Adam and the Fall – Part 4

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And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. (Genesis 2:23-25)

Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding? (Isaiah 29:16)

Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? (Romans 9:20)

And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. (Genesis 3:7)

If now thou hast understanding, hear this: hearken to the voice of my words. Shall even he that hateth right govern? and wilt thou condemn him that is most just? Is it fit to say to a king, Thou art wicked? and to princes, Ye are ungodly? How much less to him that accepteth not the persons of princes, nor regardeth the rich more than the poor? for they all are the work of his hands. (Job 34:16-19)

Knowledge. It’s supposed to be a wonderful thing. But there is some knowledge that we simply don’t need, like that of chemical weapons, biological weapons, getting hit in the head, overdosing on heroin, etc., etc. In short, knowledge, simply for the sake of knowledge is not a good thing in and of itself. Moreover, the knowledge we receive has to be accurate to the reality that truly exists. Some knowledge would simply be better left unknown.

So it is with the knowledge of good and evil. Due to the very nature of knowing what constitutes or makes something good, and what constitutes or makes something evil, and because Adam was created the way he was created, he cannot help but judge everything he observes, and thus determine whether it is good or evil. But before continuing, we must fully understand that Adam was indeed created with the ability to judge, and did so, as this also is critical to our understanding of how the knowledge of good and evil is instantly destructive to us. We know that Adam was created with the ability to judge by the first recorded task the LORD gave Adam:

And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. (Genesis 2:19-20)

Here we see that Adam is fully able to distinguish the different characteristics of the animals, and judge the name most fitting for that animal, and where it fits into the environment they live in. Now, this does not tell us the extent or capacity of Adam’s ability to judge, saving we are expressly told that he does not know good and evil. However, we can see that immediately upon partaking of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he immediately judges certain things that are of a different quality than simply naming animals.

Thus, though we are not told of the extent, we still see plainly that man was created with the inherent ability to judge, even as his Creator judges, but not to the same level of authority or power. Within Adam’s limited existence, the judgement he possesses is commensurate with his ability to discern. Adam cannot see into the future, and has no mechanism by which he can determine the outworking or end of thoughts and events. Adam is also confined by the limits of his physical perception, and cannot accurately determine if an action performed at one place, can never or may never affect events at another place with any certainty. Or, if it does affect events, to what extent the effect is felt at the other, or any other place. We, living today, ought to be very familiar with these limitations. However, this limitation becomes immeasurably more severe when we consider the ramifications within the realm of the spiritual.

If we remember, it is the spiritual that existed before the physical, and is greater and more powerful than the physical. If we also remember, sin is first and foremost, spiritual and begins in the heart and soul of the individual long before it is ever manifested physically:

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. (Matthew 5:27-28)

And again:

And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding? Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man. (Matthew 15:16-20)

And so it is that Adam’s ability to comprehend what might be spiritually, is also severely limited, as he has no means by which he can determine the effect of the thoughts of his heart upon the entirety of the spiritual world. Thus, Adam’s ability to make moral judgements concerning the things he perceives, observes and considers, was rightly and properly withheld as it would bring about a situation where Adam would judge something, and not seeing all the ramifications of it, would judge it to be one way and to have one outcome, and in reality it actually is a different way and a considerably different outcome will result. What the end of this situation is, is what the Scripture calls iniquity (which is the cause of sin), as the judgement made would “miss the mark” and be unequal to the reality that exists.

For us to truly understand what “iniquity” and “sin” are, and why they are so egregious and destructive, we must examine righteousness, sin, and iniquity and how they are defined. In Scripture, iniquity and sin are clearly defined, and in so doing, righteousness is defined as well. The clearest passages that define iniquity and sin, and thus righteousness, are found in the Old Testament, in Ezekiel:

Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal?
Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. (Ezekiel 18:29-30)

Yet the children of thy people say, The way of the Lord is not equal: but as for them, their way is not equal. When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby. But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby. Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. O ye house of Israel, I will judge you every one after his ways. (Ezekiel 33:17-20)

In both the above passages, it is very clear by the use of the phrases “my ways equal” and “your ways unequal” and then the LORD God stating “turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity . . .” and again stating “When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity,” the LORD is clearly setting righteousness in direct opposition to iniquity, and saying that “iniquity” is being “not equal” in one’s doings. Therefore sin, which is a result of iniquity, is the result of being unequal in one’s way of being. This is to say that if the very way we think is unequal, that when we do not treat everything equally, we are in sin, and are not righteous. This is confirmed in the New Testament in James, Chapter 2:

If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. (James 2:8-9)

Beyond this, it is inherent in being equal or righteous, that one must, to be equal, see all things that are, as they are, not as we think or want them to be. Moreover, one must be able to see infinitely to know that all things that can be seen, are seen, and perceived accurately or as they are.

To simplify somewhat, it is like examining a sheet of copier, or printer paper, letter size. For us, we specify that it is 8.5 x 11.0 inches, and is .012 inch thick, an weighs “X” amount. However, all that is described by us, is approximate, and not actual. In fact, we cannot actually know exactly how wide, long and thick the sheet of paper is. Nor can we know exactly how much it weighs.

Why?

Because we do not have instruments that can measure the absolute size and weight of the sheet of paper. We are strictly limited by our capabilities and will never know exactly the physical aspects of the sheet of paper, we can only approximate. This makes us inherently unrighteous when we attempt to describe a single sheet of letter size printer or copier paper.

Now, as briefly touched on concerning Adam, once he has received the knowledge of good and evil, the problem goes further when making an attempt to determine the outcome of some physical action, or decision. To be righteous he must insure that all consequences of any action he decides upon and executes must fit perfectly in the creation in which the LORD God placed him. Any and all outcomes, no matter how remote, no matter how seemingly insignificant, must match perfectly with the ordained order of the LORD’s creation. Otherwise, Adam is unrighteous and not equal in his dealings and thus in iniquity, and as a result, sin.

Hence, looking at righteousness in this way demonstrates to us just how incapable Adam was of being righteous once he obtained the knowledge of good and evil. Moreover, it illustrates his (and our) inability to truly understand the extent of the LORD God’s righteousness, which is intrinsic to His being.

Perhaps then, a description of the LORD God’s righteousness can be understood by the following illustration:

It is as if there existed an infinitely large mathematical equation that extended in every dimension, both physical and spiritual, with an equal sign right in the midst. In all that would be done in this infinite, multi-dimensional equation, it is never not an equation. Meaning it is never, not even for the slightest of an instant, unequal as it is worked. Moreover, in every thought and action that occurs in this equation and the outworking or ramifications thereof, everything balances perfectly and remains equal at all times, from infinity to infinity in every and all possible dimensions.

Now then, if we begin to grasp that concept, we begin to understand how that in all that is done, the LORD God is ever and always righteous in all that He does, from infinity to infinity, and how incapable Adam was of being righteous should he gain the knowledge of good and evil. Thus, it is plain that in withholding the knowledge of good and evil, the LORD God was preserving Adam from making judgements against, and contrary to his Creator, and thus placing himself in opposition to the LORD God, the very one who made him.

Now then, let us return to the verses above, and what they declare:

And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. (Genesis 2:23-25)

Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding? (Isaiah 29:16)

Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? (Romans 9:20)

And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. (Genesis 3:7)

If now thou hast understanding, hear this: hearken to the voice of my words. Shall even he that hateth right govern? and wilt thou condemn him that is most just? Is it fit to say to a king, Thou art wicked? and to princes, Ye are ungodly? How much less to him that accepteth not the persons of princes, nor regardeth the rich more than the poor? for they all are the work of his hands. (Job 34:16-19)

In light of all that is spoken of before, it is now plain that Adam judged the actions of his Creator and deemed them lacking. When Adam received the knowledge of good and evil, as the Scripture shows, he went from being naked and unashamed, to instantly judging that he was naked, and should not be so, for he was ashamed of his state of undress. By this action, Adam has brought a judgement contrary to the order the LORD God set up when he did not cloth Adam immediately after his creation. This then, is the visible manifestation of the judgement that has occurred in Adam’s heart concerning how he should have been adorned when he was made. The reality of Adam’s judgement is to call God wicked for not clothing him when He made him, and thus giving Adam cause for shame. Moreover, now Adam also knows plainly that he should not have partaken of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and also knows that he has set himself against the LORD God. As a result of this, Adam’s reaction upon the appearance of the LORD God in the garden can be well understood by us today:

And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. (Genesis 3:8)

To be continued . . .

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