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The Garden of Eden


PLAN OF THE AGES KINGDOM OF GOD PRAISE & WORSHIP HISTORY MISCELLANEOUS


- Des Walters -

Introduction

It has become most apparent to me, over some 40 years of ministry, that there is a general lack of understanding, concerning the "Christian life." So few seem to know what the Lord requires of us, or the process of growth and development, that will achieve the purpose of God, in our lives. It Is with these things in mind, that I shall endeavor to set down on paper, an outline of the purposes of God, and the method He has established for its accomplishment.

First of all, let me state the general consensus of opinion, as taught in the churches today. The concept is, that man is put on this earth as a kind of probation, being under the curse of "eternal death", the execution of which, can only be stayed by repenting and receiving Christ as his Saviour. For those who refuse there is only an "eternal hell" of endless punishment.

Because of these teachings, most people who respond to this so called gospel", do so in order to avoid the terror of "hell', with the result that there is very little consideration given as to what the Lord may have had in mind for us. The thought that God has a PLAN for humanity, which was formulated before the world began, seems to be almost unknown. The fact that the Bible begins with, "IN THE BEGINNING GOD", and the end of God's plan for the ages, is stated in the phrase, "GOD ALL AND IN ALL", has never been considered.

It seems to me inconceivable, that the ALL WISE and ALL KNOWING GOD would fill the earth with humanity, making them totally responsible for their "eternal" destiny, even though they enter the human race as "Dead in trespasses and in sin". Theologians tell us this state of affairs is the result of Adamís sin which has brought sin and death upon all men, and placing mankind under the judgment of God. This concept makes God someone to be feared and therefore to be avoided by all means possible.

Perhaps the greatest problem for us to consider today, is an ignorance of the purpose God had in mind when he created man. It is vital for us to understand WHO WE ARE and WHY WE ARE HERE? So few people today seem to have any adequate answer to these important questions. The darkness of the human heart has not been helped by the humanistic philosophy, that has invaded the theology of the Church. This has resulted in an arrogant attitude on the part of man towards God, having determined that we are not answerable to anyone, in what we may choose to do or not do.

This confusion is because we have failed to understand that which has been recorded for us concerning man in the book of beginnings which is Genesis. For this reason we will study the first few chapters of the Bible where we discover a clear picture of who we are and where we came from. Then we will look at the "hidden" laws that govern our lives and determine the very course of our life. All this is portrayed very clearly in these writings which Moses received from the Lord on Mount Sinai.

MANíS ORIGIN AND PURPOSE

The first words of the Bible set the stage for everything that follows. "IN THE BEGINNING GOD." This is not a reference to the beginning of GOD, for he is eternal. However because we are creatures of "time," eternity is not a concept mortals can comprehend, so this "beginning" is as far as we can grasp with these finite minds.

In Genesis 1 - 3 we have recorded for us the ORIGIN of man and the formation of the man of dust, together with the change of circumstances brought about by manís disobedience. The creation of MAN is given to us in Gen. 1:26-28.

"And God said, let us make man IN OUR IMAGE AFTER OUR LIKENESS, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and the fowl of the air, the cattle and over ALL THE EARTH, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God CREATED MAN in his own image, in the image of God created he him, male and female created he THEM. And God blessed them and said unto them, be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea, the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth."

This is MAN as he came from the creatorís hand, in the likeness and image of God. The Hebrew word for man used here is AW-DAWM, and is not the specific name of a person, but a generic term for MANKIND. Notice also that in Ch. 2:23, the Hebrew word for "Adam" changes to "IYSH" (eesh) as being the one out of whom the woman was taken. This is important because that ORIGINAL CREATED MAN is identified by John as THE WORD or LOGOS, (John 1:1) and the woman was not taken out of him, but out of the "MAN" FORMED from the DUST OF THE EARTH. (Gen 2:7)

Godís original MAN was created as pure Spirit with no mention of any "Body" in Gen 1:26-28. However he was later, in the fullness of time also to be clothed upon with a flesh and blood body, through the Virgin Mary. John expressed it this way, "The WORD became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the ONLY BEGOTTEN OF THE FATHER, full of grace and truth." Jn 1:14. The whole of MANKIND is represented in either one of these two men. However we are told that the first Man, formed of the dust of the ground, is just a FIGURE, TYPE or example of one who was to come, which was Christ.

It is important to notice that dominion was given to the MAN created in the likeness and image of God, but no mention of such authority was made to the "dust" man. It is also worth noticing that it was the CREATED man who was told to be fruitful and replenish or fill the earth. In the natural sense, the earth has been filled with the offspring of the "formed" man, but this is not what the creator Elohim had in mind. That man created in the likeness and image of God was to fill the earth with offspring OUT OF HIMSELF. James speaks of these as being "BEGOTTEN of his own will with the WORD OF TRUTH, so that we should be a kind of FIRSTFRUITS of his creatures, OF THE HIMSELF KIND." Jas. 1:18. In other words his offspring are to be the same AS HE IS, IN THIS WORLD, and not just a figure or type.

Having dealt with manís origin being out of God by creation, let us now proceed to discover the PURPOSE for which he was made. All of creation is designed to manifest the glory of God, for God is in ALL of his creation. However the highest form of creation is MAN. He was created in the likeness and image of God, with the unique ability to manifest the glory of God. David the Psalmist said of man, "Thou hast made him a little lower than Elohim, and crowned him with glory and honour, and put all things under his feet." Ps 8:5.

Solomon said of man that the power of LIFE and DEATH is in his tongue. Prov 18:21. This is an awesome statement and indicates the power God has put at our disposal. Most people have never stopped to consider that the words they speak dictate either LIFE or DEATH. Sure you may read these words but deep down in your subconscious mind you are probably saying that it cannot be so. These are the words of Jesus on the subject, "I say unto you, that every IDLE WORD that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be JUSTIFIED, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. Mat 12:36.

"Every idle word." An ineffective, useless, negative word. A word that does no good and so is pernicious (having a destructive quality) like pernicious anemia. How often have we spoken DEATH to our body, and death to others with an "idle" ineffective, useless word. The reason why our words carry such force is that OUR FATHER in heaven created all things by SPEAKING A WORD. Man being in his likeness and image discovers the same effect in his life. We actually create the world in which we live, be it negative or positive, and we teach our children to do the same, but we blame society or their friends or drugs for the problems which beset them.

Most people including Christians believe we are the prisoners of our circumstances, and really are powerless to alter them. But Jesus spoke to a dead man and he walked out of the tomb. Jesus did not practice medicine, but he SAID to the man who had not left his bed for 38 years, "Rise, take up your bed and walk." They were just words, but the man obeyed and he was healed. I am sure this man had been visited daily by his family who all told him how sick he looked, and kept telling him he was going to die. You see their words were just as powerful as the words Jesus spoke, but in a negative sense.

Man was given dominion over all the "EARTH." We think this means the physical mud ball we call the earth. But the "earth" is just dust and rock and water and is inanimate. How would we exercise dominion over that earth? I do not know. The Truth is that the "earth" over which we are given dominion is YOUR BODY which comes from the dust. How many of us are able to keep our body in subjection? Many cannot control our emotions, giving vent to anger, and other destructive tendencies. We blame this on our parents or our circumstances or glibly confess that this is the way I am. Why do we get jealous, or stressed out or spiteful. Do we not have power to deal with this body of ours? Are we the victim of its every whim and desire?

We must understand that the Garden of Eden is actually an allegory. Now if you are a fundamentalist you will be lighting the fire to burn me at the stake for what you may think is blasphemy. Theologians have convinced us this garden is LITERAL. Well let me ask you, "Have you seen a tree of the knowledge of good and evil, or have you ever seen a Tree of LIFE?" "Have you ever seen a snake that talks?" I donít think so. Why then do we insist on the garden being literal? In fact, if it is a literal garden then Genesis 2 and 3 have absolutely no relevance to us today. That is why these chapters today are simply relegated to the Sunday School as lovely Bible stories for the children.

No wonder we have never discovered how we were meant to live our lives, and function as creatures who were created in his likeness and image, through whom the Glory of God might be manifest to the world. So let us put away the childish notions we have been taught and hear the voice of the Lord.

We are the HEAVEN and the EARTH God has created. Then we are told that "Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air, and brought them unto Adam to see what HE WOULD CALL THEM, and whatsoever he called every living creature, that was the name thereof. Gen 2:19. The physical animals and birds all represent something in the spiritual world or would you rather believe that as an elephant passed by Adam, that he simply said, "I think I will call it an elephant."

These animals all represent the various emotions in man. As we read of some person raping and killing a woman how often have we heard it said, "He is an animal." Someone abuses their children and we see this same analogy of animal behavior. Yes Adam gave names to all the "animals" or emotions which functioned in his earth. Now remember that in the Bible, names were given according to character. As Cephas came under the authority of the Spirit of God his name was changed to Peter.

Did you know you have the right to NAME or declare the character of all your emotions? And whatever name or character you give to them that is how they will function, because YOU have dominion over your "EARTH." That tremendous "animal" drive (emotion) within you that you have called anger can be called LOVE. Just imagine if all the energy we expend on being angry could be channeled into LOVE how wonderful it would be. Let me say that I do not believe God made animals to kill and eat each other, and neither do I believe the birds were made to be cannibals and eat one another. God made the LION to lay down with the lamb, in beautiful harmony.

Many Christians have prayed and fasted for years trying to get God to do something about their out of control emotions. They do not realise God has given us dominion over all the "EARTH", referring to ourselves. God brought the animals he formed out of the ground, to Adam to be named. We have power over our emotions and how they function, with the right to dictate their character.

The Birds represent our thoughts, some of which ascend high into the heavens giving us understanding and vision, like the eagle. Others function in the lower region living on carrion and refuse. Such is the scope of our thought life. We can think about that which is good and pure and good reportÖ.TRUTH, or we can think negatively and allow our thoughts to pull us down into depression. Noah demonstrated this difference when he released the Raven in order to discover if the condition of the earth was conducive to LIFE. The message of the Raven which was happy to feed on dead flesh, could not be considered reliable for it was not TRUTH. It was the "DOVE" that symbolised the Holy Spirit, which supplied the TRUTH Noah needed to know.

In the practical sense, concerning the function of the mind, we see the TREES as representing the birthing of our thoughts and producing "fruit." The thoughts generated in the mind all have a very real affect upon our lives, some positive and some negative. However it was Jesus who offended the Pharisees by saying that it is not that which GOES INTO a man that defiles him, but that which COMES OUT of a man. It is obvious that he is speaking here about out THOUGHT process, which ITSELF produces the pollution that defiles a man! The Truth is that AS A MAN THINKS IN HIS HEART THAT IS WHAT HE IS.

He continues by saying that every TREE, (thought) that my Father has not planted, shall be rooted up. Remember wrong thinking produces wrong living. But Isaiah said, "That we might be TREES OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, (the product of righteous thinking), the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified." Isa 61:3.

Let us begin to sum up this section by saying that God has a vital and important role for man in the times in which we live. This may come as a shock to many Christians who believe Godís plan is simply for us to repent and be Born Again, then seek to evangelise the world until either Jesus comes back from the sky, or we die and go to heaven! This is far from the Truth and is the result of not understanding the real purpose of God in relation to man.

I would ask you, dear reader to ponder carefully the Creatorís words in Gen. 1:26-28. Here God is giving DOMINION (Lordship or Sovereignty) over everything that lives on the earth. Then goes on to say "Be fruitful and replenish or fill the earth, and SUBDUE IT." Because we have been taught that Genesis 1-3 is a literal account of God dealing with a specific man called Adam, we have considered that the words God spoke to him, have nothing to do with us today. However let me impress upon you again that in these chapters, God is revealing to us vital truths concerning LIFE and the conditions that affect it. The allegory used here of the garden with its various trees and fruit, is the same principle as the parables Jesus used to teach the people of his day. The literal carries the TRUTH of the Spiritual. The natural mind grasps the literal, thinking that is all there is, but the SPIRIT sees the REALITY it contains and lives by it.

The first realisation that comes to us is that God has given to US, dominion over everything on the earth and also the earth itself. This primarily refers to MAN but also has a wider application. There being a Spiritual part of man that is invisible, (the heavens) and there is an earthly part of man we call our body. (from the dust). According to Gen.1 the HEAVENS RULE, which means that the Spiritual part of man is intended to RULE over the earthly part. Therefore the dominion we have been given over the earth and everything in it, is SPIRITUAL.

When we sleep, what keeps our heart beating, or our lungs working? How does the process of digestion continue to function, or our kidneys or liver etc? There must be some governing force within us that acts quite apart from our consciousness. We cut our finger and we put a band-aid on it and forget about it until several days later, we take the dressing off and the cut has healed. Tell me, what organised the new skin cells and sent them on their way to the wound, and told them how to repair the damage? Donít tell me all that just happened by chance!! Why then do we suffer from sicknesses and physical problems connected with the body? The answer to this question will come later.

Perhaps the above serves to indicate that the "Heavens" or Spirit within us does rule at least in some areas over this body which is the "earth." The question of being fruitful and fill the earth, has been considered by most as being natural child birth, and some are becoming apprehensive today about the problem of OVER POPULATION, and the food supply necessary to feed all the people on the earth. However this thinking is indicative of MANíS general approach to these chapters in Genesis, seeing only the NATURAL and literal interpretation of the Scripture.

We need to listen to the Holy Spirit, who is the divine teacher to reveal to us what was in the heart of God when MAN was told to be fruitful and fill the earth. The first man created in the likeness and image of God (Elohim) obeyed the direction given to him and in Chapter 2:7 as The LORD GOD, or Jehovah ELOHIM, he FORMED (Heb "Yatsar" = To mold as a potter) MAN from the dust of the earth, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of lives, and man became a LIVING SOUL.. This man walked in the Garden in fellowship with God, and named the animals, because the same Spirit that was in Jehovah was now in Adam. So the process by which the earth was to be filled is not a physical pro-creation, but spiritual.

No we are not to pick up the dust and mold the form of a man and breath into his nostrils the breath of lives! But remember we are the "EARTH" of Genesis, and so this is the material we are to use to reproduce "man" in the likeness and image of God. So you can see that if we consider the reality of our being has come from DUST, then that is the "man" we will reproduce, being in our own likeness and image. However the "Breath" the Lord God breathed into Adam was the SPIRIT OF GOD. Remember the word for Spirit and Breath are the same in the Hebrew language. So it was the Spirit of God that was breathed into "man" in the Garden. The FORM was already complete but it had NO LIFE and so could not move, UNTIL the Spirit was breathed into him. This proves that the BODY is not the reality of our being, being in itself, lifeless. It is the Spirit that is our LIFE and it is the Spirit that is the REALITY of our being.

Jesus taught Nicodemus very clearly that FLESH can only produce FLESH, B-U-T that which is birthed by the Spirit is SPIRIT, which is what we are. Eph. 2:10 says that we were not made from dust, but we were CREATED IN CHRIST JESUS. This was the MAN created by Elohim in the beginning. He is the ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD. God never created any other son, ONLY THAT ONE SON. Gen 1:26. Then where did we all come from? The answer is that we were ALL IN THAT SON, just as in the natural, we were all in our parents and grand parents loins before we were born on this earth. The SEED of ALL mankind was in CHRIST IN THE BEGINNING.

This is the SPIRITUAL seed that is to fill the earth, not the NATURAL SEED of ADAM the man of DUST. Paul explains, "They are not all ISRAEL, which are OF Israel. Neither because they are the NATURAL SEED of Abraham, are they all CHILDREN, BUT in ISAAC shall thy SEED be called. Remember "Ishmael"? This means that they which are the NATURAL children of the FLESH (Adam) ARE NOT THE CHILDREN OF GOD,

BUT THE CHILDREN OF THE PROMISE ARE COUNTED FOR THE SEED OF GOD. Rom. 9:6-8.

The CHRIST IN US who is our life, is today impregnating us with the Spirit and bringing forth a manifestation of himself in the likeness and image of God. This is the SEED OF GOD, and these will finally populate the earth.

THE GARDEN OF EDEN.

We have discovered manís origin and purpose, so now we must explore the Truths associated with the Garden that was prepared for Adam. This word "Garden" used here refers to an enclosed area with special reference to trees. It is these "Trees" that are the focus of the garden. Gen 2:9. Most Christians consider this "garden" to be literal, and the search goes on even today to discover some trace of such a place on the earth. However let us begin this section of the study by affirming the "garden" is not literal, but is a parabolic form in which divine truth has been revealed. In no other way could such spiritual truth be conveyed to mankind.

Perhaps the greatest reason for the confusion among many Christians as to what constitutes the so called "Christian Life," is their failure to see that the spiritual principles associated with LIFE are all laid down in these chapters of Genesis. If these chapters are purely an account of HISTORY then they have no real relevance to our lives today. But this is not simply history, but the unveiling of the principles of L-I-F-E for mankind of all ages.

We are told the Lord God made trees to grow out of the GROUND. This is the Hebrew word ADAMAH which relates to ADAM who was formed out of the ADAMAH or earth. This "garden" is therefore WITHIN the heart of every man which bring forth "trees" which are the planting of the Lord. In the very midst of all these trees, was the TREE OF LIFE and the TREE of the knowledge of good and evil. Every man on the earth is walking in his own GARDEN OF EDEN under the very same conditions as Adam.

The rules of LIFE are dictated by the Lord who said that each one of us are responsible to "dress" or cultivate our garden, and also to "guard" it. Gen 2:15. No one else can do this for us, and what our garden (life) produces becomes our responsibility. Secondly, we are told we may "eat" or incorporate into our life the "fruit" of every tree in our garden, BUT we must not eat of the "TREE" of the KNOWLEDGE of GOOD and EVIL, because if we do WE WILL SURELY DIE. These trees in the "garden" together represent the HEART OF MAN out of which are the issues of LIFE.

No one would argue that the TREE of LIFE is CHRIST who is planted in the very middle of every manís "garden" or HEART. Such an idea is contrary to modern theology, but right here in Genesis the Truth is clearly revealed. However it would seem that in the course of LIFE, another "Tree" other than the tree of LIFE holds center stage, called "The knowledge of GOOD and EVIL." To cultivate this particular "tree" and eat of it carries the dire warning of D-E-A-T-H.

All other knowledge represented by "the other trees of the garden," could be assimilated into manís life, but this "Knowledge system" of GOOD and EVIL has the power to rob us of LIFE. Both the GOOD as well as the EVIL we define for ourselves as neither of these are absolute. What one man sees as "good" another sees as evil. Thus under such a knowledge system, anything can be acceptable to us and so justified. Such a "Life" is therefore lived apart from GOD and is called D-E-A-T-H. Death is not a punishment inflicted by God, but is the direct result of the FRUIT ITSELF.

How then can a man live life without touching that tree of knowledge? The answer is that CHRIST who is the image and likeness of God becomes the standard by which all knowledge and all actions are to be judged. He is the only ABSOLUTE STANDARD that God has given to us. Because ADAM who represents not just ONE MAN but ALL MANKIND disobeyed the rules of the "garden," DEATH and SIN have been passed upon all men, and so scripture says, "ALL HAVE SINNED and have COME SHORT (not reached the divine standard which is CHRIST) of the glory of God.

The standard by which our life is to be lived according to Genesis 2. Is the TREE OF LIFE which is not hidden away up in some ethereal heaven, but IN THE CENTER OF OUR BEING or GARDEN. This standard has been denied by many theologians claiming it is now the BIBLE, and we should now live by verses in the book! This has given rise to the confusion of "Fundamentalism" which is a foundation for our life built upon our mental comprehension of Bible verses. However Jesus Christ said, "I AM THE WAY THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE." Jn 14:6.

We must understand how important it is to grasp what God is saying to us in this parabolic lesson recorded for us in Genesis 2. This is the foundation of every manís life, and the divine instruction to guide us today as to how it is to be lived. To violate these immutable laws will result in living life apart from God, which is called DEATH. This "Garden of Eden" is in every man, and in our heart or mind, we are birthing thoughts every day, and these thoughts like the trees bear "fruit" as we translate them into actions. When CHRIST is the standard by which we judge those thoughts and corresponding actions, we LIVE, but if they are the product of the knowledge of good and evil, then that "fruit" will produce DEATH IN US, even as the word of the Lord has spoken.

Paul speaks of this process as he looks back over the generations past in Romans 5. Emphasising that ADAM was simply a F-I-G-U-R-E or TYPE of one who was to come (Christ) who would reverse the trend set in the "garden of Eden." These issues which arise out of the Garden form the back-ground for the Good News of the Gospel which Paul proclaimed.

"Nevertheless 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 that was to come. But not as the offense, so also is the free gift. For if through the offense of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offenses unto justification. For if by one man's offense (Adam) death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. Therefore as by the offense of one (Adam) judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one (Christ) the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience (Adam) many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one (Christ) shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered, that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord." Rom 5:14-21.

Paul speaks of these TWO MEN as the key in understanding the Gospel as it relates to us today. They are CHRIST and ADAM both of whom are not simply individual men, but both incorporate all mankind but from a different perspective. However from our "Garden" view of things we must discover in which of these two do we find our identification. If we identify with ADAM as having come from him, then we identify with his "Garden" and embrace as he did the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and therefore we choose to live in DEATH. BUT if we identify with Christ then we allow the Tree of LIFE, which IS CHRIST, to be our Life and the standard by which we judge everything, then we feed upon HIM and LIVE.

Paul continues to expand upon what he calls the MYSTERY OF CHRIST which was revealed to him.

"That you may understand my knowledge of the Mystery of Christ, which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his Holy Apostles and Prophets in the Spirit, that the NATIONS be FELLOW- HEIRS, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in the CHRIST, through the good news, of which I became a minister, according to the gift of the Grace of God, that was given to me, according to the WORKING OF HIS POWER." Eph 3:4-7.

The MYSTERY OF THE CHRIST, was not made known in the Old Testament, but remained hidden, until the CHRIST was revealed on the earth. Until that time, God had dealt mainly with the chosen nation of NATURAL Israel. But now IN CHRIST, God has included people from all nations, in true SPIRITUAL ISRAEL OF GOD. Furthermore, in order to remove the connection, God made Christ to be the MAN OF SIN (ADAM) calling him the LAST ADAM, who then tasted DEATH FOR EVERY MAN thus releasing the generations of the first ADAM. 2 Cor 5:21.

1 Cor 15:21. "For since by MAN (Adam) came DEATH, by MAN ALSO (Christ) came the resurrection of the dead". Here the apostle speaks of TWO MEN, one is ADAM whose disobedience in the garden of Eden, brought DEATH upon ALL MEN, and the other is JESUS CHRIST, the last ADAM, who by His obedience, broke the power of death, by being raised from the dead. In both cases MAN WAS THE INSTRUMENT, and also the beneficiary, according to the plan of God for the ages.

In these revelations given to the apostle Paul, we see how every thing that happened in the Garden of Eden, was indeed a part of God's wonderful plan, that would culminate in MAN finally standing in His presence IN HIS LIKENESS AND IMAGE. None of these things happened by chance, but were a part of GODíS PLAN established in the beginning. Each of these issues raised would require a set of notes in themselves, but we must remain with the subject in hand.

In the earthly life of our Lord Jesus Christ, we see the first part of God's plan fulfilled. For He was declared to be "The express image of His person". He was made perfect by the things which He suffered. He could say of Himself, "If you have seen me, you have seen my Father". So for the first time in History, we see a MAN of flesh and blood, living in a hostile world of sin and evil, yet being brought to "THE IMAGE AND LIKENESS OF GOD". He is the "FIRSTFRUITS", (1 Cor 15:23) which guarantees the rest of the harvest will be the same. (Rom 11:16.) Paul understood the workings of Godís plan for the ages, and gave us a concise outline of the path man would follow, in Rom 8:19-23. "For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the Sons of God. For the creature was made subject to VANITY, not willingly, but by reason of Him who hath subjected the same in hope, because the creature itself (man) also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God, for we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body".

Adam failed even under the most ideal of situations, in the garden of Eden. However this failure provided an opportunity for God to show His Power and Glory eventually upon mankind who had fallen into DEATH in trespasses and sin. Our fore-runner on this path of GLORY, is the LORD JESUS CHRIST, who was made flesh (Jn 1:14) and tasted death for every man, but was raised from the dead, and given a Name which is above every Name, that IN (not at) the Name of JESUS, EVERY KNEE SHOULD BOW! Hallelujah.

Paul sums up this wonderful plan of God, which was prepared before the foundation of the world, in these words, "GOD, who did save us, and did call us with an holy calling, NOT ACCORDING TO OUR WORKS, but according to HIS OWN PURPOSE AND GRACE, that was given to us in CHRIST JESUS, BEFORE THE TIMES OF THE AGES, and was made manifest now through the advent of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who indeed abolishes DEATH, and illuminates LIFE and incorruption through the evangel." 2 Tim 1:9-Il.

Finally, we will quote from Paul again in Eph. l:lO-ll, "That in the dispensation of the fullness of times, He might gather together IN ONE, ALL THINGS in CHRIST, both which are in the HEAVENS, and which are on EARTH, even in HIM". These scriptures should be sufficient for those with eyes to see, and ears to hear, the marvelous plan of God which has been implemented without change from "The Beginning." That plan is right on track in this our day, and Godís people are discovering they are indeed a part of that PLAN.

In the opening chapters of the book of "BEGINNINGS", we have displayed the ground plan for the entire revelation of God's purpose regarding MAN. As a piece of literature, the story is sublime, but is also unparalleled, in the heights of spiritual understanding, which it details. Here, every revelation of God, and His divine purpose for man, is contained in these chapters, so they require our careful attention and consideration. The entire "plan of the ages", is here portrayed, with every experience, situation, condition, capacity, potential, and destiny of mankind, together with all the principles and processes by which God will bring man to perfection in the IMAGE OF GOD.

It is important to understand, the Bible is not primarily a history book, or a book of natural science. It is a revelation of GOD, together with the spiritual realities that are part of his purposes. It also is a revelation of MAN himself, about our origin and state of being, and the conditions under which we are to live. If we understand the Truth revealed in the "Garden", we will understand the amazing relationship between God and the man he created.

The story of Adam and Eve in the Garden, is the greatest parable in the Bible. For in no other way would it be possible for God to communicate the information concerning these spiritual realities to us. In the same way parables were employed by the Lord Jesus to teach the people through out His ministry. An understanding of the Garden of Eden is absolutely vital, forming the foundation for the later revelations of God through out the rest of the Bible. We cannot draw a picture of FEAR, but we can depict its effect in some situation of life involving man. Likewise we cannot draw a picture of sensuality, rebellion, hatred, peace, harmony, love or spiritual bondage as such, but God has carefully exposed these things through the lives of people, and their experiences. Gal 4:24.

ADAM in the garden, represents EVERY MAN OF THE HUMAN RACE. Therefore he represents YOU and ME, with all our potential, and capacity to share fellowship with God. The Garden of Eden is much more than a piece of real estate somewhere in Mesopotamia, for no such place has ever been found, nor has there been any sign of an angel with a flaming sword. The GARDEN represents the reality of every man and the basis of our soulish and spiritual life. It is here that all our responses are exposed so we can KNOW OURSELVES, and develop a relationship with God. In the Garden of Eden the human heart is laid bare, as MAN makes choices which produce DEATH, even while living in a sinless environment.

Now, we can see ourselves represented in the garden of Eden, in ADAM. His responses and attitudes bear witness to our own hearts and become a picture of OUR LIFE, with all its decisions and responses to the circumstances we face every day. Remember it is God who made US, and God who made the garden in which we live, carrying out His own purpose in designing the path we will walk, in order to bring us ultimately into that high and holy calling into which we have been called. We must not see man's failure in the Garden, as the end of the story, for such failure and death were included in God's purpose for man, as is also redemption, reconciliation and finally, A NEW CREATION.

Let us explore the ground rules God established for life in our Garden. The first point is that God made the garden so it belongs to HIM, and so he has the right to determine its rules. But at the same time we must also acknowledge His loving concern for MAN who is the very pinnacle of all His creation, being the only one to enjoy fellowship with Himself. God's rules are therefore not arbitrary, but have man's ultimate blessing in view. Loving obedience to the Lord of the Garden brings great joy, while disobedience will result in death, not eternal hell.

The rules of the garden are not difficult, or hard to understand, but are very simple. In Gen 2:15 Adam was told to "dress the Garden and to guard it", which simply involves keeping the garden a place of delight for the owner, and for mutual fellowship, while keeping out any hostile element that may seek to disrupt its harmony. Remember, in God's wisdom He has chosen OUR GARDEN as the place where he will MEET US and share fellowship sweet just as he did with Adam. We can never meet God anywhere outside our GARDEN. This is most important for us to understand, for our GARDEN is WITRHIN US and depicts our very UFE as viewed from the center of our being, where our decisions and responses are all set in motion, and thus becomes a revealing of our life from the inside.

At any point in our life we can tell where we are in relation to God, by the condition that prevails in our garden. If there is peace and harmony within our garden, then our whole life will be so affected, and conversely if disharmony is present. The reason for this is plain when we note that it is here IN OUR GARDEN that we make contact with the Lord and find rest in his presence. How beautiful is such a concept, with God and Man walking and talking together in sweet communion which cannot be touched by any external circumstances. We are now touching the very basis of our walk with God, which does not begin in some organised meeting, with suitable music, and religious atmosphere, which we call a "Worship Service", but IN THE QUIET SOLITUDE OF THE GARDEN OF OUR HEART. Adam's worship was conducted In the GARDEN, and his communion was also within the confines of that same garden.

THE DISRUPTION

One of the fundamental doctrines of the "Gospel" preached today, is called "The Fall of Man." However the Bible speaks about the "Disruption" which unfortunately is translated as "FOUNDATION" in the New Testament. It comes from the Greek word "katabole" (kat-ab-ol-ay) "To throw or cast DOWN." This casting down took place when Adam disobeyed Godís direction not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. His intimate relationship with God in the garden was broken and his "LIFE" lowered to a soulish level with a distorted perception of himself and God.

This episode revolves around the "serpent" or shining one, which we are told is more subtle than any beast of the field. This "serpent" is that which supplies the test to determine Godís place in the Garden from manís point of view. Once again we must stress that the "serpent" is a part of the parable which involves the whole story. If this "serpent" or snake is LITERAL, then this has nothing to do with us in the world today, because I have never spoken to a snake and certainly a snake has never spoken to me.

Traditional teaching sees the snake as being LITERAL, and its ability to speak is explained as a puppet used by Satan to get his message over!! This theory is the product of the carnal mind of man and has no connection with TRUTH. The Hebrew word here translated "Serpent" comes from a primitive root "Nachash" and according to Strong"s means :- enchantment or to practice divination or fortune telling. All psychic functions are the product of the MIND, which means that this "serpent" is the parabolic figure which represents the NATURAL MIND OF MAN. No one can argue that the MIND of MAN is more subtle than any beast of the field, the Lion, or the Tiger or any other predator. These animals have such tremendous ability to out wit and over come their prey, and yet God says the human mind is MORE SUBTLE than all these.

Even children can become very clever at deceiving their parents if they choose to, and criminals become masters of deception, often evading capture for years and some are clever enough to remain free. To set the stage for this Test to see if Adam would be faithful to God, he was put to sleep. While he slept a Spiritual change took place within him, as the Soul which is the female part of all mankind was separated from Adam or the SPIRIT which is MALE. To help us understand this Spiritual operation the parable presents the "Soul" as a separate female identity with ADAM (not GOD) calling her EVE. Remember God called T-H-E-M ADAM, but now in this parable we see TWO people in the Garden, Adam who is male and Eve who is female and we are told they were naked.

This word "Naked" is from a Hebrew Root `aram meaning to be subtle, be shrewd, or to be crafty. So we can see that this "woman" has the same quality as the "serpent." The SOUL as represented by the "woman" involves the Mind, Emotions and the Will. So it becomes clear that the test involves the MINDíS functions and ability. Notice that in the New Testament there is no mention of EVE being the one that sinned! It is always ADAM who sinned, and yet in the parable, Eve is on her own conducting a conversation within her MIND which is represented as the snake. Eve is reported as seeing, desiring and eating the forbidden fruit, and not Adam. Why is this?

Notice carefully, God never called "them" ADAM and EVE! When God went looking for them he only called A-D-A-M, because every MAN is created MALE and FEMALE. Gen 1: 27. There are no exceptions to this for it is the divine order. Now this poses a problem for us with our distorted view of MALE and FEMALE, so hear what the Spirit is saying to us. Every person regardless of their gender is in fact MALE and FEMALE. This means that IN every person on the planet there is a SPIRIT which is GOD, and that SPIRIT is MALE. However there is also IN every person a SOUL and that soul is by creation the FEMALE part of our being. The SOUL is the Mind, Emotions and the Will, which like the Spirit is an invisible part of our being and is often referred to as the HEART.

"The HEART is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it." Jer 17:9. "For out of the HEART proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness and blasphemies. " Matt 15:19. No wonder we are told that the "serpent" is more subtle than any beast of the field.

If you have ears to hear you will hear what the Spirit is saying to us today despite the distortion of generations of feminism and a myriad other false concepts concerning sexuality. We are actually still living the PARABLE of Genesis, considering male and female to be different creations, thinking MEN coming from MARRS and WOMEN from VENUS. Beloved, only the Spirit of the Lord can lift our vision to see the reality of that which we presently see merely as physical. In the Hebrew the man is called "ISH" and the woman "ISHA". (ISHAW)

Isha was taken out of Ish, and when in the parable God brought the woman to the man, Adam said, "This is now BONE of my BONES, and FLESH of my FLESH, and she will be called Isha because she was taken out of Ish. However when God created man he did not make TWO PEOPLE for they were male and female yet they were ONE. It is easy to see how confused the natural mind of man has become over the issue of male and female. Donít speak of who should dominate who, or who should be in charge for the TWO ARE ONE. Marriage is but a continuation of the parable of Genesis allowing us to manifest in the physical world the glory of that unity God created in the beginning.

In the natural realm we understand normally a woman cannot produce offspring without the man, and man cannot produce except he become one with the woman. However in the Spiritual realm we discover in the parable in Genesis, that the woman (soul) wandered away from the man (spirit) and united with the snake, or the mind, determining she could achieve God status by exploring a knowledge system God had warned Adam about, the knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam convinced himself that this knowledge held the key to being God in his own right thus deposing God from his rightful position as Lord of the garden.

If we are correct in assuming the whole story of the Garden of Eden is PARABLE, then it must be relevant to every man today, and find its fulfillment in every LIFE. First of all, most people live by the principle that if a thing is good then I will do it, but if it is evil then I will not touch it. This is regarded by most Christians as the way God meant us to live. However we need to be reminded that God said the day you eat or participate in the Tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil, YOU WILL DIE. Why then do people live by that forbidden tree? The answer is that everybody has believed the SERPENTS LIE, and believe we can be AS GOD by eating of that tree!!

This means that everyone has had the same conversation with the snake as Eve had, with the same effect. The "snake" being the carnal mind of man, which is more subtle than any beast of the field. This natural mind convinces us our life is pretty good, because we donít smoke or drink or beat our wife or commit adultery etc, so we must be OK. It says to us, "HATH GOD SAID you will surely die?" After all, we are alive and doing well so it cannot be true that if we eat of that tree WE WILL SURELY DIE. Here is the next issue, every man believes he is a sinner and therefore NAKED before God. Exactly the same as Adam in the garden.

The verse most quoted is, "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." Rom 3:23. As a result of this concept we believe God is angry with us and we must appease him in some way, because we believe we have been cast out of the Garden also and so we look for a way around the flaming sword. We see God behind our sickness and problems and feel this to be punishment for our failures. Thus deep in our subconscious we HIDE FROM GOD.

Would you not agree that we are living in our Garden of Eden today which is within us, under the same conditions as did Adam. The parable is as true for us today as it was for him. The "serpent" is no less subtle and it has convinced the whole world to believe the lie, "blinding the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ who is the image of God, should shine unto them." 2 Cor 4:4. However the TRUTH is another story.

Paul sums up this wonderful plan of God, which was prepared before the foundation of the world, in these words, "GOD, who did save us, and did call us with an holy calling, NOT ACCORDING TO OUR WORKS, but according to HIS OWN PURPOSE AND GRACE, that was given to us in CHRIST JESUS, BEFORE THE TIMES OF THE AGES, and was made manifest now through the advent of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who indeed abolishes DEATH, and illuminates LIFE and incorruption through the evangel." 2 Tim 1:9-Il.

THE CONCLUSION

In the opening chapters of the book of "BEGINNINGS", we have displayed before us the ground plan, for the entire revelation of Godís purpose, regarding MAN. As a piece of literature, the story is sublime, but is also unparalleled, in the heights of spiritual understanding, which it details. Here, every revelation of God and His divine purpose for man, is contained in these 50 chapters and they require our careful attention and consideration. The entire "plan of the ages", is here portrayed, with every experience, situation, condition, capacity, potential, and destiny of mankind, together with all the principles and processes by which God will bring man to perfection in the IMAGE OF GOD.

It is important to understand, the Bible is not primarily a history book, or a book of natural science. It is a revelation of GOD and His purposes, and the spiritual realities involved. It also is a revelation of MAN himself, about our origin and state of being and the conditions under which we live. A man's relationship with God has been so ordained that nothing external to us can affect its development for it takes place in the "garden" of our heart.

In view of what we have said, make sure that which you believe rests upon a sure foundation, and not upon the doctrines of men. Allow the Spirit to be your teacher for he is the SPIRIT OF TRUTH.

 

Other Writings in This Series:

A PEOPLE WITH A PURPOSE
ANTICHRIST
ECHOES FROM EDEN
RESTITUTION OF ALL THINGS
Eternity
The Coming World Government
The True Basis of Redemption
The Mystery of His Will
All Things Reconciled
By Man Also
Becoming God's Will
The Wages of Sin is Death
God is Love (Eby)
The Church Triumphant
Definition: World, Aeon
Definition: Eternal
Not in Our Stead, But for Us
Christ - Our Advocate & Ransom
Til All Men Know
The Secret of Job
That I May Attain
The Harness of God
"Ebb & Flow" and "The Cascades"
The Garden of Eden
Eternal Life
God is Love (Walters)

 

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