Satan and the Curse
The curse of the Fall
Genesis 1 v 26
“Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
Genesis 2 v 15
“The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.”
Before the fall of man, work and responsibility were given to Adam by God. Work would be a pleasure; it would help Adam to exercise the authority that God gave him and it would generate a sense of achievement and self worth.
Work was assigned to Adam before the fall and the curse! Work as designed and intended by God, was good for mankind, and still is.
The curse on the animal kingdom
Genesis 2 v 14
So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals.”
We have already pointed out from Genesis 1 v 29-30, that there were no carnivores in the original innocent creation.
The fall of man brought a terrible curse on the animal kingdom. Many species would evolve sooner or later into carnivorous hunters with claws and teeth that resembled the fall.
Please note that the mutation of genes within any given species would be limited to that particular species. There is no evidence from the fossil record of any evolution from one variety of species to another.
Scenes from ‘Wild Africa’ which depict lions and crocodiles hunting and devouring their prey are far removed from the innocent creation. These offer a vivid picture of the consequences of the fall of man and the affect that the fall would have on the animal kingdom which was part of his domain.
The curse on Eve and Woman
Genesis 2 v 16
To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”
1 Timothy 2 v 11-14
11 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.
13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.
1 Peter 3 v 7
Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
1 Corinthians 11 v 3
Now I want you to realise that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.
New Testament teaching on the relationship between men and women has its ‘context’ in the fall. If we lose sight of this, we lose our bearings and we will risk being waylaid into error.
Modern views on this subject have strayed because the context has been overlooked in favour of sexual equality. We have already pointed out the danger of the words – “Hath God said?”
This has become a ‘touchy’ subject and if we know our Bible, it should be anything but.
Husband and wife
Male and female - the biblical way
Ephesians 5 v 22-28
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Saviour. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
Male and female are different; this is why relationships work. Childbirth is a painful experience for women and there are few exceptions to this rule.
In the modern world, the role of women as designed by God is coming under attack. The Bible makes it clear that in a marriage relationship the woman should be subject to her husband. The husband is subject to Christ and all that this entails.
It should not escape our notice that this sacred relationship has an added dimension that stems directly from the fall. Scripture is clear on this point. If husbands love their wives with sacrificial love, wives will find it easy, indeed natural, to submit to their husbands.
The modern world's socioeconomic system is trying to erode the sacred nature of this relationship through 'sexual equality', 'equal rights' and by being 'politically correct'.
This is a present day example of how mankind is guilty of rebellion against the word of God. Sadly, this pollution is creeping into the church as well as the secular world. Submission is not a popular word in modern culture; but scripture is clear on the subject regardless of current trends.
According to the bible; a wife should submit to her husband - which incidentally implies male and female as the norm - and the husband should submit to Christ. Submission in both instances implies self denial under God's supervision.
The curse on man and work
By the sweat of your brow
Genesis 3 v 17-19
17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life.
18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”
We have already stated that work and responsibility were given to Adam before the fall and the curse. However, one dimension of his work would change as a consequence of the fall; man’s daily work would become ‘hard labour’ and result in sweat.
Our work can be enjoyable and fulfilling at times and yet at other times we are frustrated with all kinds of difficulties. Many people dislike their jobs so much that they talk about the 'daily grind'.
Why did the fall of man happen?
Part of the architects plan
God was not outwitted or taken by surprise when Adam and Eve disobeyed his command. In fact, it was part of his plan! Scripture consistently supports this.
Genesis 1 v 26
Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let him rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
This opening statement about the creation of man is full of significance. God describes himself in the plural; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Let us make man).
Man is made in God's image and likeness. Man is to rule over all other living things and over all the earth. We need to understand what it means to be made in the image and likeness of God. The first element of this is that we were made with the free will to make our own decisions.
In God's great plan we needed to be free to choose between right and wrong, otherwise, we would have been robots with no emotional or moral dimension.
Acts 2 v 23
“This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge...”
1 Peter 1 v 2
"... who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father.."
1 Peter 1 v 20
"He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake."
Ephesians 1 v 4
"For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight."
God is Omniscient, that is, all knowing. So, in his infinite wisdom, he knew that man would sin and he also made provision to deal with his sin.
When we think of human relationships we can gauge the depth of any relationship in terms of qualities such as openness, honesty, trust and discretion. My relationship with a solicitor for example will have a different dynamic compared to my relationship with my wife.
When we look back to Adam and Eve and their relationship with God, it was a very deep and pure relationship, involving implicit trust and respect.
God wants to have a relationship with everyone on earth, but we have inherited through the fall, a natural bias to shut God out and be independent of him. There is something within us that wants to dominate and determine our own lifestyle choices and ultimately, our own destiny.
The bible calls this inner human self domination - the sinful nature. We all have this inbuilt selfish dominance. If we are going to make any sense of life, we need to discover how to set this dominance aside and allow God to have the pre-eminence in our lives.
This is essentially the starting point of being 'saved' and becoming a Christian. Being 'born again' literally means receiving new life in Christ. This new life is received when we make that crucial decision to surrender to Jesus and make him Lord and Saviour.
If you are already a Christian, you will understand that setting aside this inner dominance is a daily process.
When did the fall of man happen?
According to the bible, the fall of man and the fall of Satan were separate events in time, but not separated by a long period of time.
Although the two events are clearly separate, they are nonetheless, inseparably linked in the purpose of God as it unfolds in human history. Let's consider what the bible has to say:
Genesis 5 v 3
"When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth".
Look again! "When Adam had lived 130 years..."
If we come back in time from the date that Seth was born (i.e. 130 years after Adam was made) and subtract the time that it took for Cain and Able to be born and mature into early manhood and then allow for the time which lapsed between the murdered Abel and his symbolic replacement - Seth, we could reasonably deduce that the period of innocence was indeed very short, a few years at the most. But I suspect, much less than a few years.
When did the fall of Satan happen?
Luke 10 v 18
Jesus said: "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven".
Isaiah 14 v 12-14
How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star (Lucifer), son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God;
I will sit enthroned on the mount of the assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.
Genesis 1 v 1
In the beginning God created ‘the heavens’ and the earth.
Genesis 1 v 31
God saw all that he had made and it was ‘very good’.
Genesis 2 v 1
Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.
At this point in time there was nothing defiled in all creation, for God describes all that he had made as very good.
Whilst we have a verse by verse description of creation relating to the earth and its immediate surroundings in Genesis chapter one, there is very little said at this early stage about heaven.
Earth is where man lives and heaven is where God and the heavenly beings live. It is fundamentally important that we recognise that there is a difference between these two worlds.
Satan (also known as Lucifer or the devil) was created as part of the initial creation as described in Genesis 1 v 1 - he was part of the heavenly dimension.
The fall of Satan happened sometime after Day 7 of the creation week (when the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array) but before the conversation that he had with Eve in the garden of Eden.
This event took place before Adam and Eve had brought any children into the world. Cain, the firstborn is not mentioned until after this took place. The fall of man took place prior to there being any other humans born into this world. Adam and Eve were clearly alone at this point in time.
The birth of Cain was long before the birth of Seth who replaced the murdered Abel. It took years for Cain and Abel to mature into adolescence or more probably manhood before Cain killed Abel.
Given that the birth of Seth was 130 years after God made Adam; the fall of man probably happened very soon after creation. It certainly was not a very long period of time; man's state of innocence did not last very long.
The personality of Satan
In support of the reality and personality of Satan; I cite the following scriptures:
Job 1 v 6-12
One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. The LORD said to Satan, 'Where have you come from?' Satan answered the LORD, 'From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.'
1 Peter 5 v 8
Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
John 13 v 2
The devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus.
John 13 v 27
As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan ‘entered into him’.
Satan entered into Judas in order to accomplish his will regarding the betrayal of Jesus. The outcome seemed disastrous at the time, but God who is sovereign, was accomplishing his will in providing salvation for mankind.
Please note here an interesting and frightening thought. Satan is a copycat god. Here in John 13, in the upper room, we have God incarnate in Jesus and now we see Satan indwelling Judas.
For a few brief moments, God and Satan were in the same room at the same time when God was working out his plan of salvation for mankind. The disciples were unaware of what was going on in the spiritual realm, but be sure of this; God was in control.
Matthew 26 v 20-22
When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. And while they were eating, he said, "I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me. " They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, "Surely not I, Lord?"
Judas had earlier been prompted by Satan (John 13 v 2), and now was indwelt by Satan (John 13 v 27), and yet none of the disciples said "Is it him?" (Judas).
They were seemingly oblivious to who was actually in the room with them at that critical moment in human history when God Almighty was working out his plan of salvation for mankind.
In view of the above scriptures, we must ask ourselves; how switched on am I regarding the activities and schemes of Satan as he tries to thwart the will of God in the spiritual realm?
In Isaiah 14 v 12-14 we learn that Satan fell because he wanted to be like the Most High.
Revelation 20 v 2
He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil or Satan...
Here Satan is referred to as 'that ancient serpent'. He is described as ancient, because this dates back to the fall in Genesis 3, and Serpent, because this is the creature that Satan chose through which to deceive Eve.
John 8 v 44
You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire.
He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
In the above passage, the Lord Jesus gives the Jews a reference to the first murder by Cain, and also the original deception of Eve in the Garden. Satan is a liar and a murderer.
Satan’s most devastating deception of mankind is yet to take place; it will unfold in the future during the Tribulation when the Antichrist deceives all the nations of the earth to follow him and to receive the mark of the beast.
The result of this penultimate deception will be devastating for millions of people as they are doomed to a lost eternity in hell.
Imagine sin as a virus
In recent times we have been made aware of the Aids virus (HIV), the Ebola virus and most recently, the Zika virus. These viruses’s can spread in various ways, Ebola and Zika by mosquito bite and Aids by sexual activity or blood transfusion.
There are some forms of medication and treatment with varying degrees of eradication and control. There can also be an element of luck or misfortune in the spread and contracting of these viruses.
To continue my analogy; the ‘virus’ of sin is different from normal physical viruses in the following ways: Sin affects everyone, there are no exceptions. Sin has spread across all of mankind in every generation since the fall in the Garden of Eden. Sin is inescapable!
Unlike natural viruses which spread and sometimes indiscriminately affect some but not others; we are all born in sin, we cannot escape the fall. For all have sinned:
Romans 5 v 12
“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.”
Apart from God, there is no human cure for sin, and there never will be.
Salvation is found in Christ alone!
Acts 4 v 12
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
We can be cured from sin. When we repent and turn to God for forgiveness, conversion is instant, we are born again.
However, the process of overcoming sin in our lives on earth, will last as long as we live. Sin will always be present with us because we still have the sinful nature with which we were born.
What changes at the moment of salvation is that we receive new life in Christ through his indwelling Holy Spirit. We are born again! Paul expands this theme in Romans chapter 7. He takes time and care to do this in order to help us in our constant battle against sin.
Sin has been dealt with on the cross at Calvary when Christ died for us. We can be saved now and enter into a meaningful relationship with God for the duration of our lives. But, sin will not be finally dealt with and fully eradicated until the end of the world.
Revelation chapters 20-22 outline how, in the end, God creates a perfect new heaven and a new earth where sin cannot dwell and at that time, death and hell are thrown into the eternal lake of fire.
Sin will be no more! Hallelujah to our great and Almighty God!
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Read more: Fossils, dinosaurs and the Ice Age
Read more: The Rapture and the Tribulation