This is how it happened - Rev. P.K. KEIZER

Taken from the Clarion (1976) Vol. 25, No. 17.

She took of its fruit and ate; and she
also gave some to her husband, and
he ate. Genesis 3:6

"I have known that story about the apple since I was a child:'

Is that so?

Ten to one that you don't even know it. Who, for instance, has told you that it was an apple, whereas it only says "fruit"? Do you always read in such a sloppy manner?

The serpent was one of the most clever animals which the LORD God had made. We do not read about any amazement or scare on the part of Eve when this clever animal talked.

Imagine that nowadays a dog would start talking to us! Television crews and reporters would swarm around your house like a cloud of flies! The twentieth century man has been so affected by the "evolution-faith" which already has to "believe" so much! - that he pictures Adam and Eve as primitive, naked half-savages, and himself as being far exalted above that. Whereas the truth is just the opposite: first the children of God were highly developed in comprehensive, living knowledge of God and His creation of heaven and earth; but we are seriously degenerated and severely maimed as for our ability to know and understand. Of a very small part of what is still left (since all the catastrophes and disasters with which God has punished the cursed earth) some specialists know sometimes much, but the masses of the millions and millions of people . . .?

From Adam until now there is a descending line of degeneration instead of an ascending line of evolution.

Eve agreed with the serpent and she ate, fully convinced. She did not get into this by accident.

The serpent starts a conversation with Eve about God and about what He said. Basically, every other conversation is just talk, however "deep" it may be.

That was a real, historical conversation in the Garden of Eden. (I guess that it was some ten to twelve thousand years ago; but you don't have to agree with me, for God did not tell us infallibly how old the creation is; only, I do not belong to the "traders in zeros", millions or billions!).

We are still suffering under the effects of that conversation, in an ever increasing measure.

For in the course of the centuries the situation has become more and more serious: the fire of enmity, anger and wrath sets now the whole of mankind on fire in an ever increasing measure. More about that later on.

The serpent persistently speaks only of "God", not of "the LORD God;" the Father, who conversed with Adam and Eve in great confidentiality. Eve lets herself be brought onto this "level of conversation" and also calls her heavenly Father only "God:" Thereby the serpent has taken the lead: the bond of love between God the LORD and man is not mentioned, as if this bond-of-love did not exist. What girl would accept that? Or would take it if she were addressed as if she were not engaged? Or imagine talking to a woman about "a man" as if he were not her man?

Eve does not speak of God as her God and Father.

God Himself kept silent! Surely, for He does not wish to be a competitor alongside the devil in vying for our love.

Eve did not rebuke the serpent when it in its questioning insolently turned God's command of love upside down. She reacted in a weak manner and reported God's speaking only half and in a distorted manner.

God did say: eat freely of all trees; freely! Of all the trees! What freedom! Only: no lawlessness, a life separated from God the Father. Thence that command-of-love that was so full of tender protection, for against these happy people murderous assaults were being planned. They did not know that as yet at that moment. They did not need to know either. It was sufficient that they recognized the authority of their heavenly Father. That was, at the same time, their safety. Thence that warning prohibition: do not eat of "the tree of knowledge of good and evil:" For man shall not be able to live by bread alone (the fruits of all the trees in the garden). For that he needs the bond with God and obedience to every word and ordinance that proceeds out of His mouth. By not eating they would learn to know, guided by God's hand, the difference between good and evil, and they would be happy for ever. Of that everlasting happiness "the tree of life" was a symbol and a sacrament, we could say. "In the day when" means plainly "When" and does not mean "at the very moment" (cf. Genesis 2:41.

They did not drop dead at the moment when they transgressed God's command.

By suppressing the full truth concerning God the Father and by distorting His words and by not meeting any resistance on the part of Eve, but only indulgence and tepidity, the climate was prepared for the hard lie: you definately will not die. There is quite something different behind this command than loving authority and fatherly care.

I shall tell you the "truth": watch out for God! He does not want any competition. If you eat of that tree and thus decide for yourself what is good or evil, then your eyes will really be opened, then you will look with your own eyes, then you will be just like God. And God knows that! Hence this prohibition. To be a creature, to be subject to a Creator, that is a terrible straitjacket.

You can't go anywhere! You have lost your freedom. He put blinkers on you. Set yourself free from God. -

The serpent "disclosed" to Eve the "truth" about God and about His secret intentions.

Now all of mankind knows who God is: He says . . . He pretends . . . but God Himself knows very well that He does not speak the full truth.

The serpent "reveals" to us the "truth" of God's intentions.

Eve did not jump up. Eve did not curse the serpent away. Eve did not even call her husband. None of those things!

The slander of the serpent would not have had any effect if she had not wilfully lent her ear to this instigation of the serpent.

Then her heart looked at the tree with different eyes.

That's what she does: she listens and looks. Then she succumbs without striking a blow: really, the tree is good, it is a pleasure to the eyes, yea, it is appealing to become wise by means of its fruit and to receive insight. Indeed, the serpent was right. "And she took . . . and ate . . . and her husband ate;" verse 6.

Then they looked through their own eyes. Then they were "wise" and "free." But then they knew all of a sudden that they had been deceived by their own doing. Their "world" collapsed. Eve was not cursed, but delivered from the disastrous "friendship" with the serpent, instead of which God put enmity. But the earth was cursed and both of them would have a hard time.

They left that beautiful garden of Eden with a heart full of abhorrence of themselves, but also full of hope for the Redeemer whom God in His boundless grace promised to them. They were expelled.

This catastrophic event is still valid for each person, and basically still in the same manner: wilful disobedience and that upon the instigation of the devil.

To look at, it was just a rustic scene there in that garden. There was nothing repulsive, nothing special or impressive.

No, that was not the case in Bethlehem either, when a "baby" was born; nor was that the case when later on outside Jerusalem, a "freedom fighter" was crucified; when Jerusalem was still fast asleep, a "man" came walking out of the garden of Joseph of Arimathea; on the Mount of Olives first stood twelve persons, but a little while later eleven returned.

Who was there who saw what really happened in the history of the world?

Revelation 12 gives us some "background information": the dragon with seven heads and ten horns, a red monster, the old serpent!

This monster stood before the woman in her most helpless condition: she was at the point of giving birth. But when the child was born, it was suddenly taken away, "kidnapped" to God and His throne on the day of His ascension.

It was with this monster that Adam and Eve had to do, the "old serpent."

And later on Joseph and Mary, too. We sing "Now be welcome, Jesus . . ."; well, you'd better forget about that! A dragon was waiting for Him!

The old serpent, the devil: diabolos - he who separates God and man, and people among themselves; satan - the adversary, "who deceives the whole world", verse 9.

That "instigation;" that "deception;" was something which Paul, too, knew all about: through the sin in our own hearts the devil always takes his "starting-point" in the commandment. "Finding opportunity in the commandment" sin wrought in me all kinds of covetousness, Romans 7:8-12. That's how it happened in the garden of Eden, too.

Whoever does not know of that, is a dead Christian.

Nowadays this demonic suggestion is called "brainwashing." The sovereign Word of God, full of wisdom and protection, is pictured as a pressing bond. God our Father becomes a hard, exalted tyrant; that which has been forbidden becomes desirable in our eyes. What God calls "the way to death" is presented to us as the way to freedom. And we even believe it!

By rinsing away our "former" thoughts, we start to "think differently" and we become "new" people, "free;" "knowledgeable" people, "progressive."

Eve agreed with the serpent, without force or torture, but voluntarily. That's what is so demonic, that by means of "re-education" the will is violated.

The martyrs and heretics died a violent death, for they did not suffer themselves to be deceived.

In our age whole nations are become "voluntary believers" (in the lie) by means of brainwashing. They "confess their guilt;" their being guilty of their "christian past."

There are other "norms;" other "ways of thinking;" another climate, a different "public opinion." You can always find some words in the Bible to use for a "starting-point."

There was a time when divorce was something bad, something abnormal, conflicting with the Word of God. But now it is: "Are you really happy, ma'am?" - "My husband is short tempered and he drinks. Actually I am afraid of him and so are the children." - "But, ma'am, that's no life in your family. That hampers your development and destroys your happiness, and the children say, 'Dad is a tyrant.' But that's not what marriage has been instituted for by God, has it? And God knows that your children suffer from that. Is that what He wants?"

"Brainwashing": the ideal of selfdevelopment and a happy family pushes itself into the place of God's command not to put asunder that which God has joined together. Self development and a happy family - all that is according to the Bible, isn't it? Now then . . .

The old "framework of thought" is: no divorce. The "new framework" is: "this is no life. Be smart and look out with your own free eyes and not with scared eyes. That is not the will of God!"

Eve agreed with the serpent and ate of her own free will.

Brainwashing: if you meet another woman, but then one who "understands" you better, one who really can make you "happy" . . . well, we have been created for happiness, haven't we? God's norms for happiness disappear behind our norms for happiness, oftentimes without our striking a blow: it qoes voluntarily.

It is a matter of twisting the truth half a turn, of creating another "climate" - no, not one without standards but one with "different standards," different norms for becoming "wise" - and . . . voluntarily we follow the instigation of the devil.

Eve agreed with the serpent and she ate, fully convinced. She did not get into this by accident.

Thus Lenin became the "god" of the Russian people and the mass-murderer acquired the name of "Father Stalin."

Even worse the dragon is raging in China. Lenin said: first a new society, then the people are renewed "voluntarily." Mao says: first new people; away with the old standards and, instead, the new standards of the Red Book; then society is renewed "voluntarily." "There's something in that," says "Eve."

In Russia and China, too, there are many "unconverted" who do not let themselves be renewed willingly. For them there is the hell of the workcamps. The dragon is not thrifty with people. The devil is not creative, his religion is competition with the true religion.

Through Chinese brainwashing the Lutheran missionary P.J. Mackensen Jr. has become a fervent defender of Mao. He saw with his own eyes that the "Christian" Western world does not feed the hungry Chinese people, but that it exploits them. And it was even true!

Oh, oh, if this deluge should fall down upon the empty, played out but ever talking, divided Western world that has fallen away from God and Christ and does not know what to do with all its problems . . .

"The wind is east," the Red Book proclaims.

What are we to do? Don't act spasmodically, as if the past was good and the present is bad.

We are to read the Word of God very accurately and re-read it in order so as not to be caught in a dogmatic system or to twaddle about the "apple" of Genesis.

We are to keep Him in view who is the only Person in the world to have stood face to face with the devil, who did not tolerate it that the words of His Father were twisted, for He knew all the Scriptures.

The devil has never shown himself openly to any man. But in the desert of Judea our Saviour was waiting for him. Then he had to make his appearance. Then he could not "demonize" a serpent or ecclesiastical leaders, like the Pharisees later on (John 8:44) or Judas.

The devil wished to inspire all sorts of things into Him, even literal quotations from the Scripture.

Finally the Lord Jesus sent him away: "Depart."

Then it was again, just for a moment, paradise, for our Saviour stayed peacefully (just as Adam and Eve did before) with the wild animals, and the angels served Him, Mark 1:13.

"Resist the devil (resistance alone already!) and he shall flee from you," James 4:7.
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