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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Between Adam and Moses

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Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2012
Joplin, Missouri


Was there knowledge of Heaven at this point (between Adam and Moses)? I can't recall a mentioning of Heaven, besides the creation account. Because when God curses man, he says "to dust you shall return." Does that mean that there wasn't a Heaven men went to? Other than Enoch being "taken up" I don't really remember a mention of a Heavenly realm.

Good question. In the creation account we find that God created the heavens (plural). Some believe this to mean the atmosphere and space. The heavens are also used scripturally to refer to the spiritual real which we cannot see but with which we interact regularly. John 4:23-24, Eph. 6:12. It is also used to refer to the place that Jesus said He goes to prepare for us (John 14:3). Genesis is filled with referenced to heaven, so the concept was alive and well. I guess it might arguably have been more common a concept and more near the heart of man than it is even now since it was so close in time to a time when God walked and talked with man face to face. I am not sure we can know. As to heaven in an eternal home sense I am not sure. Obviously God gave some men a revelation of what salvation was about (Enoch probably and Abraham specifically as evidenced by what Jesus and the writer of Hebrews had to say about him.) I have not found any Biblical evidence that people who lived pre-law spoke in these terms. One scripture is interesting.

1Pe 3:19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
1Pe 3:20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

It seems the people that lived before the flood at least, and in my opinion before the law, were reserved in some location and had the opportunity of hearing Christ and make a decision about Him for themselves. I'm sure many people have tried to figure out exactly what is being said here. I guess I just look at the simple and straightforward reading and assume that for sure all men that lived before the law, and in my opinion probably all men who lived prior to Christ's sacrifice for sin eventually have the opportunity to accept or reject Christ. I am not sure my view on this effects anything in particular since I live under the New Covenant and will find out how God did handle the Old Covenant people soon enough.


If God "winked at" sin previously committed. Or God "passed by" former sin, does that bring into question His justice? I know that God is not subject to our view of His justice, but it seems like it's out of His character to just pass by sin.

And if the Law made sin exceedingly sinful, wouldn't that mean that God's view of sin changed? Because if He's that same yesterday, today and forever, isn't that a contradiction?

Romans says that sin is not imputed where there is no law. Look at it this way if it helps. Lets say your city has no law against speeding. For years everyone has traveled at whatever speed they wished. Your city government says, OK, we must do something about this speeding problem. So that people will know how bad speeding is, we must enact a law against it. So they do. Now speeding is punishable by a fine of $5 for every MPH infraction. Does that mean that your city leader's sense of justice or character is off, or that of the policemen has changed or is in invalid?

It is not that the character or nature of God changed one bit. It means that the way he dealt with man changed.

Here is something else to look at when we ask, "why the law?". We have said that the law was added because of transgressions until Christ should come (remember when the fullness of time was come Christ came born of Mary). The law had a restraining effect on sin. I heard it put this way once, and it may not be too far off. Someone said that if God had not instituted the law there may not have been a virgin left for Jesus to be born to. It was a bit tongue in cheek when it was said, but it does highlight one purpose for the law.

The main purpose, however, was to establish a standard of God's righteousness and show us that without a savior we could never make it. It was the schoolmaster that brought us to Christ. The law was meant to conclude us all under sin and show us that we needed a savior.

Seeing this, we can see the merciful character of God. God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. The law, as harsh as it was, helped point us to God's mercy. Remember when Jesus said he came not to destroy the law but to fulfill it. Recall also how Hebrews tells us the law has been ended for the sake of obtaining righteousness and that the old covenant has been abolished for the sake of the new. These are not in conflict at all. Jesus fulfilled the law by fulfilling it's purpose. He was the one the law pointed us to by concluding us all under sin. He was the propitiation for sin that the law showed us we needed. When Jesus came, the whole purpose of the law had arrived. The dispensation of law then passed away as the law has now seen it's purpose fulfilled in the coming of Christ.

I would say that the law was only a shadow of God's true holiness and righteousness. Remember Matthew 5 and the sermon on the mount. The law is compared to God's true standards and it is shown that if we wanted ever thought that we could be perfect by keeping laws that we have to be perfect like God on our own rights. Something that compells us the say, "If this is the case I am hopeless outside of Christ."

I am not sure if that answered the question but I hope it helped.


 2009/11/1 20:20Profile


Not at all and no loopholes are necessary to explain it.

Then why were some killed and others not? The law was not explained to those Jews back in the day to show that Christ would fulfill it. Think about the audience to which this law was given. The law says that if a man commits adultery the man and the woman is stoned. And if a man kills a man his life is to be given up. Life for life. Yet God spared David and he both committed adultery and killed the man all this so that it would be legal for him to take bathsheba. Now, God gave the law to Moses and God took the reproach instead of David being destroyed. Think about what God did for this man. And this was unheard of. How was this going to look when one is condemned to die if he kills a man. People would say, "King David killed a man and he wasn't condemned, so why should I be condemned". God is bearing the reproach. Truly the words ring clear here, "What is man that thou desire him?".

 2009/11/1 23:00

Joined: 2009/1/11
Posts: 98


DeepThinker I like your posts. And I honestly wrestle with the same things. I think our difference comes in that I was looking at the broadstrokes while you were looking at the particulars. All I am basing my posts off of are Paul's take on the matter. I don't know why God does or doesn't do things situationally.

I do question how many people actually were stoned because of adultery. We see instances where the immediate justice of the law was carried out (like Achan), but so often in the Old Testament the whole nation of Israel is backslidden, idolatrous, and overflowing with the very sins (like adultery) they were supposed to punish.

 2009/11/2 0:13Profile

 Re: Between Adam and Moses

Being even more particular about David, isn't part of the meaning of all of his story, that he was extremely aware of his shortcomings - Psa 119:176 - and willing to have them pointed out to him, and, then willing to take responsibility for them before God, personally? 2 Sam 12:13

These attitudes have to be contrasted with the normal person's natural ability to overlook sin in general, and their own in particular. We saw that (kind of thing) in Aaron's explanation to Moses for the golden calf, and in many other characters who chose to go with their own wisdom (ie unbelief) rather than the word of God.

Perhaps God allowed David to stand out in contrast with much of biblical history, to highlight His willingness to have mercy in the face of genuine repentance?

There is another thing in scripture which I've noticed, namely, that God promised His punishments would be visited on the children of the sinner, down to the fourth generation, and sometimes He mentions the tenth generation. (Please check that out, as I can't remember the exact context.) Then, God changes that parameter in Eze 3 and 18, which (I believe), ought to change how we read scripture from then on; as God is honing down on the detail, for our edification.

Food for thought.

Since Christ, God's [i]grace[/i] is offered to [i]every[/i] man, and every man will bear his own punishment for rejecting this grace. John 16:9

 2009/11/2 2:39


[b]ROMANS 5:12

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin . . .”[/b]

Adam brought sin into the world by his own free will, and spiritual death comes by sin. Adam became dead in sin (morally depraved and separated from God) just as God said he would, the very day that he ate from the tree. Though Adam physically died many years later, on account of being removed from the garden that had the tree of life, Adam morally and spiritually died the same day he sinned against God.

“In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Gen. 2:17). Since God cannot fellowship with or dwell with sin, Adam spiritually died, that is, he became spiritually separated from God the day he sinned. “And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died” (Gen. 5:5); that is, Adam eventually physically died since he was removed from the tree of life (Gen. 3:22-24).

[b]“. . . and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”[/b]

It is clear that the type of death spoken of here comes upon men for their own personal sin, “for all have sinned”. And their sin is distinct and different from the sin of Adam (vs. 14). Some infant children physically die during pregnancy though they are “innocent” (2 Kgs. 21:16; 24:4; Matt. 18:3) and haven’t ever sinned (Rom. 9:11). Physical death is because of Adam’s sin, not individual personal sin. So the type of death which comes upon all men for their own personal sin is not physical death but spiritual death, which type of death this verse is addressing.

Spiritual death comes by sin, so all who choose to sin become spiritually dead. A moral fall causes spiritual death. Because God cannot have fellowship with those who are in sin, those who are in sin must be separated from God, and thus they are spiritually dead in their sins. A state of spiritual deadness is a state of relational separation from God because of personal moral disobedience. It is to be “alienated from the life of God” (Eph. 4:18), that is, alienated from a relationship with God (Jn. 17:3).

“For I was alive without the law once, but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died [morally and spiritually, since Paul was still physically alive]” Rom. 7:9

“But your iniquities [not Adam’s] have separated between you and your God [brought spiritual death], and your sins [not Adam’s] have hid His face from you [separation]” Isa. 59:2

“For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me [morally and spiritually killed me]” Rom. 7:11

“But sin... working [moral and spiritual] death in me...” Rom. 7:13

“For to be carnally minded is [moral and spiritual] death…” Rom. 8:6

“Christ…died for all, then all were dead [morally and spiritually].” 2 Cor. 5:14

“And you who were dead [morally and spiritually] in trespasses and sins.” Eph. 2:1, Eph. 2:5

“... alienated and enemies [relationally]... by wicked works” Col. 1:21

"And you, being dead [morally and spiritually, since they were still physically alive] in your sins [not Adam’s sin] . . .” Col. 2:13

“But she that lives in pleasure is dead [morally and spiritually] while she [physically] lives.” 1 Tim. 5:6

“…and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death [moral and spiritual]. Jas. 1:14-15

“…thou hast a name that thou liveth, and art dead [morally and spiritually].” Rev. 3:1

[b]ROMANS 5:14

“Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses . . . ”[/b]

Sin is disobedience to light. Sin is rebellion against known law (Jas. 4:17, 1 Jn. 3:4). In between Adam and Moses was the time when the law was not yet written on stone tablets. Only the law of nature existed. Nevertheless, men were spiritually and morally dead in their sins because they violated the law of their own conscience; they did what they knew to be wrong.

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God has shown it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; . . . they glorified him not as God.” Rom. 1:18-21

“For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law. For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another.” Rom. 2:12-15

So, before the Law of Moses was given, spiritual death still reigned, since the law of nature, the law of their conscience, was being violated.

[b]“. . . even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.”[/b]

Spiritual death reigned from Adam to Moses unto all men who chose to sin, even if their sin was not in the likeness of Adam’s transgression. For Adam transgressed a commandment; but those in between Adam and Moses acted contrary to the law of nature.

God must be separated from all sin (Heb. 7:26; 1 Jn. 1:5; 3:5). Therefore, all sin must lead to spiritual death. “Greater sin” (Jn. 19:11), committed by those who have greater knowledge, or lesser sin, committed by those with lesser knowledge, must still separate a man from God. So those with “greater sin” or lesser sin are still dead in their sins. (The relation of knowledge to the measure of guilt is discussed further on.)

Those who transgress a commandment, like Adam did (“Adam’s transgression”), become dead in sin. And those who violate the law of nature, like the Gentiles did, become dead in sin. Death reigned from Adam to Moses, upon those who did not have the Ten Commandments, because they violated the law of nature.

“And God looked upon the earth and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.” Gen. 6:12

 2009/11/2 3:52

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