Implications of the Fall: Genesis 2:15-17
“15) Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. 16) The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17) but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”” Genesis‬ ‭2‬:‭15‬-‭17‬ ‭
So what was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and how did eating from it bring death? This might be simplistic, but it may have involved consciousness of the kingdom of darkness. The kingdom of light is the source of life and truth, while the kingdom of darkness is the source of lies, deception, evil and death.
One of the first things God did when He created the earth was separating light from darkness. (See Genesis 1:3-4) According to John 1:1-5, Jesus Christ as the Word not only performed the work of Creation, but in Him is also life and light. The Greek word for life in John 1:4 is “Zoe.” It encompasses much more than mere biological life. It is the very essence of life. Jesus is the ruler of the kingdom of light and life. (Colossians 1:13)
When God created mankind in His own image, it included body, soul and spirit as we discussed in the last section. The spirit of man is the window through which the light and life of God shines into human essence.
But God created the human soul with free will. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil honored human free will. God placed it right in the middle of the Garden of Eden and left Adam and Eve with a choice.
Eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil came with both a prohibition and a warning; “17) but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.””
It seems to me that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil included opening the pandora box of two drastically opposing kingdoms and levels of life. One was good and the other was evil. One represented light and the other represented darkness. One was about life while the other would bring death. One was life on the level of the spirit, the other restricted people to live on the level of the flesh and soul without a functioning human spirit.
Notice that disobeying God and eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil would bring death. The question must be asked, “What kind of death?” It wasn’t immediate physical death, because according to Genesis 5:5, Adam lived for 930 years after the fall, and then he scummed to physical death.
Let’s think together for a moment. Genesis 3:6 says; “When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and a delight to the eyes, and that it was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate…” Did you notice what happened? This is both profound and important.
Her decision to eat was based on the level of the flesh and soul without including the spirit. She left God out of her decision making process. Whatever the tree was, it carried the lie that people can live and control their destiny without input from the human spirit or God! It was living without the light of God shining through the human spirit. It amounted to life void of spirit.
The fall was not God rejecting mankind, it was man rejecting God and His light as the compass for life. It was the deception that people can live and thrive in this life apart from God. It carried the sentence of living in darkness.
The result of the fall was that the spirit of Adam and Eve died. In other words, Adam and Eve and all their descendants fell from “Zoe life.” They were separated from the life and light of God.
The light of God comes through the human spirit. The consequence of the fall was life clothed in darkness. They became sinners by nature and personal choice. With the human spirit dead, the human flesh eagerly stepped up to sit on the throne. The flesh became the new inner governor within every human, but it is void of the light of God.
This is exactly opposite to Gods original design. (See Ephesians 2:1-3 and 4:17-19) He wants the human spirit to sit on the throne. From the time of the fall onward, every human being has been born into the kingdom of death and darkness. ‭‭ Notice that Adam and Eve had no attraction to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil until the serpent showed up in the garden? They were totally happy and fulfilled in their walk with God in the light of His presence. They were thriving in “Zoe” life and light. The human spirit was alive, functioning and flooded with the life and light of God.
The goal of the serpent at the fall was to get humanity to live and walk in darkness apart from the light of God. He wanted the spirit of man to die. He worked to shatter the window of the human spirit. He wanted mankind to live in darkness apart from truth, light and life from God.
This explains the condition of the non-Christian in Ephesians 2:1 where Paul says; “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins…” What was the death God warned Adam about in Genesis 2:17? It was the death of the human spirit… which is the window of Gods life and light into human essence.
At the moment of salvation, a person is born-again. The human spirit comes alive and the light of God can again flood into human essence. It restores or revives what was lost at the fall.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global