Christian Churches of God
The Doctrine of Original Sin
The Garden of Eden
(Edition 1.0 19980422-19980422)
This work is concerned with the question of the Garden of Eden, the fall of Adam and Eve and the Doctrine of Original Sin.
Christian Churches of God
PO Box 369, WODEN ACT 2606, AUSTRALIA
(Copyright ã 1998 Wade Cox)
(Summary edited by Wade Cox)
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The Doctrine of Original Sin Part I
The Garden of Eden
In Genesis 1:1-2 we see the original creation of The Heaven and The Earth. This is the world that then was (2Pet. 3:5-6) to which all fossils and remains belong before it became Tohu and Bohu or without form and void. It was destroyed again in the days of Noah by flood. It was desolate here from another cause (cf. n verse 1 and 2 of the Companion Bible).
The heavens and the earth were created by the elohim who said, "Let us make man in our image", and both male and female were made in the image of elohim. They were commanded to go forth and replenish (or fill) the earth (Gen. 1:28; cf. Ps. 8 and Heb. 2:6-8).
The activities regarding the generations of the heavens (as plural) and the earth stem from chapter 2 and the creation of Adam and Eve (Gen. 2:1-17).
The geography was not the same as we have it today and the rivers flowed quite differently. The garden is clearly identified as being the area from Syria to Egypt encompassing what is now Israel.
Talbot holds that the reason for the disparity between the mythical and terrestrial landscapes is that the four rivers flowed, not on our earth, but through the four quarters of the polar "homeland" (Talbot, p. 121).
To the ancients, the four corners of the world had a specific cosmological meaning, which referred not to geography but to the map of the celestial kingdom.
The four rivers form the basis of the primeval enclosure we know as the Sun Cross. This aspect is examined in The Cross: Its Origin and Significance (No. 39). The structure of the story of the Genesis account is central to most mythology.
Positive examples of the Commandments
In the Garden, God established the Commandments by positive example. The first four commandments come out in the act of the creation and the sanctification of the Sabbath Day.
Then we see the next series of commandments as the responsibilities to parents were established and also the Seventh and Eighth Commandments. The Tenth Commandment regarding coveting another’s goods is also established here.
In Genesis chapter 3 we come across the most powerful allegory used in the Bible. The word in verse 1 refers to the Nachash or shining one and is rendered as serpent in the English. This shining one is the Covering Cherub; the Angel of Light, or Light Bearer or Lucifer of Isaiah chapter 14 and Ezekiel 28:13-17.
The old serpent (in 2Cor. 11:3) is transformed as an angel of light (2Cor. 11:14). Thus the serpent is used as an allegory for Satan who spoke with the woman and deceived her.
The covering cherub was placed in the Garden of Eden and was full of wisdom. So we have two beings here in the Garden, Christ and Satan. Satan became corrupted by reason of his brightness, and his knowledge became the cause of his destruction.
Trees of the Garden as Beings
There were an unspecified number of trees in the Garden, only one of which could not be used for food. The tree of life could be accessed with the other trees from this view. The tree that could not be eaten was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Tree is used as a term for a spirit being of the host. This tree of the knowledge of good and evil also stands for Satan and the system that he wished to implement and with which he corrupted the host.
In Genesis 3:1 he said: Can it be that elohim has said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden! This was not really a question but an assertion of inequity. The woman then repeats the injunction with the punishment stated as: Ye shall not eat of it neither shall ye touch it lest ye die.
The Nachash or shining one then said, "you will not surely die. For elohim knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes shall be opened and you shall be as elohim knowing good and evil." The plurality of the elohim is evident here.
Satan was not telling Eve a complete lie. He was looking at the long-term effects of the Plan of God where it was not God’s will that any flesh should perish (2Pet. 3:9). Even in sin Adam and Eve would have the resurrection extended to them. But God said they would surely die.
Satan developed the Doctrine of the Immortal Soul, which is now endemic to world theology (see the papers The Soul (No. 92) and On Immortality (No. 165)).
Two trees or more?
There were more than two trees and all trees could be used for food except one. Thus the entire food system was set up and not one tree only. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil was forbidden to them and Satan knew it. He deceived Eve and then Adam allowed himself to be likewise deceived. This itself is a breach of the law in Exodus 23:2. The punishment for eating of this fruit was death.
There were two aspects to the plan of salvation. If Adam and Eve had obeyed then they would not have died. However, the plan was that they should become elohim and so they had to become spirit beings.
If Satan and the Host had not tempted Eve then their position in the Host could not have been tested. Thus the fall in Genesis chapter 3 was as much a test or more on Satan than it was on Adam and Eve. We lose sight of this fact and that from this point Satan set up an ancient religious system and power.
Apples in Rome
The fruit is often symbolised as an apple but there is no direct evidence for that conjecture in the Bible. The concept of the apple comes from Greek and Roman mythology. Known as the Apple of discord it was thrown by Eris, who was the personification of discord, into the assembly of the gods (theoi or elohim).
In the legends of Juno, from ancient times, the serpent was identified with the chastity of the woman. This gives us indication of what the idea is behind the parable in Genesis chapter 3. At the very least, the connection was made in the minds of the Greco-Romans that there was a relationship with the serpent and the chastity of the ancient system.
The Assyro-Babylonian system seems to have this view where the tree was representative of the being or deity. This is important to an understanding of ancient thought and religious symbolism generally. When the Bible is speaking of Trees it is through the prophets dealing with the religious systems of the Ancients generally.
The explanation of what is happening in Genesis chapter 3 forms the basis of the explanation of the religious systems of the world. It explains the sharp division between the Bible and the entire system based on the heathen cults symbolised by Christmas and Easter, and the entire solstice systems.
The religious systems show this fact anciently. The time scale is both before and after that usually attributed to the flood. This solstice system is the ancient religion of the host. This is the distinction between the ancient system of the Assyro-Babylonians and the Bible.
Two roads; two systems
The trees represent the systems of order and experience. God had set a system in place in which mankind could have produced a system without death and sin, and by that system could have come to the knowledge of the truth and eternal life.
That was essentially the way the Host was created. All beings were products of God the Father and were subject to His will for retention of the Holy Spirit. He was Eloah as the singular One True God from the beginning who, as the Christ and the apostles and the church writers such a Irenaeus said, had nothing coeval with himself (cf. Jn. 17:3; 1Jn 5:20 etc. and cf. Irenaeus in Against Heresies as quoted in the paper The Early Theology of the Godhead (No. 127)).
The system set up on the earth was for Adam to be placed with the Angel of Yahovah or Yahovah elohim. Satan tried to persuade them to follow another system and do it his way. In this sense it was also a test of Azazel who became Satan. Satan wished to sift mankind and accuse them before God. Essentially the adequacy of the Adamic creation is at issue.
Did Eve eat a literal piece of fruit? How did this eating open her eyes? How did it involve Satan and Adam? The obvious question asked over the centuries is: Was this a sexual act? The answers are in two forms. Basically they are time dependent.
In ancient times up to Augustine of Hippo (writing ca 405 CE), the unanimous answer was yes, fornication was involved. The Angels committed fornication with women. The Bible contains a number of clear references to that fact. Ancient non-biblical writings also have similar, if not the same references or interpretations, and these ideas are not confined to ancient Israel. See Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews (Bk, 1, 3, 1).
The notion was not simply that some other lineage had done, so as this was directly imported into the NT in 1Corinthians 11:9,10 by Paul. We know also from Jude 6,7 (the brother of Jesus Christ) that this was the case in his view.
This was the opinion of antiquity and is the sense of Genesis 6:4 when children were born to them and the offspring were giants. These were the other lords (SHD 113) that ruled over men and were known as the Rephaim and they have no resurrection (cf. Isa. 26:13-14). At the very least in this context we see that some form of sexual awareness was involved between Eve and Satan.
The view of the other ancient religious systems from the flood seems to convey this concept in every facet of their symbolism. The triune or Trinity as it was understood anciently, was the symbol of the Sun, the Moon and the Morning Star acting together in fertility. Thus the entire symbolism is corrupted from the Sun of Righteousness, the Moon the Church and the Holy Spirit acting in concert to three beings distinct from the elect as the church.
Augustine in his work, City of God (Bk. XV, XXIII, NPNF 1st. series, vol. 2, pp. 303 ff.), decreed that the angels had not cohabited with human females, and that the sons of God were the pure line from Seth and the sons of men were the offspring of Cain and the giants that had to be destroyed were the descendants of Cain.
This view made it very difficult to understand any deep allegory or meaning in the texts in Genesis. There is no doubt that the Bible says that the fallen host committed fornication with human females. Whether the first instance of it involved a sexual act or not, we cannot say, but it certainly was held to have led to that act in the woman’s offspring. To deny that fact is to deny the plain words of the Bible text.
The sense of marriage and offspring is the clear intent of Genesis 1:28. The creation of Eve from a rib of Adam is similar to the genetic processes we now understand. From this act also, the institution of marriage was set up. Adam was given the woman to be his helpmate and they were joined as one flesh and they were told to replenish the earth. This is the same command given to Noah after the flood.
So the view was one of established marital relations and they were not ashamed. However, we see later, that when Adam and Eve committed sin they were ashamed and made aprons of leaves for themselves to hide their nakedness.
The first acts did not involve shame; the second acts obviously did involve shame and Satan prompted them in this matter. God had given Adam clear instruction to obey him and not to eat of this fruit. This woman had disobeyed her husband and her elohim at the behest of another being.
Adam had a responsibility to his wife here to lead and to be strong and he was not. He allowed her to sin and she was no longer sinless before God. In the same way the second Adam is responsible for his bride the Church and he is responsible for placing her spotless before God. In this aspect the marriage relationship was set before the fall and is holy.
The aim of the adversary was to interfere with the plan of God, and this interference struck at the very purpose of the creation and caused the flood. He had interfered with the creation to such an extent that by the time of the flood they were unfit and had to be destroyed, leaving only people of perfect generations alive.
So the structure of this rebellion was inherently sexual as it attempted to strike at the genetic capacity of the creation. This appears to have been stopped. But the genetic problems continued in reducing the capacity of the creation.
The government of the planet was placed under Satan as Morning Star or Light Bearer. It was not placed under Jesus Christ. Thus the system that God had set in place from at least as early as the fall had to have been as given to Satan.
The Original Sin therefore had the immediate effect of removing the human creation from the Garden of Eden and its relationship with God. In the Garden, the Ruach of God moved and Adam and Eve had the capacity to converse with God, as we see in Genesis 3:8-12.
They had sinned and they hid themselves from God in the middle of the trees of the Garden. Yahovah elohim said to Adam and Eve, "Where are you?" We know the being who spoke was the Angel of Yahovah because no man has seen God or heard his voice ever on the testimony of this being as Jesus Christ (Jn. 5:37).
Adam heard the sound and hid himself because he was naked. He did not possess this knowledge previously and it came from knowing both good and evil. The argument put forward that only the knowledge of good was the way of God is not true.
What Satan had said was in fact true and that the knowledge of good and evil was necessary to elohim status.
The Yahovah elohim spoke to the other elohim in Genesis 3:21-14. All these beings had the knowledge of good and evil. These are multiple beings. Satan is a Morning Star and these are mentioned in Job 38:4-7. Messiah is also a Morning Star.
And Yahovah Elohim said, behold the man has become as one of us to know good and evil. Now lest he take of the tree of life and eat and live forever he had to be banished from the garden.
In the same way the demons were also denied access to the tree of life on an ongoing basis. In this sense they were no longer "immortal" in the sense of having aionion life, but were confined in times and space as we see in the texts here and in the NT gospels generally.
So it is nonsense to assert that one tree necessarily led to death. The tree was forbidden because God did have a plan, which would have enabled humans to progress to elohim status within a structure different from that which we now experience.
Having brought this about Satan was then given responsibility for taking the creation through to the end, and for that he would be judged. The way he decided to deal with humans dictated the way he and Messiah would themselves have to experience the creation.
If God knew, and placed both beings in charge of the creation and He knew that Satan would interfere, He has a responsibility in these events. Being omniscient He must have known otherwise Messiah could not have been the lamb slain before the foundation of the world.
God either did not instruct Yahovah elohim correctly, or He wished to allow these two beings to determine by their own actions the methodology of the plan of salvation over the period of the trial. By non-interference God could also test the Host in their responsibilities at every level. In either case the transfer of control was affected from Yahovah elohim to the Nachash who was cast to the ground. This Nachash as Morning Star still had access to the throne of God on a repetitive basis as we see from Job 1:6; 2:1.
The earth was then cursed because of the transgression of Adam and Eve. This is the entire concept behind Deuteronomy 32:8. The law thus had effect from then and the curses came into effect. The entire structure appears to have been initiated by God to test the elohim first, and then having given them the structure and alternatives let them take the creation through to the end.
The Spirits here are of two kinds. The first is of obedience and the second is of a desire to be outside the will of God.
It is beyond doubt that God the Father knew what would happen. The Plan of God thus encompassed much more than any other being knew, including Christ. That is why Christ was also tested in obedience and faith, for with omniscience comes the necessary absence of faith. For where certain knowledge is, there faith is unnecessary.
Christ said no man has seen God or heard him speak ever. Yet Adam and Eve spoke with Yahovah elohim face to face, as did Moses. Clearly Yahovah elohim is not the Father, the One True God that Christ spoke of in John 5:37. Moreover, there are at least three beings in the OT bearing the name of Yahovah none of whom is God the Father and three of which are identified as angels.
Thus, the distinction made by Binitarians is incorrect. God Most High was not at Eden except through the Holy Spirit. There were two beings that were in a position of authority and control. They set the system in place for the next phase. The plan was set for the test of the elohim in control of the planet. They had rebelled and they were going to be tested in accordance with the reasons for their rebellion.
The system Satan had argued for was put into place and he was placed in command of it. However, the nation of Israel was left out and given to Yahovah elohim in order to bring the entire world to salvation through that lineage and system, which would be set aside under the laws of God. Thus the entire system was extant from the beginning.