Come to Understanding

They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding,

and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. ó Isaiah 29:24

So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense,

and caused them to understand the reading. ó Nehemiah 8:8

October 1 2007

Volume 6 Number 19

The Lost Blessing

God blessed man by putting him in a garden, known as the Garden of Eden, in the presence of the Tree of Life:

8 And Yahweh God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.

9 And out of the ground made Yahweh God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. -Genesis 2

The man could freely eat of the Tree of Life, which gives everlasting life (see Genesis 3:22). However, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was off limits. Yahweh told the man that he must not eat of that tree. Otherwise, he would "surely die:"

16 And Yahweh God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat:

17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die. -Genesis 2

Not wanting the man to be alone, God also created a woman. Therefore, both the man and the woman were in the garden, able to eat of the Tree of Life.

Unfortunately, someone else was in the garden also! He is described as the almost perfect "anointed cherub" who had "been in Eden the garden of God." (see Ezekiel 28:13-15). Because of his beauty, he had lifted himself up in pride and was, therefore, cast to the ground:

17 Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty, you have corrupted your wisdom by reason of your brightness: I will cast you to the ground, I will lay you before kings, that they may behold you. -Ezekiel 28

Known as Satan, the adversary of God and the people of God, he is the master of deception. He is able to show his beauty in deceiving forms, such as that of an "angel of light," and to speak through his ministers, which appear as "ministers of righteousness" (see 2 Corinthians 11:14-15). Being both desirable to look upon and convincing to hear, he uses the powerful tool of subtle deception against Godís people. The more subtle he is, the greater is his deceiving victory.

Satan began his work on earth in the Garden of Eden. Using his clever disguise as a subtle serpent and his persuasive words, he told the woman that her life was secure. In spite of what God had said, the serpent told her that she would not die if she disobeyed Him:

4 And the serpent said unto the woman, You shall not surely die:

5 For God does know that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. -Genesis 3

The woman, as well as her husband, did eat of the forbidden tree. Yahweh confronted them with their sin. However, instead of repenting and asking God to forgive them, they each tried to blame someone else for their sin:

12 And the man said, The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.

13 And Yahweh God said unto the woman, What is this that you have done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. -Genesis 3

Consequently, God kept His promise and removed his blessing from them. He drove out the man, both male and female, from the garden, condemning them to death by separating them from the Tree of Life:

24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. -Genesis 3

Many years later, Yahweh blessed David and anointed him to be the king of Israel. David responded with a song of praise, in which he concluded:

50 Therefore I will give thanks to you, O Yahweh, among the heathen, and I will sing praises to your name.

51 He is the tower of salvation for his king: and shows mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his seed forevermore. -2 Samuel 22

Nevertheless, David sinned. Instead of responding in a haughty manner, secure that he would still remain in Yahwehís presence, David repented. He acknowledged his sin to God and asked Him to cleanse him from it:

1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to your loving kindness: according to the multitude of your tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. -Psalms 51

David continued repenting, pleading for forgiveness:

9 Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

11 Cast me not away from your presence; and take not your holy spirit from me.

12 Restore unto me the joy of your salvation; and uphold me with your free spirit. -Psalms 51

Yahweh heard Davidís repenting prayer. He blessed David and gave a conditional blessing upon Davidís son, Solomon:

7 Moreover I will establish his kingdom forever, if he is constant to do my commandments and my judgments, as at this day. -1 Chronicles 28

David then gave a stern warning to Solomon telling him that, if he forsook Yahweh, he would be cast off forever:

9 And you, Solomon my son, know you the God of your father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for Yahweh searches all hearts, and understands all the imaginations of the thoughts: if you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever. -1 Chronicles 28

Yahweh blessed Solomon, bringing him into His presence:

1 And Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his kingdom, and Yahweh his God was with him, and magnified him exceedingly. -2 Chronicles 1

Yahweh bestowed upon Solomon legendary wisdom, knowledge, wealth, and honor:

12 Wisdom and knowledge is granted unto you; and I will give you riches, and wealth, and honor, such as none of the kings have had that have been before you, neither shall there any after you have the like. -2 Chronicles 1

However, something terrible happened. Solomonís many wives distracted him from Yahweh and he sinned by worshipping their gods:

6 And Solomon did evil in the sight of Yahweh, and went not fully after Yahweh, as did David his father. -1 Kings 11

Unlike David, however, Solomon failed to repent of his sin. According to Yahweh, sin without repentance brings death. However, if we can humble ourselves and repent of our sins, He will forgive us and we "shall surely live!"

13 When I shall say unto the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trusts to his own righteousness, and commits iniquity, all his righteousness shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he has committed, he shall die for it.

14 Again, when I say unto the wicked, You shall surely die; if he turns from his sin, and does that which is lawful and right;

15 If the wicked restores the pledge, gives again that he had robbed, walks in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die.

16 None of his sins that he has committed shall be mentioned unto him: he has done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live. -Ezekiel 33

Paul told the Corinthian believers that Godís promise of salvation by faith in the sacrifice of Yahshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) is certain (see 2 Corinthians 1:20). However, he also said that some who had once believed were damned because they had "cast off their first faith" and had "already turned aside after Satan" (see 1 Timothy 5:12-15).

Yahshua (Jesus) told the congregation in Ephesus that they had fallen and needed to repent:

5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come to you quickly, and will remove your candlestick out of his place, unless you repent. -Revelation 2

To those that overcome their fall through repentance, He offers the opportunity for everlasting life, as they eat of the Tree of Life (see Revelation 2:7).

The sins of the Corinthians were many, convincing Paul that they had fallen into unbelief. Knowing that the promise of God is sure for those who believe Him, Paul urged them toward sorrowful "repentance to salvation:"

10 For godly sorrow works repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world works death. -2 Corinthians 7

How can we help those of us who think we stand secure with God in our unrepented sins? Paul offers this advice:

23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.

24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,

25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God perhaps will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. -2 Timothy 2

Yahshua (Jesus) told the self-assured congregation of the Laodiceans:

19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. -Revelation 3

He loves us also and has blessed us. Therefore, He rebukes and chastens us, calling upon us to zealously repent.






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