Door of Faith – Lesson Four

The New Relationship of God with Mankind




Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.  Rom. 5:12

Our study of the scriptures presented in Lessons One, Two and Three help us understand the change in all mature people after Adam and Eve broke God’s covenant.  We have the capability of “knowing good and evil.”  Therefore, the following admonition has become mankind’s daily challenge:

Hate what is evil:  Cling to what is good.  Rom. 12:9

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.  12:21

Be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.  16:19

But solid food is for the mature; who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.  Heb. 5:14

Even though all mature people sin and become spiritually separated from Deity, God did not change and neither did His purpose for creating us.  All living beings are still created in His likeness.  Our spirits came from God and our male or female bodies came from the substance of the earth.  All people are born with strong innate needs that motivate us to seek and learn lifestyles for achieving satisfaction for our God-given urges.  God is still offering mankind covenants to attain His purpose.

The “Post-Garden of Eden” man and woman have a Deity level of knowing good and evil.  Our spirits know our thoughts (I Cor. 2:11).  We can and do examine ourselves (II Cor. 13:5).  If we do not do what we believe we ought to do, we defile our consciences with guilt.  The result of this capability has brought about a critical change in the relationship between God and man.


The context for this lesson is God’s historical story about how He sought to maintain fellowship with mankind from Adam to Moses.  The Holy Spirit inspired the Apostle Paul to present God’s “point of view” of this period in the following scripture.  Its relevancy to the title of this lesson, “The New Relationship of God with Mankind,” should be kept uppermost in our minds during our study of this lesson.

For before the law was given, sin was in the world.  But sin is not taken into account when there is no law.  Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the One who was to come.  Rom. 5:13, 14

Since the context for this lesson is a story, we need to apply proper biblical interpretation principles for reading a narrative.  The protagonist is God and the antagonist is the devil.  The plot is about God’s purpose for creating mankind to be children in His kingdom.  The resolution of this plot will not be concluded in the period of history before Moses met with God on Mt Sinai.  It “will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing power with His powerful angels.” II Thess. 1:7.  Mt. Sinai is where Moses received what the Hebrew writer referred to as the obsolete covenant (Ex. 19:3-6; Heb. 8:7-9, 13).

Satan made his appearance only once in the dialogue of this complex narrative recorded in Gen. 1:1- Ex. 20:26.  His appearance was in the form of a serpent (Gen. 3:1-4).  The Apostle John identified the “ancient serpent” as “the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray.” Rev. 12:9.  Satan’s first task was simple; he deceived Eve; then she persuaded Adam to break God’s covenant (II Cor. 11:3; I Tim. 2:14; Gen. 3:17).  The consequence resulted in mankind’s condemnation of themselves every time they failed to choose good over evil.  This was Satan’s first move to lead “the whole world astray.”  His work as the antagonist in this story was not finished.  The results of his first appearance gave the devil the power of death over mankind.  Death reigned from Adam to Moses.  In fact, the fear of death continued to rob mankind of the courage to live “effective and productive” lives until Jesus Christ came (II Pet. 1:8).  Jesus’ incarnate life enabled God to add “grace and truth” for living beings in the “last days” of time (John 1:17).

Since the children have flesh and blood, He too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death – that is the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.  Heb. 2:14, 15

God, the protagonist, is very active in His story.  He has a vested interest in mankind because the “self” of every human being came from God.  He is not willing for Satan to hold the power of death over even one of the people on earth because of His predestined plan (I Tim. 2:3-6; II Pet. 3:9).  However, because He wants children and not slaves, angels or robots, each person has been given the choice of accepting or rejecting the laws in His covenants and His personal fellowship.  The critical problem can be understood in this: God is holy (I Pet. 1:15; Heb. 12:14).  Because His nature is Holy, His behavior is just.  Because God is just His behavior is righteous.  Isaiah, a prophet who spoke for God, declared, “But the Lord Almighty will be exalted by His justice, and the holy God will show Himself holy by His righteousness.”  Isa. 5:16.  John presented the dilemma that became a reality after mature people became responsible for all our behavior.

This is the message we have heard from Him and declare unto you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.  If we claim to have fellowship with Him and walk in darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.  I John 1:5, 6

Mankind’s problem is that we are being held responsible by God for choosing good over evil.  We are responsible, even while we learn what is good according to God’s righteousness.  It is not only God who holds us responsible; we condemn ourselves with our very own minds and consciences when we do not do what we believe we ought to do (Rom. 2:14, 15; Jas. 4:17).  Since all mature people have a mind and conscience, all people feel guilty when they violate their consciences.  Of course, some have “seared” their consciences against the truth, others have “corrupted” their minds and consciences; while some of God’s people have weak consciences (I Tim. 4:1, 2; Tit. 1:15, 16; I Cor. 8:10; Rom. 14:23; Eph. 4:17-19).  God’s righteousness is the standard of measurement for determining what is good and what is evil behavior.  “Let God be true and every man a liar.” Rom. 3:4.

The fellowship relationship between God and mankind became somewhat similar to parents and children in human families after the children mature during their adolescent stage of life.  Loving parents have the same desire for their children God has for the people He created.  Each party’s desire is for their offspring to respect them as their “begetter” and abide by the covenants they make for them.  The aims of both parties’ covenants are to satisfy their offspring’s inherent needs and to teach them how to develop as their glorious children.  God, the Father, and parents strive to maintain a happy family.

Problems in each relationship develop during the maturing stage of youth’s minds and consciences.  Youth begin to hold court sessions about their behavior according to what they believe is good and evil.  Their consciences, “the knower of themselves,” will accuse or excuse their own behavior according to what they believe in their minds is good or evil.  Their consciences will be marked with guilt when he or she does not behave in a manner they believe is good.  This is how death reigned from Adam to Moses; even though God’s law in His covenant did not convict people of their sins.  His covenant did include a law, but it did not belong in the category of the Law of Moses (Gen. 26:5).  It was the law of life – as in the new covenant (Matt. 7:29; Rom. 8:1, 2; I Cor. 9:21; Gal. 6:2; Heb. 10:16).  This topic will be taken up in another lesson; however, we need to understand the law of life for our spirits belongs in the same category of law as the law of nature for our bodies.  Neither of these laws takes the violation of the law into account; however, death reigns over those who are continuous willful violators.

Guilt robs people of their innate needs for honor and glory.  Honor and glory are two very strong needs of the “self.”  When people fail to attain some level of satisfaction for their innate needs they are unhappy.  Unhappy people make God and parents unhappy as well as others.  This is what is happening in Satan’s world at this very hour; a world of unhappy people seeking satisfaction for their needs.  Mature people in the world society have been cast out of God’s presence.  Most of them have failed to come back.  These are the living beings with which God, parents and societies must contend.  God wants them back in His fellowship.  The responsibility for preaching the kingdom has been given to the people of God.  Jesus has commissioned the church to carry forth His mission (Matt. 4:23; 28:18-20; I Cor. 15:58; I Pet. 3:15).

Based on the foregoing hypothesis, we can understand the difficulties in “The New Relationship of God with Mankind.”  God did notchange and neither did His purpose for creating mankind.  Satan, a calumniator of God, appeared on the scene and caused all people to acquire a capability only Deity can properly wield – “knowing good and evil.”  Although God excluded Adam and Eve from the fellowship they had with Him in the Garden of Eden and subjected all created material things to decay, His purpose remained the same.  The following was written to the saints in Rome ages and ages after God declared, “He (the man) must not reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”  Gen. 3:22.  This scripture explains some other major moves God made at the same time He blocked mankind’s way to the “tree of life.”  Gen. 3:24.

 The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.  For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the One who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage of the decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.  We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.  Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons of God, the redemption of our bodies.  Rom. 8:19-23

Our bodies, along with all other created things, have been subjected to decay and death (I Cor. 15:22).  The fear of death reigns over people in Satan’s kingdom (Eph. 2:1-3).  However, all of these sinners’ spirits came from God and were designed in His likeness.  They still have the inherent needs for glory, honor, praise, sexual relationships and both social and physical security.  See Matt. 6:25-34; Rom. 2:6-11; I Cor. 7:3-5; I Pet. 1:7.  They seek ways to satisfy these needs from the hour they are born until they leave their bodies.  Even then, and especially then, God’s people must have hope in God’s promises to satisfy the needs of our “selves” after we exit our dead bodies (Rom. 8:24, 25).

This is a description of life in the world realm today and it was a description of the situation from Adam to Moses for people who did not live by faith in God’s covenants.  Christians can attain a “reality view” of the new relationship of God and man from God’s story from Adam to Moses.  This is the fourth sequential faith building thought we will need to keep in mind to maintain a proper view of the God/man encounters in individual narratives that make up God’s story from Gen. 1:1 – Ex 18:27.  We will also need to know God blessed people who lived by faith in His covenants with the grace of “justification by faith” from Adam to Moses (Heb. 11:1-29).  This doctrine was offered in the Melchizedek Priesthood.  This will be the next lesson in this sequential topical study.

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