Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 30
Foundational themes in Genesis – Study 30 (Key verse: Genesis 3:22-24)
It is impossible for a good tree to bring forth evil fruit and it proves that Adam and Eve, and the serpent, were never “good trees” to begin with. The evil and corrupt condition of this creation is mercifully only of a temporary nature and will eventually be destroyed:
Mat 7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Mat 7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
God made everything “very good” for the purposes He wants to use it, even the evil and darkness He created in the beginning (Gen 1:2; Pro 16:4; Gen 50:20.
Gen 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
Nothing in this physical creation is “very good” in and by itself. Through the temptation of the subtle, crooked serpent in the garden of Eden, the inherent pride and lusts in the hearts of Adam and Eve were brought to the fore for the first time (Gen 3:6; 1Jn 2:16). This means they started to see the true condition of things in and around them for the first time as “the eyes of them both were opened” increasingly (Gen 3:7). Not only did they see their own naked condition as it was made from the hand of the Creator, but they were also informed by God of the natural state and processes of death and corruption in and around them (Gen 3:7-19; Jer 18:4; Rom 8:20.
Jas 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
Jas 1:15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth [Greek: “apokueō” = brings to the fore] death.
The punishments on the serpent and on Adam and Eve help us in our own foundational knowledge and understanding of the spiritual judgments of God. Judgment opens our own eyes to what we ourselves are in the first Adam, but even more than that, we start to see Jesus and His righteous ways as revealed by the Father (Isa 26:9; Rev 1:1-3; Rev 1:8; Rev 1:17). Through the shadows of the earthy types, we start to understand His spiritual works in us as the life of Christ is made manifest in ourselves. That is the reason why we are being tempted, troubled and persecuted (Rom 1:20; Mat 13:11; 1Pe 1:12; Gal 4:29; Num 14:9):
2Co 4:8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
2Co 4:9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
2Co 4:10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
2Co 4:11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.
Psa 119:66 Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments.
Psa 119:67 Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.
Psa 119:68 Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes.
God’s judgment as foreshadowed by all the punishments on Adam and Eve, is an integral part of His book that was written for us before the foundation of the earth (Psa 139:16). All in the generation of the first Adam are ordained to go through all the processes to become “as one of Us” to eventually be in the fullness of God’s spirit (1Co 15:22-28; Eph 1:10; Num 29:35-36; Joh 7:37-38):
Gen 3:22 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 for ever:
Gen 3:23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till [Hebrew: “âbad”] the ground from whence he was taken.
Gen 3:24 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.
“The man” in these verses refers to both male and female as being the “âdâm”:
Gen 5:1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;
Gen 5:2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.
All in the first man “âdâm” were ordained by God to “till the ground”. The Hebrew word for “till” is “âbad”, which means “to serve” or “to be enslaved”. The natural first Adam has an intimate attachment to the ground (the earthly) and is in “bondage of corruption” to initially be a “servant of sin”, even “under the elements of the world” (Joh 8:34;
Rom 8:20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
Rom 8:21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
Our natural tree cannot produce the spiritual works of the kingdom of God, and we all naturally manifest the fruits and works of the flesh, even when we are deluded in our own mind that we are not as bad as others:
Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Gal 5:20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
Gal 5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Our own natural man walks “according to the course of this world” as Adam and Eve did. At our appointed time we all listen to the voice of “the prince of the power of the air” and follow the patterns and thoughts which oppose the true doctrines and commandments of God. Naturally we are all “the children of wrath”:
Eph 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Eph 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
God Himself is not evil, but He created the evil and uses the evil to accomplish His purposes (Isa 45:7; 1Sa 16:14; 1Ki 22:19-23; Job 1:12; Job 2:6). God is the Father of all spirits (good and evil), and all spirits are subjected to His sovereign rule all the time (Heb 12:9). Like Joseph’s ten brothers, our natural man cannot accept this truth. Naturally we think that evil is a human creation or invention. Not even Satan is the creator of evil. We only do what has been determined by God for His purposes (Isa 45:7; Eph 1:11):
Gen 50:18 And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants.
Gen 50:19 And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?
Gen 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it [the very same evil they did] unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
Gen 50:21 Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.
Only God can use evil “unto good”, no one else:
Isa 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
Adam and Eve in their natural fleshly state could not enter the spiritual kingdom of heaven, but God made provision as to how all in the generation of that Adam will be able to be in His kingdom (1Co 15:45-50):
Gen 3:24 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.
As we know, this tree of life is referring to Jesus Christ, the King in that kingdom of God. Out of His mouth comes this flaming sword:
Rev 1:16 And he [Jesus] had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
As with Adam and Eve, the natural man in us sees no “comeliness” in this Tree of Life as we all are naturally attracted to the tree of knowledge of good and evil, by God’s design (Gen 3:6):
Isa 53:1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?
Isa 53:2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
Isa 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
The natural man sees spiritual things as dry and absolutely foolish to desire because our carnal mind always “falls backwards” and is ensnared by the natural application of God’s Word – spiritually returning to dust/vomit (Isa 28:13; Gen 3:6, 19):
1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
2Pe 2:22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire [Greek: “borboros” = mud = wet dust].
No one in carnal flesh with a natural mind (like that of Adam and Eve) has any desire for the tree of life because it is also only accessed through a flaming sword which is the fiery Word of God:
Eph 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
This fiery or flaming sword destroys our evil and wicked heart and all the desires of the flesh (Jer 17:9). It brings an end to our natural shadows, and it focusses on the inward – pressing towards the spiritual. To give up on the flesh is impossible for any natural man to do. It takes Christ and His fiery Word in us to be the Overcomer in us and to keep to the narrow Way (Joh 14:6; Heb 10:19-20; Gal 1:4):
Mat 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
There are indeed few who are given by God to find and keep that way to the tree of life (Mat 22:14). Those few are symbolized in Scripture as “the cherubims… [which are]…placed at the east of the garden…to keep the way of the tree of life”. The sun (naturally and spiritually) rises in the east. From that direction the glory of God enters the spiritual temple or city of God:
Eze 43:1 Afterward he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east:
Eze 43:2 And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory.
The physical tabernacle or temple in Scripture went through progressive developments as far as the structure and applications were concerned. So also did the images of these cherubims progressively featured more and more in the structure and applications of the temple. Among these we see their images on the entrance veils and on the ten curtains of the tabernacle (Exo 26:1, 31). Their figures were also engraved into the copper (brass) ornaments in the porch and on the walls of the temple (1Ki 7:29, 36; 2Ch 3:7). Images of them were also engraved in the doors of the temple and covered with gold (1Ki 6:32). Even on the very mercy seat of the ark of testimony in the holy of holies these cherubims featured (Exo 37:7-9). This gives us so much insight into the spiritual development and tasks of these cherubims (1Ki 7:27-33; Exo 25:22-25; Exo 26:1; Exo 26:31-33; 1Ki 6:32; 2Ch 3:7). The cherubims are also referred to in Scripture as the “four living creatures”, “four beasts” and “elders” in and around the spiritual throne of God (Eze 1:5-28; also called “seraphs” in Isa 6:1-3).
Rev 5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
The words of the song they sang confirms who these Cherubim are that keep the way of the tree of life:
Rev 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.
This is indeed God’s elect who are redeemed by the blood of Jesus to “bare record” of the righteous and upright Word of God (Joh 16:12-13; Rev 1:2-3; Col 1:27):
Rev 1:2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
Rev 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
Only these “cherubims” can dwell with God’s devouring fire being judged now in this flesh as they die daily – their days in flesh are “shortened” (Isa 33:14-15; 1Pe 4:17; 1Co 15:31).
Mat 24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
This dying to flesh also links to not regarding Christ after the flesh, although we met Him in that form in our first “garden” (2Co 5:16-17). If Christ is not raised in spirit in our lives we will just be connected to the fleshly Christ and everything we do in that fleshly Christ is all in vain!
1Co 15:14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
Adam and Eve were sent forth from the garden. It is only by overcoming and letting go of our own flesh and the fleshly Jesus that anyone can eat of the Tree of Life in the “Paradise of God” (the “City of God”), drinking and being completely immersed by the “pure river of the water of life” (Eze 47:1-5). The cherubims are all symbols of Jesus Christ and His Christ bringing spirit life to all (Mat 10:38-40; 1Co 3:13-15; Eph 1:11; Rom 11:36).
Rev 22:1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
Eze 47:9 And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh.
Psa 46:4 There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.
Other related posts
- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 45 (May 8, 2014)
- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 43 (April 24, 2014)
- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 42 (April 17, 2014)
- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 41 (April 10, 2014)
- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 39 (March 27, 2014)
- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 38 (March 27, 2014)
- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 37 (February 20, 2014)
- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 36 (February 13, 2014)
- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 35 (February 6, 2014)
- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 34 (January 30, 2014)
- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 33 (January 23, 2014)
- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 32 (January 16, 2014)
- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 31 (January 9, 2014)
- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 30 (March 27, 2014)
- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 29 (December 29, 2013)
- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 28 (March 27, 2014)
- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 27 (March 27, 2014)
- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 26 (December 5, 2013)
- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 25 (December 1, 2013)
- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 24 (November 21, 2013)
- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 23 (November 14, 2013)
- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 22 (November 7, 2013)
- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 21 (November 7, 2013)
- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 20 (October 10, 2013)
- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 19 (October 4, 2013)
- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 18 (March 27, 2014)
- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 17 (September 19, 2013)
- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 16 (September 12, 2013)
- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 15 (September 20, 2013)
- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 14 (August 29, 2013)
- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 13 (August 24, 2013)
- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 12 (August 24, 2013)
- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 11 (August 24, 2013)
- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 10 (August 24, 2013)
- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 09 (August 24, 2013)
- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 08 (September 5, 2013)
- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 07 (March 27, 2014)
- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 06 (March 27, 2014)
- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 05 (September 5, 2013)
- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 04 (March 27, 2014)
- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 03 (March 27, 2014)
- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 02 (November 21, 2013)
- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 01 (March 27, 2014)