death and resurrection. This is the second time Jesus begins to share the innermost concerns of His life with those closest to Him.

Mark 9

30 ¶ Then they departed from there and passed through Galilee, and He did not want anyone to know it.

31 For He taught His disciples and said to them, "The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And after He is killed, He will rise the third day."

32 But they did not understand this saying, and were afraid to ask Him.

It is perhaps true that the reason why they did not understand what Jesus was teaching is because they weren’t listening. Why weren’t they listening? Maybe it was because they were more concerned about themselves and their ambitions then they were about what mattered to Jesus. Let’s look and see … continuing with the next verse:

33 Then He came to Capernaum. And when He was in the house He asked them, "What was it you disputed among yourselves on the road?"

34 But they kept silent, for on the road they had disputed among themselves who would be the greatest.

35 And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, "If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all."

Once again we see Jesus having to deal with human vanity and carnal ambitions. It is plain that the disciples were momentarily more interested in what they wanted than what Jesus wanted and once again Jesus took the time to set the straight. Jesus spoke to them about real promotion which only comes to those who lose themselves in service to others.

This is twice now that Jesus has tried to engage His disciples in a conversation about His coming sacrifice and the most important event ever in the history of the world but they cannot tear themselves away from their wants, their desires, their dreams for themselves and their own carnal ambitions. One might imagine that this would be the last time Jesus has to correct these selfish considerations … that imagination would be wrong.

Fast forward to the last two weeks of Jesus earthly life and ministry. He gathers His 12 disciples and begins their last journey together from the Galilee, down the eastern bank of the Jordan River southwards towards Jericho and ultimately to the cross in Jerusalem. On this momentous journey, the most important walk of His life, Jesus once again, for the third time, attempts to engage His disciples in a conversation about His imminent death, and once again He finds them not listening.

Mark 10

32 ¶ Now they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was going before them; and they were amazed. And as they followed they were afraid. Then He took the twelve aside again and began to tell them the things that would happen to Him:

33 "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles;

34 "and they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit on Him, and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again."

Now, before you begin reading the next verse and what happens, don’t you hope that the disciples are listening and that someone would ask an intelligent question, or a meaningful comment on the subject so that Jesus could expound and perhaps feel heard in this all important moment.

Mark 10

35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Him, saying, "Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask."

36 And He said to them, "What do you want Me to do for you?"

37 They said to Him, "Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory."

38 But Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?"

39 They said to Him, "We are able." So Jesus said to them, "You will indeed drink the cup that I drink, and with the baptism I am baptized with you will be baptized;

40 "but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared."

41 And when the ten heard it, they began to be greatly displeased with James and John.

42 But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, "You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.

43 "Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant.

44 "And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all.

45 "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."

Once again Jesus has to remind His disciples about the life of a servant. However, I feel that once again it just goes straight over their head. Why, because they aren’t paying attention to the truly important things of the Kingdom and God’s needs but rather to their own wants, desires and ambitions.

As if all of these instances weren’t enough, 10 days later, when Jesus is at His most critical and vulnerable moment, about to be arrested, tried, sentenced and crucified, He asks His disciples to pray with Him in the Garden of Gethsemane and what do they do … they fall asleep. He asked them three times and yet they could even keep their eyes open, listen to care to involve themselves in His heartache … but left Jesus alone to suffer in agony while they took a break, grabbed a power nap, clocked out, after all, it was after hours and they had just eaten and were tired. I mean, what employer, master or teacher could expect people to work such a long day?

So, what can we say to all of this … why were these things written? The Holy Spirit instructed Mark to record the inspired accounts of these moments in hopes that you and I would read them, understand them from heaven’s perspective, and stop allowing carnal ambitions and personal desires, and individual pursuits to take us on some self promoting, self acquiring adventure.

God wants and needs us to listen to the things He wants to talk about … those things which are most important, most valuable and most necessary.

Jesus did not come to be served but to serve. And we, His disciples in this generation, must harness our carnal appetites and personal ambitions to serve others and not ourselves.

Where is your focus? Are you more energetic, more thoughtful, more interested, more involved, more engaged, more hopeful of getting something you want, you need, you desire – or – are you caught up in serving, laying your life down, giving your time, denying yourself and becoming the greatest servant in God’s army?

Where do you plan to spend your prime time? On you and yours or on Him and His?

Are you looking for a break or looking for an opportunity to spend more time serving with Him?

The road to greatness is a much lower road than one might imagine. Avoid self-promotion!

Effective communication does not only involve the common courtesy of simple non-interruption - where you wait until another person is finished talking before speaking your mind - it also should include the greater consideration of actually listening to what the person is saying and engaging in intelligent conversation surrounding the subject of their choice instead of changing the subject to fit your desires.

This is especially true when it comes to communicating with Jesus or other designated leaders whom He has placed in your life. Do you know what they want to discuss or do you have your own agenda? Listen and get understanding…