Excerpted from In the Cleft of the Rock: Insights into the Blood of Jesus, Resurrection Power, and Saving the Soul by Michael J. Webb
Imagine for a moment that as type and shadow Adam represents “spirit” and Eve represents “soul”. Of course, each was complete when created in that they both had souls and spirits, as well as individual bodies. I’m simply suggesting a metaphor.
Adam and Eve together represent an undivided whole. Spirit and soul in union with God. One plus one equals one. Poor math, perfect theology. Adam in type is spirit and Eve in type is soul. Soul and spirit, in unity, are one flesh.
The perfection of God.
Spirit is the elder, soul the younger. When Adam hearkens to the voice of his wife he is really hearkening to his the voice of his soul. Mind, will, and emotions rise ascendant over the spirit. Thus, the elder serves the younger. Jesus came, in part, to restore the spirit to its rightful place as master. Nevertheless, the practical application of bringing the soul into submission is no easy task. Paul tells us that this process is one of “working out our salvation with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12)
God spoke to Adam, spirit, and gave clear instructions about the trees of the garden. Embrace the Tree of Life, avoid the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Presumably, Adam then communicated the admonition of the Lord to Eve. The serpent, or enchanter, appears to Eve, representationally the soul of man, because it is the nature of the soul, or intellect, to reason. Eve, or soul, has a discussion with the serpent and during the dialogue she adds to the Word of God by saying that she has been admonished to not even touch the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Clearly, God never said any such thing. Thus, we see the first distortion of God’s Word by the reasoning soul and its ultimate consequence.
Have you ever wondered why there were only two trees in the Garden of Eden? Why not three? Logically, it would seem that there should have been the Tree of Life, the Tree of the knowledge of Good, and then, off by itself—perhaps gnarled and distorted, the ground around it blackened and scorched as a warning—the Tree of the Knowledge of Evil.
But that’s not the way it was.
The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil represents many things to many people. But at its root it ultimately represents magic, enchantment, divination, and witchcraft. 1Samuel 15:23 tells us that “rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft.” The rebellion of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, the result of deception and disobedience, is the root of humanity’s woes. It is second only to Lucifer’s rebellion, the root of all evil. One of the fruits of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is magic—both white and black magic. The Good Witch of the North, as well as the Wicked Witch of the East. In reality, there is no such thing as white or black magic. All magic is deception.
Another fruit is humanism. The belief that the thoughts and creations of man are preeminent. The idea that man is basically good, and that through discipline and enlightenment he can achieve equality with God. It is the knowledge of self in opposition to the knowledge of God. The ultimate foolishness—man claiming to be God. Paul tells us in Romans 1:25 that as a result of original Sin, mankind “changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator.” And the prophet Isaiah tells us that it was this desire to be worshiped as God that caused Lucifer to rebel and fall. The famous five “I will’s” are set out for us in Isaiah 14:13-14: “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.”
If Eve is a type and shadow of the soul, it seems obvious why the serpent appeared to her and deceived her rather than Adam, or spirit. The soul is the seat of the mind, will, and emotions. Satan, in the form of the serpent, appeals to the soul of man, and thus deceives the mind, will, and emotions. James 1:13 tells us that this deception is actually a three step process: (1)”But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed (beguiled), (2) Then, when lust has conceived (3) it brings forth sin.”
The imagery in the Greek here is very powerful. First, there is deception, an enchantment or beguilement. This implies an active outside force acting on the will. Then, there is a conception, as when a seed is planted in fertile ground and begins to sprout. But this seed must be nourished. If it is not watered and fertilized, it cannot grow. Finally, there is a birth. But what is it that is born?
Separation from our Heavenly Father.
In our metaphor, Adam, spirit, the elder, now serves Eve, soul, the younger, as a result of the soul’s deception and the spirit’s disobedience. Soul and spirit are torn asunder. They are no longer in unity. They are at odds with one another, and with God. With soul ascendant and spirit in submission the stage is set for man’s descent into depravity and unrighteousness.
Why is all of this important? Because it lays a foundation for Christ’s suffering in the garden of Gethsemane. Hebrews 5:7-10 gives us a powerful picture of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane:
Who in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up
prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto
Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard in
that he feared;
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 unto all them that obey Him;
Called of God a high priest after the order of Melchisedec.
Three hours. What extraordinary imagery. Christ, God incarnate as man, wrestles with his soul in the garden for three hours. His struggle is so titanic, that He sweats drops of blood. We are told in Hebrews 2:16-18 that Jesus took on the form of man rather than angels because in suffering and overcoming temptation He is able to comfort all of humanity. And Hebrews 4:15 says that Jesus “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”
Jesus suffered many things during His short time on Earth, including being tempted directly by Satan during his forty days in the wilderness immediately after His baptism by John. Yet, the final battle in Gethsemane was perhaps His greatest test and temptation. Had He not brought His soul into submission in the garden, He would never have gone to the cross. Had Jesus not gone to the cross, everything that He had achieved up to that point would have been extraordinary, but not universally available.
Christ’s death and resurrection restored to humanity all that it lost in the Garden of Eden, but it was His victory in Gethsemane that made it possible for all believers to live the victorious life.
What does this mean for us?
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