Welcome to Worshiping the Word with Pastor Robert Morris. Today we're starting a series called The Principles of First Mention. In this series, Pastor Robert unpacks how the first time a word is mentioned in Scripture, it's important because it often establishes a precedent, a pattern, or a biblical concept. There is so much to learn from first mention.
So let's jump in now. We're going to talk about the principles of first mention, the principles of first mention. Now let me explain to you what this is. There's a, what was called a law in theology, the law of first mention.
And it means when something is first mentioned in the Bible, that you get an understanding of the definition of that word to be able to understand the rest of the Bible. Now, sometimes you might go online to learn a little bit more about something. Let me just tell you that there's always something negative about everything online. There's stuff positive, there's stuff negative.
So I looked a little sweet and I thought, man, look at the negative. Well, here's what happens with any truth, any truth, whether it's prosperity or health or grace, any truth, some people go too far with it, so others back off of it. So it's the same thing with the law of first mention. So there are some that go very, very too far with it and they take things out of context and they, it's not, anytime you talk about something as a principle in Scripture, it has to be congruent with the rest of Scripture.
So there are people who go too far, so now there are people who totally backed off. But let me just give you a few words here. When we talk about the law of first mention, you also have to understand the law of context, the law of consistency, and the law of congruency. In other words, you have to keep it in context. It has to be consistent with the whole of God's word and it has to be congruent with God's nature and character. There is my, hopefully my seminary part for today, okay?
I'll try to be funnier here in a minute, but I'll just give you that, all right, to understand. So there are 21 of them, the laws of first mention, principles of first mention, and we're taking them from the book of Genesis. The word Genesis means beginning.
You may have even heard it used other ways, like you might have heard in your company. In the Genesis of this company, in the beginning of this company, see, the book begins with in the Genesis, in the beginning. That's the word, in the beginning. Matter of fact, there's one other book of the Bible that begins with those three words also.
Do you know what book that is? John, in the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God. So you've got a book in the Old Testament, a book in the New Testament, which if you had to only read two books of the Bible to try to get an understanding of all of it, those would probably be two good books. Genesis, to see how it all started and the covenant coming up to pass, and then to see John, how Jesus came into the world and redeemed the world. So in the beginning, so all of my messages are going to start with the words, the beginning of, but this first principle of first mention is not in the 21.
The 21 is not an exhaustive list, okay? It's not an exhaustive list, but I decided, I felt like the Holy Spirit led me to do this one. So it sounds a little negative at first, but we'll turn it to be positive, all right? But here's the title of the message this week, The Beginning of Death, because death began in Genesis with Adam and Eve when sin came into the world. So the beginning of death. So I have three questions for you, all right?
Here's the first one. What is the cause of death? Now, before you answer, a couple guys already answered, and they said sin, and that's true. That's true.
The only problem is if you go down that road too much, then you try not to sin, try to work on sin, you focus on sin. I'm not saying you do, whoever said the answer. I'm just saying people will. It's like when I used to, you know, Mike Brisk yours when he used to be a professional golfer, and we got up on a hole where there was water all down the right side, and he said, what's your swing thought in this hole? I said, don't hit it in the water. He said, you should never have a swing thought that begins with the word don't, because you know what you're going to do?
Hit it in the water. And I proved him right three times. But anyway, so he said, you should be thinking, hit it left.
You should have a positive. So you don't want to go through your life thinking don't sin, don't sin, don't sin. And obviously we want to walk in righteousness, but I want to go to the cause of death, which is not really just sin, but what caused Adam and Eve to sin.
Okay? So let me show you how it's the first mention of the Bible. Genesis 2 verse 16 says, and the Lord God commanded the man saying of every tree of the garden you may freely eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat for in the day that you eat of it, you shall surely die. This is the first time, first mention of the word die in the Bible. And the word die, died or dying is in Genesis 60 times. So this is when death comes in.
God says, they probably never heard this word. If you do this, you will die. You will cease to exist. You will die. Now notice too what he says, you will surely die.
You will surely, there's no doubt about it. You will surely die. Now, Genesis 3 verse 4, the serpent, Satan shows up, watch what he says. The serpent said at the moment, you will not surely die. God said, you will surely die. Satan said, you will not surely die. So you know what the cause of death is, which is the cause of sin also? Unbelief. They had a choice to believe God or to believe the devil.
They didn't sin and eat the apple until they believed the devil. So see, here's what I'm trying to get you to understand. You don't have to focus on behavior, focus on belief because your beliefs determine your behavior. If you believe that if you tithe, you're blessed, you'll tithe. If you don't believe it, you won't do it no matter how much you try to focus on. If you believe that if you walk in sexual purity in your marriage, that you'll have a blessed marriage, you'll walk in purity because you believe it. So it's your belief that determines your behavior. So what causes death is unbelief.
Adam and Eve did not believe God, they believed Satan. See, even when we're trying to teach our children to be good or to obey, why are we trying to teach them to obey? We're teaching them trying to teach them to obey because listen, we know some things that they don't know.
Now I hope you get this analogy. I taught all of my children, here's why daddy is trying to teach you to obey because daddy knows some things you don't know. And daddy's doing this for your good.
And so I gave all three of my children when they were young this example, they could say it back to me. I said to them, let's say that you're on one side of the street and daddy's on the other side of the street. And you're standing there and there's a parked car there and you want to come across the street, but daddy sees another car coming.
You can't see the other car coming because the parked car is there. And you start to walk and daddy says, stop. I want you to stop because daddy can see some things that you can't see.
Are y'all listening? Your daddy can see some things you can't see and he knows more than you know. That's why he's trying to get you to obey.
That's why he was trying to get Adam and Eve to obey, not just to have obedient children, but because he could see what was down the road if they came out in the street for their good. Let me tell you what the root of death is, which is the root of sin, the cause of death and the root of sin is not believing your father. When your father says something and you don't believe it, you're going to sin and death is the result. So that's the cause of death.
Here's question number two. What's the consequence of death? What's the consequence of death? Now, so what is the real consequence that happened to Adam and Eve? And it's what God didn't want to happen.
So let me read it to you. Genesis 3 22. This is after he pronounced the other things. Then the Lord God said, behold, the man has become like one of us to know good and evil. To know good and evil. And now lest he put out his hand to take also of the tree of life and eat and live forever. Therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So he drove out the man and he placed cherubim, that's an angel, at the east, that's two actually, it's plural, at the east of the garden of Eden and a flaming sword, which turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.
Okay. He's serious about not letting them get to the tree of life. He puts angels with flaming swords, swords on fire. And that sounds like judgment, doesn't it? Not judgment, it's judgment. The reason was once they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they were separated from God, spiritually. They were in a fallen state. If they had eaten from the tree of life in that fallen state, they would have remained in a fallen state separated from God for all eternity. That's why he said, they've eaten from it, the tree of knowledge of good and evil, let's get them out of the way from the tree of life so they don't eat from it, because they'll remain like this.
And I've got to send my son to redeem them. By the way, the tree of life is in heaven and you can eat from it anytime you want in a redeemed state so you can live forever in that state, redeemed in relationship with God. So what happened? The knowledge of good and evil. Now this might shock you, but God never wanted you to have the knowledge of good and evil. And yet today, most of our choices, we try to choose what's right and what's wrong. What's right and what's wrong.
In other words, what's good and what's bad. Listen, the choice is not what's good and what's bad. The choice, there were two trees in the garden, the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which when he said, if you eat it, you'll die.
So let me tell you what the true trees were, the tree of life and the tree of death. So my choice today is not good and evil. My choice should be life or death. In other words, not is this house a good house to buy, is this God's house for us?
Will this house be life for our family? Will this job, not is it a good or bad job, is this God's job? God reiterates this by the way, that the choice is life and death. Deuteronomy chapter 30 verse 19, I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you that I've set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Therefore choose life that both you and your descendants may live. See that's the choice. It's life and death. It's not good and evil because that was all on the tree of death.
It's life and death. Now I want to take this a little further and talk to you about, we raise our children, yes, to know right and wrong. Yes, we do want to raise them. We want to teach them right and wrong.
I agree with that. But what I told you a moment ago is what we're really trying to teach them is hear the voice of the Father. You realize God, again let me say, God did not intend for you to live your life based on your knowledge of good and evil. He intends for you to live life based on his voice.
Walking and talking with God in the cool of the day. That's what Adam and Eve were doing before the fall. And that was all they needed to do. So we talk about raising children right and we need to, but I want to talk to you and just give you a little clarification on the age of accountability. The age of accountability is we say it's when children know right from wrong. Well, that's not true. Because you can say, well they know right from wrong when they're three, four, five years old. And if they die, they're not going to go to hell. So that's not what it is. I can remember saying to my son James who has this real strong will, I said that one time, don't touch that.
And he went like this. He knows wrong, but he's just about three years old. They weren't going to go to hell. The age of accountability, let me tell you where it comes from in scripture. I've heard people talk about it that don't know where it came from in scripture. Let me tell you where it came from in scripture. Comes from Deuteronomy one in Numbers 14. It's when God is talking about the children of Israel going into the promised land.
And this is what he says. This is Deuteronomy one here verse 39. Moreover, your little ones, your little ones and your children who you say will be victims who today have no knowledge of good and evil.
Now notice the wording. Same as the tree, knowledge of good and evil. Not right and wrong, good and evil. They shall go in there. To them I will give it and they shall possess it. And then in Numbers 14 verse 31, but your little ones whom you said would be victims, I will bring in and they shall know the land which you despise. So your little ones, your children who have no knowledge of good and evil, they're going to get to go in the promised land.
But everyone else is going to die. So now I'm going to, there's another verse here that we'll show it to you and it sets an age. Now let me clarify something. This is not the age of accountability.
This is the age that God said these people can go in the promised land and the people below this age who have no knowledge of good and evil, these people can go in the promised land and the people who are above this age cannot. Okay? So this isn't the age of accountability, but this is the scripture we base it on. This is the principle. And I'm going to clarify it.
Everyone with me on this? Okay. So here's what he says in verse 29, Numbers 14. The carcasses of you who have complained against me shall fall in this wilderness. All of you are who were numbered according to your entire number from 20 years old and above. Now I'm not saying the age of accountability is 20, but this is the scripture we base it on. Your children who have no knowledge of good and evil. And I do believe in the age of accountability.
I believe God's a just God. What I'm saying is though that I've seen people around that age of 20, 15 to 25, let's say, begin to make an adult decision as to whether they're going to follow God or not. They begin to make their own decision. Remember we talked about the three phases of life and that's children, three categories, children, adolescents, adults. If you want to try to remember, it's real easy to remember the ages because adolescents are teens.
So children are 12 and under, adolescents 13 to 19, adults 20 and over. I'm just saying when your children start transitioning to adulthood, they're going to make a decision. Are y'all following me? Have you seen this? They're going to decide whether they follow God or not.
You did it. Here's what happens though when you begin to transition to adulthood. Listen to me. You get a knowledge that there's evil in the world. It's not when you're young and you learn right from wrong and you get spankings. It's when you learn there's evil and you either pursue evil or you pursue God. You have a choice. Every one of you, you have a choice. It's a life and death choice. All right, so we got the cause and the consequence. Here's the last one.
It won't take long. What's the cure for death? Well, that's easy. Belief. Believe in Jesus.
If the cause is unbelief, then the cure is belief, right? Now, you need to understand death came into the world by Adam and then Jesus brought life into the world. But let me show you a scripture and I'm going to jump ahead one scripture here, guys. Hebrews 927, because I want you to understand death is a part of life. Hebrews 927 says it is appointed for men to die once.
Now, maybe you've never noticed this word once. It could have just said it is appointed for mankind, that's what it's talking about, to die. Why did it say once? You ever seen that, that it's appointed to die once?
Well, let me ask you this question. I've asked Debbie this too and she didn't know and it's just one. I said, do you know what the second death is? She said, I don't know what the second death is. Let me show you what the second death is. Revelation 20 verse 14, then death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.
You say, well, that says death and Hades didn't say anything about people. All right, let's read another verse. Revelation 21 verse 8, but the cowardly, the unbelieving.
What's the cause of death? Unbelief. The unbelieving, the abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. Now, here's what you might be thinking. Well, I'm not in that list so I didn't murder anybody. Hold on, you ever been cowardly? You ever been unbelieving? I got a good one for you. You ever told a little lie? I can guarantee you, you married men have. I can tell you the question when you lied.
Do these pants make me look fat? I know you lied because you're still here. So how do you get out of the second death? Revelation 2.11, he who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the church is. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death. Well, you got to overcome. Okay, that begs the question.
How do you overcome? Revelation 20 verse 6, blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power.
They shall be priests of God and shall reign within a thousand years. Okay, so I know it's getting deep, but it's all going to come together. So how do you not be hurt by the second death? Well, you got to overcome. Well, how do you overcome? Is it grace or works?
Well, it can't be works because you wouldn't make it. It's grace. But how do you overcome? Well, you take part in the first resurrection. Well, what's the first resurrection, Pastor? Well, do you remember when Jesus was talking to Martha about Lazarus who had died? John 11 24, Martha said to him, I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
Now, hang on just a second. At the last day, here's what she's saying. I know he'll raise again, rise again in the last resurrection, the last resurrection, not the first, the last. I love Jesus's answer.
I hope this strikes you. Here's what Jesus said. Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection.
Not just I will be for everyone that lives in the future or that I was for all the Old Testament saints, I am right now. I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live. Do you know what the first resurrection is? It's when you die to self, it's when you take up your cross, and it's when you're crucified with Christ, and then you're raised to walk a new life in Christ Jesus. That's the first resurrection. It's when you believe in Jesus, because the only way you're going to get saved is not to do good or bad, it's to believe your father. And your father sent his only son to die for you. And if you believe, then you're raised to walk a new life. And when you take part in the first resurrection, the second death has no power over you. Jesus says, the Bible says destroyed death and the fear of death. I told you about in the helicopter, I didn't have any fear.
This past year, as I said, my father's here, but I lost my mother, he lost his wife, 65 years. In the hospital, those last 19 days, we still talk about it. She had no fear. She had joy. She laughed. She told us jokes. She was excited. She said to my sister and me, I want you all to be okay with what's about to happen, because I'm excited about it.
And then she said to my dad, just days before she passed away, she said, I've been waiting for this my whole life. No fear of death, because Jesus is the resurrection and the life. He's the resurrection and the life. We want you to take a moment to think about what Pastor Robert shared today and listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to you. If you want to connect with us or check out some of Pastor Robert's other messages, visit pastorrobert.com. And if you haven't already, go follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter so we can be a part of your community. Thank you so much for joining us at the start of this new series. Next time, Pastor Robert is going to talk about the first time the word atonement appears in the Bible and what that means for us. Until then, have a blessed week.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-19 01:37:25 / 2023-09-19 01:46:47 / 9