May 19, 2013 ©Homer Kizer
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Commentary — From the Margins
Alpha & Omega
Part Seven: The Covering of Obedience
Adam was placed in the Garden of Eden garmented with only a covering of obedience based on belief: he had no other garment. He needed no other garment. But Christians reading the Genesis Temptation Account usually do not consider “obedience” based on faith or belief (same word in Greek, pistis) as a garment that is put on daily, a garment analogous to ancient Israel’s offering of “the daily” or the daily sacrifice … what was the significance of the daily? Why did the Lord through Moses command Aaron and his sons, after being consecrated and after the altar was consecrated, to offer daily two lambs a year old, one in the morning and the other at twilight (Ex 29:38–39)? Did the Lord desire the smell of burnt flesh? Does the Lord simply enjoy the smell of barbeque? Or is there a substantial reason, a spiritual reason that was enacted in type through the regular, day-by-day burnt offering of year old lambs?
Indeed, there is a spiritual reason that ancient Israel never grasped; for if Adam had continued to believe the Lord, Adam’s obedience originating in his faith would have covered Eve’s unbelief. And Eve would have worn as a garment Adam’s righteousness based on faith. Eve would have put on daily Adam’s righteousness, Adam’s obedience. Eve would have put on no other garment: her nakedness would have been covered by Adam’s righteousness day by day for her own belief had been compromised when she ate forbidden fruit.
Except for the covering of her husband, Eve was “naked” from her creation. Her initial covering was her own obedience of her husband, who apparently added to what the Lord God had commanded him concerning the Tree of Knowledge (the Lord had told Adam nothing about touching the Tree) And the serpent upon hearing the addition to the words of the Lord God sensed opportunity and told Eve a literal truth: she would not die if she ate forbidden fruit for Adam’s belief of the Lord would still cover her nakedness since she was to Adam as a person’s body is to the inner self or soul of the person born of spirit.
While the continuance of humankind was in the womb of Eve, the fate of humankind was in the heart of Adam: believe the Lord God and live; don’t believe the Lord and perish.
Would Adam, standing beside Eve and seeing her eat forbidden fruit and still live—in the face of evidence holding what the serpent told Eve was true (Gen 3:4)—believe the Lord, or believe what his eyes saw? For if Eve could eat and not die, why couldn’t he, too, eat and not die, not that Adam realized what constituted death? Why could she do what he had been told not to do? After all, she was of him. Her flesh was his flesh. Her bone was his bone. Her breath of life was his breath; i.e., the breath he received when Elohim [single in usage] breathed into his nostrils (Gen 2:7), thereby bringing to life his consciousness, his awareness, his self-awareness.
Before Adam was capable of guile, he was taken from where he was created and placed in the Garden of Eden, a physical type of Eden, the Garden of God (Ezek 28:13), with plant-life in the earthly Garden of Eden being analogous to the precious stones of heavenly Eden. Thus, when Adam initially ceased to believe the Lord God and ate forbidden fruit, both Adam and Eve immediately realized they were naked—neither now had any covering of belief. And they had for themselves aprons or loincloths from fig leaves (Gen 3:7), covering analogous to the precious stones that covered [clothed or housed] the anointed guardian cherub in whom iniquity was eventually found (Ezek 28:15) … based on the analogy presented in the Temptation Account, the mirror image would have Adversary as an anointed guardian cherub placed in Eden being covered with precious stones from the day he was created (again, v. 13), with his unbelief disclosed through his serpent-like nakedness (serpents have no hair-coats or hair-covered hides as beasts of the fields have). So when this anointed cherub ceased to believe the Most High God and began to judge God and the words of God, his covering of precious stones fell from him, revealing his unbelief through his nakedness as Adam and Eve’s fig-leaf aprons disclosed their unbelief of the Lord God manifested in Adam eating forbidden fruit.
Upon the Lord God hearing Adam tell Him that he, Adam, was naked, the Lord asked who had told Adam that he was naked; had he, Adam, eaten forbidden fruit? … Nakedness—exposure of the flesh—discloses unbelief of God, with this unbelief going back to an anointed guardian cherub in Eden, who when created was covered by precious stones in a manner that cannot be replicated in this physical creation. And unlike Adam and Eve who were given hair-coats (apparently like those of beasts) when driven from the earthly Garden of Eden, the Adversary was given nothing to cover his nakedness when he was cast from Eden, the heavenly Garden of God.
Eve’s unbelief would not have been discernable for as long as she remained covered by Adam’s obedience based upon faith; thus the Temptation analogy suggests that the Adversary’s rebellion against the Most High did not begin with him, but began in those angels over whom he had dominion through being a guardian cherub. This analogy will have the unbelief of particular angels being covered by belief of the anointed cherub over them until this anointed cherub, himself, ceased to believe and revealed his unbelief through his nakedness.
In graduate school, I was told by a professor that Milton’s epic, blank verse poem Paradise Lost (originally published in 1667) owed much of its cultural popularity to the nakedness of Adam and Eve in the Garden; for in a era when human bodies were well covered by clothing, a naked human body was an almost unimaginable novelty. The poem was read just to encounter the word “naked,” as if merely encountering thoughts of nudity was titillating. Yet in modern Western nations—to the inverse of the fallen popularity of Paradise Lost—scantily clad female bodies are used to advertise everything from food to sanitary napkins. But again, public nudity discloses unbelief of God, and the degree to which a person appears publicly disrobed discloses the person’s relative unbelief of God; thus, a Christian woman should appear in public in modest attire and a man should keep his shirt on.
When Adam was created, he came without culture, without inherited memory, without family other than the Lord. He had no parent other than the Lord God; thus he was a son of God, albeit a human or physical son of God as opposed to an angelic son of God, who also has no parent but the Most High God. And without Adam having a cultural memory that locates a physical infant in time and space, thereby giving to the infant a concept of history, particularly family history, Adam, in the Garden of Eden, would have been as that anointed cherub was in Eden, in that neither would have had an awareness of “beginning” or history preceding their creation … the sudden creation of Adam as an adult human person would have placed Adam in a unique situation, with his creation being for him the beginning of everything.
In the timelessness of the supra-dimensional heavenly realm, all activity occurs in the same moment—and what has life in a particular moment will always have life in that moment, and what does not have life in a particular moment will never have life in that moment for the present of life and the absence of life cannot exist in the same moment. However, in the heavenly realm, a “moment” functions as a location does here on earth; thus, the moment in which angels were created (given life) differs from the moment when no angels had life so the creation of the anointed guardian cherub was in a new moment as Adam’s creation was on a new earth. This anointed guardian cherub would have been as Adam was when Adam was created outside of the Garden of Eden, then placed in the Garden … this anointed guardian cherub was placed on the holy mountain of God (Ezek 28:14), was placed in Eden, the Garden of God, as Adam was placed in the Garden of Eden.
God uses a mountain, in particular, Mount Sinai, to visually disclose a heavenly hierarchy of “moments,” with Moses being allowed to ascend Mount Sinai and enter the cloud where the Lord was while the people of Israel could not set foot on the slopes of Sinai without perishing … angelic sons of God cannot enter the moment in which the Father and the Son have life; however, human sons of God, because they receive the spiritual breath of the Father [pneuma Theou] in the breath of Christ [pneuma Christou], have life in the same heavenly moment as the Father and the Son. Thus, when human sons of God receive glorified bodies, they will be higher (as in having ascended farther up Mount Sinai) than will be angelic sons of God.
But before any human person receives indwelling heavenly life, the person needs to be garmented by belief of God that leads to obedience regardless of what eyes see or ears hear. In fact, the person must actually go against what his or her physical senses disclose to the person before the person gets to the point where the person really believes God and not the Adversary.
Christians and greater Christianity, even today, struggle with the concept of time having passed before the creation of Adam, who was created “in the day when YHWH Elohim made the earth and the heavens” (Gen 2:4). Simply put, for that anointed guardian cherub in whom iniquity was found [i.e., the Adversary] nothing pre-existed his own creation; for in the timelessness of heaven, activity erases what had occurred before the activity. Thus, heaven was made new when angelic sons of God were created. Heaven was made new when that anointed cherub was created. What had occurred before left no trace of itself except in the memories of those living creatures that pre-existed the activity. For the “moment” in which that anointed cherub received life was a new moment, unlike any previous heavenly moment as Dutch Harbor, Alaska, is unlike Port Austin, Michigan, even though both are on the water.
YHWH, Israel’s Elohim, pre-existed the creation of angelic sons of God, but like Adam when created from red mud, these angelic sons of God would not have had an awareness of what came before their creation for their creation erased the pre-existing state of heaven by being a new moment. These angelic sons of God would have been created without inherited cultural memory, which for humanity has been acquired since the creation of Adam, roughly six millennia ago.
Although some Christians believe in tiered evolution, most Sabbatarian Christians do not, and should not. For Christendom (and for Judaism), the Creation begins with Adam; begins the day Adam was created—and it is only from this base, this belief, that the Christian psyche is able to mimic angelic psyche.
It matters not a whit if the Creation predates Adam as is suggested through Christ Jesus being the second or last Adam … certainly the analogy can be made that angelic sons of God are to human sons of God as natural Israel is to spiritual Israel, with the Apostle Paul comparing natural Israel to Ishmael, the son of Hagar, the slave woman (Gal 4:21–31); thus, it would logically follow in terms of the spiritual creation (as opposed to the physical creation that forms the shadow and type of the spiritual creation) that natural Israel that has no indwelling spiritual life and is analogous to angelic sons of God that can never enter the heavenly moment in which the Father and Son have heavenly life but must forever remain at the base of the holy mountain of God. Spiritual Israel—all sons of God through having the indwelling of Christ Jesus in the form of His breath [pneuma Christou]—will now be to natural Israel as the Most High God is to angelic sons of God. Thus, the first Adam’s creation will now metaphorically step behind the creation of angelic sons to precede this creation even though this is not physically or literally true, but is spiritually true from the perspective that human sons of God have heavenly life that comes from God the Father through the indwelling of Christ Jesus, with this heavenly life coming from a heavenly moment that precedes (is higher than) the moment when angelic sons of God received heavenly life. In other words, before the anointed guardian cherub was created God and the God existed, with all human sons of God also having life in this moment when God and the God were one spirit as a man and his wife are one flesh. Therefore, even though human sons of God are not yet humanly born and thus do not have human life, they have life in the heavenly moment that precedes or is higher than the heavenly moment in which angelic sons of God received their breath of life long ago.
All human sons of God have their unbelief covered through the indwelling of Christ Jesus, with Christ being their Head as the husband is the head of his wife and as God the Father is the Head of Christ. Human sons of God are to Christ Jesus, the last Adam, as Eve was to Adam. Thus, the death that human sons of God die is that of the flesh, which comes from Eve and from her unbelief. The life that human sons of God live comes from Christ Jesus, their Head, who ate first of the Tree of Life through His demonstrated belief of God that led to His obedience, His righteousness that garments human sons of God as the first Adam’s obedience covered both his and his wife’s nakedness until he ate forbidden fruit.
But not all who profess to be Christians have been truly born of spirit. The greatest mistake a son of God can make is to assume another Christian has also been born of God …
How would an ancient Israelite know whether a stranger was a long lost Israelite or a Moabite? What criteria did the Lord establish for identifying Israelite and none Israelite? And the answer that immediately comes to the mind is outward circumcision, but all of the sons of Abraham were outwardly circumcised. Ishmael was circumcised. Esau was circumcised. Today, Muslims are circumcised and many Christians are not. But Israel in the wilderness was commanded—before Israel rebelled in the gold calf incident at Sinai—to sacrifice daily two lambs a year old, one at dawn and one at dusk (again Ex 29:38–39), with the sacrifice of these two lambs being evidence that Israel believes the Lord and is/was willing to cover the people’s nakedness with blood by day and by night so that the Lord could dwell among the people of Israel and be their God (v. 45).
Unlike endtime Christians, neither the first Adam nor the Adversary got to collectively “remember” what had occurred before their creation through perceiving themselves in relationship to Judaism or in relationship to the nations [Gentiles]. Even the early Christian Church could not mentally place itself outside of the moment and see itself as the spiritual sons [Cain, Abel, Seth] of the last Adam borne by the last Eve; for the early Church was the last Eve, covered by the garment of Christ Jesus’ righteousness, this garment euphemistically known as grace. And because the last Adam ate from the Tree of Life before the creation of the last Eve, this last Adam through His faith, His belief of the Most High, covered the last Eve when the Church took to herself knowledge of good and evil, thereby eating forbidden fruit and dying seventy years after Calvary.
What would have happened if the first Adam had not eaten forbidden fruit after Eve ate? The mirror image of the last Adam figuratively eating from the Tree of Life through Jesus’ daily obedience to/of the Father before the creation of the last Eve [the Christian Church] would preclude the first Adam from ever having eaten the fruit of the Tree of Life; for the man, placing great importance on Eve not even going near the Tree of Knowledge, was not able to “disbelieve” what his eyes saw. He didn’t understand what he saw, Eve eating forbidden fruit and not dying. He didn’t understand obedience as a covering analogous to the hide (skin and hair) of a beast, that his obedience covered not only himself but his wife who was one with him. He didn’t understand that regardless of what his wife did, he as her head had to obey the Lord God if either of them were to live, that her only chance was for him to continue to believe God, thereby giving to her time to repent and return to obedience.
The first Adam had to daily put on obedience based on his belief of the Lord God or he would know that he was naked; for he had no hair coat as goats have or as lambs have … Adam had no self-realization that he and Eve were naked until he ate the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, fruit that the beasts of the field have never eaten; for a dog or a cow that are covered with hair coats (hide) are outwardly naked, doing what comes “naturally” to them, and incapable of comprehending nudity.
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"Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."
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