How did evil visit humanity? A human being is associated with evil. But a human being was created in God’s image, and God carries no attribute of sinfulness. The story starts at the Garden of Eden, where the woman saw what was desirable for food. Humans know that evil entails non-survival material. There is something appearing as pleasing to the eye, but leading to the opposite of survival, proving disloyalty to the source:
The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 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.’”
“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
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. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. (Genesis 3:2-6)
The woman ignored the source, which had specifically instructed avoidance of the forbidden fruit. She did not duplicate or understand what God said. The instruction did not include the aspect of “touch”. Other than having heard about death, the woman did not understand the meaning of death?
She may have been aware that the source of existence was God. But how dare could she not confront the tempter, about the source of his information? Was there another god, before the God who created Adam and Eve? The woman was not clear, on the question of that technicality.
By doing the opposite of what God said, the couple displayed their disloyalty to God. But, they continued conversing with God. When confronted, the answer shows that they acknowledged God as the source of their existence. Adam was not outwardly rebellious against God.
But, His loyalty to God had been compromised. The serpent who had convinced them to eat from a forbidden tree did not hold credentials, whatsoever. He had not created anything, except confusion and deception. Therefore, the couple was caught in-between truth and falsehood.
This universe carries dichotomous principles, projected in positive and negative electric applications. When connected to terminal circuits, positive and negative appliances cannot combine. They are directly opposed to each other. Electricians know the danger of violating that principle, characterized by explosive sparks when violated.
In His infallible word, God told Adam that death would come on the day of eating from the forbidden tree. God was speaking from the vintage of knowledge, concerning the mixture of positive and negative currencies. There was no physical explosion, at the point of violating that law. Except for the Spiritual explosion, unobservable in the physical universe.
Adam died, immediately, after eating the forbidden fruit, just as God had said. The couple was immediately strewn into a spiritual wilderness. They became reduced to an animalistic kingdom, even though of Godly origin. It took the mercies of God to devise a plan of rescue.
As codified in their physical nature, Adam would only have finite survival, rather than infinity. His existence would be troublesome. Diseases, accidents, deaths, punctuated with murderous characters, would prevail. The first murder was committed by Cain, on his brother, Abel.
Hardworking, was allotted to humanity, leading to his eventual return to the earth from where he came. Dust is not what was created in God’s image. On advising Adam that dust he was; God was not referring to what was created in God’s image.
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.” (Genesis 3:17-19 NIV).
There are those applying the bit “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground,” as implying that people should work hard. However, hard work had not been originally intended for humanity. Adam had been reduced to being wholly dust, rather than spiritual.
The dust aspect is the effect of having died, according to God’s word. However, there remained a semblance of hope, for humanity. The woman would produce children, similarly to how animals produce. Humans, born by women, carry some hope, leading to the eventual birth of Jesus.
The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.” (Genesis 3:21-23 NIV).
The preparation of garments of skin to clothe Adam and Eve reveals God’s mercies. The disaster that they invited upon themselves, did not attract condemnation. God still loved them, including preventing them from accessing the tree of life:
“The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.” (Genesis 3:22-23 NIV).
Accessing the tree of life would have condemned them to sinfulness for eternity. In His wisdom, God banished them, including their descendants, from accessing the tree of life. The entire episode leads to the birth of the Messiah, the rejection of which is more than disastrous.
In His mercy, God ensures that the identity of Jesus would not be accessed by sinful characters. Something must happen before humanity can access Christ. They can access the Son of Man, but not the Son of the living God:
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah. (Matthew 16:13-20 NIV).
The entire humanity had known Jesus, as the Son of Man. However, Peter’s recognition portrays that the disciples saw what the rest of humanity could not see. In verse 20, Jesus instructed them to avoid telling anyone about His Messiahship. God’s mercies required keeping Jesus’ identity secretive.
This sounds ironic? The Son of Man had not been secretive, in His activities, leading to His crucifixion. God was pleased that they crucified the Son of Man. Their ignorance was beneficial to God, not allowing them to access the tree of life, before acknowledging Christ, Son of the living God.
“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:15-18 NIV).
This was a secretive communication, directed at the disciples. “The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”
The failure of humanity to know what the disciples knew, was by design. The negative and positive electric transmissions should not be in contact with each other. God keeps those in sinful conditions, against accessing the tree of life before counting the costs.
Large crowds were travelling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’
“Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples. (Luke 14:25-33 NIV).
The above Scripture is not marketable to ordinary humans. It was not accepted by those multitudes, with whom Jesus was communicating. It was never Christ’s intention that the multitudes should blindly accept His Messiahship. The debris of humanity, after violating the loyalty Law, from the Garden of Eden incident, still exists. Those people should be left alone, until a miracle strikes in their lives.
Let humanity ‘enjoy’ in their corruptible activities, rather than blindly accept Jesus without faith. The disloyalty, as demonstrated by Adam, cannot be tolerated, after accessing the tree of life, through Jesus’s services. But redemption is a work in progress.
“And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.” (Matthew 12:31-32 NIV).
The one coming in the clouds, with hosts of angels, is not the Son of the Living God, unknown by the entire world. The one coming with the hosts of angels is the Son of Man. There would still be a danger, for ordinary humans to confront the Son of the living God, even at that time.
“Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.” (Matthew 24:30-31 NIV).
I suppose it doesn’t strike, even to most believers. The one about to appear is the Son of Man, not the Son of the Living God. True believers have all along been with the Son of the living God, with whom they enjoy company, day and night. The fascination of perceiving the Son of Man, as attributed in the above Scripture, is for ordinary humans.
Choosing to accept Jesus as a personal Savior is not a casual matter. It starts with the realization of death that occurred at the point of Adam’s sin. Although characterized with insurmountable troubles, humanity, in their ignorance, seem satisfied in sin. It takes a real miracle to accept Jesus.
The deception, leading to Adam’s disloyalty, is still existent. Hence, Jesus uses the utmost timing to salvage repentant humanity into God’s Kingdom. There is no need to mourn and wail to be accepted. Except surrendering everything and following due processes, before accepting Jesus, who then provides the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing relief to those having witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope.
The Print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99
Also available as an e-copy at Lulu.com for $6.99