【Bible Study】Genesis 00: Introduction to Genesis

Bible Study: Genesis


Dear brothers and sisters, grace to you and peace from God, our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. May the Lord bless you!

From this week onwards, we will have a new round of Bible Study for the book of Genesis. We have done the Bible Study for the book of Genesis for many rounds. From past to present, we have lost count of the number of times we have done for the book of Genesis, that's why we called this "Version 2022". Just like mobile phones, every one or two years, there will be a new version. Once the new version has been released, the old version will be replaced. This approach also applies to the Bible Study.

Some of you might say: "Oh, Bible Studies have versions? The word of God has never changed." Yes, there are versions of Bible Studies. The word of God never changes, but our understanding and comprehension of the word of God will change over time. Every time we study the same book, we will have a new revelation, new understanding, and new insight. This is the interesting part of the Bible Study, that's why we have so many versions. This is the typical stance of the Doctrine of Destiny: Knowing God is endless. We need to renew our wine and wineskins from time to time.

Today, I am going to give you a little bit of an idea of how to do the Bible Study, not just for the Book of Genesis but also for many other books in the Bible. And this study approach originated from the Bible Study for the book of Genesis. The book of Genesis is a wonderful piece among all the books in the Bible.

1. The Doctrine of Destiny Originated from The Study of The Book of Genesis

Point number one, the Doctrine of Destiny originated from the study of the book of Genesis. Many years ago, I read Verse 24 from the book of Matthew Chapter 7:

Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. (Matthew 7:24)

When people hear the word of God, they need to put the word of God into practice. The word of God is not just a lip service. Many years ago, I got to know that the word of God is not just by saying it, the word of God is for us to put into practice and blend into our daily life.

But there is a problem: when we study the book of Genesis, we may hear the word of God, but how do we put the word of God into practice? For example, Verses 1 to 4 from the book of Genesis Chapter 1.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. (Genesis 1:1-4)

About two weeks later, I had to lead the Bible Study for the book of Genesis. When I opened the first chapter, I did not know what to do with verses 1 to 3. I searched high and low on the internet and I couldn't get the answers. Some people said that: "Oh, God created heaven and earth." I was asking God: "How am I going to lead the Bible Study?"

A week later, on the day I was supposed to lead the Bible Study, I was sharing the book of Matthew Chapter 7 verse 24. And people challenged me: "You hear the word of God, how are you going to do that?" I said: "Yes, this is a good question." This question popped up in my mind and I got stuck. I kneeled down and prayed to God for a few days: "God, what am I going to do with this? I cannot go back to the day to create a new heaven and earth. I don't know what to do about it. God, I don't think you are writing this to me just for my information, and there must be other things you want me to know". This is a good question.

Everything God put into the Bible is for us to do it. It's not just for our information like writing an email and Cc to someone. And I got this confusion. Do you know what happened? For a couple of days, I kneeled down and prayed to God. At that time, I lost my job and there were not many people in the church that I have to serve. I had a lot of time to go into the office and kneeled down and prayed. I did not know what to do, so I asked God, but nothing happened after three or four days. It was almost time to lead the Bible Study, I kneeled down and prayed and something came into my mind: "You are created by the image of God." I said: "Oh yea! God, I know I have the image of God. You and I look the same, so what?"

God said to me: "Watch how I do things; you are supposed to do it the same way." I said to God: "God, you created heaven and earth in the beginning. What am I going to do? I cannot create heaven and earth." God said: "No, there are a lot of people living in the formless, darkness and horrible situations." I said: "Yes, I have seen a lot of people living in the darkness. Even today, probably I am also living in the darkness. I don't know what to do and sometimes I feel lost." Then God said: "You let my spirit to be hovering over the face of the waters, and you declare: let there be light and people will have hope and they will walk out from the darkness." I said: "Does this really work? I need to try it."

The next day, a guy walked into my office and he was like someone whose soul was no longer in the body. His eyes could not focus anymore and seemed like not in a healthy condition, just like someone who lost his soul. So, I asked him: "What happened to you?" And he replied: "I'm supposed to get married. On the day before my marriage, my fiancée took my money and ran away." It was not about marriage but got cheated.

I said to him: "So what, you can still make money and find a better one." And he said: "No. I had a date with another girl yesterday, she was asking me how much I am making per month. And I told her that I am making a thousand plus." It will be a horrible situation if you are making only a thousand plus in Singapore, the average monthly salary in Singapore is about four thousand plus. If you are someone who is making four thousand dollars, then you are in the middle class. Because this guy was only making a thousand plus, the girl walked away.

As a result, he came into my office. As a Pastor, I have seen many cases. People would not come to me when they are dating and enjoying their lives, they would not share their joy with me. People would only come to see me when they are having problems. At that time, I have to listen to a lot of stories. I said: "Oh God, please have mercy on me." When I minister to people, they will not bother me when they have a joyful life. When they have problems, they will come and look for me. And God said: "Yeah, they do the same to me, too."

I remembered what God told me a couple of days ago. This guy's case was like the darkness over the surface of the deep, and it was time to let the spirit of God move in that place. So, I led him to pray in tongues, to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Do you know what happened? I prayed for him. I said to him: "God has a great plan for you! You are created by the image of God and you have the image of God! You will surely come out from this kind of situation."

Do you know what happened? Let me share with you. It was so interesting. This guy's eyes regained normal, and he was able to focus. His facial expression was back to normal. Then he sat down like a normal person and we had a conversation together. Oh God, it worked. It was working. That's how we started. Ever since that day until now, we have been doing the same. We read the word of God and we do it.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. Genesis 1: 1-3 NIV

It was very challenging when I read the book of Genesis and I wanted to do it. While reading the book of Genesis chapter 1 verses 1 to 3, I had this imagination to implement this word of God. I wanted to do it. I am an unusual person, very different from many people. Most people do not bother about doing it. Most people can say or even recite "In the beginning, God created heaven and earth" but I was the only rare one to say: “I want to do it.” And it really works. From that day onwards, I carry the same attitude when I am reading other books in the Bible, asking God, “What am I going to do?” God gave me many revelations and this was how I founded the doctrine of destiny. In Chinese, we call it the doctrine of Ming Ding. You have to remember the word "Ming Ding" which is translated literally from Chinese; it is what we want to live for.

Many people said they did not understand Ming Ding and I said to them, “In the beginning, they also did not know Huawei, Xiaomi, and many other brands but now you know Huawei, Right?" You get to know them because there is a lot of news about these brands. One day, you will know the doctrine of destiny, the doctrine of Ming Ding as we have a unique approach to Bible study. If you search on the internet, probably you are unable to find any other Bible study approach like what we do.

The doctrine of Ming Ding which is more biblical tells us that God is the God of living. God’s revelation for me when I studied His words, had given me this approach which is a more biblical approach. This is just one example. If you follow our Genesis bible study, you will discover our views are different from many conventional ones. For example, salvation is not after death going to heaven. Salvation is to restore the image of God while we are still alive. You can see our stand. We are not criticizing or finding the fault of those people like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, or Joseph. There are a lot of critics of our friends Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, claiming that they cheated and that was why they were cheated. They have all kinds of views. But we are not holding the same views as them. We are not in the position to criticize the people who are pleasing God.

2. Bible study methodology

Are you getting used to hearing the doctrine of the Ming Ding? From now on, we are going to use the doctrine of Ming Ding. In the doctrine of Ming Ding, we have a better bible study methodology. You will see how I read and understand the bible. You will also see I have a different version compared to many other bible studies.

Let me share with you the Ming-Ding-doctrine version of Bible study methodology. Point number one: Aim to do it, just as what I have shared with you. We are not historians, not philosophers, not critics, and not commentators. The key is to do according to what God is saying even when we are facing tremendous challenges. When we hear the word of God, we just do it even we are facing a difficult situation.

When we study the Bible, our aim is to figure out what God wants us to do and how He wants us to do it. In fact, if we read the bible carefully, all the instructions given by God were very specific. I can give you a thousand and one examples. For example, God wanted Moses to build a Tabernacle with the Ark of the Covenant for Him. The technical specifications, materials, and measurements were clearly specified. We have to know our God is a wonderful manager who gave clear, and specific instructions. God will surely reveal to us what we should do, what we should not do, and how we should do it.

That is very important. When we look at the whole picture, we need to have an integrated view. For example, when we are either reading one chapter of the book or a whole book, we have to figure out what is the main point. What is the "main point"? The main point is able to integrate with the whole chapter or is able to integrate with the whole book. Let us take an example of the book of Genesis: when you emphasize the main point and you will have the subpoint. God was writing the bible for us in a very organized manner but we have to figure out His will, what He wants us to do, and how He wants us to do it. We have to make sure we understand God’s point. We are not going to go astray by taking one part or one sentence to interpret what God is telling us. That is not the doctrine of Ming Ding’s approach.

In the doctrine of Ming Ding, we emphasize God’s words. We read it many times to acquire what God was telling us. For example, for the book of Genesis chapter one, I had probably read it more than a hundred times by reading it again and again and penned down what is the main point as well as what is not the main point. As you read and pray, you will start to put down your own views. Probably you might be influenced by many other doctrines which you knew before I am sharing with you. My suggestion for you is to put down all the views you knew before as they may not be biblical.

And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18: 3-4 NIV

In the early days, we knew we got this idea right: we got to put down our own views. And we tried to engrave this point in our minds. When our Lord Jesus was sharing with his disciples, he mentioned that it was easier for a child to understand God’s words than for an adult whose mind had been polluted. The adults’ mind is polluted which makes them difficult to accept and comprehend the meaning of the word of God. We have to find out what the author is trying to tell us by looking at the whole picture and the main point of the book. The Bible study methodology is not about what we think as what we think may not be important at all. If you can grasp what I was trying to tell you, you will understand how the Bible study methodology works. Are you with me?

I will encourage all of you: before listening to my sharing, it will be better to read the chapter many times and jot down some of the points. God prefers you to read His words directly first to get firsthand information. Without firsthand information before listening to my bible study audio, you might not be able to get what I am trying to say. My sharing is not the word of God, but merely a study of the word of God.

3. Genesis forms the framework and the foundation for the rest of the books in the Bible

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:26-27 NIV

Without understanding the Book of Genesis, the understanding of the rest of the books in the Bible may go haywire. Why? The book of Genesis marks the beginning of God’s purpose of creating humans in his own image. We look like God because we have His image. That is exactly why we need to follow the way how God does things. If God does things in this way, then we got to follow His ways.

We have to imitate Jesus Christ. Are you with me? We have to imitate Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was walking from one town to another, from one village to another, preaching the gospel, casting out the demons, and healing the sick. That was what Jesus had done. Then we got to imitate what our Lord Jesus Christ had been doing.

Besides preaching the gospel, he does a lot of teaching and training, and he does a showcase on how to cast up demons, and how to bring the Kingdom of God upon. This is what our Lord Jesus has done. A lot of churches are doing a lot of things that our Lord Jesus Christ has never done. But what our Lord Jesus does so often, the church doesn't do it often. That is so funny. Walking with God is to do exactly the same as what our Lord Jesus Christ had been doing when he was on Earth. He demonstrated what God our father has done. When the disciple asked our Lord Jesus Christ to show our Father in heaven, the Lord Jesus said you see me every day, then you see the father. It's the same thing.

Our father in heaven wants to set people free. When anyone was in bondage, lost freedom, and was in captivity, He has a strong interest to set us free from bondage! And the New Testament is aligned with the Book of Genesis, to set people free, and the approach is not much different from the faith of Abraham. If someone has a point conflicting with Genesis, he or she got to align with Genesis. This is the point of view of the doctrine of Destiny or the doctrine of Ming Ding. Genesis is not a list of theories. It is all stories that talk about Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. We are going to figure out through the stories what kind of people please God, what kind of people God curses, and what kind of people God blesses.

Do you want to lead a better life? Genesis has very much to do with your day-to-day life. That's how important it is. The Book of Genesis is a very important book, and it is the foundation of the whole Bible. The first eleven chapter is the foundation of Genesis. The first three chapters are the foundation of the first eleven chapters. The first chapter is the foundation of the first three chapters.

We have the image of God. So how God does things in the Book of Genesis, we got to do it in the same way, especially in the New Testament. I thank God for His liking to do storytelling. The Book of Genesis gave me a whole list of the stories talking about a lot of these things, and a lot of nitty-gritty stuff in day-to-day life. That is real because our God is the God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob. God is the God of living. You and I are still living, and we need God. We should live like Abraham. He watched people come and go, born and passed away. Then he started to ask what the purpose of life was. And he figured out one thing: if life is not eternal life, then, it is meaningless. That is why Abraham searched for God. When Abraham searched for God, God gave him a revelation, speaking to him in Genesis Chapter 12 Verses 1 to 3: You are going to become a blessing for many nations, and that many nations will be blessed through you.

The LORD had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12:1-3 NIV)

God is the meaning of life. Abraham found his destiny. What God planned for him is not living for himself, but is living for God. When I read about the story of Abraham, I found my destiny, which is called the doctrine of destiny or doctrine of Ming Ding, or Ming Ding doctrine. God is pleased by Abraham, by Isaac, and by Jacob. That's why God said that whoever curses you, will be cursed. Whoever blesses you will be blessed.

"I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12:3 NIV)

This is interesting. This is why I never curse or criticize Abraham. But I imitate Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. From now on, if you get to know me more, you'll find out that I have a lot of similar characters like Jacob. If you observe carefully, many of the pastors who sympathize with Esau, and whoever criticized Jacob, Abraham, and Isaac, God will curse them. How serious that can be! You can say: "No, I don't think Abraham is perfect." You can say so. It is not that "These people are perfect so that they can please God". It is because they are not perfect, that's why we got the chance to please God.

So we got to imitate people like Abraham when we study the Book of Genesis which forms a framework and the foundation for the rest of the books in the Bible. It's very easy to see in apostle Paul's letter and in the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ, they quoted Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob many times.

So, you and I got to follow the path of Abraham because he finally found the meaning of life. If you want to live a normal life and you don't think life is meaningless, then you will live this life so seriously. That is not the path of Abraham. Abraham was a wealthy guy. Yet he found no meaning in life. That is exactly why he searched for God.

Abraham sought God. You and I should seek God until we know our Lord Jesus Christ because we have not found the meaning of life. This is exactly following the faith of Abraham, the father of the faith. This faith comes from searching for God in a meaningless life. Once he found the meaning of life, he became a blessing to many nations. Many nations would be blessed through him. And God will make him a great nation. God will make his name great and God will do wonderful things in his life.

4. Imitate is the key

You will hear the word called imitate so many times. Imitate is the key because the Bible is all about storytelling. Genesis is storytelling, too. So we should imitate how the people in the Bible lived, how Abraham lived and did things, and how Isaac and Jacob did things. The purpose of living, or the way of living, is a critical foundation. The path opened by Abraham is the path of Faith. 430 years later, the law of Sinai was given, but it can not replace the promise in Genesis. Genesis was written by Moses, and so was Exodus. The point of Moses is so clear: The law will not conflict with the promise.

So imitate all of these people because they opened the path of faith. That is why in the apostle Paul's letters, he kept on mentioning Abraham. We got to imitate the people who please God. Do you want to please God? Do you want to live well? If you want to live well, you better please God. If God is not pleased or is angry with you, how are you going to live? There will be a big problem.

What do you want to follow? Ming Ding Doctrine is the way of life, and the way of life is to live for God, die for God, and lay down ourselves for God. If people have no destiny, then they have no purpose in life, and they will not get blessings. God bless people who are living for him. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph are typical examples of the doctrine of destiny. This is the approach how we study the Book of Genesis, and this is the approach we take in the Ming Ding Doctrine or Doctrine of Destiny.

I thank you for bearing with me for so long, and I hope you're getting the point of how to study the Book of Genesis.

May the Lord bless you!

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