Monthly Archives: July 2009

The Original Sin of Eve (Series #3)

By Eusebio Tanicala

This series about original sin is related to the forthcoming discussion on “inherited” sin. I would like you to remember the original sin of the Devil that it was done with the free will of Lucifer and also done freely by his followers, that angels that rebelled.

In Series #2 we have discussed the situation of Adam and Eve before the Fall. Endowed with free will, sufficient knowledge about God, our first parents had tasted the fellowship of God in the Garden.  Both were free from any sin. In this Series #3, we discuss the original sin of Eve in the Garden of Eden.

Eve committed the first human sin. Did God decree that Eve should commit sin? No, or else God is the author of sin. Did God purpose that Eve should fall so that God could show His benevolence and be glorified for His kindness? No, or else God is the source of evil which He Himself abhors.

To this writer there are four factors that interplay in the fall of Eve. These are: (1) Eve’s possession of Free Will; (2) The presence in the Garden of Eden of this aggressive, clever, crafty, scheming, seducing enemy, the Devil; (3) God’s permission for the Devil to dialogue with Eve and present her with severe temptations; and (4) The seeming need for God to test the undivided loyalty of Eve through a temptation.

Which of these factors dominate, we are not sure. But the fact is there: Eve succumbed to the seduction and through her the first sin entered into the world. Eve reached out and picked the fruit and ate it. She gave a bite to her husband Adam. Adam seems to have readily accepted the fruit offered to him.

What could have been Eve’s emotions, longings, desires and expectations while she had the dialogue with the Devil, the Snake, at the middle of the Garden under the tree that bore the fruit that gives knowledge of good and evil? We could surmise the following: (1) Eve was aware of God’s prohibition; (2) Eve was aware of the penalty of disobedience which is death; (3) She was adventurous, daring, inquisitive and curious because she went near the tree that bore the prohibited fruit;  (4) She was a brave woman because she dared to talk to a Snake that could talk which should be an unusual occurrence; (5) Her taste buds salivated when the Devil made the fruit appear very unique and invitingly fresh and luscious; (6) Her trained eyes determined that the fruit was no different from other fruits in the garden and that it was good for food; (7) She  hasn’t experienced yet the horror or pain of death; (8) The fruit, as promised by the Snake, would give knowledge and wisdom; (9) She knew and felt she could exercise her Free Will or make her own decision; and (10) Her stomach longingly churned to receive the invitingly fresh and luscious fruit.

All the major longings and desires of humanity were there in Eve: adventure and curiosity, wisdom, tinker with what is beautiful, satisfaction of the appetite, going up to the highest level of knowledge and wisdom because she was assured by the Devil she would be  as wise as God, attached to a high level of wisdom is authority and power, was assured that the penalty of death was not forthcoming, and she felt her freedom – she could exercise her own choice.

All these items were sufficient in Eve’s time to make her decide and act. If present today in any situation, an individual would easily succumb to any invitation offered by the Devil. On the other hand if Eve were left alone, she could have reflected on the warnings given by God and debated herself. But there was the mesmerizing, hypnotizing and seductive suggestions pouring out from the mouth of the Devil that drowned any reflections she wanted to make about her relationship with God. She was under the spell of Satan.

What could have been the push, pull or pressure that the Devil exerted on the emotion and mind of Eve? The following are possible: (1) Based on narratives today, when a human comes under the spell of a spirit, the human mind comes into stupor or trance and suggestions are easily accepted – one is hypnotized; (2) Having been an archangel with great knowledge and experience in the art of seduction, the Devil had an undue advantage over an innocent, inexperienced young woman;  (3) Brought up in the innocence and purity of the Garden of Eden, Eve tended to believe every new idea she heard; (4) The titillating appearance of a good looking, luscious fruit was hard to resist; (5) She was possibly hungry at the time she went out so there was the intense pleasure evoked by expectation of swallowing the luscious fruit, (6) Being a veteran of the art of seduction, the Devil inveigled the young, innocent woman with empty assurances;  (7) the promise of attaining a high level of wisdom which would equal that of God’s was so irresistible; (8) The assurance that death was not coming, and she didn’t know anything about death, Eve became more adventurous; and (9) the intense, immediate pleasure in the flesh evoked by the senses of sight, taste buds, churning stomach overpowered the less intense delight of spiritual joys among the young and inexperienced.

Delights of the flesh are intense, overpowering and are immediately felt. Among the innocent and the inexperienced, fleshly delights could easily drown the distant delights of a heavenly paradise.

It is only when a person reaches old age that she would learn to prefer spiritual joys to the pleasures of the flesh. After many years of struggle a person comes to learn that fleshly delights are only fleeting. Some delightful experiences may even lead to body pains. Eve was young and inexperienced when she was confronted by the Devil. Being young and inexperienced the pleasure of the flesh was stronger than the delights of spiritual things. Sometimes hindsight is better than foresight.  #

(Note: Series #4 will discuss the Federal Theory of passing on to the next generation the Sin of Adam. This is called Inherited Sin. Parents from the time of Adam and Eve, according to this Federal Theory, automatically pass on a certain kind of sin to their children. A sin which even the precious blood of our Lord Jesus Christ could not wash, could not remit, could not blot, could not expiate, could not cover. A sin that God could not forget and forgive until every human being shall have gone to hell or to heaven.)

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Adam and Eve before the Fall (Series #2)

By Eusebio Tanicala

Eve was the first human to commit sin. Did God decree or predestine Eve to commit sin and be separated from God? Is it the Devil to be blamed in Eve’s committing the first sin? Or is the blame entirely on Eve’s?

Let’s analyze the situation of Eve before she committed the original human sin.

The material that God gathered with which He started to form man was dust or clay from the ground. The clay lump was lifeless. Then God breathed into the lifeless lump of clay and Adam became a living soul. See Genesis 2:7. Earlier God said, “Let us make man in our image.”  This means that Adam’s biological life as well as his spiritual Self were derived from God. In that principle or entity that God breathed into Adam’s nostril is the image of God in man.

What is the image of God that Adam and Eve took after God? Not the material dust which turned into flesh and bones. Obviously God’s image in Adam is that part that animated the lifeless lump of clay. It is the soul and the spirit or the soul-spirit which sometimes is called the inner man. James 2:26 says that when the spirit gets out of the body, the body becomes dead.

Therefore, it is clear that the soul-body entity is a personality as complete as any of the angelic individuals that were earlier created as recorded in Colossians 1:16-17. This soul-spirit entity has life as God has life. In addition, this soul-spirit entity gave Adam and Eve emotion, will, self-consciousness and reason. Emotion, will, self-consciousness and reason are also present with God. This spiritual aspect of man is the image of God in humanity.

This soul-spirit, the inner man in Adam and Eve’s personality possessed the following from the moment of creation: no sin, innocently holy, a knowledge of God, no knowledge of evil, no malice, heard God’s positive instruction permitting them that all fruits in the garden were for food, heard God’s instruction that the fruit of the tree at the middle of the garden which gives knowledge of good and evil should NOT be eaten, heard the warning that if they would eat the fruit of that tree at the middle of the garden they would surely die, enjoyed the frequent visits of God in the garden at the cool of day, they could exercise free will or self-decision, husband-wife relationship was God-given and blessed, animals were their playmates and friends, they were told to tend the garden without hard labor, food was easily available from the fruits of the trees, availability of the fruit of the tree of life, soul-spirit life was clean and nourished by God’s grace, soul-spirit personality directly connected to God’s life-sustaining grace like a fetus that is nourished thro the umbilical cord of the mother, and the soul-spirit entity enjoyed its close fellowship with God, the father of all spirits.

Life in the Garden of Eden, therefore, was blissful, easy, pure, holy, innocent, shielded by God’s grace and love.

How many days, how many months or how many years did Adam and Eve live in the garden in blissful innocence? There’s no biblical information on this matter.

(Note: The third series will analyze the motivations that pushed Eve to reach out to the fruit as well as the external factors that pushed her into the precipice.)

The Original Sin of Lucifer (Series #1)

By Eusebio Tanicala

The original sin was not committed by Eve in the Garden of Eden. It was Lucifer who committed the original sin, the very first sin. Let’s prove this proposition.

Create a timeline. From past eternity all that existed was God. There was a period when all that was, all that existed was God. This deity we are talking about is the Trinity: three persons called God. They are the Father (1st Person), the Word (2nd Person, also called the Son, Jesus, Christ), and the Holy Spirit (3rd Person).

Then came a moment later when God created the Invisible Universe; this happened before the creation that took place in Genesis 1:1. This is the account of the creation of the invisible, non-material universe: “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” (Col. 1:16-17) The Creator pointed to here, the pronouns in the two verses, refer to Christ, the Second Person in the Trinity. He was a persona before Genesis 1:1 and before His incarnation.

Part of the invisible, non-material creation accomplished by Christ is described in Eph. 6:12: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

Part of this invisible, non-material creation is the spiritual hosts or angelic hosts. Angelic hosts or angels have personalities. There are the archangels like Archangel Michael, Archangel Gabriel. There are the cherubs and the seraphs. It is believed that one of the archangels was Lucifer. These archangels were assigned thrones or positions of authority and were assigned their own respective spheres or dominions. These angelic hosts, or the angels were created with fully developed understanding with high level of knowledge. Upon creation they were matured with at least, by rough estimation and comparison, the level of a doctoral degree knowledge. So they were expected to know their responsibilities and know what’s good and bad. This fully developed knowledge is inferred from 2 Peter 2:11, “Whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord.” Angels, compared to humans, have higher or greater power and might, greater knowledge, greater ability, greater authority, greater strength than humans.

Archangel Lucifer was on his throne, in his own dominion with his angelic host of millions or billions in number. Having been created by God, naturally Lucifer should have recognized his inferiority to the Creator. Lower in rank, lower in ability, lower in strength, lower in knowledge, lower in authority. But he had an ambition: to be equal with God or even higher than God. Read Isaiah chapter 13 and chapter 14:1-27. Strong inference is derived from Isaiah 14:12-14 “….. O Lucifer, son of the morning! ….. For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God? I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High!’” (NKJV)

Lucifer’s ambition recorded in Isaiah is reflected in the ambition of the King of Babylon.

Analyze the inference gleaned from the following passage.

“Because your heart is lifted up, and you say ‘I am a god, I sit in the seat of gods’ . . . . . with your wisdom and your understanding you have gained riches for yourself . . . . . you were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: the sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold…..was prepared for you on the day you were created. You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God; you walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you.” Ezekiel 28:2-15

The ambition of Lucifer as recorded by Ezekiel is mirrored in the ambition of the king of Tyre.

Human beings that are influenced by the Devil reflect the ability of the Devil as recorded in 2 Peter 2:10 with the following acts: despise authority, presumptuous, self-willed not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries. Jude 4, 7, 8, 10 record characteristics of the Evil One as reflected by people that the Devil influences on earth: deny God and the Lord Jesus Christ, went beyond limits of morality, wild imaginations, reject authority, speak evil of dignitaries, speak evil of what they don’t know.

From the above we infer that Lucifer went beyond the limit, went beyond the boundary defined by God for him. This is the same conclusion we find in Jude 6: “And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own habitation…”

John 8:44 says, “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in Him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.” Jesus addressed here the Jewish leaders and unbelievers. These people reflect the attributes of the Devil.

From inference, the Devil reviled God and his fellow archangels. He despised God’s authority, was self-willed and wanted to be equal with God or even higher than God. These were his sins. These were the very first sins ever committed.

Conclusion

Lucifer was created a perfect, beautiful and a holy angel. God set limits and boundary for him. But he was self-willed and didn’t follow God’s will. He had ambitions to be equal or even higher than God. He failed to honor God’s dignity and authority. He reviled and despised God. In doing so, Lucifer exercised his will. He made decisions arising entirely from his will. It was his own choice. But God is a God of justice. God pronounced a penalty for Lucifer and his followers: God consigned them into the darkness of Tartarus.

Did God will and predestine Lucifer to commit sin? No. God could not be the author of rebellion against Himself. God is not the author of sin. Lucifer in opposing God became Satan. Satan (Hebrew term) means “Adversary” “Contrabida” “Opposer” The word “Devil (Greek term) means the same thing Adversary, Contrabida, Opposer.

The lower angels that followed or supported Lucifer in his rebellion also possessed will, the power to choose what they want to do or to have. Originally they were holy and advanced in knowledge. They had the freedom of choice. But they were responsible for their own actions. For their rebellion, they were consigned to the darkness of Tartarus.

Evaluative questions

Who willed that Lucifer committed rebellion against God? Who willed that Lucifer should become the Devil? Is there any decree of God that predestined Lucifer to become God’s Adversary? Whose fault is it that Lucifer committed the original sin? #

(Note: The next article will analyze the pre-fall attributes and the motivations of Eve).