Listen to this blog post which will, at a future date, be added to The Explanation Podcast
The seemingly impenetrable mystery of the WHY questions of humankind answered. Based on Biblical Hebrew, The Explanation demonstrated the relevance of the Bible for the 21st century.
The mystery of God and the Bible is substantial. So significant that many wonder what to believe and what is probably folklore with no evidence. When it comes to the Bible, how many take it seriously? And how many consider it to be an instruction manual for the 21st century? The idea that a book, written by multiple authors between 2000 and 3500 years ago, could be relevant for contemporary society is a far-fetched fantasy.
(Agony of Humankind, Epilogue)
This closing chapter is not just the epilogue of Agony of Humankind and the Antidote. It is the culmination of over 50 years of searching that started with a statement, “I can prove God exists.” For the first time, I looked into the Bible with serious study. That lead me to return to school in my mid-20s, after a stint in the diamond industry. On graduation, I ministered in Montreal, Trois-Rivieres, Sherbrooke, and transferred to Paris, France in 1978. I pastored there for 17 years before leaving the fulltime Ministry, but not my passion for understanding God’s Word.
The idea germinated to put to paper my studies of Genesis. How to make the mystery understandable. I started learning Hebrew at the age of 11 in Johannesburg, still remember the teacher bouncing a ball to each student who had to say a Hebrew word, or be eliminated. Later, in the 60s, I spent a couple of years in Israel. So, when it came to the Ministry, with help from concordances, I could get around the Old Testament in Hebrew.
In the mid-90s I plunged into a study of the Biblical Hebrew of Genesis, starting with chapter 1. With progress, the “7 Keys to Master Biblical Hebrew” began to germinate in my mind. An outline of what I wanted to write was beginning to gel and consolidate.
To verify the validity of the 7 Keys study method, and make sure they weren’t just a whacky nonsensical idea, I followed two years of online studies with experienced Biblical Hebrew teachers from the Institute of Biblical Studies in Jerusalem. Each weekly course was a live webinar with animated interaction between the teacher and students. The 7 Keys method is valid.
There were numerous obstacles I wanted to surmount.
- Bible studies talk to people who already have an interest in or believe the Bible. What about the vast number of others?
- The idea that the Old Testament is a quaint fairy tale or mythology and is divorced from the New Testament. True or false?
- There are a plethora of studies of Genesis, why another one?
- The Hebrew alphabet, vocabulary, grammar, syntax, etc. take years to master. Impossible for a beginner.
Here’s the plan I ended up applying to jump those hurdles.
- The series must show WHY we have to look into the Bible and God. Why not some other sacred book or science?
- To reveal evidence for the veracity of the Old Testament and its intricate relationship with the Gospel message.
- The Genesis study would be wholly based on the original language. Scholars refer to it from time to time but don’t consider it as a whole.
- The 7 Keys is a Study method whereby you do not have to learn any alphabet, vocabulary, grammar, syntax. Sounds crazy but that’s the beauty of it. From next week on, the weekly blog will be devoted to creating a Course to learn how to use the 7 Keys to Master Biblical Hebrew, a Study Method to Unlock Bible Meaning. That’s the primary interest, understanding God’s Word, NOT the language, as such.
One of the major objections that arise is. Why waste time elaborating Genesis rather than the Gospels. After all, Genesis is this harsh God Who wipes out humanity in the Flood, while the New Testament is Christ’s supreme sacrifice for all of humanity. The contrast couldn’t be more gaping. This dichotomy of violence and self-sacrifice is a huge mystery for most, even for Bible readers.
There are two analogies that I employ to counter such surmisings. They are woven into the narrative of all The Explanation books.
- Pieces of a perfectly Assembled Puzzle. Also referred to as Coherent Completeness which means each piece of the puzzle can only occupy ONE place. It must be coherent with the pieces to which it’s attached and beyond. God is eternal therefore the God of the Old and the New Testaments must be the same God. True, He appears harsh in the Old Testament but how does that PIECE fit in the ONE puzzle? The first 3 chapters of Genesis give numerous examples to explain this so-called dilemma.
- The first three chapters of the Bible narrative are like the first five minutes of a movie or play. They establish the main characters and the plot. If you miss the first five minutes, you could be playing catch-up for the next hour to figure out what’s going on. For instance, the Spirit of God is mentioned in the very first verse. Is the VERB used to describe the Spirit’s MOVEMENT coherent with that of a Being or not?
Purpose of the first three no-God, worldview books.
The Explanation has no goal of proselytism. Its sole purpose is to spread, what it considers a clearer understanding of the mystery of the Bible and God. Christ said the mystery is inaccessible to most, “And he said to them, To you (Christ’s disciples) it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but to them that are without, all these things are done in parables” (Mark 4:11). Those that are without, have reasoning minds. They, however, stay on a human knowledge level.
Question: On a worldly level, is it possible to acknowledge God? Romans 1:20 says yes, “For the invisible things of him (God) from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:” That is why I wrote Inventory of the Universe. and the Audit books. These three books establish a worldview. They are designed to make sense of all the conflicting information media feeds us daily. Together, they are evidence that there’s something bigger than just humankind and the Universe. These books expand Paul’s “things that are made,” to more clearly see the invisible thing of God.
1. Inventory of the Universe
There are too many pieces in the universal puzzle for even one of them to have an independent role. ALL must work harmoniously assembled together. Remove ONE piece and the Universe is in for trouble. Inventory of the Universe establishes a WORLDVIEW that includes EVERY aspect of space, atmosphere, water, land, flora, fauna, life, body, and mind. It ends with a comparison of animal and human life to reveal the insurmountable gap.
This book renders invisible things clearly visible. Neither the word God nor Bible Is mentioned in the book. However, it should cause a reader to THINK. Inventory is EVIDENCE (not proof) that there must be something SUPERIOR to chaos and hazard for the highly complex but minutely assembled Universe to exist. They are without cause (Rom. 1:20) is a strong condemnation of those who do NOT even want to entertain the possibility of the existence of God, let alone the Bible as His Word.
2. Audit of the Universe
Our Universe, an interwoven marvel of systems in systems, functions to provide humans on Earth EVERYTHING NEEDED for an ABUNDANT LIFE. We know of nowhere else in the Universe where ALL these conditions (not just water and fertile soil) even begin to exist. THINK. What are humans doing with their habitat? In the 21st century, ecology and climate control are the buzzwords. They reveal the extent of the damage HUMANS have caused to our own home. There are no signs of a reversal of tendency.
Audit of the Universe asks the question, “is the glass of peace and prosperity getting fuller or emptier?” A thinking person should know the answer to this query simply via the time displayed by the Doomsday Clock. This method is calculated by humans themselves. It has NOTHING to do with God, Who, again, is not mentioned in Audit.
Humankind knows where it stands. It’s got it’s hand in the fire and doesn’t feel the hurt. Humanity isn’t waking up to the dire situation in which it has placed itself. That too is a mystery. THINK, WHY?
Paul summarized Inventory and Audit of the Universe and Humankind in a few Bible verses.
20 For the creature (all humans) was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him (God) who has 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.
22 For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now.
The Explanation points out that this groaning, or agony, is all part of God’s thought-out plan as He works with humankind. He has a goal, to help humans see the error of ALL their ways. In the 21st century, humanity has not yet exhausted all its intelligence in finding new ways. They have hope for a bold innovative solution. God’s servants also groan, they live in the world and are subject to all the vicissitudes and unknowns as well, but they are animated by a different, real hope.
23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man sees, why does he yet hope for?
3. Audit of Humankind
Humanity is the cause of its own demise. We’ve got to find out WHY. What makes humans tick? Who are they, we? What makes a human, human? Humans are VERY different and MUCH more capable than the smartest of animals, whichever one that might be. Specifically, what characterizes humans, ALL humans, worldwide?
The singularity of humans is not their upright stance or language capacity. It is their qualities based on their endowment with a MIND. All humans possess double-faced human nature, space-time mastery, creativity, imagination, life-long learning, Life-long choices and decision-making, growth mindset to face problems, and find solutions. challenges move us forward., and finally, ruling life responsibly. That’s what makes humans human. That’s the insurmountable gap with animals.
Then comes how humans FUNCTION, human nature, free will, human behavior, ethics, justice, self-reproach, forgiveness, and love. These functions of humankind are present solely because humans possess consciousness and mind.
Humanity socializes, rules, and reasons. Today, in our enlightened age of information, science, and artificial intelligence there’s no consensus in any of these fields, They’re all fractured into umpteen directions.
We have a pile of studies that demonstrate all these characteristics of humankind. Yet, we are incapable, or unwilling, to assemble this information into a coherent, complete picture. The REASONING of the world’s BEST MINDS is at loggerheads. We debate endlessly, never coming to any valid conclusion. That is true of all the above fields. That is true of the ONE underlying KEY FACTOR that motors ALL HUMANS. The MIND. ALL the research, studies, billions of dollars invested in the endeavor have rendered NOTHING. We are still ignorant.
We don’t even know how humans function, what the mind is. And, we expect to fix humankind which is the cause of the Doomsday Clock? That is the Audit of Humankind, that’s where we stand in the year 2020. We can talk about artificial intelligence and transhumanism as the future, But what about the present? Sorry, it’s not encouraging. Please remember, this has nothing to do with Sam Kneller. Everything said here is documented and corroborated by all the studies you want.
Humans think they know the heart of man, that it is good, and will end up positively. John reports reality which is less flattering for humanity.
24 But Jesus did not commit himself to them, because he knew all men, 25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.
24 But Jesus did not commit himself to them, because he knew all men,
25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.
The downward pull of humankind’s dual nature was no mystery to Christ.
4. Origin of the Universe
If the reasoning of humans cannot establish coherent completeness, then maybe we need to look elsewhere for some wisdom. How about the Sacred Books, purportedly inspired by OUTSIDE of this world intelligence and wisdom. Okay, but how do we decide WHICH book is THE Book, if there is one?
THE Sacred Book must answer ALL the WHY questions that have been raised In Inventory and Audit and it must display coherent completeness. ONLY the Bible fills these requirements.
As we begin Genesis 1, it explains the ins and the outs of the Inventory of the Universe including planet Earth, resources, ecology, and WHY God put humanity here. The very first chapter of the Bible immediately answers that PRIMARY WHY questions. The answers are to establish proper relationships and rulership. Those two goals are the CRUX of all the problems, the heart of the mystery, we are faced with in the world. Genesis 1 is a contemporary instruction manual.
It reveals HOW to have satisfying relations and rulership in the 21st century. Furthermore, from the start, Genesis explains the relationship of humankind to God kind and the reason we need training in Relationships and Rulerships. Because those occupations are our destiny for all Eternity in the God Family.
I received this comment a few days ago, “I do not understand why people would take a folktale, myth, parable, or allegory such as the Garden of Eden and think this literally happened. It didn’t. No real theologian believes it did.” I hope you know what real theology is. That foolishness, summed up nicely by this comment, is the only way to make heads and tails of what’s happening on our planet.
5. Origin of Humankind
Where do humans come from? What is their composition? Why the wisdom gap between animals and humans? Just three simple basic questions and Science, Philosophy and Religion are not in agreement both withIN their own disciplines as well as among themselves.
A few verses, particularly Genesis 2:7 answer all three of those questions, and many more. This epilogue is not the place to answer those questions. Read the verses, read the book. Understand the role of neshama. Understand that the two SAME words in English, “God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life,” are DIFFERENT in Hebrew. That’s why we have to look at the original language. There’s no code to decipher, it’s a simple matter of understanding language properly. That’s where the 7 Keys to Master Biblical Hebrew comes into play.
By the time you finish Origin of Humankind, you’ll begin to have a BIBLE WORLDVIEW regarding Inventory and Audit of the Universe and Humankind. Humans, psychology, consciousness, mind, and the spiritual world will all come into focus. The mystery of what a human being is, a body and a mind working in coordinated harmony, will underline the relevance of the Bible narrative. If you understand this, Paul’s words are more applicable than ever.
9 But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him.
10 But God hath revealed them to us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God.
11 For what man knows the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knows no man, but the Spirit of God.
12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Ghost teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
14 But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Humans can and do access knowledge, they can and do find solutions to problems, they are endowed with fathomless minds referred to as the spirit of man, which is the spirit of the world. That’s a beginning point, it cannot and does not consider the invisible, the spiritual. To understand the Origin of the Universe and Humankind the Spirit of God is required. Spiritual discernment alone opens the door to solving the mysteries of God’s wisdom.
6. Origin of Woman
In the 21st enlightened century, it is a paradox that we don’t know what a woman’s role is. We have all sorts of movements about women’s rights, and they certainly do have rights, but there’s no agreement on what they are. And more importantly. Why there are women, equal but different than men. How can you have something EQUAL and DIFFERENT, at the same time, mystery? Sociology hasn’t figured that one out.
The end of Genesis 2 doesn’t just give hints, it answers that question and related queries. Some laugh at a term like helpmeet or the dumb myth about coming from a rib. Agreed, the English and even the narrative sound weird. But once you get into the Hebrew, the vista changes and the mystery unravels. You come away with solid solutions, no ifs, buts, or maybes.
Genesis 2:25 is a benchmark verse, “the man and his wife were naked and not ashamed,” that I’d venture to say very, very, very few Bible readers understand. Again, without the Hebrew we are limited to nakedness related to no clothing. But it is sooooo much more. Did you know that the Hebrew word for naked is identical to “the subtle serpent” in the very next verse. This is anything but haphazard authorship. It is intended, even required, to grasp the magnitude of God’s plan. No Hebrew comprehension = lack of understanding.
Genesis 1-3 include much mystery, but, according to Paul, we can access the richness of the plan of God for men, women, children, this world, and the future relationships and rulership God holds for us.
“That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;” Colossians 2:2.
7. Agony of Humankind and the Antidote
The first two chapters of Genesis are significant for today and reveal the ENTIRETY of God’s plan. It is fully coherent with the New Testament, both the Gospels and Paul’s writing to which The Explanation often refers. The Bible is ONE coherent Word of God, the Logos of God. It’s the first five minutes of revealing the main characters. But there’s one essential point missing.
Why is the world in such a mess? And I’m not talking about Coronavirus. Personal, national, and international relationships are at the lowest point ever. The rulership of our biggest and smallest nations is in shambles, like never before. You may think I’m exaggerating, well, I’ll let you ponder that one.
Why is the world in such a state? The title of the seventh book includes the descriptive agony to sum up this state of affairs. It ANSWERS that question. It goes to the heart of the issue, human self-wisdom. Humankind thinks it can solve its own problems, like stitching together fig leaves to cover their nakedness. A rather ludicrous solution, I think we’d all agree. Yet, humanity turns around and patches up its predicaments with fig leaves, that fall off and wither away!
Thankfully the Bible doesn’t just underline the quandaries humans find themselves in; it also freely gives the antidote. The ethics for living abundant lives in the 21st century. Instead of paying attention and searching out the Bible’s wisdom we write how to book after how to book. Personal experience book after personal experience book. Oh yes, they can be helpful, but these are the fig leaves. We need substantial and reliable clothing. That’s the wisdom of the Bible.
All major subjects of science, sociology, society, rulership, and management of ecology and psychology are given throughout the Bible based on ethical criteria that makes sense. This is the antidote we could be using today, Often we, as a society, are doing it backward and harvesting agony and sorrow.
The Bible is the record of the ups and mainly downs of the free will decisions of humankind. Human history over the past couple of thousand years follows on in the wake of the Old and New Testaments corroborating the upheavals that plague humankind.
The basic forces governing our society revolve around the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The Serpent is doing all in its power to get you to eat of that tree. It uses lies as the basis for its operations. Lying and mistruths are its main business. With one powerful additive. The lie is believable, credible, and plausible.
Soooo believable that you, your spouse, family, your neighbor…hood, nation…s are so engulfed, enmeshed in these lies that you can’t believe they’re UNtruths. The biggest con job of all times is people believing that what they believe is the truth. If only those truths were applied, we’d have a better world, real peace, and prosperity. The Serpent has done its job well, very well indeed. Remember what it told Eve “you will be like God to know good and evil.” In other words, as God, you can know and decide the way to peace and prosperity.
Once we’ve eaten this fruit the result is confusion. Confusion is the propagation of lies and mistruths, even if we think they are truths. This worldview foisted on us by the Serpent is a mystery to practically everyone.
Those lies have been present, right from the start, we’ve all been, and, at this very moment, are a part of them. They have forged us, made us what we are, what we believe, and you know what, once you believe in just one lie, things become distorted, and little by little, you build the rest of your knowledge based on not just one, but two, three, four, scores, umpteen mistruths, until you can’t see because it’s so blurred, you can’t straighten it out.
The result is a trail of confusion, mystification, perplexity, and disorder.
The Explanation categorized human activity into 4 main groups, to cover every area of human reasoning and pursuits.
- With a supernatural outside force: Religion
- Without a supernatural outside force: Philosophy
- With natural force: Science
- With human force: Observation. This includes all forms of organization and reasoning from couples to the family, to school, army, business, local, national, or world think-tanks and governing bodies.
All four categories, including all of humankind, are mystified, overstuffed with the fruit of the tree of good and evil. Like after a gluttonous meal, tasting delicacies that titillate the palate, thrilling them into another sensual dimension, having eaten, drunken, inhaled mind perking essences, listened to ecstatic soothing tunes, religion, philosophy, science, and government lie there prostrate in utter confusion and disorder.
That’s the agony the cause of the world’s sorrow, the reason the creation groans. Mystery solved.
Thankfully, there’s the Bible antidote and Biblewide corroboration. The Garden of Eden and the two Trees tell the story of humankind. Related comments are in brackets.
33 Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. (The Sabbath in the Garden of Eden. God instructing the man and woman)
34 Blessed is the man that hears me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. (dress and keep = serve + worship God)
35 For whoso finds me finds life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord. (Eat the fruit of the Tree of Life)
36 But he that sins against me wrongs his own soul: all they that hate me love death. (Eat the fruit from the the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and suffer the sorrow.)
The Explanation series of commentary on Genesis 1-3 has simply tried to make God’s mystery a little easier to understand. The Biblical Hebrew clarifies the evidence. It shows us Who God and Yahveh are, who humankind is with our neshama. What relationships and rulership are and why we need them now and in the future. Mystery after mystery stand solved.
To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
The Explanation will continue to bring you more commentary on Genesis and many other subjects. Next week we start the online course, 7 Keys to Master Biblical Hebrew, a Study Method to Unlock Bible Meaning.
This blog post is an excerpt of the Epilogue from the book, Agony of Humankind and the Antidote.
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