How did it happen? How did we start off with such glorious beginnings, such glorious promise, only to end up here? Consider man’s global condition laden with disease, sickness, plagues, deformities, and tragedy. Consider man’s anxieties, stress, mental disorders, his bondage to drugs, alcohol, and sex, his devastated home, his murder, rape, lying and thieving, his political corruption, and on. It’s bottomless. How did we get here? And is there an escape route? Welcome to GodSaidManSaid. This is feature article #482 that proves the inerrancy of the majority-text Holy Bible. Every Thursday eve, God willing, it grows by one. All features are archived in text and streaming audio. They are freely given for your edification. Thank you for coming. We’re honored to have your company.
This feature is the first in a short but marvelous series of similar subjects. This feature is titled “The Greatest Mystery of All Time.” Be assured this title is not an exaggeration. These features as all the others defy speed reading. Slow down and take time to consider the marvel of these words. Consider how we have arrived at the place we are.
In the beginning Adam and Eve were created by God and placed on a brand-new earth, in a brand-new universe. They were given dominion over all the earth. They were in charge of the world. God made a garden in Eden and placed our parents there to tend the garden. They were in Paradise and every morning they awoke to a beautiful postcard sky. They were to live forever. God, their creator, communicated with them directly. Only one don’t was given. Genesis 2:16-17:
16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
The book of Job, which appears to be the very oldest book of the Bible, contains a particular passage where God questions Job with His mysteries. Chapter 38, verse 17:
Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?
I began to ponder such a marvelous, mystery-laden question and God began to reveal the mystery from His Word. Etymology, which is the study of language, has a guiding rule known as the rule or law of first occurrence. That rule basically states that first use of a word establishes its meaning. I went back to the first time the concept of death was recorded by God and arrived at the passage in Genesis 2 quoted above. Then I went on to the next step, where death actually occurs in Genesis 3, and discovered “the doors of the shadow of death” and the “gates of death,” yes, even opening. God commanded Adam and Eve not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. In an act of unbelief and disobedience, Eve ate of the forbidden fruit and Adam followed her pernicious leadership. The gates of death swung wide open and our progenitors walked right through, taking all their future offspring with them. They walked through those doors and died spiritually. They were cast out of paradise that very day. Their physical bodies returned to the dust later, but be sure that all of their offspring were spiritually stillborn. Psalms 51:5:
Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.
And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins:
The gates of death swung open as a result of unbelief and disobedience. The doors of the shadow of death were encountered when Eve drew near to the temptation and entertained the rationale of the second voice. The gates of death and its shadow have not changed.
Sin and death are synonymous. James 1:14-15:
14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
Sin equals death for a very simple reason: God is Truth. God’s Word is the Truth, and yielding to His Truth results in life. God is 2+2=4. When you reject Truth, you end up with a lie: 2+2=3.9, and the fruit that the lie bears is death. In the example of Adam and Eve, without the knowledge of good and evil, they could not sin. The definition for sin is James 4:17:
Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
Once man had the knowledge of good and evil Satan had the tools to bind the souls of men in the prison of sin, literally wrenching deed of the dominion of the earth from Adam’s hands. Satan became the god (little g-o-d) of the earth. The question is how do we get out of this mess?
All issues, big and small, revolve around Genesis 1, 2, and 3. When the first voice, God’s, was obeyed our parents dwelt in Paradise and would live forever. Since the second voice, Satan’s, was obeyed Paradise was lost. Sin and death now reign over the sons and daughters of Adam. All evil, all death, all sorrow, all wars, etc., are a product of obeying the second voice. If not for the second voice, we would need no savior. There would be no Armageddon and there would be no white throne judgment or lake of fire for man. We would have Jesus Christ our Lord and creator and would live in Paradise forever.
Fallen man was in a terrible straight but God was forming a way of escape. Prior to sin Adam and Eve were naked in Paradise. Genesis 2:25:
And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
But after sin they recognized their nakedness, an in an attempt to cover they nakedness, they sewed fig leaves together. God instead took animal skins and made them clothing to cover their shame – shame that was a result of their sin. Life (the creator’s whose skins were used) was given to atone for sin. This pattern continued through the entire 4,000 years of the Old Testament. Abel, the second son of Adam, brought God an animal sacrifice – a firstling from the sheep fold.
Noah sacrificed unto the Lord, as well as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and all the children of Israel for the remission of sin. Hebrews 9:22 reads:
And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
The mystery of the way of escape was playing out before the sons of Adam.
But why blood? Why a sacrificial lamb? Why did an animal have to die to atone for man’s sin? The Bible tells us that the Old Testament law, such as law of the blood sacrifice, was a shadow and a schoolmaster bringing to the mystery of redemption.
Redemption was surely a mystery to the saints and prophets of the Old Testament. They prophesied of the coming Messiah but none knew the real plan of salvation. This ignorance was demonstrated by the leaders of Israel at Christ’s advent, and even by the Apostles and disciples leading up to the crucifixion. Today’s leaders of Israel, as well as most of the world, are still ignorant concerning the mystery. Ephesians 3:8-11:
8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:
25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;
26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
The mystery of the reason for the blood sacrifice is revealed in a conversation between God and Satan in Job 2:1-5:
1 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD.
2 And the LORD said unto Satan, From whence comest thou? And Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
3 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.
4 And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hathwill he give for his life.
5 But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face.
Satan said, “Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life.” The first Adam (Jesus is known as the last Adam in I Corinthians 15:45-49), without any apparent resistance to sin, threw in his lot with his wife and surrendered to the second voice. From that day forward, man failed consistently and it was Satan’s confident argument that no one could live according to God’s design. Satan’s position was that when life’s desires were placed before man, and that when his life was on the line, he would reject God. The scriptures support that premise, at least until Jesus Christ. Psalms 14:2-3 reads:
2 The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if therewere any that did understand, and seek God.
3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Jesus Christ came to the earth as a son of man and also as the only begotten Son of God. He was sinless and perfect before God. He laid down his own will and his own life because of his love for the Father. Jesus Christ broke the back of Satan’s skin-for-skin argument. Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the mystery of redemption. He is God’s plan of salvation. He is the fulfillment of the blood sacrifice. He is in fact the first voice, for his name in Revelation is “The Word of God.” Jesus said in Matthew 5:17:
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
The Bible records these words of John the Baptist in John 1:29:
The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the Old Testament shadow of redemption. He is the fulfillment of the animal skins with which God covered Adam and Eve’s shame. Christ’s shed blood not only destroyed Satan’s skin-for-skin argument, but made it possible for man’s sins to be forgiven and for him to be reconciled unto God. For the first time, Jesus revealed the mystery of redemption, which was 4,000 years in coming, to a Jewish leader by the name of Nicodemus. John 3:1-3:
1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Born-again is the miracle of redemption that takes place when an individual believes upon the Lord Jesus Christ, repents of his sins, and surrenders his life to Christ. It is a miracle. Here, one is born into the family of God. Here, one receives a new Father, a new name, a new purpose, and a new destiny. Here, one aligns with the first voice of Paradise. Romans 16:25-27:
25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:
27 To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.
The greatest mystery of all time is revealed in Jesus Christ, the Lord of Glory. Have you participated in the mystery of redemption? Are you born-again? Click onto “Further With Jesus” for childlike instructions and immediate entry into the Kingdom of God.
Authorized King James Version