Man was created by God in His image and likeness to both know and walk with God, yet man today is to a large extent very far from God. Why, what happened to man to bring about such a drastic change? Why do so many people today not believe in God any more, why are there so many religions in the world? What caused the ’Fall of Man’? These are puzzling questions asked by many today which I hope to answer to some degree in this module.
Adam and Eve were created in God’s image to be like God and to walk with Him daily, to know Him intimately, there was nothing God would not have done for them (Gen 1:27-28), yet man betrayed God by walking away from God in pursuit of their own lives apart from God, the one who had given them everything and loved them dearly.
It is like a husband and wife who bring a child into this world; the mother gives birth to a beautiful baby and from the moment she lays her eyes on the child she finds immense love welling up in her heart for her new born baby. She cherishes the child with all her heart and will do everything within her power to provide and protect this baby. The father too is moved in ways he has never experienced previously, this is his child, a part of him which he has given life to and is now his pride and joy.
The baby begins to grow and soon learns to crawl and then walk and they eagerly wait to hear the child’s first words. Friends and family comment on the remarkable close resemblance of the child with the mother and father; they might say “Oh doesn’t he look just like his father?”
The parents spare no expense, willing to make necessary sacrifices to ensure their child has everything it needs to grow and be healthy. So the child grows up as a member of the family, having the same family name; Joseph Cartwright, son of John and Mary Cartwright, and having all the entitlements of a son.
Joseph is raised by the mother and father who ensure he receives everything he needs to prepare him for life and to take his place in society. The cost has been great over the years, but this doesn’t matter to them, they have a son whom they love dearly. They have invested their lives into their son, teaching him to respect others, encouraging him to be the best he can be, providing the best education possible and guiding him through all of the issues of life that come with growing up and it seems to pay off, he is a confident young man, acts responsibly and loves his parents.
However not all is well, as problems begin to surface, small ones initially, but these begin to grow and take a toll on the whole family. You see as Joseph grew older he began to look outside of the family unit for support, and peer pressure from his friends began to change him: instead of being an optimist he became very pessimistic about life, believing his parents were not caring enough and did not understand him or his needs. He began to reject their council and love and sought to find his own way in life, believing he could make a better go of it himself. He knew better!
Eventually Joseph left home, leaving behind broken hearted parents who still loved him but who would respect his wishes, telling him they would always be there for him. Joseph was on his own now and he soon discovered that perhaps he didn’t know it all, life was tough, and his friends who had given him so much advice now had none to give him.
The life he had imagined he would have was just a dream, he now had to provide for himself working long hours just to make ends meet, the plans he made never seemed to quite work out as he thought they would. It began to dawn on him that perhaps his parents were wise and did know a thing or two about life, they had spoken to him so many times and tried to encourage and guide him but he had rejected them. Now he was paying the price for his rebellion against his mother and father, for seeking his own way and rejecting their love.
This sadly is the same picture the Bible paints of man’s relationship with God, his creator, the one who loved him and gave him everything he needed for life. Man was created in God’s own image and likeness, he was a part of God’s family and God held back nothing good from Adam, placing His own life in Adam, being his provision and wisdom in life, just as Joseph’s parents had done.
Adam was placed in a garden called the Garden of Eden and given total authority over the garden to protect it and keep it. He was given free reign over the garden except for one tree, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, from this tree he could not eat, to eat of it would mean certain death for Adam and Eve. (Gen 3:1-7).
To eat of this forbidden tree would be to reject God’s life, provision and counsel for their own, the loss of which would be the same as one being dead, since life without the Spirit (Life) of God would leave man destitute and reliant only on himself for survival. Adam would not have the power to continue to live life as he had become accustomed to; it was God within him who gave him life. Just as Joseph had learnt when he walked away from his parents, life became tough having only himself to rely upon.
The tree became a symbol of man’s autonomy and sovereignty in life, the desire to go it alone; “I will do it my way, make decisions based on my own wisdom, and provide for myself, I can do it without you God!” Does this sound familiar in today’s world in which we live?
Joseph, the son of John and Mary Cartwright, seemed to be quite happy and content with life until he began listening to his friends and peers, it was then that he began to question and doubt his parent’s love and integrity, did they truly love him, why were they holding back on him, why were they so restrictive at times? He became blinded to the truth and reacted accordingly eventually leaving home. This is exactly what happened to Adam and Eve, they believed a lie about God and they too eventually left home seeking to live life on their own. They no longer trusted God.
For the first time on planet earth we see sin enter into the world, into man’s heart, leaving in its path mass destruction and the ruin of mankind. They chose to disobey God’s instructions in seeking their own way and paid a high price.
The lie was a very simple one, the devil said to them “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Gen 3:5
“You will be like God.” A remarkable statement since they were already like God, having been created in His image and likeness, the underlying accusation is that God is holding back on them, He doesn’t really love them; they can do better on their own. The devil is a master manipulator and deceiver, his only goal is to separate mankind from God for ever. We find evidence of this today where ever you look; our western education is drawing man away from God, our society in general is degenerating rapidly in unbelief and it is being done very subtly, our old values are being eroded and replaced with ones which are self-seeking in nature, contrary to the Word of God and which lull people into a false sense of security in themselves.
Without God we are nothing, we are a reed blowing in the wind which eventually dries up and dies.
To enjoy life as God created it, we must have the Spirit of God within us, we must have His life flowing from within us. The life mankind is today living is a far cry from the one God created us to live. What man has today is life as man has created it to be.
Lord what would you say to me about the tree of the knowledge of good & evil? How did this differ from the tree of life?
By My Spirit I created the world and the heavens. By My Spirit all things exist. It is by My wisdom and knowledge. Son I spoke and commanded them not to eat of its fruit, for its fruit was not according to My fruit, My way of doing anything is by My Spirit. Son, Adam chose to not follow the way of My Spirit. My Spirit is life, the tree of knowledge brought death, death to My Spirit ways within Adam. He chose a different path to life. My Spirit brings life, the tree does not. It only has the appearance of being good but is void of My Spirit. My Spirit brings life, the tree does not, The tree of life is My Spirit flow in you, accomplishing the impossible through you. The tree of life is My symbol of life lived by My Spirit, The tree of knowledge is a symbol of life lived by mans carnal knowledge, It dos not allow for My Spirit to interact with you, it only allows for mans own thoughts to be his measure of authority. My tree stands complete lacking nothing. As you sit with Me I am the one empowering you in every aspect of life. But on your own you have only your own wisdom to guide you. My power is not present to create accoring to My will. As you seek Me, my life and your life become one, and my heart becomes your heart. My life flow is complete as we walk together.
Please consider your life for a moment, are you a Joseph, who rejected his parents and chose to live life on his own? Some people may even be believers of God but still live their lives on their own; such is the power of deception. How much is God a part of your life? Is He an integral part of your life or do you see God as an ornament on the shelf, nice to look at once in a while, but don’t interfere with my life?
God loves you so much He sent His son Jesus to take your place and mine in judgement of our rejection and rebellion against God. Jesus died that we might once again have the Spirit (Life) of God flowing in our lives, and to once again live life as God created it to be lived, with Him!
Is it too late you may ask? No, never too late, while there is still breath in your body it is not too late!
Does God still love me? Yes He does, “For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16
The way back to God begins with a decision to repent and allow God into your life through a simple prayer:
"Lord Jesus forgive me for my rejection and rebellion and for living my life apart from you. Renew my life and make me new again. My life I give to you that I might know you and walk with you every day, thank you Jesus."