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Saturday, July 31, 2021

7-31-2021 New Beginnings

          New Creation                                   New Beginning

In scripture, “8” represents a ‘new birth’ or ‘new beginning’.  God told Abraham that all male children should be circumcised on the eighth day after birth.  This would signify that that child is now a part of God’s covenant with man (Gen. 17:10-14).  A new beginning?  A new covenant with God?  This is being published the day before August 1st.  “1” represents unity with God or ‘new beginning’.  The double ‘new beginning’ (‘8’ & ‘1’) would imply a double dose in our renewing relationship with our Father!

“New Beginnings”.  So what does that really mean?

God creates heaven and earth (Gen. 1:1-31)

There was a void.  There was darkness. (v1-2).  There was God.  In short, in the beginning all there was is God, Yaweh, Jehova, Lord God Almighty, Creator!  He created the heavens and the earth.  He  created light and separated the night from the day (v3-4).  There were waters which He separated with firmament.  In other words, He separated the waters with some sort of ‘matter’.  The Hebrew word for waters is mayim (4325 – mah-yim).  Take note of how Strong’s defines mayim: in a singular sense it means water, urine (waste-water) or semen (male seeds of life) with the inference that the water is flooding or springing forth.  The Hebrew word firmament is raqiya (7549 – raw-kee-ya), is an expanse in the sky.  raqiya is derived from the verb form raqa (7554 – raw-kah) which is to hammer or stretch out.  Think about one working with clay who takes the glob and then stretches and flattens it out as he prepares to make something.

Now, back to waters. Consider the oceans and rivers (etc.).  Consider the atmosphere which surrounds the earth.  Think about ‘outer space”, the expanse beyond earth’s atmosphere.  All are a form of “waters” though we don’t swim in everything or breathe everything and, with the proper form of transportation, we can ‘fly’ through it all.  Though beyond the earth is darkness, It is all still there!  And Father brought it all into existence, a new beginning! 

Father created all the plant life, animals, fish and birds.  All new life?  They didn’t exist before God gave them their ‘new’ beginnings. 

Then He created ‘man’, both male and female (v 26-27).  He made man in His (God’s) image (and that’s another lesson!).  Now, God goes on to say how He created Adam and Eve from the dust of the earth (Gen. 3:19, Gen. 2:21-23).  The ‘new beginning’ for us humans!

God gives us free will so when Satan tempted Eve, she could have said “buzz off”.  But she didn’t.  She was enticed and then invited her husband to join her and he did (Gen 3:1-7).

Father had a relationship with Adam & Eve, He came to commune with them in the garden (Gen. 3:8), but, embarrassed, the couple hid themselves (Gen. 3:8-9). 

The stage is set.  After a new beginning (creation) mankind is off on another new beginning!  The rest of man’s existence on planet earth outside of the garden.

We don’t have record of anything or everything Father discussed with Adam & Eve while they were in the garden except what is record (for us) in Genesis chapters two and three.  Yet we do know that God shared His values with them.  Genesis chapters four and five show us that man had some sort of concept of right and wrong – good or evil, but (unfortunately, for the most part) we seemed to have a problem making the ‘right’ choices.

Later, it is evident as God made a covenant with Abraham for being His friend (James 2:23) and made a man after His own heart a king, that is David (Acts 13:22), we see that man does have a concept of what Father expects from us. 

God gives Israel the “Law” (Exodus 20:1-17)

Even after Father placed them in the promised land, over the centuries, Israel was in an out of bondage (Joshua through Malachi) as they strayed from Father’s will and, realizing they had messed up, were brought back into alignment with God’s will.  This was true even before God gave the “Law” to Moses and even since. 

Before the Law, all man had was tradition or “word of mouth” to tell them how Father wanted him to act.  That means it had to have been handed down through the generations from Adam & Eve.  But with the Law, those guidelines were put into writing, no longer entrusted to ‘just’ man’s memory.  And even though written down, it was still difficult for man to stay in proper alignment with God’s will.

Even after being freed from bondage in Egypt and entering the ‘promised land’, God’s people couldn’t keep it together as they became subjects of the Chaldeans, Babylonians, Syrians, Romans, etc.

It seemed that man just couldn’t understand putting God first, giving Him His due respect, spending time with Him, honoring those whom He put in authority over us, considering and doing what’s best for our neighbor.  Should mankind get the “Duh Award”!

God gives us grace (Eph. 2:5-10)

Spoken language has been around for a long time but the Sumerians are credited with using the first written language (@3500 BC).  Historians tell us that the written languages we are more familiar with are a lot newer: Phoenician and Paleo-Hebrew were developed between @1200 – 1100 BC, Aramic, Israel’s base language, @700’s BC and the more the familiar Arabic (upon which our current alphabet is based) @200’s BC.   Archaeologists tell us that by 3000 BC, cities were being built in the Indus Valley (northwest India), around the Mediterranean Sea and even  beyond.  Archaeologists also tell us that even prior to the Sumerian period, man was in the habit of burying the dead (a hint of some sort of religion).   They also tell that shortly preceding thatSumerian civilization there was evidences of organized religion.  Perspective:  the Sumerians introduced the written word @3500 BC, Abraham was born @2000 BC and Israel came out of Bondage between 1500 – 1300 BC, depending on which estimations one adheres.  Israel considered Abraham the founder of their faith and Christians, of course, translate that to Jesus as He fulfilled the Law through His crucifixion, resurrection and ascension at the BC/AD junction. 

Man has been aware of God for a very long time.  The problem seems to have been in admitting just Who He is.

So, finally, Father reveals His grace through Jesus Christ. 

For centuries, man lived in an ‘impersonal’ relationship with our Creator.  But I want you to understand that grace began with Adam and Eve.  Grace brings us into a closer relationship with Father.  Adam & Eve had that in the beginning, in the garden, but man, because of sin, has fallen farther and farther away from the original truth.

Father wanted an object for His affection so He created all that is, as well as man, and because He made us (man) in His image, we are the primary focus for His affection. 

So man has been given a ‘new beginning’ through grace.  Our relationship with Jesus Christ.

God is love (1John 4:7-11)

The apostle John tells us in his letter that we should love one another because love comes from God.  The fact that we love indicates that we are born of God and know God for he who doesn’t love doesn’t know God.  So, we understand that love is not our loving God but His loving us which He showed by sending His Son to stand in for our sins (the cross).  Therefore, if God loved us so much, shouldn’t we love Him and one another?  A child displays his love for his parents by being obedient to their word.

God showed His love for Adam and Eve by providing for them and giving them a beautiful place to live – until they messed things up.  realizing that he was now totally exposed, man tried to cover himself (with fig leaves), yet Father still loved them so much, He covered their “nakedness” by shedding the blood of animals and covering man’s ‘sin’ (nakedness) with coats of skin.  And He gave them the promise of redemption, the bruising the seed of man’s heel and bruising the head of the serpent’s seed (Gen. 3:14-15).  Despite the ‘mess-up, we also have the promise of redemption!

In the book of Isaiah, we find many references to Father’s plan of redemption, then finally in the gospels we discover it is revealed to us the life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus and in the book of Acts, Jesus’ ascension back into heaven.  Of course, today, we await the final stage of that redemption.  The Lord shall descend from heaven with a shout, the voice of the archangel, the trump of God.  Those who have died in Christ shall rise first, then those who are alive at that time shall be caught up into the air together with them, in the clouds, so we shall ever be with the Lord.  We should comfort each other with these words (1 Thess. 4:16-17).

Realization of God’s love – another ‘new beginning’.

What about our new beginnings?

So our ‘new beginnings’ can come in multiple stages.  Our initial ‘new beginning’ is when we confess the Lord Jesus with our mouth and believe in our heart that God (our Father) raised Him from the dead (Rom:10:9)!  The apostle Paul says that then we shall be saved.  Understand that until we are literally in the presence of our Lord, we abide in the “promise” of salvation.  Again, we have confidence because the apostle John tells us that when we have Jesus, we have life and life because we have believed in the Son of God.  God’s love living in us is our testimony (1 John 5:10-13) and is our confidence that we will be with our Lord forever!

Paul encountered disciples on the road near Ephesus and upon discovering they had only received John’s baptism (by water for remission of sin) they received the baptism of the Holy Ghost (Acts 19:1-6).  Remember, John said he baptized only with water but one was coming after him would baptize with the Holy Ghost and fire (Matt. 3:11).  And don’t forget the disciples received the baptism of the Holy Ghost in the upper room (Acts 2:1-1-18). The Holy Ghost may be received when we receive Christ into our heart as with Cornelius and his family (Acts 10:31-48).  So, the baptism of the Holy Ghost can be combined with the new beginning in our ‘salvation experience’ or in a separate experience creating another new beginning in our life.  A new ‘stage’, a new chapter, in our life.

Keep in mind, Jesus told the disciples to stay in Jerusalem for a while until they received the baptism of the Holy Ghost, at which time they would receive power and would be witnesses for Him (Acts 1:4-8), in Jerusalem and beyond! 

Receiving and permitting that power to flow in us and through us is another ‘new beginning’!

We need to be aware that every time Father introduces a new stage of growth into our life, that change constitutes another ‘new beginning’. 

We are not re-establishing our salvation but rather receiving more tools to help us to go a little deeper in our walk with the Lord.  A deeper level of authority and understanding so we can do what Father has called us to do.

It’s like buying a new suit or dress.  The clothing is new and we may look the better for it and we may gain more confidence because we look a little nicer than before, but it is added along with what Father has already given us.

New beginnings?  We have some major or new beginnings in our lives, but we also have a lot of smaller situations of lesser impact that also affect changes in our lives and each of those changes those are a new beginning.  It may only be a tweak, but we didn’t have it before.  So it is new.

If you will, each ‘new beginning’ is a renewal, or commitment, in our relationship with our heavenly Father.



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