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Kingdom Expansion by Power: luke 8:38-56

A great number of unsaved folks in church remain so, not so much because the Word of Truth was not “rightly divided” to them, but partly because sermons were preached without fire or the convicting power of the Holy Ghost to reprove, to quicken and to convert the sinner from his way.

This situation is sharply contrasted by the result we see in the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Acts of the Apostles. Hardened sinners were converted ( Acts 16:30) and “a great company of the Priests were obedient to the faith” after ministrations inspired by the Holy Spirit.

In our text, the Lord Jesus Christ had just finished preaching and teaching His disciples things concerning the Kingdom of God and the Power that causes it to grow. He now seems to take His listeners to witness the practical demonstration of that power.

In an instance, by the power of his spoken word, a demoniac was healed and the whole community received Jesus; a woman with 12 years issue of blood miraculously healed and Jesus was published in all that land while a little girl was raised from the dead to the effect that an entire household turned their lives to the Lord.

Surely then, the kingdom of God expands by the power of the Holy Ghost. This power comes upon His ministers, thus:
firstly, is the power of son ship (John 1:12).
Secondly, the power of the purified life (Mark 6:20) and
thirdly, power through the baptism and gift of the Holy Ghost. (Acts 1:8).

Ministers of the word will experience Holy Ghost Power to accomplish much in ministry if they genuinely consecrate to receive the three distinct Christian experiences.

Similarly, if anyone hears His word and believes them and turns his or her life to Christ the same can exercise faith in the word and receive healing, deliverance divine empowerment and above all, eternal life. You hold your destiny in your hands, believe and turn your life to Jesus.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
His word is alive and full of power.

Bread for today (28.11.2011): The curse on the Woman because of disobedience.

Bible-Text=Gen3.16: Vs16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

We have here the sentence past upon the woman; she is condemned to a state of sorrow and a state of subjection: proper punishments of a sin in which she had gratified her pleasure and her pride. She is here put into a state of sorrow; one particular of which only is instanced in, that in bringing forth children, but it includes all those impressions of grief and fear which the mind of that tender sex is most apt to receive, and all the common calamities which they are liable to.

It is God that multiplies our sorrows, I will do it: God, as a righteous Judge, did it, which ought to silence us under all our sorrows; as many as they are we have deserved them all, and more: nevertheless, God as a tender Father did it for our necessary correction, that we may be humbled for sin, and weaned from it. She is here put into a state of subjection: the whole sex, which by creation was equal with man, is for sin made inferior.

Bread for today (29.11.2011): The curse on the Man because of disobedience.

Bible-Text=Gen3.17: Vs17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened 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;

Because you (Adam) has hearkened to the voice of your wife - He excused the fault, by laying it on his wife, but God did not admit the excuse; though, it was her fault to persuade him to eat it, it was his fault to hearken to her. Cursed is the ground for your sake - And the effect of that curse is, Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth unto you.

The ground or earth, by the sin of man, is made subject to vanity, the several parts of it being not so serviceable to man's comfort and happiness, as they were when they were made. Fruitfulness was its blessing for man's service, Ge 1:11 - 29, and now barrenness was its curse for man's punishment.

Bread for today (30.11.2011):  Through one man, death enter into the world.

Bible-Text=Gen3.18-19: Vs18 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.

In the sweat of your face (God talking to Adam) shalt yoou eat bread. His business before he sinned was a constant pleasure to him; but now his labour shall be a weariness.

Unto dust shalt thou return - Thy body shall be forsaken by your soul, and become itself a lump of dust, and then it shall be lodged in the grave, and mingle with the dust of the earth.

Bread for today (01.12.2011): The beginning of the generation of mankind.

Bible-Text=Gen3.20: Vs20 And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.

God having named the man, and called him Adam, which signifies red earth, he in farther token of dominion named the woman, and called her Eve - That is, life. Adam bears the name of the dying body, Eve of the living soul. The reason of the name is here given, some think by Moses the historian, others by Adam himself, because she was - That is, was to be the mother of all living. He had called her Isha, woman, before, as a wife; here he calls her Evah, life, as a mother.

1. If this was done by divine direction, it was an instance of God's favour, and, like the new naming of Abraham and Sarah, it was a seal of the covenant, and an assurance to them, that notwithstanding their sin, he had not reversed that blessing wherewith he had blessed them, Be fruitful and multiply: it was likewise a confirmation of the promise now made, that the seed of the woman, of this woman, should break the serpent's head.

2. If Adam did of himself, it was an instance of his faith in the word of God.

Bread for today (02.12.2011): The care and provision of God towards the fallen Man.

Bible-Text=Gen3.21: Vs21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

These coats of skin had a significancy. The beasts whose skins they were, must be slain; slain before their eyes to shew them what death is. And probably 'tis supposed they were slain for sacrifice, to typify the great sacrifice which in the latter end of the world should be offered once for all. Thus the first thing that died was a sacrifice, or Christ in a figure.

Bread for today (03.12.2012):  Man is now in a position to know good and evil.

Bible-Text=Gen3.22: Vs22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil. God is probable reffering to the gift in man by saying eh´see what he has got, what advantages, by eating forbidden fruit!. This is said to humble them, and to bring them to a sense of their sin and folly, that seeing themselves thus wretchedly deceived by following the devil's counsel, they might henceforth pursue the happiness God offers, in the way he prescribes.

Bread for today (04.12.2012):  Man is expected to take responsiblity for his life.

Bible-Text=Gen3.23: Vs23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.

He sent him forth - Bid him go out, told him he should no longer occupy and enjoy that garden.

Bread for today (05.12.2011): The Consequent of Disobedience.

Bible-Text=Gen3.24: Vs24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

God drove him out - This signified the exclusion of him and his guilty race from that communion with God which was the bliss and glory of paradise. But whether did he send him when he turned him out of Eden? He might justly have chased him out of the world, Job 18:18, but he only chased him out of the garden: he might justly have cast him down to hell, as the angels that sinned were, when they were shut out from the heavenly paradise, 2Pe 2:4, but man was only sent to till the ground out of which he was taken.

He was only sent to a place of toil, not to a place of torment. He was sent to the ground, not to the grave; to the work - house, not to the dungeon, not to the prison - house; to hold the plough, not to drag the chain: his tilling the ground would be recompensed by his eating its fruits; and his converse with the earth, whence he was taken, was improveable to good purposes, to keep him humble, and to mind him of his latter end.

Observe then, That though our first parents were excluded from the privileges of their state of innocency, yet they were not abandoned to despair; God's thoughts of love designing them for a second state of probation upon new terms. And he placed at the east of the garden of Eden, a detachment of cherubim, armed with a dreadful and irresistible power, represented by flaming swords which turned every way, on that side the garden which lay next to the place whither Adam was sent, to keep the way that led to the tree of life.

Bread for today (06.12.2011): The Procreation of Human Generation.

Bible-Text=Gen4.1: Vs1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.

Adam and Eve had many sons and daughters, Ge 5:4. But Cain and Abel seem to have been the two eldest. Cain signifies possession; for Eve when she bare him said with joy and thankfulness, and great expectation, I have gotten a man from the Lord.

Bread for today (07.12.2011): Cain and Abel.

Bible-Text=Gen4.2: Vs2 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

Abel signifies vanity. The name given to this son is put upon the whole race, Psa 39:5. Every man is at his best estate vanity; Abel, vanity. He chose that employment which did most befriend contemplation and devotion, for that hath been looked upon as the advantage of a pastoral life. Moses and David kept sheep, and in their solitudes conversed with God.

Bread for today (08.12.2011): The Offering of Cain.

Bible-Text=Gen4.3: Vs3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.

In process of time - At the end of days, either at the end of the year when they kept their feast of in - gathering, or at the end of the days of the week, the seventh day; at some set time Cain and Abel brought to Adam, as the priest of the family, each of them an offering to the Lord; for which we have reason to think there was a divine appointment given to Adam, as a token of God's favour notwithstanding their apostacy.

Bread for today (09.12.2011): The Offering of Abel.

Bible-Text=Gen4.4: Vs4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:

And the Lord God had respect to Abel and to his offering, and shewed his acceptance of it, probably by fire from heaven but to Cain and to his offering he had not respect. We are sure there was a good reason for this difference: that Governor of the world, though an absolute sovereign, doth not act arbitrarily in dispensing his smiles and frowns.

There was a difference in the characters of the persons offering: Cain was a wicked man, but Abel was a righteous man, Mt 23:35. There was a difference in the offerings they brought. Abel's was a more excellent sacrifice than Cain's; Cain's was only a sacrifice of acknowledgment offered to the Creator; the meat - offerings of the fruit of the ground were no more.

Abel brought a sacrifice of atonement, the blood whereof was shed in order to remission, thereby owning himself a sinner, deprecating God's wrath, and imploring his favour in a Mediator. But the great difference was, Abel offered in faith, and Cain did not. Abel offered with an eye to God's will as his rule, and in dependence upon the promise of a Redeemer. But Cain did not offer in faith, and so it turned into sin to him.

Bread for today (10.12.2011): Wrath of Cain.

Bible-Text=Gen4.5: Vs5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

And Cain was wroth, and his countenance fell - Not so much out of grief as malice and rage. His sullen churlish countenance, and down look, betrayed his passionate resentment.

Bread for today (11.12.2011): Counsel of God to Cain.

Bible-Text=Gen4.6-7: Vs 6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?
Vs7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

"If thou dost well, shalt thou not be accepted?" - Either,
1. If you have done well, as your brother did, you should have been accepted as he was. God is no respecter of persons; so that if we come short of acceptance with him, the fault is wholly our own. This will justify God in the destruction of sinners, and will aggravate their ruin. There is not a damned sinner in hell, but if he had done well, as he might have done, had been a glorified saint in heaven. Every mouth will shortly be stopt with this. Or,
2. If you will now do well: if you will repent of your sin, reform your heart and life, and bring your sacrifice in a better manner; you shall still be accepted. See how early the gospel was preached, and the benefit of it was offered even to one of the chief of sinners. He sets before him death and a curse; but, if you refuse to do rightly - Seeing you have not done it rightly, not offer in faith, and in a right manner, sin lay at the door - That is, sin only hinders your acceptance.

All this considered, Cain had no reason to be angry with his brother, but at himself only. "Unto thee shall be his desire" - He shall continue in respect to you as an elder brother, and you, as the first - born, shall rule over him as much as ever. God's acceptance of Abel's offering did not transfer the birth - right to him, (which Cain was jealous of) nor put upon him that dignity, and power, which is said to belong to it, Gen 49:3.

Again it could be understood that the tendency to sin is always present, if you refuse to do right. The temptation to sin may draw you, but you have the power to ruled over it. There is no excuse to fall into temptation. Sin shall have no dominion over you.

Bread for today (12.12.2011): Yielding to temptation to kill.

Bible-Text=Gen4.8: Vs8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.

And Cain talked with Abel his brother - The Chaldee paraphrast adds, that Cain, when they were in discourse, maintained there was no judgment to come, and that when Abel spoke in defence of the truth, Cain took that occasion to fall upon him.

The scripture tells us the reason wherefore he slew him, because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous; so that herein he shewed himself to be a child of the devil, as being an enemy to all righteousness.

Observe, the first that dies is a saint, the first that went to the grave, went to heaven. God would secure to himself the first fruits, the first born to the dead, that first opened the womb into another world.

Bread for today (13.12.2011): The Wickedness of Cain.

Bible-Text=Gen4.9: Vs9 And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?

And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? - God knew him to be guilty; yet he asks him, that he might draw from him a confession of his crime; for those who would be justified before God, must accuse themselves.

And he said, I know not - Thus in Cain the devil was both a murderer, and a liar from the beginning. Am I my Brother's keeper? - Sure he is old enough to take care of himself, nor did I ever take charge of him. Are you not his keeper? If he be missing, on you be the blame, and not on me, who never undertook to keep him.

Bread for today (14.12.2011): Accussation against Cain.

Bible-Text=Gen4.10: Vs10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.

And he said, What have you done? - You are thinking of concealing your crime, but the evidence against you is clear and uncontestable, the voice of thy brother's blood crieth - He speaks as if the blood itself were both witness and prosecutor, because God's own knowledge testified against him, and God's own justice demanded satisfaction.

The blood is said to cry from the ground, the earth, which is said, Ge 4:11, to open her mouth to receive his brother's blood from his hand. The earth did as it were blush to see her own face stained with such blood; and therefore opened her mouth to hide that which she could not hinder.

Bread for today (15.12.2011): Prosection of Jugdement on Cain.

Bible-Text=Gen4.11-15: Vs11 And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand;
Vs12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.
Vs13 And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.
Vs14 Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.
Vs15 And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.

And now art thou cursed from the earth -
1. He is cursed, separated to all evil, laid under the wrath of God, as it is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.
2. He is cursed from the earth. Thence the cry came up to God, thence the curse came up to Cain. God could have taken vengeance by an immediate stroke from heaven: but he chose to make the earth the avenger of blood; to continue him upon the earth, and not presently to cut him off; and yet to make even that his curse.

That part of it which fell to his share, and which he had the occupation of, was made unfruitful, by the blood of Abel. Besides, A fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth. By this he was here condemned, to perpetual disgrace and reproach, and to perpetual disquietment and horror in his own mind.

His own guilty conscience should haunt him where ever he went. Now to justify his complaint, Observe his descants upon the sentence. He sees himself excluded by it from the favour of his God; and concludes, that being cursed, he was hid from God's face, and that is indeed the true nature of God's curse; damned sinners find it so, to whom it is said, Depart from me ye cursed.

Those are cursed indeed that are for ever shut out from God's love and care, and from all hopes of his grace. He sees himself expelled from all the comforts of this life; and concludes, Ge 4:14. Thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth - As good have no place on earth as not have a settled place.

Better rest in the grave than not rest at all. And from thy face shall I be hid - Shut out of the church, not admitted to come with the sons of God to present himself before the Lord. And it shall come to pass that every one that finds me shall slay me - Wherever he wanders he goes in peril of his life. There were none alive but his near relations, yet even of them he is justly afraid, who had himself been so barbarous to his own brother.

Whosoever slayeth Cain vengeance shall be taken on him seven - fold - God having said in Cain's case Vengeance is mine, I will repay; it had been a daring usurpation for any man to take the sword out of God's hand. And the Lord set a mark upon Cain - To distinguish him from the rest of mankind. What the mark was, God has not told us: therefore the conjectures of men are vain.

Bread for today (16.12.2011): The Generation of Cain.

Bible-Text=Gen4.16-24: Vs 16 And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.
Vs17 And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch.
Vs18 And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech.
Vs19 And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.
Vs20 And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle.
Vs21 And his brother's name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.
Vs22 And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah
Vs23 And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt.
Vs24 If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold

And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt on the east of Eden - Somewhere distant from the place were Adam and his religious family resided: distinguishing himself and his accursed generation from the holy seed; in the land of Nod - That is, of shaking or trembling, because of the continual restlessness of his spirit. Those that depart from God cannot find rest any where else. When Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, he never rested after.

"And he builded a city" - In token of a settled separation from the church of God. And here is an account of his posterity, at least the heirs of his family, for seven generations. His son was Enoch, of the same name, but not of the same character with that holy man that walked with God. The names of more of his posterity are mentioned, and but just mentioned, as those of the holy seed, Ge 5:1 - 32. They are numbered in haste, as not valued or delighted in, in comparison with God's children.

"And Lamech took two wives" - It was one of the degenerate race of Cain who first transgressed that original law of marriage, that two only should be one flesh. Jabal was a famous shepherd; he delighted much in keeping cattle, and was so happy in devising methods of doing it to the best advantage, and instructing others in them, that the shepherds of those times, rather, the shepherds of after - times, called him Father; or perhaps his children after him, being brought up to the same employment: the family was a family of shepherds.

Jubal was a famous musician, and particularly an organist, and the first that gave rules for that noble art or science of music. When Jabal had set them in a way to be rich, Jubal put them in a way to be merry. From Jubal probably the Jubilee trumpet was so called; for the best music was that which proclaimed liberty and redemption.

From Tubalcain, probably the Heathen Vulcan came. Why Naamah is particularly named, we know not: probably they did, who lived when Moses wrote. Vs23 is extremely obscure. We know not whom he slew, or on what occasion: neither what ground he had to be so confident of the Divine protection.

Bread for today (17.12.2011): The Birth of Seth.

Bible-Text=Gen4.25: Vs25 And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.

This is the first mention of Adam in the story of this chapter. Definately, the murder of Abel, and the impenitency and apostacy of Cain, were a very great grief to him and Eve, and the more because their own wickedness did now correct them, and their backsliding did reprove them.

Their folly had given sin and death entrance into the world, and now they smarted by it, being by means thereof deprived of both their sons in one day, Gen 27:45.

When parents are grieved by their children's wickedness, they should take occasion from thence to lament that corruption of nature which was derived from them, and which is the root of bitterness.

But here we have that which was a relief to our first parents in their affliction, namely, God gave them to see the rebuilding of their family which was sorely shaken and weakened by that sad event. For, they saw their seed, another instead of Abel. And Adam called his name Seth - That is, Set, settled or placed, because in his seed mankind should continue to the end of time.

Bread for today (18.12.2011): The Generation of Seth.

Bible-Text=Gen4.26: Vs26 And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.

And to Seth was born a son called Enos, which is the general name for all men, and speaks the weakness, frailty, and misery of man's state. Then began men to call upon the name of the Lord - Doubtless God's name was called upon before, but now,

1. The worshippers of God began to stir up themselves to do more in religion than they had done; perhaps not more than had been done at first, but more than had been done since the defection of Cain. Now men began to worship God, not only in their closets and families, but in public and solemn assemblies.

2. The worshippers of God began to distinguish themselves: so the margin reads it. Then began men to be called by the name of the Lord, or, to call themselves by it. Now Cain and those that had deserted religion had built a city, and begun to declare for irreligion, and called themselves the sons of men. Those that adhered to God began to declare for him and his worship, and called themselves the sons of God.

Bread for today (19.12.2011): The Creation of Adam.

Bible-Text=Gen5.1-2: Vs1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;
Vs2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created

The first words of the chapter are the title of argument of the whole chapter ; it is the book of the generations of Adam - It is the list or catalogue of the posterity of Adam, not of all, but only of the holy seed, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came; the names, ages, and deaths of those that were the successors of the first Adam in the custody of the promise, and the ancestors of the second Adam.

Where we have a brief rehearsal of what was before at large related concerning the creation of man. This is what we have need frequently to hear of, and carefully to acquaint ourselves with. Observe here.

1. That God created man. Man is not his own maker, therefore he must not be his own master; but the author of his being must be the director of his motions, and the center of them.

2. That there was a day in which God created man, he was not from eternity, but of yesterday; he was not the first - born, but the junior of the creation.

3. That God made him in his own likeness, righteous and holy, and therefore undoubtedly happy; man's nature resembled the divine nature more than that of any of the creatures of this lower world.

4. That God created them male and female, Ge 5:2, for their mutual comfort, as well as for the preservation and increase of their kind. Adam and Eve were both made immediately by the hand of God, both made in God's likeness; and therefore between the sexes there is not that great difference and inequality which some imagine.

5. That God blessed them. It is usual for parents to bless their children, so God the common Father blessed his; but earthly parents can only beg a blessing, it is God's prerogative to command it. It refers chiefly to the blessing of increase, not excluding other blessings.

He called their name Adam - He gave this name both to the man and the woman. Being at first one by nature, and afterwards one by marriage; it was fit they should both have the same name, in token of their union.

Bread for today (20.12.2011): The Birth of Seth.

Bible-Text=Gen5.3: Vs3 And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, and after his image; and called his name Seth:

Seth was born in the 130th year of Adam's life, and probably the murder of Abel was not long before. Many other sons and daughters were born to Adam besides Cain and Abel before this; but no notice is taken of them, because an honourable mention must be made of his name only, in whose loins Christ and the church were.

But that which is most observable here concerning Seth, is, that Adam begat him in his own likeness after his image.

It was said that Adam was made in the Image of God. this was not to be confused with a reproduction of himself. An Image is seen as a resemblance of somethings. Somethings that was made having the same appearance with an object. So it could be said that a golden image of Nebuchadnezar has an outward appeanrance of Nebuchadnezer but not his human attribute.

"God made man in his own image"-Many thought this to be that since God is spirit, he must have created man to be spirit like himself, which is unscriptural and meaningless. Adam having a child in his own image means simply a child that looked like him in outward appearance and not in the appearance of monkey or chimpanzie.

Nevertheless an image could be seen in another perspective, since image means the similar. Adam was made in the image of God (pure and holy); but when he was fallen and corrupted, he begat a son in his own image, sinful and defiled, frail and mortal, and miserable like himself; not only a man like himself, consisting of body and soul; but a sinner like himself, guilty and obnoxious, degenerate and corrupt. He was conceived and born in sin, Psa 51:5. This was Adam's own likeness, the reverse of that Divine likeness in which Adam was made; but having lost it himself he could not convey it to his seed.

Bread for today (21.12.2011): The Generation of Seth.

Bible-Text=Gen5.4-19: Vs4 And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters:
Vs5 And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died
Vs6 And Seth lived an hundred and five years, and begat Enos:
Vs7 And Seth lived after he begat Enos eight hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters:
Vs8 And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years: and he died.
Vs9 And Enos lived ninety years, and begat Cainan:
Vs10 And Enos lived after he begat Cainan eight hundred and fifteen years, and begat sons and daughters:
Vs11 And all the days of Enos were nine hundred and five years: and he died.
Vs12 And Cainan lived seventy years and begat Mahalaleel:
Vs13 And Cainan lived after he begat Mahalaleel eight hundred and forty years, and begat sons and daughters:
Vs14 And all the days of Cainan were nine hundred and ten years: and he died.
Vs15 And Mahalaleel lived sixty and five years, and begat Jared:
Vs16 And Mahalaleel lived after he begat Jared eight hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters:
Vs17 And all the days of Mahalaleel were eight hundred ninety and five years: and he died.
Vs18 And Jared lived an hundred sixty and two years, and he begat Enoch:
VsVs19 And Jared lived after he begat Enoch eight hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:

In the day Adam ate forbidden fruit, he became mortal, he began to die; his whole life after was but a forfeited condemned life, nay it was a wasting dying life; he was not only like a criminal sentenced, but as one already crucified, that dies slowly and by degrees

We have here all that the Holy Ghost thought fit to leave upon record concerning five of the patriarchs before the flood, Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, and Jared. There is nothing observable concerning any of those particularly, tho' we have reason to think they were men of eminency, both for prudence and piety: But in general, observe how largely and expressly their generations are recorded.

We are told how long they lived that lived in God's fear, and when they died, that died in his favour; but as for others it is no matter: the memory of the just is blessed, but the name of the wicked shall rot.

That which is especially observable, is, that they all lived very long; not one of them died 'till he had seen the revolution of almost eight hundred years, and some of them much longer; a great while for an immortal soul to be imprisoned in an house of clay. The present life surely was not to them such a burden as commonly it is now, else they would have been weary of it; nor was the future life so clearly revealed then, as it is now under the gospel, else they would have been impatient to remove it.

Some natural causes may be assigned for their long life in those first ages. It is very probable that the earth was more fruitful, the products of it more strengthening, the air more healthful, and the influences of the heavenly bodies more benign before the flood than they were after. Though man was driven out of paradise, yet the earth itself was then paradisaical; a garden in comparison with its present state: and some think, that their knowledge of the creatures and their usefulness both, for their food and medicine, together with their sobriety and temperance, contributed much to it; yet we do not find that those who were intemperate, as many were, Luke 17:27, as short - lived as temperate men generally are now.

It must therefore chiefly be resolved into the power and providence of God; he prolonged their lives, both for the more speedy replenishing of the earth, and for the more effectual preservation of the knowledge of God and religion, then when there was no written word, but tradition was the channel of its conveyance.

All the patriarchs here (except Noah) were born before Adam died, so that from him they might receive a full account of the creation, paradise, the fall, the promise, and those divine precepts which concerned religious worship and a religious life: and if any mistake arose, they might have recourse to him while he lived, as to an oracle, for the rectifying of it, and after his death to Methuselah, and others that had conversed with him; so great was the care of Almighty God to preserve in his church the knowledge of his will, and the purity of his worship.

Bread for today (22.12.2011): Enoch walked with God and he was not.

Bible-Text=Gen5.20-24: Vs 20 And all the days of Jared were nine hundred sixty and two years: and he died.
21 And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah:
22 And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:
23 And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years:
24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah - To walk with God, is to set God always before us, and to act as those that are always under his eye. It is to live a life of communion with God, both in ordinances and providences; it is to make God's word our rule, and his glory our end, in all our actions; it is to make it our constant care and endeavour in every thing to please God, and in nothing to offend him; it is to comply with his will, to concur with his designs, and to be workers together with him. He walked with God after he begat Methuselah, which intimates, that he did not begin to be eminent for piety 'till about that time.

He was not, for God took him - That is, as it is explained, Heb 11:5, he was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him. But why did God take him so soon? Surely because the world, which was now grown corrupt, was not worthy of him. Because his work was done, and done the sooner for his minding it so closely.

He was not, for God took him - He was not any longer in this world: it was not the period of his being, but of his being here. He was not found; so the apostle explains it from the seventy; not found by his friends, who sought him, as the sons of the prophets sought Elijah, 2Kings 2:17.

God took him body and soul to himself in the heavenly paradise, by the ministry of angels, as afterwards he took Elijah. He was changed, as those saints shall be that will be found alive at Christ's second coming.

Bread for today (23.12.2011): Methuselah and his Children.

Bible-Text=Gen5.25-29: Vs 25 And Methuselah lived an hundred eighty and seven years, and begat Lamech
Vs26 And Methuselah lived after he begat Lamech seven hundred eighty and two years, and begat sons and daughters:
Vs27 And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died.
Vs28 And Lamech lived an hundred eighty and two years, and begat a son:
Vs29 And he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed.

Methuselah signifies, He dies, there is a sending forth, viz. of the deluge, which came the very year that Methuselah died. If his name was so intended, it was a fair warning to a careless world long before the judgment came. However, this is observable, that the longest liver that ever was, carried death in his name, that he might be minded of its coming surely, tho' it came slowly.

He lived nine hundred sixty and nine years, the longest we read of that ever any man lived on earth, and yet he died: the longest liver must die at last. Neither youth nor age will discharge from that war, for that is the end of all men: none can challenge life by long prescription, nor make that a plea against the arrests of death.

'Tis commonly supposed, that Methuselah died a little before the flood; the Jewish writers say, seven days before, referring to Ge 7:10, and that he was taken away from the evil to come.

This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed - Very probably there were some prophecies that went before of him, as a person that should be wonderfully serviceable to his generation.

Bread for today (24.12.2011): Noah and his family.

Bible-Text=Gen5.30-32: Vs 30 And Lamech lived after he begat Noah five hundred ninety and five years, and begat sons and daughters:
Vs31 And all the days of Lamech were seven hundred seventy and seven years: and he died.
Vs32 And Noah was five hundred years old: and Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

And Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth - These Noah begat when he was five hundred years old. It should seem that Japheth was the eldest, Gen 10:21, but Shem is put first, because on him the covenant was entailed, as appears by Gen 9:26, where God is called the Lord God of Shem.

To him 'tis probable the birthright was given, and from him 'tis certain both Christ the head, and the church the body, were to descend; therefore he is called Shem, which signifies a name, because in his posterity the name of God should always remain, 'till He should come out of his loins, whose name is above every name; so that in putting Shem first, Christ was in effect put first, who in all things must have the pre - eminence.

For the glory of God's justice, and for warning to a wicked world, before the history of the ruin of the old world we have a full account of its degeneracy, its apostacy from God, and rebellion against him. The destroying of it was an act not of absolute sovereignty, but of necessary justice for the maintaining of the honour of God's government.

Bread for today (25.12.2011): The Life of Mankind before the Flood.

Bible-Text=Gen6.1-3: Vs1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,
Vs2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
Vs3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.

Men began to multiply upon the face of the earth - This was the effect of the blessing, Gen 1:28, and yet man's corruption so abused this blessing, that it turned into a curse.

The sons of God - Those who were called by the name of the Lord, and called upon that name, married the daughters of men - Those that were profane, and strangers to God. The posterity of Seth did not keep to themselves as they ought, but intermingled with the race of Cain: they took them wives of all that they chose - They chose only by the eye: They saw that they were fair - Which was all they looked at.

Again it can also be said that the sons of God referred to here, were the children of nobles and rulers in those days, whereas the daughters of men were ladies of humble origin. There is also a common understanding to conclude that the sons of God in vs1 be some Angels "who did not keep their former estate" (their position as angel without reproduction).As to the true meaning of this verse, much is not revealed to us in the holy scripture.

My spirit shall not always strive with man - The spirit then strove by Noah's preaching, 1Pet 3:19, and by inward checks, but 'twas in vain with the most of men; therefore saith God, he shall not always strive, for that he also is flesh - Incurably corrupt and sensual, so that 'tis labour lost to strive with him.

He also, that is, all, one as well as another; they are all sunk into the mire of flesh. Yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years - So long will I defer the judgment they deserve, and give them space to prevent it by their repentance and reformation. Justice said, cut them down; but mercy interceded, Lord, let them alone this year also; and so far mercy prevailed, that a reprieve was obtained for six score years.

Bread for today (26.12.2011): The Wickedness of all Mankind.

Bible-Text=Gen6.4-6: Vs4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.
Vs5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Vs6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

There were giants, and men of renown - They carried all before them,
1. With their great bulk, as the sons of Anak, Nu 13:33, and,
2. With their great name, as the king of Assyria, Isa 37:11.
Thus armed, they daringly insulted the rights of all their neighbours, and trampled upon all that is just and sacred.

And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth - Abundance of sin was committed in all places, by all sorts of people: and those sins in their own nature most gross and heinous, and provoking: and committed daringly, with a defiance of heaven. And that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually - A sad sight, and very offensive to God's holy eye. This was the bitter root, the corrupt spring: all the violence and oppression, all the luxury and wantonness that was in the world, proceeded from the corruption of nature; lust conceives them, Jas 1:15, see Mt 15:19.

The heart was evil, deceitful and desperately wicked; the principles were corrupt, and the habits and dispositions evil. The thoughts of the heart were so. Thought is sometimes taken for the settled judgment, and that was biased and misled; sometimes for the workings of the fancy, and those were always either vain or vile.

The imagination of the thought of the heart was so, that is, their designs and devices were wicked. They did not do evil only through carelessness, but deliberately and designedly, contriving how to do mischief. 'Twas bad indeed, for it was only evil, continually evil, and every imagination was so. There was no good to be found among them, no not at any time: the stream of sin was full and strong, and constant; and God saw it.

Here is God's resentment of man's wickedness. He did not see it as an unconcerned spectator, but as one injured and affronted by it; he saw it as a tender father sees the folly and stubbornness of a rebellious and disobedient child, which not only angers but grieves him, and makes him wish he had been written childless.

And it repented the Lord that he had made man upon the earth - That he had made a creature of such noble powers, and had put him on this earth, which he built and furnished on purpose to be a comfortable habitation for him; and it grieved him at his heart - These are expressions after the manner of men, and must be understood so as not to reflect upon God's immutability or felicity.

It does not speak any passion or uneasiness in God, nothing can create disturbance to the eternal mind; but it speaks his just and holy displeasure against sin and sinners: neither does it speak any change of God's mind; for with him there is no variableness; but it speaks a change of his way. When God had made man upright, he rested and was refreshed, Ex 31:17. and his way towards him was such as shewed him well pleased with the work of his own hands; but now man was apostatized, he could not do otherwise, but shew himself displeased; so that the change was in man, not in God.

Bread for today (27.12.2011): Noah found grace.

Bible-Text=Gen6.7-9: Vs 7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.
Vs 8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
Vs 9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.

"I will destroy man" - The original word is very significant. I will wipe off man from off the earth; as dirt is wiped off from a place which should be clean, and thrown to the dunghill. Or, I will blot out man from the earth, as those lines are blotted out of a book which displease the author, or as the name of a citizen is blotted out of the rolls of the freemen when he is disfranchised.

Both man and beast the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air - These were made for man, and therefore must be destroyed with man. It repenteth me that I have made them - For the end of their creation also was frustrated: they were made that man might serve and honour God with them and therefore were destroyed, because he had served his lusts with them, and made them subject to vanity.

But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord - This vindicates God's justice in his displeasure against the world, and shews that he had examined the character of every person in it, before he pronounced it universally corrupt; for there being one good man he smiled upon him.

Noah was a just man - Justified before God by faith in the promised seed; for he was an heir of the righteousness which is by faith, Heb 11:7. He was sanctified, and had right principles and dispositions implanted in him: and he was righteous in his conversation, one that made conscience of rendering to all their due, to God his due, and to men theirs.

And he walked with God as Enoch had done before him: in his generation, even in that corrupt degenerate age. It is easy to be religious when religion is in fashion; but it is an evidence of strong faith to swim against the stream, and to appear for God, when no one else appears for him: so Noah did, and it is upon record to his immortal honour.

Bread for today (28.12.2011): The Corruption in the world.

Bible-Text=Gen6.10-12: Vs10 And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
Vs 11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.
Vs 12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.

The earth also was corrupt before God - That is, in the matters of God's worship; either they had other gods before him, or worshipped him by images: or, they were corrupt and wicked in despite of God.

The earth was also filled with violence, and injustice towards men; there was no order nor regular government, no man was safe in the possession of that which he had the most clear right to, there was nothing but murders, rapes and rapines.

God looked upon the earth - And was himself an eye - witness of the corruption that was in it, for all flesh had corrupted his way - It was not some particular nations that were thus wicked, but the whole world so; there was none good beside Noah.

Bread for today (29.12.2011): The Judgement of God.

Bible-Text=Gen6.13-14: Vs13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
Vs 14 Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.

The end of all flesh is come before me; I will destroy them - The ruin of this wicked world is decreed; it is come, that is, it will come surely, and come quickly.

I will destroy them with the earth, but make thee an ark - I will take care to preserve thee alive. This ark was like the hulk of a ship, fitted not to sail upon the waters, but to float waiting for their fall.

God could have secured Noah, by the ministration of angels without putting him to any care or pains, but he chose to employ him in making that which was to be the means of his preservation, both for the trial of his faith and obedience, and to teach us that none shall be saved by Christ, but those only that work out their salvation; we cannot do it without God, and he will not without us: both the providence of God and the grace of God crown the endeavours of the obedient and diligent. God gave him particular instructions concerning this building.

It must be made of Gopher - wood; Noah, doubtless, knew what sort of wood that was, though now we do not. He must make it three stories high within: and, He must divide it into cabins with partitions, places fitted for the several sorts of creatures, so as to lose no room.

Exact dimensions are given him, that he might make it proportionable, and might have room enough in it to answer the intention, and no more. He must pitch it within and without: without, to shed off the rain, and to prevent the water from soaking in; within, to take away the ill smell of the beasts when kept close.

He must make a little window towards the top to let in light. He must make a door in the side of it by which to go in and out.

Bread for today (30.12.2011): The Providence of God.

Bible-Text=Gen6.15-22: Vs15 And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits.
Vs 16 A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.
Vs 17 And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.
Vs 18 But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee.
Vs19 And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female.
Vs20 Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive.
Vs21 And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them.
Vs22 Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.

And behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth - I that am infinite in power, and therefore can do it; infinite in justice, and therefore will do it.

But with thee will I establish my covenant -
[1.] The covenant of Providence, that the course of nature shall be continued to the end of time, not withstanding the interruption which the flood would give to it:
this promise was immediately made to Noah and his sons, Ge 9:8, and
c. they were as trustees for all this part of the creation, and a great honour was thereby put upon him and his Children. God would be to him a God, and that out of his seed, God would take to himself a people.

Bread for today (31.12.2011): Noah found Righteous before God.

Bible-Text=Gen7.1: Vs1 And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation

Here is a gracious invitation of Noah and his family into a place of safety, now the flood of waters was coming. "For thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation" - Those are righteous indeed that are righteous before God; that have not only the form of godliness by which they appear righteous before men, who may easily be imposed upon; but the power of it, by which they approve themselves to God, who searcheth the heart.

Bread for today (01.01.2012): Preparation for the Ark of Noah.

Bible-Text=Gen7.2: Vs2 Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female

Here are necessary orders given concerning the brute creatures that they were to be preserved alive with Noah in the ark. He must carefully preserve every species, that no tribe, no, not the least considerable, might entirely perish out of the creation.

Observe in this: God's care for man. Does God take care for oxen? 1Cor 9:9, or was it not rather for man's sake that this care was taken? Even the unclean beasts were preserved alive in the ark, that were least valuable.

For God's tender mercies are over all his works, and not only over those that are of most use. Yet more of the clean were preserved than of the unclean.

Because the clean were most for the service of man; and therefore in favour to him, more of them were preserved and are still propagated.

Thanks be to God there are not herds of lions as there are of oxen, nor flocks of tigers as there are of sheep. Because the clean were for sacrifice to God; and therefore, in honour to him, more of them were preserved, three couple for breed, and the odd seventh for sacrifice, Ge 8:20.

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Bread for today (04.05.2011): The Creating ability of God.

Bible-Text=Gen10.6-14: Vs

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