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Where Sound Doctrine Endures
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men.  After the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Colossians 2:8

Issue #10

January & February 2004

Step Into the Springs!

     This issue I want to start out by telling all of you how thankful we are for your prayers for my father! In just the time between last issue and this one, he is doing so much better. He is able to walk quite a bit now, and his left arm is healing very well. He has had, amazingly, little pain through it all. We know all this is only because of the hand of God. We thank you again for your prayers!

     Last issue I did not have time to write "Following the Biblical Stream" but I am pleased to say it is back this issue. It never ceases to amaze me just how God uses things to guide our lives. We think it is so important to do things a certain way, but many times God has other plans. If it had not been for circumstances, I may have never written what I wrote in the last issue, but God always knows just what and when to do things. We always want to follow the leading of the Lord, and we want you to know that what you receive in this newsletter is led of God. As we see another year end, and a new one begin, we hope this newsletter will help all of you draw closer to God than you've ever been before. Let's make it our goal to learn of God, and be a better witness for Him. Never forget that only what we do for Christ will last! Whatever you may have promised yourself you would do or accomplish this year, let's make God first in all we do and say! It is truly the only way to have a HAPPY NEW YEAR! We hope this small letter is a blessing to you all, and we thank the Lord for the blessing each of you are to us!

Following the Biblical Stream:
By Philip Busby

     In the last installment of Following the Biblical Stream, we ended with Gen. chapter 2 verses 16 & 17, but there is one more thing we should look at before we go on to verse 18. At the end of 17 we find God giving the commandment not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. However, it is after this we see God forming Eve. Here, we should see two things. One, it has always been part of man's responsibility to pass on the Word of God. It would seem from the wording here in chapter 2 that Eve was not alive to hear this commandment given, and if that was the case, then it would have been in Adam's job description to tell Eve the words God had spoken. It is not just in the post-fall time of man's existence or just in the time after the "great commission" that man was to tell and remind each other of God's Words! Second, it is not an excuse not to follow God's Word just because you weren't there to hear it first hand! Man has always had to choose whether he would seek God's plan or go his own way. It is up to each of us to seek to find God's plan and follow it. This is true even if no one else decides to follow! This life, that we like to call a Christian life, is not supposed to refer to just a religious experience. No, a true Christian life is one where the individual has a direct relationship with God. It is a gift from God to have ministers in the Word that can help you find the way, (Eph. 4:4-16) but humans have made ministry an art form! In doing this, we have built large buildings where we go to observe very set ceremonies; and what makes all of this sad is the fact that many times, instead of helping us have a relationship with God, we end up letting these things replace a true relationship with God!

     Now, I'm not telling you to stop going to church, but I am asking you to take a serious look at what you do there and what it means to you. Fix the problems you have in your life, find that personal walk with God, and as you work on this process, if you find the church you are going to is not helpful in this process, find a new place of worship. If you discover you cannot find a true Godly place to worship, be careful not to simply go somewhere just to be going, even if that place hurts your walk. This is something we must all work out, and we have to be careful not to let the fact that a group of believers are never going to be perfect, become an excuse not to be with others of like precious faith. Remember, it comes down to the Ten Commandments. The number one rule is to always put God first in your life. It does not tell us to put the thing or things that call themselves "of God" first, it says to put God Himself first!

     Now, we are ready to move on to verse 18, where we see the beginning of the process to find Adam a helpmate. God makes it very clear in verse 18 it is not good for man to be alone, and we will talk more about that issue as we go along. First, we want to talk about the process in verses 19 & 20.

     Here, we find that God searches amongst the animals for a helpmate for Adam. Verse 19 reemphasizes the fact that God formed all the beasts of the field and fowl of the air out of the ground. Once again, only a part of man was formed from the dust of the ground. The rest was created by God, not formed out of something God had already made. The animals were made only from the ground. It tells us that God brings all of the animals to Adam to see what he would call them and through this process there was no helpmate found for Adam. This shows us that the relationship God wanted, for Adam, was not just a physical one. No, God was looking to give Adam a relationship that would be for far more than just the part made from dust. As I said in issue 8 of this newsletter, Chapter 1 verse 26 of Gen. makes it clear that God intended there to be more than one human. However, it is not clear just how this may have taken place without the creation of Eve; and there doesn't need to be an answer to this question, because God knew He would make Eve. The process we see laid out here is for our benefit so that we may understand what God was doing for us. The interesting point to be made in the fact God points out there was no helpmate amongst the animals for Adam, is that God was not looking for a way for Adam to procreate. He was not looking for a way for Adam to have a physical relationship. God was looking for a way for Adam to have a companion that would walk with him on this journey through life. In this, we find the mind of God. The fact that among the animals, created as part of the earth and its cycles, there was not found a companion, for Adam, meant that Adam would be alone.

     Adam was unique; there were no other creatures like him on the planet. God did not want to be alone, so He created man; but man should not be alone, so He created woman. Here, the word "alone" does not refer to the idea of being all by ones self, with no other living things around. No, that is made clear by the fact there were animals to be brought to Adam. Adam was not alone just as God was not alone before man's creation. For God, there were angels, and beyond that, we do not know what else God may have created in other places that we do not even understand. So, here the word "alone" was pointing to those aspects of man's being that could not be satisfied by any of the animals. This is why God desired to create us. There was a part of God that was alone without man. This is the answer to that childhood question of why? There was a part of God that wanted us, and so God created us to satisfy that part. This should really make us think about how special our relationship with God can be! It should emphasize just how much God desires to be with us! This fact is the reason why the Bible equates the marriage relationship to the relationship man can have with God. (John 3:27-30, Matt 25:1-13, Romans 7:4) It is not just the best example there is, it is the example of what God wants. A being that satisfies a part of another that can not be satisfied by other things!

     This is why the physical relationship is really such a small part of the equation between male and female. Eve was not made for that purpose. That purpose was really a side issue, but man has made it the central theme. This is why sinful man will never make it very far. His priorities are so confused, he doesn't understand much of anything. It is sad that even people professing to be believers in God have a hard time seeing anything in a marriage relationship besides the physical things. They believe it is still very central and controlling, because they are thinking in carnal terms. The Bible warns us, time and time again, not to think in the flesh and let the flesh guide our actions. (Romans 7:17-25) However, it seems, the message continues to fall on deaf ears for the most part. This simple fact is why we have so many false teachings that promise a life with God means some form of physical prosperity. Instead of teaching things that will leads us to what Paul realized in Phil. 4:10-13, whatever state we find ourselves in we should be content knowing that God is in control of it all. Have faith that through it all, to live is to serve Christ, and when we reach the end of this life, to go on to be with Christ is truly gain! (Phil. 1:19-26)

     Looking at verses 21 & 22 we see God taking a part of Adam (his rib) and forming Eve around it; we see an illustration as to how other humans could be formed without male and female. Eve was not Adam's child but she was formed from him. This is why we are all of the seed of Adam, not Adam and Eve. God only created one human in the beginning and all other humans came from him save one, Jesus! Jesus is the only begotten Son of the Father. (John 3:16) This is why by one man (Adam) sin entered the world, (I Cor. 15:20-22) but Jesus came and lived a sinless life, so His seed is not corrupted by sin. Thus, being of sinful roots, we should take the opportunity to be adopted into Jesus' family. That is a choice each of us need to make!

     The process of God taking a rib from Adam to form Eve is not so different than what God does to create Adam. God used His breath to make man a living soul. In doing this, God passes a part of Himself into the human race. It is this fact that makes our existence eternal! It is the fact that our existence is eternal, but due to sin, our bodies, will fall apart and return to the ground, that poses the problem! (Gen. 3:19) Thus, we need a Savior, and He is Jesus Christ, who over came death and bought for us new life. So the corruptible must take on incorruption. (I Cor. 15:51-58) or the rest of our eternal existence is going to be very bad! (Matt. 22:13-14)

     As we look at these verses, we find God does provide for the physical. Nothing I've said before about the physical being a side issue takes from the fact that God did provide a way for man to procreate. In this, God gives man yet another control over his environment. God created Adam and from him God forms Eve. The forming of Eve was of course only something God could do, but together Adam and Eve then had the ability to control when and how many others they would add to the human race. The number of humans in existence would now be up to man. However, as beautiful as God made this process it still should not be the center of our lives, and is not meant to be the center or point of a marriage!

     God did not make Eve, and the concept of male and female, specifically for the purpose of procreation. The fact that male and female were given the task and ability to create more humans on this planet simply goes on with the style and flavor of the rest of creation. God created the animals male and female, but truly Eve was built as a companion for Adam; something that supersedes a relationship any human could have with the animals, or any relationship a man could have had with another man (or woman with woman). So, we need to understand that males and females are different, but not in a bad way! One is not from one planet and the other one from another planet. Both are truly from God, placed on this planet with the right elements to be a companion one to another. So, it is primarily for this special companionship that male and female were created. The physical relationship given to a man and woman, that would result in the procreation of humans, was only part of a much larger package in God's creation. It is a sad thing that sin and corruption has crept into our hearts so deeply that the special relationship between a man and woman is so hard to find and enjoy. The desire is clearly there. This is why people spend so much time looking for that "special someone", but selfishness, hatred and a multitude of other sinful factors has made this relationship a difficult one. This fact, should cause us to want to draw even closer to God, but instead it takes many of us even deeper into sin. Some, allow the desire for companionship to be so consuming that they even try to find a companion in a way other than the way created by God . (Romans 1:26-27) Once again, we see an example of humans being consumed with the desires of the flesh.

     There is no way the Bible is teaching us every man and woman should be married, but it is teaching us that if we desire this special relationship and companionship, that goes beyond simply knowing other people and/or being friends with other people, the only way to find it is between a man and woman. However, as I said before, sin makes finding this very hard. Few people ever get close to finding the joy God intended this relationship to have, and there are other factors as well. One, is the fact that our physical life here does not last very long. We forget that we should have had an eternity without sin to find that "special someone". Without sin we would not be in such a hurry to make this most life changing decision! If we were not in such a hurry to do something with our lives, everyday things that now drive us nuts would not be a big deal. This would definitely make marriage easier. We also would have no time limit to figure it all out. If we got something wrong in our marriage one day, we would simply try to do better the next day, and there would be nothing lost, if we had eternity!

     Marriage can still be a special thing in our world today, but we should look at the words of Paul. He tells us that if we can stay single we will have more time to do the work of Christ. (I Cor. 7:26-35) However, if we desire to be married, this is understandable due to the fact that God knew it was not good for us to be "alone". With this in mind, we need to realize the only thing we can accomplish in this life is to serve God! If we get married, there are many struggles of this life that will make the marriage difficult. This being true, we need to realize the things of this world that do not go right, and get us so discouraged, are not important. We need to find ways to let the frustrations of day by day life go. These are the things that make marriage hard. That is why one of the top reasons for divorce in America is money problems. Other top tens include such things as building a home. These things are carnal and drag us into some of the most frivolous arguments. I like the window here but she wants it over there! We spend far to much time bickering over the small things we think are so big, and for what? Someday it will all be gone. We need to recognize when we are laying up for ourselves treasures on earth, that moss and rust will destroy. (Matt. 6:19-21) We need to realize when we are arguing about things that will not even matter tomorrow, and close our mouths before we say things that will!

     Think about stories the Bible tells us! One day the Sadducees tried to trip Jesus up with a parable about a woman being married to seven brothers, one after the other, as each brother died. (Matt. 22:23-33) In the end, they wanted Jesus to tell them whose wife she would be in the resurrection. They did not understand the plan of God. So, Jesus tells them there will be no marriage in heaven. Each of us, whether male or female, need to make the choice to go with God or on our own. If we choose God, then God has laid out a plan for us to be even closer to Him, through Jesus, than we ever would have been here on this earth. This being true, there will be no need for us to have a helpmate. The procreation part of the deal will not be needed as well, so, there is no need to worry about who may have been married to who on this earth once we are with Christ. There, we will never be "alone" again!

     I hope that between now and the time, Lord willing, that I get to teach you again, you will truly work on that relationship with God! No matter how bad or good you think things are, know they can always be better. We can always be closer to God. Our walk can always go deeper, be more personal and real than ever before. I hope to encourage you to not let the things of this life get the best of you. We need to make the choice, to always follow and serve God. Don't let other things drag you away. I know this is easier said than done, but remember that God is all that matters! The Bible tells us nothing can separate us from the love of God. (Romans 8:35-39) This should be a great encouragement! Think about it, nothing can separate us, NOTHING! Even though we may turn our backs on God, He still loves us! Even if we walk away from His plan of salvation for our soul, He loves us! Don't you want to know that love? You may be having struggles now. You may struggle all your life with heartaches and sickness, but that is why God wants to save us from this world! Don't let the struggles and heartaches of this life take you from the rewards God has laid up for you in the next life. Many preachers preach that if we are following God, things will be good. I even heard a man just the other day telling his congregation to turn away from people who are not positive, upbeat and successful. I once heard a man say he did not like the old song that states "standing somewhere in the shadows you'll find Jesus", because he said Jesus is always standing in the light. I thank the Lord that these people are wrong!!! Jesus is standing in the shadows, and when we find ourselves in those shadows, He is there leading us through. The Bible tells us the day Jesus died the sky turned dark. (Mark 15:33-34) That is because of our sin. Jesus took on the shadows for us. Don't let go of Him for some worldly possession or lie of the Devil. I like the words to another old song, "take this whole world but give me Jesus!" What many do not understand, is that we are forgiven, but we are not saved. We will continue to suffer the ravages of sin until we go to be with Christ. There is no magical ticket. No special sinners prayer to pray that is the first prayer God hears. No good act that takes us into a glorious life of prosperity and health. No, there is only you and God! He loves you, and He gave His Son for you. God hears your every word. Speak to Him and start to build your relationship right now. If you already know Him, turn to Him with your whole heart today, tomorrow and everyday. Don't look for your reward here on this earth. This life will end. Have faith that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him! (Heb. 11:6) If we endure unto the end, we will receive a crown of true life! (James 1:12, Rev. 2:10) No matter how many preachers tell people to leave you because your sick or down, no matter how many people decide to leave you; no matter how much you may be hurting now, turn your eyes upon Jesus, for He will never leave you nor forsake you! (Heb. 13:5-6)

     I must close now, but I pray the love of the Lord will go with you through this new year. What could be better than that? So, walk with God, and Lord willing, I'll see you next time!

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