Foundational themes in Genesis
This is part 29 of the studies of Genesis by Larry Groenewald.
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Foundational themes in Genesis – Study 29 (Key verses: Genesis 3:17-19)
The foundation of earthy man was built on sand as God made it from “the dust of the ground”, which is a temporary dwelling for all in the first Adam (Gen 2:7; Matt 7:26-27). This Adam was given a body of sin and death which reflects the spiritual condition of “the wicked” on whom God will “rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest” because flesh in whatever form cannot enter the Lord’s holy temple (Rom 6:6; Rom 7:24; 1Cor 15:50):
Psa 11:3-6 If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? 4 The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD’S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men. 5 The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. 6 Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.
God’s righteous judgement will destroy “the wicked…first man Adam” which is indeed a “horrible tempest” for him. The symbolic cup of our old man is first filled with all forms of iniquity from his creation when he was made “subject to vanity” and corruption “by reason of Him who has subjected the same in hope”:
Psa 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Rom 8:20-21 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, 21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
The punishments of Adam, Eve, and the serpent as written down in Genesis 3 not only give us a type of the true spiritual judgement which will destroy all carnal minds, but it also gives us three different perspectives and also important aspects of this foundational theme of judgement. We already touched on a few of these aspects in our previous two discussions:
• The natural man does neither accept, nor does he understand the purpose of God’s judgements and he thinks he can somehow avoid it by his own good works (Isa 28:15; Jer 25:27-29; Jer 49:12). This self-righteousness is represented by the fig leaves used by Adam and Eve as a covering for their nakedness, and also in the offering of the fruit of the ground by their firstborn son, Cain:
Pro 28:5 Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things.
• God’s judgements are connected to His righteousness and mercy. Only through a process of judgement can anyone be taught the righteousness of God – it is not instantaneous as many falsely propagate (Ps 9:8; Ps 19:9; Ps 98:9; Isa 26:9).
• Although God is causing every thought and action of His creatures, they still need to give an account of them. This accounting is seen by the natural man as if he is expected to inform or report to God about things God was supposedly unaware of. The natural mind cannot see that God wrote all our thoughts and actions, both good and evil, in His book long before we were born in the flesh and He is “working” in us from start to finish (Php 2:12-13):
Psa 139:16 (CEV) but with your own eyes you saw my body being formed. Even before I was born, you had written in your book everything I would do.
• God’s judgement is His “strange work” of saving grace which comes through His wrath on the old man in us (Isa 28:15-29). This wrath is therefore poured out on all ungodliness and worldly lusts in “all [who] have sinned” (Rom 3:23; Eph 2:1-3; Rev 14:7-11). This wrath of God has an appointed time period and only lasts until His goal is achieved, which is salvation:
1Th 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.
• God’s judgement brings about His righteousness to all, which includes all evil angelic creatures, also Satan, that old serpent. Satan’s carnal “meal” is symbolized by dust, and this dust is turned into brimstone when God brings spiritual healing and purification through His fiery Word (Heb 12:29; Jer 5:14; Jer 23:29). This word “brimstone” supplies the spiritual meaning how this serpent, and all other serpents or seraphs around the throne of God, will eat dust “all the days” of their lives (Gen 3:14; Isa 6:1-3):
Isa 34:9 And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch.
Rev 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone [Greek: “theion” from the base “theos” which means Godlike = His spiritual image], where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented [Greek: “basanizō” – to test for purity] day and night for ever and ever [the eons of the eons].
• God’s judgement reveals the impassable distinction between the light and the darkness and the “great gulf fixed” between the children of light and the children of darkness (Gen 1:2-3; Luk 16:26). But this also reveal how we first start off as children of darkness to eventually be translated into His true Light, Jesus Christ, who is the exact or “express image” of the “Father of lights” (Eph 5:8; 1Th 5:5; Jas 1:17):
Heb 1:2-4 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; 4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
• God’s judgement also reveals to us that the froward mind-set of carnality always thinks God is changing His mind because of the thoughts and actions of His creatures. The thoughts and actions of creatures are never the cause of anything, especially changing the plan and purposes of God. God is the only Cause or Creator of both good and evil in every aspect and operation of this creation (Isa 45:7). God also approaches the carnal mind on the level He deceives it, and that is also revealed in the way the Scriptures are written (Ezek 14:1-10; Jer 4:10; 1Ki 22:22; 2Thes 2:11; Isa 46:10):
Psa 18:26b ….with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward.
Jas 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness [inconstancy; fickleness; unsteadiness], neither shadow of turning.
Heb 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
• Judgement clarifies that all in the first Adam are appointed by God to first experience this state of spiritual death, before the final judgement is brought on us when this eon of death is completely destroyed. ALL death (all carnal minds) will be destroyed and consumed by the life and mind of Christ. With everything God does He has a good purpose (an end goal) in mind and that also applies to judgement. This truth brings so much comfort and joy (1Pet 4:12-14):
Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
1Co 15:26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
• We naturally do not honour God’s spiritual order as we do not wait on God, but walk “uncovered” in the flesh, as Eve did when she “prophesied with her head uncovered” and in the process “dishonoured her head” (Adam) when she addressed the serpent instead of Adam (Gen 3:1-5; 1Cor 11:3-5). Eve represents our own flesh and carnal reasoning when we naturally do not listen to His commandments and think we can help God through our own zealousness and false sincerity. Like Abraham who listened to Sarah’s wrong advice when she thought that the promised seed will come through Hagar. This is also typified in the sacrifice which king Saul offered in his disobedience and impatience. King David’s ignorance in the way the ark of God was supposed to be moved and Saul (later Paul) persecuting the church, helps us to see why judgement is so important for us to see the right perspectives (Ps 27:14; 2Cor 11:3; 1Cor 11:3; Gen 16:1-3; 1Sam 13:7-9; 1Chr 13; Acts 9:5).
• Eve’s punishment included “sorrow and…conception” and this is a type of the real spiritual process of conception in and through Christ and His body (Rom 8:21-25; Rom 11:30-31):
1Co 6:2-4 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? 4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.
Continuing with this theme of judgement mentioned as a type in Genesis chapter 3, we see that the punishment of Adam in the garden of Eden also confirms all these truths and also adds more insight to this foundational theme in Genesis:
Gen 3:17-19 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened [listened or obeyed] 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; 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19 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.
It is not recorded in Scripture that Eve spoke to Adam to eat of the tree, but only that she gave him of the tree and he also ate. That is how Adam “harkened unto the voice” of Eve:
Gen 3:12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
The word “voice” is not limited to audible words, but also to following another person’s walk or directives. We follow either the spirit of God through listening to His Word and also doing what He said, or we follow the “voice” of strangers in their words and their actions (Matt 7:24-27; Gal 2:20; Eph 2:2-3; Gal 5:19-23; Jas 2:18-26; Rev 1:3):
Joh 10:4-5 And when he [the good shepherd] putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. 5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.
Eve was “beguiled by the serpent” as she followed the “voice” of the serpent and Adam also followed that same “voice” revealed in his actions (2Co 11:3). Adam was initially unaware of many things, including his own status and nakedness. Like Eve, he also had no clue what good and evil were, among all the other earthy things in and around them. Again it appears to the natural mind that God was now redirecting or changing His plan with the ground (“cursed is the ground”). Anything earthy, including the ground, was made marred and corrupt from the hand of the Potter (Jer 18:4; Rom 8:20; 1Cor 15:42-43; Rom 9:21). Everything “of the ground” refers to temporary and carnal things. This also is reflected in the outward things which God created within the six days of the physical creation. Nothing in this physical creation is “good” in itself, but only good for the purpose God will use it for, including all evil (Gen 50:20; Isa 5:20; Pro 16:4):
Gen 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
This godly principle that evil and darkness were there (inwardly and outwardly) long before we become aware of it, is also typified in the other punishments of Adam’s:
….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.
Thorns and thistles were all created on the third day of the six day creation but were revealed to Adam and Eve now for the first time. “All things are full of labour” as the sensual perceptions of mankind always find “new” knowledge which are actually only new to the carnal observer (Ecc 1:18):
Ecc 1:8-10 All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. 9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. 10 Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.
But the “thorns and thistles” also refer to spiritual perspectives in the natural heart of our first man, which the judgements of God mercifully reveal to us as being false doctrines in a reprobate mind (Rom 1:28). This is when we are limited to a spiritual diet of herbs and we are spiritually weak with immature or untested knowledge (1Cor 8:1; 1Th 5:19-21; 1Cor 14:29; 1John 4:1; Rom 12:1; Heb 10:24-25; Pro 27:17):
Rom 14:2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.
In this weak spiritual state we “sweat” as we cannot judge properly and do our works in the flesh to gain healing and salvation for flesh and spirit through natural means:
Gal 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Through His judgements these thorns and thistles/briers are burnt out of us progressively until the day death is totally destroyed in us:
Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Heb 6:8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.
Jos 23:13 Know for a certainty that the LORD your God will no more drive out any of these nations from before you; but they shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good land which the LORD your God hath given you.
Adam’s returning to dust was preordained by God because flesh and blood will never, and has never been in the spiritual kingdom of God. The body of flesh is “the body of this death” and that is also how “sin entered into the world”:
Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
Rom 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
Next week, God willing, we will continue our discussion in this foundational theme of judgement as typified in Genesis.
Detailed studies and emails written by Mike Vinson relating to these foundational themes in Scripture are available on the www.iswasandwillbe.com website, including:
On this website you will also find a detailed study by Ayo Fabiyi and Mitch Kuhn on judgement as a foundational principle of the doctrine of Christ at this link: