Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Fall of Adam-The Garden of Eden

The resurrection would not be much of a miracle if there were no death. But there is death and there must be a reason for it in God's great plan. Did God create a planet and people out of curiosity or for some eternal purpose? What was the reasoning behind the creation and the fall?

Was what happened in the Garden of Eden a creation that went wrong or a creation that has gone right and fulfilling its purpose? Is the resultant suffering and evil necessary or not? Christian philosophers teach that Adam and Eve were supposed to remain in the Garden. They also teach that their partaking of the fruit was some kind of a rebellion.

Good theology would tell us that God set the scene so they would fall to fulfill his eternal purposes. Their dying brought the miracle of the resurrection. The world exists as it does because God wanted it to, not because Adam and Eve wanted it to. He is the one with all knowledge and designs the purpose for which things exist and the condition in which they exist as they pertain to truths about salvation.

Mainstream Christian theologians believe that salvation through Jesus was and is a back up plan. Bible scholars say man was to remain in the garden forever and the reason he fell was because he rebelled. They teach that the fall was a mistake and thus deny that Jesus' atonement was a pre-planned event.

The traditions of orthodox sectarian creeds teach of a self-existing God that acts in a random non-purposeful way. Their stated reason for the creation was so God could have someone to glorify him and this was for his own will and pleasure. Was he not already glorified enough and pleased with his existence?   

Without the fall and therefore death and sin, there would be no Christ, no atonement, and no resurrection? My Christian faith does not concur with those scholars. The Bible teaches that Jesus was foreordained from before the foundation of the world to be our Savior. Even though Adam and Eve introduced death and sin, the consequences of those events were already dealt with.

How long were Adam and Eve in the garden before partaking of the fruit?  It could have been thousands of years or a few months. Either way, it would seem they stayed away from it until Satan was allowed to tempt them.
The tree was in the middle of the garden, not in a remote orchard. It was one tree from which the knowledge of good and evil could be obtained.  It was not two trees, one of good and one of evil. It stood as the bitter fruit of death as opposed to the tree of life.

Traditional theology doesn't recognize that death was the consequence of partaking because God wanted us to have eternal life through his Son. Without birth into mortality, there could be no agency or exaltation. He ordained family life for the fulfilling of his plan.

Eating fruit doesn't on its own do any of the things Satan tempted them with. However, if God establishes the consequence he desires, he will do so to make his purposes come to pass.  Adam and Eve's disobedience was not necessarily sinning. They were innocent in their sensibilities.  There was no evil in their actions.  It was disobedience. They invoked the consequence of the fall based on the word of God that they were given. This introduced sin because man now had knowledge and freedom to choose between good and evil, the precept of moral agency was established by this means.
How could Adam and Eve understand death at the time? There had been none die before them.  This is why they were not able to be tempted by the concept of not dying. The idea of wisdom or pleasantness may have been a curiosity but they were not capable of pride or ambition to be gods as some Bible apologists suggest. They did not know Satan was evil or anything of the concepts he could use to tempt them. Eve was simply beguiled.
Christian philosophers should make no mistake. Adam and Eve were righteous individuals. Adam and Eve did not sin in choosing the fruit. They knew no other law to establish sin. There was no adultery, stealing, bearing false witness etc. They had dominion over all things.  

This was a simple opposition to their innocence so they would have a choice. If it had not been there they would have essentially been in a prison as they would have had no freedom to choose anything. God knew what he was doing and he needed someone to do it of their own free will.

Without opposing choices of some kind they would essentially be forced to remain in a state of neutrality not knowing real happiness because they knew no sadness. They would have been pawns of no consequence living in a state of ignorance.

The tree of death (good and evil) was an innocuous tree.  It stood in opposition to the tree of life.  The tree was not a bad tree.  It was set as an option to invoke a penalty for transgressing a commandment or rule that God placed there for a purpose.   

The penalty for breaking the rule was mortality and death. Grave yes but they were taught that beforehand.  God chose the penalty to suit his purposes and that was to introduce them to mortality and the experience of learning by choice and consequences through freedom to act on their own will.

Adam must have listened to her confession and realized that he was not supposed to be alone and chose to follow. They had been married in Garden and he was to cleave unto her. Adam had to partake to keep the commandment to multiply and replenish the earth.

With the fall they were now capable of exercising faith in their Redeemer and the glorious eternal life he would deliver to them and their posterity.  It would appear that Adam had pretty much decided not to eat the fruit on his own. God allowed Satan to hasten the process needed in order to begin the real salvation of Adam's and Eve's souls.  Their bodies wouldn't be perfected until they were resurrected. Their character would also be perfected through knowledge, choice, repentance, mercy, and grace.

They would now have to learn to seek humility with the existence of pride pushing on them. Their choice to live with good and evil was an opportunity to forsake evil by choice.  The continued existence of mankind with the tempter present would bring sin and sorrow.  Redemption would be wrought by faith in a redeemer, even the Son of God. Adam and Eve were the world's first Christians. God gave them laws applicable to mortality and they taught their children.

Because Adam and Eve were subject to a future fall, their bodies were, in fact, corruptible even though immortal at the time.

Satan induced what Adam and Eve resisted partaking on their own. God knew his evil intent and used it against him. Jesus was the only plan for salvation all along, from before the foundation of the world.
The reason the garden setting existed was so that the sorrow of mortality, it's pain and suffering and ultimate death was chosen voluntarily by Adam and Eve. It was not forced upon them by God. The two choices before them were the limit of their freedom at the time. Their choice brought Jesus Christ to the earth and salvation to the children of the Eternal Father.
Without disease and death, immortality and eternal life without sorrow would no meaning. We might like to think that these concepts could be infused in our minds at creation but it is quite obvious that is not the case or else we would not be here. This experiential knowledge is key for our spiritual development to become like God.  He is the freest of beings. The fall was designed for that purpose.

If the Garden was to be the eternal home of man we would have forgone the wonders of the kingdom of God and his heavens. Remember Satan also came and went from the garden. Would the kingdom of God include a devil roaming in and out of it?  The purpose of the eternal plan is to overcome evil and banish it to its own end, not to put up with it.

The purpose of mortality was to know good and evil and to be free to choose between them.  The Gods, Jesus, and the Father did not say after Adam partook: Look man has become like Satan.  They said behold the man has become as one of us (plural), to know good and evil.  Now the man would no longer live in innocence. He would have choices.

Our purpose here on earth is to gain a physical body and see if we will overcome evil by our own choice and choose to follow Jesus. The war in heaven continues here and now over freedom and choice.

We are given power over Satan and his hosts through faith in Christ.  He will be overcome and cast to his final prison in the end. It will be done in the same manner as the pre-earth war. "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony". Revelation 12:11

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