Rev. Heys is a minister emeritus in the Protestant Reformed Churches.
The tremendously small disease germs that are invisible to the naked eye of man can produce in man a dangerously high fever, severe pain, and as far as some of them are concerned, the realization of certain death. The length, breadth, shape, and weight of such creatures do not count.
Likewise a small spark of electricity, or a small match that has been lit near an explosive gas can cause a powerful explosion, great devastation, and fire. Therefore men are warned not to smoke while filling their automobiles with gasoline (by some called petrol). That is also why some laborers must wear rubber shoes, so that no spark is created in places where there are explosive gases.
Let us then hold before our eyes the fact that although Satan brought to Adam and Eve what seemed to be such a little, harmless deed of eating of a piece of fruit, which God had forbidden them to eat, it caused a tremendous spiritual explosion that is raging today and increasing in its intensity every year, so that soon the antichrist with all his devilishness and awesome wickedness will fill the earth. It was a powerful spark that is going to blow the human race into the lake of fire, which Scripture calls hell! And Adam’s and Eve’s eating of that fruit, although a very small shadow, was the shadow of the tremendously great deviltry that lies ahead of us, and is boldly advocated and encouraged today.
As already suggested, a small shadow of a jumbo jet airplane is cast upon the ground when the huge jet is at a certain altitude; and as it comes down to land, the shadow becomes bigger and bigger, until when it lands the shadow is as great as the plane. So in the day in which we live, that little shadow in Adam’s and Eve’s sin is becoming bigger and bigger; and we ought to recognize it, and recognize it as a shadow of what lies ahead; and not deceive ourselves into thinking and saying that the world is getting better.
Paul informs us in II Thessalonians 2:3 that the man of sin, not the child, teenager or novice of sin, is coming. And more and more the world is not only practicing sin but is defending it in more violent and astounding ways. Many states have withdrawn the death penalty for murderers, and not only defend but even give financial support for the murder of unborn babies! Sabbath desecration has reached frightening proportions even in the church world. God’s name is boldly taken in vain. And whereas in the past cursing was presented by simply printing the first letter of the word which was then followed by a dash, now boldly and openly God’s name is taken in vain; and those who claim not to believe in hell will shout out unashamedly, and print boldly, the cry that one go to hell! The grossest of sins, that is, what men used to call gross sins, are now that which entertains millions on their TV sets. The sins because of which Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by brimstone and fire entertain the world; and what Paul wrote in Romans 1:32 is also true in the church world today. Members of the churches, as well as avowed unbelievers, “have pleasure in them that do them,” that is, them that do the kinds of sins that Satan has caused man to develop and boldly commit. Do church members not turn on their TV sets because they have pleasure in watching sins, rather than being made spiritually sick to see such God-hating acts?
And the more devices man invents, the more he becomes capable of using them to show his hatred against God. The more deeply he finds the powers which God created in this earth, the more intensely he will use this, which is God’s world, for the sinful satisfaction of his godless flesh. Adam’s and Eve’s sin, which seemed so little and such a small shadow of sin, was by no means a little, harmless departure from what they had been told that they should do. All the deviltry in the world today, and all the greater, more fully developed sin that is just ahead of us, comes out of that deed Satan got Adam and Eve to perform. He was not interested in a little act of hatred against God. Oh, no, he wanted man to hate God with all his being; and that is what he also succeeded in bringing down upon this earth. Adam’s and Eve’s eating of the forbidden fruit was a small shadow of the humanly immeasurable deviltry that Satan brought to this earth.
Adam and Eve did not themselves see the awfulness of their sin, and that it would bring forth all the violence, brutality, godlessness, and immorality, all the filth and bold enmity against God’ that we see today. They were color blind in the sense that they called what is white to be black, and what is black they considered white. Satan succeeded in getting them to call what is good to be evil, and what is evil to be good. That was his intention. That is why he approached them through that serpent. He wanted them to hate God; and he succeeded in getting their hearts turned completely from God. That is what their deed produced. Eating that fruit, they swallowed Satan’s lie that good is evil and evil is good for them. He got them to disagree with God, Who said that obedience was good and disobedience was evil. He did not succeed in getting them to go part way, to make a little departure from God. He succeeded in getting them to turn completely around and have their backs turned to God. And God’s word was proven to be true. They died spiritually that day. They became totally depraved, that is, one hundred percent spiritually dead!
Let us not call this anything but a fact. It is not to any degree fiction. All the sin in the world today is undeniable proof that Adam and Eve died spiritually. Even though their sin was a small shadow, it pointed to the tremendously great hatred against God that we now see in the world here below. And what Adam and Eve did that very day, and only an hour or two later, shows that of which their first sin was this small shadow. It was the damaging and dangerous spark that will bring forth the man of sin who claims to be God. And remember that every sin, no matter what kind it is, no matter which of the ten commandments it breaks, comes forth from a heart that says that there is no God, and that man is his own god, with the right to do as he pleases. Every sin is an act of one hundred percent hatred toward God.
And because they died the day that they ate, Adam and Eve could not turn back to God and confess their sin with tears. They could not even seek forgiveness. Having decided that evil is good and good is evil, they were going to continue seeking the evil and leave their backs turned from what is good. They made no attempt to tell Satan that his words were evil. They made no prayer to God that He would bring them back from Satan’s lie and remove him from off this earth.
No, having died spiritually the moment that they ate of that forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve tried to cover up their sin rather than to get rid of it. Yes, they wanted to get away from the punishment of sin. That is why they covered themselves with fig leaf aprons. But that reveals no spiritual life. You may be sure that Satan and all the fallen angels and unconverted human beings want to be delivered from the punishment of sin. That does not make one a believer. That does not show that man has a spark of spiritual life left in him. It shows that he is no different from the devil who also is one hundred percent spiritually dead. No, the evidence of a spark of spiritual life, which man gets when he is born again, is the desire to be delivered from thepower of sin, to get completely from under the dominion of Satan, and to want to and be able to do only what is pleasing in God’s sight.
Adam’s and Eve’s act of making fig leaf aprons to cover them is undeniable evidence that they still held on to Satan’s lie, and had lost all their knowledge that God is God and must be obeyed every moment in every act that man performs. Satan got them to believe that God lied to them when He warned them of what would happen if they disobeyed Him. Foolishly, and revealing that they were spiritually dead, having no love for God, and unwilling to walk in a way of love to Him, they even tried to get away from that punishment by their own deeds of hiding themselves among the trees of the garden.
They ran farther away from God instead of running to Him with tears of sorrow for their sins, and without showing one spark of love for Him. They showed clearly that they had died spiritually. You cannot find one deed on their part that gave evidence of any spiritual life in them, no hatred of their sin, no desire to be pleasing in God’s sight. You will not find even the trace of any hatred of Adam and Eve toward Satan for what he had caused them to do. Instead you find how fully they were now under his spiritual power. The shadow is growing bigger and bigger even the day that sin entered upon this earth.
Do not overlook the fact that Adam and Eve, instead of crying out for salvation from Satan’s God-hating power,, accuse God of sin! Surely they lost all their spiritual life. When God asks Adam where he is, Adam admits that he hid himself because he was naked. In no way and to no degree does he confess that he sinned and broke God’s commandment. Not one bad word does he utter about the devil. But he does have words which he should not have addressed to God. When God asked him who told him that he was naked, and whether he had eaten of the tree which He had commanded him that of it he should not eat, Adam was bold enough to accuse God of sin. He said, “The woman Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” Imagine that! It is God’s fault. He gave Adam the wrong woman for a wife. He speaks not one word about Satan who came to him through that serpent. He does not confess, “Yes, I did sinfully eat, should not have done so, deserve everlasting punishment, and plead for Thy mercy and grace.” No, God is blamed for giving him this wife. God is to blame for not giving him a good wife. And Eve repeats this evil speech. When God asks her what she had done, she tries to lay the blame upon the serpent, not upon herself. She does not confess having listened to the serpent. She does not fall on her face and confess that she should not have listened to that speech of the serpent that was so contrary to God’s word to them.
And it is only because God has chosen them before the foundation of the world in Christ that He did not cast them at once into the torments of hell. They were spiritually dead and deserved to die physically, and to have their souls cast into the lake of fire. And we do have a shadow here of the grace that God will be showing to His elect children. But at the moment we had better see the awfulness of Adam’s and Eve’s sin. They confessed no sin, even though they did admit that they had eaten of that fruit. Sorrow for sin was not revealed to the slightest degree; but more sin was committed to try to protect themselves from the punishment they knew they deserved, because they did not forget that God had predicted that they would die if they disobeyed Him. Their sin of eating brought forth more sins the very day that they committed that first sin.
Clearly Satan planted a potent and very damaging seed. He got into man’s mind, but also into his heart, with a very powerful spiritual germ that killed him spiritually. And that seed did not simply bring forth all the violence and cruelty that man heaps upon mankind today. It also brought forth, and is powerfully bringing forth today, the many false doctrines that grow and develop in the church. And let us not go along with the lie that man did not die spiritually that day. Let us insist upon total, one hundred percent depravity of man; and that Adam’s and Eve’s actions immediately after eating of the forbidden fruit reveal that God spoke the truth; and that we must not go along with Satan’s lie that fallen man is still able to get his eyes opened to what is good and what is evil by listening to him rather than to God.