How Adam and Eve parallel God and His begotten Son

How Adam and Eve parallel God and His begotten Son

JASON SMITH·SUNDAY, MAY 14, 2017

The picture above is an artistic depiction of the Genesis account which explains the creation of woman from a rib taken from man’s side. What I love about the sculpting is how closely Adam resembles his Maker. The lesson I am going to share today actually deals with the resemblance between man and woman and God and His Son. I originally wrote this in response to a pastor who found this doctrine to be strange and odd so this was my defense of the matter. I pray that it is a blessing to you and that the Spirit of God guides you into all truth.

Pastor R wrote: This Adam & Eve PARALLELISM TO The Father and BEGOTTEN Son is really getting to be very strange and quite an oddity. . . Wouldn't you think so? [End Quote]

In the comment above, our friend pastor R postulates his opinion that the parallelism between Adam/Eve and God/His begotten Son has gotten to be strange and quite odd. Personally, I do not find this to be the case at all. I also believe that when the inspired evidence for this parallelism is examined then all honest folks will see it as quite rational too. Toward that end I am going to share a study which will uncover the Bible and SOP evidence for this parallelism and why it matters. Without further introduction let us begin:

Point 1: God said to His Son “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness.”

The first thing we need to do is show that when God said in Genesis 1:26 let Us make man in Our image this was not a 3 Person Being talking to Himself but rather 1 Person (God) speaking to another Person (His Son). Let’s make this clear through the SOP.

“And I saw that when God said to his Son, Let us make man in our image,... {1SG 17.1}

“But when God said to His Son, “Let us make man in our image,”…. {EW 145.1}

“And God said, Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness.” Whom did He address?—The Lord Jesus Christ, who declares Himself to have been with the Father from the beginning" {Ms43-1906.6}

"We take not the fallacies of man but the Word of God that man was created after the image of God and Christ,... {Ms236-1902.4}

"God, in counsel with his Son, formed the plan of creating man in Their own image... {RH February 24, 1874, par. 3}

Now we know from inspiration that both God and His Son have tangible forms. Many trinitarian Christians today erroneously believe that God is formless but this is not true.

“And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape (John 5:37)

“I asked Jesus if His Father had a form like Himself. He said He had but I could not behold it, for said He, 'If you should once behold the glory of His person you would cease to exist. {EW 54.2}

So God has a tangible form or shape and His Son, even in His pre-incarnate existence, had the same. There is a physicality here with the Son of features and height.

“The Son of God was next in authority to the great Lawgiver. He knew that His life alone could be sufficient to ransom fallen man. He was of as much more value than man as his noble, spotless character, and exalted office as commander of all the heavenly host, were above the work of man. He was in the express image of His Father, not in features alone, but in perfection of character.{2SP 9.1}

“Before Christ came in the likeness of men, He existed in the express image of His Father. He thought it not robbery to be equal with God…{YI December 20, 1900, par. 4}

Before Christ left heaven and came into the world to die, He was taller than any of the angels. He was majestic and lovely... {2SP 39.2}

Thus we have two tangible Divine Beings, the Father and Son, with the Son being in His Father’s express image, and man was made to resemble Them both, even in his outward resemblance.

“Man was to bear God’s image, both in outward resemblance and in character. Christ alone is “the express image” (Hebrews 1:3) of the Father; but man was formed in the likeness of God. His nature was in harmony with the will of God... {PP 45.2}

Now this image of God does not belong to man alone but also to woman.

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them (Gen 1:26)

So we find a parallel here of Two tangible Divine Beings, with the Son existing in the express image of His Father, created two tangible human beings, male and female, after Their Divine image.

Point 2: The Son of God was begotten in the express image of the Father.

The second thing we need to show, in order to understand how point 1 is true, is that the Son was begotten in the express image of God. The Two tangible Divine Beings have an ontological filial relationship. The Father is really the Father and the Son is really the Son.

“A complete offering has been made; for “God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son,”—not a son by creation, as were the angels, nor a son by adoption, as is the forgiven sinner, but a Son begotten in the express image of the Father’s person, and in ALL the brightness of his majesty and glory, one equal with God in authority, dignity, and divine perfection. In him dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. {ST May 30, 1895, par. 3}

Note: There are those who try to make the quote above a reference to the incarnation. I find that this effort falls short though because when the Son of God was begotten as a man it was not in ALL the brightness of His [the Father’s] majesty and glory. If He would have shown up in ALL the brightness of His majesty and glory He actually would have consumed us. Thus He had to veil the physical component and this was a part of the plan. Numerous quotes from EGW inform us of this. Here are a few of them:

“Christ, the Light of the world, veiled the dazzling splendor of His divinity and came to live as a man among men, that they might, without being consumed, become acquainted with their Creator. No man has seen God at any time except as He is revealed through Christ. {8T 265.2}

“Had Christ comes in His Divine form, humanity could not have endured the sight. The contrast would have been too painful, the glory too overwhelming. Humanity could not have endured the presence of one of the pure, bright angels from glory; therefore Christ took not on Him the nature of angels; He came in the likeness of men. {5BC 1131.1}

“Christ came, but not in the brightness of His Divine glory. He laid aside his royal robe and kingly crown, clothed his divinity with humanity, and came to live upon the earth as a man among men. Had He come in the full power and glory of His Divinity, sinners could not have stood in His Presence without being destroyed... {RH September 13, 1906, par. 5}

“It was a part of the plan that He should hide the brightness of His glory, that, during His earthly life, He should humble Himself to man’s estate… {Ms3-1898.19}

So the point here is that the evidence suggests that the pre-incarnate Son was begotten. We will return to this later.

Point 3: The Son of God is the Father’s glory. He is a part of God Himself.

What we are doing right now is establishing points regarding the Son of God which will help us to see the parallelism. This time we note that He is the Father’s glory.

“Though sin had produced a gulf between man and his God, divine benevolence provided a plan to bridge that gulf. And what material did He use? A part of Himself. The brightness of the Father’s glory came to a world all seared and marred with the curse, and in His own divine character, in His own divine body, bridged the gulf and opened a channel of communication between God and man… {Lt36a-1890.11}

Note: Please note that EGW says that the “material” that God used to bridge the gulf was “a part of Himself.” Elsewhere she informs us of Christ that “He and the Father were of one substance, possessing the same attributes {ST November 27, 1893, par. 5}. Thus it appears that for the begotten Son His “material” or “substance” is a part of God Himself. This actually ties in with point 2 also.

Point 4: Eve was made as a suitable helper for Adam

“And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet [suitable] for him (Gen 2:18 [brackets added for clarity])

“For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. (1 Cor 11:8, 9)

Note: The woman was created to be a helper for man in accomplishing the work which God had assigned to him. He was not “of” her but she was “of” him.

Point 5: The Son was “under God.”

As we continue marshaling our data points let us now note that even before His incarnation the Son was “under” His Father as the standard law of heaven. He stood next in authority to Him and was willingly submissive to the Divine will.

“The creation of our world was brought into the councils of heaven. There the covering cherub prepared his request that he should be made prince to govern the world then in prospect. This was not accorded him. Jesus Christ was to rule the earthly kingdom; UNDER GOD He engaged to take the world with all its probabilities. The law of heaven should be the standard law for this new world, for human intelligences.{Ms43b-1891.3}

“The Son of God was next in authority to the great Lawgiver…{2SP 9.1}

“Lucifer was the most beautiful angel in the heavenly courts next to Jesus Christ, but Christ was one with God, assimilated to the image of God to do the will of God. Satan, knowing that Christ had the first place next to God, began to insinuate to the angels that he should be next to God... {Ms90-1910.4}

Note: There is an equal yet next to dichotomy with the Son of God. In one sense He is equal to God but in another sense He is next in line to Him in authority. This was the reality before sin entered.

“Christ’s time to show His divine power had not yet come. He was fully aware of the glory He had with the Father before the world was. But then He willingly submitted to the Divine will, and He was unchanged now.{BEcho July 23, 1900, par. 6}

Note: What we are really talking about here is the Headship of the Father. The Son is under Him. This will again become important when we deal with the Adam and Eve.

So let’s review the points we have so far about God and His Son.

Point 1: God spoke to His begotten Son saying “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness.”

Point 2: The pre-incarnate Son was begotten in the express image of the Father

Point 3: The Son was the Father’s glory. The “material” of the Son was “a part of [God] Himself.” He was “of one substance” with His Father.

Point 4: The woman was made as a suitable helper for the man.

Point 5: The pre-incarnate Son was under God.

Now we are prepared to move forward to examine the inspired data points regarding Adam and Eve. Let’s see if there are any parallels between them and God and His Son.

We will actually start with point 5 first. And remember point 5 is that the pre-incarnate Son was under God.

Now let’s see how that parallels Adam and Eve.

3 But I would have you know, that the Head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the Head of Christ is God (1 Cor 11:3)

According to the apostle Paul, God is the Head of Christ, while Christ is the Head of every man and the man (aka: husband) is the head of the woman (aka: wife).

What do we see here? We see a parallel relationship between God who is the Head of His Son and the man (better husband) who is the head of the woman (better wife) and such were Adam and Eve.

Note: Many SDAs today try to deny that Adam was the head of his wife before the fall. These fail to understand that while she was his ontological equal (fully human) she was actually under his headship. Think about it. Adam was alive by himself when the commandment about the tree was given. The job Eve had came from Adam’s job for she was made to be his suitable helper. Also she got the names of the animals from him, literally that information came from out of his head. In fact even her own identification as “woman” came from him. Lastly, they are the marriage prototype, for a man shall leave his father and mother to cleave unto his wife. This shows the man as the initiator of a new relationship. Also sin could not enter into the world until Adam, the man, capitulated to sin. Corporate headship was vested in him. This, by the way, is why the redemption of the human race required only a second Adam and not a second Adam and Eve. Man’s headship was very mild, implicit and quite natural before the fall. There was no sin to cause discord and it is very likely that Adam and Eve were only vaguely aware, if even at all cognizant, of their role differentiation nevertheless it was still there. Pauline theology regarding spiritual gender roles is actually based off of these facts.

Let’s move on to point 4. This point was that Eve was made to be a suitable helper for Adam.

No one can deny this for the Bible is explicit on the point. How does this parallel God and His Son? Well let’s read:

The Sovereign of the universe was not alone in His work of beneficence. He had an associate—a co-worker who could appreciate His purposes, and could share His joy in giving happiness to created beings. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.” John 1:1, 2. Christ, the Word, the only begotten of God, was one with the eternal Father—one in nature, in character, in purpose—the only being that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God. “His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6. His “goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” Micah 5:2. And the Son of God declares concerning Himself: “The Lord possessed Me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old. I was set up from everlasting.... When He appointed the foundations of the earth: then I was by Him, as one brought up with Him: and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him.” Proverbs 8:22-30. {PP 34.1}

In other words Eve, the suitable helper for Adam, who shares his nature, is a reflection of the begotten Son of God who was God’s associate, His co-worker. The begotten Son is the co-Creator with His Father and who delights in His work as Proverbs 8:22-30 reveals.

Let’s move forward to point 3 and point 2. Point 3 was that the Son is God’s glory and the material of the Son was a part of [God] Himself and that He was of one substance with Him. And point 2 was that the Son of God was begotten.

Now let’s see the parallel between these points and Adam and Eve. We’ll focus first on the part of point 3 about “a part of Himself” and then return in a moment to the other part about glory.

21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22 And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23 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 (Gen 2:21-23)

Here we are seeing a similitude in the physical likeness of God and His begotten Son with Adam and Eve. While they are created beings, and thus can never fully explain Divine ontology, they do help us (and presumably the angels too but we’ll touch on that later on) to understand in a limited degree the ontology of God and His Son. You see the Son of God was begotten and is of one substance with His Father. They have the same nature as Divine Beings. Eve was made from Adam’s rib and she was made of the same substance as him. They have the same nature as human beings. And a part of her was taken out from him thus EGW informs us.

“Love, gratitude, loyalty to the Creator—all were overborne by love to Eve. She was a part of himself, and he could not endure the thought of separation.{PP 56.2}

Eve was literally made out of a part of Adam himself. Again lest the point of parallelism be missed we remind our reader that sister White says that the “material” which God used to bridge the gap caused by sin between heaven and earth was “a part of Himself.” It was His Son who did this “in His own divine body.” It is also interesting to note that inspiration tells us that God and His Son are “one in spirit” and when They create it is the Spirit that is sent forth (see for example Psalm 104:30). Adam and Eve, through the sexual union, became “one flesh” and that is how they procreate. Again we are seeing a semblance or a type that helps us to better understand God and His Son.

Now, lest anyone set up a strawman, as some are wont to do, let the record show that heavenly realities are different and transcendent to earthly ones. There is not an exact parallelism between the begotten Son of God and the rib-made woman nor is there an exact parallelism between the “one in spirit” union of Father and Son with “one flesh” union Adam and Eve. An exact parallelism is not what I am trying to say here. I shouldn’t even have to say such things but it is necessitated by the constant foolish maneuverings of cavilers.

Now let’s return, as promised, to the part about glory. As we asserted earlier the Son is the Father’s glory. Let’s see how that point finds a parallel in Adam and Eve.

7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.(1 Cor 11:7)

As we established previously the Son is God’s glory. What is an interesting parallel here is that the woman is the glory of man. While both genders were made in the image of God the woman, in some sense, is the glory of the man! This is an unpopular truth today in certain SDA circles but I didn’t say it, the apostle Paul did. Now let’s return to the 1st point.

Point 1: God said to His Son “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness.”

In order for what I am going to share now to make sense we need to go back to the start of the great controversy. Let’s see what inspiration tells us.

“Christ was the only begotten Son of God, and Lucifer, that glorious angel, got up a warfare over the matter, until he had to be thrust down to the earth. {Ms86-1910.30}

“This fact the angels would obscure, that Christ was the only begotten Son of God, and they came to consider that they were not to consult Christ. One angel began the controversy and carried it on until there was rebellion in the heavenly courts among the angels. They were lifted up because of their beauty. {Lt42-1910.3}

According to inspiration a key component of the great controversy, as it began in heaven, was the fact that God had an “only begotten Son.” This was “the matter” that was an issue for Lucifer, worthy of going to war. And this fact was also what the rebellious angels actually wanted to obscure. Since they looked a great deal like the Son of God, particularly Lucifer who most closely resembled Him, the rebellious angels went by what they could see instead of faith in God who had declared to them that His Son was His “only begotten.” In plain language the deception that they attempted to palm off was that the Son of God was a son by creation just like the angels therefore God was being unfair in exalting His Son above themselves. If you doubt that this was the argument then again let’s allow inspiration to shed light on the issue.

"When Satan and the Son of God first met in conflict, Christ was the commander of the heavenly hosts; and Satan, the leader of revolt in heaven, was cast out. Now their condition is apparently reversed, and SATAN MAKES THE MOST OF HIS SUPPOSED ADVANTAGE. ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL OF THE ANGELS, HE SAYS, HAS BEEN BANISHED FROM HEAVEN. THE APPEARANCE OF JESUS INDICATES THAT HE IS THAT FALLEN ANGEL, forsaken by God, and deserted by man. A DIVINE BEING would be able to sustain his claim by working a miracle; “if Thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.” SUCH AN ACT OF CREATIVE POWER, URGES THE TEMPTER, WOULD BE CONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE OF DIVINITY. IT WOULD BRING THE CONTROVERSY TO AN END. {DA 119.2}

"In taking the nature of man, Christ was not equal in appearance with the angels of Heaven, but this was one of the necessary humiliations that he willingly accepted when he became man’s Redeemer. SATAN URGED THAT IF HE WAS INDEED THE SON OF GOD he should give him some evidence of his exalted character. He suggested that God would not leave his Son in so deplorable a condition. HE DECLARED THAT ONE OF THE HEAVENLY ANGELS HAD BEEN EXILED TO EARTH, AND HIS APPEARANCE INDICATED THAT INSTEAD OF BEING THE KING OF HEAVEN, HE WAS THAT FALLEN ANGEL. He called attention to his own beautiful appearance, clothed with light and strength, and insultingly contrasted the wretchedness of Christ with his own glory. {2SP 91.1}

“He claimed direct authority from Heaven to demand proof of Christ that he was the Son of God. He taunted him with being a poor representative of the angels, much less their high Commander, the acknowledged King in the royal courts; and insinuated that his present appearance indicated that he was forsaken of God and man. HE DECLARED THAT IF HE WERE THE SON OF GOD HE WAS EQUAL WITH GOD AND SHOULD EVIDENCE THIS by working a miracle to relieve his hunger. He then urged him to change the stone at his feet to bread, and AGREED THAT IF THIS WERE DONE HE WOULD AT ONCE YIELD HIS CLAIMS TO SUPERIORITY, AND THE CONTEST BETWEEN THE TWO SHOULD BE FOREVER ENDED.{2SP 91.2}

The quotes above show us that satan argued that Jesus was actually an angel. And he falsely claimed that if Jesus would prove otherwise by performing a miracle then “it would bring the controversy to an end.” Notice in the 2SP 91 reference he claimed that if Jesus would do so then “he would at once yield his claims to superiority, and the contest between the two should be forever ended.” Now sister White continues on to tell us that satan was lying and even if Jesus had done so he would have continued in rebellion because “evidence would have been worthless to break the power of rebellion in his heart” {DA 119.3}. However these quotes help us to see what satan and the demons were arguing by trying to obscure the fact that the Son was the only-begotten. They were trying to make Him out to be an angel, a created being, like themselves.

Now what we must understand is that this obfuscation had its affect on even the loyal angels. Even though they chose to believe the truth about God and His Son by faith they still had questions about the nature of His Son, the character of God and the law of His government. Thus even things in heaven needed to be reconciled as Scripture informs us (Col 1:20). And let us remember that the “matter” which satan started a war over and what the demons tried to obscure was the fact that Christ was the only begotten.

So when God made the human family – there was a public declaration to His Son within earshot of the angels – Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness. This was something that all of the angels could watch. In the process they could learn more about the nature of God and His Son. God Himself had actually told them Who His Son was. They had assembled and had seen the Son sharing the Father’s throne, with the glory of the eternal self-existent One encircling Both of Them.

“Before the assembled inhabitants of heaven the King declared that none but Christ, THE ONLY BEGOTTEN OF GOD, could fully enter into His purposes, and to Him it was committed to execute the mighty counsels of His will. The Son of God had wrought the Father’s will in the creation of all the hosts of heaven; and to Him, as well as to God, their homage and allegiance were due. Christ was still to exercise divine power, in the creation of the earth and its inhabitants. But in all this He would not seek power or exaltation for Himself contrary to God’s plan, but would exalt the Father’s glory and execute His purposes of beneficence and love. {PP 36.2}

Notice that God told the angels that His Son would exercise His divine power in creating the earth and its inhabitants. Yet in none of this would He seek power or exalt Himself contrary to God’s plan. And we know from Scripture that the angels watched Him do this work for God asked Job if he was there during the creation:

“When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? (Job 38:7)

The salient point here is that the way that the sequence and manner in which God made the human family, Adam first and then bringing forth a rib from Adam and making an ontological equal for him, a being of the same nature who would then be his suitable helper, one through whom he could procreate to fulfill God’s purpose, was an incredible object lesson that enabled angelic minds to grasp Who the only begotten Son of God was, why He was equal to God and the Headship/Submission that existed between Them. And the headship/submission in the marital relationship, even to this day, is still for the sake of the angels according to Paul’s teaching in 1 Corinthians 11.

7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. 8 For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. 9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. 10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. (1 Cor 11:7-10)

What we have just discussed above, with all the parallels, was an answer to the angelic host helping them to better comprehend the relationship between the Father and His begotten Son. This is why maintaining gender distinctions in spiritual roles is important. This was the object lesson that God gave to the angels as a part of His response to the great controversy initiated by Lucifer against His only begotten Son.

CONCLUSION:

Now what does all of this show us? Through the 5 points we have just studied we see strong evidence of a parallelism of God and His begotten Son with Adam and Eve. While it is not a perfect match in every sense, and how could it be since we are dealing with two created being who can never reveal the fullness of the Divine Beings of Father and Son, there are still some very clear parallels. And while the final point is not conclusive it is a reasonable theory and I think the unbiased will admit as much. The truth here is that this doctrine is not very strange or quite odd theology at all. It is actually very apparent isn’t it? May all those who have eyes to see, ears to hear, honest hearts and minds to comprehend, say amen! God bless you friends! As always I am yours in Christ.

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