The Fall of Mankind Leaving the Garden
The Attributes of God
God has been misrepresented throughout time. First, by men who knew neither Him nor His Word, which is the Bible. Second, by men who knew parts of His Word but failed to see the overall heart of their Father God as He laid out His Word and His Will in scripture after scripture.
The prime example of this misrepresentation can be seen in the category of sin. It is often said, “you cannot have sin and be in the presence of God.” This is true when you speak of God in the spiritual realm, when you speak of God in His home in the heavens. However, this is false when you speak of the material or natural realm. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God, yet God has worked unendingly with mankind to eliminate our sinful nature so that we can be with Him in the heavens.
If God could not be around sin in the natural realm then God could have no association with Adam and Eve after they sinned or natural man throughout His Word, for all of mankind falls into the same category.
As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
In the natural or material realm all men have fallen short of God’s righteousness, for all of mankind is of the image and likeness of Adam. The image and likeness of Adam is a sin nature, through and through.
And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, and after his image; and called his name Seth:
Therefore, your redemption and mine was dependent upon the seed of the woman, an entirely new bloodline, not born of Adam.
The ultimate example of misrepresenting God’s heart concerning sin is when Bible teachers declare that God had forsaken His son while dying on the cross. Nothing could be further from the Truth as presented in God’s Word. But you cannot see the Truth if tradition is more important than God’s words. Sometimes we place too high a value on the words of old simply because they have survived the centuries. The only words of old that have importance are the words God breathed.
In the second century anno domini (AD), Latin translated “in the year of the Lord”, a Christian came along with an extensive knowledge of Old Testament scriptures. His conclusion, the Old Testament God was a tyrant who loved to pass judgment, having no connection nor relationship to the God Jesus spoke of who was filled with love and grace. Jesus must have come to defeat this Old Testament God.
One lesson I learned early in studying God’s Word is that I must allow the Bible to speak for itself. If we come to God’s Word with our answers already in hand we can, and will, make the Word of God say whatever we have predetermined.
Building God’s Word, one word, one verse, one concept at a time can be slow but a meek and humble heart will receive the answers it seeks. Sometimes the answer will surprise you, sometimes it will not be the answer you want to hear. But knowing the Truth is far more satisfying than holding a fantasy that eventually goes up in smoke.
This second century teacher, Marcion, could not understand what he was reading. He could not make it flow with what he assumed he already knew from God’s Word. So, he invented a new god to handle his confusion, Adam and Eve did the same thing.
Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
I introduced you to this man from the second century to demonstrate two points. First, having written something centuries ago, that happened to survive the years, does not make it accurate for its age. Second, having an extensive knowledge of God’s Word does not make you accurate.
Agreement with God’s Word makes you accurate!
God does not change or evolve.
He is the same for every generation, during every Age, and throughout eternity.
God inhabits eternity and who He was at the beginning is who He will be throughout eternity.
The attributes of God are always on display throughout His Word. God’s attributes are inherent to Him, they are His nature. Can you see them as we go through this transition?
From Genesis 3:7 through Genesis 3:24 we have the transition from the Administration of Paradise into a next administration identified as the Patriarchal. In these 18 verses you can see many of God’s attributes on display.
The transition, however, begins with man’s response to sin. So, we will begin with man’s response to his sin.
And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons.
First, man compensates for not having the spirit of God within by sewing fig leaves together to cover the outside of the package. That is the way of religion, change the outside to cover for what is lacking inside. Religion is man-made. Reconciliation is God-made. The works of man will never compensate for the absence of God’s gift of holy spirit.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
The Pharisees dressed up the outside of the package, they looked righteous and glorious in all their robes and good works. Jesus identified them as “whited walls” or “whited sepulchers.” Religion is what man gives man to get close to God. Dead works of the flesh that are spiritually meaningless. No work of the flesh will ever bring us closer to God.
It does not take Adam long to invent a new religious system of leaves to be like the Pharisees. Give it a few years and we will have another group because they have a "new" and "better" way to sew the leaves, or maybe leaves from a different tree! Religion is man-made.
And they heard the voice 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 amongst the trees of the garden.
Next, they decide they can hide from God.
God cannot see me behind this tree!
The spiritual knowledge and comprehension of a natural man is generally fight, flight, or fits of fantasy. The all-knowing Creator of the heaven and the earth will not be able to see me or find me if I hide in the middle of the trees.
And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
This is the figure of speech erotesis whereby God is asking a question, not to gain information but to challenge Adam to consider his current spiritual condition. It is also the figure of speech anthropopatheia or the giving of human characteristics to God. God professes ignorance to give Adam the opportunity to explain what has happened.
And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
Rather than acknowledge his sin Adam goes off into a wild flight of delusion having a mind no longer at peace but rather filled with anxiety and fear. To continue to hide and cover his sin Adam changes the nature and character of God.
Remember the phrase, “hid themselves” from verse 8?
Wilson’s Old Testament Word Studies defines the word “hid” in this manner: “to hide, to withdraw from the sight or violence of another; to hide or conceal oneself; generally for the sake of security; from fear and anger…” This is the type of delusion natural man builds about God. Lacking spiritual insight and knowledge destroys the mind of every natural man by filling his mind with wild and false delusions that are filled with fear, pain, and anxiety.
I can see a father speaking with his child who has disobeyed and gotten into the cookie jar. The child now has a stomachache but refuses to acknowledge the source of his dilemma.
“I just don’t feel good daddy. It isn’t anything I did.” The child says as he continues to avoid eye contact with his father. Finally, the father must become blunt and to the point, “Did you get into the cookie jar?”
And he said, who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?
God has given Adam every opportunity to confess his sin and get right with God, but Adam does everything within his power to cover and hide his sin.
And the man said, the woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree…
The blame game!
First, it is the woman, it is all her fault! Then, you gave me that woman, really it is your fault. I was fine before you changed the dynamic in the Garden by adding this woman.
Today, this is still how man covers for his sin, for his separation from God. We have invented formulas to remove our sins, we have rationalized our sin through extenuating circumstances, we have blamed others particularly or the world as a whole, we have made a list of “good” works that will act as our trees to hide behind.
I can see Adam as the child with the cookie jar as he continues to avoid eye contact with his father and twists the toe of his shoe into the carpet as he finally acknowledges that yes, “I disobeyed and ate a lot of cookies.”
Finally, Adam acknowledges his sin.
… I did eat.
No one forced me, no one tricked me, I did not obey.
But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners? And Jesus answering said unto them, they that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
If you are righteous in your own eyes, why would you seek the righteousness of God?
If you have no sin, why would you need redemption?
If your own works have saved you, why would you seek the salvation God has provided?
Adam needed to recognize and acknowledge his spiritual condition for his own benefit and profit and God was willing to work with him to give him every opportunity to accept God’s reconciliation.
Eve demonstrated she was no different than Adam. Blaming another, finding excuses or circumstances to justify her actions until finally Eve comes to the same place as Adam.
… I did eat.
After confronting both Adam and Eve and helping them come to the place of recognizing their disobedience and sin, God gives them instructions for life and living in their immediate future.
Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
Immediate instructions, containing both knowledge and wisdom, to help them understand life in their day to day lives in a world now controlled by God’s Adversary.
How often does God bring up the sin of Adam and Eve to them in the future? They never hear about it again from God. That is God's forgiveness!
In between God helping them acknowledge and repent of their sin and giving them instructions for the days and months to follow God announces the greatest plan of reconciliation and the greatest proclamation of the ultimate victory mankind will ever hear.
God presents to Adam and Eve His plan of redemption and salvation. God declares the “seed of the woman” while proclaiming the Adversary will fail in His desire to keep God from having a family. God gives Adam and Eve HOPE!
And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: 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.
The Hebrew word arar, is translated "cursed" in verse 14. Wilson’s Old Testament Word Studies defines arar as: “cursed, mostly as to its effect.” Cursed is speaking to the effect the Adversary desired to accomplish. The Adversary will fail! God will have His family.
Yes, the Adversary will convince some that standing with God is foolish. He will convince some that he, the Adversary, can provide all that God promises and more, and he can do it right now, why wait?
Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
God promised Jesus, in His Word, you will be the King of all kings; every knee shall bow to you as Lord. The Adversary offered it now, without the suffering at the end of his life. Jesus said, NO! I will do it God’s way and inherit eternity. You can keep your 60 or 70-year offer.
God’s Adversary, the Hebrew word for adversary is satan, desired to stop God’s desire for a family, that is why he attacked the heaven and the earth between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. God tells the Adversary in these verses that his actions will not have its desired effect. God will still have His family and God will accomplish this through the seed of the woman.
The Adversary will bruise the heel of the “seed of the woman” and this he did in the hours of beating and torture before the cross and the hours on the cross. But the “seed of the woman” will bruise the Adversary’s head, the seat or home of his plan to overthrow God and God’s desire.
In these two verses God begins to lay out His plan of redemption and salvation and to proclaim His ultimate victory! In these two verses God gives mankind the comfort and encouragement of HOPE.
Almost everyone has hope, but all too often it is false hope.
Millions have hope in a lottery ticket but few or even none may win.
Millions have hope in their favorite sports team but only one team wins the ultimate prize.
Others place their hope in a bank account, or a marriage, or a family, or in Tarot cards.
Yet even those who achieve their hope of the perfect job, or the perfect mate, or the perfect child still find a hole in their soul. A longing for something else, a hunger for something still missing, a thirst that has not been quenched.
People speak of a light at the end of the tunnel and that is what these false hopes become, a light at the end of the tunnel. But once achieved the light is gone and you are still in the tunnel, except now the darkness is overwhelming and oppressive. Choking the very air, you are trying to breath. Your false hope becomes no more than a mirage in the desert. Where you saw water and salvation and fulfillment, in truth becomes just sand flowing through your fingers. This is a false hope.
The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of His heart from generation to generation.
Holman Christian Standard Bible
What God plans to do; He does. God is not a man that He should lie.
Hope is the anchor of our soul in a world that is tossed to and fro with the winds of deceit and the rough seas of crafty people with their flatteries and lies.
When God declares victory and redemption is coming by way of the “seed of the woman” then it is coming! Each day we anticipate, with great expectation, the “seed of the woman” to arrive. Mankind lived with this hope, this expectation until finally a woman said in response to God, “be it unto me according to your word.” What a confession of belief!
The “seed of the woman” did come, and he did accomplish what God said he would accomplish and now our hope is in his return to bring all things to a godly conclusion. This is a true light at the end of the tunnel! This is a true water hole in the desert that can quench your thirst forever more!
In Genesis 3:14-15 God gave to Adam and Eve a hope to fill their hearts, a vision of reconciliation with God, the only thing that will truly fill that hole in each person’s soul. A true hope that illuminates the tunnel until the end.
God has another thing He wants to accomplish before His children leave the Garden of God in Eden.
Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins and clothed them.
God gives Adam and Eve the substitution of an innocent animal to cover for their sin.
For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.
God covers for their sin and to this end gives Adam and Eve one more blessing.
So, he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
And he drove Man out, and he caused the glory of his Immanence to dwell of old to the east of the garden of Eden between the two cherubim…
Targum Neofiti Aramaic Translation of the Torah
Many I understand consider this a negative thing but consider the more remote context.
O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubim, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou hast made heaven and earth.
Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; thou that dwellest between the cherubim, shine forth.
God dwells between the cherubim. God gave Adam and Eve a point of contact outside of the garden. God gave them a place to come to where He would dwell. A loving father will stand along side of even His disobedient children to care for them, to continue to instruct them in the right way of life and living.
As we considered some of the things of Genesis chapter 3 were you able to see some of the attributes of God? Did you see God’s response to sin?
Merriam-Webster defines attributes as, “a quality, character, characteristic ascribed to someone or something; an object closely associated with or belonging to a specific person, thing, or office.”
Did you see God’s forgiveness and His mercy as He withheld the judgment they had earned? Did you see God’s grace, His unmerited favor upon their lives? Did you recognize God’s longsuffering as they altered His Word and refused to acknowledge their sin?
What about God’s goodness leading them to repentance or the life God provided since He is the Light and Life of all men? Did you see God’s compassion and care for them as He gave instructions and wisdom concerning the days that stood before them?
God demonstrated to Adam and Eve once again that He could be trusted as He cared for their wellbeing even after they had betrayed Him. He walked them through their excuses and denials of sin then covered their sin with the innocent life of an animal. God waked in Justice before the Adversary and His children as He kept His Word in His righteousness and holiness.
Knowing that a man who has no hope will perish from the inside out, God gave to them the awesome hope of the “seed of the woman.” A hope that they heard and kept in mind as Eve proclaimed in Genesis 4.
And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.
To help Eve understand that this was not the “seed of the woman” God gave her twins, Cain and Abel. A father always does his best to help his children understand.
1 John 4:19
We love him because he first loved us.
Our Father acts in love, for He is love and His love is for us.
©Auxano Ministry 2020
All verses quoted in this teaching are from the King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise noted.