Theme: Judgement (Part 4)
(Key verses: 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 7:18-19 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 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 God use for His good purposes (Gen 1:2; Pro 16:4: Gen 50:20). Nothing came into being except through God!
Isa 45:5-7 I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God [CREATOR] beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
Gen 1:31 And God saw every thing [including the darkness and evil] that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
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).
Jas 1:14-15 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin [offence / transgressions]: and sin [our ofences / trangressions], when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
Adam and Eve could see for the first time that everything in and around them (all natural and physical things) is in a death state! This is what this verse in James also wants to convey. It is only when we transgress when we heed to our inherent lusts. then we can see our true corrupt nature, as from the hand of the Potter:
Jer 18:4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.
Only after their transgression could Adam and Eve 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 And the eyes of them both were opened [This verb in the Hebrew is in the “imperfect mood” which means that an action, process or condition is still incomplete / ungoing], and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
Not only did they see their own naked and corrupt condition as from the hand of the Creator, but they were also informed by God of the natural state and processes of death in and around them (everything in this creation is “subject to vanity” from their creation):
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,
The punishments on the serpent, and on Adam and Eve, help us in our own foundational knowledge and understanding of the spiritual judgements of God. Judgement 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 (Rev 1:1-3).
Isa 26:9 With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.
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 tempted, troubled and persecuted (Rom 1:20; Matt 13:11; 1Pet 1:12; Gal 4:29; Num 14:9):
2Co 4:8-11 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; 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. 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 119:66-68 Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments. 67 Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word. 68 Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes.
God’s judgement 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 (Ps 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 (1Cor 15:22-28; Eph 1:10; Num 29:35-36; John 7:37-38):
Gen 3:22-24 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: 23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till [Hebrew: “âbad”] 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.
“The man” in these verses refers to both male and female as being the “âdâm”:
Gen 5:1-2 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; 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” (John 8:34; Rom 6:17, 20; Gal 4:3; Gal 5:1; Heb 2:15):
Rom 8:20-21 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.
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 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 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 doctrine and commandments of God. Naturally we are all “the children of wrath”:
Eph 2:2-3 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: 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.
We know that God Himself is not evil, but He created the evil and uses the evil to accomplish His purposes (Isa 45:7; 1Sam 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 or satanic creation or invention – no 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 50:18-21 And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants. 19 And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? 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. 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 (he made a Way) as to how all in the generation of that Adam will be brought back to Him and be able to be in His spiritual kingdom (1Cor 15:45-50). This way is THROUGH the flaming sword (His fiery Word). This sword brings God’s judgement to teach us His ways!
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.
Like 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 53:1-3 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? 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. 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 “fall backwards” and is ensnared in natural things, even by the natural application of God’s Word.
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.
Yes we even use God’s Word to satisfy our physical lusts and pride – we twist the spiritual words of God to justify our desires for physical things. We do indeed return to dust (our old vomit):
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 spiritual things (the tree of life). The Word of God is not something we naturally want to read and meditate on to see the spiritual applications – that is too much effort and the rewards just take too long to come according to our natural impatient nature. The helmet of salvation (the renewing of our minds) is not important to the natural mind in us because we love our own opinions so much:
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 of God destroys our evil and wicked heart (the old carnal mind) 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 (John 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 (Matt 22:14). Those few chosen by God are symbolized in Scripture as “cherubims”…
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.
Important to note that God placed them “at the east of the garden” to keep the way of the tree of life.
What does this mean? In the sum of God’s Word we find the truth of who this is and what they are actually doing (Ps 119:160; Isa 28:9-10)
The sun (naturally and spiritually) rises in the east, and so does the SON of righteousness!
Mal 4:2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
It is for those who fear God’s name, which is His Word, that this Son comes to reveal Himself to them. It is from the east that the glory of God enters the spiritual temple or city of God:
Eze 43:1-2 Afterward he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east: 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.
His voice is His Words! The voice of the True Shepherd is known by those who fear His name. They KNOW His Word!
Joh 10:1-5 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. 4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. 5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.
As we hear His voice and follow Him, we grow and we change from glory to glory!
2Co 3:17-18 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
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 (Ex 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 (Ex 37:7-9). This gives us so much insight into the spiritual development and tasks of these cherubims (1Ki 7:27-33; Ex 25:22-25; Ex 26:1; Ex 26:31-33; 1Ki 6:32; 2Chr 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 those 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 (John 16:12-13; Rev 1:2-3; Col 1:27):
Rev 1:2-3 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. 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 (“the time is at hand”) in this flesh as they die daily – their days in flesh are “shortened” (Isa 33:14-15; 1Cor 15:31):
1Pe 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
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” (2Cor 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 physical garden. We must leave our physical garden – our flesh and its carnal thinking patterns. 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” (Ezek 47:1-5). The cherubims are all symbols of Jesus Christ and His Christ bringing spirit life to all (Matt 10:38-40; 1Cor 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.