28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
Would there be something in the world we could not do without? For Adam and Eve it was pursuit of a knowledge God had not intended them to have. Is there something the enemy could offer us that would easily sway us? Would it perhaps be the world's people, pagans that would not be granted access to the garden by the Lord, lawless ones that see no need to change. Nice people by the world's standards, fun people, but God is sure not at the top of the list of what they think or care about. Possibly a golf cart or a luxurious car would look enticing for us to get around in, and wouldn't cellphones be handy? In other words, would Satan be able to pull us back to his world? Is this not the same tactic he used to lure the Lord after He was baptized? Didn't he offer Him the whole world if He would bow down and serve him?
8 Again, the devil took Him(Jesus) up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.
9 And he said to Him, “All these things I will give YouifYou will fall down and worship me.”
10 Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”
11 Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.
Matthew 7:13-14shows us why there will be but a few.
13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.
14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
The way into God's Kingdom is both narrow and difficult. Difficult because we will fight the enemy every step of the way. He will test our integrity, our focus, our morals, on and on trying to tire us, wear us down. Many will choose to not walk there, because they cannot endure hardship. These like and follow the easy path. Then there are unhappy, always depressed ones, never satisfied with life and always looking for external things to make them feel good and enjoy life, they will not be happy or content there either. Ones that enjoy striving for success and want recognition for themselves will not make it either. They are perfectionists determined to make things happen themselves. They easily tire of waiting on direction from God and waiting for God's promises. These are just a few of the natures that are very easy marks for Satan and the list goes on. Only the strong in nature, people that keep God's laws, truly love Him and above all things want to see restoration for all of creation will find themselves in that garden place.
While we are speaking of a new earth, let us be assured God is not saying He will create a new planet. This statement is based on Ecclesiastes 1:4 and Psalm 104:5.
4 One generation passes away, and another generation comes; but the earth abides forever.
5 You who laid the foundations of the earth, so that it should not be moved forever,
You see, it is this world, its systems and all that love them that will be destroyed! Where the problem lies is again in the translation. The Hebrew word ('erets) number 776 in the Strongs Concordance can be translated either world or earth. Number 127 however means only earth. Likewise the Greek word (ghay) 1093 in the Strongs Greek dictionary can also be translated as world or earth and 3749 means only earth.
776 'erets eh'-rets from an unused root probably meaning to be firm; the earth (at large, or partitively a land):--X common, country, earth, field, ground, land, X natins, way, + wilderness, world.
127 'adamah ad-aw-maw' from 119; soil (from its general redness):--country, earth, ground, husband(-man) (-ry), land.
1093. in the Greek dictionary (New Testament) ge ghay contracted from a primary word; soil; by extension a region, or the solid part or the whole of the terrene globe (including the occupants in eachapplication):--country, earth(-ly), ground, land, world.
3749. ostrakinos os-tra'-kin-os from ostrakon ("oyster") (a tile, i.e. terra cotta); earthen-ware, i.e. clayey; by implication, frail:--of earth, earthen.
So based on this information and the above scriptures. “world” would have been a better choice to aid understanding and teach the truth in II Peter 3:10-18 for instance.
With this in mind let us readII Peter 3:10-18.
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night(humanity will be taken by surprise), in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements(the fundamental orders) will melt with fervent heat; both the earth(world) and the works that are in it(man's works) will be burned up(but please remember, the earth abides forever).
11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,
12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved(no more rebellious angels, no accuser of the brethren will accuse the humans),
being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? (the original order will be changed under the fire of judgment)
13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise,look for new heavens(or a new order of things) and a new earth(new world, with God's systems in place and a new culture) in which righteousness dwells.
14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless(separated from the world, walking in His law, turning your back on the things offered by the enemy);
15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you,
16 as alsoin all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable peopletwist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures(thus false doctrines).
17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked(just like Adam and Eve);
18 but grow in the grace(love Him, be obedient to Him) and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ(instead of the knowledge of the world). To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
The garden scene we started with may seem kind of foolish to us, but is it? Let us look at a future happening, a promise to yet be fulfilled.
I Corinthians 15:51-55
51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep(or die), but we shall all be changed—
52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and weshall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption(can you see the reason to be born again, covered by the blood of the Lamb), and this mortal has put on immortality(we die to who we are as we enter the watery grave of baptism into Christ's death and resurrect into a new creature through His victorious resurrection), then shall be brought to pass(in Father's timing He will bring an end to the devil's plans, fulfilling) the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55 “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” (The conditions that exist in the garden were just described!)
Jesus made all of this possible for those that believe. Surely we would not want to follow in the footsteps of Adam.
His fate is seen in Genesis 3:22-24.
22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to knowgoodandevil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— (or consume the knowledge of God and live forever without change!)
23 therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden(the first recorded time God dealt harshly with man) of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken.
24 So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the wayto the tree of life.
II Corinthians 5:19
19 that is, that God was in Christreconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them(He forgave us), and has committed to us the word of reconciliation(we are to then lead others out of the hands of the enemy and teach them about God's plan for restoration).
Remember Jesus said I go to prepare a place for you? Well He has. There is a beautiful city, designed in heaven that manifests here on earth in a garden-like setting called New Jerusalem. It is a spiritual city where His home on earth is, all made of living stones!
I Peter 2:5shows us these living stones and their use.
5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house(one use), a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices(second use)acceptable to GodthroughJesus Christ.
6 but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.
16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
17 If anyonedefiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. (see the fate of the enemy that has brought sickness pain and sorrow to God's creation?) For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.
Now let us read from Revelation 21:1-5 where John saw the fulfillment of these things.
1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth(world) had passed away. Also there was no more sea.
2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem(made of living stones), coming down out of heaven from God(designed in heaven), prepared as a bride adorned for her husband(selected for God's Son).
3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle(or house) of God is with men(on earth, not a city in heaven as taught falsely by the world's churches), and He(God) will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. GodHimself will be with them and be their God(exactly as in the beginning).
4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be nomoredeath, nor sorrow nor crying. There shall be nomorepain, for the former things have passed away(only the City and garden will remain and the new species of man will multiply and be fruitful and fill the earth).
5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”
Let us close with these scriptures.
7 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life(the Word of God, Jesus who is the way, the truth and life), which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”’ (Remember Jesus said to the thief on the cross, “this day you will be in paradise with Me”?)
53 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.
54 Whoevereats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
55 For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.
56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My bloodabides in Me, and I in him.
Revelation 19:13, 16
13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God(the one Adam and Eve turned their back on in favor of the knowledge of the tree of good and evil).
16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
14 Blessed are those who do His commandments(hear His voice and keep His law), that they may have the right to the tree of life(I feel sorry for those looking for an apple tree!), and may enter through the gates into the city