The Greatest Gift
Why did all this happen in the first place? Why aren't we still living in the garden of Eden? Why did God put that awful tree in the garden and tempt man with it?
Let's go back to the beginning. What happened to mess up paradise?
The Book of Genesis tells us that God created the earth and the universe for a place to make mankind, and He carefully made man and woman in His own image. There's a lot more to this story, Beloved readers. You all know that it took 6 "days" to make everything there is, and on the 7th day, God rested.
Genesis says that God was there from the beginning, He has no beginning or end, and His existence can't be understood by man at this time, we must just accept that He is a one of a kind being that encompasses all that is.
Let me paraphrase the situation for you in modern day language. God, the Almighty, the great I AM, ("I am all that is..., I am all powerful, all knowing, all present"), was lonely. He, at some point before earth history, created a great multitude of various kinds of angels. Some are described as being large, golden or metallic, having wheels or 4 faces, clothed in fire, some with six wings, some who fly, some who constantly stand before God's throne praising Him. None, however, are said to have been created just like God. That glory belongs to man alone.
We are created in His image, both physically and creatively. We are able to do things that angels are not able to do, yet we live behind a veil of understanding. We have a soul, we possess the actual breath of God (given to Adam when mankind was first made), and we can share fellowship with Him as His actual children and even as a type of "bride". Scripture refers to the church as Christ's bride, His beloved, and His sheep.
We can also use the creative power of speech through faith, that God used to create this universe. (I will give you several scriptures to show this later.)
There was one angel who was exceedingly wise, powerful and beautiful. He was called the angel of light, and His name was Lucifer. The Bible says that He became full of pride and jealous of God's position. He believed he could overthrow God and take His place. We're told that approximately one third of the angels in Heaven sided with Lucifer and were thrown out of Heaven.
We now call him Satan, or the adversary. He is our only true enemy, and all of harm, sin, shame, fear and oppression comes from him.
When God created this earth and mankind, Satan's jealousy caused him to seek the destruction of all of God's work. He wanted to hurt God, and one way to do that very effectively, was to harm what God dearly loved. Us.
Picture the Garden of Eden, all of God's plans good and successful. The people He made loved Him and together they walked in the garden in the cool of the day, talking about all God had made for man. We can only imagine the things Adam and God planned; the lovely homes, the many children who would be born. There wasn't a mosquito that would bite, or a thorn that would pierce.
All that was there was good. All authority and dominion over the land and the animals created was given to mankind. All was available for mankind's use, except one tree. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and of this tree man and woman were forbidden to eat. God told them that in that day they ate of it, they would die.
for a moment and just think what that garden would have been like. Given
what we know about God's desire to provide for us over and above anything we
require, there must have been plants of every kind of garden vegetable, fruit,
seed and nut; more than Adam and his wife could ever eat! Can you imagine
yellow squash hanging from bushes that you didn't have to plant, no rows to dig,
no weeds to pull? Tomatoes to eat off the vine with no contamination of
pesticides, no leaf rot or worm holes?
So why did God put the tree there to enable Satan to deceive the people and make them go against God's word? It seems presumptuous to say we can know all of God's thoughts or reasons, but one reason is fairly clear.
God had just had a terrible disappointment in Heaven. The angels who served Him had turned on Him, and evil was born. God was looking for a people that would be His children, His beloved. The Bible says that God has written our names on the palms of His hands so that He will never forget us. It also says that He pities us in our problems as a father pities his children.
This is a very loving, trusting God without a trace of darkness or evil in Him. God does not tempt man, the Bible tells us this. But God does provide ways of escape for our mistakes and gives us a choice. He hopes that we will always choose the higher, better circumstance, but just like earth parents, knows that we may in our juvenile state, (even as "adults" we're still spiritually juvenile), make mistakes. The resolution of a problem, or the conquering of a situation, makes one stronger and gives the "child" a deeper understanding and love of the rescuer.
He gave us a choice to follow Satan's ways of pride (Satan told the people that to eat of that fruit would make them as Gods themselves), or to remain innocent and in perfect fellowship with Him. Even though we chose unwisely, and deserve death, God had in place a back up plan to redeem us and give us another chance.
When man followed Satan, he gave over control of this earth to him. Sin and death, disease and hardship were born. These were not in the original plan, there were no such things before. But in the beginning, before He made man, he put in motion a basic law to operate on this earth. As He created plants and all living things, He declared that everything would bear fruit after it's own kind. Whatsoever was sown, would be reaped. The harvest of disobedience is death. Death literally translated means separation from God. It's not hard to understand why Adam and Eve's transgression would instantly cause separation from God - after all, the Bible says when God came to visit that day, they hid from Him because of their shame and their nakedness.
As Satan laughed and gloated over the fall of mankind, Adam and Eve suffered tremendously in their failure. God's heart was not broken, because He is great enough to have foreseen and prepared for that choice to have been made, though He certainly wasn't happy. There were consequences to their behavior that had to be dealt with. They could no longer live in child-like innocence in such a paradise, because their hearts were stained and God knew more violence and problems were coming. They had to learn now to make it in a world that was operated by Satan.
God told Adam and Eve that He was going to redeem them spiritually, with a messiah, (Jesus), but that before He would come, their physical bodies would soon wear out and they would die. He instructed them to make sacrifices of animals to help them understand the seriousness of their actions, that blood and death were required of disobedience. Adam and Eve understood this and were very careful from then on to obey what God told them. He still spoke to them and helped them daily, but it was no longer the casual, easy conversation between two friends.
Why did Jesus wait so long to come to save us?
I don't think that mankind was mentally or spiritually able at the time of Adam and Eve, to appreciate what kind of sacrifice Jesus would give us. At that time, men were primitive, knowing no great calamities or pain. They would not have understood the language of forgiveness and sacrifice, without several hundred years of making mistakes and basking in their self pride.
After many difficult years of attempting to keep the great Jewish laws that kept them separated from other nations on earth, the Jews can certainly appreciate the freedom of having the sin debt paid and all forgiven. After your own many mistakes and personal sorrows, learning that you can call out to God and He hears and brings relief, - allows you to be grateful for Jesus.
This gift and this relationship between us and our God is too great and important to have been disposed of quickly. Also, the debt was too large to be understood.
Satan today is still trying to ruin what God is working for. Thankfully, when Jesus died on the cross, He took back the authority and dominion over this plane of existence and He handed it back to His followers. Only those of us, who understand this and who will seek Him and the tools of power can be free from the yoke of bondage to Satan. The world wallows in misery, but you and I because of WHO we know, can be free and lead the way to freedom for the others.
The power comes from the anointing, and the anointing comes from faith, and faith comes by the Word and the Word of God must be HEARD. Spoken out loud, taught by mankind to mankind. Angels cannot preach it, demons cannot speak it. The written word provides us with the spoken word. Learn to use it and to speak the name of Jesus as a special password, or credit card to give you access into the domain of power. It is only through Jesus and the work He did on the cross, that we have any right to speak to God at all, or to ask for anything. We by ourselves don't deserve it. We should be dead. But God is a great and wonderful God who has provided for our forgiveness and redemption. He has sent Jesus to be our reconciliation, and whosoever Jesus confesses before the Father, has a new birthright to stand before the throne of the Most High God.
Children, if you only knew your true natures, and what you are made of, nothing on earth or in hell could stop you!
At this late hour in history, God has been opening the seals to some very special information and understanding. Our eyes are able to see and our ears to hear what was spoken long ago but not revealed until this generation. At the same time, Satan has stepped up his activity and power unleashed on the earth, and we find ourselves in the middle of a giant battle.
There is nothing to fear, though, beloved, because the Bible has already told us what the outcome of this battle will be. Jesus carefully outlined the things to come, and our part in it. We have much work to do to become ready so that we won't suffer any harm, but all the tools of His power and Love are at our command. Please join with me in practicing and perfecting the life and presence of Christ, so we may be victorious and stand unashamed at His coming.
Back to Bible Lessons Back to Home Page