Now up to this point we have read a phrase that is used over and over again and that is: "God saw that it was good." Seven times we read that God saw that it was good. The only thing that wasn't good God fixed. It says in chapter 2 that the Lord said, 'It's not good that man should be alone,' so God becomes a matchmaker and provides the solution to man's aloneness in providing a woman for the man and bringing the woman to the man. So that wasn't good that man should be alone; that's the only thing that God saw in His creation that needed the completion and so God made the woman. God fixed it. You might say, and it would be accurate, Adam and Eve was a match made in heaven. Truly it was.
Somebody once said that they had the ideal marriage, Adam and Eve. Because he didn't have to hear about all the other men she could've married and she didn't have to hear about the way his mother would've cooked the dinner. It was perfect. It was ideal. And wouldn't it be great if we could just read, 'And Adam and Eve lived happily ever after.' But that's not what we read. When we come to chapter 3, everything changes. In the third chapter, the third word of the chapter, we're introduced to a character called the serpent. Now, we've not been introduced to him yet. He seemingly appears suddenly from out of nowhere. And up to this point there's not even a hint as to who he is. It simply reads, "Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made."
This serpent goes for the jugular. Immediately goes to work on Eve, the woman, and consequently Adam, the man to disrupt God's creation. But the question is what is the serpent? Who is the serpent? There are gaps if we just read through this book chronologically and we're introduced to the serpent with really no introduction as to where did he come from? What is the identity of the serpent? Well fortunately, like when you were going to school and the teachers would say, 'The answer is in the back of the book,' the answer to this problem is also found in the back of the book. In Revelation 12, we find the identity of the serpent. So Revelation 12, beginning in verse 7: "And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him."
It's important to fill in these gaps because we would have some questions that any person, any thinking person, would have. How did we get into this mess? Where did all the problems we have in the world come from? Can we really blame all of our problems on the liberal media? Is it really fair to blame all of our problems on the Democrats or the Republicans or any political agenda? I mean, that is typically what we like to do. 'Oh, it's their fault. It's that person's fault; it's that party's fault.' Oh, it's much deeper than that. And it goes back much further than that. And now we're introduced to the serpent-the Devil, he's called.
I heard a story about a woman who was married to a miserly husband. She just had to work to get anything out of this guy. She really had not much and to get anything at all was a real struggle. So she told her husband one day that she was going shopping but she said, 'window shopping.' And the husband quickly said, 'Ok. You can go window shopping, but look only, don't buy anything.' And so she left and went to the store and came home later on with a beautiful new dress. The husband got all upset, 'I told you to look and not buy. What were you thinking?' She said, 'Well, I looked at it, it was beautiful. I just decided to try it on. While I was trying it on, I felt tempted like I never felt before. In fact, I felt as if the Devil was tempting me and the Devil was whispering to me, 'You look beautiful in that dress.' Husband said, 'Well, you know what to do whenever that happens, you say to the Devil, 'Get thee behind me, Satan!' She said, 'I tried that, and once he was behind me, the Devil said, 'You know? It looks good from behind, too.' And so I bought the dress.'
Now in Revelation 12 the serpent is called the Devil. He is called Satan, which means 'adversary.' But how did he come into being? Did God create him to be evil? We have to fill in more gaps so we need to look at a couple passages. Ezekiel 28, as we start reading we're immediately confronted with the ruler of the city of Tyre. It says, "The word of the Lord came to me again, saying, 'Son of man, say to the prince [or literally, a better translation, the ruler of Tyre] of Tyre, 'Thus says the Lord…" Now, if we're looking at this historically, we know that Tyre was an important ancient Mediterranean seaport in the ancient world. And judgment is pronounced upon the ruler of that city, the prince of Tyre. Obviously, it's a human being that is being spoken to because it says, "Because your heart is lifted up, and you say, 'I am a god, I sit in the seat of gods, in the midst of the seas,' Yet you are a man, and not a god, though you set your heart as the heart of a god." So it's a man; it's a human-it says so. But it's a man who thought himself to be much better than he was. He thought himself to be a god.
We can look in the history books and discover exactly who this is. This is none other than a ruler by the name of Eto Baal the Second, who was the ruler of the city of Tyre. He was very proud as a ruler and liked to be called one of the gods. A judgment is pronounced on him. Fine; good; it's a historical narrative. Until we get down a little bit further and the language begins to change and we're confronted with another person. In verse 11: "Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 'Son of man, take up a lamentation for the king of Tyre." The ruler was talked about first, but now the king, melech in Hebrew, someone higher in authority than even the earthly ruler. Is this just another earthly ruler? Well, let's see: "And say to him, 'Thus says the Lord God: You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering; the sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created. You were the anointed cherub who covers."
Ok, now we know we're not talking about an earthly ruler because it says, "You were in Eden, the garden of God." And he's called a cherub, an angel, not a man. An angelic being. "You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God; you walked back and forth in the midst of the fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you." There are a few things we know about this character, this cherub or angelic being that was in Eden. He was the 'seal of perfection.' He was 'full of wisdom, the wisest of all of God's creatures.' This being in Eden, this being that we can identify as Satan, Lucifer we'll find out was his original name. He became Satan. This angelic being was wise. Probably was God's prime minister, helping to administrate his creation from the angelic perspective.
There's also, if you notice, the mention of timbrels and pipes. Those are instruments so we can connect the dots and presume that this anointed angel who helped administrate with his wisdom was also in charge of the worship of God for all of the angelic hosts. And he worshiped God and he led in the worship of God, but because it was worship directed toward God, he somehow felt left out. Because it talks about iniquity being found in him.
There's another passage that helps fill in the gap and closes the gap for us. Go now back to Isaiah 14, a large prophetic book. And again, the background is the wickedness of the king of Babylon is being addressed but the language changes again in verse 12: "How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High. Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol [hell], to the lowest depths of the Pit. Those who see you will gaze at you, and consider you, saying: Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world a wilderness and destroyed its cities, who did not open the house of his prisoners?"
The language is, once again, difficult to ascribe to an earthly ruler. Number two, another clue is something Jesus said. Quoting this I believe in Luke's Gospel chapter 10 verse 18 when the seventy disciples came back from their little evangelistic tour around the Sea of Galilee and were so excited that demons were cast out because of their work. Jesus said promptly, 'I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning.' Thus linking Satan to the fall of Lucifer from heaven. So we have a clue right there with that quote. Now Lucifer, verse 12, means 'morning star' or 'day star.' That's what he was before the fall. He was a star! But he wanted to be the director. As a lot of movie stars love to be. They get tired of being on the other side of the camera lens-they want to direct, they want to be in charge of the show. He was a star; he was the morning star; he was the bright star. But he exalted himself above the stars of God; that is, the other angelic beings.
Five times in this passage he says, 'I will.' I will. Why the repetition? To show us now we have a problem. Up to this point there was harmony in the universe. Up to this point there was only One mind, perfect mind, God's mind. One will, One perfect will. But now there's a second will, now there's a dissonant will, now there's a rogue will. And he fell from heaven. And he shows up in Eden, the garden of God, after his fall, no longer as day star but as adversary, the deceiver, the serpent. Satan.
So those passages, Revelation 12, Ezekiel 28, Isaiah 14, put together, help connect the dots and close the gap that otherwise we wouldn't have closed in reading up to Genesis chapter 3. Back to Genesis 3. We've now covered three words of the first verse. And so we can go on.
"The serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman." Ah, now we're dealing with a different kind of a serpent, obviously. This is a speaking serpent. He said something. He articulated something. And his words spoken were understood by the woman. There was a common language. I'll just throw this in just so you can do whatever you want with it. According to Rabbinic tradition or Rabbinic legend, the serpent, before the fall, had a high intelligence and the ability to articulate words to speak. Before the curse; before the fall. That's one take on it. The other take is that this was a creature embodied, inhabited by Satan, that Satan used as a mouthpiece. Some creature in the garden that could speak, that was attractive, the Hebrew word Nahosh, sometimes translated 'shining one,' rather than snake or serpent.
So the serpent spoke. And he comes in to further his agenda. He has failed in heaven in usurping authority with the stars or the angels of God. So now he's cast to the earth and he quickly tries to advance his agenda with people on earth by immediately going to Adam and Eve, the first man and woman in the garden. Now something I want you to pick up on-you'll see it. Up to this point, God's Word has been very important. God said, 'Let there be light and there was light.' God said, 'Let there be…' God's Word was what He used to create. He spoke it into existence. Hebrews 11 tells us, 'By faith we believe the worlds were framed by the Word of God.'
Just as the Word of God was important in chapters one and two, it's also important in chapter three in that His Word is challenged. All that He has said is now challenged by this being, the serpent. Now that we know he is Satan, or the Devil. He said to the woman, "Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?'" Notice how that's worded. It's a wrong quote. "And the woman said to the serpent." Now she's going to engage in a nice little friendly conversation. Just trying to be friendly; let's just talk this out. "And the woman said to the serpent, 'We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die. Then the serpent said to the woman, 'You will not surely die. 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."
The first thing we notice as the serpent comes to the woman is he challenges God's Word. It's the first question mark in the Bible. "Has God indeed said"? Now, in the original Hebrew there are no punctuation marks in the original text. When I say, 'This is the first question mark,' it's implied by the nature of the wording that it's a question. So it's safe to say this is the first question mark in the Bible. It's a question raised by Satan, challenging God's Word. Now, what has changed? He still challenges God's Word. Did God really say that?
Number two, he challenges God's love. What he is implying by the question is, 'Would a good God, a God of love, keep something from you-His creation?' Did you notice how it's worded? This is not what God said. Satan asked the question, 'Has God said you shall not eat of every tree of the garden?' God didn't say that. What God said is, 'You shall freely eat of all the trees of the garden except one.' So notice what Satan does. He turns a positive invitation into a negative prohibition by changing the wording. Again, implying that 'God must not love you because God is so strict and prohibitive and He doesn't want you to have any fun or any enjoyment. Look what He said!'
The third thing Satan does is flat out denies God's Word. 'You won't surely die!' So that whole approach is something we can still see happening today. We're not ignorant, Paul said, of Satan's devices. Now, in questioning God's Word, in questioning God's love, and in denying God's Word, we get to the core issue that Satan is trying to get at with Eve: Can God be trusted? Can you really rely upon God for anything that He would say as being full of veracity and truth and you can have confidence in? That's really the heart of it. Verse 2, "The woman said to the serpent, 'We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden [which is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil], God has said, 'You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die."
There are a lot of foolish explanations as to what this tree was. Let me just flat out say I don't know exactly what species of tree it is but some have tried to say it's an apple tree, thus the forbidden fruit is an apple. That's how it's often depicted in art. Others say the fruit was grapes and that the sin was making wine. That's legalists really stretching their point. Others go a step further and say, 'Well, the fruit really was emblematic of sexual activity and God was looking down upon that.' I doubt that, since God told the man and the woman, 'Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.' Hard to do it without sexual activity. And within the bonds of the marital union that God calls them to, that permanent marital union in chapter two, that's hardly what it could be.
Whatever it was exactly is not important. This is what's important. God had given man freedom and dominion. But that freedom and that dominion had a limitation. They were still responsible to God; they couldn't do whatever they want, whenever they want. Hence, the restraint. You can eat anything you want except that. Now you're still responsible to Me, you're still accountable to Me, there's something you can't do and that's what you can't do-is eat the fruit of that tree. Verse six: "So when the woman saw" That's the first step she took; she looked at it. "That the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise" Boy, that sounds a lot like 1 John 2: "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life." Here's the second step: "She took." So she saw, number one, number two, she took of its fruit. And number three she "ate." Number four, she "also gave to her husband with her, and he ate."
Eve takes four steps; Adam takes one step. She engages in a conversation, she's being social with the serpent, 'This is what I remember God saying.' She's talking it out. Adam just sort of comes in, grunts, and eats. One step. Unfortunately, women, woman, Eve, gets the rap for the Fall. If you've heard the popular jokes that go on in Christian and secular circles, that it was really Eve's fault, that she got us into this mess. No she didn't. The Bible lays the blame squarely upon Adam. And here's why. Paul says in 1 Timothy 2: "For Adam was not deceived, but the woman, being deceived, fell into transgression." Eve was deceived; she had the right intention. She just sort of was talked into it and she started to believe what Satan said was true. Now, it wasn't true and she's not off the hook, but it was deception. With Adam, it was just flat disobedience. So you can't lay the blame on women. The Bible lays the blame on Adam. 1 Corinthians 15, Paul says, "For in Adam all die." It came by Adam. And so he took and he ate.
"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 coverings." Now we have come to the darkest period of history because every bad thing that happens after this the following week and month and year and millennium, etcetera, etcetera, can go all the way back here. Now everything after chapter 3 verse 6, throughout the Bible, is a result of the Fall. Everything after is the result and the consequences of the Fall and God's rescue operation as a result of the Fall. This is the darkest day in human history. Now into the blood stream of the human race a hidden virus that would infect everyone has been introduced. Far worse than any virus known to man; far worse than even HIV-this is the SIN virus. It is absolutely fatal. It separates people forever from God unless they take the cure. Sin is introduced.
I want you now, we have to do this, these chapters are foundational so let's just get a bit more of a foundation. Don't worry, we will cover chapter three, but go to Romans 5. This will help you. There's a reason we call it a Bible study; we're now comparing texts with texts. It succinctly puts it all together for you, verse 12: "Therefore, just as through one man [and the context here is Adam] sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus 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 to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come." Did you notice the four stages? Sin entered, death entered, death spread, death reigned. Those are the four stages.
When Adam sinned, get this, Adam acted as the representative, the federal head for all of humanity. That's why Jesus is called the last Adam. Everything Adam messed up, Jesus came to undo. The rest of the chapter addresses Jesus as the Adam-the Man-who fixed things that Adam messed up. Adam blew it. He willingly transgressed.
When I was a boy I'll never forget a vacation. My dad, I loved the fact that he took us to the National Parks of the United States to see this wonderful country. On one of the trips one summer we stopped at Jackson Lake up in Wyoming, the Grand Tetons. Early in the morning, there's nothing like that clear, pristine glass-like mirrored lake that reflects the still, snow-peaked mountains even in the summer like a mirror image. It was so perfect. But I was one of four boys. And little boys can't resist calm lakes. And so we picked up a nice little smooth flat stone and, I don't know if it was one of my three older brothers or me, we picked up a stone and threw it at the lake and it skipped across. But it did something to that beautiful image. The image was now marred by ripples. It was no longer a beautiful mirrored image. The image was there, but it was a marred image, a flawed image. You get where I'm going with that? We're created in the image of God. Adam picked up the stone that marred the image of God in man and it spread and death reigned because of it.
How serious are the consequences of the Fall? Well, listen to this: they're so serious that we, by and large, are blinded to the fact how serious they really are. I don't know if you got that or not. Just listen to how we talk about sin. We even hate to use the word sin; it's so brutish and nasty. So base; so coarse. Let's use a different term-let's call it a 'hang-up.' Let's call it 'personal baggage.' Let's not call it sin, what it is, let's give it another name. I know what; I'll call it 'my Irish temperament. It's because of my Irish temperament or because of my German strictness or my Italian or Hispanic hot-bloodedness. That's the reason for whatever I did.' Well, the Bible calls it sin. But we're so blinded to how bad our condition is, we don't even see it and that's the reason we have such problems with things like God's judgment and eternal hell. Because we don't understand how bad sin is-that it's bad enough to separate us forever from God. Because it's around us all the time.
But you'll never go to a doctor unless you admit you're sick. You'll never seek a Savior unless you realize you're a sinner. Only the person who can say, 'I have sinned' will seek a Savior to cleanse them from their sin. We have to admit it. Man has fallen as a result of it. Behind just being sick, it's worse than that. Are you ready? This is our condition. We're not just sick-we're dead. We're dead. I just want you to know that we're dead. That's why I keep repeating it. Dead people can't respond on their own, right? They lack the capability unless some miraculous quickening by God. That's why Paul writes in Ephesians 2, "And you hath he quickened." Or "You has He made alive who were dead in trespasses and sins." When you and I were born, we were born DOA-dead on arrival. Separated from God. The virus of Adam in our bloodstream, separated from God, needing a Savior, because as we read here, 'death reigned.' Those are the results and everything after Genesis chapter three verse six are the results throughout Scripture.
"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 coverings. And they heard the sound 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 among the trees of the garden."
When it says that God came in the cool of the day, the literal translation, a better translation, 'in the breeze of the day.' Probably the cool afternoon, when the breezes would blow, God came and the language implies that this was customary. That God would take His daily walk with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day, in the breeze of the day, in the afternoon. Everything's done; they're winding down. God shows up. The word for 'walk' is Hanach in Hebrew and hanach means to move amongst, to be at ease, or to be conversant with. Isn't that beautiful? It's as if God had a special time to do what He created man for-to fellowship with man and woman. To have a special time to meet where they could just unload, ask questions, talk to Him. I've always loved this concept of God walking with man. Loved it. Did a series on it. God walking with man. What does it mean to walk with God these days?
So there's God and He comes in the garden and Adam and Eve hide themselves. Why were they hiding themselves? Well, God did say back in chapter two verse seventeen, In the day that you eat thereof you'll surely die. They're hearing God coming and they're going, 'Uh-oh, we're dead meat! Eve why did you do that? Well, you ate too, Adam. All I know is we're dead, God's coming!' They were hiding. They were hiding? They were hiding from God? How absurd is that! How do you hide from God? Didn't David say, and I know this is way before David, but the Bible says in Psalm 139: "Where shall I go from Your spirit? Where shall I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, behold You are there; if I make my bed in hell, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell on the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your right hand shall guide me."
I've always been puzzled when I read Jonah 1 about a prophet who decided to flee from the presence of the Lord. What was he thinking? I'm going to get on a boat and run away from God. Oh, really? You're a what? You're a prophet?! Now you know the Hebrew Scripture right, Jonah? Because you'll quote it in chapter two when you're in the belly of the whale quite prolifically; lots of different psalms. You were obviously steeped in knowing the Bible. You surely must have known you can't flee from God or hide from Him. Yet people still do it, don't they?
"Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, 'Where are you?'" Now, did God lack the knowledge? Was God really looking for a GPS setting? What are your coordinates? It's a much deeper question. It's a self-revelatory question. It's a question that speaks to the condition of man. Where are you?
"So he said, 'I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.'" And look at what God says: "Who told you that you were naked?" It's interesting that it seems to be instinctive that when we do something wrong, we hide. Where'd we get that from? This guy. I remember when my son Nate came home, he was just a little tyke and he came home with a bad report card. And he hid his report card. That was his solution, 'I got bad grades; I'm going to hide this record from my dad and my mom.' He hid his report card. As if we're never going to think about record cards or ever ask for it-just kind of let the year go on. So I did ask for it: 'Nate, I know that today you got you report card. I got a letter from the school saying today was the day and to anticipate seeing your report card. Where is it?' 'I don't know.' He was hiding. Where'd he learn that? From Adam. That's where he got it from. It's part of our make-up now.
He says, 'I was naked.' You mean, all of this time you didn't know you were naked? You've been naked since chapter two! You didn't realize you were naked until now? Actually, no. Up till this point, they weren't self-conscious. They didn't have a self-consciousness; they were selfless. They weren't thinking about themselves. Now, after the Fall, there's this deep, self-conscious awareness of who they are. It's still a part of who we are. It's why we do what we do to make ourselves presentable, it's why we worry about what we're going to wear or how we look in it or if we've gained too much weight. That self-absorption that Adam and Eve are now even ashamed to be in God's presence. Self-consciousness.
"I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself. And He said, 'Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?'" Of course, God knew the answer. "Then the man said, 'The woman.' Now let's just back up a moment. We discussed this already, that man in the image of God is a trinity-body, soul, and spirit. The theologians give it the term the tripartite nature of man. We're in three parts-body, soul, and spirit. Now, you should know that not everybody agrees with that and there's this in-house debate among theological minds as to 'Are we bipartite or are we tripartite? Are we just body and soul, body and inward man, or are we body, soul, and spirit?' I believe we're tripartite. Don't let that throw you. The reason these three divisions are given (and by the way, they're given by Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5, 'Now I pray that you would be sanctified completely, that you're whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless for the coming of Jesus Christ.) So that division of three parts-body, soul, and spirit-is simply to show the difference of how man is separated along with animals from plant life. We have a soul, so do animals-technically. Now follow me here. They don't have a spirit, they have a soul. The soul in the Bible is the word nephish, the word creature in chapter 2 on day six when God made creates is the Hebrew word, nephish, or soul. It simply means 'a consciousness.' They're self-aware; self-conscious. Plants don't have that.
So we have a body and we also have a soul, a consciousness, self-consciousness, self-awareness. But we are further separated from plants and animals in that we have a spirit. Plants and animals don't. We have the capacity for God, we have a desire to pray, and we're the ones that worship. I've never seen any dog I've ever had paws up, 'I love you, Lord, ARF! ARF!' He lacks the capacity. That's a bipartite being. We're tripartite-we have three parts. Body, soul, and spirit. But when Adam and Eve sinned, something happened to the spirit component. It died. It was rendered inoperative. It was subdued. It was subjugated. So rather than having the spirit on top and having the mind of the spirit, we have fallen and now we have the mind of the flesh. The body dominates; the body consciousness dominates, not the spirit. That's why we need to be born again. When we're born again, it gets flipped and now we have the mind of the spirit-it's awakened, there's life.
In medicine, there's a condition that some patients have known as myasthenia gravis. And what it is is that the impulses from the brain that are sent to the muscles to contract don't get to the muscles so the muscles will atrophy over time. In a normal patient, the electrical impulses from the brain to the muscles get sent along the nervous system and convey to the muscle by a little apparatus that's on the muscle. It's a little motor plate, a motor end plate, they call it. The impulse hits the motor end plate; the end plate conveys that to the muscle, the muscle contracts. In a patient with myasthenia gravis, there are no end plates. The impulse gets sent from the brain, the muscles don't receive it, so they're not used and so they atrophy. In like manner, our spirits are to be the motor end plates of our being. Receiving impulses from God, responding and controlling by the spirit, the body, and the mind. Having the mind of the spirit. Because of the Fall, the end plates have been removed, so to speak, to use that as an example. And thus we need redemption; thus we need to be born again. That's the problem here. We don't receive the impulse.
Verse 12, God calls them into an account: "Then the man said, 'The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate." Now actually Adam was very logical. The woman gave me the fruit, You gave me the woman. It was true. It was logical. She gave me the fruit, You gave me the woman-it's the woman You gave me! You're the One that said it's not good I should be alone, look what happened! It's logical but it's not theological. To him it made sense, but it wasn't the truth-it wasn't the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The truth was, Adam knowingly sinned, she was deceived, and he will take the blame ultimately because of it. But this is blame-shifting. Classic blame-shifting. And it's gone on, unfortunately ladies, ever since. We're not too chivalrous, are we? We still, 'It's the chick, you know…"
I've heard men say things like, 'Well, you know, I love her but she doesn't make the best choices.' Be careful. She said yes to your request to be married; she made that choice. Be careful what you're saying. You can't blame-shift; this is where it comes from. It's her but it's actually You because You provided her.
"And the Lord God said to the woman, 'What is this you have done?' The woman said, 'The serpent deceived me, and I ate.' So you see how it goes? It's the woman! It's the serpent! The serpent's going, 'There's no one else…' "So the Lord God said to the serpent: Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every best of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life." Humiliated because of it. "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed;" In other words, the enmity will continue generation after generation, "He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel." OK, now it says, 'He.' The Seed is now personalized with the masculine pronoun. The woman and the serpent will have continued enmity, but her offspring, the Seed, will be a male and "He shall bruise your head [or crush your head], and you shall bruise His heel. To the woman He said: I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in pain you shall bring forth children; your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you."
OK, verse 15 is, what I see as the first Messianic prophesy in the Bible. Right after the Fall, God's plan is stated that the woman will have a Seed, an offspring, and One of those people, One of those males from her offspring, as this enmity continues between the woman and Satan, her Seed and he, eventually Satan will be crushed by a Male component of the Seed. 'He will bruise your head.' I'm going to recommend a book to you if it's still in print. It might not be but if you can find it, by Donald Barnhouse (he's dead now, he's in heaven) but he wrote a terrific book called The Invisible War. And he does a terrific job showing us the war that happens because of this verse. Now God announces to Satan his doom. His head's going to get crushed and it's going to be by a He from the Seed of the woman.
If I told you that I was going to crush your head, if I came to you before the service and I took you in the foyer and I go, 'Just wait. After this service, I'm going to hunt you down and crush your skull.' I'd be a pretty wicked guy, wouldn't I, if I said that? But if I did, if you were smart, if you thought I was capable and I meant what I said, you would now enter into counter-measures. Either to get away from my threat or to counteract my threat with some way to attack me so that couldn't happen. That's the invisible war. Now we start seeing the Bible unfold through this lens. The first attempt of Satan to destroy God's Seed, the Seed of the woman, is the very next chapter when Cain kills Abel, the righteous son.
So God raises up Seth, yet another son to carry on His plan through him. We read a couple more chapters. Satan makes the evil so bad on planet earth; it's so wicked that God says, 'I've got to judge the entire earth by a flood.' And He wipes everyone out except one family. And the Seed is carried on through that family. We keep reading in this book and we find that Esau tries to kill Jacob, the son of the promise for Isaac, but he's unsuccessful. We keep reading into Exodus, we discover a guy by the name of Pharaoh who gives this crazy order saying, 'Every male Hebrew child kill-drown in the Nile River.' What was that about? It was Satan's attempt to exterminate the Seed, or the very vehicle through which, his doom would be manifest. You follow me?
We follow that all the way through the Bible. King Saul trying to kill David because it was revealed that David would be the promised one where the Seed would come, the Messiah would come, through David. Kill David and you have no Messiah. We follow that through to Hemen who worked for King ___ in the King of Persia and Hemen had the bright idea, 'Let's kill all the Jews. Exterminate them in one day!' Again, it was a Satanic plot. We follow that into the New Testament. Herod decides, 'Let's kill all the babies in Bethlehem, a couple years old and younger.' What is going on? This mass attempt to exterminate the Seed because of this promise. And even Jesus, once He's alive, once He's on the scene in His ministry comes to the synagogue at Nazareth. They take Him out of the synagogue and they want to throw Him over the brow of the hill. If Satan could have only been successful to exterminate Christ.
And on and on and on it goes through history. This puts a whole different spin on a sin that is still in our world today: anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism is not just another form of prejudice; it's a very particular Satanic form of prejudice. In Revelation 12 we get the answer to it: the woman Israel is persecuted because of the Seed, the male Child that would destroy or crush Satan's head. That's the invisible war throughout history.
"To the woman He said: I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in pain shall you bring forth children; your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you." Now we have a problem. The curse goes to Adam and Eve. This is what's going on: the team is now broken up. If you recall back in chapter one, God said to them, not just to Adam. To them: to Adam and Eve. Be fruitful and multiply. Both of you subdue the earth. Both of you multiply. Both of you have dominion over my creation. It was a team-they were to do it together. Ruling together, subduing together, and multiplying together. Now the team is broken up and it says, "Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you."
There's been a lot of argument as to what that means. I'll make it simple: when it says, 'He shall rule over you,' the term is used only one another time in the entire Pentateuch. Only one other time. And that's in chapter four verse seven. We'll get the answer. Notice after Cain killed Abel. Verse six: "So the Lord said to Cain, 'Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? If you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you" Same exact Hebrew word as 'desire' over in chapter three. It means the desire to rule, the desire to control. 'Eve, you're going to have a desire to control and rule your husband.' "And he shall rule over you." Now the battle of the sexes between feminism and chauvinism, both equally bad, begins here. That tug-of-war. They were once meant to be together, reign together, subjugate together. But Eve was deceived; she usurped the authority of her husband in taking the apple, giving it to him to eat. He willingly went along with it. But because of that, this problem is part of the curse.
"Then to Adam He said, 'Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat of it': Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life." Now please look at that. The Bible never says that work is a curse or a part of the curse. It's the grinding, toilsome labor that is the result of the earth being cursed that is part of the curse of man. "Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return. And Adam called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living. Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them. Then the Lord God said, 'Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever-therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken."
So God becomes a tailor. He was a matchmaker; now He's a tailor. They, Adam and Eve, sewed fig leaves together-that's an inadequate covering. Fig leaves that are green and supple and moist at first, will eventually (cut off from the vine) lose their moisture, dry out, fall off and you'll be naked again. So that's not a good solution. The solution God comes up with here is animal skins. Now to get animal skins, you got to kill an animal. Blood has to be shed. Remember: God said, 'In that day that you ate you'll surely die.' God comes into the garden, they hide. They're thinking, 'No! We're going to die!' They don't die. They don't die. Instead, an animal dies one for Adam and another animal, one for Eve. Now, I can't prove it. I tend to think that these were lambs that were slain, just because of what I know of the rest of Scripture. And that they were wearing this nice, just fly-looking, sheepskin.
What God was showing is that an animal can be substituted for the life of a person. Hebrews 9: "For without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin." Fig leaves won't do it; it's inadequate. Blood has to be shed. Our fig leaves, our coverings, are also inadequate. Now most people try to cover up their sin problem by a couple of things. Either their own good works, 'Well, I try to do this and I really work at this and I'm better than that person.' Good works. It might be good for covering yourself up among yourselves. Because other people just compare their good works. Or they try to use religion. It's inadequate. You know what it's like? It's like going to the bank with Monopoly money. What if you were to go to Wells Fargo and you said, 'I'd like to open an account. Here's $500,000.00.' Their eyes would light up. And they open the envelope and they find $500,000.00 in Monopoly money! You can't do that at a bank; it only works at home with the game.
You can try to cover up with fig leaves your own good works, your own religion, among men. But before God it doesn't work. A sacrifice must be made. Now here, one lamb for one individual. Right? One for Adam, one for Eve. Later on, God showed that one Lamb could be substituted for a whole family when they were coming out of Egypt. One lamb, the blood was put on the lintels and doorposts. That one lamb covered the whole family. Later on, in the Law on the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, one lamb was shed, sprinkled upon the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant, the priest did that and that was one lamb for the nation. And later on, the peak was when John the Baptist saw Jesus and said, 'Behold! The Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world!' So it was a lamb for an individual, then a family, then a nation, and eventually One that would do it for the whole world. And that is the Lord Jesus Christ.
All of that is indicative of Him. Verse 24: "So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life." That was an act of mercy, by the way. God didn't want them to eat of the tree of life and live forever in that condition. Keeping them away from that was the path to eternal life through redemption that would come. It would be miserable if they were to live forever in that fallen, deplored, decaying condition. I know, you might be thinking, 'Boy did we get a bum deal! Adam blew it and I still suffer for it! He ate the wrong tree! He should have gone for the tree of life to begin with.' OK, now you apply that to yourself. There's a tree of life offered to you-it's called the cross of Jesus Christ. Will you cling to the cross of Jesus Christ that will give you life? Will you turn your life over to Jesus Christ or will you cling to something else and cover up with fig leaves?
I want you to understand something. There are only two religions in this world. Only two. You could take every religion and they'd go in one of two categories. One is the religion of human achievement. The other is the religion of divine accomplishment. The second one, divine accomplishment, is the Gospel of the New Testament. Human achievement is basically every other approach to God. 'I do this and I do that and if I keep this and if I keep that…' It's either a gift or it's works. It's either works you do or it's the work He's done. And the only one God will accept is the second.
The issue is never, 'Am I good enough to be saved?' The real problem is we don't realize how bad off we are. That we all need salvation. That's what keeps us from the tree of life. So the choice is still yours. Can't blame Adam when God, through Jesus Christ, offers you life.