Posts Tagged ‘Garden of Eden’

Clothed in Glory

It’s interesting to me that all of the creatures God made had coverings… except man. Animals had fur, birds had feathers and fish had scales or shells. But man did not have any outer covering, as he didn’t need it before the fall. Why? Because God clothed man in His Glory.

“You made him (man) a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him (or clothed him) with glory and honor.” (Ps 8:5)

God’s Original Intent:

The atmosphere of the Garden of Eden was permeated with the same splendor as heaven. There was no sin in the beginning and man walked with God everyday in a peace filled relationship in the “cool of the day”. This means they walked together in a spiritual dimension where they shared a oneness that was maintained by God’s Glory (a covering) and God’s Honor (atmosphere).

The Garden of Eden was Heaven on Earth:

The original Hebrew word for “crowned” means “to encircle”, “to surround’. In other words, Adam and his wife were surrounded by God’s Glory and Honor. They had been clothed with the Glory of God and didn’t need natural clothing and they were living in an atmosphere of perfect relationship and did not need natural knowledge. God was giving man a wonderful environment to rule, where God would truly be their provision and protection if this stewardship could be maintained.

Losing the Glory:

However, once they had been deceived by the serpent and sinned, they were no longer able to focus on spiritual reality as the Glory that once clothed them, seemed to lift. They found themselves naked. Notice that they immediately respond to their new condition by becoming afraid. They made coverings for themselves and hid from God. This is an interesting response since Adam and his wife felt no shame of being naked before they sinned (Gen 2:25).

“Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.” (Gen 3:7)

Why would they even consider making coverings for themselves? Weren’t they the only human beings in the Garden of Eden? Weren’t they surrounded by only animals, birds and fish?

Hearing God’s Voice:

The reason is given when Adam is answering God’s call “He answered, I heard You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid” (Gen 3:10). Adam and Eve were afraid, because they were naked before God. I understand being ashamed, but why would they be afraid? They were afraid, because they were naked and had lost their original God given Glory. Now they found themselves controlled by a deception, a satanic lie that they needed natural covering and natural knowledge to sustain their lives. This came as a fulfillment to what God said to them earlier, “…you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die” (Gen 2:17). The moment they were no longer in God’s Glory, they died spiritually and inner peace was replaced with fear.

Spiritual Death:

We are able to see a powerful expression of God’s Fathering love in the moments following the broken relationship. God, seemingly unaware of man’s location, calls out to man and asks him of his connection to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God says, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree I commanded you that you should not eat?” (Gen 3:11)

Spiritual Life:

Then God makes the first sacrifice, in order to clothe them properly.  ”The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them” (Gen 3:21). God would spill the blood of a lamb; one of His created beings, to provide a garment suitable to cover human shame. This would serve as humanity’s first revelation that spiritual life is in the Blood.

The Apostle Paul said it this way, “for all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God” (Rom 3:23)

Our spiritual death has its connection to sin by the loss of our covering (God’s Glory) and our relationship (God’s Honor) based on His Presence (Holy Spirit atmosphere). Yet the Apostle Paul goes on to tell us of the reality of God’s grace… God’s favorable actions toward us who trust in Christ Jesus. He  tells us that God has restored access to His Glory and Honor in the free gift of salvation. Access to all that was lost could be restored through the Blood of Jesus. 

“We have been freely justified through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom 3:24).

The Gospel of Restored Glory:

This good news cannot be overstated, because it is not accomplished by anything man can do (Rom 3:20)(2 Cor 5:21). God proved His love by sending Jesus to die for us, in our place and for the spiritual relationship to be restored that once was established in the Garden of Eden. The Bible says that when anyone turns to God in faith, a veil is lifted from their hearts and they are enabled to behold the Glory of God in the very face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor 3:16-4:6). As believers who continue to look into that Glory a transformation takes place, whereby we are being changed into the same image (God’s original intent) from glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Cor 3:18).

Jesus Said – Be Clothed In Glory: Power from On High!

“And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city (Jerusalem) until you are clothed with power from on high.” (Lk 24:49)

Evidence of Glory

What transpires as humanity moves toward the culmination of all things… is it disaster or restoration?

Scripture reveals that the Kingdom of God will come in all of its fullness… that the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Glory of the LORD and culminate in a great awareness of His Presence and Preeminence. Our God shall come enthroned saying, “Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and He shall dwell with them and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

And He who sits on the throne will say, “Behold, I will make all things new.” (Rev. 21:3-5)

The Bible reminds us that the great tragedy in the Garden of Eden was not just sin, but separation and the fact that man had “fallen short of the Glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). Although many, professing to be wise; have “exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made like corruptible man – and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things” (Rom. 1:22-23)… this tragic estrangement was never God’s intent. His delight is with man, sharing fellowship in the brilliance of His Glory (Gen. 3:8)(Ps. 8:5).

Man was created for experiences in God’s Glory (Isa. 43:7). The Children of Israel saw the Glory of God in the cloud (Ex. 16:10), and on the mountain (Ex. 24:17). The same Glory that shaped the hearts of Moses, David and Solomon; was seen filling the tabernacle (Ex. 33:7-11 & 40:34-35) (2 Sam. 6:2) (2 Chr. 5:13-14). Both Isaiah and Ezekiel saw visions of God’s Glory. From the earliest of days until now, the knowledge of God’s Glory has been a topic of prophetic importance (Hab. 2:14). The Hebrew prophets envisioned a day when God’s Glory would increase; impacting the nations and transforming the fabric of cultures and governments. For example, Isaiah prophesied the following decree of the Lord, “I will gather all nations and peoples together, and they will see My Glory” (Isa. 66:18). Ezekiel proclaimed, “The Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court, and behold, the Glory of the LORD filled the temple” (Ezek. 43:5). Each of these Old Testament people insisted that the same Glory they had experienced, would be manifest on the earth.

Just listen to these words: “The Glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” (Isa. 40:5)

Overlooked by many, this reality began to emerge during the time of the New Testament. Jesus came as the Glory of the Father (Jn. 1:14), announcing the coming of the Kingdom of God (Mt. 4:17). Through the person and work of Jesus, a great shift took place. Strongholds of darkness were torn down. God’s Presence was increasingly experienced on a level that rivaled ancient encounters in the Garden. Reflecting on this wondrous reality, the Apostle Paul boldly declared: “We all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s Glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:18).

It appears that many are looking for more… driven by concerns about darkness and fear. They’re not cognizant of the ever-increasing glory. They’re blind to the fact that they’re actually living in the age that the prophets longed for. Everybody keeps asking when we’re going to experience God’s Glory? Not realizing that the day of the Lord’s Presence has already begun. Jesus said, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe, you would see the Glory of God?” Therefore if we, who believe; would only open up our hearts, we would finally discover the desire of the ages.

Just look into the eyes of Jesus… and there you will find the knowledge of the Glory of God (2 Cor. 4:6).

Look & Believe

“But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.” (2 Cor 4:3-4)

“For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the Glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Cor 4:6)

Just keep looking into the face of Jesus Christ!

At the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem, Jesus stood up and cried out with a loud voice, “Is anyone thirsty? Let him come to Me and drink, because believing will release in you rivers of living water!” (Jn 7:37-39) Not reasoning, doctrinal traditions or church programs… believing will do this. Yet its not just any believing it is believing that is moved by the Spirit as we look into the face of Jesus Christ.

Looking into things:

When we look into things, they reveal their glory. They reveal the nature of their design and their purpose. As a youth I can recall buying Hot Wheel toy cars and spending hours just looking at their unique style, color and cool features. Some were very tough looking and I could imagine driving wilderness roads and crashing through any obstacles in my path. As I played, my mother would often shout from the other room, “It sounds like an amazing adventure in there!” Whereby I would feel embarrassed by my intensity as the discoverer of the “glory” of my new car.

God’s Amazing Adventure:

When God created Adam, He made a powerful decision. He asks Adam to name the animals. In doing this He was teaching Adam a basic principle about glory. He was teaching Adam that when you look into the nature of something it will eventually reveal its character and purpose. When these things are discovered, “naming” it becomes simple. But it also creates a platform for relationship with the animal being named. Adam would need to discover how a porcupine was unique to the elephant, lion or bear.

The Point:

In this process God was making Himself vulnerable to the desire of Adam, because the training would serve to help him value the Glory of God. Adam would sin and fall short of the Glory of God (Rom 3:23) and all would be lost except the memory of God’s heart toward Adam. As God returns to the Garden of Eden to find the man hiding himself, it was not man who could not find God… it was God who could not find man. Oh, God knew where he was, but his sin now created separation because of the Glory that stood as a barrier between the perfect and the fallen. God calls man to Himself and clothes the man with the garment of a lamb, shedding blood and forever revealing the pattern of recovering a lost Glory.

The Nature of Our Father:

This is what a Father does, he creates avenues back into relational Glory. He restores, redeems and invites the son or daughter back into relationship even when the requirements for reconciliation have changed forever. And change they did! There would never again be access to the Garden on the same level of relationship. Adam and Eve would need to set their eyes upon a new Tree of Life… the Cross!

2000 Years Later:

The Lamb of God would come and take away the sin of the world and the same God who commanded light to shine in the darkness would shine in the hearts of those who believe. The light would reveal a knowledge like no other, it was the knowledge of the Glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Note: the knowledge of the Glory is not the Glory, but the Glory itself is found in His face. Look into the face of Jesus Christ and believe that what you behold is your destiny… and you will see what nothing on this Earth can offer – abundant life.

Just keep looking into His beautiful face… and see the Glory of God!

The Glory

What if I told you that there is a place beyond the Presence of God… would you call me a heretic, lunatic or mystic?

Let me speak to the issue of the Glory of God! It is both a Secret Place, where God speaks to us face to face and a Spiritual Realm, where supernatural authority is established within our lives. It is a Place where we begin to truly see… and manifest the riches of the invisible stuff of heaven into our natural reality on Earth. We as Christ’s followers, are called to a “walk” that is able to please God and release the inheritance of spiritual resource into our daily life. But do we understand the Glory of God or just take life as it is presented to us everyday. I want to enlarge your thinking, because the day has come; whereby God is wanting to increase the “knowledge of the Glory of God”… to a level that would be as recognizable as the way the “water covers the sea”.

“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” (Habakkuk 2:14)

The Apostle Paul spoke about the Glory in terms of an ongoing ministry that began in the Old Testament and advanced into the New Testament. He said that the Ministry of Moses had a Glory that was so strong that the people would cover the face of Moses, because it would shine with the Glory that rested upon him as he ministered face to face before God in the Wilderness Tabernacle. Yet Paul said that the Glory of the Ministry of the Holy Spirit was even greater and more precious to behold (2 Cor. 3:7-18). His message was that our lives are transformed by the Glory as we behold Christ more and more… as we fellowship with the Father and experience the working of the Holy Spirit. He used illustrations from the Old Testament like the Glory Cloud that followed the Hebrew People in the wilderness or the Ark of the Covenant as the fire rested upon the Mercy seat… these images were to encourage us to recognize that our lives are changing as we learn to walk in the Glory of God and behold Jesus as the Glory of the Father (Heb 1:1-4). Notice verse 3 speaks of Jesus as the brightness or manifestation of the beauty of the Fathers Glory and the express image of His person.

Spiritual Atmosphere Heavenly in Nature:

Interesting that the Apostle Paul also speaks of the Glory as a Realm of God’s spiritual atmosphere… an atmosphere that is heavenly in nature. It was in the Garden of Eden as God walked with Adam in the “cool” (ruach/spirit/glory realm) of the day (Gen. 3:8). In other words God was sharing His Glory with Adam before the fall… as they walked together and shared fellowship and communion. This Glory made Adam feel loved, accepted and comfortable without clothes, for he was naked and unashamed until after the fall – after sin came into the Garden experience. Notice that Adam was not alone, yet the woman that accompanied Adam was not named until after the fall: because they were living together naked and unashamed. They lived in harmony, as one in the Glory with the Father, but after sin comes shame and guilt become the overwhelming atmosphere. It was in the fallen state that Adam names the Woman Eve, because he was now very aware of their differences rather than comfortable in their unity with the Father.

As the Glory Lifted:

Now this happens because the Glory had lifted… note that God comes into the Garden to find that man is hiding himself and that he was covering himself with leaves… man was meeting his own need, and hiding in disobedience and shame.

  • Psalm 8:5 tells us that God had “crowned” or clothed man in Glory at creation.
  • Luke 24:49, Acts 1:8 & Ephesians 5:17-18 tells us He wants to do it again in the Holy Spirit as we are filled to overflowing with His Power.
  • Isaiah 43:1-7 tells us that God created man for His Glory… it speaks of “man” as Jacob and that God had formed man in His Glory, redeemed man by His Glory and called man to His Glory… so that man could live as he was created to live – in the Glory of God.

Riches in the Glory Realm:

The Apostle Paul says (Phil. 4:19) that all of his needs were met according to the riches in the Glory in Christ. This is an amazing revelation to know that we can have our needs met as we learn to walk in the Glory Realms with God as Adam experienced before the fall. Indeed Jesus has restored access to the Garden of Eden… by becoming a curse for us (Gal. 3:13) so that we could become the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21). We can live with all of our needs met and teach as Jesus taught (Jn. 14:12-14)… to walk as Children of His Glory (Jn. 17:22-24).

The Church is to be a Glorious Bride – fully clothed in Glory, the apparel of Loving Fellowship!

Govern Your Territory!

The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” The Lord shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion. Rule in the midst of Your enemies! (Ps. 110:1-2)

God is calling every Believer to Govern their Spiritual Territory!

In Psalm 110:2 we read the word “rule”… or Rada in the Hebrew. It speaks to us of extending the authority of our King – Jesus, who destroyed the oppressive works of the devil. He conquered death and the grave triumphantly through the Cross of Calvary. His resurrection signified the crushing of the headship of Satan once and for all… life over death and righteousness over sin. Not only was it a completed work that accomplished God’s purpose, but it serves as the springboard of delegated authority offered to all who believe, to advance the victory won 2000 years ago! You and I can rule in the midst of our enemies… by recognizing that any challenge, aimed to hinder love or distract us from Kingdom purpose; is an enemy of Christ. You were anointed for this very purpose!

How?

Governing your spiritual territory is accomplished by prayer, praise, perseverance and practicing His Presence… leaning into the Holy Spirit for vision and effective strategies. It was the compelling stewardship once laid out in the Garden of Eden… (Gen. 1:28) “fill and subdue”; but it was lost because of silence, passivity and sin. Yet the command is just as real as from the moment it was first delivered to the Adamites… “take dominion of the Garden.”

The Apostle Paul gives us some definition of what governing your territory looks like from his own experience. “We, however, will not boast beyond measure, but within the limits (*metron, Grk.) of the sphere (*kanon, Grk.) which God appointed us — a sphere which especially includes you. For we are not overextending ourselves (as though our authority did not extend to you), for it was to you that we came with the gospel of Christ; not boasting of things beyond measure, that is, in other men’s labors, but having hope, that as your faith is increased, we shall be greatly enlarged by you in our sphere, to preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man’s sphere of accomplishment.” (2 Cor 10:13-15)

Definitions of these 2 Greek words:

  • ‘Metron’ – a portioned-off measure, a determined extent, a measure or limit
  • ‘Kanon’ – one’s sphere of activity; a definitely bounded or fixed space within the limits of which one’s authority or influence is confined; a province or region assigned to a person

3 Key Truths: 1) Every believer has a ministry, 2) an assignment entrusted to them 3) by the Holy Spirit

  1. Your metron is a territory that God has measured out and given you a sense of responsibility over.
  2. Your metron is your ministry assignment and your sphere of spiritual influence… your delegated authority.
  3. Your metron is a specific location where you have a physical presence and spiritual stewardship… a physical place, position, or a group of people.

The Goal: Advance the Victory that Jesus won for Every Believer!

The Lord measures out to you a specific territory in which you are called to move in power and advance the Kingdom of God! It is up to you to govern you spiritual territory! (2 Cor. 10:3-6) It may feel like a battle, may cost you your reputation or cause you to make significant changes in your daily routine. But it is your assignment, and as a Kingdom Ambassador you represent heaven; and everywhere you go is to become an Embassy of Kingdom influence! Your goal is to govern… to rule in such a way whereby God receives all the Glory and His King is established upon the Throne of every heart within the reach of your dominion!

“I have already gone before you,” says the Lord with a shout. “Rada! Rule in the Midst of My Enemies!”

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