Christian Churches of God
Adam and Eve
in the Garden of Eden
(Edition 2.0 20030805-20061230)
So God created man in His own image; male and female He created them. This paper has been adapted from Chapter 2 of The Bible Story Volume 1 by Basil Wolverton, published by Ambassador College Press, and the paper The Doctrine of Original Sin Part 1: The Garden of Eden (No. 246) published by CCG.
Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden
Adam and Eve were created with perfectly formed bodies. The ability to talk and sing had been instilled in them. Adam was muscular and handsome. Eve was beautiful and graceful. From the moment Eve was created and given to Adam the institution of marriage was set up. Adam and Eve were commanded to have children and keep the Earth. They were taught God’s Law by the Angel who is known as the “Word of God”. He was the spokesman of God the Father; speaking as the Father commanded him.
Adam was created at 20 years old (taken from the chronology based on Ussher and listed in Appendix 50 of The Companion Bible, as prepared by Bullinger). That is the age when we become an adult. It appears that for about 30 years Adam and Eve learned and followed God’s Laws and lived in the Garden.
Genesis 2:8-15 tells about the Garden of Eden. God planted the Garden east of Eden. It was located in the Middle East, including what is now the area of Israel and north to the Tigris-Euphrates basin. It contained trees that were beautiful to look at and trees that were good for food. The Bible also tells us that there was a river that went out of Eden to water the Garden. It did not stay as one river but it divided and became four rivers. All the different religions and cultures that have developed from this time have their own version of the four rivers. This seems to have been a central theme shared by most of mankind.
The reference to the four divisions of the river actually shows us how control of the universe starts from God the Father and goes out into the four quadrants or areas of the universe.
God made animals each after their own kind. But He made humans after His own kind ‑ after the God family that He had created. He made man in the image of God. Animals have brains and animal brains have instinctive behaviour programmed into them rather like computers. A dog has an instinct to bark when someone is coming. The dog doesn't have to think, "Shall I bark?" and then decide whether to bark. Dogs often just bark because they were selected and trained for that fact, and they behave instinctively. But a boy or girl, or man or woman, has to think and decide what to do, and whether to do it within the terms of reference they have been given by their parents, as they themselves were instructed.
Humans have brains too, but instead of natural instinct humans also have to know and think and decide what to do. They have to make choices. Frequently this is referred to as free moral agency. This is the same for the angels. They too have the choice to listen and follow God’s Laws or to disobey God.
God made man out of matter from the dust of the ground, just as animals were made of matter out of the Earth. Just like animals, man was made with only temporary physical existence. This existence comes only from breathing air, and a heart constantly pumping blood through the veins. Even this breath and blood circulation must be refuelled by food and water from the ground. Man needs this to live just like the animals. Some babies die soon after birth; some live eight or ten years; some live seventy to ninety years, but then all people die.
God is different. God is composed of Spirit and has self‑containing life eternally, that never dies. God alone is immortal (1Tim. 6:16). He gives this eternal life to the Host as He sees fit within His Plan of Life. There is and was, only One True God. He is the Father of all creation. He sent Jesus Christ so we might know the One True God and that we might have this eternal life (Jn. 17:3).
God made the first man, Adam, with a mind that could learn to work with matter or things that grow from the ground. But in order to have a relationship with God and get along with and work with other people, man needs to have the Holy Spirit of God added to his mind. It was in this way that man was made in the image of God. In this way the Holy Spirit of God could be implanted on his spirit and man could become god as a Son of God. This is also why and how demons can enter humans using their image.
In the Garden in Eden the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground. In the middle of the Garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And the Lord God commanded the man, You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die (Gen. 2:16).
This was a test of obedience for the new humans. If they took from the forbidden tree then it would be stealing. What does the Eighth Commandment say? You shall not steal. From every other tree they could freely take, but this tree was forbidden. Also if they desired to take something that belonged to someone else, they would break the Tenth Commandment also. The Tenth Commandment says: You shall not covet. So we can tell from this, that from the very beginning, the Law of God was in place.
The term tree can be used for a spirit being of the Host (see Ezek. 31:3-18). We see from verse 18 that Satan is identified in and with the Garden of Eden.
18 To whom art thou thus like in glory and in greatness among the trees of Eden? yet shalt thou be brought down with the trees of Eden unto the nether parts of the earth: thou shalt lie in the midst of the uncircumcised with them that be slain by the sword. This is Pharaoh and all his multitude, saith the Lord GOD. (KJV)
Most of the trees in the Garden of Eden were there for the education of man. They were not all there as physical food. The Bible does not tell us how many trees there were in the Garden, but there was only one that was not good for food. The tree, which was forbidden to Adam and Eve, produced knowledge of both good and evil. So if they ate from this tree they would sin and were told they would die. This tree of the knowledge of good and evil stands for Satan and the system he wished to use to deceive the first humans. He had already deceived and corrupted the Host in the same way.
Now the tree of life meant first receiving the Spirit of God, which would impart into their minds the spiritual knowledge from God of right and wrong, in a close relationship with God and with other people. This was spiritual knowledge ‑ the way of love to God and love to man. Without this spiritual knowledge revealed through God’s Spirit direct from the mind of God, man could not learn by himself how to get along with other people in peace and cooperation and happiness. Neither could man have a close loving relationship with God.
So, the trees in the middle of the Garden represented two kinds of knowledge. One kind contained the knowledge of both good and evil and led to actions contrary to that commanded by God and contrary to His nature. This knowledge had been forbidden to Adam and humans in the Garden and, if consumed, resulted in death. The other kind, which was based on God‑given spiritual knowledge led to eternal life. If Adam had obeyed God we would never have died. We would all have passed into the spiritual state on translation after our earthly lives had been fulfilled.
Now God loved Adam, just as He loves all people. God wanted him and all people to be happy, to enjoy life and to live forever. But Satan deceived Eve, and she led Adam to make the wrong choice. So he disobeyed God. This choice was left open to Adam.
When Adam had sinned, God closed up the tree of life. That is, God shut off the Holy Spirit from Adam and all his children ‑ the whole world ‑ until Jesus Christ, the "second Adam," should come and pay the penalty of every person's sins so humans could be forgiven and then have the Holy Spirit offered to them. Otherwise, God would have been obliged to allow people to take from the tree of life, and gain immortal life in discontent, unhappiness, sorrow, and suffering which would last forever!
Only certain people chosen by God for His purpose would be given the Holy Spirit to accomplish His purpose. These were usually the Patriarchs and Prophets and others such as David and Moses. When Christ came, the Holy Spirit would be made available to all nations through the Church founded by Christ and the Apostles. God determined this sequence from the beginning.
Because God knows all that will happen, He set up the perfect Plan for His family before He ever started to create. God knew Lucifer would rebel and lead other spirit beings and mankind into disobeying Him. But God in His wisdom and mercy has allowed man to die so he can be brought back to life in the Second Resurrection. At that time Satan in his spiritual form will not be around, so there will be no negative thoughts and attitudes on the planet as there are now.
People in the Second Resurrection will all have access to God’s Holy Spirit. Then God’s Laws will govern the planet and it will be a period of just and fair rule under Jesus Christ. At the end of the Millennium, Satan and the fallen Host will actually be made human. They will then have a chance to repent of their former actions. They will have an opportunity to choose to obey God’s Law while living a physical existence in the Second Resurrection. This is a very different story to what many of us have heard regarding the Devil and hellfire. Our God is a very loving and merciful God. He does not wish for anyone to be lost.
God allowed Satan to still be the ruler of Earth, even though he did not live by God’s Laws. When human beings were put on Earth to have power over all physical creatures Satan was angry. He looked for some way of turning Adam and Eve against their Creator, so that he could become their master. His opportunity came one day when Eve walked off by herself in the Garden. Suddenly she came across a snake or serpent. This was not unusual because all the animals were friendly with and obedient to Adam and Eve. However, what was unusual was that this snake or serpent spoke to her.
“Now the serpent (or snake) was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made” (Gen. 3:1). The English word serpent here refers to Nachash or shining one. This shining one is the Covering Cherub, the Angel of Light or Lucifer of Isaiah chapter 14 and Ezekiel 28:13-17. The Devil or Satan is later referred to as ‘that ancient serpent’ (Rev. 12:9; 20:2). The old serpent (in 2Cor. 11:3) is transformed into an Angel of Light (2Cor. 11:14). Thus the serpent is used as an allegory for Satan who spoke with the woman in the Garden and deceived her.
Now the serpent said to the woman: "Did God tell you that you would die if you eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?"
Eve answered, "God did say that we must not eat the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the Garden, and we must not touch it, or we will die.”
“You will not surely die,” lied Satan (Gen. 3:4.). "If you eat of the fruit of that tree, your eyes will be opened and you shall be as gods (elohim), knowing good and evil.” We know from the Bible that it is man’s destiny to become sons of God as gods (elohim) like Christ and the spiritual creation (see Zech. 12:8 and Psa. 82:6). Satan knew that God did not want any flesh to perish (2Pet. 3:9).
Also from the lie “Thou shall not surely die”, Satan has developed the doctrine of the immortal soul. Some churches teach that humans have a soul that returns to God when they die. But the truth is that at the end of the age people will be resurrected to a physical state. Not only does God have to resurrect every individual from his or her DNA map, which He holds in His mind, but also the ideas that made up the personality of the individual.
If Adam and Eve had obeyed they would not have died. If they sinned they would die, but would be made alive again at the resurrection.
Satan was giving Eve a choice. The Angel of Yahovah was their teacher and they were given a system, which was enough for their perfect sustenance. But Satan was trying to persuade them to follow his system. They did have the freedom to choose what to do. The more Eve thought about what he said, the more eager she became to eat some of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Finally she could resist no longer. She went to the tree and plucked and ate of the fruit. It was pleasant to taste, so she took some to Adam, who also ate of it even though Eve told him what it was.
This represented the taking of knowledge she and Adam were not to take.
By taking the forbidden fruit Adam and Eve also took to themselves the right to decide what is good, and what is evil. They rejected God's spiritual Law and chose the way that transgresses it! They chose Satan’s way of deciding what was good and right, instead of listening to what God our Father says and knows is best for us.
Even though Adam and Eve rejected the voice of God, He did bequeath to mankind His revelation of basic knowledge. We have it in writing! The Holy Bible is that revelation. It contains history, instruction, and revelation of basic knowledge and prophecy. It does not contain all knowledge. It contains that basic knowledge we could not otherwise find out.
After eating the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve for the first time experienced the unpleasant feeling of gnawing guilt. They knew they had disobeyed God; they knew they had done something wrong. They also had a discomforting awareness of being naked, and they felt ashamed. They wanted to cover themselves, so they laced fig leaves together to fashion aprons to put around them. Before the first humans ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil they only knew good and were not ashamed at being naked.
Because they had disobeyed God by doing just one of the things He had told them not to do, Adam and Eve committed the very first human sin. That simple wrong act changed the life of every human being who has been born since then.
Just as the super‑angel Lucifer ran into trouble when he went against God's rules, human beings also fall into trouble when they break the rules they should live by for their own good. The Laws we obey come from those over us in power. The act of causing people to obey rules is called government. God's Laws and His government are love (Rom. 13:10). His rules are that people must first of all love God by obeying Him, worshiping Him, praying to Him, trusting Him and keeping His Sabbath holy.
Next to those most important laws are the laws that people should love other people. Children should respect and obey their parents (Eph. 6:1‑3). People must never hate or kill or try to harm others. Instead, they should love everyone, including even their enemies (Mat. 5:44). They must be loyal and honest to others. They must not want to take anything away from others. They should remember that it is better to give than to take (Ex. 20:12‑17). See also the paper The Ten Commandments (No. CB17).
After Satan began having rebellious thoughts, he soon came to believe just the opposite of God's Laws. His way of life has come to mean doing just the opposite of what was mentioned in the two preceding paragraphs (Jn. 8:44; 1Jn. 3:8). God allowed Satan to rule over the Earth for a set period of time, until the number of man should be created and drawn out as He had predestined. Man had to prove that he was worthy to rule by obeying God. An endless continuance of Satan's rule would have only brought increasing unhappiness and suffering.
Because Adam was the first man, God gave him the chance to rule the Earth (Gen. 1:28). The condition was that he had to remain obedient to God and have nothing to do with Satan's ways. Satan knew that if Adam failed in obedience, God would take away his chance to rule. Satan's scheme, because he hated Adam, was to trick him into believing that the wrong ways were the right ways. If Adam could be made to fall for that, he would be in trouble. Satan has used this scheme to cause God’s people to sin and separate them from His love and protection over time.
God had made the man to be the head of his wife and children (Eph. 5:23, 25). Just as God rules with love over angels and human beings, so must the man rule with love over his own house. A man who fails to do this will also fail in becoming a ruler in the Kingdom of God. Satan knew that God expected Adam to be the head over Eve. That is why he waited to catch her alone. After he had tempted her to pick the fruit she wasn't to touch, Eve tempted Adam (Gen. 3:6). Adam wasn't strong enough to keep from disobeying along with Eve. This proved that he couldn't be strong enough to obey God in all things, and therefore wasn't worthy to be ruler of the Earth.
Satan was entrusted to instruct Adam and to bring him to a position of responsibility and rulership, so that they could both develop humans to a state of immortal beings ruling together. Satan refused to exercise his responsibilities as a ruler and effective parent to humans. The way it turned out, Satan got to continue as the unseen ruler of the world until one should come who would conquer him by obeying God and not sinning. That man, Jesus Christ, finally did come and qualify to be that ruler (Lk. 4:5‑8). He has not yet returned to the Earth as its chief ruler.
God let Satan stay on Earth, but he wasn't given the power to force anyone to sin. Satan has power only to try to lead or tempt people. As for human beings, God gave them minds capable of thinking for themselves and deciding whether to obey God or Satan (Jas. 4:7).
Ashamed that they had believed the things spoken through the serpent or snake, Adam and Eve tried to hide in the Garden. But God knew where they were hiding (Gen. 3:8).
"Have you disobeyed me by eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge?" God startled them by asking very near them. Remember that the Bible tells us that no man has ever seen, or heard the voice of the One True God (Jn. 1:18 and 5:37). So the being that spoke to the first humans was the Angel of Yahovah.
"Eve gave me the fruit," Adam finally answered, trying to shift the guilt to his wife (Gen. 3:12).
God was disappointed. He had allowed the man and woman to make their choice of whom to obey. They had chosen the way that would bring only unhappiness. It was too late now for anything except painful regret, and that wouldn't do them any good. All they could look forward to was punishment (Deut. 30:15‑19).
They were given leather clothing to wear and were banished from the beautiful Garden that had been lovingly made just for them. God knew that, if they were to stay there, they might also eat of the Tree of Life and live forever in wrongdoing and continue the disharmony caused by the rebellion (Gen. 3:21-23).
To prevent their returning to the Garden of Eden, a huge flaming sword in constant motion guarded the entrance (Gen. 3:24).
"Because you have sinned and tempted Adam to sin, you will suffer pain any time you give birth to a child," God told Eve. "So also shall it be with all human mothers in the future" (Gen. 3:16).
Because of believing Satan instead of their Creator, the first human beings, and all following generations, lost the right to live in peace, happiness and good health. How different it could have been if they had obeyed God and eaten the fruit of the Tree of Life. They would have lived happily forever, becoming immortals translated to spirit beings!
It would seem that the original Plan of God was for Adam and Eve and all their children to live in peace and happiness and be perfectly healthy. But sin entered into humans as it did with the spirit beings. The consequence of sin is death (Rom. 6:23). But because our God is a loving and merciful God, humans now have the opportunity to be resurrected to a new life and ultimately we will all become spirit beings - sons of God.
As another result of their sin, God put a curse on the ground outside the Garden. For the first time since the Earth was remade, weeds and thistles and thorns sprang out of the soil (Gen. 3:17). This was a hardship for Adam, who had to rely on farming under difficult conditions to obtain their food.
God the Father in His infinite wisdom knew what Satan and mankind would do. Therefore, God set the Jubilee system in place to protect the planet. See the paper God’s Sacred Calendar (No. CB20). We see from Revelation 22:3 that at a point in the future there will no longer be any curse on the ground. At that point sin will no longer exist and God the Father will move His Throne to Earth and rule the universe from the Earth.
Adam lived a long time to see some of the results of his disobedience. He was nine hundred and thirty years old when he died. He was able to live so long because of being created with a perfect physical body. But he did die, just as God said he would if he ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (Gen. 2:17).