Part 4: The Fall
Satan introduces himself
Month one, day 15: Lucifer has been watching the pair for any interest they might show in the wonderful but forbidden, for now, tree. But neither has cast a glance that way, so Lucifer has kept his distance.
But today Lucifer adopted a new strategy. He took up a position about 50 feet from the Tree, and just stared at it whenever he sensed Adam and Wo-man were near, so they would think he sat there, staring, day and night. He adorned his stares with a rapturous smile and heaved sighs.
Adam, seeing this from a distance, remarked to Wo-man, “There’s that tree we are not to eat of. Wonder what that beast sees in it? Of course, I don’t know that God has told that beast to stay away from it. But to just stare? Strange.”
Wo-man added, “And what an ugly beast! Everything else God made is so beautiful. But something about that creature gives me the creeps.”
“‘Creeps’. I like that word. It describes just what I sense: some undesirable thing making very slow, but very steady, progress. I love your way with words, Sugar Plum!”
“Oh, Adam! ‘Sugar Plum’! I just love the pearls that slide off your tongue!”
And so on and on they went, working themselves slowly but steadily into a state which struck me as, well, very nearly embarrassing.
At a later time as they again passed by, and saw Lucifer, Lucifer looked away from his precious Tree only long enough to shout “Hi!” to the pair. Then he returned to his staring and sighing.
During that brief communication, the pair saw Lucifer smile warmly, an act which can render the ugliest creature endearing.
Wo-man saw Lucifer’s charm, and dropped her defenses a notch. But Adam’s suspicion only increased. “I sense greater intelligence in that creature than I had previously expected”, he explained to Wo-man. “Almost as great as ours. But if the creature has intelligence to that degree, it strikes me that God has probably told it, as well as ourselves, to stay away from that Tree. But just look! Its obsession is unnatural.”
Wo-man didn’t answer, but just nodded.
Still later, when Adam was alone, he came upon Lucifer and the Tree again. This time he decided he would find out what was going on. It occurred to him that perhaps Lucifer didn’t understand the danger he contemplated. So he walked determinedly up to Lucifer, stretched out his hand, and said “Hi. I’m Adam. Remember me, from when I named all the animals? Except that I can’t quite place you. You did come that day, didn’t you?”
Lucifer smiled, and shook Adam’s hand, but answered “I’m not an animal. My name is Lucifer.”
Adam’s lower jaw dropped the distance of a hen’s egg. “Well if you’re not an animal, what are you?”
Lucifer answered, “I am much like yourself, though I have lived much longer, and seen much more. But of all the things I have seen, nothing seems so remarkable as the Tree.” Lucifer’s wistful gaze turned from Adam to the subject of his remark.
Adam was irritated. Naturally curious, he wanted to know more about this creature, and what it knew, and yet right here at the door to new, entertaining information, the door seemed locked by the creature’s obsession with some crazy Tree it probably shouldn’t have been thinking about anyway.
Adam retorted, “Well, if you’ve been around as long as you say, you should realize that Tree is bad news. Why are you so interested in it, anyway?”
Lucifer acted offended. “Bad news, you say? My precious Tree? This wondrous source of nourishment for body and soul?”
Adam wondered if he had judged hastily. He asked respectfully, “Has God exempted you from the warning He gave me and Wo-man?”
Lucifer looked down, shook his head, and smiled. “No, God told me the same thing he told you.”
Adam was startled by Lucifer’s claim that he knew what God had told him. He didn’t remember seeing anybody else present when God gave Adam the warning.
“But”, Lucifer went on, “experience tells me otherwise.”
Adam had three new ideas to startle him.
First, the possibility of actually opposing God! Of holding an opinion contrary to God’s clear statement of fact! How could anybody be so, so…Adam struggled to think of a word. “Amazing” was the best he could think of, but Lucifer’s audacity demanded something stronger!
Second, Lucifer’s statement that he not only disbelieved God, but had already actually acted upon his disbelief and “experienced” this forbidden delicacy.
And third, that Lucifer was still alive, though God had warned of a quick death upon eating of it!
“You mean you have eaten of this accursed Tree?” Adam scanned Lucifer’s great body for any sign of waning health.
“Quite some time ago.” Lucifer was amused, knowing what Adam was looking for but willing to play with him a bit before satisfying his curiosity.
“How many days ago?” Adam thought he saw a shadow behind one of Lucifer’s tree-trunk-sized rear legs that looked unhealthy.
“Since before there were days.”
Adam forgot about looking for signs of failing health. He peered straight into Lucifer’s grinning eyes. Lucifer warmed to the attention. His great tail wagged a little, knocking over a couple of small trees. His wings fluttered a bit, sending a cool breeze Adam’s way. But with the fresh air was a smell. Something pungent; with a touch of rancid. Subtle, this time, but Adam sensed greater movement might stir up more. Could this be the smell of Death, Adam wondered?
Adam didn’t know how to process this new possibility: that one might say something is true which another says is not possible. How could both be right? But if Lucifer has not really lived these many days since eating of the Tree, how could he possibly say he has? Could there be something wrong with his mind, that he has forgotten, or does not know? The intelligence in his gaze argues otherwise. Could he deliberately say something he knows is not true? But why? How? It didn’t make any sense.
Adam tried to imagine what a mind would have to accomplish in order to deliberately affirm something known to be not true. He pictured a mind lying down and going to sleep. Thus Adam coined a new word for saying what is not true: “lying”. He thought it appropriately humorous a word for so, uh, “amazing” an action. So, uh, is there a better word than “amazing”? Adam pressed his brain for another word. We whispered our proposal from Heaven, and finally Adam received it into his mind.
“This is STUPID!” Adam blurted out. “God said if you eat of that Tree you will die the same day! Yet you say you ate of that Tree, and you have lived many days! You could not possibly have actually eaten of that Tree, or you would be dead. Not to mention the problem of how your body could survive before there was a Planet! But how could you possibly Lie? Who are you? What are you? How can you stand there and contradict God? Are you calling God a Liar?”
Lucifer enjoyed Adam’s frustration. Lucifer intended to milk Adam’s challenges until Adam had no spirit left in him to doubt Lucifer. But Lucifer chose not to answer Adam’s questions directly, logically and honestly. Such a course would allow Adam to question his way to the Truth. Nor was Lucifer brave enough to rashly contradict God with an utter lie. Much safer to contradict God with a half truth, a truth which, through incomplete explanation, seemed to contradict God.
“I am Lucifer, the Morning Star, who has lived since before the Earth evolved.”
Evolved? Adam wished God had said something about “evolving” to help Adam analyze this new claim. Morning Star? What sort of ‘Star’ could this be, which existed before the rest of the stars were created on the Fourth Day? Lucifer was just digging his hole deeper, Adam thought. But another part of Adam was intrigued.
“I am the leader of a race of Supermen, superior to men, who do not need planets in order to live. I created this body only after the Earth evolved, that I might move about on the Earth.”
OK, outright lie number one: Lucifer’s body is the body Lucifer asked God to create for him. Lucifer isn’t smart enough to create a blade of grass! We whispered this to Adam, but he was preoccupied.
Lucifer continued, “I owe my great knowledge to that tree. It must be obvious to you how much knowledge I have that you do not; you have already marveled at many of my statements for which you have no explanation. As for whether I am dead, your eyes should answer that for you. As for whether God is a liar, I have not raised such an impolite question. Since it is you who have raised it, it should be you who must answer it.”
Adam was as outraged as we were! “Impolite”?! To question God’s honesty is merely “impolite”?! Lucifer’s gaze held steady, as if he expected Adam’s reaction, assuring Adam that Lucifer’s outrageous insinuation was calculated.
Adam’s suspicion was on high alert, but he was intrigued. Sure, Lucifer had said many things Adam could not explain. But that could be either because they were genuinely beyond Adam’s experience, or it could be the alternative explanation: they were stupid.
But God had created within Adam a spirit of fairness: an intellectual curiosity, a hunger for all the facts before reaching conclusions. Adam had to acknowledge that although Lucifer was a long way from proving his wild claims of having eaten of the Tree and of having lived many days since, Adam was not yet able to disprove Lucifer’s claims. And perhaps there remained some new perspective, some context, in which Lucifer’s claims and God’s claims could be resolved.
But for all Adam’s intellectual curiosity, his mind also suffered from weariness at holding such heavy questions in the air before his mind. He was tiring of this conversation, and ready for an exit line.
Lucifer made his last claim on Adam’s attention count. “You, too, can acquire Superhuman Knowledge, even as I have, from this Tree. Until you are ready to share it with me, I am willing to share a sample of its Knowledge, by answering for you all the Great Questions of Existence. Just ask, and I will freely share all I Know. But when you eat, yourself, then you will Know all that I Know.”
“Thanks”, Adam muttered warily, suspicious of the “knowledge” he had heard already, without the stomach for more. “Some other time. Gotta go now, though. My wife’s expecting me home for dinner by now. See you later.”
Lucifer didn’t answer, as if acknowledging the insincerity in Adam’s polite excuses, but locked eyes with Adam, in a gaze which simply repeated Lucifer’s generous offer, as if to say “any time you’re ready, I’ll be here for you.”
Adam told Wo-man later, “I saw Lucifer today.”
Wo-man remembered Lucifer’s beautiful smile, such a surprise on that strange body. “Oh?” she answered hopefully, ready for a positive report.
“Stay away from him. There’s something about him that doesn’t add up.”
Wo-man noticed that Adam expected her to stay away from Lucifer, but it was perfectly all right for him to while away enough of the afternoon with him to render him late for dinner. But Wo-man didn’t articulate this observation presently. She instead stored it up in her memory banks, to be served up later when her platter was full.
Adam recounted his conversation with Lucifer, detailing the train of logic and the want thereof. But Wo-man was more interested in voice inflections, facial expressions, the clues to emotions. Adam had to struggle to answer Wo-man’s questions; first because he had difficulty understanding their significance, and second because, not understanding their significance at the time, he had not observed them carefully.
“I don’t understand how you could not notice whether Lucifer’s voice rose or fell as he told you he has lived since before there were days”, Wo-man said, making a note to herself that if she is going to analyze these things, she will have to do it for herself.
The next day Adam and Wo-man planned an elaborate gardening project. They had found some beautiful roses in a tangle of grass. They had visualized how beautiful the roses would be if the grass were cleared out so the roses could grow alone.
It was tedious work. They pulled grass in quite a large area. They didn’t remove all the grass, but shortened it from about four feet high to a few inches high. What a pleasant difference, and pleasant to walk upon and lie upon, too!
They saw that the roses, without the support of the grass, laid limply on the ground. “Look Adam, wouldn’t they be pretty if they were up this high, so I could walk right up to them and smell them without getting on my hands and knees?”
Adam studied the problem. He picked them up, but they just fell back down again. What could hold them up permanently?
He spotted a small tree several feet away. “Maybe if I could just drag this tree over by the roses?” he suggested.
“Excellent! Then I could wrap the roses around it!”
Adam pulled the tree, but it wouldn’t move. Surprised, he pulled harder. The tree, a little taller than himself, bent, but would not move. It remained firmly planted in the ground. But after much tugging and huffing, he heard and felt a crack in the wood. Stooping down, he inspected the damage he had caused to the tender trunk.
“Have I killed it?” He asked Wo-man.
“I don’t think it has any purpose, if we can’t move it. I think if you can keep breaking it like that, then let’s just leave behind the portion that loves the ground that much, and we can use the portion which is willing to be useful.”
So Adam continued working on the trunk, focusing on putting stress on the portion already damaged. He found that by pulling from another direction, he could cause a crack on another side of it. Finally it was cracked enough that he could twirl the trunk around and around, until the last wood fibers surrendered their hold.
Over by the roses, Adam and Wo-man pondered how to replant their prize. Adam stood it on the ground, but it fell over. He stood it up again and held it. “It won’t take root. How can we make it stay?” he asked Wo-man. But as he asked, his body slumped for want of a reason to maintain its tension, there being nothing he could think of to do. As he slumped, his weight shifted to the sapling, driving it a couple of inches into the ground. Surprised, he stepped back, fearful of falling if he held on to the sinking tree. When he stepped back, he was astonished to see that the sapling stood!
Incredulous, Wo-man stepped up to it and pulled it, to see if it had taken root as firmly as it had before. Not so. It fell over in her hand. But now Adam knew what to do. He leaned on the tree with all his weight, driving it farther into the ground. He stepped on its lower branches, driving it in farther. Now it was fairly sturdy; not as much as before, but enough for roses.
“Let’s wrap the roses around it now.”
They began, but they decided the number of branches interfered with wrapping, plus they detracted from the beauty of the roses. So they stripped most of them off.
And so the next couple of days proceeded, one idea upon another, until by the end of the week they had an arbor of four small trees placed vertically, a square of trees at the top, placed horizontally, and woven grass covering the frame to provide shade!
When they were all finished, God stopped by for a visit. That is, God manifesting in a physical body; of course we knew God was ever present, everywhere. But Adam and Wo-man didn’t know that yet.
They talked of many things. They joked about the antics of cats and baby rabbits. Adam thanked God for the many delicious fruits upon which they had feasted. God responded by pointing out more, as they walked about, and suggesting novel ways to prepare them. They sat in the shade of the Arbor, enjoying the change from the warm sun.
God waited for Adam or Wo-man to talk about Lucifer, but in vain. Adam nearly brought it up, but didn’t want to trouble God. Actually there were a jumble of feelings within Adam which even he could only barely sort out, and that only if he took the trouble, which he was ill inclined to do on such a pleasant, warm, sunshiny day.
One thought tumbling around in Adam’s mind was that Lucifer did not present a problem he couldn’t handle. God had enough problems of His own, Adam figured. Adam did not need to spoil God’s day by talking about all Adam’s problems. Adam could handle it.
Perceiving this thought, God responded, “Adam, whenever you feel weak, burdened with more than you can figure out, please come right to Me. In fact, even if you can handle it yourself, let me help anyway! I love you, and love helping you. I promise you, Adam, whenever you do, I will give you rest. Just keep doing the work I have given you, and let Me teach you through it, and you will find peace, not just for your body but for your soul. For the work I give you is easy. The load I give you to carry is very light.”
VerseScout: Matthew 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Relieved of that excuse, Adam was about to unload on God, but thought of another reason to keep it to himself. He remembered the shameless challenge Lucifer had made to God’s honesty. Yes, that was what it was. Adam didn’t want to hurt God’s feelings by recounting the proud words. Indeed, Adam anticipated that the news might make God very angry, and Adam didn’t look forward to being around an angry God.
Perceiving this thought, God responded, “Adam, I have made other creatures, besides you and Wo-man, with the power to choose. Not every creature I create will respond to the Love I offer. This is sad, but it does not make me so furious that I cannot Love you. On the contrary, it makes me appreciate you even more, and want to help protect you. Believe Me, at any time a Creature rejects my love, you can be sure he will also reject yours. Please let me help you! Please, Adam, stick as close to me as chicks under their mother’s wing.”
VerseScout: Matthew 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
Psalm 3:1 Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me. 2 Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah. 3 But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. 4 I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah. 5 I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me. 6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about. 7 Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly. 8 Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.
` Psalm 23 :1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
Adam nearly melted with Love. He nearly opened his heart a mile wide for God to reach in and comfort him, and heal all his troubles and doubts.
But not quite. Adam began to form the narrative in his mind of what had happened, only to remember it would include some doubts he had felt about God. Adam was ashamed. He did not want to admit to God that he had doubted Him, even for an instant. Adam thought it would be wiser, before unloading on God, to go back to Lucifer and do a better job of sticking up for God, so that at Adam’s first occasion to report to God, his report might be more positive. That is, more likely to earn, for Adam, God’s approval.
Perceiving this thought, God responded, “Adam, I want you to know how much I Love you and Wo-man. You two are the pride of all my Creation. But what you are now is nothing, in grandeur, to what I have plans for you to become as you follow Me! I say this to assure you. You need never fear disappointing Me. When you fail in some small way, you don’t destroy my plans. I made you with a vision higher than what you can accomplish without work, discipline, and lots of time.”
c VerseScout: Ecclesiastes 1:13 And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore [breaking us in pieces] travail [bowing down – acknowledging greatness above our selves] hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised [humbled] therewith.
“In fact, when your failures disappoint you, they encourage me, because your disappointment tells me you care, too, about the wonderful vision of greatness I have laid before you to grow towards! NEVER hesitate to come crying to me when you fail! It is only when you do not come to me with your failures, that I grieve, because then I cannot help you learn from them, and heal your wounds. May I also urge you, come to Me while your failures seem so small as to not be worth bringing before Me. Let me use them to immunize you against more serious dangers in the future.”
VerseScout: 1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
Adam was amazed how God’s responses had corresponded to his own thoughts. Wo-man had noticed the unusual train of God’s statements, too, without knowing Adam’s thoughts which had precipitated them. Adam was uneasy; could it be God knew his thoughts?
Adam finally broke down. He cried as he formed his question, searching for ideas that did not, too much, reveal the disrespectful doubts he had suffered. “What, or who, is Lucifer?”
“Before I created you, I created a race of spirit-creatures to help you. You cannot normally see them. Lucifer is such a creature, but he refuses to help you or obey me. Even in appearing to you, he disobeys Me, though I permit him, sometimes, to defy me, because I love him.”
VerseScout: 1 Samuel 8:4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, 5 And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations. 6 But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD. 7 And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. 8 According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee. 9 Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.
VerseScout Relevance Report: This shows how God permits us some freedom to act out our rebellion against Him. See also Job 1. This chapter and the following two chapters record God’s sanction, not of the most righteous human leadership, but of the most righteous leader which the majority would tolerate. God honors our freedom to govern ourselves poorly, if that is the choice of the majority; although God took steps to make sure the stupid choice was at least informed.
I didn’t like the impression Adam was getting of our race! So I whispered in his ear a clarifying question for him to ask of God. Finally Adam responded: “Are the rest of the race as ugly as Lucifer?”
God said, to my utter relief, “No! When you see an obedient angel, he will seem like an entirely different race! Much more like yourself. Lucifer did not always look so horrible. But disobedience turns beauty ugly.”
Adam smiled, encouraged. This wasn’t going so badly as he feared. “Did Lucifer eat of the tree before You created it?” Adam chuckled as he asked, trying to imagine a sensible answer to so absurd a question, but still uneasy with the subject.
“No. Nor did he EVER eat of this tree. Nor will I permit him to! However, the knowledge the tree contains, I gave him at his creation, along with all the other angels. Yes, that is the name of their race: ‘angels’. It means ‘messengers’. Their name shows that their created purpose is to bring you messages from me; sometimes in words, but mostly in invisible actions.”
“Then why didn’t they all die?” Adam asked, sincerely confused.
“The knowledge itself does not kill. Disobeying Me kills. The angels who believe me, and obey me, are still alive, healthy, and beautiful. But Lucifer, and others like him, suffer a death greater than physical death. A living, terrible death.”
Wo-man asked, “You mean, if we eat of the tree, we won’t actually die? Or, what did You say, ‘physically’ die?”
God pleaded, “DON’T eat of the tree! If you do, you WILL die! Trust Me! Don’t quibble over fine distinctions between ways to die! I don’t want you to have to experience death!”
Wo-man took God’s answer at face value, as God had anticipated, which had determined the simplicity of God’s answer. Wo-man saw no reason to analyze farther, or to compare this answer with previous statements to arrive at a more detailed understanding. Wo-man saw the concern in God’s face, with its expressions of kindness towards her and her interests, and that was enough for her. She believed Him.
Adam, however, ever curious, wanted to know more. What meant this distinction between “death”, and a “death greater than death”? Or, “physical” death?
Then there was the question whether the death Adam would face would be like Lucifer’s, or whether Adam would “die” in the sense of ceasing to exist?
Adam didn’t ask further, though. The questions wouldn’t quite form in his mind. Plus there was Wo-man, smiling at him so pretty, touching him so pleasantly, as if to say “Well, that’s settled, finally! Let’s go play in the roses!”