The Genesis Parable
The Natural Man - Part 3
Let me remind you that the story of Adam and Eve is a parable, i.e. a story within a story, constructed of parallels which must be considered in order to gain a spiritual understanding. In Part Five, we learned that Adam was made a “living soul” or “living creature,” formed from “the dust of the ground.” We also considered that Adam was subjected to a “deep sleep” and then the woman was fashioned from his “rib.” While in this “deep sleep,” Eve was TEMPTED and DECEIVED by the serpent, while Paul, in 1st Timothy 2:14 tells us that ADAM WAS NOT DECEIVED. Now, if this is true, then why did Adam disobey? I believe the apostle Paul answers this for us in 1st Corinthians 2:14 where we read that the “NATURAL MAN DOES NOT ACCEPT the things of the Spirit of God, for THEY ARE FOOLISHNESS TO HIM; and he CANNOT UNDERSTAND THEM, because they are spiritually appraised” (NASB). With all of this in mind, let’s go to Isaiah 14 and consider some well-known passages in light of our current perspective.
Isaiah 14:12-17 (KJV)
12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. 16 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, IS THIS THE MAN that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; 17 THAT MADE THE WORLD AS A WILDERNESS, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?
Isaiah 14:4 tells us that these passages are a “proverb against the king of Babylon.” Our word “proverb” is defined as, “Superiority in mental action; properly a pithy maxim, usually of a metaphorical nature; hence a simile (as an adage, poem, discourse).” So in essence, this discourse concerning the “king of Babylon” is a parable, containing spiritual elements which we need to glean.
“How art thou FALLEN FROM HEAVEN, O Lucifer, son of the morning.” Our phrase “fallen from heaven” is our first clue as to what is being addressed. Our second clue is found in the fact that the word “Lucifer” should not even be in this passage. It was placed there by Jerome when he translated the Hebrew and Greek of the Old and New Testaments into Latin. For this reason, many of today’s translations have removed it. For more about this, see my video, “Studies in Hell – Part 1 – The Strength of Tradition.”
If we remove our word “Lucifer,” we have, “How art thou fallen from heaven, son of the morning.” Our word “morning” means, “Dawn (literal or figurative),” so in the English Standard version we read, “son of Dawn!” Might the word “dawn” suggest the “dawn of humankind” as given in the story of Adam and Eve?
Now, remember that Paul states that “Adam was not deceived,” so again we must ask, “Why did Adam disobey?” If we take verses 13 and 14 of Isaiah 14 in conjunction with 1st Corinthians 2:14, I believe we gain understanding. Note that five times in Isaiah 14, we have “I will.” In regard to “I will be like the Most High,” didn’t the serpent tell Eve, “You will be like God, knowing good and evil”?
Now, what did Paul say about the “natural man”? That he cannot “receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him.” If this is true, then where does the “natural man” turn in light of his own existence? Obviously, it is to his own abilities, and doesn’t each reference to “I will” suggest this very thing, indicating a certain pride and arrogance? For confirmation, read Daniel, Chapter 4.
In our previous studies, we found that the phrase “living creature” and “living soul” are synonymous; see Genesis 1:24 and 2:7. This being the case, I would challenge you to consider the idea of “Cheribum,” which are first mentioned in Genesis 3:24 and later described by Ezekiel as “living creatures” in Ezekiel, Chapters One and Ten. To put it plainly, I believe the “living creatures” refer to man when he abides in the LIFE of the Spirit, hence the reason it states “LIVING creature.” Perhaps this is why Jesus said, “For he is not a God of the dead, but of the LIVING: for ALL LIVE unto him”; see Luke 20:38 and also Acts 17:28. These same living creatures are found in the book of the Revelation in Revelation 4:6-11.
If I am correct about the cherubim, we can now go to Ezekiel, Chapter 28 and also consider the following well-known passages in light of Adam’s disobedience.
Ezekiel 28:11-19 (NIV)
11 The word of the LORD came to me: 12 "Son of man, take up a lament concerning the king of Tyre and say to him: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: "'You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. 13 You were in Eden, the garden of God… 14 You were anointed as a GUARDIAN CHERUB, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones. 15 You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you. 16 Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, O GUARDIAN CHERUB, from among the fiery stones. 17 Your HEART BECAME PROUD on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. SO I THREW YOU TO THE EARTH; I made a spectacle of you before kings. 18 By your many sins and dishonest trade you have desecrated your sanctuaries. So I made a fire come out from you, and it consumed you, and I reduced you to ashes on the ground in the sight of all who were watching. 19 All the nations who knew you are appalled at you; you have come to a horrible end and will be no more.'"
As we see, this is a “lament concerning the king of Tyre.” “Tyre” means, “A rock,” derived from the word which means, “A stone.” Concerning the idea of “stone,” I would encourage you to consider its use throughout the New Testament. It’s the Greek transliteration lithos, used 59 times in the King James version of scripture. How it is used is quite enlightening to our understanding.
Now, like Isaiah 14, these passages have also been used by many to prove that Satan is a fallen angel, however, based on the context of these passages, I do not see a fallen angel. Instead, I see the “first man Adam” or “natural man.” What does Isaiah 14:16 and 17 state? “IS THIS THE MAN that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; THAT MADE THE WORLD AS A WILDERNESS, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?” Beloved, it is not an angel that “made the world as a wilderness,” BUT A MAN, not an INDIVIDUAL man but a COLLECTIVE man, the natural man who fell into carnality as pictured in our Genesis parable; see Romans 5:12.
As mentioned, a “cherub” is a “living creature,” and we read, “You were in Eden, the garden of God.” “You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you.” This agrees with Genesis 2:15, “And the LORD God took the MAN, and put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” “You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created,” agreeing with Genesis 2:26, where we read, “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, AND WERE NOT ASHAMED.” “Till wickedness was found IN you,” agreeing with the subsequent temptation of Eve and Adam in Genesis 3 and Paul’s discourse concerning “sin” in Romans 7:7-13. Finally we read, “So I threw you to the earth,” agreeing with Genesis 3:17 and 18 where we read, “Cursed is the GROUND for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the GROUND, for out of it you were taken; for DUST you are, and to DUST you shall return.” So it is that Paul wrote that the “first man Adam” was “from the earth, a man of dust.” With this idea of “dust” and “threw you to the earth,” consider what the Lord told the serpent after Adam and Eve’s disobedience and fall.
Genesis 3:14-15 (KJV)
14 And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: 15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
In agreement with the phrase, “dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life,” we read in Isaiah 65:25 that “dust shall be the serpent’s meat.” In John 4:34, Jesus said, “MY FOOD IS TO DO THE WILL OF HIM THAT SENT ME and to accomplish his work” (ESV), so in this context “eating” signifies our choice as to whose will we choose to exercise. As we see with the serpent, it is consigned to eat “dust” “all the days of thy life.” This reference to “dust” refers to this human form and all of its attachments, so within the parameters of all that we have considered, I don’t see the serpent as a separate entity outside of ourselves. Instead, it suggests a certain CHARACTERISTIC or NATURE of our natural being of which Adam and Eve are a REPRESENTATION. Consider the words of God through the prophet Jeremiah.
Jeremiah 17:9-10 (NASB95)
9 "The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it? 10 "I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the results of his deeds.
“The heart is more deceitful than all else.” “All else,” my friends, in other words, more so than anything else we could consider or name. Should you doubt this, take a raw and honest look at the world around you and how easy it is for so many to lie and manipulate in order to get what they want. In my book, “The Dream – Through the Eyes of Sowing and Reaping,” I present Adam as a picture of the “mind” and Eve as a picture of the “heart,” while the appearance of the “serpent” is a picture of the deceitfulness of our own heart, aligning with our passages from Jeremiah 17.
God “cursed” the serpent “above all cattle and above every beast of the field.” Strong’s defines “cursed” as, “To execrate.” The Merriam-Webster Dictionary online defines “execrate” as, “To declare to be evil or detestable” and “to detest utterly.” Merriam-Webster also provides the following information.
Quote, “To Latinists, there's nothing cryptic about the origins of execrate-the word derives from exsecratus, the past participle of the Latin verb exsecrari, meaning "to put under a curse.” Exsecrari was itself created by combining the prefix ex- ("not") and the word sacer ("sacred"). Sacer is also an ancestor of such English words as sacerdotal ("relating to priests"), sacral ("holy or sacred”), sacrifice, sacrilege, and of course sacred itself. There's also execration, which, true to its exsecrari roots, means ‘the act of cursing’ or ‘the curse so uttered,’” end quote.
So let’s take a moment to consider what it means to be cursed. What it doesn’t mean is that something is good and right until it is cursed or magically made evil and wrong. Beloved, God is not a genie. What it does mean is that when something is cursed, it is pronounced “not sacred” or “holy” by means of the fact that, in light of what is sacred and holy, it never was and never will be. For confirmation, see John 8:44. What is cursed or considered “evil” or “detestable” is due to its own present state of existence.
So, did the Lord curse Adam and Eve? He did not! With Adam, He “cursed” the “ground” for his sake (Gen. 3:17). In other words, He declared the human heart as “more deceitful than all else” and “desperately sick.” With Eve, he multiplied her “sorrow” and “conception” (Gen. 3:16), which would be a direct result of God cursing the ground, the “sorrow” and “thorns” and “thistles” accurately reflecting the human struggle with which all of us are familiar; see Matthew 13:22. Ah, but with the serpent? He cursed the serpent, indicating that this entity was to always be considered “evil” and “detestable.” And so it is that throughout scripture, any reference to the serpent, dragon, devil, or Satan, is just that, evil or detestable. So what was God declaring as detestable? As suggested, it was the component of the PRIDE OF THE HUMAN MIND AND HEART, what Paul defines as thinking more highly of ourselves than we should; see Romans 12:3. For a further example of what I mean, see Deuteronomy, Chapter 27, verses 9 through 26. As we continue in this series, we will look further into this. Now, consider the following from Proverbs.
Proverbs 16:18-19 (NKJV)
18 Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. 19 Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.
Adam and Eve “fell,” did they not? This being true, does their story reflect a “haughty spirit before a FALL”?
FIRST, THAT WHICH IS NATURAL. All who come into this world come in as a natural being, destined to fall as Adam fell, for in 1st Corinthians 15:22 we’re told “as in,” or JUST LIKE, “Adam ALL die.” This, my friends, is a DIVINE INJUNCTION, put in place by our Maker in order that EVERYONE passes through the divine principle of sowing and reaping in order to attain the resurrection of the dead. As Hebrews 9:27 states, “It is APPOINTED for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.” For this reason, Paul went on to state in 1st Corinthians 15:22, “Even so in Christ shall ALL be made alive.” Did Paul say “all”? Yes, he did! Now, let’s consider the following.
Romans 8:20-21 (ESV)
20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
Here we find that “the creation,” all-inclusive of every human creature, “was subjected to futility.” How was this done? I believe it was by means of the “deep sleep” which God caused to fall upon Adam in Genesis 2:21. Furthermore, Paul said, “Not willingly, but because of him who subjected it,” “him” being our Creator. The King James renders “who subjected” as “MADE SUBJECT,” and our phrase “made subject” means, “To subordinate; reflexive to obey.” Does this agree with the idea of “closed up the flesh IN-ITS-PLACE”?
Remember, the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” is symbolic of the Law of God, which addresses sowing to our flesh, so with the idea of “subordinate” in mind, consider what Paul wrote in the following.
Romans 7:7-13 (ESV)
7 What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have KNOWN SIN. I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, "You shall not covet." 8 But SIN, seizing an opportunity through the COMMANDMENT, produced IN ME all kinds of covetousness. Apart from the law, sin lies dead. 9 I was once alive apart from the law (natural), but when the COMMANDMENT came, SIN CAME ALIVE and I died (carnal). 10 The very COMMANDMENT that promised life proved to be death to me. 11 For SIN, seizing an opportunity through the COMMANDMENT, DECEIVED ME and through it KILLED ME. 12 So the law is holy, and the COMMANDMENT is holy and righteous and good. 13 Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was SIN, producing DEATH IN ME through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the COMMANDMENT might become sinful beyond measure.
Here we go, my friend. In respect to the law, Paul said he would not have known sin without it. Ah, but when the commandment came, “SIN CAME ALIVE AND I DIED.” Would this correlate with “NOW THE SERPENT” and the subsequent “death” of Adam and Eve? As Paul makes clear, it was “SIN” which seized “an opportunity through the commandment” and “produced” in us “all kinds of covetousness.” It was “SIN” which seized “an opportunity through the commandment, DECEIVED” us “and THROUGH IT KILLED” us! It was “SIN, PRODUCING DEATH IN” us “THROUGH WHAT IS GOOD, in order that SIN MIGHT BE SHOWN TO BE SIN, AND THROUGH THE COMMANDMENT MIGHT BECOME SINFUL BEYOND MEASURE.” Nowhere in these passages does Paul refer to the devil; he refers to SIN, not to an angel or other outside influence, but to an inward essence or nature within us. Google defines “nature” as, “The basic or inherent features of something, especially when seen as characteristic of it.” Do you get it? Beloved, the “nature” of the “first man Adam,” represents that natural being in every single one of us which is PRONE TO SIN, prone to transgressing the MORAL essence of God’s law and holy nature, thereby causing us to fall as Adam and Eve fell and experience the same death they experienced; see Romans 8:6. No wonder James wrote, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed BY HIS OWN DESIRE. Then DESIRE when it has CONCEIVED gives birth to SIN, and SIN when it is fully grown brings forth DEATH” (James 1:14; ESV). Do we not read concerning Eve that “the tree was to be DESIRED to make one wise”? (Gen. 3:6; ESV)
How many times do we see the word “commandment” in these passages? Six, which is the number of man in enmity with his Maker. And which “commandment” is Paul referring to? Based on the context, it is “you shall not covet.” Strong’s defines our word “covet” as, “To set the heart upon, i.e. long for (rightfully or otherwise).” In other words, “covet’ means DESIRE. Beloved, it is not a coincidence that Paul used this commandment to make his point. Look at Romans 7:9 once again.
Romans 7:9 (ESV)
9 I was once alive apart from the law (natural), but when the COMMANDMENT came, SIN CAME ALIVE and I died (carnal).
Note where I inserted the words “natural” and “carnal.” Also note how Paul uses himself in place of Adam, stating, “I was once ALIVE apart from the law (natural), but when the commandment came, SIN CAME ALIVE and I died (carnal).” Was Paul suggesting that all of us, like Adam, undergo the same path? I believe so! Again James wrote, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed BY HIS OWN DESIRE. Then DESIRE when it has CONCEIVED gives birth to SIN, and SIN when it is fully grown brings forth DEATH.” What conceives sin? DESIRE! What provokes us to desire? The “commandment.” What gives birth to sin? DESIRE! What happens when sin is “fully grown”? It “BRINGS FORTH DEATH.” Here we see that it is our lusts or desires that leads to death in our existence, not a physical death but a death “in trespasses and sins,” a PRESENT STATE OF EXISTENCE where our lives are fully absorbed in the human form and its attachments; see Ephesians 2:1. Now, consider the following from Romans, Chapter 8.
Romans 8:5-7 (NKJV)
5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally (flesh) minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal (flesh) mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.
Here we have it, my friends. “To be carnally minded is DEATH,” not NATURALLY minded, but CARNALLY minded. Our word “natural” means, “Sensitive, i.e. animate,” taken from the root word translated as “soul” in the New Testament. Strong’s defines our word “flesh,” “carnally,” and “carnal” as, “Flesh (as stripped of the skin), i.e. (strictly) the meat of an animal (as food), or (by extension) the body (as opposed to the soul [or spirit], or as the symbol of what is external, or as the means of kindred), or (by implication) human nature (with its frailties [physical or moral] and passions), or (special) a human being (as such).” What does Ezekiel 18:4 state? “The soul (natural) who sins shall die (carnal).”
What is the difference between natural and carnal? Natural suggests our inability to receive the things of the Spirit of God because of ignorance, our lack of spiritual discernment. But carnal? Carnal suggests “enmity against God,” indicating RESISTANCE due to pride and self-absorption. It is this which we see in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 regarding the essence of the “first man Adam.” Before I close, let’s revisit the following passage.
Hebrews 9:27 (KJV)
27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment…
See our word “appointed”? This word is derived from two words, apo and keimai. Beloved, keimai is the word translated “lieth” in 1st John 5:19, which Strong’s defines as, “To lie outstretched (literal or figurative).” We considered this in Part Five of this series and found that it points to the “deep sleep” which God caused to fall upon Adam in Genesis 2:21. Remember, “as in Adam, all die” (1st Cor. 15:22; KJV).