Tom: We’re going through Romans 5—we started with verse 6, and we’re working our way to verse 21. Last week we were on verse 12, which I’ll read again: “Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”
Now, Dave, as you were mentioning last week, this is an incredibly sobering verse, and it has more ramifications with regard to ideas that men have about their nature—where they came from. You mentioned theistic evolution last week, and it doesn’t work with this verse, because mankind was infected with sin: As Adam disobeyed God, death came into the human race, but it didn’t precede this sin, did it?
Dave: That’s right. So there could not have been creatures evolving and dying, evolving and dying, and then finally becoming Adam and Eve. Furthermore, the Bible is very clear that God created Adam first. He named the animals. He was around for a considerable amount of time—we don’t know how long. And God saw that he was lonely and that he needed a companion, and He put him to sleep and out of a rib He made woman—He made Eve.
Now, you can’t reconcile that with two creatures evolving and dying, male and female, side-by-side, and then finally God puts a human soul in them, and that this is the way it came about. It simply does not reconcile. And we won’t go into that, but evolution is a total fraud. We can prove mathematically it is absolutely impossible, so that that the…oh, my. It’s horrible that those of us who claim to know the Lord and to believe that the Bible is His Word, that we would be intimidated! That theological professors and leading evangelicals would be intimidated by science, and therefore would adjust their understanding of the Bible to bring it into line with false science! But it doesn't fit. There’s no way you can do it.
Tom: Right. Adam and Eve weren’t just standing there in the Garden of Eden with fossils under their feet for, that is, millions and millions of years of fossils. It didn’t happen.
Tom: But, Dave, the obvious part of this is “death by sin”—we’re talking about physical death.
Tom: It didn’t precede Adam but followed him. But it also applies to spiritual death. Can you explain that to us?
Dave: Of course, God said, “In the day you eat thereof, you will die.” So we know that death took place immediately, but it wasn’t physical death, but it was spiritual death. Man was separated from God and, therefore, he began to die. Death worked in him, now. He’d never known death before. He could have lived forever—would have never aged. But suddenly, he begins to age. Now, in those days conditions were different on the world. There wasn’t the sin and the sickness, the multiplicity of evil that has debilitated the human race, so Adam lived to nearly a thousand years.
Tom: The second law of thermodynamics was at its beginning then, so …
Dave: Yeah, there were different conditions. I mean, he didn’t have chemicals and pollutants and so forth, and so…but gradually man’s lifespan got lower and lower, and now we’re beginning to bring it back up a bit through modern nutrition and so forth. But it’s going to be around 75 years.
But anyway, death passed upon all—not just because of Adam’s sin but because all have sinned. So this is a spiritual death that passed upon all. I don’t believe that people are born spiritually dead under the condemnation of God, because they’re innocent beings. They haven’t sinned. That’s why I think that babies who die go to heaven. But eventually, they all sin. We all sin. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” So, the judgment of death is legitimately upon all of us by our own sin as well as inheriting this from Adam.
Tom: Dave, one more question about man’s spirit. If someone is spiritually dead, do you believe that means the spirit doesn’t function at all?
Dave: I don’t think so. I think the spirit has to function, or you wouldn’t be a human being. In fact, 1 Corinthians 2, Paul says, “No man understands the things of a man except by the spirit of man which is in man.” And then he goes on, and he says, “And so no one understands the things of God except by the Spirit of God.” So, as Ephesians 4 would say, they are alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, the blindness of their hearts. So the natural man, back to 1 Corinthians 2, “understandeth not the things of the Spirit of God, they are foolishness to him. Neither can he know them.”
So, we are cut off from God spiritually, and that is the death that we have inherited from Adam. But that doesn’t mean that we…our spirit doesn’t function, because indeed it does, and it is the human spirit, I believe, which the Holy Spirit inhabits when…He speaks to the heart, that Christ might dwell in your hearts by faith. That’s not the physical heart. That’s the spirit of man. And so, we are quickened—made alive—spiritually…
Tom: Right. Born again.
Dave: Right, born again of the Spirit. Now, that doesn’t mean that our physical bodies will never die, because that is something we’ve inherited from Adam. We have to be quickened by the resurrection life of Christ, those of us who die. We will be resurrected. Or, those of us “who are alive and remain” at the Rapture, we will be transformed. We have to be physically transformed. No, man’s spirit functions, but he is blinded by sin.
Tom: Mm-hmm. Continuing with Romans:5:13, “For until the law, sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless (v. 14) death reigned from Adam to Moses even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of Him who was to come.”
Dave: Yeah, well, the Law, of course, was given by Moses, the scripture says. So it's talking about before this Law was given. But the Law was written, I believe, in every human conscience, even before then. Now, there were other things that were added, for example: to keep the Sabbath. That’s not written in the human conscience. That was something that was for the Jews alone. And those who try to impose the Sabbath on gentiles today are in error from the scriptures, but we won’t go into that.
But sin is not imputed if you don’t know the Law. “Well, what do you mean, if I don’t know the Law?” If there’s a Law, I’m guilty. I didn’t notice that the speed limit changed from 65 mph down to 35 mph, so I went zipping on through. I was in ignorance, but nevertheless, I violated the law. But if there is no law, then there’s no violation of the law. So then you have to decide, well, what was written in man’s conscience? And I believe that all men knew from the very beginning—lie, steal, kill, cheat, and so forth.
Tom: Mm-hmm. Dave, let me back that up a little bit. You know, sometimes I’ve wondered about what God had commanded of those after Adam. For example, we know that Cain, he didn’t do what was right.
Dave: That’s right.
Tom: Abel did, so they were instructed some way, either through Adam or Eve or maybe by God Himself.
Dave: I believe that they got a conscience immediately, because it says in Genesis 3: “The man is become as one of us, knowing good and evil,” so this tree of the knowledge of good and evil—it wasn’t that there was something about the physical fruit of the tree. It was that as soon as they disobeyed God, they were cut off from God spiritually, and it says that immediately they knew they were naked; they sewed fig leaves together to try to make some clothes, and immediately they had a guilty conscience: when they heard God’s voice, they tried to hide themselves. So I believe there’s evidence, then, that man had a conscience from the very beginning. I think that the Law given on Mount Sinai formalized this—laid it out very clearly.
Tom: Right, and certainly Romans addresses this, I think pretty explicitly.
Dave: Yeah, so, death reigned, and it still continues to reign. We didn’t commit the same sin as Adam. I mean, Adam knew God; God spoke to Adam with an audible voice. God had given Adam commandments. We have not had that advantage, but we have it in our conscience. But we’re sinners, and we know it. And sin reigns. None of us can complain—you know, some people try to say, “Well, if I’d been in the Garden of Eden…” That’s what he’s talking about here. We didn’t sin after the similitude, it says, of Adam’s transgression: “Well, I wasn’t in the Garden, and if I’d had those advantages, I wouldn’t have disobeyed.”
So, I believe the Millennial reign of Christ is going to be the final proof of the incorrigible evil of the human heart, because man will be back in the Garden of Eden. The desert will “bloom like a rose.” Christ himself will be ruling here on this earth in His resurrected glorified body. And we, in our transformed bodies—some resurrected, others transformed—will rule with Him. Satan will be locked up. This earth will be a paradise—and yet, when Satan is loosed, millions—multitudes—will follow him.
So, to say, “Well, if I’d been there, I wouldn’t have done that.” No, our hearts are all the same. But God is going to prove it to the whole world. But the point that’s being made here is that once sin entered this world, there was no hope for any of us except that the penalty be paid. “The wages of sin is death.” We couldn’t pay that penalty. We would be separated from God forever, and it is only because God became a man and paid the penalty in our place—the penalty that His own infinite justice required—therefore, God can be just and forgive the sinner. And this is what Paul is laying out very clearly and very powerfully for us.