Jamestown Seventh-Day Adventist Church

Chapter 2: The Fall
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Chapter 2: The Fall
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“Now the serpent was more subtle 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?” Genesis 3:1

We weren’t there so we don’t really know what went down, but Moses, who wrote the book of Genesis, has given us a pretty good narrative of how Creation took place and how God and the first pair may have met together, face to face and walked and talked in the cool of the day. He had given them dominion over all Creation from the end of the sixth day forward. He then ceased his work of creating and rested on the seventh day and set that day aside, blessed and sanctified it as a Sanctuary in Time “because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made” (Genesis 2:3)

All should have gone well. The first pair had the fellowship of God Himself and He, in turn, had the fellowship of the humans He had created in His own image. Love flowed freely to and fro. But, where this God generated love is there must be freedom. And, in order to have freedom, there must be choice. In the absence of choice, there is no freedom.

"Though created innocent and holy, our first parents were not placed beyond the possibility of wrong-doing. God might have created them without the power to transgress His requirements, but in that case there could have been no development of character; their service would not have been voluntary, but forced. Therefore He gave the power of choice --- the power to yield or to withhold obedience. And before they receive in fullness the blessings He desired to impart, their love and loyalty must be tested."  ED 23*

Notice how Pastor Brian Jones puts it: “Love cannot exist without moral freedom and moral freedom cannot exist without the capacity to do wrong.”

So, God set an element of choice in the midst of the garden and called it the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Somehow it even sounds ominous! As it turns out, it was.

God wanted to have this friendship with the human family as a loving Father, but there was a fallen angel, formerly called Lucifer who would interpose himself between them if he could. For, you see, he wanted to “be like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:12-14) and he would do anything to accomplish it. So, he used his wide range of powers to interject himself into the serpent, that creature that was “more subtle that any beast of the field.” And that’s where we began.

"No longer free to stir up rebellion in heaven, Satan's enmity against God found a new field in plotting the ruin of the human race. In the happiness and peace of the holy pair in Eden he beheld a vision of the bliss that to him was forever lost. Moved by envy, he determined to incite them to disobedience, and bring upon them the guilt and penalty of sin. He would change their love to distrust and their songs of praise to reproaches against their Maker. Thus he would not only plunge these innocent beings into the same misery which he was himself enduring, but would cast dishonor upon God, and grief in heaven."  PP 44*

The attack was masterful! Poor Eve was blindsided, She never knew what hit her. Satan had suggested that God may have been disingenuous in saying don’t eat of the tree in the midst of the garden. Allow me to paraphrase his question; “Did God really say, ‘You cannot eat of the trees of the garden?’

Now if you were one of God’s children and someone said that to you, what would you do? What would you say? Probably you would defend God just as Eve did. In effect, she said. “No, that’s not what he said; He said ‘you may eat of every tree of the garden with the exception of the tree that is in the middle. That one,’ he said, ‘you shall not eat of it for in the day that you eat of it, you will begin to die.’”(Dying you will die in the original language.)

"Had Eve refrained from entering into argument with the tempter, she would have been safe; but she ventured to parley with him and fell a victim to his wiles. It is thus that many are still overcome." GC 531-532*

But Satan immediately retorts, “You shall not surely die…” Well, now it becomes a question of whom do you trust? Whom do you want to believe? Whom will you follow? To whom will you be loyal?

The truth is, they died. Scripture states it clearly, “And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.” (Genesis 5:5) So who was right? The answer is obvious. God was right, He always is. There is a natural law stated by the Apostle Paul. It says simply, “The wages of sin is death…” That is to say, what sin results in is death. End of the story! Except…!

"The test given to Adam and Eve was very light, but they could not bear it. They disobeyed God, and this transgression opened the flood gates of woe on our world."  1BC 1083 (MS 50, 1893)*

May I chase one small rabbit here?

What was the sin that Eve committed? Very often we say that it was that she ate the apple. Do you really think that’s what it amounted to? Eating a piece of fruit that was “good for food and pleasant to the eye?” Is that all it was. No, that is not what it was. Eve chose to listen to another master. She used her freedom, that element that was so important to God that He risked everything to make it available to the human race, and she used it to elect another leader; another master. She didn’t actively reject God, but effectively did so by accepting the other. With that election, there was a great gulf fixed! Except…! Now we’re back where we were when we began chasing this rabbit.

Praise God there is an exception. In Genesis 3:15 there is the first promise of a Savior; a Savior from the sin that we found ourselves in. The text says, with God speaking to the serpent, that is to say, Satan (Revelation 12:9) “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.” What God is saying is that the Woman would have an offspring and the ‘seed’ of the Woman would wound his (Satan’s) head, giving the serpent a deadly wound. But, the good news is that the seed of the serpent, (his followers) would bruise his, (the woman’s Seed) heel, resulting in only a superficial, or non-lethal, wound. That’s the story of Salvation! That’s the Gospel! That’s the story of the Great Controversy between Christ and Satan! That’s the substance of the Sanctuary!

But man was not abandoned to the results of the evil he had chosen. In the sentence pronounced upon Satan was given an intimation of redemption. "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise they head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." Genesis 3:15

This sentence, spoken in the hearing of our first parents, was to them a promise. Before they heard of the thorn and the thistle, of the toil and sorrow that must be their portion, or of the dust to which they must return, they listened to words that could not fail of giving them hope. All that had been lost by yielding to Satan could be regained through Christ."  ED 27*

God’s greatest desire was interrupted, for a time, but as we shall see, it is reinstated and He once again realizes His wish – to Dwell with His people! He would bridge the chasm that had been created by the entrance of sin. He would initiate a plan and engineer reconciliation between God and Man.

But now, it is just beginning to get interesting!

DLK

*Ellen G. White comments selected by Kathy Haller.