If Thoughts Were Water…

If Thoughts were water, how many of us could drown in our contemplation of freedom…

Or wring out one tear over the death of 50 million innocents…

Or get just one sip of the Water of Life…

Or catch even a glimpse of the Ocean of Wonder that is the Mercy of God…

Or fill one small glass with the drops from considering our blessings each morning…

Or get a toe damp on the first step in the quest for absolute truth…

In the search for wisdom would I die of thirst, if thoughts were water?

Or would I drown in Soaps, MTV, and video games…If thoughts were water!

 

The Apocalypse of Jesus Christ!

The word Apocalypse means Revelation; Jesus Christ revealed truth to us in this last book of Holy Scripture.  The Revelation of Jesus Christ tells us that He was the only One found worthy to break the seven seals on the scroll that was written inside and outside.  The first four seals have become known as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. They have been tied to the end times and Armageddon.

But are they not examples of what the sin nature of man has done?

 

The Amplified Bible has it this way:

The First Seal—The Conqueror

6 Then I saw as the Lamb (Christ) broke one of the seven [a]seals [of the scroll initiating the judgments], and I heard one of the four living creatures call out as with a voice of thunder, “[b]Come.” I looked, and behold, a [c]white horse [of victory] whose rider carried a [d]bow; and a crown [of victory] was given to him, and he rode forth conquering and to conquer.

Each of the seals on the scroll initiate a judgment.  Question:  The first seal depicts a white horse whose rider carries a bow and was given a crown of victory; he rode forth conquering and to conquer, so what judgment on mankind could this be?  How are we to understand it?

Since mankind has been under judgment since Adam sinned, how about we begin at the beginning?  A white horse symbolizes purity.  The symbol of God’s truth is a sharp two-edged sword. So the bow must symbolize something other than truth, force of arms perhaps or force of reason—Conquering with supposed virtue—conquering and to conquer.  The thing is, we are to govern ourselves within the framework of righteousness as defined by God—govern ourselves, not be governed by someone else. So as a mark of judgment, the first seal must represent man in his desire to rule over others. Others who want no one to rule over them must be conquered to be controlled—governed.

Second Seal judgment—Red Horse take peace from the earth.  Inevitable effect of conquering and to conquer and the rider carried a great sword.

Third Seal Judgment—Black Horse—one setting the value of the necessities of life over another.  A day’s labor barely supplies the minimum to feed the laborer so the working class families are always in want.  But the oil and the wine will always be out there to strive for; strive but rarely succeed.  No peace outside, and no peace inside.

Fourth Seal Judgment—Pale Horse—this rider has a name—Death and Hades (the grave) followed with him. Death, just and unjust (in our perception), is ever present in this realm. And the grave is never satisfied.

Fifth Seal Judgment—Even the answer to the martyrs prayers is delayed though their sacrifice is recognized.

The Sixth Seal Judgment—Even the rich and powerful know their day will come but will call upon nature—anything to hide them from it.  Deceiving themselves that they may somehow avoid the consequences of their unrighteousness.  Judgments to them seem ever so much more severe than to the little people.  The heavens roll up as a scroll when these are affected.

This has been the case throughout history since Adam. These judgments are not end times tribulations on mankind but have been with us always.

Please feel free to comment!

 

 

 

His sin? Or the sin of his parents?

We have just used Occam’s Razor to help examine details of The Fall.

In earlier works I have expressed the idea that chapter and verse, are great tools for navigation in Scripture, but they are really not so hot in developing or supporting the whole context of Scripture.  Doctrine is supposed to rely on the whole council of Scripture on a particular topic for determining what God wants us to understand about that topic.  Here is one of the clearest reasons for the idea that chapter and verse may not be adequate for that task.

John 9:1-3

9:1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.

9:2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?

9:3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

 

The entire passage continues on to 10:42.  But what concerns us most immediately is above. The man was blind from birth so that the works of God should be made manifest in him.  God knew this man before he was knit together in the womb.  He was to serve a purpose to glorify God, for which God created him.

Was Adam any less predestinated to serve the purpose for which God created him?  And yet if you look at confessions of faith, you will find no reference to this passage as providing any proof of God’s absolute sovereignty over His creation.  I did a search on proof texts of God’s sovereignty.  This passage did not make it into the top ten.  None of the texts that made it are about a person who was directly and personally impacted.  They are all abstract.  God does as He will.  If God be for us who can be against us?  And so on.

But here is a guy born blind so that God would be glorified. His condition was known.  He was known.  So when he was healed on the Sabbath there was a ton of legal issues the Pharisees had with who did it, how it was done, etc. All of their legalisms were seen for what they were and they hated it!  And they hated the One who showed them up and tried to stone Him for doing it instead of praising the mercy of God and the miracle He performed.

We are no different than the Pharisees.  We have cherished beliefs about the source of evil in the world and the tempter that caused Adam to sin.  We have no wish at all to see our father Adam as the one who became the serpent in the garden; the one who questioned God by questioning Eve and deceiving her.  He had been given dominion. But the law came with it.  He was not free!  He was not the final authority.  He told Eve they would not surely die but they would be like God knowing good and evil.   He lied.  He was not deceived.  He was filled with pride.  He was given the law, Eve was not.  She knew the law and said so.  But was deceived by the only person she would have listened to!

God was willing to create Adam to fall so that in the end holiness would reign supreme in His creature.  Just as He was willing to create a man born blind so that in the fullness of time a miracle no one had ever heard of – the restoration of sight to one who had been born blind – would bring glory to Him and His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ.  So that in the fullness of time sight would be restored to His church and we would see just what it meant that Christ came as the Second Adam;  so we could see what it meant for the Son to lay aside His royalty and be born a man, a servant, the Only Begotten of the Father, our Redeemer.

Again I refer to the Apostle:  Hath not the Potter power over the clay?  Of the same lump to make one vessel to honor and another to dishonor.

Next time we delve into The Revelation!

Occam’s Razor to Ezekiel 28

Where to begin but to recap and pick up where we left off!

The Serpent in the Garden was the personification of the pride-of-self with which Adam was created.  The question is, then, does this make God the author of sin if He created a creature who was of a certainty in the plan of God, going to sin against Him?

This brings us face-to-face with the Truth. Please God, may we not blink or shut or eyes to it!

Reason does not create the path to truth, it does when properly applied follow it.  Reason can certainly create a path to error if we allow it. So is it vital for believers to seek Truth?  Can we live in error?  As human beings prone to misunderstanding and flights of fancy and going off the rails when we think we have it all figured out, we could not live at all except by the mercy of God.  This is not to say that it doesn’t matter whether we try our absolute best or not! It does!  We could hardly glorify God but by giving it our best, could we?

Now, where were we? Oh, yes.  Seeking to come face-to-face with Truth!  Jesus was the personification of Truth.  He personified Himself that way.  He said, ”I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  No one comes to the Father but by Me.”

Let’s detail the Serpent beginning at Genesis 3:1 from the Amplified Bible:

3 Now the serpent was more crafty (subtle, skilled in deceit) than any living creature of the field which the Lord God had made. And [a]the serpent (Satan) said to the woman, “Can it really be that God has said, ‘You shall not eat from [b]any tree of the garden’?”

And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees of the garden,

except the fruit from the tree which is in the middle of the garden. God said, ‘You shall not eat from it nor touch it, otherwise you will die.’”

But the serpent said to the woman, “You certainly will not die!

For God knows that on the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened [that is, you will have greater awareness], and you will be like God, knowing [the difference between] good and evil.”

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was delightful to look at, and a tree to be desired in order to make one wise and insightful, she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband [c]with her, and he ate.

14 The Lord God said to the serpent,

“Because you have done this,
You are cursed more than all the cattle,
And more than any animal of the field;
On your belly you shall go,
And dust you shall eat
All the days of your life.
15 
“And I will put enmity (open hostility)
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed (offspring) and her [e]Seed;
He shall [fatally] bruise your head,
And you shall [only] bruise His heel.”

Occam Applied

Now the serpent was more crafty (subtle, skilled in deceit) than any living creature of the field which the Lord God had made.

Note: this is not a comparative statement.  The Serpent is not compared to any other beast of the field.

And [a]the serpent (Satan) said to the woman, “Can it really be that God has said, ‘You shall not eat from [b]any tree of the garden’?”

Note: This is where long held doctrine shows up.  “…the serpent (Satan)” is an assumption that they are one and the same being.  The assumption itself is almost certainly true.  But!  What is the person that is designated by these names?

Now because the conversation that takes place in the next few verses, it is assumed that Eve is speaking to someone other than herself or Adam, who was there with her (verse 6).  The problem with that line of thinking is that it places in evidence as fact something that has not been proved.  There is no revealed creation day for the serpent, (Satan).  Without that we are free to follow the facts presented.  Adam and Eve were considering the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Adam had been given dominion.  Genesis 1:28  28 And God blessed them [granting them certain authority] and said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth, and subjugate it [putting it under your power]; and rule over (dominate) the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and every living thing that moves upon the earth.” 29 So God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of the entire earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; 30 and to all the animals on the earth and to every bird of the air and to everything that moves on the ground—to everything in which there is the breath of life—I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so [because He commanded it].

Did you see it?  Did you see what seems to have been missed for millennia? ‘… every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you.’  The assumption is that the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil had fruit yielding seed!  Eve was deceived by the look of it.  She saw it as a tree to make one wise.  Adam knew better.  The fruit of this tree was certainly not good for food and he knew it.  The exercise of power over the creation as ruler instead of steward was very appealing to him, a beauty to behold!  And the idea that one could increase in wisdom by deciding for oneself what was good and what was evil flew directly in the face of the command of God.  The fruit of this tree was death and Adam was aware.

One of the passages that is proof text concerning  Satan is in Ezekiel 28:

28:12 Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.

28:13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.

28:14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.

28:15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.

28:16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.

28:17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold

thee.

28:18 Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will

bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.

28:19 All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.

The thesis of this work is that there is an explanation for the personification of evil that does not include  a created spiritual being and realm that is not revealed to us by God.  Take the guesswork out of the existence of Satan.

What are the facts of the Fall?  Eve was deceived Adam was not.  What about Adam coincides with the description of the King of Tyrus?

  1. The Amplified has it this way:  “You had the full measure of perfection and the finishing touch [of completeness], Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.

That is certainly an apt description of Adam before the Fall is it not? Full of wisdom (he named all the animals and found none suitable as a companion for him.  He was the Acme of God’s creation meant to carry His very image.  How much more beautiful could he be?

  1. “You were in [a]Eden, the garden of God;
    Every precious stone was your covering: The ruby, the topaz, and the diamond; The beryl, the onyx, and the jasper; The lapis lazuli, the turquoise, and the emerald; And the gold, the workmanship of your [b]settings and your sockets, Was in you. They were prepared On the day that you were created.

All of the beauty of the ultimate plan of God was initiated in Adam at his creation and he was in Eden the garden of God, paradise.

  1. “You were the anointed cherub who covers and protects, And I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked in the midst of the stones of fire [sparkling jewels].
    Adam was formed of the dust of the ground and God breathed into him the breath of life.  He carried the image of God and was given dominion over all the world including Eve, to cover and protect.  Protect from what?  From just exactly what happened!  She was deceived.  He was NOT!  He walked in paradise with the perfect mate and was given the world as his.
  2. “You were blameless in your ways From the day you were created Until unrighteousness and evil were found in you.
    God said of that tree you shall not eat lest you die! Adam sinned against God willingly and willfully.  Unrighteousness and evil were found in him.
  3. “Through the abundance of your commerce You were internally filled with lawlessness and violence, And you sinned; Therefore I have cast you out as a profane and unholy thing
    From the mountain of God. And I have destroyed you, O covering cherub, From the midst of the stones of fire.

KJV  Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.

  1. “Your heart was proud and arrogant because of your beauty; You destroyed your wisdom for the sake of your splendor. I cast you to the ground;

KJV  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.

  1. I lay you before kings, That they might look at you.
    “You profaned your sanctuaries By the great quantity of your sins and the enormity of your guilt,
    By the unrighteousness of your trade.
    Therefore I have brought forth a fire from your midst;
    It has consumed you, And I have reduced you to ashes on the earth
    In the sight of all who look at you.
    “All the peoples (nations) who knew you Are appalled at you;
    You have come to a horrible and terrifying end And will forever cease to be.”’”

These passages are about Adam but they include all the children of Adam!  Now through the use of Occam’s Razor we have been able to eliminate the guesswork of a pre-existent spiritual realm that some find it necessary to explain the presence of evil in the world!

I asked the question early on in my own personal walk, is this the best of all possible worlds that could have been created to accomplish the ultimate goal that God hoped to accomplish?  Yes!  Yes it is.

And there is more!  Next time.

The Fall Redux

The Biblical Fall of Man

Examined Using Occam’s Razor

Occam’s Razor is a philosophical theory stating that given the same outcome, the simplest reasonable path to it is probably the correct path.  The path with the least guesses is the most reasonable path.

The Fall of Man has many paths to reason how and why it occurred.  The Biblical description has given us a story of how it happened.  The Serpent beguiled Eve and she ate of the Fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  She gave to Adam and he ate.  Scripture tells us that Eve was deceived but Adam was not. So Adam knew the penalty and decided to disobey anyway.

Three characters, Adam and Eve and the Serpent take part in this drama.  We are not told the genealogy of the Serpent, only that he tempted Eve.  When I say no genealogy, I mean that there is no mention of any other morally answerable free agent in the creation account.  No mention of the creation or fall of any part of the angelic host on a particular day in the seven day creation account.

In fact, the pre-existence of Lucifer and his fall which included a third of the angels in heaven is a theory made up to explain their Biblical presence.  That theory wraps the Serpent in Eden, Satan, Lucifer, and all the fallen angels into a neat package that explains the presence of evil in the world and gives Adam a fig leaf of temptation to explain his sin.

This theory is all guesswork; guess built upon personification, built upon plausible deniability, built without any real attention to the Plan of God for His Creation, and denies His absolute power over it and His perfect purpose for it.

So the first step in applying Occam ’s Razor is to eliminate all the guesswork we can and see if there is another path to the same Fall of Man.

First, the Serpent tempted Eve to sin against God.  What explanation is there for the Serpent that is not a guess?  A step back is in order here.  Scripture states plainly that it was through Adam that sin entered the world, not Eve and not the Serpent.  It was through the federal head of Man.  In tempting Eve, a sin was committed by the Serpent and yet it was not charged as the gateway for sin.

Another step back:  Adam was created of the dust of the ground and into him God breathed the breath of life.  Eve was created out of Adam. She was the only suitable mate/companion for him in all of creation;  bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh.

Lets begin at the beginning: Ex nihil, nihil fit!  From nothing, nothing comes.  So: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  Scripture asks us to answer this question: Hath not the potter power over the clay; of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor and another unto dishonor? God does not need our permission for anything.  He does not require our understanding for anything.  God is the potter.  He had a plan for His creation.  That Creation is proceeding according to that plan.  Before he knitted us together in the womb, He KNEW us; each and every individual who has ever existed.  It takes no guesswork to accede to that fact.

Reason does not create the path of truth.  Reason can certainly create a path to falsehood when improperly applied. There is an organized cosmos that demands of us that we recognize its first cause.  God.

Without His revelation to us we could know that He is but we could infer little to nothing of His purpose.  The Cosmos points to His Power, Glory and Wisdom but says nothing of His ultimate goal.  His revelation to us is that we were created to be His children by adoption.  He has only One Begotten Son.

His revelation to us gives an account of creation taking place over a period of six days.  It then tells us He placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  We consider such a place to be paradise.  They were placed there to tend and enjoy it.  Only one thing was forbidden: Adam must not eat of the Fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  No such restriction was placed on anything else, even the Tree of Life was not forbidden him.

Here is where Occam’s Razor should make its first cut.  God had pronounced His creation “very good”.  To pronounce something good is not necessarily a statement of moral rectitude.  We can pronounce something ‘good’ in terms of its usefulness for a specific purpose.  A wrench is good when it achieves the desired result of removing a nut from a bolt, for example.  Not so good when it slips off and skins your knuckles!  But in neither instance is it an assessment of moral quality.  That is a purposeful assessment.  To guess that God’s pronouncement of “very good” was a moral assessment; that Adam was created with a nature that must be tempted from an outside source, does not fit the facts of The Fall;  insertion of the Serpent into the account, notwithstanding.

The genealogy of the Serpent is not complete.  As such, a simpler explanation for it must be sought.  To understand the Serpent, one must understand what a tree of knowledge is.  Any tree consists of roots, trunk, branches, leaves of some sort, and fruit of some sort, sap, reproductive methods, etc.  So a tree of knowledge is a mental construct of all the details that can be known on any given topic as well as the interrelationships of all those details.  The tree of the knowledge of a grain of sand would consist of all that one can know of its chemical and physical structure, electrical charge, etc and how they interrelate to form that grain of sand and make it an entity unto itself.

The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, then would consist of all that can be known of the moral consequences of any given action, not only in the immediate but in the extended; its ripple effects.  Since God had already determined what was righteous and good morally, for His creation from beginning to end, the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil would belong to God alone.  For man to assume for himself the ability to pronounce the moral weight of his actions is to defy God’s ownership of His creation and its purpose; to usurp the throne of God itself.  Is that not what Adam did in willfully disobeying this specific law of God? The story of taking a bite of the apple is good theatre and very understandable, but what does it lead us to understand?

It leads us to understand that the Fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was some type of forbidden food that was bitten and chewed and swallowed.  According to Christ that could not be the case!  We’ll get to that shortly.

Occam’s Razor demands that we cut away the guesswork that constructs a fall of angelic beings before the fall of man, a destruction before the creation, a reconstruction before The Fall of Adam, and whatever else is conjecture, to reconstruct a narrative of The Fall that aligns with the Biblical Narrative more than an extra-Biblical tale built upon the assumption of a creation before the Creation.  Shoehorning that narrative into the six day creation account or saying it is unnecessary that God directly reveal it is, to me, not reasonable given the way the creation account is structured.

If we view The Serpent in the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil as the pride of Adam that comes to the fore as he asserts his dominion over the Creation of God, then the personification of the prideful nature of Adam fits every detail of the Story of the Serpent; that same nature with which we are heir, as his offspring through the generations.  He listened to his pride instead of the command of God.  What we lack is an intimate understanding of the true power of the sin nature in its corporate sense that is described as principalities and powers, spiritual wickedness in high places.  According to Jeremiah, the prideful nature of man is the heart that is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.  Who can know it?  God alone!  I keep referring to Adam because Scripture is clear: Eve was deceived, Adam was not deceived.  He sinned against God knowingly and willfully.

“The Fall” as a description of the moment Adam sinned against God is also a misnomer.  It suggests that there was something accidental or unplanned or not really meant to be a willful act of treason against the Creator God.  It was nothing of the kind. Adam had been told in no uncertain terms that to partake of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil would result in death.  Adam chose death.  Not for himself alone, but for all his children.  To think otherwise is to give him the benefit of a misplaced doubt. To believe otherwise is to deny that you would be party to the crucifixion of Christ.  To believe otherwise is to lay the real blame for personal sin on someone else.  The Devil made me do it.

Why?  Why would God create a being who would sin against Him as soon as he was given the law?  To answer this we have to go to God’s revelation to us.  Is God perfect or did He make a mistake?  Is God’s creation the best possible way for Him to fulfill the ultimate plan for it or did it somehow go awry?  Adam could not have sinned against an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent God unless God had a good reason for him to do so. Therefore Adam’s sin was part of God’s plan.  Therefore sin was a necessary part of the plan of redemption which was to bring us to Himself as beings who would be willingly and willfully holy as He is Holy.

What is Holiness?  It is to be separate.  What are we to be separate from?  And if we cannot be with God eternally in His heaven unless we are holy as He is holy, then it follows that if God is good, we are to eschew evil eternally as He has.  That requires us to get it; that good and evil are eternal concepts.  They are moral measurements, not immortal beings or gods.

God knows that the best way we can learn the consequences of good and evil is to see them first hand; feel their consequences as matters of life and death in an environment that is not eternal.  God is the potter and has the undeniable right over the clay; of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor and another unto dishonor.  To refuse to submit to that reality; to claim that there is anything I can do to deter His will for my life either for salvation or for damnation, is to categorically deny that reality.

Christ told many to love thy neighbor as thyself, do works of mercy, against which there is no law.  Embrace the pain and suffering that goodness in this world brings.  He spoke as if these works can be done in this world whether one is ‘chosen’ or not.  Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and unto God that which is God’s is not just about money.  Don’t try to work your way to heaven.  What does he require of us but to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.  Against these there is no law.

Jesus Christ came as the second Adam.  One purpose was to redeem that which was lost.  The second purpose was to testify to the Truth.  That which was lost was all mankind since the flood.  John 3:16.  Nothing in this exercise has negated any of the Gospel in any way.

Phase Two

We have looked at God, Adam, and a bit about the Serpent.  Now it’s time to apply the Razor to the Devil himself, but first:

To begin, the very first question we have to deal with is about God the Creator.  The popular belief is that (1) Satan, the Devil et. al. in all of his many names was created by God as the Angel of Light, Lucifer. It does not really matter that his creation is not mentioned in the creation account.  (2) His creation took place before Adam, he rebelled before Adam, and was cast out of heaven before Adam and took a third of the angels with him.  (3) He destroyed the earth in his wrath and God created Adam to replenish it and bring it back to its original beauty.   (4) Then God planted the Garden of Eden, placed Adam and Eve in it and told them be fruitful and multiply.  (5)He told Adam that he may eat of any tree in the Garden but one, he must not eat of the Fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil for if he did, on that day he would surely die. (6)God gave Adam Dominion over the earthly realm and created Eve because no suitable companion/mate was found among all the animals that God had created.  (7) Satan somehow indwelt a serpent and tempted Eve.  (8) She examined the fruit, found it good for food, pleasing to look at, and a tree to make one wise, she ate and gave to Adam and he ate.   (9) And their eyes were opened and they knew that they were naked. Thus, The Fall is believed to have occurred.

Now, this scenario brings up a couple of questions that must be asked if we are to get to know our God and His Son.

  1. Did God make a mistake in the Creation that is assumed to have taken place before the Creation we inhabit? Lucifer, and the rest of the heavenly host of whom he was chief, were created beings and part and parcel of that assumption.
    1. If pride was found in Lucifer after he was created, wouldn’t an omniscient God know it was going to happen?
    2. Wouldn’t He also know the destruction that would result?
    3. Would that mean Lucifer’s Fall and the ensuing chaos and destruction was all part of God’s plan?
    4. But wouldn’t that mean that God created Lucifer for the ultimate purpose of consigning him to eternal damnation in Hell?
    5. Isn’t one of the objections to the Doctrine of Predestination that God would not create anyone specifically to burn in Hell for all eternity?
    6. If God did not make a mistake in creating Lucifer then can there be any other purpose in creating him?
    7. How can God be just if ‘the serpent’ sinned in tempting Eve? Scripture says that sin was in the world but was not imputed until the law.  Sin entered the world through Adam. But if sin was already here then Adam was set up by God with one foot on a banana peel and the other in the grave!  Unless there is another explanation.
    8. Why would God create a spiritual being, knowing he would sin, then cast him out of heaven into the physical realm of our creation where he has wrought havoc and destruction on all the world, only to, in the end, cast him into hell for all eternity? Why the side trip?
    9. If god saw fit to specify the day on which He created the creeping things of the earth, why would He not specify the creation of arguably the most influential character that interacts with all mankind including Christ Himself??
    10. NOTE: In my experience, those who subscribe to the above story of The Fall and are faced with these questions, universally default to “God’s ways are not our ways. We are not given to understand God.   We’re just supposed to obey Him!”
  2. If God gave us the Holy Bible as a revelation of Who He is, who we are, and His plan for our eternal salvation, why would he make it so cryptic that few would ever even try to unravel it?
  3. Why did Jesus teach in parables? He said ‘so that seeing they would not perceive and hearing they would not understand.’
  4. Given all the questions about The Fall and its instigator should we not at least try to find a better explanation that makes Scripture truly revelatory?

Question one is easy.  God does not make mistakes.  Whatever He does in His Creation, He does for a very good reason.   He is not a God of chaos and confusion.  He is a Creator who operates on truth and reason.  God teaches us in parables, physical representations of spiritual truths.

Applying Occam to Phase Two.

Any assumption is a guess that has more or less reasonable foundation.  The fewer guesses one takes to identify the Serpent, the more likely one is to truly identify him.  So if we cut out all the guesswork concerning the creation before the creation and the indwelling of a physical being by a spiritual being for the purpose of lying to Eve and tempting her to sin, what is left?

We know that Adam was not absent or unaware of Eve’s thought process before she ate.  We know that He ate willfully and willingly in defiance of God’s Law.  We also know that Eve was not created the way Adam was.  She was created out of Adam and for want of a better term is therefore a derivative being.  That is certainly not politically correct and will not set well with many if not most of whoever read this. But it is accurate.  She was created out of Adam.  She was created from his physical and spiritual nature.  Do not get me wrong here.  She is completely his equal in humanity.  God specified a purposeful difference between man and woman.  But she was created of the essence of Adam and is his spiritual equal in terms of sinfulness and the need for redemption.

She saw the tree as something to make one wise.  Adam could and should have called her on it.  He should have told her God said otherwise. I have been told on more than one occasion that Adam loved Eve so much that when she ate of the fruit he decided to share her fate.  That is a specious argument.  Adam knew firsthand the power and glory and benevolence of God.  It is not reasonable to assume he could not have interceded for her.  It is not reasonable to assume God would not have forgiven her if Adam had asked it.  Adam did not.  Was Adam aware of God’s mandate that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin?   Could that be the reason he threw Eve under the bus instead of stepping up and offering himself for her?  Pride of life?  What would God’s reaction have been?  Abraham and Isaac exemplify it, do they not?  God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac and at the last moment, when the knife was raised over Isaac God stopped him and substituted the ram.  Abraham displayed faith in his submission to sacrifice his only son!  Faith and it was counted to him for righteousness!

So if Occam’s Razor cuts away the assumption of an outside temptation and instead we apply Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”  and Mark 7:18-23 explains it more fully in the words of Jesus: And he said to them, Are you so without understanding also? Do you not perceive, that whatever thing from without enters into the man, it cannot defile him;  Because it enters not into his heart, but into the belly, and goes out into the draught, purging all meats?  And he said, That which comes out of the man, that defiles the man.  For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,  Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:  All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”

The assumption of a third party spiritual being indwelling an animal for the purpose of causing the Fall of Man is certainly one way of explaining the Fall, BUT recognizing the heart of man personified as the Serpent in the Garden eliminates the unbiblical assumption of the nature of Adam and Eve as morally pure, needing an outside source of temptation to induce them to sin against God and removes a sin before the sin of the Fall.

The plan of God for His Creation included the Plan of Salvation which was only necessary if Adam was created with the sense of pride of self that led him to rebel.  He would not bow his neck to God.  Dominion was his to exercise as he saw fit.  So he partook of the fruit of The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  Redefining good and evil for himself solidified the pride of self that HE could decide good and evil!  He needed no law from God. They ate and immediately saw that they were naked.  They immediately recognized that dominion is not ownership!  The history of man has been one of denial of that nakedness in every imaginable way.  Adam coveted ownership!  The history of man before the flood was that every imagination of his heart was only evil continually!  Adam knew Eve, they became one flesh and produced Cain and Abel.  Cain murdered Abel.  The moral nature of Adam and Eve came to the fore in their first born in no uncertain terms.

Now is this route to the Fall not just applying one assumption in place of another?  No, and here is why: There is no reason to assume that Adam was created with less of a capability or inclination to sin than any of his progeny.  In fact to do so is to assume that he changed his nature from obedient to disobedient by force of will when Scripture clearly states that we cannot change the color of one hair on our head or add one cubit to our stature by willing it so.  We do not have the capability within us to change our nature, physically or spiritually, from the tiniest amount as one hair on our head to the most overt, as in adding a cubit to our height. Those are attributes of the physical nature, and the moral attributes of the spiritual nature are no more malleable to Adam’s own force of will than the physical.  The pronouncement of “very good” by God was a pronouncement of fitness of purpose not a pronouncement of moral rectitude.  The outcome of giving the law shows that to be true.  By their fruits you shall know them, speaking of those who truly love God (as Jesus Christ) and the rest.

Did God do something wrong making Adam to fulfill His purpose?  Hath not the potter power over the clay?  What was His purpose?  To populate Heaven with adopted, redeemed siblings of His Son, who are holy as HE is holy is the revealed purpose of the Plan of Salvation/Redemption.  We are to learn in intimate detail the results of Evil when allowed to propagate through a system as well as glimpse the beauty of the good.  Sin defiles everything it comes in contact with directly and indirectly.  Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God, Almighty. Eternally holy!  Absolutely set apart from evil and all it stands for.

Is God the Author of sin because He created a being whose moral nature would rebel against Him at the first opportunity? Hath not the potter absolute power over the clay when He not only created the clay but also created the purpose for it? Paul reasoned with us in his missives and used that very analogy.  Was he wrong?

R.C. Sproul gave the definition of free will in his study bible along with the definition of free agency.  I do not need to recount them here, but they are easy enough to look up if you are curious and want to fact check me.  The church today teaches free will.  Scripture calls us children in many places.  There is good reason for that.  It also tells us that even the child of the king is nothing more than a slave until he comes of age and can be trusted to exercise good judgment.  A slave is not allowed to make decisions, only obey what they are told to do.

Our prideful self says to us that we have free will in the sense that we must accept the “free offer” of salvation or we will burn in hell for all eternity.  That means that God either cannot or will not over-rule the whim of a slave in deciding his destiny.  This belief in free will flies in the very face of countless instances of God over-ruling the will of man.  Adam, Moses, Pharaoh, Nimrod, Abraham, Paul, and countless others, myself and the reader included have been turned and over-ruled at some point or points in our lives, by the will of God.  To have free will means that no one else, not even God, can over-rule your desire up to and including what you decide is good or what you decide is evil.

According to Dr. Sproul free agency is the ability to choose our actions.  A slave is not even free to do that except in the most limited instances. Even though we, by faith, are no longer slaves to sin, we are absolutely not free in the sense of moral agency nor are we free so long as we can be deceived.  The Truth will set you free.  Jesus Christ is the Truth and He will set us free, but not as long as we are children and have so much more to learn about holiness.

They say hindsight is 20-20.  When we are free to look upon God’s Creation in the perfect light of Truth and stand convicted by all that sin, every sin, that has destroyed, defiled, twisted and ruined us, that is when we will truly experience the depth of the love God displayed in giving His Son so we could have life.  Until then, we are expected to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.

Phase Three

There is another piece to this puzzle that needs attention.  Jesus came as the second Adam. What does that mean.  First it means that he came as a Son of Man with rights of redemption.  That is where Adam failed to redeem Eve from her sin, Jesus could and did, by right, offer Himself as the perfect redemption price for all sin.

The Story of Christ in the Wilderness is especially relevant in the examination of the Serpent.  He fasted forty days and then He was tempted three times.  We have every reason to believe that the source of His temptation would be exactly the same as the source of Temptation for Adam and Eve.  Pride of Self!  I deserve this!  His first temptation was to turn stones to bread. He knew He was the Son of God.  He knew that He was able to do that BUT He did not come to do His will but the will of the Father so He denied His prideful self as Adam did not.  “Thou shalt not live by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God”.  The second Adam relied upon the word of God for life.  The first Adam denied it.

The second temptation was to test God’s provision for His safety. He knew He was the Son of God but He was not to tempt God with silly risks.  “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God”.    The first Adam risked death partaking of the fruit as surely as if he had thrown himself off the highest tower of the Temple.  Only the direct supernatural intervention of God could overrule His law (or the law of gravity). He assumed he could freely test God’s mercy on his own.  The second Adam did not tempt God.

And lastly He knew He was the Son of God and All Creation was His ONLY if he chose to exercise the will of the Father.  He could not be the Redeemer of Mankind any other way.  Adam was given dominion but was not given Ownership.   He was still accountable to God and the rest of humanity for his actions.  Jesus had to overcome the pride of self He inherited as the Son of Man.  Only the Holiness inherited from His Father made that possible.  Just as the personification of the prideful self was the Serpent in Eden, the personification of the prideful self as the Tempter and the Devil in the Wilderness had to be overcome or the Redemption of Man would never be.  Jesus Christ could not be the second Adam unless He could in every way be tempted as Adam had been tempted.  To be anything else would disqualify Him as the Rightful Redeemer.  The difference between the first and second Adam was this: Adam was created to become an adopted son. Jesus Christ was the Only Begotten Son and as such bore not just the image, but the holiness that could only be passed from the Father to the Begotten Son.  And that is why, when the rich young ruler addressed Him as Good Master, Jesus asked him, “ Why do you call me good?”  It was a reference to the prideful heart He had to overcome continually!  The story of Cain shows the holiness Adam passed to his first-born.

And there you have Occam’s Razor applied to the Gospel.  The only issue not addressed is the demon possession described in the Gospels and Acts.  Those can certainly be assigned to the sin nature of man taken to its most extreme.  We are not, nor do we claim to be fully knowledgeable concerning the human psyche and the effect it can produce when emotion and desire drive one beyond what is considered humanly possible.  Much of the language from which the doctrine concerning them is produced is far more figurative and requires a more in-depth treatment.  But we do know that the heart of man is desperately wicked.  That means it casts about for ways to manifest evil.   That has and does and will come to the fore in ways only the Creator knows and understands.

“God is not willing that any should perish; but would that all should come to the knowledge of the truth.”

Occam’s Razor to The Fall

The Biblical Fall of Man Examined in light of Occam’s Razor

Occam’s Razor is a philosophical theory stating that given the same outcome, the simplest reasonable path to it is probably the correct path.  The path with the least guesses is the most reasonable path.

The Fall of Man has many paths to reason how and why it occurred.  The Biblical description has given us a story of how it happened.  The Serpent beguiled Eve and she ate of the Fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  She gave to Adam and he ate.  Scripture tells us that Eve was deceived but Adam was not. So Adam knew the penalty and decided to disobey anyway.

Three characters, Adam and Eve and the Serpent take part in this drama.  We are not told the genealogy of the Serpent, only that he tempted Eve.  When I say no genealogy, I mean that there is no mention of any other morally answerable free agent in the creation account.  No mention of the creation or fall of any part of the angelic host on a particular day in the seven day creation account.

In fact, the pre-existence of Lucifer and his fall which included a third of the angels in heaven is a theory made up to explain their Biblical presence.  That theory wraps the Serpent in Eden, Satan, Lucifer, and all the fallen angels into a neat package that explains the presence of evil in the world and gives Adam a fig leaf of temptation to explain his sin.

This theory is all guesswork; guess built upon personification, built upon plausible deniability, built without any real attention to the Plan of God for His Creation, and denies His absolute power over it and His perfect purpose for it.

So the first step in applying Occam ’s Razor is to eliminate all the guesswork we can and see if there is another path to the same Fall of Man.

First, the Serpent tempted Eve to sin against God.  What explanation is there for the Serpent that is not a guess?  A step back is in order here.  Scripture states plainly that it was through Adam that sin entered the world, not Eve and not the Serpent.  It was through the federal head of Man.  In tempting Eve, a sin was committed by the Serpent and yet it was not charged as the gateway for sin.

Another step back:  Adam was created of the dust of the ground and into him God breathed the breath of life.  Eve was created out of Adam. She was the only suitable mate/companion for him in all of creation;  bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh.

Lets begin at the beginning: Ex nihil, nihil fit!  From nothing, nothing comes.  So: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  Scripture asks us to answer this question: Hath not the potter power over the clay; of the same lump to make one vessel to honor and another to dishonor? God does not need our permission for anything.  He does not require our understanding for anything.  God is the potter.  He had a plan for His creation.  That Creation is proceeding according to that plan.  Before he knitted us together in the womb, He KNEW us; each and every individual who has ever existed.  It takes no guesswork to accede to that fact.

Reason does not create the path of truth.  Reason can certainly create a path to falsehood when improperly applied. There is an organized cosmos that demands of us that we recognize its first cause.  God.

Without His revelation to us we could know that He is but we could infer little to nothing of His purpose.  The Cosmos points to His Power, Glory and Wisdom but says nothing of His ultimate goal.  His revelation to us is that we were created to be His children by adoption.  He has only One Begotten Son.

His revelation to us gives an account of creation taking place over a period of six days.  It then tells us He placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  We consider such a place to be paradise.  They were placed there to tend and enjoy it.  Only one thing was forbidden: Adam must not eat of the Fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  No such restriction was placed on anything else, even the Tree of Life was not forbidden him.

Here is where Occam’s Razor should make its first cut.  God had pronounced His creation “very good”.  To pronounce something good is not necessarily a statement of moral rectitude.  We can pronounce something ‘good’ in terms of its usefulness for a specific purpose.  A wrench is good when it achieves the desired result of removing a nut from a bolt, for example.  Not so good when it slips off and skins your knuckles!  But in neither instance is it an assessment of moral quality.  That is a purposeful assessment.  To guess that God’s pronouncement of “very good” was a moral assessment; that Adam was created with a nature that must be tempted from an outside source, does not fit the facts of The Fall;  insertion of the Serpent into the account, notwithstanding.

The genealogy of the Serpent is not complete.  As such, a simpler explanation for it must be sought.  To understand the Serpent, one must understand what a tree of knowledge is.  Any tree consists of roots, trunk, branches, leaves of some sort, and fruit of some sort, sap, reproductive methods, etc.  So a tree of knowledge is a mental construct of all the details that can be known on any given topic as well as the interrelationships of all those details.  The tree of the knowledge of a grain of sand would consist of all that one can know of its chemical and physical structure, electrical charge, etc and how they interrelate to form that grain of sand and make it an entity unto itself.

The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, then would consist of all that can be known of the moral consequences of any given action, not only in the immediate but in the extended; its ripple effects.  Since God had already determined what was righteous and good morally, for His creation from beginning to end, the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil would belong to God alone.  For man to assume for himself the ability to pronounce the moral weight of his actions is to defy God’s ownership of His creation and its purpose; to usurp the throne of God itself.  Is that not what Adam did in willfully disobeying this specific law of God?

Occam’s Razor demands that we cut away the guesswork that constructs a fall of angelic beings before the fall of man, a destruction before the creation, a reconstruction before The Fall of Adam, and whatever else is conjecture, to reconstruct a narrative of The Fall that aligns with the Biblical Narrative more than an extra-Biblical tale built upon the assumption of a creation before the Creation.  Shoehorning that narrative into the six day creation account or saying it is unnecessary that God directly reveal it is, to me, not reasonable given the way the creation account is structured.

If we view The Serpent in the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil as the pride of Adam that comes to the fore as he asserts his dominion over the Creation of God.  The personification of the prideful nature of Adam fits every detail of the Story of the Serpent; that same nature with which we are heir, as his offspring through the generations.  He listened to his pride instead of the command of God.  What we lack is an intimate understanding of the true power of the sin nature in its corporate sense that is described as principalities and powers, spiritual wickedness in high places.  I keep referring to Adam because Scripture is clear: Eve was deceived, Adam was not deceived.  He sinned against God knowingly and willfully.

“The Fall” as a description of the moment Adam sinned against God is also a misnomer.  It suggests that there was something accidental or unplanned or not really meant to be a willful act of treason against the Creator God.  It was nothing of the kind. Adam had been told in no uncertain terms that to partake of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil would result in death.  Adam chose death.  Not for himself alone, but for all his children.  To think otherwise is to give him the benefit of a misplaced doubt. To believe otherwise is to deny that you would be party to the crucifixion of Christ.  To believe otherwise is to lay the real blame for personal sin on someone else.  The Devil made me do it.

Why?  Why would God create a being who would sin against Him as soon as he was given the law?  To answer this we have to go to God’s revelation to us.  Is God perfect or did He make a mistake?  Is God’s creation the best possible way for Him to fulfill the ultimate plan for it or did it somehow go awry?  Adam could not have sinned against an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent God unless God had a good reason for him to do so. Therefore Adam’s sin was part of God’s plan.  Therefore sin was a necessary part of the plan of redemption which was to bring us to Himself as beings who would be willingly and willfully holy as He is Holy.

What is Holiness?  It is to be separate.  What are we to be separate from?  And if we cannot be with God eternally in His heaven unless we are holy as He is holy, then it follows that if God is good, we are to eschew evil eternally as He has.  That requires us to get it; that good and evil are eternal concepts.  They are moral measurements, not immortal beings or gods.

God knows that the best way we can learn the consequences of good and evil is to see them first hand; feel their consequences as matters of life and death in an environment that is not eternal.  God is the potter and has the undeniable right over the clay; of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor and another unto dishonor.  To refuse to submit to that reality; to claim that there is anything I can do to deter His will for my life either for salvation or for damnation, is to categorically deny that reality.

Christ told many to love thy neighbor as thyself, do works of mercy, against which there is no law.  Embrace the pain and suffering that goodness in this world brings.  He spoke as if these works can be done in this world whether one is ‘chosen’ or not.  Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and unto God that which is God’s is not just about money.  Don’t try to work your way to heaven.  What does he require of us but to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.  Against these there is no law.

Jesus Christ came as the second Adam.  One purpose was to redeem that which was lost.  The second purpose was to testify to the Truth.  That which was lost was all mankind since the flood.  John 3:16.  Nothing in this exercise has negated any of the Gospel in any way.

Phase Two

We have looked at God, Adam, and a bit about the Serpent.  Now it’s time to apply the Razor to the Devil himself, but first:

To begin, the very first question we have to deal with is about God the Creator.  The popular belief is that (1) Satan, the Devil et. al. in all of his many names was created by God as the Angel of Light, Lucifer. It does not really matter that his creation is not mentioned in the creation account.  (2) His creation took place before Adam, he rebelled before Adam, and was cast out of heaven before Adam and took a third of the angels with him.  (3) He destroyed the earth in his wrath and God created Adam to replenish it and bring it back to its original beauty.   (4) Then God planted the Garden of Eden, placed Adam and Eve in it and told them be fruitful and multiply.  (5)He told Adam that he may eat of any tree in the Garden but one, he must not eat of the Fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil for if he did, on that day he would surely die. (6)God gave Adam Dominion over the earthly realm and created Eve because no suitable companion/mate was found among all the animals that God had created.  (7) Satan somehow indwelt a serpent and tempted Eve.  (8) She examined the fruit, found it good for food, pleasing to look at, and a tree to make one wise, she ate and gave to Adam and he ate.   (9) And their eyes were opened and they knew that they were naked. Thus, The Fall is believed to have occurred.

Now, this scenario brings up a couple of questions that must be asked if we are to get to know our God and His Son.

  1. Did God make a mistake in the Creation that is assumed to have taken place before the Creation we inhabit? Lucifer, and the rest of the heavenly host of whom he was chief, were created beings and part and parcel of that assumption.
    1. If pride was found in Lucifer after he was created, wouldn’t an omniscient God know it was going to happen?
    2. Wouldn’t He also know the destruction that would result?
    3. Would that mean Lucifer’s Fall and the ensuing chaos and destruction was all part of God’s plan?
    4. But wouldn’t that mean that God created Lucifer for the ultimate purpose of consigning him to eternal damnation in Hell?
    5. Isn’t one of the objections to the Doctrine of Predestination that God would not create anyone specifically to burn in Hell for all eternity?
    6. If God did not make a mistake in creating Lucifer then can there be any other purpose in creating him?
    7. How can God be just if ‘the serpent’ sinned in tempting Eve? Scripture says that sin was in the world but was not imputed until the law.  Sin entered the world through Adam. But if sin was already here then Adam was set up by God with one foot on a banana peel and the other in the grave!  Unless there is another explanation.
    8. Why would God create a spiritual being, knowing he would sin, then cast him out of heaven into the physical realm of our creation where he has wrought havoc and destruction on all the world, only to, in the end, cast him into hell for all eternity? Why the side trip?
    9. If god saw fit to specify the day on which He created the creeping things of the earth, why would He not specify the creation of arguably the most influential character that interacts with all mankind including Christ Himself??
    10. NOTE: In my experience, those who subscribe to the above story of The Fall and are faced with these questions, universally default to “God’s ways are not our ways. We are not given to understand God.   We’re just supposed to obey Him!”
  2. If God gave us the Holy Bible as a revelation of Who He is, who we are, and His plan for our eternal salvation, why would he make it so cryptic that few would ever even try to unravel it?
  3. Why did Jesus teach in parables? He said ‘so that seeing they would not perceive and hearing they would not understand.’
  4. Given all the questions about The Fall and its instigator should we not at least try to find a better explanation that makes Scripture truly revelatory?

 

Question one is easy.  God does not make mistakes.  Whatever He does in His Creation, He does for a very good reason.   He is not a God of chaos and confusion.  He is a Creator who operates on truth and reason.  God teaches us in parables, physical representations of spiritual truths.

Applying Occam to Phase Two.

Any assumption is a guess that has more or less reasonable foundation.  The fewer guesses one takes to identify the Serpent, the more likely one is to truly identify him.  So if we cut out all the guesswork concerning the creation before the creation and the indwelling of a physical being by a spiritual being for the purpose of lying to Eve and tempting her to sin, what is left?

 

We know that Adam was not absent or unaware of Eve’s thought process before she ate.  We know that He ate willfully and willingly in defiance of God’s Law.  We also know that Eve was not created the way Adam was.  She was created out of Adam and for want of a better term is therefore a derivative being.  That is certainly not politically correct and will not sit well with many if not most of whoever read this. But it is accurate.  She was created out of Adam.  She was created from his physical and spiritual nature.  Do not get me wrong here.  She is completely his equal in humanity.  God specified a purposeful difference between man and woman.  But she was created of the essence of Adam and is his spiritual equal in terms of sinfulness and the need for redemption.

She saw the tree as something to make one wise.  Adam could and should have called her on it.  He should have told her God said otherwise. I have been told on more than one occasion that Adam loved Eve so much that when she ate of the fruit he decided to share her fate.  That is a specious argument.  Adam knew firsthand the power and glory and benevolence of God.  It is not reasonable to assume he could not have interceded for her.  It is not reasonable to assume God would not have forgiven her if Adam had asked it.  Adam did not.

 

So if Occam’s Razor cuts away the assumption of an outside temptation and instead we apply Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”  and Mark 7:18-23 explains it more fully in the words of Jesus: And he said to them, Are you so without understanding also? Do you not perceive, that whatever thing from without enters into the man, it cannot defile him;  Because it enters not into his heart, but into the belly, and goes out into the draught, purging all meats?  And he said, That which comes out of the man, that defiles the man.  For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,  Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:  All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”

 

The assumption of a third party spiritual being indwelling an animal for the purpose of causing the Fall of Man is certainly one way of explaining the Fall, BUT personifying the heart as the Serpent in the Garden eliminates the unbiblical assumption of the nature of Adam and Eve as morally pure, needing an outside source of temptation to induce them to sin against God.

 

The plan of God for His Creation included the Plan of Salvation which was only necessary if Adam was created with the sense of pride of self that led him to rebel.  He would not bend his neck to God.  Dominion was his to exercise as he saw fit.  So he ate of the fruit of The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  That fruit solidified the pride of self telling him that HE could decide good and evil for himself!  He needed no law from God. They ate and immediately saw that they were naked.  The history of man has been one of denial of that nakedness in every imaginable way.  His history before the flood was that every imagination of his heart was only evil continually.

 

Now is this route to the Fall not just applying one assumption in place of another?  No, and here is why: There is no reason to assume that Adam was created with less of a capability or inclination to sin than any of his progeny.  In fact to do so is to assume that he changed his nature from obedient to disobedient by force of will when Scripture clearly states that we cannot change the color of one hair on our head or add one cubit to our stature by willing it so.  We do not have the capability within us to change our nature, physically or spiritually, from the tiniest amount as one hair on our head to the most overt, as in adding a cubit to our height. Those are attributes of his physical nature, and the moral attributes of his spiritual nature are no more malleable to Adam’s own force of will than the physical.  The pronouncement of “very good” by God was a pronouncement of fitness of purpose not a pronouncement of moral rectitude.  The outcome of giving the law shows that to be true.  By their fruits you shall know them.

 

Did God do something wrong making Adam to fulfill His purpose?  Hath not the potter power over the clay?  What was His purpose?  To populate Heaven with adopted, redeemed siblings of His Son, who are holy as HE is holy is the revealed purpose of the Plan of Salvation/Redemption.  We are to learn in intimate detail the results of Evil when allowed to propagate through a system as well as the beauty of the good.  Sin defiles everything it comes in contact with directly and indirectly.  Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God, Almighty. Eternally holy!  Absolutely set apart from evil and all it stands for.

 

Is God the Author of sin because He created a being whose moral nature would rebel against Him at the first opportunity? Hath not the potter absolute power over the clay when He not only created the clay but also created the purpose for it? Paul reasoned with us in his missives and used that very analogy.  Was he wrong?

 

R.C. Sproul gave the definition of free will in his study bible along with the definition of free agency.  I do not need to recount them here, but they are easy enough to look up if you are curious and want to fact check me.  The church today teaches free will.  Scripture calls us children in many places.  There is good reason for that.  It also tells us that even the child of the king is nothing more than a slave until he comes of age and can be trusted to exercise good judgment.  A slave is not allowed to make decisions, only obey what they are told to do.

 

Our prideful self says to us that we have free will in the sense that we must accept the free offer of salvation or we will burn in hell for all eternity.  That means that God either cannot or will not over-rule the whim of a slave in deciding his destiny.  This belief in free will flies in the very face of countless instances of God over-ruling the will of man.  Adam, Moses, Pharaoh, Nimrod, Abraham, Paul, and countless others, myself and the reader included have been turned and over-ruled at some point by the will of God.  To have free will means that no one else, not even God, can over-rule your desire up to and including what you decide is good or what you decide is evil.

 

According to Dr. Sproul free agency is the ability to choose our actions.  A slave is not even free to do that except in the most limited instances. Even though we, by faith, are no longer slaves to sin, we are absolutely not free in the sense of moral agency nor are we free so long as we can be deceived.  The Truth will set you free.  Jesus Christ is the Truth and He will set us free, but not as long as we are children and have so much more to learn about holiness.

 

They say hindsight is 20-20.  When we are free to look upon God’s Creation in the perfect light of Truth and stand convicted by all that sin, every sin, that has destroyed, defiled, twisted and ruined us, that is when we will truly experience the depth of the love God displayed in giving His Son so we could have life.  Until then, we are expected to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.

 

Phase Three

There is another piece to this puzzle that needs attention.  Jesus came as the second Adam. What does that mean.  First it means that he came as a Son of Man with rights of redemption.  That is where Adam failed to redeem Eve from her sin, Jesus could and did, by right, offer Himself as the perfect redemption price for all sin.  The Story of Christ in the Wilderness is especially relevant in the examination of the Serpent.  He fasted forty days and then He was tempted three times.  We have every reason to believe that the source of His temptation would be exactly the same as the source of Temptation for Adam and Eve.  His first temptation was to turn stones to bread. He knew He was the Son of God.  He knew that He was able to do that BUT He did not come to do His will but the will of the Father so He denied His prideful self as Adam did not.  “Thou shalt not live by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God”.  The second Adam relied upon the word of God for life.  The first Adam denied it.

The second temptation was to test God’s provision for His safety. He knew He was the Son of God but He was not to tempt God with silly risks.  “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God”.    The first Adam risked death partaking of the fruit as surely as if he had thrown himself off the highest tower of the Temple.  Only the direct supernatural intervention of God could overrule His law (or the law of gravity). He assumed he could freely test God’s mercy on his own.  The second Adam did not tempt God.

And lastly He knew He was the Son of God and All Creation was His ONLY if he chose to exercise the will of the Father.  He could not be the Redeemer of Mankind any other way.  Adam was given dominion but was not given Ownership.   He was still accountable to God and the rest of humanity for his actions.  Jesus had to overcome the pride of self He inherited as the Son of Man.  Only the Holiness inherited from His Father made that possible.  Just as the personification of the prideful self was the Serpent in Eden, the personification of the prideful self as the Tempter and the Devil in the Wilderness had to be overcome or the Redemption of Man would never be.  Jesus Christ could not be the second Adam unless He was in every way as human as Adam.  To be anything else would disqualify Him as the Rightful Redeemer.  The difference between the first and second Adam was this: Adam was created to become an adopted son. Jesus Christ was the Only Begotten Son and as such bore not just the image, but the holiness that could only be passed from the Father to the Begotten Son.  The story of Cain shows the holiness Adam passed to his first-born.

 

And there you have Occam’s Razor applied to the Gospel.  The only issue not addressed is the demon possession described in the Gospels and Acts.  Those can certainly be assigned to the sin nature of man taken to its most extreme.  We are not, nor do we claim to be fully knowledgeable concerning the human psyche and the effect it can produce when emotion and desire drive one beyond what is considered humanly possible.  But we do know that the heart of man is desperately wicked.  That means it casts about for ways to manifest evil.   That has and does and will come to the fore in ways only the Creator knows and understands.