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The Subtlety of Adam

13 Aug

As a conclusion of this study of Satan and Adam, I would like to speak of Adam’s deception, that is, he hid his sin from a careful observation (Job 31:33).

If Satan and Adam are really two different creatures (see “The Devil, Called Satan, Unveiled“), when did Satan sin and how is it recorded in the Bible? To answer this, one must explain how Satan can be a spirit, and how sin really entered our world through him and not through Adam (Romans 5:12). The word of God says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth…” (Genesis 1:1). When he created the earth, the angels, or sons of God shouted for joy (Job 38:4-7; cp. Job 1:6, 2:1). So, the angels preceded the creation of the earth, but not necessarily the creation of the heavens. The word of God records only that they shouted for joy at the creation of the earth (Job 38:4-7)! Furthermore, Scripture says God created the heavens and the earth and all that was in them (including angels?) in only six days, and on the seventh day he rested (Exodus 20:11; 31:17). If Satan is not Adam, when did Satan rebel, and from where did he rebel? When was iniquity found in him? If we accept the literal interpretation of Genesis 1, he had only five or six days in which to organize a rebellion? If we assume the days account for seven ages of indeterminate length, we still have problems with when and how Satan could have rebelled as seen below. The problem with tradition that is not based upon the Scripture is that it is so difficult to prove; yet it is so easy to believe. Why is that?

Admittedly, the word translated heavens can mean our sky or even our universe, wherein are the stars. The third heaven, where God dwells, is probably not be meant here. Nevertheless, God’s word records the angels rejoiced only at the creation of the earth implying their existence after the creation of the heavens, but before Adam! This being so, when did Satan rebel? Where was he when he rebelled?

Not all, but some biblical commentators have understood the prophecies recorded in Isaiah 14, concerning the king of Babylon, and in Ezekiel 28, concerning the king of Tyre, to actually refer to Satan’s rebellion in a time long before the creation of Adam. What does the word of God say about this? Notice in Isaiah 14:4 that this prophecy concerns the king of Babylon. It is believed that Satan is actually meant in verse-12 where it is recorded, “How are you fallen O Lucifer…?” It was he who had weakened the nations (or gentiles, verse-12). He also ascended to heaven (v.13), but from where? If his location was the earth as implied in verse-12, mankind is already present and represented in the nations he has deceived. If we presume the heavens and the earth and all that in them is (Exodus 20:11) were created in six 24-hour days, where was the time to rebel? Moreover, Adam, when he was created was immediately placed in authority over all that God had made.

Isaiah 14 says further (v.13) that he (Lucifer) desires to exalt his throne… What throne is meant (see: “Is Satan an Archangel or an Angel?)? It appears Lucifer’s throne is on earth, but Adam was placed in authority over it immediately after he was created! If this Scripture describes Satan, then Satan must be Adam, because this king plainly rules on earth. If one claims Satan acquired his throne by defeating Adam in the garden and taking Adam’s throne, I find this proposition illogical. Why? Because the Scriptures say Adam was not deceived (1Timothy 2:14). What did he do, merely peaceably abdicate his throne? Lucifer is called a man in verse-16 and makes the world a wilderness (v.17). Frankly, I don’t see a place for Satan, a spirit being—angel if you will—in this passage of Scripture. I have no trouble seeing Adam, but Satan is a traditional assumption.

In the next Scripture we find similar problems. Ezekiel 28 as a prophecy is against the king of Tyre (v.2, 12). He claimed to be a god (v.2) as did many of the kings, pharaohs and emperors of old (cp. 2Corinthians 4:4). He ruled in the midst of the seas (v.2), but the seas of the earth were created on the third day (Genesis 1:10, 13). He was in Eden, but Eden was presumably created on the 6th day specifically for Adam (Genesis 2:7-8). Furthermore, God created the king of Tyre (v.13) full of wisdom and perfect in beauty (v.12), perfect in all his ways (v.15) until iniquity was found in him. Thus far, if anyone wants to say this about Satan, I can say the same about Adam! Was he not created and then placed in Eden, given authority over the entire world, a prince, if you will, and therefore a god in the sense of Psalm 82? Was he not wise and created perfect in all his ways until iniquity was found in him?

His heart was lifted up, and he corrupted his wisdom (v.17) and God cast him to the ground (H776). This is the same word as earth in verse-18, where God says he will bring him to ashes (Genesis 3:19). The earth is already in existence when this king rebels. This is a huge problem for anyone who believes in the literal six 24-hour creation period (Exodus 20:11; cp. Genesis 1 noting especially “the evening and the morning was the…”). Yet, even if we claim God created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them in 7 ages of indeterminate length, we have no less of a problem for Satan’s rebellion. We have no record of his ever ruling the earth before mankind was created. And, even when we use Scriptures like Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 to show his rebellion, we have the earth and the nations already in existence. In other words, there is absolutely nothing in Scripture that shows God ever created a being we know as Satan before he created Adam, nor do any Scriptures show how or when he received his power over mankind, unless Satan and Adam are one being!

Let me offer a word of warning with regard to clinging to a traditional doctrine that is without Biblical support. It is said in Scripture that the serpent beguiled Eve (2Corinthians 11:3; Genesis 3:13); she was deceived (1Timothy 2:14). How does one become deceived? How is one set up for deception by another? I know of only one way, partial knowledge. I am not an auto mechanic. I know very little about cars. My limited knowledge stems from my experience with auto trouble in the past. If an auto dealer knew he had a nice looking lemon for sale on his lot, he could readily deceive me about its condition and true value. It may be pleasing to my eye and look good on paper for getting me around town. Only after the sale would my eyes be opened.

Remember, Adam was not deceived (1Timothy 2:14). He knew what he was doing. Eve was deceived because of partial knowledge, which she received from her teacher, Adam. How was Adam, or the serpent (see: “Satan as the Serpent“), if you prefer, able to deceive Eve? To understand this we must look into the New Testament to see how it describes people who receive the word of God. When we first come to Christ, though we may be mature adults, God’s word describes the new believer in Christ as a babe. The babe in Christ, like the babe of natural birth, must be taught everything: how to walk, how to eat, what to eat etc. Notice what 1Peter 2:1-2 says. As newborn babes, we are to lay aside all underhanded communication and desire the sincere milk of the word, so that we may grow strong. As the babe grows, the parent gradually weans him of milk as the sole dietary food and introduces the child to solid food for his nourishment. In 1Corinthians 3:1-2 Paul says he was having a difficult time giving the strong meat of the word of God to the Corinthians, because they didn’t want to be weaned of milk. They were not able to bear the strong meat of the word of God and could only digest the milk. Why? They were carnal (v.3), i.e. they were walking as men striving with and envying one another. Why do men strive together over a matter, or as was the case of the Corinthians, why were they striving together over who was the better teacher (1Corinthians 1:10-13)? Hebrews 5:11-14 reveals that the word of God is hindered when we are dull of hearing (v.11). If I am unskillful in the word of God (v.13), I have need of a teacher to teach me and considered a babe in need milk (v.12). Strong meat is for those of full age, who have their “senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (v. 14).

What then does it mean to partake of the milk of the word? It means that I am having my steady diet from someone else, a teacher. Teachers are given to the Body of Christ to build up God’s children in his word. I don’t mean to imply teachers are not needed. However, if I continue taking in as my sole diet what teachers have to offer, I will never mature. I will begin to heap to myself, teachers and will no longer endure sound doctrine (2Timothy 4:3).

What is milk? It is predigested food! The milk of the word is a study in Scripture that was someone else’s strong meat. The teacher digests the strong meat, but the best he can offer the pupil is milk. Milk is easier to digest than solid food, and reading a good book, or listening to a good sermon is easier than plowing out your own study of the same subject matter in the word of God. Strong meat is described as only for those who are mature (Hebrews 5:14). In other words, if one’s steady diet is someone else’s study (doctrine, a sermon or a good Christian book etc.), then one is living (spiritually) on milk! If that is all I receive, then my senses are not exercised and I am unable to discern for myself what is right and wrong. I must depend upon someone else to give me the answers. I may even support and defend what I am fed, even if it is wrong (Genesis 3:3; “neither shall you touch it”).

Until I prayerfully study God’s word on my own, I can and probably will be deceived at least in part. I need to make God’s word mine. I need to own it for myself. Spiritual discernment comes with having the mind of Christ (1Corinthians 2:15-16). While it is true that the blessing is pronounced upon the one who brings God’s word to me (Isaiah 52:7), Christ says I am blessed when I receive God’s word from a source other than flesh and blood (Matthew 16:17; cp. 1John 2:26-27). Therefore, for those who say Adam and Satan are two different entities, by what authority do you claim this knowledge? Who told this to you, and are you able to substantiate your claim with the word of God, the Bible? My conclusion is, Adam and Satan are one and the same, for I have cast all I believe upon the authority of God’s word alone. I have no other claim to support me, and therein I am satisfied.

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Posted by on August 13, 2009 in Religion, Satan

 

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