IN THE BEGINNING. . .

BY:  BRENDA IMUS

LEGALISM/RELIGION A PROBLEM FROM THE BEGINNING

MALE/FEMALE ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

THE PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY–LIES WITH THE HUSBAND!

This should teach us not to ‘add to’ the commandments of God it also helps give perspective to Godly male/female roles.

We’re taught many things regarding the nature of man’s original sin in the Garden of Eden; ie: man’s sin was in wanting to be like God, or in believing the devil, or simply in disobedience to God by eating of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. Each perspective has a legitimate place. While studying these scriptures recently, I was given yet another perspective. The original sin was a result of a religious spirit, and from man (specifically, Adam) not taking his rightful place of spiritual authority. We’ll touch on the former, but the focus of this article will be a deeper understanding of the ramifications of the latter problem, and what it means to us today. 

Gen. 3:1-4 1] Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? {Yea…: Heb. Yea, because, etc.} 2] And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3] But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 4] And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 

Note how Eve added on to God’s original command; ie: “neither shall ye touch it.” According to Genesis 2:17, the Lord never said any such thing. 

Gen 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. 

That is the beginning and end of the Lord’s command regarding the tree in the midst of the Garden. There is no mention of the Lord forbidding touching the fruit only eating it was originally forbidden.  

Rev. 22:18 forbids adding to God’s words. I believe this applies to anything the Lord speaks to us, for a very good reason. When the Lord gives us a command, along with it comes the power to fulfill that word. If He has NOT spoken that command, then we do not have the power to fulfill it inherent within us. The result is that we break a command that never actually came from the Lord, and then the accuser comes and makes us feel guilty.  

LEGALISM/RELIGION A PROBLEM FROM THE BEGINNING  

Is this not how the spirits of legalism and religion operate? They tell us that God’s commands and laws are odious and restrictive while at the same time adding unto them things that the Lord never forbade. Then, once we “sin” against God by “breaking” commandments not originally from Him, then the accuser pours on a sense of false guilt. We feel that we have already broken the Lord’s command, so to go “one step further,” (in this case, to eat of the fruit…) makes little difference.  

Of course, the enemy is right there assuring us that this is the case; ie: “You can do what the Lord says not to do… He probably never really said it anyway you misunderstood. And in any case, even if He did say that, you shall not surely die.” Actually, breaking God’s true command makes ALL the difference, as the enemy well knows. We are to live by God’s commands, and not our own sense of what may be right and wrong. The latter is actually to eat from the tree of knowledge between good and evil! So in one sense, Eve had already eaten of this tree before actually tasting the fruit–which was, as the Lord said, death.  

So the SIN was in considering a voice/command other than or in addition to God’s, which in turn led to eating of the fruit: death.  

Gen 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 

There is some irony here, since God originally created man in His image, Adam and Eve were already “as God.” They were ONE with Him. But the KJV says that Satan used the word “gods,” plural. This may be one time he told the truth! They became separate from God, and became as fallen angels, or gods, with a small “g.” They became like him, Satan, being disobedient to the Truth, and knowing the difference between good and evil from having tasted evil.  

Gen 3:6a When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it… In a manner of speaking, Eve had already spiritually eaten of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil before ever tasting from the tree. She did this when she tarried to listen to any voice but God’s, and then when she added on to what the Lord had actually spoken to her and Adam. So her eyes here were already opened to see what she should not have seen: the delusion Satan was feeding her as she lingered and spoke with him. We are to give no place to the devil (Eph. 4:27)!  

Gen. 3:6b: She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 

MALE/FEMALE ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES  

Uh oh. Now you’re in for it guys! Having eaten, Eve was all alone, the living dead. This being an unbearable state, she talked Adam into joining her. The adage that “misery loves company” is an old concept, indeed!  

But what was it that led to Adam’s fall to temptation? In my opinion, once Eve ate the fruit of death, the two of them (you notice he was “with her”) knew immediately that once she sinned they were separated into two different worlds his a world of life, hers of death. (Light has no fellowship with the deeds of darkness. . .) Adam could not bear the separation from his beloved Eve…therefore, he chose fellowship with her, even in her sufferings, over relationship with the Father. This then was really his sins: loving Eve more than God (idolatry), and/or not trusting God to somehow meet his (Adam’s) need for companionship and a helpmeet (lack of faith). It is likely that he would not have known the full consequences of his actions, however, until after he’d eaten the fruit: tasted of death.  

But you guys don’t get off that easily! There’s a much greater lesson to be learned here. Who was originally given dominion over the earth Adam? Or Eve? Who received the commandment not to eat from the tree in the midst of the Garden Adam? Or Eve? If indeed it was Adam who was given both the dominion (authority) and the command (it was), and if he was right there with Eve as she was being tempted why didn’t he simply take his rightful place of authority and forbid the serpent to tempt his wife? Why didn’t he answer the serpent’s question about what the Lord actually said regarding the tree? Why didn’t he simply slap his wife’s hand away as she reached for the fruit?  

Gen 2:15-18: 15] And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 16] And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17] But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. 18] And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. 

It’s interesting that God gives Adam the command regarding the tree in Genesis 2:17. Then, in the very next verse, the Lord speaks about creating a help meet for Adam. It is surely not simply coincidence that the scriptures make it absolutely clear that the commandment was originally given to Adam, before Eve was ever created. Therefore, the responsibility for keeping that commandment would have lain squarely on his shoulders.  

Sorry guys, but it appears Adam committed the very same sin that men are prone to commit even today: they renounce their responsibility to accept their God-given spiritual authority, and then blame women when in spite of doing the best she knows how – things go bad! And many men who do walk in “authority” do so inappropriately, in a spirit of ungodly control rather than one of Christ-like love. This often causes women, whose souls are naturally more sensitive to abuse of all kinds, to rebel against those who disrespect and misuse them. Then, once again, she’s regarded as the “bad guy.” (Even sadder are those women who believe it is their Godly lot in life to serve as their husband’s physical or emotional punching bags. But that’s another article.)  

Note that the Lord throughout scriptures holds Adam responsible for sin. He makes it clear that Eve was tricked, or deluded, but that Adam was not. At the risk of causing my sisters in Christ some chagrin, I must say that on the whole (there are exceptions) women have less capacity for spiritual discernment than do men. We are generally less likely to “call a spade a spade,” but will forbear with evil longer than may be wise in the hopes that some good will come of it in the end. We are also (sorry sisters, but this is true) more likely to be influenced by our emotions, which are less stable than a man’s. I believe we’re more sensitive to spiritual forces, both good and evil, and less able to clearly discern between the two.  

So what does all this mean? Is there no place for women to minister within the body of Christ? Absolutely! Remember, the Lord made us to be man’s “help meet.” We are the crown of His creation! At our best, we epitomize the beauty, gentleness and compassion of our Lord Jesus Christ. His church is depicted as being female in nature His beloved bride. Is there any higher honor?  

Every woman is responsible to obey the voice of God in her life, to develop and invest her spiritual talents, to grow in grace and in Godliness, to represent her Master here on earth. But the greatest Master in all creation came as a servant, utterly obedient to Godly authority. I believe that is a role God has given women. We were created and equipped to demonstrate to the world especially to our men that a Spirit-filled, Godly servant is one who operates under Godly authority with gentleness, meekness, great love and compassion and yet does so fervently, with all her heart and soul and strength. Such a woman will be a dynamically powerful testimony of Christ upon everyone within her sphere of influence. And the Lord will make certain such a woman has a wide sphere of influence!  

Are we to make our husbands or church leaders our gods? God forbid! Are we to encourage their “god-like” gifts, character and talents? YES. Are we to endure true abuse? Never. God does not condone or support the abuse of His beautiful, beloved daughters. He has not made any part of His creation to be like puppets, helplessly acted upon by outside forces. To remain in a truly abusive situation is to allow the enemy to heap abuse upon our beloved Christ Jesus, and to give the enemy empowerment in our lives and the lives of our children which rightfully belong to Christ. In such a case we must stand up with the power the Lord will provide, and take ourselves and our children out from under the authority of Satan. (“Out of Egypt…”) In most such cases a wise woman will turn to respected church leadership for help–no matter how far she has to go to find such leadership.  

Neither does the Lord want women to “hide our lights under a bushel.” He has made a place for us… it is a beautiful place, with rewards particularly suited to satisfy our deepest desires. That place is under the Godly authority of our husbands and/or church leadership. In that place, we can really shine!  

THE PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY–LIES WITH THE HUSBAND!  

Col. 3:19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. 

Eph 5:25-33: 25] Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26] That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27] That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28] So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29] For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30] For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31] For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32] This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33] Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. 

Men, the ball is really in your court. If you want your wife and the women in the church to come into their rightful places, then you must first take your rightful place of authority under the headship of Jesus Christ. You must reverence and obey Him with all your heart, and then love your wife as yourself. This means also respecting her, listening attentively to her thoughts and opinions, weighing what she has to say thoughtfully and prayerfully and covering her continually with your prayers. After Christ, she must come first in your life but it must always be in that order. You must accept the responsibility of being sensitive to her point of view, but of being ultimately responsible for the major decisions in your life together. You must not “lord it over” her, but should always put her needs ahead of your own.  

Most women would gladly come under such loving male authority. It’s what we were created for. But there’s much work to be done. Trust must be restored on both sides before we can “(re)-join together” that which has been split so sorely asunder. This calls for patience, wisdom, and the counsel of God. It may also call for the woman to repent of, and be delivered from, spirits of manipulation and control. This will be covered in a related article.  

If Christian men and women will take these things to heart, the results will be earth-shaking. When men and women come into right relationship under Christ Jesus, it will represent a restoration of God’s original plan all things brought together in one, even Christ Jesus. At that time, nothing will stop the power of God as He moves upon the earth through mankind, restored to correct order, and therefore armed with Godly authority, love and unity of vision and purpose. 

Respectfully submitted to the saints

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IN THE BEGINNING-MALE-FEMALE [Brenda Imus]          1

 

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