Sunday, May 18, 2008

Man’s Plunge Into Chaos

As we further examine the tree of the knowledge of good and evil we must understand the name of the tree. It is not a tree or person of “all knowledge and wisdom” as Satan would have us to believe (See Genesis 3:5-6). The serpent is the teacher of only “good and evil” as Satan himself perceives it to be. He does not have any thing else to offer.

“And 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 shall surely die.’”
(Genesis 2:16-17)

God is making reference to the fruit of the trees when He says “you may eat freely” and again, “you shall not eat.” There are three words that we see as symbols as they relate to the tree of life and to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; these words are “fruit”, “seed” and “eat.” For a better understanding of the words “fruit” and “seed” used as symbols we look to Genesis 1:12.

And the earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and TREES BEARING FRUIT, WITH SEED IN THEM; after their kind; and God saw that it was good.” From this verse we understand the fruit is the product of the tree containing seed for the purpose of reproduction of another tree in its likeness To learn what kind of fruit and seed the tree of the knowledge of good and evil bears we must look at the root of the tree. We make use of the word “root” as a symbol for the word “source” or the source that makes the tree and determines what type of fruit it bears. As we examine the tree of the knowledge of good and evil we find that the root comes from the heart, the innermost being and the very soul of Satan.

There is not much written about the origin of Satan. But from what is written by faith we believe that Satan was an angel in the service of God (see Isaiah 14:12-15 & Ezekiel 28:11-19). These passages were addressed to the kings of Babylon and Tyre. But in their long-range implication, many scholars agree, they refer to Satan himself. We believe that since Satan was at one time a Cherubim in the service of God he had the knowledge of good, thus the doing of good was in him. There was no evil present in him and all that he did was good and pleasing to God. We believe God created him a perfect being with the ability to reason and choose. When he was in fellowship and obedience to his Creator he was pleasing to and in right standing with Him. When he was righteous all his deeds were righteous and good. Suddenly His thoughts became of himself, a conception of selfish soulful thinking; and when soulfulness was accomplished it gave birth to lust. The angel was “tempted and carried away and enticed by his lust” which was born of his own soulfulness. He desired in his heart to usurp God, to take God’s throne and rule over all of God’s creation. His thoughts were against his Creator; his thoughts were evil; thus, he now had the knowledge of evil; the doing of evil was now present in him also.

When lust had done its work it brought forth rebellion, disobedience, self-serving evil works or sin; the knowledge and doing of evil now present in him overcame the knowledge and doing of good. He would also now take the knowledge of good and pervert it to the doing of self-serving evil. There was no longer any goodness of God in him; his thoughts were no longer of the things of his Creator they were selfish thoughts. His thoughts were of himself and for himself, a total disregard for his Creator.

“Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin.”

The birth of sin was the beginning of evil; thus Satan became a being knowing “good and evil”.

“When sin is accomplished, it brings forth death;”

As a result of his sin he was cut off from the eternal Spirit of God. Thus, he became the “father,” the beginning and the source of soulful lust, sin and death. Satan is the enemy, and the tempter; he is the source for “the tree of the knowledge of good and of evil”. He is the liar and the father of lies. Fellowship with him is fellowship with death. The words of Satan are very deceptive and deadly; his words are the seed in the fruit of unrighteousness, sin, that the tree of the knowledge of good and of evil bears.

Thus we see in Satan the results of lust. When he carried out his rebellion he was cast away from his life source, his Creator; he became death. . Now we can see clearly the workings law of sin and of death.

“But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.”
(James 1:14-15)

Satan is the father or source of or the root of lust. He is a spirit being having the knowledge of good and evil as he perceives them and lust springs forth from him and produces a tree ---or rather a person in his image or character. The tree, the serpent, is the image of Satan. The “fruit” the tree bears is sin (unrighteousness) and it has within it the “seed” to produce another tree in the image of Satan; for the seed within the fruit of unrighteousness is the word of Satan.

The word “eat” we see as a symbol for the words “listen to and believe.” Then what is God saying to Adam in Genesis 2:17? We interpret it to be something like the following,

Adam, if you listen to the words of the serpent and believe, you will take on the character of or be the image of the serpent who is in the image of Satan for “a pupil, when fully trained, becomes like his teacher.” You will have a constant source of lust straight from the heart of Satan. You will be doing “good” as Satan perceives good and you will see “evil” as Satan perceives evil. You will be so deceived you will think you are fulfilling your own desires when you are actually working to carry out his will. Further, you will be disobedient and rebellious toward Me; your fruit will be unrighteousness—you will be sin; and you will be cast away from Me as he is cast away and you will be dead as he is DEAD!!

Because man was created perfect he knew no lust, sin nor death. Therefore Satan had no fellowship with the spirit of man for life has no fellowship with death. Satan would attempt to destroy man’s fellowship with God by tempting him from the outside inward.

In the following we see Satan beginning to wage war against the word of God.

“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’? And 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, lest you die.’”
(Genesis 3:1-3)

Adam had taught the woman well!! She quoted the law and was in full knowledge of the results of disobedience. The serpent in a deliberate effort to beguile the woman continued,

“And the serpent said to the woman, ‘You surely shall 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.”
(Genesis 3:4-5)

Satan lied to her! He not only lied to her, he was tempting her to doubt that Adam had taught her the truth. He also was implying that God was selfish, and that he was withholding something from her. If he could convince her that God was withholding something from her she would not be focused upon what she already had. His intent was to get the woman to exchange God’s truth for his lie, to beguile her! Satan had no power or authority over the woman but he knew if he could get her to submit, that is to voluntarily subject herself to the fruit of his mouth, his word, she would obey him.

“When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, (“the lust of the flesh”) and that it was a delight to the eyes, (“the lust of the eyes”) and the tree was desirable to make one wise, (“the pride of life”), (1st John 2:16) she took from its fruit and ate--- (Genesis 3:6f).”

Woman made a willful wrong decision. She exchanged the God’s sweet fruit of truth for the bitterness of the fruit of the serpent’s lips; she believed his lie; she was submissive to the word of the serpent; she was blinded to the fact that she already had good food, beauty and wisdom available from God.

Adam and Eve were one flesh; when the man in authority sinned both their eyes were opened and both had fleshly awareness (see Genesis 3:7). Adam voluntarily subjected himself to the voice (word) of the woman and he obeyed her. The woman was beguiled, what happened to Adam?? What caused him to partake of the forbidden fruit?

“Then to Adam God said, ‘Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it (Genesis 3:17).’”

“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife;”

Why did Adam listen to the voice of the woman?

“But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.”
(James 1:14-15)

Adam knew God’s word, His laws, yet he turned his back on God’s love and His truth and turned to satisfy the lust of his flesh. Adam, being “carried away and enticed by his own lust,” became fleshly and was blinded to God’s love for him. Lust of the flesh had also robed him of his love for his wife and replaced it with selfish lust. No doubt the woman was beautiful to look upon (lust of the eyes) and she gave him pleasure (lust of the flesh), and he must have been proud of her (pride of life); Adam was confronted with the same temptation that his wife had encountered. But Adam was not deceived!

“And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being quite deceived, fell into transgression.”
(1st Timothy 2:14)

The lust of his eyes, lust of His flesh and the pride of life overcame his love for God. Adam’s sin was a departure form the truth and from God, an act of rebellion.

“But each one is tempted when he is CARRIED AWAY and enticed by his own lust.”
(James 1:14)

Adam had a problem with self-control,

“lest Satan tempt you because of your lack of self control.”
(1st Corinthians 7:5ff)

Because of lust Adam lost his righteousness; he lost his image of God. His soul was without hope.

Man is a three part being, spirit, soul, and body. His spirit is from God and has kindred ship to God. His soul, the seat of his intellect, is a creation of God and lives because of his fellowship with God through his spirit given to him by God. Man’s body is a creation by God from the dust of the earth. Man’s spirit desires fellowship with God because of its kindredship to God. His body, through the soul, desires things from the earth because it is from the earth. In other words, his body, through the soul, lust for things from the earth, it is earthy. The Soul is the decision maker. Adam and Eve, of their own will, decided to satisfy the desires (lust) of their five senses rather than the desires of their spirit. Their spirit was a victim of their soul.

“Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked, and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.”
(Genesis 3:7)

The key word here is “knew”; both of them now had fleshly awareness. Adam’s spirit is now dead because of sin. He had lost the guidance of the Holy Spirit of God and was now dependant upon knowledge given to him by his five senses. He would now be led from the outside in rather than the inside out. He would now live according to the desires (lust) of his five senses. Man’s flesh had became an enemy to God and a veil between God and man; thus their soul became a victim of their bodies.

The word “worship” is derived from an old English word “worth-ship”. To worship is to contribute to or to praise something or someone for its or their value to the worshiper. Eve by the act of her “will” placed more value (worth) on what Satan offered her than she did what God had already given her. Therefore she worshiped Satan. When Adam, in the act of his “will,” “listened to the voice of the woman” he worshiped the woman. Adam had disobeyed God; but it was more than an act of disobedience, it was a change of allegiance. When He worshiped his wife he submitted to the words of the serpent through the deceived woman. He was no longer in the image of God; he was now in the image of the serpent. His identity was no longer with the spirit and soul of God, but his identity was now with that of the serpent, sinful-flesh, he had become sin in the flesh. He had forfeited his God given authority. Satan was now his god and ruler. Adam and Eve had, through sin, departed the kingdom of light and entered the kingdom of darkness.

DO NOT MISUNDERSTAND!! Rebelling against God through lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and the pride of life, by an act of ones own will, is the SIN against God. MANY of man’s transgressions DO NOT EVEN INVOLVE A WOMAN.

“Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned IN THE LIKENESS OF THE OFFENCE of Adam---.”
(Romans 5:14f)

Adam’s sin involved a woman; but there are many sins that do not involve a woman, just as there are many sins that woman commit that does not involve a man. There are sins inside the body that does not involve the opposite sex and there are sins outside the body that does not involve the opposite sex.

“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. Then the Lord God called to the man and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ And he said, ‘I heard the sound of Thee in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid myself.”
(Genesis 3:8-10)

Adam’s love for God had been replaced by fear!! He now feared God’s holy presence.

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love cast out fear, because fear involves punishment and the one who fears is not perfected in love.”
(1st John 4:18)

Adam and Eve’s disobedience caused them to feel guilt, shame, fear and condemnation!

As God began to question Adam he was giving Adam opportunity to confess his sin, repent and ask for forgiveness.

“And He said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?’ And the man said, ‘The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me; she gave me from the tree, and I ate.’”
(Genesis 3:11-12)

Instead of confessing his sin Adam began to testify against his wife in an effort to release him of any blame and to place it all upon God and “the woman.” He used the term “the woman” in an impersonal way to separate and distance himself from her and her sin. Adam did not accept responsibility for his own action, he blamed the woman and God!!


Man has a need to take responsibility for his own action, not blame someone else. In his refusal to confess and accept responsibility he was also rejecting repentance.

“Then the Lord God said to the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ And the woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
(Genesis 3:13)

Immediately Eve began to testify against the serpent in the same manner as her husband had testified against her. Adam’s wife had taken on his sin nature. Just as she at one time was in the likeness of God through Adam she was now in the likeness of Adam’s sin nature that was from Satan. She did not accept responsibility for her own actions either!! She refused to confess her sin and she rejected repentance also.

Then came the execution of judgment; the Law they had violated judged Adam and Eve. The execution of judgment is the process through which the purity of the kingdom of God is preserved. Sin is defined, judged, condemned and cast out by the word of God, there-by preserving the purity of the kingdom (see 1st Corinthians 5 & 6). Thus execution of judgment is an act of love, mercy and grace protecting all that live in the kingdom from the destruction of sin. Because of God’s love for His children in his kingdom He has a zero tolerance for unrepentant sin. God’s creation and His children is His kingdom and His Word is His law. The Word of God is the “Corner Stone,” the “Rock” and foundation of the children of His kingdom and the destructive forces of sin will not prevail against them. All who live in His kingdom have been, by grace through faith, born of His law; and by grace through faith, live by the rule of His law; and by grace through faith, are protected by His law.

God is supreme, sovereign, just and righteous. Therefore He is the lawgiver, the judge and the enforcer of the law.

“And the Lord God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this, cursed are you more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly shall you go, and dust shall you eat all the days of your life; and I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.”
(Genesis 3:14-15)

Here we see a new hope for mankind through God’s promise of redemption through the “seed” of the woman. He speaks of Jesus who would be conceived of His Spirit and born of a virgin woman. Through the seed of the woman He would destroy the liar thereby putting an end to the lie. He would lay the axe of truth to the root of the tree of knowledge of good and of evil and put an end to sin (see Matthew 3:10).

“To the woman He said, ‘I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth, in pain you shall bring forth children; yet your desire shall be for your husband.’ And he shall rule over you.”
(Genesis 3:16)

The woman would voluntarily subject herself to the husband and he would ”rule” over her. Man is still in authority over the woman.

“Then to Adam He said, ‘Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field; by the sweat of you face you shall eat bread, ‘till you return to the ground. Because from it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
(Genesis 3:17-19)

Without the Spirit of Life man’s body is no more than dust; his soul is a victim of his body and suffers eternal death. Man was no longer a spirit being housed in an earthen body, he had became totally earthy and to dust he would return; as punishment, his flesh would undergo decay.

“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;’ Therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. So He drove the man out; and at the east of the Garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim, and the flaming sword which turned ever direction, to guard the way to the tree of life.’”
(Genesis 3:22-24)

God and all the angelic beings, including Satan, are spirit; the word “us” used in verse 22 is not referring to the Holy Godhead alone, it is referring to all in the spirit realm. Certainly man was in the image of God before he sinned wasn’t he? But after he had rejected the truth he was no longer in the image of God; but in the image of the “one of us knowing good and evil;” namely Satan. When pre-conditioned thinking is set aside one can see that the Holy Scriptures clearly identifies Satan as the “one of us” man has become like. When God warned man not to partake of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil He knew the results of such knowledge, but evil is certainly not one of His attributes. God drove man from his presence for the same reason He had driven Satan away, life has no fellowship with death. Their sin would contaminate the environment around Him. They were no longer to partake of the tree of life.

Adam knew God’s laws, His truths, but he rejected them and turned to lust.

“So He drove the man out; and at the east of the Garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim, and the flaming sword which turned ever direction, to guard the way to the tree of life.”
(Genesis 3:24ff)
“And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.”
(2nd Thessalonians 2;11-12)
“Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, that their bodies might be dishonored among them; for they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.”
(Romans 1:24-25)

And so it is that man’s sin nature is passed from generation to generation until this present age.

“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned--- for until the Law sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam---.”
(Romans 5:12-14f NAS)

All mankind has need of repentance!!

Man’s wickedness increased from Adam until the time of Noah and is recorded in Genesis, chapter 4 through chapter 6.

“Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. And the Lord said, ‘I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky for I am sorry that I have made them (Genesis 6:5-7).” Man was doomed!!

“But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.”
(Genesis 6:8)
“Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did. Then the Lord said to Noah, ‘Enter the ark, you and all your household, for you alone I have seen to be righteous before Me in this time.’”
(Genesis 6:22, 7:1)

Noah “alone” was found to be “righteous” before God. Thus, Noah, through faith, was a righteous man and God made a covenant with him that preserved mankind through the flood. By faith Noah built the Ark according to God’s instructions. The Ark was the sign of that covenant and all that entered received the sign. Those who laughed and mocked Noah did not receive the sign and they perished. Noah’s faith and God’s word (His promises) were the seal of God’s covenant with Noah. God closed and sealed the door to the Ark; thus Noah and his family were saved from the flood. A very important divine covenant principle to remember is that God makes His covenant with one man of faith; but all who are submissive, because of faith, to the man of faith, received the sign and is included in His covenant.

There were seven people other than Noah who entered the ark, Noah’s wife, his three sons and their wives. Seven indicates God’s perfect work. The seven people of Noah’s family were submissive and obedient to Noah and were preserved through his righteousness. Noah was the eighth person; the savior of his family, their new beginning. Noah was the savior of mankind at this time. Noah and the ark were a type and a foreshadowing of Jesus. Noah preserved mankind through faith toward God and obedience to His word and brought mankind from the old world into the new. God, through Noah, gave man a new beginning. Jesus is now mankind’s ark and eighth day; for all that are in Him, He is the safe passage to a new heaven and new earth and He is the new beginning and eternal life!!

James C Sanford

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