by Wade E Taylor
Adam was created in the “image” and “likeness” of God. He was formed from dust, which resulted in his being “dependent.” Had the Lord intended Adam to be independent, He would have formed him from clay. Dust must have something added (water) before it can maintain shape or form, which is received only from the Lord.
“Whosoever drinks of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst….” John 4:13b-14
Because Adam and Eve were created in the “image and likeness” of God, they were placed in a “conditional” environment in the Garden of Eden, in which they were to live in a “submissive” (willingly dependant) relationship to the Lord, while experiencing ongoing times of communion with Him.
Adam was given “dominion” over the earth, but he was to abide as being “dependent.” For us to be “dependent” requires the possibility of our becoming “independent.” Therefore, the Lord placed in the center of the Garden of Eden, the “tree of life” (dependence – they were to maintain their lives by a daily partaking of the Lord), and the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (independence – life maintained through self-knowledge).
Adam and Eve were told by the Lord that they could freely eat of all that was within the Garden, with one exception – they were not to partake of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And, if they did, they would die. That is, they would immediately die spiritually, losing their relationship of dependence upon the Lord, and, in time, they would also die physically.
“Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, Has God indeed said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” Genesis 3:1 NJKV
Satan came to Eve and caused her to question the “consequence” of disobedience. He led her to believe that she would be much better off if she chose to be independent from being under the government of God. Eve accepted what he said and partook, and then gave to Adam and he also ate. However, Satan did not tell them that in becoming “independent” from God, they would become “dependent” upon him.
Because Adam and Eve failed the test of submission, disqualifying themselves to subdue and have dominion in the earth, Jesus, as the “Last Adam,” had to qualify – through a total submission to His Father in all that He said and did. Also, He had to face Satan and overcome in every instance where Adam and Eve had failed.
Through a process of testing and proving, Jesus “qualified” for His place of headship in bringing redemption to man, and to justly and righteously judge Satan, who, through deception had taken from Adam his place of headship.
“For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15
So also, all those who will rule with Jesus in the age to come (Millennial Kingdom)must submit to a time of preparation, in order to qualify (and have made us kings and priests). They also must be tested, as Jesus was, in order to rule with Him.
“And have made us to our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” Revelation 5:10
Since provision for the redemption of mankind was established long before the earth was created, or Adam was formed, God was not taken by surprise when Adam failed. It had been determined from before the foundation of the world that Jesus would be our Savior.
When Jesus came into the world in His first incarnation, He came as a helpless baby, who grew in wisdom and stature. Jesus was not only our Savior by “appointment” (judicially), but He qualified through life experience (experientially) to become our Savior.
“Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of Me, I delight to do Your will, O My God: yea, Your law is within My heart.” Psalm 40:7-8
Jesus came, not only to become our Savior, but also to qualify as the “Righteous Judge” to deal with the rebellion of Satan, and to remove him from his place of usurped authority.
“And having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” Colossians 2:15
Satan had said, “I will.” Therefore, Jesus always said, “Thy will.”
“Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; And being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey Him.” Hebrews 5:8-9
“Wherefore God also has highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name.” Philippians 2:9
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross.” Philippians 2:5-8
Before the creation of Adam and Eve, Satan had moved within himself against God.
“I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High.” Isaiah 14:13b-14
It is at this point that Satan failed. He acted on his own prideful desire – “I will exalt my throne.” Because Satan rose up and sought to usurp authority from the Father by acting independently of Him, it was necessary for Jesus to live in total submission and dependence on His Father. As a testimony to this, Jesus said that He did nothing apart from His Father.
Jesus always said, “Thy will be done.” He never said, “My will” – but rather, He said, “Of Myself, I do nothing.” Jesus submitted Himself totally to the “will” of His Father.
“Then said Jesus to them, When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then shall you know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father has taught Me, I speak these things. And He that sent Me is with Me: the Father has not left Me alone; for I do always those things that please Him.” John 8:28-29
After Jesus came up out of the waters of baptism, He was led into the wilderness to be tested. Satan soon appeared, seeking to cause Jesus to act on His own initiative, apart from His Father’s will – just as he had acted upon his own selfish desire to ascend to the throne. He was thereby attempting to “disqualify” Jesus from becoming his judge.
By overcoming and defeating Satan’s temptations, Jesus qualified to judge him.
“Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He was afterward hungry. And when the tempter came to Him, he said, If You be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.” Matthew 4:1-3
After forty days of fasting in the wilderness, Jesus became intensely hungry. Hunger can drive us to do all kinds of things. The enemy came and told Jesus that He should satisfy His hunger by turning stones into bread. In effect, Satan said, “You are God, therefore, You can easily feed Your own hunger.” Jesus responded that His Father had not told Him to do so.
“But He answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4
Jesus had said that He did nothing apart from His Father. He was now being tested concerning this statement. Jesus refused to act apart from the will of God, and gained a victory.
If Jesus had turned stones into bread, Satan would then be able to say, “I was hungry for power, and I sought to ascend and exalt my throne, so I acted on this desire. Now, You became hungry and acted on Your desire for satisfaction; therefore, You are no better than I, and You have no right to judge me.”
Satan had an inner desire for self-exaltation and therefore acted on this desire. If Jesus had turned stones into bread, this would have been the end of our redemption, as Jesus would have utterly failed.
“Then the devil takes Him up into the holy city, and sets Him on a pinnacle of the temple, and says to Him, If You be the Son of God, cast Yourself down: for it is written, He shall give His angels charge concerning You: and in their hands they shall bear You up, lest at any time You dash Your foot against a stone.” Matthew 4:5-6
Just as Satan caused Eve to doubt the word of the Lord (has God said?), he tried to cause Jesus to doubt that His Father would provide for Him. Again, he sought to cause Jesus to act on His own, and provoke His Father to meet His need.
“Jesus said to him, It is written again, You shall not tempt the Lord your God.” Matthew 4:7
Satan, desiring the worship that belongs to God alone, then sought to tempt Jesus to worship him.
“Again, the devil takes Him up into an exceeding high mountain, and shows Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And says to Him, All these things will I give You, if You will fall down and worship me.” Matthew 4:8-9
“Then says Jesus to him, Get you from here, Satan: for it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.” Matthew 4:10
When Satan said “I will give all these kingdoms to You,” Jesus did not respond and say, “You cannot do that.” Rather, Jesus refused to worship, as this would have brought Him under the authority of Satan, who presently is the prince of this world and controls the nations.
Jesus has won a victory in each area of Satan’s transgression. Now, He is fully qualified to judge Satan in “that day.”
Now, on the authority of His overcoming victory, can Jesus say to us:
“To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.” Revelation 3:21