Play Article Audio
“In the Beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1 KJV & NASB. ‘And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.’ Genesis 1:31 NASB77. This was the way God created this world - there was no sin; everything was good; everything was perfect. There were no animals killing other animals, no people killing other people or animals, or bloodshed or strife, all was perfect.
If everything was good that God created, how did life get so messed up on this planet then?
We want to contemplate what God did for mankind at creation, and what was lost, and how to get it back again.
God made this world perfect, Adam and Eve were perfect.
But they were born fully grown with no experience at life; they had no experience of sin or death or their need for complete dependence upon God. Complete dependence upon God was something they needed to learn.
The Test of Faith Given:
“Out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” Genesis 2:9 NASB. Then God created Adam. After God created Adam: “Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. The LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.’” Genesis 2:15-17 NASB. God created everything that man needed, but He also put a tree in the garden to test him and show his trust. This was a test for Adam to prove his loyalty to Him. After God created Eve, this was a test for her also. It appears that Eve hadn’t been created when God gave this command to Adam to not eat from that tree, because she is not mentioned or addressed by God in this passage.
You may ask, ‘Why did God give Adam and Eve a choice to obey Him, which was to not eat from the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil?
Why did He make the ability of living forever based on obedience? Why did He even give them a choice? Just make them be good! Sounds easy doesn’t it? To easy. This is a question many have asked. He made them perfect, so why did He give them a choice? God wants everyone to have a choice. He doesn’t compel any to love, serve and obey Him. Love doesn’t mean anything when it is enforced and there is no alternative. Love is not real, unless both parties of their own free will love each other; it must be reciprocated. God is kind and loving and does not force Himself on any, but desires all to obey Him out of love. To bring up what someone said one time, who we were discussing the love of God with: ‘God is a gentleman.’ This is to use ‘human terms.’ Would you appreciate someone demanding you do something against your will? Wouldn’t this make you resentful? Then why do some think that God would do this? What kind of a God would He be if He did this? Intelligent creatures come to resent compulsion if it continues too long, and causes rebellion! Forcing someone against their will to be good is not right. The only way someone could be forced against their will and not resent it, would be if they were stupid, and had no understanding; a brute animal. But many animals also have desires of what they want to do or not, and get upset or angry if they are coerced against their will, they just want to be free! We have observed this on several occasions. So not even many of the animals want to be forced to do something against their will either. But all intelligent beings resent compulsion. So compulsion is not an option for genuinely caring and loving beings, which is why God does not do this! God’s kingdom will be made up of those who want to be good, and have let God make them be good. God’s standards of love and perfection are so much higher than the standards of mankind that are so often trumpeted in society today, which are on display in the media through men of “learning” and in the teachings of many religions of this earth, and He is always 100% consistent. God is completely beyond all reproach. If it is wrong for someone to try to compel others against their will, it is wrong for God to do so too! See Genesis 2:18-25.
Adam and Eve were given everything they needed, and their test:
God gave Adam and Eve a simple test. He had given them everything there heart could want, and everything they needed. “Then the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him." Genesis 2:18 NASB. Adam and Eve were made for each other. God truly provided for all of their needs. Since He provided for all of their needs, there was no need for them to fail the test. The choice of belonging to God, having eternal life, and all of the best blessings in this mortal life and the life to come depend on a willingness to love Him and desire to please Him.
So they needed a test to show their loyalty to Him and give them a choice. So the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was placed in the Garden of Eden. God made the test of their loyalty to Him as light as possible. Since God had given them everything they needed, there was no reason for them to eat the fruit from the forbidden tree. What need have you to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, if you can eat from the Tree of Life? How wonderful the Tree of Life must have been! If you eat the fruit of it, you will live forever! Do you know of any other food which can provide eternal life? After sin, God made this statement: “Then the LORD God said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever’" Genesis 3:22 NASB. So the Tree of Life had the ability of making the ones who ate from it live forever. So why eat from the other tree?
A Perfect World:
We believe that if they had remained loyal to Him, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil would have been removed at some point. They had the advantage we do not have of being “perfect”, and living in a “perfect world”. Have you ever heard the expression: “In a perfect world…”? Well Adam and Eve lived in a perfect world! Adam and Eve had no sinful addictions, no predisposition to sin, no bad habits, etc. – they were perfect.
But Adam and Eve fell prey to sin, read Genesis 3:1-24 for this sad story. And so the human race inherited sin from the progenitors of the human race, Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve were created perfect and had no sinful tendencies, yet they fell prey to sin, and thus the whole human race inherited their sinful tendencies from them.
How did Adam and Eve fall, since they were perfect?
They had everything they could want, plenty of food, an easy job (caring for the Garden of Eden), great beauty, and they had each other. Mankind has been going steadily downhill since creation. Think about it: they had the ability of living forever! Then after sin until the flood some lived up to 969 years (Genesis 5:27), then later down to 70 years. Eve would have been the most beautiful woman who ever lived, and Adam would have been the most handsome, the best man, and Eve the best woman – we are fairly certain of this. So they had everything they needed, lived in a perfect world, and they had each other.
Why did they want to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil?
Here we get to the heart of this article. The answer may surprise you! It is the same reason why we so easily fall prey into sin too!
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Indeed, has God said, 'You shall not eat from any tree of the garden'?" The woman said to the serpent, "From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.'" The serpent said to the woman, "You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." 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 desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.” Genesis 3:1-6 NASB.
Satan lied to Eve: ‘he said, you shall not surely die!’ He was contradicting God, calling Him a liar! This is what Satan does, he contradicts God. You can tell whenever you hear any message from him, because sooner or later he contradicts God, sometimes very subtly, and sometimes in your face - boldly contradicting God. Satan said, ‘In the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God’. Satan indeed declared that she could be a ‘god’ here, knowing both good and evil, if she would disobey God. But she already knew God, and she already had eternal life. She had her husband, the perfect husband. And more importantly she was already like ‘God’. What? Adam was created in the image of God, and Eve in the image of Adam. ‘And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness’. Genesis 1:26 KJV. “For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.” 1 Corinthians 11:7 KJV. So Adam was created in the image of God and in the glory of God, and Eve was in the glory of man. And man was like God, and Eve was like Adam. Therefore Eve was like God too! So she was already like God, in her own human, finite way. (We are not saying she was an equal with God, but that she was already like God in her own human-finite sphere.)
Satan tricked her into thinking she was missing out on something big. Thus Satan tricked her out of being like God. When she fell for this lie, it started a chain reaction which caused the human race to fall into all sorts of sin and evil, which was anything but like God! Satan tricked her into thinking that she had to disobey God in order to be like God, when she was already like Him! What foolishness! He is such a trickster! His lie was utter foolishness! Those who really know and love God, will not seek after what God is already providing them. Thus the eating of the forbidden fruit was the first effort made by mankind to earn their own salvation apart from God - to be their own god and save themselves! (But God was already helping them to be like Him and saving them!) If she would have followed God’s plan, she would have become more and more like God, as time unfolded, as she learned to love God more and more. So what need did she have of the devil’s lie? We were all created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26), and John tells us: ‘Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God’ 1 John 3:1 KJV. It was a sin of covetousness, wanting what did not belong to her; for something she should not have. She was offered something she didn’t have or need, something forbidden. She was not really in need of anything, because she had been given everything that she needed, for God had given them everything they needed to sustain their life, and they had each other. ‘The LORD God commanded the man, saying, "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely;”’ Genesis 2:16 NASB77 and God had given her the perfect husband. There was nothing in the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil that she needed, it could only bring sadness, misery, sickness and death. Everything was perfect, except for the forbidden fruit on that tree, and the serpent entwining the tree. In the end, she gave into the devil’s temptation, ate the fruit and gave some to her husband to eat, and he ate.
Why did Eve fall? How do we know that Eve’s doubt of God led to her fall and sin?
The Devil lied to her. She believed the lie, which mean she doubted God, and ate the forbidden fruit. Because Satan contradicted God, and she believed Satan instead of God. You cannot believe what God says, and the exact opposite which is what Satan preaches, at the same time. They are mutually exclusive, one or the other. For Eve’ to believe Satan’s lies, in direct contradiction to God, shows that Satan had planted doubt in her mind that God really meant what He said. Satan told her, ‘You surely shall not die!’ And the Bible tells us that: ‘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 desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.’ So Eve must have decided that God was wrong, and that the serpent was right, meaning she doubted God.
Why did Adam fall?
He loved His wife and didn’t want to live without her. (He might have thought Eve would have died right away?) We think that he may have doubted that God would provide him another wife if she died. Think about it. If Adam had not eaten the fruit, in a few hundred years or so Eve would have died, then God could have created him another wife. But when his wife Eve gave him the fruit he did eat. There is no evidence that he resisted it when his wife gave him the forbidden fruit to eat, but that she gave him the fruit and he did eat. Herein is his sin: he meekly gave in to his wife and ate the forbidden fruit. No apparent thought about whether it was right or wrong, or an effort to resist it. He just ate what his wife gave him to eat.
What would have saved Adam and Eve from their fall into sin?
(Which would have saved the human race from inheriting sin.)
Faith. One simple word, but so full of grace and power: Faith in God! So what then was Adam and Eve’s greatest sin then? Doubting the plain word of God. Oh how many in our day are doubting the word of God too! Oh how many don’t really believe God when He said that ‘the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life?’ in Romans 6:23. Or when Jesus the Son of God declared: ‘he who overcomes, will I grant to eat from the Tree of Life?’ Revelation 2:7. How few really believe what Jesus or His Father declared here! Or when Jesus declared: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16 NASB. Thus it is clear from this that both our salvation and our ability of living forever is based on our faith in God and in the merits of Christ’s blood alone. This is all based on faith.
But you may say, ‘Don’t all Christians believe that the wages of sin is death, and that the gift of God is eternal life?’
Or you may say, ‘Don’t all Christians believe that those who believe in Jesus will not perish but have everlasting life?’ Or you may say, ‘Don’t all Christians believe that only those who overcome, will Jesus grant to eat from the Tree of Life in Heaven?’ To all of those questions we say: No, unfortunately no! How do we know this? Without going into detail and possibly stirring up a spirit of debate, the answer should be obvious: Christianity in our day does not have the power to be good that it once had, as described in the Gospels and the book of Acts, and many other places in the New Testament. And there are many who believe that since we are saved by grace alone (Ephesians 2:5-9 and in other places), that this negates all other passages in the Bible that say that Christians need to overcome by the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 7:14; 12:11) and obey God. Exodus 19:5-6; Deuteronomy 13:4; 27:10. These passages in Revelation show that Christians have a need to overcome! These messages are the revelation of Jesus Christ! Revelation 1:1. (How could someone believe anything that contradicts what Jesus said? Which also includes Revelation 2:7.)
For the most part in the western world, Christianity in general is but a faint shadow of the way it used to be, as Jesus left it when He went back to Heaven after His death and resurrection. Christianity should be good, as ‘the good book’ says! And there is a great lack of faith in the miracles of God too! Without going into too much detail here, today there is not a big difference between a lot of those who claim to be a Christian, and those who do not claim to be one at all, other than rhetoric. You can’t slip a piece of paper between many of them! We know there are exceptions, but unfortunately they are not the norm nowadays. In general, there is a big lack of faith in God to do what He says He will do - a big lack of faith in both the promises and the curses laid out in the Bible. But Hebrews 11:6 declares that without faith it is impossible to please God! So unfortunately we see now that not all Christians really believe in the promises of God all-the-way, including Romans 6:23, Revelation 2:7, and John 3:16, for if they did, what a change there would be in this world today! What a blessing Christians would then be! What a wonderful world this would be, if they believed in the plain, simple word of God? But this is not God’s intent for this world or the way He wants Christians to be! He has a plan for all who will listen to fix these problems!
Many don’t believe the plain word of God as it reads, and seek out teachers who tell them that they are OK with no change of their heart or character needed, or that they do not need to do everything that He commanded them. Thus the greatest sin of our day is doubt too! It is an ugly word, that when cherished dooms the soul to misery, then eternal death, unless it is repented of. O reader, don’t be shut out of Heaven because of unbelief: Unbelief in the word of God! Satan definitely lied to Eve like he lies to so many today, saying that God didn’t really mean what He said; that He is withholding something from you - that if you eat that forbidden fruit you can become a ‘god’ too. And of course the devil also tempts people to all other sorts of evil thoughts, evil words, and evil deeds; stirring up as much strife and bloodshed as he possibly can.
So how could Adam and Eve have made it through this temptation?
Faith in God. If they had believed what God had said, and that He loved them, then they would not have fallen! But isn’t this why so many people fall prey to sin today? Doubt or lack of faith in God. How many people, who say they are ‘believers’, really believe all of His Words in the Bible? If they really believed what God said, they would be doing it. Because God gives the power and ability, to all who love Him, of becoming His son or daughter. He gives them the ability of obeying His Word, if they believe! God’s love and power are the ultimate, and are unimaginably powerful! They are beyond compare to anything in this universe. Jesus said, if we would have faith, we would say to this mountain, ‘move to yonder place’, and it would be moved! Matthew 17:20. – Faith can move a mountain of doubt! To him or her who believes the word of God, they have a wonderful power changing them; they have help that is not available to those who doubt. Those who have learned that God is to be loved and trusted - truly have the power to become the son or daughter of God, because God’s supreme power can do anything good for someone who believes Him, helping them overcome a mountain of doubt! This faith does not take away our choice! Far be it! Our belief in God’s Word shows our choice to want to be His son or daughter! And God will honor our choice, whether to become His son or daughter and have eternal life, or to doubt Him and go our own way and do our own thing, which leads to eternal death.
“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.” 1 John 3:1 KJV.
In conclusion, we learned that Adam and Eve had been given everything they needed, including each other, and they lived in a perfect world, yet they still fell to sin. We learned that because they doubted God that they fell prey to sin, bringing all of the woes of sin and evil into this world. We also learned that doubting God is the same reason why we fall too! If Adam and Eve lived in a perfect world, having everything they needed, yet they fell because of lack of faith, then how shall we escape from falling into sin unless we have faith in God too? Therefore it behooves us in our day to learn how to have faith in God, and learn to love Him, to help break us out of this endless cycle of sinning, misery and death. Because we definitely don’t live in a perfect world in our day, and we are all sinners who have inherited tendencies to sin, that unless saved and changed by God, we are doomed to be stuck in sin, misery and eternal death.
May you learn to trust in God and love Him all-the-way. May you gain victory over sin through Christ. May you believe in Jesus that you may have eternal life! May the grace of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all! Amen.
* In part 2 of this series you will discover how God provided the Holy Spirit for Adam and Eve before their fall, to help keep them from sinning, to help them be pure, Holy, good and His, and that after their fall they lost His full presence. And in part 3 you will learn of God’s plan to redeem mankind from this pit of ruin, misery and death, and restore them back to the way things were in the Garden of Eden, where everything was very good! So you will learn of God’s plan for your life, and how you can be restored as well, to what you were meant to be! You can regain what mankind lost after their fall, if you learn to have true faith in God! Amen. This is what we will study!
By John Foll, written between 9/14/2018 to 02/03/2019.
© Copyright 2018 John Foll
#Faith #Test #Doubt #Forbidden #Fruit #Sin #Adam #Eve #Perfect #World #Tree #Knowledge #Good #Evil #Die #Serpent #Obey #Choice #Lie #Garden