God did not make Adam like He made all of the other creatures. Rather, God made man in His own image after His own likeness. It is a wonderful mystery why God would reveal His image and His likeness in man when He formed him from the fine dust of the earth. A mystery that is unfolded as we read through the pages of the Bible and the Holy Spirit opens our eyes to behold wondrous things from His Word. God’s plan for Adam was more than he could ever think or ask, yet, God gave Adam and Eve the ability to choose to comply with His plan. God placed before Adam and Eve life and death, the choice would be theirs. If they obeyed, then they would live. If they disobeyed, then they would surely die. Unfortunately, Adam and Eve chose death and entered into the realm of death and darkness.
When God came in the fullness of His love and mercy in the garden that day and found them in their shame and fear He left a promise of a coming redemption. Afterwards, the prophets that God raised up of their descendants proclaimed by the Holy Spirit that the fellowship that was lost between God and man would be restored. He made the promise to re-establish His nature and likeness in man and to restore them to the realm of life and light. He vowed to do all of this through the coming redeemer who himself would be a descendant of Adam.
Redemption is the primary focus of the Bible and the doctrine of the Word of God. It is upon the doctrine of Redemption that all other doctrines are built. These building blocks must be perfectly laid around Jesus Christ the cornerstone. If the foundation is not right then the building of our theology and doctrine will collapse under the weighty glory of God’s will and truth. The foundation of the redemption that is in the blood of Christ Jesus alone and the complete and finished work of Calvary is the only one that can support the weighty glory of God’s truth. All other foundations are sinking sand.
Because of Adam’s sin, everyman that comes into this world is born in death and darkness shrouded with the bondage of sin and disobedience. Yet through Jesus Christ all may be redeemed and brought back to the glorious likeness, which God purposed all mankind to have when He made Adam in His image and His likeness. As many as will believe and call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved from the dominion of sin and the power of death.
And God Yahweh planted a garden in the east in Eden and placed there the man whom He had formed” (Genesis 2:8)
God made a place of perfect beauty and provision for the man that he had formed from the fine dust of the earth. A garden, a place with every kind of tree for food and plenty of anything that man could possibly need. A river was in the middle of the garden, put there to bring life to everything that God had caused to grow for man. Outside of Eden the river branched out into four separate rivers, the Pison, Gihon, Tigris and Euphrates. The description of these rivers best fits the region of Mesopotamia of which Turkey, Iraq and Iran are all a part. This region of Mesopotamia has always been thought of as the birthplace of civilization whether in the modern secular world or in the ancient Sumerian world. There is no reason to think that the garden is mythical or allegorical in any sense, for indeed it must be as real as the man that was placed there.
When God planted this garden, He caused to grow only those things pleasing unto Him. He did not allow Satan to enter into the garden and plant a tree to draw away man. We can be certain that the garden was a very Holy place, for we will never find God outside of His Holy place. In fact, God evaluated everything He had made and concluded that it was “very good” Genesis 1:31. In the middle of the garden God placed two trees, one was the Tree of Life and the other the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The most remarkable tree was the Tree of Life. It is from this tree that every obedient child of God will one day eat (Revelation 2:7; 22:14). It was acceptable for Adam to partake of this tree for God set no prohibitions on it.
The fact that God gave Adam and Eve the right to choose to be a part of His purpose and plan is evident in the presence of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. God told Adam that he could not eat of this fruit. To partake of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was to choose a way different than what God had planned for man; it would be the act of walking away from the path of life and entering into a covenant with death and separation from God. There was no trickery involved here, God very plainly stated to Adam that he would most definitely die if he disobeyed and ate of this forbidden fruit. Perhaps as we understand the greatness of God’s plan for Adam and Eve we may better understand why Adam had to be given the choice to accept God’s plan and be willing to fully cooperate with God without question. God provided everything that Adam needed to make the right choice and then He placed before him life and death. This situation reminds us of the choice that Joshua gave to Israel, “Choose you this day whom you will serve”, (Joshua 24:15).
In the Bible a name carries a lot of revelation on the destiny and character of an individual. Although the name ‘Adam’ is commonly associated with its root ‘adm’ meaning ‘red’ and can also mean ‘blood’ or ‘earth’, its primary meaning throughout the Bible is ‘mankind’, ‘human beings’ or simply ‘man’. Adam was God’s single representative for all mankind and the one through which all man would come. He is the one that Paul refers to as the “first Adam” whom God had made a living soul, (1 Corinthians 15). There is little direct information given to us about all the great things that God had planned for Adam. However, these plans are further revealed in God’s promises to Israel and even more so in the revelation brought to us by the New Covenant. God calls to anyone who will listen to be restored to the place of relationship from which Adam fell. Certainly, God’s plans were not destroyed with Adam’s disobedience, but only interrupted.
God did not reveal to us how He created the angels, and as far as the Universe goes we know that He simply spoke it into existence (Hebrew 11:3). But as for man, God gives us the details. “The Lord God formed Adam from the dust of the earth” (Genesis 2:7). Up until this point two Hebrew words have been used for creation, ‘bara’ and ‘asah’. The Hebrew word ‘bara’ is used in the first verse of Genesis and refers to God creating something with no pre-existing material. The Hebrew word ‘asah’ is more often translated, ‘make’ or ‘made’, and implies creating from a pre-existing material just as a carpenter would make a house from wood or stone. Yet, when God brought Adam into existence He used a new and unique word, ‘yatzar’, which means to form or to shape. The appropriate use of this word is in reference to a potter shaping a vessel. God intimately involved himself in the creation of man. The material that God used to shape man was the fine dust of the earth, so fine that one may imagine the finest of flour. God then began to shape every detail of the man. However, God did not fashion the man as He did all of the other creatures. He fashioned Adam as a self-portrait. As a master potter He took the dust of the earth and shaped it into His own image and likeness. Certainly this is a very strong message to us of what God was calling man to be. He was shaping the man in His own image and likeness to be like Him. Although such an idea is in some ways frightening to the theological student, it is the most obvious conclusion that one may derive from God uniquely shaping man in His own image.
When God had finished forming him from the fine dust He then began to shape him inwardly. He did this by breathing His own life into Adam, for God “blew into his nostrils.” Not only did God shape man in His own image and likeness, but breathing life into man was the most unique thing that God did differently from all the rest of His creation. Certainly, God did more than just begin the flow of air into the lungs of man, for indeed when He breathed into his nostrils He breathed the “breath of life”. The breath of life resulted in man becoming more than a beautiful self-portrait of Yahweh, man was now a “living soul”. When God breathed into man He formed His inward likeness with His breath as much as He had formed an outer likeness with His hands. God had called the earth to bring forth the “soul of life” after its kind; (totze ha-aretz nephesh chayyah le-miynah) cattle, creepers, and its beast of the earth according to its kind. (Genesis 1:24-MT) But this time God brought forth the living soul of man after His kind. And thus Adam became a being full of desires and emotions in the likeness of God.
The important point of Adam’s likeness to God is further emphasized by the following verse, “And God said let Us make man in Our image according to Our likeness:” (Genesis 1:26). The Hebrew word for ‘image’ is ‘tzelem’ and it means ‘shape or resemblance’, ‘corresponding to the original’. This word is used frequently throughout the Old Testament and always refers to the outward form or appearance. The Hebrew word for likeness is ‘demuth’ and means primarily the same as ‘tzelem’. Both of these words may also be understood to refer to similarities in behavior and nature, ‘demuth’ expresses this meaning more than ‘tzelem’. The Greek equivalent of ‘demuth’ is ‘homoioo’ and is found in such New Testament passages as Matthew 6:8 and Hebrews 2:17, both of which refer to likeness in terms of behavior as opposed to outward appearance. The Hebrew ‘demuth’ indicates to us that Adam became partaker of God’s nature. The inward shaping of man was the endowment of a divine nature, one that loves the ways of purity and life just as God does. This God inspired man, who became a living soul as God breathed into him, was inwardly formed to be the replica of God’s nature just as he was outwardly formed to be the replica of God’s appearance. Although very little information is given in Genesis regarding Adam’s “God likeness” in terms of the divine nature, it is revealed throughout scripture. We are continually reminded that it is God’s will that we walk in His nature or ways. God is constantly calling men to behave as He does. God expects man to walk in the highest standard of Holiness and Morality. He continually calls those who will fellowship with Him to “walk before Him and be perfect” (Genesis 17:1), “Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). The character and nature of God in man is further emphasized when we view scriptures such as Colossians 3:10 and Ephesians 4:24. The scripture says that we have been “renewed in knowledge after the image of the One creating him.” God has called us to walk in a divine nature (2 Peter 1:5) and to be godly and righteous (Titus 2:12). These passages afford us insight into the original nature of Adam. Redemption brought us back to this place in God so that we may continue on in His purpose, a purpose Adam walked away from.
It would not be possible to imagine a better way of life than God’s way; for God’s way is the way of life. God did not leave man to discover the way of life for himself. He placed the way of life within man’s nature as a gift. God’s love for life and purity are certainly the highest and the best. It is not only logical that God would have so endowed man with His nature, but this is also the only revealed purpose of God for man.
Although, the Hebrew word ‘demuth’ is as close as we can get to identifying the “inward nature” of Adam in we can be certain that it was holy because he was fashioned after God. Therefore, we may conclude that it was in the nature of Adam to choose what God would choose. There was nothing in Adam’s nature that was evil even as there is nothing in God’s nature that is evil. Adam was one with God and was in unity with His Holy Spirit. Adam possessed the divine nature not because he was divine, but because he was fashioned in the likeness of God. Adam’s attributes were fashioned after those of God. Therefore, Adam was a living soul because God is a living soul. All of the various desires and emotions of God that are revealed in the Bible were placed in Adam. Adam’s spiritual likeness was that of God’s and therefore we may also conclude that his behavior was also reflective of God’s. The primary difference would have been that Adam was as a newborn baby. He may have had a fully matured body but as a spiritual child he would have to be trained in the nature of God that was in him. In that Adam was in perfect unity with God, his life was full of love, joy, peace and everything that was good and perfect.
God had complete confidence in Adam and gave him dominion over everything. He placed all of His creation before Adam and gave him rule over it. Certainly God was confident that man would take care of it and treat it with the same loving care that He gave it. God left it to Adam to name the creatures and to take care of everything that was in the garden. However, God would not force Adam to be loyal to Him. In Adam’s role as keeper of God’s garden, Adam would have to also keep the commandments of God out of a voluntary loyalty. God gave Adam the divine ability to be obedient and overcome any opposition that he might face. He had the divine nature, a love for the ways of God and He had the Word of God. Adam would have the ability to overthrow any and all opposition that might come to destroy him or the plan of God for his life. God was very insistent with Adam in His warning should Adam disobey. If Adam should choose to walk away from God he would find himself under the dominion of death. This death would dramatically alter and twist the nature of God that was in Adam and the world that God had given Adam to rule.
God brought all of the living creatures to Adam to see what he would call them. A real curiosity is exactly how long it would have taken Adam to accomplish this task. Adam was certainly living in a 24 hour solar day with an evening and morning. The total number of species would be difficult to estimate but it is clear that he had a monumental task to accomplish. When he finished naming all of the living creatures there was no mate found for him. It was as though God had him investigate every living thing to assess that although everything was perfect by their individual orders there was something missing, a counterpart for himself. God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and he opened up his flesh and removed a rib from his body and then closed up the flesh in its place. God could have formed the woman just as he did Adam but instead God chose to build the women from the blood, flesh and bone of Adam. When God brought the woman that He had built to Adam, Adam acknowledged that she was bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. The woman was actually more than just a mate for Adam she was a part of his very being, and became as it were a missing part of himself.
It appears that God made Adam responsible to communicate to the woman all of His commands. Although the evidence is very minimal and somewhat vague we certainly have the absence of any direct communication between God and the woman. Perhaps one of the reasons that God took the woman out of Adam is because He was further establishing Adam’s singular responsibility over all creation. It would be his responsibility and his alone for all of God’s commands to be communicated and enforced.
Although Adam and his wife were in a perfect state of Holiness and innocent as newborn babes they would only be able to make the correct decisions through obeying the Word of God. There was one unique aspect of their nature that was different from God that may have been an advantage to them and that was that they did not have the knowledge of good and evil. God in His wisdom had determined that it would not be good for man to possess the potency of this knowledge. We may assume that because the Father had this tree in His garden, that He intended to allow man to partake of it sometime in the unknown future. But what we may be certain of was that the tree was created by God and placed in the garden by God to accomplish His purposes. It would stand to reason that if the knowledge of good and evil is something that God possesses in His purity and Holiness that perhaps it was also His intention to allow man to experience the knowledge when He was mature enough. We may be certain that now that we have been redeemed, God has given us the ability to walk with Him in perfect obedience while we are possessors of this knowledge. When Adam and his wife disobeyed, they became possessors of the knowledge of good and evil in a state of darkness under the dominion of Satan. Today, as the redeemed of the Lord, we have been delivered from this death and dominion and are now under the voluntary control of the Holy Spirit.
God blessed Adam and his wife and commissioned them to be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth. When God blessed Adam and Eve He was not only placing His stamp of approval on their perfection but was also empowering them with one of the most remarkable abilities, the ability to bring forth children after their image and likeness. While it is true that all other creatures had this ability none of them would bring forth offspring that would be eternal. God endowed Adam and Eve with the ability not only to create after their own kind, but to create beings which would exist forever.
The blessing that God gave them to be fruitful cannot be limited to procreation for it was certainly the ability to be successful in every endeavor. Whatever Adam would set out to do the blessing of God would rest upon it. God would no doubt stand behind everything that Adam set his heart and hand to do. This is further revealed as God made known His covenant love to the children of Adam. Probably the most outstanding descendant of Adam in this regard was Abraham. After Abraham responded in absolute obedience to God’s call, the scripture reveals that he was so blessed by Yahweh that he became exceeding rich in gold, silver and much cattle. God gave His covenant people the divine ability to prosper in whatever they did. When Isaac’s blessing was given to Jacob, he was blessed with the dew of heaven and the fruit of the earth. The blessing of God empowered his people to prosper and be successful in everyway. This blessing also extends to the New Testament. It is God’s intention that His children should prosper and be in health even as their soul prospers. Men who walked with God on a lesser level than Adam such as Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Job, Samuel, David, Elijah, Daniel and others were given great authority and blessings. We can only imagine all the authority and blessing made available to Adam.
God also commissioned Adam to subdue the earth and have dominion over it. This gave Adam absolute authority over everything on the earth. Although God gave Abraham the authority to possess all the land that he walked on it does not compare to the dominion God gave to Adam. Adam’s dominion was not limited to a geographical location but included the whole of the earth and sea and all that was in them, (Genesis 1:26).
God also charged Adam to both serve (Hebrew-avdah) and to guard or watch over (Hebrew- shamar) the garden. From within the garden Adam would rule and God would bless all of mankind. It would be important for Adam to obey God and not eat of the Tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil and also guard it against anyone else who might be tempted to disobey. Within 930 years of Adams life there were millions of people who descended from him. If he had remained faithful to God it would have been necessary for him to instruct them in obedience to God not to eat of the forbidden tree. We also observe that the creatures of the garden were also able to become party to Satan’s desire to overthrow God’s plan. This charge to protect the garden would extend even to a watching over all creation to insure their obedience to the ways of God.
Understanding that the strength of a relationship is found in the love and trust that two people have for each other. Adam’s most vulnerable time was in these first few days of his life. There was no reason for Adam not to love and trust Father for it was in his very nature. We may understand from Genesis 3:6 that God was walking and talking with Adam on a daily bases. God and Adam may be viewed in the same light as two people who have fallen in love with one another. Between them there is only trust and confidence. And as in any relationship as long as that relationship continues undisturbed by any form of breach then the love and trust continues to be strengthened. We may also view their relationship as that of a Father and a son. The son admires his father and holds him above all other people. A good example of this is the first time that I took my oldest son to the park to play. As soon as he had come up to the swing set and encountered another child he point at me and said, “that’s my daddy”. And as far as Fathers love and protection for his dearly beloved son well there can be no question that Father God is the best Father of all.
Why then was Adam so easily misled to rebel against his Fathers wishes? The answer to this is found in the power of deception. Although there was certainly a wall of fire around Adam even as it was around Job he had to learn obedience even as Christ Jesus had to learn obedience. Satan had no right to touch Adam in any way or to exercise authority over Adam’s will. However, Adam had the ability to choose to do whatever he desired to do.
Satan did not aim his attack directly at Adam even though Adam was the target of his attack. He came at Adam through another relationship and that was the one that Adam had with his wife. In Satan’s craft Eve would be the target of his deception so that he might ultimately manipulate Adam into rebellion against God and his Father. Adam’s failure is found in the fact that he was willing to allow the relationship that he had with his wife to be more influential than the one he had with Father. He abdicated his authority and responsibility to led and was willing rather to be lead. As a result the relationship he had with God was overthrown by the power of deception and he found himself a transgressor in the state of rebellion.
The authority that Adam had been given rested on his willingness to be obedient. Certainly, there was no reason to question God. Adam was living under the authority of the Word of God and it was His Word that ruled unchallenged in his mind. Satan’s only hope of overthrowing man was to overthrow God’s word in his life. The way that Satan chose to overthrow the Word of God was by slandering God and planting his own word in the thoughts of man. For some unknown reason it became necessary for Satan to use a mediator. Satan who had in some ancient time rebelled against God and was cast out of the presence of God was not allowed to directly influence man; or perhaps when God commanded Adam to guard the garden he told him about Satan who at one time dwelled in the garden of God and would attempt to overthrow God’s new authority, man. If this were the case Satan would have to come at Adam in the most unexpected way possible. Satan chose the most subtle means possible. He did not address Adam head on but came after the woman. Satan would not reveal his hideous presence by personally coming to either of them for certainly his presence would reveal the death and destruction that he was leading them into. Instead he struck a deal with the most subtle beast that God had made, the serpent.
The fact that Satan targeted Eve is yet another clue that Adam was on guard as well as prepared to deal with any possibly attack against God’s garden. When the serpent beguiled Eve he deceived her first by bringing God’s word into Question. It is necessary to bring the truth into question before the deeper form of deception can be established, a lie.
The Word of God reveals a distinction between Adam’s transgression and that of Eve’s. We learn from Timothy that a woman is not allowed to teach because Eve was deceived whereas Adam was not. We are lead to believe that deception is a state of bewitchment that leads a mesmerized person where they otherwise would not have gone. The progression of this deception not only reveals the nature and trickery of Satan but also exposes his craft. Satan is indeed the master of deception insomuch that unless the day of his deception should be shortened he would deceive the very elect of God, those who seem invulnerable to him.
Satan’s deception begins with a truth, “has God not said that you may eat of all of the fruit trees of the garden.” Satan only reveals the aspects of the truth that will draw his victim into his trap. When Eve quoted the command of God not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil lest they die, Satan seized the opportunity to infer that God was a liar. Satan’s lie was that they would not die and that God was attempting to withhold something very good from them. The words of Satan lured Eve deeper and deeper into deception. Satan was revealing to Eve that the consequences were not as bad as she thought, that she would not really die. And that there was an awesome place of revelation to be gained so that they would be even as gods knowing good and evil.
When Eve saw that the fruit was good for food and desired to make one wise and pleasant to the eye she was in fact being hit by every avenue of temptation that brings one into deception. James said that when we are tempted we are drawn away of our own strong desires. These strong desires that Eve had were both Holy and innocent and of themselves not wrong. It was good to know the difference between what look good and bad to eat for God had given them the desire to eat and the ability to enjoy food. There was no problem with desiring more wisdom, for without such a desire there would be no motivation to learn. And something looking pleasing to the eye is all in the realms of God’s gift, so that we may appreciate His creation. The problem here, was allowing these godly desires to be turned towards something God said was wrong. It was at this point that the enticement led Eve beyond the purity of her nature and the command of God. The deception resulted in an evil desire being conceived in her heart and once it was conceived all that was left was the act of eating the fruit. The act of eating the fruit resulted in death.
When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by Satan there were some similarities. Satan suggested to Jesus that He provide Himself something to eat by turning the stones into bread. The more subtle attack was that He was suggesting that Jesus prove that He was the Son of God. This challenge was from the pride of life for Satan had no need to be convinced of who Jesus was. This too was one of the potent aspects of Satan’s temptation against Eve and Adam. He made a pull on the pride of life promising that they would be as gods. Satan’s power of deception lies within the realm of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life. These are the tools of his craft. In John 8:44 the Lord Jesus revealed very clearly the nature and ways of Satan. The lust of Satan centers on lying and murder. Satan spiritually murdered Adam and Eve through his enticing lie. He imparted thoughts to them, which their holy nature could not have inspired. For the first time, God’s holy creation was challenged to question Him. As Eve listened to the Satanic lie, her fortification in God’s Word was weakened. When she believed the lie of Satan, “you will not really die”, rebellion was born in her heart. This was the beginning of the satanic nature imparting into man that which is contrary to God’s divine nature.
The only way that Satan can attempt to overthrow God’s Word in man is by twisting what He has said. When Satan’s lies are received, man’s defense against him is destroyed and without the defense of God’s Word, man becomes the spoil of Satan. It is Satan’s trickery to convince man that what God has forbidden is far better than what He has freely given. Adam and Eve had all of the riches of the garden and probably more fruit trees than they could have gotten around to yet Satan’s lie and accusation against God would lead them to the only tree that would destroy their lives.
One of the great curiosities is that Adam appears to have been present with Eve during this encounter. It was Adam’s responsibility to guard the garden against this kind of intrusion but he failed to do so. Adam was responsible to enforce God’s command not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil yet He stood by and watched it happen. Surely if Adam would have simply stood up and taken charge, commanding Eve to leave the area around the tree, Eve may have immediately responded. It is evident therefore that Adam also was taken in by the Satanic lie and chose to allow Eve to experiment with the tree. It may be that when Eve did not die after partaking of the fruit that Adam further bought into the lie of Satan, because she did not die. However, it was not until Adam had eaten of the fruit “that their eyes were open”, and a dramatic change in their natures took place. It was Adam who had been commissioned by God with the responsibility for all mankind. It was Adam whom God had given the commandments to. When Adam choose the way of disobedience and death his relationship with God was broken. Adam lost his innocent nature and at the same time he lost the divine nature. There would be no more holy communion with God. The oneness of his relationship with the Father was now destroyed. The powers of darkness took over man and the reign of death began. God’s ways had instantly become foreign and Adam found himself estranged from the presence of God.
It was not the Knowledge of God and Evil that separated Adam and Eve from God. God has the Knowledge of Good and Evil. It was Adam’s disobedience that separated them from God. The whole subject of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is for the most part not mentioned again in the Bible. Now that man has this knowledge God has chosen that we shall always have it. We can be certain that Jesus who is not only our savior but also the model of how we are to live our lives pleasing to the Father possessed the Knowledge of Good and Evil. We can be certain of this because, as we have said, God has this knowledge. Secondly, Jesus took on the nature of humanity and was tempted in all ways like we are tempted. Therefore, He would have had to possess the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The Knowledge of Good and Evil is presented as an opposite to the nature of innocence. The innocence that Adam and Eve possessed, allowed them to be naked and unashamed. As soon as Adam and Eve stole the Knowledge of Good and Evil they knew that they were naked and became ashamed. There is no indication in the Bible that man will ever again exist in this innocent nature.
It was not the Knowledge of Good and Evil that caused Adam and Eve to know evil and ultimately find themselves in a sinful state. It was separation from God. The spiritual state of death plunged Adam and Eve into an Evil and sinful realm. When Adam disobeyed he walked out of the presence of God and stepped over into the realms of darkness. The Holy Spirit departed from him and the spirit of Satan came in.
The change in the nature of Adam and Eve were seen immediately. When they heard God coming they ran away and hid from His presence in fear and shame. They had already made clothes in an attempt to hide their shame, but it did not help. We discover in Job that Adam tried to cover his transgression (Job 31:33) , the deceit of Satan had already begun to work in his heart. Even though Adam had covered his physical nakedness he still ran and hid from God. There was no way to cover up his spiritual nakedness. God’s man in the pain and torment of death and sin said in his shame, “I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. Their change in nature had not only caused them to run and hide but had also spiritually hidden them from the Father. They were shrouded in such darkness that Yahweh said, “Adam where are you”.
Where there was once life and light there was now death and darkness. Adam and Eve were spiritually born from beneath and had become children of disobedience. They most certainly died that day just as their heavenly Father told them they would. Although Adam’s physical body lived 930 years he died that very day. Death is a separation. Adam died that day because he was separated from God. He at that time became alive to Satan and his evil and twisted ways. The Holy Spirit, which Adam once possessed was gone and an evil spirit from Satan now ruled his heart.
God wanted His man back and so He came in the fullness of His glory calling out for Adam. Adam heard the voice of redemption as God came seeking the one that was lost. When God found Adam in the shame of his nakedness and the fear of death He prepared skins for them to wear. In order for God to make these clothes of animal skins it would have been necessary for Him to shed the blood of an innocent animal. Although, the animal is not named we may be certain that it was the skins of a lamb. Now we are able to look back and clearly see God’s plan of redemption. We are also able to understand how that Abel offered a better sacrifice than Cain. Able offered a sacrifice that typified the coming redeemer. Abel’s sacrifice was better than Cain’s because it was the sacrifice of faith, (Hebrews 11:13). This is the faith in the coming redeemer who as the Lamb of God would be offered up for all mankind. Abel’s sacrifice was probably like the one that Yahweh had made for his parents to provide a covering for their sin until the redeemer could come.
At this time, God only provided a covering for the sinful condition of man. Yet because of His mercy, mankind was not lost to such a condition forever. There was hope given through Yahweh’s testimony of a coming Redeemer. The one who would destroy the authority that Satan came to possess over mankind. God testified of this by the shed blood of the lamb and the promise of the one who would come as the seed of the woman. This seed of the woman would destroy Satan’s power over man by shedding His own blood. He would be the one who would destroy the power of death through His own death.
Sin and rebellion has its consequences. The consequences of sin took place at the moment Adam and Eve sinned. God pronounced a judgment upon the serpent, Eve and Adam. Their transgression would affect the whole of the physical world and natural order.
The serpent played no small role in the deception of Eve. The serpent agreed to be used by Satan as a mouthpiece to slander God and plant the seed of rebellion in the heart of man. And so the Lord held him partially responsible for the fall of man and cursed him above all cattle and every beast of the field. The serpent was confined to crawl on its belly forever. A living creature that once walked upright and was given wisdom and beauty became a creeping crawling thing moving through the dust of the earth.
Eve, who was deceived by the serpent, was responsible for yielding to the slanderous lies of Satan. In the righteous judgment of God, Eve would also lose her place of honor that was given to her by God. From now on she would be under the rule of her husband and she would be in pain and travail bringing life into a world that she had made dark and wicked.
The judgment that came upon Adam came upon all mankind that would follow (Romans 5:12). This is why Jesus said in John 3:18 “he that does not believe is condemned already.” The whole of creation began to groan and travail in pain together because Adam did not protect the things that God had given him and death entered into the world with its agonizing pain and corruption. Therefore, God said, “cursed is the ground for your sake”. “in sorrow you shall eat of it”. The Hebrew word for ‘sorrow’ is ‘itstsabown’ and may be understood as ‘pain’. “Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth”, “in the sweat of your face shall you eat bread”. The suffering and the anguish of sin began to appear everywhere. It was as though all of the spiritual corruption that seized the spiritual life of Adam was being reflected by everything that had been placed under his dominion. The effects of sin permeated everything that was around him. Death gripped all of creation with the sting of death and sin, sickness, disease, pain and corruption laid hold on everything.
The final revelation of Adam’s sin was that he would return to the dust. Yahweh told him he would surely die; Adam would now discover the extent of this death as it affected everything in his being as well as everything that surrounded him. In this state of death and darkness Adam and his wife could no longer remain in God’s garden. Adam had to be expelled lest he should take and eat of the tree of life and live forever (Genesis 3:22-24). There had been no restriction set on the tree of Life, but now, if man were to eat of the tree of Life, he would live eternally damned. So then, God subjected man to return to the dust in hope (Romans 8:24). In hope of the resurrection, for when the redeemer would come He would destroy the one who had the power of death, through death. By His own death and resurrection from the dead he would give to all who would believe the same resurrection power. So God drove Adam and Eve from the garden and sent a cherubim to take Adam’s place; one who would guard the way to the Tree of Life.
These judgments were not given because God became angry and vindictive. These penalties were the consequence of Adam’s sin. The wages of sin is death and when Adam sinned He died. God cannot have fellowship with evil. God is light and life and where He reigns there is no death or darkness. When Adam chose the ways of darkness the light of God’s presence left. When God left, His righteousness joy and peace also left, and when the darkness came in it brought wickedness, pain and turmoil.
God had given Adam dominion over everything but through Adam’s sin death entered and now death reigned over Adam’s world. This death began to reign in the nature of man. Whereas the divine nature governed by the Holy Spirit had reigned in man, now the satanic nature governed by the spirit of disobedience reigned. This is the meaning of spiritual death. It is a separation from the presence of God and a union with Satan. Satan convinced man to yield to his word and as a result brought man under his authority. When Satan gained this dominance of man he began training him in the ways of darkness. Instead of these newborn babies learning to walk in all of the ways of the God they began to learn to walk in all of the ways of the wicked one. They had become dead to God and alive to Satan. The reign of death had made them dead to God’s presence. Even as the earth had lain in a dark and lifeless state, Adam and Eve lay dead in their trespasses and sins waiting for the true light to shine into the world. When God sent forth His Word into the world and commanded the light to shine into the darkness a new creation event was initiated. The Holy Spirit is still brooding over mankind calling them to come into the Light of Christ. Certainly as Moses recounted these events in the first 3 chapters of Genesis, they were written in view of the coming redeemer, the one who would come and deliver man from the death and darkness that had taken possession of him. And so when John introduced Jesus he said, “In him was life and the life was the light of man. And the light shined into the darkness and the darkness could not overcome Him” (John 1:4-5).
The reign of death, the reign of Satan and the reign of sin are all synonymous. These all refer to Satan’s control over man. Satan now sits on the seat of authority over the world of the unredeemed. In this world Satan has enslaved men to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life. Every human being alive today is a descendant of Adam, and the sin nature that took possession of Adam has been passed to everyone. The sin nature is dead to God and cannot be subject to Him; it cannot do that which is pleasing unto God and has no desire to.
Adam’s physical body did not die the day that he sinned, but it came under the dominion of death. For 930 years his body was held under the influence of death until the time limit that God had placed on it was finished. At that point the death that had ruled his body completed its final act of corruption and his body return to the dust.
Spiritual death is similar to physical death. The inner man, spirit and soul, is governed by death. The dominion of Satan’s rule over the inner man produces a nature of sin. Just as the dominion of death produces sickness and disease in the body it produces a similar corruption in the inner man. The corruption of the inner man takes place through the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life (2 Peter 1:5).
The corruption of the sin nature is expressed in the actions of the unredeemed. The scripture says that out of the abundance of the heart (inner man) the mouth speaks. Those who are spiritually dead to God and have a sin nature have every corrupt and evil thing springing up out of their heart. Such wickedness from the heart defiles a man and declares him to be unholy and separated from God. “There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile him. If Satan has dominion in a person’s life, his thoughts and actions dwell on and express fornication, murder, strife, envy, hatred and every wicked work.
The Satanic lust twists and pollutes the Holy appetites that God had given man. Through the working of the spirit of disobedience the desires and appetites of man that were originally created divine and pure become self-gratifying and destructive. For example, God gave man a desire for a wife, yet when the Satanic lust rules this desire then adultery, fornication and other immoral sexual behaviors are invented. Satan twisted those Holy and godly desires that were established by the divine ordinance of God and they became inordinate and evil. As a result man, who was created in the image and likeness of God to express His likeness both inwardly and outwardly, became unlike God by the dominion of sin. Satan mocks God every time there is a child born deformed or diseased. Satan mocks God and His glorious image every time a man does that which is evil and sinful.
Dr. Mark Spitsbergen Th.D., M.S is the Senior Pastor at Abiding Place Ministries, San Diego.