The Everlasting Covenant


3 Adam and Eve in Eden

by Hubert F. Sturges, www.everlastingcovenant.com, December 2013

And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. “ Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. Genesis 1:31; 2:1

God created this world in six twenty-four-hour days, a world with features and beauty that may have been previously unknown. As the crowning act of His creation, God created “man in His own image “ male and female created He them” (Gen. 1:27). Humans are material creatures, created in the image of God. God equipped them with intelligence, free will, and awareness of themselves and God. Built into this creation was the desire for fellowship with God. Their intelligence was a function of their material brain, an organ of seemingly unbounded capacity to learn and store new information. God knew that humans would sin and that His Son would live on this earth as a human and redeem humankind through His death. God gave Adam and Eve superior intellect, which all humans-including the only begotten Son of God-would need to recognize and resist evil. When Jesus came into this world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me” (Heb. 10:5).


Creation of Adam

Creation week on this earth was a time of intense interest and excitement for all intelligent beings in the universe. Having witnessed the beauty of the suns and stars, they watched as beauty appeared in mountains, rivers, and seas, followed by stately trees, colorful flowers, and lush waving grass. Next they saw living creatures consisting of physical matter appear-creatures that could show affection and learn new things. Finally, they watched as God created a being of superior intelligence, made of physical substance like the animals but in God’s very image.

All heaven took a deep and joyful interest in the creation of the world and of man. Human beings were a new and distinct order. They were made “in the image of God,” and it was the Creator’s design that they should populate the earth. They were to live in close communion with heaven, receiving power from the Source of all power.1

God’s creative acts in making the world are unlike anything humans have ever experienced. Yet, God constrained His creative work into the six days of the creation week, as the Bible uses the words, “and the evening and the morning,” to mark each day. This expression shows that each day was a twenty- four-hour day, as we mark time today.

We cannot explain the creation. No findings of science can tell us how God created this earth. Evolution is an attempt to explain how the earth created itself through eons of time without a Designer. Yet, this requires more faith than accepting what the Bible says: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). God does not reckon time as we do, but when He created this earth, He did it in just six twenty-four-hour days.

We take the creation of the earth by faith-a faith that originates from the beauty, design, and order that makes life possible. We know little of how God worked in creation; yet, the Psalmist tells us: “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast” (Ps. 33:6, 9).

On the sixth day, God created Adam.2 Earlier that same day, He had created all the land animals. The Bible gives more written space to the creation of man than to that of all other animal life. Even then, the record is short, though it holds a depth of meaning. God did not create this earth and then leave it to run on its own. Not only was all the creation under God’s guiding laws, but God personally formed each step in the creation and continued to guide and uphold the creation thereafter.3

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. (Gen. 1:26)

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Gen. 2:7)

That “the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground” means that he was made a physical being and not a spirit. The account of how Adam began to live is simple: God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life” and Adam “became a living soul.”


Only God Can Make a Cell

Creating is an activity that only God can do (Ps. 96:5). Men have walked on the moon and are now exploring Mars, but we cannot fully explain how these celestial bodies move in their orbits without colliding with other bodies. In the heavens beyond are the sun, stars, and other heavenly bodies, about which we are just beginning to learn.

On this earth, we see order, beauty, and a system that was established to make life possible for all animal and vegetable life, as well as for humankind.4 God is the creator of the greatness of the starry heavens, the beauty of this earth, and the order of every microscopic cell (Ps. 19:1-6).

The cells of all living things are complex structures that scientists only partially understand. Humans cannot make a cell, much less a living one. A number of necessary parts make up each cell. The cell membrane holds the cell together yet permits certain substances and particles to pass into the cell or to pass out of it. The cell could not live or function without this ability.

Inside the cell is a semi-liquid cytoplasm in which the organelles are suspended and carry on their functions. This cytoplasm contains food substances, vitamins, hormones, and proteins. Every cell has a nucleus containing DNA, which is a complex molecule containing the digital instructions for all parts and functions of the body. Even more astounding is the RNA, which is capable of reproducing the DNA as well as other proteins.

The mitochondria are the energy stores; the lysosomes are collections of chemicals, which could be damaging were it not for the cell membranes that hold them in place. Cells can feed themselves, repair damage to themselves and to the tissues, and carry out their various functions. Nerve cells carry messages; muscle cells contract and move the body; retinal cells can see; cochlear cells can hear. The cell contains many other structures and functions. This makes each cell more detailed and sophisticated than even the most complicated machine made by human beings.


The Human Brain

Even more detailed than the cells of the body is the human brain. We can take the brain apart, examine it with CAT scans, PET scans, MRIs, and the electron microscope, thereby identifying its parts and learning something of its functions. There is much that humans have not yet learned. Human beings are aware of their surroundings and receive knowledge through their special senses. The brain thinks, plans, and stores memories. The nerves carry impulses from the brain and spinal cord to govern the movements and functions of the body. It is principally the uniqueness of the human brain that affirms that God created humankind in His image.

God put into the human brain the ability to be self-aware, to be aware of the world, and to be aware of God. To be made in the image of God means to have God’s law written on the heart. This includes having love for God and for our fellow human beings. Because of their love for God, simply seeing what God did was an unspoken command for Adam and Eve to do likewise, to the limits of their capabilities.

When God created the human race, He knew that the time would come when His only begotten Son would come to this earth to live a sinless life as a human being. God put into the human brain all the capabilities His Son would need to resist sin, and human beings still possess those capabilities today!

The brain has often been compared to a computer. In some ways, the comparison is valid; in other ways, the brain functions differently. The brain is an electro-chemical organ. This makes it slower than a computer, allowing the brain to gather value, attitude, and emotion to make wiser decisions. The capability of the brain, as well as the storage capacity for memory, is immense-more than any computer.


God Gave Men Free Will

Being created in the image of God, human beings possess free will: the ability to choose. Free will provides the ability to choose whom he will serve, God or self. Choosing to serve God gives one access to the power and purpose of God, which enable success in life. Serving God brings freedom, power to do, and life itself.

Why would humans choose anything else? The answer comes from Eden. Satan deceived Eve into believing that yielding to selfish desires would bring her a heightened degree of happiness; instead, it brought slavery, sorrow, weakness, and death. Rather than trusting God to save Eve, Adam joined her in sin.

The Bible repeatedly shows that, to serve God, humans need to exercise choice. The Bible also reveals the effects of choosing not to serve God (Isa. 59:2). From these revelations, we recognize that humans have free will to choose their destiny, either to serve God willingly or to rebel.5 At the same time, Paul uses the word “predestinate” (Rom. 8:28, 30). Does this suggest that free will is of no effect? While God does predestine all to be saved (1 Tim. 2:4; Eph. 1:11) and while the will of God is effective in the lives of human beings, it is only by the consent of human beings that the Holy Spirit changes lives (Isa. 59:2; Rom. 8:13-15).

God placed man under law, as an indispensable condition of his very existence. He was a subject of the divine government, and there can be no government without law. God might have created man without the power to transgress His law; He might have withheld the hand of Adam from touching the forbidden fruit; but in that case man would have been, not a free moral agent, but a mere automaton. Without freedom of choice, his obedience would not have been voluntary, but forced.6


The Power of God Sustains the Creation

Did God create this earth to run on its own power and direction? No, God created this earth as an expression of His love, and He continues to support and guide His creation so that all creatures can enjoy the happiness and beauty He designed from the beginning. Such knowledge evokes praise and love for the Creator in the human heart. Creation could not have come into existence and cannot now continue without God. Hear this beautifully expressed in the following words:

The seed has in itself a germinating principle, a principle that God himself has implanted; yet if left to itself the seed would have no power to spring up. Man has his part to act in promoting the growth of the grain.”

There is life in the seed, there is power in the soil; but unless an infinite power is exercised day and night, the seed will yield no returns.”

Without the life of God, nature would die. His creative works are dependent on Him. He bestows life-giving properties on all that nature produces. We are to regard the trees laden with fruit as the gift of God, just as much as though He placed the fruit in our hands.”

In the production of earth’s harvests, God is working a miracle every day. Through natural agencies the same work is accomplished that was wrought in the feeding of the multitude. Men prepare the soil and sow the seed, but it is the life from God that causes the seed to germinate.

God’s handiwork in nature is not God Himself in nature. The things of nature are an expression of God’s character; by them we may understand His love, His power, and His glory; but we are not to regard nature as God.7


Endnotes

1. Ellen G. White, “Purpose of Man’s Creation,” Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, February 11, 1902.

2. The work of creation was finished on the sixth day (Gen. 1:31; 2:1). God did not stop work on the seventh day of creation and rest for the balance of history but simply rested from the work of creating, before going on to other work. Jesus told the Pharisees: “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work” (John 5:17). He acknowledged the sustaining work of the Father: “But the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works” (John 14:10; see also Isa. 40:26; Acts 17:28; 1 Cor. 12:6). Facts about the seventh-day Sabbath:

a. The Sabbath was made holy by God as a day of rest and a memorial of creation for the benefit of man (Gen. 2:1-3; Mark 2:27, 28).
b. It is the seal of obedience within the law and a memorial to creation (Exod. 16:28, 29; 20:8-11; 31:17).
c. It is the sign of sanctification, indicating that God has changed our lives (Exod. 31:13; Ezek. 20:12, 20).
d. Its rest is for the full day of twenty-four hours, not just for a short two hours of worship (Lev. 23:32)!
e. It was part of what God expected of Gentiles who “joined themselves to the Lord.” They were to keep the Sabbath as God invited the people of the earth to make the Jerusalem temple “an house of prayer for all people” (Isa. 56:6, 7).
f. It is a seal that marks God’s people in the end time (Rev. 7:1-4; 12:17; 14:1-5, 12).

3. Deism is the “belief that understands God as distant, in that God created the universe but then left it to run its course on its own, following certain “˜laws of nature’ that God had built into the universe” (Stanley J. Grenz, David Guretzki, and Cherith Fee Nordling, Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms [Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999], p. 36). Paul, in his sermon on Mars Hill in Athens, connected the term “the unknown God” with the true Creator God of heaven and earth, who not only gives form, life, and ability, but also sustains His creatures on a daily basis. “God that made the world and all things therein, “
 seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; “ And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, “
 for in him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:24-28).

4. Were it not for God’s “fine tuning” of the universe, life could not exist. See Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay Richards, The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed for Discovery (Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2004), 464 pp.

5. God gave humans free will to choose Him or to rebel (Deut. 4:29; Joshua 24:15; Isa. 1:19, 20; 55:6, 7; 65:12; Ezek. 18:24; 33:11; Amos 5:4; Matt. 7:7; John 3:16; Acts 3:19; Rom. 6:11-13; Rev. 3:18, 20). The conditional element in these statements (“if,” “let,” “choose,” and God’s imploring them) requires that humans have a voluntary choice in whether or not to serve God.

6. Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets (Nampa, ID: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 2005), p. 49.

7. Ellen G. White, Medical Ministry (Nampa, ID: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1963), pp. 7, 8, 11.