We Can’t Get Back To the Garden…Genesis 3 pt 16


And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.(Genesis 3:22-24)

Once we were happy, back in the garden, but a lie broke the stillness,and our hearts began to harden…Larry Norman

Adam and Eve were convicted and sentenced for their crime against God. They had broken faith with the One who had made them,  and forfeited their privileged place in God’s Holy garden.

But in mercy , the guilty couple had  also  been given the gospel of deliverance through the “seed of the woman” and taught the importance of worship through the blood of an innocent substitute.

What now?

They must be driven out of the garden. God forcibly evicted them. They would have to live in a hostile world , suffering the consequences of the false wisdom they had opted for. Adam and Eve must toil and sweat, raise fallen children, and see the constant out working of their transgression, from generation to generation until death.

They had to go out of the garden, for should they now, in their  fallen state, illegitimately eat of the “tree of Life”, they would be locked into the fallen state, forever.  Their doom would be irrevocable. God’s love was severe in putting them out, but if He would save them He must do so.

But ever since then, the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve have sought to gain some kind of access back into the garden. the whole world of sinful experiences; mind altering drugs, sexual sin, euphoric false religion, the occult, all are examples of attempts to recreate the conditions of the garden, even if for but a few fleeting moments.

Fallen man would smash through the gates, or create his own (godless) version of the garden. Pagans and humanists alike lust  either for the good old days tha once were, or the “golden age” that is just around the corner again, according to the rhetoric of the various political and religious messiah’s.

The Second Psalm warns us that the  world’s masses are being prepared for the arrival of an ultimate “messiah” to inaugurate the new (godless) Eden.This is why the “Kings of the earth and their rulers” are busy eradicating every public trace possible of the West’s Judeo Christian past.

Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.(Psalm 2:1-3)

The fact that God put a turning sword at the entrance and deployed awesome living creatures, the Cherubim implies that if he could, fallen man may try violently to seize the garden for himself. The fallen sons of Adam would crash through the walls just to grasp a few minutes of Edenic bliss if possible.

This lust for something of Eden (without repentance) runs deep in men’s hearts. Isn’t that what our modern drug craze is all about? The obsession with illicit sex? As our troubled culture departs from God, many  just want to feel better no matter what the cost.

Fallen man lusts for a respite from the sentence pronounced upon us by God in the fall, but never by turning in humble repentance to God.

On a larger scale consider the spectacle of the last century, atheistic Communism which sought by violence to create an earthly Eden, in the name of a promised Utopia. As Stalin once famously said about the massive slaughter, the artificial famine of his own people, and the violent repression he instituted,

“One death is always a tragedy, millions of deaths are a statistic”.

As human history has shown from  the French Revolution, through the various Marxist revolutions, up to our own turbulent time, when fallen man wants to re-create Eden(Utopia), it always ends up looking a lot like Hell. Even if man could concoct a godless Eden he would only corrupt it, for man’s heart is not right.

The social and sexual revolution of the 1960’s was in the same vein, as this famous line from the song “Woodstock” attests,

We are Stardust, we are golden, and we have got to get ourselves back to the garden…Joni Mitchell

It was another naive attempt to cast off all of our traditional Judeo Christian restraints  in an attempt to liberate mankind, hoping to get back to his natural state. Unfortunately they ignored the truth that since the fall, man’s natural state isn’t love, harmony and  and peace, it is violent, selfish and grasping.

God drove Adam and Eve out of the garden,  there will never be a return to Eden. God’s plan for man is not backwards looking, but forward. No, we can not ever recover “paradise lost” , but as pilgrims we look forward to the arrival of the “city whose builder and maker is God”.

By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.(Hebrews 11:8-10)

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.  For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.  And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.(Hebrews 11:14-16)

 

 

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11 Responses to We Can’t Get Back To the Garden…Genesis 3 pt 16

  1. Korni says:

    The Cherubim were placed to keep the way of the tree of life. I always thought the whole garden of Eden turned to thorns and brambles once Adam sinned and was put out of the garden. The beautiful part of this verse is that God sent Cherubim to keep the way of the tree of life open. The way of life is still open to you and me through the Lord Jesus Christ.
    But yes, whatever man thinks today as the Garden of Eden and it’s beauty they would not really want because God would be there. The thinking is probably to throw Him out also. Man with out God is truly lost in sin.

  2. Where are the cherubim to-day.? Some say if Eden was more than a myth the cherubim would be seen to-day. Rev 2;7 implies the Eden story is mythic symbolizing spiritual reality.The spiritual reality alluded to is the quality and vitality of life that can be obtained to-day. This is what Jesus has to offer those who absorb His life.

  3. travis says:

    Why didn’t god place a Cherubim before hand to stop Adam and Eve from partaking of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Seems to me like God wanted them to make that choice so that they could become like “one of us”. Eve choose to go through heart ache and suffering so we could learn to become more like god. I for one am grateful she made the choice for i would not be here if she hadn’t. Adam and Eve would still be in the garden being as children and not progressing.

  4. Jared says:

    Satan is a cherub, and he is definitely real. I don’t think that you can spiritualize the existence of the cherubim placed in the garden. There are non-canonical books (such as the book of Enoch, which Jude quotes) that make mention of angelic beings called Watchers that interacted with mankind before the flood. Some were apparently faithful to God, and others had followed Satan and teamed up with him to corrupt mankind and God’s creation. This seems to fill in some of the gaps in Genesis chapter 6. Whether or not a non-canonical account of the pre-flood world can be trusted, I find it quite a stretch of the imagination to interpret Revelation 2:7 as saying that Eden was just a myth. That would be like saying that because Revelation mentions a Temple in heaven, then the biblical record of both temples must be mythical. What God institutes on earth is representative of what we find in heaven. I would assume that Eden and the tree of life recorded in Genesis were wiped out in the flood, and hence the absence of the garden and the cherubim after the flood. However, that can’t preclude an eternal tree of life in heaven that exists seperate from earthly creation.

  5. Is the tree of life mentioned in Rev2;7 obtainable in this life or the world to come?

  6. The tree of life mentioned in Rev 2;7 may apply to the here and now because the promise is based on overcoming.It seems that those who make it to heaven never have to overcome anything.

  7. Jared says:

    Glynn, reading Revelation 2, it is apparent that Jesus is speaking of a tree that does not exist in our current world. It says that the tree is located in “the paradise of God”. The world we live in is definitely not the paradise of God. There are people who would disagree with me, but I believe the Paradise of God mentioned here is the New Jerusalem found in Revelation 21 and 22 that is waiting for us (Jesus said He was going to prepare a place for us) and will descend out of heaven to the new Earth. In Revelation 22 we see that this same tree of life is then found in the New Jerusalem which has descended out of heaven to the new Earth. So, the narrative in Revelation seems to suggest that Jesus has prepared the New Jerusalem for all born again Christians to inhabity with Him, and in this new city there is a tree of life. The city and tree are currently in heaven, waiting for the new Earth to be created. When the new Earth is created, the city along with the tree will descend to the new Earth. When this happens, God’s prophecies that a day would come when He would dwell among His people forever and Jesus’s statement that “I go to prepare a place for you, that where I am there you may be also” will be fulfilled completely.

    Don’t get too caught up in being fascinated with the tree simply because it has the word “life” attached to it. Notice in Revelation 22 that there is also “water of life”. The water nourishes the tree. And where does Revelation 22 say that the water comes from? In verse 1 it says that the water flows from the throne of God and of the Lamb (that’s Jesus). Also, recall that Jesus said to the Samaritan woman in John 4 that He could give her “living water”. As fantastic as all these things are, they pale in comarison to the one who gives them, which is Jesus. Although the tree of life and the water of life might serve a biological purpose in the world to come, they are still just created things intended to inspire in us awe for the one who created them.

  8. Wayne says:

    Proverbs 9:10
    The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding

    Proverbs 1:7
    The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction..

  9. Wayne says:

    Glynn,

    I will attempt to address your persistent concerns about the relationship between repentance and forgiveness. I do hope that you receive some benefit from my finally complying with your frequent questions about this topic.

    The Apostle Paul and Silas were thrown in jail in the city of Philippi for preaching the gospel. At midnight they sang and prayed until God broke down all the doors and broke the stocks which held their feet with a great earthquake. The poor jailer, frightened and convicted of his sins, came to these two preachers and asked this question.

    “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

    To which the preachers said:

    “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
    (Acts 16:31)

    This is God’s plan of salvation, which is the only plan He has given so that sinners can be saved.

    There was hope for this jailer because he was convicted in his heart of his sinfulness. He saw himself as he really was: a lost sinner in need of the saving power of Jesus Christ. Like the jailer, you are a sinner. The Bible emphasizes that fact in Isaiah 53:6:

    “All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way;”

    And in Romans 3:9-12 it says:

    “What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; as it is written, ‘THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD; ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.’”

    Romans 3:23 teaches that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. That is why Jesus said to Nicodemus in John 3:7, “Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’” And a little later in the same chapter, verse 18, He said that those who do not believe in Him, God’s Son, stand condemned already.

    The Bible makes it abundantly clear that all are sinners. No matter how good you and those around you think you are, you are a sinner. The sinner remains lost and in need of saving until he accepts Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. The first step in coming to salvation is admitting in your own heart that you are a sinner, lost, separated from God.

    Once you have come to acknowledge the truth of this, then you are ready to learn God’s answer to your question, “What must I do to be saved?”

    You are in a fatal state that has dire eternal consequences. You are a sinner, alienated from God, destined for hell, and you cannot save yourself. The only thing to do is to trust completely in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. Do not trust in Jesus plus whatever good deeds you may do, religious rituals, water baptism, Sabbath-keeping, church membership, your faith, or your repentance. For whatever “righteousness” we can muster is but filthy rags to God (Isaiah 64:6). Trust in Him alone. When you do this, you will then have God’s promise of salvation.

    Simply believing in the existence of God, or that Jesus is Savior and Lord is not enough. For that is no better than the faith of demons. They believe that and tremble (James 2:19). You can believe that taking medication prescribed by your doctor will maintain your life without actually taking it. Mere intellectual assent to the truth about Jesus is not sufficient; you are to believe on Him, that is, depend completely upon Him, trust Him.

    None of us, no matter how much good we may do, deserve salvation. There is nothing you can do that will make you worthy of it. You cannot be saved by keeping the Ten Commandments, for the Scripture clearly shows that you have not kept them.

    James 2:10 says: “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.”

    Romans 3:19-20 says: “Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.”

    The same thing is told in Galatians 3:11 which says: “Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, ‘THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.’”

    1 John 1:8 says, “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.”

    The Bible clearly teaches repeatedly that there is no salvation through human goodness, since no one is righteous or seeks God (Romans 3:10-11). You are not saved by giving money to the church or to the poor. You are not saved by volunteering your time to charitable activities. You are not saved by living a moral life.

    Titus 3:5 says: “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.”

    Ephesians 2:8-9 says: “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

    It can be readily seen in God’s Word that no one deserves saving and no one can save himself. Salvation must be by grace or no one would be able to receive it. In fact, it takes blood to pay for sin, for Scripture says:

    “Without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” (Hebrews 9:22)

    “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” (Romans 5:6)

    “All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.” (Isaiah 53:6)

    The Apostle Peter declares that sinners are bought by the blood of Christ:

    “You were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.” (1 Peter 1:18-19)

    Every animal sacrifice offered in Old Testament times on the altar illustrated this: that man, a guilty sinner, must have his sins paid for by the shedding of blood of an innocent. Jesus was the Lamb of God. He died for sinners just like you, securing salvation for them as a gift.

    “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

    Church membership will not save you. Water baptism will not save you. Reforming your behavior will not save you. Engaging in religious activities will not save you. The observance of certain days or other rules and regulations will not save you or keep you saved.

    The Bible plainly teaches that “all people everywhere should repent” (Acts 17:30), and again, “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3, 5). This was the preaching of John the Baptist, of Jesus, of Peter and of Paul, that men should repent. Repentance is an integral part of salvation.

    Repentance does not mean being sorry you were caught. It is not just being sorry for your sin. Repentance is not “fire insurance”, or taking an action to get away from God’s wrath.

    To repent literally means to have a change of mind toward God and toward sin. It means agreeing with God regarding the truth of your own sinfulness. Repentance means not excusing your sins or seeking to justify yourself, but admitting, like David in Psalm 51:4: “Against You, You only, I have sinned and done what is evil in Your sight, So that You are justified when You speak And blameless when You judge.” Repentance means to earnestly turn from your sins, with all your heart, and trust in Jesus Christ alone to save you. The jailer repented when he turned from sin to believe in Jesus Christ.

    While God desires that you to have a penitent, broken heart over your sins, no amount of emotion or lack thereof will make you right with God. You should be sorry for your sins and ashamed of them. However, Scripture teaches that “the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation.” (2 Corinthians 7:10) — the right kind of sorrow leads to immediate repentance, but mourning is not itself repentance.

    The jailer’s sorrow for his sin led to genuine repentance, which moved him by faith to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior and Lord. He was saved at that moment, and his whole family was saved the same way. So salvation is a gift that is granted by God at the moment a person turns to Jesus Christ in repentance and total trust.

    Being saved by faith apart from works seems so easy, and it is. Many believe it is too easy and erroneously seek to add to God’s plan of salvation. Godly living comes as the result of accepting Christ as Savior and Lord. Do not depend, then, on what you do, but on what Jesus did and promises to do for you.

    Must one who accepts Christ by faith have a change of heart? Most definitely. But that is God’s part, not yours. In order to have this change of heart you need to be born again. When Jesus talked to Nicodemus in John 3, He told him that the only way one could be saved that person had to be born again. Being born again changes your heart and mind, making you a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).

    The change in your heart is according to God’s work in your life, not your efforts. Your are to simply believe on Him. And even this ability to believe, to trust, to have faith, comes as a gift from Him. Salvation from start to finish is of the Lord, and not according to your own merit, abilities, or power.

  10. Wayne says:

    Glynn, you are repeatedly referring to different scenarios within different contexts and seem totally oblivious to the distinction between the two. I concede that born again bible believing christians use language in a way which is not necessarily distinguishable to someone less equipped biblically. It is essential to understand that for the born again christian it was absolutely imperative to believe the Truth before being able to understand the Truth in the sense that we must be born again spiritually before we are able to comprehend spiritual concepts.

    The above comment provides information on how to be saved and the necessity for repentance in that process. This comment discusses the benefits of forgiveness in the natural or worldly context. You seem to be continually confused between these different contexts and for that reason I have provided you with this background information which I sincerely hope you will be able to use effectively in your own life.

    Forgiveness is recommended to victims of criminal behaviours and other traumatic experiences as a therapeutic necessity to facilitate moving on from what is otherwise a very self limiting reaction to the trauma associated with the inappropriate behaviours they have experienced Such forgiveness does not in anyway bestow salvation or any other form of virtue or gifting upon the criminal or person being forgiven. This act of forgiveness is distinct from the forgiveness required from God to enable the born again christian to receive the gift of salvation as described above.

    That repentance is essential for salvation is addressed very effectively in the comment above on what is required in order to be saved.

    I do hope that you are able to differentiate between the two NOW!!!!

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