SeekersTrove.com—Treasure Beyond Measure

In the Garden of Eden

The truths in the Bible can be understood on different levels. There is the literal truth, that is what took place, and the spiritual truth, that is, what it means. When we look at the account of the creation of man we see a literal account, and subtly hidden within is spiritual truth as well.

Man

Genesis 2:4-7

This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created.

When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens -- 5 and no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground, 6 but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground -- 7 the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. (NIV84)

The timeless nature of God can be clearly seen in this section. We can see from the account given in chapter one that God commanded the land to bring forth the plants on the third day. We see also that the man was not created until the sixth day. And yet, the above account gives the impression that they occurred at the same time, but this is not what is being told.

Man is the Focus of God's Creation

What we see in the above passage (and in the passages that follow), is the reason for creation, that is, the reason for the plants was for man. Man is the focus of God's creation. The plants and animals, and the very universe itself, are only there to supply man what is needful.

The water coming up out of the ground to water the surface of the ground is symbolic of God's Holy Spirit bringing everything forth in a gentle nurturing way. This is contrasted to the rain of Noah's flood, which is symbolic of God washing everything away in judgment.

This image of water welling up to nourish brings the follow passage to mind.

John 4:13-14

Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life. (NIV84)

Things that rain down from above are generally symbolic of divine judgment. In God's perfect world there is no judgment, rather his Spirit wells up to lovingly supply everything that we need. In heaven there will be no rain.

Revelation 22:1-3

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. (NIV84)

This is a symbolic truth. This is not a literal river. This is a picture that shows us that the life sustaining 'water' flows abundantly from the throne of God to supply all that we need.

The statement that says that God formed the man from the dust of the ground serves to tell us that our bodies are made of the matter that comprises the universe. Just how long that 'formation' took we are not told. I cover that topic in my paper titled, "Creationism Vs Evolution and the Atomic Bomb." Please read that paper if you are curious about what the creation of the body of Adam is all about.

The fact that God breathed into the body of the man, and the man becoming a living being, tells us that in the physical body of the man, God placed a part of himself, that is, he placed into the physical body a spirit being. The very core of the man was changed. He was no longer a human man, but he was now a spirit son of God. He was now a spirit being hidden inside of a man's body. It is very important to understand that this account of the creation of man concerns the creation of the spiritual children of God, and not the physical body.

When the Bible says that God created man in his image and in his likeness, it is not talking about our bodies. God does not have an animal body that is made out of atoms and such. God is spirit.

John 4:23-24

Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth. (NIV84)

Our true selves are spirit beings, (like God), and we live inside animal bodies. We are hidden inside in such a way that medical science cannot find the true self, because the true self is not of this universe. Medical science has given the name of our true selves the 'subconscious mind.' Science correctly determined that there was a person inside that truly directs our lives, and that driving force is not the conscious mind. The conscious mind exists within the human brain, and is subject to the effects of the material world, such as disease, but the subconscious mind does not live in the brain, but in our spirit natures.

The forces that drive our life come from our spirit selves.

Proverbs 4:23

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. (NIV84)

Your heart, or spirit, or subconscious mind, is where the real you is.

Matthew 13:15-17

For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.' 16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it. (NIV84)

It is very important to understand this about the heart. Jesus is saying here that the Jewish people's hearts had become hard, or calloused, so that they hardly hear with their ears and have closed their eyes. Now they could hear with literal ears and see with their literal eyes. This is talking about their spiritual natures. Jesus is saying that you must believe God's Word in your heart, that is, your subconscious mind must understand and believe the message. Jesus is saying that the disciples were blessed because they did see the truth down in their hearts.

In fact, you cannot truly understand anything of the spirit in your mind. All such understanding must be in the heart.

Man became a Living Being

Now when God breathed into the man and the man became a living being; what this means is that the man became a living spirit being. A being that is alive in God's eyes is a spirit being that lives inside of God, and God lives inside of them. The man became a spirit being that could converse with, that is, fellowship with God. The man became a 'godlike' being, as much so as your physical child is of your type.

Obey the Word of the Lord

Genesis 2:8-9, 15-17

Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground -- trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. ...

15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die. (NIV84)

Tree of Life

The death that God had warned the man about was spiritual death, not the literal death of his physical body. This translation doesn't really do a good job of emphasizing the fact that death would come at the time of the transgression. Now this death is not exactly like the death of the physical. The meaning of death in the spiritual sense is the state of no longer having God living inside.

Spiritual Death and Literal Death

A relationship with God is always brought about by faith. To disobey the command of God is to break faith with God. God lived in the man because the man was perfect, righteous, pure, and holy. God will not, and cannot live in a place of sin. The rebellion that the man and woman committed resulted in the loss of their righteousness.

Of the Same Kind

Genesis 2:18-20

The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."

19 Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field.

But for Adam no suitable helper was found. (NIV84)

This is a very interesting passage. The Lord said that there was no suitable helper for the man and yet they went out and looked at all the beasts that the Lord had made. Why? you might be wondering. I know that I sure wondered at what this meant until the Lord revealed its meaning to me.

Throughout the Bible the relationship of marriage is also a symbolic representation of the relationship between God, (the bridegroom), and man, (the bride). In the above passage we can see that God was going to provide a wife for Adam, but there is another story being played out as well. This story also represents God looking out over all that he created and no suitable helper was found for him. The angels, and what other heavenly hosts there may be, are not of the type of person that God is. They are not the sons of God.

Genesis 1:26-27

Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (NIV84)

Man was created to be a fellowship partner with God. The act of God breathing into the man and the man becoming a living being resulted in God taking a part of himself and putting that into the man.

Woman

Genesis 2:21-23

So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

23 The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called "woman,' for she was taken out of man. (NIV84)

Creation of Woman

So we see in the creation of woman that God took a part out from the side of man and formed from that, a partner for the man. This is a literal truth as well as a symbolic representation of God taking from himself to form a bride that would be suitable for him. Mankind was created to be God's bride.

Now this bridegroom-bride thing is in itself symbolic of the true nature of our actual union with God. The believers are not going to live with God in heaven as his literal bride. God shows us spiritual truth using the things of this world so that we can understand.

Ephesians 5:25-33

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church -- 30 for we are members of his body. 31 "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." 32 This is a profound mystery -- but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (NIV84)

Husband/Wife Symbolic for Union with God

This passage clearly shows that the husband-wife relationship is symbolic of our union with God through Jesus Christ. I explain this mystery in depth in my paper titled, "One Spirit With God", so if you are interested you can read that paper. For now I would like to move on in our examination of Genesis.

Genesis 2:25

The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame. (NIV84)

The meaning of this passage can be understood in the light of the next verses from Revelation.

Revelation 19:6-8

Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: "Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. 7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. 8 Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear." (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) (NIV84)

The man and his wife were not ashamed of their nakedness because they were holy and righteous. They were innocent and pure. They had never done anything that they were ashamed of. They were an open book, as it were; nothing to hide.

The Fall

Genesis 3:1-7

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, "You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?"

2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, "You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'"

4 "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. 5 "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. (NIV84)

God's Word, that is, whatever God says about anything is the thing that you must do, because it is the thing that will be best for you. There is not one thing that God says that is designed for his betterment. God does not tell you to obey him because he will feel left out if you don't. He created mankind to be his love partner and all of his instructions are because he loves us and wants what is best for us.

Our relationship with the Father is not one of equality. God is the head. He is the one that leads. We must honor and obey him.

1 Peter 3:1-6

Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. 4 Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. 5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, 6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear. (NIV84)

This passage is directed to wives, and so it applies to all that are obedient to the Bridegroom. Both men and women must have the attitude expressed here toward our Husband, that is Jesus Christ.

When our Husband tells us, "Don't do this or that", then as a submissive wife, we honor our husband by obeying him. (I am not saying that every wife must do whatever their husband says. There are many human husbands that are evil to the core. I am talking about our relationship to the perfect Husband. The husband that truly loves his wife wants only what is best for her. He does not want a servant, or a slave, but a helper.)

Our relationship with God is dependent upon our faith in him, that is, our belief that he loves us and everything that he does is for our benefit.

Hebrews 11:6

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (NIV84)

Deceived by Satan

What the woman and the man did in the garden was not the mindless eating of a piece of fruit. It was a direct act of rebellion. Eve was deceived by Satan into thinking that if her eyes were opened that she would not need God over her telling her what to do, or laying down the law, as it were. In human terms it would be similar to a loving husband telling his wife not to go into town today and the wife saying in her heart, "I don't have to listen to him," and so she goes in defiance. In this day when husbands do not love their wives as they ought, and wives think that they are liberated and can do what they want, it might be hard to see what I am saying. In my human example I am assuming that the husband truly loves his wife and he has knowledge that danger lies in going to town, so out of his great love and concern he tells his wife not to go. This is how it is with God. He knows everything and when he says to obey him, we must, because we know that he loves us and his directions are not just rules designed to oppress.

So when the woman and then the man rebelled, sin corrupted their hearts. This sin defiled them. That which was holy, pure, and innocent could now see the evil that was within. That is the meaning of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. Before they ate they were innocent of evil. They did not know what evil was. But after they rebelled they could see the good that used to be, contrasted with the fallen state that they now had.

This is the meaning behind their having seen their nakedness, and their rush to cover that nakedness. They were no longer holy and pure, they were corrupted, and that filled them with shame, so they sought to hide their shame by covering themselves.

Their having covered themselves was a good thing. It is good for us to hate our sin. It is a vile thing to parade around flaunting your sin, bragging about your independence, your right to do your own thing. A wise person does not concern themselves about stylish clothing and body adornments, because they know and understand their nakedness before God. A wise person does not think about what other people may think of them, rather they are concerned with what God thinks of them.

Genesis 3:8-10

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?"

10 He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid. (NIV84)

They ran and hid from God because they realized the danger that they were in. Sort of silly running and hiding from God, don't you think? I want to say something here about the nature of the Bible. God knew exactly what they did, when they did it, and where they where. His walking so that they could hear him and allow them to hide and then his subsequent asking of questions was for the purpose of teaching us, and them, about all this. Everything in the Bible is exactly what God wanted. He is never responding to random events that people do.

I am not saying that God wanted them to eat the forbidden fruit, but that God knew that they would. God knew exactly when they would before he ever started the creation.

1 Peter 1:20

He (Jesus) was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. (NIV84)

Excuses

Genesis 3:11-13

And he said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?"

12 The man said, "The woman you put here with me -- she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it."

13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?"

The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate. (NIV84)

We see in this exchange that the woman was deceived, but the man was not. I think that it is kind of funny the way the man tried to move some of the blame from himself over to God, "The woman you put here with me," indeed. We can never use other people as an excuse for our actions. God will not buy it. I don't care if you have lousy parents, an unfaithful spouse, or no money, you must personally obey the Word of the Lord. If you go to some church that is teaching you lies about the Bible, you can't say, when the time comes for you to give account to God your Maker, that "My pastor said..." God will take care of your pastor for what he said, but you are accountable for what God said to you in the Scriptures.

We must also be very careful not to let those around us that we love so dearly, influence us into doing anything that we know is wrong. It is better to lose the spouse that you love, than to lose your everlasting life with God.

Genesis 3:14-15

So the LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, "Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. 15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel. (NIV84)

There is a lot being said here. The devil's offspring are those people that do not belong to God. They are those that do the devil's bidding. It says here that God put a mutual antagonism between the two families of people.

Also stated here is the first prophecy concerning the coming Savior. We see that it would be through the seed of the woman that Satan's deathblow would come, and not the seed of the man. This was fulfilled through the seed from the Holy Spirit being planted into Mary, and the product of that, that is, through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross and his then having been found sinless, defeated Satan.

The Result

Genesis 3:16

To the woman he said, "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you. (NIV84)

The pain of childbearing means more than what is at first apparent. The woman represents more than just a multitude of individual women giving birth. Humanity will suffer the travail of birth until she is brought up into glory. All of the pain and suffering were the result of man's sin. Before the fall, the woman would have suffered the actual pain of birthing a child, but all of the other pain would not have been there.

I have heard, many times, people criticize God for all of the pain and suffering in the world. God is not to blame. If you want to know what happens to those that choose to rebel against God, then open your eyes and look around. Those that are separated from God are capable of all evil. The only escape is to humbly return to God, in repentance, and reverently submit to him in Jesus Christ.

Genesis 3:17-19

To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, "You must not eat of it,' "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. 18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return. (NIV84)

The fall of mankind brought a curse to the entire earth. The earth underwent a transformation. The fundamental laws of the universe changed as a result of the fall. The earth took upon itself the nature of its new 'god'--Satan. Before, there was life, but now the dominant characteristic was death.

2 Corinthians 4:4

The god of this age (Satan) has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (NIV84)

 

Romans 8:18-23

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. (NIV84)

When the Lord returns at his Second Coming he will throw the 'god of this world' into the Abyss and he will reign as Lord of lords and the King of kings. The world will operate differently than it does now. Death will no longer reign; life will reign.

Genesis 3:20

Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living. (NIV84)

It is a very significant thing, this Adam naming his wife Eve. Adam is not saying that she is going to be the mother of a lot of human babies. The life and death that is referred to in these passages is spiritual life and spiritual death. Adam, in naming his wife Eve means that he understood what God told them concerning the coming Savior. All that were to be spiritually alive would come through Eve.

Genesis 3:21

The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. (NIV84)

Because Adam and his wife believed the salvation that was to come they received a righteousness that is by faith. This is symbolically represented in God making a temporary covering for their nakedness. This is also the first in a long series of images that point the fact that the righteousness that was to come through Jesus Christ would come by his death. That is why God replaced their coverings of vegetation with the skins of slain animals. Righteousness was coming but at great cost.

Genesis 3:22-24

And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever." 23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life. (NIV84)

There is no salvation possible for those that live forever. The angels that sinned are eternally condemned. It was to save man that God drove them from the paradise of Eden. It was necessary for man to taste the fruit of rebellion full-strength, so that he would turn in sincere repentance, and receive the salvation that is offered by God, by faith.

By denying man the tree of life, then, he made it possible for people to die toward the world by faith, and live for God by that same faith, and in so doing they might partake of the tree of life after their life on this world is over.

Revelation 2:7

To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God. (NIV84)

 

This article can be found at SeekersTrove.com