Lost in Eden, part 1

“And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13. If you are trying to find someone, the reason is obvious, you have become separated from someone. Do you understand what is involved in the statement, separated from God? When Adam sinned we know that by this act he lost his connection from God. But a plan of salvation was developed whereby, through the atonement of Christ, Adam and Eve could be reunited once more with their Creator.

“And you, that were sometimes alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.” Colossians 1:21. Notice the word “alienated.” That means separated. And then it says, “enemies.” Where? In your mind. In Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, 396, it tells us that the mind is that which instigates sin. “The mind controls the whole man.” The mind is that which either connects or separates from God, for man is controlled by his mind. The term “separated from God’ refers to a man with a carnal mind who has not been born again of the Holy Spirit and is therefore separated from the spiritual life of God.

Man at Creation

Man was originally created in a state of purity. From the book Healthful Living, 9, Ellen White says, “We are God’s workmanship…a temple which the Lord Himself has fitted up for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.” Adam and Eve in Eden were partakers of the divine nature. They were connected with God constantly. But as the consequences of sin in Eden, they lost their intimate connection or their union with God. They lost the robe of light which had previously surrounded them. The nakedness of their bodies now vividly illustrated the present nakedness of their souls, for they were separated from divine nature which they had lost.

Restoration of man to his original condition at creation is the very essence of the gospel. Peter speaks of this in 2 Peter 1:2-4. “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”

Original Sin

Historic Seventh-day Adventists do not accept the original sin doctrine developed by St. Augustine. But we feel 100% safe in following the scripture in which the term “separated” represents the loss of man’s connection with God, through sin, for which Christ offers a remedy. How beautiful to understand that when we refer to man being separated from God, or of a baby having been born separated from God, we do not infer that such a one is cut off from the nearness of God, for there is a plan of salvation in operation.

God watches over the formation of an individual in the womb. He forms every cell. Every heartbeat is created by Him. God furnishes the power for every breath. Every hair of the head is numbered. Angels are sent to watch and protect the little one. When this child becomes an adult and still remains in a state of separation, God is ever near. He constantly sends the Spirit to speak to the mind. He entreats with the invitation, “Come,” producing conviction, repentance, surrender and a spiritual life through the Word. Providence thus ministers and teaches us of the way to God.

Separated from God

The sinner is constantly being led into a response. The person who is in a state of separation is not connected with God; he is lost just as Adam was lost in Eden. Until man closes his probation by persistence to the truth, Christ remains near. So near, we are told that He stands at the heart’s door knocking, calling us to open the door that He may come in. If the sinner responds by refusal to open the door, he remains in a lost condition, separated from God.

Let us consider Adam at his creation. The Spirit of Prophecy in the Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 926, states, “God created him connected with the Father and the Son.” “From eternal ages it was God’s purpose that every created being, from the bright and holy seraph to man, should be a temple for the indwelling of the Creator.” Desire of Ages, 161

It was through the indwelling of the Creator that Adam and Eve were partakers of God’s divine nature. The law of God “was written upon their hearts.” This is identical to that which is promised in the new covenant experience. Notice the following statements closely. “Adam and Eve at their creation had knowledge of the original law of God. It was imprinted upon their hearts.” Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1084. “In the beginning, man was created in the image of God. He was in perfect harmony with the nature and the law of God; the principles of righteousness were written upon his heart.” Great Controversy, 467. “When Adam and Eve were created and placed in their Eden home, they had knowledge of the law that was to govern them. Its precepts were imprinted on their hearts by Jehovah Himself and they were acquainted with its claims upon them.” Signs of the Times, April, 22, 1886. Perhaps this can be summed up in this beautiful statement in Selected Messages, vol. 3, 133, “All was a sinless transcript of Himself.”

The Power Source

It is good for us to remember that regardless of the purity of Adam and Eve at their creation, in themselves they possessed no inherent spiritual power as an inseparable part of themselves. Signs of the Times, May 31, 1896, says, “God created him that every faculty might be the faculty of His divine mind.”

With such a purpose, God gave man the power of choice. Man could choose to remain united to the source of power, his Creator, permitting God to continually guide his mind, or he could separate himself from His indwelling presence and power. Sadly, Adam and Eve chose separation. When man disregards the divine Spirit, his mind comes under the control of the spirit of Satan. This is how they became lost in Eden.

What did Adam really lose in the fall? “Because of sin, humanity ceased to be a temple for God. Darkened and defiled by evil, the heart of man no longer revealed the glory of the Divine One.” Desire of Ages, 161. “Sin brought separation between man and his Maker.” Ministry of Healing, 419. “By sin we have been severed from the life of God.” Desire of Ages, 203

We have no idea of the sorrow that filled heaven when man yielded to temptation. Ellen White stated, “When man sinned all heaven was filled with sorrow; for through yielding to temptation, man became the enemy of God, for through sin, man became carnal and the carnal heart is enmity against God, is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Signs of the Times, February 13, 1893

Adam and Eve unplugged themselves from the source of power; just as you unplug the lamp and the light goes out. So, “The light, the garments of heavenly innocence, departed from these tried, deceived souls, and in parting with the garments of innocence, they drew about them the dark robes of ignorance of God.” Upward Look, 198. What a picture this portrays! “So by sin, man lost his connection with God. Of himself he has no means of salvation.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 165. He was in Eden, but he was lost.

The result of their separation also brought the impossibility of sinless living without God dwelling within them. The result of separation in our lives makes it impossible for us to live sinless lives without an indwelling God. “It was not possible for man out of Eden, separated from the light and the love of God since the fall, to resist the temptations of Satan in his own strength.” Redemption, 44. So the picture is clear.

What Man Lost

Permit me to extract the key phrases from quotations presented. These are direct quotes concerning what happened when Adam fell. Notice, he lost his “connection with God,” he lost his “open communion with his Maker,” he lost his source of divine power to resist Satan,” he lost his beautiful garment of light and love,” he became an “enemy of God,” “a partaker of satanic nature,” his mind became “carnal”; a mind that could not obey the divine law. The law of God was no longer “imprinted upon his heart.” His very nature became “evil.” He drew about him the “dark robes of ignorance of God.” He ceased to be “the temple of God” for “Satan controlled his mind.” Thus fallen man was in a state of continual opposition to the mighty God.

Ellen White tried to impress it upon us, that it is impossible to go to heaven without being connected with God. We hear from the pulpits today that we may sin until Jesus comes and then go to heaven. That is a lie! There must be a connection of the divine power with our life which will give us victory or we shall never see His face. “Satan takes the control of every mind that is not decidedly under the control of the Spirit of God.” Testimonies to Ministers, 79. At creation man was not made so that he could not be separated from God. If this had been so, he could never have fallen. He would have been a mere automaton. Jesus would have failed as a man if He had not pleaded with God every single day for power.

A Daily Decision

In Acts of the Apostles, 55, it says, “Those only who are constantly receiving fresh supplies of grace, will have power proportionate to their daily need and their ability to use that power.” “Satan charmed the first Adam by his sophistry just as he charms men and women today by leading them to believe a lie. Adam did not reach above his humanity for divine power. He believed the words of Satan.” Signs of the Times, December 3, 1902. They became lost in Eden.

How important it is for you and me to be daily seeking a fresh supply of God’s grace. We may know all the truth. We may be members of God’s true family, but without this personal connection with God, we will never have victory over Satan. Adam and Eve were lost in Eden and we can be in God’s church today and we too, can be lost. We must experience a complete victory over sin to be sealed before Jesus’ second coming. Join me in a deeper daily commitment to God. What does the scripture say? “Ask and ye shall receive.” “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” As Jesus attained daily victory over Satan in His personal connection with God, so we may also experience the same in our lives.

The End