Unofficial Notes from
International Conferences for Clergy Questions And Answers
ICC - Questions And Answers - The Fall Of Man, Sin And Fornication
QUESTION: 1. You completely omit the three part nature of the temptation used by Satan which appealed to their vanity, not sexual intercourse. She thought to be like God, equal with God.
ANSWER: But vanity is a part of the nature of sin, a nature which Eve still in the pure un-fallen state, did not posses. Eve was being deceived. To desire to become like God is not inherently evil nor does it suggest the desire to compete or become equal with God, no more than a child wanting to become like his parent constitute an affront to the position of the parent. The origin of the fall centered in the corruption of love, the result of which are all the natures of sin, pride, arrogance, and many others as well as vanity. Eve's failure was not the result of an already predisposed nature to sin, but rather that she was remiss in her responsibility to obey the commandment in faith, and thus she failed.
QUESTION: 2. Explain spiritual fornication and give supporting scripture.
ANSWER: In Gen. 6:2, the sons of God (bene Elohim = angels) married the daughters of men. In Jude 1:6-8, the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah is "like the angels" ie. fornication, unnatural lust. Spiritual fornication is the spiritual aspect of sexual union in which spiritual elements are traded by the two participants. This is how Satan's nature, or the sin nature entered into the nature of man.
QUESTION: 3. In what way did Adam have spiritual fornication with Lucifer. After all, he ate of the fruit as well. Why would he suddenly seek corrupted love? Wasn't he by his wife's side during all of this?
ANSWER: Lucifer gave the fruit to Eve and then Eve to Adam. This means that Lucifer engaged in spiritual fornication with Eve. The result of the spiritual fall is that the nature of sin (Satan's nature) was transferred from the fallen angel to Eve. Eve then committed fornication with Adam (which was of course spiritual and physical). Through the physical fall, Satan's nature, the sin nature in Eve was passed on to her intended husband Adam. Lucifer, therefore, did not have a direct fornication with Adam. Adam received the sin nature from his relationship with Eve who received it from the fallen angel.
All of the descendants of Adam and Eve received the sin nature by way of the ancestral link to Adam and Eve. For more on the meaning of eating the fruit see Proverbs 30:20 and Song of Songs 4:12-16.
QUESTION: 4. Is it wrong to consider the devil (negative force) a necessary part of God? Isn't negativity necessary in order for positivity to have value?
ANSWER: Negativity is not evil. Negativity is a compliment to positivity. Positivity and negativity harmonize centering on a higher common purpose. Good and Evil do not harmonize, have no common higher purpose centering on which they can unite. For this reason good and evil contradict each other. God is a God of goodness, God's plan is for goodness. Anything that falls outside the sphere of relationship with God is evil. In order for a being to maintain it's relationship with God, it must follow the principle of harmonized relationship between subject and object. Any being that stands in defiance of this principle of this principle falls out of relationship with God.
Value is achieved when subject and object, centering on a higher common purpose, achieve harmony.
QUESTION: 4. I thought the Bible said that the love of money is the root of all evil, not sex.
ANSWER: Love of money is not the root of all evil. A proper exegesis would render it: Love of money is a root of evil.
QUESTION: 5. Will you please explain the meaning of Gen. 3:3. Also what is a cherubim and what role did he play in the raising of man?
ANSWER: The fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is not a literal fruit, it is a symbol of love. See Song of Songs 4:12-16, Prov. 30:20. Jude 1:6-7 further testifies that the sin of the angels was the same as Sodom and Gomorrah (fornication). The covering cherub or Ezekiel 28:12-19 is the same Lucifer of Isa. 14:12-15, that is, the angel who was cast out of Heaven because of his rebellion. Cherubim is another name for angel.
QUESTION: 6. How was spiritual fornication possible?
ANSWER: Spiritual fornication was possible in the same way angels could share a meal with Lot's family in Gen. 19:5 or in the same way Jacob could wrestle an angel and have his hipbone dislocated. We see other scriptural testimony in Gen. 6:2.
QUESTION: 7. You have said that the original sin stems from misused sexuality; at the same time you spoke at great length about Satan's "spiritual fornication" with Eve. Did Satan have actual sex with Eve or not? If not, how do you come up with your conclusion about original sin?
ANSWER: To explain the dynamics of spiritual fornication is very difficult. Neither could I explain how angels ate a meal with Lot's family or how Jacob could wrestle an angel. The point is, that scripture testifies to all of these events and to the issue of spiritual fornication of angels with humans: Gen. 6:2, Jude 1:6-7. Lucifer though spiritual in nature, was a very real personality and presence in the Garden of Eden. There is a real point of contact between the two worlds. When I can understand how the angels could eat a meal and wrestle, I'm sure the concept of spiritual fornication will become more clearer.
QUESTION: 8. Where does the restoration promise of Gen. 3:15 fit in?
ANSWER: This is saying that Christ will come and defeat and subjugate Satan. Some try to see into " he will strike your heel" as foreshadowing the cross, but that would be over-extending the verse to support a doctrine of absolute predestination. What the verse is implying is that Satan will try to attack and defeat Christ, but he will only get to see the bottom of his foot as his head is being crushed. It is an expression of Satan's utter defeat in the future.
QUESTION: 9. Please explain Gen. 3:15.
ANSWER: It is predicting the victory of the Son over Satan. Some try to imply that this is an emphatic prediction of the suffering of Christ, but that view is a modern invention that would certainly require a bit if stretching... it could hardly be called conclusive or emphatic with regard to the mode Jesus would take. It is an emphatic prediction, however, that Christ would be victorious in the subjugation of Satan.
QUESTION: 10. How are sinners the descendants of the archangel as you said they were?
ANSWER: The fallen angel, that is: the devil. This of course is figuratively speaking. We are his descendant by inheriting his sinful nature (see John 8:42-47).
QUESTION: 11. 1Timothy 2:14 says that Eve was deceived into eating the fruit, but Adam was not. How can you say that Adam was deceived.
ANSWER: Paul's intent in 1Timothy 2:14 is not to absolve Adam of the blame for the fall. Clearly Paul holds Adam centrally responsible in 1Cor 15:22, as does God in Gen 3:17-19. The bottom line is not who was deceived and who was not, but rather, who had responsibility and who failed. Adam and Eve were given the responsibility to obey God's commandment not to eat the fruit and they failed.
QUESTION: 12. Adam and Eve were called to obedience and not to abstain from sex. The sin of Adam and Eve was the sin of disobedience. Comment?
ANSWER: I agree, but cant here be a disobedience without an act of disobedience? The essence of their sin was disobedience to the word of God through the act of eating the fruit. What then is the meaning of "eating the fruit"...Prov 30:20 gives us insight "this is the way of an adulteress, she eats, wipes her mouth, and says I have done nothing wrong". Before Adam and Eve ate the fruit they were naked and unashamed, but after they ate the fruit they felt shame of their nakedness. Once they gained this "knowledge" God revealed to Eve how she was to bear children, we see that when Adam lays with his wife, the Bible states that Adam "knew" his wife and she did conceive. In the fourth chapter of Song of Songs, Solomon says to his bride, "you are a garden locked up, my sister my bride, you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain. Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates with choice fruits..." (to which the bride responds)..."Let my lover come into his garden and taste it's choice fruits".
QUESTION: 13. What was the sin of Satan?
ANSWER: Tempting Eve with the "fruit". The fruit is a symbol of love. The fruit of the Tree of Knowledge is a symbol for immature love and therefore should not be "consumed". See Song of Songs 4:12-16 for the meaning of the "fruit". Gen. 6:2 and Jude 1:6-7 give us a clear insight into the sin of the angels. Lucifer engaged in an unprincipled spiritual fornication with Eve which was reciprocated with her intended husband. The nature of the Original Sin has been passed to all the descendants of Adam and Eve.
QUESTION: 14. You said that the garden incident was not God "testing" His own, yet if it wasn't God permitting the serpent's activities, it would not have happened. How does the garden incident relate to God allowing Satan to test Job?
ANSWER: There is a very significant difference between Adam, before the fall, and Job. Adam, before the fall, is in the state of sinlessness and is within the parameters of God's love. Job is born with the sin nature and in need of salvation. God needs to test sinners. Adam was not yet a sinner, he was a pure child of God. God giving the commandment, therefore, was not a test, but a responsibility to enjoin with God in His own government and discipline. Fulfilling this role would give Adam the moral base for his freedom and thus his potential to be a being of love.
The question, why God did not stop the fall, will be dealt with at another day.
We did not discuss the motive of Eve or Adam because of time. The key, however, is the original motive of Lucifer because he instigated the fallen action, not Adam and Eve.
QUESTION: 15. How do you relate fornication with the fruit if the fruit was from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil? Are you saying that Eve didn't know it was wrong until after the act of sin? Also Satan and his angels were cast down. If Satan was not cast down until after the creation of the garden, why did the other angels follow him.
ANSWER: Eve knew God's commandment and therefore she knew that eating the fruit was wrong. Eve was deceived by Lucifer into eating the fruit. Adam and Eve were to know good and evil by eating from the Tree of Life which represents their perfection and absolute standard in their relationship with God. The Tree of Life represents the perfect state of an unchanging relationship with God that would be impervious to sin. Adam and Eve would know good and evil by being one with the absolute standard of goodness and their full embodiment of goodness. Therefore, anything not in relationship with them in perfection would be evil and recognizable. By eating the fruit of Knowledge (see Gen. 4:1 for the meaning "to know") Adam and Eve learned about good and evil in exactly the opposite (and therefore ungodly and Satanic) way, that is, through the practical experience and merging with evil.
The angels who were cast down were cast down for the same sin (see Gen. 6:2) but not at the same time. Gen. 6:2 is roughly 900 years after Lucifer was cast out of Heaven (which is represented by the symbolism of the serpent being cursed to crawl on the "earth").
QUESTION: 16. If God has already given Adam and Eve the direction to multiply, then how does fornication according to your view, bring about this Fall?
ANSWER: God told Adam and Eve to multiply. But God states that there is a prerequisite for the multiplication and that is to become "fruitful". The meaning of "fruitful" is that they should first individually perfect their relationship with God before they were to consummate their marriage. They were not yet spiritually mature and therefore were not yet qualified to begin the lineage of God. The Tree of Life is the symbol of the perfection they were seeking (Prov. 11:30 "...the fruit of the righteous is a tree of life"). That ideal has been held back from man since the beginning, but will be returned to us at the Second Coming (see Rev. 22:14). Secondly, the relationship between Adam and Eve that did take also place was a result of the temptation of Lucifer. The relationship between Adam and Eve, passed the nature of sin, Eve had received from Lucifer, to her husband Adam. Together, as fallen parents, they passed the sin on to their children. This was not what God wanted. Adam and Eve should have first become perfect (fruitful) and on that foundation, then multiplied. Had they obeyed this then the children of Adam and all their descendants would be without the nature of sin and death that riled since the fall.
QUESTION: 17. What would have happened to God's plan, if Adam and Eve had not sinned by eating the forbidden fruit?
ANSWER: God's original plan of creation would have been realized. That is Adam and Eve, would fulfill the three blessings and give birth to children who would be born without the taint of sin or the connection to the Devil through the nature of sin. The Kingdom of Heaven would have been set up beginning in Adam's family, multiplying to the society, nation and world. Adam and Eve, by being one with God, the paragon of goodness, they would know completely good and evil. They would know evil without the practical experience of evil. God knows evil, but never experienced evil. God knows evil because He is the absolute standard of goodness. Therefore anything that is not in relationship with God is evil and fully known by God (such as Satan). If Adam and Eve had become one with God, their knowledge of good and evil would have been in the same way (that is by being one with perfect goodness and not through the practical experience of evil). By eating the fruit, Adam and Eve's knowledge of evil was contrary to what God had intended. They learned of good and evil by experiencing and becoming one with evil and falling out of the sphere of goodness. It was for this reason that we see in Gen. 6:6 that God's grief is so great that He even regrets that He had crated man on the earth.
QUESTION: 18. Didn't God know all and that the fall would take place before it occurred? Wasn't the fall of man and the need for a savior part of the plan from the beginning?
ANSWER: God certainly had a plan if man fell, but to say that the fall of man was the plan of God, makes God, permissively or otherwise, the author of sin. But even more significantly is that we loose touch with the depth of sorrow and feeling that God felt as a result of the fall as expressed in Gen. 6:6. Why would God feel such depth of sorrow, even to the point of regretting His decision to create, if indeed the fall was His purpose and plan for creation. The question then is, how could a sovereign God not have His will achieved each and every time and in the way He so chooses? Let us say that God certainly had the attributes of omniscience and omnipotence, but God is not a slave to those attributes. God is also a sovereign God. God can exert or not exert his attributes according to His will and purpose to control and foreknow. In His relationship with Adam and Eve, God chose not to control Adam and Eve completely. Instead God chose to give them a responsibility to obey His word. God chose to let Adam and Eve play a role in their own self-government. God did this in order of fulfill His purpose that Adam and Eve have freedom and therefore stand as free and loving beings. God also chose not to know what Adam and Eve would do because He had no need to know. He had entrusted them fully with the responsibility to obey His word. God's relationship with His children was to be based on trust. When Adam and Eve broke trust with God, the grief that God expresses in Gen. 6:6 is a genuine sorrow.
QUESTION: 19. Could you please explain, Sir, how you have given to Satan a human nature wherein he desires or lusts after Eve? How do spirits have intercourse with flesh?
ANSWER: From a theological standpoint, the theory of angelic fornication with women on earth was not a new invention. It finds a long tradition in Hebrew mythology and certainly was readily acceptable by the early Church Fathers of Christian history. The view has fallen in and out of vogue several times since. It's acceptance as a credible view is based on the overwhelming use of the Hebrew "bene Elohim" (son's of God) for angels. This is supported by New Testament Greek in Jude 1:6-7 which states "Even as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication..." There is some question to whom "in like manner" is referring. Some say, on the surface, that it could mean that the "neighboring towns" did in like manner as Sodom and Gomorrah, but on closer inspection in the original Greek text, the Greek pronoun used for "them" is a different one from "them" meaning cities (feminine pronoun) and the "them" referring to the angels (the masculine pronoun) and thus, Jude 1:7 in it's most proper form would be "...Even as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities about "them" (feminine pronoun) in like manner (Greek in like manner as "them" [masculine pronoun as in 1:6, used for angels]) as the angels, giving themselves over to fornication and unnatural lust.
Satan is not given a human nature, Lucifer was an angel and had an angelic nature. The scripture shows us that angelic beings can interact in the human world. Gen 19:3 records one such event as does Gen 32 describe another (Jacob wrestles an angel confirmed by Hosea 12:4) and also the testimony of Hebrews 13:1.
QUESTION: 20. How could a being of goodness corrupt himself? How can corruption enter into goodness? Also, what is your position on the gift of free will and the gift of choice which God gave to mankind by creating the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
ANSWER: Adam and Eve could corrupt themselves because they were not yet one with God. They were born flawlessly, but not in the state of maturity. Adam and Eve had to grow to gain the qualification to eat from the "Tree of Life". The Tree of Life is a symbol of the ideal of the unchanging eternal state of relationship with God that is indicative of perfection or maturity. Because Adam and Eve were to ultimately became one in love with God, they had to grow in love, to be givers of love. In order to be givers of love, Adam and Eve had to have creativity, freedom and free choice. The basis of freedom is responsibility. Without a role in their self-government (discipline) no being can have freedom. Adam and Eve were given the commandment in order to play a role in their own government and completion (growth to perfection). The fundamental purpose of giving the responsibility of faith in the commandment to Adam and Eve was so that in fulfilling that condition they could form the moral basis for their freedom and ultimate experience as loving beings. Because love, in Adam and Eve, was meant to be genuine, their responsibility had to be genuine. For their responsibility to be genuine, then, the possibility of failure had to be a potential in their role of responsibility. The potential for failure was placed there not so that it would be substantiated, but rather to give validity, credibility to their role of responsibility. It is in this potential for failure that pure beings could be corrupted and transformed into impure beings, in total contradiction to God's purpose for them. With regard to free choice. As I mentioned, freedom for Adam and Eve is conditional, that is, Adam and Eve can enjoy the benefits of freedom and free choice ad long as free choice is subjected to the standard of righteousness (in the garden, it was the commandment). Adam and Eve would have to maintain the condition of faith (their responsibility) in order to maintain the environment of freedom. If they lose faith in the commandment, they will automatically lose the environment of freedom. The loss of freedom results on the rise of uncontrollable excessive desire. The cause of sin is not free choice, but rather the loss of freedom resultant of losing faith in the commandment. It is why all sin has the nature of habit and addiction, making sinners "slaves to sin"....
QUESTION: 21. God being an all wise God and doing all things well and He knew all about Adam, why would He place this temptation on Adam, knowing Adam's weakness? Do you think He wanted these two opposite forces (good and evil) on earth to keep man on the straight and narrow? Can we consider good and evil in the same way as positive and negative, subject and object?
ANSWER: We could not consider Good and Evil to be compliments to each other. We should be careful not to confuse "dual characteristics" with the philosophy of "dualism". In the principle of dual characteristics, the give and take action between subject and object (such as positive and negative) takes place when both the subject and object place priority on the whole. The whole is the pre-existent concept of their oneness. This concept originates and exists in the mind (and therefore in His plan of creation) of God. This is the meaning of the "word". The word is the concept or idea of the perfect relationship between the Father and the Son. Jesus became "the word made flesh". The model of all subject and object relationships in creation then is based after the model of the Father and Son. Good and Evil cannot unite because there is no common higher idea, in the mind of God, of their oneness. Also there could be no relationship of good and evil that would be reflective of the relationship between the Father and the Son. Why God did not stop the fall will be a topic that we take up another day.
QUESTION: 22. The Unificationist view of sin seems to root sin only in feeling of a lack of love. But does not the voice of Scripture indicate that the root of sin is the willful pursuit of selfish desire?
ANSWER: The root of sin lies not in desire but in the failure of Adam and Eve to remain faithful to the commandment of God. Selfish excessive desire is a result of the root of sin. Adam and Eve were given conditional freedom to choose. The condition required by God from Adam and Eve was faith in His word. If Adam and Eve fulfilled this responsibility then they would maintain freedom and free choice. If Adam and Eve relinquished this condition, they would loose freedom and free choice. Thus there is no freedom outside God's law and word. When Eve lost faith in the commandment, the result was the loss of freedom and the subsequent rise of uncontrollable desire. You will notice that Gen. 3 indicates that it was after Eve the redefined commandment that her desire for the fruit increased, that it was pleasing to the eye etc. When Eve loses her connection to the commandment, she loses the condition by which freedom is maintained. As a result she becomes a slave to excessive desire and falls. This is why, all sin has the nature of habit and addiction. Sin destroys freedom and free choice, making us slaves to sin.
QUESTION: 23. You spoke of spiritual fornication between Lucifer and Eve. Did Lucifer and Eve have physical sex?
ANSWER: No it was not physical, it was spiritual. The physical act is a mere shadow of the spiritual dynamic that takes place in the sexual act. It did not produce physical off-spring. See Gen. 6:2, Jude 1:6-7. The idea of angels engaging in sexual misconduct is not foreign to Hebrew scripture and was the accepted belief of the early Church fathers in the first century of Christian history. There is a point of contact between the two worlds and thus we see "unusual" events between angels, who are spirit, and men, who are spirit and physical, (see Gen. 19:3...they eat a meal; Jacob wrestles an angel, Gen. 32), adding to this testimony is Hebrews 13:1...angels can appear so vividly and substantially they can be mistook for human.
QUESTION: 24. The lecturer stated that our selfishness is the cause of evil. If so, do you believe there is a devil and that he is the author of all evil? Also, with regards to subject and object relationship, give and take action and the forces of give and take, then what does God take?
ANSWER: Selfishness certainly played a role in the fall, but would not be the "cause" of the fall. The cause is the fallen angel who deceived the daughter of God and was thrown down and is now known as the devil and Satan. Satan, in our belief, is a very real personal entity who will exploit to the maximum, our weaknesses.
God takes the base that is made when subject and object become one unit. For instance, Jesus said, "where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I will be". Therefore, if Christians make a base, through give and take action, centering on the word, Christ will come to be in the midst of that Give and Take action, claiming the whole base as His own.
QUESTION: 25. If the serpent was only a symbol, how could there be a sexual relationship between a physical being and a symbol?
ANSWER: Serpent is a symbol of the fallen angel Lucifer. It was Lucifer who carried out the fallen relationship with Eve.
QUESTION: 26. Why do we have to get wrapped up in the symbolism of the fruit? Isn't it enough to say that Adam and Eve committed the sin of disobedience to God?
ANSWER: Because disobedience entails an act. Also there are many levels and qualities of disobedience. Someone can commit murder while someone else doesn't take out the garbage as told, both are not equally guilty, though both are in the state of disobedience. The fall was not just an ambiguous disobedience. It was a heinous act, so powerful as to change the very nature of an angelic being and the children of God, as well as the ensuing lineage of those first human ancestors.
QUESTION: 27. Do you teach that Adam and Eve did not have sex before Eve sinned with Lucifer? Do you teach that Adam sinned in procreating with Eve? Were both Cain and Abel corrupt?
ANSWER: There is no Biblical evidence that Adam "knew" his wife before they "ate" the "fruit" from the Tree of "Knowledge". The procreation of a sinful lineage was not the plan of God. However, in spite of Adam's sin, he still had to procreate in order to set the lineage from which ultimately salvation would emerge. The relationship Adam had in eating "the fruit" with Eve was fornication because it passed on the nature of sin that had been imbued to Eve from Lucifer. That sin imbued into Eve, passed on to Adam, is then bequeathed to all of Adam's descendants (Cain and Abel as well as all mankind). Though Abel made a righteous offering and was deemed righteous, he was neither sinless nor free from the need for salvation through Christ, the living Adam ( see Hebrews 11:1-40).
QUESTION: 28. Why does the Holy Scripture say, "God created both good and evil?" in Isaiah 45:7.
ANSWER: Not evil, as in sin or moral evil or the existence of Satan. Evil as in disaster or calamity. See Jonah 3:10, God repents of the "evil" that He said He was going to do to Ninevah. God did not mean that He had planned to sin against Ninevah. The "evil" was in fact the destruction that God had promised if Ninevah did not repent.
QUESTION: 29. Is there a literal lake of fire in Hell? Do you teach this?
ANSWER: Whatever Hell is like, I know God is not there. That alone is enough reason for me not to go there. I want to go with God. Hell is a spiritual low realm for the unrepentant sinner. To get involved in trying to doctrinally prove what Hell literally is like would be, I feel, a most peripheral Biblical pursuit.
QUESTION: 30. Was Adam and Eve's relationship with God, before the fall, the same as Jesus relationship with God?
ANSWER: Not quite the same. Adam and Eve were still growing and had not achieved the position of True Son and Daughter. Jesus, never sinned, and accomplished fully the position of True Son of God and therefore became the First ancestor of mankind (Hebrews 1:3-5, 5:7-9).
QUESTION: 31. You said that Adam and Eve's death was spiritual not physical (as a result of sin), but sin leads to physical death as well. James chapter one says that lust leads to sin, sin uncontrolled leads to death.
ANSWER: I recommended that you study the Divine Principle chapter in the Resurrection. We will not have time to cover this very important issue in this conference. However, please note that God told Adam and Eve that on the very day they eat thereof, they would die. Physical death did not come about "on that very day" and therefore, physical death is not a result of the Original Sin. Also, Jesus in Matt. 8:22 indicates that there are two distinct concepts with regard to "death", when He said..."let the dead bury their own dead...". That means let the spiritually dead (the result of the fall) bury the physical dead (not resultant of the fall).
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