How did the devil come to be allowed in the garden?

Dear all;

I do have wider thoughts around this point. But I wanted to ask this direct question:

We cannot enter heaven by our own merits. We cannot earn heaven. It took Jesus to die for us to be able to enter heaven.

So, why was ‘the fall’ allowed? Why did God want to allow us to fall, and then have to give up his only Son for us in order to redeem us?

Was it just a necessary part of having free will?

That’s what I’d like to know.
God gave Adam & Eve free will and told them not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge which is a temptation in itself.

But then God lets Satan loose in the garden to tempt Adam & Eve, pretty much guaranteeing they would sin.
I can only conclude that it was God’s plan that Adam & Eve fall from the get-go.

Consider the angels. They were put to the test uninfluenced by anyone (Satan not yet being Satan).

Since 1/3 of the angels rebelled Adam & Eve might have sinned on their own but leaving the snake loose in the garden sealed the deal.

According to the Jewish Tanya (Chabad), God allowed the fall because it would eventually lift us higher, closer to God.

LOVE! :heart:

In order to be a son of God, we needed to know good and evil, then choose good at any cost. We did not, so we needed to be given the Spirit of the Son of God in order to be reconciled to God. In order for God to give us the Spirit of His son, His son needed to suffer the cost of offering Gods Spirit to us, which was the rejection of giving Him the honor equal to God.

Yes, the key is free will. Adam and Eve had free will. This is because God wants us to love Him freely, not because we have no choice but to love Him.

A separate idea is the “Divine Plan”. That is what God plans for mankind. He cannot interfere with our free will, but He can and does work with our choices so that ultimately His Divine Plan will succeed.

God wanted man to love Him and to be with Him in heaven forever. It was necessary that the tree and the rule against eating its fruit were in place. How could they freely choose to act according to God’s will if there was no alternative? It isn’t choice if you have only one option! Ultimately, they chose to sin. Adam and Ever exercised their free will when they ate the fruit.

But, God did not give up on His plan. He “figured out” a way that He could still have mankind loving Him and living with Him forever in Heaven. Because of our sin, He sent His Son who is the ultimate symbol of love for God and our Hope for eternal life.

Free will can work at cross purposes with God’s plan, but His plan belongs to Him. He will ultimately see it fulfilled DESPITE our choices because He is God.


This is our Catholic tradition as well. God has become man. The mystery of the incarnation is truly a wonder: the Son of God became the son of man so that the sons of men might become the sons of God…
In Christ, by virtue of His incarnation, passion, death, resurrection, and ascension, man’s destiny is far greater than it ever would have been in the Garden. Mary, our glorious Mother, who is the Type of the Church, is far greater, far holier, far more beautiful, far more wonderful than Eve ever could have been, fall or not. At the Easter Vigil the Church sings:

O truly necessary sin of Adam,
destroyed completely by the Death of Christ!

O happy fault
that earned for us so great, so glorious a Redeemer!

If you read the Apocalypsis you will notice that after the celestial fight between st Michael and the devil, the devil was basically kicked out of heaven and sent to earth. This is way before the fall so it means the devil was loose in the garden way before Adam and Eve. I think the key is right there (in the apocalyosis). I don’t agree with the idea that God allowed the fall as the fall happen due to human disobedience and God indeed tried to prevent the fall. God was very clear to Adam and Eve not to eat from the fruit …maybe because he knew the devil was around and the only way for them to fall was to eat from the fruit. Maybe the devil was completely powerless to Adam and eve as long as they didn’t eat from the fruit. God was very clear on his order “if you eat it, you will die”. The fall to me is similar to a parent that warns a child do not touch fire because you will get burn. The parent knows better than the child so the parent gives orders to the child to prevent the child from burning. If the parent tries everything to prevent the child from touching the fire but the childbinsists and gets burns we cannot say the parent allowed the child to get burned. Similar with God. Similar happened at the fall, God knew better that them and he was trying to prevent them from falling into the devil traps. If humans fell by their own decision and going exactly against what God ordered we cannot say that “God allowed the fall.”

As to God sending his son I think the answer is because he loved us so much he had to sacrifice his own son to save us from the devil.

I think the issue is complicated but I am pretty sure the answer is somewhere around there.

On the one hand the cause was indeed free will. Adam and Eve were naturally free from necessity in choosing among partial goods, and as they had not received the Beatific Vision their intellects and wills treated even God as though he were a partial good. The same can be said of Lucifer before his fall, though the angelic intellect and will work differently. Anyway, as a result these people were not bound by necessity to choose God above lesser goods, and as a matter of fact they did choose lesser goods in preference to God.

On the other hand nothing can have existence without God giving that existence, and this even applies to the positive (as opposed to the negative) realities in a soul as it is making a sinful choice. Every aspect of history is in some sense willed by God, if not for its own sake than for the sake of some greater good. In the case of evil it is not willed by God for its own sake nor is it created by God (evil is something negative and therefore is not given being by God, either directly or, if it were possible, indirectly), but it is permitted in order to bring about a greater good. In other words it is not as though God has a plan that does not include free human choices but merely counteracts sinful choices so as not to be derailed. The plan, mysteriously, actually includes those choices (taking nothing away from the fact that they are free).

This is one of the most difficult mysteries in all of Catholicism. Entire, very popular schools of theology have been invented to try to explain away the mystery, some heretical and others not.

The reality is that the relation between free will and predestination, and especially between God’s universal salvific will and the fact that some people are allowed to go to hell, is far too deep a mystery for the human mind to penetrate. Even more agonizing, the greater good which comes from evil is usually either totally mysterious to us or seems, from a human perspective, to not be worth the evil. It is not our task to finally figure out all this mystery, but love and trust God in the midst it. Personally I like the idea expressed by Cardinal Ratzinger, before he became Pope Benedict XVI, that at the General Judgement we will not only learn the truth of our fellow creatures’ choices but finally be given the answer, at least as far as a creature can understand it, as to why God permitted so much evil to occur in his Creation.

Satan was in the garden before he fell according the book of Ezekiel.

Satan fell before Adam was created.

Satan was in the garden before Adam.

God walked with Adam and Eve in the garden. The garden is our heart where the Holy Spirit dwells with us.

The devil got into the garden the same way he gets into the garden of our hearts - he attacks our weaknesses with avarice and greed, self-esteem and pride, and gluttony for carnal pleasures.


Just to give the relevant scriptures on this topics : revelations 20:1-3 and the book of ezequiel and Luke 10:18. The devil and his angels were cast to earth like a lighting to live eternally locked away from the presence of God and as punishment. Adam and Eve were able to be close to God and see him before the fall which throws you the idea that despite the garden being on earth there was some kind of state (as long as they did not eat from the fruit) that they could be on earth but still have contact with God. The devil was upset and he wanted to bring humans down to his state if being locked away from God so he wanted themto eat from the fruit for them to fall into his state. God knew this so he warned them clearly. They disobeyed and if you notice after the fall the direct contact with God was lost and human ended up locked away from God just like the devil. The only one who could repair that was Jesus and out of love God allowed his son to sacrifice himself to be able to save us.

In order to love, or have courage, patience, charity, any of the virtues, one has to to demonstrate it.
Adam, Abraham, Job, and we ourselves are tested to become who we are through that action.
Supposedly, had Adam said “no”, he would in that moment, surrendering to God, loving God more than himself, met God face to face.
This is what God wants for us. So much so that He sent His only Son that we might be saved.

Thats a great question, I had never thought about that! And since we know God kicked Adam and Eve out of the garden after the incident, we know he had ‘some’ way to keep any un-wanted people out, so its interesting how the devil managed to get in…?

I think it goes more towards an idea Ive been kicking around…that Satan did not go against God at all, he was/ is and will always be doing exactly what he was intended to do, he is the ‘other choice’ to God, if there was no other alternative to God, free will would not really mean anything, since there would be no alternative to begin with.

The more I think about this, the more logical it sounds…I mean, if satan had truly made God upset and fallen, why would God allow him to retain so many of his powers and probably gain some, I dont any other angels, fallen or not, that have the ability to influence trillions and trillions of humans!

Plus, we know before God even created Satan and the other fallen angels, God would have known exactly what satan was going to do and how many of the angels he would take with him, yet God still created him…hmm?

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