A Prophet Among You


Chapter 2—The Need For The Prophetic Gift

When Adam and Eve came from the hands of God, each was a perfect being. They had been made in the image of God, and were given “dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” Genesis 1:26. The earth and all that it contained was to be under man’s dominion. As to his stewardship, he was accountable to no one but God. APAY 13.1

Not only was man given a general supervision of all things, but he had a special responsibility in the area that had been set aside as his home. “And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there He put the man whom He had formed ... to dress it and to keep it.” Genesis 2:8-15. God had spared no effort to make the first human home on this earth all that heart could desire. His particular attention and interest is indicated in the expression, “And the Lord God planted a garden.” APAY 13.2

It was God’s plan that Adam and Eve should reproduce, and that their children should populate the whole earth. As the parents had been made in the image of God, so their children would reflect the divine likeness. Eve had been especially designed to be a perfect companion for her husband. God planned that she should be a helpmeet; that is, suitable, or becoming to him. A perfect husband, a perfect wife, a perfect home, a perfect environment—this was the divine blueprint for a perfect world. APAY 13.3

The first pair had free access to everything God had created except one tree which the Creator had designated “the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” Genesis 2:9. They were clearly instructed that under no circumstances were they to eat of the fruit of this tree. They were not so much as to touch it. Genesis 3:3. God had pronounced the whole creation “very good.” Genesis 1:31. There was nothing harmful in this tree itself; but God knew it was essential that the love and obedience of these newly created ones be tested so that character might be developed. APAY 13.4

In the mind of Adam and Eve there was no inclination to disobey their Creator, no tendency to do evil. On the other hand, every effort had been put forth by the Creator to enable man to live without ever yielding to the temptations that would be brought by Satan, who had been cast out of heaven as a result of the war between his forces and those of Christ. Revelation 12:7-9. Every trait of character was noble, every desire holy. He was made only “a little lower than the angels,” and had been crowned with “glory and honor.” Psalm 8:5. He was “the son of God.” Luke 3:38. Provision had been made to supply his every need and desire. There was every reason why he should always be obedient to the will of God. APAY 14.1

But the Bible record tells us that the first real test of Adam and Eve’s loyalty to God ended in their following their own inclination rather than the command of God. Satan, using the serpent as his mouthpiece, persuaded Eve that God was withholding from her and Adam something that would be good for her and her husband. While the temptation was apparently a trivial one, Satan had schemed cleverly to bring upon the unsuspecting Eve a synthesis of all temptations. By an appeal to what John calls “all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” (compare 1 John 2:16 with Genesis 3:6), the devil deceived Eve (1 Timothy 2:14) and led her to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. When she offered the fruit to her husband, he ate also and thus sinned deliberately. APAY 14.2