Please Return to Scripture Integrity Home

Go To: Study Eight

Go To: Study Ten
All content copyright 1999, 2005, 2009, 2017 by Free Christian Ministry

STUDY NINE

The Fall of Man

A Study in Scriptural Integrity:

Storylines in Genesis III

Difficult verses in light of the clear, figures of speech, comparison, precedent use and Biblical usage.


In these studies on scriptural integrity, we are seeking keys on how the scriptures convey their meaning.

To come to a greater understanding of the intended meaning of Scripture, it is imperative to begin to gain an understanding of the Biblical account of Creation and the Fall of Man.

We are studying the use of Scripture to decipher meanings intensified or hidden in figures of speech, and we are comparing scriptural accounts, and we are using words according to Biblical usage.

We do not forget to depend upon the Author of this work to enlighten our understanding.

Remember, in our last study we saw that the earth had become without form, and void. Now, God has put everything back together again, and created Adam and Eve in Paradise, which is Eden.

They are to subject themselves to God's standard of good, they are to dress and keep Eden, and they are to replenish the earth.

These are the three fields Man's entire being is designed to envelop. To love God, to love his or her family, and to minister to God's creation. As long as Man is within his proper relationship with God, all is well.

Women, imagine having the handsomest man possible, strong, wise, tender, faithful and passionate, as your eternal mate. This is what Eve had in Adam, and she was plenty a woman not to have had to worry about any other women had there been any.

Men, imagine a woman of unsurpassed beauty, confidant, poised, intelligent, your equal in every way, able to give and receive in every aspect of life without strife. This is what Adam had in Eve, and he was plenty man enough for the challenge.

This was indeed Paradise.

Remember, however, there was one stipulation. There was one element Man, specifically Adam, could not introduce into this "brave new world."

He could not partake of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

"And the Lord God took the man, and put him into 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. 2:15-16

First, the Lord said, of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat. What does that mean?

It means exactly what it says. Of every tree of the garden Adam was allowed to eat. Of every tree literally growing out of the soil in Eden, Adam was allowed to munch on to his heart's content.

Nothing literally growing from the soil was poisonous. No diseases would make him ill. He could fill to his hearts content.

Adam had no problem getting his daily allowance of fruits and vegetables.

But he was told he could not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Since Adam was literally allowed to eat of every one of the Garden's trees, one might surmise that "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" is a figure of speech.

Indeed, in Genesis 2:9 there is mention that every tree pleasant for food and sight was out of the ground literally grown, with the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil an "also, in the midst of the garden,..."

"Also" is a powerful conjunction. Our riddle is to decipher whether it means "also out of the ground" or "also, in addition to those grown out of the ground..."

A hint lies in that the trees for food and pleasant for sight were specifically said to be growing literally from the ground. That is the connotation of origin. The "trees" of life and of the knowledge of good and evil, however, have as their source the Garden itself, for they are from the midst of it.

Did they have a purpose other than to tempt Adam? Certainly. Indeed, Adam was never told to refrain from the tree of life. It only became an issue after his fall. But certainly we have reason to approach this "tree of the knowledge of good and evil" as a figurative usage.

Whenever figures of speech are used, they are used to emphasize, to underline, and to strengthen any literal connotation.

There are so many usages of the word "tree" and its parts (such as "branch," "root," and "seed") to obviously symbolize other things that there need be no stretching of meaning to assume its a figure of speech.

Indeed, many people assume that this section regarding the "fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" refer to sins of a sexual nature. They do so because so often one sees terms related to a tree or a bush referred to in Scripture as meaning "genetic," or "descending from."

For example, in prophesy Jesus is referred to as "a rod out of the stem of Jesse" in chapter eleven, verse one of Isaiah.

Beginning with Genesis chapter three, verse fifteen the promised Redeemer is referred to as a "seed."

And the population growth of a portion of Israel is referred to as being from a "twig" in Ezekiel 17:22.

"Thus saith the Lord God; I will also take of the highest branch of the high cedar, and will set it. I will crop off from the top of his young twigs a tender one, and will plant it upon a high mountain and eminent;

"In the mountain in the height of Israel will I plant it: and it shall bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a goodly cedar: and under it shall dwell all fowl of every wing; in the shadow of the branches thereof shall they dwell.

"And all the trees of the field shall know that I the Lord have brought down the high tree, and exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree to flourish: I the Lord have spoken and done it."

Eze. 17:22-24

Israel is referred to as a "high cedar," and off that cedar God is taking a tiny twig and replanting it, which is in reference to the remnant of Israel left after the Babylonian captivity. It in turn will become a new "high cedar," and the other trees, the gentile nations, will know that God hath done this thing. Indeed, this came to pass and continued up to the conquest of Alexander.

Thus we see that while speaking of kindred relationships, the reference to a people as a "tree" is also in reference to glory, and appearance, not just reproduction and sexuality.

Yet, there is also another figurative usage to things related to trees other than for procreation or glory.

Jesus himself used this figure often, and of simply referred to the spiritual productivity of a person.

"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

"Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

"Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

"A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

"Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

"Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them."

Matt.7:15-20

Every tree not bringing forth good fruit is hewn down. Remember, "In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die?" A similar result, only for Adam it was "in the day," and for others it will be in Judgment.

This reference to a person as a tree is directly indicative of the moral quality of the effect their lives have. This may be the reference in Genesis to the "tree in the midst of the Garden."

And what are these fruits we are to recognize as "not good?"

In contrast to the "fruit of the spirit" in Galations chapter 5 are a list of "the works of the flesh." The sowing of the fruit of evil is manifest in these works.

"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleaness, lasciviousness,

"Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

"Envyings, murders, drunkeness, revellings, and such like; of the which I tell you before, that these which do such things shall not inherate the kingdom of heaven."

Gal. 5:19-21*

Whatever partaking of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil literally was, it was likely involving one or more of these works of the flesh, which is the manifestation of an action based on turning away from God as one's source of value and standard of truth.

And the Scripture's do not seem to tell us which of these works were to be manifested "in the day thou eatest thereof."

So Adam and Eve were enjoying the life God had given them, no doubt busy going about the duties they had to perform.

And Adam and Eve were in fact the purpose, thus the "midst," of the Garden Eden.

However, they also had a very special charge that visited them. There was a being called "the serpent."

"Serpent" is used both of the reptile and of a wily, subtle creature in the Hebrew. While those who tend to view Genesis as Hebrew mythology tend to accept the literal interpretation, there is no overwhelming body of evidence in Scripture supporting this view.

"Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?"

Gen. 3:1

Look at II Corinthians 11:3:

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

Again we see that the serpent beguiled Eve. Revelations 12:9:

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

See? It was the "serpent" called the Devil that deceives the whole world. He started with Eve. Often times people picture the Devil as a powerful, scary thing. He can be, to THOSE HE DECEIVES! Otherwise, to the Christian, he is an annoyance to beware, but otherwise to walk above, for as I John states, "greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.

Adam was given dominion, and was to obey God. Adam was Lord of this world, God gave him life and dominion.

Now, the serpent approaches Eve. He has no power except to deceive, for Adam has dominion, Adam is the Lord of this world. In Adam’s world, Adam is lord over the serpent as well!

"And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:

"But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

Gen. 3:2-3

Here we have it, that old serpent, called Satan or the Devil, appeared unto Eve. A former angel of God, who is referred to in Ezekiel 28:12 as one who is "full of wisdom," he is very sly.

He is called a serpent for good reason. A serpent usually crawls up to its prey in almost imperceptible slow motion, nary a threat, even appearing to ignore the prey as though only nominally interested. Once it maneuvers itself into a position it can spring forth from its coils, however, it strikes with blinding speed and envelops or bites its prey almost without warning.

Satan maneuvered to Eve with disarming casual conversation. He asks, "Did God say ye shall not eat?" While he did not apparently contradict God, he is luring her into complacency and getting her to question the wording of God's commandment.

God said, "Of every tree thou mayest freely eat," but the deceiver asks, "Did He say there were any trees of the garden you can't eat?"

A simple enough, apparently harmless question, only it is calling on Eve to debate an irrelevant but nagging question. While her attention is on this irrelevance he will strike.

"For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."

"And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:"

Gen. 3:5-6

There it is. The serpent started by sidetracking the conversation, sneaking an irrelevant question that appeared to pertain to what God had said while doing what? While demanding justification from Eve for God's commandment.

Eve was perhaps flustered. She did not have, or perhaps comprehend, the knowledge of the word God had given Adam. God had said, "In the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die." Eve missed the boat, and said, "lest perhaps you die."

God did not say "perhaps you shall die", He said "thou shalt surely die."

Eve is flustered, and the serpents within striking range. What is he going to do? He strikes. He directly contradicts what God had told Adam. He says, "Thou shalt NOT surely die!"

Is not "Every man has an eternal soul" the same lie as "thou shalt not surely die?" Is not "Every religion teaches how to become good and saved" the same as "thou shalt not surely die?" Is not "reincarnation" the same as "Thou shalt not surely die?" Is not "you continue through evolution" the same? Its all the same lie, "Thou shalt not surely die," and it attacks the truth.

The truth today is, all are born dead in trespasses and sins, all are dead spiritually, and we will need to get to know the risen Christ to get beyond that.

For Eve the truth was, "Ye shall surely die," and this truth was now ravaged in her mind.

Then, after destroying the truth in Eve, he goes even further, and tries to convince Eve that it is in her best interest to believe the lie. He replaces the truth with a doctrine of lies. "Ye shall be as gods knowing good and evil."

Whoa. Look at this. His attempt to entice Eve is in actuality an attack on God Himself. He is now saying to Eve, "God is jealously hoarding knowledge, keeping you ignorant for His own selfish purposes."

Satan still works this way. He will attempt to lure people away by getting them confused on semantics, or word usage, like asking Eve if God had refused any trees of the Garden. God had not, and it was it was irrelevant anyway.

Then, when he finds we are confused as to what God really said, like Eve was when she answered "perhaps we'll die," the serpent strikes. He first contradicts the Word of God, like he did by saying "ye shall not surely die," then he will replace it with a lie. "Ye shall be as gods."

Indeed, the word "gods" is "elohim." It is the title of God Himself. It was not, "ye shall be as gods," but "Ye shall be as God," Himself!

They would hence be independent, and enabled, and free to choose for themselves. They would be able to look into themselves and judge for themselves how they should live. They would travel their own path. Is not this the same lie told over and over to generations of "truth seekers?"

Call it "seeking," call it "a quest for truth," call it "finding your inner self," call it "finding the good in every man," it is the same old lie, "Ye shall be as God."

It is the religious premise of Theology that "Ye shall be as God to know good and evil." It is the religious premise of worldly Philosophies that "Ye shall be as God to know good and evil." It is even the religious premise of modern Science that "Ye shall be as God to know good and evil."

Through a certain ______ (fill the blank with "theology," "philosophy," "methodology") Scripture becomes irrelevant, man does not die, and man becomes enlightened.

This is the pattern Satan uses to deceive. Adam and Eve have Paradise. But now he is bringing them to the brink of death.

Remember, Adam and Eve are created, formed, and made. They are spirit, the “ruach” created in the spirit-image of God, they are body, the flesh formed of the dust of the ground, and they are soul, the “nephish” or biological functioning breathed into that body. In the day they eat they shall die.

"And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat."

Gen. 3:6

Whoa again. She did eat, and gave to her husband with her, and he did eat. Her husband with her?

Adam was there the whole time. She did not have to chase him down, saying, "Honey, look what the Serpent showed me."

He was there when the serpent started talking with her, he was there when the serpent contradicted the commandment of God, he was there when the serpent said "Thou shalt not surely die," and he was there when the serpent said "Ye shall be as God!"

He stood and watched without saying a word. Through one man sin entered into the world, remember?

He was silently allowing Eve to be tempted and risk her life and disobey God while "looking over her shoulder."

Eve was not off by herself somewhere being tempted, then running to find Adam and saying, "Look, I didn't die!"

He was part and parcel to her decision by silent assent, and said not a word the entire time!

This was his guilt. God had not commanded Eve, he had commanded Adam not to pursue the knowledge of good and evil.

Knowledge connotes more than a general awareness of, or of book knowledge. It implies experience or a greater understanding. Adam sat bye while Eve experienced, while she partook of, something she knew to be evil, and then when she enjoyed it, he did likewise.

Whatever details this event entailed, that is the moral bottom line.

And Adam was concurrent, was "with her," the Scriptures say, the whole time.

By one man sin entered the world, for in Adam all die, but by Christ all who live, who embrace him, shall be made alive.

Not by one woman! So often we hear that women are in an "inferior" position because Eve introduced sin into the world, but it just is not true! Eve transgressed, yes, but Adam was to have spoken up, Adam had heard the commandment of God. He did nothing as she was tempted and convinced to sin. Then after he let her risk her life, he joined her in it.

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

"And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden."

Gen 3:7-8

The basis of all false religion is guilt and inadequacy. Before, Adam and Eve are guiltless and they are confident.

Now they are in condemnation. God has not condemned them. No, they are beating themselves over the head with their own sense of shame. And in this you also have the very first attempt by Man to justify his own self through religion.

Man's religions attempt to contrive a way to cover the sins of mankind, to provide righteousness through a covering of Man's device or Man's good works or efforts.

It did not work for Adam, nor for Eve, it will not work for us.

"And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?

"And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.

"And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?"

Gen. 3:9-11

God knew full well Adam had eaten. But this is a question God already knows the answer to, hence an emphasis letting us in on what Adam does to assuage the guilt. And the Scriptures say all will give account.

"And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat."

Gen 3:12

In order to justify himself, Adam tried to blame another for his actions. We still try to blame others for out choices. "I was tempted." "She enticed me." "He knew I had a problem but he made it available anyway."

We each are held accountable for our own choices. Nevertheless, we are also held accountable for putting a stumbling block in our brother or sister's path.

Thus God turns to Eve.

"And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.

Gen. 3:13

In turn, Satan will be held accountable for his part. But Eve is trying to deflect blame for the guilt she bares.

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

"And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."

Gen 3:13-15

Remember, this serpent is Satan, the Devil, who deceives the whole world. Herein is the promise of One who would bruise the head of the serpent, the Devil.

This is the promise of a messiah, of a deliverer, who will right the wrong that has been done this day. His heel will be bruised, for he shall die on Calvary, but he will arise, and he will crush the head of the serpent.

This is the first prophesy in Scripture regarding Christ, and he is called the "seed of the woman."

"Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee."

Gen. 3:16

God's plan was a partnership between a man and his woman. "Helpmate" simply means "companion." It is not that now God wants men to rule over women because they are no longer as important or to punish them for Eve's transgressions.

It is that men are no longer going to be sweet noble innocent Adams, they will be overgrown testosterone-filled semblances of Adam's glory filled with the ability to overpower women for their mere size and strength. Thus they will simply force their wills upon women.

God's revelation of what Man brings upon himself is not an indication that God wants bad to happen as the result. It is simply true that this will happen.

God is not stating His "new plan," He is simply informing Eve of what will occur. And in sorrow (labor) will women bring forth children.

"And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

"Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;

"In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."

Gen. 3:17-19

Again, this is not God's new design. Adam, till now ruler of earth, has thrown earth out of whack. This is simply God informing Adam of what is to occur, of what he can expect from the mess he made of things.

Also, it is not God, by His power, returning the evil of Adam upon Adam. Adam simply brought this upon all mankind. This first revelation of consequence is the pattern for all which follow in Scripture.

In every situation whereby a man dies as revealed by Scripture, this is the light it must be understood in. It must be understood that actions have consequences.

When in the future God allows Man to reap the harvest of Man's own sin and states it by saying "thus he was slain of the Lord," the fact that man brought it on himself must be considered and God merely allowed it, merely failed to act.

When Scripture says, "and thus he was slain of the Lord," it is a figure of speech called "idiom of permission."

God allowed the sins of that man or woman to “come home to roost.”

God causes sun to shine on saint and sinner, His active grace gives us each life.

The idiom of permission simply reveals that God has ceased taking an active role in keeping a certain sinner alive.

"And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.

"Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them."

Gen 3:20-21

Adam and Eve tried to cover their sins with coverings of their own device, with leaves.

But sin, the Scripture's tell us, is in the blood of Man, and can only be negated by the shedding of blood. Thus the Lord God provided Adam and Eve a symbolic way to cover their inequity in their fallen state, so they could quit beating themselves over the head in sin consciousness. He provided skins, which required the shedding of blood, as a covering for their sin.

Later on one finds the account of Cain and Able, which repeats this truth.

Abel provided an offering of livestock, recognizing the fallen state of Man and acknowledging the fact that sin resides in the blood and requires a blood offering. Cain thought to provide (as did Adam and Eve) a covering for sin in bloodless grain and fruit offering.

Did not work, and Cain was not accepted as was Abel for that reason. What Cain saw as symbolic and therefore vain, Abel saw as pertinent and real.

Back to the Fall of Man:

"And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

"Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.

"So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life."

Gen 22-25

Here we get to a curious thing. Adam and Eve were in the Garden with only one stipulation, which was not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

They were never told, "Do not eat of the tree of life."

Why not? Because before, for some reason, it was never an issue!

God had said of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, "In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

Not "May perhaps die," nor "Shall probably die," nor, "Will some day later die."

They were told that the day they ate they would surely, would certainly die.

Did God lie? Or did He tell the truth? If He did not tell the truth then, we can never trust Him. And the serpent would be justified in causing doubt in Eve, and it all becomes opinion.

But God does not lie.

Adam and Eve DID die that day, in a very real and very literal way.

We know that Adam and Eve were created as spiritual beings, and also were given bodies formed of the elements of dust and were given souls that brought biological life to those bodies.

As we follow the scriptures we see that each of their children, and each of their grandchildren, indeed, all of their descendants, have bodies, and all have biological souls, "breath life."

Indeed, even animals have bodies and souls, have breath life, "nephesh."

But only Adam and Eve were created in the image of God. And no man is again referred to as being in the image of God until Jesus is called "the image of God."

Adam was a living spirit until the day he sinned. He then died, leaving only a shell, body and soul, as a vessel for his existence. Likewise Eve.

God did not lie, for they did die in the very day they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

And therefore the Tree of Life became an issue, for had they eaten it, they would remain alive permanently in a corrupted state. They could not be redeemed that way.

So they, and their progeny, were cast out of the Garden, out of Paradise, until it was destroyed in the Flood from whence Noah escaped.

Since that day Adam died spiritually, all men are born dead, without that life which was made in the image of God.

But in our day and age, the promise made of a deliverer, a seed of the woman which would crush the deceiver's head, has been fulfilled. And as in Adam we were doomed to spiritual death, spiritual nonexistence, in Christ we may be made alive.

In Christ we may again be men and women made alive spiritually, as God intended.

Thus we will need to find out in the studies ahead, and more importantly, in our personal lives, the nature of this Jesus, this redeemer, and what we must do to get to know him, and to know how to receive the grace he made available.

For Jesus is the Head of the Church, he is the very Ruler that was chosen to replace fallen Adam.

Jesus is the second Adam.

And through him, through knowing Jesus as Lord and as personal deliverer, we will be introduced to God as our heavenly Father, for no man is reconciled to God but through Jesus Christ.

Thus we must know Christ, and be known of him, in a true and real relationship. We must know Christ, and the power of his resurrection.

This will soon become the focus of Studies in Scripture Integrity. And a relationship with God through a relationship with Jesus Christ will be the end result if we successfully understand the true message of the Bible, the Word of God, and we will be no more dead, but alive in Christ.

 

 

*(General synonyms for these works of the flesh are as follows: "Adultery" is "sex with other than within one's marriage;" "fornication" is "sex without a marriage;" "uncleaness" is "impurity;" "idolatry" is "worship of deities;" "witchcraft" is "practice of magic;" "hatred" is "enmity;" "lasciviousness" is "excess;" "variance" is "quarreling;" "emulations" is "fanaticism;" "wrath" is "angry indignation;" "strife" is "contention;" "sedition" is "rebellion;" "heresies" is "opinions;" "envying" is "jealousy;" "murder" is "killing without just cause;" "drunkeness" is "intoxicated by alcohol;" "reveling" is "wild carousing." Studies of the use of each word is likely to give the reader a more thorough and accurate definition of each.)

 

Please Return to Scripture Integrity Home

Go To: Study Eight

Go To: Study Ten

::: Made with CoffeeCup : Web Design Software & Website Hosting :::