Some have made the mistake of questioning the integrity of God’s Word because Adam did not die in the Garden, as stated in Genesis 2:16 and 17. The problem however is not with God’s Word but in man’s understanding of what God’s Word states.
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it:
for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
If the Bible has integrity, then why didn’t Adam die immediately? Some endeavor to get around this point by saying that the seeds of death were planted in Adam on that day. But the Bible never speaks of the seeds of death, it says, “thou shalt surely die.” Further, if God plants the seeds of death, then God is the author of death and the one who holds the power of death. This cannot be true or the rest of your Bible is wrong.
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood,
he also himself (Jesus Christ) likewise took part of the same; that through death
he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
The Bible must be true and accurate from Genesis to Revelation. It must not contradict itself if it is to have any integrity. Now I realize many people have pointed out the multitude of mistakes they have personally found in the Bible. Some have seen one contradiction after another and some of these people even call themselves teachers of the Bible.
Man may lie. Man will make mistakes or contradict himself. Man’s words can lack integrity and be of no substance. But God is not a man that He should lie (Num. 23:19). If God does not rise above the norm of mankind then He isn’t worth being called God!
1 Corinthians 15:26
The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
If God planted the seeds of death or held the power of death, then God must be viewed as an enemy. If God is an enemy why proceed any further? Why worship someone who is so unworthy and distasteful? For any teacher of the Bible to utter the thought that God has ever killed anyone simply demonstrates a complete lack of understanding about the heart of God. This type of Bible teacher may have memorized many verses of scripture but they never got around to looking into the heart of God.
Maybe the person who declares that God has killed someone should have memorized one more verse of scripture. Who has the power of death? Hebrews very clearly states it is the Devil. It was the Devil that Jesus Christ came to defeat. Jesus Christ did not and currently is not fighting against God, his Father. He came to destroy the one who had the power of death and that is the Devil, the archenemy of God.
If Adam does not fall over and die immediately after he eats of the fruit, and if God did not plant the seeds of death within the body of Adam, then there must be something in the scriptures that we are not understanding or reading correctly. If we are to understand what died according to Genesis 2:16-17 and exactly when it died, then there must be more information in the scriptures. There is more information. In Genesis 2:16-17 God is not speaking about physical death, as so many have presupposed when they have come to the Bible. When Adam sinned, he died spiritually. Spiritually he died that very day, that very moment. And all men, with the exception of Jesus Christ, since Adam, because of Adam’s disobedience, have been born spiritually dead.
Remember, man is a three part being. He has growth life, breath life, and spiritual life. What died that day in the Garden of Eden?
And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
Even when you were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ,
(by grace ye are saved;)
And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh,
hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin;
but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
When Adam disobeyed that day in the Garden, he died. He still had growth life and breath life but he no longer had spiritual life. When Adam sinned he lost holy spirit because he had received holy spirit upon a condition. The condition was not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
The Bible calls it death because the spirit is no longer there and without holy spirit a man or a woman cannot have spiritual life. As we just read in the Epistles of Ephesians, Colossians, and Romans, when a man does not have holy spirit he is spiritually dead. He will still walk around, he will still be talking and drawing breath, but if he does not have holy spirit, he is spiritually dead. When Adam and Eve sinned, at that very moment, they lost their holy spirit, and they were spiritually dead.
Losing holy spirit is a great disaster for mankind. Not only does it present Adam with immediate problems, it will plague each and every man that follows Adam until God can rectify the situation with a redeemer. Only one child after Adam, and unto this very day, has been born with holy spirit and that was John the Baptist. And even John the Baptist had holy spirit upon condition.
Now you ask the most obvious question, how can that be? Why would God punish little children before they are even born? How could God hold Adam’s sin against other men and women before they make a mistake? Adam made the mistake, he is the one who disobeyed God, how can a God of love hold it against the rest of mankind?
The understanding to this is very simple. Let me tell you a story that will help you see and understand what happened to the world, and mankind, when Adam sinned.
A little over one hundred years ago, after the American Civil War, an Army officer was sent out west on a new assignment. His name was Colonel George Armstrong Custer. Colonel Custer was placed in charge of an area called the Dakotas. Colonel Custer represented the United States Government. He was given the authority to carry out the will and the desires of the government. He was also responsible to care for the citizens of that government; the miners, the farmers, the settlers, and other citizens in that area. Therefore, the actions of Colonel Custer would have a great effect, an overwhelming impact, on all of those citizens.
For whatever reasons, there came a time when Colonel Custer attacked American Indians at the Little Bighorn. Colonel Custer and his army were overwhelmingly defeated in this battle. And, for a short while, the Army had little to no effect in protecting the citizens of the United States Government. The government acted quickly on a plan to replace the protection, to provide the redemption, the citizens required. They ordered General Terry into the area with his army to protect citizens of the United States. However, this plan did not come to pass the day after the defeat of Colonel Custer and his army.
These farmers and settlers and miners did not make the decision to attack. Nevertheless, the people lost their protection because the man with the authority made a really bad decision. It was not the will of the government for its citizens to be unprotected. However, because the man who was given the responsibility of authority acted in a foolish manner, all of the citizens were left in trouble.
The same is true when we consider Adam. God gave Adam dominion, the authority over the earth. God had no desire for Adam or those that followed him to be in danger. But due to the foolish actions of that one man, all of mankind falls under the power of God’s enemy, the Devil. God enacted a plan of redemption before Adam and Eve leave the Garden of Eden but mankind did not receive the benefit of God’s plan instantaneously.
That is why all of mankind is born in sin. Not because of their actions but because of the actions of Adam. Adam was the man with the authority (Genesis 1:26) and he was the man who turned the world, and mankind, over to the Devil.
This transfer of authority, from Adam to the Devil, takes place because God is Faithful and Just.
And the devil, said unto him, All this power will I give thee,
and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me;
and to whomsoever I will I give it.
The word “delivered” in this verse means to “hand over or surrender.” Adam surrendered his authority and dominion to the Devil. God is Faithful to His Word and by His Word He had given the authority of the world into the hands of Adam. When Adam surrenders his authority to the Devil God must allow the transfer to take place because He is Just.
Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey,
his servants ye are to whom ye obey;
whether of sin unto death,
or of obedience unto righteousness.
Adam decided, by the freedom of his will, to obey sin unto death. When Adam obeyed the Devil, by eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, he became the servant of what he obeyed, the Devil. As the servant of the Devil, what had been given to Adam, namely his authority, became his master’s. Therefore, Adam’s authority is transferred to the Devil, who thereafter is the god of this world. Even to this day and time, God calls the Devil the god of this world.
The results of Adam’s sin had very far reaching consequences beyond spiritual death. Starting with Adam, all of mankind will now lack spiritual understanding.
1 Corinthians 2:14
But the natural man [a man of body and soul only] receiveth not
the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him:
neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Without holy spirit man cannot understand spiritual things. Adam no longer has holy spirit and he can no longer understand the things of God for they are spiritually discerned.
Even today man cannot understand the things of God unless he has holy spirit. With his mind a man can memorize the words in the Bible. With his voice a man can speak the words he has read in the Bible. These things can be done because the mind and the Bible are in the area of the body and soul man. But for a man to see and understand the heart of the words of God he must have holy spirit. A man of body and soul can read the Bible every day, all day, for a thousand years and it will still be foolishness unto him because he lacks the one great component to understanding the Word of God, and that is holy spirit. It goes back to what we have already looked at in God’s Word, and that is completeness of life.
There are men and women that stand in pulpits every Sunday and preach to their congregation from the words of God. Yet they themselves are confused and in the dark because they either do not have holy spirit or have it but have no idea how to utilize the spirit God has created within them. These are the ministers that give up in the long run because they still have a void within their hearts and they eventually treat the words of God like one more failed avenue in their quest for answers and understanding.
1 Corinthians 2:12
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world,
but the spirit which is of God; that we might know
the things that are freely given to us.
I can read the Word of God with people. I can teach the Word of God to people. But it will always remain foolishness unto them if they do not have holy spirit from God within them. Without holy spirit a man will never know what they have freely been given by God.
This is the position Adam finds himself in as he is getting ready to leave the Garden of Eden, no holy spirit and no spiritual understanding. Adam is now limited to learning and receiving information from his five senses only. Now mankind will begin to enter a time period whereby he must physically and intellectually analyze all information he receives in order to arrive at a solution. No longer can Adam simply turn to God when he has a question. Now Adam, and all of mankind, will begin to learn by the trial and error method. The problem with this method of trial and error is the many errors that take place and the resulting problems they cause mankind. From this point, until the coming of the gift of holy spirit on the day of Pentecost, man spends his time unaware of spiritual realities.
In order for God to communicate with man He must now come into concretion. He cannot simply speak to man because, without holy spirit, man cannot receive the things of the Spirit, who is God. God must now make Himself known on the level of the senses in order for man to be able to see and analyze and believe the information God is providing. That is what it means for God to come into concretion.
And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire
out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and behold,
the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.
Moses saw the bush burning without being burnt. He heard the voice and then he believed. This is God dealing with man on the level of the five senses because the spiritual connection had been broken.
And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The lord hath not appeared unto thee. And the Lord said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, a rod. And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it. And the Lord said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand: That they may believe that the Lord God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee.
These people are not wrong because they require a sign. They are natural men, men of body and soul only, and they must receive information by way of their five senses. Then they can determine if what they are seeing, or experiencing through any of their five senses, is of God.
And Gideon said unto God, If thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said. Behold, I will put a fleece of wool on the floor; and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth beside, then shall I know that thou hast said. And it was so: for he rose early on the morrow, and thrust the fleece together, and wringed the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water. And Gideon said unto God, Let not thine anger be hot against me, and I will speak but this once: let me prove, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew. And God did so that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground.
Gideon was not wrong to ask God for a sign twice. Again, he is a natural man that requires something in the senses world before he can believe. Further, his request for a second sign from God is also biblically accurate with what God had stated before Gideon was born.
And for that dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice;
it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.
Gideon only does what has already been established in God’s Word by the writings of Moses. He wants to know if the sign will be given twice, thus establishing the Will of God in this situation.
This is how God had to deal with mankind after the fall of Adam. Once Adam sins, the Paradise Administration comes to an end. Without holy spirit, man’s communication link with God has been severed. Thus, the loss of holy spirit, is only the first great negative result of the sin of Adam. In the administrations that follow Paradise, God will place His spirit upon some individuals. This will give that individual some spiritual insight and understanding. What does it mean when the Bible says a person has spirit upon?
Were there men and women in the Old Testament that walked around with this ghost like thing sitting on their heads? Remember spirit has no form, no flesh or bones as we see with a human body.
Spirit Upon : 2 Categories
Spirit upon is “in” or “within” the person.
It was called “spirit upon” because it was conditional.
Only Adam and Jesus Christ are in category 1.
All other believers in the Old Testament are in category 2.
Abraham was a man of great believing. He was also a man with the spirit of God upon him. Abraham is called the friend of God. Abraham is the one with whom God enters into a blood covenant. Abraham is the first one to be called a Hebrew. Abraham is the first one who is identified as believing God. Abraham is called the father of all who believe. Abraham was an awesome man, yet his spiritual understanding is limited. We can see this from a conversation Abraham had with God in Genesis 18 regarding Sodom and Gomorrah.
And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked ?
We have already seen in First Corinthians that death is an enemy and then, in Hebrews 2:14, that the Devil has the power of death. Yet, Abraham is speaking with God here as though He has the power of death. Abraham is acting as though God is going to kill someone. Why is he acting and speaking like this to God? Simply because he lacks spiritual understanding due to the original fall of man and the corruption of man that has followed.
This spirit upon, in the administrations that follow Paradise, is not much different from our telephone lines of today. It was simply a means of communication, a communication link, by which, God could speak to some men and women. However, due to the corruption that resulted from the sin of Adam, man’s spiritual understanding is sadly lacking. Part of the reason for this lack of spiritual understanding is clearly stated in God’s Word.
And having spoiled principalities and powers,
he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
When Jesus Christ came he made known the spiritual side of life. After the fall of Adam, and before the coming of Christ, everything was viewed, more or less, in a physical sense. In most ways man was spiritually blind. For this reason we can see and understand why the figure of speech, idioma of the verb, by permission is used so often. This figure speaks of a person doing an action when only the permission for the action has been given.
When we read passages of scripture like, the flood in the days of Noah or the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, and these events are attributed to God and His anger with mankind, we become confused because God appears to be the one killing people.
The Bible very clearly states who has the power of death. The Bible also very clearly lays out the character and nature of God and nothing in his character lends itself to hurting or killing people.
We have become so confused on these things and have had our perception of God so distorted because our teachers have failed to inform us about figures of speech. If you do not understand the figure of speech, idioma of the verb, by permission, or the figure of speech that gives God human qualities or attributes, then you will remain confused a lifetime.
I am not looking to point a finger at any teacher of the Bible. All men make mistakes and have gaps in their understanding of God and His Word. The point is to blow away the smoke screen that has clouded our vision and understanding of God almost since the days of the Garden. We blow away this smoke screen by rightly dividing the Word of Truth.