The Message In The First Genealogy


family tree

family tree

I have met only a few who enjoy reading genealogies. Some call them the “begot’s.” Family history does not interest everyone. I did a genealogy of my family a few years back and discovered that there was history that went back farther than my dad’s grandfather, of which he knew very little about. By the time I was finished we had a family tree that was 3 feet wide and 5 feet tall.

Genealogy gives great insight as to where you came from. Family history is important enough that two gospel writers wrote in detail the linage of Jesus. And, sometimes you can find nuggets even in genealogies.

In Genesis chapter 5 is recorded the very first genealogy, from Adam to Noah. Ten men. As you dig in you will discover that many of these men knew Adam. You will also discover that these ten men, ten generations, covers nearly 1,600 years. It is also interesting that Methuselah means “his death shall bring” and it would seem that his death was right about the same time as the flood.

Prophetic? I think so. It was at Methuselah’s birth that his father began to walk with God. There had to have been some kind of encounter that caused a 65 year old man to turn to God. Possibly God began to show Enoch things that were to come? So, believe that people have to be walking with God in order to for God to show them something? Then how do you explain the meaning of his son’s name and at his son’s birth was when he began to walk with God? It would see that there are times that God brings revelation which in turn brings a change of heart.

How can we dig deeper? How about if we went to the Hebrew to discover what their names meant? Would there be a message in their names? Let’s try. Some of the names were easy to translate where others had to be taken all of the way back to the root word.

  1. Adam means “man”
  2. Seth means “compensation” or “payback”
  3. Enos means “mortal” or “mankind”
  4. Kenan means “nest in a lofty rock” or “out of reach”
  5. Mahalalel means “praised of God”
  6. Jerad (yarad) means “came down”
  7. Enoch means “to train”
  8. Methuselah means “His death shall bring”
  9. Lamech means “powerful”
  10. Noah means “rest”

Now, let’s put these names together and see if there is anything.

man, compensation, mankind, nest in a lofty rock, praised of God, came down, to train, his death shall bring, powerful, rest.

What I am about to do is a matter of interpretation. I am not stating this as fact, but take a look at this through my eyes and see if you see what I see.

Man’s compensation or payment for the human race set him in a nest, far removed. The praised of God came down to train, his death shall bring a powerful rest.”

orMan’compensation or payment came upon the human race . From a high place the praised of God came down to train,his death shall bringpowerful rest.”

So, what do you think. Do you think that too much was added to the names to form this message? If I am right then the first genealogy gives the full plan of man’s fall and God’s salvation.

Let me know what you think.

The Mark You Want


Tav

Tav

Ezekiel 9:4 and the Lord said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.”

This is an action which God describes upon those who remained pure in the heart of a time where people lived in abomination. Judgement always comes when sin is great. But, God always protects those who are faithful.

What is interesting is that the word for mark is “Tav,” the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet. In ancient script, unlike the modern script, it looked much like our “t” and is thought to represent the cross.

Just think about it for a moment. How awesome for God to choose a Hebrew letter that looked like a cross to place upon the foreheads of those who remained true to Him. This mark was their salvation, their protection from judgment.

For hundreds of years before Christ the priest would anoint with oil using the sign of the “Tav” or the cross. The Hebrew word for law, Torah, begins with the Tav.

Looking back 2,000 years, the cross is still our mark of protection from the judgment of sin.

Could something be said about it being the last letter of the alphabet and the last thing that was done before judgement came? Maybe. What do you think?

Noah Found Grace


Genesis 6:8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

Chapter 6 of Genesis begins with much gloom and doom with the state of mankind. It was as if there was no hope from the corruption until you reach verse 8.

Noah’s name means rest. I believe that his father understood the destiny of his son. Not only was Noah to provide rest for animals and his family in the midst of destruction, but he would also give rest to God’s promise that He would send a redeemer in Genesis 3:15 “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.”

The only hope of this promise making it to fulfillment rested upon Noah being the bridge across the flood, a world event that threatened mankind. What was so special about Noah? The uniqueness is found in the words “Noah” and “grace” in the Hebrew text.

The word for Noah and the word for grace have the same two letters but in reverse order. Noah is spelt Nun and Chet, whereas grace is spelt Chet and Nun. Nun, in the ancient writings, looked like a sprouting seed or a sperm and it meant seed or life. Chet, in the ancient writings, looked like a gate and meant wall, fence, or separation. Some could even say that the Chet looked like the door on the ark.

Thus, Noah meant protector of the seed and grace, also found in the same verse, meant the seed that is protected. Noah was the protector of grace, the seed that was prophesied in Genesis 2:15.

What do we see when we imagine the ark? How about a protector of life that was within it. The destruction was without but the protected life was within.

God saw Noah as being the only righteous man who could be the protector of the grace that He had planned for mankind. In the eyes of the Lord Noah was the protector of life, the one who gave it rest in the midst of the floods of destruction. It was in him that God saw the protected seed.

Do You Have To Pray To Be Saved?


an altar call

an altar call

Romans 10:9 That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

I have a copy of the memoirs that an ancestor of mine had written. He was born in 1775 and died in 1875. The book is over 600 pages long. What awesome insight his writings have. It took them a week to ride from Richmond to Charlottesville and it takes me an hour. One of the writers of the Declaration of Independence stood at their defence in a church meeting. The trail from Lancaster, PA to Fort Pitt (Pittsburgh) was just wide enough for one horse. He even gives an account of the first altar calls.

It would seem that the idea of altar calls came about because of prayer meetings in the late 1700’s were experience strange powers of conviction where people would just fall onto the floor weeping. Some were as though they were dead. To provide a place for more focused prayer of repentance the altar was created, named after the places of sacrifice in the Old Testament.

All of my life I have known of altar calls. Growing up we called someone who gives their heart to Jesus, “praying through.” In my early ministry, when I began as a youth pastor, we led people in a “sinners prayer.” All salvations focused on the altar. Not even my ancestor was sure where the altar call started but he thought it started somewhere in New York.

What was it’s purpose? In the late 1700’s there were outbursts of prayers that would happen with people crying, screaming, and weeping. Some of these busts of loud prayers last for hours. So, someone came up with the idea of separating those in uncontrollable repenting into a more controlled atmosphere.

Here is an exerpt from the book Reminiscences of Rev. Henry Boehm, page 134:

“Dr. Bangs, in his History of Methodism, vol. III. p. 374, speaks of the revival in the city of New York in 1806, and says: ‘It was during this powerful revival the practice of inviting penitent sinners to the altar was first introduced. The honor of doing this, if I am rightly informed, belongs to Brother Aaron Hunt, who resorted to it to prevent the confusion arising from praying in different parts of the house.’ This has been for years stereotyped, and is interwoven into history… The truth is, he was not correctly informed… As early as 1799, when in company with that eminent revivalist, Rev. W. P. Chandler, on Cecil Circuit, at Back Creek, after preaching, the doctor invited mourners to the altar.”

Was providing a more controlled atmosphere  wrong? No, and it has served us well. Great ministry has taken place at what we refer to as an altar. The downside is that change took place within our theology. After following this pattern for over 200 years many in our churches have come to believe that in order for someone to be saved they have to have an “altar” or say a prayer. What happened to just believe?

The word believe in the above verse comes from the root word in both Greek and Hebrew which means to become persuaded. In Acts 10 Peter is preaching to a group of gentiles in Cornelius’ house. He was sharing with them their first message of who Jesus was and while he was preaching they believed.

Acts 10:43-44 “…To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will received remission of sins.” While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word.

Even Peter used the word “believe” in his message. So, when were these saved? I am going to go out on a limb and say that they were saved just as soon as they believed, during the message. No altar call. No sinners prayer. No praying through. Then the Holy Spirit interrupted the message by filling these fresh new converts with the Holy Spirit and they began to magnify God and speak in languages they had never learned. I have never met anyone who disagree that this kind of experience does not happen on sinners. Therefore, they were saved without an altar call.

Shallow thinking to think that salvation comes through simple believing? No. Believing is where it all begins. That is where the walk in Christ starts.

What is the evidence that someone has believed? I would think that it would be repentance. That is where, often times, the emotion gets involved.

Although prayer may not be the means by which we are saved, prayer is the life of the believer. Jesus spoke in Matthew 6 that there are three things that every believer will do. This was evident from His use of the word “when.” – Giving financially, fasting, praying.

If you are in disagreement that salvation comes only through believing, all you have to do is to produce scripture that says the contrary.

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Buy Back Your Firstborn


Numbers 3:12 Now behold, I Myself have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of every firstborn who opens the womb among the children of Israel. Therefore  the Levites shall be Mine.

According to Exodus 13:2 all of the firstborn sons belong to God. It would seem that God’s original plan was that all firstborns were to serve as the priest of Israel. So, if that were the case, in light of the above scripture, what happened?

There is a story that says that at the time when Israel created and worshipped their golden calf that all of the tribes participated except for the tribe of Levite. Therefore, the Levites took the place of the firstborn.

But, it was not a smooth transfer. According to Numbers 18:15 the firstborn had to be redeemed for five shekels. There was a cost involved in buying back the firstborn from the Lord.

Joseph and Mary kept this command in Luke 2:22-24 and brought Jesus to be redeemed before the priests. The irony is that it was the priest who accepted His redemption from His parents and it was the priest, possibly the very same ones, who offered Him up as a sacrifice 33 years later as our redemption.