Genesis 2:15 echoes the intentional creation of mankind. “Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and keep it.” The Hebrew words mean to tend to all the affaris of the Garden and guard it. The instructions were not limited to gardening. After all, how much manual labor would be required when there were no weeds, thorns, or decay? Watering wasn’t even an issue, for a river “went out of Eden to water the Garden” (Gen. 2:10). Plus, God had already planted the Garden in the first place!
In short, Adam’s task was not purely agricultural; he was stationed there to be a guardian. His assignment was to ensure that the state of affairs on earth continued to mirror Heaven above. It was Adam and Eve’s responsibility to discern the declared will of God and command it to be done on the earth. The powers of Heaven would make it so, provided God’s human representatives were properly submitted to Heaven.
The fact that our human ancestors were commissioned to guard means there must have been something or someone to guard against. We know from Genesis that everything God created was good. This can only mean that the angelic fall happened prior to the creation of this world.
When Adam and Eve chose to eat of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, the fruit itself was not harmful. Their act of partaking of the fruit was harmful because it required a deliberate act of disobedience. Adam and Eve’s acceptance of Satan’s proposal effectively relinguished their authority over the earth to the renegade angelic spirit.
The spiritual disconnect that resulted from the Fall of mankind is why “the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2:14). It is why God’s plan is called a mystery in His Word.
The Chronos Lesson: Some 4,000 years later, Satan would refer to this fateful transaction when he tempted Jesus to also join the angelic rebellious conspiracy. “Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, ‘All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours’ ” (Luke 4:5-7).
God certainly was not the one who gave Lucifer all this authority. It was delivered to him when Adam and Eve yielded to the temptation in direct disobedience to the revealed will of Heaven. Consequently, Lucifer became “the god of this age” (2 Cor. 4:3-4), “the prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2), and “the ruler of this world” (John 16:11). His rule now extends from the earth below and up into the first and second heavens (the heavenlies).
The Apostle Paul referred to the organizational hierarchy of Satan’s kingdom of darkness by reminding believers that our struggle is not with mankind, but with “principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this age, and spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12).
Mankind tends to view earthly empires as being purely the efforts of mankind alone. The Bible, however, tells us otherwise. Satan’s offer to give Jesus the “kingdoms of the world” means that they were his to give. These earthly kingdoms are, to one extent or another, influenced by these wicked spirits that reign from the heavenlies above. They are not purely man-made.
As believers, we are under Christ’s authority, and He has given us the power to use that authority in His name. Therefore, Satan cannot touch us, unless we open the door to him into our lives. The spiritual armor that we are told to put on in Ephesians 6 is personal. We cannot put this armor on for others, anymore than we can accept Jesus as the Savior for another person. Each person must choose, as an act of his or her will.