Sermon delivered March 6, 1999

by Pastor Donald J Gettys

McDonald Road Seventh-day Adventist Church

McDonald, Tennessee

Biblical quotations are fro the New International Version unless otherwise noted.

Adam's Blundering Collapse

The beginning started like a baseball game. In the "Big Inning" Eve Stole first, Adam Stole second, and Cain struck out. The succulent tubers of civilization quickly turned into bitter roots. Here is the opposite of Evolution; instead of man starting at the bottom and climbing up . . . here is the truth that man began at the top and fell to the bottom. That's exactly how it happened.

It started with the fall of Lucifer. One third of the angels also fell. No sooner were Satan and the angels expelled from Heaven to this earth. But what they wanted back in. The devil thought about this: How are we ever going to get back in to heaven? Maybe we could be forgiven. Maybe our sin is not unpardonable. If God pardoned them, perhaps Satan and his confederates could also share in God's mercy. And so he developed a plan. If he could somehow cause the fall of Adam and Eve, and God could develop a plan to save them, pardon them, then maybe somehow God would pardon the evil angels and the devil. So that was the plan. Maybe they could also share in God's mercy.

If that did not work out, they had plan B. That was to trip up Adam and Eve and then unite with them and take over the Garden of Eden. By doing that, perhaps they could gain access to the tree of life. If they could actually eat of the Tree of Life they could be eternally strong and even God could not expel them. (See Story of Redemption p.29 - EG White). This was their last and only hope. And so sin entered the garden fully grown. There was a master plan there.

Meanwhile, God sent angels to visit Eden to warn Adam and Eve of their danger from their great foe. Two angels sped with the saving message. They warned Eve not to stray from her husbands side. You will be safe if you avoid the tree of knowledge of good and evil because only there can your enemy have access to you. That was the entrance point; the port of entry.

Back when Adam was single, God had personally warned Adam: Genesis 2:15- 17 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 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.

Now, In the beginning, before the curse, snakes were among the most beautiful of God's creatures. They could fly through the air and glowed at night. By daylight they were the color of burnished gold -(Numbers 21:9). Satan chose to use this creature in his attempt to cause the fall of Adam and Eve. (Rev 12:9 Satan is a snake)

Three chapters in from the first page of the Bible the serpent appears for the first time. Three chapters in from the last page he is heard from the last time. And all of the intervening pages contain the record of his dealings with mankind, and how God overshadowed and over-ruled in the devil's plans. I'm so thankful God did over-rule in Satan's plans.

Genesis 3 is perhaps the most important chapter of the whole Bible. There is not other chapter that is more important. Here is the seed- plot for the entire scenario if sin. Here the foundation is laid. Here begins the great controversy between Christ and Satan. Here we learn about our mortal enemy. Just try reading the Bible sometime. Read Genesis one and two, and skip Genesis three. None of the Bible makes sense without Genesis three. Here in Genesis 3 we observe our utter powerlessness against evil except for God's grace. Here we learn of God's attitude toward sinners. In Genesis 3:8 it tells about God coming and looking for Adam and looking for Eve. Here begins the first prophecy. It's a very foundational chapter in the Bible.

Let's begin: Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden?'"

Somehow Eve's curiosity had led her off alone. She was not with Adam. You know we are weaker when we face temptation alone. Soon she found herself gazing at the forbidden tree. Right there she broke another rule. If you aren't going to eat the forbidden fruit, then stop hanging around the forbidden tree. Why do we hang around sin?

Notice that the devil was not gone on vacation. He is always on duty. The trouble is the devil is smart. The devil is one of the smartest angels ever created. He was far more than a match for young Eve, except for one thing. She had the Word of God. Short as it was, with the Word of God she was more than a match for her foe.

Satan started with Eve. It was God's plan for Adam to have headship. Eve was created second. The devil twisted this divine order by tempting her first. Jesus called the devil the father of lies... John 8:44. The CEO of evil said to Eve: Genesis 3:4 "You will not surely die" This is the first recorded lie. Do you realize that that first lie is still believed by most of Christianity to this day: that when you die, you are not dead. Ezekiel 18:4 KJV The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The word "Devil" means slanderer. When Paul advised that deacons' wives not be slanderers in I Timothy 3:11 he used the feminine plural Greek word for slanderer! So literally they are not to be "she devils!"

Eve believed the devil. She thought that Satan was kinder in offering the fruit than God was in forbidding it. He really had things twisted. Our adversary sugar coats his death pill. He allures us with the pleasures of sin (Heb. 11:25)

The record of the fall is not exclusively about Adam or Eve. It is about ourselves. Because if you or I had been standing there, would we have eaten that fruit? We probably would. So because of our life we are not fit to live within a thousand miles of the Garden of Eden. We are sinners. Had we stood there, we would have eaten. We probably would have picked the tree bare.

Eve was tempted in exactly the same three things that Jesus was tempted by in the wilderness. Why were they tempted inn the same three points? Because these three are still to this day the strongest temptations known to man. And because they work. They are listed in order in I John.....

I John 2:16 For everything in the world--the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does--comes not from the Father but from the world. You boil those down, they are temptations of The Physical, Mental and Spiritual. Every realm was tempted there. Today these same three strategies are still used because they are successful with every human being.

The first temptation of Eve attacked the authority of God. Here the snake said, "Hath GOD said..." He's questioning God, Himself, God's authority. "Eve, how do you know it was really God that said it?" "You were not even there!" "Maybe your husband sort of fabricated it." Was she there when God made that statement? No, she wasn't. So she got it second-handed.

Second temptation challenged the ACCURACY of God's word: "Has God said you shall not eat of EVERY tree of the garden?" "Did God say that? How do you know that something was not lost in the transmission. Eve? How do you know it's the correct translation of what Goad actually did say? Is what you just quoted accurate?"

Third; Satan questions whether God's word is ACCEPTABLE. Satan says: "Just look at this fruit. Does it look bad to you? Use your own intellect. Think for yourself here. Eve, think. If it was poison, I would be dead. I just ate it and I am not dead. This fruit is not bad. In fact just the opposite is true. I am a snake. Snakes do not talk. I am talking to you. How do you suppose I got this ability to talk? By eating this magic fruit. That's how it happened, Eve. Just think what would happen to you if you with your superior abilities were to eat this. What would you be if you ate this magic fruit? No wonder God does not want you to eat it. God is afraid that you will become like Him." Can you see how big a temptation this was? It was powerful.

I hate snakes. I should love them, God made them, but I hate snakes. Even the Bible says they are the most crafty of all creatures. Slimy slithery sneaky scary. The first snake was the worst snake. And the trouble is he is still up to his same tricks. More successful today than ever.

Step by step he led her down deep into sin.

Zombie-like, Eve played right into his hands. In fact, she mishandled the word of God. She added to God's word once and subtracted from His word twice. Did you catch that? Carefully notice what Eve says: Genesis 3:2,3 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.'"

See how she adds? God never mentioned touching the fruit. Eve added that. She misquotes the word of God. See how she subtracted? Notice her quotation very carefully. Genesis 2:16 KJV God said: "of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat." Eve left out BOTH superlatives. This robbed the word of much of its power. Now, maybe she couldn't quite remember. We can't say she forgot...Not with a photographic memory. She had a memory that was stronger than ours.

Eve imagined herself as becoming like God. Eve believed the talking snake. Why is it so much easier to believe the devil? She fancied that after a snack on this magic apple she would be able to astound Adam with her superior God-like knowledge. The attempt to become like God is the chief sin of all false religions and cults. Satan dangles before us the possibility of becoming more than God intends us to be.

Eve visualized herself entering a higher state. This is very similar to a youth today who dabbles with drugs. They think they will experience a new excitement. But you can't win, gambling with the devil. You will lose every time. It will kill you.

Genesis 3:6 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.

Eve saw, she desired, she took, she ate. Sin started by looking. Often times we follow our eyes. Be careful what you look at. You look at those magazine, you look at that other man, you look at that other woman, you look and you're going to be led into sin. So be careful what you look at. What you gaze upon, you will soon be willing to die to obtain. She took. She took that fruit. It was her own act, her own deed. Satan may tempt us, but he cannot force us; he may persuade but cannot physically compel. God never coerces and will not permit Satan to do it either. Satan urged Jesus to jump from the top of the temple but was not allowed to push Him down. The devil cannot force us.

Why is it that forbidden fruit always seems sweeter? Do you think that fruit tasted good? You bet it did! It was great. It was a good tree except it was forbidden. And what a pleasant way to become wise. "All I have to do is eat the fruit. I don't have to study, I don't have to take courses or go through a lot of work. All I have to do is eat this." Here is the core of covetousness. An attitude that says I need something I don't have in order to be happy. More wisdom. More money. More...

And so here's how to be smart. Just eat the magic apple. No homework, no study, no assignments. A shortcut to wisdom! Beware of shortcuts. Forbidden fruit might be sweet in the mouth but it is bitter poison in the stomach. An affair looks ever so wonderful, but afterwards it produces so much trouble and grief and loss.

I think there were many times Adam and Eve wished they didn't know so much. Satan tricked them into thinking that WHAT they had not experienced was worth risking everything to obtain. The arch Villain is a flannel mouth, a hypnotic smooth talker. Like he talked through the snake, today he may talk through your friends to say that you are missing out on something if you don't experience sex, drugs or alcohol and other so-called pleasures. If you youngsters yield to that temptation you will find that knowing too much about sin will bring you pain, misery and guilt.

When Eve bit into that fruit she became the property of Satan. She became the first human being to sin.

Genesis 3:6B- She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. He had evidently arrived or she had found him. Now notice that Satan did not tempt Adam at all. Who tempted Adam? Eve did. Eve became the tempter. The true purpose of our great foe is to turn the sinner into a seducer. Eve became a tool in the devils hands to hook her husband.

Eve was deceived. Adam was not deceived. I Timothy 2:14 And it was the woman, not Adam, who was deceived by Satan, and sin was the result. - NLT So Eve was deceived but Adam knew what he was doing.

Adams sin was larger than hers if sin has degrees. So, let's not blame Eve. Many men say to women, "Well, you started all this." She was deceived. Adam knew what he was doing.

He instantly knew she had fallen. He could never bring back her innocence. He would lose his wife. Of course God could make another woman, Adam still had many more ribs. But Adam loved Eve. He chose to follow his heart instead of his head and join his companion in sin.

He too ate a forbidden fruit. At that moment, the entire human race was fallen. Satan succeeded. Surely a shout of triumph and songs of pride went up from the camp of fallen angels, over two sinners that were defeated. Such a shame.

It would baffle all the theologians in the world to name which sin was absent from Adam's first violation. They were all there in seed form. They doubted God. They didn't trust God. Both Adam and Eve first sinned in their heart before the deeds erupted into action.

There were but two common parents of all human kind: We all come from Adam. And we all come from Noah. Those are the two. Adam was the Protoplast (the first created) and Noah the Retrofitter (the restorer of life after the flood). Both men failed due in part to appetite. One fell by eating and the other by drinking. Adam and Noah.

Praise God, Jesus Christ can restore us. Adam represented Jesus. And Eve strayed from Adam's side. And I believe there is a true example. We need to stay close to Jesus. Because if we're ever going to make it, we will not make it apart from Him. You need to stay close to the Lord. You need to stay close to His Word. This is your source of power. Eve had this and she did not use it properly. Make sure you know the bible. Make sure you stay close to your Savior, Jesus Christ and you will be safe. I want nothing between me and my Savior.

Opening Hymn: 6 O Worship the Lord
Scripture: Genesis 3:1-8
Closing Hymn: 322 Nothing between


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