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The Truth Shall Make You Free



CHAPTER VIII

DIVINE MANDATE SUSPENDED

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AS JEHOVAH sentenced Satan the Devil to extinction but permitted him to remain for a fixed time before execution of the sentence, so likewise the all-wise God did not immediately destroy the rebellious Adam and Eve. It was within God's power to kill them then and there in keeping with the penalty, "Thou shalt surely die." Then God could have created a new man and woman and issued to that innocent pair the divine mandate anew. Then the fulfillment of the divine mandate to populate the earth with righteous offspring would have gone forward without further delay and interruption. However, such divine mandate must be carried out under a righteous invisible overlord, accompanied by a heavenly spirit organization. Man's first overlord had turned traitor and wicked, but God was not then removing him or destroying him from his position of invisible power over the earth and its creatures. Hence, too, God let Adam and his wife remain, but not to fulfill the divine mandate. Having become unrighteous, they were not suitable to God's purpose and God withdrew from them that privilege. God let them remain

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that their offspring might serve for the purpose of the fiery test of integrity, and that at last his holy name might be declared throughout all the earth and be vindicated.

Haying set up court in Eden and first of all disposed of the Serpent's case by the judgment rendered, Jehovah God then turned to the first transgressor of the guilty human pair. "Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee."  — Genesis 3:16.

This was not an authorization to fulfill the divine mandate, neither was it a restatement of the mandate. It was not a saying that the carrying out of the mandate would be a painful process, and that it should be speeded up. Foreknowing the world-wide calamity that would be taking place about sixteen hundred years later and almost completely depopulating the earth, God could not in the above words to the woman have been authorizing a speed-up of the divine mandate. The world catastrophe to come would make such a thing of no advantage whatsoever and would completely neutralize the quickened human generation. Jehovah's words to the woman prove that the mandate had been withdrawn from Adam and his wife and would be reserved for worthy obedient ones later. For these deserving ones the fulfilling of the mandate will be no sorrow.

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God pronounced the disobedient woman imperfect, and hence her body would not function as would that of a perfect woman or a righteous woman when bearing children to fulfill the mandate. To the contrary, there would be suffering, and it would increase to womankind. Besides, the woman, without any expressed desire on her husband's part, had run ahead and eaten of the forbidden fruit and then offered him some. Thereby she thrust upon him an inducement to selfish desire. Rebellion and fall into sin by the man resulted. Differently henceforth, the imperfect man should rule over the woman, and the expression of her desire should be made to him for satisfaction. Freedom from lust and pain was gone!

"And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." (Genesis 3:17-19) In this pronouncement of judgment upon the man the great Giver of life declared the right of Adam to everlasting life to be canceled, and also his right to enjoy life in the paradise of Eden. Out into the open field he must now go!

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In what way was the field or ground outside the paradise garden cursed? As yet in man's existence it had not rained upon the earth, "but there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground." (Genesis 2: 5, 6) Instead of those fields outside the garden which God planted responding to this watering by the mist and everywhere blooming as a park or garden, the fields would incline to produce thorns and thistles. "For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: but that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned." (Hebrews 6: 7, 8) In view of man's accursed rebellion God would not bless the soil of the field and relieve it of the thorn and thistle problem, but man would have to struggle with it.

Thenceforth man would not freely eat of the fruit trees of Paradise, but would be obliged to eat the herb of the field outside. No more dressing and keeping of the garden for him in pleasure, but working out in the wild-grown fields and tilling the soil, and that with sweat-producing exertions. He would now not be working for his Creator, whom he had renounced as God of truth in favor of the Serpent of religion. Hence Adam would not receive the reward of life unending for his efforts. His days were numbered, and would be comparatively few when compared with the eternity of life which he might

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have enjoyed in Paradise on earth. The end of his laborious efforts would be to go back to the condition of the formless dust and earth which he was trying to cultivate.

"The first man is of the earth, earthy." (1 Corinthians 15: 47) For that reason, having sinned and squandered away his life, he must go back to the ground; for, said God, "dust thou art; and unto dust shalt thou return." God was not there speaking to the man's body, but he was speaking to the human soul, that is, the living creature, Adam. God did not say that Adam's body would return to the dust, and that an intelligent, intangible something inhabiting his body would separate itself from the body at death and go to an invisible realm to be tormented with flame. No; but when Adam should die, then the human soul would die, and there would be left nothing intelligent, conscious or living about the man. God's own decree declares: "The soul that sinneth, the same shall die." (Ezechiel 18: 4, 20, Douay) The intelligent, sense-possessing, conscious, breathing creature ceases to exist, and thus the soul dies. The body, which is the material foundation of the soul or living creature, finally crumbles to the dust.

At death Adam, or his wife Eve, or any other human sinner, cannot go to any other place than to the dust from which humankind is made. The human soul does not continue a living, conscious existence either to be tormented or to be made happy eternally somewhere else. For truthful cause, therefore, God's Word says, at Psalm

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146: 3,4: "Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish."

No contradiction to the above truth is found in God's Word at Ecclesiastes 12: 6, 7, which reads: "Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it." God's Holy Bible is completely harmonious throughout its entire sixty-six books. So this Scripture text can not mean that at death Adam's body broke down to dust but an invisible conscious inner self left the body and ascended to heaven. Concerning Adam and all men down to his day Jesus Christ said: "No man hath ascended up to heaven." Jesus knew, because he came down from heaven to bear witness to the truth. — John 3:13.

No promise had been made to Adam of life at last in heaven, even if he should remain obedient and faithful. Truly, the spirit of the one dying returns to God who gave it. What was it that God gave Adam, combining it with his earthly body I Read again the record, at Genesis 2:7: "God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." God gave man the breath of life, that is, the life forces or the power of life which is sustained by breathing. This is what is meant by "the

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spirit", and this is what returns to God who gave it. Regarding the spirit that returns, the same book of Ecclesiastes, at 3:19-21, states: "Therefore the death of man, and of beasts is one, and the condition of them both is equal: as man dieth, so they also die: all things breathe alike, and man hath nothing more than beast: all things are subject to vanity. And all things go to one place: of earth they were made, and into earth they return together. Who knoweth if the spirit of the children of Adam ascend upward, and if the spirit of the beasts descend downward?" (Douay) By reason of the wording of the Douay translation it is not discernible that the above words breathe and spirit translate the same Hebrew word, ruach; which word is also translated air and wind in still other Bible verses. — Job 41:16; 1:19; Genesis 8:1.

In the light of the foregoing it is clear that when Jesus, dying on the tree, said, "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit," he was commending to his heavenly Father his power of life. He trusted that on the third day God would restore the power of life and would raise him from the dead. — Luke 23: 46.

So, then, Adam and his wife having been personally on trial and having failed therein and been sentenced to death, only death and extinction awaited them. God's judgment having been righteously entered against them and being infallible, Jehovah God does not change on the matter. He does not deny or contradict himself. (1 Samuel 15: 29) No children having been born

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to Adam and Eve at the time to share with them in the trial and judgment and sentence, the situation with their offspring was therefore different and their children were therefore not beyond redemption. God said nothing concerning their offspring except that they should be born with sorrow to the mother. "And Adam called his wife's name Eve [Chavvah; Living]; because she was the mother of all living. Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them." (Genesis 3: 20, 21, margin) If this clothing of their loins with skins of animals meant anything, it appears to say that their offspring, who were yet unborn within their loins, could not be redeemed and have their sins covered except by the sacrifice of a victim equal in value to their father Adam when perfect in Eden.

The carrying out of the death sentence upon Adam and Eve must now begin. If they were permitted to remain in Eden with the Serpent, the possibility remained that the Serpent would guide them to the "tree of life also in the midst of the garden" and identify it to them. They would then eat of it and, although unworthy of eternal life on earth, they would claim immunities against death and guarantees of life for ever, thus bringing reproach upon God's name, word and law. "And Jehovah God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever — therefore Jehovah God sent him forth

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from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken." (Genesis 3: 22, 23, A.R.V.) God thereby showed his supremacy over the Devil and prevented a condition from arising where God would appear to be bound to let rebellious sinners live forever. God's perfect righteousness and justice could not permit such an inconsistent thing. This is proof that he will not permit sin or Devil to exist for ever.

"So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden the Cherubim, and the flame of a sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life." (Genesis 3: 24, A.R.V.) Lucifer, who had for a time been the "anointed cherub that covereth", had betrayed his trust, and only further treachery could be expected of him. Therefore Jehovah God, who "sitteth above the cherubim", stationed a guard of these cherubim at the entrance way of the garden, and also a flaming, fiery sword of execution. Adam and Eve thereby became acquainted with such heavenly creatures as representatives of God. No man could get past those cherubic guards to seize the means of life contrary to God's will and judgment. Much less can any man ascend up to heaven and get past the faithful cherubim who bear up and are loyal to God's throne, in order to gain life for the descendants of Adam.

Those cherub guards ever barred Adam's path and enforced his exile to the fields outside Eden, till the day of his death. "And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and

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thirty years: and he died." (Genesis 5:5) He did not live out a full thousand-year period. Of God it is written: "One day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." (2 Peter 3:8) Thus computing a thousand years as one day, Adam died in the same day



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that he ate of the prohibited fruit. Furthermore, in the twenty-four-hour day during which he ate the fruit at his wife's hand the great Judge pronounced sentence of death upon him and Adam's right to life was canceled. So, in God's sight, Adam became a dead man that very day in Eden; more so when God drove out Adam and Eve and made it impossible to get to the tree of life amidst the garden. Though centuries long in reaching the climax, God's word was finally vindicated upon Adam: "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Satan failed to prove his religious contention to Adam and Eve, "Ye shall not surely die." The majesty, immutability and supremacy of God's law was upheld, whereas religion failed to give Adam and Eve wisdom, or knowledge, or godlikeness, or immortality

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There is not a scrap of evidence that Adam repented. He was a willful rebel and was beyond repentance, and his sentence is beyond recall. Eve's death is not even mentioned. Adam died and went nowhere but to the dust from which he had been taken.



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