Chapter 2

 

The Church in the Garden of Eden

 

1. The Original Will of God

 

            God declared “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth” before He created man (Gen 1:26). And God formed man from the dust of the earth, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (Gen 2:7).  Since the body of man was formed from the dust of the ground, man became confined in time and space, having opposite functionality of God Who is spirit.

            In other words, because the body is formed from the dust of the ground, man can freely choose things on earth and can freely enjoy all things on earth, according to God’s design (Gen 1:28-29).  Man also received a power (function) to exchange spirit through words; man is able to enter spiritual realm.

            Words are a channel of personality (love) that comes out from ‘inside’.  Receiving other’s words, therefore, means receiving other’s personality (presence).  Speaking a word means that one is giving his/her personality (presence) to others.

            So man can converse with God, with the devil, and with neighbors as well.  Man thus became a divine being who can enter into spiritual realm through these words (Joh 10:35).

            Hence, God planted the tree of life which represents God’s presence, and the tree of knowing good and evil which represents presence of the devil (Gen 2:9).  Both trees, the tree of life and tree of knowing good and evil, were both channels of presences; depending on man’s response upon the word of God, man was able to experience God’s presence or the devils presence (Jos 1:3).

            God created the Garden of Eden for man.  In it were the tree of life, the tree of knowing good and evil, and the trees that were pleasant to the sight, and good to eat of(Gen 2:8-9).  If man obeyed the word of God, man would have never experienced death and man would have kept and enjoyed everything in the garden in the continuous presence of God through the word of God (Gen 2:15).

            Furthermore, Adam was able to continue and extend his rich and abundant life by sharing presences with his spouse, who was also created in the same image of God.  Adam could have been successful in keeping and filling all of the earth through lives of his descendants. 

            Man then never would have to have experienced death.  Man’s life would have been more spiritualized as time passed, just like Enoch, Elijah, and the resurrected Jesus our Lord, man would have had glorified bodies and ascended to heaven (Gen 5:24; 2 King 2:11; Luk 24:39).

 

2. Opened to Outside

           The love which is the life of God enters and presides ‘inside’ of the body of a person. The devil’s world, which can be experienced by the five senses, comes to a person; it turns on the person’s interest (consciousness) toward the ‘outside’ of the body of the person.  The Garden of Eden was a realm of ‘inside’ before the fall of Adam.

            The Garden of Eden was a place for God’s presence, and God’s life itself was the love which can open the ‘inner person’.  God lets humans share their presence each other by opening their inner persons with His love.

 

Pro 27:19 As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man.

 

            Love reflects another’s presence (heart) in oneself, in their ‘inside’.  The more in love, the wider the other’s presence becomes in a person.  The tree of life in the Garden of Eden therefore was a channel that was able to convey God’s presence to the inside of man.

            Of course the Lord Himself is the Tree of life, the Bread of life, and the Way of life (Joh 6:48, 14:6), but Satan enticed the first man so that his consciousness be opened to the ‘outside’.

            The serpent approached the woman with ‘words’.  Word is spirit. The word of the serpent made the woman feel emptiness– which is opposite to the presence of love – by extending the five senses of the woman to the outside.

            When the woman saw the tree of knowing good and evil, she felt that it would satisfy her visual sense; she felt that it would satisfy her taste sense if she would eat, and she felt that it would make her wiser if she would taste it.  In other word, the tree looked much more valuable to her.  She therefore took and ate of it, and gave it to the man and made eat it as well.

            They experienced an opposite result from being rich and abundant ‘inside’ of them which could have been experienced by reflecting their ‘inside’ with each other’s love.  The first man experienced and learned that he became empty by looking at, thinking about, eating, and making others eat the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowing good and evil, and their emptiness made them recognize that they were naked, and they took leaves of a fig tree to cover themselves (Gen 3:7).

            Instead of sharing their riches and usual joy with each other, they let their acknowledgement of their shame in their mutual nakedness and emptiness, their outer form, impede in their relationship. When God was walking in the garden during the day, they hid themselves from the presence of God and rejected interaction with Him, yet letting their shame change another one of their relationships.

            Furthermore, they were blaming each other to cover up their own faults in the matter, for they had lost their channel of love through which they could share what ever they wanted.  Yet, God did not curse them.  God just assured them that what He said is true: “You will surely die if you eat of the tree of knowing good and evil”.

            The relationship between the two devolved to suppress, deprive, rule and be ruled in order to satisfy their emptiness and to cover their nakedness.

 

Genesis 3:16-24  Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.  (17)  And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;  (18)  Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;  (19)  In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.  (20)  And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.  (21)  Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.  (22)  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 forever:  (23)  Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.  (24)  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.

 

Woman shall be ruled over man and she will desire man.  Man shall eat of earth to satisfy his hunger, and shall live a life of hard labor.  People cannot help from oppressing others and being oppressed by others because of their own personal desires (sins).

            Since then, all human relationships were described by ruling or being ruled which is a miserable law of sin and death.  The more a ruler oppresses and deprives others, the more he becomes lonely and fearful.  The oppressed, on the other hand, cannot leave the oppressor even if he or she has a heart full of rage and anger.  The tragedy of mankind had begun.  The fate of mankind in their necessity to oppress and deprive others had been established.

            After this, Adam and Eve begot children through satisfying their sexual desires.  Their children had to live in the same law of sin and death.  The tragedy of Cain and Abel was a clear example of this.  Cain became a wanderer after he killed his own brother Abel.

After this law of death came onto mankind, man lost power and authority over the earth.  The earth fell into hands of devil and devil became the prince of the world.  Wherever and whenever the devil rules over man, the ‘world’ is established.

 

3. Binary Nature of Human Consciousness

 

            Corrupt men live with a binary level of their consciousness: Ruling and being ruled – they need each other.  One of the states of the consciousness, ruling, comes from the desire to rule others but it needs some others who should be ruled.  No one likes to be ruled.

            A ruler always oppresses and deprives his neighbors and the ruled cannot live well (Joh 10:10).  The ruled have two options; be destroyed or run away from the ruler.  Both options will reduce the number of ruled, and soon or later the ruler cannot keep his position as a ruler anymore.

            A ruler who would take things that belonged to the ruled (neighbors) eventually becomes weak from a rich and self-indulgent lifestyle which would make the ruler lazy and corrupt; the ruled however would get tougher and stronger.  They often exchange their roles as generations pass.  This way the kingdoms of the world, families, or companies evolve.  Their rise and fall are due to a corrupted human relationship.  A ruler falls to a ruled, and a once ruled rises to a ruler, but the basic problem remains unchanged (Matt 24:10).  The rulers are lonely and full of fear of losing his powers, and the ruled are unsatisfied, and full of dissent and vengeance.

            Man cannot live apart from human society, although he/she is extremely corrupt (Gen 2:18).  Every human being thus has vengeance, rebellion, loneliness, and desires to rule others.  The same may extend even to father-son or husband-wife relationships.

 

Matthew 24:9-13  Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.  (10)  And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.  (11)  And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.  (12)  And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.  (13)  But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

 

The corruption of mankind brings the destruction of natural circumstances, and all created groan in travail because the devil, the most corrupted, is ruling over them.

 

Romans 8:19-21  For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.  (20)  For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,  (21)  Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

 

 

 

4. The Kingdom of God

 

            Man lost his kingship, which God has given, to the devil and man became slaves to the devil.  But God started to build His kingdom on earth by freeing man from the devil and judging the prince of the world, the devil, who is the origin of all corruption.

            It started from Abraham.

 

Genesis 12:1-3  Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee:  (2)  And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:  (3)  And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

 

When the first Adam sinned against God, God said the seed of the woman shall bruise the head of the serpent (Gen 3:15).  So God created Israel through the seed of Abraham, and gave to them the law of righteousness, which can overcome the world, which is the Word of God. 

The law Israel received from God was a law which is opposite to that of the world.  The kingdom of the world was based on military power by which a ruler can kill those who oppose him and possess land; a law of robbers and destroyers.  In God’s law, all land belongs to God and God fairly distributes the land and its produces to everybody.  God’s law is a law of grace.

            God so gave the Israelites the law of the year of Sabbath (7), and the year of Jubilee (50).  During the corresponding number of years, anyone who was sold as a slave and any land which was sold to others are restored to the original state (Lev 25:10-17).

            When harvest time came, God prohibited them to pick up the heads of crops once they fell on the ground, so the poor can pick them up for their food.  God even said that any fruit born after the first harvest would belong to the poor.  According to God’s law, the rich cannot be rich forever, and the poor cannot be poor forever (Ruth 2:2-3).

            The king of Israel was a servant of God who had to serve people according to the word of God, and had to obey to the word of God given by prophets on a real time basis.  Kings had to confess their sins before priests and give offerings, and they were same as his people before God (1 King 21:3).

            As the history of Israel proves, some kings, and aristocrats did not keep the law of God because of their corruption: which led the Israelites into total destruction, just like kingdoms of the world. Any behavior that was originated from the corrupt outer man was doomed to fail.  God wanted to place His word ‘inside’ the human being by giving the Spirit of God to everyone.

 

Jeremiah 31:31-34  Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:  (32)  Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they broke, although I was a husband unto them, saith the LORD:  (33)  But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.  (34)  And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

 

Ezekiel 36:24-28  For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.  (25)  Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.  (26)  A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.  (27)  And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.  (28)  And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.

 

            Adam in the Garden of Eden was corrupted when his life was opened to ‘outside’.  Now God promised to open/create His temples in everyone’s body ‘inside’ through the redemptive work of His Son Who is the Tree of life and the Holy Spirit.  This is the new covenant.  Through the redemption of our Lord Savior, God opened new heavenly temple in each of us.

 

Hebrews 10:19-22  Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,  (20)  By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;  (21)  And having a high priest over the house of God;  (22)  Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

 

We now can overcome the world and expand the spiritual territories of the kingdom of heaven through the temple which is opened ‘inside’ of us.