Letting Christ Transform You From The Inside Out
I was taught the following lies about Adam and Eve (and ultimately God):
Adam and Eve lived in the garden of Eden. They disobeyed one of God's commands and in anger he kicked them out of this garden and made their life hell. We are paying for what THEY did now. It isn't fair! God expects too much! He's just waiting for us to fail so that he can strike us with lightning! The only way we can insure that we go to heaven when we die is if we don't make the same mistake they made. We have to follow all of God's rules (well, only the major ones - Don't Murder, Don't Commit Adultery, etc.). If we give money to the church, that will help too. There are many ways to earn "brownie points". God can be bought. Oh, by the way, we also have to say we believe in Jesus...whatever that means.
After opening the Bible and reading Genesis for myself I realized that I had been lied to. I encourage you to read this first book of the Bible and consider a different view. Here is what I now believe after reading not only Genesis, but "studying" both the Old Testament and New Testament scriptures for over 20 years:
In the Book of Genesis we learn that God's name is "Elohim", which, by the way is plural. That's because God primarily functions in community with two other personalities; namely, His Son Jesus Christ and their Holy Spirit. God is a master designer, the essence of creativity, color, form and texture! He is full of goodness, believes the best in others, and is not easily angered. All three of them live in a place (the heavenly realm) that is outside of our understanding of time and space…a different dimension. Yet, they can enter our world at any time.
God and Christ Jesus, through their Holy Spirit created the heavens (the spiritual realm) and the earth (the physical realm) and every good thing in them. God also created human beings. The first two were named Adam and Eve. Humans are the pinnacle of their creation, the apple of their eye. No one really knows why God chose to create us. However, as parents we can understand the desire to have children to whow we want to lavish our love on.
We were created to reflect God’s image (and function in community) and are deeply cherished. In fact, the only part of creation that God wasn't pleased with was Adam's lack of having a suitable companion who could relate to his personal experience. Only after Eve was created, was God truly satisfied with his design of humanity. Adam and Eve, were made of flesh but also were clothed or enveloped in "light". Some people refer to this special clothing as the "Shekinah Glory".
God gave humanity (Adam and Eve) authority over ALL the Earth. He let Adam name all the animals and he gave Adam and Eve the job of being the Earth's gardeners. They lived in a paradise and enjoyed God's company and the company of one another.
Satan is a spirit and originally lived in God’s heavenly environment. He was a beautiful angel who had authority over all the angels in heaven. Yet, Satan didn’t have authority over Man or what Man was given authority over. (Thus, he didn’t have authority over the Earth's fruitfulness or reproduction, since God had given such authority only to Man.)
Satan chose to let "pride" control him and he rebelled against God (he wanted God’s throne and he wanted control over everything…even Man) and there was a war in heaven. Satan and 1/3 of the angels lost their place in the heavenly realm and were thrown down to the Earth (the physical realm).
In his jealousy, Satan masqueraded himself as a beautiful serpent and tried to win authority over our original physical parents (Adam and Eve). He deceived Eve into not trusting God's words. Thus, she ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam then willfully followed. They both knew that they had "lost" something. It is the opinion of many that they lost their "Shekinah Glory", their clothing of "light" which enveloped them. This clothing of light also was a function of their close connection with God. God had been part of their being. After they lost this, they felt self-conscious (naked) and tried to hide from God. God came looking for them even after they had hurt him by not trusting him.
Who we choose to put our trust in is who we choose to lead us.
What we choose to put our trust in is what influences us and leads us. Thus, their choice to trust Satan's words over God's established Satan as their leader/father. As a result, they became submissive to Satan’s control and authority. Everything that they had control of (including the Earth) was now handed over to Satan. Their emotions were no longer positive, but negative. Their environment also changed. They moved from God's environment to Satan's. They moved from a “lush productive garden” to a “land of thorns”. God allowed them to live out the consequences of their choice. I personally believe they lost the ability to use their senses fully, as well. As humans, it is a fact that we see a very small portion of the light spectrum. Someday, I believe, we will see things as they really are and will be able to see the whole spiritual realm.
In my opinion, God knew that once they saw what kind of father Satan "really" was, they (and their offspring) would someday, willingly, make another choice…..one in which they would choose to trust God over Satan and embrace God as their Father again. (See the story of The Prodigal Son for more info on this.).
In their new and cursed environment, God did not abandon them. Although their relationship was broken, it wasn't beyond repair. God still communicated with them and tried to teach them how to break free from Satan’s oppression. He warned Cain to fight temptation. He later on walked with Noah and helped him build an ark to save his family. He gave people parts of his Spirit to empower them for special tasks. He walked with Job and King David. God's relationship with man was not completely severed because of what happened in Eden. However, man (and all of humanity) was now naked - not clothed with God's spirit - not protected from evil - and was now on a PATH that would lead only to decay and eventually physical death.
God had a plan. He told them that he would send a Savior (a Messiah) who would remedy the situation. He did not turn His back on them. When Eve had children, she thanked God. Cain and Abel, Adam and Eve’s children, also spoke to and heard from God. Nothing could stop God’s voice from speaking to them…..nothing except their willful shutting of their own ears. Thus, even though Satan is the "prince of this earth", as the Bible teaches, God still can enter into our environment.
It was by God’s character of grace that He was even willing to initiate any type of communication with Man after they had betrayed Him and not appreciated all that He had given them. Yet, it was also by God’s grace that He was willing to let Man learn from His mistakes. (God is the model parent!)
Unfortunately, they were in a predicament. Not only were they naked, but now they were not functioning as the imagebearers of God. Instead, they were broken and diseased and they now owed a debt. The universal law states that a soul who sins (or doesn't function according to its purpose) must die. Our dysfunctionality is like a toxin that infects others. Someone has to stop the ripple effect of the toxin. We infect one another with all of our abuse. We serve ourselves and don't consider others need, we live alone in distraction and don't function in community, as we were created to.
Satan, the devil, constantly accuses us of wrongdoing and wants our blood to be shed. He curses the day we were born. He actually has a right to accuse us. We all owe a debt that we cannot pay, without losing our lives (physical and spiritual) forever. Justice must be restored. Everything in nature, as defined by terms like "balance" and "harmony" points to this need for restoration. Thus, something must be done to restore justice. Someone must pay. C.S. Lewis’ nov, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, explains this fairly well.
In a sense, Adam and Eve were kidnapped and needed to be ransomed. A fatal shedding of blood was the ransom. The Bible teaches that the life of something is in the blood. If they shed their own blood, they would have to die and stay in that state forever. However, somewhere at the beginning of time it was ordained that if a sacrifice of sinless (pure) blood was made willingly as a substitute for Man’s blood, then Man would be able to enter God’s environment again and would have access to immortality. The only condition is that the Man would have to accept the sacrifice made for him. Jesus Christ, God’s son (the human and perfect embodiment of God’s pure image), became a man and willingly sacrificed himself for us. He proved his Deity by rising from the dead (on the third day) as He predicted. No other great leader, who claimed to be God’s Son, has ever risen from the dead. To this day, I don't think we can really understand just how much Jesus gave up for us!