The END of PARADISE - Lost for ALL of US
Paradise at the Creation of the World
WHY DO WE NEED SALVATION? -- Paradise was Lost to Us ALL!
Heaven is the place of immortality and eternal life living with God. To reach the side of God, we need to have salvation. We originally had this relationship with God (He being our creator and Father in Heaven) and He wishes for us to have this relationship with Him again. God merely wishes to live with His family and like any father, be reunited with those family members who have turned away from him. It is no different than what we mortal parents share when our own children are unruly and follow the wrong path. We still love them and want to care for them but their corrupt way of living brings us pain and sorrow. This freely chosen life style that is contrary to our own, has taken them away from us.
It is the same situation with our Father God in Heaven. He actually created an entire Universe for us to live in so that He could enjoy our company and experience things in this material world together with us. This is perhaps one of God's greatest gifts to us. It is in this spiritual connection, that we are directly linked with God and intimately share with Him everything that we experience through our senses.
In the Beginning there was NO SIN...
Now originally, we were created in God's own image (as perfect "triune" beings with a Soul, Body, and Spirit -OR- our mind, material body, and lifeforce).
Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
(Genesis 1:26-27 KJV)
We were originally designed to be at the height of God's wordly creation, His favorites, and we were given dominion over the entire world.
Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.
(Genesis 2:19 NIV)
The GARDEN EAST of EDEN
We were originally created without a care or worry...
All we were required to do in the beginning was to live together in peace, harmony and love, while enjoying God's gifts of grace and His company.
And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
(Genesis 2:25 KJV)
All of our needs were completely provided for and we were able to eat from the Tree of Life (granting us immortality), but were told not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge (things that we "should not know of" or were "not ready" to know about yet).
And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground —trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
(Genesis 2:8 NIV)
Just like with our own young children, they yearn to explore and always thirst for learning new things. We have to guide them along but not give them too much at once or they would become overwhelmed. You wouldn't want to outfit your toddler with diving gear and then throw them in under the water without proper instruction, just so they could immediately experience the magnificent beauty of nature under the sea. This would be extremely fearsome and life threatening to them. What could have been a pleasant and rewarding experience has turned into a tragedy.
We as parents have to quench their thirst with love and proper guidance in order from them to mature properly and learn the correct way to live. It is no different with God our Father. I am sure that our Lord God never intended to withhold the information from the "Tree of Knowledge" from us forever. We simply needed to be given a slower approach and learn the wonders of God more gradually over time. Unfortunately though, it has become our nature to be more impatient and restless than not.
The descriptions of the activities going on in the garden from the early chapters of Genesis also imply that God was physically present in the Garden of Paradise and also with Adam and Eve.
And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
(Genesis 1:2 NKJ)
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day,...
...the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?" He (Adam) answered, "I heard you in the garden..."
(Genesis 3:8,10 NIV)
It is likely that the Lord God was in the form of "The Angel of the Lord" (Christ in His glorified spiritual body) as well as in the pressence of the Holy Spirit. Keep in mind that God being omnipotent and omnipresent, He is a multi-faceted triune being (the "trinity") with separate entities (Soul, Body, and Spirit -OR- God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit) that are each distinct and different aspects or personae, and yet, which are also collectively all together one and the same, capable of being anywhere and everywhere at the same time (that is mind boggling just to think about).
In the Genesis (1:26-27) statement above it should be considered that God: referred to as the ("us" and "our") in the verse, is merely speaking (in the majestic sense) to himself across the multi-verse, talking with the manifestations of himself that were actually present in the Garden of Eden at the time ("Angel of the Lord" and/or the Holy Spirit). The main point to emphasize here is that there ARE NOT multiple gods nor are there any other greater beings even like Him in comparison. God is likewise not speaking to the host of Angels (glorified or otherwise), nor the Cherubim or the Seraphim, for even though these are all "greater beings" of a celestial nature, they are not even at a level that is close to the living being of God. Man is the ONLY part of creation that is above all the other celestial beings and is therefore on a level or plane of existence similar to God. This was God's direct choosing when He created mankind for His own intended purpose.
The GARDEN of PARADISE
We May Eat of the Fruit of the Trees of the Garden (BUT. . .)
"Original sin" is what occurred when the first humans exercised free will and openly defied God (the first human sin) by listening to the serpent's (the "dragon" or Satan) temptation to take from the Tree of Knowledge. This "original sin" is also taken from the account of Satan's fall from grace whereas he began to view him"self" as more magnificent than all the other celestial beings (Seraphim, Cherubim, Archangels and Angels, etc.) and he began to covet the authority of God. This was the "original sin" of the celestial realm and for these acts (by both the celestial and material beings) the sins of the "self" nature are viewed as being the more severe forms of carnal corruption.
First the woman was tempted ("self"ishly desiring the forbidden knowledge) and then after she had partaken, Adam followed suit ("self"ishly desiring what he did not have). Eve is often depicted as the "temptress" of Adam here but in reality, he did well enough to choose poorly on his own behalf.
And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
(Genesis 3:2-7 KJV)
Can you imagine the shock that overcame Adam and Eve when all that knowledge hit them at once? It would have been overwhelming. It is what we refer to as "culture shock", like when a more primitive being is taken from their safe and comfortable environment and placed out in the modern world alone and by themselves. These victims quickly succumb to extreme depression and other mental illness, while frequently many of them end up committing suicide if they are not returned back to their original environment.
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?" He (Adam) answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid."
(Genesis 3:8-10 NIV)
We had been embarrassed to the utmost extent by defying the will of God and had been caught in this action before Him. Before this temptation, we had been completely ignorant about what we are, what had existed beyond the Garden, and the ways of the universe itself. Now, after having partaken of knowledge and receiving disclosure we were completely aware of everything, including the fact that we had made a very grievous error in choices and now would suffer the consequences.
To the woman he said, "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you." To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,' "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return."
(Genesis 3:16-19 NIV)
We had dishonored our creator and lost our privilege with God. Our punishment would be having to fend for ourselves and take care of our own needs from that point forward. We would not live under the care of God anymore nor would He allow us to live in the former paradise. We would be forced to manually labor for our survival beyond the Garden of Eden in a less hospitable place.
ANGELS from PARADISE
Now it is understood that all the host of celestial creatures (Angels) had been created and existed prior to paradise being established in the Garden of Eden.
"IN THE BEGINNING, God created the heavens..." (Genesis 1:1)
The Heavens were made first (and ALL things in the Heavens), which means the entire universe and the cosmos as well as all of the celestial creatures that dwell therein, were made at the BEGINNING of the beginning (the first day of Creation).
On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone - while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? (Job 38:6-7 NIV)
We are also reminded that the Devil (Satan) was a glorious Angel at one time, before he had lost grace and was cast from Heaven, then to later temp mankind after the Earthly creation.
‘Thus says the Lord GOD: "You were the seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering: The sardius, topaz, and diamond, Beryl, onyx, and jasper, Sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes Was prepared for you on the day you were created. You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you." (Ezekiel 28:12-18 NKJV)
The ORDER of the HEAVENLY PARADISE
The hierarchy of Angels (and their study thereof - Angelology) can be found in the text of many different religious traditions including: the Christian Bible, in the Jewish books of the Torah (the five books of Moses), Angelic hierarchy in the Kabbalah (mystical aspect of Rabbinic Judaism), Islamic Angelic hierarchy, and in the Zoroastrian teachings (philosophy based on the teachings of the prophet Zoroaster of ancient Persia) on angelic hierarchy, where the Yazata were: "beings worthy of worship" or "a holy being" (*It must be noted here that Angels SHOULD NOT be worshipped however as this is the sin idolatry; If a celestial being were to encourage direct worship, then they are a "fallen" Angel and therefore demonic in origin).
And take heed, lest you lift your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun, the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven, you feel driven to worship them and serve them, which the LORD your God has given to all the peoples under the whole heaven as a heritage.
(Deuteronomy 4:19 NKJ)
For more information about the HIERARCHY of ANGELS (SEE Our HubPage): http://hubpages.com/hub/CELESTIAL-ORDER-of-the-HEAVENS-1-Divine-Order-of-Angels
The GATES of the EARTHLY PARADISE are SEALED
You see, everyone since that time has been born into what we know as "original sin" when mankind was permanently expelled from "the Garden East of Eden". The result was having lost that paradise (the eternal place where we lived and walked side by side with God) and eternal life forever (or at least it would seem). Living in paradise was the first arrangement that we had with God our Creator. All we had to do was merely live and enjoy what he had provided for us. It was that simple but we changed it all through our disobedience. Fortunately, our Lord would later provide a plan for our salvation and redemption in the future. But for this point in time, mankind would need to do penance for his actions. Well... on to "Plan B" as it might be said.
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:" Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
(Genesis 3:22-23 KJV)
The Gates to the Garden of Eden are Closed Forever
So he (God) 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.
(Genesis 3:24 KJV)
This is one of the first times that the celestial beings of divine order are mentioned by name in the Bible. A CHERUB is a powerful divine being of God's created celestial plane (Heaven). The plural can be written either as Cherubim(s) or Cherubs . They are beings that hold position in the upper echelon of the hierarchy of Heaven, somewhere between the Archangels and the Seraphim (the personal attendants of God).
In modern English the word "Cherub" is used for what are actually the "putti" (Italian: "small boy" or "child"), the cute little baby or toddler Angels, or "cupids" , found commonly in classical art. They are usually shown having the figure of a human baby or toddler, almost always male, often naked and having wings, found especially in Italian Renaissance and Baroque art but have also carried over into modern times as pop culture art (i.e.: "cupids" on St. Valentine's Day). But this is NOT the case however, as true Cherubim are very formidable heavenly creatures and not to be reckoned with. In fact, according to some schools of thinking, it is believed that Satan may have also been a being from one of these top rankings in the divine celestial order.
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
(Ephesians 6:12 NIV)
Other ANGELIC BEINGS in the World
Now although Angelology is an interesting and fascinating field of study in itself, we do not want to distract you from our main topic about mankind and his need for salvation. However, it is important to understand a little more about the "invisible" spiritual world that exists in parallel to our own material universe (or even occupying the same space but in another dimension). It is how the beings that dwell in this supernatural realm are able to interact directly with and influence our own universe and world, that becomes much more important to grasp.
Celestial beings (Angels) are able to move freely between both the "invisible" and visible worlds and have been known to do so frequently in dealing directly with human beings. It is the job of many Angels in fact to be kept busy doing things in our world because they are "ministering spirits", whoose duties are performing the Lord's work on an ongoing basis.
"Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?"
(Hebrews 1:14 NIV)
This is the case and is a regular affair even in today's modern society. Angels do not "freelance" however and are understood as always to be performing God's work. We are heavily warned however as Christians to be very cautious when dealing with anything in the supernatural realm and in dealing with potential "Angelic Spirits". The ones that freelance are more than likely operating on an entirely different agenda (Satan) and there are probably just as many "fallen angels" and demonic spirits out there representing themselves to be otherwise. The best and safest approach is to NOT have any dealings with the spirit realm. Don't bother them and just leave them to their own business and go on about your way.
These Beings have been Assigned by God...
The host of celestial creatures are assigned to supervise and tend to the workings of both universes (both for good and evil). It has been described by some theologians as an ongoing struggle and conflict or "battle" between the forces of light and dark, especially where OUR current world is concerned. It is likewise said that sudden changes in natural things like the weather for example, can be a result of this "turmoil" that is created by the ongoings of the "invisible" world. It is the interaction of these beings that can also have an influence on our own individual lives and then compounded many times over, to the extent that it affects and has significant bearing on our world affairs.
This is why prayer (communication with God--NOT with the Angels!) is such a vital tool in our arsenal against the wiles of the Devil, and along with putting on the "full armor of God" (Ephesians 6:10-18) we have to defend ourselves from the negative forces and evil influences of the spiritual world. And I emphasized regarding prayer, "not with the Angels" because we are warned against this action, for it is considered idolatry to do so (or worship of "fales gods") by placing them ahead of God otherwise.
These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.
(Colossians 2:17-19 NIV)
It was these same supernatural forces of a malevolent nature (the "serpent" or "dragon" - Satan) that were directly responsible for the temptation of mankind and which resulted in our losing paradise to begin with.
On the topic of "Paradise Lost"... it was the result of the downfall described in Genesis, that we (humankind) were forced to leave paradise (the Garden east of Eden) and enter the lands beyond.
"...cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."
(Genesis 3:17-19 KJV)
The terrain outside of the Garden had been cursed by the action of Man's fall from grace becoming harsh and dry, the animals there began to fend for themselves and feed apon one another (becoming carnivores).
"The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: (how animals originally were in the Garden of Eden) and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.”
Man had to really Work for the first time ever...
Here we had to live in the harsh new world outside of perfection and endure all the labors of the land. To work the soil for a modest yield, to chase and hunt for survival and to feed ourselves, for now we had truly suffered the mortality of the flesh.
When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.
(Genesis 4:12 KJV)
At this point, we were also no longer the "immortal" beings of God's original creation and from that time forward, people began to age as they lived in the material world and succumb to all manner of the natural elements.
And the LORD said, "My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be a hundred and twenty years."
(Genesis 6:3 KJV)
It is interesting to note the lifespans of many of the Old Testament figures who lived upwards of 500 to almost 1000 years. Methuselah, who was the son of Enoch and the grandfather of Noah, died at the age of 969, seven days before the beginning of the "Great Flood". Noah died 350 years after the Flood, at the age of 950, and he was the last of the immensely long-lived antediluvian (before the "Great Flood") Patriarchs. The maximum human lifespan, as depicted by the Bible, diminishes rapidly each generation thereafter, from as much as 500 years at old age to the 120 years that Moses lived and then died (by the way--matching the Word of God exactly).
This is perhaps because each new generation of people that have lived beyond the times of when paradise had been "lost", were gradually (and genetically) losing their former "immortality" from when we were perfect beings living alongside of God. The beautiful world of the original creation had been taken away from us and our salvation had been lost.
So the question once again arises, "Why do we NEED salvation?" Because we ALL have a unique opportunity in being able to return to paradise and regain what has been lost to humankind since the beginning of our history. We can live hand in hand with our Lord God in a perfect world of His making in the very near future. Is that a good enough reason? It is for me...
More on the same topic: Why Do We Need Salvation?
- WHY DO WE NEED SALVATION? -- It's a Second Chance at Paradise for YOU
Continuing with the same line of thought... from the breaking of the Covenant with Abraham and into the "New" Covenant with God through Jesus Christ.
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