Yes I Am by Norman Grubb
MAN’S FALL DIFFERENT FROM SATAN’S
The full purpose of the serpent in the garden was fulfilled when he enticed Eve to the point of direct disobedience, by which she entered by experience into the death condition... and was followed, by free choice, by Adam. This was no unexpected fall. God intended it, in the sense that He created the human family knowing for certain that they would fall. The proof of this is in Peter’s statement that God foreordained His Son to be the Lamb slain for the sins of the world before the foundation of the world (1 Peter 1:19-20). He was the Savior in readiness before there were sinners to be saved!
Let us look at the progression of events during the serpent’s temptation of Eve. Eve’s first step toward capitulation was her acquiescence to Satan’s lie. Rather than simply trusting God, she believed Satan’s assertions and came to a decision. However, until she actually ate of the fruit, Satan’s control over her extended merely to the desires of her flesh and mind (body and soul), but not yet her spirit. Her true spirit-self was still in living relationship with the Father, for she was still capable of hearing His voice, and only spirit can hear Spirit.
In her spirit-center, where choices are made in the freedom of the will, she could yet have cried out to God, admitted the power of Satan upon her soul-body desires, and her inability to resist. Could He have rescued her? The answer was already there. He would have turned her attention to the fruit of the alternative tree which was within her reach, because the trees were side by side in the midst of the garden. If she had stretched out her hand to take that fruit, the Spirit of Christ would have taken her spirit captive (as He does ours when we cry to Him at our new birth) and the self-giving love of God shed abroad in her heart would have drowned out that false, deceptive, self-getting love.
But she did not, and we almost say could not, for we again repeat: We who are destined to be sons with the Son have to find out the strength and potentials of our created selfhood. This involves having to find the ultimately fixed condition which only comes by being confronted with the two alternatives, the one swallowing the other up - but only when we’ve experienced both. This, as we should thankfully see, turns out to be the one safe way for God’s vast family of sons. We first must taste the full effects of walking the hell way -with its guilt, deceits, sin, and all those lists of horrors enumerated by Paul in his Romans 1 catalogue. Then, when our blind eyes have been opened (first by law and then by grace), we have had such a fill of these ways of death that, once we find the way of escape, we are never going back to them. That is why we are safe sons, because we are thoroughly disillusioned sons. We may by temptation visit those old ways when no one is looking, as it were, but we are not living there again, thank you!
He intended not just to escape God’s notice in disobedience, but to replace God Himself and be a god of the opposite quality, of self-centered self.
A human illustration to this is the fact that in acquiring a profession, or becoming competent in any skill, we always have to learn the wrong way of using our tools and turn from the error before we can become competent in their right use. We call that "know-how." That is the purpose of a training or apprenticeship period. We mean by "competency" that the professional, whether a carpenter, pilot, doctor, or what not, knows by now the mistakes and misuses he must avoid, and so is reliable in his profession. If we call in a plumber over some tap out of order, we don’t pay his large bill for a simple turning of the tap but for his competency in knowing which tap to turn! In precisely the same way, God has His predestined son-family, reliable and competent, because they have been through their painful period of living their lives the wrong way, but have now found the right way and are competent in it.
But there is one historical reality for which we can all be endlessly thankful, and that is that Adam and Eve’s disobedience was not of the same quality as Satan’s. We have seen how Satan rebelled against God in a total sense from his central self - his spirit. He intended not just to escape God’s notice in disobedience, but to replace God Himself and be a god of the opposite quality, of self-centered self. Eve, on the other hand, was deceived and tricked into a self-gratifying action under the stimulation of her soul and body desires, but not from her total inner self, her spirit. She had no intention or desire to cast God out of her life, but merely, as it were, to do something she should not when He was not looking! Hers was sinning from soul and body influences and not from the central self. So she was within reach of the Father and, though a captive of Satan, was not like a son of Satan.
Indeed, fallen men are called "children" of the devil, but never sons - though they may ultimately become that by free choice. And that is why, thank God, all members of the human race not only are guilty but, hide it how they may, know they are guilty, convinced by that light in their spirits which still lights every man. We all know we should live by brotherly love: all philosophies and political parties have that as their main objective. Thank God that though we don’t now know how to, we at least know we ought to. We love our darkness, but we know there is light.
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