THE WHOLE COUNSEL OF GOD: A fruitful look at Genesis & the Torah (21 OCT 2016)

Mainstream Science & the Creation account clash. Some modern Christians have decided they are only “New Testament Christians”. Sophisticated Bible critics write the Bible off as hopelessly outdated & full of errors. Is Genesis & Torah relevant for our lives??? What role can it play??? Genesis & Torah are both enduring in their meaning & super critical for the believer in God. To reject them is to reject foundational truths that the rest of the Bible is built upon. This is a profitable look at why Genesis is important to you. Amazingly, after approx. 3,500 years after it was written, it is still not obsolete nor is it inferior to the Greek New Testament scriptures. When I visited the gravesite of Abraham & Sarah at Hebron, it helped bring the reality of Genesis into my consciousness. Jericho’s remains helped me visualize Numbers & DEUT. of the Torah.

WHOLE COUNSEL OF GOD. The apostle Paul taught his disciples the “whole counsel of God” and taught them to teach the same.(A) Under inspiration, he wrote that, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”(B) Inspired by Paul’s advice to give the whole counsel of God various godly men have tried: John Calvin (w/ his Institutes of the Christian Religion, 1559), John Owen (Biblical Theology, 1661), and Richard C. Gamble (The Whole Counsel of God, 2 Vols., 2009). Also along this line, the Amish have a long day at church where a minister is assigned to preach the “alte Väter” where the entire old testament history is preached. If nothing else, it insures their ministers chosen from their congregations know their Bibles.

CLARIFYING THE NAMES. The Hebrew name for “Genesis” is “Bereshit”. The Christians, beginning with Christ’s disciples & perhaps Christ, used the Septuagint Greek translation (LXX) when quoting the Hebrew Scriptures, showing us they not only were speaking the language of the educated at that time (which was Greek not Latin), but placed confidence in its translation. The LXX’s name for the first book is Genesis. The Hebrew name for the first 5 books is Torah, and the Septuagint’s was the Pentateuch. Some readers may have the words Torah and Talmud confused. The two terms are totally different things. The Talmud came from Babylon, and has nothing to do with the Torah (which means “teachings”) and refers to the first 5 books of the Bible, also referred to as the Books of Moses. Torah points the way to Christ & teaches about him. (C) Christ said he did not come to abolish the Torah, but to fulfill it.(D) The Greek LXX, which was translated beginning c. 270 B.C. was considered an accurate translation by the apostolic church–except for the Book of Daniel, for which they substituted Theodotian’s translation, which resembled the Masoretic text, until c. 300 when the est. church switched to the LXX’s version of Daniel.

HISTORY OF THE GENESIS TEXT. Critics of the Bible have attacked Genesis with all kinds of false notions. One is that the book does not date back to Moses’ time (c. 1490 B.C.) Six copies of Genesis were found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and one of the scrolls of Exodus found with them dated to 250 B.C., about the time the LXX committee began its translating from Hebrew to Greek. But the Hebrew in the text is of an ancient type…for instance, “she” is written “hiw” not the “hi” used in the 400 B.C. or later. And young girl is spelled “na’ar” not the later “na-a-ra”…so the original archaic language dates it as very ancient. The text shows the author knew about ancient Egypt, the desert, & the flora & fauna of the region. Genesis 11:27-50:26 describes the Middle Bronze Age Patriarchal history which was the Middle Kingdom Era in Egypt. The customs of the middle east had totally changed by the time critics claim Genesis was written. As a researcher into ancient scripts, I can assure you that cursive hieroglyphics & hieratic were written in the Middle Kingdom of Egypt, and Proto-Hebrew also in 1490 B.C. Hieratic, which was the cursive writing of ancient Egypt was used even before the dynasties of Egyptian Pharaohs came along. So there is no evidence that Genesis was not written by Moses. The Torah claims to be the Word of God, and various Scriptures claim it was divinely inspired.(E) The Gnostics have since Christ’s day denied Mosaic authorship of Genesis. But Christ himself repeatedly said Moses was the author.(F) Recent higher critics of the Bible applying the concept of evolution to scripture said that the Torah was really 4 documents: J,E,D, & P…and then revised J into being documents J1, J2, J3, and added S,L, & K. But their theories of all these fictitious documents have been disproven.

IMPORTANCE. It’s important for mankind to have a written record of God’s will which is timeless, and the Torah gives us God’s will. It provides us the means to see prophetic patterns that repeat themselves in history. In these end times, Genesis is vital for us: revealing how the fallen angels and Nephalim operated, about the tower of Babel & the days of Noah (which are critical to for us to understand our similar times). The elite openly say they are rebuilding the Tower of Babel–what does that mean? Our World today faces a global catastrophe.(G) From the Tower of Babel story in Genesis, we learn God is not a globalist, not a internationalist, cosmopolitan or one Worlder…why? because when rebellious mankind unites into a One World Government–no evil is beyond their means. We know God’s view from Genesis.(H)

And Genesis is the primary thing in the way of atheistic materialism & its modern crusade to destroy all faith in God using the tool/religion of Darwinianism. The natural conclusion of Darwinianism is a ruthless selfishness, including the eugenics movement (which movement was discredited by the acts of the Nazis). The heavens do declare the glory of God–so do our bodies–but it has been Genesis that has given Christians the confidence to not go along with Darwinianism. In fact it was Genesis that gave impetus to the creation of science itself, because Torah shows God created laws of nature, order, and structure. Torah teaches us the concept of sin–a very important concept for mankind if we are to come into fellowship with the divine Creator. Genesis also teaches some important concepts, for instance, the importance of hope in salvation: “I hope for your salvation, O LORD..” (GEN 49:18) For similar Heb. verses see (I). I am aware that some Christians think “evolution” can be relabeled “God’s plan”, but this easy fix between Darwinianism & faith in God does not work, because Genesis (& Torah in general) show purpose behind God’s creation…not simply a God who like a clockmaker starts something & then walks away. Darwin himself, a gentleman who came from an elite Masonic family, inherited the concept of evolution from his family long before he went on his world trip to establish the basis of his Origin of the Species theory. He tried to soften evolution’s implications by writing: “[evolution] works…for the good of each being…will tend to progress toward perfection”.(J) Automobiles progress in design by design. Random mutations don’t evolve cars, although people speak of the evolution of car design. God designed this planet “very good”…it was not a random mutation. Evolution does not function to perfect life…if so dogs should grow extra legs to chase cats better. Most mutations injure & degrade the lifeform. It makes more sense to believe the Genesis account that man is made in the image of God (i.e. having the capacity for moral responsibility and dominion over the earth delegated to him), than to conceive that we are the result of billions of random mutations from mud.

PATRIARCHS–STORIES OF HUMANESS & FAITH. Perhaps you’ve heard plenty of good sermons already on the Patriarchs such as Noah, Abraham, Isaac & Jacob, or the matriarchs like Sarah, Ruth, Rebecca, and Rachel. One lesson is how Abraham was willing to leave his ancestral homeland for God. Another is how his faith & trust in God were counted as righteousness by God. A third is that God’s plan was to bless all of humanity.(See GEN 12:3) Countless good lessons have been preached from Genesis. And while Yahshua (Christ) is the author of our faith(K), Abraham is “the father of all who believe”(L), Christians are “of the faith of Abraham”(M) and Yahshua was the “son of Abraham”(N).

PROBLEMS W/ GENESIS. One easy attack (unless one knows the facts) is to claim that Genesis is just a rehash of some Babylonian creation account. The two accounts are worlds apart. The Babylonian creation account, Enuma Elis, dates to the time of Hammurabi and is part of a series of tablets that were written to exalt the city of Babylon & its god Marduk. Only tablets 1 & IV refer to creation and they are different in many ways to the Bible: the Babylonian account is polytheistic, has man originally created evil, & states that matter is eternal. The Bible account is the opposite. Further, the Bible’s Genesis account teaches of a loving God who has power, justice, mercy & absolute grace. It also warns us about an intelligent serpent whose great intellect encouraged man to arrogantly turn his back on his Creator. But we see God & His law (Torah) returning at Mt. Sinai when God used Moses as His spokesperson. And God had to modulate…accommodate His revelations to people’s capacity to understand. (Could you explain thermodynamics to a dog??) His language was adjusted, so the Genesis creation account is not a modern scientific account of Creation…although it is surprising in line with what makes scientific sense. One major issue, for mankind as well as science, God can only be known by what He grants us to know about Himself. Genesis teaches this as well. And the Word says that the authenticity of the Creation account will be testified by the Holy Spirit. Returning to the theme of problems–there are no doubt problems, some call these errors, with the text…but the ancient sages have not seen these minor glitches as rising to the level of errors. Further, they studied why Moses placed or did not place certain things in the text. What was not said can be significant also. Richard Wurmbrand had some profound sermons on the gaps that were intentionally left at certain places in the Genesis text in the original scrolls.
ATTACKS ON VERACITY OF SCRIPTURE BY MANIPULATING THINGS. I am almost at the upper limit of how long I want this article, but I thought it would be worthwhile to share 2 interesting pts. Several verses explain that God commands this planet’s elements & life (O), so the tampering of genetics & weather modification trying to change nature is secretly a satanic attack on the veracity of the Word of God by separating nature from obeying God. A more obvious attempt was when the pagan Julian became Caesar of the Roman Empire. The empire had become Christian, & he set out to reverse that. Since Jesus had said the temple would be destroyed & no stone would remain, this pagan emperor set out to have the Jews rebuild the temple to prove Jesus’s prophecy false. Christians had been preaching the temple’s destruction was proof that the Jews had rejected God’s messiah for them. In the event, Julian died, the empire returned to a Christian ruler, & the Jews did not rebuild the temple. It was at that point, that the Christians in power began mistakenly persecuting the Jews seeing them in alliance with paganism.

CONCLUSION. In spite of all the attacks upon it, Genesis & the Torah have continued to supply wisdom and spiritual guidance to the faithful of God. I pray that these books would also bless you in your spiritual journey.

(A) ACTS 20:27 & others (B) 2 TIM 3:16 (C) GAL 3:24, LK 24:27 (D) MT :15-18, cf. 2 PTR 3:10 (E) 2 TIM 3:16, HEB 1:1, 2 PTR 1:20-21 (F) MT 8:4, 19:7-8; MK 1:44, 7:10; LK 24:27,44; JN 5:45-47 (G) REV warns of this, GEN 6:14-9:19 tells the story of the previous one. (H) GEN 11:6 (I) ISA 26:8, 33:2, PS 130:5 (J) Charles Darwin, The Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection, Vol. 49, p. 243. (K) HEB 12:2 (L) ROM 4:11 (M) ROM 4:16 (N) MT 1:1 (O) ISA 45:12 is an example


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