Divine Principle Two Hour Lecture
The Fall of Man
In the world where the purpose of creation is realized, there is no Satan, no sin, no hell. In the ideal of God's creation only heaven was to exist. But instead, because of sin, man has lost his original value and become like trash, creating hell as his trashcan.
The Root of Sin
Then, what is the origin of sin and what is the true identity of Satan? Christians have only vaguely understood, from the Bible, that the first human ancestors had eaten the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and that this was the root of sin. However, is the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil a literal tree, or, as in many other instances in the Bible, is it simply a metaphor or symbol?
Divine Principle clearly shows that it is a symbol. Why would a God of love leave such an alluring fruit near his children that could cause their fall? (Gen. 3:6) As Jesus said in Matt. 15:11, nothing edible can cause a man to fall. It is highly unlikely that God would test man so mercilessly by a means that could cause his death merely to see whether or not he would obey Him. The fruit must symbolize something so extraordinarily stimulating and so ardently desired that even fear of death, of which God warned, could not deter Adam and Eve from eating.
Before we can really determine what the fruit of good and evil was, we must examine the tree that produced it, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. In order to do that, we must first grasp the true meaning of the Tree of Life, which stood next to the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
In both Prov. 13:12 and Rev. 22:14, the hope of the Israelites of the Old Testament and of Christians from Jesus' day to the present has been to become a Tree of Life. Since the ultimate hope of fallen man is the Tree of Life, we can conclude that the hope of Adam and Eve before their fall was also the Tree of Life. We find in Gen. 3:24, that Adam, after committing sin, could not reach the Tree of Life. The Tree of Life has remained the hope of fallen man.
What must Adam have hoped while he was in the process of growing to perfection? He hoped to reach perfection or manhood. Had Adam attained the Tree of Life by becoming a perfect man and realizing the ideal of creation, all his descendants also could have attained the Tree of Life and thus they could have realized the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, or the Garden of Eden. But Adam fell and God placed the cherubim and flaming sword at the entrance of the Garden to block the way to the Tree of Life (Gen. 3:24). Accordingly, the purpose of creation remained unfulfilled and Adam became a false Tree of Life (fallen man) whose descendants were also false trees of life. Consequently, there must appear on earth a true Tree of Life to which all mankind can be grafted and be brought back to the Garden of Eden, or the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. For this reason, Jesus was symbolized as the Tree of Life in Proverbs in the Old Testament (Prov. 12:12) and the Lord of the Second Advent was similarly depicted in the Book of Revelation in the New Testament (Rev. 22:14). Thus, the goal of salvation is to restore the Tree of Life lost in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 2:9) to the Tree of Life mentioned in the Book of Revelation (Rev. 22:14).
God created Adam, and He also created Eve as Adam's spouse. Thus, when we find in the Garden of Eden a tree symbolizing manhood, mustn't there be another tree symbolizing womanhood? The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, which was described as standing with the Tree of Life, is this very tree. So, it is reasonable to conclude that this tree was the symbol of Eve. This can be more clearly seen by examining the meaning of the symbol of the serpent.
In Rev. 12:9, Satan is depicted as the ancient serpent. That serpent, who was thrown down from heaven, was originally created as a good being headed toward perfection. That being could converse with man, it was a spiritual being that knew the will of God, and was capable of deceiving man. And even after that being fell, becoming Satan, he still had the capability of dominating man's mind and body in every way.
Then what being could have done these things? There is no other being that could do these things except an angel. (Then some angel must have sinned against God and fallen to become the evil Satan.) II Peter 2:4 says, "For God did not spare the angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of nether gloom to be kept until the judgment." (Also see Isa. 14:12).
Then what was the angel's sin? Jude 1:6-7 says, "And the angels that did not keep their own position but left their proper dwelling have been kept by him in eternal chains in the nether gloom until the judgment of the great day; just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise acted immorally and indulged in unnatural lust, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire." So from this we can see clearly that the sin of the angel was unprincipled or illicit love.
Then what was the sin of the human ancestors? In Gen. 3:7 we read that after the fall, the first human ancestors, who sinned together with the serpent, became ashamed of their nakedness and covered the lower parts of their body. As it is human nature to hide what is wrong with oneself, could it not be that man also fell because of an immoral act?
In Job 31:33 it is written: "I have concealed by transgressions like Adam, by hiding my iniquity in my bosom." This indicates that Adam committed sin with the lower parts of his body. In the Garden of Eden, what act could man have performed at the risk of his life, but the act of improper love?
Adam and Eve were growing in the relationship of brother and sister and after reaching perfection, were to be blessed in marriage to form the first perfect family, fulfilling God's purpose of creation. But Jesus said in John 8:44, "You are of your father the devil," indicating that all the fallen men of history belong to Satan. In other words, the first human ancestors, having had an illicit relationship with the angel, came to have Satan as their father and father of their descendants: a false father.
Thus, Adam and Eve, forsaking their true father, became one with a false father. Rom. 8:23 says, ". . we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons." John the Baptist called fallen men sons of Satan (Matt. 3:7) and even Jesus said, you serpents, you brood of vipers" (Matt. 23:32).
In conclusion, since the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil symbolized Eve, the fruit of good and evil was the symbol of Eve's love. The fact that Eve ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil means that she had an illicit love relationship with Satan, and the fact that Eve gave Adam the same fruit implies that she seduced Adam to fall in the same way.
Consequently, the origin of human sin is not that the first human ancestors ate a literal fruit, but that they had an illicit love relationship. This established a fallen blood lineage through which the original sin is passed on from generation to generation.
Throughout history, all of the major religions have called adultery one of the greatest sins. Also we can see why the Israelites had to be circumcised as a condition (of redemption) to become God's elect. We may be able to eradicate other sins through social or economic improvements, but even as these are made and living conditions continue to improve, man's inclination towards immorality and degradation has also increased. And no one has been able to prevent this.
As the Last Days draw near and Satan continues to thwart God's original plan for man, we must know this is a result of the fall of the first human ancestors, a direct result of their relating to Satan and making him our false father, disobeying God's commandment and heavenly law. Their descendants are not of God, but of sin, and have created this sinful world of conflict.
Even though God created the world and the universe, He has never been able to dominate the world as its Master. Instead, Satan became the false master of the world (John 12:31, II Cor. 4:4) and has ruled the world.
According to the principle of creation of man, God was to accomplish the purpose of creation through love. Therefore, love is the source of human life and happiness. And because man betrayed this heavenly law through the misuse of love, itself, Satan is making mankind suffer through his false love and illicit domination. Satan is the one responsible for smashing all the ideals of the human family,
The Meaning of Salvation
Then, has God given up His ideal of creation which has never been realized? The Bible gives a clear answer. In Isa. 46:11 God says, "I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it." God will surely accomplish His goal. The God of love could not leave fallen mankind in such circumstances. Instead, God has been working for man's restoration.
What is restoration? In one word, it is re-creation. To save a sick man is to restore him to health. To save a drowning man is to rescue him and restore him to the state he was in before drowning. Therefore, God's restoration of man means for Him to restore fallen mankind in this sinful world to the original world God had intended in the very beginning.
God's goal of restoration is to realize the ideal individual which He originally planned, and through him realize the original family, and based on that family, the original society, nation and world.
For this goal of salvation, God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, as savior to this world. Therefore, the Messiah must stand before God as the origin of the ideal individual and thus be able to establish the ideal family, the goal of God's creation and the object of His love. The Messiah would then realize the ideal nation and world to bring about the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.
What is the substantial description of heaven and hell? Is man predestined? How does God predestine a person?
When are the Last Days, and will the disasters and catastrophes predicted in the Bible actually occur to destroy the earth?
Will the resurrection of the dead literally take place?
When and how will the Lord come again?
Divine Principle clearly answers all of these questions about man and the universe. Later lecture tapes will include full discussions of these and other questions.
We will now turn to the question of God and human history. Can we see God working in the events of history? What are the principles that govern human history? Why did Jesus, who came as the Messiah, say he would come again?
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