Unification News for

March 1998


The Divine Principle Home Study Course, Volume Two: Part Four

What type of entity was Satan? Since Adam and Eve were the only man and woman, Satan had to be another kind of being. As is widely known, the Bible makes references to two kinds of creatures who posses spiritual capacities and who also ultimately fell from God. Besides man, God created angels, who also have sinned (Jude 6-7). If Satan is not a man, he must have been an angel. That Satan comes from the angelic world is consistent with the thought of the Book of Revelation, which indicates that Satan was "thrown down from heaven."

How could an angel be Satan? It is a long-held assumption within the Christian faith that at one time some residents of the angelic world rebelled against God. The second Letter of Peter, for example, refers to the fact and tells of the consequences of the angels' sin:

"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.." (II Peter 2:4)

Complementing Peter's reference, the New Testament Letter of Jude describes the content of the angelic transgression:

"And the angels that did not keep their own position but left their proper dwelling have been kept by him in eternal chains... 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." (Jude 6-7)

This passage indicates that the sins of the angels and those of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah were similar, both involving immoral behavior and "Unnatural lust."

Satan's crime must, therefore, have had to do with "unnatural lust."

The Forbidden Fruit

Let us examine the actual nature of Adam's and Eve's sin. We are told that originally: "the man and his wire were both naked, and were not ashamed." (Gen 2:25)

After eating the forbidden fruit, however, they felt and acted differently:

"Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons." (Gen. 3:7)

Obviously during the period between these two verses, something happened. After committing sin, our ancestors suddenly felt shame for their nakedness. This shame was not related indiscriminately to all areas of their bodies, but specifically to their genital areas. They didn't cover their faces or feet; they covered their sexual parts.

One's natural impulse is to hide evidence of wrongdoing. For example if a little child is caught in the act of stealing a cookie, his first reaction is to put one hand over his mouth and the cookie behind his back. In so doing he wants to cover up his wrong. Likewise, a thief or murderer will conceal any evidence which might lead to his detection.

If the sin of Adam and Eve involved eating fruit, they would have covered their mouths or their hands, the two parts of their bodies directly involved in the crime. This was not the case, however; Adam and Eve covered only the lower parts of their bodies.

"...and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons." (Gen. 3:17)

This indicates their transgression involved the concealed portion of their bodies-their sexual parts. From this we may conclude the crime of our first parents was one of fornication.

Evidence of a Sexual Sin

That the Fall was sexual in nature is suggested by other evidence also. For example, in referring to their sexual actions, the Hebrews (as well as men of other cultures) commonly spoke of eating or picking a fruit. In the Bible and elsewhere "To know" a woman means to have sexual relations with her. In the fourth chapter of Genesis, for example, it is said of Cain that he knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch" (Gen. 4:17) and of Adam that he "knew his wife again, and she bore a son." (Gen 4:25)

Of course such an interpretation is not without support among other Jewish and Christian scholars. Cardinal Jean Danielou, an expert on early Christian literature and member of the French Academy, asserts that "a majority of critics underline that fact that the sin has a sexual character."

Nor should we ignore the unusual merit attributed to the practice of religious celibacy. Not only did the apostle Paul encourage chastity but Jesus pointed out that there are some who are eunuchs for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. Indeed a commitment to chastity, along with commitments to poverty and obedience, is an essential part of one's becoming a monk, nun or priest within the Roman Catholic Church.

Similarly, some branches of Hinduism and Buddhism have taught that for the true seeker the highest path involved sexual abstinence. Such practices imply that marriage as we know it does not have the complete sanction of God but is a compromise for those who are unable to realize such a path. Such religions hint that there is something fundamentally problematic with sexual desire as commonly experienced.

Even the rite of circumcision can be related to the Fall of Man if one sees its deepest meaning. According to Genesis, Abraham instituted this ceremonial act as a visible sign of the covenant binding the children of Israel to their God. The most obvious significance of the act is to distinguish Hebrews from others. Furthermore, however, something about sex is felt to alienate man from God. Cutting of the male child's foreskin indicates the Hebrew's determination to cut off many attachments he has which separate him from God. For Divine Principle, circumcision represents symbolic restitution for the original sin of Adam and Eve.

Marital Love

It should be made clear that there is nothing inherently wrong with sex. After all, Adam and Eve were originally to "be fruitful and multiply." In the view of the Divine Principle, they were to grow as brother and sister, and after reaching maturity were to marry, have children and create a God-centered family. Marital love was thus intended to be sacred, and in fact, the highest blessing given by God. When a man and woman unite in perfection, they are in a sense a new higher being even closer to God. If Adam and Eve had reached this state, they would have been the son and daughter of God and true husband and wife to each other.

In some way, however, the first parents forsook God. The sexual relationship they ultimately engaged in was somehow in violation of themselves and God's principles. It is obvious that their sexual action must have taken place outside of marriage and this action constituted the Fall. Let us see how this occurred.

Next month-Part Five: Enter the Serpent

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