8. The Fall of Man

By John Thiel, Audio: The Fall of Man

In this study we will examine the communion that first existed between God and man in Eden. God created man upright with no bias toward evil and as long as man remained loyal to the divine law, his conception of God’s immeasurable love toward him could only deepen and grow.  But when Adam transgressed the law of God, man became infected with a bent to evil in his mind which left unaided he was powerless to overcome.  When all should have been lost through sin, God in His divine love and foresight laid out a plan of salvation to reach and save us even before the foundation of the world.

Through the appreciation that it is us who have become separated from God through sin, the enmity and fear of God that is naturally ingrained in our carnal mind is understood in its proper light.  The antidote to our fallen human way of thinking can only be received through the Great Heavenly Physician.  He laid down the life of His son to redeem us that through the mind exercise of this redemptive program that we might begin the work of healing the mind and reconciling ourselves back to God. After the foundations of the world were laid the Godhead begins the process of creating man;

Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

27 So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

The word man here involves both male and female.  They are separate entities and yet they are called man.  In like manner God is three and yet He is one.  The Godhead is at work in the salvation of man:

John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

17 [Even] the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my Words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

In God’s activity of assisting man He says “we” all three members of the Godhead will come and make our abode with him (man).  The three Persons of the Godhead are constantly at work to achieve the salvation of man.

Ephesians 4:23 And be renewed in the Spirit of your mind;

24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

The new man is created in the image of God, just like he was at creation.

1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the Sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

This is the work of the First Angel’s Message and the preaching of the everlasting gospel to restore man back into God’s image, to recreate man as it was at creation.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

The just live by faith that the righteousness of God will be in them through the gospel, this is the power of God unto salvation.

Revelation14:6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel, to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

The preaching of the everlasting gospel is where the restorative work of re-creating man in God’s image is begun, but first we need to gain a deep appreciation of our own sinful condition.  Without this appreciation, the healing antidote of the everlasting gospel will be of little benefit to us.  It is only through acknowledging our sin sick state that we can truly appreciate the preciousness of Jesus as our great physician who can heal and restore us through the gospel.  If we’re not aware that we are sick, how then may we come to the gospel to be cured?

Mark 2:16,17 And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?

17 When Jesus heard [it], he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Jesus actually came to benefit and bring salvation to those who most sense their sinfulness – the publicans and sinners. On the other hand those who feel righteous within themselves can never appreciate the benefit of the gospel as a healing, recovering benefit because they don’t know that they are sick.  But what is this sickness of every human being that needs to be cured and what is the nature of the fall of man?  This is the quest of our study to really become sensitive to the nature of our fall, to be sensitive to the condition of our sickness so that the Gospel will be deeply appreciated by the sense of our sinfulness.

The Condition, Joy and Privileges of Man before the fall

Psalms 8:4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him?  And the Son of man, that thou visitest him?

5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.

6 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all [things] under his feet:

At creation there was a tremendous caliber of love and a wonderful rapport between God and man.  In this love relationship God entrusted all His creativity and handiwork upon the earth into the hands of man.  This was a deep trust exercise as God’s creation was very dear and precious to Him.

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

It was this same love that existed at creation, man loved God and sensed the importance of God’s creation and with what care it needed to be tended over.

1 John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

5 But whoso keepeth his Word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.

By a warm love relationship and knowledge of one another, the work of God could be entrusted into the hands of man because he would keep the laws of God that would sustain this beautiful creation that God had made.  If Adam and Eve in their pristine condition of creation would continue to love God and keep His commandments, this would be the manifestation that they were capable of taking care of God’s creation.  In order to care for God’s creation it was imperative that this love be sustained.

Matthew 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

38 This is the first and great commandment.

It is imperative for man to love God so completely that he would not destroy or interfere with any part of God’s creation in breach of that love.  This was the situation before the fall.  God loved to come to man and visit him and talk with him.  In Genesis 3 we read that God came to commune with Adam and Eve but something had changed in their attitude towards Him.

Genesis 3:8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day:

When God’s voice was heard walking in the cool of the day, it was natural for Adam and Eve in their love for God to come to Him and commune with Him.  As they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

Genesis 3:9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where [art] thou?

3:10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I [was] naked; and I hid myself.

If Adam and Eve had loved and trusted God why would they have suddenly run away from Him and become afraid?  A breakdown in their love-trust relationship had occurred because there is no fear in perfect love. Here lies the pivoting point of the fall of man.

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

When Adam and Eve ate of that tree of the knowledge of good and evil, this action demonstrated a loss of their love for God. The condition of the fall in this respect was loss of love because perfect love casteth out all fear. When fear does arise, it is accompanied by torment and this torment in the mind results in adverse affects on the human adrenal/hormonal system.  The effect of fear and stress cause the adrenal system to inject poison into our system with the torment that we are suffering through.

This is summarised well in the scripture “the day ye eat thereof ye shall surely die”, or “dying thou shalt die”.  The moment that fear came into existence was the point that the human race became sin-sick.  The poison injected into the body through fear/stress would destroy the entire human race.  That one act of estrangement of mankind towards God affected the human race thereafter and this caused the fall of man.

Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

By one man’s action of this nature, there came into the condition of man a disease, a sickness.  The condition of fear inside of a man because of his insubordination to the obedience of God and to the love of God resulted in his condition of sin and death.

Romans 5:19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners,

All who were the offspring of Adam after the fall would be in a condition of the loss of the love of God and would be in affliction of fear as Adam experienced when he fled from God.

Romans 3:9 What then? are we better [than they]?  No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;

Apostle Paul is speaking of the Gentiles. Are we better than they?  Those who know they’re sick in terms of those who don’t know they’re sick.

Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

If it would not be for God, then all that we do would be wrong and sinful.  There is none that doeth right, no, not one and this is the consequence of one man’s sin, the whole race has become affected.

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

By one man’s sin many were made sinners and many were produced who would also fail to do God’s will.

The result of the eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil is manifest in every man’s experience. There is in his nature, a bent to evil, a force which, unaided, he cannot resist.  {Ed 29.1}

All have sinned and that there is none that doeth right, no not one. Why?  Because eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  By this very action many were made sinners and man’s nature became bent to evil, a force which left unaided he cannot resist.

To withstand this force, to attain that ideal which in his inmost soul he accepts as alone worthy, he can find help in but one power. That power is Christ.    {Ed 29.1}

This is our condition as it really is “there are non righteous, no not one”.  If anyone thinks they are righteous like the Laodiceans or the Pharisees, they have become blinded to the fact that they are wretched miserable, poor, blind and naked.  This needs to be clearly illuminated before our eyes so that we cannot cosset the thought that we are righteous.

Only through the appreciation of our sin sick state will we appreciate the need of the great physician.  It will also help us to realise that our condition stems from a breakdown in the relationship between God and man which is based on perfect love and not fear.  Unfortunately fear resides in all humanity so all are sick and in need of the physicians help yet only few know it.

Mans Bent to Evil

Jeremiah 17:1 The sin of Judah [is] written with a pen of iron, [and] with the point of a diamond: [it is] graven upon the table of their heart, and upon the horns of your altars;

Our very motive and force is sin which has been inscribed upon the table of our heart, (the mind) and the horns of our altar (the governing force/brain).  Sin has been etched into the physiological framework of humanity and this is why we are in such a deplorable condition.

The Leopard and the Ethiopian

Jeremiah 13:23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? [then] may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.

This is the inscription of evil caused through Adam’s sin, a bent to evil that can’t be overcome without the physician’s help.  Because of the fall of man, the everlasting Gospel needs to come in, not as a revelator, but as a ‘recreator’. The leopard and the Ethiopian need to be totally made over again.

The infinite value of the sacrifice required for our redemption the sacrifice of Jesus reveals the fact that sin is a tremendous evil.  Through sin the whole human organism is deranged, the mind is perverted, the imagination corrupted. Sin has degraded the faculties of the soul. Temptations from without find an answering chord within the heart, and the feet turn imperceptibly toward evil.  {8T 312.2}

Man’s whole perception has been perverted so that the feet turn imperceptibly to evil.  The bent is imperceptible in that man cannot comprehend why it’s happening.  The Apostle Paul experienced this bent to evil when he exclaimed;

Romans 8:24 O wretched man that I am who shall deliver me from the body of this death

15 For that which I do I allow not, for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate that I do.

Isaiah 1:4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.

5 Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.

6 From the sole of the foot even unto the head [there is] no soundness in it; [but] wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.

Here is the description of a truly wretched nation.  Why is it a wretched nation?  Because one man’s sin made many sinners and their natural bent was to continue to be separated from the deep love relationship that existed before the fall. There has been a separation because of sin and there is a bent to sin so that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. The condition is very simple, very straightforward and plain. So it is a condition where the image of God and the close relationship with the life-giver has been segregated.

Isaiah 59:1 Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:

If God is merciful toward us in that his hand is not shortened to save nor ear too heavy to hear us, where does the problem in the breakdown of the relationship between God and man arise?  Even after Adam and Eve had eaten of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, God still came down to visit them.  He never withdrew from them.  So where did the problem arise?

Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid [his] face from you, that he will not hear.

3 For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.

We once enjoyed a very deep intimate loving relationship with our Father but when we became separated from Him through sin, a great void was left in humanity with nothing to take it’s place.  We search for deep love in relationships and anywhere but in God only to find that this void can’t be filled.

The Story of Saul Who Became Paul

Philippians 3:4 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:

5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, [of] the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;

6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

Before Paul made his experience with God, he was a Pharisee and felt no need of the gospel.  He felt that because he was a Benjaminite, circumcised on the eighth day, he was righteous by his own actions, but Jesus said I have come not to save the righteous but to save sinners.  Until we make our experience with Jesus and realize our true condition we will be in a state of untouchableness.  When the apostle Paul made his experience with Christ, Romans 7 describes what happened inside of him;

Romans 7:9 For I was alive without the law once:

This is a strange statement because he just said in Philippians 3:5 that he was never alive without the law, but he’s talking about something of the law which is different here – when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.

Romans 7:10 And the commandment, which [was ordained] to life, I found [to be] unto death.

When Paul made his experience with Jesus on the road to Damascus this was a different experience to keeping the letter of the law which Paul had done all his life, he met the law as it is in Jesus Christ, in living entity so that when the commandment came, sin revived. In other words his sinful condition was enlivened to his appreciation.  Up until this point he had kept the letter of the law which he thought was giving him life but it was crushing him because he had no concept of his sinfulness.

Romans 7:14 For we know that the law is Spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.  This is referring to Romans 5 where it describes that by one man’s sin, many were made sinners.  We are all carnal, sold under sin, born with a bent to evil.

15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.

In this verse Paul is expressing his bent to evil.  He has a bent inside of him that does the opposite to what he acknowledges to be good.  As do we all.

Romans 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing:

He now has the new understanding that sin has been written upon the tables of your heart and upon the horns of your altars,

Romans 7:18 for to will is present with me; but [how] to perform that which is good I find not.

19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

Here is a full demonstration of the nature of man’s fall. He has fallen to a condition where by one man’s sin many were made sinners, made carnal, sold under sin, we are full of stress, full of the shocking discovery of our sinfulness and here lies the condition of our disease. We cry out for release but there is help in but one. The help comes but in one method and that is in the re-creative activity and the energy of the Godhead that we have just been studying about – God’s character, goodness, mercy and power. We need to know the power of God.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: why not? Because I have found the power of God unto salvation for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

17 For therein in the Gospel, I find is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Since the fall of man we all have a bent to evil a product of which is fear. Why do we have fear?  Because we know the things that God wants us to do and we want to be able to do them because they are just and good – but fear grabs our heart when we realise we can’t.  If you know that you want to save yourself from destruction and you are striving to get away from it but you can’t what happens within your heart?  Panic!  This is a condition of abject fear.

One Man’s Sin

Because of one man’s sin we have become segregated from the close relationship and love that we once shared with God and because we are children of fear, stress and anguish, God who has been segregated from us by our action has brought about a plan and an activity from His part that would actually step in and do something to recreate us.  This power of God coming into activity to save us from fear is the object of our next study – ‘Christ’s Atonement’. In order to appreciate the power of God unto salvation it is important that we first comprehend the true nature of our condition as only then will we realise our great need of the healing physician.  Let us meditate upon this truth as it is preached in the first angels message, the everlasting gospel that we may grasp hold of it and see its relevant application to our lives.

Amen.

Posted on August 30, 2009, in 1st Angels Message and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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