Posts Tagged ‘tree of the knowledge of good and evil’

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)

Where Fear Began

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Tim. 1:7)

The first thing we learn from this verse is that fear is a spirit… an atmosphere that is personified. This means a being with a spirit is occupying some space in our thoughts and imagination that is not from God. In other words, its a demonic stronghold… a house of thoughts ruled by a demonic spirit. We understand that this spirit is not from God, because of two realities. First, has to do with what God has given every believer… “power, love and soundness of mind, or peace. These are the greatest platforms to build a spiritual identity! Now the second reality is that what God gives has authority or dominion over fear… power dissolves fear, love casts out fear and soundness of mind breaks the power of fear. Well… that means there is just no place for the devil to hide in the believer’s identity, unless that believer allows squatters. The true believer can be clothed in the Glory of God!

Let Me Explain:

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… a fearless place full of worship and love. There was no sin in the beginning and man walked with God everyday in a peace filled relationship in the “cool of the day”. Even the term “cool of the day” is ruach in the Hebrew language and means spirit or glory. This means they walked together daily in a spiritual dimension where they shared a oneness that was maintained by God’s Glory (a heavenly covering) and God’s Honor (heaven’s 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. 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? Yet an opening of their eyes also left an opening of the door to a spirit of fear.

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 and torment.

But – God has Restored the Glory!

“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) NO MORE FEAR!

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us (or restore to us) all things?” (Rom. 8:31-32) HE HAS DELIVERED US!

“Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.” (1 Jn. 4:17-19) LOVE HAS CONQUERED FEAR!

A Holy Partnership

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb. 4:16)

Have you ever experienced a need for breakthrough? The kind where you have done all you know to do, cried out for revelation and yet continued to face a wall of opposition? I have! I’ve seen situations that have lingered for years, though I had purposed to walk in complete obedience, sought God, and even received prophetic words promising the breakthrough… yet still nothing! The Holy Spirit dropped a key in my heart one day that helped me unpack a mystery, I heard Him whisper in my inner ear… “Mercy is at the heart of breakthrough!”

As I began to study mercy a wonderful partnership began to emerge… the partnership between mercy and providence. To understand breakthrough I needed to see how mercy is tied to providence. In essence God was showing me that providence is the “Throne of Grace”. Its the place where God’s plans become our reality. That’s why the author of the book of Hebrews says, “Come Boldly!”. When we realize there is access to grace ( favor with the King), we must begin to figure out how it works… and then we must run to Him in the time of need.

Explaining Providence: 4 Defining Truths

  1. Its God’s Knowledge in Advance. God exists outside of time, knowing the end before the beginning. Jesus was the Lamb slain before the foundations of the world (Rev. 12:8) and we were chosen in Him before that foundation was established (Eph. 1:4). Our God, knows the battles, roadblocks, and stumbling stones that we will face as we walk out our destiny. He has already prepared victories and breakthroughs for us. His plan is for good, to prosper us and give us a future and a hope… peace (Jer. 29:11).
  2. The Active Governing of God. Governing is the authority to control or manage a people or nation, in order to rule in their midst. Mercy deals directly with our position in Christ. His rule and reign in our lives is literally based upon the reality that we do not get what we deserve. Scripture tells us how Jesus carries out His Lordship by governing our lives through peace (Isa. 9:7). When we cry out for mercy, we are crying out for His rule and reign in our lives. The world system, the strategies of the enemy, the circumstances of life must not be allowed to rule over us. Problems will come, but God has already met the need when we arrive. When providence and mercy, God’s governing authority is allowed to grow in us, there will be peace and Kingdom breakthrough!
  3. It is God’s Protective Covering (Glory). Its the Glory of God that was originally design to crown or clothe man at creation in the Garden of Eden (Ps. 8:5). When we cry out for mercy it pulls us under God’s protection in our lives (Ps. 91:1-2), because it pulls us into fellowship, “walking in the cool of the day with the Father” (Gen. 3:8). Rather than hiding ourselves, we are relying upon His care for us and expressing our trust in Him. We may never know what God is doing in the midst of our struggle and there may be times of stretching our faith, but we must press into God. Fear and unbelief only alienate us from God’s Presence and distance us from seeing God’s plan for good (Rom. 8:28).
  4. The Love and Care of Our Heavenly Father. Fathers exercise a balance of honor and provision. They walk in authority only to the degree that their sons and daughters honor their leadership and delight in their wisdom. Just think about the Prodigal Son (Lk 15:11-14), who stepped away from his father’s providence and could not gain access to mercy. I like to remind myself that authority is established through intimacy… that my success is hinged to the tree of life, not the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Elijah’s Example:

Mercy reveals God’s care, but providence establishes our needed resources… long before we even feel our need. A good example of this is when God told Elijah that He would feed him at the Brook Cherith. Elijah would have to go to where the provision was, in order to receive it! When the Brook dried up, so did the provision, which meant Elijah would need to seek God for more mercy and providence… a fresh word of breakthrough (1 Kings 17:2-8). Whatever we need to accomplish in our lives has already been established in God’s providence, because of God’s mercy!

The Apostle Paul said it this way, “and my God shall supply all of your need according to His riches in Glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19).

God is Able:

I look back now and see that when I have cried out for mercy, for needed finances or help of any kind, that mercy and providence worked together for the promised breakthrough. I knew something about God; I know, He is faithful and just, He loves and cares for me, and He knows how to “take care” of that which concerns me. This is why I run to the Throne of Grace… to obtain mercy – to hold it as an abiding reality for breakthrough! You see I know that beyond any of my own efforts, God is able to do the extraordinary, the impossible and that which is exceedingly abundantly beyond all that I can ask or imagine. But I am also discovering that it is based upon the power that works in me (Eph. 3:20). This revelation is so powerful!

“Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground, for its time to seek the Lord, till He comes and rains righteousness on you.” (Hosea 10:12)

We see that we have our part, -the possible, to sow in righteousness, to break up the fallow ground and to seek the Lord. But mercy is God’s part of the equation, its what causes us to reap -the impossible! I can plant a seed, water it, but only God can bring the increase (1 Cor. 3:7). We know that it is not by our power or might, but it is by God’s Spirit… that we experience our breakthroughs (Zech. 4:6). So we will contend at the Throne of Grace with a boldness that proves we trust God’s providence and desire to obtain mercy to help in our time of need.

“…So that in all things at all times, having all you need, you will abound in every good work.” (2 Cor 9:8)

Father’s Garden

“Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there He put the man He had formed.” (Gen. 2:8)

The Garden of Eden - God’s Original Design:

The Garden of Eden is more than a historical place in the Bible. It is more than a lost paradise. And it is more than a bright future that can only be entered through death’s doorway. Life in the Father’s Garden reveals God’s original design and our restored inheritance. Eden teaches us what it means to live as sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father.

5 Revelations from Father’s Garden:

1. Intimacy with the Father…

  • “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…”  (Gen. 3:8)

At the heart of Eden is a personal relationship with Father God. The first face Adam and Eve saw was the face of a loving Father. The name Eden means “delight”. This delight does not mean happiness as we use the term, but the joy that comes through being intimately connected with God. David speaks of his revelation of intimacy with the Father, saying, “You will fill me with joy in Your Presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand” (Ps. 16:11). When Jesus died, there would be no more seperation from the Father’s Garden. The veil in the temple was torn in two, signifying that the way into the Father’s intimate Presence was restored (Mt. 27:51, Heb. 10:19-20). And that place of intimacy can be our home.

2. Clothed in the Glory of God…

  • “The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.” (Gen 2:25)

Although Adam and Eve were physically naked, they were covered with the Glory of God. David says of created humanity, “You [God] crowned them with glory and honor” (Ps. 8:5). The Hebrew word for crown also means encircled or clothed. The righteous are “surrounded with God’s favor as a shield” (Ps. 5:12). No wonder Adam and Eve became aware of their nakedness at that moment, sin caused the Glory of God to be stripped away from them. Physical clothing is here to stay, but consider the spiritual truth in Christ. Jesus reclothed us in the garments of salvation and covered the believing heart with the robe of His righteousness (Isa. 61:10). We are the righteousness of God in Christ and we can live transparently before God without shame or fear. Freedom in God’s Presence is not as a result of behaving perfectly, but of placing our faith in Jesus, the only Perfect One. Through His grace, we are in the process of being transformed in His glory, by His glory into His glory. (2 Cor 5:17-21, Phil 1:6)

3. The Father’s Blessing…

  • “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Gen 1:28)

The first words God spoke over Adam and Eve were words of blessing. They experienced His favor before they had done anything. They did not have to prove their worth. Their worth was based in who they were… a son and daughter of God, beloved and accepted.

Religious striving and trying to be “good enough” is a performance trap unleashed at the moment the man and woman ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This was the devil’s reality. The serpent was fully aware guilt would be unleashed upon humanity if they tasted that for which God had forbidden. Their eyes would be open to their naked condition and they would see how frail they really were. But that is not God’s way for He was their Blessing Bearer, their Protector against all evil. It was not a surprise to God, in fact He already had a plan for this.

In Genesis we learn that we are blessed just, because we are God’s sons and daughters. And in Christ we are renewed in the Spirit of God’s Blessing; given the right to become sons simply through receiving the free gift of life (Eph. 1:3-6) by faith in His Name, His Cross and His Blood.

4. Living at Rest, while Laboring with God…

  • “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” (Gen 2:15)

The Bible tells us that Adam and Eve were created on the sixth day. And that on the seventh day God rested. It is an amazing observation that the first full day that Adam and Eve experienced was a day of rest. From that place of rest, they labored together with God. We read, that God planted the trees in the Garden of Eden – and that Adam tended them. It was a united effort, a co-laboring if you will, where we observe a life of God-given purpose.

In God’s Kingdom, we are co-laborers with Christ (1 Cor. 3:9) and our Father invites us to tend what He has planted. We sense the calling and the energy of the Holy Spirit, to do the work that He has prepared for us beforehand(Eph. 2:10). Its a work of eternal purpose for our own lives and the generations that will follow. 

5. Deligated Authority to Fulfil His Purposes…

  • “Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name.” (Gen. 2:19)

In Eden, Adam named the animals and after his wife was formed they walked and talked with the Father in the cool of the day. As they heard what was on His heart, they were able to carry out His purposes through the authority He had conferred to them. It was a unique relationship built upon love and trust and free will.

Today that same authority that Adam and Eve lost through sin, has been restored to us through Jesus (Mt. 28:18). Although we have all sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God; we have been freely justified by God’s grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Rom. 3:23-24). Just as if we had never sinned, our confession of faith in the Blood of Christ opens up to us the Promise of restored inheritance in the Father’s Garden. 

“For if, by the trespass of the one man [Adam], death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! (Rom 5:17)

Living Inside or Outside of Eden?

Outside of Eden, we experience striving and frustration. We feel and behave like spiritual orphans. We wonder God feels unapproachable, distant and harsh. The perception outside of Eden is that God is not a Father, but a judge. We struggle with insecurity and strive to bear fruit. We wrestle with trust issues like orphans wrestle for a place to call home.

Living inside the Father’s Garden describes the life that we can live today in Christ. Jesus said, “I have come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly” (Jn 10:10). Within Eden, we experience the intimacy and security of our Father’s love. We enjoy His blessing and favor and live in a place of supernatural peace – His rest. We walk with God and hear what is on His heart and then we fulfil His purpose for our lives with the authority He has given to us.

Its the abundant life of the Father’s Garden that is the inheritance of the Sons and Daughters.

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