God had planned to redeem man back to Himself after his fall

God had planned to redeem man back to Himself after his fall

The problems bedeviling man started in the Garden of Eden where they lived in perfect fellowship with God and His holy angels before the devil tempted them and enticed them to disobey God. Man was created by God in His own image and likeness. “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. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Gen 1:26-27 [KJV])

God was not alone when creating man. God has revealed who He is in the creation process in the Scriptures. In the beginning, God rolled out the creation process where the first person of the Godhead is mentioned in the creation of heavens and the earth: the Holy Spirit of God. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness covered the surface of the watery depths, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.” (Gen 1:1-3 [HCSB]) God used His second Godhead to create the heavens and the earth: His Word. Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.”

John, the apostle whom Jesus loved revealed who the Word of God is.“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created.” (John 1:1-3 [HCSB]) “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14 [KJV]) “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” (John 1:10-12 [KJV]) “John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” (John 1:15-18 [KJV])

And then God Himself, the Father Almighty revealed who He is in Genesis 1:26 when He said “Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness.” The one true God is triune in nature—three co-equal and co-eternal persons in the Godhead: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. That is why God was describing what He was doing using the “us” term because He is three persons in one but one name of God. Scripture is rich in telling us of the triune nature of God. “Then the Lord God said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, lest he stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever.” (Gen. 3:22)

God created us in His own image with His very nature of holiness, spiritual, power, authority and able to relate with Him personally during our thanksgiving worship to Him.

God set up a good environment for the man he had created. The Garden of Eden was the paradise home of the first man. Paradise is God’s abode here on earth where man can have fellowship with God. In the centre of the garden of Eden, there are two trees: the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. in the centre of the garden.  “And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 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 2:8-9 [KJV])

“The LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there He placed the man He had formed. The LORD God caused to grow out of the ground every tree pleasing in appearance and good for food, including the tree of life in the middle of the garden, as well as the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” (Gen 2:8-9 [HCSB])  “The LORD God took the man and placed him in the Garden of Eden to work it and watch over it.” (Gen 2:15 [HCSB])

Adam was commissioned by God Himself to be watching over the garden and be the steward in charge of managing the extensive garden that stretched from the Euphrates river to Ethiopia (Gen. 2:13-14) “And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree of the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for in the day that you shall eat of it, you will certainly die.” (Gen 2:16-17 [HCSB])

The word of God tells us from the above scripture that God put Adam the man he had created in the garden and He caused to grow in the middle of the garden the tree of life. Being a hardworking man who did not have a wife to cook for him, he tended the trees in the garden faithfully and it can be assumed that he enjoyed eating the fruits of all the trees in the garden including the tree of life that God had strategically placed in the centre of the garden to make it possible for him to be eating it daily, if not hourly so as to get life and all that appertains to life e.g. good health, life itself, strength, joy, peace, prosperity, blessings, God’s favour and mercy and the grace of God. Adam was careful not to go anywhere near the tree that God forbid him to eat and actually warned him that if he ate, he would die. God used soft words when advising Adam that “You may freely eat any tree of the garden” suggesting to Adam that he can decide out of the free will God had given them, to eat or not to eat all the other trees in the garden but when referring to the tree of knowledge of good and evil, God used very strong words of command that “you MUST NOT eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for in the day you eat from it, you will certainly die.” Although Adam had not known what it meant to die, he assumed that death meant losing the life and strength that he was getting from the tree of life.

Adam reasoned that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil must have been a bad tree in the eyes of God for him to be warned so strongly against eating it and he realized that eating it would surely offend God. That bad tree must have contained the knowledge of the good and evil things of life and the evil that is associated with the good things of life e.g. death, pleasures of life,  lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, the pride of life and all manner of evil like curses, sicknesses, misfortunes, accidents and other damnable things. Adam told himself that he does not need the knowledge of good and evil provided by the bad tree for he was satisfied with the good he was receiving from the tree of life. Furthermore, why bother with knowledge of evil? Does one need the knowledge of what goes on in brothels, drug dens, red districts or terrorists dens? As the saying goes, “if you play close to the fire, it is too easy to get burned: “The mischief of devil worship, sorcery, casting spells, witchcraft, voodooism, black magic, and all other forms of demonism should be avoided like the plague.

God gave them a home where to provided them with the best of foods. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creeps upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for food: and it was so.” (Gen 1:27-30 [KJV])

Adam And Eve used to talk with God in face to face fellowship. Adam and Eve devoted all their life, energy, love and focus onto God their maker, worshipping/ praising/adoring/loving Him with all their souls, hearts, mind and their bodies in Eden their paradise home as they basked in the glory of God. Here they had lived in love and peace, conversed with angels, and communed, with God. Often they had heard His footsteps in the garden and had ran to meet Him. They talked with God face to face.

God Setup the Rules To Be Followed In The Garden Of Eden

The First Commandment was very clear. “And the LORD God took the man, and put him in the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 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 2:15 [KJV])

Adam was given all the trees to eat as food except the tree of knowledge of good and evil. He was forbidden from eating it lest he will surely die. I tend to think that he was denied the tree that would give him knowledge of good and knowledge of evil. The tree had what curiosity looks for: knowledge of good and evil. The dictionary definition says that curiosity is a strong desire to something: whether the thing is good or bad. He was warned against desiring to eat its fruits because after eating its fruits he would know whether the fruit was good or evil. Later on when he told his wife Eve that he was warned against desiring the fruit, the dynamics of curiosity started working in her. Curiosity comes in two flavors: the first flavour is a feeling of deprivation: a strong but unsatisfied need to know especially if the object is far from reach or there is a law prohibiting access to the object of desire. The second flavour is an intense interest to get what seems so close to getting: seeking information that’s motivated by anticipated pleasure. If the object of desire is within touching distance or there is prolonged look at the object of desire, the interest in the object progresses to craving. These two flavors reflect the changing balance of “wanting” (what we need) versus “liking” (what we enjoy). Adam and Eve had tasted the powers of the world to come, had joined the celestial choir in ascribing praise to God and had united in worship of the one who created them.

Garden of Eden was a Place of Bliss and Peace for Adam and Eve

Before they fell out of favour with God by sinning, they lived a life of perfection, peace, love and dominion over everything on earth. God gave them every plant as food and He also told them that He had also given the animals their food which was still plants. God did not allow man to eat meat because that would force them to kill the animals and this would create enmity between man and animals. God also wanted animals and birds and fishes to be eating plants as food because if He allowed them to eat meat, they would kill each other and create animosity between animals. It was only after the Flood that man and animals were allowed to eat meat because there was very little vegetation on earth. “God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. The fear and terror of you will be in every living creature on the earth, every bird of the sky, every creature that crawls on the ground, and all the fish of the sea. They are placed under your authority. Every living creature will be food for you; as I gave the green plants, I have given you everything.” (Gen 9:1-3 [HCSB])

Animals in the Garden of Eden Used to Talk with Man

In the Garden of Eden, the animals were not fearing man. They were on talking terms with man and all were friendly to man. “And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.” (Gen 2:19 [KJV])

For Adam to name the animals and birds, the relationship between them was good as they must have been tamed animals, able to hear the names man was giving them, being informed of the one who created them who was the same one who brought them to the man for the naming ceremony to commence. Even serpent, the cleverest of all animals, was on talking terms with man. Some Bible versions describe the serpent as cunning, shrewd, crafty or subtle. All the descriptions mean that the animal was mentally quick and original; bright, skilled at accomplishing things, especially with the hands, exhibiting ingenuity or imagination; creative or artful. No wonder madam Eve was attracted to the serpent and had interesting conversations together, with no mention of where her husband was. The garden snake in Genesis 3: is not the only animal that spoke to man in the Scriptures. The book of Numbers chronicles the account of a soothsayer named Balaam son of Beor who is called upon by the Moab king Balak to curse the nation Israel in an attempt to stop the progress Israel was making in their conquest of the land that God had promised them. God’s anger against him is shown in chapter 22 where God causes Balaam’s donkey to actually speak and rebuke him. “The Angel of the LORD went ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn to the right or the left. When the donkey saw the Angel of the LORD, she crouched down under Balaam. So he became furious and beat the donkey with his stick. Then the LORD opened the donkey’s mouth, and she asked Balaam, “What have I done to you that you have beaten me these three times? ” Balaam answered the donkey, “You made me look like a fool. If I had a sword in my hand, I’d kill you now! ” But the donkey said, “Am I not the donkey you’ve ridden all your life until today? Have I ever treated you this way before? ” “No,” he replied. Then the LORD opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the Angel of the LORD standing in the path with a drawn sword in His hand. Balaam knelt and bowed with his face to the ground. The Angel of the LORD asked him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? Look, I came out to oppose you, because what you are doing is evil in My sight. The donkey saw Me and turned away from Me these three times. If she had not turned away from Me, I would have killed you by now and let her live.” (Num 22:26-33 [HCSB])

After man sinned, the animals he used to chat with, walk with, ride on them became hostile and wild to man. We hear God telling Noah that He had put fear and terror in every creature. They would see man and flee to escape from being killed by man and converted into food. Man became a hunter of animals moving on earth, the birds of the air and fishes of the sea because they were all placed under his authority. And hunting can be dangerous as the animals being hunted can turn against the one hunting them.

Life of Joy in the Garden of Eden

Adam and Eve enjoyed peace on earth as given to them by God the owner of peace. They loved God for creating them and entrusting them with such a great honour of having dominion over the earth and they knew that He loved them. One can imagine exclamations of joy and laughter and awe as they discovered new tastes of food (whether fruits, leaves or roots), new lovely animals, new sights of wonder of God’s created universe and new things were discovered. God must have delighted as He saw His children discover daily the many wonders of His creation.

Adam and Eve lived a life of thanksgiving continually in the garden of Eden before they fell

Adam and Eve thanked God continually for providing them with food from all the types of fruits and plants, thanking Him for the beauty of the valleys, hills, lakes and the starry skies. They would thank Him for the perfection in the paradise that was their home. They would thank Him for the priviledge of tending the earth without getting tired. They would thank Him for the peace in the world and in their hearts while Adam would specifically thank God for giving him a wonderful wife who was flesh of his flesh and bone of his bones. Thanking God for giving him Eve as his helper and helpmate who was always by his side as they fellowshipped together with God in their midst. Adam and Eve fed their righteous desire for God 24/7 with righteous thoughts about Him in their praises, thanksgiving and worship. They stood in front of the throne of God guiltless in pure innocence as they were covered by the glory of God. Thanking God for the gift of the dominion over all the animals, birds and fishes that He had given them/and the power to tame and name the animals and birds that He had accorded them. They had so much to thank God for: the moment by moment fellowship they had with Him together with all the host of heaven which included God Himself, His Son, the Holy Spirit and angels that they had become spiritually bonded with the trinity God who was there before the foundation of the earth.

Power to Tame and Name Animals

God saw that the man he had created was lonely and He decided to create a companion suitable for him. “Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him. So the LORD God formed out of the ground every wild animal and every bird of the sky, and brought each to the man to see what he would call it.”  God paraded wild animals and every bird of the sky to find out whether Adam would appreciate any of them as his companions. The animals came to him probably in pairs, each animal with its mate of the same nature, evoking in Adam the intensity of his loneliness as he wondered how come the animals were in pairs of male and female while he had no female partner. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowls of the air, and to every beast of the field. And whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name.

The First Marriage on Earth

“The man gave names to all the livestock, to the birds of the sky, and to every wild animal; but for the man no helper was found as his complement.” (Gen 2:18-20 [HCSB])  As they came before him, and passed by him, they were paying as it were their homage to him, their lord and owner: but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him; and perhaps this might be one reason of their being brought unto him, that he might become sensible that there was none among all the creatures of his nature, that was fit to be a companion of his; man could not find one for himself; and this made it the more grateful and acceptable to him when God had formed the woman of him, and presented her to him as his helper.  “So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to come over the man, and he slept. God took one of his ribs (Because Adam knew no sin, God made sure that Adam felt no pain during that major painless surgery) and closed the flesh at that place. Then the LORD God made the rib He had taken from the man into a woman and brought her to the man.” (Gen 2:21-22 [HCSB])

“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; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 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. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” (Gen 2:21-25 [KJV])

Adam and Eve Looked Around and Saw the Beauty of the World

Eve focused her mind, body and soul onto God, thirsting for Him. She must have used the power of influence inherent in all women to persuade Adam to seek the Lord to worship Him with all their hearts, soul and body. The vacuum here in Psalm 42 verse 1 expresses an emptiness of the human soul, an emptiness that can only be filled by an intimate relationship with God. In His divine wisdom, God built spiritual hunger and spiritual thirst into the heart of every human being. Everyone is seeking fulfillment, hope, and meaning and purpose. Whether they know it or not, there’s a void in their soul that can only be filled by God. “Come, everyone who thirsts…” (55:1). Isaiah never writes that only a particular group of people are seeking satisfaction. Every person who has ever drawn breath has sought satisfaction. This hunger and thirst for satisfaction is both a grace and a danger. It’s a grace, because we can hunger and thirst for God, but at the same time, we’ll chase after dangerous things, hoping they’ll satisfy the twisted desires of our heart. In the Book of John, Jesus makes this declaration: “If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the scripture said, “From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:37, 39) Psalm 63:1, written by David while in the desert of Judah, words it this way:  “You, God, are my God; earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you.  My whole being longs for you in a dry and parched land where there is no water.”

The moment Adam and Eve stopped focusing on God, they looked around and they liked what they saw. They started admiring the beauty of the land, the trees of the garden and the animals that God had created. Their desire for God waned and they started desiring the beautiful things of the world.  Eve stopped adoring God and started desiring the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil that were both at the centre of the garden.

One wonders how a spirit filled woman who was married to the most handsome man that was created by God, a woman who used to talk with God and hear his footsteps, a woman who had power and authority over every creature walking on the face of the earth or flying the airspace of the earth, could stop adoring God and start desiring the forbidden tree while she had unfettered access to all other trees on earth including the tree of life that was in the centre of the garden. One can somehow conclude that when you focus on God, the spirit of God envelops you and the glory of God comes upon you, making you guiltless and innocent, perfect and presentable before God and giving you power and authority on earth. But when you remove your focus from God, you are drawn away from looking unto God by your own selfish desires (lusts). Your eyes will be directed to earthly pleasures and beauty of this world and by extension you will start focusing on the devil himself. That is what happened to Eve. She started desiring the things that are beautiful to look at like the fruits of the forbidden tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Satan is associated with beautiful things

Lucifer, who is Satan was the anointed cherub, perfect in beauty (Ezekiel 28;12-17), “Satan has transformed himself into an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14), i.e. ‘cloaked as an angel of light’, or as a wolf in sheep’s clothing’. The forbidden fruit that enticed Eve was beautiful to look at (Gen.3:6). That beauty that is associated with the devil may have attracted the woman and she started passing more frequently near the forbidden tree that made her to salivate, desire to pluck it and the desire to eat it as it was mouth watering, very enticing and beautiful to look at. She started moving alone away from her husband so that she would have a chance to talk with the devil who was most of the time near the tree disguised as a serpent. In the Garden of Eden, the devil came in the form of a serpent to Adam and Eve (Genesis 3).

Eve Stopped Focusing on God

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.” Psalm 1:1-2 ESV Eve walked in the counsel of the wicked and was unable to delight in the law of the Lord. Instead of delighting in the law of the Lord and meditating upon it day and night, maybe she was lusting for the fruit day and night. David said, “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11. Evidently, Eve had either refused to “store up” God’s Word in her heart or neglected renewing her mind with the Word of God (Romans 12:2). All indications are that the love of God dropped out of Eve’s heart. That was why she fell into sin. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15). Eve stopped loving God. John also said, “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. 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. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” (1 John 2:15-17)

Eve spent quite some time with the devil and she provided less time for God. Eve did what many of us do. We spend a lot of time meditating about evil and sex, lusting after women, watching dirty videos and listening to dirty talk and dirty jokes in our places of work and in social places. It is like we have fellowship with the world more than fellowship with God. Paul told the Corinthians that “I wish that you should not have fellowship with devils. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of devils: you cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table and of the table of devils.” (1Cor 10:20-21 [KJV]) “Do not yoke yourself together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14 NIV) Was Eve feeding from the enemy camp or was she cheering both teams? Was she praising God when she was in His presence while doubting Him in her heart while agreeing with everything the devil told her, and then engaging in backbiting and doubting God?

One can stretch his or her imagination by thinking that maybe Eve may have been eyeing that tree that would make her be like God if she would eat it. But she did not find courage to touch, pluck and eat the forbidden fruit until the devil came in the form of serpent and deceived her and tempted her to sin against God. Nobody is immune to temptations. All Satan needs is an object of desire and the stretch of your imagination. The objects of desire are lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh and the pride of life. Eve became preoccupied and obsessed with one tree, the forbidden tree. She became so preoccupied with one tree (that was forbidden for them to eat) in their garden paradise that she couldn’t see the forest of trees in the whole world given to them to eat and enjoy. Whatever the deception the devil used to get Eve to fall as she did; it was practically down to one thing. She lusted after the forbidden fruit in her heart continually. Eve lusted after the forbidden tree in her heart continually. The reason for concluding this way is due to the revelation James gave in James 1:14 which says that “But every person is tempted to sin when he is drawn away, enticed (to lead on by exciting or arousing hope or desire as a fish is enticed by the bait) by his own evil desire (lust, passions and cravings).” (James 1:14 AMP). Eve lusted. The devil only used what Eve craved for. It may have been persistent deception or seduction by the devil daily or hourly, but it eventually worked. Eve’s mind was gradually filled, possibly daily, with the lust the devil was presenting her: the promises, the benefits and the power to be gained by being like God. As Eve was being seduced by the devil, Adam was probably not aware of the relationship

Perhaps, as this was going on, the seduction, the deception, the enticement, she did not inform her husband Adam. And he too, being busy with the affairs of this life, not having enough time for his wife, was totally oblivious as to what was going on between his wife and the devil about the forbidden fruit.” The devil through the serpent enticed Eve to eat the fruit God had forbidden them and she ate the forbidden fruit. Eve then enticed her husband Adam to also eat the forbidden fruit that she herself eaten and he ate.

Adam and Eve Disobeyed God by Eating the Forbidden Tree

Adam and Eve sinned against God with the full understanding, or were they blinded by the lust of their eyes or the lust of their flesh which enticed them, of the consequences of death upon eating the forbidden tree. The devil knew the consequences and was expecting them to fall down dead and there would be no human race to compete with for control of the world. But God intervened and provided a lamb to die on their behalf so that they would continue living here on earth until their time to die would come. The lamb saved them from death and provided them with the animal skins that would be made by God into aprons for their dress to save them from the shame of nakedness (Gen 3:21).

What Adam avoided before he was deceived by his wife Eve is what many of us crave for nowadays. Searching for knowledge from the internet about devil worship, witchcraft, illuminati, pornography, magic and all the other immoral searches that are prefixed by ‘how to’. The search for good and evil might progress into the depths of evil himself until you find that you have slid down the slope and you have gone too far into the world of knowledge of good and evil and into the kingdom of darkness. You only have yourself to blame for your curiosity that people say killed the cat.

And during all that time, Adam continued to enjoy eating all the fruits of the trees in the garden and eating the trees in the garden except the forbidden tree. He must have avoided going near that forbidden tree for fear of being enticed into eating it for its fruits were pleasant to look at. Maybe he feared that if he allowed his gaze to linger on them longer, he might start lusting after them and end up eating the forbidden fruit and die.

Why Adam and Eve Fell Into Sin

Satan used a systematic approach to undermine God’s commandment and trick Adam and Eve into sin.

First, the serpent questioned the Word of God. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” As Eve responded to this question, she misquoted God’s command” (Gen. 3:1).

And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’”

When we compare her statement with Gen. 2: 16-17, we see she didn’t specify which tree was off limits, and she added that even touching it would cause death. This may be subtle, but reminds us that accurately understanding the Word of God is an important defense against the crafty lies of Satan.  Next we see Satan denying the Word of God and the consequences of sin. He then goes on to replace the Word of God with his own lies.

“But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Gen. 3:4) By denying the Word of God, Satan challenged the very character of God and tricked Eve to think that God was holding back blessing. Although Eve was pure and innocent, she desired to have a deeper understanding of good and evil. Instead of trusting that God was protecting her, she sought to take a short cut and gain this “special wisdom” on her own.

“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate” (Gen 3:6). Once Satan removed the consequence of sin, the opportunity to gain wisdom seemed very attractive. Scripture tells us in Psalm 111 and twice in Proverbs (1:7, 9:10) (also known as the book of wisdom) that fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. This type of fear means a reverent obedience to God simply because of who He is. Truly understanding the identity and nature of God leads us to trust and obey Him.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;    all who follow his precepts have good understanding.  To him belongs eternal praise” (Psalm 111:10).

Adam, who was with her, was guilty of disobeying God’s command as well. Whether or not Eve heard this commandment directly from God, it was Adam’s responsibility to protect his wife and remind her of God’s Word.

The temptation was so irresistible that she believed the devil’s lie that convinced her to doubt God who had warned them that if they ate the forbidden fruit, they would die. “No! You will not die,” the serpent said to the woman. “In fact, God knows that when you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Then the woman saw that the tree was good for food and delightful to look at, and that it was desirable for obtaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.” (Gen 3:1-7 [HCSB])

“Then our evil desires conceive and give birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” (James 1:14 GNB).

In essence, Eve (and then later on Adam) chose to feed their lusts with thoughts of evil and for the things of the world because their love for God had diminished. That was why they fell.”

When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness (Matt. 4), Satan attacked Him in a very similar way. First Satan appealed to Jesus’ physical hunger and challenged Him to turn rocks into bread. Then he claimed that there would be no consequences for disobeying God. Finally, Satan tried to get Jesus to reject the Father’s will and bow to him in exchange for worldly power and authority.

With each temptation, Jesus responded with scripture that accurately refuted Satan’s temptation and reinforced the proper will and character of the Father. This is a model for us to successfully overcome Satan’s temptations. And it means that we must know God’s Word and use it to encourage ourselves in times of temptation.

“Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.” (Psalm 119:11)

God expects us to withstand temptation. It’s important to recognize that while trials and temptations are similar, there is a fundamental difference in the motivation. God tests and allows trials for us to grow, to discover our weaknesses and to seek Him for strength. Satan tempts us with the goal to destroy us.  God never tempts us, (James 1:13) and God will never allow us to be tempted in a way that that is beyond our ability to endure and escape.

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Cor. 10:13).

God has revealed Himself and His nature through His Word. To know God’s Word is to know God. When we understand God’s love and promises for us, we know that He does not withhold any good thing (Psalm 84:11) and He has good plans for us (Jer. 29:11). Therefore, we can trust Him to provide what we need. If He has told us not to do something, we must also trust that He is protecting us, no matter what Satan tells us.

“And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden” (Gen 3:8)

The consequences were great. Instead of walking with God and being in His presence, Adam and Eve tried to hide from God. They were separated by guilt. While they may not have suffered immediate physical death, they were now slowly moving toward that inevitable death.

God Planned to Redeem Man back after he was felled by sin

Disobedience was the cause of all the misery that had come to our first parents. They had forsaken

God and chosen another master. They had eaten of the forbidden fruit. “And now,” said God, lest he put

forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever…. Therefore the Lord God sent

him forth from the Garden of Eden…. So He drove out the man.” Genesis 3:22-24.

Through God’s perfect revelation we can know that in eternity past, God was planning a future eternity with a people redeemed by the blood of Christ (1 Pet 1:20).

God looked through eternity into time and purposed to redeem man. My salvation isn’t by accident, but by design. Ponder the profundity of being redeemed. Ephes. 1:4 says “just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love.” (NASB) And Titus 1:2 says, “a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time,” (NIV) Before God took the “time” to create a single thing, he purposed to “recreate” his creation that He knew would fall.

1 Peter 1:19-20 supports the idea that before the foundation of the world, the decision was made for Jesus, the spotless lamb to be slain. It says, “but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. [20] For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you.” (NASB)

Originally it was God’s intention that man should have free communion with his Maker. This was the plan He attempted to carry out in the Garden of Eden. But sin thwarted the original design of God. Man sinned, and God sent him forth from the garden. He was now separated from God, and henceforth sorrow would be his lot.

But God conceived a plan whereby He and His people might again be united. If they could not live in Paradise, where they could enjoy open communion with Him, why should not God go out and live with them? And so in the fullness of time God sent word to His people: “Let them make Me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.” Exodus 25:8. Wonderful love! God could not bear to be separated from His own, and so His love devised a plan whereby He might live among them! He would go with them on their journeys to and fro in the wilderness, and at last lead them into the Promised Land. God would be with His people again. True, there was a separating wall then,

for God dwelt in the sanctuary, and man could not approach Him directly. But God is as near as sin will

permit. He is “among” His people.

In the New Testament we are told, “They shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” Matthew 1:23. The Christian ideal is fellowship with God, oneness with Him, no separation. “Enoch walked with God.” Genesis 5:24. Moses talked with Him face to face. (Exodus 33:11) But Israel was not yet ready for such an experience. They needed to be taught lessons of reverence and holiness. They needed to learn that without holiness no man can see God. (Hebrews 12:14) It was to teach them this that God commanded them to make Him a sanctuary that He might dwell among them.

God did not leave them in this condition. Even as in the Garden of Eden the slain lamb prefigured

Christ, so now through sacrifices and the ministration of blood God taught them that He had provided a

way of escape. Abraham understood this when the ram caught in the thicket was accepted in, the place of

his son. Doubtless he had not fully grasped the significance of his own answer when Isaac inquired of him,

“Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Genesis 22:7. To this Abraham

had answered, “My son, God will provide Himself a lamb.” Verse 8. When the knife was raised, God said,

“Lay not your hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him.” Verse 12. As Abraham looked about

him he saw a ram caught in a thicket, “and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt

offering in the stead of his son.” Verse 13. Of this Christ says, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My

day: and he saw it, and was glad.” John 8:56. In the ram caught in the thicket, which died instead of his son,

Abraham saw Christ. He rejoiced and was glad.

The lesson which Abraham had learned, God was now about to teach Israel. Through the slain lamb; through the bullock, the ram, the he-goat, the turtledoves, the pigeons; through the sprinkling of the blood upon the altar of burnt offering, upon the altar of incense, toward the veil, or upon the ark; through the teaching and mediation of the priesthood, Israel was to learn how to approach God. They were not to be left in hopelessness as they faced the condemnation of God’s holy law. There was a way of escape. The Lamb of God would die for them. Through faith in His blood they might enter into communion with God. Through the mediation of the priest they might vicariously enter the sanctuary, and might, in the person of the high priest, even appear in the very audience chamber of the Most High. To the faithful in Israel this prefigured the time when God’s people will with boldness “enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus.” Hebrews 10:19.

All this God wanted to teach Israel through the sacrificial system. To them it was the way of salvation. It gave them hope and courage. Though the law of God, the Ten Commandments, condemned them because of their sins, the fact that the Lamb of God was to die for them gave them hope. The sacrificial system constituted the gospel for Israel. It pointed the way to communion and fellowship with God.

Revelation 13:8 calls Jesus “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” How could Jesus have been slain from the creation of, or foundation of, the world?

This is where we must pause to wonder at God’s view of time and eternity. God exists outside of time. Yes, He interacts with His creatures in time, now, and through the person of Jesus when He walked the earth. But, God is separate from us, completely different from us. Some philosophers have said that God lives in an eternal now, meaning there’s not really a yesterday, today and tomorrow for God.

The idea is that, God is able to look down, as if He were above it, on time, and the events in time. God sees it all at once. Of course, in our view, and our understanding, we’re restricted by before, during and after – linear time. You have to be born before you can live and then die.

But if God knows and responds to our life in time, and interacts with time, from His position in eternity, we can just begin to grasp, if not fully understand, how He can foresee the response of His free creatures to His love. We can begin to grasp how He can foresee the fall, our sin, and He can foresee the need for our redemption. In that way, Jesus is slain from the foundation of the world.

What it means is that, before there was time, before we existed, He had already put in place the plan for our redemption. We see this stated in a different way in 1 Peter:

1 Peter 1:18-21 (NIV) 18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

First, Jesus is the Maker of the Universe. John 1:1-3 (NIV) says that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”

The Word referred to here is Jesus. Jesus was with God in the beginning, an affirmation of two of the three persons of the Trinity. The Word was God, John tells us. That’s an affirmation of the divinity of Jesus. Then, in verse 3, it tells us that “through Him all things were made.” This verse reveals to us that Jesus was God’s agent in creation. Jesus, who was there in the beginning before time began, before the foundation of the world, is the One about whom John says, “without Him nothing was made that has been made.”

John also tells us later in John chapter 1 that “the Word became flesh.” Of course, we understand that Jesus is the Word. He’s the Word become flesh. He’s fully human. He’s fully man, even as He’s fully God. So as man, He was made a curse for man. This is affirmed clearly in Galatians.

Galatians 3:13 (NIV) “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” Jesus redeemed us by becoming a curse for us on the cross. This is a strong declaration of substitutionary redemption or atonement. Jesus was our substitute. Jesus took the penalty of all guilty lawbreakers on Himself. So, the “curse of the Law” was transferred from sinners, that’s us, to Jesus Christ the sinless One.

1 Peter 3:18 (NIV) says that  “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.” So, the sinless One, as a man, delivered us from the curse by taking it on Himself. He did that when He offered Himself to be slaughtered on our behalf by being crucified on the cross and He died the death that was predestined for us due to our disobedience and He bought us at the cost of His own shed blood. So He paid the price of our disobedience with His own life. 1 Corinthians 7:23 (NASB77) says that “You were bought with a price;” We also see how Jesus came as the ransom to set us free from this law, and the penalty that breaking it inevitably brought.

Hebrews 9:11-15 (NIV) says that  “When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance–now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.”

Jesus overcame sin and death for us. After Jesus completed His restoration work on the cross, like God He sat down because everything was done. Redemption had been accomplished. Sins had been forgiven. The Sabbath Rest that God originally instated in the garden had been restored ( Hebrews 4:1-11 ). In other words, Jesus rested because there was nothing left to do. Now He waits for His enemies to be made His footstool.

The book of Hebrews opens with this very idea, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven” ( Hebrews 1:3 ). Evidence that this is currently the case is that the universe is held into place by His powerful Word. Jesus is the glue that is holding everything together and this testifies to the fact that Jesus is seated in heaven at the Fathers right hand.

This is good news for us because it means that His one sacrifice, in contrast to the law’s many sacrifices, worked. We who believe in Him , by this single offering are completely cleansed, perfected, consecrated and made holy once for all. Just like Jesus, we can enter into the rest that God desires for His people.

 “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” (Rev 2:7 [KJV])

And those who shall overcome the devil here on earth shall dwell in paradise with God and the Lamb of God (Christ) forever and ever.

“And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.” (Rev 22:1-5 [KJV])

Amen.

 

 

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