Let’s come back to the topic we talked about just now. In these verses concerning the Old Testament Age of the Law are mainly my extracts of the stories of some figures. They are the stories that most of those who have read the Bible have often heard and well remembered, and the figures in them are very representative. After reading them, you can feel that the works God did on them and the words God spoke to them are what people of today can touch and understand. When you read these stories, when you read these records in the Bible, you can better know how God did his work and how he treated man at that time. But today my purpose in selecting these verses is not for you to know about these stories or the figures in them but for you to see God’s deeds and God’s disposition from the stories of these figures, so that you will know and understand God and see the real aspect of God and bring an end to your imaginations, to your notions about God, and to your vague belief in God. Because when you try to know about God’s disposition and understand and know God Godself without basis, you often feel very helpless and feel that you are powerless and do not know how to start, therefore I have thought out this method in order for you to be better able to know about God and to truly understand God’s will, know God’s disposition, and know God Godself through this method and way, so that you will truly and clearly feel God’s existence and truly and clearly understand God’s will for mankind. Isn’t this beneficial to you? Then, when you again read these stories and verses now, what do you think in your heart? Do you feel that these verses I have selected are unnecessary? I have to stress again what I have just told you: My purpose in asking you to read the stories of these figures is for you to know about how God has been working on men and what God’s attitude toward mankind is. Through what can you know about these? Through the works God did and by linking it with the work God is doing now, you can know about the bits of God. These bits are true and are what you must know and understand as ones who want to know God.
First of all we will begin to talk about the things concerning “Adam and Eve.” Let’s read the Bible verses first.
I. Adam and Eve
1 God’s Commandment for Adam
(Gen 2:15-17) And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die.
After hearing this passage concerning “God’s commandment for Adam,” what do you understand? What feeling does this passage give you? Why has this passage concerning “God’s commandment for Adam” been extracted? Do you each have a picture of God and Adam in your heart? You can imagine that. If you were personally on the scene, what kind of God would you think God is in your heart? What feeling does this picture give you? It is a touching and warm picture. Although there is only God and man in it, the close relationship between them is so admirable: God’s love overflows, freely bestowed on man and surrounding man; man, innocent and pure and free from cares and anxieties, lives under God’s eyes happily; God is concerned about man, and man lives under the protection and blessing of God, and what man does and man’s every word and deed are all closely related to God and cannot be independent from God.
It can be said that this was God’s first commandment for man since the creation of mankind. What was there in this commandment? There was God’s will and his worry about mankind in it. It was God’s first commandment and was also God’s first worry about mankind. That is to say, from the moment God created mankind, God had the responsibility for mankind. What was his responsibility? He was to protect man, and he was to watch over man. He hoped that man would believe and obey what he said. This was also God’s first expectation for mankind. With this expectation, God then spoke such a word: “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die.” This simple word represented God’s will, and it also showed that God’s heart was beginning to be concerned about man. Because among all things, only Adam was made in God’s image, only Adam was a living being with God’s breath, and he could walk with God and talk with God, therefore God gave him such a commandment. In this commandment, there was what man could do and what man could not do, which God said very clearly.
From these simple words, we have seen God’s heart. What kind of heart is it? In God’s heart, is there love? Is there concern? God’s love and concern not only can be sensed by man, but can even more be really and truly touched by man in this passage. Isn’t that so? After I have said this, do you feel these few words simple? They are not simple, right? Could you see this before? If God says to you a few such words personally, how will you feel in your heart? If you are one devoid of humanity and your heart is ice-cold, you will have no feeling and will not realize God’s love or try to understand God’s heart; if you are one who has conscience and humanity, your feeling will be different, and you will feel warm, feel cared, feel loved, and feel blissful. Isn’t that so? When you feel these, how will you treat God? Won’t you be attached to God? Won’t you have reverence and love for God in your heart? Won’t your heart draw near to God? This shows how important God’s love for man is! And it is even more important that man can feel and understand God’s love! In fact, in this stage of God’s work, hasn’t God spoken many such words? But among the people today, is there anyone who can understand God’s heart? Can you realize the will of God I have just spoken about? None of you can realize such specific, true, and realistic will of God. So I say that you have no true knowledge and understanding of God. Isn’t that the fact? We will stop here about this passage.
2 God Created Eve
(Gen 2:18-20) And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them: and whatever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
(Gen 2:22-23) And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her to the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
There is a key sentence in the verses concerning “God created Eve,” and you may underline it: whatever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. Who was the one who gave names to every living creature? It was Adam rather than God. This word tells man a fact: When God created man, he gave him wisdom. That is to say, man’s wisdom was from God. This is beyond doubt. Why? Since God created Adam, had Adam ever been to school? Could he read? When he saw all the living creatures God had created, did he know them? Had God told him what their names were? God certainly had not taught him how to give names to every living creature either. This was a fact! Then how did he know how to give names to these living creatures and what names he should give to them? This had to do with such an issue as what God added to Adam when he was created. The fact proves that when God created man, he added his wisdom to man. This is a key point. You all shall hear it clearly! There is another key point that you should be clear about: After Adam gave names to these living creatures, to God the names of these living creatures were decided. Why do I say so? There was also God’s disposition here, and I have to explain it.
God created man, and he gave man his breath and also gave man some of his wisdom, of his power, and of what he has and is. After God gave man these, man could do something independently and think something independently. If what man thought out or what he did was good in God’s eyes, God would accept it and not interfere in it, and as for the right things man did, God would let them be so. Therefore, what does the word “whatever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof” mean? It means that God did not make any alteration to the name of each living creature and that whatever Adam called it, God said, “Yes,” and God decided what that thing was called. Did God have any objection? No. This is certain! What have you seen here? God has given man wisdom, and if what man does with the wisdom given by God is a positive thing in God’s eyes, it is approved, acknowledged, and accepted by God, and God does not pass any judgment or make any criticism on it. This is something no human being or evil spirit or satan can do. Have you seen the expression of God’s disposition here? With a man, a corrupt man, or satan, would he allow someone else to do something on his behalf under his eyes? Certainly not! Would he contend for this position with another man or another force different from him? Definitely! At that time, if a corrupt man or satan had been with Adam, he would definitely have denied what Adam did. In order to prove that he had independent thinking ability and had his original views, he would have denied all that Adam did, “You say it will be called this, and I will simply not call it this but call it that. You say it will be called Zhang San, and I will simply call it Li Si. I will show you my brilliance.” What nature is this? Isn’t it arrogance? But in God, is there such disposition? Did God have any abnormal and opposing actions toward the thing Adam did? Certainly not! In the expression of God’s disposition, there is not any trace of argument, arrogance, or self-rightness. This was manifested very clearly here. Although it was a very small thing, if you cannot know God’s substance and if in your heart you do not ponder how God did it and what God’s attitude was, then you will fail to know God’s disposition or see the manifestation or expression of God’s disposition. Isn’t that so? Then, do you agree with the explanations I gave just now? With regard to the thing done by Adam, although God did not say to him such words as these in a big way: “You have done a good job and done it rightly. I agree to it!”, he accepted it in his heart, and he highly appreciated and approved it. It was the first thing mankind did for God as God commanded since the creation of the world, and it was done in God’s stead and done on God’s behalf. In God’s eyes, it was out of the wisdom God had bestowed to man. It was good and was positive in the sight of God. What Adam at that time did was the first manifestation of God’s wisdom in mankind, and this manifestation was good in God’s eyes. Here I want to tell you: The reason why God added part of what he has and is and of his wisdom to man is that he wants man to become a living being manifesting him; it is exactly what he has long expected that such a living being can do things on his behalf.