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Eden
{A spectacle of God's attributes working together in perfect harmony}

Part 4 of God Really IS Great! Religions Poisoned Everything! Series

Then God planted a garden in Eden, in the east. He put the Man he had just made in it. God made all kinds of trees grow from the ground, trees beautiful to look at and good to eat. The Tree-of-Life was in the middle of the garden, also the Tree-of-Knowledge-of-Good-and-Evil. Genesis 2:8,9

A master architect’s goal in overseeing a high-rise construction project is the realization of his design culminating in an inauguration celebration after completion. Those unfamiliar with the architect’s design will have difficulty envisioning the grandeur of the finished building during construction. Large earth moving equipment quickly turn a once peaceful landscape into a dynamic construction site of dirt, dust and debris. To the unlearned, it appears the project is heading in the opposite direction from the original intention. The master architect does not waver from his purpose, always focusing on the details necessary for achieving the goal. He is not discouraged by the unpleasant conditions during construction because he knows everything is proceeding precisely as planned. Only after the final scaffolding comes down will all be able to appreciate the truly magnificent structure which was penned by the master architect's hand many years before.

God is the master architect of our world and the events which transpired in the garden of Eden were meticulously planned by him. His divine plan of the ages was penned many years ago prior to the foundation of the world. They reveal God’s attributes of love, power, justice and wisdom, working together in perfect harmony for the advancement of his plan which will ultimately benefit his creation. An accurate understanding of the conditions created in Eden and the subsequent interaction between God and the first human family is necessary to gain a greater appreciation of God's plan, making Eden worthwhile of careful examination. Erroneous notions surrounding Eden promoted by religious institutions has only served to malign God’s true character and conceal his wonderful plan for all. Recall our earlier conclusion, an all wise, just, loving and all powerful God could only choose the best course of action for his creation, one which will lead to a greater good and the prevention of a greater evil. It all began to be revealed here, in Eden!

Eden was God’s original earthly paradise which has been variously located at the headwaters of the Tigris and Euphrates in northern Iraq, in Africa, and in the Persian Gulf. The word "Paradise" signifies, "a delightful garden, park, or pleasure ground." Among the many trees in the garden, two types were planted in the center of the garden and given curiously unique names. The first called the tree of life sustained Adam and Eve’s perfect life. The other tree was called the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Adam and Eve were permitted to eat from all of the trees in the garden except from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The stage is now set and the curtains are raised on what would be The Greatest Love Story of all time and a spectacle of God’s attributes of power, wisdom, justice and love, working together in perfect balance and harmony.

By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. Hebrews 11:3

Power is defined as the ability to bring about or help bring about outcomes. God’s power is not limited. The universe was created from nothing by God’s infinite power. The Big Bang theory supports the Bible declaration in Hebrews 11:3 and “is a well-tested scientific theory which is widely accepted within the scientific community because it is the most accurate and comprehensive explanation for the full range of phenomena astronomers observe”1. God’s attribute of power which brought about the universe some 13.75 billion years ago also influences and directs all of his plans. God’s plans can and will be fulfilled uninhibited and uninterrupted by anyone or anything because of this unlimited power.

I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. Genesis 46:9,10

Wisdom is a comprehension of what is true resulting in a deep understanding of reality which enables the optimum application of judgements and actions in keeping with this understanding. A simpler definition for wisdom is to make the best use of knowledge (Charles Haddon Spurgeon). We gain knowledge by experience and observation from both the past and present which can lead us to wisdom. God possesses all knowledge and wisdom is a fundamental attribute of his. He declares possessing knowledge from the past, present and future. Chance or uncertainty does not exist with God. This wisdom guarantees all of God’s decisions are optimal.

If anyone is injured, the offender must pay a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, a foot for a foot, a burn for a burn, a bruise for a bruise, a wound for a wound. Exodus 21:24-25

I will make justice a measuring line and righteousness a plumb line... Isaiah 28:17

Justice is fairness or reasonableness, especially in the way people are treated or decisions are made. Justice is to civilized society as truth is to wisdom, the latter cannot exist without the former. God’s definition for justice is precise, “If anyone is injured, the offender must pay a life for a life, an eye for an eye....” This definition of justice is an important element in God’s plan for humanity. Justice shows no mercy, owes no special favors, and is exact and final. Though not the worldwide standard today, God assures us he will make justice the measuring line (standard) and righteousness (doing what is right) a plumb line (exacting).

... God is love 1John 4:8

Love never comes to an end... 1 Corinthians 13:8

Love is defined as a virtue representing kindness, compassion, and affection —"the unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another" (Merriam Webster Dictionary). The Bible declares God is love and this love never has an end. The attribute of love motivated God to create an intelligent human family, provide them a perfect home and give them the freedom of choice. Love did not enforce obedience nor interfere with their freedom. God’s love for Adam and Eve and their descendents continues regardless of Adam and Eve’s failure. Apostle Paul concludes in Romans 8:38,39 “I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love which Christ Jesus our Lord shows us. We can't be separated by death or life, by angels or rulers, by anything in the present or anything in the future, by forces or powers in the world above or in the world below, or by anything else in creation.” God’s great love (benevolent concern) for his creation will be evident to all once the scaffolding is removed revealing a glorious superstructure.


" Rain and snow come down from the sky. They do not go back again until they water the earth. They make it sprout and grow so that it produces seed for farmers and food for people to eat. My word, which comes from my mouth, is like the rain and snow. It will not come back to me without results. It will accomplish whatever I want and achieve whatever I send it to do." Isaiah 55:10,11

God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? Numbers 23:19

So God created humans in his image. In the image of God he created them. He created them male and female. God blessed them and said, "Be fertile, increase in number, fill the earth, and be its master.” Genesis 1:27,28

The human race was not designed to die, but was made to live forever upon the earth. Adam and Eve were created perfect in God’s image and therefore able to fill the earth with a perfect human race. They fell from perfection and came under the condemnation of death when they disobeyed making it impossible for them to fulfill God’s purpose. At first it appears God has failed or changed his plans, but God declares his word will not come back to him without results. God’s wisdom in harmony with his unlimited power guarantees the outcome. God as master architect never lost focus on the goal. His plan remains unchanged regardless of the present unpleasant conditions. Adam’s disobedience does not change God’s plan. This evil world does not change God’s original plan. God’s adversary, the serpent or devil, has not changed his plan. God declares he will accomplish what he started (Isaiah 55:10,11). His divine plan proceeds precisely and according to design in perfect timing for the realization of his original purpose, an earth filled with a perfect human family living forever under his blessing. The lesson Adam and Eve learned from Eden was a necessary first step toward accomplishing his goal.

The principles of right and wrong, good and evil have always existed. Adam and Eve needed to learn the value of choosing right and good over wrong and evil. Three possible approaches God could use to teach Adam and Eve were intuition, observation, and experience. God could preprogram Adam and Eve with a full knowledge of all the consequences of disobedience, that is, give them a natural intuition regarding evil. Secondly, Adam and Eve could learn by observing others while being protected from experiencing evil. Thirdly, God could allow Adam and Eve to freely make their choices and learn from their own experiences.2

The first scenario has an advantage over the other two since obeying God is inherent to Adam and Eve’s nature. However, Adam and Eve could question being “forced” to believe or do things as a result of their programing. This persistent question will lead to a lack of appreciation for God’s authority. The second scenario, learning by observation is often times inferior to learning by experience. God could have chosen this method since knowledge is gained in either case. We must conclude this method was not the best course for Adam and Eve since God did not select it. God chose the experience scenario. This permitted Adam and Eve to learn and grow in knowledge by their own experiences while developing a trust and respect for their creator’s benevolent authority and his perfect laws. This approach is far superior to the other scenarios but one has to question if the penalty outweighed the benefits of the lesson.

Most religious groups promote the popular doctrine of hell, or something very similar, as God’s penalty. God’s attributes of wisdom, love, justice and power could not establish hell, a place of eternal conscious torture, as the penalty for disobedience. There is an arrant inequity in promoting eternal torment as punishment for finite disobedience. Our own civilized justice system does not condemn the most heinous criminals to a cruel punishment as hell. Civilized humanity is more just (fair) to its most nefarious criminals than what is being attributed to a perfect and just God.

Sin came into the world through one person, and death came through sin. So death spread to everyone... Romans 5:12

Adam believed he alone committed suicide the moment he disobeyed. God did not inform Adam that the penalty of death (not a penalty of eternal torture) would also be passed on to his descendents. Apostle Paul writes about our inherited death sentence saying, "the verdict which followed one person’s (Adam’s) failure condemned everyone (Romans 5:16). Everyone was condemned through one failure (Romans 5:18). Humanity died as the result of one person’s (Adam’s) failure (Romans 5:15).” Everyone born of Adam inherits his condemnation at birth and are destined to die.

Indeed, I was born guilty. I was a sinner when my mother conceived me. Psalms 51:5

Since God is all wise, we would expect he has a reasonable explanation for condemning the world for Adam's failure. On the surface, the condemnation of the entire human race appears to be overreaching and contrary to God’s attributes. We would not punish our own children for our personal failures. How can God’s decision to condemn the rest of the world be justified?

God’s benevolent concern for his human creation in harmony with his wisdom did establish a plan to remedy the inherited death sentence and restore humanity back to the perfection lost in Eden. God’s secret plan was first alluded to his adversary, the Serpent, when God said “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel." (Genesis 3:15). This secret plan would gradually be revealed to the world at the proper time.

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bang, 2012
2. Though not mentioned in the paragraph, a fourth method of learning is by information received through sources accepted as positively truthful.

 

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