Garden of Eden
We are all familiar with the Genesis story about the Garden of Eden where Adam and Eve first dwelt. There are some spiritual teachings and insights concerning our relationship with God that can be drawn from this biblical place.
On the Sixth Day God created the first man and woman “in His own image” (Gen. 1:27). He then placed them in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 2:8).
The First Sabbath on Earth
“Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.” (Gen. 2:1-3)
Eve observed and enjoyed the first Seventh Day Sabbath
in the Garden of Eden. This place
Symbolism of God’s Church
third day of Creation God had already given the earth “grass, herb that yields
seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit” (Gen. 1:11-13). This could be a description of primeval
jungles and forests, but God gave something special for man. “The LORD God planted a garden eastward in
Perfect Environment for Living
In the Garden of Eden there was no rain, “but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.” (Gen. 2:4-6). The mist is a water vapor in the atmosphere that shields and protects the earth from the ultra-violet rays of the sun. The atmospheric condition of the earth at that time was high humidity but it was neither hot nor cold. That kind of environment makes it possible for people to live much longer than what they do today.
“And God said, ‘See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food; and it was so.” (Gen. 1:29-30)
In the Garden of Eden before Adam and Eve committed sin there was no death, even amongst the animals and the birds. They need not kill one another for food and survival because their diet was vegetarian. One of the reasons why our early ancestors lived for hundreds of years is because of their vegetarian diet.
“Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and keep it.” (Gen. 2:15)
Adam was a gardener and a farmer who was given the pleasant task of taking care of the Garden of Eden. This work not only provided food and a beautiful garden but also gave him plenty of exercise to keep his body healthy.
First Commandment of God
“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat for in the day that you eat of it you shall sure die.” (Gen. 2:16-17)
This is the first commandment that God gave to man and it concerns what not to eat. For the Garden of Eden to be like heaven on earth the first man and woman must be absolutely obedient to every word of God. Sin is the result of disobedience to God’s Commandments (1 Jn. 3:4). The observance of God’s Commandments is essential to eternal life (Mt. -19). “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates of the city.” (Rev. 22:14). After Adam and Eve had committed the original sin they were driven out of the Garden of Eden. “So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the Garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.” (Gen. 4:24)
The word “
Spiritual Cultivation precedes Spiritual Enjoyment
“The LORD God planted a garden eastward in
God places us in His Church
“And there He put the man who He had formed.” Adam did not search or look around, and then suddenly discovered the Garden of Eden by himself. God placed him there. Unless God places us in His church we cannot be in it. Our Lord Jesus Christ said,
“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.” (Jn. 15:16)
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” (Gal. 5:22)
The “Tree of Life” represents the Cross
“And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” (Gen. 2:9)
Trees are important for man’s existence on this earth. The fruits provide food, the leaves provide fresh air (by photo-synthesis) and the wood is used for home-building and other useful things. There are two trees in the Garden of Eden that are set apart for God’s purpose. The “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” was used by God as an instrument to test the obedience of Adam and Eve (Gen. 2:9,17). The “Tree of Life” enables a person who eats of its fruit to live forever (Gen. 3:22).
the significance and symbolism of the “Tree of Life”? The Lord Jesus Christ gives us this promise, He who has an ear, let
him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the Tree of Life, which is
in the midst of the
The ““Tree of Life” represents the Cross on which the Lord Jesus Christ died to save mankind. The Early Christian writers often refer the Cross as a tree.
“The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree.” (Acts )
“And we are witnesses of
all things which He did both in the land of the Jews and in
“Now when they had fulfilled all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb.” (Acts )
The Holy Bible states that Jesus “Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness – by whose stripes you were healed.” (1 Pet. 2:24). “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”. (Gal. 3:13)
Jesus Christ has destroyed Satan at the Cross
After Adam and Eve had sinned against God and received the death penalty God promised them the Savior would come from the seed of the woman. God spoke to the cursed serpent, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” (Gen. 3:15) Here is a prophecy and a promise. The “seed of the woman” Jesus Christ would vanquish the devil on the Cross.
The crucifixion required the nailing of the
hands and the feet to the cross. In 1968
building contractors working in a suburb north of
The serpent’s head when it is bruised is irreversibly fatal. If a man steps on a snake’s head, it will be irreversibly crushed—thus the imagery points to the serpent’s wound as being fatal. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself said that He had come to destroy the works of the devil (Jn. ; , cf. Heb. ; 1 Jn. 3:8). When Jesus died on the cross, He provided and made available salvation for all mankind (Jn. ). He broke the power Satan had exercised over all humanity, and now provides victory over sin and the devil. Because of Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection, He inflicted a fatal blow to the devil’s domination over man (Acts 10:38; 26:15-18; Eph. 4:8; Col. 2:15; Js. 4:7). In the future, at Jesus’ Second Coming, He will permanently defeat the devil by removing him from the earth and casting him into hell forever (Rom. ; Rev. 20:10).
Atonement for sin in the Garden
What is so amazing
about God’s revelation is that He had this plan of salvation right from the very
beginning in the Garden of Eden. After
Adam and Eve had committed sin “then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew
that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves
coverings.” (Gen. 3:7) As fig leaves cannot fully cover
their shame and neither are the garments permanent "the LORD (YAHWEH) God made
garments of skin, and clothed them." (Gen. 3:21) The garments of skin came from a slain animal through the
shedding of its blood. This is to let them know what it meant to die
because of sin. Just as the first sacrifice was offered by the hand of
the Almighty God to make atonement for the sins of Adam and Eve in the Garden
of Eden, so is “the
The River of God gives Life and Joy to the Whole World
“Now a river went out of
With the exception of
the fourth river “
“Now a river went out of
“There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, The Holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.” (Psm. 46:4-5)
The river from
The Lord Jesus Christ
said, “If anyone thirsts, let
him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me,
as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living
water.’ But this He spoke concerning the
Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not
yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” (Jn.
7:37-39) Eden is the Paradise of
God or Third Heaven, and it is the source of a river
that watered the Garden which is the
“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:1-4)
The Garden of Eden is the type of heaven on earth. In our Lord’s Prayer we say: “Our Father in Heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Mt. 6:9-10) When all the children of God do God’s will in the Church we shall fulfill this prayer and it will be like living in the Garden of Eden.
May God bless you
A sermon based on this article was preached by Paul Wong
For comments please write first to: [email protected]
Paul Wong is a Christian minister and the
President of ARK International.