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The Purpose of God Concerning Sin

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Adam and Sin

To comprehend how Adam was led to follow Lucifer’s rebellion against God, we must understand something of the nature of Adam and the relationship he had with God. Adam was, as the Scripture says, created in the image of God. Just as God is a three dimensional being, with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit making up the Godhead, even so man is a triune being consisting of a body, soul, and spirit[1].  However, as God is an innately spiritual being who inhabits eternity, man was made a natural being to live upon this earth, and exist in the realm of what we call time. Furthermore, although Adam was created in the image of God, he was not another god as Jehovah. He was created to serve God, even though he was made the lord over part of God’s creation—the earth. Also, in the day that Adam was created, he was good in the sense that he was naturally good—he was a perfect man. He was not good in the sense that God, who is absolute holiness, is good; but he did that which was, by his nature, acceptable to God; and lived according to the natural laws that God put into his heart.

Gen 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Matt 28:19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

1 The 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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.

John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Isa 57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

1 Cor 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.

Rom 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, 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, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

The Creation account in Genesis relates that it was the regular occurrence for God to walk in the Garden and to have fellowship with Adam. However, what may we say was Adam’s relationship with God; and if he was not holy, as God is, how was that relationship sustained? In other words, how could an infinitely Holy God have fellowship with this earthly creature who was made “lower than the angels”; and how could Adam stand in the presence of the One who is terrible in holiness, and before whom, the angels hide their faces?

Psa 8:4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.

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, because he was the direct creation of God, was a son of God. He was not “the Son of the living God,” as is Jesus; and he was not an angel, who are also sons of God; but he did a have a father-son relationship with Jehovah. However, Adam’s unique relationship with the Father was not based upon holiness, but rather innocence. The newly created man and woman were naked, but they did not know it; and even though there was a vast difference between their righteousness and God’s, they did not perceive it. This was because there was no standard, or law that told them they fell short of the glory of God; and they felt no self-condemnation by being in God’s presence. God also, because they were not under any law that condemned them, could freely fellowship with them, based upon their innocence. His holiness was not offended, because they merely acted in the realm in which He created them.

Luke 3:38 Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.

Matt 16:13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. 

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

Rom 7:9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. (Paul was alive in Adam once, in the beginning.)

There were however, two things which presented the possibility of an anomaly in this idyllic relationship, and which threatened this heaven on earth. The first is found in the nature of Adam himself—“the creature was made subject to vanity.” Now again, without going into the philosophical reasons of why God created man with this weakness at this time, this was the chink in the armor through which Satan would have access to man’s psychic; this was the Achilles heel that would allow him to tempt man to sin, and make man a part of his rebellion. Therefore, this being an important point to consider, what does it mean to be “subject to vanity”? While the words vain and vanity refer to something that is empty or without purpose, they also refer to being excessively overtaken by one’s own appearance or accomplishments. Vanity, or pride in himself, was Lucifer’s downfall, because he became obsessed with his own beauty and wisdom, forgetting that what he possessed came from God. His thoughts were vain, empty, because they were without substance; they had no real basis of fact or truth. Adam and Eve were created with the proclivity to be “subject to vanity.” Again, they were not holy as is God, who cannot sin, who cannot be tempted to sin, and who cannot be charged with either pride or vanity. All honor and glory are rightfully and truthfully do to Him because of who He is and what He has done. God deserves to be honored and praised by all creatures, even by His own Word—it is the absolute truth that God is worthy of all praise and honor. However, such is not the case with either angels or men, because all we are, or have, or have done, comes from God. Howbeit, although this inclination toward vanity was present in Adam, it had not as yet blossomed into sin, but would nevertheless be Satan’s avenue of temptation. Furthermore, this weakness required a catalyst before it could be exploited.

Rom 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

Psa 62:9 Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity.

Eze 28:17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. (Satan personified in the king of Tyrus)

Rom 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

Rev 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

1 Cor 4:7 For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?

The catalyst that was present in this newly created world, which Satan would use to bring about mankind’s rebellion, was “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” However again, we must have some idea about what this tree represents, if we are to understand how it was employed to bring about Adam’s fall.[2] It was not, as is so often represented, an apple tree, or any other kind of fruit tree for that matter. It also was not merely some meaningless tree that God put there to test man’s love and obedience to Him, as is also frequently taught. In simple terms, every tree in the Garden represented knowledge that God made available to man. In this Eden, God withheld nothing from man of which he would ever conceivably be able to use for his benefit. Eating the fruit of these trees represented taking into man’s inner being, the understanding of whatever knowledge was contained in the tree. To show how vast this storehouse of knowledge was, the other tree mentioned by name was “the Tree of Life.” This tree contained information that would have allowed man to perpetuate his physical life forever. It contained the secrets to natural life, which man has been struggling to discover throughout history in order to escape death. However, because God, in His justice and mercy, would not allow fallen man to have such knowledge, has since the fall, denied access to this tree, although every other tree has still been at man’s disposal.

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.

Gen 2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
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 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
24 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

Furthermore, the name of the tree in question, gives us great insight into what the tree contained or represented—it was called “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” What then, may we say, determines what is good and what is evil?—only the law of God does. The only moral absolutes in this world are what God has decreed by His Divine Laws, and everything else are only “the commandments and doctrines of men.”  However, as we have previously brought forth, this tree, representing the law, went far beyond what is contained in the Ten Commandments, or even the entire written law that we could extract from the Bible as a whole. This tree gave to man the knowledge of the spiritual nature of God Himself. It revealed His absolute holiness, justice, and divine love. God, in creating this Garden, and in planting the trees of this Garden, denied nothing from man of the knowledge He possessed, even concerning Himself. However, the crux of the issue was—man could look at, and admire the qualities of his Creator, but he was forbidden to eat of the tree; to do so was taking it into his being, and making it a part of man’s own life. Man as a finite, mortal, natural being, could never assimilate these infinitely spiritual qualities into his life. In yielding to the temptation of Satan to be “as gods, knowing good and evil,” man found himself in a quandary. In eating the fruit, Adam made this law a part of man’s being, and brought upon man the requirements of the law. The law, outside of man, could be admired; but the law, as part of man’s being, must be obeyed; and it must be obeyed in all of its infinite details, at all times. Even one transgression of that law was sufficient to bring the judgment of death upon mankind. Furthermore, once Adam ate this fruit, it could not be regurgitated. Once man became enlightened to this knowledge, there was no turning back. God had forbidden man to eat of this tree for man’s own good. He was not denying man anything; but because He knew the outcome of man partaking of this fruit, God plainly warned Adam of the consequences.

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.

Col 2:22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?

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.

Rom 2:13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

Jam 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

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?

Now into this situation came Lucifer. He sees in man the same proclivity that caused his own fall—Adam was made “subject to vanity”; and he also sees the one means he has to play upon that inclination—“the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” There was nothing else in the Garden, or in God’s created world, that Adam did not or could not naturally possess; but, if man could be enticed to desire something that would make him or her better than what God intended for them to be, he could cause their fall just as he had “fallen from heaven.” The temptation itself was vanity, because they were already perfect, complete, and happy in the realm in which they were created; nothing could make their life any better, or bring them to a more elevated status than what they already enjoyed. However, if Satan, by creating in them an inordinate lust or desire to be more than their created status, they might reach out and take of the forbidden tree. However, this was not a simple task for Satan. He must first find a way to communicate with Adam and Eve; he must wait for an opportunity to get Eve alone from her husband; he must discredit all that God had plainly told Adam; he must create an illusion that what he said was the truth; and he must create a sufficient desire in them to overcome what their conscience plainly told them was not in their best interest. Because Satan is a spiritual being, without a body, and without a means to speak audibly to man, he must first find a means to do so. Of all of God’s creatures, he choose to enter into the serpent, which the Scripture says “was more subtil,” or more suited to Lucifer’s own craftiness. The fact that the serpent could be caused to speak in man’s voice should not be thought incredible. In the case of Balaam, the wayward prophet, his own donkey spoke “with man’s voice.”[3] However, we might speculate that this was not a snake as is so often pictured, but a reptile that walked upon legs, possibly a, now extinct, dinosaur. The fact that the curse against these creatures was that they would crawl on their bellies and eat the dust of the earth, suggests that this maybe the case. There are now none of the reptile kingdom that exist but snakes, lizards, turtles, salamanders, crocodiles, and such, all of which crawl upon there bellies. However, whatever specific form the Devil took in which to speak, is only speculation. Nevertheless, he is now enabled to communicate with man, but His attack will be specifically aimed at Eve.

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.
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.

Rev 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

2 Pet 2:15 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;
16 But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet.

Gen 3:14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:

Without wanting to offend the female gender, I have a wife and four daughters myself, why may we say that Lucifer made it a point to speak to Eve apart from her husband? Primarily, it was because Adam received his warning directly from God, while Eve got it secondhand from Adam; and with maybe even a little embellishment added by Adam—‘Let’s not even touch it.’ Secondly, it does not take a doctorate in psychology to understand that there are some basic differences between men and women, besides the obviously physical ones. When God made the woman from the rib of man, He took more than just a piece of bone. Adam, in the day of his creation, was one complete human being, with every human characteristic embodied in him. However, when God created Eve, He gave to her part of Adam’s psychic. That is why the woman is known as the completer of the man, and why, in marriage, the two are made one again. The man has certain traits that the woman does not have, and likewise the woman possesses certain characteristics that the man does not have. One area that could be exploited by Satan is that the woman is more inclined to emotional reasoning, and less towards analytical reasoning. In other words, she is often more influenced by what she feels rather than by her rational. This tendency also subjects her more to mankind’s created inclination towards vanity. One example that I might offer in explaining this is—when a husband and wife go shopping for a new car. In looking at an expensive luxury model, the wife is thinking, ‘That car would certainly elevate our status’; and while the man may also desire to have the car, he is thinking, ‘Can we afford this?’ That is why, in the Divine order of things, God made the man the head of the home, the government, and the church. Now, this does not make the man any better than the woman; indeed, in many areas, women are the more capable of the sexes. God made them to balance one another, with certain gifts and abilities given to one or the other, or in many cases to both. Also, there are, to some degrees, genetically caused crossovers in the sexes—we have manly men, effeminate men, masculine women, and knockouts.

Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Gen 2:21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Eph 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

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 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

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.

Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

1 Tim 2:12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

After Lucifer has gained the attention of Eve, he now begins to systematically break down her resistance toward eating of the forbidden fruit. The first thing he does is to plant a doubt about whether God has really forbiden them to eat of the tree—“Yea, hath God said,” he begins. After all, Eve had not heard God say it directly, so was that really what God meant, or did Adam misinterpret what was said? Indeed, it has been the Devils work to cause people to doubt God’s Word from the beginning of time. The people of Israel, living under the Old Testament system of the Law and the prophets, consistently rejected the message that God sent to them, doubting that He had truly spoken it to them. Even today, when we have the completed, authenticated, tried and true Word of God, contained in the Bible, Satan still cast doubts upon its message. He has keep billions of people from even hearing the message of the Bible—false religions, persecutions, communism, and the other forces of darkness has keep the true light from shining into many hearts. To the millions of others, who have heard the Word, he steals away the message using lies, slanderous ridicule, and causing doubts about whether the Bible,[4] or the Gospel message is indeed the truth.

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.

Jer 43:1 And it came to pass, that when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking unto all the people all the words of the LORD their God, for which the LORD their God had sent him to them, even all these words,
2 Then spake Azariah the son of Hoshaiah, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the proud men, saying unto Jeremiah, Thou speakest falsely: the LORD our God hath not sent thee to say, Go not into Egypt to sojourn there:

Acts 7:51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.
52 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers:

2 Cor 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Matt 13:19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.

1 Thess 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

At the same time that Satan casts a doubt upon what God has said, he also changes how God’s message is interpreted—“Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”  Instead of making Eve see everything that God has given, with just one prohibition, he emphasizes the thing that God is denying them. It is like so many people, who have such a great abundance of this world’s goods; but, they are not happy, because of one thing they do not have. Satan causes us to focus on what we don’t have, rather than on all the good things we do have; or on one problem in our life, rather than all the blessings in our life. So by changing the spirit of God’s message, he begins to break down Eve’s perception of God’s good will and purpose in the prohibition. Even the Gospel message, which is supposed to be the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ, has been so perverted by many churches, preachers, priests, popes, and other so called religious leaders, that people are repulsed by the message, rather than being drawn to the truth.

Phil 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Heb 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

2 Cor 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

Even though Eve’s response to the serpent might be viewed as a rebuke to his insinuations, she was entering down a dangerous path. The moment we try to reason, or argue with Satan, we are destined to lose. We must not forget that Lucifer was, and still is one of the most powerful and wise of all the angelic spirits. Man was created lower than any of the angels, much less Lucifer. One unnamed angel destroyed one hundred and eighty-five thousand of Israel’s enemies in a single night.[5] Even Michael the archangel does not get into arguments with Satan, but leaves all such battles with the Lord. The lesson taught here for us is—that when we, either by some thought, or message, or conversation, are tempted to question what we know to be God’s Word, we should immediately run to Him in prayer to do battle for us; and not depend upon our own wisdom to reason it out. However, it might be argued that Eve did not know that this was Satan, and that is true. Albeit, when she first detected that the serpent’s message was twisting God’s Word, and causing her some doubt, she should have immediately ran to either her husband, who was nearby, or to the Lord, who frequently walked in the garden. However, instead of seeking the aid of her husband, or the verification of what was said by God, she, lured by her vanity, seeks to answer Satan herself. The very fact that she continued in this conversation suggests that the temptation has started to work in her mind. She may even be secretly hoping that the serpent will give her a more convincing argument, in order to quell her alarmed conscience.

Gen 3:2 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.

2 Kings 19:35 And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.

Jude 1:9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

Prov 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

1 Tim 5:14 I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.
15 For some are already turned aside after Satan

Now that Satan has lured Eve into a conversation with him, he baits the trap, and Eve will soon find herself ensnared by his craftiness. He has already cast some doubt in her mind about what God has said; he has also caused her to view what God said in a negative way; now he appeals to her sense of emotional rational by saying, “Ye shall not surely die.” ‘After all’ he insinuates, ‘this tree is just like all the other trees that you have tasted, and they have all been good, why would this tree be any different? Look at all the good things you have experienced by partaking of the other fruits; why would this tree, which has such good fruit, and is so beautiful to look upon, not also be a source of rich enjoyment? How could anyone believe that you will die by eating of its fruit?’ In this statement, he makes a direct appeal for her to disbelieve what Adam said was God’s instruction to them. He also calls into question the reasonableness of what she has been told. This is the trap that all sinners find themselves being taken in by. We have heard that God has said certain things are wrong; but when temptation comes we begin to reason within ourselves, and start to question His Word. We see nothing wrong with these so-called sins; after all, we do not see how we are hurting someone else; and these forbidden fruits are so pleasurable; how can something that is so good bring about our death? Certainly, what we have heard has been misinterpreted. Why would God create something good, and then deny us the pleasure of eating it? The truth is, Eve did not understand all the implications of why she should not eat of the tree, and why God had forbidden them to do so; but what she does begin to experience is an overwhelming desire to partake of the fruit. When Satan tempts us to sin, he hides from us the disastrous results of our disobedience, and only shows us the momentary pleasure we will enjoy. We will not always understand the reasons for what God has said, but we had better take heed to what He has said, for our earthly, as well as our eternal good.

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

2 Cor 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

Pro 8:36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.

Deut 1:43 So I spake unto you; and ye would not hear, but rebelled against the commandment of the LORD, and went presumptuously up into the hill.

Jer 29:19 Because they have not hearkened to my words, saith the LORD, which I sent unto them by my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them; but ye would not hear, saith the LORD.

Lucifer now makes a direct assault upon the purpose of God prohibiting them from eating of this fruit. What he insinuates is that God is being selfish, and keeping them from enjoying the benefit of this fruit—that will make them like God. We must remember that Lucifer’s own fall was caused by his desire to be “like the most High”; and he now uses this same enticement to lure Eve into his snare. This inducement also plays directly upon Eve’s vanity—the hidden desire to promote one’s self, even at the expense of God’s will and purpose. However, if we examine what Satan says, on the surface it seems almost trite, and childish. If God were so concerned about man becoming like Him, why would He have placed the tree there in the first place? Do we also think that the Almighty God is worried that some creature, He brought forth from the dust, will ever be a challenge to His exalted position? Is God so insecure about who He is that He lies to keep His creatures under His control? The absurdity of it all is that the father of lies, is accusing God, who cannot lie, of being deceitful about His real motives. Satan’s own motive was not to promote man to a higher status, but to cause him to fall, just as He had. Satan’s desire was to bring man into slavery to him, usurp man’s control of the earth, and set up his kingdom of darkness, where he would be “the god of this world.” Now, if Eve would have rationalized what he said, she could have seen through his deception. However, she was blinded by her own desire for self-promotion, and Satan’s lie seemed to trigger an emotional response that she perceived as an illumination.

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.

John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

Tit 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

2 Cor 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

2 Cor 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

To sin, or to disobey God, is the most irrational thing that anyone can do. However, the lusts within us overpower what our mind and conscience are telling us is wrong. We instead choose to believe Satan’s lies: that God doesn’t want us to be happy or enjoy life; that He is keeping us from fulfillment by restrictive commands with no purpose; that He only wants to control us and make us miserable; and that He doesn’t care about us, but is only interested in His own glory. Contra wise, the Scriptures teach: that God created a perfect world in which man could experience life to the fullest; that God only has man’s best interest at heart; that Jesus came so we might have life more abundantly; and that God gives us “richly all things to enjoy.”

Rom 7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
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.

Jer 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

Psa 40: Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.

John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

1 Tim 6:17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;

Our attention now turns to Eve’s response to all that the Devil has put forth. As she looked upon the fruit she saw indeed “that the tree was good for food”; and even as Satan had said, the fruit was no less appetizing than all the other trees. Indeed, she saw nothing about it that would suggest it could cause her any harm, but quite the contrary, “it was pleasant to the eyes.” She also began to reason within herself, that as all the other trees had given them knowledge and insight into their world, even so this was also “a tree to be desired to make one wise.” Now, what we see in Eve’s temptation is the common avenue down which all of us are drawn into sin. Satan has used the same three enticements to lure all of us throughout the ages—“the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.” In Eve’s case he used all three, an all out attack, as it were, to cause her to succumb. However, in many temptations that we may face, he may use only one or two to lead us to sin. That which is “the lust of the flesh” are those desires which emanate from our fleshly body. God created man with certain bodily appetites, which in themselves are good and pleasurable, when used according to God’s precepts. Our appetite for food, our sexual desires, and other stimuli that please the body, are all a part of His creation and meant for our good. However, when we satisfy those appetites inordinately—outside of His boundaries—we commit sin. “The lust of the eyes” are those things we look upon that bring a pleasurable response to our minds. It might be a beautiful sunset, or a vista of the Grand Canyon. God has created in this world a visual feast for the eyes of men; but again, certain things we look at are an enticement to sin, or even sin themselves. Pornography, blasphemous movies, vile television shows, looking at men or women in a lustful way, are all examples of this. The last means of temptation is “the pride of life,” or those desires for self-exaltation. Lucifer wanted to be like God; he tempted Eve to be as a god; and to all the rest of us, he tempts us with the motivation to move up the ladder of success, without any regard for the will of God in our lives, or giving Him any of the glory when we do succeed. We may want to be an icon in business, political office, entertainment, religion, or in sports, all for the purpose of having others worship us and making us a god. In looking at the life of Jesus, He was always being tempted to forsake the Father’s will and do what pleased Himself. In His temptation in the wilderness, Satan came to Him and enticed Him to satisfy his fleshly appetite by turning stones into bread; to give into human pride by jumping off the highest part of the temple, thus being seen by the people as a super hero; and finally, by showing Him all the riches of the world that could be His—if He would only bow to Satan.

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.

1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
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.

Heb 13:4 Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.

Matt 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Matt 23:5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,
6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,
7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.

Matt 4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
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.
5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

In looking at Eve’s decision to take of the forbidden fruit, God cannot be charged with putting something in the Garden that would be the means of mankind’s fall. The tree was not there to be a test of man’s obedience, or as a temptation that would prove man’s love for God. It was there, because if it were not there, then truly Satan’s accusation of God holding something back from man would be true. Furthermore, neither can we charge Lucifer with causing Eve to sin. The phrase, “The devil made me do it,” may be humorous, but it is certainly not the truth. Satan may be responsible, in many cases, for putting temptation before us, but we are the ones who disobey by taking the fruit. We might well ask the questions: ‘Why was Eve around the tree in the first place? Was she spending an inordinate amount of time looking at the tree? Was she beginning to contemplate what the experience of eating the fruit might be?’ Satan, many times, only fuels our own desires, giving us thoughts that make our own willingness to sin more acceptable to our minds. Eve was drawn to sin by her own vanity. Her decision not to seek either Adam’s help or God’s, was evidence that she may have already secretly desired the fruit. Her encounter with Satan may have merely fueled this burning ember in her bosom, and when the flame of her desire became too great to put out, or contain, she reached out and took the fruit. It is like a man or woman who has trouble containing their sexual appetites. They may even acknowledge their wrong behavior, and insist that they are trying to contain their desires. However, their days are spent watching suggestive television shows, reading titillating stories or magazines, girl or boy watching, listening to off-color jokes, or tales of the sexual exploits of others. By the time Satan puts before them the opportunity to sin, their flaming desire is already unquenchable.

James 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

2 Cor 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

2 Tim 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

1 Cor 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.

We now turn our attention to Adam’s response to what Eve has done; after all it was not the woman’s disobedience that brought about the downfall of the whole human race, but the man’s. Acknowledging this, we might first ask the question, ‘Where was Adam when Eve’s temptation was taking place?’ Although this is simply conjecture, what may be assumed through the Scriptures is that Adam was nearby, but unaware of what was taking place. He might have noticed Eve’s preoccupation with the tree, but had no idea of her having a conversation with the serpent. What might have immediately brought him to her side was seeing her take of the forbidden fruit. As the Bible account relates, Eve “gave also unto her husband with her.” However, let us not assume that Adam mindlessly gave into his wife’s offering to him the fruit. Modern day situation comedies have portrayed the man as weak, stupid, gullible, and bowing to every suggestion of both his wife and children. This is far from what happened here; because Adam was not tricked, duped, or “deceived”; neither was he pressured or dominated by his wife, bowing to her every impulse. Adam received the fruit from the hand of his wife with a clear mind about the consequences of his actions. He knowingly disobeyed his Father’s command, not because of a quest for a higher status, as the devil had promised Eve; neither was he acting wantonly in rebellion against the will and purpose of 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.

Rom 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

1 Cor 15:21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

1 Tim 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

For what reason then, did Adam enter into his wife’s transgression? Plain and simply, Adam partook of the fruit out of love for his wife. He knew she was now separated from God, and under the sentence of death; and that her situation was hopeless apart from someone who could try and rescue her. He ate of the fruit to be with her, and to try and save her from certain doom. Adam was to be a picture of Christ, who became a man, and took upon himself man’s sin and judgment, to rescue His bride—the church. Jesus became “sin for us, who knew no sin,” that He might be the “Saviour of the body”—the Church.

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.

Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

Heb 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,
12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.
13 And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.
14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.
17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

Gal 1:4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:

After eating of the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve became aware that they fell “short of the glory of God.” This awareness came through the “knowledge of good and evil”; and now that they feel naked before God, the enlightened couple seeks to remedy their problem. This they attempt to do by making their own covering out of fig leaves. This symbolically represents mankind’s efforts to fulfill the demands of the law by their own works, and to hide their nakedness from the eyes of God. However, the demands of the Law go far beyond any feeble attempts that men may put forth to appease it; and in spite all of our best efforts, we are still “naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.”  Furthermore, their guilty conscience, after hearing God’s voice calling to them, now brings fear to their hearts, and they try to hide among the other trees of the Garden from the presence of God. Despite all that we do, we know in our hearts, that “all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” in God’s sight.

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.

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

Heb 4:13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

Isa 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

 


[1] See The Garden and the Gospel,  the chapter, Dying and Death, Man’s Nature, also available from this author or at “http://GodsPurposes.org.”.

[2] For a more explanation see, The Garden and the Gospel, the chapters, Understanding the Garden Account, The Trees, and also, Understanding the Garden Account, The Law, also available from this author or at "http://GodsPurposes.org".

[3] Numbers 22

[4] See The Garden and the Gospel, the chapters, The Sanctification of the Soul, the Need for Truth, and The Sanctification of the Soul, the Source of Truth, also available from this author or at "http://GodsPurposes.org".

[5] 2 Kings 19

 

 

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