Thy Word is Truth: encouraging serious study of the word of God Welcome friends. Thankyou for visiting this web site. I have always loved to teach the Word. Too many of God's people let their pastor or teacher do all their studying for them. But if the Bible is the Word of God, shouldn't you take a serious look at it yourself? To study and discover things on your own is both faith building and spiritually rewarding. It is exciting to discover the treasures of God's Word. Studying the Bible doesn't have to be a chore, it can be a most thrilling adventure. I hope to stimulate thought by this web site, provoke you to want to dig into the scriptures yourself, and honor the God of Israel, and our Saviour, the Messiah our soon coming King.

The First and Oldest Religion
by Alon Ronk

It seems that the older a religion is in the eyes of many people, the more authoritative or genuine it is. The Watchtower Society uses a form of this kind of reasoning for example. We believe in the Tri-unity of God. But there are also pagan religions that believe in some form of trinity. Therefore, because they are older than Christianity, Christianity must have borrowed from paganism. I cover this in more detail in my book, The Deity Of The Messiah.

Did Christianity borrow from paganism? Are there elements of Christian doctrine that predate Christianity? Let's see what the Word of God has to say on this important matter.

Romans 1:19-25, " Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen."

As we look at this passage we see several basic points. Number one, that which may be known of God, even invisible things, have been clearly shown and manifested to man. So much so, in fact, that the Bible declares them to be without excuse. Number two, the Bible tells us that through this revelation there was a time when men knew God, the true God, and the truth about Him. The third thing is that there also came a time of great apostasy when men refused to glorify their Creator and became unthankful to and for Him. Fourth, upon turning their backs on God, they began to process the original faith into forms of paganism through their corrupt imaginations. These new pagan religions still contained vestiges of truth but now in the form of corrupted pagan concepts. In short, "they changed the truth of God into a lie". The truth came first, then the lie.

So who borrowed from who? The truth was around along time before paganism was. Where did paganism get it's concept of trinity? The original faith of Adam was passed down through his descendants. God was revealed as a composite unity in the very beginning. I cover this in more detail in "The Deity of Messiah also. But man had no easier of a time understanding it then than we do today. The pagans chose to eat from the tree of knowledge which knowledge is good and/or evil, rather than from the tree of life. This symbolism was originally acted out literally in the lives of Adam and Eve.

Genesis 3:1-6, " Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat."

In a sense what the pagans had done was a sort of repeat of what happened here. Eve had seen that the tree was good for food and pleasant to the eyes. But that, in and of itself, was not sin. Gen.2:9 says that all the trees of the garden were. " And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil". But Satan enticed her away from God by saying, " ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil". Ye shall be as Elohim through partaking of this fruit. You will know good AND evil. But had they not already known good? Yes. Therefore in listening and responding to Satan's lie they only opened up themselves to the knowledge of evil. They opened a Pandora's box so sinister that it would threaten to destroy the earth, which by the way God did do once when He sent the flood and will do so once more by fire.

Man's potential for evil was unlimited now for they opened up their minds to the depths of Satan. Genesis 6:5 says that by the time of the flood, " 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". [every...: or, the whole imagination: the Hebrew word signifies not only the imagination, but also the purposes and desires] . They had wholly given themselves over and so God gave them up. " Wherefore God also gave them up " - Ro.1:24.

Eve apparently became dis-satisfied or unthankful, and wanted more. She saw that the tree was,

"a tree to be desired to make one wise". This word "desire" in Hebrew means to covet. In Exodus 20:7 it is translated " Thou shalt not covet". In Proverbs 6:25 it is translated, " Lust not after her beauty..." She desired the tree of scholarship over the tree of life which, by the way, they were not prohibited to eat from.

There were approximately 1650 years between creation and the flood. But we have only 6 chapters, about 10 minutes of reading or so, covering these 1650 years. So what was the preflood faith. What did they know, what did they believe etc. It would be difficult to ascertain from just a few chapters. However, if we pay attention to detail, some elements of the preflood faith do begin to emerge. All of todays religions originated after the flood. Therefore, all religions predating the flood that actually survived the flood and were continued after the flood would be the oldest religions in the history of mankind. The Bible will show us that there was one faith before the flood that survived the flood and continued after the flood. It was passed down by Noah and his sons to subsequent generations. This faith predates paganism, Hinduism or any other religion of our day.

First we see the creation and the introduction of sin into the world through man's fall. Adam and Eve had made aprons of fig leaves. But this would not be acceptable to God. It would take the shedding of blood to illustrate the seriousness of what had happened. If God is happy with my fig leaves then it must not have been that big of a deal. But something had to die, something not heard of up to that time. This demonstrated just how serious it was what they had done. "Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them" - Gen.3:21. This showed that the only way to approach God was through sacrifice. It showed also that the only sacrifice God was willing to accept would be the one He Himself had provided. Furthermore, God Himself acted as their High Priest offering the sacrifice on their behalf. Where sin brought separation from God, God's sacrifice brought reconciliation.

Now let's turn our attention to Cain and Abel. Gen.4:1-12, " And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. 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: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? 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. 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 the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?
And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground. And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand; 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."

A tragic story and a testimony to the destructive power of sin. There are some interesting details that emerge from it however. First there was a common place and a common time to bring and present the sacrifices before God. By the way, since Cain was a farmer and Abel a shepherd, it would appear that Cain would have to have gotten his sacrificial lamb from Abel. They were no doubt instructed as to the importance of sacrifice by their parents Adam and Eve. Gen.4:4 says,

" 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:"

How did Abel know to bring the firstlings of his flock and the fat thereof? It is not until the law was given to Moses that there is any written instruction on that. Lev.3:1-10, " And if his oblation be a sacrifice of peace offering, if he offer it of the herd; whether it be a male or female, he shall offer it without blemish before the LORD. And he shall lay his hand upon the head of his offering, and kill it at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and Aaron's sons the priests shall sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about. And he shall offer of the sacrifice of the peace offering an offering made by fire unto the LORD; the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards, And the two kidneys, and the fat that is on them, which is by the flanks, and the caul above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away. And Aaron's sons shall burn it on the altar upon the burnt sacrifice, which is upon the wood that is on the fire: it is an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD. And if his offering for a sacrifice of peace offering unto the LORD be of the flock; male or female, he shall offer it without blemish. If he offer a lamb for his offering, then shall he offer it before the LORD. And he shall lay his hand upon the head of his offering, and kill it before the tabernacle of the congregation: and Aaron's sons shall sprinkle the blood thereof round about upon the altar. And he shall offer of the sacrifice of the peace offering an offering made by fire unto the LORD; the fat thereof, and the whole rump, it shall he take off hard by the backbone; and the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards, And the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, which is by the flanks, and the caul above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away." Also Lev.7:3, " And he shall offer of it all the fat thereof; the rump, and the fat that covereth the inwards."

I might, at this point, also interject another thought. When Noah went onto the Ark, God had instructed him, " 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;" - Gen.7:2. It is common knowledge that Noah took two of every animal on the Ark but it is less known that he took seven of every clean animal. Only the unclean animals were taken by two's. But how did Noah know which animal was clean and which was not? There are no written instructions until Leviticus chapter 11.

So not only do we find Abel bringing a sacrifice, of the firstlings, but also with the fat thereof.

We notice also that there was a common place for them to bring their sacrifices for they both came to the same place. Where this place was might be indicated by God's words to Cain,

" If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door."

Some commentators have suggested that this verse should be translated, Sin croucheth at the door. But to be honest, that doesn't tell me any more than I knew before. One possible explanation is, that the door God was speaking of was the door to the garden of Eden. Remember, in Genesis 4 they are already expelled from the garden living outside of it. The garden was a special place in Eden, " And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed;" - Gen.2:8. There was only one entrance to the garden on the east side guarded by Cherubim, " 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;" - Gen.3:24.

But what if God meant the door of the garden of Eden from which man was expelled? We would find them bringing their sacrifices to the door of the Garden. This is a beautiful picture of the then future Tabernacle. First, they bring their sacrifice to the door, " And he shall lay his hand upon the head of his offering, and kill it at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and Aaron's sons the priests shall sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about;" - Lev.3:2. Then, of course, there would have to be something for Cain and Abel to offer their sacrifes on corresponding to the altar.

The Garden had one entrance on the east side as did the Tabernacle. The entrance to the Garden was guarded by Cherubim. They kept man out of God's presence. The curtains separating the holy place in the Tabernacle from the most holy place [Holy of Holies] were embroidered with Cherubim, which also separated man from God's presence. " And thou shalt make a vail of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work: with cherubims shall it be made:
And thou shalt hang it upon four pillars of shittim wood overlaid with gold: their hooks shall be of gold, upon the four sockets of silver. And thou shalt hang up the vail under the taches, that thou mayest bring in thither within the vail the ark of the testimony: and the vail shall divide unto you between the holy place and the most holy. And thou shalt put the mercy seat upon the ark of the testimony in the most holy place;
" - Ex.26:31-34.

The offerings that Cain and Abel brought before the LORD revealed their spiritual attitudes. Heb.11:4, " By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh". Notice the word "Gifts" is plural. It was evidently Abel's continuous practice to offer righteously before the LORD. Notice also the words, " By faith Abel offered..." Faith in what? Faith must have an object. Therefore we can see that the revelation of God men had in the pre-flood world was quite extensive.

Cain, on the other hand, had decided that God must be pleased with all of his self effort. After all, he did put alot of work into his crops. Nevertheless, when Cain brought his offering before the LORD, God rejected it. " If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door;" - Gen.4:7. But Cain did not do well. Inspite of what he had learned from his parents he decided to please God his own way. Therefore his sacrifice did not count and Cain was not accepted. " For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins;" - Heb.10:26. It was therefore not a sacrifice lying at the door but rather his sin. Like Jesus said in John 9:41, " Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth."

Furthermore, God had said unto Cain that if he had done well Abel would be subservient to him. " Unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him;" - Gen.4:7. The reason for this was, Cain was the firstborn, in the blood line of Messiah. Still Cain was not satisfied. As Esau who despised his birthright, and sold it for a meal, Cain also despised his and forfeited it by committing the first murder in the history of mankind. He murdered the one to whom the birthright would fall if Cain were ultimately rejected by God. Therefore God had to raise up another: Seth. 1 John 3:12 says, " Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous". It appears that Satan understood the meaning of the prophecy in Gen.3:15 where God said, " And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel". If it comes t o a choice of having my head crushed or my heal I would opt for the heel. Satan knew the seriousness of this that it would mean his final blow. Therefore it appears that Satan had tried to corrupt the bloodline of Messiah in Cain and cut it off in Abel. Yet God raised up Seth to continue it.

Could Satan have really understood the coming of the seed i.e. the Messiah? The oldest prophecy in the Bible to have been spoken by a prophet was the prophecy of Enoch. It is not recorded for us until the book of Jude. But Enoch prophesied saying, " And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him;" - Jude:14-15. Enoch spoke of the second coming of the Messiah in Jugement. Noah too, had been, "...a preacher of righteousness;" - 2 Peter 2 :5. It is not told us what all he and Enoch had preached but rest assured there was a well grounded and extensive revelation of God in the pre-flood world.

So far, in summary, we see the creation, God as a composite unity, the fall of man, the concept of redemption through sacrifice, that God Himself would provide the sacrifice on man's behalf, the promise of the coming seed ( Messiah ) , the defeat of Satan, the concept of the Tabernacle, and the flood. We also saw concepts of the Torah revealed in the opening chapters of Genesis and in very fact were reading the opening chapters of the written Torah. And all this in the five chapters leading up to the flood. We will look at God's salvation plan in the names of Genesis 5 and some interesting anniversary dates. The first two are fulfilled in the Old Covenant. The third, and last one awaited its fulfillment in the New Covenant.

Now I'll touch on the genealogy in Gen.5 briefly since it is also in my other book on the Deity of Messiah. When we translate the names into Hebrew, not Aramaic, but Hebrew in the order in which they occur:


Seth=Appointed ( Gen.4:24 )


Cainan=Usually given to mean Possession but from a hebrew root meaning Sorrow. This word is related to the word, " Kenites ". The root word is quwn. Strong's Concordance (6969) defines it," to strike a musical note, i.e. chant or wail (at a funeral): lament, mourning woman ". From Strong's 7018, trace and comp. the hebrew back to 7013, the origin of which is 6969.

Mahalaleel=Praised or Glorious God

Jared=come down or descend comp. Gen.11:5

Enoch=Dedicated but from a root word meaning to teach " train up " in Prov.22:6

Methusaleh=His death shall bring, or send forth, i.e. the flood. The flood came in the same year of his death.

Lamech=usually translated Powerful but has other meanings. In the Exhaustive Dictionary of Bible names -" Reduced ". In Hithcocks Bible Dictionary of Names, - " Poor, made low ".

Noah=Rest. Comfort.

Man is appointed mortal sorrow ( or possession ) but the Glorious ( or Praised ) God shall come down ( or descend see John 3:13; 6:38) teaching his death will bring the poor comfort ( or rest ) ( see Lk.1:52; 4:18 ).

One last thing about Noah and the flood that I find very interesting. The Bible says that the Ark rested on the the 17th day of the 7th month. In Exodus, the calendar was started over again by God and therefore the 7th month became the first. Rosh Hashanah ( the Jewish New Year ) takes place in September. September plus seven months brings us to April. In Ex.12:2 God said, " This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you". This would be the month of the Passover. The Passover was held on the 14th of Nisan. Numbers 32:2-8 seems to indicate that the Israelites crossed the Red Sea 3 days after their departure. This would be the 17th of Nisan which would have been the same day that the Ark rested on the mountains of Ararat. If Jesus was crucified on the eve of the Passover and lay 3 days and 3 nights in the tomb, then he would have resurrected at the beginning of the 17th day.

Now when we take these three events that took place on the same day though at different times, an interesting picture begins to develope. The first anniversary, the flood, shows death. The second anniversary, the crossing through the Red Sea, shows burial. 1 Co 10:2 says, " And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea ". Baptism pictures burial. Ro 6:4,

" Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life ". Col 2:12, " Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead". The third anniversary of recorded importance is the resurrection of Messiah. Therefore these three dates declare the Gospel by the symbolism of the death, burial, and resurrection. 1Co 15:3-4, " For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: "

As a side note, Noah removed the covering on the Ark on the the 1st day of the 1st month which in Exodus would correspond to the 1st day of the seventh month which just so happens to be the Feast of Trumpets. John Gill writes, " A memorial of blowing of trumpets; which, according to the Jewish writers, was continued from sun rising to sun setting {f}; but what this blowing of trumpets was a memorial of is not easy to say; some think it was in memory of the wars the people of Israel had with their enemies the Amalekites and Canaanites, and the victories they obtained over them, and particularly in remembrance of the walls of Jericho falling down at the sound of rams' horns; but then it must be by anticipation: it is more commonly received with the Jews {g} that it was on the account of the binding of Isaac on this day, being delivered through a ram being sacrificed in his stead; and on this account it is said, that the trumpets blown on this day were made of rams horns, and no other mi ght be used {h}; yea, that ram's head was used to be eaten on this day, in remembrance of the ram of Isaac, and also to intimate that the Jews would be the head and not the tail {i}: the Jews also say, that this day, every year, was a sort of day of judgment, in which God sat and judged men, and also determined all events of the following year {k}; and this was attended with blowing of trumpets, to strike a terror into them, and put them in mind of the judgment of God, and to induce them to repent of their sins {l}: and it may be observed, that the resurrection of the dead, in order to the last general judgment, will be attended with the voice of the archangel and the trumpet of God, #1Co 15:52 1Th 4:16; whether this is so represented in reference to this notion, let it be considered: but as this was New Year's Day, as before observed, this ceremony seems to have been appointed to express joy for all the mercies and blessings of the last year; and the rather, at this time of the year all the fruits of the earth were gathered in, not only the barley and the wheat, but the oil and wine, and under such grateful acknowledgment, to expect the divine blessing to attend them the following year; and besides, at this time of the year, it was generally thought by the Jews {m}, and by others, that the world was created, and this blowing of trumpets might be in memory of that, and as an emblem of the shoutings of the sons of God, the angels, the morning stars, who sang for joy when the foundations of the earth were laid, #Job 38:6,7..."

Perhaps in some way the Feast of Trumpets may have some connection with this event. It certainly merits further study.

So far we have seen that the pre-flood faith had many elements of the Torah ( Law of Moses ). In fact, the first 69 chapters of the Torah took place before the Torah was given to Moses i.e. 50 chapters in Genesis and 19 chapters in Exodus. Yet look at how much Torah is revealed and included before Moses received it from God. In Ex.16:23 we see Israel observing the Sabbath even though it was not given in writing until chapter 20 Whether written or not it seems that The Word of God has existed since the beginning of time. Therefore the teachings of the Torah would be the oldest doctrines in the history of mankind. The Babylonians and other peoples would have borrowed concepts from the Torah and corrupted them. Nimrod, who originally founded the kingdom of Babylon, was a contemporary of Shem who survived the flood. There was that body of truth from the pre-flood world present in the beginning of the post flood world and was in fact the only belief in existence at the start.

Jesus said in Mt.5:17-19, " Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven". Jesus said heaven and earth would pass away before anything in the Torah failed. But it's interesting to compare that statement with a later one in which He said, " Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. Mt 24:35. Jesus was the Great Lawgiver. This is why He had the authority to say, " Ye have heard that it hath been said..." followed by an Old Testament reference. Then says, " But I say unto you..." Only the Lawgiver Himself would have the authority to add to the Torah in such away.

We who are redeemed from our sins through the shed blood of Messiah hold to the truth as proclaimed in the Holy Scriptures. The revelation we have, although now in much more detail, is the oldest revelation in mankind's history being passed down from Adam to Noah to Abraham to Moses to Israel and now to the world. Yet the world's eyes are blinded to it through the hardness of their own hearts and the enemy of their souls. But we who are of the Spirit may know the treasures of the Word. Therefore, let us not be like those of whom Charles Stanley spoke who are so satisfied knowing so little about the Word of God.