Part 7—“Your Will Be Done on Earth”
It is the will of Jehovah God the Creator that must be done on earth. The proof of that fact is what we learned in Chapter 2 of the book “Your Will Be Done on Earth.” Chapter 3, in which we now find ourselves, dwells on “The Need of a Sanctuary.” For thousands of years past men have built sanctuaries for the worship of their gods, but these have all been either desecrated or destroyed. Even the temple of Jehovah God in Jerusalem was destroyed long ago. Is there no real sanctuary with a permanent holiness or sanctity? Whereas the heavens are as a throne to God the Creator, the earth is his footstool and should be kept holy. The garden of Eden in which God put the first man and woman was in reality a sanctuary, a sacred, holy place, especially so because God visited it and conversed with man. However, one of God’s heavenly spirit sons rebelled against Him and proceeded to introduce sin into the garden of Eden and thus to desecrate the holy place. He made himself Satan the Devil.
7. By keeping Paradise a sanctuary, what would it be possible for Adam and Eve to do, and what special command was it possible for them to break, and with what penalty?
7 By keeping the Paradise of Eden a holy place or sanctuary it would be possible for Adam and Eve to live in it with their children forever. In this garden spot God had planted a special tree, which he called the “tree of the knowledge of good and bad.” As long as God did not want man to eat of it, man’s eating of it would be wrong, disobedient to his heavenly Parent, sinful against his God. “And Jehovah God also laid this command upon the man: ‘From every tree of the garden you may eat to satisfaction. But as for the tree of the knowledge of good and bad you must not eat from it, for in the day you eat from it you will positively die.’” (Gen. 2:9, 16, 17) There the Lawgiver Jehovah God declared the penalty for sin to be, not everlasting living torment of the human soul, but a positive death, a ceasing to live and exist. Adam, in God’s image and likeness, understood both his heavenly Father’s command and also the punishment that would be given him for breaking that command. After his heavenly Father gave him the perfect woman Eve as his wife, Adam told her about their Father’s command, because, as Adam said, “this is at last bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. This one will be called Woman, because from man this one was taken.”—Gen. 2:23.
8. Why, when and how did Satan the Devil attack the rightness of God’s law to them?
8 From this commandment Satan the Devil knew the point upon which he could test the obedience of Adam and Eve to their heavenly Father and their exclusive devotion to their God. He was, of course, invisible to Eve, he being a spirit creature. But he made his presence manifest and presented his suggestions to wrongdoing and sin by means of a beast of the field, a serpent. Adam was not just then there to ask. So by the serpent, Satan the Devil asked Eve, not for gossip, but seemingly for information: “Is it really so that God said you must not eat from every tree of the garden?” Eve correctly answered: “Of the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat. But as for eating of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You must not eat from it, no, you must not touch it for fear you may die.’” Eve had not been left ignorant of the law of the Paradise sanctuary. By the serpent, Satan the Devil now attacked the rightness of that law. “At this the serpent said to the woman: ‘You positively will not die. For God knows that in the very day of your eating from it your eyes are bound to be opened and you are bound to be like God, knowing good and bad.’”—Gen. 3:1-5.
9. (a) What was the serpent’s statement to Eve? (b) In not appreciating this, how could she reason herself into lawbreaking, and how could she argue for the serpent’s rightness?
9 That statement was slander; and it is slander that makes a devil. But Eve did not realize that this was a slander against God, her heavenly Father. She was “thoroughly deceived.” What was she to do now? If God’s command was unjust, based upon false propositions, was it wrong for her to rebel against injustice and take the law into her own hand? Besides, the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and bad was harmless, really a food. How good-looking it was! And what a wonderful thing it would be to have one’s eyes opened to see into things as never before and to be like God himself in knowing good and bad for oneself! Why, then, be theocratic by obeying any further this unrighteous, foundationless law of her God and Father? So, in a democratic way and spirit, Eve began taking of the fruit of the forbidden tree and eating it. Ah, she did not drop dead at the first bite! So the serpent must have been right about that, Eve could argue, deceived.
10. What did Eve thus start off on earth, and how would she have her husband die with her if the penalty of the lawbreaking was really that?
10 Eve had let her confidence in her heavenly Father be ruined. In her the start was made of something that is so widespread today, disobedience to parents. After eating her first piece of forbidden fruit Eve may have felt democratic through this sort of “people’s action.” But she did not feel like God, as the serpent had promised. Neither did she then have her eyes morally opened to see the badness of her disobedience. Besides, if there was anything to it about dying for going against God’s law, then she would have her husband Adam die with her, by persuading him to eat with her. Hence afterward she offered the fruit to Adam, the head of our family.
11. Between what kinds of action did Adam now have to choose, and why was he willful in sinning?
11 What was Adam now to do? Be theocratic by bowing to God’s rulership and sovereignty, or be democratic and let the people on earth rule? Would he keep God’s Edenic sanctuary holy and free from the sin of disobedience, a place where Jehovah is worshiped as God? Or would he let Eve’s desire to be like God influence him? So would he deny his God and Creator and show pride and set himself up as God, in place of Jehovah? Adam decided to please Eve by eating with her in a condoning of her sin and also to please himself by keeping alongside her and sharing with her the consequences of her sin, the announced punishment of death. He knew what he was doing: “For Adam was formed first, then Eve. Also Adam was not deceived, but the woman was thoroughly deceived and came to be in transgression.” (1 Tim. 2:13, 14) Contrary to God-given knowledge, Adam acted against his headship over the human family. He sinned willfully.—Gen. 3:6, 7.
12, 13. What worship did Adam thus set up in Eden, and how was he making himself to God, according to the principle of God’s law to Israel?
12 Adam, as the responsible decider, had set up false worship in the Edenic sanctuary. It was the worship of self, the worship of the created person instead of the Creator. By breaking God’s law he had in himself lifted himself up above theocratic law. He had made himself lofty, making a god of himself to decide what was good and what was bad from his own viewpoint. He made himself detestable, abominable or disgusting. Long afterward the wise man said: “Everyone that is proud in heart is something detestable to Jehovah.” And Jesus Christ said: “God knows your hearts; because what is lofty among men is a disgusting thing in God’s sight.” (Prov. 16:5; Luke 16:15) In King Solomon’s day and in Jesus’ day there were many animals, birds and insects that God’s law pronounced unclean for the Israelites to eat. Eating such creatures made the Israelites unclean, abominable, loathsome or disgusting to God the Giver of the Ten Commandments and the law concerning clean foods. In the law of his covenant with Israel he commanded:
13 “Do not make your souls loathsome with any swarming creature that swarms, and you must not defile yourselves with them so that you actually get defiled by them. For I am Jehovah your God, and you must sanctify yourselves and you must prove yourselves holy, because I am holy.” Also: “You must not make your souls loathsome with the beast and the fowl and anything that goes creeping on the ground that I have divided off for you in declaring them unclean.”—Lev. 11:43, 44; 20:25.
14. By eating forbidden food, how did Eve and Adam make their souls to God, did such souls deserve to live in Eden, and how did they now feel in Eden?
14 Many of such beasts, fowls and insects were in the Edenic sanctuary. The tree of the knowledge of good and bad was also in the same garden sanctuary. That special tree was forbidden as food to Adam and Eve, just as those many animals were later declared unclean to the Israelites for food. As in the case of the Israelites under God’s law to them, Adam and Eve committed an abominable, disgusting thing by eating of the forbidden fruit. By eating it they made their souls loathsome, abominable, disgusting to Jehovah God, who is holy and who desires his intelligent creatures to be holy. Did such now loathsome souls as Adam and Eve deserve to live forever? No! Could such abominable disgusting things be allowed to remain in such a holy place as that Edenic Paradise sanctuary? No! Immediately after Adam gave his approval to sin against God by eating forbidden fruit, he and his wife felt out of place in that sanctuary which God sanctified by having fellowship with them there. They felt nakedly unpresentable to him and tried to hide from him.
15. As what had they now set themselves up, and through what form of selfishness, and why was there no room for them as such in Eden?
15 In this way Adam and Eve lost their holiness. By taking the law into their own hand and acting against God’s righteous law, they had in effect set themselves up as gods, idolizing themselves by a form of greediness. Christians are warned that no “greedy person—which means being an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of the Christ and of God.” They are warned against “covetousness, which is idolatry.” (Eph. 5:5; Col. 3:5) In God’s Edenic sanctuary there was no room for idolaters, for false gods, for self-made gods; because idols and false gods are an abomination or disgusting thing to the one living and true God, Jehovah.
16. Against doing what to his sanctuary does Jehovah protest, and what did Jehovah have to do to his Edenic sanctuary?
16 Jehovah protests against putting idols in the sanctuary. Concerning the ancient Jews he said: “‘The sons of Judah have done what is bad in my eyes,’ is the utterance of Jehovah. ‘They have set their disgusting things in the house upon which my name has been called, in order to defile it.’” (Jer. 7:30; 32:34) The continued presence of Adam and Eve was defiling to the Edenic Paradise sanctuary. They had not earned any right to eat from the “tree of life in the middle of the garden” and be thereby licensed to live forever on earth. So God took action to cleanse his sanctuary.
17. In pronouncing sentence upon the serpent, the Devil’s tool, whom did God mean by the serpent’s seed and by the woman?
17 On the false god Satan the Devil he pronounced the sentence of destruction. This he did with these words to the serpent that the Devil had used in deceiving Eve: “Because you have done this thing, you are the cursed one out of all the domestic animals and out of all the wild beasts of the field. Upon your belly you will go and dust is what you will eat all the days of your life. And I shall put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed. He [the woman’s seed] will bruise you in the head and you will bruise him in the heel.” (Gen. 3:14, 15) By such words God did not mean the seed of the literal serpent. He meant the seed of the false god who was like the serpent, Satan the Devil. In the same way, God did not mean the earthly children of the literal woman, the sinner Eve. He meant the seed or offspring of his holy universal organization, which he now, for the first time, compared with a woman, a wife married to him in heaven.—Isa. 54:5.
18. Whom did God mean by the woman’s seed?
18 The seed of God’s universal organization must be his first created and chief Son, who became the man Christ Jesus that he might be made the “one mediator between God and men.” (1 Tim. 2:5) With him is associated his faithful congregation of 144,000 footstep followers, who are pictured in the Revelation to John as the twenty-four “elders” seated on thrones around God’s heavenly throne. To these Christians who gain the victory over Satan the Devil as that old Serpent these words are written: “For his part, the God who gives peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.” (Rom. 16:20) This links them with the fulfillment of God’s promise, at Genesis 3:15, that the woman’s seed must bruise the Serpent.
19. What did God directly tell Eve, and how did he then disabuse her mind of Satan’s lie?
19 God told the sinner Eve that she would not be put to death at once. She would be permitted to bring forth many children, but this with labor pains. Her husband would dominate her till death. Then God disabused Eve’s mind of the lie that Satan the Serpent had told when Satan said that she and Adam would not positively die for eating the forbidden fruit. In Eve’s hearing God said to Adam: “Because you listened to your wife’s voice and took to eating from the tree concerning which I gave you this command: ‘You must not eat from it,’ cursed is the ground on your account. In pain you will eat its produce all the days of your life. And thorns and thistles it will grow for you, and you must eat the vegetation of the field. In the sweat of your face you will eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For dust you are and to dust you will return.”—Gen. 3:16-19.
20. What food was Adam now to eat, what ground was cursed for him, where was he to return to the dust, and why did he not go to heaven at death?
20 Adam was no longer to cultivate and take care of the Edenic sanctuary. He was unclean, unholy. He was no longer to eat Paradise food, but the “vegetation of the field,” getting it with the sweat of his face. It was not the Paradise sanctuary that was cursed on Adam’s account, but it was the ground outside; and this, and not the Paradise sanctuary, was the part of the earth that was to grow thorns and thistles for him. The Edenic Paradise sanctuary was not to be marred by graves of sinners, but it was to the dust of the ground outside the Paradise sanctuary to which Adam was to return. “The first man is out of the earth and made of dust; the second man [Jesus Christ] is out of heaven.” (1 Cor. 15:47) So Adam was not to go to heaven at death. Being of the earth, he went back to where he had come from, the dust. The life force that animated him then returned to God who had given it.—Eccl. 12:7.
21. To what other fruit was Adam now not entitled, and what did God do to prevent his trying to eat it?
21 To prevent Adam from taking hold of another fruit to which he was not entitled, the fruit of the tree of life along with which the grant of eternal life went, what was done? “Jehovah God put him out of the garden of Eden to cultivate the ground from which he had been taken. And so he drove the man out and posted at the east of the garden of Eden the cherubs and the flaming blade of a sword that was turning itself continually to guard the way to the tree of life.”—Gen. 3:22-24.
22. What would trying to get back into the Paradise sanctuary have meant, and what shows whether there was anything that happened to remove the sentence from Adam and Eve?
22 In any attempt to get back into the Paradise sanctuary Adam would have been blocked by those cherubs. Since he could not make his way back into the earthly Paradise because of those cherubs, much less could he make his way into the greater sanctuary of heaven, where many more cherubs would be ready to block him. Any trying to make his way to the tree of life in the middle of the garden to gain life on earth forever would have meant walking into destruction by the flaming blade of that revolving sword. Yet even outside the sanctuary Adam lived for hundreds of years. During all those centuries was there anything that happened that removed the death sentence from Adam and Eve? No; there was no change in the estrangement from God. “So all the days of Adam that he lived amounted to nine hundred and thirty years and he died.” (Gen. 5:5) Adam earned the wages that sin pays—death.—Rom. 6:23.
(To be continued)