Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
This is the first recorded physical death in the Word of God. For indeed an animal was required to die in order to give up his skin. But there is much more to this than simply making the man and the woman feel comfortable when it would get cold. Nor is this simply a covering to hide their shame at being physically naked. In this verse we have God covering for man spiritually until the redeemer would come. This is a blood covering for the forgiveness of sin.
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The price of sin is death. Man has sinned and now man should die, that is the price of sin. It should have been man that dies but that ends the whole story and makes a redeemer pointless and impossible.
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.
The life of the flesh is in the blood. Man’s blood should have been shed to pay for his sin but God, in His grace and mercy, allows an animal to be substituted.
Does God kill the animal? Again God is not into death. God does not kill. But now, outside of the Garden, while Adam and Eve are going through this transition with God, the world is already suffering the consequences of the Devil’s rulership. Animals are no longer at peace with man or with one another. Animals will begin to kill other animals. Exactly how did this animal, whose skin was used die? I do not know. I simply know that God does not kill.
And almost all things are by the law purged with blood;
and without shedding of blood is no remission.
Without the shedding of blood there is no remission, no forgiveness of sin. In Genesis 3:7 man tried to cover for himself with fig leaves, but they didn’t do the job. So, in Genesis 3:21 God covers for man by substituting the death of an animal for the death of man.
The blood covering will give man forgiveness. It will not remove the chasm of sin that separates man from his God but it will cover for the man until God can completely remove the sin and the chasm with the perfect substitution of the Promised Seed. This is a figure of speech whereby the shedding of blood is put forth for the loss of life.
The word “almost” is used here, in Hebrews 9:22, because there is a sin that blood will not cover. And that is the sin of becoming a child of the Devil. Remember in Genesis 3:15 we saw that there would be a seed of the Devil, “...between her seed and thy seed.” Because of the law that seed is irrevocable, it is a sin that cannot be forgiven nor covered by blood. By irrevocable I mean that once you have seed of any kind that is what you will always have.
You cannot change a horse into a cow by planting the seed of a bull into a mare. Horses will only produce horses, and cows will only produce cows. A child of the Devil can only be a child of the Devil, it is seed. It is the only unforgivable sin in the Word of God. I will always be the child of my parents because of the seed of my earthly father. No matter what else happens to me in this life, no one can ever take that seed back or change it to another seed. The same is true when anyone becomes a child of God by seed. God is always very, very exact in the words He employs. The point here is, it cannot be changed, for seed is permanent.
Yet all sins but this one can be forgiven. When Adam and his descendants will practice what God has taught Adam and Eve, they will be covered and will receive forgiveness for their sin.
And Aaron shall make an atonement upon the horns of it once in a year
with the blood of the sin offering of atonements:
once in the year shall he make atonement upon it throughout your generations:
it is most holy unto the Lord.
The blood was for atonement, it covered, it was to secure them from guilt.
2 Chronicles 29:24
And the priests killed them, and they made reconciliation with their blood upon the altar,
to make an atonement for all Israel:
for the king commanded that the burnt offering and
the sin offering should be made for all Israel.
The word reconciliation means to purify. And that is exactly what the animal substitute did for mankind until the Promised Seed would come.
For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean,
sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
It wasn’t a full payment for sin but a covering. If it had been a full or complete payment then it would have only been offered once, like Jesus Christ. Instead it had to be offered regularly. But even this covering was great for those who believed and did according to the Word of God.
The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.
He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.
He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.
As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
As far as the east is from the west, two directions that will never and can never meet. That is how far God had removed their sins from them. And this was only a covering. It was not what God had promised in Genesis 3:15, it was simply a way to cover until the redeemer would come to pay the price in full.
Are you beginning to see why this transition is so important? If God does not handle these things with Adam and Eve then they are at the mercy of the Devil when they walk out of the Garden. And the Devil shows no mercy!
God has helped man acknowledge his sin so that corrections can be made. Then God deals with the Devil and issues the promise of the coming redeemer, who will completely and utterly humiliate and defeat the Devil and his plans. This provides man with a great hope as he leaves the Garden. Then God prepares the woman and the man to enter a whole new world, a world that is now becoming corrupted by the Devil.
God teaches them about herbs for their physical healing and he teaches them about the animal sacrifice as a substitute to cover for their sin. These are the themes you will read throughout the other administrations. Here in Genesis God has set a foundation for His Word and working with man to restore him to the Kingdom of God.
There is only one more thing God must deal with before this time of transition is completed and that is the tree of life.
The Tree of Life
As we look into his last aspect of the events of the transition from the Paradise Administration to the Patriarchal Administration I must remind you of something we looked at awhile ago concerning the Kingdom of God.
It was important to understand that the Garden was not under the authority of Adam or all that God has done to this point in the transition would have been outside the frame work of justice. But it becomes even more important to understand at this point that God is Just and therefore has the right to take, not only the actions He has already taken, but also the action God is about to take.
And the lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil:
and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden,
to till the ground from whence he was taken.
So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims,
and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
God bars man from taking the fruit of the tree of life. He does this by blocking the way to the tree. If the Garden had been in Adam’s authority, then God would be totally wrong and unjust in this action. For the tree of life would also legally belong to the Devil, it would not be within the authority or power of God to block the way to this tree and still be considered Just.
Now what does the Word of God tell us about this tree of life?
And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree
that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food;
the tree of life also in the midst of the garden,
and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Both trees are in the midst of the Garden but only the tree of knowledge of good and evil is man told not to eat. The tree of life is available to man while he is in the Garden of Eden.
In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river,
was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits,
and yielded her fruit every month:
and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
This verse speaks of the third heaven and earth. A time coming after the Devil and all those who did not choose to move with or believe God are no longer a consideration. This third heaven and earth is a place that has only righteousness.
2 Peter 3:12-13
Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God,
wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved,
and the elements shall melt with fervent heat.
Nevertheless we, according to his promise,
look for new heavens and a new earth,
wherein dwelleth righteousness.
During this time, in the third heaven and earth, once again the tree of life is available to mankind. It said in the book of Revelation that the leaves of the tree would be of service to man. The word “healing” used in Rev. 22:2 means service.
So what do these occurrences tell us about the tree of life and man’s access to this tree?
In the Garden, when the tree is available to man, man is in a perfect state. He is perfect in body, in soul, and in spirit. In the third heaven and earth, man is again in a perfect state. However it is a different perfect state because in the third heaven and earth man will have a spiritual body like unto Christ. One is a perfect natural body while the other is a perfect spiritual body.
Yet, when man is perfect, this tree of life is of service to him. It is a benefit to man when he has the perfection God gives. But when man is in an imperfect state, as in his corrupted state after he has sinned in Genesis 3, the tree of life is not of service or benefit for mankind.
When man no longer has a pure nature, this tree of life is not good for him. When man’s nature is impure, using this tree of life will only hinder the plans of God. And at this point, there is only one plan that God has put forth, that being, the plan of man’s redemption. God didn’t bar the way to the tree of life just to give man and the Devil a hard time. That is not within His nature. All that God has done, during this time of transition, has been to protect, to prepare, and to cover for man. The tree of life is no different. We may not understand the fullness of blocking the way to this tree but our basic knowledge allows us to know that it is for the benefit of mankind and the promotion of the plan of God for mankind.
So what have we seen during this time of transition
as man prepares to leave the Garden of God and enter the realm of the Devil?