The 7 Churches of Asia in The Revelation

 

7 Churches blank

Those who read “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him” are promised a blessing, how much more so if you study so that you can explain it to others. It has 440 verses and requires a good understanding of the previous 65 books to understand it because you will find over 800 references leading you back to the various passages throughout.

The most valuable section of Revelation is chapters 2 and 3. Chapter 1:19 is the outline for the book:

  1. Write the things which thou hast seen, (chapter 1 history)
  2. and the things which are, (chapters 2-3 Church age)
  3. and the things which shall be hereafter; (chapter 4-22 future)

Take the time to fill in the boxes for a better understanding of the time period in which we live. In another post I will direction for the other chapters.

I have filled in several of the boxes for you for a push start. Who is to benefit from this study is answered in the text.

  1. Addressed to the pastor of each church to give direction to all.
  2. “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches;” anyone that will listen to what the Spirit is saying.
  3. “Let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches;” note that it signifies plural. The church you attend is described by taking a percentage of each of the seven to add up to 100%.
  4. Fourthly most have observed that each church describes a time period in the Church Age.

Mature believers will remember that there use to be more churches and they had a focus of sending missionaries around the world which describes the Church of Philadelphia. Now we have the Church of the Laodiceans which is described with Jesus outside knocking on the door trying to get in.

Prophecy meetings have the largest draw for churches. If you want to learn prophecy start here by filling in the blanks then you can go on from there.

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What’s in the Ark?

Mercy Seat on Ark.jpg

3 Arks

  1. Inside Noah’s Ark
    1. Two of every kind of animal. Genesis 6:19-20
    2. 7 pairs of each of the clean animals. Genesis 7:2
    3. 8 souls with room for a lot more had they received the invitation
    4. 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. Genesis 7:1
    5. Fruits and vegetables to feed all because neither man nor beast ate meat until after the flood.

i.       There were no venomous snakes until after the flood. If you put a venomous snake in a hyperbaric chamber today the venom becomes non poisonous.

  1. Inside the Ark of bulrushes was Moses placed there by parents with faith.
  2. Inside the Ark of the Covenant: contents varied through the years.
    1. 10 Commandments

i.      Laws that man cannot keep.

ii.      Left in the Ark for Jesus to fulfill at His coming.

  1. Golden pot of manna, removed by Philistines

i.      A reminder of God’s daily provision

ii.      For the unbelievers it was just something to eat.

  1. Aaron’s rod that budded, removed by Philistines

i.      A reminder to God’s people that God sets up authorities

ii.      For the unbelievers it was just something to eat.

Inside of the Ark of the Covenant because only the Lord could fulfill the 10 Commandments

Deuteronomy 10:5  And I turned myself and came down from the mount, and put the tables in the ark which I had made; and there they be, as the LORD commanded me.

Inside of the Ark of the Covenant as a reminder of the Lord’s daily provision

Exodus 16:33

And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a pot, and put an omer full of manna therein, and lay it up before the LORD, to be kept for your generations.

Inside of the Ark of the Covenant to remind us that the Lord sets up authorities

Numbers 17:10

And the LORD said unto Moses, Bring Aaron’s rod again before the testimony, to be kept for a token against the rebels; and thou shalt quite take away their murmurings from me, that they die not.

In the side and by the side is the same Hebrew word. The Levites kept the whole law close to the Ark of the Covenant. The Philistines have no appreciation for the meaning of the manna and Aaron’s Rod but believed they could pay for it so they added some gold for an offering to pay for what they took.

Deuteronomy 31

24  And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished,

25  That Moses commanded the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying,

26  Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.

I Samuel 4:22

And she said, The glory is departed from Israel: for the ark of God is taken.

I Samuel 6:8

And take the ark of the LORD, and lay it upon the cart; and put the jewels of gold, which ye return him for a trespass offering, in a coffer by the side thereof; and send it away, that it may go.

I Kings 8:9  There was nothing in the ark save the two tables of stone, which Moses put there at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt.

The New Testament reference of the contents refers to the time before the Philistines took the Ark.

Hebews 9:4

Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;

God preserves

  • His word Psalm 12:6-7
  • His people Psalm 121:7-8
  • His possessions Isaiah 31:5

Where is it? My opinion is that it is in Ethiopia.  It will turn up during the construction of the next temple.

  • Jesus fulfilled the law for you; have you accepted His gift of eternal life by faith?
  • Jesus is providing all of your needs; are you satisfied with Him?
  • Jesus set up authorities for your protection and direction; are you in submission?

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The Testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy

I did it my way

Revelation 19:10

And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

A testimony is based on beliefs and results that tell a story before and after.

  1. What I believed.
  2. What that produced in my life.
  3. What I learned from the Bible.
  4. What that produced in my life.

With this in mind a believer should be focused on learning and applying more for eternal life change. Now consider the verse above. In Eternity Future we will have only the testimony of Jesus. Some of us are sending two conflicting messages now.

Biblical names describe and define God and people. Believers receive a new name in heaven. They earn their new name by what they do in this life after being sealed with the Holy Spirit and receiving a new man that is able to hear from heaven and live Christ’s life with the right choices made throughout the day.

There is only one God and He manifests Himself in three persons. God the Father and God the Holy Spirit are not changed from Eternity Past to Eternity Future. John 5:39 encourages us to search the scriptures and learn Jesus testimony. In Eternity Past Jesus was the Son of God now He is the Son of Man. Learn what that means and also how believers become the Sons of God and it will change your eternity because He is the spirit of prophecy.

What have you learned and how did it change your life:

  • Yesterday
  • Last week
  • Last month
  • Last year

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Troop Build Up

Jim Lane at LZ Stud

Someone sent me an email about the military cuts that are being proposed and I responded.

As one who served in Vietnam believing that we were going to end Communism on the other side of the planet before it spread to our side I am against this. As a believer in the word of God I realize that this is inevitable. That does not mean I think we ought to just let it happen.

We should pray against this. We should pray for our leaders. We should not get sidetracked from our commission of winning the lost and equipping them to go and do likewise. We win daily by focusing on the priorities designed by God. We are already victors by receiving Christ; I John 5:4-5. We are more than conquerors Romans 8:31-39 which means that if one or all of the enemies of America nukes us into oblivion before God comes to snatch out of the world system then we will be absent from the body and present with the Lord; II Corinthians 5:8.

II Thessalonians was written to that church because they thought they were going through the Great Tribulation. I believe we will go through a lot of tribulation. I believe the Laodicean church will go through the Great Tribulation. God promised the Philippians that they would not go through the Great Tribulation. So what is the difference?

  • Laodicean church kept Jesus outside
  • Philippians were heavily involved in missions

Remember that Jesus came into the Garden of Eden and declared war on Satan. We need a troop buildup in The Battle of the Ages. Real leaders get focused on the real war.

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Maintaining a pure mind requires regular Character Training

II Peter 3 1

  • In this passage we see that Peter wrote a second time.
  • Peter references our pure minds indicating New Man of the second birth.
  • Since there is a New Man there is also an Old Man which has an impure mind.
  • Our natural tendency is to reflect on the impure.
  • Therefore the diligent leader knows the constant battle for the pure mind.

Approximately 11 of the over 300 Founding Fathers did not believe in Jesus Christ as their personal saviour. However the one common ground that all of them had was “character.” Benjamin Franklin was one of those 11 and another reminded him of the Christian influence upon his education. After 5 weeks of the Constitutional Convention Franklin said: “I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth- that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?”

  • We have removed the Bible from schools and replaced it with situation ethics.
  • To qualify for a TV sitcom every episode must mock at least 3 of the 10 Commandments.
  • Many government officials today appear to focus on their personal benefit instead of those they serve.

Hebrews 3:13 tells us to “exhort one another daily.” That is the kind of diligence it takes to have a consistent walk with the Lord. Growing in character is a mark of a leader.

Here are some ways to let people know you are a believer:

  • Wear religious jewelry
  • Put on bumper stickers
  • Display religious pictures
  • Carry a cross around town
  • Or take Peter’s council by keeping in focus the character growth goals so that people who know you say he or she is a person of character.

Last night someone at church told me that one of our city officials was fired and another is under investigation and all of this since I talked with a senior official who asked for my contact information a couple of months ago and has not contacted me yet.

  • How is your walk with the Lord?
  • Are you accountable to someone outside of your family?
  • Are you receiving regular character training?

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Christian Standards

USMC Flag

A flag is a standard. The flag in the picture above flew over Chu Lai in 1967 while I was there. It was given to me by a captain that was the commanding officer over the recon group that was there. We met many years later.

Christian standards are not designed to fly like a flag nor should we be ashamed of whom we are. A Christian should use discretion with standards. Queen Esther kept the fact that she was a Jew secret until the appropriate time.

Often new believers wear jewelry and bumper stickers to display their faith. It should be obvious by the different walk that we have from the world.

What are Standards?

When I saw standards being emphasized in a church that continued to grow many grabbed on with a carnal religious motive. I see restaurants with a sign: “no shoes, no shirt; no service.” Laws and rules are set up to protect and define the group. Standards need to be taught with a lot of grace. If forced it becomes legalistic sanctification and the recipient becomes proud of his standing.

Why have Standards?

Why are standards important? A standard should represent a mile marker in one’s walk with the Lord. When a believer receives a word from God and makes a life changing application that is a new standard for that believer and can be looked upon as a point of growth or a mile marker. Standards conform us to a leader or a group but Christian standards should please God. When properly taught standards still need room to be tried out and tested in the believer’s life.

When to apply Standards

God’s Rhemas are the keys to when to apply a standard. A believer that receives a word from God should make a change. However just like everything else the believer must keep in memory or lose it. Watchman Nee’s book The Normal Christian Life helped me to understand the whole issue. Nee pastored a church within a church and there was no condemnation for those without standards.

If you are better than anyone because of something you have accomplished you are involved with legalistic sanctification. If you make a change because you have a word from God and your motive is to please the one who went to the cross for you that is pleasing to God.  Daniel and his friends made an appeal to eat a diet that was prescribed by the Lord. It wasn’t long before the unbelievers set out to kill them. Today those with standards are not being killed in America but they are being persecuted.

Are you asking the Lord how He wants to change your life?

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The Miracle of the Moment

Cosmic vs. Creator

The world is seeking after a god of their own making, they call it their religion, but God calls it idolatry.

  • We are not saved because we sought Jesus
    • We are saved because Jesus sought us. Romans 3:11
    • We are not saved because we quit sinning
      • We get saved so we can quit sinning by being controlled by the Holy Spirit. Romans 13:14
      • We are not saved because we are indwelled by the Holy Spirit
        • We are indwelled by the Holy Spirit because we are saved.  Ephesians 1:13

Salvation is not a process; it is the miracle of the moment. Do not confuse Salvation of the Spirit with Salvation of the soul. Salvation of the soul is sanctification and is a lifelong process. At salvation of the spirit a lot of procedures take place but they are all done by God. Sanctification is the out working of our salvation; the Holy Spirit doing His work through a surrendered believer.

I know the one I have believed in and am completely convinced that He is able to keep everything I committed unto Him. II Timothy 2:12

Here is a short and incomplete list of some of the things that happened to us at the moment of salvation of the spirit that takes place when we chose to commit our soul to Christ’s keeping by faith.

  1. We become a part of the body of Christ. Romans 8:10
  2. We are seated with Christ in heavenly places. Ephesians 2:6
  3. We are in Christ. Ephesians 2:10
  4. We have Christ is in us. Colossians 1:27
  5. We are indwelled by the Holy Spirit. II Corinthians 1:22
  6. We are sealed by the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 1:13
  7. We have access to God. Romans 5:2, Ephesians 2:18, 3:12
  8. We are baptized by the Holy Spirit. I Corinthians 12:13, Galatians 3:26-28
  9. We have His power available. Ephesians 6:10
  10. We have His armour available. Ephesians 6:11
  11. We were each given a spiritual gift. I Corinthians 12:1-10
  12. We are given gifts by God will for His benefit and not of our choosing. I Corinthians 12:11
  13. We received the internal witness. I John 5:11-13
  14. We received a new man that cannot sin. I John 3:9
  15. We died with Jesus we will live with Jesus. II Timothy 2:11
  16. We may forget Jesus but Jesus will not forget us. II Timothy 2:13
  17. We are kept in the Father’s hand. John 10:29
  18. We cannot be separated from the love of God by anything. Romans 8:38-39
  19. We have become a new Spiritual Species in Christ. II Corinthians 5:17
  20. We became a child of God by faith in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:26
  21. We are one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28
  22. We are kept by the power of God that began through faith. I Peter 1:5
  23. We became the praise of His glory when we first trust in Christ. Ephesians 1:12
  24. We have the ability to be controlled by the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 5:18
  25. We now have the choice to walk in the Spirit by faith or live according to the flesh. Galatians 5:16
  26. We are put on the solid rock foundation which is Jesus Christ. I Corinthians 3:11, Ephesians 2:20
  27.  We were given to Jesus by the Father. John 10:29
  28. We hear Jesus voice. John 10:27
  29. We are known by Jesus. John 10:27
  30. We are given eternal life; not life until we sin again. John 17:2
  31. We are not condemned because of our faith. John 3:16-18, Romans 8:1
  32. We will receive rewards for the things Jesus does through us. II Corinthians 5:10, I Corinthians 3:11-15
  33. We became the body and He is our head. Colossians 1:18
  34. We have the ability to come boldly into His throne room. Hebrews 4:16
  35. We have been given grace. Ephesians 4:7
  36. We have God working in us to do His good pleasure. Philippians 2:13
  37. We will have our mortal bodies made alive by His Spirit. Romans 8:11
  38. We are the temple of God. I Corinthians 3:16, II Corinthians 6:16
  39. We have an eternal inheritance. Hebrews 9:15
  40. We have the earnest of our inheritance after trusting Jesus. Ephesians 1:13-14
  41. We have an incorruptible inheritance reserved in heaven. I Peter 1:4
  42. We are equipped to be a saint in light. Colossians 1:12
  43. We were delivered from the power of darkness and put into the kingdom of Jesus. Colossians 1:13
  44. We have redemption through his blood and forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:14
  45. We are justified (made as though we never had sinned) by faith in Jesus. Galatians 1:16
  46. We have a blessed assurance (hope). Titus 3:7
  47. We are purposed to be adopted by Jesus Christ. Ephesians 1:5
  48. We are justified freely and completely. Romans 3:24, I John 2:2, 4:10
  49. We are offered through faith reconciliation by the death of Jesus. Romans 5:10
  50. We are given the ministry of reconciliation. II Corinthians 5:19
  51. We are made ambassadors for heaven. II Corinthians 5:20
  52. We are made righteous in Jesus. II Corinthians 5:21
  53. We have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins. Ephesians 1:7, Colossians 1:14
  54. We have a promise of being resurrected. John 11:25, I Corinthians 15:43
  55. We have conversation in heaven. Philippians 3:20
  56. We are made kings and priests. Revelation 1:6
  57. We died with Jesus. Romans 6:3
  58. We should walk by faith in the new life. Romans 6:4
  59. We still have the old dead man that was crucified and should be kept there. Romans 6:6
  60. We have been made free from sin. Romans 6:7
  61. We have been made alive already with Him. Romans 6:8
  62. We were raised with Christ and now death has no more dominion over Him. Romans 6:9
  63. We have power over sin when we agree with the truth. Romans 6:11-13
  64. We are not under the law under grace. Romans 6:14
  65. We could only sin previously but now have the choice of sin or righteousness. Romans 6:16-23
  66. We have a clean slate to start over with the Lord for His sake. Isaiah 43:25
  67. We are in the family with a new heart. Romans 2:29
  68. We can confess sins to God and have a clean slate to start again and again. I John 1:9
  69. We receive the gift by faith that Jesus paid for everyone. Titus 2:11, I Timothy 4:10, I John 2:2
  70. We know we have eternal life by faith and there is no other proof. I John 5:1

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A Backslidden Life or an Abundant Entrance is determined by knowledge

Skid Row

Here is graphic evidence that I use to live on Skid Row in 1968 at Quang Tri, Vietnam serving with VMO-6 as a door gunner on a HUEY gunship. Praise the Lord He did not leave me there.

This post is a commentary on II Peter 1

According to verse 9 backsliding is the result of failing to keep up with the believers disciplines and results in:

  • Nearsightedness
  • Blindness
  • Forgetting that you were born again

Verse 10 says to give diligence which to me means dig in to the word of God daily or I may end up like Lot.

This chapter uses the word “know, known, knowledge, or knowing” nine times. This tells me that I have a responsibility to know who I am in Christ. It is easy to forget it takes diligence to know.

Consider the things knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord from this chapter brings to us:

2. Grace and multiplied peace

3. Devine power give us all things that pertain to life and godliness

5. Knowledge is added after virtue so virtue failures require confession.

6. Leads us to self control and the only way to have self under control is to be Spirit controlled.

8. Make us fruitful

12. Information without application leads to frustration.

14. Time is short we are in a race against it.

16. Keeps us focused on Truth.

20. Prophecy came from holy men. Unholy men twist it. To know prophecy one must know scripture. To know the scriptures one must know Jesus and hear His voice regularly. Prophecy Purifies.

David forgot who he was when he first saw Bathsheba. All of the sins fallen into by believers happens because they have forgotten who they are. Be diligent to make your calling and election sure and you will not fall into sin and you will experience an abundant entrance into heaven. It will be worth it all when we see Jesus.

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Is the Gospel different through the Ages? Yes and No

Gospel views

Picture from: http://jimlaneevangelist.com/formation/

There are five gospels; Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Romans. There are five different things to believe to be a part of the family of God through the ages.

When did the disciples get saved?

Matthew 16

15  He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?

16  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

17  And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

18  And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Now you may ask how it is salvation believing Jesus is the Christ.

Romans 2:16  In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

Romans 16:25  Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,

II Timothy 2:8  Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:

We would do good to remember that time changes some aspects of the gospel but not the key.

People are saved:

  1. From Adam to John the Baptist by faith in the coming Messiah.
  2. From John the Baptist to the death of Jesus by faith in the living Saviour.
  3. From the death of Jesus to the rapture by faith in the resurrected Saviour.
  4. From the rapture to the second coming by faith His second coming.
  5. From the second coming through the millennium by faith in His ruling.

First saved:

  • Adam was first to believe in the coming Messiah. Genesis 3
  • Simeon was first to believe in the living Saviour. Luke 2
  • Paul was first to believe in the resurrected Saviour. Acts 9
  • 144,000 will be the first to believe in the second coming. Revelation 7:4
  • Jews that endure the Great Tribulation will be first to believe in His rule. Matthew 24: 13-14

Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are four different views of Jesus. John gives us the two key issues to believe in every chapter that will bring anyone into the family of God from Alpha to Omega. Paul is the apostle to the Gentiles and gives us the gospel for the Church Age.

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Marriage Problems began in the Garden of Eden

Marred in Potters hand

Genesis 1:28 … Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth … JLV: Then God says give me lots of grandkids! (JLV: Jim Lane Version) :-)

Adam had been with the Lord all day then Eve comes on the scene and is told to start multiplying. The animals were told to fill the earth and given a head start. With no sin or labor pains they were all multiplying like rabbits.

JLV: Hold on big boy I want to know what has been going on before I got here.

At the end of the sixth day everything is good. The seventh day on earth begins with Adam having Sabbath School with his wife. In heaven we see the first rebellion in all of Creation. Lucifer is proclaiming equal rights as seen in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 and becoming Satan.

By the end of the first Sabbath day

  • Adam had filled in Eve
  • Lucifer had become Satan
  • Satan recruited one third of the angels and makes his way to the earth to increase his tribe.

Satan was a liar and murderer from the beginning says John 8:44 which indicate the first week. Creation week consists of 24 hour days because scripture says “the evening and the morning” but in His big plan the days are 1,000 years as suggested in II Peter 3:8 so on the last day; during the millennial reign of Christ Satan will be locked up.

The Lord watched as man made his fatal choice. Then calls out to Adam asking where he is. Adam confesses his sin. Jesus comes into the Garden to make provision for mankind and declare war on Satan and his seed.

Eight is the number of new beginnings. Just as Noah’s family of eight began over again so Adam and Eve began again on the eighth day.

Solving Marriage Problems

Wives

A friend suggested that before God created Eve he looked at Adam and said I can do better than that. In every case I know of the man gets better than he deserves. Ladies you knew when you married that he wasn’t all that you had hoped for so stop trying to fix him and submit as I Peter 3:1-6 suggests.

Husbands

Learn a lesson from Habakkuk who was bitter at the Lord for what he was going to do to his people, see chapter 2:1. The Lord ignores the ugly remarks and just tells Habakkuk what to do in verses 2-4. Do what Adam should have done

  • Get alone with the Lord early in the morning.
  • Build a hedge of protection around your dominion that will keep the enemy out.
  • Meditate on your “word from God” all day received in the morning.
  • Share with your wife in the evening and suggest that she keep a journal.

Some if not many of the human authors of scripture employed a scribe. Jeremiah used Baruch to do his writing, see Jeremiah 36:4. Paul used Tertius to write Romans; see 16:22 but wrote Galatians himself, see 6:11. In most families the wife is best suited to be the “family scribe.”

Wives can use the journal as a basis for a Godly appeal to remind the husband what the Lord said to them. You could gently ask “how does that line up with ______ that we previously discussed?” Suggest that you want to keep him in a position as the family example like Paul in I Corinthians 11:1.

Jews use a lunar calendar. Gentiles use a solar calendar. Women have a 28 day cycle. A man can cycle as often as the daily setting sun but typically waits 2 to 3 days. A wise man walks with the Lord and keeps his wife up to date and experiences oneness on a regular basis.

Genesis 3 ends with the couple being driven out of the Garden. According to Usher whose dating is used in many reference Bibles it is a year before Adam knew his wife. Can’t you just imagine the arguments with all of the blaming going on between them?

  • Eve: you should have built a hedge around the Garden.
  • Adam: I told you not to eat that fruit.
  • Eve: you should have told that beast of the field to get out of our home.
  • Adam: you were the one talking to him.
  • Eve: you just stood there and watched the whole conversation without saying a word.
  • Adam: you ate first.
  • Eve: I noticed that you bit right into it as quick as I gave it to you.

The blame game gets you nowhere but going in circles. Fortunately they had no other options to choose from so eventually they settled the arguments and began the human race. Now God will never have any grandchildren because Galatians 3:26 informs us that each becomes a child of God by faith.

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