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The Garden and the Gospel

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UNDERSTANDING THE GARDEN ACCOUNT

THE FALL

“Because the law worketh wrath:” Rom 4:15

 

We can now see the goodness of God in not withholding anything from man, and yet at the same time commanding him and warning him not to partake of this one tree. Man was permitted to look upon and admire God’s law and appreciate the wonder and glory of his Maker by beholding the law; but to eat of the tree implies taking it into one’s being and making it a part of one’s life. Satan tempted Eve with the promise to be like God by eating of the tree, and while that may have been theoretically true, it was not the whole truth. Satan also knew it was an impossibility for them to keep the law, for only God can obey God’s law. Man truly became as God in “knowing good and evil”; but the law requires more than just knowing its precepts or even giving mental assent that its demands are true and just—the law must be obeyed in its entirety. By knowing good and evil, man was no longer innocent, but immediately came under the demands of the law.  However, the constitution of man was not such, nor was he in anyway equipped to obey this law in all of its infinitely spiritual facets, and the law requires infinite obedience. Going back to our analogy of the laws of electricity, it would be just as foolish for man to say—‘If I but keep these laws I can become like an electron and do the work of electricity.’ So neither could man become as God by attempting to incorporate His law into his being. Furthermore, once man chose to make the law a part of his life, he was not permitted to pick and choose which parts and at what times he wanted to obey it. Because the law must be obeyed in its entirety, all of the time. The law is not like a smorgasbord where we take only what we want and ignore the rest, as most people try to do. We must eat it all, and keep on eating, even if we are full.

Gen 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5 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.

Gen 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil

Jam 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
11 For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.

Gal 5:3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.

Now a question that might be asked is—‘How did this knowledge of good and evil become a part of man’s being?’ Therefore, let us now take a deeper look into just what it meant for Adam and Eve to have eaten of this forbidden fruit. Although it was quite permissible for them to look upon the tree, their downfall was in the partaking of it. Just as Israel could gaze upon the glory of God as it descended upon Mount Sinai, but was forbidden to come near the Mount upon sentence of death, even so God set boundaries about this tree. What is the difference therefore, between gazing upon the tree and eating of its fruit? To look upon the tree was to admire all that God is, to be in wonderment and awe of His glory. However, to reach out, take of the fruit, and to eat of it, was to try and partake of what makes God “separate from sinners,” whose ways are “higher than the heavens.” As an allegory, we may gaze upon a beautiful sunset with our eyes; we may drink in the glorious colors and patterns of the sky as the sun goes slowly down. In our souls we are somehow made to feel at peace and rest as we view the handiwork of the awesome Creator of such wonderment. However, if someone were so vain as to think, ‘This sunset is so glorious, I wish to become a part of it and have others gaze upon me also as a part of its beauty. I will begin at once to build a spaceship that will carry me to the sun.’ Why, anyone hearing of such a proposition would immediately answer, ‘You fool, you will never reach the sun, and you will be burned up before you even get close.’ Even so, “our God is a consuming fire,” and if we attempt to be like Him or approach Him in the wrong way, we too will be consumed by His holiness. No creature, be it beast, man, or angel, could ever, by its own efforts, be like God.

Gen 3:6 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.

Exo 19:9 And the LORD said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the LORD.
10 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes,
11 And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.
12 And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death:
13 There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount.
14 And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes.
15 And he said unto the people, Be ready against the third day: come not at your wives.
16 And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.
17 And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount.
18 And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.
19 And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.
20 And the LORD came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the LORD called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up.
21 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go down, charge the people, lest they break through unto the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish.
22 And let the priests also, which come near to the LORD, sanctify themselves, lest the LORD break forth upon them.
23 And Moses said unto the LORD, The people cannot come up to mount Sinai: for thou chargedst us, saying, Set bounds about the mount, and sanctify it.
24 And the LORD said unto him, Away, get thee down, and thou shalt come up, thou, and Aaron with thee: but let not the priests and the people break through to come up unto the LORD, lest he break forth upon them.
25 So Moses went down unto the people, and spake unto them.

Heb 7:26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;

Isa 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
9
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Psa 65:8 They also that dwell in the uttermost parts are afraid at thy tokens: thou makest the outgoings of the morning and evening to rejoice.

Heb 12:29 For our God is a consuming fire.

Isa 6:1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.
2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.
3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

Adam and Eve walked with God in their innocence; they had no conception of the vast gulf between their goodness and God’s holiness; therefore, by the mercies of God, they were not condemned in the presence of God. However, by eating of this tree, they made the law a part of their being and lost that innocence. Just how then, may we say, does the eating of some fruit cause this to happen? We have already seen that the trees of the Garden represented all forms of knowledge. The Garden, as it were, was a great library of information that man could, with his mind, feed upon. The Scriptures often compare the reading of God’s Word to that of eating it. When we eat something, it is taken into our digestive system, processed, and then becomes a part of our body. The carbohydrates are the source of our energy for living; the proteins, vitamins, and minerals of the foods we eat, are the building blocks of our cells; and they provide the necessary compounds that we need for the overall health and proper functioning of every organ in our body. Even so, when we take something into our minds, our thoughts process it, and it also becomes a part of our psychic—our soul, the inner man. Jesus said that “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” We need intellectual food to sustain our inner well being, to grow as a person, and for the proper health of our minds. Intellectual food is that which leads us to new ideas and accomplishments. Every man’s life is built upon that which passed down to him, either from nature, books, stories, songs, pictures, or any other media that can be processed by the mind. However, God is the original source of all knowledge, and that knowledge was in the Garden of Eden in its purity and completeness. Mankind has not evolved or discovered on his own, the wonders of this universe. No person is a self-made or self-taught man in the truest sense. Every person feeds upon the thoughts of others, and then processes and expands upon that knowledge to better himself and maybe the world. We have the sad evidence, that when some children have been locked into rooms with no outside stimulation, they grow up as mere animals. They are given food to sustain their bodies, but nothing to sustain their minds. Without any mental resources upon which to feed, they may have adult bodies, but they are intellectual babies. No one is born with a developed memory bank, but is dependant upon an outside source of mental nourishment; and the original source of that food was the trees of the Garden.

Psa 119:103 How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

Eze 2:7 And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious.
8 But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee.
9 And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein;
10 And he spread it before me; and it was written within and without: and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe.

Eze 3:1 Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel.
2 So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll.
3 And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.
4 And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them.

Matt 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Gen 2:8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
9 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.

We might also ask, ‘How was the nature of man changed when Adam ate the forbidden fruit?’ We have already seen that man was created innocent, without any knowledge that there existed even the concept of good and evil, righteousness and sin, better and worse. However, man, after the fall, now has a consciousness of these things that is more than the God consciousness that he was created with. This tree has given him a perception of these concepts that are now become an element of his being. In his book, Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis referred to it as the “law of right and wrong,” or the “law of human nature.”[1] The Scriptures refer to it as “the law written in their hearts,”the law of God after the inward man,” and “the law of sin and death.” Today we might refer to it as the common law; or those ethics, morals, or values that human beings as a whole consider to be acceptable behaviour—regardless of race, nationality, religion, or social class. Not that anyone actually holds to these values, but they are regarded as those ideals which men ought to conform to. Mankind now has this law “written in their hearts”; and though many try to expunge its voice or mutilate its plain sense, it is indelible. 

Rom 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law (the Law of Moses), do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts
(the law that became a part of man’s being)
, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

Rom 7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

Another question that might be asked is, ‘How was this knowledge of good and evil transferred from Adam to his descendents?’  While we can certainly understand how Adam was affected by eating of this tree, how did the rest of the human race inherit his problem. Although some have suggested that Adam’s sin nature has been passed down through a genetic change, this raises a lot more questions than it answers. We agree that we can certainly see certain mutations of the genetic structure that came about because of the effects of sin; but these are not necessarily any kind of “sin gene,” but a result of sinful practices and other forces of nature that became adverse to man after his fall. Jesus dispelled any direct link between a parent’s sin and a mutation in their offspring in the case of the man born blind. Although Jesus was certainly not teaching that this man or his parents had never committed sin, He did say that the man’s blindness was not a result of their sin.

John 9:1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
3 Jesus answered,
Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

What we see as the most logical answer to our question is that, once Adam’s psychic was affected, there would be no return to innocence for any human being. Adam could no longer live unaffected by “the knowledge of good and evil”; the knowledge Adam received from this tree, as well as all of the trees of the Garden, would have most certainly been passed on to his children by example and teaching; and, although “the knowledge of good and evil” has certainly been distorted through the centuries, there remains in every culture a common law by which men are expected to live. It is impossible for parents, no matter how ungodly or atheistic they may be, not to instill some code of ethics into their children; and this code, no matter how distorted, has a direct link to the forbidden tree. Now, no man has ever seen, as Adam did, the scope of God’s law; but we are all painfully aware that we fall short of its standards.

1 Pet 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

Prov 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Rom 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight
: for by the law is the knowledge of sin

Furthermore, although man has been kept from the Tree of Life, there is nothing to indicate that the knowledge of the other trees has been withheld from man. Although we do not have access to the Garden Paradise, there is much knowledge to be gleaned from nature, even about God Himself. The creation clearly reveals the awesome wisdom and power of the God who made all things; and, until man’s mind became corrupted by perverse thinking, “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.” Man has only to contemplate upon the God of creation, and then conduct a self-examination upon himself, to realize that he comes “short of the glory of God.”

Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20 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:
21 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.

Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Now, at the risk of being labeled a male chauvinist, we must ask the question—‘Why did the Serpent approach Eve first with his temptation?’ Hiding behind the truth of the Scripture, we can only say what the Bible says—that the woman is “the weaker vessel.” Now, we all realize that physically, the man is generally the stronger of the two sexes, with some exceptions. We know that most men are more macho because of their physical strength when confronted by an adversary, while women tend to succumb more easily to intimidation. While there may be some insight to be gained in considering that approach, this is not the chief area of our concern. What is more beneficial to consider is that women are weaker because they are more emotionally motivated then men. In some cases this is good, but not always. This tends to interfere with their decision-making processes, and Satan indeed played upon Eve’s emotions in tempting her. That is why, in the Bible, all the offices in the Old Testament, from the king and high priests to the doorkeepers of the temple, where given to men. In the New Testament women are forbidden to “usurp authority over the man.” Eve’s emotional response when she looked upon the tree and saw that is was good for food overcame her ability to reason and clouded her judgment; but Adam was not so deceived. The third area of weakness is something we have already mentioned previously, and that is, that both Adam and Eve were created being made “subject to vanity.” This was that crack in the armor through which Satan found access to man’s devotion to God. Now again, we venture into a view that may be debated—women are generally more concerned with appearances and social standing than men. To whom is all the advertising for beauty, cosmetics, and fashion directed, but to the woman. To whom are the pressures of having a better house in a better neighborhood with better schools and better services directed, but to the woman. Women are generally the driving force behind men, motivating them to reach for a better, more elevated lifestyle for themselves and their families; for most men their desire is “how he may please his wife”; and these vanities are the very areas that Satan used to tempt the woman. Now, we realize that men have their own problems with vanity in the same and also different areas of life; but again, generally, they are more pragmatic about their decisions, not letting their emotions override their ability to reason. Eve therefore, being deceived, succumbed to her desires and took of the fruit; and she also gave it to her husband, wanting it for his benefit too. Adam then, with perfect understanding of what he was about to do, partook of the fruit his wife offered him.

Gen 3:5 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.
6 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.

1 Pet 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

1 Tim 2:12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

Rom 8:20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,

1 Cor 7:33 But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.

However, in the light of what we have already said, we must ask the question—‘Why would the man, who knew the consequences of what he was about to do, and in full control of his mental faculties, follow the leading of his wife?’ To this we might say that Eve had already taken the first bite; and because Adam loved her and did not want to be separated from her, because he did not want to abandon her to face the judgment of God alone, he also partook. We might also suggest that because he loved her, he joined with her in the eating the fruit in hopes of somehow saving her. What we have pictured beautifully here is the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus saw His bride, the church, given to Him before the foundation of the world, under the judgment of God and without any hope of saving herself. Because of His love for her, He became identified with her. He was born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem her who was under the law and the judgment of God. He entered into the accursed world to search out His bride, and lived a perfect life under the law on her behalf. On the cross He became sin for her that she might be made the righteousness of God in Him. Although Adam might have offered some physical protection for Eve in a world that would become hostile to man, only the Last Adam could save His bride from eternal judgment and restore her to God.

Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

Gal 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

2 Cor 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Going on, let us examine the big question of why both Adam and Eve partook of the fruit of this tree which was so explicitly forbidden by God. In doing so, we might also gain some insight into God’s means of redeeming lost man. To do this we need to consider a few fundamental things. We have already seen that the first couple were innocent, unaware of the existence of good or evil, and in fact were probably quite naive. Even though we can assume that Satan had already fallen from his position in heaven as Lucifer, the arch angel, we have no evidence that the original man and woman had ever had his presence or sinister character revealed to them. We would have to assume that they were innocent of knowing that there were any creatures, earthly or heavenly, that would purposely try to hurt them or even deceive them. The garden in which they lived was an idyllic place where they lived without fear. They would not have had even the hint of suspicion that the serpent, through which the Devil now spoke, had come to tempt them. Although what he said was a perversion and a contradiction of what God had said, how could they discern that what he said was a lie? What it came down to was a decision—either to believe God, whom to this point had given them no reason to question His goodness, or to believe this strange voice that appealed to their vanities and promised them more than what they now enjoyed. All of us will face this same temptation many times in our lives. There will come many voices speaking to us from various means that will appeal to our fleshly nature; and many times they will appear to be quite innocent and harmless. We will be faced with making decisions that we may rationalize in our minds as being good for us; but in our hearts we will have a nagging awareness that what we are about to do is not the will of God. What Adam and Eve failed to do, and what we must do in similar situations when we have a clear command from God, is we must obey His voice no matter how appealing it may be to do otherwise. As someone has wisely said, “When it doubt, don’t.”

Isa 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

Gen 3:1 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?
2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3 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.
4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5 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.
6 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.

Deut 20:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
20 That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.

Now, we know that Eve was completely deceived, and chose to believe what Satan, and her desires—“the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life”—had told her. Adam however, was not so taken in by what he had heard and seen, and deliberately made the choice to follow his wife. We might even say that though he believed God, he still chose not to obey God; but is not that the heart of belief or unbelief? It is not what we say we believe, or what we may avow to believe that counts before God; but it is by our choices in what we do that attests to whether we really trust God and believe Him. Adam should have obeyed God no matter what his wife had done, and trusted God to do the right thing concerning her.

1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

Luke 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

1 John 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

Heb 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

James 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
20
But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

What we shall come to see in the lessons to follow is that mankind’s salvation will also hinge upon whether they choose to believe and obey God through the Gospel, or to continue to follow the flesh and hold on to the lies of the deceiver. Indeed, the whole of our eternal redemption will be decided upon whether we place our faith and trust back in the Creator God.

Rom 2:8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,

2 Thess 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

1 Pet 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

Rom 6:17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

Gal 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

 Heb 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

1 Pet 1:21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.
22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:

The human race is now between the proverbial “rock and a hard place.” We now have to obey a law which we cannot possibly obey, but yet our very existence and eternal destiny depend upon obeying it. The law now becomes our cruel taskmaster, constantly telling us what to do and what not to do; and it is never satisfied with how much we do because it is never enough. We have become slaves to a thankless master who is always demanding and yet never pleased. This analogy is pictured when the children of Israel were slaves in Egypt. They could never please Pharaoh no matter how much work they did. In another Biblical analogy, we are married to an intolerable husband who is never satisfied, in spite of our constant attention and our best efforts.

Exo 5:6 And Pharaoh commanded the same day the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying,
7 Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves.
8 And the tale of the bricks, which they did make heretofore, ye shall lay upon them; ye shall not diminish ought thereof: for they be idle; therefore they cry, saying, Let us go and sacrifice to our God.
9 Let there more work be laid upon the men, that they may labour therein; and let them not regard vain words.
10 And the taskmasters of the people went out, and their officers, and they spake to the people, saying, Thus saith Pharaoh, I will not give you straw.
11 Go ye, get you straw where ye can find it: yet not ought of your work shall be diminished.
12 So the people were scattered abroad throughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble instead of straw.
13 And the taskmasters hasted them, saying, Fulfil your works, your daily tasks, as when there was straw.
14 And the officers of the children of Israel, which Pharaoh’s taskmasters had set over them, were beaten, and demanded, Wherefore have ye not fulfilled your task in making brick both yesterday and to day, as heretofore?

Rom 7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.

 In addition, the law not only made demands which we could not keep, but it became the catalyst that propelled man deeper and deeper into sin. As we began to discover its implications, so we discovered new insights into sin. It opened to us a world of debauchery, uncleanness, wickedness, and cruelty. Our fleshly desires were kindled by the temptations of new enticements that were revealed by the law. The law also had the effect of driving men to experience these pleasures. Because the law is so demanding, without any hope of satisfying it through even the most careful obedience, men are driven to discouragement, despair, and rebellion. Man was left with the attitude of—‘Why bother, if I cannot please God by trying to keep His law, then I will give myself over to the pursuits of pleasure and to the false gods whom I can please.’ Like little children who cannot please an intolerable father, who grudgingly obey out of fear and not out of love, we become rebellious to all of God’s demands. Furthermore, the worship of the True and Living God was abandoned, and the satisfying of the lusts of the flesh became our driving force. The worship of idols became our substitute for fellowship with God. Because man was made to worship, and we will worship something.

Gen 3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

Rom 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.
8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence.
For without the law sin was dead.
9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.
10 And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.
11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.
12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid.
But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.

Rom 4:15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.

Col 3:21 Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

John 4:22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.

Acts 7:39 To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt,
40 Saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us: for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.
41 And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands.
42 Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of forty years in the wilderness?
43 Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them: and I will carry you away beyond Babylon.

Acts 17:23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.

Adam’s spirit immediately perceived the predicament that man was in and was crushed under the weight of this dilemma. Perceiving man’s nakedness—his inability to measure up to the law—the spirit fainted within, or died. The conscience, which heretofore was innocent and allowed man to freely approach God, now has become guilt-ridden and forbids us to assay to fellowship with the Creator. Thus, man’s spiritual link to his Creator was now severed by sin. Everything that man now did was revealed to be sin, was accounted sin, and was judged as sin—because it did not measure up to God’s standard. Sin is falling short, missing the mark, or disobeying the law with even the smallest infraction. God also was forced to separate Himself from man, because that fellowship was no longer based upon innocence, but it was now based upon the law; and His law was being broken by everything that man did.

Eph 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

John 8:9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

Heb 10:2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? Because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.

Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Isa 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

Guilt and despair, shame and the fear of God’s displeasure now crept into man’s soul. The haunting words that he would surely die drove man to try and remedy what he had done. Man saw his shortcomings and knew assuredly that God did also. He therefore took fig leaves and made himself clothes to try and hide his nakedness. What this represented was an attempt by man to cover up his falling short by an effort of the flesh, or his own works. Man must now appear to be good by trying to hide his nakedness from God; but the very fact that man had lost his innocence, and had resorted to making himself a covering, was all the evidence that God would need. The guilt of man’s conscience also drove man to try and hide from God. It told him that He who was once his Father and a Friend, was now his Enemy and his Judge. Adam and his wife therefore ran and hid themselves among the other trees of the Garden—the analogy being that they began to find refuge in the other trees of knowledge. These other pursuits would somehow busy their guilt ridden minds and give them an escape where they might hide from the presence of God, and have an existence apart from God. These other pursuits would soon lead man to pride in his own accomplishments and a disregard for God altogether. Man became wise in his own conceits and traded the God of Creation for idols of his own making.

Gen 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Gen 3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day:
and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

Heb 2:15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

Rom 1:21 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.
22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23 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.
24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25 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.

Another interesting analogy is that, in hiding amongst the other trees, they ran from the light of God’s presence and into the dark forest of sin. In running from God, who is the Light, they ran into the arms of the father of darkness. Guilty man has ever since been seeking to hide from God amongst the trees of the Garden. In our fleshly pursuits of the knowledge these trees represent, we have even deceived ourselves into explaining away the very Creator of these trees. However, those who repent of their hiding from God are now instead hidden in Christ, who shades us from the holiness and judgment of God.

Psa 139:11 If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.
12
Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

Pro 2:13 Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness;

1 John 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Pro 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

Exo 33:20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.
21 And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock:
22 And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by,
that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:

1 Cor 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

Col 3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

* * * * *

There are many great mysteries mentioned in the Bible, such as “the mystery of the kingdom of God” (Mark 4:11), “the mystery of Christ” (Eph 3:4), and “the mystery of the faith” (1 Tim 3:9). These mysteries, as they have been called, were truths that, to the Old Testament saints, were hidden, even to those who were inspired to write about them. The Bible says that even the angels desire to understand or “look into” these mysteries. One of these unrevealed truths is called “the mystery of iniquity,” or if we may rephrase it—the unrevealed truth of what drives men to sin. The key to its meaning is found in the same verse—“doth already work.What drove Adam and Eve to make their coverings of fig leaves, and what drives men to do all that we do to appease God, is the Law of God—“Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.” In our efforts to satisfy the law, all we do is fuel God’s wrath against us. The more we do in the pursuit of human righteousness, the more guilt we bring upon ourselves—because everything we do falls short and is accounted sin. The more we do and yet still see the frowning face of God, the more bizarre are the attempts. This quest has lead to all of the religious perversion in the world, past and present, even human sacrifice. The Law has also wrought (worked) in me all manner of concupiscence.” By revealing what sin is to our now fallen nature, we are enamored to discover “the pleasures” of even greater debauchery. Now, “the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good,” but “sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.”

1 Pet 1:10 Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:
11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven;
which things the angels desire to look into.

2 Thess 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

Rom 4:15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.

Rom 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.
8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.
9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.
10 And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.
11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.
12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.
(Paul in referring to himself as “I”, in these verses, means as he was in Adam before and after the fall.)

Heb 11:25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;

* * * * *

Before leaving our discussion of the fall of man, one might ask—‘Why did all of mankind have to suffer for the sin of Adam?’ The answer is the grace and mercy of God. Adam was created as the perfect man. Mankind has not evolved from prehistoric cavemen to our present level of ascension on the tree of evolutionary life. Adam was neither a cave man nor a cave dweller. He lived in the Garden, slept in the Garden, and roamed freely. He lived in a safe environment. He had no fears and no enemies. Modern man has become the cave dweller—living in gated, locked, barred, and guarded buildings. He lives in cities without any natural beauty around him, living in fear, imprisoned because of the sin that freely roams the world. Man has descended from the perfect man to what we are today. The constant genetic mutations caused by sin have not made us a stronger and more advanced species, but rather the opposite has happened. One of the big lies of evolution is that mutations lead to a higher level of organisms; but mutations produce organisms of reduced genetic information, not more.

Gen 2:8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.

Gen 6:11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.
12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

When God finished His creation with the making of the man, He pronounced all things good, and God does not use that term lightly. To be good in God’s sense of the word was to be perfect in the state that man was created in. Adam was not good in the sense that God is good, but he was a good man, a perfect man. Adam was the most wise, the most fit man that ever was, and he was endowed with every gift the Creator gave to the human race. In God’s foresight, He knew that even if every man were born as perfect as Adam, sooner or later they would all succumb to temptation. Another thing to consider is this, that by one man partaking of the forbidden fruit and losing his innocence, he would have corrupted every other man by that knowledge. Most importantly, God placed the whole human race in that one man, and we all sinned in that one man. This was so that God might also have One Man to live in obedience to the Law and to die for that race—the God-Man, Christ Jesus. As Adam was our representative in his disobedience, so Jesus Christ would now represent those who come to God by His obedience and sacrifice.

Gen 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Rom 5:15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.
17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord
.

After the fall Adam was no longer good, but he was corrupted by sin, and with him, all of mankind. Jesus asked the rich young ruler why he had called Him “good Master”—because only God is good in the absolute sense of the word. Therefore, only if Jesus were God, and not just an ordinary man, would He be good. If He was born of Adam’s seed, He would not have been good, for He would have inherited the same corrupt nature as the rest of Adam’s race. Furthermore, Jesus, if He was a son of Adam, could never have given absolute obedience to the Law. Additionally, His sacrifice on the cross would have been of no avail, because a sinner cannot die for another sinner; he must die for his own sins.  Furthermore, His imperfect blood would never have been acceptable to God as an offering for sin, even as a blemished animal could not be offered as an Old Testament sacrifice. For Jesus to be the perfect man, our sin bearer, and our substitute, He was truly a man “made of a woman, made under the law.” However, He was not a son of Adam, but He is the “Son of God.”

Matt 19:16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

Rom 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

Psa 49:7 None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: 

Jer 31:30 But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge.

Exo 12:5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:

1 Pet 1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

Gal 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

Luke 1:34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee:
therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.


 

[1] C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, © 1980, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd.

 

 

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