The Wall Between God and Man


The Garden of Eden

There is a human need for reconciliation with God. The original condition of man was fellowship with God. Adam and Eve were in a perfect report with God. God met them on a regular basis. He taught them divine viewpoint, and they responded with positive volition. So, man and God were friends. They were not enemies. They had a complete openness toward one another, and this went on for some time in the Garden of Eden. Now everything was happy and right, just as well, between husband and his wife, between Adam and Eve. Because things were right in the relationship with God, everything was perfect happiness on a spirit, on a soul, and on a physical level between them, while they were in this state of innocence in the Garden of Eden.


However, the day came when alienation arose between God and man. Man chose by disobedience, to the expressed will of God, to disobey Him. Genesis 2:17 told him that he could not eat from a certain tree, and that death would follow if he did, but the man chose to eat from it anyway. Genesis 3:6 records for us the historical disobedience. Now, immediately, what happened was that between God and man, there arose a monstrous wall of separation.

This estrangement was immediately evident by the fact that the man and his wife tried to hide themselves from each other by creating fig leaf aprons, and from god by hiding behind the trees (Genesis 3:7-8). Now the great wall of separation was the result of the sin in the garden, and it erected a barrier between God and man. Sin is our failure to meet God's perfect righteousness--our failure in thought, word, and deed. Sin actually exists in three types.

Imputed Sin

The first type of sin is imputed sin. This barrier is a problem that we all have between ourselves and God. This is because of imputed sin. In the eyes of God, we were unborn in Adam. When Adam sinned, he was acting as the federal head of the human race. When he sinned, we all sinned with him. Therefore, we are all guilty by the effect of Adam and Eve in the Garden. This federal headship is the same as when the United States takes an act, and all 50 states are affected and responsible for what that federal government does. If the United States declares war, all 50 states go to war. Whatever laws are passed, all 50 states are influenced by this. So, Adam was our federal head (Romans 5:12-19). We have his imputed sin.

Inherited Sin

We also have another problem because we have inherited sin (Romans 5:12, Psalm 51:5). We refer to inherited sin as the old sin nature, or the flesh. We inherit this through our fathers. This is why Jesus Christ did not have inherited sin, because he was free from a human father. So, inherited sin is received from our parents.

Personal Sin

We also have personal sins--those acts that we are responsible for against the will of God (Galatians 5:19-21).

The Penalty for Sin

There is a penalty for sin. All of us have this problem. All of us are guilty of sin in this respect. The penalty for sin is, first of all, spiritual death. This is what happened to Adam and Eve. The minute they ate of the fruit, they immediately died spiritually (Ephesians 2:1). They were dead. We are born dead in trespasses and sin. Every child is stillborn spiritually when he is born physically. The result of this spiritual death is physical death. In time, Adam and Eve also died physically (Genesis 5:5).

The Second Death

There is another result--the second death. Sin brings death. The second death is the same as hell (Revelation 20:11-15).

The Wall of Separation

Here's the problem that faces us: we have sin, and we have the penalty of death. The wall of separation has several blocks. The first block is enslavement to sin. The first problem that we have between ourselves and God is sin. The second block in the wall is the penalty for sin which is spiritual death. A third block in the wall separating us from God is our physical birth, through which we have an old sin nature. So, we are spiritually dead. The next block is the character of God, particularly in two respects. First, the perfect righteousness of God. Secondly is the justice of God. God is absolute righteousness; man is relative righteousness--we're better than some people, and not as good as other people--but nobody is as perfect as God. Man has a perfect absolute justice to meet in respect to his sin. The perfect justice of God says that if we sin, we die, and there is no way around this. Another block is our position in Adam. The Bible says that those who are in Adam are guilty of his (Adam's) disobedience in the Adam. Adam acted as our federal head.

So, we have a wall with five basic blocks in it, and there is no way for us to get to God, or for God to get to us. We can't go around it, we can't go over it, and we can't go under it. It is an impregnable barrier. Some people think that if they join a local church, they will get through this wall, but they will not. Some people think that if they are baptized with water, they will get through this wall, but they won't --even if they are sprinkled as an infant (which is ridiculous, and an empty hollow ritual of religion, and it is fanatically hung onto by people who are disoriented to Bible doctrine). Some people think that they can get through this wall if they will raise their hand in a service at the invitation of a preacher, but they will not. Some people think that if they feel sorry for their sins, they will get through this wall, but they will not.

Some people think that if they walk the aisle at the end of a sermon, and agonize at the altar, they will get through this wall, but they won't. Some people think that if they take the Lord's Supper, they will get through this wall, but they won't. That's a creepy experience. If you've ever been in a military chaplain service, where you know who is there, and you know them personally, and you know that they are ungodly men out of the family of God, and you see them go forward and kneel down and take the Lord's Supper, and you know what a monstrous travesty of delusion that Satan has impressed upon the minds of these men--that they're doing this because they think it will let them get through this wall that separates them from God. But they can't. Our good works, our promises, etc.--none of these things will work.

So, we are in a position where this wall cannot be removed by our ethics, by our good resolve, or by any good effort. The situation is hopeless. It takes something on the part of God to resolve this problem. And, that is exactly what Jesus Christ did. He took each of these blocks, one by one, and removed them. This wall no longer exists between God and man. It is completely removed for every human being who has ever lived, and who ever will. This wall has now been removed. The only wall that confronts us that now stand between us and God is the wall of the Cross of Jesus Christ. This cross is a pathway from the penalty of death into the presence of God. The way God has done this is by the doctrine of reconciliation. This is the basis for the removal of this wall.

Enslavement to Sin

First of all is the block of the enslavement to sin. How did God remove this block first? Sin had placed man into a slave market, and the solution is for somebody to buy (or redeem) man out of this slave market. However, the buyer (the redeemer) must be a man himself, and this man must be free of the slave market. One sin slave cannot buy another sin slave, and he doesn't have the right to purchase another sin slave, nor the price to pay. Jesus is the first man since Adam who was free of the slave market of sin.

When Adam sinned, he entered the slave market of sin, and everyone who was ever born in the human race was born into that slave market. Only Jesus Christ was born outside of that slave market because He had a virgin birth, He did not have a human father, so He didn't have an old sin nature, so he was not involved in the guilt of Adam's sin. So, Jesus Christ is referred to as the last Adam. He has purchased freedom by this act for everyone from the slave market of sin, and the only door out is by the cross through which He purchased this freedom. The cross is the door, and we can choose to walk out this door, or we can refuse to remove ourselves from this slave market.

There is a delusion upon people that they have something to offer God. In John 8:31, Jesus was speaking to believing Jews. "If you continue in My Word, then you are my disciples indeed." When a person becomes a believer, he must continue daily in the Word of God if he's going to discover the divine answer that God has for his life.

The Greek Word for “If”

Now here's a very important word: "if." In the Greek Bible, there are four kinds (conditions / classes) for the word "if." The first-class condition is the class of reality; "if" a certain thing is true, and it is. It can be translated with the word "since." The second-class condition is the class of unreality. It can be translated with "since... not." The third-class condition is called probability, and it is our classical use of the word "if" where a certain thing may or may not be true. The fourth-class condition is possibility, and it means one wishes it were true, but it isn't; e.g., "if one could only..."

The 1st Class Condition of "If:" Matthew 4:6, where Jesus is being tempted in the wilderness by Satan: "If you are the Son of God...;” i.e., "If you are the Son of God, and you are;" or, "Since you are the Son of God."

The 2nd Class Condition of "If: Matthew 4:9, "I will give you all of these things if you will fall down and worship me;” i.e. "...if you will fall down and worship, and you won't."

The 3rd Class Condition of "If:" 1 John 1:9, "If you confess your sins." You may or may not confess your sins.

The 4th Class Condition of "If:" 1 Peter 3:14: "If you suffer for righteousness sake..." Peter wishes it were true that you were suffering for righteousness sake, but it's not.

God’s Word

John 8:31 illustrates the first-class condition of "if:" Jesus said to the Jewish believers, "If you continue in My Word, then you are my disciples indeed." If they study the word of God daily, attend Bible study regularly, etc., then they are His disciples. Furthermore, they will not be His real disciples until they are in a regular intake of the Word of God under a teaching ministry of God's open assembly. Period. We kid ourselves if we think otherwise. However, if we do this, then we will learn to be a disciple of Jesus Christ; then we will have his viewpoint; then we will be able to operate on the basis of his divine assets.

Some Christians, because they do this, are able to live objectively, by God's viewpoint, without their emotions and rationalizations getting them off base. Some Christians do not continue. They resist the Word, and they become very angry at the preacher for telling them what the Word of God says. You can sit there in your perfect volition, and listen, and hear something that you reject, and you can just raise your eyes to God and beat your chest and say, "Oh, God, I thank you that I'm not as that stupid preacher who thinks that that thing is so." Your volition can go either way.

You don't have to listen to what the pastor teacher is telling you. All you have to do is listen and reject him. But if you reject the Word, and it is indeed the Word, and he happens to be telling you the truth, you will find yourself being descended upon by the miseries that you have induced upon your own being, and find the judgments of God upon you. Verse 32 says, "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." This is not truth that you learn in school. This is divine viewpoint truth--Bible doctrine. Here it is specifically the truth of the operation of Christian life, and the truth is in Jesus Christ.

Now, the religious crowd speaks up in verse 33. They're proud of their denominational background. They said, "We are Abraham's seed, we have a Jewish heritage, we have physical relation to Abraham, and we are descended to him. We were never in bondage to any man. How do you say we shall be made free?" These stupid foolish Pharisees stood right there and looked Jesus in the eye like people look preachers in the eye today and tell them things without batting an eyelash, and he knows plenty better that what they're saying is not so. These people said that they were never in bondage to anybody. However, they were in bondage to Rome, right when they're saying this. They were in bondage to the whole legal system of the Old Testament, right when they're saying this. They were in bondage to sin--that was the worst thing of all. They had this barrier between them and God that was holding them away from Jesus Christ.

So, they were blinded to what they were saying. However, Jesus didn't remind them of these things. He simply pressed upon them the gospel. I think it is foolish to hound people about sins. What people need is the solution of the gospel; otherwise, the sin problem just can't be dealt with at all.

Verse 34 says, "Whoever commits sin (as a habit of life) is the servant (the slave) of sin." So, the Pharisees were wrong. They were not free men. They were slaves. Verse 35 says, "The slave doesn't abide in the house forever—the son abides in the house forever." The house here is an image of eternal life—heaven. The slave of sin is not in heaven, but Jesus Christ is.


Verse 36 says, "If the Son, therefore, shall make you free, and you shall be free indeed." It is Jesus Christ who can make you free from that slave market of sin, and He alone. How did He do it? He provided redemption—a price that paid what you owe to God for your sin, so that you could be released from the slave market of sin.

This redemption solution is very fascinating. There is between us and God the barrier of sin. Sin has put us into a slave market. We have to be released from that slave market if we are ever to spend eternity with God. Therefore, God had to come and pay the price to get us out. That is the doctrine of redemption.

Redemption is spoken of in the Scriptures under several words. In Revelation 5:9, ("agorazo") means to pay a price--to purchase in a marketplace. But it stresses that fact that everybody is a slave of sin, and everybody requires a price. It simply says that redemption is the payment of a price. The price was the death of Christ on the cross, which covered your sins.

Then, in Galatians 3:13, ("exagorazo") means out of the slave market. So, it says that Christ not only paid the price of what you owed God, but He also brought you out of the slave market. You don't have to stay there anymore. You can walk out. You don't have to remain a slave to sin.

Furthermore, Luke 1:68 uses the word "redeem" ("lutroo") again. This means that you set a person free. You go into the slave market, you pay the price, you take the ex-slave by the hand, and you lead him out of the slave market, and then you set him free. You tell him that he's a free man, and you turn him loose. That's what God did for you. You sit here in the magnificent condition of an absolutely free personality. You have no indebtedness and no obligation to Satan. You have no indebtedness to God--all of this is grace. You have nothing to repay God for. You have nothing that God demands of you in return. He simply came in out of love and did this for you. That's what it means to redeem. In this way, He took care of the problem of sin.

1 Peter 1:18 says, "How did he do this (pay the price)?" This is that perfect sense in Greek, so that something that you attained in the past, and you have it right up to the present time. To continue, "You know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things like silver and gold from your vain manner of life received by traditions from your fathers." You're not bought with money out of the slave market from that old way of life that God has rejected. Verse 19 says, "But you are bought with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." This was often pictured in the Old Testament sacrifices. A man would confess his sins over an animal that the priest then killed, and whose blood was then poured out, symbolic of the spiritual death of Jesus Christ.

How do you receive this release? You receive it in the way Acts 16:31 tells you. This block has been removed. It's no longer standing between you and God. You can choose to stay in this slave market of sin. You can push God's hand away when he wants to lead you to freedom and turn you loose. But Acts 16:31 says, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved." If you believe this—accept it—and the issue is faith, then you will be free. It's not an experience. I still find people who are uncomfortable about their salvation because they didn't have the same experience that somebody else had--very joyful, very emotional--especially kids that grow up in a Christian home. They begin thinking about themselves and they know that there never was a time when they were really running around in sin. There never was a time when their life was really black, and now here I am and I see the contrast. They just grew up in the things of God. It's not a matter of your experience. It's who you have believed (as Paul said) that gives you your persuasion as to where you're going.

Unlimited Atonement

Now the reason this is true—that redemption is available to everybody—is because of unlimited atonement. How far did Jesus Christ's sacrifice go in covering peoples' sins? Well, it went all the way. It covered everybody's who ever lived or whoever will live. The sins of everybody who is, this moment, in the torments of Hades, has his sins completely paid for. He is not in Hades because of his sins. God will never bring his sins up to him, any more than he will to a Christian. A person is in Hades because of only one serious fracture of his life, and that is unbelief in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God brings up only one sin, the sin of unbelief. That's the one thing Christ did not die for. If you reject what He has done for you (and the covering was unlimited for everybody), then there is no hope for you. There is no way out. There is none other name given among men whereby we must be saved.

2 Corinthians 5:14 says, "For the love of Christ constrains (presses upon) us from every side because we then judge that if one died for all, then we're all dead." This "if" is a first-class condition if: If one died, and He did--he died for every human being, then all were sinners, and that's why he needed to die for everybody. Christ died for all. This means that His death was a covering for everybody, and that includes the rejecters. Some people say that Christ died only for those who accept him, but this is not so. 2 Peter 2:1 says, "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who secretly shall bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction." Here are false teachers who are headed for hell, and they even deny Christ who removed the sin block from the wall that separated them from God.

1 John 2:2 conveys the same fact. The atonement is unlimited. "He is the propitiation (satisfaction) to (the justice of) God, and not for ours (Christians) only, but also for the sins of the whole (unsaved) world. So, the sins of the world, in a moment of time were placed upon Jesus Christ on the cross, just as if He had committed them Himself. So, all sins, from Adam to the last person that will ever live, have already been covered by Jesus Christ.

The Great White Throne

Revelation 20:11 (the Great White Throne judgment before which all unbelievers will someday stand for their final judgment) says, "I saw a Great White Throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose face the earth and the heaven flood away, and there was found no place for them." All of these people were trying to hide, with no place to go. Verse 12 says, "And I saw the (unsaved) dead, small and great, stand before God, and the books were opened."

The Book of Life

Now, notice that there were two books. "And another book was opened--a book of a different kind (from the other one) which is the book of life." There are two books. One is the book of life in which all of the names of all believers are recorded. God blots names out of the book of life. When a person is born into the human race, his name is entered into the book of life. When he has come to the point where he has exercised negative volition toward his God-consciousness and toward the gospel which has been presented to him—he constantly exercised negative volition, and finally dies in that condition, then God blots his name out of the book of life, which could have remained there.

The Book of Works

Then there is another book under this same person's name which lists his works. "And the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works." Now, these were not their evil deeds, because, as we have already said, Jesus Christ has removed this block. Through unlimited atonement and the act of redemption, he has paid and removed that block so that nobody's sins can ever be held against any single person. So, this is not a book of your bad deeds. This is a book of your good deeds. The unbeliever's good deeds are all added up and then matched against the perfect standard of God's righteousness. And, that unbeliever missed out. He may have been the kind of a guy who lived a really wild life. Maybe after he made himself a good wad of money, he decided to settle down and make up for things. So, he did a lot of wonderful good works and built a vast array of good records in this book. However, he can never match the righteous absolute standard of God. So, he is still short.

God doesn't come to this man and tell him that He wants to talk to him about the stealing, fornicating, and mental attitude sins that he used to do. He doesn't mention any sin at all. God only deals with the fact that you rejected what Christ did in removing this block from the wall that separated the two of you.

So, here's the condition which is very sad indeed. The book of life has that man's name blotted out, and the records in the book of works is not enough. So, the alternative for us is either John 3:16 ("For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but shall have everlasting life."); or, it is Revelation 20:15 ("And whoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire").


The way you get into the family of God is found in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4. The apostle Paul spells out the gospel in its simplest form. "For I delivered unto you, first of all, that which I also received, that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried and He rose again the third day, according to the Scriptures."

There is a wall between wall and man. It has been removed. We have looked at the first block only. We are going to see what God has done about each of the other blocks. But I hope that it's a delight to your heart to know that, while you were born a slave in the market of sin, that God has not only paid the price that was against you, but he also led you by the hand out of it, and after you got out, He set you free. Now He asks you to make yourself a bond slave, through divine viewpoint, to Jesus Christ, and to what He has in His plans for you. God will never face you with your sins, but he will face you with the fact that He removed the wall and you refused to walk across on the cross that He laid between you and Himself and the gulf that once separated you. If you have never done that, we encourage you that this morning is the time to do it.

John E. Danish 1971

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