July 25, 2014
Throughout more than 50 years of ministry, the Lord has opened some unusual doors of utterance to me in some pretty unusual places. I can truthfully say that walking with the Lord has been a nonstop adventure! During the past few weeks a couple of folks have been in touch with me who were present during an event that was life-changing for me. In was an event in which Holy Spirit showed up and showed out in about as grand a style as you'll ever want to see. For me it was a foretaste of the "greater works" that Jesus promised us. You remember what Jesus said as He sat at the table with His disciples before He was crucified?
John 14:12-14: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it."
During the next few weeks, I expect to be traveling quite a bit, and that tends to complicate the time I need for writing these Coffee Breaks. Because of the recent reminder of a couple of people who were in Eskdale, Utah when Holy Spirit showed up during an opportunity to minister in this Mormon community, I thought I would reprise my sharing of that miracle during the next couple of weeks. This is a story that was first shared some nine years ago in this Coffee Break column.
I've not had an opportunity to revisit Eskdale since that weekend in 1971, but I received updates from folks who were there and were firsthand witnesses to the change that took place in the years that followed. That said, stay tuned for The Eskdale Miracle in the next couple of weeks.
During the last few Coffee Breaks, we've talked about the events that followed when Adam and Eve ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. We've spent the last couple of weeks dealing with the way in which the Fear of Evil and the Fear of Man unfolded, and last week mostly dealt with some of the symptoms of the Fear of Man. Today, let's finish the sequence of events that unfolded in the Garden and consider some of the consequences.
Genesis 3:14-24: "And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: 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.
The word, "curse," used in this instance, comes from the Hebrew 'arar. In a general sense, it means: to execrate, to be put under, to denounce, to loathe. In a wider sense, it means: to remove the ability to prosper, or to succeed, or to multiply and grow larger. The description here of what happened to the serpent applied to both the physical creature as well as to Satan, who used the serpent as his vessel of choice. The overwhelming majority of people, no matter their race or ethnicity, loathe and detest serpents or snakes as a byproduct of this curse. I won't take time today to deal with these consequences because it will take me off course, but we may come back to this later.
"Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
Lets amplify this verse from the Hebrew: "Unto the woman He said, I will enlarge and increase your pain, your labor and your hardship and your pregnancy; in painful labor and great difficulty will you bring forth children; your constant desire, your longing, your craving [for affection and response] shall be towards your husband, and he shall govern, and have complete dominion and power over you."
Are you seeing how the man-woman, woman-man relationship was so distorted by the curse? Are you seeing how the curse brought fear into women, and how the curse so caused women to become almost slaves? This was NEVER the way God designed things in the first place, but when Eve, and then Adam, submitted to the lie of Satan and directly violated God's command to NOT eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil the relationship between wives and their husbands, women and men, husbands and wives, and men and women became grossly distorted and warped almost beyond all recognition.
Excuse the digression for a minute, but consider how Eve came into the world to begin with. She was not taken from his head so as to usurp his authority, and she was not taken from his leg or his foot be to trampled on like some kind of slave. She was taken from Adam's side to be his counterpart, his "other self." The world mistakenly and erroneously refers to this as a "soul-mate." "Soul" has nothing to do with it. We are first and foremost spirit beings, and when we operate from God's paradigm and are joined by Him, we are "counterparts" for one another.
Eve was created from a part of Adam. Most translations say that a rib was taken from Adam, but let's be clear. The Hebrew word, tsal'ah, is more representative of "a portion of his side." This is the very same word used otherwise throughout the OT for "the side of a hill" or "the side of a building." Whether in fact it was Adam's rib -- and I believe that it was -- there was more to it than that! The Lord took a part of Adam -- a part he had originally been designed and created with -- leaving him incomplete. Adam's completion was in Eve. Hence, she was his 'ezer -- his help, his assistance, his finisher, the one who would surround and protect him.
Does that sound like today's picture of a husband-wife relationship? NOPE! Certainly not in our modern society's world-view. The spirits of fear have jumped into relationships and into our society. Women have been treated as property in many cultures, and in Islam even less than that. For centuries and even millennia, the concept of "women under subjection" has been more a case of a master-slave mentality on the part of men from virtually every nation, culture and society, and women -- fearing for their safety or protection or provision -- have bowed to the pressures of that mindset.
As a consequence we have seen women, who instinctively know that they were not to be treated as some kind of "thing" to be trampled on by men, rise up in rebellion against the treatment. The whole "women's lib" movement is a by-product of the fear erupting in utter and complete anger. The current insanity that abounds in political circles stating that "abortion is a woman's right" and that "the woman has the right to say what happens to her body" arises as a counter-reaction to generations of fear caused by abusive treatment. The tens of thousands of murders of the unborn children that have taken place through abortion is visible evidence of what happens when fear becomes the ruler in a woman's life.
In the modern church -- and even in evangelical and Pentecostal circles -- Paul's teachings and admonitions in his epistles have been so abused and taken out of context that women often have no place of acceptance in ministry, even when the anointing of Holy Spirit is clearly evident. What seems to have been lost in understanding is that if we have been redeemed from the curse of the Law, if we have been redeemed from the curse of death, if we have been redeemed from the curse that came upon the relationship between husband and wife (or vice-versa) as well as the man-woman or woman-man relationship, then EVERY SINGLE ASPECT OF THE CURSE HAS BEEN CANCELED!!! The shed blood of Jesus, His death on the Cross and His subsequent resurrection have set free those who are "in Christ Jesus!"
Folks, the blessing we have as members of the body of Christ is that the husband doesn't have to be everything in a marriage. The wife is no longer the servant or the slave of the husband. The husband is no longer "lord and master" of his wife. Let me digress again to share an example.
The Lord gave me a real revelation of the husband-wife and wife-husband relationship when He gave Della to me. For the first time in my life I understood what it was to have my counterpart, my "other self." I understood what it was to have the Lord give to me someone whom He had designed to complete me and fill out those parts of my life that were lacking and insufficient. The best part of this gift in Della was that she loves the Lord more than she loves me -- and THAT'S the way things are supposed to be! I don't stand between her and the Lord and her relationship with the Lord. Neither does she stand between me and the Lord and my relationship with Him. What's really cool is that we both have flaws but our flaws are not the same. Together we make one whole person.
Now that I've waxed so verbose on this topic -- and there's a whole lot more that we could cover -- let's continue.
"And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
Here is the evidence of the wider sense of the Hebrew word, 'arar. Here we see the removal of the blessing from the ground. Where before Adam and Eve had yielded to the deception of Satan the ground had brought forth spontaneously with little effort, now the life in the earth was removed. With Satan having become the "prince of this world," the judgment that was upon him and the sentence of destruction that hung over him now began to contaminate the very soil. The very ph balance of the soil would be affected.
The empowerment to prosper and multiply had been removed. No longer would it produce the way it had for Adam and Eve in the Garden. The contamination of the ground would now yield "thorns and thistles," weeds, and soil imbalances that mankind would have to deal with. Even the air would begin to become polluted as a result of the efforts to get the soil to produce.
What it meant was that -- for some folks -- depending on where they were and what conditions they encountered with the soil, the ground simply would not produce without some serious hard labor. For some, all of their labors were going to produce little to show. It marked the beginning of the entrance of a Spirit of Poverty. Those folks who capitulated to it would become poor and suffer ongoing need in many areas of their lives. With that Spirit of Poverty came the Fear of Not Having Enough (or Insufficiency) along with the Fear of Inadequacy -- all of which served, and were part of the family of, the Fear of Death.
The whole earth literally would begin to slowly lose its balance. To compensate, the various geological plates that form the makeup of the earth would begin to move and to shift. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions would begin to reshape the surface as the earth itself tried to regain the pristine balance that existed during the Garden years. The apostle Paul very appropriately describes this condition in his letter to the Ekklesia in Rome.
Romans 8:22: "For we know that the whole creation experiences the same calamity [that has come upon mankind] and suffers sympathetic pangs together until now." (RAC Translation & Amplification)
What Paul is referring to is the redemption of this earth that will take place with God's people -- the Bride of Christ -- when they come to their full maturity and resume their rightful authority over creation. Here's how he expressed it in the previous verses:
Romans 8:19-21: "For the intense anticipation and expectation of the original formation of creation fully expects the manifestation and disclosure of the mature sons of God. For the original formation was made subject to transientness and profitlessness, not voluntarily, but through Him who has subordinated creation in confident expectation, Because the creation itself also shall be delivered and released from the bondage of ruin and decay into the glory and dignity of the unrestrained freedom of the children of God." (RAC Translation & Amplification)
How's that for a mouthful? You see what is taking place with us, don't you?
Let's see if we can wrap up the last of this Genesis narrative.
"And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living. Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
While it may not be obvious at first glance in this passage, the revelation here is that the redemptive plan of the Lord was already in action as an atonement for Adam's sin enacted. The "coats of skins" referenced represents the killing of lambs or sheep in order to provide Adam and Eve both with cloaks -- garments that would drape over their shoulders. The blood of lambs (or sheep) was shed in order to provide them with a God-made covering to replace the Glory that had once been their covering. It was prophetic of the time when the Blood of the Lamb -- Jesus Christ -- would be shed in order to provide a path of restoration so that we could once again be clothed in His Glory.
"And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. 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."
No portion of Scripture more accurately describes the conditions that now prevail in the geographic area that once encompassed the Garden of Eden. It would have been catastrophic for creation had Adam and Eve been permitted to continue to live in the Garden and have continued access to the Tree of Life. The fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil produces fear and an arrogant, self-sufficient pride. There is absolutely NOTHING about the Tree of Life that is compatible with that fruit.
It became necessary, therefore, for God to drive Adam and Eve out of the Garden and block their access entirely to the Tree of Life. The Cherubims were (and are) angelic beings who were given an assignment: generate an environment so inhospitable to human habitation that they would fear to enter. The daytime temperatures in that region today of 145 degrees Fahrenheit -- to me at least -- present a tangible picture of the flaming sword which "turns every way" presenting certain death to those who try to make a life for themselves there.
We should be able to return to this discussion around the third week of August. Meanwhile, watch for the story of the Eskdale Miracle.
Again, if you are in need of healing -- especially if you have some terminal disease or prognosis of a very short time to live from the doctors -- please join our prayer conference calls on either Monday or Wednesday of each week at 7:00 PM Eastern. Once again, the number to call is (805) 399-1000. Then enter the access code: 124763#. To get into the queue for prayer, when Randy opens the call up for everyone, hit *6-1 on your keypad. Let us minister to your need for healing!
Blessings on you!
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