From the vastness of space, the devil and his demons witnessed Earth being created. He must have been immensely embarrassed since his followers could see the inescapable proof he was a liar. Nevertheless, after they saw Jesus create so many different forms of life on a tiny orb previously covered with water, they plotted how to capture Earth. The two “lesser” beings living on it were not as brilliant, powerful, or gifted as “angel kind” and would be an easy target. Lucifer planned a quick victory to regain what had been lost.1
I am guessing Adam and Eve lived in happiness and perfect bliss in the Garden of Eden for a period of time2 before Lucifer led Eve into disobedience. Whatever the length of time, we can be sure the devil and his demons closely studied the happy pair. Lucifer loathed Jesus. He wanted to alienate Adam and Eve from Jesus and the Father, but had to be careful in his approach because Jesus had told them He would visit them frequently. Even though Adam and Eve had no children while living in the garden, Lucifer understood Adam and Eve could do something angels could not–they could procreate. Lucifer may have reasoned God gave them this ability so that one day, mankind could take their place in heaven.
Lucifer may have also reasoned if Adam and Eve became sinners, human procreation would benefit his ambition. Mankind could swell the population of his kingdom and increase the reach of his authority. The devil knew Jesus had made Adam “the prince of this world” by putting everything under his dominion.3 If the devil could bring Adam under his sway, he, Lucifer, would become “the prince of this world.”
After considering all possibilities, the devil decided to tempt Adam and Eve with eating some forbidden fruit. Even though he had not used this temptation in heaven, he wanted to put God to the test. Would God carry out His word and kill Adam and Eve on the very day they ate the fruit?4 If God promptly killed them, one of Lucifer’s primary arguments against Jesus and the Father would be validated, not only in the eyes of His followers, but in the eyes of the holy angels who had remained in heaven. Remember, prior to his eviction, Lucifer argued that “contrary to what Jesus and the Father claim, free will and the power of choice are a cruel joke because the minute anyone exercises free will, God will kill the offender!”
The devil is foolish, but no fool. He is a master strategist and planner. Lucifer was given the most brilliant mind of any angel and studied the natures and habits of Adam and Eve before setting his trap. He had one chance to get this right and if he ruined it, he knew his cohorts would have less respect for him and, worse, the rest of the angelic host in heaven would see his failure. Because Adam and Eve were merely two lesser beings living on a tiny planet in the middle of a vast universe, I believe it naive to think the devil was only interested in enticing them to fall. He was interested in convincing the billions of angels who remained in heaven to join in his rebellion. True, he and his followers had been cast out of heaven, but the conflict between him and Jesus was far from over.
After observing Eve, the devil set a trap for her at the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Unlike his deception in heaven, which consisted of lies and false presuppositions, the devil knew that if he appeared before Eve as an angel, she would immediately be suspicious; surely she had been warned of his eviction. To be more subtle, Lucifer decided to entice her using a beautiful creature, a small lie, and some “magic.” He may have waited several years for just the right moment because he needed to meet her when she was separated from her husband, so there would be no back-and-forth discussion between Adam and Eve about what was happening.
Periodically,5 Eve would need to obtain fresh fruit from the Tree of Life because conditional immortality required they eat from it to stay alive. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was near the Tree of Life in the middle of the garden. As she approached the Tree of Life, the devil called her by name from the forbidden tree. Startled, Eve turned and was shocked to see a beautiful creature talking to her! Eve had no reason or inclination to be afraid. She had no fear, and the serpent probably looked quite different from the snakes we see today. Serpents at creation may have had bodies similar to butterflies with large colorful wings which enabled them to fly.6
For years, Adam and Eve had talked about the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, wondering what it was all about. Why was its fruit forbidden? Why did it have such a strange name? Why was it located beside the Tree of Life? Eve may have been thinking, “So this is the intriguing mystery that accompanies the tree. It enhances and transforms those who eat its fruit!”
The Bible does not say the devil engaged Eve in small talk to make her comfortable or ate the fruit in front of her, but I would not be surprised if he had. We can be sure when he saw the opportunity, he sprung the trap by convincing her he had eaten some of its fruit and he was now a “beautiful and harmless creature” who could both speak and reason!
I can hear him saying, “Eve, look at me! I ate some of this fruit and now, look! I can talk, I can reason, I even know your name! This is some amazing fruit! Eat some, see what it does for you!” Using as evidence that he had been wonderfully enhanced and transformed by eating some of the forbidden fruit, the serpent said “God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”7 Eve dallied with the devil and responded, “But God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ”8
The devil then trapped her using her own words when she repeated “you must not touch it.” The devil responded, “Eve, I touched it and I am not dead. I ate some of its fruit,” “You will not certainly die [and I am living proof that you will not die! Just think, if the fruit gave me the gift of reasoning and speech, what will it do for you?].”9His sophistry was overpowering. The Bible says “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.”10
There is no way of knowing what other assurances the devil made after Eve ate the fruit, but we can be sure he encouraged her to share the fruit with Adam. Eve must have put some of the low hanging fruit into her basket, said goodbye to her “new friend,” and went looking for her husband. The devil’s trap had worked so far, but the critical part of the operation was not over. The devil anxiously waited to see what Adam would do.
Lucifer knew Adam had to willfully disobey God if he were to steal dominion of Earth. His ruse for Eve was the first step. To take dominion of Earth, he needed two things: First, for Adam to willfully sin; and second, for God to obey His own law and kill the guilty pair. If Jesus said to the Father, “She was deceived by a lying predator” and the Godhead figured out a way to avoid the penalty for sin, the devil would jump for joy. One of his chief arguments about God’s unfairness would be proven true! On the other hand, if God killed Adam and Eve, the devil’s argument about God’s unfairness would also be proven true. Adam and Eve were mere pawns in Lucifer’s brilliant scheme to win over the remaining angels in heaven.
Eve was excited when she found Adam! However, when Adam processed all that he saw, he was mortified. Before he could respond with a rebuke, Eve told him about her new friend, “a beautiful creature” who had landed in the tree, eaten some of the fruit and did not die! In fact, after doing so, it could reason and carry on an intelligent conversation! It even knew her name! She told Adam that she also ate some of the fruit and didn’t die. Adam became ill. His wife had violated the fifth law of God and he knew the penalty would be Eve’s death. Adam fully believed God would kill Eve before sundown because Jesus had plainly said, “For in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”11
Adam had never known distress, vexation, or pain. His heart was devastated. After he reminded Eve that Lucifer and his followers had been cast out of heaven for their lies and deception, he told Eve that Lucifer had deceived her and she would be put to death. Eve panicked. Her exuberance evaporated as a strange and powerful foreboding punched her in the stomach. She was guilty, she had violated the fifth law, and the penalty was death.
Adam sat down, put his head in his hands and considered the options. He loved both Eve and Jesus. After some minutes in anguish, his mind was made up. Adam overcame his natural propensity for righteousness by reaching out his hand and deliberately eating some of the fruit. Being put to death with Eve was better than being separated from her. He did not want another woman; Eve was not only his soul-mate, she had been made from his own flesh. She was the woman Jesus had given him and he loved her to a fault.
Adam’s mistake was huge! He had placed the second commandment above the first. His love for Eve (his neighbor) was more than his love for God.12 “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned.”13 Christians today do the same thing in the name of love, not recognizing when sympathy for people is given higher priority than admonishing wrong doing, the second commandment displaces the first and ruin inevitably follows. The devil knowingly plays this card often.
Of course, the Holy Spirit saw and heard everything as it occurred. Through the Spirit’s ministry, Jesus and the Father were able to watch the drama unfold. The Godhead did not intervene because they had previously warned Adam and Eve to be on guard. They had been gifted with free will, a propensity for righteousness, and knowledge of the fifth law. Now, they had to decide. The responsibility was theirs. After they sinned, a very sad Jesus entered into the Father’s presence to try to find a way to redeem the guilty pair. The Father told Jesus He loved Adam and Eve long before they were created and had prepared a plan to save them and their offspring. Jesus, in turn, told the Father He [Jesus] was willing to do whatever it took to save the two sinful creatures. The Father and Jesus agreed to this alternate plan because they loved Adam and Eve as much as they loved each other.
A critical point needs to be made before moving to the next section. Eve’s guilt was unlike Adam’s guilt. A calculating and intelligent predator had deceived her, but Adam sinned knowingly and willfully. This is why Paul says, “Sin entered the world through one man.”14 Even so, Adam and Eve did not sin defiantly like Lucifer and his followers. This distinction is important because the fallen angels were not offered redemption after they committed the unpardonable sin. Prior to their eviction, the disaffected angels refused to repent many times. They had free will; they had the power of choice; they felt the nagging of the Holy Spirit as we do; they had ample time. Had any of them shown remorse and repented, redemption would have been offered. Instead, they were bold and defiant in their rebellion. Do not underestimate the importance of these God-given gifts which enable sinless beings to overcome their natural propensity for righteousness! The Father has an infinite amount of love for repentant sinners, but He does not have one ounce of grace for defiant subjects.
The Plan of Salvation
Before Earth was created, the Father foreknew when, how, and why Adam and Eve would sin, so He designed a profound plan to save them. Many people do not understand the “Plan of Salvation” was set up as a living trust.15 A living trust is a process for distributing wealth over time. Often, wealthy parents establish them to provide for their children in case the parents die before their children reach maturity. A living trust has three parties: A benefactor, beneficiary, and trustee. The trustee has the responsibility for distributing the wealth of the benefactor to the beneficiary. Trustees have terms and conditions placed upon them by the benefactors, and if trustees are found to be delinquent in carrying them out, they are fired and replaced.
The patriarchs were the first trustees of the gospel. Unfortunately, they failed to do their job so God sent a global flood to deal with their failure. Later, God chose Israel to be the trustees of the gospel but they also failed, so God appointed a new set of trustees–believers in Jesus. Finally, at the end of the age, the 144,000 will be the final trustees of the gospel. Unlike the previous trustees, they will not fail! Their work will result in a numberless harvest of souls.
Before you can understand the Father’s actions, you must understand His “Plan of Salvation.” It is huge and there is nothing like it. Think of its pieces as threads in a beautifully, hand-woven blanket which create an awesome, interlinked story. Through the centuries, millions of people have heard the phrase “Plan of Salvation,” but, unfortunately, think it only pertains to saving sinners.
The Father foreknew His plan to resolve the sin problem would be studied, questioned, and challenged throughout eternity; therefore, when He created the plan, He made it much more comprehensive than just saving sinners on a tiny planet in a vast universe. The Plan of Salvation includes the revelation of Jesus as a separate, distinct, coeternal God equal to the Father. It includes defeating each argument and lie Lucifer made up. Above all, the plan reveals the love the Godhead has for one another and their neighbors. It will reveal and exonerate a judiciary system which will last forever. It is regrettable more people do not understand the Plan of Salvation; unfortunately, they just want to be assured of salvation–little else matters. This perspective is like a person who wants a bright shiny gift under the Christmas tree bearing his name, but has no interest in or love for the giver.
Throughout eternity, everyone in the universe will be able to watch videos detailing Lucifer’s expulsion in real time, Adam and Eve’s fall, and the ensuing consequences. The immeasurable cost of the knowledge of good and evil will be obvious. Therefore, the Father wants everyone to understand, from the beginning, He designed His five laws to protect, not hurt, His children. He will insist everyone understand the curse of sin because, going forward, anyone who sins after its curse is eliminated will be put to death that very day. God has promised sin’s curse will not affect His precious children again. His comprehensive plan is not a temporary fix for a momentary problem; His plan will remain relevant and applicable forever.
No Magic Wand
If it were a simple matter to save sinners, an all-knowing, all-powerful, loving Ruler of the Universe could have waved a magic wand over sinners and pardoned them in an instant. However, almighty God could not do this. I know it sounds strange that He cannot do certain things, but it is true. To do so would have created maproblems:
Problem #1. The angels wondered, “If God’s fifth law is unforgiving and unchangeable, how does he justify sparing Adam and Eve from death when the law requires death on the day they ate the forbidden fruit?” When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, the angels naturally expected God to kill them that very day. Remember, at this point, the angels did not understand the long-term effects of sin. They knew nothing about its consequences, other than one-third of their peers being banished from heaven.
Problem #2. The angels also wondered, “Once a sinless nature is transformed into a sinful nature, how does the reverse occur?” I am sure this question was raised after one-third of the angels were cast out of heaven because the nature you are given is not a matter of choice. God gave a sinless nature to Adam and Eve at creation, but it was the curse of sin that transformed them. It even contaminated their offspring. Once lost, how does a sinner regain a natural propensity for righteousness?
Before we can understand why the Plan of Salvation was designed this way, we have to address these two problems. Remember, Lucifer framed God’s fifth law, which forbids eating the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, as God’s way of justifying the immediate execution of anyone who disobeyed and one-third of the angels eventually believed Lucifer’s lie.
The Father’s Foreknowledge
The Father foreknew before Creation that sin would occur in heaven and on Earth and was prepared. Although Lucifer and the angels had free will, the Father foreknew the choices they would make. Understand, He did not influence or manipulate their free will, but He did have a plan in advance to remove them from heaven after they committed the unpardonable sin. The Father also foreknew Adam and Eve would exercise their free will and sin; therefore, He prepared the Plan of Salvation in advance for them and their offspring.
The issue of the Father’s foreknowledge confuses a lot of people, but it should not be puzzling. Moses said, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Let my people go, so that they may hold a festival to me in the wilderness.’ Pharaoh said, ‘Who is the Lord, that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord and I will not let Israel go.’ ”16 The Father knew in advance what Pharaoh would do. When the Lord confronted Pharaoh with His demands, the Bible says The Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart. This does not mean the Lord overrode his power of choice, it means He confronted Pharaoh head-on and Pharaoh did not like being challenged. Pharaoh had free will, exercised it, and chose to be stubborn.
Before He delivered the nation of Israel from slavery, the Father foreknew they would complain and gripe endlessly about His provisions for them. He foreknew they would wander the wilderness forty years. Still, He led them to the gates of Canaan within two years of the Exodus. This teaches us that even though the Father foreknows everything, He does not treat us according to His foreknowledge. Instead, He treats us according to His great love for us. It is amazing to think that the Godhead will not override our free will. This is how much they respect the gifts they gave to us!
Allowing the Curse of Sin to Flourish for a Limited Time
Long before sin occurred in heaven, the Father decided when it appeared, He would permit the curse of sin to flourish until His purposes were accomplished. Here are four reasons:
1. By allowing sin to exist for thousands of years, He has been able to give billions of holy angels a profound and thorough education in jurisprudence. Angels have been attending law school for 6,000 years and now understand elements of the Father’s character, love, and government which were previously unknown to them. They have witnessed the interaction of the Godhead with all kinds of situations and events occurring on Earth; witnessed the birth, life, and death of Jesus; the predatory evils of Lucifer and his cruel demons; endless cycles of man’s inhumanity to man (war); and everything else the curse of sin produces.
Currently, the angels are witnessing the judgment of the dead17 and soon, they will witness the judgment of the living! By giving billions of angels a front row seat in the theater of sin’s curse, the Father has prepared a huge host of witnesses who will serve new planets and new beings as the universe expands throughout eternity. The holy angels now have a comprehensive knowledge of good and evil, so their services will be priceless for billions of years to come! Of course, their education has been expensive; but, because of love, the Godhead was willing to pay the price.
2. According to His foreknowledge, the Father predetermined the curse of sin would endure until the number of the redeemed equals the number of fallen angels. If this theory is true, the Father would then make heaven whole again. Of course, if the Father had wanted more angels, Jesus could have created more of them; however, I think the Father has a higher and better purpose than numbers. I think He gave mankind the gift of procreation for a very specific reason. When He completes His purpose, one-third of heaven will consist of “a kingdom of priests,” people formerly called “sinners!”18
By replacing Lucifer and his followers with “ex-sinners,” heaven will have many saints who have experienced the curse of sin and have overcome it through faith. In the future, if a person loses faith in the Father and is tempted to sin, the Father can send one-third of heaven to help avert the problem. No better “fire extinguisher” could be provided than to send those who actually experienced the sorrow, illness, suffering, and death that sin causes. No one has a more convincing testimony than those who suffered because of sin and struggled with their sinful nature for a lifetime. Since God has no grandchildren (every sinner has to be “born again”), I conclude mankind’s gift of procreation is a one-time phenomenon. This gift was to produce the correct number of saints to repopulate heaven and the Father foreknew it would take 6,000 years. After the drama with sin is completed, I believe all future beings will be original creations by Jesus Himself, as were the angels. This feature will immediately make every new being a “son of God.”19
3. So every imaginable instance of evil could be documented and recorded. The Father intends all new children, created billions of years from now, to observe what beings with freewill chose to do when controlled by the sinful nature. When future beings have a complete knowledge of good and evil, the penalty for sin will be immediate. Anyone who insists on sinning will die the day he sins. This “act of God” will cauterize sin so its curse cannot spread. The knowledge of good and evil will be studied intensely for all eternity. In the process, those who participate in the study will understand the Father is righteous because the records demonstrate Him to be righteous, not because Jesus said He was.
God’s children will comprehend He is a God of love because the records will prove it, not because He claimed to be. Everyone will see in the drama of sin an infinite display of love, the generosity of the Father’s mercy, and the reach of divine justice.
4. So finite beings can understand the nature and character of an infinite Godhead. The Godhead has endured much suffering because of the curse of sin. Through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, the Father and Jesus have witnessed every abuse. They have witnessed every instance of man’s inhumanity to man. They have heard every lie, witnessed every theft, rape, abuse, murder, and torture in real time. The curse of sin has caused them heart-wrenching pain and sorrow for millennia. And, of course, Jesus Himself has suffered this cruelty at the hands of His created beings.
I have wondered how the Godhead could endure the violent, evil, and sick drama unfolding on Earth day after day. Things happen that are too awful to view. The Godhead feels the anguish every human being feels. Their misery cannot be calculated, but, knowing the price salvation would require, the Father has accepted the risk of being grossly misunderstood for a few thousand years to allow the curse of sin to flourish for a limited time. He knows once His created beings have a complete knowledge of good and evil, no questions about the curse of sin will go unanswered. There will also be no questions about the purposes of His five laws.
I have digressed on some of the Father’s purposes for allowing the curse of sin to endure to help you understand just how enormous the knowledge of good and evil is in scope. Only after we understand these concepts will the humble role Jesus took to save sinners make sense.
Jesus Became the Son of God on a Specific Day
Remember, when Adam and Eve sinned, Jesus dropped everything. He quickly entered into the Father’s presence to enquire if saving the guilty pair from eternal death was possible. The following four points describe what I believe the Father told Jesus would be necessary to save repentant sinners:
1. He wanted to save the entire world.
Because Adam and Eve’s sins were not defiant, unlike Lucifer and his angels, the Father had a plan to turn lemons (sin) into lemonade (eternal happiness). Not only did He love Adam and Eve, He also loved each of their offspring. When the Bible says, “For God so loved the world,”20 this means the Father foreknew each of us by name. He so loved all twenty one billion of us who would live on Earth (or whatever the number) to give up “His only begotten Son.”21 This should not be surprising, since the Lord said to Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”22 King David also commented on this fact, “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book [the Book of Life] before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!”23 The Father loved us so much He was willing to do something more difficult than dying. He was willing to crush His own heart by sacrificing His dearest and most beloved “Son.”
Some people attempt to use the phrase “Begotten Son” to prove that Jesus is a created being, maintaining Jesus is called begotten because the Father created Him. This position puts the Bible in a state of internal conflict.24 The phrase, “His only begotten Son” is a title of endearment meaning the Father loved Jesus more than any father can love a child. When Jesus said to Nicodemus “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,” He used language from Scripture which Nicodemus immediately recognized. Jesus was referring to this passage in Genesis: “Then God said [to Abraham], ‘Take your son, your only son, whom you love – Isaac – and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.’ ”25 Using Abraham in the analogy, Jesus wanted Nicodemus to understand that His dying to save sinners would cause the Father more pain than even Abraham experienced offering Isaac as a burnt offering.26
2. The plan required more of Jesus than giving up eternal life.
Jesus would have to come to Earth and live as a human being, born to a people who were renowned for stubbornness toward God and hostility toward their neighbors.27 He would have to live in poverty and say whatever the Father would have Him say; bear extreme suffering and experience whatever pain Lucifer and his demons could inflict on Him. The devil’s cruelty would be cloaked in “man’s inhumanity to man.” Jesus would be charged with blasphemy and crucified for repeating words given Him to speak; He would be severely tempted and have to overcome each temptation, greater than any human being would ever experience; and He would have to live a sinless life and die as a felon.
God’s plan would accomplish many goals, including the salvation of repentant sinners. Because His laws are unchangeable, the plan called for the death of Jesus. If Jesus were willing to forfeit eternal life (by loving His neighbors enough to give them the eternal life that belonged to Him), the Father would stay Adam and Eve’s execution by transferring their guilt to Jesus. Only then could the Father transfer the eternal life donated by Jesus to the repentant sinners.
3. The plan included specific actions if Jesus were successful in carrying out the requirements.
The Father would:
- Resurrect Jesus on the third day
- Restore everything Jesus forfeited to save repentant sinners
- Give the redeemed to Jesus as personal property
- Appoint Jesus as Judge of mankind determining who should be redeemed
- Reveal the deity of Jesus
God will unveil to the universe the unremarkable Jesus, who once lived in the form of an ordinary angel and later, in the form of an unremarkable human being, as His equal by placing everything in heaven and on Earth under His authority. The Father will relinquish His throne at an appointed time so Jesus can bring the Plan of Salvation and sin’s drama to a close.
4. If Jesus accepted the challenge, he could not deviate from the plan or use divine power at any time.
Jesus must not act on His own will at any time. Any deviation from these terms would ruin and terminate the whole plan.
Jesus listened carefully to the Father, and because of His love for the Father and human beings, Jesus totally surrendered Himself to the Father. When Jesus began His ministry on Earth four thousand years later, He announced: “For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.”28 Later, He responded to the Jews who were offended and furious with His words, “For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken.”29 “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me.”30
Jesus subjected Himself to the Father’s plan on the very day Adam and Eve sinned. This is why the Bible describes Him as, “The Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.”31 Jesus became a subject of the Father that day. The Hebrew word for son is ben which describes someone who is subject to authority (like a son). As a member of deity who had previously forfeited two-thirds of Himself, Jesus emptied Himself completely by surrendering the remaining one-third of Himself to the Father. Jesus loved and trusted the Father with all His heart and the Father loved Jesus as a father would love his only son. The love of the Father and His Son opened heaven’s storehouse of love and made it possible for repentant sinners to be redeemed.
Jesus is called “Son of God,” for good reason. Notice what Jesus said in Psalm 2: “I will proclaim the Lord’s [Father’s] decree: He said to me, ‘You are [now] my Son [subject]; today I have become your Father [Master]. Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession [your inheritance – Hebrews 1:2]. You will break them with a rod of iron [your rulership will never be overthrown – Revelation 12:5, 19:15]; you will dash them [your enemies] to pieces like pottery.’ Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord [Jesus] with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling. Kiss [worship, submit to] his Son, or he will be angry and your way will lead to your destruction, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.”32
The Apostle Paul penned an eloquent description of Jesus’ humility to Christians in Philippi saying, “Have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God [the Father] something [important] to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross [as a felon]! Therefore God [the Father has appointed a time when He will – Ephesians 1:9-10] exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”33 Contrary to those who insist the name “Jesus” is not the name of the “Son of God,” a day is coming when the humble name “Jesus” will be above “every name.” And rightly so; the Father gave Him that name!34
Jesus Appeared to Adam and Eve
When Jesus arrived in the Garden to confront Adam and Eve with their sin, He did not arrive with a gleaming sword to strike them down as the law required. Instead, He was deeply grieved they would have to endure the curse of sin for the rest of their lives and following generations would have to suffer as well. On the other hand, He was relieved to tell them the penalty for their sin had been “stayed” because the Father deeply loved and wanted to save them. Jesus explained there was a plan to save repentant sinners and He had submitted to the requirements of that plan. He explained the plan was comprehensive and its components would be revealed over time. He told them He had promised to give up His eternal life so it could be transferred to repentant sinners; that they and their offspring would have to regularly offer animal sacrifices to demonstrate their faith in the plan and His promise.
The Father designed this process so they would be aware of the pain He would experience when He had to take the life of Jesus, the Lamb of God. Additionally, the Father wanted the faithful to experience the anguish and sorrow that will fill the hearts of the Godhead at the end of the 1,000 years when the penalty for sin is implemented.35 This will be an extremely excruciating day because they love and know each angel and human being intimately.
Jesus also told Adam and Eve they now had a “sinful” nature, and it would be a struggle to be unselfish. They would be unable to consistently obey the two laws of love because the curse of sin was dominate within them; they would say and do evil things, sometimes accidentally and sometimes willfully.36 Previously, they had a natural propensity for loving God and each other, but this natural propensity for obeying the Holy Spirit had been transformed into a natural propensity for rebellion.37
Finally, Jesus warned the guilty pair that maintaining faith in God and His plan for their salvation would become increasingly difficult. Because they could not enter the Garden of Eden to see and visit with Him, their knowledge of Him would begin to dim. God’s ways and laws would disappear within a few generations unless they were careful to keep the hope of salvation alive. The Holy Spirit would do everything possible to keep this hope alive, but Lucifer and his demons would prey on them and their offspring by constantly inventing new and attractive ways to do evil.
Then, Jesus called the beautiful creature Lucifer had used as his masquerade so that He could put a curse upon it. “So the Lord God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity [hatred] between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers [notice the enmity between the offspring of the serpent and the woman, e.g., those dominated by the sinful nature and those dominated by the spiritual nature]; he [the Savior] will crush your head [will eventually destroy the devil], and you will strike his heel [the serpent would attempt to bring about the death of Jesus].’ ”38
“To the women he said, I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire [you will be inclined to go along with] will be for your husband, and he will rule [you will be subjugated by his physical strength] over you.’ ”39
“To Adam he said, ‘Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, “You must not eat from it,” Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.’ ”40
After making these pronouncements, Jesus, the Creator, built an altar and killed the first flawless lamb. As they stood there observing the blood and lifeless body of their pet, Adam and Eve were dismayed. They had never seen death or experienced the loss of anything they loved. Their hearts were crushed because they knew they were responsible. Eating the forbidden fruit was so simple, but saving sinners is not. Jesus then skinned the lamb. The Bible says “The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.”41 This necessary act was as practical as it was prophetic. Adam and Eve had tried to cover their nakedness with leaves, but the covering needed for salvation cannot be manmade. The plan required a flawless robe of righteousness which could only be transferred to repentant sinners through the flawless blood of the Lamb.
Click on the numbers by the reference to go back to where you were reading.
1. Psalm 8:5-8
2. Maybe 40-50 years. For more information, see: wake-up.org/untold-story-information
3. Genesis 1:28-29
4. Genesis 2:17
5. Revelation 22:2
6. Genesis 3:14
7. Genesis 3:5
8. Genesis 3:3
9. Genesis 3:4, insertion mine
10. Genesis 3:6
11. Genesis 2:17, KJV
12. Matthew 10:37-38
13. Romans 5:12
14. Romans 5:12
15. For more information on how trusts function, see: wake-up.org/untold-story-information.
16. Exodus 5:1-2
17. For more information on the judgment of the dead, see: wake-up.org/untold-story-information
18. Revelation 1:6
19. Romans 8:14; John 1:12; Mark 12:25; Revelation 2:17
20. John 3:16
21. John 3:16, KJV
22. Jeremiah 1:5
23. Psalm 139:16-17, insertion mine
24. See Fact #4 in Appendix A
25. Genesis 22:2
26. See Appendix B
27. Exodus 33:5; Nehemiah 9:16; Jeremiah 9:7-9
28. John 6:38
29. John 12:49
30. John 7:16
31. Revelation 13:8
32. Psalm 2:7-12, insertions mine
33. Philippians 2:5-11, insertions mine
34. Luke 1:31
35. Revelation 20
36. Romans 7:18-23
37. Galatians 5:17
38. Genesis 3:14-15, insertions mine
39. Genesis 3:16, insertions mine
40. Genesis 3:17-19, italics mine
41. Genesis 3:21