Back to Main Bible Study Page (for looking up scripture references)

Lesson Three: Man's Treason and its Results

Pastor Barbara Caesar-Stephenson

The Potter’s House Church of the Living God

Important Terms: Spiritual Death, Physical Death, The Second Death, treason

The first division of this course has dealt with the chapters of Genesis which cover the period from the creation of man to the Fall.

To many of us in the past, these chapters have been just a portion of past history, lifeless and uninteresting. We have studied them in a sense of duty to gain essential knowledge.

As we study them now, in the light of our Redemption in Christ, they actually live before us.

In them is portrayed a drama of joy, love , faith and then unbelief and tragedy, which centers around the Father-God and man.

We see in these chapters, Love's preparation for man, the Father-God's joy in creating man in His own image, and His eagerness to make man his under-ruler, by giving him authority and responsibility.

In this great drama of Creation, the Father-nature and Love of God are clearly revealed.

During the reign of Spiritual Death that followed man's sin, in which Satan ruled in the heart of man, the knowledge of God and His love became lost.

Not until the coming of Christ was the Father-nature of God again made known to man. It is a perfect setting for a tragedy.

The Nature of Man's Sin

This is the old problem that has confronted theologians in every generation: What was the nature of man's original sin?

It could not have been broken law, for there had been no law given, as we understand the term, from its connection with the law of Moses.

What kind of sin was it that impelled the Incarnation and sufferings of Calvary?

Having found that man was invested with such far reaching authority, that he possessed an intellect of such caliber as to be the companion of Deity, and that he had in his hands the joy or sorrows of God, we can understand now the nature of the sin he committed.

The sin of Adam was the crime of High Treason.

God had conferred upon him the authority to rule the universe. This Universe-wide dominion was the most sacred heritage God could give to man. Genesis 1:28 and Psalm 8:6.

Adam turned this legal dominion over into the hands of God's enemy, satan. This sin is unpardonable. Adam's transgression was done in the white light of absolute knowledge. He was not deceived by Satan. He understood the steps that led to to the crime. His wife, Eve, was deceived, but Adam became the Benedict Arnold of Eternity. I Timothy 2:13-14.

Adam knew God. He knew Satan. He knew the result of the unthinkable crime he committed.

Genesis 3:1-7. Eve's deception by Satan was due to her unbelief in God's word. Satan, through the serpent, first questioned the word God had given to them, and then openly contradicted it. It is thought by some that the serpent originally moved upright like a man, and that it was beautiful to look upon and perhaps possessed organs of speech. To a certain extent naturalists confirm this.

Adam's Treason Recognized by Christ

We have come to one of the most interesting features of the Plan of Redemption/ Satan's dominion over Creation.

We have shown how Satan obtained this authority. Let us note now some facts in regard to it.

The careful students of the Scriptures will notice the perfect justice of God. He did not take advantage over Satan. Adam legally conferred to Satan the authority with which God had vested him. Had God not been perfectly just, He would have dispossessed Satan and punished man. But the legal transaction had already occurred. So, instead of that, God's Grace makes provision for humanity's Redemption, showing his love to man, based upon perfect justice.

When Jesus began His ministry, it will be remembered that directly after He was baptized, he was led away by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

Luke 4:6-7. During the temptation, the devil led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the inhabited earth in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him. “To thee will I give all this authority, and the glory of them: for it hath been delivered unto me, and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore will worship before me, it shall all be thine.

Now, mark, satan comes to Jesus and declares to Him that the authority and glory of the inhabited earth has been delivered to him, and that he can give it to whomsoever he wills.

If the devil lied to Jesus and Jesus did not know it, Jesus was not the incarnate Son of God. If the devil lied to Jesus, and Jesus knew that he lied, it was not genuine temptation.

We believe that the Bible is true, and that this was a genuine temptation. Then Jesus recognized that Satan had authority and dominion over the kingdoms of the human race, which he could transfer at his will to whomsoever he wished.

Satan said, “It hath been delivered unto me.” We know that this authority was not given to Satan by God. The Father-God would never confer to His enemy dominion over His creation and man, the object of His love.

Satan tempted man in the garden because of his bitter hatred toward God. Knowing what man meant to the Father-God, it became his object to separate this union and bring humanity under bondage to himself and destruction. He knew this would cause the Father-God the greatest suffering. Yet, Satan, in his malignant character, could not foresee that God would suffer by His own will for this man until He brought him back to Himself.

The sufferings (physical and spiritual) of Calvary reveal the triumph of God by love over His enemy, Satan.

Christ did not yield to this temptation; love conquered and triumphed over satan.

The Result of Man's Sin, the Entrance of Death

It was the thwarting of God's plan.

Adam's sin of High Treason brought the entrance of Spiritual Death into the life of humanity.

Romans 5:12 gives to us a picture of Spiritual Death awaiting an entrance into the spirit of man. Man's sin is the door that throws open his spirit to the entrance of this dread nature.

Most of our teaching in regard to the Fall of man has centered in the entrance of Physical Death.

We have seen in our last lesson that the real man is the spirit, and that he was to walk in fellowship with God, a spirit being.

It was into this spirit of man, created in the image of God, that Death entered. By the term, “Spiritual Death,” we do not mean that man ceased to be a spirit being.

Spiritual Death is not a state of non-existence, it is a state of existence in a condition separated and alienated from God, and in union with Satan.

There are three kinds of death that are mentioned in the Scripture of man from God: Physical death, Spiritual Death and the Second death.

Physical Death is a violent and unnatural thing. The separation of man's spirit and soul from his body.

Spiritual Death is more violent and unnatural to humanity. It is the separation of man's spirit from God. (Ephesians 4:19)

The Second Death is an eternal separation of man from God, in a state of existence where the nature of God is no longer, and shall never be, accessible to man. (Revelation 20:11-15)

Spiritual Death is a Nature

Spiritual death is in reality a nature. The real powers today are spiritual.

God is a spirit (John 4:24)

Satan is a spirit (Ephesians 6:12)

Man is a spirit (I Thessalonians 5:23)

Man, a creation in the image of God, higher being, is dependent upon a higher power than he for his spiritual life. He must partake either of God's nature or of satan's nature.

God is a spirit, and His nature is Life (John 5:26)

Satan is a spirit also, and his nature is the opposite of God's. It is death.

Ephesians 2:1-5. It was Spiritual Death, this nature of Satan, that laid hold of man's spirit.

There are two words that open the Bible. They are the words “Life” and “Death.”

Without an understanding of those two words, we cannot have a coherent conception of God, and of His Revelation to man, the Bible.

The primal Death that entered at the Fall was Spiritual Death. Adam had been given his choice.

Genesis 2:9, 16-17. The Tree of Life would have united man with God. The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil united man with Satan.

The Nature of Spiritual Death

We have seen that Spiritual Death is as much a substance, a force, a fact, as life. The difference is that Spiritual Death emanates from the devil. While Life emanates from God.

Satan was originally in Heaven with God, one of those spirits who stood next to the very Throne of God itself, but he turned against God. As he did, his nature changed. We recognize that in the world there are spiritual forces working that are contrary to each other: Love and Hatred, Joy and Sorrow, Faith and Doubt, Good and Evil, etc. These conflicting forces could not come from the same source. All that is Holy, Good and Beautiful heads up in Life which emanates from God. All that is evil, bad and corrupt heads up in Spiritual Death which emanates from Satan.

We can understand that out of the Nature of Satan flows hatred, lust, murder and every evil force in the world.

There is not understanding in our minds of the condition and problem of humanity without our knowing that Spiritual Death, the nature of Satan, reigns in the spirit of man.

It is very clear that when Spiritual Death entered the life of Adam, his spirit underwent a complete change. Man was actually born again when he sinned. He was born of satan. He became a partaker of satanic nature. He became a child of Satan.

Read I John 3:12, John 5:24, I John 3:14-15, and Ephesians 2:15.

Spiritual Death, seized the sovereignty, the dominion, the lordship over creation.

By the act of Adam's High treason, death begins to reign. It is in reality the reign of Satan.

Hebrews 2:14 speaks of Satan's holding the authority, the dominion of the realm of spiritual Death. A literal translation of Romans 5:17 reads. “For if by the trespass of one death made use of the one to seize the sovereignty.”

Romans 5:21 of the same translation reads, “Sin reigned as a king in the realm of death.” Here we have the truth state clearly. Death (the nature of Satan) has seized the sovereignty, and God's creation is under its dominion.

Study Questions

1 What was the nature of Adam's sin?

2 Was Adam deceived? Give a scripture.

3 Tell and explain the incident in the New Testament that reveals Satan's authority over creation

4 Why did Satan desire to bring Spiritual Death into the life of man?

5 Explain Romans 5:12.

6 What is Spiritual Death?

7 What was Adam's two fold death?

8What are the three main spiritual beings?

9 Give several scriptures that reveal that Spiritual Death passed on all mankind.

10 Give the contrast between the fruits of the Nature of God and the fruits of the nature of satan.