Tom: We’re discussing various aspects of the gospel of salvation, and we’re going through the first chapters of Genesis. Dave, some of our listeners may not be familiar with the Book of Genesis other than knowing that it’s the first book of the Bible and it says some things about creation. But nevertheless, they’re of the opinion that it’s not particularly relevant to the gospel. Some theologians have even gone so far as to dismiss the first eleven chapters of Genesis as something the Bible would be better off without. But Genesis was vital enough for Jesus to quote from, wasn’t it?
Dave: Mm-hmm. Genesis is the way the Bible begins. As we’ve said on this program and on other programs, if the Bible isn’t all true, then who says that any of it true? Or which part of it is true? And the Bible, in fact, as we’ve been seeing in our study of Genesis, in the Book of Genesis it lays out the foundation for everything else. If I can’t believe what the Bible says about the fall of man, why should I believe what it says about his redemption? And in fact, we do have it laid out here beautifully and powerfully.
Tom: Dave, I’ve heard people say—you talk to them about the Bible, try to bring it up…and that’s what this program is about…but they say, “Oh, no, I’m not interested.” And I say, “Why is that?” And they say, “Well, you know, the Bible’s wrong right from the beginning.” And I say, “Well, how do you figure? It says, ‘In the beginning, God created…’” “Oh, no, no, no. God didn’t create anything.”
So they take an evolutionary view. But that’s to throw it out. I’m more concerned about Christians who undermine it, because as you said, it really is the foundation. You know, one thing that we’ve been talking about here, and we’re trying to understand better, is the gospel has to do with Christ dying for our sins.
Dave: Tom, can I just interject here for a moment…
Dave: This unrehearsed program is obviously unrehearsed. Let’s go back to what you just quoted. “In the beginning, God…” It’s rather simple. We know that the universe—this is a conclusion that scientists have only come to very recently: that there was a beginning to the universe. It’s obvious that if the sun had been here forever (you know, we’ve talked about this), it would have burned up by now. We know that anything made of energy—energy, second law of thermodynamics—it runs down like a clock. So, “Oh, there was a big bang that began it all!” Yeah, but where did the energy for the Big Bang come from? If there had been some energy hanging around, it would have worn out before the Big Bang, you understand?
So, you are driven to the conclusion that there must have been a time when nothing was here. The universe wasn’t here. It had a beginning, okay? That’s the way the Bible starts. “In the beginning…” Well, what was here in the beginning? Nothing. You couldn’t have had some piece of matter hanging around. It would have worn out, okay? So there must have been a time when the energy that the universe is comprised of, the matter that is in the universe, did not exist! There was nothing. You won’t get something out of nothing. Not someTHING couldn’t have been here, SomeONE must have been here. SomeONE who had the capability of creating everything out of nothing.
Tom: Right. But not of Himself.
Dave: No. And not of things. Things couldn’t have been here long enough. We talked a little bit about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. Joseph Smith said that matter and intelligence are eternal. They existed forever.
No! Second Law of Thermodynamics—matter couldn't have been around.
Okay, so how does the Bible begin? “In the beginning.” (Beginning of the universe.) “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” You are driven to that conclusion by science. You are driven to that conclusion by logic. And this is the way the Bible begins, and then it moves from there, and it tells us what God created, and the place of man in this creation—man’s relationship to God that God desired to have, man’s rebellion, and the solution that God has for this.
Tom: Right. We’ve been talking about the problem—the problem found in Genesis is, as you said, “man rebelled.” And the penalty—penalty is in Genesis:2:16-17: “In the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die.” Adam and Eve sinned, God imposed the penalty—separation from Him forever.
Dave: And it wasn’t that there was something about that tree or about that fruit.
Dave: It was the “eating thereof.” They had disobeyed God. This was test to see if they would obey God. And God has to be God. We don’t want God to be God. The god that most people want is kind of a cosmic bellhop. He does our bidding. He answers our prayers. He gives us what we want. But somehow, it’s unreasonable for God to expect us to go along with His plans. We want to make our own, and then we want God to bless them.
So this is all laid out in the book of Genesis.
Tom: Right. We’re going to pick up with Genesis:3:7. Right after Adam and Eve sinned, we’re going to discuss the consequences. Verse 7: “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked… and they…”
Dave: [missing words…] what we want. But somehow…
Tom: They made themselves aprons. This was their first response to sin. Before, they had no knowledge of evil. But now they recognize things from a mind that was now sinful.
Dave: Interesting—that apron—and I don’t want to get off the track here, Tom, but the Masonic apron the Masons want to be buried in, and the Temple ceremony in the Mormon Temple. It’s Satan who comes and gives them the apron.
Tom: But it’s a good thing, as far as they’re concerned.
Dave: That’s right.
Tom: Why is it a good thing?
Dave: Well, supposedly, this is Satan’s solution.
Tom: Well, they wouldn’t say “Satan.” They’d say Lucifer.
Dave: Well, yeah, Lucifer. Brigham Young says it like this: “The devil told the truth. I do not blame Mother Eve for eating the forbidden fruit. That’s how we become gods.”
So, Mormonism is literally based upon the belief that the lie the serpent told that destroyed the human race, according to the Bible, is the truth. And this is starting us out to become gods. Like Lucifer said, “I will be like the Most High.”
Tom: So that’s Joseph Smith’s solution, or so he was told from Moroni—that’s his solution to the problem. That’s not God’s solution.
Dave: Actually, you don’t find that in the Book of Mormon. This is something that he came up with, and under the “inspiration of God,” he burst it upon the Mormons in the King Follett Discourse, first of all. But anyway, it’s the old lie. And as you know, Tom, and I’m sure our listeners would be familiar with—I can’t remember whether we’ve discussed it before, but I’m sure we have—this is the common lie that is everywhere. It’s the goal of all yoga, self-realization—to realize that I’m god. This is the message that you get when you are in contact with spirit beings, whether it’s channeling or in a séance, and so forth. It comes through. Everywhere. You reach “cosmic consciousness” under drugs, LSD, and so forth.
So, this is a universal lie, and the Bible lays it out very clearly for us.
Tom: Dave, back to verse 7, this is…I want to really talk about the reaction of Adam and Eve to their sin. First of all, they see that they’re naked. Before, they didn’t have any problem with it. Secondly, this sewing of fig leaves together—that wasn’t just an act of modesty. I think they were trying to hide from God. They were trying to…
Dave: Well, they did hide behind a tree, and someone has put it very well. An old preacher of a previous century said that every sinner is like Adam and Eve hiding behind a tree. What we have to do is find out what is that tree and chop it down and expose them to God.
Dave: And that’s what the Word of God does, really, in our hearts.
Tom: Verse 8: “And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the Garden in the cool of the day. And Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the Garden.” They didn’t have to do that before. Sin has taken its effect in terms of their relationship. Now it’s different.
Dave: There’s definitely a separation between God and man, and there is a solution that is needed, and man cannot effect it. It has to come from God’s side. No doubt about it. It’s interesting, Tom, “Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” This was the promise of the serpent. And they became like the gods. Well, what were the gods? Well, the head of them was Lucifer. He rebelled. So now, “Adam and Eve—you can become rebels, too! You can pretend that you’re little gods. You can aspire to your own godhood, to make your own way, to plan your own life…”
Tom: And self-exaltation was…that’s what caused Lucifer himself to fall, and then Adam and Eve.
Dave: This is where the “self,” that Christ said must be denied, this is where it had its awful birth. And remember, Satan didn’t tempt Eve with immorality, with drunkenness, or anything else. He tempted her with a “good self-image,” to become like God, with high ambitions, but on her own end, rebellion against God, and that’s the problem of the human race and in each of our hearts.
Tom: And it leads to the destruction, which the evidence is all around us.
Tom: This is not what God intended, but this is what sin has…
Dave: But praise God, He has a solution in Jesus Christ, who died for our sins to pay the penalty so that we could be forgiven.