The Authority of God
Perhaps the first question we need to answer about this period of transition is how can it even take place?
Adam commits sin in Genesis 3:6 and the transition begins in verse 7 and continues through verse 24. How can there be a transition when the authority of the earth has been surrendered to the Devil? The Devil has never been big on letting mankind adjust to a situation that is potentially harmful. The Devil will not give man grace, for grace is a blessing and the Devil is not capable of giving a blessing.
Adam and Eve have lost holy spirit, their body and soul nature has become corrupted thereby forfeiting their perfect health and perfect peace. Further, Adam has transferred the power and authority of the world to God’s enemy, Lucifer.
Now, the Devil is called the god of this world, the prince of the power of the air. The character of the Devil is not one to give God the time to prepare man to enter a period of time where he is legally under the reign of the Devil.
The Devil’s goal is to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. So why isn’t the Devil moving in immediately to kill Adam and Eve? If he can kill one or both of them then God’s plan of redemption cannot come to pass. The Devil should be moving in on man the moment man commits sin. Yet something, or someone, holds him back. What is preventing the Devil from moving against man?
What holds the Devil back is the power and authority of God Almighty. God does not allow man to fall under the physical reign of the Devil until after He has worked with him, until He has prepared both Adam and Eve to be able to live under this new world order.
It is important to recognize that Adam had dominion of the earth, but that the word used for earth can have a limitation. The limitation was in Genesis 2:15 and that limitation was the Garden. The Garden was not under man’s authority and dominion. Rather, Adam worked or served in the Garden.
And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
The word dress means to labor, to do work. Man was placed in the Garden of Eden to work. Man was not placed in the Garden to rule. The Garden is called the Garden of God in Ezekiel 28.
This is perhaps best understood when considered in light of the Temple. The nation of Israel was to rule in the Promised Land. Yet within the Promised Land there stood the Temple. The Temple was to be viewed as the habitation of God. Israel would go to the Temple to worship and to serve. The High Priest of the Temple would enter into the Holy of Holies as part of his Temple service. Yet, neither Israel as a nation, nor the High Priest as an individual, ruled in the Temple. The Temple was always viewed as the habitation of God.
The Garden of Eden should always be viewed as the habitation of God. It is God who holds authority and power in the Garden and not man. And that which was not in Adam’s power, or authority, cannot be surrendered or given away to the Devil.
Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.
This is the most basic truth about the Kingdom of God. It is from this foundational verse that we can look at and investigate other verses pertaining to the Kingdom of God. As we look at God’s Word our understanding should grow without this foundation ever being altered. That is the accuracy and integrity with which the Word of God speaks.
This verse teaches us about the scope of the Kingdom of God. It is from everlasting to everlasting. This word everlasting means, “endless and unlimited time; whether past or yet to come” . In other words, the Kingdom of God has no beginning and no end.
When Adam sinned, the problems that resulted only came about in those areas where Adam held authority or dominion. Adam never held authority in the Garden and therefore, could not give that authority away. You cannot give away what you do not have, that is a simple principle in life. Because of this, there is no problem within the Garden itself. Also, it is wise to understand that God has never completely divested Himself of authority or power.
This same truth can be seen with Lucifer. When Lucifer rebelled in heaven, he caused trouble, but never forced God to give up or to relinquish His power and authority in heaven. The trouble Lucifer caused was limited to those areas where Lucifer held authority. In the case of Lucifer, he was the angel of Light.
For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy;
I dwell in the high and holy place,...
Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the Lord he is God;
there is none else beside him.
God is without equal. He has not left Himself without power and authority. To have done so would be foolish and irresponsible and our God is neither. When Lucifer rebelled against God, God simply cast him out of heaven. Then God goes about to re-establish the perfection of what He had originally created. When Adam sins, he is simply removed from the Garden. And, like with Lucifer, God goes about setting in order those things that are affected by Adam’s sin.
Now, when you consider the Kingdom of God upon the earth, it is easy to see that there are problems. But that is due to man. God shared His authority with Adam, giving him the dominion of the earth. When Adam receives this authority, the earth is in the Kingdom of God, just as Adam is in the Kingdom of God.
How can the statement be made, that the earth and Adam are in God’s Kingdom before the sin of Adam? Simple, legally the earth belongs to man and man belongs to God. There is no other kingdom, before Adam sins, in which to place man or the earth except the Kingdom of God. Still, it is easy to see that God does not reign on earth since the sin of Adam. Jesus Christ was fully aware of this point.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
And he said unto them, When ye pray, say,
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
From this prayer of Jesus Christ we can see that the Kingdom of God is not upon earth. His prayer is for the Kingdom of God to come to earth, as it currently is in heaven. This sets some perimeters for us concerning the Kingdom of God. It is in heaven, it is not, and has not been, upon earth since man sinned.
How can this period of transition take place? It can happen because God has never completely divested Himself of authority and power. God rules in the Garden, not Adam. Therefore, the Devil received no authority from Adam in reference to the Garden of Eden. As long as man remains in the Garden of Eden he is protected by God, even though he is legally under the rule of the Devil.
We must always understand that God is Just. Whether you or I understand all things that are currently happening in this world or things that have occurred in history is irrelevant. A foundational understanding of the character and nature of God demands we acknowledge God being Just in all things.
Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together:
who hath Declared this from ancient time?
Who hath told it from that time? Have not I the Lord? And there is no God else beside me;
a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.
God is Just. And because God is Just He must allow the transfer of authority and power, from Adam to the Devil. He must allow man to legally fall into the hands of the Devil. Yet before man falls into the hands of the Devil, God exercises His legal and Just authority while man is still in the Garden. God is going to protect His family. God is going to give His family the opportunity to succeed and be successful. God is going to instruct His children and show them how they can fellowship with Him under this new arrangement.
Man’s Response To His Sin
The first thing we see in this time of transition from Paradise is how man responds to what he has done.
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, let’s look at this word naked. It is the Hebrew word erom, and it means to be naked. But it can either be spiritually or physically naked. The context, where it is used each time, will determine how it is being used.
Ezekiel 23:2-4, 29
Son of man, there was two women, the daughters of one mother:
And they committed whoredoms in Egypt; they committed whoredoms in their youth:
There were their breasts pressed, and there they bruised the teats of their virginity.
And the names of them were Aholah the elder, and Aholibah her sister:
and they were mine, and they bare sons and daughters.
Thus were their names; Samaria is Aholah, and Jerusalem Aholibah.
..And they shall deal with thee hatefully, and shall take away all thy labour,
and shall leave thee naked and bare: and the nakedness of thy whoredoms shall be discovered, both thy lewdness and thy whoredoms.
This is an example of the word erom being used in reference to spiritual nakedness. It is the context that will decide the correct application and understanding of this word.
In Genesis 3:7 the problem with understanding this word in the context is that there seems to be no proper context. However, many have read Genesis 2:25 and immediately assumed that God is speaking about physical nakedness in Genesis 3:7.
And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
The word translated naked in Genesis 2:25 is the same word translated subtil in Genesis 3:1. The word arum means wise. It is used of wisdom in a good sense or a bad sense. Again the context is the key to telling you what kind of wisdom God is talking about. When it is used in a bad sense it could be translated crafty or maybe even subtil. The Devil was wise in a bad sense. As we saw in Ezekiel, his wisdom or righteous judgments lay in ruins. His wisdom became corrupt. But in Genesis 2:25 arum is used in the good sense.
Adam and Eve were wise and they were not ashamed. Ashamed means, to be disappointed in your expectations or to have a consciousness of disgrace. It is an internal feeling. In other words, Adam and Eve were wise, their judgments were righteous and they had no sense of guilt before God. There were no internal feelings of shame, in them, before God. They were righteous, living and acting on God’s words, having no sense of guilt, wrong doing or condemnation. This is what Genesis 2:25 is teaching us.
A fool despiseth his father’s instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent.
Adam and Eve were wise. They heard the words of their Father and walked in those words. Therefore, there were no inner feelings of shame or guilt; they did not feel any disgrace standing before God. But now, how does this relate to being naked and afraid in Genesis 3:7?
After Adam and Eve sinned they realized, in chapter 3 verse 7, one of the results of their sin. They knew that they were spiritually naked. They knew they had lost holy spirit. And with that realization, came the first religious act of mankind. Once Adam and Eve realize they have lost holy spirit they take mankind’s first self-righteous action.
And the eyes of them were both opened, and they knew that they were naked [spiritually]:
and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
Adam and Eve make aprons out of fig leaves to cover themselves. This is the first religious action of mankind. God works from the inside out, natural man always works from the outside in. Man tries to cover for the loss of holy spirit by covering the outside of the package. Man did not know at this time that his own works could never replace what God had freely given to him. Basically, man still has not realized that his own works, good or otherwise, will never take the place of holy spirit, of being righteous from the inside out. Man wants to replace the image of God on the inside with a cheap covering of leaves on the outside. Leaves, prayers, good deeds, faithfulness to showing up at a building weekly, or even daily, none will replace the gift of God, the gift of holy spirit that God creates within anyone who believes.
From this starting point we can see that God has some work to do with Adam and Eve before they leave the Garden. In the next verse God comes to man to start the process of reconciliation.
Here we will begin to see God’s response to sin. We have already started to see how man responds to sin. He tries to cover with self-righteous actions that are basically pointless. Now we’ll see how God handles sin.