“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”
Revelation 21:1-4 NLT
A new day is coming dear brothers and sisters! Jesus has made it possible for us to live forever on a new earth where all things will be made new. We were made from the dust of the earth.
“Then the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person.”
Genesis 2:7 NLT
We were created to govern the earth.
“Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.””
Genesis 1:28 NLT
God wanted us to have the distinct privilege of enjoying His creation. He made all of these things for us. Mankind is the apex of His creative work. In fact, man is the last thing created in the order of creation.
On the sixth day of creation God made the land dwelling animals (see Genesis 1: 24-25).
On that same day He created man, but man was last.
“Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.” So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
Genesis 1:26-27 NLT
God placed the man in the garden to dress and keep it.
“Then the Lord God planted a garden in Eden in the east, and there he placed the man he had made.”
Genesis 2:8 NLT
This was the most beautiful place man has ever experienced. There was absolute tranquility as man walked with God in this place of majestic splendor. One thing was yet to be provided: Woman. Man had no suitable helper in this paradise. God put Adam to sleep, without anesthesia, and took a rib from his body and made this beautiful specimen.
“So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the Lord God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man. “At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.’” This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.”
Genesis 2:21-25 NLT
Together, as man and wife, they were to have dominion over the earth and everything in it. God had delegated this responsibility to them. Theirs was a place of harmony in marriage and all the world around them celebrated the life God had given. They were unashamed and naked. Perversion had not yet found its way into this paradise. Rain never fell from the sky.
“Instead, springs came up from the ground and watered all the land.”
Genesis 2:6 NLT
There were no cloudy days, only brilliant sunshine. Depression, despair, discouragement, defeat, and death were not known. All of these were absent from there vocabulary. River branches flowed through this exquisite garden and brought life giving water to this place of grandeur.
“A river flowed from the land of Eden, watering the garden and then dividing into four branches. The first branch, called the Pishon, flowed around the entire land of Havilah, where gold is found. The gold of that land is exceptionally pure; aromatic resin and onyx stone are also found there. The second branch, called the Gihon, flowed around the entire land of Cush. The third branch, called the Tigris, flowed east of the land of Asshur. The fourth branch is called the Euphrates.”
Genesis 2:10-14 NLT
This was in the geographical area we call Iraq today. What a contrast! Things have certainly changed!
Man and animals lived together in perfect harmony. Man didn't eat them and they didn't eat us. Neither were carnivorous. In fact, Adam named these creatures.
“So the Lord God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one. He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals..."
Genesis 2:19-20 NLT
Can you imagine the intelligence of this man? His brain was operating at full capacity. Sin had not yet tainted his life. He named all of the creatures and enjoyed fellowship with creation in perfect harmony. Death had not yet entered this paradise. Can you imagine how handsome Adam was? Can you imagine how beautiful Eve was? This was an amazing place.
One command was the hinge point for this couple.
“The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. But the Lord God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden— except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.”
Genesis 2:15-17 NLT
God did not make man as robots, without a free will to choose. They were not puppets on a string. Man was given the opportunity to obey or disobey. This was the real issue! Would man listen to the Word of God and live or would he listen to a deceiver named Satan and die?
“The Lord God made all sorts of trees grow up from the ground—trees that were beautiful and that produced delicious fruit. In the middle of the garden he placed the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”
Genesis 2:9 NLT
There were many trees to eat delicious and healthy fruit from. In the middle of this paradise were two trees:
1. Tree of life.
2. Tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Notice that this was a "central" issue. Central to life is obedience to God! Man could eat from every tree, except one. This one tree was called "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" for a reason. Man had not yet known evil, only good! This tree was representative of the world of darkness that would unfold if they chose to disobey. Satan manifested himself in the form of a serpent in Genesis 3 and began his deceptive dissection of God's Word. He twisted the truth and spewed his venomous lie upon Eve. Eve was enticed. She partook the fruit and then presented it to her husband Adam. He then ate. This is where it all changed!
“The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?” “Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’” “You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.” The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.”
Genesis 3:1-7 NLT
It is very important for us to recognize that mankind didn't die until Adam are the fruit.
Adam was made in the image of God. The woman was made from the man. There was a chain of authority that God had placed in the order of creation. Satan utilized the only way to get to Adam, Eve. You see, the chain of authority was this:
“But there is one thing I want you to know: The head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.”
1 Corinthians 11:3 NLT
In this created order, Satan knew his only chance of claiming this earth as his was through Adam. He knew that Adam was under God's authority. Eve was under Adam's authority. The only possible route for his devious plan to unfold was through Eve. His ultimate goal was to get the dominion that God had given Adam, the governance of the earth. It worked. All of their unborn children died as both of them bowed to Satan's hand. Now, all they can do is eat their meals in sorrow until they sink back into the dust from whence they came. All down through the ages man can hear God calling "Adam, where are you?"
Our hearts have longed to go back where we were meant to be but now we live beneath the curse of sin. In Genesis 3:8-19 we read the fallout of the fatal decision made by the first man and woman. We now live between Genesis 3 and Revelation 19. We long for Revelation 19-22. There we read how the story ends. In Jesus Christ, we win, the world is made new, and heaven comes to earth. There we will live in resurrected bodies, on a resurrected earth, with our Resurrected LORD!!! There, the curse will be gone.
“No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him.”
Revelation 22:3 NLT
The only way to experience this is through being born again (see John 3:1-7, 16-18; Romans 3:23; 6:23; 10:8-10; I John 1:9; Ephesians 2:8-10).
“Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other. But— When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of his grace he made us right in his sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.”
Titus 3:3-7 NLT
I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to going to my homeland!
Curtis R. Norris
Rev. Curtis Norris