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Here’s the second part of the four part booklet (technically the second half of Part I – with the two halves of Part II to come) – The Two Adams, by Homer D. Baxter.

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THE GARDEN OF EDEN

“And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed” (Gen. 2:8).

This garden eastward in Eden signifies the first usages of the word Eden referred to the earth. The garden was but a small portion of Eden, into which God placed Adam to begin his duties and responsibilities, which consisted mostly of “to dress and keep” it.

While there were no conditions to be met in receiving life there were certain conditions to a continuation of life. Adam’s position was much the same as that of a child that is born without its knowledge or will, but becomes responsible after it is born.

Adam had been given a commission to fulfill, as well as a command to observe. The commission is stated in Genesis 1:28 – “And God blessed them and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every creeping thing that moveth upon the earth.” (Gen. 1:28). The command was: “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Gen 2:17).

The Garden of Eden was the starting point of mankind. From it the offspring of Adam and Eve were to spread out over the whole earth as the population increased. The question now may arise: How were Adam and Eve to live long enough to see the earth populated that they should become rulers over all dominion? One might suggest that the oldest man who ever lived reached but 969 years. Then, what chance would Adam have of seeing the earth filled?

THE TREE OF LIFE

How was Adam to stay alive? God provided for that. The answer is found in the tree of life. While it is evident that all trees in the garden were not mentioned separately the terms employed signified many. For instance “every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food” (Gen. 2:9) could include scores of different kinds of trees. The fig tree is referred to in Gen. 3:7 as one of the food trees.

The Tree of Life was not for the purpose of food, since other trees had already been designated to fill that need. The very fact that Adam and his posterity had been provided with such a tree proves that they could not have lived indefinitely without it. This particular and special provision was for the purpose of keeping the couple and their off-spring, young, strong, healthy, and vigorous until they had populated the whole earth. One may be safe in saying that this tree was not restricted to but one of its kind, anymore than when one refers to “the oak” tree it means that there is but one oak in the world. It refers to the specie, or kind, rather than to number and was one of the many kinds of trees in the garden. In Revelation 22:2 we read: “In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruit…”

One lone tree could hardly be on both sides of the river. Just as the population increased and spread out over all the earth, so would the tree of life or else those far removed from the garden would soon perish. It is not a strange thing that such a tree should be provided man in the beginning, since even this far removed from the garden there are certain trees, roots, and herbs which possess some medicinal remedies. As long as our fore-parents ate of this tree they could have lived on and on for centuries in their morally and mortally perfect condition. Such great and valuable qualities of this particular tree are seen in the fact that even after Adam sinned and was driven from the garden, the first ten generations lived from 777 (Lamech) to 969 years (Methuselah). Afterwards life began to shorten. Today if one reaches the age of 100 years it is a news item and becomes an event for celebration.

THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE

The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was also in the garden for a special purpose – a good purpose in the plan of God or else it would not have been placed there. One cannot accuse God of deliberately enticing and tempting the first couple with putting sin within their reach. To harbor such an idea is to contradict Scripture. The Apostle James says that “God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth any man” (James 1:13). The Septuagint Version of Genesis 2:17 reads: “But from this tree, that you may know good and evil, you must not eat of it. On the day you eat of it, by death shall you die.”

This tree then, was for the very purpose of knowing good and evil, but in God’s time and not man’s. It seems evident that the purpose of God was that the first couple, with their off-spring, should first increase their number sufficiently to fill the earth and secure dominion (Gen. 1:28). Then they might have eaten of this tree and secured immortality. Then they could have known good and evil without being subject to wrong-doing. But they disobeyed before they had fulfilled God’s commission to fill the earth. One may well ask: Why after the commission was fulfilled and not at the beginning? The question is a legitimate one and the answer is as much so. If they had been made immortal while there were but two of them, no children could have been born and the earth would not have been filled. Immortality can-not be secured through natural birth; It is not begotten by man; it is not passed from father to son. Therefore, the only way Adam and Eve, and their entire posterity, could have secured immortality was to fulfill God’s commission and remain obedient until God’s time had come for them to eat of this tree. They disobeyed before they were ready and prepared. They sinned and became corruptible, subject to death and decay. Jesus seemed to have had something like this in mind when he answered the Saduccees: “The children of this world marry and are given in marriage. But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage. Neither can they die anymore; for they are equal unto the angels…” (Luke 20:34-36).

In the world to come there will be no marriages, no children born. The number of the redeemed will remain the same. It will be seen, therefore, that marriage in the beginning was for the purpose of reproduction, to fill the earth with people.

The sin of Adam was not in the tree, but in the disobedience.

EARTH’S GREATEST TRAGEDY

The act of one man; the addition of one word to God’s command; the one deception in the garden was the greatest tragedy that has befallen mankind. From that one event have come all the multitudes of sinful deeds to which the world is heir.

It must be remembered that to Adam alone the command was given concerning the forbidden tree (Gen. 2:17), even before Eve had been formed (Gen. 2:21-23). Because he was to be the head of the human race he would be held responsible for his deeds and for those who followed him. This is the reason why Eve was deceived; she had not been given a direct command from God not to eat of the tree. She knew of the command from Adam, but was deceived into believing that since God had not specifically commanded her, she would be free from its penalty.

A great error is made when some teach that Eve was alone when the tempter came. The Divine record says that when she saw that the tree was good for food, pleasant to the sight, and desired to make one wise she ate of it and “gave it to her husband with her; and he did eat” (Gen. 3:6). Adam was with her through all this deception and became part of it. Many people are interested to know why Adam did not intervene and prevent his wife from taking this forbidden fruit. When one solves this problem the whole answer to the question of the origin of sin will be easily understood.

“And the serpent said unto the woman, ‘Ye shall not surely die’.” (Gen. 3:4).

Adam was not deceived, says Paul (1 Tim. 2:13) but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Of course Adam was not deceived! One cannot be deceived when he already knows all about a matter. Jesus, without a doubt, had reference to this garden episode and says that the Pharisees had as their “father the devil” and they would do the lusts of their father; that he “was a murderer from the beginning” and that his is a “liar and the father of it.” (John 8:44). The falsehood to which Jesus refers and which became the “father” or the beginning of all falsehood, was the statement that “ye shall not surely die.”

Adam was the responsible person, instead of Eve. Nothing unusual occurred until Adam ate of the fruit. As soon as he “also ate of it” they both became conscious of their wrong doing, were ashamed of their nakedness, made aprons of fig leaves, and hid themselves when they heard God walking in the garden.

Certain severe curses were placed upon each. The woman would suffer pain and sorrow in conception and child-birth and would be in subjection to her husband. The Lord was more severe with Adam. The earth was cursed because of his sake; thorns and thistles would be brought forth; he would eat bread by the sweat of his face, and eventually return to dust from whence he came – “…for out of it was thou taken; for dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return” (Gen 3:19).

Both were then driven from the garden, not only because they had sinned, but also to prevent their eating of both the tree of life and the forbidden tree “and live forever” (Gen. 3:22-24). It was never the Lord’s intention that many should live eternally in sin, whether in Eden or elsewhere. If so, then He would have left them in the garden.

“Wherefore as by the disobedience of one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, so death passed upon all men; for that all have sinned: (Rom. 5:12). This is evidence that the Creator holds the man responsible first. He was placed at the head of mankind; formed first; given the command to obey; and is the generator of children born of woman.

BEGINNING OF CHILD-BEARING

The question is often raised: Why were there no children born to Adam and Even while they were in the garden? Other relative questions are posed as to how long they stayed in the garden. Some venture to suggest that they had to sin before children could be born.

As to how long they remained in the garden the Bible gives no definite time, however, and estimate can easily be made. Adam lived “an hundred and thirty years and begat a son in his own likeness and after his image” and he called his name Seth (Gen. 5:3). Before Seth there had been two sons, Cain and Abel. So the parents could not have been in the garden much over 100 years, if that long. The suggestion that it would be necessary that they sin before children were born is a far-fetched conclusion.

Why would God tell them to multiply and fill the earth and then command them not to eat of the forbidden tree, if they were supposed to sin before bearing children? The Lord would have contradicted the commission by the command. That Adam and Eve did not bear children before they sinned may be understood by noting that after they left Eden may of the first ten generations didn’t marry until they were 100 years old. These include Seth, 109; Jared, 162; Methuselah, 187; Lamech, 182 (Gen. 5). Men and women did not marry and begat children at a young age then. But after the flood the life span decreased and as life decreased marriage took place at younger ages. In our own time it is not uncommon for sixteen and seventeen year-olds to marry.

ADAM’S NATURE PASSED TO ALL MEN

It has previously been quoted (Rom. 5:12) that the disobedience of Adam, with its dire results, passed from him to all men. “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Psalms 51:5).

Because he was made of the dust of the ground, lives from the products of the soil, and returns to dust at death, man cannot pass on to his children a greater life than he himself possesses.

After explaining that the Kingdom of God is not inherited by the flesh and blood system, Paul adds that “neither doth corruption inherit incorruption” (1 Cor. 15:50). That is, incorruption and immortality cannot be begotten, or transmitted by human parents through the natural process of begettal and birth. Mortality cannot beget immortality; the two different conditions cannot exist side by side, nor can one exist within the other. Jesus gave two small parables to teach important lessons concerning the old and the new; the pure and the impure.

“No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto and old garment, for that which is put in to fill up taketh away from the garment, and the rent is made worse. Neither do men put new wine into old bottles, else the bottles break and the wine runneth out; but they put new wine into new bottles and both are preserved” (Matt. 9:16-17).

Jesus gave the Pharisees and scribes to understand that he did not come to do patch-work; that he had no intention of sewing the Gospel of salvation into the Old Covenant; nor did he come to put new life of the Spirit into the old, sinful bodies.

Now if men new better than to sew new cloth onto old, worn cloth, and new better than to put new wine into old, dry, skin bottles which would burst when the new wind fermented, then would not God know better than to put immortality into mortal, corrupt, dying bodies? Man is wholly mortal and subject to death. Immortality is never spoken of as a present possession of mankind, but always with reference to man as a future possession to be “put on” at the resurrection (1 Cor. 15:52-54).

So the unrighteousness of the first Adam passed upon the entire race of mankind. Human nature has a tendency to sin, to do that which is wrong, to be selfish and rebellious. As innocent as little children are insofar as their personal lives are concerned, one can detect the nature of Adam in them. They “enlarge” upon the truth quite often to prevent correction from parents; they take things which don’t belong to them, and do and say many other things which are not exactly proper and right.

The same destinies which were set before Adam are still the same for the present world; Life or Death. We have a choice for the future life rather than death; but for the present we must all pay the penalty for Adam’s transgression. The whole world has borne the results of that disobedience. Instead of obeying the Lord he disobeyed and lost the right to both life and final dominion over the whole earth. His would-be heirs to that dominion and life, instead fell with him to pain, suffering, and death.

There is but one remedy. There is but one way. The remedy and the way is the Lord Jesus Christ, the SECOND Adam.

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Next – Part 3

Go back to Part 1

6 Responses to “The Two Adams – Part 2 of 4”

  1. on 08 Apr 2009 at 3:02 pmRay

    It seems then that we can not partake of the Tree of Knowledge
    of Good and Evil, and the Tree of Life at the same time.

    In partaking of the Tree of the Knowlege of Good and Evil, Adam and Eve lost the right to partake of the Tree of Life.

    I suppose sin had to be atoned for in some way.

  2. on 09 Apr 2009 at 11:24 amrobert

    The sin of adam was not neither eating of the tree of knowlege or the disobience. it was when he beleived not the Word of God which happened before both acts. this is the only sin that has ever existed.

  3. on 09 Apr 2009 at 11:23 pmRon S.

    Robert,

    So you’re saying that the only sin that has ever existed is the sin of NOT BELIEVING the Word of God???

    If that were so, wouldn’t that mean that someone who DID believe in God’s word, yet disobeyed it – isn’t committing any type of sin??

    To me, that seems about as wrong as wrong can be. But maybe I’m misunderstanding what you’re saying here.

    I’d also like to ask how you know from Scripture that Adam actually “believed not the Word of God which happened before both acts”?

    Scripture tells us Adam’s actions, but not his mindset. Though if one were to give in to conjecture, I would say that his actions of being afraid of God and hiding from Him after eating of the tree of knowledge would lend a great deal of credence to Adam truly believing God meant what he said and therefore he was in deep trouble.

  4. on 10 Apr 2009 at 7:00 amrobert

    yes
    If you truly beleived the Word of God than you wouldnt go against it.
    Beleif was the example Jesus set.
    all sin is a matter of disbeleif.

  5. on 10 Apr 2009 at 7:14 amrobert

    If adam believed the Word of God he would of been commiting suicide. “Thou shall surely die”
    how can you say he believed.
    he believed satan, Not God

  6. on 10 Apr 2009 at 9:57 amRay

    Oh wretched man that I am. The thing that I know not to do, that
    I do, for I was made subject to vanity. Yet I hope in God who shall
    deliver me. I fell because of my weakness, my ignorance, my lust
    and rebellion for I was made subject to those passions and vices.
    Yet it pleased God to make me so, that I might know him, his wrath,
    his kindness, his justice and his mercy.

    One day I shall be changed, because I received Jesus.

    I don’t know what it was like to have been born not in sin. It must
    have been a very hard fall, from a very high place.

    I hope I never fall again. Yet each time I get up I seem to get stronger in faith. Yet how soon I forget the sufferings of the past
    because of my sin because something new began in me again.

    By the grace of God I will go on in hope, for I know that the end
    of the days of my flesh draw nearer each day and that there is a
    place of glory prepared for me in the heavenlies, a place where the
    whole family of God in named, for they have called upon the name of God and named the name of Jesus. Our praises will continualy
    be telling of his virtue, glory and grace, where we will joy and rejoice in thanksgiving for eternity. For now, less now and more
    later for me is best. His word will go on from age to age and never
    end.

  

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