Of Fruit, Vision, and Other Such Things

Another one of those “stop and think about this” moments interrupted the minister’s sermon for me.  I’ve always known the devil told a lie about not dying.  The one Eve believed, though I could not understand how.  As I stopped and thought, I realized there was much more to it.

Before going further, two things must be established.  God is Truth and the Spirit of Truth.  In Him is no lie.  He speaks only what is True.  (John 14:6, 17, 15:26, 16:13, Numbers 23:19, etc.)  On the other hand, the devil (serpent) is a liar and the father of lies.  Lying is the only language he can speak. (John 8:44)  Since he cannot tell the truth, he twists it as much as needed to make it sound believable, so as to deceive those who will listen to and serve him.

Genesis 3:4-5 NIV   “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman.   “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

fruitThese verses contain not one lie, but four – all concerning the consequences of eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  Eve believed all four.  How many of the four lies have I believed because I failed to consider who spoke?

  • He told Eve she would not surely die . . . but he lied.  She died immediately in her spirit.
  • He said her eyes would be opened . . . but he lied.  Instead, she instantly lost her vision and became spiritually blind. What she saw when her eyes were opened was her sinfulness (v.7).  She could no longer see God, being consigned to hearing Him only (v.8, 10).
  • He told her she would be like God . . . but he lied. Because Eve was created from Adam, who was created in the image of God, she was already like God.  When she ate of the fruit, she actually took on the sin nature and became unlike Him.
  • He told her she would be like God, knowing good and evil . . . but he lied again. Eve had intimately known perfect Goodness before.  God knows evil only from afar, not as a part of His nature.  After eating, Eve knew within herself a sin-corrupted counterfeit of good.  She had tasted and received evil and its effects.   In reality, she now knew only anti-Good, anti-God, anti-Christ.

Exif JPEGIn response to this insight, I have compiled four of my own corresponding statements of Truth.

  • I started out this life dead because of Adam and Eve.  Only because of Jesus Christ and Him crucified for my sin and rising again in righteousness have I received eternal life.  I had to be born again.
  • I was blind because I descended from Adam and Eve, who passed their chosen blindness along to me.  What I see with my natural eyes and mind is counterfeit, twisted, and perverted, for it comes from the liar and father of lies.  When I ate of the Tree of Life, receiving Jesus Christ, I lost that blinded sin nature and received His sight.
  • Only in Christ Jesus am I like God, not by any self-effort to be like Him.
  • God is all Good.  What I see with natural eyes that seems good doesn’t even begin to compare to His Goodness.  Only in Christ Jesus, and with His eyes, do I see true Goodness.  Only in and through Him will Goodness be made known to others through me.

 

Seeing

Genesis 3:7-11  “7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.  8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’  10 He answered, ‘I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.’  11 And he said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?’”  NIV

When we read this passage, we might, among other things, imagine the wonder of hearing God walking around in the garden, and hearing Him speak audibly.  Is it possible, however, that Adam and Eve could actually see God, too, before their eyes were opened to the knowledge of good and evil?  Think about it.  It’s not like they walked around blind before they ate of the forbidden tree.  Prior to this, there was nothing in them that was evil, nothing that would hinder them from complete and unbroken relationship with God.  God had breathed His breath, His life, into Adam, and made Eve from him.  There was no sin yet.  All they could see was life as it was created to be, so it is probable that they really could see Him with their natural eyes.

Imagine, however, going from that place of knowing and seeing God to hiding in fear from Him – the very One Who created them and filled their beings with His Presence.  Because of sin, their eyes were opened to a completely different realm.  Now they cringed just hearing His steps.  How far they fell in one quick moment, bringing all of mankind with them!  The only difference was that the rest of us never had a chance to see Him face to face and fellowship with Him in the garden, completely unhindered.  What good news we have, though!  Because of the blood of Jesus Christ, we can be restored to fellowship with the Father!

Even when we receive the glorious salvation of Jesus Christ our Lord, our natural eyes are still assaulted by the sin in the world all around us.  We still don’t see as Adam and Eve saw before the fall.  We can’t see our Father with our natural eyes, but God hasn’t left us without hope and help.  He has given us His Word.

Philippians 4:8 “For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].”  AMP

As we think on, weigh, and take account of the things that are true, worthy of reverence, pure, etc., even fixing our minds on them, we, too, will begin to “see” God.  We won’t have to fear the sound of His nearness.  The descriptive words in this verse certainly apply to Him; so, if we will do what He tells us to do in it, we will see increasingly with His eyes – from His perspective – even if we don’t physically see Him.  We will be able to see past the sin all around us, because we aren’t focused on it, but on all that is lovely and lovable, kind, winsome, gracious, worthy of praise, etc.  After all, God is not blind to the things in this world, yet He looks upon them through the finished work of Christ at the cross.  He looks upon Jesus Christ’s righteousness – and He ministers from that place.  When we see the way He sees, we, too, will minister in mercy, grace, and love.  From this place, and only from this place, we will actually be able to help others see Him!