FRIDAY MORNING MANNA
October 3, 2014
Biblical Numerology: NUMBER TWO – Part IV
THE TWO ADAMS CONTRASTED
On the sixth and last day of creation week, the Creator personally hand-crafted from the dust of the ground the father and representative of the human race–a different order of created beings. As the Creator’s crowning act and masterpiece, Adam alone was made in the image and likeness of God, endowed with free moral agency for a high and noble purpose—to honor the Creator as His human counterpart.
As a free moral agent, he was given a will that is the governing power in the nature of man to intellectually, spiritually, and willingly choose to obey his Creator out of love that is greater than hope and faith.
Though crowned king in Eden, Adam’s gratitude, love, faith, trust, and loyalty to His Maker in that sinless state had to be first tested and proved; untested character is unreliable. God placed the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the midst of the Garden of Eden, near the tree of life as the means of testing Adam and Eve—the latter created, not from the dust of the ground as Adam was, but from one of his ribs, to be his help-mate and co-equal for their mutual happiness, and to procreate and populate the fair earth with Eden-like homes through their posterity. But the divine plan was temporarily thwarted by the first experiment with sin—the transgression of God’s law.
Out of fatal curiosity, Eve was first to transgress God’s command by straying from her husband’s side, then approaching the forbidden tree. One little step led to another. Soon she was engaged in a conversation with the disguised master deceiver, who had previously deceived one third of the angels in heaven to question the applicability of God’s law upon them, sinless beings.
These seeds of doubt broke out into open rebellion against God’s authority and Christ’s pre-eminence over the hosts of heaven. The record of the Biblical archives reveal that: “War broke out in heaven: Michael (Christ’s title as Commander-in-Chief of the angelic host) and His angels fought against the dragon (Satan); and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” Rev. 12: 7-9, N.K.J.V.
The mother of mankind was hypnotized by the crafty, smooth-taking father of lies, camouflaged in dazzling appearance. But she placed herself where she would be tempted and yielded to temptation when most vulnerable—doing exactly what God forbade—to partake of the fruit of the forbidden tree. Finding herself alive and feeling strangely exhilarated, and imagining it to be the exaltation God had selfishly withheld from them, according to Satan’s suggestion, she persuaded her husband to follow her.
Adam fell by choosing to disobey God’s command for an additional reason. None of them were hungry though the test was also on appetite—lust of the flesh and lust of the eye.” Adam realized too late what his wife had done. She would die. Both had been instructed and warned by the angels and God Himself of what happened in heaven, bidding them to be constantly on guard.
Out of uxuriousness, “inordinate love for one’s wife,” Adam took the fruit from Eve’s hands and hastily ate of the fruit. He chose to disobey God and share Eve’s fate thus manifesting lack of faith under test and trial, even in his sinless nature. Referring to the chain of events recorded in Genesis 1: 26-28; 2: 7-25; 3: 1-24, Paul reiterates: “For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.” 1 Tim. 2: 13, 14.
CHRIST, THE SECOND ADAM. See 1 Cor. 15: 45-49. (Rom 5: 12-19; 1 Cor. 15: 22, 45; Heb. 12: 14-18; 4: 15.). “When Adam was assailed by the tempter in Eden he was without taint of sin. He stood in the strength of his perfection before God. All the organs and faculties of his being were equally developed, and harmoniously balanced.
“Christ, in the wilderness of temptation, stood in Adam’s place to bear the test he failed to endure. Here Christ overcame in the sinner’s behalf, four thousand years after Adam turned his back upon the light of his home. Separated from the presence of God, the human family had been departing every successive generation, farther from the original purity, wisdom, and knowledge which Adam possessed in Eden. Christ bore the sins and infirmities of the race as they existed when He came to earth to help man. In behalf of the race, with the weakness of fallen man upon Him, He was to stand the temptations of Satan upon all points wherewith mans would be assailed . . . .
“In what contrast is the second Adam as He entered the gloomy wilderness to cope with Satan single-handed. Since the fall the race had been decreasing in size and physical strength, and sinking in the scale of moral worth, up to the period of Christ’s advent to the earth. And in order to elevate fallen man, Christ must reach him where he was. He took human nature, and bore the infirmities and degeneracy of the race. He, who knew no sin, became sin for us. He humiliated Himself to the lowest depths of human woe, that He might be qualified to reach man, and bring him up from the degradation in which sin had plunged him.”(E. G. White, Review & Herald, July 28, 1874).
“The Terrible Consequences of Transgression. – (Isa. 53:6; 2 Cor. 5: 21). – Unless there is a possibility of yielding, temptation is no temptation. Temptation is resisted when man is powerfully influenced to do a wrong action and, knowing that he can do it, resists, by faith, with a firm hold on divine power. This was the ordeal through which Christ passed. He could not have been tempted in all points as man is tempted, had there been no possibility of His failing.
He was a free agent, placed on probation, as was Adam, and as is every man. In His closing hours, while hanging upon the cross, He experienced to the fullest extent what man must experience when striving against sin. He realized how bad a man may become by yielding to sin. He realized the terrible consequences of the transgression of God’s law; for the iniquity of the whole world was upon Him.” (Youth’s Instructor, July 20, 1899).
“Christ a Free Moral Agent. —The temptations to which Christ was subjected were a terrible reality. As a free agent, He was placed on probation, with liberty to yield to Satan’s temptations and work at cross purposes with God. If this were not so, if it had not been possible for Him to fall, He could not have been tempted in all points as the human family is tempted.” (Youth’s Instructor, Oct. 26, 1899).
“The second Adam was a free moral agent, held responsible for His conduct. Surrounded by intensely subtle and misleading influences. He was much less favorably situated than was the first Adam to lead a sinless life. Yet in the midst of sinners He resisted every temptation to sin, and maintained His innocency. He was ever sinless.” (Southern Watchman, Sept. 29, 1903).
“Christ on Probation. – For a period of time Christ was on probation. He took humanity on Himself, to stand the test and trial which the first Adam failed to endure. Had He fallen in His test and trial, He would have been disobedient to the voice of God and the world would have been lost.” – (Signs of the Times, May 10, 1899).
“Man on Vantage Ground with God. – As related to the first Adam, men receive from him nothing but guilt and the sentence of death. But Christ steps in and passes over the ground where Adam fell, enduring every test in man’s behalf. He redeems Adam’s disgraceful failure and fall by coming forth from the trial untarnished. This places man on vantage ground with God. It places him, where, through accepting Christ as his Savior, he becomes a partaker of the divine nature. Thus he becomes connected with God and Christ.” (Letter 68, 1899).”
The Good News! Man and Earth to be Fully Restored by the Plan of Redemption.
“Not only man but the earth had by sin come under the power of the wicked one, and was to be restored by the plan of redemption. At his creation, Adam was placed in dominion over the earth. But by yielding to temptation, he was brought under the power of Satan. ‘Of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.’ 2 Pet. 2: 19.
When man became Satan’s captive, the dominion which he held, passed to his conqueror. Thus Satan became ‘the god of this world.’ 2 Cor. 4: 4. He had usurped that dominion over the earth which had been originally given to Adam. But Christ, by His sacrifice paying the penalty of sin, would not only redeem man, but recover the dominion which he had forfeited.
All that was lost by the first Adam will be restored by the second. [Micah 4: 8 quoted]. And the Apostle Paul points forward to ‘the redemption of the purchased possession’ (Eph. 1: 14). God created the earth to be the abode of holy, happy beings. The Lord ‘formed the earth [Isa. 45: 18 quoted].
That purpose will be fulfilled, when, renewed by the power of God, and freed from sin and sorrow, it shall become the eternal abode of the earth made new. [Ps. 37: 29; Rev. 22: 3 quoted]. . . . “But the plan of redemption had a yet broader and deeper purpose than the salvation of man. It was not for this alone that Christ came to the earth; it was not merely that the inhabitants of this little world might regard the law of God as it should be regarded; but it was to vindicate the character of God before the universe. To this result of His great sacrifice—its influence upon the intelligences of other worlds, as well as upon man—the Savior looked forward when just before His crucifixion He said: ‘Now is the judgment of this world; now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.” John 12: 32, 32.”– E. G. White,Patriarchs & Prophets, p. 67 (To be continued next week).