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Spirituality- Part 1

Sebastien Braxton

Presenter

Sebastien Braxton is the CEO for The New Life corporation.  He is also a member of the InVerse team, a young adult bible study program on Hope Channel.  He resides in North Carolina w/ his wife Candis and their four children.   His latest project is an online course on how to study and preach the Bible.

Conference

Recorded

  • May 16, 2015
    7:00 AM
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Genesis Chapter five. I figured since this is an early morning meeting it's better to talk about spirituality walking with God and one of my Bible heroes. The past several years has been [] and also I like the challenge of proving the statements that I often make, and other preachers make about  the Word of God. You can exhaust them, except when you get to the genealogies and you feel like there's no message here. So what I'd like to do is systematically build up and then we have to eat for breakfast so I'll do my best to try to keep us moving along in a steady fast pattern, and talk about spirituality tomorrow.

Tomorrow morning we'll deal with Jesus and what he talks about in terms of spirituality. So anyway Genesis five verse one. The Bible says “This is the book of the genealogy of Adam in the day that God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female and blessed them and called them Mankind in the day they were created. And Adam lived one hundred thirty years and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image and named him Seth.”   Now we have to pause here for a moment. First of all the Book of Genesis is separated actually by genealogies and so what happens is when they are transitioning from one patriarch to the next they put a genealogy there.

So here we have before Noah, so this is passing down in each of these individuals become types of Adam. And so you have Adam, now you about to go to Noah. And so then you have a genealogy of how you get to Noah. Then after Noah's done you get genealogy again and you go to Abram. Then from Abraham when he's done he has could Ketoura   his wife all these things but they have a genealogy of Isaac as well. And then from Isaac you have the genealogy of Esau and Jacob and the transitional. But the only difference is there's no genealogy between Jacob and Joseph.

Very interesting because really the half of the Book of Genesis is about Jacob. He's born in Chapter twenty five and he dies in chapter forty nine to fifty. So that story is actually just a piece of Jacob's story. It's the same story basically how God used his beloved son to preserve all that was his and do the transformation that they went through as a result of that. But anyway, so the Bible says that in this genealogy we typically look at this begat this person this begat this person and so there's no significance. But it's very significant as you look at the first verse and eventually when we come to Enoch it says that this is the day that God created man and he made him in the likeness of God.  

Now you need to know that in the Bible the word Adam in the Hebrew this is actually the word that's usually translated mankind. So when we say all men or you know we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal we're not just talking about males. We're talking my humanity it's just a general term we use. So Adam would be that term. So when it says in verse two he created them male and female and blessed them and called them mankind. That's the word ‘adam’ or ‘adama’. So male and female you're dealing with ‘ ‘isha’ and ‘ ‘ishshah’. This is what Adam says when he first meets Eve says you shall be called and ‘ ‘ishshah’. You should be called and ‘ ‘ishshah’ because you taking out of  ‘ ‘isha’.  This is the first time he recognizes he is male and that's a whole another study because I'm interested in masculinity . Establishing biblical manhood. But Adam begins to recognize his calling in his specific purpose within humanity when he meets a woman. He realizes, I am a man, you are a woman and you give so this name as this is literally a piece of him, actually himself. And this is essentially the foundation of humanity which is a caricature and in the marriage relationship this is how we should relate to all men. But in this sense this is how God calls them in the day that they were created they were all called Adam not just Adam and Eve.  It was just Adam that's who they were because she was literally taken out of him.

But the Bible tells us that he was made in the image of God when he was made in the likeness of God.  But in verse three it says that Adam lived one hundred thirty years and he begot a son. How? in his own likeness, right. So that's kind of interesting because Adam was made God's likeness. But when he has a son, his son is in his own likeness which suggest that Adam no longer bears God likeness. So what this begins to let you know that there was a gap, there's a bridge that just took place, a break because if he's in God's likeness his son should have been born in God's likeness. Now you begin to understand the intention of humanity. The intention was that I would create one man in my image. One woman in my image and together they continued to produce in my image and follow them. And that is the call of parenting. But you see we begin to see our lives in two ways.

We see our lives in terms of the ideal and we see our lives in terms of the reality of the real and the ideal. You see the reality is we are born in the image of our parents in their likeness. You cannot understand yourself if you don't understand your parents and that's why the devil is so wise because he puts it into every culture that parents keep stuff to themselves. Your parents don't come and spill their guts to you. They don't say you know I made these mistakes when I was nineteen. I was this flirtatious girl when I was fifteen, or I was this guy dating all these girls I was rude or I was disrespectful when I was thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, I'm not going to tell you that. they just want to remind you I walked ten miles in the snow to school and I was dedicated to my education. You people, young people have cars and buses and that is the only stories you hear. Am I telling the truth? So you think you know you know and they want to make sure you know this what was in them is in you. You were my son you are my daughter. You can do this and it's like wait a minute, so but I mean I'm in your image.  I always tell parents, even sometimes my wife, have to remind ourselves kids don't raise themselves but my [daughter]  speaking that way she didn't get that from anyone else, you got it from me and I have to accept that whether I like it or not. Well my son has a temper, where people are selfish or they don't want to share. She didn't learn that she didn't go to a seminary on all those things when you see it, it's mine. When you touch it is mine if you like it, it's mine. No one planted it into her brain it just clicks like, yeah, I like that, that's mine. OK here's my phone. Yeah can I use your phone, this is how the conversation starts, look at your phone. Sure you can use my phone. Can I have my phone always mine. That's confusing you just ask me for my phone but not because it's yours. But the reality is, that's my image and too often times parents don't take ownership of that because they were not in his image. You can not have a son that is in that is not in God's image unless the father and the mother we're not in God's image, it's not possible.  So when it says Adam lived one hundred thirty years and begot a son in his own likeness after his image and named him these are the things that God did to Adam in the previous verses. He made Him in His image according to his likeness and he called them mankind. He named them. So to name this thing is like this I am the source when you name something. This comes from me. I made this and it is a reflection of myself so I will name it. But this gap tells us that the reality is we cannot understand ourselves we don't understand our parents. We don't understand our struggles. We don't understand our weaknesses. We don't understand our tendencies because we're thinking we just develop these weaknesses out of nowhere. That we were hanging out with the bad crowd for a while. Or I shouldn’t be watching all those T.V. shows.  I shouldn’t watched these movies or whatever, this is what we think we are looking for something to ground the fact where did this thing come from. Why was my show this and not this?

It seems like it's so easy for this person to have confidence that God is speaking to them. But I struggle with that. But guess what, it's looking you right in the faces in the house, is the answer. Well the parents like to admit it or not is there the difference is that they had years to grow into it. If they are I know how to manage that. You're just half the age of their life so you didn't have as much time. So you're not over here yet, but the ideal says that your parents and my parents are supposed to be raising us to get back to his image because that's how we were supposed to be made. So the growth of the parents then on one side you have the parents who refuse to own their mistakes and weaknesses and tendencies then you have on the other side of the extreme is the fact that you know I'm not going to be the example ,but you have to be in God's image. So wait a minute. So on one side you want to emphasize your weaknesses on the other side. I mean you want to hide your weaknesses so I don't understand myself. But then you don't want to lead me to be in God's image you want to leave me to be in your image. So this becomes the other side of the coin. So now my parents are trying to raise me to be like them. I'm a doctor going to be a doctor. We have to continue the family tradition. I'm a professor you must be a professor. I'm a musician you must be a musician. It's just you want me to be an image but I wasn't made to be that way. I was made to be in His image and so this gives the responsibility of parents and children that our job in our relationship is to come to terms with whose image we are in currently and to cooperate together to get back to the actual image we were created to be. This is makes sense what I'm saying, you know this is critical. So now you have this formula that begins in verse three. How long the post so we have the person Adam. How long he lives. Hundred and Thirty years he began as a son then he names his son. Then we find in verse four after he begot Seth the days of Adam were eight hundred years and he had sons and daughters. So I want you to notice the pattern. Write his name. This is how long he lived, he had a son he named his son after he got his son. This is how long he lived and he had sons and daughters. You follow that.

Let's go to verse five. ‘So all the days of Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years and he died”.  OK next verse, “Seth” there is his name, He “lived a long one hundred five years and begot Enosh. And after he begot Enosh, Seth lived eight hundred and seven years and he had sons and daughters”. You notice the pattern and then what is the next verse saying. “So all the days of Seth were. One hundred and twelve years; and he died.” Whenever you see a pattern this is when you recognize that there's a model going on. Therefore when I am I'm studying a book or particularly in this particular passage and I'm looking for the anomaly, I'm looking for the contradiction, because it just continue to this way and the monotony of a genealogy is setting you up for the thing that deviates from the pattern. That is the whole message is the deviation. So let's continue reading. So it says verse 9, “Enosh lived ninety years, and he begot Cainan. After he begot Canaan, Enosh lived 815 years, and he had sons and daughters. So all the days of Enosh were nine hundred five years and then he died”  Followed the pattern.

 OK let's go to the next one: “Cainan lived seventy years, and he begot Mahalalel.  After he begot Mahalalel, Cainan lived eight hundred forty years and he had sons and daughters. So all the days of Cainan were nine hundred and ten years and he died.  Mahalalel was sixty five years and begot Jared. And after he begot Jared, Mahalalel lived eight hundred thirty years and he had sons and daughters. So all the days of Mahalalel were eight hundred ninety five years and he died.”

 So I was saying so far right. Let's keep going. Verse eighteen “Jared lived one hundred and sixty two years and he begot Enoch. And after he begot Enoch, Jared lived eight hundred years and he had sons and daughters.  All the days of Jared were nine hundred sixty two years; and he died. Enoch lived sixty five years and he begot Methuselah. And after he begot Methuselah, Enoch...”. you know interesting deviation. Yes because in the previous one it says “after he begot Enoch, Jared lived”. With these verse nineteen. So after he got every time he says after he got it tell you how long he lived. Are you with me? But now you come to verse 21 and it says “Enoch lived sixty five years” the shortest of all of them mind you. So he was a youth. The shortest of all them. Adam was one hundred and thirty something you have someone who is ninety years but Enoch sixty five had a son very early and he says he begot Methuselah and after he got Methuselah in Enoch walked with God three hundred years in had sons and daughters so all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty five years and Enoch walked with God and he was not for God took him.” Deviation. So, first of all the Bible is now setting us up to this particular genealogy. It's set up through those genealogy to say listen every person before Enoch, he's the seventh from Adam, from Adam all the way down all have the same experience. They live a certain amount of years. They eventually have a son after they have the son they live another part of years they have by their sons and daughters and they died.

Are you with me? But you know, the Bible says everyone else lived, Enoch walked.  Now, obviously we're not talking about physical walking, because Bible says God was walking in the garden in the cool of the day or that he was hiding from God he could walk. So all of a sudden in this passage there is a deviation from the fact that he lived sixty five years. He had a son and after he begot his son Enoch walked with God.  The same experience that his fore fathers had had exact same. It impacted Enoch in a way that it did not impact them. Enoch was not a dualist. He was not an unspiritual man. He was not someone who didn't know God, because it doesn't make sense after him to start walking with God you don't know him. So he knew God was, but the same experience that was so normal that was so common it took Enoch’s  experience to the next level, but it was so basic because everyone is having sons and daughters. Every ones having babies, why is it that Enoch is impacted by this. So with this lets us know is that the first point is, is that when Enoch begins after he has his son he sees something in this experience that Adam did not see.

And something that is so normal, you know a child is born every three seconds. Think about that. A person dies every six or seven seconds.  So every three seconds someone is experiencing what Enoch experienced. But after they have their son they're just like everybody else they lived, but the Bible says Enoch walked. His spiritual life was deeper because of this experience. You see many times when we are talking about taking our spiritual lives to the next level we're looking for something supernatural. We're looking for some amazing faith experience. We're looking to go down and we prayed over a man who couldn't walk and he stood up and started walking and leaping and praising God.

We went through a situation we were driving in a car and all the sudden we were off the road in the car just floated back onto the road, like this is crazy man. This is crazy I got to give my life to Jesus like you preserve my life and we give testimonies about it and those are the testimonies we like to hear. When I was in Ethiopia a few years ago God was telling me about a big Adventist church there is huge in the middle of Addis Ababa. This guy's like yeah this is like a busy strip I mean businesses all along the vendors the whole nine and they have this law in  Ethiopia that if you hit a person with your car if you injured them you have to pay for the medical expenses for the rest of their life and you have to pay them a salary because now because you hit them they can't work. So they have this saying in Ethiopia that when you hit a person finish him, because it's cheaper to pay for his funeral it is the pay for him for the rest of his life. So when they hit a person the go in reverse  and they start chasing the person. So people get hit they  start running because they think the person going to try to kill them because it's cheaper for them. Now since then they've changed that law, I hope they have. But this guy told me he said, So you know brother Sebastian, I was so crazy, I was crossing this main road, I mean this is like a major highway. He's crossing the road and he hits the median and he saw the traffic coming on his right side coming towards him, so he thought oh! I need to hurry up trips over the median and literally he's falling into the street right before he hits the ground he stops a level, something pushes him up right and the cars pass. All these people were downtown saw it, the banana vendor, the guy selling the highbrow, everything there are like. Then he crosses the street. People just staring at him. I said did you get any free bananas? No I had to pay but the crazy experiences we look at those experiences and we're like man I mean people are watching when this thing happened he says up right there's no way you can do that.

 And we're looking for those kind of experiences to take our spirituality to the next level. But Enoch’s  life says no. We need to stop looking for the supernatural and we're missing the very depth and the very things that could actually take us to the next level, right before our eyes because they're normal. And so Gandhi he coined a term called the super norm. It's interesting concept. So Gandi comes and he's coming back from South Africa whatever they treat him as the Savior and he decides to live like every other Indian lives. Exactly the same the poorest of the poor they have to literally weave their own clothes and he's terrible at weaving. So Gandhi was thinking how do you do this thing is so difficult. He's travelling the same way everyone travels. He only has as many clothes as they have. But eventually when he begins to be used to create this revolution to break the might of the British Empire, the question is asked to Gandhi he gives his one of his first speeches, he said Gandhi ‘what would he want to say to the people?” He says You come here to these little rallies and you give your little political speeches you talk about this political party and these people don't believe this and they don't support Muslims in God he says but the reality is most Indians the number one concern every day is bread. Your political speeches don't feed their children. They are not moved, they are not inspired. And as you're listening to the speech of course people are quiet. They're saying ‘what kind of political speech is this? and this was not eloquent. When he finishes they say this is the man who's got it all. And they come to me like I was a little different in the person looked at the political leader who said that was a little different and he said well he lived very differently. They live in palaces and nice houses and no connection. And the thing that made Gandhi such a supernatural man was a super normal life. But see you think that's just a Gandhi thing.

But when Jesus came for thirty three years he lived on this earth in ninety percent of it. If you take thirty three and you take all thirty that's ninety percent. Three years will be ten percent of his life ten percent. He spent a full time ministry ninety percent carpenter shop. Living the way every other person in Israel was living and not just any person, in Nazareth. So you're saying what produced the man that was walking on the Sea of Galilee? What produced the man that could teach the law in such a simple and accessible way? What instructed this man? How did he become this individual that he became? It wasn't through some supernatural training. It wasn't because he went out into the wilderness and was tempted by the devil for forty years. Now he comes back.  Moses forty years. OK you get Moses. Jesus living like everyone else. No surprise that Moses became Moses tending sheep on the backside of the desert not in Egypt under the wisest men of the world could offer. Living in a palace and understanding this life.  It was  through the supernormal that made these men the great men that they were.

But you and I we want to avoid the normal things of life. My life is so boring. This generation is obsessed with entertainment and excitement, obsessed with being sensationalized. Wired, dazzled, inspired, moved. But what they're missing is the thing that is moving that's right there. You ever notice something, that you drive to work or you drive to school or you drive to someone or some place you go to all the time. And the day comes when you actually have to walk and you notice things you didn't notice, because you walked. You actually had to take in the journey and you had time to admire the normal things. I don't realize this person had all these beautiful flowers in the front yard.

But he says after he had his son. You see Enoch became my hero, because I remember I shared a story before about what happened after I had my daughter my first child. And when my wife was pregnant with my first child we had this discussion about names and all these different things and I'm really big about names. So after one night my friend came to me early in the pregnancies, this guy from Chile, he was a medical doctor and he said he said, Sebastian, he says, when you when your wife is pregnant the baby says you should sing to the baby in the womb. And I'm like no way give my child brain damage. I'm not a singer. He's says, No, no trust me if you see every single day while she's in the womb and then when she's born if you sing the same song she won't cry. You should try I’m  medical doctor, telling the truth. Then of course he disappeared to Chile. Never saw him again. So I'm talking to this Beverly this around protrusion my wife every night. Yeah, how you doing this time? I hope  you're not spinning in there? So sing the same song which was the Hymn  When He Cometh. So one night is about five months into the pregnancy, about halfway done, and my wife was knocked out in sleep and I heard a pregnant woman should never be cold  so I don't want to lift up the blanket, so I have to get under the blanket to talk to this belly and I'm easily very hot. So as I start talking the normal stuff but then all of a sudden while I'm talking something just hit me very hard. My wife and I had watched this Christian film and this guy lost his daughter in the film and that was kind of in the back of my mind. So now as I'm sitting here having this discussion with my in the womb child you know I start saying these things that I had not planned to say I don't even know where they were coming from. It was just like I felt myself inspired to say and move to say them and I started saying things like you know I don't know how tall you're going to be I don't know if you look like me if you look like your mom. I don't know if you're going to like sports like I do and you're like music like your mother. I don't know if you're going to be silly and clumsy. I don't know if you're going to be very particular very girly or not very girly. I don't know what your favorite color will be. I don't know if you'll not like watermelon like I don't like watermelon but the one thing I know is that before I even knew you I've already loved you. In my house I have a room with a bed waiting for you to sleep in. I have toys waiting for you to play with. I have clothes for you to wear before you even come and if the day ever comes when you think I'll have to do this to us to make my papa proud, or  I have to do this so that he will love me. I will look at you and I will tell you I loved you before you knew what love was. It was like oxygen before you even were you know what oxygen was before you were breathing. And this is when I realized everything I'm saying to this baby is the same exact thing that is revealing to me a very small piece of God's heart and God working and saying this is the thing that impacted, that he's looking at his son and he's thinking all the love and the joy, the protection the desire to train him and to teach him to make him the very best to make him better than himself. It was flooding in his mind and he began to understand God's heart for himself because he sees his own heart for his son. He said I love this kid so much I enjoy everything I do so now you go back over things and you say when Jesus teaches us to pray our father why doesn't he say some super fantastical time as our King. My Maker my king my lord my redeemer. No he says when you come to God You say our Father. Why? Because when my child comes to me it's like someone asked me So what's  the day you're looking forward to.

My daughter was about three or four months old I said, I'm looking forward to the day when she recognizes that I’m her papa and the second day I'm looking forward to is when she begins to call me that. So when she comes to the point where she gets comfortable enough you know the words she starts saying papa all the time. Papa can I have this papa can I have that, it doesn't matter what she's asking. This is the fact that she called me papa and that just melted down here like I'm not this old preacher in English or sure you can have this. You're so giving and unselfish it obviously is noted by the word papa and then Ellen white tells us in Thoughts From Them On A Blessing commenting on the Lord’s prayer that she says that “when we come to God and we ask him any request by calling him Father she says it's like music to his ears”. She comments on the woman at the well that she says when she put that bucket down and began to run for her village Ellen White compares it to the day that a child realizes this is my father, and that's why Christ says I have to meet that you.

My daughter has recognized that I am her father but here's the blessing that this is discipleship this is evangelism revealed through parenting that look I loved you before you knew what love was. Jesus wasn't waiting for the woman to respond in do this and then I'll love you, no, he was already loving her. He made her, he was guiding her life, he led her to that well that day to meet her.

But in the same sense for you and I, here is Enoch  saying listen when he looks at his son and he realizes how much he loves his son he realizes how much God loves him and when he realizes how much his son trusts him, how much confidence his son has in him, how his son only finds a security in the presence of his father, his son loves to play with him whenever he teaches and he accepts that it is the truth because my papa said. He began to realize this is how I trust God and why Jesus says if you don't become like a little child you will in no wise enter the kingdom of heaven, because you see how a child trust its father and its mother its desire for their presence. It doesn't even feel secure when the father mother is not around. It doesn't like strangers. But in this sense this is what impacting, only to realize when his father preached the gospel to him as a young boy that one day the same love you have for his son he could not imagine giving up his only son for someone who hated him.  This is impacting emotionally.

 The Bible says. After he begot his son  he walked with God. Literally in communion and relationship with Him through the super normal. I want to challenge you this morning because when everyone else had a son they lived, when Enoch had a son he walked.  Everyone else will come to sing songs, everyone else will come and sit in church, and they will live. But we have a decision that we can go to worship. We can sit and listen to the Word of God being opened how many times have we had has this happen to us. And you wonder I go to church. I heard that sermon. How come this person is so moved? I been there I understand it. You're sitting and judging like this person is weeping. I mean the heart is completely broken. They feel like God is like in their life and they don't even know how to make sense of it all. I'm listening to the same sermon and I'm just like oh! OK I was a pretty good sermon. The perceptions, the sensitivity of the heart, the person who's not looking for something supernatural looking for God and Enoch found him and they took him to the next level. And the interesting thing is that he walked with God longer than he lived. He lived sixty five. He walked three hundred and then it says he had sons and daughters. Sometimes we think that having a family is antithetical to having deep spiritual life. Once you have kids and wife and you can't really study the Bible you can be close to God really, because Enoch had at least five children, sons plural daughters plural and with them so that's five and a wife. And yet he is a type of the hundred forty four thousand people who will be translated without seeing death and God will take him to heaven. And the Bible goes on to say that all of the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty five years. And Enoch walked with God and He wants to emphasize this. And he was not, for God took him. You just broke the pattern. Guess what Enoch didn't die, he continues to live, all his days on the earth were three sixty five.

 I think Supernatural just a common occurrence that happen to every other man. And now he's so close to God that God says I'm just going to take him out of it before it's even time. He gave him his own personal Second Coming. It's crazy. And so you and I think that spirituality is not connected to the second coming. We think our preparation in these last days that the very foundation of Enoch is a picture of what that means, then we're not going to be a part of that number if we're not walking with God in close communion with Him, understanding his love for us, his desire to teach us in deepening our trust and faith in him. And it doesn't take anything special, like it didn't for Moses and like it didn't for Christ. And we look at this man we worship and praise him. We're honored that he would even give his life for us and say what made Christ that way. It's not because He was God. It was the life that you do in normal everyday life. But he saw something different. He saw something different and we can to if we made that decision to say Lord I'm done looking for miracles. I'm done looking for something amazing something supernatural out of this world. Give me eyes to see because remember the Bible says by faith in Enoch was translated. So that tells you it has nothing to with the thing itself. It had to do with his eyes. They had to do with his faith. So if we're going to experience this it's going to be by faith and faith there's not change your perceptions. It changes your behavior. You continue to see things exactly the same way. But faith tells you there's something more.

Let's pray together. Father in heaven. We're so grateful for the opportunity to dive in-depth into your word to reflect upon the experience of this man who is truly a hero to many of us looking down from heaven above even though Lord to know that his life wasn't even fully lived on earth and that he lived less than every single man in this chapter on the earth. But he's actually the longest man that ever lived because he's never died. And that's because he walked with God but it was after something. And so it is our prayer  that each of us can leave this weekend and say after Korean camp meeting I began to walk with God that this would be our genealogy that this will be our story that this will be our experience. Forgive us Father for always looking for a sign for a miracle. And help us to look at the miracles that are already there and the ways in which God has already spoken in to us,  in  Jesus' name Amen

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