Death Cannot Precede the Fall of Man!
This is the second in a series of blogs that are aimed at identifying the destructive nature of evolutionary teaching. The Biblical method of bringing men to Christ is by tearing down the philosophies of this world that are meant (by the devil) to prevent men from coming to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. The Christian is in what the Bible calls warfare, and it is not fought with guns and knives but with Biblical truth.
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, or the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
The word “fortresses” of verse 3 in the New American Standard version are arguments or reasoning’s by which a disputant endeavors to fortify his opinion and defend it against his opponent. These fortresses of whom Paul speaks are ideologies and worldly philosophies created by the devil in an attempt to enslave men.
“But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.” (1 Timothy 4:1)
These blogs are written to unveil the false conception that evolution is purely science, when in reality it is a false religious belief that denies the existence of God and any need for His saving grace. Those who teach that death precedes the fall of man invalidate the Gospel, which sets forth Adam as the federal head of a fallen humanity, and Christ as the redeemer through his identification with that one humanity. The Biblical teachings of Romans 5 and 8 are as follows:
One man passed sin to all men, which resulted in the death of all men
“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.” (Romans 5:12)
Humanity is universal to all men, as all men are conceived from the same line of Adam who was the first man. Therefore, all men partake of the same sinful nature, which began first in the one man Adam. Stated a different way, Death is the judgment of God upon sinful humanity through the ONE man Adam.
“For if by the one man’s offense many died…” (Romans 5:15a)
“For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one…” (Romans 5:17a)
“Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation…” (Romans 8:18a)
Death always follows sin; it never precedes it, “For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23)
As the oak tree is in the acorn, even so the entire human race was in Adam when he sinned. The apostle Paul said it this way,
“From one man he made every nation of the human race to inhabit the entire earth, determining their set times and the fixed limits of the places where they would live.” (Acts 17:26)
It is the one humanity from the first man Adam that makes redemption through the one man Christ possible. As all sinned in Adam because they have a common nature and heritage so also all are made righteous through Christ who took to Himself the same human nature. The Federal Headship of Christ resulted in the justification of a new humanity where righteousness (right standing) is restored.
“…much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.” (Romans 5:15b)
…much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:17b)
“…even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.” (Romans 18b)
In the same way death reigns through Adam, life reigns through Christ, we cannot change the first without making second impossible. The Soulish life is death because of sin; the life of the Spirit is life because of the imparted righteousness of Christ.
“And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” (Romans 8:10)
It is the righteous life of Christ that is imparted to the born again believer, just as the sinful seed of Adam is passed on to all men at conception. Death is a consequence of sin.
“For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” (Romans 8:13)
God first decreed to Adam the consequence of sin in the Garden of Eden,
“The LORD God commanded the man, saying, "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die" (Genesis 2:16-17)
Disobedience to God is sin, and the result of sin is death, we can say therefore that death is the consequence of sin, and without sin there is no death. If Adam did not sin, he would not have died.
It is necessary to understand that when the Bible speaks about death it does not only mean death of the body but of the soul also.
“When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions” (Colossians 2:13)
When a person becomes a child of God their sins are forgiven, their spirit is brought to life, they are placed in right standing with God who is holy. In the day Adam sinned he did not die physically, God exercised mercy and patience, and restrained His holy wrath for a time, but Adam did die spiritually on the very day he sinned.
Death before The Fall of man is heretical teaching because it distorts the Gospel by making something other than sin the cause of death. In the letter to the Romans, Paul makes it perfectly clear that the wages or payment for sin is death. There is no death before sin because apart from sin no law is broken. God’s honor is not challenged and His Holy indignation is not provoked unless a man sins.
I do not mean to disapprove personally of any individual who defends twentieth century scientists with a Darwinian worldview; I would only ask that they consider the ramifications such a view has on the Gospel.
Additional Commentary Quotes about Romans 5
“There is no warrant in the New Testament for the heretical notion that "Adam" is simply a generic term representing the human race. He was "one man," in fact "the first man" (1Corinthians 15:45)… Adam was a real person, directly created and made by God, and so was Eve. The entire argument of (Romans 5:12-21) becomes irrelevant if the Genesis record of the creation and fall of Adam did not happen just as recorded in (Genesis 1-3), and this would mean there is no reality in the saving work of Christ either. Destroying or distorting the Genesis record undermines and eventually destroys the gospel of salvation. Such a devastating undermining of the Christian faith is surely not warranted by the fragmentary and self- contradictory fossil evidences that have been alleged to support the notion of human evolution.” 1
“The first thing we must settle is regarding the word sin, is whether it refers (in context) to sin as an abstraction, namely, to acts of sin committed by the believer or to the totally depraved nature still in him? A rule of Greek syntax settles the question. The definite article (Ed note: Definite article equates with the Greek word for "the") appears before the word (Sin) in the Greek text. Here the article (the) points back to a previously mentioned sin defined in its context. The reference is to sin reigning as king (Ro 5:21-note). There sin is personified since it reigns as a king. But one cannot conceive of acts of sin reigning as king in the life of a person. They (individual acts of sin) are the result of some dominant factor reigning as a king. That can only be the evil nature still resident in the Christian. And here is the key to the interpretation of the entire chapter (Romans 6). Every time the word sin is used in this chapter as a noun, it refers to the evil nature in the Christian. Read the following verses and substitute the words sinful nature for the word sin, and see what a flood of light is thrown upon your understanding of this section of God’s Word” (Ro 6:1, 2, 6, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 20, 22, 23). 2
C H Spurgeon comments…
“Ask Noah as he looks out of his ark, "Does sin bring bitterness?" and he points to the floating carcasses of innumerable thousands that died because of sin (Gen 7:21). Turn to Abraham. Does sin bring bitterness? He points to the smoke of Sodom and Gomorrah that God destroyed because of their wickedness (Gen 19). Ask Moses, and he reminds you of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, who were swallowed up alive” (Nu 16).
Adam was not originally subject to death, but through his sin, death became a grim certainty for him and his posterity. Notice here a plain assertion that all men die because Adam sinned… For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive. (1Cor 15:22)
Even tiny babies can die, not because they have committed sins but because they have been born with a sin nature, the consequence of which is death. A person does not become a sinner by committing sins but rather commits sins because he or she is by nature a sinner. A person does not become a liar when he tells a lie. He tells a lie because his heart is already deceitful, for Jesus clearly declared,
“…out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.” (Mt 15:19)
The Penalty for Adam’s Sin brings three kinds of death.
(1) SPIRITUAL DEATH:
Death conveys the sense of separation, and Adam’s first death was spiritual separation from God, which he experienced immediately after his disobedience.
“And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.” (Ephesians 2:1; 2:2).
(2) PHYSICAL DEATH:
Physical death brings separation of one’s soul from his body from fellow human beings. Adam died physically at 930 years of age.
“By the sweat of your face You shall eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return." (Genesis 3:19) (Comment: "Dust…to dust" is clearly a reference to physical death).
“So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years, and he died.” (Genesis 5:5)
“And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once (once for all time = excludes the possibility of re-incarnation) and after this comes judgment,” (Hebrews 9:27)
(3) ETERNAL DEATH:
This aspect of death (the Second death) includes not only eternal separation from God (Gen 3:22, 23, 24) but also describes the beginning of this separation when Adam was driven from the Garden and barred from entering, and finally when the lost will be cast into the lake of fire…
“And I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. 13 And the sea gave up the dead, which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead, which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. 14 And death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the Second death, the Lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the Lake of fire. (Revelation 20:11; 12; 13; 14; 15)
In summary, when Adam sinned he immediately died spiritually. Then after living 930 years he died physically" (Genesis 5:5). Unbelieving man is spiritually dead from the time he is born, which leads to physical death, and finally eternal death, unless he receives the remedy for spiritual death which is eternal life. Eternal life is the gift of God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who suffered and was crucified as the sacrificial lamb. The remedy of physical death is the bodily resurrection, which takes place at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ for believers. Once a person enters into eternal death there is no remedy!
John Calvin about Romans 5:12
“Sin entered into the world, etc. Observe the order, which he keeps here; for he says, that sin preceded, and that from sin death followed. There are indeed some who contend, that we are so lost through Adam’s sin, as though we perished through no fault of our own, but only, because he had sinned for us. But Paul distinctly affirms, that sin extends to all who suffer its punishment: and this he afterwards more fully declares, when subsequently he assigns a reason why all the posterity of Adam are subject to the dominion of death; and it is even this — because we have all, he says, sinned. But to sin in this case, is to become corrupt and vicious; for the natural depravity which we bring, from our mother’s womb, though it brings not forth immediately its own fruits, is yet sin before God, and deserves his vengeance: and this is that sin which they call original. For as Adam at his creation had received for us as well as for himself the gifts of God’s favor, so by falling away from the Lord, he in himself corrupted, vitiated, depraved, and ruined our nature; for having been divested of God’s likeness, he could not have generated seed but what was like himself. Hence, we have all sinned; for we are all imbued with natural corruption, and so are become sinful and wicked. Frivolous then was the gloss, by which formerly the Pelagians (man is born good and he can choose to remain good) endeavored to elude the words of Paul, and held, that sin descended by imitation from Adam to the whole human race; for Christ would in this case become only the exemplar and not the cause of righteousness. Besides, we may easily conclude, that he speaks not here of actual sin; for if everyone for himself contracted guilt, why did Paul form a comparison between Adam and Christ? It then follows that our innate and hereditary depravity is what is here referred to.” (Emphasis added)
It is important to note that many commentators understand the direct correlation between what resulted from Adam’s sin (the sinfulness of the entire race), and what Christ accomplished in His death and resurrection in order to make men forgiven and righteous.
Darwin quotes from “The Descent of Man”
“In some cases the crossing of distinct races has led to the formation of a new race.” Pg. 200
“We have thus far been baffled in all our attempts to account for the differences between the races of man; but there remains one important agency, namely Sexual Selection, which appear to have acted powerfully on man, as on many other animals.” Pg. 206 (emphasis added)
“I do not intend to assert that sexual selection will account for all the differences between the races. An unexplained residuum is left, about which we can only say, in our ignorance, that as individuals are continually born with, for instance, heads a little rounder… such slight differences might become fixed and uniform, if the unknown agencies which induced them were to act in a more constant manner…” Pg. 207.
The previous quotes are the ramblings of a man who speaks largely from ignorance, which he admits, and this is nothing new in our world, but it does not make good science. He continues,
“Such variations come under the provisional class, alluded to in our second chapter, which for the want of a better term are often called spontaneous.” Put another way, “I do not know what I am talking about.”
One thing becomes painfully clear in the writings of Darwin; he is wildly speculative according to what he thought he was seeing. Often he refers to minute changes in the races of man while he always intimates an evolving species or race, which is a new species or race. What differences there are between races of men he does not make clear; except the ape eventually becomes a man. His conclusion then begs the question, what is the difference between the races?
Darwin was not concerned with the biblical truth that all men belong to the same humanity and race because all descend from the one man Adam. The evolutionist worldview as the unregenerate man understands it is no different from the pagan who worships Voodoo. By this, I mean what Paul described in his letter to the Ephesians,
“So I declare and testify in the Lord that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds; darkened in understanding, alienated from the life of God because of their ignorance, because of their hardness of heart…” (4:17-18)
In my next Blog, I will discuss the impossibility of animal death prior to the fall.
The Descent of Christ from Adam and the Gospel
The Bible is clear that through one man (Adam) sin was passed onto all men. Biblically, there is a single line of succession so that Adam could transmit sin to all men; subsequently, Jesus partook of the same common humanity of Adam and was able to die once for all. The teaching of “natural selection” propagates the notion of many races as in Darwin’s book “The Descent of Man,” which would make Christ’s single atoning sacrifice impossible. For Christ to atone for the sins of all His people it is necessary that all men be equally of the same nature, kind, and race of people.
HOW EVOLUTION DISTORTS THE GOSPEL
The Bible is explicit that the first man Adam sinned, and through his sin, all men were reckoned sinners through a common humanity. Furthermore, sin is passed along from man to man through the propagation of the race, so that every individual chooses to sin, and becomes morally responsible. The Gospel is the good news that God in the person of Jesus Christ by partaking in humanity redeemed sinful men by bearing the full punishment of God for their sins. Christ was only able to die a substitutionary death by taking to Himself the same humanity as all other men, so that He could die in their place. Darwinian Evolution distorts the Gospel by confusing the facts concerning the headships of Adam and Christ. Furthermore, it distorts the Gospel by turning the human race into many races. The complete title of Darwin’s book is “The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life.” (Emphasis added)
Jesus can die for any man that belongs to the human race because Jesus was completely human even though at the same time He was completely God, but He can only die for those belonging to the same race; a common humanity is vital to the validity of the Gospel. Furthermore, it is through the headship of Christ that righteousness is imputed, and sanctification is imparted. If through Darwinian Evolution there is not one man as head of a fallen race, there cannot be one Christ to impute righteousness and impart holy living. The Gospel is distorted when there is more than one race, which then makes the sacrificial death of Christ impossible.
Subsequent changes to the theory of evolution
I will speak to the matter of the varying interpretations of the theory of evolution in subsequent Blogs, but it is important to note that all such theories of creation are taken entirely from the Bible’s white spaces. There is not one shred of Biblical evidence from the pages of scripture concerning anything other than a literal six-day creation. In the New Testament, the early chapters of Genesis are quoted some 160 times and eluded to more than 200, and in not one of these references is there any indication of anything other than a literal interpretation.
If some want to imagine that creation took place over billions of years, I will respect their right to do so. In addition, if they believe there were a long line of many monkey men and at some point God intervened to make a modern man, they will not do so from the pages of scripture. Those who purport that Genesis is not literal and modern “science” is accurate do so outside of the pages of Scripture; they speak speculatively of Scripture and defensively of modern “science.”
1. Morris, Henry: Defenders Study Bible. World Publishing
2. Wuest, K. S. Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Studies in the Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament: Grand Rapids: Eerdmans,
3. John Calvin: Institutes of the Christian Religion.
4. Charles Darwin: The descent of Man, Prometheus Books, Amherst, N.Y., pp. 200, 206, 207.