HAS Man Ascended or Descended

     The detractors of Moses have not been few. The focus of the greatest attacks have been Moses’ account of creation and his account of Adam and Eve.
     However, for the true believers in Christ the arguments of the doubters are meaningless. They know that the doubters are not only questioning Moses, but also the Son of God and New Testament revelation.
     In Luke 3:23-38, Luke traces the genealogy of Jesus Christ back to "Adam, the son of God."
  In Matthew 19:4-6 (Also Mark 10:6-8) Jesus refers to the union of Adam and Eve in Marriage to establish God's intent that the union of marriage is not to be broken.
     The apostle Paul made several references to Adam and Eve. It is well to note Paul’s testimony of where he received his spiritual knowledge. "For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through the revelation of Jesus Christ." Galatians 1:12. 
     So what did Paul say about Adam? In Romans 5:12-21 the apostle Paul authenticates Adam as the head of the physical human race and the cause of the introduction of sin and its consequences in all of his physical descendants of sorrow, death, and judgment. Over against Adam, he contrasts Christ Who, by His sacrificial death on the cross, is the Head of a new spiritual race that enjoys the benefits of redemption, abundant life, and no condemnation. 
     Paul again contrasts the physical headship of Adam with the spiritual headship of Christ when He writes, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive." 1st Corinthians 15:22. We observe that all mankind are "in Adam" by nature, but only by faith can they be "in Christ". 
     Again, Paul contrasts Adam with Christ: "The first man, Adam, became a living being. (Geneses 2:7) The last Adam (Christ) became a life-giving spirit." 1st Corinthians 15:45. 
     No objective person can question that Jesus Christ and those to whom God gave New Testament revelation believed that the record of Adam and Eve were factual. So let us consider. . .

The Man (kind) God Created

     The man God created was a combination of dust and deity. "The LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life: and man became a living being." Genesis 2:7. We also read, "So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them…" Genesis 1:27. We take note that females are included in the specie "man" and that man originally possessed the spiritual and moral qualities of God. 
     We see something of the knowledge and wisdom of this original man in that God presented to him the various animals, fish, and fowl and Adam gave a descriptive name to each one. (Genesis 2:19, 20).
     To this man God gave dominion over all other living creatures and assigned him the responsibility of cultivating and keeping the garden in which God had placed him. (Genesis 1:28). 
God satisfied Adam’s need for loving companionship. From Adam’s own body God fashioned his wife. God presented this perfect woman to Adam to love and be loved by her. God gave a command to both of them to fill the earth and subdue it.

The Environment In Which Man Was Placed

     Adam and Eve were placed in a garden prepared by God that all posterity has labeled "Paradise". This garden was filled with lush vegetation of plants and trees. Everything was pleasant to the eye and most, if not all, bore fruit or food for their nourishment. At this point Adam and Eve were both innocent and sinless and enjoyed a loving, peaceful and happy marriage. All God’s creatures had peaceful natures and were the loving pets of the world’s first couple. A beautiful river flowed through and out of Eden. A tree of life was there from which man could have eaten and continued living forever if man had chosen to be obedient to God. There was also a tree of the knowledge of good and evil to test man as to whether he would be obedient or not. The first couple were innocent and sinless and lived in a perfect environment. They walked and talked with God in the cool of each evening.

The Test God Gave to Man

There were two trees in the midst of the garden. (Genesis 2:9). One was the tree of life. If Adam and Eve had made a firm decision to obey God they could have eaten the fruit of this tree and lived forever in their sinless state. The other was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam and Eve were commanded not to eat the fruit of this tree and were clearly told why, "for in the day you eat from it you shall surely die." Genesis 2:17b. 
     From the beginning God has given man a choice. He can choose for God and submit to God’s authority in his life or he can forsake God’s authority and make his will to be the supreme authority in his life. Every human being since has faced the same test.

The Tempter That Came To Man

     In physical form, the Tempter was the serpent whom we are told was most subtle of all God’s creatures besides man. At that point in time the serpent was most likely the most beautiful. Since that time the form of the serpent has been one assigned by the curse of God. 
     The real Tempter was a spirit being who had possessed the body of the serpent. We are informed about this spirit being in later times when he possessed humans. In Ezekiel 28:12-19, we learn that he was originally created to be a cherub that covered the throne of God. His original name was Lucifer. He was blameless until unrighteousness was found in him. We are also given a description of his dazzling appearance in the garden of Eden. 
     Isaiah gives us the detailed reason for Lucifer’s fall. He was filled with pride and made an independent choice to make himself equal with God. (Isaiah 14:12-15). Since that time Lucifer has been given a number of descriptive names. The most prominent are "the Devil" and "Satan". 
     The tactic Lucifer used to deceive Eve and successfully get her to disobey God had three steps: 

  1. Raise a doubt in her mind about what God had said. "Has God indeed said, ‘you shall not eat of any tree of the garden?" Genesis 3:1b.
  2. Outright denial of what God did say. "You will not surely die!" Genesis 3:4
  3. Deception regarding God’s intent "For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." Genesis 3:5

From Genesis 3:6a, the effect on Eve was also threefold:

  1. The lust of the flesh – "…the woman saw that the tree was good for food…"
  2. The lust of the eye – "…and that it was pleasant to the eyes…"
  3. The pride of life – "…desirable to make one wise…"  

     Satan used the same tactics against Christ in the wilderness (See Matthew 4:1-10). But whereas Eve was deceived and chose her will over God’s will, Christ was victorious.  Eve "took of its fruit and ate.  She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate." Genesis 3:6b. 
     Paul informs us "And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being quite deceived, fell into transgression." 1 Timothy 2:14.  Adam is not excused. He succumbed to temptation with his eyes wide open knowing full well the consequences. We presume he loved his wife more than he loved God and chose to enter into spiritual death so he could remain in fellowship with his wife rather than stay obedient to God and be separated from her.

The Consequences of Man’s Disobedience

Adam and Eve Died Spiritually That Day. 
     God had warned, "…for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." Genesis 2:17b. The fundamental quality of death in the scripture is separation. 

  • Spiritual death involves separation of man from fellowship with God.
  • Physical death involves the separation of man’s soul and spirit from his body.
  • The "second death" (Revelation 2:11; 20:6, 14, and 21:8) is the eternal separation of body, soul and spirit from the presence of God in eternal torment.

     It appears that the outward evidence that Adam and Eve died spiritually was the loss of their covering of light. We read in Psalms 104:1,2 concerning God, "You are clothed with honor and majesty, Who cover Yourself with light as with a garment…" Since Adam and Eve were fashioned in the image of God, we assume they were also originally clothed in light. On the day they sinned, they were shocked to discover that they were naked and they hastily tried to provide for themselves a suitable covering. As with everyone since who has tried to provide their own covering to make themselves acceptable to God, they found their covering was unsuitable.

Adam and Eve Experienced Fear of God   
     "…And the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God…" Genesis 3:8. In their previous walks with God Adam and Eve had learned something of the pure holiness of God. Now that they had experienced sin they felt a guilty discomfort at being in His presence.

The Serpent and Lucifer Were Cursed. 
     For allowing Lucifer to use him as the channel to bring sin into the world the serpent would henceforth travel on his belly and eat the dust of the earth. From this point there would be continuing hatred between the serpent’s seed and the woman’s seed. This has a double meaning. First, there is a natural enmity between man and serpents. Second, from a spiritual standpoint the serpent’s seed are those who choose to forsake the authority of God and make their will supreme. The "seed of the woman" refers to those who choose to submit to God’s authority and embrace the redemption from sin that God has provided in the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ. That enmity would be quickly illustrated. Cain, Eve’s first born son would reject God’s plan of redemption and restoration and insist God accept what he decided should be acceptable. Abel, Eve’s second born, submitted to God’s authority and presented the sacrifice of a lamb as a sin offering to God. This expressed his faith in the coming "Lamb of God who takes away the sing of the world." (John 1:29). Shortly thereafter Cain killed Abel. 
     In what has been called "the first gospel" it is revealed that Lucifer would bring great suffering to Eve’s promised seed, Jesus Christ, but Christ would be the victor. "He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel." Genesis 3:15b.

The Woman And The Man Were Also Cursed

     To the woman God decreed that her pain in childbirth would be multiplied and the man would rule over her.  
     To the man God decreed that for his sake the earth would be cursed and that thorns and thistles would abound in the soil. Only by toil and the sweat of his face would he be able to bring forth food. God further stated that man would physically die and return to the dust of the earth. 
     We are informed in scripture that this curse was passed on to all descendants of Adam and Eve. "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned." Romans 5:12. Hopes for mankind in their lost fleshly condition is bleak indeed but God has shown Himself to be merciful indeed.

The Forgiveness and Restoration God Provided Man

     Man was trying to hide from God. It was God Who came to man. It was God Who provided a satisfactory covering whereby man could be restored to fellowship with God. It was with "the skins of animals" which at the very least is a hint that a satisfactory covering comes by the shedding of blood and the death sentence falling on an innocent victim. 
     Then, one day the Seed of the woman came. He lived a sinless life; willingly accepted the sins of mankind to be laid on Him and then received the punishment for their sin as their Substitute.  
     The New Testament abounds with the message that through what Christ has accomplished for mankind He will more than restore all that was lost through Adam. Genesis tells us about Paradise Lost. In Revelation 21 and 22 we are told about Paradise Regained.

Copyright © 2002 Thomas E Berry
All Scriptures quoted from NKJV unless otherwise noted

    Copyright © 2008 Truth Helpers Inc.