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Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost

A rebel angel influences the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, to reject God’s rulership. As a result, sin and death enter the world

LONG before creating humans, God created many invisible spirit creatures​—angels. In Eden, a rebellious angel, who came to be known as Satan the Devil, slyly endeavored to tempt Eve into eating the fruit of the one tree that God had ruled out.

Using a serpent, or snake, as a mouthpiece, Satan implied that God was withholding something desirable from the woman and her husband. The angel told Eve that she and her husband would not die if they ate the forbidden fruit. Satan thus accused God of lying to His human children. The Deceiver presented disobedience to God as an appealing course that would lead to enlightenment and freedom. But this was all a lie​—in fact, the first lie ever spoken on earth. The real point at issue involved God’s sovereignty, or supreme rulership​—whether God has the right to rule and whether he exercises it in a righteous way and in the best interests of his subjects.

Eve believed Satan’s lie. She began to desire the fruit, and then she actually ate some of it. Later she gave some to her husband, and he also ate it. Thus they became sinners. That seemingly simple act was actually an expression of rebellion. By deliberately choosing to disobey God’s command, Adam and Eve rejected the rule of the Creator who had given them everything, including perfect life.

The seed “will bruise you in the head and you will bruise him in the heel.”​—Genesis 3:15

God called the rebels to account for their actions. He foretold the coming of the promised Seed, or Deliverer, who would destroy Satan, the one represented by the serpent. God deferred the execution of the death sentence upon Adam and Eve for a time, thereby showing mercy to their unborn offspring. Those children would have a basis for hope because the One whom God would send would undo the tragic consequences set in motion by the rebellion in Eden. Just how God’s purpose concerning this future Savior would be fulfilled​—and who the sent-forth One would be—​was gradually revealed as Bible writing progressed.

God drove Adam and Eve out of Paradise. Sweat and toil would be required to eke out a living from the soil outside the garden of Eden. Eve then became pregnant and gave birth to Cain, the first child of Adam and Eve. The couple had other sons and daughters, including Abel and Seth, the forefather of Noah.

—Based on Genesis chapters 3 to 5; Revelation 12:9.