The Seven Keys to History Part Two
The entire world lives on a seven-day cycle that was God’s design and creation: In six days He created the world, and on the seventh He rested. Genesis 1 says God saw all He had made, “and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day” (v. 31). So what happened? How did the world end up the way it is today? The answer is the second key to history: Corruption.
The Bible teaches that God created Adam and Eve and placed them in the perfect environment of the Garden of Eden. Then He told them what He expected of them. It is what He expects of all mankind: to glorify Him by governing the earth in worshipful submission.
God told Adam to (1) “be fruitful and multiply” (v. 28), (2) cultivate the garden, (3) subdue the earth and rule over it, and (4) refrain from eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Nothing was wrong with the tree. God simply issued a divine fiat—which is His right as the Creator—and said, “In the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (2:17).
Mankind was in a perfect relationship with God. God came daily to “walk” with Adam, and Adam exalted and glorified God.
We glorify God when we obey Him despite our limited understanding. We do not glorify Him with words alone. God is not interested in our empty rhetoric. In fact, Scripture decries the fact that some people praise Him with their lips but ignore Him in their hearts.
Unbeknown to Adam, a rebellion had taken place in heaven. It appears to have occurred before the creation of the universe. An angel called Lucifer (ultimately known as Satan) rebelled against God’s holiness, repudiating God’s uniqueness (“I will be like the Most High,” Isa. 14:14). Satan saw himself as equal to God and defied His Creator’s stated order.
If that weren’t bad enough, the Bible says at least a third of the angels agreed with him. There is a minimum of 400 million good angels (Rev. 5:11), so at least 200 million rebelled and became what we know today as demons.
This was no minor disagreement in an obscure corner of the spirit realm. It was an open rebellion by created beings, and it needed to be addressed. God responded by creating the material universe: the galaxies, Earth, animals, and people—the highest level of the material world.
Of course, God could have destroyed Satan instantly. But doing so would not have proven God is holy, only that He is all-powerful. Instead, He devised an elaborate plan, on an elaborate stage, to demonstrate His holiness through people who would voluntarily recognize the superiority, sovereignty, and glory of their Creator. Having established His relationship with Adam, God set the stage for the test.
Satan entered the garden as a serpent, offering what the Bible calls “the lie.” It is the lie of lies and undergirds all others. Satan told Eve, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it [from the tree of knowledge] your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God” (Gen. 3:4–5). That is the lie: You will be like God.
Satan presented the opportunity to destroy the distinction between Creator and creature. He invited Eve to make herself equal with God. The book of Romans says Adam, Eve, and the entire human race “exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature [Satan] rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen” (1:25).
He persuaded Eve to focus on the fruit—on what she could see—rather than on the God who created the fruit and revealed Himself to her. Satan was really saying, “God is holding out on you. God doesn’t really love you. If He loved you, He would not say, ‘Don’t do this.’”
Does that sound familiar? Has anyone ever told you, “Don’t do this”? And you think, “If (s)he loved me, (s)he’d let me do it.” As adults, we sometimes say, “God, if You really love me, You’ll let me do this.”
The truth is, however, God does not hold out on us. He always does what He knows is best for us, giving us an opportunity to respond to Him as God. We should say, “God, I don’t know why You say no. But I’m going to accept it because it came from You. And I’m going to trust You to know more than I know and to handle the circumstances of my life.”
God wants us to trust Him. He wants us to walk through trials with Him, not knowing the outcome but knowing He sees beyond the circumstances. That is what Eve should have done. Instead, she succumbed and gave her husband the fruit as well. Eve was deceived, but Adam was not (1 Tim. 2:14).
So Satan seduced mankind. This single act caused the human race to seek its own glorification, thereby giving glory to Satan rather than to God. When you strip away the details, every sin is egocentric: People do what they want to do, what they think is right, instead of what God tells them is right. All sin involves trying to elevate ourselves to God’s level, and every sin is an attack on God’s holiness.
Unfortunately, sin has yielded worldwide, historical consequences.
First, death occurred. Fossils do not predate Adam. Death entered the universe for the first time in Genesis 3 and spread throughout the earth. Furthermore, the moment Adam and Eve sinned, they died spiritually.
Death is separation: Spiritual death is a separation of the soul and spirit from God; physical death is a separation of the soul and spirit from the body. When God re-entered the garden, Adam and Eve—for the first time ever—hid from Him. Their relationship with Him was broken.
As descendants of Adam and Eve, we are all born spiritually dead and alienated from God (Eph. 2:1–3).
Many people say man is basically good. That is a lie. The Bible clearly says man is basically evil, sinful, selfish, and self-centered. People have rebellious natures because of the Fall. Understanding this truth lets us see the world around us realistically and gives us a proper view of ourselves, particularly in relation to the holiness of God.
Second, Satan was cursed. But God promised to bring a Redeemer (the Messiah), the Seed of the woman; and though Satan would bruise the Redeemer’s heel, the Redeemer one day will bruise Satan’s head, destroying him (Gen. 3:15).
Satan usurped authority. Before the Fall, Adam ruled the world as God’s theocratic representative. When Adam sinned, he subjugated his realm to Satan’s authority. Since the Fall, Satan’s influence has dominated society. Scripture calls him “the prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2) and the “ruler of this world” (Jn. 12:31). Understanding this truth explains why the world is in such chaos today.
All people need redemption: We all need the Savior to extract us from Satan’s kingdom and place us “into the kingdom of the Son of His love” (Col. 1:13). God Himself provided that redemption for us. The only way our relationship with Him can be restored is through a salvation experience. We are born in sin, separated from God; and when we are born again, we are restored.
One day the Messiah will return, and He will restore this earth to near-Edenic conditions. Until then, “The whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs”—suffering travail, agony, hardship, and difficulty—awaiting the day when the universe will be redeemed (Rom. 8:22).
We live in a fallen world filled with pain, disappointment, and death because of corruption, the second key to under-standing history. But God has a plan of triumph through Jesus the Messiah, the Savior of the world, who can give us new life so that we can truly “love the LORD [our] God with all [our] heart, with all [our] soul, and with all [our] strength” (Dt. 6:5) and glorify Him forever.
Adapted from the “Seven Cs of History” presented by Answers in Genesis in its Creation Museum in the Cincinnati, Ohio, area.