BY GRACE ALONE (PART 5)
Let us turn our attention now to a more detailed look at the doctrine of the death of man in the Garden of Eden. This doctrine is of the utmost importance to our study of salvation by grace alone, for it is the fork in the road doctrine which, along with the false teaching that man's disobedience to God did not bring about the physical or spiritual death of man, is one of only two roads a man can travel: the road to God's Grace, which brings glory to God alone, and the other, the road to man's works which gives man the pre-eminence and reason for him to boast. Man’s existence can be summed up by two principles: Death by sin, and life by grace alone. The ‘fork-in-the-road’ doctrine, is like the T intersection. When one comes to a T intersection, one can only turn left or right. The only way forward is to turn. Whichever way one turns, whichever road is chosen one invariably travels away from the other direction, one leaves the other way behind. The monstrous, hybrid doctrine which teaches that salvation is by a combination of what God does and what a man does is a perversion of the truth, for ultimately this teaching says that man’s salvation finally rests upon what he does, or does not, do. To follow such a teaching is to believe that one can simultaneously travel in opposite directions. Anything added to what God has done always takes away from what He has done, by diminishing His role in salvation reducing Him to a co-Saviour rather than upholding Him as THE Saviour. Eve and her husband Adam, who was the federal head and representative of mankind (see 1 Cor. 15:22; Rom. 5:12,18), lived a perfect and harmonious existence in the Garden of Eden. They communed with God and enjoyed all the pleasures He provided and bestowed upon them. The animals God had created were their friends, food was abundant, they were free to eat from any tree in the Garden—including the tree of life—except one. Water flowed freely, they basked in perfect weather, death was unknown and what’s more, God loved them. God was their Benefactor, their Provider Who saw to it that they wanted for nothing. It is hard to imagine that this pristine Paradise would be the setting for the single most devastating and far-reaching event that man has ever committed: disobedience to, and rebellion against God, resulting in man’s spiritual and physical death. What makes this all the worse is the fact that man’s original sin is the most unthinkable, infamous and ridiculous unforced error ever perpetrated. There was no reason for Adam and Eve to go against God’s Word. God had only ever treated Adam and Eve perfectly and they had no complaints. He never lied to them or did them any wrong. And yet, despite all this, Adam and Eve sinned directly against God, rebelled against His Word, against God Himself, despised Him and turned to the serpent, Satan, instead.
One day, as Genesis 2 tells us, "...the Lord commanded the man, saying, 'Of every tree of the Garden thou mayest freely eat: 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. 2:16,17; cf. Gen. 1:29). Four of the most critically important words in the entire Bible, are the words of death: “THOU SHALT SURELY DIE". Just as critical are the five words of life: “BY GRACE ARE YE SAVED”. Alll problems stem from their root causes. Man's problems come from his disobedience to God. The paramount problem is death – the only remedy is GRACE. Since there is absolutely no evidence of physical death existing before the Fall, coupled with the plainly obvious fact that man was alive to God spiritually, receiving of His benefits and freely communing with Him on a daily basis, desiring Him and worshiping Him prior to the Fall, we are constrained by Scripture to acknowledge the fact that man's surely dying, should he eat from the forbidden tree, was primarily a reference to his spiritual death. Physical death would also be a consequence, but not an immediate one. Man did not die physically that day, but the onset of death, the breakdown and corruption of his body did begin the very moment man sinned. But more importantly than this, man did die spiritually the moment he sinned. “…a spiritual or moral death immediately ensued; he lost his original righteousness, in which he was created; the image of God in him was deformed; the powers and faculties of his soul were corrupted, and he became dead in sins and trespasses; the consequence of which, had it not been for the interposition of a surety and Saviour, Who engaged to make satisfaction to law and justice, must have been eternal death, or an everlasting separation from God, to him and all his posterity; for the wages of sin is death, even death eternal (see Rom. 6:23).”
“Genesis 3 is where Satan is speaking to Eve. 'And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil' (Gen. 3:4,5). He is trying to get her to disobey God. Now, there's the obvious problem with using the Devil as a source of fact. But linguistically, what he is saying is that there is a direct cause and effect relationship. Also, his phrase is exactly identical to God's phrase ‘…in the day ye eat thereof…' (Gen 3:5 cf. Gen. 2:17). The Hebrew construction of ‘in the day’ is exactly the same in both Gen. 2:17 and Gen. 3:5. Furthermore, when Adam and Eve ate of the fruit, their eyes were opened to good and evil (see Gen. 3:6). And, it happened right away, that very day.” So, if their eyes were opened that very day as Satan told Eve, then surely they died that very day as God had told Adam (see Gen. 2:17). “The result was that they were ashamed. Remember, before the fall in Genesis 2:25 it says ‘And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed’. After the fall, they covered themselves (see Gen. 3:7),meaning that they were ashamed of their nakedness. So, there was an absolute and definite effect ‘in the day’ that they ate the fruit - that very same day. Therefore, it appears that that ‘in the day’ in Genesis 2:17 is that very day, not a prolonged period of time because when they ate the fruit, their eyes were opened and they were ashamed. They hid from God (see Gen. 3:8), and were separated from Him which is a sign of spiritual death (see Isa. 59:2).This is what Moses declared as fact, as the immediate consequence of their disobedience to God. The effect happened right away, ‘in that very day’.” There was an instantaneous death which occurred ‘in the day’ they ate of the fruit just as God had warned. If you believe that Adam and Eve’s eyes were opened that very day, then you must believe that they suffered a death in that very day. The immediate death was obviously not physical, therefore, the only alternative is spiritual death which is supported right throughout the Scriptures.
"Conclusion: Genesis 2:17 is best interpreted to mean that the very day Adam and Eve ate of the fruit, they died. When Adam and Eve ate of the fruit, their eyes were opened to good and evil (see Gen. 3:6). This opening of the eyes happened right away, that very day they ate of the fruit. "...she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked..." (Gen. 3:6,7). 'in the day' means right then and there. Furthermore, this would mean that the death they experienced was present and ongoing. The death they experienced was a spiritual separation from God which manifested itself in their hiding from Him on the very day they ate of the fruit. 'The wages of sin is death' (Rom. 6:23), and sin caused the separation between God and mankind (see Isa. 59:2). Therefore, it is consistent with the rest of Scripture to conclude that 'in the day' as used in Gen. 2:17 is that very day with a manifestation in the continued experience of Adam and Eve the rest of their lives until physical death took them. Finally, the pre-incarnate Christ covered Adam and Eve with skins which many commentators suggest is an atonement since the covering implies the killing of animals, and shed blood, in order to obtain those skins (see Gen. 3:21). Though it is not explicitly stated as an atonement, it is consistent with the rest of Scripture (see Lev. 17:14). Therefore, the atoning work was necessary right then and there to cover Adam and Eve. Why? Because the efect of their spiritual death and separation from God was immediate and they needed an immediate atonement. Therefore, Adam and Eve died that very day they ate of the fruit."
The fact that the Lord's warning to Adam entailed the punishment that would come upon man should he disobey God, demonstrates that death, both spiritual and physical, was not at all part of man’s experience prior to sin, "For the wages of sin is death..." (Rom. 6:23; cf. Ezek. 18:4; Jas. 1:15). Death was not part of God’s creation. Why would God have threatened death if death had already existed? Death is a wage, it is something which is earned: a direct result of man’s action. Death would never have come had man obeyed God and not eaten of the forbidden fruit. There is no death when there is no sin. If there is death there is sin. Death comes as an unavoidable and inescapable consequence of sin, and sin is nothing less than disobedience toward God. Nothing is done, or can occur, without immediate and far-reaching consequences. Everything man does, thinks or says has its consequences. Consequences do not occur before an event, but always after. How could the wages of sin be death if death preceded sin? God did not make man a mortal being as some falsely claim. It was not God Who brought death into man's experience, but man's disobedience to God which brought about the curse of death. Man was and is the problem, the cause of his death and downfall, and the reason for his separation from God to a worthless and profitless existence. Sin introduced death. This is evident in God's warning of what would happen if man were to eat the forbidden fruit. God made man free of spiritual and physical death. At the appointed time, God removes spiritual death from His chosen ones, and will one day remove physical death altogether, for death is an enemy of man (see Isa. 25:16; Hos. 13:14; 1 Cor. 15:26, 55-57; Rev. 20:14).
Despite what most people believe, death is not a natural experience of man's, but a quite unnatural one. Death is the ultimate intrusion into life. It is a foreign one, an intruder whose way is paved by man’s sin. “God is life, so turning from Him is fatal. Sin both earns death (see Rom. 6:23) and births death (see Jas. 1:15). Death is what sin chooses, what sin receives, and what sin deserves. This accounts for why man has such a strange perception of death. Death is, when we think about it, one of the most normal things about life in this world, as sure as our birth. Yet, by nature, man can’t reconcile himself to this reality. Death never really feels natural. It feels wrong. So many put huge effort into living as though death is not going to happen. Man’s unease with death indicates he know perhaps more than he realizes…sin leads to death, and so the existence of death proves the reality of sin.” “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Rom. 5:12). The comparison between the following Scriptures brings home the stark reality of the unnaturalness of death: "And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good..." (Gen. 1:31); "Jesus wept" (Jn. 11.35). Genesis 2:7 tells us that in the creation of Adam, God: "...breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living (lively, active) soul." There is nothing here, or anywhere else in the Scriptures, which would lead any man to rightly conclude that the breathing of life into Adam included death, either spiritual or physical. God activated Adam by breathing into him both physical and spiritual life and just as God had warned, it was only through, and after, Adam's sin that death became part of man's experience. After Adam had sinned, the Lord God said to him, "...dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return" (Gen. 3:19). This provides conclusive evidence that prior to the Fall there was no physical death. Adam did not need to be told of his spiritual separation from God after the Fall, for he had already experienced it, seen in his and Eve's attempt to hide themselves from God as a result of their eternal separation from Him: spiritual death. But Adam did need to be told that he would one day experience physical death. And, so we see, that spiritual and physical death are both the consequences of Adam's sin and did not exist prior to it. “Jesus wept” (Jn. 11:35). Why did Jesus cry? Though Christ’s silent tears were in relation to the people’s grief over the death of Lazarus, “…was there nothing in those tears beyond sorrow for human suffering and death? Could these effects move Him without suggesting the cause? Who can doubt that in His ear every feature of the scene proclaimed that stern law of the Kingdom, '…the wages of sin is death…' (Rom. 6:23), and that this element in His visible emotion underlay all the rest?” Physical death is by no means the worst death. Spiritual death— eternal separation from God—which precedes physical death is by far the worst of the two deaths. The creature that was among the very good creation of God, is now, by its very nature, separated from God because of sin, and lies in a state of spiritual cessation before its Maker.
Since God is both the Source of physical and spiritual life: "For by Him were all things created...all things were created by Him and for Him: And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist" (Col. 1:16,17), disobedience to God would consequently trigger an eternal curse to come upon all mankind: the curse of death. It would mean instantaneous and eternal separation from God, and, therefore, from life itself, in both its spiritual and physical forms. As a result of sin, man would eventually die physically, but of greater consequence was the fact that man did immediately die spiritually, meaning he had suddenly become completely alienated from God. No man would, in his fallen state, ever again seek the only true God, or worship Him, for man had become a creature without God in a world of existence without life. Worse still, no man by nature would ever again know the only true God, or recognise Him as the True God. Man in his natural spiritually dead state would forever sit in spiritual darkness. This is the Biblical description of the spiritually dead state of man. The spiritually dead have no hope, and are without God in a world of darkness (see Eph. 2:12). The immediate consequence of sin was so grave that man was immediately rendered spiritually lifeless and hopeless by his sin. Though man would, in his spiritual stagnation, constantly seek a resolve to his situation by his own efforts—which would always lead him to false gods—the only solution to his dilemma would not be found within himself. This is the curse of death. Man does not need to merely stop sinning—something entirely impossible—he needs his sin removed and charged to another (for all sin must be punished), and replaced by perfect Righteousness. Reformation is not the answer, but only RE-CREATION will save a man. Paul asked, “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Rom. 7:24). “Without Christ, man is wretched.” The apostle stated that the only one who can deliver a man from death is Jesus Christ: “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord…” (Rom. 7:25). “Jesus Christ is the answer to the problem of sin, death and judgement.” Far from being something which man could procure, salvation would necessitate God Himself coming to earth as a man and dying upon a tree in order to blot out the sins of those for whom He would die and establish a perfect Righteousness. Salvation requires the very Righteousness of God, not the profitless righteousness of a man. Man’s ‘solution’ to his sin dilemma is himself, his own efforts, God’s solution is Himself, His grace. “…by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8,9).
Upon his disobedience toward God—which was nothing less than a manifestation of unbelief—Adam was no longer alive to God, he no longer enjoyed an active and lively relationship with God, but spiritually returned to the state he was in before God breathed life into him (Gen 2:7): AN EXISTENCE WITHOUT LIFE! Upon having sinned, Adam and Eve had in every respect become the walking dead. Physically dying, but spiritually dead as they walked. Man turned from God, and the Tree of Life from which he was free to eat, and instead chose the fruit of death. The curse of death was now not only within Adam and Eve, it surrounded them everywhere they turned, it now existed in animals and plant life, indeed the whole planet itself was saturated in sin, decay, corruption and death. Earth had become the rebellious planet. Nothing escaped the curse of sin which man had brought upon himself and the beautiful world God had placed him in. Everything that had life, now also contained death within it. By listening to, and heeding the words of, someone other than the Holy and Most High God, man had brought death upon himself, and all of God’s earthly creation including the earth itself. Man’s current day concern about the earth’s condition is quite ironical as he is the one responsible for the earth’s state of deterioration. Trying to ‘save the planet’ is like trying to save yourself. Nothing will work. Man’s concern for a dying planet is in stark contrast with the indifference he has to his spiritually dead state. Disobedience to God is the deadliest of sins with never ending ramifications. All sin is disobedience against God. Man is physically alive, but spiritually dead with the sentence of physical death hanging over him like a black cloud that never goes away. God had clearly expressed His will by making it clear to Adam that he could freely eat from any tree he wanted to, including the Tree of Life. The only tree whose fruit Adam was forbidden to eat was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. With tragic and eternal consequences that was the very tree man chose to eat from. With all that he was free to eat, Adam chose not only the worst option, but the only thing God said would bring death. In the laying down of this single law God was not uncaringly, or unfairly, withholding anything from man that was necessary to his existence or full contentment. God was not holding man back from increased happiness. Temptation always makes a man think he will miss out if he does not submit himself to its demands (see Jas. 1:14,15). On the contrary, God was evidencing His love toward Adam by encouraging him to eat of any tree—including the Tree of Life—and in His warning of the dire consequences that would befall him should he eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God was making it very clear to Adam that life would not be the same if he disobeyed God. In fact there would be no life at all.
True to God’s warning/promise, man did surely die when he ate of the forbidden fruit. The matter of having sinned, and the incursion of death could not be remedied by a simple apology, ‘I am sorry God for what I’ve done, now can I have what I had before I sinned’, for sin is loaded with unremitting and eternal consequences. In his disobedience toward God, man had now forever become a captive of sin, a slave to its directives. Sin demands punishment. Sin is the breaking of God’s Law, and, therefore, requires Justice to be served and satisfied (see Psa. 89:14). Sin demands death, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die…” (Ezek. 18:20 cf. Ex. 34:6,7). For there to be a forgiveness of sins there must be the shedding of blood: death (see Heb. 9:22). Reforming one’s life will never do what only the Saviour’s sacrificial death can, and did, fully accomplish (see Heb. 9:12). “Sin isn’t a few silly things that we’ve done that can be ignored. Every sin is rebellion against God, and it is so serious because of the greatness of the One Who has been rebelled against.” To sin against God brings with it something that no man can prevent, or escape, find a loophole in, or a solution to: death! Every sin is a sin against God, and every sin against God carries with it the death sentence. Death had immediately replaced life in Adam, and life had become eternally irretrievable. In His warning to Adam, the Lord was also assuring Adam of a life of continued blessing provided he did not eat of the forbidden fruit. This was also a trial of Adam’s faithfulness and loyalty to God upon pain of eternal separation from God. The eternal separation is testament to the Holiness of God. Adam would no doubt have accepted this rule of God's without a second thought. However, when Satan, in the guise of a serpent, presented himself to Eve and sowed the seeds of doubt with his lie that man would not surely die if he ate of the forbidden fruit, things changed for the worse, forever. The art of deception is to get you to deny the truth and believe a lie. The art of the con is to deceive by the means of sincerity in dishonesty. At the heart of deception is incertitude. Deception has only two goals, and they are to cause you to become unsure of what you are sure of, and sure of a lie. “Deception is an act or statement which misleads, hides the truth, or promotes a belief, concept, or idea that is not true.” Satan’s deception was clothed with the unfounded seeds of doubt which were cunningly presented to Eve as words of hope.
In light of the humanist creed it is believed that each individual has the right to formulate, not merely their own opinions, but literally their own truth. This is nothing new, however, for from the Fall in the Garden of Eden, man has done nothing but fulfil the satanic precept to do and believe what seems right in his own eyes (see Prov. 28:26), and in the process has become a lover of himself nihilistically consumed with self-importance and governed by a self-serving bias. In other words man has become his own god. Do what you want to do, be what you want to be and believe what you want to believe, is death’s unwritten rule, and what every man instinctively follows from his birth. If it looks good take it, if it feels good do it and if it sounds good believe it. In other words, if anything is pleasurable, if it pleases you in any way, then it must be good and requires no further investigation. Everything deemed to be good is now judged by what a person feels, and not according to what God says. Feelings have replaced doctrine and experiences have replaced truth. Such a life view is enmeshed in the very fabric of society which is always trying to form its own version of reality, as evidenced in its love of music and movies along with its incessant, ubiquitous and unrestrained drug taking, be it accepted drugs such as alcohol, nicotine and caffeine to prescription drugs to what the world calls illicit drugs such as heroin, crack-cocaine and new synthetic drugs such as Ice and Flakka, or Gravel, as well as other influential elements. 'Do what you want to do', is a satanic motto. "Do what thou wilt shalt be the whole of the law", is the only law according to Satanist Aleister Crowley (1875-1947). So-called white Witchcraft, along with modern society, says the same thing as the Satanist, but with the single restriction: as long as no one is hurt by what you do. In other words, do what is according to what you think, what you feel, what you see etc., or more succinctly do according to you. 'Do what you think is right, not what God says is right. You are God and you are your own law’. What is really going on here is man being encouraged to live according to his sinful, fallen nature. Witchcraft is the art of rebellion against God, and “…rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft…” (1 Sam. 15:23). ‘Live in rebellion against God’, is presented to man as ‘living a free life’. Serving the physical senses is nothing but serving, pleasing, yourself. Far from promoting a do what is right lifestyle what this thinking in fact does promote is a ‘Do what YOU think is right’, lifestyle. Truth is viewed as relative in this mad world of sin, and so what you believe the truth to be, what you believe the right way is, is all that matters, for you are all that matters. What God says is insignificant to the carnally minded, for only what a man thinks, only what his limited and perverted thinking dictates, is important. “Nothing limits intelligence more than ignorance; nothing fosters ignorance more than one's own opinions; nothing strengthens opinions more than refusing to look at (Biblical) reality.” So-called white Witchcraft, along with modern society, says the same thing as the Satanist, but with the single restriction: as long as no one is hurt by what you do. The problem with this is that in many instances that which we do, while not hurting others, actually hurts ourselves, and is still sin toward God.
Eve was attracted by the appearance of the fruit of the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil. She was, perhaps, also attracted by the Serpent. What exactly drew Eve and her husband to the tree is relatively unimportant, what matters is they were right where they should not have been. Eve was deceived into believing what Satan had said to her, instead of trusting what God had told Adam her husband concerning the immediate, detrimental, short and long-term consequences which would result in partaking of the fruit. But even the threat of death did not dissuade Eve from approaching the tree and succumbing to the empty and deceptive promises of the old Serpent. Many are under the mistaken impression that Adam was in another part of the Garden while Eve was conversing with Satan, but Scripture states clearly that he was actually with his wife at the time: “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat” (Gen. 3:6). “The Jews infer from hence, that Adam was with her all the while, and heard the discourse between the serpent and her, yet did not interpose nor dissuade his wife from eating the fruit…” God had told Adam that if he ate of the forbidden fruit he would surely die (see Gen. 2:16,17). Satan countered by telling Eve she would not surely die (see Gen. 3:1-5). These statements come from two separate and distinct sources: the God of Truth, and the father of lies. The declarations are as clearly, unmistakably and diametrically opposed as any two statements could be. One is saying what will happen, the other unjustifiably claims it will not happen. THIS is the starting point of what eventually formulates a person's spiritual beliefs: Did man surely die, or did he not surely die? Is man surely dead in sins, or did he somehow survive the promised sentence of death. Is mankind still spiritually alive, despite having gone against what God had told Adam, or is he surely dead? Does man have a free will to call upon God anytime he wishes to do so, or has all communication between man and God been terminated? Does a man require Almighty God to once again make him alive, or is there no need for regeneration because man did not die, and, therefore, is not actually dead? Does man have a free will to choose God or not, or is man’s will as dead as he is because of sin? Does man not need life, but only help? Do you believe what God has said or do you believe Satan's lie? Is man dead, or is he alive? Does God choose man, or does a man choose God, or is there no man that even seeks God? The journey to believing truth or believing error, the true Gospel or a false gospel, starts right here! One way to judge whether a doctrine is true or not is to trace its origin as well as finding out what other doctrines it leads to. Whether you start with a lie, or become sidetracked by a lie, your destination remains the same. The lie that man is not spiritually dead clearly finds its roots in Satan, and always directs a person to the subsequent lie that man can choose God from his own free will, which in turn, leads a person to believe that Christ's sacrificial death was for everyone–thus changing the very meaning of Atonement and Substitution—and must be accepted by each individual’s free will choice before it can become functional, before it can make a difference to one’s life. Learning the truth about spiritual death is crucial, for rightly believing that man is spiritually dead shows that he does not have a free will to choose God, and, therefore, the focus shifts completely away from man and his efforts, what he ‘must’ and allegedly 'can do' to get saved, to the grace and mercy of God, what HE has done to save His people from their sins.
What so many people have failed to understand about what happened in the Garden of Eden, is the fact that God's warning that man would surely die if he ate of the forbidden fruit, was not restricted to his physical death, but was first and foremost concerned with his spiritual state, his spiritual death. Ironically, this failure to see and understand the spiritual side of death is one of the evidences of spiritual death! Spiritual death has made every man ignorant of his spiritually dead condition, and the truth of God. Man by nature is not cognisant of spiritual death. All those who deny spiritual death are, like Eve, supporters and followers of the Satanic denial that spiritual death would occur. Satan said it would not happen, and people ever since insist it did not happen. Eve did not believe it would happen, and those who have followed in her footsteps ever since do not believe it did happen. They are believers in Satan’s lie and not in God’s truth. Being blind to this foundational truth is very much a part of the curse of spiritual death, of being eternally separated from the only true God. To not properly understand a problem compounds the problem. "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive" (1 Cor. 15:22). If there is a requirement to be made alive, then surely there must be those that are dead. If life is the answer, then surely death must be the problem. The whole human race is in Adam as he was the Federal Head of all. Those in Christ are the elect of God: those whom He has entrusted to His Son. TO DENY ADAM'S SPIRITUAL DEATH IS TO DENY THE CHRIST WHO MAKES HIS PEOPLE ALIVE FROM THE DEATH THEY INCURRED IN ADAM. THE TWO TEACHINGS ARE INEXTRICABLY CONNECTED. You cannot separate Christ’s work from His Person, thus, denying man is spiritually dead, is to deny his need to be made alive, is to in turn deny Who Jesus Christ is and what He needed to do as Lord and Saviour, and indeed has done, in the salvation of His people. You cannot be made alive if you were not first dead. ONLY THE SPIRITUALLY DEAD CAN EVER BE MADE SPIRITUALLY ALIVE.
If one believes they have been made spiritually alive in Christ by God, one must of necessity also believe that prior to this they were indeed spiritually dead in Adam. You cannot be made alive if you were never dead. Failure to believe man is by nature spiritually dead reveals the inarguable fact that a person has yet to be made alive. Those who do not believe that mankind is dead in sins cannot believe that man requires regeneration. True Arminianism rejects the need for regeneration, and, therefore, dismisses the Biblical teaching of the spiritual death of man and his need to be made spiritually alive by the Holy Spirit of God. Arminianism teaches, “The lost sinner needs the Spirit’s assistance but he does not have to be regenerated by the Spirit before he can believe…” Only unregenerated people, lost people, deny spiritual death and the need for spiritual regeneration. “…if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost” (2 Cor. 4:3). Regeneration is being made alive. The spiritually dead do not know they are spiritually dead. Only those who have been made alive, regenerated by God’s Holy Spirit, know they were indeed once spiritually dead. Being made alive is called being born again, in the Word of God, for there is no life without birth, without a beginning, therefore, there would be no need to be born again if one had not died. This is precisely what Arminianism teaches, and what its followers all subscribe to. If one does not need to be made alive one needs not to be born again. It is a satanic teaching through and through, and those who believe it have no idea the kind of fire they are playing with. If one does not believe man is spiritually dead, then how can one ever entertain, much less claim, the teaching that one must be made spiritually alive. How can one be born again who has never died? The majority do not argue the fact that man's dying, consequent to his eating the fruit, was a warning from God to Adam which would involve his physical death. Excluding the Pelagianist (Pelagianists believe that man was created mortal), most are agreed that it was Adam's eating of the fruit which brought physical death into his experience and that of every human being born of his seed ever since. This is, of course, what Scripture teaches. What God said would come has come: "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Rom. 5:12). Sin itself, along with physical death, is the evidence of spiritual death. The two cannot be separated.
If both physical and spiritual death were covered by the one word, ‘die’, then Satan's denial that man would not surely die would not only have been a repudiation of spiritual death, but also of physical death! Now, no one in their right mind dares argue the fact that every man dies physically. Except for the Scripturally illiterate, no one would even contemplate denying the fact man inherits physical corruption upon his very conception (see Psa. 51:5). Man's complete, eventual and unavoidable separation from physical life is denied by no sane person. BUT SATAN DID DENY IT!! When Satan made his counterstatement by saying man would not surely die, was Satan referring only to spiritual death? Not at all! Satan was also referring to physical death. Satan's denial primarily referred to man's spiritual death, but also included further consequences such as man's physical death. There was no qualification in what Satan said. Satan did not modify his use of the word 'die' by saying man would die this way, but would not die that way. Satan said that man would not die in any way, shape, form or fashion! “…he is a liar, and the father of it” (Jn. 8:44). Satan said that Death would not come AT ALL, that there would be no negative consequences at all as the result of eating the fruit, and that Adam and Eve would, conversely, live eternally as gods knowing good and evil: “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Gen. 3:4,5). Satan’s statement was a direct attack upon, and denial of, what God had said, thereby, he was calling God a liar. Satan’s words to Eve were tantamount to saying ‘Once you eat the fruit you won’t even need God, for you and your husband will be as gods’. Satan was saying that God was trying, by His ‘over-the-top’ warning about the consequences of eating the fruit, to keep them from being as gods. To deny spiritual death is to deny separation from the Life Source, God, and so includes within it the denial of physical death also. To deny spiritual death is to denounce the need to be regenerated, to be made alive. Likewise, to deny the need of regeneration, of being made alive, is to deny the need to be born again. It is to agree with Satan that man would not, and consequently did not, die. Man does not need to be born again physically, but spiritually, hence his current state of spiritual death and his need for life. Man cannot do because he needs to be born again. Prior to the eating of the fruit, Satan claimed man would not die, and now after the fruit has been eaten, Satan teaches that man is not dead. From Bible colleges, to various denomination-based congregations to the individual person, any who say man is not spiritually dead are walking hand-in-hand with Satan. No man has any defence to put before any court about his not dying physically because it is an irrefutable obvious-to-all fact that physical death comes to all of us as a direct result of the Fall. The requirement to be made spiritually alive strongly implies a current state of spiritual death. Both physical death and spiritual death came because of man's being cut off, by sin, from the very Source of all Life: Almighty God. “…The wages of sin is death…” (Rom. 6:23).
“Clearly in the context of Genesis 3, Adam and Eve died spiritually instantly—they were separated from God and hid themselves. Their relationship with God was broken. But in Romans 5:12 we see in context that Paul is clearly speaking of physical death (Jesus’ physical death, verses 8-10, and other men’s physical death, in verse 4). We also find the same comparison of physical death and physical resurrection in 1Corinthians 15:20-22. So both spiritual death and physical death are the consequences of Adam’s fall. So, from all this we conclude that the construction ‘dying you shall die’ and beyôm in Genesis 2:17 do not require us to conclude that God was warning that ‘the very day you eat from the tree is the exact same day that you will die physically’. The Hebrew wording of Genesis 2:17 allows for a time lapse between the instantaneous spiritual death on that sad day of disobedience and the later physical death (which certainly did happen, just as God said, but for Adam it was 930 years later). As Scripture consistently teaches, both kinds of death (spiritual and physical) are the consequence of Adam’s rebellion.”
According to her judgement, the basis of which was Satan's lie, Eve was convinced she would not surely die. She reasoned within herself that the combination of the fruit looking harmless, in fact alluringly attractive, and that it must surely taste as good as it looked, judged it to be not only innocuous, but beneficial, thereby, convincing herself that what Satan had told her was the truth, and as a consequence, calling God a liar in her heart, in her thoughts and by her actions. She disregarded God's truth and believed Satan's lie. We are reminded "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death" (Prov. 14:12). This all seemed so right to Eve. She did not suddenly sprout horns and follow Satan's way because she believed eating the fruit to be wrong and evil, but because she believed it to be right and proper. She believed she would be doing herself and her husband a favour by partaking of the forbidden fruit. This is precisely the case with people today. No one believes a thing because it is wrong, but because they believe it to be right. No sane person does anything or believes anything because they believe it will harm them, but because they believe it will be beneficial to them. Ignorance will not protect you from consequences. What all fail to realise is the unequivocal fact that one’s conviction and sincerity does not make what a person believes, or does, right, nor do these things validate, or rightly justify someone’s beliefs and actions. Eve looked to just about everything in her decision-making process as to whether or not she should eat of the fruit, whilst ignoring the Words of God's warning. Thus, Eve was induced by the subtlety of the lies of Satan in conjunction with her own visual, sensual, appraisal of the Tree and its fruit. She was tempted and hooked by the promise of immediate gratification, instead, all she and her husband received was immediate death. Eve judged not righteous judgement, according to God's Word, but relied on the words of another and her physical senses which conspiringly told her, ‘How could this not be right’, ‘How could what you are feeling not be right’, and, therefore, 'How could Satan be wrong'.
Eve made her own personal judgement call concerning the forbidden fruit, thereby forming her own opinion, her own truth concerning it, rather than simply trusting and believing what God had said about it. She believed Satan when he said that it was a tree that would not only open her eyes and those of her husband, but would also make them both "...as gods, knowing good and evil" (Gen. 3:5). Eve believed Satan when he said she would not surely die, and those who believe she did not die also believe the words of Satan rather than the Word of God. The sight of the fruit combined with the positive thoughts and feelings Satan’s words introduced into her mind of the stupendous possibilities of what life would be like being as gods, along with a covetousness for gain, engendered in Eve a total disregard of what God had said on the matter. "...when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death" (Jas. 1:15). “As the first sin of man brought death into the world, brought a spiritual death, and subjected him to a corporeal death, and made him liable to an eternal one; so every sin is deserving of death, death is the just wages of it.” To sin is to turn from God to death. Eve was blinded to the truth of God by the lie of Satan which promised her and her husband a death-free life as gods. This all collaborated perfectly in convincing Eve that partaking of the fruit would, far from bringing death, do nothing but benefit her and Adam. Not believing what God has said is the pinnacle of disobedience and the basis for all of man's trouble. The day of the Fall was the birth day of unbelief and death! Disbelieving God and judging things by one's own perception of understanding has been man's natural way of life ever since. Once you stray from God's simple Truth you stray from God and leave yourself open to deception and every false thing. Eve could have well done with the Scripture, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding" (Prov. 3:5). Trust in the Lord despite what others tell you, despite what your eyes may see, and your ears hear. Trust only in Him, for He is the God of truth.
Eve did not simply taste the fruit, she did not hesitantly nibble at it, but she willingly and freely ate of it. She then gave the fruit to Adam, who was there with her, convincing him to also eat of it. “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat” (Gen. 3:6). “‘And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food’—Her imagination and feelings were completely won; and the fall of Eve was soon followed by that of Adam. The history of every temptation, and of every sin, is the same; the outward object of attraction, the inward commotion of mind, the increase and triumph of passionate desire; ending in the degradation, slavery, and ruin of the soul (see Jas. 1:15; 1Jn. 2:16).” Has the reader ever noticed how Satan did not even try to deceive the man, the prime target of his conversation with Eve (see 1 Tim. 2:14), to whom he spoke not a word directly, yet knowing that Adam, being there with Eve (see Gen. 3:6), he used the woman's influence with her husband to draw him into disobedience. Satan's plan was always to get Adam to eat of the fruit and not merely Eve. Satan knew that Adam was within earshot of what he was saying to Eve. Happy though he was, Satan could not have cared less as to whether or not Eve ate of the fruit, for Adam was the federal head, the representative, of all mankind and not the woman (see 1 Tim. 2:13). Eve was convinced, and yet deceived into thinking, she was doing the right thing for herself and Adam, and that she had chosen the right path for them both. The seed of doubt which that old Serpent had planted in Eve’s mind—simply by uttering three words, “…hath God said?” (Gen. 3:1) — had before long sprouted into full-blown unbelief of what God had told Adam. “The serpent did not tell the woman to eat the fruit. The most dangerous temptation is rarely the most direct. The soul, which has once yielded to the temptation to distrust the goodness of God, may be left to itself to disobey Him, and, in the conflict between pleasure and the service of God, will prefer its own way. Disobedience to God is the assertion of self-will, and ‘sin is lawlessness’ (see 1 Jn. 3:4).” Eve judged truth by appearance, how she felt about it, and by the word of another rather than the Word of God alone. She leaned on her own understanding rather than trusting in the Lord with all her heart. She listened to the words of another and expelled the Words of God. She made a conscious decision to disregard the Word of God, and in its place listen, and eventually bow down, to the voice of sin. She listened to lies which excited her enough to perform the first act of disobedience toward God. To paraphrase some lyrics: ‘I know a girl as sweet as can be, she fell for a serpent like a chain-sawed tree; she listened to his lies, was fooled by his guile, and ended up completely defiled’. “As distrust of God's command leads to a disregard of it, so the longing for a false independence excites a desire for the seeming good that has been prohibited; and this desire is fostered by the senses, until it brings forth sin. Doubt, unbelief, and pride were the roots of the sin of our first parents, as they have been of all the sins of their posterity.” How wrong Eve was concerning eating, and what would follow her eating, of the forbidden fruit. How wrong Eve was while thinking she was so right. “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Prov. 14:12).
Sin dictates that man does not need God, convincing man that he is God. This is what Satan essentially said to Eve, and this is precisely what Arminian free-willism fuelled by the lie that man is not spiritually dead to God, says to the world today. Satan believes he is God (see Isa. 14:14,15), and so our satanic-like sinful nature dictates this exact same perverted principle to everyone: To rebel against God and go the way we think is right, and to believe what we think is true. The lie of the world teaches that a man has every right to live as he pleases, whilst completely disregarding his obligation to obey Almighty God. The sinful nature of man commands that he live his life, not according to God’s Word, but according to what we want. Every man is not only a law unto himself, but a god unto himself. This is what sin is all about, and there is not a sin on earth that is not rebellion against God, and which projects hatred toward God. “All unrighteousness is sin…rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry…” (1 Jn. 5:17 & 1 Sam. 15:23). David, treating with disdain the commandment of God by sinning against Uriah and his wife, "...despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in His sight..." (see 2 Sam. 12:9), said to God, "Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned..." (Psa. 51:4). "Sin, by definition in the Bible, is not wronging another person. It is assaulting the glory of God, rebelling against God. Sin, by definition, is a vertical phenomenon. These horizontal wrongs are horrible: murder, rape, the death of a baby that David elicits. That's horrible and wrong (and it's not wrong to call it sin). But the thing that makes it sin is its vertical dimension. It is disobeying God's law. It is denying that He satisfies your soul to keep you from needing to kill or rape. It is sin in that it is an assault on God's Authority and His right to tell you what to do. What makes sin, sin, is its Godwardness."
Proof of the often invisible, odourless, tasteless and deceptively subtle ways of Satan, is seen in the fact that he has convinced billions that they have a sincere and genuine love for the True God, whilst they are actually rebelling against God and His Truth by the false doctrines they have embraced and abide in (see 2 Jn. 9). SATAN'S DECEPTIVENESS IS SO SUBTLE AS TO CONVINCE A MAN THAT HE IS NOT DECEIVED, BY THE VERY THING HE IS DECEIVED BY. The world believes that Satan's lie is God's Truth. Satan not only seeks to deceive people into believing a lie, but more importantly to deceive you into thinking his lie is the actual truth of God. In his madness, Satan believes that his lies are truer than truth! There are literally layers upon layers of deception which Satan employs to virtually encase a man in that which is not real. To wrap him in a cocoon of lies, a virtual reality of untruths. Usually it is not a single lie alone which entraps a man, for a lie is often attended by a string of accompanying lies which encircle a man in a world of deception. Satan's greatest deception is in convincing a man that what he is saying is what God teaches in His Word. Satan’s deceptive power is so great, that he has convinced billions of people they are Christians, who believe salvation cannot take effect in their lives without their works of obedience. All this is done while those very same people read in their Bibles every day that “…by grace are ye saved through faith; and that NOT OF YOURSELVES: it is the gift of God: NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8,9). Clearly, salvation is not a work of man’s, but a gift from God. True Christians do not boast in what they have done, for they know they have done nothing. The true Christian’s boast is in the true God Who has saved him by His grace ALONE. Those who believe they are saved by works, or by grace through works, are not only boasting in themselves, but in the Devil who has deceived them.