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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Was the Garden of Eden really a paradise?

Was the Garden of Eden really a paradise? Then why did they want to get out of that place?

It wasn't until the Septuagint was written that the Garden of Eden was referred to as paradise. Could this just be the opinion of the Greek Jewish writers? Could it be that the assumptions they made about the garden are in error ? There are only a few verses that describe the physical characteristics of the garden, and what took place there. I think understanding will come if we look at how God, Adam and Eve viewed, operated, and reacted in that hostile environment.

God first created a man called Adam. After a while Adam probably discovered that he had a need for companionship. God said it is not good that man should be alone. So initially there was loneliness in the garden.

God created animals for Adam's comfort, enjoyment, and dominion. This pacified Adam for a while. He even named them all. Perhaps after observing the relationship between the male and female animals Adam discovered what he needed was a help meet, a female, someone of the opposite sex, a companion of his own. Animals can't fulfill this need.

So God created a woman for Adam out of his own flesh and bone. A woman is the part of a man he can never be, but will always need and desire. He is to love her as Jesus loves the Church, believers. Jesus died for believers which is His bride. A Pastor and Teacher in Bible college asked me, “Are you dead yet?” I did not answer. A wish is a man's command.

Women want men to believe them. Adam believed Eve. She wants to please him. She knows what he needs. Men can’t take it from a woman. She has to give it voluntary. You will miss the best part. It is called a relationship and relationships constantly develop as you get to know one another. The garden was not paradise but a place where Adam and Eve found out what their needs were. It was also a testing ground.

God placed both good and evil in the garden, and the tree of life, so that Adam and Eve could live there forever. Not only was that there, but the chief fallen angel in the form of a serpent was placed on the forbidden tree. He is the greatest deceiver mankind will ever know. He was more subtle than the other animals. They had to deal with the other animals that were subtle also but to a lesser degree than the serpent. Even the other animals were deceptive. Men, women, children, and animals were destroyed in Noah’s day because they were evil.

Now I don't know about you but that does not sound like paradise to me! Scripture talks about the paradise of God where the tree of life resides and evil are non-existent.

Obviously Adam and Eve were not content in this environment. God gave them responsibilities, the best of foods to eat, fellowship with Him as he walked through the garden and talked with them, and freedom to roam the garden, except for one place they were not to go, except for one fruit they were not to eat of. Even so, they were still not content in the Garden of Eden. There was something missing in their lives. And eventually they ended up at the foot of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God knew they would not be content there so He provided a way out.

There is something innate about men and women. They desire a challenge. They desire change. We can’t be satisfied. There is no such thing as perfect. Everything can be improved if not new. We are naturally Obsessive Compulsive. It is not a disorder. We are constantly reorganizing and replacing the old with the new. We have to keep busy doing something. My buddy said we keep reinventing the wheel. Well, maybe it is a disorder.

So far we have four problems with the garden:

1) Loneliness

2) Lack of a help meet or companionship

3) They were not content in that environment

4) And the devil was there

There also seems to be something within women and men that drive them to want to do more than what they are allowed or instructed to do. We have a problem inherently with authority and control. It was there from the beginning and even more so today.

So Adam and Eve rebelled against God.

We are made in Gods image, thusly we desire sovereign control over our lives, and we don't want any limitations placed upon us. If we have the power to overcome them we do. So when told by the serpent they could be like gods knowing both good and evil, something they did not possess, they took advantage of that opportunity.

It took the help meet, Eve, a woman, to make the initial bold step but Adam immediately followed suit. This was their way out. It is truly stated that Eve said she was beguiled, but if you read the account, she made three statements that reveal that she made a logical analysis (so much for being logical) about what the forbidden tree had to offer her.

With her statements she determined that a) the fruit of this tree was like God said of the others in the garden. b) It was pleasing to the eyes. c) It was good for food. d) She also learned that the fruit could make one wise.

It is interesting that in the Genesis account it does not state that Adam and Eve were created good, perfect, or incapable of sin. God does not direct any of His comments toward their character or nature.


God created light and said it was good.

God separated the dry land from the waters and said it was good.

God brought forth plant life and said it was good.

God made lights in the heavens and said it was good.

God created animals and said it was good.

Then God made man and woman in His own image, blessed them, but He did not say they were good. However, God did say of Himself all He had created that it was very good.

This means that what He did was good for there is none good but God according to Jesus. God created everything to His specifications, and all was in place to give God the good pleasure He desired, and His salvation plan for humankind was ready to unfold.
We were created for His good pleasure, and He wanted a people for Himself, a multitude that cannot be numbered.
But alas, and unfortunate for some, they won't make it into the kingdom. There are two types of people in this world, the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman.

Adam and Eve were capable of sin because there was only one sin they could commit and they did. Fortunately for all of us who do believe, God's redemption plan was already completed before He created all the above. Some were chosen in Him before the foundation of the earth to be conformed to the image of Christ, and Jesus was slain or died for our sins before the foundation of the Earth. That covered all that should be saved from the beginning.

I'm curious as to how they even found the forbidden tree. We are only told it was in the midst of the garden. Was it inevitable that one day they would come across it, so God forewarned them ? Or were they like innocent children. You tell them not to touch the stove because it is hot, but they don't understand what hot is and what it can do to you.

Some parents will place a child's hand on a warm oven door and explain what is hot so they can understand what is hot. The child can take precautions and not get burned. God chose not to do that with Adam and Eve. Perhaps even a little taste was fatal.

When they came across the forbidden tree they discovered the fifth, sixth, and seventh problems they had with living in the garden. a) They were not satisfied with the provisions God had allowed them to eat. b) They had a desire to eat the forbidden fruit. c) They also had a thirst for knowledge. They wanted to become wise.

So to recap, the six problems Adam and Eve had thus far with living in the garden of Eden were:

1) Loneliness

2) The need of a help meet or companionship

3) They were not content with the environment in which they were allowed to venture

4) The devil was there

5) They were not satisfied with God's provisions

6) And they desired wisdom

7) desired to eat the forbidden fruit.

It is interesting that people even today have the same concerns.

All in all they wanted free will. That led to rebellion against God. So God forced them out of the Garden of Eden. Then God placed Cherubim with a flaming sword round and about so they could not get back into the Garden of Eden no matter what direction they chose.

After they ate from the forbidden tree God set up challenges, roles, and authority that are different for men and women. Women have challenges of childbirth and raising children. Men have challenges with the environment to be a provider. He then sent them out to populate the earth. But God did not stay behind either. He has been with us all the time directing our paths such that His purposes will continue to be fulfilled.

Scripture doesn't mention Adam knowing Eve and conceiving a child until after God forced them out of the garden. While they were in the garden they were not ashamed of their nakedness. They did not even know what being naked meant as we do today. Therefore they did not have sexual desires. They were like children that have not reached puberty, under 12. God said who told you that you are naked, did you eat from the forbidden tree ?

They were innocent as children and not desirous of each other in that fashion. They were like children. Parents let sister and brother take a bath together and they are not concerned about their nakedness up to a certain age.

We know Eve did not conceive while in the garden and we don't know how long they lived there. God did not even talk to them about childbirth until they acquired knowledge. They did know to and they how to fill and replenish the earth. They had no desires to. That was for later. God put some clothes on them so they didn’t have to hide in the bushes any more.

Man, Women. We are 7 billion strong fulfilling Gods commandment to fill and replenish the earth. That is the one commandment most everyone keeps or tries to keep.

So the seventh and final problem with being in the garden was that they could not procreate there. That was something God planned for them to do after they left.

They had to go ! They had the whole earth to fill.

These few verses that describe the Adam, Eve and serpent account are so pregnant with information. I keep discovering more each time I read or think about them as I get older and experience life. These are some questions that popped into my head the other day and I am not going to attempt to answer them. But perhaps you will be able to fathom the implications.

1. How did the serpent know what God told Adam ?
The tree of the knowledge of good and evil was somewhere else in the midst of the garden.

2. If God had not told Adam about the tree they would not have been thinking about it for however long it took for them to discover it.

3. If the serpent did not have this information, what could he have used to tempt Eve, deceive her, lie to her, to eat of the tree with Adam following suit ?

4. If Adam and Eve did not have this information what would their response have been ? Would they have then gone to God to find out what was going on and then not eat of it ? After talking to God would they still have been tempted ?

5. Is just the knowledge that good and evil even exists too much of a burden for us to bear and we succumb to its invitation?

Boy, we really and truly do need a Savior, Jesus...

We were designed that way. God did not create other God's. There are no other God's before or after Him. He created some to be His children to be dependent on Him, to be used as He sees fit, for His glory to be known.

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say rejoice!


Tuesday, June 11, 2013


The twelve disciples found out that they had to hang out with Jesus for a long time before they could figure out what He was talking about, or before He revealed what He meant. Some thing's they did not understand until after His resurrection.

A disciple is just a follower. There were some that followed Jesus but left when He said what they called a hard saying. They either did not understand what He meant, or took it literally and found it to be disgusting. Jesus said that if you don't eat of my flesh and drink of my blood you have no part of me.

Jesus made it clear to the twelve Apostles some time later in the upper room. While sharing the Passover meal He offered them bread. He said this is my flesh, eat all of it. He then offered them wine and said this is my blood, drink all of it. He also said to continue to do this in remembrance of Me, because He knew He was going to die for our sins on the cross shortly. He left part of Himself behind that we could touch and feel until His return.

Even today we need to hang out with Jesus a long time before we can figure out what He was talking about, or before He reveals what He meant.



It is not just the blood, or the blood of sheep and goats would have sufficed. They were tainted with sin just like man. At the flood God said both animals and man was found to have sin within.

It is not that blood is not important, without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. But Jesus' blood did much, much more than animal blood could ever do !

While the blood was still flowing in His body He preached that this is the acceptable year of the LORD. He healed those sick with infirmities. He taught in the synagogues and on the streets. He rewarded those who listened to his Him with treats, loaves of bread and fishes. He tried to explain to the lost the mysteries they could not receive.

And after all was said and done, He laid down His life for us, those that would believe, and He is holding back the wrath of God until the end of the age. That He did for all of mankind. For the yet unborn that will believe coming from the seed of all mankind. He is a merciful and loving God.

Only a blood like that could be pleasing and appeasing to the Father. Only a blood like that can give a man or woman a clear conscience from sin. Not to be reminded again and again by annual sacrifices to God that He doesn't want anyway.

Jesus. Having once and for ever paid the price for our sins, let us move on to other things,
God willing...



The man whom Jesus cured of blindness, who was blind since birth, did not just receive his physical eyesight only. His spiritual eyes were opened so that he could see what the Pharisee's were up to. His spiritual ears were opened so that he could hear what they were up to. He clearly understood what they were trying to do and he wanted no part of it.

He was given the boldness to confront, challenge, and question, the religious authority that had control over the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (his name was changed by God to Israel). He risked his own future and security. He sounded too much like Jesus for his own good, so they excommunicated him.

He also received saving faith such that he fell down at Jesus' feet and worshipped Him as Lord and Savior. Knowing what he was delivered from. And even though he knew not where, trusting where he would be delivered to.

Just a touch from Jesus Christ will turn your whole life around, and you will end up at His feet having done His will and committed to Him.

When you get to heaven...

Ask Martha who poured a bottle of expensive oil lavishly on Jesus' head and feet.

Or ask John who laid his head on Jesus' breast because he loved Him so.

Or ask Peter who time after time became over zealous, in an attempt to please Him, and show his commitment without fear of being wrong.

And ask many others who rejoiced at His coming.

We are going to have a lot of things to talk about when we get there !


Tuesday, June 19, 2012


God is terrible: 5 Come and see the works of God: he is terrible in his doing toward the children of men. Psalms 66:5 (KJV)

We serve a terrible God: 5 3Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works! through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee. Psalms 66:3 (KJV)
These are terrible times: 6 And men shall speak of the might of thy terrible acts: and I will declare thy greatness. Psalms 145:5-6 (KJV)
The great and terrible of the Lord Come: 30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. 31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come. Joel 2:29-31 (KJV)
We do terrible things through Christ Jesus: 10 And he said, Behold, I make a covenant: before all thy people I will do marvels, such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation: and all the people among which thou art shall see the work of the Lord: for it is a terrible thing that I will do with thee. Ex 34:10 (KJV)
I began this meditation some time ago after just reading a few verses. And it came upon me today to do some further research on this matter. Every once and a while someone would ask me how I was doing, and being that they were Christian, and seemed able to bear the thought, I said terrible! I continued: God is terrible, we serve a terrible God, these are terrible times,
and we do terrible things. One guy answered me with, I serve an awesome God and the enemy can't defeat me! And I answered, what did I say? Obviously he got it. Sometimes I ask have if they ever did a word study. This is what a word study on the word terrible revealed .

I used Bible Explorer 4 an important computer tool for searching, and searched for all the Old Testament Scriptures that contain the word “terrible.” I also used its Strong's Concordance for the Hebrew definitions. Sometimes a Hebrew word is translated to other words in the King James.

English Words “Terrible” and the number of times it is translated in KJV:
fear 188
afraid 78
terrible 23
terrible thing 6
dreadful 5
reverence 3
fearful 2
terrible acts 1
miscellaneous translations 8
[Total Count: 314]

The Hebrew word is translated fear 188 times. The Hebrew Word is יָרֵא‎ the transliteration is yārēʾ and its phonetic pronunciation is yaw-ray.
-Strong's Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary
The definition according to the Strong's Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary part of Bible Explorer 4 is: a primitive root; to fear; moral to revere; causative to frighten :- affright, be (make) afraid, dread (-ful), (put in) fear (-ful, -fully, -ing), (be had in) reverence (-end), × see, terrible (act, -ness, thing).
As I scanned each verse I got something out of each one. And something began to build up in me. I made discovery after discovery. I got to a point where I wanted to define what terrible was. I was going to go to my Young’s concordance for the one or two words that book gives. Most of the time that
is inadequate for my purposes and I have to seek other sources. But something told me to hold on, to wait. Sometimes you just have to let the Bible define its own terms and it will often do so. Not with a definition like a dictionary would, but it will draw a picture in your mind, and your spirit is set a flame, and a crescendo goes off as the revelation hits you. The key to understanding the Bible after much study God reveals the knowledge therein. Parables are not meant to be understood by everyone.

At a moment like this you have to set the Bible down, turn off the music, and try and recover from the affect of the power of the almighty, as he just touched you with his word. And this might take a while. All I could say was Whoa! I wanted to write right away, but I couldn't. I couldn't even sing and shout. I couldn't even dance. After a while, I don't know how long I was able make some biscuits and sausage. Then I was able to play some high praise and worship that called him, as my Dad said, Holy about forty times. I replied to my Dad, she hits you with it! I played it one-and-a-half times, and I was finally ready to begin this Short.

I am going to write the excerpts I got from the Scriptures and understandings, and then write the verses that gave me the crescendo. I don't know, but perhaps it will have some if not the same affect on you. And the thing is I just read them in the order they are in the Bible. There is a term called progressive revelation, whereby God is revealed slowly over the ages through partial revelations of himself. Perhaps that is what just took place with me. I got that revelation! What it means to be a terrible God.

Exodus 34:10 - And he said, Behold, I make a covenant: before all thy people I will do marvels, such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation: and all the people among which thou art shall see the work of the LORD: for it is a terrible thing that I will do with thee.

Deuteronomy 7:21 - Thou shalt not be affrighted at them: for the LORD thy God is among you, a mighty God and terrible.

Deuteronomy 10:21 - He is thy praise, and he is thy God, that hath done for thee these great and terrible things, which thine eyes have seen.

2 Samuel 7:23 - And what one nation in the earth is like thy people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself from Egypt, and to make him a name, and to do for you great things and terrible ... If you did not get it, God was out to make a reputation for himself through his people. And he did great and terrible things to build it!

Nehemiah 1:5 - And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God.

Nehemiah 4:14 - ... Remember the Lord, which is great and terrible and fight for your brethren.

Nehemiah 9:32 - Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the terrible God.

Job 37:22 - ...With God is terrible majesty.

Now here is the crescendo I was talking about. This afternoon I talked to my study partner about this mornings experience and I read him these verses. He is well studied and has had similar experiences. He said he liked the one about the horse the best. So do I. Then I read it again and paraphrased it for
emphasis and clarity as a preacher would do. Let’s see if I can duplicate the effort.

Job 39:18-25 - What time she lifted up herself on high, she scorned the horse and his rider. She is the world, the horse and the rider are terrible. Hast thou given the horse strength? Hast thou clothed his neck with thunder? Like Samson at times he was terrible when the Spirit came upon him. The world does not have this power and can not comprehend it. Canst thou make him afraid as a grasshopper? Even thou Elijah did terrible things when he came against 500 Baal prophets. Afterward the LORD made him afraid like a grasshopper and he ran to the LORD. But Samson never feared. The LORD wanted him there the whole time. The glory of his nostrils is terrible.

The Horse:
The example of a Horse, Job 39: 21-25. He dug his hoofs deep into the earth as he galloped full force through the valley. He felt his power and strength and rejoiced in it as he plunged forward to meet the armed men. He mocked at fear, and was not affrighted for no fear was in him. Neither did he turn back from those who were yielding swords, those with quivers of arrows that came against him, and those with the glittering spear and the shield.

He swalloweth the ground with fierceness and rage: And when the enemy sounded the charge against him with the trumpet he didn't believe it. There was no power behind the sound. They were powerless against him. He said among the trumpets, Ha, ha, and he smelled the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains, and the shouting. O the sweet smell of victory!

The Hawk and the Eagle:
It continues with the example of a hawk and a eagle, Job 39:26-30. This one is a little more subtle. Yet it is still terrible. If I did not have the insight, I may have missed it.

Doth the hawk fly by wisdom, and stretch her wings toward the south? Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high? She dwelleth and abideth on the rock, upon the crag of the rock, and the strong place. From thence she seeketh the prey, and her eyes behold afar off. Her young ones also suck up blood: and where the slain are, there is she.

This may not seem like as much when you read it. But I happened to observe a bird of prey seeking her prey from afar off. This was shown on television. The narrator did not even mention what I saw. She was perched high upon a tree and the prey was below her on another. She took to flight, captured it, and flew away with the prey captured in her claws a meal for her and her young ones. Big deal huh?

Well, what I noticed was, and there was no commentary for, was that the prey did not just sit there. The prey saw the bird coming in its direction and it tried to dart out of the way and escape. And to my utter amazement, the bird caught the prey without even altering its flight path! The bird had accurately determined where they prey was going to be at the exact time of impact! Now that is a terrible thing. She will provide for her young. Where the slain are, there she is.

Well, these verse might not excite you. These verses might not move you. You might not realize who the Horse, the hawk, and the eagle represent. God! An awesome and terrible God, depicting in nature, at war with enemy of God and providing for the children of God.

In theological terms which means the study of God, when God's characteristics are portrayed as animals they are called anthropomorphism's.
God is not an animal but these are parables. A parable uses human words to describe many spiritual meanings. In these parables God is depicted through the use of animals or anthropomorphism's the destruction His enemy and providing for the children of God.

If you understand parables they can be very exciting and invoke humor because of the impotent, and totally lack of understanding of people who are not lead by the Spirit of God, but of the flesh, there own devices, or intelligence.

In philosophy classes they are still trying decide if the glass is half empty or have full instead of drinking the water. Another philosophical discussion is “I think therefore I am.” If they would take to a spiritual level, like a parable, they would understand the truth in this statement. Who did Moses stand before after removing his sandals, because he was standing on Holy ground, before a burning bush, who's fire can not be quenched? I Am or God! Ergo, we exist, and think because of I Am, therefore I Am. In short I think therefore I am. Proof text of the existence of God. How many in the field of academics in our colleges and universities understand this. They can't take all of Christianity out of America's school system. Its even in our common language.

The excitement comes through understanding God, theology. The humor comes from knowing man and woman in their folly. They walk by the flesh only. They do not follow the Spirit of God nor do they understand things of the Spirit.

We, on the other hand understand the flesh and the Spirit of God.