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The Garden and the Gospel

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“for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” Gen 3:19


Now that man’s perfectly balanced nature has been corrupted, and the image of God in which he was made has been disfigured, sins destructive forces began to have an effect upon man’s whole being. The body, which was meant to be the servant of the soul in allowing man to function in the physical world, has now become its surrogate master, which in turn is controlled by Satan. Instead of man leading a soul-centered life, he has now become a flesh-centered being, even as a “brute beast.” The desires or lusts of man’s flesh begin to dominate man’s thinking; and in this abnormal state man begins to pursue those lusts that will lead to his damnation and destruction. These inordinate desires overwhelm the higher ideals of the deadened spirit, and the will of man’s soul has not the strength to stand against them. One has only to look at the countless kinds of addicts in the world who cannot resist the things that they fully realize are destroying their lives. People who are overweight cannot say no to overeating. Those on drugs, be it heroin, cigarettes, alcohol, pain killers, etc, cannot deny their fleshly addiction. Pornography addicts, perverse sex addicts, whoremongers, adulterers, etc, cannot say no to those sinful pleasures that are wreaking havoc upon their lives, destroying their marriages and their homes. Those who lust for wealth and the material things of this world are driven by their desire to heap up riches. Gambling addicts, workaholics, lazy sloughs, television addicts, shopping addicts, and on and on, cannot deny what their body dictates.

2 Tim 2:26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

Jude 1:10 But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.

Eph 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

When God was central in man’s thoughts, there were boundaries to what man would do and not do, and moderation was the key to living. Now, in this world of “whatever feels good, do it, man has overstepped these bounds and cast off the natural cords that God had designed him with. Overindulgence is now the rule of the day. An inordinate obsession with the body—how we look and how we dress—control many who spend hours a day putting on their make up and primping to look good to others. Binge drinking and gluttony—the popular food bars where we gorge ourselves with “all you can eat”—is now the norm. We have only to examine how much time a day we spend on the things of the body as opposed to spiritual things, to know that we have totally broken any restraints of higher reason, and even our own self will. When we add to this all of the psychological and physiological pressures upon our lives as the result of our sin and the sin of others, it is not hard to see why the body is deteriorating. With all this abuse, and without the resources of God, the body is in the state of dying, and will eventually become so broken down that it can no longer function.

Rom 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

Degenerate man, in his lust for the things of the flesh, now seeks to throw off all the bounds which the Creator intended for his good. We have become so rebellious toward God and the things of God, that we purposely abuse our bodies and drive ourselves to an early grave. Instead of seeking after God who is life, and in our quest “to live after the flesh” and “to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season,” we end up destroying our lives, our happiness, our health, and even our days spent upon this earth. Young people in particular, who are so full of potential and the exuberance of life, seem hell-bent on destroying themselves. In their quest to “live life to the fullest,” they destroy forever their future health and happiness through drugs, alcohol, promiscuous sex, and unclean, unwholesome lifestyles.

Psa 2:1 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,
Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.

Rom 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

 Heb 11:24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter;
25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God,
than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;

Rom 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

Deut 6:2 That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged.

Gal 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

Howbeit, there are many who would say that they live their lives with a certain amount of self-control and moderation, as well as maintain the boundaries that are good and right. To you that live right, eat right, sleep right, do right, we say, ‘praise God’; “keep on keeping on”; but know still, that the sin that dwelleth in you will eventually destroy your body. Man is like a person who has had a serious accident or disease, whose body can no longer sustain itself, and therefore has been hooked up to a life support system. The doctor knows this person cannot exist on their own and is as good as dead without it.  Once that support system is turned off, the person may continue on for a short while in a diminished state, but only until the body, which cannot sustain its own life, shuts down. God was our life support. We were meant to be hooked up to Him continually and forever; and when we are cut off from Him, we linger on in our pseudo life, but not for long. Many have accused Christians of making religion their crutch to help them make it through life; but as has been said by another, “God is more than my crutch, He is my iron lung”— and we cannot survive without Him. Man’s body, as well as his soul and spirit, were meant to be sustained by their union with the Creator. The Tree of Life was in the Garden for just this purpose, to give to man God’s wisdom and knowledge to be able to sustain his physical life for an eternity. Indeed, God sent man from the Garden after the fall to prevent him from having access to this knowledge in his corrupt state.

Phil 4:5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

Gen 3:22 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:
23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
So he 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.

Added to this deterioration brought about by man’s abuse of his body, there are other facets of sin that are at work to destroy man’s physical life—suicide, murder, war, disease, famine, accidents, etc. All of these unnatural events are but the fruits of man’s sin and rebellion against God. Because the higher spiritual values of love and brotherhood have been replaced with inordinate competition and hatred for other men, human life has become cheap. Many are those whose greed, passions, and addictions have led them to disregard the lives of their victims. Robbers who steal and kill, sexual deviants who rape and murder, power hungry maniacs who bring about war and destruction for their own purposes, all add their toll to the account of sin and death. Furthermore, the judgments of God against the vileness of man’s sin is clearly seen in Scripture—the Flood, the destruction of Sodom, famines, pestilences, and other forces have been employed to prematurely end man’s earthly life.

Prov 1:10 My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.
11 If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause:
12 Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit:
13 We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil:
14 Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse:
15 My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path:
For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.

Gen 6:12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

Gen 19:24 Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;
25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.

2 Sam 24:15 So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beer-sheba seventy thousand men.

The final phase of sin’s assault against the body is death itself. The process of dying has, for some, taken a lifetime; but, however courageously many fight against death, it is always the victor. Just when death occurs is a subject of debate among many. Those of the medical profession now say that a person has died when there is no measurable brain activity; and that may coincide with what the Scriptures teach. Although physicians may, through drugs and machines, prolong the physical life of a person, if their spirit\soul has departed, they are dead. Those who can afford it have their bodies frozen and stored, with the hope that medical science will one day be able to resurrect them. Ancient Egyptians made similar attempts to preserve the body through mummification; but as yet, no mummies have returned to life. Many people claim to have died and floated over their bodies before returning to them, and the Scriptures tell of some people being raised from the dead. The teaching of Judaism says that the spirit\soul of someone who has died wanders the earth for four days seeking to return to its body. Lazarus was resurrected from the dead after four days, but the rich man died and immediately, “in hell he lift up his eyes.” Jesus told the thief on the cross, “To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” All of these medical and Biblical accounts make the subject of death a great mystery to many; but, let us not be fooled,  “it is appointed unto men once to die.” Furthermore, given enough time, all bodies will “return unto the ground”; even as God told Adam, “for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”

Jam 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Gen 35:18 And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Ben-oni: but his father called him Benjamin.

John 11:39 Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.
40 Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?
41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.
42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.
43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.

Luke 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

Luke 23:43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

Gen 3:19 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.

As the conclusion of this whole matter of dying and death, we have come to see that man’s whole being—body, soul, and spirit—exists in a world of darkness that is controlled by Satan, and is under the sentence of death. We see that death is not a final event that extinguishes our being; but it is a state of existence that will last for all eternity—if we do not repent and receive God’s offer of forgiveness and life anew in the Lord Jesus Christ. The Creator has not abandoned us to our doom; but God still speaks to us through His Word, and works to redeem us even in our quasi state of life. In Christ, those who believe on Him are again reunited with God, the source of life. Man’s spirit is regenerated by the indwelling Spirit of God; their souls are transformed into the image of Christ; and though believer’s bodies will still die, their souls now enter the presence of the Lord, to be forever with Him. However, even their bodies, which are decaying in the grave, will be raised anew in the resurrection of the justified, forever free from sin and corruption, and never again subject to death.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned:
but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

 Tit 3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;

2 Cor 5:6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather
to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

1 Cor 15:19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits;
afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.

1 Cor 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

To the unsaved however, the Bible message is not one of hope, but of despair and everlasting damnation. For many, if death was simply the end of their existence, they would be quite satisfied. Sinners would be content to live out their lives separated from God, and then go to the grave, forever falling asleep. However, in examining the truth of the Scriptures, we know that this is not the case. Man, who was created in the image of God, was also created with an eternal soul, that will forever exist in some state of being. When the unsaved departs this life after the death of their bodies, their soul enters Hell to await the final judgment. Then, in the resurrection of the unjust, unbelievers will have their bodies brought back from the grave to be reunited with their souls, and then will be judged at the Great White Throne. It is here that unbelievers will be sentenced for their sin and rebellion against God; and then they will be cast wholly—body, soul, and spirit—into the “Lake of Fire.” It is there that they will spend eternity bearing the guilt of their sin, and continue to spiral into greater darkness and death. Throughout eternity, unregenerate man will continue to experience an always dying, never ending death, being forever separated from his Maker, the source of life.

Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.

Psa 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.

Psa 55:15 Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell: for wickedness is in their dwellings, and among them.

Rev 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

2 The 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;




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