The Fall of Man
Men, in their original minds, are inclined to repel evil and to pursue goodness. But almost always, men find themselves performing evil acts which they do not really want to do, driven by an unseen evil force. In Christianity, the master of this evil force is known as "Satan." In this chapter, we will pursue and disclose who and what is Satan.
The Root of Sin
Christians have only vaguely understood from the Bible that the first human ancestors' eating of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was the root of sin. However, is the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil a literal fruit of a tree, or as in many other instances in the Bible, is it a metaphor or symbol? Divine Principle clearly shows that it is a symbol. Why would a God of love make such an attractive fruit that could entice His own beloved children to fall? (Gen. 3:6). By what Jesus said in Matt. 15:11, we might ask if something edible could cause a man to fall? Or is it possible that God would test man so mercilessly by a means that could cause his death merely to see whether or not he would obey Him? Neither possibility is likely. The fruit must symbolize something so extraordinarily stimulating and so ardently desired that even fear of death, of which God warned, could not deter Adam and Eve from eating.
Before we can really determine what the fruit of good and evil was, we must examine the tree that produced it, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. In order to do that, we must first grasp the true meaning of the Tree of Life, which stood next to the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden.
In Prov. 13:12 it says, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick; but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life." This indicates that for fallen man to accomplish God's will, man is to become a Tree of Life. Also, Rev. 22:14 says, "Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life." This verse indicates that the attainment of the Tree of Life is the source of happiness for fallen man. What is the Tree of Life which was the hope of the Israelites of the Old Testament age and of Christians of the New Testament era?
Judging from the fact that the ultimate hope of Adam before the fall was to become a Tree of Life, we can conclude that this is true for man after the fall as well. This is because everything that fallen man truly seeks is what he lost because of the fall. Thus, we find in Gen. 3:24 that Adam, after committing sin, could not reach the Tree of Life and it has since remained the hope of fallen man.
What must Adam have hoped while he was in the process of growing to perfection? For Adam in the Garden of Eden could have material possessions, power or any external thing have been his very deepest wish? As the one who was to have dominion over all things, Adam was the master of his beautiful environment. Therefore, he certainly had no reason of wanting more material possessions or power. If Adam ever had a wish while still growing toward perfection it could only have been to reach perfection itself. In other words his wish would have been to become a being of perfected character, to realize the ideal of creation, to reach perfect manhood. If Adam had not fallen, he would have become a perfected man, attaining the Tree of Life, forming a garden around the Tree of Life (the Garden of Eden) which would have been the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. But Adam fell and God placed the cherubim and flaming sword at the entrance of the Garden to block the way to the Tree of Life (Gen. 3:24). Accordingly, the purpose of creation remained unfulfilled and Adam became a false Tree of Life (fallen man) whose descendants were also false trees of life. Consequently, there must appear on earth a true Tree of Life to which all mankind can be grafted, restoring the garden of the Tree of Life (Garden of Eden) and realizing the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. For this reason, Jesus was symbolized as the Tree of Life in Proverbs in the Old Testament (Prov. 13:12) and the coming Lord of the Second Advent was similarly depicted in the Book of Revelation in the New Testament (Rev. 22:14). Thus we can clearly understand that God's goal of salvation is to restore the Tree of Life lost in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 2:9) to the Tree of Life mentioned in the Book of Revelation (Rev. 22:14).
In the Garden of Eden, God created Adam and He also created Eve as Adam's spouse. Thus, when we find in the Garden of Eden a tree symbolizing the perfected man who has accomplished the ideal of creation, mustn't there be another tree symbolizing the perfected woman who has also accomplished the ideal of creation? The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, which was described as standing with the Tree of Life, is this very tree.
In the Bible, Jesus is referred to as the vine (John 15:5) or the olive tree (Rom. 11:17). Likewise, perfected Adam and Eve are represented by two different trees. Thus God has given a clue to fallen man as to the secret of the human fall. In the Garden of Eden the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil were not literal trees but symbols of the two important individuals, Adam and Eve, who were the nucleus and center of the ideal of creation. God's entire ideal of creation is to be accomplished through people. Seen in this light, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil must by a symbol of Eve. But to further clarify and prove this point, let us examine the true character of the serpent mentioned in the third chapter of Genesis.
It is recorded that the serpent tempted Eve and made her commit sin (Gen. 3:4-7). That serpent could converse with man and also knew God's intention to prohibit man from eating the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Thus, the serpent must have been a spiritual being in their immediate environment. Rev. 12:9 says, "And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world." This indicates that the serpent is called the Devil and that this "ancient serpent" is the very one who tempted Eve. The Bible says further that the serpent was thrown down from heaven, therefore we must again say he must be a spiritual being.
In order to know who the serpent was, we must know who Satan is; therefore we must determine who was that spiritual being thrown down from heaven. That serpent who was thrown down from heaven must originally have been created as a good being headed toward perfection. There was no one in the Garden of Eden not created by God; furthermore, no being already perfect could be capable of falling and committing sin.
Some speculate that this spiritual being who was symbolized as a serpent was in existence before creation with a purpose contrary to that of God. However, with the exception of fallen man on this earth, nothing in the created world exists against God's plan of creation; so, it is not likely that there could have been an already existing evil being as God's adversary. If there had been originally two masters in the universe, their two contrary objectives would clash and the universe would come to naught. Therefore, this spiritual being was originally created for the purpose of goodness, but later fell and became Satan. This being was able to converse with man, he was a spiritual being who knew God's will, and he was also capable of tempting man. And this being, after falling and becoming Satan, could dominate man's mind and spirit transcendent of time and space, making man lead an evil life for thousands of years.
What being fits this description? Only angels are endowed with such characteristics. We may first doubt that angels can commit such sins, but on this assumption let us investigate more deeply. If in the Bible there is any indication that an angel tempted man to sin, then Satan must have been an angel. Then we read in II Peter 2:4, "God did not spare the angels when they sinned but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of nether gloom. . ." So we must conclude that the true identity of the serpent, which tempted man to fall, was an angel.
Then, in what way did the angel fall? Jude 1:6-7 reads: "And the angels that did not keep their own position but left their proper dwelling have been kept by him in eternal chains in the nether gloom until the judgment of the great day; just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise acted immorally and indulged in unnatural lust, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire." From this we can see clearly that the sin of the angel was an immoral act of unnatural lust. This immoral act cannot be committed alone; rather, there must be a partner. But who could it have been? In the Garden of Eden, there was only man who could commit sin with an angel. Then what is the sin of the first human ancestors?
In Genesis 3:7, we read that after the fall the first human ancestors, who were tempted by the serpent, became ashamed of their nakedness and covered the lower parts of their body. However, before their fall, Adam and Eve were naked and not ashamed of their nakedness (Gen. 2:25). Yet afterwards, they sewed fig leaves together into aprons to cover their lower parts.
Then, could their sin also have been one of an immoral act? If they had committed sin by eating an actual fruit of a "tree of the knowledge of good and evil," they would have concealed their hands and mouths instead, because it is human nature to conceal an area of transgression. Can this not be an indication that Adam and Eve committed sin through their lower parts? In Job 34:33 it is written, ". . .I have concealed my transgressions like Adam, by hiding my iniquity in my bosom." This indicates that Adam committed sin with the lower parts of his body.
In the Garden of Eden, the only possible act that man could have performed at the risk of his life was that of illicit love. Adam and Eve were to grow up as the first brother and sister and after perfecting themselves, were to become the first husband and wife and form the first family, fulfilling God's purpose of creation. But Jesus said in John 8:44, "You are of your father the devil," clearly showing that fallen men are descendants of the devil; in other words, after the first human ancestors had an illicit relationship with the angel, all men came to have Satan as their false father.
Thus, Adam and Eve, forsaking their true father, became one with a false father, Satan. Romans 8:23 says, ". . we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies." John the Baptist called fallen men sons of Satan (Matt. 3:7) and even Jesus said, you serpents, you brood of vipers" (Matt. 23:32).
To state the conclusion, since the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil symbolized Eve, the fruit of the tree was the symbol of Eve's love. The fact that Eve ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil means that she had an illicit love relationship with Satan, and the fact that Eve gave Adam the same fruit implies that she seduced Adam to fall in the same way.
Consequently, the root of human sin is not that the first human ancestors picked and ate a literal fruit, but that they had an illicit love relationship with a spiritual being, who was symbolized by the serpent. This established a fallen blood lineage through which this original sin is passed on from generation to generation. Throughout history, all of the major religions have called adultery one of the greatest sins. Also we can see why the Israelites had to be circumcised as a condition to become God's elect. We may be able to eradicate other sins through social, educational or economic improvements, but even as these are made and living conditions continue to improve, man's inclination toward immorality and degradation has also increased. The reality is that no one has been able to prevent this.
As the Last Days draw near and Satan continues to invade the emotion and love of mankind, we must know this is a result of the fall of the first human ancestors, a direct result of their behaving as husband and wife, not with the blessing and permission of God, but under the false fatherhood of Satan. Their descendants are not of God but of sin, and have created the world of sin, conflict and war.
Thus, despite the fact that God created man and the universe, He has never been able to dominate man according to His will because man chose a false master. Instead, Satan became the false master of this world. John 12:31 states that Satan is "the ruler of this world" and in II Cor. 4:4, he is called "the god of this world" for this very reason.
The Motivation and Process of the Fall
Then by what motivation did the first human ancestors and the angel come to fall?
Before He made the created world, God first created the angelic world as His servants (Heb. 1: 14). However, man was created as His child and was given the right of dominion over the created world, including the angels. But because man fell he became deceitful and corrupt above all things (Jer. 17:9) and thus has envied even the angels.
Yet in I Cor. 6:3, it is written that man has the right to judge the angels. And spiritually gifted individuals have many times described angels as surrounding good spirit men and saints. This tells us that man was originally created to be higher and more precious than the angels.
In Isaiah 14:12, we find that Lucifer ("Day Star") was in the position of archangel. He was originally the center of God's love, the one through whom God gave His love to the entire angelic realm. However, after God created Adam and Eve, who were to be His children, God loved them more than the archangel himself who was created to be man's servant. In actuality, God loved Lucifer just as much as before, but when Lucifer saw that God loved Adam and Eve more than himself, he began to feel that the love he was receiving from God had diminished. Because of this, Lucifer tried to come closer to Adam and Eve in order to supplement the love he was receiving.
Since God's love is the source of life and the ideal of all created beings, Eve, who was growing in the abundance of God's love, appeared in Lucifer's eyes to be extremely beautiful. So Lucifer was attracted to Eve, felt the impulse of love and committed sin. The sin that was committed here was the spiritual fall.
How is it possible for sexual relations to occur between an angel and man? Because of the great deterioration of man's spiritual perception due to the fall, this seems difficult to understand. However, there are many examples in the Bible that illustrate the possibility of substantial contact between men and angels. One example is that of Jacob wrestling with the angel, when the angel dislocated Jacob's thigh bone (Gen. 32:25).
After Eve and the archangel committed the spiritual fall by uniting their spiritual bodies in illicit love, Eve began to feel an uneasy conscience and even fear with the additional knowledge given to her by her actions. She then understood that her true spouse was meant to be Adam and not the angel. With this added new wisdom, she then wanted to return to Adam, in part to correct her wrongdoing and in part to be free from the sensation of fear derived from her fall. So, she seduced Adam and this second fallen act of love we call the physical fall.
As was stated in the chapter on the Principle of Creation, Adam and Eve were to fulfill the three blessings, but in order to do so they must join in marriage only when mature, in other words when they had each perfected themselves centering around God. Yet, Adam and Eve not only became one before maturity and without God's permission, but did so centering around Satan. This is the meaning of the fall.
Adam, by becoming one body with Eve, inherited all the elements of evil and sin which Eve had received from Lucifer, in the same manner as she did. These elements were then transmitted to their descendants.
If the first human ancestors did not eat of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they would have perfected themselves as the son and daughter of God, and after perfection, blessed by God, they would have become husband and wife centering around God's love and multiplied children of goodness to fulfill the ideal of God's creation. Then, the love of Eve would have become a good fruit and her substantial being would have become a perfected woman or a tree of goodness.
But imperfect Eve had an illicit love relationship with the archangel and instead became a false woman, furthermore causing Adam to fall, and together becoming the origin of the fallen family upon which God cannot operate. Therefore, fallen Eve herself can be likened to a tree of evil and her love, the fruit of evil.
Seen from the result, Eve, before the fall could have become either a tree of goodness by accomplishing the purpose of creation, or a tree of evil by falling, not keeping God's commandment. This is the reason Eve was likened to a tree of good and evil.
Similarly, Eve's love before the fall could have become either a good or bad fruit, accomplishing the purpose of creation or causing the fall, and thus her love was likened to a fruit of good and evil.
According to the Principle of Creation, God was to accomplish the purpose of creation of man through the ideal of love. Therefore, love is the source of human life and happiness. But because the first human ancestors erred and betrayed this heavenly way through the misuse of love itself, Satan has been persistently claiming and demoralizing man through his false love. Satan is the very criminal who has condemned the human family to destruction.
The Result of the Human Fall
What was the result brought about in the world of creation by the spiritual and physical fall of Adam and Eve? Let us make a comparison with what would have happened had they not fallen.
If Adam and Eve had not fallen but had attained perfection they would have been the substantial realization of the vertical love of God, and by then becoming husband and wife, would have realized the horizontal love of God by bearing children of goodness. They would have fulfilled the Four Position Foundation under God's direct dominion.
However, Adam and Eve, who were still growing toward perfection, fell as a direct result of unprincipled love with the archangel. God, the author of the Divine Principle, was excluded and instead a four position foundation centering around Satan was formed, with Satan acting as the false master.
This is the very reason why the Bible refers to fallen mankind as children of the devil (John 8:44) and says that Satan is "the ruler of this world" (John 12:31).
Even Satan, who is said to be master of this world, cannot perform evil actions without having an object with whom to form a reciprocal base for Give and Take Action. Thus, Satan uses as his objects both evil spirit men in the spiritual world and evil men on earth to manifest his power transcendent of time and space. This is the meaning of the verse in Luke 22:3 saying that Satan entered into Judas Iscariot.
If Adam and Eve had formed the Four Position Foundation centering around God, they would have become substantial beings of goodness and realized the world of goodness.
However, since they formed a four position foundation centering around Satan, through their love which originally had a purpose centering on goodness, they became the substantial beings of evil, realizing a world of evil. Thus, good or evil can result from the same action because behind that action are entirely different motivations and purposes.
Therefore good and evil are not decided by the type and result of a certain action, but are decided by whether the motivation, direction and purpose of that action are directed towards the will of God or the will of Satan.