(A Fallen World – Sin, Suffering & Death Enter)
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 will surely die.” – Genesis 2:16-17
Man Disobeyed God. When God created man, He gave man the free will to choose who to follow, for without free will there can be no love (i.e. you cannot program a robot to love, for that is not love).
Satan, the devil, tempted Eve and then Adam in the Garden of Eden to disobey God by eating the fruit of the one forbidden “tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” While Satan tricked them by misquoting Scripture, which is how he deceives, it was a deliberate decision by Eve, and then Adam, to choose to disobey God’s rules. God gives us rules so we can have life, and life abundantly. But the consequences of that act of disobedience were severe, as we see in the world today.
This was the “fall” of humanity and of this world. And realize that it was by this direct disobedience of man in the Garden of Eden that sin entered the world, and through sin, death. Therefore, we live in a fallen and sinful world.
In fact, Scripture tells us that as a result of our disobedience, God Himself (acting out of love) banished man from the Garden of Eden and set a curse on the world. This was to prevent Adam and Eve (and others after them) from eating of the Tree of Life which was in the Garden, which would have led to eternal life – but remember that they were now in a sinful state after disobedience to God, so they would have spent eternity separated from God, for God will not allow anything sinful to enter heaven.
It is this curse, the result of disobedience, the result of sin, which introduced disease, suffering and death into this world. It is what makes this world different than the one God originally created at the beginning, which was “very good.” It is also that sinful nature of man that now separates us from God, who is holy, perfect, just and sinless.
So, please don’t blame God for creating what we see in this fallen world – the sin, suffering and death we see all around us; this is the work of man in disobedience to God. God gave man a) sovereignty over this world, and b) free will. It was man who is responsible.
In fact, in God’s initial creation, man would have been able to eat of the Tree of Life which was also in the Garden of Eden and lived forever in paradise, but they instead chose to believe Satan instead of God and eat from the one and only forbidden tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Now when you read those words, they go by so fast, but let’s stop for a second. Until they ate of the forbidden tree, there WAS NO EVIL in this world. It’s not unlikely that if they didn’t disobey God and eat of the forbidden tree when Satan first tempted them, that God would have banished forever right then and there Satan and all his angels who sinned to hell, which was prepared specifically “for the devil and his angels.” Hell was not initially created for man!
It’s a bit analogous to when God lead the ancient Hebrews out of bondage in Egypt to the promised land in Canaan. The journey should have taken just a few days. But because of rebellion, disobedience and a lack of trust in God, they instead wandered in the Sinai desert for FORTY YEARS. That’s right, what should have taken just a few days walk under God’s leadership instead took man forty years because of his choices. In analogous fashion, instead of what should have been surely a few days until eternal life in paradise (as they would have surely have eaten of the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden), mankind has instead taken this (multi-thousands yearlong) detour through the sin and corruption of this world, before he can eventually once again enter paradise (heaven).
But it gets even worse. For when Adam (after Eve) deliberately chose to believe Satan over God, and to eat the fruit from the one forbidden tree of the knowledge of good and evil, dominion of the earth was in effect “deeded” over to Satan, the devil. It resulted in Satan becoming ruler over this fallen world, the “prince of the power of the air,” until he was defeated by Christ on the cross (keep reading). This world is as a result now a battleground in the spiritual war between the forces of good and evil.
So great was the consequence of disobedience to God and sin that resulted, that God actually had to redeem (buy back, purchase) man as a result of all this from sin and from ownership by Satan and death, so man could once again enter paradise (heaven). That actually is the essence of the gospel message which this book is presenting to you.
Therefore, as we discussed prior, please do not make the mistake of judging God by what you see now around us, which resulted from man’s disobedience of God. We are responsible for our disobedience. God gave us free will, each of us. We each choose our own destinies! We choose who to follow, ultimately either God or Satan. There are no other choices. Even when one deliberately makes “no choice” one has effectively chosen Satan.
Now many will claim that “Satan” is just an idea, a concept, and that he is not real. While it is true that the Bible does not tell us where Satan came from, or what he is even, it is clear that he is a very real being! He also is a created being, most likely an angel. And it tells us that he currently has power over this fallen world! Here’s an analogy to help you understand this: we don’t have to know where the Law of Gravity came from, or even need to understand it completely and fully, to know that it is very real indeed, and there are dire consequences for ignoring it!
So yes, Satan exists, he rules this world because of man’s disobedience of God. He means to destroy you – to eternally kill you; He does this by obfuscating the truth of Scripture, by telling lies, half-truths, and distorting (mis-quoting) Scripture. He is the father of lies.
It is interesting to note that in the documented exchange between Satan and Eve given below in the Genesis 3:1-19 verses, Satan deliberately misquotes Scripture with the intent to deceive, and spiritually/eternally kill all of the human race which was being born, and Eve also doesn’t know Scripture herself well enough either, as she misquotes it back to Satan also! This is why we are admonished strongly to know the Word of God! God gave His Word so we can have life, not death.
Scripture says that sin results in death. Scripture says that on the day they ate of the fruit of the forbidden tree, they would surely die. This means spiritually; they didn’t literally fall over on the ground physically dead that day; but do not make the mistake of under estimating the importance of your spirit, for it is what is eternal! It is even more important than our current fleshly, corruptible (mortal) bodies!
Recall from the last chapter that we were created in God’s image, which means every person, each of us, was created with an immortal eternal spirit. It is now that spiritual sickness (sin) which separates us from God.
So, God in His mercy, love, grace and kindness has provided a way for man to become “righteous” which means to be without sin (i.e. reconciled with God); He has provided a way for our sins to be forgiven, so we can again have (eternal) life with Him.
But first, we all, each of us individually, need to realize we are all sinners and responsible for our own sins. We are not “being blamed” for Adam and Eve’s sin. Please keep reading…
False Teaching(s) You Will Encounter:
- Evolution (once again, teaching us that this world has always had “survival of the fittest”, i.e. suffering and death for millions and even billions of years, when in fact it did not – what we see today resulted from man’s direct disobedience of God)
- Satan (the devil) is just a myth (or a cartoon character)
Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. 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 will surely die.” – Genesis 2:15-17
Now the serpent [Satan] was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said [by misquoting Scripture] to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” 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 [Eve doesn’t know Scripture here either], or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will 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.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, 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 loin coverings.
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?” He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” 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.” 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 you will go,
And dust you will 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.”
To the woman He said,
“I will greatly multiply
Your pain in childbirth,
In pain you will bring forth children;
Yet your desire will be for your husband,
And he will rule over you.”
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 will eat of it
All the days of your life.
“Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you;
And you will eat the plants of the field;
By the sweat of your face
You will 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 3:1-19
For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility [the curse – sin suffering, disease, death, etc.], not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. – Romans 8:19-23
We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. – 1 John 5:19
You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He [Satan] was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. – John 8:44
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. – Ephesians 6:10-12
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air [Satan], of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. – Ephesians 2:1-2
Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. – Galatians 5:19-21
For the wages [penalty] of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 6:23
The one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. – 1 John 3:8
But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. – 2 Corinthians 11:3