THEIR EYES WERE OPENED,
AND THEY KNEW...
All Into Adam
Has The Devil Been Destroyed?
Reckon It So
Dead To The World -- Dead To Sin
And Their Eyes Were Opened
All Into Adam
"And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof" (Gen 2:19).
It is highly unlikely God was curious as to what Adam would call every living thing. For instance, He is the one who said, "...I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure" (Isa 46:10).
Without question, there was a more significant reason, and a key to this significance is found in one, seemingly insignificant word. It is the word unto. Rather than every living creature being brought (1)unto Adam for the purpose of curiously seeing what he would call them, it was something quite different. We find the Hebrew word ('al or 'el) can just as easily be translated into, depending, of course, on the context.
Although it may not be apparent at first, into is more accurate to use than unto. We gather confirmation of this when we read -- "And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden..." (Gen 2:25 & 3:1-2).
We cannot help from noticing some striking similarities with this naked couple and the subtle serpent. First, both words, naked and subtle come from the same Hebrew word (2)aram. Second, the woman and the serpent are communing with one another. These subtle creatures are having communion! Imagine that, man's first communion -- and it was with a snake, and it continues to this day!
How could that possibly be? Do you suppose this was remotely possible? Some have ignorantly said that God gave the serpent a human tongue and vocal cords. With these temporal miracles, he could then carry on a an intelligent conversation with the woman. Mundane minds contrive such notions, notions not worthy to be addressed. No, it was nothing so ridiculous as human vocal cords in a snake's throat.
The serpent was, and is, something closer to the woman than the man standing beside her. You see, the woman had been taken from man, separated from him, while the serpent was in the very midst of her. Is this news to some? It should not be; for it is of elementary understanding that the spirit of evil the one is in man rather than outside of him. The serpent's habitation is not in the dark shadows and byways of the world. This cunning creature is not "out there somewhere," but resides closer than any exterior presence. There is a place in man where the serpent safely dwells, and that place is in each person's carnal mind. The serpent had been brought into the man and woman, but I am not so sure it ever left her, except in evil, crafty, cunning, lustful manifestation.
Indeed, the spirit of the serpent was brought into the man and woman, and they gave it its name. They gave it its nature.
Again, "And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them "into" Adam to see (3)what (that which) he would call them: and whatsoever Adam (4)called every (5)living creature, that was the (6)name (nature) thereof" (Gen 2:19).
Every living creature was brought into Adam, into the man and the woman. This was to see (manifestation) that which he would be calling forth by his word. In calling them, their nature was given, and the woman, the mother of all living, delivered them, manifested them, into the world for every eye to see. How can this possibly be? "And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she (7)WAS THE MOTHER of ALL LIVING" (Gen 3:20). She was not to become the mother of all living at some future date -- but she WAS already the mother of all living. And we realize, this life-giving feat was and is inwardly, that which takes place in the soul of man.
Adam, the man and the woman together (Gen 1:27, 5:2), could not give the serpent a subtle character, or nature, if they were not characterized with a subtle nature themselves; but we know they had such a nature. Remember, they were both naked/subtle, and they were not ashamed.
We can see why they were not ashamed. They had never manifested their subtlety. Their eyes had not been opened to that shameful, crafty fact; yet that day would come for them to see what was in the dark shadows of their earthiness. And to think that so many desire so very much to go back to where we were before what is commonly called the fall of man. Incidently, the term is not to used in the Scriptures. It cannot be found. What it does say is that Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression; and the man and the woman, were driven from the garden (1 Tim 2:14, Gen 3:22-24, Gen 5:2). There was certainly a descending to a lower realm, that of death; but the fall is not used.
Notwithstanding, brethren, the point is clear, if we went back prior to casting the dragon from the heavens, we would be as subtle as the first couple. We would be no better off than the two who were the genesis of carnal man. Of course, many would love it that way. To have their paradise while retaining their crafty nature would be a dream come true. They would have communion continually with their hearts' desires; but the crux is, their communion would be with that of like nature -- the serpent of the field.
The fact is, it isn't necessary to go back to Eden to have that communion. Most of the church, and all of the world, are daily breaking bread with the serpent. Not only is this commonly practiced, this carnal communion is sweeping through the ranks of those who call themselves sons of God. It especially prevails with those who believe the devil has been destroyed and is not a factor in their lives.
Has The Devil Been Destroyed?
Some have said that the devil is dead, that he no longer exists, that he was destroyed by Jesus, and all we have to do is to realize it. Hebrews 2:14 is generally cited as the source for believing this; but this verse does not say that the devil was destroyed. Not by any means: "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He (8)might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil" (Heb 2:14).
While these people are growing older by the day, and dying, they declare with boldness, "The devil who has the power of death has been destroyed. I will, therefore, never die." Sadly, they do not see that their words are often inspired by the very thing they say is dead; namely, the devil, the spirit which inspires every carnal mind and presently works in the children of disobedience(Eph 2:2). Moreover, such statements indicate that they deny the obvious, and a few are blatantly proud of it.
Since they have expressed their view, I will express mine, and hopefully help to settle some dust in this arena. In this, we will delve into a short Greek lesson concerning this Greek word, which was translated might destroy:
Katargeo, or Katargese as it is in the Greek text, is the word in question. According to the Analytical Greek New Testament, it is an aorist active verb in the subjunctive mood. Since this means very little to most of us, we will borrow from the Beginner's Grammar of the Greek New Testament, Harper & Row Publishers. "...The aorist subjunctive does not denote past time. But the real time of the subjunctive is future in relation to the speaker or writer. The aorist (subjunctive) treats the action as a single whole without any reference to progress or completion. It is generally difficult to bring out the difference (between present subjunctive and aorist subjunctive) in an English translation."
Simply put, the subjunctive aorist is not a statement which declares a completed act. It speaks of an ongoing desire with no definite end in view. However, since it was completed in Christ our Lord, and we are in Him and He is in us -- we can rest assured He will bring it to an end.
Now that we see the mood of the subjunctive aorist, and how it relates to might destroy, it becomes evident what is being said in Hebrews 2:14. Namely, that the rendering idle of the devil is not a completed act of the past for every man. Although it was a completed fact with Jesus, it is not necessarily so with all others.
Even though it should be understood by everyone who reads these few words, we know enough about people and their favorite beliefs that the explanation above will change nothing in their minds. Yet this is not my concern today; for I write to those whose minds are stayed on the Lord Jesus, those who have a love for the word of the truth, even if it conflicts with presupposed ideas.
Let me say, however, there is a time when the serpent has no power or influence whatsoever. It is when we are caught up the throne of God, war in heaven is waged, and the dragon is cast out (Rev 12:5-9). He will then have been rendered idle. When there is no carnal mind, Satan is found cast into the bottomless pit, having no foundation upon which to stand. He is destroyed, rendered totally useless. Until then he will be seen manifesting his subtlety through religious minds.
In reference to dying, let me make a couple of statements. One will be a lie, and one will be the truth: "You shall not surely die," (Satan, the serpent) and "You shall never die" (Jesus, the dove). One is a lie and the other is the truth.
We know that from Satan's very beginning his lie murdered the man and woman. At no time has he ever stood in the truth, there is no truth in him, when he speaks it is a lie, and he is the father of lies (John 8:44). Therefore, it is easily said that his statement is the lie. And since we know Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and He cannot lie, we know He spoke the truth. But why is one a lie while the other is the truth? Both statements are primarily the same, so if one was true, why wouldn't the other be true?
The difference is in the source of the word and whether it is taken or received. When it is taken, as the woman took the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, we know ourselves and we die. When we receive the blessed, broken bread from the hand of Jesus, we know Him and we live. For He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
If we take to ourselves the word, You shall not surely die, we shall die. It matters not that we declare our aging and dying to be an illusion, we will die just the same. It matters not if muster all the faith possible in the profession that we will never die; we will die. And it matters not if we night and day name and claim immorality upon these mortal bodies. When we have been inspired by the serpent, and we take from that tempting tree -- we will die! We will die, even as a friend of ours died several years ago from cancer.
On her deathbed, and in her very last, laboring breaths, she continued to confess "I will not die." But she died. Believing the inspiring lie failed her, and her illusion of death became a harsh reality. Mary Baker Eddy's Christian Science revelation of what is illusion and what is real doesn't make the cut when it comes to truth. Truth comes by receiving from the Tree of Life, the broken bread of Jesus.
Reckon It So
For some it seems easier to believe they shall never die than it is to believe they are dead. And this is not in reference to the mortal bodies, but the old man being dead and the new man being dead to sin. For some reason, this line of thought is a hard one to embrace. However, when we receive the word of truth, regardless of what the word is, it is no hard thing to believe, or reckon it so.
For many years it was almost impossible to reckon ourselves to be dead to sin, as Paul so confidently wrote. He indicated that it can be embraced with little or no effort at all. Ha! What a laugh! It mattered not how we tried to reckon ourselves dead to sin, we seemed to always be very much alive to it. We were forever missing the mark and falling short of the target of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. What could have been the problem?
Ah, the problem was in our mental gymnastics, which found their power, more accurately, weakness, in our religious efforts. Our mental reckoning worked for a while, especially after sitting through fiery, faith building sermons, but it wouldn't last. We couldn't hold to it for more than a week, and then, back to church to try and reckon ourselves dead once more to sin.
It seems to be the same with entering God's rest and making an end to our praying. We think we finally have it, and we rejoice in the finished works as we make bold declarations that God's glory has filled the house. Yet, the days roll on as if nothing has happened. There seems to be no changes whatsoever. Perhaps we need to look at this reckoning again. In doing so, we will see if we can "reckon" at least one or two of God's finished works.
"Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over Him. For in that He died, He died unto sin once: but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God. LIKEWISE (9)reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom 6:9-11).
So, we have the verses again placed before us. Now what? Do we repeat them over and over until they are indelibly etched in our minds? Do we muster all the faith possible, believe with all our might, and claim that we are dead to sin? That has been done; but the answer is NO! Such has been our problem -- mental efforts. But we can reckon it so. We can take inventory, as the Greek word relates.
John Gavazzoni shared something about what it is to reckon, i.e., to take inventory. I will not attempt to quote his excellent word on this; but hopefully, I will be able to convey the message in my own way and retain the spirit of the word.
Let me ask, what does it mean to you if you owned a business, and you were taking inventory? Would you get your inventory papers together, muse in your mind what type of year you had (a lot of sales, not so many, very poor) and jot down some figures based on vague recollections or presumptions of your yearly activity? Or would you, perhaps, glance around the store and make an estimate of how much product you have on the shelves, and say, "I reckon I've got about $10,000 worth of stock."
Some people might do just that; but such reckoning does not satisfy IRS audits, nor does it measure up to good business principles. We may have never given it much thought; but this unorthodox method of reckoning has become the orthodox method in the churches for quite some time. In other words, they say, "Well, I am not sure how much life I have in God through Christ Jesus. You see, I'm only human and can never be perfect. And for sure, I know I am not completely dead to sin. That won't happen until I die and go to heaven. But concerning faith, I can gather up some during church or prayer time. It is in these sublime periods when I can muse in my mind about those sinful things I no longer do. And with that, I guess I can reckon that I am dead to sin, at least to those sins."
Don't laugh, now. You know that is the way it is. The words and thoughts may vary; but the scene is the same, and that scene is accepted as reckoning oneself dead. If we ran our business in that manner, we would be bankrupt in no time, and we wonder why so many are spiritually bankrupt.
To take inventory in a business is to count and record things that are physically present. You take your inventory sheet that lists every item you purchased throughout the year for resale, for manufacture, for supplies, etc. You go one shelf and storeroom at a time, and you count each item on every shelf and dusty corner. You then record on your inventory sheet how many of each item you physically have in stock. You don't assume you have so much of this or of that. You count everything and record it. At the end of the inventory, you know exactly what you have on hand. You know the value of each item, as well as the total of it all. There is no slip-shod way of taking inventory, not if it is done right, and so it is with reckoning yourselves dead unto sin.
We take inventory of that which is spiritually tangible. We count that which is a present reality. We mark it down in our minds, and we rejoice that we have had such a prosperous year in the life of Jesus Christ. Sin has no power over us; for we are alive in Christ which of necessity makes us dead to sin. In the Spirit life we do not desire sin, it is not an issue; for we are alive! Reckon it so!
If we keep trying to die to sin, then our testimony is that we are not alive in Christ. If we continually strive for perfection, our testimony is that we do not know that we are born of God, and our lives are not our own. We fail in knowing we are bought with a price, we are Christ's, and we are God's workmanship. In such striving we are declaring that God does not always do things with perfect precision. If we are forever aspiring to become a son of God, then we do not know who we are, and we think sonship can be obtained by sweat, by tears, and by works of the flesh. Although we are placed as sons in the proper season, it cannot be rushed.
If we are struggling to enter the Kingdom of God, then we do not believe the Kingdom is already in us. It may be difficult to believe the Kingdom is anywhere near us; but it matters not what the manifestation in our lives may be, the Kingdom of God is inside (entos) us, right now (Luke 17:21).
Dear ones, let us know this one thing -- the ultimate futility is the attempt to enter where we already are. However, let us also know that if perchance we cannot see it or know its reality, then with patience let us wait for it and never claim something due to mere wishful presumption. If the dawn of this day is not breaking with spring-like freshness, be sure to know that it will come in due season. It will be known and seen, and when that bountiful season arrives, we will come to the end of praying for it. Once our Lord gives His broken bread, as with the two He walked with to Emmaus, our eyes will be opened and we will hold dear to our hearts the prize of the High Calling in Christ Jesus.
If we do not have that prize solidified in our lives, with confidence we will press toward it; but know this, my friends, that mark is not an unreachable goal. It is not some ethereal realm that people can only dream about. The goal of that prize is presently in our very midst. Although its unveiling may be lacking for the most part, it is here; for the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus is one of God's finished works in which He rests. And we are called to believe and to enter that same rest. If we cannot believe it, let us not get beside ourselves with those who do believe it. Rather than getting in a tizzy and denying where they stand, let us inquire of the Spirit and see if we can not only stand there as well, but walk in it.
Dead To The World -- Dead To Sin
When we reckon ourselves dead to sin, just what does this mean to us? We know it has to do with taking inventory and marking it as a finished fact, but what is it to be truly dead to sin? Let us put it this way: If a person is physically dead, he is dead to the world. He cannot respond in any way to the world around him; for he is dead. The world can no longer inspire, encourage, tempt or entice the man whatsoever. It cannot hurt, depress, or cause anguish to the man in any way. There is no fragment of the world that is powerful enough to reach inside the man's body and cause it to respond. Beat the body, and there will be no grimacing of pain, tickle the feet and there will be no reflex or smile to break over the rigid face, blast a cannon over the head and it will not cause the slightest flutter of the eyelids. For he is dead to the world.
To be dead to sin is the same. If we are dead to sin, we cannot respond to it in any way; for we are dead. Sin can no longer inspire, depress, tempt or entice us whatsoever. There is no fragment of sin that is powerful enough to reach inside and cause us to respond. Bombard us with sin from every direction, and we will not submit to its force. Dangle a pretty piece of flesh before us and there will be no wanton smile to break over our face etched in Christ, and blast a cannon ball of lust, perversion, greed, power, and vanity over our heads will not cause the slightest flutter or blink from our single eye in Christ. For we are dead to sin!
"Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for His seed remaineth in him: AND HE CANNOT SIN, because he is born of God" (1 John 3:9). Do we believe this? Indeed -- WE CANNOT SIN!
You disagree? Oh my, I can already hear the wailing drones and lamenting cries of dead men, saying -- "We are not dead! We are alive to the world! We have a nature to sin, and without self-control and the bridle and bit of the law holding us back -- we are sure we would quickly fall to the wiles of the devil and fill every lust our hearts could imagine! Therefore, we will set our minds to do good, abstain from evil, and put forth our hands to fulfill every law."
This, of course, does not fit every believer; but it is the covering for many. Oh foolish "Christians." Who hath bewitched you? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
Let me ask -- Who are the "WE" which John said CANNOT SIN? They, of course, are the "WHOSOEVER ARE BORN OF GOD." Also, with whom do we identify? It is He of whom we were born; namely, GOD OUR FATHER! Our identity, our existence, our life, the person we are -- is all of God! And if we happen to miss the mark, it is as Paul said, "Now then it is no more I that do it, but SIN that dwelleth in me" (Rom 7:17). If we have a houseguest who lives below our standard, are we that houseguest merely because he resides with us? Of course not! Yet traduced minds believe the sin which dwells in our members, in our minds, is who we are. Let them embrace the lie and die; but I will not.
Now then, Reckon yourselves dead -- "For YE ARE DEAD, and your life is hid with Christ in God" (Col 3:3). "My Brethren, YOU ALSO WERE PUT TO DEATH by the LAW through the BODY of the ANOINTED one, in order that you may BELONG to another, -- to HIM who was RAISED from the Dead, that we should bring forth fruit to God" (Diaglott). Jesus said, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will (10)draw all men unto me" (John 12:32). And to where do we suppose He was going to be lifting all men? Into the heights of the heavens with Him, of course, but first upon the cross with Him so they could also die, and then be raised with Him. In the same manner we know we are raised in life with Him, we should also know we died with Him. Neither, however, will come until it is revealed from on high.
In due season, we will see that WE DIED with Jesus, the Anointed Son of God. Although the written word is clear on this point, we have had a hard time understanding that we were with Him that fateful day, and the Law put us to death with Him. We died when He died, and we, in seed form, were raised from death by the Law of Life. However, it was not manifested until we were born of the Spirit and became aware of and began to respond to the One with whom we died and were raised with, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Hopefully, we can now see that it is possible of us to truly present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God; for that which is presented to God is an offering to God, a burnt offering while we yet live in these vessels of earth. When our praying to be made perfect comes to an end, the burnt offering is consumed (2 Chr 7:1). And we surely know that it is the NEW MAN, THE PURE SACRIFICE which is offered and consumed. We should never offer unto God the dead corpse of the old man of sin, or our failings, shortcomings, sin. Surrender those things, yes; but the offering is to be the pure, New Man of Christ Jesus. This offering is to be those who follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth, (brought as a Lamb to the slaughter, Isa 53:7). These are the ones redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb (Rev 14:4).
Now that we see the devil is not totally rendered idle in everyone's life, let us be reminded -- the serpent's habitation is not in the dark shadows and avenues of the world. This cunning creature resides closer than any outward presence. That place is in man, in the flourishing fields of each person's carnal mind. It is in the heavens of their souls where communion bread is so irreverently taken.
And Their Eyes Were Opened
"And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked..." (Gen 3:4-7).
Isn't it interesting that the woman was so inspired that her eyes were opened and she saw. The first communion brought the first revelation, and that is exactly what she had -- a revelation!
A revelation is seeing something that is already present, but unperceived. The man and the woman were subtle in Genesis 2:25, but they did not know it, and in not knowing it, they could not be ashamed. It was not until their subtlety was manifested that they saw themselves as they were. And the spirit of inspiration that sparked such interest in the woman was that of the serpent, the spirit which inspires the carnal mind. There is a spirit which inspires the carnal mind, and there is a spirit which inspires the spiritual mind -- one is the spirit of the serpent and the other is the Spirit of the Dove. Either can open one's eyes to see. Either can bring a person to revelations beyond the scope of natural vision. And both inspirations and revelations are sweeping through the ranks of the Kingdom today. Which inspiration is opening our eyes -- the one which causes us to know ourselves or the one to know Him?
To be continued...
Elwin R. Roach
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1. unto: (No. 91 'el) "unto, into, beside, against, in reference to. ...The motion something carries 'into' that which is approached, as Gen 6:18 'into the ark.'"
(No. 93a ('l) god, God.) (Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament).
2. 'aram, to be (or make) bare... (through the idea of smoothness) to be cunning (usually in a bad sense) (Strong's Exhaustive. Concordance.)
3. what: mah...exclamation what! (how!)...(whatever, and...that which) (Strong's).
4. called: qara'...to call out to (i.e... address by name...) (Strong's).
5. living: chay, alive; hence raw (flesh); fresh...also life (or living thing), whether literally or figuratively (Strong's).
6. name: shem...through the idea of definite and conspicuous position...an appelation, as a mark or memorial of individuality; by implication honor, authority, character. (Strong's)
7. "...for she hath been mother of all living" (Young's Literal Translation)
"...because she was the mother of all living" (The Torah)
8. might destroy: katargeo, to be (render) entirely idle (useless), literally or figuratively (Strong's).
9. reckon: "logizomai, from G3056 (logos); to take an inventory, i.e. estimate."
"logos, something said (including the thought)... a computation; especially (with the article in John) the Divine Expression (i.e. Christ)" (Strong's).
10. draw: helko, prob. akin to G138; to drag.
G138. haireomai, prob. akin to G142; to take for oneself. G142. airo, a prime verb; to lift (Strong's)